Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Movie Night with the Phasers set on "Limp."

Every so often, we've been trying to spend Friday nights as Movie Night at our house. We've been working through the Harry Potter films and now, we're branching out into the Star Trek films.

Tonight is "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn." Unfortunately, I forgot this is the one with the subplot involving bugs in the ear. Luckily, Youngest Child went upstairs to brush his teeth at that point . . .

I've been working on Mr. Daisy's Gentleman's Sock - while I loved the cable pattern on the leg - I DO NOT like the heel turn and instep. Alas, now that I've gotten this far, I will need to make Second Sock just the same. Drat.

The heel of this sock is quite wide and deep - it looks a little odd laid out flat - but it appears to fit Mr. Daisy.

Look for Second Sock to appear in theses pages. I promise not to complain - much.

Today's Friday Film has a Star Trek theme. I'd love to see Eddie Izzard in real life - this is a bit from one of his shows. I will warn you that some of his language is not "Family Appropriate."

And don't forget to set your Phaser on Limp!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cool Wednesday asks a question about moderation . . .

Today's Cool Wednesday in Minnesota has been cooler than usual.

Temperature wise, it was down into the low 60 degrees F. last night and this morning stayed pretty cold as well. It had been warming up and I was planning on going open water swimming but now - it's raining.

So today's Cool Wednesday items are things that I think make your world cozier. Warmer and nicer - just the stuff for a cold, rainy Wednesday in July.


Okay, I'm sure you've played this game before - I did, too. But it wasn't until my friend Rebecca challenged me on Facebook to a game. "Who has all that spare time?" I thought. She had to poke me several times to get me to play. Well, now I'm hooked. Dear Mr. Daisy and I play online and I play on my phone. And to think I almost threw out that Scrabble Dictionary! Give it a try!


Tonight I made Italian meatballs from that old standby, The Joy of Cooking, only I don't saute them, I bake them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. After they cool on their baking pans, I put them into a simple tomato basil sauce and simmer for 30 minutes or more. Serve with spaghetti. Add one loaf of garlic bread and a large salad and you have quite a meal.

Like a lot of people, I subscribe to a CSA and I am currently awash in salad greens. The latest entry of Frugal Upstate has a great article on "What to do with too much lettuce." Man, was I glad to read this!

I may still be the only person unable to grow zucchini but my own home garden is growing much more lettuce than it ever did in the past and I need lots of recipes.

Whales and Mermaids.

Okay, this is making the rounds on the Internet and it is most likely a metaphor and not a true story but - I liked it!

I got it in an email from Puggyknits - who didn't blog about it but her place seems very relaxing so I think you ought to take a look! -and also found it on Confessions of a Kin Major, a sometimes fitness-sometimes life kind of blog.

I love to swim and don't mind terribly that I'm not as skinny as I was in high school - but I also don't think weight is a complete non-issue. I don't plan on skipping 1/4 of my life because of weight-related health issues.

And that question - well, I think it's about moderation. What is just enough to make you feel good but doesn't go to far. All of today's items are connected to this in some way.

See what you think!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Whew! From "New to Me" to "Absolutely New"

Well. After a jam packed week of summer camps, computer illnesses and (sadly!) Computer Death, we were able to buy a new laptop and get my data transferred over. An expensive fix but it had to be done.

Today has been a day of exploration as I haven't had a Brand Spanking New Computer for about five years. Shiny! Face recognition! Time Machine! I feel like I've got a computer right out of Torchwood.

I have been able to spend some extra time knitting this week so things haven't all been bad.

I finished my Lillie's Little Sweater, a pattern from Cottage Creations that I've knit before, and picked out the buttons. I love them - green and blue.

The yarn, Spud & Chloe is Blue Sky Alpaca and is very easy to work with. I picked it because of the fresh color and because it is a machine washable wool and cotton blend. New parents are sometimes afraid to wash sweaters so I tried to make it easy for them! And, because the sweater is for a fairly large baby who is almost a year old (Sorry - I fell behind on the knitting!), I made it in the 24-month size.

I was one of the many people who got caught up in the Tour de Fleece. Very unofficially, on my part. I decided to take my spinning wheel on vacation and that meant (in the eyes of Mr. Daisy) that I had to spin every day. I ended up with two nice skeins of Shetland two-ply originally dyed with Cushing Dyes in Reseda Green.

It was fairly fine - maybe worsted weight? - so I doubled it with Cascade 220 Heather in Dark Green to make the popular Snail Hat designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Let me just say it was fun but insomnia and knitting don't mix for me. I couldn't sleep the other night and sat down with some taped "Torchwood: Children of Earth" and my knitting. Well, I thought I was following the pattern but somehow, between an actual pattern error and what I thought I was supposed to be doing - let's just say its a cute hat but not very close to being a snail hat!

