Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yarn along - socks and sweaters #2

Joining Ginny at Small Things and the other creative ladies in the Yarn Along! I am really looking forward to seeing what is in everyone's work baskets!

 It is knitting before reading here! The Pikachu sweater is coming along. I want another 2-3 inches before I do the decrease and begin the color-work. I am thinking I should have made it a little looser on him and plan to add a few inches around to the girls' sweaters when it is their turns. My husband and daughter designed Bunny's next sweater during dinner the other day. It will feature a large bunny playing a violin (my daughters both play) in the center body of the sweater and have a circle of carrots decorating the yoke. Thankfully, my husband is actually interested in this, so as soon as I decide on yarn and can give him the gauge he is going to design the bunny/violin section's chart. Also this weird thing happened Monday night, I ran out of the ball of yarn I was using on this sweater, no worries I have four more, but they were all down in my studio and I was tired, so I switched to my socks.
 My socks are coming along, I am about where I want the heel to start. So Monday night after I switched to this project I am knitting along and that's it I am out of the yarn. I am knitting up stash yarn and started this with only one ball. I went to Joann's and managed to get a ball of the same yarn but it is a bit brighter on the ball, I knit five more rows and can't really tell. I am doing the heels and toes in a grey.
My husband is away this week for business and I never sleep well when he is gone. Which is why when I ran out of yarn on Monday for both of the above projects I did not go to bed like a sane woman, I pulled out my very sleeping Milk fiber sweater, this is the Gyre pattern and is for me. After awhile I realized two things 1) twisted rib is easier continental 2) I was going to run out of my ball of yarn soon. I have never had that happen where three projects all needed joining on the same day. I took it as a sign and went to bed!

Reading-wise, I have been fitting my reading in around things and not finishing much.

I did finish Libations of the Eighteenth Century last night. I enjoyed it and will likely try some of the brewing and punch recipes, I might try some of the coffee replacement ones while camping. I do wish the author had looked into the herbs he suggested a bit more thoroughly, in other aspects he mentions things used or methods used that are not considered safe practice anymore, he points that  out but give the historic mention for information. I dislike that pennyroyal and comfrey are listed as flavoring for beer and tea without warnings. The first is traditionally used as an abortificant and the second is strongly linked to cancer and not considered same for ingestion anymore.

I am finding Bloody Old Britain to be slow.

I started reading Treasure Island - never have before - as my treadmill book, I read 70 pages the first day but haven't managed the treadmill since!

Bunny and I are re-reading Anne of Green Cables as a bedtime book. We read through to the third book before but didn't finish and Bunny wanted to restart for continuing on.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How does your garden grow... Yes I Know it is January

With mung beans and radish seeds... and seed catalogs all in row...

Okay, the meter is terrible, but the seeds are sprouting and the catalogs are mounting up. It is cold and rainy out but my mind is on garden plans and greening things.

I want to simplify the plan in the garden so I am still thinking about my direction there, but to bring a bit of fresh in the house, I am doing up some sprouts in the kitchen. We use opaque recycled plastic containers one inside another with a bunch of holes punched into the inner one for drainage. I am rinsing them about every three hours or so. Yes, even when I get up in the middle of the night.

The green is the mung beans and tiny reddish ones are the radish. The holes are a bit too big on the radish contain so I have a circle of paper toweling down in there.

Friday, January 6, 2017

some changes

What is my hair attacking?
As I am trying to bring my juggling into focus I am making some changes. One thing I am trying to do is plan more. Not plan more things into my day! but simply to plan. One way I am doing this is not to plan to get up earlier in the morning - I won't, I have a terrible time falling asleep but an amazing ability to stay asleep - but to plan that I will be running late by the time I drag myself out of bed. Realizing this about myself, I am now trying to do the dishes the night before and have the kids' lunch boxes out on the counter with apples and milk monies in them, so that I can just make sandwiches (and a pasta salad for Bunny ***) and some jello.

Then when I get home from drop off, I can put away last night's dishes and do the kids' breakfast ones while my breakfast is cooking. I never like to eat first thing.

While eating breakfast, I am doing my computer work, writing blogs, designing layouts, soon editing videos(more on that later) Then I am free to create or go to the gym.

I am trying to exercise more, my parents bought me a membership to the gym that is on my drive home from the girls' school. My initial thought was to go right after drop off and I tried that but I want to use the machines and the pool. in that order. I am done with drop off at 8 and the gym has a swimming pool based class - that I could join but don't really want too- at between 8:30-9:30 depending on the day. I just can't seem to get the timing right to use the floor and the pool and not have to wait or spend three hours or race through the floor and get irritated with the class for getting into the pool early. I want to do this to feel better and that includes mentally, I don't need the stress. So home to write first, exercise later.

Another thing I am trying to do is make my house prettier and easier to use, ORGANIZE ALL THE
THINGS! And while I want that done, I don't want to do it that way. I am instead doing a small something each day, hoping to end up in the same place.
Tuesday, I boxed up some glassware that we want to keep but don't use often, to make room for the wonderful new mugs my MIL made -she is an amazing potter and I will be selling some of her work, so excited! - for our Christmas presents. Mine looks exactly like what I picture them serving ale in at Tolkien's Green Dragon.


