Today's Sunday Supper recipe is a great way to use up all those hard boiled eggs you found on your Easter egg hunt.
Today's Sunday Supper recipe is a great way to use up all those hard boiled eggs you found on your Easter egg hunt.
I think I've made a decision. And I am both excited and terrified.
As of today, my Etsy shop is closed and I no longer plan to blog on any kind of a routine schedule. For that matter, I don't really even intend to blog anymore. But you know me, I like to blather on about what I'm knitting so I may be back here sooner than expected.
And just in case I am making a HUGE mistake and instantly regret my decision, I'm going to put my Etsy shop on vacation rather than actually closing it. I'll still be on Facebook (my personal page) and maybe I'll even post more on Instagram. Maybe I'll even learn to TikTok, but I doubt it.
Maybe I'll be back here sooner than expected. But I'll no longer be thinking of Jeannie Gray Knits as a business. Rather than a thing, Jeannie Gray Knits will simply be me knitting what I want, when I want, with the yarn I want. I won't be worrying about what customers want and what they are willing to pay for.
I've been thinking about this for a couple of months now. Actually, that's not true. I've been trying Not to think about it for a couple of months. You see, back in January, I signed up for a class to help me take Jeannie Gray Knits to a level that fully finanically supports me. And the class did what no other has done for me. It finally made me face the fact that Jeannie Gray Knits is not profitable, nor sustainable. At least not the way I've been doing it.
So, I'm retiring. I'm not quiting, I'm retiring. I'm going to go knit what I want, when I want and with what yarns I want. Instead of knitting for my Etsy shop, I'm going to knit for me, for my friends and family, and for the mutlitude of causes I've always wanted to knit for but never had time. I'm going to learn to garden, maybe learn a new craft, and maybe, just maybe, even clean the house!
I'm pretty excited about the idea. I'm also terrified I'm making a huge mistake. What on earth will I do with all the time I was spending on my business? I may actually have to clean the house just to fill the hours.
But if I am making a huge mistake, it's fixable. I'm not burning any bridges. I'm just going on (semi ??) permanent vacation. Thank you for sticking with me all these years. I'm sure I'll see you around the web... and maybe at a fiber festival or two. And maybe even back here in a few days when I panic because I suddenly have nothing to do but clean the house. Yikes!
I hope you're a pork eater because we're going to be eating a LOT of pork over the next 800 years. LOL My grocery store keeps having Boston Butts on sale for half price and I keep buying them in multiples and tossing them in the freezer. Then because they are frozen, we never cook them. And this past week, they had pork roasts on sale. It was a big sale so I bought a ton of those too. Our freezer is now overflowing with pork. So...
Slow Cooker Mississippi Pork Roast. This recipe, from therecipecritic.com sounds really good and is super simple. It doesn't get much easier than dumping a few things into the slow cooker. The only difficult part is waiting for dinner time.
Now, if I can just remember to take one of those pork roasts out of the freezer...
I couldn't help myself.
I had to start the Hue Shift afghan. I just couldn't stand to wait any longer.
Hue Shift is a mitered square blanket knit with Brava from Knit Picks. Or at least, mine is. The pattern also includes instructions for using Mighty Stitch yarn. Knit Picks sells kits with several different color combinations and there's even a crochet kit.
The blanket is knit in four sections that you can arrange in different ways before sewing them together to get completely different looks. I'm a little concerned about my ability to power through this blanket without putting it aside to knit something else but, the frequent color changes will keep it interesting and as luck would have it, the last section contains my favorite colors. I'm hoping that motivates me to keep knitting.
Meanwhile, Hayden keeps me in stitches by making funny faces.
This recipe not only sounds delicious but also quick and simple.
I probably should have titled this post Everything But Knitting. Oh well.
I spent most of my time off from work this past week doing yard work. Last summer we thought we were moving and so we didn't exactly keep the flower beds in tip top shape. But since we've decided to stay here (Have I mentioned that? Yes, we decided to buy out my brother-in-law's half of my MIL's house and stay put. I'm very happy not to have to move.)... Anyway... Since we've decided to stay and take ownership, Sarah and I are doing our best to take back control of the yard. It's going to take us 100 years I fear.
