I’ve been on a finishing kick lately. After starting a bunch of projects and leaving them sit, I’ve decided I need to finish…start anew.

First off the list was a pair of socks. I used the Tofu-sties. I hated it. It was awful to knit with on bamboo(which until recently is my favorite needle). then I got a set of Signature DPNs at Sock Summit. WOW! Huge difference. But then it turned out that one sock was WAY larger than the other. So, I did something completely uncharacteristic….I ripped out the sock and re-knit it. That was kind of liberating. Now my boyfriend has a pair of hand knit socks that are the same size. :) So, I got those done.

Then I finished the bear I was working on for my brother and his wife for my new nephew. I started it over a year ago when they called to say that they were expecting. My brother called a week later to tell me that they lost the baby. I was almost done with the bear(Debbie Bliss’ Teddy Bear), so I put him in a plastic baggie and put him away for a happier day! Well, as of August 17th, I have a nephew! I finished the bear this week as well. He turned out adorable.

Next is Evelyn(Rav link). My friend gave me the yarn and the pattern so I could test knit it, but I fell a little behind. This is my first attempt at lace. i screwed up somewhere and it set everything off. :( I decided that I need to finish it. I set September 22 as a “MUST FINISH” date. I have one more repeat and then the edging and then I’m done. I think i should have it done by the end of the week.

Then last week I got a skein of Misti Alpaca lace. I couldn’t just let it sit there. I cast on for Wisp(non-Rav Link). I cast on last week and finished it yesterday. It made for great commute knitting. :) I can’t wait to wear it. I’ll need to block it first. I’m going to use this tutorial to make my own lace blocking wires. I have picked out 4 hangers from the closet. I think that should be enough.

Well, Evelyn awaits. Dr. Who is making great company. Currently watching “The Three Doctors” from ’72.  Then back to Eccelston.

Live Long and Prosper!

I finished all my Christmas knitting! I can’t believe I did it, but I did. I finished my mom’s socks on Christmas morning. I didn’t bother wrapping them. I’m a little disappointed in them actually. I’ll tell you more about them later. I just wanted to jump on and wish everyone a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR and complain….lol

My complaint…I need clothes. One of the reasons that I don’t like shopping is because I can’t find anything that fits. I need a nice white button down blouse. One that doesn’t have a crap load of extra shirt that pulls out of what ever I have it tucked into whenever I lift my arms…And sleeves long enough that it doesn’t look like I’m trying to pull the high-water look on my arms(seriously…I have long arms. I have to buy XL just to get the length!). I have a GC to Macy’s. I’ll have a go, but I need people to help me find what I’m looking for. Do you think I’ll find someone knowledgeable enough to help me find the perfect blouse? I HIGHLY doubt it! If there are any fashion shows out there that need a victim… email me. I’m desperate and so full of material to fill up a show that it’s not even funny! I still have (and wear) clothes from when I was in college! I can’t help it… lack of money causes me to keep EVERYTHING! Lack of fashion sense causes me to hate shopping. I also have a BF that is so stylish it puts me to shame… I need help…

HELP!

Live Long and Prosper!

WOW! The worst thing about traveling over the holidays is making sure you have everything…presents, projects to finish in order to give as a present, clean house, grocery shop for boyfriend who is not going with you, get tickets from Train Station, order new CTA card(that one is already done thanks to smart phones, I was able to order a new right when I realized that I lost my other one), few minor errands… then get up at 4am so I can get my train at 7:30am.

….update….

Cooking went well. It’s fun to spend a day cooking with your boyfriend. I’m up and making some coffee and oatmeal. Everything is packed and got my knitting all organized… whew! I know I’m going to be with my family for two weeks but I’m having a little bit of separation anxiety from leaving the girls(cats) and the boy.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday.

Merry Christmas…

Live Long and Prosper

This holiday, I’m determined to have my presents knit by Christmas. The universe seems to have different plans. *sigh*

When I asked my mom over the summer what she wanted for Christmas, she said “nothing”. That doesn’t help me. Maybe I should have listened to her. The problems I’ve had working on these socks is monumental. I can’t believe I haven’t given up yet.

