Wednesday, December 27, 2006

You don't need to see these gifts....

These are not the droids you are looking for....Move along...

If you are my sister do not read this post......until after New Years.

For the rest of you.....

I present the hat:
(edited to add: I finally got a picture that's not fuzzy. It's not 100% clear, but better)

I love this little hat.

It took me forever to knit, but it was a nice learning experience.

It was my first colour work, stranding work, knitting with 2 hands, following a chart, big project.

But nice and simple given that you only use 2 colours per row. I love the little band for the lining. When I steam blocked the flap down It was such fun! I love how wool just relaxes and does what you want it to do.

I would knit this again! Thanks Carolyn.

And by special request, I present the wheel:

and neat little gear thing-y

It's obviously not finished as hubby ran out of time. He only bought the tools a week before Christmas and then caught the stomach virus, so I'm not surprised.

Neat little holes for decoration:

And more Christmas knitting:

Patons SWS in Natural Plum. I love these colours. The pictures don't do it justice--they are a very rich jewel tones.

This is going to be a Booga Bag for my sister. This time I am going to use 3 balls, as I learned my lesson from last time.

I know this is a quick knit, that's why I haven't started before now. I just plain old ran out of time.

Remind me to start November 1st next year, OK?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas..pass the Gravol

Yes, in fine tradition we have given ourselves the gift of a stomach virus once again.

Last years photo evidence:

This year, as we went for a new record of 6, yes that's SIX people all sick at the same time.

We had all hubby's family here this weekend and it was great...until Christmas Eve.
Right around 5pm I started feeling weird and FIL didn't go to Christmas Eve service.

We ate some hot dip (Chicken Wing Dip) some Cranberry Brie and munchies and settled ourselves for a movie.

I fell asleep and woke up sick. Then we all had a kitchen pow-wow at 4:30am to discuss gravol and ginger ale.

So, Christmas morning was a little slow (except for the kids, they were fine).

For a short moment I thought I had given us all food poisoning, but realized the FIL hadn't eaten any food.

Hubby was sick last Wed, the Monkey (aka Little Man) on Thursday and Princess B on Friday-so I guess it was inevitable, but still.

Luckily we had our Christmas dinner on Saturday because the only thing we ate on Christmas was soda crackers...

After they left yesterday I slept all afternoon and then just lay on the couch all night.

I woke up to this:

And for Christmas Knitting content I give you this:
(the colours don't show, but it's dark purple, med purple and light purple)
It's a modified Booga Bag that I made for my SIL. No finished picture as the batteries for the camera were scammed for kids toys.
I used wool from my sister's felted purse and the 3 pairs of felted slippers I've made in years past. I was going to use the random stripes generator, but actually just knit with the scrap balls until they ran out and then picked another colour.

I think it's cute, and she liked it.

Hubby did make me a spinning wheel but I won't post a picture b/c it's not finished.

Very exciting.

That was it for this Christmas knitting. My hand actually cramped out so badly that I didn't get the straps for the purse done until Christmas morning.

I hope I get the rest done for New Years.

How about you? Any fibre-y goodness this year?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Cheer

My tree is up and it is purdy. I took a couple of shots of some of my favourite ornaments. The Doll is a wooden ornament given to me by my parents in 1980. Mine has brown hair and my sister's is blonde, like her.

My sister gave me the glass ornament when I was 6 or 7--somethign she picked our herself as a kid, and I think it's pretty.

The handmade ornaments are ones that I got last year from friends. We got some more this year, and they are just beautiful.

I like looking at the tree in the dark, but it's really hard to get a good shot w/out it being blurry.

I got an early gift too.

Want to see more??
Pretty huh?
I won't be sharing anymore until the New Year, but I like what I see so far.
I hope to post Christmas gift knitting as it happens--I'm so far behind right now.
Hope everyone's Hollidays are safe and Merry.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

6 weird things about me....

As promised, here are the pictures of the mitts:

They are a little wonky, but so is the pattern. For the end of the mitt it says "finish like a sock". Okay, thanks EZ, I know you are a genius, but give us a little help.

And a gratuitous kid picture from the weekend:

We had our Church skate and Christmas dinner. Princess B had fun with Daddy whipping her around the rink.

Saw this meme around and it got me thinking about weird things about me...there are probably more, so if you know me, chime in.

Here's what I came up with:

1. I can't drink really cold water. Makes me feel like I'm choking. I have even been known to heat water in the microwave so that I can drink it down.

2. When I walk up the stairs I like to end with my left foot. It's been that way since child-hood. I had all the stairs at home, school and church memorized so that I always ended with my left foot. (I'm left handed, does that explain it??)

3. I like to sniff cheeseburgers. Not so much anymore, but when I was younger whenever I would get a McDonald's cheeseburger I would open it up and sniff the inside before I took the first bite. Loved the smell, wanted to bottle it.

4. I have a fear of deep water. Watched JAWS too many times as a kid. It wasn't until I was about 20 that I actually swam in a lake for more than 10 minutes. I still can't swim out at the cottage.

5. I always put condiments on my burger in a specific order. Started when I was 12 and BBQ'd a hamburger almost every day for lunch for weeks.

