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Friday, January 15, 2010

Belated celebration, and Sock War

So, it turns out that I recently wrote my 100th blog post and forgot all about it. I have a talent for just skipping right over significant milestones with barely a passing glance. Case in point? I hardly blinked with I turned 30. I barely registered my five year anniversary at my old job. The only reason I noticed it at all was that I got to go to their website to choose a gift (a pretty little ring that I don't even wear anymore...). Now I look back and see that in just under two weeks, I'll be celebrating my two year anniversary on Ravelry (Jan 25th) so I should probably come up with some cool way to celebrate that. I'll have to see what I can do, considering I've got so much work to do, and today at 8pm EST war will be declared in the sock knitting universe. I'll get my selection of patterns to choose from, and I'll be off and running.

I almost have a finished object to show you, but I'm in the process of casting it off right now and I really need to be reading the work so that I can reply to the discussion posts in class before 8pm tonight. I really want to be all set to just knit socks, but it doesn't look like that's going to be the way it works out. But as soon as it's off the needles and blocked, I'll be sporting the Springtime in Philadelphia tam which matches my winter scarf exactly (because it's Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Ruby River...the same colorway as my scarf). I have one skein left and I plan to knit a pair of hand warmers with some matching mitten tops from the true-red Cascade 220 in the shop. But all this will have to wait until after "I kill or be killed" in Sock Wars.

Speaking of plans for after The War is over, looks like I'll have the pleasure of test knitting a new pattern from Wrypunster! She's designed a really cute vest called "as yet unnamed" (and you know that's my garment of choice lately) and has put out the call for test knitters. It should be ready in about two weeks, and I'll be ready by then I'm sure.

Dante and I made dinner yesterday, and it was outstanding! I highly recommend the Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals for Kids book. Rachel's two for two so far. The recipes aren't very complicated but pack tons of flavor. I helped him with this one because it came from the 14-16 year old section. We had the Tomato, Basil, and Pesto Pasta dish. More than half of it was gone by the time dinner was over. Check it out if you want a new list of easy, tasty meals.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Meatloaf [shaped like] Muffins (from Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals for kids

Tonight, I was a busy busy lady and I didn't have time to cook dinner. My friend came for her fill and Alex had to be put down, and I did two loads of laundry, and Aaron was at school, and...well, you get the idea. So today Dante and I broke out the cook book that he got for Christmas and he chose two meals that he would be interested in having for dinner this week. One was for Meatloaf Muffins (which he chose because I was planning to make meatloaf anyway), and the other is Quesadilla Pizzas. I chose the Tomato, Basil and Cheese Baked Pasta for a meatless option. Dante went into the kitchen (where the knives, oven, and garbage disposal all live...) and got to work. He cut onions and bell pepper, cracked eggs, preheated an oven, measured sauces, weighed out the correct amount of ground beef with my crack (I mean yarn/food) scale, and mixed the meatloaf mix all up for the first time. Aaron had to help him because I was busy doing nails...which means that he did most of it on his own with me supervising from the dining room...and Heather went in to help him finish it up after we finished and I had to get into my class. These non-audio seminars are tough and it didn't help at all when my smoke detectors kept going off because my oven was set to 450. It looked like the backstage of a fashion show the way we were all running around in different directions trying to get it all taken care of, without waking Alex up. But the end result of Dante's 3 hours of work (for a 30 minute meal, lol) was that he had little meatloaves that were shaped like muffins, and tasted amazing from what I'm told. My friend Heather, who doesn't eat much of anything broke down and tried one, and decided that it was so good she had a second! How's that for The Boy's first meal. Tomorrow they'll have leftovers while I'm at work and then Wednesday we'll have to start right after school because of YM's, but we'll have the pasta so I can try one of these Rachel Ray recipes too.

Alex still isn't sleeping all night, but the melatonin is helping him get right to sleep. He just isn't staying asleep all night. The two loads of laundry that I did today were all his clothes, mostly p.j.'s and sweat pants for him to sleep comfortably in, and my Raggedy Ann and Andy quilt that my mom made for me when I was 3 so that I could put him to bed with it. He needs more warm blankets for his crib, and actually he could use a new matress because the one I bought last year (with the 5 year life) didn't make it. It's wasn't Alex proof and he's already worn it down to springs. I showed him the quilt and told him it was Mamma's blanket, to which he curled up in it and said "it's Alex's blanket..." with a big smile. I think he'll sleep good tonight as I put his pill in his pudding (guaranteeing that he got the whole dose) and he's got a freshly washed Curious George, knit blankie, his Thomas blanket sleepers, and a new-to-him warm blanket.

The start of Sock Wars is on Friday, and Monday I received my dosier with the details of my target. She has size 8 shoes, but didn't know what her foot size was so I went online to research it. Turns out that a size 8 shoe equals a 9 2/3" foot. I lucked out here because I'm used to knitting for my size 10 feet so this may go a tad faster. She also likes green, and it turns out that I actually have five different skeins of green sock yarn...who knew?! So yesterday was spent knitting short swatches in the round with each of them to check for gauge (8 sts per inch) and to see how the colors will play out so that I can pick a good one right off to go with the pattern I choose. This should help me avoid the urge to restart the pattern multiple times because I don't like the way it looks with the yarn I chose. What ever I go with, I'm married to that because I don't have the luxury of being picky...I'm trying to kill someone with these sock and not die in the process! I feel about as ready as I'm going to get.

One good thing about all this preparation was that I found my STR in Pond Scum and I remembered my original plans for it. I was going to design a pattern for my Ghostbusters group called Slimer and I chose the stitch pattern that I wanted to use but it lost something when I tried to convert it to an "in the round" pattern. That stumped me for a few years, to tell you the truth but I've knit so many new things since then that during conversation about it today, it just came to me. So I'll be working it out so that this sock will be knit flat with an after though heel and then seamed. Now I just need to work out the chart, knit the sock, and see if I can get a test knitter. If this works out, I'll be uploading it to Ravelry. This is going to have to wait till Sock Wars V is over, of course but I'm looking forward to it. And then, there's the Ravelympics to contend with...

I signed up a team (or two) on Ravelry and any interested parties are welcome to join! There's Team Bella Yarns (pretty self explanatory) where you have the in person support of the staff and an actual live shop to come in and find a project and the perfect yarn (preferably on Tuesday or Saturdays when I'm there to spy) or you can just join up from where ever you are if you want to. Then there's my other love, Team Squint Squad which is the Bones Fans group's team. I'm co-captain on both teams and I'll be happy to answer any question I can, and pass on the addiction :) So far, the Squint Squad is the most active team and one of the talented moderators for the group (Shewhoknits) designed a project placeholder-photo for the team that's really brilliant! She also get's credit for the name of the team. Come on over and join up, and knit something with us through the length of the games.