Sneaky Memories

Memories are tricky things. There are the memories that you think about so frequently and you just know you'll never forget, even if they get blurry around the edges and then there are the memories that sort of hit from left field and it just seems crazy that you still remember such a thing.

Betsy gifted me a very cool book for Christmas - Knit Green - it's got some great information / articles along with several very cool knitting patterns / ideas (Ravelry link). One I can't stop thinking about is this soft basket - it's made from cutting up a flat sheet and then knitting with that "fiber". We don't use the flat sheets on our beds, so I know I have a potential resource right there (just want to clear it with give hubs a heads up to this project first). Anyway, I also remembered that I had some old sheets from my Nana - she gave me her full dining room set and china set before she died, and we must have used the sheets to cushion our packing. I found the sheets (tossed in a cabinet, where they have sat untouched since they left Nana's house with her stuff, so that's at least 4 years) - they still smell exactly like my Nana's house. They are in the washing machine right now, but still, I was floored. I'll have before / during / after photos on that project soon!

Then I was prepping dinner (making chili, my folks are coming over tonight) - I was chopping an onion, which I rarely do (side note. I just don't like onion. Hubs doesn't miss it either - usually I really shortcut it and add in some dehydrated minced onion so there's some flavor, but I'm coming around - I bought a bag of onions at the last grocery trip.) - I was chopping it up and smelling the onion and wondering if it was going to make me teary and WHAM image of Nana, chopping onions in her kitchen, laughing with tears from the onions in her eyes, making Sunday dinner for the family. A good memory, but still, took me off guard.

I miss all my grandparents that have passed - Poppi's easy smile, Grampa's stories and grin, and Nana especially. I like to think that Nana would approve of my onion chopping and also that she would approve of cutting up her sheets. We don't have any twin beds in the house - not planning on getting one either, but I kept the sheets, and I know Grampa would approve of my thriftyness there. And having the family over for dinner.

My other grandmother gave me this picture at Christmas - from my bridal shower, 2004, good times. Betsy! you're in the background!


My sweater is making progress - as of a week ago it was here:
Trellis & Vine WIP
(excuse the iphone claw hand).

In the last week I have finished the body of the sweater, right down the to the bottom cable and lace patterning and even bound off! The sleeves await me now - I need to go dig through my needles to find another set appropriately sized - I want to knit them at the same time.
Sweater WIP
Not too bad, needs some blocking. The back looked a little "swingy" to me (most likely just from the fact that while I was knitting I switched sizes unintentionally and I wasn't going to rip it out and redo.) - but I turned it around so that the back was in front and I think I might like that fit a little better. Hrm.
Wearing the back as the front

Lorelai has also taken initiative to be covered up. On Saturday we were doing our thing when, pet-owner duty called and we had to take Jackson outside for a bathroom break. When we came back in, Lorelai picked up her hat and asked me to put it on and then we went right back to coloring. Um, ok. I'm not going to deny the kid from wearing a handknit hat, ever!

Photos in this post were all iPhone photos - not the best quality - quick and dirty that's for sure. I took a great class this weekend, "Photography for Knitters", lead by Gale Zucker - it was great and I learned a lot! Photos in the future will be much better - I'll get out of the bathroom, promise! I wore my Central Park Hoodie hoping to get a decent shot of me in it and I know that several of the other participants did, so I hope to share those soon. Here are a few of my favorite shots I captured during the workshop:
Ishbel - two views
Ishbel - knit by Brenda (fourpeass on Ravelry).

Seahorse in Orange Yarns
Seahorse in Orange Yarns - I knit the seahorse. He's still missing his eyes. I am going to keep him and knit a different one for friends that are expecting - I'll use cotton, even though I love the Vanna's Choice, it does have a bit of fuzz and babies don't want to chew on fuzz. I think I have figured out how to make it a crinkly toy as well. More to come.

Knit me.
Purple yarn on yellow fabric background - love that little piece of the skein that is squirming out, beckoning... Knit Me. Now. You know you want to.


Mama's Midriff.

Way back in '09 I signed up for a SweaterKAL with several of the gals from SnB. Then in the early days of '10 I think I have signed up for TheSweatshopOfLove's Sweater a Month Challenge, because yes, I think I can do more than is humanly possible (I will refrain, partially, from telling you about the baby blanket I wanted to knit for a baby that is due sometime in early-mid Feburary, 2010. I have bought the yarn, I have not started. It may be a "Happy Family" blanket for Christmas 2010. hm.) Anyway, I have not forgotten about my sweater which has been hibernating. I almost brought it to SnB this week, but looking at my notes I'm not entirely sure of where I left off. So I figured I would put it on waste yarn and try it on.
Sweater WIP photo.jpg
(my kid is such an imp and a ham for the camera.)
So, it's not the best representation - I don't have my shoulders down and relaxed, so that lifts it up a bit as well. There's still six inches or so between the bottom of the sweater as it is and my belt. I *think* I'm at the point in the instructions to start the cable and lace on the bottom of the sweater. It's wool, so maybe I can block some of it to a longer length... or I could just knit another inch or two and then start the bottom.

