If you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free, be free, cause there's a million ways to be, you know that there are.
--Cat Stevens

Friday, October 7, 2011

FO Friday: Hat and booties

There's not much to show for this week and this will be a short post. I finished the hat and booties I was working on finally.

It's not much but that’s what I’ve finished up this past 2 weeks! What have you been up to? Thanks for stopping by and reading! If you want to see more great finished items… make sure to visit Tami’s Amis blog, the organizer of this great FO Friday theme!

Have an awesome weekend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WIP Wednesday's: A Busy day

I will try and keep this short. It's been a busy day. First, here is my hat. Doesn't look like much progress, does it? It's quite an accomplishment actually. Last Thursday I made a mistake and tried to tear back and managed to lose the whole thing. A couple days later while working on the purl rows, I was working far too late and got far too tired and somehow managed to turn the piece three times and had some sort of mess that didn't make any sense. So I pulled out another 5 rows very very carefully. And then reknit them. Somehow I managed in all this debacle to injure my wrist and haven't been able to do as much knitting or crochet as I wanted.

This picture looks almost identical to last weeks, because I have only added a couple rows.
Today, I took a trip to my LYS. I got some Suede Berocco for a wallet for my husband to make. I got this gorgeous Nashua Sitar in the colorway Gypsy Wagon. I plan to make a pair of fingerless gloves in star stitch for a swap.
On a less yarny note, I have been working on redecorating my bedroom. We found this lovely set of bedding on ebay and it arrives this week.

Last but not least I made 4 loaves of not-gluten-free bread for my husband. I put 3 loaves unbaked into the freezer. They will be wrapped in plastic wrap and ziplock bagged. I baked the 4th one . Hopefully now he will have bread for snacks and sandwiches for a while.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday's: Candy stripe blankie, and a hat

There's really not much to say about this blankie, except that I think the colors are gorgeous. It's super simple and so is working up fairly quickly. The only thing I can't decide is if this blankie needs a single crochet border or not and, if it needs a border what color should that border be.

Somehow I always seem to start another project even though I have a bunch that need finishing. I have decided to work on my knitting by pulling out my practice square and turning it into a Slouchy hat with Picot edging. I just cast on this Monday so it doesn't look like much yet, as I am a very slow knitter still.

The thing I find most challenging so far is keeping track of my stitches and row count. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish them and figuring out which row I am on. I mostly can tell when I am at the beginning of the next round but it is easy to confuse my self. Also I have a question is it just me or is knitting in the round actually knitting in the spiral. It seems like it is the same as crocheting unjoined rounds--which means it is in the spiral. It might help my poor head if I could figure that out. I am so used to crocheting hats; working from the bottom up is kind of confusing to me. Theoretically they are the same and the end product doesn't change whether it is made from the bottom up or the top down but my head and hands disagree.

Oh boy I am starting to ramble. Well thanks for visiting.

Oh I almost forgot I have been working on a chart for making a zebra motif. It's taken alot longer than I planned but I think I have come up with something I can use. I hope it A.) has enough detail, and B.) won't end up too big; I just want a small motif for the corner of the candy strip blanket probably no more than 4" x 6".

If you want to check out more Work-In-Progress posts, please check out Tami’s Ami’s Blog, who’s been organizing a great WIP Wednesday blog theme!

Friday, September 23, 2011

FO Friday: A felted bowl and green booties

This post will be short and sweet as I am running out of time.

The green booties I finished last week.

With matching hat.

And last but not least:

A felted bowl I felt the need to make today. It was pretty simple and I love the way it turned out. It may become part of a larger piece that I have been playing with in my mind, but I am not sure yet.

It's not much but that’s what I’ve finished up this past 2 weeks! What have you been up to? Thanks for stopping by and reading! If you want to see more great finished items… make sure to visit Tami’s Amis blog, the organizer of this great FO Friday theme!

Have an awesome weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday's: candy stripe blankie, hat, booties and embellishments

I still haven't decided what to do about my cabled afghan, and my knitting has fallen by the wayside again. I am trying very hard not to get sick, since I have been feeling the warning signs for my annual bout of bronchitis. This means that I have spent more time resting and less time crocheting.

I know that little hat looks done, but I have been working on some flowers to add. I need to get some pink thread and decide on a button and I will be able to finish this one.

I have made 1 little boot to match the hat. It needs a mate, and I think I will attempt to add scallops around the cuff. I have tried to add some scallops already but I want the cuff to turn down and I am having trouble figuring out how to do that.

Last but not least I was playing with some scrap yarn and came up with a delightful color combination.

Do you remember Fruitstripe gum with its 2 mins of flavor? That's what this reminds me of. I love it!!!!!!! I think I will try to make a 36 x 36 square and add a zebra motif or maybe a red teddy bear. Don't you think that would be a fun baby blanket.

