Sunday, December 30, 2007

If you could bottle stuff like this, you'd be rich...

Mark and I are back in Blacksburg right now and I have had one of those days that it would be great to be able to bottle up and save. If I could, I would, and then when I'm Starkville and I'm cranky and bummed cuz most of my good friends are here and I'm there, I could just open up the bottle, pour out a few drops of this gleeful fun day, and feel a little better...who knows, maybe I won't have days like that, but I wouldn't bet on it.

So what happened...we got here (Jess's place) about 10:30 last night, caught up with Jess a bit and went to bed. Mark was a driving maniac yesterday and drove the whole way up here so I went into a knitting frenzy on his soon to be felt slippers which are the reverse of mine (which I love love love).

This morning I couldn't sleep so I got up and knitted more of the slippers. They are extremely gratifying, cuz they go so quick. Jess got up and we all goofed around and talked for a couple of hours before getting our act together and going to Gillies' for a freakin' awesome brunch.
Jess in the AM

Then we dropped Mark back off at Jess's and went to meet Darcy, Katherine, and Liz to hang out and knit at the Easy Chair. Katherine brought legos cuz she hasn't leanr to knit yet, (even though I think she would love it) and didn't want to be the only one without something to do...
At some point Liz or I or Darcy will just tie her down in a chair and teach her how to knit and I'll bet that she yells at us for not teaching her sooner, but that's ok.

Overall, it wad a really great afternoon of hanging out and knitting and giggling, after which Jess and I went across the street to Mosaic, the LYS which was having a 25% off sale...WOW! (See what I mean about a great day???). I showed huge restraint, but did buy some NORO sock yarn which I have been really eager to try. YAY!

Afterwards, Jess and I got food for dinner and a movie to watch w/ Mark. Mark made one of my favorite dinners for us, yogurt chicken w/ quinoa for us. He pretty much rocks!

After that I helped Jess skein up some her huge new stash with my brand new niddy noddy (that Mark gave me for Hannukah but at Christmas)

and then we watched a movie during which I finished knitting Mark's slippers (still gotta weave in all the damn ends)
My felted slippers and Mark's huge unfelted ones.

and now I really gotta go to's after 1:00am,, today is tomorrow already.

More to come.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Almost destroyed the house last night

So, even though I have a ton of other stuff to do like reading and writing for work and present making (which is now mostly done), I got a little panicked late last night when I couldn't find my swift in all the packed boxes. I found my ball winder, but without the swift it's not so useful. Here I am sitting with a bunch of new beautiful yarn, that I really shouldn't touch given everything else I need to do, but I really want to wind it up so I started looking in some of the boxes, and then some other boxes and then... It took all of my newly gained maturity (hah!) and restraint not to rip through every unpacked box leaving the house in a shambles until I found my swift, but I resisted and went to bed.

This morning, I sweetly (double hah!) asked Mark to help me find the swift today even though I promised promised promised not to wind any new yarn or start any new projects until I have finished the holiday stuff, his slippers, our bathmats and various other tasks that really should come first...sigh!

As it turns out, Mark has super powers, or maybe he wasn't deliriously tired when our apartment was being packed up, so he knew which box it was in. We carefully unpacked (how mature of us) and immediately found both my swift and sock blockers. Yay Mark! Unfortunately, I now have to show more mature restraint by not balling up the beautiful new yarn and casting on new projects, as I promised. Fortunately, my restraint is aided by the fact that we are leaving for Raleigh, NC in the morning for the holiday.

As part of my break from knitting, I repaired the beaded necklace I made my sister-in-law Sandy last year and made her matching earring as part of her present for this year.
I'm also going to make her a pair of sock with this if she wants,
or the yarn of her choosing, if these colors don't appeal to her. I thinking of making her a pair of Monkey socks or the slipped stitch pattern I really like...hmmm.

I also made a matching pair of earing for my sister-in-law Jenny to match her necklace from last year. The colors of her necklace are my favorite of the three I made last year. Sorry that this pic is a little blurry, but these were hard to photograph without proper equipment.
It feels good to bead again and it certainly is much quicker than knitting, but knitting is more portable and cozy feeling.

Lastly, I have to felt these.
Unfortunately, my new awesome energy efficient front loading washer can be opened during the cycle, but not all the time, so it's too risky to try to use it for felting...sigh. Hopefully Serita, my mom-in-law, won't mind when I felt them in her washer (in a pillowcase, of course). I'm excited to see how they turn out.

More to come from the Holidays in NC, New Years in Blacksburg, and then 5 days in Puerto Rico. If all the travel doesn't kill me, the trip to PR should definitely relax me some.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Slacker blogger!

I've been trying to add to this blog at least once a week, but I've been slacking cuz of all moving craziness. I'm am officially no longer moving to Mississippi. Now I am here, 6 days and counting. The moving truck arrived Monday and now we're surrounded by boxes that we are slowly digging out of. Fortunately we finished painting the last room over the weekend.

