Mrs. Autumnblossom!

I had a very exciting winter! On Christmas Eve I accepted my boyfriend’s proposal and we planned a wedding to happen over spring break! We looked at a summer wedding but so many people already had vacations or other things already booked and it is so hot over here in the summer that our options were to either wait until next winter or get married very quickly

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The theme was birds and branches, nice springy colors and what not. We were married in a lovely chapel at the local University and had a very nice reception.

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We honeymooned in Hawaii.

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I am truly fortunate to be married to such a kind, loving, and patient man. I know people talk about how their wedding was the happiest day of their lives (except for having a baby, maybe) and I was on the bitter bus and would roll my eyes at that. Well, it’s true. It really was the most exciting, happiest day of my life. Other than some parking difficulties because of a festival and my dad not showing up it was a fairly stress free and exciting and joyful day. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Gemini Top

I knit this tank top using the Gemini pattern, written by Jane Richmond. You can find the pattern on Ravelry or on Knitty. I modified this top by removing the sleeves and shortening the torsos bit because I am petite. Normally the things I knit are not things I would wear but I really like how this turned out and can see myself wearing it in the summer. Naturally, this is the first chilly weekend of Autumn so I will likely not wear this until Spring.

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Life continues on. Work is great, then it’s stressful, then it’s great. The city I live in continues to become more and more dangerous. I am so pleased to have finished knitting something. I did not accomplish much this Summer, things just kept being postponed.

I hope all of you have a lovely Autumn. I am thinking that Darby might need a new sweater because the house is chillier than my apartment ever was.

How to make a travel journal

I made a travel journal for our trip to Europe last year. Then I left it at home.

Step one, get a journal and a map of the place you are going.

Cut two pieces of map about an inc bigger all the way around than the journal.

Modge podge the cover.

I put the back on first and then trimmed where it overlapped the front, realizing later that I didn’t need to do that.

Then I put on the front side and used a blow dryer to speed up the drying because we were leaving the next morning.

Flip it over and trim the corners so when you fold them in you don’t get a crease there.

Fold over and glue.

I used scrapbook paper for the liners.

Clara

Well, it has been a long while since I last posted. I have not been writing patterns, living in this hot climate means that Darby rarely needs sweaters and work and travel has kept me quite busy.

I found some knitting that I have not posted about on a camera that was somehow not stolen when we were robbed a couple months ago. I was very fortunate that much of my jewelry was at my place and not Bill’s so that I still have it. My laptop and ipod and some jewelry at Bill’s were not so lucky. You really feel violated when the place you feel safe in has been ransacked. All my pictures are gone, that part really hurts.

Anywho, I saw this awesome advertisement in a knitting magazine and wondered for years what the pattern was and where to get it.

It is beautiful, right?

As it turns out, the pattern is by Isager and is only available through their website. In Danish. For 66 DKK, which must mean probably 80 or 90 US dollars.

I yearned after it for years.

Finally, our knitting group went to Stitches West, a knitting extravaganza held once a year not overly far from where we lived. At Stitches west was Isager, selling their yarn and if you bought enough they would give you a free pattern. Finally, I was able to get my pattern for Clara.

Clara comes in two sizes and I chose to do the larger as many Ravelry members who had knit it noted that the opening for the head is way to small to actually put over the head of a baby. In turn I made the opening in the back larger and added an extra button to close it. Usually I give my knitting away, I just like making things. This however, I am keeping in my knitting hope chest just in case I ever have my own little girl to swaddle in handmade love.

The Best Peanut Brittle Recipe Ever

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I have the best peanut brittle recipe ever. I have been using it for 3 years (I think) and have always received compliments for it. The reason this brittle is so amazing us because it is airy, light, fluffy and melts in your mouth. This recipe is not mine, I did not make it, it is from the back of a Gurley’s Golden Recipe bag of Spanish peanuts.
I’m actually posting this on my blog so that if there is a shortage of peanuts next year I can use any brand to make the brittle (although Gurley’s really are a better quality that others I have tried)

Materials: 4 quart saucepan, measuring cups and spoons, a wooden spoon for stirring, candy thermometer, greased cookie sheet
Ingredients: 1 cup corn syrup (I use light), I cup sugar, 1tbsp butter, 1/4 tsp salt. 2 cups raw Spanish peanuts (I sometimes substitute raw almonds roughly chopped) and 2 tsp fresh baking soda (the fresher the fluffier the brittle)
Directions: Grease cookie sheet and set aside. Combine the corn syrup, sugar, butter, and salt n the pan and cook over warm until the sugar looks kinda dissolved. Add the peanuts and keep stirring Neil the whole thing gets to 290 degrees (or until a drop of it gets crunchy if you drop it not a bowl of cool water) then take it off the stove and add the baking soda. Stir the baking soda in o it all foams up and then pour it onto the greased cookie sheet and let it cool.
Once it’s cool break it up and give it to the people you love.

The reason this is so great is that the baking soda makes it foam up and there are all these little air bubbles in it so it’s not overly hard to bite into or break up. Some peanut brittle is like trying to eat shards of glass and this is so much nicer.

I hope you all give this a try and enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks to Gurley’s for publishing this originally on their bags.

Cold Toes and 8 Legged Creatures of the Deep

I am not posting on this nearly as often as I should. Here is what has been going on in my life. I came back from Europe, got settled into living with a roommate, started working at a charter school, found out my roommate put her house up for sale, found a new place to live and moved again.
Moving stresses me out.
In better news, I see you all are going through my patterns looking to keep your puppies warm this winter. With that in mind I will make some new (and hopefully more interesting) patterns to keep you occupied and your four legged babies warm.
I have been knitting. Not as much as I would normally because it’s been hot out. Now, however, it is cold. Maybe not to the standards of half the world but when it’s 63 degrees in my little space I am freezing. You can imagine that tiny little Darby is freezing too. Because it’s so darn cold I had to make myself some slippers. Much of my yarn is packed away (I’ve moved 2x thus far this year) so I’m working with all the wool-ease I’ve had lying around for years.
After much searching through Ravelry for a free pattern that wasn’t by DROPS I selected Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamora (Ravelry link).
They were a quick make, maybe 3 hours. I held 2 strands of Wool-Ease together throughout and also used a smaller needle (size 5) because everything else was packed away.
I have also been working on an octopus (Ollie the Octopus by Lion Brand Yarn) for new-to-the-world baby Calista per her parents request for things with skulls and squids. I’m 5 legs in and have 3 more to go plus eyes and the rest of the stuffing. I haven’t worked on it in a while and need to get it finished so she can enjoy it. Again, I get to use my acrylic that’s been hanging around forever. I really need to bust that stash and get on to knitting better things. You luck viewers even get to check out my favorite blanket, knit on for over a year before it was finished. Next blanket shall be a chevron blanket.


I’m looking forward to going to Disneyland with boyfriend Bill soon, I’m pretty excited. I’m super excited, actually. I’m going to ride Space Mountain and the tea cups and the carousel and Pirates of the Caribbean and eat churros and generally be a total kid again.

Guess where I went (and other good news).

Guess where I went with Billy.

They have telephone booths...

and they have castles...

They also have large stones arranged in circles for mysterious reasons.

There is guinness too.

We backpacked for 3 weeks all over the UK and Ireland. In other awesome news I got a job literally the day before we left. I had hoped for some other awesomeness to happen this summer but two awesome things is still pretty great. More pics and blogging later, plus a how-to for making your own travel journal.