Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Woolly work

When Max sent me this article, Work Every Bit as Wild as It Is Woolly, it reminded me that I had some great pictures of sheep shearing from Kristina's trip to Australia. I warned her that I might need to blog about it (because it's so cool), so hopefully she won't mind that I'm posting her pictures of the demonstration.

It's a dying profession so I thought I'd share, since, it's the first step for knitters to get their wool yarn.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008



It's the same pattern but the yarn changes how Asminah looks from one hat to another. Here's the other two that I've done:

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Chinese cashmere hat

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I finished earlier this week, washed it last night, and let it dry while I was at work today. It turned out well, though with the high temperatures, I doubt it will be needed anytime soon. Still, a good use of soft yarn that was brought here from China by Max.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Asminah II

Back in March I asked one of my co-workers if she wanted a hat. She wanted beige, so I decided to use the cashmere that Max brought back from China. It's super thin though, so I needed to knit with five strands at a time. After a few stops and starts (and one very tangled mess) trying a new pattern, I switched patterns and knit Ashminah's hat again.


I love the softness of the yarn and the homespun quality of how it looks. It will probably be too warm to wear until the fall or winter but I think she's going to like it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just getting started

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Now imagine five balls of yarn... and knitting them all together to create a worsted weight yarn. Yes, they're all wearing yarn bras. They're a little tangled but nothing as bad as I thought it would be.

I'm making a hat - yes, another hat. This might be the last one for awhile since the warm weather is coming but I guess that remains to be seen. This one is for a coworker. I'm using the Asminah's hat pattern, with the same alteration as before. After one night of knitting, I've already completed the ribbing and 13 pattern rows. It took me a long time to get this one started but it should be done by the end of the week.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Itty bitty hat


Using the yarn left over from the chemo caps, I made this little cap. It's so tiny (the size of my hand) that it will only fit an infant and probably only on day one but it's so cute, I couldn't resist.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chevron scarf done


The total length is 66 inches. Took over 400 rows on US size 4 needles. I finished the scarf last weekend, just need to figure out what to include with the package as the "little something…" to bring joy and good karma into the recipients life. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Sea Monster

On Monday morning, I flew to Nashville for a business trip. Stayed at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in the Magnolia section. The hotel is beautiful, as you can see above. All the rooms are arranged around three very large gardens. Within the gardens there are restaurants, bars, and endless photo opportunities. I had dinner at the Wildhorse Saloon and watched the Country Music Awards live on the extremely large big screen TV (it was the thing to do). Super yummy ribs!

It was a short trip, no time for knitting or buying yarn... which is just as well because I missed the Yarn Harlot by only a few days!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fudgey Brownies

When I was a child, my Mom cooked and baked alot, and often while I was in the kitchen under foot. So it was that I started making things on my own at a young age. The fudgey brownie recipe had to be printed because I couldn't read cursive yet and it was baked over and over - and still is! I've tried to include all instructions necessary for a beginner.

3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup + 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon iodized salt

Large and medium mixing bowls
Mixing spoon
Measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquids
Measuring spoons
13 x 9 inch baking pan (if you don't have a baking pan, get the 9 X 12 Glad Ovenware)
Non-stick cooking spray
Oven mitts
Trivet or pot holder

Wash your hands before beginning. Set out all the ingredients and kitchen tools on the area where you will be working. Put on an apron. Over the sink, lightly spray the baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Check to make sure that the oven is empty. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a mixing spoon, stir cocoa powder and baking soda in the large mixing bowl. Blend in 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Add boiling water (measure accurately); stir until thick and colour is uniform. Stir in sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Stir until smooth.

In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Gradually add to the cocoa mixture and stir until combined. Add vanilla extract. Pour the brownie batter into the lightly greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 40 minutes.

Using oven mitts, remove the brownies from the oven and set on a trivet or pot holder. Using a toothpick, insert into the center of the brownies to determine if it is done baking. If the toothpick has uncooked batter on it, return the pan to the oven for 3-5 minutes. Repeat until toothpick emerges clean. If the toothpick emerges clean, the brownies are done.

