A little bit of everything.

January 31, 2008

Project status time!

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Foody Friday

January 30, 2008

Okay, so it’s not Friday, but this post was meant for last Friday before the day got away from me, and we’ve been out of town since. A long knitting post to follow sometime today or tomorrow.

I did a lot of cooking last week. A lot. Mostly on Tuesday. After a night of insomnia. Manic much?

Our local co-op usually has really cheap bunches of a-bit-too-ripe organic bananas. But usually there are maybe 2 or 3 or 4 in a pack, and usually just one or two packs. When we went on Sunday they had a five pound pack. For less than $1.50. See?

What does that mean? Banana bread! I used way more than a cup of bananas, so I used a half cup milk instead of ¾ cup. Normally, I’d have used less, but I traded half the white flour (with germ) for whole wheat flour, which usually needs a little help in the moisture department. I usually use walnuts, but all I could find in the bulk bins was pecans (as walnuts are out of season), which work just as well for me.

All in all it turned out wonderful. I’m still getting that line of overdoneness on everything I make in that loaf pan, which is frustrating. I’d consider it time for a new loaf pan, except I’m trying to not buy anything except yarn until we figure out our housing situation. The less stuff to move, the better.

Okay so five pounds is too much for banana bread, so I ate a couple that really weren’t too ripe, and the rest went in a ziploc and into the freezer for smoothies.

Next up was pizza dough. Which came out funky for some reason. Perfectly edible, even yummy, but still, more dense than normal. Maybe because the flour had wheat germ in it? Or maybe because I had to skimp out on a bit of the yeast.

Meanwhile, I also made potato soup, and our creamy penne. Oh, and ranch, of course. I’d meant to make it two weeks ago, as we’d run out of the last time I made it by then, but totally forgot to buy buttermilk somehow, so we just used prepackaged the past two weeks.

I really like getting a lot of cooking done at once. I know I have nutritious things to eat that aren’t any real work once they’re made. And I only have to clean up the work areas once. And less cleaning means more knitting!

Anyway, Wednesday I redid the pretzels again using this recipe. The one — one — I rolled to the proper size came out perfect. The others looked too small so I didn’t roll them as thin, forgetting how much they puff up in the boiling, and they turned out gooey in the end. Yummy, but still not perfect. I was so afraid when I took them out of the oven that they were burned, but the color difference was just the whole wheat flour (50/50 mix with all-purpose, decreasing flour by .25 cups). So hopefully using that recipe with the flour adjustments and rolling them out to the right size will be the key and I can move on to biscuits.

I may have cooked something Thursday but if I did I completely don’t remember. And Friday until now we’ve been on the road…. where we ate a lot of yummies, but I didn’t make a bit of it.


January 19, 2008

Sue got her socks and………. they didn’t fit. Le sigh. I wrote to ask her if she liked getting handmade things (I didn’t ask her before because I wanted it to be a surprise), and if she writes back yes, I will make her another pair, in proper sock yarn (or maybe the suggested Baby Cashmerino — anyone know if it’s really washable? Or more like Rowan 4-ply that will “slightly” felt?), on bigger needles and figure if it doesn’t fit my foot, it won’t fit hers and reknit the blasted thing. We do wear the same size shoes, after all. I had to laugh because she was blaming her fat feet the same way I blamed mine. No — I just knit them wrong. Ah well, at least she thought they were pretty. I suggested they become oddly shaped potpourri bags. She suggested framing. Isn’t family wonderful?

I’m still inching along on the blankie and the shawl, though I shouldn’t really say inching for the lapghan, since it is actually moving very fast. I’ll probably finish up with the second ball of Light ‘N Lofty today, and have to get more from Jo-Ann tomorrow to finish it off in the next few days.

