Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Presents

For Christmas I made my mother-in-law a pair of felted slippers in beautiful purple/red variegated wool....

and my sister-in-law had mentioned she'd like an ear-flap hat that didn't have a pompom on top or weird ties - easy enough to skip that step if you are making it. So she got a hat in a nice shade of oatmeal.

Unfortunately in my pre-christmas rush I forgot to take pictures. Oh well, pretend you saw them and they looked so pretty!

Four more Baby Showers

I posted the first of five baby showers I knew were coming and then I dropped off the face of the earth... or of the blog....

Between September and October I made gifts for 4 more showers (and attended three of them, darn allergies).

Each new baby got a blanket and a coordinating bear.

I usually try to make each baby gift unique, and these are... kindof. I did, however, follow the same basic pattern for each in an effort to save my brain (and my time).

I grabbed two random strands of yarn (boucle, homespun, left over teddy bear yarn, etc) and did seed stitch through the blanket. Lovely. It worked up thick and cushy and quickly, with much love and not much thought.

It seems that the yarn I usually like to use to make teddy bears is not available for sale any more. Thanks to ravelry I was able to find a nice bunch of skeins, so for now they will still be made with the traditional yarn, but I might have to look for a replacement soon!

Hopefully more blog posts about my fall and winter will be popping up soon, just not tonight!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Baby Shower and Spinning

Some time over the summer I just gave up on the blog. I do have something to finally post today through, and we'll see what happens when school starts up again.

I had the first of several baby showers, so I made this blanket:

...and this bear to go with it:

During July, while the Tour de France is going on some crafty people decide to have a tour de fleece and while they are biking, we spin... I had some grand plans, but it ended up being that I spun just a bit (at least 15 minutes, a handful of times more than an hour) every day. It worked out pretty well since I only missed a couple of days. I do have a spindle of fiber that I managed to spin 2/3 of it, but alas, it is not done, so you don't get to see it.

Here is the one large skein that I did finish. Details are on my ravelry stash page for anyone who cares for that, but basically, I took this:

and this:

and made this:

(only one large skein, I just liked how it looked different on the brown vs the white background)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


...because I needed one more project, I started to sew some skirts for my girls (actually, because they needed Sunday appropriate clothing for church and I didn't want to search in stores for hours because I want cheap *and* modest) I machine sewed through a couple skirts yesterday, but had to put my machine away for the rest of the week, so I'm now seeing what I can hand-stitch through and I'm actually remembering how much I enjoy hand sewing.

...I'm trying to figure out how to fit strawberry picking into the next week or two

...I really need to go start dinner (eggplant beef stew and fresh bread) because although both of those are so simply easy to make they both require me to start them many hours before when I want to eat

...I love my new triangle bag my friend gave me - not only is it quite cute, it fits one of my knitting projects, allowing me to change one of my other bags to a sewing bag (see note one above)

...The tornado clean up continues. We have power and clear streets and life is pretty much back to normal for us and 86% (made up statistic) of the city, but if you drive through one of the parts that was directly hit it is devastating and heartbreaking still.

...I realised I'm feeling a bit gun-shy on filling the fridge and freezer since we spent those days without power (and then lost if for several hours during the severe thunderstorm a week later) but I will need to do a massive shopping trip sooner or later, before my husband gets tired of picking up a couple things at the store a couple times a week on his way home from work.

...I really like my Turkish Delight spindle that we bought a couple of years ago. I'm spinning on it when I have a few minutes here and there and it's so much fun

...I noticed that even though my good reads list isn't down where I wanted it to be per my goal for the year I only have 14 books (out of a current 56) that were on there as of January, so I've almost reached the spirit of the goal (reading what's on the list instead of having books that I actually want to read live there for years) and since the list is only there to help me so I don't have to remember all the books I want to read - I'm feeling very good about that!

...I need to go eat lunch before our weekly library trip

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

2011 MA Sheep and Wool

This post could also be called the last of the May Adventures, I'm just a little late posting it.

Memorial Day weekend is always MA sheep and wool in Cummington, MA. It's become traditional for our family to go. We always see some shearing...

