Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ice Skates


I have my figure and P's hockey skates in the van to be sharpened. Thursday is the Winter Fete with the Barony and I want to be prepared for skating. I think I will also buy some guards and a bag for P's skates. Time to get them out of the box.

I wonder how skating in a houpeland will go?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Goodoien adventure

The annual Goodoien gathering was this past Saturday. Lots of loud Norwegians all trying to talk over each other. It was fun as usual.

Mom asked me if I would make "the" lefse for the gathering. At least I heard her say "the", what she meant to say was "a batch" of lefse. 1 batch is not enough for this group so since I was asked to make "the" lefse I made 2 batches. Good thing too as Mom and Dad were iced in with freezing rain and couldn't make it. So the lefse made it, but the pianist with the cut out sugar cookies didn't. Oh well, we had a lot of fun playing games, eating and talking, but I missed the singing.

I got a CD of Jenny's performance and listened to it while cleaning Sunday morning. I think it was a fantastic recording!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cute boy

How cute is this boy in his sweater? I finished this shortly after he was born in 2006 and it still fits. Love it!

Hanging Garden stole

airplane knitting

I started this lace project the day before leaving for New York and this photo shows it in progress on the flight home. As of Christmas Day I had completed 5 1/2 repeats of the pattern and had started the second skein of lace weight yarn. Knit Picks Gloss lace weight in Cypress. If the second skein holds out like the first I should be able to complete 11 repeats of the pattern. Technically I should complete 12 repeats, but I'm wondering if 11 will be long enough.

I have not worked on a lace project since Icarus and I'm just loving how this is turning out. I would highly recommend Sivia Harding's pattern for someone who is interested in working on their first lace project. The instructions are written out, but also includes a chart. The pattern consists of 47 rows that are repeated 12 times and every even row is knit plain. There is a garter edge that runs along the bottom and the sides. It does require attention and I find that using stitch markers to indicate the beginning and end of each repeat is a good thing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weekend Adventure

Photobucket

P and I went to the MN History Center on Saturday to see the Vatican Splendors exhibit. The city was under a snow emergency so I suggested we take the bus. We could have someone else drive, not have to pay for parking and the exhibit would be pretty sparse on a Saturday because of the weather conditions. The bus stops right in front of our house so that was pretty easy. We had to walk a bit to the History Center, but not bad.

Photobucket
The exhibit itself was pretty good. An expensive ticket at $20, but there were a number of items that I would have never seen even in Vatican City. The Pope's clothing was especially interesting. The embroidery at the exhibit is worth the price of admission. Simply astonishing! There is an alb that must weigh 50 pounds for the amount of gold couched onto it. WOW. I would impress you with photos of the exhibit, but they were not allowed. Something that grinded at P as he would have loved getting some detail shots of the 8th c. mosaics from the original basilica.

I did find the exhibit a bit on the preachy side. It's an exhibition of artwork, and granted it's sacred artwork so placing it in context is perfectly reasonable but I felt they went far beyond that. I felt like I was in confirmation class and that was annoying and unnecessary if you ask me. I have no problem learning about the differnet popes who used the different items, but please respect my intelligence by refraining from going on and on about "how great" this one was and "how selfless" this one was. Whatever.

The snow fell steadily during our visit.

Photobucket
We walked down to the Liffy to have lunch with C&C.

Photobucket

P and I were witness to a rear ender right after this shot was taken. He flagged down a cop who was completely oblivious to anything happening around him (and still seemed confused after we tried to explain why we flagged him down). It wasn't anything serious, just someone slid into another person's back end. No injuries obviously. I was glad we didn't drive.

We had the Liffy to ourselves and enjoyed happy hour taps and fish and chips. We walked into down town and caught the 67 back home. I put some corned beef and cabbage on the stove when we got home and we ate it with some boiled potatoesfor dinner.

Sunday P spent a couple hours digging out the house. I think we got 6 inches easily. The blowing caused drifts that reached mid calf on the sidewalk.

Photobucket

You can't really see my lights on the trees out front. They've turned into white blobs.

