Quick ‘n Easy

We’ve been working on a few small projects. First, I experimented with a quick no sew pillow cover. Basically, you wrap the pillow rather like you would a present and seal the edge along the back with liquid stitch. I wasn’t sure how it would hold but, after a week of hard abuse by the kids it’s still holding up. Success!

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The kids, especially Ezra, are big into patterns right now. When I happened to dig out the ol’ klutz loom and loops they dove in experimenting with making chains, necklaces for their friends, and, of course, hot pads for us to use while camping.

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 DSCN9546Another recent quick project was a poncho for Noah. Since it’s made of fleece it doesn’t need to be sewn. We measured his arm span and cut out a square (in this case 37.5 by 37.5), then fold it in half (so it looks like a triangle) and cut out a half circle about 5 inches wide in the middle (we traced an upside-down bowl). He didn’t want frilly edges so that was it- done!

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Looks like it’s about time to make dandelion jelly! Visit this previous post to see how- Foraging Blossom Jelly.

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And just because….

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Molly’s Poncho Continues

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It’s more purple than it looks here.

 This is just one of those projects that stretches on and on. Four months, it’s been! I was thinking I’d be done in a month but life has been full of activity; it’s hard to knit when your hands are full. I’m onto the back now. Once the front and back are the same length I’ll pick up stitches around the edge and add-on a trim and then the hood is picked up and knit around the neckline. Add a few buttons under the arms and…voilà, it’ll be done.
I do like the visual effect of the pattern. It’s a 24 row repeat and now that I’m “in the pattern” it’s easy enough to figure out where I am and which row I’m on. This is actually speeding things up a bit since I don’t have to spend 5 minutes just figuring out where I am when all I have is 5 minutes. Good thing I started it with spring in mind!

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Winter Holidays = Cookies

It’s that time of year! Winter is well and truly here; winter solstice and Christmas are just around the corner. Our outdoor projects have been traded for some much-needed indoor renovations. So we’re shifting things here and there, patching walls and ceilings and generally making a huge mess. That’s right, a week ’till Christmas and we’re tearing the house apart. Not to worry though, this is just a classic example of “it gets worse before it gets better”, and we are beyond ready to be rid of these old pepto bismol pink walls!

But, as we all know, the holidays are not about whether or not your walls are pink, or if your house is spotless in time for guests, the holidays are about being together with those we love. So while we are chipping away at the piles of stuff (in hopes of fitting a tree in here somewhere) we’re also making time to bake cookies (and eat them with friends), play in the snow, craft ornaments, read, and just spend time together.

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DSCN8453The tree is by Ezra and the I is by Ishmael, of course!

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DSCN8410On the topic of cookies, if you’re looking for a gluten/grain/nut/ egg/dairy free (AIP Compliant, Autoimmune Protocol) cookies you have to try these Jam-filled Thumbprint Cookies from Delicious Obsessions. I tried a couple other AIP cookie recipes with such dismal results I almost gave up on the idea of cookies. These are a mixture of coconut butter, shredded coconut and coconut flour which give the cookies a great crumbly cookie texture. You can make your own coconut butter by running shredded coconut through the food processor until it resembles a nut butter. It will be runny and a tad grainy immediately after processing but it will set up, like store brought coconut butter, with a little time. These cookies work best with warm stir-able coconut butter so freshly made coconut butter is perfect.

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DSCN8445For everyone else, we made these to use with the cookie cutters. Everyone says they’re good and it’s a great recipe for kids because the dough is easy to handle and doesn’t fall apart easily. We also made these thumbprint cookies this year. They have no nuts so my kids prefer them to the traditional nut rolled thumbprint cookies. I find we make a handful of the same kinds of cookies every year plus one or two new kinds for fun. Cookies are essential for the holidays – and we’re fresh out!

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Slippers: Take 2

DSCN7811The Bed Ped slippers just weren’t looking right so I frogged them and started over. This time I’m using Grandma’s Knitted Slipper pattern. They’re knit flat with worsted weight yarn held double.

To be honest, I’m not sure which part of the slipper this is. Perhaps the toe?  The sole is knit separately and both pieces are sewn together.  I’m sure, with time, it will be apparent. For now I’m trusting the pattern and knitting on.

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KCCO and Yarn Along

Bed Peds

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I started on a pair of Bed Ped slippers for Noah. They’re simple (no heel shaping) and free on Ravelry. I kinda stalled out for a bit; they just weren’t looking quite like I thought they should. I’m not sure if it’s the way the change in yarn color (Camo, of course) breaks up or if this yarn would work better with a different pattern. Noah likes how they look so I’m going with it.

