‘Fun Stuff’ Archive
I have a confession to make and I’m not sure how to say it. I’ve been trying to figure out how to go through with this confession for some time now. So here goes….I’ve become a hooker. You heard me. I’m a hooker.
You see, sometimes a need arises and a girl has to do what a girl has to do. I had a friend in need, and this was my only option. She and I have been friends since we were 12. I couldn’t let her down. So that’s the way it is. You want to see a picture of me in action? Here goes…
Caught in the act
Hee hee…had you going there didn’t I? Well, get your minds out of the gutter…do you really think I’d become THAT kind of hooker?
Well, I’ve been a knitter for going on 9 years now, and so putting down the needles and picking up a hook and learning to crochet did feel like a bit of a betrayal to the craft that has kept me sane for nearly a decade now. And I was being honest, I did learn in order to make a sweet girlfriend a hat for her baby girl (which I was in such a hurry to send to her I didn’t even take a picture!). But never in a million years did I think it would become my new obsession! I’ve gone CROCHET CRAZY! As in I might have to change the name of this blog to Crochet Addictions (which does not have the same ring). You want to see how obsessed I’ve become? You should see all the projects I’ve completed since I learned to crochet in November!! Ok, I’ll show you:
Granny Stripe Blanket
I fell in love with this blanket from this sweet blog, Attic 24, and that was what really started things rolling. I immediately got out my stash of easy care yarn and got to stash busting.
I’ve mostly knitted sweaters in the last few years. I have knitted maybe a handful of blankets in my tenure, and had a really difficult time tolerating the monotony of them. Knitted blankets take SO long! Even baby blankets.
But this puppy worked up so fast, in less than a month I was able to completely finish it and have it packed up and mailed to my sister for Christmas. I was literally hooked! And because I was so used to knitting sweaters, which I often made in neutral or earth tones so they would fit nicely in any wardrobe, I just loved working with all the colors in this blanket. This was a major stash buster. I used various shades of Red Heart and TLC yarn which I had collected back in my early days of learning to knit and at various times when I thought I *might* knit blankets again, but never did. Some of the colors in this blanket I had in my stash for at least 8 years! But they worked up beautifully together.
And I didn’t stop there, oh no.
The baby who brought me into the world of crochet would need a blanket as well!
baby rippley goodness
Aren’t those colors beautiful?! The ripple pattern again came from Attic 24, here. I have to admit, I struggled with it at first since, hey, I knew how to make exactly one crochet stitch at this point! But with my handy dandy “learn to crochet” pamphlet, I mastered it eventually and I’m so glad I stuck with it, because I LOVED the end result.
L loved it too and was sad to see it go, so I’ve started another one for him.
"Please Mama make me a blankie!"
This one (and the one I’ve started for him as well) was made from Vanna’s Choice and Vanna’s Baby yarns. So lovely! I haven’t bought acrylic yarns for ages since I am a snob and would NEVER use them for a sweater, but for blankets, I’m all about softness and machine washability (is that a word? well it is now!). This yarn is luscious! The colors are beautiful and there is a sheen to the yarn that is so lovely. And SOFT! So soo soft. I love it! The blanket turned out about 44″x48″ and used every last scrap of all 8 balls of yarn with 4 stripes of each color except red with had 5 stripes. I think that it will hold up nicely and I hope it will be used for years to come. The icing on the cake??? Guess how long it took me to make this…guess…2 WEEKS! It would have taken me months to knit the same blanket and I probably would have enjoyed it less. Pretty awesome!
And while I was on a rippley roll…and since I’d given away all my crocheted items to date, I had to make one to keep:
I am so in love with this blanket it’s not even funny.
This was another stash buster…more of those icky Red Heart/TLC yarns, which felt like using shredded plastic bags after that loverly Vanna’s yarn, but I still LOVE the colors.
Stealthy eyes will notice that there are a couple of rogue stripes in there. I had to sneak some replacement colors in when I ran out of a few skeins. The problem with using yarn that’s been in your stash for years is that colors get discontinued in that time! But that’s ok. I love it, even with it’s mis-matched rows and imperfections. And that’s what true love is all about, no?
This is my favorite part of the blanket, where the color sequence was just like I wanted it…but alas, my favorite colors were, of course, the ones I ran out of.
my favorite part
This puppy is BIG too! 48″x64″ before it was washed. As you can see, if you were looking, in my very first picture of this post, it covers nearly the length of the back of my couch…and my couch is 84″ long! So I’d say this baby stretched to a good 72″ after washing. Joy
Whew…had enough of my hooking for one day? I have lots more to show you, but it’ll have to wait til next time.
