Totally Tubular, Dude!

In my on going effort to learn new things – I am happy to report that I figured out the Tubular Cast-on Friday.  There is a most excellent UTube video for help from the amazing Ysolda

With her lilting voice she brings you along with her as she deftly shows you how to do this incredible cast on.  As she knits with you, she makes it so much easier than stumbling along on your own.

So, I am well into my cables as I am knitting Gretel.  I am certain that I will most definitely get some use out of this hat yet this season – because while it is warm out now – winter is sure to give us a few final blasts before spring ushers him out for good.

And, yesterday I had the most wonderful day – I spent it in Lansing on a Knitting Trip to Selbu with the amazing Terri Shea and her Selbuvotter Mittens.  She is a most amazing educator and her knowledge of the history of Selbu knitting makes it so fascinating.  I have one mitten completed and I am hoping to get the second cast on tomorrow.   It is a quick and fun knit.

One last tale from my Wild and Crazy Adventure to Petosky – we did some shopping in the local consignment shops.  Ummm, can you say good deals?  Yes, I managed to find a few.  And, we filled to large garbage bags with woolen sweaters – stay tuned for some creative genius.  Yes, we will be stitching and a felting!  Wait until you see….

Have a great Monday everyone!


Sandy and Kat's Excellent Adventure!

Sandy and Kat's Excellent Adventure!

Or Not All Fast Food Is Created Equal.

Whew, are you caught up from my whirl wind post from yesterday?

Just when you thought you had your feet back on the ground here I come to send it all whirling again!

One of the things we picked up at Kim Clare’s Farm and Woolery was her mom’s cookbook.

Cute, huh? Well – the recipes inside are something to behold. Until Sandy and I had read the cookbook, neither of us was aware that you could stay awake until 2AM reading recipes out loud and laughing hysterically.

I know – who knew!

So, on our 3rd night there – yes, we were only going to say 2 nights – but that class on wet felting allowed us to stay an extra day. Anyways, back to night #3. We had stopped again at the Pellston Market to get some more cheese (a bit of Rogue River Blue and some Triple Cream Brie. Gentle reader, you have not lived until you have had these cheeses with some fig jam on top. Yes, Fig Jam. Oh. My. Gosh. I swear I heard the Hallelujah Chorus being sung by a multitude of the Heavenly host. Honestly.)

Again, I digress…

Back to the Pellston Market. We were waiting for them to shave us off a couple more slices of cheese when what do our wondering eyes behold.

Microwave dinner in the freezer.

Microwave dinner you say?

Let me just tell you, not all Fast Food is created equally.

How does Curried Chicken Breast on a bed of Israeli Couscous with Pernod soaked golden raisins and oven roasted tomatoes sound?

Not like any fast food I have ever eaten.

We had it with a desert mousse – Frozen White Chocolate Towers with a fresh Papaya Puree’.

Are we pitiful or what?

So, we noshed on some cheeses, sipped some wine and while we waited for the microwave to cook our dinner we began to read the recipes from “Louise’s Recipe Collection”. I swear we were not intoxicated – knitter’s honor! But, we could not stop laughing at some of these recipes. If you do not know how to make Finger Jello, email me – the recipe is in here. If you do not know how to make “Fast Salad” (aka, lime jello fluff – you all remember that stuff, cottage cheese, dry jello, Cool Whip, and a canned fruit – our house made it with crushed pineapple) that recipe is in there too. There is a macaroni salad that has 2 cups of mayo, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of vinegar in it – I am not kidding you. I could not make this stuff up if I tried! Under the “Main Dish” section was this little gem – and although it is not really little – I had to share it with you today. Maybe we can start a nationwide shortage of maraschino cherries – Manhattan drinker’s beware!

So, without further adieu – here you go, gentle reader:

Baked Oatmeal:

42 ounce box of Quick Cook Oatmeal (yes, 42 ounces – get the Sam’s Club Special)

2 pounds of brown sugar (you got it, 2 whole pounds – better get that at Sam’s while you are at it)

4 tablespoons of baking soda

4 cups of milk

8 eggs (huh? only 8 eggs – that must be a typo.)

2 cups of melted butter (are your arteries clogging yet????)

