Thanksgiving Eve

The kids are out of school today so we are having a relaxing day at home and keeping busy with lots of WIP's:

Making a magical winter wonderland out of legos.

Working on some wall art.

Starting on the gift knitting (Turn a Square hat).

And one FO:

Ginormous chocolate chip cookies using this recipe.

To those in the U.S., have a very happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with lots of tasty food and wonderful company. Check out WIP Wednesday with TAMI'S AMIS for the latest in cool knitting and crochet ideas.


Family Recipes

Growing up in a large family consisting of strong personalities, food was often the glue that kept us all together. I can remember many sibling arguments being resolved over bowls of pho noodle soup. My mom's philosophy was sneakily simple: keep the peace by keeping our mouths full of food. And what food! My mom is one of those natural cooks that can make a feast out of humble ingredients, adding a pinch of this or a palm full of that to a pot and having it turn out delicious. One of my goals in life is to be more of an intuitive cook like her. I know that this will take years of practice and experimentation. There will be some hits and lots of misses. But I am slowly gaining confidence every day, even creating a personal collection of recipes of my own. Some are all mine, but most are modifications of recipes collected over the years from treasured cookbooks and more recently, talented food bloggers. To make it easier to reference these recipes, I have started writing them down in a series of notebooks.

I hope to one day hand these over to my son so that he can recreate the foods of his childhood. And when my mom comes back from her annual six months vacation in Vietnam, I am going to ask her to write down what a pinch of this and a palm full of that means.


Playing Hooky

Over the past several days, I have been playing hooky from my knitting (and the housecleaning). Because crochet has totally consumed my every available spare time. See this?

My first granny square! It was hard to come by, let me tell you. I learned how to crochet a few years ago by taking a class at my LYS. But lack of practice had caused all of that knowledge to fly out the window. So this week, I have been revisiting all of my crochet how-to books/online resources** and practicing ch, sc, hdc, dc, tr, dtr, ttr, etc. etc. Which might explain the flying hook and ball of yarn incident that occurred a few nights ago. I can definitely say that wielding the hook does not come naturally to me. But like all things that take a bit more effort to accomplish, the feeling of finally learning it is beyond rewarding. My first granny square might be wonky, but that isn't going to stop me from proudly displaying it on my desk.

Right now, I am working on a project for something that is very near and dear to me.

It isn't a blanket. Although someday I hope to make this one mine. I'm dreaming crochet dreams already!

 **Crochet Lyceum with Underground Crafter. Detailed and clear instructions accompanied by helpful illustrations and videos...all for free!

(check out WIP Wednesday with TAMI'S AMIS for cool knitting AND crochet inspirations)



Every once in a while I come across a neat knitting tool or technique that makes me smile and wonder how I could have previously lived without it. Two of my most recent discoveries came while knitting on my Vodka Gimlet cardigan. The first one is an Addi 12 inch circular needle which I used to knit up the cardigan sleeves.

Much faster than magic loop. Less fiddling with yarn and needles. I was able to finish a full length sleeve in a day which is a personal record for me. I am so glad that I overcame my initial hesitation at using these (they looked so darn uncomfortable). They do take a little getting used to but did not cause any hand or wrist strain as I had feared.

The second new item for the toolbox is a cool joining technique called the magic or double knot. I first saw it demonstrated here by the talented Jane Richmond (scroll down to the last video tutorial). I am always on the lookout for a way to avoid weaving in ends and this is a neat little trick to know. It makes a very strong and nearly invisible join as seen below. Who says that you can't have knots in your knitting?

 So what is in your knitting toolbox?


Lights, Camera, Action!

Because my blog is sadly lacking in action according to the two guys in the house, I proudly present:

The Getaway, featuring the little guy and costarring the Windschief neck warmer.

I admit, the plot needs a lot of work, but it IS an action movie after all. Anyways, for those of us who prefer our knits not in motion, here are some still shots.

Windschief by Stephen West knitted in Dream in Color Classy

He has been wearing the neck warmer everyday on his commute to work and is very happy with it. Job accomplished!

(Can't get enough of knitted thrills? Go check out FO Friday with TAMI'S AMIS)


my little (crafty) corner of the world

Welcome to my little corner of the world. I can't seem to get this Yo La Tengo song out of my head lately, especially while sitting nice and comfy in my new craft room/master bedroom. Want a look around?

Dwell Studio for Target swoop armchair and comforter set

Expedit shelving units from Ikea

Vika Amon/Vika Annefors table from Ikea, orange modern stacking chairs from Target

White baskets with orange gingham liners repurposed from the little guy's nursery

Glass jars from Michael's, yarn from stash

As you can see, I totally gave my matching tendencies free reign over the space:

*Stash yarn in coordinating colors displayed in matching mason jars - check
*Matching armchair and comforter set - check, check
*Birds on branches theme on wooden screen, armchair and comforter - check, check, check
*Matching baskets and orange chairs - check, check, check & check!

The walls are still a work in progress, but overall, I am so thrilled with this space. And remember where that "playpen disguised as a knitting basket" was? Now it is my favorite knitting spot.

armchair, storage ottoman and basket from Target



We are trying to hang on to autumn for as long as possible, although the mornings and nights are getting chillier, the stores all have their holiday displays out and the kids have already started planning their lists to Santa. For this week at least, I am ignoring it all, taking things slow and leisurely knitting on my fall sweaters.

The herbs are all safely tucked inside for the winter

Just have the left sleeve and left front to go on my Spoked Cardigan. Can't wait to wear this before the season is over.

Loving the mindless stockinette

My Vodka Gimlet has seen a lot of attention this week. Almost finished with the collar and then there will only be the sleeves left to knit. It has been hard to put down, especially as most of it has been knitted while sitting in my favorite new knitting spot. The full room reveal will be coming up soon.

I went a little yarn crazy at Michaels the other day and bought a basketful of Stitch Nation yarns. So many pretty colors to choose from. These are for an upcoming crochet(!) project.

 (In the mood for some lovely projects? Head on over to WIP Wednesday with TAMI'S AMIS.)