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May 2007

Socks for Benny and Books for Me

Socks_2Good help is so hard to come by these days. You bribe them with goodies and days at the pool and the help is still not cooperating! You beg on your knees for them to stay still (okay, so I have to be on my knees for the photo-shoot, but still) you would think they would help you model the little socks you have spent countless 4 hours knitting for them. But no, they always have something more important to do--like go down the slide, or ride the bike. Socks3_2

And then when you finally get them to sit down, they give you exactly what you ask...."Sweety, show me the socks" and she does just that...she lifts up her feet and smacks you on the nose and your trigger-happy finger pushes down on the button and you end up with the picture on the right.

They are adorable...no, not the socks, the kids! The socks though were a super fast knit. I started them last Friday at the theater on the waiting line to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (which btw was very entertaining). I knew that I had to get to the theater early and I didn't want to wait with idle hands so I took a little yarn and my dpns and I started this pair of socks for Little Benny.

Littlenyahsocks Little Benny's Sock details

Yarn: Scout's Swag in Fetching (worsted weight)

Needles: size 3 dpns (crystal palace)

Pattern: None, just made it up as I went, but it is a simple 36 stitch sock pattern. It has a 2 x 2 ribbing and then straight stockinette for the body. A flap heel done over 18 stitches and a shaped toe with decreases at each side to tapered the tube.

Satisfaction level: 10 :). I am happy with them and Little Benny seems to like them too. Next on the knitting agenda: a pair of socks for Wonderboy who needs a new pair of black socks (to wear with his suit on Sundays).

Speaking of socks...have you seen the Loksins yet? I have put them on my to-knit list...maybe these will be a pair of socks for me...or my Sockapalooza pal...or maybe for both of us :).

But don't go yet, I need some help. I recently received a gift certificate (earnings from my Amazon store) to Amazon, it is not a large amount but it is enough to buy a book or two. I have plenty of knitting books but I think I am missing some to complete my library. Which of these three books do you recommend the most? I already have all the Treasury books, so I am covered in that area. Please, help me choose, or if you know of another classic great knitting book out there, let me know.

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HandKnit for You

HandKnit Soap by Blessed Juno

Handknit_2 

Hurry, go and grab some of this LIMITED edition soap. I recently received a little sample of this soap and I am in love! It left my skin feeling soft and moisturized. No dryness, no icky after-shower-feeling. Laurie made this soap for the gals at the SLC Stitch & Bitch club and she is making it available to the public for a limited time. Hurry, go put your order in. I already put mine in.


Ravelry--I Love Thee...

How I wish I had nothing else to do than to sit in front of the computer and browse through it all. I have been part of it for a couple of weeks now and I am just amazed at how small my world used to be prior to Ravelry. Now, I have added a gazillion more bloggers to my bloglines and my project desires are at its maximum! And the stash...oh my...the stash just wants to keep growing and growing from all the wondrous pictures in there. I have still to add my little stash of heaven in there and some of my projects.

Ravelry88x31borderless_2

Ravelry just seems to bring knitters together...one place to share it all and to keep us all informed! I love it!

Update on the family: Little Benny is doing much better. Me: I went a couple of nights without much sleep...made me grumpy for a few days!

Biking update: I finally climbed on my bike today again after the almost RoadKill accident and went for 27 miles. My knee still bugs me and I can barely go up the stairs/down the stairs, but such is life. I have the Little Red Ridinghood Tour this Saturday: my first race/tour...exciting!

 


Tummy Yummies: Tinga Recipe

If you are reading this, it probably means that little Benny is still sick and that I am probably going a few nights without any sleep. I prepared this a couple of days ago in hopes that my schedule will allow me to take care of that little tutorial but the no-sleep-take-care-of-baby-routine probably has me down too.

But don't despair, here is another tutorial, this one will go under the category of Tummy Yummies. It is one of our favorite recipes. Every time I make it, it becomes the favorite dish of the day. It is fast and easy to make too.

Enjoy!

Tummy Yummies: Tinga

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 10 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 can of La Costena Chipotle peppers (7 oz can)

Ingredients

The key ingredient of this recipe is that little can of Chipotle peppers. I have tried many brands and our Lacostena_2 favorite one is the Costena brand. 

Step 1: Boil the chicken breast. Be sure to salt the water. When cooked, shred it and set aside (I like to prepare this ahead of time and this makes the dish even easier).

Step 2: Chop onion and 7 tomatoes.

Step 3: Place the remaining 3 tomatoes, garlic clove, and half of the Costena Chipotle peppers in the blender. Add about 1/2 a cup of the chicken broth and blend.

