Evelyn’s Mittens

Over the summer, Evelyn asked me to knit her some new mittens. When we were on vacation, we stopped into My Sister Knits in Fort Collins, and Evelyn picked out some super pretty (and super on sale!) yarn.

Our original plan was to put flip-over mitten hoods on them like my gloves, but they came out really nice. Evelyn was so happy with them, she decided to keep them as-is so she could wear them inside!

It’s been a while since I’ve had a knitting project, and it was nice getting back into it. It is certainly is much nicer to make things for people when they really like them!

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Baby’s Coming – Knitting Edition

So…I started this post 3 months ago, with the idea of showcasing the baby things we knitted in preparation of Alex’s arrival. Somehow I only managed to do a post about the sweater *I* knit, but never quite highlighted all of the things that Sara knit.

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Just to prove how late I am in posting this, the astute among you will probably notice the one in the middle is no longer necessary since Alex ended up being a boy. And in fact it is already out of date, since Sara has knit some additional things since Alex was born (I guess that can be a future post!)

Many of these things have shown up in pictures already, such as the outfit Alex wore home from the hospital, and others have not, even though Alex wears them quite frequently.

The blanket is certainly the highlight, in my opinion. It is one of the most beautiful and unique blankets I have ever seen, and if anything, it looks better in person. Definitely a great keepsake, as baby blankets should be.

Sorry it took me so long to get this one up! Better late than never!

My First Sweater

I have knit my very first sweater!

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Okay, so Sara says that picture might be misleading, so here’s one with a dinosaur, for size:

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That’s right, I knit a huge, dinosaur-sized sweater!

Alright, alright, so it’s a baby sweater. But still, a sweater’s a sweater, right?

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I think my knitting has improved at some point without me realizing, because this was actually pretty easy. Plus, it gave me something to do every day on the train. That’s right, I was that guy (hey, it was less weird than the lock!) I was a little nervous about finishing this in time, but it turns out I needn’t have worried.

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I will certainly add an “in-use” picture when applicable!

Badass Accordion Gloves

Guess who’s got himself a pair of badass accordion gloves?

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As a knitter, I feel like I should have something on hand (see what I did there?) to show people. Almost like a sample or something, like credentials, as if I need to prove that I’m not lying about knitting (because that’s totally what you would lie about to be cool, right?). However, as a person married to a knitter, my hats and scarves have all been provided by Sara. “Oh, did you knit your hat?” they ask. “Well, no. I mean, I could have. I do knit hats, sometimes, but not this *particular* hat…”

No, I needed something of my own.

And hey, if you’re going to go custom, go all the way custom, am I right?

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So I made myself some “convertible” gloves, that can transform from fingerless gloves into mittens with the flip of a flap. There are even little flaps for the thumbs!

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As I was picking out the pattern for the gloves, I saw some with embroidery on the knuckles, and I knew I wanted to do that. But what message to put? Something badass, something awesome, something uniquely me, and something no one else would ever have in a million years.

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Look, I’ve even got a picture of me working on my mittens in Costa Rica. Mittens! In Costa Rica!

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Now, I will admit, knitting these mittens has taken all the time that I would normally use to practice the accordion. But, hey! Now that I have the accoutrements, fame and fortune can’t be far behind, can they? If nothing else, at least I’m prepared for some winter busking.

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Balsamic Strawberry Jam

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

We make a lot of jam. I mean a LOOOOT of jam. Our pantry is stocked with apocalypse-preparation levels of jams, marmalades, curds, chutneys, and compotes. We have an average of about 5 open variety of jams in our fridge at any given time. Short of Frank Smuckers, there are not many people who have more jam on hand than us.

And none of those jams, none of them, are better than balsamic strawberry jam.

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The Journey:

It all starts with the fresh strawberries, of course.

Although Sara does most of the canning, it is something of an “all hands on deck” situation. The kids do seem to honestly enjoy the fact that they get to help make the food (although, it’s possible they are just humoring me). Especially something as delicious as jam.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking: balsamic vinegar in jam? That sounds absolutely disgusting. Why would I want to pollute something as simple and delicious as strawberries and sugar with balsamic vinegar?

I DON’T KNOW.

But you do. Oh, how you do. I’m afraid you’re just going to have to take my word on it. I’m something of an expert, you know.

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The Verdict:

Did I mention that there is no better jam? There is no better jam.

Use it on whatever you use jam on, but also try it drizzled on some vanilla ice cream. Heavenly.

Naturally, no recipe is complete without the secret ingredient: one photobomb.

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The Recipe:

Recipe adapted from Farmish Momma:

  • 8 cups chopped strawberries
  • 3 cups turbinado sugar (white sugar would work too)
  • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. Put the strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar into a pot and cook on medium high.
  2. Mash the berries a little to get the juice out. Once it is boiling, lower to medium and let cook for about 25-30 minutes until it passes the freezing plate test (drop a little bit on a plate you had in the freezer and if it does not drip and gels up you are done).
  3. Process in whichever way you use to can preserves (might I recommend this excellent canning tutorial). Makes about 5 half-pints.

Knitting: a sure sign of villany

From the truly surreal files, you remember the Batman villain Bane? This guy?

You notice anything strange in his hand there? Turns out that our buddy Bane is a fan of the fiber arts.

This may seem like a strange choice; as the article points out:

…it seems pretty out of place for someone set on destroying a city to all of a sudden have a penchant for arts and crafts.

Not so strange after all. Director Christopher Nolan modeled “The Dark Knight Rises” on “A Tale of Two Cities”, which makes Bane Madame Defarge:

She’s a villain from A Tale of Two Cities who has a passion for two things in particular — killing and knitting, as seen in this excerpt:

“Eh well! How then?” demanded madame, tying another knot, as if there were another enemy strangled.

So that’s not one, but two knitting villains. Surely a coincidence. On the other hand, knitting teaches you patience and attention to detail, something that most villains could use a little bit more of. Anyway, it’s not like everybody who knits is evil…

::Slowly casts on stitches while staring you in the eye::

::Retreats into a dark corner::

::Leans back into the light so he can see what he’s doing…those stitches are tiny::

Link via Jen.

Come to the dark side – knitting