Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"You know, deck them halls and all that stuff?"

Lucy Van Pelt said it well, as she made her musical request of Schroeder for a simple rendition of Jingle Bells, and that's what we did at the Pretty Knitty House over the past few days. . .we decked them halls and all that stuff! Here's a look at how the process worked out for us:

1. Go into attic, and bring down tree and a few favorite decorations.
2. Assemble tree, and start stringing new LED lights, 200 total.
3. Sit Peanut in front of lighted tree, and seek approval. . .
4. Bask in aforementioned approval (!) for about two days.
5. Take down the rest of the boxes from the attic, and ask Dollface to help.
6. Do some decorating of your own, after taking ribbons from Dollface and cat.
7. Step back and admire completed tree.

It was so much fun to do this with Dollface last night! I think I even celebrated a little. . .I'm glad that no one had a camera to catch THAT on film! lol

Hmmmm. . .

Well, what can I say? I was really happy to finally have the tree done. I hope that you are achieving similar success with your holiday decorations.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So Thankful

I have so much to be thankful for. Even though I did not have turkey on Thursday, Peanut spent the night so Wifey-Poo could do some shopping for Black Friday!
And even though I cooked all day on Thursday and much of the day on Friday to have a late Thanksgiving feast last night, I did not take any photos of the meal. . .I was too busy taking photos of Peanut adoring her Pop-Pop. . .. . .and trying to get his hat! She loves to get Pop-Pop's hats! And even though my Army Boy is far away and couldn't eat turkey with us, or walk to the park with us yesterday, I know that he got to talk to his girls via Skype on Thursday. . .and this is a very good thing. :)

Yes, I might not always get everything I want in this life, but I did get to knit on some toys for Peanut's Christmas. . .do you recognize this pair of new parents?
They are a pretty handsome couple, if I do say so myself! And you can't tell from that picture, but soon they will have their own little Peanut doll, just like the real couple. . .I started on her today. . .and the real Peanut helped me knit a bit!
Well, she played with some yarn anyway. . .every knitter has to start somewhere!

As I get ready to decorate for Christmas, and "officially" move on to the next holiday season, I wish many blessings for you, and the time to count them every day, too.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey Day, Peeps!

Because it is a holiday, I will not post tomorrow.
Because I will not post tomorrow,
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving today!

We've made it through September, October and almost through November. . .go us!. . .and since today is the day for baking pies and cookies and breads for tomorrow. . .happy baking to you!

If you have any spare time, I hope that you will get to play with yarn (or read a book, or do something else you enjoy), since it is a long holiday weekend for most! As for me, I will rejoice that I have finished another scarf (Yay!!!), and I will keep those needles clicking. . .at least until I get up into the attic to pull down the tree and other Christmas decorations. . .oh, I may have to do that TODAY! Then turkey and knitting all the way through the weekend!

Knit (and enjoy your loved ones) in Good Health, Friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Where words are many. . .

Yep. That would be here.

I just looked back at my last post, and I noticed that I started out by saying that I didn't have much to blog about. I then followed up with a 47-mile-long blog post. Hmmm, interesting.

Apparently I have a lot to say.
Or, maybe I was trying so hard to not talk about the secret baby shower we were planning. . .

. . .and the "super-secret" crochet?Well, that wasn't such a secret to my Facebook friends, but it was a secret here and on Ravelry. . .. . .we did not want the twins (or their mommy) to find out about these afghans before the Thursday party! So, while I was trying to keep my big mouth shut, I used a LOT of words on Wednesday!

But this post is different. I actually have a lot to blog about (and I am trying to bring the abridged version this time around). . .like the party, which was a big hit, and fun for all! Oh, and the boxes that the knitters all contributed to. . .there are three total (with some extra items I will send to Army Boy to share).On the inside, they are packed full of good things for some young men who are voluntarily serving their country by leaving it far behind for a year in the desert. Thanks Ladies for your generosity! I am sure the boys will enjoy all of the candy and snacks and toys! I had fun just packing it all up!

