Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gingerbread House Socks

Yarn:  Knitpicks Imagination - Gingerbread House
Needles:  Size 2 40" circular (magic loop method used)
Pattern:  Yankee Socks

I needed a "mindless" project while spending hours this week at the car repair garage and this is what I worked on.  Just a simple K2, P2 rib leg....nothing to "write home to mother about".  I like using the magic loop method as I don't drop or lose needles when I am somewhere that I may have to suddenly pick up and move.

Those of you who know me well know that for a long time I tried doing one new things per month.  Milk goats, make cheese, kayak, etc. have been on the list.  August has been so terribly busy (and sometimes painful) that it dawned on me that I had not adhered to the "new thing".  You know, it keeps me young thinking to do that. 

All I could think of in a hurry which is not really "new" but I haven't done in years is to make homemade yogurt.  It is so very easy and tastes so much better.

I started with 2 cups of "VERMONT" goat's milk (is there any other kind?) and 2 cups of cow's milk.

Slowly heat the milk up to 180 degrees.

This new cooking thermometer is so much better than the one I had.  It can't accidently rest on the bottom of the pan and give a "false reading".

Cool the milk to 110 degrees and add 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt (or purchased culture) making sure you mix thorougly.

Pour into your favorite yogurt maker (can be a crock pot or a number of other things).

This yogurt maker really is not as large as it appears.  After four hours, the yogurt is ready. It's still doing it's thing so I can't show you the finished product in this post.

I like my bananas very firm and barely yellow.  However, I do like really ripe mashed bananas in my yogurt so they now don't go to waste. 

It's back to work tomorrow.  I was on a "working vacation" seeing to my car, hoping to have at least one good weather day (I had 2-3).  

More knitting things to come.  Almost done with the baby sweater and a couple of other UFO's. 

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Red Scarf Project

The red scarf was started during Superbowl earlier this year (and completed). I'm just getting around to taking pictures. The scarf will be donated to Norma's favorite charity ..... The Red Scarf Project. which supplies scarves for orphaned kids.  I used Cascade 220 but can't remember the name of the pattern.  This is the scarf that is  the center picture of my blog banner.

I've been on vacation.  I'd like to tell you that I lived up to my blog title and went to the ocean and spent my time knitting.  No such luck!  My Toyota with only 44,000 miles behaved like a spoiled child and decided that it wanted attention.  Some of it was expected and about $800 worth not expected.  Get this, $1,500 later the car will be like new.  Fortunately for me, almost $600 was covered by my extended warranty. 

Folks, I am on a self-imposed yarn diet after that bill.  By now, I could work as a consultant on car repairs.  Dealing with all this in a short period of time was a little more stress than I wanted.

For years I have wanted the music box that was on my mom's bureau when I was a little girl

I described it to a friend and he purchased this similar one for me years ago.

The music box plays this song.

I loved it but not the same as the one I was so fond of in my memory.

Recently my mom located the music box in her storage.  It is about 65 years old.  My sister saw it and immediately wanted it.  Nanananananaaaaaaaaaaaaaa......sister, mom sent to me in time for my birthday which was last Sunday.  So sister, take comfort in the fact that you got mom's motor home, boat and $30,000 collectible car.  Not nice, I know...but just once in a while it feels good to be victorious.

There is storage for rings, etc. beneath the lid.  As a child, after my bath and a t-shirt warming on the oven door, my mom would play the music box for me.  The song..........
When I first started learning to play the organ, I even purchased this very simple basic sheet music. (and I mean very basic!!!)

I still need to insert my favorite childhood pictures.

Lonely no more.......they have each other on my bureau!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy 90th!

Today is my mother's 90th birthday.  Though she does have some health issues, she is still living alone in her own home and is fairly active.  (Picture taken June, 2009)

I was reading a blog the other day as to how much to say in your knitting blog.  The debate was whether or not to include personal information regarding family, jobs, etc.  I,  for one, like getting to know some of my readers more as friends.   

For instance, three blogging friends in particular, Alison, Deb and Sandy have wonderful mothers (living or deceased) in their lives.  I read their stories with envy and am happy for them. 

Enough said!  Circumstances are what they are.  I was fortunate to have a wonderful aunt in my life who made sure I had what I needed when I was growing up.  She passed away in 1981.

So, being the dutiful daughter I sent my mother a gift card.  She lives in Colorado.  I do what I can from such a long distance.  If I lived closer, I would take her out to dinner.

I hope she has a "Happy Birthday!".

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nomad (K)Nitter

With my knitting bag in the car and a planned day trip to Northern Vermont and on the spur of the moment, I decided I wanted to cross the border and go into Canada to purchase requested food items that family members were needing.

A couple days ago I went to the DMV to get an "Enhanced Driver's License" which allows you to cross the border.  Just a few states have worked out an arrangment with Canada, Mexico and the Carribean to use this license rather than a passport which is quite a bit more expensive.  The lady at the DMV said the card would be mailed to me and in the interim I could still cross the border with the pictured paper card partially shown above. 

