Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Blogging Hiatus

I am on a Blogging Hiatus...due to busy work schedules and sunny days....I will return to posting regularly soon.


Sunday, April 30, 2006

Teaching Boys to Knit

Lately we've been spending time every other weekend getting together with a group of friends, many of whom are starting to expand their families. Needless to say there are generally a few little ones running around when we are all together. As a knitter with no time and a gift schedule, I try to bring projects with me when I know there will be time to knit (sitting around, drinking, playing games and watching movies, etc....note to self: don't bring lace projects to drinking parties, bad idea). Now that the weather is getting nicer, and my bike is beckoning, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find time to knit. Anyway, a three year old friend has decided that he likes to help with my knitting (again, leave the lace at home). So I've started bringing projects that are a little easier, so that he can sit on my lap and help (he likes to wrap the yarn around the needle and help count the stitches). His brother on the other hand, likes to turn a nice, neat skein of yarn into one big, tangled mess. I think it is cute that he is showing interest, his father (Jake's best friend), is not as amused. I try to counter by informing that it helps develop motor skills, math skills and creativity, and that historically men knit long before women. Sarcasm soon follows. I will not be dissuaded, however, in fact I'm planning to bring big, fat needles next time, better for small hands (of for shoving...well, nevermind).

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Kno Time to Knit

So this week has not been very condusive to knitting, or blogging. Pesky things like long hours at work have been getting in the way. It doesn't help that by the time I get home, ride the bike, walk the dog, and eat, there is very little time or energy to do anything else. So, now well rested and looking out at the rainy day, I have time to catch up on my other obligations (no, not laundry...blogging). Last Sunday I finally gifted Sophie, however, I decided on Saturday that I wanted to felt it more (very smart) and ended up having to gift a slightly damp bag. It looked much better, though.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Too much wine to knit...properly

I came home this evening with a hankering for linguine with clams, not quite sure why, as seafood, in particular shellfish, is not something I normally crave. Don't get me wrong, I like fish, crab, lobster, etc. as much as the next person, but it is not on my usual repertoire of cooking recipes. It just so happens that my personal chef (also known as my live-in) was not up to cooking tonight. He recently received an invitation to meet with the head brewer of Iron Hill, in North Wales and was giddy with excitement and working on his resume. Fine. I didn't want him messing up the dinner I was dreaming up anyway: Linguine with Red Clam sauce. Open cupboards, linguine, canned chopped clams (score). The fixin's were all here, no need to run to the grocery store (which I loathe anyway). So I grabbed my Rachel Ray and got started. Confession, I am not the type of foodie who can gather a bunch of ingredients, throw together and have a wonderful meal turn out (like my chef)...I inevitably screw something up in the process. I like to have recopies as a guide. I don't generally follow to the letter, but I like the guidance, and I think I am a better cook because of it. Anyway, I used Rachel's recipe for Linguine with Red Clam Sauce, however, some substitutions and omissions needed to be made. I had the garlic, not the anchovies, crushed red peppers, but not the fresh parsley and thyme, no clam broth either just chopped clams in their juice. Oh well the key ingredients were there, clams, pasta, garlic, crushed tomatoes...shit! Only whole peeled tomatoes (not the right consistency) and Ragu....Ragu it is. Enter wine. The recipe calls for wine...but we are down to our last two bottles, one a novelty and the other, the last of my Olympic Peninsula wine from my trip back home. Our wine selection appears to be drying up, mainly due to the fact that our alcohol budget has been going towards beer for the past several months. The recipe only calls for 1/4 cup...a very necessary 1/4 cup... so I sacrificed the Lost Mountain Syrah (2001) (which is highly recommended to anyone who can find it, which pretty much excludes anyone who lives anywhere other than the Pacific NW). Beer lends itself nicely to many a dish, but not the one I was preparing. By this time dinner is shaping up nicely and a couple of glasses of wine are down the hatch, when the boy emerges...

Boy: "Something smells good"
Me: "Its all the garlic"
Boy: "Did you just open that wine?" he glass in hand (did I mention I live with a fantastic home brewer)..."I thought we were saving it"
Me: "For what...we've had it two years"
Boy: "I dunno...You're cooking with it?"
Me: "Yes... we need it to add depth and character...otherwise it's just clams and Ragu"
Boy: "What about the rest of the bottle?..."
Me: "What bottle?"

There was really no real point to this entry, no knitting, just a girl all warm with good pasta and a bottle of red wine.

(Note: Please overlook any spelling errors or incoherent sentences)

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Meet Jaywalker...

