Monday, November 30, 2009

Cardi, Cranberry Chutney & Woodworking

I moved the sleeves on to waste yarn today and have started the zip through the knit row and plod (it seems like it anyway) through the purl row. Maybe I should go back and review that video from a month or so ago? Reverse knitting or something. ;-) I have about three inches from under the sleeves and have I think two more inches before the next instructions, probably a set of ribbing rows before binding off and going back to work the sleeves.  Here's a nice daylight photo to show the progress:

For dinner I made a nice lasagna that the boys apparently liked. They both went back for seconds. There was just enough leftover for Brandon to take for lunch tomorrow. On that success I, with the help of Brandon peeling and slicing the apples, made the Cranberry Chutney. I had Granny Smiths and Red Delicious so I used two each of those along with some frozen Asian Pears. There were also raisins from dehydrated grapes from our vines in with the cranberries. I skipped the celery (didn't have any on hand and not a huge fan of it) and didn't add the pecans. If people want nuts, they can add their own. :-) There are seven jelly jars (those tall ones) cooling on the counter with their tops sealed - love that 'pop' that they make as they seal. This is all that was leftover that wouldn't fit in a jar, a little blurry:

I have had a low level migraine most of the day, so why I wasn't out in the garage helping. Brandon was in and out most of the evening starting a project. I think it might be a wine rack for his dad. He found some Spanish Cedar that I'll cut into blocks or something and share with spinner/knitter friends to keep those pesky moths away.

I'm sure he knows what he's doing, and hasn't lost any fingers.
Oh! Soaked and hung the Cinnamon Eton's Scarf for my dad today. It grew a lot! Still a pretty scarf. Saving the pennies to get some of Sharon's Crimson sock yarn. It was a toss up between that and the Cinnamon for the scarf. I don't think she's done the Cinnamon in sock yarn, yet? ;-)

I almost forgot! A friend of a friend shared this recipe link on FaceBook. If you love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, these are supposed to be a close substitute. If nothing else, they sure look taste for holiday sharing!

Speaking of sharing......If you're knitting holiday gifts and want a couple of cowls and you like free. Susan Pandorff has these to share for the day. She'll share another one, or more, next Monday.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

WIP - Cole's Baby Cardigan

I moved beyond the neck ribbing with Cole's baby cardigan. Started the raglan increases and have them to the point of moving the sleeves off to holders. All while working with a migraine, because due to what I'd like to get done for gift giving, no time off for pain.

There was the mindless playing of FarmTown and succumbing to the lure of buying a second farm and setting it up. Moved things from the first farm over to the second farm. Silly time wasting things. Along with trying to get the wish lists off to family so they can do their shopping.

Tomorrow is for making some Cranberry Chutney to include with gift bags. I'm not going to include the pecans though because nuts are not always safe. Might even get lucky and finish Cole's cardigan.  

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another scarf is done!

I finished up the Cinnamon Eton's Scarf for my dad today. I need to weave in the ends and wash/block it. It's currently 42 inches long and did use up the whole skein. It is long enough that it wraps around the neck and lays nicely on the chest, but can still wrap and flip back.

A nice reversible scarf that knits up quickly. I might do one again narrower.

Allergies have kicked in tonight along with the afternoon migraine, so I'm off to bed to hopefully kick this thing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Night Knitting/Spinning

Normally we meet on Wednesday nights. Due to the holiday, we postponed until Friday night. We were a much smaller group than normal due to that, but we still had fun!

Beth brought her new Fricke S-160-ST spinning wheel and had fun spinning up some of Susan's fiber. Karen is still nursing her left shoulder and not knitting but kept everyone company. Duffy was working on a scarf for the boss to the Civil War game, we'll try to forgive that he's a Duck. Go Beavers! She switched to a lace project by the looks here. Cindy was knitting another Traveling Woman shawl out of her own handspun. It's going to be gorgeous!

Bobbie is going to knit up a  few of the Mikey Cap's for relatives and making notes of the significant modifications she made to the pattern. Sara had made some awesome Bella's mittens and was working on a fingerless pair out of some leftover yarn.

Gail was working on the gorgeous Gail's Gold silk-pygora (yes it is named after her!) from Rainbow Yarns. I love the colors in the Copper that Gail also has. (Sorry, they're updating their stock after SOAR, so you'll have to check back to see the colors Terry comes up with her pygora.) When I can afford some I'll be buying up 8 ounces of this luscious stuff. (It might be a while before that happens - its sells quickly!)

