Friday, November 28, 2008

Seriously. How did they know???

Just in time for Black Friday, would you look at this holiday card/advertisement* that I received??

While I have no little dog named Toodles, I am a knitter, and when it suits me, I do indeed knit for people for the holidays....

The inside of the card:

I was astounded. Simply astounded. What are the odds that they would pick a card like this one? Or does this mean that there are far more knitters out there than I am remotely aware of? Anyhow, I traditionally view Black Friday as Buy Nothing Day...and I most certainly am not brave enough to venture forth with the least not while I have knitting and the internet at my fingertips ;)

Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

* card from Helzburg Jewlers, enticing me to go in for a pair of pearl earrings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Getting back into the swing...

Before the holidays hit, I figured I should attempt to get myself back into the habit of working out...especially since I've been told to get myself back into trail-shape to better eval how my knee(s) are doing. While I'm not back into running (or re-attempting the Cto5k program, though I did re-download the podcasts for training), I've started getting out for some brisk walks to the local park. Once I am certain my feet and knees are okay with the fast clip, I'll give the trails a go - and if all goes well, I'll hopefully be back to the Cto5k program in no time!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friends and Family invited...

to take advantage of the Holiday Horny Toad sale.

60% off for orders placed by 12/1
50% off for orders placed by 12/8
40% off for orders placed by 12/15
30% off for orders placed by 12/31

To make things even sweeter, Horny Toad is donating 1% of the sales made during this sale to charity.

Use this link
and use: frosty as your login.

I always like it when companies give back.

Speaking of sales, don't forget, Spritely Goods is running an extended holiday sale - portions of all sales always go to charity!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Speaking of Mittens...

Mmm cables - mmm mittens - meet Chevalier, by Mari of Made by Myself. I'm knittin' more mittens...these are being knit from Spritely Goods Superwash Merino in Fey - in a limited edition colorway (red maple). There's just enough variegation in the yarn to make things interesting, especially while it's held double. In some ways, the twisting cablework and the variegations in the yarn make me think of dancing flames. One of these days I'm going to have to refocus on my queue - it seems I have several projects that have been lingering on....I counted 8 other projects currently on needles according to my Ravelry Project Page - yikes! The oldest of the unfinished projects appears to have been cast on in September 2007 - and it hasn't made much progress since then since it's a semi-complex piece of lace that requires much counting and paying of attention to the chart...though I'm betting that I finish the lace before I finish the Mitered Square blanket!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mitten Knittin...

Well, okay, not mittens, but fingerless mitts - regardless, they kept me warm at Rhinebeck :) (yeah I know, I'm really stretching out the Rhinebeck mentions, aren't I?) I rarely wear full mittens, and I seem to be awfully fond of wearing shorts and tee-shirts, only to decide I'm chilled...then I add handknit socks, then depending on where I'm feeling chilled, I'll then add mitts - usually of the fingerless variety so I can still easily carry on doing whatever I'm doing with my fingers...if I'm still cold, then I'll usually give in for a scarf/wrap and/or a sweater. Keep in mind, this is generally in the comfort of my own home, where I seem to refrain from turning on the heat for as long as possible so I can get the most use out of my handknits...a girl has to resort to certain strange behaviors sometimes, I'm afraid.

Anyhow, additional photos are over here, as usual.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday Sale...

Rather than wait for Black Friday, Spritely Goods is offering extended Holiday savings* on many yarns in the shop - cruise over for more details!

*Sales pricing is good through December 14th, and is limited to stock on hand.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Taking me back...

Various things trigger memories - I didn't expect it from a cookbook - but what a delightful surprise, to find myself reminiscing about trips to Spain while flipping through my new copy of Made in Spain. Since I am a food-tv junkie but don't have cable, I have to satisfy myself with programs available via my local PBS station - Made in Spain is one of those programs that I've enjoyed watching.

The book is arranged by food "courses" and region parings - starting in the very south of Spain, in Andalucia (and Salads), wending its way through and around the country, each chapter is introduced with a brief personal story from the author and chef, Jose Andres. In case you're wondering, the other pairings/chapters are as follows: Madrid (Soups), Pais Vasco (Snacks), Navarra (Vegetables), Cantabria and Extremadura (Cheese and Eggs (a perfect pairing, if I do say so myself)), Valencia (Rice), Murcia (Fish), Galicia (Seafood), Cataluna and Castilla y Leon (Pork), Aragon (Other Meats), Asturias and Castilla La Mancha (Sweets), La Rioja and Baleares (Drinks) and Canarias (Sauces).

In addition to the clear instructions and ingredients, most recipes are accompanied by an enticing photograph of the finished product. Along side the recipes, is typically a tip from the chef in addition to a little back-story on the recipe. While some of the ingredients may be difficult to find locally, there are some merchants listed in the back to assist you in your search.

The recipes in the book are simple and straightforward in execution and there's a wide variety to satisfy both conservative and adventurous eaters alike. If you've never tried Spanish food before, this book has a great variety to choose from. I'll even make it easy for you ;) Leave me a comment (and make sure there's a way to contact you should you win) before Sunday November 30th, and I'll use the ol random number generator to select a new lucky owner. US only please, unfortunately international postage on a heavy book like this one is a bit much.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


On several of the blogs I frequent I've seen folks participating in photo-a-day activities - some just do fridays (eye candy friday) - others do apad (a-photo-a-day) - and others do self portrait photos.