Notice it says ID will NOT be accepted but they let me cross anyway.  Canadian customs were very friendly and even told me where to go shopping for those food items.

It was tempting to go further and head towards wonderful Montreal....but that is for another day.

I crossed the border via Rouses Point, NY

I was delighted when this small little town just over the border was extremely, extremely friendly, freely spoke english with a thick french accent. 

I purchased this special flour that will make a "roux" for my French Canadian family in Maine.  It can not be ordered as the powder may seap out and cause a terror scare.

I purchased "creton" (sorry the package is upside down) which is eaten cold on an english muffin for breakfast.  Not very healthy but once in awhile is ok.

I purchased "squeaky cheese".  I had not had any in decades.  Yarn Harlot has blooged regarding this delicious cheese which has to be eaten usually within 24 hours.  Another favorite using this cheese is "poutine" which is fries topped with this melted cheese and gravy.

As you cross the border, the landscape changes dramatically.  Vermont is so mountainous, whereas Canada is very flat with a lot of farms.  Most housea are made of brick or stone.  They are a very proud people and keep their homes immaculate.
Chickadee heaven!  Acres and acres of sunflowers.

So, I hoped there would be no problem reentering the US. The border guard was very condescending. "What, you don't have a passport?" as if I were offering him a beer and he wanted champagne. "You went to Canada to buy what?" (in a you are kidding me kinda tone) "Can't you buy that in the US?"

Back home the same day and not a stitch was knitted!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Identical or Fraternal Socks

Most of my socks are identical to each other rather than fraternal.  It's a matter of preference, I suppose.  I'm delighted when there are two and am not suffering from SSS (single sock syndrome)  What are your thoughts?

I completed these socks several weeks ago.  I used a standard "vanilla" sock pattern and I can't remember who the yarn manufacturer is....sorry!  Anyway, they will match a sweater that is about 90% completed with the goal of wearing it at the next Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival.

So, if you were straining to see what those knitting books are............well,....these are just a few of the many that I own.  I especially like "Sock Innovation" and the "Joy of Sox" speaking of which as I was thumbing through the book I food the pictures to be quite provocative and then remembered that it is a "spoof" on that other book.  You know the one I'm talking about....the one on your nightstand, perhaps!!!! 

I just completed a shawlette with pictures coming in a few days after I have blocked it.  I've also been knitting this baby sweater and am about 50% on the road to completion.  This is very cheap yarn that I fell in love with.  There is no mention as to the fiber content, how many grams/yards/weight, etc.  The colorways are gorgeous and at $1/skein, I just couldn't resist.  It feels very soft as I am knitting the sweater so I am delighted at this win/win project.  This colorway, not really pink but can't think of what it reminds me of except the first sweater I knitted my own baby many years ago. 

Now, to find a baby girl to gift this sweater to.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Shelburne Farms Cheese Festival"

My family and I attended the "Shelburne Farms Cheese Festival" last weekend.  Tickets were limited to 1,500 and were sold out 3 weeks before the event.  The wine and cheese pairing dinner, $95/person, was sold out three months ago.  There were about 150 cheese, wine, bread and chocolate vendors.  Classes and demonstrations were available as well. 

There were several buildings beyond what you see in this picture, filled with lots of wonderful cheeses.

We were provided with a lovely cloth bag when we arrived.  My daughter was excited as it was the perfect size for a knitting bag.  It meant she had one for each of her family members. 

This duo cracked me up at this cooking demonstration!  One was a "straight-man", the other the "comedian".

I researched various cheeses ahead of time and was delighted that I found and purchased this "Bijou Cheese".  It won the "gold" at New York's Fancy Food Summer Show.  It is made with goat's milk right here in Vermont.   A little expensive, this little piece was $4 but well worth it.  Treat yourself and try it.  You won't be disappointed.

The chocolates from "Lake Champlain Chocolates" were wonderful.  I ate the chocolate before I was able to take a picture but my favorite was a chocolate combined with sea salt.  Who would think this combinatiion would be so delicious.

There was free "Ben 'N Jerry's" ice cream, wood-fired pizza and LOTS OF CHEESE.  You could go sit on the lawn by the lake or ..................

find a quieter spot to just relax.

Just one of the many buildings on this working farm!  Shelburne is quite the "posh" area of Vermont.  In addition to the breeding farm, there is a museum covering 42 acres of land located along beautiful Lake Champlain.

Needless to say, I had a wonderful time with my family.  At one point there was so much laughter that tears were rolling down my cheeks. 

So, my friends, please allow me to be a grandma on this blog and tell you about these two special young men. 

 Joe, age 15 and my 1st grandchild, hopes to work for NASA as an engineer someday. He is outstanding in math and science.  (notice the shirt)  Joe is working towards becoming an Eagle scout and is close to reaching his goal.

Nick, age 13 on Aug. 4th, is also an outstanding student.  I love hearing him whistle as he walks along.  A very hard worker and knows how to save his money towards the "bigger picture".  He talks about being "successful" in life when he becomes an adult.

Both boys have a great relationship with my daughter and her husband.  They are kind, considerate and respectful.  They play sports as well.   I am truly blessed!!!