Friday, September 28, 2012

Another scarf finished

Planting happened. I moved a number of plants before my sister arrived. She brought 7 hostas from her yard. I had some dusty-miller/ plants that made a nice border last year. They didn't die over the winter, and this year they grew and grew. looking on Google, I still don't know if they are annuals or perennials. Last winter was mild. They might die off this year. At any rate I want to plant something else in that border next year. I'm thinking a combination of flowers and lettuce.

Busy day at work, finally! It's been so slow that it'll be hard to pay bills. I'm afraid to look at the bank account. today I had a couple of alterations jobs quick quick, because of the Jewish holidays. Easy hems as waist adjustments, and same day money. It works for me!

I finished a charity scarf made from off bits of yarn. there is a lot of Wool Ease in it, as well as some mystery yarns. I started with a chunky yarn and 20 sts. I doubled most of the rest of the yarns. Each square is 20 ridges, and is offset by 10 sts.

Tonight I cooked up the rest of my green beans and turned them into my favorite green bean salad. I found this salad in the heat of the summer when a neighbor gave me some fresh green beans. It  has lettuce and feta cheese. Dressing is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and orange juice. Fennel seeds and dried cranberries are added. YUM!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

This and that

Stocking #4 is finished. Only one more to go. Sometimes even one hour a day is a slog. When I get to the family stockings, it will  go better, since I'll design those. Right now I don't even know what the base color will be for each stocking. I know where to look it up. Both family stockings are for guys, so they'll be striped. I'm thinking peerie patterns.

The cooler weather is better if the house can be heated. Scott the furnace guy cam early this morning and diagnosed my problem as  a hidden switch that needed to be reset. The wind caused a back draft down my chimney. At least it didn't cost any money, since he was just here on Thursday fixing things. Bronte the dog was sure he had come just to pet her. She can act fiercely protective, but she's a different dog if you are in her circle of friends

I had a mystery soup  for dinner today. It was something unlabeled from the freezer. Now I wish i knew what the recipe was. It was a lentil soup and looked like it had spinach in it. Next thing out of the freezer will be turkey carcasses. It's time to make more broth. I'm not sure, but I think that what I froze is from turkey breasts, not enough to make broth from just one of them.

Good thing Scott showed me where that switch is. I had to reset the boiler again today.

Bronte the dog got to go to the vet for a check-up. It always seems to cost more money than I expect. At  least it's only once a year.

I made a white beans & shrimp recipe in the Crock pot. It was very good, but my sister is coming to Cleveland Thursday and I don't think I will serve it for lunch. It looks bland. There are many dishes that taste really good, but you shouldn't serve to company, because they don't look very good. In this case, a little color would have helped. All is not lost, I'll just eat it myself.

Knitting at the library tonight. Worked on my latest pair of socks. I resisted the free yarn give-away. I have lots of factory yarn that is to think to be hand knit as is. Resistance was easy.

Reset the boiler again. It's getting warmer, but still raining. Where was all this rain over the summer? The tomato avalanche has slowed down. there are still plenty of green tomatoes, but they're not ripening as fast.

I've decided that Thursday lunch will be Pumpkin & black bean soup. Dear sis will just be here for a few hours. She's bringing some hostas thinned from her yard. I need more plants in my yard. Many of the things I have bought over the years have died or been eaten by the rabbit.

I finished the name on the last customer stocking.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


This has been a weekend of things breaking at my house.

Friday I was in a cooking mood after work. I had planned on a dinner of fish in foil, a recipe from a knitting friend. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Take apiece of foil and put your fish on it, cover the fish with pesto, tomatoes (or mushrooms), yes i used tomatoes from my garden, spinach leaves and Parmesan cheese. Bake about 15 minutes. While that was cooking I cooked up another piece of chicken breast to use in salads and sandwiches for lunch. I had a taste for baked beans. Put some pinto beans in the crockpot on low overnight. I didn't have any white beans in the house. I'll have to get some. So far, so good.

The next morning, I put more ingredients in the crockpot and turned it up to high. I went to work thinking about lovely beans for dinner, made with my own tomato sauce. I came home to a cold pot and uncooked beans. The poor thing had died. It was old, with a cracked lid. Does the fact that the outside was orange give you a clue as to how old the poor slow cooker was? A couple of years ago I was able to pick up a new pot on sale with discounts. I planned to put it  into use when the lid cracked on the old one. The lid is still holding together. Both pots are the same brand and the ceramic insert from the old pot fits the new one. Last night, I transferred the beans to the new base and cooked them some more, turning it off at bedtime, thinking they were finished. This morning, I decided more cooking was needed. I ate beans for lunch after church and a trip to the gym. I now have little packages of baked beans in my freezer.

After lunch, I came upstairs to watch the football game while working on the computer. That television won't turn on. This is not a real tragedy, as I have two more working HD tvs. My husband was a real tv watcher as his health failed. He didn't have energy for much else. I will have to get the thing out on the curb, and it will take 2 men to move it. I'm not decided on whether I'll move the tv from the kitchen, or just leave it there.

