Happy Paranormal Day!

Did you know May 3rd is Paranormal Day? I didn’t either, but I follow a lot of paranormal accounts, so that’s how I found out. How does one celebrate Paranormal Day? If you’re like me, you combine your special interests and sew a paranormal themed dress!

Yep, it’s another Melba Dress in Spoonflower “Phantasmagoria” fabric, which I caught on sale. I’m planning to wear this to the Ohio State Reformatory on May 21 for ParaPsycon. Bob and my kids are taking me for my birthday!

I like this dress paired with ankle boots and a denim jacket, but I’m a child of the 80’s so I like everything with a denim jacket.

I felt like this dress was screaming for a scarf (see what I did there) but now I’m not so sure.

I think I might need a spooky statement necklace and dangly earrings.

I’m planning to knit a Halloween cardigan this year, too, and I’m hoping it will work with this dress.

How would you style it?

I Only Have YOP for You 💝

Happy Valentine’s Eve! I had a busy week at work and didn’t get much making done.

Knitting

I continue to knit daily on Arrowhead and Musselburgh. I wound the yarn for my Taxus Mittens, as it is time for The Woolly Thistle’s annual colorwork accessory knitalong. I participated last year with the Kenora Toque. This is a knitalong where I had my pick from something already on my list. The yarn is Tukuwool Fingering.

Sewing

I sewed myself a red velour dress for Valentine’s. It will work equally well for Christmas. Truth be told, I have a yardage of green too, so I’ll probably make another one. The pattern is the Piedra dress from Seamwork. I love sewing this dress, although I added the pockets.

I finished adhering the interfacing to my Clare coat fabric. I cut the Thinsulate with the coat pieces, but did some research and found out I should have cut them with the lining. Oops. Well hopefully I can still use them by cutting them down and, if not, I’ll use wool batting with the lining fabric instead.

In other news, I went to the Wild and Wooly Fiber Expo in Cleveland yesterday. I enjoyed myself and came home a few new skeins and a braid of Targhee to spin. Bob and I are having a Superb Owl party today, which means we’re eating pizza and watching What We Do in the Shadows instead of football.

This has been a Year Of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Burns Night Gluten Free Oat Cakes

My oat cakes came out delicious. I had one with butter and marionberry jam for breakfast.

I based my recipe on this one, but made some modifications.

  • 1 cup coarsely ground gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter at room temperature (I used Flora, my new favorite. You could also use regular butter. I used salted, but you can use unsalted and increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon.)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

I dumped everything except the hot water into my mixing bowl and stirred on low. Then I slowly added the hot water about 1 tablespoon at a time to bind the dough. Once it held together and pulled away from the sides of the bowl, I stopped. If you accidentally add too much hot water and your dough is too wet, just add more oat flour until the consistency is right. The dough should be firm and not sticky.

Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on parchment paper and cut using a round 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Once the oven is preheated, bake the oatcakes on a cookie sheet with parchment paper for 25-30 minutes, until browning at the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack until cool. (My dough didn’t actually need the parchment paper for rolling or baking, so you could try it without.)

Yesterday, I pick up rutabagas and russets for Bob to make neeps and tatties. My switchel is brewing in the frig, and it tastes pretty good! I’ll post again later to share pics of the feast.

In Betwixt Yarn Advent

I was very pleased with my yarn advent from Lizzie Bird Yarns. It’s an “in betwixt” set for the days between Christmas and New Year’s. As you can see, it came with each skein lovingly wrapped, plus lots of special goodies, including a sweet set of gingerbread stitch markers.

I chose the Log Cabin set, and I love the subdued colors and gold sparkle. As fate would have it, I have a skein of Campfire Yarn’s Cranberry Forest with gold stellina that is a perfect match for this set. It was a gift, and I’m excited to put these together for a Yuletide shawl later this year.

I have to say, I am really glad I purchased a yarn advent and didn’t just go with my DIY idea — which honestly was kind of a let down. I love the advent chest, though, so I’ll try to come up with a different idea to use it next year.

