Monday, December 31, 2012

New tools

You know I don't think Christmas is all about the gifts, but I certainly do like getting presents, especially knitting related presents. Shhh I even spent a touch of bonus money.

First a book each from each of the Moms. Now I was a bit of a bad girl this year because I can not say with certainty who bought which. I do know that I still owe Thank You notes to both of them. 

These were the two knitting books I was hoping for this year. I'v already used the Cast On Bind Off book on D's green toe up socks because I forgot some of the nuance of the knitting class I took. But now I have a handy dandy book to help me out.

I am looking to do more sweaters in the future and while I love the top down pattern I have, it will be really nice to expand my understanding. All my current sweaters are raglan construction but I really want to try some different looks. I've been eagerly reading through the four different constructions in the book just biding my time till I can start one. Top Down Sweaters by Ann Budd

While I was busy shopping for others I took a wee bit of a Ravelry break and found an ad that intrigued me. Magnetic line keepers, now I'd heard of these but I've never been truly in love with any of the designs till I saw these. 

Keep calm and carry on, with a teacup and saucer? Yes please I will take a set. So thanks to Slipped Stitch Studio for inspiring me to make my first etsy purchase. I may have bought the last one of this particular set, you should have seen me typing in my data hoping to get the last one.

Then on Saturday I had a hair appointment so I figured since I was up, dressed and out the door I should probably see what the yarn store looked like. I know my basket overflowith but really I wanted another set of needles and look they had yarn too.

I bought a nice big bottle of eucalan, that smells all eucalyptus like. (I really like that smell and it protects the wool.) My current favorite set of sock needles Knitter's Pride Dreamz in my standard 2.25 mm needle size. I lost my self made knit kit on our camping trip in May, so a new tape measure is a handy thing to have around. I am still hoping to find the kit somewhere but I am afraid it is truly gone. The yarn is from a local dyer The Raggedy Cat. It is BFL Bamboo sock in the colorway sunflower. I know it is totally out of my normal color palette, but apparently I am growing. Don't worry it is more orange than yellow and I really like it. I thought I would make D socks but he says I need a bright pair myself, and I agree with him.

That is my new stuff, that should tide me over for a while, right?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Well who would have thought?

When you actually knit on things they show progress. I now have two finished first socks and two starts of second socks. Looks like I can stick to a goal once in a while. Especially when I'm not writing papers for my ASL class. 

Now normally I am against knitting deadlines, knitting is happy fun time, not a time to inflict stress upon oneself. But really this is not a deadline, but a goal to finish somethings before I allow myself to be distracted by the pretty yarn. I like having new things and giving D new things too. That is really my knitting goal. I like learning new things but really I'm in it for the stuff I can make.

I do believe there is a shawl quaking on the needles, over in the time out corner. It is thinking "Crap I am next on the list!"

So January will be a month of accomplishments not things holding me back. I kinda like that feeling, you know what I mean?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking back and looking forward

So I've been looking at my project page on Ravelry that tells me how good of a knitter I've been this year. I can tell you I am an excellent sock knitter, other items can just bugger off. No that's not really true.

D scored heavily in the sock arena, more than any other year. In fact there was a pair of socks wrapped for him under the tree. He promised to act surprised and I'll say he did an OK job. He has five more pairs of socks this year, with another pair on the needles. He must have been a good boy this year.  And by good you know I mean showing proper sock appreciation. Although I do have one sock without a partner waiting in the wash. Hubby you might want to start looking for his pal!

I even found a way to repair one of his favorite pairs of socks. Mending is still a skill that eludes me. Well, the finesse of mending eludes me. The hole is technically covered, but the mended fabric is at least twice as thick as the rest of the sock.

But you know what? The hole was on the back of the leg not on the portion that you walk on so it should not bother him too much. 

I even managed to knit my Mom a pair of socks, finally! I thought about sending them for Christmas but I didn't want them to get lost in the packages or snow storms so they'll go home after the new year. We shall see if they fit and if she likes them.

I (as a good selfish knitter) scored big in the knit wear department. Ten pairs of socks, yeah I think I may have that particular pattern down. One sweater, one cowl, a pair of mittens, a Kindle cover and a hat that fits me, mostly. I made a lovely shawl that looks completely awkward on me, so I still need to find it a good home. 

While looking at my works in progress page on Ravelry, I decided to let some things go. Things that no longer feel right. Time to frog them and come up with a new plan. I need some bigger needles for my over stuffed thrummed mittens, and a new sweater pattern for the Central Park Hoodie yarn. 

On the flip side I decided to keep some ongoing projects and give them some time that they deserve. My toe up socks for D have 2-3 more inches on them than they had last week. My shawl that irked me so badly over the summer will see some of my up close and personal time, and I'm bringing a bunch of stitch markers to the party too! Plus I bought myself a nifty new magnetic pattern marker, so I will be able to follow the pattern better. A pair of socks that I adjusted too much from the pattern for me will have a simple plain foot and like it. That ought to get them off the needles, too. 

No more casting on till my knitting pitty party projects are all done. Good thing I have a sly sock (cast on just before the no new projects rule hit) on the needles that has not yet given me any problems either or whoo, January could be a frustrating month. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hat head

I can tell you that my new winter hat worked pretty well when the snow hit today. It survived shoveling and walking behind the snow thrower. The snow thrower has the added danger of snow blowback. Which we all know is a tough challenge for a hat. 

This is my rendition of Hannah Fettig's Early Morning Beret, made out of Malabrigo worsted yarn. You don't have to tell me it does not much look like a beret but it fits me better than any other hat I've made, all three of the others. Now you know why I don't like making hats. Bear with me I am trying to get better. My first socks don't fit like the ones I make now either.

Looks like she reworked the pattern and it is now available in three gauges. Mine is the worsted but you know how much of a tight sock knitter I am? It transfers to my other knitting too so I don't think this is quite the intended design. But again I like it, so as long as I am happy it is all good right?

