YO! ZMK Knits!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Final Finished Object of 2006!

And what do you think it is, my friends? A lace shawl? A fair isle sweater of my own handspun? Aww, you overestimate my mad knitting skills; you're too kind.

My final FO of 2006 is. . .

A Felted Cat Bed!

cat bed

Started: December 21
Ended: December 28
# Times trying to felt: 3 (I think -- ZMrK did a couple of runs while I was working)
Pattern: See above link (Wendy Knits)
Needle Size: 13
Yarn: JoAnn Sensations yarn (I purchased a bunch of this yarn about a year and 1/2 ago) -- I went a few yards into the 5th skein (approx. 87 yards/skein). It's a nice olive green with yellow and orange flecks in it, and got a nice camoflauge look when it was done.
Trim Yarn: Skacel Gatto in a nice kitty barf color. ZMrK won a bag of this as a door prize at the Boston Knit Out. This stuff is a bitch to work with, but it looks really cool felted into the pattern. Nice and muppet like:


(about the turtle. . . I had gone into PetCo to get the cats a new water dish, saw this, and had to buy it. What cat wouldn't want to attack a red eared slider???)

The cats' initial reaction? Indifference. I tried to put Solvie in it and she freaked out, but that's probably more because I was picking her up than because I was trying to put her into a cat bed laced with catnip. In the middle of the night last night, she got her claw stuck in the blanket and started freaking out and hissing. She's almost back to her pre-near-death-experience self.

We finally got Zelia to go into it, by picking her up when she was sleeping and just plopping her in there:

zelia bed3

zelia bed2

We helped by giving her a little friend to snuggle with:

zelia vel bed

Of course, this is how she ended up sleeping in it:

zelia bed

And she slept there the whole time we were gone today, it seems (over four hours).

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My honey's got a new tattoo!

new tattoo

Recognize it?

Would this help you figure it out?

From conception to execution in a mere week . . . I admire that sort of commitment.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Holidaze, Part II -- Da Feast!

This was part of the spread over at da' folks house:


Coincidentally, it's the only photo I took of Karmellah all day, and her face isn't even in it. She usually takes enough photos for the both of us.

I copied her "food art" photography:


I love beets, and I don't think it's just because beet juice looks like blood when you spill it and it is dripping out of the fridge across the floor (I should try to dig up that photo!). I love beets because they're yummy.

I also love these:


Peanut butter balls! My dad makes them from scratch, and it's something like a 3-day process. They are really incredible. I think I had about 10 of those.

Silly me; I forgot to take pictures of the pies! I fully intended to, but then got so intent on eating. We had pumpkin (Mom's homemade), Apple (Mrs. Smith's frozen) and Mince (Mrs. Smith's frozen). I had a slice of each! The pumpkin was the best.

And here is the honorable Momma MissKnit herself, with her lovely handknit present:


And yes, that is our Holiday Card above her head.

Here is the honorable Papa MissKnit, doing what we all wanted to do:


Our giggling woke him up after that.

And who is this good-looking couple??


I'm not certain if I look like me in this picture. Maybe that's what I look like when I'm really tired and not wearing makeup.

I'll have to get a pic of our tree lit up. In the meantime, here's my parents' tree:


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Holidaze!!!! Part 1

Whew! It's over and we survived! I really love the holidays, but it can be exhausting. Of course, I work in a building that is only accessible via a mall, so that made it super-extra frenetic feeling. I can't believe how crazy busy that mall was (is -- it's school vacation week!).

Here is our tree, complete with pressies!
See that big red box behind Solvie? Do you know what was in that? A wheel!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yup, my best-husband-in-the-whole-wide-world got me a Lendrum for Christmas! So cool.

By the way, we don't have severed limbs lying around the house; at least not real ones. So that hand you see near the lower right corner is fake. It's a souvenier from the horror/comedy/musical play that we did the special effects for and it's made out of latex. So, we're weird, but we're not psychotic.

And those pothos plants? ZMrK's friend gave me those before she moved to San Jose in summer '05, and they are still alive! Yay me! The plants lasted longer than her time in San Jose (she came back this summer).

Here's some of our Christmas baking!

Swedish cream cookies:


I have a recipe for these to share, but I'll have to add it later. They're really simple; the cookie is just flour, butter, and heavy cream, and the frosting is butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, egg yolk, and food coloring. They are really yummy -- they melt in your mouth!