If you want to check out more Work-In-Progress posts, please check out Tami’s Ami’s Blog, who’s been organizing a great WIP Wednesday blog theme!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday's: Disaster strikes my cabled Afghan

So this week while going through my cabled afghan and recounting the squares I realized that some of my squares were 12 inches long, some were 12 1/2 " and some were 11" long. So I went through the tedious progress of measuring each carefully and pulling out the edging and re-crocheting the ones that were wrong. I ended up having fix 4 or 5 of the 11 that I have so far finished. They are now all 12 inches + /- a little bit. I also started another square of the upside down canoes.

But an even greater disaster has struck my afghan. I seem to have lost my copy of the pattern booklet. I have looked into the prospect of buying another but although it costs only $4.99 to buy a new booklet it would cost another $6.99 shipping and handling fees. I really can't justify spending $12 on booklet I want one pattern out of. SO that is my dilemma and I have no idea what I am going to about it. I can probably make up or figure out a couple more cable patterns or sub in patterns from another afghan pattern But I feel disappointed because I really like the way the squares together look in the pictures I have seen. So I am not sure how to proceed.

I have started and finished a pair of cute booties to go with the green hat from last week. I will share them with you on Friday. I have also been working steadily on my knitting practice. Here it is.

It doesn't look like much, I know, but I feel like I have progressed quite a bit. Purling is almost as easy as knitting now, and over all the process is becoming almost tedious. I think I have pretty much got stockinette stitch down except for my gauge which still seems to fluctuate quite a bit. I feel great sense of accomplishment though. For a long time I thought I would never figure out knitting and I can now honestly say I can knit I have a long ways to go before I am a great knitter but I am looking forward to the journey.
Thanks for stopping by! If you want to see more great works in progress… visitTami’s Amis blog, the organizer of WIP Wednesdays.

Friday, September 9, 2011

FO Friday: Hats and booties

I have been working on tons of itty bitty hats and booties. I am working towards opening a hop featuring handmade gifts for babies and am trying to work out my patterns and build some inventory while I work out other logistics.

So without further ado:

I am still working a pair of booties to go with the pretty green hat. I think the green hat is my favorite of the bunch. I also haven't decided if I am going to embellish it or how so if you guys have any suggestions in that regard they would be welcome.

Thanks for stopping by! If you want to see more great finished items… visit Tami’s Amis blog, the organizer of this great FO Friday theme!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday's: Practice knitting and a cabled afghan

I have been running on auto-pilot for a while and this blog has fallen on the wayside. I am pickign it back up and wanted to participate in Work in Progress Wednesdays with Tami's Amis. I have finished a bunch of projects this week and I was lamenting to my Pat that I wasn't going to have anything to post as a WIP--which would of course cause me to procrastinate working on the blog.He was kind enough to offer me the scarf he is working on to share.

This is Amsterdam Lace Shawl. Pat and I both began working on this pattern at the same time about a month ago. Pat taught himself to knit almost two years ago, after the death of his maternal grandmother. His grandmother was an avid knitter and crocheter, so he decided to learn to knit as a way to feel closer to her and carry on her legacy. I have crocheted since I was a teenager but have never manged to knit despite trying to teach myself via the various internet resources. My sister taught me to knit this summ

and I have been practicing. I was feeling bored and ambitious and chose this pattern. After frogging it about a billion times I have concluded it was slightly too difficult for my barely being able to knit and purl. Last night I cast on to make a large rectangle in stockinette stitch to practice. IF I Have enough yarn I may edge it a
nd turn it in a baby blanket.

And finally while organizing my crochet project I found this. I have been working on this on and off since Christmas when my wond

erful mother gave me the yarn for it. I have found it quite enjoyable, and I had wanted to learn how to cable. But I have found it quite easy this is my mindless project. I can talk, watch TV and work on this without missing a stitch all at the same time, which is probably why I forgot about it even though I just finished 2 more squares on Sunday. I have 11 squares done but I just took a picture of one of each of the ones I have done.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dessert Wars-Vanilla