...and the past couple of years we've enjoyed seeing some sheep dog trials (this is the pen that holds that sheep that have already been herded).

The girls both wanted to do a workshop. We did the kool-aid dying last year so we tried the spindle spinning this year. Then the kids all got to weave a bit. The guild that runs that hands out these sample cards that have last years weaving in them.

Of course, other than seeing the animals the next best thing is checking out all the vendors. This year I was also picking out some fiber for my neighbor who couldn't go at the last minute - so I got her some fun Spunky Eclectic and Foxfire Fiber - both of which I've purchased and spun before, but not this year...

The bag there was purchased from a no-kill animal shelter near Pittsfield that had all sorts of bags to choose from. It's also the only item I didn't take a separate picture of.

This is from Into the Whirled

I've seen her fiber and yarn on etsy and ravelry - and I finally gave in and got a colorway I've been eyeing for years. I also let each of the girls choose something. Any guesses which color each of us girls chose?

This is from a booth that was called Frabjous Fibers.

There were in the middle of an open area we kept walking by, and they had a couple big bins full of different sized scraps, sold by the ounce - so the kids each picked (with my help) a length of fiber each.

While we were sitting in the kids play area (sand box turtle filled with feed corn, toy tractors to play with, bales of hay to sit on a run around) we bumped into some people we knew. They were showing us what they had bought and mentioned this one place where they had a big bin filled with different sized skeins of different colors of yarn. The catch was they were selling it by the handful. So my husband said he was willing and we went to get our money's worth.

This whole pile of yarn fit into one of his hands. It's 525 grams (that's enough for 5 pairs of adult socks)

So, on the way home we stopped at the grocery store for a couple of items. Since the little boy was sleeping my husband went in with one of the girls - and finally did what he's been threatening for a while. He's been telling the kids that if they wanted to go camping again they need to be brave and show a willingness to try new things....

So we had lobster for dinner that night! It was the first time for the kids, and they actually did a really good job of trying it. All three of them. It was only my third time eating lobster and I enjoyed it too.

Next up, current knitting and soon after that, some of our June adventures....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Full Disclosure and Percy Jackson

The past several weeks I've been sitting at my computer on a Monday and after making sure the kids have their lists for the week (school-work expectations) and I plunk out Monday's blog post, check what the ten on tuesday for the week is, schedule that, and then see what I have to say for the rest of the week and schedule that too. In a short amount of time I'm done for the week, and then they just post every morning when I've told them to.

This week that did not happen. This weekend was a little nuts, in a good way. Saturday was free comic book day, so we brought the kids to a participating store and they got to pick (from 10-12 different ones) a free comic book each. Then the family brought me out to Lunch for Mothers Day. Over the yummy chinese food we told the girls that we had decided I would take them on an adventure that afternoon. They were going to go hear Rick Riordan. They were smiley. They were excited. In this house Percy Jackson and friends are second only to Harry Potter... maybe. So after dropping the dad and boy off we drove about half an hour and got there just before they opened the doors. The girls had brought books so they were content to sit for the almost an hour before he was scheduled to speak. He was great. The girls loved listening to his speech and then he answered questions from the crowd. We did end up buying a book, so that we could get into the signing line - so now each girl has a personalized autographed book (Red Pyramid and Demi-gods). We also lucked out and got autographed (but not personalized) copies of Throne of Fire - one for us and one for someone in our extended family. (and after that we still did grocery shopping and started watching the newest Harry Potter movie). Then Sunday I gave a talk (on Mothers Day but not about Mothers Day) and helped out with the kids for a couple minutes - then came home and collapsed. I had been given breakfast in bed, kids ready for church, dinner, and chocolates - and I had gotten the okay to buy myself a book, craft kit, movie, and garden stuff.

So... on Monday - I typed up one kid's list for the week - told them both to go off of that, and did my best to feel productive but mostly recover. Tuesday I was running errands and appointments from 10:20am until 3pm (which doesn't sound bad, but it felt like a comedy of errors), and still needed to prep my science lessons for Wednesday.

