Monday, June 14, 2004

Found a place, set a date. Happy, happy, happy.

The ceremony will take place here.
http://www.shadowbrook.com/gazebo.html
http://www.shadowbrook.com/ceremonies_gazebo.html

The cocktail hour will take place here.
http://www.shadowbrook.com/english_courtyard.html

The reception will take place here.
http://www.shadowbrook.com/victorian_suite.html

Since you can't see the layout of the rooms in the photos, here is a diagram that I drew.
http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/brex2k3/detail?.dir=/9286&.dnm=4349.jpg

This is totally NOT knitting related, but whatever. Its much cooler than knitting, trust me.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

My Brownie Recipe

Since I'm going to be making these tomorrow, I figured I'd share at least the recipe with you folks who happen to read this journal. I commented with this recipe once in the LiveJournal Cooking Community, and I have yet to hear a complaint about the brownies sucking. The recipe is foolproof and they are your worst enemy if you are couting your calories, but they are totally worth it.

Nicole's Best Brownies EVER.
Ingredients:
2 Sticks Butter, at room temperature
4 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
1 (12 oz) bag Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (yup! the entire bag!)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Cinnamon to taste.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line your brownie pan with tin foil and coat with Crisco, butter, Pam or another greasing agent.
2. Melt the butter, the chocolate and the olive oil together and stir to combine.
3. In a seperate bowl, beat the eggs with the flavorings (the sugars, salt, vanilla and cinnamon).
4. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture to the sugar and egg mixture.
5. Add the flour and fold and stir until the batter is just combined. It is okay for the flour to still be somewhat visible.
6. Pour into your prepared pan.
7. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. It is better to under-bake your brownies than to over-bake them, unless you like crunchier brownies.
8. Let cool, then enjoy them without thinking about how thier nutritional content will mess with your daily dietary intake.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Just curious...

Since I keep getting wind of this common anti-acrylic fiber theme amongst knitters, I feel as though I need to ask these questions for those of you who fall into that camp.

1. Open all your drawers, peek inside your closets. Now, look at the tags. Is every article of clothing in there a 100% natural fiber? I doubt everything you wear that's premade is 100% natural, so why are you such a hardass when it comes to this?

2. In reference to "special pieces", if everything you knit is made from the finest fibers you can buy, then how does one differentiate between the piece that is your typical project for everyday use and the piece that is made for a special occassion?

For instance, Knitter Acrylic makes her everyday projects using acrylic yarn. However, when Knitter Acrylic wants to make a special item for a special occassion or event, Knitter Acrylic uses non-acrylic yarns. Therefore, the project is even more special. On the other hand, Knitter Wool uses only natural fibers for everything. When Knitter Wool wants to make a special project, she still only uses natural fibers, so the making of the piece isn't quite as special because she is used to that caliber of fiber. Get it?

I mean, really now. Is it me or is this whole thing starting to sound a lot like grade school where it was only cool if you wore the brand name clothes? Its freakin' yarn, people. Get over it! Its a hobby, not a competition. Besides, if it WAS a competition, I'm positive that I could knit circles (cables? lace? short rows? I dunno!) around a lot of the people who use natural fibers only, ya know what I mean?

Be proud of WHAT you knit, not what you knit WITH.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Well, I'm breezing through my Charlotte's Web (v1) like its water. Or cake. Or whatever the correct analogy is for something like this. Its kind of funny because I botched the lace pattern very early on in the repeats and I decided to roll with it so my shawl for my special day will actually be special because it won't look like everyone elses shawl. For the second one I'm doing, I'm actually going to follow the pattern, no matter how much it hurts me to do so. I have no idea why I am so anti-pattern. Its almost like my rebellious inner child is trying to live out its teenage angst through my current hobbies. Interesting, no?

Anyway, I have one and a half lace repeats left before I reach row 154 and then I've got to block this baby. Although I am positive that I can breeze through these last bits of repeats before tonight, I'm not positive that the shawl will be finished blocking in time for tonight's SnB. And speaking of SnB, tonight I will be bringing two projects with me. First, the v2 of Charlotte's Web. And, second, this bag (well, its a tube so far) that I am crocheting out of kitchen cotton.

In non-knitting news, Anne and I went dress shopping on Monday and I managed to find THE ONE in under two hours. I would have been able to do so in under one hour, but the first dress I tried on took 30 minutes total to get on and off and required three sets of hands to do so. I'm excited. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Help... Question about the required yardage for Charlotte's Web!

Caution: I may be speaking nonsence here, because I have a headache and I'm hungry, but this is a burning question in my mind and its not meant to confuse anyone!

