Thursday, February 28, 2008

all quiet on the eastern front

It has been a quiet, dull and even not very blogable week here at DfF headquarters. I've done some cooking, some cleaning, some knitting. I'm nearly done with one project, but as it's a gift I can't show it to you yet, and the afghan is slowly coming together. The weather started to warm up a little but then today reverted to winter. I'm sure the birds that have shown up in the last couple of days are none too pleased.

On the entertainment front, Stéph has really gotten into House, which is called Dr. House in France, because the French may have thought the show took place on a construction site and not in a hospital (I mean really, what the hell?). I first saw it in the States last year and I would love to watch it now but I really, really hate dubbed programs. This is because I apparently put a lot of stock in reading lips, and when the lips and the words don't match up I am hopelessly lost. If I have to look away from the screen every time someone speaks, what's the freaking point?

The reminds me: as you may have heard, the French actress Marion Cotillard won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in La Môme, or La Vie en Rose, as it was called in the States. Monday evening, they spent the first twenty minutes of the evening news talking about the win, the movie and Edith Piaf. I don't blame them, really, as it is something of a milestone for French cinema. While a handful of French actresses have won Oscars before, this is the first time a French actress has won for a role in which she spoke French (the others were American or British films). They made a special point of mentioning how the movie was a surprise success in America as it started on a small number of screens and was shown in French, with subtitles.

And that's when I lost it. Because, you see, all foreign movies are shown in their original language with subtitles in America. The only exception I can think of is old Kung Foo movies and those came dubbed from Asia. The last one I remember seeing like that was Rumble in the Bronx. It's too bad the French don't respect foreign films in the same way (and believe me, they pretty much rely on foreign entertainment on television!).

Well, looky there, I guess I did have something to talk about! Tune in next time when I'll rant about some other annoying thing about France! (hint: if you're new here, that's something that happens pretty close to never.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Menu Plan monday - week 2


Last week we went a little over budget but I made enough Ragu sauce to put five future meals in the freezer so I think it all works out. Besides having to switch a couple of nights around everything went fine and it was so nice to have the whole week planned out at once!

If you'd like to read about why we eat the way we eat, click here.

Thanks as always to Laura for hosting!

Notes: Breakfasts for Stéph are waffles, for me they are a bowl of cereal with milk and a cup of coffee or tea. Each lunch includes a piece of bread (bought fresh everyday) with cheese and a glass of 100% juice with no sugar added. Snacks will include seasonal fruits, carrots, cornichons (small pickles) and cheese and bread for Stéph. My "dessert" is a plain yogurt, cereal biscuits and a glass of 100% juice with no sugar added.

steak hachée (like pre-formed hamburger patties), mac & cheese
Dinner tuna melts (This is a new recipe, I'll let you know how it goes!)

Tomates farcies (stuffed tomatoes, recipe to come), rice
Dinner chicken & baby spinach salad

Tomates farcies (leftovers), rice
Dinner veggie cheddar omelette (based on this recipe)

Chicken noodle casserole (based on this recipe)
Dinner cold cuts & green beans

Chicken noodle casserole (leftovers)
Dinner Free night (leftovers, eat out or pull something out of the freezer)

chicken curry (see below), rice
Dinner steak hachée, green beans

salmon, French potato salad (recipe to come)
Dinner soup & sandwiches

Chicken curry: This is based off of a recipe I found on a French cooking forum. You can substitute any meat for chicken.

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 sm onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves (or substitute garlic powder)
ginger powder
curry powder
garam masala, if you have it
1 cup yogurt (I use Greek style, I find it holds up better when heated and is creamier)
1/2 a cup of water

Sautée the onion and garlic in oil, add the chicken and brown. Add salt, ginger powder, curry powder and garam masala to taste and mix. Add water and let simmer until the water cooks off. Turn the heat to low, add the yogurt and let cook together for about five minutes. Serve over rice.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


This morning I went with Stéph to his school to pick up a few things in preparation for the return to school tomorrow. It was the first time I'd seen one of his classrooms and the first time I'd been in a French school. I love the building - it looks as though it was built a hundred years ago. It was interesting to see a part of my husband's universe that is completely removed from the life we share. Have you ever visited your partner's place of work?

When I went for my walk this afternoon, I wore my lined raincoat, despite the fact that there isn't a cloud in the sky, because yesterday it was just warm enough. Today it was just too warm. Spring is definitely coming!

