Friday, December 19, 2014

Knitting Along

In the knitting world...aka the world of Ravelry (If you knit, crochet or anything related to fiber, you must get on Ravelry and if you're already signed up, get on there's worth it!) there is a thing called a knit-along...or if you're real adventurous, a mystery knit-along.  
A normal knit-along, henceforth referred to as a KAL, you buy the pattern and make the project along with a bunch of other people. This can be 50 people or if the designer is popular, thousands of people! It can be a new project or a designer might say..."knit any of my sock patterns".  Some offer prizes!  I won a skein of sock yarn in one I did with Blue Peninsula.  So fun!  I'm doing another one with her after the first of the year called "selfish" KAL.  Knitters will knit a lot prior to Christmas, so some selfish knitting at the first of the year is always welcome.  I did a bunch of Christmas knitting this year.
 A MKAL (see what I did there) is basically the same thing only you don't know what the finished object will look like...other than what it will be, like a sock or shawl. And the "clues" are rationed out, usually weekly.  You get clue one, knit it up...and if you're fast enough...wait for the next clue (the pattern continued), knit it up and so on and so forth. Get it?
I should say, that the MKAL is always chancy.  I mean,'re casting on a project that you don't know how it will turn out in the end.  Risky knitting indeed.  BUT you can (and I have) wait a few weeks to see the clues emerge and decide if you like it or not, then join in.  The bummer about doing this is the pattern is usually offered at a discount (or free) prior to the cast on date.
I've done a few.  It's fun because the designers have "groups" and you can follow a thread (or two or three) where everyone chats and shares their experience.  It's a fun way to connect with people across the globe (or in your knit group) who are knitting the same thing as you.
My friends in my knit group are so fun, there's always someone ready to jump in and join a KAL/MKAL.  

Here's what I'm doing in the KAL/MKAL department:
2015 Selfish Knitting KAL
I have a couple yarns to choose from in my stash.  Maybe I should knit two pair? Anyone want a pair of mitts? I think they're so cute!
There are a few of us in the knit group doing this one. Bulky yarn and a mystery...what could be better!  ( should do this with your Marble you love so much!)  No picture, duh, but this is the one on the project page.
This is a toe-up mystery sock knit-along.  I haven't done a sock MKAL in a while...sounds like a no pressure, fun, knit!

Here's a sample of prior KAL/MKALs I've done:
 Above and below are my Couplet Socks from a KAL. The one below is my yarn the one above is the yarn I won! I love this designer and the sock pattern looked great so I jumped right in! Love my socks, they fit so great.
 This shawl was a MKAL that had 5 weeks of clues, with two clues each week.  You could choose which clue of the two you wanted to do!  So the combination of clues gave several different outcomes, it was fun to see all the different shawls.  It was called Follow Your Arrow.  You can see the "arrow" theme in the stitch patterns. 3,460 people participated in this MKAL, a very popular designer.
 Anyway, I've done more but I'm woefully short on photos in my projects.  

So if you're looking to expand your knitting horizon and want to try something new and exciting...come join me!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordfull Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday...not me, I've got something to say today.

I learned many, many years ago, like when I was a kid and wanted pom-poms for my roller skates (it was all the rage then), how to make a decent pom-pom.  The trick is to make sure you wind up enough yarn.  Nothing more pitiful than a flimsy, loosy-goosy pom-pom. BUT my pom-poms require a lot of trimming. I usually find something laying around that is about the size of the pom-pom I want to create and wrap my yarn around that...tie if off...the trim the heck out of it (over a trash can cuz it makes a mess)...and viola! a pom-pom.

Like this:

So my friend, Dolly, has made the most adorable hats for her grand kids.  All with an awesome pom-pom on top.  She asked for my help in making one, then remembered she had a pom-pom maker somewhere in her craft stuff.  It's made my Clover and can be found in JoAnn's or probably Michael's, too.

She brought it last night and walked me through how to use it...then today I watched a video on Youtube on how to use it. So much less trimming to do...and it makes a nice, thick, dense pom-pom! Ok...I need one.  NEED.  ONE. 

 Here's what it looks like:

I love gadgets.  This one would make a great stocking stuffer.  

(I better send this post to Santa.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ten for the tummy on Tuesday

Ten things I like to cook, bake...and um, EAT (and drink) during Christmastime:

1.  Almond Roca
You knew this would be #1, huh?  I've already made two batches, well Justine helped me a great deal, she did all the stirring. The best part is breaking it up with a hammer.

2. Crack Pretzels
As much fun to make as they are to eat.  Lots of happy memories of my time in Florida associated with these babies, too.

3.  Sugar Cookies
Making, decorating and's all good.

4.  Hot Chocolate
Sounds silly but it just tastes better when it's super cold outside.  Or after a long walk in the snow.

5.  Peppermint Mocha
Starbucks has this every's so good!  Especially while shopping with your daughters at the mall.

6.  Chicken Noodle Soup
I've discovered these Pennsylvania Dutch noodles here and they're so good! This is a family favorite.

7.  Chili
I make good chili and Mike loves it during the cold winter months.  Ok, who wouldn't?

8.  Potato Casserole
I make this every Christmas to eat with our ham on Christmas day.  My dear friend Elsie gave me the recipe many, many years ago.  It's so good!  Ok, I'll give you the recipe:  1 bag of frozen hash browns (thawed), 2 cans cream of potato soup, 1 16oz tub of sour cream and a few cups on grated cheddar cheese (I usually use about 2, you can use more).  Mix all together put in a 9x12 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 min. or so, till the top is browned a bit. (It's easy to cut in half too.) Enjoy!

