Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blogger Poetry

I found this on The Spirit Trail and it sounded like fun!

Invitation to The Fourth Annual Brigid in the Blogosphere Poetry Slam

Feel free to copy the following to your blog and spread the word.
Let poetry bless the blogosphere once again!

WHAT: A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading

WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2009

WHERE: Your blog

WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Brigid, aka Groundhog Day

HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to post February 2nd.

RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on this post. So, link to whoever you hear about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun. Feel free to pass this invitation on to any and all bloggers.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Getting DOWN to business...

After our first class, Daizzy and I practiced and practiced her "sit" for homework. This week she learned "down" in a matter of minutes in her second class! Woo Hoo!

Here she is working on this weeks assignment, including "stay" as well...What a smart girl! I am so happy with her progress. We've got her third class tomorrow.

Dusty has petitioned that he hasn't been on the blog these days. While Daizzy and I were practicing, he was silently petitioning and working on his "down" and "stay" in the next room from us. I had to get photographic evidence.
In order to even the cards, he also demonstrated his favorite, "sit."
Too bad I can't get those on command... you know what they say about cats. ;)
He does know one trick by command, I'll have to have him demo that another time.

Lastly, he wanted to one-up Daizzy, so he demonstrated how to "play dead."
He's pretty convincing!
Daizzy listened to her Lassie instincts and checked in on him immediately.

I wonder what he'll do after Daizzy learns something new!

WIP: I have promised a WIP shot, here's the latest "blob" pic of my Forest Canopy Shawl. I finished the pattern repeats, but I'm going to do a few more. It seemed too small to stop now, and I have a little more than one of three skeins left. I wanted to finish it this weekend, but I didn't get enough time to work on it. Hopefully I can get some solid knitting time in to finish soon. Lace knitting is sooo addictive!

Cocoa Swap Q3

Cocoa Swap 2 Question 3: Marshmallows or Whipped Cream? - The big debate.

I typically have my hot cocoa without any frills and save add-ins for a treat. For a special treat I love to add marshmallows into my hot cocoa. I have been craving a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows since this swap started, I think I'm going to have to pick some up soon! I'm not sure why, but I usually save whipped cream for the top of a frozen frappachino at Starbucks in the summer instead.

I came across these heart shaped marshmallows while searching on Google, aren't these adorable?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cocoa Swap Q2

Cocoa Swap 2 Question 2: Post a recipe of how you would make your Hot Cocoa

I typically use a pouch of Cocoa Mix, or less than a scoop of Mint Hot Cocoa Mix (from Trader Joe's) at home. I haven't made my own from scratch yet, but I did watch an episode of "Good Eats" on Food Network where Alton Brown made this. It looked so good but SO yummy, I saved the recipe.

Hot Cocoa

(Good Eats, Episode:Art of Darkness II, Cocoa)

Yield:
5 1/2 cups dry mix
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.

Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.

I'd toss some marshmallows and maybe even some chopped candy canes in if I had them on hand.

(Couldn't resist the pic of Alton Brown. He puts a geeky spin on cooking and baking, what's not to love?)


Monday, January 19, 2009

Class is in session...

Daizzy had spent the beginning of her life in the show ring, at breed shows.  Now she's ready for another job!  Daizzy and I attended our first Beginner Basic Obedience and Behavior Class on Tuesday.  We have started to work on what I would consider to be "normal" dog skills.  I had been trying to work on this one for quite a while on our own, but it wasn't clear enough to Daizzy.  
At class our teacher shared some wisdom, and LOOK at who knows how to "sit."  In the pic she's also practicing her "stay."  We've got class again tomorrow, it runs for 6 weeks.  As seen in the pic, we've got plenty of snow.  We had two snowstorms over the long weekend.  Daizzy doesn't seem to mind if it means that after she helps mom shovel she can play frisbee in the snow!  

OTN:  I've been working on my Forest Canopy Shawl.  It has approached the "blob" stage.  It is growing, but picture evidence will not really show it.  I will show a WIP pic next time, despite the "blob" status.

Friday, January 16, 2009

KIP and SP13 Question

Some knitting in the press* in USA Today.When I was flying down to Florida near the end of October, I had two run in's with the Presidential Candidates and their crews. When my plane had a stop-over in Jacksonville, we saw the Obama camp boarding their plane. (As everyone says, "If I only knew I'd be blogging about this, I would have taken a pic!") Our pilot let their plane leave ahead of us and told us he'd make up the time in the air. It wasn't every day that Obama was on the same runway! When we landed in Tampa, on time, our pilot pointed out to look out to the right, it was McCain's plane. They were just getting ready for take off! Crazy!

