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Yarn Along – 5/27/15

May 27, 2015

I am back to reading Sylvia’s Farm. I had to take a hiatus and return it to the library before I could finish it. I like reading it in small bits, but I guess I’ll have to speed up my process since it is so popular and has lots of holds!

She has such wisdom. I find myself taking notes on farm lessons that translate to general life lessons. For example:

In the never-ending debate between the right way and the wrong way in which to do things on the farm very often a compromise becomes the only choice. Yet compromises here are almost always a mistake.

…What is amazing is how doing something without compromise leads to still more solutions. Correct ones.

Sylvia Jorrin, Sylvia’s Farm

This is my life! I start to do something. I realize that to do it right, X, Y, or Z really should be done first. Then a project that should have taken two days suddenly takes two months.

When it is finally done though, there is a bigger sense of accomplishment than if I compromised. Time to embrace this process instead of resenting it.

Working on a new sock for my husband. Nothing too exciting. I did change up the rib to a K4 P1. Looks really nice when stretched across a foot. It also comes out even on the 60 stitch sock I make for him, which is especially nice. Still sold on the afterthough heel. You can see my pink waste yarn on the back where I will put the heel after. This is definitely the fastest and least brain-taxing sock construction I’ve found.

Yarn is Knitpicks Stroll Tonal in color 25386 Thunderhead. No pooling on 60 stitches. Love how it looks. Can you tell I had a gift certificate from there last year? It was a yarn bonanza!

Joining Ginny and friends today for the Yarn Along.

This post includes affiliate links. To learn more about our affiliate relationship please click on the “About” page below the header.

Aise Shawl

May 21, 2015

Laura’s Blog Entry

This was my first lace weight shawl. It sure took a long time, but I love the fabric!

This is the Aise Shawl. The pattern is by Espace Tricot, which is a yarn shop in Montreal. They have a lovely blog with links to many free patterns.

My shawl was knit in Knitpicks Shadow Lace Weight in color Midnight Heather. The yarn is wonderful. A nice, crisp twist but with a soft drape. I have had great experiences ordering online with Knitpicks. Great quality and reasonable prices. With true color representation.

My only change to the pattern was to go down to a size 3 needle. The pattern calls for a 6! I knit loosely and usually go down one to two needle sizes. I just like the fabric better on size 3. Now that it is blocked I am very happy with it. And my shawl isn’t much smaller than the original.

This should be perfect for summer air conditioning. The dark color with go well with all my black and gray. It also works well as a scarf.

Thinking about my next big project. Not sure what it will be at the moment. I have a cozy wrap sweater in mind, but that would be too hot to work on in summer. Hmmmm. Guess I’ll be browsing my Ravelry favorites for something new. Sounds good to me!

Yarn Along – 5/20/15

May 20, 2015

Laura’s Blog Entry

Last time on the Yarn Along…

I was going to try to finish my Aise shawl in a week. Well, it took me two weeks, but it is finished and blocked! I’ll do a separate entry for that in the next few days. What is yarning along right now is my Another Door Opens Shawl.

Pattern is by Sara Bauer. Yarn is Yarn is Manos del Uruguay Fino in color 404, Watered Silk. I am at 60%. All is going well, but the rows are getting longer and slower.

I finally caved in and bought The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. The library wait is 247 holds on 97 copies! Even though we did a total purge for our move two years ago, I do struggle with accumulation. And saving things that might be useful. Lots of people (and I mean lots) on podcasts and blogs are having wonderful experiences applying Marie’s method, so I thought I would give the book a try.

Just reading for the moment. I’ll purge later in the summer. It’s an easy read and it does fire you up to make changes.

Join in on Ginny’s Yarn Along today. What are you reading and knitting?

This post includes affiliate links. To learn more about our affiliate relationship please click on the “About” page below the header.

{this moment} 5/15/15

May 15, 2015

Laura’s Blog Entry

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Joining Amanda.

Put a Little Hop in Your Water

May 8, 2015

Laura’s Blog Entry

As an art and design person (whatever the heck that means), I appreciate art that spans from paintings by the old masters… to custom knitwear designs… to product packaging.

And here’s some packaging I’ve been loving on recently. A talented friend of ours has created a new category of beverage in the soft drink sector. It’s called Hopwater. It takes the zip that hops bring to your favorite craft beer and adds it to a refreshing and low-calorie carbonated drink.

It’s great on its own, but is also fab as a mixer. A great alternative to tonic for a gin and tonic, for instance. (No affiliate relationship with this product. We just think it’s stinkin’ cool!)

It’s all wrapped up in a clever and appealing package, complete with fun stories on the label. Oh Hop Man. We love you.

Neil and I were lucky enough to attend a launch party for the brand earlier this week. It was held in downtown Cincinnati at a totally cool new bar called Sundry and Vice.

I walked in and felt like I had returned to The World of Harry Potter. It’s the same kind of ambiance. But without all the kiddos! And more cocktails!

There were some signature cocktails to try, each combined to perfection with a different flavor of Hopwater (Original, Lime, Grapefruit, and Ginger.)

Neil and I chose the Hopsicle Fizz. (Again – Harry Potter-ish!) It was a delightful egg cream that included gin, lemon, orange flower water and grapefruit Hopwater. Dangerously tasty!

So basically, I got out of the house and it wasn’t just to drive carpool! Hooray!

Congrats to @drinkhopwater for a great start! Product will be showing up in local restaurants immediately, followed by grocery stores and the rest of Ohio in the next few months, with a national launch next year. Get ready to get hoppy!

Yarn Along – 5/6/15

May 5, 2015

Laura’s Blog Entry

75% done! 75% done! This lace shawl is progressing. When I get to this point in a project I get a little burst of finishing energy. Let’s see if I can finish by next week…

Pattern is the Aise shawl. Yarn is Knit Picks Shadow laceweight in color Midnight Heather.

I am currently listening to my book club selection for May, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe. I am at the end of disk two and it is a great listen. He has had a very interesting life, crossing paths with many surprising people in his childhood.

I also relate to it because I spent a year living in Dayton, Ohio in the 1070s and grew up not far away most of my school-age years.

Most interesting so far is his perspective on himself – as not fitting in. Rob Lowe. St. Elmo’s Fire. Hello.

Not recommended for listening around small children, but a definite recommend! Perfect for summer.

Joining Ginny and her friendly community today for the Yarn Along.

This post includes affiliate links. To learn more about our affiliate relationship please click on the “About” page below the header.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

May 5, 2015

Laura’s Blog Entry

Yesterday I mentioned on my Smoothie Jar Sale post that I have a recipe to share. It’s one of my favorites.

It’s a nice, low-sugar, filling breakfast or afternoon snack. And it’s easy to make it dairy-free.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup milk of choice (I use soy, but any kind would work.)
1 heaping T peanut butter
1 heaping T cocoa powder
¼ of a frozen banana
5 ice cubes

Optional:
I either put in 1 T whole flax seeds or ½ T chia seeds to increase the omega 3 nutrients.

If you happen to have it:
½ t. raw cacao (I bought a small amount to try and it really ups the chocolate flavor)

Instructions:

Place everything in a blender or smoothie maker. It usually works best if the milk goes in first. Process until smooth. If you add the seeds, make sure you give it long enough or the seeds won’t be smoothly  incorporated.

Note: For a richer, sweeter blend, add more banana and less ice. I keep the banana to a minimum for my version.

Anyone have a favorite smoothie to share? I also do a green one, but lets face it, this is more tasty!

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