Saturday, December 23, 2006
Niece's socks: 3 finished, 3/4 of a small sock to go
Nephew's sweater: 1 1/2 sleeves to go plus finish work (who's idea was it to do stripes!? Oh, wait, that was me.)
Number of pies made since last post: 2
As far as I can tell, holiday pie making is officially over.
Number of batches of truffles made: 3
Two more batches need to be made next week for people who were away this week.
Things I have discovered:
-After two days of knitting, size 0 metal double points hurt my fingers. A lot! I stopped with them on Wednesday and my fingers are still sore. That's why I'm only working on the sweater while being so close to glory on the socks. I'm fairly sure I'll have enough in me to finish up the last sock tomorrow night but after that, I'm laying off metal DPNs for a while!
-There is a reason I hop around from project to project. I hate working on one thing at once. After a certain amount of time (measured in hours), anything I'm working on starts to drag like my hands are moving through molasses.
-I apparently suffer from a condition that causes me to keep thinking of last minute things to make for people. Example: I remembered that I only had the finish work to do on a sweater for Little Niece and have decided to take a shot at getting that done for her in addition to the socks. I think this may be a symptom of how sick I am of working on Little Nephew's sweater. It's the only thing I've worked on in THREE WHOLE DAYS! It will be like a reward for finishing the sweater. Also, I don't know how long I can keep my hands off the entrelac. It keeps waggling it's squares at me.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The score so far is:
Niece's socks- one big one done, one big one and two small ones to go
Scarves-haven't worked on them since last report, these don't have to be done right for Christmas
Hat-same as scarves
Jessica's sweater-first sleeve almost done, second sleeve and finish work to go
And I've decided to knit Little Nephew a sweater. He's picked out the colors and I have measure him tonight. Yes, I'm out of my mind.
Truffles-one batch done and gone, second batch ready for scooping, third and fourth batch to be started today
Christmas Cards-about half done
So, since today is my last day off before Christmas, there is going to be a great deal of truffle making, card writing and knitting going on.
I hope all of your holiday prep is going well! Wish me luck!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
16oz. good quality dark chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter
good quality cocoa powder or confectioner's sugar
Chop up the chocolate. In a double boiler (I use a pyrex dish on top of a pan of water), melt the chocolate together with the cream. Do this slowly over medium heat, stirring regularly.
When the chocolate and cream are completely mixed and melted together, take them off the heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter is completely incorporated. It helps a lot to chop the butter up into smaller pieces before adding it.
When it is all melted and mixed, put the mixture in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
When it is nice and cold, take a really small ice cream scoop* (I think mine is 1/4 oz) and scoop out round balls of the mixture. Roll them a bit in your hands to make them round and drop them in a dish of cocoa powder (or the confectioner's sugar if you like them sweeter). Roll them to cover them in the cocoa powder and they are done.
Keep them refrigerated. They keep about two weeks. You generally don't have to worry about them going bad.
*You may wonder whether you really need the ice cream scoop. I tried making them without it the first time, and frankly, they ended up looking like little chocolate turds. The effect was really unappetizing, though I think I laughed for about half an hour when I realized what they looked like.
Friday, December 15, 2006
As for my Christmas shopping, I have done none, nada, zip. The same with Christmas cards. I've gotten the ingredients for my holiday chocolate truffles but have yet to actually make any. That's going to change tonight since I'm bringing them to several parties this weekend.
Somewhere in here, I'm going to try to find the time to list a whole bunch of yarn I dyed two weeks ago. Patience was kind enough to come over with her camera and get pictures of it. Oh, and I've gotten loads of new yarn (Among other things, I finally figured out how to get KFI to send me more than one bag of Noro at a time!) and have been completely rearranging the shop this week. I have to say, it looks pretty nice!
Tomorrow, if I can find the time, I'll post my truffle recipe! Yummy!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Here are a few pictures of Wanda confronting her archnemesis, the vacuum cleaner.
Isn't she cute in her sweater? I really have to hurry up and make her a thicker one. She was actually shivering outside yesterday.
Anyway, all you tech savvy people out there, what kind of camera should I get? I'm looking for one that is fairly light weight and will take good pictures of the yarn. I would appreciate any ideas that anyone has.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I have three other things I’m working on right now that actually make me chortle to myself while I’m knitting them. The first is this entrelac scarf.
