Thursday, March 30, 2006

And I thought I had nothing to say....

Well, the socks are done. Does Cascade Fixation always take FOREVER to dry? I tossed these in the dryer (with other clothes... a very light load) and everything came out dry but these. So, I tossed them in on their own. Nope. I blocked them and stuffed them with DRY facecloths and put them out overnight on the radiator. Nope. Two days of drying and a combination of the hair dryer, the regular dryer and some cussing on my part--- they are dry! And packaged. And going to the post office today. :) So, gotta email my sock buddy and let her know: they are on the way!

I called PC on my way home last night to ask him to thaw the chicken in the microwave ( I had a suspicion... if the socks didn't dry, the chicken wouldn't thaw) and he said "you got a BIG package today."
hmmm... "I did?"
"Yup, from California."
" From M?" ( a friend in Cali)
"Nope... someone called the "Yarn yenta""
She wrapped my present up in a very pretty gift bag and then slid the bag in the box! Ingenius! I am going to have to spend some time over at her blog, learning about her! She really "got" me, y'know? And I have to say, this last box, well... it took the cake. And made me cry. Alot. But it's a good thing.

Yummy alpaca "twist" yarn... PC tried to steal it... he likes to "squish" alpaca in his hands... feels good.
A new journal/sketch book
Magnetic magnifier (I NEEDED this!) for all my cables and fair isle
two boxes of Celestial Seasonings tea (I am off coffee since I quit smoking): blueberry and raspberry--- the raspberry is great!
a book light that clips onto things and is VERY bright. :) It's perfect for my "knitting"spot
a little photo "brag" book (that matches my new dining room curtains-- how did you know?!
and the reason I cried: a lovely book about knitting through "life's more challenging moments"

With my dad sick and so much stress, my secret pal has been there. She has sent words of encouragement and hope. And now this. It means so much to know that there is someone out there saying a special prayer of hope for my family (I know a lot of you are... and I really do appreciate it). I am going to spend some "quiet time" with this book (and a box of tissues) this weekend. This is a time of year when my grampy passed (last year) and my nana passed (3 years). It's a hard time of the year for me. I loved these people very much and think about them daily.

The day before yesterday (umm... tuesday?), I got a package from Adrian over at Hello Yarn. I had some "mystery" laceweight that came from a friend of a cousin who didnt' know what kind of wool it was. It's fuzzy. It kinda stuck to itself? I'll ask Adrian. But, she and I were talking over some yummy cake at Cara's big Olympic party and I asked if she could dye it. It was white. I want to try lace, but I am going to need some funky lace, y'know? She said sure. I gave her full authority on color/pattern/blends/etc. I did say "no pink/red" b/c I was buying the top colorway from her (Valentine... oh my--- if yarn were edible, this would be gourmet!):

She does good work, no? The green/blue/yellow is so beyond what I could have ever imagined myself. Go check out her site.. she's a great person (Hi Adrian!) who spins and dyes her yarn . This is her own company, her full time job... and she loves it. I am jealous of her everyday. If you are looking for something TRULY different, go see her. I will buy from her again in a hearbeat. Prices? A tad higher than an LYS, but it's beautiful and soft. I am already thinking ahead to some Christmas scarves/mittens/hats. :)

Oh, PC wants you to know that while I am fondling yarn and putting my "side" of the "office" (cough.. yarn room... cough) together, I am completely neglecting him. I am providing him with a hot delicious meal each evening and stimulating conversations ("can you believe this is superwash?"), but this is what he is fed for breakfast each day. And he has to make it himself. :O

I stopped by W&W last night to get some Encore (blue/yellow/white) to start Parikha's blanket this evening. And I grabbed a skein of Cascade Sierra. I was hoping for Cotton Fleece, but they don't carry it. Any thoughts on this yarn? It's going to be an aran for my dad. Lemme know.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why does the...

camera always die when I have good pictures to show you?


Ok, so the Bloomin' Socks are DONE. DONE. DONE!
They are blocking on the washing machine (Ms.Washie in this house!) and they look pretty good. They are definitely "footies" and not so much socks. Hmm... well, we'll see if she likes them. I am offering to knit a second pair and mail them to her if she hates them. (Cause i would want someone to do that for me). So, now that i have seen all the socks out there... who is making mine? I am DYING to know!