I was walking through the park and at one point something hit my nostrils and I was immediately transported to Grandma's farm. It was the weirdest sensation! I couldn't figure out what it was that smelled so strongly of North Carolina but it made me smile and think of Grandma all the same.

Friday, February 22, 2008

more pop music theatre

Today, since I apparently don't have anything else to talk about I'd like to share with you another French pop song that I've really been enjoying lately. This is Sheryfa Luna, who won last year's French version of Popstars. This is her second single, "Il avait les mots," which means "He had words." This song got my attention from the first time I heard it, from the syncopated synth to the very first line, "Il était vraiment plus âgé de moi." (He was really older than me) This video certainly does a good job of telling the story of the song, and I just really, really like this song.

Also, she actually is pregnant in this video; she gave birth a few weeks to a little boy she named Vénus. I hope this song isn't biographical...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Here we are on Tuesday and I'm already changing the menu around. Well, at least I'm not dropping anything. Yet. But we decided to go see the in-laws tomorrow afternoon and run a couple of errands, and the ragu sauce takes pretty much all afternoon, so we're going to do that today instead of tomorrow.

I know I've come over all domestic here lately, but that's pretty true to life since that's what I've been concentrating on a lot lately. I beat myself up a lot for being "just" a stay-at-home wife and then tend to let the domestic things slide and then I end up spending the majority of my time living in a dirty house. A house, I might add, that I take no pride in. Happily, that is changing. It's finally getting into my thick skull that if I just spend an hour here and there on some things, I end up with a house that I like to spend my time in and, yes, it's very 1950's retro and I don't care, that my husband can relax in, too. Yeah, sometimes I get some work assignments that keep me tied to the computer for a few days at a stretch, but when I'm free I don't really have an excuse. Plus, I ultimately do want to work outside the home and setting these good habits now will help me keep up with them later.

So there ya go. I'm not quite a domestic goddess yet, but I'm getting there!

Monday, February 18, 2008

menu plan monday - week 1


I found Menu Plan Monday thanks to my homie La Rêveuse. Making a list of the week's meals isn't anything new to me - I grew up watching my mom do that every week. About a year after moving here I started channeling her and making my own lists. It's true - it does save money and yeah, I struggle a little coming up with a fresh list every week, but I only struggle for that half an hour and for the rest of the week I know what I'm making. It's quite nice, actually!

But the real bonus of Menu Plan Monday is being able to participate with others that are doing the same thing and being able to see their lists and get new ideas. I do have a tendency to make the same things over and over again so these lists are really helpful to me.

Since this is my first week and there will presumably be a few folks visiting, here are a couple of notes before I get to this week's list:

Dang, y'all sure eat a lot of big meals!
Here in France, the main meal of the day is lunch, not dinner. Yes, my hubby is on vacation this week but he works within walking distance and comes home for lunch everyday. The dinners are actually rather light, especially since we typically don't eat until 7:30 or 8:00. They'll get even lighter as the weather gets hotter.

Well, you eat pretty healthy anyway!
Last year my weight got out of control and my doctor warned me that if I didn't lose the weight I would continue to have fertility issues (yes this is not true for all women but it is true for me, please don't take offense). I started seeing a dietitian and we completely changed the way we eat - no more high cholesterol meals, no more sugar. I've loosened up a little bit on the diet but I still basically follow it.

But don't you eat a lot of meat?
This is for two reasons - one, for my husband, a meal isn't a meal without meat, and two, the dietitian had me eating 100g of meat with each meal. I can replace that with a couple of eggs if I want to.

You're pretty big on leftovers, too!
Yep. This is for two reasons - one, cooking two (what I consider to be in my American mind) "big" meals everyday is draining, so having about one leftover meal a day really helps me out, and two, we discovered that it's much more cost efficient for us to buy a little bit extra and make enough for two meals than it is to make a different dish for every meal. Yay, efficiency!

And a note on shopping: I actually go shopping twice a week. This is because I've found that most fresh meat, vegetables and fruits don't last as long as what I'm used to (and my freezer is tiny!). I do my main shopping in the beginning of the week at a store that sells mostly fresh products, and fill in the blanks at the end of the week at a store where I can also buy toiletries and other things not available at the fresh store.

So here we go, Week 1! Don't worry, I won't be so long winded every week!

Notes: Breakfasts for Stéph are waffles, for me they are a bowl of cereal with milk and a cup of coffee or tea. Each lunch includes a piece of bread (bought fresh everyday) with cheese and a glass of 100% juice with no sugar added. Snacks will include seasonal fruits, carrots, cornichons (small pickles) and cheese and bread for Stéph. My "dessert" is a yogurt with no sugar added, cereal biscuits and a glass of 100% juice with no sugar added.

Lunch Steak hachée (like a hamburger but served without the bun), purée (mashed potatoes), carrots, cornichons
Dinner Tortilla de pommes de terre (potato fritatta) from Légumes faciles

Mom's meatloaf, green beans
Dinner Tortilla de pommes de terre leftovers

Mom's meatloaf (leftovers), green beans
DinnerDad's ragu sauce and spaghetti (most of this sauce will go in the freezer for future meals)

chicken & broccoli stirfry (going to make this one up as I go)
Dinner surimi salad (see below)

steak, lentil stuffed tomatoes (based on this recipe)
Dinner Free Night (in case something is displaced - if not we'll get something out)

Chicken & onions (see below), lentil stuffed tomatoes
DinnerBeef & veggie skillet (recipe to come in the near future)

salmon, potato something (haven't decided yet)
Dinner soup & sandwiches

As always, thanks to The Organizing Junkie for hosting every week!

Extra special notes:
Here is the Wikipedia entry on surimi. I'd never heard of it before I moved to France. Here it looks like crab sticks (scroll down for the picture). I put them on a bed of lettuce with cherry tomatoes and serve with a mustard vinaigrette based on this recipe.
Chicken and onions: Cut chicken in cubes, chop onion, cook them up in a skillet with salt and Trader's Choice poultry seasoning. Easy peasy!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

it's amazing what gets me excited these days

Seriously, I am way too excited about this. I just got back from the grocery store. This particular store offers points with their card and you can claim prizes when you get a certain number of points. We never bothered to get the card because it's more like a credit card and we are stridently credit card free, but I find it interesting to see what they offer as prizes.

Well, today I couldn't believe my eyes. The big grand prize for a bajillion points is a mijoteuse - otherwise known as a crock pot! I have been hunting down a crock pot virtually since I moved here, and it's not one of those things I'm willing to buy in the States and take my chances with an adapter.

So I thought that maybe if it's the big prize at the grocery store, maybe it's becoming more known here and I'll be able to find one online. Much to my delight you can find them on the French eBay brand new for very reasonable prices! I think I know what I'm going to ask for as my birthday present this year!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy VD!

Yes, that still makes me laugh. Hello, my name is Vivi and I am twelve years old.

Anyway, yes, today is la fête de Saint-Valentin, and we started it off with a romantic trip to the doctor's office. No no, we're fine, just have some small complaints that have been going on for a while and now that Stéph is on break can actually make an effort to correct. And my complaint, well, it's not totally gross or anything, but it's going to require further attention and it's kind of yucky so I'll save that for a non-Valentine's Day post.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, as I mentioned yesterday, we're celebrating very low key this year and are cooking up some evil yummy food (there will be cheese and potatoes and charcutrie and wine and it's not raclette!) after which we will certainly roll around clutching our tummies - but in a very romantical way.

I am so lucky because Stéph and I still tell each other every single day "I love you" and despite what I said three years ago, I don't feel like we have to go out for dinner because, in the end, I don't have to prove anything to anyone (plus we're kind of broke, thank you car!). I wish for all of you the same kind of happiness and love in your lives.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

sometimes things just go right

Yesterday was just one of those nice days where everything just goes right. Stéph and I ended up taking the car together for its inspection and the guy was running behind so we had an hour to kill. First we went to a café and played Rapido - something we haven't done since we quit smoking and can do again now that the smoking ban is in place - and we actually won eight euros. Then we walked around a little bit and just talked about plans for the future. It was nice to just have a little catch up session and make sure that we're both on the same page. Then we went back and picked up the car and was happy to learn that it passed! Whew!

Then we went off to Troyes and had lunch at the in-laws' with my older sister-in-law and her family. We hadn't seen them since Christmas so it was nice to catch up and hear about how Stéph's niece, who is going to University in Paris, is doing (well!). Then we went off to the cinema for the first time in months, and the first time to see a French movie in years. I finally feel like I'm getting to the point where I can follow along without asked Stéph every five minutes "what'd he say?" We saw Asterix aux Jeux Olympiques (warning! loud music on the link, better turn down the speakers!), the third live-action movie based on the popular comic book character. It was cute, mostly filled with sight gags and special appearances, but I'm glad we saw it at a discounted rate!

Anyway, from there we finally passed through Grand Frais and got our grocery shopping done for the week. Plus Stéph had the job of picking out our dinner for Valentine's Day, and he did a pretty good job, I'd say. Calories will definitely not be counted tomorrow evening. I say what better way to say "I love you" than choosing a dinner filled with delicious evil food and wine?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tricot du coeur: only seven weeks left!

Just a friendly reminder for those that are participating in Tricot du coeur that we have seven weeks to finish up our blankets and get them sent in. Yes, I said "we" because I haven't finished mine yet! In the beginning I thought "seven months? I have tons of time," so I worked on it a little here and there between other projects. Now that we're getting closer to the end I'm paying much more attention to my project! Here's the latest mitered square I've done:

i think i've got this seaming thing down

This is the best seaming I've done so far. One of the seams on another square looks so bad (especially next to this one!) that I think I'm going to rip it out and do it again. I have two more miters to make, which I hope to have done by the end of the month, and then I just have to decide on the border. I could get it done sooner, but I'm still working on other little projects at the same time. I did try working non-stop on miters and I found that I stopped paying attention to what I was doing and ended up having to frog a whole corner, so I learned my lesson!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

trapped in tiny town

So if you stopped by here yesterday, you may have noticed on my brand spankin' new Twitter updates over there in the sidebar that we have been trapped here in Tiny Town for the weekend. I had hoped that the car would be done by the time the garage closed yesterday at noon but he's still waiting on a part. Looks like we can plan on picking up the car on Monday, which will be just in time for the second car inspection Tuesday morning. The méchanicien very kindly lent us a car for the weekend, which came in very handy since we were scraping the barrel as far as grocery staples go. However, we decided to put off the Grand Frais expidition until next week so we wouldn't have to fill up the borrowed car on top of everything else.

The good news is that the weather continues to be gorgeous so there have been loads of opportunities to get out and enjoy the sunshine. It's times like this when I really wish we had bicycles or roller skates or something to really get out and enjoy the good weather, but we just don't have anywhere to store them right now. Someday...

Stéph's two week Winter Vacation started yesterday as well. This is the traditional time of year that families go skiing, but we'll be staying put. We're trying to sock money away (car repairs notwithstanding) so our big outings will include a trip to the cinema and maybe a museum or something. As long as this wonderful weather continues I don't really care; I feel like I'm on vacation anyway!

Friday, February 08, 2008

just when things were looking up

Yesterday was one big roller coaster. Wanna ride? Alright, hang on...

I stumbled across a new hair salon chain last time I was in Troyes that offers haircuts, color and perms for easily half what most salons offer here in France. Now, I am no hair salon snob and always frequented chain store salons back in the states (mostly because I always colored my own hair and usually just needed a trim). But this new place offers a cut and color for such a ridiculously low price that I thought I'd get my hair colored professionally for the first time in my life. Yesterday, I took off for Troyes just after lunch and arrived at the salon just after 2pm.

Now, the downside is that this chain does not take appointments so you'll be at the mercy of how many people are waiting in front of you and how many stylists are on duty. Yesterday I basically spent my whole afternoon at the salon! Also, they don't have a shampoo girl/hostess to welcome clients, so all the stylists help out welcoming people, taking their coats, etc. so this also played into why I was there so long. Another downside is that they are very, very big on upselling - the reason the prices are so low is that they make up for it with added on hair masks and selling products. The thing is that I totally expected this and was ready to pay more for products because y'all, my hair is so fried from this water that it looks and feels like straw - and that's without ever using a hair dryer! After trying dozens of different products, I decided I'd try the professional stuff.

The good news is that these girls know their stuff! My stylist gave me really good advice, gave me a choice between two different products (the main difference was the price of course), actually listened to me, gave me advice on hair color, and above all was really, really nice. I ended up with a new cut and color that I really like, plus shampoo and hair mask (I think it's called "I Can't Believe You Still Have Hair" for Extremely Damaged Hair) for the same price that my mother-in-law pays for a cut and color. I will definitely go back!

So I swished and sashayed back through downtown Troyes with my fabulous new hair and all was right with the world - only problem is that it was now 5:00 and I had planned to go to the big box grocery for a few things and then across the street to Grand Frais but now everybody and their brother were bound to be there, so I was trying to decide what to do, but then my car decided for me. As soon as I turned the engine over I knew something was wrong. The whole front dash was vibrating and it sounded like Nascar's finest. I drove it down one street and I knew something was very wrong, so I rushed back downtown on foot, bought credits for my mobile (thank god I had it with me!), and called Stéph. Since there were no lights coming on on the dash and the temp wasn't rising too high, I ended up driving home at 60 kph (just under 40 mph), easily pissing off all the "rush hour traffic" we can muster out here in the country.

