Friday, March 27, 2009

focus

So, I am the type of knitter that feels most comfortable with one big project on the needles. I can do one big project and one small (1 sweater and 1 small something) but that really is my comfort zone.  I truly lose sleep when I have too many projects started. Crazy, I know. Usually, I resist the temptation to start something new. Lately, not so much.  I have four things on the needles. That sort of makes me nervous.
Number 1: I knit with six others (non-bloggers) once a week.  I have for years.  And we decided to do a little knit-a-long. So, last week I cast on for the wool bam boo rickrack pullover. This project will be slow going as I hand out the starting/stopping points.  Last week I gave them an eight row assignment.  (See, this one will take a while.)  
Number 2: I ordered another cone of the habu merino for my kusha kusha scarf, because I ran short. It arrived last week.  (Darn.)  This may seem like a "little" project, but knitting with string sort of turns this into a big project.
Number 3:  My plisse.  Yes.  The project that has captured my attention.  Above is a shot of half of the back and one sleeve.  The construction of the Hanne Falkenberg sweaters are what keep you going.  Keep you wanting more.  Mostly done in one piece with very little finishing.  Gotta love that.

Number 4:  Well, that seed stitch throw, over in my sidebar.  I must admit that project is in total hibernation.  I wanted to knit a couple of rows a day.  Hasn't happened.  

So, I'm going to try to focus on my plisse and hopefully be able to sleep.  The rest will sit in my sidebar (with a little attention).
Enjoy your weekend!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

in a weekend

There was knitting this weekend.  My new favorite "go to" baby gift set.
I have been making the Dulaan Hat for a couple of years and just found the link on Ravelry. Using size 10 1/2 needles and a ball of Lambs Pride Bulky, you can knit that hat in an hour.  With the remaining yarn I make thumbless mittens joined by an i-cord. The i-cord was my favorite on my kids mittens.  Heck.  I wish they would still let me put i-cords on their mittens.  I can't stand searching for lost mittens.
{Cast on 16 stitches, K2, P2 for 6 rows, change to stockinette and increase 4 stitches across, 1 at each end and one on the 8th and 9th stitch.  Continue until piece measures 4 3/4 inch, placing marker in between the 10th and 11th stitch on last WS row.  Next row RS k1, k2tog, k to within 3st from marker, sl1, k1, psso, k1, slip marker, k1, k2tog, k to last 3 st, k2tog, k1.  P 1 row.  Repeat these 2 rows 1x more. (12 st) Next row, k2tog across (6 st). Next row, p2tog across. Run yarn through remaining 3 st.  Sew sides together. Weave in ends.  Make a 3 st i-cord long enough to run through 2 sleeves and back of baby/toddler. Join to mittens.}
And there was baking.  Chocolate n' Cream cookies from April '09 everyday food.  Anyone else try those?  I had to double the amount of butter in the cookies and the cream filling.  Well worth it. We devoured those and now have to make more.
Enjoy your day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

it's all in the packaging

A while ago, (almost fifteen months ago) I posted a photo that had a pillow package sitting on a chair. I received e-mails asking about that pillow. I feel terrible that I am just getting around to letting you know about this.
About twelve years ago, I made about ten of those pillows.  Red and green metallics with gold bows.  They come out every Christmas and are placed around the house and used as decorations.  And toys.  The kids have used them for a number of things like playing store, practicing their bow tying techniques and playing catch. 
Over the past year I have been making them in an effort to tell you all about it.  However, they get made and are given away before I get around to taking photos.
Because you see, they are my new gift for birthday parties.
The recipient not only gets the cute pillow,
but also gets the main gift; a gift card.  
Impersonal just became personal.  
And the pillow can be kept on their bed and the pocket can hold small trinkets or pencil and paper.
I am putting together a small "how-to" which will be ready soon.  
I promise.

Oh!  And about R2-D2 from the previous post, Santa brought him.  He is actually a fish tank.  I am 100% positive that petco sold these and they were on sale for $59.99.  I did a little research for you and they are no longer available on-line at petco.  But, you may be able to find it in a store.  I did see that Hammacher Schlemmer also has them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

feeling orange

What will a 20"x58" piece of fabric get you?  A new skirt for your little girl in about 30 minutes.  Okay.  It took me an hour but that is because I tried to get the lint out of my sewing machine and couldn't figure out how to put the darn thing back together.  All fixed now and ready to make a few more of these.  No pattern necessary.  Just sew the salvage edge with right sides together (this will be a back seam). Make a casing that will hold a 2" piece of elastic, leaving an opening to feed elastic.  Feed elastic through.  Sew opening closed.  And voila.  A new bright, happy polka-dot skirt.  Libby thought she wanted an unfinished edge on the bottom but changed her mind and now wants it to be hemmed.  So, a 1" hem it will get.
I'll be back tomorrow to show you my new favorite way to give a gift card.  
Have a great one.

