Thursday, January 08, 2015

Roasted Tofu

First off, let me say that I could never be a vegetarian.  I enjoy eating steak and bacon way too much for that.  However, there are a few recipes that I have made that are meatless that I really, really like.  The first is a black bean recipe I found a couple of years ago to serve to Mom and J's girlfriend, M when they come over for BBQs.  The other recipe is one I developed in a hurry on Christmas Day.  I had planned to make roasted tofu as the main dish for M, but when I looked up the recipe I had used in the past I realized that I had almost none of the ingredients save for the actual tofu.  Grocery shopping fail at it's finest.  Ooops!  So I decided to wing it and come up with something on my own.  The end result was quite tasty if I may say so myself - I even finished the left overs the next day for lunch - so I thought that I'd share the recipe with you! It's quick and easy and uses ingredients that you most likely have on hand in your fridge and pantry right now (except maybe the tofu - if you're like me and only buy it on special, people coming to visit kind of occasions).

Roasted Tofu

1 pkg of extra firm tofu, drained and sliced
3 TBSP orange juice
3 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP soya sauce
1 TBSP grainy dijon mustard (I used a honey dijon blend I had in the fridge)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place the sliced tofu in a lightly greased casserole dish or other shallow baking pan and set aside.  Mix remaining ingredients until well combined and pour over the tofu in the dish.  Let marinade for at least a 1/2 hour. While tofu is marinading, preheat oven to 425F/205C.  Roast tofu for approximately 25 minutes (or until the tofu is golden brown in colour).  Enjoy!  Serves 2-4 people. Recipe can easily be doubled.






Tuesday, January 06, 2015

New Mittens and A Hat

Baby it's cold out there.  Seriously cold.  What the heck, mother nature?!?!  You confound us all with your weird (freakishly) warm weather for a few weeks, then suddenly you remember what a prairie winter is supposed to be like?  How about a happy medium because, really, a 30 degree shift in temp in a matter of days is a pretty big ol' shock to the system!

But.  That's ok.  I'm well prepared.  I laugh in the face of -40C.  Well ok, it's more like teeth chattering than laughter, but close enough.  At least I'm a little more prepared than I was.

I have new mittens and a new hat.  And they're thick, cozy worsted weight wool, so a heck of a lot warmer than the sport weight hat and mitts I had been using previously.  Don't get me wrong.  My colour work mitts are still one of my favourite things, but they just don't cut it in the cold. They were my first pair of adult sized colour work mittens (I'd done a baby pair when baby boy was tiny), so my gauge is pretty loose and the wind whistles through them on a cold, brisk day.

I really want to knit a pair of thrummed mittens, but didn't feel like taking the time to sit down and actually muddle through the thrum part, so chose to knit a pair of traditional Newfoundland Mittens instead.  These may look tricky to the non-knitter, but they are the fastest thing going.  I knit them two at a time (thereby avoiding any second mitt syndrome nonsense) and had them done in three short days.  They are pretty cozy.  A lot more so than the loosey goosey Lilac Mittens, but still not quite what I want.  I wore them to go tobogganing the other day and definitely could have used some sort of liner in them because my hands were pretty chilly.  (although I think my fingers would've fallen off from the cold in the other mitts, so it's at least a start in the right direction!).  I definitely think it's going to be time to tackle thrums soon though.  The Yarn Harlot has a pretty good post about it that I think I'll need to study a bit first.  In the meantime my Newfie Mitts will do.  They're pretty in Plum and Fundy Fog Briggs & Little Regal.




I have a purple hat that matches the colour of the mitts to a tee.  It's a hat I knit as a test knit last year, and it's alright, but it's sport weight and not terribly warm (plus it makes me look like I have a gigantic pumpkin head so not a terribly flattering look).  So I knit a new one.  This time in the same Plum Regal as my mittens and using Alicia Plummer's Snow Squall pattern. It's reversible, which is kind of neat, and cozy. Also being a bit looser means there's less chance of crazy hat hair, although I still think I look like I have a gigantic pumpkin head in it.  Which makes me wonder if it's the hats or if it's actually me… Yikes!  I am considering trying a different sort of style in the near future.  Maybe something along the lines of a brimmed hat.  There's a few I really like on Ravelry.  There's the Lucy Hat or the Magnolia Hat or maybe the Honeysuckle Hat.  Of course by the time I ever decide spring will be on it's way and I won't actually need a new hat...


