Archive for April, 2008

Labels

I found out something new today. I love learning new stuff. This wasn’t even knitting stuff and it’s pretty cool! Those labels on foods? I always assumed they were done in-house, at the same factories that make the food. That’s not true! Companies like Label World specialize in Food Labels, and they make them to client specifications. I guess I should have known that, given that I have worked before in manufacturing, but it just never clicked before.

Hmm, I wonder if yarn companies……… I bet they don’t because you can’t print on a spinning wheel, now can you?

Online Craft Club Show and Tell #30

Well, I’m sad-sack late getting this edition out. For that I apologize. I have revamped my schedule and most of my blogging happens in the evening now. Which works better for the house and family, but maybe not so well for those of you (Hi Mama) who expect this post to come out early. How about I just set it to auto publish bare bones at midnight on Thursdays, so you at least have somewhere to drop a link, and I will come back and edit it when I can get here? Maybe if I get my act together, I can publish it intact at midnight Thursday night. Wouldn’t that be the be all and end all?

As for Skimmer, well, I forgot until yesterday to add knitting into my schedule, and I was ateh short row bust, so it wasn’t like I could pick it up during school and just start going round and round like I had been doing, so. Umm, all I got done was h eshort row bust like i laid out for you two weeks ago, and then to knit back around to the right arm and then purl back to the beginning of the round. We’ll pick up here with some shaping, counting this coming row as row 1. Hold on and read through it, and feel free to ask any questions.

The next measure you will need is the distance from your nipple to your shoulders. Mine happens to be 10 inches (yeah, I’m short) so I know the top of my sweater is 10 inches tall, and I’ll have a 24 inch length of sweater when I am done. You also need to know how wide your shoulders are. Mine happen to be 15 inches, and I’ll be decreasing to meet that measurement. I have to get from 83 to 71 stitches (allowing about an inch of ease), so I’ll be decreasing every 4th row: 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21 one stitch on either side of the sweater. AT THE SAME TIME, increase in the middle of the row: every 4th row for a loose cowl neck and every other row for a very loose cowl.

No pictures, this week from me, my sweater looks about the same. I’m still debating which neck line I want, anyway. What have you been working on?

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Here’s how to play:

Take a picture of your current project, whatever that happens to be. Or maybe one you recently finished. Or the materials for the one you are about to start. Let’s say materials for a project in whatever state it happens to be in at the time you snap it. On Friday, post the picture and tell us about your project. What you did, or what you are going to do. How much you are enjoying it, or hating it. You know–show and tell.

Just copy & paste the code below the graphic and get crafty with me!

Be sure to come back and leave a comment so we know where to find you!

[tags]Online Craft Club[/tags]

Cass in the Kitchen: Boiled Peanuts and Broccotatoes

:kitchen: This week we have another old southern favorite, and then a new thing. You will love them both, I promise!

Have you ever had [tag]boiled peanuts[/tag]? I ate them all the time growing up. A few years ago, I got desperate for some, and bought them in a can. They were a horrible substitute for the real thing, and all my kids hated them. But this weekend, I was cleaning the freezer, and took some out. I shared them with the children, and this time I had to beat them off with a stick just so I could get a few for myself. They really are that good, and not hard at all to make.

Boiled Peanuts

Here’s how to cook them: Rinse the dirt off, and boil them long and hot with a lot of salt. You want to boil them until the nuts are tender. You’ll have to test them the first time you make them, but there is a definite smell of “just right” that you will recognize when you cook them again. It’s not a smell that I can describe, except to say that it is pleasant and “smells like boiled peanuts”. That’s not very helpful, is it? Cook some, and you will know exactly what I mean, though.

Broccotatoes

First off, I can’t take credit for this idea. I got it from Rachel Ray’s magazine. As you may know, I am watching my calories in an attempt to lose the weight I gained when I quit smoking. Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite foods, but they come in at an astounding 200 calories per cup because I use whole milk and real butter when I make them. I’m not budging on the milk and butter, so when Rachel wrote about making them with broccoli, I thought that sounded like win/win deal. I actually made mine with broccoli and cauliflower, and they were totally yummy. They actually taste like mashed potatoes, if you can get past the little green flecks, and since broccoli and cauliflower only have about 25 calories per cup, it saves quite a few calories. Almost enough to have a little cheesy gravy. Just sayin’

Here’s how I did it:

Peel and boil 2-3 pounds of potatoes. After they have cooked 10 or 15 minutes, add a 2 pound bag of broccoli ot broccoli and cauliflower and cook for another 5 minutes. Drain. Add a stick of butter, and a half cup of milk. Beat/mash/mix, however you usually do it. Add salt and pepper to taste and a bit more milk of you need it, and mix again. Serve plain or with gravy.