Also, I had Adrian dye my mystery laceweight and it came out great!

And I got some of her hand dyed yarn...oh my. YUM. PC said it felt "super soft". That's quite a compliment.

I am working on a sweater for me (Gasp!) using the Turino silk i have had forever. And I am swinging past W&W tonight to check out Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and to see about getting some Encore for that entrelac baby blanket.

I have to clean the house (my mother is coming Friday, PC's mom is coming Sunday) and get my craft room looking "decent" before hand. :)

SP7 present went in the mail today!

:) Mini

PS_ whoever posted a comment about the pH strips: you can get them here. You may or may not need an FDA # for this. If you do, buy the best pH strips you can get at any pool/spa chemical manufacturer/supplier. THey are not as good (Not So Much with the Accuracy).

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Can I ....

Still love knitting socks for my Bloomin' Feet pal if I HATE their sock yarn? Arrggghhh... I have been HORRIBLE at posting for the Bloomin' Feet (and I am also the last one to be done). How have I been doing? Well let's see:

1. Lost socks during the move for a week. A week. Panicked for about 4 days.
2. Have had to rip and restart each sock at least 6 times. I have never done this for a sock.
3. THANK GOODNESS my sock buddy has feet about the same as me (bigger ankles, but for some reason, I have very wee ankles I think), so I have been able to try them on as I go.
NOTE: I will be washing them tonight...I'm not sending anyone stinky socks!

4. I know that there are knitters out there who absolutely LOVE this sock yarn and I can appreciate it's cotton-y elastic-y yumminess, but dude... it's hard to get gauge.

So, each sock is DONE. I have downloaded a "guide to grafting" tonight and I am using the ice cream scoop as a darning egg (hey, it works!)... I will graft tonight! I am nervous b/c I am notoriously awful at kitchenering, but these aren't for me... they need to be perfect!

Wanna see them?


They are "footies" for my pal. It's funny, I have done longer socks on smaller needles faster... anyone else have this problem? I have more of this yarn ( I am sending some to my pal, she really likes it!) and I think for cotton socks for moi, I am going to head over to Grumperina's new friend and see what she has!

Tonight's Itinerary:
1. finish socks
2. make pretty package for socks
3. get SP7 final package together


Monday, March 27, 2006


Well, a year ago... (and a few days...i'm a little late) I started Minestrone Soup. I have to say, it's been a wonderful experience. I have gone outside my comfort box and met new people, joined the Olympics, been a Secret Pal, had a Secret Pal... joined knit-alongs and so many other things. Also in this time, I have lost my only grandfather (not long after this blog started), got a new job and moved in with my long-time boyfriend. Huh... now that I think about it... it's been quite a year! So this year, I am setting some achievable goals and this time next year, we'll look back at them and see what has transpired.

1. Make more sweaters for me.
2. knit more socks--- i love them!
3. finish a sweater for PC
4. knit an aran for my dad
5. knit PC's mom and my mom sweaters.
6. knit something lace (See Adrian... you are well-timed!)
7. knit baby stuff for charity.
8. learn to knit continental
9. join a knitting group (perhaps Knitsmiths?)
10. lose weight and not get Knitters' Arse. :)

I am working out the WW. Thanks for all your kind thoughts and words of encouragement. I do feel pretty and sexy and good about myself (thanks to PC, ladies... this man is a work of wonder- he always makes me feel like the sexiest woman in the room!). But, this is about getting healthy. and being fit and dammit, if "healthy and fit" is 50 lbs lighter or 100lbs lighter, I don't care. The number is unimportant. I want to be able to hike a mountain this summer. (more about that later). I dont' want to be winded walking up stairs. I want a slim tummy. Not a 6-pack... just slim. :) Hey, if I can quit smoking... I can do anything!

Note: we made this Saturday night: oh my YUMMY.

EDITED TO ADD: this is WW 4points for FlexPoints and CORE for the whole thing ( with 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs omitted)
1lb ground turkey
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (or 2 tbsp of dried oregano-- we like parsely)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup (about 3 ounces) Presidents Fat Free Feta Cheese---crumbled fine
1 tbsp bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1tsp garlic powder)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, shape into 4 patties. Spray grill pan (or grill) with olive oil spray and grill 7 minutes each side.
Serve with cucumber-yogurt-dill sauce or greek dressing and olives!