*thought I'd keep you knitters on your toes, I didn't mean knits in progress this time.

SP13 Question:

What is one thing you think you can't do that you really want to do in 2009? Please elaborate! The one thing I think that will be really hard for me to do, but I hope I can do, is to stick with working out more regularly. I've been doing my SparkPeople New You Bootcamp for 12 days so far, but I know it is a challenge to keep a regular workout schedule. I really like how Coach Nichole has set up workouts that alternate muscle groups. When I worked out without a program previously, I didn't typically do that, and I can already feel the benefits. I know that after Bootcamp I may have to change my schedule a bit, but I hope to find a regular workout schedule that works for the long term.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cocoa Swap 2 Scavenger Hunt

Awesome idea Hostess Michelle!

1. Who wants to try plant fibers? Emily
2. Who wants to learn to crochet? Alicia Michelle
3. Who collects yarn? Darcy (handspun), Jenn Kate
4. Who loves yellow? Alicia
5. Who doesn’t like fruit flavors? Jenn
6. Who loves Malabrigo (who doesn’t??? hahaha) ? Alicia (easy answer) Michelle and Monica love Malabrigo.
7. Who has one mitt to go to finish her Endpaper Mitts? Elizabeth
8. Who’s favorite animal is a dog? Alicia (easy answer) Becca (Daschounds) Channon Holly (her dog Max) Mary Lynn Michelle
9. Who likes to paint? Kathy
10. Who has too many stitch markers? Ariel
11. Who likes Bailey’s in their cocoa? Becca, Channon
12. Who likes Starbucks salted caramel cocoa? Darcy Holly
13. Who can’t stand vanilla flavored cocoa? Channon
14. Who’s favorite animal is a hedgehog? Ariel
15. Who might stab themselves over Neon Yarn? Jenn Laurie
16. Who’s oldest UFO is at least 15 years old? Kate
17. Who likes crystallized ginger? Chelle
18. Who likes whipped cream in their cocoa? Elizabeth Chan's Husband ;) Monica Ruth
19. Who likes marshmallow fluff in their cocoa? Becca
20. Who needs stitch holders? Holly

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cocoa Swap 2 Questionnaire

Questionnaire

The Yarn…

1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both? Knit only. May learn crochet one of these days...

2. What is your favorite one-skein project? What item do you find you knit the most of? Amanda Hat. I have knit scarves and dishcloths mostly. I hope to make more hats and mittens.

3. Do you like using a particular type of needle or hook? (wood, metal, straight, circular) Is there something you’ve been wanting to try, or a particular size you always seem to be short on? I think each type has it's place. I have a fair amount of bamboo straights in my collection and lately I have been adding both aluminum and plastic circulars to my collection. I am preferring circular over straight these days when I have the option. (Knitpicks options and random others) I keep running out of size 6 Knitpicks Options needles. I keep having to swap them around.

4. What’s on your needles\hook right now? What’s your oldest UFO (unfinished object)? Currently I've got my NaKniSweMo February Lady Sweater waiting on the needles, it's waiting for me to finish my Forest Canopy Shawl. Oldest UFO is Clogs (OCS... one clog syndrome.)

5. What are your favorite types of yarns? Are you allergic to any yarns, or just hate working with something? Anything type/brand of yarn you’ve been dying to try? I really like working with Malabrigo, mohair and other yarns. I like soft yarn and I like wooly yarn. It depends what I'm making. I do not like 100% acrylic yarn, but I have no problem with a mixture of acrylic. I do not like fun fur or eyelash yarn. I'm always open to trying someone else's favorite.

7. What are your favorite colors? Brights? Pastels? More muted colors? Variegated? Are there that make you want to stab yourself in the eye with your needles? I love yellow and blue. I'm also a pink fan. I have something against purple. I still end up wearing it a lot and sometimes I find myself persuaded to use it or buy clothes that are purple.

8. What is your favorite knit accessory, your fancy needles? stitch markers? your yarn cutter? What do you have TOO many of? What do you wish you had? I love stitch markers. I'm always open to try someone's favorite knit accessory. I do not have a yarn cutter.

The Chocolate

1. Do you prefer boxed/packets, or something homemade? Either. I'm open to try someone else's favorite.

2. Marshmallows or whipped cream? I don't typically have either on my hot chocolate. Marshmallow's are a nice addition, whipped cream is yummy for a special occasion.

