Monday, November 30, 2015

Challenge Met

 Way back in September I said that on the 30th of November I would write a post on how much progress I had made on this ancient WIP. I was shaming myself to get it done.

 Well, it's the 30th so here it is. I managed to get 9 more inches on it.

 Right now it looks like a pile of brown spaghetti and trying to stretch it out to see the pattern is too hard to do with one hand on the camera. I'm going to have to trust that things are going along as they should but I think I saw a boo boo and some tension issues in there somewhere. I'm going to pretend I didn't see them because there is NO going back.
For those who asked, here is my hot toddy recipe. I think there is magic in it because I feel fine today. Years ago when I had a terrible case of swine flu, my actual doctor prescribed a similar concoction-only with bourbon.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lost Weekend

 I had big plans for this weekend. I wanted to do some fruitcake, soap and Christmas card making. Instead I spent Friday and Saturday on the couch with a nasty cold feeling pretty terrible.

 My brandy hot toddies helped. I took lots of naps but that's about it. Three days of nothing to do and I wasted it doing nothing. Darn.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Maiden Voyage

 In 2014, I brought home two bags of Shetland fleece from the MDSW.

Right before the 2014 TdF I washed it lock by lock.

During that year's Tour I spun it and knitted it into a vest that I thought I would hate. It seemed itchy and bulky while I was knitting it.

When the eye doctor called to say my new glasses were ready I went looking for something to put on to go pick them up. It was chilly but not cold enough for a sweater. Those btw are my first ever real glasses for seeing distance. In order to continue driving, the state of Maryland was insisting I get them. They live in the car. They cost me $300 and you know I would lose them if I were to actually use them for anything but driving so in the car they stay.

 After digging through the knits, I threw the Galiano vest on for the very first time ever but there was a problem.

 Having no buttons, it gapped open.

 I used a turquoise earring to hold it closed. It worked. The whole point of all of this is that I loved the vest. I wore it several days in a row. It wasn't itchy, it wasn't bulky and now I want to make more. Knitted vests are the way to go.

Friday, November 27, 2015

How It Was

I'd forgotten how much work a Thanksgiving dinner is. It's days of prepping and then in a blink of an eye there's a giant mess to clean up.

 The day started out calm enough. After the cleaning marathon of the day before, putting out the finery was a simple enough task.

It's nice when my house looks like a house instead of a wool processing plant.

The new towels made it into service, wrinkled as they may be.

 The maple bacon cookies weren't half bad. They taste like burnt Christmas cookies and I am very fond of burnt cookies.

 The cranberry sangria was yummy.

The fresh veggies were the big hit. The canned casseroles not so much. Lesson learned.

 Grandson Number One had crayons and a tablecloth made for coloring on the kiddie table. It kept his attention for about a minute and a half.

Grandson Number Two was a bundle of smiles and giggles on his very first Thanksgiving. I've never seen such a happy baby.

 Son in Law brought a pumpkin cheesecake. Yummo. I have a big slice in the fridge for later. So does The Mister.

Daughter in Law brought this incredible ice cream from the Nicecream Factory that is made by a special process using liquid nitrogen. They make it fresh right in front of you. I confess I ate all the  chocolate sea salt leftovers as soon as the last guest left. It was a good day.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Random Thankfulness

 I carried the camera around yesterday and recorded everything I was thankful for. The first thing yesterday morning, I was thankful that Mommy kitty showed up for breakfast. She hadn't shown up at her usual time and I was worried. Whenever the feral kitties come for a meal I am relieved to see them. The world is a big place and they are so little.

While clearing the clutter and packing it away in the sewing room I was thankful for all my projects in the works. They are all in the way now but they will be most welcome come January.

I am always very thankful that The Mister likes to help with holiday cleaning. He gets the places I never think about.

 I tried to be thankful about the three bathrooms I had to clean. I reminded myself some people don't have any.

I was more than thankful that I didn't break my crockpot when I dropped it on the floor. It has a big dent now but it still works.

