Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Slouchy Hat?

This was a test-crochet I did. Unfortunately, even though the hat is listed as "stretchy" that doesn't mean much to my big head. Plus I think her row gauge was different from mine, because mine doesn't appear as long/deep as it should be, but that could just be because it is stretching more to accommodate the width of my head. I like it inside-out also though.

Right side:
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Inside out:
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Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky
Color: Hot Blue
Content: 100% Acrylic
Care: Machine wash - but due to the motif on top being done in all wool, the hat is not machine washable
Hooks:J and I
Pattern: is not out yet, but it is called the Dahlia Slouchy Beanie

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hexagon Hat

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Yarn:Blue Skies Alpaca / Punta Del Este
Content: 50% Silk & 50% Alpaca / 100% Wool
Care: Hand wash, lay flat to dry
Color: Emerald Green / Light Coffee
Needles: US 1.5 / 2.5mm
Pattern: Hexagon Hat
Modifications: No modifications because it was a test-knit. Updated pattern has better gauge and I would make mine a little longer next time, as it's a tad big and not as long as I would prefer.

I am inspired to make some socks based off of this pattern though, which I hope to cast on soon for.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Inspiration

Recipe Inspirations:

These Sourdough Battered Onion Rings sound super delicious!

Paleo Bacon Alfredo sounds very interesting and potentially good.

I would substitute chicken or pork for the tofu in this Crockpot Hot and Sour Soup, as I am not a fan of tofu. The soup sounds yummy otherwise.

On a similar vein, there is Paleo Asian Chicken Soup which sounds yummy also!

I wish crab was cheaper here, because these Mustard and Herb Crab Cakes sound delicious. Maybe I can substitute salmon . . .

In the interest of trying new things, this Roast Beef Mushroom Brandy Sauce sounds interesting to try.

I am a general fan of eggplant and I have used eggplant slices in place of lasagna noodles before, so this Mediterranean Eggplant with Crumble sounds interesting to try and fairly simple.

A new Coleslaw Recipe to try. Coleslaw is one of my favorite foods.

Ah, I used to love Danish Pastries.

Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork sounds delicious.

I see a lot of things about fermented veggies on some of the blogs I read and am somewhat interested in trying these Crunchy Fermented Pickle Slices.

I was never a big fan of jello from the box, maybe I would like homemade Orange Lemon Jello.

I miss good pizza and these Pizza Bombs sound interesting to try.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quiche experiment

So I tried some different quiche experiments so I could have a quick breakfast:

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I use partially cooked tater tots and break them up to use for crust, then spread some guacamole over it, spoon salsa, then sprinkle sausage with a bit of cheese and then pour mixed eggs over the top. It is quite delicious!

I also tried these with bacon, chopped chicken, etc.

On the less enjoyable side, I have cut potatoes mostly out of my diet so I am not eating these recently.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wookie Montage - picture heavy

The Wookie Montage is a bunch of pictures from Wookie lately, that I just haven't had the time to post. Enjoy!

Don't you want to rub my tummy?
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Snow is delicious!!
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Wow, this stuff is deep!
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Good thing my ancestors were mushing dogs!
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Yummy, yummy snow!
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Did you hear something?
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Yes, I am just that cute!
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Wow, my days are tiring!
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Worth the Wait

Much to the people around me, I am pretty much always a "better late than never" when it comes to too many things, I am just not organized enough to do otherwise most of the time. But I always hope that whatever is given, is worth the wait. :) So I understand others who also fall into this category.

Two years ago I signed up for Pay It Forward on GMarie's Blog. It may be past the 365 days, but it was definitely worth the wait!

These are monogrammed Napkins!  And the monogrammed letter M is in orange!
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12 all together!
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Plus a knitted cowl in alpaca!  The wash she used makes the cowl smell delicious!
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Love the seed/moss stitch.
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Lovely cowl, you can also see my hair, cut it a few weeks ago!
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Thank you very much GMarie!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Knit Picks Hacked

Watch your credit card if you purchased from Knit Picks.  I did not receive this letter through the mail, as they claim people who were effected would, but my credit card was hacked for about $2,000 due to it.  Here is the LINK.

I am very disappointed.

