Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Addendum to *books, books, books*

Cute house in Hilo, Hawaii that was up for sale last year....a shanty in paradise is where I'm headed someday :)

I guess I have to own up to something....I mentioned early in the beginning of my blog days that I was soon going to be selling a few of my knitting books. There were a couple of books that have been on my shelf for a few years that I haven't done anything with; at that time, I thought they'd be better sold to someone who appreciates them.

Then, life intervened (as it always does) and that plan got buried in the back corners of my mind, and only recently resurfaced. I was going through medical books I'm going to try to sell on Ebay, and picked up the two knitting-books-in-question. I flipped through them, and started seeing all kinds of neat projects that I guess I previously did not see any value in....of course, you can probably guess the end of the saga: I decided to keep them.

So, I apologize if anyone has been sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for the Great Bumpydoink Book Sale. Ain't a gonna happen :)

Cable-y Things

Oooh, I just love cables, Aran knitting, and the amazing textures that can be produced with 2 little stitches! It blows my mind!!

So, I was very excited to see links to free cable chart generators online!!!Cable generator #1 and cable generator #2--I saw these on Ravelry. I was instantly all over those, playing around with them. CG#1 is something you can use on-line and there are two choices of knitting symbols you can use, which is nice. CG#2 is a software demo you can download for unlimited free use, though they have disabled the print function unless you purchase the software, you can probably print it from a screenshot you save into a WORD document....


And here is a link to a neat book where the author makes cabled items without the edges: headbands, belts and trim. Interesting!

I am really interested in knitting EZs patterns. I know I could learn so much from each project....I just saw a sweater from her Knitting Workshop book, called Hand to Hand Aran, that is just beautiful (knittingem did a great job!) Amazing how timeless EZ's things are!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Books, books, books

I love to stock up on books for the upcoming winter. So I have something to do because I don't go outside in the yucky weather if I can avoid it. As the year winds down, I am getting ready!

So, yesterday, when I went to Borders to get a Deborah Newton book I'd seen....
of course I stocked up. On other books. And of course they were all knitting books :)

I think I'm set for a 25 year long winter (God forbid it should happen...!)

I love this book for the toy patterns in it:
Look at the cute bird and puppy! Fun!

Then there is this book:
which I bought mostly for the cable hearts in this pattern (hard to see, but the center front bodice section has a row of cabled hearts) quite unlike any I've seen previously! Very pretty.

Click on the photos to see them enlarged....

While I am on the subject of knitting, LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL TOP!!! Wow, I'd love to wear something like that, though not sure I like the armhole edges. I'd try to tweak it with something else, I-cord or even the same garter or rib but less wide....But maybe it looks fine on a body, hard to tell!

Must knit a bit and catch some zzzz's. See y'all later.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Spring fever (snicker)

This weekend is all about getting projects done around the house. Like putting house numbers on the garage so people can find us (can't see the #s on the house anymore, due to redbud trees in front yard--I like it like that. Nice and private.) Lots of organizing going on, my crafting area has been laying dormant and collecting piles of things. I have stacks of magazines and books that need to be organized and filed away, I have bags of unwanted items(clothing) in the garage that need to go to Goodwill, etc. Lots of decluttering going on. And I mention it only because IT FEELS SO GOOD! Kind of like spring cleaning.

Now, here are some more really cool patterns I discovered while surfing Ravelry:

These are awesome cabled mittens, made by a Finnish girl named Tikru. She's a dynamo with the knitting. I will add these to my list of things to do, but I may make the cuffs a little shorter in length....

Look at the knitted eyeballs! How funny. And here is a Hello Kitty hat that someone designed! Really cute!!

Oh, wow, I have to make the Bar Harbor Shell Bag! Oh, oh isn't that just gorgeous? Another pattern to knit for me (I don't have many planned, do I?) =`

Hey, look, there's a Holiday Mystery Gift KAL group on yahoo, and these are patterns that will be for sale later! Some of them are really cute! The projects so far range from socks to sweaters, to fingerpuppets and ornaments, and a really pretty couple of fair-isle projects like a Christmas stocking and a hat and a bag! I haven't started one yet, but may be tempted to do the stocking. The charts look really cute.

Look here! I found this neat pattern for bottle topper hats; though I haven't seen that drink here in the US, it looks like these would fit on a snapple or frappucino bottle! There are some really amazing variations on these minute fund-raisers here. And the flicker group is mahvelous with all the ingenuity. (I personally love the Winnie the Pooh hats.)

