Friday, November 16, 2007

Blog Hiatus

I meant to post several times in October. I could have showed my Stitches East haul. And written about the socks I worked during Socktoberfest. I wanted to blog about the fun, unofficial "Chicks with Sticks" hockey outing w/ L and E. (I had so much fun with those girls! And! Security almost didn't let our knitting in to the Verizon Center in D.C.!!!!)

But I did none of those things. And now, it's almost Thanksgiving and I am entering travel season. Next week, I'll be in Wisconsin visiting the family. Then, a week after that I head to Hawaii for work (it really is for work). Then it's up to Connecticut for Christmas w/ G's family. Then maybe back to Wisconsin in mid Jan. for a work thing. Then back to Hawaii for work again. (I know! Who goes to Hawaii twice in two months for work? I love Hawaii, but I am not really looking forward to the second trip. It's a long haul to get there from the East Coast. On the first trip, I'll have company, which will be great. On the second trip, it'll just be me. Who whines about going to Hawaii for work? I am not whining too much, but it really is work when I am there and I know I'll be tired while there and then tired for a few days after I get back and be swamped w/ my regular work ... I'll want a vacation by the time Feb. rolls around.)

So ... my point, I think I'm going on a blog hiatus until Feb. I may post here and there, but it won't be my top priority.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Knitting on TV

I saw knitting on two shows this week. First, a female character on Carpoolers or Carpooling? was knitting.

And a character on South Park was knitting! I can't remember if it was the most recent episode or an older one. And I can't remember which character it was. I am guessing it was Mrs. Scotch, Butters's mother. She seems to me the most likely candidate. ETA: It was NOT Mrs. Scotch, but an old lady on the bus w/ Cartman during last week's episode. (Thanks to the girls on Ravelry's South Park a Teers group for reminding me!)

That's all!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Knitting Saves the Day

I watched the last 15 minutes of the new ABC show Pushing Daisies last Wed. It was kind of cute. But what really caught me was that a male character, a detective, who doesn't enjoy knitting in public, says the voice over, but who always carries needles lest he encounter a dropped stitch (or something along those lines), pulled out a pair of long metal needles to poke through the body bags that he and two others were tied up and stuck in and about to die in a crash test car.

So the knitting dude saved them all!

I don't know too much else about the show, though it did seem cute. I'll try to catch a whole episode next time.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Wedding Quilt

This is the quilt my mother made for G and me for our wedding. I adore it. (This is not turning into a quilt blog, I just happen to have a few quilt-related posts lately.)


My wedding was last summer, but the wedding quilts are usually about a year late. I didn't mind! It was something to look forward to! I requested the beige and white color theme and I am so blown away by how beautiful it came out! It is pretty and girly enough for me w/o being too pink for G! It looks so lovely in our sunny, white bedroom. And it will look so pretty under other quilts. I want to have a bunch of "accent" quilts to change it up throughout the year. For example, in December, I could drape over it the Christmas quilt that mom made for my wedding shower. Also, I am working on a pink and green quilt that will be pretty over it in the spring. And if I someday make something with oranges for fall, it will look nice too.


Here's a close up of the center log-cabin motif:


I absolutely love it!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Some UnSock WIPs

This scarf has been taking up a lot of my knitting time.


It is the Easy Flame Lace scarf by Wendy at Knit and Tonic.

Close up:


The yarn is Malabrigo. I am using my Knitpick Options size 4.

The pattern is easy and so lovely. It's good TV knitting, but not so good for group knitting (which for me, requires a virtually think-free pattern!). It's to be a Christmas gift for my step mother-in-law. I hope she likes it. I can't imagine she won't, but, in truth, I don't know my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law very well. (I've only met them twice: once when all three sets of parents gathered in Baltimore to meet each other before our wedding and then AT our wedding. But the little time I did spend with them was really great. G is much closer to his mom and step-dad, so we spend Christmas there, and Thanksgiving is for my family. Having all the parents in three not neighboring--to us or each other--states means we can't do a Christmas Eve one place and Christmas day at the other. Hopefully we can make a trip to his dad's next spring. In the meantime, this scarf is my way of saying: I think you are neat!)

I'm also working on an easy triangle shawl with some Noro Blossom, purchased at Stitches East 2006.


I was guilted into starting it before Stitches East 2007. I love the bright, friendly colors. And it will be nice and warm to wrap up in during the winter. This is my big project but I really want to start a sweater. Since it is stalled (I really should order a longer cable from KP), I might just have to start a sweater ...


Wednesday, October 03, 2007


The other night, I was gathering my sock yarn (if I saw it all together, I could decide what socks to work on this month ... or that was my theory anyway). It was bedtime and I was waiting for the bathroom, so why not be productive, right? Since I was in the other bedroom, G asked "what are you doing?" When I said that "Socktoberfest starts tomorrow and I needed to get organized," he broke out into a long song-like "Socktoooooooooberfest." It had me in giggles.