I finally gave in and took some less than stellar photos of things I have been longing to show you. So if you will forgive the lack of pizzazz the blogging will continue, most likely tomorrow

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Mommy, can we leave the tree up all year? No seriously the tree stays and Jack goes, I command it!

Gus just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas with his laser beam eyes.

I have two new knitting books to show you, one from each of my Moms. It is good to be the knitting daughter who likes books.

I did not get any yarn this year from the Hubby even though I made one of his favorite pairs of socks from last year's Christmas yarn. Do you think it could have anything to do with last week's conversation about my overflowing yarn basket? I think a goal for next year will be using some of my oldest yarns. I don't have that many but I do have at least one from 2009 that needs to be socks.

Oh Amazon has the movie Friendly Persuasion on streaming. It is my Dad's favorite movie and now one of my mine too. If you have not seen it take a look sometime. It is an old one but an excellent one.

Merry Christmas to All and to all a good night.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

I don't know about you, but I plan on winning some games in the next couple of days. Thanks Adriene for giving me the idea of spending some quality time with the Hubby. I'm two pegs behind in the scoring, I may have to resort to using new math to get ahead.

Me competitive? Nope not me, I don't have a competitive bone in my body. I may however have a few competitive muscles, and my spleen and gallbladder have a pact but other than that I'm good.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Deep Breaths

This week I was forced to acknowledge again that I am not a good writer. I've been writing papers for my ASL class and the final paper kicked my butt. Only three pages long and I still struggled with it. Struggled might be an understatement, we may have gone out behind the woodshed. (That is where the whuppings take place.)

What can I say I have a one track monosyllable mind. I figure if I can't say it in a page or two, it is just me blabbering on. Once I get my main thought(s) out there I have a hard time thinking of anything else to say. 

Anyways that is over and what is done, is done. I can tell you that I missed my blog. It is so nice to sit down and just talk and think about knitting. Not what am I trying to say and how to say it. Yarn heals all wounds. 

So tomorrow is the shortest day of the year and my photography can prove it. I have some things to show you, but no pictures so I'll save it for another day. 

D and I have given the gift of special time with each other. We have spent it over a cribbage board learning to play. The first game I skunked him, but we had a few thing to learn about scoring points. Once we straightened that out, D has taken over the lead, and we've started keeping track of who has one the most games. Hmm I wonder how that started? I noticed my win peg is still set to zero. I contend the a the first game counted since we were both working under the same scoring system. We may be scoring differently from the later games but we were not scoring my hands differently from his hands. 

Well honestly it does not matter, it is not like who does the dishes is riding on the outcome. I do know that I am enjoying our time together, now if we just had some cookies.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I can certainly tell the end of the year is upon us. My ASL class wraps up next week and I need to write a paper by Tuesday. I choose of course to write a blog post instead, because they are sorely lacking lately too. My knitting however is still moving along and I am truly thankful for it since it keeps me sane.

I have not even begun to Christmas shop, unless you count the new furnace downstairs. But I don't. Not even started how did that happen?

Gus and Jack went in for their yearly check up and we're fine now. Except that Jack vomited two days after the appointment and lucky me found a worm in it. I guess Gus was getting all the attention and Jack had to do something drastic. So that was a fun trip back to the vet's office to pick up meds with a frozen worm in a baggie on the seat next to me.

Friday night was my company Christmas party and poor G went back to the vet's for boarding. I don't think he thinks that was much of a Christmas present either. I'm sure he will be leaving a very special "gift" for me in my shoe. "Take that Mom!"

Laundry is slowly being converted from dirty to clean down stairs and I really want to make some cookies but alas too many other things to do.

Life is good when these are the most pressing problems that I have. I think maybe I should go pray for more peace and understanding too.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Well that was fun

We had a cooking fest here at Yarnkettle's house this weekend. Hey when I make multiple batches of chili and cornbread I call that a fest. Now we were not hosting a party at our house but taking the food to one. Let me explain

We got rid of cable TV a while ago and have found the perfect way to watch football on Sunday. We go the American Legion. When we started going we noticed a sign up sheet. Each week someone brings in "snacks" and this Sunday was ours.

Now we had a couple of months to prepare so we discussed what would be easiest since we've never done anything like this before. 20 to 30 people is not beyond my skill set, but I've never been the sole contributor before. I am much better at pot luck.

We decided on chili because it is pretty darn hard to completely screw up. Yes, you can burn it but even that takes some doing. And of course what goes with chili? Fritos! We had those too but something more homey is corn bread.

Once you decide what to make, then you get to decide how much to make. I tried looking on line but I don't know how much some people are eating but I don't think two pounds of meat only feeds 4-6 people. Maybe that is because I like a chili with as many beans as you can fit into it. I thought I would stick to three bean chili; pinto, kidney and black beans. 

But still how much do I make? Once I relaxed into the idea of if we run out, we run out. Most likely that would be the second or third bowl for people. So I realized why they call it a snack and not an official meal, then I was OK with my plan. 

Earlier in the week I had cooked all the meat up, then froze it. So Saturday morning I started in making batches. It still seems like I cooked chili all day long, because I sort of did. I'd make a batch and let it simmer for a few hours before starting the process over. I wish I had remembered to add in a touch of liquid smoke, but hey I got all my beans in there. 

Poor D had to make an emergency milk run on Sunday for the corn bread. I had enough to make one batch the night before but on Sunday I was a cornbread machine!

After we arrived at the legion I heated two batches together and put them in the crock pot to keep them warm. They filled the crock with just a tad left over. That was round one. Round two and three came later and were a bit smaller but still tasty. 

Our spread went over pretty well. But heck they were just happy they were not back in their military days eating rations (MREs) or on KP duty. They know how to be grateful for what they receive.

