Saturday, April 29, 2017

Stitchy Saturday Heart Vine Lace Panel Stitch

Hello friends,

I hope you are doing well. I found this stitch on Pinterest yesterday and loved it! it is called the Heart Vine Lace Panel stitch it is so nice with hearts running up the more repetitions you make in the ten row pattern. I made a mistake on the second repeat which is why it is not a perfect a heart as the first one. I might redo the stitch and retake a photo. I love how the heart turned out on the bottom, so defined and lovely. The pattern was a little tricky but I think with practice it would get easier and fun to see the hearts emerge the more you knit.

 Heart Vine Lace Panel stitch



Pattern:
Multiples of of 9 stitches, 10 rows make up the pattern 
I knit two stitches at the end and beginning of the rows in my stitch swatch pictured above. 

Row 1: k1, yo, k1, k2tog, p1, ssk, k1, yo, k1 
Row 2 and all even rows: p4, k1, p4 
Row 3:  k1, yo, k1, k2tog, p1, ssk, k1, yo, k1 (same as row 1)
Row 5: k2, k2tog, yo, p1, yo, ssk, k2 
Row 7: k1, k2tog, yo, p1, yo, ssk, k1
Row 9: k2tog, yo, k2, p1, k2, yo, ssk   
Row 10: p4, k1, p4

Pattern used from Knitting Bee 

What I thought: 
I like the stitch pattern, it can be a little difficult to knit up at times but it has a beautiful finish. I like the hearts and I think it would make a lovely Valentine's gift to knit up a scarf with this lace stitch or add this stitch onto a project to add the heart detail.

Knitter level:
I would say intermediate because it requires, yarn overs, slip stitches, and knitting two together. There are 10 rows in total and the even rows are the same. The pattern is harder to get in the rhythm of knitting compared to some others that are two or three row repeats. I had to always check the pattern to knit instead of just being able to knit out of memory. The even rows were simpler just being purl and knit. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is always nice to read your comments and get your feedback. Have you knitting this stitch pattern before? if so, what did you knit with the pattern? 
If you would like to see other Stitchy Saturday posts you can click here.

Thank you and have a great day!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Michael's Haul, Knitting Updates, and a Recipe to Share

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I just got back from a lunch and then shopping trip to Michael's craft store. It is beautiful outside today I just want to stay outside but I have some things to do in the apartment today like blog and do some cleaning.
I went to Michael's craft store today and I was going for the purpose of buying another fitness insert for my Happy Planner. I did buy it, and another planner for recipes, and some Patons Astra yarn in the color of "hot lilac".  I am going to knit something special for Mother's day, but it is a surprise, so I won't be posting it for awhile. I am excited to use the recipe insert in my planner, I have been more interested in trying new recipes and cooking lately and thought it would be fun to try it out. I will share a page with you once I have filled one out!

Happy Planner's inserts recipe and fitness editions, and Patons Astro yarn 
I have finished knitting the first sock using Bernat Sox yarn, and I have started on the second andhave made some progress since Tuesday's post. I realized I knitted the front piece of the sweater wrong and had to frog quite a bit. I knitted too much before the neck shaping part by accident. I frogged the part I knitted too much of and will do the neck shaping right after the armhole shaping instead of knitting the pattern for 24 inches like the back piece. I read: "front: Work as for back until armhole shaping is finished, ending with a WS row" as do exactly as the armhole shaping says and it had said to "DEC 1 st each side every RS row 6 times. 49 (55, 61) sts remain. Continue working in pattern until piece measures 22 (23, 24) inches ending with a WS row." That's where I continued but that was only for the back piece so I ended up with another back piece. I had not compared the two piece at all and they are the exact same length now without the neckline. If you are interested in the sweater pattern, it is 3TimesChic on the Knitty.com website.  I have found the pattern to be easy to follow until this point, but I just need to read more carefully next time.

First sock done and second in progress!

Had to frog some of the sweater, but will start the neckline now!
Yarn I bought today at Michael's for a secret Mother's day gift!

