Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just call me "Sunny"

Yep. 'Cause that's the nickname Sawyer came up with for me on this page. Not that I know who Sawyer is. I don't watch Lost and have no interest in starting now, but it's always fun to get a cool new nickname, I'm thinkin'.

So in response to Bev's question on the last post, I don't think the suspenders in the last post are so much a Canadian thing as I think they are a 1994 thing. Or maybe a Vogue Knitting thing. Vogue does come out with some really odd things sometimes. Actually I think they were looking for some type of a retro highland look with the hat and all. But I do love that vest.

More bad news on the job front. We're losing ANOTHER plant. The news came out yesterday morning. It will mean another 500 or so jobs gone (plus another 100 or so salaried), so we will now be down to about 2,000 workers when we were at almost 6,500 maybe five years ago or so. It won't affect me personally yet (and yet is likely the key word here) but it will affect some of my very good friends. I was so depressed yesterday that I crawled into bed last night at about 6:30 and didn't emerge until I had to get up for work this morning. I definitely wasn't feeling Sunny.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Big Dreams

I thought I'd found a project to use up some of the huge stash of sport weight wool cluttering up my house. The gauge on the wool and recommended needles are just about what this pattern calls for. I've been hanging on to this pattern for years; it's from the 1994 Vogue Knitting that I had a subscription to way back then. I've always loved it. Sounds perfect, right? Well, problem is that even though it calls for 3 1/2mm needles, I have to use 2 1/2mm to get gauge. I seem to run into this problem a lot. I don't feel that my knitting is loose but I always have to go down several sizes in order to get gauge. Now I have a hard enough time getting through a pair of socks on teeny tiny needles. I can't imagine an entire vest. The other thing holding me back is I've run into problems whenever I've tried using Vogue patterns. So if I do decide to go for it I'll have to make sure I give the pattern a really good once-over first.

On the other hand Freshisle Fibers has made some gorgeous mitts that have me thinking about making something similar. Lots of ideas, not nearly enough time.

In kitty-news I swapped the store-bought cushion from Tabby's bed and put in her fleece blanket instead. And what do you know; she loves it now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cuteness


Here's Journey, my brother's puppy, with her buddy George. Now tell the truth; your day just got a little better, didn't it?

An Actual Knitting Post

I finished up Branching Out. I even updated the progress bar on the side. Now I've started a basic rolled brim hat to go with it. I have two more balls of this yarn left over so I figured I might as well use it up. Not that I have a lot of time for knitting, school is definitely taking over my life these days. I don't know what I was thinking signing up for three courses. But I'm having fun with it, and that's what matters.

This is the kitty-bed that I bought awhile back for Tabitha. She explored it a little when I first brought it home but now she just ignores it. I took the cushion out of the top basket and put it in her favourite hot-spot, she's happy with that.

So today I decided to fill the empty basket with all my sock yarn. That way it can inspire me to come up with ideas for new socks while I'm busy time-wasting here on the computer. Most of it is Briggs & Little sportweight 1 ply wool that I mail ordered from New Brunswick. I love the socks I've made with this yarn in the past, I just need to get going on knitting some more. Now that I'm back on the meds for my hands that thought seems a whole lot more appealing. If I can just finish up the forgotten socks I can start casting on for a new pair! ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Comfort Food

I've been fighting this cough that's going around. If anyone tells me how good my cough is sounding, I'll tell them good; I've been practicing all night! It could be a whole lot worse, and probably would be if I didn't get the flu shot. I was desperately in need of a little TLC today, and that includes comfort food. So after I dragged myself out of bed at NOON (now you know I'm not feeling well; I never sleep in like that!) I hit the stove. I have to tell you this has got to be the best beef stew I've ever made. I think one of the problems I often have is I try to make a huge batch and then it doesn't get mixed enough or catches bottom or is out of proportion or something. This small batch turned out just right. Of course I made it up as I went, so I'm going to write it down here in case I try to remember how I made it one day down the road. I made it from things I had on hand, but if I were shopping for it I'd add some fresh button mushrooms.

Comfort Stew:

1 lb lean ground beef
Montreal steak spice
4 potatoes, scrubbed and diced
10 baby carrots, chopped
1/4 red pepper, chopped
1/4 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp Bisto gravy mix

Brown the ground beef. While beef is browning mix the Bisto mix with the red wine and water. When beef is cooked season it with the Montreal steak spice and add the liquids. Stir and heat through. Then add all the veggies except the peas; add them about halfway through the cooking time. Cook covered at a simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring often. Serve with fresh buns. And wine. ;)

Whew! That was a lot of work typing that up. I think I'd better go get another serving.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

As always it's feast or famine around here. A gazillion posts at once and then nothing for over two weeks. I've managed to get through another set of holidays, even if "Catzilla" decided to crush the villagers like in a "B" list horror movie!

And look what she did to it! It looks like the village snow has now melted just like the real-life stuff outside in the balmy spring weather we're experiencing. We actually set a new record of 62F yesterday, when we are usually well below freezing at this time of year. While most people are thrilled with the break in the weather, DH is sulking. No snowmobiling, and even the base is gone, which means we'll need several good dumpings of snow before he (we) can get out riding again.

So what else? I've been completely obsessed with my latest DVDs. DH got me the latest (and last) season of Gilmore Girls as well as Little Mosque on the Prairie. I love those shows! I'm also working my way through the latest seasons of Nip/Tuck. Still waiting in the wings for me is the entire series of The Sopranos. I much prefer watching TV this way, no commercials and you watch at your own pace. The downside is that with my obsessive personality my own pace can mean watching 8 episodes in a row. Great for relaxing and down-time, not so great for housework, cooking, or anything else in real life. Oh well. The kids know how to feed themselves.

But I'll need to put them on the back burner for now. The DVDs, not the kids. School starts tonight for me again. I'm taking 3 classes this term. That's a little crazy, I know. I just figured if I'm going to speed up the "degree" process a little I'd be better off doing that while I'm still taking first year (and therefore theoretically "easier") classes.

Could a post possibly be any more pathetically boring? For those of you that have hung in this long, here's a cute kitty pic of Tabby in her kitty-bed. I bought a wicker cat bed that she won't use, but she likes to curl up in front of the heat vent so I moved the bed pad here. Now she loves it and I can't get her out of it!