My sisters visit was a whirlwind. We had a fabulous time, and I really wish that my sisters lived closer.   How perfect that would be.  We didn't do much knitting but did manage a craft with the girls.
Back in October, I needed a peace shirt for a party.  Decided to investigate that freezer paper craft that I had seen on so many blogs.  Have you all done it?  Seen it?  
When I first started reading craft blogs, it seemed like everyone was doing it.  I thought wow, I can craft with the best of them, but this is where I draw the line.  I am not putting my shirts into the freezer.  I kid you not.  That is what I thought.  That you paint on the shirt, and then do something with the freezer. The shirt, the paint, the freezer.  I really had no idea what they were talking about!
Anyhow, my sister borrowed that shirt and decided she would like to make them.
We  bought t-shirts on sale at Old Navy and got busy.
My niece, Kelli, made the ice cream cone.  Libby made the snail.
I made the tree.
And using the inspiration from the above peace sign t-shirt, Lisa made two peace shirts.  Except the girls told us that my peace sign was wrong.  That this was what the peace sign looked like.  Huh?  Isn't that a mercedes sign?  Not what she had in mind.  She will be repairing those!

Really.  This is such a fun craft for the kids. Or you. And you do not have to put your shirts into the freezer.  I promise. :)

lounging, again

Just another reminder about those comfortable lounge pants. Just in case you haven't made them yet. After I made the first pair, my mother and sisters wanted a pair.
 I took a sheet from my mothers linen closet, when I was in Florida, for a pair for my mother.  
And another sheet for a pair for my sister, Shelly.
And I used an old worn, most comfortable sheet for a pair for my sister Lisa, who came to visit us for the weekend.  Of course, I needed another pair.
Enjoy your weekend.  I hope it is long and loungy.

sea salt

I tried to get over here all day. What happens to some days?
Sea Salt Brownies were last week's cookie of the week...this week's cookie too.
I made them again today.  These photos document the first batch.
Chopping 0ban wafers; completely unnecessary.
Buying cocoa rouge powder from a fabulous local confectioner; necessary.
Sampling the delicious batter;  completely necessary.
Using sea salt; necessary.  
Having the last bite for breakfast; completely necessary.
 Three pieces from your second batch saved for your children's lunches; necessary.

sea salt fudge brownies:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter :: 2 oz unsweetened chocolate finely chopped :: 1/4 cup + 2 TBLS unsweetened cocoa :: 2 cups sugar :: 3 large eggs :: 1 1/2 t vanilla :: 1 cup flour :: 1/2 tsp sea salt
Line a 9" pan with foil, draping over the edge.  Lightly butter. 
Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate.  Transfer mixture to a bowl.  Whisk next ingredients in one at a time, except for sea salt.  Pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle sea salt evenly over batter.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Center will be a bit soft.  Let cool in pan for 1 hour.  Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.  Peel off foil.  Cut into 16 squares.  (In our case, 9)
I must warn you, they are a bit different with the salt on top.  Sweet but salty.

here a cowl, there a cowl, everywhere a cowl, cowl

Wow. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for all of my sweet comments on Ruby. Thank you so much!  Every single one of them brought a huge smile to my face.  
I actually made this cowl back at the beginnin of February.  Or the end of January.  I really can't remember, but sometime around then.  
They're everywhere though.  And who doesn't have an extra skein of yarn hanging around to whip one of these babies up.  Kim and Heather (among others) have made Grassy designed by the talented Larissa.  Then there is the all famous Gloria.  A definite winner.  How about the Doloras Park Cowl?  Super cute.  And then there is  Confection designed be the very talented Kirsten.  Check out the flickr group for others you may like.  As Mrs. Frick said, Cowls are the new scarf.  
I used the basic pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, using Classic Elite, Charmed. The softest coziest yarn ever.  I did a gauge for the yarn, and came up with the number of stitches to make it the same measurements as the one in the book.  20 X 13.  So, I got 4 stitches to the inch, therefore, I cast on 80 stitches.  (4 x 20)  See, you can use any yarn you have at home just sitting around looking pretty.  And looking like it should become another cowl. 
I was going to share our cookie of the week from this past week, but I am all linked out.
Back Monday with Sea salt Brownies.  Enjoy the weekend!

