From Soft Ball to Hard Crack

This photo is from 2010 ... not yesterday!

I got three loads of laundry done yesterday. It’s a bit different here. I always know we’re home in Belgrade when the first load of wash goes up on the line. It’s totally old fashioned or retro or green or whatever you want to call it, but it’s comforting and I love looking out to see the clean clothes flapping in the breeze (or gale) off the lake. Towels were drying in an hour yesterday despite no sun. Everything smells better when it’s been dried outside – the towels are only a bit rougher!

Yesterday was a productive day – may be because the sun actually peeked it’s head out. I made some really yummy toffee with cashews in it (and dark chocolate on it!) Making candy is really a cinch if you can resist touching it when it’s all in the pan. It wasn’t easy the first time I did it but this time, I didn’t mind at all. A good candy thermometer is just about all you need … watch the mercury rise from soft ball to hard crack and then turn off the heat! The candy is yum-ers! If you’d like to get the recipe for the Sea Salt Chocolate Cashew Toffee, visit this wonderful blog … just click HERE and you’ll be magically transported (you may have to search for the recipe, links aren’t working properly, sorry!)! Since I changed a couple of things, you’ll have to know my toffee doesn’t look exactly like this (this is pretty but too “fussy” for me in Maine). I didn’t use sea salt because I used salted cashews. I had no Karo Syrup so I substituted honey. Finally, I used one 13 oz. bag of dark chocolate chips which I spread on top of the hot but starting to set toffee rather than dipping it in melted chocolate. If you let it get warmed up sitting on top of the hardening candy, you can easily spread it around with a knife. Then watch it disappear!

I’m finishing several little side projects.

You’ve already seen the picture of the Senorita Lolita Sweater (the first design for Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits). In case you’ve missed it, I’m providing another shot of the first and second iterations here. The first one “placed” in a design contest using Koigu skein-ettes. I am over the top pleased with it! The second, while it is not nearly as special visually, it’s perhaps more special to me in that it means that the pattern is written down and I’m making progress!!!

Senorita Lolita (Copyright 2011 Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits


I have finished the fingerless mittens … these are a gift for a very special person. The pattern was great to follow and you can find it HEREI did change just a few little things. I didn’t use the smaller needles to cast on (because I like the wider, looser, mitten cuffs and these climb up your arm), I likewise, didn’t cast off two stitches for the thumb (thought it might be too tight). But I love the yarn I used and they’re really pretty – can’t wait to present them to my sweet girl recipient (ha! thought I’d tell you who they are for, didn’t you?! Ha!) I used some yarn that my daughter gave me for my birthday last summer from KnitPicks. Click HERE to be magically transported … I used the “Enchanted” colorway. Pretty!

I did finish the boulette blanket (and wrote down the free pattern which is posted here in my blog) and it was really warm. Ugly but warm for the baby when he was here visiting!

Ugly but Warm - "Boulette" blanket copyright 2011 Queen Bee Knits

I’m finishing all these little already-on-the-needles projects because I forgot all the patterns that I had intended to knit while we’re back East. They’re all down south. Go figure. Lucky we’ve got an event to attend and are flying back there for a long weekend so I can get the patterns and continue my knitting progress.

In the meantime, I have a cowl on the needles and the second design for the Prima Dogma line. Only “problem” is that with all our gray and rainy weather, this designer doesn’t feel a lot like designing.

I have a third pair of Birthday Party socks (thanks to my sister Kathy for the name!) on the needles, too. The first pair was a gift to Kathy for her birthday. The second pair is for sale in my Etsy shop. You can click HERE if you’d like to visit my shop. (Thank you, BTW, for supporting the talented artisans on … if you’ve never visited the site, it’s really quite amazing.)

So, I’m going to go out and brave the wind off the lake and the drizzly rain … just as soon as I have a cup of tea!

Gone knitting!



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