The point of that story was, I haven't gotten much knitting done. I haven't even touched the Winterfest sweater but the first Northern Lights Patons Kroy Sock sock is almost finished. I've knit a little more than pictured and have started the toe decreases. I'm 99.99999% sure I will run out of yarn before the toe is long enough but I have some coordinating yarn and it will just have to have a weird looking toe. I'm okay with weird toes.
Yesterday was GORGEOUS and a perfect day to spend parked on the deck with my knititng and a book. Books actually. I'm also reading Stephen King's Fairytail but that one's on my Kindle and I read until the battery died. The day was so beautiful my bee friend stopped by for a visit. I was surprised how interested in my non-sweetened black coffee he was.
I can't wait until the danger of frost has past. I bought this weeping pussy willow tree from the grocery store and expected to kill it the first week I owned it, but it's producing leaves like crazy. I think it just might survive. I'm pretty excited about this little tree. It's supposed to grow to seven feet tall and eight feet in diameter. I've always loved weeping willows and my mom loved pussy willows so... And since we live on the edge of a swamp, it shouldn't be a problem that this plant's roots search out water sources. It should be very happy here.
The poor dog has taken up a bit of time this week too. He hurt his paw and he's been having some tummy problems so he's stuck wearing the cone of shame and he's enjoying a diet of nothing but chicken and rice. The problem comes in that he struggles to eat with the cone on and gets rice EVERYWHERE! He's one of those dogs who likes to take their food out of the bowl, put it on the floor, then eat it. Except now, the cone knocks the rice every which way and if we take the cone off, he eats his foot instead of his food. We are now having to sweep the entire downstairs about 8 times a day.
And most exciting, Hayden turned three recently. My husband and I weren't able to attend her actual birthday party so we threw her a simple dinner and cake party. She was pretty excited about the cake.
And now, I'm off to finish that sock before I have to go to work this afternoon.
Today's Sunday Supper is for the vegetarians.
While I'm not ready to go full vegetarian, I have been making a huge effort to eat many, many more vegetables than I used to. And so, I bring you Pear Halloumi Skewers in Chili Sauce. The recipe comes from fruitsandveggies.org and sounds delicious.
I'll admit, I had to Google Halloumi. I'd never heard of it and according to Google, my American friends probably know it as "grilling cheese." I'm glad the recipe didn't call it by the American name because I would have assumed they meant Kraft American cheese. I obviously don't have exotic tastes.
Thank you for all the picot sympathy and support. Day four was the magic number. I pretty much did nothing but picot bindoff all day long and got the shawl finished. I still haven't blocked it, but I will - soon. And then I'll show it off.
The Winterfest sweater sleeve-fest continues. And continues and continues. I'm still on the first half of the first sleeve. It's a bit of a slog. My sized sleeves in fingering weight, on US 1 needles, in dark gray makes for some mighty slow knitting. But I am making progress. I imagine my need for a wool sweater is probably over for the season so I'm not stressing over it.
When I get too bored with the Winterfest sleeve knitting, I switch to Northern Lights socks. The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks, which, as cheap sock yarn goes, I love. The color in the photo is fairly accurate except that the really dark stripe that looks black on my screen is actually a deep purply maroon. I'm totally in love with it.
But what I'm in love with most is my new light-up birdfeeder. It's solar powered and lights up in the dark. I absolutely love it! If you love it too and want one of your own, you can find it here on Amazon. (And no, I'm not affiliated. Just really, really happy with mine.)
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Did I ever mention that I got a new Instant Pot for Christmas to replace the one that got cooked in the oven? Yeah, I know. If you are new here and didn't hear that original story.... my first Instant Pot suffered a horrible, horrible death and I'm still, three years later, a little angry about it. But I finally have a replacement and I'm over the moon happy about it.
So... That was a long way of saying today's Sunday Supper recipe is geared towards using the Instant Pot.
Why did I ever think a picot bindoff on this shawl was a good idea?
I'm on day four of binding off this shawl and I have just gotten to the midpoint. Good grief! Granted, I've had work and our washing machine broke so I spent yesterday doing my laundry at a friend's house instead of knitting but still.... Four days to reach the halfway point!
