Tuesday, December 1, 2020

A light at the end of the tunnel

 There's a tiny little light at the end of the tunnel.  The Christmas gift knitting tunnel, that is.


The hat is finished, blocked, tagged with washing instructions and placed in a box waiting to be wrapped.

All that's left is six pairs of beaded socks for Hayden, those #$&&#! never ending Smitten mittens and a shawl.  Oh, and I still need to line the stockings for Hayden and her mom.


It's a good thing Hayden is so adorable because she's a lot of work!  ๐Ÿ˜Š

Actually, Grandma Nana (I'm having trouble getting used to being Nana) is always happy to knit for Miss Hayden.

Good thing I'm happy to knit for Hayden because I just remembered there's a sweater on the needles in the bottom of the knitting bag for her.  Best get that finished too.

So yes, that light at the end of the tunnel may have just dimmed a tiny bit but there's one good thing keeping my spirits up.  I am NOT the one that's going to have to wash the sticky candy cane out of that fuzzy blanket!

Happy December knitting!


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Christmas knitting

Remember the scarf for the eight year old?  Well, I finished it.  And even blocked it!  Then promptly packed it up and put it away in the Christmas gift box.  Notice a missing step there?  Yep!  I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished scarf.  Oops!  Maybe my great niece will send me one after Christmas.


I quickly moved on to knitting a hat for her younger brother.  Not to be left out, he's getting "special" yarn too.  I'm using some fingering weight superwash merino from Neighborhood Fiber Co.  This yarn had also been in my stash for a while.

I'm pretty excited about my Christmas knitting all coming from my stash.  Well, okay, I bought a few skeins of Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks back in the late summer with the intention of maybe knitting the Smitten mittens but I hadn't even printed the pattern at that point.  There was nothing firm in my plan and honestly, I was thinking of knitting socks, not mittens.  Because the yarn sat in my stash pile for more than two months, I don't count it as "new" yarn.  It's stashed yarn.  And that means every gift I've knit, or plan to knit, this year will be from my stash.  I'm pretty dang excited about that!

As for the Smitten mittens status, I've knit 24 so far.  Only 48 more to go.  I'm fairly certain I'm not going to make that goal.  99.9999999% sure of it in fact.  But I'll keep knitting anyway.  Maybe there'll be a Christmas miracle.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.  I'm so excited to not be excited about it this year.  We have a couple of dishes that we always serve that never get made the rest of the year and I'm always so excited thinking about the food.  But remember the new meds I'm on that take away my appetite?  Well, they are working!  Thankfully the over active butterflies in my belly have disappeared and I'm feeling pretty good.  And not the least bit hungry.  Well, that's not true.  I do feel hungry occasionally, but a very small portion fills me up.  And I'm not craving all things sweet and carb filled.  All I really want is raw green vegetables which is VERY, very not typical for me.  While I am looking forward to that turkey sandwich on Friday, just the thought of all the Thanksgiving food is kind of making me queasy.  It's pretty cool and quite exciting.   It's going to be interesting to see how I actually do on the day.  


Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Smitten

 


Seventeen and a half down, fifty-four and a half more to go.

I'm not so sure how smitten I will be at the end of this Smitten mitten project but I am happy to be using up lots of odd balls and bits from my Wool of the Andes stash.

Friday, November 13, 2020

NaKniSweNope!

Are you doing NaKniSweMo?  I'd planned to.  I had the yarn and pattern picked out and at the ready.  I'd even balled the skeins of yarn, swatched, and set the proper needles aside for safe keeping.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I swatched!

And then I realized the reality of my pre-Christmas knitting.  NaKniSweMo quickly turned into NaKniSweNope! 


I'm knitting a pink Stroll Gradient shawl for my mother-in-law.  Pink is her favorite color.

I'm knitting the Mountain Colors scarf for my great niece.  And if I'm knitting something for the great niece, her brother will need something handknit too.  

The not so great cowl for Sarah got frogged.  She says she'd rather have socks.  It's a dammed good thing she likes to cook and grocery shop!  

There's the poinsettia needlepoint that needs to get finished and turned into a pillow.  

There's the two Christmas stockings that still need to be lined.