GiveAway: A Fine Fleece by Lisa Lloyd

9780307346834 I knew I would like this book when I read the first paragraph of the introduction. The author said, “I tell a story with my yarn and my stitches, building one upon the other until, chapter upon chapter, the story is complete.” and I nodded my head in agreement and understanding. I totally knew what she meant, and I think you probably do too. You can tell the story of your days in your projects, after you’ve been doing it awhile. This is the blanket I worked on for a year, sneaking out of the house to go to my mom’s so it would be a surprise for dh. These are the socks I finished while laboring with DaBaby–see how this toe is different because I lost track of my short rows?

The difference between me and the author, though, is that I don’t spin. Yet. Luckily for me, she has shown each project in this book in commercial yarn as well, and mighty fine projects they are! A couple of them have to go on my list. The Kearsarge is one of them. The play of textures across the different elements of the sweater is just fun to look at! The body is basket weave and the sleeves are mistake rib. The placketed neck open makes for a sweater that is both dressy and comfortable.

And what’s with the cable trim lately? Espresso is a simply divine cardigan with cables on the edges. And it’s modeled in an absolutely luscious shade of pink. I think I might have mentioned that I have a not-so-passing fancy for pink. I mean, I really like pink. Given a choice between pink and not pink, I’m almost always going to go for the pink. Unless the other color is red, and then we’ll have to flip a coin.

You know, I haven’t had the dye post out in a while, and while I would love to learn to spin, I have to be honest and admit that I cannot cram one more piece of crafting gear into this house. And then there is that no buying stuff thing. Maybe I should dye the yarn for these projects. In the spirit of creating the yarn and all. Not because I enjoy it or anything. Of course, by the time I get to these sweaters, I may be able to order anything I want, including a spindle!

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Edited to add:

I wasn’t ready to do another give away when I wrote this review on the 8th, so I held off. I am, however, ready to start one now! So let’s do it. Okay? okay! Here’s a re-cap of how to enter:

The contest will start when I hit publish, and will run through midnight April 27th. I’ll announce the winner via random number on Monday May 5th. You can get an entry by commenting on this post. You can get another entry by “stumbling” this post. (You can use the button right under the post (or your toolbar) to do that.) You can get two more entries by writing about this give away on your own blog with a link back to this post. And let’s throw in an experimental entry method: if you are a member of a crafty type forum, and you post about this giveaway with a link back, you’ll get another entry. You’ll need to come back and let me know you’ve done that by leaving a link to your forum post in the comments.

If you have never commented on this blog before, then your comment will be moderated. I’ll approve it as soon as I get back to the keyboard :)

I think that’s enough fine print, let’s get started!

Good Luck!

Some Jumbled Thoughts which (do not) end with a Giveaway

Ooooh, do you remember I told you I was going to take a sponsorship on this blog? It’s started! If you click through to the BCA’s you can search for cassknits to cast your vote for me, OR you can just click right here and vote. Man, that is an old screenshot. They are still using last year’s capture! Hopefully, they will get around to updating soon.

000 0024Next, let’s talk about pictures. Each time I come to this blog to make a post, I enter through the front page, so I get to see it like you do (that’s how I knew the sponsorship had started). The link I click to get back here to the admin section is at teh bottom of the page, in the footer. Just under it is a random picture pulled from my photopress album. This is the one that greeted me this evening. God, I miss my Grandmother. I miss her like a small and wounded child. I still forget and say her name if I am not careful when I say the kids’ prayers at night. And those moments, just like seeing this picture, rip me right out of the frame.

So, you can maybe tell from the title I was going to start a giveaway with this post, but I am not going to do that here if that’s alright. I’ll just make another post.

