WIP Wednesday: Knits & Space

Olive in front living room last Christmas

A Space of my Own

I’m fairly convinced that I’m not unique in that the space I’ve carved out for myself to create my own personal projects, stamp Potluck Tableware, print letterpress cards, and do graphic design work is my kitchen. Am I right ladies? so this means I have to ignore the dirty dishes, or worse, move everything out of the way to make dinner. Luckily my husband agreed I needed my own space and that I could take over our entire front living room as studio space.

The biggest obstacle to starting is now out of the way. Yesterday the 400 lb concrete coffee table was moved the back studio patio to make room for my takeover of the space. I am so excited to finally have a space that I can leave a WIP (work in progress) out for me to just pick up where I left off instead of having to set up the space every time I want to make something. Fun fact, it takes the same amount of effort to set up for stamping one cheese spreader, or printing one letterpress card as it does 100 of them. I’ve started moving furniture around and hope to spend much of this weekend setting it up. Watch this space…

I couldn’t wait to move the buffet into its new space.

Procastiknitting, Just Finish the Damn Thing Already

Procastiknitting:
verb (used with object),  pro•cast•iknit·ting

1. to finally finish projects that have been taunting you from totes hung on door knobs.

I like to consider myself a monogamous knitter, but in reality I think mostly ditch projects in their last stages to move on to the next shiny project. Sometimes the allure of a fresh new WIP is simply too much to resist.

Who on earth stops knitting a pair of socks when they only have the toes left? Please tell me I’m not the only one. Squad Mitts with one thumb left to knit… you’re next.

If you’re anything like me, leave a comment below and tell us what WIP you have hanging around waiting to be finished… knitting or other WIP.


Friday Favorites: Pie, Pie & More Pie

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This year our Pi(e) Day Social was a great success. Lovely pies and reasonably good people. Image courtesy of @dchav_

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And speaking of pie…I found myself needing a super quick piecrust because my frozen pie disk had taken a bad turn during a power outage. Though conventional wisdom tells me it’s unwise to try something new when entertaining, I decided to give this quick pie crust a try. I scoffed at the claim that this piecrust is revolutionary… but am now a convert. The crust is kind of shortbready, buttery, flaky, and so easy. Perfect for single crust pies. You can buy The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook here.

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I find it hard to find sprouts in the small amount I need, so felt it economical to try sprouting my own. I found these on Amazon. I believe these are radish, lentil and some other guys.

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I am just about to bind off this lovely poncho in Rowan Felted Tweed and am itching to start something with Euroflax Linen, maybe this tunic or another wrap.

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Sharing your bounty. While planning your spring garden, plan to plant just a little bit more to share with your local community food bank. Contact them first, but many of your local organizations will gladly accept washed, home grown produce to offer their clients. Ample Harvest has a Find a Pantry button on the top of their site to help you find a local food bank or soup kitchen that would love to accept your produce and eggs. If you live in Elgin you can donate food here.

Fab Five for Friday

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1. Fall. My other favorite four-letter word. I can’t help it, but as someone who grew up in cooler climes than my new found home in central Texas… once the calendar ticks autumnal equinox, I’m ready to whip up large bowls of oatmeal and wooly ponchos.

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2. Fleabag.  So smart. So funny. So sad. So good. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is brilliant.

3. Magazines. Not just because I work at one either. Whether I subscribe or pick up at the newsstand, I rarely crack them open immediately, but tend to stack them up on a side table until I have a quiet hour or two to savor the glossy pages with a cup of coffee.

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4. This Podcast… Becoming a Badger. Firstly, I love anything about badgers. Frances the Badger is my spirit animal. Secondly, the story of the french comedian and his struggle with his humor not translating is very funny. Perhaps funnier than him. Someone should pitch this to Netflix for a series… full of obvious gaffs, awkward moments, and witness shame. Then finally the rat hunting terriers in NYC. My favorite part is when the interviewer asks Paco’s owner, “What’s his way in?”, and he answers, “He weighs in at 32 pounds.” Thinking she wants his fighting weight. Priceless.

