Knit-along lil'Doggy

I have found Knitting to be a great therapy and wonderful for stress relief ... life is never dull, and more often hectic and crazy :), being able to pull my knitting out of its bag and even do one or two rows really helps me to refocus and recenter.

Signature Jus'anuth'r Knitter (W.B.)
Location Pennsylvania, United States
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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy New Year!!

Ok, so, we actually have had some visitors this week ... in-laws visited on Tuesday much to our delight. They made it with minimal turning around :) ... and that 's an accomplishment since it is their first time here. I made dinner (a turkey, smashed potatoes, beans, gravy, and fresh home-made bread ... mmmmm!)

MY parents came down yesterday (Wednesday), and we installed a ceiling fan in the "florida room"/office/game-room (room surrounded by windows - one of my favorite rooms in the house! It is of the Hampton Bay variety with a black motor casing/blade holders, and black or rosewood blades. Very classy - my DH is AWESOME as he found this beautiful fixture at Home Depot and it now graces our front room. I have to say it is a blessing that we got it - it gave my parents something to do while they were here. They are fine with just relaxing, but it is always best to do so after something has been accomplished.

We've also learned a new card-game. It is tough to play games just my DH and I, so company gives us the opportunity to have some fun and learn or play games :). We now know Rook! I'll have to say that my DH is suprised that I am as good at it as I am already, since I've only played it twice now, but I understand the game and am even good at strategy! ( I love suprising him!)

I have another billion rows to do on his cabled scarf (ugh! will it EVER end!!!). I haven't touched my prawer shawl in DAYS, and want to complete the scarf so that I can concentrate on my shawl. It is going to be so lovely when it is done! I am excited about getting back to it :).

Another project I am working on is a CD/DVD cabinet for our collection. I promised DH that I would MAKE something that is worthy of use, NOT something that we can buy off the shelf, put together, and have look like poo ... I want something LOVELY, something I have a vested interest in and something that I can say with pride - I made that! It will be no less than 15"x15"x28". I may make two of them ... one taller than the other. I want to a) prove that I am handy, and b) prove that furniture doesnt' have to be crap to be useful and beautiful.

The dogs have also enjoyed the repeated visitors and have proven that they can behave around company. Today we're alone, and though it's been slow (nice and quiet), it is still wonderful to know that our families aren't totally against visiting us here in Pitts.


Stay tuned for resolutions and more :).

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Ok, so I have to say it again ... MERRY CHRISTMAS, Everyone!!

I'm so excited ... the vacuum has arrived! We vacuumed the house yesterday - it looks sooooo NICE!! Until you've gone 6 months without a vacuum AND have three very hairy dogs to deal with on a moment-by-moment basis you simply cannot comprehend my excitment over BEING ABLE TO VACUUM!!

So this year has been a year of FIRSTS ... first house, first SUV ;), first vacuum, first Christmas back in PA ...

My baking is done. I made Thumprint cookies to share with family and friends. The recipes are all online and will be linked below with my impressions of them each. I used raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, and apricot preserves, as well as orange marmalade (mmmmm!), then wrapped the finished (cooled) cookies 8 to a celephane pkg (4x9" purchased @ Michaels'). There was also a recipe for Eggnog Thumprints, which I tried, but it bombed horribly - I have never had cookies litterally MELT in the oven! The filling was delicious though, so I improvised, and changed the "Jam Thumprint" recipe into an "Eggnog Thumprint Cookie" recipe. (changes noted below w/ link). OH! and we cannot forget I made Sugar Cookies as well ... but adding my own personality and touch of class (as I usually do with my recipes :)).

Ok, recipes ...
(1=bad, 2=probably won't try again, 3=may or may not make again, 4=may make again, 5=will make again)
Polish Thumbprint cookies from ... 5 ... these are nice firm cookies, flavored w/Almond extract they are delicious.
Thumbprint Cookies from ... 3 ... these didn't bake up as nicely as the Polish cookies did; a softer batter is created, but the flavor is lovely.
Jam Thumprint Cookies by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa on ... 5 ... Lovely firm cookie with lots of mild flavor that compliments the preserves very nicely.

