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11  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / WIP Wednesday 1/19 - Share your in progress knitting! on: January 19, 2011 03:32:00 AM
Ok. So, yay for me for remembering WIP Wednesday three times in a row!  Boo for me starting the thread and not checking back in. Smiley

It's weeks like this that make me want to quit knitting.  So far, I have:

-knit (and subsequently frogged) the majority of a pair of longies for Sprout
-knit (and subsequently frogged) the world's easiest dishcloth THREE @$%@#% TIMES IN A ROW
-screwed up an i-cord


I'm going to blame my knitting failures on utter exhaustion. 

I hope everyone is having a better knitting week than I am, though I'm sure if you're working on ANYTHING that hasn't been frogged, you're doing a million times better. Lets see some action shots!
12  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Vegan Pad Thai (w/ Recipe!) on: January 18, 2011 03:05:34 AM

I've recently had to eliminate dairy from my already-vegetarian diet so I've been taking it as an opportunity to explore new recipes.  This recipe is an amalgamation of many different sources, but the results were so delicious that I thought I'd share.  The only thing I'd change for next time is to make double so my husband and I won't argue about who is getting the leftovers for lunch. Smiley

Vegan Pad Thai for Two


1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 T peanut butter
1 red chili pepper, minced

1 lb extra firm tofu
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced (I used a combination of green, red and orange)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 small head broccoli
small amount of oil for wok

rice noodles

To Make:

1.  Combine the first five ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until blended.  Set aside.

2.  Heat oil in wok over medium to medium-high heat.  Add chopped vegetables and cook until slightly tender. (I tend to start with the toughest vegetables and work my way up--in this case, onions went first, followed by bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage).

3.  While vegetables are cooking, make rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

4.  Once vegetables are tender, add crumbled tofu.  (My newest favorite way to cook tofu!)  Continue to cook until tofu is browned.

5.  Add sauce, stir and cook until heated through.

6.  In a large bowl, combine rice noodles with tofu and vegetables.  Stir, portion out and eat!

This would also be wonderful with fresh cilantro or ground peanuts.

13  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / WIP Wednesday 1/12 - Share your in progress knitting! on: January 12, 2011 09:51:00 AM
This week, I have only a knitting fail.  I can be so scatterbrained sometimes.  I cast on for a pair of Itchy Fingers longies for Sprout which involve a fair amount of math.  That, alone, should have been enough to stop me.

Oh, no.

After oneredboot kindly talked me through one knitting emergency early in the morning, I happily carried on until about 7pm.

It was then I realized my needles looked small. I had forgotten to change tips after the ribbing.  Undaunted, I continued on figuring I could make it work. 

And then I realized almost all of my math was wrong.

So, this morning, I frogged it back to the ribbing and I hope to pick it back up later this afternoon once I finish work and can convince Sprout he needs a nap. Smiley

What are you working on this week?
14  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / WIP Wednesday 1/5/11 - Show of your in progress knitting here! on: January 05, 2011 08:33:58 AM
Ok. I have a calendar now that sits beside me at my computer that will hopefully help me to not forget WIP Wednesdays.

So, new year, new projects? What's on your needles?

I have to dig up photos of mine, but I've got a pair of fingerless gloves that are ALMOST finished (hopefully today!) and the Hemlock Ring Blanket blob that I started working on a couple of weeks ago.

What are you working on? Cheesy
15  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Meet Our First Featured Member - Striker923! on: January 01, 2011 03:44:41 AM

If you've spent anytime on the knitting boards, you are likely to have encountered Striker923.  Not only does she post beautiful projects, she's always willing to help out a knitter in need and to pop into almost any thread to admire others' finished works. 

Striker923 was kind enough to answer some questions about how she got started knitting, some of her knitting favorites, and other Craftster projects that inspire her.

How and when did you start knitting?

I started knitting about two to two-and-a-half years ago because I wanted to knit a Harry Potter house scarf.  One of my really good friends, fellow Craftster Kaiser Scissorhands, said, Why dont you check out Craftster.org, they have great resources!  Utterly amazed at the awesomeness of Craftster, I set out to my local big box craft store and purchased size 8 needles, a skein of Bernat Satin, and a book on learning to knit.  Another knitter was born!  Still have yet to make that Harry Potter scarf, ironically enough lol.

