Monday, December 29, 2008

oh tannenbaum, take 2

the continuing saga of the twice as tall as me christmas tree. with the purchase of a new ladder, it became this...

and it was lovely on christmas morning.

let's get physical

for some reason i am suffering from a case of the grumps. things were fine before christmas; had a delightful christmas day; had fun with the fam; christmas dinner turned out great (food theme was moroccan) but have had some pretty grumpy moments since then.

so when i woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, decided what i needed was a walk. so i crossed the street to open land and just walked. and walked and walked, until i came to a t in the path which overlooked this...

and i realized i am a pretty lucky girl. next time i get the grumps, i will take a brisk walk in the fresh air. hope your holidays are happy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

...i walk the line

i am beginning to find my rhythm in the new house. though there are still boxes to be unpacked and there is the daily question of "...have you seen", "...did you check the box in the ...", i am to the point where i can unpack a bit and leave time for knitting, or walking or sewing, or baking.

so when i felt the call to walk on saturday morning, i decided to explore the path across the street that leads to the open space on the hill. and from the hill i could see this...

so i kept walking and walked through these,

walked down this,

looped about and saw this from the another hill. and for you east bay-er's, yes that is mt. diablo in the distance.

not a bad walk for the new neighborhood.

on the knitting front, i have finished one of two socks for soldiers. i am 1.5 inches into 13 inches of 2x2 rib for sock two. i am totally cheating on the xmas knitting. the plan is to finish up my sweet friends ruffle scarf (translation, i have to pick up a total of 594 stitches! yuck!) and to finish up the big guy's second sock. hopefully the plan will work and both of these will be under the tree on christmas morning.

and then there is the new year's resolution to learn to knit 2 socks at a time on a circular needle so it doesn't take me so bloody long to knit socks for soldiers!#! already have the book on the christmas list.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

oh tannenbaum

the last couple of weekends have been filled with this...

the madrigal dinner theatre the choir classes at my sweet friends h.s. put on every december. if i wasn't at a performance, helping at a performance or cooking for a performance, i was sewing costumes for the performance.

and from the weekends of this...

came this...

which was one of 10 that were part of the madrigal decorations. the music booster board decided to off set the cost of the trees (which have been donated in the past) by having families "sponsor" the trees. the new house has cathedral ceilings so we decided to sponsor a tree. so here it is. the catch is, our 6ft ladder seems to be MIA. both the cute husband and i were sure we saw it at the new house but now cannot locate it.

i will keep you posted on how decorating the tree goes!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

here comes the sun

though the move is over, the actually settling in is taking some time. and though lots of purging was done before the move, it wasn't quite enough. all items that were on the fence before moving, are now in the give away, recycling or trash pile.

but my knitting books are unpacked and in their bookcase. and after much searching and various unsuccessful starts, i finally found a baby hat pattern in said knitting books that i actually want to knit. trick is, it is for a co-worker leaving for maternity leave this week. oi! i better get started!

but first a view of a sunrise i made tea to a few mornings ago. made my day!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

somewhere over the rainbow

the move is done. and the rug fits perfectly in the master bath! yay!

Friday, October 31, 2008

look out...old macky is back

so, i am not a costume gal. at all. so when hints were dropped during a directors meeting that costumes needed to be worn on halloween, i nearly choked on my dentures and i don't even have dentures.

then i remembered a costume i made for the big guy when he was in 1st or 2nd grade. and everything went swimmingly from there.

happy halloween, all saint's day and dia de las muertas. may all the spirits you meet be peaceful.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

breathe...just breathe

so this is what i have been doing for the last month or so:

first it was the costume sweatshop where nine, count them, nine ranger jackets were made in one afternoon, as well as modifying some of the female gowns. then it was makeup. i am head makeup putter on-er so, with the director, i figure out which characters need what kind of makeup; then i experiment on some of the cast, get the directors feedback and finalize the "look" and what it entails; then we have a training day with the cast, show them what their makeup will look like, explain what it entails and have them run through putting it on themselves; then there are the musical run throughs and dress rehearsals where the makeup gets tweaked because it looks different under the lights and filters; then there are two weekends of performances. all of this around a 40hr + job.
i am a bit beat.

but instead of being able to rest, we get to pack because we are moving. yes moving. in 12 days.

the last few years have been a financial challenge for us and not having all of the expenses of owning a house will hopefully help us regroup. and so we are renters once again. of a house that is 400+ square feet smaller than our current one. which doesn't sound like much but it is. except for the fact it allows us to pare down, simplify, or, in essence, purge ourselves of 15 years worth of "collecting".

the important thing is the new house meets our stringent criteria of being within walking distance of my sweet friend's high school and allowing us to have the bbfd (big black furry dog). all of which i am grateful for, it makes the transition easier.

