Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I have a carb face.

We got a Breadmaker. Did you know it can even make bagel dough? It's a modern miracle I tell you. Pour the raw ingredients in, push a few buttons and it does everything but eat the bread for you. Good thing we also got Dance Dance Revolution under the Christmas tree. I've heard there is a Virtual Personal Trainer for xbox. I'm thinking of getting it to help fufill those pesky health goals for '05. Tomorrow we're going to the LYS to pick up some yarn for Fiber Trends Clogs. My Hubby actually requested a knit item. This is a momentus occasion. Can you see the pair of us eating fresh bread, while playing DDR in house clogs?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Southeast Asia Relief Effort

Red Cross Disaster Relief 100% of all donations go to the Red Cross. I've donated, I hope you will too.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Santa ate all my cookies

I got the best, most helpful knitting book thus far: Vogue Knitting. I finished the pieces for two baby sweaters (I have prolific friends) weeks ago. They were languishing in my new rubbermaid bin waiting piteously to be seamed together. The seaming technique wasn't clear to me until I saw the Vogue explanation. There are pictures, but the explanation got me through. I assume it's the mattress stitch, it's labeled as "Invisible vertical on St Stitch." v_v v_v v_v v_v My interpretation of the seam is this: After connecting the two pieces, I put the tapestry needle from front to back picking up the two bars on the right side. The bars live between the knitted v's in stockinette stitch. Then I picked up the two bars between the two rows of stitching on the left hand side. I pulled until the two pieces looked like one column of v's. Then I picked up the next two bars on the right hand side, then the left and so on until the end of the fabric. I'm pleased with the results. vv vv Pieces look like one piece after seaming. baby_sweater1.jpg I added a double crochet edge to even out the collar. 2sweaters.jpg Here are both sweaters, waiting to be sent out. I finally got the nerve to give Fair Isle and Intarsia a go. This time Vogue Knitting pictures helped get me through. Have I mentioned I love this book?? It was much easier than I thought it would be. I prefer the Fair Isle, and it makes sense after doing it a few times. Intarsia is ok, but I dislike all the yarn hanging from everywhence, getting tangled and messy. Now I can make the Nancy Bush Welsh Country Stockings I've been lusting after since I got Folk Socks Intarsia_FairIsle_Front.jpg colowork_Back.jpg Christmas was really nice. I got a beautiful Rocking Chair. I'm already planning on knitting a chair cushion. I was disappointed at some of the reactions from my knitted gifts. And the gifts I sent to my parents have not arrived yet, and I fear the package lost. But those that appreciated the thought, time and money that went into their gifts will receive more in the future. I've learned an important lesson about handmade gifts, only those that appreciate them will receive them. From me anyway ;) Now that Christmas is over I have a new list of things to make, including an adult sweater for my wonderful Step Mother In Law, and a cardigan for my adorable Nephew. But first I plan on doing some knitting for me!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas to Ewe

The obligatory family function is ovah! And amazingly it was mainly functional. We'll go to Doggy Beach after we gnosh on leftovers and open gifts tomorrow. I got to open my stocking early and I scored! I got some chocolates, Macadamia nuts, Shrek 2, and some golf paraphanelia. Which means I'll have to go for a quick nine soon :). Or at least to the driving range. I got myself the new Shopaholic book which I'll pick up tonight after Curb Your Enthusiasm is over. A thoroughly enjoyable Christmas experience thus far. My wrist hurts from all the painstaking purse lining stitching I did yesterday (I am so getting a sewing machine), as a consequence not much knitting accomplished. I'm over halfway finished my second baby raglan sweater, and done my first skein on my second Irish Hiking Scarf. I have to weave in the ends on the Tea Cozy but I swear that's it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Why god WHY

What in the hell possessed me to go to Target? I should have turned back when I realized there were no shopping carts to be found. I'm writing this entry from the fetal position, trying to wipe the memory from my mind. Does sewing in a purse lining and adding handles count as stuff left to do before Christmas? I have to weave in some ends too. But that's it. Seriously.

