Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Updates! Get your updates here!

Boy, do I have lots to show! That's what happens when you don't blog for nearly 2 months, I guess! Anyway, I believe we left off just before Stitches East came to Hartford for the first time. I like the Stitches Market, personally, because it is easy to find the good stuff. In a festival like Rhinebeck, I am so lost among all that nice yarn that I have no clue what to buy. At Stitches, there's so much frou-frou yarn that the nice yarn sticks out easily! I didn't buy much because I still have so much yarn that needs to be knitted, but here's my haul:
Some Cascade Eco Wool to make Aimee's Christmas present:

Some Socks that Rock in Strange Brew:

And, some Socks that Rock in Backstabber (LOVE their colorway names!):

After Stitches, my work had a Halloween party at the bowling alley and I won third place for my mermaid costume:

Then after that, we went to Aruba. Aaaaaahhh, Aruba. I already can't wait to go back. Here's Joe with his arm floaties on (in case he falls off his stool at the pool bar, of course):

We did a lot of drinking that week:

Don't worry; we don't drink much the rest of the year, so it's OK. Joe has his 2 beers a day to keep his 'good' cholesterol up and that's about it. His good cholesterol should have been through the roof during Aruba week. lol!

This past weekend, we went to VA to attend and make cake for Baby Hewen's first birthday party. I think I have another happy customer:

AND, while I was there, Aimee gave me my birthday present a little early, a Pandora bracelet:

Love, love, love it! Joe got the blue & green bead for me in Aruba; it's the 'official' Caribbean bead. The rest of them are (left to right): a kitty cat, purple Murano glass bead, the letter J, a ball of yarn, the Caribbean bead, Sebastian from the little Mermaid, and a purple & green Murano glass bead.

This weekend we have Thanksgiving at Joe's parents, Black Friday shopping on my birthday, and sewing and knitting on Saturday and Sunday. Should be fun! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Cake Class

I learned a big lesson about promising certain posts to be "next" last month. I had a bunch of stuff to show & tell, but kept putting it off because I promised the CPH post to be next, so while I tried to get pics of CPH, you missed a bunch of stuff! Soooo, here's what I've been up to: Joe & I went to West Virginia to see my bff Aimee & her husband and baby at their cabin. How cute is this kid, seriously?

We went to the Pickin' in the Panhandle festival while we were there & wowza, there was some good people watching. I didn't want to get shot, so I have no pics, but trust me. There were some sights. Fun times!

Then, one day at work, we found a baby snapping turtle by our back door, which is miles away from wildlife thanks to all our chemically treated grass, so we figured he had been snatched by a bird and then dropped. We gave him a bath and some spinach, and then took him to the park we think he came from. We named him George, of course:

Don't you name all orphaned animals George? I thought about bringing him home so Rocco could have a little brother, but he seems content being an only child, don't you think?

So, anyway, on to the meaning of the post in the first place: Cake Class. Aimee asked me if I would help make the baby's 1st birthday cake next month. I have been dying to take the Wilton Cake Decorating class they have at Michaels and Joann's, so I was thrilled to have an excuse, finally! She picked out the docile dragon cake from their website, and I made a practice one for my final exam last night:

His tummy is a football cake and his other parts are sugar cookies. Ingenious, right? I love him & I can't wait to make the real thing next month at Baby H's party. It's going to be SO cute watching him destroy this thing.

Knitting wise, I started Joe's annual anniversary sweater. I'm making the Hacky Sack Hoodie from Son of SnB, minus the stripe. I'm only on the hood (it's top down), so no pics yet. The reason it's minus the stripe is that Joe was DYING to get out of the yarn shop and go watch some stupid game, so he didn't want to pick out yarn for the stripe. So, no stripe for Joe!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

FO: Central Park Hoodie

Well, I finished this about a month ago, but my photographer, my made-up face, and the sun have rarely been in the same place lately. Even today the sun wasn't around, but we found a break in the downpours to get a couple shots in. Here's CPH, mostly done:

I say mostly because I need to put a zipper in it. I bought some cute toggle buttons from Joann's, but as you can see, it's a pretty "fitted" sweater. It is the exact size I intended it to be, but I somehow forgot that a cardigan needs to be a little bigger than your measurements to fit properly. Oh well. Once I find a good zipper, it will be a great wardrobe addition. I have my eye on some rust colored cords from Old Navy that will go PERFECTLY with it.
Stats are:
Pattern: Central Park Hoodie from Knitscene
Yarn: Needful Yarns London Tweed, Twilight Blue
Time to knit: forever!
Mods: added waist shaping
Likes/dislikes: I wish I had thought about sizing more carefully.

