Well, I made a lot of progress in February despite the weird winter storms that keep plaguing us. I finally received my passport so that is one less thing to worry about before my big trip in April.
I am now easily about 80% done with my Hue Shift Afghan. I have seamed two sections together and added the border and now that the rest of the yarn has come, the fourth section should be a snap. I’m going to try to seam the third section to the afghan later tonight.
I started knitting with toothpicks…okay not really but that is what it feels like. I found a great sock pattern that uses size 1 needles and I keep waiting for the sheer pressure of my hand to snap one of them in half. (Which let’s be real is bound to happen eventually)
I managed to go at least 14 more miles this year in February than I did last year (21 vs. 35.5) and I managed to do HIIT (high intensity interval training) for almost the entire month of February 3 days a week. I am planning on picking right back up on Monday.
Overall I am pretty content with my crafting and exercising success. Now if only some other things in the rest of my life would start to fall into place I would be a happy bunny.
This motif is from a lone sock (yes, after two pairs of socks I finally succumbed to second sock syndrome) that I was going to give to my sister for Christmas last year, and since I obviously didn’t finish knitting the second one, the first one sits forlornly on my desk waiting for a mate.
It may be waiting awhile.
My sister loves ducks, hence the motif. I thought it would be nice to do another motif that sort of had special meaning to me. See I thought that socks would be my ultimate knitting test. Aside from instilling me with a hatred of short rows and wraps and turns, I was once again pleasantly surprised with how easy I picked up knitting them. Everyone makes it sound like turning heels will make you want to stab yourself in the eye with your needle, but I found it to be a relatively easy process.
Anyway, I modeled the scarf section after the socks, even giving it the black border that you would get from the cuff, heel, and toe of the socks. The duck parade is a very cheerful addition to my ever-growing scarf.
The sock pattern with the chart for the motif can be found here: Rubberduck Socks.
I only recently discovered Brooklyn Tweed sometime around October or November last year when someone on Tumblr posted a sweater from their Fall collection. (It is a pattern I now own, but won’t be getting to anytime soon.) Since then I have purchased two patterns from them that are both extremely complex and long (at least 20 pages each), but I am excited to work on both of them soon. However, when I was poking around their site, I noticed they had yarn cards too. YAY!
They only have two lines of yarn, Shelter (worsted) and Loft (fingering) both made from Wisconsin wool and spun in New England. The yarn feels pretty soft and nice on the card, maybe some of the softest wool I’ve ever encountered, but again I would need to hold an actual skein in my hand to really back that claim up. The colors, though poorly depicted by my sub par photography are my kind of colors–earthy, rustic, and a bit muted–which compliment their mix of by-the-bay winter knits and more high end fashion patterns perfectly. The yarn is a bit pricier than I can currently afford, so I am going to be diligently saving up for when I get around to working on their patterns.
The best part about their shade cards is that they ship for free! Check it out!
The weather here as been all over the map which brings with it constant sinus woes on my part. Yay allergies! So basically I have been busy feeling like junk for a couple of weeks.
I finished the red section of my Hue Shift and have been plowing through my third section which starts to stripe both the reds and the blues together. It’s all striping all the time….which is for some reason so much faster than the other sections with the solid squares in them. At first I thought some of them would be really terrible, hideous combinations, but I am actually loving the contrast of a lot of these.
I finished the second section last Friday and have already managed to get to row four by today. I think if I work very diligently I will be able to finish this third section by the end of the weekend. Unfortunately since I don’t have gauge I am also pretty much out of yarn for most of the colors. T___T Luckily for me, KnitPicks just had a 3 day Brava (the yarn this afghan is made from) sale so I managed to save a lot of money on my order. I know there are rumors that if you buy kits you can ask for extra yarn if you tell them you have gauge but I think if I tell them I am out of every color it will be pretty clear that I don’t have gauge. XD I think I will use the extra yarn to make some Warm Up America rectangles to give to the local library when I have some free time (Ha. Ha ha ha ha).
I also have purchased a couple of other patterns (both for about $2.50) and I am excited to get started on some of them soon. I love how prior to this I had NEVER bought a pattern and now I’ve purchased like four in the past month. So many projects so little time…guess I better keep knitting until my fingers fall off.
ALL evening working on a square of my hue shift afghan and I just realized as I was close to finishing it that I screwed it up.
Since it is the first square in a row I am supposed to cast on stitches and then pick up stitches on the edge, but I got so used to just picking up stitches on both edges that I did that instead.
Unfortunately there is no fix for that other than ripping out and starting over.
With that good night.
two knitting patterns that are both like 20 pages long. XD And the best part is I am not even in the realm of close to being able to start on them. T___T But they were so pretty I had to buy them. I believe they are some of the first patterns I have bought as well. I usually only pay for patterns when they come in kits etc. There is a reason I love Ravelry, but they were just too beautiful to pass up.
One thing I have gone back to this year is eating a very low-bread-type-carb lifestyle. Some people may call it Paleo, but to me it’s just eat more vegetables, eat less starch. I am not here to preach to you about how you should eat. For me, this type of eating has helped me maintain a better energy level and a better mental state. It also seriously helps me eat less because veggies fill you up so fast! I feel less bogged down and tired. It’s not a 100% cure-all for me, but boy does it help. I still eat some bread/pasta/rice type foods throughout the week, but not like before where I was practically living on bagels.
Breakfast because of this change has gotten tricky. I love making a sweet potato and kale hash (occasionally topping it with an egg) but I like having some variety and options. So today since I managed to get some stuff done, I thought I would try my hand at some muffins.
Sexy food close up. Mmmmmm
- 3 bananas, mashed with a fork
- ¼ cup honey (or sweetener of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup chopped pecans (or nuts of your choice)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Next add the honey to the egg yolks and beat until they turn pale yellow.
- Add the bananas and vanilla. Combine thoroughly until the mixture is mostly smooth.
- Add cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and combine well.
- Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix well.
- Add the coconut flour.
- Gently fold in the egg whites to the banana mixture until just combined.
- Scoop into muffin pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool thoroughly and enjoy.
It’s important to add the coconut flour towards the end because it absorbs liquid rapidly. I beat the egg whites separately to try to give the muffins a lighter texture. I, of course, taste tested one….for science. They are very light and moist and seem to be holding together really well. I think folding in the egg whites separately really helps them stay fluffy. They aren’t as sweet as store-bought muffins, but overall this is the most successful I have been with coconut flour so far. I think now that I have a basic recipe down, I can start experimenting. Mmm..fresh blueberry muffins. *drools*
These will be great for a quick snack or a breakfast on the go. My recipe made 6 full size muffins, but I also overfilled the pan. I could have easily gotten 8 from the batter, but I was too lazy to dig out another pan. Since I will be the only one eating them, 6 is plenty.
And a sexy top view. They initially puffed up a lot, but then deflated a bit on further baking.