Saturday, January 30, 2010

what have i been doing? part two

This is what I've been doing for the last three days. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. I was making a cake, and who knew it would take so long?

A friend of mine from the local knitting group, Laura Phillippi (i think i've seen that name before, on an army uniform, actually. hmm) is the curator of the Lansing Historical Museum. She was soliciting entries for a Kansas Day cake decorating contest, and I had been reading a book on a cake decorating technique ("The Whimsical Bakehouse") and it all just came together. I designed a cake, around the theme of wheat traveling from Russia to Kansas, and I used the decorating technique from the book to create wheat stalks and small, partial versions of the US map and of Russia.

This picture has a top view of the cake, so that you can see Russia and the United States better. The U.S.A. has a small square that is to symbolize Kansas.

The wheat stalks, and the map pieces, were made out of melted chocolate and candy coating. It's laid down in layers to make the designs. I did find that it's not as easy to do as the book seems to say. I'm not sure how the book's authors managed to make fine lines with the melted chocolate kept hardening inside the decorating bag when I tried fine lines, so that I had a minimum line size that I could use. And if you try this, use disposable decorating bags to hold the melted chocolate. It's much simpler to throw away a used bag than to empty out hardened chocolate. The chocolate designs are more fragile than you might think, so make more designs than you think you might need, and handle carefully.

And the little girl helping me bake a cake. Cute, no?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

what have i been doing?

Well, my fingers are blue and green, but if you really want to know, you'll have to be at the Lansing Historical Museum on Saturday. There, will be the fruits of my labors!

I can give you a hint, although it isn't very significant: I had to make Russia and US twice. Because my mind wasn't thinking in 3 dimensions very well.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I remember: dominos with Grandma

When I was quite small, Grandma taught me how to play dominos. They were in a long red rectangular box, and were black dominos with white dots. I remember that it was special because Grandma would take the time to sit down and play with me.

I've been thinking that Little J was big enough to play dominos. It's basically a matching game, and he's really good at puzzles and matching problems. We found a set of dominos (a really BIG box, because you can always use more dominos) and he learned how today. And he's been beating the pants off of Little Sister -- he won 4 out of 5 games.

Monday, January 18, 2010

reading has caused a temporary interruption in our knitting

The weather is really wierd these days. There's been fog, for the last 3 days. Really dense fog. And almost frozen temperatures. The weather forecasters have been getting their forecasts wrong - they predict that the fog will leave by the afternoon, and it HASN'T. I'm a bit peeved about it. Especially today, when I would be driving to K.C. if there wasn't all this fog... Little Sister broke her glasses (they're quite fixable, but i don't want us to try and break them Worse) and that's the nearest LensCrafter store.

I've been reading older sci-fi lately. I picked up C.S. Lewis' Silent Planet trilogy again, and I think I'm going to read some of his non-fiction, too. I like the trilogy quite a bit, although I find myself speaking in more British-type English and speaking in long, convoluted, multiphrased sentences that challenge the record for the most words per sentence. :D It's good for my brain, some days I am too deeply into the mommie talk of my everyday life, and his prose has jarred the stuck record off of it's normal grove (yes, I'm old enough to remember LPs) .

I should get hardcopy versions of my C.S. Lewis books (yes, I have the Narnia series too. They may be hiding in Little Sister's room) Reading these books have cut into my knitting time (I can knit while reading big hardback books that stay open by themself. It's much more difficult to reading with a floppy paperback that wants to close up.) although Knitting night at the library too has an effect on relieving the Mommy Speak in my mind.

I've been working on a sweater (summerish sweater) for me for the last few weeks, since the holdiays. I really like it, and it's knitting up quickly (taking into consideration all the interuptiosn) , but I've a dilemma. And I can't seem to knit while pondering the dilemma. I have a sweater for Little G, that I started over a year ago, that is almost finished. I have yarn for a sweater for Little J, and a vest for him too. So, do I keep knitting on my sweater (which I would like to have done by March. So my BigJ can see it when he is back home) or do I knit on one of the projects for the little kids? And which one? I really need to decide, so that I can get back to knitting. And this is without taking into consideration the socks for Little G that I am trying to knit by Cat Bordhi's new method (I think her feet are growing over night. That would be one explanation for why I keep needing to start over.)