6. I love the colour orange. I wore orange for 42 days in a row in college (different items of clothing). 42 was a random number I chose and by the end people I didn't know were giving me orange shirts and sweaters to wear "for the cause". I still love orange. I have orange crocs, an orange winter coat and many orange shirts and sweaters.

I don't have anyone to tag--as I'm not sure who actually does these, but if you it because you read it here..let me know.
Tag--you're it!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

One week.

One week since I posted, one week until Christmas.
Well, I'm not sure if I'll make it.
The R2D2 hat is almost done and I think it will be a hit.
The other gifts...I'm just not too worried about, although I should be.

We have some house guests right now, so things have been too busy to think Christmas.
I haven't even put my tree up, no decorations, nothing...

But there has been some Missionary work...I've taught one girl to knit and helped another with a Christmas gift for her b/friend.
We sort of hobbled together a pattern from EZ's Knitting W/out Tears and used some Paton's Classic Merino in a nice denim blue colour.
She did all the straight knitting and I did the shaping for her.
I'll snap a picture tomorrow.

Right now, it's off to bed for me.

I have the blahs. I think I just need to get my tree up and start wrapping.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A crazy thing happened on the way to the computer

Yesterday, I sit down at the computer and get an e-mail from someone at Random House Publishing asking if I would like to review some craft books on the blog.
Some e-mails went back and forth and basically they asked me to choose some knitting books off the site, review them (ie: make a project or 2 and discuss whether the patterns are well written, easy to follow etc) and blog about them.
There may be options to review other books as well.

You should check out the Random House website to see what they have.
I have never looked at their site before and I think I would need a couple of hours to actually go through the whole thing, but at first glance they have a lot of very interesting books.

On to the real reason you are here.
The Knitting (capital K, I like that )

There has been some knitting but not much blogging.
Hubby and I have had 3 outings in 3 days and we have house guests so things have been busy.
THe little hat is coming along, but not finished yet.

I will likely be able to get some good knitting done in the next 2 days so it shoudl be finished.
I just love the little R2D2.

We've been part of some nice get together's in the past 3 days and have had WAY TOO MUCH FOOD.
But it's been really fun.

I'm going to post a recipe since I've made this twice in the past 3 days and will make it again on Thursday for another thing.

Hot Chicken Wing Dip:

1 pkg (10 oz) cream cheese, softened
3-4 chicken breasts
1 bottle hot sauce (Red Hot, or other hot sauce/chicken wing sauce of your choice)
1 jar Renee's Blue Cheese Dressing
(Renee's or jarred dressing tends to be thicker than bottled dressing)

Cut up chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Cook in a pot of salted water for approx 15 minutes until cooked through (I have also seen this recipe done with chicken in a can, or you could use pre cooked chicken pieces).
Add hot sauce to your liking. If you want it milder just coat the chicken with hot sauce. Make it soupy if you like it hot!
Place softened cream cheese in the bottom of an oven proof dish (8" round or 8x8 square).
Put chicken and hot sauce mix over cream cheese.
Spread blue cheese dressing over the top.
Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes until bubbling.

Serve with Nacho chips or crackers.
It will lose some consistency if re=heated in the microwave, but tastes just as good !!

I'll leave you with a blurry Saturday Sky:

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I'd like to use a lifeline

I actually did a lot of knitting yesterday, but you can't tell.
Little Man slept for 3 hours and Princess B was just feeling lazy so we sat and knit and watched a movie and had a quiet day.
I knit the same part of the R2D2 hat 3 times yesterday, then it occurred to me--lifeline.

People talk about lifelines when knitting lace, but since I've never knit lace, I've never used one.
I thought it would be simple, just thread some yarn under part of the hat that is correct and then when I needed to frog back I'd be all set--so I did.
It worked for a bit, but when I went to pull it out to move it, it got tangled. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I took it out I made a mistake.

I sat there for a minute and thought to myself. "Why do I even Knit in the first place? Apparently I'm not very good at it"
But, I trudge on.

I love knitting.
I won't give it up, it just seems like I ALWAYS have problems.
Knots in yarn, not enough yarn, wrong decreases, messes up the chart in the pattern, over felted, blah blah blah.
It goes on.

I have a little while to finish this hat, so I"ll just keep trudging on.

First snow pictures:
Little man loved the snow until he did a face plant and came up with a face-full.

Princess B LOVES to make snow angels and just plopped herself down.

We've just come back from some shopping and I am totally going to make these:
I bought some glass ornaments today half off and I have some funky yarn samples around from when my sister signed me up for the yarn a month thing. It's a great idea, but now I have about 30 little baggies with fun and funny yarns that are too small to do anything with.
Some of them I will keep, but you can only use so much eye-lash yarn.

I actually fixed my slippers today too.
Before, the little hole had become a big mess, but now it's all fixed and my toes are back in the slipper where they belong. (blogger doesn't like pictures of the slipper, so no picture)

I'm going now to get crafty.....

Monday, December 04, 2006

Like sands through the Hourglass....

so is the pile of ...... mess...that is my sweater.

