Saturday, July 21, 2007

Granny Blanket

I finished it up this week. I'm not sure how much yarn it took, I think about 25-30 balls of Sugar N Creme in Jute, 4 or 5 balls of light teal, and 4 or 5 balls of warm brown. I used 3 balls of Lion Brand Cotton, which is the variegated yarn. The Lion Brand is much softer and better quality, but when I was putting it together I decided I didn't like how it looked in the blanket. I was just too tired to crochet any more squares though, so I put those in anyway. The pattern is a plain 6-row granny, and I sewed it together by hand with yarn, which was tedious, but I watched a bunch of movies to make the time go by. I used an H hook for all of it and did two rows of single crochet as a border.

I slept under it last night and it's the perfect weight for a summer blanket. I love how it came out.

I'm going out of town tomorrow for a week, with no computer access. Have a great week!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


My kids have seen this movie twice, and just love it. So, when I saw this recipe at Smitten Kitchen, I had to try it. And who knows, maybe it will get the kids interested in vegetables, right?

I'm not very handy with a knife, don't own a knuckle skinner (mandoline), so I tried out the slicing attachment on my kitchenaid food processor. The pieces were thinner than I wanted.

Dd helped me arrange the vegetable slices (and this is a kid who NEVER wants to help in the kitchen). She even tasted a few of the raw vegetables, and gagged, but it's a start.

Before baking.

After baking.

The only change I made was to use herbes de provence instead of fresh thyme. I put the ratatouille on top of couscous and served it with some salmon fillets. It tasted great, although I think the amount of tomato puree was a little strong for the amount of vegetables we used, and that overpowered the taste of the veggies a bit. I think if our veggie slices were thicker, they would have stood up to the tomato sauce better.

I got the kids to taste it, neither of them liked it (dh didn't either but he eats like a kid too). The kids and I had fun with it, and exposure to fresh veggies can't hurt, right?


Sunday, July 15, 2007


We are finally getting some much needed rain, which means I'm spending less time watering, whew. . . We have restrictions on watering the grass, but I never bother with that. It costs a lot more to replace a tree or shrub than a little grass.

This flower bed is a bit crowded. When I planted the seedlings out, it looked very sparse, but of course the plants ended up being much bigger than I anticipated. I blame this on the fact that dd selected the seeds from *mixed annuals* pack, so I had no idea what some of them were (still don't on a couple of them). At least I knew the hollyhocks were tall and needed to go in the back row.

My first two cherry tomatoes. The big tomatoes should be ripe in another week or so. Mine were just so late getting growing this year.

I'm tempted to jump the gun and fry some green ones, but am forcing myself to wait. I have white bread and Duke's mayo waiting for the first ripe ones.

This sunflower was planted by a squirrel or a chipmunk with some seed from the bird feeder. The yard as a whole looks pretty crappy with all the construction stuff lying around, but I made them throw away the trash that they were leaving around the base of my cherry tree.

We had to replace the entire swimming pool filter system yesterday. We changed over to the salt water type, which should save us a lot of money in the long run and uses a lot less chemicals. It still looks really nasty from all the problems we've been having, but it should clear up soon.

In the winter I always fantasize about sitting in my beautiful garden by a sparkling pool, drinking a nice beverage, but the reality is very different. The reality is scooping dead bugs and lizards out of a algae infested muck, while slapping mosquitoes from my ankles and guzzling a hot, flat beer. Ewww. Sounds like I'm getting tired of summer. . .


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Socks at Last

These have been languishing in the knitting bag since January, when I knit sock number one, and then I learned to crochet, and made some other stuff and the second sock never appeared. Finally, I pulled it out and worked on it this week, and enjoyed it. It can't be all crochet, all the time, around here.

The pattern is my standard 2X4 rib, that I love because it stays up on your ankles, and always fits even if your gauge is slightly off. I used Lorna's Laces Super Sock, don't remember the name of the colorway. I had a lot of yarn left, which surprised me.

