December 29, 2008

Gearing up for Garmisch

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , , , , at 11:30 pm by Jenn

Scott and I are going to Garmisch in a couple of weeks and I CANNOT WAIT!  One week away from Baku…there is a God.

We are staying at Edelweiss again.  We’d be crazy not to.  It’s an awesome resort and everything you need is right there, or right across the street at the base.

Scott plans to do some skiing.  I plan to take a few tours, do some geocaching if I’m able and of course hit the yarn store. 

I’m hoping to have a new hat and mittens whipped up by then….we’ll see.  The hat that I chose is the Unoriginal Hat designed by the Yarn Harlot and I’m still undecided on the mittens.  Something with a cable because the hat has cables, and something quick and easy because I’ve never knit mittens.  That shouldn’t be too hard to find…

Now I just need to stop all of my other little projects and focus on the hat and mittens.  That shouldn’t be too hard…I hope.  I really don’t want to take my bright red leather gloves to Garmisch, but hey, if I must they at least match my Maryland Terrapins hat…no, that doesn’t scream TOURIST at all.


November 6, 2008

A Day for Dyeing

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , at 11:51 pm by Jenn

Today I finally decided to do something with all those onion skins I’d been saving for the past few months.  I don’t know if it was because Scott said something (sarcastically) about them accumulating or if I was just ready to do something with them.  Anyway, about 3pm today I decided today was the day that I would try my luck at dyeing with natural dyes.

I started off with this


but in much large quantity.  I put all the skins I gathered into a pot with about 2.5 liters of water and turned the heat on to medium high.  I let the water come to a boil and remain boiling for about 30 minutes. 


I then turned the heat down and got ready to add the yarn.


I let that simmer gently (so it wouldn’t felt) for about 30 minutes….this is the finished product.  I’m really quite pleased with the color.

I still had 2 skeins ready to go, but I didn’t think there was enough color left in the water to do up another 2 skeins.  I didn’t want to risk it so I reached in to the freezer and pulled out a pack of spinach.  The spinach left little flakes of spinach all over the yarn so I didnt’ want to dye the third skein with that color…so I grabbed the Black Cherry Kool Aid (3 packs to 4 cups of water).  What the Hell!  Here’s a picture of all three skeins.


I really love the onion dyed skein which is in the middle.  It’s a nice autumn orange color.  The spinach is on the left and the Black Cherry Kool Aid on the right.  I like the spinach color but once I saw the Black Cherry I thought about adding another color to the spinach….hmmm….what goes good with green?  Purple of course.  I boiled up some Grape Kool Aid (2 packs to 2 cups of water) and this is what I came up with


much better. 

The method I used for the Kool Aid this time was different than last time.  Last time I hand painted the yarn, this time I just stuck it in the pot of water.  The yarn soaked up the color instantly.  That is why the Black Cherry yarn is lighter in places….the light places are the last pieces that went in to the water.  When I took the yarn out (after about 20 minutes) the water was clear.  For the spinach yarn I just dipped the yarn in and held it in place for about 5 minutes….again all the color was removed from the water and drawn in to the yarn.  FASCINATING.  Like magic.

Now all the yarn is drying and I have to decide what to do with it.  Gifts or stash?  That is the question.

I also received two GREAT packages today.  One from my friend Katie in Kentucky!  She is so sweet.  She was my spoilee for the Spring Swap several months ago.  We’ve stayed in touch and she sent me two Webkinz and two skeins of Noro Silk Garden in super awesome colorway.  I’m thinking scarf, but she suggested mittens.  Here’s a picture of the goods


Thanks Katie, YOU ROCK!  The second package was from WEBS and contained the yarn (Queensland Collection – Kathmandu DK in Midnight Blue Tweed)for my next project…Baby Cables and Big Ones Too (on ravelry)!  I’m going to swatch tomorrow and hopefully cast on in the next few days.  I do still have 3 Giftmas presents to start and finish….

September 28, 2008

BratBQ and other news

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , , , , at 1:57 pm by Jenn

When we went to Germany Scott’s mission was to bring back brats.  And he did, lots of them.  Last night we had a BratBQ at the casa de Smart.  We didn’t have as many people as we expected, but we had 7 total, a ton of brats, food and drink and a lot of fun.  I made 3 bean salad and pasta salad, a cake and brownies.  Allison made roasted potatoes.  We had chips, dip and beer cheese.

The guys played Playstation 3, Danny entertained us with his guitar and Allison and I amused ourselves with .  I’m serious, if you haven’t tried it you are missing out on at LEAST 10 good laughs and a few Oh My’s.

