Knitting

WIP Wednesday 1/30/13


ON THE NEEDLES

I’m still plugging along on the Phloem Socks but on the home stretch for the second of the pair.  I really love this pattern and so it will probably show up again on the needles at some point.  Hopefully I’ll have it completed tonight, I so want to start the Etched Rio Wrap, I can hardly contain myself.  Jeez Louise!  I ran out to get a quick pic in natural light and it’s windy and cold.  I bet the neighbors across the back think I’m nuts.  This is what I imagine is going through their heads, “She takes pictures of YARN, for heaven’s sake.  WHO does THAT?”

Phloem Socks from Knitty, Spring 2012

IN AND OUT OF THE OVEN

I made Snickerdoodle bread Monday evening as a special request from Mr. Iknead.  My recipe makes two loaves, a good thing since one gets eaten up pretty much as soon as it comes out of the oven.  It’s addictive, this stuff.  Here’s how it goes:

SNICKERDOODLE BREAD

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. butter, softened

2 c. sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 c. sour cream

1 pkg. Hershey’s cinnamon chips

TOPPING

3 tbsp. sugar

3 tsp. cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Cream butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon until fluffy.  Add eggs and mix well.

2.  Add vanilla and sour cream and mix well.

3.  Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.  Add to wet ingredients and mix until all combined.

4.  Add cinnamon chips and stir into batter.

5.  Spoon batter into two regular sized loaf pans (about 2/3 full)

6.  Mix 3 tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over the batter in each loaf pan.

7.  Bake at 350 until cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool before removing from pan.

Recipe from Kristyn (Lil’ Luna) on Pinterest – Thanks

NOTE:  If you have trouble finding the cinnamon chips, (like me) in the store, there are several recipes online to make them at

home.

Go to Tamis Amis for more great WIPs.

ANSWER TO WHO DOES THAT QUESTION:  Fiber fiends, that’s who! ; )

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  Mark Twain

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Knitting

Mission Accomplished, After a Fashion


WHAT’S UP

I just spent at least an hour trying to get a new widget on my Iknead2knit blog, but it was like pulling teeth.  For all intents and purposes, I’m computer illiterate.  I can follow directions, but I have no idea why or what makes everything work.  Consequently, it takes forever for me to finally put the right stuff, in the right place and in the right order to make things happen, but this is totally by trial and error, with me trying out different combinations of what, where and why before I hit the jackpot.  I do have An Idiot’s Guide To WordPress  which is of some help, but is somewhat outdated.  Anyway, I finally got it and for my trouble, I have a pretty little periwinkle Yarn-Along widget residing in the Iknead2knit sidebar now.  Nice, don’t you think?

BY THE BOOK

I finally finished Michael Hyatt‘s book, Platform – Get Noticed in a Noisy World and it was fabulous.  It’s mostly geared to building an Internet platform to promote a product or service, but he has a lot of practical advice for bloggers who want to promote their blog and increase readership.  I got a lot of practical information and even better, it’s an easy, interesting read in a format that didn’t get so technical as to being off-putting.  Great book!

Next up will be Pam Belluck’s Island Practice.  I can’t wait to get started!

Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor

THE GRANDS

Bigdaddy and Bigmommy came to visit over the weekend with the Papoose and the Sprout and did we ever have fun.  That is, until the middle of the night, when the Sprout decided after her 3 a.m feeding that no, she absolutely, positively DID NOT want to go back to bed and made her statement in screams so high pitched that only dogs could hear.  Poor Bigdaddy and Mommy were a little frayed at the edges as she has been doing this for the past month or so (she’s only four months old) and, of course, all the commotion wakes up the Papoose.  Then, they have two unhappy babies going at the same time and then stuff just sort of snowballs.  Mr Iknead and I were able to lend a hand so Bigmommy could catch up a little bit on the sleep she’s been missing, but, being a mommy also means that you’re never really “off duty”, and sleep with at least one eye and one ear open all the time.  They know perfectly well that this won’t last forever but at 3 a.m., it’s hard to remember this and not get discouraged and frustrated.  Ah yes, the joys of young parenthood….  FLASH FLASH FLASH  I just received a message from Bigmommy practically shouting “She slept from 10:30 p.m. last night to 8 a.m. this morning!”  They tried a different swaddle and it worked!  Bigmommy says she feels like a different woman today!   Hurray!!!

