Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year again! So... what am I going to do in 2009? Here's the new list!

  1. Entrelac. Still haven't done it, still want to, it's time I did.

  2. Knit more than 1 sock at a time. Toe up, top down, doesn't matter. Two at a time, any way.

  3. Knit more non-sock objects. I'll always have at least one sock on the needles, but my stash needs to shrink.

  4. Shrink the stash. Knit down 2 bins and one bag of sock yarn. Smaller house, less space.

  5. Sell non-fitting clothes on eBay. Already did a huge purge (8 bags donated to charity!), but there's more.

  6. Work out regularly. It's not healthy to sit on my butt at work and at home and just stuff myself all day long. But hey, at least I managed to go vegetarian!

  7. Spend more time running games. It's fun, it's social, I don't do it enough.

  8. Start my holiday knitting early enough to actually finish by the holidays.

  9. Cross stitch and do some spinning. I've neglected both.

That's it for me, anything else will be extra. How about you? Are you making resolutions this year or just hoping for something good?

Either way, I hope you have a Happy New Year, and that 2009 has much of the good and little of the bad in store for us.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Knitting... and Cats

There has been knitting. A few months ago, I subscribed to the Sugarbee sock club... the wonderful person who sells Politically Incorrect Yarns, which... how can you not love the name? I mean, come on. And she has colorways named after mixed drinks. The one for the Beachcomber Socks was called Sex on the Beach. Great name!

And great yarn -- with a fun to knit pattern to boot. I showed this to the owner of the LYS near work, and she couldn't stop asking questions about it. I mean... blues and browns, with slightly greenish bits. Like water lapping at the shore.

And look at the fun pooling. Beachcombers, pooling, get it?

OK, you can stop cringing now.

Pattern Details:
Pattern: Beachcomber Socks by picnicknits
Yarn: Politically Incorrect Yarns and Fibers 100% Wool Sock in Sex on the Beach
Needles: US #0
Modifications: I made the shaft 8" long because I like tall socks and my skinny legs and tiny feet don't use up much yarn. I still have enough left over for footie socks, I think!

And now, some kitty cuteness. Merlin and Morgana cuddled up, taking a nap together. They're over a year old and they still love each other!

There has been some holiday knitting, but... ahem, it's blocking upstairs. Can't show pictures of it quite yet. Well, at least not here. If you want to take a look at it in its unblocked state, go check out its project page on rav.
Apologies to all who are not on ravelry. I just can't have the recipient peeking.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post-Holiday Knitting

The holiday knitting is done. I can't quite post pictures of it yet because it hasn't been sent out yet (yes, I was late again this year), but soon. I have already switched to post-holiday knitting and will be posting pictures soon.

There has been a lot of cooking and baking too. We had one of Mr. Batty's friends from work over for dinner, and I made Tortellini Indulgence, AKA Tortellini Rustica with a pound of smoked mozzarella in it, and pumpkin pie. It was very tasty, but something went wrong with the crust. The directions said to cover with two sheets of aluminum foil and bake until golden. When I lifted the foil, I noticed to my utmost horror that the butter was bubbling, and the crust was... boiling! Now, this was supposed to be pumpkin pie, not latkes (which I have made successfully), so clearly, there was something wrong. Maybe I shouldn't have folded the edges of the foil under quite so tightly.
Anyway, after I removed the foil, the crust fried. The pie itself was very good, but the crust was on the crispy side. I'm usually a pretty good cook, but there is something about pie crust that gets me every time. I guess it's my Achilles' heel.

We had a good time, ate a lot, and it was a very nice, very quiet time. I got a flannel nightgown, and the robe is still on its way... I love flannel. It's warm and cozy and comfortable. Mmmmm, flannel.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


That's right, enormous, floofy, all-caps SNOW. Not just a little, but lots and lots of it. It started falling Friday afternoon, continued through Saturday, and most of today. This picture was taken this morning... there has been more snow since. Not good for being outside, but wonderful weather for staying inside and getting domestic.

The cats enjoyed their spot on top of the fireplace... we didn't light it, but they like it up there anyway. They lounged, Mr. Batty and I flopped around the house, I knit. I'd love to show you the Super Secret Holiday Knitting. Unfortunately, I won't be able to until after the holidays.