Blender

Step 4: In saucepan, add about two tablespoons of oil. When oil is heated, add the onions, saute for one minute. Add the chopped tomatoes. Saute the onions and tomatoes for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken.

Saucepan

Step 5: Add the mixture from the blender to the chicken mix. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Serving Suggestions:

As a side dish: we like to eat it with refried beans and Mexican style rice.

Maindish

As a main dish: Layer it on a tostada. First place a layer of refried beans, then a layer of the Tinga, then add some Cotija cheese, and last a spoonful of Mexican Crema.

Tostada


Pearly Satchel

Pearls_satchetedited_5 A little whimsy for a night out. I started working on this last week when I found a bag of pearl beads in my stash. I didn't know what to do with it and then I opened a drawer and found a lonely skein of Patons Brilliant.

The little satchel uses less than 1/2 skein of yarn and it looms up quite fast. I was able to knit it all in a few hours. It took longer deciding how many beads to put and where to place them.

The satchel is big enough to put a lipstick, keys, and a credit card (or some cash). While I was knitting it, I kept thinking back to my prom night and how something of the kind would have been so handy and a lot nicer than the purse I took.  Pearlysatchetbwpink_3

I used white color beads and the White Twinkle Brilliant yarn (which adds some bling, bling to the bag),  but you can match any dress/skirt by changing the color of the beads and/or yarn.

The baggy is small, at only 3.5" x 3" it is small enough to wear around the wrist too.

The pattern is in PDF format. Enjoy!

Click here to download Pearly Satchel

Coming tomorrow or Saturday, a quick tutorial on using the Pocket Knitter (my stats show a huge googling for this item).


Pearly Gates and The Pearly Satchel

Pearls_satchetedited_4The biking has been deathly exciting lately. When I started biking (a couple of weeks ago), my speed barely broke 10mph and my first ride consisted of 20 miles. I came back with a sore back, sore neck, sore bottom, and really sore knees. Come to find out that my bike was too small for me, so an exchange had to be made. On my second ride the soreness of my knees was gone, apparently having the right size bike and the post raised to the correct position has a great effect on the way you feel after the ride.

I have so far put about 200 miles on my bike and I am enjoying life...at least I was until this Saturday. The ride Saturday started off nicely enough, there were a few other riders and a couple of my close friends/neighbors. As always, my speed didn't keep up with them (I average 13mph now) but that didn't bother me, I still kept pedaling. Our goal was 40 miles. I got lost a couple of times and had to ask a few of the people around me if they had seen any other bikers. Finally I was able to catch up with them and we turned around. On the way there I had to climb this huge killer hill and I thought that it was death for sure...death from exhaustion! But on the way back, I forgot that I would have to go down that killer hill too!

Going down the hill, I rode both of my brakes down, but when I reached the end of the hill and saw thePearlysatchetbwpink  ominous red STOP sign, my bike just kept going, my friends started whistling and screaming for me to stop but I just couldn't, my bike was going too fast and I was pushing the brakes all the way down. I looked both ways on the intersecting road and on the side closest to me there was a golden car a few yards away and on the other a silver truck. I really thought that was the end for me. The golden car honked and stopped just a couple of yards from me and the truck stopped too. Finally, the bike stopped in the middle of the intersecting road, and me...well, me I looked like a deer right in the middle of the road. My heart was pounding, my cheeks were red, and my mind was just seeing my children faces. I am grateful that both drivers were alert enough to their surroundings because if it hadn't been for their quick response, I would probably be road kill.

I rode the rest of the 10 miles home as fast as I could (I averaged 18 miles on those last 10!). As I got home, I waved goodbye to my neighbors and came inside, as soon as I closed the door and told hubby, I broke down. Hubby inspected my brakes and come to find out, my back brake needs a huge adjustment. I have to push it all the way down for it to click in, while his bike only needs a little push and it clicks all the way in.   

Now, I am afraid of going on my bike again, the desire is there but I know that if I have to go down that killer hill that I will be walking my bike down, not riding it down! I was too foolish the first time around, it won't happen again...I know I can control the speed of my two feet (just thinking of the if's makes me want to cry). Thanfully, the days have been rainy so there have been no bike rides but I wonder if I will be able to push my fear back and climb on my bike again in time for the 40 mile Little Red Ridinghood tour


Seven Things....about me & contest!

*Edited*Scroll down to find out about the contest.

KnittyOtter tagged me for this interesting Meme where I get to tell you 7 random things about me. The tag came at a really great time as I have lots of knitting done but none that I can show....not just yet anyways. So here we go, 7 randomly things about the Purling Sprite.

