Monday, March 27, 2006

Yarn porn (picless-rated PG)

Well, I seem to be having some technical difficulties with uploading my pictures to my computer. Hopefully, I can get this thing squared away soon so I can show you pics of my yarn porn. Remember? The Knitpicks sock yarn bender I went on the other week? It was fantastic. It's being stashed for the times when I absolutely feel the need to knit socks, which will probably be soon. It talks to me, you know. The yarn... in the other room. late at night. AHEM! Anyways...

With the MJ slippers done (but not mailed >.>) and the baby blanket truckin along I realized that it has been a while since I've completed anything just for me, myself, and I. So I raided my stash, paged through SnB Nation and made a lovely "Basic Cable" out of some rather yucky gray Caron Wintuk. I'm chucking it in the wash first so it can soften up. I figure I can get some use out of it in the mornings, which are still rather chilly around here. *waving from the fourth snowiest, non-mountainous city in the US*

I'll have some R-Rated illustrations of my fiber frenzies soon ;)

As for the food porn. I decided to make a tried and true recipe yesterday for breakfast. I got it from a fitness magazine I used to subscribe to. ENERGY, I think it was called. They used to have some pretty interesting, but tasty recipes in each issue. I snatched this and make it every once in a while. It's supposed to be an "energizing" pancake recipe. It's light, but not tasteless. It's actually quite nice to not feel so damn guilty after eating some butter and syrup laden traditional pancakes. Really, I'm serious. Here's the recipe since the magazine as hence forth gone out of print. Let me know if you try it :) I won't include the nutritional facts because who really cares?

Apple Pancakes (from Energy Magazine)

1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 small apple diced and peeled (I like to use green apples like Crispin, Golden Delicious, or Granny Smith)
1 1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg
2 tbsps canola oil
1 tbsp honey (I substitute regular sugar when I don't have any honey)

Mix the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples in med-larg bowl. In separate smaller bowl, mix milk, egg/subs, oil, and honey. Pour milk mixture over flour mixture and mix well. Ladle onto griddle. This makes about 10 pancakes. It also suggest serving with applesauce instead of the usual butter and syrup. I've done both, but pancakes aren't the same without syrup (I use reduced-calorie syrup though... gimme a medal)


WAIT! I'm not done! Mr. V invented this just last night. This sandwich has no hope of ever being labeled "healthy". So, go make one. NOW!

Garlic/Cheesy Bread Sandwich

2 slices of garlic cheese toast as found in the grocer's freezer (Texas Toast is the name brand I think)
Sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese
slice of turkey breast lunchmeat
a couple slices of pepperoni
small amount of mayo (I use the light kind)
dash of cumin
dash of paprika
lettuce to top

Heat oven to recommended toasting temperature (around 400 deg F). Place two slices on baking pan. Sprinkle one slice with cheddar cheese. Top other slice with turkey slice and pepperoni. Pop in oven for about 7-10 minutes (keep an eye on it) or until you achieve desired toastiness. Apply thin layer of mayo to cheesy slice and sprinkle with cumin and paprika. Top with lettuce and combine to make the sandwich. That's it!

Hungry yet?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stay tuned...

This is a quickie post! Check back in a day or two for some:

  1. Yarn Porn (bow chica wowow)
  2. Instant Gratification Knit
  3. Some breakfast porn
And some other stuff, too. I need to charge up my camera batteries and figure out how to upload the pics since Mr.V did some major computer upgrading this week.


Inigo Montoya

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bit by Knitting Bug

Yes, my remarkable progress in not one but two projects yesterday proves of the existence of such an organism. The Knitting Bug (insecta knitta) bit me bad, but in a good way. You see, I finally finished the Ridiculously Easy Mary Jane Slippers that I was knitting for my SIL (the one who is expecting Zoe in the next 1.5 months). I think they were a little too ridiculously easy because they didn't really keep my interest. But they turned out fabU, if I do say so myself. I hope she likes them since these are a complete surprise for her. And I hope they fit. They're too small for me, which probably means they will fit her (hence, the reason why they are not modeled in the picture)

: Ridiculously Easy Mary Jane Slippers,
Yarn: Bernat Soft Boucle (some sort of deep red color, label is gone), not even half a skein
Needles: Size 10.5 Denise Interchangeable, Size 7 for straps
Mods: The pattern actually calls for Size 7 needles on chunky yarn for the whole thing, but it hard enough trying to work chunky boucle with the called for needle size. Also, you're supposed to crochet the strap, but that was easily remedied.
Woulda-Shoulda: I can't say anything bad about this pattern. It's so easy you can really personalize or go crazy with the substitutions. Good project for some instant gratification. That's all I have to say about that.