A few weeks ago, I saw several entrelac projects both in person and on the web and came down with a case of it myself. I really like it. You can do just one little square and feel like you’ve accomplished something in a day!
The next thing I’m tee-hee-ing about is this sock. Kind of looks like a mutant mitten, doesn’t it?
Well, it is the beginning of tabi socks for a friend of mine. I got the idea for the pattern off of Knitty.com. I’ve tried it on my toes and it actually fits! Putting the big toe together with the rest of it was such fun!
Last, we have this new yarn. I’m only knitting a sample for the shop but it is the coolest thing! It makes it’s own ruffles! The yarn is actually a two-sided tape. You pick what side you want out and then knit the stitches by poking holes in the side that you want in. I can’t stop giggling while I’m knitting it! I have the overwhelming urge to knit a flamenco dancer toilet paper roll cover for a friend of mine for Christmas. You know the kind with a truncated doll in the top? Someone help me.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Since Christmas approaches, there seem to be a few more finished objects appearing here at Chez Full Service. The blue Trekking socks are done, as is my venture into the use of size 00 needles. The socks are nice and tight and will probably wear better than any I’ve made so far but 00’s are just too small. I actually have to look at my knitting more often because the stitches are so small they are hard to feel! We can’t be having that! There’s also the fact that these socks for a women’s size 8 took me over a month to make and the men’s size 12’s on #1 needles are going to take me just over a week. Hmmm.
Other FO’s are Wanda’s first sweater. I made it too big and am having to use an elastic band to hold it up in the back. Otherwise, she just walks right out of it. I will work more on the fit on the next sweater. There may be cables involved. So funny that my dog needs clothes!
The unfinished objects are many as well. There are the size 12 socks; another pair of tabi socks for a friend who likes to wear flipflops in the house, a sweater for a customer that WILL BE FINISHED TODAY, my friend Jessica’s sweater, a sweater for me, a number of socks that I started just because I felt like it, and the start of a hat for my friend Kathy. This hat is a bit of an experiment. She wanted a hat that shaded from dark to light so I knitted a big swatch with the yarn, dyed it dark to light and now I’m going to unravel it to knit the actual hat. We’ll see how it goes!
There are a number of other projects that only exist in my head so far. The nieces need socks as do several other friends of mine, my cousin’s wedding afghan remains just a bag of yarn, and the dog needs more sweaters. Does something count as a UFO if you haven’t even cast it on yet? I’m not sure.
Oh, and don’t forget the Mitten Tree at the shop. Patience and I put it up on Friday. We will be collecting hats, mittens, scarves, etc for the Somerville Family Network until just after Christmas.My plan for getting all this knitting done? Well, since I am sadly behind on listening to Guido’s podcasts, the plan is to download them and listen to them until I am either caught up or run out of knitting that needs to be done. Which do you think will come first? I’ll keep you posted.
Friday, November 17, 2006
I’ve been filling people’s orders and calling them all week. I still have a few calls to make tomorrow. Even though a bunch of the yarn is back ordered, it seems that all but two people have gotten at least something. I have high hopes for all the yarn arriving by this time next month. Here’s hoping.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the fish have started doing something very funny. The five big fish, instead of chasing the little fish when they are hungry, come to my end of the tank and do this:
That is them staring at me out of the end of the tank! (Sorry so blurry.) They do this all the time now when they are hungry. It was pretty weird when I realized that they were actually looking at me! I did tell them that they weren't to eat the little fish. I guess they paid attention!
Monday, November 06, 2006
Esther Elizabeth Goodway Scott
May14, 1903-November 5, 2006
Last night, a long and extraordinary life came to an end. My grandmother died quietly at the age of 103. I’m sad but in a way I’m happy for her. I’m glad that her fiery, energetic spirit is no longer trapped in a frail, helpless body. I belong to a school of Buddhism that was founded in this country by a Korean monk named Zen Master Seung Sahn. It was said that, during his final illness, he commented that our bodies were just rental cars and that is was time for him to trade his in. After a slow decline that encompassed not just years but decades, Grandma finally got to trade hers in last night. I hope her next one is a nice, shiny sports car.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
For example, on my days off this week, I did the following:
-Cleaned the kitchen.
-Went to the bank (twice).
-Went to the Post Office.
-Ordered sock yarn (woohoo!).
-Visited my grandmother.
-Went on a nature walk.
-Had lunch with a friend.
-Bought Halloween candy (twice).
