Sprout’s Pink Mittens for ’19

Progression Info
Started – September 5
Completed – September 11
Duration – about a week

Pattern Info
Basic Mitten by Ann Budd
The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns
Size – 4-6 years
Gauge – 8 stitches/inch

I used twisted 1×1 rib instead of plain and changed colors after the cuffs.

Yarn Info
West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply
75% wool, 25% nylon
Colorway – sweet pea (solid)
0.18 skeins = 78.7 yds used
Colorway – peony (variegated)
0.09 skeins = 39.4 yds used

Photos

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Be a Rock Mover

“Put your shoes on. We are going outside now.”

“You push the stroller, and I’ll push the wheelbarrow.”

“Mama! Wait for me. Don’t go so fast.”

“Okay, kids. I need you to look for rocks about this size, but they can be any shape. When you find one, put it in the wheelbarrow. I’ll help you. We will work together. I want to fill this wheelbarrow with rocks this size.”

“The wheelbarrow is half-full! We are doing well. Good job. Thank you for helping me.”

It was about this time that Sprout looked up at me, dirt on her face and hands, and asked, “Mama, why are we putting these rocks in that wheelbarrow?”

Ah, the faith of a child. The faith of a little rock mover doing what appeared to be a meaningless task without question, without hesitation.

“Well, we need to load them in here to take them elsewhere because they are small, but heavy. It would take many trips if we carried them in our arms.”

“Oh. Okay.”

We continued loading, filling the barrow about halfway. It was as heavy as I could manage at that point, especially as we had to travel slightly uphill to our destination.

“No, children. We are going this way. Follow me, please.”

We arrived at the spot where my new flower beds would be.

“Okay, here’s what we are going to do. I’ll lay out some larger rocks every so often to make the shape I want, and you two can fill in with the smaller ones. Place them as close and tightly together as you are able. Do not worry about the size of each rock or fitting them together perfectly. I will come back and fill any gaps that you accidentally leave.”

We began laying the rock border for my new flower bed.

“Mama, why are we putting these rocks here in the grass?” she said with a confused look.

More faith. A little rock mover tasked to lay out the rocks. She did so without hesitation in precisely the manner I had described. She stopped, wondering what the purpose of this job was — not questioning the job itself, just desiring a deeper understanding of the puzzle of this work.

“We are making me a couple of flower beds. I want the rocks to go around the edge like in that space over there. Eventually, we will add mulch. Without the rocks, the mulch would spill out all over the grass, and the edge would not be neat. With the rocks, Daddy can spray to kill the grass and make a neat edge.”

“Oh. Why do the rocks need to be so close together?” she asked as she carefully laid another.

“So that the mulch won’t slip through any large cracks.”

The faith of my little rock mover shined that day.

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)

Be a rock mover. Have faith.

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:8 (NIV)

Yes, ask your questions. Ask with the faith you have. Seek and knock for answers that strengthen your faith. But do not hesitate to step through the door, make the call, answer the pressing in your heart, do the impossible, perform the task.

Be a rock mover of great faith.

Orange Leilani Doily

I’m crocheting doilies in a myriad of colors for a future bigger project. This is the first one.

Progression Info

Started – August 16

Completed – August 29

Duration – about 2 weeks

Pattern Info

Leilani A Heavenly Flower by Ramalakshmi Pasumarthy

Ravelry

Yarn Info

Monaco Ombré Crochet Cotton #8

100% cotton

Colorway – orange

124.7 yds = 0.65 skeins used

Photos

Pink Tokerau Shawl

Progression

Started – July 7

Completed – August 16

Duration – about 6 weeks

Pattern Info

Tokerau Shawl by Francoise Danoy

Knotions.com

This is a good pattern for two coordinating yarns like this, a solid and a variegated. The bud stitch pattern looks wonderful in a variegated colorway and the lace really pops in a solid.

The pattern is well-written. The only difficult bit was the picot bind-off — well, not difficult so much as tedious.

It’s also an interesting shape. Not quite a crescent, but also not a triangle. I would have appreciated more (some?) description of the shape in the blocking instructions. I found it odd to pin out not knowing where the edges were heading!

Yarn Info

West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply

75% wool, 25% nylon

(35% Bluefaced Leicester)

Colorway – sweet pea

0.63 skeins = 275.3 yds used

Colorway – peony

0.91 skeins = 398.1 yds used

This yarn was sent in a care package by a dear friend when LW was born. I originally thought to knit a couple pairs of socks, but when I found this shawl pattern, I thought it just looked too perfect to pass up! I’ve never used anything specifically labeled BFL, I don’t think. To me, all wool feels about the same 😅 But this was enjoyable to work with, and I’m excited to wear the shawl this fall and winter.

Photos

Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna

Need a new Meatless Monday recipe? This is a good one. I adapted this recipe from a spinach lasagna roll recipe I found and tried.

Ingredients

    10-12 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
    1/2 lb lasagna noodles, broken in half, cooked halfway
    16 oz small curd cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese)
    16 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
    24 oz pasta or marinara sauce (about 1 quart)
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1 tsp garlic powder

Process

  1. Spray a 5-6-quart slow cooker crock with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cottage (or ricotta) cheese, half of the Parmesan, and the seasonings.
  3. Add about 1/4 of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the crock. Layer 1/3 of the noodles over the sauce (about 6 lasagna halves). Pour over another 1/4 of the sauce. Spread over 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Loosely spread 1/2 of the spinach over. Then repeat layers of noodle, sauce, cheese, and spinach. Top with final 1/3 of noodles, 1/4 of sauce, and then the reserved half of Parmesan.
  4. Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.

Tips

  1. If you forget to thaw the spinach ahead of time (ahem…), dump the bag out into a colander. Rinse with hot tap water briefly (about 30-60 seconds). Then, to drain, squeeze the spinach very well and place in a separate bowl.
  2. To doctor a jar of store-bought marinara (you know, if it’s on super mega sale and so you buy a dozen jars only to discover it’s rather sweet and fairly bland…), add directly to the jar 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1 tsp red wine vinegar. Stir with a butter knife or tea spoon. Ah, much better. 😉
  3. If your family appreciates a gooier lasagna, substitute shredded mozzarella for the Parmesan (about 2 cups total).
  4. Don’t like spinach? Missing the meat? Substitute 1 lb cooked, crumbled, and drained Italian sausage or ground beef for the spinach. Or 1/2 lb for half of the spinach.