Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Yarn Along, a little late

This morning my children were bickering (not an unusual occurrence) and I was a little taken aback by the subject.
"You got to wear the good pair of mittens yesterday!"

They have been alternating between wearing my mittens and a mismatched pair from past class samples.
That's right, the children of the knitting teacher only have one good pair of mittens between them, and they belong to me.
So this afternoon I cast on these mittens for The Younger.
He has a red coat, and I had some red yarn, so it was kismet.
I used Eco + doubled and knit these on size 11s.
I highly recommend making mittens for kids, instant gratification at its best.

Now to choose some yarn for The Elder.
Joining Ginny for Yarn Along, and Nicole for KCCO.
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Hot and cold this week.
The Youngest riding the bronze tortoise at the zoo
The Younger barefoot communing with a sparrow
The Elder and Youngest in the snow fort
Joining Jodi for 52 portraits

Friday, February 21, 2014

Snow Day

This is our 6th weather-related school closing of the year.
That's right, this year.
At least today it's warm enough to go outside.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Snowy Evening

I should be at work teaching a beginning knitting class, but the shop closed early due to a giant super snow storm.
So, instead, I'll be finishing up a project that I started on Saturday.
I dug into my yarn stash and found some lovely aqua wool to weave a piece of fabric, which I then felted a little in the washing machine.
 Next I found a coordinating fabric in the fabric stash
then I did a little measuring and a little cutting and a little sewing and came up with this
It's lined with the floral fabric, you'll just have to believe me, since I didn't get a photo.
Now all that remains is to finish weaving the strap, and I'll be done!
It's a gift, and I'll say more about that later.

I can use some down time because, as I said, it is really coming down out there, and I just spent about 2 hours moving some serious snow out of our parking pad.
The kids made some good use of the giant chunks that I was able to dig up (with some lovely help from my neighbor.)
They had a plan of putting a roof on this, though they lost interest after about an hour, maybe tomorrow.
The best discovery of the day? A pitchfork is a very useful tool for getting up the snowpack.

I think I'm gonna take a break from the Olympics tonight and settle in with a glass of wine and House of Cards Season 2. (I was going to link to it, but there are too many spoilers out there in the Google, and I want to be surprised)
I hope all out there are cozy and warm, and curled up with a fun project!

Monday, February 17, 2014

How I Spent My President's Day Vacation

Our favorite Zoo had a tropical day today.
There was a man playing Calypso music on the steel drums, sand art and a huge sand box inside.
It was such a joy to take off shoes and socks and get in there to build a few dozen sand castles. 
Baby, don't worry 'bout a thing. Every little thing gonna be alright.
The leftovers.
Every kid got a free pail and shovel, and we made good use of them.
Playing in the sand.
Sandy fingers.
Then we made our way around the tropics trail and Minnesota trail.
Astride the bronze tortoise.
We had a nutritious lunch.
Hot Dogs for lunch.
We even got some up close time with some of the wildlife.

Creeping up on the sparrow.
Oops. There it goes!
Hooray for the Zoo, and hooray for Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, and hooray for my kids.


Whew, when I work on the weekends it is hard for me to get my stuff together to post.
So, here I am on a Monday with my weekly portraits.

The Youngest - Swinging
The Younger - Confident and happy
The Elder - Chopping onions for the dinner she made all by herself (shrimp and grits, it was delicious)

Joining Jodi for 52 portraits

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Herd Mentality

I have mentioned before that I am very susceptible to the power of bloggy suggestion.
Over the last couple of weeks I saw a bunch of different people blogging about homemade crackers, and I just had to try.
Today's batch is my third this week, and I may be hooked.
To be fair, I have been bringing them to share with friends, so we haven't eaten them all.
The good thing about trying again and again is that I have refined my process, and this batch already smells terrific.
I start with the recipe that Amanda posted and I use my pasta roller to get it to the correct thickness (one of the things I have learned is that I have to get to the 5th setting for the perfect thickness)
Next I use my ravioli maker to shape them and the rest is just like the recipe.
Super easy, and tasty, and Cheap.
Throw on the new Natalie Maines record and you have a productive morning!
What's in your oven today?

Baby Steps to Free Range

I posted a photo yesterday of the pies that The Elder and Younger made this week.
They were made with cracker dough and filled with jam.
In the words of the Elder - "I think there was too much jam in there. This is too sweet!"

On Friday after school I brought out my A Year of Pies cookbook along with Time for Dinner and told each kid to choose a recipe.
Then we went to the grocery store and I sent each kid out to get the ingredients that they needed.
The Younger chose Bacon-Wrapped Fish Nuggets from Time for Dinner, he memorized the ingredients, cod fillets and bacon, and he led the way to the butcher counter and spoke with the butcher and then we had to look together for the bacon.
He wasn't interested in the actual makling, and I had to go to work so time was of the essence, but I think next time I'll make the time to get him involved in the cooking as well.
It was delicious, let me tell you...

The Elder chose a Lemon Meringue Pie from A Year of Pies.
I sent her out into the store alone and she came back with all of the necessary ingredients (with only the smallest bit of clarification about which butter-less butter to get.)

She made the dough for the crust alone, but then kind of lost interest as well.
She and I made the filling together, and she was pretty proud of the way the pie came out in the end.
This also didn't suck.
I think I was able to make some baby steps toward ceding control this week, and I am going to put the kids in charge of a meal more often.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


The Youngest gets up close and personal with a zebra shark at the zoo.
The Elder and Younger made individual pies, they're so proud.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Some Knitting and a Book Review

I sing in a 10-voice a capella group called Caritas Vocal Ensemble. Our mission is to put on benefit concerts for local non-profit groups which provide basic human services to the Twin Cities Area. So, if you're a part of a non-profit that provides food, clothing, shelter or healthcare to those in need, give us a call and we'll set up a concert for you next year. 
On Sunday, we're singing a Home Concert with a silent auction to support our own mission. 
Details here for local folks.
My contribution to the silent auction is this hat and cowl.
My first plan was to make the hat (from Rasta by Malabrigo) and then weave a coordinating scarf with Worsted Weight Malabrigo in a similar colorway. I thought it might take too much time, so I knitted this cowl with two strands held together. Now I wish I had just gotten another skein of the Rasta, but what's done is done.
To make this an all-purpose post, I'll also say that I read Free-Range Kids this week.
It was a good read. Her thesis is that the world is no less safe than when we were kids (and possibly more so given the fact that mental illness is better treated now than 20-25 years ago and since lead paint was outlawed the statistics for violent crimes have plummeted.) but that media is saturated with horrible images both real and fictional and we internalize what we see and imagine the worst in all scenarios. So, we see a boogeyman around every corner, and to protect our kids we keep them close.
Closer than any previous generation.
We're pretty low-key with the panic around here, though I will admit to an occasional freak-out, and we let our kids walk or bike to their friends' houses regularly.
With a 10 year-old in the house it won't be long before she's asking to go places on her own, and then we'll see the true test of how laid-back we really are.
Where do you all sit on the scale of Free-Range to Helicopter Parenting?

Sunday, February 2, 2014


The Youngest - She wanted to drive.
The Elder and Younger - Snow cave.

Joining Jodi for 52 portraits.