and so we weed through our various collections and we pack.

but i long to knit. and so i do. something mindless like the socks for soldiers. which fits the criteria of being lots of mindless knitting. thank heavens.

i have finished a couple of things though. the sweet little puffin hat for rachel and ryan's baby boy. made out of crystal palace puffin which is a delight to knit with. and will be very soft for a baby.

and i finished the bath mat designed by vyvyan at fishbone designs. i really like the way it came out. the picture doesn't really do it justice. honest. one of my goals this year was to do some color work. and though this is not really color work, i am color inept so i was a bit concerned how the colors would work together since the majority of this yarn was in my sugar n' cream stash. but it works. and i can't wait to use it in the master bathroom of the new house. oh boy!

Friday, October 03, 2008

oh thank you! thank you!

so the very sweet and generous worsted knitt nominated me for an "i love your blog" award. wow! i am truly honored. thank you! it is really quite fun!

and the best part is i now get to nominate 4 of my favorite blogs for this award. ohboy! ohboy! once you have been nominated for this award you need to:

Post the award on your blog.
Add a link to the person who gave you the award.
Nominate at least 4 other bloggers and add their links.

cool huh? so my nominations are: a simple yarn; tea and cakes; wish i were baking and fishbone designs. thank you all for always being such an inspiration for me. it is a joy!

Friday, September 26, 2008


i finished the big guy's first sock. it came out really well. love the pattern, easy to knit, nice to look at. the sock fits him and he thinks it is comfortable. couldn't ask for much more.

so i was pretty excited to finish it. i knitted down to the needed number of stitches to bind off; kitchenered them up with a book for guidance instead of the usual knitting help dot com video (finally getting the hang of kitchener) and excitedly looked at the finished object as it popped off the needles. that is when i noticed something was amiss. how could it be? the toe seam was vertical to the sock. what!?! took another look, and my first assessment was right, the seam is vertical to the sock instead of horizontal. OI!

now i knit my socks on two circulars. and thanks to cat bordhi's great instructions, i can adapt any dpn pattern to a two circular pattern, no problem. whenever i came to a place that stumped me, out came the book for reference. but i knew what to do for toes so did not consult the book before i finished. which is why the toe seam ended up as it did. this is because each circular needle holds half of the instep stitches and half of the sole stitches. but as cat brodhi instructs in the book, all of the instep stitches need to be put on one needle and all of the sole stitches need to be put on the other needle. that way, the toe seam ends up being horizontal and not vertical. which i would have known had i read all the instructions in the book .

sigh. glad i discovered this now before more socks were needlessly maimed. and double glad that the big guy is a bit quirky so has no problem with the toe seam of his sock going vertical instead of horizontal. it hurts me to even think of it. sigh.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

going around in circles

i did not get bit by the spring cleaning bug this past spring. usually i do the annual airing out the house after winter, but not this year. i am making up for it now though. i can not walk into a room in our house without cleaning, weeding out and rearranging things. my family, who does not understand my obsession with a clean house, is nervous. they never know what will greet them when they open a cupboard. oh well.

i also have been reading. granted i am re-reading the hp series, but i am mid-way into book six and cannot put it down. i know what happens. i mean, seriously. but i am gripped none the less and find myself reading a few pages in between chores.

and my sweet friend's fall musical is weeks away from opening. since i am head of makeup, there are workshops to conduct and rehearsals to attend; not to mention the costume sewing.

all of these things i truly enjoy doing. the downside is i have little time for knitting. coupled with the fact i am knitting mostly socks. i love knitting socks but not when it is the only thing i am knitting. so when i came across this rug designed by vyvyan at fishbone designs i went through my sugar 'n cream stash and cast on. but i long for a new shawl but don't want to cast on until i have finished a project, but there are so many other things going on and not enough time to knit and holiday knitting to start. and on and on and on...

if i were a dog trying to lay down, this going around in circles would be fine, but as a knitter it is not fun. sigh. at lease socks are portable!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

cue madam dufarge

there is a young man at work, who, at the age of 23 will be starting his second tour of duty in afghanistan at the beginning of the year. this past spring, one of my nephews decided to enlist in the air force after graduating from high school instead of going to college. a former co-worker just informed me her 20 year old son just finished boot camp for the air force. and though i know all of these young men have consciously chosen this path, during wartime it gives me pause for concern.

how can i respect their choice when my view of what their options are is so very different? i knit socks of course. and knit into them all of my good wishes for their continued safety and good health.

