Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another Beer Review

Hirschbrau Doppel Hirsch

This was $2.79 at my local meat market K&K Portage Market. It is a very smooth beer with a nutty taste and no bitterness. It packs a bit of a punch at 7.2% alcohol by volume (most American beer is about 5%...see this chart for a comparison. The smell is a bit woodsy and smoky; an altogether pleasant beer and one I would buy again. It would go excellently with sausages or smoked cheddar.

Go see Rambo

My husband and I just got back, and it is a really good movie. Yes, it is *quite* graphic as far as blood, violence, and implied sexual violence, but I felt really positive afterwards. I don't want to spoil it for you, but rest assured that it is a happy ending.

If you are interested in the movie, you are probably aware that it deals with the horrific violence in Myanmar/Burma. Seeing this movie made me want to do something, but I'm not sure what. Of course I can't go there, but what organizations exist to help the Burmese people? Doctors Without Borders? Is there a local Buddhist temple who could use donations? I really don't know and would appreciate any suggestions.

I just sorted out my stash, and woah buddy do I have a freight car load of worsted weight acrylic. I see some charity afghans in my future. Actually, during the movie I worked on the center patch for a log cabin blanket. I'd made one for a friend's baby and my daughter wanted one, so this one will be hers. I think Project Linus will be getting another donation. Or, maybe another few bears for The Mother Bear Project.

I'm also finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for my daughter's Noah's Ark. I did not realize when I first cast on how BIG the ark is! However, once I get that done, it's smooth sailing as the animals are small.

I have just found out about Peaches & Cream yarn. I thought it was the same as Lily's Sugar & Cream, but it's not. For one thing, it's softer, and also more economical; a 2 oz ball is ~$1.35 at WalMart, and a 1 lb cone is ~$6.50. In comparison, at Joann's a 1 lb ball of Bernat Handicrafter is $7.99, and a 1 lb cone of Lion Cotton is $11.50.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Parseltongue Challenge

Here is my translation and sources:

Power hungry Slytherin
loved those of great ambition.
In Slytherin you'll make
your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any
To achieve their ends.

SS/PS Ch 7, p.118 (softcover) The Sorting Hat from Harry's first year.

There is no good and evil, there is only power and
those too weak to seek it.

SS/PS Ch 17, p.291 Harry and Quirrelmort


My Pal is the BEST!!!

Look at my HSKS4 swap parter sent me:

Here's a closeup of the pin:

And here's me wearing the pin:

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cleaning up

Bleah! I have spent most of today cleaning the basement...and I'm not sure if it looks any better! I have so much junk that I need to throw away or give away or sell or something. I think after I finish this post, I will go to ebay and try to unload it.

Swapping update: I am still eagerly awaiting my dishcloth swap partner. BTW, for the posting contest: I call them dishcloths. I don't particularly like the term dishrag, as it seems to imply something raggedy, not something handmade and nice. If you use it on your face, then it's a facecloth. For the sock swap, I am having so much fun emailing my spoiler and spoilee, and the bag is turning out A#1. I wish I could be more specific, or post pictures, but she might see it.

Speaking of bags, I am firming up details for another knitting commission, this time a black and gray felted purse from the same lady who ordered 4 scarves from me at Christmas.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Swapping fun

I'm having a blast getting involved with swaps and knitalongs. Right now I am making something for a Gryffindor friend, and am also twitching to start a new baby sweater for Living Alternatives. I think probably the February Sweater from Knitter's Almanac. I just finished EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket for them, as well as a pair of booties from a Debbie Bliss pattern. I think I'm going to use up my Lion Brand Micro Spun, then not buy it again. As with the Simply Soft, I find it far to "splitty"; it comes unplied and snags far too easily.

Well; back to the Gryffindor project. BTW, I think that Wool Ease #171 Gold and Red Heart Super Saver 0376 Burgundy make excellent Gryff colors, if one wishes to use acrylic. If you wanted to go with wool, try Patons Classic Merino Wool in Old Gold and Burgundy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dishcloth Exchange Questionnaire

1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both? Both

2. What types of needles do you enjoy using for making dishcloths? Any non-metal ones. After a Christmas present of KnitPicks Harmony needles, I am especially into them right now.

3. What types of cotton do you enjoy using for making dishcloths? Is there any that you've been wanting to try? I like plain ol' Sugar N Cream, and I would like to try some of the stripy colorways.

4. What color(s) are your kitchen and bath decorated in (if any)? Neutral colors, so anything matches.

5. What are your favorite colors for yarns? Bright, strong colors. Least favorite? Pastels.

6. Do you like Winter, or do you count the days until it ends? I like it, because then I get to wear all my handknits. :-)

7. What's your favorite way to brighten your day when you're down in the dumps? Go to tai chi or kung fu class, cast on a new project, take a trip to the bookstore

8. What is your favorite treat to indulge in and when your down in the dumps? Dark chocolate, especially the fancy kind from World Market.

9. Do you drink coffee? Tea? Cocoa? All of them, decaf whenever possible.

10. If you could take a vacation starting tomorrow and go anywhere for one week and money were no object, where would you go and what would you do? I would go to England and visit Blackpool Pleasure Beach. (And ride all the rides until I was sick! :-) Then I would go sightseeing and buy loads of English yarn and candies.

11. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should be aware of? No

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope everyone had a great New Year. We did a small bit of a pub crawl, so here are the reviews of the beers we sampled:

1) Sam Adams Christmas Ale (draught): Dark amber, nice head. Bitter but smooth taste, similar to Guiness. Spicy aftertaste. Would go well with pizza rolls.

2) Red Stripe (bottle): Smooth. Not bitter, mild. No pronounced aftertaste. Similar to Bud. Would go well with hot wings.

3) Smithwick's (draught): Weak head, very dark color. Smooth and slightly bitter. Bit of a peaty aftertaste. Would go well with corned beef.

4) Guiness (draught): Strong head, extremely dark color. Clear, light taste. Not harsh. Not much of an aftertaste, maybe a very little bitter. Would go well with sausages.

and, for the beer I am drinking right now...

Blatz (can): Highly carbonated, so a very spicy, bubbly initial taste (sort of like the first drink out of a new can of Coke). Mild and inoffensive, surprisingly good for being one of the cheapest beers in the supermarket. A sour aftertaste, so pair it with something strongly flavored...I'll be trying sushi as soon as the rice cools off and I can roll it. I think something salty like Doritos would also be good.

Well, now that you all think I'm a lush :-) on to my knitting.

Here is the latest hat I made for Fairview Hospital:

They gave me one skein each of pink, blue, and white and said I could make solid colors or patterns, but to not mix pink and blue on the same hat (to make it easier to sort them for boys and girls).

Here it is modeled by the stylish Teddy:

No, the hat is not down too far on one side, he only has one eye. I got him the Christmas I had just turned three, and his eye fell out the same evening. All subsequent attempts to attach an eye have been unsuccessful...for some reason they kept coming out, so after a few years we gave up.

This bear has been everywhere! Girl Scout campouts, operating rooms, delivery rooms, you name it. You can see the hospital bracelet on his arm, which is a souvenier from the admissions nurse when I went in for my tonsillectomy.

Pause while I roll the sushi....

Yummm...yes, the Blatz does in fact go well with the sushi. Unfortunately I am out of wasabi, so I had to substitute Sriracha hot chili sauce. It was really good!

And more knitting:

This is how far I've gotten on a Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm using KnitPicks' Harmony needles 4mm and Bernat Sweet Stripes.