So instead, I will show you pictures of the other thing I like to do with my free time: Cooking! See this orange stuff? That's cream of carrot soup. Cream of roasted carrot, to be exact, and it's wonderful on a cold day. Thick and yummy and... well, very orange.

Speaking of thick and creamy, behold this year's egg nog! It's thick and golden and made of all-organic ingredients. Well, except for the booze. It's amazing how much more flavor an organic egg imparts. We can really taste the difference.

And what would the holidays be without cookies? In our house, they have to be bat cookies, of course. Christmas Bats! I have red and green sprinkles and I was going to decorate them, but Mr. Batty isn't feeling well and I like the way they taste as-is. So no sprinkles on these cookies. But they're bats!

We also made a couple of ghosts. These are the Ghost of Christmas Past cookies. Because we have to have something geeky in there, right?

I'm going back to my holiday knitting now. It's Sunday... must knit faster.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Firsts and Knitting

I have been busy. The holidays are approaching, and people at work are trying to get all of their ducks in a row before taking a few well-deserved vacation days. And then, there are the other preparations... you know... baking, and knitting!

Last week, I baked the first pizza in our new home. My deep dish pizza pans (aka cake pans) were in storage, so I used a baking sheet. It came out very nice.

And let's not forget cookies. These are ginger crackles. They came out looking exactly like the picture in the recipe, which is a first. And they taste good! We took them to our monthly Call of Cthulhu game yesterday, and I ate about 6 or so. There's something about cookies, I just couldn't stop.

I told you I'd been knitting, and I wasn't making that up either! The Pomatomus socks I started when my parents came for a visit are done. My mother claimed them, so these will be sent off to Germany soon.

They took me almost a month, but in my defense, there was the small detail of the move. I found the pattern annoying at first, but after I was almost done with the first sock, it clicked, and things moved quickly from there.

Pattern Details:
Pattern: Pomatomus by Cookie A.
Yarn: CTH Supersock in Dove
Needles: US #0 (skinny ankles run in the family!)
Modifications: None. They fit my mom perfectly as written. How cool is that?

There is some secret Christmas knitting I can't show you, but this is the current sock from the Sugarbee Studios Sock Club. They're called Beachcombers, and thee colors and wavy lace pattern really make them look like sand and water. Complete with pooling, heh.

OK, I'll stop the puns now. I'm on sock #2 and it's coming along very nicely. Maybe I'll get done just in time for this month's installment!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thanksgiving, Part 2... and House!

The number of boxes is shrinking, and it makes me very happy to see an increasing amount of floor space. The cats, on the other hand, are enjoying the vast amounts of crinkle paper. Morgana in particular was having a great time.

My new kitchen is quite a bit smaller than my old kitchen. You're looking at the whole thing! There's relatively little space for food in the cabinets, but there's a Whole Foods within a 5 minute walk, and they're building a Trader Joe's across the street. I guess I can afford to suppress the worst of my hoarding impulses.
The appliances are awesome, by the way. Gas stove, amazing fridge, and a great microwave. Yay!

My craft corner is also nearly complete. The second bedroom has my Ott Lite, my comfy chair, and all of my knitting/crochet and cookbooks in it. The entire closet is taken up by yarn, fiber, cross-stitch stash... I'm planning on reducing that drastically. We have very little closet space, and it doesn't seem entirely fair that I'm taking up the bigger of 2 closets with craft stuff. The yarn diet is going well, by the way -- I haven't bought yarn in over a month!

The cats love our two story windows. We have a loft-style living room with lots of light, and the fuzzies have figured out how to jump from the fireplace onto the window sill. It's a new favorite spot.

As you can see, we have a lot to be grateful for this year. For the first time ever, we both have real jobs. Our families are doing well. We have cats, a new home, and a shorter commute. I hope things stay good for us, and that the situation around the world gets better soon.

A happy belated Thanksgiving to all... I'm off to start visiting the blogs of my online knitting friends, for whom I am also grateful. It's been over a month, but now I have time to catch up!