You know what else I had fun doing? I actually made some headway on a pair of socks that I have been meaning to start for some time. . .yay! The pattern is the same as these socks I did a couple months ago (that I love), and the yarn is Knit Picks Stroll tonal, I think I love it (and I know I am going to love the socks)!

Soooo, even though I have been a busy knitter, my words are much fewer today. It's hard to talk and Zumba at the same time, after all! As we head into the home stretch for Thanksgiving, I hope that you are finding the time to do what you love!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Plans for the Holiday?

One of my favorite comedians, Bill Cosby, tells the tale of the worst spanking he ever received from his mom:

"And tired" always followed sick. Worst beating I ever got in my life, my mother said, "I am just sick..." And I said, "And tired." I don't remember anything after that.

Funny, right?! And so true. . .

Well, I am a different kind of "sick and tired" this week. Peanut has had the off-again, on-again cold in her system for the past few weeks, and up until this point, I've been lucky to not catch that bug. . .up until this week. Yep. So, for the last few days, I have been sneezing and coughing and blowing my nose until I look like Rudolph. Yep. It's my own fault, she's so cute that I just kept kissing her, germs and all. Yep.

So now, even though I am nearly over the worst of it, I realize that I have very little to blog about today. Almost no knitting, a tiny bit of crochet (but it's super-secret for-the-holiday-type-of-crochet), and a LOT of just resting. In fact, the most strenuous exercise I've done this week has been pressing buttons on the remote. . .and my shoulder is a little sore from that.

But Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I promised a recipe.

Well, this is not an actual recipe for a dish. It's more of a recipe for The Feast, the few days before, and all the preparation that goes into a traditional turkey dinner. This is a picture of an article I clipped from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, back when I was a young wife, in 1987:

The actual date may change from year to year, but the plan remains, and I pull it out every year to help me remember when to do what so that my Thanksgiving dinner will be perfect (or nearly so) for my family.

As far as pictures of articles go, this one is pretty clear. Still, you can't see that back page, so here are the highlights. These are the things I try to get accomplished on a timeline the week before Turkey-Day (most are directly from the article, some are Pretty Knitty additions):

3-4 days before Thanksgiving:
Make room in the fridge to thaw the turkey. Figure 5 hours for every pound of weight, e.g. a 15 pounder will need 75 hours (3 days plus 3 hours) to defrost in the refrigerator. (This is the best and safest method, don't consider any other.)
Determine cooking time (at 325 degrees F) for your turkey. An unstuffed, thawed turkey takes 15-18 minutes per pound; for a stuffed, thawed turkey, allow 18-24 minutes per pound. **Pretty notes that a turkey cooked in an oven cooking bag takes significantly less time, consult the box for instructions, temperatures and times.
Prepare sauces and relishes that you can cover and refrigerate (cranberry sauce, for example). The flavors will develop and mingle nicely in the fridge while they wait for the holiday.

The day before Thanksgiving:
If using giblets in the gravy or stuffing, simmer them with the neck until well cooked; let cool and refrigerate. (It makes sense to get this done ahead of time.)
Bake cookies, pies and breads. **Pretty loves to make homemade breads and pies from scratch, and she likes to do that before the oven is all turkey-scented!
Added by Pretty
- Put the giant tub of whipped topping in the fridge to thaw (because, while you CAN use it frozen, it's definitely better not frozen).

Thanksgiving Day
Wash the turkey inside and out, dry thoroughly. Do not let sit at room temperature for more than an hour.
Make the stuffing. You can do this later if you are cooking the stuffing in a casserole dish.
Preheat the oven. Stuff and place the turkey in the oven and start timing.
Set the table completely.
Pretty adds - plan what dishes go in which serving bowls and label each with a little slip of paper. . .this will help your family to help you later, trust me!
Cook any recipe that can be done completely or partially ahead (potatoes, casseroles, etc.). These can then be baked or reheated for serving when the turkey comes out.
Prepare any vegetables that need last minute attention.
When the turkey is cooked to 180 degrees, remove it from the oven and let rest for the most hectic 20-minutes of any cook's year.
While the turkey rests, it is vital to delegate responsibilities: bake the biscuits and casseroles, mash the potatoes, finish the vegetables, make the gravy, place everything in serving dishes and have serving utensils ready. Show off the turkey and then carve it.
Take a deep breath, give thanks for it all and eat.

