Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Cookie A this month is Wanida. I'm very excited and have picked out a Lorna's Laces yarn to use (it's blue.)
SKA this month has 3 challenges: holiday stocking (not happening), men's socks (no way), and a Jeannie lastnamehere design. (I know the last name, but I'm not sure she uses it publicly This is her blog- amazing socks. She is a fantastic designer. I will be knitting a sock she did as a Mystery sock* for another group, out of green Wollmeise.
This will be a great sock month.
*Mystery sock- A knit along group is given 4 clues spread out 1 week apart. You start knitting with no idea what you will end up with. I'm not a fan. But I love using the final products.
In other news: as a skater, it is very weird that on Glee sectionals is before regionals
Monday, September 28, 2009
Weather outside: SO WINDY
What hurts: tongue from super hot salsa
What I want to eat: more jasmin rice
What I'm wearing: Zombie socks, black land's end shoes, old navy black pants, light blue land's end polo, white land's end fleece
What I'm crafting: Mockery socks at work, Daffodil Design on hiatus
What I'm watching: TAR was on last night. I love it!
Best thing that happened this weekend: TAR WAS ON LAST NIGHT PEOPLE
Worst thing that happened this weekend: Nothing really. It was a fun weekend. Got a bit of skating in, helped a friend move, went to a birthday party. No worst about that.
What I'm most looking forward to this week: Does this week start October? That's cool.
What I'm least looking forward to this week: A meeting I have to go to.
Last thing I bought: no idea, probably fries on Wednesday
Something I want to buy: Alphabet Cake pans, though I have no idea why I want them. But doesn't that seem cool.
A link to share: Surely you know about Television Without Pity- but if you don't, it has fantastic recaps of all kinds of shows and the most comprehensive television forums (ruled with an iron fist though!) I've ever seen.
Friday, September 25, 2009
WOW this project was fast. I thought it would take me about a month. It took me 6 days, including 2 days of not knitting, and 1 day where all I did was bind off, so really 3 days, and only one of those was a weekend where I knit all day, so this is something I could totally knock out in a weekend.
Things I learned
-size 4 needles are big (the pattern actually calls for 3s, but I knit tight), but not big enough. I was still 1 stitch/inch tight. (Non knitters- that may not sound like a lot but over 128 stitches it means a loss of 3 inches. Yeah, my project is 3 inches too small- for the project I made, that is a lot of inches. But it fits me. And it fits my husband. So hopefully it will fit the recpient. But if it doesn't, hey it's quick, i'll make another.
-knitted hems suck. I still haven't sewn it down, so I guess I'm not technically finished. But it's a much cleaner look than ribbing, or rolled stockinette.
-using your own head to block wool makes for one really really hot evening. I just gave away what I made. Where you paying attention? (But really- what else would fit both me and Kevin?)
If you are a ravelry member you can see the project in my notebook I'm not giving you a direct link because then the name will come up and ruin the surprise. If not, the teaser pic is all you get right now. I'll post a full one after the holidays.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Best part (well most entertaining, the best scene was a more touching one) of last night's episode (Kanye approved, probably)
Start at 2:34 if you want to shorten the video.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
I love pink and want everything to be pink, but I try to convince myself I need diversity and then I actively don't get pink stuff, and now I feel like I don't have enough.
Weather outside: About to rain, chilly
What hurts: hip, maybe
What I want to eat: salsa
What I'm wearing: Angee socks, black land's end shoes, old navy black pants, red land's end polo, red land's end fleece
What I'm crafting: Mockery socks at work, Daffodil Design on hiatus, super secret christmas project
What I'm watching: Does Big Bang Start tonight?
Best thing that happened this weekend: Finished my rainbow socks
Worst thing that happened this weekend: It seemed very short
What I'm most looking forward to this week: Maybe finishing super secret knitting
What I'm least looking forward to this week: Yoga tonight. It was a bad day and I just want it to be over
Last thing I bought: I think it was 4 skeins of sock yarn
Something I want to buy: nothing in particular
A link to share: Literally, the best word blog
Sunday, September 20, 2009
So we went to lowes and got new smoke detectors. They are nice and pretty white and match our ceilings instead of the awful old yellow look. Grungy, and gross, and probably original to the house, so it was time to replace them anyway.
