Busy as a Bee

Hello everyone! ??????????Just a quick check-in right now. I’ve been away from the computer hiking the Great Smokey Mountains, and now I’m off on another adventure! ??????????I look forward to sharing crafts and baking and travel shots when I get back, but for now, here are a few shots of gorgeous Tennessee:

?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????I hope that you all find some adventure this Spring, whether in traveling or in small ways in your own home!

Advertisements

Pi Day!

Hello everyone! Happy (belated) Pi Day!good

As you may know, yesterday was Pi Day! I’ve been an ardent celebrant of this holiday for years, and this one was no different. Well, actually, it was a bit different. ‘Cause this year, rather than just being March 14th (3.14), it was March 14th, 2015 (3.1415)! Furthermore, at 9:26:53, it was 3.141592653! We’re not gonna have that many digits of pi as a date until, well, 2115!

So of course, I tried to make it extra special, and tried out a new recipe:Lots of eggs for this pie!Specifically, I tried Lemon Sponge Pie from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, circa 1953. I wanted a really light pie, and this sounded perfect.

I measured out ingredients for the filling and started on the crust.good1Once that was rolled out, I mixed up the filling, which included whipping egg whites to stiff peaks and folding in. It looked promising when turned into the crust.good5This pie takes a while to bake, but I was so excited when it was done! I let it set out overnight; I baked this on the 13th, so it could set before eating on Pi day.¬†good6 The next day, Pi Day, I excitedly cut in and dug in!good7However, as you might notice, it’s not quite right… The flavor was lovely and subtle, but the pie didn’t quite set up. Underneath a light spongy top, there was a runny custard layer. It still tasted wonderful, especially with some chocolate drizzle to complement the citrus, but I was disappointed with the separated textures… good8I have two theories as to why it didn’t set up right. One: I didn’t bake it long enough. Two: I didn’t fold in the egg whites thoroughly enough. I’m leaning towards the latter.

Have any of you tried a sponge/chiffon pie and had this problem? How did you correct for it the next time you baked?

In the end though, it was still perfectly edible and widely enjoyed. It made quite the fitting treat for this most illustrious of Pi days!

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286 208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481 117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233 786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006 606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146 951941511609433057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548074462379962749 567351885752724891227938183011949129833673362440656643086021394946395224737190 702179860943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132000568127145263560827 785771342757789609173637178721468440901224953430146549585371050792279689258923 542019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960518707211349999998372978049…

Fine! I’ll just make my own spring!

Hello there!

And a special hello to anyone out there who keeps getting snow. Now, I know I’ve been fortunate this winter. No power outages, no pipes freezing, no more than one foot of snow at a time. But it’s March. And as I hinted in my last post, I’m tired of winter. I’m especially tired because this week, there were days like this:

Snow slush road :(And this:There's usually a path in this field...At least Huck seemed to like it:Whooo's a goood boy!But I was tired of it. So I decided to make my own spring! If you’re feeling like the seasons can’t change quickly enough, maybe you can make your own spring too!

First off, I baked cupcakes! With sprinkles!064Sprinkles on top of blue buttercream frosting. And inside each cupcake?075MORE SPRINKLES!

Next, I started a paperwhite bulb. It hasn’t bloomed yet, but just a fresh green growing thing makes me smile!Spring-time tea-time!Also on the plants and flower theme, I did a quick watercolor of an iris (my favorite flower) to hang on the bulletin board right above my workstation. Now I can pretend it’s spring every time I look up!050Finally, I decided that the cupcakes were just not enough, and I made lemon-raspberry whoopie pies! I cobbled together a few different whoopie recipes, and the final result was as pretty as it was delicious!compressed pieAnd the tart and sweet and citrus flavors all together tasted just like spring! I could practically hear birds singing and flowers blooming with each nibble!

So how about you all? Anyone doing anything to get psyched for Spring?

Splish-splash, Bath mat!

Despite March technically being the first month of spring, it’s still freezing here in PA. One of the coldest spots in my house is the tile floor right in front of my bathroom sink. I had a thin, worn out blue bathmat that wasn’t doing anything to keep the chill away. I also happened to have a stash of 3XL t-shirts left over from some event or other. I decided to do away with ol’ blue, and make myself a spankin’ new bathmat with the t-shirts!super-squisy awesome!If you want to knit up one of your own, read on!

Materials:Materials list

  1. Lots of t-shirts
    • I used 5 3XLs plus a small for the trim, but if I’d had more, I’d have used more and made my mat a bit bigger and neater
    • You want all your t-shirts to be of similar weight and stretch, or you’ll wind up with a really wonky mat
  2. Scissors and/or a rotary cutter
  3. size 13 knitting needles
    • gauge isn’t too important, so feel free to go up or down a few sizes as needed

Procedure:

  1. Cut your t-shirt all the way across just under the arms.Steps 1 and 2
  2. Make long horizontal cuts about every one inch down the shirt. Do NOT cut all the way across!
  3. Pick up the shirt and drape it around your arm so the uncut side rests on top. Cut diagonally up the uncut “spine,” as shown below:Making one long strip
  4. Repeat with each t-shirt.
  5. Once all your shirts are strips, join the ends with a knot or a few quick stitches and roll up into a ball for easy working.Knot or sew!
  6. Cast on about 30 stitches.
  7. Knit in garter stitch until your mat is as long as you want.Knit in garter stitch

Ta DA! Your new bathmat is super squishy and comfy and warm and absorbent. TA DA!!

Tips and suggestions:

  • If you run out of t-shirt yarn from the main part of the shirt, you can use the same cutting techniques on the sleeves, and then you can cut straight strips from what’s left between the sleeves.
  • Keep in mind that if your knots are bulky, or you have a lot of them (like, say, if you join a bunch of short strips), your bathmat will be thicker and wider.
    • I learned this the hard way. If you look at my mat, the right side is skinnier, because it’s made of the long pieces. When I switch to the short strips from the arms, it gets bulky and widens.See that narrow end on the right?
  • As you work, the t-shirt yarn will roll in on itself. Watch the way it folds and manipulate it to hide, or show, logos/print on the shirt