Printables & a Plan!

I know I haven’t been active lately – to be honest, I haven’t even been posting show notes for the last several episodes. But I’ve been trying to get things organized, and I think I’ve finally started hitting my stride. What with two adult children (WHAT), two cats, two jobs, two classes going on at school, and trying to renovate Rob’s house and my apartment, life has been a bit hectic. I’ve been creating some tools to help myself stay organized, and my boss actually jokingly suggested I should do it as a side-business. Well, THAT doesn’t interest me in the slightest, but I am more than willing to share my organizational tools as free printables that you can customize for your own use!

When Rob and I are together, we tend to do a lot of errands in one trip. This means trying to divide a shopping list between several stores, which can get confusing. After I took a Microsoft Word class last year, I developed this multi-store shopping list template that can be customized with your own store names, and a bullet list for each store. I’ve included some items as examples.

I’m also really bad at planning my groceries out ahead of time. I wasn’t keeping track of what I had at home, things would sit in the fridge for far too long after they were no longer edible, and I would buy things I didn’t think I had, so I would end up with three bags of apples! Meal planning is a great way of using up what you’ve got, and knowing exactly what you have to pick up at the store. My weekly meal plan document is attached with a week’s worth of meals and shopping sorted out by grocery store section.

And even though my kids are adults doesn’t mean I don’t still need to spell out exactly which chores I want done when. (I also need reminders of when things need to be done by – such as getting the recycling and compost out the night before they’re meant to be picked up).

Multi-store Shopping List

Meal Plan

Chore Schedule

I’ve also tried bullet journaling several times now, and this weekly layout I designed for the binder I keep on my desk at work has proven to be quite helpful! I also don’t have to worry about buying a new calendar every year, and I can customize with stickers, clip-art, markers, whatever I want, really!

Bujo Weekly Layout

I do have some other things I’m working on, but those will have to wait until I iron all the bugs out. I hope that some of you find these useful. They’ve certainly been lifesavers for me! There will be some recipes on the way in coming weeks, some plant love, as well as some photography/outings and more podcast/knitting posts. Stick around, things are going to get exciting!

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Episode 24

Knitting content!

FO: Flirt Shawlette by Heidi Sharp Designs. Knit out of Bijou Basin Ranch Tibetan Dream in the Green-to-Black Fade colorway, specially dyed by ModeKnit Yarn. Knit on size 3.75mm (US 5) needles.

WIPS: Casting on Rob’s 2019 socks out of Gnomespun Yarn Phouka Base in the Brave colourway, on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Knotty Mittens by Tessa Rexroat. Knit out of Bear in Sheep’s Clothing Bear Masham base in the Squall colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Stash

I received an absolutely beautiful skein of Manos del Uruguay Marina in the Appalachian colourway from my friends RabbitRibbit and Sylvie for my birthday!!!

tollbaby’s Manos del Uruguay Marina

Manos del Uruguay Marina

Screen time

I finished season one of Jessica Jones, and now I’ve started season three of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While I was in Chicago, Rob and I went out to see Bohemian Rhapsody, which was amazing, although I’m still annoyed at a few things in the film (like glossing over the wild behavior of the other band members and making them look like bloody choir boys). SO MANY podcasters have new episodes out, among them selmaknitsARunnerBeanKnit Night with Mekamika Podcast, and so many others!

Not much else going on, trying to concentrate on school and work, and organizing my living space as much as possible. I hope you’re all having a productive beginning to your hibernation season! see you next week 🙂

Episode 21

Knitting Content

Test knit: Mina Capelet by Emily Walton, for Expression Fiber Arts. This is likely the last time it will be shown before the pattern is released, so I don’t give away details of it! slightly_smiling_face

Celestial Socks by Brandi Miller. Knit out of Fleece Artist Trail Socks hand-dyed by my friend Krystal on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Flirt Shawlette by Heidi Sharp Designs. Knit out of Bijou Basin Ranch Tibetan Dream in the Green-to-Black Fade colourway (dyed by ModeKnit Yarn on size 3.75mm (US 5) needles.

Tea Review

Today’s tea is David’s Tea Cream of Earl Grey. It’s a luxuriously smooth black tea that just feels like a nice warm hug. There’s a bit of a sweet note to it, as well as a minor bite from the black tea. It tastes full and rich, and almost custardy… and now that I say that, I TOTALLY want to steep this in some heavy whipping cream to make crème brulée!!!