Well, the organizing and photographing of my sock yarn did NOT help me decide what to do, yet.

Here they are:


Part of me thinks I should start socks with the Trekking XXL (top row, pink and green) b/c that was my first sock yarn purchase EVER, in April 2006. But I am really drawn to the atumnal orange Dream in Color (top row, left) that is my most RECENT sock yarn purchase. But I bought the blue and Tess Designer Yarn (bottom row, in a ball) at Stitches East last year and Stitches East this year is just a week away, so wouldn't it be good to use that up?

But since I am working on a lace project, I also like the idea of using the Lorna's Laces worsted (white, gray and tan, second from right) b/c it would be fast socks and a nice break from the teeny yarn. Plus, there's a pretty pattern for cabled socks in One Skein that uses LL worsted.

I do have a couple of pairs of socks on the needles. These DK-weight socks (Colinette Cadenza) are my plane project. These basic ribbed socks on wooden needles have been my travel project for the past couple of months. They are stalled now b/c I don't have any trips until Thanksgiving. I could just finish these up and have a Christmas gift ready (or keep them myself).


And I love the yarn I won from Knitpastis. I started a Roza's sock (from Summer Interweave Knits), but haven't gotten past the top rib yet. I need to use smaller needles or it will be too big. And I am no longer certain I want to do this pattern. I love, love, love, this yarn! I really want to find the perfect pattern.


I need help.

(I think I found some help on the Socktoberfest Flickr group, in this discussion. Some great ideas for patterns that work nicely with variegated yarns.)

But still how to decide what yarn???

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hurry! Last Day of Project Spectrum

Ever since Aug. 1, I planned to put up a post about the last triad of Project Spectrum ... here I am late as usual.

My participation in PS this summer did lag. I was busy with the new house and had some deadline knitting. I did finish these Monkey socks in Aug.


And I was inspired to shop for PS colors!

Here is some orange Dream in Color sock yarn:


And some purple Malabrigo lace:


And here's an actual purple craft that I made, but it was about four or five Septembers ago:


This was my second quilt and the first that didn't use matchy-matchy fabrics. My mom let me raid her fabric closet and helped me decide what size to cut the strips. I love this quilt! It's a large lap size, big enough to cover me and my legs, even my feet! (I hate it when lap blankets are too short to go all the way around the feet: dude, that's where I get cold!) The colors still thrill me. I am not really a purple person, but every so many years I just crave it. Purple doesn't really flatter me so I rarely wear it. Maybe that's why I was so drawn to it with this quilt. I didn't have enough purple in my life? That must explain the purple malabrigo, above. I am quite certain it will not look good on me, but I had to have that color instead of the blue or green that is pretty on me.

The quilt is a basic strip quilt construction. I remember carefully planning out which strips would go where. I bought the light and dark purple batiks from a wonderful quilt shop in the Milwaukee area.

For the actual quilting, I tried freehand on my mom's machine for the first time and I totally sucked big time. There are lots of very sharp turns instead of the lovely loops, but I got better as I went along.

I have not quilted or sewn anything for a long time, but this is inspiring me to get out my machine, a Bernina! I got it a very basic model (it doesn't do all the fancy embroidery) for Christmas in 2004. It's a wonderful machine and it deserves to be used. L and I started Yellow Brick Road quilts in 2005 but didn't get past the cutting out stage. We need to set a date to work on them!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Still Knit

I just don't blog ... as often as I'd like. First the pictures:

Finished Monkeys:
Yarn: C*eye*ber Fiber purchased at Stitches East 06.
I started these socks in May! The first sock took me about two months. The second, about a week. In my defense, betweent the time I started and finished that first sock, I also bought a house, painted, removed carpet and wallpaper from and refinished wood floors from said house, packed, moved and then unpacked. Also, I got distracted by trying to finish this in time for my mom's b-day in July.

My creation

I didn't finish for the b-day deadline, and then almost finished for the Aug. vacation deadline. I had about 20 border stitches left, but I didn't have a way to block on vacation. So I got it done for the Sept. trip.
The pattern is the Half Pi Shawl from Rosie Knits. I did a few extra yarn over rows, made it a bit longer and added the border, which is from a different shawl altogether. The border is from a pattern in the book Knitter's Stash. The yarn is unknown from A Good Yarn in Fell's Point.

Mom loved it and is planning to bring to Hawaii in Dec. when she accompanies me on a work trip.

Also, in August, I whipped up this shawl for my mother-in-law.