I made cauliflower pizza last week for dinner on Thursday night. I had wanted to try making this for some time. I am on a diet, or nutrition plan, which calls for no grain at dinner. This is the Cityline Weight Loss Challenge if anyone is interested in participating. The official challenge actually ends next Wednesday on Cityline when the "Winners" or four people selected to go in the challenge reveal themselves and discuss their results. I will be continuing along with many others as I have not reached my goal weight yet, but I am on my way. I am so excited to see how they all look and I am hoping that I am down even more by then. So far I have lost 11 pounds since starting and 11 inches (from chest, waist, and hips, combined). So anyways, this program has a no grain at dinner rule so I follow it most nights and I cheat maybe a couple times each week because it is hard to have no grains if out for dinner or visiting people. I tried this cauliflower pizza and it was delicious! I made one for my boyfriend and one for myself but we both agreed that one would work for both of us with a side salad next time because it was more filling than we thought it would be. That works for me because it takes quite awhile to make two crusts and put in the oven to cook the crust then again after toppings are put on top. I followed a recipe I found on YouTube by Chef Buck . It is called "the best cauliflower pizza crust recipe that won't fall apart" and it did not fall apart! He says that the Parmesan cheese you add to the crust keeps it together than any other cheese he's tried. I bought fresh Parmesan and used the whole thing, so there is a lot of cheese required just a warning.

The crust when I pulled it out of the oven after cooking for 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit 

The pizza once I put the toppings on and cooked for 10 minutes in the oven - Yummy!

Cauliflower Pizza (from Chef Buck on YouTube)

Ingredients:
2 cups of grated cauliflower
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
1 egg beaten
Parchment paper to line your baking sheet
Pizza toppings (pizza sauce, vegetables, pepperoni etc)


How to Cook the A Cauliflower Crust Pizza Recipe:
  1. Grate fresh cauliflower florets into small piece
  2. Heat the grated cauliflower in a skillet--don't add oil or water--use medium heat, not too hot. Stir until the cauliflower has dried out somewhat, it won't dry completely, but the dryer the better. Heat at least 10 minutes, just enough to evaporate the moisture, not enough to color or cook down.
  3. Remove skillet from burner and set aside to allow cauliflower to slightly cool.
  4. In a bowl, beat 1 egg.
  5. Add grated Parmesan cheese to the egg. You can substitute, asiago or romano cheeses, just be sure you use a hard cheese for best results.
  6. Add the cauliflower to the bowl and mix well with the egg and cheese and form into a ball.
  7. Spread parchment paper onto a baking sheet. It is important to use parchment paper, otherwise your crust may tear when you try to pick it up (and also be sure not to mix up parchment paper with wax paper!)
  8. Place the balled cauliflower and cheese onto the parchment paper and spread out into a pizza shape about ¼ inch thick. The crust will be about 10" across. Do not make the edges of the crust too thin; keep the size of the crust uniform for even cooking. The cauliflower will darken quite rapidly around the edges if too thin.
  9. Place crust into an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook approx. 15-20 minutes until the crust has colored and firmed up.
  10. Remove cauliflower pizza crust from the oven and top with your favorite pizza sauce. Use a marinara sauce, pesto, white sauce, or whatever. Top with your favorite pizza toppings.
  11. Return pizza to the oven and continue to cook at 400 F for about 10 minutes until the toppings are done, watch the edges of the cauliflower crust; the edges will darken too much if overcooked.
  12. Remove the pizza from the oven and set on a cooling rack if you want to, but not needed. I did not do this step and my crust was a bit soggy underneath, but not too bad. 
Enjoy!

A cauliflower pizza crust will not rise since there is no yeast involved, and since the crust is entirely cauliflower, cheese, and egg, it will not achieve the same crispness as a thin dough pizza. But the pizza will stay together just fine, and will taste very much like a pizza. 


The video Chef Buck made is very helpful to watch beforehand and it really helped me to know I was doing the right thing because this was all new to me having never made pizza before!

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! if you liked this post and want to check in to see what I am working on next, you can subscribe to my blog through Bloglovin' and Google Followers!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rainy Day Sipping Tea and Kntting Socks

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. It is a rainy day here in Toronto and it is so dark in the room as I type this. I like these dark days sometimes, it feels cozier, but it also makes me a little sleepy and I just feel like relaxing instead of being productive. But I am usually motivated to write my blog entries, I love to share what I am working on with all of you!

 I finished knitting the first sock yesterday. I am using Bernat Sox yarn with size US 2 (2.75 mm) double-pointed knitting needles. I am using the Bernat Basic Socks pattern which was provided on the Bernat Sox label when I purchased the yarn. I am enjoying knitting with this yarn, it is so soft and light. The sock is very comfortable and soft when I put it on.  I cast on the second sock yesterday, and I have been knitting the second sock today.  I have not made new progress in the way of my sweater, but I will be picking that up again sometime this week. I will also be cozying up today and reading The Nest by Cynthia D'aprix Sweeney and The little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.

