Tuesday, October 30, 2007

he's back

Husband is back. I did not realize how easy is was to sleep without the snoring until about 2AM.

Husband said that his Mom was shipping him stuff that would not fit in his suitcase. He had to have room for the tortillas! You can not get him within an hour of Quatro Milpas without eating. Las Quatro Milpas is the oldest, best kept San Diego eating secret. I imagine the neighborhood scares off most tourists, it is in Bario Logan. If you want the real deal, this is the place.

So there are stacks of tortillas on the counter. I think this will be a Black Bean Soup night. I have made many pots of black bean soup, but this one is my absolute favorite. It came out of the Seattle Times and never fails.

Van's Black Bean Soup

I cup olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound back beans, soaked in water overnight
~~I partially cook in the pressure cooker instead of soaking~~
2 meaty ham hocks
~~no ham hocks for me~~
32 ounces chicken broth
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 ounces tomato paste
juice of one small lemon
1/4 dry sherry
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

You can probably figure it out from here. Oil in the pot, onions then garlic, saute 10ish minutes. Beans then chicken broth then spices and herbs. Bring to a biol. simmer until tender, 1 -2 hours. Add brown sugar, tomato past lemon juice, simmer 15 minutes. Stir in sherry and Dijon. Ta da!

Friday, October 26, 2007

no camera

Husband took the digital camera to San Diego, so no pics of the new fiber entering the house this weekend.

Here is a pic I took yesterday

This is going to be plyed into sock yarn. I am loving the colors and how they are spinning up. I am not so sure about the fiber itself. I do not know what the actual content is and the dyer cut (!!!) the roving. It arrived in a big braid with the ends cut! That means I have to pull out the cut ends before I do anything else, which wastes fiber and makes me cranky. On top of it all I can see spots in the middle of the fiber where it was cut and stacked. I do not want to put anyone out of business, but I will not be purchasing from them again. Back to colors....white, dark grey, light blue and bright blue. LOVE the colors.

I received a new Loopy Ewe order. I ordered more Shibui. This color is everything I hoped it would be. I need to get more. My mother in law will need some in her Christmas package. And then there is Oceanwind Knits. It is SO soft. This side of cashmere soft. I have Vancouver Island and it is amazing. Be sure to pick some up as soon as it is restocked.

Now that the holiday knitting is all but done I have cast on for a lace wrap. Baltic Sea Stole to be exact. I have begun this pattern before but had the wrong gauge. Luckily I put a sticky note on the pattern and I was able to start right in with the right size needles and the stitch count all figured out. I have such a hard time doing lace in this busy house. But I have a long term goal, of being able to hand everyone who is out on the deck when the sun begins to set, a wrap to keep them warm. It is good goal. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

The next lace pattern I need to purchase is the Wild West Lace Shawl. Youngest Daughter is going to love this. If I give it to her for her 18th birthday I have a few years to get it done. I will need everyday day.

Are there enough links to make up for the lack of pictures?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

fiber filled weekend

This morning routine of mine really has become a routine. I get up around 6, turn on the tea kettle, grab the laptop, bring it and tea back to bed. I work on a no look project while I read the days news. It is glorious and wonderful.

I used to start my days by dealing with the email. All the stuff that people needed to me deal with. I was stressed out before my kettle even boiled. Now it is all good.


Shibui Knits with Koigu toes. Size 2 needles. One done with DP's one begun on DP's and finished with circs. Interweave Knits Father and Son socks.

The finishing of Husband's socks means that I am able to return to my Fleece Artist socks. SO pretty, I just love going around and around while admiring the colors.
Oh how I love spinning. This is on its way to becoming 2 ply sock yarn.

This week the new STR club will ship. I was not at all excited until I figured out that there will be something from the new Ravens line in there. Now I can not wait!

This week will also bring a Loopy Ewe order, a Dragon Fibers order, probably the new Spunky Fiber Club order and possibly a set of Harmony needles. The cherry on top? Husband heads out of town Thursday morning. That means a totally fiber filled weekend. I hope the kids have plans because I will be busy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


We are originally from San Diego. We have family and friends still there and things do not look good. Some of them have already been evacuated, the ones who live outside the city. As of now the city proper is safe. But all of Michael's brothers and his mom live on a canyon. I am checking the web updates frequently. I let them know if they need to get out they should head this way. There is always room for more.