She gave me the yarn for Christmas last year. So the shawl will be her Christmas gift this year. The yarn was a bunch of different kinds of yarn all tied together. She really liked the yarn, so I think she'll like the shawl. It was actually a really fun knit. I liked seeing what yarn would come next. I actually brought this to stitch n bitch with Heather and Sarah who gave me the great idea to add beads to the ends so it will look intentional that they are not woven in. I wasn't sure what to do about them. First of all, the yarn was all attached with knots and it is so open that weaving wouldn't work. And I just didn't want to weave in that many ends! But I knew if I didn't find a way to artfully deal with them, my MIL would wear the shawl and some snarky knitter would comment about the ends (snarky knitters, no, never!). I was actually a bit aprehensive about bringing the shawl to the snitch n bitch b/c horror! novelty yarn! But I wanted advice so I said, screw it. And they were nice! Didn't sneer at all! :)

Would I make this shawl again? Maybe. If someone else wanted one as a gift, I might do it. It was a nice break after socks and last. Such a FAST knit. And one Christmas gift done! That is the best part.

I had grand plans of blogging from last week's work trip, but I couldn't bear to turn on the computer in the evenings in my hotel room.

Instead, I did a bit of shopping. Got some of the new Lane Bryant jeans. I like! I think I am red. Or yellow, whatever the middle color is. The new sizing is super lameo. Like by calling them 1-7 or whater, we're going to forget that we're really a 14 or above? Eh... they make my ass look great and that is all I really care about. Plus they are long. Almost too long.

I had dinner with my dear friend V, her husband and baby girl. V lived across the hall from me in my dorm freshman year. Her daughter is so cute! She didn't want to eat much while I was there, except for the donut holes that were dessert. At one point she had one in each hand. V told her to put one back, so she bit one and put that one back! What a smartie! :)

And I went to Lakeside Fibers, which is a wonderful yarn store in Madison, Wis. First, it is huge: there are three big rooms full of yarn. Second, it has almost every major yarn and tons of selection in the different fibers. You know how some LYS have just one kind of cotton in the summer? Lakeside has several, plus bamboo and of course wool.

Third, it has the great cafe overlooking Lake Menona. I had my dinner there Wed. night and then knit for an hour or so. There was a class going on at the same time and I think a stitch n bitch too. I really should go every time I am in town. I only bought one small skein of Manos cotton stria in brown. I already had 8 skeins. Lakeside had just one and I thought I should get it to give me a bit more yardage.

I restrained myself because, well, I realy don't need to buy yarn. And b/c Friday started the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival. And Friday after work, I had to drive from Madison to Milwaukee, conveniently going right by the fairgrounds where the festival was. I did make a short detour. It is not nearly as big as MDS&W but the sellers were all new to me. I was good in that I only bought from one booth, Michigan- (I think) based Briar Rose... but it was a fairly big purchase. The yarn in the Totally Autumn pattern from the new Knitty is Briar Rose. They had beautiful colorways and lots of different weights and fibers. I got some alpaca, merino, silk that is heaven! The owner I also ordered some Grandma's Blessing (superwash sportweight merino). They didn't have enough of the color that I wanted, so the owner had me pick my favorite skein and is going to dye up more of it for me! How cool is that. I was really impressed by the yarn, the owners, the samples, the booth, everything.

There was another Michigan shop that had some very tempting alpaca wool blends but not enough in the color that I wanted and.

So that was a big yarny detour!

The rest of the trip was fun too: I attended a wedding on Sat. for one of high school/college friends. We were roommates senior year in a bat-invested third floor flat. Our other roommate, and one of my best friends, A came down from Minneapolis w/ her husband too. I had so much fun seeing them. The wedding was lovely and really simple. It was at a park. One of our HS/college friends got ordained online to marry them! She was great. The bride's mother is an interior designer so the park building was really lovely inside. They made dozens of paper cranes to hang from the ceiling, had paper latterns strung. The bride's father made small bud vases for the tables, which were also the party favors! It was really, really lovely.

And Sat. was also my baby brother's 18th birthday. He was at an all-day volleyball tournament, so we celebrated with brunch at home Sunday morning.

I can't believe I squeezed all that in to a Tue-Sun. trip!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Perfect Break

My vacation to Elk Rapids, Mich., is several weeks over but I couldn't dig up the enthusiasm to blog about it. It was a wonderful break, almost perfect. If G had come too it would have been perfect. But he has only 3 days of vacation left for the year, where I have something like 3 weeks left. I've been at my company 8 years compared to his not quite 2. But next year he'll get 3 weeks so we'll be a bit more even.
But I wasn't alone ... I was with my extended family.

Anyway ... the area in Michigan where I was (the northern part of southern Mich.)
is so beautiful. Elk Rapids is on Grand Traverse Bay, which is a huge bay off of Lake Michigan.

The weather was perfect. It was exactly the weather I imagine when I think about vacation: sunny, mid-80s with a breeze. Sigh. We stayed in glorious (and huge) old
Victorian with a wrap-around porch where I knitted every day. I am kicking myself now that I didn't take any pictures of it!

