Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Summer Book Bingo 2016.

Ok, y'all, it's officially the start of summer - Books on the Nightstand has released the 2016 Book Bingo cards! Click here to listen to the podcast episode and here to download your card.

Here's mine.

I've got ideas for almost all the squares. As in previous years, I'm trying to read books I already own or books I've been meaning to read (The Outsiders, Invisible Man). One square has me stumped - I emailed my mom last night about the "that your parents didn't/wouldn't have let you read as a kid" because I don't remember anything but encouragement to read whatever I wanted! I'm looking forward to the "literary journal" and "verse novel" - those are two new-to-me genres. And that upper left corner "a random book from a shelf" should be fun, too.

I hope you're planning to play along. This summer, books you finish between Saturday, May 28 (the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend) and Monday, September 5 (the end of Labor Day Weekend) count. We'll follow the same rules as in previous years - each book counts for one square. You can read whatever you want for the middle square. This is supposed to be fun, so a bit of "liberal interpretation" of the categories is ok! Each completed Bingo (a row, a column or a diagonal) earns you one entry in the drawing. I'll choose a winner from the pool of Bingos in September.

Wishing you a summer of delightful reading...and more than a few Bingos!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ten on Tuesday | The Sweet Stuff.

First up - I missed y'all yesterday. I had good intentions about a weekending post, but Monday's reality got the better of me. The best part of my day was spent with this guy...I'm sure you understand!

And now today's topic. Apparently we've never done a Ten on Tuesday about desserts, and Carole's suggested that for this week's list (although after her weekend adventure, I think I'd have been more likely to suggest cocktails :-) I did a quick look through the mere-et-filles archives and turned up my first four favorites:

1. browned butter tart at Bistro VG (or from the restaurant's bakery, Theo's Brother).

2. cheesecake, especially cranberry or pumpkin for the holidays (always homemade!).

3. a cheese plate.

4. sorbet and fresh berries.

I was surprised I didn't find these next five (other longtime favorites):

5. "good chocolate" (imagine Ina Garten saying that and imagine it's about a 1-1/2" square of really dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt)...that goes perfectly with

6. another glass of "good red wine".

7. homemade pound cake.

8. plain shortbread (store-bought is ok!) with a glass of dessert wine.

9. homemade ice cream. special favorites are peach or strawberry in the summertime and rum raisin in the winter.

but this last one is a relative newcomer. I guess I've never had an opportunity to share it!

10. a bit of sugar from this sweet one.
riding the caboose and ♥ little boy eyelashes!
Not that I'm looking for more "inspiration" about sweet stuff, but Ten on Tuesday is always fun. If you're not already playing along, click here to join. And thank you, Carole, for another sweet week!

Friday, May 20, 2016

FO Friday | Herring.

I've been admiring Versaciknits' latest Herring design since it debuted back in March. She suggested a worsted weight wool for the pattern, but then she shared linen and cotton versions on Instagram and I was obsessed. I settled on linen, specifically Quince & Co's sport-weight Sparrow and bought the yarn the day I finished Traveling Gray.
details on Ravelry here
It was a fun quick knit - especially once I figured out the rhythm of the increases and the lace. 


I ended up knitting the pattern exactly as written (except I went down one needle size), then blocked the heck out of it - soaked for three hours, then wires and pins...and a little fan action to dry it so I could wear it that same day!

The linen softened up nicely and the drape is lovely.

This scarf is going to get a lot of wear this summer.

... and yep, you guessed it - I'm definitely thinking about a winter version!

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WIP Wednesday.

It's been a while since I've shared anything actually in process here. I guess it's more fun to share them as they get started...or once they're finished. The in between time can be hard to capture (or a bit of a slog...or both!) But what the heck; I spend too much time on that in between not to share a bit of it here!

First, a project I bound off last night. Took this "yay, I won yarn chicken!" photo this morning, just before I wove in the ends and gave it a good soak. Hopefully this will be Friday's FO feature!

Next, the project I'm planning to begin in its place. This is Nangou, which I'm going to knit in the pattern suggested yarn and colorway (just because I happened to have two and a half skeins leftover from other projects...well, and also because caffeine and ivory will go with most of my summer wardrobe!). The designer, Melanie Berg, is hosting a shawl KAL in her Revelry group and I'm looking forward to playing along.

And then the two I have in process. The Blue Blanket for Charlie's little brother is only barely begun. I've got a long way to go (but I still do have a few months...I'm not worried!)

Last but certainly not least - the Simple Tee from the latest Churchmouse collection. This photo is from last Thursday, just after I cast on, but the piece really doesn't look that much different now. Hopefully that will change  quickly since I plan to give this one most of my knitting time for the next few days. Straight stockinette, even on size 4 needles, should go pretty fast!

and there you have it...at least for today. The new designs are coming fast and furious and I still have a few gaps I want to close in my summer wardrobe. stay tuned!

Happy Wednesday - and happy knitting!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ten on Tuesday | Help for a New Mom.

Today, Carole's asked us to share ideas for helping out a new mom. I asked Katie to share a few ideas (I figured that might also be a great way to get ideas for October!) and she graciously replied with nine... wonder if y'all can guess which one I added to make ten!

see #7 below
1. Send an email or text that you are thinking of her and sending love - and be sure to include "no need to reply!"

2. Bring lunch or dinner or help set up a meal train for the first few weeks.

3. Drop off a "nursing" or "late night" gift basket - easy-to-eat snacks (cheese & crackers, snack mix, nuts), chocolates, fruit, fresh juice or herbal tea.

4. Gift or lend her your favorite books about motherhood - one of Katie's favorites is Great with Child (it's beautiful!)

5. Offer to run some errands for her - send a quick text when you are planning to run to Target or the grocery store and offer to pick up a few things she might need.

6. Don't drop in unannounced...and never if you're feeling even the slightest inkling of a cold, cough, etc.

7. Help with the older siblings - when you visit, offer to take them out for a bike ride or babysit for the morning. It would be also be thoughtful to bring a craft or activity for them...something that doesn't require too much adult supervision. Charlie's latest favorite tabletop activity is Mess Free Coloring. Who knew such a thing even existed?!

8. When you visit, offer to hold the baby if she wants to make lunch (or you can make lunch for her!) or take a shower.

9. Don't stay too long when you visit.  Keep your visit under 45 minutes unless it seems like she needs/wants help and the baby is awake. If the baby is asleep, there's a good chance she might want to catch up on sleep too!

10. Tell her that she looks wonderful and is doing an amazing job!

Thank you, Katie! and thank you to Carole for hosting another great week! (if you're not already playing along with Ten on Tuesday, click here to join the fun).