Thursday, December 20, 2007

Totally missed it!

I totally missed my blogversary! Two days ago marked two years for my little journal of knitting and nothing at all.

One more day of work before the winter break. I really can't wait. I woke up this morning chanting "please be Friday. Please be Friday!"

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Knitterly Goals

For the past several months, my focus has been on work. While my job is low pay and temporary, it is fabulous experience for me. After a long talk with my adviser, I am closer than ever to my teaching license. I had thought I had 31 to 24 credits plus student teaching to go, but it seems that I qualify for a new program that is 18 credits (3 of which I have done), 30 hours of field experience (which my job covers), and student teaching. I have taken, and passed, an important test for student teachers, so I finally feel like I have that part of my life in order. It is a good feeling to know that my plan is coming together.

This past year, knitting has been my relaxation, and I have frogged nearly as much as I have knit without a second thought. Now that work and school are in order, I need to re-focus my knitting energy into some bigger unfinished projects.

1. Christmas knitting is nearly done. I just need to finish:

Sly's Scarf and mittens
Felted Clogs for Sly and my dad (they are camo)
Sweet Mary Janes for my Secret Santa at work
A shawl my aunt Kim commissioned

2. I have a sweater that I really must finish seaming. It has been laying around half seamed for 6 or 7 months.

3. I need socks. I know this sounds strange because I really love making socks, but this year I have made very few pairs. I seriously need to learn a good method for darning socks as well. I plan to make 5 pairs of socks during my break from work.

We are having a major snow event. For us, that means about 10 inches of snow on the ground and lake effect coming down like gangbusters. I can't see the house across the street. So, I will finish up my last charity hat for the Angle Tree project at work (I have already given a box of about 8 hats), make some tea, and watch the snow fly.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Knitty Tams

I have no clue what possessed me to start knitting Tam C Wednesday night for my aunt Kim's birthday brunch today. I just knew I had to knit that hat. I have finished the lovely fair isle thing, and the gift has been greatfuly received.

Pattern: Three Tams
Yarn: Noro Kuryon and Galway
Needles: size 7 circs

Love the pattern, but I do like stranded colorwork. It is fast and easy, so it is a good last minuet gift. I will be doing another for my "secret Santa" at work. And one for myself! The lovely model is my niece Jessica.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

So very busy

The last few weeks have been very hectic. I haven't been doing anything hugely noteworthy, but I have been busy playing phone tag, over and over, and over again. Then there has been the shopping and the preparations for the holidays. I bake many pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, in addition to making my famous "cheesy veggies." If I ever show up to Turkey day without those things, I will be shot.

School (work) is great. Our schools test scores are in, and we have done very well (which is great for me since my job is all about that test).

School (school) was starting to get me down. Without going into a lot of deadly dull details, I was about ready to transfer to a new school. But, it seems that they have gotten their act together, and I am on the fast track to my license now! Woo HOO!

Just in case you all think I haven't been knitting, here are some WIP photos to prove I have been a busy bee.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Meme from Suz

I guess she thought I wasn't posting enough. So, here it goes.


Dirty laundry
Several pairs of Birks
Handknit sock


Fly fish (don't ask)
Go to the UK
Get paid what I am worth
See all the plays of Shakespeare performed live (I have see about 12 with several repeats)


Hand sanitizer
Tide pen (I LOVE that thing)
Monkey Sock


I don't use a wallet. I have a change purse and an important card holder.


Knitting for Christmas
Sleep would be nice

I don't tag people. Do it if you want to.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pronto Pantry Chili

I make this all the time. It is very flexible to suit individual taste, and it is designed to be made from things I keep in the pantry.

2lbs ground meat (I prefer ground chuck, but ground beef, turkey, chicken, pork, or a combo all work fine. I have also used TVP crumbles)

1 large onion chopped

1 large green bell pepper chopped

4 to 8 cloves garlic (depending on taste) chopped

1 4 oz can of diced green chilies or jalapenos (depending on taste. You can also do one can of each)

1 jar roasted red peppers (I chop about half the peppers in the jar and add a bit of the oil to the pot)

1 can chipotle peppers in adobo chopped (I use about half and save the rest)

1 or 2 cans of "chili beans" the "hot" kind (these beans have lots of seasoning and flavor in them and are much nicer than just "plan" kidney beans. I only use one can because Sly doesn't like beans, but I think 2 cans are better)

1 can tomato juice PLUS any leftover bits of salsa, spaghetti/pizza sauce

3 tablespoons of chili sauce

1 10 oz bag of frozen corn

2 to 3 tablespoons of chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste


I serve chili over Frito's corn chips with cheddar cheese and sour cream, but corn bread, rice, or tortilla chips are nice too.