Since getting myself a much more portable camera, the idea had been to carry it around with me, attempting one of these photo-a-day kind of activities. I've not been so good at it - though I was recently convinced to give it another try.

Here's day 1 ;) (worry not, I won't blog all my photos) - clearly I need to get better at regularly wearing sunblocking facial moisturizer...I've apparently developed quite the fleet of freckles. Amazing the things you learn when taking a self portrait!

Friday, November 07, 2008


...and it spins real well too ;)

You didn't think I could have possibly left Rhinebeck empty handed, could you? LOL! I've been wanting one of these lovely spindles for a really really long time - and of course, Golding Fiber Tools was at Rhinebeck and I couldn't resist. Instead of the typical Golding brass ring, this spindle has a raised cloisonne ring....and did I mention, it spins for what seems like forever?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Honorable Mention....

Pretty cool - My husband's website got mentioned in the local paper (the Arizona Republic) in the Travel section on Sunday.

In case it's hard reading (even if you click on it for full size) it says:

Canyon Sweet
"...avid 'canyoneers' scramble through canyon waterfalls, clamber up limestone walls, rappel down rocky cliffs and plunge into pools of icy water --- all on purpose!

Arizonans can canyon to the hearts' content as nearby Coconino National Forest, the Grand Canyon and Tonto National Forest.

Todd's Hiking Guide offers a comprehensive list with hike descriptions, required skills and photos..."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Oh dear.

Sheep and Wool

If you've been reading other knitters' blogs or skimming through Ravelry, you probably already know that Rhinebeck was wonderful this year...

There were plenty of sheep and other adorable animals (Angora bunnies are really really cute...and the alpacas aren't bad either!) Of course, knitters and spinners were all over the place, and there was plenty of yarn and fiber to ooh and aah over...and all the finished objects. My goodness, I don't think I've ever seen quite so many handknits all in one place ever!

To top it all off, the leaves were stunning - Rumor has it that the leaves all fell off during Rhinebeck weekend - I'm not sure though since I unfortunately was only able to visit the festivities on Saturday.

I had such a fantastic time, hopefully I'll get a chance to do it again in the future :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Do your Duty....

If you are a US Citizen and have not yet submitted your ballot, do your homework, get on out there and vote! If you found yourself in a long long line at the polling place today, consider getting onto the early voting list, or the vote at home list - or whatever alternate your state may offer. I voted from home for this election, and found it convenient and conducive to taking the time to do my research on various ballot measures and propositions.

After today, I'm sure the candidates might need to hoist a drink - either in celebration or condolence, the following book may be useful (and a good one to keep in mind for entertaining this holiday season too!):

The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks is a fantastic book - especially if you are an aspiring mixologist. The book is well put together with approximately 100 "essential" drinks (plus variations) - each drink recipe includes a stunning photo of the finished cocktail in addition to a brief history on the drinks creation. The book is broken down into nine sections for the drink recipes and also includes a few appendices to address basic recipes (basic syrups), garnishes, and glassware/tools. The Drink Sections include: the Classics (prohibition era drinks), the Modern Classics (cocktails born post prohibition) , Martinis, Sours, Highballs, Tropicals, Punches, Sweets and Innovations (did you know there is a cocktail out there that uses avocado as an ingredient?!).

Simply reading the book has proven entertaining, and has brought back memories of playing at tending bar way way way back when! Coincidentally, the book has a recipe for from-scratch eggnog that I may just have to try this holiday season, especially since I generally object to most of the commercially available eggnogs, what with their strange thickeners and liberal use of corn syrup! I've also discovered that I apparently like Bloody Caesars (though I don't object to a simple straight up Bloody Mary).

Monday, November 03, 2008


Phoenix Bess is amazing - she's only 16...and she's a talented designer (apparently, she's been designing since the tender age of 12!) - and she just got her first book out!

It Girl Knits, while perhaps targeted at the younger knitter, has patterns that I think are suitable for a range of individuals. The designs are clean and simple, and many of the projects are suitable for beginners. Broken into different types of days: Sunny Days, Days Off, Play Days, and Nights, the patterns include knitted bottoms, tops, dresses, jackets, accessories (bags, headbands, a cap and a hair wrap) and even a couple bikinis and a pair of felted boots!

Each project is nicely photographed and has clear instructions and schematics. The various tops and bottoms appear figure friendly to different body shapes - though they do tend toward fitted, body skimming styles - and most of the patterns are definitely best for warmer weather months (almost all the tops are sleeveless designs). While I wouldn't be able to carry off all the apparel designs (certainly not the bikinis), there are plenty of options to choose from - I'm amazed at Phoenix's talent, and look forward to casting on a few projects.

If you're on Ravelry, you can pop over and have a look at Phoenix's portfolio to get an idea for her design sense - while patterns from the book don't seem to be listed there yet, I suspect they will make an appearance eventually.