Archive for December, 2006

Aaahhhh, Sunday!

December 31, 2006

It’s raining and dripping outside. Kind of windy, and chilly. Unfortunately we had to go to Walmart for groceries and other things, so we could eat next week. And boy was it busy. I guess because it’s New Years Eve. We plan to sleep it in.

Couldn’t go to church cause the car battery cable was very awful. We go to the 8am service and working on the car at 7am is not a desirable thing to do, especially in the rain. Mike waited for a break in the weather, then cleaned the cables, and we were off and running.

So, we’re doing odds and ends around the house, and tonight Mike will make wings for dinner. He makes all different kinds with various dipping sauces. Interesting to see what we’ll have tonight. I’ll let you know tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be able to get a picture of them before they disappear.

Happy Sunday Everyone, and Happy New Year!

Karen

Do you ever wonder

December 30, 2006

if I do any quilting? πŸ™‚ Well, the answer is yes, but I can’t post any pictures of those, as they go into the magazine. And right now I’m in a Knitting Zone, so I gotta go with that! πŸ™‚ Karen

Finally! A pair of socks!

December 30, 2006

After much trial and tribulation, and no concept of the freakin’ kitchener stitch to close the end of the toes, I finished a pair of socks.

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this is the Class Sock from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch (and also published by my own publisher, Martingale and Company!) So, it seems these socks may fit Jack, so I’m going to send them to Washington and see if it’s so.

I feel a great sense of accomplishment in completing ONE pair of socks!!!! And both appear to be usable. Amazing! I think I have a good start to the journey, so I’m going to try another pair, of course! But first… a pair of mittens! Last week I received my new box from Kaleidoscope Yarns – I have WAY too much fun at that site – and there is the mitten pattern and lots and lots of new wool!

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Until I get the rest of my software installed on this computer, this is the best I can do with pictures. Can’t even rotate the picture 90 degrees! Anyway, isn’t this some cool wool? All of it, 100% wool, Cascade YarnsΒ  220. The colors are incredible and it’s so soft, lovely to work with. Ok, Mittens, here I come!

karen

Last night I felted my slippers

December 29, 2006

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You can tell right away they don’t match. The left one looks great, just the way it’s supposed to look. It fits my foot perfectly.

The right one doesn’t fit my foot at all, it’s about 3″ too long and should be about 1″ wider. I think my trouble began with the double sole. After the first slipper, I thought, there must be an easier way to do this! And on the second slipper, I used my easier way (on the double sole only). But the more I think about it, I think my ‘easier way’ is done on the slipper that turned out correctly.

check this out, I turned the slippers on their side –

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The left one has a lovely double sole, right where it’s supposed to be. The right one has this huge ‘growth’ on it that just kind of flaps around….

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I think I have enough yarn left over to make another slipper. I’ll have to, cause this won’t work! So, back to Mike’s slippers!

Karen

Sometimes baking is not all it’s cracked up to be

December 28, 2006

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Isn’t that a lovely big old lump of dough? Ready to go into the greased bowl to rise and do it’s thing? And me with my nifty new warming drawer. It was the day before Christmas and I was going to bake! I can’t do a bowl in the drawer, it’s not tall enough. But I can do a rectangular casserole dish, which is what I did. Set the controls and went off to do something else.

About an hour and a half later, I went in to punch it down and form rolls. Took it out of the drawer, and just imagine my surprise when I realized I had baked it. Well, I baked the bottom half, and the top half was raw. The bottom crust was even brown and crispy. Well, crud, I couldn’t do anything with this lump of ‘whatever’ so I dumped it out in the trash.

My plan was to take pictures of my journey to beautiful browned shiny rolls. After dumping the dough in the trash though, it was just another chore, with barely enough time to get it done. In the end, I’m not even sure I liked the rolls. I used to have all my bread and roll recipes right at hand. Now, I’m having to start from scratch.

Roll recipes welcome!

I’m having the best time learning to knit socks. I found a book that included a Class Sock – it’s a small sock with all the ingredients, so you can learn all the elements without making an entire adult sock. Goes quickly and I’m sure it would fit a small child. Pictures to come.

I’m having a hard time trying to get back into the work mode after taking Christmas off. Doesn’t help that I have a bad cold, but I am taking Dayquil and Nyquil so at least I’m fairly functional. The deadlines are looming but my brain isn’t kicking in.

Karen

The hazards of bread baking

December 16, 2006

Besides the usual – yumminess and the tendency to eat too much of it, maybe burning yourself on the oven or the pan, forgetting the salt (which produces a nasty mess) or picking a horrible recipe… there is the hazard of standing on your feet too long and ending up in the ER. I’m not kidding!

bread.gif So, Wednesday I was feeling pretty good. And of course with the new stove just calling my name, it seemed a perfect day to bake bread. And maybe some brownies. It was lovely outside, so I thought I’d grill some chicken and make some potato salad. Finish the Christmas decorating, work on some Christmas presents ‘in progress’… And catch up on the ER episodes waiting nicely on the DVR.Β  There is nothing wrong with plan.

I hunted down a bread recipe. I used to be an avid bread baker, but it fell by the wayside in the last many years. It was time to revive the bread baking tradition! I found a recipe for Challah Bread, which looked lovely, and didn’t seem to complicated. (I’m eating toast made from said bread as I type)

The day progressed. I baked and washed dishes, decorated and baked some more. Cooked to my hearts content. I did notice my feet hurting, but that’s nothing new. After spending about 3 years having 4 foot surgeries, the last one 3 years ago, foot pain is nothing new. I sit for awhile and rest them and then get back to it. Even at the worst, I go to bed, sleep all night, and the next day… ready to go again. Well, not this time.

