Monthly Archives: September 2007
I finally finished my Inside Out Socks that I started quite awhile ago. The yarn and pattern were the first club shipment for this year for the Rockiin’ Socks Club. This is the second year that I have belonged to the club but this is the first pair of socks that I have made. I just really like the yarn.
Part of the reason why I did not make any of the socks the first year is that they were all top down. And I am a toe up girl. And this year, several of the patterns have been toe up. I will get around to making all of the socks eventually. But I really like this pattern which was designed by Kaci.
The colors are not colors that I normally would lean towards but for some reason these called to me. And the pattern is fun. I am actually using it again to make some socks for P. I have modified the pattern slightly by changing the toe and heel to st-st and not putting the cables on the leg. Basically, I am just using the ribbing patterns. And yes, I will use this pattern again.
One thing that I enjoy about sock clubs is that I have no say in the colors that I receive. And if there are patterns involved in the club, I am exposed to patterns that I would normally just ignore. And between P and I, we swap the stuff that we each get in sock clubs that we don’t like. Generally if there is something in a club package that one of us receives that we do not like, the other one will love it. So we send the packages on to the other one.
An example of this is that P joined the batt club over at Abby’s Yarns. The first shipment was one that she wasn’t too sure about but she spun them up anyway. And as she was spinning, she realized that the colors were more me than her. So I know that I have about 500 yards of sparke-ly purple yarn sitting at P’s house right now. I received one of the shipments for Scout’s Swag that as soon as I opened the package, I knew everything in there belonged to P. So the entire package, pattern and all, were sent on to her. And she loves the color and the pattern.
I will be honest, P and I are each other’s worst enablers. We buy yarn for each other all the time. Plus we will buy yarn for the other one and realize that when we get it, we actually like it for ourselves. But we will knit it up into socks for the other one so that we can enjoy the yarn. Plus if we knit the other one socks, the favor is reciprocated. An example of this is that right now I am knitting up a pair of socks that are for P. I was ordering some yarn from Jana at White Oak Studios and P mentioned that she liked the color Sleepless in Seattle. So I added it to my order. And when the yarn came in, I feel in love with it. And somehow, the yarn ended up on the needles instead of the box headed to P’s house. I am enjoying the yarn color and knitting her socks. But when I am doing knitting them, she knows that she will have a nice warm pair of socks to keep her feet warm on the cold windy nights that are in the future.
So here are the socks that I am knitting for P. I am using the Inside Out Pattern again but I am calling these socks S’Mores because they remind me of them.
There is nothing like new yarn to make you feel better. So I ordered myself some sock yarn while I was sick. Okay, I never need an excuse to buy new sock yarn but it does make you feel better. So I ordered some yarn from my favorite source for Fleece Artist and used up my credit at the Loopy Ewe.
I also added some yarn to my stash at the same time I was getting rid of quite a bit. Steph is still collecting yarn for her knit group at school. And I brought a large bag full of yarns and some straight needles to give her at our stitch group this weekend. She gave me a skein of Bright Dyes sock yarn that she received as part of her sock club. She thought the colors were a little bit bright but I like them.
And I also received my first installment of the semi-solids sock yarn club from Zen Garden. I love the color!!!! I actually have a pattern in mind for this yarn already. As soon as I opened the envelope at the post office, the pattern came to mind. And to give you an idea of how nice the color is, the ladies at the post office were petting it.
I am still waiting on two more yarns coming from the far coast of Canada. But from my last order from this same dyer, I have already started a new sock. I actually do not have a plain sock on the needles, so the new sock is a plain sock. The yarn dictated a plain sock too. The sock is named after the yarn color. The name of this new sock is Kermit Had a Nightmare!!!! It is acid greens and black. And I love it.
I also joined a local quilt guild this weekend. I used to belong to a very large guild about 40 miles down the road. But I stopped going because the church where the meetings were held was basically out in the middle of nowhere. There are two guilds in the Frederick area. And the one I joined is the newer of the two guilds. The only reason I joined the guild was to save some money on some classes. The dues for the rest of the year are only $6 and that saved me #30 on two classes. So I am now signed up for two classes from a British quilter at the beginning of next month.
I also managed to finish piecing another top yesterday. I started a new top which is based on on Amy Butler pattern. I am not really following the directions since the pattern isn’t well written in my opinion. I am still sewing the strips together. I bought the yardage stated in the pattern but I didn’t get the number of pieces called for. I want to sew all of the stripes before I go out and purchase a little bit more fabric.