Or, here is the message copied and pasted:

Dear Knit Picks customer,

With a heavy heart, we regret to inform you of a recent security breach at Knit Picks—a troubling event that has caused inconvenience and concern for not just some of our beloved customers, but also ourselves, our friends and our family.

As a result of a vulnerability in a widely-used commercial website server software, between the dates of December 21, 2012 and January 25, 2013, a file containing some private information used on the Knit Picks and related Crafts Americana websites was potentially accessible to unknown outsiders without authorization. As soon as the file was discovered, we immediately implemented increased security measures and began working closely with law enforcement and the affected credit card companies to investigate the incident. Once we were reasonably sure of what had happened, we informed the people that may have been affected by this incident.

For this, many of you are angry with us—we know, because no message or email or posting has gone unread. Some of you are angry, disappointed, or confused; know that we share many of those emotions with you. As with any theft, there’s the troubling feeling that even the most dedicated diligence is sometimes not enough.

Please understand that we would never be idly silent on an issue as vital as your financial information. On the contrary, you deserve transparency—but it’s equally essential that we approach you with all the correct facts and not an empty, rushing alarm. As the investigation continues to develop, we’ve reached a point where we can wholly and accurately state the following:

The exploited file that we first discovered on our internet servers on January 25, 2013 contained information that included names, addresses, and credit card numbers of some, but not all, customers who had made a purchase on Knit Picks or other Crafts Americana websites in late 2012 and early 2013; it did not contain information on customers who purchased from us only through other means, such as phone or fax. The file was created through an exploitation of a flaw in our website server software; similar problems appear to have affected many other companies that use the same software.

As soon as the breach was discovered, we immediately made changes to fix the exploited server software and took the following steps:

Notified and worked with law enforcement.
Notified the credit card companies, via our payment processor, so that they could monitor activity on their end for anyone that may have used a card on our sites.
Hired an outside firm to conduct an investigation and an audit of our systems.

In addition, on February 8, we sent letters to all U.S. residents whose information was in the file that we discovered, and also informed several state regulators about the incident. We sent the letters as soon as we were reasonably sure about who should receive them, mailed via the addresses we had on file. If your address is in the U.S. and you have not received a letter within the next few days, your information was likely not in the file that was potentially accessed.

Out of an abundance of caution, however, your credit card provider may choose to reissue you a new card, regardless of when you shopped at one of our sites. Additional information on dealing with an incident like this is included in the letters we sent out, such as how to obtain free copies of your credit reports and the importance of monitoring your credit card statements.

You should also know that in most cases, those of you affected should not be responsible for any fraudulent charges or fees to reissue cards. If you do have out-of-pocket costs, please contact us.

The security of our systems is extremely important to us, and we never want breaches like this to occur. We now believe we have solved all known issues with our systems and continue to pass PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance testing. For those looking for alternative payment methods, we also offer PayPal on our sites.

The unfortunate truth: Breaches in data security are a widespread problem—and something that seems to affect all of us at some point, regardless of the strict security measures we insist upon. Many companies, both large and small, have been affected by the same flaw in the software that we relied on and other unforeseeable software flaws.

Still, that doesn’t prevent us from being extremely sorry about the inconvenience and discomfort this has caused some of you.

If you still have any related questions, please email us at; in directing your concerns this way, we’ll be better able to respond in the thorough and timely fashion you deserve.

We feel privileged to be part of such a wonderful and dynamic crafting community, always priding ourselves on excellent customer service and first-rate security standards. Please rest assured: Through this difficulty, we are now even stronger and better able to serve our customers. Thank you, to each and every one of you for standing with us during this trying time.

Sincerely and on behalf of everyone at Crafts Americana,

Matt Petkun

An addendum for our Canadian customers: We care about you too! Canadian letters will be mailed shortly; this is simply due to different government reporting standards in Canada. Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Inspirations

Recipe Inspirations:

I want to try this Flourless Lemon Almond Cake.

These Cranberry Crumb Bars with Mulling Spices sounds very interesting.

I like Asian foods and this Cod In Garlic-Ginger Broth sounds interesting and comforting to the tummy. My stomach loves me more when I eat more ginger.

I know this is simple, but these Freezer Hash-browns are such a good idea for a time saver.

Gluten Free Linzer Cookies . . .yes, you read that correctly. Such yumminess that I need to try!