Turn off the oven. Wash the dishes and clean the prep area.

When the brownies are cool, cut into squares in the pan and serve. To store, use an airtight container.

Notes for a beginner:
- Hershey's cocoa powder works well.
- Canola oil, safflower oil, olive oil, or peanut oil can be used for vegetable oil.
- Water can be boiled in a kettle, in the microwave, or on the stove. Do not just use how water from the faucet, it is not hot enough.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tiny choices

One of my new favorite reads is Tiny Choices. Today they posted my survey!

Catalog Choice

Join me on Catalog Choice!

Catalog Choice is an easy, free service that allows you to decline unsolicited catalogs, reducing the number of catalogs in your mailbox and lightening your footprint on the environment. I have already opted out of many catalogs that arrive at my office and home.

Since January, 8 have been confirmed, 25 have been requested but not yet confirmed, 1 is being processed, and only 1 was refused. (I called Newport News at 800-688-2830 to opt out over the phone.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A long look


When I measured my scarf last night before I started knitting, I was up to 34 inches. Since my ISE pal requested 62-70, I'm about half way done. Every night I add an inch or two so I should be done well in time. I find the colours and textures so entrancing, it's such an enjoyable knit.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Coat of Arms

Max sent me this article, Do-It-Yourself Logos for Proud Scion Owners. Not that I would ever pay to paint a coat of arms on my car but it was fun playing around with it online.

Try it yourself at

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Chevron scarf progress

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I love how it looks! The colours are truest in the vertical photo. The scarf is probably close to 4 feet long and I've only used a small portion of the skein. I'll probably have enough left over for a second scarf, or something.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Cherry Blossoms

My bestfriend Kristina visited me this weekend. She flew in on Thursday night and I had Friday off so we got to sleep in the next day. Took us awhile to get going but eventually we did some gardening in my backyard and planted the Siberian Iris bulbs and Balloon Flower roots that I bought at Costco last week. Her parents arrived in town just as we were finishing up and eating lunch but then we had to leave for our spa appointment. We all had dinner together that night and Kristina opened presents. My present to her was the Stardust scarf.

On Saturday, we had another friend in town, Susan from ISB, who met us at Lucky Three for dim sum and then joined us downtown on our tour of the cherry blossoms. It was such a beautiful day, warm and sunny and lots of catching up.

There were also tulips!

Susan had other dinner plans and Kristina's parents headed home but we still had company for dinner. We ended up eating with Kristina's friend who lives in DC. After dinner, her friend had to leave to meet other friends. The three of us watched Meet the Robinsons.

Driving Update
On Sunday I went driving in the rain, with Kristina, talking, to the grocery store. Not something I wanted to do but it was fine. We made waffles and had mimosas for brunch, then Kristina and I looked at her pictures from Australia while Max studied. Then it was time to go to the airport. The weekend went by really quickly. I was sad when Kristina left but then we talked for an hour after she landed on her drive home.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


I couldn't blog on this because it was a secret project. Using Karabella Stardust and US size 10 needles, I knit up the Striped Wedges scarf by Lynne Barr.

I started on March 16. It's a birthday present for Kristina.

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Finished on March 22.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fetching pair

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These have been done for some time but I've been so busy lately, I finally took a picture last night. I'm happy with the way they turned out. The only downside is that the yarn I used is a little scratchy. They're in the gift box, until their recipient is revealed.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Chevron scarf

47b5d723b3127cce9382a733dd3500000026108CbtGzFs2ZI 47b5d723b3127cce9382a6d61c7800000026108CbtGzFs2ZI

It took some doing (and Max's help) but I would up the skein of yarn I'm using for my ISE scarf last night and started knitting. We're busy getting the house ready for our April visitor, Kristina, so I was only able to get the first inch done. No pictures unfortunately because my camera battery died last night and it had to be recharged.

Updated to add: Information about the yarn