while exploring “groups” in ravelry, i came across the group “socks for soldiers”. and though this is a ravelry support group of a much larger yahoo group, it inspired me to look into what it took to knit socks for soldiers. i discovered there is a regulation sock pattern to be knit out of regulation sock yarn out of various regulation sock yarn colors depending on what branch of the military is being knitted for. and you have to join the yahoo group in order to have access to these regulation items. so i joined the group and downloaded all of the various regulation items needed. thankfully knit picks is a big supporter of “socks for soldiers" so provides regulation sock yarn in the various regulation sock yarn colors. yay!

and though i am not really patriotic nor a supporter of the u.s. military machine, i felt the need to support these young men who are putting their lives on the line. and so i sit and knit socks. including them and their counterparts on my sock knitting list is the least i can do.

addendum 1:
the legion of honor sits on a section of lands end, which is a spit of land that overlooks the west side of the golden gate bridge and the pacific ocean. the views from lands end are truly glorious. after visiting the museum, i took a stroll along the eucalyptus lined parking lot just to see what the view would be at the end. little did i know, though d & t may have known, that one can walk from the legion of honor to the cliff house. the cliff house is at the end of geary street, perched on a rocky bluff, overlooking the pacific with waves crashing thunderously on the rocks below. it is really rather beautiful. and the views during this easy stroll were truly spectacular.

between the cliff house and the legion of honor is the uss san francisco memorial. this battleship survived pearl harbor, guadalcanal and some of the fiercest pacific sea battles of world war II. the memorial itself is actual sections of the bombed out bridge after the battle at guadalcanal. it sits on a bluff overlooking the pacific ocean toward the pacific rim it once fought in, surrounded by whispering trees. i sat in this injured bridge and knitted quite a few rows on the sock for the young man from work, hoping that the surviving spirit of this battleship would include itself in this sock and help this young man survive any challenge he may encounter.

addendum 1a:
that friday was a busy day. i went to the museum, did various shopping, then picked up my sweet friend and did various shopping with her. at the end of the day, while juggling various bags filled with various stuff, the bag containing the regulation sock and sock yarn disappeared. i did not notice it until saturday evening when i went to knit some on the sock. i searched all saturday night for it, sure that i had brought it in with the various other bags; i went through our garbage can with a flashlight, just to make sure it wasn't thrown out with one of the various other bags; on sunday, i retraced our steps, checking with the lost and founds of the various stores we had been to (you know you visit a store to much when the ladies at sephora know you and your knitting bags!). nothing. it seemed to be no where. late sunday afternoon, moments before i reached true despair, my cute husband found the knitting bag! it had been stuck under one of his heavy book bags he had placed on the love seat (which i had searched more than once) which had pushed the sock bag in between the cushion and the side. whew. my shining knight. and so the knitting continues.

Friday, August 29, 2008

may i introduce...

i took a couple of days off work this week. one day i just putzed about the house; on the second day, after dropping my sweet friend off at school, i drove into the city to catch the women impressionist exhibit at the palace of the legion of honor. a true delight!

the exhibit is of four painters, berthe morisot, marie bracquemond, eva gonzales and mary cassatt, which is the painter that drew me there. since i arrived as the exhibit opened, i was able to see all the pictures up close and personal. they were amazing. i have long been a fan of mary cassatt but i found myself equally drawn to the paintings of eva gonzales whose paintings were alive, vivid and quite passionate. truly stunning work. each artist had the ability to stop me in my tracks by at least two or three of their paintings.

on the way out, i stopped by the exhibit gift shop and purchased a pack of postcards that included copies of some of the exhibit paintings in hopes of framing a few. also picked up the last copy of one of my favorite mary cassatt prints. on the way home i made a quick stop at cheap pete's frame shop and was able to turn the favorite print into this. i show it here with a hank of sockpixie bambino sock yarn in the mary cassatt colorway. couldn't ask for much more.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

feel the force, luke

i love knitting socks. this past spring i joined the ravelry socks of summer 08 group. and though i will never be able to finish socks as quickly as some can (how can knitters finish a pair in two days!?), i am having a great time knitting them and being inspired by socks others knit.

when i was taught to pick up stitches, the sock guru who taught me suggested not worrying about picking up the exact number of stitches suggested; she always said if more stitches were picked up then more gusset decreases would need to be done, no big deal; the main objective was not to have gaps along the heel or at the gusset. so when picking up stitches, i am always aware of how many stitches need to be picked up, but I am not locked into that number. i tend to pick up the stitches “by feel” of what is needed.

when I picked up the stitches for my cute husband’s second sock, I discovered I picked up more stitches on the first side then I did on the second. hmmm, interesting; did not think much of it, just kept knitting. after picking up stitches for the pair of sport socks I am knitting the big guy, i counted my stitches and realized I had picked up 10 more stitches on the right side then I did on the left. wow! sort of a big difference. though the second side did not look so bad, my scrupulous eye was able to spot maybe the smallest gap or two, but still nothing to frog over.