I found this, I love this, why have I not already used it?
Wednesday, I sorted through all my yarn, I now have it in four categories - partial, weaving, handspun, and stash. Then I inventoried the stash in excel. I plan to track my usage. I found several things I have forgot about and ordered a second ball of two sock yarns so I would have enough to make socks.



Thursday, I spent about a half hour, ok it was the length of one episode of The History of Byzantium Podcast, cleaning and rearranging my studio. It is not done. It is a start. But with having done both of those things I could easily make Bunny a "powdered wig" out of a partial yarn that I knew exactly where it was. Had I not done either days' pretty-ing project I would have done it but it would have been hugely stressful. 

(*** in case I forgot to mention it I am changing Butterfly's nickname to Bunny, she is actually a bit afraid of butterflies, and it struck me as silly to nickname her something she doesn't like. Bunnies are one of her favorite animals and she dressed as one for Halloween.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Yarn along - socks #1

Inspired by listening to podcasts over break I cast on socks on Friday the 30th. Like most of us, I am hoping to use up some stash this year, the yarn for these socks is in keeping with that goal. The downside is that I don't exactly know what the yarn is. I believe it is Paton Kroy. I also think this is a full skein. But I am not sure. If someone recognizes it let me know! These are for me and I know I won't have enough yarn, later today I am going to go find a coordinating yarn. I love socks.

I am hoping to read more than 200 books this year, my Goodreads 2017 challenge is made. I also want to leave my favorite fiction style on the shelves. My husband made a comment about idealized views and I wonder if reading romance novels and books involving other topics but including people who are falling in love is perhaps harmful. I don't believe or want all roses and sunshine, but I know that I am susceptible to desiring what others think I should want in place or in addition to what actually makes me happy. So for awhile at least I will be reading more non-fiction and classic fiction. As to the challenge, I have two done already.

This year I will be reading Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. I will only read the month's chapter at a time, and am not currently committing to knitting along with her, but I might.

I am also reading Bloody Old Britain - OGS Crawford and the Archaeology of Modern Life by Kitty Hauser. This is slow to get into but I am enjoying the insight it seems to offer on current thought. "What seems to look backwards in time might in fact be attempting to mould the future."(Hauser, 12.)

My sister got me Libations of the Eighteenth Century by David Allen Woolsey, I am not too far in yet but am very excited to read and perhaps try some of these recipes.

In other knitting news I knit in and then ripped out all eight Pikachu faces in my Mouse's Christmas sweater. Six colors is too many for me to work in strands and pulled in too tight, I could no longer get the sweater on him. SAD doesn't cover it. so out came 30 rows. I think I will 1) set them a bit higher in the sweater - not around the shoulders 2) have a few less as that will put them after the decrease 3) set the faces into the body intarisa style but do stranded colorwork within each face to put in the cheeks, eyes, and tongue.

 This should have been sitting inches lower on him. Every row I did he would hug me. Now he is sad and doesn't want to talk about his sweater. I need another day or two away from it before diving back in.

Linking up with Ginny of Small Things for the Yarn Along.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New year - old thoughts

A few years ago I decided that instead of making a resolutions list, I would come up with a thematic word for my intentions for the new year. I rededicate myself to that idea.

I would like to work on being a HAVEN for my life.

My mind and body a haven for me. I have set a goal of reading 200 books - and I would like few of them to be pulp fiction. I would like to put into practice more of my ideals of how we should live our lives and less living practically. By which I mean faster and easier not actual practicality. I would like to make my body healthier and stronger. To camp and hike more.

I would like for my company to be a haven for my family and my friends, that they can take comfort and rest in my love. For them to know that I am always there for them, but I also mean that I want to make my life such that dropping everything for a friend in need does not put my family into a tailspin that I must scramble to keep ahead of. I want to focus on showing love to my family and my friends.

I want my house to keep my home a Haven for all who enter, but especially for my family. I want them to feel special and comfortable in a house that is ready for use not one that needs frantic tending before we can let anyone in.

I want to use my resources more responsibly, to focus on our family's goal and dreams rather than on ease for the moment. I don't want this to be a strict diet destined for failure, but rather a change in outlook.

I want to grow as a business owner and writer and to make certain that the choices I make in those spheres of my life enhance the rest of my life.

I would like to do all the things. Make to family cookbook, finish the projects, use what I have, write more, cook more, be more present. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Desert Table - Butter Mints

We haven't made these in years - I think I was in High School the last time - but I decided to do it.

1/4 cup of Butter, softened
8 oz of powdered sugar
1 T heavy cream
1/2 t of mint extract
food coloring

you just work all the ingredients, except the food dye,  together into a ball, work with your hands this goes fast. Split the dough into two batches mix in green and red food coloring one in each. Roll into balls and lay out on a tray to dry over night. Ideally two. We are putting a fan on them over night to help this along as we should have started it last night.

Thanksgiving Desert Table - Mom's birthday

It is always my mom's birthday at Thanksgiving time, so a birthday cake always happens. The girls are using a present Badger - who hopes to be a candy maker and baker when she grows up - got for her birthday. A five part cake pan.


The girls made the cake mix with no help from me, divided the batter into five equal parts, with some help from me. Then they each added food coloring to two bowls and Badger got the fifth bowl. In to bake out to cool. Then I will trim them, layer them with jam and frost them.