"When Life Gives You Lemon" Bars

I came home from my weekend away to a giant box of Meyer Lemons from a dear California friend with a tree in her front yard.  What's a girl to do when life gives her a box of lemons?

The first thing I had to make was my family's favorite Lemon Bars.  I use my mom's friends recipe that I've been eating since I was a babe... with some modifications, of course!
adapted from Betty Siegal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a 9 x 13 pan mix together by hand:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cuper powered sugar
2 cups flour

Press crumbly mixture until flat.
Bake 15 min or until slightly brown.

Beat together in a medium bowl:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon (I use this for zesting, my FAV kitchen tool!)

Mix together in another medium bowl:
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Pour liquid mixture slowly into dry ingredients whisking as you pour! (This will help avoid lumps.)
Pour onto crust.

Bake 25 min, then turn down heat to 325 F and bake another 10 minutes.  This step is KEY as it helps to caramelize the sugar, especially around the edges, which are ALL.MINE!
Remove from oven, sprinkle with powered sugar (if desired, I don't do this), allow to cool and cut into bars.

There are still TONS of lemons left... I've got a jar of Moroccan Preserved Lemons started, they won't be ready for a month, and I look forward to finding ways of incorporating them into our fall dinners!
Later in the week I am making Shaker Lemon Pie for our weekend guests! What would you make if life (or a dear friend) sent you 10 pounds of lemons?


Iceland and its Knitting Culture!

So, an ulterior motive for my desire to travel to Iceland was that I knew it is a country with a strong knitting culture that I wanted to experience first hand! I was careful to not overwhelm my family with a yarny agenda... but it wasn't too hard to get exposure when there was YARN IN THE GROCERY STORES (and gas stations!)!

My shopping cart, at 10 pm on a Friday night in Akureyri
There were literally knitting references everywhere, from the sheep that did their best to "almost" get run over in the middle of nowhere, to the sweaters on every fifth person walking down the street. There are most definitely more sheep than people in Iceland! (Last studies I found: just under 500,00 sheep, and 320,160 people)

One evening in Akureyri there was a street festival... I had pulled out my camera to take pictures of a church, but then it got a little obsessed with the sweaters. On our 5 minute walk back to the car I saw these 8 Lopi Sweaters! One might say that I got my Icelandic Lopi Kinnear ON! I can't promise all of these sweaters are hand-made, but my gut is that they are!
Just look at the Monster's on this yoke... I think someone's Grandma was having a good time!
The next day one of the sailing crew on our boat had a sweater draped casually over his arm as he launched our boat.
The Icelandic sheep is a unique breed with a dual coat, the undercoat is quite fine, and the overcoat long, when blended together the fiber created is distinctively light and warm.  I, by no means, claim to be an expert so if you want to learn more about Icelandic Sheep I suggest checking out  this informative site and Knitting Iceland.

I did do a fair amount of yarn buying, enough Plotulopi for a few sweaters at least!  I'm at work on a vest right now, I do believe it will be my Rhinebeck Sweater!   I'm designing it using this Lopi Sweater Generator.... FUN! The plotulopi comes in plates, and as I need it I've been winding it double, one strand form the inside and one from the outside into a ball.  It's quite delicate and a single strand will fall apart if you look funny, but the fabric it is making is LOVELY!
On the last day I also bought some stunning pure white plotulopi from The Thingborg Wool Center in the south along with some reindeer horn buttons. I have a vision for a loose and lacy cardigan, though that is going to have to wait until later in the winter!


Just Keep Knitting.. a philosophy video!

I've decided it's time to share my favorite philosophy video with you all... just substitute knitting for swimming as you sing along, please?


Adorn Anew Blog Tour

I've got a little fun cooked up over the next few months to help get the word out about Adorn Anew... there will be giveaways, reviews, tutorials, and experiments. 