One sock done, one to go! 

Joining along with Frontier Dreams in Crafting On

Thank you for visiting! if you want to read more posts on my blog and not miss anything, you can follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers!

Have a great day!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stitchy Saturday Arrowhead Lace stitch

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well.  This week I found this Arrowhead Lace stitch pattern and thought it looked so beautiful. I loved knitting this lace stitch and seeing the "arrows" begin to appear in the knitting was wonderful. I cast on 21 stitches and the pattern calls for multiples of 10 + 1,  so I repeated the pattern once. There is also an arrow going downwards in the middle between the other arrows going upwards because of this repetition. I think this pattern would be lovely for a scarf, for the bottom of a sweater, or whatever you choose to add a pretty lace detail. I am realizing that I really love knitting lace patterns, they always look so lovely and delicate and it is always such a nice surprise at the end to see the pattern take shape.

Arrowhead Lace Stitch



Pattern:

Cast on a multiple of ten stitches, plus one (11, 21, 31, 41, and so on).

Row 1 (WS): Purl

Row 2 (RS): K1, *[yo, ssk] twice, k1, [k2tog, yo] twice, k1; rep from * to end

Row 3: Purl

Row 4: K2, *yo, ssk, yo, sl 2 knitwise-k1-p2sso, yo, k2tog, yo, k3; rep from *, end last rep k2

Rep rows 1-4.

Pattern from Lion Brand website
Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is always a pleasure to read your comments and your feedback on the stitch patterns. I hope you give this lace stitch pattern a try! 

If you liked this post and want to be updated on when I post blog entries in the future, you can follow me on Bloglovin or Google Followers.  If you would like to see past "Stitchy Saturday" posts, you can click here.  

Have a great day! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Potting Plants and Some Knitting Updates

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. Today has been a dreary day, it has been dark and raining and windy all day. I decided it would be a good day to head over to Canadian Tire to get some supplies to pot some plants today. I bought some potting soil, river stones, gardening gloves, and a new pot. It is the first time I have potted a plant properly instead of just sticking a plant that is in its small pot inside of another larger pot. I laid down some brown bags, pulled on my pink gardening gloves(they have to be pink!), and then got to work.

I got a small bag of Promix potting mix and a bag of river stones for drainage
I decided to move my Rhoeo plant over to a larger pot because it has not grown for some time and probably needs more space to spread its roots. 

Rhoeo moving day 
Rhoeo and Peace Lily in their new pots 
As you can see, the Rhoeo plant is now in a much larger pot and already looks happier and not so squished. The Peace lily behind it has been potted as well. I put the river stones in the bottom, about 2 inches of stones until I felt like it was enough for drainage and then filled it with potting soil.  I also moved over my Aloe plant, that had been in the small green pot that is to the right of the cream colored pot. It also looks like it has much more space now.

Aloe plant has a new permanent home 

Different angle of the Aloe plant. I think it is such a cool looking plant.
Below are photos of all the plants I currently have and their new homes for now. I think they look a lot happier in their new pots. I did not want to disrupt the succulents and the African violets and they seem fine where they are.

Rhoeo in new pot

Succulents

African violets, they have lost most of their flowers but the one in the middle has new flowers sprouting!

All of the living room windowsill gang
Also in the living room, but on a side table, peace lily doing well potted in this adorable pot I love!

The kitchen twosome, the bamboo plant and the aloe plant! 

Knitting!
I have been working on knitting the sock and am almost finished. I am almost done knitting the foot of the sock then once I am done the 6 inches, I will be knitting the toe part of the sock and begin decreasing to shape the toe. I will probably be sharing photos of the sock next week when it is completed. I know I have already posted so many pictures of the sock and sweater by now. I am hoping to start a new project soon as well once I am finished the socks. The sweater is also coming along, I have finished most of it and now I am onto the neckline.

Thank you so much for visiting! I hope I did not bore you too much talking about my plants and I hope you enjoyed the potting plants post. If you have any questions about potting plants or what I did in the process please feel free to ask in the comments. It was my first time so I just learned as I went along! If you liked this post please follow me for more updates at my Bloglovin page, or through Google Followers.

Have a great day!!



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Crafting on... Knitting and a Book of Hygge

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I had a wonderful weekend visiting family and had a lovely Easter seeing everyone. I managed to score quite a few chocolates too, between the two of us, my boyfriend and I have a lot of chocolate to eat! I will definitely have to try to limit myself and not go too crazy with the chocolate!

