Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Year of Living Stashfully

Last year, I made a resolution to try to not add to the stash. It wasn't so much a "No Yarn Buying" resolution, as it was a resolution that I would knit the yarn I bought and not let it become resident in the stash. I did fairly well. The major areas of stash enhancement were in the sock and lace categories. At least those are small skeins!

This year, sock yarn counts. I have 30 some-odd skeins of sock yarn and I'm knitting socks at a rate of 5 or 6 pair a year. I can stop with the sock yarn for a bit.

I think another Year of Living Stashfully is in order. I posted a while back about all the lovely sweaters I have sitting in stash. And I'm diving in. As with last year, I'll buy yarn to knit, but I want to have anything I buy back out of the stash by the end of the year. I'm an inveterate list-maker and I've already worked out what I'm going to knit with which yarns on the old Palm Pilot. Whether or not I'll conform is another matter. But it's a start.

Right now, I'm working on a sample for the Shabby Sheep and on Bless in Rowan Cork for myself. And on finding the damn camera cord so I can upload pictures.

A combination of sales and serendipity have led me to buy the yarn for the long-coveted Electra vest on the cover of Rowan 38. I have been lusting after this vest since the magazine came out, but I hated the fact that the cover yarns are really bright purples and not the plums, etc. the picture would lead you to believe. I've found a good combo of colors that should be gorgeous.

Best wishes for a delightful New Year's Eve. We only go out about once every 5 years, so we're having some really good friends over. Their daughter is Bean's best friend, so it will be sort of like a playdate with champagne!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Step away from the bag, Ma'am

My MIL has been deeemed a threat to national security. And it's all my fault!

I gave my MIL a bar of nice soap for Christmas. She packed it in her carry-on bag, where the TSA agent determined that it was a threatening substance and searched her bags. Now, my MIL is in her mid-seventies and has a boufant hair-do the likes of which I haven't seen since the 1960s. Hell, the hole in the ozone layer is probably solely due to the amount of hairspray my MIL uses on what is no longer hair, but more of a structural accessory.
I find the whole thing hilarious because my MIL makes June Cleaver look like some sort of reactionary hippie.

At any rate, the TSA agent is trying to search the bag and my MIL is asking what he's looking for and offering to help and the agent is trying to get her to stop touching the bag and to find the offending items: the soap. Totally overlooked in the dangerous aresenal of weaponry carried by my MIL is the hair pick she uses to tease her hair. (Remember the hairpicks people used to carry in their back pockets to tease their 'fros in the 1970s? Yeah, Grandma has one.)

Moral of the story?

Ack! It's Soap on a Plane!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas was delightful. Presents were shared, relatives visited, in-laws stayed with us, etc. I've even cast on for a new knit at long last. I'm still trying to figure out how the heck the new camera works for uploading. Dr. Pig has Done Something with the required cable. This is Not Good. However, I'm sure it'll turn up.

Beans' big Santa gift was a pirate ship. Mama excavated said object from her closet at about 9.30 on Christmas Eve and discovered that the assembly required was fairly extensive. 109 teensy tiny little pieces. But, fueled by several glasses of champagne, we had a blast putting it together. Well, the grappling hook and the anchor were a pain in the ass, but the rest wasn't too bad. It's insanely detailed and she loves it to distraction. It's quite fun to play with.

We hosted Christmas again this year and, overall, it was amazingly low stress and for that, I am truly thankful. My family can be a bit much at times for reasons that will be left unsaid and having Dr. Pig's parents stay with us for 5 days can sometimes be a bit much. But, I made a commitment to Dr. Pig to have a low-stress holiday and keep it together, and by God I pulled it off.

Back to the knitting!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Dear Dr Pig

I love you.

That's why I married you.


When your parents are staying with us and I ask if you want to come with me to shop for a few last odds and ends, please do not respond, "Nope, I'm all done."

