Apr 27, 2020

Baking through the pandemic

We are living through some very interesting and difficult times. 
When I was growing up as a child I lived through practicing for nuclear war. We learned to walk in gas mask, raincoat, and plastic bags on our hands and feet to be protected from nuclear fallout. 
Then I lived through the fall of Berlin Wall and Velvet Revolution. I saw the world open up and be free.
Now I live through the world pandemic. I hope that we will make it through alive and healthy.
My work is non essential and I am staying home until my work reopen at some point in the future. 
As a way to keep myself busy with other things than house choirs, cleaning, doing laundry, and to provide food for my family I bake. I have been baking a lot these past weeks and I have sneaked in some pictures of my baking attempts.

Oreo cookie

Some were successful, and some were less. As the weeks go by, I keep trying new things, new recipes, things that takes days from start to finish. In a way it is like knitting. You start with the simple projects, and as you learn you try more adventurous knitting techniques. Sometimes you still return to those familiar projects that are fast, quick, and favorites. Sometimes you try something new.

Week I

Week II

Week III

Week IV
Week V
Week I: Monkey Bread, Bread, Chocolate Banana Walnut Cookies, Bundt Cake, Calzones, Blueberry Muffins
Week II: Blueberry-lemon Bread, Rohliky (Czech Bread Rolls), Herb Cheddar Scones, Strudel with cheese filling, Corn Bread, Bread, Brownies, Apple Strudel
Week III: Apple Strudel, Carrot Cake, Potato Pancakes, Cinnamon Buns with Maple Frosting, Bread, My mom's Crepes, Bread
Week IV: My mom's Crepes, Kale Corn and Jalapeno Muffins, Brownies, Focaccia, Bread, Croutons 
Week V: Linzer Cookies, Dog's Cookies, Leaf Shaped Fougasse Bread, Rohliky (Czech Bread Rolls), Bread, Ginger Bread (my mom's recipe), Two Layers Pizza, Panna Cotta, Future Croissants (dough after the third roll and fold)

Croissants - the beginning

 I have a book "Baking with Julia" written by Dorie Greenspan. Sometimes I look through it and one of the recipes that always caught my eye was the recipe for the Croissants. I have read the recipe so many times, yet I never tried to bake them. It is time consuming and previously my weekends were filled with choirs, housework, laundry, while trying to squeeze in some fun and relaxing stuff as well. This past weekend I finally decide to try and bake the croissants from scratch.

Croissants - WIP

I started on Saturday when I made the dough. Sunday morning I made the butter part and then spend the day rolling and folding the dough and butter together. This morning I rolled out the dough and made the croissants and baked them. I still have the second half of the dough to work on. I have to admit, the croissants turned out good. Would I bake them again? I am not sure. It was a lot of work, and like with knitting, sometimes it's good just to try something new.  


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Apr 21, 2020

Work in progress

The toy mystery KAL for Cherie, Stella, or Brooke is more then half way through. I just uploaded the third clue of this fun knit a long. You can still join us on Ravelry.
So far it went from this
 to this, after clue 1

clue 1
to this, after clue 2

clue 2

Also here is a picture of another week of baking....
pictured my mom's recipe crepes, Kale, corn, and jalapeno muffin (something new to try), favorite chocolate brownies, focaccia (it took two days to make it from scratch to finally try it), bread, and croutons from the leftover bread.

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Apr 13, 2020

Work in progress...

Fox Pillow
Over the past week I have been taking pictures of my dog with the Fox pillow. Apparently it is his favorite pillow to sleep on.  It is quite entertaining to watch him sleep. And yeas I have been stuck in the house for about a month, so my entertainment is rather limited.....but I am not complaining. We are still alive, and breathing. Life is good.

Fox Pillow 
I also baked and cooked a lot. Normally I don't have that much time to cook or bake, but life is rather strange these days and I do enjoy the process of baking, or cooking. Though I dislike to clean up all those dishes afterwards. Pictured here are: Apple Strudel, Carrot Cake (we have a birthday to celebrate), potato pancakes, cinnamon buns with maple frosting, bread, Bundt cake, my mom's version of crepes, bread (I baked it twice this week).
week of baking III

Also, there is a storm coming our way and we might loose power and internet for few days. I guess we might be camping at home for our spring break.  If we loose the power I will not be able to update the second clue on time, therefore I have updated the pattern earlier.
For a moment we already lost the power. It came back, but who knows for how long. Stay safe, and have fun knitting.
T-Bone working on clue 1 :)

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Apr 8, 2020

Behind the scene...

