Friday, December 28, 2007

More cooking excellence

For some reason, knitters like to share their other domestic triumphs on their blogs. This season we've had recipes, and cookies and buns and other miracles of the culinary arts. My turn, now. (Scary picture of dirty oven to follow!)

On Christmas I thought I would bake onions, following this recipe I found in my heap of recipes. But then, around 4:30 pm, I read the thing carefully and realised that I can't cook a chicken at 350 F and onions for an hour and 40 minutes at 400 F! So, heck, we'll have the onions another day.

Yesterday, I put them in the pyrex dish, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled artfully with salt and pepper, put the whole thing in a hot oven. Then, a while later came the time to add the broth. I was a tad nervous, and added it slowly, and it bubbled, and I put it back in the oven, and... it exploded.

I hope to bring you these delicious-sounding onions another day, in another pan, with perhaps another whole way of doing things. Sigh.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Big red machines and little cars

It was a kind of low-key affair here for Christmas. Relatives are far away and it was just the four of us and the tree.

My super gift was a vacuum cleaner! How romantic, I hear you say... But it was great! Our old one was bought in 1991 in Santa Barbara, California, and now its cord is fraying and it is no good on the stairs. The new one's box was so big, I had to decipher a coded message and go out to the back shed to find it!

Now, a new Lego set is one thing, but a vacuum cleaner is really much more thrilling! Arthur started on the stairs and before I knew it, he and Stephen had got everything up off the playroom floor, put stuff away, and even vacuumed shelves! Hoo-la! I presume I will get to play with it when they are all back at school.

The kids got a lot of Daddy's old stuff this year! Dinky toys! This is a Studebaker Golden Hawk, for your information. Stephen started Googling these things to see what they were worth, and really, with some old Dinkies, my Felted Tweed stash and some of our old records, we could.... not retire, perhaps, but we could buy ourselves a nice dinner out! We'll hang on to them for now!

Slushy mush is falling out of the sky.

I am warm and dry and sewing together some squares.

This is about half of it. Four-sevenths, as a matter of fact. Amazing how well it matches the chair, eh?

Still pondering the border situation. I think I have to free my 4 mm circ from another project, pick up stitches along the sides and knit a border on, edge by edge.

Will this be the first FO of 2008?

Stay tuned...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy holidays!

Not much time for blogging these days... I'll give you a picture of our little tree, and hope you are all well and not too stressed. See you after Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Everything old is new again

Those of you who've been following things since Knitting on the Cam was really on the Cam will recognise these!

Squares for a blanket! Nice little 6-inch squares of Jaeger Matchmaker Merino, for the most part.

Originally I wanted to make a blanket to fit a single bed, but now I am older and wiser and think a smaller square lap-blanket is just the thing. (Also, I can finish it with only a few more squares and a border; I don't have that much yarn left!)

Perhaps it was the square frenzy at Mason-Dixon Knitting that led me back to this project. You might know Emma and her son Oliver. Oliver needs a new car seat, which will be very expensive, and Michaela decided to make a blanket to raffle off to raise funds for it. So then, Kay offered to collect squares on this side of the pond and make another blanket! (You can see a picture of the Kaffe Fassett blanket that got her going here.)

And then.... I said, where's that bag of squares of mine? Just in case I don't win the big one, you know?
And, it snowed a lot yesterday!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hit the road, Jack

See that list on the side, of Projects Completed? Hats, socks, scarves, hats and more hats. See many sweaters there? No, me neither! Not till today!

Ta da! My somewhat simplified version of a Rowan pattern called Jack. It's done in Mission Falls cotton, perhaps 12 balls? 13? Who knows... It went immediately into Arthur's drawer, but I'll force him to wear it for a modeled shot sometime soon.

Next up... uh, not sure! I wanted to make my charity baby blanket, but needed a certain set of needles, which were tied up in another attempt at a charity baby blanket, so I have spent some of this evening knitting with vintage Red Heart acrylic (it's so old, it was originally $3, but some lucky sod got it on sale for $2!) in a colourway called Grapevine, purples and greens. Arthur declares it to be "weird" so you know it's really weird! I suppose a bad flash picture on the couch is just about what this yarn deserves:

I'm putting some holes in for fun, but they are sort of obscured by the gigantic pools of colour. I only have the one ball, 4 ounces. So I shall knit till I run out and then see what happens. I have that grey that is along the bottom which is a bit denser, but I can fill in with it in a pinch. It might seem easier to yank the needles out of this and work on the nicer one, but there's a kind of odd pleasure working with these funny colours. I make no promises about this!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wow, lace grows!

I finished the red scarf, and I mean finished, this time! Those ends are dangling no more.

This is it blocking. When I stopped knitting, I held it up to Elaine and it was just about as tall as she is. But, a quick soak and stretch (and it's not really stretched, just flattened) and it's a foot longer at least!

It's the centre pattern of a scarf from Victorian Lace Today, and a sawtooth edging from Jan Eaton's afghan squares book. I didn't do the edging on the long sides because a) time is of the essence, here, and b) it's wide enough as it is. The edges will curl in a bit, but since it'll be scrunched into a jacket anyways, I'm not fussed. It's perhaps a tad fancy schmancy for a 7-year-old, but with such excellent workmanship, it'll last her for ever! Heh.

Red Scarf on Chair

Here it is, with today's outfit of Pajamas for Miserable Girl. (A bit of a cold, a day or two off school....)

She wants a matching hat, with ear flaps. I'll get right on that, once I've (ahem) sewn Arthur's pullover together!

This pattern was just about right: not boring, but simple enough to do while watching a swimming lesson.

I am also eying (that looks wrong, but my spell checker likes it better than "eyeing.") other fine yarns, wanting more and more lovely lace! Kiri keeps calling me... Do people actually use shawls, though?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Plans for 2008!

I have learned a few things this year.

  1. I have enough stash for the speed at which I knit!
  2. I still like buying pretty things, get great ideas, don't manage to put them into action very often!
  3. Really, a pair of socks a month is a lot of sock knitting for me.
  4. I hope Project Spectrum is more of an inspiration for me, if it runs next year.
  5. That Basalt Tank must be done by summer.
  6. Elaine's scarf should be finished before Christmas.
  7. I tend not to sew things together if I can help it.
  8. If I wait till I have finished something before starting something new, that's very boring.
  9. Two strands of Lett Lopi on 6 mm needles makes my arms hurt.
  10. There really should be a tenth thing here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Knitty -- it must be winter

Oh, yay, a new Knitty is up.

I like the Jeanie shawl: reversible, cabled, lacy!

And the kilt hose! All I need now is a kilt...

And the Toasty topper!
But too bad I think my kids' heads are too big these days. Great idea, though.

Well, I like to look, even if I don't actually make any of these things!

And I have three very long leaves and no flower bud on my amaryllis.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Knitters in Paris and elsewhere

I have actual knitting of my own to report on sometime soon, but right now, I'll just direct all you funsters to Paris, where Knitta has made a statement. Loooove it!

And by now, many of you will have already seen the Barack-Obama-holds-the-knitting shots....

In our house, Elaine wants a new hat and the big sweater is making us sneeze.