BIRTHDAY SHOUT-OUTS

I am so sorry I forgot to do this last week, but happy birthday to all the October babies!!! Happiest of birthdays to patchaCelestya22CrochetingWhovianKnitPurlandRepeatnmarchngeigerkounterLMcraftingalisonwonderlandchumstickmaryreadsalotocdknitcasesandyknits88LDSVenusdeepcovegrlEllisknitstooTalesOfYarnKnitincrazeeLylaCraftShhhLuluHaylsknitsPinDollliviejRobina1911blackjax21nzfriendgfgislasonknit1baketooTheCATTLadyJansHandspacasinmaineCraftyYarnaholicFirstMateJulesCatlynInWonderladcalicokitty6k10, and Marlene31. I hope you all had a fabulous birthday month!

Annie Modesitt Fund

There’s still time to get in on the draw for these fantastic prizes by donating to Annie Modesitt’s lymphoma fund before November 10th! Please see details in the thread here. Annie is a fantastic teacher, knitwear designer and indie dyer. She was recently diagnosed with a rather nasty form of Lymphoma that has attacked her spine, and has been undergoing chemotherapy… but while she’s been battling cancer, her husband Gerry, who has been battling Multiple Myeloma for ten years, passed away suddenly. Helping her defray the costs of a funeral and keeping afloat while she works out the rest of her treatment and recovery is a super generous thing for you all to be doing, and I’m so proud of our little group here for pushing their sleeves up and getting it done RoMillet!

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Bijou Basin Ranch KAL

Hop on over into the BBR KAL threads to show us what you’re working onand to save your spot in the FO thread 🙂

On Screen

I made it through the last few episodes of season one of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and onto Guardians of the Galaxy. I completely forgot to mention all the new podcasts that came out this week – there’s a new one from ARunnerBean on Hawthorn Cottage Crafts, some new non-knitty stuff from TrueCanuckGirl on Steeped in Books, some Must Love Yarn goodness from jrbirdkid and KellySpins, ANOTHER new episode from TheCATTLady, some new content from NinjaChickens (go see her new studio! Exciting stuff!!), a little bit of pumpkin carving fun and a Knit Crate review from MinaPhilipp on The Knitting Expat podcast, and a brand new episode from handmemyknitting!!!

Stash

My lovely friend krysknits thinks about you guys too!!! She gave me an absolutely stunning sock blank and a pretty skein of Tanis Fiber Arts, and suggested I use one for a giveaway. Now, as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE this sock blank, I also know I would never take it apart to knit with it, and why be selfish and keep it if one of you could enjoy it? So the lovely skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label sock in the Lilac colourway will join my stash, and this gorgeous sock blank by CACTUS Yarn Studio, aptly called “Spring Crocus” will be used for a future giveaway on the podcast.

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The Wayward Skein: Episode 20

I FORGOT TO DO BIRTHDAY SHOUT-OUTS!!!! They will be included in next weekend’s episode!!! I’m so sorry!

Tea

Drinking the New York Sheep & Wool 2018 tea, which was Apple Almond Harvest. It’s subtle, and robust, and delicious… and it completely reminded me of the cabin in the woods and hanging out with everyone ❤

Knitting Content

Flirt Shawlette by Heidi Sharp Designs. Knit out of Bijou Basin Ranch Tibetan Dream in the Green-to-Black Fade colourway (dyed by modeknit) on size 3.75mm (US 5) needles.

Celestial Socks test knit for Brandi Miller. Knit out of Fleece Artist Trail Sock by krysknits on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Scrappy sock blanket (based on Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis) on size 2.75mm (US 2) needles.

Annie Modesitt Donations and giveaway

Please visit the thread over here to donate, and post about it, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win this lovely bag, made by MinaPhilipp and a skein of Lydia Squishy DK in the Harliquen colourway. Draw will take place on the weekend of November 10.

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Bijou Basin Ranch KAL

If you’re participating in the KAL, please visit the Finished Objects thread to save your spot 🙂 Prizes up for grabs include a set of mini skeins from Bijou Basin Ranch, Knitted Wraps & Cover-Ups by Annie Modesitt, and a bunch of little goodies, as well as a participation prize, generously provided by Heidi Sharp, of the Flirt Shawlette pattern!

