never ending story sweater

Okay... I'm going to start off by saying "YAY! It's off the needles!"
I actually have not had that feeling about a project in a long time. This is one I just had to power through.

I'll blame the half fisherman rib for that.  Shouldn't have been a surprise to me as the pattern is clearly a Half-Fisherman Rib knit!  
The thing is, I had never knit an entire sweater in half fisherman rib.
I love the yarn choice and bought this in several colors as it is a dreamy cotton. (I believe it about to become discontinued.)  I had plans to make a few but probably need to search for another cotton sweater to make instead.  

 Pattern:  Never Ending Story Sweater by Susanne Muller
Yarn:  Buttercup cotton by Purl Soho in Woodland Gray
Size: S
Needles:  US 4 for body and US 2 for cuff's.
Thoughts:  I absolutely love wearing this and truly would love one in black.  However, I am just not sure I can power through again.  It wasn't as if I thought this was an "enjoyable" knit.  I felt that the pattern was a bit tricky in some areas.  I also worked on the i-cord neckline a few times trying to get the right side to look like the left.  A friend over on YouTube suggested that maybe picking up stitches on the "down" side is different than when picking them on the "up" side.  Perhaps.  

number 29

If you are interested in seeing my finished Never Ending Story Sweater and learning where I purchased  this really awesome bag, I talked all about it on the latest episode over on the YouTube Channel.  
 
And this is a behind the scene shot of my very professional set up and the above photo being taken.  ☺️😂

never ending story sweater

I've been working on the Never Ending Story Sweater.  I absolutely love the look of this pattern but my work looks sloppy to me.  I'm hoping things will all even out in the blocking process.  I really struggled with the neckline.  More on that later.  
Loving the yarn choice and definitely will make more summer sweaters out of this lovely cotton.  It may be discontinued soon as I bought it on sale and it doesn't look like Purl Soho is replenishing their stock.  
 We have been travling out west visiting two of our kids and this knit has been lucky to be along for the fun! 

biscotti

Last week while I was swimming my morning laps I had an urge to eat a biscotti.  Not a usual craving for me for as I am swimming.  I am usually thinking about toast.  And actually, any toast will do.  Must be a carb craving.  But this particular morning it was Biscotti.  Orange walnut to be exact.   

As soon as I arrived back home I searched my recipes for a particular recipe that someone gave me years ago.  I had never made them but remember eating hers and enjoying the soft texture which I really like in a biscotti instead of the traditional crunchy ones.  
While my hair was still wet I was mixing the dough and sneaking in tastes that made my mouth wanting more.  I made one batch of orange walnut and then while they were baking made more dough to make an almond version.  I made two smaller "logs" with this batch instead of the one big "log" I used for the Orange Walnut. One log will give you a big biscotti and two logs will give you smaller biscotti.   In the end I couldn't decide which flavor or size I preferred more.  
Easy Biscotti
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1-2 tsp extract of your choice
1 cup of nuts of your choice

Preheat oven to 300˚.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.   Mix eggs and sugar.  Add extract.  Mix in dry ingredients and then nuts.  Form into either one big "log" or two small "logs" onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Slightly flatten dough.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Cut with serrated knife into one inch strips.  Turn on side and bake for 2 minutes.  Flip onto other side and bake an additional two minutes.  Let cool on rack.  

If you like a crunchier biscotti bake longer durning this second baking time.  (6 minutes per side.)
For the orange walnut, I used 2 tsp of orange extract and 1 cup of walnuts.  For the almond version I used 1 tsp almond extract, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 cup of slivered almonds.  

After baking, grab your knitting, a cup of hot tea or coffee and start dunking!  

simple stripes sweater

This is without a doubt one of those sweaters that when it came off the needles I slipped it on and felt a huge "I LOVE THIS SWEATER" sort of feeling!
Is it the softness of the yarn?  Definitely.
Is it the weight of the yarn?  Absolutely.
Is it the colors?  Um, YES.
Is it the delicious visual candy?  Of course!
Is it the fit of the sweater?  Y.  E.  S.  

I've made this sweater before in a brighter palette and didn't think that one could be topped.  But for this time of year, this will certainly be the one I gravitate towards.  
I love how each mini  has its own show going on.  Some gave a soft speckle (SPARKLE!)  and some gave a more bold speckle. (SPARKLE!) And some just did a little stripe dance all on their own.  

I knew I liked this pattern because of my first go around.  And this just confirmed what a great pattern it was.  And although I adore stripes and the feeling that comes once a color is completed, I'd love to try this out in some sort of a solid yarn or variegated yarn.  My mind has been racing with ideas.  

 Pattern:  Simple Stripes by Suvi Knits
Needles:  US 4
Size:  M
Mods:  The pattern is written for 5 colors and repeat of the colors 3x.  However, the Perfect Palette comes with 15 mini's in 15 luscious colors.  For this version, I omitted 3 of the colors in order to make it a little shorter.  Each body stripe has 13 rows and each arm stripe has either 10 or 11 rows depending on how much yarn I had.  I'm not too fussy in the fact that they both have to match perfectly and in the end they both ended up the same length.  

You can see this sweater in action during this YouTube episode.

eat cake

Hi!  In my blogging lifetime (almost 16 years!  WHAT?!)  I have mentioned how summer tends to kick my butt and this summer is no different.  You know when your kids fly the coup and you think life will probably slow down?  Well, I'm here to tell you it doesn't.  And, I am totally okay with that.  I currently have two children at home and I am loving every minute.  Andrew has been home since December as he took a semester off of school and in June I flew to Denver and drove home with Libby.  Libby will be home until September and then she will be moving to Madrid for at least a year to teach English.  
(Super exciting times!)

The other day Libby was asking why cake isn't made more often.  It's true.  I don't know about you, but I only make cake for birthdays.  Or holidays.  Or I make a breakfast cake.  Like banana bread, or zucchini bread or coconut bread, but those are really considered bread so those don't count.   I never whip out the Kitchen-aid mixer and make a good old fashioned vanilla cake for no reason.  
Libby and I decided we should change that!  Libby scoured the internet and found a recipe that looked delicious but required amounts of ingredients that we did not have, so she cut the recipe in half.  
And let me ask the question... Why isn't that done more often either?  Because hey!   A single layered cake is the perfect size for dessert.  You know, just to satisfy the cake craving!  

My heart grew a few sizes when Libby wanted to make a stencil to decorate the cake just like I have for all those years decorating birthday cakes.  

Eat Cake!  

best friend butterfly blanket

 I don't think I have mentioned this blanket in this space before.  Only on my YouTube channel.

However, I want to make sure you have access to it also!

This baby blanket was born of a love for my grandmother, Lillie, and her butterfly blankets.  If you were lucky enough to be my grandmother's friend, then you were lucky enough to receive a butterfly blanket and most certainly had one on thrown on the back of your sofa.  My sister and I decided to rework the vintage style into a more modern solid color version and gift it to the newest generation: babies!  We like working it in acrylic yarn.  That way, the parents of the baby don't have to be too fussy and the blanket can be dragged just about anywhere and everywhere.  Then it can be thrown into the washing machine without any worries.  Trust me, the new mother will thank you! 

Head on over to grab a free copy of the pattern.   

P.S.  I have a tutorial demonstrating exactly how to make the butterfly stitch here.