Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finishing up

The title of this post sums up a lot right now- I finished up a knitting project, I am finishing up the semester at school, and as we enter December we are finishing up 2012. Its a crazy time of year, not really because of the holiday preparation, but because of finals. I'll get through though and then I have a bit of time to myself before launching back into school.

I mentioned a finished knitting project, didn't I? Here it is!

I LOVE the way this Daybreak came out! The colors aren't my normal favorites, but I love this shawl just the same. It took me less then a month to knit and I could have knit it faster if I didn't pace myself to also work on other projects. This is knit out of Malabrigo sock in the Impressionist Sky and Turner colorways. Once blocked I think this will be worn ALL THE TIME.

That's about all I've got unless you want to talk Victorian Literature or Critical Theory :) The posts might be few and far between for the next two weeks, but after that I plan to be much more present here on the blog!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Birthday Week Recap

Well, birthday week is coming to a close. Almost all my Pinterest recipes have been made now and most were a success! The Butternut Squash mac and cheese was good, but I think I was a little light in the butternut squash. The hubs didn't really appreciate the onions either. He didn't notice them too much the first night we had them, but apparently eating leftovers reheated made them more noticeable. Darn, I'll just have to finish the pan myself ;)

Yesterday we tried the Buffalo Chicken rolls and the hasselback potatoes. The potatoes were good, but we were not big fans of the rolls! Its weird, we both like that buffalo chicken flavor, but the hubs was not a fan of the broccoli slaw in there, and we both thought the blue cheese overpowered everything else (even the hot sauce!), though I didn't add much to each roll. I still have some of the chicken mixture and wrappers left, so I may try just the chicken in there. We'll see :)

Our Thanksgiving day was great- very relaxed, and only one meal to go to since my in-laws went to my parents house for dinner. I love that our families are close enough to do that :)

I've also been knitting a lot during my break! I finished the hat I was working on:
And I think my brother will love it!

I also started a new project:
A baby sweater for my friend's baby for Christmas. He is my little buddy and I think these colors will look great on him! I'm actually quite a bit further along than this now, as this has gotten most of my attention over the past day or two.

After I finish the sweater I am going to focus on my Daybreak shawl, since it is more than half done and I wil be taking on a commission shawl to knit for a friend's grandmother for Christmas. I figure, I'm almost done with my Christmas knitting, so I thought I would help them out. Also I really want to finish the Daybreak so that I can keep my WIP count around three. I think that is really the best number for me, so I want to try it for a while.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Braves Hat

The knitting hasn't been what I had hoped since I finally turned in my paper last week. There is one project that has gotten a lot of love, however. It is a Christmas gift for my brother, the eternal wearer of the Atlanta Braves baseball cap. This guy wears this thing everywhere. He has had several of them, as they are retired or lost they NEED to be replaced. I decided this year he needed a winter version, and took it upon myself to make it up and knit it for him. Here's my progress so far:

Don't mind the random on-the-lap picture :)

The other project that has gotten some love is my socks:

I think I have another inch or two before I can start decreasing. These only really get worked on when I am out and about, so they're going slow.

Last night we had the Barbecue Grilled Cheese that I posted about yesterday, and it was a success! The hubs and I both liked it, with some mods for taste preferences :) The hubs had a more plain sandwich, but mine was loaded with the good stuff.

Mmmm. And here's a shot of it cut so you can really see what is inside:

Mine had guacamole (because all the avocados in the store were gross looking), bacon, colby jack cheese, tomato, green onion, and barbecue sauce. I'm not sure this is something we will go out of our way to make again, but it was a nice change up from the usual, and it is a good reminder to change up some more ordinary recipes :)

Lastly, my brother-in-law just launched a Kickstarter campaign, which you can find here. His story is really good, so if you like Sci-Fy/Supernatural stuff at all, go check it out!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Menu Planning

This week's menu planning looks a little different because not only is it Thanksgiving this Thursday, its also Birthday week! My birthday falls the day before Thanksgiving this year (always fun) so I pretty much take over the week to make whatever I want, regardless of budget or taste preferences of anyone else who might be eating with me (namely the hubs. sorry!) So far no one has complained, and this is one of my favorite ways to celebrate my birthday. 