Reading

I finally finished An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle, and it was quite good when I finally got into it, although I had a lot of difficulty with the power dynamics in the relationships the main character got into. I very much enjoyed the entire series, and I’m very much looking forward to watching A Wrinkle in Time now 🙂

On Screen

I made it through the first seven episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and then Thor’s Dark World. Then watched the next eight episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and then Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Thoroughly enjoyed all of it, and I’m enjoying revisiting the earlier episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – before some of the characters showed their darker sides.

In podcasting land, several people have new episodes out, including selmaknits of the Little Big Knits podcast, thecattlady of the CATT Lady podcast Serenova of the Serenova Crafts podcast, mandypinecone of the MandyPinecone Crafts podcast, TrueCanuckGirl of the Steeped in Books booktube channel, MinaPhilipp of the Knitting Expat podcast, and jrbirdkid and KellySpins of the Must Love Yarn podcast 🙂

Everyone have a fantastic week!

Killer Spaghetti Sauce

In episode 12 of The Wayward Skein, I promised that I would share my recipe for killer spaghetti sauce with all both of you 😉 So here it is. The recipe that prompted two proposals (neither of them from Rob, ironically), and has kept people coming back for more for about 20 years! (suffice to say, I will NEVER be a food photographer…)

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Lynne’s Killer Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced (or 1.5 Tbsp from a jar)
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (or 3 jalapenos, finely diced)
  • 6 oz (or 1 cup) mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz beef sticks, sliced about 1/4″ thick (I prefer Wentzle Farms, but whatever you have is fine, as long as it’s not Teriyaki or some weird thing like that)
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 106-oz can diced tomatoes (a #10 can) or 3 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 12-oz can tomato paste

Open can of diced tomatoes and place in stock pot. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic, and cook until transluscent, about 6 minutes. Add bell peppers (or jalapeno) and mushrooms to skillet. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir into tomatoes.

Return skillet to low heat. Cook beef stick slices until slightly crisp, approximately 3 minutes. Stir into tomatoes.

Over medium heat, without removing grease from the beef sticks, cook the ground beef. Drain, and stir into tomatoes. Place tomatoes on medium-low heat, and add all spices. Simmer, covered, for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, and stir in tomato paste. Simmer 5-10 minutes more while pasta is cooking, and serve.

This recipe will make enough to feed approximately 20 people, or enough for dinner, and several containers for the freezer (makes approximately 5-6 quarts). And be prepared – if you feed this to people, they may just ask you to marry them!

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving

Calories              199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.7g
11%
Saturated Fat 2.5g
13%
Cholesterol 59mg
20%
Sodium 322mg
14%
Total Carbohydrate 11.9g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Total Sugars 6.9g

Protein 20.4g

Vitamin D 41mcg
204%
Calcium 29mg
2%
Iron 11mg
63%
Potassium 786mg
17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet.2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Recipe analyzed by verywellfit.com

The Wayward Skein: Episode 12

Knitting Content:

Finished Object: Rob’s 2018 socks, based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee). Knit out of Bergère de France Lubéron in the Eau Vive colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Works in Progress: Peppermint Mocha Socks by C.C. Almon (from her Coffee With C.C. ~ A 7 Pattern Caffeine Inspired Knitting Collection book). Knit out of Tilting Planet Apollo Sock in the Ocean in a Bucket colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Winterlong by Bristol Ivy. Knit out of Filtes King Velour in colourway 1317 on size 5.0mm (US 8) needles.

Tea: Today’s cuppa is Organic Serenity Now by David’s Tea. This one isn’t my favorite, because I brewed it before reading the ingredients, and I just don’t care for the taste or smell of lavender. It has quite a mix of flavors in it, from floral to fruity, and I find it a bit too complex and busy.

Giveaway!!!! Please come watch to see if you’ve won one of the two patterns offered up by eatmyyarn of Brandi Miller designs. If you are the winner, please go to her Ravelry store, choose the pattern you’d like to receive, and PM me or Brandi to receive your pattern.

Screen Time: I’ve continued watching Marvel’s Agent Carter, and I’m nearly done the second series (I’m pretty sure there were only two). I can’t wait to see how it all turns out, and move on to Iron Man! I haven’t had much time to watch podcasts this week, and in fact, have barely been online while in Chicago – although I have gone a little Instagram crazy since I’ve been here. Photos from this trip will be shared on the blog later this week.

In the Kitchen: I made Rob a batch of my famous spaghetti sauce 🙂 He loves having it in containers in the freezer. One batch usually does dinner one night, and then fills enough containers for him to have it for dinner four times, and then leftovers for lunch the next day as well. The recipe will be shared on the blog at some point on Monday.

