New knitting endeavor

So. I’m trying something new for me…socks!  I haven’t ever tried a pair because I hate DPNs and haven’t yet gotten the hang of the magic loop method. That, and anyone who knows me, knows I don’t like “fiddly” projects for the most part.

A couple weeks ago I saw a book on Pinterest called Knit Your Socks on Straight and was intrigued. It calls for knitting them in the flat then seeming them once in the end. Color me interested!  After checking the library for a copy (no dice there) it was off to Amazon to purchase it!

Today on my lunch I found this pretty sock yarn on clearance and got a pair of needles to go along with it. I chose circulars because I have theiving cats and dog and I like to always know where my other needle is. I’m funny that way. Here’s to nothing!

Don’t mind what looks like a tangled mess…its just yarn barf.

Update 2 hours later (not dedicated knitting time…I’m not that slow!): ripped out 2.5 rows…ribbing wasn’t ribbing. Let’s try this again…

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Field Trip to the Farm

Today was a day I have been looking forward to for a couple weeks now!  I went to a workshop called “Field Trip to the Farm” put on by the Red Barn Yarn Farm in St Joseph, MO.  We learned a new to us method to dye yarn and best of all, got to meet the alpacas!

We learned to “paint” yarn using acid dyes.  It’s pretty easy and you get come really cool effects with the yarn.  We spread out sheets of plastic wrap and placed our vinager water soaked yarn hanks on it.  Then we used acid dyes in squirt bottles to put the dye on our yarn and rubbed it in.  After applying the color we wanted, we wrapped it up in the plastic wrap and microwaved it for a few minutes to set the dye.  Once our bundles cooled down, we unwrapped and rinsed our little gems.  It was fun to see what color combinations every one came up with.

The fruits of my dyeing labor today.

The fruits of my dyeing labor today.

I can’t wait to get some more dyes and try this at home!  We will have so much more control than doing it in the crockpot.

Now for some pictures from the day.  It was a warm day but there was shade and a nice breeze and plenty of water to be had.  I would go back in a heartbeat!

Winding the yarn into hanks to soak and dye.

Winding the yarn into hanks to soak and dye.

Yarn painting in action.

Yarn painting in action.

Laura dyeing yarn

Laura dyeing yarn

We each had our own bowl for our yarn to cool down in.  Mine is the orange one :)

We each had our own bowl for our yarn to cool down in. Mine is the orange one 🙂

The girls.

The girls.

A couple of the boys.

A few of the boys.

One of the sassier girls.  Rumor has it she will spit on you if you make her mad.   Luckily we didn't experience it.

One of the sassier girls. Rumor has it she will spit on you if you make her mad. Luckily we didn’t experience it.

Angus and I cheesing it up for the camera.

Angus and I cheesing it up for the camera.

One of the girls, just eating some hay.

One of the girls, just eating some hay.

Angus.  He had the greatest eye lashes.

Angus. He had the greatest eye lashes.

Thanks to Jenny at the crew at Red Barn Yarn Farm!  It was a great experience and I learned a lot!  We can’t wait to come up and check out the store!

Obligatory selfie with Angus and Laura!

Obligatory selfie with Angus and Laura!

Lunches with Dad – The Brick

Another week, another lunch!  This week we switched it up and went Tuesday instead of Thursday since that worked better for the both of us.  This was a dad pick week and he chose a place that I have been wanting to go but he has already been, The Brick.   I first heard about the restaurant on an episode of Diners, Drive In’s and Dives and have wanted to visit ever since.

The Brick is in the Crossroads Art District and is as colorful as the neighborhood name suggests.  They have artwork from local artists on the walls which rotates every month and a stage where they frequently have live music.  Maybe i’ll hit it up sometime to listen to some live music.

We started out with some fried ravioli as an appetizer.  It was a yummy cheese filled ravioli served with a very good marinara sauce.

I got one of the dishes I saw when Guy was here, the meatloaf sandwich.  I had them leave off the chiptole ketchup and it came with a side of fries.  The meatloaf was flavorful and the bread was perfectly toasted.  It was a pretty yummy meal for me.

Dad had the fish and chips, with tater tots.  The fish was flaky and the tater tots were perfectly cooked, according to dad.

Over all it was a good meal, we both would go back.

Scores?