Thanks guys for taking it easy on me!  I am already thinking about next year.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Time off?

Our furnace went kaput, so I was forced to take a day off to have a new one installed. Woe is me forced to take a day off and putter around the house with my kitties. (And two strange men?)

Tell me, do you do the same thing I do in anticipation of a day off? I mentally make lists of all the things I could do that day. Since this day I had to stay at home, I thought of baking muffins, writing a blog post, maybe making cookies, making a really nice dinner, writing my paper for ASL class, registering for my next ASL class, paying bills, and a little knitting. The list kept growing and growing.

Then a thought occurred to me, a day off is not like a two for one sale, I was only taking eight hours off not sixteen. The day was so filled with possibilities that it was overstuffed with them. There was no way I would be able to do everything and not want to call into work sick the next day from exhaustion.

So some things were cut, but I did not sacrifice kitty comfort time, my two guys were glued to me while the furnace men did their job downstairs. While I worked in the kitchen they stayed there to have breakfast. When I moved to the couch to knit and watch a show, they came with me. All three of us stretched out on the couch.

So all in all it was a good day. I now have a furnace that does not wake me up at night with its banging. The installers enjoyed some fresh baked muffins, and so did Hubby and I for the rest of the week. I had some nice time with my knitting and my cats. My ASL paper got written. And chicken enchiladas qualify as a nice dinner right?

Now if I could just get my Christmas shopping started!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Yikes another hole!

So today was a busy day for me. Heavy work day, lots of people in and out of my workspace. After work a two cat annual vet visit. Busy but not terribly challenging.

Till I was on my way to the vet's office with two extremely vocal cats. That is when the low tire pressure light came on. Now I've never had one of these personally before, but coworkers have, usually they're nothing to worry about. But I was reasonably close to my destination, as a precaution I called the Hubby to make him aware that I might need rescuing. I checked all my tires when I arrived and maybe one looked a little low I was not sure but I knew I would look again before I left.

While I was in the waiting room I pull out my knitting and start waiting, knitter style. One of the office ladies asks me what I am making, to which you all know the reply was socks. D's new socks were just finishing their first cuff, so I showed her one of Mom's completed socks. When she says I've always wanted to learn how to do that. You know my reply was, I'll teach you!

Now on a side note here I must point out this is the first time I've ever looked like a unselfish knitter, usually when people as who the sock is for, it's almost always for me. Take that universe. one time I looked generous.

The boys and I get called in and Dr B is thrilled with how my Gus looks. Jack is told he looks much younger than his real age. I blame Jack's eternal younger brother-ness. All in all we have a good visit but hey I am not the one who had blood samples taken either.

I pay the bill and tell the lady-who-wishes-she-could-learn-to-knit, that my offer was real. She can call me if she wants to learn, even if she tries it once and decides it is not for her. I think it is nice to give someone an easy out too.

I buckle the kids in and check the tire. It is not flat-flat but it is not holding a heck of a lot of air at this point. D and I converse for a game plan. I call our roadside assistance number and settle in for a bit more knitting with a touch of chill too.

G talks me into letting him out of the carrier while we're waiting. Yeah I know I could see him bolting for the door as soon as I opened it too, but my G he is too cool for that.

My service guy shows up and makes it so I can get home. There was much rejoicing. My tire? It has a nail in it. So I am off to the auto shop in the am. Yahoo!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yikes a hole!

Recently D and I were sitting home one night talking when he stopped mid sentence and started feeling around on his sock. You know his favorite socks? Well he does have two favorite pairs, but still. Then he said the dreaded phrase, uh-oh I have a hole.

Makes a knitter's heart skip a beat. The weird thing? It was not on the sole where holes normally form, but on the top of the heel, right above where the stronger, more protective heel stitches start. And it is worn through, this is not a snag or snipped thread. The fibers are much thinner here and the hole takes up about four rows of work. There is no simple grafting things back together. 

Sigh, how do I fix this for him? One of his favorite pairs of socks!

Go stash diving for a similar funky colored yarn and knit new socks!

I knew there was a reason I bought this yarn while we were home in South Dakota, I just thought it was to make socks for me. Of course that is what I thought about the other yarn too. D loved the color so much that I just had to make them for him. And wow he has enjoyed them more than I would have. The sad part is I don't think they lasted a year. Nope a quick check of Ravelry tells me, I finished them the day after Christmas, last year. He did tend to pick them first out of the sock drawer, so they did see a lot of wear.

Don't worry I will try to repair the old ones too, most likely by sewing the hole closed. We will see if a small seam at the heel bothers him. Since he is not walking directly on the seem, it should not bother so much.

Well I should get back to my knitting, I've got a pair of socks to knit by Christmas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Socks Tuesday

Whew! I finally finished some socks. With winter bearing down on us it is good to have new socks. I had to put away my summer socks, you know my pretty lace ones and light weight wool. What do you mean you don't wear colorful light weight wool in the summer?

This leaves me with only 15-20 pair to choose from. Poor me. That is not counting the socks that have gone to sock hole heaven. I tried repairing a sock once but I don't like it. Of course I picked my least favorite holy pair too, socks that I never really liked. That may have something to do with not liking the repair either.

Anyways back to the socks at hand, ahem, I mean on foot. These guys tried to do me in, the top of the second sock made me think that it was pooling differently than the first sock, so I kept frogging and knitting. I must have cast it on three or four times. Finally I just gave in and said fine, look all fraternal twins-ish, I am going to keep on knitting!

Now of course I can not tell the difference. Sometimes I think I should not even look at the second sock, if it looks different I won't know.

These are Socks that Rock, lightweight, Rare Gems that I call Fall Colors. The yarn was bought at Rhinebeck in 2011. Is a year long enough to be considered stash?

I started them in September hoping to have new fall colored socks in the fall but they tricked me. Socks what are you going to do with them? Oh that is right wear them!

