Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all have a safe and happy halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

secret stole, stargan and seven random things

I zipped through the fourth hint for Secret of the Stole. I finished the clue Sunday morning while nursing a hangover. Thanks to this awesome gin.
I also started another stargan last night. This one is for a member of The Gaming One's clan that is expecting his first child in a few weeks. Though they have never met, they play online at least once a week for the past 3 or so years so they are pretty good friends.

I was tagged by urbanknitrix in the 7 Random Facts Meme.

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I did a version of this meme back in May, but then it was 8 random things...

Here are 7 more random things about me made much easier because I have so many things in common with Urbanknitrix...

1. I write with my right hand but can do everything else either handed. I tend to throw or bat left handed.
2. I can't "go" if there is someone else in a public restroom.
3. I do not read the newspaper or watch the news on tv. Everything seems to be bad news and depresses me.
4. My Mom is my favorite person (next to The Gaming One). She is the one person that I have never been mad at. We are very much alike and see eye to eye on most everything.
5. I don't believe in marriage either. The Gaming One and I got married so I could have insurance so we could have a baby together. We had each been married before so we knew that it takes more than a piece of paper to keep a couple together.
6. I don't believe in organized religion, but am very spiritual and pray often.
7. I also used to make spaghetti sandwiches when I was a kid. My step dad hated it and also had a "no spaghetti sandwich" rule. He said the action reminded him of something his bratty assed nieces did and he did not want reminders of them!

I am pretty sure all the blogs I regularly read/comment on have done this one, so I am changing the "tag" part. Consider yourself tagged if you have anything in common with my 7 random things. But leave me a comment so I can read your list.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Would you rather...

This has been the view from my front window for the past few days- grey and dreary. Granted, we really need the rain but the endless lack of sunshine is really starting to get to me. But with my desire to make this winter a better one, I was reminded of a little game of sorts the kids and I play when taking long walks. We refer to it as "Would you rather...?" We often set off with a thermos of water and a portable snack and walk along the the fitness trail that the local college maintains for its cross country track students. It is a great walk in the woods on wide maintained paths that leads to a beautiful lake. It usually takes 2 to 3 hours to complete the walk so by the time we are back to our neighborhood we are all dragging our feet. To take our minds off our tired legs and feet we play our little game. We take turns asking silly questions starting with the words "Would you rather..." and then we each give an answer. Most of the time our questions revolve around something gross ("Would you rather eat an earthworm sandwich or a bug milkshake?" Worm sandwich for me, bug milkshakes for the kiddos.) or something scary ("Would you rather be eaten by a shark or jump off a building with no parachute?" We would all jump.) but it takes our minds off our weary bodies and makes the last bit of our walk fly by. Not to mention we get to know things about one another that we would otherwise not know.

So today, I asked myself, "would you rather mope about and grump the day away, or throw open the windows and enjoy the pitter-patter of the rain on the leaves?" Today I am opening the windows and listening to the rain. No grumpiness allowed!

I have also been thinking about Christmas and the mountain of presents that usually comes with it (and the headaches and money wasted and unappreciated gifts). I have been thinking of starting new traditions and creating a more joyful atmosphere for the season. I came across this post while blog-hopping today and one of the ideas for gifts for children really stuck with me- Four Gifts: Something you want, something you need, something to play with and something to read... I love this idea and plan on running it by The Gaming One and the kiddos to see what they think about it as a new tradition.

What are your traditions to make the holidays meaningful? I am open to new ideas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Secret of the Stole- Hint 3

I finished knitting the third hint for The Secret of the Stole a few days ago. I must say I really am loving this pattern. It is, in my opinion, an easy lace project. I love that the pattern is given in pieces as it makes it so less daunting of a pattern. DK has done a great job with this one so far, I can't wait to see what the rest of it will look like. I am also itching to block this so I can get a glimpse of it's true beauty. I am being faithful to the stole, knitting only it until I complete the clue for the week so I do not get behind. So far I have been able to finish up the clues within 4 days or so.

