Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finished

So my picture wall has been completed for ages, but I didn't have a good picture of it so I wasn't writing about it.

I am finally giving in and just writing it up with a horrible picture.


1. Collage of Jim/Jim's family
2. Bash Bish Falls with the phrase over top (phrase:The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things)
3. Collage of flowers from my gardens
4. Jim and his mom from when Jim was little
5. Jim being a goofball at the quarry
6. Collage of Norm
7. Turtle batik fabric with phrase over top (phrase: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful)
8. Jim and Me up in VT phrase on two edges (phrase: I like who we are when we are with us)
9. Collage of my family
10. Collage of Sherm
11. Sherm in a vast sand pit when he was little
12. Jim and Me leaf peeping in NH
13. Macro pic of Sherm's shell
14. Picture of a Red Barchetta with phrase (phrase: this is a song about a car)
15. What does a nosey pepper do? Gets Jalepeno business with a picture of a jalepeno
16. Collage of our wedding photos

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Some things I love

Every now and then I feel the need to praise things (blame article of faith 13). So on the docket for today, things I am currently enjoying in no particular order:

PCHH (still)
Crystal Light Hard Candy
PB2 (in things, I don’t like it as peanut butter spread)
Soy Sauce, Mirin and Ginger
Hydrogen peroxide (mouth wash, cold sore killer and all around awesome)
Cloth napkins
Running with the Pack
My picture wall
Sherlock Holmes (still)
Asics Gel-1170

 What are you enjoying right now?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Making it Home-ish

I wrote in the past about my desire to have a picture wall in my house. Well, this weekend we were at Target looking for a wedding gift and happened by a clearance end cap with picture frames. We were able to buy a bunch and they all match!

I started immediately to choose pictures to fill the frames. Most of the 8x10 frames will have a collage of pictures, but a couple of them will just have 1 picture or a picture and a phrase. I looked back through pictures and found some fun, funny and sweet ones. Sent them to be printed and spent two football games sorting and selecting and cutting pictures and placing them in the frames. So far I have filled all except 3 of them. A couple of them still need a phrase put in them, but I’m almost done.



 To choose the placement I traced the frames onto freezer paper and cut out templates. Then I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find the perfect layout. It may not be completely perfect yet, but I like it so far.

 Now, off to finish filling the frames and paint the wall so I can get this done before my birthday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

If Ron Popeil was a Gardener

He would plant garlic.

A couple of weekends ago we cleared out yet another garden bed in preparation for winter. In that bed I planted garlic. I can not express my love for home-grown garlic enough. I use garlic all the time, but unless I planted an entire backyard of garlic I’m not sure I could grow enough for us to have a year worth of food. That doesn't stop me though.

This year, like last year I planted a variety that I found in OR. I can’t be sure of the exact variety, but it is hard-neck and has a purple skin/paper. I'm in love both with how easy it is to grow and with the flavor. It's almost sweet, but not sugary, just not as harshly pungent as the garlic that I find at the grocery store. I had my mom buy me 4 heads of garlic and mail them to me for planting this year. I’m hoping that next year I can save four usable heads and re-plant from my own harvest.

What is so great about growing garlic? I call it the Ron Popeil of Gardening. You know his showtime rotisserie and the famous line: Set it and Forget it! Garlic is as close as I have come to a food crop that I can set and forget. We plant ours in fall, then we cut the scapes in summer (when the scapes curl) and then pull it up when the leafy bits start to brown. Sure, there is a little weeding, but even that I am not entirely diligent about and have seen no ill effects. For the most part I ignore it whole-heartedly until it’s ready to eat.

The basics in the fall:

It's only an inch or so deep
1. Dig a trench

Do you have awesome pink garden gloves?
2. Break the cloves apart, try to keep the skin/paper on each clove  

Purpley garlics, set
3. Set cloves in trench, pointy side up 
Close up of happy clove
4. Fill in trench 
5. Then forget it!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Book Club Demise

Tradition: Short Stories

Story: Back in elementary school I was part of the Junior Great Books program. I don’t know how standard my group was, but we basically had a book with short stories and excerpts from larger works. Each meeting we read the “story” and then discussed it. It was my first exposure to participating in a book club. The best things about the club was the fact that everyone read the stories. We could talk about them and even go back and explore things we misunderstood. It was fun times. This club is also where I fell in love with the short story format. If I don’t love a short story then I have only spent a few minutes instead of a few days reading it, but if I love it I can re-read and dissect it with as much time as I want.

