Eggstra Socks

In progress Eggstra Socks

The photo shows my progress as of Friday, November 5, at the end of the time I had to knit over my lunch hour. Over the weekend I added 35 rows to the foot, and as of Sunday night I had maybe an inch to go before I could start the toe. And then I thought I’d try it on as best I could while on the circular needle to confirm whether it would fit me or my mom’s cousin’s friend better, and I discovered a stitch that was dropped before I started the foot rounds. Ugh.

When I started on the foot, I knew a stitch had gotten lost somewhere, but I assumed it happened in the increasing or decreasing around the heel, and I just added a stitch back in. Whoops. Now, there’s probably a very nice to fix this without ripping back to it, but I wasn’t completely happy about a couple of other things, and this was just one thing too many to ignore. So yesterday I ripped back to the heel, rescued my dropped stitch, and reknit the gusset.

But for now, this sock must be put aside so I can start a new pair, for alas, this sock fits me pretty well, but the pair I need done by the end of the month needs to be smaller. Last night I cast on a new sock with smaller needles.

Note: I think I’ve failed NaBloPoMo. But I’m going to try to keep posting when I can; it’s a vast improvement over what I’ve done since last November regardless.

My Nephew Can Act, After All

Okay, it’s not as if I doubted the kid could act, especially since I talked to the director of the musical he’s in weeks ago and she told me how happy she was with him, but tonight was the first time I was able to see it for myself.

I hinted a few days ago about the fact that one of my nephews is currently living with me. The whys and wherefores aren’t terribly important at this point, but indeed, my 17-year-old nephew (I’ll call him D here) is here for his senior year. To say it’s been an interesting experience so far would be an understatement. I know a lot of is just what teenagers are like, and I vaguely recall being a teenager once myself, but I was so unprepared.

But we’re doing okay, and I credit in part his participation in drama. D has expressed interest in going to college for theater, and D’s high school has an excellent drama program, so it was kind of a no-brainer to let him participate in the fall musical (and hopefully the rest of the productions this year). The auditions were right after school started, and D was able to get the part of Maurice (Belle’s father) in Beauty and the Beast. He’s had rehearsal pretty much every school day since.

But tonight was opening night (it runs through Sunday), and all that rehearsal time seems to have paid off. The show was a lot of fun, and I found out for sure that the kid can act.

My Post Was Eaten!

Well, I’d like to say that the title of the post was true, but if yesterday’s post for NaBloPoMo was eaten by anything, it wasn’t WordPress but rather my desire to go to bed and forget stuff that needs to be done. Does it count if I have an extra post one day?

So, knitting. I have approximately a zillion projects in progress right now. I’d really like to finish a few of them, but right now I’m concentrating all my efforts on a pair of socks. A couple months or so ago I came across some information about the Ovarian Cancer Sock Kit. This is a cause near and dear to our family because one of my mom’s cousins is an ovarian cancer survivor. I immediately placed an order for a kit. And then sent an email to my mom’s cousin letting her know about the kit and asking her about the organization it benefits. She responded, and also asked if she bought a couple of kits, would I be willing to knit pairs for her and another survivor friend of hers too? Of course I would! I mean, socks aren’t that time consuming, really, right?

Well, it’s all turning out fine now, but these socks have a pretty complicated pattern in the cuff. There are six different cable stitches to keep straight, plus a little bit of beading, which I hadn’t done before in knitting. I’m looking forward to doing some straight knitting when I get to the foot, because the cuff and heel are definitely not things I can do without some amount of concentration. Now that I have those cable stitches mostly memorized, though, I think I’ll be able to finish a pair by the end of November with little trouble, so the cousin can give her friend her pair for her birthday in early December.

And the other two pair should be a breeze!

In other news, I received my member card for the Minnesota Zoo today. I’ve been thinking about getting a membership for a few years now, but finally took the plunge when I was there for a friend’s birthday a couple Saturdays ago. I realized that I really love walking around there, and being able to go down anytime I want, even by myself on a random day off from work or something, would be wonderful. I also love taking photos of the animals, and sometimes it would be nice to do that at my own pace. I did get an Individual Plus membership, though, so I can take someone with for free if I want some company.

Making Soup

I’m pretty sure I’ve said before that I’m not really a cook. I prepare food for meals, but make things from scratch that’s more than frying fish or making a grilled cheese sandwich? It doesn’t happen often. But a few weeks ago I came across a soup recipe that not only sounded tasty, but easy enough even for me to make.

Naturally, the next time I was somewhere to buy groceries, I hadn’t put the soup ingredients on my list. I actually remembered everything, though, except that it needed three, not just two, cans of black beans. And for the life of me I couldn’t find chile paste at that store. Eventually I picked up the third can and tracked down the chile paste, but I still needed to wash the blender that had been in storage for about eleven years. Lately I’ve been lucky to remember to run the dishwasher, let alone keep up with the rest of the dishes, but on Saturday I had a little time to myself and finally got the blender ready.

Yesterday’s schedule ended up being a little crazier than planned, including that I had to buy new chicken stock because I drank what I had on hand earlier in the week when I was sick. But as soon as I got home at about 5:00 PM, I started in on the soup. Less than an hour later my nephew and I were happily eating it.

I wish I had had cooking spray (I just assumed I had some, but since I mostly use stoneware or nonstick pans for baking, I guess I haven’t needed it) because I’m pretty sure the dutch oven is going to be a chore to clean, and when I make it again I’ll probably double the corn, but otherwise, it was a rare cooking success.


Note: I’m going to attempt to participate in NaBloPoMo and NaKnitMo (Ravelry link) again this year. Neither worked out great last year, but I was in the middle of buying and settling into a new home, so I can’t be any busier this year than that, right? Oh, right. The nephew living with me. But that story will have to wait for another blog post.

Feeling Domestic

I am not a cook. I’ve enjoyed baking for a really long time, but cooking food for meals is a different thing, and not something I’ve done much of.

Last night I bought some frozen talapia, and put one in the refrigerator to defrost for today. I needed to make it quick because my mom was coming over to get my closet organization system started, so I just fried it. Easy, right? And it was, but right after I put it in the saute pan I realized that I’m not really sure how to tell when fish is cooked well enough. I faked it well, though, and I think it turned out just fine. I also fried up some cut-up red potatoes quickly, which I definitely should have cooked longer.

If I can find shallots tomorrow (the Super Target I do most of my shopping at was sold out), I have a recipe for lamb chops I’d like to try. I probably won’t have to cook much Thursday or Friday with Thanksgiving and all, but after the leftovers are gone I have a pork roast recipe to try in my Crock Pot.

The fact that I actually have balsamic vinegar in my house makes me feel quite a bit more domestic than I did yesterday. Oh, and I have salt now too.

Not Tonight; I Have A Headache

I am not a seasonal allergy sufferer; I suffer from them pretty much all the time. Dust, mold, whatever it is, it’s controlled quite nicely by a daily dose of Zyrtec. Somehow I managed to run out without buying more first, so last night I missed a dose.

I had this grand plan to go to Sam’s Club because they have the best price I’ve found for Zyrtec, and besides, I could use some fish and whatever to throw in the freezer. So I went to my parents’ for dinner, and Mom and I headed off to Sam’s. I got plenty of meat to put in the freezer (it’s not that big a freezer; I’m considering getting a little chest freezer to put in the garage or entryway closet or something), and I even noticed they had a spice chai mix in stock that a coworker likes so I called to see if she’d like me to pick it up, but more than an hour after I got home I realized I didn’t get the Zyrtec.

So far my sinuses haven’t been too bad, so I think I’ll be fine until I can pick up some at Target tomorrow, but I do have a bit of a headache forming.

Around the time I was moving into my new place, I stocked up on a lot of baking supplies: regular flour, better for bread flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, brown sugar, chocolate chips…you get the idea. I’ve really been looking forward to using my bread machine more often, but I hadn’t located the book that tells me what order to put everything in. While I was at my parents’ this evening, I found it mixed in with a bunch of my mom’s cookbooks and started checking out the ingredients to make sure I have everything I need for plain old whole wheat bread. All set! Except salt. How do I forget to buy a staple like salt? It’s also on my list for Target for tomorrow.

The Sofas Are Here! The Sofas Are Here!

Yeah, I’m pretty much that excited. Pictures will be along just as soon as I’m able to clear out the extra furniture from my living room. The new sofas look awesome with the blue color I chose for the living room, and they’re super comfy. I love being able to push a button to lift the footrest, and I’ve spent a rare (lately, that is) evening mostly relaxing with my feet up, watching TV and knitting.

Tomorrow evening Mom and I are going to start to put my new closet organization into the master bedroom closet. Pretty soon I’ll be able to hang up clothes! And I’m putting my dresser into the closet, which will clear up space to put a nice comfy chair in a corner of my bedroom by the window.

The next big hurdle is figuring out how to get the couch I had in the living room into the second bedroom. Mom and I rearranged and cleared out the room for the move, only to realize how difficult it’s going to be to fit through the door. It’ll go, but it has to be on its side, and with the pull-out bed inside, it’s really hard to move that way. For the moment it’s cozy with the  table in the dining room.

I’ve been able to get a little knitting in this weekend, and my current stitch total for NaKnitMo stands at 9,117/30,000 (I might get a little more than that done before bed tonight). I have quite a way to go in the next eight days! Though there will be other work to do, I’m sort of counting on the four-day weekend to get lots and lots of knitting in. After today I’ll probably work on the Hemlock Blanket rather than the bathmat not only because I can gets lots of stitches quickly, but also because I want to finish the blanket one of these months.