Saturday, November 20, 2010

Binge Knitting

I'm beginning to suspect that 2010 is the year of charity knitting for me. This is not a problem, BTW, except for the 6 pairs of socks I promised to knit for my DH this year. I've gotten ONE pair done.

But I just sent a small box of goodies off to Afghans for Afghans the other day:

I love that I have been doing some serious stash reduction with these projects. I found and used yarn that I had all but forgotten about. The blue stuff and the watermelon striped stuff, for example. They both made beautiful, colorful, and warm socks.

I've been thinking about and discussing charity knitting with friends online and in person, and I have come to the conclusion that charity knitting (especially for an organization like A4A) is a meditation on peace. Each stitch is a wish/prayer for peace. I like that idea. I like it a lot.

I, of course, already have other charity knitting in process. I'll keep on knitting goodies for Afghans for Afghans until they tell me to stop. My wish is that this charity knitting would be completely unnecessary in the very near future, but the realist in me knows better. I will keep knitting and praying for peace for as long as it takes.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Boom, Boom, Boom.....Muffins

Kiddo #3 loves muffins for breakfast, but I don't like buying mixes when I can homebake easily (and get a MUCH better result).

So last night I did a couple batches of Muffins for my Boys (the ones I gave birth to, AND the one I married).

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

And Banana Nut Muffins

Gonna have to make more of those Banana muffins - I only had enough bananas to make one batch. They have a touch of strong coffee in them and it seems to do a trick.

Now I need to find a pumpkin strusel muffin recipe that DOESN'T have cream cheese in the middle (what's up with that).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Charity Knitting holds a special place in the special place in my heart where my love of knitting dwells. I’ve always believed that knitting is a way of expressing love. I don’t knit for just anybody for any reason (although it is well known I need only the tiniest reason to knit something for someone). I knit socks for my husband to show how much I love him. I knit for my sons to surround them with warmth when I can’t be there with them. I knit for new babies to share the joy of their tiny lives with their parents. And, I knit socks for my Sister-in-law’s Mother just to make her happy (and keep her feet warm). But none of this is charity knitting. This is knitting to share my love with those that I love and care about.

But when I pick up my needles to knit socks or mittens or a blanket for Afghans for Afghans, it IS an expression of love, but not for individuals or for little babies. Charity Knitting expresses my love for my fellow humans, for those men, women and children for whom a warm pair of socks, or a blanket means their difficult life in a war torn country will be just a little more comfortable. Granted, pair of socks, or mittens, or a hat isn’t going to bring world peace, but the small comfort they bring may make someone start to believe that there may be hope for the future when there is a knitter far-far away who wanted to share a little bit of the love she shares with her family with someone they will never know.
A warm pair of socks may remind a tired Afghan woman that there is kindness in the world. A blanket may keep her son or daughter warm when they sleep. It may just bring them one day closer to a country at peace.

As I knit, I think about the woman or child who will wear what I’m knitting. How the work of my hands will make their lives just a little easier. With each stitch, I think about peace, justice and kindness, willing a little bit of kindness into each one.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trying to keep up.

Well, in an effort to be more consistent with my blog, I thought I would post some FOs that I have completed in the last week or so.

My productivity has been spurred by the latest Afghans for Afghans campaign: socks, mittens and sweaters for women, children and teens. My oft mentioned Beardsley Memorial Stash is perfect for charity knitting, and the fact that it is almost all worsted wool, provides some pretty satisfying knitting pretty quickly.
These are my first and second pairs of mittens. And the first mittens I've ever knitted. I've made tons of socks, and nearly as many fingerless mitts, but never actual mittens. I think this is mostly because I wouldn't wear mittens on a bet, but that sure's heck not going to stop me from knitting them. The purple ones were finished during "Glee" last night.

Wanna know a secret? I designed these mittens, too! It's a heavily adapted version of the "Cigar" fingerless glove pattern. It's nothing earthshattering, and plain as hell, but the pattern works and the mittens WILL keep the hands of women and children I could never hope to meet warm.

I've also finished a graduation present for one of my "extra sons." OK, so it's nearly November and he graduated from high school in June, but I've been doing a lot of charity knitting, so other stuff has taken a back seat. But it's getting cold, and Alex needs his collegiate hat and gloves. They're in University of Oregon colors (insert nasty OU Duck commment here), other than that, Alex is a really nice kid. The gloves are the Cigar pattern from Knitty and the beanie is a pattern called Zports.

