Friday, December 31, 2004

waddle, waddle, waddle into the new year!

One of the last minute knitted gifts that I can finally proudly show off was a pair of Pashas! Each knit for a small child, who I hope enjoys Pasha as much as I did...Truly a fun knit, even with the seaming!

With that, the old year closes and we get ready to welcome in the new.

Happy New Year everyone! May it be healthy, happy and prosperous!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

mmmmm....bread for breakfast!

A little bit of post holiday baking to tidy up the kitchen resulted in a loaf of banana chocolate chip bread (lower loaf) and a loaf of Friendship Pudding Bread. The banana bread tends to make an appearance whenever I have bananas that I don't manage to eat before they get mottled....and every now and again, I mix up a bowl of starter and that fuels several weeks of baking before I get tired of feeding it (or it dies...I hate it when my starter dies!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I'm on a Yarn Diet. Really.

Well, before the New Year hits and before I get underway with my "normal" resolutions, I figure I should go on a self imposed yarn diet. I'm currently trying to decide how small I should diminish my stash to in order to lift the diet, and I'm currently thinking that I should be able store all of my yarn (plus any new purchases) inside my Trofast storage system. Now, you might think this is plenty of space, but I've only dedicated the tallest section to yarn storage - I've got one (14 1/2") deep bin, a medium (9") bin and a shallow (4") bin that I use for yarn storage (and believe me, it's not enough space - my Ribby Yarn is still in its shipping box, I've got another box full of Berrocco Uxbridge Tweed, and then there's my Baby Alpaca and my Hand Dyed and Hand Spun Hug A Sheep wool amongst others that are all hiding in the closet). I've installed shelves in the Center Section and the shortest section and could probably use up some of those spaces for yarn storage, but for now, I use them for my knitting books and some of my finished objects. On the top of the storage system, I've got my various needles and other knitting notions, along with my Pattern book. This Yarn Diet thing is already proving to be a challenge, as I received the Elann newsletter today, and found some fantastic deals! Oh well. Must be strong. Must get thru the knitting queue (ridiculously long). Must not stash more yarn in random places. Please tell me, this gets easier over time, right?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A myriad of mice!

Amongst the holiday gifting was a herd of various knit catnip mice for many of the people I know with cats. Rumor has it that they are all great hits! To the left are just three mice; I've knit numerous others of other designs, but I failed to snap photos of them before shipping them off. In addition to catnip mice, the holiday knits included several scarves (sorry, the photos never did come out right). Next year, I'll have to get into my holiday knitting earlier :D Who knows what the theme will be. There are some other knitted gifts that went out for the holidays, but I can't post the photos yet since I can't confirm their receipt and I don't want to ruin the surprise!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

mmm...Harry and David Holiday Goodies!

isn't Troy handsome with his Harry and David bow?
He sure thinks so!

It's a Holiday Tradition, fruit and fruit galettes from Harry and David. Thank you, Aunt M! This year the galettes came wrapped with a bow, which I put on the cat, and he handsomely modeled it for us. Doesn't he look festive (if not a little bit wired)?

I've actually tried baking galettes before, and have come pretty close with an almond flavored butter/sugar cookie creation - smeared with jam or lemon curd, they're absolutely divine. I'll have to see about baking some for posting! As for the fruit, it's been safely stored away for munching during the holiday weekend. Tasty! And a welcome departure from the overabundance of baked goods. Is it just me, or does anyone else go into pastry overload and start craving fresh fruits instead? Ah well. I call it self-preservation of the waistline :)

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Emergency Content Filler!

Quick! What's a blogger to do when she can't come up with content for the day's entry??

Why...turn to Blogthings of course! Not only does it provide blog content, but it provides amusement for the blogger in question :D And without further ado, here's the semi-auto generated content for today!

Your Christmas is Most Like: The Muppet Christmas Carol

You tend to reflect on Christmas past, present, and future...And you also do a little bit of singing.

You are Socks**!
Cozy and warm...but easily lost.
You make a good puppet.

**Hey now - in all fairness, socks - especially of the plushy hand-knit variety - do not qualify as a crappy gift - at least not in my book!

You were Nice This Year!

You're an uber-perfect person who is on the top of Santa's list. You probably didn't even *think* any naughty thouts this year. Unless you're a Mormon, you've probably been a little too good. Is that extra candy cane worth being a sweetheart for 365 days straight?

Monday, December 20, 2004

Must Journey for Yarn

Why is it that yarn shops have to be so far away? This is probably a good thing, since the closer I am to a yarn shop, the easier it is to go inside and pet the yarn...and find yarn that I absolutely *must* have....Witness Exhibit A on the left - a trip up to Jessica Knits with Amy resulted in a small herd of Baby Alpaca Brush by Plymouth Yarn Co. following me home. I think I'll make a sweater found in the first Stitch n Bitch book. Unfortunately, the name of the sweater doesn't come immediately to mind, and my book is at home, and not on hand for reference!

Speaking of Amy, she's so thoughtful, she had a holiday surprise for me - the new Stitch n Bitch book and a ball of Oasis Soysilk yarn! She definitely knows me too well - I'm on a self imposed book diet (that really ought to be coupled with a yarn diet at the rate I'm going). My rule for now is if I see a book I want, I can't buy it immediately - I have to sit and think about it and see if I really want it or not. This usually works, as I'm far far far behind in my reading, and I've got more than enough projects in my queue to last me well into next year! Don't believe me? Well, I've created a companion blog, Half Baked Objects (also accessible via my sidebar - listed in the Archives section) that has all of my finished works compiled...well, mostly all except for the holiday ones which will be posted after the holidays so I don't ruin any surprises. Included on that blog's sidebar is a partial listing of my project queue - which is definitely as out of control as my yarn stash.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Friday's here!

Yeah. It's been one of those kinds of weeks. Thank goodness it's Friday! Time to tuck in and get some good lazing in along with some last minute holiday knitting and perhaps yet another round of baking. No, I don't have any potlucks or holiday parties to bake for. Baking just for bakings sake. I don't know what it is about baking, but I find it immensely soothing. And every once in a while, I get it in my head to do some elaborate decorative baking. The thought crosses my mind every once in a while that I shoulda been a pastry chef. And yes, you read that right, the holiday knitting list just got reopened with a couple last minute requests. What's in store?'ll just have to wait and see...can't have the holiday surprises ruined, now can I? :D

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Can you guess what's inside?

