2012 Inventory of finished projects

Just in case anyone is keeping score.  In 2012 I knitted 6 shawl type things (TGV, Shinkan-Zen, Faraway So Close, Happy Half Moon, Stash Hippy, and Lzy Daisy), 2 pairs of mittens and 6 hats.


Still fiber arting with a little bread baking mixed in!!!

Like I need to be baking and eating bread….I’ve been wanting to get back into bread baking for quite a while. GB gave me a copy of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes for Christmas! It took me three batches of the master recipe, with helpful hints from GB before I was happy with the outcome. Not 100% happy, but at least the loaves weren’t hockey pucks.

My goal was to “master” the master recipe and then find a recipe for Poulsbo bread that I could tweak till it satisfied me. Poulsbo quickly became my favorite store bought bread when I moved back to Washington state (ahem, many years ago). The old recipe that the Sluys’ developed. Not the gunky garbage tasting Poulsbo that Franz sells now. The recipe I tried last week was to tweek the Gaye Levy recipe. Here’s what I did:

Baked for 1 hour in a well greased non-stick bread pan. Preheated oven to 475°F, used the sudden steam addition trick, decreased heat to 450°F after 10 min of baking, final center/internal temp 205°F.

Makes 2-2-ish pound loaves.

2 1/2 C 105°F water
1 1/2 C 7 grain mix (Stone Buhr or Red Mill, I used our local Health Food store’s bulk)
4 1/4 C bread flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C flax meal
4 TBS sugar
2 TBS molasses
2 TBS honey
2 tsp salt
2 TBS yeast (rapid rise)
3 TBS powdered buttermilk
3 TBS margarine (I used Golden Soft)

Think think think what to do what to do

A week ago last Wednesday’s flights went well, lots of knitting done on my Baktus. I’m now about half way down the decrease side. (though I dreamt last night I was done.) I’d brought a ball of Shibui Staccato with me to make a pair of anklets in case I finished the shawl. It wasn’t to be.

Graham is done with classes for his masters and is continuing his research and writing his thesis. Rachel is doing her masters at Boston University. Both are real hard workers and while I was visiting I hoped that I didn’t upset the study routines too much! I tried to be out adventuring every day.

Teddy, not quite ready to learn "shake"

Before I left for home I want to teach Teddy to shake. He’s almost there, his left paw goes loose, ready for me to pick it up and shake it. Wait, that’s not right… The reward? A little bit of popcorn. Better treats don’t make him work harder for this skill. I think Teddy is afraid he’s going to topple over if he doesn’t have all four paws on the floor!

Thursday I took the T north to Harvard Square for a coffee at Crema then south, my first stop being Windsor Button. I’d barely walked 10 feet through the door when I spotted their display of Madeline Tosh Sock. I fondled the purple tonal but thought no, it’s too predictable. So instead I picked a wild variegated jewel tone. Also bought a skein of Berroco Campus in a natural color for a pair of mittens.

The rest of Thursday was spent walking all over. In North End I tried to find the place with the Terrone from Avellino but it had gone out of business. I had fun shopping in the tiny Italian markets. Later I walked back to the Trinity Church/Boston Public Library area. (with a little side trip I’ll tell you about later)

Boston Public Library, a treat for the eyes!

Trinity Church reflected in the Hancock Bldg

Friday I spent the day at the Museum of Fine Arts. The place was crawling with school groups and very loud. I immediately went to the top floor of the new wing and worked my way down, against traffic. That plan worked well.

Blue Glass Bowl

Ancient Iranian Glass

Another Piece from Iran

An early Modern glass

Graham at Crema, it was a cold day, the hat stayed on!

Saturday Graham and I went back to Crema for coffee and croissant and then spent time at REI buying him new hiking boots, good walking shoes and a repair kit for his down coat (someone’s pup (not Juneau) had chewed a hole through the pocket from the inside). Then my first trip to a brick and mortar Dick Blick. I could have spent a lot of money there, but we mostly came out with Rhodia paper. Lunch at Legal Seafood, I had to have my Lobster Roll and Chimay fix. Ink shopping at Bromfield Pens (where I shouldn’t have spent money in protest of their super crappy customer service). New Levi’s for Graham at Macy’s. I made him carry all the purchases…

Atlantic shore view at Hampton Beach St Park, NH

So Sunday was open. Think think think what to do what to do. ROAD TRIP. We reserved a Prius (Rachel’s favorite) and drove to Maine for lunch. Why you ask? Because it was there. And so was New Hampshire. Even Teddy enjoyed the trip! Beautiful day for a drive and lunch. Noticed that the Kittery Maine area had about a half dozen yarn shops. Road trip with a plan for next time. Or shall next time be a lunch road trip to Rhode Island? 45 minutes!!!