Sometime ago I received an email from Lovecraft that they would like to write about me as a maker and crafter. I was really surprised and honored. Today while working on publishing my latest pattern for Fox Pillow I actually came across the post they wrote about me.
Here is the article link:
Lovecrafts article

 It is based on my entry for their competition for the blogger of the year 2019.
My blog post

Life is good. Keep on creating and crafting, one stitch at the time.
Thank you for visiting.

Knitting Pattern for Fox Pillow

Fox Pillow
During this strange period of life I kept myself busy working on this fox pillow.
I also created the Frog Mask and a toy mystery KAL Cheri, Stella, or Brooke to keep my mind and hands occupied.
While the pattern was in the hands of TE at Midnight Purl I kept taking pictures of the pillow with my dog sleeping on it. Apparently it's his new favorite pillow to nap on.

Fox Pillow
The fox pillow is a simple stockinette work in the round, with an additional flap for the face, and two ears. The zipper is sewn to the cast on edge to allow the pillow to be washed. The pattern offers two sizes 18" (46 cm) and 20" (51 cm) square.
The pictured sample is knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn in Sienna color, with Ecru color for the face flap, and part of the ears. I also used the black color for the eyes, and whiskers. I had this cute heart shaped button at home and used it as the nose.

The pattern is available exclusively on Lovecraft website for the next two months, after that it will be available also in my store on Ravelry.
Ravelry store

The link to the pattern will be added here:
You can purchase it by clicking on this button:

you can buy it here on Lovecraft:
 Fox Pillow

Fox Pillow
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Apr 5, 2020

Toy Mystery KAL Cherie, Stella, or Brooke

Cherie, Stella, or Brooke
Life is strange these days. I hope that this fun toy mystery KAL will give you something else to think about and occupy your hands and mind.
Join us for this fun mystery KAL in my group on Ravelry
Stana's Critters etc

The pattern will be released in three parts, on these dates:
April 8th - first clue
April 15th - second clue
April 22nd - third clue
April 29th - final pattern.

Here is the link to the pattern:

Cherie, Stella, or Brooke

To get the pattern for free, join my group on Ravelry, and use the coupon code Hope during the checkout.  The code is valid during the mystery KAL.

Have fun knitting.

In my last blog post I have posted a collage picture of my baking through this time of distress. I have continued this week with more baking, as always some baking adventures were more successful than others.

Pictured are: Blueberry-lemon bread, rohliky (Czech bread rolls), Herb- cheddar scones, Strudel with cheese filling, corn bread, bread, brownies, apple strudel.
I am not sure what I will bake next week....the options are endless

Apr 3, 2020

Work in progress

Another week went by.
We are alive and breathing. Just few weeks ago it would seem strange to think about such a simple act as to breath in, and breath out. But that was few weeks ago. Now life is different.

I realized that I have been baking a lot over the past two weeks. I guess it's a way to feel like I am in control over something.  It all taste good and delicious, even though some of my baking attempts were less successful then others. Pictured here are Monkey Bread, Bread, Chocolate Banana Walnut Cookies, Bundt Cake, Calzone, Blueberry Muffins.

week of baking
I also managed to finish a project I have been working on over the past month. The knitting pattern is at the TE hands and will be available later this month. In the meantime here is a preview of my Fox Pillow.

Fox Pillow

I also started to play with yarn and work on our next toy mystery KAL. I will create the pattern page over the weekend and our fun toy mystery KAL should start next week. Here is a picture of the yarn I picked from my stash.

toy mystery KAL
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Knitting pattern for Frog Mask

Frog Mask
Finished Mask Size: 9.5" (24 cm) long, 6" (15.5 cm) wide at the widest point, 15" (38 cm) tall strings.

Yarn: Cotton yarn in green (MC), white (C1), red (C2) and black (C3) color. For my sample I used Sugar and Cream yarn.

Yardage: 140 - 150 yards (128 - 137 meters) of MC, and 15 yards (14 meters) each of C1, C2, C3.

Recommended Needle Size: US # 7 / 4.5 mm, and DPN US # 7 / 4.5 mm (set of 5).

Notions: Yarn needle, scissors, stitch marker, polyester fiberfill (1 small bag), 10" (26 cm) long and 7" (18 cm) wide rectangular piece of cotton fabric to add layer to the mask.