Did you receive any yarn over the holidays? Are you already planning your holiday knits for 2022, as I am? I would love to hear about it.

A Look Back: 2021 in Photos

Despite the pandemic, I had a good year. My intention for 2022 is to slow down a bit and “conserve,” i.e. energy and resources. I’ll be starting each day with gratitude and appreciation for my abundant life, and taking it one day at a time. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year’s Eve, Already?

Well, that week flew by. I’ve been sick for almost my entire vacation. I’m trying not to have sour grapes about it, but instead be thankful I was off so I could rest and recuperate. Bob and I both tested negative for Covid, so I guess it’s a flu or cold.

I am glad I was able to spend some time getting organized this week. I knit several rows on my Arrowhead Cardigan, and realized I need to take my time with it. The all-over colorwork wears me out.

Arrowhead Cardigan Plan

My new and improved plan is to knit one row each day until I finish the body, then tackle the sleeves and finishing. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the sweater by the first week of April. Maybe I’ll even get to wear it this spring a few times before it warms up.

Logan Shacket Pattern by Style Arc

I’ve decided to sew a couple of Logan Shackets: one in a cotton plaid flannel from my fabric stash, and the other in the navy wool flannel. Because I anticipate my sewing machine will struggle with buttonholes, I’m going to use big sew on snaps for them. If you would like to see some shackets in action, while also listening to some beautiful music, check out this link. I won’t make mine that long, though.

In other news, we have a new member of our family. A little black kitty found his way to us. He is sweet and very friendly. We posted around in case someone was looking for him, but we think he may have been dumped. He is adorable and has been adopted by our daughter Mackenzie. We will have to say farewell once she finds a new place, but I think this kitty was just what she needed. JoJo hasn’t met him yet as the vet told us to keep him quarantined for two weeks.

Bob jarred four quarts of apple cider vinegar yesterday made with apples from our apple trees. He’s also made sauerkraut for New Year’s Day, to have with collards, black eyed peas, and vegan bratwurst.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, and like and comment this year. It means a lot to me. I appreciate the friendship, support, and encouragement. I’ve met so many wonderful people here! I hope you have a very Happy New Year’s Eve and a relaxing, peaceful New Year’s Day. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year in 2022!

Merry Christmas Pudding

This year I made my first Christmas pudding. It wasn’t a total disaster, but it wasn’t a triumph, either. I followed this recipe with some modifications.

I substituted sunflower seeds for walnuts, and apple cider for brandy. Dried fruit mix included dates, figs, currants, raisins, apricots, and sour cherries.

I steamed it in a glass bowl inside a canning pot. It set up okay, but was soggy. I made some crème anglaise with oat milk, which split and was very runny indeed. Tasted okay, though.

In other dodgy baking news, I purchased some divinity for myself as I love it during the holidays but don’t want the trouble of making it. It’s hard to find divinity without tree nuts (pecans, usually, or sometimes walnuts). I found some peppermint divinity on Etsy, and it’s delicious but super sweet, so I decided to roll it to make my own logs with crushed candy canes, bittersweet chocolate chips, and sunflower seeds.

Next year I’ll purchase some plain divinity and roll it in sunflower seeds. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.

Christmas dinner is tacos and Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie, which Bob made so it will be delicious.

Merry Christmas! Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and gentle holiday season.

Winter Solstice Hand Warmers

My youngest asked me about some handwarmers to use on her walks through the woods. I did a little research, and they are easy to make. Many sites come up if you google “DIY hand warmers.” I read a few to get the gist, and then proceeded to make my own. The following recipe makes two 3 inch square hand warmers.