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5. These cookies

Five Fab for Friday: Arturo the Aqua Boy & Pick Your Own Damn Bluberries

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1. Geek Love. The author Katherine Dunn passed away this week. I cannot tell you how this novel ruined everything I tried to read afterward for quite some time. It was as if I’d tasted the most perfectly tart rhubarb pie and everything after was Pop Tarts. Warning, the wild tail (pun intended, spoiler alert) in this book is not for the faint of heart. It appears nothing she did ever was. She was one of my heroes. I love this story in the Willamette Week.

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2. Pick Your Own Damn Blueberries. It just wouldn’t be time for Memorial Day Weekend without me mentioning these bad boys. I do believe I may have just found the perfect name for any pick your own farm. Each year I reach out to Bill at Chickamaw Farm and Ranch in nearby McDade to see how close they are to picking. As of this morning, these are still a couple weeks form being ready to pick. Bill says, “Berries are out there just waiting for the rain to quit and the sun to shine hot and long.  I figure in a couple o’ weeks at the most but stay tuned.” Cannot wait. Call before you head out 512-567-3456.

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3. An actual finished knitting project. I have not been my usual knitty self these past months, so it feels so good to finally complete this incredibly basic garter stitch shawl.  The yarn is Mountain Colors, 4/8’s Wool in Harmony Rose.

4. I recently found these incredibly helpful cheat sheets for knitting shawls without any real pattern in mind…hence the above finished shawl. She also has some lovely patterns. You will want to download these PDFs. 5 Basic Shawl Shapes and 5 Basic Shawl Shapes in the Round. Find many more helpful tips and lovely patterns at Laylock.org

5. This recipe on Pinterest. I am craving a fried chicken sandwich and this. Seriously.

 

Five Fab for Friday: Berries & Blooms

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1. It may early to be dreaming of tomato pie, but strawberries are making their way to your local farmers’ markets. These are from Skinny Lane Farm. Sorry to say, but these were the last pint available at Elgin Local Goods today…but I bet Mike and Bekki bring some more by for the weekend.

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2. Also available at Elgin Local Goods is this amazing pâté de Campagne from Belle Vie Farm & Kitchen. You can read about this Elgin farm in the current ssue of Edible Austin.

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3. The return of Happy Valley. Season 2 is now available on Netflix. The other night at Stitch & Hoot we were talking about being distracted while watching movies by the furniture, knitwear and decor. I love this show, but would you look at this kitchen?! I’m sure to most this looks a fright, but I love it… the bold colors, the (in progress) hand painted cabinets, the yellow glass knobs, and the mismatched coffee cups.

=][[[[[[[[[kj (this was typed by Olive)

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4. I know…more granny squares. But bunting!

5. This photo essay of spring blooms in Big Bend in the March Issue of Texas Monthly.

 

 

Five Fab for Friday—Fist City, Granny Squares and More

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1. This morning, while eating a Jethro Bodine size bowl of cereal, I had the pleasure of hearing this interview on NPR. This poster available here.

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2. Granny squares just might be the reason I learned to crochet. What’s not to love?

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3. My friend Martha knows how much I love Wes Anderson movies, and sent me a link to this Tumblr. I can’t decide what I love most about this blog… the lovely palette combinations or that it even exists!

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4. One of my recipes was included in this book by my very talented friend Jessica Dupuy.
Yup, Detroit born girl gets a recipe in a Texas cookbook. Still trying to replicate the peach pecan crisp my grandmother used to make.

5. This weekend, which promises to be quiet, sunny and warm.

Friday Favorites: Perfect stuffing, Local Holiday Shopping & Granny Chic

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and you were able to spend time with the ones you love… family, friends or new friends. I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that quite a few friends and loved ones are suffering great losses and illness this week…my heart goes out to them. Losing a family member or beloved pet is never easy, but the loss feels extra heavy around the holidays.

Most Requested Recipe


It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without one of my most often requested sides, Poblano Corn Custard. This recipe is from my days cooking with Lily & Co. here in Austin. It was one of our best sellers, and is always a crowd pleaser. I made notes in the recipe where I make a couple modifications. There are not many, as the recipe is close to perfection. You can buy the cookbook Lilly for Company: Austin Casual Menus for Palm & Plate locally at Anderson’s Coffee or on Amazon. I might also mention that Anderson’s is my favorite coffee in Austin. Family owned, wonderful staff, and amazing selection of coffees, teas, cups, teapots, preserves, candies… great place for gifts.

