Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pay It Forward Socks

So, I know some of you think I forgot about my Pay It Forward gifts, but I didn't . . . got a little busy at the end of the year so I am a little behind, but still working hard on them.  I was able to finish two of them, one of them being this pair of socks for Deneen over at Yarns and Musings.

Yarn: Premier Yarns - Echo
Color: 42-205 (Red and Blue with a White strand throughout)
Content: 68% superwash wool / 22% Polyamide / 10% cotton
Care: Machine wash and dry
Needles: US 1 /2.25mm
Gauge: 8sts per inch
Size: US Women 7.5
Pattern: Plain Vanilla – my own.

Here is right after the heel and gusset were done.

Then I got really horrible at taking progress shots so I only have the finished pictures:





Now they ended up pooling in completely different ways. At first they pooled so the red was on one side and the blue was on another, but I worked with my numbers and gauge to fix that problem.  Overall, I think they turned out well and I hope she likes them.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Wookie Christmas

Let me tell you interwebs, I love this Christmas thing! First off, Daddy's shutdown for work falls at this time so I have someone home all day and night, that is great, cause lets face it, I require a lot of petting! Then, Mommy gets a three day weekend since she works for a bank. Yeah, for more walks!

Then, get this, they give you things!

Check out my gifts!

Mommy and Daddy got me my very own bed.  I still love to share their bed, but when I don't want to be so snuggly, I sleep here now.  I really like it!

Then Aunt Kathy, who is Daddy's aunt, sent me toys!  The little yellow giraffe is a squeaky toy and I attacke it even more just to try and shut it up!  I love a good tug-a-war rope.  Then the reindeer has a squeaker in it's head and it's tummy has crinkly stuff inside that sounds like you are crumpling paper.  I really like this one, I will even jump in the air and catch it . . . which I never do for any of my other toys.

Oh, did I forget to mention, Aunt Kathy also sent homemade doggy cookies.

Not to be rude people, but it's cookie time, so I will see you later . . . I don't share.

Oh, yummy cookie!

P.S. See you next year!

P.P.S. Do you like my winter coat/fur?

Friday, December 23, 2011

John's Illusion Scarf

My brother-in-law John asked for a scarf for his birthday.  Since it's nice to have someone appreciate one's craftiness, I had to oblige.  But I knew that I wouldn't be able to knit a whole scarf, especially one for a man over 6 foot, if there wasn't more to it.  He wanted one in colors of the Seahawks. So I decided to go with that theme and decided I would try shadow knitting.  I couldn't find patterns for lettering that I thought would work well, so I designed my own.  This was definitely an interesting experience.

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Color: Limelight & Dark Country Blue
Content: 100% Acrylic
Care: Machine Wash & Dry
Needles: US 5 / 3.75mm
Hook: 3.5mm

Here is a pic just straight down of the detail.

A straight down picture of as much of the scarf as I could.

The scarf is around 7 feet so it's hard to get a good picture of it all, here is a piece of the word SEAHAWKS.

A little better.


A few more attempts to get a good shot of the letters.


Here are some shots of the individual letters.





I know there is a heaping ton of pictures, but I am quite proud of this scarf.  It turned out well and except for the rolling I wouldn't change a thing.  If I were to to something like this again, I would add a border of another stitch. . . . maybe seed stitch.  I am definitely tempted to try some more illusion/shadow knitting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Vetter Baby Sweater

So, as always, I do apologize for just disappearing. This project at work is ending up being more work and more tiring than I expected. This is the first weekend I have actually had Saturday off, so I enjoyed it by taking a bunch of pictures so I could actually post things this week. Due to various issues, I have been given extra responsibility at work, so I cannot guarantee that I won't continue to disappear here and there until the end of February, but I will try my best. Hopefully the mix of this new responsibility and my normal work will make the days more enjoyable and go quicker.

Any who, onto the Vetter Baby Sweater. . . it is named after the baby I knit it for. At my previous receptionist position I worked with a woman with the last name of Vetter and she was very appreciative of my knitting and insisted that if she got pregnant again while I was there, that her baby would need something knitted by me. I finished this sweater in late September and she had her daughter in early October. I designed this sweater especially for her. It is inspired by the Sliding Shawl (rav link) that I test knitted. Sliding Shawl (blog link).