Despite my poor choice of bindoff... I'm loving this shawl. I love the color combo and the yarn... The yarn is Knit Pick's Capretta which is a merino and cashmere blend. It's incredibly soft and wonderful to knit with. I can't say enough good things about this yarn. I'm totally smitten with it. As much as I want to be done with that picot bindoff, I will be sad to stop knitting with this yarn.
And as much as I'm complaining about the picot bindoff, I really do like the look of it. I can't wait to finish the shawl and get it blocked.
...And then you can hear me complain about pinning all those little picot points. 😊
Meanwhile, my granddaughter likes to help me feed the birds.
While I fill the hanging feeders, she feeds the big birds on the ground.
I can't belive Hayden is about to turn three. Where does the time go?
So, we're on a diet. I don't think I've mentioned it before but my A1C levels hit full blown diabetes in early February. And my doctor, being the meany that he is, is making me 'fix' it with diet rather than pills. And yes, I know that that's best. I know if he gave me pills, I'd continue to eat the cake and cookies and just keep taking more and more pills.
I know this way is best. In fact, it's already working. I'm sticking to the diabetic diet and have already lost 7 pounds in 15 days. But I'm also still seriously jonesing for cookies and cake and I'm mean. I mean, I am MEAN! Sugar/carb withdrawl is not for the faint of heart and it doesn't help that I'm working at a grocery store and surrounded by carts full of cookies, cakes and Little Debbie products. So yeah, I'm a little mean at the moment. And I'm blaming my poor doctor instead of blaming myself for allowing myself to get to this point.
The point is, Sunday Suppers are about to get slightly more healthy.
And yes, I realize I'm struggling with a bit of an attitude. I really don't know why. I've eaten within my carb limits every day since I started the diabetic diet (15 days ago) and I have enjoyed every single thing I've eaten so far. I like zucchini 'noodles' and I'm enjoying all the vegetables I've been eating. I'm actually a little bit proud of myself and the way I've been eating for the last 15 days. Heck, the diet is even helping my finances. According to my credit card statement, my grocery bill for February was $190 less than normal. My body feels better. I already have more energy and just feel better in general. Or at least my physical body does. But mentally, I really do miss plates full of mounded up mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, not to mention all those cookies and cakes.
If any of you are on diabetic diets and have cookbooks or websites you recommend, please send them my way.
As promised, I present...
The Pumpkin Sweater.
The pattern was great. Well written and fun to knit.
Whoever invented the saying, "That'll block right out." should be shot. Botched increase rows and major gauge issues rarely block out.
I ended up with a slight 'ruffle' running down the back due to the botched increase rows. I kept being a stitch short when I got to the end of the increase rows so I'd just throw an extra one in... and it caused a ruffle effect. My solution is to never cut my hair and always wear it down whenever I wear the sweater. Problem solved.
The other issue is the sleeves. They feel like I'm wearing compression sleeves. Very, very tight compression sleeves.
I used the same size dpn on the sleeves as the circular needle I used for the body. Same manufacturer, needles made from the same material. But for some reason, the sleeve gauge is WAY tighter than the body's gauge. I noticed the gauge difference after only knitting an inch or two of the first sleeve but rather than do something about it, I decided it would block right out.
But that's okay because I get to try again. This sweater was for my daughter but after this one had so many problems, I promised I'd knit her another one and keep this one for myself. So lucky you! You get to watch Pumpkin Sweater #2 being knit sometime in the (hopefully) not too distant future.
I bet even the kids will like these baked parmesean spinach balls since they can eat them with their fingers. I'm also thinking that if I get really lazy, I could probably bake the ingredients in a baking dish rather than taking the time to make the balls. But spinach balls would be much more fun to eat than spinach casserole.
Why am I talking about Winterfest on the day we break a February heat record? I'd planned to show off/laugh at the completed pumpkin sweater this week but I never got around to taking photos. The weather has just been so spring-like and beautiful on my days off, I haven't been able to force myself into a worsted weight sweater. So...
Instead of modeling the pumpkin sweater, I've been knitting on my Winterfest sweater. If you don't remember (and why would you??,) I started the Winterfest sweater in November, 2021. I was a vendor at Kings Dominion's Winterfest that year and decided to knit a sweater with the help of the kids who came through the booth. I'd ask them their age and pull that many yards off the skein of their choice and then I did my very best to knit them in the order they were chosen. It was a fun way of entertaining and including the kids while the parents shopped and it made for a, let's call it, exciting sweater.
