Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Little Knitting and Some Cheesemaking

A few weeks ago I had one of those mother-daughter moments that every knitter waits for. I was asked to pass on what knowledge I have of knitting. So, I taught my mom how to knit. She actually already knew how to do the knit stitch, I just taught her how to purl and armed her with the Mason Dixon book. My step-father is in a Celtic band, so she has a lot of good opportunities to knit.

While mom was visiting us, she spent a lot of time reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. One section of the book that we were both intrigued by was where Barbara recounts her attempts to make cheese at home. She recommends the mozzarella kit produced by New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. Since dairy seems to comprise practically half of our grocery bill every week and can go even higher if we try to buy organic, I thought it would be fun to give it a go.

Started with:Boiling the milk:

Seperating the curds and whey (which I honestly found a bit challenging):

Weirdly shaped cheese with extra curds outside the bowl that got lost along the way:
So, technically, it's supposed to take about half an hour, but my first attempt took closer to an hour and a half. Of course, I was taking care of two kiddos at the same time, so still not too bad.

For dinner, we had the cheese with homegrown basil, homemade focaccia bread, and tomatoes (man, I wish I was more like Emms, growing tomatoes at home!). As Little Girl would say, it was "Yuuummmmy!"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Just for Him

Finally, a finished knit (Ravelry details here) that is solely for Baby Boy. There is no way that Big Sister can claim this one even if she's just "sharing."

I fell in love with this sweater as soon as Anny completed that first beautiful cream version... and the pattern is exactly the kind of pattern that works well for a knitting mom. That cable that provides fun knitting... it's a 16 row repeat, so you're not going to memorize it (unless you knit a few of these... which I might!), but there's also plenty of stockinette, so there's no reason not to work on it even when little ones are awake. Plus, since she added the matching hat to the pattern, it satisfied my irrational love of matchy matchy kids clothing. (I have no idea why it is that I'm so enamored with matching kids clothing, but anytime there's a matching hat/accessory/whatever I can't help myself.... thankfully, this does not play out in any way with adult clothing.)
As an aside, there is actually a good chance that Big Sister will think that this sweater was hers at some time. Right now, we're dressing Baby Boy in a lot of her hand-me-downs, as she had a ton of yellow, green, and white onesies. So, anytime I dress him, she says, "I used to wear that... when I was a baby." Of course, he also has his own boy-specific clothing, but to her everything he has was once hers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


So far, I've only managed to finish two knits for Baby Boy and they're both toys, Otto and Elefante. Nice in theory, but since he isn't quite old enough to play with them, his older sister has pretty much claimed them as her own. She says that he's just sharing them with her, but since he didn't really have much say in the matter, I wonder about how this will play out when he gets older.

The Spice Rack and the Green Grocer

My newest obsessions.

Obsession #1: My collection of spices now numbers around 45 because I finally found an easy way to get them on the cheap. Monterey Bay Spice Company. They have a minimum order amount and shipping can be high. I've resolved those issues by becoming a mini-spice distributor among my friends and family. Plus, they also carry teas including my new favorite, Rooibus (so nice to have another decaf option!)

Obsession #2: the Green Grocer. This one's for those in the Metro area. They deliver fresh produce to you once a week. You can opt for an organic box or not, either way they try to get as much locally as possible. The best part, though, is the quality. Seriously tasty. Oh, and the fact that they bring it to you... very handy for a mom with a newborn!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sleep Deprivation Knitting

Two months of being a mother of two. Never more than about two or three hours of consecutive sleep. A two year old who used to be so well behaved and who has now taken to running away in public (oh, and as a result after a couple major scares and our first spanking I had to buy a kid harness.... now I'm that mom with her kid on a leash... something pre-parenthood that I would have definitely looked down on!).

That's a formula for an exhausted mommy who was itching to knit something, but not really thinking through what the finished object would look like. Sigh. Well, at least it's functional!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Still no baby, but Otto is done (Rav link)! There were several evenings when I was working on him and I was in false labor. I kind of liked the idea of working on him while actually in labor. It makes a sweet story anyway to say that I was knitting something for my Baby Boy when he was on his way... so, I think I'll start a second Otto and see if I can get it done before he arrives.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm now only one week away from my due date! Throughout my pregnancy so far, I've found that I've been much less aware of being pregnant than I was the first time around. Sometimes I even forgot entirely about being pregnant. With the due date so close now that has all changed.

I can't stop thinking about my Baby Boy on the way. Every time I do even the most mundane chores, I think of him. When I do the laundry, I wonder if this will be the last time I do laundry for just the three of us. When I go to bed, I wonder if this will be the last night I sleep without a newborn beside me. When I start a knitting project, I wonder if I will be able to complete it before Baby Boy arrives.

So, the race is on. Who will get here first? Otto (Rav link) or Baby Boy?