Friday, March 13, 2009

terrific thoughts

-The more things change, the more they stay the same.  -proverb

I love this song.  I found it watching this amazingly sweet video.

Have a terrific weekend!!!  (I love the word terrific.  My grandfather used "terrific" a lot.  I don't use it nearly enough.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

orange bitter blossoms

While spending some time with my friend, Jennifer, she mentioned that I haven't shared one of her favorite cookies with you. We used to make these a lot and loved them.
So yesterday, I decided to whip some up.  However, something has happened.  My relationship with the orange blossoms has changed.  It took me about six cookies to decide if I still liked them.  After the sixth one, I knew. My feelings for them changed.  I felt sick.  Seriously too many blossoms. 
I couldn't believe it, but I decided to give them another go this morning.  And then it hit me. They have a little bitter taste.  I guess from the zest.  And it was a definite.  I don't think I will ever be able to eat another orange blossom.  But my kids like them.  (Two out of three.) And just in case you think you may like them, here you go:
Orange Blossom Cookies
2/3 cup unsalted butter :: 3/4 cup sugar :: 1 egg :: 1/2 cup orange juice :: 2 cups flour :: 1/4 tsp baking soda ::  1/2 tsp salt :: 1 TBLS orange zest 
Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and then orange juice.  Mix dry ingredients, add to wet.  
Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar :: 1 egg white :: 1 TBLS orange zest :: 1 TBLS orange juice.
Drop by teaspoon.  Bake on parchment paper. Bake @ 400˚ for 8-10 minutes. 

Hope it doesn't take you six (or eight) to decide if you like them or not.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

knitting 101

Last Sunday, my favorite eleven year old taught a knitting class. All family members were required to attend.
It took Libby over an hour to set up.  Gathering books, projects, yarn and needles.  Setting up a refreshment table.  Most important to lure the boys.
And speaking of those boys.  They were less than cooperative.  Wrestling and throwing balls all through class.  Libby didn't seem to mind though.  She stayed completely focused.  I think she was just happy to have humans to teach,  as she usually teaches school in this room to 23 invisible children.  
We all started a coin purse.  My husband knit his first row and the boys knit a row with a lot of assistance.  
There was even a segment on "pearling".  
Have a great one.

Friday, March 06, 2009

just so green

It just so happens that my new project is green.  
And it just so happens that one day this will become
this.  One day.  
Have yourself a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

green.2

Oh, green.
You are just so easy to spy in my kitchen.
Having two out of three kids that will eat this makes me pretty darn happy.
Now if only I could spy a little green outside.  Soon, I can feel it.  

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

home

So, I am home from Utah with a few more laugh lines and a bunch of great memories.  The skiing was fantastic.  I have never skied in Utah and now may have a new favorite spot; Alta Ski resort.  It is absolutely beautiful with wide open slopes and NO snowboarders.  Don't get me wrong, I think snowboarders are some of the coolest dudes out there.  But it was just so nice not to have the roar of that board flying up from behind you.  
I got stuck in that Nor'easter on the way home.  I flew into Atlanta on Sunday with no chance of getting out of there for a day or two.  I checked into a hotel feeling a bit sad and guilty for not being home.  Ready to burst into tears at any moment.  Fifteen minutes (okay two) later I was feeling like Iris (Kate Winslet) from The Holiday.  You know the part when she crawls into Amanda's fluffy bed and in her fabulous british accent says, "thank you, Amanda"!?! Well, I sort of felt like that.  Instead, I crawled into a fluffy bed and said "thank you, snow storm"!!  I stayed for 48 hours and it was a treat.  A huge treat.  I did a mud mask, a moisture treatment on my hair, read, slept, watched tv, went back to the airport to eat and walk around, slept some more, cleaned and organized every bag I had with me, made lists, lots of lists, and of course, knit. Made a baby hat, one toast and then ran out of the merino for my kusha kusha scarf.  I'm thinking the yardage on my merino cone was off.  Way off.  And will have to order more. 

Emily is hosting green week.  I love searching for color in my everyday living.  
Go ahead, look for a little green in your life.