The secret ingredient for this month's Dessert War is Vanilla. Now don't get me wrong I love vanilla. Vanilla Ice Cream, vanilla frosting, vanilla
cake--as far as desserts go it probably my favorite flavor, but vanilla can go in just about any dessert as a "flavor enhancer". It's never the star of the show. I was kinda hoping that we'd have an April Fools theme this month because it's always fun to make food that looks like something else but is really an awesome dessert.
I guess we decided to attempt to make vanilla the star of the show and have some April fool's fun.
We made dessert poutine. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, poutine is a dish consisting of french fries topped with fresh cheese curds, c
overed with brown gravy. Our poutines consisted of sweet potato fries dredge in cinnamon sugar, feta cheese and vanilla caramel. This all sounds deceptively simple.
Our first hurdle was the fries. Sweet potatoes make notoriously soggy fries so in an attempt to crisp our fries, we attempted to use the double fry method. DISASTER!
We fried them for 3 mins at 350 and removed them, drained the oil and let them cool down and then did a second fry at about 375 and with in seconds they went from limp and lightly browned to totally burnt.
We then did more research and after looking at more blog postings about sweet potato fries than any one would care to count. We decided that we would soak them in ice water for thirty minutes before putting them through a single 4 minute fry at 375. It worked pretty well. They were reasonably crisp and didn't go limp the secon
d they started to cool down.
So one the next hurdle. Caramel Sauce. I can't make it. Or at least I couldn't until a few days ago. I have practiced making caramel sauce and tried out several different recipes over the years and they were up and till recently all unmitigated failures. Then I found Kittencal's Caramel Sauce, so easy even Amy can't mess it up. I made it even more delicious by ditching the store bought vanilla extract and steeping 2 vanilla beans in the cream before adding it two the sugar and butter.
So without further ado I will introduce you to our sneaky dessert poutine.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finished Objects: Lots of baby stuffs

I wanted share all the things I have finished up in the last couple weeks. I've been crocheting like mad lately. I have been trying to use up some of my stash finish some WIPs and possibly even get a few gifts made. My sister and some of friends are having babies and baby stuff is really great for stash busting since most pieces take only small amounts of yarn.

Project #1 was this cute little granny square sweater in black and turquoise.

Project # 2: I was playing around with some black acrylic and this little black beret emerged.

Project #3: A beautiful little hat in spring green with pink flowers.

Project #4 Tiny pink and black shirt dress.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Attack of the Lizard Brain

I guess I kind of dropped off the radar. I had a ton of things I had planned to write about, but I haven't been feeling too awesome for the last week or so. My fibromyalgia has really been flaring up on me.
I also had an attack of the lizard brain. I am a U.S. citizen living with my husband in Canada. For the past year or so I did not have permission to work here in Canada. I have been waiting for my residency and work permit paperwork to be processed. Wednesday, I received my work permit in the mail, since then I have had an increase in anxiety and depression. I realized today that every time I worked on or thought about my resume or searching for jobs I became very stressed.
I took a walk to a beautiful little play park near our apartment and spent a few minutes playing on the swings. After I had calmed down I got out my journal and had a serious "talk" with my lizard brain.
"What are you so scared of lizard brain?"
"I like not having any responsibilities." It says. " I like sleeping in when I don't feel good. I like doing what I want when I want to do it. I like not having a boss. "
" I know all that, but what's this really about?" I asked.
" What if no one want to give me a job? What if I can't get any jobs but stupid one like Working at McDonalds again? What if I have forgotten everything I learned at school? What if I get a job and then realize I am not qualified and they fire me? What if..?"
"Enough." I said. "Listen here lizard brain, I learned a lot of things at school and I haven't forgotten all of them. I also learned that I can learn anything. Anything I have forgotten can be relearned. I know that I am employable. I might get turned down but that doesn't mean that there is not a job out there for me. "
The lizard brain and discussed many other things. At first when I told it to stop being stupid about looking for employment it started to attack me about other things such as writing this blog. I think the lizard brain is just pretty comfortable right now and doesn't want to be shaken up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hanging Chalkboard Welcome Sign

Little tiny "chalkboards", delicate flowers, and hand-spun rope could anything be more fun? We have had a piece of beautiful rope that we made as part of our honeymoon in Nauvoo, Illinois. For a long time I have fretted over how best to display the lovely little coil of rope, moving it form one shelf to another. Finally this January I came up with a plan and recently I finished it.

