Friday, February 27, 2009

UFO: Ripple Blanket

Yarn: Berroco Comfort
Colors: Browns/Light Browns/Creams
Needles: US9
Pattern: Edith's Baby Blanket by Edith Elg
For: Me!
Last Touched: probably nine months ago

This picture is an old one. I probably have about two inches of light brown added to the top of this. I really do like this blanket. The problem with it is that it's a blanket and it'll take forever no matter what I do. This is what keeps me unmotivated to touch it. Pathetic, eh? Right now, it's sitting on the couch, begging to be knitted on. We'll see.

To end this UFO week, I guess I should lay out some goals for my future knitting...

1. Finish the socks for they are beautiful!
2. Start and finish the Scarf for African School Children by May 1st so that I can mail it to Ruth. Hopefully I'll get a few more scarves from some colleagues so we can send a package full of scarves!
3. Finish Market Bag - yes, another UFO I didn't have time to mention.
4. Begin AL's gauntlets.

Hmmm....that's a lot of knitting - especially at present knitting rate!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

UFO: Lace Shawl

Yarn: Jarbo Garn Baby Pascal Solid
Color: Light Blue
Needles: Circ 5
Pattern: Lavender Linen Lace Shawl by Nancie M Wiseman
For: Me, I guess
Last Touched: Six months ago

Remember this one, dear blog readers? I took a class at JSY last summer to learn how to do lace. This pattern is definitely tricky enough to keep me engaged but I made a bad yarn decision on this one. My budget was stretched pretty thin so I went with a yarn I was not all that excited about. I don't like how it's knitting up. Sigh. Maybe I should start this one over eventually with a better yarn, eh?

In other knitting news, I found out that the other LYS in town is closing. That will leave only Linda at JSY. While I'd only been to the other place a few times - the staff were not nearly as friendly as Linda - it is sad to see any LYS go. It just proves that we need to support our local shops, even if it means only taking an occasional class. Those classes add up as does every little thing you buy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

UFO: Blue Throw

Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica
Color: Blue and grey tones
Needles: US8
Pattern: Four Seasons Throw by Design Source Collections
For: um...that's a long story
Last Touched: A long time ago

Way back, when I was a brand newbie knitter, I began this throw which will - eventually - be made of twelve such squares in shades of blue and gray. And I began this for my boyfriend at the time. There, I said it. He has now been my ex-boyfriend for almost three years but we're still really good friends. I imagine I'll decide who to give the blanket to when I finish it - which will probably be in five years or so, if I'm lucky.

In other knitting news, I had a surprise on my socks over the weekend. I was so concerned with knitting the foot that I kept going...and going a bit to far! While one of them was perfect, which meant I got to start the toe, the other one was an inch too long! So now I'm agonizingly taking out stitches, one by one. My eyes cross after a row and I have to take a break generally. I think I only have a row or two to go, however, after I sat and undid stitches during the President's speech last night.

Still, this is very exciting! I tried them on and they're perfect and beautiful! Yay! I may just finish these in March - like a year after I began them! Woohoo!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

UFO: Never-Ending Scarf

NEVER-ENDING SCARF (not the official name!)
Yarn: Colinette Prism
Color: Toscana
Needles: US11
Pattern: Woven Knit by Candi Jensen
For: Me!
Last Touched: Best guess is two years ago but I have no idea

I love this yarn and the way this scarf knits up. Unfortunately, I do not like the tediousness of bringing the yarn backwards and forwards. I have no idea when this one will get finished. Furthermore, there are mistakes in the scarf that I did not know how to correct as a new knitter. Now, they drive me insane!

In other news, my mom and I went into Dallas to see the King Tut exhibit yesterday. She had wanted to see it for her birthday but this was the first day we could both get off from work. We did some shopping (I bought way too much!) and then headed to the Dallas Museum of Art.

I used to like the DMA but I will not be going back (hopefully ever) unless they have an exhibition of outstanding proportions. The staff were rude, the exhibit was badly arranged, crowd management was horrible, and the tickets prices exorbitant. I'm going to stick to the Kimbell, where people are nice and customer service is still alive - and where they do not search purses twice.

The exhibit was good, though there were too many people to really enjoy it. I don't like people bumping into me or having to stand five deep to see an item. We were trying to avoid this by going on a weekday.

Oh, well. I got some clothes by day's end, so all's good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

UFO: Blossom Scarf

My very compulsive self likes the idea of a weekly blog topic. Therefore, this week is UFO Week! No, not of the alien variety but of the unfinished knitting project variety. I'm airing my dirty laundry - er, my UFOs that are stacking up.

First off, the first real scarf I ever made - well, started!