There were fires the last summer we lived in So Cal. Whenever you were outside there was ash drifting all around you. It was so sad to think that this is what is left of peoples homes.

The first time I remember that experience I was young, 10ish. The sky was grey and the ash covered the ground.

Cross your fingers. Those people need some luck right now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

dragon fibers

For the spinners out there...Dragon Fibers has just restocked her site. Her stuff is a joy to spin. Keep your hands off the Spooky, it is all mine! OK, she'll make you more if you ask.

Tonight I was at the computer, working on schools for Youngest Daughter when I heard Youngest Son ask Husband where I was. Husband replied, "She is in her cube." This made me laugh. I never thought of my work space as a cube. I feel like I have it pretty good. My desk is large, in front of a glass wall, and has a view of the Puget Sound. Then it occurred to me that Husband also has a desk with a glass wall, on the 13th floor with a view. We are both pretty damn lucky.

The school search is winding down and doing well. The local high school (nickname Edmonds Weedway) is coming along. We have some on the street interviews to conduct, it all looks good at this point.

The saddest news of the day? I broke a needle. My long time friends, the set I have made more socks with than I can count. It is tragic. Not in the grand scheme of things, but it feels tragic for me. These needles have been with me for years. I love them. They have made an embarrassing large number of socks.

Last night I placed an order with Loopy Ewe. This afternoon I emailed Sheri asking her to throw a set of #2 needles into my box. SO sad.

There is knitting progress. Tomorrow there will be pictures.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

why is it so hard?

Homeschooling is WAY easier than dealing with the government school bureaucracy. OMG it is insane! Everything we have looked at and tried is painfully out of reach. Yeah they talk a good game, "school choice". HA! It is like that line in Cinderella when the stepmother says ,"I said IF." With the if being something that can not be obtained. Oh, and it turns out that an enrollment for the fall of 2008 should have been begun in January of 2007. Deer in the headlights.

OK, time to shake it off for the morning.

Husband's Log Cabin Socks are done. Yipee! I guess I did not save the picture. Rememebr the picture of the first finished sock? The second one looks just like it.

Husband also requested more brown socks.

This is truer to the actual color. Shibui feels very much like Koigu. It is easy to knit without looking and the colors are gorgeous. I will use it again.

This shows the nice color variations.

This shows the pattern and texture. Notice that one cable with an extra row? Yeah, me too. Husband will not notice so I knit on. The leg is worked as Father and Son socks from Interweave Knits (spring of 2005?), the foot is worked plain. I will finish the sock with a round toe. Husband has big feet and I have noticed that some yarns pull tight across is toes when I Kitchner them.

I bought Trekking bamboo for the light brown socks.

I am looking forward to knitting with this yarn. Have you tried it yet?

The Jayne hat is flying along. Easily finished over the next few mornings.

That leaves the Dragon Scarf for holiday knitting. Now that is good news!

Last evening I ordered a set of the Knit Pick Harmony DP's. A few weeks ago I tried to order a couple of pairs to try but they were not available. So instead of waiting for this and that size to come in I just picked up the whole set. They are backordered untill the 22nd. That is not at all unreasonable. If I hate them they will go right up on ebay.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

gifts and al gore

When I heard that Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize, Laurie is the first person I thought of! I smiled all the way through her post and then felt a little sad, because I wish I had a family like hers. Full of brothers and cousins and people in cowboy hats having a good time and enjoying being with each other.

My family is small. No brothers or sisters. No standing around posing for pictures. No sharing a bottle of wine. I really wish I had a strong connection to a family.

Luckily Husband has a big family, and we got right busy about making a big family of our own. No matter what, my kids will have each other. It is the best gift they will ever receive.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

time marches on

Here is some non-knitting content.

We are a homeschooling family. The older kids have been homeschooling since elementary school. The youngest was not yet born when we decided our kids would no longer go to school. While I understand that this is not an option for everyone, it has been great for our family.