9.  Fudge
Elsie gave me a great recipe for fudge too. Turns out perfect every time...smooth and creamy not grainy. Important with fudge, that it not be grainy...or is that just me?

10.  Spiced Nuts
My wonderful mother-in-law gave me the best recipe for spiced nuts!  They're sweet not spicy. Made with pecan halves, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.  Very good.  I made some for Veronica to take back to her boyfriend after Thanksgiving.  We decorated the tree to the wonderful smell of them baking in the oven.  Nice!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Topsy Turvy!!

I know most of you are probably sick of this already....
but for those of you who haven't seen my latest FO.
My first topsy-turvy!!

This adorable snowman...
 turn him inside out...
 and you have a Christmas tree!

Made this three panel photo with my new app.

I'm working on a squirrel/hedgehog one now.  You can be sure to find photos here when I'm done!  I really like that these are made with worsted weight yarn.  I have tons of worsted scraps in my stash and my friend gave me a ton of her scraps, so I'm set for a quite a while!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday...saying goodbye

My grandmother passed away this week.

She is my dad's mom. I only met her a few times in my life so we weren't that close.  I was much closer to my mom's mom. We always called her Grandmother Bruner...kind of formal name for a grandma but they lived far away and my dad doesn't like his family so unless we absolutely had to, we didn't communicate with them much.  But my memories of her are all good.  She was a great cook and no one ever went hungry in her presence! She was a wonderful gardener and took pride in her lovely southern landscape.  We went to visit her a few years ago, Mike, the kids and I, while she was still pretty healthy and living by herself in Alabama.  She cooked for us...breakfast, dinner (what you know as lunch) and supper (dinner...and way too big a meal if you've had "dinner" a few hours before)! I've never been so full.  She gave me a few of her cast iron pans which we use everyday.  Seriously, one is a hoe cake pan and it's perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches.  She dug up a few crape myrtle trees for us to plant at our home in Florida...all are still alive and thriving today (not because I have any sort of green-thumb but it rains a lot in Florida and those type of trees grow like weeds there). I'm glad she got to meet our kids.  She lived to almost 100...a long life.  

Grandmother Bruner

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Monday!

Has it really been a week since I've blogged?  Well, I have a good excuse...I've been sick with some crud Veronica brought home for Thanksgiving. I have it, Mike has it and Justine is getting over it.  Anyway, so that's that.  I am feeling better (still coughing) and back among the living.

I have been knitting.  I have some Christmas stuff to get done, yeah, like in presents.  Some are being mailed to California so I REALLY need to get knitting.  Actually, I should be ok, the big stuff I've already finished and the remainder is small projects like hats.  I can usually knit a hat in a day or two. I'm also making a topsy-turvy snowman/Christmas tree thing...hopefully I will finish it soon and post pictures. Topsy-turvy, you ask?  You know, it looks like something, then you turn it inside-out and it's something else. Topsy-turvy!

I did some Small Business Saturday shopping.  One for Christmas and one for yarn. You're shocked?!  I got a skein for a hat (gift) and a skein of sock yarn for me!  It's a super bright, multi-colored...color called Bollywood! I hope it arrives today. Really, considering all the crazy yarn sales going on, I did pretty good.

Mike has my car today so I'm stuck at home.  Stuck sounds like I'm not happy about it but truth is, I am.  I love being "stuck" at home. I have some cleaning to do, some blocking to do, planning to do...hey, Christmas is around the corner!  I still have tons of shopping to do, too.  And wrapping....and baking....and...and...and...

And some knitting to do, too.  Those Christmas gifts aren't going to knit themselves!!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday's Musings

I love to check out Google Images.  Anything you want to find a picture of, you can.  Be careful on some that say "click for higher resolution" though...unless you want to see porn.  Ugh.  Anyway, so I'm on there this morning, thinking about "change".  Change.  It's the one thing that remains the same in life, wouldn't you say? Then, as you do, when you're looking at the computer, I got side tracked.  I typed in "things that happened in 1962".  That's the year I was born.  Maybe I was still thinking about change, so much has happened since 1962.  In the world and in my life, of course.

But it was very interesting...Here's a sampling:

 Barbie looked a whole lot different.  Of course I wouldn't be into Barbie for a few years yet.  My Barbie was Malibu Barbie...complete with a tan and long blond hair. 

Apparently Seattle had a good year in '62.  See the other headline? That's Mitt's father, George Romney.  I read through some of his bio on Wiki. Interesting stuff.  

John F. Kennedy was president. 

In February of 1962, John Glenn orbited the Moon three times in five hours, travelling 17,000 miles per hour in Mercury's Friendship 7 capsule.  And a few weeks ago a probe was landed on a comet.  A lot has changed in Space since '62.

 Movies were a weird kinda way.  They're still funny these days...and just as raunchy.
 Lawrence of Arabia was a big hit.  Epic dramas will never go out of style in the movies.
This movie still creeps me out.  My sister, too.
Scary movies have changed quite a bit.  A lot of gore these days, but there are still some scary ones that make me squirm in my seat.

 Thank God electric ranges don't look like this anymore! (Truth be told, I do like all the extra room on that range.) Although, I think the photo of this manual is awesome! And thank God women don't dress up to cook dinner least not in my house!  haha
Cars were damn cool in '62.

So check out the year you were born, you might learn something new.