I have the first row of the M. Laurel Blanket finished and assembled. With the MJ's and this I was knitting for several hours yesterday. I'm so proud of myself. :)

I'm really stoked for this blanket. I can't say I'm stoked for the seaming involved, but that's why I'm assembling as I go. The knitting is way fun though. And with this kind of progress I might be finished ahead of schedule. *crossing fingers*

In all honesty I think I invoked the wrath of the Knitter Bug because I was naughty and signed up for my second craft swap on Craftster. I was going to wait until the blanket was finished, but when I saw this swap I couldn't resist. My shoulder angel said, "yo' bitch, just finish up all the other UFO's you have and you'll be golden". It's a Princess Bride Swap. I'm sure most of you know and love that movie. I found the swap yesterday morning, thought it over for a few seconds, then signed up (at the last minute mind you). Then I went downstairs and proceeded to watch the movie while finishing up the MJ slippers. I love. that. movie. Ever since I was little I loved that movie (It's hard to believe that it's almost 20 years old). So I have a few ideas floating around in my head, but I need to get in contact with partner to see what kind of stuff she would like. Suggestion Box is open!

"Death cannot stop true love... It just delays it for a while." -Westley (aka The Dread Pirate Roberts)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Don't Kiss Me, Who Cares if I'm Irish!

So work has been a little busy this week. I have a deadline looming over my head and what I’m working on requires a good bit of my attention. Thus, less time to do important things like surfing knitting sites and posting on my blog.

BTW- Happy St. Patty’s Day to everyone! Irish or not. Make sure you wear something green, eat some corn beef and cabbage, soda bread or, for you partiers, drink some green beer. Do a jig and what not. Me, I’m a more quiet celebrator. I don’t know how to make corn beef and cabbage (and I’m not really crazy about it). I’m not a drinker and I hate bars, so there goes the green beer thing. I did make Irish Soda Scones last night. J They turned out pretty well (and very hearty since I mixed in some whole-wheat flour). I’m wearing green as we speak. I own a copy of “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara but I don’t think I’m going to watch it tonight. Yeah, I’m paying homage to my Irish roots in a very quiet and stereotypical way. So, I’m good.

As far as knitting goes I’m working on the baby blanket, ignoring the MJ slippers, and punishing the BWC sweater. I started working on the left front piece of the BWC and got about half-way through and realized I wasn’t doing the side-shaping like I was supposed to. I guess when the pattern says to “read the entire section before knitting” I should do it. So it’s been banished to the other room for about a week because I’m not in the mood to frog and re-knit (bad BWC, bad).

I’m wondering if I should just put the BWC away for now. By the time it’s finished I really won’t be able to wear it since it’ll (hopefully) be warmer outside. I’d much rather make something to ring in spring, like a Lucky from SnB Nation. I have that recycled yarn all ready to go. But first I must finish the MJ slippers and ship them off to their recipient ASAP. This weekend: no baby blanket until MJ slippers are finished.

Yesterday I experienced my very first yarn bender! In anticipation of my tax refund I decided to treat myself to a large heaping of real sock yarn. Yes, real wool-nylon fingering weight sock yarn. I ordered from and made sure to order enough for free shipping. I ordered a little bit of everything, some Pallette yarn, some simple stripes, some essential… It’s all good. Can’t wait to open that box and see all that yarn.

Me thinks I’m turning into a yarn whore.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Knitting Progress and some Apple Goodness

I love weekends. What a fascinating idea weekends are. Two whole days free from work after 5 days on. It's a good combo. I also enjoy those 3-dayers thanks to "holidays" like Memorial Day, President's Day, etc. Supreme. And yesterday here in CNY it was sunny and warm (and by warm I mean in the 50's, yes, that's warm for this time of year). That's a rare combo in these parts: saturday, sunny, and warm all in one day. The first hints that hibernation is coming to an end. People want to go outside and enjoy it before it gets cold again, right? I'm sure most did.