The cookies I brought to the Cookie Exchange are dubbed "Mystery Ingredient* Cookies". The way it works is if ever you bake these to give away, don't tell what the Mystery Ingredient is - see if people can guess...I remember the first time I had them, I found them most delicious and quite addictive...and I had a heck of a time figuring out what the mystery ingredient was. These cookies are very tasty - light (in texture - not light in calories!), crispy and buttery good. They're something between a shortbread and a sugar cookie...

Some tips and comments before I post the recipe:
  1. I use a food processor to make crumbs of the mystery ingredient
  2. These cookies do suffer "spread" problems - I found rolling the dough into cylinders and storing in the freezer worked well - When ready to bake, I take a frozen roll out, slice it up and put the cookies in the oven with the dough still frozen. I also tend to bake for less time than called for in the recipe.
  3. Almond Extract makes for a nice variation in place of the Vanilla.

Now then. The cookies are as follows:

Mystery Ingredient* Cookies

1 pound Butter, softened to room temperature
(that's right folks, we start these out right with a full pound of sweet cream butter!)
1 cup Granulated Sugar
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups crushed mystery ingredient*
(worry not, it will be revealed in good time)
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Powdered/Confectioner's Sugar for garnish

Cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and stir until combined. Add flour, then crushed mystery ingredient*, mix just until combined. Shape dough into small balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly (with a fork dipped in cold water, or your palm or other mushing device of your choice - I prefer to skip this step and I also recommend chilling the dough to set it up a bit). Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 20 minutes (I've gone as low as 10 minutes for bake time on these cookies - be sure to keep an eye on em!). You'll want to watch them closely in the oven, as they burn easily. The cookie should just start to turn golden around the edges and the top should still be light colored when they’re finished. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan until set, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. When cooled, sift powdered sugar over cookies - if you want em really fancy, do your sifting over a stencil. Store in an airtight container, with layers of waxed paper or foil between layers of cookies.

Yield: Approximately 7-8 dozen small cookies

*Mystery Ingredient: give up yet? It's Potato Chips! Incidentally, to get 2 cups of crushed potato chips, it's a good portion of a large bag of chips from the store - I have been using Lay's Deli-style chips for my cookies....just make sure you don't use any of the flavored varieties!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Midweek Slump

*sigh* it's the middle of the week and I just feel like flopping down on the floor for a nice rest. I'm not sure if this is my seasonal slump or if it's pre-holiday burnout. I've gotten pretty much all of my holiday things done - a goodly portion of baking (sorry, lighting was just dreadful for photos!), holiday cards, and gifts galore. There are a few more things to tie up, but I'm pretty confident that things will come together as they should. Cookie Exchange tonight. Can't wait....mmmm baked goods! My recipe (sans photo) will be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

On Fiber and Fabric

One thing, for certain, is that the Portland area has way more than its fair share of fine fiber shops. The three I've been to have a fine selection and array of yarns, and even more tempting is the fact that Oregon has no sales tax...Alas, my stash is already out of control, and due to limited luggage space and an urge to try to make an attempt and not get too far behind in my knitting projects, I made a heroic attempt at not making too many additions.

For example, here is a photo - and a not too flattering one at that - of Cozy. For some reason the color isn't coming out right - she's dark green in color, knit out of Wool Ease. Poor thing has been stuck on needles since September if I recall correctly, and she's been frogged out at least twice. The good news is I'm getting accustomed to the pattern, so I can work on her more frequently - but I still limit myself to Cozy work when I can set aside enough time to complete a full pattern repeat - which, for me, takes about an hour. I do like working on her, as the yarn is pleasant to touch and the fabric is coming off very nicely. Perhaps now that I have all my holiday knitting done (at least all that I'm convinced I'll get done anyway!), I'll spend more time working on her...along with the other myriad of other projects I'd like to get underway.

Anyway, back to the eye candy - my fiber downfall was not to be had at the Yarn Garden or Lint - rather it was found sneakily hiding amongst the foodstuffs at the Farmers Market. What is it? Why it's hand painted hand spun and plied wool yarn from SuDan Farm. Hug a sheep :D I couldn't resist - now I have something on the order of 775 meters of yarn that is somewhere between sport and worsted weight...I'm thinking either Frolic or Shapely Tee. Thoughts? Frolic will require some math on my part, since the original yarn is Rowan 4-ply - a fingering weight cotton yarn. I know I was thinking of making the Shapely Tee out of that blue Beachcomber yarn I have sitting around, but this handspun yarn is so much more alluring.

And last, but not least, a trip to the Fabric Depot found me walking off with a yard of cat and mouse fabric and a fun retro-floral print. I'm thinking a lined square bottom handbag out of the Floral. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with the cat and mouse print, but I had to have it. I don't know what possessed me to buy the floral - it's got to be the most feminine fabric I've ever purchased. And it's got pink in it too! I'm typically drawn to blues and neutral tones. Perhaps it's all this knitting and other craftiness working its way into my mind. Ah well. It'll be nice to work with in any case :D

Monday, December 13, 2004

A vegetable that would do Fibonacci proud.

As I alluded in my previous post, my visit to the Portland Farmer's Market had me packing my bag with things that raised the eyebrows of the security officers at the airport. Nothing too strange...just some mighty fine produce.

When I saw the strange veggie to the left, I just had to have it. It's name? Romanesco. And it appeals to the nerd in me because all those cool florets are formed in fabulous fractal Fibonacci spirals. Incidentally, normal cauliflower also exhibits this type of pattern, though it is much more difficult to observe. This particular species of Cauliflower is from northern Italy (where many other good and tasty things are found) and it apparently has only a limited season - generally from September through November.

Also found and brought home from the farmers market were some glorious Chestnuts. I just love roasted chestnuts. The one I sampled while picking out my pound of tasties was nice and sweet and peeled amazingly easily - the vendor prepared his by pan roasting and finishing off either in the oven or on a lower heat on the stove top. I'll be giving that pan roasting method a try, as I usually roast mine in the oven, and no matter how carefully I cut little x's into my chestnuts, it seems I always don't cut one big enough and get a small chestnut explosion in the oven. In addition, mine seem much more difficult to peel when prepared this way when compared to the pan roasted ones at the market.

Other acquisitions at the market included a lamb sausage in a blanket and a tasty apple cobbler (for lunch) and a Chocolate Panini - which I brought home and had for breakfast.

And lest you all think I'm super strong and able to resist the lure of fiber, I did indeed bring some home...but you'll have to wait til tomorrow to see it :D

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Back from Portland!