Monday, December 29, 2014

The 2014 Christmas Crafting Round Up

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!  We had a fantastic Christmas.  All of the kids, plus their partners were able to join us Christmas morning.  Nothing is better than having everyone under one roof together!  We opened presents, then the little boys played with their new toys, the big kids played cards and I made brunch.  It was merry and festive.

Now that Christmas has come and gone once again and all of the crafts have been given and received, I can take a few minutes to show you what I've been up to over the last month and a half!

First up, along the left here are two of my new and very favourite holiday decor items!  At the beginning of December the little boys and I picked up some paints and blank canvasses at the Dollar Store.  I painted up their hands and they made their masterpieces together!  We've got new ones already planned for next year!  I know that years from now as they hang them on the wall I'll look back and think that I can't believe they were once so small!

Before I get to the more recent Christmas giving, it occurred to me that I never posted about the Christmas in July swap that I hosted over on Ravelry in the 2009 Summer Mother's group.  We had a huge sign up for participants, so I divided the names up into three groups, then each person was responsible for making an ornament for each member of their group so that each participant would end up with a collection of ornaments for their tree.  The group I was in was the largest with seven participants.   I want to share the collection of beautiful hand crafted ornaments that I received. I love that each one of them is so unique!  Betz White's Peace Dove is the ornament I chose to make for the swap.  It was a fun, but somewhat daunting undertaking as embroidery makes me feel somewhat less than competent having not really done much of it at all since I was about eight and Mom helped me make a sampler the year I got my sewing box and embroidery hoop for  Christmas.  I was really happy with how they turned out, but have yet to make one for myself.  Maybe now that all the hustle bustle has calmed down, I'll pull out the wool felt, the embroidery thread and set to work on one for us.



 Now that the house and the tree are covered, let's move on to the gifts that I made.  I started late this year so not everything I hoped to make actually got done and at the 11th hour (December 21st to be precise) I had to get a grip on reality (more of a choke hold, truth be told, than a grip) because it was way out there in left field.  Stringing me along like I had all the time in the world.  As soon as I realized I didn't, adjusted my list, swapped out this pattern for that etc. I felt a whole lot better and a whole lot less panicked.  I actually got back to enjoying making gifts instead of heading down that slippery slope of OBLIGATION.  Eeewwwww!  Nothing takes the fun out of crafting faster than a perceived sense of obligation.

Anyways - I was quite happy with my efforts in the end and the reactions to the gifts made every single minute spent doing them more than worth it!

Pajama Party

As per usual there were some pjs made for Christmas!  We'll start at the top and move left to right.  First up is our nephew, Ethan, modelling his brand new footie jammies that he specifically requested with "feet, a hood and pockets".  I was a little worried, come Christmas he'd be a bit disappointed to open pjs instead of a toy like the rest of the cousins were getting, but I needn't have worried.  He dropped everything to go put them on before he opened anything else.  His mom told me that they rate right up there in his favourite gifts, so I'm, of course, absolutely tickled!

Next we have Little Man and Baby Boy in their new Christmas Eve pjs!  Flannel and fleece kept them cozy in the truck on the way home from the city that night.  We always take pjs to change them into before heading home if it's going to be late and they certainly were surprised when I pulled Angry Bird pjs out of the extra clothes bag!  (BF)G was also pretty surprised when he went to get ready for bed later that night and couldn't find his pj pants he was sure he'd left on our bed (ha ha! I'm so sneaky - I'd hid them before we headed out for the evening) so reached into his dresser drawer to find a matching pair for himself too!

G had be moaning the last time that she was out that she needed new pjs because her's were all so old and tattered.  I knew as soon as I spied the glittery leopard print flannel at Fabricland that it was meant to be PJ pants and a sleep mask for her!


Holders and Such

I love making little wallets and holders for stocking stuffers and small gifts! They're fun, quick and I get to use awesome bits of fabric!  From top left to bottom again, we've got Superhero notebook holders for the little boys, who love to take notebooks everywhere they go!  A funny story about those - when I was buying the fabric the clerk cutting it asked me what I was planning to make, and I said that I would be making notebook holders for my four and five year old.  She looked at me rather oddly when she asked what kind of notebook and I told her just the cheap ones that come three to a pack for a dollar at Dollarama.  It took me a moment of confusion at her confusion to realize that in a sign of the times, she was picturing the computer type of notebook, not the old fashion use a pen or pencil with, stash in your pocket kind.  We had quite a chuckle over "how times have changed"!

