Sunday, October 30, 2005

In the News this week...

Monday I started my new job and passed out at like 6pm because I wasn't used to getting up so early.

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday we spent watching the Bush administration going down and ended the evening at our friends house learning how to make home-made pizza (and the dough too!!)

This weekend I got the Halloween bug in the kitchen and decided to buy a spaghetti swash, I found this receipe!! I'll post after I build up the nerve to cook it!
posted by Cristina at 9:42 PM | link | 0 comments

Wish List

Since I don't know how to make a fancy wish list on my side bar, I'm going to do one here and update it every once in awhile...not for anyother person but myself...a way to keep me on track of what I want and to hopefully avoid the pitfalls of the inevitable impluse shopping.

1. Vogue Knitting (Magazine Subscription)
2. 440 More Knitting Stitches (USED book) (I think this is the one, but I'm not positive)
4. Knitting for Two (USED book) (No, I'm not knocked up!)
5. Hollywood Knits : Thirty Original Suss Designs (USED Book)
6. Hollywood Knits Style (USED book)
7. A bike
8. Helmet and pads for roller skating
9. Subscription to Lucky Magazine
10. Interweave Magazine subscription
11. Staple gun
12. Glow-In-The-Dark yarn from E-Bay
13. Sodoku work book. Maybe, maybe not.
14. Marketing for Dummies
15. Sales for Dummies

Project Wish List:
1. Bubble Magnets
2. Knitting bracelets with silver wire
3. Jewelry- large natural gems. (braclets, and 2 strand necklaces)
posted by Cristina at 2:22 PM | link | 1 comments

Monday, October 24, 2005

HMO's....PPO's.....who the f**k knows!!!

Today I started my new job which was great, except that now I'm having to *graciously* embrace the tedious task of picking a health plan. Could be worse I guess, I shouldn't complain.

For those of you looking for good info on the HMO vs. PPO question check out this....

Although....if you're reading this, its not because you give a rats a*s about health insurance, but interested in yarn insurance. Wouldn't that be nice. An insurance to cover you during lifes mishaps at the yarn store cash register.

I have a FO to announce, another terry wash cloth from Weekend Knitting. Looks pretty cool, but I had a lot more yarn left over then what I was supposed to have which scares me a bit. Ooh well, it looks cool and its a fun quick knit.
posted by Cristina at 8:49 PM | link | 4 comments

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

On the needles...


Above photo shamelessly borrowed from this great blog, Dropped Stitches.

Now that I've moved in with the hubby and I'm working on unpacking my crap, I'm realizing how much I hate all the clutter. I feel like all this stuff is weighing me down and I've committed myself to get rid of it....

With that said, tonight I organized 4 huge bins of yarn. Now, I, like any other yarn whore looooves to have buckets and buckets of yarn decorating my living room....bedroom....closets...and where ever else I can try to disquise it as decor. But it's getting to the point where I feel guilty in yarn stores instead of euphoric when the thought of buying more merely enters my mind.

So my answer my friend is blowing in the.....

I'm doing some major stash busting...cotton flower wash cloths....woven rug...turtle-neck cozies(which will be for the x-mas tree)...the works....pictures to follow!
posted by Cristina at 1:18 AM | link | 3 comments

Monday, October 17, 2005

Still working on that dumb sweater

that i'm completely revamping the pattern to. I'm going to add a collar and will make it look like this and this. I'll post more when its closer to done.....minor frustrations this is inciting.
posted by Cristina at 12:19 AM | link | 0 comments

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Re-Vamp

I got really tired of the obnoxious orange and purple blog skin I was using so I did a little re-vamp and house cleaning and this is what I came up with. What do you think??

I also cleaned up my side bar and got rid of my "38 things about me" list...so here it is:
1. i knit
2. i make stuff
3. i read
4. i laugh at stupid stuff
5. i like to watch my husband in a creepy stalking way
6. i'm a newlywed
7. my job burned me out
8. i want my own business
9. my greatgrandma lived until i was 24
10. i have a great relationship with all of my grandparents
11. i nap a lot
12. i'm odsessive
13. i spend too much $$ on yarn
14. i day-dream a lot
15. i try to excersize
16. i'm a home-body
17. i travel
18. i make friends on the plane
19. i love the way my mom smells
20. my sisters entertain me
21. i like to spend time alone
22. i hate it when people talk while i'm trying to watch tv
23. i love yoga
24. i get headaches
25. i like salt & vinegar chips
26. i hate fast food
27. my grandpa is an artist
28. i work in TBA
29. i hate it when people eat with their mouth open
30. i love my dad's predictability
31. i listen to NPR
32. i cry easily
33. i have 4 library cards
34. i listen to songs on loop
35. i don't call people back
36. my friends are funny
37. i like self-help books
38. i like making lists
posted by Cristina at 9:51 PM | link | 2 comments

Lemonade

Fresh Honey Lemonade from Williams Sonoma.

