Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy New Year - ALREADY???

How can it possibly be the end of another year? How did it zip by so quickly - I really thought I was paying attention? Family, spinning and knitting, animals, a couple short vacations and two part-time jobs and it's over. It was a good year but way too short for everything I would have liked to accomplish! Maybe next year...

We're back to no pictures; same camera problem again. The Photographer has tested my Canon A710 IS and agrees it refuses to focus so back to Canon it goes. It worked so well the first ten months - I loved it - and now you can't take a clear picture even with a tripod. Sooo frustrating! In the mean time I'll have to settle for lots of links.

Funny thing happened for my Christmas this year; my whole family, without talking to each other, decided to just buy from my Amazon Wish List. Now I mostly had knitting books listed - 90% knitting books. So that's what I got for Christmas - be careful what you Wish List! Especially when you have a very generous family! (I stupidly left books on there that I was only considering rather than just ones I really really wanted. This all-book Christmas is my own fault; luckily Amazon has a very lenient return policy. I've return a few now and am still considering sending back others.) After the first couple of books I opened it got to be funny; by the evening when the final contingent of the family came over we were really getting hysterical with every new book. This won't be a Christmas we forget.

I received Fourteen (14!!) knitting books - mostly reference but there is one book worth mentioning; Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr - which I kept. This book has new shapes, 3-D type, patterns. Should be very interesting. And I received one cookbook, Panera Bread Cookbook

Non-book wish list items I received were Two Lucy Neatby DVDs; Socks 1 and Double Knitting. (I've already learned a new bindoff method.) A Kitchen-Aid Immersion Blender and a set of snap-together square foam mats for blocking. Plus the cutest knitting bag. I saw a bag mentioned somewhere online and thought it was clever and showed Daughter #2. She saved the link and bought me the bag. When she called to order the bag from the store in Grand Rapids, Michigan the woman at the shop couldn't believe someone in San Diego would have ever heard about their bag. (My guess is that she doesn't spend much time online.)

I'm currently working on Calorimetry from Knitty. Figuring out the pattern so I can custom fit it for those with small heads or heads with way too much hair. Everyone's ears are cold; San Diego has been having some very chilly weather for Southern California. Early morning temps in the low 30s. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, we're weather wimps around here but then they're forcasting mid 70s by New Years. We never get a chance to acclimate to cold.

The Photographer was downtown taking pictures on the 26th.

The car show is in town
Mini Car
"hmmm, where's Mr. Bean?"

TheHoliday Bowl was held here at the Q on the 27th.
Arizona State University
Arizona State
(look at the guy in the doorway holding his head - looks like he had way to much party the day before)

And the winners - Texas

Happy New Year to everyone! See ya in 2008.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Stuff

Park Tower

This post is to distract you (look shiny things) from my Christmas knitting, which shall remain nameless at this time. Instead I'll share some cookie recipes that I've found and tried this year.

First I made Homesick Texan's Mom's Raspberry Bars
These are more like candy than cookies - hello! 4 cups of white chocolate chips!!!
Several people have said they're like Super Entenmanns. And I can vouch for the fact that they freeze very well; which gives you a head start on Holiday Baking.

Next was Issues with Knitting's Chocolate Rum Balls.
These were rolled in coconut and were fabulous! This year these are the first to disappear off a plate of cookies - how's that for a recommendation. And they're so simple; a good recipe to make with kids.

And my contribution are Sandies; I've made these for many, many years. I received this recipe from a woman I worked with years ago - Connie, Thanks So Much.


1 cup soft butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I prefer pecans)

more powdered sugar to roll cookies after baking

300 Degree Oven
Combine ingredients in order listed above. Mix in flour as lightly as possible to avoid a tough dough.
Form into 1" balls. (if the weather is warm refrigerate dough before rolling)
Bake on ungreased sheet 25 - 30 mins. Cookies should barely be browned on the bottom.
Roll in powdered sugar while warm. (I use two spoons to handle hot cookies.)

Cool to room temperature then store in air-tight container in refrigerator.
Makes approx. 60 cookies

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family has. Hope you and yours have a wonderful Holiday Celebration next week.

The top photo is a Sunset after the storm taken in Balboa Park.
The bottom photo is taken at the beach after a storm.
Both photos courtesy of The Photographer

People on beach

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

... with Pictures

Finally, sunshine and a few minutes to photograph my current projects. The sunny day was between rain clouds; we need all the rain we can get her in the drought prone end of California. Although rain and wind scare the dog, The Photographer and I, native Southern Californians, enjoy the sound of a good rain storm. And always a good excuse to knit.

