March 101 Update

So many things "in progress"...Refreshing the memory...I'm giving several of these a second think over and am likely to change them.
Original Blog Post here, Updates: January, February
Day Zero, Home of 101/1001 Project
The Mission
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

In progress

1. Fill the large collage photo frames. (1/3)
2. Hang the photo-filled large collage photo frames (1/3)
4. Learn to use the drop spindle. Completed: 3/11/08
8. Open a savings account for Lorelai and save $250 (10/250)
15. Photograph Lorelai on the 30th of each month (3/33)
16. Cook one new recipe a month (3/33)
**"Chicken Bruschetta Bake" from the Stove Top Stuffing Mix Box. Just ok.**
**"Curried Lamb" from Woman's Day Magazine, crock-pot recipe. Bland.**
**"Stuffed Pepper Soup" copycat recipe of 99 restuarant recipe. Burnt the soup. Ick.**
**Turkey & Brocolli Casserole thing from Taste Of Home Magazine. Not bad.
17. Drink 2-3 Liters of water a day. This needs work.
20. Knit 30 socks (15 pairs) (5/30)
**Bartholomew's Sock #1 done 1/21/08**
**Bartholomew's Sock #2 done 2/4/08**
**Lenore Socks #1 & #2 done in 10 days! 2/14/08**
**Two wee socks (one for the wee sock swap) 3/30/08**
22. Knit two mitered squares a month. (4/66) - March isn't happening
24. Update the blog once a week for a year. (12/52)
26. Use "the baby" SLR and shoot one roll of film every month (2.5/33) March is halfway done
27. Floss twice a week (5/286) Rgh. I need to change this somehow.
35. Read 10 books. (3/10)
**1) The Good Good Pig
**2) The Memory Keeper's Daughter
**3) The Tender Bar
**4) You're Not You
**5) Water for Elephants
**6) Diary
40. Send the grandparents a card / Lorelai photo once a month (4/33)
41. Post an Update of my 101 each month (3/33)
45. Read "The Killer Angels". OMG, how I hate this one. I can't get into this book at all!! I've given up on it. Need to fix this.
48. Clean out email inbox and maintain so there's never more than 100 messages in there at a time. This needs work.
58. Complete 20 projects using stash yarn (2/20)
**1) Snowman Hat 2)Bunny Cozies
61. Make photocards for Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving on home computer.
66. Host a holiday dinner for the family at least once a year. (1/3) Easter '08
70. Listen to 8 audio-books. (1/8)
**1) Microthrills by Wendy Spero
**2) The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood - in progress, OMG is it sad!
73. Knit three projects from each knitting book I own.
**Itty Bitty Hats a)Snowman Hat b)Bunny Tails Hat c)Upside-Down Daisy
77. Expose myself to new music: Listen to one new artist a week (5/143) This needs to be fixed.
100. Eat out at 5 new restaurants (1/5)
**The Time Out Tavern, Durham, CT
**The New Deal Steakplace, Westbrook, CT


4 months old

4 months old
Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter
You've come so far little one - and you're changing by leaps and bounds each day! This week you started rolling over and that seems to be your favorite thing to do - you're not one for sitting yet, you prefer to skooch down and be on your back. You also started sucking in your lower lip and making "MMMMMMMMM" noises. We can't get over those blueberry eyes!


Harder than it sounds

Peaceful Knitter tagged me to do the Six Word Memoir. I came up with several, but this one stands out to me:
Conduct and effort, no matter what.

Here's the NPR story

Here are the guidelines, should you choose to participate in this yourself:

Write your own six word memoir.
Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
Tag five more blogs with links. I tag Theatreknitter, PiccoloGirl, Mad-knitter, DancingSheeptoSheep and KnelleyKnits

Oh, the other ones I considered?
Tiny dog, big bark, cute face.
Already large family welcomes one more.
Cute dog, cuter baby, still knitting.


Dogs on Thursday

Let's start with the funny side, yes?

Jackson could easily pass for several dogs in that video.