The Happy Hooker
Here at Chez Knitwit, we tend to be people of the carnivore variety. (I suppose we could technically be classified as omnivores, since we do in fact eat fruits and veggies, but meat is a huge staple round these parts). Especially during the long (seemingly never-ending) winters. All winter I crave comfort foods like roasts with potatoes and gravy, and my waistline is proof of this! But as the weather improves and the temperatures rise, a girls fancy turns to lighter fare. And I actually find myself craving veggies…all the time…I just have very little experience in creating meals based around veggies rather than meat. As I said, we’re carnivores!
In fact, I was just talking to my oldest and dearest school friend the other day about this very matter. She lives in the DC area now and her epicurean experiences have been colored by a boat ton of opportunities that she and I didn’t have access to growing up, as well as a lot of world travel which has brought new culinary experiences into her repertoire. So when we were chatting, she was telling me about some Midwestern house guests who will be staying with her andher husband for the foreseeable future. “Emma,” she wails, “they eat MEAT with every meal!” My reply, “Um…and..??” I could literally hear her rolling her eyes over the phone!
So this weekend I decided I would take a page out of my veggie friends cookbook and cook an all veggie meal. We’d just see if it really was better than eating meat! Cruising the blogosphere, I came across these amazing looking recipes, for black bean burgers and spicy sweet potatoes. Black beans are a well, loved staple food in our house and sweet potatoes are typically on hand here as well, so I thought, why not!
Warning!: if you attempt these recipes, be prepared for a fair amount of prep time. It took me 2 hours start to finish, though I do blame some of that on lack of proper equipment and the fact that I’d never made either recipe before. Secondly: if you do not have a food processor or a very good blender, DO NOT attempt the black bean burgers! I do not have a food processor, but this has never been a problem as I have always been able to accomplish what I needed to with my mixer or blender. This weekend, however, my blender decided to give up the ghost…while fully loaded with black bean burger mixture. *sigh*Talk about aggrivating! But I pressed on…all the while cursing the stupidity of not owning proper kitchen appliances as well as my own stupidity for trying something new and NOT doing my prepwork in the morning but saving it for 5pm when we needed to have dinner on the table at 6:30! Let’s just say the manta being uttered in my kitchen was “This crap better be good!”
And…late as dinner was…it was a HUGE succes! O.M.G.!!!
black bean burgers and spicy sweet potatoes
The hubby and I both agreed that the burgers, were awesome! The clencher being the lime and cilantro mayo. These suckers were to die for! And it’s absolutely essential to have all the toppings: avocado, tomato and the mayo as well as the cotijacheese. The flavors all blend so perfectly, it was like heaven…in a fat free, low cal, meatless burger! The potatoes got …meh…maybe 3 stars from Mr. Knitwit, but they were 5 star in my book! The perfect combo of sweet and spicy and as I like any fried potato crunchy, these delivered…crispy on the outside, andsoft on the inside. Yummy!!! One note: The recipe for the burgers says it yeilds 4 burgers. I don’t know if I added too much rice or what, but those 4 burgers: ENORMOUS! One must remember that they don’t contain the fat and water that beef does and thus do not cook down! The patties were the size of my palm and at least an inch thick. I was so stuffed after eating one that I was wishing I’d stopped at half! Very filling! But so good!
So, has this recipe brought me over to the Veggie Side? I would have to say no. I know that this is a FAR healthier alternative to standard beef burgers, and it was delicious, but budget wise andtime wise, beef wins hands down. When you figure with regular hamburgers, even using 90% lean ground beef andall the fixings, I can feed my entire family in 15 minutes for around $6.00 (and use only one pan as opposed to the overflowing sinkful of dishes that were the result of this dish)–sorry veggie friends, meat wins. But having said that, this will stay on my list of wonderful treats to have when meat feels too heavy in the summer or when I have veggie friends over who would like the alternative. I did make a double batch of the burgers, and froze half of it, which will of course, make cooking the 2ndtime around much faster and easier. Oh–and this meal was NOT kid approved, but my kid is a total oddball when it comes to food, so that means very little! Your kids may love it. Especially the potatoes.
Modifications: I made very few mods to these recipes, except to eliminate the jalepenos from the burgers and the chipotle seasoning from the potatoes. We are not huge fans of either so just didn’t include them. Otherwise, I followed the recipes exactly.