Yarn: Trendsetter Yarns Blossom
Needles: US9
Pattern: um, yeah, knit every row
For: Me!
Last Touched: maybe six months ago, to do a few rows

I loved this yarn when I began and I still do. It's very similar to chenille and would be very nice around the neck - if I ever get to put it around my neck! It's a bit of a pain to work with, however, and is not easy to do for extended periods of time. And it's boring to do: knit, knit, knit, knit....

Despite the fact that I've started two (I think) scarves for myself, neither of them have been completed. Sadly, I don't have a scarf of my own to wear. Other people have scarves from Doniamarie but not me. Ironic, eh?

Maybe some day. Maybe.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Scone Recipe

A colleague gave me a Cranberry/Orange Scone recipe which I have been tweaking for quite some time. Now, I think I have it perfected: I've gotten it down from 6 Weight Watcher points to a mere 3! Here it is...

1 c White, All-Purpose Flour
1 c Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 c Splenda granular
1 c oatmeal (not instant! but original)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
10 T Smart Balance Light buttery spread
1/2 c Craisins
1 T minced orange zest
1/2 - 2/3 c low-fat buttermilk
2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Blend butter into dry mix by hand until mixture is fine consistency. Add Craisins, orange zest, buttermilk (little by little) and egg whites. Turn with spatula until wet ingredients are folded in - do not overmix. Dump onto floured surface. Divide in half. Pat each half into a smooth disk (1 in thick). Slice each into 6 wedges. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheet. Optional: brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Cook in the middle of the oven for 20-22 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and serve. Store in air-tight container.

And only 3 WW points per wedge! And SO yummy! The Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is a bit tough to find and I've only seen it at Whole Foods.

The basic recipe is great and I want to try a different fruit next time. Maybe blueberries and lemon zest? Or cinnamon and raisin? The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Go Mavs!

Finally, a post about last weekend!

It was a great weekend because I got to spend it with my two best friends. We hadn't been together in a year and a half and before that....we got really close during our 3 1/2 weeks in Europe in 2004. We went to a nice dinner near the American Airlines Center in Dallas and then headed to the game.

It was a close game and very exciting. Dirk had a bad shooting half in the beginning, which contributed to the close score. Then Jason Terry broke his hand (though they made no announcement and we had no clue until AFTER the game). We were down going into the last few seconds until Jason Kidd made his one and only basket of regulation - a three pointer to tie it and take it to overtime. Dirk came alive in overtime with something like 10 to 13 points, securing the win for the Mavs. The Bulls didn't stand a chance once he got his game on!

Granted, the Bulls played some horrible ball, with more turnovers than I've ever seen, so it should have been a blowout. However, the Mavs are not, sadly, what they were two years ago.

It was a great night. I haven't had much friend time lately and it was a blast to hang out with my girls!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sookie and the Birds

Our crazy adopted kitty is making a name for herself within our bird population here, in the country. She's quite the little terror of the flying things. She stalks them and finally, last weekend, she caught one of them. Talk about traumatizing for her human keepers!

And, she's now killed about four cute little lizards (of the gecko variety, I think). The odd thing is that when she kills something, you can't exactly tell how they died. They're just non-responsive. Some lizards have crawled away overnight but not many. The bird didn't fly away.

Sookie's been wandering further away - out of the backyard, that is - and we got her a spiffy collar and name-tag. It looks as if she likes her home, however, as she sits on the porch, surveying her kingdom for most of her outdoor playtime. She's pretty funny to watch!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Super Bowl Calories

My mother's birthday was Sunday and though she was - at first - quite annoyed with the Super Bowl extravaganza that would play out on her day (in other words, dad in front of the TV), she made the best of it, as she always does. She and my dad invited some friends over - a nice couple - to watch the game and eat and drink. Of course, this meant my mom would have to cook - but she seemed fine with this. And after a few glasses of wine, we were quite happy in the kitchen!

Our menu was quite decadent and I think I gained a few pounds, at least! We started with our new favorite salmon recipe - Citrus-Roasted Salmon - but then had Tex-Mex sides: refried beans, Creamy Cheese Grits (gross!), and taco salad. For dessert I made Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes - which were yummy but not quite as creamy as the pic looks (maybe I overcooked them; our oven is crazy anyway!). I just do not understand grits. I know it's a Southern thing and I was born 'n raised, so one would think I would get this cultural dietary staple...but I don't.

We had chips and dip on hand - along with all kinds of liquor (yes, my parents have become lushes in their old age - haha; just kidding). Our guests brought more dip, carbohydrates, and more liquor. I ended up drinking about four glasses of wine which is more than I've ever drunk in one sitting (ahem, of wine, that is). In my defense, they were small glasses. I think I found a nice Chardonnay as well (I generally don't like white wines). All this eating means I'm doing a lot of cardio for my workouts this week and very little toning. Must burn some calories!