After dinner, I went straight to bed, Tootsies hurting like crazy. Didn’t sleep a wink. Tootsie pain. The next morning, STILL there. This was not usual… or normal.

Mike finally talked me into making a Dr. appt. I know from experience, going to the Dr for foot pain results in surgery. Not interested in repeating that part of my life.

So, I went to the Dr. She examined my feet, very carefully, and had to call another Dr. in because she couldn’t find the pulse in my feet. Mike and I looked at each other with big eyes. WHAT IN THE WORLD?

I won’t repeat the whole big long ordeal, but my Dr. sent me the to ER, and they did an ultrasound of the leg arteries and found no clots. Phew! This Dr. also gave me a very nice pain pill. Ended up diagnosing me with Peripheral Neuropathy. Never heard of it.

Finally got home, went to bed and took another very nice pain pill, and a very nice Valium which Dr. gave me. Ahhhh…. the comfort of modern medicine!

Next day, did some research on PN.. and found some symptoms which had been happening to me for the last several weeks. Still not sure what it all means, but I go to my own Dr next week and find out.

I’m glad the recipe made 3 loaves, cause I’m not up to bread baking again. I’m under strict orders from ER Dr and Mike to ‘lay low’ and take it easy. Sounds like knitting time to me!

But I’m pretty happy with my gorgeous bread. Well, one loaf is gorgeous… one (the first one I braided) is a little lumpy and ugly, but it still tastes good!

Off to knitting! πŸ™‚

Karen

p.s. oh… and I also have a new computer to play with πŸ™‚ The old one? full. No more room. So, now I have a nice big one withΒ  lots of cool stuff I can’t explain to you.

The Real Sock

December 12, 2006

I know myself fairly well. I’m not going to wear blue and green striped socks. Yeah, the yarn was fun to work with, and how they ever came up with it is beyond me. But I have precious little time to knit… I need to spend that time on something real and with potential wearability or giftability.

So….

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I’ve had some wonderful alpaca/wool in my stash for a few years. Wouldn’t it make perfect, warm socks? Yes it does! I finished my first sock. πŸ™‚

The toe is less than perfect, I couldn’t get the grafting done correctly. Perhaps because I had 12 stitches on 1 needle and 7 stitches on the other needle. But, at that point, I wasn’t going to rip it all out. It was great practice, and I’m going to start another.

And that yarn break after the cuff… what do I do with that? Still wondering.

It was SO much fun! Quick. I had a finished product in a matter of hours, not weeks. The sock yarn out there is gorgeous. This is NOT my last sock. Nope, I think an addiction has begun.

I have ordered some more wool to make a pair of felted slipper clogs. Can’t wait for it arrive… glad this week is warm, so my tootsies aren’t cold.

Happy Knitting! karen

Knitting Socks

December 4, 2006

I finally started knitting socks! I’ve never done them before, and the 3 needle thing is still a bit awkward, but I’m getting the hang of it. This is the easy part, I know… the heel is still coming! butΒ  the sock yarn is fun – it’s making its making its own pattern, I just watch it happen.

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We should all be so focused!

December 4, 2006

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The new stove is here!

December 3, 2006

We’ve been planning to buy a new stove for awhile now. We’ve been looking at them online, and figuring what wanted in a new stove, and what we could live without. Our new stove budget let us skip past the basic ones, and move into middle ground. The lower level of middle ground πŸ™‚

So, the other day, we decided to go to Sears and see what they had. Well, this is what they had!!!

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It was a closeout model, the original price was out of our budget, but the closeout price put it right in our budget! It’s the nicest stove either one of us has ever had. πŸ™‚

2 power burners, 2 regular burners, and a simmer burner. Convection or Conventional baking. The bottom drawer? It’s a warmer drawer. You can set the tempurature for it. It is a plain drawer, but it has racks to put inside, so you can put lots of things in it.

The oven in large, with 3 racks. One rack is partially removable…for all the tall stuff we’ll be baking.

In the center of the stove top is a cast iron griddle. Turn it over for a grill pan. We’d been planning to buy one of those in the near future. We have a small grill pan, fits on one burner and we love it. Use it a lot.

And of course, it cleans and is all electronic etc etc etc. It’s a Super Duper Stove!

So… today is Muffin Baking Day! πŸ™‚ And tonight we’re grilling steaks on the grill pan and baking potato’s in the oven. Oh yum!

Now…for the rest of the story!

We saw it in the store, the day before the Big Storm. Went home, considered it, hemmed and hawed, prayed about it. Our New Stove Budget wasn’t quite ‘ready’. Well, the next day, it was ready! God saw our need and supplied it. Of course, it was storming and freezing and sleeting and not necessarily the kind of weather you’d pick to bring home a new stove. Mike did run over to Sears and pay for it. We doubted they’d hold it for us if we didn’t pay for it. πŸ™‚ That was Wednesday. Last night Mike went after work and picked it up.

He and Chris brought it in, and that is one Heavy stove! Left it in the entry way and planned to hook it up today. Which Mike did, about 4 this morning!!! One of those “Wake Up, oh no, it’s not even 4am yet….go back to sleep. Nope, wide awake.” So, he got up and put in the new stove.

It’s amazing and we love it. πŸ™‚Β  We both love to cook, so this is going to be a wonderful thing for us.

Karen