Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time is flying by!

I just cooked my favorite meal in the world, Thanksgiving feast! I very much love to cook this meal; I get up very early, slip on my walking shoes (for support) and begin the business of chopping and dicing. Making the stuffing, a favorite of mine. I use my mom’s recipe and dearly love not only the flavor, but the memories of Thanksgivings past, when my whole family was one and we would sit down to a fabulous meal prepared by my mom.

Remembering when my brother Ian ate a whole pumpkin pie, and the times we would drive my dad crazy with the fingers running around the rims of our wine glasses, making the (annoying) humming noise. The smells in the house with the turkey in the oven, I even miss the mad woman my mom would become when she got on her cleaning jag just before any major holiday. But alas, families do not always stay close and these are only memories.
For the past 12 years I have been making new memories with my husband, the turkey wrestler, he always helps me get the bird into the sink for his final bath, pats him down and helps me prepare him for stuffing and roasting. This year my turkey came out beautiful, the stuffing perfect, and dessert was delightful. I made the Pumpkin Pie Crunch, you can Google that if you like, I topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of homemade cranberry with orange sauce. I think this is my new holiday tradition! It was pretty, tasty and above all, stress free.

Recently my life has been a bit rough; my mom had another stroke and spent about 3 months in a rehab hospital. She is home now and doing really well, albeit, we have a new normal around Casa Clarkson, but taking care of her is not the hard or rough part. I realize I’m still not ready to talk about it, but it has made my life really difficult and made my heart very heavy. Family can be the best, bar none, and it can be the worst, bar none. What I am thankful for this thanksgiving is my loving and supportive husband, and that my mom is still with me and still has her mind and humor.

Go forth and be thankful!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cha, cha, changes...

So sorry that I have been MIA, but this past few months has been a trial for me. I'm back and plan on trying to write each week at the very least. I have had some life changing events in my life recently. I'm likely to discuss these things here and there, but for a bit I still need to keep them to myself.

I have been busy knitting socks, they are such a portable project... I don't know what I was so afraid of for so long, but now I love knitting them. I picked up some Patons Stretch Socks in color way, Kelp. I think this color should have been named Sand and Surf, or Sunny day at the Beach... Light blue, sea blue, sand color and pale green... really pretty color way.

I've also been cooking and planning my Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite meal to prepare, I think it's the tradition of it. Remembering my mom in the kitchen cooking and all the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen... She would make cornbread and cashew stuffing... I never liked stuffing until she started making it... now I love stuffing! I have changed tradition a bit, I don't make mashed potatoes anymore, I roast up a bunch of winter root veggies. So yummy and fantastic when you add the leftovers to the turkey soup... I'm just saying...

Well that's it for today...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Busy as a Bee!

I have not written in my blog for some time, I have not been unfaithful, just really busy. Lots of stuff going on, lots of good stuff, and some stuff, not so good. We will gloss over the bad and just concentrate on the good stuff. I have embraced a new to me view of life, in my new view, I choose each day, to be happy, regardless of what outside forces try to make your day. Join me if you like, it feels pretty good.

Spring was fantastic and busy! Mom and I attended the Machine Knitting Guilds retreat at the Sonoma Orchid Inn. We relaxed, visited, knit, ate and generally had a great time. Mom had a lovely time visiting and getting to know some of our guild members. I actually began and finished a sweater over the weekend. I brought along some yarn that I found on Ebay a few years ago. It’s now a lovely sweater that mom and I both wear!

I finished a UFO! Woo hoo! The apricot cable sweater is finished! I had purchased the yarn from a yarn shop in San Carlos in the early 90’s. The yarn is/was Kitten by Reynolds. In 2001, I started the sweater from a Pingoin pattern magazine I had. I love those Pingoin patterns from France, they seem to be somewhat timeless in design. Anyway, I started it and stopped, the reason for the stop after finishing the back and nearly both of the fronts is that I was looking for the yarn needed to finish it, I was sure I had misplaced the remainder of the yarn, I just couldn’t think where. Skip ahead to 2008, I find the sweater and think, well, how many balls of yarn am I looking for? I count the balls used so far and realize that there are no more balls of yarn and after all that work, it looks like I’m stuck with part of a sweater.
I had just joined Ravelry and found a place you could put a call out for some yarn. I’m thinking what do I have to lose, so I put my call out and in comes several replies for the same yarn in the same color… enough to finish the sweater if I blend what I have left and what I found. That brings us to present day, the sweater is finished and I have actually worn it. It is warm and will not be wearing it again till next fall but at least it’s done.

More spring activity to tell you about. Mom and I were also lucky enough to attend a Wool dyeing workshop. We had three fabulous days with fun people, wool, knitting and lots of color. We couldn’t have had a better time, surrounded by all things we love. The wool I dyed turned out wonderful and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to set up my own dye space in the back yard where mom and I can hand paint yarn till our hearts content.
This is the swatch I knit for February Lady, from the yarn I hand painted at the wool dying work shop this spring. I'm actually done with the sweater, and will share it with you in a later post.
I'm telling you, we had a very busy spring, we also attended a bowling event in Reno Nevada, I will tell you that story another time, but to give you a hint, a good time was had by all, even Taggart. Mom had a wonderful visit with Glenn and Kate, giving Lee and I some time to get our DIY projects at least started around the house.
In closing, the bad stuff is still brewing, and I'm still choosing to be happy wish me luck.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Knit One Below and Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts;

A few items came to mind this morning that I wanted to take the time to share. I met a lady on Ravelry, we share some items in common and in our exchange of emails, she told me about her book club, and the books she was reading. I mentioned that I wish I had time to read, that is when she told me about her Ipod and audio books. What a concept, I went in search of my own MP3 player. I did some research and found that I liked the Creative Zen X-Fi 8GB. I have listened to several books already; Angels and Demons, Bone Garden, and now I'm listening to Choices. I now have time to read while doing things, I must admit I am really enjoying the abilty to read some of the many books that I have wanted to read.