ME: 3.5

DAD: 3.5

Dads Fish and Chips (Tots) from The Brick

Dads Fish and Chips (Tots) from The Brick

My Meatloaf Sandwich and Fries from The Brick

My Meatloaf Sandwich and Fries from The Brick

Lunches with Dad – Ming Dragon

This week it was my turn to choose the restaurant.  I had a place chosen, but it wasn’t exciting me this morning.  So, I let Audrey have some say.  She was in the mood for Chinese food.  Not just any Chinese food, but a buffet.  We have an old favorite close to home but decided not to invoke the repeat exception and take a chance.

This led us to Ming Dragon, in Liberty.  I’m not going to lie.  Its unimpressive to look at, both outside and in.  We were greeted right off by a very nice server and seated.  Our drink orders were taken and we were invited to help ourselves to the buffet.  The buffet had the standard choices of most Chinese buffets.  The egg drop soup and crab rangoon were both good.  This buffet also had delicious chicken dumplings/potstickers which I hadn’t seen before (on a buffet).  The dessert buffet was pudding and jello and an assortment of cookies.  I was very amused with the fig newtons and generic cream sandwich cookies that were featured on the bar.  We all got our fill.  I will go back as it seems to have good bang for the buck.

Scores?

Dad: 3

Me: 3.5

Audrey 3.5

I think we would all agree that even though overall scores make it look like we didn’t enjoy it, if we compared it just to other Chinese buffets, it would score higher.

Ten on Tuesday – Favorite Ice Cream Flavors Edition

So this is a tough one for me.  Not because I don’t like ice cream.  Trust me.  I do.  A LOT.  But…10 of my favorite flavors?  I don’t know that there is that many.  Here it goes anyway.  Starting with my MOST favorite.

  1. Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter topping.  There is only one place in the world to get this and that is in a little town called Brookville, Pennsylvania at a place called Buffs.  My dad has been going there since he was a kid and we tend to go everyday if we are in town.  Seriously.  They have lots of flavors but that is the only one i’ve tried in a LONG time (since I was a kid long time).
  2. Talenti Gelato in Belgian Milk Chocolate.  Best ice cream in the store.  Expensive but smooth and delicious.  I haven’t been able to find my Milk Chocolate in awhile and it makes me sad.
  3. Vanilla frozen custard from Sheridans.  The chocolate is too rich IMO.  I get stuff mixed in but the vanilla custard is my favorite.
  4. Cookies and Cream.  But not always.
  5. Mint and Oreo.  But not always.

I think that’s the end.  I couldn’t get to 10.  I could list a bunch of flavors, but I like it pretty simple.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Topping from Buffs in Brookville, PA

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Topping from Buffs in Brookville, PA

It’s HOT

That’s about all that can be said about that.  We have been spoiled with a beautiful, long spring and mild summer.  Until this week.  Today was 98 degrees with the heat index around 114.  UUuuuggghhhhh.

Now its all about conserving the coolness.  Unfortunately it leaves me not wanting to cook or knit or do anything that requires movement.

If you need me, i’ll be lightly dressed in front of a fan.

Recipe – Sowell Family Famous Dill Dip

Growing up, we used to go camping more weekends than not, when the weather allowed it.  We usually started in spring and went right thru the fall (if I am remembering correctly).  Truman State Park was one of our more frequently visited campgrounds.  On our way thru Clinton we would sometimes stop for groceries.  The store (now gone) we stopped out had the best house made dill dip we could find.  We tried others but that one was always the best.  Until now.

I can’t take credit for this recipe but its too good to keep quiet about.  It came from a good friend from her grandmothers cookbook.  It is super easy and fast to put together and is DELICIOUS!!  When I make it I tend to at least double it so it’s in my fridge and ready to go at all times.  Its great as a dip for chips and vegetables, a topping for baked potatoes or whatever else you can think of.  I have even been known to use it as a sandwich spread.  MMmmmmmmmm!!!

Sowell Family Famous Dill Dip

  • 2/3 c. Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. Sour Cream
  • 1/2 t. Accent
  • 1 T.  Minced Onion
  • 1 T.  Parsley Flakes
  • 1 t.  Seasoned Salt
  • 1 t.  Dill
  • 1/2 t.  Worcestershire Sauce
The Dill Dip Lineup

The Dill Dip Lineup

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir together
  2. Refrigerate for 12 hours
  3. ENJOY!!!!
Ready to mix!

