Wednesday, November 30, 2005
So... Here's my new plan
CO 73 sts (24 sts on each needle +1 on the last)
Being careful not to twist the sts, join the ends by passing the last st to the first needle and knitting the first and last st together. Knit until end of rnd (72 sts)
Rnd 1: K3, * Sl1 Knitwise, K5. Repeat from * until end of rnd
Rnd 2: * K1, YO, K1, Sl2 Knitwise, K1, YO * repeat from * until end of rnd
Repeat these two rnds until piece measures 1 inch, ending with Rnd 2.
Here is where I'm not too sure what to do. I don't want too much openwork, but I still want an interesting pattern at least on the back of the hand. I also need to decrease 1 st every 2nd round so...
Rnd 1: K3, * Sl1 Purlwise WYB, K5. Repeat from * until of rnd
Rnd 2: K24, place marker, * K1, YO, Sl2 Knitwise, K1, YO * repeat twice, Knit until end of rnd.
Rnd 3: K3, * Sl1 Purlwise WYB, K5. Repeat from * until of rnd.
Rnd 4: K3, Sl1 Knitwise, K1, PSSO, follow pat until marker, * K1, YO, Sl2 Knitwise, K1, YO * repeat twice, follow pat until until last 4 sts, K2Tog, K2.
Rnd 5: K3, * Sl1 Purlwise WYB, K5. Repeat from * until end of rnd.
Rnd 6: Knit until marker, * K1, YO, Sl2 Knitwise, K1, YO * repeat twice, Knit until end of rnd.
Repeat Rnd 3-6 until 46 sts remain on needles.
Repeat Rnd 5-6 until piece measures 11 inches from Pattern I
Rnd 1: K3, * Sl1 Purlwise WYB, K5. Repeat from * until of rnd.
Rnd 2: K4, Bl Inc 1 st, follow pat until marker, * K1, YO, Sl2 Knitwise, K1, YO * repeat twice, follow pat until until last 4 sts, Bl Inc 1 st, K3.
Repeat Rnd 1-2 twice, follow pat for 1 inch. (50 sts)
Repeat Rnd 1-2 twice, follow pat for 1 inch. (54 sts)
Repeat Rnd 1-2 twice, follow pat for 1 inch. (58 sts)
Here is where it gets tricky. I'm not too sure where the thumb will go, if the repeat is on the back of the hand. I *think* it would be the following:
K7, K10 (in a contrasting yarn, then slip the 10 sts back onto left needle and knit over with original yarn), cont in pat.
But I might have to play around with that...
Hmmm.. nope. Another 3 inches in, and I don't like the openwork carried up the hand. However, the slipped 6th stitch looks quite nice, especially with the openwork trim. It's subtle and feminine. Maybe I'll work in a cable, or something... Gar!
At least I'm getting real good at frogging :)
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
On the up side, I had a chance to hang out with my fave cous, Vicki. I haven't seen her in months - she's been "studying" at "Trent University". Uh huh... sure.
We went shopping at Bayshore (relax, I only bought food... note to self: Never buy coffee or chocolate flavoured drinks from Booster Juice. Yech :P), and met up with my DH for dinner at East Side Mario's. They were offering a 2-for-1 movie pass if you bought a $25 gift certificate. Being the penny-pinching geniuses we are, we decided to take advantage of their offer. Knowing we were going to be spending $25 anyway, I bought the GC. DH and I will be enjoying a half-price movie sometime between Jan 2nd and March 31st :)
Ooh - I forgot to take my Ultra-Mega Gold vitamins today. Tsk. Tsk.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Excuse me while I go cast on :)
I really have no clue how to publish pics to my sidebar... bear with me as I figure this out....
Ooh - I did it! I figured out how to make a workable button, based on the HTML for the button in this post. My new "Christian Knitters" webring is located in the "Blogs o'Friends" section of the right sidebar :) I had to save an image to my desktop, publish it to my blog using Hello, then edit the HTML of the post to figure out what the link was, and figure out which link to change to the intended target, instead of the .jpg target.
