Sunday, June 16, 2013

Finished Object: Willow's Lighthouse Keeper's Wife Cardigan

Okay, can I start with saying how beautiful this girl is?


This cardigan has been finished for a little while, but we have had torrential rain on and off for the last two weeks, so it has been difficult to get out and take pictures.

Full body:


The funniest thing happened with this sweater.  I normally knit when Willow and I watch TV together, so she had seen me working on this all along.  I have made a few things for Piper recently - but because she is so much smaller, they get completed much faster.  I finished my last little bits, balled it up, and tossed the sweater in Willow's lap.  Willow: "What's this for?" Me: "Try it on." Willow: "It's for ME?!"  It was nice to be able to pull this over on her in the open!

Side view




The Particulars: 

Pattern: Lighthouse Keeper's Wife by Melissa Schaschwary. A great simple, straightforward top-down pattern.
Yarn: Naturally Caron Spa (a little over 2 skeins for the XS size) - a bamboo/acrylic blend.
Needles: size 13 bamboo circulars (not my favorite needles - way too blunt!), and a J-size crochet hook. Would I Knit This Pattern Again? Definitely - and the next one will be for me - but not in this yarn. This yarn made a nice, airy summer-weight sweater, but was so splitty, especially with these blunt needles. The next time I do this I am going to use a provisional cast on for the hood so I can kitchener the hood rather than seaming. I opted to make long short sleeves (about elbow length) for Willow as this will be a summer cardigan. I created a stabilizing band for buttons by doing three rows of half double crochet along the button bands and hood. I did the same with the ends of the sleeves. The bottom of the sweater I opted for 5 rounds of garter stitch so the sweater wouldn’t roll up. I then added 2 small buttons on the front.


Knitting things for Willow can be a little hit or miss - so I am really happy that she likes this one.  It's also nice that she fits into the ladies' XS size, because there are so many more women's patterns out there than tween girl patterns.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Somehow, we have gone from this on her first day of Kindergarten:

to this on her last day of 5th grade:


My amazing firstborn graduated with Distinguished Honors (straight As for the entire year), received an award for leadership, as well a certificate for being involved in the Math Olympiad.  Willow, you never cease to amaze us - we love you so much!

Sunday, June 09, 2013


DSCN0679, originally uploaded by jochibi.

This is the state of our living room at least once a day - if not multiple times a day. Cleaning up after Piper has seriously cut into my reading and knitting time...

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Finished Objects: Sebago Cove 1.0 and 2.0

Wow, am I ever remiss here. I was all ready to post my Finished Object post for the tunic sweater I finished last night for Piper when I realized I hadn't created a post for my original version of the same sweater! So here we go -

 Sebago Cove 1.0


and Sebago Cove 2.0

 Piper in Sebago Cove 2.0

Same pattern, but in different yarns! Why did I knit 2 sweaters in the same pattern in short order? When my friend Alicia selected me to be on of the testers for her Sebago Cove pattern, I ordered the yarn she designed it with, and the yarn had to come all the way from Australia from the lovely Augustbird. It took about two weeks, but in the meantime, I was chomping at the bit to get started on the sweater. I dug around in my stash, and found some red merino/acrylic blend called Les Laines du Petit Poucet Colorado that I achieved gauge with, and I ran with it.


 As you can see, there are some rainbow colors woven through the yarn, and I didn't bother with the color blocking as the pattern describes, but I think it made a pretty cute tunic sweater. Piper liked it so much, she stole it out of my knitting bag so she could play dress up with it even before I had a chance to weave in all the ends - and if that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!

 When my yarn from Augustbird arrived, I was nigh-finished another test knit for another talented friend, Melissa... which I haven't posted here yet, either. How did I get so far behind? Anyway, I wanted to finish my Sturgeon test knit before I started a new sweater. I had never knit anything with Augustbird yarns before, and I was in for an amazing treat. The colors are so saturated in the yarn, and it felt so incredibly nice to knit with. The Augustbird Hearty DK definitely shows the stitch definition much better than the Les Laines du Petit Poucet Colorado - I love the eyelets at the raglan shoulders, and the YO increases along the sides of the tunic:


The Particulars: 

Pattern: Sebago Cove by Alicia Plummer. You can purchase the pattern at this link on Ravelry - and please do!

Needles: Size 6 and 8 16" circulars and size 7 dpns (the pattern called for size 6 dpns, but I couldn't find mine). I made the 4T size. If you were to make a larger size, you would need longer circulars.

Yarn: Sebago Cove 1.0 was in Les Laines du Petit Poucet Colorado and Sebago Cove 2.0 was in Augustbird Hearty DK

Would I Knit This Pattern Again? Oh yes, in fact - I already have yarn to make Piper another one. I have a sneaky feeling that Piper will be wearing these all fall and winter long this year!


 Seriously - doesn't Piper look gorgeous in purple?

Piper Bright Eyes

Where on earth did she get eyes like this? My Mom and my sister Jaime both have light coloured eyes, but not like this.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Dinner Tonight: Mabo Turkey Lettuce Wraps

A few weeks ago, I had lettuce wraps at our local Asian Fusion restaurant, and my taste buds fell in love. I wanted to try making my own, but I was feeling very lazy. The ingredients were easy enough - but I was stuck on the sauce. On Friday night, I was searching Pinterest for variations on lettuce wraps, when I saw one for Mapo Tofu lettuce wraps and it occurred to me that I had some Mabo Nasu sauce in my pantry. Yes, I know that is an Indonesian website, but it was the only link I could find for Mabo Nasu. It's a common Chinese sauce mix (seet and a bit spicy) that you should be able to find at most Asian grocery stores. So - let's get started - here are my ingredients:


 The only things missing from the picture are the olive oil, garlic, and the cashews.


 1.25lbs extra lean ground turkey breast (99% fat free)
1 package Mabo Nasu sauce
2 TBSP minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 water chesnuts, chopped
1.5 TBSP olive oil
1.5c shredded carrots (about 3 handfuls)
3 scallions, chopped (whites and greens)
1 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves washed, dried, and put in fridge to keep cold.
0.25c cashews, chopped

 Rice - cook separately (as much as you think you may need - it's a side dish)

 Put your olive oil, turkey, garlic, and ginger in a pot, and cook the turkey over medium-high heat until completely white - breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small bits. You shouldn't need to drain it because there is so little fat here. Add in your carrots and Mabo Nasu sauce mix, and stir. Turn the mixture to low, and add in the scallions, water chestnuts, and cashews. Cook until thoroughly combined and carrots have softened a little.


 I have to say - the most difficult thing about this entire process was trying to peel the leaves off the head of lettuce intact! There must be a secret to this.

 Makes 5 servings (our in our case, dinner for everyone and lunch for me tomorrow!)

 Spoon a little meat mix into a lettuce leaf, roll in a bit so the stuffing doesn't fall out, and enjoy!


 Even Piper enjoyed her more deconstructed wraps:


It was funny - I gave her bits separately because I thought she would prefer it that way - but when she saw us wrapping ours up, she started to do the same thing with hers. Smart girl!


And if you have run out of lettuce leaves, you can eat the rest with some rice!

I do think I will make some adjustments to this the next time I make it - I would like it to be a bit saucier, so I think I will use 2 sauce packages next time. It could also be kicked up a notch in spice level - maybe a pinch or two of red pepper and maybe double the ginger? But all in all, everyone liked it and looks forward to having it again.