The birds were having a field day and I finally caught a chickadee getting a snack at the thistle feeder out front. The goldfinch were swarming the thistle feeder out back.

Photobucket Photobucket

I elected to stay inside and made a big breakfast of corned beef hash and eggs for P when he came inside. He had so many icicles around his face that it made his mustache look white. Nehemiah elected to stay warm and curled up to P.

Photobucket

Friday, December 19, 2008

Favorite photos from New York

Lincoln Center Lincoln Center (although I think my sister would correct me and say that this is the New York Philharmonic Space)

Cheesecake at Carnegie Cheesecakes at the Carnegie Deli

Rockefeller tree THE Tree in Rockefeller Center (look at all the people!)

30 Rock with lights 30 Rock seen through the lights on the trees

Central Park Knitter Me wearing knitwear in Central Park

Bard Graduate Center The entrance to the Bard Graduate Center

Natural History Museum TR at the Natural History Museum

Columbus Circle Columbus Circle

NYU offices Row houses at NYU

Empire State Building The Empire State Building

Steve, Linda and Jenny Cousins Steve and Linda with daughter Jenny. Famous Cellist!!!!!

Link to album here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pay it forward


IMG_2328
Originally uploaded by katymac79
Best thing about a lot of folks in Nordskogen having babies is they can share. Lynea passed this on to Mary when Walker outgrew it and it fits perfectly on Niamh. CUTE!

Birthday goodies

Yay! It's just what I wanted!!!!! P got me a 4 port hub to hook up to my laptop from Think Geek. I haven't plugged it in yet, but it's supposed to light up and make the materialization noise. Sweet!

I also got Season 2 of Robot Chicken!!!

Everything was wrapped so pretty I didn't want to open it. Yay presents this morning and knitting and beer tonight!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Knitters Guild

I brought a plate of Lefse for the guild meeting, donated a skein of the Tibet wool/ silk yarn and won 2 of the auctions.

I was the high bidder on the Favorite Socks from Interweave Knits ($9).
I also won a kit for making Ruddy the Reindeer ($4). It's wicked cute!
It was worth the traffic to get to the meeting. I also checked out the coffee shop across the street from the Textile center. It is open til 11 and is a very nice shop. It would be a great place to sit for a bit after the monthly meeting, although we would need to vie for space from the students from campus. It was very busy at 9 pm last night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Things I learned about New York City

In no particular order:

1) Everything is decorated at this time of year. I never got sick of all the lights. Lights on trees, lights on buildings, lights in store windows. I especially appreciated the smell of chocolate pumped onto the street by the Sony Store. Yummy. I also loved the giant red bow on the Cartier Store.

2) It's difficult to grasp how huge this place is. I think there are more and taller buildings in Queens than there are in downtown St Paul.

3) I loved that Christmas trees and Menorahs were arranged together and the end caps at the CVS was dedicated to each holiday.

4) The traffic is composed of 80% taxi cabs, 5% cars from Manhatten, 5% cars from New Jersey and 10% carriages and pedicabs.

5) People are really friendly in New York, but they move fast, especially at the deli.

6) I could get a slice of pizza or a slice of cheesecake within 2 blocks of our hotel 24 hours a day.

7) Children are up at all hours in this city.

8) I saw people wearing a LOT of knitwear, and most of it looked hand knit.

9) The crowds at Rockefeller Plaza are massive.

10) Despite the fact that there are signs posted with a speed limit no one follows them, as proved when our taxi zipped down 71st at 50 miles an hour between parked cars on either side of the street. I'm just glad I was not in the front seat.

11) Red lights are optional, as shown when the M5 went through 6 of them in a row on our way to 34th street.

12) Purchasing a metro card is the best investment of $7.50 you will ever make. Mpls/ St Paul could learn a lot from NYC Metro Transit by putting up route info at ALL their bus stops.

13) A gentleman wearing a thoub, gutrah and ogal has no interest making small talk with the woman in the plane seat next to him.

14) Jenny has become an amazing musician! I was completely entranced by her performance.