Misteryproject2 

1. The first thing I do when I get in the shower is shave my underarms. I shave my legs every day too--even during winter. I can't stand the little stubs! If I ever go anywhere and I forget a razor, I must stop at a grocery store and buy one. When we went to NY, I lost my razor (maid threw it out!) at one of the hotels and I had to buy an entire bag so I could have extras.

2. If my yarn gets tangled too much, I prefer to throw it out rather than to sit there for hours unkinking it! It drives me nuts.

3. My favorite movies are usually comics come to the big screen. Have been playing with the idea to subscribe to different comic books :).

4. I like to read the last page of a book first (crazy habit!)

5. I have suffered from vertigo since I was little--hate it! It is worse when I am going to bed and the entire room just goes around in circles around me.

6. When I was a child, I ran away from home three times. Once at age 5, once at age 6, and once at age 15.

7. I got my first real kiss at age 12...he was twice my age.

Mistery2

Pictures: Mystery projects I have currently going.

Now...c'mon tell me at least one (1)  random juicy tidbit about yourself. :).

*I just realized that I am really close to hitting 3600 comments. So as a result of this and to celebrate that I survived a really close call on my bike (I'll tell you about it on another day, promise), let's have a contest. Tell me one (1) juicy tidbit about yourself (just leave a comment) and I will enter you into a contest. You have from now until May 31st to leave me a comment on this post, with one (1) juicy tidbit about you. It will be fun :) and I'll have a way to get to know you.

What will the prize be: 1 skein of STR--yep, you can win 1 skein of Socks that Rock!


Bounce!

A weekend project is hard to come by around here, but lookie, I have a finished project! I present you Bounce by Wendy from Knit and Tonic. She released the pattern Thursday night and my fingers quickly pushed the mouse and I was set for the weekend. A quick trip to the stash room and I came up with 2 skeins of Katia Jamaica in number 4010.

Bounce3 Bounce5

I would have finished this cute thing by Friday night if it hadn't been for my lack of attention while watching the movie Deja Vu. I realized about two inches into the work that I twisted my stitches when joining in the round...instead of a nice circular skirt, I was knitting a mobious skirt! Not much damage was done to the yarn, just my ego...and I did get to watch a second movie so I was able to recoup the lost time (still, you would think that after knitting so many circular things that I would have paid more attention, but I had my eyes riveted on the movie-happenings).

Bounce2

Overall, the pattern was sensational! I had a blast knitting it and seeing the colors of the yarn develop. The pattern is an A+, well written, just like Wendy's other patterns. And most importanly, my little Benny loved it! She is looking forward to seeing our neighbors tomorrow to show it off!

Pattern Specs:

Pattern: Bounce by Knit&Tonic

Size: 2yr

Yarn: Katia Jamaica: 1 skein and a few yards of second skein

Pattern deviations: I didn't have any elastic, instead I crocheted a long chain and added two beads at each end. I then threaded the long crocheted chain through the ribbing area (around the 3rd row from cast on edge).

Crochetchain

And here are some other shots of her wearing the little skirt, she tried bouncing a few times just for the camera :).


New Typepad Features

For a few months, I have been nagging Typepad to add a couple of new features to our services and yesterday, I was surprised to see that one of my requests was made a reality--it is not perfect yet, but it is getting there.

You see, I have been eyeing many of my bloggy friends WordPress blogs (some of which have recently made the jump to WordPress). They all have one thing in common: a clean homepage and all their "other" stuff on navigation links at the top of the page--just like it should be on a website.

Anyways, I nagged to typepad about the lack of this great feature and finally, we have our own Pages (of course, I know that they didn't do it just for me, but I want to trick my mind into believing that, hehehe). However, there is no capability yet to have them in little navigational buttons like on WordPress, so a little more waiting for that and probably more emails to the typepad center :).

Another feature that I would love to have is a pop-up menu for the Archives--it would clean up the page very nicely!

So, now, you will find a section on the sidebar called "My Pages" under that section, you will find the different pages that are part of this blog, such as: Tutorials (for loom knitting), My Patterns (for Loom knitting), Loomy Links (links to many places that talk about loom knitting) and more to come.

My goal is to try to clean up the homepage of the blog so it is easier to navigate and more pleasant. If any of you know any CSS and know how I can change the Archives into a drop down menu, please let me know :).

Now, if you are a Typepad user, go and type up some Pages for your blog, it is so much fun to have some new features to play with :)


Double Knit Keyhole Scarf Pattern

Scarf

A loomy pattern coming your way! I found this scarf in my stash room, the only thing that was missing from being and FO was the bind off--I remember starting this scarf about a year ago, hehehe, I am a procrastinator for sure! This scarf was knitted on a knitting board with 14 pegs, using the stockinette stitch.