Holly was there too, but she was sitting right next to me and so I couldn't twist the camera right to get a picture of her too.  She came to talk about using hand carders with some alpaca that turned out better than originally thought. She was very sweet and before leaving gave me one of the Tudor Rose designs for my bobbins. I'll put the stickers on them tomorrow.

If you couldn't tell it was a little chilly in there tonight. Not sure if the heater was totally turned off, or like last year, there was cold air blowing out the vents. Since they changed the lighting in the center area, we'll try sitting there next week and see if its less cold.

Gail said her ears were cold - I'd snuggle up to the pygora too!

PS: if you're planning on doing any shawl knitting in the future, take a look at this cool spreadsheet that Marnie put together to figuring out stitches and yardage for patterns that increase by four stitches every other row - lots do it this way! Totally geeky and she rocks! Go download your free copy, you know you'll want it. It lets you adjust so if a pattern calls for 400 yards and you only have 350 you know how many rows you'll get.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Brandon baked rolls called Pain Aux Raisins & Cream Cheese Snails. They came out well and we came home with just a couple left.

The drive south to Corvallis was a little tense with the traffic back up on I-5 until after the 205 interchange. Why, I have no clue but it was ridiculous. Why tense? LOTS of pouring rain. I was requested not to look at the traffic, I'm used to driving, can you tell?

Dad's Cinnamon Eton's Scarf was fifteen inches long when we started the drive and after going to and from Corvallis, its now thirty-three inches long. Hopefully this means that I'm half way done with the scarf! Bad flash photo of it on the couch.


After eating dinner and waiting for the games to start I cast on the Baby Cardi. Just have the first eight rows of the collar done. Jeanne was excited to see it started and loved hearing that I had made a Norwegian baby hat. Her side of the family is one hundred percent Norwegian as she put it, so its fun to honor that side for her.

Anyone know what postage is currently? Can I buy some combination that equals 62 cents? Why? I want to get one of these before the book signing she'll have when the book comes out. I also want one of the burning bunnies.  I love her Rachel Morgan series and how the titles are a twist on Clint Eastwood movies.

PS: like my vinyl sticker for the spinning wheel? Holly posted a temp link to her blog and photos of the various designs - check them out here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I just finished up the second mitten. All ends are sewn in and pictures are taken. It still needs a nice soak, but that will happen tonight and it will be too wet for photos. Tomorrow is of course a busy day, so no chance to worry about them, so you get them somewhat done.

The right thumb also of course came out better than the left. After all I have had practice doing it, right?

I'm working on my dad's Cinnamon Eton's Scarf on the drive down to Corvallis and hopefully on the drive back. While there I obviously can't work on it, so I'm going to see if I can cast on this Baby Cardi for Cole.

Earlier this afternoon I boiled up nine eggs, my new tray holds eighteen deviled eggs. Two of the eggs were not cooperative and did not want to nicely give up their shells. I had to boil up an extra two eggs. I need to go see if they are more cooperative. I'll pipe in the filling tomorrow morning before we leave. Supposed to be down at my cousin's house by 1pm, so a busy morning.

NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month. I've been successful in posting every day. I will be thankful, if tomorrow doesn't cause me to miss. ;-) I'm thankful for a lot of things, too many to list here.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mitten & a half

Washing the left mitten did help out a bit along with some stretching in various directions:

I did get the second mitten cast on and do the ribbing and set a goal of getting at least half way through the 59 rows of the chart. I got there plus a few extra rows:

Last night I rearranged the cushions on the couch. Normally nothing that big, but I managed to turn them in such away that Norbert can't perch on the back of the edges. He's pouting about this fact and trying to resign himself with laying on the couch blanket in the corner:

Also to show those outside of the area that not all Fall days are dreary, one with some sunshine:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fall Day

The left mitten is all done. The tip is bound off and then there was the fun picking up the thumb stitches and doing the thumb pattern. The chart doesn't show having side stitches but the picture does. So went with the picture and then did the chart.

No pictures of the finished mitten though. I want to wash it and balance out the area around the thumb. Some stitches wanted to really loosen so hoping that a soak will even things out. We'll see tomorrow. ;-) Interesting thing to note about this pattern - the pictures don't match the chart for the back of the hand. The finished pictured mitten shows a one and a half stars and the charts have you complete two full stars. They also don't give any instructions on how to do the decreases, so all those sock toes came into play with a k2tog & ssk on either side.

Cast on for the second mitten and will work on it also tomorrow, along with laundry, dishes and the like. Need to get library books all gathered up so that I can send them off with Brandon. We're working with one main car so unless I take him to work, I'm at home. Lots of families are doing it, and so other than the the reduction in insurance, gas expenses, etc, I just have to get him used to the idea.