I am currently into my second skein of yarn for my first version of the Charlotte's Web shawl. It is important to note that this first version of the shawl that I am making is being knit in ONE SOLID COLOR (#2181) because I plan to wear this for my wedding. Therefore, I have not had to change skeins to get the color effects that is suggested on the pattern. So far, my progress looks, well, quite large. It seems as though I will have knit well beyond the halfway point as I work through the second skein. So, now I am starting to think that perhaps, for a solid colored Charlotte's Web shawl, I did not necessarily need to purchase 5 (6 because I got paranoid) skeins of solid colored Koigu for this particular project. I'm rather stuck in my indecision because I cannot find the exact amount of yardage that is required to complete the body for this pattern anywhere. I do realize that the pattern calls for 875 yards of yarn, however that 875 includes the total amount needed so that the fringe will be multi-colored as well. Working in one solid color, I'm concerned that I would actually need LESS yarn to complete the body and fringe, since the entire thing is a solid color. Is it possible that I need less than 875 yards of yarn (perhaps three or four skeins total opposed to five or six) to complete a solid colored version of this shawl?

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Charlotte's Web, Part 1

After a day filled with walking around Liberty State Park and playing wiffle ball with Anne and her family on Friday, I arrived home around midnight to discover that the Patternworks shipment arrived. And, do you know what that means? It means I received my supplies (yarn and pattern) for my Charlotte's Web shawls. I'll post pictures of the yarn and my progross so far on Monday because I am nowhere near the scanner right now. I've already started the first of the two shawls I will be making. The first one is being done completely in Koigu color #2181 because it is going to be the shawl that I wear at the wedding. So far, I am an entire skein into the first shawl, and I'm totally loving this pattern and I can now understand why so many people have flocked to it. What's even better about this pattern is that it isn't going to take me a year and a day to complete, so I actually have ample time to complete both shawls before the big day, contrary to what I thought originally. How exciting is that???

The second CW shawl that I will be working on is going to be using Koigu Multis: 319, 816, 613, 315D, and 515. It is going to be much more colorful than the one I'm working on now so I'm really excited to start that one -- but not until I finish the first one.

So, overall, I'm really excited that this pattern/yarn is working out for me and I'm even more excited that I get to make two shawls for the price of the ONE that I was planning on making earlier on. Go me and my thrifty-ness!

Well, I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, and for those of you experiencing bi-polar weather like we are in Jersey, I do sympathize.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Thursday Update

Well, right now I am in the eye of the storm, as far as knitting projects are concerned. I am patiently waiting for my shipment to arrive from Patternworks so I can get started on one of the two shawls I need to have completed before the wedding. Originally, I was very optimistic and believed that there was no way on God's green Earth that Mike and I could get the reception place we wanted for the end of this year and I was sort of banking on that so I would have lots of time to complete the shawls. Ohhhh contraire, my friends. Turns out that our 1st choice actually has dates available. Guess I have to work quickly, right?

I've decided to put pretty much everything that had been in my WIP/UFO's list completely on hold so that way I can concentrate on the important pieces so that way they are done in time. The only problem I run into now is that I do not yet have the pattern or yarn in my possession, so I can't do any work on those shawls. The truth of the matter is that I wasn't planning on doing any knitting until I got those materials, but that's like telling a thirsty man in the desert not to drink the glass of water you are leaving out for the desert creatures. You know what I mean? I've decided to make a REALLY simple shawl. One that I don't even have to think about with basic increases and a garter stitch body, so I will have something to work on when I don't feel like thinking. I might actually mix it up a bit and do a trinity stitch shawl because I saw one on a tiny old lady at the grocery store yesterday who had a bright green one on and I fell in love with it. *sigh*

I'm such a shawl addict.

In other, non-knitting news, I've taken a liking to yoga (!!!) and I really feel as though it has helped me elongate and strengthen my body already. Initally, I was going to go the Bikram yoga route, but I have an aversion to heat. Its okay though. I've found that the Asana style of yoga fits me quite nicely and maybe I'll retry Bikram some other time.

I've also been inspired by spring (although in Jersey -- can you really call this spring?) and potted a couple trays of marigolds over the week. I also picked up a few new houseplants, as well as some tiger lily seeds, so pretty soon, there will be even more foliage in my house than there is now. If you are ever a guest in my house, and you encounter this or this, don't be alarmed. I really am starting to run out of places to keep plants and those pictures from this site opened up worlds of ideas for me.

Anyway, its about 4:30 and I still need to get ready for tonight's SnB. I'm pretty excited. :)