2.27.2011

Cropped Cardi Spells Danger


Because I knit so slowly, it seems that I have multiple posts about the same item, and not a lot of posts until I make any sort of progress. Oh well.
The Cropped Cardigan is complete. In this photo it wasn't blocked. I have blocked it since. It didn't fit perfectly. There was a huge gap in the back, and despite how great it looked open on Ravelry, the open look did not suit me. So, I sewed in two darts in the back and I also attached a button on the bottom. As I told my sister-in-law as I was finishing up the "fitting" of it, I'll probably wear it about three times before I send it to Goodwill. *sigh* I'll try to get at least one picture of me wearing it before it disappears completely...
Been doing some adventures in sewing lately, and will hopefully have a post on baking tomorrow.

2.14.2011

Microbes

I don't celebrate Valentine's Day, but since these are vaguely related to the holiday, I thought it'd be a good day to post them.

Aw, heart-shaped boxes. Classic love.






Full of microbes! These guys are the GIANT Microbes; little plushies that are 1,000,000x size of the real thing!


Chlamydia Close Up!



2.13.2011

Cropped Cardi Progress

I almost caved.
It was a looong week that pulled me in every direction but crafting (Monday paperwork + dinner with a friend, Tuesday gym {but didn't go because I felt like crap both physicall and mentall [yay students!]}, Wednesday dentist + dinner with the family, Thursday boyfriend's brother's birthday, and Friday school play).
And this cardigan seemed to get bigger, but at such a slow rate I was getting very bored with the project. I figured if I could only get to the 60 stitches between markers, so I could take the sleeves off...but it never seemed to happen.
My SIL holds my fabric and yarn stash because there simply isn't enough space at my apartment. So I picked out yarn for my next project and took it home.
Mistake! It was extra tempting to switch gears when new, appealing, non-green yarn was staring at me. But I managed to hold my own...

I made the "50%" mark, in my opinion. At a place where the sleeves are now sitting on stitch holders.

Now I just have to work the body, and I'll be pretty much free. Since the sleeves are a cap construction, I think they each need a whopping 6 or so more rows until finished.

Let's hope I can maintain my focus in the future. =)

2.07.2011

A cookie made right

I don't like Snickerdoodles. To me, they're a boring cookie. They're a sugar cookie that thinks it's something more fancy.

At least, I didn't like them. Until I made them with a good recipe. My sister is at school in Boston, and these happen to be her favorite cookies. So instead of going with a random recipe, I pulled out the fancy cookbooks devoted solely to cookies my stepmom gave me. There were rwo recipes from two different books, so I went with the recipe I'd have to do less substituting with.


As it was, I did have to do some substituting. I didn't have molasses, so I swapped it with honey (does anyone else love the "substitution lists" at the end of cooking books? I reference by Better Homes and Gardens one at least once a week). And... no butter. But SmartBalance (not the best substitute as the texture was off and I had to add more flour to compensate). Oh, and no nutmeg alone (I subbed in pumpkin pie spice). The baking time was way off for my batches...more like 9 minutes instead of the 16-18. But, they looked okay.

I figured I had to try one since after all, I did make them.
Fantastic. Totally chewy. Cinnamony but not dominating. Sweet but not nauseating. While they won't be my new favorite cookie, I won't turn them down again (assuming I make them, of course!)


2.06.2011

The Science Teacher Within

...or maybe just the logical portion of my brain hard at work. =P
As previously mentioned, I had bought a  $1 clay pot with a peat pellet and some strawberry seeds to grow. Knowing that seeds need water and "air" (really the oxygen as opposed to the over-abundant nitrogen in our atmosphere),  I placed my little guy on the windowsill. I waited. And waited. And after I week I was getting frustrated. Surely I'd be able to see some small growth by then, right? Nope.

So I picked up my little pot thinking maybe he needed more light, and I noticed he was cold. Really, really cold. In addition to the other things listed above, my brain forgot about the importance of temperature. Even though plants don't have brains, they aren't stupid. They won't grow at certain temperatures because it's basically a suicide mission.

So I took my plant and moved him a whopping 2.5 ft lower on our radiator. And after only 24 hours at an ideal temperature...

Logic wins. Always.

2.05.2011

Knitting Project

Knitting, for me, is a very slow process. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it, but compared to sewing it is exceeding time-consuming.

And, per my new rule, I cannot have more than one object on a set of needles, on a crochet hook, or in the sewing machine at a time. So the projects seem to doubly drag. However, I hope that this will cut down on the number of WIPs and UFOs that seem to grow and grow without actually finishing anything.

So this knitting project, started in January, is Patti Gonsalves's Half-a-Cardi. I found the pattern on Ravelry.

I've got a ways to go. I've only got 40 of the 60 stitches between markers, and am rather quickly running out of room on my needles! However, the "eyelet" portion of the increases at the raglan sleeve area is turning out quite well.




Let's see if I can get this finished by...March! It'd be good for Saint Patrick's Day! =)

2.03.2011

Hope for Spring

Even though the weather has been icky with storms, school closings, ice, wind, and everything else, I do have a little hope for spring in these seedlings. I am typically not the most successful gardner, so I was delighted to actually grow these from seed to the plants they currently are. Also, I have a cucumber plant that is about 6" tall, but not pictured, and a little strawberry seed pot (no growth yet) that I got for $1 at Target. The green keeps me centered on warmer and sunnier days...

Parsley on left and wildflowers on right.


2.02.2011

Making Homemade Pasta

Typically, when I come home I head straight for the couch with papers to grade or other schoolwork to do while watching TV. However, I have come to the realization that it is not that great for my health, and it is contributing to my boredom and belief that "I never have enough time to do the things that I really want to do.

So I decided that at least one day a week, I would specifically abstain from the TV. I'm also trying to go to the gym, but this is more about the other days I am couch-free.

I decided to use this time more productively. I have ambitions about ridding myself from processed food that is relatively simple to make, but my sister-in-law points out that I have yet to do any of the things I mentioned.
So I decided that my first TV-free afternoon would be spent making pasta. My stepmother actually had a pasta machine that she never used, so I took it off her hands last summer and it's been sitting in the box ever since.

But no more! Making pasta by scratch is surprisingly easy and tastes delicious. I used the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, which was very simple to follow. I omitted the optional seasonings for my first batch.


To make it, the recipe calls for
  • 2.5 c all-purpose flour (although I'd now like to try the 00 flour meant for pasta in the future)
  • 1 t dried basil, marjoram, or sage, crushed (optional--I left out for first time)
  • 0.5 t salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 0.33 c water
  • 1 t olive oil
And now for some pictures! I did not take any pictures of the finished product, but I will in the future!