After everyone left and the place met “Smart Standards” I headed for the bedroom to finish that scarf I’d been working on.  No, not the Clementine Shawlette that I’ve been working on since May.  No, not the Clapotis that I’ve been working on since July.  The No Name scarf that I started last week.  LOL. 

Mission accomplished.  Now today I just have to figure out the proper way to block this thing and I’ll have a wearable item when it dries.  It seems that I’ve finished that scarf just in time too.  The weather here is only supposed to be in the low 60’s today and for the past few days…3 at least, we’ve had rain.   Yep, you heard right.  Rain.  In Baku.

In other news I’m getting ready for the holidays.  I’m having a Cookie Exchange and sending out the announcement tomorrow.  I’m making my Christmas list via a wishlist on Amazon this year.  I’ve posted a link to it here on my blog for easy access (hint hint) and I’ve decided that I’m going to give a few basic knitting classes to some of the women here who want to knit.  AND, I’ve ordered a bunch of yarn and koolaid and plan to have a Dyeing Party!  FUN FUN FUN!

AND, while I was doing my grocery shopping this week I happened to find a few cans of A&W Rootbeer.  Yep, you guess it

Rootbeer floats.  Not anywhere near as good as the ones Dr Rootbeeraka Jerome used to whip up, but they were just what the Dr. ordered.  Rootbeer heals all you know!  It’s funny too because I had just sent Jerome an email saying that I hadn’t been able to find any rootbeer here, and then there it was.  It was like he “wished” the rootbeer to appear for me.  Thanks Jerome!

Now I’m off to block that scarf!

September 22, 2008

I’m Into Dyeing

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , , at 9:25 pm by Jenn

You start with this

and end with this

using this

FUN!  Now I just have to wind it in to center pull balls and then turn it in to a pair of socks.  Gee, I wonder how long that will take? 

I’m going to try some other techniques…onion skins and spinach for starters!  : )  Yes I know.  I’m a geek.  I wanted to do wine, but that’s just a waste of good wine…besides, I’ve read the color turns brown with time.  Brown is a nice color, but I’d rather drink the wine I think.

June 27, 2008

Making The Most Of It

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , , at 6:16 pm by Jenn

It is expensive living in Baku.  The prices are unbelievable.  So I’ve decided that I’m going to make the most of it and cook with the inexpensive vegetables that are plentiful.  With a little help from I’ve discovered some wonderful new recipes. 

Last night we had Chicken Dilly Sandwiches and tonight we are having Mediterranean Chicken with Eggplant.  Some of the ingredients that are plentiful right now include:








I just did a simple search for “Dill and Chicken” and another for “Eggplant” and came up with some wonderful ideas.

A few tips about using the website:

1.  Always read the comments.  People make the recipes, modify them slightly and then comment.  Some people are just ridiculous with their rating for example the recipe calls for chicken, pasta and tomato….the person decides to use beef, rice and tomato instead, then rates it one star….UMMM, maybe try it with the suggested ingredients and then make MAJOR modifications next time.

An example of how to use the comments.  Tonights dinner calls for eggplant.  In the recipe it says to soak the eggplant in a salt water bath.  I read the comments and several people suggested putting the eggplant in a collander, sprinkling with salt and letting stand for 20 minutes.  I chose to use this method instead of what the recipe called for.

2.  Recipes that have 4-5 stars and lots of comments are usually winners.  I had Thanksgiving dinner last year with a majority of the recipes from Allrecipes and it was a huge success.

So that’s it.  I’m not getting paid by Allrecipes, though if they have an opening I’d gladly take it (I have this yarn habit I need to support).

Speaking yarn next in my que the Baby Surprise Jacket.  I hope to be able to begin that as soon I finish the Hoodie Baby Blanket that I’m making for Kriszti.  Also in line are the Clapotis (I know, I hate the name too, but it’s really beautiful), and after visiting my friend Christine’s blog today and ogling over her Nutkins I’ve decided that I MUST make them afterall!  I have the perfect yarn. 

Oh, and I got my partner for the Summer Yarn Swap….shhh, it’s a secret!  Did I mention lately that I love swaps?  I mailed my package for the HSKS5 this week!  I hope it arrives much faster than the last….stay tuned.


May 9, 2008

Hogwart’s is Accepting New Students!

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:18 pm by Jenn

WOW!  I can’t believe it.  HSKS5 has room for more students.  If you knit and like to have a lot of fun, this is the place for you.  There aren’t too many spots left so head on over to the main site and see what you need to do to register.  You won’t want to miss one more minute of the fun!

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