Quicky pattern

Materials:

Knitting board with at least 14 pegs (14 pegs on each rail). Sample was knitted on a knitting board similar to a purple knifty knitter board loom. Pattern can be done on any knitting board, or any of the Knifty Knitter Long Loom series.

Yarn: 2.4 oz of worsted weight wool. Shown in Lamb's Pride worsted weight in pink (A) and grey (B).

Gauge: 10 sts and 11 rows= 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Instructions:

With color A: Cast on 14 stitches with stockinette cast on method.

Next: (continue with color A) Work 10 rows in stockinette stitch (use the same method of wrapping as in the CO above). Break color A and join color B.

Next: With color B: Work 12 rows in stockinette stitch. Break color B. Join color A.

Next: With color A: Work 4 rows in stockinette stitch. Break color A. Join color B.

At this point, you will knit two single sided panels; first panel on the front 14 pegs, second panel on the back 14 pegs.

Join another skein of color A to the back rail of pegs.

Next: Work 12 rows in knit stitch on the front 14 pegs. Repeat with the back 14 pegs. Break yarn coming from the back rail.

At this point, you will work on the loom as a double sided loom.

Next: (continue with color A) work 4 rows in stockinette stitch. Break color A. Join color B.

Next: With color B: work 12 rows in stockinette stitch. Break color B. Join color A.

Next: With color A: work 10 rows in stockinette stitch. Break color A. Join color B.

Next: With color B: work 12 rows in stockinette stitch. Break color B. Join color A.

Next: With color A: work 10 rows in stockinette stitch. Break A.

Weave in ends. Block (optional).

To wear it: simply pass one of the ends through the gap made with the single sided panels. Enjoy!

Let me know if you make this scarf :), I would love to see pics, and if you need any assistance, drop me a note.


Thankful for being a Mother

In this day, I am thankful to be celebrating Mother's Day and for the wonderful opportunity that I have been given of being a parent. Today, I am thankful for my two little ones. I am thankful for their little kisses, for their hugs that squishy me (it is a saying around our house that you ask the kids to squishy you when they give you a hug), I am thankful for their little hands that caress my face, and I am so ever thankful that they believe me to be the best Mom in the world. Hearing them say "I love you" makes my day and my life worthwhile. I am thankful that they love my cooking and that they believe that making Mac & Cheese is the greatest thing in the world. I love you kiddos and I am so glad that you came into my life so I could celebrate this day with you.

Kids

I love being a Mom, most importantly, I love being your Mom little ones.

Happy Mother's Day all around.


Logging in the miles: with yarn (an FO) and the biking

If you had told me a year ago that today I would be out enjoying myself cycling, I would have laughed and said, yeah right! But, I have surprised myself with what I can accomplish and with how much I am enjoying my ride. I have not broken a century, not even half of a century, but every single time I finish a ride I get both a sense of accomplishment and a great feeling inside. So far, I have done 4 rides: 1--20 miles, 2--27 miles, and today's 14 miles. My average speed is not much, I started at 10, but today I logged in 13.4, it is not a competitive speed at all but just thinking that just last year at this time I had never set foot on a bike makes me glow with a sense of accomplishment.

Today's ride was by far the most enjoyable of all of them, especially when I saw that my average speed jumped from yesterday's 11 to 13.4! I am learning how to shift and shifting at the appropriate times and it makes such a huge difference.  Here is a picture of me and my bike...as you can see I am a tubby little ball but I feel so happy right now, even with my tubbyness (can you see my big smile), I had just finished my 14 mile ride and I was feeling so great (1. for making it all the way  2. for still being alive and in one piece). Can't wait for the next ride (even if my bum complains!).

Myride

I am sure you are thinking...isn't this a knitting blog? hehehe, I have been knitting too, quite a bit actually. I am waiting for a little bit of yarn to arrive so I can finish the sample knit. But here is a finished project, or I guess is projects since it is two of them. This was a sample knit too for KnitPicks and they just posted the pictures over on the site, their pictures are a lot nicer than mine. The pattern is the Peek-a-Boo Cloche from the book LaceStyle. This pattern taught me a new way to start a hat: from the top down. This is a clever pattern for sure...never would have taught to knit a hat in this way--the liner is all stockinette and then it has a small cuff and from the cuff you start knitting the outside of the hat--really ingenious! The pattern definitely taught me something new and exciting!

