Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And the Correct Answer is:

A KIWI! Except I think I misplaced his nose-beak and I gave him ridiculous ostrich legs. Here he is in his natural habitat- a potted jade plant. This lucky little guy will be going to live with my sister in San Diego (which of course, in German....*) and then on to Virginia in a few months. I gave him bright blue eyes, for no particular reason really.
FO: Kiwi
Pattern: Crazy Kiwi Bird by Hannah Kaminsky
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Superwash in Copper (MC), Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted in Sunburst Gold (CC)
Needles: US 5 dpns
Mods: I-Cord legs, embroidered eyes, misplaced nose-beak

As if that wasn't enough, another FO would like to come out to play. May I present my shiny new razor cami! This baby was so quick, it was finished in just over a week.

Pattern: Razor Cami by Katie Marcus
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Muskat (colorway 74 if anyone cares)
Needles: US 4 circs
Mods: didn't do CC, made I-Cord straps. If I were going to knit this again, I would bind off some stitches on the sides of the back half. As it is, the straps in the back fall really close to my arms instead of near my shoulderblades.

Here is some knitting I started on my extra long 4.5 day vacation:
First up, my airplane knitting. My snicket socks are on metal dpn's and I was scared of having them confiscated so I started a new pair with my trusty bamboo addi 2's. I may have to get some new ones. These are getting all bent out of shape and dull. More info on my Ravelry page.
Next is the beginning of a Neiman sweater. I'm in the middle of the waist increase rounds at the moment. (Again, more info & pics on my Ravelry page.) This should be good for some Heroes knitting. We've still got 4 or 5 more episodes until we're caught up to the current season. Thank goodness for DVR!
Man, it looks like I've been a busy bee. But really, this is over a few weeks including a vacation. Vacation blogging tomorrow! Forgive me if I don't include anything knitting related.
*see Anchorman with Will Ferrell for complete quote. If you don't know it, you should.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Breath of Fresh Air

Is sometimes what you need in a city! Some shots from various parks on my Pacific Northwest trip:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oh, Canada

Back from vacation! Vacation = eating my way through the Pacific Northwest with three awesome friends.

Vancouver, BC is amazing. The food is delicious and diverse, the city is clean, and the architecture gorgeous. By the end of our first day in Vancouver we were checking out real estate prices and wondering about becoming a citizen of the Commonwealth.

One of the things I loved most about Vancouver was the appreciation for outdoor space. They have a fantastic park, Stanley Park, the streets are lush and tree-lined, and the majority of apartment buildings had terrace, balcony, or roof gardens--bringing some fresh air and beautiful foliage into the urban landscape.

Here is a shot from the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Just a few minutes outside of downtown, this is apparently the biggest tourist trap in the area, but we could not resist the lure of a temperate rain forest and and a nice forest stroll.

Vancouver at Sunset, from our hotel room, looking toward English Bay.

Vancouver from our balcony in morning sunshine.

Did I mention that in Vancouver we gorged ourselves silly? Great food in that city. In Vancouver we ate salmon in these various ways: smoked salmon jerky, sashimi, in assorted sushi rolls, in fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, more sashimi, salmon artichoke dip, salmon pie, seafood quiche, and some more sashimi. I may have missed a few...

After Vancouver, we sailed for Victoria. Victoria itself was an underwhelming city with a few great buildings, and a lot of empty shops.

The highlight was definitely the gorgeous ferry ride from the mainland to Vancouver Island. Spectacular!

After Victoria we said good bye to two wonderful travel partners, and explored Seattle on our own for a few days. More goooooooooood food. We bough a crab, a pound of shrimp, a crusty loaf of olive sourdough, and a cranberry apple piroshki at Pike's Place market to make one of the best picnic style dinners ever. Not quite a picnic in an outdoor sense, but what else can you do when the Office season premiere is on but hunker down with some tasty snacks. Bears, beets, Battle Star Galactica.

