nitely knitterly progress



This year I didn't even make a list of all the things I had planned to knit for christmas presents. Didn't really have alot of things I wanted to knit, it was so insanely crazy last year with all the matching scarfs and shawls and hats and the Five F shawl.. And they had to be shipped overseas in time. Planning is really not my thing (and in that department I am doing very well, having accomplished not very much at all..)

This year, I am going for easy, so it's going to be the votive holders from Handknit Holidays for everyone! They are a total bitch to knit, but quitck, and turn out so nice!! (Ok, for you three people reading this, you won't get them, because you can knit them yourselves! Ha ha ha.)

Figured out with about 22-28 rows, and with 8 stitches per row, that means threading about 170-220 beads. 26 gauge wire, in a golden color for warmth, and the
Crate and Barrel glass votive holders. They fit perfectly. Make sure the candles you use are either all wax, or if they're tealights, they have a clear holder.

The fun part in making these, is planning the beads and color combinations. I like when they're not easily divisable by 8; it makes the beads not look striped, but scattered and fun. Made some with light pinks, purples and brown.

The latest set is a mixture of bright holiday colors interspersed with more reds. I found that the 6/0 guage beads are the best ones, make sure you check how big the HOLES are. It's fun to get a mixture of different types of beads in a similar color.

Tried to make sure each bead went inbetween the stitches, and stretched out the "stitches" after every row to make them as straight as possible.

What to do with this jumbled mess?

[Last day of leftovers! No more green bean casserole, no more stuffing, sniff... And for a Wiki update? I am one step closer to fixing the DSL router/modem. Looks to be a bug in the router software where, if there's a power outage it "loses" the "feature keys". Seems like a GREAT feature.]


Pomopolitans & Mr. Turkey

It's hard to write, but even harder to say after one (or two).


100% Pomegranate juice.
Vodka (unflavored)

Fresh Pomegranate seeds and lemon zest for garnish.

There are no measurements, just pour in what you think tastes good. I dump it all in my shaker with some ice, shake it up, then pour into martini glasses and add garnish. Just be VEWWY VEWWY CAREFUL! It is a HIGHLY potent drink. Believe you me, you want to control the vodka, you can't taste it, but I can guarantee you it's THERE. We had three each, and look how happy we were! (Well, I'm the photographer, but see, the picture isn't blurry!) And the COLOR, just a beautiful ruby red!

It's all for Mr. Turkey. If Eric's stuffing wasn't the most divine stuffing on the planet, I wouldn't care so much about a Turkey. The Turkey is really good, but not my department, I just know there are oranges and orange marmalade and some herbs and spices and stuff involved. Look how PRETTY it is! 15 pounder this year with eight people in the crowd!

These are our staples.

The stuffing is from Williams-Sonoma's catalog from 5 years ago or so; wild rice, fennel, home made (or Marie Callendar's herb) croutons, fresh roasted chestnuts, and various and assorted other things that Eric puts in it. I just roast the chestnuts, that's my only job for the stuffing (or he would get the icky canned ones. Peeling chestnuts are a BITCH on your fingers.) Remember to make the cut along the mid section of the chestnut before roasting. Makes it SO MUCH EASIER to peel. 350 degrees about 30-35 minutes.

Then peel them pretty quicklike. Yes, they're smoking hot, but the skin comes off easier.

Green bean casserole. From Cook's Illustrated's cookbook they put out a couple of years ago. You can substitute chicken stock for some good veggie stock if you have vegetarians in the crowd.

They do still use the fried french onions, but mix them half and half with some regular bred and alittle of butter, for the top.

Cranberry Sauce

1 bag of crannies
3/4 cup sugar
1 orange cut up into chunks
zest of the above orange

Throw it all in a pot and let it putter until the cranberries pop or are cooked through. Voila done. I always make it the day before (well, I didn't ALWAYS do that, but with experience..)