Meanwhile, as I languished over weaving in all the ends of CPH, Ishbel caught my eye. I had some Socks that Rock in the stash that I thought would work, and boy did it ever!

I love the color, and how it looks all webby and spooky, just in time for Halloween.
Pattern: Ishbel
Yarn: Socks that Rock Medium, Lenore colorway
Time to knit: one week
Mods: none

I have also been SEWING for the first time in forever. Now before you judge what I made, please know that I keep our thermostat at 68 in the winter and that is just too cold for TV watching. So I made us snuggies!
Joe's is a Yankees Snuggie:

Mine is purple tye-dye clouds:

We LOVE them. They are so warm and comfy, and knitting is the perfect thing to do in one. My whole body, including arms, stays nice and toasty, and I don't have to sit on my hands to warm up anymore. I used this McCalls pattern that I got during a 99c sale, used coupons on all the fabric, bought the thread on sale, and the damn things still cost more than buying one. BUT, they don't make Yankees ones or purple tye-dye clouds ones, now do they?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer, Finally

I feel like I am somehow responsible for the recent heat wave we’ve been having. Every time Joe and I plan a trip on the motorcycle, there is either a heat wave, a blizzard, or some biblical strength thunderstorm. This year was no different, although the destination was! I had never been to the Adirondacks, and it’s a favorite vacation spot for loads of people we know up here. Joe had been before when his kids were little, and there were some things he wanted to see again, and some things he didn’t get to see last time. Friday was his birthday, so we went out for all the foods he has been banned from eating because of his cholesterol. We split some hot wings, ribs, and a killer cheeseburger at the Adirondack Pub. Then we went out for ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s to complete the artery clogging. Fun stuff! On Saturday we took the Harley through the mountains to Fort Ticonderoga for some learning about stuff like war and history and really interesting blah blah blah blah. I was BORED out of my MIND until we got to this room:


Well, sort of. There were all these spinning wheels, swifts, a giant weaving loom (and other stuff that I have no idea what it is) in this random room in the fort. I swear crafts get no respect, even back then. Every arrow head, bullet, and razor blade in the entire fort had a little placard explaining what it was and who it belonged to, but you get to the GOOD stuff, and there’s no placard, no explanation, nothing. Just a room filled with awesome and no description of what any of it is. Bitches.

Anyway, we went to a really posh dinner that night at The Inn at Erlowest. It was included in our hotel package, or we probably would have eaten somewhere else. It was fantastic though, and Joe got a kick of them bringing him a new fork or knife on a silver tray every time he used one. I guess licking the old one & putting it back is not proper etiquette. Who knew?! ;) Then we took a moonlight cruise on the Minne Ha Ha (also included with the hotel package), which was really fun. They had a band that played 80s rock, so I was in heaven. Here we are just after dinner (I am wearing 4" platform heels, plus craning my neck to get in the picture, lol):

Oh, I forgot to tell you; Saturday morning we went to the Yarn Angel in Glens Falls, and I picked up some souvenir sock yarn. It’s Mirasol Hacho, and I just love the colors! The shop was super cute & well stocked, and everyone was really friendly.

Sunday we headed home and stopped at the outlet mall on the way. We stuffed the saddle bags with Under Armour shirts for Joe because the deals were just TOO good to pass up. I was glad to break my weekend ‘routine’ for a change, and even though I’m dreading the credit card statement, it was really fun to get away for a couple days! My next post will be “FO: Central Park Hoodie,” so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How My Garden Grows

I feel I should preface this post with the fact that I have a black thumb. I kill every plant that comes into our house within a week, and sometimes kill other people's plants that ask me to water them while they're away. So while my little container garden might not look like much, it is a HUGE improvement over my past attempts. First, though, let's have a little funeral for Mr. Tomato. He just couldn't survive the 27 straight days of rain we had, a.k.a. "June".

But his best buddy Basil is a rock star on my deck! I can't believe this is my plant. Basil must like to be forgotten and ignored:

My jalapeno is hanging in there. I have a few little flower buds that just might turn into peppers! Crossed fingers!

Then there's my herb garden. We have around a 50% success rate here. The sage & tarragon are doing great, but the cilantro looks like a random weed, and the rosemary is the same size it was a month ago. I don't use that much rosemary anyway. But the cilantro is a let down:

As for knitting, I finished something!! It's just socks, but they're the best things to knit in the summer, IMO. Look how much bigger my left foot is. Crazy!

The yarn is Malabrigo sock and the pattern is Knitty's Universal toe-up. I'm going to have to weigh the yarn to be sure, but I think I can make another complete pair of these with the leftover yarn. What a bargain!
Did everyone see the latest Harry Potter movie yet? We went last night (I wore my Hermione sweater! In July! Luckily it was only 70 degrees out, and the theater was freezing of course.) I have a BIG issue with a certain scene, but otherwise loved it. Don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I won't say what, but you'll know when you watch it.
Lastly, someone named Jen asked me a question on my last post, and I have to answer it here because blogger doesn't give me email addresses, so I couldn't write back to her. The question was:

So, why do you think gen x has brought knitting back into style?

I think that the women of the baby boomer generation had to prove that women are equal to men in ability, intelligence, etc, so crafts like knitting got set aside for a while. Now that a path is paved for us gen-x-ers in the equality arena, we have the luxury of exploring what our grandmothers' hobbies were rather than our grandfathers. Obviously this isn't an all-encompassing statement. I know plenty of baby boomers that knit, sew, cross stitch, and never stopped doing those things when they were "out of style," but in general is all I mean. The thing I love the most about the new generation of knitters is that there is no stereotype for the new knitter. Some of us are career women, some are stay at home moms, some are yuppies, some are hippies. There's no way to spot us in a crowd unless we're wearing our awesome hand knits!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Farmer's Market

Well, the surgery went fine, my recovery went fine, my scar seems to be healing nicely, and Joe & I have finally resumed our nightly walks, so I'm in a much better mood than I was a week ago. I was pretty gloomy last week because I couldn't walk or stand for very long, plus the freakin weather around here was like the dementors were looming or something. Friday was great though; the sun came out, I got to take off work and go to the GHO (as we call it around here), and I got to do lots of walking around the golf course. We had terrible storms Friday night though, and lost power for 8 hours. I taped the refrigerator door shut as soon as the power went, so all the food was totally fine, and we didn't have any other damage in our neighborhood, unlike the town next to us! Saturday was errand day, but Sunday was the Farmer's Market! This was the best one I've been to yet. I finished my market bag last week during the doom & gloom and filled that sucker up yesterday:
That giant green thing coming out of the top is a head of garlic with the tops attached! I had never seen this before, so I totally fell for that one. I also got the first corn of the season, bread from the baker dude, goat cheese from the goat people, and some sugar snap peas.
I got Rocco a little catnip fishy at the pet stand:

He likes it, but it's not nearly as exciting as watching the little black kitty that wanders around our neighborhood:

I wonder what he would have thought of this little one:

She (he?) was only 4 days old and SO cute! I had a feeling I might see Kris there, and I did! I am officially hooked and I have now convinced Joe to take me there on the motorcycle next weekend. It didn't take much convincing; It's Brew Fest next week! Free beer samples!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's Back!

The knitting mojo that is! It came back just in time too. I have to have surgery today to have some skin cancer removed from my leg, so I'll be off my feet for a while. Hopefully knitting will keep me sane through my down time! I'm particularly bummed about the surgery this time (I had the same procedure done around Thanksgiving last year) because I've recently become obsessed with Jillian Michaels workout Dvd's. I LOVE them. They are pure torture, but very effective. I also read her weight loss books, and while I'm not doing everything she suggests, I have removed a few things from my diet that I didn't even realize were bad, and I've learned what kinds of food combinations work best for me. So, to do all this work only to find out that I won't be able to continue doing it is really pissing me off. Plus, if I keep needing to have these melanomas removed, I'm going to look like Edward Scissorhands' abused girlfriend. Public service announcement for the day: MAKE your kids wear sunscreen!

So anyway, back to the knitting. I started crocheting a market bag last week out of some CotLin I got from WEBS last year, and it's done except for the straps:

I dug Central Park Hoodie out from under the couch last night and knit about 4" on the back, realized I made too much ribbing, frogged & then reknit the 4" of work. Not bad for one night!

One last thing I have to tell you guys about is my new blender:

It's the Bella Cucina Rocket Blender, and it is amazing. I make these awesome smoothies every morning, it grinds coffee, parmesan cheese, spices, pretty much anything! And I made Joe a margarita last night with it when he had a rough day at work. Perked him right up! Have a great week everybody!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Hi there! Let's catch up, shall we? When Joe & I were in Tampa, we walked just about everywhere. When we got home, we started walking after dinner every night & gradually started walking into the center of town every night (4 miles round trip!). Then we turned it into walking to run our errands (library, CVS, jug of milk, etc.). While this is great exercise & all, it completely drains my ambition for anything else besides TV or reading afterward, so there has been no (and I mean NO) knitting since then. Not even mindless sock knitting or anything. Meanwhile, we've been on a couple adventures. We went on our usual spring ride for the Children's Hospital:

Isn't he cute? This year had around 2500 bikes & was a great time. And, bonus, they reached the fund raising goal! Sewing Hog Wild was there as always:

The following weekend, we went to Maryland Sheep & Wool and a NASCAR race!

Our guys didn't win, but we still had fun! Oh, yeah, the haul from MDSW; Some Brooks Farm Four Play:

And some Aussi Soxxi:

I made my Hermione sweater out of Aussi worsted, so I figured I'd give their sock yarn a shot. And when I bought that Four Play, it was teal. Why it's navy blue in Connecticut and teal in Maryland, I have no idea. Good thing I like navy, I guess! I actually tried to buy some Tess yarn, but they only had one skein of the color I had my eye on. Oh well, their loss. I have been petting the Four Play a lot, so hopefully it will inspire me to dust off the needles soon!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I had pretty much had it with the cruel joke that is Spring in Connecticut, so I had to convince Joe to take me somewhere warm. We just finished paying a HUGE, annoying debt, so we decided to take that first payment off and go away for a long weekend. The Yankees training camp is held in Tampa, FL, so I knew I could lure Joe down there for sure. We went down Friday morning and had a fantastic lunch at J. Alexander's, and went to Whiskey Joe's for fish tacos and cheap beer for dinner (SO GOOD!). And we caught a game that night:

Richard Gere threw out the first pitch (that's him in the dark jacket near the mound) & it was hilarious to listen to all the swoons and giggles coming from the crowd! Then Saturday we went to Busch Gardens for the day and went to a place called Skipper's for dinner. I had my first gator nuggets (tastes like chicken!), and some awesome Florida stone crabs. We also had their key lime pie and damn near licked the plate, it was so good.
Sunday morning, it was raining, so we slept in and had granola bars from the vending machine for breakfast & headed out for the stadium around 11:30 after it stopped raining. It was only 2 miles from our hotel, so we walked to & from there. Half way there, we got a little residual rain cloud overhead, so we ducked into Subway to escape it. They had such a good deal on their subs (some of their footlongs were only $4 instead of $5), that we decided to just eat there & save ourselves a cool $50 on ballpark food. We had GREAT seats that day:

Seats that close at Yankee Stadium would have been at least $300 apiece, and ours were around $30 each. So, IMO, definitely worth it to go to Tampa to Yankee games! We went to Oystercatchers that night for dinner & had such an amazing meal & even more amazing view:

Everything we had there was simply grilled, perfectly seasoned, and really healthy and light. I was so impressed with the all restaurants we ate at, Oystercatchers especially, because of all the healthy options for Joe (and me), and how MOST of the menu was that way.

All in all, it was a really fun trip and we are ready to go back NOW!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Darn Pretty

Well, Joe LOVED the kitchen. He took a minute trying to figure out what the heck happened, but he finally caught on. He even surprised me with a dozen roses the next day! Little did he know, I had already rewarded myself for a job well done. Somebody's got to stimulate the economy; might as well be me, right? I decided I would finally let myself get some of those Darn Pretty Needles by Grafton Fibers. They are sooooo expensive normally but they were having a great sale on their Bubblegum Stripe sets, so I got a couple to try them out. It took me about 5 seconds to decide that I wanted more. I instantly got inspired to finish my socks made with Lorna's Laces in Black Purl:
And I had a gift certificate to Creative Fibers that I needed to use, so I got some of their newly-in-stock Malabrigo Sock yarn. Between the Malabrigo and the DPNs, I am in sock heaven!
I did end up getting more sets of the Darn Pretty's, especially since they came out with size 2.5. If you you use wood dpns at all, I would highly recommend trying these out. They are so smooth and velvety, they don't hurt my wrists when I work with them, and since they're only 5 inches long, they don't snag at the sleeve of whatever I'm wearing while I'm knitting. And they're on sale! How can you resist? ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home Alone

Joe's annual conference in Vegas was this week, so Rocco & I were left to our own devices for the last few days. Typically I have a sewing marathon or a knitting marathon or just plain girly time, but this year I am on a home improvement kick. Just before he left, I saw a commercial for Lowes Creative Ideas magazine, so I went to their website to subscribe (it's free, so why not). One of the ideas on the site was to update your kitchen cabinet hardware & paint your cabinets for an updated look. My cabinets are already painted, but the hardware was definitely questionable (I didn't remember to take a before shot until I was a little bit into the project, but you get the idea):

So, $100 later, I came home to install my new hardware. OF COURSE the holes from the new hardware didn't line up with the holes from the old hardware, so I had to drill new holes, spackle & paint the old holes, and while I was at it, touch up paint the nicks & scrapes that suddenly became painfully obvious. But since I had nothing else to do all weekend, I didn't mind too much. I think it looks WAY better this way:

These pics were taken with my cell phone at night, so sorry if they're blurry. A shot of my prized jade-ite chicken:

Rocco was pretty pissed that my lap wasn't as available as usual, and my knitting productivity was nil this week, but I think it's worth it. I can't wait to see Joe's reaction when he comes home tonight!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Holy Crap, I Finished Something

So after I finished the lace edged hat, my knitting mojo completely left me. I had no desire to finish CPH and even less desire to start something else. My sewing mojo left around the same time as well. The only thing I've been doing really is reading cholesterol books. Fun! So, this weekend I got the cleaning bug & I've been wanting to get the serger off the dining room table for a while because it really bothers me when it's there & I'm not using it. Before I could do that, I had to finish Joe's robe. All I had left were the stupid pockets, so I went for it.
I was even distracted enough to embroider his monogram like he wanted:
Pocket close up
I figure it's close enough to Valentine's day to count as a present, and since he sent me this very yummy, very expensive fruit arrangement, I figured I owed him:
After I finished the robe, the cleaning bug totally left & I actually felt like knitting again! I started the back of CPH & got about an inch or so done last night. I'm so glad the mojo's back!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Progress Report

It's been a rough few weeks, but i am ALMOST caught up on blogs. I had them down to 18 unread, but then I worked on the house all weekend last week, and it went back up to over 100. Sigh.

On the weight loss front, I lost 4lbs! I was doing OK on the diet part, but not so great on the exercise part. But all that changed this past Monday. Joe got a bad report card from his Dr. on his cholesterol. It's 282, which isn't horrible, but his good cholesterol is way too low, and his bad cholesterol is way too high. So major changes are going on in our house. He & I re-joined the gym & have been going every night, I am cooking or preparing everything that goes into his mouth, and eating out is back to every two weeks. The restaurants we like cook pretty healthy food, but I just don't want to chance it. I have him on 300mg or less of cholesterol per day and 16-20g of saturated fat. So one tablespoon of accidental butter could throw off his whole day. He's also having to take his coffee black now and he is NOT happy about it.

But it's not all doom and gloom at our house; we got a new TV!

It's a samsung 52" 650 something. Obviously, we haven't upgraded our sound system yet (I guess it says a lot about Sony sound systems though, as that's my old stereo from 1990 & it still works), but we're working on picking one out.

In knitting news, I'm done with CPH's sleeves & fronts & plan to start the back this weekend. I also made a chemo cap for a friend's MIL:

It's Lace Edged Women's Hat (free Ravelry download!). I used one ball of Zara that I had in the stash & I think it came out pretty cute!

In sewing news, I made a new cover for the ottoman at the foot of our bed, but the fabric was really floppy & slippery, so it didn't come out so perfect. I'm done with Joe's robe except for his monogram, but I need to whip out the manual for that. After that's done, I'll tackle the mending pile, and I don't really have any solid plans after that. Well, that's all for now!