Friday, November 25, 2011

I have been doing a LOT of Etsy browsing.

Here are some of the Etsy stores I like: Perhaps Santa will read this post? I at least want to take note of the good places so I can find them again.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Long Time no Post..but We have been Doing

We have all been doing but not blogging about it. What follows is the laundry list with some pictures occasionally.

1. Grace continued knitting away on her scarf until she broke her wrist. She is now hampered for swimming, horseback riding and knitting. She can still draw and has used the time to design many dress and outfit designs in colored pencil.

2. The three of us spent July in Iceland (4 days) and then the UK. David had sabbatical for 8 weeks from his job and we had a wonderful time. So much so that none of us wanted to come home..for work or school!

3. All good things must come to an end and we have come home and gone back to work. The weather has been lovely here at home (it was quite cold in Iceland and the UK while we were there in comparison).

Lovely waterfall on the Golden Circle tour in Icelad.

We spent a weekend in Hereford with David's school friends at a rented house.

3. All good things must come to an end and we have come home and gone back to work. The weather has been lovely here at home (it was quite cold in Iceland and the UK while we were there in comparison).
4. While on vacation I started and completed a tank top in green cotton and bamboo yarn and am almost halfway finished with smock style sweater out of a lovely silvery gray linen yarn. It has a lovely but maddening cable pattern that I had done a lot of knitting and unknitting of.
Street knitting art in Reykjavik, Iceland. They are avid knitters. I bought the sweater in some of the photos. I visited a couple of shops and even got invited to a knitting guild meeting (we had to fly out on the day of the meeting :(.

5. DAvid spent his work free time focussing on stock trading (he did quite well) and reading the research on best weightless plans. He has been doing quite well with improved blood levels and 25 pounds weight loss.

Tea with Grace, David and Granny in Wales.
6. My adult daughters and one boyfriend did a wonderful job taking care of my raised beds while we were gone and I arrived home to full harvests of peas, green beans and fresh tasty TOMATOES!!!

7. After a troll through all of your blogs I am truly inspired to not let the crafting and gardening go stale...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One is Fun Two a Pain? My Creative Space

I week or so ago I finished up one of these very cute Red velvet cupcake wrist warmers for my daughter Grace. I made a few adjustments up at the elbow (a shorter top cuff as her arm just is not that long)

She is thrilled with this first one and anxious to receive the second. Only I am having a heck of a time getting on with the second one. The problem is the 168 stitch cast on. That much is OK for a sweater but a wrist warmer? sheesh. It is for the very lovely ruffle but one wrong move and those stitches come flying off my double pointed needles and then I am left all confused and the need to start over. The first glove took 3 tries to cast on before I managed to keep it going and with this second wrist warmer I am already on my second cast on.

I am scared to start another project as I do not think I will ever do a second one of these wrist warmers if I don't do so now. Grace had a haircut today and I took the 40 minutes wait to cast on. I am now ready to start knitting...wish me luck!

There are many creative Space posts over at Kootoyoo's place

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Georgeous Gelato Recipe: My Creative Space

For my birthday my husband bought me a much desired SNO Whytner kitchen ice cream machine. No freezing of parts..just make my base, add flavors and pour it into the machine. I purchases a couple of gelato books and even played around with a few of the recipes. He made fancy ones that were frankly too rich and did not have that fresh summer taste that I have come to enjoy at my local shops.

The recipe:

1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 and 1/2 cups 2% milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of good vanilla

on medium heat stir the mixture in a sauce pan until the sugar dissolves. continue to cook stirring occasionally until fine bubble appear around the edges of the pan. Remove form the heat and let sit (for cooling) for 30 minutes. Move the mixture to the refrigerator and cool for another hour to two hours.

This is your base. You can now experiment with any flavors you like. Tonight I added 1/2 cup of orange juice and 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut right before pouring my mixture into my ice cream machine.

I am sure this would work equally well in an old fashioned ice cream machine, the kind where you freeze the bowl or even in a pan in the freezer with frequent visits to give the mixture a stir (see granita recipes for instructions).

I just had a small scoop and the ice cream was DELICIOUS! very fresh and Summer-like just when we are threatened with yet another snow storm!

If you give this a try let me know what flavors you add. I am thinking about apricots.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Barbershop Punk

A student of mine after class one night told me about this little film that was about her dad's little run in with Comcast (cable company) and the transfer of some historical barbershop quartet music. My student said that she thought I might be interested in seeing it as I was married to a computer engineer. She was right. Today we attended he documentary at our local International film festival. The film, called barbershop punk was very well done. David enjoyed it but wished he had heard more technical information. I liked it and thought it would have been ruined with more technical speak. Grace liked it but would have like less technical speak :) My guess is that means they nailed it!

