Wow, January 10th, already…

…… time to get moving on the new year in Blogland.

Have had some (unfortunately not fun) issues to deal with, since 2008 began.             😦

Won’t bore you with those details; suffice to say…..please do send all the good vibes, thoughts and prayers you can…this way. We are not out of the woods yet and not a good way to start off the new year but heh, I’m still hopeful it’s going to be a wonderful year.

In the meantime and on a much more positive note, I’ve been saving up some goodies for my first post of the year so here goes:

On the knit/crochet front (not to mention…. back and sleeves….LOL) see, I can still laugh and that is a good sign.

Made these gorgeous washcloths from some organic cotton yarn I got for Christmas. Here’s the super easy  pattern to crochet.

One of the things I REALLY like about crochet, simple stitches like this sedge stitch can look very intricate and difficult but actually not hard at all, just fun.

I was so pleased with the results of these washcloths, featuring the sedge stitch, that I decided to start an afghan using this same stitch throughout. I am stash-busting big-time already and went with this gorgeous Bulky Lopi I had on hand, in deep rich burgundy shade (it’s not the purple as it’s showing for this photo, perhaps just on my screen). 

Again, looks difficult but isn’t. And the BIG, BIG hook makes for quick progress. I hope to have this afghan done and ready for snuggling in the next week or two at most.

 

 Have really been making an effort to put some meditation and relaxation techniques to good use. Knitting and crochet can be so relaxing, anytime.  Tara Jon Manning’s book has been very helpful. To take it to the next level and ‘mindful’ is the key word in making a success of the more contemplative, meditative aspects of the craft.

I also think it’s important to chose your patterns wisely. For me, too complicated = just more stress. And simple, well-designed patterns can yield wonderful results, don’t you agree?

If you haven’t already read this book, you might enjoy browsing through and picking out some of the suggestions you can personally use and relate to. I’m not crazy about the patterns in this book but that really doesn’t detract from the author’s good advice otherwise. It’s not just about patterns in this case. Have any of you read this book? What are your own thoughts on the knitting meditation practises suggested?

Speaking of knitting and fun, fun and more FUN….have you checked out the upcoming Stitch and Bitch cruise or as I like to think of it, The Knit Boat? LOL

This should be such a blast, wish I was going but perhaps next year? Anyone tempted to take this knit-journey extraordinaire? It sounds like a yarn-packed time will be had by all.

I promise, if I win the lottery in the next year….you are all invited to meet me onboard and I’ll have the tickets ready to hand out, ok!!!!               😉

Speaking of Stitch and Bitch, have any of you made the Fairly Easy Fair Isle cardigan from Stitch and Bitch Nation? My copy of this book is not easily accessible at this point but I finally managed to borrow a copy and plan to get this cardigan cast on in the near future. 

I think it’s long overdue that I gave Fair Isle knitting a try. I’m hoping this isn’t too much of a challenge but reading the pattern over, I don’t think it will be. Life may be throwing some hard balls right now but the knitting and crochet projects are coming along nicely…probably a good way to cope, right?

Cooking is also therapy for me, and I have a couple of gorgeous desserts to share with you from Allrecipes.com. :

Momma’s Wheat Germ Cookies:

Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake:

Both very delish and so easy to make.

As with most recipes, I did a bit of tweaking and in the case of the cake, made half the recipe (measures can be adjusted right on the Allrecipe site, I used 8 servings instead) and made the following easy but rich and creamy icing to finish the cake:

 Easy Cream Cheese Icing

1- 8 oz. block light cream cheese

3 Tbl. pineapple juice

1 Tbl. lemon juice and the zest of one lemon

4 Tbl. liquid honey (or a bit more, to taste)

coconut shreds and/or crushed pecans for topping .

Combine icing ingredients and allow to chill in refrigerator at least one hour to firm up. Ice cake and add desired toppings.

For the 8 serving size, I used an 8″ x 11″ pan and reduced baking time to 45 minutes. Other changes: Omitted raisins used pecans instead of walnuts and reduced sugar in cake slightly, to taste. This cake is a keeper!

For the cookies: Changes I made, toasted the coconut and wheat germ slightly before adding to mix, omitted dates, reduced sugar by half and made 40 larger cookies instead of 60 as the recipe states. These are moist, chewy and very satisfying. Another keeper!

On to feline news:

How’s this for a hoot…..check out this link for a ribbed cat sweater pattern and photos.

I am considering making this cat sweater for the Mitz. Our little girl (20 years young this year!!!) is always chilly it seems, searching out heat sources and never one to miss the opportunity to burrow under the covers. I really don’t know if she’d wear this sweater (maybe the vest?) but heh, it might be worth a try. How cute she’s gonna look, hard to imagine!!! Right off the cute-o-meter, I’m guessing. I’ve got some burgundy worsted weight in my stash that I think would work well.

I will definitely be sharing a photo IF the Mitz allows it, we shall see.

