Monday, March 31, 2008


I'm trying to have a finishpalooza, and if I would stop starting new projects, I could probably get more done. I did finish Clapotis this weekend (although it could use blocking and I have blocking pins downstairs somewhere in the abyss that is the craft room, the spare bedroom floor isn't in the condition necessary to block anything, so I'm stuck just wearing it unblocked and I LURVE it), and I have to say, I LOVE this pattern. I can definitely see why it was such a hit about 3 years ago. Again, sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake. I hope to knit this one again in a red/black/grey colorway to the pattern specs, rather than making it longer and narrower than the original.

Tonight I'm hoping to finish the edging on JHAC's Baby I.Q. Afghan tonight, and then there will just be the sewing in ends part. That takes what feels like forever, but it has to be done. After that, I need to finish Sheldon (the newest Knit Night project).

I'm trying to be good and purchase more yarn or start a new project...but I did purchase a new book this weekend! I found a copy of Knitting Without Tears on the shelf (this NEVER's always an ordered book! - at least for me it is. I never luck into these things). So I definitely picked it up. I am coming into the EZ love ring. :) Once I can find Knitting Workshop (I'm thinking I'm going to hit my LYS up for this one...I think Debi carries it regularly, and doesn't have to order it). I know I've seen the DVD there, so I'm pretty sure she has the book too. I also picked up the latest Interweave Knits. I haven't looked at it in detail (I just skimmed it when I got home on Saturday) but I'm kind of "eh" on the changes. I do miss the lack of men's patterns. Of course, since I have so many men to knit for, I like to have options.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Evil Baking Genius

I was evil...and I did bake. The genius part, well, that's up for debate. I took Chocolate Toffee Bars to Knit Night last night, and I only brought home 3. My hubby finished those off. I don't think it was too bad. :)

In knitting, I'm chugging along on my Clapotis, and I'm over halfway done. I was hoping to have it finished by Easter (and my birthday), but that just didn't happen. Nonetheless, it's still in progress. I STILL haven't finished the Baby I.Q. Afghan (I'm close, but no cigar) and I still have to sew on snaps to the Classic Cardigan. Sheldon isn't moving very far either. And here I am, starting a new project. I'm toying with double knit socks...knitting both socks at the same time, one inside the other, from the toe up. I figured out how they HAVE to start, and now it's just a matter of getting the toddler socks completed, directions written up and test-knitted. I think I can find some test knitters for that. That's all for now...I'm going to grab a pattern and get started on those socks.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Changing things

Ok, I'm going to try and get some changes going here. I signed up at Ravelry for the BOA (Blog Organization Along) and have yet to work on it. I think I tried to tackle too much. So, I'm hoping that next week I can start getting some changes made on this here blog. Work should slow down a little, and maybe then I can post a little more as well. I've got TONS of stuff going on, and I want it all done now. Ever have those days? I guess I need to keep a list going and prioritize in a major way. I just wish I didn't have to's cutting into my knitting time (and other things as well).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Where does the time go?

I finished the Cardigan...almost (still). I bought snaps to put on behind the buttons, but my sewing skilz just ain't happenin'. I started on my own personal Clapotis. I know, I'm about 3 years behind the rest of the world...go figure. Also, for a while, although I'd like a few things from each issue of Knitty, this issue to me is the best in a long time. Almost all of the patterns I would LOVE to knit (the only 2 being the little girl things, because I don't have a little girl). Everything else is FABULOUS!

In the realm of baking, I am going to attempt new Heath Bars either tonight or tomorrow. Probably tomorrow, because I am flippin' exhausted today. Fortunately, since I made a double batch of the toffee, there's plenty to go around. I have 9 other recipes to choose from, and 3 of them call for granulated sugar, which I think was the problem in the first batch. I will conquer the Heath bars!

I have decided how to clean out my closet. First, there's the whole idea of only keeping what fits you...just about everything in my closet fits, so that's not going to get rid of much. The next thought I had (although it might be a natural conclusion for some, it took me a little while to figure this one out...I'm a little slow on the upswing some days) was to clean out everything I didn't like the color or pattern of. This will include a lot of the items hanging up there. I was keeping most of them because they fit...not because I liked them. This led to an overabundant closet and a small worn selection. We're going to fix that. I'm on a girly kick, so pinks, purples, reds, some blues and greens, will stay. The rest is getting packed up and shipped out (probably to the Goodwill store just down the road from my house). I really hate to give it all away, but in order to make room to receive more, I need to clean out what I have. I might even find a few items at the Goodwill to purchase; I haven't looked yet, so I don't know what they have.

