Thursday, March 28, 2013


I finally started Pop Spots! Holy smokes is this a fun-to-knit pattern. Seeing the blue spots emerge is pretty awesome. You're really only knitting with one color at a time -- you drop stitches and do some fancy maneuvering to turn contrast-color garter stripes into spots that truly do pop. There's a handy tutorial on the Loop website that clarifies how to make these cute little spots.

The only downside is that while I think of ochre and blue as Swedish colors, many other people think of them as University of Michigan colors. Sigh... perhaps not what a proud UW Badger should wear?
pattern: puerperium cardigan, by Kelly Brooker
yarn: Hazel Knits DK Lively ~ laguna
needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm
size: newborn

Easy, free pattern! I love the construction. I might throw in a few decreases on the arms next time.

Not a huge fan of the yarn, as it has a very tight twist and isn’t terribly pleasant to knit. It does, however, have great sheen and beautiful colors, though, and it blocked quite nicely. The cardigan seems a little big for a newborn, but what do I know!

In my new quest to use more exciting buttons, I went with contrasting bright yellow ones this time. : )
in the kitchen

Yeah, other people seem to be on the gluten-free bandwagon right now. We, however, are in the midst of carbohydrate fever!

homemade soft pretzels from a Cook's Illustrated recipe. I made these on a baking day with a friend. We ran out of honey, so substituted brown sugar (only 2 T., since we didn't want them too sweet). It worked perfectly and was lots of fun. Oh, one other modification! We did an egg wash (1 egg yolk + 1 T. water, beaten) before sprinkling the pretzels with coarse sea salt. Paul picked up a variety of fancy mustards from Gene's Sausage Shop. Next time I'd make a double batch, since four of us managed to eat pretty much the whole batch.

no-knead bread baked in a Dutch oven. The recipe is awesome and so easy -- I made it a couple of times a few years ago, but the recipe had fallen off my radar somehow.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Oh the bitter winds are coming in

Oh the bitter winds are coming in
And I'm already missing the summer 
Stockholm's cold but I've been told
I was born to endure this kind of weather
A snowy day here in Chicago, and I'm listening to First Aid Kit's "Emmylou," whose lyrics seem awfully appropriate.

Have you heard this song yet? One of my favorites of 2012 -- a Swedish take on Americana, with lyrics like "I'll be your Emmylou and I'll be your June / If you'll be my Gram and my Johnny, too."

Remember my grousing that the buttons for my Drops cardigan were taking their sweet time getting here? Yeah... I somehow failed to note that they were coming from Slovenia! Considering their origin, they made excellent time, and the Wooden Artist did a beautiful job. The set on the right is destined for this cardigan.

I'm jonesing to make this adorable bobble sheep pillow from the Purl Bee! (P.S. free pattern here.) I just may have fallen down on my yarn diet and ordered the yarn kit