Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I just made pumpkin bars from this recipe and they turned out really well. I made 50% more frosting because, for a 15x10 pan, I thought the amount was a little skimpy and omitted the raisins. I would have liked to add walnuts but since this was for the whole biochem department I refrained in case anyone is allergic.

It only took me four tries, but I finally turned the heel on the stripey socks. I am not sure what my problem was. One just looked bad so I switched to a different technique. I somehow screwed up again so I started over. The next time I ended up with too many stitches on one side so the heel was really off center. I finally got it on the fourth try. It actually looks pretty good now. These are about the most troublesome socks I have knit yet. I will post pics soon, if I ever have decent light and the time.

I have been listening to Wicked a lot lately. Yesterday I had it blasting from my work computer so everyone could here it. They asked me to. I wasn't just doing it to annoy them. I love musicals, but I haven't seen many. I haven't been able to justify the expense in most cases. I think someday when I have money to spend I will go to lots of musicals. I am a huge fan of Kristin Chenoweth on Pushing Daisies. She gets to sing! I hope they keep that up because I think it would be sad if they didn't keep taking advantage of her voice.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I meant to only take out the bind-off, but I ended up frogging the whole collar on the Ribby. I bought another zipper, the one I meant to get, and I had ordered it a little longer because I decided I wanted a longer collar after trying my sweater on a few times. I wove in my ends really well apparently because I couldn't find it, so I decided to snip a little bit at the edge I knew it would be on. I am not sure what happened but I ended up frogging the whole mess because I had two strands of yarn, and I couldn't figure out where the other came from. I am still not sure. That is what I did Friday night before I went to tae kwon do. I am still sore from all the push-ups we had to do and the fact that I hadn't done push-ups in awhile. At least kicking stuff made me feel better. The collar is almost long enough now, maybe two or three more rows are needed, so I may actually be able to put the zipper in sometime this week. It may not be done until this weekend though because Tuesday night, my only guaranteed free night, is probably going to be taken up with laundry.

On Saturday, we intended to drop the motorcycle off at Josh's parents' house for the winter. Josh rode it there while I went to work to for about 30 min and then followed in my car. I got a call from Josh about half-way between here and his parents' house. The throttle cable had broken, but luckily he was near a gas station and in a town where he had some family. I met him at his great-aunt's house and his dad arrived later with the trailer. Josh had to ride in the trailer with the bike! He said it was interesting, especially the turns. We took it to the guy that fixed it up initially.

We then went to lunch with his parents and returnedto their house so he and his dad could build stuff in the garage. They made me a swift! I brought the directions with me and we dug through the scrap wood pile and found everything we needed in the garage except a bolt. It's not the prettiest swift in the world, but it spins!

I need a new scarf, and while the prospect of knitting a scarf is totally unappealing, I really don't want to buy one either. I am trying to decide between this one and this one. Cables are another option.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Reboot was one of my favorite shows as a kid and I have been in the mood to get as many of my childhood memories in DVD form as possible, but I don't think this one is likely to happen. Click on the link to see why.

update to this post too:
I just found all four seasons for around $100, but I am leary because one site had it for $116.99 and a site that looks an awful lot like the first one had it for $89.99. Weird.

Another change

As you can see, I added a column to my template. What do you think? Is it too crowded with three?


I just increased the width a bit to give the posts a little more room. Scroll down a few posts to see how it looks with a pic in the post. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

one year ago

Well, approximately anyway, I re-taught myself to knit and actually kept knitting. My mom gave me a lesson a few months earlier, but it didn't stick with me. I don't remember exactly what day it was during that week, but it was probably Friday or Saturday. I made a flag. It wasn't supposed to be a flag, but I didn't know how to bind-off so I left it on the needle and waved it around occasionally. It was a blue acrylic, garter stitch, quadrilateral on a pink aluminum needle. It's probably still in my apartment somewhere. It may even be on that needle.

I had a slow start, but I think I have evolved fairly quickly into a competent knitter. My first real project included short-rows. My second project had cables and dpns. My third project was a pair of socks. I can knit socks, have completed a sweater (if you don't count the lack of zipper) and am about 1/3 of the way through another. I can knit while walking, reading, listening to an audiobook, on the bus or watching TV. I enjoy knitting much more than crocheting, though I learned to crochet first. It may have to do with me being better at knitting than I am at crocheting and the variety of knitting patterns. I found knitting to be much more intuitive for me.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Via The Traveler's Lunchbox - Project Vanilla

I think this could make some nice gifts when poured into nice little bottles, and the real stuff is so much better than imitation.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I saw my breath!