Saturday is picture day! We're taking pictures of Little Man again, so I'm all excited! I just have to iron his shirt and pants, and figure out what outfit #2 will be.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Just a Punk in the Street*

Ok, today is a little different post. First of all, I did finish the Classic Cardigan, but haven't put on the buttons yet. I did get the buttons yesterday from here, but realized they were too BIG for the buttonholes. After careful consideration and some whining, I figured out that I need to rework the buttonhole band as the button band, and then attach the buttons to the outside and use snaps to actually close the cardi. Smart, huh? It'll be easier than 2-way buttons (a button on the outside and a reverse button on the other, with the hole on the inside-or at least that's what I call it). In any case, that's to be re-knit (I will take pictures before I rip out the buttonhole band, though, I PROMISE!!!!). I finished half of SSKP#2 last night, and started the other half. Pictures to follow soon.

Last night, I decided to attempt the toffee again. This time, I had a LOT more success. Here's how I did it WITHOUT a candy thermometer (although I'm sure it would have been much easier with one).

Step 1a: Please, I beg you, be sure to grease a sheet pan BEFORE you get started. It's hard enough to pay close attention to the candy as it cooks, without the added distraction of trying to grease a pan. This is an incredibly important step...because if you don't, the candy will stick and it won't break properly, and disaster will ensue. (Well, only for your toffee).

See the butter on there? Very important.

Step 1: gather your ingredients...I doubled the recipe, so I had 3 and a half sticks of butter, 2 cups of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of water in a large pot. Turn the stove on medium high (on mine, it worked better on around 5-6 than 7...of course I just have one of those weird dials that gives numbers, and not words to gauge your heat).

Nice and melty...butter, sugar, how can you go wrong?!

Step 2: Get the butter/sugar/water mixture nice and hot, where it starts to melt together and bubble.

Here it is all melted.

And now it's all bubbly...

Step 3: Cook and stir (ALWAYS stir keeps the bubbles IN the pot...very important...this cup runneth over is NOT a happy cup) until it turns brown.

We're getting there...

Brown and bubbly...brown and bubbly...

Step 4: Once it gets toffee colored (go figure), add in the 2 teaspoons of vanilla and dash of salt. Of course, any GOOD cook would add only 1 teaspoon...but I added more. 'Cause I'm just like that...a punk.

Step 5: Stir well, and pour onto the prepared pan.

And let it cool. Once it's cool (mine took about 2-2 and a half hours before it hardened), it's time for some fun! It's smash-time!

See all the yummy crunchy toffee goodness just begging to be eaten?! It's a yummy treat. Now, this weekend, I'll be attempting to make the Starbucks "Health Bars", patent pending. :) I also have another wondiferous recipe that I'll share hopefully either later today or tomorrow. The good news, it's simple and fairly quick. The bad news, it's TOTALLY addictive (my husband requests it often...a little too often for my own personal tastes, but I'll indulge him while it's still cool enough to turn on the oven, and then he'll have to wait until after summer to enjoy it again).

Much love!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

This week with insanity

It's been a crazy week, and I keep getting crazy ideas. I finished the Classic Cardigan, with the exception of coming soon (hopefully after buttons are sewn on). There's Super Secret Knitting Project #1 (SSKP#1) that is done, with the exception of sewing in the ends, and SSKP#2 is well underway. I treated myself to more yarn (according to my nutritionist I should reward myself with NON-FOOD items, and yarn is in that category - a mouthful of angora just isn't pleasant) and added some for my birthday as well (yay me!). I did make it to Knit Night this week, and had a really good time.

I also saw this post and decided to try to recreate the Starbucks pastry formerly known as "Heath Bars" (we also called them "Health Bars" because what's healthier than chocolate and toffee in a cookie bar?). I started with trying to make toffee last night...and burned it. Yep, the house was filled with smoke and smelt of burnt sugar. It was not happy. Fortunately, all that I lost was a little time (very little) and some butter and sugar. It was worse than the misfortune with the 7-up cake, but completely inedible. I think the times were off in comparison to the recipe. It said to cook it for 10 minutes, and I did. I didn't use a candy thermometer, which is my fault...but I don't have one. I'm attempting it again tonight, mainly because I'm trying to do the toffee before the rain gets here (tomorrow). Humidity always reeks havoc with candy, so I'm trying to avoid that.