but it did make me aware that it would be a good idea to pay a wee bit more attention to the number of stitches i am picking up; that I may actually need to mix a little more logic to the “by feel” way of picking up stitches to make sure the sides were even.

sigh. where is yoda when you need him?

btw, discovered a couple of little gaps at the gusset where a stitch or two would have done wonders. rats.
and in case you are interested: pattern: lonnie's sport socks by rebecca mercier, found on ravelry; yarn: lorna's laces, shepherd striping sock, in caramel or harvest, not sure, from purl, nyc

Monday, August 18, 2008

what a delight

so i joined the ravelry "swap on a budget" group where the spending limit was $20. it is always such fun to put together a package to send some one, but it is real fun to get a package. on my doorstep on saturday was this box:

and inside this box was all of this...
who knew so much stuff could fit into a converse shoe box! there was a scarf; a hank of this great kraemer sterling silk and silver yarn that is screaming to become a stole or shawl; a citrus candle, a bottle of wool of the lamb wool shampoo; a cow figurine and udderly smooth hand lotion (yes i love cows!) and two packets of button chocolates, milk and dark! absolutely lovely! i was very excited and grateful. many, many thanks to my secret spoiler. you are the best!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

a phoenix

instead of closing forever, the LYS was sold. it was closed for a little while and had it's grand reopening today. so i moseyed on down, took a turn or two around the store, admired all the new yarns then plopped myself down on one of the comfy chairs and knitted the afternoon away. i finished the second lace capelet (finally!); worked a bit on the big guy's sock and chatted with fellow knitters who also came to sit on the comfy sofas and chairs. i chatted with old friends and made new ones. including an up and coming knitting designer and a math teacher from the local high school who knew the big guy as both a student and t.a.; and who will have my sweet friend as a student in her class later this week! small world. it is so very nice to have a local LYS. yay!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


i am not a gamer person so this was listed on my birthday list as a whim. truly. but it was taken seriously by everyone else, especially the big guy and my sweet friend. and so here it is, for all to enjoy. i have to say, it is a lot of fun to play with. for all of us. wheeeee!

though i know this is a game and is not to be mistaken for the real thing, there is a reason i should not be involved in team sports. seriously.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

a breath

so this is the first day in about 3 weeks our internet has been up consistently. it has been an eye opening experiment. i may even blog about it but it will be after catching up on my blog reading and after the long line of posts i have in the wings. see you around.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

it really is amazing

i started blogging on a lark. i was a knitter who spent a good deal of time on the computer looking for new ideas, patterns, inspiration and instruction. i stumbled on a knitting blog, realized there were an amazing amount of them and discovered a whole new knitting world. little did i know when i started my blog what an amazing door i was opening to a whole cyber space community, both knitting and non-knitting, and the array of amazing people i would cyber meet.

since cyber space readers are world wide, there are few opportunities to meet a blogging buddy. but an opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago when david and tanita from wish i were baking came to visit their former stomping grounds. they were gracious enough to make time in their busy visiting schedule to meet for supper. for a minute or two, due to my crazy work schedule of late, it looked like we would miss each other, but everything ended up working out and we were able to spend a lovely time, meeting and visiting over mexican food. a delightful time was had by all and we plan to meet again on their next visit.

who knew when i started this babbling that i would meet and be inspired by some amazing people. i didn't have a clue. but i am very grateful.

p.s. the book in the picture is tanita's first book, a la carte, which had been released the day before our meeting. she generously gave my sweet friend a signed copy of the book. my sweet friend gobbled (pun intended) the whole book in one day, really liked it and would recommend it as a book to read. i think it was the line, "jazz choir is almost as good as making a souffle" that hooked her. plus we plan on making some of the recipes from the book together. what could be better!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

opinions wanted

i came across a sweater i bought off the sale rack from target many years ago and would like to take it apart for its yarn. it is made of silk and cashmere. i would like to salvage the yarn and knit something non-sweatery out of it, it is way to soft to hold a shape, believe me or else i would not have put the sweater in a to-be-given away pile. plus the fact that i bought it a size or so to big so it just flops about when worn.

so this is where the opinions come do i take apart a sweater in order to salvage the yarn? no clue, don't have time to research it right now, i am already dawdling big time.

so stew about it and let me know. thanks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

second sock syndrome

i am not sure if this happens to you, but it happens to the fam and me. we go to a friends house that is miles away, say for thanksgiving supper. it takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get there. we spend all day visiting and eating, etc., and climb back in the car for the long drive home. but the drive home seems to zip by and in seemingly no time at all, we are home. it may have taken the same amount of time but it just feels like time zips by.