First, I'd like to say a huge "thanks" to Raquel for bringing me hither and yon on my few brief moments after work while I was in Portland. Where did I go? Friday night, I had an opportunity to visit Yarn Garden, where I discovered the loveliness of many a fine yarn - especially Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Rowan Polar (amongst others) - I don't know if I should be proud or ashamed that I was resolute and didn't allow any to follow me home. Yarn fondling was followed by dinner at Lagniappe - where I had a most tasty repast of fried catfish and hush puppies.

Saturday morning, prior to escaping to the airport was spent by hitting the Winter Solstice Market - the last Portland Farmer's Market of the season...where a few odd items made their way into my carry on luggage. After the Farmers Market, we had a quick jaunt to Lint, where I fondled yet more yarn - Brown Sheep Burly Spun and Blue Sky Alpaca fibers. We topped off my luggage by making a visit to the most immense and well stocked Fabric Depot where I found some yardage I absolutely had to have.

Today was spent recovering from being off on business travel, putting the finishing touches on the holiday knitting I took on the plane, and other mundane things like frogging my Hug so I can begin anew and cranking out a little holiday baking. I'm sad to say I'm distressed at the recent demise of my cookie baller - but proud in a very sick nerdy way at how uniformly I can still crank out cookies using the two spoon method :D

Tune in this week for photos of recent acquisitions and some knitting in progress!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Interesting noises.

I love listening to sounds in the wilderness. One of my favorite things to listen to is the sound of birds flying. Birds make noise while they fly??! Why yes, yes they do. Ever hear the sound of a raven's wings flapping as it flys overhead or up or down canyon? Its amazingly loud. The sound of a swift slicing through the air as it speeds along near cliffs or mountain tops is also unique and amazing. I recently heard a huge group of small birds flying - it sounded like rustling leaves. I couldn't figure out what the noise was since all the trees were naked - but as soon as I looked up, I understood. I have no idea what kind of birds they were, but it seemed as the sun was going down, they were all determined to go somewhere.

For those who are puzzling out the Holiday Message Below, (sorry, the scaled size isn't great, but the original was too wide for Blogger resulting in weirdness of the post) case you guys are wondering just what it says, M (2.71828) r^2 (1/y)^(-1) SqRt(x^2) (force/acceleration) = Merry XMass :) yeah, alright. I'm a dork. I admit it.

Tonight, I get to go play at the Yarn Garden. This pleases me to no end - I finally get to finger Rowan yarn! Goodness knows I don't need to enhance my stash - I have more yarn than I know what to do with! And while a good portion I have ideas what to earmark it for, I still have plenty I'm trying to find a project to align it with....that troublesome blue yarn I have comes immediately to mind. Ah well, it's not every day I have access to such a wide variety of yarn. It's a good thing I have limited luggage space :)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Yeah, I'm a nerd :D I saw this and sadly, I got it pretty quickly. I got my paper holiday cards out for the most part, so here's a Happy Holiday greeting for the rest of you.

I don't know what it is about rainy cloudy days, but they make me sleepy and I yearn for hot tea or hot chocolate, a good book, a comfy couch and a fuzzy throw blanket (something I need to knit). Now that I'm back up in Portland, I am once again reminded that it doesn't *really* rain just "pizzles". The air remains misty, tho the mist drops defintely are moving in a downward direction - they just aren't big enough in my mind to constitute Rain. Personally, in my mind, rain consists of rather sizable droplets of water. Ah well - in some ways it's a refreshing change, and I get to wear all the warm clothes that I keep in storage back home. Unfortunately, it's putting me into hibernation mode and I'm craving my hot tea, etc. etc. rather than wanting to be working. Ah well...the work day is coming to a close, so I just retreat to my hotel room and have my hot tea on the couch with my book and my knitting. I'll have to settle for huddling under my fleece vest since there's no fuzzy throw availible.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Hug, anyone?

Well, after several nights not able to sleep, I finished off the Hug in Lion Brand Homespun. The good news? I love the colorway, and how soft the fabric came out. The bad news? I suspect I had a pattern interpretation problem and the sleeves came out a mite shorter than they were supposed to. I modified the instructions and knit the sleeves in the round because I didn't want to seam. So...she's headed for the frog pond for a refresh. I'll probably post photos when she's done to my satisfaction.

Back in Portland, and had fun idling away time on the MAX with my knitting. I didn't bring Cozy. Poor Cozy...stuck on needles as a UFO. Maybe I'll have to tell myself no Hug until Cozy is done....and then there's still Ribby to Cast On for! Oh...if only I could just curl up and spend more time knitting!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


like a weight lifted off my shoulders. You know how that goes? Running around like a crazed woman with everything ready to pop apart...and then you start getting things shoveled off, and things start calming down and falling into place. And thank goodness, not a moment too soon! We all need a calm space in our lives, especially this time of year!

The last few days have been positively frantic. I've not been sleeping, so I knit at night - which is all fine and good for my knitting...and I guess it does something for my piece of mind...but it's not helping me accomplish those items that I've been frazzled about all day.

Things seem to be slowly calming down and settling into what seems like normalcy this time of year. The first load of gifts and cards went to the post office today. And it felt great. I've got some last minute shopping/craftiness that I need to get done...and the baking. The holiday baking...ah well, plenty of time left, right? Ah well, no one said I had to go make those darned snowflake shaped sugar cookies. I think I'm going for regular drop cookies this year. Much less fuss...*sigh* if I could only just figure out how to make my living as a pastry chef without those horrid pastry chef hours....

Monday, December 06, 2004

It's in the Bag!

Troy is definitely in the bag.

As for me, I've not quite got everything in the bag. But I'm getting there. Holiday madness is in full swing. Two holiday events this past weekend; I used them as an opportunity to test run the cookie recipe I'm planning on using for the Cookie Swap that I've been invited to.

Most of the holiday gifts are wrapped and waiting to be sent off...the delay? Well, it's due to the fact that I don't have our "holiday message" finalized yet. It's on the list of things to get done in the very near term.

The Hug is progressing very nicely, I'm almost done. I'm not quite certain what I think of it - the fabric is definitely plushy, but it seems that it may be prone to pilling because it is so fuzzy. I'm hoping to finish it off tonight so I can move on to another project. The nice thing with this one is I've taught myself how to knit small circumferences on a pair of circular the world of socks will be opening to me soon, I suspect. I've always hated knitting with DPNs and liken it to wrestling with a hedgehog.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Is that a *wetland* in the parking lot??

Indeed! It is! Imagine my surprise as I was driving around a parking lot looking for a closer parking space, to be stopped by a fence around a small "wetland" complete with stream, marsh grass and trees! At first I was annoyed, but soon thought "how cool is that!" It made for a good distraction as I walked into the building and it was nice to see the birds and wildlife in that small area of wild-ness in an otherwise unexpected location. Portland is so cool.