Warning - - Lots of pictures in this post.

Yarn: Sensations Cuddle
Color: Pink
Content: 100% Acrylic
Care: Machine Wash and Dry
Needle: US 5 / 3.75mm
Size: 3-6 months

Here is a full shot of the front of the top.

The back.


I tried to get an angled shot so you could see the texture better, but with this being in pink, it was just so hard for me to get good pictures of the texture created in the pattern.


Another attempt trying to demonstrate the texture.


A simple neckline of crochet slip stitch.


Snap band as who wants to deal with tons of buttons by an infants neck!


Both sides of the snap band are reinforced with ribbon.


I really like how this turned out and even though it was a bit tedious, it made it much easier to attach the snaps and added some very much needed reinforcement.



A crappy sleeve shot, again trying to show texture, you can see the slipped stitches a little better here though.


The end of the sleeve has an applied border that is worked onto the end of the sleeves live stitches.


The hem is also a cable, I decided that instead of connecting them, I would make a place for a non-funtional button.



This was completely a prototype for this pattern, which meant the poor thing was knit, ripped, knit, ripped, etc. barely getting finished in time for the baby. I am hoping as soon as I have time to write up a pattern and get some test-knitters to try it out.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hello from the Netbook

Yes, I am saying hello from my new Netbook and so far, I am definitely liking it. I just got it last night. I have to say this week flew by even quicker than I expected.

I have some projects to share with you all though. I hope to take some pictures tomorrow after I get out of work and have some actual post for you guys this week! Which should be much easier this week, since I have this nifty little thing!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Completely Cauchy

I haven't done a blog review in a long time, but one of the things I love about the blog-o-sphere is finding new and unique people that I wouldn't have known otherwise. There is a vast amount of wonderfully crafty people and just plain wonderful people.

I have found the blog Completely Cauchy through another blog I read, Knotty bits and her post on Dropping F Blocks.

So I clicked on over to the Completely Cauchy blog and loved as I clicked through her old blog posts. I love it when there is a blog that just seems like it clicks with you and this definitely does. I love her attitude and blogging style . . . humorous, informative, and genuine. I appreciate blogs that are about more than just one craft, since I also enjoy a multitude of crafts.

Some of the posts I like:

~BQF-Hearth is about a wonderful blanket she made with old scraps from pants. I love not only how the blanket turned out, but her approach with color and the beauty of making the old pants new.

~Zum Ziggity is about the scrap crochet blanket she made going off of this pattern. I loved how hers turned out and that she used irregular steps in the afghan. It reminds me kind of like layers of earth over the many thousands of years. I am going to have to make something based off of this . . . maybe some hand towels or pot holders.

~How I Smurfed My Kitchen is about her experience with dyeing with indigo. She doesn't do a step by step but she does provide some very useful information and links to the product she used, which I am now considering trying come summer when I do some dyeing. Her pictures are good and she talks about some different dyeing techniques, such as tying and using acrylic shapes. It all makes my miss my fiber class I took in college.

~Curried Socks Diary Part 1 is where she begins her journey of dyeing some sock yarn with Turmeric. Lovely!

~Dyeing using Neon Food Color for her dyeing, which I don't think I have ever seen those, but will now have to look for them!

~The Behemoth is a lovely crocheted log cabin inspired blanket and I love it!

Anyways, there are many more and I recommend giving her blog a look! If you are offending by profanity, maybe not, but I think it is done in a tasteful way.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Inspirations

I absolutely love the look of this Ternion Shawl and recommend you hurry up and get it while it's free. Although I love the look of it so much, I'd recommend buying it even if you don't get to it while it's free.

I may have mentioned these before but I love the idea of Embroidering on Metal. Would make a wonderful project with kids too!

I really love this bag and how it was made. Would love to take the time and make me one similar.

Very cute idea for a quilt and there are many different ways to work with color in this.

Recipes I'd like to try:

I think these Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies sound interesting and worth trying.

Even if you don't want to dump your chili into little Frito bags, the Chili in this recipe sounds good!

This Ancho Chile, Shrimp, and Pasta sounds delicious!

I absolutely love the whole theory of Homemade Poptarts. I'll have to find a good gluten-free dough to substitute.