Then I took out the dye pot and made two shades of pink- super bright bold, and super bright but light- that makes no sense at all- you'll have to wait for pictures later in the week. I'm pretty impressed these colors both came from the same fushcia dye. They are nothing alike.
Then I started my super secret knitting project. It's Christmas knitting for my secret santa pick. No way s/he reads this blog (you couldn't pick your spouse) but I'm gonna hide it for awhile. I'll let you know when I post it on Ravelry, so knitters can check it out. S/he is definitely not on ravelry, and that's not searchable by the public.
So anyhow, on this particular type of knitting I knit with even more of a death grip then usual and have to give myself a break every 2-3 rows or my hand will break off. I have no idea how to loosen up. It's not a skill I posses.
Kevin is making sushi (California rolls and shrimp "tempura" rolls. Sadly no tamago this time.) I'm hoping it will be ready soon. I'm hunry!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I originally intended for this blog to take over for my skating blog, but I've decided to keep my practice posts over at Skittles Skates on livejournal. But here's a skating related post for those who don't keep up with that one.
I subbed LTS today (grr... the adult for the first class didn't show up, so I got to twiddle my thumbs for an hour) and then I helped two tot classes, including one HUGE class, that was just fantastic.
When I came home, I brought my skates in, rather than leaving them in the car. (I know, you shouldn't do that.)
So I decided I should clean out my skating bag. This is everything that was in my skating bag. (My bag is a backpack).
I’m not even sure how all that fit in there. This is what actually belongs in my skating bag:
It’s still a lot: 2 skates, 2 ankle pads, stinkeez, a microfiber cloth, mismatched gloves, a fleece, hard guards I never use, a screwdriver, oder eaters that are about ready to be thrown out, tissues, chapstick, a pen, a notebook, the LTS guide, 2 patella tendon straps, my MITF and dance diagrams on a keyring, dance CDs, my checkbook, and a baggie with my membership cards, a hair tie, nail clippers, safety pins, shoelaces, blister pads, and band aids.
This is the stuff that shouldn’t be in there:
3 pairs of socks, including 2 handknit, a sock in progress (I was working on that today), 5 baby sitter club books (I lend them to a girl at the rink), leggings from Wednesday, a shirt I brought as a back up for Detroit, sharpie’s from Detroit, assorted pens and pencils, food packets from Detroit, random money, misc pieces of trash, including an ice cream tester spoon, a sticker from skating in Arizona, a synchro receipt from a year ago, and mail from a few weeks ago.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Weather outside: Fall is in the air.
What hurts: At this second, I'm doing okay.
What I want to eat: Nothing in particular, because I ate so much this weekend. Amanda came over and we hadpatacones (fried plantains) with shredded chicken/salsa; tortilla soup, and fried tortillas (sopapilla style for me!), and then on Saturday we went to Formossa.
What I'm wearing: Black pants, blue shirt, Nutkin socks
What I'm crafting: Mockery socks at work are on haitus, Daffodil Design is on burn out mode, Dead Simple Lace Socks
What I'm watching: will miss Big Band Theory and How I Met Your Mother tonight
Best thing that happened this weekend: Awesome food and got to visit with Kevin's uncle.
Worst thing that happened this weekend: Barely slept at all
What I'm most looking forward to this week: Yoga starts tonight
What I'm least looking forward to this week: A bit nervous about the yoga class, actually
Last thing I bought: Groceries
Something I want to buy: nothing in particular
A link to share: Ice Network
Sunday, September 13, 2009
If you read food blogs, especially diet ones, you've likely read Hungry Girl. Hungry Girl has some good ideas but uses TONS of processed foods, LOTS of Splenda, and mystery products I've never seen in grocery stores, so I rarely actually use her recipies. (NOT a fan of splenda)
Today, at Hy-vee, I found one of the mystery products: Tofu Shirataki noodles made by House Foods Every pasta-swap HG raves about these noodles, and they feature her logo on the back. I was excited to see them, because I am a noodle-aholic. They cost $2.19 for a 2 serving bag, but it looks like 1 serving to me, and I got the "spaghetti" size. I could not wait to try them, so I decided to prepare them tonight. The full bag: only 20 calories.