Hats

I also bought more beads and some little bit of wire, so stay tune for another post on wire loom knitting!


No yarn? No Needles? Not a problem, knitting continues on!

Wireonloom

For a few days, I have had the urge to take out some of my beads and wire and try something out. The idea kept coming back, so finally, I gave in and set my needles down and went in search of the wire and beads.

Bracelet_edited1

I used 26 gauge copper wire and beads that I picked at Michaels a couple of months ago and with loom in hand, I started playing. I first threaded all the beads that I wanted to use onto the wire and then I used the single stitch to knit a tube long enough to go around my wrist. I still need to find a "good" way to join the two ends, something along the lines of a clasp but I need to go to my local bead store to find something appropriate.

Bracelet

After completing the first bracelet, I wanted to keep playing so I knitted a 2-stitch I-cord with the beaded wire and made a thinner version.

2stitchbracelet

I am really digging this type of knitting and although I would like to try it on needles, I really don't want to "scrape" my addis with the wire. Have any of you tried knitting with wire? What type of needles do you use?

I didn't write a pattern/guide down for these two bracelets but if anyone is interested (just let me know in the comments), I will be willing (hehehe, anything to try loom knitting with wire) to make a couple of more bracelets and I will post the instructions. 

Happy Monday to all!


The cuteness of it!

Boooohhh! I have been wanting to go cycling all week and the weather hasn't permitted. And today when I was hoping that finally the sun will show, snow decided to come down...boooh! Not fair. My poor ride is just sitting around gathering dust. Sniff, sniff.

George

Since the weather is not allowing me to go outside and bike, I decided to go online and look for some biking gadgets/items and I found the cutest jersey with Curious George on the front. No, I didn't buy it but it is so darn cute! I was telling hubby that this shirt fits my personality perfectly: silly and just like George, I don't know how to ride a bike.

Hope you are having a great weekend!


Awaiting Inspiration

Mag

For the past month, I have been awaiting for my IK subscription to come in. I was hoping for something summery and inspirational in there to knit during the coming months (not that I don't have plenty to knit). But, my copy arrived in my mailbox yesterday and I feel blah about the issue. Although there are many patterns none of them really "talked" to me. The knee highs kind of have my interest but the rest just don''t seem so interesting right now, maybe it is because Summer is around the corner and knitting sweaters is not my top priority. Also, I don't know if it is the new layout or what but the mag seems to be packed with advertisements--it is probably the new layout that gives me that impression. Do you feel that it has too many ads, or is it just me? I do miss their old layout...sigh.

Kitchener 

Although I was a bit disappointed with the IK issue, KnittingDaily came to the rescue with a cute little pattern for a baby cap. It is summery and perfect for a quick little present for new Moms (I have a few around me--about 6!). As soon as I complete my sample knit, I will give this cute pattern a try.

Children

Oh and I have to share my latest knitty-related-find, I first saw it on Cookie's blog, and she gave me the information to find Girl on the Rock products over on Etsy. It took me a little while to gather the funds (I try to only buy yarn related stuff with the income from my patterns) but I finally was able to get the little Kitchener Stitch markers. The wait was definitely worth it! They are so tiny and just what I needed to have around when I kitchener the sock toes. No more being forgetful (although, I may still forget where I place the stitch markers!).

Hope you have a knittyfic weekend....I myself have a date with Spidey today ;).


Keep going, keep going...almost there!

That is exactly what I tell myself when I am cycling away. I am slow as a turtle and although I pedal as fast as my body allows me right now, I can't make my bike go any faster. I have adopted the "slowly but surely" cliche as my motto right now and I am concentrating on getting from point A to point B and so far, it has worked! Monday's ride took me to new heights--I cycled 27 miles! I know it is not much but I feel like a winner :).

Testknit

At points, I felt a bit tired and winded and my neck muscles were getting a bit sored but not once did I think of stopping, even when I thought the wind will blow me right off the road. The experience was again empowering and exhilarating. My derriere is sore but I am told I will get used to it. I have also found a few websites that give tips and other information on cycling--such as which brake to use. Did you know that 95% of serious cyclists use only the front brake? I didn't know that, I am a newbie and thus I brake with my back one so I have to re-learn how to brake with the front one.

Testknit2 

You would think that all that sore bottom would make me stay still afterward and just knit but the truth is that besides the sore bottom, cycling has just made my body super tired. I slept half of Monday away and to my dismay when waking I felt more sore! The key to less soreness--keep moving!

The pictures: they show my latest test knit. I can't tell you what it is exactly but it comes from the book pictured, the color of the yarn has also been disguised with a fresh color :).