We spent our days at the beach, lounging on the porch and golfing for some
(not me!). Every evening, different people were in charge of making
dinner for the 18-20 people in attendance. We had couscous, grilled
fish, an Indian dish, spaghetti, my amazing chicken with my brother's
amazing creamed corn (fresh from the cob of course), great salads,
roadside shack pies and local cherries (oh my god so good!).

One day some of us drove to the Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan. Since
we've vacationed in the area for about 20 years, we have a secret spot
that involves a long walk down the beach but you're rewarded by a
mostly private stretch of sand.

That was the only time I really look any pictures. Well, I took tons of my nephews and niece too but I won't post those here.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Mosaic

The top left photo was taken from the car while we drove over the Mackinac
Bridge that connects Michigan to the UP. That black bar is part of the
bridge. In the photo below that you can see the different blues in the
water. My brothers spent much the day talking about and attempting to
swim out to the edge of what the called the abyss. Dorks.

I love this beach. It really is one of my most favorite spots.

I did a ton of knitting on vacation. The day we went to the dunes, I made this Dashing mitt:


I also finally finished my first Monkey sock. But then I couldn't bring myself to cast on for the second while on vacation. I don't know why. I love the sock. I love the pattern. I guess I just wanted to do something else and since it was vacation, I did whatever I wanted.


And there was even a tiny yarn and quilt store in town. It didn't have a good selection at all, but I did find some sugar n cream cotton to make dishclothes. I promptly knit up two as a thank you to my parents for a lovely vacation.


And I finished my mom's shawl, but not in time to give it to her. I didn't have a good spot for blocking it so I brought it back home with me and it is now blocked and ready to give when I am home again in Sept.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beating the Blahs

Coming home from a vacation means there's a lot of catching up to do. Catching up on work, e-mail, laundry, grocery shopping, blog reading, blog posting. I've been back a week and a half and I am all caught up except for blog posting. I've just felt so blah about posting. But there's tons of posts I could do: I planned a great vaca recap, but it's getting a bit late. I did lots of knitting while gone and have some stuff to show, but I only just took pictures today and don't feel like uploading them. Double blah.

But today in the mail arrived something that beat my blogging blahs. I won the "how much hair did I cut off" contest at KnitPastis. I guessed 7 inches, which was correct, but so did a bunch of other people, so she drew names. And I won!!!


Close up of the gorgeous yarn:

Look at this amazing sock yarn. I REALLY want to cast on a new project with it RIGHT NOW! But I should start my second Monkey first .... I, ahem, bought some new sock yarn on Sunday and told myself I couldn't start it until I at least started the Monkey. So the same should go for this new yarn too, right? But it's a prize yarn, handyed by KnitPastis herself. I feel like it should have different rules. Plus it would be rude of me to not immediatly cast on, or so I tell myself as an excuse.

The prize package also included this Burts Bees grapefruit shampoo that I love. Grapefruit is my bath product/perfume favorite scent. And there was a bag full of goodies to treat my feet and some candy. I feel so spoiled.

And let me tell you how organized KnitPastis is. She emailed me that I won on Monday night and that I should send her my info by Tue. morning b/c she was going out of town. But I didn't see it until mid Tue. morning. So I sent my address and told her I looked forward to getting the package when she got back. But she got my email on her phone while doing errands and had the box, tape and marker ready to go. Amazing. Check out her cute new do.

Thanks, KnitPastis! I love everything.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mother Bear Project

I stopped in Lovelyarns on Sunday to check their malabrigo supply (didn't have what I was looking for, but a few skeins of amazingly soft lace weigh may have come with me), and learned about this wonderful organization called the Mother Bear Project.

According to the site:

The Mother Bear Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children, primarily those affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of hand-knit and crocheted bears.

Lovelyarns is selling the pattern and collecting bears. Here's more. They had some adorable bears in the store and I was just so taken by them. I knew I had to make one, or 10. I've thought of doing a charity knit but nothing really grabbed me until I saw the bears. While some might say there are more practical things to knit for these children who have almost nothing, every child needs a toy. Having a beloved toy should be a basic part of any childhood. So I am going to make bears.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stitch Diva Sale

Saw this on Stephanie's blog: There's a sale at Stitch Diva. All
patterns are 25% off and 75% percent of proceeds go to help two
knitters in need. But the sale ends at 11:59 tonight!

I've had a few of the Stitch Diva patterns on my someday list for awhile, so I decided today was the day to purchase.

Save a few bucks and help some knitters! Perfect.

Flowers and Yarn

Having fun w/ a flickr toy. Here are some recent pix of flowers from my garden and yarn from my stash (to upload into Ravelry. Yeah! Got my invite in June, am still organizing my stash to upload. I am tawitham there.)

I finally made a photo mosaic. So pretty. And some are Project Spectrum worthy, no?

