Monday, August 27, 2007

Ugly Yarn Doll--Cute Kid

I'm trying to figure out ways NOT to knit with some of the yarn that somehow ended up in my stash. Lion Brand Fun Fur being one of them. It's alright but it's not my favorite. I've been making yarn dolls for a couple of kids in Wesley's school. Wes' friend, Ava, loves the one I made for her last year but her mom said it's looking like a rat's nest.

I made a new one and Wes picked out the "hair"--Fun Fur in Confetti. Uglier than Cooter Brown. Let me put it this way--MY yarn dolls are scarier than voodoo hootchie mamma dolls.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yarn Reorganization

I have not declared Chapter 11 but I've totally reorganized my yarn. To my utter shock, I don't have a big giant stash. I have two drawers of perennial stash which I'll keep forever b/c my knitting skills will never be good enough to show this yarn off to its full potential. Like this Handmaiden Seacell in Rose Garden. If I wasn't married, I'd find a way to marry this yarn--the colors are that beautiful. You can get it at Tidal Brook Yarns.

Or I bought on vacation. Some people buy tee shirts for souvenirs--I buy fiber.

Ranch Pretzels

My husband will eat these until they come out of his ears. I got the recipe from my mother-in-law who got it from a cousin who got it from somewhere.

1 large bag of pretzel sticks
1 envelope of dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Mix dressing mix, olive oil, garlic powder and pepper in large bowl. Pour the pretzels over the dressing mixture and hand toss until the pretzels are well coated.

Pour onto cookie sheet in a thin layer. Bake about 45-60 minutes or until the olive oil is dried out. Store in a covered tupperware dish.

I bet you will not be able to stop at one pretzel. Dave has made a meal out of them.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Double Dog Dare

The wildlife on our land has been playing "Double Dog Dare" for the past few days. All the little squirrels, rabbits, deer and possums know we have two large indoor dogs and two outdoor cats and they've come up with a game to test their "bravery" and "cunning".

I come home a couple of days ago. In front of my garage door is a snake. Not just any snake--a four foot long one complete with slithery body and forking tongue. Sitting right beside is Francis, our insane black cat, grooming herself, totally oblivious to this snake. I don't scream but I do pick up a broom and bravely yell at the snake to go away.

Yesterday during a torrential downpour (YAY RAIN), I open my front door to watch the rain (I'm boring) and there's a wet squirrel holding a nut staring me down. Nervy little rodent. Of course, my dogs are safely and warmly ensconsed on my couch.

Today as I walk my neighborhood, I spied the resident rabbit (we call it Cadbury) sniffing at my tomato and basil plants. It twitched its whiskers and then proceeded to turn around and moon me before it leisurely trots off with a mouthful of basil (I think).

I finish my walk and on my front stairs is a robin pooping on my railing. I wouldn't complain if he just didn't sit there having a bowel movement. The least he could do sing a few bars of a robin song or even hum it. Instead, he acted like I should fetch him a newspaper so he could catch up on Vick's suspension.

What good is it to have dogs and cats? Both cats are overfed (our fault) and the dogs, well, they are just plain lazy. They'll bark and snarl at the nice UPS women who delivers my yarn orders but a squirrel can plant itself on my front porch and be a Peeping Tom? What has to happen before our pets take action? The possum mafia invading our home, tying us up at gunpoint and demanding ransom before the dogs move from their perch?

I'd continue but I've got to go to Kroger to get some roast beef for the dogs' dinner.

Ray's Favorite Chicken

This started out as Dave's (my hubby) Favorite Chicken and then it moved on to Zack's (the dog) Favorite Chicken. Now it's latest name is Ray's Favorite Chicken.
This recipe came out of a Southern ladies' church cookbook which we all know, church cookbooks rock.

Warning: This is not for the low-fat dieter.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I'm trying to give the appearance that something in this recipe is good for you)
6 slices of Swiss cheese
3 cans of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup white wine
1 box of chicken flavored stuffing
1/4 cup butter

Preheat to 350. Spray large pyrex baking dish with cooking spray. Put chicken breasts in and top with Swiss cheese. You can put the two extra slices of cheeses just in the bottom of the pan.

In a bowl, pour the soups and wine in a bowl and mix. Pour it over the chicken and cheese. Then put the entire box of stuffing over the soup/wine. Dot with butter. Bake for 50 minutes.

