Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I've been thinking about the baby blanket I'm knitting and I think I'm going to have to change things up a bit. I don't think it is going to match the decor my friend is going with. So instead I'm going to pull another almost finished blanket out of hibernation that will match the decor much better. Is that wrong? It seems like I should give the baby the blanket I've intended originally, yet on the other hand, the hibernating blanket may be the right one. Plus I can use the blue blanket for my sister's baby boy (I haven't even cast on the one I originally intended for him and he's due at the beginning of January.) Hmmmm what to do?
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I've made some noticeable progress on some of my projects. First up is the monster. The monster is nearly done now - I have knitted up all of the pieces except for the ears. I also did some seaming today to break things up a little.
I actually took this picture before I attached one arm (the other is still unattached).
Project number two is the baby blanket. I've done over 250 rows and now have about 20% to go. My friend had a girl so my plan is to thread some pink ribbon through the border and attach a few knitted flowers.
The last project is the one for me - my vanilla extract. I still need to wait until at least the end of the year to use it but it's getting a little darker. It's sort of an amber color. The process is very low maintenance; over the last week I've shaken it twice and that's it. Can't wait until it's ready!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
9,450 - if my math is correct that's how many stitches are left in the baby blanket. It seems like a lot but it's only 25% of the total in the blanket. It's going much smoother now. Seems like whatever was causing me tension is going a little better. The yarn slides a bit easier over the needles now. I have until early January (I think) so I should make it in time - without flinging it across the room as I threatened previously...
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I made my vanilla extract today. The recipe is so simple - the only two ingredients are vanilla beans and vodka. (Any alcohol can be used but vodka has the cleanest flavor.) I had a hard time finding my beans so I ended up ordering some on Amazon.
I had five beans for a cup of vodka, which I think is a good amount based on what I've seen listed around the web. I split each bean in half lengthwise and scraped out the seeds.
Here's the all of the beans after they were split and scraped.
I cut the pods into pieces and placed the seeds and pods into the vodka and gave it a shake. It needs to be shaken once a week and should be ready in about 8 weeks, although it can take up to six months to really get the flavor of vanilla extract.
I also set aside one pod to add to a cup of sugar so I could have vanilla sugar as well. Can't wait to try that in my baking too!
(linked up with www.iheartnaptime.net)
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I'm so excited - I ordered some vanilla beans to make vanilla extract and they came today! Unfortunately I got home too late to do anything with them tonight but come this weekend I'll get my chance. It's supposed to be really simple. I need to add a few beans to a cup of vodka and let it sit; it needs to be shaken once a week. It's ready after 8 weeks or so. I'll post the results when I'm done!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I finally finished the body of the monster today! To do so I needed to use a three needle bind off, which I had never done before. I could have kitchnered it but:
A) I thought it would be good to learn another skill
B) it's for the inside of a toy so it doesn't matter how it is done as much.
This is a ridiculously easy process to learn. It's almost the same as a standard bind off with just a little twist - the stitches are pulled off two needles at the same time.
Isn't it cute so far ;) Now all I have to do are the arms, feet and legs!
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I think I may have to throw the baby blanket i am knitting across the room. I am beginning to understand what other knitters are talking about when they say a yarn squeaks. Somehow I have gotten my knitting so tight that it squeaks and it takes brute force to slide it across the needles. I've got to change something or the last 145 rows (gulp!) are going to be painful!
Monday, November 7, 2011
One of the biggest blessings in my life has been my mom. She has always been there for me when I needed her, both with little things and big things.
Yesterday she helped me out again. At 7:30 pm, the power went out. It was getting close to the kiddos' bedtimes but they were obviously unsettled. So even though we had just had a slumber party over there the night before, I called my mom and she graciously let us come over. I didn't even have to ask - just told her my power had gone out and she invited us over. I love the fact that she lives right down the road! I wish everyone had a mother as great as mine.
And on another note, I'm glad we have power. We only lost it for a few hours. Nothing like people on the east coast who lost it for days, or worse yet, those who don't have the luxury at all.
Check out other stories of God's blessings over at He Sows and She Sews.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
My mom, sisters and I decided it would be fun to let the cousins have a slumber party sometime. Yesterday we had that chance.
We had lots of fun! First we played with play doh.
Then the kids made quite a mess with some blocks.
Next we baked some chocolate chip cookies and everyone helped.
We played a little bit of "Just Dance"
...and then charades - it was C's first time playing and he did very well.
Finally we settled in with a movie.
Everyone had a great time!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
First up is the monster. I've finished with the plain rounds (that got tedious). Now I'm onto the decreases, so at least it's gotten more interesting. I'm hoping to crank out the body by the end of the weekend.
Project two is the blanket. By my calculations I'm 65% of the way done. I've been trying to get a least one row done ever night so I can move onto the second blanket I need to work on.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
On Sunday I made crockpot taco soup. The recipe is super simple. It's basically dump in cans and turn on the crockpot all day. The only extra step is browning the beef ahead of time if you want it (we did). I didn't get any pics of the dish though.
2 cans of corn
2 cans of pinto beans
2 cans of kidney beans
1 can of tomatoes with chiles
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 lb seasoned ground beef
Brown the beef and drain the grease. Season with whatever spices you usually use for taco meat. Add this to the bottom of the crockpot. Drain and rinse the beans then add to the pot. Add the corn and tomatoes (don't drain the liquid for these) and the dressing. Simmer on low for 8 hours. Add toppings after it is dished.
I think the original recipe was looking for a six quart pot and mine's only four so it was a little too full - I had to take a couple spoonfuls out. Next time I will cut back accordingly.
E was the only one who ate it. C (unsurprisingly) and J (surprisingly) wouldn't eat it. I'm unsure of my vote as I didn't eat it (I had a bit of an upset stomach so I ate crackers instead). E and I both thought it would be better without kidney beans so we will probably try that next time (it will help with the space issue too!). I think we will end up trying this again at some point.
ETA: I just noticed this is my 100th post! Yay!