I am working on the second Tyrolean stocking as my in between the hints project. I can't wait to get them finished, but have some way to go as I have only knit about 3 inches of the second one. These are just way too cute for house socks, I think some shoe shopping might be in order! I cannot for the life of me get a good picture of them- one that shows off all the delicious cabley goodness. How does one take a cute picture of ones own foot?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Remember to smile

Many people love fall- the beautiful colors of the changing leaves, sweet relief from the blistering summer heat- but as the leaves drift to the ground, my mood gets darker and darker. I am filled with dread at the thought of the approaching holidays- all the obligations and fake happiness. The long, dark, cold days zap my energy, leaving me withdrawn and silent.
This year to help combat all the negative emotions I am looking for joy. There are many little things that make me smile. I thought, since y'all have seen what I am working on and they are all long term projects, that I would share the little things around me that make me smile.
Since I was a kid, I have always loved little groups of acorns stuck together. To this day, I still pick them up and cradle them in my hand, careful not to break apart the connection they share.

I have to admit, my favorite part about fall is the food. I could eat greens and turnips every single day. But they have to be cooked just so...

My favorite Greens and Turnips
1 Bunch of greens (these are collards) stripped from their stems and roughly chopped
1 onion diced
olive oil
salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, oregano and red pepper flakes to taste
turnips peeled and diced

In a deep pot, saute onion in olive oil until translucent. Add chopped greens and cook until wilted. Add all seasonings and turnips. Cover with water and simmer until turnips are tender (about 20 minutes). Eat and enjoy! Especially good with cornbread!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Laundry Solution

The Girl Wonder drew these pictures for me a few days ago and I just had to share them!
This first picture is of me in our laundry room...notice the mountain of laundry and the frumpy mom.
The second picture is me finding a solution to the mountains of laundry... joyfully burning them in the backyard! The kiddos are in the background in just their bathrobes, since I burned all of their clothes! Poor Kids!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Clue 2 for The Secret of the Stole was completed yesterday due partly to insomnia. I was able to crank out the last half of the stole thanks to waking at 4am and nothing being on tv... I also finished the first Tyrolean Stocking yesterday. It fits like a dream and is so warm I can't wait to finish the other one! I have already cast on!
The Super Twins made their arrival last friday! Both boys are home and healthy! The family and I went to see them for the first time today. So cute and tiny it makes my ovaries hurt!

Awwwwwwwwwwww! I love those babies already! I almost cried when I saw them! I am just so very thankful they made it safe and healthy.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pumpkin Apple Mini Muffins

I made the Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins again today. I halved the recipe and and replaced over half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. The halved recipe was enough for 24 mini muffins (filled almost to the top of the muffin cups) and only took 25 minutes to cook. I asked The Boy Wonder if he thought they were good. His reply, "No, they are not good...They are delicious!" I guess these will become a staple in our house!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I knew I was onto something...

I mentioned just a few posts ago that I thought the cable from the Tyrolean Stockings would translate well into a cardigan. Imagine my surprise when I saw this sweater in a promo for the new Men in Trees. I wonder who designed that sweater?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Whole lotta craftin' going on!

I am 110yds into the Tyrolean Stockings. This was the perfect project for the beach while the kiddos frolicked in the ocean waves. Quite a few ladies stopped to ask what I was knitting and gushed about the beauty of the cables. I think I even convinced one lady to give cables a try! The stockings soaked up the sunshine and lovely memories. I am sure to remember this end of summer fun when I put these on this dreary, cold winter. I have officially changed my mind about knitting long as they are for me and knit on size US4 needles. I have gotten quite a bit farther since this pic and am almost ready to start on the heel. I also managed to finish the first clue of The Secret of the Stole. So far I am loving the pattern (two points! how clever!) and very happy with the fabric my handspun is creating. This is sure to be a warm wrap when it is finished.

I have also jumped on the Babette bandwagon. I do not have the magazine, so I am just winging the pattern based on pictures I have seen on the web. I am using the leftover Knit Picks Swish from the Super Twin's Starghans. I have decided to seam and weave in the ends as I go along so I can keep up with my squares and so I won't abandon the project when it comes time for that last crucial step. So far, so happy!

