Slow and steady progress is still progress! I may not have picked the best time to try to do 365 days of creative activities, but I’m still going to keep trying because doing these things keeps me grounded, reminds me I’m more than just a mother to my children that I’m also an individual with hobbies that I enjoy a great deal, and can help relax me when I’m feeling really stressed out (which right now, is all of the time).
Tag: 365 days
Meal two from Hello Fresh was hoisin beef, which I was really excited about. Some of my favourite flavours are right there on the plate, and unlike Chef’s Plate where I found the meals almost too small for two people, this one meal seemed gigantic. It could have easily created 4 meals for myself (but of course I shared with the husband, so it came to less than that).
It was easy to prepare, didn’t take many ingredients, and was still packed full of flavour. So far Hello Fresh is shaping up to be one of the better meal delivery services I’ve tried. I do have a basket order of Good Food coming in next week, a family member gave me a coupon for an entire free trial of food (3 meals for 2 people) and they look REALLY fancy. It’ll be interesting to compare and see how the food is. From my cousin’s description she enjoys the flavours of Good Food but the meats in Hello Fresh are incredible.
Either way, it’s great to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to food. Being pregnant and running after a 2 year old all day means that I tend to stick to simple meal plans that I know we’ll enjoy and I can whip up without too much thought. That doesn’t leave a ton of room for creativity. Trying new foods and new flavours is great. Portion size is under control since they send me all of the ingredients, and it’s cheaper than buying fresh produce where I live. I understand that the price of these services is not something everyone wants to pay for, but in my case some weeks it’s simply worth it (plus I’ve only been trying out these services when they’re on sale at a hefty discount. I paid $32 for both Hello Fresh and Chef’s Plate, and Good Food is free… you can’t really go wrong with those prices).
If you ever want to knit something that impresses your friends but is actually quite simple – I highly suggest you look into cables. Cables are a really simple type of stitch that LOOK really complicated, but it’s nothing more than knitting out of order. You typically put a few stitches on a stitch keeper, move it to the front or back of your piece, and then knit the next stitches, then go back and knit the ones you put on your stitch keeper.
It looks complicated watching someone else to do it because you’re dealing with extra needles and/or a stitch keeper hanging out some place, but the stitch itself is simple and you can typically just ignore whatever bit you’re not working with. The overall effect is fancy and impressive. My fingerless gloves are about half way done and I’m slowly working gusset increases for the thumbs. The yarn is a merino / bamboo blend that knits up wonderfully and shows the stitches off – exactly what I was hoping for. I expect this gloves will get a lot of use (I hate full gloves that cover my fingers) and it’s the first time I’ve attempted gloves at all, so I’m pretty proud. For some reason I’ve found them more intimidating than the sweater I knit as well as socks. Probably because I have to knit them on DPN and that can be an awkward procedure (I know I could knit them on 2 circulars, or a smaller circular, or do magic loop, but I’m quite comfortable working with DPN so why not).
I’m also contemplating starting up some Christmas knits early. In specific christmas balls to go along with the Star Wars themed one I knit last year. I’d like a set of 6 (I have one), and I’d like to knit christmas balls for everyone in the family with their names and birthday on it. We’ll see how that goes (if it goes).
You might remember that not too long ago when my husband was in depot, I tried Chef’s Plate, a Canadian version of Blue Apron. Well, I since learned that Hello Fresh is a thing here in Canada, and unlike Chef’s Plate, they deliver here to Saskatchewan. With a 60% off coupon I decided why not try it for three meals and see if it’s something that we want to pursue going forward for healthy portioned meals. Fresh produce this far North is expensive, and I could use a break from all the meal planning from time to time.
I’m counting it as a creative endeavor because I think meals and meal preparation IS a creative task.
First up was garlicky shrimp.
It was amazing. The portion size was perfect, they offered lots of protein and I had zero complaints. I found the meal superior to the meals I had eaten at Chef’s Plate, and well worth the cost. My husband also enjoyed the meal which is great because I wasn’t sure if it was something he would be fond of. The potatoes filled us up, the baby arugula was a unique taste that neither of us would have thought to pair with everything else.