Brown the meat in a large soup pot. I use lean ground chuck, so I don't drain the meat, if you are using hamburger, you may want to drain up to half the juice and fat. If you are using ground chicken or turkey, you will need to add some olive oil. If you are using TVP, skip this step. Add the TVP after you add the tomato juice.

After the meat is browned, add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute 5 to 10 minuets.

Add the canned chilies, chopped jar peppers, and chipole peppers. Mix well. Add can beans, extra salsa or sauce and chili sauce. Add juice and season to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour. The hard part is over.

Add the frozen corn, and turn off the heat. Serve with your favorite extras and enjoy!

Happy knitting and eating!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Not feeling well

This past week has really sucked! I haven't been sick enough to use a sick day at work (It is a pain getting ready to not be there), so I have been feeling worn out. I want to post a couple of recipes and other general stuff, but my energy level is low. Watching Goldfinger this morning didn't even help. As Sly said, I must be sick if James Bond doesn't make it go away.

Look for a real post soon. I just wanted all of you to know I was still here.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Very Harlot Poncho

Pattern: A Very Harlot Poncho
Yarn: Rio De La Plata Yarns Wool Multi
Needles: size 11

I made this because I found a yummy yarn on sale. The orange and black yarn matches the school colors for LPHS. All the schools in the district like to support the high school football team by wearing Slicer colors. So, in addition to Halloween in about a week, I really could use a shot of orange and black to my wardrobe.

I am not adding fringe, as I am not the fringe type. I am pleased with the final poncho, and I think I should get some use out of it. I have never been a fan of ponchos, I don't think they are flattering to a big girl like me, but the bias cut of this isn't half bad.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, October 19, 2007


So, I am starting to write out my recipes. I wanted to start with soup because I love soup, and one of my favorites is Corn Chowder. It is warm and comforting; the perfect dinner on a winter evening. Best part, it doesn't take long to cook, and it is made with ingredients we all have on hand. While this soup has meat, you can make it vegetarian and it is still warm and comforting.


4 slices thick cut bacon (totally optional. The butter can stand as the fat, or you can substitute olive oil for a healthier vegetarian version)
2 pats butter (optional, but why wouldn't you want butter with potatoes and corn?)
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
2 carrots diced
3 good sized potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour or corn starch
1 or 2 cans of cream corn (2 cans corn is best, but I can't fit two cans in my smaller pot, so I often use one can when the big pot is dirty)
2 quarts milk (to help with the cost of milk, I use powdered milk. You can also use soy milk)
1 package of kielbasa type sausage cut into bite sized chunks (lite and turkey sausage is fine. The sausage is optional, but it does make a nice one pot meal when added)
1 half pint of cream (again, optional, but oh so yummy, and you won't be the least bit sorry)
1 pound package of frozen whole kernel corn (thanks Kayt)
2 teaspoons dill weed
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon in soup pot until crisp. Remove bacon and save for garnish. Sautee onion in rendered bacon fat and butter. Add celery and continue to sautee. Add carrots and dill. At this point, you will want to add salt and pepper. The salt will help the veggies release moisture, but you don't want to add more then a good pinch at this point. The bacon and the sausage have lots of salt.

Sprinkle the veggies with the flour to cook out the raw flour taste. Add potatoes and cream corn and mix everything well. Slowly add the milk, stirring to deglaze the soup pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minuets.

Add the sausage and turn up the heat to bring soup up to a boil. Add the cream.

You will want to taste the soup at this point to check for salt. Add frozen corn, and remove from heat.

Serve in bowls and garnish with left over bacon. A nice crusty, chewy bread is the perfect side for this soup.

Please let me know if you try this soup and what you think!