KALs in other groups: This coming Thursday (Sept. 6), BostonJen of the Down Cellar Studio Podcast will be hosting her annual Pigskin Party! It’s loads of fun, and there are lots of great prizes to be won, so come join in the fun! If you do decide to join, please link me as the person who referred you 🙂

That’s all for now! Hope everyone has a great week!!!

The Wayward Skein: Episode 10

Milestones!

Not only is this episode ten, but we’ve surpassed 275 members in the Ravelry group, and 245 subscribers on the Youtube channel!! I think that’s worthy of a little celebration, don’t you? There will be a two-pronged giveaway held over Ravelry and Youtube. Brandy Miller Designs (eatmyyarns ) has generously offered to donate two of her patterns! She wants you to tell her which pattern you have knit more than once! Brownie points if you link to the pattern on Ravelry, so we can all grow our queues a bit. (If you have never knit the same pattern twice, telling us that will be considered valid).

Ravelry: You must be a member of the group to enter. No chatter, please. Simply visit the Giveaway thread, and answer the prompt!

Youtube: You must be a subscriber. Comment under Episode 10, answering the prompt. Comments that don’t answer the question posed simply won’t be entered into the draw.

The winners will be chosen the weekend of September 1st, when I’ll be recording from Chicago!

Tea: I’m drinking Rainbow Sherbet by David’s Tea today. It’s a vivid, fruity tea that is excellent cold! i was going to try Rhubarb Cream Soda today, but I noticed JUST as I was about to add water to the teabag that it contains mango! Not doing that twice in one weekend 😉

Knitting content:

Rob’s 2018 Socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee ). Knit out of Bergère de France Lubéron in the Eau Vive colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Color Affection by Veera Välimäki. Knit out of Night Owl Fibers Basic Sock in the Rusted Hook, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Leather Boots colourways, on size 4.5mm (US 7) needles.

Podcast Reviews:

The Knit Girllls Leslie udontcallmeles and Laura LaLa just recently had their 400-episode anniversary!!! That’s a HUGE milestone. Congratulations, ladies!!! There are some fabulous sweaters being worked on in this episode (403).

Rosehaven Yarn Shop Podcast: Lesley artsymom and Tim have a new episode this week, and they were at Twist Fibre Festival this weekend! Tim recently attended a Men’s Knitting Retreat and tells us all about it, while the dyepots are bubbling in Lesley’s basement!

Selma’s Knits: Not to be confused with Selma from Little Big Knits, THIS Selma, Selmasknits, is from France, and records her podcast both in English and French! I love seeing the yarns she uses, as they’re not generally widely available here.

That’s about it for this week, folks. Have a great week!

Stream of consciousness…

So wow…

Apparently with all the fun of starting a new podcast, I kind of forgot to blog for a while. My two readers must be BESIDE THEMSELVES. (Hi, mom!)

As it turns out, not being able to sleep because of the heat and humidity kind of kills a person’s productivity (unless we’re talking about sitting in front of the a/c, knitting). So much knitting has happened – well, until this week, that is. The lack of sleep has caught up with me, and I’ve been falling into bed pretty much as soon as I get home from work. Did I ever mention that I hate summer? I really hate summer. I don’t deal with the time change very well (yes, that happened back in March – what of it?). I don’t deal with heat or humidity very well. I don’t deal with teenagers who have no life and so keep me awake at all hours of the night by banging around the kitchen for snacks very well. Let’s just say that from May to September, I’m a hot mess – literally! Bring on pumpkin season!

Back in June, I decided to try this low-carb thing. As you may know, I’m a type II diabetic, and I’ve had difficulty controlling my blood sugar levels. I’m not keeping strictly keto, but I have been using a lot of their recipes. There are a few blogs I follow for ideas and inspiration (I’ll list them below). So far, when I manage to stick to it, my blood sugar is within normal ranges, which is super duper awesome! Sadly, I suck at meal planning and cooking ahead, so when I’m lazy, I tend to fall off the wagon. I’m getting better, though. I’m not trying to advocate a low-carb lifestyle, or push it on anyone, I’m just reporting my anecdotal evidence that it seems to be helping me keep my blood sugar under control. I haven’t lost any weight yet, but between that and going to the gym, there have been some minor changes to my body that I’m pretty happy about. The blogs I’ve been following are Two Sleevers (I even have her cookbooks!), My PCOS Kitchen (I’ve never been diagnosed with PCOS, nor do I think I have it, but I do get ovarian cysts… so there, that’s a TMI thing you know about me now!), and Low-Carb Yum (so many tasty things!)

