Thursday, March 31, 2016



To when our kitties were small and adorable! They are still adorable!

Here's another one with their favorite knit ball toy. I should find it now because it has been patched so many times over with yarn thread hanging off but they still love it so I keep on patching it up with more yarn.


Baby Gifts

Chez Cheese is busy as playoffs are approaching fast, spring break is also around the corner while we gear up for some fantastic stuff.

My last post mentioned our cats and yarn and I should've known better...we were out of town over Easter weekend and I came home to a mangled knit hat. The kids need to pick up their items and so the cats can't help themselves. SIGH. It was such a cute hat and one of the first projects I knit when I picked it up again after a super long hiatus. I could have tried to fix it since it was just a few snags but the pom pom was destroyed and I just didn't feel like it.

So I moved on...some family members are having baby girls this summer and that kicked my knitting to another area that becomes almost obsessive in finding the cutest items to knit. 

Remember that half-done sock monkey? Well, it's all finished and looking cute. I even found a doll skirt pattern to make it cuter. 

Pink knit sock monkey

Once that was done, I  had to find more and boy did I find a treasure trove of cute plushies to knit. I whipped an adorable little owl that I haven't decided who it will go to but I will knit more of them since it uses up leftovers. 

Seamus the owl

I started another plushie that is OTN (on the needles) and it involves a bit more work but lots of fun stuff to plan. These are so much more fun for me than knitting baby blankets although blankets are super useful.

I think that the ladies in my family or anyone for that matter would love the owls as gifts. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Yarn and Cats

A deadly combo to have so much yarn and 2 playful cats in the house but for the most part, there hasn't been any horrible tragedies.

Sometimes I find a random ball of yarn undone and tangled but I think I can limit that to about 5 incidents in the year we've had our cats.

They did do me a favor this week by picking the most ugly yarn that I recycled from a sweater I found in some thrift store years ago and left it on the stairs. Okay, I wasn't planning to knit with it anyway since it was rough, scratchy and would fall apart at the slightest tug so I knit a ball with a tail and used that old crappy yarn as the stuffing. Everybody wins!!

I fired up the camera and came up with photos!!


Shadow in a rare moment of being in the sunlight and still. He has some type of injury in his back legs that flared up this week so he is on house arrest. Hopefully the rest will fix it and he can stay healthy otherwise he needs to see the vet again.



Phil is his usual self. 

Okay, so back to yarn. My mind hasn't been keeping up with the calendar because all of a sudden, a couple of family members are expecting babies. At least I have this spidey sense with my cousin and I texted her if she was having a shower since this is her 2nd baby. She texted back yes, told me the date and the invites are sent out. That day I got my invitation! Freaky, huh? So they live in Arizona and don't need any handknit baby clothes or hats so I try to knit other things like plushies. I knit her a catepiller along with The Hungry Caterpiller book and over the years she has kept the other animals I've knitted her (way before she had babies). A bunny, an armadillo and little cute monsters.

This time I am knitting a sock monkey since it is the Year of the Monkey. I'm about halfway done.


It's looking really cute so far...

And then I began thinking, well I better knit the older brother something to ease the transition of having another little person to their household.

Since he is almost 2 years old, he needs a bigger plush so I found a free pattern called Big Snowy Owl using super bulky yarn. As usual, my wrists started complaining and I realized I would not have enough yarn to finish the actual size. I was using scraps and leftovers so I improvised a little and made the owl smaller. This is probably about 1/2 the size it was supposed to be but still fairly large. It's taller than a 16.9 oz water bottle and it came out so much cuter than I thought it would be. 


I'm planning to knit another one probably using worsted weight yarn for our niece who is expecting a girl in June and both family members are having their showers in April. Eeeek, I've got to get a move on then...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

All Done

I should have known that Skew socks run tight due to the construction and I thought that going up a needle size would solve that. Unfortunately, the socks are just a tad too tight for me. They fit but I had to spend several minutes inching them on and pulling to get them over my heel. I don't want to stretch the yarn to its breaking point. Oh well, I have friend Julie lined up to try them on since she has a smaller foot.

The colors are fabulous and I can't wait till Gillian opens her Etsy shop..
In the meantime, I can't stop staring at these socks. So mesmerizing!!

A photo posted by Debbie T (@moodybq) on

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Skew Sock progression

I was gifted a really cool yarn from a Puck This Ravelry member who has been dyeing her yarn and needed a test knitter. I jumped at the chance and started some plain vanilla stockinette socks. After about a few inches I discovered that the sock would be too big for my feet and probably everyone else I know except Tyler but I don't think he would go for the colors.

So I frogged it and started over using the Skew pattern which it a super unique pattern that throws the traditional sock knitting technique on its ear. I've knit Skew a few times before but not for several years so I was eager to give it a go.

A photo posted by Debbie T (@moodybq) on

A photo posted by Debbie T (@moodybq) on

A photo posted by Debbie T (@moodybq) on

I am now past the heels and beginning the leg portion. So far, the socks are looking fabulous. Because of the construction of the socks, they can be difficult to get over the heel but I just slowly ease them up and once they're on, the fit is fantastic.

The heel construction is extremely cool but very hard to photograph so hopefully I will manage that once they are finished. The vibrant colors are so pretty and I can't wait to get them all done.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bone Broth

As I get older. I'm starting to appreciate my Chinese heritage. Some things are still strange to me (I guess it's the Westernization) but some are slowly taking hold.