Hmmm... it appears I cannot enter the code I used without getting the actual picture to show up instead of the code :P
Well... after actually taking the time to read Blogger's Help, I discovered the wonder that is the "Add Image" button - - oh look - you can even make it into a proper link by highlighting the image like text (not selecting like an image) and hitting the button :P So... since it is so easy to add pics using this button, why on earth did I download Hello? Is there a limit to how many pics I can upload using this button?
I really have to learn to read instructions first, before trying to figure it out on my own...
As soon as DH finds the digital camera's cable, I'll upload all the pics I've been taking of my projects. Speaking of which - I finished 3 squares for my newest afghan. Only 39 more to go ;) Unfortunately, I've finally figured out what all the fuss is about regarding short rows. I was perusing Knitty.com's archives, and came across this wonderful article. Now I have an overwhelming urge to create this sweet tank top. Argh! Must. Finish. UFOs...
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Next up on the needles, a beige and brown afghan done up in Paton's Divine. I'll say it's for my Mum, unless my Mum reads this, in which case it's for someone else :P
I'm usually a bit of a yarn snob -- I stay away from anything that has acrylic in it -- but I really love the feel of this yarn. Plus, it was an amazingly good price at Michael's. The look of the yarn is nice too, but the feel of it is far more important to me - I refuse to knit with uncomfortable wool. I had some "Boa" picked out of my stash and cast on a couple rows for a quick scarf, but I just couldn't stand having the harsh core rub against my fingers for the next 400 rows. I stay away from metallics for the same reason. Blech! Anyway, I'm really looking forward to finishing this by Christmas - preferably of this year ;)
Ooh - I just got accepted to the Christian Knitters webring - take a look through their sites (sidebar).
He asked me to quit - we were both going to give it up. He lasted a solid week, then got hit with an awful cold. While he was home sick, he started playing again...
So, here I was, a recovering addict going cold turkey (well, I tried to console myself with another computer game, but it was just as bad, so that got deleted), and my DH was freely partaking in the object of my obsession. We talked, discussed, argued and fought about it. For me, the problem was it was torture to watch him play, and hear him talk with our flatmate about things I so desperately wanted to be a part of. For him, the problem was it wasn't his problem; he wasn't the one who had to concentrate on schoolwork. WoW was his relaxation after a long day at work and 3 hours total on the transit.
For the first week or so, DH would only play when I wasn't around. As soon as I came home he would shut it off. Gradually, the process of logging off when I came home slowed down, and finally ground to a halt. Now, he usually plays from the time he gets home until 1AM. To be fair, it's not 6 hours a night, every night; when he's not playing, he's usually cleaning our apartment (I'm not a good housekeeper), but a good chunk of his time is spent online.
We weren't very social to begin with, but this is just emphasizing that particular peculiarity. I've been trying to regain my life since becoming addicted. What I truly fear, hate, despise, loathe, and have utter contempt for is being asked "So, where's your Husband?" I want to curl up into a little ball and disappear. It's not the friendly "How's your Hubby doing?" which you would expect in light chit-chat which you can casually brush off with "He's doing well, and yours?" Rather, it's demanding and unpleasant. I don't want to answer that. It's the sort of question which emphasizes a situation's awkwardness.
One group I've been spending time with is comprised almost entirely of married couples, with the odd single man scattered about. At least one person asks every week. But it's not like my DH ever went to that particular gathering, either - it's simply expected that married couples go to those types of events together.
At this point I don't know what to do. I haven't been online, or even checked the forums since I agreed to give it up, but I'm rather weak - I still feel the pull. I'm drowning myself in knitting (my current fixation) just to keep from thinking about Warcraft, but it's rather difficult when the computer is in the main area, and Teamspeak is constantly blaring over the speakers.
We were reading through the Book of John, but we haven't opened the Bible together in over a month. We talk about it once and a while, we say we'll get back to it, but by the time we go to bed at night, our eyes are bloodshot and strained. We need God's help.
I know I'm a wee bit strange with my addictive nature, I just wish there was a way to make him understand. High-functioning autism sucks - people just think you're weird.
Read the Update
Saturday, November 26, 2005
On a not so fantastic note, I have a cold and we're out of Kleenex and soft bathroom tissue :( I bought 4 gigantic bags of Cottonelle, but they're all sitting at my Mum's due to storage issues in our apartment. Desperate times call for desperate measures... I'm using a cloth as a handkerchief :P
But the afghan is done!