Looking at the pattern I don't quite understand the sizing... "Piece meaures 12 (11.5, 11.25, 10, 11, 9.75) inches from dividing round." I will have to get out the ruler and double check that one. I started out to make the 3rd size but somewhere along the line mixed myself up and have been knitting the 4th size, so maybe if I go back to the 3rd size for length it will be ok?

I want to be able to wear this sweater this winter! It was nice and warm on, even without sleeves and being a mid-riff sweater. Light too, not heavy. Hopefully I'll be able to suss it out this weekend!

Help, Hugs and Hope

Did you see that the signal has been put up?

Maybe you have used your Cell phone to make a donation?

Everyone's budget is tight right now - times are tough. Through this website, others are finding a way to raise funds with giveaways. Every little bit helps.

Want to pick up your needles and Knit a Square - Hugs for Haiti - there's a Ravelry group already set up.


Give a pint, get a pound.

More reason to give - you can get a free pound of DD coffee in the month of January when you give a pint. Not a bad deal.

I really do want this to be something I do as frequently as I can. It takes less than an hour of your time. It will help save lives. So why not?

If I could figure out how to knit while donating blood you know it would be the biggest win of all!


I spy a Lorax

I got a huge kick out of the Incognito pattern as soon as I spotted it in the winter issue of knitty. Not casting it on right away allowed it to stew in my brain for a while and think about things like colors and mustaches. I came to the conclusion that this is the perfect starting point for Lorax inspiration.

Lorax inspired "Incognito" Cowl
Lorax inspired Incognito
It's subtle - the colors are not of a high contrast at all, but I am pleased with the results. I used Vanna's Choice yarn and a fun-fur-ish yarn I traded another Raveler for back in the summer (I held two strands together). I also modified the mustache slightly - I started with the "Poirot" chart and filled it in to get the walrus style.

This was a quick knit - and turning that hem while knitting I find is a lot of fun.
Knit Hem
Looks nice and it keeps the edges from rolling too much.

While I was taking photos of the cowl, I spied another Lorax.
I spy a Lorax
She was enjoying watching herself eat her lunch.



Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter
No big surprise to anyone if I state here in my blog that I'm addicted to knitting. I am starting to feel the pull of crochet as well. But this was something unexpected. I was gifted a Kindle for Christmas and I started out with some fairy tales (Grimm's and the Blue Fairy Book) and found I wanted something just a bit more... So I purchased "Twilight" - I can't stop reading! I also can't quite put my finger on what is so compelling about this story / writing style. I am totally going to read the rest of the series when I finish this first installment.


Doesn't everyone feel like this?

Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter
If I just put a blanket over my head and focus on my toys, all is good.

Blankets are perfectly acceptable hats.

For the record, her dad put the blanket on his head the night before while I was out and she started to mimic him last night. I didn't know any of that today when she came up the stairs with the blanket on her head. Silly girl.

I love Mail.

I have had several good mail days in a row - and that's probably it for a while. I feel like the delivery truck idles at the mailbox just long enough to make me believe that they must be shoving a fantastic package into the mailbox (regardless of whether or not I am expecting anything).

My new planner arrived:
I swear, working in a stationery store spoiled me on paper goods forever. I am very particular about the quality of my paper. I have a few notepads from Rhodia and they are fantastic - smooth paper for pens or pencils. I was quite excited to see the 2010 planner - it lays flat even without a spiral! It's got the days of the week on one page and a graph paper grid on the opposite side. Love love love. Even though I don't have a whole lot of planning going on - it's small stuff like "SnB" and "Donate Blood" and "Breakfast with family" etc.

