Friday, October 26, 2012

New toys...

I know, I know, I know...I should be posting. Sorry....wait until you see what I've been up to!

Ready?????????????? I've been playing with some new 'toys'.
 So much faster!!!!!!!
 So  much easier....
So much bigger!

I have been having a blast! Even if I've done so many tomatoes that it gave me a trigger thumb, put me in a brace and kept me from knitting! OH NO! But not to worry....I've been doing my stretches and behaving and I'm back to knitting. 
 I grew some of this....
 and a few of these....
 made some stewed tomatoes...
 tomato garden juice
spaghetti sauce...
 Used some chicken broth and stewed tomatoes to make some chicken tortilla soup...
Today I made some more applesauce...
 I started with 1 C apple cider, 12 #'s of cortland and Macintosh apples, and 4 tbl of lemon juice. Cook it down gently and water bath for 20 minutes. No water, NO SUGAR! My best taste tester, MOM, said, "this is very good!" Now, you can't get a better review than that! 

I wanna try it with cinnamon and fresh cranberries, too. 

For coming to the 'table' late, I think I'm doing pretty well at filling up the shelves. 
 This whole process started with the gift of some really, really good raspberries!
Nothing like fresh, straight from the garden raspberries!
Plopped into a pot....
And turned into something soooooooooo freakin' good I'd have licked the pan had it not been so hot!
 But I waited for it to cool first. And that will be the last time I've used wax on jam. I have learned a lot!
Which led into the tomatoes (that take freakin' longggggggggggggggggggggggggggg when you're making spaghetti sauce, which is worth the whole four hours to cook them down giving you time to work on some knitting....)
 And more knitting while reading new canning books while waiting for the pressure canner to be finished in time to...
 eat cupcakes with...
the Tiger's biggest fan. Now, if they can just put a few more games in the win column! Yep...we can multitask here with the best of 'em these days...

The best part of the new canning life around here, is the ability to limit and remove sugar and chemicals from so many things I had no idea the grocery store puts in. Unbelievable! Mom's sugar levels are really good these days! So, yes, we let her have one-and only one of the little cupcakes in celebration of the start of the World Series! And now we're back to veggies, veggies, veggies! And stevia in the jam. And nothing in the applesauce. Yippee!!!!!!!! Here's to healthy dinners and no more trigger thumbs! (Take that tomatoes....your days are numbered! ahahhahaha)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Mother's Wish 5K

 Just a quick update, I'm a 'bit' tired and really should be sleeping already. I went on another 5K walk today. It supported A Mother's Wish program.  Click on that link and learn more about how you can help.
 They gave us all T-shirts and a back pack/duffle in pink today. Cute?
 Here's a quick shot inside the Lake Orion High School as everyone was heading out the door.
 As 5K walkers, my friend Mary and I were at the back of the huge group. But here was our vantage point as we headed for the start line behind the group.
 And we were right about to hit the finish line at this point.
 Can you see why I was walking?

Here's a closer look!
And here's more reasons for other walkers and runners.

It was a good day.

 Now, it's time for some quick sleep. Until next time!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gauge Matters, boys and girls! And Stitch and Pitch

 Here's a couple of pairs of socks I've been working on. Before Webs showed a couple of gauge swatches on FB the other day I was conducting my own show and tell.
 Here are three pairs of socks knit from the same pattern (Island Fudge Socks by Phyll Lagerman), all knit by me with different sized needles, but with the same number of cast on stitches and the same number of rows. Right down to the toes.
 The newest socks are knit in Cascade Heritage, with Addi lace turbos 2 circs 2 at a time, 2.25mm @9sts/inch.
 These were knit also with Cascade Heritage with Addi lace Turbos 2.5mm-2 circs, 2 at a time @ 7.75 sts/inch.
 These are the first socks I'd knit for Mom back in 2010 with Brown Sheep Wildfoote  using Lantern Moon's double points, (US) 2, 2.75mm @ 7 sts/inch. Back when I was blindly following sock patterns without knowing that I need to drop needle sizes like a hot rock to make them fit. Live and learn.
 Top to bottom laid flat, the yellow sock measures 4.25".
 Turquoise measures 3.625" top to bottom, laid flat.
 The Fushia sock measures 3.25" laid flat, top to bottom. See? gauge changes with a different size needle, or tension per knitter and the type and brand of yarn. So...will you knit a gauge swatch? Or will you need to change the size of needles to make your knits fit differently?
 Gotta say, as much as I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee my lantern moon double point needles for knitting socks, knitting two socks at a time on circulars (24" length works well for two at a time, fyi), is becoming a fast favorite over here. They go fast, you certainly knit them identically the same length so you know they're going to match...and they may just may be a little bit faster. I think it's great to have choices. I'm thinking two at a time on circs would have saved the guy sitting behind me on the last flight from having a double point take a flying leap into his lap. that wasn't embarrassing trying to retrieve that one!
 In the mean time...I took my Go Blue socks for a football game to the place where they were knitted to be!
 But that's not the only place were I've been taking the hand knit socks.
 I finally had the chance to go to a Stitch and Pitch! Mom, my daughter and her boyfriend all hit the road down to Comerica Park on September 23. We had a blast! See that green stuff sack? Nice, 'eh? Made by Rugged Mountain. That was our 'goody bag' for signing up for tickets through the Stitch and Pitch promotion. It's the perfect size for a pair of socks underway! 
 They also put in a container of tick tacks, 4 samples of eucalan. I like that, too!
 Check out this note pad, too! Thanks Black Sheep Knitting Guild! Thank you very much!
 While there, I was working on the fushia sock and another watch cap using up some encore stash I have here.
 Then came time for the Kiss Cam...
Don't know who they are, but aren't they cute?
Recognize the socks? They kept my toes toasty warm! Those were made from Opal Prisma in August.
Mom was singing during the 7th inning stretch!
We had a great time. Thank you Black Sheep Knitting Guild and Detroit Tigers! I always wanted to get Dad to let me take him to a game in the 'new' stadium. Sadly he wouldn't go, but the day before his 1 year, we took Mom and talked about how he loved his Tigers. It was a good day.

On a side note, Mom isn't crocheting anymore. But see the afghan on her lap? It's one she made for my Dad years ago for a secret Christmas gift. I remember her flying up from her chair when he would come home earlier than expected so she could keep it hidden from it. It worked! And he used it for many years. It was a good tie into the promotion and to bring Dad's memory with us one more way. Too bad Dad's Tiger's hat was too small. I wanted to wear it, but my big old fat head, just wouldn't fit into it. shuckers.
 Check out what came in today's mail. How do you like this for a new project bag!
 Has a nifty cord stop....
 Two loops. The inside one is for your yarn to thread through to keep it from tangling, and it snaps shut in case you want to take it out...The outside one also unsnaps to put around your wrist, or thread through your belt loop, etc...or attach your keys...
 The best part? It's a fundraiser for Alzheimer's!
 Thank you Loopy Ewe for carrying these and helping to aid research. From the bottom of my heart.
 Oh, did I mention, it comes in other colors, too! Again, rip stop nylon. So if you know someone who "GASP" isn't a knitter, maybe they need a stuff sack for other things. Like winter hand knitted items while they're skiing, or snowmobiling...or summer stuff at the beach...or, or, or....they still have some orchid bags in the small size for Alzheimer's in stock.  Mine is the large size.
So, until next time...but for now...I have some more socks to knit.