2 cups of maraschino cherries (if you drink Manhattan’s you may want to stock up – and if you happen to go the your local market and find no maraschino cherries on the shelves, don’t say I did not warn you)

2 cups of raisins

Mix oatmeal, sugar, soda, raisins and cherries. Beat eggs, milk, and butter together and add to dry ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 2 inch full size pan (huh, I’d say the largest freakin’ pan in your kitchen and hope that it is big enough!!) Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve with milk and bananas.

The author has hand written this note in my book – “for a large crowd“.

I am not kidding you folks – can you see what we spent the evening laughing about? There is one recipe in which you must take the pot of tomato jam and place it on your head, stirring constantly – watch for lumps. How the heck do you see what is inside the pot with it perched upon your head!!!! We almost died on this one. And then there is the recipe for Prefect Poached Eggs – no, not Perfect – Prefect – must be extra special eggs that either Roman Magistrates or Jesuit Priests make. My face hurt we laughed so much – seriously.

So, next time you find me I will be whipping up a batch of Tomato Jam – I’ll be easy to find, look for the girl with the pot on her head.

Just a bit of eye candy to end your day on a more serious note… some yummy Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3-Ply on the right and Handmaiden Silk Rumple Kid Mohair on the left.

Have a fabulous Friday and get cooking!

D is for Decadence

D is for Decadence

It’s been a wild week here at the Home for the Unemployed!  Much fun and merriment.  Maybe a bit too much fun and merriment as you will see below.  So, I have this friend – Sandy has no blog and she recently had surgery, thus having a bit of time off from work.  Sandy with no blog does, however, have a lovely cottage up in Alanson Michigan.  So, we packed up Copper, Penny, and Alice, a few clothes, some things to knit on and headed north.  It was perfect – I was waiting to get my testing number back from the State (this is to take my test for being a nurses aide) and we each had a bit of free time on our hands.  We were just going to stay a couple of nights and then back home.  A quick trip!

Right… good thought at the start. 

Then Decadence showed up.  

Who were we to tell her to leave???

So, we began our wee vacation with a small supper at a most amazing restaurant in Petosky – a small, family owned Italian restaurant where the service was divine and the food was beyond decadent.  Sandy and I agreed to order different things and split – more to taste right?  So, she orders some wild boar – that was falling off the bone, flavored beyond belief and accompanied with some roasted parsnips that were drenched in an herbed butter.  I get the home made gnocci with the wild mushroom cream sauce.  Okay – truly I could have stopped right there.  Truly – but I was afraid to miss out on anything that tasted better than dinner (and the salad – oh. my. gosh.) So, we forged ahead with dessert. 

Warning – if you have cholesterol problems you might want to stop reading about now… what follows will be sure to elevate your cholesterol level to beyond dangerous numbers!

So, after we had the richest dinner on earth – we plunged ahead boldly and ordered ….

Fried Cream.

Yes, you read that right – Fried Cream.

Get this, gentle reader, the waiter I wanted to take home with me says this…..

It is amazing… we freeze the cream (whole cream, not half and half, WHOLE CREAM) and cut it into little squares.  We lightly roll the frozen pillows of cream in a light, and I mean light, crust and deep fry them for just a few moments until they are a light golden brown.  They are served on a bed of melted dark chocolate with a side of pureed apricots.  The following words clinched it for me…

“They explode in your mouth”

Sign me up for the exploding cholesterol desert please! 

These little pillows of perfection arrived and guess what…

Holy Hannah, they do explode in your mouth.  Divine bliss.  Oral oversaturation.  Sensory overload times ten.

Yeah, we practically licked the plate clean! 

Now, we had only had a glass of wine with dinner so when we discovered that this restaurant made their own Lemoncello – we, of course, had to have some. 

Wow, lemony freshness, palate cleansing punch in one small sip. 

Needless to say, we managed to roll ourselves home to sleep off the eating over indulgence. 

Sweet dreams circled around my head and lingered for most of the morning as we headed out to explore for the day. 

We stopped in the middle of freaking nowhere to find the Pellston Market, aka Cheese Heaven.

