Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Old Year, New Project

I got a great deal on some chenile, so I'm doubling it up and knitting
a SUPER chunky throw blanket. [Side Note: It's going to look a LOT
like a product from, um, "Ceramics Farmhouse" shall we say. I'll post
a pattern when I've worked it all out.]
Also, Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spring ... um, springs eternal?

Well, at least the flowers are fooled by the central heating :-)

Bonus: no crap accumulating on the dining room table (yet)!

Friday, December 26, 2008

...I thought you would be shinnier

I received Free Range Knitter as a Christmas gift and I must say, I thought it would be bigger.  You know, like "coffee table" books are.  With glossy pages.  I'm not sure why I thought this and I am certainly not disappointed with the little gem of knitting humor and life lessons that showed up in snowman paper under the tree.  I'm zipping right through it and enjoying every page!

Knitting philosophy has never been done better.  It also really makes me think about things I probably wouldn't have thought to think about before.  Yeah, deep, I know.

There is a particular chapter where she talks about being a young, yarn-poor knitter that I can really relate to (gee, I wonder why?).  I must say though, yarn really has come a looong way since the plastic crap she describes and some acrylic these days is pretty darn good.  It's not wool, or alpaca, but it's being the best it can be.
[Side Note: Thank the yarn-gods for the advent of internet yarn stores that email sale info and coupons!  That's how I got the Noro cashmere blend for my striped scarf for <$15!]

I get to have occasional tastes of the "good life" but I can manage within my means too.  As a matter of fact, the Practice Sweater (of Summer 08 fame) has turned into my go-to sweater for around the house.  It cost me about $8.00 in yarn to make and it is holding up remarkably well (with a little fuzzing that I don't mind at all).  

One day, money will be less scarce and I'll have more knitting freedom, but I think the knitting joy will stay the same :-)  Thanks Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for a thoughtful, philosophical knitting book that is most deserving of great big glossy pages and a position of prominence on the coffee table!

P.S. Thanks for the book mom!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eggnog, not from a carton

I've never liked the mass produced eggnog that appears on store shelves this time of year, so I make my own. You can leave out the bourbon if it doesn't suit your tastes (or you might prefer rum, or cognac instead, and that's ok too!).

8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups milk
3 ounces bourbon (or more, depending on how “festive” you like it)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites*

In a double boiler over medium heat, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved and the mixture is warmed through.

Combine the milk, heavy cream, half-and-half, vanilla, and nutmeg and cook (stirring frequently) until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture. Enjoy within a few days and be sure to store it in the fridge, covered.

* And if you're looking for something to do with the 4 extra egg whites, you can always make macaroons!
[Side Note: It's delicious, but not exactly low fat. Eh, it's the holidays, might as well live a little. It's got a whole lot of protein!]

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here comes the ice age...

It was a "snow-day" in Las Vegas yesterday. The snow came down heavily on Monday and again Wednesday, but it never stuck around for accumulation to happen. They closed the schools anyways, thereby triggering a bright sunny day with no snow! Good job CCSD. This is the only snow-day I've ever seen in Las Vegas and it didn't even pan out. I'm not complaining though, snow and I aren't exactly compatible (you know, in the "I really really hate it" sort of way).

In other news, the blog managed to fix itself. Really. I didn't touch a single thing and all of a sudden it loads again. Story of my life.

I have been up to so much knitting: The Never-ending Afghan has eaten two more yarn cakes, I've jumped on the Noro-stripe-scarf bandwagon, I invented (not designed) a sock pattern for the Draco yarn (with no green), and I've begun and ripped a worsted weight slipper-sock for my brother twice (they aren't a Christmas gift, so I'm not in a hurry). [Side Note: Don't feel bad for him though, I made him a chunky ribbed hat for a quick & easy gift!]

These could all be blog posts on their own so consider this a glimpse into the future.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I broke the blog apparently

Well, I can't access the blog page from Firefox.  I assume that I have done something to trigger this, but I don't know what.  The page loads partially, then everything grinds to a halt.  I'll struggle through on Safari until this 1) gets fixed or 2) resolves itself.  [Side Note: Since I'm not actively doing anything to fix this, my money is on option 2.]

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What I do when I forget to blog for a while ...

I walk around and take pictures of random things. That's what I do.
Clearly there is a non-muggle among us at the office, and they are well versed in the yarn arts.
There's no way to judge the scale, but trust me, some of these pieces are quite large.
And why do snowmen need brooms? I'm not totally sure, but I don't think snow is something that can be swept. Correct me if I'm wrong.

My favorite ones have fringe on their scarves!
[Side Note: I wonder if whoever made these is on ravelry...]

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you get for yourself

There's just something so inherently satisfying about winding yarn
into neat little cakes! As you can see, I got myself a Royal yarn
ball winder as a birthday gift to myself. The best part is that it
was half off [Side Note: If you sign up for email updates, the craft
stores will flood your inbox with coupons. Sometimes 2 or 3 a day.
Sometimes it is annoying. Every now and again, though, it comes in
handy.]. The only downside is that I'm running out of yarn to wind.