We rowed all about Lake Union. More like N rowed me all about Lake Union in a cute wooden row boat rented from the Center For Wooden Boats in Seattle. And look, Sleepless in Seattle style houseboats!

Sweet Chinatown dragon...

We return very relaxed and happy, and still ready to move to Vancouver! I only went to one knitting store (the very cute So Much Yarn in Seattle) but restrained myself. I would love to be able to continue to restrain myself and knit from my stash until 2009. I did buy a couple cute fabric scraps at the Underground Quilter in Seattle's Pike's Place Market. I love quilting stores! The cotton, the prints, the adorably small bundles!

I do have some FO action shots!

My latest FO: Turn a Mountain Square
Pattern: Turn a Square Hat by Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Bernat Natural Cashmere (the dark grey) and Rowan Natural Silk Aran in Indigo
Comments: Seeing as this is the third one of these babies I have knitted, I will not go on too much. The only mod I made from the original was to knit on dpns not circs. The raglan decreases are at the joins in the needles, making the decreases a bit loose. I do not usually have laddering at my joins, but in this case with the decreases, they did crop up.

Oh! I know I said I would not go on too much, but I will share a mega dunce moment. The first two times I made the hat (having never made anything with color changes before) I did not know what "carry the other color" meant. I was cutting my yarn at every color change, making a mega mess of ends to deal with. I ended up hand felting the ends so they wouldn't run. Lots of ends. Tons. Like Monster from the Muppet's hair. It wasn't until I had started this third one, and was in the car, sans scissors, that I realized what was going on. I thought I wasn't going to be able to knit much on the car ride, since I did not have scissors and could not clip the ends. So I just knitted on anyway, thinking I could cut and tie off for felting when I got home. At the second color change it became gloriously clear: I had been mega dense about the directions! You are not supposed to cut the yarn, you are supposed to CARRY the unused color. Duh. Big time.

It is times like that I realize I my knitting career has been short and unproductive! Speaking of which, this month is my second knitaversary. The first year, I was still crocheting a lot, and only finished 1.5 scarves in my first year! That's it! Here in year two, I have completed a bunch more scarves, hats, booties, a cowl, socks, and am working on my first lace. I have picked up spinning (and sewing!) and taught several people how to knit. I hope that year three will bring my first sweater and a ton of awesome sockies!

The grey-red hat is turn a square #1, made for N. The blue-grey turn a square it #3, the Mountain version. The awesome short row hat to the right is made by our very own Kristina, out of some lovely Claudia's hand painted. I must say, there is nothing better than seeing good friends appreciating good knitting! These homemade hats were on these heads for at least a few hours everyday on this vacation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Last Last Weekend

Last Saturday I was so craft-productive. Here are the fruits of my journey (no pun intended). All fabric purchased at Joann's for ~$25. I got about 3 yards of the blue, 8 of which were 50% off since it was the last of the bolt. I am hoping to make the blue cotton into a bed-pocket because we don't have nightstands, resulting in crap-covered floor. I am loving this bed-pocket from xetark on flickr. So crisp looking. Me likey.

I am thinking of pairing these two fabrics to make a simple tote like Rose's first one. Stripes on the bottom, apples on top. I'm not really into apple-bottoms. I am more of a pear-bottom myself. Joann's really didn't have a great fabric selection, but these were all on sale so what the hey. I think it will turn out pretty well- the colors that is. No promises on how my sewing will be. Okay, one promise: it won't be pretty.
Also on Saturday, I treated myself to a BOBA!!! I HEART BOBA!!! There is a Tapioca Express just a few blocks down from me and this was the first time I've been since moving. Man, it's so good, once it hits your lips. Peach Snow Bubble, you are my BFF. Can we hang out more often?