I'm scheduling this up for Wednesday morning and then the blog will be on break until next week - I do really like this thing of having something post every weekend, but oh well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: My own way

So, the ten for tuesday this week was something about throwing parties - yeah, so not me. Some of these topics have been borderline and I've gone with them, but this one... I just don't want to try to fake it, so... no ten on tuesday today. Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

What a week it's been, and next week starts a-whole-nother one...

Hope you enjoy the break between them and have an awesome Mothers Day! (I know it's not a good day for everyone for various reasons, but hey, reclaim it and enjoy it!)

...and hey, Noel, here's a shout-out on my blog for you... I hear another contest entry calling my name :)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Current Crafts

I am still knitting...

I started another pair of socks for my husband. I'm using a pattern called Java. Because of the way these socks are designed I'm trying to make them following the pattern exactly. This means that this pair of socks is being made top down (I start with the ribbing). Normally when I make socks, especially socks for my husband who is tall and has long feet, I like to start at the toe and just keep working on the leg until the yarn is done (or half done rather for one sock). This starting with the ribbing is fun, but it's making me a bit anxious already, and I'm only an inch or two in.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Star Wars Day

Happy Star Wars day to you all! May the Fourth be with you always! :)

I'm not quite sure how we will celebrate (aside from Little Tomato wearing his new star wars shirt - he thinks it's really cool that it has a darth vader helmet on the front - and back!)

There will probably be game playing (lego starwars and lego clonewars) and perhaps some movie watching, and I'm almost positive we'll be playing my kids favorite you-tube song. Although I don't think the festivities will continue into food (I'm just not big on decorated cupcakes - I do like puns though, anyone got anything normal I can make that can pun its way into star wars territory?) we'll try to have a day without any fear, anger, or hate and with ewoks lots of singing and you can sing along.

Let us know how you celebrate this fun day!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Favorite Birds

Ten Favorite Birds:

This is kind of a tough one. I don't mind birds, in fact, I enjoy seeing them, but I usually don't tell them apart or look _for_ them. I do enjoy seeing different ones in pictures or museums or zoos. Hmmmm....

1. Flamingos - pink from the shimp - I love it.

2. Penguins - Have you seen this movie? If not, you should. Oh, and march of the penguins... wonderful stuff.

3. Chickens! Friends or food, chickens are good. :)

4. I have to make sure African Grey makes it on this list - my husband had one growing up, and although not always sweet he is a very cool bird.

5. Peacocks

6. Heron

7. Hummingbird

8. Ducks

9. Ostrich

10. Vulture - who can't love them after their performance in disney's robin hood.

Monday, May 02, 2011


This past week we have the fun experience of chick-sitting. It worked out well that only one day was really rainy and one day was kind of cold - so we got to put them outside and enjoy them at our leisure most days.

It was fun to take care of them, but I'm glad I normally don't have 14 extra little lives depending on me...

The family we chick-sat for was kind enough to let us choose two to keep and raise, so yesterday we chose the two we wanted to keep and returned the rest.

(These are not necessarily those two, as this picture was taken earlier during the week)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Contest Prize

I finally finished the contest prize that Noel won. She had said to make anything. So... it took me a little while to figure out what to make and what yarn to use.

I had picked up this fiber last May at the MA sheep and wool I believe.

...and then over the summer I had spun it into this yarn.

Then it was just sitting in my yarn bucket, waiting for its turn to be made into something - it is now a scarf:

...and it now belongs to Noel.

...stay tuned for the next contest (not immediately, but soon... ish)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Goals: Books, books, and more books

Let's talk a bit about books... and lists.

Over this past month I've finished about 20 books. At the same time I keep adding interesting books onto my 'To-Read' list. So, unfortunately the number on my list has only crept down by a couple.

One of my goals for this year was "Read a majority (average a book a week) of my goodreads list" Since the beginning of the year I have definitely surpassed that goal. My real goal, in spirit, through was to read down my list... for two purposes. First, was to read the books that have been on my list the longest. I had a number of books on my list that I originally put on during the Summer of 2009. That's almost two years. I now only have two books from 2009. Second, kindof connected to it, was to have a shorter list so it's not a monkey on my back - so when I see a book I want to read, it feels ok to just start it.

