Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My new baby

I brought home a new addition to our family today. A new baby to learn how to take care of. No, it's isn't a small person or animal. It's my new orchid:
I was supposed to pick out an orchid for my Valentine as my wonderful husband was not comfortable to do it on his own. At the time I didn't find one that I wanted, so I figured I'd wait. I kept looking, but still didn't find the right one. You can see why my husband was afraid to pick one out....I'm too darn picky!! Well, today I stopped at Trader Joe's and was pleasantly surprised when I found this orchid. It's a dendrobium orchid. This is my second orchid. The first one I had was a phalaenopsis. You probably remember Miss Pink. I managed not to kill Miss Pink and she bloomed a long time for me, giving me so much pleasure for a very long time. I do love orchids so much. Hope I have good luck with this one and  I don't kill it, at least not right away. Maybe my blogging friend, Dee, an orchid lover, will give me some tips. Check out the new orchid she got recently. She bought it in a store in Florida that caters just to orchids. There are no such stores around here in Massachusetts.

I picked this one because of the deep purple rose color even though there is only one bloom on the plant. There are lots of buds though.Ten buds. I love buds. I love watching them and waiting for them to open. Oh, my I do hope they all open.  It's not very big which is good.
Some of the big showy orchids are huge and top heavy. I like the smaller ones. I'm crossing my fingers and hope I can keep this beauty alive. Looking forward to watching the buds open.  How did I do, Dee?

Still working on my Holding Hands Baby blanket. Other than the orchid, not much is new :) happy knitting :)

 Copyright ©2006-2012 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Since I'm still working on the Holding Hands Baby Blanket and I don't have anything new to show you knitting-wise I thought I'd take a little trip down memory lane and show you a few of  my favorite old things that I cherish.

The first favorite thing that I want to show you is an old, rather vintage (as that's what they are calling all the old junk these days), wooden apple tea set from my childhood. I've always loved this cute little set. The stem is missing, so I borrowed a stem from my artificial apple in my decorative fruit bowl that sits on my kitchen table, for photographing purposes. When you open up the apple, you find a miniature tea set inside. I think it was made in Japan probably in the 1960's.The tea pot is missing it's handle, but other than that it's still in pretty good condition. Well loved and well played with. I've always kept it on my bedroom dresser since I was a child and I've been married 27 years. That's love....right?

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I found a couple of links of similar sets here and here.

After we were married, my dear mother crocheted for us two blankets. The first one is throw sized and the pattern is Narrow Step Afghan. I've always loved this blanket made up of a multitude of shades of brown, tans, off whites and rusts.
 Here's a close up of the pattern. Reminds me of an Indian blanket.
Because she knew how much we loved the throw, she made us a big blanket for our queen sized bed. It's really big and she made it big enough to use as a bed spread. Can you just imagine how long and how much yarn it too?  It keeps us nice and snugly warm all winter long. I love it, but it's a job and a half to wash it!
I also have a blanket she crocheted for me when I was still living at home. This beautiful ripple. Luckily she made this one big, bigger than I really needed for my twin bed at the time. It probably is more full bed sized, but we still use it on our bed even if it is a tad small. Here it is.
My mother didn't make the next one, but I still love it to pieces. When I was in college I crocheted this granny square blanket. It's throw sized and has been on the back of our couch since we were married. This one has also been well used and abused. It's made up of scrap yarn, wool and acrylic, and most of the wool has felted over the years from it's washings. Do I care? No...I love it just the same.
Now on to my next favorite subject - food - :)
Look what I found in the grocery store this week:
 Some absolutely gorgeous Meyer lemons! I've never seen them before, but I have heard of them. I couldn't resist, I just had to buy them.
After purchasing my great find, I decided to make a Lemon Meringue Pie for my son's 20th birthday. Even though his birthday isn't until Tuesday I thought he would like to have it this weekend when he was home from college. Here it is
I used my mother's recipe, which I cherish greatly. My husband has always wants an apple pie for his birthday ever since I've know him and that's usually what he gets. Sometimes I think that's why he married me when he got a taste of my mom's apple and other pies. He probably figured if the mother was a pie baker, then the daughter most likely would be one, too, or at least she's have someone to teach her ;)
My middle son takes after his father and likes apple pie instead of cake. When I found the lemons I emailed him and asked if he'd like a lemon meringue pie instead of the apple and he said sure. I don't make lemon meringue very often so it's a real treat. I'll make an apple pie perhaps the next time he comes home. We're due for one soon :)

Well I guess that's about it for now.