O Christmas Tree

I can't install Hello on my Husbands machine (mine is still broken) to upload pictures until my husband administrator installs it. For future reference, the email blogger function doesn't know how to show attachments. *Attempting to link to ofoto* Christmas Tree Bah Humbug! Photo linking courtesy of my friend Domestigirl. Thanks Domestigirl!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Addi Turbos

I dropped my US 5's behind the couch, and wanted to make a 2nd baby raglan sweater. So I opted to use the Addis I just bought rather than fool with the monster couch. In short the Addi Turbos hurt my hands. The needles are heavier and with my limited experience on them I knit slower. I still plan on using the Addis for finishing items. In fact I finished another Noro hat using them via the Magic Loop method. It was very pleasant. But for regular knitting, I'll continue to use my Denise Interchangeables. Wishlist for the New Year I discovered Schoolhouse Press carries Inox needles, so over time I will continue to order circs in long lengths so I can avoid DPNs. Also on my wish list, any of these kits I'd also like a drop spindle and some roving This stamp is the cutest ever, the Saturn Stamp Some Peruvian Highland Wool More Brown Sheep Co. Lambs Pride And finally an Ott light

Monday, December 20, 2004

Am I 8 or 28?

Weasley Along, I want to make one!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Frankenmittens and the Broken Computer

Despite my devastating computer failure, I went to Suzoo's Wool Works sale this Saturday with Roberta. I wisely left my Husband at home. I got so many great things for only 77 cents above budget! You realize when a yarn is 25% off and you buy 4, you are essentially getting one free, right? So I got some great stuff! For $100 USD I got: 2 Balls Rowan Big Wool 2 Balls Berreco Plush* 2 Hanks dyeable Lambs Pride Worsted (75/25 Wool/Mohair) 1 Skein Lambs Pride in grey 1 ball Crystal Palace Merino Frappe 1 US 5 Addi Turbos 32" for Magic Loop 2 Cable Needles 1 copy of Stitch'N Bitch The Knitter's Handbook 1 copy of Knit Socks! The Countess of Frankenmittens In my excitement I decided to undertake a new mitten pattern, by Kate, in Berreco Plush*. Now normally I'm a dyed in the wool (heh) Elizabeth Zimmerman, wool-is-th-only-suitable-yarn knitter. But I saw a set of mittens in Plush and they just looked so divine. So I cast on for them although I was completely exhausted. And the mittens knit so quick, one mitten is a one sitting project. Did I mention you can't see the stitches in plush? And you sorta need to see them to complete the pattern? And the pattern had at least 3 new techniques? And I was seeing double? I redid one row FOUR times, and after the thumb I reversed the wrong side with the right side. Good thing you can't see the stitches. And then I discovered I have freakishly long hands, making the cuff too short. Fast forward to this morning, after the second mitten was done perfectly I picked up the stitches on the bottom of the Frankenmitten,. Using the magic loop method, I added another inch of length to the mitten. And then I stupidly used the regular binding off method. Meaning, no stretchy edge. When I finally find my last nerve, I'll undo it and find a more suitable method. It wasn't all bad. I found this cool website, which has free video clips of all sorts of techniques Knitting Help . And I realized my foray into Novelty yarns would be brief.

Death by Chocolate

Truffle (not the stinky mushroom kind) Recipe** The Weapons
  • 1 lb room temperature butter (if not I pop it in the 'wave for 15 seconds, but not until melted)
  • 1 cup confectioners or powdered sugar, sifted***
  • 1/2 box of Hersheys Cocoa, sifted; plus additional cocoa to coat finished truffles

The Means

Fold sugar and cocoa with spatula until evenly mixed. Add butter one stick at a time. Work mixture with hands (body heat melts butter quickly!) until the whole mix turns dark chocolate brown. Use additional cocoa to shape mix into bite sized blobs. The Cocoa is unsweetened, giving the truffle a dark chocolate taste. Refridgerate until hardened.

