the beauty of blocking. Part 1.

BEFORE.
Yes.  This sweater came out way too small.  It's too tight just about everywhere.  But I wanted to remind you that beautiful things can happen when you block a sweater.
I have a super old cardboard blocking board that I purchased at a garage sale.  I think I paid $1.   Worth that and more as I have used it quite a few time to achieve a better fit.  
I gave the sweater a quick hand wash, rung it gently in the sink and then rolled it in a towel.  Stepped on it several times and did a little dance.  Changed towels and repeated.   I then stretched my sweater so that it would be about a 40"- 42" when it was finished drying.  Pinned it in place to let it dry to those measurements.
I tried it on this morning, and I can honestly say I love it!
I'll be back next week to show you the AFTER.  😊

Happy Weekend!  Happy Knitting!

stash knitting

I'm sure like you, I have a list of things I want to make this year. Also on my list is to use up some of my ever growing stash yarn.
I had a couple of skeins of the natural color and really wanted to make a solid sweater using this oatmeal yarn. (Hello, beautiful natural color!)  However, a couple of skeins wasn't enough to make a sweater.  I fought the urge to get online and order a couple more skeins.   The voice inside my head told me to use what I had.  To make it work.  I had a skein each of the green and the purple.  But, I wasn't sure if I liked these colors. (Hello favorite colors natural, black and grey.) I went back and forth but in the end, I decided to listen to the voice.  I'm not sure exactly how I will like this.  Or how I will wear it.  (Usually one of the first things is envisioning the outfit)  But, I am going with it.  I started a sleeve yesterday and since I'm at my mom's, I plan on trying to finish it this week!  Fingers crossed.

I have to get going on some other things on my list!

banana mango smoothie bowl

I posted my granola recipe a while ago and mentioned how I loved to use it to sprinkle on top of my smoothie bowls. I also mentioned that I would share the recipes. I feel terrible it's taken so long!
I'll share more as we go along, but this is my favorite as of late.
Super easy to make and super refreshing.  I do make more of these in the warmer months, however, they are still an occational winter favorite!  And don't worry about the sugar in this.  Fruits are loaded with fiber and other beneficial vitamins.  It's definitely not even close to being the same as eating foods containing added sugar.  
The Vitamix is truly the key.  I don't know what I would do without it.  I use it on a daily basis, and most days more than once a day!

Banana Mango Smoothie Bowl
serves 2
2 Frozen Banana's, cut into pieces
2 cups Frozen Mango chunks
1/4 cup water

Blend in Vitamix until creamy.  You will have to use the tamper tool and this may take about 5 minutes to get it this creamy.  You can add a Tablespoon of water at a time.  But you don't want to add too much water.  You want a thick bowl, not a soupy bowl.

Top with granola and other fruit.  Enjoy! 😋

happy new year!

I love a clean slate. A fresh start. A new day.  A new year.
I love new goals.  Looking forward to discovering new things.
I love new ideas.  Trying new things.  Working hard to be the best version of me.  
Cheers to my sweet friends to knit with.  May 2020 be everything YOU want it to be.

xx, leslie

The only item I knit as Christmas gifts:

Project:  Beatrice Mitts
Yarn:  Trench Coat by Turtlepurl
Needle:  US2
Labels:  Custom faux leather labels

one batch = 12 gifts

Hey gift givers!
Wanted to let you know that one batch of this granola will give you 12 gifts!  Yep, you can fill 12 jars with granola, resulting in 12 gifts of joy.  Give one to your friend to knit with, or one to your neighbor or your work friends or a teacher or as a hostess gift.  All those people on your list.  And if you don't need 12 gifts then you get to keep some for yourself!

one of my favorite things

How is your holiday knitting going?
I don't have many people I'm knitting for or things I am making.  Just a couple of pairs of Beatrice Mitts and one pair of Ringleader mitts.
I loved the Ringleader mitts I made so much mostly because of the scrumptious yarn.  40% merino wool, 30% silk, and 30% alpaca.  The perfect blend.  I noticed that Knitcrate listed it in the shop so I decided to order a few skeins just to have on hand for the pattern.
The yarn is from Knitologie Glowing Worsted and it looks like they have already sold out of the blue.  However, the other two are still available.
Truly, one of my favorite yarns.

FYI

I love New Orleans. I hadn't traveled there in years and it seemed like the first time I had ever seen it. Cleaner, maybe because we stayed off of Bourbon street, but definitely cleaner.
Brennan's may have been our favorite dining spot.  We stopped for brunch and it was out of this world.  Super creative with their dishes.  Since I try to mostly eat plants, I did find the food somewhat hard in New Orleans.  I should have done a little research before and looked into some healthier choices.  But when you are traveling with other people that can be hard!
Cafe Du Monde definitely a spot to stop!  Knitting on my Beatrice Mitts happened there.  I brought a little powdered sugar home intertwined in my yarn.
SO much happening in this city.  Music on every corner.  Just so much life!
We went to the unbelievable game of the Saints vs. 49ers.  It was truly an awesome game.

But the real reason for this post is a little FYI:

On my way into the Superdome the security took my knitting needles.  And, they informed me that there was no way I could retrieve them on the way out.  They would be headed to the landfill.  (So sad!) They were size 2 metal needles.  Like traveling to Mexico, maybe bamboo would have been okay.  But metal, no.  So, just in case you think you might want to knit at a football game, consider making sure you have wooden needles, not metal!