We got a few slices of cheese to have with our dinner that night and found out about a yarn shop enroute to Cynthia’s in Mackinaw City. 

Cheeses in tow, we headed out.  And, in the distance we saw it…

The Flower Lady’s Farm and Woolery.

The sheep greeted us as we pulled in.

By now, I am almost at combustion point – wool.  On Sheep.  Sheared from sheep.  Wool everywhere.

Yeah.  It was incredible.

We loved it at the Woolery so much we went back the next day and took a class…

Wet felting.  Baby Slippers.  

I present to you – Starry Night.  The colors are not fabulous in the bleak West Michigan winter weather – but they are dark brown inside with the most wonderful blue overlay and for added interest, little bits of color. 

They are just too sweet.  I am excited to give these to my girlfriend who is expecting her second.  And – when he cannot wear them any longer – what a great Christmas tree decoration, don’t you think?

Well, lest you think I left any fiber at the Woolery, save what was still attached to the sheep (and I did find out that shearing day was coming soon… ) I did manage to snag a few great items to enhance my fiber stash.  I got a wee bit of California Red – gorgeous stuff.  And, since the sheep twisted my arm, I had no choice but to grab some.  It is creamy, springy, and soft with a faint red hue.  I also got a gorgeous batt of some Icelandic that she raises at her farm.  But, that was not the big prize of the week… heavens no.  Feast your eyes on this….

Okay – what you see here is 8 ounces of Gotland fiber imported directly from England.  The smell is incredible.  The feel is beyond decadent.  And, carded, this stuff makes clouds look harsh.  Pillowy, springy, fluff.  Begging me to spin it.  How could I resist????

We managed to drag ourselves out of there and we headed north a few miles to Mackinaw City to Cynthia’s Yarn Shop.  Even in the dead of winter, this is a quaint place to be.  I picked up a skein of Fleece Artist – some of their Silky Wool.  Nice sheen.  We also stopped by Stonehedge Fiber Mill – only in Northern Michigan will they give you an imprompteau tour of the mill.  I picked up some gorgeous Pin Drafted Top Merino and some Camel – Merino blend.  Just some fun things to spin on my new wheel. 

Yes, you read that right.  I have a Polish visitor.  One Kromski Polonaise visitor.  One that I am not going to let leave.  Isn’t she gorgeous?

You can see a bobbin with some of that gorgeous Pin Drafted Top Merino on it… and, gentle reader, she spins so divinely.  I have been meditating on a name for her – and originally I was leaning towards a name of Polish origin.  But, nothing was jumping out at me – she seemed to not be moved by any of them. 

Then it hit me… She is a bit of a Bohemian and this so fit…

I found this little treasure …

Meet Mona Aamons Monzano – in memory of Kurt Vonnegut…

And so Mona it is.  Mona is hanging on a spire and bringing good vibrations to all that is spun.  She is equally a Bohemian – and a busty one at that!  Don’t you just love her????  I know I sure do… she is the Spinning Goddess!

So, my friend Sandy is down south now with her husband – and I am sitting for their dog, Katie – and the bell rang yesterday and this giant arrived. 

Have you even seen such a decadent flower? 

I present one LARGE King Protea in all it’s glory.

Thanks Sandy and Bud, I love it!

Have a fabulous evening all… I am going to go spin a bit more with Mona…

Giving up something for Lent?

Make mine snow, please.

Yes, I will suffer through and give up snow for Lent.  I know, it will be difficult, but I will try and persevere!

Yeah.  I know.  I’ll let you all know how that works!

Well, in the reality of things, we have gotten volumes of snow this year thus far.  And, we have a good chunk of February and all of March to get through yet.

Oh boy.

Well, the good thing about all this snow is that it makes for good knitting weather.

I can work on depleting some of the wool that is living in my stash.

I am taking a class on Selbuvotter mittens coming up in March.  That is something that will be fun to do in this frigid weather.

I also need to get knitting on another BSJ – my girlfriend is having a baby and they just found out it is a boy.  I’d like to knit it out of something a bit larger than sock weight yarn.  I will have to keep my eyes open for the perfect yarn and get that worked up.  They have about 20 more weeks to go, so my thought process is to have a bit of a bigger sweater so he can wear it this fall.  There is a plan, huh?  Maybe some Dream in Color Classy – mmmmm, I have not knit with that, but I love how it feels!  That could be perfect!

