Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012


As soon as I saw the Purl Bee's (free!) instructions for making fabulous stuffed penguins, I started assembling the necessary materials.  This little guy was the work of an afternoon.
He perfectly matches the polka-dotty penguin quilt I made around Thanksgiving.
I still have enough material to make a small black-and-white army of them.  I want to give one to every baby I know...and a few of the adults!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In case you were wondering...

how many pies we made out of the fridge-full of apples,

The answer is 7.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I had a whirlwind weekend full of travel, good friends, beautiful church services, and thoroughly delicious food.  It began with an unexpected trip to Boston by way of Albany.  I spent Friday night with Suzie.  We watched a particularly satisfying episode of Downton Abbey, had a midnight feast of incredibly expensive cheeses from a local cheese shop, then went to bed far too late.  Suzie's mother woke us up early with the news that the Kursk Root Icon would arrive momentarily.  We leapt out of bed and tidied up frantically.  After the blessing, we made our way to Trident Booksellers and Cafe for brunch.  
(I cannot believe I forgot to snap a shot of my amazing challah french toast stuffed with lemon ricotta and drizzled with blueberry sauce...)
We feared we were too full to move, but somehow we managed to do some window shopping through the snow.  Obviously, that led to a visit to a nearby yarn shop, Newbury Yarns, where I found the perfect yarn to add to Sugar Plum's shawl.  (All of the time spent in the car had paid off and the lace trim was nearly finished, and with it, the Knitpicks sock yarn.)  This new stuff is an almost identical color match, independently dyed in the Boston Area, and exclusively available at Newbury Yarns.  Of course I lost the tag, but if it ever turns up, I'll let you know specifics. 
We eventually meandered home, then set out for Vigil at Holy Epiphany--complete with a Metropolitan and the aforesaid wonderworking icon.  After a hurried goodbye, I was off again to Albany, where I spent the night at my friend Greg's family's home.  There was a beautiful Liturgy at the church where Pete and I met, followed by an AMAZING coffee hour complete with venison stew and homemade blueberry pie.  I was invited to visit the farm where Greg and his mother work, and of course I jumped at the chance.

 These goats produce cashmere and angora, respectively!
They sent me away laden with apples, which filled my crisper to the brim.  I wonder how many pies I can get out of them...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yarn Along: Little House

I've begun a new project.  The other day, I came home to an adorable message on my answering machine from my sister Emily's daugher, who is 5.  "Hi Auntie Kate, it's me, Sugar Plum!  Merry Christmas!  I was wondering if you could please call me back.  Love you!  Say hi to Uncle Peter.  Bye!"  When I called, she sweetly asked me if I would please knit her a shawl so she could be like Laura in the Little House books.  I found the perfect pattern: Joanna Johnson's Little House Shawl.  Joanna has a little girl who also fell in love with the books and wanted to channel Laura.  How could I resist using this pattern?  
Sugar Plum and I talked it over, and settled on pinks and browns, which I already had in the stash.  (Knit Picks Stroll Kettle Dyed Sock Yarn in Summer Blooms, a bright pink, and Berroco Sox in a self-striping brown and fuchsia combo.)  I'll hold the yarn doubled and also up the needle size, in hopes of getting a larger shawl.
So though I am still monogamously reading Green Dolphin Street, I thought I'd share a quote from Little House on the Prairie:
Laura lay down, but her eyes would not shut. She knew that Pa was out in the dark, where that terrible howling was. The wild men were in the bluffs along the creek bottoms, and Pa would have to cross the creek bottoms in the dark. Jack growled. Then Ma began to sway gently in the comfortable rocking-chair. Fire-light ran up and down, up and down the barrel of Pa's pistol in her lap. And Ma sang, softly and sweetly: 
"There is a happy land, Far, far away,Where saints in glory stand, Bright, bright as day. 
"Oh, to hear the angels sing, Glory to the Lord, our                            King—"
 Laura didn't know that she had gone to sleep. She thought the shining angels began to sing with Ma, and she lay listening to their heavenly singing until suddenly her eyes opened and she saw Pa standing by the fire.
She jumped out of bed, shouting, "Oh Pa! Pa!"Pa's boots were caked with frozen mud, his nose was red with cold, his hair wildly stood up on his head. He was so cold that coldness came through Laura's nightgown when she reached him."Wait!" he said. He wrapped Laura in Ma's big shawl, and then he hugged her. Everything was all right. The house was cozy with firelight, there was the warm, brown smell of coffee, Ma was smiling, and Pa was there.The shawl was so large that Mary wrapped the other end of it around her. Pa pulled off his stiff boots and warmed his stiff, cold hands. Then he sat on the bench and he took Mary on one knee and Laura on the other and he hugged them against him, all snuggled in the shawl. Their bare toes toasted in the heat from the fire."Ah!" Pa sighed. "I thought I never would get here."
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie
p  219-221

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

secret knitting

Now that Christmas is over, I can show you the hat I was knitting on the sly for Pete.  Apparently I wasn't sly enough, because he knew something was up.  He said it was obvious because I wasn't knitting when he'd walk in.  Note to self:  Next year, cultivate a decoy project to snatch up.
(I used Sun May's Ultimate Hat pattern in black Cascade 220 Superwash, using slightly bigger needles than she called for.  I also stopped knitting the body of the hat at about 10 inches, then followed her instructions for decreasing, but continued to k2tog until only a couple of stitches remained.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yarn Along!

The baby sweater is coming together slowly but surely.  I'm still savoring Green Dolphin Street.  As an added bonus, I thought I'd include progress on the actual baby, who can now taste and loves eavesdropping.  At 23 weeks, this baby could live outside the womb, which is a terrifying relief.  Keep on baking, baby.

Join our yarn along at small things!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012