Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Review of My 2007 Knitting

One of the reasons I started this blog was to keep track of my knitting progress. The advent of Ravelry has made that so much easier. I've also found that by writing this blog, I've become more conscious about my knitting and life in general. For years I resisted New Year's Resolutions or goal setting of any kind. By keeping track of the things I make or accomplish I've found that setting goals is satisfying rather than frustrating. Before I set any goals for the coming year, I thought I'd review what I've accomplished.
So, here is the list of the Things I Made in 2007
1 and 2) Fuzzy Feet for Danny & Caitlin
3) Dog sweater for Billy
4) Reversible Cable Scarf
5) A hat for me
6) Corporate Camo
7) Noro Striped Scarf for Dustin
8) Noro Striped Scarf for Caitlin
9) Fetching glovelets for Caitlin
10) Garter glovelets for Danny
11) Chanel-ish Cardigan Jacket for Tate
12) Watercolor socks for me
13) Shibori scarf for Tate
14) Hyde Park Pullover for me
15) Stolen fingerless mitts
16) My So-Called Scarf for Danny
17) Socks for Tate
18) Nikko Wrap

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I thought I'd dig through the marination chamber to evaluate all of my Works in Progress (WIP) and give you a peak.

Here we have Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style that I cast on a few days ago. I'm using Paton's Soy Wool Stripes, which is a cheaper alternative to using Noro Silk Garden. I like the colors. And the technique is not hard at all. It would have been nice to use the Noro, but I didn't want to spend over $100 to make a wrap. I'm about 1/8 done.

Next, is the Knitting Pure& Simple Top-Down Cardi. This would have been a fast knit if I hadn't been impulsive and cast on for so many other smaller projects. I'm not sure how I feel about the stripes on this one. The yarn is very thick and I'm planning on wearing this instead of a coat. I've got the body completed and have started on the first sleeve.

The Landscape Earth socks are at a stand-still. And I simply had to have this yarn for my birthday.

The next few projects have really been sitting around. Here is the crochet blanket. I have made this thing too damn big. It's over ten feet long. And it takes for-freeking-ever to do one stripe. I was considering just giving up on this one. But, I received some encouragement from one of my dear co-workers, so I'll plod along on this one. Plus, I think I want to make each of my kids a blanket before I kick the bucket so they can have a keepsake of some sort.

Here is the Ribbi Cardi. This has been sitting around for well over a year. I have the back, the fronts and one sleeve finished. All I have to do is finish one sleeve and put it together.

The blue is a Koigu baby surplice cardigan from Vogue Knitting Spring 07. The sleeve portion is perplexing me. I saw some completed baby cardigans at the KC Fiber Guild's annual sale, so I think I may have figured it out. Then, there is Tate's sock. I just have to graft the toe of the second sock. And last, we have the ruffles scarf. I just need to bind this one off. I slept in late this morning and awoke to the smell of caramelizing onions. Sam had started a pot of French Onion Soup. He loves making it. I'm enjoying a bowl right now.

I've entered 44 projects in my queue on Ravelry. I wonder what Evil Knitting I will complete in 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day

Leave it to the Canadians to have an extra day to box up your gifts and get the house in order. If only we had that holiday.

On Christmas Eve, I received my first package from Spunky Eclectic. Sock yarn in 80's Party Dress colourway. I'm not so sure it suits me. It was a nice treat, though.

This Christmas, I didn't receive most of the fiber-related gifts I asked for. Alas, no spindle. I was expecting that. Maybe next year I'll put all the things you need to make Meth on my list. My love for knitting and spinning has been labeled "an obsession." I guess it's all in how you look at things. I call it a passion.
I did receive Nigella Express for Christmas. Tonight, I'm making Red Shrimp and Mango Curry for dinner. I'm off to work on Lady Eleanor. Entrelac is a new technique for me. It looks difficult, but it's not hard at all.
I leave you with a picture of a puppy bum.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Crap

I believe it's a wrap. Yep, I've got everything done, including the wrapping. This year, I made gift giving easy by stopping off at the Licorice Door to get booze. Buy it, stick it in a gift bag and Bob's your Uncle.
So, now I can sit back and relax. I'm not spending much time cleaning this weekend. It always seems like the house turns into a wreck on Christmas Day. So, I figure I'll just get to it then.
We had another snow storm last night. Both of us were nervous because the lights flickered many times. And since it was about 18 degrees, the house would get mighty cold fast. Even though I wanted to have a fire, I'm saving the wood in case we have another stupid power outage.
I haven't been up to much besides getting the Christmas Crap done. In addition to shopping and wrapping this also includes last-minute blocking and finishing of knitted projects. I try to steer clear of knitting projects close to the holidays. I try to knit them throughout the year to have on hand for birthdays and Christmas. Less pressure. That being said, I cast on and finished a hat. I'm not sure that I will use it as a gift. I think my yarn choice was bad for this particular pattern.
Sam loved the French Onion soup so much he made it himself during the week. We have both been inspired by the current Cook's Illustrated and Fine Cooking magazines. Last night we made Cobb Salad Wraps because I was craving blue cheese.

