WIP Wednesday 12/12/12


A couple of WIPs this week, Mr. Iknead’s Simple Skype Socks and a pretty cabled scarf that I started on a whim, both coming along nicely.  The second sock has great potential to be a FO Friday project, only lacking the leg and the top cuff.  Hope I haven’t jinxed it.

Simple Skype Socks

Cabled Scarf


Today is my mother’s birthday, I’m in the process of making a lemon pound cake to take up to the nursing home for her to share.  I’ll post a pic when it’s finished and ready to go.  Happy birthday Mom, I love you!

For more WIP happiness, check out Tami Amis blog.  You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.



Busy, busy, busy


because I’m done.  Very busy Sunday and accomplished much.  First of all, I took advantage of the cooler weather (low 60s) to clean my oven, which was not a moment to soon.  It’s a self cleaner but it gets so hot and heats the house up so much that I let it slide until cool weather.  Like I said, not a moment too soon.  I’d fixed au gratin potatoes on Saturday night, which were excellent by the way, but it cooked over in the oven and coated the bottom with cheese sauce.  Needless to say, smoke billowed out when it got good and into its cleaning cycle.   Made me a little nervous, even though I knew it would happen.  Now, though, I have a nice, clean oven to start getting messy again.

Then, using the domino theory, I decided to bake some bread to take advantage of the warmer than usual kitchen.  Then, instead of  plain old white/wheat bread, since I had all the ingredients on hand, I decided to tart it up and ended up making three loaves of whole wheat raisin and oat bread (it made a huge amount).  Naturally, I had to record it for posterity –

Ready for first rising

Ready for second rise –

 Ready for the oven


 Finally, out of the oven and cooling

Turned out nicely and it seemed to be a hit at the Sunday night meeting.  I even remembered to take butter to put on the still warm bread.  I think they liked it.  Now, what next…

I made Babydiva a bracelet out of some spare beads I had –

 Harper's bracelet

Turned out to be really sweet.  I hope she’ll wear it and not decide it’s something good to eat.  Can’t take a chance on that.  I think, though, she’s enough of a girly girl to wear it.  She’s so cute I can’t stand it!

 Lastly, I decided to get the jump on Monday morning and laid out my clothes and got my lunch together.  The best time to prepare for Monday morning is Sunday evening in our household, I always say.  Hardly ever happens, but still…………..

Formula for success:  Underpromise and overdeliver.  Thomas Peters





As promised


As promised, here are some pics of Babydiva’s baptism.



Babydiva with her fav cousin, the Papoose.


I finally was able to do a little baking yesterday, something new I lifted from Pinterest – a cream cheese  pound cake that was out of this world, really.  Although, with three sticks of butter, cream cheese and six eggs, it would be hard for it to be anything but delicious.  I took the time to cut a slice to bring to work this morning as a treat with my coffee.  Yum.

Sour Cream Pound Case

Amazing cake!

Here’s the original Pinterest post:  


Technically this is not baking, but I got a sourdough starter going this weekend and I was right about the weather being good starter weather.  I think this one is the fastest I’ve had one develop ever.  Friday I started with the usual half cup flour and half cup warm water and by yesterday afternoon (Sunday) it was bubbly and had the typical sour smell.  It should move into its beery, yeasty smell in the next day or so.  Much as I love sourdough, this is my least liked stage.  Until it matures, it smells like feet.  I have to keep reminding myself that this part doesn’t last long. : )

48 hours old

See  how nice and bubbly it is?

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.  Benjamin Franklin








WIP Wednesday 10/17/12


Plugging along on the Pretty Maids shawl and am so happy I decided to frog the first attempt, the second try is 100% better.  I’m able to “read” my knitting better and as a result, if I make a mistake, I notice it quicker and can fix it more easily.  A much happier project!   Here’s a photo –

Stitch close up 


The Big Picture


I have a new picture of Babysis Annabelle and can’t resist blogging it.  Talk about a lucky shot!

Isn’t she precious???


I have big plans for baking this coming weekend.  I’m going to bake bread and attempt to get a sourdough starter going.  The weather should help out quite a bit, low humidity, warm but not hot temperatures.  I’ve missed baking these past few months, first it was way to hot to use the oven, then I was too busy, what with the grands, work, Mom and the zillion other tiny things that seem to be of no consequence, but turn into a mountain with attempts to accomplish them. 

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne


WIP Wednesday, 09/05/12


The Papoose and fam got back from the beach Sunday, where they had a nearly front row seat to hurricane Isaac.  Luckily, he took a more westward course and they only had one day of rain and wind.  Glad to have them back in their nest, now awaiting the new baby on September 26.  Can’t wait, we don’t know the gender, Bigmama and Bigdaddy prefer to find out the old fashioned way, at birth.  I admit, though, while I really don’t have a preference, I do have a baby boy outfit stashed in my closet, just in case. : )  Here’s Bigmama gestating away –


It’s WIP Wednesday and here’s the beginning of the Bauble shawl I’ve been going on about, with only one false start.  Oh gosh, hope I didn’t jinx it.  It’s going to be lovely, I can tell already.