Wow, I was also just looking at a bunch of charity knitting sites, and at the very least I'd like to make something for the Red Scarf Project 2008. We have a local homeless shelter too, it would be great in this freezing climate to give something wooly and warm. I might try to squeeze a couple hats in....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Knitter's block breakthrough!

I am very happy to say that I finally got over knitter's block. I took a break from gift knits, and knit up one of these quickies to get my creative juices flowing:
It's the multidirectional diagonal dishcloth . It was a refreshing change, the indecision on what to start next for a Christmas gift was making me crazy. I wasn't getting anything done, so at least I got a nice washcloth out of it. I made it from Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.

So, in spite of my wavering, I started Wavy ;-) It is a fun pattern, and I am enjoying how it meanders. I broke down and made it from the Lion Wool--it's not super-soft like Alpaca, but it's not coarse either. So I guess it's all good! (Thanks Hakucho for the good advice you commented in my last post, though!)
I'd like to make the multicolored brioche-stitch scarf. I saw one on Ravelry, and I think I saw one also in an EZ book or Meg Swansen's. There is also a matching hat in the EZ book--I think that a double layer of yarn would make a really wooly warm scarf and hat. That may end up being scarf #10!

My posting has really slowed, but life is good right now. Was whining because I had to blow most of my last paycheck on a new dishwasher and new vacuum cleaner. But, at least I could do it! The dishwasher was purchased last Saturday, the delivery man brought it today. He took one look at our plumbing and electrical, and stated that the brand we bought would not work with our current set-up, that it is made only for new kitchens, the plumbing must be custom fit to this model. Grrrr, so back to Best Buy we went, where I realized I don't want any of the other models they sell (which is why I had willingly paid an extra $300 for that one).

Now I just have to wait a week or two for Best Buy to cut me a check for my $900, so I can go somewhere else to shop for one. That aggravates me more than you could know, having them sit on my $$ like that. Especially when I think of how "helpful" the salesman was last week. Why the heck didn't he tell me this stuff up front?! Duh! Very disappointed, but I'm starting to enjoy handwashing dishes again (go figure!) Our old dishwasher doesn't get anything clean, it's loud and the racks are corroded right through in some spots! Yikes.

Okay, enough whining! Now for the good stuff:
I got two new patterns in the mail this week--well one is a kit, with yarn from here.
I have been thinking 'this is super clever scarf' since I saw the ads in IK and VK. So, happily I bought that kit:) I'm going to make this for my nephew who's 6. I think he'll get a big kick out of it.

The other pattern I scored is this beautiful shawl pattern:
I had to have it, it takes my breath away! How gorgeous it is. The thing is, I'm a newbie to lace-knitting, so this will probably go on the back burner until I get a little more practice (on my Mananita that's in progress!) Anyway, you can purchase yours from here. They sold out of the pattern within a couple of days, so you have to stake out the site if you want one :)

Check out this awesome beret done in sock yarns! How cool is that? I'd wear one of those!
I'm tired now. Night, night. =]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Roasted Poblano Soup

I made some Roasted Poblano Chile soup last night, based on Rick Bayless' recipe from this book:
It is the 3rd or 4th time I've made that soup since I bought the book a few years ago, and it is scrumptious! (Who really uses that word anymore?! Apparently I do....) It is the only recipe I have ever made from that cookbook, and just that recipe alone is worth the price of the book!

Maybe it's the nip in the air, the bright colors of the foliage against the crisp baby blue sky while I walked my black doggie yesterday....but I needed that soup and the warmth that the chiles lend to it. Oh, yum :)

Roasting the poblanos was a new technique I'd never tried before this recipe--wowee does that ever change the flavor of the peppers: it deepens the intensity, and adds a smokiness that's indescribably good.

You don't even have to chop anything, as it will all be pureed after cooking, and then strained....

Here's my version of it:

  • 5 roasted poblano chiles, with the skins rubbed off and stems removed (mine had been grilled til black about 1 month ago, and frozen until now--be sure to add the juice from them, too.)
  • soup stock (I used the juice left from my homemade tomato salsa I made this weekend)
  • package of frozen spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 spanish onion
  • some water
  • gray salt
  • milk
  • flour & water roux

    Heat the soup stock/tomato juice, throw the peppers in with the garlic and salt, and water if necessary to keep the fluid level sufficient; heat to boiling. Add the package of spinach (no need to pre-thaw) and heat til all the spinach is thawed and has been cooked 3-4 minutes. Let cool slightly and run through blender or food processor til smooth-ish. Strain out the solids, back into a pan.

