Friday, September 19, 2008

Thanks, Secret Pal

Wow! Anita really puts together a wonderful SP package! There are several yarns: 2 skeins each of Artyarns Supermerino and Brown Sheep Handpaint Originals, 1 skein each of Ultra Alpaca Fine and Online Supersocke. Then, she added some Eucalan, gum, dark mint chocolate and a wonderful assortment of Numi teas. I love it all!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What: No Knitting?

Last night, I made it home on time and my husband had a wonderful teriyaki stir fry waiting for me complete with brown rice. It was very yummy. Over the past few months, he has been doing all of the cooking. Last year at this time, we seemed to always have little arguments over what was for dinner and who would be doing the cooking. For a couple of months, I spent my Saturday mornings filling the freezer with nutritious dinners. After a while, we had more than we could finish, so I stopped creating more. I was only planning to stop for a little while so that we could eat up some of the old dishes before they needed to be discarded. However, I never seemed to get back into that habit. Since then, he has been throwing something together. I have taken a couple of minutes here and there to cut up meat and freeze it in homemade marinades so that it would be tender, delicious and nutritious when he cooks it, but that isn't quite as much of a contribution as I would like to put into it.

When I coupled this with my mom's upcoming hand surgery, I decided that I would get the cookbook out, again, and create some freezer meals for both her and myself. She is a stay at home mom with just 1 of 5 kids left at home and feels like she is not doing her part if she cannot get dinner on the table for my dad and brother. I know that being told not to use her dominant hand will make it nearly impossible for her to cook and my dad really doesn't mind bringing home a dish to heat up. He told her recently that he would just go to Dinners Ready or Costco and pick up some casseroles so that she would not have to worry about cooking. She didn't really like the idea as she mostly buys organic. I didn't know that they had been considering this when I called to see if she would buy the groceries and then I would do the work. Its really not much more difficult to make an extra set of dishes, following the same recipe, as all the cooking can be completed at the same time and the actual layering of ingredients doesn't take that long.

So, instead of knitting last night, I was planning meals. I wrote up a grocery list, checked to see what I already had on hand, and then headed off to the new PCC that opened near my house earlier this month. I bought a large bag of produce, some dairy, several spices and other bulk items and some canned goods. I figure there will be 19 4-serving meals when I get finished and bought everything except the meat for $120. I plan to visit Costco for meat either tonight or tomorrow. If I spend another $80 for the meat called for in the recipes, I expect that it will make each serving around $2.50 each. That is pretty good considering that these will be all organic, fresh ingredients with no preservatives or chemicals. (Foods that are processed and/or contain chemicals tend to be much less expensive, but also make me feel sluggish and sick.) I am very excited to get these meals done so that we will have some wonderfully quick, healthy meals for our future dinners.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bamboo Pullover

Well, I have no new pictures, but I have been diligently working on my Bamboo Pullover. Now that I am back at work, I don't have near as much time to knit. (Feeling better is worth it, though.) When I arrived home, yesterday, I had about a half hour to get ready to leave again. My employer, Seattle Children's, was having a celebration at Safeco Field, complete with music from the Beach Boys. They gave me 4 tickets and so I invited my parents to go with me and my dh had other plans, so my mom invited her good friend. It was so much fun to be there with 3 people who knew the music and really wanted to be there. I did take the sweater with me and finished the first sleeve. It calls for very short sleeves, which I am making longer to an almost elbow length. While watching and listening to the concert, I was very glad that I brought such a simple project so that I would not have to look at what I was doing. Stockinette is great for that! I still have about 3/4 of an inch left to knit on the body and then finish the second sleeve. I started the sleeve in the van pool this morning and hope to finish either the body or the sleeve tonight.

When I finally arrived home last night, I was too wired to go to sleep, so I worked with my Hey Teach cardigan to attempt to fix my over blocking of the back. When I knit the ribbing, I bound off the stitches using a tubular bindoff. Because I did this, I was easily able to weave a piece of elastic cord through the edge of the ribbing without it showing. Now, the sweater fits great and doesn't fall off my shoulders. I've been wearing it today and I think I have found a new favorite!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

FO Parade

I've been home from work, sick, for way too long now. For the first 4 or 5 days, I couldn't even knit, but as I'm starting to feel a little better, at least I can do that, now. I have started and finished 2 projects. The first is the Beaded Beret that I bought the supplies for when I went to Churchmouse Yarns. It looks so wonderful! The second start to finish project is the Mystic Waters shawl. I knit it up in about 4 days and even have it blocked, already.

I've also been finishing some older projects. First up is my Auburn Camp Shirt which came out lovely, soft, and very drapey. Second, is my February Lady Sweater which I also love. I wore it once, but it was too warm, still. This one will have to wait until the weather cools a bit more. (I finished both of these a while ago, but have just now taken the time to post a picture.)

Then, there is Hey Teach from Knitty. I started this one rather recently, but also finished it while I've been sick. I over blocked the upper back, just a little and since it is cotton, I'm not really sure what I can do about it. The sweater is beautiful and will coordinate with many different outfits as this is one of my favorite colors.

After finishing all of that, I pulled out the Bamboo sweater that I've been making. The miles of stockinette were getting to me, which is when I started Hey Teach. However, there is a simplicity to knitting in stockinette that I've been enjoying while I have been sick and not wanting to concentrate on anything too complex.

While recuperating, I received some wonderful packages in the mail. The first contained stitch markers and a row counting bracelet from a friend that I met through a swap on Ravelry. (She was my down stream, so I was pleasantly surprised by her wonderful surprise!) The second is a skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight that I won through the Sock a Month Blog. The color is called Pebble beach, and is very lovely. Its so lovely that I'm tempted to wind it up and start knitting immediately!