Wednesday, January 29, 2014

On My Needles: Onward, Climb, and The Baby's Blanket

Sunrising over our backyard

It is currently -7F here in our little part of Michigan, and that doesn't include the -30F windchill. The only proper thing to do is to surround myself in yarn, tea and maybe turn the oven on for some baking later.  I actually really love winter. But the winters you can participate in. Not so much the days where they warn you to not go outside for more than 5 minutes and your heating bill sky rockets to almost $300. Full of ice storms and wind sheers, power outages and dangerous roads. This kind of winter I would like to hit the fast forward button on. Thankfully though, I knit. And knitting really does make winter worth it. The cold air continues to push my motivation button, and I wish there were more hours in these short days.

So on my needles, keeping me busy as I am trapped inside...

Baby Girl Mowry's Blanket

The baby blanket is almost finished! I had to order more yarn because of the custimizations I made to the pattern, and those last 3 skeins arrived this afternoon! All of my notes can be found on Ravelry, but I will also do a post here with finished instructions for my alterations. I can't wait to finish it and have it all washed and cozy for her arrival in just 6 weeks! We attended our first birthing class last night and really enjoyed it. We are so happy we found a class that really seems to touch on everything that is important to us.  The excitement builds everyday as we get closer to meeting her!

After finishing the Spate mitts from Journey, I couldn't wait to get more of their projects on my needles. First off, I cast on for Onward. This pattern by Shannon Cook is simple, yet so satisfying and interesting. The shawl works up fairly big and in the book they have pictures of the model wearing it wrapped around her. So cozy! I thought it would double nicely has a nursing cover, and so I got to move it up higher on my priority-to-knit list.

This is the pattern I first really fell in love with from Journey. Jane Richmond  produced an incredibly simple pattern with such perfect accents (and color choices), that pretty much everyone on Ravelry has followed the pattern exactly, including the yarn choices! Simplicity makes these socks timeless and perfect.

And just for fun...I did turn on the oven! So I could make a batch of these granola bars from Isa Does It. They are vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
Recipe from Isa Does It
//Ingredients// makes 8 bars
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup crisp rice cereal (aka Rice Krispies)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Prep an 8-inch square pan with parchment and cooking spray.
In a medium size bowl, stir together peanut butter & syrups until smooth. Add in the oil, vanilla and salt and stir again. Mix in the oats and cereal. She suggest using your hands to knead it all together but I found my sturdy spatula worked just fine! Work in the peanuts and chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into your prepared pan and use wet hands to firmly pat the bars into the pan in an even layer. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool completely before depanning and cuttting. Can be stored by wrapping the bars individually in plastic wrap.