Saturday, October 27, 2007

All my Fall into Autumn Goodies!

O.k., here it is, my Fall into Autumn swap package!
Here we have: the keychain sock blocker with sock pattern!!!, Halloween stickers, a cute little lion clip, a Hebert's Mokanola chocolate bar (dark chocolate with java drops and granola - yummy, I'm eating it right now), and that gorgeous yarn! It is Rowan Summer Tweed and I have been wanting to try it. It's 70% silk, 30% cotton and the pink has beautiful tweedy bits of yellow and purple. ;-)

And here, the lovely dishcloth Jenna made me (I haven't tried this kind of pattern yet so I am very impressed by the round kind of dishcloth!), a pretty fall kitchen towel, a shiny flower embroidered purse (soon to star in my knitting bag), and two yummy smelling soaps - Canus Goat's Milk Soap with Marigold Oil (saw this at Rhinebeck but didn't treat myself to any!) and Pre de Provence Exotique.

Thanks again, Jenna, I've enjoyed getting the secret swapper messages from you and love my package.

Rhinebeck part 3 -other good stuff (including the Yarn Harlot)

On Sunday they had a great author tent, I got there right at the beginning and got into the shortest line ever for the Yarn Harlot. Stephanie signed my two books and I got a photo... yay!
Note the Kauni sweater and the combo geeky (in a good way)/knitting shirt. She did a talk after lunch and I even managed to get a seat for that. I worked on a christmas sock during her talk so that one should go very smoothly with her knitting-fu rubbing off on it.

There were other great authors too, but I don't have their books yet so no signings (the Mason-Dixon ladies and Alison to name a few)

Other miscellaneous things to share:
This shop had a funny sign...

Punkin Chunkin!

Barfing pumpkin...
Felted ta-ta's
Over near the history museum building, they had some steam engines and antique machinery set up. Trevor was exploring that stuff while I was at the Yarn Harlot. This machine is cutting wood shingles.

They stencil some with sheep for the festival and give them away for a donation and Trevor got me one! It will be decoration in my craft room soon - even though all of my crafting is sheep free. ;-)

Rhinebeck Part 2 - the animals

We saw dogs doing Frisbee tricks
We saw dogs herding sheep

We saw sheep (of course)
Wait a minute, that's not a real sheep!

This cute guy with the bell is a Navajo-Churro
and this handsome fella is getting auctioned off to a new home.

This guy was really not enjoying his haircut and was really whining about it.
This weird sheep has four horns!

We saw llamas & alpacas
This one had a poodle style haircut! They said it keeps him cool for the summer. ;-)

we saw fluffy furball bunnies
There really is a head in there, it really is a bunny!
my biggest disappointment was that I wanted to see the bunnies being spun off of but didn't. :-(

and, even horses. 1 rider and 2 horses

Rhinebeck part 1 - goodies

Sorry, for the delay in my Rhinebeck report - I've had a mega busy week. Let's see... where to start. How about with what I brought home. I didn't buy very much, I had a particular list of projects I was interested in and I would only buy yarn if it was for one of those projects. I couldn't find anything that fit those projects so I only bought one kind of yarn (plus some non-yarn purchases) which is actually for a new project, not one off my list. oops. Anyway, here's what I got:These are leather purse straps - you really can't see how beautiful they are, but they are lovely. The double set is black (20" for $15) and the single is brown (17" "wine tote" handle for $5). The double set came with linen thread and matching buttons that you use to sew them onto a felted purse. (The thinner strap just comes with the thread, no buttons) The black set is for the Booga Bag I plan on making myself once I'm done with my Christmas knitting; the brown one is for a smaller prettier purse that I have in mind (it might incorporate a fun yarn I just got from a friend, I'll share it soon). These came from Homestead Heirlooms, "Genuine Leather Handles, Leaves & Tie-Ons"and you can also buy through their website.

This uninteresting looking thing is a piece of llama felt. My mom does needle felting where you stick bits of roving onto a piece of felt to make pictures and things, that's a bad description, but whatever. I had wanted to do something like that but needed some felt that I could use. I have bunches of alpaca roving leftover from making my crazy lady and now I have a sheet of felt to do something with it all. I got this for only $3 from the Northern Vermont Llama Co.

And, finally, the yarn.
This is Rayon Silk from Shel B. Yarn and it is so soft and squishy wonderful. Each skein is 4 ounces and I got 3 pink and 3 green and white ($30). They had (machine knit) "blankets" made of squares of all the colors to show off the yarn and how it would work up. They just looked so nice that way that I decided to use it to make a small blanket/throw or wrap.

