Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Christmas knitting

Remember the scarf for the eight year old?  Well, I finished it.  And even blocked it!  Then promptly packed it up and put it away in the Christmas gift box.  Notice a missing step there?  Yep!  I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished scarf.  Oops!  Maybe my great niece will send me one after Christmas.

I quickly moved on to knitting a hat for her younger brother.  Not to be left out, he's getting "special" yarn too.  I'm using some fingering weight superwash merino from Neighborhood Fiber Co.  This yarn had also been in my stash for a while.

I'm pretty excited about my Christmas knitting all coming from my stash.  Well, okay, I bought a few skeins of Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks back in the late summer with the intention of maybe knitting the Smitten mittens but I hadn't even printed the pattern at that point.  There was nothing firm in my plan and honestly, I was thinking of knitting socks, not mittens.  Because the yarn sat in my stash pile for more than two months, I don't count it as "new" yarn.  It's stashed yarn.  And that means every gift I've knit, or plan to knit, this year will be from my stash.  I'm pretty dang excited about that!

As for the Smitten mittens status, I've knit 24 so far.  Only 48 more to go.  I'm fairly certain I'm not going to make that goal.  99.9999999% sure of it in fact.  But I'll keep knitting anyway.  Maybe there'll be a Christmas miracle.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.  I'm so excited to not be excited about it this year.  We have a couple of dishes that we always serve that never get made the rest of the year and I'm always so excited thinking about the food.  But remember the new meds I'm on that take away my appetite?  Well, they are working!  Thankfully the over active butterflies in my belly have disappeared and I'm feeling pretty good.  And not the least bit hungry.  Well, that's not true.  I do feel hungry occasionally, but a very small portion fills me up.  And I'm not craving all things sweet and carb filled.  All I really want is raw green vegetables which is VERY, very not typical for me.  While I am looking forward to that turkey sandwich on Friday, just the thought of all the Thanksgiving food is kind of making me queasy.  It's pretty cool and quite exciting.   It's going to be interesting to see how I actually do on the day.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020



Seventeen and a half down, fifty-four and a half more to go.

I'm not so sure how smitten I will be at the end of this Smitten mitten project but I am happy to be using up lots of odd balls and bits from my Wool of the Andes stash.

Friday, November 13, 2020


Are you doing NaKniSweMo?  I'd planned to.  I had the yarn and pattern picked out and at the ready.  I'd even balled the skeins of yarn, swatched, and set the proper needles aside for safe keeping.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I swatched!

And then I realized the reality of my pre-Christmas knitting.  NaKniSweMo quickly turned into NaKniSweNope! 

I'm knitting a pink Stroll Gradient shawl for my mother-in-law.  Pink is her favorite color.

I'm knitting the Mountain Colors scarf for my great niece.  And if I'm knitting something for the great niece, her brother will need something handknit too.  

The not so great cowl for Sarah got frogged.  She says she'd rather have socks.  It's a dammed good thing she likes to cook and grocery shop!  

There's the poinsettia needlepoint that needs to get finished and turned into a pillow.  

There's the two Christmas stockings that still need to be lined.

And last but not least, let's not forget the seventy-two Smitten mittens I need to knit.  And as if seventy-two mini mittens wasn't enough, I'll need five garland cords to go with them.

Yeah, NaKniSweMo is definitely a nope this year.  But hey, on the positive side, I've already got my Christmas Eve Cast On project ready to go.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Three on Thursday - Happy Things

 Three things that are making me happy this week.

1.  This Japanese maple is gorgeous and makes me happy every time I see it.  Except when I glance at it through the little window in the door and think the house is on fire.  

The tree doesn't look that great in the photo.  It was extremely foggy and three minutes from flooding rains when I took the picture.  You'll just have to trust me.  Actually, it's so bright, you may be able to see the glow from your house.

2.  Victoza.  Several of you asked about and/or commented on my weight loss medicine.  It's actually a blood sugar medication but it also makes you loose weight by removing your appetite.  And it helps with cholesterol.  After taking it for almost two full weeks, I think the way it works is that it makes you so queasy, you don't eat so you 1) don't get blood sugar spikes, 2) don't want a bunch of fatty foods so your cholesterol drops and 3) you don't eat because you feel like barfing 23/7 so you automatically loose weight.  But really, it's not that bad.  The queasiness is a weird mixture of feeling hungry, having to go to the bathroom, queasiness and having MASSIVE butterflies.  You know that feeling of finding a certified letter from the IRS in your mailbox?  Or your doorbell rings and you find a policeman standing on your porch?  Yeah, those are the kinds of butterflies.  But really, it's okay.  