(a not-inclusive list of) Things I like/miss about Portland (I used to live here after all)
  1. the gorgeous view of Mt Hood
  2. Powells Bookstore. And all of its iterations. Especially the big main Powells and the Powells Books for Cooks
  3. Sprawl is kept to set boundaries
  4. Environmentally friendly outlook
  5. Farmers markets and fresh produce
  6. there are an awful lot of yarn shops up here!
  7. mmmm...lots of ethnic food restaurants!
  8. walkable downtown
  9. mmm....seafood!
  10. autumn complete with color changing deciduous trees

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Frosty Goodness

One thing I haven't encountered since moving to the southwest is the unique combination of fog and frost. Imagine that. No fog or frost in the desert. :D Anyway, it really was quite beautiful, if a bit chilly. There was some mystical quality to the landscape with the drifting fog and the clean white frost on all the leaves and grass. Truly a beautiful sight. Unfortunately, I couldn't take the day off to hike and enjoy it - I had to come into work instead.

Progress on the Hug is going amazingly fast, as I had a good time watching/listening to the Food Network while knitting in my hotel room. I don't have cable back home, just for this reason - too much programming that I'd get sucked into! I'm a good way up the first sleeve - with some more knitting tonight, there's a good chance I'll be well onto the back by the time I have to catch my flight tomorrow.

Speaking of flights, someone commented on Knitting Needles and Aircraft - I have to say that it depends on the aircraft. The TSA (transportation security administration) does not have any restrictions on knitting or crochet needles for carry on. I have heard that metal needles are prohibited, but this isn't a problem for me as I dislike knitting with metal needles and am usually traveling with wood or circular needles with plastic tips. I will comment that this will vary if you travel internationally, as some countries transportation authorities do prohibit knitting needles on board. The UK is one such country.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

fogged out

Well, I'm in Portland! I forget how lush and green it is here. And how foggy it can be :D This morning, my commuter jet was redirected from a regional airport out to PDX due to the fog - which, incidentally looks really really cool from the air. Was hoping to get lots of knitting done during the flight - I had three hours to kill, after all, but because of the early morning departure, and the steady hum of the aircraft engine, I drifted off to sleep instead.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

tink tink tink!

No, that's not me making weird's a new knitting term I learned!

To Tink is to Knit backwards...or rather to unknit one stitch at a time...I've not got the hang of controlled frogging yet, so I have a tendency to unknit my mistakes to correct can be very tedious and trying - especially when you have to unknit a considerable amount - as has happened on occasion with Cozy (each row is 85+ stitches if I recall correctly - and I usually don't realize I've made a mistake until the end of the row!) Ah well...a new noise to make to myself while I'm knitting...all the better to make people wonder :P

Monday, November 29, 2004

Turkey Day Feast Redux

Well, since we didn't have our own feast on Thanksgiving, I had to do one when we came home after our Death Valley experience. On the menu: Garlic Green Beans, Roast and Stuffed Chicken, Roast Veggies (carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and onions), Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Home Baked Italian Bread, Cranberry Sauce and an Apple Pie a la Mode. Yum.

Yeah, that's a roast chicken - I don't do roast turkeys - I can never find a bird small enough and no, I haven't tried the roast turkey breast trick yet. Tho I might consider it one of these years.

I can't believe the holiday season is upon us. I'm not ready! Are you? I guess the frantic-ness begins, and I need to break out the baking books for all the holiday parties and hurry up to get our cards out....luckily most of the gifts and what not are done - or are easy enough to "wrap up" ha ha. bad pun. Sorry bout that :D

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Trader Joe's + Weber Baby Q = well fed hiker

I love Trader Joes. And I love my Baby Q. Thanks to them both, I'm eating very well indeed when I take off on a road trip :) This past weeks menu included such delectables as Bulgogi and Barbecued Pork Loin. I have to say though, that the simmer sauces are amazing and resulted in one of my best meal concoctions yet for the road. What was it? Thai Red Curry. Cooked on a white gas stove in the middle of the desert. It made for one happy camper indeed. What all went in the pot? Converted rice (because it takes too long to cook normal rice on my camp stove), a huge can of chicken breast, and veggies of choice - I opted for green beans. Oh yes, and the Thai Red Curry simmer sauce from TJ's. Yum.

On the fiber front, I've finished off the detailing on my last minute knitted item and I've stumbled across a shrug pattern that I think I may well have to acquire yarn for. It calls for Cashmerino Super Chunky...but I've got partial skeins of Homespun I need to use...I could go pick up a couple more skeins and crank out that shrug...

Saturday, November 27, 2004

and into the Valley of Death she went

Happy Day, Turkey! Those who know me well also know I nearly never spend holidays at home! This year was no different in that aspect, but we did branch out and explore some new desert regions. We migrated over California-way and hit Death Valley National Park for our holiday festivities - which were complete with turkey dinner, I might add, courtesy of Panamint Springs Resort (which, on a serious tangent, could be all mine for 2.6 million dollars!) The resort hosted a free Thanksgiving Feed! They roasted something on the order of 25 huge birds for the occasion. Much knitting got done with the long nights - I finished my first skein of yarn on Cozy and she's looking very nice indeed. Some last minute surprise knitting was done and is now in the "finishing" process since I didn't bring my yarn needles with me on the trip.
Death Valley is quite the interesting place with lots and lots to see; photos will be posted sometime in the near future after I get them all off my camera and "processed." Things I learned/decided on the trip:

  1. A good portion of RV-ers aren't that bad. Unfortunately, like everything else, there's the bad egg in the bunch who thrust my impression to the worst. Who was it this time? The not nice loudmouth individual who insisted on taking up spaces at a Tent Only campground with his and his buddies. They clanged about for over an hour arranging their humongous trailer, their truck with on-board Camper and their Jeep in a site meant only to house a car or two and some tents. I say thanks that they did have the redeeming quality that once they did settle in, they didn't run their generator.
  2. I really like my Weber Baby-Q for car camping. It's really made quite the difference in camp-food.
  3. To make a truly decadent camp, I believe all I have missing is a high end two burner propane stove and a portable hot water heater. My car-camping style couldn't possibly be more of a departure from my backpacking style!
  4. Sand dunes are lots of fun.
  5. Salt flats are very interesting - especially for looking at mineral growth and crystalline structures.
  6. Flat spaces and being able to see for miles and miles make me realize just how tiny we are...yet how destructive we can be. For cripes sake folks, stay off the Racetrack when it's wet!
  7. For some reason, the park writes all of its information as if it were addressing a child. I personally found this rather irritating. It's almost as if they expect for one's curiosity towards the natural world to diminish as one gets older. How sad.
  8. Coyotes are very handsome creatures.
  9. So are Ravens.
  10. Hoover Dam on a holiday weekend during daylight hours - not a good idea. Backup of four miles to get through!
  11. Escaping to the wilderness to celebrate and be thankful for its existence - excellent idea! The more remote the better, I say!

Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Technical Difficulties

Imagine my horror when I logged in and noticed that my entire blog content had gone off and disappeared! All I saw was the very beginning of an html tag where the title of my blog should be!

The good thing is, it was relatively easy to resolve because it turns out my template had somehow gotten corrupt. Since this has happened once before, I have actually backed up my template every time I make a change to it. Unfortunately Blogger does not have a good way to backup the daily content of the blog, so if mine ever goes'll go missing.

I'm exhausted today - I keep getting sucked into staying up late and making a few more DPN needle cases - those who know me well also know that when I get sucked into a project, it has a tendency to keep me up into the wee hours. So instead of getting rest this week, I've been staying up sewing in bed with my Petzl headlamp lighting the way (I need bright light to sew, but my husband doesn't appreciate trying to sleep with the overhead light on).

Thank goodness it's Friday. I'm in need of a break - I never did recover properly from my allergies of last weekend and thanks to a few enabling friends (you know who you are ;) ) I've found a whole mess of fabrics to get into online....and my head has been spinning with ideas now that I've refamiliarized myself with my sewing machine!

And yes, there really is a beer called KiltLifter. And it's quite tasty too.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Do you know how to read a french fry?

I do! Thanks to my current reading material! I don't know what it is about food science that intrigues me, I guess it's because it satisfies the engineer/scientist inside that always wants to know the answer to "why is it that that happens anyway?"

So between cranking out more DPN cases and making slow, but steady progress on Cozy, and trying to bring myself to start the Shapely Tee with that dreadful Beachcomber yarn, I've been reading about food. I figure what better way to re-inspire myself into the kitchen?

Oh and for those of you who are wondering how Alton's new book is - I can't say - I got my current reading materials from the library - so it takes precedence over a book that I've got on my personal bookshelf. Gotta love libraries :) they keep my own personal library down to a semi-manageable size.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Look what arrived in the mail! Mini Sushi Stitch Markers made by Amy! My photo just doesn't do em justice - my excuse is poor lighting conditions and my eagerness to show them off...but Amy has a much better photo in her blog - and if you want some, she's workin' em up into a small business. Isn't she crafty?! Go Amy!

I swear, knitting has just led me into all kinds of other's like my inner crafting child was just waiting to get out and it looks like Knitting was the key! Now...if I could just find time to do it *all*!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I need a keeper

Okay, so maybe that wasn't quite the best way to put it :)

Anyway, while I was in the midst of my freakish organizational flurry over the weekend, I took a look at my knitting needles and decided I really didn't like all that cardboard. It's just plain unattractive. Inspired by my heaps of outdoor gear, I designed myself a bunch of small pouches to keep each set of my double pointed needles attractively organized. Each pouch is lined (I hate raw/unfinished seams, don't you?) and closed with a ribbon. The wooden ball that is threaded on each ribbon is so I can write the needle size on the ball (if I so choose) so I don't have to pull out my needle sizer to figure out which of my double pointed needles are inside. And yes, those would be frogs on that open pouch. Such a shame that pattern didn't come in greens...

As for the rest of my knitting organization, it's looking fairly nice - my DPNs are nestled inside their pouches and all the pouches are in a vase, all my straight needles are in another vase, cable needles and crochet needles are in yet another vase, stitch holders and other miscellaneous small items are in a small container, and my patterns are filed in a three ring binder alphabetically by project yarn stash is mostly organized...I say mostly because it turns out my bins aren't big enough to hold my whole stash. eep - I swear the balls multiplied while left on their own in the dark closet. Guess I better get more projects on needles so I can get that stash size down!

Monday, November 15, 2004


I'm not quite certain what spurred the ridiculous spate of "spring cleaning" frenzy at my house, but it was either my office move or a recent trip to IKEA. Now that the frenzy has stopped, I'm pretty happy - my poor nose on the other hand, is not so happy - even with the air purifiers running on high, we kicked up more than enough dust to keep my allergies (or rather my nose) running at a furious pace.

Of course, it wasn't just standard books and paperwork that got organized, I even purchased a three tier bin (from the IKEA Trofast series) to house my yarn and miscellaneous knitting supplies. Unfortunately, all my yarn has not yet been moved into its new home because I got distracted by making up pouches to hold all my double pointed needles (tune in tomorrow for a photo). Incidentally, that particular activity also distracted me from making any progress on my knitting projects...Cozy still lingers at the bedside waiting patiently. I've got plans for that Beachcomber yarn....and my Elann order came in :) So Ribby Cardi madness will be underway shortly.

Some tips from the weekend: If you have textbooks that you don't think you will ever use in your real life, get rid of them while they still have value. For heavens sake, don't do like I did and move the darn things hither and yon across the country. I finally bit the bullet and brought in my heaps of textbooks that I don't care to keep (yes, I did have trouble parting with a few) and managed to reap a small $50 for my efforts. The good news is they took all the ones with no resale value off my hands for donation - so at least I didn't have to keep dragging them around in my car! I also made a run to the used book store to drop off some "regular" books that I don't ever see myself re-reading - and since they were offering more money if I did a "trade," I came home with a couple new additions. No knitting books, but they did have a couple of nice cookbooks to add to my ever growing collection.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Traumatized. Need Chocolate.

Why is it that whenever I'm stressed it triggers an insatiable need for chocolate? Generally I can take care of this fix by nibbling on a piece of high quality dark chocolate. Unfortunately my tasty chocolate that I keep on hand for such occasions is playing hide and go seek...I'm in the midst of packing my desk at work because my workplace has decided to relocate my office. I don't know if they realize how disruptive this process is - it takes a good chunk of a day to pack away the office - at which point I can't stand to sit inside my cube any more because it's so dreary looking when it's empty. (not that I can normally stand to sit inside my office when it's so gorgeous outside and I'd rather be enjoying the sunshine...but that's something else all together.) Not to mention the time it's going to take for me to *unpack* my office and put it back in order once they do move it all. What I need is a fully movable cubicle. Slap a lid on it and move the whole darn thing. Too much to ask for, eh?