Happy Knitting and eating!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Copying Suz

FOs and Thoughts

Pattern: Vary Warm Hat by Elizabeth Zimmermann Knitting Around

Yarn: Blue: Philosopher's Wool Cream ~ Lion Brand Fisherman Wool

Needles: size 8

I finished this hat last weekend. Blogger, however, was being rather stupid, so I haven't been able to post the photo before today. I love the hat, and it is actually a very warm hat. It was a simple pattern. It was a great thing to work on while watching Ken Burns new film "The War."
I finally got around to felting my new Fibertrends clogs. I wear them all the time. Such a fabulous pattern.
It is hard to decide what to do with this blog now. I keep my stitches at Ravelry now, so it seems a tad redundant to post everything here too. My life can be somewhat dull. I am not sure you all would want to read about the life of a boring woman in a small Midwestern town.
Maybe I should start sharing some of my recipes. I am a very good cook. I do a lot of "comfort" food. This is the time of year to share warm, hearty one pot meals. So, do you all want to be let in on my cooking hints as well as knitting?
Happy knitting (cooking)!

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Pattern: Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch n Bitch
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Angora Cotton
Needles: size 7 16 inch circs

Just a quickie gift that I made for someone at work whose wife just had a baby. I love making these hats for gifts. Quick, simple, practical, and appreciated. I also like to do them out of *nice* yarn to make it special.

I am busy finishing up many WIPs. The Very Warm hat is nearly done, and I am felting those darn clogs as I type.

I haven't been on any trips. Work is keeping me busy. This is a dull post.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Random WIP post just to prove I still knit

I don't have a lot to say about this collection of photos. I just thought I would share my knitting ADD. Lots of basic socks that don't really have patterns, an EPS sweater for Sly, the first part of A Very Warm Hat, and some felted clogs.

One sock

Two sock

There was a red sock, and now a blue sock!

Patterns: All improvised, basic (oatmeal) socks

Yarns: Red-Smart, Pink-Socatta, Blue-Opal

Needles: Pink 2, Red, 2, Blue 1

Like the Dr. Seuss rhyme? I don't really have much to say about these socks. All my readers must know buy now that I knit socks just because I can. I do love making them, but I also make a lot of them. These have been keeping my hands busy during passing period.

Pattern: Fiber Trends Felted Clogs

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino

Needles: 13

These have actually been in this state of un-done-ness for a couple of weeks. I needed some thing warm and cuddly to knit while watch Ice Road Truckers.

Pattern: Very Warm Hat Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Yarn: Blue-Philosophers Wool, white-Fisherman's Wool by Lion Brand

Needles: I think a size 8

I just love the idea of this hat. It is going to be a great warm hat. I don't know if I'll keep it or give it away yet, but I will need to make several others I am sure.

Pattern: Seamless Saddle Shoulder from Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Yarn: Denim Style

Needles: 10 1/2

I have yet to knit a sweater for Sly. He is a big man, so it is nearly impossible to find patterns in his size. This sweater is a 64 inch chest. In addition, he tends to be very warm, and I am sure he would HATE a wool sweater. The cotton acrylic blend seemed like a good choice for him, and he liked the look to the Saddle Shoulder sweater, so I am giving it a go.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Old McCotto had a farm

Yes, I know. It has been too long since I posted. Work has been very busy because this is testing week. So, I am sorry to be silent for so long, but I do have a lot of sweet pictures to show you from my trip this weekend.

Sly and I went to the Harvest Festival at the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore. It was a totally beautiful day to spend down on the farm.

Sly really thought this 1917 steam powered tractor was cool. I think he is right.

My family raised pigs when I was younger. I have a soft spot for the ugly, ill mannered mammals. Isn't he cute?

Geese. I have nothing special to say about geese. I just like the picture.

We raised chickens too. We had Rhode Island Reds when I was growing up. I think the roosters are beautiful birds. Dumb, but beautiful.

Lastly, some wooly goodness to share. A soft, fuzzy sweater, I mean sheep! There was a sheep shearing demonstration, but I missed it.

I stuffed myself full of Autumn's bounty: roasted sweet corn (they dipped the whole freakin' ear in melted butter! YUM), the best apple ever (for those of you who don't know about honey crisp apples, run out and buy some NOW), apple brown Betty, Swedish potato sausage, and apple fritters. All very tasty!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Late Post

I really wanted to post these pictures from my last trip sooner. However, I caught a bad cold this week, and I just wasn't up to blogging.

Sly and I had a nice time. We really didn't do much, but we relaxed and enjoyed our trip very much. One thing I wish I had taken a picture of was our pizza picnic in the park. Yes, we ordered a pizza and ate it in a very cute little park. The park had the sweetest log cabin. We were able to look in the windows and see that it was fully furnished, but not open to the public at that time.