I am thinking of packing the brown Manos cotton stria (second row, middle column) to start a little summer something on my vacation next week. I leave Friday night for two weekends and five weekdays full of swimming, reading, shopping (already scoped out the yarn stores) and of course, knitting, in Elk Rapids, Michigan w/ my family.

flowers and yarn

How many projects to pack? I'll probably bring more than I need just to have some variety.

Be back in mid-August!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Project Spectrum Update

June and July were really busy with my move, so crafting was neglected. Thus, I did not create anything in red, black or metallics.

But, I did come across this pillow that I made a few years ago and it fits perfectly! So, I have something to show, even if it is an old project.


I was reallly into sewing before I dove into knitting. It started in 2002 when I made my first real quilt, and then really picked up in 2003 after I broke up with a boyfriend. Though I have sewed off and on since I was a kid. My mom is Quilter. I capitalize it for emphasis. She made her first quilt in 1976, the year I was born. I still have it, though it's in pieces. It was the bicentennial and there was a revival of traditional crafts, including quilting.

The sound of her Bernina zooming along was almost constant during my childhood. She's made hundreds of quilts, for every family member at least once (and not just me or my brothers, but my aunts, uncles, 50-some cousins), for friends and relatives of friends, plus charity raffles. She even made a quilt for a coworker of mine whose house burned down. She had a cupboard full of baby quilts ready before any of us were even married!

It was only a matter of time until I got the sewing bug too.

When it did, my aunt gave me her old Singer and I went to work making her a pillow. I figured since she gave me the machine, then the first item sewed on it should be a thank you for her.

I decided on red to match her family room. And Mom let me "shop" in her fabric closet. I pulled out tons of red and black fabrics, and decided to sew strips. So, I cut and sewed the strips into a larger fabric. Then decided to cut that piece into four triangles, which I sewed together to make a square, which became the pillows face. I wish I had a photo, but this was years ago when I didn't have a digital camera and I didn't photograph my projects.

Well, I had so much red and black strips that I made two more pillows. One I gave to a friend and I kept the one, above.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mom's Shawl

This has been claiming most of my knitting time. I am on a deadline!

It's a super simple knit. But w/ more than 500 stitches per row, I takes me 45 minutes to knit one.

At the Columbia Knitting Meet-up last Wed. night, I did two rows and I was there from 7:00 until after 9:00! (By the way, this group, through, is really fun! I've wanted to check it out for many months, and finally did last week. I know there are a lot of knitting groups in Columbia (at least three!), but if you are looking to knit on Wed. night, check them out. They meet at Borders. They are a very friendly and fun group of women. I will be back ... though not every week because Columbia is a bit far.)

G and I have been watching the Sopranos, courtesy of Blockbuster Total Access. I'd never seen an episode until a few weeks ago. Never. I thought it would be too violent for me, but so far it hasn't been to bad. I am really enjoying it. But it's a bit frustrating to watch an entire episode and only knit one freaking row!

Still, the shawl is growing:


I leave for vacation with my family on Friday and need to have it blocked and ready to give!

A Better Monkey

I am slugging along on a new Monkey sock. I actually started this back in May, right after I posted about my first Monkey attempt. I am using C*eye*ber Fiber in the Riverbed colorway, purchased at the Cloverhill booth at Stitches East 2006. I couldn't be more pleased with how the yarn and pattern are working together.


I originally picked the Monkey pattern by Cookie A. to be my first
non-ribbed sock because I was looking for a pattern that worked well
with a variegated sock yarn. It seems that many of the intricate sock
patterns look best in a solid yarn. So, in my Web searching, I stumbled
across the Monkey and right in the pattern intro, Cookie says she
designed to flatter a hand-dyed variegated Canadian yarn. Perfect, I
thought! And in the C*eye*ber Fiber, I found the perfect match.

I didn't like the pooling on the Tess yarn in the Monkey. I do love the
Tess yarn though, both the color and the way it feels. It is a joy to
hold and work with. I definitely want more sometime soon. I know I'll
find a better pattern for the Tess yarn.


But the Monkey pattern is so much fun and I wanted it to be the star. I could
have continued w/ the Tess version, but I knit slow, especially socks. Yes, I could have just started a new pair and left the old pair hanging, an abandoned work in progress. I haven't thoroughly thought through myWIP philosophy, but I tend to have fewer projects going, two or three, in various stages of completion and difficulty. I don't like having something sit, neglected, for many months at a time. It's like need to file (hello house paperwork, I'm looking at you) or organizing the linen closet
(which I NEED to do since we unpacked after the move. I just sort of threw everything in and the unorganized state of it drives me crazy just thinking about it!).

I will ignore the filing and the organizing until I just can't anymore. But I never really forget about it. It silently nags at me. But I don't expect to enjoy these tasks when I do them, though I do get joy out of completing them. But knitting is different. I do get joy from it and I don't want it to nag me. Because then it feels like chore.

So, even though I didn't completely frog my first Monkey, I am not planning to go back to it. I left it in tact, though off the needles, because, hey, unraveling cuts
into my precious knitting time!