Monday, November 26, 2012


What do you do with left over turkey? I found out tonight that I make turkeydillas. What do you mean turkeydilla is not a real word? I will explain.

Turkey + quesadilla = Turkeydilla

I heated a can of summer crisp corn, with a can of black beans, rinsed. I think black beans are my ketchup, they make everything taste better. To that I added the cut up left over turkey breast, cumin, garlic and onion powder, and whatever salsa I could find in the refrigerator, maybe 3/4 of a cup. D loves his salsa. Quite frankly I am surprised we had any left I have not yet made the salsa purchase this week.

Once all that was warm I scooped it into a tortilla, tossed on some cheese and another tortilla and microwaved it for a couple of minutes or so. I repeated the process for my dinner and viola. We had dinner. 

Plus there is some left over for tomorrow night so D is even off the dinner hook for a night too. See what a good wife I am. 

Plus mealtime is just more fun when you're surrounded by Christmas lights. The cats are enjoying having something dangling from a tree to swat at. Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year for them. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Yarn Swapping

Yarn swapping or why having internet friends is a good thing.

I've told you all about the swap remember? Well good things come to those who wait. We had to wait out super storm Sandy. Thank God it did not hit us, but waiting for yarn is hard!

Yarn, tea and hand made truffles, oh my! Believe me there was more chocolate, but they're just the right size for the just one more scenario. I was waiting to take an artistic picture but time keeps marching on and the days just keep growing shorter...

First up we have Dragonfly Dyewerx Smooshy Sock, 80/10/10 SW Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend. This skein is 435 yards/100 grams of 4 ply yarny goodness called Spellbound. Hey wait a minute, Canadians use yards? I thought it would be in meters. It must be to sell to us weird non-metric Americans. (Having been trained as an engineer, I think the metric system is better, but hey old dog new tricks and all that.)

I can not believe Adriene sent me a second skein of yarn! (Tara, I hope you made her buy you lunch for the discount you had to have given her. Again, good friends are an awesome thing to have.)

Back to the yarn, Twisted Smooshy Sock 80/10/10 SW Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend. In the Inky colorway. Hey I just figured out what the little checked box next to OOAK means. I have two different One Of A Kind colorways from Dragonfly Dyewerx! (Yes I can be a bit dense sometimes.)

Now a question for the audience, I can make socks from these, right? Normally I would not think twice but since they're a gift that contains Cashmere, does that change the rules? Help me out people, I can feel the urge to cast on creeping up on me! Socks or shawls?

And back to the tasty portion of the package. Handmade truffles? Wow. Adriene has a talent that I just don't. I do however make a wicked good cheesecake, but that is awful hard to ship to Canada by an amateur.

The teas are Wild Strawberry Green Tea, After 8 Rooibos and Possibilitea Cream Earl Grey. D is very excited to have some new tea to try. I made him wait till I had a picture before we can open them. Waiting for tea is hard too!

So there we have my definition of a successful swap. I got to send my first package to Canada. I got over worrying about making the perfect choices and decided to send things that I myself love. If we share the same sense of humor, love of yarn and tea, how could I go wrong? I tried to box up a small portion of the Rhinebeck experience, I hope you enjoyed it Adriene.

If you want to see the other side of the swap, pop on over to Adriene's Couch, I hear you can sit a spell over there. Her pictures are better too.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Ah Thanksgiving, a day to enjoy family and food. D and I did our own Turkey trot around the neighborhood. The good news is that we came in first, the bad news is we came in last. And our prize? We got to cook and extra special meal together. Well that and the six cents I found in the road while trotting.

I am I the only one that still gets excited when money is found in the road? To me it is totally free money, it does not matter if it is a penny or a quarter. But today I found a nickel and a penny, Wahoo!

Gus passed the turkey smelling test but his Mom was strong and did not submit to his pleas for food that we all know would upset his stomach. Boo strong Mom. I am sure his belly is happier than he is but so be it.

It was close to this time last year that he started getting so sick so I am overjoyed that he is still with us and almost as sassy as ever. I truly believed that he would not be with us much longer this spring and it is amazing what medicine can do.

So this year I am thankful for everything that I still have, a loving husband that is learning to cook, two cats to snuggle with, a warm and comfortable home, our families, good friends, a good job, dependable vehicles and an abundance of yarn to play with.

Life is good and I am happy to be able to share it with ya'll too.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My best socks

If you will recall I finally found Icelandic sock yarn at the SADK Fiber Festival this year. I was very excited because I had heard great things about this particular breed making the best sock yarn. I had been looking for this breed for a few years now but this was the first time I found it.

It was from Icy Acres Farm in Galway NY. I bought a skein for a great price. I could not wait to finally try it so I cast on and played with it a bit trying different needle sizes. Finally I settled on a 3 mm needle which is quite a bit larger than my 2.25 mm normal sock knitting needles. OK maybe not quite a bit bigger to anyone else but to me there's a difference. 

I knit some, ripped back some, and knit some more. I enjoyed having a no frills yarn in my hands. One that may have lacked glamour but made up heaps in character. Something I had never knit before...

Now that I have the socks I may just buy all the sock yarn next year. They are fuzzy and warm and cozy and a bunches of wonderful. I can not describe what makes them different and better, I just know that they are. 

These are what I put on when I came home sick. These are a warm cup of tea just the way you like it, for your feet. These are what I imagine walking around heaven will feel like, not too cold, not too warm, just right.

They're never going to be my best looking socks but they are on their way to being my favorite socks.

Who knew wool could make you feel so good?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

On color

You ever knit different things in the same color at the same time? I tend to do it quite a bit. I go through color phases, I've knit purple socks, a purple shawl and a purplish sweater at the same time. I finished the socks and sweater but the shawl went into time out for misbehavior. Maybe that is why I have not really picked it up again, I'm not knitting anything purple right now. 