But I didn't. I stayed in doors, the entire day, to knit (and watch Harry Potter). Don't get me wrong I felt the "duty" to go out and enjoy the weather, but I when I asked myself what I truly wanted to do the answer was knit. So that's what I did. Here are the fruits of reclusive behavior:

Two full hexagon pieces for Zoe's baby blanket. This is probably the fanciest damn thing I've ever made. I'll need to make many of these, plus a couple halfies, filler triangles, and the border. But it's a good start. This pattern definately keeps you on your toes, and the results make you want to knit more. But I can savor this. I must savor this. I still have two other projects in queue, one of them being a cozy sweater that may not be finished in time for the last days of winter. So when I knit today, the BWC will be getting my attention.

For Sunday beakfast I decided to make on Apple Popover instead of scones. I didn't know what the hell an apple popover was until I found myself at They have a lot of inspiring recipes, including "old school" recipes like this popover-thingamajig. It's simple enough to make, it just takes time. But the results are rather pleasing. Basically, you saute some apple slices in butter, cinn, and sugar. Whip up the batter, pour it over the apples in the skillet, and stick the skillet in the oven for about 20 mins. The edges of the batter rise and brown and also binds the gooey apples together. A sprinkle of powder sugar, and voile!

Pretty tasty, not too heavy like my usual waffles and pancakes. This is a good thing since I've been trying to eat lighter these days. Plus, with the ample amounts of fruit make me feel like I'm being healthy (who I am I kidding, they're smothered in butter and sugar!). I'd recommend this. More so than the crepes. Check out that site. I'll be sure to put a link on my sidebar.

Happy Weekending!

Friday, March 10, 2006

First Craft Swap is Finished!

Yeah, so my first craft swap adventure is over. I sent out the CD and craft today, the deadline date. Oh, well. :) I'm going to hold off revealing the craft and the track list for the CD until the lovely recipient (Thriftgoddess, aka Lucy Van Pelt) receives it (hopefully she can take a picture of it because I forgot too). But I will share what was waiting for me on Wednesday after work:

A new mix CD with a funky insert, a pin-up girl card (ooh lala), and lovely handmade pin. I'm not sure what the pin is made out of, but it's quite pretty. Impressive. :) Funny, I listened to CD while I was finishing up HER craft. Let me tell you it doesn't disappoint. It's a good mix to craft to. Lots of new sounds like 3kstatic, Thomas Dolby, the Bolshoi and a couple familiar ones like Queen and Fiona Apple. Sweet!

All Hail the Thriftgoddess!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My Crepe Adventure

Ok well my attempt at an exotic (aka, french) beakfast was a bust. Not a complete bust, but a bust nonetheless. I shall explain. Let me start with the one positive thing about this meal.

The crepes themselves turned out quite good. I'm guessing the batter was the right consistency because they didn't break during cooking. And they smell quite lovely while they're cooking. It doesn't smell like pancakes. It's hard to explain. Like a cross between fried chicken and donuts. That's the best I can do. It's a mild sweetness paired with a subtle smell of melted butter. And OMIGOD is there butter. I cook almost exclusively with butter. If you're gonna go for it, best to go all the way. The crepes did turn out a bit greasy for my conscience, but the belly was all for it.

Now for the bust part. The thing with crepes is that they don't have a strong taste (at least this version didn't). The taste of the filling just takes over. Not to mention the juices get soaked into the crepe leaving a mushy texture that just isn't my cup of tea. My filling options were a goopy strawberry filling I concocted from simmering frozen strawberries and some strawberry blend juice and some cottage cheese. Mr. V tried a crepe with strawberry goop and cheese. He ate it, then went back to bed. Not his cup of tea either. That's ok, I marched on optimistically. I tried a strawberry goop with a little less cheese and syrup. Not too impressed:

Then I tried a Cheesy Chocolate combo:

Looks better than it tasted.

I doubt I'll be trying crepes again anytime soon (unless I find myself at an authentic creperie or I find a recipe boasting itself as the best crepe filling ever comes into my possession). They're a fun cross-cultural breakfast, but just not satisfying enough for the tastebuds. Perhaps there was too much hype going into this. If you're familar with crepes and have some input to share, please do. I'd love to hear it.

As for the crepe batter recipe I used the basic crepe recipe at Next week, I'm trying scones, which I have higher hopes for because they're baked (more of my forte) and they hail from the British Isles, with whom I have a closer cultural relationship with than France.

Here are the buttons I bought this week. Aren't they purdy? The black lace ones are going on the SIL's MJ slippers. The rest are gettin' stashed. Au Revoir!