 This love for the short story has led me to a pick up collections of short stories all over the place. I always recommend the Best American Short Stories selections as a good starting point. Then search out short stories. Look in literary magazines and keep trying out the short story format. I love it. Since I buy so many of my books used (I miss Powell’s books so much) I just go to the section that has the Best American Short Stories collections and then I just browse the surrounding areas. This time I came across the book This is not Chick Lit. I have just about finished it and even though none of the stories blew me away, I found every single one worth reading. 

 Later in my life I participated in a book club that started out well, everyone had read the books and we had good discussions. As the club went on fewer people had finished the books and more and more people didn’t even started reading the books before the meetings. It sort of fizzled out. 

I keep being tempted to get it started again, but I just don’t want to “be in charge.” More than that I don’t want to exclude people (because I want people to show up), but I also don’t want people to show up if they don’t read the book. When I just want random babble about life I go to knitting or something, I don't open my home and prepare snacks. 

With those things in mind, maybe I should start a book club that focuses on shorter texts. Short stories and novellas and that sort of thing, then again maybe I should just continue to read what I like and not bother filling up my calendar with things that may not be enjoyable.

Do you have a book club? Do you have book/story recommendations? What is your favorite short story?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Garden overload

It happens every July/August. The garden gets going and I can barely keep up with it, let alone write about it. We did not grow squash this year, only zucchini and we had just the perfect amount. I was able to give some away, but didn't feel like I was begging people to take it. I got to make almost everything I wanted to out of it.
Our dill was well past usable by the time we had cucumbers for pickles. That was disappointing, but we'll have to figure some way to make it work next year. The garlic was my biggest surprise this year. We planted some garlic that I bought while I was out in Oregon. It is almost sweet but still so pungent. I wish I knew the variety so I could get more. I know I could just re-plant but we only have 15 or so heads and I would have to plant the entire crop to get the amount I want next year.
Eggplant is amazing this year and we grew the best jalapeno peppers. To balance out the success our carrots were pretty pathetic

Our flowers went CRAZY along with our life. Hopefully I'll get my pictures organized soon so I can post them. For now I'll leave you with this awesome zinnia. I think it was in a packet of seeds for "firecracker zinnias"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pretzels

I needed to get this recipe up even though I don't have good pictures to go with it. Maybe I'll remember to take pictures when I make them this week. Keep in mind this is a long/verbose recipe, but that's how I write them up

Big Pretzels!


1.5 C warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2.5 teaspoons yeast

22 ounces flour (about 4.5 cups)
.5 stick butter (melted)


Mix first four ingredients, let bloom.

Add last two, knead in mixer for 5 minutes

Let raise to double

Then fill a big pot (I use my 4 quart pot) with water, add 1/3-1/2 cup baking soda in it.

While it is coming to a boil:
Split dough into 8 pieces
Roll out into snakes (I do this in two waves. Roll all 8 out, go back and roll them a bit more)

In a small cup/bowl mix 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tablespoon water

Spray cookie sheet (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!)

Now you are ready to make the pretzels

Take one snake, make pretzel, boil for 30 seconds

Place on cookie sheet, brush with egg mixture, sprinkle with pretzel or kosher salt

Repeat with 3 more

Bake at 450 for 12-14 min

Repeat with last 4 snakes on another baking sheet that you spray

Note about freezing:
I have tried freezing after boiling, after baking, with and without salt. The most success I have had is when I boil and brush with egg yolk and bake with no salt. Then, let fully cool, wrap each pretzel in plastic wrap and put them in a zip-top bag. Then, when you want a pretzel, pull just the number you want out of the freezer, brush with a bit of water, sprinkle with salt and bake or microwave (we use our toaster oven, it works great).

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Knitting Roundup

Once again we are going back in time for a post:

March is WAY over so I am going to recap my March knitting which was basically

My scarf/shawl

Knitted food!

My sister asked me to knit her son a bunch of food so he can "cook" while she cooks. so I borrowed my friend's book and busted out all the food items in it. Then I scrounged the interwebs for other patterns and wound up with this:


Corn, tomato, bean/pea, mushroom, garlic, carrot, fried egg, eggplant, cherries, potatoes and a poptart

Toys are so fun to knit so in addition to food I also knit up my friend's caterpillar (made to look like the one form the Eric Carle book)

Then I visited my sister and found a kitchen for my nephew at a thrift store. 