Reformed Sleep Thief (we hope)

I love the way she smiles with her whole face!

POP THE QUESTION

What’s your go-to for a good night’s sleep?

If you can dream it, you can do it.  Walt Disney

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Knitting

My Winter Tonic


TRENDING NOW (what’s that mean anyway?)

Any time one of us had the droops or doldrums, especially in winter,  my grandmother always said we needed a tonic.  She never gave us a tonic, just said one was needed, which was probably a good thing since when I hear the word tonic, I think of cod liver or castor oil, both of which are off the scale on the official Disgust-O-Meter.  My own personal winter tonic is this:

Take one cold and cloudy day

Add a nice fire and some knitting

Mix in a couple of grands, chocolate milk and cookies

Monitor closely as not to miss anything

and

Watch your contentment rise

Repeat as often as necessary

IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?

The Papoose Gives the Sprout a Clean Bill of Health

ON THE NEEDLES

I’ve done very little knitting the last day or so, still working on the second Phloem Sock; I did remember that I promised a quick show and tell of the Metalico yarn that The Yarn Mart ordered for me and it’s more beautiful than I remembered –

 

Here are the stats:

Metalico

Blue Sky Alpaca

50% baby Alpaca and 50% raw silk

All natural/No dyes

Gold Dust

This is going to transform into Sarah Smuland’s Etched Rio Wrap and I can’t wait to get started.  The softness and shimmer of this yarn is amazing.  Check out the Blue Sky Alpaca website for a look at the pattern.

POP THE QUESTION

What’s your favorite winter tonic?

The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.  Tony Robbins

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Knitting

Get your WIP, Get your WIP Wednesday here! – 1/23/13


ON THE NEEDLES

This week’s WIP Wednesday offering is the second Phloem sock from Knitty, using Shibui Sock that I’ve named Sand and Sky.  I loved the way the first sock took shape, with a botanical bent and so I was probably a tad bit over confident when I cast on the second.  I just dove right in, not an unusual plan for me.  After all, I finally had the pattern down and what the stitch key showed, right?  So, last night, about two inches into it, I went back just to review something in the pattern and noticed that I’d completely forgotten to do the cuff.  I waffled about just forging ahead and pretending it was OK but I just couldn’t, I knew it would bug me just knowing it was supposed to have a cuff but didn’t, so I frogged and started over.  I can rest easy now.  Yes, sometimes I tend to have a perfectionistic streak a mile wide and sometimes it serves me well, like last night.  So here’s the do-over.

THE GRANDS

Remember Babysis, the Papoose’s baby sister? Well, I changed her name from Babysis to Alfalfa Sprout, as in Our Gang/The Little Rascals.  She has a huge, no holds barred cowlick on the crown of her head that is so freakin’ cute I almost can’t stand it.  I just thought that Sprout was a better fit than Babysis.  See what I mean?

I wasn’t kidding, was I?

THE GREAT WASHING MACHING CRISIS

It’s over, it’s really, finally over – at least until another appliance gives up the ghost.  Got my new, fancy washing machine delivered and hooked up.  I think I did at least 15 loads that first day.  Man, does laundry pile up or what?!  Mr. Iknead laughed when I took a picture to share.  I think he thinks posting pictures of washing machines is a little odd, but I tend to blog things that I’m happy about and things that interest me and I’m definitely both about my new washer.  I think it’s very handsome, myself.  To each his own.

NOT ON THE NEEDLES, YET

The Yarn Mart just called and said my special order yarn, Metalico Gold Dust, has arrived so I’m hot-footing over to pick it up.  Pictures and description later, it’s calling my name.

Want more WIP Wednesday?  Check out Tami’s Amis, you can’t miss.

You never truly understand something, until you can explain it to your grandmother.  Albert Einstein

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Knitting

Blue Monday?


IS IT REALLY?