Next up for our university student/waitress G,  I found a great little tutorial online for an organizer wallet that I thought would be perfect for either when she's at work, or for throwing in her bag for going to classes.  I was really excited to find leopard print notebooks for her too!

On the bottom right we have a tea wallet for M, who is studying like a mad fiend working on her master's plus works approximately a million different jobs.  I don't know how that girl does it!  I went back to my very favourite pattern - I always think it's the perfect size to toss in a pocket or a purse when you're busy and on the go!

Last but not least is A's make up brush roll.  I thought it would be handy for when she travels or just throwing in her bag for freshening up after a long day in the classroom if she's got somewhere to go after work.  I used the same tutorial I've used in the past for it as well (which, like the organizer wallet, comes from {lbg studio})

Odds and Ends

Here we have a flax seed heat pad - I absolutely love mine and think everyone should own one.  This one was for M.  Then whenever G gets overly stressed out about school I tell her she should take a break and have tea and chocolate.  I decided a great gift for her would be a mug that I wrote out the recipe for chocolate mug cake on (I used Sharpie Oil Paint pens, then baked in the oven at 425F - start out with a cold oven and don't remove item until it is cold again!) along with the pre-mixed packages of the dry ingredients needed.  On the other side of the mug it says, "Need a Break? Have Some Cake!" and the handle says "Love Mom" I hope she enjoys it and it reduces her stress at least for a moment!

The next thing is a modified Working Girl Laptop bag.  I made this one quite some time ago, but have been holding onto it specially!  I paired it with some charcoal pencils and a sketch pad for Mom.  I envision her sitting at the park on a warm spring day sketching in the sunshine.  I hope that this bag will help her to just pick up and go when the whim hits her!

Last in the odds and ends is this year's ornament.  Every year since J was a newborn baby I have included a new Christmas ornament in the kids' stockings.  I used to buy a new one each year and tried to keep it a theme.  It was easy to do when there was only three kids, not quite as easy to do when there were five kids and last year when I had seven kids to get an ornament for I gave up looking in the store and decided to make them instead.  I was very glad to have made that decision given now there are eight "kids" needing ornaments! Because I'd left things a bit late in the game, I decided to do something fairly simple.  I thought these little trees from Life after Laundry were quite cute!  Although I didn't get them done quite in time for stockings - I hit the wall at 3:30am sewing the last two, so went to bed and then ended up sewing the strings on and gave them to them after brunch Christmas morning.

Keeping Cozy!

In this grouping I've put some of the "cozy" knitted gifts!  At the top is (BF)G's Fox Point hat that I finished within a half hour of him walking in the door for his Christmas holidays and G's slippers that she actually sent me a link to on Facebook as a hint.  The second row has two "Beer Mitts" (the black and grey one was actually (BF)G's birthday present on the 27th!) and a White Leaf cowl for A. And on the bottom a Sweet Memories cowl for Baby Boy's preschool teacher!

Teacher Gifts

This year I decided to once again let the boys pick out the patterns and yarns for their teacher's gifts.  All the teacher's received fingerless gloves except for the preschool teacher that received gloves last year from Little Man - so this year Baby Boy decided I could knit the cowl above to go with her gloves.  From top again we have Give em the Slip, Staghorn Mittens (a super fun, quick knit in bulky yarn!) and at the bottom, two pairs of Farm to Market designed by the very talented Aimee Alexander - one of my "Octo-mama" friends on Ravelry.

 Colourwork

Last but not least are three of my favourite projects for this holiday season!  I really do love everything about colourwork and it's so addictive making these projects really fun to do!!  First are J's War of the World inspired Robots vs. Downtown mittens, and beneath them are N's Zombie Mittens - I love that the palm and thumb have depict the bones - and to the side are M's Fireweeds! I've never met a Rose Hiver pattern that I didn't love!

So that's it! Phew! Are you still with me?  Give yourself a big ol' pat on the back if you've made it this far! Ha ha! It was a lot of work, but as I said, worth every minute of it given the appreciation.

