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3 Questions : Bea

3 Questions is an interview-style series featuring some of my favorite bloggers. Every week, I ask one inspirational person 3 completely random questions and ask them to share three photos that represent Who they are, What they do or make and Where they feel the happiest.

Liesl Made : 3 Questions : Bea

 

Thread and Ladle was one of the many blogs I found through the maze of blog links–it was in the sidebar of one of the sidebars of the sidebar of one of my favorite blogs. But it was one of the few blogs I added to my reader right away. I’m not sure what zodiac Bea falls under but I bet it’s one of the earth ones (Capricorn, Taurus or Virgo.) I don’t automatically assume every gardener is an earth spirit, it has more to with the fact that I see her as rooted. I can tell by the way she writes shares. She works hard for the things she’s passionate about and stands up for what she believes in. Her blog always offers a wonderful mix of musings and documentations on motherhood, food, garden and craft.

 

What do you most dislike about modern life?
The disposability.  So many are so far removed from daily tasks of survival (making a meal, clothing ourselves) that these things have lost much of their value, or we don’t realize just how valuable they are.  When we spend the time to grow a tomato to can a jar of salsa, or spin yarn to knit into a garment, suddenly the ‘disposable’ things of our daily lives are much more valuable.  I think that’s why there are so many turning to these kinds of tasks or hobbies these days- to make themselves more aware of how valuable the world around us is.  It is not, in fact, disposable or cheap.  Even a jar of store bought salsa came from somewhere, the ingredients were grown somewhere and by someone.  The chemicals used to keep the pests off flowed into their water sources even when we never know the details.  Everything comes at a cost, even if the money we throw at it seems disposable to us.

 

Are you a risk taker? If so, what is the biggest risk you’ve taken?
I suppose it depends on the type of risk.  For instance, I’m not an adventurer.  My mother dragged me along for downhill skiing every week in the winter growing up, but now I haven’t been in years.  I’d much rather spend a winter evening with a glass of wine, by the fire, knitting needles in hand (and my bum and feet firmly planted in place).  The biggest risk?  Which cast on method should I use here…   But on the other hand, I think it can often feel like a risk to jump into something feet first, or to put yourself out there- two things that I do all too willingly.  It’s how I find myself going mad at times with creative project deadlines, or just a bit- or okay, a lot- more than I can actually handle.  (Something those who know me best will tell you is sort of my M.O.)

 

If you were stuck on a desert island, what is one luxury thing you would want to have with you?
Chocolate chip cookies.  They make everything seem better.  They solve many a problem in our house, and I imagine that being stranded on a desert island would be oh so much better with them.

Be sure to check out Bea’s blog and shop.

Click here to see all 3 Questions interviews.

Finished Knits

Liesl Made : Knitting : Collins Brook Cowl
Liesl Made : Knitting : Collins Brook Cowl

My Collins Brook cowl is done. Honestly, I would never gravitate towards this color when shopping for myself. But, considering it’s the result of my very first attempt at natural dyeing, this orange-y yellow yarn holds a special place in my heart. And as a ‘first attempt,’ it also means it’s not quite up to snuff to gift to someone else. So, when I was blocking it, I shrugged and chalked it up to a ‘journey’ project, something you knit more the process of knitting and not the finished result. But when I was taking the above photos, the bright March sun illuminating the room, I kind of felt smitten. The pattern is perfect in its simplicity–I just added an extra repeat of the lace pattern for a little more height. (Ravelry project page.)

Liesl Made : Skyp Socks
Liesl Made : Skyp Socks

Also recently finished are a pair of Skyp socks. They were a bit loose since I had trouble getting gauge from the beginning but I popped them in the dryer for a bit and now they fit perfectly. There are a few mistakes (I realized that I’m not used to working with dark yarns) but overall, I’m pretty pleased with them. I still have a lot more to learn about sock knitting though. (Ravelry project page.)

