Thursday, June 28, 2012


I may have mentioned earlier that I have a problem with Gluten. Well, I should clarify. I don't have a problem with it, my body does. It hates it precccciiiioooouuuussssss. Sorry, I had a little Gollum moment there.

Anyway, when your body has "special" dietary requirements, and I know I'm not the only one out there that does, you try to make it easier on yourself. You rid your house of the foods you don't eat. That's all well and good....until you need to leave your house.

Let's face it, in our modern world there are very few times you can just be a hermit and stay at home, you have to leave your house a lot of the time. When you have food Challenges as I like to call it, whether they are self-imposed or not, you have to consider it all the time. Do you not eat meat? Then if you're going to be out during a meal you have to plan for that, you bring food along or you plan to eat somewhere that you can have choices that fit into your dietary requirements. It's not always easy and sometimes it downright sucks but you do it, often because you don't have a choice.

I find that living in a small town makes this challenge that much more difficult. Not only are there many more limited options but I don't want to be one of "those" people who is constantly complaining and not able to have fun because of my complaining. Often this means I don't go out at all but that's not a bad thing. Monetarily and healthfully, that's a great thing as a matter of fact. If I cook at home, I save money and I generally cook very healthfully. As a matter of fact, really focusing on being gluten free and eating at home is what's kick-started my weight-loss and I want to keep that weight-loss going!

Some days are easy, you're at home, you can whip up a quick meal that you can eat with no issues. (That's if you remembered to go to the grocery store.) For me, Thursdays are a challenge. Let me explain.

I generally watch my friend WoolPrincess' children on Thursdays. That means, I get up very early (I am SO not a morning person) and spend the day at her house with her two girls. I love them to pieces but their house is not gluten free. That means that sometimes my lunch is a challenge. If I were organized enough to pack a lunch for myself, it would be much less of an issue, but that's another story altogether.

Some days, my lunch is an apple with peanut butter and I hope there are no bread crumbs in the peanut butter. Today though? Today, it was wonderful!

This may not look like much but this is Awesomesauce.

I really considered naming it Awesomesauce but I didn't. Instead, let's call it;
Sarah's Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
This lunch was inspired in part by my friend JennaKate's blog post about her similar salad but I took it and made it my own.

I started with mostly fresh ingredients and added no sugar, but still got a lovely sweetish, tangy-ish dressing thanks to some Stevia. So, here we go!

Sarah's Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
1/4 c. Fresh lime juice
2 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 a bunch of cilantro, chopped as fine as you can stand to chop
1 packet of Stevia (There are lots of brands including Food club, Great Value and Sweet Leaf, whichever you have will work.)
1/2 t. Garlic Powder
1/8 t. salt
1/2 t. French's Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay
3/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Put all the ingredients together except the olive oil and whisk thoroughly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Pour on your favorite salad or whatever and enjoy. Can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.

I took my dressing and drizzled it on some rice noodles and added some fresh veggies.

Doesn't that look wonderful? It was! It was a fairly low calorie lunch too so I still had some calorie-room to play with. According to My Fitness Pal, it was only 278 calories for the whole lunch or 73 calories per Tablespoon of the dressing.

A note about my abbreviations: From here on out, here are the abbreviations I use:
T. = Tablespoon
t. = teaspoon
c. = cup
They seem pretty standard but I don't want to mess anyone up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adventures in Sock-knitting

Last week (on the 21st) Summer of Socks 2012 started. It's basically a group of us that think sock knitting is a great activity in the Summer. There are rules if you want to be eligible for some of the great prizes but either way, it's a fun time. I've had a great time so far, just chatting with other enabling knitters in the group. We encourage and tease each other so much and we just started!

The theme this year is Independent Artisans so Indie Dyers and Designers. The first month you are to use either an Indie Yarn or Indie Pattern. I started off with both! I have some lovely Yarn Pirate in my stash (it's recent. Shhhh.)

This is a skein of Superwash BFL in Harmonia. It's lovely subtle shades of a deep burgundy Red and Grey. I love it! I debated a lot about which Indie Dyed Yarn I wanted to use for the first month and finally, finally landed on this one. I wound it into a ball.

Then began the long, tedious process of finding just the right pattern for it. I read through what others were choosing, browsed my queue and put a lot of thought into the pattern. I eventually, finally chose Medallion Lace Socks by Andrea Fox. It's a free pattern and a very lovely one.

I cast on and knit my little ribbing rows and started to notice something.

See how it's striping so lovely? I was in love with the stripes and they were so unexpected. I really didn't think yarn like this would stripe at all. I started to second guess my pattern choice. Eventually I did start the pattern but just about halfway through a repeat I realized I wasn't loving it. I think the pattern is lovely and the yarn is lovely. But not together. I think the yarn striping the way it does hides the pattern and that lovely pattern really deserves to be shown off. I will knit the pattern someday but not with this.

At this point I had some choices to make, do I rip the whole thing or just back to the ribbing? Do I start over from the toe-up or top down? Eventually I decided to restart and do a toe-up sock so I recast on and got to knitting. My sock had some adventures this weekend too.

I went down to my parents' house and we did all sorts of wonderful things.

I went to my niece's swimming lesson. It's sort of just play time in a pool since the kids are so young.

Isn't it striping beautifully?

We went to the 3M Family day tour where sadly, cameras are not allowed and got to see where my dad worked before he retired and where my brother works when he's working there too. It was great fun but lots and lots of walking!

I played 4-wheeler Tag with my brother and lost because he's way better at it than I am and also, I was "it" when we ran out of gas.