It apparently appeals to the collegiate set, because I've made nearly a half-dozen of them in the past year.

Back to charity knitting!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I haven't posted since early JULY! I am a slug, a non-blogging slug. But I have been knitting. After my crazed sock phase, I entered a crazed shawl phase - that I am still in, I think. Witness my work (in no particular order):

A simple shawl in Kauni. Niiiiiice!

A bit more than 198 Yards of Heaven. The yarn is Berrocco Jenny (sorry folks, discontinued) from the Joan Beardsley Memorial Stash. Usually I don't make things for myself out of the Memorial stash, but this I couldn't resist. Also, the yarn is cotton and rayon, and I didn't think it was properly suited for charity knits (wool-less yarn is not helpful for cold folks).

And then two Mini Mochie Shawlettes, One for me (above) and one for an auction (below). The top one is made from Mini Mochie, and the bottomone is Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock. I love them both, but the one made out of Poems Sock is light, airy and awesome. I will be using this yarn again for shawls (not sold on it for socks, however).

So I suck as a blogger, but I STILL am a very dedicated knitter. Rabid, in fact. Some might say a little out of control. You see, I only post finished objects, my UFO pile is embarassingly large. And try as I might I can't resist a new project. Especially when Afghans for Afghans announces their Fall campaign, and they want more socks and mittens! (the Beardsley Stash is just perfect for pair after pair of mittens). Have I mentioned that I have three, no....four afghans started and NONE of them anywhere near completion? Oh, and the six pairs of socks I promised my husband in 2010 (I'm on pair #2). And the sweater I started for #2 son.....TWO YEARS AGO!

OK, so I have a problem, but I'm having a good time.

P.S. I could have linkied this post up the B-hind, but I really wanted to get something up and tracking down links takes time. BTW, all the shawl patterns are FREE and are available on (I love free!)

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Afghans For Afghans (a worthy organization, if you are not familiar with them already) announced a summer sock knitting campaign in the middle of June. After a wild bout of stash-diving, I have been knitting "plain vanilla" socks with a passion. So much so, I'm not sure I can stop!

The above pair of socks were made from my early knitting days, where I thought cheap self-striping yarns were just "all that."

These two pairs are from some KnitPicks sock yarn that I bought ages ago for a shawl that just didn't pan out, but it makes some awesome warm socks that will warm the feet, and hopefully the heart, of some kid in Afghanistan.
And I even started a FIFTH pair of socks.....Initially, I thought I might keep this pair for myself, cause I really like the way they are turning out, but I have to give them to A4A. That's what the socks are telling me to do. YES, my knitting does talk to me. You act like there is something wrong with that!

Even though the socks are simply knitted, they are giving me a great deal of satisfaction. I am trying out techniques that I've understood for a while, but never tried....afterthought heel, and afterthought leg. I am trying to build up enough confidence to try two at a time, toe-up.

The only problem with this wild spate of sock knitting, is that I PROMISED my husband I would knit him SIX pairs of socks in 2010. I have completed ONE, and the year is slipping away from me.

I know, NEXT pair of socks will be for my hubby.....REALLY!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm Spent!

I got to spend the day making Spent Grain Bread. "Spent"......Not "spelt." Spelt is indeed a grain, but my bread is made from the, well....leftovers of my Darling Hubby's beer-making. Making beer requires grain, once the beer-making is over, the grain is "spent," but far from useless.

Take the grain, spread it out on a cookie sheet and let it dry (it's wet, you see). Once it's mostly dry, you can store it in a zip-loc bag in the freezer until you are ready to make the bread.

So, spent grain, flour, another kind of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, olive oil and warm water, and the usual bread-making magic, and you come up with THIS.....

Warm, and buttery, out of the oven......

And I have three MORE loaves rising right now! Yeah, that's an awful lot of bread, but who cares! Fresh, hot, healthy and HOMEMADE!! This is how you LIVE!!

BTW, I would really like to find a butter churn................

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Where the Hell have I been???