This Turkey Tetrazzini looks delicious and could be made gluten-free easily and even paleo.

Ah, Paleo Salted Caramels, enough said!

Still on a pesto kick and this variation, Roasted Red Pepper Pesto sounds interesting and worth trying.

This Coq au Vin sounds interesting, does anyone know if it is worth while to make if I am going to eliminate the wine?

Ah, this Hot and Spicy Buffalo Shrimp Dip sounds delicious.

Friday, February 15, 2013

As an Introvert . . .

This is from something that has been "pinned" a lot, but I found it through this blog post.

As an Introvert, especially in the year of 2013, I am feeling like that energy is at an ultimate low.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Inspirations

Other Inspirations
I so want to buys some natural lotions from Wild Oaks Naturals.

Recipe Inspirations:

Ah, have you ever had Monkey Bread . . . it's sacrilegious, but it's even worth eating gluten for! I want to try these gluten-free though. We shall see how well it works.

A simple recipe for Bacon, Mushroom, Spinach with a dressing, but add a little chicken or pork in also and it sounds like a lovely dinner.

With eating Paleo intermittently, I have found out that my body does not so much care for beans, at least whole, so this Meat Lovers No Bean Chili Recipe sounds interesting to try.

Soup plus Mexican inspired, what could be better? This Turkey Poblano Soup sounds interesting and yummy!

Lemon Cranberry Paleo Muffins sounds interesting. I have to admit, I have a difficult time finding a good paleo mix for baked goods and often just omit them when I am going completely paleo.

On the other side, Double Lemon Glazed Doughnuts . . . ah, doubtful it is possible to make these gluten-free, but I like to drool at the chance.

Lastly, my sister makes an awesome Chicken Parmesan and I am hoping that this Paleo Chicken Parmesan will come close to her version.

Homemade General Tsos Chicken Strips sounds yummy!

I am trying to utilize my crockpot more and this Taqueria Style Shredded Beef sounds like it would be delicious.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Inspirations

It's so hard to find good banana pudding that isn't just vanilla pudding with bananas in it. Do any of you have a good banana pudding recipe?

Crochet Inspirations:
I like the theory of Granny Square Cowls and think I might try some of these sometime this year.

Recipe Inspirations:

I know this sounds really weird, but you have to admit that this Sicilian Meatloaf sounds super interesting.

Again, with the lemons . . . is there really any better flavor? This Lemon Loaf Cake sounds so yummy!

Chili Pot Roast sounds interesting and worth trying.

I am interested in trying to make pizza in a cast iron pan, like this recipe, but was thinking about substituting gluten free Bisquick. We shall see.

Paleo Chocolate Truffles. . . isn't that self-explanatory enough?

During this holiday season, I tried gluten-free gingerbread cookies in an effort to see if this was one of those things that I would actually like as an adult . . . let me tell you people, gingerbread is yummy!!! My husband looks at me like I am crazy, but lets be honest, he looks at me like that all the time for various reasons. I so want to make this Chocolate Gingerbread Cake.

Another one of those, this sounds weird, but you know it also sounds interesting, maybe even delicious . . . Apple Bacon Breakfast Cake! Come on you know it tweaks your interest!

My favorite soup as a child was Clam Chowder . . . the thought of making my own is just so exciting!

Marinated Cucumbers . . . does that just not sound yummy?

In my effort to try new things, I think it would be interesting to try this Smoked Oyster Spread. I know I don't like the sliminess of oysters whole, just cannot do it due to the texture, but this might be worth trying.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Update on Goals

So on the first of each month, I wanted to revisit my 33 in 33 things to see what, if any progress I was making. Not only to keep myself accountable, but also to kind of pat myself on the back . . . both I think are needed for me to succeed.

So here is my list of things to try/work on/accomplish in no specific order:

1. Spin a sweaters worth of yarn. - I purchased 12oz so far of a lovely roving that I would love to spin and knit into a sweater for myself. - No progress on this, I am still working on the roving that is currently on my wheel.

2. Start knitting a sweater with hand-spun yarn. - See #1.

3. Take 30 minutes a day to either exercise/meditate. - This has been sporadic, I'd say about 50% of the time I have been successful.

