Aside

Onward

Hello my friends. Come take a walk with me…

Imagine us walking through a garden. The fragrance besides the abundance of bright flowers announce that it’s now spring. As we stroll along the paved path, we reach a special area of the grounds to the right. We gasp in surprise at the delightful vision of butterflies fluttering about. Further inside, we can’t help but be curious. We closely examine the foliage. To our wonder, there is evidence of a butterfly’s world. Little eggs are attached to leaves. Caterpillars like slowly moving accordions inch around munching. We also spot some green pupae hanging precariously from underneath branches. A few, abandoned pupas sway gently in the breeze. We happily leave this part of the garden, enriched by a part of mother nature, and walk down the path once more, ready to see something new and ready to learn.

I can be a perfectionist, sometimes wanting things to be just right. Of course life doesn’t work that way. I’ve learned as a mother that sometimes I have to take things in stride as they are what they are. In my experience, everything will work itself out. While I wanted to have everything ready, my schedule of late has had me running around. PTA is picking up again and has me strengthening my Excel skills. And guess what? The husband and I are official, first time homeowners!

With the coming end of this 2014-2015 school year, our crew will be moving out of the city. Yep, for the first time in my life, this city born and bred gal will be living elsewhere and going suburban. With the change of address on the horizon, I also started to feel different about Knitspiring Odyssey. This is the first, public blog I’ve ever had. It’s been my training wheels of sorts I guess you could say. I was a young mum learning how to be one to two children, and I was still learning about knitting techniques besides venturing into crochet for the first time.

So now our girls are older. I’ve got a decade of parenthood under my belt. I can hook the basics of crochet. I can knit with two hands for a colorwork project and knit up a beanie with a jogless jog. I say I’m at least an intermediate knitter right now. With these accomplishments in my life, I feel it’s time for a small change. This change is retiring the Knitspiring Odyssey domain. I’ve outgrown it.

So when April 8th rolls around, this blog will no longer be present. I’m not giving up blogging although it will be a while until I post again. I like to present you with a soft announcement of Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons. I’m slowly working on perfecting the blog header. I have initial photos but they’re not up to snuff quite yet. So please bear with me while I’m tinkering about and getting things ready. I do hope you’ll switch over to Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons in the future.

Until our next chat, I bid you adieu. You are always in my thoughts and held with deepest appreciation close to my heart.

A West Coast Necessity

Aloha.

I know it has only been a week since I blogged last, but it feels like a long time. After a busy week, this week is a mellow one – *fist pump* yay!

Mahalo for sharing your foodie preferences and table hits. It’s fun to read what makes your taste buds happy. I love how food is another bond we have.

Speaking of which, I just realized today that my Hulu queue was showing a new season of Master Junior Chef. Have you watched this before? I am always blown away by these 8-13 year olds who know how to cook from scratch and off the top of their cute heads. I like seeing the tough Gordon Ramsey gently talking to frustrated or hurt contestants. You can even see sometimes the judges being emotionally affected when they have to send disappointed, teary kids home.

To extend the subject of food further, I wanted to mention that I made this recipe last night. My mum passed down her barely used, slow cooker. I was missing mine as its ceramic insert was cracked by yours truly. I forgot to wait for it to cool down before filling it with water. Anywho, this recipe is easy to follow and worth each step. My keiki were lickin’ their digits and the little one was demanding more. I didn’t take a photo for the blog today, but will the next time I whip it up.

Onto quick, fiber news…

This gift has been sitting in my fiber drawer since November. I keep forgetting to give it a soak and to wet-block it. Every time I see the first grade teacher in the morning, I remember but then get distracted by something else. So today, this wahine took care of business:

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I have the perimeter of Coastal – Purl Soho’s Structured Alpaca Cowl – pinned down as well as its bottom, ribbed straightedge (not shown) that will lie against Mrs. L’s neck. That bump you see is the front, stockinette edge that will be under her chin. Would you believe I just realized I have this project pinned face side down – *sighs & smacks forehead* doh!

The Eucalan soak relaxed the ribbing which is a relief. Straight off of the needles made the cowl tight and even though Mrs. L is a petite woman…

For you knitters in the audience, I totally recommend this free pattern. I hope to knit one for myself in the future.

Sorry, I need to run as it’s almost time for keiki pick up.

TTYL. Aloha.

