Monday, March 31

Finished: Everlasting Bagstopper

bagstopper finished!

Pattern: free from Knitty - Everlasting Bagstopper
Ravelry page: Everlasting Bagstopper
Yarn: Lion Cotton, 1.5 balls

While I did find this pattern a little boring to knit up, it went quickly and I am pleased with the finished product. The handles are two pieces of pink woven webbing from Hobby Lobby, which I attached with my sewing machine for extra strength.

I haven’t had a chance to field test my Bagstopper yet but I did throw a bunch of random thing from around my house in it for an in-use photo op:

bagstopper finished!

(Random things include two remote controls, my keys, my work keys, a burnt out light bulb, an empty pickle jar from the recycling bin, and a ball of yarn.)

I am definitely going to be making more in the future so I can use them on regular grocery shopping trips, not only just-need-a-few-things trips.

Thursday, March 27


Forget what I said about spring being here. It snowed all day again today. Luckily, the ground was warm enough that most of it melted but I still had to scrap off my car windows before driving home from work.

I drug out my sewing machine to attach the handles to my everlasting bagstopper before dinner tonight. (My machine has to live in the closet when not in use since the only surface I can use it on in our tiny apartment is the kitchen table.)

bagstopper 3

Unfortunately my camera battery died immediately after taking this picture, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to do the "finished project" post.

Tuesday, March 25

Spring, Maybe.

After an unseasonably late 12 inch blizzard hit us last Friday, the weather seems to have turned the corner to spring. (Did I say that a few weeks ago? I just got a sense of typing-déjà vu. Hmmm.) Daffodils are a sign of spring, right?


They are from my aunt, and the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days. I have never had fresh cut daffodils before and they are just perfect. The color is gorgeous and they smell like spring.

I am a few rows away from finishing my first Everlasting Bagstopper. I picked up some pink woven webbing for the handles at Hobby Lobby last night. I can't decide on the best way to attach them. It obviously need to be sturdy and able to stand up to some abuse. I'm sure the best way would be to drag out my sewing machine but I don't think that is going to happen.

bagstopper 2

Wednesday, March 19


So much for finishing my sweater before starting something new. I suffer from an extreme lack of will power (Exemplified by my before and sometimes post-dinner snacking...)

This is my Everlasting Bagstopper (or see Ravelry), out of Lion Cotton.

everlasting bagstopper

I have a very good excuse to starting this project now. (Don't I always?) Twice last week I stopped by Jewel and purchased one plastic grocery bag worth of items each time. And each time I wished I had a reusable bag to put the stuff in. Of course, I don't usually make "small" trips to the grocery store, and probably won't need to again for a while after I finish this.

I guess I will just have to make a dozen or so more to use for my regular shopping trips.

Monday, March 17

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day (or weekend, as it has been this year) is always a big event in Chicago. My German-born mother once told me that her father claims Oktoberfest is a bigger deal in Chicago than in Germany, and I wonder if the same might be true of St. Patrick's Day here vs. Ireland.

I am exactly 0% Irish, but my husband embraces his part-Irish-ness and I get to play along. I have my mother-in-law's recipe for Irish soda bread and I gave it a whirl this year. It is actually fake soda bread since it contains raisins, sugar, baking powder, and butter. (Hmmm... I really don't think I can call it soda bread at all after looking at traditional recipes. I guess we can just call it a good quick bread recipe. But we'll just keep that between us - no use spoiling my hubby's fun!)

fake soda bread

It came out very tasty, even if the loaves aren't the prettiest things in the world. The recipe is actually supposed to make one larger loaf, but I split it in half since I wanted to give some to my Dad.

(Let's Pretend This Is) Irish Soda Bread

3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1 and 1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup raisins

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in margarine using a pastry cutter or food processor until crumbly. Add raisins and mix well. Stir in buttermilk.

Knead gently on a floured board for about 30 seconds.

Place in a greased loaf pan or shape into a round loaf on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 55-60 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.


Sunday, March 16

Warmth and comfort.

I am trying hard to finish my Something Red sweater before startitis kicks in too badly and it is cast aside for something more exciting. I want to be able to wear this thing before it is too warm outside. That's probably not much of a concern seeing how cold it still is here, but I have to believe that it will be warmer soon. I just hope we don't skip spring entirely and jump straight to 90F summer!

I finished the body and started on the first sleeve since this photo was taken.


I am not looking forward to picking up a zillion and a half stitches for the button band and collar. My plan is to finish this sleeves early this week and then pick up the collar stitches while distracting myself with a movie. If I can get the sleeves done before Thursday, I can pick a sappy movie that my husband hates since he is in class Thursday night. Plus, if I finish the sweater this week I can start my next big project over the weekend. Now that's motivation!


Today is kind of a loss as far as relaxing Sundays go. I had to go into work for a few hours this morning and we have to leave for a wake shortly. An dear family friend passed away on Friday and it is difficult, if not all together unexpected. I have known him since I was just a baby and even thought I have not seem him regularly for a number of years, it was still nice knowing he and his wife were around. While I am very sad, he was 93 and had a good life and a great family. I definitely do not mean to trivialize his death, for I know his family is feeling the loss much deeper than I am, but really, what more could you ask for?

Tuesday, March 11


Have you seen the Honda Element commercials with the crab? "I pinch"?

My husband and I have been pinching each other whenever we see an Element on the road since the first time we saw that commercial. Which was over a year ago at least.

Does anyone one else do this, or are we stranger than I think?? (Maybe I shouldn't even been admitting this... =)

Monday, March 3


Do you listen to knitting podcasts? I have for a few years now. I thought I'd finally post some links to a few of my current favorites.

(There was a rambling back story here, but I lost it when I accidentally navigated away from Wordpress and don't feel like writing it again. Consider yourself lucky!)

I have quirky likes and dislikes when it comes to knitting podcasts. All of my favorites seem to follow the formula of one person with a pleasant speaking voice and without a lot of sound effects or music. Unfortunately a few of them are no longer in production but I think it is totally worth checking them out on iTunes or their websites to download past episodes.

BritKnitCast - one of my very favorites, sadly no longer around
Secret Knitting - also no longer around, but a very clever concept
Lixie Knits It - replacing BritKnitCast as my new fav
Math4Knitters - back after a long hiatus
Purl Diving - both relaxing and thought-provoking
Craftlit - knitting and audiobooks; what could be better?
Changelings Knit and Stitch - great recurring segments

These are the casts currently on my iPod. I'm sure I'm leaving out some others I like, so I'll add to the list as I remember them.

I'm always on the lookout for new casts, so link to your favorite in the comments!