Take a look at my hat and then check out the Snail Hat in the book behind it:

Well, it's nice to be back. This week - hmm. Another, Better Snail Hat? Finishing up the Swallowtail Shawl? I blame that on Oldest Daughter. I was going to finish it this weekend and block it out on her bed but she came home from college and spoiled the fun. Perhaps some more on the Gentleman's socks? I am on the instep on sock number one - let's see if I can get to sock number two? Whatever I'm posting, I promise lots and lots of photos! And links! And exclamation points!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Frustration and Fridays

My laptop is looking much drier but I still can't light it up yet. So, I've been spending my time working on the Lillie's Little Sweater (moving onto the sleeves now!) and the Gentleman Socks. I so want to start a new project but I don't think I could spare the sleep.

Tomorrow is an early running day and if the weather holds, I can get Mr. Daisy on the road as well. Cleaning and knitting will have to wait . . .

In honor of the newest Harry Potter film (which I am hoping I can get Mr. Daisy to go see tonight!), how about some Wizard Rock for your Friday Film?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cool Wednesday starts out poorly

I'd love to go further into this day but I don't have access to either my home computer (some mess up with a lot of unassigned files) or my laptop (a large cup of tea.)

Something that has cheered me up recently made my Cool Wednesday list:

Unfortunately all the other links and projects are on my laptop. My poor, soggy laptop. I even spilled tea on my knitting. The Gentleman's Sock is Not so soggy, however.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

All my eggs in one basket.

Yes, even on vacation, I gave things away this week.


My sister in law raises chickens and gave me about three dozen eggs. Well, we were leaving for Saint Paul and hadn't finished them so I gave the rest of them to my mother. About two dozen - which should have kept me for about two Saturday Sevens - but then I visited her and we made egg salad.

I guess it doesn't count for giving away if You actually ate them!

We were very hungry because earlier that day, we went swimming at a beautiful state park in Pennsylvania, Morraine State Park. It is a man made lake built in the 1960s and would be the perfect place for a triathlon, if I say so myself. Nicely kept bike trails which open to some lovely country roads, a flat walking path for a run and a great (and very shallow) lake for swimming in.

It was a little chilly for swimming in so Mr. Daisy and the Youngest Child played on the beach while I swam laps in the swimming area. But what were the teens doing? I think they gave their cell phones a work out!

Unfortunately, the pool is closed at our hotel so we couldn't do laps tonight. Instead we had an impromptu pajama/popcorn party! Minnesota by tomorrow - yea!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wednesdays on the road

No, we weren't lost. But our vacation in Western PA has ranged from the woods . . .

to the city. Pittsburgh has some great views! This was from the top of Mount Washington after we rode the Washington incline up from Station Square.

I eventually ripped out the bonnet portion of Lillie's Little Sweater and reknit it on size 5 needles. This is a much better gauge!

I've also been carrying around Mr. Daisy's Gentleman Socks - this pattern has an enormous heel but it fits his very large foot very well. I'm not so sure I like the two needle technique but I'm giving it the old school try.

I only have a few Cool Wednesday sites. According to our friend Alex T., I must be one of three knit bloggers in the world (HA!) but the other two probably want to know about:

Companion Gardening.

When I had a larger garden, I found this technique worked very well.

Also, Yarntini (a Western Pennsylvania favorite!) has an update going out on July 12 over at her Etsy store. I love her color ways! Who wouldn't want a Lemon Drop or a Mimosa?

Well, time to beat back the clouds and collect my family for a trip to Moraine State Park.

Hope you are enjoying your vacation as much as we are!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Road trip for yarn

Stopped by this cute yarn shop in Hudson, Ohio, to get smaller needles for re-knitting Littlie's Little Sweater. Had to buy some yarn just to make me feel better!

Now, off for some lunch . . .

Satellite Saturday Seven

Just in case you were wondering what I collected this week:

Packing a little boy's suitcase gives you time to weed out the outgrown clothing and boots. I imagine Good Friend Melissa's little one will enjoy these!

I brought along my spinning wheel so I'm hoping to do a little spinning today and work a bit more on the Lillie's Little Sweater.

Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Vactioning on the first Friday in July

Hey, I'm on vacation. Watch this and enjoy. It's a little slice of the past!

I am part way through a several state long car trip with two teens and the Youngest Boy. I don't think I was ever so happy to see Indiana before.

It took almost three hours to get through Chicago!

After finally getting to where our hotel for the night is, we had a late dinner. Right next door was this store:


We'll be dong nothing more exciting on the rest of our vacation than a trip to the dirt track races and a brass band concert on the 5th of July. Hope your summer is turning out well!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cooler than usual

Okay, maybe I'm referring to the weather. This week's items are pretty neat - not at all knitting related - and thrifty. I've collected a few low-cost Cool Wednesday items in an effort to stretch your dollars.

So, I've heard that "beer is an affordable luxury." Sales of craft or small brewery beers are up something like 6% in the last year.

If you are looking for a something special to sip, I'd recommend you include Farm Girl Beer in your Fourth of July celebrations. It's from the Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater, MN and Farm Girl Saison is a golden, Belgian-influenced ale. Very easy to drink and it's local too! You'll feel so green!

Another cool option for your holiday dollars - charity. Yes, I'd recommend donating to Portion for Orphans. I only know what they've done in the past - please, conduct your own due diligence! - but their work raising money for Hope Foster Home in China is a really good thing.

And if you are really cutting back this holiday, I'd recommend watching That Dean Girl's venture into Knitting Humor.