The house, like any new house, still requires tons of work which is hard to motiviate to do when I'm still bummed about leaving Blacksburg. I just ordered some thick cotton yarn (Peaches & Cream Double Worsted)to make some custom bathmats and welcome mats. That'll be fun. The pattern is called 'Absorba' and it's in Mason Dixon Knitting. I'll post pix as they progress.

There are a lot of things I love about this house, but one of the best things is the amazing spa tub.
I used it once, and I'm going to use it again tonight cuz I just went for a run. I kinda feel like I have to run or exercise, to deserve a soak. Otherwise I feel too decadent.

Other than that, I'm knitting a pair of felt slippers in Hokie colors because the floors here are a bit cold and I miss Blacksburg.
I also have a ton of work to get done before the holidays, which means I have to work like a crazy woman until we leave on Saturday...yikes! I can't believe the holidays are here already.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Yummy Cookies!

I found a great Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie recipe online and made it for some friends who were hiking the AT last year. After trying the cookies I decided I could make them even yummier by adding cranberries and pecans. These cookies are soooo good! Note that the dough keeps really well in the fridge for about a week.

I decided to post this recipe because I am making some to thank Darcy for teaching me how to spin and sending some to my friend Kerry because these are healing cookies, which she needs right now. They don't contain any pharmaceuticals, but they definitely make me feel better and with all of the oats and cranberries, they are almost healthy.

The Following is for a double recipe (makes about 60 cookies depending on how big you make them and how much of the dough you nibble):

1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 and 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon SALT
1 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
16 ounces (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cups LIGHT BROWN SUGAR, packed (can substitute sucanat)
1 and 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
4 large eggs
6 cups OATS
3 cups chocolate chips
(1 and 1/2 packages of Ghiradelli Bittersweet 60% cocoa or any high quality dark chocolate chips )
2 scant cups of dried cranberries (depending on preference)
2 scant cups of chopped pecans

1. Preaheat oven to 350 degrees, and line large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk flour, salt and baking powder together in a medium bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, by hand or by mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars and beat the mixture until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time.

4. Combine/Stir dry ingredients and butter-sugar mixture together with a wooden spoon or a large rubber spatula in a large mixing bowl.

5. Stir in oats and chocolate chips and pecans and cranberries. Mix will get harder and harder to stir as each of these is added but it will work.

6. Place dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets in chunky balls about golf ball size, leaving at least 2 inches between.

7. Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Slide cookies (on parchment) onto cooling rack. Let cool, and store in airtight container.

A tip from the original internet recipe: Place a piece of bread (any type) in with the cookies to prevent them from becoming stale. If they hang around long enough, that is!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Spinning and Hokie Pride

First, I love spinning, but yes, I still suck and have a long way to go to become proficient.
Darcy, who taught me, said that for a first attempt, I'm doing great, but then I look at her yarns and I am absolutely in awe. I know she's been spinning for 10 years, but still, her yarns and the things she's made with them are really freakin' inspiring. Check back with me in 10 years and I'll let you know how I'm doing then.

Now, for a bit of proof that I can be a bit of a Hokie football nutter. I never used to like football, but somehow the Hokies have gotten into my blood. Their wins can cheer me up for a week and their losses, especially the close ones, can leave me devastated. My mother, a non-football person, is convinced that this is evidence that part of my brain has gone bad. I'm ok with that.

A few months ago, when the Hokies lost to BC with 11 seconds left in the game, I and the rest of the fans in B'burg were in shock. Like any slightly crazy fan, I felt a little responsible for not doing all I could by holding my stuffed Hokie bird in my lap or cheering hard enough from my living room (They can hear me through the TV, can't they?)

So when the Hokies got their rematch with BC and the chance for the ACC title, I was prepared. Despite having to pack and clean for the move, I watched the game with my Hokie bird
and began to knit Yarn Harlot's Unoriginal Hat with some great orange and maroon yarn I've been saving.
I changed the pattern a bit to make it bigger. I added 8 stitches/row (2/repeat) by adding an extra purl stitch between each of the cable elements. It's a little short so next time I would also add a 1/2 cable repeat at the top, about 7 more rows, but I love it. Next time I want to try the yarn suggested in the pattern, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Leticia because it looks beautiful.

Anyways, it was a freakin' amazing game and we won, we won, WE WON!. Now I can't really take the credit because the team really played great while I sat here on the couch, BUT, maybe, just maybe, my effort added some good juju.

Because of that win, the Hokies are playing the Orange Bowl on January 3rd and I'll be in Puerto Rico with Mark and my parents. Damn skippy, I'm bringing my new Hokie hat and my bird who I think I will name Horton the Hokie, cuz if I don't and we lose, I'll feel responsible. I may even bring some more Hokie-colored yarn with me for good measure.

As an aside, yes, I haven't been talking about my move because I am in complete denial. The moving trucks arrive next Tuesday (in 6 days) so I'll talk more about it when it happens. I am excited about the new house.