And has anyone made any of the Amy Butler purse patterns? I purchased one of her purse patterns Saturday and some fabric. But she calls for canvas plus interfacing. So I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions.
I received my package from the Virtual Vacation Swap while I was sick. So I am finally revealing it to everyone. And no, P, you may not pet the yarn. I know what will happen if I ever let you pet the yarn.
On to the lovely goodies from Alaska –
There is a nice little hat with Alaska on it in a pale pink-purple color. There is also some tea from Alaska Tea Traders. And a lovely mug in purples with Alaskan wildflowers on it. There are some lovely batiks to use in making a pattern called Nature’s Sweet Kiss. The pattern is from an Alaskan designer. There is some Alaskan sour dough starter. I love sourdough breads. I generally have good luck keeping my starters going once I get them started. I think I feel the urge to start making bread again.
There is also something called Alaskan Bear Breath Mints. I love the tin they are in. There are tons of postcards and a beautiful magnet with Mount McKinley on it. There are flower seeds for wildflowers and irises. There is a nice little tree ornament from Santa’s Village.
I am finally starting to feel normal again. Well as normal as you can feel when you still feel the need to stop and cough your lungs up occasionally. The real trick now is is restore my energy reserves. But at least I am sleeping almost all night. I am still waking up in the wee early hours and can’t get back to sleep for an hour or two though. But my closet has been throughly cleaned out for once. I have even cleaned out my sock drawer and matched all of the socks and tossed the ones with out mates. I figure that since I can not sleep, I might as well do something useful. I normally never would get around to cleaning out the closet or the sock drawer.
I have also managed to cut, sew, and trim all of the squares for a new quilt. I am going to try and sit down and piece it tonight. I have also figured out which quilt which is the next one going to be machine quilted. My one goal for Sunday was to drop a quilt off to at the quilt shop for the machine quilter. I did manage to accomplish that so that meant I could decide on the next one. I think I have the backing fabric picked but I need to make sure I have enough fabric. It always feels so good when you see the end of a project in sight.
I did manage to finish a pair of socks while I was sick though. My first pair of Frankenstein socks are done. This pair is a pair that will go on to grace the foot of some one else though. I know some one who says that there is only holiday every year and it is Halloween. So she will get this pair. I have in my hands though another skein of this color way to make another pair. But my niece has requested a pair. So I may end up having to order a third skein of the yarn. But I really like the yarn and the colors so I can see myself knitting this color way three times.
And I have made a huge dent in the pile of magazines that has been steadily growing next to the couch though. And after reading them, I tore out the articles I wanted and the magazine went into the recycle bin. So I did manage to work on cleaning the living room as well. Now to just get all of the books back onto the shelves.
One thing about spending so much time on the couch is that I realize I really do need to get new curtains in the living room. So now I have to decide do I really want to make them myself or buy them. And with old windows, I have a feeling that I may end up having to make them myself in order to get them to fit the windows. Now comes the hardest part, deciding what color I want my curtains. Yeah, I may have spent too much time reading decorating magazines.
And I did manage to get to the post office today. There were several packages there including one from Alaska. My virtual vacation box is here. I still need to open it and take some photo. It isn’t that I am being good, it is just that my energy is running out for today.
The bronchitis kind of went away. Friday, I just felt like I had no energy and only one side hurt so I went to the doctor’s and the verdict was that the bronchitis has cleared out of one lung. The problem was that the bronchitis was actually pneumonia. Very early but it still showed on the x-rays. So I was promptly placed on some very nice antibiotics and a really nice cough syrup that contains codeine.
Well, let’s just say that codeine makes me dizzy. But it also means that it doesn’t hurt to cough. And that stack of magazines that just seems to always get taller sitting next to the couch is almost all read. But there hasn’t been much knitting progress. Although, I am almost finished watching season 6 of Hogan’s Heroes. I have actually watched the whole series in order for once. Yes, the show is a campy but it is still a good show. And at least, if I fell asleep while watching it, I didn’t miss much. I have seen them all several times.
I want to be all better by Saturday. Saturday is the next meeting for the Carroll County Sit and Knit group that I belong to. And I really want to go. It does take me about 25 minutes to get there so I want to make sure that I am well enough to go. Plus, I can stop at a quilt shop or two on my way there. Well, one quilt shop will be hit since it is on the way there. The second one might be as stretch. It will all depend on how I feel. So Suz, you may be getting your frog.