Next sock pattern on the list? Hermoine’s Everyday. Next cowl? Straw.

This and That

Liesl Made : Morning Moon
Liesl Made : Morning Knitting
Liesl Made : Cat
Liesl Made : Stack of Books
Liesl Made : Kombucha
Liesl Made : Bread
Liesl Made : Little Growths
Liesl Made : AEO Earrings
Liesl Made : Blueberry Cake
finger nail moon in the early morning // knitting with the cat (and dog, just out of frame) in the early morning // cute, cuddly cat // a stack of cookbooks // a kombucha scoby is re-hydrating and hopefully we can start brewing in a couple of weeks // the results of my first attempt at baking bread // and bronze fennel (for dyeing), morning glory (seeds saved from last year), jet black hollyhock (for dyeing) and ginger // lovely earrings from .aeo. designs // starting a new tradition of making a dessert every Sunday, the first was this one (seen above before I added icing) and it was a hit //

Thaw

Liesl Made : Late March
Liesl Made : Late March
Liesl Made : Late March
Liesl Made : Late March
Liesl Made : Late March
Liesl Made : Late March
Winter is taking its good old time leaving, literally and emotionally. But it is leaving and Spring is wiggling its way in–crocuses are up and trying to bloom. Tulip greens are shooting up out of the earth. Apart from some shaded northern corners, most of the snow is gone. Things are slowly shifting from brown to green. These photos were taken last week on a much needed walk. I’m looking forward to warm days and being outside, soaking up the sun, digging in the dirt and exploring. What are you looking forward to this Spring?

Thank you all for the kind comments and emails after my last post. Sincerely.

(PS: You can find me on Instagram now, too.)

Take With You Your All

Liesl Made : Dad and Us

“Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.
For in reverie you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.”
–from “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran

For most of my blogging career, I’ve tried to keep certain specifics and personal details about myself, my family, friends and relationships off the blog. I mention people briefly when they fit into the context of common topics here: my brother and I went for a hike, my Mom and I made pickles, I helped a friend who wants to make a quilt, I made my cousin’s kid a gift, etc. But one person I mentioned a lot here was my Dad. In the summer, I talk a lot about the garden on my blog and he and I did that together. Then when he started up his Etsy shop for his woodworking business, I shared updates here to help promote it (and because I was so very proud of him.) In a way, you regular readers have come to know my Dad through his creations and his experiences with me. Which is why I’ve decided to share this with you here.

My Dad passed away recently at only 59 years old. It was a complete shock, very sudden and unexpected. I know people usually speak highly of the dead, perhaps more highly than when they were alive, sometimes even more highly than they deserve, but my Dad was the real deal. His death left a wide, wide wake of heartbreak and loss. Everyone who knew him liked him and it seemed like just about everyone knew him. He was kind of hard to miss, not only because he stood 6′ 7″ tall but because he was respectful, friendly, jolly and a true gentleman to everyone he met. I always felt lucky to have him as my Dad. Unlike some other Dads I knew growing up, it seemed like he could fix or build anything and knew everything. As an adult, I still thought he knew just about everything. And if he didn’t know it, he had the drive and curiosity to learn it. He was a true German and believed that if you do something, you do it right so you only have to do it once. He baked bread every week. He was a very intelligent, book-smart man but still preferred being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, working with his hands.