Friday, November 25, 2005
I was intrigued when I first heard this - Ireland has always piqued my curiosity. I'm somewhat of an Anglo-Saxon mutt, being the descendant of the Irish, Scottish and English. However, it wasn't until after I was married that I decided to actually look into obtaining my Irish citizenship. Changing my very Irish last name had a bit of an impact on me, I suppose. I love my new name, and the solidarity I feel it gives me with my Husband, but at the same time... you lose a piece of your history.
Apparently my Aunt has done the whole citizenship process, and my Mum has all the paperwork, but she balked at having to pay a fee to register as a Foreign Birth. Her Mum (my Gramma) must still be alive when she registers. So it's all very complicated. According to the Irish Foreign Affairs website, however, there is no way I can obtain citizenship if my Great-Grandparent was born in Ireland but none of the following generations obtained citizenship before I was born. Booo!
Getting a little further on my afghan for Gramma - looking good :) Oh, and I took a pregnancy test - negative (mixed emotions on that one, but I'm not surprised). I've started taking my Ultra-Mega Gold vitamins from GNC. Jo says Folic Acid (required for Spina Bifida prevention) has to store up in your body for at least 2 months in order to be effective, and it only really matters for the first trimester. In other words, I really should be taking it regularly, on the off-chance that my husband and I conceive ;)
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I got a bit further on my fan & feather-type afghan for my Gramma this evening during the Bible study. I'm getting a bit tired of *K1, YO, K1, S1, K1, PSSO, K2Tog, K1, Yo* rep from * to * ending with K1. P (WS). Repeat Rows 1&2 forever... The next afghan I do will definitely be a sampler square-type thingy with more variety. The Bible study was wonderful though - Hebrews 9&10. We discussed how the new covenant is like a will and whether or not the New Covenant took effect before the crucifixion. I really enjoyed the reading - it was so clear cut, straight forward. I'm not exactly a touchy-feely new-age Christian, but I had a really pleasant feeling during the study. I wasn't just happy - I felt physically nice. Maybe it was the PC chocolate and Sour Patch Kids we had during the movie, or the (very) spicy Mango Curry Chicken that Jo had for dinner :P Jo thinks I'm pregnant. A couple times this week I commented on overpowering smells. Tuesday, it was the Christmas-y craft scent in Walmart. Today, it was a woman rubbing Body Shop's Satsuma lotion on her hands, and then a man who had just finished a smoke sat down across from me. I almost puked. Note to all you smokers - you stink for at least half an hour after a cigarette. It's not the almost ok smell of a fresh cigarette, either - it's... gross. You don't just need a mint, you need to brush your teeth, shower and change clothes. Anyway, this sensitivity to smell is apparently one of the primary signs that you're pregnant, so now I'm doing the calender calculation thing in my head, though I highly doubt it... *sigh*... I wish there were more obvious changes, like instead of the pee stick tester thing turning blue, your bellybutton does :) Not only would it be instant, it would be free. I really dislike paying 8 bucks each time I think I might be pregnant.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Ajour cables, number of sts divisible by 5+3+2 edge sts:As you can see, rows 3 and 4 are both missing the first "*" of the "* to *". I tried to figure out where the start of the rep was supposed to be and knit a swatch. Lets just say it looked like a knitted mass of knots. At this point I'm rather annoyed - I paid a sick amount for this European Haute Couture magazine, and the editors can't even translate the instructions properly!
Row 1 (WS): 1 edge st, k1, p1 crossed, k1, * p2, k1, p1 crossed, k1 *. Cont rep from * to *, end with 1 edge st.
Row 2: (RS): 1 edge st, * p1, k1 crossed, p1 k1, 1 yo, k1 *. Cont rep from * to *, end with p1, k1 crossed, p1, 1 edge st.
Row 3: (WS): 1 edge st, k1, p1 crossed, k1 *. Cont rep from * to *, end with 1 edge st.