Don't worry about the scarf, it will get some work this week. I plan on taking it in the car on the trip down to Corvallis and back. I'm sure there will be other down time I can work on it while talking with people. I'd really like to have the second mitten done before Thanksgiving.

While I was doing the dishes this afternoon I looked out and it was kind of a normal fall day for the area. Many people are depressed by the cloud coverage, but for me its fall. So I took the camera out and took a picture of what I was looking at through the big maple in the back yard.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November Spinnerati

I picked up Cindy, missed Beth at the Hillsboro Main Library, and headed down to the Portland Central Library for this month's Portland Spinnerati meeting.

Duffy had planned to share some of her learning from the class she had at SOAR with Judith MacKenzie McCuin. This caused our big circle to break up into two circles - one listening to Duffy, the other having separate chats. ;-)


Rachel excited and ready to learn ;-)

Everyone else saw the camera and made like they were really busy. We came back together as a bigger group for the last half an hour. Duffy's group said that they did learn a lot. I'll catch her on a Wednesday night when I'm in a learning mood. ;-)

I took 18 cupcakes with me and came home with 6. Those that ate them and were commenting, did say that they were yummy. I agree! The boys will suffer through and help eat the rest. There were 14 people attending, so a pretty good showing. Hopefully more people will be able to attend the December meeting in a couple of weeks, again on a Sunday.

I finished up one bobbin of the Spinner's Hill Purple and started the second bobbin. Hope to get the rest done this week. Not sure what I'll spin up next. I have some lovely fibers just waiting to be spun up, I feel truly fortunate!

PS: for those of you who read yesterday's post, the pics have been updated. I got rid of the dark or blurry photos and swapped out with ones I took this afternoon taking advantage of the late afternoon sunshine. Check them out. ;-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Spinning, Mitten, and Cupcakes

I spent a some time this afternoon spinning with some Spinner's Hill purple - corriedale, finn, rambouillet:

Trying for more of what the colors look like than the washed out flash. There's Portland Spinnerati tomorrow, so I'll finish up this bobbin and start on the second.

Portland Spinnerati's first anniversary meeting is tomorrow, so I'm bringing some Carrot Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting:

I thought the carrot cake recipe was kind of seasonal without going for the pumpkin option.

Thought I'd share the backside of the mitten, its cool how the strands do the opposite of what is on the front:

Brandon went to the Winter Bazaar that was at the Washington County Fairgrounds. They had vendors there and he saw the same one I got my spinning basket from and thought I needed one for knitting.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I ended up frogging last night the start I had on my Selbuvotter mittens in the stylish name of NMH #12. (It's a Ravelry link, if you don't have access - why not?) A nice double star pattern on the front and a diamond pattern on the palm. Why did I frog? Sport weight and what ended up being light fingering weight and a little too much tension. So back to the stash and found another sport weight to use in the place of the variegated. The size 3 needles were also coming up with a larger mitten.

So after my father picked up his computer bright and early this morning, I re-cast on with the US 2 needles and we are a happy camper. I popped out while there was still light and just a light sprinkle:

Can't really tell that the color is a pretty wine burgundy color can you?

I of course have been working on it since that photo and working on the tension. You can see that the little zig-zag row above the ribbing is a little tight. I've been working at keeping the tension even. After the point above I turned it inside out and have been knitting it that way. I've found in the past that it helps with the tensioning.

I turned them right side out to show where the progress is at this point - the thumb opening is on waste yarn and I have half of the bottom star done:

 Palm, can kind of see where the waste yarn is a few rows down from the needles.

A slightly better picture of the Cinnamon Eton's Scarf. I haven't worked on it today.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Signing

Tonight was the book signing for book 12 of the Wheel of Time series - The Gathering Storm. The original author of the series died in 2007 from cancer leaving I imagine millions of people devastated because the series wasn't finished. Then news came out that "Robert", James, before he died had left lots of notes and even written the ending to the series and that his wife, Harriet, and editor was going to find an author to finish the series for all of his fans.

That author is Brandon Sanderson, who we found out tonight became an author working with TOR because of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

My Brandon started reading the series when he was in high school and much like the author Brandon both were enticed by the size of the first book in the series - HUGE. Brandon got me started reading the series back in 2000, so I haven't as much time invested but was still upset when I learned about RJ's death.