I think his food looks quite nice in that awesome kitchen
Next up? Wisteria!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More flowers

I read back and realized that while I have posted tons of pictures to G+ I didn't post any of my bulb pictures on the blog. So let's take a step back in time to April and look at some fun flowers

I call these my dwarf tulips these are only 3 or 4 inches tall

This is a double blooming tulip so it has more petals than a normal tulip

Dainty tulip

I love this pic makes it seem like I live in a cottage by the woods

The color of this tulip was awesome

MY FAVORITE tulips ever! Queen of the night

This one looks like ribbon candy from Christmas

Lilacs

Close up of my Queen of the Night tulips (GOTH TULIP)

Grape Hyacinths, story later

Still a gorgeous flower

Friday, May 25, 2012

Garden update May

We added a perennial bed to the garden. Planted a ton of seedlings and then sprinkled a ton of seeds around. All of them seem to be doing well.

We also cleared out this grassy area right by our garage. I wish I had taken a before picture. Here is the after.


There are mostly annuals and then a few perennials.

One of the perennials was a succulent with adorable flowers

A couple weeks ago my friend (I can't call him my boss any more) dug up some hyacinths from his yard and brought them for me. I planted them here and in the perennial garden around the patio. They should be amazing next year.

My friend also gave me some hens and chicks. We added them to the rock wall and then we bought a few more. They are already sprouting chicks and it's AWESOME!

Henandchick from my friend, I love the red just at the tip, it's so dainty

Chick coming off a hen

Mix of some from my friend and some the Jim bought me
To finish it off we dug up the phlox that we had growing along the edge of the vegetable garden and added it above the rocks. Then we bought a couple more. We also threw some seeds down and planted a dahlia. This summer is going to be garden-rific!

Pink Phlox

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sharp Corners

I had a rough beginning to my week. Had my car window smashed Sunday early morning, nothing was taken, but it caused me to be home Monday.

Monday is a day I should have gone to work as it was my last day at my company. If you know me in real life or have heard me rave about my job you would probably guess this is not by choice. I was told over the phone, which is probably for the best because I was a mess after that phone call. Tears were shed, I was angry, but since it was lay-offs I couldn't even focus my anger at one event or person. 

I know that it was JUST a job, but in ways that I can't fully communicate I feel like I am mourning the loss of something much bigger.

I had a uplifting commute. Sure it took me a half hour, but it was gorgeous and it was less of a commute and more of a drive through new england that ended at my office.

The people I work(ed) with were fun, knew how to do their job and we worked together so well. Normally I draw a pretty hard line between work and home/social life, it's why I can't be a telecommuter. I need a HARD line. At this job I had a hard time doing that. I feel like I worked with siblings, we had common interests and I genuinely cared about how they were doing both at work and out. We shared funny stories, rituals and I learned more in the first week than I had learned in the three years at my previous job. I shared homemade pickles, gained plants for my garden and learned more about life than I thought possible from people I work(ed) with.

I think I'm mourning the loss of all of it. The work and the paycheck were not horrible. The day to day was not painful and I liked doing it, but it was still a job. I never thought I would be there forever, but even on bad days I loved my coworkers. When I went back to clear out my cube I was completely composed until I had a chance to really talk to my boss. I couldn't stay in control. I pride myself in not crying at work. I don't feel it's appropriate work behavior, but it didnt' matter any more. I cried. I'm sure my boss was uncomfortable, but true to form he just let me be me and when I was composed we continued our conversation.

So what are my plans? I'm exhausted. This was not an emotional roller coaster; it was more of an emotional tsunami, with a giant wave, then as the days pass I keep getting hit by waves. Sometimes it's anger, sometimes it's sadness. I am lucky that I have people that are still working at the company who are helping me with job leads and are completely encouraging. It is wonderful, and hard at the same time, I'd rather be back there tomorrow and yet I know even if they offered me a job I couldn't go back.

I'm taking memorial weekend off from everything and after that I have set up a schedule that forces me to get out of bed, continue to run and continue to study for the certification I'm hoping to get this summer. I am also going to slowly work through those things I want done around the house all while applying for jobs and taking advantage of resources I'm offered.