15) The Vienna Boy's Choir should stick to traditional arrangements and leave out the "salute" to modern music by singing "Bridge over troubled water", "Stormy weather" and "New York New York". It's just wrong.

16) Doris Roberts wears a LOT of make-up in person.

17) Central Park is massive. There are tons of little parks, green spaces and playgrounds all through the city.

18) There are a lot of dogs in the city and people are pretty good at cleaning up after them. Wish I could say the same for the horses.

19) Garbage is collected every night in the city and there are bags and bags of garbage along every street, every night.

20) The temp in NY was going to reach 61 degrees on the day I was flying home to -5 degrees in St Paul.

21) No one in my family eats during the day and I cannot start my day with nothing but coffee. I get pretty cranky by the time we get to the Met.

22) Street vendor hot dogs make a pretty tasty mid-day snack and the pastrami at the Carnegie deli is fantastic! One of their cheesecakes weighs more than my cat.

23) There is no such thing as a bottomless cup of coffee in New York.

24) If you take a cab it will cost you $10 minimum no matter the distance.

25) They still use traditional gas lamps at John Lennon's apartment building where he was killed. (72nd and Central Park West)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Koolhaus hat


koolhaus hat
Originally uploaded by Valkyr8
I was hoping I could stretch this out a bit when i washed it, but it's still too snug for my liking. I guess I get to re-knit it.

G's Bruise


glove palm
Originally uploaded by Valkyr8
Setti dyed this yarn and shared it with me. She was inspired by the awesome shiner that I got in May when I stopped my bike with my face. Fun.

I wasn't sure if I had enough to make socks so I decided to knit a pair of gloves. I have one done and the ribbing for the second finished.

Rib Scarf


rib scarf
Originally uploaded by Valkyr8
Done, and about 7' long. Love it!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Holiday Baking



I started my holiday baking early so I can do a little each week and not everything all at once.

I love baking in the new kitchen, there is SO much room!



I can't believe that I made that small kitchen work in St. Paul.



Look at the beautiful space for my lefse griddle!!! I have about 3x's the counter space in the new kitchen.



I baked up a whole bunch of goodies on Friday. I was making enough items so I could have a decent mix of stuff for some gift bags on Saturday. I gave them out to my neighbors and friends.

I made biscotti.



Homemade caramels



Molasses cut out cookies.



A batch of fudge with pecans.



Everything got packaged up in these cute little cellophane bags along with some store bought chocolate.



I also baked 4 loaves of Anna's bread. Yum!



On Sunday I baked up 2 batches of lefse with Rachel. I batch was perfect and the half of the other batch was wierd. I made them at the same time but I don't know what was different. I think I was just shy a full cup of cream for the one batch. We went to Caribou and 3 Kittens after baking. I bought a new knitting book and a pattern for a lace scarf. It has beads on the edge so I'm going to need to find the perfect bead for this project.

I finished my scarf Sat.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Slippery slope

I started off the Fall so well. My stash was pretty low, I had a set number of projects that I wanted to make, I had cast on my cardigan and had finished the back and started the sides, I finished a pair of socks, and I had some ideas for holiday gifts.

It's all gone pear shape.

I usually have 1, maybe 2 projects on the needles. I finish one thing at a time. When I buy yarn it's for something that I'm working on right now, or working on in the future. It's rare that I buy yarn and then cast on right away for a spur of the moment project. I currently have 4 projects on the needles and I am uninspired by all of them and now I'm knitting a scarf.

A scarf.

I don't knit scarves. I hate knitting scarves. I'm loving this scarf. I cast on last night and I have knit 4' of scarf. It is gorgeous, it is beautiful, I just want to knit scarves.

I blame Stephanie.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A head start

I decided to get a head start on my baking. My reason for starting now is to have a small selection of goodies available to make treat bags for the 6th, St Nicholas Day.

Tuesday night I made the following: 1 batch of caramels, dough for almond biscotti and dough for molasses cookies. I also started a sponge for Anna's Whole Wheat bread and baked a loaf of No Knead bread.