Buddy got to go this time. He loved his trip. As you can see, he was very worn out. I had to vacuum the RV the next morning to get all the yellow fur out of the carpet.

There will be a ginormous knitting update this week. I have lots of stuff to share.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tee Hee

Kayt clued me in to this comic. I think you all should go have a look.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I got my invitation to Ravelry before I left for Mackinac. Since I have been back, I have had oodles of nerdy, knitterly fun adding MOST of my stash (it is shameless), books (almost as shameless as the yarn), and listing items to my queued list (like I am ever going to knit ALL that).

Ravelry is great. If you haven't heard, Ravelry is an online knitter's notebook/journal all in one. Members can connect with other yarny goddesses and see what is popular in the knitting world. I love it. As a total geek and obsessive kniter, Ravelry is heaven for me. It is so easy to browse patterns. No more wondering what is out there to knit! I also love seeing what other people have done with patterns I am interested in making.

So, if you are on Ravelry, look me up! I am mollyknits over there.

I am going out of town for the holiday weekend. Buddy should be thrilled, he gets to go with us this time. My plan is to make Campfire Socks out of a discontinued Knitpicks Memories yarn called S'MORS! How perfect is that?

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


No photos or progress reports today. I am only knitting sporadically at the moment. School started this week, and that means lots of prep and planning for me. My job is remediation for students who struggle with Indiana's ISTEP test. I have a job because of No Child Left Behind (I still dislike the law, but you don't want to get me started on that).

I have been selecting the students who I think will get the most out of tutoring before the test starts at the end of September. It is great to work with small groups of students and offer them strategies that they can use to get higher scores. I also started a "Homework Help" program. Any student who sees me for tutoring can come to me during homeroom to get help finishing his homework. I am looking forward to this program!

If you have lived under a rock and don't know about the "No Child Left Behind" act, schools are required to test each student every year. If a student does not pass the test, the school must provide extra help to that student (my job). In addition, a schools over all test scores must get higher each year.

So, I am a busy girl at the moment, but I am happy to be back at work.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Sockapalooza 4 Socks

I have wanted to post pictures of what I got from my sock pal for a while, but Sly likes to hide the battery charger from me. Now that my camera has properly charged batteries, I can share.

The socks came all the way from Colon Germany, and they fit perfectly. As you can see, they are in my favorite colors, black and purple! Notice the Harry Potter goodness.

I also really loved the mini sock and sweater she sent. These will be on my Christmas tree this year. Aren't they sweet? The sweater is a real sweater. If I could find someone small enough, it could be worn. The sock is a fully 3D sock as well. I need to figure out the mini knitting. What a great way to use up scrap sock yarn.

School starts tomorrow, so I'll be back at work. I am running low on yarn money now. Not that I'll be buying yarn. I still have the yarn diet to think about.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Girls Who ROCK!

Both Jen and Kayt have tagged me with this, so it is time I shared! While I question my "rockness," it will be difficult for me to pick ONLY five Rockin' Girl Bloggers.

In no particular order

Suz totally rocks! She is a shy, sweet girl in person, but her blog rocks! She had found a voice on the Internet. She openly shares her views, passions, and sweet spirit with so many people on the Internet and touched many lives.

Jools rocks! Not only because she gave me a Nice Matters Award, but because she is my oldest Internet pal. We may go many weeks or months without talking, but like all good friends, we always manage to pick up where we left off.

I have to tag nice people too, but I think it is only fair that I tag people for one thing at a time! :)

Steph rocks me like a hurricane (dumb song). She has a healing touch, warm personality, and the greatest smile. She is a totally fabulous, beautiful person.

The other Jen in my life rocks. She showed me how to make soap and knit socks. She was the best help desk person PNC ever had, but she didn't believe me when the computer ACTUALLY BLEW UP!

Last, but never least

Punkin rocks! Pumpkin pies are my favorite, but Punkin is a faithful commenter on my blog. It is nice to know that people are actually reading my rambling thoughts on knitting and life. I don't think I have ever said "thank you" for all the comments, so thank you Punkin; YOU ROCK!

Okay, all you Rockin' Girl Bloggers, slap that button on your blogs and tag five Rockin' Girl Bloggers to spread the love. You all rock, you all are awesome, and I am glad to know you.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sockapalooza 4

Pattern: Ridged Feather from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Fortissima Colori
Needles: two size 1 circs
Yes, I know I am a bit late with these. They took longer than I expected. I have good reasons 1) I never do a pattern over the foot. I am just lazy that way, and 2) can you all see how well these two socks match?! I mean, just look at that perfectly matched pair. I am rather proud of that.