The yarn (if I hadn’t already mentioned it) is Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk Paint, 85% Merino Superwash Wool and 15% Mulberry Silk, color number 9801.  Since it has only a number, not a color name, I think I’ll call it Bonfire.  That’s what the colors make me think of.  I think everything should have an actual name and Bonfire fits.


My treadmill book is The Last Romanov by Dora LevyMossanen, which is awesome even if you’re not obsessed with the whole Romanov/is Anastasia still alive mystery.  This book grabbed me and pulled me into it, to the point that I’m actually walking longer than usual, just because I have to know what happens next.  Love it.


Last weekend we had a couple of days of cooler (relatively speaking) weather and so I satisfied my need to bake with a carrot cake for Mr. Iknead, which technically was an anniversary gift since last Friday, 09/01/12, marked our 33rd wedding anniversary.  Long time and we still like each other.  A funny about the cake – now, Mr. Iknead doesn’t have a real discerning palate when it comes to certain things;  so, I’m grating carrots, mixing and sifting for the cake and he says to me, “Could you put the good kind of cream cheese icing on it, you know, the kind that comes in a can?”  Cracked me up.  We call that keepin’ it real.

To be positive:  To be mistaken at the top of one’s voice.  Ambrose Bierce



One Down


Hurray!!  The first sock of the 9 to 5s is finished, here’s proof –

and the second one cast on with two pattern repeats finished.


Mr. Iknead and I didn’t see the Papoose over the weekend; we worked to get caught up with house chores we let slide the past few weekends to spend time with the grandbabies.  Here’s the Papoose immediately after chocolate ice cream.


I think Big-Mommy was running a bath even while she was still enjoying her ice cream.  Gotta say, she’s a girl after my own heart.  Don’t think I’ve every had ice cream where I didn’t end up wearing at least a tiny bit when I was finished.

Here’s one of the newest pics of Babydiva – She loves that Bumbo Seat!


It’s been so hot here (108F on Friday) that the last thing I want to do is fire up the oven and bake.  I did fix supper on Friday for Babymama, Babydaddy and Babydiva and it took hours to get the house cool again.  Ice cream is about all I’m excited about right now (see above).  

The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity.  Ellen Parr





I finished the seventh of eight triangles on Wingspan and got started on the eighth.  I’m having a little anxiety about running out of yarn but this is normal for me at this point in WIPs.  I’ve promised my languishing sock project that it’s next in line, but I also have a baby hat that’s halfway to the finish line that I’ve made promises to, is it odd that I talk to my projects?  It’s not like I expect them to answer or anything…..


Will finish Song of Susannah, Book VI of the Dark Tower series, with a Lawrence Sanders novel, The First Deadly Sin, next in line.  Mr. Iknead’s father got me hooked on Lawrence Sanders years ago, he passed 20 years ago, but when I go back and revisit books that he and I shared with each other, he feels very close.


Nothing, of course, at this very moment.  I don’t cook really during the week, by the time I get off work, exercise and stop on the way home to visit my mother, it’s close to 7 p.m. and I don’t have the energy.  I make up for it though by cruising recipe websites and checking out cookbooks, with a little bit of Food Network for good measure.  I made a Lemon Blueberry Cake on Saturday.  It tastes good, but has an odd texture.  I’m suspicious that my oven thermostat is off, it’s been taking 10 to 15 minutes longer to cook than the recipes say.  That may be the cause of the texture issue, maybe not quite done in the middle, but nice and brown on the outside.  I think I’ll get a oven thermometer and check it out further in the next few days, now I’m curious.

I ran across this on Pinterest.  I’ve been a little obsessed lately with pot and pan storage – I’m rapidly running out of it and short of buying a new home and designing a house around a kitchen, it’s going to continue to be a challenge.  Here’s what I dream of –

Baking pan drawer so you don't have to get EVERY pan out EVERY time...

Nice, huh?  OK, I’m officially weird, I fantasize about kitchen storage.

You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know.  Jerry Garcia



Sunday night


Ending up the weekend and this feels like the first time I’ve had more than a couple of minutes to put my thoughts in order.  I did some baking – made Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread yesterday and Chicken and Rice Casserole today.  Oh, and I went to the grocery store.  And knitted on Wingspan.  Besides that, I don’t have a clue where the time went.


Wingspan is coming along nicely.  But, I keep reminding myself, while I’m getting a lot done on it, three (minimum) projects are languishing on the back burner and I seemingly have a low guilt threshold because I feel guilty when I see them and then once again pass them up.


Yay, pictures of the French Market Bag, before and after:

I like the way it turned out.  My next felting project will be a big bowl, I think.  (See above regarding languishing projects).

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.  Paul Valery





I did it.  I frogged the Maidenhair Fern socks, it took me until yesterday to  it, but I got it done.  I’m thinking Fa Fa Fa socks, a free Ravelry pattern that I saw on someone’s blog last week, I need to go back and look and I will, just not today.


