what do your leftover mashed potatoes look like?

Mine look like this –

We ran out of bread (again) yesterday. Who knew that a 15 year old boy could consume ten pounds of flour in a week? And you still can’t see him if he turns sideways!

We had a couple of baked potatoes that somehow didn’t get eaten the other night. I scooped out the flesh and mashed it with a little milk and added it with a bit of butter to my regular bread dough. The loaves rose so much higher than usual – and the bread is disappearing even faster than usual too! Looks like I will be making some more for tomorrow at this rate. Since it is Halloween I just might sneak as much protein and fibre into the next loaves as possible to counteract some of that sugar. As long as the health aspect of my home made bread isn’t too obvious I can usually get away with it!

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all I want to know is………..

How is it that a 13 year old can fall out of bed just 6 minutes before the bus pulls up and manage to get washed, dressed, eat something, and pack herself a healthy lunch without missing the bus – but the morning she gets up 90 minutes earlier, she runs out the door completely unprepared for the day and she only catches the bus because the driver looked in the rear view mirror and took pity on her?

Never mind making myself a cup of tea before I start my day – I need a cup of tea after my kids start their day.

jumping in at the deep end

I just can’t take a hint. While returning the yarn that doesn’t want to be a cozy cardigan to my stash yesterday I came across another yarn that looked ready to become a different sweater. A quick search through my patterns brought up this and I cast on happily. All seems to be going well although the dark colour is a little hard to knit with during these grey days. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll see if it goes.

So what would you do if even simple socks and hats were not knitting up properly for you time after time? Some friends have suggested I try a scarf, a nice plain scarf in a pretty yarn to see if that gets me back on my game. Someone even suggested a nice plain dishcloth – but with my wonderful Enjo to clean everything from my sinks to my dishes to my fruits and veggies to my self – I don’t think so. I did exactly what got me to love knitting so much in the first place. I started knitting something fussy and a little challenging in a very fine yarn. Maybe the fact that I have not successfully knit anything simple in over a month is a sign from the knitting goddess that I need to jump in at the deep end with an intricate pattern, very fine yarn and some slippery needles. No more plain vanilla socks for me for a while, no ordinary hats, no garter stitch scarf. I have started a Swallowtail Shawl. I’ve had the pattern around for ages and I bought the yarn I am using at the Woodstock Fleece Festival a year ago. The yarn is 70% baby alpaca and 30% mulberry silk so it will be lovely and soft and beautiful when it is done.

Here it is now – and in case you are wondering, lace always looks like a really ugly mess until it has been washed and blocked. Maybe the secret is for me to work on something that is guaranteed to look awful until it is well and truly done and I can be surprised with the very end result instead of trying to make something that looks like, well, like what it is supposed to look like as I knit.

 

Wish me luck.

 

so what is a knitter to do?

If you know me, you know I love to knit. I don’t just see it as an enjoyable pastime to pull out on a snow day or those last few weeks before Christmas. I knit all year long. We only get one or two weeks of scorching hot humid weather a year where I live and even during those hot and sticky weeks when all of my fellow Canadians are revelling in having a different kind of weather to complain about, you will find me knitting something small like a sock or a mitten while I am at the beach. You see, that way I will be all set when the cold weather returns a few weeks later. I keep it small in summer because as much as I like knitting, no one wants a lap full of wool in July. Besides, if it is too hot and humid, wool tends to felt as you knit it. I see that as the wool’s way of telling me it likes to hibernate in the height of summer.

Everywhere I go, I knit. That is what purses are for, I have decided, to carry knitting projects and a little pouch of knitting tools, and since I already have the bag ready to take along, I might as well toss my wallet and keys in there too. I knit while waiting for my kids in the orthodontist’s office, when visiting friends, waiting for a haircut, I have even been known to get a few rounds of a sock done while waiting in a particularly long line at the grocery store. A few years ago our family made a trip across Canada. We drove 10,000 km and I knit this along the way. It took about 100 hours of knitting and I loved every stitch of it.

The entrelac knitting you see at the top of this blog page is something I knit when I was still a fairly new knitter. I didn’t care that it was supposed to be challenging, I just wanted to make something beautiful and so I tackled it.

So what happened? I have been happily and successfully knitting for most of my life and I seem to have lost my touch. Sweaters, shawl, mittens, socks, toys, hats and scarves have all come off my needles happily over the past few decades. Now I suddenly find myself unable to produce anything! In the past month I have started mittens, a cowl, a hat, socks and a simple sweater, and every one had to be ripped out and put aside for another project. Just this weekend I cast on for the same sweater four different times and even though I did a gauge swatch and carefully counted and measured each time, I got a vastly different sweater-in-the-making – none of which I could have worn. The first two would have fit around three of me. The third attempt seemed promising until I realized I had made a huge error and either had to rip it back or else reattach one of my arms to be right beside the other one. I decided to go with the yarn rip rather than the arm rip. I thought through all of my mistakes and even though I was tired of re-knitting the same thing yet again, gave it one more go and was hopeful to get a lot of it done today – and wouldn’t you know? This version would probably fit my 14 pound Lhasa Poo perfectly. I gave up and returned the yarn to the stash. It doesn’t want to be this sweater, apparently. And frankly, I don’t want to look at it again for awhile either. I just looked up and saw that I knit the sleeves for the sweater first – and wouldn’t you know, they are too long by about eight inches. Great.

My project today, in between working and caring for three sick kids home from school while my husband is away, is to figure out what I can knit. As much as I love the actual knitting part, I love it when all of that yarn action actually turns into something beautiful and warm for someone to wear. I don’t love it enough to just keep ripping it all back. Besides, if I lose my knitting mojo, what am I going to do with all of this?

the best way to keep summer colours close all winter….

Is to knit them into warm wooly socks to wear in the snow. I have had baskets of yarn all over the house just waiting to be saturated with colour. This week I started dyeing again and I can’t believe I waited so long – it is so much fun!

Looking out at the grey sky and seeing Lake Huron get darker as winter approaches and dreaming of water in summery brilliant blues….

 

 

I discovered Pinterest this week too and every time I visit the site I find new ideas of things     to make and things to try around the house. It is like scrapbooking with no scraps to clean     up! This is one of the quick ideas I found there, another way to keep the summery            turquoise I love warming the house as the temperature drops.

Welcome!

I love to knit…… and cook…… and listen…… and talk…… and make beautiful things. I especially love it when I can share all those things with people.

One of my kids thinks I should write a knitting blog since I knit every chance I get. Another one of my children thinks I should write a cooking blog and I suspect that is because he thinks that might mean more snacks lying around. I think I will do a little of both and then some more – my days never consist of just one activity so why should my blog?