It's definitely colorful!
The sweater is a simple ragland, knit with a zillion different colors of Palette on US 1 (2.50) needles. The sweater was pretty loose on me in 2021 and I pray it still is. I haven't tried it on since pulling it out of the UFO pile. At this point, the goal is to finish it, not necessarily wear it. Part of me thinks the sweater is too colorful and hideous while another part of me is hopeful that the asphalt gray waist ribbing and sleeves will calm down the wild colors. Winterfest ended and I ran out of kids to choose the next color so I decided to go wih a neutral dark gray, again, hoping the gray will calm the sweater down a bit. The third part of me just wants this beast finished. off the needles and off my To Knit list.
Whether the sweater fits or not, I just want it done. I've knit on it too much to quit now. I can't fathom how many stitches this giant, beast of a sweater already has in it nor do I even want to think about how many more stitches I still have to go. Once that waist hem is completed, I still have the sleeves to knit. I'll probably still be knitting this thing in 2024.
I hope that wherever you are, you are also experiencing beautiful spring weather, although maybe not as warm as it is here today. We hit 81 degrees, beating the previos record by six degrees! Of course tomorrow will bring normal temperatures and it will be back down below freezing by tomorrow night. Nothing like spring in Virginia!
Anyway, hope you are having nice weather and your knitting is going faster than mine.
Today's my son's birthday and since he loves chicken alfredo I thought it would be fun to try this chicken alfredo lasagna recipe. Actually, he loves shrimp alfredo and likes chicken alfredo, but I'm allergic to seafood so.... But hmmm, I wonder if I could make two lasagnas - one with chicken and one with shrimp. And, since I know nothing about cooking seafood (it's a Bad allergy!) perhaps I could talk my girl child into doing the baking. Now, that sounds like a plan!
Yes! We've had a few warm, spring-like days recently and one of them happened to be on my day off. You know I spent the entire day outside, sitting on my butt and knitting. It was glorious! Okay, I did get up a few times to do about 40 loads of laundry, but otherwise, I spent the day sitting and knitting outside. It was awesome!
I finished the pumpkin sweater and started a shawl. I'll show you the sweater next week. The fit is... well, let's just say, the sweater has a few problems. (My problems, not the designers.) I'll explain more when I show you a photo. Before I model it, I need to gain about 20 pounds in the bust area and loose about 20 pounds in my arms. I had a slight issue with my dpn vs my interchangeable needle gauge. It's a good thing the pumpkin sweater is for Halloween becuase its fit is frightful.
But this shawl....
Oh my! I'm using Capretta from Knit Picks and it's Heaven! Pure Heaven! The yarn is a merino, cashmere and nylon blend and, I just noticed it's also a superwash. And now that I've noticed that, I'm headed straight to Knit Picks to buy more. I desperately need to knit a few more pairs of socks for myself. Cashmere socks. How decadent!
Oh, and the yarn is currently on sale! Woo-hoo!
But back to the shawl.... I'm not following a pattern, just making it up as I go. I knit a while, get bored with a color, add a thin light gray stripe, change colors and repeat. My plan is to do some kind of lacy edge with the light gray and to knit each color until I run out of yarn. Each skein has 230 yards so it should be a fairly large shawl.
The yarn is so nice to knit with and feels so good in my hand, knitting a large, garter stitch shawl shouldn't be a problem. It's quite meditative.
Today's recipe is a little different and only for the adults.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Thank you all for the get well wishes. They worked! The z-pack from the doctor helped too. Man, that z-pack antiobiotic is some serious stuff! It knocked the mucus part of the respitory infection right out. Now I'm feeling 1,000 times better and only cough when I talk. The doctor promises the cough will go away in two to three weeks, once my airways are no longer inflamed.
Anyway, thank you for all the good health wishes. I much appreciated them. And, while I'm saying thanks, thank you for sticking with me and this blog. I realize it has not been exactly titalating reading lately.
Since I've been feeling better, I've been able to get some knitting done.