For now I'm going to focus on doing a few things for myself and some other projects that I put on the back burner for the Christmas crafting marathon, but I already have some plans up my sleeve for next year and think I'll get a jump on them throughout the year rather than trying to do it all in the last month and a half before the holidays - because that kind of procrastination can drive a person a bit crazy if they're not careful! ;)

I hope that the coming new year finds everyone happy, healthy and enjoying life to the fullest!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Hello Pumpkin Dip! Where Have You Been All My Life??

So, I realize that I am probably, if Pinterest is any indication, just about the last person on earth to discover the joy that is cookie dip, but I'm going to go ahead and just be ok with that.  Better late than never and all that jazz.

I needed to bring some sort of treat to a meeting last night and for some reason was completely fixated on cookies and dip.  Now, in retrospect, cookie dip is kind of like chip dip in the manner that you can't just stop with one.  Which is all good except you don't necessarily want to be eating cookies with wild abandon like you would say a potato or taco chip. It gets a bit filling (and just a teensy bit fattening) after a while.  I would highly suggest maybe serving not only cookies, but perhaps apple slices for dipping as well for those who don't want to have to put their regular clothes away in favour of sweat pants for the rest of the holiday season.

Further more, I would just like to state for the record, right here and right now, that I have been a life long fan of all things pumpkin. Loaf, cake, muffins, cookies, pie, roasted, stuffed, cooked and pureed by the spoonful - it really doesn't matter.  I wholeheartedly love the stuff.   I just feel I need people to know I'm not just hopping on the Pumpkin Spice bandwagon because it's the in thing to do.

But, before I get totally off track lets get back to cookie dip (mental note to self:  remember healthy options here... it could be fruit dip too. Really. It could.).  This is so easy and quick to make, which possibly makes it a very dangerous recipe to have in your possession depending on your love of pumpkin and the level of your snacking will power.  You decide for yourself.

Without further ado I'd like to present Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip and Gingersnap Cookies:


Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

1/2 of 250g pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp of nutmeg 

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and garnish if desired with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.  Serve with cookies or fruit. 


Gingersnaps

2 cups flour
1 TBSP ginger
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup sugar, reserved for later
1 tsp cinnamon, reserved for later

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Sift together flour, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl, set aside.  In a separate large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (except reserved sugar and cinnamon) and cream together until smooth.  Slowly mix sifted flour mixture into the large bowl, mix well using your hands if necessary until completely combined.  In a small bowl combine reserved sugar and cinnamon and then shape dough into 1" balls.  Roll balls in the cinnamon and sugar then bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.  Note: cookies will still be quite soft when being removed from the pan, but harden up nicely as they cool. Store in an airtight container.  

Enjoy! 




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bring it On Old Man Winter - Mama Has a New Sweater!

I just realized it's been almost two months since I last posted here.  How time flies!  I thought I'd sit down and write a bit of an update while I drink my gingerbread latte! (Mmmm! So tasty! I just found my old recipe for it this morning!)

We've spent the fall battling one illness after another (the joys of having a child in kindergarten bringing home all sorts of germs to us!) and once I had a bit of energy return I plunged headlong into the super secret / can't tell you about it kind of holiday crafting.

But in amongst all that I did finish a new cardigan for myself that I've finally just got buttons on earlier this past week.  I did wear it for several weeks buttonless because I couldn't find the buttons I wanted out here and had to wait until I could make a trip to Fabricland in the city.  I didn't want to miss out any wearing time of this cozy cardi for the minor sake of the fact I had no way of doing it up!

I signed on to test Hay Cove for designer Laura Aylor.  It was a fantastic pattern from her new Northward Collection - knit top down with set in sleeves with worsted weight yarn it's fast on the needles too!  I learned a few new tricks with this pattern.  Laura has a really great way of doing the sleeve caps.  I think her own variation of Barbara Walker's simultaneous set in sleeves has beat out my previous favourite method of sleeve caps that I'd been learning to perfect on my last few cardi's from Andi Satterlund.  I found, for myself anyways, who always struggles to make my picked up stitches look neat and tidy, that Laura's method eliminated that problem and makes a really smooth sleeve cap.  I highly recommend trying out her patterns that utilize the method.
Working on the new to me sleeve cap technique
I also learned a new method for buttonholes that I'm really liking.  It makes tight, stable buttonholes, which is something else I often find a problem - especially on a garment that requires very little to none or negative ease.  I think I will make these buttonholes my go to in the future.  They were so simple too!

