i haven’t been a big fan of halloween since i was a kid.  as an adult i never enjoyed the pressure, yes pressure, of coming up with a good costume.  but, the one thing i absolutely L.O.V.E about halloween is candy corns.  little, sugary triangles of deliciousness.

this year, since i’m all about trying to make things for myself, i wondered if i could possibly make my own candy corns.  seemed crazy, right?  of course, on the internets you can find out how to make pretty much anything.

after sifting through what google had to offer, i settled on this recipe posted in the washington post and gathered all the necessary provisions.

the results…

aren’t they cute little fellas?

they are seriously delicious.  i could not imagine anything more yummy than a store bought candy corn, but these way beyond.  incredible creamy sugary-ness with a slight vanilla flavor.

however, complete pain in the ass!  the research i had done warned me that once the dough started cooling it would get hard quickly.  and it did, very, very fast.  my hands were aching and sore and the dough was barely pliable by the time i got the color incorporated.  i was able to manhandle about half the dough into the “corn kernels.”   there is no frickin’ way i could have worked fast enough to use all the dough.  once i was satisfied that i did, indeed, have some pretty kernel shaped candies, i decide to screw it and just cut the dough into bite sized chunks.

the bite sized chunks are just as tasty as the kernels, but everybody knows you’ve got to eat them by nibbling off one color at a time!  not having that option really does take away from the experience.

they were SO GOOD tho.  i’ll probably do a little more research to see if anyone has come up with a solution and try it again sometime.  next halloween, when the bruises on my hands have finally disappeared.

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sundays in the fall are usually reserved for football and knitting.  all.  day.  long.  i don’t get to the farmer’s market much this time of year.  but, since the seahawks were unbearable to watch this morning, i decided to make a quick run to the west seattle farmer’s market.  it was a great day to visit the market; i’d forgotten how much i love fall produce.

whenever i hit the market, i can’t believe how much fantastic stuff i can get for $20.  today i picked up a big jar of honey, one each of four different types of pears, a couple of pounds of sweet potatoes, a pound of poblano peppers, and a couple acorn squash.  tonight i’ll be cruising the internet looking for recipes.  yay!

friday was my birthday and i had some really good fun.

the cutest, funniest husband ever made me a delicious dinner of homemade macaroni and cheese.  he used the recipe from a local restaurant, the icon grille.  everything should have molten cheese sauce on it!

the next day, jess and i headed up to bellingham to continue the celebration.  we both got our bachelors at western and have some great (and some crazy, embarrassing!) memories of the place.

first stop, casa que pasa for the most delish burritos in the northwest.  i love the potatoe; jess likes the rancho.  we both crave these on a regular basis and try to make a trip to bellingham once every six months or so to get our fix.  pan friend potatoe cubes with beans, cheese, and an amazing sauce.  to die for i tell you.

we also did a little shopping.  our main stop was texture.  we both have at least three of the awesome comfy skirts handmade with organic fibers from texture.  they are so comfortable and cute.  i picked up a black one for winter.  although they are based in bellingham, texture has a booth at the ballard farmer’s market pretty much every weekend.

to keep it crafty, i picked up a couple knitting books at village booksitty bitty toys by susan b. anderson and the knitter’s book of wool by clara parkes.  i can’t wait to crack into them.

then we hit up tony’s coffee to get our fix for the trip back home.

it was such a fun day.  i still love bellingham.  birthday’s are the best!  i do, however, have a wicked food hangover from all the mac and cheese and giant burrito.  oh well, i guess you only turn 35 once.  yikes!

i have a well documented love of handmade and bird related jewelry.  i just discovered an awesome etsy seller, lulubug, who does absolute beautiful work with precious metal clay.  i haven’t purchased anything from her, but i’m in love with this fabulous little owl.

Check out the awesome projects over at Craftastrophe.  Of course the knitter in me loves this.  I hear that the slankets are sold out, and this is only $349.

Thanks to my bud, Sarah, for passing on the ridiculousness.

i’ve been neglecting my blog in lieu of gym and/or knitting time.  two things i very much need right now, but the wips and fos are backing up.

my knitting buddies over on the sundara yarn love group on ravelry just finished up a lace kacal.  we coined this activity as a kacal, “knit and crochet a long” as to not neglect our crocheting counterparts.  we had so much fun and so many finished beautiful, inspiring projects.  the encouragement of the kacal got me to finally complete my moon dance stole.

Moon Dance Complete 10.18.2008
(Ravel It!)
Pattern:  Moon Dance Stole by Pink Lemon Twist
Yarn:  Sundara Silk Lace in Black over Fuchsia
Needles:  US 4 Bryspun Flex circs

this project took a really long time to complete.  i think i cast on way back in february.  the actual knitting time wasn’t too bad.  i just never focused on it exclusively; knitting a few rows a week until it was finally done.  honestly, i don’t have much to say about it.  it is one of those projects that i worked on for so long i’m kind of over it.

i also have a couple of new lace wips.  they both may take me just as long as the moon dance to complete.

Cherries Cleopatra Progress 11.15.2008
cleopatra wrap by mariam felton from sensual knits in sundara silk crushed cherries colourway

Estonian Mimosa Scarf Progress 11.15.2008
peacock feather and tail scarf by nancy bush from (her fabulous new book) knitted lace of estonia in sundara sock colourway morning mimosa

both really great projects, but i’m going to save the details for another later post.;)

kick ass link of the day…check out this great sarah palin tribute sweater on the little red blog of revolutionary knitting.  crude and clever at the same time.  i love it.

on to my more mainstream style of knitting, i’ve decided to participate in NaKniSweMo this year.  this, for those of you who say that my blog is like reading the foreign language of knitters, is the annual “national knit a sweater in a month” event.

i’ve picked a project that seems pretty quick, the february lady sweater.  yarn of choice is dream in color classy in the colorway cloud jungle.