I decided to make them for dinner, and even though she recommends cream sauces most of the time (not all the time, she has some red sauce recipes) I prepared them the way I eat 90% of my noodles "Shanna Style": cook noodles, add tomato sauce. (Like Hunt's tomato sauce, not a spaghetti sauce). For more flavor I added pepper and paremesan cheese.
Let's back up a step; before I could "cook" these (they are pre-cooked and microwaving takes 1 minute) I had to prepare them. First cut open the package, drain and rinse. Okay, no problem. OMG- disgusting. These noodles REEK of fish. It is disgusting smelling. Like a bait shop. I am not exagerating. GROSS. They are tofu noodles with yam flour. I'm not sure how either of these ingredients gets a fish smell. So I rinse them in a colander and then pat them dry. Everything I read said to get them REALLY dry. (One site recommended a blow dryer). I used about 10 paper towels. (Between the rinsing, the paper towels and the plastic packaging, these aren't really going down well with tree hugger me.) Then I stuck them in the microwave for 30 seconds, and then another 30 with sauce.
The taste test: 1 took 1 bite, and even though the fish smell was gone, they tasted like eating fish. Disgusting. I actually spit it out. I tried another, and I also could not choke it down. They are also very chewy and difficult to break with your teeth. I will not buy these again.
(Kevin tried them and said "they don't taste like fish to me")
Having read more reviews it seems they do well in Asian dishes like Miso soup or shrimp stir-frys, things with a fishy background to begin with, and things I don't eat anyway.
Two thumbs DOWN, and $2.19 into the trash.
(Okay- Kevin made a shrimp stir-fry with the rest of them and I asked him what they thought. His response "They're...not...great... they don't taste like anything but chewyness")
This squirrel had been sneaking around our deck. Kevin caught him up there once before and was surprised he came so close- the trees are in the back of the yard, and we do have a dog. I think all the animals know our dog is useless and will not catch them, and if she does, no big deal, she'll just poke a few times and bark loudly. (Well, except once she did hurt an animal...)
Anyhow, he snuck around the railing of the deck for awhile, then furtively walked along the deck- and stole a drink of water. Elsa had been at the door watching all this, and she was just fine with it, until he went for the water- then she started shaking vigorously. We gave the squirrel a head start to the back of the yard, where he slipped under the fence and then let Elsa out. She went for the tree he is usually in, and was disappointed when she couldn't find him. I think her nose must not work- he went left, not right. I love my dog, but she's not too bright.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Overall impression: Great knitty issue. I plan to make Zozo, Clandestine, Hat Heel Sock, Midsummer Night's Dream, and maybe the Riverbanks hood (but probably not).
Zozo: An adorable little alien toy. I actually might give this a try. It’s so cute.
1 Across: Nothing special here, I didn’t get that it was supposed to be a crossword puzzle, and I don’t like the bubbley look of the white at the top from the decreases. However this woman apparently WRITES puzzle books. She must be a genius.
Rennaissance: Not my favorite. The oversized sleeves are impractical, IMO. It does look nice on the model though, which is not always easy for knitwear on larger sized people. I think it is a good inclusion for the magazine.
Ruby Red: This one is getting a lot of internet buzz. I loved it in the first photo, but the front left me a bit disappointed. I don’t care for gaping buttons. I kind of wished it was a pullover. It’s not something I knit anyway, so it’s kind of moot. I’m a small objects knitter.
Clandestine: I worship Cookie A so I will knit these. They are lovely socks. I truly do like them, but the reception of them makes them sound like they are the most incredible socks the internet has ever seen, and while cookie never has a bad pattern, I don’t think I’d rank this as her best.