Row 4: (RS): 1 edge st, k1 crossed, p1, k3, pass 1st of 3 k sts over other 2 k sts *. Cont rep from * to *, end with p1, k1 crossed, p1, 1 edge st. Cont rep rows 1-4
I considered calling DH at work and asking him to translate the French instructions, but I quickly realized that not only would he have no clue what knitting shorthand meant, but also he would have absolutely no idea what French knitting shorthand meant. Not that it mattered - after a cursory glance at the French instructions, I noticed they were missing the same "*" as the English ones. Argh!
I finally decided to put my Grade 8 intro to German to good use... well, not really - I just treated it like a code and figured out that re=knit, li=purl, verschr=crossed, U=yo, rdm=edge st, *zu*=*to*, and "die 1. der 3 re-M uber die beiden anderen re-M ziehen"="pass 1st of 3 k sts over other 2 k sts".
This is what the German translates into:
Ajour cables, number of sts divisible by 5+3+2 edge sts:Ummm... yeah. They missed the entire * to * in Row 1, and left out a purl in row 4's repeat. Honestly guys - that's just insane. Now I'm going to have to go through all the other patterns in all my other Lang magazines and figure out what they left out in those... I'll bet they're laughing at us Anglophones right now "Heh heh, zee stupid anglishen - zey sink zey arrr soo smarrrt... Ve vill show zem how stupid zey rrreally arrr - zey vill all be vearrring zee bolerrro viz zee crrraptastic stiches! Heh heh! Zis vay ve ensure zat zee patterrrn stays in zee Fazerland" (yeah, that's my crappy german accent in writing).
Row 1 (WS): 1 edge st, k1, p1 crossed, k1, * p2, k1, p1 crossed, k1 *. Cont rep from * to *, end with 1 edge st.
Row 2: (RS): 1 edge st, * p1, k1 crossed, p1 k1, 1 yo, k1 *. Cont rep from * to *, end with p1, k1 crossed, p1, 1 edge st.
Row 3: (WS): 1 edge st, k1, p1 crossed, k1 * p3, k1, p1 crossed, k1 *. Cont rep from * to *, end with 1 edge st.
Row 4: (RS): 1 edge st, * p1, k1 crossed, p1, k3, pass 1st of 3 k sts over other 2 k sts *. Cont rep from * to *, end with p1, k1 crossed, p1, 1 edge st. Cont rep rows 1-4.
If you know of any corrections for Lang's Fatto a Mano magazines, or, if you are having problems with the patterns, give me a shout and I'll post it here. I've sent off an email to their Swiss, American and Canadian offices.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I have the following:
Super BulkyIf you have an ideas for the Unknowns, please give me a shout. I really shouldn't spend any more time looking at patterns - it only gives me ideas for yarns I don't have... yet.
Red Heart's Light & Lofty (100% acrylic)
10mm, 8 sts x 12 rows, 170g
- 1 blue variegated
- 1 rose variegated
Project: Afghan/Baby Blanket?
White Buffalo (100% unspun wool)
9mm, 9 sts, 227g=123m
- 3 slate greyish
- 2 aubergine
- 2 muted yellow
Project: Rug for the kitchen + ?
Bernat's Mirage (98% acrylic, 2% polyester)
Sold as Illusions in smaller quantities
6.5 mm, 12 sts x 17 rows, 280g
- 1 cream
- 1 navy
Project: Pillows, afghan, baby blanket?