For my version of Hay Cove I decided to use just two colours of Canadian made Briggs and Little Regal yarn that has been hanging out in my stash for quite a few years.  B&L gets a bad rap sometimes due to it's rustic nature - but as long as you don't mind pulling out bits of grass and hay (some balls I think I may find the actual sheep grazing  in there too they're so full of veggie matter) it's a great yarn for warmth and durability, and it softens up a lot with a good bath. Plus as a bonus it's not going to break the bank - you really can't beat the price of about $6.00 Cdn for a 272 yard skein.  The yarn I used had been gifted to me so even more of a bargain, but I used only five skeins in total for my size! Not too many yarns out there that allow you to knit an adult sized cardigan for around $30!

Just needing buttons and blocking!
I'm really happy with how my sweater turned out.  The fit is great, it blocked to perfection for me (which almost NEVER happens for me! LOL!).  I've been living in it since the weather got cold.

You'll have to excuse the somewhat less that fabulous picture (and my "hat hair") - I got Baby Boy to take a photo on my phone for me when we came in from shovelling the walkways the other morning.

Cozy, warm and perfect for a Canadian winter!
So that's what I've been up to in the last two months!  Now my coffee has grown cold, the boys are itching to do a festive craft and I have to go see what I can take out of the freezer for supper tonight so I'd better dash!  

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Cakes, Cookies and A Crown, Oh My!

Our Baby Boy just turned four yesterday! Four. I can't even believe it, really.  How is it that time has gone into some freakish warp speed without my realizing it?

I recall at one time when I was much (much!) younger, and the older kids were all much (much!) younger, I was in a donut shop trying to wrangle all three of them - about aged 1, 3 and 5 as they all went separate directions simultaneously.  A little old lady stopped me and told me to enjoy it.  To know that this time would pass so quickly and they'd be grown up in a flash.  At the time, I remember thinking, "Lady, I sure hope you're right!" As it turns out, I've spent the subsequent 19 or so years wishing growing up took just a touch slower to happen, because that little old lady? She really did know what she was talking about.  Because I'm not sure how baby boy is already four.  I'm even more baffled by the fact that my baby N, that was my baby for 15 whole years before Little Man came into our life, just turned 20 - don't worry, although he didn't get cakes, cookies or a crown, mama made sure he had a birthday treat too by way of pumpkin spice cupcakes that I actually remembered to make and give to him this year unlike last year when they got made and I totally forgot to give them to him so I ate them instead.

Anyways, I digress. Birthday craftiness was, of course, undertaken for the fourth birthday celebrations. Most of it this time was in the kitchen instead of the sewing room. Baby Boy, finally, at the eleventh hour returned to the "theme" he'd chosen ages ago after having gone through about a million other themes in between.  He wanted an Angry Bird cake for his birthday.  Not just any Angry Bird either.  It had to be the "Pink Girl Angry Bird".  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and considered myself getting off easy peasy with that one! Such a simple request.

I have a fantastic 12" cake pan I bought for baking our wedding cake layers, so it really was no fuss, no muss. Well, so long as you don't count the fact that between making too small of a batch for my pan, likely leaving out one of the leavening ingredients and Baby Boy opening the oven so that the already flat cake fell further to almost pancake height requiring me to bake a second batch of cake, it was no fuss, no muss.  I used the recipe for Buttermilk Chocolate Cake from Lorelie's Wedding Cakes For You  site again.  It's such a great recipe! (when you actually follow the recipe, make enough and keep the blooming oven door shut while its baking that is) Any suggestions what to do with the pancake cake that's currently sitting in my freezer? It still tastes delicious.  Maybe petit fours?

So. New cake baked, I was all set to decorate it.  I had leftover buttercream from the wedding cake that (BF)G's niece had brought back after decorating it, that I had popped into the freezer, waste not want not and all that, that turned out to be the exact amount I needed to make the "Pink Girl Angry Bird".  (BF)G, who is often my creative consultant on these sorts of matters, had the idea to use a fortune cookie for the beak, and I decided the gigantic marshmallows I'd bought for the weenie/marshmallow roast party would make awesome (and easy) eyes for our little lady bird. I did cut the marshmallows in half though, because holy smokes! Those suckers are  HUGE!



