Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Knit Night

Last night was Elementary School Knit Night. Yeah, I know The Kid has moved on to Middle School but you know, I like these ladies, and well, I like knitting ! Who doesn't love an excuse for knit night in good company? They were starting this group at the end of the school year and were nice enough to invite me, and so we gathered for our third meeting at Mrs. L's homestead with her in-house Fiber Brigade. Daughters #2 & #3 make excellent ball winders. I will be sure to utilize their skills at the next meeting with them.

It was good times indeed. My fellow Manchester City Fan and friend Ms. K. Got herself up to modifying a handwarmer pattern into an American Girl doll dress. This was after a narrowly avoided cat pee yarn incident and the dislike of an attempt at a black doll dress on the magic loop from an earlier meeting. Doll got a dress and Ms.K got an FO. Now, these big life dolls kinda creep me out (not as much as say, clowns -- I blame Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure and It by Stephen King) but I love this photo. ha!

I didn't get a lot of project photos, because we got down to it. There was some snacking and wine. Some people found us less than entertaining initially.

But by the end we had 3 new members.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Definition of a lazy knitter ... or is it finisher?

Yes, this is the sweater I finished knitting in May. My co-worker who this is for, his wife had the baby literally that day.

Then I let it languish. I asked for his mailing address, thinking I would mail it.

I didn't.

I think I weaved the ends in around July.

I just put buttons on it last weekend.

Well, it's done. I had it ready for him on Monday. His leave was extended another week.

I hope the kid can still wear it when he finally gets it ;)

The funniest thing is I knit one of these for another woman last year and she liked it so much, she asked me to knit her son a larger size, so I'm casting on for this sucker again this weekend. Let's hope I'm a little more timely in my delivery this go around.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hey, I ate that!: Birthday Dining Edition

Yesterday we celebrated the Manfriend's birthday with a lovely early meal out at new place he specifically requested, Monsieur Benjamin. A fun, easy family night. First week of school, so homework was quick and done with just a little bit to fix when we got home.

Here are a few things we tucked into:

Butter lettuce salad, always a crowd-pleaser.


Whipped chicken liver with gaufrettes.  There was a whole cylinder of potatoes but this was easier to photo.

The Kid's hamburger. He exclaimed over how good the pickle was 3 times, as well.

Arctic char almondine.

Potato and artichoke gratin.

Tongue. (I am not really a tongue person, but I found this preparation/presentation very interesting. Almost like a chipped beef on toast, non?)

There were a few other smalls, but I wasn't as photo crazy this time.

The place was very modern and charming. There are many fun things on the menu. We hope to return soon, maybe bringing Auntie Anne with us.
cute custom tableware

paper plane tests on the way home
I spent the past two evenings at 2 hours at a time untangling sock yarn. Can you imagine how many rows of my sock I could have completed by now? Hopefully tonight after the first PTA meeting of the year, I can get an hour of sock knitting in:)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Creative Blog Hop Post

Kepanie of Knitspiring Odyssey contacted me a few weeks back to see if I were interested in participating in a Blog Hop. She had been contacted by Deb Hickman of a World of Imagination.

(are you getting the hopping bit yet?)

Anyhow here I am with my responses to the questions for the Blog Hop. I decided to take it as a hybrid approach, both of hobby as well as how I finally write a post. I am not sure if this is how it's supposed to work, but that's what I'm sellin'.

It was an interesting personal exercise for me.

1. What am I working on?

Hobby Answer: I am working on finishing some socks. Really all I have on the needles at this very moment is one pair of socks. As I wrote earlier, I have things planned, and prepped. In fact 2 more pairs of socks and 3 baby sweaters. I have them prioritized on an index card that I like to carry in my purse. I used to have a note book but it was too bulky. If you visit fairly regularly, I'm also really working on trying new recipes every month -- just for fun.

Post Writing: I'm trying to be more concise, honest, and a little more organized. I'm finally using more photos (except for today, of course!)

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hobby & Post Writing Answer: Simply, it's me, my perspective, my voice. I don't think I'm doing anything remarkable. I just like to do and share.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Hobby Answer: It's been said multiple times but I truly think for some sanity, calming the thought process. It's achievable mental exercise.

I can't sit still very well, my mind doesn't sit still very well.  Knitting and baking provide me with some ... methodology to find my own order.

Also, a sense of completion. So many things in life are on-going (I don't want to use the word battles ...) work. There are dependencies upon dependencies and sometimes, one can get really wrapped up running from one family member or function to another or one meeting to another. or fixing one problem at work after another. We lose sight of the progress. Knitting makes me feel productive, because I feel like I can do this, I can see the progress, I don't HAVE TO finish something if I don't really want to, ha! With baking or cooking (I prefer baking because it's more specific) it is something to nourish body and hopefully a little soul as well.

Everyone thinks I'm nicer in my household when I bake and knit. I've been told "it's okay, you can go knit if you need to." more than once.