Yay it's cold! Well, sorta... if you consider 60F cold, and I don't. Anyway, I could see my breath while I was waiting for the bus this morning and I wore part of my winter jacket. I wish it could be fall all year. I guess that would probably make fall less enjoyable though.

I am missing one of my Fetching, so I must make some new ones and I don't like how short the finger portion is. I need to finish some socks before I do that though. Very little progress on Wicked as the rows are getting longer, but after about 10 more I should be starting the sleeves.

I am making shepherd's pie tonight! Can't go wrong with mashed potatoes on top of ground beef and veggies. I don't remember liking it when my mom made it, but then again, I never liked what she cooked when I was a kid except for her stir-fry, egg rolls and crab rangoons. Well, anyway, I love it now and it is perfect for this weather and is great as leftovers. I am bad about eating leftovers. Just ask Josh.

Oh! I almost forgot! We have a two-headed tadpole in the lab. It is really interesting because it has two sets of eyes and when I looked at it under the dissecting microscope it looked perfectly symmetrical.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A walk, UFC, chocolate cake, no boots, no socks and a sweater

GuluWalk was fun! My toes were a little numb and my feet a little sore afterwards, but it was a nice walk and the weather couldn't have been better. I think I need some new running shoes or better circulation in my feet. More people participated than I expected and they were a fun group. I am really glad I was able to participate.

We had a few people over on Saturday night to watch the latest UFC. It wasn't a bad one. Not as exciting as the last UFC and a couple disappointing outcomes. I made the chocolate stout cake and it was rich. I didn't have enough pans in the same size to make a a three layer cake, but I think two is plenty. A normal size slice is too much for me even when i dilute it with vanilla ice cream. I think it's partly the ganache I used for frosting it. Maybe next time I will just make it with a chocolate frosting. Josh told me if I keep making stuff like that I need to make sure he has a gym pass.

We went to the outlet mall in hope of finding Josh some new boots. He decided he deserved new shoes since I just purchased some. They didn't have the pair he wanted in his size, but I did get a new silicone covered whisk to use with my enameled Dutch oven. For some reason I keep misspelling "whisk".

I frogged the stripey socks for the second time because now they are too tight. I may just go with toe-up so I have a better idea of fit as I go. I don't really like toe-up though. I have about 12 more rows before I get to the sleeves on Wicked(sorry for the bad pic). I ordered the wrong zipper for my Ribby. Doh! I misread the description so I will be ordering again today. I think I may prefer the collar a little longer anyway, so maybe it isn't so bad. I have back-up zippers for other things. Yeah, that's what they are.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Purple Shoes

Uh yeah, I bought some. It's probably not that surprising if you know me. I have stared at them for months, but they never had any in my size. When I looked today, they had 3 pairs. THREE pairs people! How could I not buy them?? I should make some socks to go with them.

First of all, a big THANK YOU to all that donated to GuluWalk! I really appreciate it. It looks like we are going to have some nice weather on Saturday for our walk.

I started Wicked last night. I wound the 5 skeins into some cakes using a laundry basket as a swift because Josh didn't want to be my human swift. I am in the middle of the second row of the pattern, but I think I am going to frog and do the collar on smaller needles so it is less likely to stretch out and because I want it a little smaller. At least I started it.

I need to get some socks done too! I have three pairs yet to knit for Christmas gifts and one pair should have been done last month. I also have the Sockapalooza socks which I restarted to change to a smaller needle and fewer stitches. They were too big for me and my pal has smaller feet!

The zipper for Ribby should be here tomorrow or Saturday as well as some sock club yarn. I washed and dried Ribby and it didn't fall apart!!! I call that a success. The sleeves are still looser than I like, but at least I will be able to wear it over long sleeves shirts without a problem. I doubt I will get the zipper in until Sunday because I will be tired from a 7km walk and 2 hours of UFC, but you never know!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm a follower

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

But in this case, it's for a good cause. Today is Blog Action Day. Bloggers all over the place are posting about the environment. I have done those carbon footprint calculators before and I am always shocked how awful I am to the environment. I do a little to help, but definitely not enough. I take public transportation to and from work. I use reusable bags for shopping. I recycle whenever I can. I turn off lights and my computer when they are not in use. I turn the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. When I have my own house I want it to be as energy efficient as possible.