I sat by the bonfire with coffee and knit for awhile

 I even knit in between hands of Skip-Bo and my turn at Farkle.
 I really had a blast at my parents' house and I got lots of knitting done.

In this last picture you can even see the line of waste yarn where I'm going to place the Afterthought Heel. I haven't done that type before but since I want the lovely stripes to continue up the sock, I thought now would be the perfect time to try it out.

Of course I'm home now and back to the 'grind' as it were. I'll continue knitting away though and hopefully have a sparkling new pair of socks to show off soon!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Day

I had this really grand plan that I was going to blog today since I haven't yet this week and that's terrible but I caught a cold this weekend and so my day has gone like this:

Vaguely wake up while hubby is getting ready for work. Acknowledge that it is storming. Get told to go back to sleep. Amazingly go back to sleep. (Mostly be amazed that you can sleep when you can't seem to breathe) Wake up. Wonder what time it is because it's very dark out. Blow nose. Figure out what time it is. Lie in bed watching TV and blowing nose. Decide you don't want to make coffee because you can't taste it anyway and why waste good coffee when you can't taste it. Blow nose. Drink tea. Get bored of lying in bed. Decide that really, taking a shower would make you feel a lot better. Procrastinate for 2 hours by playing on the computer and blowing nose. Decide again that the shower is a really brilliant idea. Peel off pajamas, blow nose and get in the shower. Forget shower routine because your head is too fuzzy. Get dizzy and feel like passing out. Realize that if you do pass out you will have to lie on the floor bleeding until hubby gets home. Realize that it will be 4 hours until he gets home. Decide to get out of the shower pretty fast. Cough a lot. Put on clothes and lie down. Play on the computer while blowing nose 1200 times. Put a roast in the oven. Play on computer and blow nose some more. Wonder how there is anything left of nose after all the blowing. Drink tea and eat Gluten free cookies. Decide to take pictures of fiber from this month's clubs because you are sick of lying in bed. Find fiber and camera. Take pictures while nose drips. Put away fiber (sort of) and try to find camera cord. Decide camera cord is not worth passing out. Lie down.

So, there you have it. I have nothing interesting to show you because that was pretty much my whole day. More later when I feel a little better can find my stinking camera cord.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Finished Socks, When It's too Hot to Wear Them

Thank you to everyone who left the wonderful comments on my last post about me blogging about cooking. It seems to be a general consensus that I can blog about whatever I would like. I'm glad to know what others think. I'm planning a few food blog posts now but in the meantime, I'll keep it up with the knitting and spinning talk.

I've been trying to do some more spinning lately and it's going very well. I'm still working on my Grinchy Idea fiber though so nothing new there.

I decided it was sort of sad that I don't have any sweaters with any red in them and I tend to wear red quite a bit so I cast something on but I will save that for another day.

Today, I have an actual finished object. It's shocking isn't it? I feel like it has been so long since I've had a finished object. I'm really excited about these too.

Here are my Hermione's Everyday socks.
I originally heard about this pattern on Round the Twist with Carin. I was excited to learn it was a free pattern and looked it up almost immediately. It's a very simple texture pattern and it is easy to zone out while knitting it but it keeps you interested too. I really love the way it looks in this yarn.

The Specs:
The Pattern: Hermione's Everyday Socks
The Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet Color 5 (Which I call Berries)
The Needles: US 2 (2.75mm)
The Modifications: I added my own heel (Eye of partridge) and toe but knit the number of leg repeats recommended by the pattern, which is longer than I would normally knit a sock leg.
Notes: A lovely pattern that I will definitely knit again.

Unfortunately these socks are finished just in time for the weather to get hot and make me wonder why I'm knitting socks.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Chock Full of Beaded Goodness

I've been knitting away on Evenstar and little else (I would link the pattern but I can't get Ravelry to load right now and I have linked it before so if you're interested, look a post back). I really am ready for it to be done so it's been all beading, all the time around here.

If it didn't look so good I would have taken a break from it but it still takes my breath away when I look at it.

I still find it hard to believe that I could have knit it.

I'm over halfway around it with the edging, trying to do 2 repeats each day. So far it's working pretty well, although I do want it done now so I should really step it up. If only I hadn't started playing Lord of the Rings Online with my husband, I'd have way more knitting time.

But it's Lord of the Rings and as evidenced by my knitting a shawl called Evenstar, I am a pretty big Lord of the Rings nerd. Well, a pretty big nerd altogether really.

I just dry-pinned out a small section of the edging for you to see, I haven't truly blocked it at all. I'm waiting until the whole thing is finished. At which point I will probably have to buy more pins and wish for blocking wires.

The spinning has been pretty sparse lately because my knee still isn't at 100% from when I hurt it awhile back so I've been trying to rest it as much as possible.

That also means that I haven't been doing much exercising. It's hard because it's so beautiful outside and I want to be out there but my body does NOT want to cooperate. I haven't mentioned it much on the blog but losing some weight and feeling better about myself have been my goals for awhile and I'm still eating well and making better food choices so I've still lost some weight but I do want to start exercising more often too.

I'd actually like to start mentioning food and exercise and such on the blog since I cook so much and it's a large part of my life but I'm not sure about whether you, my gentle readers would be interested in that. Leave me a comment. Tell me:
a) Definitely talk about food and going Gluten Free here.
b) Start another blog about Food because I'm here for knitting content.
c) I'm not interested in your Gluten Free Adventures at all so keep me out of it.
d) Some other option I haven't thought of.

Hope to hear from you soon and I promise to try and be better about blogging more often. The last couple of weeks just got away from me.