Pumpkin Cheese cake from the Pumpkin book from Williams-Sonoma. They don't do the fancy water bath that they do in the Cook's Illustrated version, but if I do the candied orange peels for the top, I try to cover up the cracks if they form!

After a bite of the cheese cake, who cares anyway! The longer it sits, the better it tastes! (Well, make it the night before anyway...)

And this year we got the very special treat of home made icecream!!!!

Pumpkin, Vanilla and coffee. Absolutely divine.

Family & Friends & Food. Life doesn't get much better that that.


Big Bird's Corner

How long can you live without a cell phone? 4 days is my limit. Maybe it's because I'm a sysadmin. And I love Amos Lee. He keeps me calm.

The Promised Pictures. The knitting mini-retreat was so friggin awesome. My awesome party slaves showed up at like NINE. Hello, how cool are they??? Tina started with a VIRGIN Bloody Mary. (What is wrong with that sentence?) She still looks happy though!

I had SPINNING WHEELS in my living room. How cool is that???? Kristi and Margit were spinnin' away, I am so ENVIOUS!

Wednesday was a Big Love Bug. Having to be the center of attention! Amanda was happy with her coffee (or maybe it was post-Bloody-Mary!! Either way!!) , and Abigail was working on stuff!

The Bermuda Triangle couch. Wednesday hanging out with Abigail this time. She Picks Her People.

We watched Foul Play, Shooting Fish (I so don't know what that movie is about still!)

There should be so many more pictures. But I'm a terrible hostess! Jill's working something out (and on the votive holders from Handknit Holidays! We love them!) Elizabeth and Jean showed up, at which point we were so not interested in taking pictures! But they ROCKED.

NEXT TIME, I'm thinking we need to all just SIT DOWN and RELAX and KNIT.

And next time, we'll be watching Grease. Oh yeah!

[Can you believe those socks are self-striped and NO STRIPE PLANNING was involved?? Just Pure Luck. I love them, the Widdershins from Knitty... And Big Bird is my Honney Bonney. So happy with all the people at the party (especially Margit, OH THE DOGGIE SMELLS:) You have to go visit Mojo, he's ONE CUTE puppy!!) See the big orange face squished between the couch and the coffee table? He just loves everyone. From behind, in the car , looking out through the back window, he looks like Big Bird. In Los Altos the other day when he was being a Social ButtFly, one guy even called him Big Bird. It's not a coinkidink.]


Champagne Girl

Five on three in race five to place. I won $9.50. And the feeling of being alittle bad, and just so very cool. She kicked ass too. It was my friend's birthday so we spent an evening with one dollar hotdogs, beers (MGD piss water, but hey, it was a dollar), and soda. It was cold, it was noisy, the nacho cheese was nasty, it smelled like smoke, and it was SO MUCH FUN!

I see them run every morning at Bay Meadows, looking out the window from Caltrain. Thinking how cold and miserable it must be out there, especially this morning in the fog at 6 am, but also so exhilirating when they book down the straights, the steam of the horses and the smell. Yes, I LOVE the smell of horses. At the Cooper-Garrod Vineyard they have horses, and the lady inside wrinkled her nose at me when we began wine tasting. "Do I smell like horses?" She said "Yes." I took that as a great compliment. I'm sure that's what she really meant.

It suits my theory, there are two kinds of girls, the ones who have the Horse Period of their lives, and the ones who wrinkle their noses at them. They're missing out.

While cleaning this past weekend (no work, woohooo!!! Because cleaning is just SO MUCH FUN.) I found this cute little
white lamp and crocheted cover I brought with me from Sweden, I leave it in its little bag because it still smells like my Gramma. She said she won't have anywhere to put it, so I said "I'LL TAKE IT!" So gorgeous. Need to put up the lamp somewhere, just don't know where...

My Gramma is a great crocheter, with her eyesight not being the best these days, crocheting is easier than knitting. "NO MORE YARN" she said when we spoke last. She has enough yarn to last her for awhile! She'll be 80 on January 10, and I would like to make her something special. Maybe the Ene shawl? Any ideas?