Lastly, this is brutal honesty. I like the attention, the feeling of being heard, the validation. I blame it on being an only child for 8 years, but not only is it nice to have your own corner to play in, but that people might play there with you. They can teach you more things, what things worked for them, what things didn't. There is so much interest in things that we do differently as well as things we do the same. I love the kindness I have found.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Hobby Answer:  Ha! After spending a lot of time, zooming around the Internet, blogs and ravelry, I basically check the stash, check the LYS and then prep it in first a ziplock gallon bag. The Ziplock is kind of like my queue. It's in a holding pattern until I can cast on and then now that I don't have quite so many things on the needles, it gets it's own cloth project bag. I really try to knit something that I feel is manageable, and maybe one thing that is going to challenge me a little. I try to keep it relatively light and fun, because this is not work for me. This is pure joy. Fascinating ... not. But sometimes reality is boring. Baking, I'm a bit out there, I never know what flavor or season or request or what's inspiring me.

Writing: Truth! I often scribble a random thought down and then start drafting on the computer or phone later. I usually end up with something completely different by the time I post, unless I have something specific. I do this, because if I waited to write when I had an idea, this would be an even sorrier place to visit than it is, ha! I use this technique to avoid online rambling too much. I want to be me, but if I can give you an edited version, honestly? You're lucky.Also timing, finding time is everything, non?

That's it folks. That's all I've got. Thank you Kepanie for tagging me. I tagged our very lovely Kathy B for next week Monday and my local pal Denise from My Unoriginal Blog might participate as well.

As always, thanks for your visit.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekend Baking

Saturday baking experiments. Funfetti cookies from scratch, residual Rainbow socks vibe.

Then it went on to the weekend winner, Smitten Kitchen's Blueberry Crumb Cake. This garnered The Man Friends approval even without the lemon zest. (I made up for it later. I cookedd Petrale Sole for dinner and bought 3 lemons, ha!)

Inside is light and divine.

Today, Manchester City has their first match of English Premier Season. I'm on cup of coffee 2, bacon is cooked and my Zumba class starts in just about 1.5 hrs. It's The Kids last day of freedom before school starts. Knit, lounge, snack :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday FO: Vanilla Wandering Cat

So one of my favorite experiences knitting socks has been my Mr. Dress-up socks by Wandering Cat. It was my first time doing a slipped stitch heel.

I liked using the US 1.5 knitting needles.

I liked the ribbing and I liked the overall proportion of the knit.

So for this pair of "vanilla" stockinette socks I decided to borrow all the pieces of  Wandering Cat's socks minus the fancy/dressy diamond pattern (which I'm sure I'll return to another time.).

So here we are. A finished pair of Vanilla Wandering Cat socks for Dr. G in Cherry Tree Hill somethin' or other. I got this yarn in Kathy B's fall swap last year. It was when I met the fabulous Nancy of Wyoming Breezes. I'm not sure if this was her contribution, but I can tell you that finishing this knit just reminds me how lovely the circle of knitting happiness is.

It looks to be another busy weekend so I may have to wait until Sunday to sink into my yarn. But I am a plotting...

• Keep on , keepin' on my tropical socks knitting.
• Cast on Little Pumpkins, whoo hoo!
Order/buy yarn for newer baby knits.
• Knit toddler sweater (this one I'm excited because the color I showed you is dreamy and fun and bright like the toddler)
• It will be time to return to both cardigans and shawls.

Yeah if I get half of this done by Thanksgiving I'll impress myself. Still nothing like a good knit dream post FO.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Winner and Rainbows and a Knit Along!

First of all, congratulations to Deborah of Deborah K's Life! She's our "Trust Me. Giveaway" Winner.  She's got a bit of "Everlasting" in Amethyst coming her way.

Her blog is a fun mix of craft, personal project and running/health/fitness. She's got a positive, inspirational but real tone, which I really appreciate. I often find some inspiration to sign up for another 5k or make that extra day in the week at the gym  after reading her. Goals are meant to be achieved and it's nice to have a voice that reminds you it doesn't mean you're setting yourself up for disappointment, even when (and I probably will many more times in the future) I take steps back occasionally. This applies to my knitting too, hehe.

Speaking of knitting. I did finish the rainbow socks. They are not weaved in yet or blocked, but HM, these are coming your way soon. Yes, it's a long leg on a little foot. HM has a small foot, and I dunno, I have a tendency to knit long legs. I'm trying to switch it up, but I guess "long leg" is my default sock knitting setting.

I thought I'd have another pair finished this weekend, but after the taco party at my sister's we kept the party train going. Sunday The Manfriend and I took 6 boys to see The Guardians of the Galaxy. Heck yeah. It was great. Soundtrack? I'm in love. I mean come on, The Runaways, David Bowie AND the Pina Colada song? Everyone sways to that song, don't lie!