On the heavier side, I caught him going after my yarn. Of course it was after the fact. I come into the room and spot the yarn, find the dog and grab the camera. That yarn (nice yarn by the way - it's easily 3 balls - it's so tangled I"m not even sure now!) has been in a bag on the floor for WEEKS!!! Stinky weiner dog.
Dachshund destroys yarn


Hey, I did it!

Hey, I did it!
Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter
Who's rolling over? This girl. Tummy to back all on her own today!

Gushing, tagged and new favorites

Lorelai was gifted a beautiful handmade sweater from her Aunt Virginia. Virginia picked up the knitting needles around Christmas - armed with many of my knitting books. She had made a bookmark for a first project and jumped right in to make herself a sweater. We've emailed back and forth about stitches and patterns and she's on ravelry too. Look at how absolutely gorgeous this sweater is:
New sweater 2
Baby sweater
It's black with the trim in pinky-purple and the flowers are pink - purple - white. Stunning! Virginia is hard on herself "Oh, you'll see all the mistakes" but I'm blind to them - it's a gorgeous sweater!

I was tagged by mad-knitter to do the Alphabet Meme - Here is what you do. Use the 1st letter of your middle name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names,things…nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person you took this from had the same 1st initial.You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

1. Middle name letter: U (I decided to go with the challenge as my maiden name is now my middle name!)
2. Famous artist/band/musician: U2
3. 4-letter word: User
4. U.S state: Utah
5. Boy name: Ulysses
6. Girl name: Ursula
7. Animal: Unicorn
8. Something in the kitchen: Utensils
9. Reason for being late? Untied shoes
10. Body Part? Uvula
11. Drink? Ultimate Mudslid
12. Something you shout: Up, Up, and Away!
13. Something you eat? Udon
14. A movie you've seen? Upside of Anger

It looks like she has no arms, but I think this is my new favorite picture:
How you doin'?



Gotta love cuteoverload.com - Here's today's picture:

photo credit: "Research Group James" originally uploaded by giles breton.

Could be a twin for Lorelai!
Easter dress 3
Ok, maybe not. :)

Easter was great, we had everyone over. The best part was seeing everyone interact with Lorelai - her uncles, aunt and great-uncles haven't seen her since early January! Yesterday we were all just zonked. It's nice to take a moment and just knit, not have to worry about getting ready for the party. I can take my time cleaning up and putting decorations away.


Spring Cleaning

I've been kicking up a lot of dust in getting ready for Easter Sunday - we're hosting, party of 12! It's time intensive to plan and get ready and clean up, but I would rather do that and stay at home instead of traveling! Plus, it makes it easy - both sides of the family can come to us. My minor knitting has been to make (for the ladies) little bunny cozies for their place setting.

Here's what one looks like on the table, a la Martha Stewart (it was "her" idea for grass placecards):
Easter place setting

My "to-do" list is ongoing. I was able to tackle part of my 101 things though! A frame is filled!
Filling a frame

Have a Happy Easter & a Happy Weekend!


Dogs on Thursday

In keeping with my 101 list, I'm trying to shoot a roll of film each month. That's actual film, negatives, not digital. I have a very basic SLR that I adore, but I am still learning how to use it properly. The fun part is seeing what pictures I actually get among all the others that are blurry, out of focus, not well light, too well lit, etc. Here's my favorite:
No fair!!
This picture was not staged, and really my baby does not wail often. I find it funny because she has so much around her to occupy her / keep her happy and yet Jackson is on her play gym, in her space.

I got a series of good shots of Jackson, in my opinion, so we'll just shine the spotlight on him.
Jackson Mosaic

Little knitting to report as of now - getting ready for Easter, we're hosting!


Happy St. Patrick's Day

Bless your little Irish heart and ever other Irish part!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My little leprechaun:
Little Leprechaun



Ever notice how people are particular about certain foods? Not just which foods a person likes, or how much garlic is used (in my opinion, more is always better!), but foods that are handed down within a family. Like many people, my family roots are in Ireland. Frequently my mom makes Irish Bread. It's really good. My favorite, probably because that is what I had when I was growing up. She learned from her grandmother and a lot of trial and error. I haven't tried to make it yet (and Betsy, I haven't forgotten to send you the recipe!) because in my head you can only use cast iron - that's what my mom and her mom use, and I don't have any cast iron yet. I *know* that she adds more sugar to make it sweet, but found out this past weekend that a different family member adds an egg so it's more cake-like. I *know* it's not traditional. I *know* there are other ways to make it. I have had other Irish breads but they aren't as good as my mom's.