Today I am going to look for one more change I can make in my daily life to help the environment. I suggest you do the same! It doesn't have to be anything big, but the small changes can add up. I am going to look for more environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.

Even closer

I love seaming! Well, maybe not love it, but certainly appreciate it. Watching the pieces of my sweater come together with a few tugs on that yarn and how seamless that seam looked, was actually kinda fun. Ribby (Ravelry) is all seamed and has button bands and a stand-up collar. I blocked all the pieces and seamed the sides to the back on Saturday, seamed the sleeves on Sunday and attached them to the body. It went a lot smoother and faster than I thought. The only reason I didn't get to the sleeves on Saturday was they weren't dry. It was rainy and damp and cotton ribbing is slow to dry.

I used the 2x2 tubular bind-off on the collar, but realized just as I wove in the last end that I had dropped a stitch while binding off;so I need to fix it, but other than that, all it needs is a zipper. I may run it through the washer before adding the zipper in case it shrinks a bit. I want this to be a sweater I can throw in the wash and not have to worry about. I figure if I shrink it a little before I get the zipper the zipper won't be too long and make it bunchy later. I will post a pic ASAP, but it may not be until after I get a zipper. I think it fits well and the sleeves are a little long, just how I like 'em.

I keep finding things about knitting that totally amaze me. I am so glad there were smart people out there to figure all this stuff out so I can just blindly follow directions and watch the magic happen. I would have to say the tubular cast-on, Kitchener stitch, and mattress stitch are right up there. I love the rolled, sturdy edge the tubular CO makes, and you only have to count out half as many stitches to start. I look forward to starting Wicked (Ravelry) and learning more new stuff!

I made beef stew and Irish soda bread yesterday. I used Guinness in the stew instead of wine and the powdered buttermilk instead of the stuff in the carton. Both turned out pretty well, though my timing was completely off. I should have made the bread before I started the stew, but I was so caught up in finishing my sweater that I did it backwards and the stew was done almost an hour before we really wanted dinner and the bread had to share oven space with the stew so it didn't rise as much as I hoped it would because the oven temp was lower than called for. It was good but I felt sick afterwards, which was probably due to the headache and lack of a real meal all day until I ate supper. Sitting hunched over a sweater for almost 4 hours didn't help either. I didn't bring any for lunch today, which means I need to buy something overpriced on campus. The hospital cafeteria is cheaper and I get a discount, but the quality is not always there.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Soooo close!

I honestly want to do some seaming! I am so close to being done. I just bound off the second sleeve and the other pieces are blocking. I don't have the floor space near the fans to block the other sleeve right now. It would go faster if it wasn't so damp today. The stitches evened out so nicely. All that's left is seaming the fronts, back, and sleeves then adding a button band and, and installing the zipper. My mom keeps offering to do the finishing for me, which is tempting, but I would rather do it myself. Now it's time to knit some socks while the pieces dry. The next one I make will combine the fronts and back into one piece and knit the the sleeves in the round.

Josh is reformatting his hard drives and may do my compy next. I am just trying to stay out of his way. Mine has so much crap on it anymore that it barely runs sometimes. Of course, it is over 6 years old, so that could have something to do with it. I would do it myself, but I would much rather have him do it so I can play Guitar Hero or knit socks.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I love looking at micrographs and the Small World competition always has some neat ones. There is even one from the UI.

I am switching my fall/winter clothes for the summer stuff tomorrow!!! I couldn't find a hooded sweatshirt this morning and I really wanted to wear one. It's perfect hooded sweatshirt weather. It's also perfect Ribby weather, so I really want to finish it!! I am still afraid of the zipper though. My hand sewing is not all the pretty.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I was actually cold this morning while waiting for the bus! I wore a long sleeve t-shirt and a double layered fleece jacket, but my poor hands and ears were cold! I almost wished I had a hat and some gloves. Yay for fall! I may need to make another pair of Fetching or Dashing that fit me better to wear this fall. The Endpaper Mitts would be fun, but they would take me awhile. I often knit or read while waiting for the bus so I like my fingers free.

