Yarn Along: The Midwife's Sunnyside

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: Baby Sunnyside
I'm doing a KAL with Tanis Fiber Arts. Participants can knit either the Lady Sunnyside or the Baby Sunnyside cardigan. Since the KAL only runs for a month, I picked the Baby cardigan because I knew there would be no way to finish an adult project in such a short amount of time. Now I'm not so sure I'll finish the Baby one by October 24th either! This pattern is giving me all kinds of grief. First I missed the buttonhole directions in the first 10 rows so I had to go back. Then I got into the stockinette section and forgot about knitting the first and last 5 stitches of each row. Fixed that. And then I realized that I added a m1l on 5 rows when I wasn’t supposed to. Arg! So, I frogged the entire project and started over fresh. So far I've been mistake free. While I enjoy a challenge, frogging is so disheartening, isn't it?
Pattern: Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee (free on Rav!)
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight in colorway Chestnut (I think this may be the most beautiful yarn I've ever knit with!)

Reading: The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain
I just finished this audiobook on the drive home yesterday. I spent many commutes with tears in my eyes. Such an emotional book! If I tell you what it's about, that will spoil the mystery but the story touches on deep friendships, a midwife's struggles, and the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. I highly recommend it!

What are you knitting/reading this week?

Wednesday Wake-Up

October 8th, 2014 at 7:03 a.m.

Running a bit late to work this morning but, as an unexpected reward, I got to enjoy this beautiful sunrise. The sun is sure taking her sweet time getting up these days, isn't she? I'm not looking forward to the short days ahead.


Autumn Weekend in the Northwoods

Last weekend Christian and I headed up to Bayfield, WI to enjoy the fall colors. We couldn't have asked for nicer weather! On Friday we loaded our bikes onto the ferry to Madeline Island. 

From the harbor we biked 7 miles to Big Bay State Park where we had a picnic then a short hiking trail took us along the beautiful shoreline. My brave husband even enjoyed a short swim in the 59 degree water!

On Saturday we hiked the Lakeshore Trail from Meyer's Beach (part of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore) where we quietly watched kayakers glide through the sea caves below us.

Hiking along the Lakeshore Trail - Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Looking out at Eagle Island - Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

In the afternoon we took a boat tour with the Sierra Club around the Apostle Islands and learned about the history of the park and current environmental threats to the area. 

Raspberry Lighthouse on Raspberry Island - Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

On Sunday we slowly worked our way toward home, stopping at lookouts and waterfalls along the way. 

St. Peter's Dome - Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Wren Falls - Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Dells of the Eau Claire River
Dells of the Eau Claire River

Gosh, I love Wisconsin!


Winston's Birthday

This guy just turned 7. Or, at least, that's what age we're calling him. Since he was a stray we have no idea what age he really is. In any case, celebrating his birthday means that he's been a part of our family for a year and a half now. Seems like he's been with us forever. What a good dog!


Creepy-Crawly Invasion

I know it's a little early for Halloween but our house is being invaded by creepy-crawlies. For a few weeks we've been finding millipedes here and there in the house. We just squish them and toss 'em in the trash. No big deal, right?

And then, last night we were invaded! There were hundreds by our back doorway! I am totally grossed out. 

Christian has been finding them here and there in the basement too but the majority of them are outside trying to find their way in. I need to stop them before that happens! Today I'm going to sprinkle DE around on the concrete and hopefully that will stop them. Normally, creepy-crawlies don't bother me but when there's hundreds of them... Yuck. Just YUCK!


Yarn Along: Mystery Beast

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: A Mystery Gift
I'm still working on a surprise Christmas gift. I just started the third skein and I'm halfway done with the final chart. The end is in sight!
Pattern: Check out my Rav page. (I know the gift recipient isn't on Rav so I'm safe sharing it.)
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish in Colorway Goldrush Tonal

Reading: An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz
I'm only a few pages into this book but if it's as good as Rabinowitz's other books, I know I'll love it. I actually got to visit Cockscomb Basin in Belize a few years back where the author established the world's first jaguar preserve. Jaguar is one of my favorite books of all time and it was so cool to visit the different sites that are talked about in the book and to meet some of the local Mayans as well!

FO: Toddler Hat
I knit this little hat for Christian's cousin who is expecting her first baby (a boy!) in November. I couldn't attend the baby shower but sent this in the mail. I love how it turned out!
Pattern: The base of the hat loosely follows the Tiger Stamped hat pattern by Kate Oates. The motif is my own design.
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in colorways 859 & 888.

FO: Shoulder Cape
This knit is pretty special because it's made entirely with my own handspun yarn! As soon as I slip it over my shoulders I can feel the warmth envelope me. Isn't wool amazing? I added the stripe to the pattern for a little extra pop. I wish I would have made the stripe a little wider but, oh well.
Pattern: Shoulder Cape by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: My own handspun!

What are you knitting/reading this week?

PS - Poor Winston couldn't figure out why I would leave him inside while I was taking photos out on the deck.


When life gives you bad beer, make bread!

No matter how bad it tastes, I just can't bring myself to dump a bad beer down the drain. We've had some gross beer hanging out in the back of our fridge for longer than I care to admit. I needed to make room for Octoberfest beer (my fav!) so I decided to finally do something with the bad stuff. 

I tried out a new-to-me Gluten-Free Beer Bread recipe and I couldn't believe how great the loaf turned out. Check out this beauty!

Super moist and not at all dense or crumbly like so many gluten-free breads turn out. This is a great sandwich bread. (I added 1 Tbsp. of yeast to the mix and didn't use the milk and poppy seeds on top.)

Next time you have bad beer lurking in your fridge, think twice about sending it down the drain. Make something yummy instead!


Swallowtails - Full Circle

Remember the caterpillars my mom made me pick out of the compost bin?

That then turned into bark-like chrysalises?

Look at the beautiful creature that emerged!

A true wonder of the natural world.