Cathedral: Pretty socks, will need to see a few finished projects before I decide on them, I don’t think they’ll go into my queue.
Hat-heel sock: When I first looked at this, I did not like it. But now, I think it’s brilliant in a Cat Bordhi new architecture sort of way. I don’t have heel fitting issues, and don’t think I have round heels, but when I saw other socks posted on the internet (I read the authors blog) and not just the one in the main picture I LOVE the way it looks in self striping yarns (a bulls eye forms) and I LOVE the little ear flap gusset that forms. I’ll definetly try this once.
Midsummer’s night’s dream: My favorite of the issue. I love the leaf pattern on the sock. Will definetly knit these.
Margot: A good basic. These sleeves are also loose, but because of the length they seem to work. I’m not feeling the holes in the arm join/shaping, not sure if that’s a knitting thing or a design thing. I’ll need to see pictures of this on a smaller size before I decide if it will work for me.
Kindly Sheep: Mittens or fingerless mitts. Very pretty pattern on the cuff. Wait- the mitten appears to just be a mitten top that goes OVER the fingerless mitts. That’s kind of weird.
Mi escuelita- Very pretty girls sweater with a lovely braid detail. I’m not sure I like how it fits the model, it rises up in the front, and I think that is from the working of the button band. But otherwise this is gorgeous.
Kernel: Scarf is basic lace pattern with a separate edging. Also nothing revolutionary but very pretty and good yarn choice. Basically just a stitch dictionary sort of thing but a good way to show how to combine patterns. Also has some beading. I kind of want to try that someday.
Colonnade: My first thought on this was the name is weird. I’m reading it Colon-ade, which I know is not what is says, but all I can think of is a Colon. I bet it’s pronounced more like Colin, because of that double N but who knows. The actual garment; is an interesting shawl pattern, that appears to be made to wear like a scarf. I think it’s a neat idea, but I don’t think I would knit it. I like the color chosen for it, but don’t really care for the two tone look.
Tanis Hat: I think this is reversible which is what makes it cool? Otherwise it just isn’t a stand out at all.
Sweetspot: Apparently either a scarf OR an afghan. I do not see myself knitting either, and while the colors are very pretty I think it is more the yarn than it is the pattern. Nothing revolutionary here.
Hydrangea: Not my style at all.
Indian Summer: Not feeling this one either.
Bel cardigan: The back panel on this is really cool, but as a garment I don’t get it. I’m not sure I’d really call it a cardigan, but I don’t really know what I’d call it. Not my favorite.
Girl Friday: Very pretty cardigan. Looks like a lot of work.
Hola Hoodie: Again with the too long arms. Does no one shape wrists anymore? This is fine but the wrists and hemline make it seem unfinished. I like the cable details but I think it comes off as shapeless and boxy. Maybe it would be better in a different color?
Hex Shawl: Pretty rectangle shawl. I’m confused how she is wearing it in the first picture.
Riverbanks hood: This is the sort of thing that 3 years ago I would have said WTF. However, having lived in really cold winters (Ohio was nothing) for awhile now, I get the need for it. It’s a neat hold that can be worn as a cowl. I might try this one.
Toe-up sock knitters, get thee to Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off The JSSBO is awesome. I finished my first Dead Simple Lace Sock and used it and it is almost as stretchy as the cast on I have for my mockery socks- It's so stretchy that it fits across the thickest part of my calf with no problem at all. And it is SUPER easy. How come no one thought of this before. I don't know Jeny- but thank you thank you!
Here is the Rainbow Sock. Remember the yarn? I loved every inch of the yarn, and I love it just as much in a sock. It's a bit more wild than most of my socks (since I tend to do pattern, not color) but man I cannot wait to wear these (still need to make another). It's a bit loose, though at a tighter gauge then suggested, but the pattern has no pull in. I don't think it will sag too much though, so it is totally wearable. I'm not sold on toe up socks (it's so easy to want to quit early...) but Wendy's heel instructions were super easy to follow and produced a great heel. I will try to do a few more and see if I become a toe up girl. You'll notice on the blocker the cuff is stretched out a bit- that's because the bind off is so elastic, but it doesn't pull back in all the way. As long as it pulls back a bit, I'm good with it. Fit on me is more important than fit on a blocker. Also, the idea was to put the pictures in a row, but blogger is not cooperating.