 I am thankful for all the pretty glassware that my grandmother gave me so many years ago. This is where I always stop and have my holiday cry. I remember these pieces on her Thanksgiving table and I still miss her.

 I was thankful to have a spare minute to get those newly woven towels hemmed. I really wanted to put them in use for the holidays. I am also thankful for those clips. They work so much better than pins with woven things.

I was overwhelmingly thankful that we have a little grocery store down the street. I went there twice yesterday and I went through the same line three times picking up things I forgot.

 I was thankful that they still had flowers late on Wednesday. I always want flowers on my table but I never remember to buy them.

 I was thankful we have a Subway nearby. After all the food prep I didn't want to cook.

I'm thankful I live in a town where people dress up their homes for the holidays.

I don't live in North Beach but I am thankful I live close enough to take a Thanksgiving Eve stroll on their beautiful boardwalk.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Getting Ready

 The Mister and I have pretty much gathered up the fixings for Turkey Day.

Nothing out of the ordinary here. When Mom was hosting, I used to turn my nose up at her traditional menu. Now I actually tear up just looking at the calorie laden, processed stuff. The connection to Thanksgivings past is so strong. Pass the canned yams and marshmallows please and don't forget the green bean casserole. We do have roasted brussel sprouts. Mom never served a brussel sprout in her life.

There's a lot of meat in the fridge right now. I don't eat it and The Mister is not fond of turkey but the cats and dogs love it. All the critters will be happy on Thursday.

We always have a bottle of the eagerly awaited Nouveau Beaujolais. My French friends roll their eyes at this junk wine but I like it because you can only get it once a year and then it's gone. Is it good wine? Heck if I know. I like Manischewitz. For real. That's our second bottle of White Christmas brandy. It's supposed to be for the fruitcake but someone's been nipping at it. Guilty.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Long Term

 I'm out of short term knitting projects and it is making me twitch. I have no socks on the needles and it doesn't feel right. I am resisting casting any on though because I have several things that need attention. Aubade is still in the works. I am at 500 plus stitches so it's not a fun knit anymore even though it's pretty simple stuff going on.

 Then there is The Seasons of Mist and Mellow Fruitfulness wrap. I promised myself I would put 4 rows on a day until November 30th and then it could go in time out until next fall. I've been working on it every autumn since 2008. It may well be the oldest WIP on Ravelry.

I've added this much to it this year but I don't want to put it away just yet. I just found out that there will be no Advent Scarf KAL this year (boo, hoo) so finishing this thing is what I'm doing instead.

Photo courtesy of Food Network
In case you (elns) didn't see my reply about healthy fruitcakes yesterday, here is the link for a recipe that I have been meaning to try for years. It's Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake and I haven't tasted it but I know it's got to be major yummy. I've got the dried fruit and the booze so this may be the year I just might give it a go.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Where You'd Least Expect

 Look what Daughter found at the ice rink yesterday. As we were heading out after a very long day of practice, she glanced over at the front desk and found something very interesting going on. It's not everyday you run into doublepoints in action.

Of course I had to go over and stick my nose in it and see what the pattern was and then ask to take photos by explaining I have a sort of knitting blog that lately has been more about random junk than it has about knitting because life is just like that sometimes.

As soon as I got home I added the fabulously slouchy hat with the amazing tassel to my oh, so ridiculously long queue. You can find it here-and it's free!

As for my fruitcake recipe that was requested yesterday, I am going to admit that it comes from an ancient Betty Crocker recipe and you can find it here. I soak my raisins and currents in warm brandy before I add them to the batter. It keeps them from drying out during the long baking time.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

More Stuff That I Have Bought

Joanne's is also near a Micheal's. The holiday papers are out and I had to have some. I also got a mini scoring board. I had no idea what they were until I saw someone use it on You Tube to make envelopes and of course I wanted one. It was on sale but I could hear my wallet sobbing.

 The dies for my Cuttlebug arrived.

 This is what they look like. Hopefully in a few weeks I can clear out the craft room and give them a try.

I bought them from here. They have an amazing selection of all things papercrafty and a very inspirational blog. What I need however is a lot less inspiration and a lot more time-and money.