YUMMY.... lemme know who tries it!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Black Plague

Not the title you expect on one's blogaversary, is it? Well, I have some sort of plague that makes me hungry, makes me puke, makes my belly hurt and if i spin/swivel/bend down--- I get dizzy for hours. (my job needs me to spin/swivel regularly).


So, winners...

I have 4 entries and

2 got all three right!

I am Norweigan and Irish and therefore, knitting is like second nature!

2 got 2 or more right:
my secret pal.

Email me (kskaare at gmail dot com) with your addresses and then be on the lookout for presents! :) Give me like a week or so to drop them all in the mail. We are installing DSL this weekend at the new place and I think I might be without internets until Monday.

I have a great post about what I have learned, yada yada... but for now, I will save it for Monday.

Thanks for playing and don't forget the email me those addresses!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Contest Applicants

Wow...some of you are darn close and some are right on the money!

Now, if you have been wondering where I have been and what I have been doing, well... I will give you a brief update:

We are still finishing the organization of Casa de Mini y PC.
It involves self-assembly furniture/shelving
Being a "live in" is harder than I thought (Psst... he wants to have dinner every night. and clean clothes...)
We have essentially abandoned our friends b/c we can't find phone # or anything else.
Really cool friends have art shows and stuff; we must attend!
I am truly exhausted every night and I don't know why
PC's dad turned 60 yesterday and this weekend will involve cake.
Mini's dad stopped treatment yesterday... this week involves praying for a speedy bounce-back.

I am half-assing Weight Watchers and I really need to kick it into high gear. I have a closet full of clothes and 3 pair of pants (that aren't yoga pants) that fit. I am officially at my highest weight. And it's big. Orca big. I know people write how they are 150lbs and feel slovenly. I think I am at the weight that is officially the definition of slovenly. I am as big as I feel. And it sucks. I am tired of being fat, I am tired of always wondering if I am an embarassment to PC (yes, kids can be cruel, but being a guy dating a fat chick--- co-workers can be crueler; I've seen it.), and I want to be able to knit smaller things. I am "goal knitting" this entire spring and summer. All these lovely wool sweaters in sizes that are CURRENTLY too small for me.Motivation baby!

So, with my blogiversary thing is to do this: tell you all what I am. Define "mini". And then, next year... we can see what has changed.

Name: Kate
Occupation: Lab Tech/Manager for an international biotech firm.
Location: Newton, MA
Relations Status: live with PC
Height: 5 feet.
Weight: 260lbs

and that's me. PC loves me no matter what, but now with not smoking, it's time to get the lead out and start dropping my weight! I will not turn this into a WW log, but I weigh in weekly, so perhaps it'll be helpful to be responsible to the blog. :) Also, b/c PC and I have done this before, I'll be adding a special recipe-of-the-week addition to the blog, starting today!

Bok Choy that anyone will eat!
  • 11 ounces bok choy
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 slices fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled

Separate the bok choy into stalks. Wash in several changes of cold water and drain thoroughly in a colander. Trim 1/4 inch from the bottom of each stalk. Halve each stalk lengthwise and cut stalks and leaves into 2 inch long pieces. In a bowl, combine the stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar. Heat a 14 inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1 tsp. vegetable oil and ginger, and stir-fry 10 seconds, or until ginger is fragrant. Add the remaining 1 tsp. vegetable oil, bok choy, and garlic, and stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until leaves are just limp and bok choy is bright green. Restir the stock mixture and swirl into wok. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly and lightly coats the vegetables. Serve immediately.

Calories: 37

Fat: 2.5g

Fiber: 1.4g

WW points: 1

:) Mini

Friday, March 17, 2006

An Irish Blessing:

May the roads rise to meet you.
May the wind be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!


My ability to knit was said to be "genetically guaranteed" by several family members. This is because of the two nationalities that form my heritage.

Question #1: what two nationalities contruct my heritage?
Question #2: the literal translation of my name (in only one of these countries) is "Springtime Maiden" or "Springtime Girl"... what country would this come from?
Question #3: what two knitting skills should I be "genetically" expert at if there were an inherited basis to knitting?

  1. only one guess per person
  2. you need to answer at least one question right to be entered
  3. if you answer all 3 right, you win! (if more than 3 winners, a random selection of 3 will take place)
  4. All "1 right" and "2 right" entries will be pooled and winners drawn at random
I told you this contest would have multiple winners and it will be easier than you think! One more thing, contest ends next Friday: March 24th--- my blogaversary. :)


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Casa de Mini y PC.... a virtual tour...