What was your first knitting project?

My first knitting project was half of a throw pillow but my first completed knitting project was a striped garter stitch scarf for my husband when he was still my fianc.  They are both lurking in the dark corners of Craftster somewhere.

Do you dabble in any other crafts? If so, which?

I recently taught myself to crochet this past summer and I do occasionally cross stitch.  Ive also done some embroidery and stenciling for a swap, but I can never stray far from knitting because I love it so!

What's your favorite FO?

This is a toughie as I like all my FOs!  But if I have to pick a favorite, Id have to say my first pair of socks.  I used Cookie A.s BFF Socks pattern and Opal Harry Potter yarn in the Ron colorway...cables and variegated (self-striping) yarn, whats not to love??

What's your favorite yarn? Book?

There are so many wonderful yarns out there! My favorite though is sadly discontinued: Knit Picks Essential/Stroll Kettledyed.  Such beautiful jewel tones and I love the slight semi-solid variegation of it.  Mirasol Nuna is a close second, merino/silk/bamboo blend...just gorgeous!

My favorite book is probably Alice Starmores Aran Knitting (New/Expanded edition).  There are some amazing cabled designs and I plan on making my mother St. Brigid for her birthday/Christmas gift 2011.

What's your favorite knitted FO someone else made?

Probably the very colorful, retro cape knitted by Blondiequeen88, just amazingly bright and cozy, and it looks fab on her!

Who are your favorite designers?

Cookie A., Alice Starmore, Kathy Zimmerman and Kirsten Hipsky (Webs in-house designer) off the top of my head, amongst several indie designers.  I tend to gravitate towards patterns themselves, more so than designer, but all of the above seldom design something I havent liked.

What's your favorite non-knitted FO?

My favorite non-knitted FO is probably the Zelda embroidery I did for the Legend of Zelda swap this past spring.  It was my first non-cross stitch piece and while it took me awhile to do, I really love how it came out.  I keep on meaning to do one for myself, but I really cant stop knitting long enough to do it...
What's your favorite non-knitted FO someone else made?

I really, really liked the hand painted tea tray that mouser882 crafted for the aforementioned Zelda swap.  While I do enjoy and drink tea, I would totally buy a proper tea set JUST to have this tea tray, haha.

It's the new year! Do you have any crafty resolutions?

Yay for a new year! I have several crafty resolutions: the first is to really try out new and different crafts, (but I only tend to do that for swaps, so maybe I should participate in more swaps as a resolution?), to knit more socks for me (as I mostly give them as gifts), and I also want to learn and practice a few techniques I havent really done like intarsia and entrelac.  I also would like work more with Malabrigo, try Madelinetosh yarn and find out what Noro is all about.
Normally I dont make new year resolutions (mostly because I set the bar to high so I never seem to keep them), but I have a feeling Ill be able to stand by most of these crafty ones  Cheesy

Thank you, Striker923, for all your contributions to our knitting board community!
16  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Thumbless Mittens for a Baby on: December 31, 2010 03:30:15 PM
Ok.  So, it got cold here, which it rarely does and which is part of the reason why I love North Carolina so much.  Anyway, Sprout had cold hands and what better way for a knitter to remedy it than by knitting thumbless mittens?

These little thumbless mittens turned out to be the perfect knitting project for Sprout's long nap.   Not only were they a quick knit, they also used up hardly any wool.  In fact, I found this little remnant on the top shelf of my yarn and probably still have enough to make another pair.

The normal obligatory action shots are missing because, once Sprout woke up, I stuck them on his hands and immediately began to giggle.  They make him look like Edward Scissorhands.  So, in an attempt to spare my son the embarassment of forever putting on the internet things that could possibly embarass him later, you'll just have to catch us around town on a cold day to see Edward Scissorhands Sprout in live action.  Needless to say, they're wool and warm and that's all that should matter.

I had planned on following the pattern for the thumbless mittens from the book Knitting for Baby (thanks, Val!) and I did, more or less, but there are several things that annoyed me about the pattern and several things I changed.

