Monday, December 15, 2008

Back In NYC

Joe & I took our annual trip to NYC last week, but work's been so crazy, I haven't had time to tell you guys about it! We always stalk the Waldorf Astoria in hopes of spotting Nascar drivers walking around before their annual ceremony, but this year we only saw some executives and the Sprint Cup trophy:

Then we headed over to Bloomingdale's and Serendipity 3. This is the first year ever we have been able to get a table at Serendipity (yes, I know it's probably because of the bad health department scores). We had the famous frrrrozen hot chocolate & Joe had some seriously rich apple pie. His pie was only $7 or something, and they have a $8.50 minimum per person, so he had to get some over the top coffee thing to bump up his bill. Conclusion: Probably never going back. While pretty, it was way overpriced & so sweet we couldn't eat/drink hardly any of it.

Next stop, ToysRUs. I love all the Lego sculptures. Here's King Kong attacking the Empire State building in Lego:

Then, we were off to the garment district! I was tempted to do a "stupefy" pose with this guy, but there was too much foot traffic near him & I didn't have my wand handy. hee hee.

I got some purple corduroy from Mood, and a couple zippers from one of the trimming stores (not MJ).

I was hoping to find some awesome knit prints at either Mood or Spandex World, but everything seemed to be neon pink or green. WTF? Is Broadway putting on some 80s play that I don't know about?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Houston, we have a baby!

Aimee had her baby! It's a beautiful little boy named Hewen Joseph, and he is so cute! He's not really named after my Joe, but he's telling everyone that he is. lol. Check him out:

Recognize a certain monkey in that picture? Don't they look like best buds already? Too cute! I must admit, I got a little weepy when I saw the picture of the monkey with the baby. It's a huge honor to make it into the hospital bag!

So, tomorrow's my birthday, and being the spoiled brat that I am, I already know what I'm getting. My parents always send money, so I bought some yarn for a Central Park Hoodie from Elann with their check:

I have recently been accused of buying yarn based on the color name, and this time it's absolutely true. It's Twilight Blue. Yes, my name is Jenny and I'm a Twilight-aholic. Or a Twi-hard if you prefer that term. hee hee.

Joe got me one of those new Blackberry's from Verizon, but they apparently don't care that it's my birthday tomorrow because it didn't get here yet. :( Oh well, looking at the picture of it is ALMOST as good:


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back from Aruba!

We got back Sunday from our annual Aruba trip. What a huge bummer it was to come back to 35 degree weather! The 50 degree climate change has done my sinuses no good, I tell you. Before we left, we exchanged our anniversary gifts. Since this is our second, or 'cotton' anniversary, we gave each other cotton gifts. He got the sweater & he got me all this:

The Sew U knits book! Also, this awesome apron pattern from Sew liberated:

And, the (cotton) fabric to make the apron with:

That is one side, this will be the other, the plain brown will be the straps:

I love that it's reversible! That way, I can switch it around to match what I'm wearing.

Aruba was so great. We mostly relaxed at the beach and went shopping, except for one day of atv-ing in the desert and one early morning fishing trip. The week went by too fast, as usual. Now it's back to reality, Blah.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I think the mojo's back

Hi there! Sorry for the radio silence, but I haven't finished anything in a while, so I didn't feel like I had anything "blogworthy." But I do now! I finished Joe's anniversary sweater! And our anniversary isn't until next week!

