Sunday, December 23, 2007

And the snow theme continues....


Blowing snow
No, I don't know why part of the building is wrapped in plastic, but it's been that way for several weeks.

snow drift

Even though we got about 6 inches of snow overnight, you can see grass sticking up where it's blown off. In the picture above, the very "snowy" part is a drift, about knee high. All day, I kept saying I'd go outside and get a good picture -- that drift runs a lot farther and gets deeper.

However, since the high today was about 15ºF, with 30 mile an hour sustained winds (not just gusts), the wind-chill was below zero. Taking pictures didn't seem like a good reason to go out!

I also considered walking over to the drug store (the grocery store is closed on Sundays) to buy the candy I needed for the recipes I mentioned yesterday -- but that also seemed foolish!

I've got some sort of cold-like bug that's been going around at work, so I slept a good part of the morning, and then spent this afternoon working on Honeybee and catching up on last season's episodes of Lost.

Tomorrow is supposed to be better weather-wise, so I hope to be able to dig my car out of that drift, load Harley into the car, and get to Mom's by noon.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Another Snowy Saturday

There's been bad weather for the last four weekends. Even the natives are talking about how bad this December has been, weather-wise. Today, we started out with pea-soup fog. This was actually a continuation of yesterday's fog. The good news is that it got up to 40ºF today (although I forgot to take a picture of a thermometer -- probably because the only one I could actually see through the fog was the one inside my car!). The bad news is that we're supposed to get snow and wind tonight, with 'blizzard-like' conditions tomorrow. I had planned on driving to Mom's tomorrow, but may stay home and bake cookies instead! (Thanks to Libby for those ideas -- and be sure to check out her variation on the chocolate cookies!)

I ventured out into the fog this morning to Hobby Lobby -- not my favorite place, but I needed to busy some relatively cheap yarn to use in teaching my 11-year-old niece to knit. All of their Christmas stuff was 50% off, too, so I stocked up on bags. I didn't like any of their needles, though, so went by the Knitting Shoppe (no web site), where this just happened to follow me home. I believe it wants to be Wisp.

Kidsilk Spray 568 (Tea Rose)

It's Kidsilk Spray in 568 Tea Rose. The color is more subtle than this flashy picture shows -- almost neutral, but with lots of color hiding inside. Edyie's just begun carrying Rowan yarn -- I may be spending more money there now!

Of course, none of this will happen until Honeybee gets done!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Where have I been?

Well, it's that time of year -- busy!

It snowed all day on Saturday. It wasn't a blizzard, just a nice steady snow that made it a good day to stay inside and bake. From the back windows of my townhouse, I can see the front door of the grocery store across the street. Midway through the morning, I heard the ding-ding-ding of the Salvation Army bellringer turn into thumping Conga drums. I could see a guy playing them and tried to take a picture, but even with the zoom, mostly you see snow and cars. But see his red hat and can you make out the red kettle next to him? I kept thinking I should put on my boots and walk across to take a better picture.....

Conga players in the snow

Instead, I stayed inside and baked two batches of Carrot Coconut Bread (the second one turned out just fine) and finished my niece's Christmas hat. Here it is on my head -- it's hard to take a picture of your own head!

Sarah's hat on my head

If you use this pattern, watch your row gauge. Mine was way off, which meant I had to stop making cables sooner than planned. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hand Dyes in Peace Pink. I'm not a spinner, so I don't know the technical terms, but this yarn has little to no twist -- it's almost like roving or something. It was nice to knit with, and the color is beautiful, except that it's SO bulky. My hands are used to little needles and lace and socks, and knitting this with size 10.5 DPNs was not really fun. Of course, your mileage may vary.....

Sunday, the weather cleared up, and gave me the opportunity to record the temperature.

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007
23ºF (-5ºC) doesn't seem very cold anymore....