Ease of burger prep: one star
Ease of potato prep: 3 stars
Quality of recipes: 4 stars each
Quality of final products: 5 stars each!
So try it for yourself, and let me know what you think!!
Sidebar as to how I found these recipes. I originally found both on this blog, which is one of 4 blogs kept by Stephanie Nielson, a wife and mother of 4 who is recovering from severe burns to her entire body which she obtained in a plane crash she was in with her husband. Her main blog is found here. If you missed her story on 20/20 last Friday, watch it here.
This p0st is so long overdue! So where indeed am I going and where have I been?
Well our lives the past several months have revolved mainly around transforming this:
closets before demo
finished bedroom with carpet
There were some bumps in the road like this:
the culprit: unsafe stepstool
Which led to this:
one unhappy guy and his little buddy
I also suffered a hand injury which greatly hampered my knitting for some time! Sadly no pictures to share.
Along the way we celebrated this:
L turns 3, B turns...uh..old
I did manage a bit of Christmas knitting (tho I didn’t manage any decent photo shoots) like this:
B's 2nd striped vest
Corrie Fair Isle Vest (KnitPicks) for my sis
Running Stitch Skirt from Interweave Knits
Hermione's Deathly Hallows Hat
Both of which I designed myself and gifted to my fabulous niece for Christmas.
And here’s a spoiler for my current project in progress, which will also be gifted to my fantastic niece:
(10 points if you can guess the inspiration for this sweater!)
So as you can see it’s been a very busy 6 months here! We still have a lot of home improvements yet to complete and the knitting basket is always overflowing, but hopefully I’ll pop in more often to let you know where I’m going.
*Title mercilously stolen from one of my favorite short stories “Where are you Going, Where Have you Been?” By Joyce Carol Oates.
All summer long I had been planning on having L’s pictures taken in September when he turned 2 1/2. Unfortunately, August was an incredibly busy month and that carried into a September that was just as busy; and now it looks like there won’t be a week of appointments or visitors or activities until late October.
We get so busy, life marches on with all it’s copius activities, hindrences and toils. We get in a rut where we focus so much on the big tasks, that the little moments of every day go by unnoticed.
We grumble and gripe at each other, we get frustrated by work, bills, home improvements and repairs (a big one for us!). All of life’s burdens weigh on us.
And in the meantime…our children are growing and changing, sometimes before our very eyes.
I have a million things on my to do list this week, some projects more necessary than others, but all taking precidence over one thing:
spending time with my child.
And that truly pains me.
So this morning, I ignored the “to do” list. I fought off that nagging feeling that I needed to “do” something and chose instead, to document some of the moments that would otherwise, so easily, slip away.
I have a son who is funny and smart and silly. He’s a tornado and a volcano wrapped into one. You never have to worry about what he’s feeling or thinking because he lets you know…in all certainty.
I love him more than anything in the world.
And yet when life gets busy, his pleas for Mama to play are often met with a tense “Not now, Mama’s busy!” How could I ever be too busy for this sweet face?
I can’t let these moments go by unrecorded. L will only be 2.5 once.
Life is so precious and so fleeting. I just wanted to take a moment and play when I should have been working, to roll in the grass and not care about my clothes getting dirty,
to stop and smell the flowers,
to be silly,
To revel in warm Autumn days that will soon be gone.
Who needs professional pictures when I can capture the essence of a little heart all on my own.
I hope you take the time today to find joy in the simple things and reconnect with the loves of your life. I wish L’s daddy could have been here to enjoy it with us, but we’ll be sure to share it with him when he gets home.
*The title refers to a song by Simon and Garfunkel “The Leaves That Are Green“. Lyrics of the first verse:
‘I was 21 years when I wrote this song
I’m 22 now but I won’t be for long.
Time hurries on,
And the leave that are green turn to brown.’
August was a busy month for us. And a fantastic one!
My sister from Montana came to visit for 2 weeks and she and L had a wonderful time together.
We miss her tons!
While Colleen was here, we went to visit our brother Glen and his family on their Farm in Iowa. One of the best places in the world to be, if you ask me!
With fantastic views:
Fun stuff for kids of all ages:
My nephew "Eviel Kneivel"
A Boy in his natural habitat...dirt
Best of all…lots and lots of family!
My sisters, brothers (all but one), nephews, cousins, parents. All in one place. Couldn’t be better!
My siblings and cousins
A supremely relaxing weekend.
Next time: August Part 2: The County Fair! With Actual knitting content!