So, while I started this in May, I am only just a few pattern repeats into the foot. It's been a bit neglected as I race to finish the Half Pi Shawl for my mother. In a
week I am off to Wisconsin and Michigan for a family vacation and I'll give it to her then. I'm almost there. The Monkey will surely beaccompanying me and will gets lots of attention while I sit on the Lake Michigan banks.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Where I've Been

June was very busy. I did some knitting, but mostly I was working on changing this:


to this:

And this:

to this:

We removed wallpaper, painted, removed carpet and refreshed the wood floors.

We bought some nice curtains at Ikea and this weekend I'll work on hemming them.

Next post will have knitting content, promise!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Birthday Meme

Pheelya tagged me for a birthay meme (you've got to check out her blog; she is a riot! A good one ha ha!). Since I haven't blogged for almost a month, this is the perfect way to ease back in.

Here are the rules: You go to wikipedia and type in your birthday (only the month and day). Then you write down 3 events, 2 births, 1 holiday, and then you tag 5 friends.

585 BC - A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse, leading to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.

1892 - In San Francisco, California, John Muir organizes the Sierra Club.

1961 - Peter Benenson's article "The Forgotten Prisoners" is published in several internationally read newspapers. This will later be thought of as the founding of the human rights organization Amnesty International.

1779 - Thomas Moore, Irish poet (d. 1852)

1944 - Gladys Knight, American singer

Republic Day in Azerbaijan and Armenia (both 1918)

So there you have it: the cool things that happened on May 28.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Monkey Socks or Not?

A few weeks ago, I started a pair of Monkey socks and I love this pattern! But I do not like how my yarn (Tess) is behaving with it. It has this weird spiral effect going on.


See no yellow on the other side:


So I am trying to decide if I should rip it and save this yarn for a baby
sweater someday. I could start the Monkey sock with different yarn. I
know this is what I should do, but I HATE ripping! But when I tried it
on today and looked down at my foot, all I could see was the stupid
yellow. I didn't see the cool stitch pattern at all.

It is a fun pattern. I want to do it. I know I need to rip, but I'll probably leave it for a few days while I mourn it.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mojito Magic

Pheelya is having a contest to celebrate her birthday. Go tell her what your favorite drink is.

Mine is, hands down, the mojito. I first had one in Puerto Rico during a work trip in 2002 and it was love at first sip.

Now, I get excited when I see it on a drink menu. Even if it's not on the menu, I'll sometimes ask for one knowing the bartender or waiter will probably tell me they don't have the requisite fresh mint. But, they are starting to show up at chain restuarants. I've had one at Red Robin and Don Pablo's recently. Both were just so so. They didn't grind the mint into the drink. That is key.

Because, it's the mint that makes the mojito so delicious. I'm told a taco place in Hamden has the best mojitos in Baltimore. I really need to check that out.

Anyone know of other area spots to get a great mojito?

If you are ever in Madison, Wis., on a Sunday night, head over to the Cardinal bar to hear the best Latin jazz in town (surprisingly, Madison has a fair amount of Latin jazz) in a free show and to have a seriosly good mojito.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Where are my Manners?

Thank you for all your kind wishes on my birthday and house! Despite my soreness and exhaustion (see below), I am really very excited. I already love sitting in the sunporch, especially yesterday in the rain, and know I'll be spending many knitting hours there. I hope to have invite local knitters over after we're settled, and maybe after the weather has cooled (which, I know, won't be until October) so we can use that wonderful sunporcch.

Sore to my Core

Evil, thy name is wallpaper.

G and spent the entire weekend at the house, painting and remvoing wall paper. Well, we didn't sleep there, but we didn't really sleep much at all. We worked until midnight on Friday, 1 a.m. on Saturday and called it quits last night at 10. I am exhausted. And sore. And have a ton of work for my actual job to do. And I just want to nap. And knit! But I don't know that I'll be able to for several days. You see, I am sore everywhere, but mostly in my right hand and wrist. I probably shouldn't be typing.

But that is what happens when you grip a paintbrush for two days straight and scrap off wallpaper. I am just so grateful that the previous owner only had the wallpaper on two walls.

But, we longer have pink walls! I love the paint we picked and can't wait to see the rooms after next weekend when we paint the trim. (I guess it never stops. Earlier today someone asked how it feels to be a homeowner. I responded, "sore.")

But (that's three paragraphs started with "but" in a row; I'd use another transition, but I am too tired and sore), I've been knitting vicariously through all of you other knit bloggers.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Very Good Birthday Plus A House!

Monday was my 31st birthday and it was lovely and low-key.

My brother, sister-in-law, niece M (3) and nephew A (6 months) came to stay with us in our two bedroom apartment that is currently filled with boxes. It was cozy (which, incidentally, is M's favorite word. Everything is "cozy" from her "cozy towel" to dry her hands in the bathroom to the "cozy sofa" to the the "cozy bear." Adorable.)