Ready to mix!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Ten on Tuesday – Staycation Edition

Todays Ten on Tuesday topic is all about “staycations”.  I do love me a good staycation as its nice to have the time off work on the cheap.  Without further ado: 10 Favorite Things To Do On A Summer Staycation

1.  Sleep in!  The dogs don’t always (ever) allow for this, but I can usually get away with getting them fed and pottied and jumping back in to bed and cuddle with them

2.  Read!  It’s something I love doing but I don’t take nearly enough time to just sit down and read.

3.  Try some new restaurants.  KC has so many restaurants to try and Dad and I are making an effort every week to check more off the list!

4.  Squeeze yarn.  Always and forever.  Even if I don’t buy any yarn, its always fun to go look and feel and squeeze!  We have a few great yarn shops around within a 20-30 minute drive from home.

5.  Knitting.  Duh.  🙂

6.  Get caught up on houseworky stuff.  I know, boring.  BUT, there is something so satisfying with getting the boring stuff done!

7.  Try some new recipes.  My Pinterest board is a million pins long with stuff to try!

8.  Go to a Royals game.  GO ROYALS!!!  Love those boys in blue.

9.  Go to the Nelson-Atkins Museum.  There is always something new to discover there, even in the exhibits that i’ve seen several times before.  Plus?  It’s free!

10. Take the camera out exploring.  I love a good photography day.  I really need to get out there with my camera, staycation or no!

What are your favorite staycation activities?

Weekend Update

Oh holiday weekends, how I wish there were more of you.  It’s been pretty nice around here.

I had to work Friday since we don’t get “Independence Day, Observed” off at the pet hospital.  It was a good day though.  I will say that I have done enough toenail trims and anal sac expressions this week to last a lifetime though… #vettechprobs

I started a new baby blanket on Friday too.  A friend is having a baby next month so I figured I should get on the ball!  I was knitting a Baby Surprise Jacket (I talked about here) for her but it ended up officially getting frogged last weekend.  It was just not going well.  I will try it again, but need to give it a break.  I had some yarn that I really liked in my stash that was one of those whim purchases.  I got 2 skeins of it on clearance a couple years ago, with no project in mind.  It was too thin on its own, so I paired it with a thin, plain cream colored yarn to bulk it up.  I’m really liking the way its turning out.  I am doing a corner to corner knitted pattern, the Diagonal Comfort Blanket from Lion Brand.  For sizing my plan is to go until the first skein is almost done, then start decreasing.  They are pretty big skeins, over 500 yards each.

The yarns

The yarns

Blanket in progress

Blanket in progress

Yesterday morning/afternoon was filled with laziness and knitting and naps.  In the evening we participated in our 4th of July family tradition: airfield time!  This involves eating yummy grilled foods, watching guys fly (model airplanes), watching people shoot roman candles at airplanes and lots of fireworks.  After dark you can catch glimpses of fireworks going off around the city, which is really cool.  We put on our own cool display too.  The weather was perfect!  Of course I had some knitting with me too.

Knitting and Fireworks, a good day!

Knitting and Fireworks, a good day!

Today started with my standing Starbucks date for coffee, chatting and knitting.  I love Sunday mornings at Starbucks.  It’s been a pretty low key day so far.  BFF and Laura brought Chipotle for dinner and now we are watching the World Cup while banana bread bakes in the oven.  My house smells yummy right now!  I am trying a new banana bread recipe, as I have yet to find one I love yet.  A few weeks ago I made this delicious banana cake and I am trying baking my bread like I did this cake…low and slow.  My house smells so good right now.  I will post the recipe later if it gets approved by the committee 🙂

Banana Bread in the oven

Banana Bread in the oven

Lunches with Dad – Milano Italian Dining

As per usual, Dad and I went out for our Thursday lunch date.  This week was his to choose and we ended up at Milano Italian Dining in Crown Center.  It was a laid back atmosphere, there were quite a few business people in there as a well as a family or two.  They have a full menu to choose from as well as a buffet.  On the buffet they have two choices of soup, a couple of cold salads, a pizza bar and a pasta bar.  The pasta bar had a chef that would put your chosen ingredients and pasta in a pan and cook it right there for you.  When he was done you got your pasta in a bowl and there was a vat of each marinara and alfredo sauce to add to your dish.  Neither one of us can vouch for the marinara but the alfredo was DELICIOUS!!  Thats saying a lot for dad as he doesn’t normally like cream sauces like alfredo.  Dad decided when we were done with our meal that dessert needed to be had.  He chose the “Mini Trio” which had Tiramisu, a cannoli and a small chocolate dipped cone with gelato.  It was all pretty yummy.

Mini Trio from Milano

Mini Trio from Milano

Score time.  Dad: 4, Me: 3.5