I traded some yarn for some stitch markers (Acid pH stitch markers - those are little water molecules!):
Acid pH stitch markers
Clarissa sent me a message on Rav asking if I would consider a swap of my yarn for her stitch markers - I was so excited, as I have admired her stitch marker work for a while :)

I treated myself to a spot in the Odd-ish Creations "Non Club" group, look at these goodies!
"Non Club" Goodies
There is a pattern for Migration socks, House Hippo, 2 skeins of yarn from Oddish Creations - the blue one (really a blue-green-teal) is Painted Toes Lightweight Merino / Nylon "Stormy Days", and the purpley one is "Red Cabbage Salad" - Lester Toes, a sw BFL / nylon blend (both are gorgeous!). And there is a bag from Sunshinewalks and a little dachshund stamp and a lobster stitch marker from Yarndemon - so cute!
"Non-Club" goodies
This "non-club" reminded me of some of the WoolGirl kits - you get a lot of bang for your buck, and Kata tailored the package to the buyer, based on a survey she had us complete. Love love love.

I also did another trade, yarn for yarn and received this lovely skein of Malabrigo Sock, color cote d'azures:
Malabrigo Sock

And then, the Intention Yarns club shipment arrived - it's an assortment. Mini skeins are so flipping cute!
Multiple Intentions
It's pretty. Beachy.

I think that covers the mail. What else can I share? I made another round on the granny square:
Granny Square
I don't know if I should stop or keep going. I've done this one, but feel like an expert now :)

I've got a dead Monkey
RIP Monkey socks
Gah. Hole in the toe. Don't feel like darning it - wondering about reclaiming the yarn (like Ina did. Same yarn too, spooky!)

I've got half a crocheted headband to finish, 3 blanket squares are done but I want to block them some before showcasing them, one project that is hush hush, and several others to wake from hibernation. Next post I hope!


Pantry Check In

Good post today about the "Pantry Eating Adventure" over on Money Saving Mom. I went grocery shopping today - my list was not the best it could have been, my menu plan is still a bit jumbled up, and I think I'm really still in "stockpile" mode. For instance, a yogurt that I like (and the Lorax likes) was on sale - buy 1 get 2 free, already a score. And I had a coupon for $1 off 6. I ended up with 9 yogurts for $1.25, or 14 cents each. Score. But I still bought the Lorax her own yogurt (on sale and with coupon). I can see that I really need to adjust my thinking. Also, shopping with a toddler is not the best situation to be thinking about meal plans / prices / discounts / coupons / etc. Next week she will not be with me on the grocery trip. I spent less than I usually do, but still more than I wanted. I did get a coupon for $7 off $50 future purchase (and I've got a coupon coming for $10 off $50 in the mail) so that will be a benefit as well, and I might actually stay under $150 for the month. Hm.

Crochet practice

Today I pulled out my crochet books and hooks. I have signed up for several squares for different Schuyler Blankets - I would love to have a "signature", go-to style block - one I could stockpile or know reliably the # to cast on / with which needles / etc. I also want to make them appropriate to the recipient / personalize the squares too, so I'm not sure where that leaves me. I don't think it's going to be a crochet square but today I spotted a few on Ravelry that were crocheted and so pretty - I went and picked up the hooks / books / cheat sheets and gave it a go.

Crochet with help
You can see the Granny Square I started with some KnitPicks Wool of the Andes - I really am getting the hang of it - and can see how addicting these are. Ok, I've crocheted 80% of one granny square and I'm already thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice to work on a project like babette, or Fugly Sock Yarn blanket, or whatever else is crochet in my queue.

Crochet Links I like:
Granny Square
Joining Granny Squares
Crochet Basics from purlbee
SarahLondon (someday (this year?) I really want to make a Wool Eater
CrochetMe - I would love to crochet the crayon blanket for any of the kids I know!


Pantry Eating Idea

I've got this challenge on my mind. There's a lot of careful consideration going in to my grocery-shopping-list for this week - there are some good meat sales that will allow me to stock up, a bunch of coupon inserts and online, and I've got my new cookbooks. But wouldn't you know it - a recipe that I tried out last night, that was delicious, and was made with ingredients I typically always have in the house was one I found by watching a random episode of Good Eats - it was about tuna, and to my surprise, Alton used tuna in a pouch!

I adore Alton Brown - we have 2 of his books (including the "Early Years" awesome!), DVDs and I love his style. However, most of his recipes tend to intimidate me - I don't have the confidence yet for some meats or fish or I don't have the ingredients on hand. And there have been things I've tried that just haven't worked out. But. Tuna in a pouch? I can do that. Go figure though, we were out of tuna so we picked some up at our Walmart run, along with eggs (another pantry staple that was wiped out with New Year's Day breakfast - we had company over - 4 adults, 3 kids, egg sandwiches for all means running through a dozen real quick.) Anyway, I would totally have this again and it was quite easy.