Paton's Divine (76.5% Acrylic, 10.5% wool, 10.5% mohair, 2.5% polyester)
6.0mm, 12 sts x 16 rows, 100g=129m
- 6 Soft Earth (beige)
- 4 Deep Earth (brown)
Project: Afghan for my parents, unknown pattern, probably squares peieced together with a cable border
SandnesGarn's Alfa (85% wool, 15% mohair)
7mm, 13 sts x 10 rows, 50g =60m
- 4 variegated grey
Lanas Stop's Stop Mohair (72% mohair, 18% acrylic, 10% wool)
6mm, 14 sts x 18 rows, 50g=90m
- 3 dark purple
- 1 purpley-pink
Project: Skirt or Poncho, WIP
Bernat's Boa Eyelash (100% polyester)
5.5mm, 14 sts x 17 rows, 50g=65m
- 5 burnt orange variegated
- 1 blue variegated
Project: orange=scarf + hat set
Mission Falls' 1824 Cotton (100% cotton)
4.5mm, 18 sts x 24 rows, 50g=77m
- 3 denim blue
Paton's Classic Merino Wool (100% wool)
4.5mm, 20 sts, 100g=204m
- 5 Aran
- 5 Winter White
Project: Afghan for Gramma, WIP
Lang's Lino Premium (100% linen)
4-5mm, 20 sts x 32 rows, 50g=150m
- 15 violet
- 8 white
Lily's Sugar 'n Cream (100% cotton)
4.5mm. 20 sts x 26 rows, 70.9g
- 11 natural
Bernat's Handicrafter Cotton (100% cotton)
- 12 pastel variegated
Project: dishcloths or change table pad thing
Naturally's Cotton Connection DK #3 (87% cotton, 13% linen)
4mm, 22 sts, 50g-111m
- 4 natural
Lang's Jawoll Color Superwash (75% wool, 18% nylon, 7% acrylic)
2-3mm, 30 sts x 41 rows, 45g=190m
- 3 variegated grey
Project: pair of socks and gloves
Monday, November 21, 2005
Perhaps I'll be able to actually give my Gramma her Christmas gift this year :D
If you'd like to see my Work In-Progress, post a comment and I'll see if I can figure out how to upload a pic from my digital camera ;)
Sunday, November 20, 2005
The first thing I noticed as I walked into the simple, unornamented sanctuary was the lack of organ, or piano, or any type of musical instrument. I didn't have a religious background, but from the few times I had attended church as a child, or seen it on TV, I knew there should have been some sort of instrumental accompaniment. I remember thinking that this must be a rather poor church, to not be able to afford any instruments; I figured they must use tape recordings.
Before the service, a man stood next to the pulpit, in front of a microphone, and asked for "Psalm favourites" (silent "p", rhymes with "palm", unless you're from the Almonte congregation, in which case its pronounced "Sam" *wink*). A Psalm was requested, and the man announced the selection. As the parishioners opened their Psalters (Pronounced "Salt- er," as I later learned they were called) to the correct song, the man produced a small round pitch pipe, and blew a note. He hummed the starting note, raised his hand and as he lowered it into the rhythm of the piece, the entire church filled with beautiful song, completely a cappella. I was stunned. I was confused. I was in love.
The melodies chosen for the Psalms are well recognizable classics, written into simple, yet beautiful harmonies. Most people from the Western/European world recognize the song "The Lord's my Shepherd". Like the famous 23rd Psalm, the words are taken straight from the Biblical Book of Psalms and translated to fit various meters. The Psalms are not completely rearranged (they aren't simply "inspired by" the Psalm); they follow a literal verse by verse progression. The longer Psalms are broken into various selections, each containing around 8-12 verses (Psalm 119 has 24 selections, A-X). Singing psalms is an excellent way to memorize entire chapters of God's Word.
The Psalter we use (The Book of Psalms for Singing) has 4 parts: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. Most selections have fairly simple tunes with beautiful harmonies (such as Psalm 3, to Amazing Grace), making the slightly more complex melodies stand out (such a Psalm 119, the 'X' selection, or Psalm 98A).
Here is a small collection of some of our Church's favourites. The entire melody is given for each sample, it is simply repeated for each additional verse. To add interest to the melody (and make your group sound more advanced), I recommend staying in unison for the first verse, and then branching into harmony for the remainder.
Psalm 102 (simple, beautiful harmony)
Psalm 29 (slightly complex phrases)
Psalm 98 (harmony with overlapping rounds)
Psalm 126 (rather complex)
Try it yourself! Take this translation of Psalm 3 (from The Book of Psalms for Singing) and sing it to the tune of Amazing Grace.
O Lord, how are my foes increased, against me many rise.This was the first Psalm I decided to memorize, partly because it was just about the only tune I recognized, and also because I could relate with the Psalmist crying out to God for help. Don't be shy about singing for God to smash the teeth of your enemies. It took me a while to get over that image, but this is the inspired Word of God - He wants you to ask Him to help you. I think a lot of contemporary Praise songs have forgotten the protective force of God in the face of danger. The 150 Psalms cover a broad range of emotions and situations, and each song is Divinely Inspired. Don't get me wrong - I love contemprary Christian music, but I know they are the words of Man. When I want to truly worship God, I sing His Words back to Him.
