Friday, December 31, 2010


a toddy recipe for you to start the new year -- fully customizable:
  • boiling water
  • bourbon (or rum.  or whiskey.  triple sec might be good.) quantity determined by time of day.
  • lemon (or tangerine. or orange.) quantity determined by intended medicinal value of toddy.  how healthy do you want your toddy to be?
  • maraschino cherry.  not to eat, just to decorate and sweeten.
stir and enjoy!

a most healthy and happy new year to you, and i thank you for stopping by. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

by comparison...

we are thinking it's quite brisk here today -- we had cold rain yesterday and snow in the mountains down to 2500 feet.  but i've never noticed us having wind chill before.  winter time!  warm hats!  scarves, gloves, mittens!  fire in the fireplace!  no, it's YOUR turn to walk the dog!  don't bother mama now, she's knitting some important warm thing!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

orange you chili?

we grew chili peppers this summer, theoretically to be able to make salsa with the tomatoes we grew.  in july, a few ripened past green to red, and as soon as i saw that, i knew what my christmas wreath would look like this year.

i have hoarded peppers, mostly on the plant, since then.  i harvested them all the other day and began wiring them to a plain pine wreath.  i have to say it was a bit dull until i picked an orange from our tree, sliced it and dried it in the oven (200°F for 2 hours on a lightly oiled pan) and added the dried pieces to the wreath.  slap on a bow, and voilà!  a wreath!

Friday, December 17, 2010

done in a day!

well, yes, i'm now 13 days behind on the advent calendar KAL, but day 3 was so easy (especially compared to the nupps!) that i was able to complete the pattern portion in one day (yesterday).  i had a bit of sitting and waiting to do yesterday, so there you go.

i celebrated by having an old-fashioned and sitting down after dinner to finish the beads in the spacer section.  i cranked 'em out!  knit the remaining rows lickety-split, and started day 4.  started, counted the chart, tinked, counted the chart again, counted my beads -- i had about 40% fewer stitches than i was supposed to have.  what?  i did not perform any unnecessary decreases -- i know!

i realized i forgot the yarn-overs before and after the beads.  so i get to tink all the way back to the beads and see whether i can stretch the yarn to add those yo's, or will have to redo the beads (BOOOO!).

i took much better pictures this time -- the last one was one of the worst pictures i've ever published.

this picture is more clear, i believe, because i used a flash, but the color is not as true.  if you click on the picture you can zoom in and see the top row has beads but no yo's.

the hurrieder i go, the behinder i get.ツ

Monday, December 13, 2010

groups of nupps

my progress on the KAL is slow -- the nupps take some time.  they're kind of fun, and kind of a pain.  i am using a crochet hook, but i'm using it to do the purl on the return row.  the nupps are not very obvious -- maybe when i complete the whole section (day 2), they'll pop a little more.  or maybe when it's blocked.

i did decide to add beads -- i had some square ones here at home, and the colors were right.  some are bluer, some are greener, but they have a metallic bronziness that goes well with the yarn.

sorry about the background -- everything i do these days is a bit quick & dirty;  this was the first pillow i grabbed to quickly pin, take outside and photograph the lace.

so if i finish section 2 today, i'll be 11 days behind.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

because starting a new project makes me feel good

i had noticed this lace scarf knit-along in november, and dismissed it as impossible.  but i needed a bit of a boost the other day, and impulsively jumped in 5 days late.  it's a project that has some features i've been wanting to try, nupps and beads, specifically.  i started up on monday, and tried to knit charted lace with medium to dark-colored laceweight yarn on size 2 needles in the car in the dark during swim practice, and guess what happened.  so i'm back-tracking, retrieving the lost yarn-over and losing time, but i love the yarn and the project.  and i look forward to quiet afternoons with a small glass of dry sack by the fire, knitting.  ahahahahaha! 
picture from

i shall take a picture of the advent scarf as soon as i have more than one inch of fabric to show you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

final flakes

this one is my favorite.  i have it pressed against the side of my black piano, so it IS hanging, supporting itself.  acrylic-girl asked a good question about the firmness or stability of the crocheted snowflakes, using the wool/stainless kidsilk haze combination i wrote about.  i pinned them to the ironing board and steamed them for 10-15 seconds, to define them a bit more and flatten the crochet curl out.  it worked great!  i think if i were going to hang them for any length of time i would hang them from 2 points instead of one, but you definitely do not have to starch them to get them to feature the proper shape.

here are all of ones i've completed:
upper left and upper right were done with a size 3 vs. size E hook (smaller), and they came out much more defined.  i like 'em!

and they're already given away.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

fuzzy flakes

a wee bit of crochet for some instant gratification holiday crafting.  the pattern is from paton's, and i crocheted it using a furry yet stable combination of kidsilk haze and the lion brand wool stainless steel yarns.  i used a size E crochet hook.  (ravlink)

a bit closer you can see the slate blue of the stainless wool and the oatmeal color of the mohair.  sorry it's blurry -- the camera did not want to focus on all that mohair.

i'll do the other snowflake today.  when i do another of this one, i will modify the last round by chaining 3 or 4 (instead of the 5 recommended on the pattern) on all of those loopy outside sections so that it tightens up a little.  i will try some with a smaller hook, as well.  these are so quick and easy!  i want to do a million of them -- and the stainless yarn, though not really a christmas color, obviates the need to starch the snowflake.  it could stand to be blocked a bit, just to straighten it out, but i doubt that will happen.  i'll take another picture when i have a few of them hanging festively somewhere, looking deceptively fragile.

and the blue makes the flake look cold, right? ツ

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

my two weeks were spent this way:

enjoying the full moon rise over the sea of cortez.

playing on low tide sand bars with enthusiastic children and a puppy.

watching those same children rest in the sunshine.

baking pies.

fishing for bait to fish for more fish.

contemplating my shadow by the light of that same full moon.