If you make this, would you be so kind to send me a picture and tell me how you like the truffles? **I won't be held responsible for any resulting increases in Cholesterol levels, Weight Gain, nor crimes committed during truffle induced haze ***My original recipe called for 1 lb of sugar, I used one cup. It's a darker chocolate taste. For sweeter truffles use 1 lb powdered sugar.

More amusing commentary from Roberta

I saw shoes and I love them. They loved me too, but the store did not love me and wanted me to pay a shitload. Well, at least more than I had, but now that I am home, I'm thinking about just buying them. They were these green tweed low heel Steve Madden pumps. I love them so much. I want them. And they want to be mine. I will be getting this green corderoy blazer and these shoes would go so well with that. (Why couldn't the solid state paper be a 5 page paper on shoes and why they are so wonderful) Well, just thought I would let you know how much I love those shoes. Does she remind anyone of the Shopaholic? I don't know if I'm a good friend or a bad one, 'cause I said, just buy the damn shoes. I must be an enabler. She got the shoes. And they are glorious.

Friday, December 17, 2004

My Socks. Posted by Hello

Christmas Cards, Cookies, and Parade of the Finished Objects

They better be finished, 'cause I'm going to post them by 5pm PST. You hear me? 5pm, that's my deadline. The knitting is done, ends are woven in, cookie tins, and gift bags are purchased. My Husband even stayed home from work today, he's going to help make the cookies. Sadly I had to dash his dream of exotic Lemon Bars, and "the worlds best Sugar Cookie" as the ingredients are a bit complex for a 5 pm deadline. I also have a few Thank You notes to send out, because it'd be embarrassing to send a Christmas Card to a family that hadn't received a Thank You note from our May Wedding.

Finished Irish Hiking Scarf Posted by Hello

Easy Lace Scarf Posted by Hello

Crochet Hats and Knit Scarf Posted by Hello

Noro One Skein Hats Posted by Hello

Hats and Gloves, all finished! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Proof positive, it ain't just me

Getting out of the car with a garbage bag of yarn, hoping that my roommate wasn't home, so I didn't have to explain the garbage bag of yarn, I realized, I am a yarnaholic. Yarn Buddy and Dear Friend, Roberta Everytime a knitter admits her addiction, an angel gets its wings. Or, I go buy some yarn. I have two thumbs on two mittens to complete for family of knitted gifts. I am dreading it. Last time I tried the thumbs, I ended up with garter thumbs, and stockinette stitch everything else. In more exciting news, I cast off the Irish Hiking Scarf. It's so pretty, I was feeling guilty for keeping it myself. So it may end up a gift yet. Did I mention we're having the roof redone? Day one: *Thump thunk, stomp, grunt, hammering* rinse repeat for 8 hours. Don't ask me how I managed a nap late in the afternoon. The quiet actually woke me up! Day two: The shingles --Description to come tomorrow--

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Duh Files

Who knew you were supposed to weave in blasted ends with a largish yarn needle and not a crochet hook? It goes much faster with the needle, I am wholly embarrassed to say. Now I just need a finishing class so my technique looks perfect acceptable. All is not lost, I have 2 scarves and 3 hats drying on my homemade blocking board (board making process can be seen here, here, and here). Plus a number of other gifts that have been "officially" completed. I need to start sending packages out to have them at their homes before Christmas. Is sleep optional?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

My First Sock is Finished.