If it comes to a cinema near you and you are at all interested in anything about the internet and how our content is controlled by our internet providers go see it!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Creative Space: Grace

Spring is coming we hope:

Grace age 9 came home from school today and opened the door to the back patio just like it was summer today. The sun is sending mixed messages to us out here in the west. The sky is clear. the sun is out and green things are beginning poke up out of the ground. I suggested she go get the camera and go out to take some pictures. She did...and these are the result.
Sadly it is colder outside than it appears and she had to close it to keep the heater from kicking on over and over again. As she sat in a chair looking out through a large sliding glass door she said, "that one green tree in with all of those tall brown ones would make a great painting".

pop on over to Kootoyoo for more creative spaces

Monday, January 31, 2011

Yarn, a Magazine and Pasta for Dinner

Yarn-after a harsh teeth cleaning at my dentist today
I was feeling the need for some crafty therapy. I popped next door to one of my favorite yarn shops to have a look around.

My daughter Grace goes to this shop every Saturday morning to work on her knitting skills and visit with other girls her age who like to knit. Last Saturday I had to stay home and work. I missed my weekly yarn interaction. Today was the day. In my weakened post-dental state I purchased one magazine and

one skein of yarn called Rowan Chunky Cherry. As we were given a glimpse of Spring to come only to have it snatched back into winter weather today I was feeling the need for some summer sunshine coloring. I think the idea of rich Cherry does the trick don't you?
It might look something like this knitted up. I really don't have any plans for it..but am thinking. What do you think?

Pasta Dinner-
Bunny provided us with the recipe and pictures from her dinner. Well it just so happened that I had those ingredients sitting right in my refrigerator. I also had no plans for dinner so viola...I reran Bunny's dinner for mine. Well..really David cooked it. He came in and asked, "so what are you making me for dinner?" yupp..very cheeky given my normal women's lib attitude towards cooking for my man. Instead of my usual..bite me response I said...well I haven't started it yet cause I'm working but I know what we are having...and then directed him to Bunny's post.

He did a little fiddling with the recipe. We didn't have as much spinach as her recipe called for and we happened to have some herb butter in the fridge and a shallot laying around. We also had half a block of cream cheese. so...our dinner was:

10 slices of American style Pepper bacon cooked crispy.
4oz of cream cheese
6 cups or so of cooked rotini pasta (what we had laying in the cupboard)
one shallot
150 grams fresh spinach
1 1/2 small onions both the shallot were chopped and cooked until translucent in 2 T of herb butter (just salted butter with garlic, sage, parsley, basil, oregano and chives whipped into it and left in the fridge to be used as we like).
grated parm. cheese when served.

so melt the butter, cook the onions while waiting for water to boil. Broil the bacon at the same time in the oven. Dump the dry pasta into the boiling water. Chop the spinach, throw it in with the onions and cheese just as the pasta is almost done. Dump the pasta into the cheesy sauce quickly and add a bit more oregano. serve on lunch or small sized plates followed by a quick grating of parm. cheese. Yum and there are loads of leftovers to rerun tomorrow.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mobias Cowl-Pattern Included

For Christmas my husband bought me a spinning wheel and a friend provided two tops of a variegated wool. My first bit of spinning on this wool came out a grayish blue color (the color of The Pacific Ocean off Oregon in the Winter). In my unskilled spinning the yarn was very uneven in thickness but I kind of like that about the cowl. I am sure I will never be able to spin quite the same way again.

long and looped on your shoulders can be an accent for any blouse or over a coat.

Just double the cowl around your neck and it is a warm and cozy tight cowl.

down on your shoulders and it becomes a shawl.

I cast on 32 stitches and knitted until I ran out of yarn. the pattern was Stripe 1: knit then perl, knit, perl, knit. Stripe 2: knit, perl, knit, perl, knit. Stripe 3: knit, perl, knit, perl, knit repeat sets 2 and 3 until you have 45 stripes (or your cowl is as long as you want it)

Finish: Knit one perl one last row and then twist the piece so that It forms a Mobias strip. Knit through both the last and current row and the beginning row (just poke the needle through both as if knitting two together) then cast of each newly formed stitch. This creates a small joined ridge but it is very hard to find on the finished cowl and saves having to do any follow up stitching with a darning needle.

The length I ended up with was 45 stripes (5 rows in each) or 225 rows. I think good hunk of chunky yarn would work much the same as my hand spun did.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Knitting and Spinning, Spinning and Knitting

The fingerless gloves before I threaded the hangy down ends to the inside. I know one pair arrived but have not heard whether the other two have made it to their destinations yet. I am working on a pattern for you.

David bought me a spinning wheel for Christmas. It is fun! I have already spun two tops (looks like unspun but clean and dyed wool). I then knitted the home-made yarn into a large chunky cowl.