January 6, 2009

This blog has been moved!  My new site is:


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Not knitting, but my Christmas Cookie Extravaganza 2008!
Oh yes. This is the most baking I’ve ever done in my life– an effort that spanned two days and about 40 trips to the grocery store.img_3757

It started out with these amazing chocolate gingerbread cookies from Martha. They use fresh ginger (a first for me) and lots and lots of chocolate. Instead of using just a course granulated white sugar for rolling the dough in, I used Sugar in the Raw, which is very molasses-y. These cookies are not for the faint of heart! I think leaving the dough in the fridge overnight helped to mellow out the flavors, but they are Intense.


Next, I made these mocha slice cookies, also from Martha (go figure). They didn’t turn out quite the way I had wanted them to… the cookies on the bottom rack burned, so I had to throw out a whole pan. Yuck. And I had to add quite a bit more flour in order to roll it into a log, so… I don’t know. They’re kind of floury. But they’re pretty!




(This photo was taken while some of the cookies were in the oven still- don’t worry, there are plenty more!)

The next thing was the most stressful for me. It involved candy making skillz, and I do not have them. But I think it turned out… we won’t know for sure for a few hours.

Peppermint marshmallows!


Hmm. I don’t love how this picture turned out.

The second-to-last item combines two of my most favorite food items: chocolate and hazelnuts (and coconut in the case of the last few when I ran out of hazelnuts).




These involved the most work, I think. From smashing the nuts with a hammer (because I don’t have a nutcracker), to roasting them, to rubbing the papery coating off of them, to chopping them, to truffle-izing them… it was a labor of love, let me tell you.

Last but not least is some regular marshmallow cream fudge, which I don’t have pictures of because I haven’t made it yet. Besides, fudge always looks the same. And lest you get confused, I do not pollute my fudge with nuts of any kind. No. If you get fudge from me, you can rest assured that it is nutless.

Well, its been a fun day of baking. I’ll be back with some pictures of what I’ve been knitting on (its been a lot, actually), and a sneak peak of my super secret project.

Merry Christmas!

ETA:  I’d like to thank my mom, for taking a hundred phone calls from me about what I should do when (insert baking drama here) happens.  Also, I’d like to thank my wonderful husband for making this all possible by going to the grocery store time after time when I realized that I forgot things, and for talking my baking skillz up to his friends.  Look who’s the coolest wife on the block now, huh?

I actually had a fun week

October 26, 2008

I spent the weekend doing basically nothing.  It was very nice.  We did get a new (to us) couch from Matt’s parents, went to the farmer’s market, and saw the movie W.  I was very surprised by the movie- I expected it to be very anti-Bush, but it kind of portrayed him in a sympathetic way.

However, in the past week or so I’ve done some fun things.  On Monday we drove to Big Falls Park, which I had never heard of before.  It had a little water-fally area which reminded me of the Eau Claire Dells in Wausau.  I took some pretty pictures:

I also went to see the band Mae with a friend.  They were fantastic.

I even got a picture with them:

The singer told me that my hair looked great, but upon seeing this picture I feel like it was wayyyy too big.

On a more knitting related note, I started the Dickinson Pullover a few weeks ago, but I stopped after I finished the back.  More important projects, I guess.  I should have my knucks done tonight, so perhaps I’ll post them tomorrow.

I kind of love the macro feature on my camera.

More exciting news:  this same friend who I saw Mae with asked me to teach her how to knit.  I did, and she’s hooked.  She knit a whole mitten on her first try!  A real mitten with a thumb and everything!  It was amazing.
So now we’ve been knitting on Monday mornings together, and I think its going to become a tradition.  I am SO excited to have a real knitting friend in real life!  The added bonus?  We’re from the same hometown, and she has one neighbor with an alpaca farm, and one with a sheep farm.  Its good to have more fibery friends.

Yes I love technology

September 23, 2008

I am blogging from my ipod touch! It’s very exciting. Tomorrow I’ll go on the real Internet and post pictures of my new purse (it’s plaid with orange ruffles.)

In preparation for International Talk Like A Pirate Day (Friday, September 19th), I am bestowing on you my very first pattern: an Eye Patch!