Those were all my purchases! Oh, we also bought a tub of garlic goat cheese spread from a Pocono cheese company. It was expensive but is very yummy. That brings me to the other type of goodies - the food. We sampled lots of cheeses but that one was the only one we loved enough to buy. We made it to the French's artichoke cart I had heard so much about on Ravelry. yum! Most of the day (Saturday) the line was so long that there was no way we were going to do it, so we got other stuff for lunch. I had the deep fried pickles at Spacey Tracy's and some french fries. We were really looking forward to the deep fried pickles because we loved the ones we had at Quaker Steak & Lube. These were good, but the Lube ones were even better. I also tried some of the deep fried garlic cloves at the pickle cart. They were good, but would be better in pasta or something - too much for me to just eat them (they didn't seem deep fried since they weren't battered or anything). Then at around 4:00 we managed to find the artichoke cart with a very short line so we all got those. I got the French artichoke (battered artichoke with butter garlic sauce) with the beans & greens on top. The artichoke was awesome but I was iffy on the beans & greens so next time I'll just get the artichoke. They have a couple of different kinds, one is like a pizza on a flatbread, and one is deep fried like a blooming onion. I want to try both of those too, actually. On Sunday I picked up a sandwich at Bread Alone (very good, highly recommend the sandwiches and also the yogurt fruit & granola cup I had for breakfast) and brought that in my cooler to have for lunch, and we got these oozing chocolate lava cake kind of things.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fall into Autumn package!!

Just a quick note to say that I got my wonderful Fall into Autumn package today! I love everything and I will be posting photos and info Saturday night. :-D And! See that link to swapdex over there? The Jenna of Swapdex was my secret swapper! :-) I really appreciate the work you put into swapdex, Jenna, so it is easy to find swaps all in one spot. O.k. more swap info tomorrow, I must go to bed!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall into Autumn post of the week

Thanks for the reminder, secret pal!

This week's topic of the week for the Fall into Autumn swap is:
Now that it is getting cooler here, it makes me think of apple picking and hay rides. Are you the type that likes to go to participate in all the fall festivities like apple picking, pumpkins, decorating for the fall, hay rides, baking fall goodies, etc. or do you just sit and count the days till Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah?

Oh yes, I like to participate in the fall festivities! Last week we (me, Trevor, my sister and BIL) all went apple and pumpkin picking. And we had the wonderful fall treat of apple cider donuts, of course. mmm (I've already mentioned my love of cider and shown some of our halloween decorations.) So far I've made one batch of applesauce and one of apple cheddar turnovers. I will be making another batch of applesauce and probably a pie. I made the first pumpkin pie of the season a few weeks ago, and I will be making some of my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookies sometime soon.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rhinebeck and stuff

I'm on my 4th pair of Fetching and I'm starting to get tired of them. ;-) Too bad I still have at least another 2 pair I want to make! (I don't even have any of my own yet) I have unsuccessfully tried to cast on for Dashing twice now. Tried once, needed a smaller needle. Tried again and decided the yarn just wasn't right. So I'm back to the drawing board on that one. Maybe I will find the perfect yarn at....

RHINEBECK!! Woo, day after tomorrow, baby! We will be there Saturday and Sunday and will be camping out Saturday night. Tentative plans for Saturday include eating artichokes, watching sheep dogs, watching bunnies being spun, and vendor browsing. There is a Ravelry party that night but I don't think I'll make it since my long-suffering husband is already putting up with so much this weekend, I don't think I can subject him to that (which also requires a drive to Kingston). There is also a Ravelry/Blogger meetup both days at Noon near the food stands so I might make it to one of them. Maybe, depending on what it takes to keep everyone as happy as possible. On Sunday the agenda includes a visit to the author tent for some book signings, and then after lunch a talk by the Yarn Harlot! I just saw her a few months ago but who can pass up the chance?

So, my next post will be a roundup of all the fun Rhinebeck things we do, and things I buy, and photos of it all. :-D

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

First socks of Socktober

I veered a little away from the goals I posted just yesterday ;-) But! It was because I don't have the needles for one thing, and the needles for the other are tied up in the George WIP. I need to put George on stitch holders or something because he doesn't get finished until all my Christmas knitting is done. Anyway, what I did get done:

Voila, the Springtime socks! A Christmas present for somebody, who has similar sized feet to me so I could model these. The same pattern as my Koi socks except the ribbing goes all the way down the leg. However, when I tried it on I decided I don't like that as much for this particular sock so I think I'll keep the ribbing shorter the next time.

Then, I finished one whole sock today! Okay, it is toddler sized. But it is very cute and has cables even. Although the yarn I had for these socks is a little too patterned to show off the cables. Next time I do this pattern I'll use a solid color.

The left shows the colors better and the right shows the cables better.
These socks will be a Christmas present for my niece Lily. I like the pattern, I will probably make another pair for another toddler. But first I have to make the second one of this pair.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Socktober!

Are you ready for Socktoberfest? I am! I love knitting socks so what's not to love about a month celebrating the sock. I have a few single socks that I'd like to finish the pairs but since Socktober is conveniently located near the holiday season I have other plans for Socktober:

  • Finish the "springtime" Fixation socks (doing the gusset on the second sock now)
  • Cast on and maybe finish one other pair of Christmas present socks - either another of these (same as George in another color) or, Lace Wings if I get a chance to get another set of 3s (shakes fist at cat who stole one)
  • Make at least a few of the many tiny socks I need for holiday presents
Hopefully I'll be back with some FOs of the sock variety soon. :-)

Fall into Autumn

Yay, my Fall into Autumn swap pal has received her package! I had fun emailing with Katie throughout the swap and we've got each other friended on Ravelry so we can keep up with projects etc.! :-) Her daughter is a big cutie so I had to include a little something for her too and it turned out to be perfect timing for stampers. It's funny how that works out sometimes.

