5 on Friday: What’s on my Needles

I like to have several options when I want to pick up my knitting. I want my knitting to fit my mood. If all I had was a sweater on the needles, what would I do when I didn’t want to work on that sweater? I usually have only 3 active projects at a time, but conveniently for me I currently have 5 kitting projects on the needles.

Scrap Yarn Blanket

I’m using the Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis (iMake). I’m using sock yarn and size 2 needles. Each square is about 2 inches. I make one square each day, usually in the morning. For special events (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) I use the same yarn three days in a row – the day before the special day, the special day, and the day after the special day. That way when we look at the blanket we can see where we were. I love being able to see Audrey’s birthday, or our anniversary when I look at the blanket. There is also a large chunk of the same yarn for when Elliot was born.

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There aren’t many projects that allow to knit in hope and memories the way this one does.

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Elliot insisted on helping.

Socks

I’m still working on my Up All Night Socks by Lisa Beth Houchins. I’ve already told you how much I love these socks. If you are a sock knitter, I strongly suggest you give them a try. dsc_0011

A Slouchy Cardigan

Pattern is Cocoon Cardigan Sweater by Yarnspirations. Sigh. This cardigan should be easy and fast. I suppose it would be if I could bring myself to pick it up more often. Moss stitch is just so boring. I’m still on the back, which needs to be 28 inches long. So far I’m at 20 inches and I keep reaching for socks instead of this. Maybe if the yarn were smooshy I’d reach for it more? Please give me advice on how to get myself to knit this.

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Retirement Cardigan

Pattern is Turkana by Anne Kuo Lukito knit in Manos del Uruguay FINO. I call this my retirement cardigan because I’ll be retired by the time I finish it. It is gorgeous yarn, a lovely green that is so soft (70% extrafine merino wool, 30% silk) and wonderful to work with.

Why the slow progress? It is hard to pick up because each row takes 15 minutes. It’s a lot of work to pull it out, figure out where I was, and get a row knit. Once I get it out I remember how much I love it. It’s like going to the gym – when you are in a regular routine you know how great it feels to work out and you wan to keep at it, but when you miss a few days you get lazy and fall out of routine. Even though I don’t knit on it enough, it is my second favorite project. It is so honored it is stored in my Loop knitting bag Ivy brought be back from London.

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Dishcloth

I just noticed we were running out of dishcloths, so I started my favorite pattern, Garterlac Dishcloth by Criminy Jickets. This is a fun knit, but after I cast on I remembered it involves thought, so I’m not going to be able to work on it when the kids are awake.

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Elliot tried to eat this pattern.

With any luck I’ll be down to 4 projects again soon. I need to designate some sweater time to get back on track with my cocoon sweater.

Every Friday I share 5 things I think you should know about. Let me know if you have anything you would like to hear about. I would also love to hear it if you have any motivational advice about finishing cardigans.

Is there anything I should have on my needles? What should I pick up next?

 

Egg Noodle Casserole

Last night I made a casserole just to use up random ingredients I had in my kitchen. I end up with a lot of random things when I send my husband to the grocery store. I’ve started  sending him photos of what we need and give him precise directions on where to find the items in the store (why yes, I do consider myself detail oriented, why do you ask?). But there are occasionally issues, like when he can’t find the frozen egg noodles so he buys a bag of dried egg noodles. Or when he confuses a grocery list with a Costco list and we end up with a six pack of cream cheese.

I figured I could use up some random things. If it was good we would eat it. If it was kind of gross John and Elliot would eat it (they will eat anything). It turns out it was so good John requested that I make it again in the future. That’s why I decided to blog about it, more so I could remember it more than I feel that this recipe has to be in the blogosphere.

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Bagged Parmesan does not melt. Or get brown.

Egg Noodle Casserole (Serves 8)

  • 1 bag No Yolk Egg Noodles
  • 1 8 oz brick cream cheese, softened (totally OK to do this in a microwave)
  • 1 jar marinara
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bag frozen veggie meatballs (OK without. Also OK to use real meatballs)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan for the top

Preheat oven to 350. Put a pot of water on to boil. While water is coming to a boil shred the zucchini on a box grater and put in a  clean kitchen towel set over a colander over a bowl. Defrost the meatballs in the microwave so the casserole doesn’t take as long to bake. Or don’t. You do you.

Boil the noodles as directed on bag. While the noodles are boiling squeeze the zucchini in the towel. Once dried, add to a mixing bowl with the brick of cream cheese. Mix them together. Add the pasta sauce and mix some more. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and the bag of frozen meatballs then stir some more. Open some wine or do some dishes or something until the noodles are done.

When pasta is done drain it and add to a greased 9 x 13 pan. Add the sauce. Mix it around so the noodles are evenly covered. Sprinkle parmesan over the top (don’t buy the bagged Kraft stuff, as it was pretty disappointing in this application). Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

We enjoyed this with red wine and an imagined salad (we didn’t have the stuff for a salad in the house, but it would have been delicious). I’m planning on giving leftovers to the kids for lunch for several days.

If you make this let me know!

 

WIP Wednesday

The kids are at a really great age for my knitting. They have about 45 minutes of overlapping naps now. I should use that time for cleaning my house, cooking, on petting my formally adored, currently neglected, dog. Sometimes I do those things, but usually I knit.

Knitting is therapeutic for me. It calms my mind. It helps me relax. For me it is more than craft, it is a spiritual practice. Knitting is creating and praying all in one. Remind me to tell you more about that in a future blog post.

Because I’m able to knit more, I decided to start sharing what I’m working on most Wednesdays. I usually knit things that take longer than a week to finish, so you’ll get to see the progress I’m making or not making (cough, retirement cardigan, cough).

I recently started knitting socks again. I had been knitting basic ribbed socks because I don’t have think about them while knitting. I can pick them up and put them down and always know where I’m at.

A few days ago I started working on Up All Night Socks by Lisa Beth Houchins (she’s awesome), after she assured me I would be able to memorize the pattern easily.  I’m knitting with some Patons sock yarn Ivy (also awesome) gave me after cleaning up her stash.

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You guys, I have a huge bone to pick with Lisa now. She never mentioned how fun these are to knit. These socks are so damn addictive. I’ve haven’t been this enamored with a pattern since Monkey, which I made over six years ago. The pattern is easy, and I’m able to drop it when the kids need something and pick it back up without any issue. I would almost describe it as too easy, as I keep picking it up and working on it. I can’t stop. I try to work on socks during the day and my sweater at night, but since I started these socks I haven’t touched my sweater.

One good thing about them being so addictive is you will probably see a different project next Wednesday. Of course, it might be another pair of these socks.

What’s on your needles?