Injury and pain have lead us to try cupping and acupuncture with varied results but we do try to keep an open mind. Last summer, my mom had a couple of hospitalizations leading to discovery of severe anemia. She had lost quite of bit of weight so that was another concern. That lead us to bone broth....I follow as inspiration for food and I remember her talking about bone broth. So I decided to try making this for my mom. 

Turns out, my mom really enjoys the bone broth! We are fortunate to live in an area where Asian markets are abundant so every 2 weeks or so, I take my time to make a double batch of bone broth in my slow cookers. I was actually going to throw out my really big slow cooker but it now has a designated use. The easy part is making the soup, just throw beef bones and chicken feet in with lots of garlic, ginger, onion, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, carrots and salt into the water and let it cook for 18 hours. You can add mushrooms and whatever you want. The most tedious part is taking out all the bones, etc and straining the broth. Lots of fat and grease is left with bits of bone marrow & chicken claws which is kind of yuck. I have a several step method to get the broth as clear as I can. 

After the broth is strained, I either vacuum pack or put into freezer containers in smaller portions so she can keep in the freezer until she needs more. The broth becomes all jello-like from the chicken feet. The good thing is my mom enjoys her broth and has been gaining weight.

Here are some pictures of beginning of making the broth...



Yeah, I try not to look at the chicken feet to long....reminds me of witch's hands! LOL

Thursday, March 10, 2016



Josh continued his tradition of telling us of projects due at the last moment. We are always working on this so it'll become a good habit to communicate and be responsible.

He had to reenact scenes from Medieval Europe using people or things such as Legos. Well, we have plenty of Lego people and put them to use. The harder part was how to add speech bubbles to the pictures. I'll just say that the internet is a wonderful place although it does take me a while to find the right site/program. I found this site that is great and easy. Load your photo and then add your bubbles. Size the bubbles how big you want and drag the little tail to where you want it to go and voila!

Now I need to figure out what photos I want to load for future posts....

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

February/March faves

I'm combining my faves since the yucky flu/cold sidelined me for a bit..
I don't even know if I have done a favorites post this year yet.

Onward we go!!

1) JBL Pulse bluetooth speaker. I had an old Bose speaker that you put your iPod in it for many years and I think it got fried during one of our many power outages/surges. Hector got this for me for Christmas which you can connect your iPod thru a cable or stream music from phone/tablet. The sound is really, really great and I love the different lights.

2) Instant Pot pressure cooker. It's actually a multi-use cooker that has a rice cooker, slow cooker but I use the pressure cooker function the most and saute. Cooking pinto beans is a snap and I'm slowly finding recipes to try. Next up is Kalua Pork. 

3) Almond Cashew Pops. When Hector had his gallbladder out, the nursing staff gave him a gift basket and this was one of the items. Small bite-sized crispy rice with almonds, cashews and blueberries. Great alone or with yogurt. I tried finding it at Sprouts and saw it online! Yikes, it's pricy! Not worth that much...Hector found out where the nurses got theirs and drum roll.....Marshalls! So he found them for $7.99! Not the crazy $20/bag. :)

These are my top 3 for now...that reminds me that I can make yogurt in my Instant Pot and want to figure that out. 

Monday, March 07, 2016

Snapshot Monday

A photo posted by Debbie T (@moodybq) on

We have a big storm coming through today so El Nino continues to bring snow to Mammoth mountain. Last update I read was 5 feet of snow and some pictures I've seen has the snow up to car windows/outside mirrors. Yikes! We were just there a few weeks ago and it was epic then but now, the snowfall is crazy good up to 300 inches total.

Friday, March 04, 2016

on days like today, when I feel overwhelmed and unappreciated I go to Morrissey who will cheer me up. Strange but true.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


A photo posted by Debbie T (@moodybq) on

 I think I'll start a new blog segment called snapshots. One photo to tantalize, tease, teach or whatever.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016


Finally shaking off the flu/cold that would not go away...seriously, this what H and I have been dealing with since January among other things.

I can breathe thru my nose and not have a coughing fit every 30 seconds now so that makes me pretty happy. Also, the kids managed to avoid both rounds of icky illness for which I am extremely grateful since this virus is super nasty.

I finished a project !!! I am doing my best to knit from my stash and even though I may not have as much as some stashes flashed on Ravelry, I do have plenty. My goal is to let some yarn go and be knitted up. Pretty obvious but for me it can be harder said than done. 

I get sidetracked rather easily and I am an expert at starting projects. Thus, my goal of completing projects goes hand in hand with my stashdown.

This skein of sock yarn has been in my possession for 5+ years. I tried a couple of patterns and it just wouldn't cooperate. That's a whole other issue of "yarn" and the perfect pattern. Luckily, third time (or more) is the charm and I found a lovely one skein project pattern.

Behold, the Reyna Shawl!! 

Reyna shawl finished and blocked. #2016stashdown #knit

A beautiful variegated yarn of MCN (merino, cashmere, nylon) that will be soft and cuddly against the skin. Magenta, pale green and light brown colorway.  I had to cut the pattern about 6 rows short in the mesh section otherwise I'd run out of yarn. Towards the end, I would weigh the remaining yarn after each row to get a sense of much I used up in each row. The bind off ate up a lot of yarn but I made it and had 4 grams leftover. Go me!

It can be worn as a shawl or as a reverse bandanna/scarf (as I like to wear these). The only issue I had is that the magenta color ran a lot when I soaked it before blocking. I don't think the color will run during wear since it didn't bleed on my fingers when it was knit up. The water turned a nice cranberry shade. Derp.

Still, that's the only issue and I love how it came out. Enough chatter and more photos.