Knit One Below samples;

I'm afraid that the photos don't really show the depth of color that the sample in person shows, but this is the best I can do at this point. I think I mentioned that I bought the book titled "Knit One Below". I did some samples, I showed one a few weeks ago with the blues and greens, knit in the two strand method. This sample is also knit with merino wool in varigated colors of rich autum colors, golds, and greens and some caramel colored mohiar from my extensive stash in the single strand method.

I'm so impressed with the feel of the knitted fabric and the colors are so amazing in this sample. The two yarns used beautiful all on their own, but together the colors are richer and the size of the stitch seems to show off the beauty of the yarns, each stitch almost looks like a different color of yarn was used.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's Spring!

I think spring has sprung, or at least on my front porch it has. I found daffiodil bulbs on sale at WalMart in January, like 2 bucks a bag of 12 bulbs so we planted them in to a couple of pots. Once they bloomed, we moved them to the porch. I call Daffiodils smiles on a stem, how can you look at one and not want to smile...

I have a very small collection of garden bunnies, I'm always on the lookout for more, I love to nestle them in around my potted plants. I used to have a real bunny named Harvey, a lovely little mini lop. I now have this thing for bunnies and since I have too many sheepies, bunnies are out. So I now look for little garden variety bunnies found at your local Ross or Marshalls.

Here is a little tease! A sample of some yarns I'm using for a baby sweater that I'm currently working on publishing for you to all enjoy. It's a quick little knit for the baby in your family or that will be arriving soon. Be patient it will be done soon.

It's spring and time for the kids to get clipped. Here is my lovely little boy, this morning he followed me out to the living room while I sipped my coffee he stared at me. I'm guessing he wanted me to fix his breakfast... so sorry Taggart, but this is my quite time, the only time that I get on the weekends to just sip my coffee and work on my patterns or knitting or like this morning, I was finishing up my audio book. I must admit, he looks so damn cute.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Who Knew?

I was on line the other day, and looking thru online book stores... New World Books, and Alibris are two of my favorites, I love used books... but I digress. Anyway, I saw and bought a book, Knit One Below. The concept sounded interesting. It is, the book arrived a week ago and I have been playing with the concept, some with single yarns, and some with two yarns.... I was first using some inexpensive acrylic. While I was playing around, the idea struck me...

I have all this beautiful mohair, and it's like, what was I thinking? I can't wear fuzzy mohair sweaters for so many reasons, one is that I'm not a thin, tiny person, also, I hate to be over heated... but then there is the issue of my many, many mohair purchases over the years. I'm telling you, I have some mohair. You can probably imagine what it would be like for an adict when they see their drug of choice... then you can imagine what happens when I see mohair. As an artist, I think it is the color saturation that you get with mohair, even with light colors, the color is still saturated without being dark or muddy. So back to the concept with Knit One Below. I took the mohair in the photo above and then looked (yes at Stitches) for a complementary yarn to knit with it....

Is this merino just perfect or what? So I swatched to see if they would indeed come out and indeed they did or at least I think the combo is amazing. I'm not sure what I will do, a sweater or a what. Oh, look at the next photo and check out my swatch...

I think I'm in love... the swatch feels so good and I get to use my mohair and it's soft and has a minimal halo from the mohair, I think I can wear this.....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crock full of love!

Crock Pot Love……mmmmmm

In my efforts to become more efficient and have more time to knit, I have enlisted the use of my crock pot. When I first hauled it out, I had no idea what to cook, how long to cook, how much liquid to add, what temperature to cook, essentially I had no idea of what to do with it, I only knew that I needed to use it to be more time efficient.

My first foray was pot roast, I had never much liked pot roast, but thought my husband and mom would enjoy it, so I tried it. With much success, even I liked the results. I made several of these and then I tried chicken stew, as I don’t much like beef stew but do like stewed poultry. Again, much success, so I tried my version of Mexican chicken. That one blew the socks off of everyone! So last night after several meals of poached salmon (it was on sale), I decided to make my Mexican Chicken except with beef…. So here goes.

1 2 to 3lb chuck roast
1 Jar Southwest Salsa (you pick the heat) I used mild
1 Lg. can diced tomatoes, all the liquid
1 can black beans, all the liquid
1 cup frozen corn
1 Pk. Burrito seasoning

Dump all the ingredients into the crock pot and put on high for 6 hours.

Serve with steamed flour tortillas, and taco fixings; shredded lettuce, sour cream, shredded cheese, onions, cilantro, diced avocado and tomatoes.

Came out really yummy and probably will make about 8 meals

The cost per meal came out to around $2.75 per.