This is what I bought      It’s Knit Picks Stroll Sport Sock yarn in Marti Gras. It came in October some time and has been sitting in little plastic baggies until I was ready to cast on. That didn’t last long as I think I cast on that weekend. First while casting on, (2@a time) I cast on one inside out. Second try; It turns out that I made them too  big and I had screwed up on the cables. So I frogged it and started over. I hate frogging, but these are for my mom so she can have warm feet on the days she has playground duty, or just keep her feet warm in the house (my parents house tends to be a bit on the cold side).

So I got started on the third try. I was booking along with the toe increases (I knit toe-up) and then my needles break (order to be done by christmas I needed to knit 2 at a time so I made the decision to not use my DPNs). My 47in cord broke. I thought I might be able to fix it, so I super glued it and used clear nail polish to smooth out the sanded areas. I think I got through a round then set it aside as I had another project I was working on.

So there I am, knitting and chilling watching some TV and I get up to get something to drink and I see a string stretching from my dinning room to my bedroom. Uh, oh. This can’t be good. The kitten….(pictured below)

She just looks innocent.

Don't let her innocence fool you, she's a yarn killer!

had decided that she would play with the contents of my knitting bag which just happened to be two balls of the above mentioned yarn. She had turned it into a rats nest. ARGH!

So I forged ahead. I tried to knit another round when LOW and BEHOLD! my needles break AGAIN!

I put the socks aside and vow to myself to invest in a NICE pair of circs. It’s vital to the completion of my Christmas knitting. I head down to the not-so-local-to-me-but-super-helpful LYS to pick up some Addi Circs. I completely convinced myself that I needed 40s instead of 47s. I was wrong. WAY too short….well, 7 inches too short. Did you know that it’s illegal to return knitting needles in this state? WTH? I walked out with my correct size needles anyway and headed home….after a quick stop to buy some Pattons Classic which was on sale at Michael’s and will soon be a present for my Dad.

I spent the afternoon winding and untangling purple yarn and getting my socks back on circs. I have pictures of all of this but we had a computer melt down this week and the card reader for the camera is not connected and since this is the Boy’s area, I’m not touching anything I’m not completely sure of.

Hopefully the saga of those socks are done…

BUT THEN…. the Yarn Killer (see pictured above) got a hold of my already knit socks which were blocking and pulled out this long loop that took me an hour and a half to re-incorporate back into the sock! ARGH!

Hope you are having better luck with your holiday knitting!

Live Long and Prosper!

Christmas knitting is upon me. Actually it’s been upon me since summer, and I started in September but I’m actually accomplishing something and that makes me happy. :) I finished the Beatles socks.

This isn’t the most artistic picture. They still need to be blocked. I put a picot edging on the top to look like leaves and it looks DARN cute! I really liked beading. I want to do some more beading. I’m particularly proud of these because this is my design….out of my own head! :)

I also made a cute pair of Saartje’s booties.  I used the leftover yarn from the socks. These are for a friend’s friend who is having a little girl. I made crochet buttons because I couldn’t find any the right size. I love them and it makes me want a baby….kinda.

I’m also working on another design for my mom. A simple 4×2 cabled ribbed sock. They are for her when she has playground duty. :) I have been having troubles with the knitting of these. First when I cast on I used the Judy’s Magic Cast-on and cast on one sock inside out. So I ripped and started over. THEN my circs broke. :( The cable broke at the join. No more cheap circs, I’m breaking down and buying some Addis.  My sister-in-law wanted socks too, but it’s just plain vanilla. I broke down and stared those on DPNs. I’m determined to have these presents done by the time I leave for home. At least for my immediate family. I have a scarf to knit for my aunt but I can work on that on the train. I have a lot of travel time to work on that. That one will look similar to this….

Hope that you are getting your shopping/crafting done for Christmas.

Live Long and Prosper!

Warning: Picture heavy post….

My new obsession is reading craft and cooking blogs. I’m not sure how this came about, maybe it’s that I’m 32. My theory is that it’s because I’m 32, have a kitchen that I can move in, and I hear that little tick-tock in the back of my head.

So anyway, back to these food and craft blogs. My brother turned me onto Allrecipes.com. That was the catalyst. Then last winter, after I moved into my first grown-up apartment with a living room and bedroom separated by a wall, I got the itch to bake bread. It’s all down hill from there. I started reading all about bread. See, I had never made bread before and I steered clear of any recipe that involved yeast. Sometimes there is this little scaredy cat living deep down inside me and that cat keeps me from doing things that look complicated by telling me that it’s too hard and I might screw it up. Stupid cat. How am I going to learn if I don’t mess up once in a while, right?