Crazy Times

I just read that identity theft accounts for over a third of the complaints received by the FTC. Now these figures were from 2006, but I haven’t heard any news shows lately announcing the decrease of identity theft, have you? No? Didn’t think so. What is with people, that they think they have a right to anything they can steal or trick somebody out of? Why are credit card companies having to take more and more stringent measures to protect consumers from thievery? And why are we having to bear the cost of it? (Make no mistake, there is a cost, and we are paying it!) It just infuriates me that some people will swindle other people like that. I mean, what good does it do you to work hard and keep your word and pay your bills if some jerk can run up charges and steal your good name in less than 30 days?

At least there’s some help out there. Companies like lifelock guarantee to protect your good name for a small fee. Of course, you are still having to pay a bit, but it’s less than what you’ll pay if someone hacks your life (like they hacked a couple of my blogs, so don’t think it can’t happen to you.) It’s a reasonable alternative for those of you who aren’t protected like me: I just have so many kids no one wants to impersonate me. Muhahahhahahhhhaahah

What a Weekend, Part 2

So, DH and Country got home from the race about 1AM Sunday morning. The other children were with my mom. On Sunday morning, the three here with us went to church on the bus, and then it headed to my mom’s to pick up 2 more (I actually thought all of them were going, but that’s another story–she ended up keeping them until after their naps when we decided to do this next crazy thing, and it was a HUGE help.) That left DH and I home alone. A-LONE. Woohoo, was that exciting, but not in the way you think. See, I had packed the tent up still damp, so it had to be set up again. We discussed it for about three minutes, and went to Walmart to pick up a few more camping supplies. Read that air mattress for our old bones, a pump for same, a lantern, another lantern and some food, and when the kids got home we told them we were having a backyard camp out.

We cooked dogs on the grill, while we set up the canopy and the tent. We cooked steak and roasted potatoes for supper. And we made smores. I took some pictures to share with you!

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Starting the smores

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Country on the tramp

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Batman likes marshmallows!

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So does Diva.

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And, yes, that is a telephone in her ear.

We had so much fun! And it got so stinking cold! We were not prepared very well for that, but we persevered. Brrrrrr! I made a list of stuff we still need/want as the “trip” progressed, and we are planning a couple more backyard adventures to make sure we truly have our act together, and then we’ll be striking out for an actual campground. Our first purchase will be a bigger tent. When the bag says “sleeps 6″, 9 people don’t fit very well! And then probably some sleeping bags.

Dh and I planned our next camp last night for Memorial Day Weekend. He was ready to make reservations at an actual campground, but I’m not ready for that just yet. But really, it’s hard to believe that this time last week, I was sitting here thinking I would hate camping!

What a Weekend! Part 1

Hey. I kinda slipped out of here Friday without doing an Online Craft Club post. Sorry ’bout that. Time got away from me, and I had to leave for the Boy Scout camping trip. Oh, man, we had so much fun! We rode up Friday afternoon, and pitched our tent, and then we just hiked and hung out for a while. We had hot dogs with some of our friends for supper, and then there was a campfire, and then bed. I was thrilled that the site had a cabin, so we had toilets, and also showers for those who didn’t realize that bugs are attracted to folks who smell like flowers.

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Here are Spidey and Stuntman with some other boys from our pack.

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Spidey holding a stick of bamboo. There was a man there who was making whistles from the bamboo. He has a tremendously huge beard, and I got a good picture of him and Spidey, and then I neglected to ask him if it was ok to put it on the internets. I truly suck, sorry.

On Saturday, I hung with Spidey while Stuntman went with our friends, since their son is in the same den. We went to several stations, and had a grand time learning about space. And then it rained. It did not rain long, but it did rain hard. It rained vehemently and emphatically.
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If you look closely, you can see the rain coming down like this ///////.

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See how wet Spidey is?

And our tent stayed dry! We left anyway, though, not because of that shower, but because thunderstorms were predicted for overnight, and while I can live with wet, thunder and lightning are a whole different level of weather; I want a real roof! The boys and I came home and camped in the living room, complete with flashlights to make our way to the bathrooms, though we did watch four episodes of Quantum Leap before we passed out in the dark.

Tomorrow, I will post about the rest of the weekend. Wednesday, I think we’ll start another giveaway. And then that will put us back on track for cooking and crafting on Thursday and Friday.

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