Then on Sunday, Saviche and I went to watch Mamma Mia! It was good. Ridiculous, but entertaining. I think a good time was had by all. And she got her socks (as seen below). For the past week I've had random snippets of Mamma Mia songs stuck in my head. Kinda lame since I only know one or two lines from each chorus. Well, besides Dancing Queen. I have spent many a day (okay maybe only once) sequestered in my room rocking out to Dancing Queen. Who among you can say that you haven't? That's right. No one.

P.S. I'll give you a dollar* if you can guess what this is. No cheating and looking at my Ravelry queue!
*and by "give" you a dollar, I mean "not actually give" you a dollar.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Travelling Sock Picture

FO: Coral Socks
Pattern: Uptown Boot Socks by Jennifer L. Appleby (Favorite Socks, IWK 2003)
Yarn: KnitPicks Bare (100% Peruvian Wool), Fingering Weight, custom dyed by me
Started 08/31/08, Finished 09/11/08
Mods: reversed cables on second sock for a mirrored look
Photo courtesy of the lovely Saviche (name changed to protect the innocent) over at QSBR.com, taken in Yosemite overlooking El Capitan and Half Dome.

This pattern was great. I love the way the cables look like spirals when off, but turn into little balloons when worn. It's like black magic. Or bright pink and orange magic. Saviche picked out the pattern for me and then expressed such admiration that I decided to gift them to her. Also, she has really cold feet all the time and 100% wool should fix that. If it doesn't, she'd probably be better off with no feet at all. (I keed, I keed!)

I have been such a slacker with the picture uploading. There are all these pretty pictures of fabric I bought last weekend, not to mention the picture of Saviche receiving her new socks. I need some bloggy motivation. Perhaps the thought of flaunting a finished Razor Cami will whip me into shape. ;) It's so close, and I can feel the first brisk breezes of fall already. Hold on summer! Just a few more days!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane

I am going on vacation! I will be back in just over a week. Here is a pre-vacation WIP log:

Hemlock Ring Blanket... Kristina and I are supposedly doing a knit along, but I am falling behind. This is where it currently lives, stashed under an end table.

I haven't even reached the feather and fan portion yet.

The Swallowtail.
Sigh. I am not sure I love lace knitting. In fact, I know I don't like it, I am just not sure why.

The yarn is KnitPicks gloss lace weight in sterling.

I just hope its purty once its all blocked and done with. Which will hopefully be soon after I return from vacation.

Here is a sort of WIP, mostly FO. Its my third Turn a Square Hat. This one is made with Bernat Natural Cashmere blends in a dark grey, and Rowan Natural Silk Aran in Indigo for the contrast color.

The recipient of this yet to be blocked hat is one of my vacation cohorts, so I will get some good pictures of it in action this week, perhaps side by side with my first turn a square hat!

Here it is, squashed flat on my couch to reveal some of its squarey-ness.

Here are two not yet but soon to be WIPs.

On the left, some Berroco cotton twist for some baby booties. The baby was born a few days ago, but will have to wait a bit for the booties. I forgot to pack this, so its post vacation knitting.

On the right, some super chunky Wool Ease by Lion. For my dear friend Mariam's bday, I promised her the knitted item of her choice. She has requested a chunky ribbed scarf with a big old button, modeled after the Fossil's Mia scarf. The faux mia and my sock will be my vacation knitting.

Happy knitting :)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Around Town

There is something wonderful about San Francisco that makes me turn into a tourist in my own city. Could be my love of architecture and lovely little aesthetic details, or San Francisco's propensity to create odd photo ops. I carry my camera with me always, so I never think to myself "man, I wish I had my camera." I have seen the Golden Gate Bridge pretty regularly my entire life, yet whenever I see it I am suddenly taking upwards of twelve new shots of it.

I am one step away from a fannie pack and a segway.

Enjoy a few tourist shots of the lovely Herbst Theater, in the San Francisco Civic Center.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Yes. That's how my stomach feels.
*note to self: having pizza + coke for 2 of 3 consecutive meals is PROBABLY a bad choice. Especially when the third meal is only toast.