Oldest Daughter homeschooled through 10th grade. In what would have been her Junior year of high school she began college. Oldest Son homeschooled through 9th grade and then discovered an online high school that fits him like a glove. They offer a rigorous course load that works well with his baseball schedule. Both of the kids test off the charts, and are way smarter than I can ever hope to be.

Now it is Youngest Daughter's turn. She is looking forward to high school in the fall of 2008. As much as she is looking forward to going to school, she does not want to attend the local high school, which has thousands of kids. All of the high schools in our district have thousands of kids. So I began a search. We live in a major metropolitan area, I am willing to provide transportation and would consider a private school. Youngest Daughter is looking for a small school with a naturalist/environmental program and prefers not to do parochial. This is a broad list when coupled with a city/area of our size. I have been searching for months. Can I find anything that works? No. So we changed our requirements. Small is the biggest thing for her. Using that we came up with a small school that operates out of THE central city location. It has an arts focus. Arts she can do. She is a dancer, painter and photographer. I will give them a call in the morning and arrange a visit. I do all of this with a heavy heart. I know it is the best thing for her. This is what I keep at the top of my mind. But my life will change. I will be on the road driving her to and from school everyday. I will be volunteering and committing to a school. There will be school lunches, and functions, and school spirit days, and all sorts of things I was so happy to close the door on all those years ago when we became homeschoolers. I am happy for her. She is smart and gorgeous and people flock to her. I am sad for me and my freedom. Yeah, I will get over it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

ravelry radar

I just found a cool thing on Ravelry. From the front page click on Forums, then click on Radar. It shows every post to the site as it happens. Completely random stuff. Surprisingly hypnotic.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

clutter is bad

I guess the first thing you need to know, is that I do not do clutter. All horizontal surfaces in my house are clear, the counter tops are empty,(yes, empty), the bed is always made. I own 1 knick-knack

I did not plan it, it happened. There are 3 plants in the house. I did not buy them, they were gifts with history attached, so they get to live. Art is totally different from knick-knacks. Art has a home here.

If I walk into a room and the kids shoes are scattered about, and the newspapers are spread all over, and there are dishes on the table...that is bad. That must be picked up before I can even think about flopping on the couch to knit. Although I seem to be OK with Lego's, go figure. It is inconceivable to me to relax now and pick up later. How can people relax when there are piles of stuff everywhere? I just do not understand. If I sit on the couch to knit and I look across a dining room table with a finished plate and a tossed aside book, how can I be expected to turn away and begin knitting? There is no way that would ever happen. I need a clear surface before my calm returns. Do I need a spotless kitchen floor and sparkling windows? No, it is the clutter I can not deal with.

There is a psychiatrist out there that knows exactly why I do these things. It is all a mystery to me.
OK, so now that you know this you will understand why I had to take the cutting shears to my Ravelry notebook. Groups, I belonged to a gajillion. I realized that there were only a few I checked regularly and I unjoined the rest. Friends too. I actually felt more than a little guilt about clicking the x under a friends pic, but really, if I am not reading their blogs or checking on on them at least once a week, then they need to go. Yes it is harsh, but I am what I am and I can not stand the clutter.

If you ever need someone to clean out your garage, rent a dumpster and I am on it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

level 2

I brought a cold back from camp. :-( So far it is not too bad, just annoying as hell.

While I was away an order from Messie arrived. I ordered 3 of her ultra fabulous socks bags. 2 are for gifts, one is all mine. I love it!

The skeletons have a touch of glitter and the toggle glows in the dark. Messie has another one on her site, but it does not have this cool inside.

I can not say enough good things about these bags. I now have 3 in action. Each project gets its own bag. It is so easy to grab a bag on my way out the door. This time of year much of my knitting is stealth knitting and having everything tucked away is nice.

Much progress was made on the Dragon Scarf this weekend. No picture, my "little" guy is up and about. The first Log Cabin Sock for Husband was finished during yesterday afternoon's dance class.

Yeah its big, its not for me.

The Log Cabin Socks for me? Frogged. The pattern was lost in the yarn and the yarn was a bit to small for the pattern. The yarn is so lovely on its own that it has become a pair of plain ribbed socks. I am at the gusset of the first sock.