The sauce or the "goo" as Dave calls it is really good. The stuffing, cheese and soup all meld together, especially in the spot where the cheese is not on the chicken.

You will not need a side dish but you will need some cholesterol lowering medicine and possibly larger size pants. It's a once in a blue moon dish.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Project Whack A Mole

This cable scarf (pattern from Lion Brand), four months in the making, will never go away. It's my Whack A Mole Project. What's a Whack a Mole? It's that carnival game where you hit these plastic "moles" that pop up in several holes with a bat.

No matter how much I work on it, it remains exactly one foot long. My only explanation is that I have evil elves coming into my house at night and unraveling all I worked on. Darn elves--hope they trip over their pointy shoes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's too hot to knit..

I'd never thought I say or write those words but 100 degree weather is not conducive to knitting. I shudder when the local weather chick from the TV almost (we call her Randal from Monsters Inc b/c she dresses to blend in with the weather map) gleefully tells us about this heat wave.

I have been subbing in my kids' elementary school (kindergarten, 1st grade) and they think knitting is magic! They are blown away when I tell them yarn is made from cotton, sheep hair (their words), and more. For one infinitesimal second, I'm cool.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Our Internet is Down!

An open letter to Comcast.

Comcast--y'all have horrible customer service. Our cable, internet and phones have been out for 2 1/2 days. That's right--nada, zip, zero, nuthin'. We've been calling every hour asking to speak to a supervisor but alas, apparently, everyone is on vacation or helping other customers (except us).

I am presently on the public library's computer writing this because you guys don't believe in customer service.

You want us to pay on time and in the right overpriced amount. We hold up our end of the bargain every month on the 17th but you failed. Your solution to entertaining my kids in 100 degree heat was "Got a dvd player?" Yes, I have two but after I pay you, I have no money left for Blockbuster. Shall I send you the dvd rental bill?

That's it. I'm done griping. Sorry. I now return you to your regular scheduled (upon Internet reconnection) hissyknit incoherent blogging.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I was in the Atlanta paper (and not the police blotter)

It was a little eerie seeing myself in the paper but the Atlanta Journal Constitution interviewed me (and took a picture) about SAHM who post on forums and use the net to socialize. You can see it here. Fortunately, the picture is not included.

And so it begins....

I've just been matched in the Secret Knitter's Pal 11 Swap.

I've already emailed my new spoilee (is that a word?) and am in the process of packing the first package. Can't wait to her from her. I feel like a demented Santa Claus who is a contestant on a yarn version Supermarket Sweep. I have a list of gifts and not a whole lot of patience in getting them.

My spoiler and future friend (Knitter X--kind of like Racer X from Speed Racer) has already contacted me!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Firefighter's Fudge

Wes, Ray and I make this fudge once a month to take over to our local fire department. We also make an extra batch every September 11 to give to our sheriff's office in addition to the fire department to show our appreciation to the men and women who protect us.

I think the firefighters have a GPS chip in my car--they are NEVER out on a call when we swing by. This is a variation of the recipe on the back of the marshmallow creme jar that my mother did.

1 jar of marshmallow creme
1 large bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 sticks of butter (the real stuff. Don't moan--you're eating about 1000 calories per piece so what's a little bit of fat)
1 small can of evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange extract.

Line a large deep cookie sheet with foil and spray with Pam cooking spray.

Melt butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in dutch oven on stove top (medium heat) until sugar is completely dissolved. You need to stir constantly. It will take about five minutes. If you stop stirring, it will scorch. Tell your son to quit eating the open chocolate chips b/c you won't have enough for the fudge.

Remove from heat and immediately add chocolate chips and marshmallow creme. Stir until chips are melted and you no longer see the white of the marshmallow creme. Add vanilla and orange extracts and stir vigorously.

Pour into lined cookie sheet and refrigerate immediately to set (about 1-2 hours). Clean up the kids up as they'll have fudge in their hair from sticking their head into the cooled pot to lick the remnants.

Use a pizza cutter to cut fudge. The cut fudge needs to be refrigerate if you're not going to scarf it down immediately--it softens quickly.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Too Many Tomatoes Pie

My neighbor, Gret, goes an insanely amount of cherry tomatoes yearly. She sent a bag of 50 or so over last night so I came up with a dish that combines a couple of other dishes. So without further ado...