I spent one day this week on dishcloth/washcloth stuff. I started reading a huge thread on Ravelry about “why dishcloths?” and it just really got me lusting after some dishcloths for us. Add that to where I’d been planning for a while to make washcloths for gifts to go with some local handmade soap/bath goodies (late Christmas, anyone?), and it turned into a cotton day. I knit up two dishcloths for us in Bernat organic cotton, and then tried to make the flower washcloth from the Weekend Knitting. Doesn’t (or didn’t for me) work in regular cotton. I knit it twice, and ripped it twice. I might try it again in the cotton chenille, but the truth is — I hated knitting the thing. I will probably just stick to my feather and fan stitch cloths with their special scrubbing power (garter ridges ftw!) for people washing, though I want to try the Mason-Dixon Ballband cloths for dishes (and as a spare omop pad) soonish.

However, do you see how beautiful the pakucho is? Yummmm.

That day I also disassembled the bath puff I crocheted myself over a year ago. It was time for it to die, but I, sadly, can’t ever seem to just throw crap away, so I ripped it and turned it into two very ragged looking plain, boring, stockinette cloths to wash and dry our yuckiest, germiest surface dirt.

What I did not get done was the gift cloths. Oops. Today. Maybe.

I haven’t been baking much. I really need to get back to the pretzels, but the energy just isn’t there for me right now. I have been working on a multi-grain bread, one grain at a time. Right now I have white flour, whole wheat flour, and flax. Shawn said it came out too bitter for him, but I thought it was really good. Oh, well. I do think I might want to add a touch of (brown) sugar (or perhaps honey or molasses?) as I keep adding grains. Though maybe not until I get farther down the list. Next up is oats. I picked oats and flax first because, well, they’re a couple of my favorite grains (okay, so flax is technically a seed, but wev), both in taste and what I need nutritionally.

Hopefully I’ll have a blankie FO and cloth FOs to post pictures of soon.

I’m sorry, I’m crazy.

January 13, 2008

Okie, just a little crazy.

I went back for the 50% off at The Yarn Gallery. I went a little nuts. Not as nuts as some other people. Just the… someone asking me if I was making an afghan sort of nuts.

That’s 4 skeins each of Cascade 220 in purple and green for matching something for me & Winter (hers purple, mine green). 2 skeins of Pakucho organic cotton (that if I adore I can get from Elann cheap). 2 skeins of Mission Falls 1824 cotton. 2 skeins of Regia Bamboo sock yarn. And 160 yards of Reynolds Soft Sea Wool just because it’s the prettiest color ever and so soft I could cry. Seriously, it’s that shade just between dark blue and green where you can’t really tell which it is. Love, love, love. I’m tempted to snuggle the whole stack of it as if I bought a sheep, which I partly feel I did.

A dent has definitely been made in their stock since I was last there, but there was still tons of stuff left. I had to put back some gorgeous Artyarns Ultramerino because it fell out of my budget.

So, yeah, that thing about working through my stash? Hahahaha.

Sadly, all that and I didn’t get the one skein of yarn I actually went out for — Lion Wool in Deep Teal. I need it to finish Fuzzle’s Pi but our Jo-Ann doesn’t carry it and Michaels is sans ad (and coupon) this week. Guess that’s on hold until next Sunday. Gah.

K to end.

January 10, 2008

Finding projects suitable for my mom isn’t easy. She’s strictly a wash and wear sort of girl, but at the same time, I tend to want to make her things that are, well, girly. Elegant, frilly, lacy. Unfortunately, the wash and wear fibers that I know of (acrylic, cotton, superwash) are not particularly blockable. As is, I crocheted her present for Christmas of 2006 out of wool before I realized you couldn’t wash wool (don’t laugh — I’m from Florida. Sweaters in anything but cotton aren’t exactly common here).

But! But! Over the past week I’ve found two projects that actually I think will love acrylic, and what’s more, acrylic I already have laying around. One is stockinette mixed with garter, the other is garter stitch for miles, and the third project I’m mainly working on is stockinette in the round. After all the bloody cables lately on top of getting sick again, I don’t actually mind. I actually couldn’t knit at all a couple days ago, and it was miserable.

Anyhow, project uno is the Fluffy Lap Blanket (by Nicky Epstein) from Weekend Knitting in Red Heart Light & Lofty in Antique Rose and Red Heart Soft in white.