The plan:
Monday: skip breakfast, make stove top for lunch (what!? yes, this happened) and make Barbecue style grilled cheese for dinner
I'm really looking forward to the salty crunch of the bacon, the sweet juiciness from the tomatoes, and the creaminess of the avocado. Oh, and cheese. Yeah :)

I also think I need to make more of these,
which are peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with sea salt, because they are the best cookies I have eaten since the last batch of cookies I made, and the ones from yesterday are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Tuesday: Breakfast and lunch will probably be boring, and to be honest I'm not sure what we are going to do for dinner. I might try to put this together in steps throughout the day so that when we both get home around 8pm we can dive into cheesy goodness.
This is butternut squash mac and cheese with bacon. Sounds good, but we shall see!

Wednesday: BIRTHDAY DAY!
Of course having the day off will result in lots of yummy food, as well as plenty of knitting, relaxing, and maybe even a Harry Potter marathon. 
Breakfast shall consist of this

Lunch will probably be leftovers (or the actual making of) the butternut squash mac and cheese. YUM

Dinner will be eaten out at a location yet to be determined, and shall be accompanied by a movie of my choosing. 

Thursday: TURKEY DAY!
This year the hub's parents are coming to my parent's house for dinner, so we only have to attend one dinner, which is great. Most years we do both, which just makes for a rushed (and filling) Thanksgiving. I'm contributing the desserts for the occasion, and on the dockett is lemon bars and apple crumble. We will probably eat leftover breakfast casserole, then snack on Turkey day food all day long at my parents.

Friday: I plan to stay as far away as possible from any retail locations, so it will probably be a quiet day at home. The hubs and I discussed putting up Christmas decorations outside as we are still having decent weather, especially for November! And nothing goes with Christmas decorating like Buffalo chicken roll-ups for lunch :)

Dinner will probably be some cut of pork from the freezer and this neat little potato recipe I found today:
I might change up the flavors a little, but I love this idea!

There's my menu planning for the week, Birthday and Thanksgiving edition. Watch for a knitting progress post; with all this relaxing time I hope to get a lot done!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pinterest Invades

I have been on Pinterest for a while, but recently I have been on there a lot. Usually I just pin food (and more food, and more food) but I've been trying to branch out and look at other categories as well. Here are a few things I found this week:

So funny! I want to do this in the front yard when we get snow :)

I love the mix of white with the dark wood in this kitchen.

This bacon horseradish dip might be made soon! I'm really into appetizer recipes right now :)

I think these would be great for a snack or as part of a low key snacky meal. 

We don't have a way to display our Christmas cards yet- maybe I will get crafty and make one of these?

Usually I'm not much of a squash fan, but this butternut squash mac and cheese sounds and looks delicious!

I hope you enjoyed checking out a few of my pins for this week. Go find me on Pinterest! All these things are pinned there and I'm always looking for more people to follow. I may try to do this type of post weekly- Its fun to revisit the stuff I found earlier in the week!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where I Have a Spinning Fail

Spinning progress is hard to show on my spindle, so usually I wait until I have some finished yarn, and even then I wait until I have a few to soak and thwack before photographing. When I first borrowed a spindle to learn how to spin I bought some teal Corriedale wool to practice on. I wanted to finish that up before moving onto something else, so whenever I spun (which, admittedly, hasn't been often) I worked on that. I did take a break between spinning the singles and plying to work on one of the little fiber balls I got from Cris at Into the Whirled. I had all sorts of problem plying, but after a few tangles and deciding that the fiber really wanted to be a two ply and not a three ply, I was away. It was going well until both of the singles broke. Thankfully it was a pretty clean break, so I just started plying again and would the first bit off on its own.

That white bit at the bottom is the tie. Overall this yarn came out super springy and squishy, however its not a very soft yarn. I still have to measure, but there is enough to do some stripes or a small project.

The rest of this fiber, however, did not turn out so pretty. Apparently I have a hard time remembering which way I should be spinning, and even though halfway through I thought it looked a little funny, and I kept checking to make sure I was spinning opposite my singles, this happened.

The top is the first part after it broke, but toward the bottom you can see how it looks like... well, poop. That my friends is what happens when you ply the wrong way. I'm trying to take this as a learning experience, but it will stink to have to cut it. I'll just add the top section to the rest of it. No biggie.

I also did my first chain plying! (Excuse the really fluffy end and the gray ties)

I think this came out pretty good for my first time. It took a few loops before I had the hang of it, but now I think I will try to chain ply all my little sample balls from ITW.

2 out of 3 isn't too bad, right!?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


This week's weather has been weird. Sunday it was 72 degrees out, which in November in Western NY is weird enough. We took advantage by hanging out outside for a lot of the day and even had a picnic (of sorts) for lunch. Yesterday was still pretty warm, about 65 here, but very windy.

