I grabbed another amigurumi pattern I found in the book Animal Friends of Pica Pau by Yan Schenkel and made Jeremias, the frog!
Jeremias is a very talented amigurumi frog named after Miss Potter’s character.
He had an amazing olimpic carreer as a professional swimmer when he was a young frog. He traveled all arround the world with his team! After retiring from the olimpic games he wanted to use the amazing vocal sacs he developed as a professional swimmer. So he started to sing and training his voice instead! He met Paul McCartney who invited him to join his famous frog choir. Today Jeremias loves to pop into his crochet swimming shorts and dive into the river with his yellow fins. And then he hums some music under the summer hot sun!
Materials and a pattern review
As usual, to make Jeremias amigurumi I used cotton Catona Scheepjes yarn and simply followed the crochet pattern. I love cotton yarn crochet in summer: it’s light and cool in your hands. And I like it specially for amugurumi crochets. Plus, they are very simple and easy projects to make anywhere you go on vacations! As with the ones I already made, this crochet pattern was very easy to follow. In fact I think all Yan Schenkel Animal Friends patterns are very easy and perfect for beginners too. The thing I love the most is that they always inspire me to create a story arround the amugurumi I am making. Since I usually don’t keep them, I love to add a small story to fill their soul.
Perfect summer crochet project
After so many ocean and river swims I had, Jeremias turned out to be the perfect amugurumi crochet to end my summer season. And just in time to meet his new baby friend Lucas who may arrive anytime soon. What’s your next amigurumi project?
Homemade pesto sauce is one of the most versatile things I know. And basil is one of my favorite herbs that represents summer like no other. Who has never had a pot of basil in need of a trim after several months growing in the kitchen? Basil is an annual herb, an ingredient that appeals and brings back summer memories. It can hold up until the first days of cold weather but it will die before the freeze arrives. It’s in its genes. My basil pot had been in my kitchen for months. I grabbed a leaf here and there. With summer in full force, I couldn’t resist: I had to use it all up before lit goes wild!
I used only the traditional pesto ingredients for my pesto recipe.
At first the quantities were a guessing game until I got the version I liked the most. The improved recipe only involved a few septs. In a food processor, add a cup of fresh basil, half a cup of pine nuts roasted for 5 minutes on the stove, two cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese to taste. Then you just grind it adding more olive oil until you get the right consistency. In the end I always taste to correct the salt.
The homemade pesto sauce is ready to go!
I can’t talk enough about how good this pesto sauce is with just a good dose of wholegrain spaghetti (or other pasta really) and a few shavings of parmesan. And nothing else! Any fresh pesto pasta can go the all way from a starter dish, but it’s so good that I insist on making it as the main dish. For the more demanding ones I suggest pesto with walnuts in your pasta and more basil leaves to crunch. It’s the best!
Pesto sauce can be used in many different ways and the second best is, without a doubt, is to add it to some beautiful tomato and mozzarella cheese to a classic pesto salad for a summer picnic. But it’s also perfect as a pesto dip for crackers or nachos, in a pesto pizza, pesto gnocchi. Add it to any stuffed pasta like tortellini to a pesto pasta salad, or to a baked pesto chicken or baked pesto potatoes with a touch of lemon.
Fresh pesto sauce recipes, especially homemade pesto, should be refrigerated with an extra layer of olive oil and must be consumed within a week or two. It is certainly superior to any pesto sauce you can buy at the supermarkets. Mine only lasted about 2 days, just because it was so so good. Anyone else with a basil needing a trim?
After risking a child’s size, I had to put into practice what I had learned and knit a sweater for myself. I did it during the last months of 2020. It was a piece of joy to wear it in the first months of 2021. Despite the unique year that we went through, 2021 brought us knowledge and perspective.
After finishing my knit sweater, I think I placed more confidence in myself, a reflection of what has been happening throughout this pandemic period. It is true that all our plans left us last year: ones more than others. But there are always dreams to chase that keep us whole. It is just a matter of opening horizons and, “knitting one point after another”. We are on our way to materialize a project that is increasingly bigger. Our “handmade sweater”.
What seemed like a huge disaster in March 2020 forced us to be resilient. Forced us to reorder and refocus the contents of our daily lives. It also forced us create new dreams and new challenges for which we had to count on ourselves and on those with whom we cannot part with. Don’t get me wrong: I won’t be missing this crazy period. Nothing can erases the suffering so many of us have been through. Is was like an earthquake that hit the whole entire world. But it is a period to show us what we are capable of: to surpass, to discover and use our hands to make dreams come true.
An emotional review of my handknitted sweater
I took these pictures on the first day that the sun peeked out after two big winter storms. My sweater felt like a hot cloud against the harsh climate, the icy waves the sand full of marine litter that did not stop arriving … It was like a raw reflection (that I preferred to assume in the photos) of the impact that we have on the world. A harm that didn’t pause in the middle of a global pandemic.
The winter season is here to stay. And my goddaughter keeps growing and growing! She needs clothes. Good and confortable clothes to keep her nice and warm when she is exploring outside.
So I decided to knit a sweater. I used the Flax Light free knitting sweater patterns from The Simple Collection by Tin Can Knits. This is a basic cut sweater that makes this model very versatile. The sweater is knitted seamlessly from the collar. It is the perfect project for your first knitted sweater experience! To knit the sweater I used two balls of Cool Wool Big Color by Lana Grassa that I brought from the sweetest little yarn shop in Delft, in the Netherlands. A very soft 100% merino wool yarn, perfect for children.
I knitted a sweater in the size 1-2 years because I think it is possible to extend the time of use of these projects using a good thread and a good pattern. Opting for a basic pattern that is both much wider and fairer makes the margin of error generous. Plus it is possible to adapt the use of the pieces for a longer time. Speccially at a time when children grow up visibly from almost a week to the other. So, hopefully, the sweater will serve her well during this season, may be the next season too. Who knows for how long could will it be wearable!
The pattern is very well designed, easy to follow and has beautiful results. Another great advantage of this free knitting sweater pattern is that it has sizes ranging from baby to adults. This means that you can also knit a matching set for your whole family. The pattern is also good for both male and female. You will only have to choose your yarn to please all the family members!