Food Stuff - Jars

In avoiding housework and Google-work for the moment I was catching up on several blogs. I came across these links, and now I sense a food-in-a-jar might be attempted this weekend or early next week.... It's a way to use my mason jars out of season! I'll have to find where Lorelai has taken the lids to though - she uses them as bracelets.

Pie-in-a-jar from Little Birdie Secrets, which may have started it all.

Cake in a jar from Angry Chicken.

Not Martha's Pies in Tiny Jars tips.

But first, I will be attempting granola bars (a la Martha Stewart & my Baker's Edge pan).


Dogs on Thursday & A Quick FO

I haven't participated in Dogs on Thursday in a while, so certainly it is overdue. I thought I would share how Jackson and Lorelai currently interact (with some commentary)

This is one of Jackson's best tricks - we call it "The Squirrel" because how he sits upright with his itty bitty paws. Lorelai frequently walks about carrying her little snack cup (by Munchkin, more on them later). She has learned that if she holds something in her hand out and up infront of Jackson he'll sit up and try to get it. Goldfish, cheese, bits of eggos, whatever.

This picture shows that my kids are about the same "height". Jackson is very gentle in getting the food from Lorelai. Sometimes she lets go, sometimes he gets to sniff the food and then she takes it back (and I ignore the dog slobber on her snacks).

The bigger issue now is that I want her to actually give the snack or whatever to Jackson - if he sits and behaves he has earned the treat. She'll even hold her empty hand out and up to get jackson to sit (sometimes he pays attention and doesn't bother if he knows she doesn't have anything). We working on (and will be for a long time I am certain) not teasing the dog.

He's a good sport. Like always.

In knitting, I used part of one of the mini-sample skeins from the PhatFiber box to knit a Tea cup handle sweater. Because I can. The yarn is a sport-weight BFL, color "Sugar Lips" from Sweet Pea Fibers. (OMG, love her etsy shop! when I learn to spin more consistently, I want!!)
I think I have enough left over for a second one - and I also think that it will take me longer to sew on buttons than it did to actually knit it!
Mug Handle Sweater-Cozy-Thing

Back to Munchkin for a moment. They are my new favorite company. The snack cup is fantastic (way better than the gerber one, don't waste your money.) Recently I bought one of their flip straw cups - it just makes life easier to get Lorelai to use straws (and she does just fine with them). The colors are great, and the cups are BPA-free (important).

Well, I wanted to buy more of these - like a 2 pack I see of all the other brands, but couldn't find them - not at Target / online / wherever. So I was hunting around online for something else that might be suitable and everything it seems is covered with Dora or Diego, the Disney Princesses, Sesame Street, Elmo or SpongeBob. Now. I have nothing truly against any of these brands, I really don't. I am not going to keep any of those things from the Lorax intentionally, but right now - all she needs is the cup with the straw. She doesn't care right now if it's blue or pink or yellow with purple polka dots. Then I came across the dwink juice box holder and I got really annoyed. What's worse - character branded marketing or terrible spelling? I want to write a letter of complaint to that company.

I held off settling for any of the character items and was thinking about investing in the more expensive "Green" options and then I found it. A 4 pack - two sports bottle, 2 flip straw cups, all the Munchkin brand and BJ's wholesale club. Perfect. The cups are all interchangeable. Bright colors. Lorelai picked the blue-green-purple pack, even better. Okay, end of silly rant.


Yarn Bobbins

A reader left me a comment asking about yarn bobbins - I hope this helps.

I inherited the ones I use from a box of random knitting items that my mom gave to me (I think some came from a volunteer group and some from my grandmother). These are the ones I have, but this page has other options. You can also use other items around the house as needed.

I have used them when working with two colors (not stripes, but for fair isle? intarsia? whatever it's called). The main color is still attached to the yarn ball. The accent color is wrapped around the yarn bobbin and you knit from that - it just hangs down in the back of the work and you can use it as needed. It keeps things a little neater.

Here are some other links:
Newfoundlands Crafty Dogs Knit and knittinghelp.com


Awesome (1000000+)

Last week I received several great packages in the mail.
First off:
photo.jpg photo.jpg
I treated myself to the Ravelry mug. Dan rolled his eyes when he saw it, even after I tried to explain the awesomeness of the "disagree" when it's empty and "Agree" when it's full of coffee. I even offered to share the mug with him. He said this was just more reason to keep on planning my "knittervention" (We've been watching "Intervention" lately.) Whatever. I like the mug, just wish it was a little bit larger.