Comfort Food

Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

- James Beard -

I’m an ABC, American-born Chinese. I grew up on the standard fare from pork chops to spaghetti to meatloaf. Once in a while, my mum made Pai Gwut Fan, spareribs in a black bean sauce.

Because I’m so Americanized, usually at banquets or luncheons I skip the Chow Fan, fried rice. I have always viewed that as a touristy dish.

However over winter break, my seven-year-old inspired me to make it because there was shrimp in the recipe, a shellfish she loves to gobble up. Oh boy did my snobby attitude toward fried rice change! Can I tell you homemade is so much betta?

The first, four photos are of two, Chow Fan recipes by Damn Delicious: Pancetta Fried Rice and Shrimp Fried Rice. They are very similar to one another.

Nonchalance of throwing the pancetta recipe together + the sauce of the shrimp recipe = add pancetta and grated carrots to the shrimp recipe.

The amount of each sauce ingredient doesn’t seem like much, but let me tell you, it goes a long way by covering and flavoring everything.

During a visit to the south bay one weekend, the 10-year-old slurped up her Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup. She let her sister and me try it as well. We were impressed at how good it was so I searched Pinterest and found Hip2Save’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Copycat Panera Recipe)W-i-n-n-e-r. I buy Trader Giotto’s Garlic and Cheddar Bread Sticks for us to dip.

What recipe(s) has been revisiting your table lately?

Organic

Your showering of post commentaries are like sprinkles of warm sun upon my face and shoulders. Thank you.

This has been a productive week of sorts that has put me in a good mood, so I’d like to start your weekend with a little bit of Grasshopper Pie:

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Organically created baby human.

Organic cotton baby cocoon and hat.

Our family was thrilled to finally meet this baby boy in December. I’m happy my nephew will carry on our family name.

My brother likes the Grasshopper Pie ice cream at Mitchell’s. Having bought this pattern long ago for his first child – my niece – who ended up getting a ripple blanket, I dug the pattern out and got to work on it. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton in Aloe & Stone.

Crochet hurts my hands so I had to do a little at a time. The pattern’s hat is part cherry. My SIL doesn’t like red so I keep the hat all in Aloe/ice cream. I was embroidering those chocolate chips the night before Christmas Eve. I used leftover Cascade 220 Superwash as I didn’t have any embroidery thread.

Have a terrific weekend.

Two Birds with One Stone

This three-day weekend, Knitspiring Odyssey has a guest, partner blogger.

Hello! I’m Princess Jellybean.

Today I modeled Mommy’s scarf and hat:

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This scarf is my great aunt’s Christmas present.

It tickled me when Mommy wrapped it around my neck. It’s very cozy and warm.

Logistics:

Project Name: R-r-ruffles

Pattern: Marc Jacobs Inspired Ruffle Scarf by Alice Schnebly

Yarn Used: Knit Picks Swish Worsted, 660 yards

Colorway: Marble Heather

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I like the white dots on this hat:

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I <3 my teddies and kissing them.

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Logistics:

Project Name: Speckled

Pattern: From my noggin’

Yarn Used: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran + Berroco Comfort Solids & Heathers

Colorways: (DB) Black & (BCSH) Chalk

21st Century Vintage

You know how much I love my mama. She is an amazing woman: Classy, refined, down-to-earth, generous, helpful, and a damn good cook. Do you understand now how blessed I am?

It’s no brainer that I knitted her Christmas gift – Vintage Modern Shale:

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My mum snapped this pic, BTW.

You should have seen it all blocked out on the mats. What a sight! This may look like the Feather and Fan stitch pattern, but it’s actually Old Shale, “a four row pattern used as the border for most hap shawls (the working shawl of all Shetland women until World War II)” [source].

This Little House Shawl by Joanna Johnson was originally designed for her daughter, using light fingering or DK weight yarn. I used worsted weight because I had a bigger stash in that.

I was inspired by this FO in the pattern’s project gallery. I knitted with two shades of grey – Debbie Bliss Cashermerino & FibraNatura Heaven. And that bright, pop of melon is Lang Yarns Merino 120 Superwash.

One day I’ll make one for myself. It’s an undertaking to start out with 396 sts. Yep, you read that correctly. It starts from the border and decreases down to five sts. However, I kind of liked knitting that way a bit more.

Oh boy, daring to dream now of the possibilities! Wouldn’t it be yarnilicious in something like Madelinetosh Vintage or Pashmina? What about a solid or a variegated yarn? Pop of color or neutral?

Dream along with me in your two cents.