Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Breaking in the Knits

This past weekend Paul and I finally got to get together with new parents Guy and Sarah. I had knit gifts for their baby over the summer but hadn't seen them since their little Silas was born.

This kid gives babies a good name. He is so easy going and slept all through our lunch at a fabulous vegetarian restaurant in Providence (Guy and Sarah, what was the name of that restaurant?).

The bib and the booties fit perfectly and Silas didn't waste any time breaking the bib in. I think he spit up on it less than 5 minutes after Sarah put it on him. Strangely enough, I had forgotten about that part of baby behavior and actually had imagined the bib being used when eating. Either way, I am glad it will be getting used.

Paul and Guy are training Silas on the benefits of having a "sweet" computer. Who says you need to be able to hold your own head up to enjoy the internet?!

I planned too many things for Saturday which meant I had to leave Sarah and the boys to rush back home, walk our canine boys and head to the Soup Swap.

Mark and Christi were having their second annual Soup Swap and I had my African Peanut Soup ready to go in the freezer. Unfortunately getting lost on the way home from Rhode Island delayed me for long enough that the swapping was over by the time I got there. Some kind folks were willing to swap some of the soups they had gotten from the swap for my soup. I ended up walking away with some interesting and mostly vegetarian soups. I am particularly interested in tasting Christi's Parsnip and Pear soup.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cupcakes Take Over Veggie Dinner Club

It's about that time again: Veggie Dinner Club time. It has actually been quite a while since our last meeting. The holiday season necessitated an early December meeting and here it is almost the end of January. I am not sure how that happened so fast. Anyway, it was Ann and Lee's turn to host us.

Lee held his own in the hosting arena despite a cast on his foot. He made sweet potato gnocchi from scratch. That is territory I have never set foot in ...maybe something to think about for February's new recipes. (Did ya catch that pun?)

Ann once again amazed us with her vegan cupcakes. This time we devoured Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

We were satisfied veggie diners. But we did have to skip playing games since it was a school night. I'll have to find another opportunity to play Lee's "architect" games. I was intrigued.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Knitting Retreat

After a particularly busy week at work, I was rewarded with a knitting retreat. The knitting guild had a few extra spots open for their yearly retreat and I was fortunate enough to get one. Despite leaving work a little early to beat the traffic, I ended up stuck in it. The pokey trip down to the retreat site meant I missed the first cocktail hour, but I made it in time for dinner. Which was good because the meals were one of the many high points of the weekend.

The dining room was divided into "Knitters" and "Survivors" as we were sharing the site with a cancer survivor group. I found it especially amusing how they identified our tables.

The site we retreated to was absolutely amazing. We were at the Whispering Pine Conference Center. The location has an interesting history.

From what I hear, the property was a model for Camp David and was frequented by President Eisenhower when it was owned by W. Alton Jones. A lot of the furniture and decorations were donated along with the buildings and the land to the University of Rhode Island, which has preserved the land and the site for various uses.

Here some knitters from the group are enjoying the Saturday evening cocktail hour.

My room was in Laurel Lodge: site of the Saturday evening knitting pajama party.

Most of the time we knitted in Nettles where there was a huge fireplace as well as a four season porch. Both of which were excellent knitting locations, but my favorite was the couch by the fire. Hours ticked by while I was on that comfy couch being warmed by the fire.

They fed us so well that we had to stop knitting, get off the couches and go for a walk to make room for the next delicious meal.

Luckily, Saturday wasn't too chilly. The walk was brisk and sunny.