So, apparently I missed the invisible writing in the instructions which tells you to use 4 markers instead of 2.
So, instead of doing decreases before and after 4 markers.....yeah...
let's just say the back of my sweater has NO shaping and I didn't' realize a thing until I counted the stitches...again and again and again, and couldn't figure out why I had about 80 extra stitches.
I actually thought--wow the
errata doesn't even mention this, so I should go google it.
Then I accidentally flipped to another part in the book that has a picture of the back of the sweater and almost cried.
Raglan shaping exists on the front AND back of sweaters...

I seriously thought about just continuing on and having it all gape-y in the back...
I could grow a hump...Couldn't I??

It was comforting to read that the Harlot has similar problems.
I was reading her 2nd book today, all about her adventures in steeking and the St Moritz sweater. It took her 172 days or something to finish it. She also did some wrong shaping and had 2 different sleeves.
Okay, so if her knitting can kick her butt, so can mine.

So, the Hourglass is now in time-out and I think I shall go back downstairs and drown my sorrows in some really good guacamole.

It's all about food for me recently. Wendy posted and AMAZING cornbread recipe
(you should try it, I've made it twice in the past week and the family just devours the whole pan). (Maybe Wendy can send me some good sweater making vibes. She can apparenlty knit and ENTIRE sweater in about...Oh a week or less)

I'm needing some new recipe's...So here's the thing.

If you are reading this,
e-mail me or give me a comment with a favourite recipe.
Now please don't say "I like pizza" or "Chicken is good"--I'm talkin' real recipe's, something different.
Maybe a household favourite, a family tradition or something you've just picked up recently.

I'll start:
Porkchops with Pear Stuffing
*I love this recipe and it's so easy and only has 5 ingredients*

4 bone in porkchops , approx 1 inch thick.
2 TB margarine or butter
2 ripe pears, unpeeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium (red) onion, chopped
3 cups packaged herb-seasoned stuffing mix.

Sprinkle porkchops with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Brown porkchops in a skillet on medium heat for approx 15 minutes total, turning halfway through. Chops should be browned and meat just losing it's pink colour throughout. Set aside

Melt margarine/butter and cook pears and onions until soft. (About 10 minutes)

Add 1 1/4 cups water and heat to boiling over medium-high heat.
Add stuffing mix, stirring constantly until mixture is even moistened and hot.
Return pork chops to pan to heat through.

I love making this recipe in the fall--sooo yummy...

Next pictures you will see will be holiday knitting.
Only 21 days left people....
21 days...


edited to add: IT'S SNOWING.
They've had snow in Orlando Florida, Albuquerque NM, B.C., Washington and everywhere else--but now it's finally here!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I must confess

I did not finish the Hourglass for November.
Nor, December 1st--which was my goal
I knit a lot in the past couple of days--made 1.5 sleeves and have done the yoke--but then last night I was so tired I missed a K2tog and messed up the yoke. I wanted to cry.
I actually frowned at it and thought of ways to just fix it by ripping down, but it wouldn't do.
So, I frogged a couple of inches.

Now, today, my wrists are screaming at me--and since I didn't make the deadline anyways, I am not going to knit through the pain. Last time I did that I paid the price (wrist braces for a week)

I am going out to a Christmas party tonight, so no knitting today---but I did something fiber-y.

I bought this:

It's a 1/2 pound of Romni from Rosehaven Farms.
I asked about BFL or Corriedale but Linda said Romni is a good fiber for learning.
I was almost going to buy some Mohair, but it was too silky, and yet still scratchy.
So, my plan is to beg for a better spindle for Christmas (I asked hubby today if he had my present--cuz I was just going to TELL him what to get) but he says he has it under control.
Ideally I'd love to get a decent spindle (not a $50 one, but something better than what I have) and a lesson. I'd love to go to the local spinners guild meeting a few times, if time/hubby allow.
(he would need to be home w/ the kids)

I think I will dye this roving and then spin it.

Maybe using a warping board just isn't for me...I just found it really time consuming and I haven't even put the yarn back on the swift to wind it yet.
Hm.....maybe I'm just annoyed that I bought the fingering weight Peruvian from Knit picks which feels like dental floss. Not stringy but really thin and I feel like if I sneeze on it, it will break.
Maybe I will try again with the Henry's Attic Kona SUperwash I got...
we'll see.

I need more help re: mixing the dye.
The Yarns to Dye For book I have says to mix 1/2 tsp with 80z water and that is your stock.
That seems like a lot of dye per batch (ie: I'd likely use that whole 8oz per skein...I think)
I don't know.
I am interested in this book:

So, hubby if you are reading this, I have conveniently put 2 wishlists in the sidebar (at the top, you can't miss them) go...

Later added: OOOH OOOH OOOH
I'm back trying to post this post again (blogger is being dumb again and not posting pictures, this is day 2 trying)
So, i'm googling around and found this:

The Yarn Harlot had a series where a guest blogger did a serious on dyeing roving.
yep, i'm ready to get started right now.....
need to have patience....need to actually learn what I am doing first.
need to get a spindle.
but i'm glad i found that site

and in other news.....
I these shoes:

OOOH WOW they are on crazy sale with free shipping....