I read a Facebook post this morning naming today as “Blue Monday“.  Since I’d never heard of this before today, a quick Wiki search yielded this, “Blue Monday is a name given to a date in mid-to-late January stated, as part of a publicity campaign by Sky Travel, to be the most depressing day of the year.  However, the whole concept is considered pseudoscience, with its formula derided by scientists as nonsense.”  Thanks Wiki, I owe you one.

BY THE BOOK

I’ve several “balls in the air” as far as reading goes.  I’m listening to two very different books, one of which is Shirley Jackson‘s  Haunting of Hill House, an old school horror story and Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psychiatrist, by Paul Linde.  I call the Shirley Jackson book old school because, at least so far, it relies on the setting, the reactions of the characters and creepy foreshadowing to send chills up the spine, instead of blood, guts and over-the-top violence found in a lot of current horror stories.  I suppose what I’m really trying to say is that the creepiness of Hill House is psychological, with ideas that hook themselves in your head, that can’t be shaken, becoming more and more poisonous, malignant and frightening as time goes by.  I’m telling you, it’s creepy.

I FIXED IT!

So, I had this crocheted, summery sweater that I loved  and the last time I wanted to wear it, I noticed that it had a huge ladder across the back, where apparently a stitch had come undone or dropped or some such thing.  I temporarily arrested it with a safety pin and put it aside with the promise to myself that I’d give it a good look, figure out where the problem arose and fix it.  Today I gave it the look I’d promised, decided it was similar enough to a dropped stitch when knitting to try the crochet hook method, and IT WORKED.  It really, really WORKED!  It’s not perfect but it’s so much better than it was, I’m really rather proud of myself.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

Before

After

Yep, more than a little proud of myself.

One joy dispels a hundred cares.  Confucious

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Knitting

FO Friday 01/18/13


ON AND OFF THE NEEDLES

This week’s FO Friday is Meg White’s Cabled Hat, a free Ravelry pattern.  Turned out right nice as a friend of mine would say.

A quick knit, with just enough fiddliness to keep me interested.  I think the yarn is some I picked up at Hobby Lobby a while back, I Love This Yarn 100% wool.  Due to our (Mr. Iknead’s and mine) new austerity plan, I’m working toward losing at least a little of my yarn snobbiness.   I’m trying as hard as I can to bring Mr. Iknead, a very thrifty (read tightwad) guy over to the dark side, knitting him a pair of soft, warm, merino socks, I think it might be working.  The upshot of this plan is that in order for me to be able to stay home, baking and knitting, I have to scale back on some things, like high end sock yarn.  Ouch.

I’m still working on the Phloem socks using a happy discovery of two hanks of beautiful Shibui Sock that I found during a stash dive.  Hopefully by the next FO Friday, I’ll have them ready to wear.  I loves me some Shibui!

BY THE BOOK

Another casualty opportunity to cut back is with my book and audiobook habit.  I downgraded my Audible membership and have been using our local library instead.  I love the downloadables, both e-books and audios and I’m nearly always at the ten book limit at any given time.  One I’m listening to now is Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psy.chiatrist, by Paul R. Linde.  Fascinating.

IN THE OVEN

Have butter and eggs sitting out, getting ready to make Sour Cream Pound Cake, a recipe from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, a wedding gift 33 years ago.  It’s been well used and well loved, judging from the stains and sticky stuff between the pages and is the first cookbook I grab when thinking about what to have for supper or what to bake when my sweet tooth kicks in.  A classic and a favorite.

Check out Tami Amis blog for more FO Friday goodness.

Simplicity is the key to brilliance.  Bruce Lee

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Knitting

WIP Wednesday 01/16/13 and Home Again


ON THE NEEDLES

Here’s my current WIP for this week. This sock actually started out a really fiddly Celtic cable, but after about five rounds, I knew it was way over the top too fiddly to work on while visiting the Stuttgart grands, sent it to the frog pond and restarted, this time on Rachel Coopey’s Phloem, from Knitty Spring/Summer 2012. It’s also fairly fiddly but doesn’t require a cable needle, a definite plus when keeping company with a very curious and busy two year old.

The yarn is one I ran across while stash diving looking for a good take-along project for my Stuttgart visit.  It’s Shibui 100% superwash merino, color 6001 and since I believe everything should have a real name, not just a number, I’m calling it Sand and Sky.  Nice, I think.