I'm going through a green phase right now. I'm taking a new method class (toe up magic loop socks) and chose some green Cascade sock yarn. These will be for the hubby, since his hand knit sock drawer ran out of socks the other day. Oh the horror!

He walked out to breakfast today and said the world is just better with wool on your feet. Then he suggested the middle east conflict might be better if I knit socks for a few world leaders. Kisknit says it would be wool peace instead of world peace (trademark).  I think that would be a lot of knitting for other people and then my feet would be cold. And we all know a knitter with cold feet is not a happy knitter!

I recently realized that a bag of yarn would not work for me as a sweater and I am starting to knit it up into accessories for me. This is a hat I've finished now.

I'm working on a lace stitch cowl now. And up next is a nice long pair of fingerless mitts, most likely with cables. So really not a matched set design-wise but hey I am eclectic why shouldn't my knitwear be too?

So it looks like I will be knitting up a green streak for a time. What is your color of choice right now?

Monday, November 12, 2012


Work is hectic, ASL class is taking time away from home, and my migraine kicked my butt. So last week as we were sitting down to dinner, and by dinner I mean oh crap-we're-out-of-everthing-what-can-I-make? It was "nachos" and I use the quotes because corn chips and beef were the only two things that we had on hand that make real nachos.

That evening's interpretation? Ground beef, a mix of spices that resembled taco seasoning, the only can of beans in the house (kidney), corn chips and frozen Mexican blend cheese. While it turned out better than I thought it would, highly edible, I looked at my husband and told him since the next night was class night, I needed his help for dinner. And by help I meant I needed him to provide something better than I just created, still highly edible though.

Now I had envisioned him picking up dinner but I don't really know how that was going to work since I get home way later than him on class nights. Maybe pizza twice in one week was not so bad? A frozen skillet type meal had already been played that week but come on I was desperate!

I called him after class on my way home because I had a story to tell him and I was feeling guilty for making him do dinner on such short notice. I asked if I needed to stop on my way home but he cheerfully told me dinner was covered.

I thought to myself pizza it is, won't it be nice to get home and have a nice hot pizza waiting for me that I did not have to cook. Yeah we found a nice take and bake kind that is cheaper than delivery.

When I walked in the door I was greeted with the smell of onions and garlic. D loves coming home to that smell and I truly understand why now. Upstairs waiting for me is fettuccine alfredo. Now I've always wanted to learn to make it but have always been intimidated.

For the twist, it is fettuccine alfredo made a different way with a you'll-never-guess-it special ingredient. Now I am thinking tofu as I sit down and start to eat. It tastes great, maybe not authentic, but  I'm not authentic Italian either.

The secret ingredient? The alfredo is ground up cashews. No milk, cream or dairy, but cashews. He was right, I never would have guessed it.

He asked a coworker for advice and she sent him to this recipe. It is especially nice because the alfredo does not separate when you reheat it.

D hit it out of the ballpark on his first two forays into the world of cooking. I may just be busy more nights of the week since I know I have a budding chef at home.

D you Rock!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cat therapy

A week ago I had a migraine that would not let up. Finally after fighting it all week and feeling a tad better it hit me with an aura. Which I took as a sign to take meds and go to bed. The next day I went to work but decided to come home when it kept knocking on my head.

You know it was not pleasant when it took this to recover. Yep, I required a double cat dose to leach the migraine out. My boys they are such troopers, taking one for the team like that.

On the plus side I have a new winter hat to wear too. Because you know Malabrigo yarn running through your fingers is another form of pain med. You do have to make sure that Jack does not try to take it internally. That boy loves the taste of yarn, either that or he is trying to floss his tail.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween report

I can report that we had the most polite Trick or Treaters we've ever had. I was thanked by each one. It really makes a difference since I waffle from year to year if I even want to do the whole candy thing. I loved it as a kid, I hate it as an adult.

One boy was so excited because I had Milky Way Simply Caramel bars. "These are the best, you can not find them in stores now. I know I've looked. Thank You!" You guessed it he got two. And I did a test, you know since we happened to have some left over, and boy is he right they are really good. We may officially be out of them since I stuffed the others in my purse for tomorrow. Ahem, you saw nothing!

I can also report that my new Icelandic socks are very warm indeed. I just love new socks, don't you? I may have to cast on another pair for D too since all of his handmade socks were in the laundry. Casting on seems so much simpler than washing the ones he has, right?

I also pulled my Eggplant Holden shawl out of timeout. I ripped back to the stockinette portion and will be starting fresh there too. I really need to clean somethings up on my in progress page on Ravelry and that shawl just jumped to number one. Well number two right after Mom's socks.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Icelandic sock and some crazy talk

I could not wait to try out my new Icelandic sock yarn that I've been searching for. I think it was home for a few days before I cast on. And when I did cast on it was more of a play with/test out how different size needles affected the fabric. 

While I like my socks dense I found the bigger needle gave it a better feeling fabric. 

Can I just say I'm in love with natural colored wool? Because I am so in love right now it is ridiculous. I'm so in love that this picture I took a short time ago is almost a pair of socks already.

Even on Saturday I worked on these instead of working on my homework for a sock class. It is ok because the next class is a couple of weeks away. I am free to enjoy finishing socks from yarn that never even made it into the stash.

I am also looking for patterns for an useable hat for me. I am an awful hat knitter. As good as I am making socks I am equally lost making hats. They always turn out too big or too small. Alas I need some hat making mojo. Wish me luck because I can not go through another turkey trot with frozen ears.   Maybe I should have one of my socks give the hat yarn a pep talk. You know sort of a '"She's really not a bad knitter, she just needs some help from you hat yarn. Work with her and you could be beautiful. Yes I know you're already beautiful, but you could be a beautiful hat not just yarn."

What? Doesn't your yarn and socks have conversations at your house?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A little help please

I started knitting my Mom a sock, you've seen it, it is the color pink that I always think of my Mom wearing. So I got to here...