Yeah, Yeah, I dropped off the face of the earth again. It seems to be a habit of mine, and honestly, I'm as annoyed by it as you are. But life, constantly, intrudes. If I had my way, I would knit, watch Doctor Who and play on my computer all day every day. But last time I checked, no one had died and made me God, so I'm stuck with having a job, and trying to balance work, home, family, and yarn all at once. Mea Culpa,

But I've been busy, went to Washington, DC again in May for the REALTOR mid-year meeting and ran all over the place as usual. We took the youngest son with us, so that added a whole new aspect to the adventure. (and prevented us from our usual sojourn to Russia House for vodka, russian beer and foolishness, but oh well, sometimes you just HAVE to act like an adult).

Oh yeah, we did get our picture taken with our local Congressman on the roof of the congressional office building (one of the best views in DC, really).

Back from DC and back into the fray - work, little league, and end of school year activities. The youngest son has been out of school for a week now, and I am not yet motivated to ship him off to grandma's...permanently.....but just a little more newly minted teenaged attitude and I may change my mind.

I have been knitting, however. It is, after all, one of my few attachments to sanity. This is what I've been up to.

I joined a square swap on Ravelry, and I have completed 4 squares so far. I even CROCHETED a square. I know! It shocked me, too!!

I knitted a pair of socks for an elderly friend for her birthday. She loves my handknitted socks, so I try to make her at least one pair a year. Her daughter is hopelessly NON-crafty, so someone has to knit for the poor woman!

I knitted a blanket and some baby hats for the babies who just keep popping up around me. Babies are always worth knitting for, even if you hardly even know them. Baby stuff is just plain FUN to do (and no, I am NOT longing for grandchildren). Actually, I didn't knit just one baby hat, it was more like FOUR, with matching booties, but boy babies just keep showing up and I keep giving everything away, so no pictures! But all the hats pretty much look like the one above.

Also knitted a hat and bootie set for a little girl baby. Picture is crap, sorry. Now bear in mind I don't know anyone with a little girl baby, at the moment, but that has never really stopped me knitting something. A girl baby is bound to show up sometime soon, and I'll be ready!!

And I even finished a pair of socks for ME! Can you believe it for ME! I would be a whole lot more pleased with this accomplishment if I hadn't started them in October of 2008, and just finished them this week. And of course, this week is the first week of summer and sporting brand new pair of hand-knit wool socks is not the most intelligent thing I've done. But hey! They're done, and I LOVE 'EM!

There's other things in the knitting queue, two shawls, two sweaters, two...wait....three.....nope, FOUR afghans....oops...FIVE afghans, and at least two other pairs of socks. But what is a knitter without a list of UFO's a mile long?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Here are my Cinnamon Rolls in their natural state...........................

And after they are enrobed in delicious cream cheese frosting......YUM!

Worship she who is Pioneer Woman!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'll see your Cookies, and raise you a Cola Cake!

My blog-friend - Kniter Bunny - occasionally shares her baking prowess on her blog. Before Christmas it was cinnamon rolls, the other day, it was her own recipe for oatmeal cookies. Now I love my Knitter Bunny , she's an awesome lace knitter, baker and all-round terrific person, but I could not be out done in the baking department. My baking-foo has been strong, lately, whipping up scones, and biscuits that could make you weep, but I decided to reach into the old, family recipes for this one. I give you.......COLA CAKE!

I've had this recipe for a long time, and honestly, I've ignored it. It was one of the recipes I got from my mother-in-law when I joined the family, lo, some 27 years ago. I ignored it, mostly because my MIL has a reputation for having a great recipe, taking it one step too far, and basically futzing the whole thing up.
But I have had two people mention how awesome Cola Cake was in the space of just a couple days. The recipe has been calling to me, and I had to heed the call. This cake is AWESOME, sweet, chocolatey, and fluffy. It has melted marshmallows in the batter! Come on! MARSHMALLOWS!

On another front, I give you the arrival of SPRING!

This is a little lilac bush I planted in our front yard three or so years ago. It was such a little baby when I planted it, that I knew that it would be a couple of years before I would ever get to enjoy any blossoms. Well, it looks like THIS will be the year. Those are little lilac buds! I am SO excited! Lilacs are of of my favorite flowers. We always had lilac bushes in our yard when I was a kid, and have been missing having my own lilacs for a long time. More pics when the blooms are out.

Friday, February 26, 2010


OK, this is a rant that has been building up for a while and it has decided that it needs to come out NOW!!!