As the day went on I felt chilly. I finally checked the thermostat, and it said the house was 5 degrees colder than the set temperature.I just had the furnace man here on Thursday, fixing radiators and servicing the boiler. The boiler isn't working! We think the pilot light went out. He'll be here bright and early in the morning. In the meantime, I'll wear more clothes. At least I have a heated mattress pad on my bed. It was still in the closet this morning. I don't think any of these problems will cost me money, but still it's frustrating.

Sewing - I finished a dress for myself. I found the fabric, pattern, and cut out skirt on a shelf at work. (I own the shop) I must have bought the fabric 20+ years ago. It's a rayon crepe with a print of different buttons all over it. I bought contrast fabric for the collar, which was enough for the bodice facing and the inside of the sleeve cuffs. The dress is a long sleeve shirtwaist dress with full skirt and buttons all down the front. I had picked 12 buttons, in 6 colors, each of them different. The store sold buttons loose, in the quantity you needed. I haven't decided if I really like the dress, but it was fun to make.

Knitting -  I'm at the toe4 of stocking #4. I should finish tomorrow. I'm still putting in at least an hour each day on the project. I have a pair of red birthday socks knit to the middle of the foot. They are a mystery pattern and I wasn't sure if I would run out of knitting before the last clue came out Saturday morning. I was prepared to start the second sock, even  though I have only one ball of yarn and I don't like working from both ends at once. As it happens I don't have to do that. I may be able to start the other sock tomorrow. I'll try to get pictures of the dress. The beginning of the sock looks like this:

I've been going to knit night at the local brewery. There's a nice group of new-to-me knitters, including a local designer, named Hunter Hammersen. Not knowing what the conditions would be, I started a simple project, a scarf called Wingspan. The first night I didn't have any mindless project and the stockings were not in a good place to take. The second night I took a stocking and worked on the heel. White yarn is prefect for semi-low light conditions. Actually the lighting is not bad. One of the knitters is very close to an owner, and makes sure we can see. This project sits in my purse until I need concentrated mindless knitting. The yarn is Crystal Palace Mini Mochi.

Time to crawl into my nice warm bed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Tomatoes are Ripe

They have been ripe for a month. I have bags of frozen tomatoes. I've eaten salads and wrap sandwiches. I made tomato soup. I've roasted tomatoes. The variety is endless. I have lots of new recipes that I like. One of my favorites is chicken tomato pizza. I use preformed pizza dough, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, cooked chicken (a staple in my house), basil, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stick in the oven until brown.

So far, all the extra tomatoes have gone in the freezer. I still might can some, but right now, I can't put my hands on my jar lifter. I really need it if I'm going to get jars our of boiling water. I can buy a new one for not much money, but I still have one more place to look. Also, if I don't actually get to canning, I won't need it.

Overnight oatmeal
A new discovery that one of my daughters found. It's made in a jar and eaten cold. So far I have tried blueberry, peach and apple. I may have tried more flavors, but they're not at the top of my mind. One daughter thinks the chocolate ones might make a good snack. Another daughter has made up large batches of pumpkin flavored jars. In looking for the link, I found a number of other recipes on Google. The one I've used combines the oats with yogurt, some of the others just use milk.

Sock Knitting

These were a birthday gift for oldest daughter. I thought of them as butterflies, but she's a quilter and saw them as bow ties. The technique is Mosaic, using only one color per row, and slipping the other color.

Daughter number three has a birthday the day after her sister. She got these socks. The dishcloth shows the stitch pattern.

Patterns for both pairs are available on Ravelry and Patternfish

We also have a granddaughter with a September birthday.. She was in town last weekend to celebrate and show off her son, who is 4 months old. She got the last pair of socks. I followed a Ravelry mystery pattern for these.

I also am knitting Christmas stockings. I have 5 identical stockings, except for name, to do for a commission job. Three are finished and I'm working on #4. As it's getting colder, I set myself the task of knitting on them at least one hour a day. I also have two family stockings to do, one for the new great grandson and one for a granddaughter's husband. Should have done that one last year. Every year or so, I knit stockings for other people. It's the same story. Grandma knit stockings until she couldn't any more and the family kept growing. I've knit a version of this pattern before. Most of what I've knit are old Bernat patterns. A few I've had to design myself. The family patterns are all original. I'll talk more about them when I get to that point.

Sunshine sweater
 This sweater looks almost like I wanted it to, but it doesn't work! There is no stability in the neckline, and it slid down as I wore it. Luckily it was just a dog walk of about 20 minutes. I'm now on try #3 of the neckline. I've kept the v-neck, but gone with a more conventional look. I'll wear it for a while before I call it done. I may have to crochet around the neck edge to keep it from stretching. I still love the yarn and stitch pattern, but I sure am ready for this to be really finished.

I finally figured out the time delay on my camera. It's a good thing that I'm not using up film on pictures the crop off part of my body.