January Socks

I finished my Leyburn socks!

Lunasea Leyburn 5

These are my January pair for the Great Sock-Off 2009 on Ravelry. The basic premise there is to knit a pair of socks a month. Yikes! I hope I know what I’m getting in for.

Lunasea Leyburn 7

But, I must say, I love these socks. They fit so well! Even if they do remind me why I don’t like short rows.

They are also part of a Leyburn KAL (knit-along) in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock yarn. Tons of other knitters are making them in different colors of the same yarn, and the end results are truly striking.

Lunasea Leyburn 9

My specs: Leyburn socks
knit in BMFA Silkie Socks That Rock, Lunasea color
knit on US2 DPNs, toe-up, following the pattern but using no-wrap short-row heels

These photos don’t really do the color justice. I’ll try to get a better shot later, but this was the best I could do this afternoon.

Lunasea Leyburn 8

See? I was a bit preoccupied.

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Thursday 13 #74 ~ 25 Random Things

This was a Facebook MEME, where one was supposed to write 25 random things and then tag 25 people to do the same thing. Only, I decided to take do the MEME on Facebook, and then take the first 13 things and make them my TT for the week.

Happy Thursday!

~*~

1.  I can be a lemming. So sometimes I will do these MEMEs.

2.  I can also be stubbornly independent. So sometimes I ignore them.

3.  To highlight #2, for instance, I have never seen “Titanic.”

4.  On the other hand, I have been a passenger onboard a large ship (a Chevron tanker). Fortunately it didn’t sink.

5.  I even got to steer the ship and operate the fire hose during one of their drills.

6.  Earthquakes don’t scare me the way people think they should. I much prefer the odds of earthquakes in California to the odds of hurricanes in Florida.

7.  I am an English major, yet my spelling is atrocious. (It has been getting better, though, the more fiction I write. I guess I can be taught.)

8.  Instead of learning to spell in high school, I preferred to make up my own words.

9.  Like . . . Hmm. Strangely enough I can’t think of one right now.

10. Speaking of #9, my memory is very compartmentalized and selective.

11. There are things that I could swear I had no recollection of, and yet show me a picture and I might be able to tell you all about it. Or I might still not remember a thing.

12. One of my earliest memories is from second grade, when we had an earthquake during school.

13. I suspect all my memory is used up in remembering knitting patterns or theater scripts. (Though these are subject to deletion once the show is over or the knitted item is done.)

Cookie Day!

I have nothing today. I’m still working on all my WIPs, but I have no new pictures of them. And I have no inspirations of funny things to say. So, I’ll share with you a recipe that’s been in my family for ages but I’ve only just discovered. It’s so yummy!

~*~

Chinese Sesame/Almond Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 C shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 1/8 C flour
  • whole almonds or sesame seeds

~*~

Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg and almond extract.

Add baking soda, then gradually add in flour. Blend until a dough ball forms.

Roll dough into small balls (about 1 inch).

Dip in sesame seeds or press an almond into top of each.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

~*~

Makes 80-130 cookies, depending on size.

Options: you can also use both sesame seeds and almonds, or bake them plain. Get creative! I’ve also baked them with candied cherries in the top; makes them very festive-looking.

Chinese Almond Cookies

In With The Ox

Gung hay fat choy!

Happy Chinese New Year!

~*~

For me, Chinese New Year is fun, but nothing easy to pin down. I was raised with Americanized Chinese traditions, and only know enough of the language to say “Hello,” “Happy New Year,” “Thank you” (I think I remember “thank you,” anyway) and to order food.

I can’t even say “I don’t know how to speak Chinese” in Chinese, which is one of the first things you end up learning when you learn a language. (This would be because I never actually learned the language – I just picked a few things up here and there, from grandparents and restaurants and the tour guide when we went to China.)

But, I do know that I love Chinese New Year.

It’s not the same kind of love that I have for Christmas, and doesn’t come with the same kind of excitement sometimes found on our calendar New Year. It doesn’t actually feel similar to any other holiday I can think of.

It’s just . . . special. It’s a reminder that my heritage is varied and colorful and tasty.

Because, I will admit, my favorite part of Chinese New Year is the food.

We usually go out for dinner yearly for New Year. This year, we’re eating in. Partly because of finances, but also partly because my sister and I have discovered we love experimenting with new recipes. I don’t know how many we’ll actually get a chance to try this year, but it’s certainly a good excuse.

Happy lunar new year, everyone! I hope the Year of the Ox is great to you.

Vamped

I may have done this one before, or I may not. I’m not sure. But this time I got it from An at A Writer’s Block.

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open it to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

“But he would not bother with being politically correct in his bedroom, she sensed, or anywhere else.”

Twilight Fall by Lynn Viehl

And, since this is a Darkyn book and the Darkyn are vampires, here is a picture of Suzy pretending to be a vampire…

Suzy 1-11-09 2

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend!

Thursday Thirteen #73 ~ Comfort foods

It’s winter, and one of the things I love about winter nights is the abundance of comfort foods available. Here are thirteen of my favorites, in no particular order:

1. Soup. Nearly any and all soup.
2. Buttermilk biscuits. Usually the Pillsbury kind, as I am too lazy to bake them from scratch.
3. Corned beef hash. For breakfast or otherwise.
4. Roast chicken or turkey. Especialy when it’s roasted at home, and the whole house ends up smelling yummy.
5. Beef stew. Not the same thing as soup.
6. Cookies. Particularly sugar cookies, fresh out of the oven.
6a. Or peanut butter cookies, also fresh and hot.
6b. Or basically any cookie…
7. Fudge. Especially mint flavored.
8. Corned beef and cabbage. I don’t need to wait for St. Patty’s Day for this.
9. Banana bread. Yum.
10. Baked potato. With trimmings.
11. Mulled cider.
12. Pumpkin pie. Not so much a comfort food, as a food I associate with fall/winter and so I don’t want it when it’s offered in the spring or summer.
13. Soup. It’s my first and last preference of comfort foods.

~*~

Happy Thursday!

Quick WIP

I am running out of steam tonight and yet don’t want to let yet another blog post slide by, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. I hope you don’t mind.

Lunasea Leyburn 05

The Leyburn socks, side-by-side as proof that I’ve knit this much. It’s truly unheard of for me to knit so fast, so I had to share proof.

Lunasea Leyburn 06

I really am loving this pattern. If there weren’t so many other sock patterns I wanted to try, I’d be planning a second pair already.

Lunasea Leyburn 04

The Blue Moon Silkie Socks that Rock yarn is lovely, too. So much fun to work with, and I can’t wait to get to wear these. (The color is horrid in this third picture, but I loved the way it showed the texture.)

Lunasea Leyburn 03

I tried a new heel on these socks, a no-wrap short-row heel. I like it better than the wrapped short rows, but I need to practice it to make sure I don’t leave holes in the knitting. I also want to try a different version where you pick up the stitches in a different way.

Suzy 1-11-09 1

Suzy is just waiting for me to leave the socks unattended . . .

I think I’d better be careful. She has very sharp teeth.