Monday, December 31, 2007

Naughty new year

Aaah, the weekend before the New Year holiday.

I decided the weekend offered a chance to look at how I've spent my down time since the wedding. Sure, I've tried to organize the apartment and to attack what will be my craft room. I've made progress, but I'm still finding it all so overwhelming.

I could have gone to the back room and organized boxes and put stamps on the shelf, but I decided instead that I'd start a knitting project. I grabbed my needles and some super soft and stretchy purple yarn that I got on the trip with Cindy, NolaMom and Tracy earlier in the year to see the Yarn Harlot. I did about two, maybe three inches. Not a great start, but hey! I was knitting. I felt yarn through my fingers. I was crafting!

But I got sleepy.

So I went to bed.

This is what I woke up to.

Yarn. Over my pants I threw at the laundry basket in my bedroom (I missed.).

So, I followed the string.

Here's a big clump outside of my bedroom. Yes, out the door and around the corner.

And then I found one needle. And then the other.

And last, but not least, I found the guilty one. Grande, my new kitty. Doesn't she look guilty?

So much for knitting progress. But I have learned a valuable lesson. With kittens in the house, it is very, very important to put away all knitting projects.
By the way, Grande does have a sister, who was sleeping with me in the other room while Grande did her thing with my yarn. Here's Mocha and Santa.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Baring it all, plus a dishrag

I finished Carey's alpaca socks. They turned out very nice, if I do say so myself. They would have been done even sooner, had I not been trying to prove to Alex I am smarter than he is on Brain Age. It is addicting. And yes, he is smarter than me, for now.

Anyhow, the socks are the diagonal cross-rib socks from Favorite Socks. Great book. The pattern was fine, looks good, but it got a little boring at the end. The yarn is an alpaca blend sock yarn I purchased at Imagiknit in SF. I lost the tag to further identify it.

Look what I got in the mail! More Christmas goodies!

I am having trouble deciding what to do next. I think I am going to finish my Twisted Flower Socks to get that UFO off my Ravelry page. It is nagging me, can you hear it too?

I am also in a year in review kind of mode. I thought I should get my act together during the Christmas break and organize my yarn. It is in various places throughout the house, including many, many knitting bags which are like little snapshots in time. You don't want to know how many knitting bags I keep. Won't tell ya.

However, in the interest of full disclosure, I took this photo. Brace yourself.

This is the extent of it, except for maybe one knitting tote which may have a skein or two.

Now I do not plan on declaring a "knit from stash" kind of New Year's Resolution. I could not stick to that because I am going to Stitches in February and I like buying yarn. Sorry. I do. But I do plan being VERY choosy when contemplating a yarn purchase, meaning no more silly yarn or ordinary yarn unless there is a concrete project it is for. And I will try very hard to use yarn I already have when starting a new project. That should be easy because I have lots of good stuff.

I need to knit faster.

I ran across a lot of cotton from my crochet phase (lasted a month or two). I have never made a dishcloth that seems to be very popular, so I thought I would give my new rosewood needles a spin and I cranked out one today. Fun. Didn't use up much of the cotton stash. But I have a new dishcloth! I may also check out the market bag pattern I think is in the No Sheep for You book, or somewhere like that. Maybe it is destined to be a whole supply of market bags to help this family go green. Maybe.

Next post: Year in Review

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nolamom got the Hemlock Ring Blanket

Which is not really blanket-like, full of holes and kind of smallish. More like table topper thing. But it is beautiful!

Gary liked his fingerless mitts and they fit fine.

Carey got a sock. Yes, one sock. And then she had to give it back so I could make the second one look like the first. True sister love when she didn't even bat an eye. Photos when they are done, which should be in a day or two. I have to quit the after Christmas shopping and dishes marathon for much knitting to happen.

Cindy got lots of knitting books, some fine sock yarn, and some beautiful rosewood needles. And a hint that something is backordered. Hmmm, what could Knitpicks have that is on back order? I'm hoping it is a harmonious little shipment....

What to knit next?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Actual Knitting Content

Yes, it is true. I have been knitting, and therefore neglecting the computer, and most definitely neglecting the photographing of the knitting.

But, it is a rainy day and things are starting to come together for these few things I am doing for Christmas. I don't have time these days to knit everything I want to for gifts, so I chose a few select smaller items.

First, for Gary, some Dashing fingerless mittens. Don't know if he will really want them, but he can always give them to Carey. Or just pretend. I'll never know. They were fun to knit. And they fit me really better than the ones I made myself last year.

Then, for Lisa, the black hat for her trip to England. She has promised to photograph it in a very cool location for blog purposes, but for now we will see it displayed on Alex's head. Sorry Lisa, but he did wash his hair this morning! As you can see, it is another Koolhaas Jared hat. Go Jared! Create more hats! Love them! I am a little tired of the crisscrossing thing though, since I did it about 3 billion times with black yarn, but that feeling will be a distant memory soon.

Now, there are a few more things on the horizon that I have not posted here yet, but will post some of them to ravelry. Sneaky that ravelry thing, being in beta and therefore easy to hide photos of presents from those not on ravelry. Anyway, if you want to see them, I'm yarnpaperscissor.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Recipe for Lisa

Here is the recipe for my cookies I made for the Good Things Cookie Exchange.

Cranberry Crackle Bars
By Cindy

6 cups tiny pretzel twists
2 T. packed brown sugar
½ c. butter, melted
2 c. dried cranberries
2 c. salted mixed nuts, coarsely chopped
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. butter
2/3 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a jelly roll pan with Pam. Combine pretzels, brown sugar and melted butter in food processor, pulse until mixture resembles crumbs. Press into pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle cranberries, nuts, and chips over crust.
Combine granulated sugar, butter, and corn syrup in saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly (this will take 5-10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour syrup evenly over cranberry nut layer.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until syrup is bubbly over entire surface. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 60.
Store in airtight container. Can be frozen.
This is a modified recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookie Magazine from this year. I doubled the amount of syrup, chopped up the nuts, and made it in a bigger pan to make a thinner crust layer.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I smell a monkey!

A Christmas pair of monkeys no less!

Monkey socks made with French 75 yarn (local goodness) and started on Thanksgiving Day. I finished them and wore them last night to the Good Things cookie/gift exchange night.

Carey will have to blog that event. I didn't have my camera. It was lovely, as always, and everyone did a great job with their cookies! I made cranberry crackle bars and they turned out good too, but I gave away every last one of them so I am feeling the need to make more. Maybe I will take them to work. My friend Isabel has been hinting for me to bring her some goodies.

Onward to the rest of Christmas knitting.

I am still trying to recover from the trama of jury duty. I was an alternate, so I sat through the entire trial (until 5:00 on the dot on Friday afternoon) and then was released pending a "real" juror getting sick, etc, by Monday. That didn't happen, but neither did I get to hear how the whole thing ended up. Talk about a waste of valuable time. At least I know I did my job as a citizen of this fine country and set a good example for my children by not trying to "get out of it."

I did finish "The Alchemist" by Coelho. Emily had to read that for school this fall and I must say it was a nice little book. I have been going through the shelves of the library at school and I am getting the urge to reread lots of books from my childhood.

That would seriously cut into my knitting time.