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January 9, 2015
by Erin B


And it’s done!

December 19, 2014
by Erin B

All the holiday knitting is done and is blocking on my bed.

I will take pictures before I wrap it to post later.

That is all.

Holiday Knitting

December 7, 2014
by Erin B

I have reached the point where I am sick and tired of working on the last couple of gifts I have to knit before the Holidays.  Unfortunately, this does not coincide with them being finished.  You all will be ok with getting your gifts sometime in March, right?

In the mean time, C is over the moon with her knitting project bag from Chicken Soup Designs.  I have finished the Lorna’s Laces Socks that I have been knitting as the back up project for months.  Picture to follow.  Opal Sweet and Spice Plum sock yarn is cast on as my back up project.

I am giving up knitting patterned socks for a while.  Plain socks for a couple of months.  I can bust out the patterns again in the new year.  The funny thing is, the socks I reach for the most are the boring ribbed ones.   So, let stick with what works for a while.


November 25, 2014
by Erin B

I have been busily painting a chalkboard wall in my kitchen, but in other news.

Last night we ran out of milk.  I am lucky enough to live in a place with a 24 hour grocery store and have money enough to be able to run out and get milk.  At various points in my life, these were not always true.

It’s 10:30 when I head out.  I get most of the stuff on my list except for Jujubes (for T) and Mini eggs (for V).  I generally make a point not to buy candy, but there are extenuating circumstances.  None the less, it’s almost 11 at night and I can’t find the bloody things in my local grocery store.

So I find a clerk and say “I’m looking for jujubes and mini eggs for my daughter”.

He is a good foot or more taller than me.  He puts down his scanner and gives me a hard look.  Then he looks at his watch.

“Do you need “it’s 11pm and my kid just told me I need to bake 18 dozen Christmas cookies for tomorrow” jujubes, or “I’m 13 and have PMS and the world is horrible” jujubes, or “I have a huge assignment due tomorrow and I’m pulling an all nighter” jujubes?”

I burst out laughing and admitted that it was the huge assignment jujubes.  Then I asked a bewildered, is there a difference?

Still totally straight faced he explained that yes, there is a difference.  If I had said Christmas cookies, the red, green and white jujubes are in the baking section.  The PMS jujubes are in the bulk section.  The all nighter jujubes are in the main candy section and come in about a 1 kg package.  Alternately, there are also the “I just need a snack” jujubes that are in the 50g packages by the check outs.

Who knew?

This morning I made a point of calling and telling the manager how much I enjoyed this night service.

It’s That Time of Year part 5

November 13, 2014
by Erin B

A long, LONG time ago, I bought a vintage wooden school desk at a garage sale for about $5.  It had been coloured by the previous child who used it.  I very carefully took it all the way a part and packaged up all the hardware.  I sanded the wood and primed it and then the weekend ended and I packed it away.  In pieces.

Little Girl was barely Toddler Girl back then and the desk was humourously too large for her.  I wasn’t in a  rush.  It wasn’t something i could work on while taking care of her at home when it was just the two of us and it wasn’t pressing enough to make other child care arrangements for me to work on it.

Little girl is suddenly too big for the little antique table and chair that were vintage and second hand when MY mom got them as a child.  So they went down to my sewing room and I spent last week finishing painting and rebuilding the desk.  It turned out well.

No before pictures I’m afraid.

But in order to get it into her room, we had to do a major purge of the crap stuff she is hoarding has in her room.  That took fours hours and some serious negotiation on Saturday.  We ended up with one bag of garbage, one of donation stuff and a big box of “treasures” that we off loaded shared with the mommies from the local mommies group.

Yes, it would have been MUCH faster to just do it while she was at school, but I am not tossing/donating/rehoming her things with out her permission.  Which meant that every scrap of paper, every broken “free” from the grocery store/dentist/who-ever gives-out-this-stuff-to-keep-kids-quite toy, every crayon we have ever gotten at a restaurant and brought home despite them not colouring very well was a negotiation.  And then we vacuumed.



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IMG_0567We are both really happy with the out come.  I just which I could find the butterfly rug that we had in her “library” under her bed.  My knees are getting to old to climb under there to read books to her without the carpet to soften the floor a little.