Liesl Made : Buckaloo View

Back in late 2012, he lost his job of 26 years. The year that followed brought a lot of fear in the uncertainty but he (and we) kept working hard and moving forward. He could have easily plopped himself on the couch with a beer but he kept himself active and productive. Like that saying goes: when one door closes, another opens. Eventually, many doors opened. Opportunities arose. Hard work paid off. Big plans were afoot around here. There was the yearly garden right around the corner. He even agreed (after many years) to let me get chickens. Two days before he died, he and I spent some time in the barn discussing where we were going to build the coop and the run. Like usual, I was as full of questions as a four-year old. Very often I’d apologize for asking so many damn questions. His patient response? Well, that’s the only way you’re gonna learn. (I think I was always trying to make up for all the times I didn’t pay attention as a kid.) His new woodworking business was finally getting its footing. While I was in the barn, he also showed me some of the new projects he started, so glad the weather was warming up enough to be out in his shop. He told me a bit about how he might insulate the shop so he could work year round. I lovingly nagged him about when he was going to get to work on my yarn swift.  We dug through scraps of wood and talked about wraps per inch tools (a suggestion from Lori.) He made up a dozen the next day. Then morning of the day he died, he oiled them. I even snapped a photo of it, seen above.

For a while, I was feeling small about the fact that I was in my late twenties and still living home with my parents. But now I realize that meant I was able to see my Dad very nearly every single day. And over the last few years we really bonded. I’m honored to say that he wasn’t only my Dad but my friend. There is a large, gaping hole in my life, and in all the lives he touched. It’s going to be really bittersweet doing things I love without him. People have asked if I’m doing or feeling any better and I have to answer honestly, that I’m not better, just different. Everyday is different as I learn to live without him. It’s not as raw as that first week, but it still hurts like hell. Myself and my family are all determined to take a page from my Dad’s book and keep moving. The garden will be planted, things will be mended and built, I’ll get chickens (maybe not this year but someday) we will stumble our way through learning to bake bread, we will continue with our daily lives and take with us our all.

My Dad’s shop, Buckaloo View, is closed but you can browse the sold items or the portfolio or Facebook to get examples of his work. My plan is to start blogging regularly again the first week in April. I have a handful of posts that I planned on doing earlier that were only a couple of edits away from publication. The normalcy and routine of blogging might do me some good. Until then, I’ll leave you with this song by Chris Thile, which makes me think of my Dad.

 

3 Questions : Tina

3 Questions is an interview-style series featuring some of my favorite bloggers. Every week, I ask one inspirational person 3 completely random questions and ask them to share three photos that represent Who they are, What they do or make and Where they feel the happiest.

Liesl Made : 3 Questions : Tina

I think Tina has fiber in her veins. She really is a true fiber lover and does it all—knitting, crochet, spinning, needlework/embroidery. When I first came across her blog I was so impressed by her productivity and range. I stuck around because her creations are so lovely, her reviews and notes are always so helpful and she has such a warm and encouraging tone to her blogging. It’s easy to leave her blog feeling impressed, inspired and optimistic.

Do you have a nickname? When I was a little girl I loved Charlie Brown and was always saying “good grief”.  My parents started calling me Charlie and even after all these years, still do.

Are you a morning person or a night owl? I am truly a morning person.  I get up each day at 4:00 am, which gives me time in the morning to do the things I love and those things I must do before I head to work.  For me the morning is the best part of the day, especially here in Phoenix.  To watch the sunrise is a great way to start the day!

If you had a year-long paid vacation, what would you do?  If money wasn’t an object, I would travel to all the places I long to go here in the US and abroad.  It would be so much fun to go to England, Ireland and Scotland to see where my family came from and meet a few distant relatives that live there.

Be sure to check out Tina’s blog, FacebookRavelryInstagram, and Pinterest.

Click here to see all 3 Questions interviews.

Hunger – A Food Post

Liesl Made : Simple Crackers
Liesl Made : Volkornbrot
Liesl Made : Cooking
Liesl Made : Spelt Tortillas
Liesl Made : Homemade Granola

For being such a short month, February can seem very long to those of us in this latitude. Even lovers of winter, like myself, have grown a bit weary of the cold and snow. The February Full Moon is often called The Hunger Moon, since, traditionally speaking, this is the time when hunting is more difficult as prey becomes scarce, the land, source of our food, has been frozen for months.