Thanks for all the nice comments on the blanket. BTW, the baby isn't my sister's but her partner's grandson (very complicated, I know). But, he is a special miracle baby who may one day save his sister's life, so I wanted to make him something. The funny thing is, his other sister stole the blanket from him (she is 2 after all). My sister is sending some photos which I'll post.

Today I'm sewing and trimming ends on my granny squares, so I can finish up that project. Dh is outside with the kids in the pool and they are screaming their heads off fighting. Hah, at least it's not me today. The house is filthy with sheetrock dust and men banging their hammers and I just want to escape at this point. I've been reading a lot.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

June's Project

As promised, here is the super secret project from June. It's a baby blanket for the new baby at my sister's house. Pattern is Aztec Gold from the Leisure Arts Booklet, 40 Favorite Ripple Afghans, yarn is Caron Simply Soft brites, size H hook. I made a few modifications to the pattern to get the stripes and fill in points to repeat in the same colors, but followed the pattern mostly.

I think it took about 3 weeks to complete but I'm blanking on the finished size. . . This is my first round ripple and I LOVED making it. However, I think I'm ready to move on to something else now, since I've also made a bed sized ripple fairly recently.

I might even have a small knitting FO to show soon.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm Back

Had a great time in Long Beach at my nephew's graduation party.

Tomorrow I hope to post June's secret project. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I've run out of yarn for the blanket, and I have about 84 squares made. I think I'll make it with 81, so 9 squares by 9, rather than 10 by 10, as I originally planned. I crocheted over most of the ends, so I'll just have to trim them, only a few will need to be woven in.

Then I need to block them all, which is a pain because I had to empty my closet for the remodel and all my clothes are now lying on the cutting table, where I had planned to block the squares. Next, I'll research joining methods. I've seen some posts over at the Granny Along on the topic, so I need to go over there and spend some time, plus pull out my two crochet encyclopedias.

Today's interesting discovery: an ant can live on a mug of coffee being microwaved on high for 30 seconds. When I found him I was glad he was alive, rather than floating dead in the coffee.

I'm leaving for California tomorrow and it's shaping up to be a much more relaxing trip (I'll be alone, as it turns out) than originally planned. I'll be glad to be away from the mess and noise and living out of a suitcase at a hotel rather than at home. See you guys next week!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Who's Next?

Happy 4th of July. . .

Pirates of the Caribbean bone cage (made from Styrofoam actually). . .


Some random Disney photos for you. I hope you'll humor me, there's been not much crafting at all. When we got home from vacation the hermit crab was dead and then yesterday the guinea pig died while I was at the emergency room with ds getting his head stitched up from slipping on a rug and hitting his head on a chair. . .

I feel bad about the piggy. She was five, which is a good long life for a guinea pig (I think 8 years is the max typically), but she died outside where I put her to eat grass while cleaning the cage. She had some water when I put her out but I ended up being gone all afternoon, what with the stitches and all, and the water was all gone when I found her.

I really expected by 17-yo dog to be next, but thankfully, knock on wood, she is still around, peeing on my rugs like a champ.

I have another trip coming up this weekend, which involves air travel. As I'm getting older, I DREAD travel, just hate it. On the way to Orlando last week, I RAN OUT OF GAS. By myself. With the kids. On the Turnpike. It was not fun. I was so focused on not getting us lost that I forgot about the gas gauge. I have never run out of gas in my life until then, just to let you know about the personal stress level involved with travelling. . .

Thanks for indulging the expression of my neuroses.

In other news, I am about to run out of yarn for the granny square blanket. I think I've made about 75 squares, so I need to get to 81 or some number that multiplies into a rectangle or square blanket. My original goal was 100, which would be a 70" by 70" blanket, but I think I can go a little smaller, since I'll never match dye lots on the yarn. I've been working on it since March, so it will be nice to get in a final push of end weaving and sewing up. Next week, I hope.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Last Week's Sewing

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