These Gluten-Free Apple Fritters look so delicious. Apple fritters remind me of college back in Washington State, where I would often buy one each day!

Even though the author of this blog considers this a crisp, I think of it more as an Apple Cake since it is more doughy than crispy, but it looks delicious no matter what you call it.

This Gluten Free Pizza/Calzone looks good.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Time, what is that?

Ah, it seems to a constant that lately, time just doesn't seem to be in abundance around this household. So as you've noticed, I am still around, just more popping in here and there. Our big project at work started this week, so overtime is back again. For the next 11 weeks I will continue working 10 hour days, which will be great for the banking account, but not so good for the problem of time and having any of it! Just letting you know in case I disappear for a few days here and there, just working more.

I do have something to share with you on this lovely Thanksgiving . . . Qannick Sweater (ravelry link).

Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby
Color: Lemon
Content: 100% Acrylic
Care: Machine Wash and Dry
Size: 2T
Needles: US 3 / 3.25mm
Pattern: Qannick (ravelry link)
Modifications: No modification since it was a test knit.

I knit a 2T so I could gift it to my niece Ellie, however, she is an expert grower and this may not fit her by the time it arrives. I hope it does, but if it doesn't it will then be given to Vera, another niece.

I enjoyed knitting this, there were a few corrections needed during test knitting, but the designer was quick at fixing them.  I wasn't able to finish it while I was out in Washington State, but I'll hopefully be mailing it off on Sunday.

I'm not sure if I like the pointed hood though.  I will have to wait until I see pictures of it on a child.

I spent too long looking for perfect buttons . . . even as is, these are a little fiddly.


On a positive side note, the husband is getting me a net-book for Christmas so I should be a little more active on here since I will have a portable and convenient way of keeping in touch.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Inspirations

I love this quote from Buddha.

These Organizational Boxes are so cute and could be used for so many things.

I love the simplicity of this Shag/Rya Rug! It would make a wonderful little bathroom rug.

Recipes I'd like to try:

Oh how I miss Oatmeal Cookies. I will definitely need to try these.

Don't these Custard filled Pastries look yummy! Honestly, just the outside of the pastry even looks yummy! I cannot even put into words how I would love to have one of these right now!

Yet again, my love for Indian food. This slow-cooker version of Tikka Masala looks delicious!

I have only recently, as in the past year or so, learned that I love basil! Any recipe I see with it, I am automatically drawn to it. I also like spice, so these Chili and Basil Scallops sound delicious. I wouldn't take the time to serve them in shell, but over some noodles . . . yummy!

There are many things that as a child you may try and dislike and assume that you dislike that item period. When in reality, your tastes may change, it may have been cooked or prepared poorly when you tried it before, etc. When I was out in Washington State back in May, my sister Rhoni convinced me to try fried sweet potatoes . . . cooked just like regular fried potatoes. To say I was a little worried, is not even close . . . I never cared for sweet potatoes as a child . . . however my sister's fried sweet potatoes were delicious! So I am tempted to try something like this Sweet Potato & Cranberry Salad.

I always love the thought of making my own broth, especially now that I am gluten free. This recipe for Bone Broth sounds not only nutritious, but full of flavor.

I love Mexican food and this version of Choriqueso sounds delicious!

I love the crocheted wreath that Lindamade posted, the tutorial she linked to looks super easy!

Doesn't this Gingerbread Cake look awesome! I think it looks delicious and I will hopefully have some time to make it in the near future.

This Gluten Free Pastry Crust looks great. It appears both light and crispy, will definitely have to try this!

I love Thanksgiving leftovers almost more than I love eating them that day. It is one of the reasons I make so much food even though it is just my husband and I. We have leftovers for the whole next week, it is great! So these Turkey with Cranberry Barbeque Sauce Sandwiches sound super interesting.

This Brazilian Feijoada looks and sounds yummy!

I have to admit, one of the reasons I like Thanksgiving is also because of all of the cranberry recipes, another thing I didn't realize that I actually love as an adult. When I saw these Cornmeal Cranberry Cookies I knew I would have to try them!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Me, Unrealistic?