Tune in later this week for the Boston/Cambridge restaurant, more yarn shopping, more coffee drinking, flight adventure report.

What’s not to like?

WordPress App for iPad. I find it clunky so instead I’m going back to the original.

I leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow (sunrise 7:01 am, flight 7:05 am) for Boston to visit Graham and Rachel. And the two things that keep whirling around in my head? 1) Am I bringing enough knitting to keep me occupied for 6 hours tomorrow (I can restock for the return trip) and 2) Would I rather sit in steerage with an aisle seat or up front in a middle seat (while I still have the chance to grab that center seat).

I’ve made myself a list of everything and everywhere I want to go for my visit. Came to the realization I need a few more days to do it all in. We have dinner reservations at a few favorites, Trattoria di Monica and Helmund. Tomorrow night is Similans, an East Cambridge neighborhood Thai restaurant. I think my last meal before I leave was breakfast this morning. Gotta make room!

I think Thursday is devoted to the new wing at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts plus a pilgrimage to the MFA Impressionists collection. And if there is any time left in the day, a trip to the Institute of Contemporary Art. Yep, I’m one of those that appreciates Modern and Contemporary Art. Or maybe just yarn shopping…

Friday might be a walk and window shop day. Knitting at noon is a possibility. And a deep dive into the North End. I’m on a mission to find some Torrone Fratelli Oliviero from Avellino.

Saturday is an all day adventure with Graham. There’s a pen shop we both want to visit. Not that we could afford any thing there. Maybe some ink.

No plans yet for Sunday and Monday will be a half day. I’ll keep you posted of our progress!

Hello hello plink plink, anyone there?

There’s been knitting going on. Not much spinning. Some spindling. Lots of dog walking. Here’s all the news you’ve probably missed:

Rufus and Ruby are just fine. Older but fine. They spend their days sleeping in nooks cranny’s and the cat tree so no recent pictures.

Juneau is now 15 months old, 33″ at the withers, and a skinny 104 lbs as of yesterday. Juneau and I take Rally class on Tuesdays. We know all the moves but still need to work on shaping. Need to get Juneau to look at me rather than the treat in my hand. The treat does help though… She naps more now so it’s during those times I get small knitting projects done.

Knitting Hubby and I are doing just fine!

Due to the Empire Builder train arriving 13 hours late on our Portland Yarn Crawl day in December, we went in January instead. Great weather, great company!

And the knitting. Took me almost two years to finish my Noro Striped Scarf. Why? Because it was gawd awful boring and since I paid $$$ for Noro Silk Garden I couldn’t get my self to just toss the thing.

During Christmas I knit a few hats for presents. One Felicity and one watch cap. No pictures of those because I wrapped them up before I thought about it. Since then I’ve done two more Felicity, one for Rachel

And one for myself just to see how bad the yarn really was. It didn’t come out too bad.

You notice there are no large knitting projects. I have the yarn and patterns for a few sweaters laid out. (not to mention the ones in knitting bags that I should finish sometime…) But right now between Juneau nap and stop light knitting I’m not doing too bad. I’m at about the 35% mark on a Baktus in Noro Silk Garden Sock. A much better choice than socks I think for that yarn. And somewhere in the house I have a Multnomah shawl. I say somewhere because I had to do a quick hide when Juneau tried to grab it and now I don’t remember where it is. I think it’s about at the 50% mark and last I looked at it I was thinking I should have gone up a needle size or three, thinking of starting it over.

And the biggest and best news of all? Graham and Rachel are getting married! August 26 at a winery on the west side.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,900 times in 2010. That’s about 17 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 542 posts. There were 59 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 29mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was March 8th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was Ruby Reporting.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were watsontravels.blogspot.com, maryjanemidgemink.blogspot.com, ravelry.com, heideho.wordpress.com, and biggeekknitblog.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for thumper, olden day cars, kitkatknit, nasty teeth, and biggest maine coon.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Ruby Reporting March 2010


Bunny Thumper Challenge January 2008


Knitting as an artform October 2007


I’ve never felt so old May 2007


Pendleton Mill Redeux February 2009

Let’s just call it a sabbatical

mmm, I’ve been busy, tired, out of town, working too hard, lazy….