I am almost halfway through the yarn and I still need to knit a toe, this is going to be a problem. I could just rip back the sock and start over making the leg a few inches shorter or I could raid my left over sock yarn bag and ask for help from you.

First up we have Dream in Color Smooshy yarn in the Gothic Rose colorway. Now I think this works pretty well but I have more to show you.

This is Malabrigo sock yarn in Stonechat. This one has touches of brown that I don't care to add in to the mix, but hey I'll take a picture of it.

Originally I thought a nice grey toe would be nice since there are touches of light grey in the original yarn. But I think this one is not the best option now that I see them together. Nothing to see on this one, keep going to the next one.

Finally we have Claudia's Handpainted in Last Night's Wine. Personally I like this one the best but that would mean the socks are made from yarns named Fresh Entrails and Last Night's Wine. Well it is a few days before Halloween, maybe I should just go with the creepiness.

Any opinions?

Wow it only took me five years of knitting for my Mom to get a hand knit pair. Maybe I should send her an I love you Mom card.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rhinebeck - Part of The Haul

So let's talk about the haul I made at Rhinebek, shall we? I happily traipsed outside in the chilly air on Sunday (I wish the day before had been chilly I could have worn RS, alas) and I pulled out my bag of goodies and quickly took pictures.

We found koko noelle sold great shawl pins. I think partly because they displayed them so beautifully. The framed large white wool swatches and placed a pin on each. The also had two large white knit pieces with multiple pins attached. You just looked for one you liked best and pop off it came to be replaced by another.  This is my lovely choice. Oddly now I am worried that it is too yellow and may distract from the shawls. Nope wait I am over it, I wanted a noticeable pin and I have a great one now. The pin portion is copper or copper colored. Since I've always loved copper I think it is what sealed the deal. 

I should probably admit that I did something I said I was not going to do. I promised Kisknit that I would try not to influence her purchases. Kisknit was thinking of getting a shawl pin too but said something along the lines of 'I don't really wear shawls', I pointed out that she would wear more if she had a nice shawl pin to hold it in the proper place. Shawls are more comfortable when you're not constantly readjusting them. Wait, I just remembered I said I would not influence her yarn purchases, not just any purchase. Whew I am off the hook on that one.

I had decided that I like spindle spinning enough to buy another spindle (or two). I asked for a recommendation on a plying spindle, I bought a cherry three inch 1.9 ounce. For a lighter spindle I bought a two inch cherry Tsunami weighing in at 0.75 ounce. Let's get ready to spin! (You should read that last sentence in a boxing announcer's voice.)

I enjoyed knitting my Rhinebeck sweater so much that I went back to Wild Apple Hill Farm's booth this year and bought another sweater for me and one for D, some assembly required, that is where the fun comes in. I am more than a little disappointed that I could not show off my new sweater to them. (Am I getting any sympathy from the audience here?)

I am reformulating a plan so I'll just leave you with a shot of my over packed bag of wool and goodies. That is a bag D brought back from a conference that I quickly claimed as my knitting bag. I'm going to tell you that he is more of a backpack kind of guy but we all know I just like claiming bags that I can fill with wool. I find messenger bags are easier to keep track of at a festival. I don't have a two foot protrusion that I can not control hanging off my back. It can get pretty tight in some of those barns, I would not want to be responsible for giving someone a concussion.

Once I figure something out I'll show off the rest of my wool. Till then happy knitting!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rhinebeck what we saw and did

First of all I should say thank you to these two lovely ladies for accompanying me on this wooly road trip.

Kisknit and her Sister.

Sadly Kisknit and I had to abandon our sweaters in the car. As I feared it was way too warm to wear winter woolen wear. I don't know how the people that wore their woolies did not pass out, especially in the packed buildings. 

Anyways while we were waiting in line Sister spotted this skirt in front of us.  Super sheepie!

Yes I realized how awkward it was for me to take a picture of a stranger's bottom. Awkward but I figure you would appreciate the craftiness of the outfit. Now I really want to find the fabric and beg my Mommy to make me pillow cases. Oh that reminds me wait till you see what she is working on for me. I love Mommy made pillow cases!

Our winners in the funky hat competition.

I bet they were able to spot their companions easier than I spotted my companions.

And for lunch I had my first falafel! Super tasty, I will totally try the local place. I had no idea that falafel could be green. My companions said they thought it tasted spinachy, in a good way. I did not weigh in since I had no prior experience.

I told them we had to take a mandatory waiting in line for the restroom photo. While they are good sports, I may have threatened them with me having the car keys. So they found out there is a price when you let me drive.

The night before the festival I tricked out my bag's strap. I even had the Hubby re-ink my Ravelry button. My name had rubbed off in spots so he re-wrote it and added a kitty. Dude knows me, I tell you!

So once again Rhinebeck is finished for another year. The only comfort I have is fluffing the new stash in with the old stash. Well that and resisting the urge to cast on ten pairs of socks.

Next episode I show off my haul, and by haul I mean haul.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In the tub

Well my first Rhinebeck sweater is in the tub. Before she took a bath I wanted a bit of photographic evidence that she was finished. Plus I left the markers on that I used to show where my waist shaping went and wanted a picture for future reference.

She is now lounging in a bucket of lukewarm water and SOAK wool wash. Soon she will be pulled from the bucket and receive her own towel wrapped foot stomping, courtesy of her knitter. How else do you get to know your special Rhinebeck Sweater?

I'm off to make some wine, I mean towel dry a sweater.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First fall sock

I am still on my never ending sock knitting spree. I always have at least one sock on the needles, usually it rides around with me in my purse. It gets a bit of action at work during my lunchtime and before my ASL class two nights a week. The other night at class, one of the other students asked me why I was not working on it when she arrived just after me. I had not yet pulled it out of my bag. (Shh, I was trying to finish my homework first.)