So I do realize that some of my crafting ideas are a little out there sometimes.  Especially when you do a Google search and like only one other person can you find that was crazy enough to think of actually attempting to do the same thing.  I tend to think I can accomplish anything craftual so long as I take a good approach.  So I ask this question to you all, my lovely knowledgeable readers . . . who can give me a good smack upside the head if this idea is just too ridiculous.

To start, let me explain that went from 70 degrees on Wednesday to only 30 today, there were even snow flurries!  Yes, that dreaded four letter word.  (True it was an unseasonable warm week before this temperature drop, but still.)  Any who, I had to break out the gloves, because it was just too cold and I am already a person that gets cold easily.  Now I have to admit though . . . yes, I have been knitting for years, no I have never knitted myself real gloves.  Yes, I wear the cheap acrylic $2 ones.  Now you can see how my fingers still stay cold, just not quite as cold.

This wasn't as big of a deal in the past, because I could always stick my hands in my pockets also.  However, the Wook goes on 40 minutes walks and I have to hold the giant retractable leash thing. Since that thing is way to big for my pockets, my hands are not so warm.

My concern is, I am harsh on my gloves, which is why it benefits me to buy the $2 ones.  I am not interested in knitting myself gloves when I will undoubtedly snag, tear, etc them within the first week.  So I have a theory of felted gloves.  Know I know you see many felted mittens, but mittens really aren't my thing.  There is only one pattern on Ravelry for felted gloves and I'm not sure I trust it, plus it is a pay and I will ship you a copy of the pattern type thing.  Not so interested in that either.

I realize that to make such a thing would be a huge venture.  Knitting a swatch, felting it, lots of math with the hands, knitting ginormous gloves, and felting them.  So the question I pose, does anyone think it would be worth it??

Here are my very real concerns:

Is it possible to felt that accurately?

Would the felted wool make the material too thick for comfortable gloves, meaning will there be too much material between each finger due to the condensing of the fibers?

I wouldn't want the ribbing felted as then it seems it would defeat the purpose of being ribbing.  Would it be possible to use a superwash wool for the cuffs?  Or maybe attach cuffs after the felting process?

Here are my justifications:

Felted gloves would so be worth it!

I would definitely make sure to do a few swatches and felting of the swatches to insure accuracy.  Plus, if I didn't think it was going to work by this stage I could just bail out here, not too much time lost.

 Please weigh in and give me your thoughts, do you agree, disagree, have different concerns, or even have different justifications . . . trust me any thoughts would help!  :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Being back

So yeah, we are back!

The time away was good, but lets face it, I missed you guys and so did Wookie.

In the mean time our car is leaking coolant and a bunch of things are wrong with the whole coolant system.  Minimum of $2,000 to fix it they say.  We called and looked around and pretty much everyone else says the same things.  So whats a girl to do but look for our next used car.  So we are on the hunt.  In the mean time I am riding the bus again, not really a problem, but at my new position it takes an hour to get to work and an hour to get home.  Instead of the 20 minutes each way by car.  So it is making my day longer.

The upside of all of this, I am getting a little more knitting done while I wait for buses.  :)

However, not wanting to disappoint, I do have some pictures to show you from Halloween:

From left to right: Justice, Me, Ellie (on my lap), Echo, and Vera (on Echo's lap).  You cannot see in the picture, but technically there is another little one inside Echo waiting to come out in 2012.

Here is me and Ellie.  Rhoni had gotten her a duck costume for Halloween, but she outgrew it.  So she was only stuck in it long enough for pictures.

And one of Ellie's desire to learn to crochet, boy does she love some yarn and needles/hooks:


I didn't get any pictures of it, but she also helped me unravel the skein so I could wind it into a ball. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Knitty Deep Fall 2011 Review

I'm not exactly sure when the Knitty Deep Fall 2011 came out, but here is my review.


~Takoma - - A little more oversized in the shoulder area than I care for, but I do like the look of this sweater otherwise. I would probably not do the full 4" of ease, maybe 2. I would definitely like to knit this, different colors though, maybe some fall colors. I love the collar.

~When Sampson met Lila - - I actually like this. The close fit of the body with the loose, cowl like collar is nice. LOVE the texture on the cowl! I love even more that the cowl is part of the sweater and not some separate piece.