Got to get back to my knitting ....happy knitting :)

Copyright ©2006-2012 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pretty in Pink


A pretty pink baby blanket is my latest project in the works, but it is very slow going. The pattern is Holding Hands baby blanket which I started on February 7th. It's been 10 days and I don't have a whole lot to show for it considering it's the only knitting project that I've been working on. Yes, sometimes I do fall asleep at night knitting, but for the most part I've been pretty diligent. The yarn is Lion Brand Pound of Love and it's super soft. I'm really liking how it's working up despite the fact it is not a quick knit. The pattern kind of reminds me of a cross stitch or smocking. Although I didn't have a baby in mind, I  have to admit I was so intrigued by the pattern so much so that I had to knit it. I thought it would an enjoyable pattern and I was right :)

I've also been working on homemade pizza. Found a new easy pizza dough in the book Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day . This is a rather new book by the authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking . I loved that book and now I love this one, too. The nice crispy, but chewy dough is easy to mix up. The added bonus is you can do it the day before and keep the dough in the fridge. You can even freeze the dough for later.  Water, all purpose flour, yeast and kosher salt are the only ingredients! That's it. Simple and easy. Here's my pizzas --one with tomato sauce, mushrooms and peperoni:
and a white mushroom pizza:
....delicious :)

Try it...you'll like it!

Copyright ©2006-2012 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Holy Cow(l) - - Another cowl!

Finished another cowl this week.  The Candle Flame Cowl:
This one fits snugly and I think I'd probably be more likely to call it a neck warmer. I like how the edges zig zag a bit. It so slightly reminds me of a victorian high lace collar - - sort of. 100_0100
 This was my first time knitting the candle flame stitch pattern. It looks difficult, but it's not. Once again another nice quick project and now I'm working on another rather slow knit baby blanket, but I do have another cowl ready to start. Guess you might say I'm a bit hooked on cowls :)

I'm also pretty hooked on pinterest these days. I've been trying out some of my pin ideas that I've been collecting, so I thought I'd share with you my favorite pin for this week. It doesn't relate to the needle arts, but it's one from my cleaning tips and tricks board. In our house, we seem to always have a clogged or almost clogged bathroom sink drain. We periodically use Liquid Plumr to keep our drain open, but it's really nasty stuff and I usually make my husband do that chore. Well, I got a little excited when I saw this pin:
Source: tidymom.net via hakucho on Pinterest

and decided to give it a try. Oh, my goodness, so simple- - just baking soda and vinegar. You know, the ingredients that science project volcanoes are made of.  Did it work? YES!! Incredibly easy, not caustic, cheap and boy, did it ever work!  It cleared the sink on the first try!!  I even used the opened box of old baking soda from my fridge, so I'm recycling, too! I'm so impressed with it. No more liquid plumr for me. I don't mind using the vinegar and baking soda myself, so I'm planning on using it more frequently and hopefully our drain will stay nice and clear :)

It doesn't take much to make me happy ;) Good ideas and knitting of course :)

happy weekend :)
happy knitting :)

Copyright ©2006-2012 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

A versatile cowl

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In need of a quick project after my long engagement with my circle cloth blanket, I found an easy cowl pattern on ravelry. I had fun knitting it in two colors -- knitting the wide ribbing with one color (light blue) for one row and the other color (navy) for two rows. I like the striped effect and it perks up an otherwise drab knit. l found upon trying on the cowl that it was pretty versatile. There are a number of ways you could wear it and I bet there are many more.
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I even tried out a new cast on that I found via Pinterest.
Source: ravelry.com via hakucho on Pinterest

It's called the Short Tail Cast on and it intrigued me. How often have you cast on using the long tail method and found that you under-estimated the amount of yarn you needed and found yourself starting all over again? Well, I thought this would be great, but I was slightly disapointed in finding that I now had 3 tails on my cast on edge:
Not good! I removed the knot at the end and wove all the ends in, but was not as thrilled with it as I had hoped. I'm sure it has it's merits, perhaps when you have an above average number of stitches to cast on.  I'm filing it away in the back of my mind AND I've pinned it on my pinboard so it's ready and waiting for the right moment :) Don't you just love Pinterest?

happy knitting :)

Copyright ©2006-2012 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.