Even though I live in the age of the supermarket, I found myself with an insatiable appetite in February and wondered if maybe it was some ancestral hunger still deep in my bones. Then I realized it probably had more to do with the fact that I’ve spent most of the winter in a cooking slump, eating quick (often unhealthy) foods or scavenging for what other people made around here (thankfully I live with great cooks and bakers.) In the summer, fresh, colorful food is bountiful. But in winter, it’s so easy to get bored. But, luckily, my cooking interest has rekindled and I have spent more time in the kitchen. I’m now realizing that my appetite has simple been to cook more, to reconnect with my food.

Some of the things being made in the kitchen include:

  • SouleMama’s simple crackers have been a huge hit around here. Especially with homemade hummus.
  • Fried sauerkraut with onions and carrots (sometimes wrapped in rice paper.)
  • I’m on a mission to make the perfect freezable burrito. Amy’s Black Bean and Vegetable burritos are a favorite but I am certain they can be made cheaper, at home, from scratch. I’ve experimented a bit, using the refried bean recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook as a starting point (adding the likes of corn and broccoli and rice.) My Dad helped me make the spelt tortillas from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.
  • Then I helped him on his mission to make a homemade version of Mestemacher rye bread using the Volkornbrot recipe, also from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. It’s a lot of work, feeding a rye sour and all, but surprisingly close in taste and texture.
  • Finally made a ginger syrup. (I cut the recipe in half.)
  • My Mom makes the most amazing scones. (It’s a recipe from the Cuisine at Home magazine. I think this is it.)
  • Granola. (I didn’t have a hand in making it but I can guarantee you I’ve had a hand in eating it. If I know my Dad, it was probably another King Arthur recipe.)

Some things I’d like to try making soon include: These granola bars and these oat cakes look like the perfect snacks for early spring hikes (after this snow melts, and the ground dries up a bit, there will be hiking, so much hiking.) /// Peanut Butter Cups? Yes, please. /// We are hoping to have dinner of savory crepes (kind of like these.) /// And I want my mother to teach me how to make spaetzle. /// But first, Bangers and Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day.

What have you been cooking, baking and eating lately?

Yarn Along – Knitting and Reading

I’m joining in Yarn Along this week hosted by Ginny of Small Things. It’s a chance for those of us who love knitting and reading to share what project is currently on our needles and which book we have our noses buried in. And I personally add what music I’ve been listening to as well.

Liesl Made : Yarn Along : Knitting and Reading

Knitting: As usual, I’ve been bouncing around a handful of projects, but right this moment, I’m plugging away at my Clairette cardigan. I had to rip back a handful of times before I got my stride with the diagonal stripes. I’ve set the ambitious goal of completing it by the first of May, which would be three months from the start date. Since past cardigans took me around five months to complete, I’m not holding my breath. But I’m going to give it my best try! (And avoid casting on too many extra projects in these next two months.) The bottom is done, so it’s should be smooth sailing with stockinette for a while.

Reading: Annabel by Kathleen Winter. It’s keeping me awake longer than I’d like, one eyeball open, so tired but so curious to see what happens. I read Middlesex a few years ago, which deals with the same subject, but I’m enjoying this one better.

Listening: Back in February, I discovered The White Buffalo and became addicted. “Darling What Have I Done” and “Pray to You Now” are both so great. But, since then, the initial obsession has waned a bit and I’m listening to a variety of music in my library. Particularly stuff from the likes of Neko, Amanda, Sia.

What are YOU knitting/crocheting, reading or listening to this week?

