Something lacey and something sweet

Well I think I have officially come out of hibernation mode. Honestly March was a rough month, February was too, but there was just something about March, I just wanted to stay buried under my covers and do nothing. All of that is in the past, I am starting to eat like a rabbit again as my family would like to put it (fruits, salads, veggies, super healthy organic stuff), I have been itching to start running seriously again, and I am knitting a lot again. I have a whole list of summer knitted items that I want to make/am in the process of making, which is really rare for me because I generally don’t like knitting spring/summer stuff because first off  I generally don’t  like working with plant fibers  and secondly because I usually don’t find many if any patterns that I would actually wear. That is not the case this year, Knitscene’s summer 2013 magazine is out and boy is it amazing! The front cover pattern is beautiful and there are a ton of other patterns that are to die for. Also I feel like people are really stepping it up on spring and summer knitwear this year, I have seen quite a few really great patterns come up on ravelry too, some free and some for sale.

Just recently I have restarted the gemini from Jane Richmond, I ended up ripping it out and re-gauging because I just had a bad feeling, the bad feeling was confirmed and everything is back on track with it. The bad feeling I had was that I got the gauge wrong because I wasn’t using the needle size the pattern called for I was using two sizes down, I don’t know why my gauge came out so wrong the first time, but I went back up to the original needle size and I am much happier. Also just this past weekend I finished the Something Lacey Shrug from Vera Sanon. I pushed myself to get it done this past weekend because it is starting to get up to the 70’s and 80’s here and I wanted something to go over my shoulders so I could wear spaghetti strap tank tops to work. Essentially I could wear them without it, because I am not affiliated with the school, but I just feel more comfortable to have my shoulders covered.

Here's my Something Lacey Shrug.

Here’s my Something Lacey Shrug.

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For some odd reason the flash came on during this picture and totally washed me out, but I kept it because it was my only side view shot I got.

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Here's a close up of the back.

Here’s a close up of the back.

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Overall I really like the shrug, it was a super quick and easy knit. I would be great for a person who has never done lace before and wanted to give it a try. The lace pattern is super easy to follow and after the first set I had it memorized so I didn’t have to keep checking with the pattern. The lace is knit in a flat rectangle, blocked, sewn together, and then the ribbing was picked up. One thing I was surprised by was the fact that I made a medium and I was all but sure that I would need three ball of the yarn I bought and I only ended up needing 2. The yarn I used was great and I really enjoyed working with it, it is called Illaris from Marisol yarns. It is a 100% pima cotton yarn, and it was just wonderful to work with, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer cotton yarn. It wasn’t harsh or hard on your hands which cotton can be sometimes.

Besides all of the knitting and jewelry making  I have been doing, I have also been making food and finding healthy recipes to try out. Today though I made homemade peanut butter, I have been wanting to make this peanut butter recipe for a few years now. I got the recipe from a friend who ran the kitchen at this really amazing place called Nazareth Farms. Nazareth Farm is a Catholic community open not only to Catholics and they hold service-retreats in rural West Virginia. It’s corner stones are simplicity, community, service, and prayer. One of the ways they promote simplicity is by making whatever they can by hand and living off of the land as much as possible. So they make their own peanut butter so long story short that is where I got the recipe from, except I tweaked it some, but it is still super yummy and simple.

Here's my homemade peanut butter in the food processor.

Here’s my homemade peanut butter in the food processor.

Here's a picture of it in the container I'm storing it in.

Here’s a picture of it in the container I’m storing it in.

It is made up of: 4 cups peanuts and 3 tablespoons of honey. I made way more of it, but that’s just the starter recipe. All you do is throw the peanuts in the food processor until they get to a creamy consistency then put the honey in, let it mix for a  minute or so and then put it in a storage container/eat it. What makes this peanut butter even better is the fact that the honey came from bee hives on our property.

The honey from our bee hives.

The honey from our bee hives.

Well I hope you all have been having a good week so far and if you try the peanut butter recipe let me know! I would love to hear what you think of it!

 

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Caramel, Creamsicles, and Pasta

Well this past week has been pretty crazy due to going back to work and squeezing in hangouts before people go back to school so I haven’t got to post about my most recent baking adventures and knitting completions. Back on New Years Eve I babysat so there really wasn’t any crazy shenanigans that night but earlier that day I had a blast.  My friend Ashley come over and well, the one thing you need to know about Ashley and I’s friendship is that are hangout’s about 75% of the time involve diy stuff, baking, and pinteresting. Now you may ask what the other 25% is, in case you were curious it is eating, watching movies, and talking.

So on this visit we decided to make Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark and Orange Creamsicle Truffles. If you would like to try either recipe you can click on the name of the desserts and follow the hyperlink to the blogs that the recipes were posted on.

The salted caramel pretzel bark came out really great. We did run into a few hiccups along the way though. First off we struggled making the caramel. I account that problem to the fact that we were using low fat butter, but I really don’t know. We finally got the caramel finished though it didn’t quite look like the picture and took forever so the second time around we just melted the caramel candies. The second hiccup was that we didn’t grease the foil in any way the caramel stuck to it. But over all it turned out really great. Here are some pictures:

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The orange creamsicle truffles turned out equally as good, but we didn’t have any problems. We were very excited they turned out well and felt very fancy because we had to use orange zest. Yes we are nerds. The only thing was that making the truffles you had to roll them into little balls and that became messy. Recently everything I choose to make seems to end up getting messy.

Messy hands!

Messy hands!

Yummy orange creamsicle truffles.

Yummy orange creamsicle truffles.

While we were waiting for all of the dessert ingredients to chill for various reasons we made this pasta, it was very yummy. We had to improvise on the ingredients though and used dried herbs because we didn’t have fresh. Next time I make it I will use fresh herbs, like I said it was good with the dried, but fresh herbs I’m sure will make it even better.IMG_4351