Brandon Sanderson:

The Brandons:

The swag, two bumper stickers:

While listening to the talk and while waiting for it to start, I took along the Eton's Scarf that I'm doing in Stitchjones Dyepot Worsted, colorway Cinnamon. I love this reddish-brown. The pattern is ultra simple and reversible and is going to make a great scarf for my dad:

Not really showing the awesome color because Brandon wasn't using the flash. I think I have at least another inch or two more from this point.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Garnet Yarn

I think the best compliment of the evening was from Cindy when she said it looked like it was machine made yarn. I am very proud of how well this came out. I had noticed that I had gotten a pretty consistent single across the two that were done. I did end up with a little more of one than the other, but I didn't get a really scientific half of each part of the rope I separated.

So from 2.4 ounces of 80/20 merino/silk I got 348.83 yards of light fingering/lace weight yarn. Okay, I haven't done the wraps per inch check so don't know exactly the 'weight'.

I'm trying to decide if I want to do the Kernel Scarf again or if there's another scarf out there that would be perfect for this yarn. I've tried doing an Advanced Search in Ravelry using yardage and lace weight. I don't know, I'm not finding any that jump out at me - any suggestions?

Here's what the yarn looks like:

Tried taking a picture of the mitten in progress but while the color is okay, its blurry. Tried taking a picture of the new stuff being spun (Spinning Hill's Corriedale-Finn-Rambouillet in purples) and its blurry and dark. No good camera karma.

ETA: I had Ishbel in mind for the yarn but kept thinking that I had some other yarn that I had in my stash that I would use. I mean I bought the pattern last month with some other patterns purchased, but did I actually add it to my queue? Just checked and it wasn't there and the yardage for the small version is such that I can do this with this yarn!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A shawl is done

Unusual lately for me to dive in and use a new yarn. Recent yarn purchases have been in preparation for particular projects. Maybe that's why this one is different. It was traded yarn. Traded for a BMFA Knitter's Without Borders skein that I bought at the Yarn Harlot book signing but decided I didn't really love the color combination. So it sat in my trade/sell until someone else wanted it.

The Three Corner Scarf pattern is from Judith McKenzie-McCuin's Intentional Spinner book. Ruth Howell is the pattern designer. It's a nice pattern for handspun and this yarn while not spun by me, was a handspun. A thick and thin single of 50/50 wool and silk. The silk gives it a nice shimmer that I think at least one of the photos captures.

The colorway is Summer Heat, but I think this will go well with my harvest gold dress I plan to wear for Thanksgiving.

In its blocking wires (really loving these things - thanks again Cindy for offering them to me to buy!):

Closeup that kind of shows the silk shimmer:

Showing how long it is. Unblocked it was 24 inches deep, after blocking 30 inches:

Now the strange thing, nothing showing in Ravelry as an active project. Since I had a scratchy throat, figured out its allergies too late, I'll be off to start some mittens. I did finish up plying the Garnet as a nice two-ply. No details yet, since its resting overnight.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Washed fleece & great food

Today was a combination of washing the Icelandic fleece and cooking. It was a good day!

On the cooking front, I made this beef stew, with just a couple changes. No parsnips (didn't have any), Campbell's French Onion soup instead of the chicken broth. I also ended up using two bottle of the Black Butte Porter. This is the second beef recipe recently that called for some form of chocolate. This one works too.

The boys both gobbled up the stew and the Beer Bread I made to go along with it. I like it better than the Alton Brown version I last tried. This one is also good, kind of moist like a zucchini bread and you definitely want to do the extra sugar that someone in the reviews mentions.

I'd gotten some pudding mixes with the last grocery shopping trip so thought I'd take one of the graham cracker crusts and do a coconut cream pie, substituted a cup of coconut milk for regular milk, toasted some coconut flakes. On the box there was an idea of putting melted chocolate on the bottom of the crust then some whip cream with the toasted flakes. I didn't have whip cream so just did the chocolate on the bottom and put the flakes on top of the pie. Brandon likes it, William doesn't. The chocolate is too bitter for him, it called for bittersweet.

I have all of the fleece washed and drying on racks in my craft area. At first I tried picking out all of the little seeds (white and larger and really seed like, unlike some of those 'black grass heads' that were really fleas), grass and pine needles that I could see in the fleece. Okay, as I was putting clumps into the mesh bags, I'd pick out what I could. I figure I'm going to be going through the cleaned fleece to either put through a drum carder or use hand cards, so just get it clean.

On a tray:

Trying to show the lock structure before washing, I did pick the grass out!

Four out of six of the drying trays:

I finished the shawl up tonight. Used up all but the last six inches during the cast off. Tomorrow I'll wash it and block it out. Right now it seems more like a shawlette, so we'll see if blocking helps it be a smidge bigger.