I am sick to shit of people bitching and moaning about how awful things are for them. Yes, the economy is not great (it HAS been worse), Yes, the real estate market isn't what it was (but let's face it, the market was way crazy and just a little bit beyond anything resembling reality. Downturn can also mean someone decided that it had gotten just a bit too crazy). Rich people aren't as rich as they were two years ago, and they aren't happy about that (Boo-Hoo, I don't CARE!). And my sons' little spoiled bitch girlfriends can't get mummy and daddy to buy them a new pair of Jimmy Choos.

Get a little perspective people!!! There are people literally DYING for the opportunity to be allowed to learn to read! People who have lost everything they ever owned (and it wasn't much to begin with) in an earthquake that flattened their whole country! We have young soldiers fighting extremism in all forms all over the world, but we can't even get two political parties together in the same room to intelligently discuss healthcare reform. Be grateful that OUR politicians don't settle disagreements between each other by shooting at each other. (Instead, they much prefer implying that the opposing party is helping load the handbasket that the world is going to hell in).

So, I'm going to propose something Amazing, Improbable, and just a little Crazy. Be NICE to each other! Smile. Say "Thank You." Tell someone you appreciate the work they've done. Set aside your pocket change and donate it to a cause you care about (and don't criticize someone if they think another cause is more important to them). Give some one a smile, a compliment, a helping hand. No one person is going to change the world, but if each one of us does one good thing....we can move mountains.

Friday, January 01, 2010

And That Was The Year That Was!

Honestly, I'm not one for a lot of end-of-year contempaltion, but I decided to do a little wrap up, and fortunately, one of my favorite bloggers - Linda - over at All and Sundry does one every year, and I decided to borrow....appropriate....OK, outright STEAL her end-of-year questions. So, here goes.........

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Helped take our company in a whole new direction by going from a fiercely independent real estate company to a franchise member of one of the fastest growing real estate organizations in the world. Have you ever tried to organize a event for 250 people and keep the whole damn thing secret?

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Oh Hell no! It's so embarassing, but no.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?

Did a lot of travelling this year, but none of it out of the country.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

More time for myself!

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 3, 2009. That's the date we launched the rebranding of our real estate company. And it has been a sometimes merry, and sometimes terrifying roller-coaster ride since

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

The launch of the new company. And getting some of our.....ah.....less technologically adept agents to at least try some new tech.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Damn near everything else in my life. Not exercising, not losing weight, not being able to spend enough time with my kids.......

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had two minor foot surgeries this year,
made exercising in 2009 difficult, but 2010, look out!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Uh, really nothing springs to mind..... I tried really hard not to be extravagant this year.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My youngest son's. He's a straight A student and a little musical genius!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My brother-in-law ('nuff said)

14. Where did most of your money go?

College tuition.

15. What did you get really excited about?

The Launch.....this year, it HAD to be all about the launch.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

It Happens by Sugarland

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Overall, it's a toss-up.
– thinner or fatter? 
Fatter, definitely fatter.
– richer or poorer? Poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spend more time with my kids and with my Mom.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Getting frustrated about people who I can't change.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Quietly, at home, with my family. It was very nice.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Only more in love with the Hubby.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Hmmmm, Doctor Who, Castle......

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope, I pretty much hate the same folks, and for pretty much the same reasons.

24. What was the best book you read?

29 Gifts

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

My youngest son. It still blows me away that he's musical!

26. What did you want and get?

My DH bought me a spinning wheel for xmas! Now I just have to learn how to use it.

27. What did you want and not get?

A quiet vacation by myself.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Star Trek??

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I had to accompany my DH to a meeting in Wenatchee, and I turned 48. Woo-Hoo.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If more people would have faith in my husband's vision. I KNOW it always comes out the way he plans. It really does.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Any day I didn't have to wear spanx was a good one.

32. What kept you sane?


33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Hmmmm, David Tennant, of course.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Renewal of the first time home buyer tax credit AND Equality for gay marriage.

35. Who did you miss?

My #2 son when he went to college

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Probably Sherry Chris.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Believe, believe, believe, even if others question your vision.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Ain't no rhyme or reason
No complicated meaning
Ain't no need to over think it
Let go laughing

Life don't go quite like you planned it
We try so hard to understand it
Irrefutable, indisputable
Fact is it happens

So that's it friends. My 2009. Seems like a lot of people are eager for 2010. Hopefully, that means we are done with all this negative crap. I know I am.

Let's get out there and kick some butt!!!!