C1, C2, C3 = Contrast Color
CO = Cast On
DPN = Double Pointed Needles
K = Knit
K2tog = Knit two sts together, this decreases two sts to one st.
K3tog = Knit three sts together, this decreases three sts to one st.
KFB = Knit in front and bag of the same st, this creates two sts from one st.
MC = Main Color
P = Purl
PM = Place Marker
RH = Right Hand
Rnd, Rnds = Round, Rounds
SSK = Slip st, slip st, and knit the two sts together, this decreases two sts to one st.
St, Sts = Stitch, Stitches
W & T = Wrap and Turn

Gauge: 20 sts & 26 rows 4" (10 cm) in stockinette stitch.

Bind off with I-cord:
I-cord string:
Short Rows:
Three Needle Bind Off:

Notes: This mask will not protect you. However, it might protect others from your cough.
In time of distress, I tend to find solace in knitting. Over the past week I was talking with my mom via Skype about the current situation in her country. While we were talking, she was telling me about the lack of face masks, and how she and many other people are sewing them from cotton fabric. Based on these conversations I started to make some sketches and decide to create a mask on my own. One that has a bit of whimsy, and has the added layer of cotton fabric. I used cotton yarn for the mask, therefore it's possible to sterilize it.

When casting on leave a longer tail to use later for sewing.

With the MC yarn CO 42 sts.
Row 1: K1, P1
Row 2: P1, K1
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Short Rows sections:
Short Row 1: K37, W&T
Short Row 2: P32, W&T
Short Row 3: K27, W&T
Short Row 4: P22, W&T
Short Row 5: K17, W&T
Short Row 6: P12, W&T
Short Row 7: Knit to end
Row 6: Purl
Rows 7 - 10: Repeat Rows 3 - 6, including the short rows.
Rows 11 - 14: Repeat Rows 3 - 6, including the short rows.
Cut the yarn, leaving the live stitches on needle.

String with the leg:
With the MC yarn and DPN, CO 12 sts. Place the stitch marker on the first st and begin working in the round.
Rnds 1 - 3: Knit
Rnd 4: SSK 6x ( 6 sts total)
Continue to work the sts as I-cord for 14" (36 cm).

Join the live stitches on the mask with the I-cord string and continue with I-cord BO.

After the I-cord BO continue with I-cord for another 14" (36 cm).
Then continue in the rounds:
Rnd 1: KFB 6x (12 sts)
Rnds 2 - 4: Knit
BO in Three Needle BO technique.

Lower Side string (make 2) :
With MC pick up 6 sts along the lower corner of the mask. Make I-cord approximately 14" (36 cm) long.
Then continue in the rounds:
Rnd 1: KFB 6x (12 sts)
Rnds 2 - 4: Knit
BO in Three Needle BO technique.
Repeat for the second string.

Eyes (make 2): 
With MC yarn and DPN, CO 6 sts. Place the stitch marker on the first st and begin working in the round.
Rnd 1: Knit
Rnd 2: (KFB, K1) 3x (9 sts total)
Rnd 3: Knit. Cut off MC, attach C1.
Rnd 4: Knit
Rnd 5: (SSK, K1) 3x (6 sts total)
Slightly stuff the eye with fiberfill. Cut the yarn, leaving long enough tail, and thread the end on a yarn needle. Pull the end through the remaining sts on needle, gather up and close the hole, stitch to secure.
Repeat for second eye.


With the C2 yarn and DPN, CO 6 sts. Place the stitch marker on the first st and begin working in the round.

Rnds 1 - 2: Knit
Rnd 3: (K3tog) 2x (2 sts total)
Cut the yarn, leaving long enough tail, and thread the end on a yarn needle. Pull the end through the remaining sts on needle, gather up and close the hole, stitch to secure.

With the tail from the CO sts sew the two eyes to the upper part of the mask about 4" (10 cm) apart, sew the tongue in the middle between the two eyes, about 2" (5 cm) from the top. With C3 yarn (black yarn) embroider the eyes and a fly on the tongue.
Fabric Lining:
Make a template of your frog mask onto a piece of apper. Cut out the template, and make sure it fits inside the knitted mask. Cut the shape 0.5" (1.5 cm) wider than the knitted piece. Lay out the fabric right side out against the knitted piece and pin the two layers together. Fold the cut fabric along the edge. Sew the two pieces along the edges.
See the pictures bellow.

This pattern was design and written by Stana D.S. Please acknowledge the author.
Stay safe.
Thank you.