The other part of that goal is that I had originally figured out what my running total should be to get down to a handful by the end of the year. April was supposed to be 45-50, and I was at 52 at the beginning of this week.

If you are really interested in seeing what I've been reading you should join goodreads and then add me as a friend. I don't normally put reviews into that, but you can feel free to ask me about any specific book.

Here's a quick snap-shot:

I finally got to read 'The Help' which was an interesting story of families and the people they depend on. I read 'The Other Wes Moore' which was a man comparing his life with someone who had the same name but a very different life. 'The Pioneer Woman: Black heels to tractor wheels' a modern love story, which was so much fun to read. 'The Beyonders: A World Without Heroes' is book one of three - only one is out right now. It's the new series by the author of Fablehaven and Candy Shop Wars, which my kids all love. 'The name of the wind' was SO good and enjoyable reading - I'm hoping book two, which is out, will be equally good. 'Heroes for my son' is 30 second biographical sketches of 52 different people the author wanted his kids to know about. 'Till we have faces' by C.S. Lewis is the book club book this month.

This is just a picking of the last while and I really enjoyed so many of the books I've read this month. I have 9 more library books, 10 more books requested (6 of those are currently in transit), and at least 6 that I own that I'm planning to read. So if I don't get to anything else during the month of May you now know why....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Hat and some Yarn

I had a hat I wanted to make, and some yarn I wanted to use. They actually worked together too.

The only problem is that it was a crochet pattern. I can crochet fine, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that I can knit while I watch tv or movies. I can only crochet if it's a tv show or movie that has a lot of dialogue - not one where I have to keep looking up to see what's happening. So, I started.

I even thought about making this hat the contest prize, but then I realized it was becoming child sized, as the yarn was just a bit on the thin side.

Eventually I did finish the hat.

...and then I had someone almost immediately claim it.

(That's the hat on Curly's head)

I had also been working on some spinning. I had a batt I was gifted, and a spindle I had bought back in November. I finally used the spindle and the batt is now gone. I still need to measure this yarn though.

(It's only one skein - two pictures so I could see both the front and the back)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Ways to Save

Ten ways to save at the grocery store:

1. Keep staples on hand (you can buy them when they are on sale and you won't need to buy them every time)

2. Look at your freezer, fridge, pantry, and then the sales, then plan your menu based on those.

3. Make a menu and a shopping list

4. Stick to the shopping list (I usually allow myself one treat/non-list item each time)

5. Specialize to each store if you can spare the time (produce is cheaper at a produce store, meat is cheaper at a butcher, paper goods and cleaning supplies might be cheaper elsewhere)

6. Buy in bulk - when it makes sense.

7. Sometimes it makes sense to buy in bulk, if you can split it with someone else right away.

8. Go shopping when you aren't hungry or tired. If you can go without grabby kids that's even better.

9. I've never had great success with couponing... but if it's something you are planning to buy anyway, cutting the price is a nice thing.

10. Check out subscription services - right now we're getting some household items from amazon - if you subscribe you can save more and they'll ship you more on a schedule - which you can edit and adjust.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Why I love my Family

Ten Reasons I love my family:

1. We all work together

2. Bike Rides

3. Movie Nights (with or without popcorn)

4. Rollerblading

5. We all craft

6. We can laugh together

7. We're all geeks - my kids can discuss star trek and star wars with us

8. We try to help each other through our different strengths

9. Books, books, and more books

10. Our monthly family adventures (Jan - Family game day. Feb - Garden/Seed shopping. March - planting seeds and buying and using rollerblades together. April - does an easter trip to family count or do we need to squeeze another one in this week?)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Favorite Snacks

Top 10 snacks:

1. Granny Smith Apple and Natural Peanut Butter

2. Popcorn - buttered and salted just right

3. Almonds

4. Chocolate/Pistachio Bark

5. Breyers Carb Smart Fudge Bars (100 calories - tastes like soft serve on a stick)

6. Cheese

7. Celery with some Laughing Cow cheese in the middle of it

8. Ohh... speaking of cheese, a wheat bagel, toasted, with cream cheese

9. some yummy granola from BJ's wholesale club

10. Some small candies - chocolate :)

You might be able to tell from the list that I'm mostly still trying to stick to south beach (perhaps a break soon and then try again in the summer?).

