Tuesday, July 22, 2014

2 Pt. Bulletin Missing in Action: Caffeine Girl - June's 2nd Giveaway Winner AND A "Trust Me" July Giveaway.

Okay, I know that's a long header for this post, but I have not been able to get in touch with Caffeine Girl so I can get her mailing address and send her, her prize from last month. Has anyone got her offline contact info? Can y'all let her know I want her to have what is rightfully hers?

I realize this also means, I haven't done a July give away. Horrible Blogger making promises! So now we are having the Trust Me July Giveaway. It's tricky, b/c I'm not going to advertise this one in a picture. You need to trust me. Ha! (this is kinda how I got my husband to marry to me, wink wink) All you need to do, is leave me a comment here in July and tell me, "worsted" or "fingering/sock" and if you get randomly selected. I will match you up with a prize sufficient for turning out a pair of socks or fingerless mitts (2 balls of worsted) Imagine that! Just be sure to leave me a way to contact you and be okay that I will have to mail it out early August.

Okay moving on. Things have been Tres Busy here in my neck of the woods. Family, work, friends. All good, but I'm running out of space and time to do it all, per usual. I have deadlines and I have a family vacation coming up, and a sick kid at home, and some knitting that needs finishing. It's time for lists. Things to do, things to come. See you soon.

What are you doing? What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Come on Stitch Count (fingers crossed)


So I thought I was progressing on my shawl.

And then after a second repeat of a section I realized my stitch count was off.

The pattern is pretty simple so it's not clear to me how I am messing this up.

I'm only one off now. 

I might have to "make" this happen. I think if I stick the extra stitch by the edging it won't throw things off.

It's not that many stitches total.

But I'm lazy. I want to go forward.

What do you when you're off? Do you keep tinking or hide it if you can?

I am willing to tinker and try to get creative if I feel like I am "close", but there is a limit. I want to knit, not fuss. I say that, but then I obsess over the pattern and the stitch count and the alignment and the math, to a point. That point is known to move.

I admit if I can SEE it, I usually end up pulling it out, since I know it will drive me batty otherwise. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekend Round-up: Rainbows and Mini Duffins

On Friday I had a few hopes I wanted to put into action, even though I was already anticipating a good weekend -- which it was.

First of all, there was some more rainbow, festive, happy knitting. This yarn is so cheery that even when I realized I made a mistake and had to pull out and inch and a half, I just kept going and wasn't that mad. Sock knitting on the streetcar to make up for lost time ...

I am hoping to be finished with (this) sock  #2 this weekend. I did get a little distracted by my shawl knitting as well. But we'll speak of that later this week too ;) Heck, maybe we'll get a Friday FO!

Saturday morning before Zumba I decided to make The Kid a proper first breakfast. (I am pretty sure I have repeatedly mentioned he eats like a Hobbit on the weekends -- 2nd breakfast was soup) There was a scrambled cheesy egg, some Irish back bacon and a new  recipe (got that baking in!) of doughnut mini muffins, or as the boys have come to call them, The Duffins.

I used the King Arthur's Doughtnut Muffin recipe. 
*Note I used more like 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of nutmeg since the amount called for seemed too much. I still added "stuff", meaning some raspberries and blackberries to redeem it a tad. I believe I reduced both the oven temperature and baking times to accommodate the mini size. Also, I did not use their topping, but opted to sift confectioner's sugar and cinnamon over instead. (see below)





You can see the berries mixed in here. I didn't use a lot, just because I still wanted a doughnut taste.

Also, they are mini, so that made them cute and less ... calorific. 


Later that afternoon, my sister picked us up at BART and took us out to Dad's. The Manfriend met us when he got off of work and picked plums in my parents' backyard. He's going to make a big batch of plum jam for the restaurant this week :)


Sunday was more exercise, World Cup final (what a match!) and more family time. It was a relaxing day, which is just what we needed. Honestly, I ended up doing laundry and knitting in the bedroom while the  father/son dynamic duo played video games without me in their space.

I confess to watching the Harry Potter movies on t.v. ... with commercials ... again ... even though I own the series. I can't not watch it.  Why is that? Is it because, it's magical? LOL Do you have something that comes on t.v. that you cannot stop watching even if you have easy access to viewing it?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hey I Saw That! Friday Edition

This little bit of wall art is also in our industrial/residential neighborhood. (hmm, there's a lot more than that around here now ... labels are lame)

Anyhow, The Manfriend spotted it on his way back from the gym and thought we'd all like it. This is when I realized he walks a really wonky path compared to me. Same gym, different favorite paths. Even when I deviate from my usual walk, I only go one or two blocks out of the way. His path is unnecessarily out of the way in my opinion, and kind of ... isolated. 2 things I don't like in my walking recipes ... especially in the dark.