(excuse the iphone lo-quality photos) I got a PhatFiber box. There are fantastic samples - the fudge was fantastic! I pulled out my drop spindle and started playing with some roving I had to get more practice before I try it on some of the fiber samples I received. There are also several great yarn samples as well. I'm sure i'll gush more about those as I get to them.

Over the weekend I finally finished my iPhone Mitts. The yarn is "Bekka" from Ruby Sapphire. Love love love. I really like how the stripes start out wide and then become narrower towards the finger tips. I made mine 13" long, and the thumbs are ~2.5" - I was getting tired of knitting a big ribbed tube, and I can still fold them over just fine. Jackson makes for a great model.
Dachshund for scale
iphone mitts
So that's 220 yards knit up which is 0.125 miles in the Sock Marathon.

I still have quite a bit of the yarn left over, so I'm thinking (in terms of convenience) of casting on for a pair of anklets. I think I would have enough for that and it would be sort of "springy" and possibly get me back into sock knitting.


Change of Plans

So, I totally wanted make a post about recent awesomeness that I have. And my CPH that has had it's first wear out in the real world. And then our little family unit was going to go to IKEA (we're going to get a toy box) and the grocery store (we like to eat). And take care of the LnV Show Notes (there's a new episode up!)

But then my mom called.

I was planning already on going in to RI tomorrow for a "swap" - a frequent event where my 6 aunts, mom, grandmother, and me get together to "swap" clothes and such. Totally planning to bring the Lorax along. In a snap decision to give my grandmother more 1:1 time with the Lorax and carpool instead of two separate cars going to the same place, Lorelai and I are going in to RI tonight to stay over at my grandmother's house with my mom.

So now, I need to pack clothes, diapers, toys, food - in more quantities than I planned. Why do babies need so much stuff? She'd be fine if I brought nothing I'm sure, but I don't want to be stuck and I don't want a melt-down or destructor either. I hope she'll be so exhausted by the hour car trip and new surroundings that she'll just pass out. She hasn't sleep in the pack-n-play since November. Hoping for the best, planning for the worst :)

On the plus side, my mom is doing the driving so I get to knit - yes!


Food stuff - Pork Chops

There's a cookbook in my family that I think every female member owns. (There aren't that many males, but I know my uncle has the cookbook as well.) It is known only as "the book". It's been around forever, it seems. Way back, my dad was a resident at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ. The hospital had a fundraiser cookbook, "Cooking is Our Bag". (Google-foo shows you can buy it through alibris, and here is a 1983 article about it.)
The Book
Anyway, it's a book I think that started out as an easy gift for everyone in the family. The book has no photos of the food, though there are some illustrations. But it's a fairly reliable source of recipes. When I was 20 or 21 I specifically asked for a copy of "the book", and I got it. I took my copy and sat down with my mom's copy and copied all the notes she had written next to the recipes: VG, looks great - taste's awful, not worth the effort, delish!, makes a ton.... And I have even added a few notes to the book myself as I have gambled on a few of the recipes. It is not very green or healthy as cookbooks go (one recipe has MSG as an ingredient!) but it's my go-to, and substitutions can be made.
old school cookbook

Dinner tonight actually came from "the book", and I thought I would share. I should share more recipes - I know I have borrowed many from the web!

Chinese Oven Fried Pork Chops
1 egg
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. dry sherry (I've used port or OJ, depends what is on hand!)
1/8 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. garlic powder
4 T. bread crumbs
3 - 4 lean loin pork chops, 1/2" thick, trimmed (whatever, I just buy a package of boneless pork chops

Combine egg, soy sauce, sherry, ginger and garlic powder.
Dip chops into egg mixture.
Coat with crumbs.
Place in single layer in greased baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn, bake additional 20 minutes until tender.

Doris Irving (Mrs. Stephen)

Hah! No photo of the finished product, as it's not done cooking yet, maybe later :)

Blahs and otherwise

My internet was a bit wonky and FUBAR since last Thursday, but now seems to be much better. (Blah#1)

Blah Buster Buddy
I made this little tiger for my Cocoa Swap pal, Sarah - she's starting culinary school! I had a lot of fun shopping for her and making this little guy. I used Barbara Prime's Tiger pattern - it was a great pattern and I would love to work up some of her other Fuzzy Mitten Cuties.

