Friday, January 27, 2012

Cooking is a hobby, too!

I cook almost every day to feed the family, but somethings are special. This week has been devoted to cooking projects. I knew in advance that it would be, and last weekend I planned my schedule, so that I would be able to do everything. Even for only two projects, I have to schedule arounn

The first project was to make marmalde from blood oranges that I found at the Commissary. I used the recipe from "Well Preserved, Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook" (in no way am I a 'new' cook, but it's a really good cookbook with a lot of useful recipes), and at almost the last minute, I added a cinnamon stick to add a little spice. I accidentally doubled the recipe, so it filled 12 pint jars.

The next project was more complex, although I'm not sure it took any more time.

The Lansing Historical Museum is having a Kansas Day celebration on Saturday, and part of it is a cake decorating contest. My friend Miss L is the curator ("Site Supervisor"), and asked if I would be interested...I entered a cake several years ago (the wheat cake), and this year, I have time, and the baby is a bit older.

So, Thursday the candy decorations were designed and made. (I love the techniques from the Whimsical Bakehouse cookbooks! Easy, and fun). Friday the cake was baked, assembled and frosted. Saturday, it will be delivered to the museum. (I'm going to wait until the last minute to put the church on top of the cake. It's too tall to fit in the cake-carrier)

It's a German Chocolate cake, with the traditional pecan frosting, with a small church on top. I really didn't have any brilliant ideas for a Kansas Day cake, but I do appreciate my German heritage, and the German settlers who brought wheat to Kansas, and scattered churches all over the praries.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FO: LittleRedRidingMittens

I finished Little G's mittens (for non-ravlery users) off on Monday, and have been waiting for the right time to take pictures to show y'all. Now, as soon as my camera battery recharges (#@!$%!! It seems the battery doesn't like living in the cold car. Or, it's not holding a charge for very long...) I'll post it up for you.

I did make some changes to the basic pattern. I cast on less stitches for the ribbing, considering Little G's skinny little wrists, then increased to the number called for in the pattern for the hand. The thumb has 2 more stitches than was listed, and instead of the spiral decrease at the top of the mitten, I used paired decreases on either side of the mitten.

Now we're waiting for snow. Seen any? send some our way, the kids would appreciate a snow day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

knitting progress, and a decided lack of pictures. Sorry!

Finished one project, on to another!

The teacher hat for Little J's teacher is finished. It wasn't a bad car project, although the three different balls of yarn tangled together in my bag. I'm glad it's done, and I am glad it actually looks right on a human head. She loves it, and was wearing it when we picked Little J up this afternoon.
And here is the next project that I cast on. Click here! We went to storytime on Wednesday, all the stories were about mittens. My favorite was one by Jan Brett...I think this one. Aaaanyway, Little G asked if she could have new mittens, like in the books. And, Wednesday night, when I couldn't sleep, I cast on for the mittens and was halfway through the first one. I know that I'm going to put a string on a pair, but I'm contemplating wether to make three for the set. They are my car project, now.

Little J's sweater is not a car project. Too many decreases, to make the sleeve look right, and I have to pay attention to my pattern. So, I work on that one at home. I finished one of the sleeves, measured what I would have to do to have the stripes line up the way I wanted, then I ripped back the sleeve cap. Serendipitously, I didn't have to redo the whole entire sleeve.

After I finish the sweater, the next project is for me! me, me, me...I want a new pair of mittens, and I have the yarn to do this pattern. Dark brown for the back ground, and a varigated green for the clover leafs. Pretty, no?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Current progress

was knitting in car, on teacher's hat.
 shouldn't've, I pulled something in my shoulder and knitting was making it worse.
I'm not knitting now, resting.
Typing one-handed! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Man (boy) in Black!

What is it about a clean floor that immediately causes small children to drag out all the toys in the room?? I had a fit of cleaning (I don't clean often, but having people visit is a great encouragement.) and within half an hour, there were toys all over the floor. At least it was a clean carpet...

Okay, finished project from a few days before...

Not the Man in Black, but Little J wearing Big J's new hat. It's the Watch Cap from Knits Men Want. It fits Big J, and it's in his (both of them) favorite color, too. It looked especially fetching on Big J when he wore it to track down the mysterious gas leak smell, but, i didn't catch a picture of that.

My next project is a hat for Little J's teacher. She jokingly requested one like Little J's, but in red, black, and white. Turns out, I have lots and lots of red worsted weight, so she's getting one that's mostly red. And then, back to Little J's stripey sweater, I have the yarn for it!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Fooling around

I wanted to put up a pic of clessidra, so I fooled around with Big J's little computer and the webcam, until I came up with something..

I know, it's pretty blurry, but you can see, there is a top to the bottom of the sock. It's actually long enough to go over my knees, a little longer than the pattern says...I have short legs, that's all. Now, if I only had two socks....

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Back from Branson

Back from Branson! I picked up some souvenirs, but it seems that a cold was waiting at home for me. Oh well. sniffle, sniffle.

Branson was fun. It helped that we had sufficient computers along for almost every person to play with when we had down time in the hotel. Although one night I was caught up with knitting, and it was after 10 pm when Big J looked up and said "Shouldn't the kids be getting ready for bed?" Whoops!

What did we see? We watched the New Shanghai Acrobats (and I really think they, or a related group, toured through Leavenworth a little while back), visited the Titannic Museum, the Butterfly Palace, the Amazing Pet Show (pet and magician show, more like), and ate at a couple local places. (And we visited the local WalMart for cleaning supplies after I managed to drop an almost full cup of hot chocolate in the minivan...)

Knitting wise, I worked on Little J's sweater. It's coming along, although slowly. During the driving time (thank you Big J!), even with the mistakes I made and had to rip back or repair, I knitted the body up to the shoulders. I haven't started on the sleeves yet -- I think I'll need to order more yarn. I've plenty of the blue, but no more green.

I actually took along yarn for four different projects. That's right, for a four day trip, I thought I was going to run out of yarn-ness. Silly me, even if Branson doesn't have a yarn store, there's always walmart and dishcloth cotton. But, I did knit most of the other projects, too. I finished up the Clessidra stocking I've been working on since before Gloria was born. That is, I finished stocking number 1, out of the two neccessary if I'm ever going to wear them. And, I'm afraid that I might not, because it's a smidgen too big. :( Big J thinks I should wear them anyway, but I know that I won't. I hate having wrinkly, baggy socks, and that's just what would happen. That stocking isn't unraveled yet. I've told myself I'll give it a gentle wash, block it, and see how it fits then. (My personal prediction is that it will get larger. We will see.) If it doesn't, I have some ideas on how I can modify the pattern to get what I want.

The last knitting that I did, actually started on the way home, was a cat sweater for Princess. Don't look incredulous, she just had a haircut, and acts like she's cold. Well, okay, she snuggles in blankets all the time, but I can tell. Really! I finished it yesterday...

Isn't she cute?