that is how i feel about knitting socks. today i finished the cute husbands socks. the first sock took F-O-R-E-V-E-R, the second one took seemingly seconds. seconds! the first one was started last october, i think, with hopes of finishing the pair for his birthday at the end of november. this obviously didn't happen. the second one was started about 6 weeks ago. yes i realize i am one of the slowest knitters ever, but this second sock did take a much shorter time. and, to my defense, i did finish a lot of other projects while i was knitting on these. really.
i signed up for the summer of socks 2008 where prizes are being awarded every two weeks for those who finish a pair of socks within the two week parameters. i don't think i will ever be able to enter their contests, because i am such a slow knitter, but i will have a great time trying! next up on the sock knitting needles is a pair of sports socks for the big guy and a pair of leg warmers (mac and me yoga socks) for my sweet friend.

in the meantime, here are the specifics of the socks!
yarn: lorna's laces shepard sock in chocolate, 2 1/4 hank
pattern: broken garter rib from sensational knitted socks, size big!
needles: two circulars, size 2
model: the feet of my cute husband
photographer: me

Saturday, June 14, 2008

sunny saturday

today was wwkip day. at one point in time i had high hopes of doing one last hurrah at the LYS for wwkip day. but life has been so crazy and time consuming, it never really came to pass.

instead my sweet friend and i cleaned house for 2.5 hours, give or take, then took off for the beach. not an ocean beach where it is windy, cold and fogged in, but a beach on tomales bay where it is sunny and warm. where we could sit on our cool new beach chairs and soak up plenty of sun and the sound of families playing together. where my sweet friend was able to start reading t's just released book and where i was able to knit on my cute husband's sock to my heart's content.

i love sunny saturday's.

sorry, still no computer; still no pictures. soon, i hope!

Monday, June 09, 2008

5, 6 pick up...

second sock knitting was humming along quite well, and then i came to the picking up stitches part. this place in a sock always makes me pause, hesitate, question my ability. i gave it a try and failed. the stitches looked stretched and abused. i couldn't quite find my rhythm. i blamed it on the terrible lighting making it a challenge to work the dark brown parts of the yarn. so i ripped the stitches out and put the sock away, deciding it was best to pick up stitches during the day. which i did, the very next day. with no problem. figured out the stumbling blocks, found my rhythm and on went the stitches. now if i could just finish the sock by father's day...

sorry, no pictures. our computer is still out of commission.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ohhhh, backup! right!

our hard drive died. we took it to the shop to see if it could be resuscitated and if any data could be retrieved from it, but no. it has died and taken everything that was on it to hard drive heaven. and of course, there is no recent backup. sigh. there were years of pictures on that hard drive. family vacations, celebrations, performances. sigh. oh well, time to make new memories. and back them up.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

a splash of...

i had an "ahh" knitting moment the other day. it wasn't because i had learned a new stitch or corrected a delicate mistake. it was because i realized i can now look at a knitting pattern, see it in a different yarn as well as take note of whatever modifications i would need to do to make it comfortable for me to wear. doesn't necessarily mean i will knit it, but at least i have a better understanding of the overall pattern and how it will fit together instead of being intimidated by it and assuming "i am not ready to knit that yet"!

thankfully i came to this conclusion before i purchased interweave knits summer 08 edition. i have purchased this magazine pretty religiously ever since coming back to knitting. it inspires me and, up until recently, was known to intimidate me. i leafed through the issue oohhing and aahhing. there were so many items i heard calling my name! which was a bit of a surprise because quite a few of these items were full of c-o-l-o-r!

i am not talking about the solid, bright or unusual color. i am talking multicolors in one row color. i am talking about patterns and color. i am talking about how do i keep all those yarns untangled color. this is something that usually makes me break out in hives and whisper the "i am not ready..." mantra.

but not this time. this time was more, "could i tone those colors down? could i substitute colors?" though i have to admit one pattern i love has a steek in it which is enough to make the hair on the back of my neck rise.

but i think i could work past that, literally. doesn't mean i am going to knit it up immediately, it just means i am willing to give it a go and see how it all turns out. will keep you posted.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

knit of course

so what does one do when in between check-in's while chaperoning the daughter's h.s. choir trip to santa cruz and the santa cruz beach boardwalk? why, knit of course.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


so this is my 100th post.

it is amazing to me that i have been babbling about knitting and various other things for 100 posts. and that there are people who read these babblings, for which i am forever grateful. i have been inspired, challenged, encouraged and well fed by some amazing cyber friends.

i always thought i would have a celebratory contest for my 100th post but the planning of it is just beyond me at the moment. perhaps by the time i am done babbling on this post, something fun and quirky will arise.

but until then, i think i will babble about what started this blog in the first place, sticks and string...