The parental units are not having Sunday Dinner tonight because Christmas is so close. I can't remember the last time they did not have a Sunday Dinner when they were home. That leaves me all day and all evening to putter around here. Tonight we are either having Chinese Pork and Shitakke Mushroom Wraps or Sweet Potato, Chipotle and Apple Soup.
Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, which means that the days will now get lighter. Thank goodness. I am really hating seeing night time come around 4:30.
Caitlin sent me pictures of the knitted items I sent them. I see that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I've Got the Power

For now anyway. We lost our power at about 5 a.m. Wednesday. The reason that I knew this is because the stupid janitor at the elementary school we back up to was running the snow blower at 4:30 a.m. Always the optimist, I figured that it wouldn't be long before it was restored. However, it was around 11 p.m. when it came back on. So, I took the day off and watched the temperature drop. Once it dropped about 10 degrees, I built a fire. Without power and very little sunlight, there's not much to do. But, I had my trusty Beagle and wiggly Basset to snuggle with.
I managed to finish the Corporate Camouflage shawl. I really like it. It was an easy knit. I'm thinking of making another. Maybe with some of my hand spun yarn.

I joined the Spunky Eclectic Fiber club, so I will be getting fiber to spin in January. Hopefully, I will get the spindle I want for Christmas. I also got the pencil roving I bought from Etsy. in the mail.

I'm back to working on the KP&S Top-Down Cardigan. The weather is perfect for a nice thick cardigan. I'm going to make French Onion Soup for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice, Ice, Baby

The ice storm hit. Thankfully, we still have our power. It's days like this that I'm glad that I work from home. Since the weather was so crappy, I've just been puttering around the house. We recently made an extra tray of chicken enchiladas just for this occasion. Piddles has had an awful time trying to get around in the ice. She's already uncoordinated. The ice has just kicked it up another notch. Precious and comical.

In my surfing around the Internet recently, I've located the Menu For Hope charity. Food bloggers have put together prize packages and for each $10 you donate you get a raffle ticket for the prize of your choice. I realize my very small readership isn't much interested in cooking, but the prizes are fabulous. I won't tell you what I've bid on, because I intend to win it.

United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is the world's largest humanitarian agency: each year, they give food to an average of 90 million poor people to meet their nutritional needs, including 56 million hungry children, in at least 80 of the world's poorest countries. WFP -- We Feed People. Check it out.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Poor Little Kitten

I went to Whole Foods yesterday to get supplies to make a seafood gumbo. Now that the weather has turned cold, I've been taking out the hand knits to wear. Instead of a coat, I was sporting one of my heavier sweaters. I was also wearing the hand made fingerless mittens I'd just finished. So new that I hadn't even snapped a picture yet. Well, I took them off in the produce section somewhere. I remembered I'd left them about two blocks away from the store. But, alas. They were gone. Always the optimist, I've called a couple of times to see if they were returned. I hope you enjoy them, whoever you are. But, you can bet that I'll be checking out every one's mittens for a while.
It's a great pattern and they knit up quickly. I've already cast on for another pair. I'm using some of the yarn I used for the green Hyde Park sweater. I like them out of Noro Kureyon better. The first ones I made used some Kureyon with a lovely reddish colourway.
Ravelry has tempted me to cast on for a bunch of projects. Aside from the mitts, I've cast on for this hat. I'd better get back to the thick top down sweater now that it's cold. I'd really like to wear that instead of a coat.
I think I've got most of my Christmas presents. I'll have to run to a couple of stores in a couple of days when the weather gets better. Plus, I found a 30% coupon for Border's. Gotta love that. I feel a CD or a book coming my way very soon. Part of the fun of Christmas shopping is buying yourself a present or two. Over the weekend I bought some pencil roving from Etsy. If all goes well, I'll receive a groovy hand spindle for Christmas and try (again) to learn to spin. I figure I'll learn on a hand spindle and then move on to a wheel, if all goes well.
We attempted to make gnocchi over the weekend. What an unbelievable mess. It left the kitchen such a wreck I wondered if it would ever get clean again. I think we're going to try again soon now that the dust has settled.
Now that there is snow on the ground, the birds are using the bird feeder I have attached to my office window. This provides the cats endless entertainment, and I've enjoyed looking at the pretty birds while I clack away on my computer.
It's been a busy two weeks. Out to dinner at a glamorous French restaurant and a trip to the salon for a cut and color being some of the highlights.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Puttering

Slept in again. Aaah. Though, I did dream about work, which I hate. When I first started my position (a thousand years ago), I used to dream in Word Perfect. Control, Alt, F7.
I don't know how Sam gets the pets to keep quiet. They never listen to a thing I tell them, just like my kids. He says he threatens to beat the crap out of them.
The pot roast turned out wonderful. I think I'll always use Alton's recipe. Oh, I did not add the raisins. Yuck. I bought the supplies for California Rolls. Sam is practicing making sushi. Hopefully, we'll have those later on today.
I love, love, love the shawl pattern. It's just like the name of the pattern. Simple but effective. I think I needed a no-brainer quick project. The dog sweater and the slippers weren't that fun to make for me. Probably because I haven't yet seem them on the recipients. I've used four kinds of yarn for the shawl. Noro Kureyon, Manos del Uruguay, an artisan hand spun, and Malibrigo worsted. Now I understand the fuss about Malabrigo. The yarn is glorious. Soft, light, and warm. Maybe one day I'll make a sweater for myself out of it.

