Hostess of The Sampler Girl Podcast ... Here I journal about my knitting bliss, what's on & off the needles, life raising 2 boys, making good eats and finding God's mercies every morning. Tea, yoga, and dark chocolate make it ALL sweet.

25 November 2014

2 days till ..

It's beginning to look a lot like ... Thanksgiving! 

Rumor has it that my mom has purchased the turkey for our family's feast on Thursday. This makes my husband soooooooooo content. Just the knowing that it's oven-countdown is fast approaching! I'm making pecan pie as well as mashed potatoes because said husband can't have Thanksgiving without it. When I was growing up, we'd have baked mashed sweet potatoes mixed with brown sugar & orange juice topped with marshmallows. Can you guess which was my favorite part? :) So, we didn't have mashed potatoes that I remember and that soon changed when I got married to my New Englander guy, who deems it a traditional side dish. We all have our own traditions and warm cozy feelings of nostalgia, don't we? Did you listen to yesterday's podcast episode's ending thought?

While making my grocery store list for pie ingredients and such, I was re-acquainted with one of my cookbooks called Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie. Mom gifted the book, autographed, to me in 2005 when she was at Plimoth Plantation. The cookbook is such a treasure trove for the history-loving foodie; it's filled with recipes from earlier times and converted to modern kitchen know-how. There are many familiar Thanksgiving recipes like Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie and Classic Karo Pecan Pie!! If you enjoy collecting cookbooks and love holiday foods, then you must get this book.

Did you know?
"There was not a single eating fork to be found in Plymouth in 1621. Both the English and the Wampanoag People ate with knives, spoons, and fingers. Knives were used both to cut and to convey 'gobbets' or morsels to the mouth. In New England, no eating forks have been found on any archaeological sites predating the early 1700s, and significant numbers don't appear until a few decades later." 

"Sarah Joseph Buell Hale was born in New Hampshire in October 1788. Mrs. Hale lobbied hard from 1847 through 1863 to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. New Englanders and their descendants, wherever they settled, tended to observe an annual Thanksgiving. Mrs. Hale felt that the celebration brought out the best in people, and possibly under the influence of her own fond recollections of the day and a rising awareness of America's uniqueness, she began to advocate a national observance."
-Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie by Kathleen Curtin, Sandra L. Oliver, and Plimoth Plantation

24 November 2014

podcast episode 41: thanks-giving

bzmama on IG
tanyamarie on Ravelry
The Sampler Girl on Facebook
thesamplergirl on Twitter
the sampler girl on YouTube
 - - -
1 year Podiversary GIVEAWAY - thread open on The Sampler Girl group on Ravelry / prizes!! (donated by a lovely podcast listener) from Jane Austen's House Museum: Sense & Sensibility tote bag, Jane Austen bookmark, Jane Austen blank note cards, and 1 skein medium weight Socks that Rock yarn, colorway Sky Blue / enter to win! - ends Dec 9th

Sockhead Hat
Starkfield Hat ~ my design!
Boot Cuffs ~ simple pattern notes on my Ravelry project page
My First Fingerless Mittens

Gilbert's Scarf
Raspberry Cordial Shawl (no 3!) ~ my design!

300 Member Giveaway
Merry KAL
Anne's Imagination Cowl KAL

Holiday Traditions / excerpt from Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach shared & read

*Music Credit: Ingrid Michaelson, Over the Rainbow

22 November 2014


I have to be honest. I am always glad when baseball season is over. When soccer season is over. Because Saturdays become mine again. They are no longer filled-up little squares on the calender with game and practice times. Mama's taxi doesn't have sports s t u f f strewn about the car hither and yon and the parking my folding weather-proof chair takes a rest for a few months before spring brings it all out again.

So today is Saturday. A Saturday with nothing but rest in it. No rushing to a field and no hurrying shoes on and no packing snacks and water bottles. A lot goes in to the ferrying of my boys to their sports commitments and I'm thankful they just have one sport a piece! I don't know how other moms do it with more than 2 children and more than 2 sports. I drink a lot of caffeine but really, they must be chugging it down at traffic stops. I like our busyness and all the memorymaking that occurs but it is SO nice when colder days come and linger which makes for indoor cozyness to be the norm and usual. And knitting. Lots of knitting.

Cast on a scarf from the lovely book, Green Gables Knits, as a Christmas gift for my husband. The pattern called Gilbert's Scarf is worked in the herringbone stitch which I hadn't done in knitting before -- I have worked it in cross stitch and it's a fun one on linen. With yarn, it's different and so far I'm liking the way it's coming along. The yarn is Shepherd's Worsted Wool in color, Frosty Blue.

Also on my needles this glorious day 1 of the weekend ... my mom had brought back many hanks of gorgeous Norwegian wool from her cruise to Norway this past spring. This golden color is sooooooo beautiful and a dream in the hands to work. I am working another Raspberry Cordial Shawl in this 2 ply and it's going to be extra special when finished.

This quiet, peaceful afternoon has seen a wee bit of baking too. I have before me a plate of warm banana bread fresh from the oven and oh I wish you were here for a piece. It's so good!!

Hope your Saturday is filled with something you enjoy.

14 November 2014

podcast episode 40 / (video) with my mom again!