~The Candles - - This is an okay long cardigan. I'm not so sure I like the use of the colorwork as shaping, it just doesn't look right to me somehow, plus it's unreliable as different people will have different tension doing colorwork. I don't much care for the arrows, maybe if it was a different color design. I like the yoke, plain, but well knit/designed.

~Tenney Park - - I like the entrelac in this sweater, however, I am not so sure how I feel about it being attached to the sweater afterwards and not somehow being more of an extension from the sweater. I don't so much enjoy sewing pieces together, nor do I think they are as durable.

~Friendly Grey - - I am all for texture, but this is just too much. Plus there is no shaping and just doesn't seem to fit very well.

~Flugel - - This might be nice if it was a fitted sweater, but it is super baggy and the super wide arms are just not flattering. The model is slender and it isn't flattering, a plus size person is definitely not going to look good in this.

~Vignette - - I think this sweater has cute potential. I would probably either make the sleeves elbow length, wrist length, or make the taper at their 2/3rds length. The bell out look isn't so much appealing to me. I like the lace used, but I think it would be nice if the lace went around the collar on the back too. Again, not so much for all that seaming, it would be much nicer if it could be knit as one piece.

~Auguste - - I actually really like this as a man's sweater. I would not do a purple color like that. Otherwise, I would make the sleeves longer and work this in the round. I really like this though.

~Microprocessor - - I like the colorwork on these socks and that she provides different sizes. The "boomerang" heel looks interesting to try out also.

~Glomerata - - The lace designs are pretty and it is nice to have different sizes available. It's a little over girly for me, but I could see potentially knitting these for someone else.

~Paper Moon - - Simple and appealing, I definitely like them. I like the cabling, simple and not overwhelming along with the garterstitch looking area. Plus, how can I resist a good pattern in a lovely orange???

~Mortar - - Still not a fan of cowls, but I love the texture the deign creates.

~Semi-precious - - A lovely shawl, with different lace designs that work well together.

~Apis Dorsata - - Another lovely shawl. I really love the texture on this one! I will definitely end up knitting this at some time.

~Callette - - I like the flow and design of this shawl. Although it is knit more like a stole and I usually don't have the patience for knitting like that. Although I think this would look really lovely is some brighter handpainted yarn that was more a reminder of more colorful birds. This is a maybe.

~Mathematix - - I really love this! I like the way the different sections of colorwork are done and work together.

~Alda - - I personally am not a fan of this, nor would I wear it, but I can see how it might appeal to some people. . . people more girly/feminine than I am. I even thing my niece Justice might like this if it was in shades of yellow, red, and orange.

~After the Rain - - As always, not much a fan of mittens. I like the color and the way it was used. Might be a good gift project. My only concern is that the wrist band of the mittens look loose on the woman in the first picture and that would need to be rectified.

~Tambroso - - More mittens, The design is kind of interesting.

~Spatterdash - - Sideways knitted wristwarmers/gauntlets. I am not so much a fan of this look. Especially all of those buttons that are needed, there is no way in the world that it is convenient.

~Lithuanian Wristers - - I am not so much a fan of wrist warmers, because it's my fingers I am interested in keeping warm, but I do like the beaded designs and would be tempted to make a pair just to be able to try out the beading.

~Ogiku - - I really like the colorwork in this. This style of hat always worries me though as to how well it will fit my head.

~Weeping Willow - - It is an interesting design and I like the colorwork, but probably not something I would knit. Size goes completely off of how thick the yarn is and your needle size.

~Kiwi - - I think these are cute, but then I like it when they have toys. Not sure it I'd actually knit one though as they are a little odd looking!

Overall, seems like a good issue!  Please go have a look and let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Inspirations

Another wonderful quote!

I know Halloween has passed already, but some things are cute enough to remember for next year:

These adorable Fanged Pumpkins are just too perfect.

We do not have enough room in our small apartment for a dining room table, but when we get a house these homemade Placemats and Napkins will be something I make.

I always thought I would enjoy an Inkle Loom so why not build one myself?! We shall see, but I just may have to do it.

I will admit that I tried paper piecing with sewing and wasn't any good at it. My mind has a hard time wrapping around it, I think this is due to my not so good relationship with geometry. This Circle of Geese Block is almost enough to make me willing to try it again.