The pets thoroughly enjoy the fire.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Saturday All to Myself

I did bet to sleep in, thanks to Sam keeping the pets quiet. It was snowing when I woke up. Ugh. But, Sam had a fire going, which seems to make things better. I started a pot roast, which is bubbling away in the oven presently. I usually make my mom's recipe, but Sam wanted to try Alton's recipe. We altered it, of course. I like having a saucy pot roast with veggies. We'll add carrots, potatoes, and parsnips. And serve it over noodles.
After the Thanksgiving dinner, we were all sitting around the table chatting at my sister's house. Sometimes, my sister will lead the conversation by asking my folks some questions about their childhood or early life. My mother always sang silly songs with her sister, who is now gone. So, my sister asked her to sing some of the songs she sang with Aunt Jean. My mother explained that most of the silly songs she knew were taught to her by her uncle. Being of Scottish decent, they were mostly Scottish songs. So, my mom started up one of her silly songs and then out of the blue Dustin joined in. He knew all the words of a very long silly Scottish song. My mom had sang this song to him when he was a very little boy. It was a special moment to hear them singing at the table for everyone.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Good Day Off

My goal today was to clean the chaos that used to be my kitchen, get the pets all in order, and work on laundry. The kitchen: pristine prior to making dinner tonight. Pets: pretty good. Laundry: not sul bad. But, my main goal really was to relax and knit. After all, it's my last vacation day for 2007.
I've finished the Fuzzy Feet for Caitlin. I'm not going to bother taking a picture. Like the dog sweater, it will be much more exciting to see them modeled on the recipient. And thanks to Ravelry, I've cast on for a shawl. So, I spent most of the day relaxing and knitting.
The weather has gotten cold just in time for the holidays. I've really been enjoying wearing my hand knits. In particular, my socks.
Thanksgiving went smoothly. While my sister cooks the turkey for the family meal, I cook one for us. I bought an organic turkey from Whole Foods. I don't know what came over me when I was there. But, I bought a premade brining kit. Never again. I will always make my own brine as I have in the past. This one was too salty and too sweet. I didn't care for the way it flavored the meat at all. I've found that if we take the skin off, it's not so strong. But, it still made my gravy taste funny. It's a shame, in my opinion. The skin is my favorite guilty pleasure. And an organic turkey ain't cheap. I did do one thing different, thanks to Barbara. I took it out at 150 degrees. So that it would be at 160 after it rests.
I made taco soup for dinner tonight. Though, I've modified mine to something that is totally different. We use ground turkey and V-8 for starters.
No OT tomorrow! Maybe I can even sleep late.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Girl's Night In

It appears that Saturday nights are a solo gig for the Suzinator. Girl's Night In! Sam is studying a new computer system language, or something.
We went out for sushi late in the afternoon at Whole Foods and I brought back a salad for later.
I worked overtime again today. And I also went to a fiber artist sale. I found some interesting things about spinning. That will be the next thing I lose myself in. (If only I was more co-ordinated.)
I've finished the dog sweater. It doesn't make sense to post pictures at this point. Once I receive pictures of it being modeled, it will be far more effective.
Caitlin sent me an email asking for felted slippers this week. So, I've got them on the needles, and I hope to mail the knitted gifts soon. Then, I cast on for The Black Pearl! I bought some hand spun hand dyed yarn for it today.
Man, I cannot believe Thanksgiving is almost here. I have not done any prep for that at all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blasted Time Change

The blasted time change has me all in a tizzy. I really hate how it gets dark so early. I wish we didn't have Daylight Saving Time. Though, my favorite day of the year is when we get to have that extra hour that is unaccountable for. I used to want to have that as a super power. Being able to stop time so I could do all the things I wanted to do.

Lately, I've been interested in Japanese cooking. I love making Miso soup for lunch. Today, I went to an Asian grocery store downtown in search of Natto. They had not heard of it. I guess I'll just have to keep looking. Natto is very interesting to me. And I might even like it because I like stinky food, like blue cheese and Kim Chi.

I've also been reading about Bento making. Though I'm not interested in the elaborate kind at all. Japanese food interests me because it's so healthy.

The scarf I impulsively cast on for is finished. I'm going to give it to Danny. Now I'm concentrating on the dog sweater as Danny indicated she was anxious to receive it. I figure I'll get those done and give Caitlin the green scarf I made earlier this year. I still have to block the dang thing and take pictures.

What I really want to cast on for is this. I've been collecting some nice yarn to use for it. It's too dark to take pictures today.

I've also been thinking of how I'm going to spend my time off in 2008. I have my sabbatical, and plan to go see Caitlin graduate from college. I also get all my regular vacation time and will roll over vacation time. I believe I have 60 days off next year. I think one of the things I will do is clean out a bunch of stuff around the house and get rid of a bunch of crap. Sam was thinking we could even have a Crap Sale. I think I would definitely want a sign that said just that.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


She was a much older woman. You can always tell by the shoes.
Danny O'Keefe

I'm always in search of a pair of shoes that I can wear with my handmade socks and wear to work. I think I may have found them.My in-laws came for a visit today. Consequently, I cleaned for a bit last night and before they came. I think I might have actually been ready this time. My MIL loves to shop and is very lavish in her gift giving. After bringing us a huge truckload of fire wood, we took of to buy shoes. MIL has diabetic feet and has to be very careful about the shoes she gets. She's already lost one toe to neuropathy. So, after unloading the wood, off we went to a swanky shoe store. I really didn't want to get anything. Lord knows, my MIL has gotten me enough cool pairs of shoes. But, they wouldn't take no for an answer, so here's what I got.

Man, these are great. I think these may be the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn! I'm always blown away when I see the young gals wearing the pointy-toed heels at work. That ship has sailed for me. Probably in the form of platform shoes.