Oh, and I have one little addition to the end of that list. . .

After you have eaten, and the table is semi-cleared, enjoy your family some more. The dishes and the laundry from the day will still be there when everyone goes home, so sit and play games and laugh. . .maybe even knit a little in between turns at Monopoly.

Are you ready for Turkey Day?

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Well, It's About Time. . .

Some time ago, I saw something that piqued my interest, and I added it to the sidebar of my blog. The Get the Crap Out Challenge is a necessary, but apparently not mandatory, challenge for Pretty to take, so she did. However, despite some early progress, the efforts have kind of fizzled. . .until last weekend. . .and really, it's about time that I get back to it!

Now, please do not misunderstand. I did not blow through the Pretty Knitty house mercilessly de-stashing and getting rid of all my junk and unnecessary, knicky-knacky stuff like I had originally intended, but Sweetie and I did move some furniture in the basement. . .and, as long as I was already pretty sweaty and dirty, I figured that I'd re-organize my craft stuff. . .WOW!What you can't see in that picture is that most of my things are still stuffed-and-stashed into whatever space I could fit them into the last time I re-organized! It looks nicer, because the movement enabled me to stack similar sized storage bins, moving everything up, up and away, and off of the floor, creating the illusion of a neater room. . .and you know what? I am totally ok with that! And I'm kind of excited that my sewing machine has claimed a space where it is actually "out" and ready to use, rather than being stashed under stuff on a table tucked behind another piece of furniture. Actually, that's one of the most exciting highlights of my weekend cleaning!

The other is this, and it's also about time:It's a poem I found when I moved to a different room later in the week, and I started clearing some bookshelves. Written when the kids were in elementary school and our lives were a different kind of crazy busy, I leaked a little, and I laughed a lot when I read it.

It's kind of hard to read in the pic, but here is the poem:

Time With Mom

It won't be ready in time
And I'm sure it will cost more than a dime
Have you ever committed a crime?

It's getting fixed at the shop
Perhaps it's taken one too many a drop
Do we have any pop?

We know how much you like that watch of yours
much more than a bunch of wild boars
Our house has a broken door*

This way you won't have to depend on a clock
You won't have to listen to tick or to tock
We know a guy named Tak*

We appreciate the time you spend on us Mom
You're the
Your love is more powerful than a bomb

It is signed "Dad," "Army Boy," and "Dollface S.", because of course there were several Dollfaces in her classes at school, and she always signed with her last initial! Taking the time to get some crap out last week sure did bring back a lovely, and slightly Seuss-like, memory. . .a birthday where they really thought about what I wanted, and they took my favorite watch to the jeweler's to have it repaired. They knew how much I loved that watch. . .I hope they know that I still love the poem more!

Now that I have reminisced about times past, I am looking forward to the future! Future knitting, and birthdays, and holidays, and memories. . .hey!, it's the holiday season. . .well, just about! I hope that you are enjoying time with those close to you, and that you are making memories of your own. Come back on Wednesday to hear a little bit about my plan for the upcoming holiday season! There may even be a recipe in it for you. . .!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

*We did, at the time, know a guy named Tak (pronounced "tock"), and there was a broken door in our house. . .good times!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bright, Bright, Bright Sunshine-y Day

Yep! I've got sunshine, alright! It may have been a bit chilly over the weekend, but that sun has really been making a good showing lately. . .yay! That means Peanut can ride her new toy!: Of course, it makes for less time to knit. . .but I did still manage to finish the pink stocking this weekend, too. . .It may have been sunny during the daylight hours, but with the recent time change, it's getting DARK very, very early. . .and dark-time = knitting-time! (Sometimes anyway!) Heck, even when it's dark, we still have a lot of sunshine in our lives. :) Who could argue, especially seeing this face?: And you know what nearly-8-month-old Peanut is reminding me of A LOT lately?She's reminding me of another little girl I knew and loved, and one of my favorite photos of her, when she was (quite coincidentally) about the same age! That seems so long ago and far away. . .especially now that she is all grown up and married-like. And this week we celebrate her birth, yay! When she was a baby, I loved her so much that I could not imagine ever loving her more. Even so, with every passing year, my love for her has grown by leaps and bounds. Now that she's "all grown up," she's even given us a Snake-In-Law to love as well, and we are so glad to have them in our lives.