Little fact, my 6 middle school boys were well behaved compared to the 2 grown men fussing at each other over their seating arrangment (and lack of manners all around -- really, a) put your feet down b) try not to kick the person's seat in front of you. You should've seen the boys watching this grown man snooty smack talk. It was like watching cats watch tennis.

Parents came over for Sparkling wine and crostini snacks for a cocktail party. Fun times! Clean kitchen at bedtime :)

One final knitting note. I am trying to catch up on my blog reading. Seriously, knitting bloggers are just ze best, dahlings for some online sunshine.  Along my partial catch-up way Dee sucked me into Andi's pumpkin sock knit along. 

The cat with the orange sock picture on Dee's site was very woo-ing.

little pumpkin kal

Kathy are you reading this? Socks and Pumpkins and fall themes? Hello, this has you written all over it. Who's with me?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday taco time

It was my little nephew's birthday on Friday. Born on auspicious 8/8 was fancy enough. Yet this year was his special 8/8 eighth birthday. 

With family it meant tacos.

I made the great trio: steak

Fish: tilapia

And little man's favorite food, shrimp.

I know, the tails are on, but that's a dollar cheaper a bag, hehe.

It was a fun family day. My sister made brownies, my brother in law despite a bad back ran out for gingerale and white wine and shared some good cheer and laughs with us as our only if not somewhat troublemaking pets had a grand time.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hey I saw that!

2 days after we returned, we found ourselves both feet, hip deep in the throes of work and urban wild life. Extra time is being put in, our car window was broken ... again. (this is after it wouldn't start when we landed in SFO after midnight.)

Childless, a little blind-sighted and well, hungry we went for evening walk, and had a quick reminder of a more enjoyable side of our city as we passed City Hall lit up in it's glory.

We ended up having a dinner at Plaj (pronounced Play). I tried to take a few snaps, but the lighting was non existant. I leave you with my favorite, Oysters, of course. shaved horseradish with mignonette on Miyagis. The meal was fine for what it was, interesting flavors, a little busy, a lot going on in multiple dishes. I'd return to try some more of the interesting things on their menu.

Knitting and more hobbies (besides eating) are coming, after all, the weekend is upon us! I hope you have a wonderful one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Re-entry Recap

So on the whole it was a lovely holiday to Mexico. The travel part was a bit tedious (bad hours, delays and an uncomfortable child) but nothing that a little 7-up and knitting couldn't ease, well enough to appreciate the greater picture.

And what a picture, eh?

We went all inclusive resort this summer for 5 evenings at Ixtapa Club Med. (which is why there are quite a few photos where we are obviously about to tuck in or just tucked into some vacation eating.)

It's a family spot and there were so many amenities geared towards family, babies, children ... of which my son had no interest whatsoever. There was archery, circus school with a tight-rope, trapeze swinging and a trampoline! There was a soccer tourney every evening, and talent shows...


He hung out at the pool with me and went kayaking with his father a bit the first day or two but then he was all about the ocean. He didn't want to make friends. After realizing I just wanted to do what I wanted to do (which wasn't too far from what he wanted to do, just throw in a few exercise classes) I backed off and knit under the umbrella while The Manfriend read. We kept an eye on the shaggy head with goggles that often turned into a pair of  stick legs and long narrow feet bobbing while he looked for tropical fish or pretty shells for his cousins.

It was a good time.

I finished the second book, Prodigy in that YA Legend trilogy, which I've decided I'll just do a trilogy follow-up / review when I finish the third book.

Image from

However true to my word, I managed to finish a grown up book as well. I read Gone Girl. My sister warned me she had a hard time reading it initially and I see why. I didn't like anyone (of the characters) when I started reading this. Everyone irritated me. Even the character flaws that I could relate to, irritated the eegads out of me. Yet, I persisted. I just wanted to know,  "what now?".  I was placated with the ending. I think I prefer it to other options, but I've heard others were less satisfied. Did you read it? How did you feel about it?

On the knitting front: I packed like I was hot stuff:

But in reality I only finished Antarkis during the layover in Mexico City. I still haven't blocked it, which I'm excited about, because it seems rather ... small.  So I'll post a final final of that soon.

I brought along Dr. G's socks and they are almost done!

I also cast on the ultimate pair of tropical vacation socks. Seriously this colorway sends me to a happy place as I finish the first of the pair. I can still feel the soft humid heat and see the sparkle and shine of the swimming pool. I can feel the sting in my eyes of the saltwater and hear the laughter in the background of a sunset at the end of another wonderful water-logged day.

And now, I am back. Still knitting, wishin' I was swimmin' ... and working for the next vacation and filling up the family calendar with To Dos as Middle School looms around the corner. Le Sigh.

Remember if you haven't already entered in the "Trust Me Giveaway" go here and give me a comment with your choice of fingering or worsted. You have until the end of day Friday August 8th!