I have no idea when she made this bedspread, it's another one of those things she says she'll never use again, so my Aunt is going to put it to use in her spare bedroom. It was on my Grandparents bed for my entire childhood, so many memories, I had to snap some pictures of it so that maybe one day if I'd feel so inclined, I can make one myself.

The Print O' the Wave stole is progressing, I love Misti Alpaca, and I love knitting lace, it's so relaxing, taking your mind off stupid shit. And I love to stretch it out after every row (yes, it's going slowly) to see what it is going to look like.

No life line yet. Living on the edge.

[Yeah, yeah, pictures from the retreat are coming, but Abigail and Kristi did such a good job, it took the pressure off! He he. And yes, the damn wiki is down, I have to fix my DSL modem/router Real.Soon.Now. And yes, my cellphone was lost at the RaceTrack on friday. No use in calling it. No, I didn't lose it because of the beer, it doesn't even qualify as beer. And besides, I only had two cups of that piss water, but hey, it was A DOLLAR. ]


Simply Irresistible

The very beginning of the Print O' the Waves stole by Eunny. Misti Alpaca laceweight in holiday red. Tried some other projects today, a scarf for a friend, played alittle with the Nylon Noro and entrelac, but didn't fall in love. My first real lace project? We'll see. Not quite the same with my new toy. I can't believe it's mine, time to sell the old laptop, and go hang at the Apple store downtown tomorrow for lunch.

Finished the hat for the baby and the matching MDK sweater. Hope the hat will fit! It's 14 inches in circumference at about 110 stitches on sz2 needles with Dale's Stork yarn. More Details. The little guy isn't born yet, so I have to get this to his Mommy a.s.a.p!

(Happy 11 year wedding anniversary sweetiepie! Not a fancy day, no going out for dinner, just a very rare and nice night of not having to do anything..)


Bloody M

Let's imagine the perfect boyfriend. He would wake you every morning with yarn. He would use his cell needle to spin you 4-ply times a day. He would rub your cottony back after a wooly day at the twisted office. He would help you shop for skeins without knitting one bit. He would cast on all of your friends with his colorful charm. He would never click over to a pro wheel game while you're watching your favorite episode of "Bobbin in the Circulars". And he wouldn't be at all jealous of your obsession with Heath Ledger. Ladies, he is out there just plying for you!

Mad Libs with a Knitting Theme, aren't they fun?!

Knitting Retreat Vegetarian Chili
1 large chopped onion
3 cloves garlic chopped
3 ribs celery chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can pinto beans (drained)
1 can piquito beans in chili sauce (with sauce)
1 can corn ( drained)
2 28 oz cans chopped tomatotes
1 small can chopped green chilis
Veggie stock
3 tbsp chili powder
1.5 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
S&P to taste (not much salt added..)

Sweat the veggies with the garlic until they're soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, and veggie stock to a consistency you like. Add spices. Cook for as long as you like, a couple of hours or so. Keep the lid on.

The bags were sweet. The Yoga Turtle from the Palace of Fine Arts was the inspiration. I LOVE my pumpkin bag. Because I had awesome Party Slaves, they got the orange ones, and everyone else got the green ones, with some goodies inside. They whip up crazy fast, you gotta love Amy Butler!

Used the pattern for the drawstring shoulder bag in "In Stitches". The lining is so nice, you can fit a small project like socks, or a scarf, in it. Perfect for the train commute! Only have one bag + goodies left over. What to do with it?

I hate to lead people on, but no pictures from the partey tonight. I'm too damn tired and need sleep. Just a huge thankyou to everyone who showed up, and all the goodies they brought! And something for the road (as long as you're not driving!)

Bloody Mary's
38 oz Tomato Juice (We mixed V8 and the spicy V8 in a pitcher).
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp celery salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup vodka (or more, yes more)
4 shakes hot sauce (or cayenne if you don't mind it between your teeth)
1/2 tsp horseradish
citrus vodka

Mix all ingredients to taste. Chill. Pour a splash of citrus vodka in glass, pour in Bloody Mary.