I am in Lynne’s May Sock Swap and I have found my pattern, I have ordered my yarn and I am itching to get knitting on my pal’s socks.  I am so excited about this!  I loved Bloomin’ Feet and I was blessed to be able to knit for Lynne, so I am excited to be thinking about my new pal as I am knitting socks for her.

And, I have just one more item to get for my Special Swap Pal for her Spa package – I hope to have my package out and on it’s way to her early next week.

Stay warm and have a good night all!

ABC Spectrum Along's

ABC Spectrum Along's

Wow, am I glad it is the weekend! 

Catch up time for laundry, house work, and knitting!  Without these I’d have to leave the house naked, eating off paper plates, stressed beyond my limits!  Yes, that would be a scary, scary world!  Thus, I am making sure I get lots of knitting time in… that way I will be so relaxed I won’t care that I am naked, and who needs to eat when you can knit, right? 

Well, fortunately common sense has not left the Home for the Unemployed!

I am almost done with laundry and I did most of my house cleaning last night.

Which was perfect – I had my knit along for the Manos afgan today.  Ann was there with her friend Alice – we laughed and had a good time.  I have block #1 completed (can you believe that I needed to get another skein to finish block #1?????) and I have started on block #2.

As you can see, this fits for Project Spectrum 3 as well… although the photo does not show it very well… it is a very dark rusty, orange-y, golden-y varigated yarn.  Block #2 will be a lovely golden yellow color.  

Staying on the theme of Project Spectrum Flame – I have a picture of my Hemlock Ring Blanket … this is so fun to knit.  I love how it is turning out!

I am about half way done with this, and it is going to be spectacular.  As I said, I am knitting this with Cascade 128. 

And, as if I did not have enough going on for Project Spectrum – I saw a cute scarf – Gust – on Anne Hanson’s blog.  You guessed it, when I learned that I could get some amazing orange Arequipa from Ball and Skein I had to order it!

What is not to love with 80% Alpaca and 20% silk?  This will be my treat to cast on once I have finished clinicals at the nursing home this week! 

And, this week is brought to you all by the letter C (I could not resist – my Sesame Street days are showing!!)

And, in my house C stands for Copper – my Cav.

I love you, Mom, but why are you taking my picture????

Playing catch up…or the faster I go, the behinder I get

Hello All from white and wintry Western Michigan! I know, what on earth am I complaining about – I don’t have 110 inches of snow on the ground like those poor folks in New York State do – it is just that I am hungering for a view of the sun – you know, a small reminder that it still exists! There has been grey clouds with snow flakes falling from them for what seems like an eternity – or at least the past 30 days, or so my weather man tells me. It makes for dreary days – not so great, as I am sure you can all imagine!

So, I believe I am over my ailment – this is a very good thing. I truly appreciate all the kind comments from all of you – 2 days off from work was certainly unexpected and it has made me so behind, here on Tuesday a week later I am still struggling to catch up! I find myself thinking about the story from the Bible – you know the one when the earth stood still for 3 days – this would work wonderfully for me right now – 3 days = 1 and I might be all caught up! So, while I know this won’t be happening – I press on to get as many things as I can finished in the hours alloted in each day. If you have sent me an email recently – be patient – I will get an answer back to you sometime this week, certainly by the weekend.

I have been doing a bit of knitting – I am proud to report. I am working on my Bloomin’ Feet pal’s socks – and I am LOVING the pattern. I am doing “Spindle Socks” and the yarn I have selected is working beautifully with the pattern. I selected Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in the most amazing pale pink – the yarn and the pattern were made for each other! I have turned the heel on sock #1 and am about half way to the toes! I shall try and post a photo of my progress – I am throughly enjoying the pattern – it is fun and an easy knit. I hope my pal will love these – I think they will look awesome on her feet! I am also keeping my eyes open for some fun items to include in her package!! I hope to have sock #1 finished this weekend and begin its mate as well!

Okay – I have finished my tea and I need to get back at it – have an awesome Tuesday everyone!

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