The hat has a hemmed brim and I guess you could consider it reversible, except I'm not sure I like the way the sewing line looks. I used a regular cast on and picked those cast on stitches up and knit them together with the stitches already on the needle when I hemmed it. It's a super simple process but it does leave that line. How do you handle hemmed hats/items?
Valentine's Day is just around the corner and what better way to say I love you than with a homemade, made from scratch, molten chocolate lava cake? The recipe, from aheadofthyme.com, looks simple enough and uses ingredients you probably already have in the pantry. Yum!
It's been a slow week knitting wise. Everything wise, really.
The most knitting I've done this week was while I was at the doctor's waiting for my Covid, Flu and Strep tests to come back. Mostly, I've spent the week staring blankly at the wall, blowing my nose and coughing up a lung.
Thankfully, all the tests came back negative. It's just a simple respirtory infection and I'm now the proud owner of a z-pack and some prescription cough syrup. I haven't been able to sleep all week because of the coughing and choking on mucus (TMI??) so I'm really looking forward to the cough medicine tonight. It promises to make me sleepy and it must be pretty strong stuff. Instead of coming with a tiny dosage cup like most liquid medicines, it comes with a baby syringe becuase the dosage is so small. I can't wait for bedtime!
I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it but a while back, not long after we moved in here, my InstantPot was put in the oven and baked until it was a very smelly and unrecognizable blob of melted plastic. It was tragic and I've been upset over its loss ever since. My Instant Pot was finally replaced this Christmas and I couldn't be happier.
Beef Birria Tacos made in a pressure cooker. Tacos and getting to use my Instant Pot - what could be better?
I'll admit, the recipe sounds like a lot of work and I'm likely to skip the whole cooking the tortillia part, but the meat and sauce part sound excellent. I'll just make it with store bought taco shells and if it tastes as good as it sounds, maybe I'll cook the taco shells next time. Maybe.
I'm also curious what 12 servings means. Is that 12 tacos, or is it enough meat for 12 people to eat tacos? I'm fairly certain it's 12 tacos and as a large, taco loving family, we probably won't have a lot of leftover meat, but if we do, I'm sure it's easily freezable.
This has been quite an exciting week!
I finished the Mimosa sweater for Sarah. I even sewed it all up and she's worn it. Of course I forgot to take a phot of it. Next time she wears it...
I finished knitting the Squish blanket and bound it off.
I even wove in all the little ends and have been enjoying snuggling up under it the last few nights. The blanket really is aptly named because it is incredibly thick and squishy. If I can stand that many long-term projects, I may have to knit one for each family member. I love it that much!
And, most exciting of all....
The Cadbury eggs are stocked and on the grocery store shelves. This pleases me to no end. My weight-loss doctor, probably not so much.
You'll find the actual recipe for this dish way, way, way down in the link but, before you get to the recipe, the website has some great tips on how to cut and peel butternut squash. I found that information to be quite helpful. I've mentioned before, I'm pretty unadventerous in the kitchen and have never cooked butternut squash before. It's probably excess information that most of you will have to page through to reach the recipe but for those of us who can barely boil water, I was glad the information was provided.
You've heard of start-itis. Well, I'm suffering from continue-itis. I just keep knitting on the same items and never seem to finish them.
I'd forgotten how much I dislike having mutliple projects on the needles at once. I mean, one simple, knit while I read type project and one complicated, gotta pay attention project on the needles at the same time is okay. It's a good thing actually. But more than that.... and it's just a bad case of continue-itis.
I did finish the knitting part of Mimosa and one side seam is sewn. But that other side seam.... I really neeed to finish it before Sarah beats me over my head with my knitting bag but....
But when given the choice between sewing seams and knitting....
Even when the knitting is slightly boring and never ending, I'll choose knitting over seam sewing any day of the week. There may actually be an end in sight for Squish. I guestimated its length this morning and it looks like I only need to add four more color stripes. And that means, by next Friday, I should, hopefully, be showing off a finished Squish. Fingers crossed!
(FYI, caster sugar is the Brittish version of super fine sugar according to Google.)
Knitting on the Mimosa sweater continues.
I don't understand why it's taking so long to knit this sweater. The fabric grows quickly and it's the only thing I've knit on since Christmas. I'm sure it has nothing to do with spending 90% of my spare time eating leftover Christmas cakes and candy instead of knitting.
