Thursday, September 24, 2009

If you thought the hat was cute before...

...check it out now!!!
Wee One is modeling the Punkin' Hat for the Neighbor Wee Friend To Be, due on Halloween. I think I will cast on for a Wee One version but make it a bit bigger, his noggin is apparently growing more than I realized. For some reason, this week his fingers, head, and legs suddenly look so much bigger. I know it didn't happen overnight, but I didn't see it happening over time.

I made some vegan raspberry tarts this week to celebrate Mabon (autumnal equinox) and the Wee One's three month birthday, which happened to fall on the same lovely day. They were really good and Nature Boy gave them a 7.5 on his Yumminess Scale, which is quite good for him. My scale is much easier. Things are either Yum or Yuck. These were Yum. Here's a kind-of recipe:

Make pie dough (enough for one crust, or like me, I doubled the recipe and froze a ball of dough for a rainy day when company might be coming and I need to whip something up quick) using any recipe you like.

Make two larger heart-shaped "dishes" out of the dough, pinching the dough up along the sides. Put on bottom of pie pan (I used one pan for each tart). Throw some raspberries, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (I like lots of each, maybe 2T sugar and maybe 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon), sprinkle about a T corn starch over each tart and then add a pat of Earth Balance buttery vegan spread. I then put a little heart on top, brushed with some water (to help it brown and make the toppings stick) and sprinkled with more cinnamon and sugar. I baked these babies for almost an hour at 350--I would say to set your timer for 30 minutes and then start checking them every 10 minutes until the dough appears to be baked. I use see-through glass pans and check the top and bottoms for brown-ness until it looks good to me.

Sadly, they are now gone and my sweet tooth is starting to activate again. Thankfully there is a birthday on the horizon and that means cake!!!

So the Forest Footfalls Sox. I may just gift one sock for the birthday which depends on me finishing said sock in time. The birthday is this weekend. I have two hours today to possibly knit before You-Know-Who comes through the door. I also have laundry as well as feeding and changing the Wee One to compete for time. Then I have tomorrow to possibly knit while, you guessed it, washing nappies, feeding, playing with and changing Wee One. If I get it done, I will wrap it up and gift it to Nature Boy this weekend; if not, I will hopefully have a whole pair to gift to him come Yule.

The Wee One Yuletyde Stocking is coming along well. Nature Boy also pointed out that it needs to be completed by Thanksgiving so it can go up in front of the fireplace with our stockings. I had been calculating more of a Yule finish date, so this is definitely upping the pressure. Oh my.

Now for some stuff about the city I live in, which I love. Some of you out there who read this might not know about the free coupons from Penzey's. If you've never been, they are located in the Strip and sell spice. That's right, spice. If you sign up for their free monthly catalog, it comes with a coupon for FREE SPICE. The last one was for cinnamon. The one before was for Pasta Sprinkle, a blend of their own creation. I've been told by the sales clerk that even if the coupon expires they will honor it since they often don't have the free spice in stock when you get there with your coupon. I also really really love the Mural of Flavor mix, really yummy on steamed veggies, pasta and tofu. Make sure you smell it if you go! So sign up for the catalog, get your coupon, and go get your free spice 'n at.

The other thing I need to talk about is the G-20. I'm glad it's here, but I don't get what our fair city is doing about it. We close off half the city and our visitors from around the world see a ghost town, not Pittsburgh the way it truly is, bustling and thriving and noisy and exciting. Then they tell protesters to apply for a PERMIT to protest? So if you are against what the government (local, state, national, what have you) is saying/doing/wants to do, you are expected to talk to them and then be surprised when they don't grant you a permit to protest? Why do we have the sometimes meaningless document called the Constitution then? Doesn't that give a person the right to say what they want to? Whether they have a permit or not? Don't get me wrong, I love the city and want no harm to come to it, but when peace-loving groups want to protest something and do not harm or threaten anyone in getting their message across, do we really need to stop them because they have no permit? I really thought I woke up in the USA today but maybe I am wrong...