I’ve also been on a quest to get rid of a lot of clutter in my life. Part of that has been stashing down rather than acquiring any new yarn/fiber/hobby stuff, and getting plastic bags and plastic waste out of my life. I started knitting these little Reusable Produce Bags, and they’re SO quick and super cute! I’ve been knitting piles of them. They’re having their inaugural fling at the grocery store this evening. My friend Jen (stormcoast on Ravelry, and the host of The Uncreative Crafter podcast) has been doing trash walks, and recently did a Books, not Butts walk, where she encouraged people to sponsor her for one cent per cigarette butt she picked up. In one short walk, she managed to pick up 505 cigarette butts! That’s both impressive (on her part) and really gross (on the part of the smokers). You can follow her efforts to clean up her town here!

Anyway, school has started again for me, so I’d better get back to my assignment (and my breakfast!)

 

 

The Wayward Skein: Episode 8

Knitting Content:

Finished Objects:

Reusable Produce Bag by Tia Stanfield in size small. One made out of unknown fingering weight, one made of Louet EuroFlax Sport (unknown colourway). Knit on size 3.75mm (US 5) and 6mm (US 10) needles. The purple bag has one extra pattern repeat.

Works in Progress:

Winterlong by Bristol Ivy. Knit out of Filtes King Velour (discontinued) in colourway 1317. Knit on size 5mm (US 8) needles.

Rob’s 2018 socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee). Knit out of Bergère de France Luberon in the Eau Vive colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Mitered Square Blanket (based on Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis). Squares this week were Infinite Twist Helix in the Hooker’s Green colourway, and an unknown sock yarn. Knit on 2.75mm (US 2) needles.

Tea:

This week’s tea is Just Peachy by David’s Tea. It’s a subtle, sweet, and smooth peach-flavoured herbal tea that’s one of my favourites for drinking iced in the summertime. It’s very fresh and delicate!

Screen Time:

Netflix: I watched Hannah Gadsby’s new special, called “Nanette”. It’s a very thought-provoking piece, and I highly recommend it.

Podcasts: I spent time catching up with the Knitting Expat Podcast with MinaPhilipp. She has KnitCrate review videos as well as regular podcast episodes, and I love watching her. She’s funny and smart, and her little daughter Layla is a delight to watch!

I also watched the most recent episodes of the Must Love Yarn podcast with jrbirdkid and KellySpins. If you haven’t visited their shop in Shelburne, Vermont, you need to get there soon! I love watching these ladies, it’s always relaxing and enjoyable!

Also spent some time catching up with StormCoast on The Uncreative Crafter Podcast Fans and selmaknits on the Little Big Knits podcast.

Recipe reviews:

I’ve been trying to follow a low-carb diet to get my blood sugar under control, so this week, I tested out two dessert recipes from blogs I’ve started following. My favorite is the Coconut Pandan Chia Seed Pudding from the Two Sleevers blog. Another good one I plan on tweaking a bit is the Keto Triple Chocolate Cheesecakerecipe from My PCOS Kitchen blog.

Book Talk:

I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo this week, and I’m very much enjoying it thus far! If you find that you get stressed thinking about cleaning, I highly recommend giving this a read.

Have a great week, everyone!

The Wayward Skein Podcast: Episode 5

Knitting content:

Finished Objects – Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho. Knit out of Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts Big Squeeze in the Orange Tabby colourway. Size 6mm (US 10) needles.

Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Knit out of James C. Brett Woodlander Double Knitting in colourway 11L. Size 4.5mm (US 7) needles.

Work in Progress – Basic vanilla socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Knit out of Nova Sock Prints in colourway 174. Size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Tv & pocasts

Still watching Midsomer Murders. Sadly, I believe I’m on the last series, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with myself once it’s done!

I’ve been catching up on podcasts lately, namely The Little Big Knits PodcastThe Uncreative Crafter Podcast Fans, and The Canadian Knitter Podcast.

Podcasts which are in my immediate queue to be watched include The CATT Lady Podcast, Hawthorn Cottage Crafts Podcast and The dunkelgrün group. Stay tuned to see what else I’m watching, as I have a long list of them to get through!

Life and stuff

Not much going on this week, other than recovering from vacation, going to splash pads for playdates, and getting sunburned (twice). Have a fantastic week, and keep your sticks pointy!