Tuesday, March 30, 2010

French Provence Smock

My great-grandmother, Victoria Burell (that's her in the middle), came over to America from France when she was a little girl.  Hoping for a better life.  When she was around 14 a man did some work to my great-great-grandparents home.  Instead of paying him in cash they gave him my great-grandmothers hand in marriage.  They had 9 children, one of them was my grandmother, she was miserable her whole life.  Married to a man 15 years older than her that she didn't love.  I'm sure she didn't expect that America would be like that.  On the flip side,  if it wasn't for a leaky roof, I guess I wouldn't be here.

In honor of her, here is my French Provence Smock.  I would love to tell you it took 3 hours & it was a piece of cake but it took me more like 3 days due to the little ones I have running around.  I would like to tell my great-grandmother that times have changed & we marry men we love & pay people not only in cash but on these plastic things called credit cards and that she shouldn't worry because I won't be trading Sabrina's hand in marriage to my window washer anytime soon.

The author of this book, A is for Apron, complains about using bias tape, she doesn't like it.  I loved it.  None of that cutting strips of material & pressing, folding, pressing, folding.  I ditched the pattern about a quarter of the way in & just wung it.  The way it was written was to much for me to read, I like my patterns simple. It worked out just fine.  I had a flaw here and there, but nothing noticeable.  My only complaint is that I am a bit busty & it makes me look really pregnant.  Which is not a pleasant thought to me seeing as how I had 2 babies in 18 months. (It looks lopsided in the photo because of the way I am standing & the wind was wicked)  I would make every apron in this book if I had the time.  But I think I am going to go give my husband a hug instead & be thankful my parents didn't give me away to the guy that delivered their mail.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Clapotis & Cancer

I finished Clapotis!  It was such a great knit, really it is, people would see me knitting this & were amazed at the outcome.  The dropped stitch & all.  But it's so easy, and much more easy the second time around.
  It was knit for a friend who lost her mother this past summer to pancreatic cancer.  My mom died exactly 14 days later.  So as I knit this I thought about the women who have gone before us, my mother & my friend's mother.  I thought about all that they would miss out on &about the time we were lucky enough to have with them. I'm selfish & would of liked more time.  My mom was only 74, her mother, my grandmother,  lived to be 94 years old.  I feel a little cheated.   Sometimes I would just be sad while knitting this.  Other times I would have a smile on my face as I reflected in my mind the life I shared with my mother. 

I hope my friend loves this Clapotis as much as I loved to knit it.  I hope it brings her comfort on the bad days & warmth on the cold snowy days.

Know the signs, of Pancreatic
 and Ovarian cancers.  Stay with us a lot longer than cancer would let you.  Be informed & be protected. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Because it's just that nice out...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I can't bake! But I try...

I'm a gadget gal, new phone out...sure I'll buy it, Wii?...yeah, I'll search all over like a mad woman wanting one, Xbox? we got one of those too.  Zune, IPod...whatever, I'm game!  So when I saw the Kindles come out, then the Nooks, then the Sony Readers, I knew I had to have one.  After some investigation, I snatched up a Sony Reader!  Knitting books, cookbooks, novels, The New York Post, anything I want & I don't' have to leave the house.  So if I read a review about a new novel I would love to crack open...no schlepping the kids to Border's to buy it, I just sit at my computer and click-click-click.  Now, trust me, I still take the little rugrats to Border's & buy them their books but if you ever spy a lady walking around looking at bookshelves & talking into her Droid (yep, had to get that too!) that's just me working the voice recorder on my phone.  I record the titles of the books I want on my phone, go home & click-click-click!  It's in my Reader!  I love this thing.

So when Heather told me about a blog called Pioneer Woman, I had to check it out.  Great recipes!  Great food! So much to read! Then,  I saw she had a cookbook & click-click-click, it was on my Reader.  So while I was out today with the hubby I was in the car skimming my new cookbook & decided to make the sheet cake, easy..... right?  I dove right in like a crazy woman, all the while forgetting that I CAN'T BAKE!  I've said it before & it's not a lie. I'm so bad at baking that one time I thought the corn starch sat so long on my shelf that it became baking soda, I'm not lying.  After mentioning it to my husband we figured out that the kids tried to make play-dough, dumped the corn starch & baking soda out into bowls, then when they put them back, they put it in the wrong boxes! 

So after pouring the cake into the jellyroll pan & popping it into my crappy-ass electric oven I realized I forgot one really important ingredient, the baking soda.  It's essential.  So I pull the cake out of the oven, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of baking soda on the batter& try to whisk it in there as smooth as possible. Back into the oven it went, while I made the icing, which turned out perfect, so perfect in fact you could eat it off the spoon! I did!  The cake came out poofy all over but flatter in the corners....when we cut into it it was all fluffy & perky on top but dense and heavy on the bottom where the baking soda didn't go.  Oh well, it still tasted great...live & learn!  Make this, today!  It's so good, so easy! Just don't forget your baking soda.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Clapotis...almost there.

I have been busy, to say the least.  My daughter is a dancer & competition season is in full swing, I have been busy with at my sewing machine this week but won't bore you with the embellishments of a dancers costume.  I would rather be making aprons & sweater quilts, but those items elude me for yet another week or so.  Though my beautiful 13 year-old daughter, that's her with a feather in her hair, informed me that this would be her last year trick-or-treating and she would like to go out with a BANG! She wants me to make the Satine Costume!  YIKES!  To be cont....

Though I did get to take off for a few days by myself with some girly friends on a little ski trip & had so much fun.  I took lots of things to knit but did way more gabbing, wine-drinking, Olympic viewing & board game playing than anything else.  It snowed a ton while we were up there, I spent an afternoon at the spa getting a hot stone facial & massage.....H-E-A-V-E-N for a woman that has had 2 babies in less than 2 years!  I wanted to pack Jessica the Masseuse into my bag & take her home!  I even got to teach one of the ladies(baseball hat) to knit, I hope it she sticks with it!  I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I worked on Clapotis a little while I was gone & have started the decrease rows, I enjoy this pattern & intend to make more in the future, just not the near future.  After this baby is done, I have some small things to knit, including a scarf, baby legwarmers, Toast & socks!

I met up at KnitOne with my good friend Leslie TWICE in one week!  What a treat!  The first time we met we got together with another Leslie that found my Leslie on her blog.  The second week we met with Heather & Barb, that meet-up has been a very long time in the planning since we live so far from them.  It happened & it wasn't long enough for any of us!  You can see photos here & here & here.  My D90 is at the hospital & I hope to get it back soon. Oh my, how can I forget, I mean this is a knitting blog, after all....Leslie made this for my Cole, or as we call him Cokey. Thanks Leslie! 

In the meantime....check these out, how cute are they!  I want one! or TWO!