1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups steaming hot water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Ice cubes for serving

In a heatproof 1-quart pitcher or bowl, combine the honey and hot water and stir until the honey is dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice. Let cool for at least 10 minutes or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour over ice. Serves 2 to 4.
posted by Cristina at 1:33 PM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Pancakes

Instant Pancakes
Alton Browns' "Good Eats"
Yield: 12 pancakes

Dry Mix:
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix.
Use the mix within 3 months.

"INSTANT" PANCAKES:
2 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups "Instant" Pancake Mix, (recipe above)
1 stick butter, for greasing the pan
2 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries, if desired

Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F.
Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.

Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk
together until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix.

Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don't try to work all the lumps out. 10 seconds or 10 good sweeps is enough. The lumps will work themselves out.

Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface.
Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)
Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.

Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes. Wrap the extras (after they have cooled) individually in a paper towel and together in a zip-loc bag for the freezer. Pop in a toaster when ready to eat.
posted by Cristina at 10:48 AM | link | 0 comments

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

My mom and I made baked macaroni and cheese from a Williams Sonoma recipe this past weekend for 6. It's was really fun, pretty good, and complicated to make. So I did what any other new cook would do and consulted Alton Brown, who my husband and I lovingly refer to as "the Bill Nye of the kitchen". Here is his recipe for mac and cheese and it looks a lot more straight forward!


Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion,
finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

Topping:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf. Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving. Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.
posted by Cristina at 10:36 AM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sweater making class needed.

The sweater that I'm making has me really really frustrated. After meeting with my friend Beth, though, I realized that its not all me...but the unclear and super confusing pattern.

She taught me how to adapt it so that i can finish it without too much frustration, but I think after this one, for fear of abandoning the sweater making idea forever, i might be in the market for a sweater making workshop.

I found a few:
3 classes for 2 hours each for $125 at JCCSF
4 classes for 2 hours each for $80 Atelier Yarns (no classes are scheduled at this point).
4 classes for 2 hours each for $100 Imagiknit (this one is around the corner from my house, but they can be snobby at times which is really irritating when your looking to relax and bond with other with the same obsession).
posted by Cristina at 11:32 PM | link | 0 comments

Beth's Meat Sauce

Beth's Meat Sauce:
garlic 8 cloves
salt and pepper
italian mix spices
3 large cans (tubs) of Hunts tomato paste
1 pound of ground round
half an onion
1 egg
½ cup of bread crumbs

In a skillet, combine the egg, ground round, bread crumbs and 2 cloves of (smashed) garlic. Brown the meat while mixing the other ingrediants together.

After that is done, combine the 3 cans of tomato paste, the italian spices (or oregano and basil or whatever else you like), 6 cloves of garlic (or to taste), salt and pepper, half an onion and the browned meat. Put the crock pot on and let it cook for 6 hours or longer for better taste. When its done, throw out the onion (or chop up, whatever your taste is). Use for spaghetti or lasgna or whatever and freeze the rest for another day.
posted by Cristina at 11:04 PM | link | 0 comments

The Aran Islands of Ireland



I found this cool website today called "Clan Arans", so (if you're Irish), you can find your name in this directory, and then order an Aran sweater with the cable pattern identified with your clan!! Fucking cool!!! This is the only time that I've wished to be a an O'Anything!
posted by Cristina at 5:26 PM | link | 2 comments

FREE patterns and recipes

this post will be updated everyonce in awhile. if you have any that you want to contribute, please let me know!!

FREE PATTERNS
Mag Knits
Knitty
Wash Cloth patterns (can also use for blankets)
Chris Knits Look on the left hand bar.
Lace Patterns
Nona Knits, Serial Patterns
Interweave
Lion Brand Yarns
Knit List
MLM Inspirations
DIY Network
Silk Garden Hat and Cowl Pattern
Elann (some of these are good, some really suck)
Crystal Palace Yarns (there are A LOT of patterns here)
Yarn Market
About.Com has a few links, good jumping off point
Craftown
RECIPES
Mrs.Pilkington
Alton Brown
Wikipedia
Whole Foods
Martha Stewart
Food Network
Williams Sonoma
posted by Cristina at 1:43 PM | link | 0 comments

Saturday, October 08, 2005

HELP!!!!

