Posted in Current Projects

Organizing and Sock Progress

Happy (one day late) Thanksgiving to all those in the US! I had a good time visiting with family and eating delicious food yesterday. It was a long tiring day, but a good one. Matt and I first went to his family’s get together. We brought pecan pie and mac & cheese that I made. There was a ton of great food and I had a really good time! After that, he went to his dad’s and I headed to my family’s house. We had a really nice dinner and I got there just in time, bringing pumpkin pie (which I made) and cool whip with me. Everyone was nice and I was glad I decided to go. I should have taken pictures of the pies and the mac & cheese, but I didn’t think about it until it was too late. Ah well, I’ll share pictures of pie the next time I make some. The pecan pie came out pretty good. I think it might have needed another 5 to 10 minutes in the oven because it was just a tad runny in the center. Still was delicious, but now I know for next time!

About two weeks ago now, I went to Outdoor World (aka Bass Pro Shop) to pick up two items that I’ve been wanting and needing. Now, none of these items were to be used for any type of outdoors thing, which I thought was amusing as I was going through the store, finding my things and checking out.

The first thing I picked up was a Extreme Finesse Binder:

Front:
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Back:
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I’m sure you’re wondering what I could be doing with this, right? Well last year when I went to Knitter’s Connection (2007), I saw a lady who had one of these. She said her husband had found it for her and said it would be great for her knitting needles! So she showed me everything she stored inside. I thought this was a GREAT idea, so I needed to get one myself! I found one at Outdoor World not long after Knitter’s Connection, but I didn’t have the money for it at the time. I thought the bigger one was what I wanted, but when I went back, I found that the medium sized one would be perfect. So two weeks ago, I finally got my butt over there and purchased the binder along with some extra refill sheets so that I could fit all my circulars and all my DPN’s.

Here’s the inside:
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I accidentally got the wrong size fillers, so I need to go back and get the right size ones. The DPN’s are the only thing that I don’t have in the plastic things.

The other thing I purchased was two ammo boxes (.44 if you’re curious). Mostly I just went through and looked at them until I found one that worked well for what I needed then purchased two.

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Since I don’t own a gun, I’m sure you’re wondering what’s in them if bullets aren’t.

SNIFFIES!

Perfume Oil Storage

Miss Violet (from the Lime & Violet podcast) gave the idea to me on the Ravelry forum for her sniffies/soap site – Happy Housewife Soaps and Sundries. I’m part of the Cupcake Club and I recently bought some of the sniffies Miss Violet no longer wanted, so my collection of little sniffy bottles has grown and will keep growing for at least a few more months. I really needed a better way to store them and this is perfect!

While I was at the mall (that’s where Outdoor World is), I went by Kohl’s to get Matt a new belt (I did, but had to return them as they were the wrong size). While I was there I found these cute see-through shoes on clearance. I thought these would be perfect to wear my hand knit socks with to show them off. I’m not 100% sure I like them, but I haven’t worn them anywhere besides the house yet. They are tinted a very light pink.

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~~~~~

Yesterday I was able to finish up the first sock of the test knit I’m working on. It looks really good, if I don’t say so myself! I’ve received a number of compliments on it already. I think the second one should go much faster now that the kinks have been worked out. I love, love, love this sock! I’ll be sure to let you know when the pattern is available so you can make a pair yourself :o)

Front:
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Back:
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Posted in Current Projects

Test Knitting Socks

I’ve been working on a test knit pattern for Julia Riede – a pair of socks that are coming out quite lovely! I’ve been meaning to blog about them, but I’ve been busy knitting and each time I wanted to talk about them, I didn’t have an up-to-date photo to share. I’m nearing the finish of the first sock and I’ve received a lot of compliments from people – knitters and non-knitters alike! I haven’t had Matt take photos of the sock in progress yet, so these are the best I could do with my little HP that likes to hate me (seriously, I need a new point and shoot camera) and the lack of natural light since it’s been overcast lately and I get home after it’s pitch black out. Ahem… anyhow… photos!

Front:
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Back:
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I am really loving these socks! The yarn is fantastic to work with (silk, cashmere, wool blend) and I really like the lace pattern. The calf shaping is really nice and I’m loving watching the pattern develop. I’ve only done a little knitting where I didn’t know what the finished item would look like, so it’s really interesting to see the sock taking shape. So far it’s been great working with Julia and the socks are turning out to be gorgeous. I’m anxious to get them finished so Matt can take some nice photos!

Posted in Current Projects

The Gable Sweater

I’ve still got a lot of things I want to talk about (at least it feels like it), so today I’ll talk about my Gable sweater.