The body is completed, except for sewing it up, and I've started the first sleeve. I don't think I've ever knit a cuff-up sleeve before. This one looks like a giant mushroom.
I'm waiting to do the sewing until the sleeves are done. I knit the required number of rows on the front and back but they look a little short to me. Hopefully it's just that I'm freakishly tall and the sweater will be plenty long and oversized on Sarah. But if not, I have a plan to elongate the shoulders. Hopefully that plan will not need to be executed because I'm afraid it will look weird once the sleeves are attached. We'll just have to wait and see about that.
Hopefully by next Friday I'll be writing about a completed sweater. I'm just about out of Christmas candy. (Thank goodness! I'm not sure my waistband can stand much more!) Hopefully I'll be spending a lot more time knitting and a lot less time opening mini Reese's wrappers this week.
Happy knitting and happy Friday 13th!
So, I'll admit I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food and/or cooking. I've never had stuffed cabbage or really even know what it is. But this recipe for unstuffed cabbage casserole sounds pretty good. And easy.
I like easy. I am all about easy!
I'm also all about cheap. One of my goals for 2023 is to spend less and save more. That's going to be hard to do with grocery prices on the rise like they are, but this recipe should be relatively inexpensive to make. And I imagine it's pretty filling.
Cheap, easy and filling. What more could a lazy girl ask for?
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Ours was really nice. New Years wasn't much. The family slept and I worked but Christmas was wonderful.
I was so proud of Hayden. She'd spent Christmas Eve Eve at her other grandparent's and she normally has a little too much fun there and comes home exhausted and a little grouchy. I was a bit concerned about how she'd behave Christmas Eve at my nephew's house, in a strange house, with people she rarely sees, make that loud people she rarely sees, and withoout a nap and past her bedtime... But she did fantastic! She walked in, made herself at home and had a blast playing with my sister's grandkids. She even sat at the kid's table to eat and didn't need any help from her parents. The only time she got upset was when we took the book away from her so that someone else could do the traditional reading of The Night Before Christmas.
As for my Christmas Eve Cast On project, I cheated and cast on a few days early. It's a sweater for Sarah that was actually a Christmas gift for her. I thought I'd be safe because Sarah announced she wanted me to knit her the sweater early to mid December. The pattern is Mimosa, a free pattern on Ravelry.
The sweater's design is super simple. It's basically just a few rectangles sewn together and it's knit with US15 needles with mohair-like yarn. Being free and so simple, the pattern doesn't even provide gauge but it does mention what yarn the designer, Ola Otuli, used. I decided I'd use the same yarn just to be safe.
A brief internet search for the yarn took me to an Etsy shop, DewKnit in Lithuania. I was pretty excited because Etsy's shipping esitmator thing said the yarn would arrive between December 19 and January 5th. Perfect, I thought. It would never arrive before Christmas so I could wrap up a note and there'd be zero expectation of having a knitted sweater under the tree on Christmas morning. Or so I thought.
Well, the yarn arrived on December 20th. Thankfully Sarah is an understanding big girl these days and still didn't expect the finished sweater to be under the tree. She has, however, checked on it's progress daily ever since the yarn's arrival.
The sweater is knitting up quickly and I'm enjoying the yarn. It's hairy like mohair but it's a wool/alpaca blend rather than being actual mohair. And I'm loving it. Mohair tends to make my hands sweaty and I feel like I end up with more fiber in my eyes and nose than on the needles when ever I've knit with it. But this yarn, this yarn doesn't shed like mohair. It doesn't shed at all. I can knit wearing my black work pants with no worries at all. It's super soft and did I mention how fast it's knitting up? If it wasn't for that pesky job of mine, I probably could have had the sweater knit and under the tree Christmas morning.
If you decide to knit yourself a Mimosa sweater, and you plan to use the yarn, Drops Melody, as mentioned in the pattern, I highly recommend you order from DewKnit. Yes, the yarn had to travel from Lithuania, but it made the trip quickly, even at Christmas. The yarn was packaged well and the customer service was great. I won't hesitate to order from DewKnit next time.
And now I'm off to knit a few more rows. I can't wait to hear about what everyone else is knitting in the the new year.