It was such fun having them and we did so much! We went to the pool at my apartment, to the Baltimore zoo, to see our new house (oh, make that our "cozy house). I played restaurant with M several times. G even got into the game one night to play the chef at a "Japanese restaurant." He really outdid himself when he brought us a "birthday cake" (aka a piece of bread with the candles from my cake stuck in it. Suzanne said that would now have to be repeated at home.) M loved it.

G and Suzanne made me a delicious chocolate and peanut butter cake. Two pieces left for tonight yeah!

I had some lovely gifts. Of course, my gifts from G was some of the yarn I bought at MD Sheep and Wool. Plus we went shopping and got these cool chairs from Pier One for our new sunporch.

And I got this lovely bag from my mom.


Joe and Suzanne gave me a beautiful purple necklace. How gorgeous!


And L outdid herself with this wonderful book


and this amazing yarn! That's Seasilk in Rose Garden. How lucky am I?


But the best birthday present is our new house, on which we closed last night! This picture is from a few weeks ago, when the azaleas were in bloom:

Copy of IMG_1520

And the backyard w/ dogwoods! It is so beautifully landscapped. I am so excited that I don't have to start from scratch. Plus it has so many of my favorite flowers: roses, daffodils, irises, lillies-of-the-valley and many more. It reminds me of my mother's yard, which I've always found lovely.


We bought the house from the original owners who lived there for 50 years. It is in beautiful condition, though we will be taking out the pink carpet and painting over the pink walls. It's a good house. It seems happy. And we saw it completely by accident.

We were going to look at a house on the same street, but at the bottom of the hill. Well, our realtors turned on the street, saw the Century 21 sign and stopped. We were at the door before they realized it wasn't the right address! But they had the code to get in so we decided to look at it, why not? Even w/ the pink carpet and walls, we could see that it was a lovely house. I remember standing in the backyard, looking around thinking "this feels like home." Only it wasn't so much those words as a feeling of being home. Hard to explain. It's a soul house (you know, like a soul mate).

Anyway, we saw a lot of other houses (including a beautiful one in a rat-infested neighborhood--thank goodness G likes to strike up converstation with the neighbors!) and did lots of homework. So we didn't pick solely on emotion. But we love the house and are so glad that we got it. As the previous owner said last night after we told her the story, "It was more than just luck" that we found it.

So here we are: the happy owners.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wonky Tea Cozy

I finished this tea cozy awhile ago, but never blogged about it. I used a knitty pattern, but didn't follow the directions exactly. I used a different yarn, Noro Kureyon, and once I started the decreases at the top, I did them more frequently than called for. In other words, I did fewer plain rows between decreases, because I was running out of yarn. Also, I didn't do the embroidery.


It didn't felt very well. This is after four or five washings. I first tried to wash it in zippered pillow case, but it wasn't felting at all, so I put it in a lingerie bag and that worked better. I washed it with old towels and used baking soda. I didn't take it out during the spin cycle, but it hardly matters b/c it didn't felt completely.

I've read that Kureyon doesn't felt very well, but I think others say it does. So who knows. Maybe I didn't knit loose enough. In any case, I probably won't be using Kureyon for another felting project.

But, even though it looks funny, it does fit over a regular sized teapot and keep the tea warm. And the colors are pretty! It does, however, need a shave.

So it works. I just probably won't be displaying it in a place of honor.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Other crafts

I worked on my quilt a bit this week. What quilt? you say. Yeah, that's how I feel about it too.


It was two years when my mom came to visit and, along with L, we went to a great fabric store in Annapolis and both L and I bought fabric to start a Yellow Brick Road quilt. We cut out strips and then we stopped. Fast forward to yesterday, and I needed to pack up my machine for our move. Well, I decided I couldn't pack it w/o using it a bit first. So I dusted if off (literally, I hadn't used it since last summer) and started to sew some of my strips together and did quite a bit of them.

I love the fabrics I have: all pinks and greens. I can't wait to work on it some more, but it will have to wait until after the move. I am hoping to set up a nice spot for it in the new house.

It'll be my sixth quilt, I think. Well, my first quilt doesn't really count because it was just two different fabrics. Plus I lost it. During one of my 10 or so moves in my 20s, it disappeared. I suspect an ex-boyfriend. So, my second quilt is a lovely strip quilt, mainly in purples. Mom let me "shop" in her stash so I only had to buy a border and back fabric. I love this quilt. It's a large lapquilt. I have also made one of those flannel lapquilts where the seams are on the outside, so the fray. It has a name ... but I forget. Sadly, these are both packed up, so I'll show pictures next month. And I've made two baby quilts, really cute! But I didn't take pictures.

And here is a bag my mom made for my birthday. I love it!