I am also loving this Retro Potholder Tutorial! I can definitely see this in some lovely color combos!

Recipes I'd like to try:

This Alfredo Sauce sounds delicious and interesting.

I love the idea of sweets in smaller serving sizes, so these Gluten Free Cake Pops sound delicious. I'll admit I tried making cake pops back in the time of gluten and failed miserably, so hopefully second time will be the charm!

I was never really too much of soup person, but since going gluten free I appreciate a good soup even more. I miss chowders, like this Corn Cheese Chowder.

The husband and I use to eat granola bars all the time. Only I was and still am quite picky about them. The only type of granola bars that I can find gluten free are ones that are a little more nutty/earthy than I care for. So I am looking forward to using this Granola recipe as a spring board for making my own. Because boy do I miss them!

A lovely Chinese take-out food that I miss is the Crab Ragoon. This will definitely be something I have to try to make.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Blog Vacation

Well, Wookie and I decided that it was better to go on a blog vacation until some of the busier parts of life are worked out.  Otherwise, we feel guilty about not having enough time for the blog.  So we are going on a vacation from now until November 5th, when we come back from visiting family in Washington State.  We thank you all for reading our tiny little blog and hope to see you when we return all bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Inspirations

These Dresser Planters are so nifty and a wonderful way to get more plants into the house or even outside.

Along a similar line these Mason Jar Wall Planters are very rustic looking and nifty!

I haven’t been doing much sewing lately, but these blocks at the top of this post make me want to get the Living Large 2 booklet and make some of them.

Love the illusion this scarf creates!

Thesefelt broaches are very nifty looking!

Recipes I’d like to try:

I love the thought of making Homemade Ketchup, one it takes the worry out of the whole gluten free aspect, but also you could so tweak it to fit your own style.

As I am trying to figure out other things to make with veggies, this Zucchini Gratin sounds yummy!

Pickled Green Tomatoes sound super interesting to try, as does Green Tomato Salsa!

These Tuna Patties could easily be made gluten free and sound yummy.

Since barbeque sauce that is tasty and gluten free can be hard to find, I am interested in trying to home-make some and this Spicy Barbeque Sauce sounds like it would be good to try.

Along the same vein, this Raspberry-Chipotle Barbeque Sauce sounds interesting and yummy!!

You can never have too many recipes for Enchiladas!!

Chili is another thing that is often not gluten free because people use normal broth, but it wouldn’t be very hard to substitute gluten free broth and make this yummy sounding Black Bean and Beef Chili.

I am not a fan of regular tomato soup especially the canned kind, but I have had more gourmet types of roasted tomato soup and like them, so this Roasted Tomato Soup sounds simple and yummy! I even have a gluten free roll I could use in place of the bread.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wading through it

I am still here.  The Wook is still here.  Life is taking some different paths emotionally, physically, and psychologically.  We will still be around.

I started my new job this week.  I was hoping for a challenge, new things to learn . . . this job is mind-numbingly boring and there is no challenge except the one I set for myself each day.  Which is simply a numbers goal of getting through a certain number of files a day.

I will still be working overtime for my old department, I will be there tomorrow morning for about 4 or 5 hours.  This will only be until the new department I work for goes into our special project around December and we all have mandatory overtime of about 12-ish hours a week.  So, unfortunately things aren't going to slow down any time soon.

The husband will be busier too as he trains for a new position.  Yet things will also be odd as his employers chose to shut down the plant on Sundays as production has slowed down some.  So a little concern as economic issues effect his employers and the stability of them continuing. 

Crafting is going slow as I work on getting healthier in all aspects.  I finished my proto-type for my baby sweater design and will share it will you shortly.

Part of this journey is over on my other blog, but in warning I speak very openly about things and if you do not like that, then do not read it.  I will be posting there every Saturday.  I have decided to delete this blog as I don't know that I am personally ready to put that much information out there yet.

Wookie is still making progress health wise.  He is now up to lunch and dinner as dog food with a couple dog treats throughout the day.  He still eats breakfast as low-fat human food I make him.  We are letting his hair grow out now.  He is doing even better at the dog park and it makes me sad that we do not have an indoor dog park around here for during the Winter.