I hope that you are blessed in your families, and that you find your sunshine every day, no matter what the weather may bring! Thanks for stopping by, and

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Getting My Stockings On!

When I was a little girl, I loved to wear stockings. Stockings (really more like leggings, with sturdy fabric for warmth under dressy dresses and skirts) meant that I was going someplace fancy, and I would most likely get to wear my "clicky shoes!" I loved my clicky shoes, the way they went tap-tap-tap on the kitchen floor, and how they were just slippery enough to slide a little when I would spin around fast, making my skirt flare out like the ballroom dancers on PBS (yes, it was a bit of a sheltered childhood). If my dress or skirt were shorter, I might pretend that I was an ice dancer at the Olympics, gliding over the "ice" gracefully...either way, I was so happy to wear stockings! (Sorry, Mom, for all those scuffs...the apology is better late than never...right?!?)

As I got older, stockings became a more delicate affair...there were runs to be dealt with (always carry clear nail polish), chafing "issues" because I would always lie to myself and buy the wrong size, and the ever present fear that I might have to...ahem...potty during the day, and that the stockings would not recover from the tugging and pulling involved in that operation.

Eventually, as an adult, I gave up on stockings. I still go to dressy events (very occasionally), and I am one of those women who will wear knee-highs under a very long skirt even though it's not cool (shhh!, don't tell). Mostly, though, I just skip the stockings altogether. I wore a pantsuit to my son's wedding, and went bare-legged to my daughter's wedding (gasp!, but it showed off my tattoo!), and no one seemed to notice my lack of stockings.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
I hereby declare that I officially never have to wear stockings again! Boo to all uncomfortable stockings!

Having made that declaration, I should confess that this is the time of year that my thoughts still turn to stockings, for sure...this kind:Festive receptacles for candy and small trinkets from the "Big Guy" in the red suit! And with new family members to think about, it was time to do some new stockings! Since Dollface just got married, and has set up her own housekeeping, she needs a new stocking:
Her loving husband Snake needs a new stocking as well!:And then there's Peanut! She is the newest of our new additions, and she's never had a stocking...let alone a hand-knit stocking from Gramma!

Wait. I don't see a stocking for Peanut. How can that be? Oh, I remember now...that's my weekend project for today and knitting, TV knitting, and knitting whenever I can fit it in...and then I will have a Peanut stocking to show you! :o) Wow! I'd better get to work so I can show you a new stocking in the next post (or the post after that, whatever).

Thanks for stopping by, Friends!
Happy Holiday Knitting (in Good Health) to you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hats off to the Holidays!

Hats Off to the Holidays. . .all of them!
Buuut. . .hats ON for the cooler weather!
Bulky hats with purple-y braided ear-flaps. . .
. . .hats originally made for Grampa. . .
Hats that fit into your costume plans (by the way, this IS his original uniform from back-in-the-day, and it DOES fit him!), even though I really didn't get to a costume for myself, which made the cats kindof angry. . .
. . .and hats with Hallow-Kitty ears on them (so cute!). . .
Oh, and then there is the yarn. . .yarn that isn't made into hats, but it's ready for the holidays. . .

. . .because all yarn everywhere aspires to sit in the candy bowl, waiting to be knit into these. . .
. . .right?!?

So, it was a busy weekend. Even though the party car was not transformed into a submarine, and I was not transformed into a mermaid, I did get to be married to a man in uniform for an evening. . .hubba! hubba! We had a LOT of fun this Halloween, and now I am looking forward to turkey-day, and then the BIG ONE! Peanut's first Christmas!!!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope that your needles are flying fast, especially if you are gifting your knitting in a couple of months, and I wish you happy shopping from here until it's over!

Oh, and Knit in Good Health!