As soon as I got home, Stéph came out and said, "I heard you coming from upstairs!" He looked under the car and said, "I thought so, take a look!" Y'all, I drove all the way home from Troyes with my muffler detached. Yes, I am that classy. Thank god it wasn't so bad that it was dragging, but I swear if I had looked when I was still in Troyes I never would have driven home, and that would have been a whole other mess of problems. The thing is that we just had the car inspected last month, and while we were told we had to get our brakes worked on before the car would pass inspection (that was done just this past Monday), we were also told that the brace holding the muffler in place was rusted and while it wasn't required, we might want to think about replacing it. Stéph reckons that the rust finally gave up the ghost after the drive to Troyes and snapped after it cooled while I was getting my hair done.

So the car's back in the shop, we're going to have to dip into the savings AGAIN this month, and I had a mini break down last night because it just seems like absolutely nothing is going our way these days. Stéph was awesome and reminded me that hey, we do have savings just for this reason and we're lucky because we have no debt and can cover ourselves when we have these rough patches. Not so many people are so lucky, and he's right.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

a weekend well spent

Despite the fact that Stéph had to work this past Saturday morning (he only gets one free Saturday each term), this past weekend was remarkable in that 1) the sun actually came out and stayed and 2) I was able to convince my husband to actually leave the house! Truly the weather was so lovely that as we waited for my pasticcio to finish baking, we marveled at the blue sky and decided to actually get out for the afternoon.

First we went to Cultura, where Stéph found a book but I didn't find anything that struck my fancy (don't worry, I've got two books on loan so I'm not without words at the moment!). Then we checked out a new grocery store that just appeared in Troyes called the Grand Frais (I don't know how to translate this well: The Big Fresh?). As the name would imply, they concentrate on fresh items, so you won't find your toiletry items nor your frozen treats, but man they really impress when it comes to fresh food - easily half the store is made up of fresh produce (and it's a pretty decently sized place), and the quality is pretty hard to beat and the price is very compatible to the big box stores. Plus the fresh meat looked really good and they do have some dry items like pasta and beans, so I could really see myself shopping there. This week I'm planning a trip into Troyes so I may coordinate a shopping expedition there. Finally we stopped by the in-laws' unannounced (since my MIL did this to us all the freaking time when we lived in Troyes I feel no guilt about stopping by without calling first now!) and had a chat and a cup of tea and played with Stéph's niece before heading home.

Sunday was a real lazy day but as the sun was shining I did manage to get out and walk a bit. We've had so much rain here lately that the park is getting to be a very adventurous outing, but I manage. There were loads of families out enjoying the rare sunshine and the usual group of men (who admittedly are present rain or shine) was in place on the pétanque field. It was just nice to get out and breathe some fresh air after being shut in because of the rain for so long.

Of course, the rain came right back, but at least it had the decency to wait until Monday.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

knitting for beginners

Ok, here we go. This has the potential to be super mega long, so I'd do my extended entry trick (i.e. you'll have to click on Tell me More! to read the whole thing) (my extendable posts don't work any more, sorry about that!). If you're a knitter and have additional advice please don't hesitate to add to the comments section. I also want to add here in the beginning that this is based on my experience, and everybody's experience is different, blah blah blah, so your mileage may vary. Also also, this is based on the idea that you are in the States, as I am basing my audience on my sister and my cousin, both of whom want to start knitting, so that means sizing will be in US terms.

Step One: Get some yarn and needles.

This may seem like an obvious step but if you're like me you're thinking "okay, but which yarn and which needles?" So I'm going to advise you to do something I couldn't didn't have patience for - go to your LYS. This stands for Local Yarn Shop. Then, pick out a yarn you like. What you're looking for is something that appeals to you, whether it's the color, the fiber content, or the price range. However, I do recommend something a little on the bigger side, so here's where you'll have to pay attention. On the label of every skein of yarn there is a handy gauge chart to tell you about the size of the yarn and the appropriate needles to use. Here's an example:

This little square tells you which needles are appropriate and how many rows and stitches you need to knit to make a 10 inch square, which is the gauge. Let's not worry about the gauge and just look at the needle size. In this example, the optimal size needles are a size seven. For your first skein, I would recommend yarn somewhere around the nine to ten and a half range so you can really see what you're doing. Grab about three skeins because you're eventually going to make a scarf once you get going.