And by finished, I mean finished knitting. It still needs blocking & some of the ends woven in, but I'm counting it as done. What a beast this thing was. All those cables! Joe's commute has been particulary brutal the last few days because of daylight savings (people forgetting how to drive in the dark), so I've actually had a bit of sewing time for a change! Last night I got started on a bikini bottom (FYI, that's the waistband and the bottoms that need to be sewn together, not the top & bottom of the suit):

And the night before that, I got the better part of the top to match these done:

Our annual Aruba trip is coming up, so these will definitely come in handy if I can get them done in time. In other news, I finished my first pair of Socks that Rock a few weeks ago:

These are the ones I started on the flight down to Aruba last year, then lost for a while, then pretty much forgot about. To celebrate their completion (and to give myself a little head start on my airplane knitting), I started two more socks:

The left ones are STR Silkie in Pirate's Booty, and the ones on the right are Lorna's Laces Black Purl. I guess I'm feeling piratey lately!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rhinebeck 08

I'm sure there's a zillion blog posts titled that, or some variation of that, today. Joe & I had planned on going to the festival on the Harley, but after doing a last minute weather check, voted against it. What a good call that was because it was COLD on Saturday! We were chilly just walking around the fairgrounds! It would have been a beautiful ride on the bike, but it was just as beautiful from my heated seat. ;) Case in point:

Is that not gorgeous? The yarn was just as awesome, but I stuck to an old favorite, Socks that Rock:
That one is the new Lenore colorway. It's really a deep purpley black, but it's impossible to photograph inside & get those good purple bits. The next one is Puck's Mischief. Love the name; love the colors; there was no way I wasn't getting this one:

I saw this little sock monkey hanging around the yarn and got the pattern to make him:

Joe turned out to be especially handy at the Fold. There was a longer line to pay than to peek at the time I hit the booth, so he got in line to pay while I peeked.
Then I got some Addi sock needles & some ebony sock needles (only $16! what a deal!) and a shawl pin in the barns:

I have no clue where I got the needles, but the shawl pin is from Moving Mud. It's holding my Clapotis on my shoulders as I type. It was such a great day, and the chilly weather finally gave me a chance to wear my Hermione sweater among 'my people'. And, since I have no where else to wear it this fall, I was happy to get it out of the house for a while.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Baby Shower Time Already?

I had a nice pace going for Aimee's shower gifts. I worked on them a few at a time over the last few months, and had most of them done by last week. I finished her little monkey:

More pics here, here, and here.
Then I made the mistake of peeking around on Ravelry at baby sacks. I saw this adorable one from Boho Baby Knits and HAD to make it. I only had 4 days left, so I had to hustle. Of course, time got away from me & I was still weaving in ends on the plane ride down to DC, but I got it done:

I love the insides:

Her MIL is a knitter and sewer too & we had a little friendly competition going on over who would make the most things. I conceded when she whipped out this quilt:

The fabric is mostly monkey themed & it is really nice. She also made everything knitting related out of her own handspun, hand dyed yarn, so I was toast. I think I did pretty good anyway! The nursing aprons went over really well for sure.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nom Fest!

I absolutely love this time of year. There is a fair or festival every weekend straight through to Halloween up here in charming New England. The kickoff for us is the Big E. It's basically a state fair, but all of the New England states participate, so it is HUGE. Joe and I love to go & look at all the crazy gadgets, wonder mops, window washer tool kits, and this year's biggest gimmick, the Sham Wow:

We didn't get one, in case you're wondering. I was hoping to meet the guy with the wonky eye that's in the commercial, but he wasn't around. Oh, well. Then we headed to what we call "Nom Row." We pigged OUT on corn dogs, london broil sandwich, sausage sandwich, boneless chicken wings, apple fritters, and my favorite thing there, the millenium chips:

We had turkey leg and fried pickle envy, but were too stuffed to get any. Hopefully the Apple Harvest Festival will have some this weekend. As we were just licking the powdered sugar off our fingers from the apple fritters, we heard a guy on a loud speaker saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for TIFFANY!!"