Dream in Color Classy Cloud Jungle

i’ve been admiring this color for quite a while, mostly because it is a bit odd. slightly variegated with every color you can possibly imagine. in the end though, it comes out looking most gray, and i love a good gray sweater.

my swatch grew like nobodies business, so i decided to go ahead and knit a size down. the whole thing is pretty nerve wracking. i’ve knit down to just a few repeats in to the lace and this is one tight ass sweater right now. if it stretches and grows as much as my swatch, i’ll be in good shape. if not…ugh! my knitting history has given me very little faith in swatching. thus far, my knitting success has actually been greater for sweaters where i’ve cheated on the swatching.

November Lady Progress  2 11.3.2008

after a little time off from blogging, i have a little parade of FOs to share.  the dreary seattle weather is making photographs difficult these days, so today i’ll just post a little one.

Nightshade Cowl Complete 10.28.2008

(Ravel It!)
pattern: darkside cowl by sarah fama
yarn: sundara sock yarn in deadly nightshade
needles: US 8 circs

the yarn is the from the most recent sundara seasons winter shipment.  called “deadly nightshade” it is a gorgeous variegated purple, varying from deep, mysterious plum to a lighter, icy lavender.  i was a little unsure what to do with it as it is pretty highly variegated, not something i like for larger projects.  so, i thought a cute, cozy cowl would be perfect.

the darkside cowl turned out to be a great choice.  i held the yarn double to get the an appropriate gauge.  it is really warm and cozy.  the stitch pattern is super squishy and stretchy, so gauge isn’t really all that important.

i’m really happy with the way this turned out.  great use of a single skein of sock yarn, and i’m always looking for uses for sock yarn that don’t involve knitting socks.  i think i’ve worn it every day since i finished.

i’m sorry i’ve been mia lately.  my work life has completely taken over the past month.  frankly, it is really miserable.  i think i’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel though, so hopefully more from me soon. 

during all this craziness, mike and i did manage to take a quick trip to san francisco to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  love that city.

while there, i had an opportunity to do something i’ve been wanting to do for quite a while – visit artfibers!

artfibers photo cropped

i’ve been hearing about artfibers forever on the stash and burn podcast and i was really excited to visit.  i completely dorked out on yarn for the entire afternoon.  they have such a great setup, and i had the shop to myself the entire time i was there.  not only do they offer their own yarn, not available anywhere else, but you can knit swatches in any yarn, any color.  i tried out about seven different bases before selecting sweater quantities of two.

Artyarns Yumminess

i ended up with a cone of sylph in a beautiful purple color and a cone of ming in a pretty, buttery yellow.  i really wanted a cone of kyoto as well, but they didn’t have enough of the vibrant red color, which was the most appealing to me.  i have no project plans for either yarn yet, but i’m sure i’ll come up with something eventually.  they are both so soft and luxurious.  i’m open to sweater pattern ideas if anyone has one.  most of the patterns knit on ravelry with either of these bases are shawls.

it was a really wonderful, relaxing afternoon (very much needed given the work stress i’ve been dealing with lately), so i was really sad to receive an email from artfibers just two weeks later explaining that they are closing the retail location and will be online only for the time being.  details are on the artfibers website here.  since i don’t live in SF, this really doesn’t affect me all that much.  however, i found myself unusually bummed that such a great spot was closing.  i don’t know the ins and outs of the business, but i really hope they’ll be able to make in internet only or find a new retail location.  it would be really sad for the community to lose such a great resource.

anyway, i have a few FOs to talk about later in the week.

the popularity of noro yarns has always been a bit of a mystery to me. one of my very early knitting projects was the infamous booga bag, which was all over the knit blog world at the time. of course, i knit it with noro kureyon. i found the whole process to be utterly miserable. it’s hard on the hands, there were multiple knots in every skein, and, ferchristsake, there were twigs and wood debris right in the yarn! not to mention, and i know this is sacrilegious, i’m personally not a huge fan of the noro colorways. dare i say i find them garish? and, i absolutely love bright colors.

several years later, i found myself drawn to the noro striped scarf brought forth into the world by brooklyntweed. i admired the colors and the lovely stripeyness, but when i saw these socks over at the split yarn blog i went over the edge. absolutely swoon worthy. a few days later, i found myself at little knits (one of the coolest yarn stores in seattle, btw) and they had a great price on silk garden. i caved.

noro stripey done 9.11.2008

(Ravel It!)
pattern: noro striped scarf
yarn: 2 skeins each of noro silk garden colors 241 and 282
needles: US 7 addi circ

i bought two skeins each of three colorways, knowing that i’d end up using just two of them for this project. surprisingly, i ended up going with two colorways that created fairly subtle stripes. they are very different in saturation of color, but both are primarily purples with some blue, green, and a little pink thrown in. the result is that the stripes through most of the scarf very faint, purple on purple for example. although there are a few spots where they are quite obvious, green and pink.

noro stripey done  3 9.11.2008

i love the effect. it is a really beautiful scarf. i also surprisingly found that i did enjoy knitting with the silk garden. much, much softer and more pleasant that kureyon. i’m really happy with this knit and can’t wait to get more use out of it later in the winter.  incidentally, it was a really quick project.  the knitting went very fast and i finished it in just a few days.

i was at the beach earlier this week and the scarf got a little photo shoot, which was also my first time using my new tripod. you’ll have to ignore the fact that it is 80 degrees and i’ve got a sunburn in this last photo.

noro stripey done  2 9.11.2008

Hello!

i'm chris. i knit and spin a lot. i cook and eat food grown and made locally. i fail at the "local" part more than i'd like. i am learning to be a gardener. i'm in love with two pitbulls and an advocate for the breed.

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