-Got pumpkins placed in windows and lit (Big Nephew's pumpkin is still in the front window of the shop. I forgot to get him to move it last night and it is too heavy for me to do by myself! Have I mentioned it's big?)
-Put together spinning wheels.
-Hosted Trick or Treaters.
All I have left to do in the next hour and fifteen minutes is clean the shop, take a shower, run errands and eat lunch. Phew! Thank goodness the shop will be open soon. Another day off would kill me!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Well, I don' t have any pictures to post today, fun or otherwise. I keep meaning to dredge up all my UFO's and get pictures of them but I never seem to do it. Today, I am winding yarn for dye day on Monday. I just finished winding the two three-pound cones I had left and have started on the nine (nine!) cones that came yesterday. I'm not going to get them all wound but I would like to get as many done as I can. Kerry is coming to help me dye yarn Monday so we'll be able to get through a lot more yarn with two of us. I have a bunch of yarn coming from Henry's Attic but snoozed a little too long last week and didn't get it ordered in time to get here for Monday. I do have a bunch new colors of dye coming which should be here in time to play with. I'll try to get pictures of any new creations. I can't wait to see what Kerry gets up to. She is the one who invented both the Flames of Heck and Coral Snake colorways.
Tomorrow, I freeze my tush off at Big Nephew's last football game of the season. I can't remember the last football game I went to. I think it was in college. The Lovely and Talented Annie and Susan will be covering the shop until I can get back. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I respectable number of these already have enough so that I will order them (40% of the bag has to be sold). I expect most of them will pick up enough by the end of the week to be ordered and I'm sure a bunch of them will go into discount (60% of the bag sold). Sock Fest is always so much fun!
I now get to put up my Regia clad feet and rest. Hooray!
Oh, yeah! I was going to tell you what was up with the fish.
The Cambridge Zen Center has a nifty little pond in the back. Last spring, I wanted us to have goldfish in the pond so I volunteered to winter them over. I was imagining a 20 gallon tank with maybe 6-10 fish in it. Little did I know that the darn things were going to breed like rabbits all summer. Well, I checked them this fall and, lo and behold, the pond was full of little fish! I asked them how many fish they'd put in originally and the answer was five! Well, I volunteered to deal with this so deal with it I would.
I was very fortunate to find a 55 gallon tank on Craig's List for $50. The guy even brought it over here!! I got it set up and running and the next day headed over to the zen center with a big bucket and my fish net. Of course, what was the first thing I did when I got there? If you guessed fell in the pond, you would be right. Splash! Hey, I was going to get soaked anyway so might as well get it over with. Over the course of the afternoon, I got five 4"+ (one is 7" long!) fish and almost 50 little fish out of the pond. They are now happily living in this huge tank in my bedroom.
One problem with goldfish is that the big ones tend to eat the little ones. I have gotten plants and a castle (all fish need a castle) for the little fish to hide in and I feed them three times a day so that they aren't that hungry. I have also told them very firmly that we don't eat each other in this house. Seems to be working, too.
So far, I'm really enjoying the new additions to my household. I've had goldfish in the past and just love them. I may have to keep some of these guys come spring!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
That's pretty much my life for the next few days. I'm working on cutting out each color from copies of the Regia, Trekking and Fortissima color cards and gluing them to cards. This is, of course for next week's Sock Fest. It is a big job too! Do you know that there are 178 colors of Regia wool/poly 4-ply alone!! 178! In honor of all this cutting, I finally broke down and bought this:
When you teach school, you get really spoiled by having access to all kinds of good toys like the copier (ours collated), the lamenator (I nearly fell down when I found out how much Staples charges) and the paper cutter. Of the three, I really missed the paper cutter. I got by for a long time due to the kindness of my friend Stefanie who would loan me hers. Unfortunately, she doesn't work in city any more (she used to be down here almost daily). And though I know that, if I asked, she would get in her car and bring her paper cutter down here right this minute, it was really time to buy my own. So, I did and I love it, love it, love it! So, think of me cutting and pasting this weekend. It's not too bad and it's really fun looking at all the colors!
In other news, what's up with all these fish?
I'll let you know in my next post!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I'll try to post tomorrow but I'm swamped with Sock Fest preparations. I've been looking over all the color cards and I'm going to end up spending my entire wholesale score on sock yarn for myself!! It really is a sickness.
Monday, October 16, 2006
For some reason, when fall rolls around, I get the urge to buy my nephews excessively large pumpkins. To this end, my brother, the boys and I headed off to Wilson Farms last Monday. They have wonderful pumpkins there as well as apple cider donuts and many other fall goodies.