4. Attend the church next door at least twice. - I am missing lately the feeling of community and the church is a Unitarian Church, so they accept people of any belief, so I want to go and see if it's somewhere I might feel like I belong. - Not yet.

5. Have an allowance, no more that $50 per month, while saving for a house. - Yeah, didn't so much work this month.

6. Try making my own triangle shawl design. - I am finding that this winter season I am really preferring shawls over scarves due to bulk issues. - In my life is too busy, let's cast on everything feeling, I have actually cast on something for this. 

7. Design a sweater for Eleanor based on the Bobba Hat. - have not started the design, but did change my mind on the colors and ordered new yarn

8. Knit a sweater/top for Justice. - thinking about a cabled smooshy sweater  - have not started yet

9. Knit a sweater/top for Vera. - thinking about a lovely summery top - I chose to be a part of a specific test-knit, because of this, I think it is a top Vera will like. 

10. Knit a sweater/top for Liam. - vest or dressy/nerdy looking sweater for a classy little young man - have not started yet

11. Sew Rhoni and Eleanor's birthday gifts. - special request from Rhoni, have I mentioned how much I love requests. - have purchased fabric, washed it and hope to get somewhere this weekend with this

12. Sew Echo, Justice, and Vera a version of these also for a Mother's Day gift for Echo. - haven't started these, still plenty of time

13. Sew myself a version of this also, as I think it would be nifty. - not started yet.

14 - 17. Knit double-knit Seahawks/Mariners cowls for Echo, Justice, Vera, and Rhoni. - I won't be starting this till about Spring or Summer

18. Knit Eleanor some nifty socks. - did start socks with this intention, but gauge ended up larger than expected and I think they are going to be the perfect size for her mom

19. Knit Jacob's socks by Valentine's Day. - I am knitting  these two at a time and am a little over half way done

20. Fix loom so I can actually use it. - Progress has been made, about 80% fixed.

21. I want 2013 to be the Year of Swatching for me. - I would like to knit more swatches just for the sake of swatching to create ideas, to try new stitch designs, etc. - this hasn't made any progress

22. Take the time to eat healthy. - I haven't been doing so well this end of the year and have gained some of my weight back and in general felt blah. - I would love to say I have made good progress, but that isn't so

23. Try more variety for Wookie's homemade food and make batches big enough to freeze. - We have gone to homemade food supplemented with some kibble. - this is going well and Wookie is eating much healthier and seems to be feeling better

24. Knit Dark and Stormy sweater along with Knitting Samurai Plus 1 Group. - Another attempt to bring myself into more "community" type activities. Plus it just looks like a nifty sweater. - I have started this, but am not as far along as I like . . . due to being busy and wanting to work on several different things.  Due to busy life, haven't been very active on the board, which was what I was hoping for.

25. Try more experimenting in cooking, especially Paleo cooking and Gluten-Free baking. - Not so much here, looking forward to February having more of this

26. Try dyeing the cotton/linen yarn I have so that I will actually use it. - haven't tried this, probably won't happen until Summer when it is warmer for drying purposes

27. Knit John a pair of Birthday Socks in the Alda Road Socks pattern with the Stellar colorway from Apothecary Yarns. - probably won't start these until I am done with Jacob's

28. This summer try taking Wookie out with the bicycle. - I purchased last summer one of the kids buggies that go behind the bike for him, so I could ride my bike to the dog park with him, but never did it this year. - Summer time

29. Buy one of the Petite Turkish Spindles from Riley Wood and Fiber Art. - Love the look of his Petite Spindles and I don't have to have it Internationally Shipped! - not yet

30. Finish Eleanor's Blanket that I started before she was born. - Yes, it has sat 80% finished for the last almost 2 years. - have not restarted this yet

31. Finish Vera's Blanket that I started before she was born. - Yes, I started it 4 years ago . . . I would like to finish it, it's about 70% complete. I have a harder time finishing things when they are no longer travel size! - I was working on this a little each night, but have put it aside while I work on her sweater/top

32. Accept that knitting or crafting does not always have to have a recipient, sometimes it's just nice to make something. - right now I have so many things I want to make that have recipients, that this hasn't had any time

33. Experiment with life more.- bits and pieces, the husband and I are going to restrict our eating out, to make more dinners with each other and spend more time together