There was some discussion about my knitting and I was requested to make two people socks. Now we all know I am a tad greedy protective of my knitwear and I am so not knitting for someone that I don't even know their name. We have to spend more than six evenings together and had at least a couple of cups of tea together. Scones, scones would be nice too.

I did feel bad when she came into the next class, her Mom told her not to be creepy, and asking for socks from someone you don't know is creepy. I reassured her it was not the first time I had been asked and I did not think she was creepy. I did not tell her I thought she was a tad bold yes, but not creepy.

I did want to ask out of mild curiosity what they would pay for hand knit beauty that is my socks, but I did not want to be honest and tell them the yarn cost more than they were willing to pay. Usually people will say things like $10 or $20. 

Sock yarn...$20, needles...$10, the knowledge and time to turn them into socks...priceless.

So this week's purse pal is some lovely yarn from last year's Rhinebeck haul. Socks that Rock (STR) in a mill end colorway that I think of as Fall Leaves. 

It is starting to get colder and my sock stash is switching over to my heavy duty socks. My thicker STR socks will replace my lace and thinner socks.

Now I think I will make myself a cup of hot chocolate and finish a sock toe.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Did you feel something six days ago? Nope? Well I did, it was complete happiness and joy (a whole heap of relief too). I finished my Rhinebeck Sweater last Thursday.

It looks awesome if I do say so myself! D agrees, good thing he prefers me in woolly things. You know I am at my best when covered in wool.

Anyways there will be pictures to follow once we take the plunge and wash it. I am a tad apprehensive something awful is going to happen during that stage. I did verify my new washing machine had a spin only cycle. It is amazing what you over look till you need it.

I do think the festival will be cool enough this year for RS to be appropriate wear. I do enjoy a crisp festival day!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hatching a plan

You know how reading blogs make you feel like you know a person? You've never met in real life but you know what their pets look like and what their spouse asked them to first knit for them. I have that feeling with Adriene at Adriene's Couch. I found her blog because of blogging group on Ravelry. I read a few posts and was hooked especially when she did a post about yarn cakes including a picture of her attempting to bite one.

I read for a while before I commented but when I did a friendship was struck up, well at least it was in my mind. I will admit to feeling a little weird when I started telling my husband about Adriene, my Canadian blog friend. But then I am weird so I'm ok with it, and Hubby knows me well enough to be ok with my weirdness too.

So this year when I was talking about going to my festivals, Adriene commented that it was too bad that we live so far apart, wouldn't it be nice if we could go to one together sometime? I thought to myself it would be fun to do that.  Then the plan hit me, if we could not attend a festival together, we could buy yarn for each other. I think it may be why people do yarn swaps. I've never done one but I thought what the heck and asked her. Luckily she said yes to my plan.

I would by yarn for her at one of my festivals and she offered to buy me some yarn (maybe some Canadian yarn) at her vacation yarn store. (Yes I do believe that we should all have a vacation yarn store.) So it would be a bit like attending a festival together. Yeah I know it is a stretch but hey allowances must be made.

Now the pressure is on what do I get? First I researched how yarn swaps have been done and we traded a list of questions and set up some ground rules. We discussed allergies, color preferences, fiber preferences and set a price limit. I think we may be a tad excited because the price limit was renegotiated. We questioned the exchange rate between the Canadian Dollar and the US Dollar. Turns out that the difference is minimal now, and I think it has been for a few years.

So now it is a few weeks to Rhinebeck and I am all excited to buy yarn for my Canadian blog friend. Man, I hope I get her something she will like. I am having a hard time deciding, now I want to buy all the things! But first I think I will test out the US to Canada mail system. I'm sending a card first, you know to see how the yarn's journey may go.

Anybody have any advice on how packages between countries work?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweater time

The weather has taken a chillier turn. After the heat this summer poured on us, I think we're both looking forward to crisp air. D got a bit excited and pulled out a sweater I made for him a year or so ago. 

I being a knitting blogger I had to ask him to step outside. No not to fight but to take a picture since that is one thing I have not managed to do since finishing it. 

I think my camera may be losing its proper settings. Either that or it is doing battle with the sun light. It still manages to capture the handsomeness of my Hubby.

I guess my pictures of knit items are not the only thing I am behind on, I worked on my knitting journal last weekend and am still a month behind. Yikes. Looks like I've been knitting and not keeping any notes. Luckily I've kept some notes and dates on Ravelry, but I like having a paper journal too.

Good thing my hubby is taking care of somethings for me. He cooked dinner for me all on his own the other night. He picked the recipe, picked up somethings from the store and cooked it all up. It was wonderful to walk in the door and smell something hot in the oven. Boy did he pick a winner too, Chilaquiles or Mexican lasagna as the cookbook described it. So, so very tasty.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back dating

I am back dating this post since I need my ten posts per month and my internet has not been cooperating. Yay internet is back I have missed you!

Anyways I was going to tell you about accomplishing a goal. It is one goal in a lifelong set of them now. I declared September start to exercise again month. I have a great elliptical machine that helped me lose weight before we went to England in 2009. I've used it off and on again once we came back but the commitment never came back.

So I decided to really look at my habits and see where I could start fixing myself. I know I have the time on the weekends, so why was I not using it? I learned that I must exercise before I shower on the weekends. We like having scones and tea accompanied by relaxing togetherness on the weekends, I am not willing to give that up so what do I change? If I have somewhere to be and take a shower I have just given myself the day off since I don't want to "waste water" by showering again.

This month I made the commitment to exercise every weekend day, no arguments or excuses. So I did. I knew I had to plan around my showering and I did. Sounds so simple but it took determination. On the days I had to be somewhere I showered again in the evening and had more time the next morning.

I used the same plan for my evening workouts during the week too. I am not yet a morning person so I had to give the morning workout thought a pass before I even told myself I could do it. I know I can get up early and workout, I also know I am not going to, at least at this stage in the game.

