Saturday, June 30, 2007

Post-op Saturday

Click on this photo for a close-up of honking big legs and antennae this "butterfly" has...(maybe it's a moth?)

DH had his surgery yesterday. Life has been a whirlwind lately... We got our first letter from DH in boot camp--she knows just how to allay our worries. I feel so much better now. Whew.

Neighborhood moronicity continues with nightly firecracker explosions. My dogs are neurotic wrecks by now. I was trying to sleep last night, and my puppy was not content to just lay next to me, he had to stand and breathe his scaredy-dog breath in my face. One inch away. Constantly. So after multiple attempts to get him to lie down, I finally had to put him outside the bedroom door and close it. Of course, that means he is going to start scratching at the door to get in, and rather than let him ruin the interior door, I had to put him outside in the back yard. Look what he did to the screens around the house while trying to dive in the windows:

Theres the culprit:

Sigh. Now we have another project to fix up on the house. (We may need to resurrect the cages we had for both dogs when we trained them...)

Knitting news: I am using and loving the 4 corners washcloths. They are big and squishy-thick luxurious. I only have finished the two, but want to make at least 3 more, so I don't have to buy washcloths. I have been making and using my own washcloths for a few years, but not yet to the exclusion of purchased ones ;)

Someone at the Ripple-Along posted this link for a granny-ripple afghan. I have been admiring those for a while, and would like to make one...(what don't I want to make?!) Yay, now I have a pattern:)

Must go in to work this AM and make up some hours I missed while with DH. Boss has been giving mixed signals about time off, so I better just suck it up and work extra. I know he's got some family stress right now too, so am trying to be understanding about the 'back and forth' I'm getting...

Will try, try, try to post a recipe and some kind of actual knitting progress this weekend!

Okay, 'recipe' update at 1:40 pm....
I made DH some oatmeal this AM. He needs to be on soft foods for a couple of days, and we only had regular oatmeal that I use for cookies and baking. So I cooked him up a pot of oatmeal from scratch. While the water was boiling, I was thinking how I could flavor it while it was cooking. Ah-Ha! I put in a shot of my homemade Limoncello, and a shot of vanilla (I don't purchase extract, I bought a giant bottle of vanilla vodka to use for flavoring, and this saves tons of money...) My hubby told me after he ate it that that was the best bowl of oatmeal he'd ever had!!! Served only with some brown sugar. Yum. Love to be so smart/frugal (I must brag about it, because it doesn't always happen!!)

See how much "extract" I've used! I've baked multiple things with this, and had this bottle for about 6 months. I've also added it to mixed drinks!

Friday, June 29, 2007

knitting oak

Oh, oh, I want to make something with that beautiful oak and acorn cable. This site is inspiring me....

And I was seeing it here, too. I need to get that book! Or try to chart that pattern myself (sure, ha ha ha!)

I think stuff like that is sooooooo cool. I love cables. That's another part of knitting I'd like to know inside and out, but haven't been knitting long enough for myself to feel I really get it! I need to be swatching to get more practice :)

Look at this cute crochet project from a Japanese craft book:

I think I saw this on Ebay...don't remember (oops). But cute inspiring amigurumi.
Amigurumi. That's a wierd word to type.
Sorry about the stream-of-consciousness post, I'm just kinda rollin' with it!

Other cool looking cable variations: this book, one project of which is well-documented in progress here. There's a dragon cable that I think looks really neat....scroll down on her blog to see that part. Another book for my get-list!

An' check dis out: the DNA cable! Especially fun gift for scientists.... :) That's really clever.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Owls, cables, and roses...

Remember that overgrown rosebush I hacked down a few weeks ago? It was showing no growth whatsoever, and now...

it's been blooming like this for the past 2 weeks (this photo taken on 6/16!!)

I was talking about knitting Christmas gifts the other day....I found this link for cute gift labels you can put on your Christmas knits. Pretty and a nice presentation for washcloths or whatever you knit! (I found this last year, but have not used them yet....)

Maybe I'll start a Sharfik from Grumperina for a Christmas gift....would be a very nice gift!

How clever is this: A ball-band Swiffer cover!!!! What a cool idea--except for the fact that when I swiffer, I am removing giant wads of dog hair in 2 colors, as well as dust. NOT something I want to be putting into the washing machine. Which is why I am using disposable covers in the first place!

Here's a knitted version of the cupcake scarf! Fun.

And this is kinda cute: owl cable hats! Hat pattern here, but not sure I like them in one color--they just don't look enough like owls until you knit them in different colors. Or isolate one owl like in the owl cable mittens....and an owl cable bag....

Owls remind me of my gramma, who passed away 4 years ago. I really miss her, but her influence on my life is permanent! I think of her often. She used to collect owls, and my grampa has a house filled with her lifetime collection of neat woodsy things.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


This is a quilted table runner I made about 5-7 years ago. I love this thing. It is machine quilted with metallic thread on top.