I'm knitting the Maine Morning Mitts for a couple friends for presents. These are a pretty quick knit and the color changes in the yarn make each mitt a surprise.
Maine Mittens 1
and one of the second pair
Maine Mittens 2
These are both from the same colorway of Silk Garden. Sure don't look like the same yarn do they. All depends on where in the color run you start.

(yes the pictures are a bit blurry. I'm worried my camera is having issues again.)

The Argosy scarf in Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver, since it's not a present, has taken a back seat to the Maine Mitts.
Sterling Silver Argosy
and here's a close up of the yarn so you can see the silver/irridescent thread in there.
Sterling Silver Yarn Close-up
This is a rhythmic pattern; I seem to be drawn to patterns where the knitting is a consistent rhythm; I get mesmerized and find I've sat and knit for long periods that only seem like minutes . The Teosinte Socks by Anne Hanson that I finished in July was another very rhythmic pattern. Do you know of other patterns that you think have a rhythmic quality? Would you write and let me know about them, please? I've only found these two on my own.

The Spiral Eyelet Socks in The Alpaca Yarn Company's Paca-Peds in Fireside is my traveling project. No pictures in awhile so here's the first sock.
Spiral Eyelet Socks
and I'm half way down the leg on the second sock which has the spiral going the opposite direction than the first.

The Chevron Scarf in Handpainted Misti Alpaca Worsted is done.
Alpaca Chevron Scarf
I finished the scarf with only this much of the pink colorway left!
all that's left
That was too close!

I know I'm suppose to be spending my money on presents but I had a moment of weakness and bought some yarn through Etsy. (A year or so ago I thought Ebay and Amazon were sites of temptation, they have nothing on Etsy!!!)
Sofie's Toes - Starry Night
This is hand dyed by Emily of Sophie's Toes, 100 Merino Superwash fingering weight. The colorway is called Starry Night. I also bought Midnight in the same yarn base.
Sofie's toes - Midnight
This picture makes the yarn look dark gray; it's actually black with many shades of gray. I wish I'd bought more of this colorway, this would make a gorgeous lace something.

That's it for now. Time to get out there present shopping. Today is the gift card hunt; I know what and where, it's just the trek through the Mall that's the chore. It's cool enough today that I can pull out one of my scarves.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Pirate Ship

This entry really has nothing to do with pirates; I just took this picture, wanted to share it but couldn't figure out anything clever. This ship is one of the floating exhibits at the San Diego Maritime Museum in San Diego Bay.

Now the Knitting Content: Sunshine and my free time haven't coordinated frequently enough for me to take any recent knitting photos. Sorry but you'll have to imagine...

I finished knitting my Reader's Shawl but I haven't blocked it or sewn on the pockets. I thinking I'm putting off finishing it because I am debating pulling out the bottom border and adding more length; I have one whole ball of yarn left.

A shipment of Handpainted Misti Alpaca in worsted weight came into the shop and I bought a green EZ14 and a pink EZ06 to make another Chevron Scarf. This is a present for the "allergic to everything wool, including Cashmere" daughter; she seems to be able to tolerate alpaca.

Another new yarn that came home with me is Kraemer's Sterling silk & silver
which has 2% Silver in it - although I can't see it - looks more irridescent than silver. I'm making a lacy Argosy scarf with it. It's a fingering weight and I'm using a size 4 needle. This yarn is a little hard on my index finger's skin as it runs across. That's probably the nylon in the yarn.

Since I'm the person that usually loses all my yarn labels you maybe wondering how I immediately came up with these three? New system - as I take the label off I shove it down into my chair between the arm and the cushion. They stay put, the cats don't eat them, they don't fall out of my knitting bag and no one that might straighten my messy knitting corner can accidentally throw them away. No one but you and I even know they're there. [Shhhh - keep my hiding place to yourself, please.] Maybe I'll be better able to play "name that yarn" now.

It's really hard keeping track of anything up here in this room; we're slowly remodeling the room trying to work around what's up here rather than hauling everything out of here. (No place to put the stuff but down in the living room; this time of year den-stuff isn't exactly the decorations visitors expect when they come over.)

The Photographer and I went for a walk along the Embarcadero last Sunday to enjoy the area after all the ash had finally been wash away. Everything was sparkling. I took this picture of the birds disregarding the posted sign.

No Parking