Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday the Forty First...

It's been a LONG week.

Saturday I went to the LA fabric district with some friends from Faire. I'm not working Faire this year, but it was nice to hang out with the girls from my guild.

The LA fabric district is this section of LA near the Staples Center.

Some stores are small.

Some are bigger.

All are pretty packed with fabric. 

To the point were you feel a little afraid that you might end up buried alive if there's an earthquake. 

 I didn't buy any fabric - I have enough already - but I did walk away with 6 skeins of Cascade 220.

It's not the colors recommended for Ravenclaw in Charmed Knits, but it's close enough. I was going to get some Noro, but decided not to at the last minute - I didn't really like the feel of it. 

Work has been insanely busy so I haven't done much knitting - but I did get a few rows done on my break today.

So, remember how a couple of weeks ago I said the Husband had a weld test? He was called back for an interview - which he went to today - but we don't anything will happen. Apparently the company thought he was already in the process of moving and didn't realize he hadn't yet and would be living in a hotel for a week or two while we found a place (though why they thought he would move up there before he had a job there is beyond me...) They claimed they've had problems with people living in hotels and even though he pointed out that he is not like those people, they didn't appear to be very receptive to the idea, and that it would be a couple of weeks. 

We're pretty disappointed. We didn't want to leave our friends and family, but we both thought he was a shoe in for the job after he passed the weld test because, well, why would they invite him back up for an interview just to say no?

So now we're hoping the other theme park job comes through. That's where he really wants to work anyways.

In addition to that I found out today that my former company is officially making cut backs now and is in the process of letting go 600 people. I had a feeling it was coming - but it still makes my heart ache for my friends and former coworkers all the same. 

Hopefully everything is going much better for everyone in their parts of the world!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday the Fortieth...

I honestly haven't done very much knitting this week. I've been too busy writing (my 'short' story is no longer short - it's clocking in at 13500 words) and reading. Timeless, the last book in the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger showed up on Monday and I'm already half way through it.

I started reading the Parasol Protectorate two years ago. My friend Steph had recommended it to me, and, like I always did I just smiled and nodded and pretty much ignored her suggestion. Steph loved books but her tasted tended towards dark and twisted - and my tastes were decidedly not dark nor twisted (Stephen King being the one exception) Then one day I stumbled across the first book, Soulless, and instantly fell in love with Alexia. She was smart, funny, and so delightfully snarky. I instantly regretted not listening to Steph sooner - and I promptly went out and bought copies of Soulless for all my friends. 

I'm sad to see the series end - but Ms Carriger is working on a series set in the same universe called the Finishing School series that comes out next year, and after that she'll be working on a series about Alexia's daughter - so it's not really over yet.

Still no word from the Visalia job my Husband applied for - but he did apply and interview for a position at another local theme park this week. This one is much larger than Knott's Berry Farm and has a better schedule that would offer him more hours and a better opportunities. So, we shall see what happens *crosses fingers*

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Barefoot in the Kitchen with French Onion Soup...

For Valentines day I decided to cook dinner. We didn't really have the money to go out (and frankly neither of us wanted to deal with the crowds) and since the husband has been doing most of the cooking recently, I figured it would be a nice change.

The husband and I love French Onion soup and I've been wanting to make it for awhile but just never had the guts to really do it. For Christmas my mother in law bought me the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and it actually had a recipe for French Onion soup in it that seemed really easy, so I decided to give it a shot.

First problem: it calls for four onions, and, while we always have onions in the house, I have yet to find a way to chop them up without tearing up.

Caramelizing/browning the onions wasn't so hard, but it did take a bit longer than I expected. In the recipe they say it should only take about 15 minutes, in actuality it took about 30 (and that was with my burner turned on high)

Second problem: the recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon of flour. I got confused and put in a cup of flour, then didn't realize my mistake until I asked the husband "It says four cups right?" and he reminded me what the correct amount was. Crud. I added the broth and the water hoping that the soup would still be salvageable - it wasn't. The husband had to go back to the store to get more beef stock and I started the process of caramelizing/browning the onions again.

This time things turned out a bit better: the onions still took forever to caramelize but I remembered to add the right amount of flour, and with a little more salt than the recipe called for, we had French Onion soup.

The recipe also came with instructions on how to make croutons for the soup - we cheated and bought our own. Also, instead of using parmesian cheese like the recipe called for, we decided to use some Irish cheddar we had in the fridge. 

I want to get one of those little propane torches, so that way next time I can toast some gruyere cheese across the top like other recipes call for. I also want to try out adding some thyme and some basil leaves for a little more flavor. 

But next, I think I'm going to try my hand at making split pea soup from scratch...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday the Thirty Ninth

So the scarf has become known as the scarf of many colors or the technicolor dream-scarf. I've reached the first color repeat, so I'm in the middle of another area where the two colorways look so similar that it's hard to tell which yarn is which. It freaks me out, but I know it'll look okay in the end because it did that when I first started the scarf and it looks totally fine.

