Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has great plans for this evening!  We are actually done celebrating as we attended a British themed New Year's party and that means we celebrated at midnight GMT, which for us was 7pm.  It's a great idea for folks with kids or who lack the desire to stay up late.  We should be up anyway, but are now safely tucked away at home.  

Asti Spumanti for the bubbly.
Way better than traditional champagne
in my opinion.

We had lots of fun and had great food and music to go with all the wonderful company. We ended up making Indian food since curry is so big in England.  It turned out to be a pretty good recipe.  You can find it on under Indian Baked Chicken Pockets.  My only suggestion is to make only half the amount of rice that the recipe requires, otherwise the curry flavor isn't particularly strong.  Now if you like things on the light side of flavor then it's fine as is.  Our household typically enjoys flavors that punch you in the face, so our change was a good one.  

The Curry Chicken Turnovers hubby and I made. 

Homemade beef pasties made by our hosts.

Our DJ for the evening - Full of Irish and Scottish folk music.

Bonus points go to these two for theme costumes :)

Counting down!

Still counting....

7pm - It is the New Year in Britain.  Huzzah!

New Year's self portraiture at it's finest.  Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year, New Big Project!

Cascade 220 Superwash Paints in Vino
So I've been wanted to try making another sweater for a while now.  I thought about spinning up my own yarn for it, but I don't think I quite have the chops to pull it off.  So I hemmed and hawed, looked at bazillions of patterns, and finally after receiving a lovely Christmas present of a boatload of yarn is a fabulous color, I made a decision!  I am making the Brattleboro Cabled Swing Pullover by Valley Yarns which is a semi-local (2 hour drive away) yarn company.  

I am very excited about this sweater for a bunch of reasons:  
  1. It will be a challenge.  This things is covered in cables.  A friend of mine made a gorgeous cabled sweater this past year and it placed at The Big E's Creative Arts competition.  I haven't done a ton of cable work before so I need to practice.
  2. The sweater looks phenomenal.   I love my first sweater but it is definitely of a first ever knitted sweater variety.  I was something more elegant, that I could actually wear out to a nice dinner somewhere.  Also, I want someone to mistake something I hand knit for a store bough product.  That's the best compliment ever!
  3. The fit.  This sweater is basically a-line and has a scoop neck, both of which looks great on me.  I am of a body type that can be challenging, so to find something that should really work and be flattering at the same time is really important. If you didn't look at the link to the pattern above, look now.  They have a great picture that you can enlarge to see more of the detail.
The first three repeats...
So, I started working on the first part of the sweater a couple days ago. I have only finished three repeats of the first chart (out of 38, sigh), but I am loving how it is coming out.  As you can see, I'm making a narrow strip, and yes that does seem an odd way to start a sweater.  The pattern begins by having you knit the yoke band which runs around the entire circumference of the piece at the shoulders.  After doing that you pick up stitches from the top and bottom of the cabled yoke to knit the rest of the sweater.  That way you can have cables going perpendicularly to each other.  It's pretty neat actually.

So, that is my exciting new project for the new year.  I have no idea how long it is going to take me to finish, but I'm thinking I'll give myself a couple months as a goal to be realistic.  Well, I at least have to start doing more than one repeat a day or it's going to take me 38 days just to finish this little section, which probably is only 10% of the whole project!

Anyway, wish me luck!  I'll keep you up to date ;-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stuff &Things

So, it's been a busy... few months. I looked back and realized that I've probably only posted 3 times in the past couple months and that is most likely being very generous. There have just been so many neat and/or time consuming things going on to occupy me. Due to the inherent time destroying capability of the season I think I'm going to dub this time of year Anti-Blogsmas!

At first work was really busy and hat always cuts down on my blogging energy... and then all sorts of other and more fun things arrived to capture my attention.

First, the next expansion of World of Warcraft came out around Thanksgiving. Cataclysm is fun, addictive and a joy to my inner gamer. I have been playing so much now that there is so much new content available. Here are some screenshots of my in game shenanigans.

My new Goblin (Igotwutuneed) in her lovely rocket boots
Thayolin cruising around Vashj'ir on her new seahorse mount
After my little wow distraction, the busyness of Christmas loomed and I got into my usual last minute crafting and baking extravaganza.  I didn't do a whole lot of present making this year, but I do have a couple neat things I can share.

Murray the Reindeer made for the Yankee Swap at my Knit Night

A Tiny Cthulhu I made for a $1 Yankee Swap with some friends
So, I've been a bit busy, but it's been for good reasons.  Should have some neat updates to share soon.

- Posted using BlogPress for my iPhone