How many say "In vain for help, he on his God relies!"
You are my Shield and Glory Lord, You lifted up my head.
I cried out "Lord!" and from His hill to me His answer sped.
I lay down slept and woke again. The Lord is keeping me.
I will not fear ten thousand men entrenched, surrounding me.
Arise, O Lord, save me my God! You punish all my foes.
You smite the face of wicked men, their teeth break with your blows.
Deliverance is from the Lord, Salvation His alone.
O Let your blessing evermore be on Your people shown.
If you'd like to know more about why we only sing Psalms in public worship, here is an informative article from the Reformed Witness website. If you're curious why we sing a cappella, here is another article written by the same author, Pastor Brian Schwertley.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
I've rediscovered my love of knitting, but I can't seem to settle down on one project. I'm afraid my ability to practice monogamy is limited to my Husband. How can I when there are so many gorgeous patterns and sumptuous yarns? I want them all! So, I've decided to join a knitalong to help focus my energies. Perhaps NonaKnit's Peaceful Palms Knit Along will help me stay faithful long enough to actually finish a project :)
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
How about this senario...
Dec 2004: Wife begs Husband for WoW
Feb 2005: Husband starts playing Wife's account while she is visiting a friend for the weekend
Mar 2005: Wife and Husband share character until it hits 60.
Apr 2005: Wife asks for second account. Husband agrees as long as Wife levels new character for him. Husband decides that their first character is his WoW "identity", and doesn't want to build a new reputation on the server. Wife plays second account.
Aug 2005: Wife is declared addicted to WoW. Husband wants both to seriously cut back.
Sep 2005: Husband asks Wife to quit WoW for valid reasons. Husband continues to play infrequently, since WoW is not an 'addiction' for himself.
Oct 2005: Wife goes through SERIOUS WoW withdrawls. Wife continually asks Husband to quit, so that she can stop thinking about WoW. Husband declines.
Dec 2005: Wife has gotten over WoW withdrawls and has found new, productive hobbies. Husband's playing time increases and is soon playing until 3am regularly. Sexy Wife can't even lure Husband to bed with 'kisses' (wink, wink).
Jan 31 2006: Wife learns about new "Parental Control" feature for WoW. Account is still under Wife's email address. Wife sets up "Spousal Control".
Feb 1 2006: Husband kicked off BWL raid at precisely 1am.
Feb 2 2006: Husband divorces Wife.
Stuff I could probably make myself, if I got off my arse
-Carpetted cat tree/house for Butters (aka Bartholomew)
- Spinning Wheel (I returned Jen's wheel a while ago. I miss spinning)
- A lamp set (we returned my parents' shop light a while ago >.>)
- Another cable for our digital camera (we're always losing ours).
- New couches. I could even do beanbag chairs at this point. My DH tells me our current 5th hand furniture is fine... as he lounges in the only new piece of furniture we own - an Ikea chair he stole from his Dad =/
- A collection of Psalters -- even one would be nice.
- Country Living Grain Mill & Exercise Bike - Yeah, I know it's expensive, and there is a pretty big chance I'll never actually get around to actually using it, but...
- A healthy kitchen... no processed foods <--- not going to happen.
- Sawstop - because I like all my fingers.
- Biscuit Joiner <-- a definite "must have" for building kitchens
- 8" Jointer
- 16" Thickness Planer
- one of those really lightweight black & white Makita portable drills Algonquin just got
- Dovetail jig
- Blum Minipress Pro >.>
- Four inch Double Pointed Needles in all the small sizes (I can't seem to find them in stores)
- "Knitting Without Tears" by Elizabeth Zimmerman (I found "Knitter's Almanac" at the Book Market)
- Sewing Desk - and someone to make it nice and ready for me.
- Any books by Elizabeth Zimmerman, Meg Swansen, or Debbie Bliss.
- The entire Harmony Guide Series. Yes, I'm greedy.
- Well, just about any knitting book, as long as it has great photographs and a distict lack of any item which might look like it has the possibility of being crafted in the 80s or 90s.