Speaking of Autumn, we put up halloween and fall decorations last night. Here's a nifty one of our front porch window decorations (I love these things - we had ghosts last year then this year we found cats too) O.k., one more. I love these giant paper lanterns!

On the knitting front... Last week I started a shawl with the misguided idea that I might finish it to wear at Rhinebeck. Yesterday I realized that Rhinebeck is only two weeks away! Yeah, that's just not going to happen. So I set that aside for a bit to work on something more "seasonably" appropriate (post to come). Speaking of Rhinebeck, anybody else going this year? I'll be with family at least part of the time but they are all muggles (not a knitter among them!), so I expect to be left in the dust when they tire of my yarn browsing. The plan isn't set yet as to when we'll be there, I'm trying to convince the husband to camp out so I can go both days (book signings by tons of people and a Yarn Harlot talk on Sunday!) but as of yet he doesn't really even want to go at all. sigh.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Happy Birthday, honey!

Today is my husband's 30th birthday! He is a wonderful guy and I think I'll keep him around. ;-) Saturday I threw him a surprise party with a whole bunch of friends and family. I think he was really surprised, don't you? ;-)

_MG_3913, originally uploaded by mollyoakley.

That picture was kind of funny so I'll show you one that shows how handsome he is too. :-)

_MG_4100, originally uploaded by mollyoakley.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Craftiness and a friendly swap

In June I went to visit my friend Amy and she let me pick out some fabric from her stash and said she'd make me a needle roll with it. She sent me the wonderful finished products a little while ago and I have been a little late in getting photos. In exchange I made her a few crafty things and sent them back to her! First, the lovely needle rolls (I actually got two different sizes!) both rolled up and in action. I especially love the pink and green retro cocktail fabric. :-)

the red one holds my straight needles and the black one is holding my circular needles and my long dpns

These are what I made her - a Skully Dishcloth, a tiny sock on a string, an emergency dropped stitch fixer, and some shrinky dink sock monkeys. Here's a close-up of the smaller items with a bit more information.

Excuse the sock monkey glare. The sock monkeys are very teeny tiny thanks to the wonder of shrinky-dink (I loved this stuff as a kid!). I used a rubber stamp (you need to use permanent ink not the plainest cheapest kind) - I stamped the monkey on with brown ink then colored the eyes and lips with colored pencils then presto changeo it is shrink time! A few are on jump rings to be stitch markers or charms, a few are earrings, and one is on a hook as a knitting bag decoration or something. :-) I am making bunches of the tiny sock monkeys as part of my Christmas gifts - the tiny shrunken ones will go onto my tiny sock ornaments and the full size stamp will go on the labels on my handmade sock gifts.
Thanks again, Amy!

Fall into Autumn post of the week

This week's posting theme from the "Fall into Autumn" swap...

Are there any recipes you especially enjoy having in the Fall? Any foods that are seasonal that you especially enjoy? Feel free to share recipes with us too!

I do a lot of crockpot cooking in the Fall and Winter... also soups and hearty things in general.

This is one of my favorite soup recipes, a variation on a recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

Pesto Minestrone
1/4 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut up
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 regular or 2 small potatoes, diced (helps to precook partly by
microwaving for a few minutes after cutting up)
1/2 medium/1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 medium/1 small yellow squash, diced
optional: diced celery, carrot, onion (in recipe, I include each only depending on what I have each time)
at least 6 cups vegetable broth (3 cans) (that's all that will fit in my crock pot. I start with that then add another can or so after some of the soup is eaten and it is very thick and needs more broth)
Cook 7-8 hours in crockpot (6 quart size needed for this quantity) on low or cook on stove until tender
add your favoirte cooked pasta before serving, or add 1 cup of the tiny stars (my favorite)
(pastina?) the last half hour or so of cooking the soup and they will cook quickly
When soup is ready, stir in approx 1/4 cup of prepared pesto and serve with yummy bread!

And this, is another of my favorite recipes. This one is based on a recipe from Boca Foods

Barbecue Beans
(can be done in a crockpot or on top of the stove)
4 15 oz cans of your choice of beans, rinsed and drained (recipe calls
for butter, pinto, black, and white but I've used any sort of
combination of what I had/liked - I don't like black so I never use those)
1 12 oz fake burger (or other size equivalent to 1 pound burger) or, you meat eaters can use real burger, I suppose ;-)
1 cup chopped onion (I don't use)
1 bottle bbq sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's is our favorite)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

Bring all to a boil on med high heat; reduce heat to med low, cover, simmer 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove lid and simmer another 5 minutes. Enjoy! Good with cornbread, is also good served right over a piece of cornbread or a biscuit.

Made by Lena