And here's a table center I made from a diamond-pansy pattern.

I machine trapunto-quilted the rose motif in the center, then stippled the rest. The back of it has this Easter fabric:

I made this years ago. I am blogging this to document (for myself) my past completed projects. Not so into quilting these days, knitting has taken over! But I have all the toys....

I need to finish DS quilt. I started it when we moved into this house 13 years ago. It is still not completely sewn together! In between there, I got my bachelor's degree, home-schooled my kids for a few years, began working full-time, and really started knitting just so I could have some handwork to pick up at a moment's notice. Never really got into that with quilting (except a yoyo project I would work on while I waited in the parking lot of my kids' school daily.)

More pics to come...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Grannies and reference books

This is a neat blog, where people are posting swatches knit from any of the Barbara Walker books...Kindof a neat way to look for pattern stitches you like, if you don't have the Walker books. Each swatch references the book it was found in, so it could help you decide which of her books to hunt down....Could give some good ideas for designing your own items, and a starting point!

Speaking of knitting books, here's something I bought about 15 years ago:

I didn't realize this book is out of print and selling now for hundreds of dollars on Ebay!!! No way would I sell it though, it is a fantastic reference for all possible cast-ons, etc. This book taught me a lot, and I know there's plenty more I could learn from it!!!

It's full of black and white drawings, technical info on every knitting topic you can imagine. Very useful reference. And take a look at these cables:

(I may swatch that, that is a cool looking pattern.....Maybe for one of my masculine Christmas gifts this year, hmmmmmmmmmmm!)

I am not showing these pics online in a "nyah-nyah" mentality--I'm only letting you know, if you can get your hands on this book, it is well worth it! If I had to choose only one book on knitting, this would have to be it (this was it for 15 years!)

This is a neat blanket sold at Anthropologie, I'm sure it's pricey, but what a cute idea for a knit blankie...

This is a bag from Anthropologie, who says Granny Squares are out of style?! Speaking of which, here's a very cute daisy Granny Square with a pattern that one of my blogmates talked about on the Granny-Along. Such a cute square, would be a really great bag....

Seems my blog is more about WISTs than actual knitting! "Them's the breaks" of working full time. I would need another lifetime to make everything I like.... Sigh, but a girl can dream! All the ideas swimming around the internet make me so excited and inspired--there are so many creative people out there!

Some days I'd love to go back to housewifery, so I could follow my own schedule, and knit to my heart's content. But, I think my knitting is sweeter, now that I'm left-braining it at my healthcare job all day. It feels so good to slide into the right-brain mode when I pick up my needles. The perfect balance!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ripple Update

Here's a pic of my ripple blanket, in Sugar 'n Cream cotton. Is 2/3 done I would say....

And here's what I keep getting sidetracked doing:

more washcloths from Abigail.

Both these projects give me something fun to do on my lunch hour, and keep me off the streets ;P

Look at this ripple effect blanket, from scraps. Kinda neat, like stained's the pattern.
I have my eye on her little star afghan too. I think it would make a cute gift for nieces and nephews....hmmmm.

Guess I skanked out of posting a recipe this time, unless I get going tonight :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Noise 'n the hood

Why does our neighborhood always have such doozies? We have lived here 13 years, and not one summer has gone by without some yo-yo blowing off fireworks all summer long. Every year it's a different household. My dogs were both freaking out last night because of the moron 1/2 block away blowing a firecracker off every 7 minutes for about 5 hours. It finally stopped at 11 PM, but the damage was done. Its not that I expect silence on weekends---usually there's not very much, as everyone's mower is going, or someone is using a circular saw, or gunning a motorcycle. But explosions are not my favorite noise in the hood. I wish people would get a clue. They purchase their July 4th explosives, and start playing with them in April, it continues through September so that we are ALWAYS subjected to that noise. *?%$@#~ pyros....

I may have another couple of crazy weeks ahead of me. DH having surgery this week (we just found this out) and I am supposed to visit my Grandpa at the lake in Michigan. The 4th of July is his 94th birthday. Can't go on the 4th, not enough time to drive up and back and still go to work the next day (I tried that 2 years ago, and nearly killed myself falling asleep on the tollway!) Can't go the following weekend b/c it is my niece's 7th birthday on 7/7/07, and I can't miss that party! I may not be able to get to my Grampa's after all.

Was thinking about taking a jewelry making class at our local community college in the fall, but since DS will be going there full time, I don't think I will be able to afford it. That's okay, I'm fairly burned out anyway. If I can just have my off-work time to knit, I'll be happy! It's his time for college classes now....

May post more here later today. Some kind of knitting content, ya know! And a recipe, yet to be determined. It's baking day....and I'm posting in installments!