The quilting bug has officially bit me (thank you very much, Sara I officially blame/give credit to you!). I decided not to sell my Golden Eggs- seems like most people do not want donated eggs that have been thoroughly bathed in alcohol...go figure.) Instead, I decided to seek out a deal on Ebay on a lot of Amy Butler fabric to make another practice quilt. $25 for 7 yds of fabric...not too much to spend if I manage to fuck it all up. I am sewing strips together then will cut them and rearrange them...strip piecing I think it is called. I am taking the time to *gasp* measure and iron as I go along and it is making quite a difference.

I loved reading all your responses to Rambling, I guess I will have to give the fingerless gloves a try after such overwhelming support. MadMad, yes I normally get to sleep until 10am. Both my kiddos are old enough to make cereal at least when they wake (usually around 9am) and The Girl Wonder will sometimes cook eggs or oatmeal if she is not in the mood for a cold breakfast. We often have elevensies, just like the Hobbits, consisting of hot tea for the kids, coffee for me and pancakes, waffles or muffins. Speaking of muffins, I also tried the best recipe ever for Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins! I made them to take to the beach and I think they got better every day. I suggest you try it if ever you have an hour or so. I made them in a 9X9 pan instead of muffin pan so the cooking time almost doubled, but they were moist and delicious- so much so that The Boy Wonder referred to it as "cake". I am going to make them again this week and see if I can make them a little more healthy (a little bran and whole wheat flour instead of all white flour, perhaps add applesauce instead of some of the oil.) and will report back.

Friday, October 05, 2007


The first clue is finally here! The family and I are going to the beach for a few days and am so glad to have this in my hot little hands before we leave!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I woke today with a sore throat before 6am. Now I know this does not seem too early for some of your poor, poor women that have public schooled children, but this is about 4 hours before my normal wake up time. I realized exactly how good I have it as I tossed and turned in bed, trying to go back to sleep and I heard a rumbling outside. It was still dark mind you and I was thinking, "is that the garbage truck a day early?" Then I realized that it was the school bus! At 6:15! AM! Then I kinda figured in my head how early I would have to get up every single day to ensure my darling children made it to school on time if they attended public school. I think I then did a full body shudder and decided to take advantage of the few quiet hours before the kiddos woke up and drug my sleep deprived ass out of bed. To all you Mama's out there with kiddos that do have to be awake (especially if they are like mine and can roll out of bed, hit the floor and still stay asleep), washed, brushed, dressed (in matchy outfits and not pjs), packed (homework, books, permission slips, oh, my!), fed and hustled off to catch the bus before the fucking sun even peeks itself over the horizon...My hat is off to you. All of you. Homeschooling is a cakewalk compared to all that.

The following are a few knitterly things I just don't get. (Please realize, sweet readers, if any of these things appeal to you, do not take it as a personal attack- I love all y'all! Stand up for the things you love! Drop me a comment and tell me why they appeal to you, perhaps you may help me see the light -except with the fun fur, I will never get that.)
1. fingerless gloves- who has cold hands and hot fingers?
2. those new Harmony Needles- granted I have neither knit with them or seen them in person, but I just think they are kinda gaudy.
3. Giant gauge garments- quick? yes. flattering? not quite sure.
4. magic striping yarn...besides Trekking XXL and Noro (I love that stuff). Gradual color shifts are fine the other is just a bit much.
5. Fun Fur-I think that one needs no explanation
6. Art Yarn-what the hell do you use it for? It just confuses me.

After finishing The Gaming One's quilt I have been itching to try to make another one. Damn, I thought knitting was an expensive hobby! A quilting fix is going to break the bank in this single income family! But they are so pretty and tempting! Maybe I can sell plasma (I would have to gain a few pounds first) or sell my golden eggs since I don't really need any more of them... decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gentleman Socks

Finally off the needles, washed, dried and ready to be gifted! (note to self: Do not attempt to kitchner stitch the toe after drinking Gin & Tonics all night... it will result in ripping and reknitting. Thank you, that is all.)
Pattern: Gentleman Socks (you have to scroll down a bit for the pdf.) for my Dad's birthday.
Size: Men's large
Yarn: Trekking XXL, color 66, 1 skein
Needles: size 2 dpn
Mods: knitted shorter cuff because Dad prefers short socks.
This was my first time working socks from the cuff and working a heel flap. They were the second pair of socks ever knit. I had The Gaming One try them on to make sure they would fit my Dad and he wanted to keep them for himself. I guess that is a good sign!