    Now, heat again, adding salt to taste, and stir in some milk (cream is better, sour cream even better yet!), about 1/2-1 cup. Heat. When boiling, add the flour-water roux, then stir continuously until it boils again for 1 minute. If your are using sour cream, or cream, you can skip this step, as the soup will be thick enough without roux.

    To serve this, crumble some delicious corn tortilla chips onto the soup, and sprinkle with shredded cheese (I used brick cheese, but any cheddar or jack would be good)

Oooooh, yeaaaaaaah. The warmth of this permeates to your bones on a cool night! Just like a shot of hard liquor!

Knitting has stalled on my scarves: don't seem to have the scarf mojo all of a sudden. I think Ravelry is to blame--there are so many awesome patterns I want to make for ME, that I'm having a hard time continuing my knitting for others :| But the next scarf, scarf #9 I believe, will be
Wavy from knitty. I may want to use a more luxurious yarn than Lion Wool for that pattern, I think it would drape better and feel better on necks. So, I'm stuck while I hunt around for the yarn.

I started swatching for a scarf based on stitches from a dictionary and a square from
The Great American Aran Afghan, but stopped b/c I wanted to change some things. Here's a pic of my progress:

Stalled at this point, but I will keep the swatch and the notes for future possible project :) Maybe if I find another yarn I'll want to keep going with this. Lion Wool is just not luxurious. I figure, if you're going to put such effort into something, at least make it out of a fabulous yarn so it's a keeper!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Remember the skull sweater?

Do you all recall the earlier post where I was going ga-ga over all the skull patterns, knits and purchased goods? I just updated that post. Today, I was going through some printed out patterns from the web, trying to organize them into a binder, and came across this link (5 months later) to the beautiful skull fair-isle sweater! So, now we're all updated (at least until I forget the next item....) But, you see, my mind keeps working on it--for months if need be--until the problem is solved :)

I got to see my new nephew yesterday. Man is he little, and cute! What a pumpkin :) A very laid-back baby who is mostly quiet and content!

I got paid Thursday. Saturday, I had to purchase a new dishwasher, and a new vacuum cleaner. Geez, I'm broke again until 10 more days. Sigh. But at least we'll get a new stainless steel dishwasher with built-in garbage disposal in the bottom. That ought to fix the family members who have been putting chunks of food into the dishwasher for the past 10 years (without a garbage disposal in it!) Probably why it is not working very well now, grrrr.

I cast on Friday night at knit-night for a scarf adapted from a square in the Great American Aran Afghan book. I worked on it for a while Saturday morning, and put it down. Now I'm thinking I am going to frog it: don't like the pattern translated to a scarf, it's just too fussy. I may either do a chunky cable knit or Wavy from Knitty.com next. I will eventually do both, as I need to make 2 more scarfs for bros for Christmas. Then I have DS, DH and a grampa to knit some for....And I can then start the hats! I really missed having some brain-dead repetetive knitting for the football game today. Need to get started.

Here's a pic of the finished Dulaan scarf:

I am really locked into the focus thing right now. I don't want to work on anything else but Christmas gift knits, even though I have a number of items calling my name. I just want to get the gift knitting finished, so I can move on....it's been a long 4 months!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

blog etiquette

There comes a time in every blogger's life, when the following subject needs to be addressed: blog etiquette.

I have been reading a lot of posts about blog etiquette lately. It makes me get a sinking feeling that, as a new blogger, I may have somehow crossed the line in some of my posting of photos here. But my feeling is this:

  1. I don't post photos on my blog that I wouldn't want circulated by the general public. I know they are going to be circulated, because THE WHOLE WORLD is there to read my blog. And I don't care if they are circulated, as long as whoever circulates them does not take credit for them.

    2. So I operate my borrowing policy under the same guidelines: I figure, if you didn't want someone to see/enjoy your photo, why have you posted it on the internet? As long as I give credit to others for their hard work, why should I be limited to my own measly photographic skills on my blog?

    3. The same goes for photos in books: who stands at the library looking over your shoulder, making sure you are not copying from books and publications, for your personal use?

    4. The same goes for photos of products and patterns sold online--why wouldn't you want free advertising and more people being directed to your market by bloggers reviewing your wares?

