Sunday, February 25, 2007

8 baby hats ~ one down, 7 to go....

Received a call from some close friends of ours last night and it seems we have a bit of a baby boom going on in these parts. That makes 8 new and/or soon to arrive babies. So, I am getting busy with the hats!

Pattern: Cotton Stria Stripe hat from Itty Bitty Hats
Yarn: Manos Cotton Stria (various girlie colors)
Needles: Two size 6 circulars
Modifications: Made mine just a bit shorter than the pattern calls for.

Would I make this again? You bet! Super cute, fun and quick. Took all of about 3 hours on and off to make. So cute, I had to add another pic. Next up - a boy version.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I know this is a knitting blog, but I thought I would share~

You know when you have to bring a treat or dish to pass somewhere and you need something quick, easy and delicious (if it's pretty that doesn't hurt either)? This is the ticket. I make this all the time - kids and adults all love it. It's sweet, but not too sweet.

Easy Peasy Lemon Poppyseed Bread ~

350 degree oven -
1 box lemon cake mix (Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, etc.)
1 box Royal brand Toasted Coconut Pudding
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
½ cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup hot water

Combine all ingredients (add water last after everything else has been added and blended) and pour in prepared loaf pan - makes two loaves in smaller loaf pans or one larger loaf pan like this one - I got mine at Williams Sonoma. Also, I have made mini individual bundt cakes with the Williams Sonoma mini bundt pans. So cute!

Bake for 35 minutes until tester comes out clean.

Sometimes I put a glaze on it ~
2 tbps confectioners sugar
Lemon juice
Blend until drizzle consistency. Or, you can dust with powdered sugar.

People LOVE this. So moist… If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire ~

As a girl, growing up in the middle of nowhere, I was always very intrigued by the whole pen pal thing. So, when I heard about the Secret Pal 10 swap I felt compelled to join - how fun!

Here are all my particulars......

What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Love wool and wool blends (cashmere/silk, merino, alpaca blends)
Cotton wool blends are great too
Soft cotton is nice -

Fun Fur, no thank you.

What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A knitting bag (keep them in the plastic sleeves they come in from the shop)

How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
2 years – a very nice yarn shop owner taught me.
A very solid intermediate

Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes - see sidebar

What's your favorite scent?
Cinnamon (grandma’s baking)
Fresh Flowers

Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes!!!! Chocolate - dark chocolate

What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don’t spin or dye, but would love to learn.

What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Oldies (Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Dean Martin, Etta James, Motown)
Classic Rock - throw in an 80's hair band you have made my day!
Norah Jones,
The Beatles, The Eagles
It’s really varied

What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Do not like yellow (makes me look like I have the flu), rust or purple
LOVE - chocolate brown, pink, aqua (think Tiffany blue), blues, greens, a touch of orange, black

What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married, one child, one cat and one boston terrier

Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves, mittens

What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Baby Items (hats, sweaters, etc.)
Scarves & Wraps

What are you knitting right now?
Chevron Scarf from LMKG

Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular - either aluminum or bamboo

Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, both. Seriously, what would you do without them?

How old is your oldest UFO?
1 year…. Ugh!

Is there anything that you collect?
Sock yarn!!! Fingering or sport weight, esp sport weight
Vintage travel or cooking items and vintage/retro bangle bracelets

Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Would love to subscribe to Interweave Knits
Subscribe to - Yarn Forward from the UK

Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Continental knitting and dyeing my own yarn and I would also love to learn to spin.

Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I love socks! Wear a size 10 shoe.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Need a kick in the pants~

Ever have those times when you are bit more taken with yarn, knitting books and blogs as opposed to actual knitting? I think I am having one of "those" times. Real question is - how do you get in gear so to speak?

Do you just keeping plugging along until you get your zing back? Do you tackle a project that you never would normally, or think is out of your reach? Perhaps join a KAL or Secret Exchange - that sounds fun....

Don't let my angst fool you, I am in no danger of not knitting (can't imagine my life without it!) - just a bit aimless at the moment.

However, I think I must start this ~ from
Wendy at Knit and Tonic.

That kicky little sweater plus some new sock yarn might just be the ticket! But if any of you wise knitters out there have a cure for what ails me, let me know.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

100 things about me....

I don't participate in too many of these, but since I am new to this blogging business, I thought I would let you in on a few things about me. Not going to tag anybody, but feel free to jump in - would love to read about you too.

A Hundred Things About Me (some interesting, some not)

1. Born in 1973.... Kalamazoo.... yes there really is a Kalamazoo
2. I can crank start an F-20 (that's a Farmall tractor - be sure not to wrap your thumb around the crank as it can buck and break your hand/arm). Grew up 3 miles from the nearest paved road.