Today? Snow. Yup. I let the dog out at 7:30am and it was snowing. It was 30 some degrees out. I know it had to happen sooner or later, but the extreme change is kind of bumming me out.

Anyway, essay writing is still top priority over here, but the hubs helped me out with dinner last night, and we kept up with meatless Monday by having chocolate chip pancakes for dinner. Not very healthy, but certainly yummy!

Yup, they are on a paper plate. Research paper, remember? ;)

We also made our own snow last night, before it even started outside. A few weeks ago we were shopping in Erie, PA and came across a magical store called Christmas Tree Shop. We don't have one near us, and we were like kids in a candy shop. The hubs came away with some cans of fake snow. We tried it out last night and it was weird! We made it in a big plastic tub, and at first it didn't seem to work, but lo and behold, we had snow!

This photo was taken before we added more water, and there was even more snow, but you get the idea. I think the hubs plans to send some  to those who do not get snow, but we'll see :)

No menu planning this week. It makes me a little crazy, but I didn't have the time and we will still find food to eat :) After Wednesday expect more interesting posts from me!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Research paper takes over

This coming week I have a long paper due, so pretty much anything non-essential has fallen by the wayside. I wanted to get out a post while I had a few minutes, but its likely you wont hear from me again until Wednesday :)

We made pizza the other night for dinner and I remembered to grab a shot RIGHT before I was about to devour it :)
I basically made mine a veggie pizza with all the veggies in the house: broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, fire roasted red peppers, black olives, and of course a generous helping of cheese :)

That's all the cooking that has been going on in these parts since we had some leftovers for the first half of the week. As far as knitting goes, the only project that has had any real progress is my Daybreak shawl.
The colors are a little dark because I took this last night, but I am LOVING this shawl. I love the colors (very Ravenclaw!) I love the stripes, I love the slipped stitches, and I'm really hoping this will be a nice size to wear in the winter as a scarf.

This was a nice reprieve, but now I must get back to the Victorian era. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

Last week's meal planning went pretty well, so I'm going to try and make it a weekly thing. We never did get to the meatloaf on Wednesday, which was ok because I hadn't bought anything specifically for that meal, but other than that the menu went as planned. Even dinner on Friday with the in-laws was delicious! I decided on pork chops with mushroom lasagna and roasted asparagus and broccoli.

For this week the plan is:

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza
Thursday: Helpy-selfy!
Friday: Roasted Chicken and vegetables with biscuits a la Kristin over at Iowa Girl Eats

As you can see, we have a lot of leftovers from the weekend. Tuesday might need some supplementing, but I would rather plan to eat up everything than have it languishing in the fridge. This looks like a pretty light week for cooking which is good- its getting to be crunch time on a few assignments!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Baby knits are taking over...

You may have noticed that I have been knitting a lot of baby items. They are small, quick, and usually best in workhorse yarns, so they have been great for my current notsomuchknittingtime state. I have a few deadlines that fall right before my Thanksgiving break, so I don't see myself getting a lot of time to do much knitting before then. I was pleased to that I was able to finish up a few items that I have been working on for the last week or so though.

First up is the boy baby socks. I knit these out of some Bernat baby yarn, and I really like how the colors turned out on the socks. However, I am a dunce and didn't count my rows on the first sock, so I just held up the second to the first for the length of the cuff and foot. Well, that plan didn't work out so well. If you hold them up you can tell that the second sock is about 1 row short in the foot as well as in the cuff.
You can't really tell from this photo, but I'm not really sure what to do. I was going to add these to the pile of babyitemsforwhichIhaveagrandplan, but I don't know if it matters that they aren't exactly the same size.

The second thing I finished was another baby hat using the same yarn I used on the last one. I LOVE this pattern; it has definitely become my go to pattern.
Sorry for the sideways photo. The colors are a little bright since this is a flash photo, but I really love these. One is going in the box to be saved for when we have little guys that this will fit, and the other is joining the aforementioned pile.

After I finished these two items I decided to reward myself with a cast on, the Daybreak shawl by Stephen West. I have wanted to make this shawl for years, and finally picked out the yarn a few months ago.
Here is the small start to my shawl. The yarn is Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky, and I will be adding the Turner colorway in for the stripes. This is fairly mindless knitting right now so it has been good for zoning out at night while watching TV.