I'm going to make sure I enjoy my life. Just because this ended doesn't mean my life is over. I will leave the house and see people that I enjoy. That means I will have lunch with co-workers (former) and see my knitting friends. It means I will listen to podcasts that make me laugh and The biggest thing I am going to do is focus at least a half hour to stop, breath, enjoy my surroundings. I am going to enjoy my backyard and my hobbies. I might even pull out my yoga mat and do some yoga and meditation in my backyard. Or at least enjoy lunch in the sunshine

Friday, May 18, 2012

A moment in my neighborhood

Tradition: My neighborhood

Story:
We chose our house based on a few things
 1. It had 2 bathrooms on the same floor as the master bedroom
 2. It had a 2 car garage
 3. It was in a less expensive town (relatively speaking) but still an awesome neighborhood

My neighborhood is quiet; I can't say I know any of my neighbors. I've talked to Peter (next door) a couple times and I've yelled at another one for being a jerk. I know there are families around (I see children skating, running, biking) and I notice when new cars are around and such. In general though, there isn't drama, the cops are not often called to our neighborhood and the last time I saw more than 1 cop/firetruck/ambulance was when I was in my car accident a year and a half ago. My next door neighbors have a bonafide white picket fence around their front yard.

That was until Mothers day, I called my mom on my fancy phone so we could see each other and while on the phone we heard a firetruck coming down our street. Jim went out to see what was going on. He ducked back in the door and said in a loud whisper. "they’re boxing!" With that I had to check it out and saw a cop car, an ambulance and a firetruck. Eventually we determined that people at house A (down the cul-de-sac, across the street from our house) were actually boxing - with gloves and such - on their front lawn and/or their driveway. I know what you are thinking? The cops are there, shouldn't the fight be broken up?!

The best part about this? The emergency service entourage was not even at that house! It appears there was a medical situation of some sort at house B (next to boxing folks home). So of course I had to text my best friend and partner in snark

Me: Neighborhood fight club, on our neighbors’ front lawn… WHILE their next door neighbors have cops, fire and ambulance for unrelated event

Best Friend: First rule of fight club: don’t ever talk about fight club. Second rule of fight club: don’t ever fight on someone’s front lawn. Duh.

I think my neighborhood lost a level of class that day, but made up for it in hilarity.

I encourage you to tell a story about your neighborhood. Funny, silly, sad or ridiculous, blog it and let me know!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Small rant and gorgeous flowers

I had a much longer rant, but let's keep it short. French toast casserole = bread pudding.

In some happy news, I thought I should end with a lovely picture from a recent morning run.


The most garden lust I ever feel is for this and this alone: Clematis. Specifically, the one that I see on my morning run.


It’s currently in full bloom and it makes me swoon like a 12 year old girl to a movie star
 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ten on Tuesday My todo list

 Because I’m currently taking a class-type thing I have had to be super diligent about time management. I SUCK at time management. I am on time to everything, but when it comes to getting stuff done (especially around the house) I am horrible. So this past weekend I set up a list on one of the 3 whiteboards in my house. I even broke it into days. Hopefully that keeps me on track, but then there are those BIG projects that need to get accomplished this spring/early summer and Carole had a perfectly timely topic for ToT

1. Finish de-junking the house – I only have 2 rooms and the attic left. It should take me less than two weekends to complete, but it’s a matter of getting it done

2. Sell some furniture – getting rid of some corner shelving and possibly every piece of furniture in the dining room

3. Organize basement – this is where my saw and drills are kept and it has become a warehouse of leftovers from completed projects

4. Price list – we’ve been focusing on our budget this year and I keep meaning to put together my list of “standard” prices for stuff so I know when a sale/coupon is worthwhile and we should stock up

5. Air it out – I try to do this every weekend that it isn’t rainy or cold, but it involves opening ALL the windows in the house and all the doors. Get some airflow through the house and make things a wee less stuffy

6. Wash windows – possibly same day as air it out

7. Clean carpets – with my new vacuum and a carpet cleaner I can make my carpets hap, happ, happy (and hopefully last another 2 years)

8. Wash/clean out cars – I love washing my car by hand, it is something that seems so summery

9. Enjoy my garden – weed a bit here and bit there, get everything in Memorial weekend

10. Smile – this year is about me, my happiness and how to make that gel with the important things and people in my life. It’s on every to do list.

As always you can see more ToT lists at Carole's Blog

Friday, March 30, 2012

Serious Family

Serious Family
My family, we are a force to be reckoned with. We are tight knit and sometimes conversations (real-life or virtual) are just unbelievable and could only really happen with my family. Let me give you two examples from my recent life.
Many people are annoyed when people post pictures of their meal on social media sites (twitter, facebook, g+) I love it.