Side note, on our walk today after I got home from work, the skies opened up and completely poured.  We were about two blocks from home.  I had to take my coat off and pick Wookie up, who in a matter of seconds looked like a drenched rat and put my coat over him to shelter him.  By the time we got home I was completely soaked and couldn't see anything through my glasses and the Wook was not happy.  In a way, it was hilarious though, I mean what can you do but laugh!  He enjoyed a good nap after that stressful experience.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Inspirations

So in all the busy of the overtime and Wookie being sick, I haven’t done much updating on my actually knitting, but I will, not all is still going to be knit, some ideas have changed, etc . . .

I saw the Paraphernalia on Pink Lemon Twist’s post September Knit Something of the Month and I will definitely be casting on for these in the near future as I am drawn to them for some reason. Maybe as a Christmas present for someone?

Recipes I’d like to try:

I was never a pickle fan as a child, in fact, I was the only person in my family who didn’t like them. The only time I ate pickles was when they were in potato salad, mostly because their flavor was masked by all the other ingredients. As an adult, I am not in love with pickles, but I definitely like them. I blame my husband for this as he introduced me to relish, which I had never had and I love me some sweet relish. I think this encourage my new pickle enthusiasm. So the thought of making my own pickles like in Fridge Garlic Dill Pickles sounds very nifty!

It’s amazing that in a way, eating Gluten Free can open your eyes up to more healthy food with so much of the junk food that consumes America now being off your list of things you can eat. But as food lovers in general, we find ways to create Gluten Free junk food, like these Donut Holes which unfortunately sound and look yummy!

Gluten Free Pita Bread sounds good. Hmm, I use to love a good Pita sandwich.

As a huge fan of cheese and Mexican food, this Restaurant Style Queso Dip sounds delicious.

All of this overtime means no real dinners, I just don’t have time, so man am I missing food at home. There is just so much more I can do at home than I can at a restaurant or fast food chain. This Honey Garlic Chicken sounds so good!

Caramel has always been one of my favorite candies. So Juniper Moon Farm’s post on Making Cajeta and the links she provided to Lavender Caramels and Milk Liqueur sound very interesting. I have this weekend to myself, since my overtime will be done for a little while . . . maybe that means some experimentation in the kitchen?

In my quest for good peanut butter cookies, Erica sent me a link to a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe which seems super easy and from the picture, they look yummy, so I will have to try these soon!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

I was excited to try another cookie mix that was gluten-free as I still hold out hope that I will like one of them enough to use it consistently.

I found this Hodgson Mill Mix and decided it was worth a try.
I thought it was nifty that on the back it had different ideas for what to add to the cookie mix and how much to put in there.
I decided to do the peanut butter variation, for which they say to add 1/2 cup peanut butter.  The dough was actually tasty.
I made little balls and flattened them with a for.
They look lovely.
I also tried little cookie balls.

The only problem with these cookies is that they taste like nothing, not bad, not good, just nothing.  The peanut butter is only tasted VERY faintly.  It would definitely need more peanut butter, how much I am not sure, but at least twice as much as they recommend.  My concern would be, how well would the cookie hold together if it had to have a LOT of peanut butter in it?  So disappointment.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Inspirations

I love the look of this Thimble. I don't use thimbles, but I would love to make one as they could make lovely rings too!

These simple Baby Doll Diapers look cute and would be so quick and easy to make!
Recipes I’d like to try:

As I am sure you all know by now, I love lemon, cannot eat them raw or anything, but things like these Lemony Potatoes are just too much for me to resist trying!

Now this Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts sounds so delicious, I will definitely be finding time to make this during the week. Hmm, maybe with the Lemony Potatoes above!

I love salsa and I love homemade salsa even more, so this Canned Tomato Salsa sounds definitely worth making.

This Baked Eggplant Parmesan definitely sound yummy and would be easily made Gluten Free.

Since I have found a bread/roll that I like, I am more interested in things like jelly and jams again and this Peach Butter falls into this category.

Zucchini is one of the things I have found that I really like. However, eating it the same way all the time gets old, real quick, and these Zucchini Fritters don’t sound like they would be too hard to make as Gluten-Free.