Okay, I just found the coolest instructional video for "invisible cast on" a.k.a. provisional cast on. I will have to try this for my next 4-corners dishcloth...I didn't know what was meant by invisible cast on in the pattern, so I just cast on as usual and ended up trying to whip the edges together with a ladder stitch to imitate garter bumps....Must try to do it correctly next time! Even though my first cloth turned out pretty darn good, if you look closely you can see the whipstitch details. These dishcloths are perfect practice pieces for newbies like me to learn new techniques!

Look at this cute cute thing! I have been a big fan of Dog the Bounty Hunter for the past 1-1/2 years, and even though we have no TV at this time, I still love that show! So I had Kezzaroo make me one of these...should be arriving in the mail soon!

Now it is 10 pm. I have done NO BAKING today....sorry! It's one of those days where I hardly got anything done, except bills and naps :) Guess I'll have to defer the Sunday recipe til later in the week...we'll see if I can get motivated after work! Bye y'all!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Short Rows and Pros/cons of Birds...

It's been a tremendously hard week. But things are looking up. Only 5-7 days left before DD can write us. I miss her!

Some pro's of birds:

They are 'cheep' entertainment (bad pun); there's nothing like immersing yourself in nature to take your mind off your own troubles!

In spite of my assertions I wouldn't start a new project, I had to make one of these. (Besides, washcloths don't count!)

I did it just b/c I have so much Sugar 'N Cream dishcloth cotton (for my ripple blanket), and also because short rows astound me! I'm enough of a beginner/intermediate knitter, that I still don't get short rows. I can do them, I can follow directions, and it really an astounds me whenever I complete something with them---but I still don't GET them. I want them to become second nature, so that I can design with a ways to go there!!

And also this was my first attempt at grafting. Very interesting. I tried a few shortcuts of my own, which of course, are beginner mistakes, and I had to undo them. But this is how I learn, in my hard-headed way; gotta do it my own way, until it's obvious to me that I'm wrong!!! Sigh. Then, and only then, do I follow the directions....LOL.

So I made a four corners dishcloth--except that, you know, for me these are washcloths. I would never use my knitting as rags to wipe up spills, they feel too soft and luxurious in the shower! (Well, maybe I will use them as rags when they are threadbare and worn out!)

I want to make one of these in every variegated cotton yarn I own....move over ripple blanket, here come the washcloths!

It has been strangely cool and rainy the last couple of days. Wierd for it to be in the 60s this late in the year. But earlier in the week it was in the 90s. No wonder everyone is coming down with colds!

Guess who moved in next door? The nest had only been empty about 7 days, before we noticed another robin sitting in it daily. This is not one of the baby robins, but an adult. Wonder if there are any eggs?

I saw one of the juvenile robins when I was home sick on Thursday!!! It was sitting on our fence in the backyard--I took this picture through our screen at a severe angle.

He's all spotty, and still miniature looking, but soon he will grow up to be a big sleek robin red-breast like his dad. It was nice to see him--I've been watching for them!

There's a mulberry bush fruiting, and I have tons of birdseed around the yard, as do my neighbors. Many, many birds lately. Hence, there are not as many bugs as usual this year! (Another 'pro' of birds.) Yay for birdies!

Except for this photo of my window:
He had to be flying at just the right angle, and the wind had to be blowing in just the right direction..... >:|
(Somebody needs to take my camera away. Seriously.)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer knitting

Since I purchased the Knitting Nature book, I found this KAL, & think I'll join that to get some things made. The spiral scarf is kindof a nifty item, I like the way it looks over a turtleneck.

I also love the ripple along, and the granny along, and the Mason-Dixon Knit-along. Stash along would be a prudent thing for me currently, to use what I have to finish some knitting goals!

I also want to do this sometime, since I now own a copy of Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I have yet to finish my version of the chevron scarf! It's the knitting ADD ya know--I should count how many WIP I have. I think I need to finish some projects before I start new ones. That shall be my summer goal--no new projects except gift knitting. I'll never get my Christmas knitting done at the rate I've been going!

But the 'baaaaaaad' part of me wants to make these cute socks for sandals. I love wearing sandals and flip-flops and slippahs, so socks made for that would be kinda fun. I think it might be a good project for sock leftovers.... But I can't make them this year, because,
you know, which one of my brothers would like them as a Christmas gift?(!)

I think this is a scream! This lady is a very talented designer, making clever patterns out of thin air.

Enough wishing. Time to go to work on current WIPs!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Busy knitting....

I'm busy knitting today, as I'm home sick, and it's raining. Back later. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New yarn!

Went home for lunch yesterday and the mailman came while I was there, and brought me....

Yarntini yarns!