Let’s examine the following picture of my mother’s recent dinner



Take note of the following
1)    It’s a real dinner made from real food
2)    Real plates, silverware
3)    Real serving dishes for the homemade rolls, the fancy-fied salad
4)    Handmade hotpads under the peppers
5)    Homemade jam (likely from local berries)

These all point to some Martha-stewart-esque-ness that is my mother. So what does the familial conversation revolve around? Well let's recount the conversation found in the comments of this picture

Me: I think you need a real butter dish
Mom: I am hurt that you are not impressed with my little Styrofoam dish with leftover butter from a church activity.
Mom, Later: My jam container is very elite also

Dear reader, please look back at the picture. Do you see the jam container?


Can you identify it? No? me neither, but my mom is about to expound, are you ready for it?


Mom, continued: It’s an “I can’t believe it’s not butter dish” from my mom

Did you catch that? No? Let my little sister really point out the ridiculousness of it

My little sister:  I love that we have hand me down, used, fake tupperware.... totes class ;)

(bolding from me)
I read this conversation and I died laughing. Oh my word we are our own dichotomy. I love us.

Then there is this awesomeness that I put out for my sister (who I am visiting soon)

ME: You need to compile a list for me of:
What food you want me to make while I'm there
What food you want me to make for your freezer while I'm there
Any other fun projects you want me to do while I'm there

My mom:  Playing with (nephew) is top of the list!! Wish I was gonna be there too. Oh, the trouble we could get in!!
ME (and here is where my family awesome comes out): mom, obviously, but there are rumors that he naps, plus I post stuff all the time and (big sister) says "I want some" and this time she can actually have some, because I will be there, in the flesh, to make it. It's like an on demand Britt in your kitchen (mess and all). I know what you are thinking, "Who could ask for more?" Well, (big sister) because she is getting an on demand Britt with a side of (bro-inlaw), (other sister) and a bonus (other bro-in-law) all in her kitchen! It's like an infomercial in her new house. I bet that's why she bought it.
My little sister (the one that commented about fake Tupperware): But wait... act now, Mom if you buy one round trip ticket you too can enjoy the on demand Britt, side of (this sister's husband) and a bonus (this sister).... and we will throw in an adorable grandbaby along with his hard working parents but Act fast, this deal will not last much longer ;)

What you don’t create infomercials about your family in your spare time? I suggest you start now, it is to hilarious for you to avoid.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Flowers of Tradition

Tradition: Bulb flowers

Story:

Tulips are my favorite flower and crocuses are like a pre-tulip treat. In my backyard my crocuses have bloomed and they are even more beautiful than usual. We have three different colors white, purple and a white/purple awesomeness. I went out to take pictures and realized how hard it is to get a good picture of a short flower. We had laid down mulch so I couldn’t get my face as close to the ground as I needed to so that I could see the camera screen. The result?

Note, Kill the flash

Hey look, a stem
Focus on death

garden light blocked by a fuzzy flower



I’m not really a photographer to begin with, but such awful pictures can get annoying. Thankfully my camera has two macro settings and an image stabilizer. Using those tools I was able to get a couple of nice pictures.

Such a happy flower

closed up in the evening

Love this one, might try to play with it in picasa or instagram

Focus on life


Awhile back my mom (who is an amazing photographer) took some lovely pictures of flowers and streams and such and had mounted them on blank cards. I used them all the time for thank you cards, get well cards, thinking of you cards, etc. I think this year I’m going to try and take pictures of the flowers in my garden and then at the end use them for cards or ask my mom to make them into cards for me (it would be a perfect birthday present). Two options from this set of pictures

Almost evokes a cottage garden on the edge of a wood


These crocuses are stunning in person

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Color Affection

I watched the color affection kits for ages and none of them spoke my name. So, while at SPA I scrounged the marketplace for three skeins of sock yarn that would fit my personality, the pattern and my wardrobe. I linked to the yarn in a previous post, but it is String theory Caper sock in Viola, Pewter and Black Tulip.

For my March project I decided that the yarn was ready to be used so I cast on with my favorite of the three (viola) and started knitting. This yarn is lovely, once knit up it gets a touch fuzzy, I don’t mean pilly I mean it has almost a halo, but not quite. The viola colorway is purple/teal that creates the illusion of iridescence. The pewter is a soft, warm grey and the Black tulip does remind me almost exactly of Queen of the night tulips.