Paid In Full – My Recipe Box

Liesl Made : Buckaloo View Recipe Box
Liesl Made : Buckaloo View Recipe Box
Liesl Made : Buckaloo View Recipe Box
IMG_5712 copysm

Up until now, my recipes were all shoved, haphazardly, in a binder. It was always a chore to find the one I needed. I knew exactly what I wanted to fix this but couldn’t seem to find it in any store. Instead of a box to hold standard index cards, I wanted something bigger that could hold standard sheets of paper folded in half, since most of my recipes are printouts or photocopies. Last summer, I asked my Dad if he could make me exactly what I was looking for. Then back in December, his schedule slowed a little and we sat down to discuss the details. I had to keep steering him away from adding anything fancy. Frankly, from adding anything at all, reminding him I just wanted a simple box in the prettiest piece of walnut he could find. He has plans for recipe and trinket boxes for his shop in the future and he can have free reign over the specifics and design of them. But my taste is very simple. Some might consider it plain. But to me, beautiful wood, showcased like this, doesn’t need bells or whistles. Somewhere, in between these brutally cold winter days, he managed to complete the exact box I wanted. It’s about 7″ x 10″ x 8″. It turned out better than I hoped.

Technically, this is my payment for all the work I did, helping him get his Etsy shop rolling last year. I’ll admit, now I feel a bit overpaid.

3 Questions : Andi

3 Questions is an interview-style series featuring some of my favorite bloggers. Every week, I ask one inspirational person 3 completely random questions and ask them to share three photos that represent Who they are, What they do or make and Where they feel the happiest.

3 Questions : Andi of My Sister's Knitter

I think I remember reading somewhere about how our knitting style (the patterns and colors you choose, how often you knit, how you approach knitting, etc) says a bit about our personality. Maybe you always need to juggle a handful of projects because you are someone who likes variety in your life? Or maybe you like to stick with classic patterns in monochromatic yarns because security and familiarity are central to your happiness? Do you knit for the final result or for the journey? This popped in my head when I sat down to write this little intro for Andi’s 3 Questions. Andi is one of my biggest knitting inspirations. She has that knitter’s intuition (something I’m hoping comes with experience.) The patterns and colors she chooses are always the perfect blend of fun, color, class and taste. I was thinking maybe there is something to that theory because visiting her blog you can tell she, as a person, is warmhearted, witty and graceful. (And she always shares the best links.)

What was your first bike like?
So glad you asked, as it is one of my very favorite memories. My first bike was a Huffy Strawberry Sizzler. It was so fantastic. It has a banana style seat that had huge strawberries on it. The frame was a bubblegum shade of pink. My favorite part was on the handlebars there were these wonderful light pink, dark pink, and white plastic tassels.
I wish I has a picture of it or a pic with me riding on it. I don’t think it stayed “pretty” long since I was a tomboy. Me and my bestie guy friends used to jump off ramps and hills in our bikes. My friends with their cool Mongoose bikes and me with the pink dream bike. I am sure that must have been quite the sight.
How do you manage stress?
Knitting is high on my list for stress maintenance. Even if it is a single row on a sock, that will get my nerves settled.
A nice cup of tea. Preferably hot tea in a nice cup. A sweet chamomile, fruit blend or chai, will often be called to the plate.
Quiet music streaming on my computer is a must. Especially before going to bed. A necessity for a stressful day at work. I will listen to NPR’s 24/7 music radio station. Great for getting a nice eclectic mix of songs and artists that I would not normally be familiar with.
Super stressful days are when I bring out the big guns in the form of a comedy. Laugh is truly the heal all. It is difficult to worry, fret or be sad when laughing. Jim Gaffigan’s show Beyond the Pale, is a belly laugh and a half. :)
Did you ever run away from home as a kid?
LOL! Ashamed to say I did. Over crazy stupid stuff. My poor mother still dreams that she looses me in stores and other places, to this day. She blames it on the fact that I used to run off all the time. You know those pets that when you open the front door they take off? Well that was me from a very wee age. A favorite story of my mom’s is when I was about 4, I took off and was found at some random strangers home eating dinner with them. True story!
Another time I “ran away” because I didn’t get a piece of cheesecake when I wanted it. Another true story and there is proof, my mom kept the run away note. (ah, the shame)

Be sure to check out Andi’s blog.

Click here to see all 3 Questions interviews.