It’s That Time of Year part 4

November 12, 2014
by Erin B

Of course, in order to finish C’s socks for her, I needed to take a stalled pair of online socks off the needles.  They went back on the needles last week and I finished they by Saturday.

Honestly, I’m not sure why I keep buying OnLine. I don’t really like the yarn. I like the self patterning. Same thing with Regia. Every ball I say, I’m never buying this again. Then I do. The colourways get me. Until recently, Opal was not available locally. I have a ball of Opal waiting to cast on and I am looking forward to trying it.


Less proud of these ones. I was experimenting with a new toe and I’m not sure I like it. Not a big fan of the feel of the yarn, but they fit perfectly. I now have three pairs of this OnLine Jupiter series socks and one more ball lurking in my stash. I will knit it. It’s pink and orange. Really, though, I would trade for a ball of Sock It To Me in tweed by Estelle or anything Opal in a heart beat.


It’s That Time of Year part 3

November 10, 2014
by Erin B

I finished C’s Rainbow socks.

Fuck, I hate that yarn.


C, I am so, SO Sorry I suggested that yarn.  As in David Tennet, Doctor Who, so, So Sorry.

I talked C into trying to knit socks.  I helped her pick this yarn.  It’s Chroma from Knit Picks.  It’s horribly splitty single.  The colour progression is crazy gorgeous.  Even more so in real life.  They are the first pair of socks I have knit where someone tried to buy them off the needles.  She got mad when I said that they weren’t for sale and for the hours of work they took, even if I charged $200 and I still would not be making minimum wage.

I finished them at the end of October at Fall Conference.


IMG_0560C is trying socks again, this time with some well behaved Paton’s that was a trade with another knitter.

These ones were a plain Two at a time, toe up, but I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel.  Then I think I bought that pattern for everyone I knew who knit socks.  It was so helpful.  There is no way I would have tried this without the recommendation for how to knit off a foot template.  Go. Buy it.  It’s only a dollar.


It’s That Time of Year part 2

November 9, 2014
by Erin B

Then those socks I started in March of 2012.  It took me a year to finish the first one, then it got lost for a year and I eventually just frogged it and started over.

Round two, took them on a trip to the USA hunting for tractors:







Well, they were done by the beginning of October.  Two At A Time toe up adaptation of Octopus’ Garden, using Cascade Heritage Paints in Aqua Sol, and a Sweet Tomato Heel.


IMG_0543I could happily enter a monogamous relationship with this yarn.  The only thing stopping me is that it isn’t available locally.  That and a brief staff discount at the LYS filled my stash with Alegria, which is even MORE squishy, but I really like the Cascade colours.

It’s That Time of Year

November 8, 2014
by Erin B

It has snowed twice.  This morning the son stuck around until after lunch causing traffic accidents in front of my house and a full blown case of fall cleaning.

Well, winter cleaning, since I follow the agricultural calendar and use cross quarter days to mark my seasons.


I have a full blown case of nesting with a side of what The Yarn Harlot calls “Finish-it-up-itis.”

First, my bathroom:

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My Version of Borscht

October 19, 2014
by Erin B


My mom always made beet soup when I was growing up.  Somehow I never actually got the recipe from her.  Here is my recipe:

1 1/2 cups diced potatoes

2 cups shredded beets – golden or traditional red (use the food processor and save yourself some heart ache)

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup green beans

1 cup peas

1 Tbsp parsley (dried)

1 Tbsp (at least) dried dill

a couple of grinds of black pepper

1 onion chopped

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 Tbsp sugar.

1/4 cup butter


Put the potatoes and beets in a your largest stock pot and add enough water to cover, the salt and vinegar, bring to a boil.

Add the carrots, beans, peas, and more water to cover, bring to a boil.

After 15 minutes add herbs, onion celery and tomatoes, boil 30 minutes.

Totally optional, but if you are so inclined you can add a litre of no salt beef stock here if you like.  It doesn’t really need it.

Add sugar and butter to adjust the acid and add body.  Boil another 10 minutes.

Serve with a blob of sour cream to stir in.  Or don’t.  I like mine plain.  Freezes well.