Getting back to the topic at hand… I started making bread. I bought some yeast packages and set to work. I screwed up a couple of times. Once I forgot salt. I learned the art of an egg wash. And a little bit of extra flour won’t hurt a thing.

My newest favorite bread recipe comes from Alicia Paulson. I love her site. I want her life. Everything in her kitchen is pretty. She spends her days making pretty things…and her husband helps. (I need to get me one of those.) and they live in beautiful Portland. (I’m dying to visit there.) Anywho…This honey oat bread is AWESOME! It calls for proofing the yeast. To proof the yeast, you mix it in warm sugar water until it bubbles. It’s SO neat!

It goes from this…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To this….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To THIS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure you can see this, but there is about a half inch foam on top. After it proofs, I add a little bit at a time to my flour mixture. I mix it with a spatula until all the liquid has been added. Then I knead with my hands right in the bowl. I’m a little paranoid about rolling and kneading on my counters. I’m having a hard time keeping the cats off the counters and I don’t feel that they ever get clean enough sooo…I knead in the bowl. If the dough is still too sticky after I’ve finished kneading and mixing, I add a tablespoon of flour. I keep one of those big soup spoons in my flour jar for just this occasion. Usually, a tablespoon is the perfect amount.

Don’t you just love my measuring cup? It use to be my grandmothers! :)

When everything is mixed, I spray cooking spray in a bigger bowl and transfer the dough. It looks like this….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then cover….

With a wet towel. I set my on the stove because it’s warm. I have a gas range….Love it! The dough rises fast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon it looks like THIS! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And after you bake it, it looks like this!

This is fresh out of the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it goes well with THIS! :) 

<—Beef stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just got this dutch oven this week. I was so excited to make this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is ginger ale and was an experiment. Turned out that the BF liked it so much and was so intrigued that yeast could carbonate that he insists that we always have it in the house. This is where the yeast farts come in. When he found out what the carbonation was, he said, “so basically, yeast farts.”

This is our dinner tonight, what’s yours?

Live Long and Prosper!

P.S. I don’t have the perfect apartment nor the perfect life, so please excuse my meager surroundings. I make due with what I have…and I love it all! :)

Okay, I admit it…I’m a geek.

This really isn’t a new revelation. I’ve been a geek for a while, I just didn’t know that all this cool stuff existed for us (read: geeks). My parents are pretty run of the mill when it comes to trends. Both Beatles fans, Dad was a farmer so he’s pretty out-doorsy. Mom’s a teacher…sports fan…crafty. Dad likes westerns and Star Trek. Mom likes mysteries and comedies and old musicals.

I am a mix of both. I like sports, I don’t seek it out and I don’t play, but I keep track of my teams. I would love to go camping and hiking but end up spending more time in the kitchen. I LOVE Star Trek and all things “space-y”. I love old musicals and British mysteries.

I also happen to like really geeky/nerdy tv shows. I’ve been hearing about Battlestar Galactica for years now. I’ve been told my numerous people that I would like it. I took their words of wisdom and Holy Frak! if that isn’t a good show! Right now we are on Season 4 and even though I read through some spoilers… they didn’t prepare me for what was about to happen! I wish that the BF would get off the XBOX so I could watch some Netflix BG. He just got the new Black Ops game and can’t get enough. He got it Thursday and he’s already prestige-d.

Okay…so to go with the theme of the title… I’ll give you some bears and beats. YES! I know it’s suppose to be BEETS, but I’m not Doug Funnie so I’m going to use BEATS…as in music.

Bears… I collect bears…stuffed bears. All kinds of stuffed bears.

Beats….I can’t stop listening to Fiona Apple. Damn my sister for turning me on to her. I mean, I liked Criminal well enough, but it was my sister’s teenage angst that played her albums over and over again and now I can’t stop listening to her…for like the past week.

Also, if you haven’t checked out The Dudes yet, seriously, you’re YEARS behind…catch up. They are AWESOME!

There is something hot about the lead singer….

This is my favorite song of theirs… wish I could find a better recording!

Enjoy!

 

Live Long and Prosper!

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