And lastly, GO STEELERS!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Gamble

Sometimes you need to gamble. You need to win or lose. You need to throw it all to the winds and hope it works.

Sometimes I do it in Vegas. Sometimes I do it in Knitsburgh. Sometimes I do it with money; sometimes I do it with yarn.

Here is the Wee One Yuletyde Stocking (outside and inside):

Holy cow, I'm knitting Fair Isle! And liking it! It's like cross stitch and knitting combined and so far it's working, people, I'm winning the bet!

Not so much winning is the Forest Footfalls Project for You-Know-Who. Would it be wrong to give one sock for a birthday gift? Should I just save it up for a yuletide gift instead and hope to have an actual pair? Oh the disappointment...still working on the first sock!!!

To offset this depressing declaration, I will present the finished Punkin'-

Makes things better already for sure!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Whip It!

Beloved DPN #6 of the 2.25mm/size 1 set has left this realm for better projects in the sky. He is survived by his identical siblings, 1,2,3, 4 and 5. He bravely fought through tight cast-ons and impossible K3 tog. Knitsburgh will miss him greatly.

In the spirit of DPN #6, the knit will carry on, and it does.

Here is the Punkin' Hat for the Wee-One-To-Be next door to Knitsburgh:

Here is the Forest Footfall Sock #1; the heel was finally turned and we are ready to get down to business as our deadline is fast approaching if this is to be gifted on a certain someone's birthday. Yikes, and there is still a whole other sock to get through, you say. Don't give up on me yet out there!!!

We've been gathering seeds for next year from the flower beds and harvesting our tomatoes (finally!) and green peppers. It's a miracle the garden survived this year and we really did not tend it much. I also have some daffodil bulbs to plant before the snow starts flying. I guess it's gonna be fall again next week and as sad as I normally am for its arrival, this year for reasons I don't yet understand, I welcome it. I already have my fall wreaths gracing the front and back doors. Once the estate is cleaned, I plan to pull out the rest of the fall decorations for the estate as well.

I think I may need to make the Wee One a Punkin' hat too in celebration of the season. Right after I make his holiday stocking...back to the knit (as whip is cracked in the background).

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Assortment of Musings, Ramblings and Some Obvious Bragging

Hooray!!! Finally finished the Garter Stitch Kimono:

After it's washed I will have the Wee One model it. It looks very wide compared to his body right now though. He's long but skinny so I'm anxious to see how it will all work out. It was a fun knit but not as quick as I thought because a). I forgot how much more knitting garter stitch entails and b). the construction of a kimono type wrap means extra fabric to be knit to wrap around the body. Those two things plus my slowpoke knitting style equal slower than anticipated knitting.

Speaking of slow knitting--the Forest Footfall Socks for you-know-who are going along so slowly I fear they may not be done in time for the big birthday. Basically, I spend my days taking care of the Wee One and running errands and finishing chores so there is not much knit time. This week I may switch tactics and slow down on the cleaning a bit in the day to give me more knit time. I usually want to get the cleaning out of the way when you-know-who isn't here so our evenings are more relaxed but you have to do what you have to do for knitting deadlines. It's brutal. If you think that's bad ask me about what I'm usually up to on Christmas Eve.

OK, since you asked, I'm usually pulling an all-nighter to finish some sort of handmade gift. Sometimes sewing, sometimes embroidery, sometimes knitting. I admit it, I'm a procrastinator of the worst sort, but I usually get it done somehow in the end. Usually...

I've been thinking some about a post by Laura of late. She talked about neglecting things in her life and it really struck a chord within me. I'm going to try harder to work the spiritual side of things back into my daily life. I'm still pondering as to what my goals will be. Maybe just some free-form daily meditation, I'm not sure as of yet. Thanks Laura for inspiring me.
Talk about inspiration--so we went camping this past weekend with the Wee One and spent time with Mother Nature! We went to our fave place in the Allegheny National Forest and had a great time. Here is some evidence in case you doubted the fun:

OK, now for the start of this weekend, it's almost just about here and more fun is about to ensue...