And here's some pictures of really old and beautfil bonsai trees from the National Arboretum. The green one has been "in training" (that is the term they used for the trees) since 1625.




Tuesday, May 22, 2007

8 Weird Things and 2 Socks

I finished G's socks, finally. He likes them very much and plans to wear them to our house closing next week. What a sweet dork. So the yarn is Ocean Mist from C*EYE*BER Fiber. But G has big, long feet (lucky me) and I ran out of yarn. Thankfully, I also bought a skein of the Riverbed colorway last fall at the Cloverhill booth at Stitches East. I could have made them shorter, but there was no way I was going to unravel these just so the toes would match. I like non-matching toes anyway. Of course, if I had done them toe-up I could have avoided this problem. But I like doing socks top down on DPNs. I'm not saying I'll never do the circular method in the future, but I like my DPNs for now.


What matters is he loves them, I like them and I am finished with them! I started the first sock in early Jan. Um, yeah, socks take me a long time. I did finish the first sock by Feb 13, but got stalled out on the second one. It's the darn cuff in k2p2 that kills me. I find the socks speed by once I finish the heel.

Also, every time I knitted these in public, I got tons of compliments. Erin makes pretty yarn. I think the colors look like islands in the ocean. I didn't use a fancy pattern, just a k2p2 cuff, basic heel flap and toe and knit the rest.

Now, the eight weird or random things. Heather tagged me for my very first meme. Also pheelya tagged me for the seven random things, list. This list covers both. Here goes:

1. I don't like to walk over sidewalk grates (like over a subway or sewer). I am afraid they'll break as I walk on them.

2. I used to eat sand when I was a baby, by the handful. My mother tried to make me stop, but I gave up.

3. I love the sloth bear baby at the National Zoo.

4. My k2togethers are nice and neat, but my ssk stitches look like crap.

5. I like to dip my french fries in ice cream. I like to eat pickles with cookies. Basically, I like to balance salty with sweet.

6. I decided to move to Baltimore after I had my tarot cards read at the Renaissance Faire. A bit of background: I had lived in my previous city for 10 years and I was ready for a change but I didn't know what to do. I spent Labor Day weekend here visiting my friend L and had a fabulous time. So it wasn't like I had a reading and the woman said "you have to move to Baltimore" and I did. It was more that the experience helped me realize how stuck I was and that I didn't have to be. I was keeping myself stuck, but why? Other than my job, I had nothing keeping me in that town. So I got home and within two days decided I was going to move just b/c I had so much fun here, it was something new and I was excited. I even got to keep my job and start telecommuting.

7. I still get dressed up like a wench and go to the Renaissance Faire every year. That is where G proposed. But we didn't have a Faire-themed wedding or anything. I am a big dork, but I draw the line.

8. The last song at my wedding was "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix A Lot. That wasn't the intended last song, but we had the reception in my parents' backyard and had to finish up the music at 10:00 p.m. G did all the music on iTunes and printed out a list of the songs so people would know what was coming up. My younger cousins, especially, loved this. But he overestimated the number of songs by an entire CD! So, when 10 o'clock rolled around, and we only had time for one more song, he asked me what I wanted. I looked at the list and said "Baby Go Back." Was there really any other choice? The best part was seeing my super religious uncle dancing to it. I assume he wasn't listening to the lyrics very closely.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fingerless Garter Mitts

Here's a finished object to show off: the Fingerless Garter Mitts from One Skein. I used one skein of Koigu purchased online from Got Yarn. (I needed to buy a skein of something else and the shop had a minimum purhase. I knew I had a pattern for one skein of koigu.) I got some beads at Michaels. It was my first beading project.


Started: May 6
Finished: May 14
Yarn: Koigu
Pattern: Fingerless Garter Mitts from One Skein

It was a very easy knit, just garter stitch and then some seams to sew, which I am not very happy with. Sewing horizontal seams in garter is not very smooth.

Also, I am not sure how much I like the color. I love pink. I love purple. But together, they might be a bit too little girly.

The beading was fun. I want to do another beading project in the future. And they are cute. I will wear them, but probably not as often as my Fetchings.

Close up of the beads:

I also started a shawl for my mother. It is the Half Pi Shawl from Rosie Knits that I got at Stitches East last November.


I bought this yarn (some random hand dyed merino) from A Good Yarn in Fell's Point almost two years ago. It was going to be a Christmas present, twice. But now it will be for her birthday in July. I can't work on it this weekend though, because my parents are coming to visit! Yeah, so excited. G and I are planning various things to do. We're going down to D.C. on Saturday for a bit. My dad hasn't been to D.C. since he attended an anti-war rally in the 60s. We're going to a restaurant that has singing waiters. They sing showtunes, standars and opera. He loves opera.

We're also going to take them by the new house to at least see the garden. We close two weeks from tomorrow! I don't want to jinx anything, so I'll post a photo of the house after we have the keys. But until then, here is a little peak: