Saturday, November 12, 2011


....and lots of finishing and something I love and something I don't love so much.

I love fall.  Love. It.  So many pretty colors, crisp, cool air, apple crisp and pumpkin! You may remember in a previous post that I was on a quest to find a pumpkin muffin.  Today, I made Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Filling .  I know!  Sounds yummy right? (that link is to a website called Just a Pinch and has lots of recipes!)

The recipe involves layering the pumpkin bread batter with a cheesecakey like filling:

 The house smelled SO. GOOD. while it was baking and looked so yummy as it came out of the oven:
 Unfortunately I couldn't find pumpkin pie spice or maple extract, so mine didn't come out quite as flavorful as it could have.  Or quite in one piece.....
 I have no idea what possessed me NOT to spray the non stick pan with non stick spray.  Maybe because the pan is supposed to be non stick!

But I was able to piece it back together...
... and cut a piece to make a nice blog picture...

All in all, pretty good.  Still tastes nice and pumkin-y and the cream cheese is nice and sweet and cream chees-y (but not maple-y even though I used maple syrup instead of extract, as the recipe suggested).  I would make it again but use the extract and the pumpkin pie spice (and non stick spray).

While the bread was baking, I was getting lots of knitting finishing done.  "Finishing" involves seaming knitted pieces together, weaving in all the ends, putting on buttons etc.  I take on finishing jobs through The Spinning Room and seam sweaters for those who don't want to.  So, today, I finished seaming Ethel's pretty sweater (no pics since I didn't have her permission) and knitting the collar (which you can only do after some of the seaming is done).  Then, I seamed, and crocheted edges on, my Boogie Vest which I finished knitting last night:

 I haven't blocked it yet so the neck opening looks a little wonky (crooked).

I also finished Paul's felted slippers!  Here is one slipper from his last pair:
 That's right --- loved 'em so much that he wore them all the time and right through the bottom.

Here they are pre-felted (put in the washing machine to purposely shrink them):
 To give you an idea of the difference pre and post felting, here is an old slipper next to the new one:
 Pretty funny huh?  They look like clown slippers before hand, since they are sooooo huge.

And here they are, post-felting, enjoying a cozy sit by the fire (drying by air, not the dryer):

AND a few days ago, I finished my Mukluks!
 These are very cozy and warm knitted slippers (not felted), made from a chunky yarn. I used Kathmandu Chunky, a nice tweed-y yarn with wool and silk and cashmere (mmmmmmm..... cashmere), and I used two colors because I only had one ball of each color and one ball was not enough for a pair.
 I love. Love. LOVE them!  So warm and comfy.

Ooh, and I finally tried a non-skid sole treatment and I think it will work.  I used fabric paint and put it on the bottom in little dots:
 The results is a plastic-y, rubber-y feel and I think it will be a great non-slip option.  I think I'll put it on Paul's slippers too.

Now, on to something I love.  My little, portable speaker for my i-Touch:
My i-Touch has a speaker built in, but you have to turn it up very loud to hear it well enough (if you don't want to use the earbuds) and then the battery runs down quickly.   I listened to some podcasts while I was knitting and baking today and it was just great. (That's the Spilled Milk Podcast on the screen -- a short, funny podcast about food -- lots of fun.) It's amazing the sound that comes out of that little thing.  So great.  Love. It.

Here are some options on Amazon if you are interested:
GSI Super Quality Mini Hamburger Capsule Speaker - for iPod/MP3/MP4/Computer/Laptop/Notebook/Audio/Gaming-Devices/PDA - Black

Satechi SD Mini Portable Pocket Speaker for iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4G, SanDisk Sansa Clip Plus, BlackBerry, HTC EVO, DROID, Samsung Wave and Galaxy S

X-Mini II Capsule Speaker (Black)

Something I don't love so much?  Cheap book lights.  I'm on my third one that I will test out tonight.  The first one was $1.  Yes, $1.  What was I supposed to expect?  It was horrible and barely lit up one page, nevermind both pages the book was open to, like it should (in my opinion).  That's what I get for a Dollar Store purchase.  The next one was $4.  I went out shopping saying I was going to go to Barnes and Noble to get the ones I've gotten there in the past.  Nice and bright, long lasting etc.  But, I was in another store and saw this one, so I thought I'd try it.  It was a little better, but still pretty horrible too.   That's what I get for a Wal-Mart purchase.  I said to Paul, " I knew I should have gone to Barnes and Noble."  So, we were in Target today - can you see where this is going? - and saw a $7 one.  Don't ask me why (see quote from previous sentence), but I bought it.  I just thought, "It has to be better.  The package says it light up 2 pages. And it costs more."  I'm not terribly optimistic though, because when I went to put it on a book, the length of the post from light to base is awfully short and I'm not sure it will do what it promises.  So, now I'm $12 in, which is what I would have paid if I went to Barnes and Noble in the first place. Der.

Wow, who knew I could go on so long about book lights, and my refusal to just go to Barnes and Noble?

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