WELCOME! If you made it up these stairs (or more specifically, you FOUND these stairs!), you have made it to the front door of Casa de Mini y PC.
And you see our "french doors that lead to nothing". Yup, there is a WALL behind those doors; purely decorational. And blue.
To your right, our bedroom or if we were doing this on MTV Cribs:
"where the magic happens, yo"
yup, that's a fireplace as our headboard. It's all closed up and this eliminates any potential draft problems. Moving on... leaving the bedroom, passing back past the decorational doors, you enter the living room.
Why do we have 2 papasans and a recliner? Umm... my brother and SIL are giving us a living room set, but their new one is being delayed about 3 weeks, so... 2 papasans and a recliner. I *heart* our built-in bookcase. :) This room is very sunny and very comfy. Through the living room and on your right is :
The fish room... or le toilette. PC picked out the fish theme and please notice the floor... CARPET.
Down the hall--- step down one step. A small step. A step that scares the crap out of you at 2 a.m. when you want a drink of water. :)
On your left is the Fiber/Yarn/Computer/Office room. :) And yes, 80% of those boxes are yarn/needles/sewing stuff/fabric. It's a mess and I need to get some sort of organizer for this.

A little further down the hall and toward the BIG CLOCK... you find the dining room:

I really like our little table and chairs! Courtesy of my other brother's girlfriend. And here is my the very end of the apartment... way in the back.

And our fridge... you can see in the above photos, my washer and dryer. :) I love this!

Ok, so we are off to complete a meme... this one is old, but I thought... why not?

You are supposed to show photos of your view out the front door...
Here are mine! They are looking straight, right and right around the corner.

Oh, and this is the golden rule of this house:

Obligatory knitting content:
I started a Jaywalker last night... love the pattern.. yarn- notsomuch. I will probably gift these socks.

Hope you enjoyed the long awaited tour of the Casa de Mini y PC!


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Spring Cleaning

Hmm... wasn't I supposed to take some photos for all of you?
Did I?

*sigh* It's like my life is on repeat right now: wake up, shower, make coffee, go to work, drive home, make dinner, clean up, laundry, other stuff (for about an hour), sleep. I know, it's normal and all that, but I'm feeling like a little "me time" is needed soon.

Tomorrow I get the evening to myself to get my hair "did" (dyed and trimmed, a la Grumperina style) and I am taking my Bloomin' Feet socks with me. I can't figure out why socks, on large needles, that are "shortie socks" are taking FOREVER. I know why... I hate this yarn. I have knit with it 3 times so far and I really am NOT loving it. My sock pal for BF requested this specific yarn, so I am knitting it. But, I originally had hoped to knit 2 pair, but now, it's only one. I will send her the extra yarn I bought and the pattern I am using.

It's funny how sometimes your "real life" can pour into your "blog life". Monica needed some way to measure pH of her dying solutions. I work in a lab. A lab that was gifted by another lab with a lot of little boxes of pH papers. Little strips that you dip into something and then match up the colors of the strip with the color-pH guide on the back. I met Monica back at the Opening Ceremonies for Team Boston, and I have to say: she's a hoot!

Before the move, I was here and saw this:

I then moved, and when I went back to get the pattern, it was gone! I emailed the blogger and voila! I am now test knitting it for her!
I need to buy the yarn, but I'll have photos soon! (once I find the damn charger!)

Well, almost 2 weeks of non-smoking and I'm still not "happy about it" but it's bothering me much less than I expected. I keep looking at a photo of my girlfriend's kids and thinking... do I want to chase them around a playground? I can't SMOKE ... what will that teach THEM?

So, my blogaversary is coming up soon and on Friday, I'll be announcing another contest! This one's going to be fun and will generate a few winners!

:) Mini

Friday, March 10, 2006

Telling Secrets...

So, dear friends, I have some (and one V. BIG one) secrets to tell you today. Hmm.. in which order shall I do this?

Small things:
1. we still haven't unpacked all the boxes
2. I am finding out things about PC at warp speed... some I like, some I don't.
3. I miss my house. MY house. Home.
4. I do NOT regret moving in with PC... I just expected there to be a honeymoon period, but there isn't. Not after 4 years of dating.