I need some serious help for all you knitters out there that have made a sweater before. I have not, this is my first time and I choose this because I thought that it would make a good first easy sweater. Well it has been so far....except that I'm totally stuck and stranded (no pun intened).

Here are the directions for the "back" of the sweater:

1. With #17 needles and 3 strands of yarn held together, cast on 24 stitches. Work in stockinette until back measures 9-1/2".

2. Knit 7 stitches, put the center 10 stitches on stitch holder, attach another ball of yarn, K7 stitches.

3. At neck edge every other row, bind off 2 stitches one time. Put all stitches on a stitch holder.

So, I am at #2 and I knit the 7 stitches, put the center 10 on the holder (I'm assuming this is where the collar will be), and then I got stuck.
Do I knit the last 7 stitches casting the 10 stitches on the holder aside creating a big hole?
And, whats up with adding another ball of yarn. So now I'm knitting with 4 strands?
Then for #3, I don't understand at all....

HELP PLEASE.....I REALLY NEED SOMEONE TO EXPLAIN THIS TO ME IN BEGINNER BABES TERMS!!!
posted by Cristina at 12:16 AM | link | 4 comments

Thursday, October 06, 2005

HUGE News....




My sister called me the other day with the exciting news that she found ROLLER SKATING in Golden Gate Park on Sunday's....how amazing is that??!!

After my roller skating obsession started about 2 years ago, I've purchased 2 pairs of skates (one really cool vintage pair that dont fit and a pair of modern tennis shoe type pair that are more comfortable then any other shoes that I own).

The problem is, I live in San Francisco now....and although I consider myself a C++ skater...C++ just isn't good enough when we're talking about all these hills. To be honest, I wasn't even cool with the little bumbs along the gutters when skating in my hometown of Sacramento! That coupled with the fact that I'm too vane to wear the head gear...well....you can see the potential problems.

I've grown up since then, and as an incentive to join the California Outdoor Rollerskating Association "CORA" (or atleast pretend to, by skating near then and starring longingly), I've decided to bite the bullet and buy the gear....and eventually, skate with the best, or atleast...the most committed of San Francisco!
posted by Cristina at 2:44 PM | link | 1 comments

Hats...sticks...and chicks



A couple of things today....last night I hung out with my new friend Beth....a totally experienced knitter. She helped me cast on for a very warm hat for DH made out of some Merino wool that I used from frogging his scarf that I couldn't finish because I'm too cheap to buy more of the $30/skein yarn. Is that cheap, or realistic?

I finally found a group that jives with my style to knit with here in SF. Chicks With Sticks
They meet every Monday night at 6:30pm in Noe Valley at The Bliss Bar.

The last thing, is that I added a new link under my "daily reads" section to the very cool blog Whimsy. She has a great blog and has done some beautiful work with very bright and bold colors.
posted by Cristina at 12:54 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Marble Magnets



(this picture was borrowed from her site)
I finally found a place to learn how to make the marble magnets. NotMartha was nice enough to post very detailed instructions on how she made these on her site, check it out, along with some other great projects she has posted! I think this might be my next craft when I have a chance to head down to Michaels for supplies.
posted by Cristina at 9:32 AM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The coolest Tat I've ever seen....

posted by Cristina at 9:42 AM | link | 0 comments

Edith's Chunky Baby Sweater


This is a sweater pattern that I got from the DIY Network website, I think this may be unintimidating enough to knit up for my first sweater....and to top it off...it's done in Noro....my favorite!!!


Gauge: 2 stitches = 1"; 2.75 rows = 1"
Materials:Knitting Fever Noro Kureyon, 5 balls
Stitch holders (5)
3 buttons
1 pair each: knitting needles #17 straight and #15 circular, 16"

Pattern:
Back
1. With #17 needles and 3 strands of yarn held together, cast on 24 stitches. Work in stockinette until back measures 9-1/2".

2. Knit 7 stitches, put the center 10 stitches on stitch holder, attach another ball of yarn, K7 stitches.

3. At neck edge every other row, bind off 2 stitches one time. Put all stitches on a stitch holder.

Front
1. With #17 needles and 3 strands of yarn, cast on 13 stitches and work in stockinette until piece measures 2" less than back.

2. At neck edge, knit 2 stitches and put them on a stitch holder; knit until the end of the row. Then every other row at neck edge, bind off 2 stitches one time.