This is my simplistic view of blog etiquette. I don't know if this is way off the mark, but it seems to me to be the common sense approach. If another blogger wants to post my photos and praise something I did (or even rip on it) go for it. Just don't take credit for the photography. And bold-faced plagiarism is very very bad!

Any opinions on this?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another scarf bites the dust!

Oooooh yeaaaaaaah. Bomp bomp.

Chicka chickaaaaaa.

Bomp bomp.

Heh. Sorry. I'm just feelin' good b/c I finished scarf #8. Am casting about for scarf #9, to be made in Lion wool dark brown, for another bro....I think I want to do another cable scarf, so I'm researching Barbara G Walker and some of my cable books....I feel lost w/o a Christmas project to crank on. :)

No pics yet of the finished Dulaan scarf, but it is a bit over 5 feet in length (I kinda got into the Zen of knitting it, and forgot to stop. Snicker.) That's okay, most of my bros are over 6 feet tall. I need to be making hats to match each scarf, but I won't start that until I have all the scarves finished. It's a focus-thing, must finish one objective first, before starting another.

Been very distracted on Ravelry lately. It's really fun to surf the patterns there. I am getting some concentrated surfing done :)

Must post a link: have you seen this? Quite a lovely lacey scarf, looks like a BGW pattern called Seafoam or some such. Looks really pretty in hand-paint yarns. wow

It is 2 AM, and raining cats & dogs. I cannot stop sneezing. I woke myself up sneezing! Hopefully my antihistamine kicks in shortly, but the bonus is, I'm posting! woohoo :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

October Saturday

Look what I found:

A tutorialfor a simple beginning-loop for knit-in-the-round from center-out. That will come in handy for some hat patterns and even some lace patterns I've seen...Thanks to Fleegle's blog for that tip!

Look at the really cute Christmas stockings! Available here.

How colorful and pretty. I am thinking about adding one of those to my list for knitting :) But I bought a pattern last year for a mix-n-match kind of Christmas stocking, I should try that first, heh.

I have been a hat-freak forever. And I love to knit hats too! Last year, for last-minute gifting at Christmas, I made my son and DH hats. They were a hit, and it is satisfying to knit something useful like that. Now, this year, I want to take it a step further and knit some double-knit hats. What could be more cozy than a layer of warm wool to cover your ears? A double-layer of wool, that's what!! There is a pattern here that I want to try first!

Well, enough surfing for now. Must try to get some knitting done,and I am going to be selling some of my books on Ebay. They are mostly my medical texts that I no longer use, but I have so many of them I need to move them out. I have selected at least 35 books I am selling. Just need to photograph them and document their condition. I am figuring out the shipping costs. So I might be pre-occupied in the next couple of weeks.

But I will be back, like a bad rash :D

Friday, October 12, 2007


He was born in the ambulance! I didn't know that until I went to see him yesterday, and what a cute little package he is!!! Wheeeee!

Spending way too much time on Ravelry. But there are some really fun items that others have made, like the bunny dishcloth. This is cute!

Mmmm, I had my first Sangria last night, at a local cafe. It was incredible, oh yum. I got quite happy off that one drink, with my vegetarian soup and sandwich. Must start experimenting with recipes for that. Anyone know of a good tried-and-true Sangria recipe?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm a new Auntie!

Got a phone call today while at work. My bro called to tell me he's a dad again. Bear in mind, I live in the same town as he does; we were all at a family gathering about 4 weeks ago. I was very excited for him, and said congratulations, when is she due? Then he said
" ...and it's a boy."
(Long pause of confusion....)

"We don't know his name yet."
(Another longer pause, with more confusion....)

"He was born today."

WHAT?! (You can imagine my screechy voice full of "you are pulling my leg, right?")

Yes. Apparently, my new nephew snuck into the world today without anyone knowing he was coming! AND I AM SO EXCITED FOR MY BRO I CAN'T STAND STILL!!!! Haa haa haaaaaaaaaa!


The View from my Office

I just updated an old post. I had been surfing and saw a really cool pattern back in July, but could not find it again to link to it. Now, three months later, I found it on Ravelry:

this is a really cool looking scarf, reminds me of a dishcloth pattern I've seen around, and think that's a great permutation of that pretty garterstitch lacey pattern!