Monday evening, the baking disasters continued. I made this cranberry cake, on my sister's recommendation. She warned me that turning it out was difficult, because the cranberries stick. Boy, was she right! When I first tried to turn it out, it didn't move. I poked around the edges some more, turned it over, shook -- and it fell out in about 11 pieces. If I had just been planning on serving this at home, no big deal -- I would have scooped it into bowls and maybe put some ice cream on top. But this was for our holiday luncheon at work, so I got out the ingredients again, and made another one. I made the second one in a pretty glass baking pan, and didn't try to turn it out! (The first one tasted just as good as the second one, though! One of the comments on the recipe suggests lining the pan with parchment, which I will do next time.)

Tonight, I blocked Mom's Hemlock Ring Blanket, which I finished in October.

Harley helping, part 1

Harley helped. Can you see what she's after?

Harley helping, part 2

Yes, that's a blocking pin in her mouth! I want to leave it out overnight, but will cover it up so she doesn't try pin-nibbling again!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Public Service Announcement

If you decide to make Carrot Coconut Bread, be sure to include the sugar. Don't ask me how I know...

The sugarless version isn't awful, but it tastes like the kind of thing that would be labeled healthy, and of which the baker would say proudly, "There's no added sugar!" And you would just nod and say "oh!!! Great!"

Sunday, December 09, 2007

1/2 FO

I finished the first half of Honeybee this afternoon. Here it is, draped over the red chair. Of course, the color was bad because it was dark (it seems like it's always dark right now) and, well, the chair is red.... I think this half is close to four feet long.

Half a Honeybee

I managed to remove the provisional cast-on and get those 125 stitches onto my needles. I've knit the first two rows going the other way. The join is not perfect but everything lines up pretty well. I may actually finish this on time!

I meant to post this picture of the beginning of my niece's hat yesterday, too. I've done a couple more rounds since, but I really like this silly picture, so this is what you get to see tonight!

Sarah's hat

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Saturday Stuff

I failed miserably at Saturday Sky, but maybe Saturday Temp will become a regular feature.

It was cold this morning.

Last Saturday around 8:15 it was 20º. Today at just before 9:00 it was 14º.


It warmed up in the afternoon -- when I went by the same sign around 3:00, it was 15º!

While I was out this morning I stopped by Crazy Girl to buy some size 10.5 DPNs to use in making this hat for my niece. And some yarn just happened to come home with me.

Three skeins of Cascade Pastaza for a Ryan's Hat for me.

Cascade Pastaza

And a BIG skein (8 oz/325 yards) of High Prairie Fibers Big Horn, in Evergreen. This yarn was hand-painted for Crazy Girl (says so on the label!).

High Prairie Big Horn
The greens are a little bluer in person.

I've been working on Honeybee and will have pictures next time. I also cast on for my niece's hat. Extra bulky yarn (Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky Hand Dyed) and size 10.5 needles supposedly means fast knitting, but each stitch seems to take me longer. However, there aren't as many stitches, so I guess it works on in the end!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Did you miss me?

It's been four days since my last post. I've thought about posting every day, but it seemed like such a luxury not to!

I spent a lot of the weekend knitting. We had an ice storm Saturday morning, and it seemed smart to stay indoors. Here's the Beehive section (bottom) and the Bee and Honeycomb section (top) of Honeybee. (That's a lifeline between the sections.)

Sorry for the blurry...

The Bee and Honeycomb section is amazing -- the bees are made through a series of dropped yarnovers, gathered up. Mine don't look as perfect as Anne's, but I think blocking will help. And the Honeycomb is cool, too -- I'll try to get a picture of it later.

I did go out around 8:30 Saturday morning, to mail my rent check. It had just begun to sleet then, so I walked over to the little shopping center on the other side of the pond and mailed it from there, instead of driving to the post office.

It was pretty cold.


And the pond was already frozen.


Now we have piles of what appears to be snow in parking lots and on street corners. However, it's really ice and in places, the sidewalks are a treacherous combination of slick and bumpy. I never even noticed that the sidewalk that I use to cut through from my complex to the street is on a hill, until I started to walk down it yesterday after work. It looked like Mt. Everest (downhill, that is)! Today, on the advice of a co-worker, I bought a pair of Yaktrax. I'll let you know how they work out.

comfy kitty
Harley thinks she'll just stay indoors!