Anyway, I packed my chocolate, sealed the box, and here I sit, with a mad craving for said chocolate but with too much pride to go slicing open all of my boxes to find it. *sigh* a true conundrum it is, I tell you.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

the fine art of Persuasion

It's quite frightening, really.

I was watching Frontline the other night, and was fascinated and horrified at the same time. The topic? Persuasion - in the way of advertising and words in political use. The program included a look at how marketers and advertisers are trying to determine just what it is we want, so they can appropriately target their audience to deliver the appropriate message. If you missed it, go and have a look at the link - it's pretty interesting reading.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Stupid Yarn.

Never again I tell you. To keep my yarn stash in some semblance of control, I think I better make sure I have a good inkling what I'm going to do with the yarn before I give in and make a purchase!

I bought this pile of yarn (something like ten balls worth) back when I was just starting to knit. I bought it because 1) I love the color blue - and you probably can't tell from the photo, but the yarn has 2 colors of blue intertwined 2) the price couldn't be beat. The problem? Well...first off, I can't find a pattern to knit with this yarn. It says it's DK weight, but the recommended needle size is US4. I've tried swatching it on larger needles (to try to match gauge for some patterns I have), and quite frankly, the fabric looks too loose on any needles US6 and larger.

Also, if you look closely at the strand of yarn next to the swatch, you might notice how loosely woven it is (yee. knitting with splitty yarn. not fun). The swatch itself is on US5 needles (in st stitch), and is not unlike terrycloth. Well, not quite that nubby, but hopefully you get the picture. I can't use this yarn for lace work or pattern work because the yarn itself is too textured. *sigh* And unfortunately I can't make a pile of towels out of it because it's acrylic. Acrylic just doesn't sop up water the way good cotton will. I'm at a loss. Using this yarn to make cat toys is going to be SLOW going if that's what it comes to because I have to knit up cat toys on considerably smaller needles than recommended for the yarn so I don't get catnip leakage....

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Toasty Tootsies!

Fuzzy Feet from Knitty!
Just in time for the winter and the cooooold tile floors!

Knit double stranded out of Paton's Classic Merino Wool in Natural Marl and Deep Olive with Lion Brand Fun Fur in Sandstone for trim.

These felted slippers knit up quickly and easily - and because they're felted, any sloppiness in picking up stitches at the heel weren't obvious post felting (definitely a bonus!) I was amazed at how huge they came out pre-felting - If I had done them up in red, green and white, I could have added some length to the cuff and used them as holiday stockings!

After I had them done, I sent them through my front loading washer on Hot wash/cold rinse twice...while they were damp, I slipped em on for shaping. They're still a bit on the wide side, but the length is just about right. Unfortunately, the last few nights have been warm, so I haven't had a reason to wear them much!

Troy seems to think they're mighty suspicious....

Monday, November 08, 2004

I've been Ribbied!

I don't know quite how this happened. I'm not a cardigan kind of girl. But somehow (peer pressure I say!) I've gotten sucked into the Ribby Cardi madness. I'm officially committed as the yarn has been purchased and is enroute...Perfect. I was down to one project on needles and was trying to figure out what to start next...

Friday, November 05, 2004

It's the End of the World as We Know it!

and unlike that REM song that has been stuck in my head, I definitely don't feel fine. I realize I'm supposed to be blogging about other things, but I've been rather despondent since Tuesday and quite frankly, I have no appetite for food (other than pastries and chocolate - both of which I've been indulging too much in this past week) and the few times I've had a serious rant going in my head, Blogger has been down (perhaps a blessing in disguise...). I don't think I've been this emotionally drained in a long while.

Anyway, I just haven't been myself lately. Due to the lack of appetite and energy, there have been no tasty things coming out of the kitchen. I have gotten lots of knitting done on my Fuzzy Feet - I've got the first done, and I'm past the heel turn on the second. Cozy is going slowly but steadily...and my stash continues to call out for another project or two to be put on needles...unfortunately, I just haven't been inspired to pick out my next project yet.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A little bit of brightness in an otherwise bleak day.

Look what arrived in the mail! If there is something I enjoy collecting, it's cookbooks. I don't know what it is, but I loooove reading cookbooks. Books that help me better understand why food behaves the way it does are an extra bonus. If I haven't got time to read the cookbooks, perusing them for the photos and random facts is also just as satisfying. I'd love to play in the kitchen more (with my massive collection of cookbooks)...but unfortunately (for my palate), I seem to only be able to focus on one obsession at a time. And right now, my obsession is set firmly on knitting...(and a very strong penchant for all things chocolate)..and well, yarn just doesn't taste real good. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Shoulda Brought my Knitting!

I exercised my privilege to vote this morning in selecting my turkey of choice in this political circus. Did you? I don't know whether I should have been surprised or not, but the lines at my polling location were long...and are just getting longer. It was an hour wait in the cold wind this morning - I wish I had brought my knitting along - instead I had to settle for reading the latest High Country News out of my gym bag. I foresee plenty of quality knitting in front of the TV this evening as I watch the election returns roll in. Perhaps I'll finally get several more pattern repeats of Cozy done...or perhaps I'll finish the first of my first FuzzyFeet!

Sunday, October 31, 2004

an Overabundance of Candy

Happy Halloween!

Look what a little bit of construction paper and a gluestick can do to a pumpkin :) My group at work had a pumpkin decorating contest during lunch one day...and mine won for Most Creative :D Yay me!

Looks like I overbought candy again this year - seems there are fewer and fewer trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood. I guess that means I'm going to have to make more Peanut Butter magic middle cookies to get the candy out of the house!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Freaky Kitties

In honor of the impending All Hallow's Eve, the festival of Samhain, and Lucy's bid to start a Revolution, I'd like to introduce you to Teagun - one of the featured cats (not mine) on a delightful site called MyCatHatesYou. Beware, some of the cats there are absolutely hilarious. A particularly amusing similarity can be found between the Vice President Cheney and a certain fluffball.

The NYT recently made mention of the Friday phenomenon of CatBlogging. Apparently I'm not the only one in the world who likes to share my blog with my cats (though mine make rare appearances since they don't seem too fond of holding still for the camera...either that or I'm just not stealthy enough).

Thursday, October 28, 2004

mmm....Fall Food.

Autumn is my favorite month - unfortunately, too often in the southwest I don't get to really experience I've settled for just enjoying the cooler addition to the cool weather and color changes in the leaves (up north anyway), fall brings out the urge to cook hearty soups and stews.