For party favours I got a notion in my head to make cookies after seeing Angry Bird Cookies on the Sweet Sugar Belle website.  Now, I should mention I'm clearly bat s--t crazy because I've never once decorated cookies with anything more than buttercream. My usual standard of decorating is, well, to be honest, none. Or maybe coloured sugar sprinkles if I'm feeling fancy.  But I did get a bit of the decorating bug last Christmas when the boys and I did some fancier cookies for the holidays. However, I've never even seen Royal Icing, let alone made it, and I do not own a kitchen aid, which every website I looked at told me to use, so it was a bit dicey going. (As in I had no hot clue what I was doing), but I'm am SUPER DUPER proud of my cookies and how they turned out. I am also now obsessed with fancy cookies and have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what kinds of cookies I could decorate. But that, dear readers, is a story for another day.  Back to the birthday party craftiness.  I did have some moments of anguish and panic trying to get the consistency just so, and a few minor heart palpitations when the first one I started with I managed to break an ear off within the first 30 seconds, but then I took a step back, a dose of reality and realized I needed to calm down. It's a cookie after all.  Just a cookie.

So that was the end of party craftiness in the kitchen - although remind me to tell you about the weenie roast some day. We had bannock wrapped wieners cooked over an open fire.  You should try it.  It has the potential to be a fall time cookout winner!

I did, of course, make the now traditional birthday day crown.  (You can see Baby Boy's previous ones here, here and here.)  Sticking with the Angry Bird theme,  I had a lot of fun doing this and was really happy with how it turned out.  I think Baby Boy was happy too!



Then I was back in the kitchen again yesterday to make a mini version of the Angry Bird cake for Baby Boy's actual birthday.  This time he requested a "Blue Bird - not a light blue one. A darker blue one. But not too dark." (He's not particular at all that one. Nope. Not him... rolls eyes)



So, that's it.  I'm a bit caked and butter creamed and royal icing-ed out for now.  I think I'll give the icing sugar and chocolate a rest at least for a few days...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A New Cardigan

There's a chill in the air these days, despite some crazy warm weather we had last week (crazy as in +30 C!!), it has felt like fall for a while now here on the prairies.  What's a girl to do when the weather turns cool? Why knit herself a new cardigan of course!!



I decided to knit Andi Satterlund's Marion.  I've had the pattern in my library since last fall when I won it in her KAL for  her Hetty cardigan, so when she announced in late in the summer that she would be hosting a KAL for Marion, I immediately jumped on board.  Not only would it be a great KAL, I could also "double dip" and use Marion for the Summer Sweater KAL with Very Shannon.

I've knit quite a few of Andi's patterns now. My first was my Miette that I knit last summer, then of course Hetty, then I knit Salt for a Christmas gift, then this spring I knit Myrna as part of the Outfit Along and now Marion.

I really enjoy Andi's patterns.  They are well written and easy to follow.  Each of cardigans that I've made, except for Miette, utilize short row shaping for the top down sleeve caps, which I really, really like.  You knit the upper back, then pick up the shoulder stitches and knit each of the fronts then join them together to finish off the body. Then the sleeve cap stitches are picked up and knit back and forth using short rows until the shaping is finished and then it's straight on down in the round from there.  I can't even describe how much I like knitting sleeves this way. If all sleeves could be done like this, I'd be a happy lady.  It really makes them feel like they fly off the needles.  I even got brave with this one, and once I had the first sleeve cap done I put in on hold and did the second sleeve cap, then put both on my circular and did them two at a time! Talk about speedy sleeves.

Now that I've got a great new cardi, I think I'm going to have to make some fall dresses and skirts to go with it.  I've got a Miette Skirt from Tilly and the Buttons a waistband facing and hem away from being finished and I think that will be a definite to pair well with my Marion, but I'll have to peruse my patterns and see what else I have in my stash too.

But first things first.  I need to finish a test knit I'm working on, then finish up my birthday swap gift for my Ravelry group so it can be popped in the mail to my little swap partner by Friday at the latest, Baby Boy's birthday party is this weekend, then I really do need to get a start on my Christmas crafting.  Phew! I'm going to be busy in the next little while I think!