I finished my "Plum Blossom Mittens" by last Thursday. That was my personal goal - we were going out to dinner and since I was not driving I could wear mittens. I like fingerless mitts and having my fingers free while driving. Anyway, they are done:
Plum Blossom Mitts
But, I finished them in time for one of the warmest days of the year. I still wore them. But I don't know how much I'll actually wear them.
Wearing the Mitens
They are still a little snug, the cuff is still a tad too short, and the thumbs are a bit too long. (Blah#2). I'll keep them and when someone comes over and is in need of mitts, they can borrow them. (Betsy I'm looking at you!)

I had plenty of white yarn leftover from the mitts (Berroco Peruvia Quick) and it was already in a yarn cake, so I immediately cast on (because it was convenient) for a Herringbone Neckwarmer
Pretty but possibly impractical
The buttons need to be attached still. Aside from the convenience, I don't know why I knit this one. It's pretty, and warm, but seriously. White? It's going to be a magnet for Lorelai's goopy-goldfish-crumb-covered little fingers. Maybe, maybe not.

The LnV sock marathon has started and I'm chugging along. My iPhone mitts are so close to being finished. I started a sock, the "Guided By Love" pattern, in a colorway that made me think of Jackson.
Sock, now dead
My first toe up. BUT, it's too big (Blah#3). So I decided to stop, and again, knitting by convenience I have cast on for a "Woodland Scarf" instead.
Woodland Scarf, in progress
I think that will be better. It's not a blah :)



I think I've figured out Magic Loop - and I think I love it! I'm really amazed that a) it works! and b) why didn't I try to learn this sooner? Now I want to Magic Loop everything!

I finished one iPhone Mitt - since it is one long tube, it's perfect for tv knitting, or even while Lorelai is out and about. I would have it done sooner, but I spent time last week finishing my CPH (that deserves it's own post. It's coming.)

I also Magic Looped a hat for a hat drive that a local business / corporation was doing. So that's #5 for the 52 hat challenge, and #5 for charity. I love this pattern, so easy!

I'm taking a slight break from the iPhone mitts to start a pair of socks (yes, actual socks!) - the Guided By Love socks - they are my first toe-ups and I struggled a bit with the Turkish Cast-On, but I think it's going ok for now.

Yesterday we were thrown for a loop. Lorelai was toddling / wobbling about and she tripped over and sort of landed on Jackson. He was not right afterwards - it was obvious he wasn't walking right, he wasn't whining or anything, but he was very quiet - obviously injured and just couldn't get comfortable. Poor pup - we did take him in to the vet - given the breed (back injuries are always in the back of our minds) - it was the right thing to do. The vet couldn't find anything significantly wrong with him, but agrees there is an obvious injury. My stoic little dachshund didn't wince at all or make any noise while being poked and prodded by the vet! In the end he got a shot to help him relax a bit, and he slept away most of Sunday afternoon. He's looking better today, still a bit stiff, but better.

I have a few errands outside of the house, but they may wait... just so I can still keep an eye on the dog. I'm also inspired to do some spring cleaning and clearing out of *stuff* - On Friday I totally cleaned out my email inbox. Seriously - I had over 1000 things in there - all read, but just not deleted (thank you gmail). I labeled, archived and deleted. I am surprised by how good that feels!


25 Things

Copying from my facebook notes. This has gone around so many times.
1. I'm usually late to the current trends.

2. I can't sleep with the closet doors open. When I was 6, I was convinced that ET lived in my closet and that totally freaked me out. It was a big closet too.

3. Hearing people whistle indoors is a pet peeve.

4. I have a silver dollar coin that my grandmother gave to me 15 years ago - it was given to her by some old aunt when my father was born for "teething" - she never used it for that purpose (nor have I used it for Lorelai) but I still have it.

5. I think dogs are better than cats.

6. I have a respectable yarn stash.

7. Sometimes I think about going back to school. For my education, not for teaching.

8. I can draw / doodle pretty well, I'd really like to develop that a bit more.

9. I used to be a terrible nail-biter and was envious of people who had nice looking nails and got manicures. I don't do it anymore, but I hate when my nails get longer than my fingers.