 Anyways, it is amazing. As I knit through the first section I had to decide which color to use next and I decided the Pewter would be good and then finished with the Black Tulip.


I would actually love to see shawls knit in these same three colors, but in a different order because I think the order really determines the look of the final product. At the end I used a size 13 to do the cast-off and didn’t even block it. I just started wearing it around. I LOVE IT. It’s the perfect accessory to an otherwise boring outfit and it’s the perfect warm, light, drapey scarf for a chilly day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Documentaries: a love affair

I have opined before my love of documentaries, but let’s rehash some thoughts about what I love about documentaries. What I want and what I don’t want.

I do not want: a call to action
I do want: a connection and truth

Documentaries come in so many styles, there are what I call the nat-geo-discovery style, where in we focus on how something is born, grows, dies, etc. These are typically nature related and unless I’m in science class or specifically interested in the topic at hand I don’t seek this variety out because there is no connection. Though a decent non-nature one is Helvetica I couldn't get Jim to watch that one

Then there are those that are all about injustices. Environmental injustices, political, etc. I. do. Not. Watch. These. Films. It’s the implied (or overt) call to action. Don’t enjoy it, don’t want it. I really do think there are as many causes as there are people and there is only so much depression I can take, so I don’t seek it out in my entertainment. Plus they make me angry. The call to action is often found in the nat-geo-style, but as long as there isn’t too much it won’t stop me from watching it.

Then there are the Stories of things that don’t make a good Hollywood blockbuster. I LOVE THESE! Love them. Love, love, love them. I convinced Jim to watch 2 documentaries this weekend

1) Nat-geo-disc style one about Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Super cute turtles, I wanted to go swim with them

2) Being Elmo

Being Elmo was AWESOME! I was expecting some huge controversial facts to be revealed. Instead it was a guy who worked with his talents to become what he wanted to be and Elmo fell into the plan. I loved a point he made about the Tickle Me Elmo doll. Elmo doesn’t say “me” Think about every time you have heard Elmo talks, it’s never give me a hug it’s give Elmo a hug and Elmo like you and such. Anyways it was awesome and I kind of wish they had gone into a bit deeper where Elmo’s personality comes from. They do a bit, but I wanted MORE! Anyways, it was a good one, I suggest it (available streaming through netflix)

Someday I’m going to make it to silverdocs in DC and watch a TON of documentaries

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SPA and February Roundup

Last weekend I went to SPA up in Freeport, ME. The weather was gorgeous. It threatened to snow but never amounted to much. The sun was shining so I got out and went to all of the outlet shops. Didn’t buy much, a large LL bean canvas bag I found a large with long handles for 20 bux at the outlet shop (regularly $30). I also got an insulated travel mug thing. I wanted to find an awesome leather bag, but neither wilson’s leather nor nine west had one I wanted. So I bought a cheap pair of house slippers at nine west instead. They are hideous, but so comfy and cheap. When I wasn't shopping I spent plenty of time hanging out in front of the fireplace



Then there is the yarn. I brought the pattern with me for Color Affection (you can also find it on ravelry) and I spent a good 20 minutes comparing color combinations. I ended up with three gorgeous skeins from String Theory and I love it. Rather than try to get a good picture of it, I’m going to tell you to head over to her webpage and look at

These
Three
Skeins 

I made my way through the vendor area multiple times but nothing else called my name. I was really hoping to find some cashmere (or something over 50% cashmere) yarn to make something luxurious. Unfortunately there was nothing that fit my needs in that regard. The weekend was long (4 days) and it was wonderful to hang out with friends, meet new people and just knit when I wanted to and yet I didn’t feel stuck. It was wonderful.

While at spa I ended up finishing the socks. I think they are pretty, I love the reverse stockinette sole, but they don’t fit. I was afraid this would happen. They fit in the leg, the foot is a touch wide, but wouldn’t be bad if the gusset wasn’t so huge. I hate it. I knew I didn’t need a heel flap that was so long, but I did it anyways which resulted in a GIANT gusset. I wore them once, but I’m not sure if I’ll wash and wear again or just wash and rip out and reknit. We’ll see.

At some point on Friday night I got sick of the socks and decided to break my normal monogamy rule of knitting. So I cast on the rick rack rib scarf in the duchess yarn I bought at the Hub Mills Grand opening a week earlier. I have already finished the scarf and as soon as I block it I will send it off to my dad so he has a new scarf to wear.

Front
Back
So that makes 1 January project and 2 February projects. We’ll see how much I get done in March.