I got quite a bit of knitting done but since most of it is going to be gifted, I'll just give a little peak:

In addition to the eating and knitting, I got a chance to talk to many fascinating and kind women. A few of the people who had gone on the New Mexico trip were there. It was great to have more time with them. There were also a lot of new people that I got a chance to talk to and knit with. I think I remarked more than once during the weekend that knitting has provided me with many opportunities to meet people and see interesting places. Most people probably wouldn't think that a potentially solitary activity could provide so much reason to gather and be a part of a community. For me, it does.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Knitter's Paradise

Snow Day!! I have not had a snow day in ages. My work is closed today due to the snowstorm so I get to stay home and knit all day long. Or, I get to knit until I get bundled up to walk to my library knitting group where I will knit some more! What an amazing thing it is to have a whole bunch of unexpected free hours (not even to mention those extra hours of sleep this morning!).

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Besides secret baby knitting, I have been working on a few other things.

Becky is kicking my booty is our knit-a-long for the Tanglewood Cascading Cardigan. I blame it on the pregnant people.

I just have this measly single lace repeat done and she is already past the armhole.

I am also working on my Oblique Openwork Socks.

But mostly, I've been consumed with knitting baby things. I haven't really gotten much into knitting for babies before and it is so much fun to look at all of the cute little things I can make. I know I've probably said this before, but I love having Ravelry as a resource. It is making my baby knitting research so much easier.

New Year's Resolution

Last year was the first year in my adult life that I made resolutions. I liked having the goals. They helped to keep me motivated and focused on a few priorities. So, this year I made more. Number one being that each month I will look through my cookbooks, chose 3 new recipes, shop for ingredients and make them. Paul agreed to be in on this resolution with me. Tonight's dinner was courtesy of my resolution. I made the North African Couscous Salad recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Specials cookbook (Thanks Becky!!). It was tasty.

The other resolution is not so much a resolution as it is a declaration. In our house, we have declared 2008 to be The Year of Honesty. That means and will mean many things to us but so far the most influential of those being a thorough purging of possessions. If I am honest with myself, it isn't really worth holding on to a lot of the stuff that I have been moving around for years. For example, do I really need to hold on to 3 bridesmaid and 1 prom dress? I think not. So far I have decluttered by donating lots of clothes and shoes, getting rid of back issues of magazines, and selling a ton of books to the book store.

There are many benefits to decluttering. It makes for a less cluttered living space and it makes room for new fun and useful things. After selling a big box of books to the bookstore, I treated myself to a new knitting book 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. I like it way better than the original One Skein Wonders. It felt good to exchange a box of books that I didn't need for a bit of cash and a book I am excited about.

The Year of Honesty has also made itself known in the realm of knitting. There are some projects that I had been hoping to finish but truth be told, they weren't going to work out for numerous reasons. The change of the year came when I had a nice amount of vacation time from work. I took the time to go through my projects and either finish them or rip them out. I also did a little destashing by donating some yarn to Circles charity knitting drive. It felt magnificent to start the year with a stash I am itching to knit and a bunch of knitting bags waiting to be filled with new projects. This was also good timing because I recently found out about all the babies that are busy being grown inside my friends and I must knit baby things...lots of baby things.

I wonder what else The Year of Honesty has up its sleeves?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


If you could ask Tchazo, he might tell you he got something worse than coal in his stocking. He got a food bowl that is designed to force him to eat more slowly. Why does he need this bowl, you might ask? Well, his default dining style could be labeled as consumption by means of inhalation. His furious eating pace has resulted in many a meal coming right back up. The like-new condition of the food chunks when they come back up is just further evidence that he doesn't chew before he swallows. It is not healthy for him to eat so fast and the throwing up part is a bit gross for all involved.

So we introduced the Brake-fast bowl.

The nubs in the bowl make it harder for him to get to the food. In the few weeks that he has been eating out of it he has learned to smash his face in between the nubs to get the most in each bite. It has slowed him down a little, though. But, even with the brake-fast bowl he still eats his 2 cups of food faster than Jack eats his 1 cup.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Babies Babies Babies

In a handful of months, some of my friends will be having babies. So, of course these babies must be welcomed into the world with some handknits. I won't reveal the finished objects in order to preserve the surprise, but I can post a little sneak peak.

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