10. I don't really like other people's feet. I only like my feet right after they've had a pedicure.

11. I really can't stand seeing people wear shoes without socks. If you don't want to wear socks, wear sandals or flip-flops. Really give your feet a good airing out.

12. I'm left-handed and I have always used right-handed scissors (in my right hand).

13. I didn't know anything about football until I got married. This year I won first place in the pigskin pool playing against my husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law. I now have a football trophy!

14. The trophy is on the mantle. I should pull out some of my trophies from when I was a cheerleader (for basketball.)

15. I can't sing. I sing along in my car and to Lorelai, but she's too young to complain.

16. I love board games. Trivial Pursuit is my favorite.

17. I am super competitive. I keep track when I win (and when I don't) Trivial Pursuit and I will keep track of your wins / losses while watching Jeopardy and you are in the other room. Ask Dan, he'll tell you it's true. He'll also tell you he's currently winning at Trivial Pursuit.

18. I love trashy reality tv shows. "Rock of Love: Tour Bus" - is my current favorite.

19. I feel like vomiting when I hear someone speak-while-burping (is there a name for that?).

20. I love the sound of Lorelai laughing.

21. My favorite movies when I was a kid (and even now) are "The Princess Bride", "Labyrinth" and "Muppets take Manhattan" - I still quote them constantly.

22. I was not much of a girly-princess-girl as a kid. When I got married, it started to kick in (or be forced on me, not sure, but that's ok). My daughter is already carrying around pocketbooks. She's way girly-er than I am!

23. I am very picky about the quality of science that's shown in movies and on tv. It's one of the reasons I can't stand the movie "Blade".

24. I love coffee, Dunkin Donuts, regular (that's with cream & sugar)

25. I usually start things, then get distracted and leave them in some sort of unfinished state for a while - but I finished my list!


A little bit of everything.

Things are good in this little nutshell - busy, but good. On Sunday, I went up to Peacefulknitter's for a knitting potluck party. She is truly a "hostess with the mostess" - there was so much delicious food, lots of knitting, a yarn swap, yarn games and a yarn swap! Obviously there was a lot of thought put into this event and I think it was a huge success! One of my favorite parts of the day was meeting Emilee - when she walked into the room and saw me she exclaimed, "Nutmegknitter!" - and I exclaimed right back "Emilee!" :) Good times! I really enjoyed the chance to spend more knitting time with the usual gals from the Thursday night SnB and the other knitters that I know only online or through the occasional drop-in to a different SnB. (Jennsquared got some great photos!)

I won a really cute "Sheep Scarf" kit in the raffle and swapped some yarn for some purple Cascade Pima Tencel - I have a little bit of grey and white in my stash already, maybe I can do a stripey hat or top for Lorelai.
Sheep Scarf raffle prize Cascade Pima Tencel

Sunday, being February 1st, marks the start of the 2009 LimeNViolet Sock Marathon - my goal is to knit 2 miles of sock yarn. On Saturday I started to practice with some worsted weight yarn and my "2 Socks on one circular" book - I had the lightbulb go off that, duh, that's Magic Loop! So, my first project in the "marathon" is a pair of iPhone Mitts for me. I'm using my "Bekka" yarn from Ruby Sapphire. I wasn't won over at first, but I stuck with it and am quite impressed by the fact that this actually works. Now I am interested in magic looping everything.
1st Magic Loop project
(the blue isn't quite that bright...)

We went over to my in-laws for the Super Bowl (Love the Doritos / Crystal Ball commercial the best) and there was a special presentation at half-time. I won the Pigskin Pool I was in with my husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law. In the past the winner gets bragging rights - this year is different. I won (!!!) (and was in first place for several weeks in a row) - they got me a trophy. I have a football trophy! How awesome is that? I learned the game when I married Dan, and I try to keep up, and next fall I'll be starting all over again (still can't tell you what a safety is, or a flea-flicker and once everyone gets on their new teams I'll be lost again) - but still, I have a football trophy :)
My football trophy! go me!
(My team, the Fighting Dachshunds! Last year it was Rosie Grier Knits Too.)

I'm on the button band on my Central Park Hoodie! The hood was finished last night, and I'm really trying hard to get the rest of it done before I get sucked back into sock knitting again. So close!

Other knitting news I also turned several mini-skeins from j-knits.com into swatches.
MiniSkein MiniPyramid jknits swatches

Yeah, busy, but good.
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