3. I think every girl should know how to drive a stick shift. Didn't say you have to drive one, just know how. Drove my Dad's 1979 Ford F150 to school everyday. First car was 1986 escort - manual transmission.
4. Married - 16 years now (actually on March 22)... to a wonderful man. Love him to bits and pieces.
5. Have a smart, beautiful, precocious, and plucky (runs in the family) 14 year old daughter.
6. I am the older sister - Just "H" and myself.
7. My sister is six years younger than me.
8. I have two insanely adorable nephews that I just adore.

9. Have an irrational love of ice cream.
10. I still sleep with the lovey blanket my Grandma L. made me as a baby. It is very tattered, but loved.
11. My Grandma K. taught me to cook and bake - it has been my life's ambition to make the prefect cookie - still trying, getting close. She would be so proud.
12. Loved both my grandma's very much - miss them both.
13. I think it is so important to be a good friend and hang on to the ones you have and who add value to your life. Don't know what I would do without mine (you know who you are...).
14. When I was 12 I broke my neighbors finger by dropping a bag on rocks on her hand.
15. Motorcycles scare me.
16. Favorite drink is vanilla vokda and diet Vernors (that's gingerale for all you non-Michiganians). Tastes like cream soda with a kick!
17. Love old movies. Love them. Casablanca, Thin Man series, Gone With The Wind, anything with Cary Grant.
18. Love the Wedding Singer, Forest Gump, Indiana Jones, Love Actually, As Good As It Gets....
19. I am crazy about knitting. Crazy.
20. My hair. Ugh. Fine, Curly, Frizzy. Ugh.
21. I can still do the splits.
22. Do pilates twice a week. Love it. Very therapeutic and it really does work!
21. Reading is a huge to me.
23. Unfortunately, knitting really cuts into the reading time.
24. Audio books have been a lifesaver, but it still isn't the same
25. I live on a lake.
26. We entertain a lot from May to September (see no. 25)
27. October to April no one comes over.
28. Which is fine with me, that way I get lots of knitting done.
29. Like to waterski.
30. I waterski slalom - too uncoordinated to ski on two. Great bum workout.
31. I make a mean guacamole.
32. Mr. Plucky and I love to play scrabble.
33. We also love to travel. Next on our list~ Europe (specifically England), Arizona (we love going there) and Washington D.C. for our anniversary.
34. Sam, my Boston Terrier, has been the best addition to our family. Never even knew I was a dog person until we got him. Love that little dog.
35. I talk to my Dad almost every day. We are a lot a like, he and I.
36. Wish I could talk to my mother.
37. Own all ten seasons of Friends on DVD
38. My husband is a "Ross" - see no. 37
39. I love history - especially European and American history.
40. Favorite trip as a kid was when my Dad took us to Disney for one day and then on a tour of Civil War battlefields for the rest of the two week trip.
41. When I was growing up I wished I was one of the Judds (not even a huge country music fan). Just liked their songs and the fact they were mother and daughter.
42. Jon Bon Jovi - love him/love the music.
43. Raw meat completely unnerves me. I cannot touch it.
44. I will cook meat - but will only eat it well done.
45. Don't really have a favorite color - but I am not a fan of purple. Not sure why.
46. Love brown, pinks, blues/turquoise (think Tiffany blue), black and all greens.
48. My high school graduating class had 42 kids in it. 90% of us were together from k-12.
49. Want to learn to spin.
50. Perhaps even to dye.
51. Have had a crush on Tom Brokaw since I was 8 years old. I cried when I watched his last regular Nightly News broadcast.

52. Cars drive me crazy.
53. I hate paying for cars and repairs.
54. Love going to movies - nothing like getting lost in a movie for a couple hours.
55. Best concert I ever attended was the Eagles, 2002. Second, Bon Jovi at Soldier Field 2006.
56. Favorite T.V. shows - currently: Gilmore Girls, CSI, Greys Anatomy, ER
57. I have no use or patience for grown women (men too) who never progressed socially or emotionally past junior high. That kind of crazy, no thank you.
58. I am a current events addict. Sometimes Mr. Plucky has to put me on a news diet as I get too upset.
59. Love to knit baby items.
60. Starting to love to knit socks.
61. Obsessed with wearing scarves. I have one on almost all the time.
62. If my neck is warm, them I am warm.
63. Before we go on a trip, I research all the local yarn shops to see if they are worth a visit.
64. I am a nerd.
65. I love to feed people when they come to my house. I get that from my grandma.