Now, needles. Needles come in a wide variety of materials, including plastic, aluminum, wood and bamboo. For your first needles, I highly recommend wood or bamboo. It's more expensive but the yarn really grips to these kinds of needles and you don't have to worry so much about needles slipping off your yarn which can drive you freaking batty when you're just starting out.

Step Two: Go home and turn on your computer.

Specifically, you want to point your browser to This is where you're going to learn everything you need to know to get you started. This website is amazing because she offers videos for most of the techniques you can think of and you can learn them at your own pace, whenever you need them, in the comfort of your own home. I'll walk you through the beginning, and then you're on your own.

The first thing you need to learn is to cast on, which is how you get your yarn on the needle and start your project. I suggest you learn the long tail cast on which happens to be the featured video on the main page right now, but can normally be found on the page called "Get Started and Learn to Knit" by clicking on "View Knitting Videos." Watch the video, start casting on, and then frog (what we call ripping out the stitches and starting over) your cast on and practice some more! When you feel ready to continue, get ready to knit, so go on to the page about the Knit Stitch.

A couple of things you should know: First of all, if you're left handed (like me!) I strongly recommend you try knitting right handed first. Believe me, I am as lefty as they come, I totally consider my right hand to be stupid, but I knit right handed. This is largely because I didn't have the crutch of someone sitting in front of me so I could mirror them; I only had these videos to mimic, so that's what I did. If you really, really can't follow these videos, you'll have to find someone to either teach you or let you mirror them for a while (or, like the website suggests, you could hold up a mirror to your monitor).

Secondly, there are two major methods of knitting and you'll have to choose one: the English method (which I do), in which the yarn is held in the right hand and "thrown" onto the needle, or the Continental method, in which the yarn is held in the left hand, and is faster but may need a little longer to excel in. Check out the videos for both of these methods and try them, then pick one.

Now. I recommend knitting a few rows, like maybe ten or so, then frog and start over. Your goal is to have your rows and stitches looking uniform; this means that your tension is good and this is very important later on down the road.

Once you feel comfortable with the knit stitch, try out the purl stitch. Remember which method you picked for knitting? Check out the corresponding video for the purl stitch. Then practice your purling technique. Remember (and this will make more sense after you've got your feet wet): knitting every row makes a garter stitch, knitting one row and then purling the next row makes the stockinette stitch.

If you really want to get adventurous, you can try a rib stitch. Cast on in multiples of four (twenty stitches would be good) and then knit two stitches, purl two stitches, etc. until you get to the end of the row. Don't forget that before you purl, you have to bring the yarn to the front of the work, and then to the back of the work before you knit! When you start the next row, you'll do knit two, purl two, all the way down again. After ten rows or so you'll see the rib pattern start to emerge.

So how long does this take? As long as you're willing to practice. It's going to be different for everybody, depending on how much time you have for watching videos and how fast you pick everything up. After a couple of days of practicing and frogging and practicing again, I was starting my first project, and you can, too.

So you've got a few skeins of yarn, what better first project than a scarf? First, decide what kind of pattern you like: garter makes a pretty and warm scarf, rib makes a fun pattern all the way down, or you can experiment with your knits and purls. Then cast on and keep on knitting until you're nearly out of yarn. Don't forget to watch the video to learn how to cast off when you're done and you'll be finished with your very first project!

Next time: Where do I go from here?

Friday, February 01, 2008

clean streak

It's coming down in buckets today, which means it's a perfect time for some serious cleaning up around here. This morning I cleaned the bedroom from top to bottom and this afternoon will be the office's turn, which has been in dire need of a good cleaning for months now. It's weird, the office is easily the room where we spend the most time but is the room I tend to ignore when it's time to clean. Anyway, I'll be turning this room upside down and shaking out the cobwebs and then I can zone out for the rest of the afternoon and listen to the rain, or maybe write that beginner's knitting post. We shall see.

Yesterday the sun came out for a minute so I ran over to Troyes to do some errands. I actually went downtown to take this picture because it is so funny that I had to share it with you:


If you can't figure out why it's so funny, click the picture so you can see a bigger version of it. It's pretty classy, if I do say so myself.

Alright then, out of my way, I need to get back to cleaning quick before I lose the momentum of my cleaning streak!