Mom ...
LucyLW on Ravelry
lucyyarnpocket on Instagram

... was wearing knit necklace similar to this design and Norwegian wrist warmers by Oleana

Off the Needles
The Knitted Nisse kit from Ingebretson's -  direct link to kit HERE
Zack's Christmas Scarf, Wool Sundae Yarn Parlor, Mint Chocolate Chip colorway

On the Needles
Vedback Shawl, Island Wool Company, US size 5 needles
Baby Sweater design by Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, US 3 needles

Knit Nordic: 20 contemporary accessories inspired by 4 traditional sweater patterns by Eline Oftedal, copyright 2014 / fibre space book signing and trunk show 

Poetry in Stitches: Clothes you can Knit by Solveig Hisdal, copyright 2010 / from Siobhan's in Anchorage, AK

Sandnes Garn Alpakka Ull colorway #1002 and Soft Alpakka colorway #2025
Raven Bergen
Ginger Twist Studio / Ginger's Sheepish Sock, colorway Lallybroch
Voolenvine Studio, Fingering, Rabbit Season colorway
- - -
Tanya ...
bzmama on Instagram
tanyamarie on Ravelry

... was wearing Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Scottish Tartan Scarf and wrist warmers, Lorna's Laces, Sport, Christmas at Downton colorway 

Off the Needles
TGV High Speed Knitting Shawl, Imperial Yarns Tracie Too Sport, Pearl Gray and Autumn Rust colorways
Ginger Twist Studio, Ginger's Sheepish Sock, Je Suis Prest colorway


13 November 2014

planning for winter

Miss Grace is my assistant with all things yarn-related. 

What a positively perfect November morning it is here. The air has that Autumn smell / the golden, fallen leaves are EVERYWHERE / the temperature is finally below 45 degrees F / the sky is painted with colors grey and the palest of blues mixed with the orange fluttering goodness of leaves in the wind. I love it!! If you were to ask me which season was my favorite, I'd say Winter - when the earth is brown, trees stand silently still, and there's a hint of snow in the cold air. Autumn is my second favorite indeed. For this is the time when we prepare for the winter days ahead. Just as the woodland animals gather for the bleak, cold months ahead ... we also plan by bringing out the mittens, the scarves and the heavier coats. 

Embrace your handwork projects and plan! Yesterday afternoon when the sun was just about to set, I went outside with one of my woolen shawls around me and even though it was mighty chilly, that cozy yarn kept me ever so warm. I'm already planning some winter knits to make now in prep for those colder months when all I'll want to do is nestle in with a cup of tea and my knitting.

What will you be making to keep you warm on these upcoming cold afternoons and dark evenings? 

06 November 2014

podcast episode 39: Yarn + Color = Win Win!

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? 
Can one really explain this?
Just as one can never learn how to paint.
-Pablo Picasso
 - - -
bzmama on IG
tanyamarie on Ravelry
The Sampler Girl on Facebook
thesamplergirl on Twitter
the sampler girl on YouTube

Simply Samplers GIVEAWAY and the winner is ... tune in and find out!
Socktoberfest KAL and the winner is ... tune in and find out!

KALS (All PRIZE info on The Sampler Girl Podcast Group on Ravelry - come join us!)
Anne's Imagination Cowl KAL, thru Dec 21st
Merry KAL, thru Dec 31

Flow Magazine from Monique in The Netherlands
gnome project bag by Chicken Soup Designs on etsy - thanks Mom!
Outlander inspired yarn from Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh, Scotland - thanks Mom!
Stitch Marker WIN - score for me! thank you to little skein in the big wool on etsy #annealong
notebook for my own knitting journal, as inspired by Dani of little bobbins podcast

TGV (High Speed Knitting) Shawl, Design by Susan Ashcroft / size US 6 needles / Imperial Yarns in Pearl Gray and Autumn Rust

Eden Fells Hat, Design by Helen Stewart  / size US 6 needles / Berroco Vintage Blue, Neighborhood Fiber Studio Chunky Charles Village, and Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice Grey Marble

AND ... my shawl design, to be released on Ravelry November 15th! Stay tuned! Thank you to 4 test knitters working away on this one.

Christmas Bunting aka Bunting fit for a Queen, Design by Vero Pepperrell, size US 2 needles, cast on 15 for smaller triangles / using stash scrap yarn


*Music credit: He Knows my Name by Francesca Battistelli

28 October 2014

Grace kitty

It's hard to believe but Miss Grace has been with us 5 months already! It seems as if she's always been a part of the family. She is so precious and my little shadow. Pleased to say she follows me around everywhere I go in the house and is quite the little love bug. She's 1yr, 5 months old and quite settled in to her cozy digs here. Grace is most affectionate and loveable to all of us; she's super gentle and so patient with my 7yr old who pets her over and over and over in her face. She loves the love. 

This picture above was taken as she spotted nothing on the wall and drew it to my attention. Then she went back to an evening snooze. Yarn, and especially moving yarn passing from one knitting needle to the next, fascinates her and she will pop that paw toward it if given the chance however if I say, No!, she stops and that's that. She'll cram her whole self wedged up next to me and then I can't move, for hours. How can I? Love her.