Sunday, January 8, 2017

Felted pocketbook

I've been going over some of the projects that I finished last year, and I'm enjoying this little purse far more than I thought I would--it's very handy for heading out with wallet, phone, pen, lip gloss--just a few bare essentials.

The bag part of the pattern is Felted Pocketbook by Bev Galeskas, and then the flap is from Flaps, by Laura Kochevar, both in the book Bags: a Knitter's Dozen.  After knitting the strap, I didn't like the look of it with the little bag, so used the leather strap salvaged from another project, and the button was one from my button stash.  I cut a pocket from a worn out coat and used some leftover fabric with a zipper (again from my stash of leftover supplies) to make the pockets inside:

The colors in the bag come from using up some yarns in my stash--I stranded some lovely, fire-toned handspun with the leftover Meridian Jacobs 2-ply silver, with the red on the bottom of the bag being leftover Rowan Harris Chunky.

 A very satisfying stashbusting project that resulted in an item that's far more pleasing and useful than I thought it would be!

Friday, April 29, 2016


After using up most of my leftover yarn in the blanket, I needed to start some more projects to use up stash, and also generate some more leftover yarn to finish my blanket!  This winter I fell in love with vests.  I hadn't worn vests for decades, but had just the right amount of cotton yarn to make the Peace vest by Kim Hargreaves:

I found that I wore it all the time--it's a great added layer.

Paul then started thinking about having a vest, and liked the Adrienne Vittadini Martina yarn in my stash, and the Red Cross Pattern for a Man's V-Neck Vest--I can't praise this pattern enough!  It worked up easily and well, and fits beautifully:

Next, for colder winter days, I worked up some Peruvian Highland Chunky yarn that had been a gift into the Patons' Button Front Crew Neck Vest.  I altered the pattern a little by making the buttonholes smaller (only one yarnover instead of two) to accommodate smaller buttons:

This pattern was also wonderful to work up--very well written, and I'd recommend it for beginners since it's written so clearly and even includes illustrations.

Now, of course, I've generated a lot more spare yarn for my Mondrian-inspired scraps blanket, but I do need a little purse, I'm using some of my stash for Bev Galeskas' Felted Pocketbook:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blanket progress

Although I've worked up a few small projects in the meantime, I've made great progress on my Mondrian-inspired scraps blanket:

(Photo by Paul)
I'm not only happy to be using up so many spare skeins and partial skeins, but am delighted in how it's looking--it's so much fun picking out the colors, and I'm enjoying the surprise of how they look together, and how the black borders set off the colors.  There is also the joy of remembering the projects that used the rest of the yarn--the lavender was a vest, the bright orange baby pants and a baby sweater, the dark brown a hat for a friend...

Happy memories, happy knitting, and much stash reduction!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mondrian-inspired scraps blanket

I have lots of odd skeins and partial skeins of yarn, and had begun to think about doing a scraps blanket.  We could use another blanket, and while thinking about how I might go about creating a scraps blanket, I came across some of the Mondrian-inspired projects on Ravelry--dresses, pillows, and, of course, blankets.

But could I create a Mondrian-inspired blanket without buying yarn?  This is a concern, since I'm enthusiastically participating in the Lord of the Rings Group's StashQuest to work down my stash.  So could I create a scraps blanket out of different weight yarns, of differing colors, and differing fibers?

I had a brainstorm:  what have I got to lose?  If I don't like it, I can frog it and start over.  If I like it, then I'll have a blanket!  I pulled out all the candidate yarns, selected the blue wool, and knitted horizontally, putting in a black stripe of cotton, then choosing the green wool...then the red cotton...then I picked up along the long edge, knit more black, and used the white wool (the black stitches at the bottom are all live, on a string of yarn serving as a stitch-holder).  So far, it's a long strip, and I like it!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Homemade Graham Crackers

Photo by Paul
Homemade graham crackers are faster to make than we had imagined and so very delicious!  We adapted the recipe from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book: we found that recipe too sweet, so omitted the sugar but kept in the syrup.  We also go ahead and melt the butter rather than mixing it in softened.  We use fresh ground whole wheat flour, so don't need to the flour the counter to roll out the crackers.

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, well beaten
4 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups graham flour (or 6-1/2 ounces fresh ground whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup (3.5 ounces) white flour

Oven at 350F.

Combine the melted butter and honey or agave, and beat well with a whisk; add the egg, and beat well.  Dissolve the baking soda in the water and then add to the mixture.  Add the salt and flours to the mixture, and blend thoroughly.  If the dough is too tacky to handle, add a little more flour.

Roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch (flour the counter if necessary).  Cut into squares or rectangles, about 2 inches wide.  Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, and prick with a fork.  Bake for 8 minutes on one side, then turn over and bake for 7 minutes more.  Remove from the oven and cool on racks.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Georgian dinner

We've long been fans of Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's cookbook Seductions of Rice, but we just got their Flatbreads and Flavors--I'm so glad we did!  The first recipe we tried was fenugreek and corn bread, and it was delicious--we were having a busy weekend, and we followed the recipe almost exactly and they were fantastic.  The only thing we did different from the recipe was baking the breads on a stone in our oven rather than on an oiled baking sheet.

So last weekend, when we had more time, Paul closed his eyes and wiggled a finger into the cookbook to choose a recipe at random: potato and herb filled bread (khachapuri ossetinski) from Georgia.  We decided to make walnut and eggplant roll-ups (badrigiani, also from Georgia) to go with it.  It was an incredible meal--absolutely delicious:

It was our first time making these breads, and I've never seen any person, so we kind of winged it:

We also cooked these breads directly on our baking stone in the oven, rather than on oiled cookie sheets, and they were great!

We did have leftover potato and herb filling, which we had for breakfast the next day; we mixed it up with a beaten egg into a patty, fried it, and had it with egg on top--delicious!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Swatch, no, dishcloth

I recently purchased some Farmablefibres cotton from my favorite yarn store, Claddagh Yarns, and when working up a gauge swatch, realized I might as well turn it into a dishcloth:

Here are my pattern notes:

I used 4.5mm needles, with Farmablefibres 100% Cotton yarn, and my gauge came out to 16 st/4 inches before washing & blocking, and a dish cloth that is 7.5 x 7.5 inches.

Cast on 30 stitches.

Work 4 rows of moss stitch.

Work 35 rows with 4 stitches of moss stitch at the ends, and stockinette stitch in between (about 6.75 inches from beginning at this point).

Work 4 rows of moss stitch.

Bind off in moss stitch pattern until you have 3 stitches left, and work these 3 stitches in moss stitch.

Work an i-cord on these stitches for about 3 inches, then pull yarn through stitches & tie off; sew end of i-cord to cloth to make a loop.