The second is the Simple Garter Stitch Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls (yay, library) using Red Heart Soft in off white:

The stockinette in the round is continuing on the Kitty Pi. Shawn actually went out and got me the yarn for the next color (I’m using three separate colors of Lion Wool, one variegated, two solids). Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

And here’s a (semi-blurry) picture of the finished Greenery Hat (this thing refuses to be properly photographed):

And the FO of the week (as if there were one every week — ha!), the Spindle Socks for my aunt:

Note that I don’t think Rowan 4-ply makes very good sock yarn. I could be wrong, it could be my gauge, and I haven’t actually knit any “real” sock yarn yet (yeah, that resolve to knit for myself is working out real well so far). But this stuff seems to have zero stretch at all. Since the socks fit on the medium blockers, I’m relatively sure they’ll fit my aunt’s feet. But they so weren’t going over mine with my fat foot tops.

I actually have a couple other things on needles or planned (socks and scarf for Shawn, gloves for … someone, a dishtowel, some rags, etc), besides the tank, but they’re all little or put off for a little bit while I try and finish up this stuff.

I’m never getting through my queue, but least it looks like I might be able to clear my stash.


January 4, 2008

I made brownies, and more brownies, and really, a lot of brownies. Same recipe I’ve been using for forever for brownies, but suddenly Shawn likes it. Don’t. ask. me.

Mostly we’ve been just doing typical dinners. Tacos, chicken Stromboli, pizza, pasta, chicken soup, etc. Nothing frozen, but nothing bake-ish or complex, either. We’ve both been sick, so I even just caved and bought pizza dough from the deli. I need to get moving on the next batch of pretzels.

The only other thing that comes to mind is my aunt sent us the coolest thing ever: measuring bowls. And a gorgeous wooden mortar & pestle that I used last night to grind up some parsley for garlic salt (along with fresh ground sea salt and garlic granules from the bulk bins at Nature’s Food Patch). Hopefully I’ll be well enough this week to do some baking and pass along the pictures.

I did get Shawn’s Greenery Hat done this week, though, and my sock blocker came from The Loopy Ewe. I’m in love with both.


January 4, 2008

I got the api approval for the Rav bar widget! And then spent all night configuring it. There’s a reason I’m using WordPress for a knitting blog — I’m so far removed from design these days that I can’t remember how to do it. Anyway, you can’t use it here (yet), so I put it on that other blog for now, mostly using ESC’s code to mod it so far. I may steal other parts from other people later.

Oh, you can hear the cackling all the way from here, can you?

Sorry ’bout that.

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I’ve given up the Cherie. I keep making bits of progress on the miles and miles of ribbing here and there but the yarn and the project just don’t mix. It’s so heavy at this point it feels like I’m knitting chainmail and I’ve still got yet more ribbing, the bodice and sleeves to go. I have a pretty good idea what all that weight is going to do to the drape of the thing, much less my desire to wear something that weighs a gazillion pounds. If I want weights for walking, I’ll buy them, thanks.

Soooooooooo… I have… over 1000 yards of a green cotton/modal yarn (or will once I frog the half that’s been used), that feels like butter, but fuzzes like all get out and is heavy as hell.

I had originally pondered the Corset Tank which is gorgeous but maybe too difficult and as likely to show off my flaws as my assets. And I kinda can’t help but picture in pink, not green.

So I went through my queue and saw The Hemlock Ring Blanket. I need a couch blankie, that one is beautiful, and I love cotton blankets. But the green goes with nothing, and I think that sort of blanket really needs something more dignified than the cheery green. Not to mention that I’m cringing at the thought of the fuzz all over the place.

And then I started flipping through the IKs I bought the other day, and found the Ribs and Lace Tank by Jodi Green, which, I have to say, looks pretty ideal for both the yarn and my body. I’m really excited, actually. The pattern doesn’t go up to my size, so it’ll involve a bit of math, but that doesn’t really bother me.

I haven’t cast on yet. I’m working on some stuff for Shawn first. But hopefully this project will work and I won’t have to just cry and rip out another half-done (or more) project and use the yarn for charity or gifts.