Maple star cookies:


They're baked on parchment paper, which is looking quite greasy at this point (I think that was the batch we baked last). I think the recipe was from Bon Appetit magazine, but I'm not certain. It's possibly available online somewhere. These, also, are really yummy.

Molasses cookies:


These are from ZMrK's grandma's recipe. They came out exceptionally well this year, and he thinks it's because he made them with olive oil instead of the usual vegetable/canola oil. They were extra fluffy and cakey. I think they were my favorite out of all three cookies we made.
If I read the recipe correctly, they are also vegan.

I also knit some ornaments:

I cropped that a little off-center because I think the glass ornament in there is so pretty. ZMrK has a great collection of vintage glass ornaments (and I guess I do now, too!).

The mitten came out a little blurry in this picture. They're now on my parents' tree, so that's the best shot I can get this year.

This is my mom's gift:

my mom's xmas present

I made her a non-beaded Odessa hat, and a pair of gloves (which fit her PERFECTLY, by the way. I'm good. Okay, so our hands are about the same size, and I kept trying them on). I bought the yarn back in May at the NH Sheep and Wool Fest (remember, when it flooded in most of Central to Southern NH???? Yeah, we were wading around the fairgrounds fondling fiber with my friend Lena.) It is, I believe, a sock yarn because it seems to have a bit of nylon in it. If that dealer is there again next year, I'm going to buy a bunch of it because it's really nice, and it was cheap!!! I think I got roughly 7 oz for about $7. I made all this and may have enough left over for another Odessa, or I could combine it with other yarn for socks. I haven't decided.

This is my parents' tree:


See the Incredible Flying Red Hat? Some really cute guy decided to toss the hat I made him last week into the picture, and was delighted when it showed up.

My parents' house (built around 1893-94) has an alcove, which is perfect for a tree. They usually have a table there with tons of pictures on it. As you can see, they also have a lot of plants. Two of the windows got covered up in the 80's to make the room a little less chilly, but the alcoves on the 2nd (parents' bedroom) and 3rd (attic) floors still have all the windows. My dad used to have white fantailed pigeons in the attic alcove, so there's still seed all over the place up there.

I'll post Christmas dinner along with a family photos later!

Nothing Says "Happy Holidays" Like Garlic Breath!


Or, at least that's what I think.

This is the marinated goat cheese I made this weekend, to take to the office potluck/Yankee Swap this Thursday. See the oil splotches on the sides? I kindasorta "plopped" half a log of goat cheese into the oil bath, kindasorta forgetting the laws of physics.

I have a recipe to share for this!

Marinated Goat Cheese

1 large log of plain goat cheese
2 cups olive oil
1 whole head garlic
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/3 cup thinly sliced, reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
fresh or coarse ground pepper

The garlic is the hard part -- you have to peel all the cloves, and then VERY thinly slice them, paper thin slices. Dicing or pressing them doesn't work; I've tried. They HAVE to be THINLY sliced.

In a glass or ceramic dish, throw sliced garlic, sliced basil, sliced dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and a shake of ground pepper into olive oil. Stir that up, and then immerse goat cheese in it. You can keep the log whole, or slice it into circles. Pour the marinade over and over the cheese. Cover, and put in fridge for a few days or a week. Then let it come to room temperature.

You can serve it with or without the olive oil bath. The oil is a wonderful dip for bread, or you can pour it over cooked pasta.
People LOVE this stuff -- at least at the parties I've made it for.
I had signed up to make this, and knew people were looking forward to it. Then I came home to look for the recipe and realized I didn't have it!!! I remembered that I had had a copy on my work computer -- at my former job! I sulked and pouted for a couple of hours, and then ZMrK came up to me and said, "How much do you love me?"
I said, "More than everything!"
He handed me the recipe! I had emailed it to him when I got it, back in 2002 when we were just engaged, and he still had the printout. What a sweetie!

Monday, December 18, 2006

OOoh! Today is. . .

my bloggerversary!!!!

I've been blogging a whole year! Woo hoo!

Coming soon: pictures of our tree and our holiday cookies!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I gave myself. . .

a new avatar.

Like it?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

We Made Soap!!!!

ZMrK and I made some soap this afternoon. We used a goat's milk soap base, and added scent and color.


The above picture shows the true colors of the soap. The soaps in the foreground (Victorian Roses) are striped lilac and peach. I scented these with almond honey scent, and they came out quite strong.