And everything else has been temporarily pushed aside. Except for the Christmas decorations. At Home Depot the tree employees throw away the bottom branches. I asked if I could have some, and so far I have 2 smallish wreaths out of the loads of branches I brought home. I got some floral blocks, and I'm going to artfully add garlands. The upside, my house smells great! Currently there is enough gingerbread dough to make 3 dozen cookies in my fridge. Any guesses on what I'm going to do tomorrow? Pictures to follow... PSA Home Depot has 6-7' Douglas firs for $23

Saturday, December 11, 2004

It's crazy I tell you

I cast off the last peice on my Raglan baby sweater. And then I started Lion Brand's Cottage Sock pattern using Serendipity of South America wool. Which is the completely ridiculous. I will have to weave in ends on FO's every single day until next Christmas before I am done! I'll have so much more room in my storage when I get down to the much despised nitty-gritty ends weaving. I better get to it, as I need to start sending out gifts. As Soon as Humanly Possible. But in the meantime, back to my socks...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Domestic Feminism **Warning, Non-Knitting Material Ahead**

A little Missive on Roles The old fashioned, traditional roles for women in our society are the new black. I've been questioning my belief system regarding my role as a human being, as a woman, and as a wife. To examine let us first ask the question, what is a wife? Main Entry: wife Pronunciation: 'wIf Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural wives /'wIvz/ Etymology: Middle English wif, from Old English wIf; akin to Old High German wIb wife 1 a dialect : WOMAN b : a woman acting in a specified capacity -- used in combination wife> 2 : a female partner in a marriage What does being a wife entail? Can such few words embody our obligations and responsibilities to ourselves, our happiness, and our husbands? Is it the capacity, to quote Merriam-Webster that changes from generation to generation? A good place to start is the time before I was a wife. I was fiercely independent, crowing to the world how I would be a career woman. I put myself through college, in a field dominated by men. Was I still vying for my position (in front of the boys) as the number one spot in a pick-up game of four square? Showing the world, and myself that I could do it, if I set my mind to it? Well for brevity I'll say I kept up with the boys. I made it through to the end of the pipeline. I left behind my starving undergrad robe, and took on the robe of wife and graduate student. Aside **I should mention that my ill thought out dream of getting a PhD was left behind, not due to familial pressures but due to my unwillingness to devote such time, and resources. I also may have become a bit embittered over the experience, as it's hard to play with the big dogs while suppressing what makes you different.** My new role involved a cross-country move, which I did merrily. It wasn't until I made a home with my Husband {then fiance} that I started to feel the pull toward domesticity. Domesticity snuck up on me like a fox in an overflowing henhouse. Wedding planning opened Pandora's Box. It started small, sifting through all my Husbands crap stuff. Then onto bigger things, like framed photographs, curtains and throw rugs. Finally leading to crafted items. You may wonder about the status of my education during my time of craftiness, I was (and am) still involved. Still pushing to get that final degree after Eight Years of College. But my self image was shifting, and evolving. Into some entity I had never even considered. A common phrase in our home is my Husband saying, "Boy I bet you never thought you'd be {knitting, crafting, decorating} five years ago when we first started dating!" And he's right. Can I say my interest in handcrafted items is a rejection of multi-national corporations and options forced upon the consumer by big business? As an antithesis of the work-outside-the-home Superwoman of our parents generation? Perhaps. But it is also due to an inexplicable desire to make my home and life better. Taking disorder and making order. It's fun to be the creator. For these reasons, I'll keep crafting. I can't say I know the reasons that so many other women of Gen X are turning to handcrafts. I don't know if it'll be a generational trend. But I hope the collective "we" keep finding fulfillment in creating. Whatever the consensus, these times they are a changing. Today's post was inspired in part by the letter D, for Domestigirl, and the letter F for and Feminism and the New Domesticity

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

My Husband, the bastion of maturity :) Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Poor, neglected Irish Hiking Scarf. Posted by Hello