I received the Lindt bunny and the Ferrero Rocher bunny for Easter
  I have been working on knitting my sweater lately. Yesterday and this morning and afternoon I made more of a dent in my knitting of the sweater. I finished the knitting required past the armhole shaping and next up is working on the shoulders and neckline. I am looking forward to knitting on with the sweater and learning new things about knitting the neckline. My sock is also coming along and I am almost finished the first one.

My progress on the front piece of the 3timeschic sweater.
I have not shared my reading for awhile and reading is a big part of my "keeping calm" regime along with "crafting on". My sister has recommended and lent me yet another book called "The Little Book of Hygge - The Danish Way to Live Well" by Meik Wiking. I am not very far along in the book yet but I like the style of writing so far and I am on the topic of lighting being very important to cultivate Hygge which is a sense of cosiness and warmth for the Danes. I love this because I am always looking for more ways to be cosier, more relaxed, and peaceful and that is what the Danes do so well, I try to cultivate Hygge by knitting, and reading under comfortable blankets, sipping tea and surrounding myself with people who appreciate me. I am hoping to learn some new ways to cultivate Hygge in my life and have a better understanding of how important it is in our lives. I am also still reading the Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, I am finding the characters relationships interesting and will read on to find out more about them.

Knitting + tea + reading = Hygge!

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for the link up Crafting On.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! I am happy that you could join me. What are you working on and reading this week?

Have a great day!



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Knitted Bunny for Easter and a Muffin Recipe to Share

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I am happy it is the weekend now, since tomorrow is Good Friday here in Canada. This weekend coming up will be a busy one for me. I am visiting family and my boyfriend's family on Friday. Saturday, and Sunday for Easter dinners and lunches. It will be nice to catch up with them and see them all again. 

Since it is Easter weekend coming up, I just had to knit something for Easter! I always get the urge to knit something for the holiday coming up, I feel like I am celebrating it more. Does anyone else feel this way? This pattern was so easy, it is simply making a bunny out of a knitted square. I got my instructions from Kristen at Studio Knit. The visual instructions made it easy to make one of my own. Hope you try to make one too! You can visit her website to find the instructions if you are interested in making a bunny of your own. There is still some time left before Easter Sunday if you want to make a cute bunny for a child in your family, or yourself, and add it as a decoration in your home. 


This little guy was really easy to make! I cast on 30 stitches using Craft Yarn with size 5.0 mm US 8 needles. I decided to make this bunny last night and I am already finished!


When I sewed the triangle on the squarre and put the polyester stuffing in place, I was so surprised how easy the bunny begins to take shape! it was so simple. I liked adding more and more stuffing to make him extra squishy and plump.

I made the tail by casting on four stitches onto a circular needle, then increasing one stitch each round until I got to 8 stitches on each needle. Then I began to decrease and I turned it inside out because I had been using knit stitch and had the purl stitches on the outside. Then I stuffed the tail with polyester stuffing and sewed it up and onto the back of the bunny.


The bunny doesn't quite sit up on his own because of its rounded bottom, so with the help of one of my many knitted swatches (this is the spring stitch) he was able to sit up. I added some Mini Eggs in for the photo and of course I ate them afterwards. I bought a bag of Mini Eggs today and I had a few handfuls they are too good!


I made the bunny's face using thread and embroidered the eyes and nose.

I am always looking for healthy snack options (when I am not eating Mini Eggs at Easter), and I came across this recipe from the blog My Whole Food Life for Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal muffins. I know more banana bread! I love banana bread and this recipe is a lot healthier (way less sugar) than the last banana loaf mix I posted about a few weeks ago. I like that this recipe also could be made with ingredients I already had at home. I found the recipe and was able to whip these up in no time.  They were delicious, my boyfriend and I love them! 

How the muffins turned out! 

They were so delicious, they smelled of apple and banana and cinnamon

Recipe: (from My Whole Food Life)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas mashed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 flax eggs (or real eggs work too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In one bowl , mix the dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
  4. Add dry to wet and mix only until combined.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips or raisins.
  6. Spoon batter into lined or greased muffin pans. I used standard sized muffin pans and silicone liners .
  7. Bake for about 11-14 minutes.
  8. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Thank you so much for visiting it is always a pleasure to read your comments as well. I hope that you liked this post and if you are celebrating have yourself a wonderful Easter celebration! If you liked this blog post and want to follow me, you can follow me through Bloglovin' or Google Followers! 

