Sendung mit der Maus

Maus, Elefant und Ente

I grew up with the TV program “Sendung mit der Maus” and I still try to watch it to this day. It’s a wonderful children’s program that includes stories answering kids questions like how the stripes get into the toothpaste. You can actually subscribe to a podcast of the episodes. Then there are these cartoon shorts with the mouse, elephant and a little yellow duck, often a little song or children’s story, and a little animation like Shaun the Sheep TV episodes. Even though its aimed at kids it’s also made to be fun and interesting for adults too. It’s also really popular – over a million people watch it every Sunday. This year is the 40th birthday of the show and the theme of this year is to open doors – showing everything from how Euro bills are made to how astronauts train and live in space, to the narrowest house (it’s in Barcelona) and on and on.

Since my nephew loves to watch the little Maus/mouse cartoons I made him a kiddie sized shopping bag:

Maus, Elefant und Ente Tasche

Massive

My stash is ginormous. Despite all attempts to knit as fast as I can, I’m sure I’ve reached SABLE (Stash Acquisition beyond lifetime expectancy). I know that if I destashed everything that I’m not likely to knit anytime soon, I’d have boxes and boxes of yarn. I guess I’m finally facing up to the reality that I really don’t need all that yarn, and that I can acquire yarn for projects as I go, instead of having reserve yarn. Plus, when I have yarn set aside for projects, I tend to forget that I’ve planned to use that yarn, and I sometimes end up buying more yarn, or I find yarn that’s even better suited. So, I’ve decided to destash. In bits and pieces. Although the first batch will be something around 100 skeins (!!!!). Yikes! And since I haven’t gotten around to add some of the yarn to my stash, I’m busy photographing and entering yarn into Ravelry. This is really shaping up to be a bigger project…

If you’re interested in my destash, I’ll add a post when the destash is going up on the ISO/Destash of yarn message board, and I can also post what yarn brands I’m destashing. Oh, and I’ll be destashing my set of addi Click interchangeables that includes extra needles and a awesome interchangeable case from Sarah Kincheloe.

Endless project

Tada! I’ve finally taken pictures of my endless project (Ravelry project page). The pattern is Stephen West’s Flamboyan, knit up in Malabrigo sock in Botticelli Red and Alcaucil. I really do love the finished projects, and it was worth the endless stockingette, garter stitch and edging. But still, this really was an endless project. I’m soooooo glad it’s finally done!

(Rhu)babarella

To say that I love rhubarb would be an understatement. I don’t think there’s a preparation of rhubarb that I don’t enjoy. In fact, I love rhubarb so much that finding a skein of yarn named Rhabarber is what set me off to discover what dyer had named yarn after my favorite rhubarb which has led to my love of Wollmeise. I mean, see for yourself:

Wollmeise yarn
Wollmeise Fluffy in Rhabarber

Since it’s rhubarb season right, now, I’ve been busy preserving rhubarb for the non-rhubarb season. I’ve made rhubarb-strawberry compote, rhubarb-apple jam, rhubarb-strawberry jam, rhubarb-berry jam and rhubarb syrup.

rhubarb jam, compote, syrup
rhubarb heaven: jam, compote and syrup

The rhubarb syrup is in the middle bottle. You can see how the rhubarb makes for a lovely pink toned syrup. It is especially delicious when you add it to your glass of water – really refreshing.

I’d already posted about this dessert: vanilla yoghurt with rhubarb-strawberry compote – yum (not my best photography job, sorry)!

dessert
rhubarb-strawberry compote with vanilla yoghurt

Yay!

To quote Frodo in Return of the King, after destroying the ring: “It’s done! It’s gone!”

[sorry for the closet geekery]

Ok, it’s not the ring of power, but still! I finally managed to finish my endless project: my Flamboyan is done! Woohoo!

it has taken me, what, almost five months? Finally I can move on to other projects guilt free.

Mother’s Day

(Since Mother’s Day is over, it’s safe to post this)

As mother’s day was approaching, I was struggling to figure out what to get my Mom. My first choice, an awesome book on bread and bread baking by Linda Collister, is completely out of print. Bummer. I didn’t really have enough time to knit something for here, since I had a few other WIP on the needles. Last year I made scones with strawberries two ways (as jam and as a salad) for her, and it was a huge hit. So this time I decided to make something edible again, but of the savory sort. I first thought of making fresh pasta, but since I don’t have pasta maker, I’d have to roll out the pasta by hand – not a good idea for a first time pasta maker. Then I came across this amazing smitten kitchen recipe on how to make gnocchi, and decided that I could do that. Between roasting the potatoes for an hour, grating them and then getting the dough to the right consistency it took some time. Btw, grating the potatoes idea is genius – it really results in a lovely light dough. The actual shaping, cutting, and fork-roll action was a snap. Oh, and instead of rolling the gnocchi over the fork, I just rolled the fork over the gnocchi. It was a bit faster, and I liked the resulting shape better.

gnocchi and fork
gnocchi shaping

I made a deconstructed pesto and tomato sauce/salad – basically I tossed all the classic pesto ingredients and a few cherry tomatoes together with the gnocchi, with a teeny bit of oregano, and voila! An awesome mother’s day meal. I like gnocchi, but I didn’t realize what a huge difference it would make to taste fresh, home-made gnocchi. And the sauce/salad was so fresh, and the individual flavors really did shine. It really is true, good ingredients make for good finished products.

finished gnocchi dish
gnocchi, yum!

The remaining gnocchi went to live in a little baggie in the freezer, to be thawed, cooked and enjoyed on another day. All in all, and unqualified success.

Mad Hatters

or more specifically, today is Kentucky Derby day, which means lots and lots of hats. As if you haven’t had your share of hats at the Royal Wedding last week. May I refresh your memory?

You had to have the feeling that the wedding single-handedly kept dozens of hatmakers in business. Some of the hats were nice, some were ok, and some looked like the wearer was attacked by a rose bush or slapped upside down the head with a plate. The worst one however is the hat worn by Prince William’s cousin – it looked like she was trying to wear a family crest on her head:

Princess of York's wedding hat
Princess Beatrice of York's hat for the royal wedding

As you may notice, I’m not a huge fan of hats. But anyway, if you have the pressing need to wear your own hat and you don’t have one or want another one, here you go: