Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sunday Supper - Chili Mac Casserole

Tonight's Sunday Supper menu will make my husband deliriously happy.  Chili Mac anything reminds him of his Air Force days.  And based on his stories, chili mac days were THE best days in the Air Force.  Not too sure what that says about Air Force food but...


Anyway, tonight we are having chili mac casserole from Taste of Home.  The ingredient list seems long at first glance but it's all simple stuff that just about every household would have on hand in the pantry.  And, other than having to precook the noodles, it's a simple dump and bake recipe with just the one dish to wash afterwards. 

My husband and I will both be happy tonight!

Friday, January 22, 2021

So close

 I'm so close and yet, so far away from finishing the beaded shawl.


Wow, that's bad!  One of these days I'll remember to take the photo in the daylight rather than in the dark of night under the oddly yellow light in my room.  I also need to remember to check for stray hairs before snapping the picture.  Next time...

But what I wanted to say is, I'm on the final beaded row of this beaded shawl.  I'm soooo close to being finished and yet....  Every stitch across the bottom/widest part of the shawl is beaded.  It's going to take me a lifetime.  Good thing I'm starting Gilmore Girls Season 5. Rory's about to meet up with and start hanging out with Logan.  I'm so excited!

And yes, I am fully aware that I need to get a life.  

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Three on Three - Fingerless Gloves

Remember me wanting to learn to walk and knit at the same time?  I thought I'd start out with some super simple fingerless gloves.  And because it's Thursday, here are three patterns I may try.


Simple Fingerless Gloves by Davina Choy

It doesn't get much simpler than those.  But because of the plainness of the design, the yarn will sing.  Whether I'm walking while I knit or laying in a hospital bed with two broken legs, I can't wait to knit several pair of these with a few different multicolored yarns that I have in the stash.


Half-finger Gloves by Snakefoot McGee

These half fingered gloves look pretty simple too, although it may shock you - I've never knit fingers before.  I can learn two things with this design!


Fadewalker Fingerless Mitts by Elizabeth Abate

And these, goodness!  These will be fantastic once I've gotten comfortable with walking and simple knitting.  And honestly, I love these so much, I may not wait until I can walk and knit to stitch myself a pair of these beauties.

Links:

Simple Fingerless Gloves

Half-finger Gloves

Fadewalker Fingerless Mitts

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

CREATE

Create is my 2021 word.  I don't have a burning desire to share that with you and I don't imagine I'll ever mention it again but everyone else has been talking about their 2021 word for the year and well, even though I have made lots of progress, my knitting still looks basically the same as it did last week so I thought I'd be a sheep and follow the herd instead of showing you a repeat photo.

photo courtesy of modernfarmer.com

So what will I create?

Well, there's the obvious - knitted stuff.  There are currently well over 1,000 patterns in my Ravelry queue, not to mention the numerous patterns in the 100's of pattern books I have.  You know that burning desire to knit 'all the things'?  Well, I intend to knock a few of them off the list this year.  

photo courtesy of ftd.com

Besides knitting, I have two more Christmas needlepoint pillow covers to do, a file cabinet drawer full of cross stitch patterns I'd like to stitch some day, a box full of 3-D felt Christmas ornaments I've had hanging around for a few years and I want to learn macramé.  For the past six months or so, I've had the urge to make macramé plant hangers.  

photo courtesy of coloringbookaddict.com

Oh, and zentangle.  I want to improve/do more zentangle.  It's something I enjoy and can actually sort of do.  It doesn't take actual drawing skill, which I do NOT have, but if you spend enough time on a piece, it can look fairly impressive.

But what about non artsy things?  What else do I want to create?

Well, I want to create a better me.  A healthier me.  A more energetic me.  A more educated me.  A more friendly and outgoing me, although with covid, I'm not sure how that's one's going to happen.  I want to create more friendships and stronger relationships with my family.  And more confidence in myself.  

I want to create a bigger balance in my bank account.  


photo courtesy of cleanpng.com

I want to create some camera skills.

I want to create an herb garden that can survive my pathetic gardening skills.  So, I guess I also want to create some gardening skills.

I want to create a happier home.  That one is going to be tough to do too because the current living situation is pretty tense and stress filled.  But my husband has finally hired a respite caregiver who will be coming by a few hours each week.  It's a start.

Basically, I just want to create a better, happier, more exciting life for myself.



Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday Supper - Slow Cooker Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

 I believe I've previously mentioned a time or two, my love of cooking in the slow cooker.  It's just so simple to dump everything in, turn it on, and walk away.  Sometimes even drive away... And later, without any effort or 5 p.m. 'what's for dinner?' panic, dinner is just magically ready.  And after you've eaten your fill, the clean up is so easy.  I just love using the slow cooker!

So, today's Sunday Supper recipe is for Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole from Allrecipes and cooked in the slow cooker.  Sadly, there's no shareable photo of this dish, but did I mention - there's bacon in this one?  Yum!


Friday, January 15, 2021

Felix

First, I wanted to thank everyone for all the recent comments.  I'm doing my best to keep up with reading comments and others' blog posts but I haven't been responding because I'm hoarding my internet.  I've mentioned before that we don't have real internet here at my mother-in-law's house.  We use jetpacks and they have a very limited amount of data.  Our phones are fairly limited too.  Anyway, the internet is a precious commodity around here and well, I goofed.  I goofed big time!  I thought I was downloading a few pages but it turned out to be a HUGE, giant file and it used up half my data for the month.  So now I'm hoarding what little bit I have left.  February 3rd, when it resets, is a loooong ways away.

Anyway....


I finished the Felix pullover and I absolutely love him!  I've worn him twice although I never blocked him.  He fits perfectly.  He's nice and loose without being sloppy and he doesn't have that weird, overly large underarm where you can feel your arm skin touching your chest/rib/breast/under arm skin.  That ragland sweater that I've knit over and over again has that weird, overly large underarm thing.  Felix also looks good dressed up with a skirt or down with jeans.  I'm really, really happy with him!

I'm so happy with him I immediately wanted to start another.  He takes bulky yarn though and I don't have any in the stash.  Gasp!  I know!  How crazy is it that I don't have any bulky yarn in the stash pile?  Actually, it's not that crazy because I don't like knitting with bulky yarn.  It makes my wrists and fingers hurt.  But oddly, the bulky Wool of the Andes didn't bother me at all.  Even on days where I knit for four or five hours without stopping even for a bathroom break, I had no wrist pain at all.  So now I'm wondering - was it the yarn or has my carpal tunnel issues magically disappeared?

Anyway, I'm left wanting to knit another.  But I also don't want to buy any more yarn.  I know - another Gasp!  I had to resort to using yet another giant Rubbermaid bin to hold my stash and well, I'm determined to use up some of that yarn before I buy any more.  Having to store half my clothes (and it's not like I have that many) in our storage unit to make room for the yarn was a bit of an eye opener.  I just might have a yarn addiction.



Thursday, January 14, 2021

Three on Thursday

I finished Felix last weekend and had planned on showing him to you today but I realized I'd forgotten to take any photos.  I've already worn him twice so he may have to get washed first.  Oops.  

So, with no Felix photos, today's Three on Thursday is three random things instead of three knitting things.


I started a simple, slightly beaded, garter stitch scarf.  I'd planned to use this City Tweed DK yarn for fingerless mitts but I wasn't feeling the urge to use dpns so I cast on a scarf instead.  I'm pretty happy with it.  I don't normally like plain garter stitch scarves but I feel like the single row of beads sort of dresses it up a little.  And the color is going to look great with my new coat.

But as luck and spontaneous, poor planning would have it, I don't have enough yarn.  I started with two skeins and knit to the end of the first.  The scarf is approximately a third of the length it needs to be.  Argh.  So now I'm awaiting another skein of Coastal and a contrasting color skein just in case the dye lots don't jive with each other.  

I already know the new skein won't be the same dye lot.   Knit Pick's customer service amazes me.  I'd put a note on my order requesting the dye lot I needed if possible.  They no longer have it and called me to see if I wanted to change my order.  Anyway, if the new skein is  too far off the color of the old, I'm going to add a white skein in and pretend I'd intended the scarf to be color blocked.


To all the puzzle affectionados out there, first, darn you for blogging about all your puzzles and getting me hooked.  I'm puzzle-ing almost as much as I'm knitting these days.  And second, I discovered puzzles in Target's dollar bin section.  They are $3.00 and 500 pieces and well, they are three dollar puzzles but whatever.  At the rate I'm working puzzles, I'm a lot better off spending $3 on a 500  piece puzzle that takes me a week to put together because the pieces bend and well, they're the quality you'd expect from a $3 puzzle vs. $12 on a 1,000 piece puzzle I put together in two or three days.  But the point is, Target has cheap puzzles if you're desperate.


While I was digging out the beads for the City Tweed scarf, I found beads that I thought would look good with this yarn.  Knowing that I was probably going to have to wait for a yarn shipment before I could finish the scarf, I went ahead and started a beaded shawl too. 

There's no official pattern involved, just a heart shaped shawl with a single beaded, *K2tog,YO* row thrown in every so often.  The yarn is On-Line from my LYS.

Links:

City Tweed DK yarn

Caspian Interchangeable Needles

Knit Picks

Center of the Yarniverse

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

DMV during Covid

I'll apologize in advance if this turns ranty.  Have you had the pleasure of going to the DMV during covid?


I had the thrill of going to the DMV yesterday.  My license and three car registrations expired back in the summer.  As soon as I heard the DMV's had opened up for appointments, you know, back in the early fall, I made one.  The earliest appointment I could get was yesterday.  Over four months from the day I set the appointment.  And no, my appointment was not at the local DMV.  My earliest available, four+ month away appointment was at a DMV 58 miles from my home.

So instead of spending yesterday knitting, I drove the hour and twenty minute trip (there were lots of small, one lane, twisty-turny back roads and 25 mph speed limits involved.  It wasn't a bad drive though.  I got to go across seven big bridges over big water.  Two of the bridges were draw bridges and thankfully they were closed to boats and open for cars in both directions.  I had good music and really, it wasn't a bad drive, just a bit long for a trip to the DMV.

I arrived at the DMV 30 minutes before my appointment because I'd left home a little early in case I got lost.  Sometimes my GPS sends me on wild goose chases.  

I stood in line while it lightly rained and three different old men argued with the DMV lady who was guarding the door.  None of them had appointments and they were each pretty angry that she couldn't just take care of their issues for them.  I felt pretty sorry for that poor woman.  Lord knows how many times a day she has to deal with argumentative people without appointments.  She handled it well though.

I filled out my paper work and only waited a few minutes for my turn at the counter.  Once I got to the counter, I was told that because my license had expired, even though it was covid times and DMV had been closed at the time, and I'd made the first available appointment, I had to have my birth certificate and my marriage license to renew my drivers license.  Of course I did not have either of those two things with me.

Thankfully, I was able to pay the DMV $28 to have them print a birth certificate and marriage license for me.  Why they couldn't just see it on the screen for free rather than printing them for $28 is beyond me but hey - I now have extra originals if I ever need them.

Once I had the printed paperwork in hand, I passed the eye exam, got my photo taken twice because the cashier didn't like the first one, (You know it had to have been a BAD photo if the DMV people didn't like it! 😏) forked over a few hundred dollars, received my temporary drivers license and my three car registrations and hit the road for the journey home.

When I got home, I looked at the receipts and noticed that I'd had to pay late fees for each of the three car registrations.  Late fees on something I was unable to pay for on time because the DMV hadn't been open.  Good Lord!  Only our government could get away with something like that.

Oh well.  The experience is behind me.  I didn't get lost.  I got out of the house.  I saw big water.  I have the trill of looking forward to seeing what my new license photo will look like in five to ten days (assuming the USPS can manage to deliver the mail,) and I won't have to deal with the DMV for another year.

Now, I think I'll go knit so that my next blog post can hopefully be a little more interesting.  And knitting related.



Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday Supper - Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

 Woot Woot!!  Hail to the Redskins!

I'm fairly certain no one ever dreamed the Skins would make it so far this year.

And yes, I'm writing today's Sunday Supper in advance because I will be busy watching the game on Saturday night.  I'll be busy praying, probably cursing, and stress eating bacon cheeseburger dip.


And if this dip recipe from wishesndishes.com tastes half as good as it sounds, we might actually be eating it on Sunday too.  Really, I don't see why I couldn't toss a bit of shredded lettuce and some chopped tomato on top and call it dinner rather than an appetizer.

As a Washington fan, we don't get to do a lot of celebrating but hopefully we'll be having more playoff Sunday Supper meals.  How about you?  Who are you rooting for?

Links:

Recipe for bacon cheeseburger dip

Friday, January 8, 2021

On the needles

Felix is still on my needles.


But not for long.  He's only got a tiny bit over a half an arm to go.  

Happily, or not so happily, depending on how you look at it, Felix looks a lot better on me than he does on the mannequin.  The mannequin is much smaller than I am and has a 25 inch waist.  Mine is, ahem, slightly larger.  

I'm quite happy with Felix's fit.  I was a little worried about how it would look on me.  In all the photos I've seen of other people's he's always been so cropped.  I was afraid he was going to accent my slightly more than 25 inches waist.  But all things considered, he looks okay on me and I'm pretty happy with him.  

Now, just to fight those darn plastic dpns and get that sleeve finished.

Links:

Felix Pullover pattern

Wool of the Andes Bulky yarn



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Three on Thursday - Skills

One of my 2021 goals is to improve a few of my knitting skills.  For today's Three on Thursday, I thought I'd share several of those skills.  So that this post has some photos, I'm including a pattern to go along with each.


The Yellow Queen Sweater by Veronika Lindberg

First, I really, really want to improve my colorwork skills.  I can knit fair isle and intarsia and I'm okay with the results but I'd like to feel more confident and relaxed when I knit them.  I want to be able to talk and fair isle at the same time rather than obsessively looking back and forth between my knitting and the pattern while mumbling numbers and glaring at anyone who dares to speak to me.  I'd like to feel confident going into a project that it will turn out the size planned rather than being drawn in so tight the garment is six sizes too small or so large and loosely knit it looks like a poorly made, old, torn fishing net rather than the intended item.


Triangle Entrelac Shawl by Diane Conroy

I also really, really want to learn how to knit backwards so that I can knit entrelac without having to constantly turn my work.  Entrelac can create some of THE most gorgeous designs but I absolutely despise flipping my knitting back and forth.  I will learn how to knit backwards if it kills me!


Headband with a twist by Mirella Moments

And third, I want to learn to knit while I walk.  This may prove difficult.  Very, very difficult.  I can barely walk and talk at the same time, but I have taught myself to read and knit so maybe someday, with enough practice and a few bloody knees, I will be able to walk and knit at the same time.  (And yes, a little insider trading tip for you... I suggest you all rush out and buy stock in Band-Aids!)

So, do you have 2021 knitting goals?  I can't wait to hear about them.

Links:

The Yellow Queen Sweater

Triangle Entrelac Shawl

Headband with a twist


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

No Chicken Here!

 So, yeah.  I'm 99.999% positive I'm jinxing myself but...  


I won't be playing yarn chicken with Felix.  I was a tiny bit worried when I got down to the waist ribbing on the body that I might not have enough yarn.  Actually, "worried" is probably too strong of a word for what I was feeling, but I was concerned enough to knit a sleeve before I knit the body's waistband.  I'd rather have a short waisted sweater than one who's arms are too short.  Having freakishly long monkey arms, I have spent my life with sleeves that were too short.  I will never, ever, no matter how bored I am with a project, intentionally knit the sleeves too short. 

Anyway, I put the body on a holder and knit a sleeve.  Well, almost a sleeve.  I have one more decrease row repeat and the cuff to go.  But the point is, I will have plenty of yarn.  Thank goodness, because my big ol' belly hanging out of my super cropped sweater would not be a good look.

And yes, I am knitting that sleeve on the world's worst plastic dpns.  Ugh! I really despise knitting on plastic needles.  Specially these.  I have no idea where they came from.  They've just been in my needle stockpile for as long as I can remember.  And they have a 10 cent price tag on their storage case/envelope/pouch... whatever you call that thing that dpns always come in.  These needles' only saving grace is that they are ten inches long which means I could practically knit an entire sweater body on them without concern of over crowded stitches.  I will never, but I could if I wanted.

Why am I going on and on about my hatred of that set of plastic needles??  Probably because I have a headache and am feeling grumpy.  I have the headache and feel grumpy from lack of sleep.  I didn't sleep last night because...  

Wait for it - I have THE best daughter in the world!  She gave me a set of Gilmore Girls DVDs for Christmas!  I'm SO freaking excited!  I just love Gilmore Girls!  I love Gilmore Girls possibly even more than I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I think we all know how I feel about that show!  Anyway, it was the best Christmas gift ever and I've been staying up late binge watching it every night.


And last night, after staying up an hour past bedtime so I could finish a season, I stayed up another hour to that I could finish reading If the creek don't rise by Leah Weiss.  (Okay grammar/editor geeks - should I have capitalized that title?  It's not capitalized on the book so I didn't but now I'm wondering...)

Anyway, it was an interesting read.  I can't quite bring myself to say I "liked" it because it was kinda awful.  Not awful in the way it was written or the way the story was told, but in the way Appalachian life can be pretty awful.  The story was full of abuse, both sexual and physical, extreme poverty and prejudices.  It was sad and pathetic but also truthful.  I'm glad I read it and it did have a bit of a happy, surprise ending.

If the creek don't rise also made me reconsider my charity knitting goals for 2021.  I may have to go find a charity group that donates specifically to Virginia's Appalachian folks instead of the groups I normally knit for this year.

So, what are you knitting?  Reading? Binge watching? And if you knit for charities, which ones?

Oh, by the way, I'm going to try something new.  Assuming I can remember to do it, I'm going to start listing available links to things mentioned or pictured in my posts at the end of each post YouTube style.  I frequently see things in other knitting blogs that I feel the need to rush out and buy/investigate and I thought you might feel the same.   

Links:

Felix Pullover pattern

Wool Ease Bulky weight yarn

Hero vintage plastic dpns

If the creek don't rise by Leah Weiss

Gilmore Girls complete set