wearing ms. ruby

Here she is. Ruby in all her glory.
There are probably too many photos, but often I think that when you are considering a pattern, you would like to see it from more than one angle.  And hey, the photographer was willing to snap away.
I must say, I love her. There was a point, when I had my doubts.  Towards the end, I really thought that I wasn't actually going to even like her.  And actually, it wasn't until she was blocked that I came to love her.
(Alright.  Now changing she to it.)
The one huge difference to the one in the book is the length.  Mine was the exact same length as the one pictured, until blocked.  I didn't stretch it.  As a matter of fact, I tried to scrunch it up a bit as it was drying.  I am on the taller side,  5' 8".  (Well, alright 5' 7 3/4", but who counts that quarter of an inch I was shorted) ?   And, it comes to my knees.  Alright for me, but if you wanted it shorter, you could easily modify the pattern.
Pattern:  Ruby, Debbie Bliss cashmerino collection.
Yarn: 19 balls, Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran in green 024
Needles: size 8 (yay for 8's)
Modifications:  I did slim down the sleeves quite a bit.  I cast on 66 stitches, instead of 80.  I did increase to the amount required, by increasing the number of times increased.  (Make sense)?
So, the pattern has you increasing every 7 or 8 rows.  After doing one set of the 24 row repeat, I started to increase on rows 3,7,11,15,19 and 23.  
Notes:  This sweater is knit from right to left, instead of from bottom to top or top to bottom. If you wanted to make it shorter you could take off one or two of the cables.  

I absolutely LOVE this sweater.  I really can't say enough about it.  It is one of those sweaters that will be worn a TON in my life.  I do love my sweater coats, and this one seemed to have joined the others very nicely. 

up next

I wanted something really easy.  Just a good old stockinette, where I could just keep knitting without marking off every row.  This is "flow" knit in seduce.  It is from the norah gaughan, vol. 2, booklet.  Super cute sweaters.  I also LOVE "pleat".
I can't say that I am in love with the yarn.  It isn't the easiest to knit with. Maybe it is the "cord" like feel, or just the slickness of the yarn.  But whatever the reason, I will continue to knit, because I do love the simplicity of the finished piece.
Lemon Sugar Snaps were last weeks cookie. (Recipe over on Mo's blog.  April 6 entry.  Sorry, I couldn't get it to link there directly.  She has some other really great recipe's over there as well). Three out of five in the family loved them.  The other two didn't like the texture.  I think it was probably the corn meal.  However, a very easy recipe requiring few ingredients from the pantry.

for mom

To my mother, the most incredible woman I know.
And to all of the women out there who nurture, care and protect.
Have a lovely day!

who buys that???

  I'd love to have gardens filled with gorgeous flowers around our yard.  If only I loved to garden.  This probably comes as a disappointment to some of you, because I know there are some fabulous gardeners out there. However, at this point in my life, I just don't love to do it.  I hate to weed.  I never water.  I just find that the time it takes to tend to a garden would be better spent knitting.  Or sewing.  Or just being.  The one thing I love most is flowers inside.  So truly.  I just really need a cutting garden.
So, a couple of years ago, my husband built three raised beds in a corner of our yard.  One for vegetables.  One for herbs.  And the other for my cutting flowers.  Just a small area to water.  I could even get the kids to help with it.
We saw the commercial about the roll and grow garden.   We all laughed and said that is exactly what I need. Charlie said it was like "cheating".  I ordered it and rolled it out.  We watered.  And flowers grew.  Just like the commercial said.
We enjoyed flowers from this garden into the fall.
So, if you aren't much of a gardener, this truly is easy, and really does work.
We are going to try something different this year.  A friend gave me packages of Martha Stewart's seeds.  This weekend, the kids are going to sprinkle them in that space and hopefully a garden will grow.
Enjoy your weekend!


Seventy thousand, five hundred and thirty two.  I have been wanting to count the stitches in a completed sweater ever since Tiennie did it.  And decided, with charts and rows, this was the sweater to count.  Seventy thousand, five hundred and thirty two stitches.  That is a lot of stitches, and a lot of "throwing".  (I knit using the English method.)  Amazing to think my hand brought yarn around the needle seventy thousand, five hundred and thirty two times.  I think we should all give our hands a massage.  Or at least a kiss.
Ruby is finished.  Blocking as we speak.  Photos soon.