BACK IN THE NEST

Bigmommy brought me back home this morning and as much fun as I had with the babies over the past few days, it sure is good to be back.  Back where my chair is dented in all the right places, my pillow is always perfect and I know where the toilet paper is kept.  Funny what things make homes homey, isn’t it?

THE CRISIS CONTINUES

The great washing machine crisis is now in its fifth day and I don’t mind telling you that the laundry has somehow learned to multiply and seems to be doubling itself by the hour.  Really though, the new kid on the block is to be delivered and hooked up between three and five o’clock this afternoon.  I’m thinking positive and have already separated darks from lights, delicates from heavy duty and hand knits get to solo.  No unintentional felting allowed, zero, zip, zilch, none, not on my watch, nope.

Don’t forget to check out Tami Ami’s blog for more awesome WIPs.

It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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Knitting

Happiness is


watching Finding Nemo with the Papoose, drinking a cup of fancy coffee, while it’s so cold out that I don’t even feel guilty for not taking a walk. Just in case you’re curious, it’s 27 degrees F and sleeting here in the duck and rice capitol of the world. Stuttgart, Arkansas for the still curious. Babysis is sleeping in her swing and has been for the last hour or so, Bigmommy is taking advantage of my extra pair of hands and is taking a well deserved nap and as I already mentioned, the Papoose and I are watching Finding Nemo and sharing a piece of cake. Does it get better than this? Not in my world or probably yours either.

BABYSIS

Annabelle aka Babysis was baptized yesterday and charmed Rev. Arnold by grinning at him the whole time. Needless to say, he joined the rest of us who are under her spell. She wore the family christening gown and by my count is #5. The first being her mommy, Lindsey aka Bigmommy.

Before church, hanging out with Papa aka Mr. Iknead

Life is good.

Familiar acts are beautiful through love. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Knitting

FO Friday 1/11/13 and the Great Washing Machine Crisis


ON AND OFF THE NEEDLES

I finished the Sideways Grande Hat last night, just in time for today and earned the Mr. Iknead Seal of Approval.

Don’t know the reason for the odd look, there’s no telling.  At least my mouth is closed.  It seems like every photo has me with my mouth open, either talking or eating and sometimes (I’m not proud of this) both at the same time.  Anyway, I think the hat is way cute and it was a quick, easy knit.

I’m nearly finished with Meg White’s Cabled Hat, ready to start the crown decreases and am now browsing through Cookie A.’s Knit.Sock.Love.  On an expedition into the stash the other day, I ran across some awesome Shibui sock yarn that just begged to be transformed into a pair of socks and, well, I aim to please.

NOW WHAT?

We finally finished all the electrical work this week, which turned out even better than I had hoped, just to have the washing machine bite the dust.  I’m waiting on the repairman now.  There’s something busted about the spin cycle, when it hits that part, it starts making an awful banging noise and shuts itself off.  I’m not talking about the I’m unbalanced thump, this is the I’m getting ready explode and scatter shrapnel banging.  Here’s hoping that it’s an easy fix and not the arm and a leg and my firstborn child sort of fix.  Anything under $250.00 would be good.  Here’s hoping!

Check out Tami Amis blog for more awe inspiring FOs.  You’ll be glad you did.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast.  Alexander Pope

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Knitting

What Did I Tell You?


LOST THEN FOUND

Yep, that’s right.  After making a special trip to Yarn Mart (a real sacrifice, ha), the lost needle magically reappeared ON THE TABLE BESIDE MY CHAIR.  No, it wasn’t there the whole time.  My housekeeper obviously found it and knowing how crazed I can get when something is misplaced or lost, made sure it was right in the open, where I could see it.  Before you get excited about me having a housekeeper, let me clarify.  Mr. Iknead and I decided a few years ago that we’d earned a little housework help, I have a friend who loves to clean and loves even more the little bit of mad money she gets for doing it.  I’m telling you, it’s a match made in heaven.  She comes in every other week and like magic, stuff is put away, floors are shiny, bathrooms clean and the dust bunnies are staved off for another couple of weeks.  Totally spoiled and I plan on staying that way.  Anyway, here is a picture of the prodigal needle.

