Friday, October 30, 2009

Food Friday-Apple & brown sugar muffins

Smitten Kitchen strikes again, this time with muffins.

Not just any muffins. These muffins are chock-full of words like chock-full. Apple & brown sugar muffins

These muffins have chunks of apple (I used Honeycrisp, my favorite!), brown sugar, buttermilk, whole wheat flour, and other yummy things. Apple & brown sugar muffins

They were so good, in fact, that I ended up making two batches in one day. That's a rarity, unless we're talking about marathon holiday baking.

If you are trying to decide what to do with those delicious fall apples, make some of these. You won't regret it!

By the way, there's still time to enter the contest!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Two years old and a contest!

Yep. Two years of blogging for me! I'm not tired of it yet, and hopefully, you're not either.
On this, my blogibirthday numero dos, I find it funny that again, my number of completed projects is twenty-one. Apparently, that's my magic number.

The breakdown for this year:

5 hats

7 shawls/scarves/neckwarmers

1 pair of gloves/mitts

Valentine wine cozy
2 cozies/misc. items

Completion: Liesl
6 shrugs/sweaters/vests

0 socks (<----Lame!!)

0 bags

At least eight of these are gifts.

I've also got
WIPs on the needles right now.

To celebrate my blogibirthday, I'm having a little contest. The prize:
Some of my stashed Malabrigo. Two skeins, to be exact.

One in powder blue, one in Loro barranquero. Additionally, I will send you a couple of pattern booklets or magazines to round out the package. And, by leaving a comment with your favorite Halloween candy, you might find some of that in the package as well!

I will take comments until Saturday, October 31st, 6:00 PM CST.

I will post the winner next Sunday.

Thanks for reading. I enjoy this little (not so little, really!) world of knitters, crafters and bloggers. I've learned so much in the past year, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

ETA: If I don't have an email or ravelry username for you, be sure to check back here next Sunday in case you win!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Food Friday-Boston #4

Regina's Pizzeria
Originally uploaded by missyecaj
Regina's Pizzeria.
The Mediterranean.
Need I say more?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Boston pics-Fenway!!

Jill scored us tickets to see the Red Sox play. I think the only way she managed was that we planned this trip months in advance, otherwise, we never could have afforded to go.
Truth be told, I'm not the biggest baseball fan, but going to a game is different, especially in a town like Boston, with so much love for the home team!

Just being at Fenway was an experience. It's hard to believe it's been around since 1912, and it was neat to think about the history of the place, the game, and to imagine all the people that have sat here, watching and hoping.

The Sox played Toronto, and unfortunately, they were down in the seventh inning, when it started raining. I was not aware that the game just stops when the rain starts.
It was fun to watch this tarp unroll to protect the field, just in case the rain let up.

After about thirty minutes, Jill and I, along with most of the other patrons, walked back to the T and headed home. It was a hilarious ride home, thanks to one pretty obnoxious drunk dude.

It was a great last night in Boston, with lots of good memories.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Boston pics-Georges Island

Being on the water is so much fun. Especially when you can sing "I'm on a boat" with your sister and laugh hysterically.

We took the ferry from Boston to Georges Island, home of Fort Warren.

Given that this was a POW camp in the Civil war (the wiki link above gives more information, if you're interested), I couldn't help being reminded of Alcatraz. It's an eerie feeling, walking through history, knowing people were imprisoned here, isolated from the world.

Jill and I enjoyed walking around the island. It really is beautiful, and the view of Boston across the water was stunning.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Food Friday-Boston #3

I could totally use one of these right now. Well, maybe not use, but I'd certainly enjoy it.

This is a rocky road brownie from Mike's Pastry in the North End. The place is world famous, apparently, and an old friend suggested it via facebook while I was there. The place was crazy, with tons of people waiting to be served, and without a number system, so pandemonium ensued. It was worth the wait to have this piece of decadence.

The cakey brownie was covered in a fudge-like frosting, with nuts and marshmallows on top.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Boston pics-Cemeteries

Jill and I visited three historic cemeteries in Boston: Copp's Hill, Granary Hill and King's Chapel. It was amazing to walk past the graves, knowing most of them were more than three hundred years old. We spent more time at Copp's Hill, although we located Mary Chilton's grave at King's Chapel (my mom has our family traced back to her, so it's relevant).
I loved the way the tombstones sort of sunk into one another.

