Finally finished!

My moonflower rug is finally finished! I love how squishy it is (as do my cats.) I love the colors and the feel of it makes me smile when I get out of bed in the morning. Which is helpful because getting out of bed is NOT my favorite part of my day.

felted wool bedside rug

It’s not perfect. The second two flowers are much more warped than the first two. I think if my first had come out that lumpy I’d have figured out something was wrong and I needed to be knitting 6 petals, not 5. But there’s no frogging a felted project, and also I won’t be trying again because this put a serious dent in my colorful fiber collection (which was part of the goal.)

felted wool bedside rug

So I have a slightly uneven bedside rug. Life goes on, but now with warmer feet! And maybe after a year of my cats sleeping on it some of the wrinkles will be smoothed out.

(And yes, I should have gotten out the good camera for this FO photo shoot. But when I can’t even get daylight photos I start to get lazy…)

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Not an FO yet

I’ve been knitting away slowly on my moonflower rug, and I thought for sure I’d have a new Finished Object to share this week. I finished knitting the 4th flower, I even added a diamond to the edge of one petal to fill the gap in the center. While it was felting I admitted to myself that if I planned a 5th the rug might never be finished. I’ve also used up most of the colored fibers I chose for this project and was left with mostly brown and white.

So that just leave the seaming, right?

felted rug in progress

I got this far into seaming before I admitted the last petal overlaps badly with one of the other flowers. I can manage a great deal of denial when it comes to floppy felted sewing.

So I had to rip all that out, and detach the flower tile before it, as well. I figured I must’ve attached it in the wrong spot to have everything line up that poorly.

felted rug bits

But now I that might not be the problem either. I think that flowers with 5 petals instead of 6 just don’t tesselate properly. So if you’re planning to work this pattern please knit 6 petals per flower like the directions tell you to!

felted rug in progress

Me? I’m going to fudge things. I can’t exactly frog now that everything is felted. And I don’t want all that gorgeous fiber going to waste. The rug is pinned now, and it mostly works. Some of those petals will never lie flat. But it’s a rug, not a sweater. I’ll survive.

(also? Yes, the 4th flower is significantly smaller than the first. Felting is never consistent for me.)

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Happy Houseplants

New shower friends

I admit the inside of my shower stall is not usually a very blog-worthy place. But I just got a new shelf, with some unusual residents.

Aren’t they beautiful?! I did a fair bit of reading before picking these guys. They’re all part or full shade plants which like wet soil, or are epiphytes.

They’re right on eye level, but out of the way. And the shelf sticks to the wall with adhesive clips which claim to be non-damaging.

These beauties make me very happy. Let’s just hope I can keep them from dying…

Breakfast bake

Here’s a baked breakfast dish I (sort of) made up myself! It started with a King Arthur recipe for baked french toast with apples, and a comment that adding sausage might be good too.

From there I made the logical assumption it needed cheese too. Obviously.

Breakfast Bake

French Toast Ingredients

  • 1 day old baguette
  • 8 eggs
  • 2C milk
  • 1/3C sugar
  • 1Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp salt

Topping ingredients

  • 5 apples
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4C sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1lb ground breakfast sausage
  • 1-2C shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Cook and drain the sausage.

Slice the bread and lay it in the bottom of a 9×12 baking dish. Mix all the other french toast ingredients and pour over the bread. Let it soak in while you prep everything else.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Peel and slice the apples. Toss with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

Spread the cooked sausage over the bread. Layer the apples evenly over the sausage.

Cook for 35 minutes, remove briefly to sprinkle cheese over everything and return to oven. Cook for an additional 20 minutes.

Eat while piping hot!

Mending

I skipped knitting last weekend because I have a serious backlog of mending to catch up on.

First some leggings Windsor tore. There was no chance of making this seam invisible. So instead I used the catch stitch and some superwash yarn for stretch and durability.

And I added an embroidered daisy, because she’s 5, and I can get away with it.

Next up (not exactly mending) I broke out the crochet hook and added hair to her Elsa hat. Which is now her favorite hat ever. Yay for cool-mom points!

girl in knitted hat with braid attached to brim

And finally, a little something for me. I hemmed these sparkly work pants so I can finally wear them!