Jaywalker is a lovely sock cuff, soon to be sock, knit from Regia sock yarn. I'm a little concerned for Jaywalker. First, the color. I picked this yarn from my stash to attempt Jaywalker, however I'm afraid the color pattern will obscure the stitch patter. I have read that stripes are okay, but faux fair-isle may be difficult too much. I can see the pattern, but I don't know if I am disillusioning myself because I "want" to see the pattern. I guess only time will tell.
My second concern for Jaywalker is the fit. I have read that a few other knitters experienced the slouchy sock or baggy ankle problem. I still haven't decided if these are going to be gifted or kept, but either way, I don't want them falling down. As a novice sock knitter, I am concerned that I will not know how to fix this problem, should it arise. Any Ideas?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Yarn Harlot in Philadelphia

Forgot to mention that the Yarn Harlot was in Philadelphia last weekend...

Actually, in a Doylestown Book Shop. BJ from my knitting group was there also. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is so nice (and funny), she took time to really talk to people, while signing their books. I bought a copy of her newest book.

Speaking of that day, I think my webbed feet are starting to grow over. Growing up in the Pacific NW, rain never bothered me. Last Saturday, I found myself complaining about the rain! And it wasn't like there was consecutive rainfall, just a rainy day. I'm turning into a 4 season's wimp.

(by the way...for those who care, I fixed the email address on my website)

Monday, April 10, 2006


As you may or may not have noticed, I have not posted anything in about a week. This is not due to lack of interesting happenings in my household, as there have been several. The lack of posts are mainly due to boredom. I must confess, my blog is boring. I have noticed that several of the blogs I read are very entertaining and engaging, which keeps me coming back and reading on a semi-regular basis. Mine, not so much. I took some time to ponder why this is and came to this conclusion: I am a business writer. Years of business courses have beaten me into technical writing submission. I have been trained to be factual and concise, omit any filler or minutiae. It is the minutiae and filler which make for an interesting blog, otherwise it becomes what I have here

Today I did/got/had ...The end.

It may as well be a bulleted list, for as entertaining as it is. For that I apologize to you, my reader. From this point forth, I will try to: (uh-oh, here comes the bulleted list)
  • Be more engaging as a blogger
  • Write about the trivial nonsense that is my life in an effort to entertain you, the reader
  • Post more frequently to entice said reader to return and possibly leave a comment
  • And, try to portray my funny, witty, clever self in written form (ha! yeah, right)

We shall see how I do...

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I made Twinkies this weekend with my Twinkie bake set. They turned out okay, but not very twinkiesque. I used one of the recipes that came with the bake set, it was supposed to be the sponge cake recipe, however, it was more cakey than spongy. Next time I will use the recipe in the Top Secret recipe book...I did use the filling recipe from this book, which did taste like Twinkie filling.

Spring has sprung in PA! Living in a state with four seasons makes one understand why everyone gets so excited for spring. Growing up in WA, I never really got excited for spring, it generally only meant more rain. Now that I live in PA and am exposed to cold winters (including snow you don't have to drive to) and the dreaded brownness of all vegetation. After the holiday excitement has worn off....mid January... it sucks, everything is dead for months. This weekend is beautiful...warm weather, sunshine, and flowers and trees starting to bloom. We went for a bike ride this weekend, we saw a huge hawk fly right over us and land in a tree nearby. I love spring!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I am a Sock Knitter!

I finished my very first sock!...I am a sock Knitter...with a captial K. Up until now I have always felt like a beginner knitter, too unconfident in my skills to try anything that required more than two needles, but no more! I knit this sock on four, size two (incredibly small) needles; picking up stitches and turning heels, like the best of them. No longer do I consider myself a novice knitter, I am a Knitter ...Norwegien sweaters here I come...okay, maybe not quite yet, but I am currently working on a lace project and a fair isle project. Both gifts so I will not disclose what they are for fear of giving the surprise away.

This sock was knit with Regia Sock yarn, using a basic sock pattern.

Finished sock (unblocked...not sure if blocking is necessary, but my grandma says I should)

Now I just need to knit other foot is jealous.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mail Call

During the last week or two, I've received some fun mail. Fun mail usually consists of magazines, letters/cards, packages from, etc.; it is apart from the usual junk and bills that normally grace our mailbox. The recent contents included the new Harry Potter movie from Amazon, Yarn and a pattern from KnitPicks, and a couple of magazines. Check out the Stash Enhancement from Knit Picks:
Hand-dyed Merino wool, going to be used for my first lace project (sorry the pic is so dark) .

