I’ve cast on a whole bunch of new projects between now and my last WIP Wednesday post. I believe that was two weeks ago. I seem to be on a every other Wednesday schedule with these posts. Anyway, I’ve been taking advantage of the overpowering knitting mojo I seem to have!
The black scarf is an idea I’ve had in the back of my head for a while. Abby from Knit Knit Cafe would call it “brewing”. I bought that yarn 2 years ago, shortly after I arrived in Germany. It is Chiara by On Line. And it’s gorgeous. My plan was a fancy, dress up type scarf. I finally pulled it out last week and tried about 2 or 3 patterns I didn’t like. And this yarn has a big halo, so it’s not easy to pull out. Finally my Vogue Stitchionary Lace arrived and I found the perfect stitch. I once again wasn’t sure, but decided I needed to see more than one repeat of the pattern. Once I did I loved it. I’m going to continue on. I haven’t quite decided whether to block it or not when I’m done, but I suppose that’s a decision I don’t have to make quite yet.
Then I cast on for another project I’ve had sitting around for quite some time. I bought the Modern Classics Christmas Stockings Kit (now discontinued) from KnitPicks before my first Christmas here. Once Christmas passed, I decided I’d wait. Then I waited too long for last Christmas. Finally I thought that would be a good challenge for travel knitting. When all my attention can be placed on it. So I thought about setting it aside for when I fly home. But it was too late. I got it stuck in my head and figured there was no harm in starting now! And who knows, maybe I’ll have 1 done by Christmas! I’ve never really done colorwork before. Nothing this hard anyway. Just a hat with a star shape in the top of it. Thats all. I like this. It’s therapeutic in a way. And because I don’t have to wear it, it’s a good beginner colorwork project! Then I don’t have to worry if the carries along the back are too tight. But I must say, I’m very glad I now know how to knit English and Continental. I think it makes working with two colors MUCH easier.
Finally, I gave in. I gave into the pattern that seems to be going viral among the knitting world. Seriously, if you don’t believe me look up the words “The Beekeeper’s Quilt” in Google. You may be overwhelmed with results. On Ravelry 1,523 people have it in their projects and 2,882 people have it in their queue. Knitting these little hexipuffs are just so darn fun, and cute! And simple. Did I mention simple? Did I mention I don’t have to buy yarn for it? I just use all my scraps? I can’t forget to mention though, that I do not plan on finishing it any time soon! This is by far a very looonnng term project for me.
As far as reading goes, I picked up Rachel Ray’s The Big Orange Book from the library today. I was thinking about finding some recipes that don’t revolve around meat. Possibly some more healthy recipes. But the picky eater I am, this may be hard. I saw this book and remembered loving it. I have it actually, but it’s one of those things that is among the boxes in my parents basement. So I got it out to take another look. So far, I’ve actually found a few things straight out of the vegetarian chapter that look good. This surprises me! I’ll have to try one of them next week. Check out what others are knitting and reading over at Small Things.
I have a few projects I’ve worked on this past week. Two will be featured on Friday. Because….well, they are finished!!! So I’ll save those for later. I’ve brought back my old Vanilla Socks I was working on a few months ago. I sure do have alot of unfinished WIPs from before I got sick. I’m just starting to pull them out one at a time to finish. I can’t seem to just work on them though, because I seem to lose my knitting mojo. It’s still all weird from the pregnancy. They are the socks made out of Zauberball Crazy which I love, and it’s also my first attempt at the afterthought heel. I must say I like how easy they are, but I don’t know if I like the fit. I might have to try a 60/40 heel instead of 50/50. Maybe that will work.
I’m also back at knitting preemie hats. Not another big project or anything this time though. I’m part of the Due In January 2012 group on Ravelry. Well one of the members has a friend who just had a baby boy at 28 weeks gestation. That’s only 2 weeks older than my little angel nieces so I wanted to do something. I asked and some of the members are going to try to get a hat or two made and in the mail by Sept. 12 so this little boy and mother can benefit from the love and comfort of the hats. As I understand it, the mother is also a knitter but has been too sick and now of course recovering from the C-section that she hasn’t been able to knit anything. Her friend said that some hand knits would be so appreciated by her. Right now I’m just making a simple rib hat with the black yarn. It’s a bit big though, so I think I’m going to try to make something a bit smaller too. At the very least I want to get two hats sent off.