Tuna Croquettes

* 1 (7-ounce) pouch albacore tuna, drained well and shredded by hand
* 2 green onions, chopped fine
* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
* 2 large eggs, beaten
* 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, divided
* Olive oil, for sauteing


Place the tuna, onions, mustard, eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.** Divide the mixture into 8 rounds and set aside on a parchment lined half sheet pan. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Place the remaining bread crumbs into a pie plate. One at a time, coat each round in the panko on all sides.

Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat until shimmering.*** Add the croquettes and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack set over a half sheet pan lined with paper towels. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

**I added more panko crumbs to the mix because it looked runny to me. I added them until it looked like it would hold together, totally eyeballed it.
***I'm not sure what shimmering olive oil looks like - I put in quite a bit of oil and let it heat up. Take it from me - olive oil can start a fire - I poured water into the pan when all the cooking was down and the croquettes were out of the pan and some splashed on the the stovetop - WHOOSH! Flames! They died off quickly, but learn from me - don't splash that oil, it's hot! And firey!

Lorelai was also cooking from the panty for Jackson, so to speak. She used what she had on hand to whip up some eggs and mac and cheese. More incentive for me to work on my crochet to make her some food / accessories. Smart girl.

Around the House Meme

PeacefulKnitter posted an "Around the House" photo meme on her blog and I've decided to play along, as my knitting right now is not ready for prime time as they say.

So, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…just copy the list, take a stroll through your house one day, and post on your blog. Because we all like to see how other people live, right?!

Here are the categories for the Around the House meme:

* In the kitchen
* On the nightstand
* In your work/craft space
* Out the window
* What the pets or children are up to
* On your feet
* Knitting or knitwear in action

(My photos come from the iphone over the course of the New Year Weekend)

Around the house meme
Around the house meme
Around the house meme
Around the House meme
Around the house meme
Around the house meme
Handknit hat and mitts



2010 is going to be HUGE, I just know it. I also know I've got big plans right at the moment (right before life happens and shifts my priorities), and I tend to take on way more than I should, and I tend to jump right in, and I know I stink at sticking to my resolutions. SO, this is my list of ambitions (or goals or resolutions, whatever.) for 2010, but several of them will hopefully last me for the next decade. Maybe I'll feel somewhat accountable if I post it and put it out there on the internet. (I have given up on 101 in 1000, so we'll see)

Knit / Craft-wise
**Knit from stash: My goal is to only buy yarn for specific projects, not just because of the pretty.

**Work on the crochet-skills: I've got a ton of patterns queued up for amigurumi and toys for Lorelai.

**10 Shawls in 2010: Having made two in 2009 and I do wear them (bandit style), gives me confidence that I can do this (maybe only 5 in 2010, but why not shoot for 10). I'm lurking on this knit-along, but with my current stash I would love to work up the following:
a. Swirl Shawl b. Milkweed Shawl c. Inconceivable d. Herbivore e. Frost Diamonds f. Citron g. Springtime Bandit h. Ishbel (take two - possible gift)i. Rorschach's Net j.Centrique

**Make us Christmas Stockings that match.

**Rav queue could use a bit more sorting through and tagging.

**More charity knitting (Schuyler Blanket Project, Sharing Our Gifts)

**Sweater a Month Challenge Since I spotted this I can’t stop thinking about it, so I guess that’s a good idea to join. I’m thinking that for myself I’ll be using the following strategies:
a. A mix of adult (me) and baby / toddler sweaters - will keep in interesting and will break things up as needed. I’ve got at least 6 babies that I want to knit for in the coming year and several toddlers as well.
b. I’ve got 1 sweater that was started in 2008, but has been hibernating since october. I am going to let that count as a half-sweater.
c. I’ve uncovered a sweater from a pile of WIPs that was started in 2005. It needs a button band fix, seams, ends woven in :) That will count as a quarter sweater.
d. As others have said - variety is key - bulky / super bulky will help, short sleeves will help. Vests? I want one (or two) and may count those as half-sweaters as well.

**Use my sock books and knit some socks! I need new ones!

**Design "something" or several "somethings" - share the design. Get listed on Rav as a designer.

House & Home & Life
**Stick to the menu planning.
**Try 1-2 recipes a week. Use the crock-pot (make it work)
**General organizing (I know what I need to do)
**Having no income already keeps my spending in check - so that will continue, but I am giving more thought to going back to work.
**Read more! (listening to audio books will count.)

Bloggy bits
**Post more frequently.
**Leave more comments (as Sara says, blogging is a two way street)
**Respond to comments (Blogger doesn't always lead me to a way to respond... gotta look into that!)

That should keep me busy, eh?
Give Life, Donate Blood