August 20th-  Kirsten of Through The Loops 
August 21st-  Susan B. Anderson  
September 5th-  Ruth Garcia-Alcantud from Rock and Purl
September 24th-  Sweet GeorgiaYarns
October 3-  Rosemary Hill of Designs By Romi 
October 16- Blue Sky Alpacas
November 9-  Anne Hanson of Knitspot
November 19- Stacey Trock from FreshStitches      
December 10- Craftsy     
Kirsten Kapur is kicking it off with a Mudra Cuff giveaway and review.... head on over to read more about it, and maybe even win a cuff : )!  Thanks Kirsten!

I'll be sure to remind y'all on facebook, twitter, and ravelry when it's time for another blog tour event!


Cast On Baby!

Enjoy this hysterical video made by KnitKnack, an LYS (that carries my kits) in Maplewood, NJ... The owner's 11 yo daughter edited the video in one day, AMAZING!  Share it with your friends on YouTube... this video deserves to go viral!

My favorite part is the "boyfriend" saying "this is crazy", what's yours?


Trapeze Mystery KAL- Clue #1 is OUT!

Are you already?  Clue # 1 for the Trapeze Mystery KAL has been released, check your e-mail and/or Ravelry library for an updated pdf!

  • Haven't signed up yet?  No worries, you can sign up to join us by purchasing the pattern anytime.  After today the price will go up to $7... so you don't have too much longer to get it at it's discounted price!
  • Threads have been set up in my Ravelry Group for Clue #1, there is a spoiler thread (for photos) and a Q & A thread.  The group has been AMAZING... please join in!
  • For those of you who have I-Pads and use Knit Companion Sally has released instructions on how to set up Clue#1 on it!
  • Also, there is a CONTEST running in the Raverly group for a skein of laceweight yarn I brought back from Iceland, you can enter until midnight today, so get on over there : )!


Iceland Adventure: In Photos

We are back from an AMAZING 2 week family adventure to Iceland... this trip had nothing to do with work (except that there was wool EVERYWHERE) and I can't wait to share some pics with you!  My husband drove us over 2000 miles as we attempted to circumnavigate the island and see it ALL! I had never traveled to a northern country in summer, and we had almost 20 hours of sunlight everyday... this meant for ALOT of great photo ops and long travel days.

The cameras came home with over 2000 images on them, I decided to start with just a few.  I "tried" to choose one a day, but some days had SO many adventures it was impossible to do that!  Ready?

Day 1:
Reykjavik- The Sun Voyager
Day 2:
Outdoor Art near the Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum
Day 3:
I'm a viking at the National Museum of Iceland
Day 4:
Lava Caving
Day 4 (Later):
Going out for Famous Fish Soup in a Shack at the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 5:
Snæfellsjökull Volcano (where Jules Verne started his Journey to the Center of the Earth!)
Day 5 (again):
At the TOP! (and then we drove another 10 hours to Flateyri in the West Fjords)
Day 6:
around a Fjord
Day 7:
Seals on our LONG drive to Akureyri
Day 8:
Viti Crater above Lake Mývatn with a geothermal power plant in the distance
Day 8 (more):
Hot MUD!
Day 8 (again):
Godafoss at the end of the day
Day 9:
Whale Watching in Husavik on a Schooner (this will be getting it's own blog post soon!)
Day 10:
Some friendly people I met in Akureyri...
Day 10 (more!):
A yarn-bombed cafe/knitting shop
Day 11:
On Day 11 we drove the F35 through the Highlands... and ended up at Geysir, the grandfather of all Geyser's!
Day 12:
Our last days we based ourselves in the South of Iceland, near Hella. We went to a reconstruction of a Viking sod house with this crazy cute chapel
Day 12 (more):
And then we drove on through more lava fields.... couldn't get enough of those!
Day 12 (where it got GOOD!):
And we came to a volcanic oasis called Gjain
Day 13:
On our way to Skaftafell we found some Puffins at Dyrholaey
Day 13 (our daily waterfall):
Svartifoss, just look at those volcanic basalt columns!
Day 13 (more!):
Holy Glacial Lagoon Batman!
Day 13 (and more!):
Yes, those are ice chunks floating in the ocean!
Day 14:
Day 14:
Fuzzy Lava Crevices became a family favorite here!
I've a whole separate post for you that will focus on wool, and Lopi sweaters, and sheep...  stay tuned for that next week!