Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Calling Dr. MM

Have you heard that Blue M&Ms may contain the cure for paralysis? Well "Brilliant Blue G", the dye used in these and many other unnaturally coloured foods, in any case. Better than red dye, that stuff does some crazy things to my kids.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh to be a 1950's housewife

I'm afraid I lose at being a housewife. My house is so overtaken with clutter I don't even know where to start, I'm paralyzed even thinking about it. And every time I do get a good start, the boys follow behind and undo it all. How do you other stay at home moms with kids do it?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Knit wit

For those of you not on Ravelry, I've finished my first attempt at a lace shawl (the one I mentioned here). I'm not sure why, as I never wear anything like this, but it IS unbelievably soft cashmere, so I might have to start!

I'm starting on a Whisper cardigan from the Spring 2009 Interweave Knits, though I'm using the schematic more than the actual pattern. I'm using a heavier yarn (recycled cashmere as well, think I have an addiction problem maybe?) so it might not turn out like it is in my head, but at least it will be soft!

This is only my second sweater (unless you count the half cardigan I made for Xander, which I don't), but there is no seaming. A couple years ago I made Gabriel a sweater though.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Demarle products

This afternoon I tested out my new Demarle products. A friend had a Demarle party a couple of weeks ago and I went, fairly skeptical, but wanting a silpat. After the party I like what I saw enough to get a few items: the silpat, the roulpat (for non-stick rolling), a perforated tray (for the silpat to sit on for more even baking), and a mini muffin tray.

I tried to "wing it" and make some fruit tartlet type things, which turned out yummy but didn't stay together. All I did was press an oatmeal crust (1 cup oatmeal, half a cup of sugar, a quarter cup of melted margarine) into the bottoms of the tray, and covered with fruit. Xander likes the blueberry ones best.

The Demarle products are great for this, because NOTHING sticks to this tray! Everything slid right out, and you don't need to use any oil or spray; cleanup is a breeze too, so it's a lot easier to try recipes you think might fail, knowing it will only take 3 minutes to get rid of the evidence!

After my failure I had to try something that worked so I did some tried and true banana muffins from Grand Slam: More Recipes from the Best of Bridge.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups mashed bananas
  • 4 well beaten eggs
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter and sugar. Add bananas and eggs, beat until well mixed. Sift together dry ingredients, blend with banana mixture, careful not to overmix. Bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes.

You can just call me ...

Digital Artificial Neohuman Intended for Efficient Learning and Logical Exploration

Get Your Cyborg Name

Get it, get it quick, before our metal overlords discover your true identity!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Secret Pal 14 Questionnaire

I've signed up for Secret Pal 14, so for those of you not involved please disregard this post! For those involved, here by my info:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I find that yarn that has "bits" that come off tend to get stuck in my throat and be very uncomfortable to knit with. I am becoming a little bit of a yarn snob (ie. I don't prefer yarn from the big box stores) but I'm cheap, so I've actually gotten a lot of nice yarn from recycling thrift store sweaters.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
For the most part I use my Addi Turbo Clicks and store them in their case. I do have a needle case for my strays but don't have a good solution for my stray circulars yet.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
My friend Amy taught me to knit several years ago. I attended a knitting group with her but then I had my first child and stopped going, had a second child and stopped knitting. The past six months or so I've taken it back up with a vengence. I would say I'm between beginner and intermediate, I may not have made a lot of things but I'm not scared to try something new (well except for socks!).

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, that would simply make this too easy!

5. What's your favorite scent?
I'm iffy with scents. I like berry scents but nothing too strong.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Heck yes. I love gummy candies, sour patch kids, and Smarties from Canada.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I do not spin. I have a drop spindle I use to ply recycled yarns that come apart and I've thought of learning to spin, but I think I have enough going on to occupy my time right now. I like to sew a bit, though for now I've lost the foot peddle to my sewing machine (long story!). I can crochet but don't like it as much. I like to cross stitch but generally the kits are not to my taste; the favourite I have ever done is this one:

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have very eclectic musical tastes. I don't like country. I tend to like more independant-type music, as well as a lot of experimental music. When all else fails there is classical :) My computer can play MP3s, and I have an iPod I can connect to my car so MP3s are all good :) I tend to like music such as found at the KEXP blog.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I really like blues/purples/greens, and I like pinks. I think it's because I live in a house full of boys, my self defense mechanism is pink - if it's pink, it's mine!! I don't love orange, though I have a tonne of it in my stash, so I guess I don't hate it!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Me and hubby, two small boys (3 and 4), two outdoor cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes to all but ponchos. Though I am knitting a shawl right now and I would say no to that, but I plan to try to incorperate it into my wardrobe!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I am really enjoying this shawl! I plan on trying my hand at a sweater next. Possibly. Though I have a lot of possibilities - darn that huge queue!

13. What are you knitting right now?
Entomology from the Summer knitty. I'm using a heavy lace-weight cashmere that I reclaimed from a thrift store sweater :)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
yes! I wouldn't require handmade gifts but I do think they are nice.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I've been using my Addi clicks (aluminum circulars) mostly. I have decided I really dislike long straights and would prefer to us a circ. I don't mind bamboo but I think I knit too tightly so it is more difficult on bamboos for me.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I do own a ball winder and I am putting together a PVC swift - I've been using coat hangers in a box up until now :)

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
2.5 years, it's an accordian sweater from the fall 2003 knitty for my son (that will no long fit), but I think a cat peed on (or near) it so I'm thinking it's going to get trashed.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?
Christmas, and Christmas :)

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Not really. I am an entomologist so I love insects. My favourite is scarab beetles, my second favourite would be dragonflies (I worked on those for my masters degree).

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
No not really. I don't have any subscriptions though I think I need to subscribe to Interweave Knits, as I end up buying it everytime anyhow! I like Knit.1 as well, though I think it's going down to 2 a year or something.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'm still in the process of learning most things. There is nothing in particular I'd like to learn, I just want to keep learning it all!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
No, I haven't done socks. Yet. One day I will but for now I have enough in my queue to add socks to that. Size 10 (US) women's feet if that matters.

23. When is your birthday?
December 1rst.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yes, Umai.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

For those of you not "in the know", July 1rst is Canada Day. Happy birthday Canada!