 I admit to sometimes taking the bus to the gym, even though it is only 15 mins at most away by 2 feet. shh!

I like this. It speaks to me on many levels: crafting, personal, professional. I'm doing what I can folks. There has been some more rainbow knitting happening. This weekend between family BBQing and the World Cup Finals (I'm going to go through withdrawals when this ends, I swear it). I'm aiming for a little sock and shawl knitting. Maybe if I'm feeling really twitchy, I'll try to bake something new, too.

What's on your weekend agenda?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Summer Side Dishes

I'm joining Carole today for the Ten on Tuesday ...

I love summer eating. Don't get me wrong I love my brussel sprouts and swiss chard and the peas ans asparagus of summer ... but nothing beats the bright colors of summer and the char of a grill in the warm months. In no particular order:


1. Tomato Tarte. I started making this one last summer and realize that for my oven I need to bake it for 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes (make it in the morning with your coffee before the summer day gets too hot to put the oven on)


2. Caprese salad. Tomato, basil & mozzarella with some quality olive oil or drizzled pesto if you're feeling "crazy".

3. Sweet, sweet corn on the cob. Yes please, that is all.

4. Berries and cake. I don't care what you say, this is a side dish. It's got vitamins. I like to macerate them  in a little red wine and sugar if I'm feeling grown up. Fresh whipped cream to finish.

5. Burrata with arugula and peaches or nectarines, a little good quality olive oil and some smoked sea salt and ground black pepper. Feeling a little less fruity, I'll swap the stone fruit with heirloom tomatoes.

6. Beet salad. I eat beets all the time, but beet salad makes me think of summer. I like it with a shallot vinaigrette.  I don't make it, The Manfriend does. Every time I see it on the table, kitchen or picnic, it recalls summers of my youth (20's) where he would bring it to all our group friend events. It looks and tastes like a summer crush, ha! Bonus points, leftovers are great to mix into next day green or pasta salads.

7. Grilled Ratatouille. We love to grill vegetables and sometimes it's an overwhelming mix so we sort of dice it and put it in a bowl. Another good leftover to incorporate into pasta etc for another meal down the week.

8. Cheese plate. Random much? Well, again with all the fun fruit out in the summer it is really easy to jazz up a cheese plate and well, I married a Franco-American so now I eat cheese.

9. Watermelon salad with mint, lime and red chile, maybe a little cheese (see above)

10. Grilled pesto shrimp kabobs.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th of July Weekend Winner

I hope you are all having a winning if not swimming kind of weekend.

Caffeine Girl http://caffeinegirlcreates.blogspot.com is our second June Giveaway winner! I'll contact you for a mailing address when I get back. 

We spent the 4th at the Russian River with one of my BIL's family and half of Sonoma county.


Lots of fun and naps for their familiy's newest member, Khaleesi.


Look at those eyes. Just a wee lass.


Livin' the dream...


Today we are poolside all day livin the dream, knitter-style until it's drinks & dinner with the MIL.


A little dark in the shade protecting the MomLady Hide.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Antarktis & Me


I'm trying to ramp up my summer knitting. I'm trying to realize those hopes and dreams from the beginning of the summer but I do not seem to have the momentum to even conquer a quarter of my goals. So I joined My Sister's Knitter Sock Yarn Knit Along. It encompasses all that I need.
  • Sock yarn obsession: everything I want to work on, socks, tank, shawls all seem to beg for sock yarn.
  • A sense of completion: I have 2 pairs of socks that I know will get done this summer, but I wanted a deadline to drive me. I'm an adrenaline junkie (code for procrastinator). Push me. Give me a list, I want to check something off. 
  • Good company. Even if I finish one item, this group is always a joy to go read and catch up on -- so supportive and kind.
So I cast on for Antarktis. The first try had me thinking how can I be doing something wrong? The pattern is so straight-forward. Before I could really rant on my lunch hour about the evils of lace I looked within.

Me, voila! Basic techniques are not so basic for me.Yarnovers re-learned. (I was a wrong way wrapper with YOs between knit stitches. I should've just brought the yarn forward and knit like a normal person)


I think Kathy B. would describe this as potato chip knitting. I have to "kinda" pay attention, but it's easy to follow so far.

Current To Do:
  • Finishing Prodigy (well the Legend trilogy, really) for Mother/Son summer "book club" reading.
  • Finish Dr. G's summer socks
  • Finish summer rainbow socks
  • Recast on a pink pair ... this time in Hermione's Everyday pattern
  • Cast on Purlwise Rib Tank
  • Maintain 60 mins of sustained cardio at 3x a week
  • Take more pictures where I'm in them for The Kid
  • Work on a homemade pie dough. "Easy as pie" my a..
Remember it's not too late to enter the sock yarn/project bag giveaway!  I'll pick a winner on 4th of July, because I'm a party animal like that ;)