ZMrK made the turtle and frog soaps in the back. He colored them with lime green and scented them with orange. They are not as strong as the almond honey soap.

Here's some detail:


I had to take the flash off in order to get good macro shots. Too bad; because the below soap has some really nice purple marbling in it.


Here's a detail of the frog and turtle soaps:


We'll be making more of this in the future! My next step will be to add oatmeal and spices to the soaps (to make them even tastier smelling!)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy Holidays!

From my family to yours. . .

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Let's Wrap Up the Weekend With Some Yarn Pr0n. . .

I received my shipment yesterday from Carodan Farms' Day after Thanksgiving sale:


The above are all Interlacements Toasty Toes in Colorway 402, Taiga.
I just noticed that each purchase is supposed to come with a free sock pattern, but I don't think I got it. Hmmm. . .


I also got some Opal Rainforest in the Fish colorway, and some Opal Crocodile in a black and white colorway.


I'm almost done with my mom's Odessa hat, and I'm going to have a boatload of yarn leftover. Maybe I'll try my hand (ha! get it?) at knitting gloves; I got some shorter dpns just for that purpose.

Here's the progress as of this morning:

I'm into the decrease rounds now, so I may be done by the end of the night. I'll need a new project for my SnB tomorrow.

Here's some pr0n of the yarn I'm making Odessa in:


I love yarn cakes:


At this point I need to ask if my niece Kara is reading this, that she move away from this screen NOW. I don't think she has been following my blog, but she knows of its existence, and hopefully in her job change she lost the url to it.

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Here are my second takes on Odessa and Fetching:



Everything in Odessa is as the pattern calls for. I used Rowan Cashsoft DK. I know the Fetching pattern didn't call for DK but they worked out fine in it (a little big on me, truthfully, but I think Kara's hands are a bit bigger than mine.

I went to A.C. Moore today for their Moonlight Madness sale, and bought about $30 worth of soapmaking supplies. I've gotten the itch. I hope to include little soaps with some of my gifts this year. I'll post pics after I make them, even if they come out shitty.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Weekends were made for. . .

certainly not Michaloeb! Did I even spell that right? I don't even know if I've ever tasted the stuff; but I did have a can of Schaeffer recently (traded a Miller High Life for it; don't ask).

This is how I kicked off my weekend:


I think y'all know the gentleman in the glasses (no, it's neither Buddy Holly nor Elvis Costello!). I'm sure a few of you are familiar with Mr. Charles Shaw, who for the low price of $2.99 at my local Trader Joe's, supplies me with Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon (I'm not one to drink white wines).

The CD is this excellent collection of Japanese female-vocal pop from the 70s. It's on the Ultra-Vybe label, which has a lot of great-sounding (but pricey) Japanese comps available at Dusty Groove. Oh, and if you're interested in jazz, soul, groove, international soundtracks, and other stuff that the chain stores don't carry, Dusty Groove is the place to get 'em. Not everything is expensive like the Japanese comps, and they have vinyl too!

The DVD, Jigoku (Japanese for "Hell"), was a long time coming. We had seen a few parts of it at a friend's house back in 2003, when it wasn't available in this country. We did get a (cough, cough) copy on eBay that stopped playing about 45 minutes into it. Criterion finally released it this year, and it was worth the wait. It's trippy as all get out.

The other fun thing was ordering food from Thailand Cafe, which we always thought was called "Authentic Thai Cuisine" because that's what their menus say. We refer to them as "ATC". Yum.

The one thing I forgot to put into my pic was my knitting!!! Odessa Part III is on the needles right now, using the shades-of-purple-and-blue yarn I bought back in May at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Fest. I'm making it sans beads, because it's busy enough as it is. I'm about 12 rounds into the pattern, and maybe I'll be able to make matching mittens.

Other than that, it was hangin' with LL:

ell ell

Friday, December 01, 2006

. . . and the train smelled like vomit.

That's how my work day ended.

At least it wasn't "And I got mugged on my way home from the train station" or "I slipped and fell out of the train, breaking my arm".

At least I was only going two stops on the train.

But it smelled like vomit.

I'm so glad to be home, in my leopard print Old Navy loungepants ($3!) and my LL Cool J t-shirt, ready to drink wine, knit, and watch a movie. That is how I am kicking off my weekend.