I’m looking forward to the next two meals.
For christmas last year my parents bought me one of those 5-in-1 griddle / panini press things and until yesterday it sat in the box collecting dust under my desk (blocking power cords from llama bean, actually). Then I had an incident with my oven preventing me from using it, so I dug it out so I could make some kabobs and noticed that it had a waffle attachment.
I’ve never made waffles before, I didn’t even know what the difference in recipe would be between waffles and pancakes (turns out not that much, waffles are a bit richer) but heck I was feeling creative so I decided to go for it.
They were pretty good. A bit thicker than I am used to (I’ve never had fresh waffles before, only frozen, so lets be honest here I have nothing to compare them to) but they seemed to turn out pretty well and they were really simple to make. I’d like to try my hand at some savory ones too, eventually. Have waffle recipes you want to share? Let me know in comments.
So I completed the first ‘goal’ of my mitered memory blanket – a 3×3 square. 9 squares total. Then I had to make a decision. I could continue adding to it, making it larger and larger until it’s the size I want – or – I could start on a second 3×3 piece, and then crochet them together with a border around it.
I decided to go with the second choice for a few reasons. Number one, I don’t have a ton of different colours of sock yarn scraps, and I’m bound to repeat colours each 3×3 block. If I break those blocks up into chunks with a black border separating each section I think this will help combat the repetitiveness.
I also just think it will look neat. So instead of being one giant blanket of smaller squares, it will be small squares within squares within a square blanket… teehee. Next step is to begin a second 3×3 – then I can practice crocheting the two together and see how it looks.
I’m beta testing some amazing yarn which I’ll get into in another post – but I wanted to show off how awesome the cables look, neat and defined. I’m knitting a pair of fingerless gloves (my first) and have learned a few new terms.
LC (left cross) and RC (right cross)
These are cable terms, at least for this pattern here at Purl soho (which happens to be free if someone else wants to give them a knit). They’re not particularly complicated terms, but I’m used to doing cables with a simple C6F or C6B and I’ve never encountered these stitches before. Once I’m done 2 rounds of cables it’ll be onto the thumbs – sigh. Gussets. The bane of my existence. We shall see how that goes.
I also had a quick refresher course in M1L and M1R (make one left, make one right) but seemed to pick it up without too much issue. Hopefully these gloves turn out, because the yarn is just yummy and I can’t wait to wear them!
I love inspiration. It motivates me to be a better person, to try harder, and to not give up when things get difficult (which they always do). My inspiration this week comes from a very special blog where the writer has been posting just about every single day for a year about her creative endeavors. I am pretty sure I won’t be able to post every day or even do something creative every day (especially since Wednesday I’m expecting my daughter to arrive) BUT that doesn’t mean I’m not still motivated, and that I wouldn’t love to at least try.
I figured it was fitting since this ends her first year that it marks the beginning of my first one. So let’s consider this day one, and see where we end up. Hopefully we get some neat creative things done along the way – but if not, that’s OK too. Remember the goal here is to challenge myself and to inspire and motivate myself to keep up, not to berate myself if I fall behind or have a few days where the creative juices are just not flowing.
For today I’m starting off with a square on my mitered memory blanket. I’m up to 7 now and it’s starting to feel more like a piece of cloth rather than just weird squares of yarn. It’s soft and squishy, and as I knit it I imagine Llama Bean or Nugette taking it to college with them to keep warm and remind them of home. It doesn’t LOOK like much right now, it will require blocking and a boarder (and to be much larger, of course) but I can see it in my mind. Each square tells a story. Not all of the yarn came from my stash, either. A lot was donated through a christmas exchange (if you’ve got spare fingering yarn you want to donate it takes less than 25 grams to make a square, just drop me a message here or on twitter and we can see about an exchange!) that I’m very grateful for. Some squares tell my story of learning to knit socks, staying up late working on baby clothes, or just trying to de-stress from the day. Other squares tell the stories from other people. That’s what I love about projects like this. Plus you can never have too many home made blankets…