We were wandering around looking at all the pumpkins when Big Nephew found the stack of giant pumpkins. 'Ooo', he says, 'can I have one of these?' I was obviously wearing my "Auntie Lucy is a Great Big Sucker' sign because I said 'Sure, but you have to be able to pick it up and carry it.' How big a pumpkin could he possibly get?
Really big, apparently, 68 lbs big. It is too big to live in the house. Here it is residing in the backyard until it is time to be carved.
Big Nephew is already talking about lifting weights in preparation for next year's pumpkin trip. I'd better start saving my money! Little Nephew got a nice big pumpkin too, about 25 lbs and I picked up a few fancy pumpkins for myself.
What have I been doing today? Dyeing yarn and, I have to say, enjoying myself enormously! I dyed some favorites and worked up a few new colorsways. I'll have more pictures soon.
The last several times I've dyed yarn, I've been either in a hurry or sick or both. It was wonderful to relax and really enjoy dyeing a reasonable amount of yarn. It is getting to the point where I really need a regular dye day so, from now on, I'm going to make about every other Monday a dye day.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
A lot has happened since I wrote last so I'm going to tackle it in small chunks.
So, last Saturday I had these lovely people here!
It was wonderful to see Shannon
She knew I was sick so took it upon herself to bring refreshments and flowers. We had an impromptu knitting group all afternoon with everyone who came by.
And I don't know how I've lived my whole life without meeting Kim Werker (that's Humphrey, the tour mascot, she's holding)! She is a delightful person. She mentioned that she'd meant to learn to spin on this trip but hadn't managed to yet. Oh, I said, all innocence, well let me show you! She'd done some spindle spinning so it was a very short amount of time before she was making legitimate yarn on a wheel. It is only a matter of time before she gets one (quiet, evil laughing).
In other news, it has become almost impossible to get a candid picture of Wanda in the house. She hears the camera turn on and this is what happens:
"I'm ready for my close-up."
In my next post, I will discuss why it is a bad idea to tell a fourteen-year-old that you will buy him any size pumpkin he wants as long as he can pick it up and carry it.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
This is all a very good thing because today Mind's Eye Yarns is hosting Shannon Okey of Knitgrrl fame and Kim Werker, author of the new Get Hooked crochet book. They are billing themselves as the Monsters of Teen Craft Tour. They'll be here at 1pm and will be signing books all afternoon.
Shannon is one of the few people about whom I can say "I knew her when..." I was there when she bought her first fleece and taught her to spin. Well, I didn't really teach her to spin, more just reminded her how. Some people are like that. Don't miss her new book from Interweave Press Spin to Knit. Shannon's one of those people who talks about the big dreams she has and then just goes out and fulfills them. Her energy is amazing. You should definitely read Dolores' interview with Shannon on Franklin's blog. It is just hillarious! I'm looking forward to a fun filled afternoon here. I hope you can make it!
Friday, October 06, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Oh, and to top it all off, my charge card machine died! They are overnighting me a new one. They think it caught a surge through the phone lines (who new?). Thank goodness the same surge didn't fry my computer! As soon as I venture out to do errands again, I'm getting surge protectors for my phone lines.
So, send me healing thoughts. I've learned over the years that my body is just going to be sick as long as it sees fit and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. All I can do is drink tea and take Tylenol until it's done.
Friday, September 29, 2006
For some reason, earlier this week, Wanda started to dig. The funny part is that it is right in one of my raised garden beds and if it were anyone else, dog or nephew, digging it, I'd be wild.
The thing is, Wanda seems to be having so much fun!
Can you see how fast she's digging!? Sometimes she gets so excited that she starts spinning around the hole while she's digging. Instead of being mad, I'm curious to see how deep she'll get it. So, very, very whipped for this dog.
In other news, there seems to be some kind of work going on at the house next door!
This place has been empty for the last nine years except when a bunch of shady people broke in and started to turn it into a crack house.
I'm hoping that it has been sold to someone who will actually turn it into a residence again. It would be nice to have neighbors and it has been sad, over the years, watching the place get more and more run down.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Here is my sister's family.
We think this may be the first picture anyone has gotten with all four of them together.
Here is Little Nephew with both his cousins.
He's so proud to be holding the baby all by himself!
Here's one with my mother and almost all of her grandchildren (Big Nephew had football practice).