Have a great day!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Crafting On - Sock Knitting

Hello friends,


I hope you are all doing well. I am so happy with this Spring weather that has finally appeared in Toronto. I have made a lot more progress on knitting the sock,. I am finished the heel now and I am working on the foot of the sock. I have been following the Bernat Sox basic sock knitting pattern.  It is a good pattern to follow with clear instructions and great for a beginner to intermediate knitter just learning to knit socks. I am enjoying working with the fine yarn knitting socks for a change. I am used to knitting chunkier socks for the winter.



I have been knitting more of the front piece of the sweater and I will be posting some more updates and photos of my progress on Thursday.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On

Thank you for visiting my blog! if you enjoyed this post and want to follow me for future posts and keep updated, you can follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers.

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Stitchy Saturday: Rickrack Rib Stitch Pattern

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I have been feeling tired after getting back from our trip to the Dominican Republic. I guess it takes time after a vacation to get back into the regular routine. This week I found this Rickrack rib stitch pattern and I thought it was such a fun variation on the classic rib stitch. I followed Verypinkknits tutorial on YouTube and found it pretty easy to follow. Here are the details!

What stitch:
This week I tried the Rickrack Rib Stitch




Pattern:

Row 1: P1, *Ktbl the second stitch on the left needle (leaving that stitch on the needle), K the first stitch, pull both stitches off the left needle, P1*
Row 2: K1, *P into the second stitch on the left needle (leaving that stitch on the needle), P the first stitch, pull both stitches off the left needle, K1*
Repeat these two rows for the pattern.
To bind off, use Row 1 in the pattern and every time there are two stitches, bind off.
Pattern used from VeryPinkKnits website 

What I thought: 
I started this pattern using small needles (4.5 mm) and a thinner yarn. I decided to switch to size 13 needles and a chunky yarn and it made it much easier to knit into the back of the stitch. It was very difficult with the smaller needles because I had knitted too tightly and it was not loose enough to get into the back of the knit stitch. I liked this stitch I think it looks so interesting and I was happy that the zig-zags were visible in the photo above. I think it would be fun to use this stitch for a scarf or for a hat. Verypinkknits also shows you how to use this pattern in the round I find this very helpful in case I want to use this stitch in a hat one day.

Knitter level: 
Intermediate: I set this as intermediate because although there are only two rows, some of the stitches can be a little more challenging. I think once a knitter has more experience with the basics then this pattern will be easier.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is always a pleasure to read your comments and your feedback on the stitch patterns. Have you knitted this stitch before and what did you make with it? If you liked this post and want to be updated on when I post Stitchy Saturday posts in the future, you can follow me on Bloglovin or Google Followers.  If you would like to see past Stitchy Saturday posts you can click here.

Have a great day! 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Trip to the Dominican Republic and Knitting Updates

Hello Friends!

I hope you are all doing well. Yesterday I returned from a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I stayed at the Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia resort for five days with my boyfriend. It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed the time to kick back, enjoy the sunshine, beach, pools and good food. We went on a Buggy excursion as well which was so much fun!

Me relaxing on the beach!

I loved the umbrellas on the beach
Me driving a buggy exploring Dominican  Republic off the resort
We needed to cover our nose and mouths with these scarves to protect us from dirt that flew up from the buggy in front of us

The drinks were so good. I am sipping on a "Banana Mama" here. Delicious!
A beautiful panorama taken by my boyfriend at the beach

A photo of us on our way to the beach 

The Macao beach
As for knitting, I brought my sock on vacation with good intentions to knit by the beach and pool, but I realized I forgot the fourth double pointed needle! I was so disappointed that I could not knit for our whole vacation and also get cute pictures knitting by the beach. I knitted some more of the sock today and am close to reaching the heel. I am still working on the sweater, I need to knit more of the body of the front piece then I am onto knitting the neckline.


I did do a lot of reading on my trip and was reading more of The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. I loved knitting by the beach with the sounds of the ocean waves in the background. I am becoming more interested in the characters in The Nest, especially Leo who seems to be the center of a lot of their family drama. but I won't give anything away! I will keep on reading, I think I should be done by next week to have a new book to share with you.
Doing some reading on the beach 
Thank you so much for visiting my blog! have you gone to the Dominican Republic before? I would love to read your comments! I will be posting on Saturday for Stitchy Saturday which is a post of a new stitch I have tried during the week every week. I am off to look for stitches to try out. If you liked my blog post and want to keep updated, please follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers.





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