I have been lusting after the Vintage colorway for months after seeing it on someone's blog, knitted into socks. Had to have some. So when I got the update that there would be some Yarntini hitting the online store, I pounced! Got me 3 skeins. Two are the colorway Vintage, and one is the colorway Home. I love Yarntini, how beautiful. Now I can start some socks!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Semper Fi

How can it be so difficult to let an adult child go & do her thing? I said goodbye to my 23 year old daughter yesterday, she will be arriving at Marines boot camp in S.C. today, and will be there for 3 months. I'm both proud and terrified of what she is doing.

You'd think I could handle it, myself and my DH having been in the Air Force, and FIL as well. Somehow, though, when it's war time and it's your only daughter and it's the ground forces she's's a different story. I know that she will never be used in combat, but that doesn't mitigate my fears that she may be shipped over there to you-know-where.

I will just have to go to work today with puffy, red eyes, and trust in the Lord. Please everyone say a prayer for our troops.

What do I do in times of stress? I knit, crochet, and buy knitting books. Have been lusting over this book for quite some time, so treated myself while shopping for Father's Day gifts. It is a beautiful resource for cable knitting, which is my passion. Hope to make the reversible cable scarf as my first project. Pics to come! (well. that almost distracted me!)

Semper Fidelis.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bir yil once Turkiyededaydim

I have this thing for Turkish food. I LOVE IT. I lived in Turkey for 1 year in my 20s, and really discovered the world of good food there. Ever since, I have been hunting for great Turkish recipes. A couple years ago, I was working with some Turkish Americans, and I learned some new recipes from them. My love for Turkish food has never waivered! The food is so fresh and real--it was a major departure from the canned Campbell's Soup I grew up on. (And who knew you could eat the parsley that was put on your plate as a garnish?!) It really opened my eyes, and started a lifetime passion for food.

Since then, I have learned to cook some Philipino recipes, Mexican recipes, Italian, Greek, and Indian foods. Each time I make these recipes, they remind me of the special ethnic friends who taught me to cook them. What a joy it is to recreate these gastronomic memories over and over again.

Here is a yummy Turkish recipe I learned to make from my good friend Ilkay, who has since moved back to her country:

Turkish Potato Salad

new potatoes (red)
green onions

Wash and quarter new potatoes, put in pan to cover with boiling water, and cont to cook for about 20 mins. They should be soft but not falling apart. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Mash onions hard with a lot of salt, and let them sit while the taters are cooking or cooling. When there is a lot of liquid in the onions, rinse them well (multiple times), and drain.

Add onions, green onions, potatoes and olive oil to cover. Squeeze on juice of lemon (I used 2 lemons for 5 lb of potatoes.) Sprinkle heavily with Sumak--this is a middle-eastern spice found in ethnic grocery stores, has a slightly tangy flavor it adds. Then sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Chill and serve cold.

I made some of this for yesterday's cookout, it looks like photo above, although I used dried parsley so the green color is missing. This is very light fare, perfect for hot weather.

Simple and elegant, and deliciously different than traditional American potato salads. I love the use of lemon in recipes, can't get enough of that. One day I'll grow my own lemon tree!

Have you seen the
Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Centers at Coconut & Lime's website? Does that ever look good. I really want to make those. (I was fantasizing about these while on a clear liquid diet due to stomach flu!!! Pure torture!) Those are on my to-do list.

Okay, now some yarny content:
Here's my ripple cotton blanket so far! Loving the weight of the cotton:

How lovely this is becoming! Yay.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Knitty!

You know I can't stay quiet for a whole week! (It has only been 1 day!) The new summer Knitty is available, and I want to make Coachella. And Askew.
Okay, back to cleaning....:D

Monday, June 11, 2007

May be offline this week....

Letting you all know, my posting may suffer this week, as I get my house ready for going-away party for DD. This is around my FT work schedule. I may not get to working on any projects either, so if you don't hear from me, I'm cleaning!

Back on the weekend!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

sneaky purchase....

I love the look of the snowflake granny afghan. How pretty! (But, I just found a free pattern for the same thing on-line....!)

I know, I know. I said there was a moratorium on spending. But there I was at Hobby Lobby, and all Leisure Arts books were 30% off. And I happened to find these...

and, well, um, you know, they were 30% off.

I have seen
some examples of these online, and wanted to make these specific patterns. So, I knew which books to look for. It took me about an hour to find them, as there was no rhyme nor reason to how the books were displayed.

See, I worked for them....;-b

DH and I went to a balloon show last night, at our local community college. It was very pretty.

Um, 'scuse me DH, I'm trying to get a picture here!

Today in AM they launched the balloons....

For today's recipe, I am directing you to a great recipe I found online a few weeks ago. I have made them twice, and they are consistently good. I love the fact that these
cinnamon buns can be made without a yeast dough, cutting the prep time down to do-able for my lifestyle. Family concurs: these rock!