First, the instructions wanted me to place a stitch marker between the last two stitches to mark the end of a row.  I hate stupid instructions like this because they make me question if I've always just done things wrong.  Who in their right minds puts markers to mark the END of a row???  Am I the only crazy one?  No?  I quickly scanned through the pattern to make sure I wouldn't be damning myself by marking the beginning of the round, found no logical reason for their illogical instructions, so I shrugged and carried on.  (NB - This also irks me because this book is meant to be an easy book with patterns of increasing difficulty for newer knitters.  What if this was the first circular pattern I had knitted?)

Anyway, the second thing that I changed was the cuff of the mittens.  Anyone with a baby knows that extremity accessories don't stay on very long.  Shoes are a waste of money and socks without elastic made of cryptonite come off as quickly as you can get them on.  I imagine it's the same thing for mittens.  The pattern instructs you to basically make three garter ridges which will leave you with no stretch and no form, though later, it has you go through an extra step of sewing in elastic.  Sigh.

I'm not a sewer and I'm certainly not going to fiddle with elastic so I just made a ribbed cuff and continued on my way.  If I were to do it over again, I'd probably suggest going down a needle size.  I didn't because I was concerned that Sprout's chubby wrists wouldn't fit if I made them too snug.

And, in my last stream of complaints about the pattern, the mittens, as written, are unnecessarily pointy.  Babies are funny looking enough (and I say this with the warmest of hearts!) that I don't think having pointy hands is really worth the extra two rounds of stitches.  I cast off a couple of rounds early so my child wouldn't end up with pointy hands that could be used as weapons.  Just call me crazy.

All complaints aside, though, I'm thankful Sprout can now have warm hands.  Oh, and if you're paying attention, yes, this knocks off one of my "50 projects" for 2011."  Shh!
17  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Ridiculously Easy Cowl... Really! on: December 05, 2010 10:27:19 AM
So, I had this skein of giant, super bulky yarn in a delicious color and I needed a project for it.  I looked around online for a cowl pattern and then decided, heck, I don't have time to follow patterns, I'll just make one up myself.

And so, I did just that.

Because it was slightly huge, I decided to use an amazingly cool brooch that AsphaltQueen made to close it up and to make it fit more snugly.

I like it! Simple, easy and it didn't take a long amount of time.  The best part?? I'm down one skein of stash!
18  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday - November 25 2010 on: November 26, 2010 08:16:38 AM
Yay! I don't really feel that I have any right to start up Fiber Friday except that I rarely spin and even MORE rarely finish anything, so the fact that I DID spin something this week makes me happy.

I was originally going to offer it for swapping in Shop the Swap, but I am sort of in love with it and think I may keep it to knit into something after the start of the year.  I've got several more ounces of this colorway and I should have enough yarn to make something scrumptious!
19  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Scrappy Armwarmers! on: October 28, 2010 03:21:04 PM
Though most of my pregnancy was uneventful, the week leading up to my labor was filled with lots and lots and lots of knitting. (I even knit while I was in labor!)

Anyway, in my desire to use up every scrap of yarn I have (though, in fairness, I'm not likely to run out of yarn until the next century...), I decided to make scrappy armwarmers!

These are my absolute favorite, though they're going to live with freestyle!

For each, I just used 100% wool scraps -- the scraps were saved from various projects including mittens, diaper soakers, etc.  When I get to the near-end of a skein/ball, I'll simply ball it up into wool dryer balls!

20  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / WIP Wednesday 10/27 - Show off your in-progress knitting here! on: October 27, 2010 04:15:00 AM
So, everyone.. what's on your needles this week? (Or last week since Wednesday passed without me thinking about it...)

I had a giant FAIL this week, but I'm going to blame it on post-pregnancy brain. (Is that allowed??)

This hat was not supposed to be slouchy. And I'm embarrassed to admit what I did to make it so big.  So, needles to say... I've started this project over, though I think I've found a good, loving home for the slouchy version, too.

I also finished up one scrappy ankle sock, though no pictures exist yet.  My dear husband watched our son one night last week and I actually made it to a knitting meetup.. with adults!

Anyway.  That's all I've got for this week.

Hope everyone's knitting projects are going well! Anyone working on anything for the holidays?
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