I'm bugged because today I was asking another person about how they make their Irish Bread and it led into a "pick on Becca" moment. Quoting the individual, "We call it Irish SODA Bread, because of the baking soda. And I remember years ago I made some for you and I waited to hear the raves about it...." Ummmm? WTF? There's baking soda in my mom's recipe... Thank goodness the baby was there and I could shift the attention away from me to her...

This is all so ridiculous, but it bugs me. I googled "Irish Bread" (367,000 sites) and "Irish Soda Bread" (219,000 sites) - there are many variations and I really think it comes down to personal taste. Among the more interesting links: http://www.sodabread.us/ - The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread. My mom doesn't make traditional soda bread, so I won't either. This person also mentioned All-bran being added (by her grandmother) and I'm pretty sure that's not traditional either.

Meh, whatever. Here - now I'll distract you with the baby.


Come out come out wherever you are!

There has been an influx of yarns lately. After the "learn to spin" class on Tuesday, I bought several things because on Monday Lorelai and I left the SnB early. So, Regia bamboo, and panda silk, welcome to your new home. Today the wee one and I went to "Madison Wool" to spend the gift certificates I received at Christmas. I bought yarn for the "Central Park Hoodie" (Cascade 220 Heather Green), "Koolhaas" (O-Wool Classic), and Spirogyra (Sheep 3). I was cleaning up the dining room in anticipation of our hosting Easter dinner next week. I pulled down a shoebox from the bookshelf because the shoebox was ugly looking, and !GASP! there were 2 skeins of yarn inside. I think I got them in a swap a few years ago, tucked them away in another clean up attempt. Whoops.

I'm still working on the test knitting project.

Still need to seam the Amelie dress.

Making ears for the Easter decorations.

The mingus sock has stalled, I don't know how I feel about it. Not entirely loving it.

Started the nutkin sock (on two circulars). I did the cuff, but it's a stockinette, not a rib cuff and it just seems HUGE! I did go up a needle size (to 2.75mm from the 2.5mm of the pattern) because I had those needles ready and I have big feet. Not sure how I feel about those now either. Stalled.

Have to ball up more yarn to keep working on Glee.

Have 2 more rows to go in the Mystic Lights swatch, then it needs blocking. I tried doing the cables reversed for lefties and then as written... not sure it will really make a difference. I did learn that I don't like cabling without a cable needle when the cable is on the edge.

Need to get going on the baby knits... hats.... for my own and the other babies to be.

I really want to make finger puppets. And toys. It's for Lorelai.

I have all this knitting-in-progress. Someone at the baby group asked me if I knit for a living. :) I wish.

In non-knitting news, Lorelai and I have found some stellar deals out shopping. And I bought 2 bathing suits (oy!) for the destination wedding that is coming up in what, 4 weeks? Time is very quickly moving along.


Peep treat

Peep treat
Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter
I saw somewhere online (I think) that said you could use "Peeps" in hot chocolate - after all they are just marshmallows! Why didn't I think of that? Now I have a legitimate reason for buying them - I can have a marshmallow in my hot chocolate (with Reddi-Whip) and not have to worry about the bag going stale.



Last night I went to a "Learn to Spin" class. Seeing it done in person makes something *click* - I even got it to work a little bit:
My first yarn
Way more practice is needed, but a little bit each day will be good I think.

And here's a look at the yarn from New Zealand, the Fibre Spectrum Handweavers Co-operative. Each skein is DK weight, 200 grams, handdyed, 100% New Zealand Wool. Slightly hard to photograph, but one is blues-purples and the other is blues-greens, so totally MY colors!
Now to decide what to make with it...


Something so deep...

Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter
I had the baby on my lap this morning, sortof sitting up on her own and got some great shots. This is one of my favorites and I can't quite put my finger on it to explain why. That face, only 14 weeks old is already so expressive. I can almost picture the two of us in 5, 10 or even 15 years from now with her looking at me with the same expression, questioning me or listening to me, I can't decide. At least it's not whining or crying!


Malabrigo, again.

It is MalabrigoMarch, according to Ravelry! I decided to give the "Amanda Hat" a try using the Emerald yarn I had left over from my Tudora. I posted to the Tudora rav boards to see if it could be done and I had a positive reply that yes it could. So I went at it - the Amanda Hat is a great pattenr - easy to follow, quick to knit, and you have to pay just enough attention that it isn't mindless. However, I was a bit concerned about running out of yarn - I ended up with a little more than a yard left over! I only did 2 rounds of garter on the upper part of the hat and I may have skipped a knit row inbetween all the decreasing at the crown, I can't remember.
Amanda Hat 2
In the end, it's a nice hat and works well with the subtle variations of a yarn like this. That said, I don't think I'll keep it - my thick hair and big head combine to make this hat rather snug. I'll hold on to it for a while I think anyway, I may change my mind - it is so soft and warm!
It is so difficult to get a good picture of yourself in a hat while holding the camera over your head - try and smile, I look goofy, try and look artsy / serious, and I look stoned. Meh.
Amanda Hat 1

In non-malabrigo news, my parents returned safely from New Zealand and had a fabulous time. My mom brought me back two hanks of yarn! 100% New Zealand wool, hand-dyed 200 grams each! Absolutely gorgeous! I was so excited because I thought of the asking them to look for yarn after they had already left. Mom told me another lady in their group was looking for possum yarn, and she would have brought me that but she couldn't find it in her limited shopping time. Pictures and project ideas soon...


More malabrigo & FO

Today I gave my Tudora a real-world wear - successful! It was just right to block the gap between my jacket and neck from the wind. So so so warm! Yay for wearing handknits! I have decided to try and milk my malabrigo that was leftover from Tudora to make an "Amanda Hat" - and so far, so good on that. There should be enough yarn for a hat. Lorelai makes a great impromptu model - so far it seems to fit her, but in the end this hat is for ME!
Amanda Hat in progress

I also knit up the "Bunny Budy" from Lion Brand. I used plain old Sugar & Cream cotton yarn, in a natural colorway that has flecks of colors in it. I didn't bother to stuff the head. Lorelai has started to grab at things and everything goes to her mouth, so to avoid any major concerns about lead in any sort of teething "thing", I decided to just make her something. She can grab at this, drool all over it and I can just toss it in the wash. Plus, it can be an impromptu drool cloth / burp cloth as needed. I might make a few more of these up as baby gifts, they were a great quick knit - no seaming, gotta love that!
Lorelai & Bunny
Bunny "teether"

I'm also involved in test knitting a project for a fellow blogger now - how very exciting!


Dress your family in Malabrigo

(apologies to David Sedaris, I will read "Dress your family in corduroy and denim"!)

In honor of malabrigomarch on Ravelry I cast on and finished Tudora. "Emerald" Malabrigo, size 7 needles, and two days (though if I had put all my time / energy into it, it could have been a one night project, but I did mess up casting on, so whatever). So soft, so warm. Gotta share the love:
Tudora baby 1 Malabrigo is soft on the skin
(Malabrigo cures eczema, don't you know!)

Bribery works (you can totally see my hand and the container of treats in the shadow):
IMG_2536 IMG_2538

Just right for me, though of course, New England is somehow in a March warm spell.

I also cast on the "Obi Scarf" but my mind is having trouble with the yarn overs, so that is kind of a pain. I cast on for Cookie's Mingus socks, but didn't look ahead in the pattern - if I had, I would be able to follow the chart left to right, but seeing how I did the cuff (following the directions), in order for the rib to match up, I need to read the chart backwards (right to left, normal for the rest of the knitting world). I am trying to decide if I should rip it out and start over or just go with it and work my brain. I was so ticked when I figured that out last night.

Still need to work on the Easter decorations, Glee is very slowly moving along, the brigid socks are at a standstill as well. Meh.
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