Medium things:
1. this week, I hate my job. I LOVE my job 365/24-7 and this week, I hate it. I dunno why.
2. I need to get the new apartment organized (especially the yarn) SOON... it's driving me crazy and I think I may explode. ( I am going to the Container Store--- tomorrow)

1. I quit smoking. Last week, on my last official "I-don't-live-with-my-boyfriend-I-live-with-my-parents" day. Well, "quit" is such a strong word. I am "pausing" smoking. When I am 80 years old, I can light up as many as I want.
2. I wake up dreaming of smoking.
3. I am afraid of doing certain things, b/c there has always been a cigarette involved.
4. Coffee is not as appealing anymore either.
5. I have been smoking since I was 14 years old. I am 28. I have been smoking 1/2 my life.

No pictures b/c of the following:
unpack a box.
find camera.
unpack a 2nd box.
find battery charger.
go get camera.
realize dead batteries.
go to grab charger.
realize it went back into a box.
you don't know which box.
you have elevnty-million boxes in your living room alone.

More Later!
:) Mini

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tales of moving...

Actually, there are very few tales to tell. Moving went well. As someone who has NEVER moved themselves, I can tell you... I think this went smoothly. Now, if you ask PC, who has moved umm.. 4 times?, this went FANTASTIC!

Thursday: hung around waiting for gas company guy and bed delivery guy. Put up curtains and such ( I know, who puts up curtains before moving all of their crap in?). Showed my parents and uncle (who stopped by post-radiation) the apartment. Ate coffee and Sour Patch Kids... got belly ache. I had moved a ton of things up there on my own that morning and I was starting to get "more sick".

Friday: PC and I both have the day off! So, I gets up early with my mamacita and wait for PC. He's overslept which is ok, b/c I was off early to the Filene's door buster sale. ( I have never been b/c I get to work at 7:30 a.m. and these are ALWAYS during the week). I have ONE GOAL: a Kitchen Aid mixer that is normally $400... came home with me for the price of $170. :) So, the guy puts it in the car and I drop off mom and PC and I pack the car. I'm sick at this point. Can't breathe... coughing and sneezing... watery eyes... slight fever and chills: SICK. We go out to breakfast--- I'm doing ok. PC says "we forgot our new pillows" so we go back to the house (umm.. 2 blocks away at this point, a non-issue) and get the pillows. At the new apartment, PC lugs the majority of everything up the stairs and into the apartment. I nap. No really, the ulitmate control freak in me takes a nap. Oh, and we bought a washer/dryer off craigslist which was delivered on Friday. :)

Friday night: we find a yummy fish shop that serves dinners (it is Lent). And we head back to the separate homes for the last time. I watch TV with the parents, play with the puppy. And get sick all night. My mom's last official "mom act" with me living at home: waking me up at 3:20 a.m. to give me cough medicine. Yup. Even as a child, I would be coughing, hacking and making all kinds of awful noises (sick noises) and be sound asleep. I was keeping everyone ELSE up.

Saturday: MOVING DAY. The day we cash in all those favors to friends and family (my brothers, specifically) and make them lug our crap. PC's "team" consisted of "E", "A", "PC" and "PC's dad". My team was "R", "J", "SIL-J", "T", "L", "P" and me. :) We got all loaded and at the apartment by 10:00a.m. we started at 8:30 and had coffee. PC's team was there by noon.

Props to: my SIL, the master mover who can make anyone lift anything. :) And she helps unpack sweaters. : )
my friend "L" and her boyfriend "P"-- they are SO not morning people and I will NEVER do this to them again. "P" is a master cleaner!
my brothers: "R" and "J"--- you guys drive me nuts, but you worked hard and did a great job of being "Dad" when he couldn't.
PC's friends: "E" and "A"--- thanks for helping! Especially "A" who drove a long way to help us move!

Some pics tomorrow...along with a Bloomin' Feet update! I hope to have one of the socks done, and another "turned" by tomorrow. :)


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Admitting Defeat....

The "mini and PC show" (also known as this blog) will return to it's regularly scheduled programming after these messages....

message 1: i'm sick

message 2: we're moving and I will be without the internets over the weekend. :(

I'll have some apartment-y pics for you when I get back!

Love and Hugs,
Mini (and PC, by default)