The socks were inspired by the Great Lakes since I live so close to Lake Michigan. I think it is only fitting that I worked on the socks (not as much as I would have liked) during my camping trip.

See how well the socks match all the lovely blues in Lake Heron? Not to mention those waves.

I am off to mail the socks with a few extra goodies because I took so long.

EDIT What kind of town has a post card with a 25 year old picture of the hospital on it? Seriously, I bought a post card from my home town to send with the socks (as is tradition), and the ONLY post card I could find with ANYTHING from the town on it was a photo of the hospital. SHEESH

Happy knitting!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacation all I ever wanted

Yeah, I loved the Go-Go's back in the day.

We have returned from our all too short trip to Mackinac Michigan. Sly and I both agree, it is one of the best trips we have ever gone on in the RV. We are planning a much longer trip for next year.

The fun actually started during a pit stop for gas and food. We didn't have any real plans for a place to go. We both prefer diners to fast food, and we really like the out of the ordinary. Rosie's Diner was perfect. It was very vintage inside with lots of history and character. What was really cool was the old couple who came by for lunch. They used to eat at the diner all the time when it was in New Jersey back in the day!

This is the view from our campsite (Okay, we did cross the little street in front of the RV). Making the picture smaller has distorted how well we could actually see the Mackinac Bridge. We also had a fantastic view of the island.
The campground was really nice. We didn't spend much time there, but the view was great, the showers clean, and a convenient free shuttle to the island ferry.

Just me sitting outside the RV knitting and enjoying the view.

The ferry ride over to the island was really fun. It was a hydro jet, so there was a giant rooster tail of water coming out of the back of the boat. Yes, I am knitting in the photo.

Fort Mackinac is a state park with lots of cool historical re-enactments and exhibits. There are too many cool things to show ALL the photos we took, so I am just going to post the kniterly fun. I did want to share this photo of a young shopkeeper knitting to past the time. I actually showed her how to purl while we were there. Sly thought that was so strange.

Mackinac is the kind of place where there is a beautiful vista around every corner. I won't bore my dear readers with ALL the views (I am sure Sly to get a photo of them all), but I thought I would share a few really pretty vistas.

A word of warning to all of you with a sweet tooth, the economy on Mackinac is driven by FUDGE! The main shopping district has 17 fudge shops (all claiming to be number 1 and the original Mackinac fudge), and it seems that fudge is the number on souvenir from the island.

I have knitting to report on, but this is a long post. I do want to thank my Sockapalooza pal for the lovely socks. I will have a big post about Sockapalooza in a day or two. The fudge as slowed me down.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Sly and I are taking a short trip to commemorate our 20th wedding anniversary.

You see, I spent most of the actual day of our anniversary standing in line with my nephew to buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Sly was not feeling well, so we didn't spend any time together.

We have a romantic RV trip planned way up in Michigan at Mackinaw. The campground is really nice, and we have a site right on the shore of Lake Heron. I promise to post lovely pictures when I return.

Happy Knitting.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Finished Object Photos

Pattern: EPS yolk sweater from Knitting Without Tears
Yarn: Purple: Galway Highland Heather Green: Manos Del Uruguay
Needles: Knitpicks options size 7

I was standing in bright sunlight, so the color looks more hot pink than purple, but it is actually a deep, lovely shade of purple. I am so happy with how this sweater turned out! I am planning more sweaters based on Elizabeth's Percentage System. It is a great why to make a sweater. The fit is fabulous. It was easy peasy to knit as well.

Here is a close up of the yolk pattern. I used the Manos for a couple of reasons. First, due to the cost, I don't use Manos much at all. Second, since the yolk pattern is a simple one, I thought it would highlight a great vergated yarn well. Third, I adore the impact the slubby green yarn makes in an otherwise traditional sweater.

I haven't blocked the sweater yet, so there is some major puckering just below the yolk.

Pattern: Cozy
Yarn: Philosopher's Wool

While I was at Stitch n Bitch Wednesday night, I finished Cozy. Don't look at the ends I haven't woven in yet!

The stitch pattern on this wrap is really lovely, but the pictures on Knitty do not do it justice.

Thank you to Jenifer from Piddleloop for all the great photos.

Off to finish the Sockapolza 4 socks!

Happy Knitting!