I got another picture of my mother holding both her granddaughters. The expression on the baby's face just cracks me up. Mom had just pulled the binky out of her mouth to take the picture.
It was great evening. There was chinese food, cake and cuteness. What more can you ask for!
Tomorrow, we will hear about Wanda and the Hole to China she seems to be digging in my backyard.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Oh, so much to blog about! Now that the Knit Out is over, I feel like I’m getting my life back! Hooray!
First of all, the Knit Out went very well. Everyone who worked on it (you know who you are!) did such a great job. Mother Nature was also kind to us. After spending the week reading predictions of things like ‘severe thunderstorms’ and ‘damaging winds’, we got through the day with only one fallen tree branch (it hit someone on the shoulder. She was shaken but okay) and a few smatterings of raindrops. There was even a rainbow when we got home! I tried to take a picture of it but it didn’t come out very well.
Here are a few pictures from the day:
Here we see a roaming young knitter in her natural habitat
Here we have Phoebe, our Treasurer and Dave, our graphic designer modelling the volunteer and regular t-shirts. This is Susan, Knit Out volunteer, shop minder extraordinaire and third prize winner in the Knit Out scarf contest. We'll post a picture of her with her prize winning scarf later this week!
Sorry this picture is a little dark. It was hard to get a good picture in the tent.
And who was handling my shop table while I was busy? The Mind's Eye Yarns Official Booth Babes! I had a great team of enthusiastic volunteers lead by the trusty Patience of Finished Object fame also the Knit Out Secretary.
They did a great job and made quite an impression on everyone they met!
I love the Knit Out even though it is whole lot of work. We actually start preparations for it in late February, but it is really worth it. I especially like walking around seeing people knitting and crocheting everywhere I look. It just makes me happy.
When we got home from the Knit Out, this is what my shop looked like!
Thanks to my brother Jamie
it now looks like this,
which I can handle. I'll have it ready for the sale in no time. Sale, you say? What sale? Oh, that's my fall sale on cottons and cotton blends going on all this week. Don't miss it! I guarantee, the shop will look better than this by the time you get here.
So that’s all for now. I’m looking forward to returning to regularly scheduled blogging. My sister and her family came down last night for a visit and there was some serious cuteness going on. There will be pictures tomorrow!
Friday, September 22, 2006
(Wanda has kindly posed for scale.)
And the back room:
There's even stuff in the bathroom!
And don't even talk to me about the basement.
T-shirts, bags, yarn, needles, crochet hooks, programs, it's all here waiting for the big day and, can you believe, more will be showing up here later this afternoon! Fortunately, I have a team of lovely and talented volunteers descending here tomorrow to organize and pack all this stuff so that it will be waiting for you at the Knit Out on Sunday! I hope to see you all there and pray for good weather!!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Wanda is adjusting well to her crate. She spent her nights in one when she was at the Alliance for Animals so is used to one. It is a great load off my mind not to be worrying about her chewing a hole in my comforter (well, another hole) because she's PO'd that I'm out here with the knitting group and she can't join us. She just wants to be with me after all. She seems much calmer and does a lot less whining when she is in the crate so it is working out well for both of us.
Time to go watch a little TV with my dog! I'll try to post again soon.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I do have things to report like an actual finished object. The Zen Master's socks are finally done and I can already feel the fall sock jag coming on hard. Wanda has been extra naughty, so much so that I had to buy her a crate to be in during the day. Other than that, it's all Knit Out, all the time here at Chez Full Service. Hope you can come. I'll be wearing my tiara (I'll tell you all about the tiara in another post, promise).
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I love working with all the new yarns. I knit hats so that if I ever stop carrying the yarn, I can just throw the hat into the donation pile. I also use up a whole skein so that people can see how far they can get with one.
Other than that, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of knitting. Between the shop and the Knit Out a.k.a. The Thing that Ate My Life, I haven’t had much time. I did squeeze in a little sock knitting on the way somewhere yesterday but managed to loose a #00 needle. Fortunately, I was working with five so I could punt with four.
I have been dyeing yarn. I’ve been playing with my new dyes. Check out the colors!
And, of course, no blog post would be complete without an update about Wanda.
We have discovered that the plays well with Little Nephew.
This is wonderful for both of them since they both have tons of energy and need to work it off.
I’m not ready to leave them unsupervised in the yard together
but that’s mostly because of Little Nephew and not Wanda.