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The Weekender Bag

DSCN6985Kale,lettuce radishes,peas….they’re all growing so fast! My current harvesting basket just isn’t large enough to hold it all. I started this weekenders bag with harvesting in mind but it’s coming out so nicely that I’m considering making it a project/store/etc bag and finding something else to help carry the harvest back from the garden.

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Three!

 

DSCN6558Ishmael is three!

What a fun day we had. The older boys arranged some games to play with Ishmael and we read Ishi’s favorite book: Let’s eat! Taking time to carefully study the birthday party scene. I think three is the first birthday when they can understand and fully embrace that their day is, well, their day. As per tradition we hung the birthday banner, set the table (with the blue table-cloth), lit a candle and ate the birthday boy’s requested meals: mac and cheese for lunch and for supper: roasted chicken with baked potatoes, corn and a salad (from our garden). And, of course, there was cake (blue cake), presents and three boys happily playing together (Molly wiggled about excitedly).

Ishmael always loves to help in the kitchen so rather than having the birthday cake make a surprise appearance Ishmael helped to make it. Of course a cook in the kitchen needs an apron. We have only one child’s apron and you can imagine the scene when two or more boys want to help. So I made Ishmael his very own apron. He picked out the (blue) dinosaur fabric from my stash. I had some matching yellow fabric that I used for the bias tape, which also is the neck and waist tie.

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While I had the sewing machine out I made him a zippered pillow case as well. It turned out nicely. The fabric has cute animals on it and I found a matching zipper which I managed to sew in successfully. Sorry no photos of it or the birthday party because my camera is lost.Cross your fingers we find it soon!

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KCCO

 

Summer Kanoko Pants

This week- in progress….

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I just adore these baby Kanoko pants!  I thought I’d knit another pair before Molly outgrows the pattern. Since it’s getting hotter by the day I made these out of cotton. Hopefully, I can make these a tad longer than the first pair but I have only one skein- which I’m working from both ends so that the legs will at least be equal in length. I’ve knit the waist as one piece and will be sewing an elastic in. I’m also making up my own pattern as far as the seed stitch/garter stitch sections go.

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BSJ

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The BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket): that infamous Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern. Knit flat, like a baby blanket, but fold it the right way, sew the shoulder seams and ta da- a jacket. The folding bit is the best part. I find the pattern itself simple, but figuring put how to mark the increases and decreases…it’s a puzzle I solve differently every time (because I can’t remember how I did it the first time!).

Because the BSJ is was designed as a jacket its a tad long, or the sleeves are a tad short, at least that’s how it seems to me.  I had forgotten that or else I would have attempted a few modifications. There are pages on Ravelry, dedicated just to the BSJ, full of ideas and how-tos. I also haven’t figured out how to intentionally size the BSJ.  In the photo above Molly is wearing the BSJ I made for Ishmael. It fits her well at three months, made out of self striping sport weight yarn and size 4 needles. Using the exact same pattern, but worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles, the BSJ below is far larger – 24 months. Better to be too big than too small, I say.

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Kid Tested And Approved

DSCN6201A few inches here, a few inches there…. and one kids belt is finished, tested, and approved! Noah noticed that the buckle has a built-in emergency whistle (also enthusiastically tested!). This kids version of the Slatt’s Rescue Weave belt contains a guesstimated 35 feet of camouflage cordage.

Two more belts to go. They’re in high demand around here! If you’d like to learn the Slatts Rescue Weave and/or how to start or finish a belt I recommend the Paracord Weavers youtube videos. Also TIAT (Tying It All Together) is another great resource. I have more ideas for projects than time to possibility make them all!

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When Goats Eat Your Trees

Two things you should know about goats: 1) if there’s a way to get out they’ll find it and 2) once they’re out they will eat kill your trees. This is true any time of year but especially so during the winter when the snow pack renders the fence about 1 foot high and trees are the only thing available to eat. Besides the ample, but less desirable, hay in their barn.

The goats sampled many trees this winter. One of them was our lilac tree. All it took was 5 seconds and they had killed it. I have a faint hope that maybe a shoot or two that was buried deep beneath the snow will survive and grow. The outlook is pretty grim.

Anyways, I have a few ideas to put the wood to use. One of them was to whittle a crochet hook. It’s actually really easy. I haven’t sanded it yet but it works just fine.

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The branch I started with:

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Belts

The snow is quickly melting, several small streams have formed across our land and squishy mud is everywhere. If the number of loads of sopping wet laundry is any indicator the mud and water is a mighty powerful lure for three small boys and a puppy. Since we’re outdoors so often I thought it was time Sasquatch had his very own collar. Plus, the boys all want belts (just like Dad’s) so they can carry their leathermans around properly. This weekend I got the paracord out, made Sasquatch a collar and started on the first belt.

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