*sigh*

I’m not entirely sure where to begin on this. Everything was smooth sailing until I got to the yoke and then the neck shaping. I had to make up a lot of it because the pattern was either wrong, didn’t explain something fully, or looked nothing like the original. I was both frustrated and sad about the whole thing. When I went on vacation I intentionally left it home because it got too heavy for me to want to carry around anywhere and because I was feeling at my wits end with the damn thing after all the issues I encountered. I needed a break from it and I was glad to have it. When I took the break, I was just past the neck shaping.

When I got back from vacation, I was feeling like the thing might be too long for me, so I tried it on. This is what I saw in the mirror:

Time to rip

Insert swearing here.

It’s too long. It comes past my butt and down my thigh 2″. If I were tall, I’m sure it would look fine, but at 5’4″ it’s just not working. I think it makes me look shorter (and in this particular picture, plumper!). I had made the decision to add an extra repeat to the body because it looked too short. Everything was fine with the extra repeat being there until I added the yoke. What I failed to consider when I added the extra repeat was the weight of such a bulky sweater. The weigh pulls the sweater down! As soon as I put it on I knew the extra repeat would have to be taken out if I’d ever wear this sweater. I could just finish it, but why finish something you won’t ever wear? I’d rather do the yoke and neck shaping over and have something I want to wear when I’m done.

The up side to having done the yoke and neck shaping already is that I took a lot of notes on how to “fix” it. I even have another change I want to make. I think that in the end, I’ll be happy with the sweater, but first I need to rip back down to the body and take out that extra repeat. I don’t have my notes in front of me, but I will blog my changes/fixes once I’m done with the sweater (or if you want them, you can email me or leave a comment and I can get them to you). That may be a while, though, because I’m currently working on a test knit that is taking up most of my knitting time right now. I really love how it’s turning out, though! More on that in the next post :o)

Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking

Back from Vacation with a FO

Vacation came and went. It was fantastic, though! Great food, did some sight seeing, and enjoyed each others company. Still waiting on Matt to upload the pictures he took so I can share them with you. We did a cooking class while we were there at Charleston Cooks, which is right across the street from the hotel we stayed at. It was a “Weeknight Dinners” class where they teach you new and quick things to make for dinner. It was a great class and really renewed my desire to get in the kitchen and create again. I also discovered that I like salmon! I had tried salmon previously and didn’t care for it because I found it too fishy tasting, but in the class we broiled it with sour cream and whole grain mustard on top and then toped it with a tomato butter sauce. It was so yummy! The first thing I wanted to make when we returned home was the salmon dish and it was really good! It only takes about 5 to 8 minutes to broil on high and while it’s in there you’re finishing off your sauce. I want to make this again really soon. We also did this marinated pork dish, which was tasty, but the best part was the instant marinater used! It’s a plastic container that has a little hole in the top with a pump you put over it and you suck all the air out. When you release the air, the meat sucks up the marinade. Each time you pump out all the air, it’s like marinating for an hour. Needless to say, we brought one home with us!

Here’s all the loot we brought home after the cooking class:

New Cooking Toys 1
Click here for the Flickr photo with notes on what we purchased.

Here’s a close up of the two tools I’ve used the most since coming back:

New Cooking Toys 2
Grater (for garlic!) and garlic peeler. LOVE these!

A better picture of the instant marinater:

Instant Marinater

We haven’t used the marinater yet, but soon enough! My big purchase while there was when we went to the Le Creuset outlet store. I have wanted to own anything from Le Creuset for a long time and I finally got my chance to get something. I decided on a wok. An orange one. I got it at quite a discount, too :o)

Le Creuset Wok
My prrreeecccciiiioooouuusssss….

I did manage to get quite a bit of knitting done on the way down and way home since we drove. I finished a hat and got half-way done with a sock. While we were there I didn’t do much knitting other than when we watch the election coverage on the 4th. The hat I did was done in a few hours on the way home and I made it to donate.

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Pattern: Beaufort Hat by Angela Hahn (Ravelry link – only available as a Ravelry download)
Started: November 8, 2008
Completed: November 8, 2008
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, about 1/2 skein
Needles: US 6 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: Quick knit, easy pattern to memorize for me. I cast on 96 stitches since I was working with different yarn and needle size. The extra repeat (12 stitches) made it the perfect size. I think it was a bit on the short side so if I were to knit this again with the same yarn, I’d and an extra inch or two before working the decreases (it decreases rather quickly!).

That’s all I have for now. I have some other projects I want to post about, but that would make for an even longer post! In my next post I’ll tell you about two socks I’m working on, revisit the Gable sweater, and the mittens I just started. Plus whatever else I might have on my mind ;o)