One of the magazines I received was Everyday with Rachel Ray , which is my new favorite cooking magazine. Rachel and her staff have wonderful and easy recipe's and fun articles. In my excitement, I decided to try out the PB&J cookie recipe, which sounded delicious. It is essentially a thumbprint cookie (you know the kind with the jam in the middle), but uses a peanut butter cookie base. First let me say, the recipe couldn't be simpler, however it turned out to be a disaster. Not because of the recipe, but because of my own ineptness at baking. I underestimated how much the cookie would actually spread (two inches apart seemed rather excessive at the time) and made too large of an indentation for the jelly ( I like a lot of jelly). Into the oven they went, and the bottoms fell out. The bottoms fell out, leaving me with a donut shaped cookie and jelly stuck to the baking sheets. What a mess...but a tasty mess, I must admit. I will definitely try them again, hopefully with better result.
Before Baking:
A couple of the cookies turned out ok...
...but mostly they looked like these sorry excuses for cookies. How unfortunate.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

I meant to post this yesterday....actually, I meant to post it Sunday, but whatever. I celebrated my 25th birthday on Sunday! Happy Birthday to me...Happy Birthday to me... The above is the gorgeous castle cake my honey baked and decorated for me.
This year I received a beautiful road bike for my birthday. Along with the bike I received a bunch of fun and needed gear from my Parents (via REI)...I can't wait for the weather to be consistently warm enough to ride daily, but for now I'll have to settle for short, face freezing rides, or training on the stationary.
I am also the soon to be recipient of the Lucky Twist Longaberger basket set. I very pretty basket with a bottom twist and green reeds. Thanks Kunkels!

The grand daddy of gifts would have to be my new Twinkie bake set (which along with the bike and the cake, is also from my honey), I can't wait to try it out. I have always LOVED Hostess Twinkies, an obsession that those here in TastyKake land do not understand. Lately, I have not been able to eat Twinkies; we try to eat very little processed foods, which lets face it, Twinkies don't fit under those restrictions. They are one of the few foods that will outlast it's packaging. This Christmas, I received a Twinkie the Kid, Twinkie holder in my stocking, but he has been sitting empty, longing for the yellow goodness he was made for. But, no more...I will now be able to make my own Twinkies...with real ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs, etc...) no preservatives! And if that weren't came with a second Twinkie the Kid! Bliss.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bikes, Beer and Knitting, oh my!

Here on the East Coast, we received our first taste of spring yesterday! It was sunny and in the upper 60's, perfect weather to try out my Birthday Bike. We stayed local for our first ride of the season, taking advantage of the paved trail near our house. Jake spent so much time decking my new bike out, that he neglected making sure his was in proper riding order. He was soon sorry, because as it turns out he couldn't shift out of gear, so he pretty much only had one speed. Needless to say, after a couple miles, he was ready to pack it in and try to repair his bike.

Sophie's trip through the wash:
Completed Sophie:
The Sophie bag is felted and complete, and in time for Gretchen's birthday, how about that for timing. I still need to shave it and I'm thinking about embellishing it with a small knit/crocheted flower, but we'll see how I feel. After the ride yesterday we met up with some friends for an evening of beer. I brought along my very first sock project. Can you think of anything more fun than beer and socks?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Check out my new site...

So yesterday my wonderful cohabitant built me a beautiful new website, with all the bells and whistles. He did a fantastic job, I am so excited about it. He included this blog to the homepage so that you can read the blog from the site. Pretty cool.

The Sophie bag is almost complete! I need to finish the second strap (hopefully I have enough yarn... it's going to be close) and off to the washer to FELT! This will be my maiden felting voyage, keep your fingers crossed because it can't be unravelled after felting.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

MySpace Addict

As it turns out there is this amazingly addictive web~whatever called MySpace. I'm sure everyone has heard if it, as I think I am the last person in the world to sign up. Be that as it may, I have recently come in contact with many of my High School friends from back home, as well as a couple of my Americorps buddies. I must say, I'm addicted.

I started a new knitting project this weekend, after the disappointing Knitting Olympics. I'm currently working on the Sophie Bag. I think this is going to be a gift, if I finish on time. It actually knits up surprisingly fast.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


I crossed the finish line!! My Knitting Olympics project is complete. I must say, the Waldron Island hat was a learning experience, I learned that double pointed needles are not so bad and that I'm not a big fan of making bobbles.

My brand new Clover Yarn Cutter is my gold medal, no silly donut hole for me.