3. Work until piece measures same as the back.

4. Put all stitches on a holder.

5. Make another front, reversing shaping.

Sleeves
1. Cast on 15 stitches and work in stockinette, increasing 1 stitch each end of needle every fourth row 2 times (19 stitches).

2. When sleeve measures 7", bind off loosely.

Collar
1. With smaller needle and right side facing, beginning at right front on the third stitch, pick up and knit 32 stitches, finishing third stitch from edge.

2. Work in garter stitch until collar measures 3".

3. Bind off loosely.

Designed by Edith Eig; copyright 2002, Edith Eig.
posted by Cristina at 9:16 AM | link | 1 comments

Monday, October 03, 2005

Clues....who is my Secret Pal?????





Not that the idea of SP6 is to play a high profile secret detective and try to figure out who is spending so much time to make these wonderful surprises...but I can't help but put some clues together. When I have enough clues....I might might might....waver through the 8 million participant links and try to figure it out....







Here are my clues so far:

1. I think its a "she".
2. "she" was born in San Mateo, and lived in Burlingame until she was 6 weeks old.
3. "she" (might) live in Northern Ca. Maybe Cold Springs, CA.
4. "she" lives in a rural area.
5. "she" has a son who is in college.
6. "Her" mom is from Bergan County (NJ), and she used to spend a lot of time in NYC when younger.
7. She has lived on both the west and east coasts.

That's it for now....I don't know what is more fun...the goodies...or the detective work!!
Hey SSK....am I getting close??? hee heee (insert austin powers sinister laugh here)...
posted by Cristina at 11:17 PM | link | 0 comments

Here eeeee Here eeeee.....



GREAT NEWS TODAY!!!!

I got a super purple surprise in the mail today from my secret pal!!!! Here is a picture....but it doesnt do it justice....so more pictures to come....

Soooo exciting!!! I got an email from her/him that there might be something waiting in the mail for me....but I was painfuly far away from my mailbox and had to wait like 52 hours to get my surprise....but I came home last night to a slip in my mail box.

So this morning, still being on east coast time....I woke up at 6am....2.5 freakin' hours before the post office opened....grrrr....finally I got over there....to find a wonderful surprise of purple yarn with awesome squiggles to match....a pattern for a few different felted delights...a cute little "laugh...live....love" pin for my knitting bag and this really pretty scrap booking paper. I'm not into scrap booking yet, but seeing that I just got married and I have about 8 million pictures to archive....I definately see scrapbooking in my very near future.

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH SECRET PAL....I ALSO WANTED TO SAY THAT MY FAVORITE PART ABOUT MY PACKAGE WAS THE COOL MAILING LABEL WITH PURPLE FLOWERS....ITS THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE!!

posted by Cristina at 5:03 PM | link | 1 comments

NYC Yarn Store Review

Well, this post would be super cool had I executed my plan of visiting all the yarn stores in the 5 borrows....but guess what....i got lazy...and only hit up 2. Darn it....but i have reviews for those.

Yarn Co. This one was pretty cool because it was in my neighborhood in the upper west side, which made it unbelievably convenient. It was on the second store of an old building that you had to ring up to get let in. After a very steep climb up the stairs, you enter into a very crowded oasis of yarn. I was a little on guard upon entering this place because of some very consistently negative reviews that I got from the UWS Knitters group. The place, as I was told had a reputation for being very snobby. I didn't find that to be true for my visit. The clerks pretty much let you be as you shop for yarn, they seemed to be pretty busy tending to costumers that were there for either help or a class. The store is much too crowded, the clerks brash but informative, but it did the trick, and I got in and out of there with typical new yorker efficiency.
I give this place a 7 out of 10.

Knit New York Great concept. Horrible vibe. This was the cool "yarn shop" slash "coffee shop". Sounds super cool, huh? Think of it, knit, shop and sip while being around people with like-minded obsessions....yeahhhh except the staff is unbelievably rude and the owners sloppy, loud and annoying. The costumer service was soooo bad. You would stand there for years to ask a question if you didn't have the gumption to interrupt a personal conversation between staff....and when you were finally able to cut in, your question was answered with the same enthusiasm as if you were a homeless person in Bloomingdales!! The overall energy of the place is what really drove me mad and made me want to get out of there as quickly as possible. Mellow out the music....sharpen the customer service.....and improve the yarn selection before even thinking of opening those doors and brewing the coffee....try again Knit New York.
I give this place a 2 out of 10.
posted by Cristina at 4:35 PM | link | 0 comments