so i was very sick a few weeks ago. like fevers of over 102 and lying in bed doing nothing for 5 days straight. i was so sick, it hurt my head to knit. and at the time i was in the middle of knitting a garter stitch potholder that will be felted, which is knitting at its easiest. as soon as i could pick up needles again, i finished it. it is knit out of some blue paton's merino and a green cascade 220 i had in my stash. of course i did not want to knit 3 potholders out of the same colors so i purchased another skein of cascade 220 in an deep aqua blue that would complement my two stash yarns. (yes, the yarns in the picture are the same, the color is different because of the lighting, booklyn tweed i am not.) this project got derailed for a bit when my cp size 10 straights began to split at the tip. very annoying. i had already done the sandpaper and wax paper thing to no avail. plus, the needles are a bit short for the amount of yarn that needs to be on them. i thought brittany needles would be the perfect solution. of course the LYS has every size but 10 and none of the other yarn stores in the area carry brittany's. grrr. after much hemming, hawing and gnashing of teeth, i traded the cp needles in for another non-splitting, longer pair of cp's and i am off and knitting once again.

once the potholder was done, i went straight to the cute husband's socks and finished the first one, finally. this is out of lorna lace's shepard sock chocolate stripe colorway. can i tell you how much i love this yarn. i love this yarn. i love the feel of it, the way it stripes, how easy it is to work with, even in a darkened theatre. i cast on the second sock immediately and knit on it whenever i can.

the next item to be finished was the lace capelet out of ry cashsoft baby dk, colorway 502, sweet. it turned out pretty well. when i asked my sweet friend to try it on for size, she did not want to take it off because it was warm and soft. which i took as a good sign. i immediately frogged the boring ruffle scarf also being knit out of cashsoft colorway 517, donkey, to start the second lace capelet. these are for two very dear friends who i usually give the same type of present to. i found the pattern on ravelry and it is quite easy. my personal challenge with it was keeping the correct number of stitches consistent. for some reason, whenever i did the yarn over rows i would either lose a stitch or add a stitch. it was maddening. i frogged the finished capelet down to practically the beginning to correct this, just to have it happen again! i finally decided it was one stitch. it really wasn't going to make that big of difference. and, of course, it all turned out ok in the end.

still on the needles is my sweet friends short ruffle scarf. as you can see, i have picked up the stitches on the short end and added the ruffle, but the long ends has 297 stitches to be picked up which is a daunting task to me. plus, i was expecting the ruffle to be more ruffle-y. since i will also be making this scarf for me, i may experiment with repeating the ruffle pattern. and if i have enough yarn in which to do so. but i need the needles so i better get on with finishing this one.

there are babies. i had never made anything baby so i decided to do hats. the first one was for baby alison, a beautiful and amiable baby at work (i work at the local ymca where there are plenty of staff babies around). much to my sweet friend's chagrin, i decided to knit up the sprout hat pattern by leigh spencer which i found on mag knits. it called for mission falls cotton, which i had never worked with before. i really liked it. i chose colorways 206-peony and 404-indigo. the yarn was easy to work with and lovely when knit up; it complemented the moss stitch well. unfortunately i did not get a picture of the hat before i gave it to baby alison, so here are all the ingredients, you will need to imagine what it looked like. fyi, peony was the dominant color, indigo the accent; picture it in your mind.......ok next.

the second baby hat was for rachael and ryan's baby. they live in the city (s.f.) where the coldest part of the year is coming up, summer, so hat's for a baby are totally appropriate. while doing an east bay yarn store crawl, i mentioned baby hats to the person behind the counter at k2tog. she suggested crystal palace puffin, a bulky polyester fleece ribbon yarn. one ball makes a hat, and she provided the pattern. what more could i ask for? the colorway is dotty circus. and though i was a bit skeptical about the polyester once i started to knit it i was quite pleased. this yarn is so soft and will be so nice for a baby head. and it looks really sweet knit up. can't wait to finish it and give to baby callum.

in the way of yarn, this past januray cheryl had a comment contest on her blog. by lucky circumstance i won a couple of skeins of yarn from it. some beautiful crimson kilcarra in which to make a tudora; and some homespun yarn from craftspun. the original thought was to try my hand at dyeing and dye the homespun, which i would have then shared on the blog. but i am now leaning towards keeping it undyed. it is really lovely but i am not sure what to make. and to be the non-metric american, how long is 250 grams? so i shall see.

and though i have been trying to knit from my stash, temptation is strong, so very strong. so i confess i have been collecting sock yarns. i figure they are relatively inexpensive and one skein equals a pair of socks so it is not like going it?

