Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wizard robe

Wizard robe

The back is finished. I used my blocking wires to take the picture but since the yarn is acrylic, the shape didn't hold. I'm working on the two front pieces, simultaneously. Since Max got back from China, we've been catching up on our TV and watching all the shows saved on our DVR (The Next Food Network Star, So You Think You Can Dance, Eureka, Psych, and more). As you can see, that means alot of knitting time.

Driving update
I drove to work this morning! In morning traffic! There were parts that were a little scary and others that were terrifying but I made it just fine... a little sweaty, but fine. It really is like they say, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Which also means, don't wait for years to do it because your fears will only compound. The only way to get over the fear of driving is to do it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Silk, Cashmere, and Yak

Before Max left for China, I found online the address of a yarn store in Beijing. Although not a knitter, he is well versed in the kind of yarn that I use and what I really covet. What he bought for me gave a nod to the first but really aimed for the second. Take a look at this gorgeous haul!

Silk (the cheapest according to him)

Cashmere/Wool blend


In case you happen to be going to Beijing, here's the business card.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Homecoming dinner

Before Max left for China, I asked him if he wanted me to make him for his homecoming dinner on Monday. He asked for the Heirloom Tomato Tart. It's one of his favorites but usually it's so hot in the summer, he doesn't want me to make the house any hotter by baking anything and so we don't have it very often. I used store bought pesto instead of making it fresh and Sargento mozzarella instead of fresh... and it was wonderful. The ripe heirloom tomatoes are the key, taste great and look beautiful.

For dessert, I made Blueberry Pound Cake from the New Moosewood Cookbook. What's that saying about the way to a man's heart is through his stomach?


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back from China

Max was in China for the past two weeks, which I did not mention for safety reasons, but now that's he's home, I can blog about it. He went to Jiu Zhai Guo, Shanghai, and Beijing to visit with his parents.

What Max had to say about Jiu Zhai Guo:
  • "It is really pretty here, beautiful mountains and stuff. The airport is actually on top of a mountain that they basically bulldozed the top to make it flat for a runway."
  • "I saw a bunch of cows, horses and goats on the trip from the airport to the hotel, and a deer farm. :)"

  • Yaks Sheep

  • "It was really beautiful, some the best nature I have ever seen... there were lakes and waterfalls, and some of the clearest water ever. The air was really clean and crisp, with everything all clean..."
The blue in the water is real and natural, from high iron deposits.

Here are some 'save the environment' posters with funny translations:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Red Scarf update

Here's my scarf so far. Not much to look at yet. I'm using Manos de Uruguay Cotton Stria and this short row scarf pattern.

From the Orphan Foundation of America: Fostering Dreams. Watch it, it's pretty moving.

Also, read an update from Norma.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I received my invitation to Ravelry last week and since then I have been in there EVERY SINGLE DAY. I love it. There are definitely still some things that could be improved (like having to use Flickr to add photos) and some others that to be worked out (like the library) but on the whole, it is fantastic. If you're looking for me, my user name is Knerq.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Breakfast for dinner

I made French toast for dinner the other night making some changes to one of my favorite recipes from Gourmet, Creme Brulee French Toast. I cut most of the recipe in half, used 3 eggs instead of 5, used milk instead of cream, baguette instead of country loaf and sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the bread. Smelled so good while it was baking and super yummy to eat! I always turn it over to eat so the brown sugar and butter are on top.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Odds and ends

Begging for comments
Shelly of Heathen Housewife is having a contest to win a copy of Victorian Lace Today and a giant skein of yarn. All you have to do is leave a comment to enter. Who doesn't love getting tons of comments? :)

I received my Ravelry invite early last week and have been on there everyday entering in my projects, uploading pictures, adding friends, joining groups, receiving comments, and having a great time! I love it. You can find me in there as Knerq.

Harry Potter

I ordered my advance copy yesterday! It should be delivered on Saturday. I can't wait to start reading it... though Max warns me that it is supposed to be sad. Well, of course it's sad! This is the last one! I'll just be knitting the Wizard Robe until it gets here.

My phone is dying and my contract with Sprint is up. Time to switch to a new carrier! We loved Sprint for years but then with the Nextel merger, service has gotten spotty. Any suggestions? I'm thinking about Cingular (in no small part because Max wants to get an iPhone eventually).

Gillette Vibrance
I had the same rasor for the longest time, since college I think, and it was gross and kind of sucked so finally I decided it was time to get a new one. I love my new one! I thought the vibrating would be weird and scary to use in the shower but I like it and it seems to really help get a closer shave. I've seen some negative reviews online so I guess I'll have to see if it continues to perform well.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wizard Robe

Wizard Robe

I cast on last weekend to make the Wizard Robe from Charmed Knits in the smallest size. Using Red Heart Soft and US 8 (5mm) needles. The first picture is from Tuesday. The second picture is from yesterday morning. Watched Jerry McGuire on DVD last night and the third picture is from today.