My husband loves pie and I use to experiment on how to make him a good pie that was homemade, but since I have to eat Gluten Free, I haven’t really experimented any more, but Lauren’s post on Pie has made me want to experiment more, so hopefully I will have some time soon.

Some more Lemon Cookies!

I think even more since I have to be Gluten Free, I love a good soup. Since it’s so hard to eat out and have soup, since everyone uses wheat in their broth, I am looking around even more for good soups to make at home and this Corn Chowder definitely sounds like a good soup to try.

I always love a good Potato Salad.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Explanation of Disappearance

So, I know I haven't been around much.  Work has been very busy and before Saturday, I had worked the last 12 days straight, going in early and all that jazz too.  It just tires a person out and unfortunately doesn't leave much energy for blogging.  I took off Saturday, went in yesterday (Sunday) and am taking of today.  Plus, since I am home less, I am trying to spend more quality time with Wookie, so he doesn't feel left out and we go to the dog park when I get home, after we get home, we are both fairly exhausted and crash, to start everything all over the next day.  There are a few reasons why I am going in for so much overtime. 

First, the department I currently work in is VERY busy right now and everyone is working overtime, it just varies by person how much overtime is being worked.

Second, I was accepted for a different position in the bank and I start on the 19th.  I am training a temp to replace me so I am doing everything in my power to get everything caught up so she doesn't feel like she is buried under a mudslide since we are so busy right now.  It's hard to learn so much stuff and not be overwhelmed, much less have to learn all of it and be behind because we are so busy.

Third, the new department I am going to avoids overtime at all costs from what I hear, so it's not like I'll have the opportunity to work any once I go over there.

And last, but not least, Fourth, the husband and I have decided to start saving up to purchase a home in hopefully 2013.  So all the money we can save the better.

I will do my best to keep blogging but starting tomorrow I will be working the next 11-13 days straight, right up until I start my new position.  So it's going to be a busy household here.  If I cannot keep up and I disappear, at least you will all know where I am.  :)

Jodi and the Peach Bars

So I tried making the Peach Bars . . . you can already tell somewhat of how it went, just by that introduction. I made the recipe exactly as listed except I used King Arthur’s Gluten Free Flour. It was a mixed bag of outcomes though. On the one hand about 2/3rds of it didn’t actually cook all the way through, even though I cooked it a bit longer than she suggested. On the other hand, the part that did cook all the way through was fairly yummy, but a little grainy, even the husband liked it.  Unfortunately, only the outsides cooked through.

The bottom crust.
Completely baked.
From the side.

So today I tried to do a variant of it and see what I could get. First goal was to go more by instinct, which I don’t do very often when cooking because I don’t view cooking as a very strong skill of mine and do not trust my instincts with cooking well.

First thing I changed, was I used Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix to see if a different gluten free flour would make any effect. The other change was to use up the crust and the filling as things “looked” correct.

The bottom crust
From the side, I put in just enough to fill about 1/3rd of the pan, which was only about 1/4 before it was baked.
I pitted and chopped up a bunch of cherries.
I put a layer of cherries over the crust, this deviates from the recipe, but I didn't want to use all of the filling mix, because only wanted enough to make it work.
I poured just enough of the filling to come to the height of the cherry layer.
I crumbled some of the crust, like she says to do, over the top, but I didn't use much more than a handful.
All done, it is a little dark . . . completely my fault, I got knitting and forgot about it a bit and it cooked about 15 minutes too long.
Except for being a smidge burnt on the bottom it turned out wonderfully!  I will definitely make this again, using my approach to her recipe.  Also, as much as I love King Arthur Flour, the Arrowhead Mills did not have the grainy texture.
A lovely slice.

With the leftover crust and filling mix, I made little tins with different fruit to try:

From right to left, there is strawberry, plum, and orange.
After they have been cooked, they are the other direction here.

The strawberry was surprisingly good, although next time I would chop the strawberry pieces smaller. The plum was good, but the plum flavor was not very strong at all. The orange was good, I used canned mandarin orange, because that is what I had to experiment with and I would use them again, I would chop those into smaller pieces too though. Overall, the experimenting turned out well! I might try next time to cut down the sugar in the recipe some though, because 3 cups of sugar overall is just too much, plus with ripe fruit, it really doesn't need it.