Baby sweater front, exciting stuff. Posted by Hello

Yarn Sale and Other Nonsensicals

Since I had a five page paper to bullshit write, I decided to cast on for the baby raglan sweater. 5 cups of coffee, 2 cups hot chocolate, one passable paper, and 24 hours later I have the front of the sweater done. I am giddy to start the sleeves. Who knew a sweater could be so thrilling? I plan on adding a duckie via embroidery after I'm done. And I'm using Acrylic. Red Heart to be specific. It was in my stash from my first forays into knitting some months ago. I'll make no excuses. Besides, it's cute. And acrylic is not nearly as obnoxious on plastic Denise Interchangeables. Convinced yet? What's that? You want a recap of the Yarnlady bag sale? Well you got it. My friend Roberta and I arrived at the sale at 9am. The sale was in full swing. There was no point in which I wasn't elbowed in the kidney, the stomach, or the kneecap. Even when taking cautious baby steps. There were knitters and yarn everywhere! I saw a lot of discontinued Trendsetter, Filatura, and even some Camel Hair. The prices were half off. So in other words, if the yarn was originally $10 a ball, a bag of 10 was $50. Are you curious what I bought? I moped around piteously for at least an hour and a half. I couldn't justify buying the Camel Hair (half off of a lot is still a lot). And I'm a natural fiber snob. I like 100% animal fiber. Or at least 80%. Finally I found some yarn. First it was a bag of the Mimosa by Filatura Di Crosa at $3 a ball. Did I mention it's 100% wool? Then I found a second bag (sweater here I come!). Roberta and I wizened up and stood by the bin where frantic women were throwing back yarn at the last minute. The check-out line extended out the door and wrapped around the outdoor mall. We decided we'd hang out, scope the thrown back yarn, and relax. Then we found out there would be another truckload of yarn. Did I mention we'll be going at 10:30 am next go round? Then I found it. The 65% Cashmere, 35% Silk Bollicinia. Yes it was $75 for 13 balls, and YES they are not the same color. But I can over dye cashmere/silk right? And find a few more balls to make an uber luxurious sweater, no? So that's what I bought. My wallet was a bit lighter, but it was worth it. I got more than a few compliments on the Irish Hiking Scarf when I was showing off knitting in public. I also got a few requests on how to make the Scrap Scarf I made for Roberta. I admit it, I am a Knitting Attention Whore. To my dear Husband: if you've read this far I want you to know I got you a super cool Christmas gift. Have you gotten mine yet? :)

Does it look like a sweater yet? Posted by Hello

Cashmere and Silk blend. Yarnlady bag sale find. Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Look at me! Posted by Hello

Official Local (and not so local) Yarn Shop Reviews

***copied from my original post on Knitty Coffeeshop*** ***A little bloggie told me the new Knitty is coming out Monday*** I've been to a few yarn shops, mainly in Socal, but I went up north for Thanksgiving. I'll only note the shops I'll go back to visit again. Socal: Suzoo's Wool Works They are open by appointment. That means you can call them and ask them to come open the store. I had a great experience there. The people that own the shop are fantastic. They have mainly fashionable yarns, Berreco, Noro, Crystal Palace, Debbie Bliss, Rowan. This shop is where I discovered Brown Sheep Wool-which I love. The shop is focused mainly on rug hooking, so the knitting selection is not as huge as some stores, but as sweet as the owner was, I'll be going back frequently. The prices were about industry standard. They have a good selection of books, needles and notions too. Alamitos Bay Yarn Company They have plenty of classes and are open a decent amount during the week. I'm excited about taking the 2 hour knitting cruise (the shop is on the bay). Otherwise they are a very high end shop. This place is for you if you like Koigu, Recycled Sari Silk, etc. When I visited the shop was quite busy so I didn't get a feel on the staff, but they didn't leave a negative impression. California Yarn Sales (714) 965-0018 9542 Hamilton Ave Huntington Beach, CA 92646 This is a shop where you find buried treasure. I've gotten mohair for $3-$5 a ball. The owner, Miki makes these custom blends of yarns that are beautiful and strike me as being european. She's been in business for 35+ years so the shop is stacked from top to bottom with yarn, EVERYWHERE. I hope she organizes it so I can find 100% wool, I know she has some in there. There was a knitter in there working on a sweater on size 1 needles. I felt intimidated by her (the knitter). Great shop if you like bargains, and or digging around. Velona Needlecraft I love this shop! I wish it wasn't such a long drive to Anaheim Hills! The owners are VERY sweet. There were a lot of knowledgeable knitters there. The selection was huge, and displayed neatly. There is yarn for every knitter here, from Lionbrand to Noro. They have lots of notions, purse handles, and even embroidery. I was very impressed with the kindness and attentiveness. The prices were industry standard. The Yarn Lady I went to the yarn sale yesterday! I would suggest coming at 10 or 10:30 instead of 8am. They restock the sale yarn, and the crowd is gone. The yarn on sale is from seasons past. If they don't sell it, it goes back into storage until the next sale. I got some great deals {and spent too much money as usual}. I'll probably go back this summer. The shop is beautiful! Probably the nicest I've been in thus far. Great selection of yarns, from novelty to silk to wool. Only I didn't find Brown Sheep. But I'll go back for the reasonably priced Alpaca and Cascade 220 that I keep reading about. My only other complaint is they didn't have Inox needles, BUT they certainly had everything else! Great width and breadth of selection here. Also there were many knitters there, many many samples made from the yarns, and a great book selection. The staff seemed friendly and knowledgeable. NorCal The Yarn Place I was highly impressed with this place! Mainly by the knowledgeable staff. They have a great selection (silk, wool, name brands), prices were standard. But I can't emphasize the awesomeness of the staff enough. They catered to EVERYONE whether it be sparkly scarf knitters, or people foraging into socks like me. The employee (maybe the owner?!) I was working with brought out her knitting to show me the magic loop with 2 socks, no less! If I lived in Norcal, this would be my shop.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Wisdom from my Dad