This happens to be a very timely Talk Like A Pirate Day, because I find myself in the position of looking like a pirate, too. Why is that, you ask? Well, half of my face is paralyzed.

Last week I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a (temporary!!) condition where the seventh cranial nerve (the one that controls your face) gets inflamed or something? And gets smashed up and all of a sudden, you are paralyzed on one side of your face! They don’t really know what causes it.  Maybe a virus?  Who knows.

(This is me smiling. Seriously.)

It happened while I was putting on my makeup last Wednesday. I thought I was having a stroke (you know, they always say that half of you becomes paralyzed when you’re having a stroke). But I am happy to say that no, its just a nuisance.

The bright side of all this is that when I try to smile, I look like I’m doing the “yarrrrgh” thing that pirates do, and I can’t close my eye, so I have to wear an eye patch… Okay, I don’t wear one as much as I should. I don’t want people to think I’m one of those weird eye-patch-wearing-pirate-wannabes. Which is why I got soap in my eye the other night at work: no reflexes.

So I knit an eye patch! The one is knit in Claudia’s Hand Painted in Hawaii.  It is lined with wool felt and has a heavy interfacing in it to give it structure.  It is also weighted so it actually hangs over your eye.

So, here you are:

Natalie’s Fabulous Palsy Eye Patch

One size fits all

Any fingering weight yarn – you could use scraps, really
Heavy interfacing or a piece of plastic – cut from a milk jug, perhaps?
Fabric for the backing – use something that won’t fray, like felt or fleece
A penny or nickel to weight it

US Size 2 Needles
Sharp darning needle
Scissors to cut fabric
Small crochet hook for cord (you could, in theory, do an i-cord, but I prefer my cord to be a little less bulky)

CO 18 sts
Slipping the first stitch of every row, knit as follows:
Rows 1-3: Knit
Row 4 (WS): Purl
Rows 5-12: Work in stockinette (starting with knit row)
Row 13 (RS): K to last 2 sts, k2tog
Row 14 (WS): P to last 2 sts, p2to
Repeat rows 13 & 14 until you have 10 sts left on your needle (should be row 21)
Row 21: BO 2 sts, K to end
Row 22: BO 2 sts, P to end
Row 23: BO remaining stitches.
Weave in ends.

At this point, stretch out your little patch and trace it on some paper.  Cut out your little patch pattern and use it to cut out a matching piece of your backing fabric.  Also cut out a matching piece of interfacing, but trim it just a smidge smaller than your patch and backing so it fits nicely inside.

Using your darning needle and your yarn, blanket stitch the backing fabric around your patch, starting at one corner and going around.  Leave the top open!!  Slip the interfacing in through the top, add your weight, and blanket stitch the top closed.  Weave in your ends.

Optional:  Use some yarn to gather the top ever-so-slightly to make your patch a little convex.

At this point, crochet two chains long enough to tie comfortably at the back of your head.  Attach these to the top corners of your patch.  You can do this with the crochet hook or your needle.  Weave in ends.

Yay!  You’re done!

How did I do?  Are there any noticeable mistakes?  Let me know in the comments!  And if you knit this, let me see it!

An adventure

September 4, 2008

Last night I went to my favorite waterfall.  Honestly, its the only waterfall I know of around here.

Also, my craft project of the day is a lanyard I made for my keys so I wouldn’t lose them:

I’ve lost my keys like a hundred times since I’ve made this.  I guess its me, and not my keys.

Also, my mom who is awesome sent me a present in the mail.  It is this shirt from The Onion:

I think they took a picture of my kitten, put it on a shirt, and sent her into the world, saying: “You go terrorize some nice people now”.

Thanks Mom!

She is getting this t-shirt, also from The Onion:

It doesn’t even make sense, right?  Its perfect.

Look what I spun up

September 3, 2008

I did some dying last night and spun it up this afternoon:

I just plied it, and I don’t like it so much anymore.  Poop.

The weather is amazingly cool here, and my cat is enjoying lying in the open windowsil:

Also:  My new camera is so fabulous, I almost never have to do any editing.  Yay!