Friday, August 22, 2008

Diet Links

So I missed my Tuesday diet blog, so you're getting it on Friday!

Here are some good links and some great recipes....

1. Aimee's Adventures is a site dedicated to dieting on Weight Watchers. It includes tips, progress reports, favorite foods, and recipes. I haven't tried many recipes as I've been trying to cook as little as possible (I'm hoping to change this soon), but Aimee invented one of my favorite things of all-time: Breakfast Crunch Cookies. Aimee sent the recipe to Kashi and they loved it; it's now on their site as well.

The first time you make the cookies, it will seem overwhelming. I don't have a food processor; I always use my mixer instead. I don't try to flatten the cookies either. Suffice it to say that ever since I made my first batch - over a year ago - I've made these every two weeks so that I can have one every morning with my coffee. Some things don't work well with coffee but these do! Yummy! (I also make and love Aimee's Meatless Taco Soup, though I can't find it at the moment!)

2. Dottie's site is fun to look around. I like that you can look up food by points!

3. This Dining Out Guide has tons of restaurants listed so you can see how many points you're eating when you go out. This is great if you don't have the Weight Watcher's Guide to Dining Out.

4. It made my week yesterday when I stumbled upon the recipe for Olive Garden's discontinued Chicken Giardino! I was heartbroken when they took this off the menu. Imagine my delight when I saw they'd added it to their recipes on-line! I don't know how many points it would be but the worst thing I see is Olive Oil. I love this dish because of the veggies and light sauce. My dad tried it once - he's pickier than me - and even he liked it! I hope to make it in a few weeks!

Well, those are just a few things that come to mind. If you haven't poked around the Weight Watchers site, I suggest you do that. Also, the message boards are great. I try to look at their Recipe Review board now and then.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Market Bag, Vol. 4

Significant progress is being made on the Market Bag after the Saturday class. The bottom looks a lot better than I thought it would...

The mesh part is easy, but I know I've made some mistakes. The k2tog, yo sequence can be a bit of a pain when starting a new round.

The class was fun and Linda showed us - and made us practice - a three needle bind-off. It was so easy! And it looks so cool! I'll definitely be substituting that for any "grafting" I see in the future. Grafting just sounds like a four-letter word!

I didn't get as much done on the bag as I would have liked, but I'm not complaining. After the class on Saturday, I got to meet up with my best friend, SK, and we actually went swimming. I haven't swam all summer! Then we had an awesome dinner. So that was fun. I was so tired when I finally got home, but I managed one box before turning in.

And yesterday was spent packing. By mid-afternoon, my back hurt from bending over boxes! The good news is that I have 97% of my books in boxes and all of them are on LibraryThing. The only ones that are un-boxed are pesky cookbooks and knitting books. I guess the knitting books can go in a box with yarn, eh? I pulled out my stash and realized that only half of it is up on the Ravelry. Eek! Given the move, I don't know when I'll have time to take photos, but whatever.

The move is really beginning to stress me out and I'm worried about Sybella. A cat-lover, rescue lady I met not long ago said that moving is the most stressful thing you can put a cat through. Sybella looked a little disconcerted at the growing number of boxes yesterday, but I don't know what to do. I can't - and I wouldn't want to - board her for two weeks! I guess we'll both be stressed out together!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Market Bag, Vol. 3

Just a quick Saturday post - unusual, I know - to let you know that I've figured out the Market Bag!

Remember that yarn over that I tried taking out? Well, that did it. In fact, that yarn over is nowhere on the pattern. Linda told me to yarn over after every row. I read the pattern, like a good little knitter, and did not see a yarn over after the even rows. She insisted that I do it.

Yesterday, I called her and she asked if I was only doing the yarn over after the odd rows. I wanted to scream. This, after she insisted I do it after every row. I know people make mistakes but it was really frustrating!

When I tried to take the yarn over out earlier, my knitting was probably so screwed up that it couldn't help. Well, last night, as I watched the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, I started over - again. And the third time's the charm! It worked! There's actually a pattern happening - like there's supposed to be! All is right and I'm delighted.

Sybella and I are settling into my parent's empty house. They are off frolicking on an island (ew) for their thirtieth wedding anniversary. So, it's me, Sybella, and a really big, empty house. More on that Monday.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Market Bag, Vol. 2

I worked on the Market Bag again last night. After doing a couple rows, things just got more off with the stitch count. So I decided to frog it and start over. This was a big decision considering I couldn't start it before, Linda had to do the honors.

But guess what? I did it! I was able to do the crochet cast-on, after a few tries, and I got it started perfectly on the double-points. Yay!

That's where the goodness stops. After a few perfect rows, the stitch count was off - there was one too many for two rows! So, I decided to take one of the yarn overs out. I thought that was working until a few rows later when I was short a stitch!

Really, I'm at my wits end! I took out a few rows this morning and have started them over. So far so good. But I don't know if I should keep the yarn over or not. Arrrg! This is SO frustrating.

However, it's Friday and next week I'm off the WHOLE week! Yay! Vacation!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Market Bag, Vol. 1

Yesterday I was super excited about going to my Market Bag class. This is what the bag looks like:

The pattern for the bag is here.

Well, it all went downhill after the crochet cast on. I have no dexterity with a crochet hook. I've managed to repair a few knitting projects with them - my socks included - but it's never easy. And it's very frustrating to know what to do but to not be able to maneuver the needle in order to do it! Linda had to do it for me.

And then there was the whole, let's put eight stitches on three double-pointed needles and go from there. There's nothing I hate more than having just a few stitches on double-points. It's confusing and hard and just plain scary. Finally, I was able to work with some ease but that didn't last long. Just when I thought I knew what I was doing (on the double points), a problem arose. I kept coming up with the wrong number of stitches. I undid a row and re-knit it; the same thing happened. Linda worked and re-worked three rows for an HOUR and still we had the same problem. It got to the point where it wasn't my knitting - at least I don't think. Two and two were not making four, they were making five - for me and Linda!

Sigh. Finally, she made it work, by making an extra stitch. Hopefully, all will be well when I go to knit on it. I haven't tried anything since I left the shop last night at 7:20. They close at seven. I was there for two and a half hours! Linda was super nice but I knew she was frustrated - not necessarily with me, but with the knitting for sure.

I was exhausted by the time I walked in the door, and was greeted by Sybella, at 7:40. She was hungry and in need of attention - after all, I'd been gone for over twelve hours. There was no packing or knitting last night. I made myself write a page in the book, because I had an idea that I wanted on paper. Of course, I didn't get as far as my idea, but it'll hold until tonight.

The good thing: socks look incredibly easy after last night's debacle.