What you need:

  1. cotton, linen, or wool fabric scraps
  2. whole flax seed
  3. a little dried lavender or other herbs if you are feeling fancy and want them to have a fragrance, although the flaxseed smells wonderful on its own
  4. small funnel
  5. cotton thread preferable, but poly thread works

Directions:

  1. Cut four 3 and 1/2 inch squares of 100% cotton fabric. (You could also use linen or wool, but don’t use anything synthetic.)
  2. Finish one edge of each square separately by serging or zig zag stitch. This will be the top edge seam.
  3. Place two squares together with right sides together, top seams matching, for each hand warmer.
  4. For each hand warmer, sew or serge the other three sides together with a seam allowance of about 1/4 inch. Finish the seams with a zig zag stitch if not serging. This is important, as flax seeds are small and you don’t want them working themselves out.
  5. Turn the hand warmers inside out. Turn the top edges under 1/4 inch. Press.
  6. Sew around all the edges of each square, about 1/8 inch from the edge. Sew along the top edge as well, leaving about 1/2 inch open so you can fill the pouch with flax seeds.
  7. Using a small funnel, fill the hand warmers with whole flax seeds as full as you can without allowing them to spill out.
  8. Stitch the opening closed either by hand or using your sewing machine.

That’s it. Pretty simple!

Directions for use:

  1. Place the hand warmers in the microwave for 30 seconds on high
  2. Take them out carefully (they’re hot!)
  3. Pop one into each pocket. These will keep your hands warm for 15-20 minutes, maybe longer!

This made a nice little Winter Solstice gift for my youngest along with a chocolate. These would also make great stocking stuffers!

O’YOPpenbaum

Knitting

I finished my Ranunculus Sweater! Pattern is Ranunculus by Midori Hirose. Yarn is The Fibre Co Arranmore in color Ruari. (I believe this yarn is discontinued.) Mods: I used Aran weight yarn and knit the original size, which turned out perfect. I opted for a twisted rib cuff instead of an icord bind off. I knit until the sweater covered my derrière. It’s lovely and I don’t want to take it off. I think the only improvement would have been to include bust darts. But who am I kidding. That’s way too fussy.

I’ve started the Unbearable Hat (Ravelry link) for Henry, but there’s nothing yet to see other than some black ribbing.

I’ve mended the heels on Bob’s socks. I’ve learned that garter stitch doesn’t wear any better than any other stitch. I wonder if leather heel patches would help?

Sewing

I haven’t sewn anything this week.

Spinning

I signed up for a spinning class at the Newark Cultural Arts Center for January 2nd! It’s a spinning wheel class that is one on one to go over all the basics. I hate that I am starting over but I am pretty much starting over. I hope this sets me off on the right foot. (See what I did there?)

I started a thing! I created a meetup called the Granville Stitchers and we had our first meeting yesterday. We drank cider at Seek No Further Cidery, worked on our projects and got to know each other a little bit. It was wonderful! We are meeting again in a couple of weeks!

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

YOPping in a Winter Wonderland

We had a lovely snowfall this week, and it was like a winter wonderland for a day. I even went outside for a walk.

Year of Projects Updates

Gardening

I was wrong. The arugula survived the cold snap under the greenhouse, and there’s a little baby lettuce and kale mixed it.

Knitting

My Yuletide Ranunculus sweater continues to grow. I am well past where the pattern has you switch to the ribbing, as it’s a cropped design. I was going to have it finish mid-hip, but I’ve decided to keep going for a tunic length. I have plenty of yarn, and I think I will wear it more at that length. I don’t want to knit anything else. I may be becoming a monogamous knitter.

Sewing

I finished my Mile End Hoodie. This was made with scraps of wool interlock leftover from my Plateau Joggers. I’m very happy I was able to get another garment out of it. Pattern is Mile End Sweatshirt by Closet Core. Fabric is 100% merino wool interlock by Nature’s Fabrics. And yes, I am wearing PJ pants. I made them, so I figure that’s alright. I made an executive decision to not get out of PJ pants today.

Speaking of PJ Pants, I sewed some new cotton flannel jammies for myself from this Skiing Gnomes fabric. And Bob and I made mince pies.

Spinning

I regret to say I have not been practicing my spinning. I am off between Christmas and New Year’s, so I’m going to start spinning 15 minutes per day on the 27th, and try to keep that going for a while so I can improve.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.