Meh, WIPs

There's not much going on here knitting wise. I haven't done much with the BWC, because I have a couple of deadline-knits on my agenda: the easy MJ slippers for SIL and "small craft" for the CD Swap I'm doing on Craftster. There was two whole days this week where I didn't touch any needles (god, wha'st wrong with me? *checks head for fever*). Yesterday's knitting time was devoted to the swap craft (I'm keeping it secret for now, in case she's lurking). I've gone over the time limit for what's supposed to be a "small" craft, but that's the way it goes with knitting. Not much I can knit in less than 2 hours. I should have used some bulky yarn instead of worsted weight for the item I'm making. Woulda shoulda.... It's kind of cute (it's my own creation). I hope my partner likes it. Luckily, the focus of the swap is the mix CD (phew!). I'll post the playlist when it's all said and done. :)

Hmm...I have the yarn all ready for the Mountain Laurel Blanket I plan on knitting for my soon-to-be neice, Zoe. I bought some Caron Simply Soft in "orchid" which is like a pale lavendar pink. Yeah, I know. I was trying to avoid the whole baby girl-pink thing, but this color isn't the horrible pastel-like color, it's quite pretty and I think it will show off the lace work (gulp!) of this pattern. Personally, I'm not into pink so much, but its for baby. I doubt my bro and SIL would like to wrap their new bundle of joy in black. Ha, baby-goth! There's no turning back now. I'm hoping I can finish the MJ slippers early this week, so I can get trucking on the blanket. She's due in late April, but I figure our visit won't be until early May. So I have about 2 months.

Something tells me that by the time BWC is done the weather will be too warm for a thick homespun wrap. Luckily, my office stays frigid pretty much year round (lack of heat in winter and hardcore A/C in the summer). I'll get some use out of it, heat stroke or not.

I got BUTTONS! Yes, purdy buttons. The Joann's in the mall (the big one) is closing and they're having some great sales on stuff. The yarn is pretty much gone except for the novelty crap which they moved up front, put a 50% off tag on with jacked up prices. If you're into that novelty stuff then check it out. The pricing could be better in my opinion. But my mission this week wasn't yarn. It was buttons for MJ slippers. They were 60% off, but if you got 5 cards they were 70% off each. SOLD! So I proceeded to pick out all the ornate buttons (selection was still pretty good). 5 cards, 2 buttons per card-$2.99 total on gift card. God, I love bargains!

On Sundays I normally make a special breakfast here at home. Just because its fun, really. And I like to eat. Since I've been reading a lot of food sites and blogs recently I've been feeling the need to experiment with some more of the exotic breakfast fare. This week: fruit Crepes. I have the batter sitting as we speak. I'll post a pic if they turn out all right. Next week: homemade scones!

In fact, I'll post a pic of the buttons I got, too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Memoirs of a Knittah

Ok, I’ve been knitting since about July/August of this year. I found myself on looking at her yoga mat bag pattern (to sew) and saw all the cool things she was knitting. Since sewing was pretty much falling flat for me, I thought I’d give knitting a try. So I went to my friendly neighborhood Joann’s (now in the process of closing, thank god) and got a skein of gray Caron Wintuk and pair of Susan Bates Size 10 straights. I went to and Vogue knitting to learn how to get started. For a couple days I fussed with making a knit stitch. Finally, I realized that I have to actually slip the knitted loop off the left needle for this knitting thing to actually work. EUREKA! And the rest is history.

Knitting is pretty much the only thing I do in my off time now. And by that I mean the time when I’m not working, doing stuff with Mr.V, sleeping, eating, running errands, napping… hmm, actually if you count reading knitting blogs, knitting boards on craftster, and other knitting related sites then I knit at work too. Just don’t tell my boss ;) I’m pretty much obsessed/addicted to knitting. Weird, because I’m so anti-addiction. Am I hypocrite?

Do I really care?

No… I could think of worse things to do with my free time.

And what’s up with the online knitting sites posting all these cute new patterns all of the sudden?

Click Here

And Here

I was paging through SnB Nation (I just got it from the Library) last night making mental notes on all the things I want to knit from there. And that doesn’t count the stuff from my two IK issues that are now in my possession. What’s a knittah to do? Move to Alaska so my sweater knitting will never interrupted by that pesky sun and evil earth's orbit?