I do have some craft stuff to blog about - hopefully I'll get to it this week!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: One hit Wonders

The top ten one hit wonders...

(I gathered this from different lists online, so this might not be my actual top ten, but the first ten that I recognized and liked - I did end up looking through the top 100.)

1. Cab Calloway - I Wanna Be Rich - 1990
2. Norman Greenbaum - Spirit in the Sky - 1970
3. The Penguins - Earth Angel - 1955
4. The Vapors - Turning Japanese - 1980
5. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2U - 1990
6. Timmy T - One More Try - 1991
7. Deep Blue Something - Breakfast At Tiffanys - 1995
8. Nena - 99 Luftballons - 1984
9. Chumbawamba - Tubthumping - 1997
10. Joey Scarbury - Believe It or Not - 1981

Fun stuff. I don't necessarily know the lyrics to all of these, but what fun it's been hearing a snippet of each again!

What's your favorite random song?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Reasons to Use the Public Library

Top 10 Reasons to Use the Public Library:

1. Free books, movies and music!

2. Interlibrary Loan - so I can get almost anything

3. Knitting time at the local library

4. The ability to see what we have on our cards (for the whole family) online - so we can find them all and return them without too many fees

5. The ability to request items using our cards online

6. The ability to renew items online

7. Different Activities they hold for the kids (crafts, animals, science demonstrations, etc)

8. Summer Reading Program

9. Checking out their New book lists every month to add interesting titles to my Goodreads list

10. Making it so this year, so far I've read about 53 books, and own only 3 of them. I have hope for the rest of my to-read list.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TonT: Reasons to be Glad it's Spring and a Vest

Since I'm behind already, let's not do all ten and do a show and tell instead this week...

I am glad it's spring because I love this:

...and this...

but unforunately when I zoom out...

I have no love after that picture....

I did finish the vest for the little tomato

This was obviously planned during his green period. He is still in it sometimes, but is now in a period of transition. It fits him well though, and I love this new pattern - no sewing! I love it. If you knit and are part of Ravelry you can see it here. I ended up having to undo most of the body and make it more narrow and use the other end to add ribbing and make sure I had enough yarn to finish... but it worked and I ended up with about 6 inches of handspun left at the end!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Favorite Pies

So... this week's topic is favorite pies. Yes, I'm still watching what I eat, but it's beginning to feel more natural. I just need to mix up the lunch time salad a bit on the days I'm home and have time to make anything else with a minimum of two cups of vegetables. Right... on to pies.

1. Pumpkin

2. Apple

3. Chocolate Cream (made this for our feast this november - so good)

4. Chicken Potpie

5. Beef Potpie

6. Lemon Meringue - how did this end up so far down the list??

7. Key Lime Pie (especially that frozen one... maybe I'll bring one to book club this month and cheat a bit!)

8. Hershey Pie (again, frozen - single servings are wonderful, especially when on sale)

9. Quiche - we call it egg pie with veggies here, and we make it with TONS of veg

10. Peach Pie

What's your favorite??

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Contest Winner

I collected all the entries to the contest and numbered them all, in order of when each person entered. I then took all those numbers to and the winner was number 3. That was Noel. So... let me know what you want! yarn spun or something knit...

Ten on Tuesday: Favorite Smells

My top ten favorite smells, in no particular order...

1. fresh lemon/lime

2. warm bread just sliced

3. the crisp clean smell of someone who's been out in the cold

4. the smell of rain coming soon

5. fire (also the sound and look of it, but the smell is sometimes nice)

6. my kids, freshly showered especially

7. chocolate

8. pumpkin pie - although the spiced pear butter I made this past year is close to that... not that they smell the same, but they provoke the same bundled up fall feeling.

9. flowers - I enjoy the sight of some flowers more than others, but just the smell of any flowers walking into a room is nice.

10. Fresh clean clothes that have been dried outside in the sun

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Secret Knitting revealed

I finished knitting the second sweater last night, woke up this morning only needing to sew on buttons and weave in some ends before the afternoon baby shower. I don't like cutting it this close, but it became difficult to bring this with me to work on it on the go.