The winged skull motif you see on the stones is common for the time period.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Planning again

After finishing my Boston cardigan, I've been trying to think about my next big project. I know I need to finish my CPH, which has now been on the needles for over a year, but even though I know I'll wear the hell out of it, I just don't feel like picking up all those stitches just yet. Soon, though. I've been working on my second Cherry Blossom Sock, and I should be finished with that in a week or so. I've been looking at patterns and thinking about a new wardrobe piece, and I've narrowed it down to three patterns, to be used with this yarn:
This is RYC Cashsoft DK in Kingfisher, which is difficult to photograph, but it's a lovely teal, and the yarn is super soft.

My three pattern choices are: Arbor, Cherry, which I've started before (picture below), or the Wallis Cardigan.

Here's how far I got on Cherry when I started it sometime earlier this year (or maybe even last):

Thoughts? Votes? I think these are all work-friendly patterns, which is the goal.

By the way, I've still got some Boston pics to share, and a shawl FO. I just haven't had as much to time to blog as I'd like. Soon, though!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Food Friday-Boston #2

Taken in Boston Commons while listening to Glen Hansard and wearing my sweater

Although I had eaten this cookie before, I didn't know it's name until Boston. It's a pizzelle. How can you go wrong, when you take a waffle cone, turn it into a cookie, and dip it in chocolate? Just sayin'.

I'm going to have make some of these, once I get my hands on a waffle iron...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Boston pics-Bunker Hill Monument

On our first full day, Jill and I walked most of the Freedom Trail, and at one point, found ourselves at the Bunker Hill Monument.
At the time, we didn't even realize that we were in an entirely different city, Charlestown. We walked so much, but it was worth it, as we saw some incredible sights.

When we approached the monument, we wondered if tourists were allowed to climb it, and were excited to see that we could indeed climb to the top.

The sign informed us that there were 294 steps to the top.
We can do that. We're young and relatively healthy, so we can do it, right? Right.

We might complain about it, and we might feel stupid for doing it our first day, when we've got loads of walking ahead of us, but we did it.

The view from the top is amazing, and worth the climb, although our calves were yelling at us for three days.

Monday, October 5, 2009

FO: Boston Marine Cardigan

When setting what seems like an impossible goal for yourself, make sure it is not too impossible. I don't think I could have knit just any sweater in a month, but my choice of the Favorite Cardigan was achievable. Here's the proof:


Favorite Cardigan, from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard (my second pattern to knit from this book)
Yarn: duh. my favorite, Malabrigo Worsted, in Marine, 3.6 skeins
Needles: Size 7
Time: Just at one month, buttons were sewed on two days before the trip
Recipient: made for me!!

I knit the 34.5" size. I separated the sleeves on the first round of the sixth repeat (with three fewer increases than called for), and added additional increase on front panels only as follows: a set on row three of round six, and row one of eighth round. I finished my first skein of yarn after row two of round seven.

I added my first waist decrease at the first row of round ten (about 4 1/4” past sleeve separation. Ribbing was started after eleven repeats. I picked up less stitches than called for on the button band, 76 per side.

The body, unblocked, is 21 inches long. Sleeves were just under sixteen repeats (sleeves ended on row four of round sixteen).

I love this sweater. The buttons, color and shape are lovely. You probably notice that I didn't wear it fully buttoned while in Boston. I think I need to block it once more, as the buttons kept coming undone when I tried to, which is why most of the pictures have just the first few buttons done. I've even considered tightening the button holes. Any thoughts on the best way to fix this? It really may be that I just need to stretch it slightly. It's a small problem, though, and all things considered, I love this sweater.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

FO: Tropicana Handspun Scarf

Last year, I bought some handspun from Cosmicpluto.

The yarn was so fun and happy, so although I didn't have a purpose for it, I knew I'd be able to pick something that would properly display its cheeriness. A couple of months ago, I decided that my sister would appreciate the colorful handspun, so I started a simple stockinette scarf, with a few rows of garter at each end, and a slipped stitch at the beginning of each row.

Working with handspun is such a treat, and the color changes were fun.

As our Boston trip got closer, I realized I could finish and gift it to Jill in time for her to actually wear it, since a scarf in Houston isn't exactly a necessity. I'm glad I did, as it came in handy on our getaway.

This was my second time to vacation with Jill as adults, and it's really fun to spend time with her while exploring a new city.

I'm not doing a normal FO post for this, since there really was no pattern, but it took me about six weeks to complete, and the skein of yarn had about 160 yards. It was a perfect amount for a long skinny scarf.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Food Friday-Boston #1

Cappucino, in a small cafe in the North End

I could use some coffee right now, as a matter of fact...

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