Friday, September 11, 2009
The first 5 people to leave a comment on this post will receive something handmade from me. The catch (in true chain letter fashion) is that you have to post this on your own blog/facebook/myspace page. Just leave a comment and then e-mail me your address if I don't already have it.
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. What you get is what you get.
2. What I create will be just for you, with love.
3. It will be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be, except that unless you are my Dad it will NOT be hand knit socks. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying.
5. I reserve the right to do something strange.
6. In return, all you need to do is post this on your blog and make something for the first 5 people to respond to your blog post.
7. Send your mailing address to jessim at gmail dot com
And if Angela emails me but doesn't comment, it counts, since our blogs are not playing nice together, and she counted my comment.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Now with so few channels, there is not a lot to choose from. I love food network, discovery, travel, hgtv, etc. I love having make over, home decorating, cooking, etc shows in the background. I even like trainwrecks like Newlyweds or Toddlers and Tiaras if I can get them. But I cannot. So, you would imagine the summer TV is pretty slim pickings. Kevin and I have been known to watch Curious George on PBS when there is truly nothing else (we often just turn the TV off too, but George is an adorable little monkey) when we lost NBC we switched from Wheel of Fortune regulars to Antique's Roadshow watchers :)
But now, the summer slump is over. (My summer appointment TV is SYTYCD.) The new shows are coming back. Last night was Glee and it was everything I wanted it to be, though slightly confusing due to the overproduction of the musical numbers (was that supposed to be the Glee club singing Gold Digger? Or were they singing it, but we were listening to Kanye? The cheerleaders didn't appear to be singing, but I could at least tell they were supposed to appear that way... horrible dubbing, though I know they are all doing their own singing).
We also have a recorder on the computer, so since I have yoga monday's and skating wednesdays I have to record most of my shows. The Amazing Race gets taped on VCR, because Kevin records Simpsons. Do Tivo's require a subscription. Our DVR in Dayton did- we don't pay for this, except the minimal cost to buy it.
Here is my TV. I watch a lot of TV for someone with very few choices
Monday: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother. (Will not watch 2.5 men, might give accidentally on purpose a try)
Tuesday: I hear Shark Tank is moving to Tuesday. This is a good thing.
Wednesday: Glee and SYTYCD
Thursday: nothing right now
Friday: 30 Rock, possibly the Office. (Wait these are thursday shows, ah, but I don't get NBC, they are up on Hulu on Friday!)
Sunday: The Amazing Race (can't miss of the week) and Homeland Security (surprisingly good).
So there you go, I can have a full week of TV watching without spending any money at all. Kind of sad, isn't it.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sock knitting just isn't working out for me lately. The mockery socks are slow slow slow just because time to knit them is short. They are also a little looser than I like, but otherwise pretty good. The cuffs are nice and tall, and I really like that.
The Marlene socks- well, they are bigger than my last try, but still tight on the calves. Who do these things fit? In the sport weight yarn they feel very heavy and thick and not elegent and pretty like the pattern deserves. Not sure what I'm gonna do to make the pattern again, but for now, they are being ripped out I think.
I also started "Dead Simple Lace" socks from "Socks from the Toe Up" by Wendy Johnson. I think I like these okay- the rainbow yarn I dyed is knitting up beautifully, though it's "flashing" on the socks- the blues, yellows, and reds all seem to be pooling and circling around the sock. Still very pretty though. I knew that Wendy was a very very loose knitter- she calls for size 0s for 8 st/in, so I did my standard size 1.5 for a 64 inch sock. I am getting 9 st/in, but I think it's still a little big too loose. How can I have feet that require "wide" shoes, but are also too small for the width of most every sock pattern. I'm going to make them a little too short, that way they need to stretch lengthwise and hope that will make up for the width a bit.