I also fried some potato pancakes made from leftover mashed potatoes, which were fabulous and had nothing to do with the baking. We ate them with leftover turkey and gravy, applesause, and sour cream. YUM!

I bought a bunch of eggs and flour, but I'm running low on butter and sugar so I'll need to stock up tonight. Friday is when I start baking the dough I've prepared. I'll also make a batch of fudge and some pressed cookies.

Sunday I'm making lefse with a friend. It will be a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thank yous

I received a lovely card from Meals on Wheels thanking me for my donation of potholders. That was a nice treat.

I dropped off the rest of my charity knitting at the Yarn Garage on Sunday so now all of it is turned in. A good thing too as they were low on mittens and I was dropping off 3 pair. That was a good drop in my stash.

I'm currently looking through my stash to see what I could contribute to the stash swap at the MKG meeting on the 16th. I also need to put together a plate of goodies for the buffet as well.

I started the decreases on my Koolhaus hat last night and I should be finished shortly. Tonight I'm going to make carmels. I want to make up goodie plates in time for St Nicholas day on Saturday so I can hand out treats to neighbors and friends. I also need to buy a gift for DJ. Borders here I come!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Traveling

I'm headed to New York in 10 days (really? Yikes!). I have not been on a plane for 7 years (really? That sucks!) I'm traveling with my family to see my cousin's daughter's cello recital, and enjoy the city with all the pretty decorations.

We will be there for 4 days and the recital is our only commitment. I'm planning to catch the English Embroidery exhibit at the Bard Graduate Center. I need to e-mail them to see if I need reservations, or if the exhibit is open on Saturday, which is when I plan to go. I probably will go to the Met as well to see the Art and Love in Renaissance Italy exhibit. Naturally we plan to go to Rockefeller center and see the tree and probably eat someplace very nice for dinner. Maybe some shopping, but just a little.

I'm trying to decide what to bring on the trip for knitting. I'm working to finish my Koolhaus hat and I have a pair of gloves started. I have some yarn that would be perfect for a scarf. I have tons of sock yarn and the TSA has been fine with knitting needles, as far as I am aware. Well if anything goes haywire I know there are yarn shops in NY. Can't wait!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Charity Knitting

I completed a number of items for charity over the last week. I made 3 hats for "Get Set for Winter", which is the Minnesota Knitter's Guild Fall charity. I didn't get any pictures as I finished the last hat in a flurry and handed it over to Steven at the meeting on Tuesday. I did complete 3 pairs of mittens to go with the hats on Sunday.



I'll get them to Steven at the next meeting in December. It's the annual potluck and I'm thinking of bringing lefse, but I'm thinking some cookies could be nice too.

I had some of the worsted yarn left over from the mittens so I knit a simple square for Warm Up America. I'll turn that over in December as well.

I read on Ravelry that Meals on Wheels is in need of potholders (they are trying to collect 800 by Christmas) and I thought that would be the perfect use for the skein of Wool Ease Chunky in my stash, and it was. I completed 5 over the weekend and I think they turned out really nice. I'm putting them in the mail today.

Holiday decorating

I repurposed my containers from the tomato plants to create some holiday decorations for the front of the house. I purchased a bunch of greens from Southview Garden Center and used the branches that I relieved from the dogwoods and created 4 arrangements.

I think they turned out really nice and probably will be my only "tree" for the holiday. I added some lights to the bunch and they add a nice soft glow in the evening.



I picked up the lights from Menards and they are solar. The small panel charges during the day and the lights come on once the sun goes down.



The lights are LED and are spec'd to last for 10 years. I love the fact that I don't have to think about turning them on or off and I don't have to pay for the electricity. The light set was about $15 each, but I don't think it's that bad. They do not give off a lot of light, just a soft blue glow, which I think is very pretty.

I purchased a couple new feeders for the front yard, but so far the birds have ignored them.



The stocking holds thistle seed and the log holds suet and is made out of recycled plastic. I set up my second bird bath in the front yard near the feeders, but no luck so far. I was hoping to attract some birds to amuse Lenny when he sits in the window and looks out.

Monday, November 17, 2008