Ravelry is such a knitting stimulus, and a great way to organize your projects and show them off! I love surfing what others have posted there. I am "bumpydoink" if you ever feel like looking me up there :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dulaan scarf update

Ran out of 1st skein of yarn. Ran over to Hobby Lobby. Ran up a big tab. Heh.
Oh well, them's the breaks :) I got more wool for the next scarf and hat gift,

and found these cool photo frames:

DH and I being ex-Air Force types, and DD being new Marine type, I thought these would make a nice display with our photos in uniform.

Here's my Dulaan scarf progress from 1 ball of Lion Wool:

Pattern specs
Pattern: Dulaan scarf

Yarn: Lion Wool worsted, color midnight blue

Needles: US8

Work finished: 22 inches long, from 1 ball yarn

Work remaining: 2/3 left to do--going to use 3 balls yarn total

Mods: none, love it the way it is....

Monday, October 8, 2007

Scarf #8

I promised pics of my Dulaan scarf project, so here they are:

I am using Lion Brand wool, in Navy Blue. I am nearing the end of the first skein, and, silly me, I don't have any more of that yarn! So a run to the Hobby Lobby where I bought it is in order. I'm kinda nervous that there won't be any left, because last year around this time, they had no blues at all left in their stock. I bought mine about 60 days ago, when they just got it in....I hope there's some left. I need probably 2 more balls to make a scarf of any decent length, and another ball for a hat to match....Hmmmm. I'll be lucky if there's any more in the store.

I had a nice weekend, got some cleaning and organizing done, though not as much as I'd hoped, got to visit at a neighborhood block party (of course I brought my knitting!) and knit through the Bears game where they duked it out with the Packers, and in the last minute of the game scored the winning touchdown! Woo hoo, go Bears!

Ninety degrees outside yesterday--you can bet I didn't step foot out my door. Thank you Lord for AC!

Here are pics of the reversible cable scarf in progress:

I set this aside as its girly colorway makes it not a priority at this time when I'm trying to make 4 bros, my dad, my grampa, my husband and my son all scarves for Xmas. So "reversible" is sitting on the sidelines. I photographed it on my new quilt I got through Ebay for $25! I washed it and hung it on the clothesline to dry a couple weekends ago, and it is my favorite throw on the sofa right now! Crisp and cool cotton, sigh!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My Kauni arrived!!!

This was my last internet splurge for a while. I couldn't stop myself. But even though I had promised me to be done with internet knit purchases, I needed to get my Kauni yarn. Ohh, am I glad I did.

It came in the mail today, from Denmark (here). Kinda pricey shipping, but when you see the beautiful colors of the yarn coming out of the package at you, and you show it to non-knitters and even they are oooh-ing and aaaah-ing, then you know it was worth it! Oh this yarn is spectacular!!

So. I'm done. I have so many projects queued up to go "next" it is not even funny. I want to be a housewife again (Why is there that conundrum, that you must work to buy the yarn, but when you work there is not enough time to knit the yarn. But if you don't work, there's no way you'd be buying Kauni yarn from Denmark and having it sent to you for $30 in shipping...?)

This yarn ain't goin' nowhere until I knit it. So there's my answer to the conundrum: it's safely in my stash where it belongs, until that victorious day when I can pull it out and start knitting with it!

This yarn makes me wax poetic!

For my future reference:
My Kauni came in small balls, which apparently has changed. Their other colorways still come in the larger balls, but Rainbow EQ only comes smaller. The bummer is, I cannot see the progression of color on the small balls, and the order in which colors change. So, by looking at other people's photos of their WIPs and large balls of Rainbow colorway, I can see the stripe progression will go like this: ROYGBIV.

Common sense rules the day ;0)

Something else I need to show you: I had to buy this book at Barnes & Noble the other day. It made me laugh (and I am such a cookbook collector, this came home with me):

Yes, it is the Twinkies cookbook. You can COOK with Twinkies! Whodathunk?!

Look at the Twinkie wedding cake, haa haa haaaaa:

And Twinkie sushi is a scream:

I love this book!

I have pics of the Dulaan scarf progress, but will upload them later. Have a nice Sunday, everybody!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Summer or Fall?

Well, it's 88 degrees today, in OCTOBER in the great lakes. What's wrong with this picture?! Usually we are bundling up, picking apples, raking leaves and beginning to batten down the hatches for winter! Now, we are wearing shorts and hanging out in the yard or the air conditioning when it becomes too muggy to stay out. Crazy mixed up weather.

I admire this sweater, for the shape, the name, the cables of interesting shape:

It's the Swedish Thora from this book: