Friday, March 28, 2014

Floppy Friday

I suppose i'll categorize this as a "woe is me" post. I've finally finished a pair of socks for myself, for the first time, and used really nice yarn. 

They're too big. 

They look good on, but the second I start walking, the heel manages to squirm his way to  the top of my foot which just irks me on so many different levels. 
Just seeing someone else walking around with floppy socks makes me want to hold them down and either fix their socks for them, or make them change into new socks. Maybe I have a problem, but I digress.

I have wide, short feet, so I used a slightly larger needle thinking that they'd be too small otherwise. Phooey.
Not sure what to do about this. I've tried blocking them, shrinking them etc. But it's superwash so that's just silly, no shrinking is really going to happen.
I don't know if the yarn will be annoying to work with if I rip them out at this point, having worn them half a day. Overpriced Sock puppets maybe?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yarning {and walking} Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? -yarning along with Ginny.

I'm still plugging away at my noro log cabin squares-I had to put most knitting aside for a little while because I fell on my wrist a few weeks ago. After the fall, knitting was somewhat tolerable but purling hurt. (I knit continental.) I think I'm back to being able to do both without pain.
I was doing the Follow Your Arrow  knit along when I fell, and had to put the shawl aside. Since, I've sort of fallen out of love with it though and i'm not sure I should continue it. I'm wishing I had done the circular shaped clue in one colour rather than two. I'm not sure if i'm going to continue it or not. 

In effort to be more active during these frigid winter months when walking outside seems to hurt my face (seriously-this has been an insanely cold winter) I bought a used treadmill on the weekend. The best part? I can actually walk at a pretty fast pace while knitting! This changes everything. I need to make a wrist project bag though so I don't get tangled in my yarn and wipe out. I can definitely see that happening if I'm not careful.
Apparently though, I'm not the only one attempting to walk and knit. which makes me feel a little less crazy.

I started "the Virgin Cure" a while ago but put it down over Christmas, so I've restarted reading that. I really enjoy some of the characters; they remind me of people I've known.

binding off, 


Monday, February 24, 2014

{A Wee Bit of a Breaking Point}

Sometime mid January, I found myself face down on our living room's hard wood floor-all in the name of attempting a couple of ten second 'planks' that the boys thought were funny. 

Apparently there's a bit of a social media fad, people will plank in different spots and take their picture and say "look, I planked at the Eiffel Tower!" etc. I guess it makes sense. If we take pictures of our coffee and breakfast every morning and post it on social media, why not planking? haha.

Anyway, I lasted for one, and maybe 4 seconds, tops, into my second plank before my arms gave out in a shaky mess. At the time, it was mildly funny, but mostly 
I was stunned by how terribly out of shape I had become. 

I lost a lot of weight last year, about 60 lbs, actually. But somewhere between different life events it started creeping back on. Not all of it, but enough of it that it really motivated me to stop being stupid and start paying more attention again to what I'm eating. 
It's so easy for me to throw healthy habits on the back burner when life gets chaotic, and I really need to learn to keep going regardless of what's going on around me, or within my life, be it a physical obstacle or an emotional one.

I've decided to begin posting on my blog to keep me motivated and accountable to looking after my health. I know this is sort of an offspring from what my blog tends to usually be about-I usually only touch on recipes, knitting, crafting, homeschooling, the fun stuff. But this is a huge part of my life currently and not sharing it is starting to feel a bit... weird.

And in case anyone is wondering why I haven't posted much about knitting lately, it's because I fell on my wrist a few weeks ago while shoveling our stupidly long driveway and couldn't knit for a little while until it healed.-Just putting that out there! I still love knitting, and plan on doing a lot more of it in the near future. 

Don't worry, I don't want to turn this into a "diet blog". I'm still  me. I still love knitting far more than planking, and I don't think that will ever change. But i'll probably post about this area of my life a lot more than I have in the past.

And, I figure I can plank, (or whatever else I feel like doing for exercise) and then knit even more happily knowing that I've put time in on exercise first.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kale Chips {so easy!}

I've always been a salty over sweets sort of person. Not that chocolate doesn't have it's place in my life, because it definitely does.
But when it comes to those cravings, it's always been the salty things that have entrapped me. Popcorn, chips, salsa...- And even if i'm having something sweet, I still feel like there should be something salty to go with it.
When I first heard about Kale chips I thought people were crazy. I loved Kale, so there was no problem there, but I really couldn't believe that as Chips it would be all that it was cracked up to be.

But then I had them and fell hook line and sinker. I was saved from potato chips forever!
Until I learned how much they actually cost.
My favourite Kale chips to buy are 6.99 for a pretty small bag. (About the same size as a snack size bag of potato chips, and much lighter in weight.) And when I'm lucky, they go on sale for 3.99. And if i'm REALLY lucky (which is rare) they're 2.99 and I buy several.
I can buy organic kale for 2.99 that makes 4 times the chips than what comes in a bag. And if I look on the reduced produced rack, .50-99 cents a bunch. And yes, slightly wilty Kale works wonderfully for Kale Chips.
When I first started looking into making these, the process seemed so complicated. There were pureed vegetables as "sauces", nutritional yeast flakes in place of cheese (for vegans) blenders and food dehydrators.
I attempted these recipes a few times and they turned out okay, but were a lot more work than they were worth. I wanted something that I could throw in the oven in with 5 minutes or less of prep time.

Through some trial and error, I realized that less is more with these. Forget the sauces, period.

All you need is a baking sheet, an oven, some olive oil spray and some of your favourite seasonings.

First, preheat your oven to 300.
Spray your pan with olive oil. (I have an olive oil sprayer that I can refill myself and It saves me daily.)

Tear your prewashed kale from the main vein. Bigger pieces are best because they shrink. (I usually wash them in advance and let it dry on my counter. If you don't have time though, you can always dab dry with towel.)
Arrange the Kale in a single layer across the tray. It's no biggie if you have pieces slightly over-lapping.

Spray all over with olive oil, and then sprinkle on your seasonings of choice. I like Parmesan Cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Or sometimes some curry. You can play with it until you like it. (And you CAN use nutritional yeast flakes if you want-they're actually pretty tasty!)

I usually end up putting mine in the oven before it's even totally pre-heated, and they only take about a half hour. (this might vary from oven to oven.) You'll want to test one to see how crisp it is before you pull them out.  It's good to check them frequently for the first few times that you make them because burnt Kale isn't very yummy.
Even though I've lowered myself to eating it, all in the name of not letting my precious greens go to waste!
And they're perfect to take with you on the go, just keep in mind that they're far more fragile than regular chips so it's best to keep them in a hard sided reusable container than a resealable bag. I made this mistake once and ended up what looked like a bag of oregano in my purse....and attempted to eat it anyway. SO very sad. Say it with me folks,  Friends shouldn't let friends eat powdered Kale. 

Happy Snacking! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Yarning along with Ginny

Millwater Project notes here

Follow Your Arrow KAL notes Here
Gramps Project notes here

I finished up several projects this week. My sister asked for a cowl for a birthday present to give to a friend-I used worsted weight yarn an held it doubled for faster project and altered the pattern slightly because I didn't have much time.

I caught up on last week's clue for the Follow your arrow mystery knit along (I have yet to do this week's on either shawl.) 
I'm sort of rethinking the colours i'm using. I love red and blue together, always, but the way it looks held together is not what I had envisioned. I'm wishing that I had done a two colour shawl for this clue (as in two colours, separately....) I don't want it to come out looking like a tea cozy or a bad afghan. The predicament was that I had two lace weight yarns so I had to hold them together to get the right weight. Had they been the right weight to begin with, I would have used them separately, like a sane person.

 Are the red and blue together awful? Please be honest. I'm not afraid of frogging. I think I could actually call it a hobby.

Also finally finished up my nephew's little Gramp's Sweater. I was really surprised by how well vanna's choice acrylic yarn blocked. I'll probably use it again. (gasp.)

Our reading this week has been "War of the Worlds" and a small study unit on the times it was aired. And of course we had to follow it with the movie. (Both the original cheesy classic AND the new, Tom Cruise scary one. I think I like the first one better. Parenthood has turned me into a first class weiner when it comes to suspenseful movies.
I'm sure that this isn't the last one that i'll be subjected to because they boys loved it and have moved on to "the time machine".
I've been digging deep into more old recipe books, and this new stitch dictionary that I found for 8 bucks while grocery shopping at sam's club of all places.  I can't wait to experiment with it!

Binding off,


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mystery Knits and Procrastination Buttons...

We have a little joke in our wee knitting group about each of our personal knitting quirks. I won't publish my sweet friends' names here because they might get feisty and take my yarn away.  So i'll call them by the colour in which I see them. If this makes no sense, google "synesthesia". Then laugh a while, and come back to read the rest.

I'm going to start with Indigo. She's an addicted test knitter. The girl is always on a deadline, and I seriously think we need to start a support group and give her tokens for every week she doesn't take on a new test knit. She also has, by far, the most coveted yarn stash. 
Next is Olive, who cranks out some really pretty, intricate patterns and awesome finished projects...but I think you'd have to hold her at gun point to get her to weave her ends in. She'd rather just wear the hat with the tail hanging out, or tucked up inside. We take turns doing her dirty work for her.
Then we have
Miss Plum, who knits insanely fast. And when she's done? Oh, she gives the piece away to someone that we've decided is an undeserving person and starts another. And we're all left with our mouths gaping open saying "what?? you gave that away??"

And last there's Honey. Honey is happy as a clam knitting and ripping the same project over, and over, and over. Or losing it and finding it. Over, and over, and over.

 I recently, jokingly asked her if she had actually *finished* any of the projects that I've seen her working on over the last 2 years. Some of the ones I mentioned sounded like a total mystery to her. Then she ran all over her house looking for finished projects. She came back with a wad of frogged yarn  and a mitten. A, as in singular. And it was a very DETAILED, fair aisle mitten. And the other? She never bothered to start it. 

There is another friend in our little circle who I haven't  known long enough to figure out her quirk (or her colour) but I'm on to her. 

...or there's a slight chance that she'll read this and run-crossing my fingers that she doesn't.
and well, I have a knitting quirk of my own. A couple actually...
If you were to ask my friends they would probably say something along the lines of "she knits wrong". This is a sort of a joke that came from what a woman in a yarn store told me once when she saw me knitting continental.
 I can't do english/standard knitting like my friends-my head just doesn't work that way. And apparently the woman in the yarn shop thinks that continental is wrong. Whatever, I'll live. My projects come out looking the right way, so I don't care if it's "wrong". 

But there's something else. Buttons. I hate them. I love how they look...but I will let a project sit in a basket, finished, for a year, before finally adding the buttons. It's usually sort of a set series of events that leads to this inexcusable act. 

First, it's "I must find the right, most beautiful buttons".
Then it's "I need to find my scrap yarn so that the yarn actually matches the garment".
Then, "Oh shoot, this needle doesn't go through this button, but this yarn is to fat for a regular needle. I must pull it through with wire".
But "I don't feel like getting wire out at 1 am. I'll do it tomorrow".
Tomorrow comes and I remember I need to hide my finished project from the house hippo before she potties on it, or decides it needs to go swimming in the toilet, or it would make a nice blanket for her doll. and once it's reached blankey point, let's face it, i'd never get it back.

So it gets shoved in a knitting bag or basket with it's buttons and scrap yarn and put away until a later date. Like....months later.

I finished this "in threes" in AUGUST. In my defense, I didn't actually find the perfect buttons for it until November. (yes, I realize that was two months away, shuushh.)
And it took a pottery store opening right across the street from my house for me to actually go and buy ceramic buttons. And then another month and a half to actually attach them to my garment. I think I've found my phobia. (which is weird, because I don't do this when sewing.)

Oh yeah, and there are these. I couldn't decide which clue to do for the "follow your arrow" mystery knit along, so week one I made both. Now I can't decide which of the second clues to use for each. I'm still mulling over it. I might give it a week and see what the third clues look like and then decide.

binding off, 


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Yarn Along

Keaton Hat, test knit-project info here

A Noble Cowl-Project info here

Millwater-Project info here

 Twisted Ear Warmer-project info here

Huntley Hat, test knit-project info here
This is the post where I get caught up on all the weeks that I missed participating in Yarn Along. Some were test knits so I wasn't allowed to blog about them until the patterns were released, and some were Christmas presents and I didn't want to spoil the surprise for any of my friends or family, just in case they ever stop by here.

I'm still test knitting a couple more things that will hopefully be finished in the next couple of weeks, and i'm super excited to start the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit Along.  using this yarn that I hand dyed a few days ago. I might actually start with this colour and then  use another colour after the first 4 inches or so.

I've been trying out different methods to get tonal results and I'm really happy with this one. There were some points in the dyeing process that made me really wonder if this was going to turn out at all.. Yarn looks so different when under water or wet, especially under the poor lighting over my stove.
 I thought if worse came to worse, I could end up over dyeing the whole batch in a dark colour. 
Luckily, it turned out exactly how I wanted it!