OMG, I freaked out. I LOVED her when I was in middle school and would always stick up for her in a Debbie Gibson/Tiffany argument among my friends. Us redheads have to stick together, you know. I only made Joe stay for a couple songs, but we could hear her from the street while we were stuck in traffic on the way home. So awesome.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

In Which I Blatantly Copy Karen

I saw some yummy looking home made salsa on Karen's blog the other day & figured I'd give it a try. The company I work for leases some of our undeveloped land to farmers each year and we employees have been tomato "poaching" all summer. (We don't really steal them, we ask the farmers nicely if we can have some and they always say yes.) So Friday I went out for the last chance tomatoes of the season & found a whole section of romas that I swear hadn't been there before. Maybe they just weren't ripe yet. Anyway! I turned this:

Into this:

And this:

I did extensive research on the subject of canning tomatoes on the internet & boy, it is serious business. You have to follow strict guidelines & safety precautions or you could get very sick or even DIE from eating bad canning. I was nervous to try it, but I sucked it up & went for it. Turns out, it is really easy and the 'precautions' are basically to add lemon juice to each jar of tomatoes. So for the tomatoes I just did tomatoes, a little water, one tablespoon of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of salt and boiled the jars for 40 minutes. For the salsa, I followed the same recipe Karen did, but I made a couple mods. Now, making mods of canning recipes is strictly forbidden unless you follow a few simple rules (see page 3 of this pdf), which I did. I used 1.5 cups of jalapenos and 1 cup of green pepper to make it a little hotter, omitted the sugar, and added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar. I also added 1/2 cup of cilantro near the end of the cooking. I wasn't sure what kind of vinegar to use since it doesn't specify, so I used white. Next time I'll use cider vinegar though because I like the flavor of it better in general. It was a lot of work, but when you hear those jar lids seal one by one, there is no greater feeling of satisfaction.

In other Karen-like news, I too saw a turtle on my daily walk (she saw hers on her run, but I don't go that speed). I have to say my turtle sighting was a little scarier than hers because this thing is A. huge, B. covered in pond scum, and C. I think it's a snapping turtle. I thought it was a dinosaur or something at first. It scared the CRAP out of me because I see it every night swimming in the pond at the park, but it suddenly decided to cross the street to get to the creek right when I was walking that way. I don't know if you can tell from the picture but this thing is almost the size of a car tire!

OK, I'm done ripping off Karen's blog fodder. I'll try to be original next time! ;)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monkey Parts

I'm not sure if I mentioned that Aimee's nursery theme is monkeys. Ever since I saw her registry, I have been obsessed with all things monkey. I saw the crocheted one on Pam's website, and knew it must be made. The website that the pattern is on has all kinds of copywright warnings, and I'm not sure if I am even allowed to link to it, so here is the Ravelry link.
My progress:

So, most of the easy part is done. Now comes the stuffing. Ugh.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

New Toy!

I know I have said before that I won the mother-in-law lottery, but I have to say it again. Look what she gave me this weekend!!

It's a Husqvarna Viking embroidery machine that does pretty much everything except for the dishes. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, she just wanted the new fancy pants model that's out now, so she went for the upgrade. I am not all that into embroidery, but the thing sews a straight line of stitches, which is way more than my old machine does. ;) I'm going to play with it a little more, but I'm pretty sure my old machine is getting donated to the girl at work that desperately wants a machine but can't afford one. I of course got right to work making more baby gifts for Aimee. This time I made a baby sling from this pattern:

If you look in the next picture, you can sort-of see my model is a giant tub of pretzels:

Joe had a light bulb moment here & decided he wants me to make him a baby sling FOR his giant tub of pretzels. In camo fabric. Help me.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More Baby Stuff

OK, nobody panic. I realize this is post #2 in as many days. Joe is out of town. I'm bored, OK? I finished two more pressies for Aimee last night. These are nursing covers or nursing aprons, whatever you want to call them.
In a Michael Miller print:

And an Amy Butler print (love this one):

They have boning in the top hem of them so you can see the baby when you're nursing, but no one else can. Here's that view; you can just see Scarlet's black bra here:

ETA: The pattern for these can be found here and they are a knockoff of these, if you just want to buy a finished one.
I thought about having the monkey demonstrate how they're used, but that might have been a little weird. Speaking of a little weird, this is how I found Rocco when I got out of the shower this morning:

He's a special boy, for sure.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Baby (gift) Making

I had planned to make my friend Aimee some baby stuff this weekend, but I didn't get anywhere near done what I wanted to. Joe has some unidentified elbow pain that he is trying to self heal (God forbid we see a doctor; they might say to stop weight lifting). Anyway, he's trying the Advil and heating pad method for now, and he was commenting that it would be nice if I could make a cover for the heating pad since ours went missing. I had the burp cloth fabric all washed and everything, so I cut Joe a couple rectangles along with the burp cloths & made him a little cover:

I had to hand sew the heat resistant snaps in place, so I better be getting a prize or something for this. ;)
And, I even had the energy to whip up the burp cloths:

I have a couple other things that I made that should be true FO's by the end of the night that I can show tomorrow. Joe is in Charlotte for District Manager assessment interviews, so when he comes back, we might be moving to San Diego! We'll know more soon, so I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Secret Projects

I never post about secret projects until I can show them because I HATE when people say, "I have a secret project I'm working on, but I can't show you for 3 months." Why do people do that to me? Don't they know I hate suspense? I'm the person that refused to read any Harry Potter books until the last one was published long enough to be readily available at the library. I was not willing to wait even a week to find out what happens next, forget about years.

Anyway, back to the secret knitting. After many years of practicing (wink, wink), Paula from my SnB is having a baby! Yay!! A few of us got together last night to shower her with all kinds of yummy handmade goodies. Here's my contribution to the loot:

It's a Jasper's Pucksack, aka Baby Kicking Bag. I, of course, didn't know about the "aka" part until last night when Paula opened Audrey's gift and it was the same exact pattern. Heh, heh. I'm a little slow.
Obligatory monkey shots:

At least I was original with one thing--I was the only one who made her Nine Inch Nails onesies!

The yarn on the baby sack is Happy Feet by Plymouth (I love the crazy zig zags it made!), and the onesies are just Gerber Organics with a homemade iron-on made from a Googled image. I'm sure there's some copywright violation involved somehow, but I didn't earn any money from them, just big smiles from Paula. :)

On another note, I got Custom Knits in the mail the other day, and am having the hardest time picking out what to make first. I like all of the patterns, and LOVE most of them. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 25, 2008

FO: Twilight Mitts

Check it out! I'm a gold medalist in Colorwork Cross-country!

My Ravelympics project was the Winter Twilight Mitts from Knitting Daily. I had some yummy purple Koigu in the stash for the purple parts, but had to track down some good solid black sock yarn for the "trees" parts. I found some Jawoll at Creative Fibers on my lunch hour one day and decided to give it a try. I'm officially a fan. It has this little spool of matching reinforcement thread inside the skein for heels & toes. Too cool! I didn't need it for this project, but it's good to know for the future. Oh, right, you want to see the FO:
twilight mitts
The pose is a copy of the Twilight book cover, in case you don't get the reference.
The front view:
twilight mitts
You can kind of see that one is slightly longer than the other. I didn't knit any extra rows, just kind of knit a little more loosely on the second mitt, so now I have one that's slightly bigger than the other. I don't mind. I'll use that one on my right hand so I have more dexterity on that side.

By the way, I have a cute story for you guys. A few months ago, the weather was changing, which made my sinuses go crazy. I was out fabric shopping, and I stopped to get some Sudafed so my brain wouldn't implode. I just threw the Sudafed in a bag with my fabric purchases and didn't think about it again -- until last week. I woke up with a pounding headache and could not get out of bed to get myself anything to help it. I asked Joe to get up & get it for me & had to try to explain where I thought the Sudafed might be. After the 7th (!!) bag, he finally found it, but it was too late; my fabric stash was totally exposed. I have a feeling some sort of motorcycle parts purchase is in my future now so he can get even with me. ;)