- More "Merino & Fur" by Naturally, or any other soft, soft luxury yarn- just about any colour ;)
- Cloud/Roving to spin (I guess I need a wheel first, though)
- A farm. Nothing too fancy - just a couple acres for alpacas, and heritage sheep, and some ducks, maybe a few horses and a guard llama... might as well have some Angora rabbits too :)
Done & Done
- Big fat flat boar bristle brush. I bought myself a smaller sized brush. I just couldn't wait - my hair was getting too long :P
- Comfy, cozy housecoat. SOFT and LONG. Blue or Chocolate Brown would be nice, but I'm not too picky DH gave me a beautiful light pink fuzzy housecoat :)
- Comfy, cozy slippers, preferably Shearling. My parents bought me sheepskin slippers from Costco a while ago. I think my sister stole them :P Now, Costco only carries the slip on, backless version, not the full slipper type :( My In-Laws gave me a beautiful pair of shearling slippers, and DH gave me a pink pair to match my bathrobe - I think I'll drop one pair off at Jo's so my feet don't freeze there :)
- Set of HUGE mugs, like the King/Queen mugs Mrs Tiggywinkle's carried. DH gave me 2 large pink mugs - they hold the perfect amount of milk, while allowing room to stir in Hot Chocolate mix :)
My DH and I don't drink regularly - he doesn't like the taste of alcohol, and I can't stand the bitterness of beer, nor the harshness of hard liquor. I do, however, enjoy a smooth Merlot or sweet Zinfandel with social dinners. I also love the distinct flavour liquers give to desserts (ie. Tiramisu), which can't be achieved any other way.
I've been drooling over those recipes for quite some time. I hadn't thought of actually going out and purchasing my own liqueur for baking. My alcohol purchases were limited to some rum (high school; mixed with fresh-picked, mashed strawberries) and an occasional Merlot for my parents. I guess I was stuck in a pre-legal, living-with-parents mindset. Stocking a liquor cabinet was my Dad's domain; if I needed 2T of Brandy for my chocolate truffles, I'd just ask him. Unfortunately, living 12k away isn't conducive to borrowing ingredients... I had to bite the bullet and go to the LCBO; I had to start my own liquor cabinet.
DH, not being a drinker, isn't too impressed that I'm interested in baking things with an alcohol content. He likes my Tiramisu, but says he would prefer it without the bite of alcohol. The cost is another thing he could do without (my DH is a very practical man ;P ). I have to admit that paying $15 for less than a litre of certain liqueurs was rather difficult. I reasoned that I only needed a small amount for each recipe, so although the initial cost was quite high, replacement costs would be spread out.
I Googled "stock your bar" or something similar, and found a few well laid out sites detailing the good options for starting your liquor cabinet - The Webtender & Drink Boy. I was mainly concerned with baking supplies, so I didn't need most of the harder stuff like Gin, Tequila or Whisky. I did, however, have a number of recipes that required Brandy, Rum, Orange Liqueur, etc.. So off I went to the Rideau LCBO (one of the largest ones in the area), where I spent over half an hour perusing the aisle, trying to figure out which liqueur, which brand and which size. I tried to limit my selcetion to the smallest available bottle for now, so DH doesn't think I've gone off the deep end ;) Unfortunately, that means I'm paying a bit more per mL, but until I know what I use most often, I think that's the best idea. In hindsight, the bottle of Kahlua I picked up was far too small, so I'll have to get the next size up, at least.
I've decided to keep track of my modest liquor cabinet, so I can quickly reference it while browsing for recipe ideas, and keep track of what I want to buy, or have run out of.
(Category, <--- Notes, Currently Have, Want to Buy)
Brandy <--- Truffles
St. Remy Napoleon
Marsala (sweet) <--- Tiramisu
Sperone Cremovo Fine
Marsala (dry) <--- Tiramisu (old)
Sperone Fine I.P. Fine
Appleton Estate <--- Not fond of it
Coffee Liqueur <--- Tiramisu
Kahlua - running low
- buy at least 750 mL, $26
Crème de Cacao
Crème de Menthe
Cherry, Maraschino Cherry