Most hand knit socks call for toes that are 8 stitches or 10 stitches wide on their first/last (depending on the direction) row and end up with super pointy elf toes that look ridiculous when laid flat, but actually work pretty well for my feet. Wendy's instructions for turkish cast on instructed 16 stitches, and since I didn't consider that the direction I knit shouldn't affect what I cast on, it wasn't until I got halfway through the foot that I realized this is making a very very square toe, not a tapered one. As such, the socks aren't perfect for me- the end of the toe of the socks is so wide it doesn't even touch my toes! When I do other socks from her book, I'll make sure to start with only 8 stitches. I've decided I need a "win" though, so I'm NOT ripping them out. They'll just fit a bit wonky, like store bought socks.
We are actually having an oil pot fondue tonight, but have stuff to make chocolate fondue later in the week.
Weather outside: A little humid but otherwise gorgeous.
What hurts: Right arm
What I want to eat: Ice cream, which is convenient because I am eating it right now.
What I'm wearing: Blue jean skort, yellow old navy t-shirt
What I'm crafting: Mockery socks at work, Daffodil Design for my "complicated project", Dead Simple Lace Socks for SKA knit-along (that's new), and Marlene socks (but those will likely be ripped out, again)
What I'm watching: Friends, but Kevin will be switching it to Metroid soon
What I'm thankful for: A husband who can cook some yummy food.
Best thing that happened this weekend: Got an extra day!
Worst thing that happened this weekend: Realized I'm going to have to rip out another sock. Knitting doesn't seem to work for me anymore :(
What I'm most looking forward to this week: Synchro. Guess I am going back to it :)
What I'm least looking forward to this week: It's just going to be really busy
Last thing I bought: I think it was the huge splurge from my favorite online yarn store: 3 skeins of coveted Wollmeise sock yarn.
Something I want to buy: More DPNs in size 2 and 1.5, I keep losing or breaking them.
A link to share: The Loopy Ewe- best sock yarn store ever.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I am still working on the "Mockery Socks" at lunch- and am midway through the cuff of the second sock. I have restarted (in the blue sport weight yarn) the "Marlene" socks- a gorgeous Cookie A pattern for a knit a long, so in theory those need to be done this month.
I am still enjoying the Daffodil Design and still in awe that I'm able to knit this. It isn't hard- just do what the directions say, but it is SO complicated LOOKING, and it seems like the pattern will never end. (This picture is row 97 of 168- just over 35% done). I changed from 24" to 32" needles, so while I was switching over I took a picture of it spread out- much prettier than when it is bunched up, but I realized just how small it is, and how much more knitting I have to do!
I also need to start a colorwork hat project (a secret, though the gift recipient surely doesn't read this blog), and I also want to make a pair of "Endpaper Mitts" a colorwork fingerless mittens project.
Thank goodness for 3 day weekends. I had friends over yesterday (knitting lessons) so I didn't do any of my own knitting, but it sure was fun to teach the gospel of yarn!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
These are some of the tallest socks I've made, and I was freaking out that I would run out of yarn for the second sock. I weighed these and they are 34 grams. haha. (For non-knitters a skein of sock yarn is 100 grams- so 50 per sock). I have plenty! Man are my feet small. These also aren't yarn eaters like Cookie A tends to design.
The pattern looks like it is ripply, but when I wear it, it stretches out over my calf and looks really cool, and very subtle.
Love them, mistakes and all.
Last night I took pictures of my finished sock and of a square I made as part of a group blanket. The pictures are so bad that I'm not posting them.
I skated last night and apparently my session has become pairs lesson time. (It usually has a few high level lessons, but not pairs.) This is not good, because it makes most of the ice unusable when they are lifting, and half the ice unusable when they are throwing... Still, it's fun to watch. I don't mind it when I'm practicing, since I'm not really practicing for anything, but this is supposed to be when my lesson time is too, and I don't want to have to constantly yield when I'm in lesson, like most of the skaters last night were having to do. (Coaches usually stick their lessons in different areas of the ice, but they of course need the entire ice to gain enough speed.)