Last night I made braised chicken with carrots and sweet potatoes....very easy, and very very tasty. I would have been even better if I had a loaf of crusty bread to sop up some of the braising liquid. And since I had the oven on and some over-ripe bananas to deal with, I made some chocolate-chip banana bread to finish the meal....Sorry folks, no photos. Taking pics slipped my blogging mind.

To make up for it, how about some miscellany? Did you know that Fusilli was originally formed by wrapping spaghetti around knitting needles??

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Bah. Dental Work.

I don't like dental work. And neither does my kitten. Pooor Marble had to have her teeth cleaned and because she is prone to tooth decay, I get to learn how to brush her teeth. The good news is she likes cat toothpaste. The bad news is she isn't thrilled with my putting things (like a toothbrush) in her mouth.

On the knitting front, I finished off my bobble eared mouse - well, the shell anyway, it still needs to be stuffed full of catnip and sealed. I'll be knitting a few more mice up flat - I've decided I really don't like knitting on DPNs. And I really need to get back to work on Cozy....

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I've been Spammed!

I can't believe it. My blog was spammed. Have people no shame? Posting spam to people's blog comments?! Good grief. At least keep it topic related for cripes sake.

Now that I'm all riled about spam, I'll also say I'm really annoyed at the politicians. All this ridiculous mud slinging, name calling and labeling. One would think it's a bunch of mean-spirited children! Thank goodness the race is coming to a close. One week and counting. I can't wait.

alright. On the knitting front (a much more soothing topic, unless I have to frog something...but that can be therapeutic too) I've gotten past the bobbles on the bobble eared mouse. I think my next mouse may well be done flat, I think I'd rather seam than deal with small rounds on dpns.

Monday, October 25, 2004

UFO no More!

Well, after getting distracted by cookies (I raided my Halloween stash to fill those Peanut Butter ones, by the way. I stuffed the cookies with mini 3 musketeers, milky way, midnight milky way or personal favorite was the snickers...Then again, a nice chunk of dark chocolate would have been tasty too) I finally did some quality knitting on my Trio tote. As you can see, it's much deeper than the one on the pattern. As I mentioned before, I seem to have a habit in deviating from the yarns called out in a pattern. For this bag, I used Lion Brand Homespun (in Gothic and Edwardian colors) - it's a bulky boucle acrylic, so the moss/seed stitch pattern doesn't really come out. Because this is a much softer yarn then Trio, the bag is very floppy and probably has a lot more stretch than a bag knit with addition, the texture is nice because it hides mistakes! I found out I dropped a stitch somewhere along the way when I switched from circulars to double points...managed to fix it up nicely - I don't think I got it fixed perfectly, but it's certainly good enough for me. Anyway, I'm currently using this bag to hold my Works in Progress.

Here's a detail shot of the bag at the color change. (I know, you can hardly tell, it looks much nicer in person!) Incidentally, if I had made the bag all out of the same color, I suspect I could have completed it with one skein of Homespun. Perhaps I'll make a matching one with the reverse color pattern. In the meantime, I've taken some of the remaining extra yarn and am in the process of practicing knitting with double points guessed it...working up a mouse in the round for my cats. Lucky kitties!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

C is for Cookies!

It was a busy day today...while I was knitting (diligently working on my UFO - the Trio Knit Bag) I was watching PBS....and got sucked into a show about cookies....So. I managed to get the i-cord trim done on the top of the bag, and them promptly abandoned my knitting for some serious time in the kitchen....and I must say, it smells WONDERFUL!

I decided to bake three different types of cookies this afternoon. And to make best use of my oven, I started with the ones that took the lowest temperature ... Mocha Chocolate Chip cookies from Mrs. Fields Cookie Book. I did deviate slightly from the recipe and melted the butter in order to obtain a chewier cookie - usually when I bake these, the cookies come out crisp. Yum...even tastier with vanilla ice cream.

Next were my husband's favorite cookies - also from Mrs. Fields Cookie Book. They are Maple Cinnamon Swirl cookies. Rather than cutting the butter in by hand, I made the dough in a food processor. They came out flaky and tender...and also very very tasty. Tip: Use dental floss to cut the slices from the chilled dough - it keeps the cookies together and round too!

And finally, the cookies that started the whole thing...These cookies were being made on PBS during the cooking show I was watching - America's Home Cooking, I think. I didn't catch the official name of the cookies, but I'm calling them Peanut Butter Magic Middle cookies. They've got a special surprise baked right inside. A bit of care is required to get the magic middle from oozing out, but I seem to have got the trick down.

Now then. Back to my knitting....

Friday, October 22, 2004

Thank Goodness Cats are Forgiving

My pooooor cats. They both had their trip to the vet this morning. One of them growled and hissed at the carrier. I'm not sure who the culprit was, but I think it was Marble. Neither was happy about going to the doctor's office (I can't say I blame them)...and upon returning home, neither of them wanted anything to do with me. Luckily they forgive and forget quickly and we're now the best of friends again, as if nothing happened :) We'll see if Marble is of the same opinion next week...I have to bring her back for a teeth cleaning :(

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

And back to the Pond Again. Glub glub glub...

*sigh* I really need to learn how to frog back more complex work...either that or I need to quit being such a darn perfectionist. As it is, I somehow acquired a couple stitches while working on Cozy, and while undoing my work, I dropped a stitch and couldn't figure out how to get it I frogged her. Again. I've restarted now for the *fourth* time. This time that's it. If I acquire stitches, I'll have to get creative about a decrease...If I lose one somewhere and it isn't dropped, I'll have to sort out an increase. Otherwise I'll never have a Cozy for my car!! (for the folks that are wondering, I'm currently knitting Cozy up in an easy care wool blend yarn for casual use - I figure I'll be adding to my stash and will knit up another Cozy sometime in the future - I'm thinking a yarn of either linen, silk or bamboo in it perhaps...) In the meantime, perhaps I need to cast on another project to keep me entertained when I'm too tired to work on Cozy...I'm thinking either a Kitty Pi bed or some felted slippers....and there is that trio bag that seems to be stuck on needles....

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Feelin' Froggy...Ribbit Ribbit!

Well, the one cool thing about rain in the southwest is it brings the frogs out. We were off hiking in the Grand Canyon with some drizzly weather and in addition to some other cool wildlife (bighorn and condors), we spotted lots and lots of tiny frogs like this little fellow.