I am worried that I won't have enough yarn to complete the scarf again (I have a feeling this will be the issue with any scarf I knit that isn't made with yarn I can just pick up at Joann's) and yet again Knit Picks has discontinued one of the color ways (I don't know why! It's so pretty!)

The baby blanket is coming along well too:

Other than that there's a lot going on this week - the husband has a weld test tomorrow. The job has it's ups and it has its downs; if he gets it, we would have to move, and we would be leaving everything that we know. However, we'd still be close enough that we could see our friends and family pretty regularly, and the area we would be moving to is a lot cheaper than where we live right now (we could get a three bedroom apartment for the price of what we pay right now) I'd also have to find a new job, because there is no way I'm making that commute. 

But once again I'm just counting our eggs before they hatch and probably jinxing ourselves...

*knocks on wood*

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday the Thirty Eighth

Eighth... what a weird word. It doesn't look like it's spelled right - but it is.

My scarf is getting longer. I'm definitely going to have to block it once it's done though; see the edge there? How it's wavy?

The baby blanket is getting longer - I finished the second repeat while watching the superbowl over the weekend (Actually, the husband watched the superbowl, I watched the commercials. Personally the Audi and the M&M commercial was the best) I'm thinking four or five repeats of the pattern will be enough so if I keep going at this rate.. I should have it done before the baby's first birthday. 

On other fronts I've finished the most recent Autumn book Autumn: Disintegration. It was not as thrilling as the rest of the series, probably because it was more of a stand alone novel since none of his other characters were featured in it. I care more about them then I do about the ones in this one. In fact, I wanted to strangle the ones in this one. It was still an okay read though. 

Right now I'm reading Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates. I love it. Josh writes how he speaks - which doesn't seem like it should be such a big shock, but some people out there don't or can't do that (For example me; I'm a bit more wordy when I'm writing.) - and he has some hilarious anecdotes about the show that weren't included in episodes. It's exactly what my zombie overloaded brain needed! I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIP Wednesday the Thirty Seventh...

For Christmas one of my cousins gave me a gift certificate to Knit Picks (much to my husband's frustration. He feels I have enough yarn already, but he hasn't seen the yarn stashes of some of my friends) Anywho, I had been wanting to knit a Noro Stripe scarf for awhile, but Noro is expensive, so I spent the gift certificate on two skeins of Knit Picks Chroma worsted weight - one in Pool, and one in Northwoods.

Now, I don't know WHY I would do this immediately after finishing two scarves - but rather than work on something different like, I dunno, a hat or a sweater, I decided to go ahead and knit the chroma scarf. On Friday I cast on 45 stitches and started a K1 P1 scarf, slipping the first and last stitch of every other row purl wise. (I have a link to the pattern I'm using - it's based off of brooklyn tweed's pattern, but is a bit simpler to follow and comes with video - however that link is on my other computer which is in the shop)

So far I'm liking the chroma a LOT. It's soooo soft, and while I've used yarn with a bit of color gradient to it like Lion Brand Homespun, I have never used a self striping yarn like this - so it's a lot of fun to see what color will be next and see how it compliments/contrasts with the other colorway.

The scarf is currently a bit longer than this, and it's entered a stretch where the greens were so close in color you couldn't see the stripes depending on the light. One of the yarns is going into a blue stretch soon though so the stripes will begin to show up again in a couple of more rows.

The baby blanket is coming along well too. I hope to have it finished by the end of February baring any more spider incidents (one decided to crawl on me while I was working on it and I may or may not have behaved like the stereotypical housewife by throwing it far far away from me and jumping into a chair until the husband killed it)

I already have the next baby blanket plotted out. I was originally going to do a tartan using the colors of the clan my friend belongs to at Faire, but I think something that's more in tune with the Force is called for considering how obsessed she and her husband are with a certain science fiction series.

I'm also plotting on how to go about making an Elwood Blues amigurumi in my head - the problem I'm running into is the hat he wears. I don't know if I should crochet it, or just buy a doll hat and use that instead. Hmmm.....

Now, I noticed a lot of people commented last post on the stitch marker I was using:

Here's a better picture of it:

I meant to reply back and say who it was made by, but I'm still adjusting to having a job at a 'normal' company with a 'normal' schedule and I forgot! (This is why I also don't comment on other people's blogs much anymore. I use the web at home just long enough to occasionally write a blog and and check my facebook games.) Anywho, the stitch markers were actually made for me by Contessa of  Writing, Yarn, Pucks and Diapers. I know she has an online store where she has sold stitch markers before, but I don't know if she has any available currently since she's been going through a lot of stuff recently and her life is kinda chaotic - but I'm sure if you hit her up she'd be happy to make more when she has time :)

As usual - check out Tami's Amis for more Works in Progress!!!