Tomorrow is Football Day. Ah.



Well first off, I'm a Finisher.

It's been the damn plan of crocheting the edges and the fasteners that put a screeching halt on the project. Since I did this all in stockinette, the neck line rolls unattractively, so I put in two rows of single crochet just along it, in the back, to give it some stability. It's not perfect, but a hell of a lot better.

Since baby hands are very squiggly and difficult to put into sleeves, I left a small slit, about 1 inch long open along the seam on the bottom, and crocheted around the sleeve for some stability.

The buttons are clear snap buttons. Used one on the inside flap, and three on the front.

Now on to the hat. It's 14" in circumference (I'm about half way, not really sure how LONG to make it), and it looks really really big. But people say babies have big heads, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Need some baby booties, found a nice set of socks on Interweave's website, they look like winners.

The last two days haven't been as productive as I may have hoped. There's been alot of decompressing and just doodling on the mac and watching TV. And it's hard to let go of work when that's ALL you've thought about for the last 3 months or so. Withdrawal. How pathetic is that.

Finally got off the couch today (even though it was Governator day on Encore, and I lovelovelove the Terminator movies. Speaking of that, here's the fun Movie Trivia from work today: What kind of computer is John Connor using when he gets money out of the ATM? Bonus Q: Who is Linda Hamilton married to during the making of this movie? Yes, it's relevant to the movie.)

And speaking of the election, I hate that I can't vote, I should actively pursue citizenship. The thing I LOVE about not being able to vote is to freak out all the annoying people trying to get you to register to vote, WHEREVER you go, months before the elections. "I can't vote", I say. They look at me. And get out of my way. It's so much fun.

Anyway, made a prototype knitting bag based on the Amy Butler shoulder bag in "in Stitches". It's so incredibly simple and easy to make, and I LOVE how it has a lining, it's just so PRE-fessional lookin'.

The S.O was NOT PLEASED I used "his" fabric - "I thought that was supposed to be pillows for the boat??" Isn't the fabric cool though, all map like and geeky?? I have a ton of it. I should get to those pillows soon...

Since it was so easy to make I decided I had graduated to the "fancy" fabric, whipped up one of those bags real quicklike too, it's so nice, in fact, I may bring it with me in my bag on the train when I go back to work on Thursday. It's green and gold and fall like.

And there
is a little surprise inside.


The M-Spot

M as in Mmmac. Sheesh people.

It's really from work, but I schlepp it home on weekends (pretending it's a laptop, but not so well) until I decide it's time for one at home. Well, it really is, but how to justify the MacMini when I already have a laptop, regular computer, linux server (for DNS/mail/knitting webby content)?? I AM SHOWING RESTRAINT. And I'm a convert. PC my ass, P as in PEEEEEOEY.

No knitting on the Lana Grossa sock for two days. TWO DAYS. Spent most of this morning staring into the wall, fixing my iTunes, and listening to music. It was all my brain could handle.

And taking some fally pictures. I got this guy in Skelleftea (pronounce that!) on our last trip, because he was SO DAMN CUTE. Yes, I am into the Mountain Man Look. The S.O. is sporting his winter beard too. SO CUTE. (No pictures of him though, he hateshateshates his picture taken, just wait until the four-oh sweater is done, he'll HAVE TO, muahahhahaa. Yes, it's still on the needles, I have been approached with "soo... how is my sweater going?" I ignore those comments. It'll be done when it's done, but NOW I have baby stuff to knit. And socks. Always socks. I feel a tiny pang of guilt over the sweater, I HOPE it'll be done by semi-cold weather.)

Hopefully I can get a breather next week, to catch up on housey shit, but also to begin taking some serious pictures again. These pictures are so beautiful, so inventive, and have really really motivated me to get serious about photography again.

Maybe substitute sushi for yarn?