Speaking of frogs, I've been having issues with Cozy. First I started out with some lovely blue yarn from Paton's (Beachcomber) but it just wasn't working out - the yarn is DK weight, and kind of nubby and textured...and it just wasn't agreeable at all. So...I had to add to my stash. I'm making a Cozy for the car, so I'm now working up the pattern...for the third time. Yes, the *third* time. Cozy, for me anyway, is not mindless knitting what with all the yarnovers and whatnot....Luckily I wasn't too far in before I discovered this. I'm becoming quite the expert at balling yarn though!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Knitting and Cooking...oh my!

Well, it seems there are an aweful lot of knitters that also love to cook....I stumbled across a cool project on My Favorite Things - a "cookbook" of favorite recipes submitted by other Knitting Bloggers - of course I had to jump on the bandwagon...and you should too :D

Missing for One Week

Well, as you may or may not have noticed, I disappeared for a week for a much needed hiatus from corporate life to go play in the "Real World." Where did I disappear off to? Why one of my favorite places...the Grand Canyon :D Weather was excellent except for one day of drizzle; company was great and the photos came out fantastic. Even finished one of my knitting projects along the way....all that's left is weaving in the ends! Unfortunately, today I'm swamped so the update is brief. Thanks for continuing to visit :D

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Just what *do* They Stand for Anyway??

I never did quite understand what the Republican party stood for - or just what their agenda was....and I must say, it is rather difficult to discern what with all the smoke floating about and the lack of clearly stated plans. Thanks to my week long hiatus, a long car ride and Garrison Keillor's brand new book (on CD! Hooray for books on CD!) I now have a much clearer understanding of what's what. Highly recommended for those who want to know what the Plan is.

Friday, October 08, 2004


Those crazy guys at JibJab are at it again! They've gone and made another political cartoon for this hotly contested election. Since I have the (mis) fortune to live in a contested state, I need all the amusement I can get.

On the knitting front, I cast on for Cozy last night, frogged it once, and restarted. I'm still not decided as to whether it's working out with this yarn. Stay tuned and find out. As usual, I'm not following the yarn called out in the pattern - but I've had this yarn in my stash that I bought and just don't know quite what to do with. I decided to try it out and find out. The yarn is finer gauge/weight and is very loosly spun, so it's been an adventure working with it. *sigh* we'll see...worst case is it goes back in the stash and becomes something else :D

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Chicken - it's what's for Dinner!

I needed a quick dinner that 1) used up the peppers in my fridge 2) used up the limes that have been sitting on my counter for a while (before they shriveled into little up in the arid environment that is the Desert Southwest), and 3) that would produce portable leftovers for lunch. What did I wind up with? Another variation of my previously posted Tequila Lime Chicken. Unfortunately, I had no jalapeno or cilantro on hand - so I used some other herbs for additional flavoring and it came out just fine, though the kick from the jalapeno was missing. Now that I think about it, I probably could have used a couple scoops of salsa in the marinade to get that spicy flavor....well, I'll add it to the list of things to try in the kitchen and we'll see if it works.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Let that be a lesson.

I do it for all my other work. Well, mostly anyway. Why I didn't do it for my blog, I have no idea. Back up your work. I've now got an offline copy of my various links etc so I can restore my sidebar relatively painlessly if this ever happens again. Luckily the content was if that would really matter ;)

If you haven't seen it already, the creators of Tako the Octopus are coming out with a book! No wonder Tako has been on hiatus! Incidentally the book isn't about Tako. It's about fish. That'll do. I'll be looking forward to seeing it once it actually makes an appearance :D

On the knitting front, that mystery fuzzy ruby/sapphire project is coming along fast and I imagine I'll be casting it off soon. I'm thinking I might need to knit something for myself....I'm thinking either Cozy or Shimmer...neither of which I need to buy new yarn for (my goodness...using actual yarn from my stash! Could it be true?!!)

...please stay tuned...

Blogger or something killed my blog this morning - or rather it killed my blog template....imagine my horror when I checked in this morning for my blogging fix (clearly I'm hooked) only to see the vacant page with some html tag garbage in place of my title. Aaargh. Well, the goodnews is it was just the template that was damaged. Easy enough to fix. I just have to remember what all links and such I had should be back shortly.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

What would happen...

If all you did was eat McDonald's every day for a month? Well, watch this film and find out. I must say, the production was much more smooth than I had expected for an independent film and overall I think it was well put together. I was a mite disappointed that the marketing aspect of fast food towards children wasn't focused on more strongly. If you get the DVD, be sure to check out the"Smoking Fry" clip. How frightening.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Photo Frustration

First: Yes, I am aware of the fact that my photos are screwy. The photo hosting service (Flickr) that I am making use of is having some DNS issues and are working hard to resolve the problem. I guess that's what I get for being cheap and not hosting my own darn photos. Worry not, if they don't display properly now, they'll be back up later...or so I've been assured!

The weekend was plenty productive with my BabyQ getting its grate (cast iron) seasoned as I baked goodies for an upcoming hiking trip...after all, it seemed a real shame to fire up the oven just to bake some cast iron. What did I make? Some tasty traveling cookies called "ANZACs" (sorry, I forgot to take photos) and some journey bread that I jokingly call Lembas bread - but it's really called Logan Bread - very dense, and nearly indestructible from what I hear. What can I say, it was an experiment...and since I don't typically eat hiking food unless I'm out hiking, you'll have to wait to hear how it turned out.

On the knitting front, I started a mystery item, recipient yet to be determined :) it's going quickly as it knits up fast...the yarn is Paton's Allure, and it feels oh so snuggly! I took it with on our road trip up to Morning Starr Animal Sanctuary this weekend. Made the trip up to view the sanctuary and donate some items. They're a small organization that is doing good work for a large variety of animals. Consider adding them to your charitable contribution list...the smaller organizations often don't draw the same attention as the larger ones, but at the same time, they can often use the donations more effectively in some cases due to less overhead.

And for the curious, here are some photos of my finally finished modified French market bag. It isn't really lopsided like that on the bottom, that's an artifact of my putting a non-symmetrically shaped object inside to try to facilitate photo taking.

Friday, October 01, 2004

He knows me too well...


My husband knows the true way into my heart....why is that you ask? He brings me devices that can belch flame and fuel to run them :D I'm now the proud owner of a Weber Baby Q...In addition to my other weekend activities, I'll be seasoning the grates and preparing this lil thing for use. Since Raquel and Chad couldn't move their propane tanks up to Oregon, I've even got a spare tank to hook up to this new addition.

Well. In addition to bringing me fire to fuel my pyro tendancies (ask me about my camp stove collection sometime), Todd brought me an AJ's signature Fruit Tart....mmmm....shortbread crust, pastry cream and lucious fruit! Yum!