Now ... the original Eggnog recipe came from All Things Christmas and either I did something wrong (totally possible!) or the recipe really needs some adjustments to make it useable. Anyhow, I took the POLISH THUMBPRINT cookie recipe and adjusted it to accomodate the lovely filling for the Eggnog Thumbprints like so:

  • Polish Thumbprint recipe as stated with following exceptions/substitutions
  • change 1/2 tsp almond extract for 1/2 tsp Rum Flavoring (imitation is fine)
  • add 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • change 1 lg egg to 1 lg whole egg + 1 lg egg yolk (reserve whites for brushing cookies)
  • change 1 C finely chopped almonds to 1 C finely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • add 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • form cookies, make thumbprints but do not fill, brush with gently beaten egg whites, and bake cookies as directed.
  • change fruit preserves for following filling to be inserted AFTER cookies are baked and cooled...
    • FILLING:
    • 1/4 C unsalted butter, softened (not melted) @ room temp
    • 1 C powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 tsp rum or 1/4 tsp rum extract
    • 1 - 2 tsp milk
    • ground nutmeg
      • Prepare filling: beat butter until creamed; add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy; beat in rum or rum extract and enough milk to make filling spread or pipeable (frosting consistency) . Spoon or pipe approximately 1/2 teaspoon filling into center of each cookie.
      • sprinkle cookies with nutmeg to finish.
  • this makes approximately 40 cookies - same as the original recipes.

Well, that has consumed my past two days, and the knitting has gone by the wayside. Today I need to get some laundry done, but my knitting is calling and I do so want to get back to it! I have a scarf and lace stole to finish!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, again, all!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

12 Days of Christmas ... 11 to go!

Let me see ... are the 12 days of Christmas before? or after? ... Well my DH's b'day is the 13th so I count that as the FIRST day of the 12 days of Christmas. So counting down ...

On the second day of Christmas ...

I have not ever BEGUN to shop for the gifts for family and friends ... I don't know what to do for any of them. OUR own christmas is well ... pretty much done, we're even contemplating a non-tree christmas ;) ... heaven forfend :).

Anyhow, I finished my knit-socks, I really like them, but they need washed already :). I have two other projects on the needles right now - a scarf for my hubby (my design) in worsted acrylic yarn. A neutral off-white color and about 10" wide, cabled - it looks somewhat 'aran' or perhaps 'fisherman' in design, but I couldn't do a garter stitch, too boring :).

My other project on the needles is a lace pattern based off of the 'knitty' pattern - "Branching Out" (link soon). I've modified this gorgeous pattern to make it 4x wider, using a creamy MicroSpun yarn from Lion Brand it is going to be lovely soft and shimmery - more a stole/shawl than a scarf, and will be used as a head-covering during worship and prayer (1 Cor 11:1-16). I have completed one pattern set ... and have about 80 or so more to go ... it takes a bit of time to knit each pattern as there is a great deal of counting and details that make the pattern so lovely.

I love knitting socks, and am looking for recommendations of soft, thin (fingering/sport/dk) yarns. I have decided that my next side-line project will be raising Angora rabbits ... and spinning my own yarns!

I am also searching regularly on eBay for sets of needles - something to defray the cost of getting all-new ones, all the time! As well as yarns, books, patterns, etc.

I have not set aside my want (or desire) to knit a couple sweaters either, though they will be on hold until I get the current two projects bound off.

On the trading note things lately have been very volitile, and though I'm making headway, it is slow-going and I'm having difficulty positioning myself on winning trades. We shall see what the remainder of the month, brings. I anticipate that the beginning of the year will bring some decision and perhaps some trends into view that I will be able to profit from. :).