Because they’re made of stretchy fabric I used the same stitch, just in a horizontal line, and hidden in the cuff. (a modification I don’t see online, but am sure I just unvented it.)

Basically invisible! And that’s why I prefer hand-sewing hems over breaking out the sewing machine for that job.

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Flower season?

Another WIP

I have big plans for fingerless mitts this winter. As in, I’m hoping to knit 4 or 5 sets… This mitt was my slow project from the GAL last month.

fingerless mitt with cable around thumb

The pattern is Brighde, by Liz Corke. I love the cable that wraps around the thumb. There’s another one that runs up the hand.

fingerless mitt with cable along back

The yarn is sock art lana from Green Mountain Spinnery.

Now the question is: can I bring myself to knit a second one?

Vegan banana bread

Turns out I make a pretty mean vegan banana bread! And by “mean” I am suggesting that it actually tastes just like regular banana bread*. It has the same texture too.

I don’t usually cook vegan, but one of my friends at work eat vegan and I was in charge of snacks for our meeting.

I was up at 3:30am (with the toddler, who is teething again) so I googled for recipes. I know about subbing applesauce for eggs. But I needed to sub out milk too. And that’s too far out of my element. I found a recipe that seemed good, except it called for almond milk. So then I started googling milk substitutes after all.

The internet told me that one thing milk brings to baked goods (besides liquid) is protein. It had many suggestions which I don’t keep on hand (Soy milk! Rice milk!) and coconut milk, which is more shelf stable and I usually do have a can available.

Fast forward 1 hour, and it turns out I don’t have coconut milk on hand. I’m about to give up, add water, and hope for the best when I remember the jug of smoothie protein at the back of my pantry (pea protein, luckily that’s vegan)

And that’s how I concocted the best vegan banana bread recipe yet*.

1C sugar
1 1/2C overripe bananas
1/2C refined coconut oil, melted
1tsp vanilla
1/4C water +1 Tbsp protein powder
1tsp apple cider vinegar
2C all-purpose flour
3/4tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt

Preheat the over to 350F and grease a bread loaf pan.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, oil, vanilla, ACV, water, and protein powder. Mix with a beater until smooth.

Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir until just combined. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 1hour. You may need 1hr plus 15 minutes. Use the standard toothpick to test.

*we made people try to guess the secret ingredient at first. But no one did!

WIP – moonflower rug

During the gift-along I absolutely fell in love with the moonflower mosaic by Valérie Miller:

knitted table cover with candles

I just want to move into that photo and sit down with a cup of tea. But I do not live the kind of live that includes knitted table covers (unless I really WANT to encourage my cats to sleep on the table.)

Instead I hatched a plan. My plan involves my very large stash of spinning fiber:

several trashbags full of unspun fiber

And some very large needles. I’m knitting this pattern out of roving, and felting down each tile as I finish it to make a bedside rug!

one felted mosaic tile plus slippers

The first tile shows that the different types of fiber are felting at different rates. I could probably have predicted that. It’s the equivalent of knitting with different types of yarn and expecting the same result.

two felted mosaic tiles

However I’ve been able to pair up some of the smaller petals with the larger ones upon seaming to balance everything out. This is about when I realized that the original pattern uses SIX petals per tile. And for reasons of gauge My mosaic tiles are working best with only 5 petals. So far that seems to be going ok, right?

two felted tiles and one unfelted, much larger

I’m showing here, with the third tile, how much these things shrink down with felting! They’re somewhere between 50-60% of the pre-felted size. They’re super thick and cozy too, which makes sewing them together tricky but the resulting rug is going to be very cushy and soft! (it will make an excellent cat bed.)

three felted tiles

Here are the three tiles sewn together. See that gap between the blue and red petals in the center where all three tiles meet? I’m pretty sure this is because I’m knitting 5 petal flowers instead of 6. Oops. I’m going to have to come up with a plan for filling in that gap. Right now I’m considering knitting a diamond and sewing it in. Or just needle felting a filler.

Oh right, because this project is letting me mix my crafts further! Along with using spinning fiber, knitting, and wet felting the fabric. I’m also needle felting extra fiber onto the joins to reinforce the sewing:
underside of rug showing needle-felted joins

I’ve only drawn blood with those needle felting needles once so far! I think that’s a pretty good track record…