I finished the first sleeve and started the second sleeve of Ribby last night. I intend to seam it up this weekend and put the collar on so I can get the zipper ordered. I will have a pic soon, but right now it doesn't look like much. I really hope it fits! I just purchased this book to help with assembly and zipper installation. I have been very monogamous with this sweater, which is rather surprising to me. I hope the Sockapalooza-er who I am acting as sock savior for can forgive me for how long her socks are taking. I started her socks; I just need to frog the portion I did after the cuff so it doesn't look so crappy and start over with a different short-row technique. I am leaning towards this one, which I have used successfully before.

I may need to make some chili or creamy chicken and wild rice soup tonight. I have an acorn squash and a mystery squash that I need to roast. I still need to make the brownies I have been craving for the last month, too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hee! I just thought of something that is probably only amusing to me. My sister and I are giving my mom and ourselves tickets to Wicked in Chicago for her birthday and taking care of all the trip expenses for her Christmas gift i.e. hotel, food, anywhere else she wants to go. Of course I am also making her socks. But anyway, I am going to make Wicked for myself, which I can then wear to Wicked.

Ok, so it's not really that amusing, is it? Sorry.

In other news, I am in charge of the stuffing, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, a veggie side-dish, maybe some mashed potatoes and possibly a turkey, for my family's Thanksgiving dinner. We need a large turkey, i.e. 20lbs, to feed all of us and have leftovers for supper and the next day. I made all the side dishes last year, but not the turkey, so i am a little nervous about that. I have successfully roasted a chicken and it's essentially the same idea, it just takes longer. Maybe I will roast a smaller one for practice and use it in soups and other stuff. I also don't have a roasting pan, but my mom as two, for some odd reason, so I will probably just borrow one or buy it off her. Everyone really liked what I made last year, so I am not worried about that stuff. A 20lb turkey is a little daunting though. It's a good thing I like cooking for people.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A weekend at home is so nice. We went to a movie and out to dinner. I also got to see my sister as she passed through town. We were at the mall for a very long time, which was weird.

Josh replaced my car's stereo since mine died on the way back from MN a couple weeks ago. The kit we bought didn't fit correctly so he had to mess with it for a couple hours to make it work. We told the guy at Best Buy what car it was for and he went back and got us a kit. After awhile wh realized my car wasn't even on the list the kit came with. No wonder it didn't work. Josh will try to return it today. At least it is in and working. At least that's what Josh said. I haven't examined it yet.

Didn't do a lot of knitting. I didn't even finish the first sleeve of Ribby, but I do have the back and both fronts done. I hope to have it all seemed this weekend so I can order a zipper. I think I am going to do the short, stand-up collar rather than the rolled or shawl collar. I got the yarn for Wicked on Saturday. It's actually about the same color as sweater on the website. I am planning on 3/4 length sleeves, but have enough yarn to make full-length if I so choose. Pocket or no pocket? I like the idea, but I don't think it will be terrible flattering on me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lookie what I did!

I made a picture for my header. Whaddya think?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

To me October means fall, but when the forecast for the next few days includes highs of 85 degrees or higher, I start to wonder if it really is fall. I want cool crisp air. I want to see the leaves changing color and I want to make soup! I also would love to turn the oven on to make some no-knead bread to go with the soup. I should try making real bread sometime.

Ribby update:
Back and one front piece are done and I have about half of the second front piece done. I ordered two more balls of the Charcoal and luckily they are the same dye lot! I can't believe how lucky I am. I really wanted to keep it all one color. I hope this sweater will replace the Old Navy hoodie I wear at work everyday.

I have some socks I need to knit, but this sweater has become the only thing I want to work on. I guess i just really want to wear it. I am surprised how fast it is going. I figured it would take me a couple months, but I still have a zipper to install which could take me that long.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention our road trip. It was nice to get away and learn a little more about culinary school. I think I could really enjoy it. With approximately 4.5 hours of class each day, I would easily be able to work while in school. Reading the class descriptions made me excited. Funny thing is, I still need a few of the gen eds they require. I think I need econ, environmental science and speech. Weird.

I know I like the Twin Cities and Minnesota. I would be close to most of my family and even closer to our cabin! It looks like living expenses would be about the same. We are considering buying a house, which is a scary thought, but I like the idea that I wouldn't be handing my money to a landlord each month and never seeing it again. I don't even want to think about how much money I have spent on rent.


By the way, I know I don't have a lot of readers, and never expect to, but I would like to know who you are so I can get to know you too. If you feel like coming out of hiding leave a comment. It's another one of those delurking days, not the national one in January, but my curiosity is getting the better of me.