Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 year in review

Hmmm. Only 36 hours left in 2007, give or take a few. So, what have I accomplished?

1. Painted living room and dining room, hung drapes and made valence in living room. Poor choice of paint color.

2. New landscaping in front of house (woo hoo! It makes our house look twice as big now that it's not hiding behind overgrown shaggy trees.)

3. Survived first full year in new job.

4. Learned how to change a tire. In dress clothes. In a drizzling rain. Sigh.

5. Completed 12 knitting projects, or an average of one per month. There is only one scarf that did not get a blog entry - it is ummmm, novel. As in novelty yarn novel. Sparkly!
In reverse order:
1. Grey mini-mock cable dress socks - simple, understated. KnitPicks Essentials yarn.
2. Tumbling shells socks - designed for my SockSwap pal in CTH supersock, one of my favorite superwash yarns.
3. Kureyon deep-V vest - designed by me for me - form fitting and fully steeked! My first steeked project.
4. Jitterbug Castagna socks - basic feather and fan socks in Colinette Jitterbug yarn.
5. Audrey's summer sweater - a basic cotton tee with a braid at the bottom
6. Follow the leader shawl - Faroese shaped shawl in Jagger wool-silk lace yarn
7. Jaywalker socks - 'cause everybody needs a pair of these comfy socks! In Brown Sheep Wildfoote.
8. Coronet - a gift of Malabrigo from my first Secret Pal was waiting for a perfect hat pattern. I love it!
9. Scarborough - an adaptation of AS's pattern for my daughter
10. Minimalist cardigan - in KnitPicks Andean Silk. Loosely constructed, yet dressy enough for work.
11. Love-in-Idleness socks - my first socks with the much-coveted STR yarn.

On the needles: well, right this moment nothing. But I still have one of the Northern Lights Mittens to cast on. After that, who knows? I'm thinking of maybe some lace, and more socks of course. I don't have any big projects in mind right now. And I would like to clear out some of my stash.

I leave you with - Cincinnati Chili

I made a crockpot of this for dinner tonight, and I was thinking "this is one of my favorite recipes" . Nothing gourmet, but oh is it good. And not terrible for you either, like some of my other favorite foods (fried cheese curds and fry-bread come to mind).

1 - 1.5 lbs of ground beef
small onion, chopped

Brown the beef and onion together in a skillet, drain the grease.
Add to a crockpot with:

29 oz. tomato sauce
15 oz. chopped or diced canned tomatoes
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1.5 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 clove garlic (whole)
3 bay leaves
1 square (1 oz) unsweetened Baker's chocolate

Simmer in the crockpot on "low" for ~5 hours (set up after lunch to eat at dinner).
Serve over spaghetti with shredded cheddar cheese.

I can eat this year-round, but it especially good in the Fall and Winter. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Love in Idleness socks

Love in Idleness socks complete!

The pics:
Love in Idleness

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, Love in Idleness
Needles: US1
Pattern: toe up with gusset heel, plain stockinette foot and leg

While I wasn't plagued by the pooling that other people report for this yarn, try as I might (I cast on the second sock three times), I could not get the stripe frequency to match for the two socks. I checked my gauge several times on both socks too - and while they are both nominally 8 sts/inch, there must be just a hair difference in there somewhere for the colors to be a little offset. A little annoying, but I won't let it stop me from wearing them.

And that's it! My last FO of 2007.

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Minimalist Cardigan - finished!

It's finally finished! Begun September 17th, finished seaming about 2 weeks ago. First wearing - to work the day of our Holiday party. Such a yummy squishy sweater! The guard hairs in the yarn are too itchy for me to wear this with a sleeveless shell like the model in the magazine, but I like the way it looks with a skinny turtleneck too.
Minimalist complete

Pattern: Minimalist Cardigan
Designer: Ruth Nussbaum
Source: Interweave Knits, Fall 2007
Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Silk in Cranberry, 11 skeins (for 35.5" size)
Needles: US 8.

Pattern mods and lessons learned: do not attempt moss stitch in a dark, moving car. You will have to frog that section. Added selvedge stitches to side to assist in seaming.

Woot! I am all done with my sweater!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Halfway House

As promised - photos! I have two half-finished FO's to wear - my left hand and one foot will be toasty warm at least. This is what happens when you cast on two things at once.

Up first: Northern Lights (left) mitten, done in KnitPicks Palette yarn, with pattern also from KnitPicks. My first real serious attempt at Fair Isle. Quite lumpy, actually. You can't see the uneven stitches in the photo. I think some of it will even out with blocking, but it's still going to be a work in progress.

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Next - a plain stockinette sock in Socks that Rock Love in Idleness. The toe - Method Two from Wendy's Toe-up gusset heel pattern, the heel - generic Widdershins - so very many thanks to Mel for this easy-to-follow translation of the original pattern.

This is the easiest toe-up cast on I have tried by far! No waste crochet yarn, no fancy fingerwork (Magic cast on). Just the humble backward loop. So simple, even I can remember it!
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And now - off to the mall to tackle the Elves!

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Saturday, December 08, 2007


I'm pooped. Next year, I swear, I'm going to be organized before the holidays. I still have 4 people to shop for and there is only 1.5 weekends left before we head to my parents! Thank goodness my DH took yesterday off work - he took care of buying gifts for Audrey's preschool ornament exchange and a gift for a birthday party next week. When am I going to do my shopping?

I got a couple of things done today, but after only finding 3 items at three separate stores in a crazy suburban shopping plaza I decided I could declare absolute and total victory by bailing on the holiday shopping and going to Costco. Surprise! They had absolutely everything I was looking for - and at a good price! I filled up the car with milk, orange juice, frozen fish fillets, a couple loaves of bread, a case of diced tomatoes, enough TP to see us through Easter - you get the idea. Mission accomplished. Headed home and spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch/phone with parents and friends, and worked on a sock.

Which brings me to this week's knitting update - no photos. Because if I delay this post until I find the camera, the cable, and time to edit the photo, it ain't going to happen. So, just imagine beautiful pictures. Next time, I promise.

The home project: Northern Lights mittens in KnitPicks Palette. Going faster than I expected -about 10 rounds per evening. I'm using the weaving technique from Philospher's Wool. It is very difficult to keep my right and left hand yarns evenly tensioned. Often appears that the background color is disappearing. I'm almost done with the first mitten, and will try harder for even stitches on the second. At least, I feel like I've got the technique down now, and I've stopped dropping needles all over the place.

The work project: basic stockinette sock in Socks that Rock "Love in Idleness". Toe up, with "widdershin's" heel. Almost at the top of the first sock. I did take it home this weekend - I left it at work all week to ensure that I would put in the hard work on the mittens in the evening.

The UFO: the Minimalist Cardigan. Mostly seamed and all ends woven in except for the back of the neck. Got postponed due to my Chibi needles being at work in my knitting bag. Oops!

Well, just a quickie update. We're off to have dinner with some friends and check out the lights and decorations at Finwood Estates in Elyria.