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Yesterday morning I woke up around 8, Steve was already on his bike, in the woods. I was able to enjoy my morning coffee and knit away on a gift while listening to Woolful’s podcast Episode 42: Tif Fussell – Aunties, holistic healing, following fiber, and Dottie Angel. Tif Fussell is my spirit animal. I’ve always been so in love with her aesthetic and writing. I was sad when she decided to quit blogging a couple years ago, but have enjoyed following her work via Instagram. She spoke about living in a home with a soul and how that fueled her creativity. That absolutely resonated with me.

Hand-dyed yarn. I’m especially loving Fiber Obsession’s “Endear”, a Suri alpaca/merino blend that is like knitting with butter. Fiber Obsessions is a line of hand-dyed yarns by Susan Fricks, owner of Yarnorama in Paige, Texas. I’d show you the WIP, but it’s a gift for someone.

Sufjan Stevens | Carrie & Lowell. Love this. Listen here.

Small Business Saturday is tomorrow. I do not get excited about shopping Black Friday. But I can get behind this. Of course Small Business Saturday is yet another corporate marketing device… but at least you’re helping out your locally owned business owners.

Some of my favorite local shops:

Austin
Anderson’s Coffee

Elgin
The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods
G&M Drygoods
Elgin Local Goods Market & Cafe
The Tattered Shutter
Ramona’s Rendezvous
The Lion’s Club Thrift

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Yarnorama!

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The Nest Box
Cherry Tree Creative

It’s only been a couple days since we turned off the air conditioning and already I’m consumed with thoughts of apple desserts, printing christmas cards and planning for Thanksgiving.

I found this recipe for Apple Fritter Cake, think about that for a minute…apple. fritter.cake. I’m curious about this recipe, I mean everyone knows the best part of an apple fritter is the crunchy fried peaks and glaze filled valleys. I wonder if being baked rather than fried will make me sad. Only one way to find out, and lord knows I have more than a few potlucks in the near future.

Speaking of potlucks…I have quite a few pieces of Potluck Tableware available at The Owl thru the Holiday Season. For those of you not planning a visit to Elgin in the near future… I will have some available by this weekend when I update my Etsy shop. As always, special orders are welcome.

I’ve recently added a handful of recipes to this blog. They are mostly recipes for potlucks and special occasions that I felt paired nicely with my Potluck Tableware… everything from smoky pimento cheese to my absolute favorite cornbread dressing. I’ll be adding more recipes as the seasons go round and round.

I have plans for a pile of vintage (and not so vintage) tablecloths, but not until I am finished with printing holiday cards. I’ve been printing, folding and packaging and will be selling those shortly.

Friday Favorites

Good morning Elgin

It’s Fall! Though it’s still a sad 90º in central Texas, I’m already digging everything fall. Casting on for a new sweater, dreaming of stews, apple pie and ponchos.

I am very much looking forward to the grand opening of Eva Mae’s Kitchen this weekend. They will be serving up such down home fare as oxtails, beef tips, cabbage and yams. Is everyone as excited as I am?

I’ve been listening to this podcast on my bus commute this week. MMMontana is so appealing.

I’ve been listening to Wes Anderson Radio on Pandora while crafting, cooking or commuting. It’s kind of fun staring out the bus window to my own sweet private soundtrack.

Binging on this Hulu series.

And while I’m talking about TV…how on earth did I miss 3 whole episodes of A Chef’s Life last season?  guess I thought it was done and just didn’t tune in again. I’m loving this season. So tomorrow I will be packaging Potluck Tableware and watching this week’s episode and catching up on the current season of The Great British baking Show.

My weekend plan is to finish packaging all my Potluck Tableware and get it on the shelves for the holiday season. And for those not fortunate enough to live in central Texas… I plan to hold a few items back to sell in my etsy shop.

Enjoy your weekend!