Tuesday, January 3, 2012

iLove


I was really blessed this holiday and got a couple of the best toys for Christmas. One I used for the first time last night to make a giant steaming pot of split pea soup. I have to wonder, cost aside, what has kept me from buying myself an enameled cast iron Dutch oven? Ordinarily, one wouldn't think a pan would make a great gift, but in my case, it does. Even though I have my own earnings, I would never spend that kind of money on myself, or something only I would use, and I think my family knows this about me. I will say, the only drawback to this gift is its very hefty weight. Holy smokes, it's heavy, but what an absolute joy it was to cook with.

The other toy I received is an iPad2. I already have a MacBook Pro and an iPhone, so I didn't think I had much need for such a device. Besides, there was no way I'd pay such a great price to duplicate some things I already own (see first paragraph). Having played with it for a bit better than a week now, I think I've rethought my position. Not only does it make Angry Birds easier to play, as a knitter, it's made me wonder how have I lived without this. I think it's already as indispensable as my phone and my laptop. While I'd still rather use my laptop to surf the web, the small size of the iPad makes it so much more portable than my MacBook and therefore the perfect knitting aid.


Today I bought the app, Goodreader, and with no experience at all, went straight to Ravelry and downloaded two PDF pattern files from my library. I made a copy of the Bella's Mittens pattern and fooled around with marking it up with my own notes. OK, so that will take a bit more experience, but I think from a pattern perspective, this app is going to pay for itself--a modest $4.99--over and over again, including a savings of paper, printer ink and sanity (it sucks to lose an annotated pattern). Got an iPad my knitting friends? Don't miss this app.

I scored on the book front, too. My daughter, who apparently listens throughout the year, gave me three books I had mentioned I wanted: The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Weekend Hats. I've used two of the books so far and used Cook's to make the pea soup. I don't think the pan can take all the credit for the outcome. That was a seriously delicious pot of soup that I usually cook for hours in a crock pot, however, I give the recipe most of the credit.


I also finished a hat last night, though to be honest, it took more than a weekend. While I don't remember when I cast on, it took closer to a week to finish the Topiary Beanie from that book. It was an ideal way to use up a little of my Madelinetosh DK stash. It's 16 degrees out there today with a windchill in the single digits, so I'm looking forward to wearing that hat to work tonight. I only wish I could finish Bella's Mittens by 4PM, too, but seeing as I haven't cast on yet, that's not likely. I do plan to learn to make sticky notes and highlights on Goodreader by then!

So to my family...I know I can be difficult to buy a gift for. Despite the lack of ideas and clues about what I think I might want as a gift, you all outdid yourselves. I thank you for your thoughtfulness and very generous gifts. I see hand knits in all of your futures!

14 comments:

Stephanie V said...

All wonderful gifts. One of us - not me - also got an iPad for Christmas. And the knitting was exactly the only thing I could think of that I would want one for. Well, maybe reading in general. It seems perfectly suited for emags and newspapers and patterns! Way better than my netbook. So now do you think I want one?
I haven't heard the Angry Birds music this week yet. She's too busy farming!

Anonymous said...

Well, I am a little ashamed to take credit for the pot...I really bought it for me. I can now create all of those dishes that have been bottled up inside me for the past 52 years. Hope you don't mind sharing.

Brenda said...

I agree...those are great gifts. Especially the iPad2. Our son calls Bob "Mac Daddy" because he has every mac toy...expect for the the laptop. I have an HTC Flyer that I love. You did good Rudee!

Silliyak said...

I hope you don't do the jealousy/regret thing when the ipad 3 comes out probably next month. I got my ipad (no number then) a week before the date when they later gave a rebate to those who had bought two weeks before the ipad 2 came out. Still love mine anyway

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

well you know i think the iPad is totally tits, i'm on my second one and might get the 3 when it comes out, don't know yet... and the hat is bee-u-tee-full!!!!

smiles, bee
xxoxoxoxo

SkippyMom said...

The gifts are so much more special when they actually hear something you say in passing & remember. Nice on the books.

Enamel pots are wonderful, but I had to get rid of all of mine because you aren't kidding. They are HEAVY.

I am hanging on [barely] to my white enamel serving pieces. They are heavy to, but I love them.

Mrs. A said...

Thanks for the app review! It looks like a great suggestion. Just the thing for me so I can finally stop printing - and then promptly losing - the patterns I"m using.

You got some lovely gifts. I'm so glad you're loving them! Thanks for sharing :-)

The Bug said...

Well that was a nice haul! It's fun when your family does it right :)

Sue B said...

So now that you have the dutch oven, this is a great way to make bread....demonstrated in this video (and others). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_LlSO7YFxE I've tried the original method of the no knead bread, and it's really fabulous. I made it with greek olives and loved it. If you use olives, don't add salt.

Denise said...

Great gifts. Duane would love to get a pot like that.

I was going to make him some split pea soup with the ham bone. The fridge died yet again. *heavy sigh*

Mimi said...

Delighted to hear that your loved ones are "all ears" during the year, and obviously "all eyes" too!
It sounds like a lovely selection of gifts, and I can't think of someone who deserves it more. Enjoy!

Sandy said...

that was fun to read. I don't even use a cell phone - my husband has one but I don't. I need to get an Ipad - that's what I want. I saw the Thrive and that one is cool.

NCmountainwoman said...

I know you have been very good this year and I'm glad you got an iPad...a little green with envy, but happy for you nonetheless.

flutterby said...

Downloading knitting patterns to the iPad - what a great idea. Lucky I got an iPad for Christmas, too. Off to Ravelry, see you later.