I am the size six and I’m back!

TOP OF MY LIST

It’s rainy, windy and cold again today,  I’m going to sit myself down after the one errand I have to run and read, listen and knit, read, listen and knit to my little heart’s content.  Sounds like a great day to me!

“Where shall I begin, please, your Majesty?” he asked.  “Begin at the beginning,” the King said, gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”  Lewis Carroll

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Knitting

If I Were a Size Six Knitting Needle/WIP Wednesday 01/09/13


where would I be?  I’ve been asking myself this question over and over since this time yesterday.  I started a new project day before yesterday that called for four different needle sizes; for the first time ever I think, I actually had the needles I needed, sizes 8, 7, 6, and 5.  All hunky dory, right?  Yeah, right up until the time I dropped the whole handful and one of the size 6 needles apparently was sucked into a black hole.  I’ve looked everywhere I could think of and even some places that I knew absolutely that it couldn’t possibly be, stripped the sheets off the bed, rolled up a rug, moved furniture and it still hasn’t shown itself.  I went to the Yarn Mart and just bought another set, knowing that in Bethworld, as soon as something is replaced, the original reappears in the most obvious place possible.  Hasn’t happened yet but it will, it will.

ON THE NEEDLES

I’ve a couple of things in progress, small, quick gratification projects for this week’s WIP Wednesday, first up is the Sideways Grande Hat from Boutique Knits, knitted flat and then seamed.

A free Ravelry pattern, Meg White’s Cabled Hat, to match the cabled scarf I finished last week is the other.

A posting for FO Friday this week doesn’t seem too far fetched, but you never know.  I learned a long time ago not to count my chickens before they hatch and never, ever turn your back on a nearly finished project.  It has the ability to unknit and then lose itself in the stash pile, making you doubt your sanity because you know, positively know that you laid it down RIGHT HERE and now it’s missing in action.  I’m just sayin’….

AROUND MY HOUSE

Yay!  We have electricians today and they say they’ll be finished early this afternoon.  I got a preview of the undercabinet lighting and it is beyond awesome!  Here’s a peek –

I feel a heavy baking episode coming on – especially since I cleaned the oven yesterday and the bottom is a clean slate, ready, willing and able to take another pie bubble-over or cake batter mishap.  What did we do before self cleaning ovens?  Did our ovens get smaller and smaller due to the build up of crud on the bottom and the fact that cleaning involved protective clothing and dangerous chemicals?  I know mine without a doubt would have.  Gotta love progress.

Check out Tami Amis for more WIP Wednesday project love.

To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one’s voice.  Ambrose Bierce

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Knitting

Slow Day


WHAT’S UP

Nothing, absolutely nothing.  Sitting here, waiting for the electricians to arrive to finish work so I decided to use the time constructively, blogging.  Today is Old People Day at the grocery store, so at some point I’m going for groceries when I can get the Old Person Discount.  Jeez, that’s something I never thought I’d say.  I guess I thought that when I reached a certain age (never determined), time would stop and I’d be that never determined age forever.  However, it hasn’t stopped and I haven’t stopped either, 55 years old at last check.  Young at heart, that would be me.

ON THE NEEDLES

I started a new project yesterday, from a book I received as a gift last year, which I’d misplaced a couple of months ago.  The book is Boutique Knits 20+ Must-Have Accessories.  I started the Sideways Grande Hat, using yarn that I repurposed from an infinity scarf which was much, much too long and heavy.  I think it’s Cascade 220 but I’m not sure.  I just love the mauvey, heathery color and its softness.

It’s a little more on the pink side in real life.

THE GRANDS

Annabelle aka Babysis is set to be baptized next Sunday, 01/13/13 and I’m planning to stay an extra couple of days.  Looking forward to giving Bigmommy a hand for a while.  Babysis isn’t a great sleeper, so she and Bigdaddy aren’t getting as much sleep as they would like.  Poor Babysis being compared to the Papoose, who slept through the night at six weeks and is still a great sleeper.  Babysis is only three months old, so I expect that here pretty soon she’ll start sleeping longer and longer through the night and everyone’s attitude will get better.  At least she’s not colicky!

The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.  Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

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