So I am headed back off to the couch to rest again for a little bit longer.
I am down for the count with a mild cause of bronchitis. I went to a fire prevention detail thing on Saturday at a local church. There weren’t too many children there though. I did end up with a case of sunburn though. But there were alpacas there. And some one was spinning. I talked to two ladies who may have some yarn for Steph. They will be getting back to me later this week. And I was also invited to knit at the county fair in a few weeks.
But I did not feel so hot Saturday night and yesterday I realized that I have a mild case of bronchitis. Based on the guidelines given to me by my pulmonary specialist last fall, I am not sick enough to go antibiotics. Based on the guidelines he gave me, I am to stick to Tylenol and use my inhaler as needed. But if I get worse, I get to go in and get antibiotics. But the whole idea is to keep me off them since I always seem to get a second case of bronchitis about 4 weeks after going off antibiotics from a milk case. So I am staying in bed and resting. The one good thing is that I can read while I am in bed and knit on something simple.
So while I heal my lungs, I will leave you with some photos of the alpacas from Saturday. And the reason behind the no touching sign is that the kids seem to want to go straight for their heads and they don’t like that.
Like I mentioned yesterday, I made granola on Monday for my nephew. I kind of followed a Wolfgang Puck recipe that I found in the food section of the Chicago Tribune from a few weeks ago. I have posted the recipe as it appeared in the paper and my version of the recipe.
Adapted Postrio Granola
Check you food co-op for dried fruits and the grains. There are two kinds of coconut in this recipe. The unsweetened is baked and the sweeetened is not baked. I used maple cinnamon walnuts that I found at my local co-op so I did not bake them. f you are using regular walnuts, divide them in half.
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
4 cups old-fashioned uncooked oats
1 cup steel cut oats (Irish oatmeal)
1 cup barley flakes
1 cup kamut flakes
1 cup oat bran
1/2 to 3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 cup or more almonds, cut in half and divided
1 cup or more walnuts, broken into pieces, divided (I used maple cinnamon walnuts found in the bulk section of my local co-op)
1 cup or more raw pumpkin seeds, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3 sticks (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried blueberries
1 to 1/2 cups dried apples, cut into small bite sized pieces
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (Baker’s brand is what I use)
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the grains, half of the almonds, the unsweetened coconut, and half of the walnut if using regular walnuts in a large bowl; stir in the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, stirring until combined. Set aside.
Combine the butter and syrup in a small saucepan; cook, stirring occasionally, just until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not yet boiling, about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla, Pour this mixture evenly over the dry ingredients; stir to coat evenly.
Transfer the mixture to large greased baking sheets with a spoon or spatula; spread and press down to an even thickness of 1/2 inch. Bake until mixture is fragrant and a deeper golden color, about 30 minutes. Carefully invert the mixture onto a second greased sheet. (Or break it up and stir it around on the baking sheet as I did.) Bake until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven; transfer to a wire rack. Set aside to cool. After the mixture has cooled for about 10 minutes, place about 1/4 of it into a large bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients. Slowly add about another 1/4 of the mixture to the fruit mixture. As the mixtures cool, blend everything together. You will need the largest bowl you have. Once everything is blended and cooled, transfer to airtight containers. Store at room temperature. Yield: a lot so share it.
Unsweetened coconut is available at some supermarkets and specialty food markets, health food stores and online at kingarthurflour.com.
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, see note
5 cups old-fashioned uncooked oats
1-1/3 cups each: sliced blanched almonds, raw cashews
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2-1/2 sticks (1-1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup raisins or assorted chopped dried fruit
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the coconut evenly in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, but not dark, brown, 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven; transfer to a bowl immediately. Set aside.
Combine the oats, almonds and cashews in a large bowl; stir in the brown sugar, orange zest, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring until combined. Set aside.
Combine the butter and syrup in a small saucepan; cook, stirring occasionally, just until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not yet boiling, about 8 minutes. Pour this mixture evenly over the dry ingredients; stir to coat evenly.
Transfer the mixture to large greased baking sheets with a spoon or spatula; spread and press down to an even thickness of ½ inch. Bake until mixture is fragrant and a deeper golden color, about 30 minutes. Carefully invert the mixture onto a second greased sheet. Bake until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven; transfer to a wire rack. Set aside to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Break the granola into bite-sized chunks into a bowl. Add the raisins and the reserved toasted coconut; toss well to combine. Transfer to airtight containers. Store at room temperature. Yield: 16 servings.
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
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