The little baby sweater (just missing buttons)

When I made a second hat for a different baby (who is bigger than average) I was given the first hat back and so it made a nice baby set with the sweater.

Then I had lots of this matching yarn left and figured it would be great to make something for the new big brother:

Luckily, my little boy is about a year older, so I figured tight on him would be roomy on the giftee.

I was really happy with how this whole set turned out!

Now, back to my scrap blanket, a shawl I have just barely started, a vest for my boy, and maybe something for my oldest, who is a birthday girl next week (but not done for her birthday, no way)... and if you win the contest, maybe something for you!

The contest ends tonight and I get to start phase two of the South Beach Diet tomorrow morning. So far it's been a success, it is still hard when I crave something, but I am full most of the time from all my vegetables!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Goals and Promises

Ha Ha, I entered the title 'Secret Knitting' and it published for some reason, so this blank post really was secret knitting. Nice. I think I'll update the title....

I am still working along on the gifts that I am knitting. They will hopefully be finished before this weekend, so you can look forward to a post finally showing them soon. I am more than half done I believe right now, and almost all done with the thinking parts, which is good because I don't have much more thinking knitting time (non-thinking knitting can be done while talking or watching shows... thinking knitting has to be at least some what paid attention to).

So, I'll take a minute, before getting back to that to recap my goals and where I am on them.

Goal number 1: Make a habit of daily Scripture Reading

Yes, this is going well. I am reading one chapter almost every day, and on the couple I've missed I've made myself catch up the next day. I am in the middle of Luke right now and am fine continuing with that.

Goal number 2: Read a majority of my GoodReads list

I'd say this is going well... not great, but pretty good. I had mentioned something about a book a week - well, I'm up to about 34 for the year so far, but... I had also made a rough sketch of how many books I should have on my to-read list each month, as I knew I would always be adding more. I started with 68, added some to a high of 78ish and I currently have 54 on my to-read list. This falls just below the February goal, so, ignoring my currently-reading books I will count this one as a check.

Goal number 3: Spin at least 60 oz over the year

This one gets a partial, as I am currently at 8.5 oz for the year, and two months done I should be about 10 oz. I usually spin a bit more as it warms up for some reason though, so we'll see if I can catch up over the next couple months.

Goal number 4: Go through toys

Nope, not yet. This will be most likely accomplished after we switch to summer schedule for school.

Goal number 5: Deep Clean each room twice

I have started this, but not enough for even a partial check mark. That spring cleaning I'm looking forward to at the end of the month should really help this!

And don't forget the contest... Any comment or getting someone else to comment gets you an entry until I close it Saturday night! All details and prize info here

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: About March

This week's Ten on Tuesday is a little fun, the list is the top ten reasons I love the month of March.

1. Two of my three kids are born in March - that makes the whole month fun.

2. My birthday is at the beginning of April, so March means I get to start thinking about it.

3. Every once in a while you get a nice warm day where the air feels so clean and fresh.

4. During those one or two days I love to open the windows, just for a bit, to air out the house, which is wonderful.

5. Snow melting - enough said.

6. Seedings - it's time to start them planting, we went last weekend and made some purchases, so I think this next weekend we'll be starting our garden (inside version).

7. Once again, with the snow melting and the warmer weather I can sometimes get outside. Whether it's a walk or a bike ride - I mostly hibernate in the house during the winter, so it's nice to move around outside.

8. We are now (well, after tomorrow) 2/3 done with our organized school year. March is usually the time we start the last push, last units, and looking forward to the end and summer schedule.

9. Flowers. I know they aren't really coming out of the ground yet, but going to the different stores I have to visit for my normal shopping I can see all the blooms and start to get excited about spring.

10. Spring Cleaning. While it's warm but not warm enough to play outside (closer to the end of the month?) I look forward to taking a week or so and just cleaning out all the corners of our small house.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

South Beach

This week I purposely did not post for Ten on Tuesday - I might be able to stretch for some categories, but this week's Favorite cocktails or mocktails was too much of a stretch for me (as I don't drink or like mocktails even) so I decided to skip it.