And last but not least, let's not forget the seventy-two Smitten mittens I need to knit.  And as if seventy-two mini mittens wasn't enough, I'll need five garland cords to go with them.

Yeah, NaKniSweMo is definitely a nope this year.  But hey, on the positive side, I've already got my Christmas Eve Cast On project ready to go.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Three on Thursday - Happy Things

 Three things that are making me happy this week.



1.  This Japanese maple is gorgeous and makes me happy every time I see it.  Except when I glance at it through the little window in the door and think the house is on fire.  

The tree doesn't look that great in the photo.  It was extremely foggy and three minutes from flooding rains when I took the picture.  You'll just have to trust me.  Actually, it's so bright, you may be able to see the glow from your house.

2.  Victoza.  Several of you asked about and/or commented on my weight loss medicine.  It's actually a blood sugar medication but it also makes you loose weight by removing your appetite.  And it helps with cholesterol.  After taking it for almost two full weeks, I think the way it works is that it makes you so queasy, you don't eat so you 1) don't get blood sugar spikes, 2) don't want a bunch of fatty foods so your cholesterol drops and 3) you don't eat because you feel like barfing 23/7 so you automatically loose weight.  But really, it's not that bad.  The queasiness is a weird mixture of feeling hungry, having to go to the bathroom, queasiness and having MASSIVE butterflies.  You know that feeling of finding a certified letter from the IRS in your mailbox?  Or your doorbell rings and you find a policeman standing on your porch?  Yeah, those are the kinds of butterflies.  But really, it's okay.  

I'll gladly have butterflies for the results I'm getting.  From the first of April to mid October, with daily exercise and watching what I ate, I lost ten pounds.  But with Victoza, in eleven days, I've lost eight pounds.  And really, for the last four or five days, I only feel nauseous for a total of about four or five hours a day.  I have high hopes that by this time next week, the butterflies will have all flown away.

(And before y'all get worked up about the weight loss, yes, I'm still eating.  I'm just eating a lot less.  I'm not hungry so I don't need to eat a giant plate full of mashed potatoes.  I'm happy to eat a plate full (a much smaller plate, I might add) of vegetables instead.  I'm also aware there could be some unpleasant side affects.  The doctor and I will both keep a look out for signs of a problem.  And, the medicine is not a long term plan for me.)


3.  I really, really need to remember to take photos in the daylight instead of waiting until the night before I need a blog post.

Mountain Colors yarn.  Oh!  My! Goodness!  This yarn is pure, unadulterated bliss.   These two skeins are from the Twizzlefoot line in Summertime and Big Sky.  I'm holding the two skeins together to knit a modified Simple Yet Effective shawl for my niece.  No wait.  She's a great niece.  Damn, I am old!

If I'm honest, I'm having a hard time believing I'm using this yarn (two skeins of it!) to knit a scarf for an eight year old.  But I'm trying this new thing where I don't hoard my yarn and save it for "something special."  Besides, my great niece is pretty special.  It's just that she's only eight.  

But luckily, eight year olds are fairly small so the scarf won't have to be huge and I'm hoping there'll be enough left over to knit myself a cowl or some fingerless mitts.  If not, I guess I'll just have to buy some more.  Pity.


Friday, November 6, 2020

Bodice Ripper

I do love a good, trashy, bodice ripper romance novel.


Specially if there's yarn involved.

Okay, so I saw that on Facebook the other day and thought it was funny.


Sadly, James is not in my world.  This Minnetonka cowl is though.  I have the feeling it is going to be a Huge disappointment.  How can such a beautiful skein knit up into such a dreary and boring piece of fabric?  I wanted so desperately to doctor the photo up to make the colors look better but the truth is the truth.  And to really be truthful, I was outdoors and the sun was beginning to set and so the light was a little funny.  In all honesty, the real life look is even more drab.  The poor thing looks like Army brown camo that has been washed and heavily bleached about 18 gazillion times.

And the big question is, do I keep knitting and hand it over Christmas morning and say, "Too bad if you think it's ugly.  You chose the yarn."  Or do I show it to her now and ruin the surprise?  Or do I frog the whole thing and say, "Ha ha, you're not getting a knitted gift after all."

Decisions, decisions.

I sure wish James was here to help me decide.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Three on Thursday

 For today's Three on Thursday, I have three simple things that are making me very, very happy.


When my doctor told me to increase my cinnamon intake, all I could think of was cinnamon buns.  Luckily, I've discovered I like a tiny bit of cinnamon in my coffee.  Even luckier, I drink enough coffee that I'm almost getting a full teaspoon's worth a day.



As I write this, the US may not yet know who the next president will be, but at least the advertisements have stopped.


This one is super exciting!  I have not received a single car warranty phone call in over 48 hours.

Hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday.



Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Smitten

Please pardon the typos and any weirdness in this post. The house has used up all its internet for the month and I'm blogging from my phone. Which I've never done before.

 



I've started working on the Smitten mittens. Five down, sixty-seven more to go.


Good grief, I wish I hadn't calculated that!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sunday Supper - Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas

 No photo today but a delicious sounding recipe.

My endocrinologist has put me on a diet and medication to decrease my appetite.  She says, "I'm going to make you loose weight."  I think I'm cool with that.  Specially since she also says weight loss is impossible this time of year and she'll be extremely happy with me if I just don't gain over the upcoming holidays.  Have I mentioned how much I like my doctor?

Anyway... Sarah mentioned the other day that she's craving some kind of curry dish and per the doctor, I'm supposed to eat more veggies obviously, and weirdly, more pepper.   Black and cayenne specifically.  I knew cayenne was supposed to help with weight loss, but I had no idea black pepper has health benefits too.  It helps your body absorb more nutrients as well boosts your fat burning metabolism.

And magically, the first recipe I stumbled across when searching for fall side dish recipes was for Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas.  It's the perfect recipe for my new diet.  High in fiber, has some veggies, has both kinds of pepper and the sauce is made from whole milk yogurt which another thing I'm supposed to eat.  I just love it when life works out that way.

Now, let's see if we can talk the spouse and his mom into eating curry...

Friday, October 30, 2020

Moving On

Okay, I'm going to try to make this super quick and short.  Zeta's remnants are blowing through today.  We've gotten a little over two inches of rain so far (I know - not much for a hurricane  but it's a lot considering all the other rain we've had,) the wind has already blown down several fairly large tree limbs and the power is blinking.  But one of my goals for October was to not miss a blog post so...  Here goes.


Shoot!  I just realized I failed to take a photo of the second finished stocking.  You'll just have to take my word for it.  I finished it.  And I finished a pair of Christmassy beaded socks for Hayden.


Wow!  Are you seeing what I'm seeing?  A big giant blur?  Something must be wrong with my phone camera/computer.  The photos look nice and clear on my phone but when they transfer to Google/my computer, they get all pixelated.  Or something. I'm lacking in camera knowledge!  

Anyway, since I got the two stockings and Christmas socks for Hayden done, I decided to move on to Christmas knitting instead of having a strong Socktober finish.  The big blur is Minnetonka and I'm knitting it with some unlabeled Malabrigo I bought several years ago at Sarah's request.  Back then, the yarn was supposed to turn into socks for her so I feel like it's okay to be using it to knit a cowl here at the end of Socktober.  

So, NaKniSweMo starts on Sunday, November 1st.  First of all, can you believe November is on Sunday?  Where did October go??  Anyway, will you be participating?  I hope to.  I have a pattern picked out and the yarn has been wound and is sitting at the ready.  But while I'm excited for NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month) and I have a sweater I really want knit, I'm also beginning to panic just a bit about Christmas.  What are the chances I can get Minnetonka knit in the next 48 hours?

Well, maybe if I focused on knitting instead of eating Halloween candy.  Yeah, right.  That's not likely.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Three on Thursday - Christmas Socks

Well, Stockings.  This final Socktober themed Three on Thursday post is more about stockings than socks.


Holiday Stockings designed by Michele Bernstein for Knit Picks.  I understand many of you are no longer Ravelry fans but this pattern can be purchased either from Ravelry or Knit Picks.  The pattern calls for Wool of the Andes so you know it wouldn't cost much to knit one. Or twelve.  Why twelve?  Because I have the sudden urge to knit these in college colors.  Or NFL colors.  Or any sports team for that matter.  Oh Lord, please don't let me take that project on!