After shoe shopping, we were off to Costco. The pace my in-laws keep is amazing. Here they are in their mid-60's and they wear me out. They bought us a ton of groceries. I've filled the freezer with meat and veggies, got canned items, and toiletries. After they left, we went out for lunch and fell asleep. Tonight, Sam is studying a new operating system, so I high-tailed it to Whole Foods and got some Cioppino for my dinner. I'll be spending the evening knitting, doing laundry and puttering around Ravelry.

Shoes the Full Version

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Disaster Strikes!

This is what happens when you leave a puppy alone for five minutes. Not to worry. I was able to salvage it. Note to self: put knitting on the table before you go to bed.

We had less than 20 trick-or-treaters last night. I'm wondering if that's just a thing of the past now. What with all the mental cases out there. We didn't even have the dumb high school kids that comprise the majority of the trick-or-treaters. And only two of the pets complied with costumes.

We went to bed EARLY last night. Even though the puppy got me up early, I went back to bed and slept until 8:30. (I had to work the late shift.) I had originally planned on cleaning before work. That's what happens when you tell yourself, "I'll just get back in bed for 15 minutes."

Joms seems to be doing fine. Whatever it was on his leg is gone and he's back to his normal self. And no more incidents with Daisy. Though we've totally cut any food other than her dry food. And we've done so with Piddles too. Hopefully, some weight will drop off of the Beagle. I'll start up walking them again this weekend.

Tonight, it's meatloaf, sauteed mushrooms, and mashed cauliflower. I know we just had mashed cauliflower; but it's SO good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Joms got out yesterday. He's been running out the door quite a bit lately only to return a few hours later. I never worried all that much about it since he stays pretty close. Except for last year, when he bit someone. The woman filed a police report and the cops came to the house. Well, it appears that he's injured himself somehow. He hissed at me last night and now he's hiding in the laundry room. I saw him skittering in the kitchen this morning and he's limping. So, it looks like I'll be going to the vet tomorrow.

I've been spending time getting my projects logged in to Ravelry. this means rounding them up, taking/editing photos, logging the photos into Flickr, adding notes and comments. It's time consuming, but it's interesting to have them all organized. Plus, I've been checking out what other knitters have made or are making. I'm amazed at the many levels of creativity many of the knitters have. Many have several hobbies such as spinning, photography, writing, or cooking. It's very inspiring. I found a cool pattern an impulsively cast on for this. Pattern can be found here.

Last night I made grilled steak with a blue cheese jalapeno sauce. Whole foods had some lovely artichokes, so we had those with the steaks. I bought some meatloaf mix at the butcher shop yesterday. I normally mix my own. So, we'll have meatloaf and mashed cauliflower with horseradish this week.
Yard work today. maybe someday my back yard will be pretty.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

To the Frog Pond it Goes, Bye-bye Pi

I've decided to rip out the Pi Shawl. I made a stupid mistake with the lace. And after going through Ravelry, I've determined that I have nowhere near the yardage I need to make the shawl. And it would just look crappy to add something else to this hand dyed yarn.
It's always funny to me to see the reaction that my non-knitting friends have with ripping knitting out. They simply cannot believe it. But I just don't see the point of keeping on after a big mistake because it will always bug me. Or I won't wear it. Then, what's the point? I definitely like the pattern. I'll have to scour my stash to see if I have the yardage in a different yarn.

I've been reading other knitter's blogs about going to Rinebeck, which is the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. It's held every year the third week in October. Someday. Someday.

Recently, I've noticed that the Beagle has been acting funny after walks. At first she wouldn't be able to make it up on the couch on the first try. Then, getting down she looked stiff. Today, she fell up the step coming in the house from the back yard. Both the front and the back legs gave out. She's not all that old. I'd say 6. She can still put her legs out behind her when stretching out, so it's not her hips. I'm not exactly sure what to do about it. I realize she needs to take some weight off. I already have her on low calorie dog food. But, I guess I'm going to have to eliminate any treats or scraps. I think I will continue taking her on walks for now, just so she can lose some weight and gain strength. Maybe she needs a low dose of aspirin for the joints. I'm not ready to go through the downward spiral thing again. It seems it hasn't been that long since I lost my last dog.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Overtime Vampire

Ah well, I worked 11 hours of overtime this week. Dang, it's hard to be glorious when OT sucks the life out of you. Since I've been working so much, there's not much to report. Cooking has been rather boring. I've been knitting on the projects when I can. The house is a wreck! I had planned on cleaning like a banshee today after work. But, alas, I'm too tired. There's always tomorrow, right?

I really have no right to piss & moan. This is a volunteer thing.

I had asked Tate to bring the knitted things I've made her. She brought over a ginormous bag last Sunday. I had forgotten about some of the things I had made her. It was finally sunny enough to photograph them so I can log them into Ravelry. I have asked my sister to do the same tomorrow. It's nice to keep a log of the projects. I wish I had taken pictures of the things I've made John and Dustin. But, I'm sure they were lost a long time ago.
Tonight we are making Greek Gyros and I'm starting the sauerbraten. It was nice to tinker in the kitchen for a bit.
I was puttering around Ravelry and had the urge to cast on for Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi Shawl. And here I was telling myself to pick some quick projects next. I'm using some sock weight two-ply I bought from Tracy Bunkers' open house some years ago. This as "dud" yarn and very cheap. I think it will look pretty for the shawl. It's a lovely red color, bought during my Red Phase. If I don't have enough, I'm sure I can find something else to use for the edging.
Pictures soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Awful, Harrible Rainy Day