I did want to post this week though, and then I ran into a problem. The only knitting items I am currently working on are not blog-able. They are gifts for people who could (whether they do or not, who knows) read the blog.

So.... I thought I'd post about another aspect of my life. I in the middle of day 5 out of 14 days of South Beach Diet, phase one. Phase one is a pretty strict two week course in re-training your body. For these two weeks you severely limit carbs and sugar - including pasta, rice, bread, starchy veg (carrots, peas), corn, oats, potatoes, fruit, milk, etc. None of those. Which sounds pretty drastic, but I am eating lean meat and eggs and low-fat cheese, and lots and lots of green vegetables.

For breakfast I am eating protein (eggs, cheese, canadian bacon), and at least 1/2 C vegetables - usually spinach in my eggs and a can of V8. For lunch I can have protein and at least 2 Cups of vegetables, and some fat. I usually have a large salad - lettuce and fresh spinach, cucumber, pea pods, broccoli, peppers, almonds, ham or chicken breast chopped up, and small amount of dressing. For dinner how I cook the vegetables varies, but I can have once again protein, at least 2 cups of vegetables, and some fat. I have 2-3 snacks a day - usually a certain amount of nuts, or celery with cheese. I also have a scattered through the day a variety of hard sugar free candies and some sugar free popsicles.

The first day or two was pretty hard, both because it was weekend/holiday, so not my normal schedule and also because I was pretty addicted to my carbs throughout the day. I absent-mindedly grabbed a cookie at the end of a library event yesterday, and I plan to cheat a bit tonight at bookclub, but otherwise I figure I can do this for 14 days. I am letting my kids eat some of our contraband food for their lunch and breakfast - but dinner I am only making one, so they have to eat our food or cheat from it in only small ways.

On day 15 I start phase two and I can start adding back in one serving of starch (bread/rice/pasta) and one serving of fruit. I can slowly increase those to three servings a day, as long as I don't notice cravings coming back. I can also add back in 1 1/2 c milk or yogurt.

I'm doing this diet with my husband - he's done it before a couple of times while I've done most of it but not stayed strictly with it due to other circumstances (pregnant or breastfeeding usually), so it's been interesting to do it completely. I usually feel so full by the end of the day - but i still want my chocolate - maybe soon I'll have to grab some sugar-free fudgsicles. The idea is to continue with phase two until you get to your desired weight and then move into phase 3 where you still eat with the same basic guidelines but add some things back in every once in a while. Our usual course of attack has been to do phase one and phase two for a while and then slowly drift back to our normal eating habit, to return and do phase one and phase two sometime (a year or two) in the future.

Now, if you made it this far, through all my diet talk...

I realized that my last post was post number 250. A milestone number of posts and the fact that I'm sick of snow and cold... that means that it's time for a contest! Just leave a comment and you'll be entered into the contest. Get someone else to leave a comment (they have to somehow mention you in their comment) and you'll get another entry (and they are then entered also!) I'll then pick a random winner from all the entries. The only rule is that you have to make sure I have your email address if you want to be able to win (I will not be tracking people down - I'll just skip to the next random winner who is easier to contact). Oh, right, and you can comment on any post going forward until the end of the contest - not just this one... Feel free to comment more than once - each comment on a separate post will give you a separate entry - multiple comments on the same post will only result in one entry - make sense?

Oh right, you might want to know the prize.... There are two options - if you are a knitter/crocheter you might be more interested in the first, otherwise you are welcome to choose either.

Option A: You can choose some fiber in my stash and I will spin one skein to whatever weight yarn you want... plied and washed and ready to make something with.

Option B: You can choose any project that will use one skein of yarn in my stash and I will make it for you. My stash in pretty eclectic right now so that's a lot of different project options, but if you get your heart set on something that isn't in my stash we can talk... no promises.

The contest will close to entries at midnight my time zone saturday March 5th - that gives quite a while for entries, and it just so happens to be the end of phase one for me! I'll pick a winner and let you know monday march 7th.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The little Admiral, aka Tomato

My young son has had two different 'blog' names - I don't know which will end up being his for good, but almost three years old now both still fit.