3. Do you use any ‘add ins’? Typically no. Since I've logged into the swaps' site, and saw the hot cocoa with chocolate chips and whipped cream, I've been considering it...

4. Are you a year round cocoa drinker or just in the winter months? More in the winter time.

5. Do you like flavored cocoas or are you just a ’straight chocolate’ kind of person? Depends on my mood. Typically a straight chocolate person. Can be tempted if it involved mint or coffee Hot Chocolate. (See #6)

6. Do you enjoy cocoa from restaurants or shops like Starbucks? What are some of your favorites? Not technically cocoa, but for a treat I love a Cafe Mocha at Starbucks. Chocolate meets coffee, can't beat that! I recently purchased some "Natural Mint Cocoa" at Trader Joe's and I LOVE IT!

7. You’ve just made the perfect cup of cocoa - is it in a thick mug, or a thinner cup? Where would you sit to drink it? A thick mug with my current WIP and latest Netflicks.

8. You’re enjoying that perfect cup, what treats will you enjoy with it? Are they sweet or salty? Crunchy? Soft and flaky? Some chocolate or cookies.

It’s all YOU!

1. Do you have other hobbies like spinning or scrapbooking? I do not spin. I love making stitch markers. I have also started doing some small sewing projects. I don't mind sewing by hand but Now that I have a little machine (thanks SP13 spoiler!!!) I'll imagine I will be sewing more. I have a lot of ideas for tote bags, needle organizers, etc.

2. Do you collect anything? Yes, I have a fair amount of books ranging from horseback riding/instruction to cooking/baking to animal rights to various "fun" novels and of course Knitting books. I collect Miles Davis books and music. (I became obsessed with him and Jazz when I played flute and trumpet and sang during high school.) I also collect the little shell "animals" that touristy shops sell everywhere. I have probably 6 different animals from my travels. It's sort of an "incidental" collection, I can't stop myself from buying them when I see new animals. I also have a collection of Painted Ponies.

3. What is your favorite part of Winter? SNOW!

4. What sort of scents do you enjoy? Any difference in what you like for your house versus what you like for your body? I LOVE lavender. It's sooo relaxing. I also love the smell of fresh roses. I also like "clean" scents or vanilla for the home.

5. Are you allergic to anything? No allergies. Aversion: I don't like ultra dark chocolate.

6. Are you on Ravelry? What’s your ID? Ponyknit

7. How would you spend an ideal winter afternoon/day? Out to the barn for a ride, and back home to snuggle up with Daizzy and a cup of hot cocoa. We'd watch a movie and knit ;)

8. What’s your favorite animal? Tie, Horses and dogs.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Onward to 2009!

FO's of 2008 (Listed by date completed.)

I spent most of my knitting time over the holidays working on my Forest Canopy Shawl. I am really enjoying the pattern. The KnitPicks Ambrosia is sooo soft!I recently posted my Winter Knitting Goals, which include progress on my shawl and a finished February Lady Sweater. Because I'm enjoying working on the shawl so much, I may just keep knitting until I finish. My goal was just to make some progress, but it's quite addictive! I just started the second skein.

Blog Update: I gave my blog a bit of a face lift. You might have noticed the Flickr Badge (on sidebar.) I always like to see other people's FO's or knitting pictures while browsing their blogs. I also added pictures of each individual WIP with links to them on Ravelry (see "On the Needles" on sidebar.)

Maybe seeing what I have OTN more regularly will be that extra push to give some of my lingering WIP's some much needed attention. I didn't list a goal of working on some old WIP's this time because I wanted to get my sweater completed first. I remember how hard it was to put down Mom's Mitts in order to cast on for my shawl to complete all of my fall goals.

I guess I am not only a process knitter, maybe I am part product knitter too. I like having several projects OTN at one time, so that I can choose what I want to work on with the time/place that I am going to knit. However, I am finding that once I really get into a project, I'm quite monogamous.

Quiz: Here' a fun quiz that has been bouncing around cyberspace.
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You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
http://marniemaclean.com

Bootcamp: Also, I just joined a fitness challenge on SparkPeople.com. I have been logging into the site since July. It's a great place to keep track of your workouts and what your eating, and it's free! I have been trying to get more regular treadmill workouts in, and while I was on the site I saw a post about the SparkPeople New You Bootcamp Challenge. For the month of January, each day you are to do a 10 minute fitness video, and 5 days a week you need to do 30 minutes of cardio. It sounds like the kick in the butt that I need. If you join SP or are already a member, comment here and we can swap usernames.

Happy New Year! Happy Knitting!