It's been raining like crazy. The worst part is that Piddles hates the rain. I tried and tried to get her to go pee, but no luck. After making her stand in the rain (and listening to her cry) she promptly came in an pooped on the floor. I felt like a monster. She spent the entire morning in her Xpen whimpering.
The Overtime Project is back on again. Seems they still don't have enough warm bodies. So, I'll be doing OT until the end of the month. It's taxing in some ways, but I do like the money.
I've worked on the KF socks this week and the crochet blanket. The blanket is a cat magnet. If I set it down, I'm sure to find a fat cat slumbering on it when I return. I've also been spending some time entering my stuff on Ravelry. But, I figure it's going to take a LONG time, so I might as well get some actual knitting done instead of entering info about it.
I think I'll make the BLT salad for dinner tonight.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

After spending quite some time logging in my knitting information to Ravelry over the weekend, I decided to clean out my office/studio. I was ruthless. I decided to face the fact that there were some knitting projects that I didn't even want to salvage. I would never wear them, I could not for the life of me remember where I was on the pattern, I hated the yarn now. So, into the trash they went. I took quite a bit of time, but now it's spotless. (The closet is jammed packed and harrible, but the room is clear.)

Last night, we made pork tenderloin, sauerkraut with apples and bacon, and fried green tomatoes. They had all the sample tables out at Whole Foods when we were shopping. One of the tables had samples of sauerbraten and braised red cabbage. It was delightful. I'm definitely going to make that soon. It's nice to see all the fall produce again. I also worked on the crochet blanket. It's about 2 feet wide now. Only 8 more to go. I went to the Wild Oats in the suburbs to buy apples and blueberries to make spiced blueberry applesauce today. The store had hardly any merchandise in it. When I was checking out, the checker told me the store was closing. Bummer, because Whole Foods doesn't have a juice bar. I always liked having the two stores because they carry different things.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Relaxing Saturday

I had a nice birthday. We went out for breakfast at Poco's on the Boulevard and then to Room 39 for lunch. I heard from all the kids, my family and friends. That made me really happy. Then, I made crab cakes for dinner. Sam watched Piddles this morning so I could sleep in. (8 a.m. Woo Hoo.)
In between entering my stash on Ravelry I worked on the laundry and cleaning. Sam tried his best to keep me from doing laundry. (You're NOT cleaning and doing laundry on your BIRTHDAY!) But that kind of stuff doesn't really bother me. Plus, there was a ton of laundry to do. How did I ever survive doing laundry for four kids and a husband? I'm trying to remember. So far, I have 40 yarns stashed. And that's just the tip if the iceberg. I'm sure I'll have well over 100. Yarn is all over the place in the spare bedroom and office. I've been having to unearth all of my yarn in the various hiding spots. It looks like a tornado ran through those rooms.
So, today I'll continue to work on cleaning the house in between entering my knitting data on Ravelry. I wonder who has the largest stash so far... (I'm such a nerd!)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Happy Birthday

to me. I'm 48. Oh well.
I took the day off from work, so I've got a long weekend ahead of me.
I received my invitation from Ravelry a couple of days ago, so I've been playing around in there. Quite a site. I've already received an email with pattern corrections from a designer. I might actually get my knitting organized. Amazing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Patience is a

Well, the casserole last night was gross. Don't make it. I wanted to throw the entire thing in the trash, but Sam took it to work to share with his co-workers. What does that say?

Tonight: spaghetti and meatballs. I know, I know. Making 6 lbs of meatballs is not in keeping with the KISS weeknight meals. Alas, I didn't have time on Sunday to make them ahead of time. So, bite me.

I dropped an egg while making the meatballs and summoned the dogs in for a quick clean-up. This didn't fare well with the puppy, as she ran to the family room to barf. It was her first time barfing, so she was upset. She was so cute with those little sad eyes looking at the piles of barf. Oh, if only I had the camera handy. I can't wait to replace the carpeting!

I took her outside afterward only to discover this:

Whut thu Hull???
I've been working on the Knitting Pure & Simple Cardigan. It really is going pretty fast. I tried it on today, and it looks as if I have maybe 7 inches to go on the body. And since the yarn is so thick that won't take much time at all. It's going to be a heavy duty cardigan. A real work horse.

Well, I'm under 200 on the Ravelry waiting list. With my luck, it will be stuck on 4 for several days. I'm dying to see what other knitters are doing.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I've got a little more of my OWN time

The Fuzzy Feet are complete. These slippers are for Danny. And I'm done with the second of the socks on two circs, with the exception of Kitchenering the tip. I prolly should make Caitlin a pair before I mail then out.

I'll be moving the Nikko Wrap to the Stall Wall. It just needs more beads added. And beading is such a pain in the ass. I'm wondering if I'm just too dumb to have figured out the easy way.

On Saturday, I listened to some of the Pod casts on Knit picks. I was surprised to find out that the owner has about 7 projects on the needles at all times. Maybe it's because she wants to encourage us all to buy more stuff from her web site. Or maybe she's just not as strict with herself. After hearing that, however, I certainly wanted to cast on for more projects.

But, I resisted.

I'm kind of holding off to see what happens when I finally get on Ravelry. I'm under less than 1K now. I'm excited. I wonder how many projects other knitters have on their needles. And what everyone else is making. Maybe I can get some help with the dang Baby Surprise Surplice Wrap too. I'm also waiting to see if I get any of the Kaffe Fassett Sock Yarn soon. If I do, that will be my next sock project. On one long circular.