How about a play by play on what I’ve been up to since May 25?

May 28: We took the new car, with Juneau in back, to Cannon Beach OR. We made sure we stopped every hour or so to walk Juneau and stretch our legs. The weather at home had been blustery and drizzley for days (which doesn’t really add up in precipitation but does mess up the cars). As soon as we crossed over the coastal range and onto Hiway 101, the rain stopped and we had a glorious 4 day coast vacation.

This was our first trip to Cannon Beach without Graham and at every turn and every silly little sea shell on the beach I missed him! (Graham that now lives where you can take the Metro to like six different ocean beaches in the Boston area…) Good thing Juneau kept us entertained.

She loved the sand and the ocean. She played in tide pools and ran around in water up to her belly. She even got to jump on the bed at the hotel (a new hobby for Juneau). A few times a day she got to hang out with her new friend Bettis. He was a 6 year old Great Dane staying with his humans at another beach hotel. Knitted and spindled all during the trip while Knitting Hubby drove.

June 1: Started a work campaign that kept me out of the office (in the next town over) until mid-morning today. Luckily I had my iPad with me but sure didn’t have much time to use it. I worked a couple 55 hour weeks. Tired by the time I got home everyday, made dinner, walked Juneau, fell asleep in my lounge chair watching TV most nights.

June 17: Black Sheep Gathering with Jess, Kim and Nancy! (good thing I’d put the vacation dates on my work calendar ages ago). Jessica, Nancy and I took the train down to Eugene and Kim drove us back. (Kim took the train last year) We stayed in Eugene this time (instead of Springfield) in a fun old neighborhood just blocks from the fairgrounds. On our walk to BSG we found The Sweet Life Patisserie. It became our mid-morning and mid-afternoon coffee/tea/snack stop.

Our daily breakfasts were eaten at a cute little place called the Keystone Cafe. It’s been there since 1979 and retains that 70’s funkiness. I think they lost money on us though. They sat us next to the serve yourself coffee every morning.

One evening Jessica and I walked downtown to try out VooDoo Doughnuts. Worthy of the hype? Yes.

BSG was it’s usual wonderful self. I spent most of my time in Spinners Circle (since I don’t have much spin time at home without my new assistant trying to eat it). Only bought a little roving, some corriedale that I am hand spinning singles with for a shawl and some polworth that I’m wheel spinning. Of course our last breakfast was at Ye Olde Pancake House. We can’t go to Eugene and not have a wonderful breakfast (pigs in a blanket) there. A fun relaxing fantastic trip! Knitted on Multnomah Shawl and spun to my heart’s content.

July 1: Annual road trip to Spearfish SD. Stayed in “dog friendly rooms” at hotels. That meant they were usually in the back, on the first floor, with neighbors with either dogs or babies. Can’t complain! We did fine, except someone kept hogging the bed. Juneau also figured out how to jump from one bed to the other, back and forth, then have a zoomies attack, messing up the sheets by spinning around it them. She kept herself pretty entertained! Juneau also had a good time shopping for a new collar at the Sturgis Harley shop. We were able to eat at the following restaurants on our trip, with Juneau right next to us. Juneau spent most of her time at each restaurant sleeping under the table next to her water bowl. (except for one very small incident when she hopped up long enough to take a big slurp out of my recently served soup bowl and then went right back to sleep in the shade)

Missoula MT – Wardens. Outside seating.
Bozeman MT – McKenzie River Pizza ->Park bench outside of restaurant and they served our pizza and drinks to us there even though they didn’t have real outdoor seating!
Spearfish SD – Roma’s Restaurant. We had a beautiful outdoor view looking west into the Black Hills and a great sunset.
Spearfish SD – Sanford‘s. Outdoor seating with umbrella shades.
Rapid City SD – Firehouse Brewing Co. I’d called ahead before we left home and was told there was no outdoor seating allowing dogs. When we were in downtown Rapid I decided to try again. Juneau and I noticed there were three tables out on the sidewalk not part of the usual outdoor seating at Firehouse so I asked a server if we could eat out there and she said sure!

Knitted and spindle spun all during the trip. Multnomah shawl is going soooo slow! Maybe I’ll have it done by…Christmas.

Current: work work work. Tried to start the mower several times since we returned home and it seems to be dead. Tried out a new recipe for dinner last night called “Cornhusker Casserole”. Came out great (after I made changes to the recipe).

Well that about sums it up!

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