Driving update

More driving around on my own again today. Went to the grocery store and I've driven this route enough times now that it's starting to feel comfortable and okay. My parking could use some work though! I had to pull up into another spot because I totally missed it the first time. Coming home though, pulling into the driveway was no problem. Not sure why that is but at least some things are becoming easier.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Organizing under the sink

This morning I woke up early. Looked outside:

Made breakfast (Stash chai spice black tea with honey, toast, fried egg, bacon):

Afterwards I drove myself to the post office and Home Depot, came home and talked to my best friend for over an hour (which is quite a feat since my phone is dying and keeps cutting people off as I'm talking to them) and then went to the gym. I did 30 minutes on the stationary bike and my ankle is feeling pretty okay.

There was also some organization. Here's the before:


Okay, so it still looks messy. But it's a much better use of the space! We found the 2 tiered shelves at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Paying it Forward

I saw Nikki mention this and I thought of the movie Pay it Forward, which I really love.

For the first 3 people who leave me a comment, I'll send a hand-made something-or-other. What that will be is a surprise. All you have to do is post the same offer on your own blog!

Of course, now my worry is that there aren't 3 people who read my blog who want something made by me!

UPDATED TO ADD: Thanks Brian!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dress with eyelets

Last night I finished the back of the baby dress for Lucy. It looks tiny but it's the 3-6 month size. I started the front and have the bottom garter stitch band done.

Red Scarf Project 2008
I met with part of my knitting group at work to kick-off the new Red Scarf Project. There were only three of us, so not really the official start but at least it's on their radar. We're starting much earlier this year because the deadline has been moved up to September-October. The other change is that we're meeting every week... there were a few people scrambling to finish close the the deadline in February. Most of the people in my group are not hard core Knitters and so they usually only knit their scarves when we meet for lunch. I figured that if we met more often, it would give them a better chance of finishing on time. We'll see I guess.

Driving Update

My driving is coming along. I still get afraid sometimes but it happens less. Things that used to really freak me out, now they are just annoying. And there are things that aren't scary at all anymore so maybe eventually I can move onto things like driving at night and on highways. :)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Moroccan Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Inspired by this recipe, Max and I came up with our own. It was SO good.

Moroccan Grilled Cheese Sandwich

For the Moroccan spice mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sandwich
3 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Moroccan spice mix
8 slices bread (I used Whole Grain White)
1 teaspoon honey
1 large sweet red pepper, finely diced
1 Tablespoon Terrapin Ridge Moroccan Spice Marinade & Basting Squeeze
8 slices Morbier cheese, (about 8 ounces)

In a small bowl, mix together red pepper, honey, and Moroccan marinade. Set aside until ready for use.

In another small bowl, mix the butter and Moroccan spice mix together. Spread butter mixture on 1 side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices of bread on your work surface, buttered side down. Place about 2 tablespoons of the red pepper mixture on the bread followed by the cheese. Place the remaining 4 bread slices on top, buttered side up.

Put the sandwiches in the skillet until the underside is golden brown and the cheese has started to melt. Flip the sandwiches with a spatula, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from pan and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut diagonally and serve.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

SP10 Revealed

My Secret Pal has revealed herself to me. She sent me an email on Tuesday to let me know... my secret pal is Lisette at Crafty Girly! Here's what she got me for April, May, and June.

At the end of June, I had sent a series of three postcards to my secret pal with hints if she wanted to try to sleuth out who I was. I was secret pal to Liz of I Need Another Skein. Here's what I got her for April, May, and June, as well as leaving comments for her whenever she posted on her blog- that's always my favorite part, the extra comments from my pal and my hostess!

My hostess was Nicol. It was fun and I loved getting the surprise packages in the mail. I think I'll take a break for SP11 but I'll be back for SP12!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Max's favorite salad: Chicken, Tomato, and Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette with fresh mozzarella on top. Very yummy! It makes a lot but it always disappears quickly!

I am working on the Debbie Bliss dress with eyelets, using Cherry Tree Hill yarn and size 6 (4mm) needles. For Lucy, of course. I'm almost done the back.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Canada Day!

July 1 is Canada Day. It is a federal holiday and is often celebrated as a 3-day weekend whenever possible. For those who do not have American counterparts who want them to fly to Iowa on a Sunday for a Monday morning meeting (so they can get it over with and make sure that their July 4th holiday is not interrupted). Sorry Dad. For the rest of my family (and friends in Canada), they'll have tomorrow off of work, celebrate with a BBQ, light sparklers and watch fireworks. Many also spend the 3-day weekend up north at their cottage in the woods.