the first sock yarn purchase was via the grey's anatomy knitters group on ravelry. sknitches had a "seriously" colorway. if you are a watcher of grey's anatomy you know the various ways this word gets used. the colorway had sold out but sknitches was willing to dye a special batch for group members if they pre-ordered and pre-paid. score! had to have one! and i love it! seriously. i am hoping to score another one for my sweet friend. she would like legwarmers. we will see what happens.

the second sock yarn purchase was from sockpixie. this woman owned a lovely little yarn store in petaluma, the town above mine. if my LYS was not within walking distance of my home, i would have become a regular in her shop. she offered wonderful classes and beautiful yarns. then her husband was transferred to boston so her yarn store closed. she kept in touch through her blog which morphed into sockpixie, which offered sock patterns, and eventually sock yarn. she and her daughter dye a different colorway selection in various types of sock yarns each week so when the yarn is gone it's gone. this colorway came from the week she was inspired by famous women and named her sock yarn colorways after them. this specific colorway is colette, a writer i met in college, became enamoured with and have read over and over again. so, of course, had to have it; love it; can't wait to knit it up.

whew! i think that is the latest. and i am sorry to say, something quirky is still beyond my reach. perhaps at blog number 150! so stay tuned. many thanks to all of you who amaze and inspire me. it's a lot of fun.
(it is a bit sad that life is so busy this post took three weeks to put together! yeesh!)

Monday, April 07, 2008

a gap is forming

my local LYS is closing.

i met some great knitters there; i learned a lot from those knitters; i was inspired and challenged by those knitters; i took classes from them; i had the opportunity to teach beginning knitting and introduce new knitters to the satisfaction of making and sharing something beautiful.

the owner is trying to sell the business but i am not sure if there will be any takers. which is sad because i think the community can certainly hold a knitting store.

but the saddest thing is i feel like a comfortable old friend is going away. i will miss all of the talk with the girls, the sharing, the ooohhhing and aaahhhing, the catching up with friends. all within walking distance of home.

so it goes. everyone will move on to other things. but i will always be grateful for the time i had there.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

it started with this

i was pretty excited about going to my first stitches west this past weekend. i had enrolled in one of the hour long classes being offered which gave me a free ticket into the market floor, a yarn haven.

the tuesday evening before the big weekend i was going through various groups on ravelry to see if i could carpool with fellow attendees. in one of the groups there was mention of a special "stitch and ride" version of the capital corridor, an amtrack train which travels from sacramento to san jose (where stitches west is held).

a few clicks of the mouse later, i found the site, discussed with my cute husband the financial and logistical advantages of taking the train and decided to buy a ticket. due to the late purchase, the site said i would need to pick up my ticket from the ticket booth the morning of departure.

but on thursday there was a DHL package by the front door and it contained this...

and the excitement factor increased 10 fold. the cute husband could hardly contain me in the car on the way to the train station.

the train was about 25 minutes late, but once inside all riders received one of these:

holy moly! and all the free coffee you could drink. what could be better on a drizzly saturday morning?!

the train arrived about 11ish; the description had said the convention center was a 10 or 15 min walk away so i thought walking wouldn't be a bad option, but the shuttle buses were waiting with open doors so in i hopped and was at my first stitches west stop, the ravelry booth, within moments.

ravelry did a passport book to introduce members to ravelry supporters and businesses. it was a great way to meet some fellow ravelers and support their various yarn endeavors. it was also a great way to make sure every aisle was explored. there was some amazing yarn being offered. my personal favorites the buffalo and musk ox yarns. so soft and beautiful, so incredibly expensive.

it was suggested i have a plan of who or what i wanted to see. so i put a list together of things i needed; vendors i wanted to see, etc. so between the "plan" and the passport, i pretty much saw every booth on the floor. webs had two huge booths which were always packed. since i didn't have a specific project in mind, i didn't visit them. i was drawn to the smaller, single person type yarn vendors.

i was also drawn to sock yarns. one of the sock yarn vendors i wanted to see was blue moon yarns, which also happened to be in the ravelry passport. the colorway i was truly lusting after was rock star. there had been one skein left when i was in my lookie-lou phase. by the time i went back to do my purchasing, it was gone. fortunately that set back wasn't a deterrent. i just purchased this colorway instead. it is called peaseblossom and it is 360 yards of lightweight 100% superwash merino. rah. can't wait to knit it up.

the second sock yarn i was drawn to were those by lisa souza. this is her elektra colorway which is 560 yards of 100% superfine superwash merino. i am thinking this would make the cute husband a nice pair of socks.

the last big sock purchase was from the bins of a vendor from so cal, the yarn lady. the bins in front of this booth had bags of yarn for 70% off. with the first look-see i found yarns i wasn't interested in; a second look-see unearthed bags of 8 balls of fortissima colori socka color sock yarn all in the same color way. a third look-see unearthed this, a bag of 8 balls of fortissima in 4 different colorways, meaning a pair of socks per colorway. all i could think of was presents! at 70% off! there were very few bargains but this was definitely one of them. i was very pleased.