I decided that I have to pair down my weeknight cooking. While I was working overtime, we had carry-out more than I'd like to. It left us both feeling yucky. And while I'm glad that I'll have some more time, I want to keep our weeknight meals simple. I think I'm going to do more cooking on Sundays, so that the weeknights can go smoothly.

I made some chicken stock on Saturday. I love making stock. I'll hope to be making matzo ball soup this week. Or I can it freeze the stock for later. Tate mentioned that they brown their bones where she works. So, that will be next. She also mentioned a technique where you drop cold water on the roasted bones to cause them to open. That way, when you boil them you get the most bang for your buck.

So, I'm going to start working on the Knitting Pure & Simple Cardigan again. I remember saying that it would fly off the needles. I guess that is only if you don't have Knitter's ADD.

Tonight I made Sopa Seca. I used up the rest of the roast turkey I had instead of smoked turkey. I also used Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes and added some chorizo I had on hand.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Quiet Friday

Sam had to pull an all-nighter at work Friday night, so I had the evening to myself. I took the dogs on a walk. (It's getting easier!) I went to Whole Foods and bought Cioppino for dinner and a salad for lunch today. I got a little knitting done. Not much, because the dogs were running all over the place. Nell turns into an alligator puppy when she gets tired. Snapping at everything. I gave the puppy a bath, cleaned out her crate, and turned in early. I kept waking up because I had trouble regulating my temperature.
I had a nice lunch with my mom, Dustin, and Tate on Thursday. It's good to get out in the middle of the day once in a while. The weather has be beautiful.
Today is the very last day of the overtime project. I'm ready for it to be over. I want my time back. With any luck, I should be on Ravelry by next weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm obsessed about being admitted to Ravelry. As of now, I'm 4,580 in line. Maybe I'll get my invitation by my birthday.

I've turned the heel on the second sock and I'm hoping I can get the second Fuzzy
Foot finished with the yarn I have left.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

First Day of Fall

Happy first day of Fall.
I took yesterday off from the volunteer overtime project. I wasn't feeling all that great when I woke up, so I decided that I needed two days off in a row. It was nice to get the house in order. I had lunch with my dad. I got a new hair cut that is darn cute. I was inspired by Caitlin and Danny to have a more modern wash & go type of style. Dustin and Tate had been encouraging me to grow it long. But, it was driving me crazy, so now I'm sporting a new chin-length razored do. I was considering coloring it again. But my hair stylist insisted that my natural silver was pretty and that it simply needed a few things for extra Oomph. So, maybe I'll have him even out the color and add some dramatic streak or something.
I was thumbing through my recipe books and tumbled upon The Complete Book of Breads. I think my brother got this for my birthday some 25 years ago. I used to make Sunset White Bread for my kids when they were little. So, I thought I'd make it again. It didn't rise well and was a flop. I figured I could use it for croutons or something. We made Hot Browns for dinner last night using the bread. It is a Kentucky favorite open-faced sandwich made with toast, roast turkey, cheese sauce, and bacon. It was simply awful. I couldn't even eat mine. It looked like a big brown pile on the plate. Yuck.
In the past, when Fall arrived, I used to spend most of my knitting time in a hurried frenzy making gifts for Christmas. After I figured out that this took a considerable amount of joy out of knitting, I decided to stop. There was no need to make a gift for every person. Nobody else makes each gift. Now, I make things throughout the year. This year, I'm not sure that I will even cast on for another gift between now and Christmas. Better to get the things I have started completed.
I finished reading our book club selection, "Wait Till Next Year." I enjoyed the parts about history very much. However, the first part of the book about her early childhood told through rose coloured glasses was a bit boring. And, I found myself skimming over the play by plays of particular baseball games.

I spoke to Dustin yesterday. His cat, Willa, died Thursday night. He seemed to be taking it fairly well. It's so hard when you help a four-legged friend die.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I found this questionnaire on a blog of a blog of a blog.

I’ve done it
I want to do it
No interest

• Afghan (Does the crochet blanket count?)