1.) With the exception of three packages under the tree, I did all the shopping and wrapping. And you only wrapped one of those three. So, technically, I'm the one who's done.

2.) I realize that there is an awfully large box under the tree wrapped in Tiffany blue and white which indicates that you are, indeed, "done" as far as presents go.


Think that I might be using the whole "shopping" ploy as a thinly disgused ruse for going and sitting in a pub and drinking a few Belgian beers and having some moules frittes before I have to come back and help prepare Lutheran Chicken for your parents.

Speaking of which - this makes a great grilled chicken

Lutheran Chicken (Dr Pig got the recipe out of his church cookbook from Iowa. The Lutherans call this BBQ chicken but, as a Texan, I beg to differ. Hence, Lutheran chicken.)

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 small bottle Italian salad dressing (think wishbone or kraft - don't get fancy)
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 c soy sauce
1 tsp dry mustard

Combine last 4 ingredients and marinate chicken for 1 hour.

And, just because I'm in a sharing mood

Easy chocolate truffles (the ingredients sound completely ridiculous, but people scarf these down like no tomorrow)

1 8 oz pkg Philadelphia cream cheese
1lb 2oz pkg oreos
16 oz semi sweet chocolate (I use a combination of Baker's and Nestle chips)

Let cream cheese come to room temp.

Put 8 oreos in a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs.

Put rest of oreos in food processor and blitz to fine crumbs.
Add cream cheese and pulse until combined.

Put chocolate in a double boiler to melt.

Roll oreo stuff into small balls - you'll have between 40 and 50 depending on the size of your balls. (heh!)

Dip balls into melted chocolate (use two forks to make it easier)

put on wax paper on a cookie sheet.

Sprinkle liberally with reserved cookie crumbs and put into fridge for at least an hour. Transfer to other container for storage (always in the fridge). These are best after sitting overnight in the fridge.

Weirdly good stuff.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

not dead, just busy

Shopping completed: check
Presents wrapped: check minus two
Decorations applied to all corners of the house: Santa and Baby Jesus have combined forces to take over

Rum balls: Made
Chocolate truffles: Made

Tea party for 6 four-year-old girls: 2.30pm today.
Wine for mothers attending said party: oh yeah!

Anxiety level: oddly high

Knitting: none

My knitting drought continues unabated. Frankly, I think it has something to do with the fact that my mother keeps finding really great mysteries at the library and passing them on to me and then I have to read them NOW because they are due in a few days. I'm enjoying reading, but I'm starting to miss the knitting. I do have a few things I'm working on for classes at the shop, but nothing for me or mine.

We did buy a new digital camera, but I haven't figured out how to upload photos yet. Maybe tomorrow I'll have a treat for you... Because it's ain't Christmas around here without a little decorating abomination I refer to as Santa Jesus. Some people have waaaay too much money and waaay too little sense.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I seem to have lost my knitting way. I don't think I've completed anything since the test knit of the Casino shawl.

This is not like me.

I am halfway finished with two knits for the shop, and I completed the front of a sweater for Bean. Of course, the Bean sweater is too wide, so I'm going to have to go down one more size in the width and keep the two sizes up in the length. Nothing like a skinny child.

I'm not sure what I've been doing in my non-knitting non-knitting time. I will admit there has been a sharp increase in family activities. Zoos and gardens and picnics and circuses and all manner of non-knitting fun.


I'd like my knitting mojo back.

It might not seem like much of a Christmas present, but it would mean something to me.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Almost done

I had this whole ranting post written out and then I deleted it.

Sometimes, just writing something out makes you feel better.

Suffice it to say, I have started a new Christmas tradition. To be completely finished with Christmas shopping by the 10th of December. Because it drives me completely nuts every year to be left with last minute shopping. I hustled Dr. Pig into giving me his list last week. I told him it was that or he could buy it himself.

This has led to a very nice, mellow Christmas spirit.

Either that or it's the case of wine I bought last week.