In honor of his birthday, a few things he's taught me over the years. The fanciest, most expensive golf clubs do not make a competent golfer. The smartest person in a room doesn't have to tell you how smart she is. Live together before marriage. Don't let people borrow library books with your card. Follow your heart. Keep going, even through adversity. Speak softly and concisely, less is more. A healthy sense of humor is mandatory. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Long Winter Days

My skin is drying out! People always sing the praises of air that has less humidity (than say, Virginia where I grew up). But my skin, hair, and lips are dry dry dry. I never thought I'd miss humidity. Since Wendy uses a ball winder I guess I better get one :). Ok, ok. I only mentioned it because I'm thrilled she answered my question. How cool is that?! I got a skein done on my Irish Hiking Scarf. It's amazing how much knitting I can get done when I should be doing everything else. I am saving my pennies for Yarnlady Bag Sale Me and a friend are going on Saturday. I will be leaving my husband at home. And maybe employing these tactics Have I mentioned I want Inox needles in the smaller sizes?

Hard to believe he eats couches. Posted by Hello

One skein and counting! Posted by Hello

Another Irish Hiking Scarf perhaps? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Irish Hiking Scarf Progress Posted by Hello

Irish Hiking Scarf KnitAlong Posted by Hello

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Ok. I know Christmas is coming up. And we are all working feverishly to finish all the gifts we want to give out. But I had to do it. I had this gorgeous Kureyon just lying around, waiting to be knitted up. This pattern called to me Irish Hiking Scarf And I joined the knit along (my first KAL). To justify my actions, I'll post my "gift giving" list to show off I am about done for the season. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Sister In Law's Purse 95% Sister In Law's Scarf Done Sisters Mittens 90% Step MIL Scarf Done MIL crochet hat Done Friend Tea Cozy Done Mom Hat 85% Dad Hat Done Nephew 2nd Hat Done Brother In Law's Hat crochet Done Brother In Law's Hat 85% **Done does not imply woven in ends ;) I'm pausing on the socks. I don't have a crochet needle small enough to pick up the stitches I dropped. I'm considering changing to a different sock (wildefoot is just barely thicker than thread), doing the Welsh Stockings I really want to do, or a practice sock. Before I can jump into the Welsh socks, I need to learn how to knit in 2 colors. Any suggestions on where to read up on it? I'm also planning on picking up Inox needles for the small sizes that didn't come in the Denise set. AND the yarn sale is coming up Saturday. I'm going to have to start advertising "will knit for yarn."