Earlier this year I saw some beautiful bunting and was inspired. Immediately I thought of the rope we received in Nauvoo . I grabbed Pat and we headed off to get supplies. Somehow we never got around to working on this beauty until recently. The thing that impressed me the most is how cheap it was to make. When we added up the cost of the supplies used we came to around 5 dollars. I will apologize now for both the quality of the photos and the lack of photos of the earlier stages of the project. I am not much of a photographer, though hopefully I can improve, and I am very much absent-minded and often forget I want to blog about something until after it is finished.
  • 1/4 sheet 3/8" cabinet grade plywood about *$8 (this project used about 1.67 sq ft making the cost of the material used about $2)
  • 1 qt. Flat black paint about $13 ( we used a little less than 1/6 of the can so the cost for this project was around $2)
  • tiny amounts of white, pink and green paint--on hand
  • Rope-free souvenir
  • Pencil
  • Paper for sketching
  • Medium grit sand paper--on hand or $1
  • Paintbrushes-on hand
My husband's family all speak almost exclusively French, so we wanted to find a way to include Bienvenue ( welcome in French) on our sign. We played with a few different ideas before deciding the best route was to print it in smaller letters underneath welcome.
The first step in this Welcome sign is to cut your plywood into 4"-6" rectangles, and drill two equally spaced holes with a 3/8" bit about 1/4" from the top of the rectangle. Use the sandpaper to sand the face and sides of the rectangles until the corners are rounded the faces are very smooth. Brush off any sawdust and paint the front and sides of each piece black. You'll want to be sure to get inside the holes so that no wood accidentally shows later on. We took about a 3 week break at this point, but there is no need for you to.
While the paint is drying or some other time, you'll want to think about the type of lettering you want to use. I decided to freehand the large letters for Welcome and Pat did the small print below. It took me about 3 hours and a lot of paper to sketch out all the letters how I wanted them. Once your paint is dry and you have decided on your lettering you have 2 choices on how to get them onto your boards. You can draw very darkly with a #2 pencil on your paper and then flip the page over and carefully rub the image onto the board, or you can freehand the letters using your sketches as a guideline. I prefer the second method, but Pat's mother who drew the flowers prefers the first method. Whichever works for you is the best method to use.
Using detail brushes carefully fill in your letters with white paint. It took us about three coats of white paint to completely cover the black. Do the same for the colors you choose for your flowers. When the paint is dry you can thread them on your rope and hang them.
Visit thecsiproject.com

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dessert Wars- Green

I have decided to join a progressive blogger competition Dessert Wars. Dessert Wars is a progressive blogger competition with a monthly winner who will go head to head at the end of the year (December) to secure the position of ULTIMATE DESSERT WARRIOR and win a grand prize package. Each month you will be challenged with a theme ingredient and/or a specific dessert to bake. For example; one month we may ask you to use lavender in a dessert, the next month it might be to bake a pie. This will leave room for you to express your own creativity. The more creatively you embrace the theme, the more likely you are to win.
I am really excited about participating in this competition; I am looking forward to all the challenges and solving them. The theme for March is green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. We were given 2 lists of green ingredients and instructed to pick at least one from each list for our dessert. I was super excited when I learned about the theme because green is my favorite color and my birthday is in March. In some weird way, I felt like it was a special birthday challenge just for me.
After looking through the ingredients and brainstorming with my husband Pat I decided the thing to do would be a trio of sorbets. Pat thought that we ought to incorporate watermelon because they are so lovely and green. I pointed out that they had red flesh and that you can't eat the green part, but in the end I agreed that we could try to use watermelon. I have never made sorbet before, and we don't have an ice cream machine. I did some research and found some lovely recipes to help get me started though. I very rarely follow recipes but I often use them as a starting point especially when trying something new.I found a delicious looking recipe for Cucumber sorbet from Healthy Green Kitchen, and a great tutorial for making sorbet from Simply Cooking To get me started.
This lovely Neopolitan Granita is what we came up with:

Cucumber Spinach Sorbet
Cucumber sorbet is lovely and refreshing but I wanted a brighter green color and a little more flavor than I could get with just cucumbers. The idea of adding a bit of spinach came to me and it worked perfectly.

3 cups cucumbers, peeled and diced
2 Tbs Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Spinach, raw coarsely chopped

Puree cucumbers, coconut milk and spinach until smooth. Add maple syrup and mix through.
Pour into a freezer-safe container with a lid.Place in freezer and freeze until solid. Remove from freezer about 15-20 mins before serving. The mixture won't really stay in nice balls because it wasn't churned until creamy. We ended up using a fork to bust the block into tiny crystals.

Watermelon Sorbet

3-4 cups Watermelon diced
2 Tbs granulated sugar
2-3 mint leaves

Puree Watermelon--strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds. Return puree to blender add sugar and mix through. Add mint leaves and blend until thoroughly combined.
Place in freezer and freeze until solid. Remove from freezer about 15-20 mins before serving.

Honeydew and Rosemary Sorbet

2-3 cups diced honeydew melon
3 Tbs honey
2 Tbs coconut milk
3/4 Tbs fresh rosemary, diced

Puree honeydew, coconut milk, honey and rosemary. Place in freezer and freeze until solid. Remove from freezer about 15-20 mins before serving.
Dessert Wars
The March prize package includes:

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Hi! Welcome to my blog. My name is Amy. My mother told me that just before I was born she had a dream and in that dream she saw a bouncy active baby girl and she knew immediately that my name would be Amy Lynn, which means beloved torrent. I don't think a person could be given a more accurate name. I have been lucky to have been very loved and to love others in return, but I have the temper like the weather. One minute I am sunny and the next I might be depressed or in a rage. For a long time I thought maybe I was broken, but finally I am learning to love me despite the storms. I invite you to join me as navigate the waves life throws.