I spent most of the day babysitting Babydiva and loving every second.  Really, there wasn’t much to do, feed her, play with her, nap with her and it was glorious!  She takes a long afternoon nap, so after lunch, she took a nap  and so did Bela (Divadog) and I.  Don’t know how long it’s been since I took an afternoon nap, I’m usually at work and they generally frown on that sort of thing and on my days off, I’m playing catchup with the things I put off during the work week.  I could get used to naps.  Here’s a new picture of Babydiva, big smile –

See why yesterday was so fun??


It’s official – I love the silicone pans.  Love them an unhealthy amount, I think.  I (finally) got around to making the little Apple Cakes I’ve been talking about for at least a week and they turned out amazing.  When they were finished baking and cooled a little, I literally just popped them out of the pan.  Nothing stuck, they baked evenly and I’m so proud!  Here’s one for show.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that  you, too, can become great.  Mark Twain





Well, another weekend without baking the cute apple cakes but I have a good excuse, really, I do.  A friend called me out of the blue yesterday morning and asked me if I liked blackberries and did I know how to make a blackberry pie.  Of course, the answer to both those questions was an emphatic yes.  He had been looking around some property he had out in the country and had come across a patch of wild blackberry bushes.  He brought me a sack full of some the sweetest berries I’d had in a long, long time.  Here’s what I did with them:







Picking blackberries is a pain, they grow on a kind of bushy, kind of viney thing that has wicked sharp thorns, and there are always wasps and bees flying around them, they like the sweet sticky juice.  To get these great berries with no fuss, no muss and no thorns, well, it was almost too good to be true. Thanks, D.  I used the simplest recipe ever for the pie, it let the berries shine.  I’ll share it here.

Simple Blackberry Pie

5 c. ripe blackberries

3/4 to 1 c. sugar

1/4 c. flour (as a thickener)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

crust for double crust pie

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix the first four ingredients together.  Lay one crust in the bottom of a pie dish, pour berry mix in, lay other crust on top and crimp edges.  Brush top with milk, sprinkle with sugar, make slits in top crust.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, remove from 0ven and cool on rack.


Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.  Henry David Thoreau



The one where Memorial

Day is almost over.  I think I may actually be ready to go back to work.  I’ve missed so many days lately, I can’t remember the last time I worked a full week.  Never realized how much working kept me centered, mostly from just the routine.  We’ll start tomorrow looking for a place for my mom and dad to move into here in Little Rock.  If I think about the details too much, I start feeling overwhelmed and anxious, two emotions I’m not very familiar with.  One thing at a time, something I’ve had to practice a lot lately.

Knitting and baking today, still on first Slippery Sock but coming along, Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies with cream cheese filling came along for the ride.  Mr. Iknead gave them two thumbs up so I guess they’ll do.  : )  I’m still waiting on DD for a pic of Susannah in the Brittany Jumper.  I guess I’m going to have to call and jog her memory.

It is extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is.  George F. Will



The one where she thinks she’s

wound about ten miles (at least) of yarn over the past two days.  Actually, I had a couple of skeins that were missing in action and in searching for them I became reacquainted with a lot of my stash.  So, I got out my handy dandy ball winder and swift and wound and wound and wound.  You get the picture.  I had several oh my goodness look at this moments, a lot of them really but on the other hand, I had more than a couple of oh my gosh, what was I thinking moments.  Especially regarding about eight skeins of Cashmerino in about eight different shades of green.  Who knew there were so many shades of avocado?  Yuck.

The Brittany Jumper is blocking.  YAY!   I love the feel of the cotton yarn, which gets softer and softer the more it’s touched but, on the downside, it takes ages to dry, even after running it through the spin cycle a couple of times.  I’ve got it under a fan and that speeds things up a bit, but it’s still slow.  Take a look, please.

Besides being a yarn windfest, it was also a bakefest.  I made a Cream Cheese Blueberry Coffee Cake, a tried and true favorite and also tried something new, a Whole Wheat Fresh Apple Ring.  I learned something new with the apple cake.  It’s nearly impossible for me to shred fresh apple.  It has too much juice or something.  I’m sure some baking whiz can do it with one hand tied behind them, but in my world, it ain’t happening.  I finally just chopped the apple really fine and called it good, and it was.

A Daddy Update:  I’m driving to DeQueen tomorrow after work, he has an appointment at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with a surgeon, I’m guessing to discuss whether or not surgery is an option.  I’m anxious to hear what he has to say.  I’ll be glad to get this trip and appointment behind us.  This will be the third trip down there since last Sunday.

Still haven’t decided about a new blog, on one hand I enjoy putting my thoughts down on paper (yes, I’m aware that there isn’t paper involved in this blog, but old habits die hard).  On the other hand, lately it’s been very difficult to make time just for this one.  Do I really want to add another?  Could the three kind people who actually read this blog please weigh in?  What do you think?

We are shaped by our thoughts.  We become what we think.  Buddha (563 B.C.-483 B.C.)