After finishing a pair of socks for his older sister a week or two ago I looked at some yarn left over from a pair of socks I had made for my husband. I weighed it, compared it to some of my pairs of socks and realized I had *just* enough to make a short pair for me... Yeah, I must not have really wanted them, because as I was starting the toe he declared that he needed socks and those looked good. Now, normally I don't give in to demands like that... but I think he's right. He needed a pair of dress-up socks, and these did look good for his church outfits.

So now Daddy and the Admiral have matching socks. He might even wear them this Sunday if I remember.

I also finished spinning some yarn for a vest for him. At least that's what I hope it will end up being.

It's green. Can you tell? It's also about 8.5 oz and more details you don't care about on my Ravelry page :) I had a goal of 60 oz this year, so I am still on schedule for that... We might discuss the rest of the goals at the end of February....

Back at Christmas my in-laws gave me a gift card to webs, which is just lovely! I ordered some yarn for a sweater for ME and although it was backordered, it arrived this week.

Won't that be nice? I'm thinking it will be a new zipper sweater as my old creme one is pretty pilled.

Ten on Tuesday, on Friday: blog edition

This week's ten on tuesday was supposed to be ten non-knitting blogs that I like to read... I'll go with the definition of blog being anything I read in my RSS reader, so here goes:

1. The Pioneer Woman - she's usually so on point and with it - add in cooking and homeschooling posts and it's perfect!

2. Penelope Loves Lists - she's been a bit busy lately, but this take on life so resonates with me.

3. Unclutterer - the name is pretty self explanatory...

4. The Happiness Project - once again, pretty understandable from the title. Sometimes she gets a little too repetitive, as I've read her book and her blog for a while, but the reminders are usually useful and helpful

5. Space Station Nathan - Nathan Hale, illustrator extraordinaire has a blog. He worked on Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack, both comic book style fun kids books. During February he's challenging himself with a picture book concept everyday... and before that he posted a page a day of a beginning reader picture book (who says once you start reading the words that the pictures have to be boring?)

6. It Made My Day (or IMMD) - This updates in my reader several times a day, so when I check my mail randomly through the day I can usually catch one or two of these happy short stories.

7. Not Always Right - I have a snarky sarcastic mean side to my humor, and these little stories always make me roll my eyes and chuckle at how idiotic some customers can be - and behave better if I find myself in a similar situation....

8. Mormon Mommy Wars - sometimes touching, sometimes pointless - always amusing.

9. The Glass Posse - A woman in New York, who is Mormon, a mom, a wife, and trys to take advantage of living in the city while consistently running to casting calls.

10. My friends' blogs - I don't know who wants the traffic and people and who doesn't so I won't put up links, but I love reading about what's going on with people both near and far - I almost never comment, but I so enjoy feeling in the loop!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Catch-up, Yarn and Knitting

Recently my husband saw this project on his RSS ravelry feed and really liked it. Well, thanks to Ravelry I clicked around and found someone who had that yarn and was wanting to sell it.... So a little less than a week later we got this:

...and this... the mail!

I also belong to a barter group on Ravelry and sent off some DVDs I didn't want anymore, but someone else did and sent me this:

some milk fiber

some bamboo

a sock blank (sock yarn that I can dye now)

Some Targhee, which is a breed of wool I haven't tried to spin yet

...and a beautiful batt for me to spin - can't wait to see how this looks!

I've been working on a pair of socks for one of my daughters for almost a month now - and I finally finished them earlier this week!

I started with yarn that matched a tunic I made for her that she loves,

After starting both of them so I could work on them at the same time I had to get both of them through the heel...

Then I just have to keep working on them and trying them on her and working on them some more. This is how you will probably see them normally:

Once it warms up and spring is here though you might see them like this:

The patterning on them matches the tunic, just a little different, and then ribbing on top of course to help keep them up!

After finishing those socks I pulled out some yarn left over from a pair for my husband. I wanted to use at least a bit more of it before sending it to the sock blanket, so I started a pair, and before I could try them on and measure my foot, someone else claimed them.

So, a little boy will have matching socks with his daddy. Right now I am actually finished with the first one and started the toe of the second.