I'll gladly have butterflies for the results I'm getting.  From the first of April to mid October, with daily exercise and watching what I ate, I lost ten pounds.  But with Victoza, in eleven days, I've lost eight pounds.  And really, for the last four or five days, I only feel nauseous for a total of about four or five hours a day.  I have high hopes that by this time next week, the butterflies will have all flown away.

(And before y'all get worked up about the weight loss, yes, I'm still eating.  I'm just eating a lot less.  I'm not hungry so I don't need to eat a giant plate full of mashed potatoes.  I'm happy to eat a plate full (a much smaller plate, I might add) of vegetables instead.  I'm also aware there could be some unpleasant side affects.  The doctor and I will both keep a look out for signs of a problem.  And, the medicine is not a long term plan for me.)

3.  I really, really need to remember to take photos in the daylight instead of waiting until the night before I need a blog post.

Mountain Colors yarn.  Oh!  My! Goodness!  This yarn is pure, unadulterated bliss.   These two skeins are from the Twizzlefoot line in Summertime and Big Sky.  I'm holding the two skeins together to knit a modified Simple Yet Effective shawl for my niece.  No wait.  She's a great niece.  Damn, I am old!

If I'm honest, I'm having a hard time believing I'm using this yarn (two skeins of it!) to knit a scarf for an eight year old.  But I'm trying this new thing where I don't hoard my yarn and save it for "something special."  Besides, my great niece is pretty special.  It's just that she's only eight.  

But luckily, eight year olds are fairly small so the scarf won't have to be huge and I'm hoping there'll be enough left over to knit myself a cowl or some fingerless mitts.  If not, I guess I'll just have to buy some more.  Pity.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Bodice Ripper

I do love a good, trashy, bodice ripper romance novel.

Specially if there's yarn involved.

Okay, so I saw that on Facebook the other day and thought it was funny.

Sadly, James is not in my world.  This Minnetonka cowl is though.  I have the feeling it is going to be a Huge disappointment.  How can such a beautiful skein knit up into such a dreary and boring piece of fabric?  I wanted so desperately to doctor the photo up to make the colors look better but the truth is the truth.  And to really be truthful, I was outdoors and the sun was beginning to set and so the light was a little funny.  In all honesty, the real life look is even more drab.  The poor thing looks like Army brown camo that has been washed and heavily bleached about 18 gazillion times.

And the big question is, do I keep knitting and hand it over Christmas morning and say, "Too bad if you think it's ugly.  You chose the yarn."  Or do I show it to her now and ruin the surprise?  Or do I frog the whole thing and say, "Ha ha, you're not getting a knitted gift after all."

Decisions, decisions.

I sure wish James was here to help me decide.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Three on Thursday

 For today's Three on Thursday, I have three simple things that are making me very, very happy.

When my doctor told me to increase my cinnamon intake, all I could think of was cinnamon buns.  Luckily, I've discovered I like a tiny bit of cinnamon in my coffee.  Even luckier, I drink enough coffee that I'm almost getting a full teaspoon's worth a day.

As I write this, the US may not yet know who the next president will be, but at least the advertisements have stopped.

This one is super exciting!  I have not received a single car warranty phone call in over 48 hours.

Hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020


Please pardon the typos and any weirdness in this post. The house has used up all its internet for the month and I'm blogging from my phone. Which I've never done before.


I've started working on the Smitten mittens. Five down, sixty-seven more to go.

Good grief, I wish I hadn't calculated that!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sunday Supper - Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas

 No photo today but a delicious sounding recipe.

My endocrinologist has put me on a diet and medication to decrease my appetite.  She says, "I'm going to make you loose weight."  I think I'm cool with that.  Specially since she also says weight loss is impossible this time of year and she'll be extremely happy with me if I just don't gain over the upcoming holidays.  Have I mentioned how much I like my doctor?

Anyway... Sarah mentioned the other day that she's craving some kind of curry dish and per the doctor, I'm supposed to eat more veggies obviously, and weirdly, more pepper.   Black and cayenne specifically.  I knew cayenne was supposed to help with weight loss, but I had no idea black pepper has health benefits too.  It helps your body absorb more nutrients as well boosts your fat burning metabolism.

And magically, the first recipe I stumbled across when searching for fall side dish recipes was for Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas.  It's the perfect recipe for my new diet.  High in fiber, has some veggies, has both kinds of pepper and the sauce is made from whole milk yogurt which another thing I'm supposed to eat.  I just love it when life works out that way.

Now, let's see if we can talk the spouse and his mom into eating curry...