  • • I-cord
  • • Garter stitch
  • Knitting with metal wire
  • • Shawl•
  • Stockinette stitch
  • • Socks: top-down
  • Socks: toe-up
  • Knitting with camel yarn
  • • Mittens: Cuff-up
  • Mittens: Tip-down
  • Hat (too many to count)
  • Knitting with silk
  • Moebius band knitting
  • • Participating in a KAL
  • Sweater (Yes, very much so)
  • Drop stitch patterns
  • • Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
  • Slip stitch patterns
  • Knitting with banana fiber yarn
  • Domino knitting
  • • Twisted stitch patterns
  • • Knitting with bamboo yarn (wool-bamboo blend)
  • • Two end knitting (???)
  • Charity knitting
  • Knitting with soy yarn
  • Cardigan
  • Toy/doll clothing
  • Knitting with circular needles
  • Baby items
  • Knitting with your own handspun
  • • Slippers
  • Graffiti knitting (???)
  • Continental knitting
  • Designing knitted garments
  • Cable stitch patterns
  • • Lace patterns
  • Publishing a knitting book
  • Scarf
  • • Teaching a child to knit
  • • American/English knitting (almost every day)
  • • Knitting to make money (no, that’s why I’m in law school )
  • • Buttonholes
  • • Knitting with alpaca
  • Fair Isle knitting
  • • Norwegian knitting
  • Dying with plant colors
  • • Knitting items for a wedding (as a wedding GIFT)
  • Household items
  • Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
  • Olympic knitting
  • Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
  • Knitting with dpns
  • Holiday-related knitting
  • Teaching a male how to knit
  • Bobbles
  • Knitting for a living
  • Knitting with cotton
  • Knitting smocking
  • Dying yarn
  • Steeks
  • Knitting art
  • Fulling/felting
  • • Knitting with wool (virtually all the time)
  • • Textured knitting
  • • Kitchener BO
  • • Purses/bags
  • • Knitting with beads
  • Swatching
  • Long Tail CO
  • Entrelac
  • Knitting and purling backwards
  • Machine knitting
  • Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn
  • Stuffed toys
  • Knitting with cashmere
  • Darning
  • Jewelry
  • Knitting with synthetic yarn
  • Writing a pattern
  • • Gloves
  • • Intarsia
  • Knitting with linen
  • Knitting for preemies
  • Tubular CO
  • Freeform knitting
  • Short rows
  • Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
  • Pillows
  • Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
  • Rug
  • • Knitting on a loom
  • Thrummed knitting
  • Knitting a gift
  • Knitting for pets
  • • Shrug/bolero/poncho
  • Knitting with dog/cat hair (Ick, on purpose?!)
  • Hair accessories
  • Knitting in public

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I guess I was really tired. I worked 11 hours and 45 minutes yesterday and was simply beat. Every particle of me was tired. We watched a couple of programs on the Travel Channel. I must admit that I liked Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and enjoyed it. We also watched some Jackass eat all sorts of gross stuff in the Middle East. I was pushing it to stay up after I ate dinner. But, going to bed early did wonders.
No knitting tonight. Just resting on the couch.
However, I made roast chicken, mashed cauliflower with horseradish, and corn off the cob for dinner tonight. Tomorrow, Pot Roast. I hope to publish a recipe I made up this weekend. BLT salad. It was a total hit.
Early bed time again tonight. I hope I feel more like myself tomorrow.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

One sock completed. I should have made the cuff longer. And they fit a tad too tight on me. These will be a gift for someone with teeny footsies. I can't wait to see if the Magic Loop method is even better.

We bought a new stock pot. It's friggin YUGE. We made stock yesterday and I used all the veggie and chicken scraps I'd saved in the freezer. I think I'll make some gumbo later this week.

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. Maybe it's because everything was so peaceful and orderly when I had time off. I definitely had more time to do fun stuff when I didn't have to work 40+ hours per week. I feel like I haven't accomplished as much as I'd like to and everything is half-finished. This could be caused by hastily casting on for the fuzzy feet AND a sock. Or maybe I'm just tired. I'm glad that the pets are settling down somewhat, but I sure do wish I could sleep in a little later on the weekends. Or maybe it's because it's been cold and gray.

There's a new Knitty issue out there. I really enjoyed David Demchuk's article. I keep checking to see when I will be accepted to Ravelry. There are over 8,000 people ahead of me. This is an incredible idea.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm so glad the weather has been cool enough to have the windows open. It makes the house smell so good, and the Boyz are happy all day long.

The sock is coming along swimmingly. Now, I'm on the foot section of the sock. And only after one week! I'm glad I have years of making socks on double-pointed needles as the mechanics are easier for me to picture.

Here is how you nab your sister's chewie. Ever so slowly. Oh, and in the end, Daisy was successful. I'm glad that they are getting to the point where they can snuggle. Once they really start sleeping together, it's going to be much easier.

I smoked a pork loin roast today and will serve it with a Carolina style Cole Slaw. I used the electric smoker, so it was pretty hands-off.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pretty good, for a Monday

The XPen training went much better today. Maybe everything seemed to go better since I slept like a Rock last night.

The pets have been having little moments where they all get along.

Socks made on two circs definitely does move a ton faster.
I'm done with the cuff and started on the heel flap. And I didn't have much time to knit this weekend, what with the puppy. That's darn good for 6 days. I'm using Addi Turbos, which are very different from bamboo double points. That's what I've been using for years. The Addi's are slick. The bamboo hugs the yarn. My first attempt at socks on two needles, I dropped a bunch on my first round and had to start over. But, it seems to be going well. I'm not too whippy on the resting needle. It seems to get in the way. After this pair, I'll try the Magic Loop. When I attended my class with Sally Melville, most of my classmates were knitting socks using this method. Although, I'm not quite sure what you do when knitting the flap. I guess I'll find out.

I started knitting when I was probably about 12. And knitted (if you can call it that) until I was around 15. I picked up knitting again, after Dustin was born. My Xhusband's cousin was totally into knitting socks. Nancy said she liked knitting socks because it wasn't expensive, there was a lot of knitting, and you could really use what you made. Keeping in mind that this was 25 years ago, there was very little yarn to choose from and the same goes for needles, etc. The yarn was much bulkier and there were only metal needles. I remember when I took my first class and brought my socks in. The teacher was wistful when I showed her my socks. She told a story of how she made custom Argyle socks using the Fraternity colors for her college boyfriends (including their initials) until she figured out that they were simply dating her for the socks.

And so it was my second return to knitting where I learned to love making socks. Lots has changed. I was a tried and true double-pointer until a few days ago. And there is a ton of beautiful sock yarn out there. The yarn is much thinner, so you can wear them with shoes. And there is a nylon content to help them wear well. There are even clear plastic boots specifically made to show off your hand made socks. But, they sound hot and unhealthy for my tootsies.