Waldron Island Hat in action:

The deadline really helped me stay focused, as I have tendency to jump from project to project (don't all knitters?). The pattern was fun, aside from the bobbles, did I mention that I've decided that I don't like bobbles. They yarn is a deliciously soft alpaca and knit up nice. The sad part is, I don't like it. I like the picture, and it turned out well, but when I put it on, it does this weird, crown-like thing, I feel like the kid on the old Imperial Margarine commercials (was it imperial margarine?...the kid with the crown?... who knows, but anyway...). I finished, I got the gold, but I'm not happy with it, which means I probably won't wear it, but I like the yarn so....
I ripped it out. Two weeks of knitting back in the basket (on a side not, the pretty blue yarn was part of Jan's destashing, thanks Jan!)
Maybe I'll find a different hat to turn the nice yarn into, however right now I need to move on to some gift knitting.
Disappointing :(

Tuesday, February 21, 2006's not easy being green

There was a minor setback to the Knitting Olympics Sunday night. I realized that I had been knitting the pattern of my hat incorrectly and consequently had been increasing every row. There was no way around it, so I ripped down to the color change. I should still be able to finish before the torch goes out, but I'm not messing around, I've traded out the dpns for my circulars, in an attempt to speed things along. Plus, this week I have my SnB, so that right there is at least two solid hours of knitting (minus the time spent to sip my coffee).
Speaking of... I did manage to finish 1 Project Linus square for the group. I think I am going to try to crochet a couple of blocks from "200 Crochet Blocks" by Jan Eaton for the next square.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Stash Enhancement

Today we went on an adventure to Allentown. We had committed to helping my future sister-in-law and her husband fix up their new house and decided to run some errands while we were headed that direction.

First Stop:
Allentown Sewing Machine Outlet: Bill diagnosed my sewing machine problem as an internal loose screw that was affecting my tension, not an operator error, as I had suspected. He fixed the problem and sent me on my way. They are so nice and helpful here it is worth the drive to do business with them. Plus they have a great selection of fabric! (which I was good about not purchasing)

Second Stop:
Tucker Yarn Co.: I had never been here before and decided that since I was in the area I would check it out. The store is not much to look at, it is in a section of Allentown which I'm told was once an upscale shopping district about 40 years ago, but now is pretty run down. The shop owners themselves probably have been there for at least 40 years. They were a cute, elderly couple, the woman needed a walker to get around. They were very helpful and the store was very large. Tucker Yarn has a wide range of yarns and other needlepoint accessories. They had everything from nice imported wools and alpacas to Lion Brand acrylics. They carried a lot of different weights and colors of each. Some of this yarn had to be in stock since the 70's, just by looking at the labels.

My purchase included: 2 skeins of Reynolds Lopi in nave to make a Sophie Bag, 3 balls of Noro Kuyeron just because the price was right, and 2 skiens of Jiffy to make another Project Linus square for the Knitting Group's Charity Project.

The journey to our next stop included witnessing an extreme display of road rage involving an individual drawing a weapon and threatening the car behind him (in broad daylight no less). But that is a story for another time.

Finally we arrived at our Third Stop: The pet store, where we purchased fish food and spoke with the Greyhound people who were there. We've been contemplating getting Miss Emma a friend lately.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon painting, and when we came home we bottled two batches of homebrew. So needless to say I didn't get much Knitting Olympics done today, I did work on one of the Project Linus squares during the drive:

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy V-Day!

When I am in charge of dessert, here's what you get...Cupcakes. I am not the baker that Jake is, but here is my attempt at the Valentines Day dessert:
Before Baking:
After Baking: As it turns out that the Waldron Island Hat is proving to be challenging. After day one, I thought it may have been too easy to be an Olympian project, and then I got to the bobble stage. Now the challenge lies in trying to decipher what the pattern is asking me to do. Progress thus far...

Happy Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Knitting Olympics

And so it has begun....

I decided to throw down the gauntlet and join the rest of the online knitting community with their quest to greatness. Last night, I cast on my project for the Knitting Olympics. For the next 16 days I will be challenging my knitting ability by knitting the Waldron Island Hat, which is April 28, 2006 in the Knitting Pattern a Day Desk calendar. In the spirit of the Olympics, this pattern challenges my ability, as I have never worked with dpns before, nor cables. After some dropped stitches, I started to get a little more comfortable with all of the sticks poking around.

In other knitting news.... The HP scarf is hitting the WIP basket, it has become entirely too boring to knit, and by the time it is finished, it will no longer be scarf weather. I will probably just use it for TV knitting, as it is pretty mindless.

The Project Linus squares for the Philly Burbs SnB, are going well, I have one almost complete, with another in works.