Independence Day

July 4, 2017

It’s another one of those gorgeous Northeast Ohio midsummer days. Yesterday was really muggy, but today the humidity is gone. This sounds corny, but I really do appreciate this weather more because we don’t have it all the time. Against cold winter and dreary spring, these lovely summer days stand out in glorious relief (double entendre intended).
Joe and I are going to a cookout tonight at our friends’ house so I decided to make my favorite cake, Smitten Kitchen’s strawberry summer cake, to take and share. 

I told Joe that stone fruit and berries work best, and he came home from the West Side Market with peaches and blueberries. Well played, Joe, well played.

I really like the way it looked like a sunflower before it went in the oven. This was unintentional. 

While waiting for the cake, I worked on these Simple Skyp Socks. I have a terrible habit of leaving projects at an awkward state of completion, like six rows from finishing the toe of a sock. Awkward, because Kitchener stitch isn’t ideal to work when and where you can’t give it your full attention. But while you have a cake in the oven is the perfect time to get over those knitting speed bumps to a point where you can cruise along again.

Can I give you my grandma’s iced coffee recipe? Ready? 

  1. Put ice cubes in a glass.
  2. Pour room temperature leftover coffee from the percolator over the ice.
  3. Serve with Parliament cigarettes, if desired.

I have had plenty of fancy, hipster iced coffees made with toddy or whatever, but not a single one tastes better to me than Grandma Libby’s recipe. I skip the Parliaments these days, but they would add kind of a Mad Men flavor. And of course, I have a Mr. Coffee type drip machine and not a cool looking percolator, but it still totally works. Just in case you want to try it.

Maybe I set the timer for too short a time, but I had to keep going back to the oven to check this for doneness. I think we’re good now, though. Fingers crossed!

Listening: Perfect Paul Simon playlist on Apple Music

Tap tap tap, testing…

July 3, 2017

Keeping a bullet journal for the last couple of years has reignited my desire to keep a blog journal, so we’ll see how this goes. 

The technology has also definitely gotten better so hopefully it will be easier to do! 

Sam’s Art

May 6, 2011

Brain Pickings (a web site well worth reading in general) published a post recently featuring drawings by artists with autism.   Here’s something my resident artist has been working on.  Sam loves to stand at his desk, creating crayon drawings with layer upon layer of colors, numbers, and shapes.  They’re amazing, to me — a little insight into his imagination.


May 4, 2011

In spite of the fact that I believe I take crappy pictures and have a crappy camera, I am participating in MacroMay on Flickr.  It’s fun to take the extreme close-up.  Here’s one of something that’s super-easy to find all around my house.  Lego City is where it’s at.

Who Am I?

April 23, 2011

I have started and finished two sweaters since the beginning of 2011.  This is not like me.  Also, neither of these sweaters is pictured here.  Instead, I am offering a distracting close-up shot of a colorwork fingerless mitt that I am currently working on.  The pattern is Vagabond Fingerless Mitts (that’s a Rav link) by Misa Erder.  It’s well written and has many nice little features, such as the braided cuff, double thumb gussets, and corrugated rib.  I’m really enjoying it!

And this is a blurry picture of an Eared Grebe!  I saw this bird hanging out on Lake Erie a few weeks ago.  While Eared Grebes are quite common out West, here in the Great Lakes region, visits from this species are rare indeed.  I was very excited to get to see it.  In other birdy news, did you see this post on Vegansaurus about an 11-year-old raising $150K to help Gulf Coast birds?  So awesome!  And another bird-related thing!  I totally want to take John to see Rio, but I bet a $100 my parents do it first.  They’re grandparents, and that’s how they roll.  Feed the kid donuts and white bread* and take him to see all the fun movies before Mommy gets a chance.

I’m sorry.  What sweaters?

Yeah, so I’m not 100-percent happy with them, particularly the most recent one.  In spite of the fact that I seem to have a less than stellar success rate with sweaters, I have purchased many more sweater patterns, including White Russian, Irish Coffee, and Narragansett by Thea Colman, a.k.a. Baby Cocktails.  Maybe I should just stick to the small projects, like the mitts.

Except that the other projects I’m obsessed with right now are … blankets.

* Fact.  Actual transcription of John’s writing assignment for school about his Grandma: “My Grandma really loves me. My Grandma gets me all small, medium, and big LEGO sets. My Grandma does not make me eat wheat bread. My Grandma lets me eat white bread. My Grandma plays with me all the time.  I love my Grandma!”  I probably don’t need to spell this out, but (1) I do not buy white bread and (2) neither did my mom when I was growing up.

Take Two

March 27, 2011

This yarn was just too nice.  All that Malabrigo softness — and in a colorway that’s one of my favorite ever, Solis.  (I’ve had a skein of sockweight in this color for years because I can’t think of a pattern that’s special enough for it!)  My first attempt at a cowl with this beautiful yarn just wasn’t right.  For one thing, the fabric was too dense.  Size 13 needles are too small for Rasta.  And even though my finished piece before seaming was the right size, the cowl was way too small.

So I frogged it and made another one.  This time, I think I found success.

PatternMarshmallow Fluff by Sarah Kraly

Yarn: Malabrigo Rasta in Solis, less than one skein (about 30 grams leftover)

Needles:  Size US 17 (12.75 mm)

Size Before Seaming:  6.5 inches wide by 24 inches long

The only problem I foresee is that this cowl is warm.  I mean, raging furnace warm.  Definitely it is for deep winter.  Luckily, it’s been clear and cold lately!


In my belly! I made what might be the most delicious cookies ever today.  They’re Chocolate Fudgy Oatmeal Cookies, another recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  Combining oatmeal, chocolate chips, cocoa in the batter, and (oh God, yes) dried cherries, they are full of happiness!  If you like cookies, go get this cookbook!  Now!

On the tube. I watched American Experience: Triangle Fire, to remember the 100th anniversary of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.  This industrial disaster took the lives of over 100 workers, mostly young immigrant women, and spurred many much-needed regulations to protect workers and improve conditions in the garment industry and beyond.

Reading! I’ve really been enjoying the blog Vegansaurus.  It’s super funny, and full of great information for people who are trying to adopt a more-totally-plant-based diet like me.  I really liked their post, 11 Tips for New Vegans.  (Possibly somewhat ironically) I’ve been reading a great book — The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant.  It combines natural history, ethnography, science, suspense … a really great read.  There’s something incredibly evocative to me about the word taiga alone … if you agree, you might like this book.

Easily Distracted

March 13, 2011

I love the slipped stitches.

I had such good intentions to finish the Oatmeal Pullover this weekend.  But then a skein of Rasta (colorway: Solis) got in the way.

After much hemming, hawing, and Ravelry-searching, I decided the wham bam thank you lamb neckwarmer would be the pattern.  Lots of people have made it with Rasta, and I particularly liked LisaKay2004’s slip-stitch modification.  I checked my gauge.  I read the pattern.  I know I got a finished piece of knitting that is basically the same size as that called for in the pattern, but mine doesn’t have the slouch that I want.  Waaah.  I’m going to try getting it wet and blocking it bigger.

Also very likely: that I will buy another skein of this yarn in this same colorway and make another cowl!