Right before I left for camp we learned that a Level 2 Sex Offender is now living a stone's throw from the house. The website does not list his whole address, just 6XX and the street. Well that street is the major street through town and most houses have been turned into business or torn town for $500,000+ condos. On the block listed there are 5 rental houses. 3 on the far side of the street and 2 on this side. The two on this side back up to the houses across the street from us. I am hoping the mailman will tell me what house he is in. I also hope it is a house on the far side of the street. I am not planning to make a stink, people need places to live, but the more information we have the better. The kids have all seen his picture. I am trying to find out all that I can about his conviction. I will send an email out to my lawyer buddy this morning and see what she can dig up. OY!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

whistle the "snoopy theme"

I am going to camp. Not in charge of anything. I feel like Snoopy doing the happy dance.

This weekend is Fall Encampment. This is where MANY girls from our service unit attend camp for 3 days. They camp, hike, canoe, sing songs, that sort of thing. I have, in the past taken troops to encampment. It is such a wonderful experience for the girls. For me, not so much. It is probably raining and more than a little cold. I have done it all for the girls.

This year I am attending as an adult, without girls. Sleeping inside and staying up way too late (or early, depending on your point of view) playing cards and goofing off.

Youngest Daughter and Best Friend have planned and will run the encampment workshop. They put together an entire day of Egypt Unearthed. The hours spent planning are too many to count. They will be running approximately 150 Brownies and Juniors through their programs. This project is happening for their Silver Award. I really wanted to pop in and watch, but did not want to camp outside, in the probable rain. I was thinking I would take the ferry over for the day. It makes for a long day, but I really wanted to see them in action. The adult unit is so much better. Food, cards, laughter and knitting. Possibly a stroll around camp to get the blood flowing.
The only downside to this weekend is that I will miss the Fleece Artist trunk show and the LYS. Local wine, cheese AND Fleece Artist. Now that is a dream evening. I contacted the LYS and they let me know they would be setting up all day Friday and that I was invited to come take a peak. I need to go. I hope I can pick up some rovings.

This is what I am bringing to knit...the pictures are not great, but you get the idea...

Log Cabin socks for Husband

Dragon scarf for Youngest Son

This is the project I really need to finish. Because Youngest Son is always in house with me it is hard to find stealth knitting time. It would feel great to come home with only stealth blocking left to complete.

Log Cabin socks for me

I can not imagine finishing the other 2 projects, this is "just in case".

I also packed some spinning. But spinning is not a social activity for me, so it will probably only come out of the bag if I get some time in the woods.

Monday, October 1, 2007

fave beans and chianti

Oldest Daughter's birthday was a couple of weeks ago and she received balloons from Orthodontist. The regular balloons lasted a day, but the mylar version was going strong and still tied to the dining room chair. Last night I needed the chair to wind yarn so I cut it loose. This morning I am laying in bed trying to figure out what that freaky noise is. It sounds like the sucking sound the bad guy in Silence Of The Lambs makes. You, know the one that follows the fava beans and Chianti line. Anyway, I am trying not to panic, We turned the heater on yesterday, maybe the heater is making noises? Then I see the silhouette of the balloon as it is scraping along the ceiling. It was pretty funny. The balloon is out a here.

What a productive weekend, knitting wise. I did indeed get Husband's Retro Bib socks done. No picture available, he wore them to work this morning. On Friday I said out loud that I really wanted to finish his socks this weekend. I was tired of working on them and ready for something new. Because I had just begun the heel flap I did not really believe they wold get done, just that I really wanted to move along with them. Last night I grafted the toe! Thank you rain.

I immediately wound the Fleece Artist from my swap buddy and managed to knit up a few rows before heading to bed.

I am not sure of the color. Forest or Cosmic Dawn, maybe. The Log Cabin Sock pattern is written for a worsted weight yarn. I am making these for myself using the pattern as written for a mans size and adding 4 stitches. I added a k1,p1 at the beginning of the pattern repeat. That gives me 60 stitches on #2's. Should be perfect. LOVE the yarn.

This week my knitting and I will spend much time in waiting rooms. 3 dance lessons, an Orthodontist appt and probably 2 Oral Surgeon visits. Woo Hoo! (Why does spell check let Woo slide, but highlight Hoo?)