66. I have a nervous laugh that is a cross between woody woodpecker and a machine gun.
67. Can't believe my parents didn't get me voice lessons to get that fixed.
68. I wear a size 10 shoe.
69. My favorite coffee drink is a skim mocha, extra hot w/ foam and cinnamon.
70. I love Fall. October is gorgeous.
71. First Spring day is always a thrill too.
72. Humidity makes me cranky.
73. I have had a crush on Tom Brokaw since I was 8.
74. Still have his last Nightly News broadcast on my Tivo.
75. History (taught by Mr. Welborne, who bears a slight resemblance to Tom Brokaw) was my favorite subject.
76. Ralph Waldo Emerson is a favorite of mine.
77. Mr. Plucky got me an iPod - I love it. Didn't even know I wanted one until he gave it to me.
78. I have never knit the Clapotis.
79. Guilty pleasure - North and South mini-series. Own it on DVD.
80. I love to do laundry and iron.
81. Dishes, I hate.
82. Growing up I wished I had dark hair and olive skin. So exotic.
83. When I was born I had 2 sets of great-great grandparents, 4 sets of great grandparents
84. All grandparents were gone by the time I was 25.
85. Wish I knew how to sew - may try that this year.
86. Learned to knit two years ago. So glad I did.
87. Snakes I can handle.
88. Rodents freak the daylights out of me.
89. Wine makes me sick. I like it, but it makes me sick.
90. I want to take a photography class.
91. I was named after a cat.
92. I am very good with directions. North, South, East, West - always know which way I am facing/going....I am usually the navigator on trips.
93. Kind of an aggressive driver. Not sure where that comes from, but driving doesn't scare me a bit. Driven in LA, Chicago and NYC traffic - view it as a challenge.
94. I don't generally like knitting on large size needles (project must be worth it). Anything larger and a 9 feels a bit cumbersome to me.
95. Love NPR
96. Every time I go on an airplane I get sick.
97. Still worth it, as I love travel.
98. I am afraid to fly.
99. I cry at movies all the time.
100. I have taught 6 people to knit.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

So much sock yarn, so little time~

Just look at that loveliness! Is that not just the most capitavting sight? Sock yarn.... love sock yarn. The possibilities are endless. Let's see:
  • Socks, duh
  • Scarf - some of this is most certainly going to become a chevron stitch scarf (imagine the stripey goodness)
  • Hand Warmers for daughter
  • Baby socks
  • Baby hat
  • Not sure what else, but I will think of something. And, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

First, Twisted Fiber Art purchased from the delightful Cam at The Urban Knit in the signature TUK colorway - chocolate brown, turquoise and pinks. Organic striping yarn and 500 yards!!! Seriously, go see Cam and her great store, you will be thrilled. And the fun blue and green striped yarn is from The Fiber Denn - it is just swell!

What's that you say? Why yes, that is an obnoxious, yet blissful amount of Vesper sock yarn (that Julia is just a doll!)- however, in my defense, it is not all mine. Some of it is hers (see sister-in-law below on left).... Taught S to knit a little over a year ago and she is nuts about it. Crazy as I am - love it! A freakish amount of stalking of her website and, basically, begging went into this purchase and S and I are over the moon estatic with this yarn! What colors you may ask? Knit and Tonic, Muddy Waters, Neopolitan, Love Stinks, Aquamelon, SweetWater and Strange Little Mama.....

Ok, it appears we ordered one too many Neopolitan and one too many Knit and Tonic and Sweetwater... not a bad problem to have (too much yarn) but I feel badly knowing there are others out there wanting some Vesper. If you are interested in any of those colorways, let me know and I can send you a paypal invoice for the actual cost of the yarn plus nominal shipping.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Mr. Plucky again....

I'm getting mixed signals here.

Mary F. says "get some woolies at J. Crew" and Yarnophiliac asks if I plan to learn how to knit socks.

Mrs. Plucky says these are my choices of sock yarn colors-

  • Breakfast at Tiffanys
  • Peony
  • Fondant
  • Cookie
  • Neopolitan
  • Cherry Cordial
Not a very manly selection. Maybe I will learn if she ever gets some sock yarn that is, let's say, black. I guess it's Target for me tomorrow - grab some socks while she's not looking.

And besides, I can never find the right sticks (is that what you call them?)

Friday, February 2, 2007

Mr. Plucky here.....

I have holes - in my socks.

Mrs. Plucky won't buy me any socks because she says she can knit them (which I hope is true, because you should see all her sock yarn). I ask "when can I expect a pair?" And I get this reply - "Oh, sometime this fall..."

So I have to ask, just how long does it take you to knit a pair of mens socks?

Comments and insight would be helpful. My toes are cold.