the only non sock yarn purchase were these two, from terilyn needleart, two sisters who like knitting lace shawls. the first time i passed by this yarn it screamed "shawl!". the second time i passed by, i just stopped and shopped. all of their colorways are lovely but these two really captured me. these are the heather yarns, the light one is colorway 5680, periwinkle and the dark one is 5751, midnight. each hank has 560 yards! i love the midnight colorway but it will be very dark to knit with. i will need very good lighting, especially with lace. but so it goes!

all in all, my first stitches west was a great adventure and i look forward to next year!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

holding strong

i made it through another sunday update without purchasing sock yarn from sockpixie. i am so proud. especially since her colors were inspired by the provence region of france, i thought for sure i would get hooked. and i did, but the colorway was sold out by the time i logged in. whew. on to stitches west next saturday!

and speaking of socks, i am wanting to knit some ankle length socks for the big guy and am in need of a pattern. i am sure there is one out there, i just can't remember where i saw it. if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. have a good week everyone.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

i got to choose

my cute husband and kids are involved with the ymca youth & government program. after 5 months of practicing state government their big weekend of taking over the state capital building is always around valentines day; this year it just happened that valentines day and the first day of y&g were the same. they are going to take over the state capital for five days and i get to stay home to do whatever i want. not a bad trade off.

for valentines day supper i decided i wanted pink food. really i just wanted salmon. the fam isn't fond of me making salmon because of the "fishy" smell. but they are not here and the dog doesn't mind if the house smells of salmon. i had this idea i wanted to have pasta with the salmon. then i decided to mix the salmon with the pasta.

so on the way home from work i stopped at the local market, got salmon, lemons, thyme, chives, italian flat leaf parsley and asparagas. i put water on for pasta and asparagas; made a poaching broth of water, lemon slices, parsley, shallots and garlic; poached the salmon; drained the pasta; sauted garlic and shallots in the pan with some olive oil and lemon juice; added the pasta; sprinkled it with minced chives and parsley; added the salmon and asparagas, which, in the meantime had been sliced into thirds; mixed them all together until everything was warm and served it with a sprinkle of some lovely, fresh parmesean cheese in one of my favorite bowls.

it was perfect. it was just what i wanted. and, there are leftovers. not to bad for being alone on valentines day! hope yours was wonderful, too!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

how time flies!

wow, time is flying by! it is already february and i am still futzing about with christmas presents.

i realized the garter stitch ruffle scarf out of rowan cashsoft was b-o-r-i-n-g! and if i was bored knitting it, the recipient would more than likely be bored wearing it. plus, in order to match the vision of this scarf in my mind's eye, the scarf needed to be a bit thinner and have more ruffle. the plan was to make two of these type of scarves which would give me an opportunity to fiddle with the pattern. but i was so bored with the scarf and the knitting of it, i decided it would look better in a verigated, fun yarn instead of a solid color yarn. plus i found this great lace capelet pattern on ravelry and wanted to see how it would look in the second cashsoft colorway.

and it looks pretty good. i really like how it is coming out. apart from the fact i got about 20 rows from the end and realized i had dropped a few stitches about 5 inches down and had missed a couple of yarn overs which are essential to the pattern so i had to frog it practically to the beginning. thankfully it is a real quick knit so i wasn't to concerned. and once i get it off the needles, i think it will stretch to fit nicely. i haven't frogged the boring ruffle scarf yet because i want to see how the capelet turns out. when i get closer to the end of the capelet, i will frog and straighten the scarf yarn.

i also started blossom out of elsebeths lavold silky wool, colorway #56. this is for my mom. since i purchased the yarn moments before christmas, the thought was to have it done by valentine's day. ha! so it is currently languishing on my needles. plus, i am being a little to cautious about the repeats, which i have to figure out on my own, instead of having the pattern tell me exactly what to do. aughhh! once i figure it out i am sure everything will be fine and i will chuckle at my doubt. but until then...

i have also been knitting my cute husbands sock. i am on the foot. and though this has taken me quite a while to knit i feel like i have learned alot about sock knitting or about how i knit socks. so i bring it with me everywhere just in case i get a moment to knit a few rows.

the last challenge i have is to not buy any new yarn. ha! stitches west is coming in a couple of weeks and i am trying to save all my pennies for their marketplace, which i hear is overwhelming, but then i look at sockpixie's new sock colorways and i am so very tempted. it is so hard to keep the finger from clicking "add to basket"! maybe i'll just frog the scarf.