On the reading front, not much has changed. I plowed through the last book, and now it seems that I’m a snail. Even with a really, really good book. I’m STILL reading The Help. Yes, I’ve been reading it for maybe a whole month, or more now. But according to my Kindle I’m 87% of the way through so I should finally finish tonight or tomorrow. I have to say this book is excellent. It definitely shows how people’s ethics and morals were challenged in the time frame. So many changes were happening that weren’t necessarily “safe” to support. There’s many points where I feel bad for the narrators (all three different perspectives) but there are also times I just want to yell at them. Then I have to sit and think about how different things were then. Kathryn Stockett has a great writing style too, and I will be looking up other books by her.
If you want to read more WIP Wednesday posts head on over to Tami’s Ami’s and Other Creations. If you are more interested in the knitting and reading then take a gander at Small Things blog.
Oh, I also have this in the oven. Be jealous, and wish you could smell it! Applesauce bread by Paula Deen.
My husband and I didn’t go to a party and celebrate this year. He had to work this morning once again, even though a majority of the companies here on post had today off. Oh well, it’s nothing we aren’t used to. I did however try to cook for the day. I made Guinness Corned Beef and Potatoes. The reviews for the recipe are great. With that said, this was the very first time I have ever cooked corned beef. Maybe I shouldn’t take initiative and do my own thing when I’m making something for the very first time. I thought I could cook the whole thing in the crock pot on low all day. And I mean ALL DAY – a good 9 hours on low. But it didn’t work too well, and I didn’t think the meat was cooked just right. I also discovered I really don’t like the after taste from the Guinness. Needless to say, the hubs still loved it. So at least he was pleased! He was also happy to have some Guinness left over so he could make his very Irish Black & Tans (seen in the picture above).
Onto FO Friday. I don’t really have much to share, but I suppose not having much is more than having nothing like most other weeks! I finished the Pacifier Clip. I have more plans to make some things to match the pacifier clip but they are non-knitting related. I’ll share when the whole gift is complete though!
It’s Valentine’s Day! With saying that, I don’t really get into the holiday as some. No decorations or seven course meals here. Just a little something. I might buy a gift (like this year- which hasn’t gotten here yet!!) but I always try to do something handmade per say. Last year I borrowed a massage table from a dear friend and got a few lessons. Then I set up my office like a massage room and surprised him! This year I decided I’d make an apple pie. Now, may readers may not know me as well as my friends, but this is kind of a big deal. I have never made an apple pie *gasp*. Mainly because I don’t eat apples *double gasp*. I can still hear my childhood friend’s dad saying “You’re un-American if you don’t like apple pie!”. When I told my mom what I was doing she even asked “are you really going to cut and peel the apples by hand? Or are you using filling?”
Well, I did it. All from scratch, might I add. It’s in the oven cooking right now! I made the pie crust this morning. Took a walk to the local grocery, bought some Golden Delicious apples and got to peelin’. Both recipes, the crust and the pie came from the book All About Pies & Tarts published by Joy Of Cooking. I have to say, I thought the whole thing would turn out ok….I mean I don’t even have a rolling pin. But so far, so darn good. I am impressed with myself. I don’t know how it tastes yet, but it sure looks like a masterpiece. I’m hoping that the hubs really enjoys it! And best of all, I’m proud of myself!
Friday means Finished Objects. But guess what? Big surprise that I didn’t finish anything this week. I really feel like the week just started and finished. No in between. I’m really trying to remember what I’ve done this weekend and feel like I don’t have anything to share. I haven’t accomplished anything this week. Well, besides a decent amount of work on hubby’s Christmas present. Even if I had finished that, I wouldn’t have been able to share. That’s one of the things I don’t love about gift knitting. I can’t share till they’ve been received. Luckily I don’t have much more to do, gift wise. There are things I do love about the Christmas season. Decorating. Snow. And Baking.
Decorating. I’ve done a bit of that this week at least. Decorated the whole house for Christmas. Now I just need a Christmas tree to make everything complete. Either tomorrow or Sunday we will be going to buy our Christmas tree (no matter what the hubs has to say about it). Then I will really feel like it’s Christmas. Face it- no matter how many Christmas movies you watch, how much Christmas music you listen to, and how many presents you’ve wrapped, it doesn’t feel like Christmas till you have a real tree up.
Snow. We’ve had plenty of that. I just wish the sun would join the snow so I can get some decent pictures. Edgar took his first adventure in the snow. He was a bit, well, confused. And it is the only time he came back in the house voluntarily. That tells you what he thought of it right there.