Another feline- craft find, this time in crochet. I think this Pussycat throw/afghan is really gorgeous and if you check the stitches really closely, they resemble cats sitting on a fence, one row after another…isn’t this a beauty? The pattern is suppose to be quite complicated but again, reading it over, I don’t think it would be too hard to tackle. This one is on the distant back-burner but will not be forgotten. For some reason, downloading this file to print took FOREVER but finally came through. It was worth the wait, I love feline themes in crafts and this one is exceptional I think.

The Veggie Bookstore (sidebar) is now updated with some new suggestions for the new year…..do stop by when you have time for a browse!

Thought I’d finish off this first post of 2008 with a link list to some of my most popular posts to date. I continue to be amazed at the diversity of search terms that bring people to Veggies…. I am grateful for everyone who stops by, especially when they leave a comment! It’s so gratifying to know that people like what you are blogging about and here’s some of the posts that have gotten many a read:

Whatever Happened to Ed Allen (this is my most popular post to date, visits in the thousands!!!)

Recipes that get almost daily visits:

Quickie Cabbage Rolls

Cookies and a Thanksgiving Wish

Quick and Easy Zucchini Stir-fry

Mushroom Stroganoff with Herbed Pasta

The Best Scalloped Potatoes

Naked Cake Eating

Extra Easy and Moist Bran Muffins

and one of my poems to add to the list:

Poem for Autumn

‘See’ you all soon and please do keep those positive thoughts and vibes a-coming!                  🙂

 

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14 responses

  1. Good thoughts heading your way! And those washcloths are amazing! I think that an afghan with that stitch will be just lovely. And a nice place for the kitties to snuggle up as well. 🙂

  2. Sending positive thoughts your way!

    Those washcloths are really gorgeous. I’ve got to learn to crochet.

  3. The good vibes are flowing through the keyboard as I type!

    Love the new headder – very nice cat-portrait. The washcloths look great, what a wonderful texture.

    Happy 2008!

  4. Positive thoughts flowing your way…. 🙂

    Love the sedge stitch, too. I was sewing the other day which – don’t ask me why – led me to look for the large crochet hook, and I couldn’t find it. 😦 I will have to locate it so I can give this a try. 🙂

  5. Gorgeous stuff….I’d love to see you get The Haughty Ms Mitz into a sweater…good luck with that!

    And good vibes on the way, hon!
    (((hugs)))

  6. Good vibes from our house to yours!

  7. Hi Sheep, Thanks for the compliments and good vibes too!

    Hi Carrie, And to you too. Crochet is so much fun, I love it!

    Hi Heather, Mr. C is now on the marquee LOL, isn’t he a handsome fella!!! Thanks for your kind comments.

    Hi Michelle, That’s kinda cool about the hook, hope you found it and do give this a try. My afghan is getting bigger by the day!

    Hi Sallee, Aahhhh…but wouldn’t she look adorable? I will have her check out the wool Im considering and see what she ‘says’. LOL

    Hi Caroline, And back to you!!!

    Had a very positive and profound experience yesterday, feeling that things are taking a significant ‘turn’ for the better. A shift…..more to follow on this. In the meantime, thanks for the positive vibes which mean a lot. Also, do not attempt to put a fork into the carrot cake in this post. I know its tempting but it just doesnt work LOL!!!!! 😉

    Huggs, good vibes and peace, G

  8. The sedge stitch looks really neat. I like the kitty picture on your banner, too. 🙂

  9. misswoollyknits

    Best wishes for better days, Geraldine and I hope the rest of 2008 is kind to you.

  10. Hi Geraldine – I hope all is well. The year is young – may there be better times ahead.

    I came to see what was new on your blog – both of these recipes are timely! I’ll be sure to link to your carrot cake recipe for my post.

    Good thoughts,
    JLB

  11. Hi Beth, The sedge stitch is terrif! My afghan is already 1/3 complete and its taken no time and all. Looks beautiful too. I like this header as it’s nice and wide and I can change it in a flash.

    Hi Mary Anne, And I wish the same for you!

    Hi JL, Things are on the upswing.In small but significant steps we will get to where we are suppose to be for 2008. Have had some profound experiences since I wrote this post, more to follow on that.

    The carrot cake is divine, all I can take credit for is the icing recipe and a bit of ‘tweaking’ but it definitely is a keeper. I look forward to your post on this and yes, by all means link back and use the photo if you like, with CREDIT of course 😉 That’s a topic we really agree on, I know !!!!

    Huggs, G

  12. Hey, I’ve made that Kittens in a row blanket before. But I got the pattern from http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/kitsinrow.html

    It has her copyright notice there. The pattern you listed didnt show a designer name, but they look the same. I hope no one stole her pattern.

  13. Hi everyone. Just found this web site. Thanks for the cat blanket pattern. I have 6 little children all in last year. Yes, I am one of those people who call my cats my children. I love to crochet and knit but knitting I am not as good at but I have been making blankets for their beds and to cover the couch and chairs with. Makes cleaning them easier.
    Can the wash cloth be used or is it just for looks?

  14. […] looking for something different, Geraldine Hartman offers “Carrot Cake with a Twist” and “Cream Cheese Icing” from her book Not Just for Vegetarians (p.165), and she also likes “Sam’s Famous Carrot […]

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