Sam made blue cheese burgers for dinner tonight. Excellent. Go, Sam.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Dead Tired

3:30 a.m. I am awakened by the television. I go to the Living Room and tell my husband to shut off the TV and go to bed.
3:40 a.m. I go to the couch to sleep because of snoring.
4:00 a.m. The strange noise starts. I wonder if it is the puppy waking up. But, I do not hear any whining. The Strange Noise goes intermittently until
5:00 a.m. The puppy wakes up. I take her outside to do her business and then put her back to bed. We are done by 5:08 a.m.
5:15 a.m. The Strange Noise is coming from the kitchen. The Boyz are trying to rip open the bag of puppy food I left on the counter top. I put the food away and shoo the Boyz off the counter top.
5:30 a.m. I shoo the The Boyz off of the couch.
5:40 a.m. The Boyz have a Kitty Kung Fu fight. I sequester them to the basement.
6:15 a.m. The Beagle wants to go outside.
7:20 a.m. The Beagle wakes the entire household up with her loud beagle barking.

We went to Teocali yesterday. It was okay. I was hoping for something a bit better. I got some cleaning done, too. I made the Beef with Lemongrass over Rice for dinner last night.

Tonight is Book Club. I'm sure I will try to get to bed early tonight. My attempt to take a nap this afternoon was a bust.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Short Week

I'm glad it was a short work week. Whatever order and tidiness went to hell in a hand basket. Probably because we cooked some more complicated dinners. I've got to remember to keep it simple stupid during the work week. It just feels like the entire house is a war zone.
Before we got the puppy, there was a balance with the pets. Now, everything is off kilter. I expected it, but sometimes it's a bit much to deal with. The other pets have been acting like I don't pay enough attention to them. I feel like I've been running around making sure that every one's needs are being met, when before it was quite peaceful and simple. I'm sure things will eventually settle down. Eventually.
The exercise pen (XPen) training is going fairly well with Nell. She has to stay in the XPen while I work. I take her out very often to potty etc. And, she eventually stops whining and settles down. The problem is that she starts it all up again when I walk through the room. So, I'm sort of a hostage in my office. I think twice before getting up to get a glass of water, etc. Also, The Beagle has been stealing all of the smaller chewies and treats from her like a vulture.
After work, I've been trying to take her on a walk to run off that Puppy Energy. She won't really walk on her own. She just cries and sits down. Then, I tried taking her with the Beagle. Sheer comedy. But yesterday, we went all the way down the block and up another. Nell likes to hold Daisy's leash in her mouth like she's taking Daisy on the walk. If Daisy didn't pull like a mother it would be wonderful.
We had our kitting club meeting on Wednesday. It had been some time since we had met. One of the gals was making socks using the two circular needle method in Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. I had taken a class to learn this method when the book came out. The class was a flop because the teacher wasn't prepared at all. I left the class thinking that if she couldn't figure it out, then I probably never could either. But, seeing how it was done inspired me, and I cast on for a pair of socks using this. I have over two inches done on the cuff, so it does move a lot faster. I'm a bit annoyed at the dangling resting needle, so I may try the Magic Loop method next, which is just using one very long circular needle. I do love making socks. They are like reading a summer novel. Kind of predictable with just enough to keep your interest.
The one thing I want to do this weekend is go here. However, I need to clean like a Banshee.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to Work

Nell slept all through the night! From 9:45 to 5:15. Not too shabby.
I've learned there are two things I must remember:
1) Lock the door to the exercise pen after Nell leaves. Otherwise, a fat Beagle goes in to steal the chewies and treats.
2) Do not set your knitting down anywhere except the table. Otherwise, Nell finds a way to get it and drag it all over the place.
Yesterday, she got the second Fuzzy Feet slipper off of the foot stool. In like 5 seconds, she had the stitches off the needle and the yarn wrappped around her head. Lucky thing they are made with Lamb's Pride, which is a sticky wool so the stitches were somewhat intact.
We went to Whole Foods yesterday where I found chicken feet. So, I made chicken stock last night. And, yes, I've taken a picture of the feet to email to Caitlin.
I took the Chantix last night before bed and woke up around 4 all nauseated. I don't think I can do coffee this morning. I think I'll wait a bit to take the morning pill when I'm not so queasy.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Last Day of Vacation

Oh, well. It had to come to an end.
Sam made dinner last night. He wanted to recreate the flavors of one of the courses we had at Blue Stem. So, he made shrimp with orange, red pepper, and avocado served over basmati rice. It was really good. I picked enough plum tomatoes and made roasted tomato soup for today. I'll make grilled cheese sandwiches with a loaf of sourdough and a good cheese to eat with the soup. It was interesting, because both of us were cooking separate meals in the kitchen together.
Nell has been getting better with her exercise pen training. The crying subsides after about 3 or 4 minutes now. Just in time for going back to work tomorrow.
I've started back on Chantix to quit smoking today. You have to start out gradually and work up to two pills each day. I forgot that it makes you nauseated. Maybe that's why I quit drinking coffee a while back. Blech.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Secret Project

I cast on 25 stitches, used Noro Kureyon (2 skeins plus a little left over from Caitlin's scarf), size 13 needles, and knit a ton of St St. Then, I used little balls I found from a toy store outlet. The hardest part was finding small rubber bands. Then, into the warshing machine to felt.