Baking. I made Chocolate Pretzels. Not Chocolate covered pretzels, but the pretzels you put in the oven with Hershey kisses on top, then place M&Ms on them. They are pretty much heaven. Especially if you use Peanut Butter M&Ms. And they are also pretty much the easiest “baking” I’ve ever done. Sunday will be much more of a feat. I have 3 batches of the Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies (thank you Paula Dean) to make. On Sunday I will be getting together with some neighbors to do a cookie exchange. It was my idea to do this, and I’ve heard of them but never participated. I told a few girls here, and then more friends were invited. So I’m making more than planned, but that just means I get more goodies and we have a bigger variety of sweets! I decided to get this cookie swap going because I love Christmas cookies too much, and I don’t want to make a bunch of different kinds just to eat them all. This way I get a variety, but only a few of each! Less carbs, calories and sugar for me. I’m sure the hubs won’t mind.
If you were disappointed not to see any finished objects, then I suggest you head over to Tami’s Amis to check out everyone else. I’ll leave you now with some pictures of Edgar taking on the big, fluffy, white stuff.
Here’s wishing everyone a belated Turkey Day. Hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and remembered the whole point behind the holiday. This year I am thankful to be happy and healthy and for all the great quality time I have gotten to spend with my husband in the past few weeks. It’s nice to actually see him once in a while.
We had two turkeys this year, and not purposely. I had a dinner planned with a good friend across the street. She is German and was going to be celebrating her first Thanksgiving ever, plus she also has a new son so it was his first too! Her husband wanted to do a deep-fried turkey since he’s from the south and had been having them for years. But it was less than a week till Thanksgiving and there was still no fryer to make one so I planned on cooking one. Bought one, started it thawing, then low and behold he found a fryer. And bought a turkey! And despite our suggestions, thawed it anyway, so we had two 14 pound turkeys for four people. Of course I didn’t want that much turkey and didn’t want to deal with cooking a turkey on top of everything else for Thanksgiving if there was no need to, so I kept it in the fridge to cook later. I was cooking first thing when I woke up on Thursday, just for the hubby. He wanted Cinnamon Rolls because it’s a family tradition. I didn’t mind a challenge, and baked cinnamon rolls from scratch. I can’t believe I was successful though! And now that I’m an accomplished Cinnamon Roll baker I need a better recipe. So please share any suggestions! Thank you!
It was nice to have Thanksgiving twice, I must say. And both birds were absolutely delicious (despite the fact that the deep fried one was slightly undercooked and had to make a trip to the oven). I highly, highly suggest the recipe I used to roast my turkey. I cooked it up yesterday. It was so good, and very very moist! If you get Taste of Home Magazine you already have the recipe! It was a Champagne Basted Turkey and you can find the recipe here if you are a Taste of Home Member. At first I questioned the idea of using Champagne, or as it called for any type of sparkling wine. I ended up using Mascato wine because I always have it in my fridge, and it turned out great! I will use this recipe again, and possibly again and again after that!
Deep Fried Turkey- Not as burnt as it looks!
Oh So Good Mascato Basted Turkey
I went back and counted. I actually had to, because apparently I can’t keep count on my own. I was going to just name each post WIPW – (Here goes the correct number.) That obviously didn’t happen! Maybe because I always post more than just a WIP! Today is no exception. I have one new item. I’m truthfully not even going to bore you with the tiny little progress that has been made on both pairs of socks.
A dear friend here in Germany has asked me to make her daughter some leg-warmers. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I must say that they are back in style! They’ve been for a bit now, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I quite like them. Especially on little girls. Well, I thought I had the perfect yarn picked out – some Lana Grossa Bingo Print. Well, it will be the perfect yarn……if I have enough. We will have to wait and find out. If not, I decided I will just sell this pair or find another cute smaller girl to give them to.
I apologize for the blurriness.
As I said, I will include more than just a WIP! But it’s related, I swear. So the recipient of these cute legwarmers (*fingers crossed*) joined me on Friday night for a sleepover. My dear husband was supposed to be gone for the night, so it was my night with her for a girls night. I offered this option to her mother, because being in Germany friends and family are limited. I remember going to Grandma & Grandpa’s, my best friends house, or my cousin’s for sleepovers! And they were the best! Why? Because of the spoiling factor of course! So this was not only good for mom and dad to get their sweet daughter out of the house, but good for her as well. And of course we always include baking! So baking it was…..and I have to thank Bird In Hand Farm for the recipe to this delightful dish. We made S’mores Bars and oh my were they delicious! So good, that my husband couldn’t keep his fingers off them. The only modification to the recipe I made was to turn the broiler on for about 3 minutes to brown the marshmallows. I suppose it could have done with a minute or so less, but they still tasted amazing!
Now if you have time you should go check out a few more works in progress! All the links can be found on Tami’s blog!