Celtic Noel Christmas Stocking from Julie Steinhafel.  I love, love, love that Celtic cable around the top of the stocking.  Just love it!  The stocking would be pretty with just that single cable design but it's gorgeous with the addition of the cabling on the leg.


Stuff It Stocking by Heather Walpole.  This one is very simple and should be super quick to knit.  Should be, I say, seeing as though I've been knitting one very similar and it seems to be taking me a lifetime.  Of course, my lack of speed may have something to do with Covid causing me to become obsessed with doing jigsaw puzzles.  But I digress.  This should be a simple and quick to knit stocking.  I like the idea of adding the pompoms and may have to do that to mine.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Almost

 


I had high hopes of having a completed stocking to show you but alas...  It should be finished by the time you see read this post though.  It really should have been finished in plenty of time to show off the finished stocking today but the weather turned cold suddenly and instead of knitting, I spent yesterday hunting for and unpacking my winter clothes.

And in an effort to make this not the world's most boring blog post ever written...


That meme popped up on my Facebook page the other day and I don't know why, but I thought it was funny and worth sharing.  


And because I now have it stuck in my head, I thought you should too.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sunday Supper - Creamy Mushroom, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


This recipe for creamy mushroom, chicken and wild rice soup from Closet Cooking was a surprise.  See, I don't like mushrooms.  you will never convince me they don't taste like swamp mud and don't even get me started on their texture.  Ick!  But, a few weeks ago Sarah wanted to fix dinner and she wanted to fix this recipe so I was happy (well, I put on a somewhat fake smile at least) and told her to go for it.

The first two bites were normal swamp mud mushroom flavored but the mushrooms were in big slices so they were easy to eat around. The third mouthful wasn't too bad and by the fifth mouthful, I was scarfing it down like I actually enjoy mushrooms.  I may have even gotten seconds.

Now, I'm hoping I can talk Sarah into cooking dinner again.

Friday, October 23, 2020

On the Needles

 I feel like I haven't had a plain OTN post in a while.


I took a brief break from stocking knitting to work on the poinsettia needlepoint but the Gods weren't with me.  I'm assuming it's something to do with the way I was holding the canvas and the fact that I was holding said canvas for six or seven hours in one day... (Yeah, I know.  Not a good idea.)  I don't know what else it could be from but it's left me unable to use my left arm.  I've pinched a nerve obviously because my skin is numb, it feels like I've hit my funny bone except that weird not so funny funny bone sensation doesn't go away, I gasp when I bend my elbow and I down right curse when I touch it.

Happily, it doesn't bother me to knit so I'm back to stocking knitting. The photo doesn't show it but only four more rounds and I'll be ready to start the heel.

By the way, thanks for everyone's thoughts on meatballs last Sunday.  Grace suggested using beer instead of jelly which I thought sounded a little iffy but also odd enough to be worth trying.  I made them that way last night and they were good.  Thank you!


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Three on Thursday - Textured Socks

For today's Three on Thursday, I'm continuing with the sock theme.  I hope you aren't sick of socks yet.  Today, it's textured sock patterns.


Wohin from Caoua Coffee.  I like the way the pattern goes into stripes on the underside of the foot.  And I LOVE that green and blue striped yarn!  I also love that this is another free pattern.


Morning Coffee Socks from Crazy Sock Lady Designs.  This design is very simple and there's a small fee for the pattern but I think they look great with multicolored yarn.  I have a thing for multicolored sock yarn but it never looks good in anything other than stockinette.  But I like this multicolored ribbing.  Of course, solid colored yarns could be used as well.


Swirlagon by Kristen Hall.  Okay, so I'd never actually go to the trouble to knit these but I think they are very pretty and some of you may not be quite so lazy as me when it comes to sock knitting.  Whether you plan to knit these or not, you should take a look at the pattern page on Ravelry.  The pair in the photo are knit in a single, solid color, obviously.  But take a look at the ones that weren't.  The socks are made up of what I think are individual hexagons.  The color combinations could be endless!


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!