1-20-10 Finally posted this. Thank goodness, the fog has cleared up occasionally. Maybe we're done with it for awhile?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Loops haul

Loops haul
Originally uploaded by marigo

We drove 300+ miles to visit my sister-in-law, and what did I do? visit a yarn store. What can I say, it relaxes me, and we had some free time. (before the littlest girl started throwing up, that is)

(oh my goodness, Little Sister made an absolutely scrumptioussss apple pie. Golden delicious apples, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, almost perfect pie i must stop slurping it down. And resolve not to sneak it out of the 'frig in the middle of the night.)

back to the yarn store: We visited Loops in Tulsa, OK. It's a wonderful, upscale yarnshop, with a great selection, and lots of room to sit and knit. They have a toy room, that the littlest ones loved. Considering I haven't visited a yarn store in four months, I didn't spend too much, but I certainly could have!

What I came away with, was:
-1 skein Lamb's Pride worsted
-Eucalan grapefruit wool wash
-#5 circular needles
-3 skeins Berrocco Pure Merino
-2 skeins Noro Silk Garden, different colorways

and I have projects planned for all of these yarns. The Lamb's Pride will be a Koolhaus hat for Big J, the Pure Merino will be used with blue PureMerino I already have(from Clementine's) for a sweater for Little J. The Noro is for a Noro striped scarf a la BrooklynTweed. shoot. I just looked at the pattern, and I think i need twice as much noro as i actually have. Must Order more yarn!

Slipper yarn

Slipper yarn
Originally uploaded by marigo

I have _plans_ for this yarn. I'm going to squish it, and soak it, and tease it until it all begs for mercy!

yep, I'm going to felt it.

Fiber Trends has a pattern for felted slippers that are sized for the whole family. we usually take off our shoes by the front door (oddly enough, that's not where we come in the house.) And, with Little J at the Montessori preschool, he's accustomed to changing to slippers inside, so, i'd like to start having them wear slippers at home, too.

What's the saying, "A sweater is what a child wears when his mother is cold"? It's so true. I really want to make slippers because my toes are cold, and they are running around in bare feet.

And I did think of how to have multiple pictures via flickr! The bottom picture is of the yarn that Little G picked out.

LittleG slipper yarn

Christmas 2009 present

Christmas 2009 present
Originally uploaded by marigo

This was my Christmas present from the D.A. The book is Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi, and the yarn (raided from my Aunt's stash) is one skein of Fortissima Socka, and one skein of Inox 4-color Twister(I think). aren't they pretty?

I'm writing this blog entry via Flickr, and I haven't found out how to put more than one picture per entry, so there will be more blog posts today, with the REST of my stash increase.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

plans for 2010

I've felt guilty (a little bit) about abandoning the blog lately. But the family came down with a flu/cold/general ickiness over the 1st of the year, and I can't manage to blog, or do much of anything, when I'm sick. So, I haven't felt too guilty.

I have a cornucopia of ideas for the blog, and of things that I want to do for the new year. All my yarnie goodies that I have acquired, since Christmas, should be exhibited, and the current knitting projects, too. And the sewing projects, and the gardening plans...

And this year, we'll be more involved in the local LaLecheLegue groups, and visit the local yarn stores (we drove 300 miles, and I visited a LYS. How silly can I be?), maybe I'll finally be part of an FRG(family readiness group, the army Luurves acronyms), more exercise! and see if the little boy would like to start Taekwondo (and maybe his mommy too, we'll see), and maybe I can go dancing with his Daddy...

Hopefully, there aren't too many more blizzards in this winter. I'm tired of being snowed in.