25 cherry tomatoes, cut up
1 cup diced ham
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or the cheese of your liking
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp minced onion
Dash of Italian seasoning
Splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil

Preheat oven to 325. Layer 1/2 tomatoes onto bottom of one pie crust. Add 1/2 cup of ham and 1 cup cheese. Top with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, onion and red wine and vinegar. Repeat once. Lay the remaining pie crust on top and pinch to close. Cut a couple of slits on top so the steam can release while baking. Cook about 35-40 minutes or until top is golden.

My first Dye Job.

And I'm not talking about my hair which by the way, came out pretty good too.

No, I'm talking about yarn. I took my first, un-hand holding step into the wonderful world of color. Thank you to Pie Knits for the great tutorial on Wilton cake dye and my favorite guru of color, Darilee, from Main Street Yarns with all her advice.

I chose Wilton because of the non-toxicity (is that a word?). Two dogs and two children made the decision easy. I used two skeins undyed Cascade 220 wool

The yellow bled into the blue, making green in the middle. It's a little too yellow but apparently my mother-in-law and niece both like it so Mammie will be receiving a new scarf and Cole gets the other--she knits!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm In Ravelry.

A day to celebrate. I just got my invite! As always, my id is hissyknit.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

I can't wait to be "secret agent knitter" to someone! Here are my answers for my secret swap partner as requested on Secret Pal 11 blog

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like unusual fibers (hemp, soy, etc) that you don't see everyday. I love alpaca. Not a big boucle fan, in fact, pretty much ick.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have a three door storage set that I put my straights. My Knit Picks are in their case. DPN's are in a case.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting in earnest for two and half years since I broke my wrist. Knitting was the therapy. I'm a knitting mutt. A LYS taught me the knit stitch. A friend showed me the purl. Another friend showed me how to bind off. I'm past beginner and moving into intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes with Amazon.

5. What's your favorite scent?

Love soft florals like lavender and rose. Also cleaner scents like the "rain" or "ocean". My fave perfume is Amazing Grace by Philosophy.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I have 32 sweet teeth. Chocolate, preferably dark with raspberries, cherries or strawberries. My favorite candy bar is Skor and Peppermint Patties.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I'm learning crochet, very, very slowly. A friend is teaching me to quilt. I love to bake. Spinning is an art which I have even attempted yet! I do like to hand dye yarn.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Irish music, soft rock. My computer can do almost anything. The trick is I don't know how to do it. Most of my music listening is a CD in the car b/c I'm in it A LOT.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

Colors that remind you of the beach (soft colors)--taupes, blues, grays, greens, creams, etc. Don't like very bold, bright colors like oranges usually.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

SAHM of two children with two large inside hairy dogs and two outside cats. Fortunately, my stash is isolated away from pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I do wear hats, scarves and ponchos. Not a glove/mitten fan.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Shawls and scarves. Learning but love lace.

13. What are you knitting right now?

2 afghans, a tank top, three scarves, a block for a charity quilt and a ponchette

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Anything chocolate. If it's fiber related, softness is a biggie. I never get to knit anything for myself so it would be an aweseom treat to get something!

On the reverse, I don't think my knitting skill level is good enough to give as gifts (except to my kids who don't know any better). I see glaring holes and mistakes in everything I knit.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Metal circs like my Knit Picks Options

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes to both. Hubby made me the swift. I don't know what I did without them.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

I'm ashamed to say a year old and it's the block for the charity quilt. Bad me.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas and Halloween

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Different and unusual types of yarn (they usually stay in my stash until I find the perfect project for them.) Tulips--they make me happy. Scooby Doo

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I'd love to look at No Sheep for You but my library doesn't have it and apparently neither does any library in Georgia.

I get Creative Knitting which I love.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'd like to learn socks--just to say I can do it.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

No. I don't know my measurements but I wear a size 6 1/2 shoe.

23. When is your birthday?

Early March

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

No but there's only about 400 in front of me. Correction: I'm in under hissyknit.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Not a lot of progress in the fiber arena

I've been too busy catching up on my doctor's appointments and generally whooping it up since August 1st. Both Ray and Wes started full time in school.

I did finish my Katsara shawl kit in catcus (light green with yellow, blues). It's very pretty and hid my mistakes rather well.

I hope to start a pattern from Kpixie or Yarnmarket. The picture is above. I can't afford to buy the wool it calls for but I did get a nice drapey linen mix.