Now my week day workouts are tougher since I am away at night classes twice a week, but even they don't run too late. I just need to make myself do it and not beat myself up and defeat myself before I've even begun.

So I've started and now I intend to continue. Wish me luck? I'll need it if I am Turkey Trotting again this year. (I will be I know I will!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Spinning along

The spinning bug has bit me again. I think it is because I am planning on getting another spindle at Rhinebeck. I just don't know what to get. I am leaning toward another Golding but what to get? What should my second size be? I have read raves about their tsunami spindle but how is it different? 

Anyways back to my current spinning, some lovely carmel colored roving from Spinner's Hill that I bought a while back. 

I am trying to spin this one a tad thicker but sometimes I revert to super thin. What can I say my fingers like thin yarn.

It is amazing how much spinning I get done while watching TV shows with my hubby. I don't know why it is an effective formula but it is.

Oh and I am getting pretty close on my RS too. Just in time for the cold weather.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New sock Thursday

Ah Sweet Georgia I do so love your stripy yarn. This was the last installment of my 3 month yarn club. This yarn showed up in the darling month of March and made me hum with anticipation.

Now these have been done a while but I'd not yet gotten to the story telling time. I'll save that for another time as I just finished my first ASL (American Sign Language) test and now I'm off to bed.

But dang aren't these lovely?

Adriene this heel shot is for you.

Monday, September 24, 2012

S ADK Fiber Festival Oh Yeah!

Well this festival was a great time. Perfect weather and lovely vendors with beautiful wares.

True to my word I stopped at Stitched by Jessalu first. (She may be working on her site.) Well I did visit the ladies room first, but she was my first purchase of the day. As you can tell I love sheepy project bags, she has other prints but me I need to see happy sheep and a touch of London too. 

I then made a preliminary run through of all the barns just to do a mental inventory. I kept saying "I'll be back" and I was too.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of farms shared a booth and had I've been looking for but always seem to miss, Icelandic sock yarn. (It is from Icy Acres.) I've heard people rave about Icelandic sock yarn and soon I will be joining them. It is the lovely natural cream skein on the left.

In the same booth was Ensign Brook Farm whose name always makes me smile. D was an Ensign in the Navy when we married and I've always liked the word. Anyways they had lovely sock yarn too, called Great Scott cheviot. They had done some research and decided the sheep that are good enough to be used for kilt hose in Scotland is good enough for them. I am anxious to put this yarn to the test too. I bought both a dyed skein and a natural one. She used heavy metal free dyes too.

I did not buy any of their Romney sheep yarn but one of the funniest things of the festival was the lady telling me that people kept asking her if the yarn was from Mitt Romney's farm? I was then forced to ask her where her Obama yarn was. I'm guessing they were new festival people. Welcome to the club we take red and blue states. But we don't discuss politics on my blog.

Back to the yarn you say, well if I must. I then stopped into the Liberty Fibers to show off my socks and pick up something new. I'll be showing you the socks again in another post since I now have better pictures so you can see how truly lovely they are. (I may be a tad biased.) And while I was showing off she even remembered reading about them here. You may not recognize my face but my socks can be fairly distinctive.

I wandered back to the front of the show to pick out a skein for D socks. That is a pretty handsome, manly blue right? While he likes the crazy colors socks he also enjoys a subdued pair. Subdued manliness courtesy of Ball and Skein. This one is called After Midnight.

Periwinkle Sheep is sometimes stocked in my LYS, but some colors can not be resisted, plus if we want vendors at the festivals we need to buy from the vendors. I was there when a few of her knitting group cohorts were there. I heard "Well if it is not enough you know where to get more." quite a few times. It made me giggle. Now when I knit this one I will be constantly thinking of a Frenchman saying "Your mother smells of Elderberries." because its name is Elderberry. It remains one of the most creative insults I've ever heard.

Ah Bittersweet Woolery you tempting seductress you! I picked up Beloved on the left first, in the Glamourous Gams yarn base that includes cashmere. Oh cashmere I am loving you so. Then I noticed Debutante on the right in the Guilty Pleasures yarn base. Finally I tucked the middle one Oxblood in to my arms too. I thought for a bit and reasoned I should put Oxblood back and get another color of the less expensive Guilty Pleasures colorway when I realized it was in that base. Oh happy day, since I absolutely adore my Terrible Lizard socks from last year.

As I thinking this would be a nice combo for the Color Affection shawl, the owner asked me if that would be what I was making. I said no and we both agreed that the two darker ones are too close to be a good contrast but hmm, I need to buy that pattern and get the yarn requirements before I go to Rhinebeck because I am so jumping on that knitting train.

And I bought my first knitting tea cup. I packed it safely in with all my yarn. It was either Yarn Diva or Yarn Snob but this cup fit my hand best to that is what counts the most. I have the potter's card around here somewhere but I'll have to find it before I can post about them.

Now I was headed for the car with my overpacked bag when I decided to peak in on St Mary's on the Hill. Boy was I glad I did, where else can you get an ounce each of silver Romney roving and Tunis roving for less than $5? What more can a beginner spinner ask for? Plus I got to relive my high school cashier days when I offered help in using the old school credit card imprinter. My cashier skills are still intact!

Lastly I found some lovely roving at Foster Sheep Farm. Dyed Romney roving on the left and natural Wensleydale X Romney roving on the right. So I picked up some fiber with my yarn. Thanks Honey for suggesting that I take up spinning.

I did see several beautiful spindles but I just don't have the experience to buy another one. I may just need to try a few out at Rhinebeck, who knows?

Well here is my haul, in all its glory.

A great mix of things to enjoy. I better get knitting as Rhinebeck is closing in on me. Oh and D correctly estimated the value of my pile. Dude may be getting too smart for his own good. Nah he knows how many hours of entertainment it is for me too.