Too many bread products! I need a ::insert fruit or veggie here:: STAT!!!

I know I said I would reveal a secret on Monday, but... I'm a liar. I need to upload my pics first, and since I'm at work at the moment that is getting put off until later tonight or tomorrow (if I am not too busy having a Heroes-a-thon and fixing my razor cami, more on said cami later).

To keep you entertained, have you been reading the Purl Bee- blog of the freakin amazing store Purl Soho whose California warehouse I am fortunate enough to work within 5 miles of? Go check it out, I'll wait...

Aren't their yarns/fabrics fantastic? If only I had a million dollars. Rose and I had a conversation this year at Stitches West about this. It went a little something like this:

me: There is so much good stuff here! I wish I had a million dollars.
Rose: Me too!
me: But if I had a million dollars I would feel guilty buying a million dollars worth of yarn. I would probably end up spending it on rent and food and paying back loans.
Rose: This is true. Maybe if we had a million dollars in gift cards.
me: And we could only spend the gift cards on yarn. Yeah, then I wouldn't feel so bad.

So basically, if anyone has $1 million worth of yarn and/or fabric gift cards, feel free to send it on over my way.

If you have any spare fruit or veggies lying around, I'd take those too.

p.s. I totally got sidetracked from my Purl Bee story. Check out this post. Those iron on transfer pencils are so cool! One day iron transfer pencil. One day you will be mine.

Here's a gratuitous pic of a Hawaiian sunset I took last Christmas (because I hate when my posts don't have pictures).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bag Parade

We have bags! My effort to learn how to sew while simultaneously spicing up my bag life continues, with the following results:

I sewed a liner with a pocket into the first bag I made. There is some bunching at one of the liner's seams, so I might go back and rip it out, but I might not. At the moment, the bag is housing the materials for my 3rd turn a square hat.

My yummy Asian print bag is completed! My reversible bag with bottom panel action was a success!

The fat bottomed bag has a fall colors side, and a cool purple, green and blue side.

I loooove it!

This is my new purse of the moment, and all my junk has been transferred into it. Its a good size (12" wide x 9" tall, with 22" handles.)

Now in the works is a slightly larger bag, in a red and black Spanish fan print:

In this same fabric I have a skirt cut, pinned and ready to sew, but I thought I would continue to practice on bags for a bit (read i am now addicted to bags. If you know me personally and are female, expect one at Christmas). I bought a bunch of small bits of fabric to make piecework pillows, but I fear they might succumb to the bag craze.

And a little taste of the season from a Sonoma County farm...enjoy your weekends!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Have a Secret

...to be revealed on Monday! =)

Hint: It involves gifts. Buahahaha.....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On Second Thought...

...I should branch out from neutrals. Whatevs yo, I am in love with all of my new acquisitions.

Stash enhancements!:

Miss Babs Superfine Alpaca in Silver

So soft, it's like dipping your hand into a bag of puppies wrapped in clouds covered in the breath of angels.

I hear spinning alpaca is a little trickier than spinning wool, so I am waiting to get a little more experience before I try this out.

Miss Babs BFL in Amber

Here shown with about 10 yards spun up with the navajo ply-on-the-fly technique on my lovely Butterfly Girl Designs spindle. I am really excited, I think I am getting much better at spinning- this mini-skein is so fluffy and BALANCED. WAHOO!!! =)

Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk in Natural and Fawn

These cones are so soft, I can't wait to knit up something with them. I am thinking maybe a pair of lacey knee-highs with one cone. I need something to wear with my skirts when it gets chilly.

Here is 1 oz. of my DragonFibers Merino/Bamboo spun up. It is a bit overspun and overplied, resulting in kindofa hard/stiff yarn. I am hoping that a good soak and thwacking will soften it up a bit. It's somewhere between fingering and DK weight. Not really a stash enhancement, but now it's actually knitable.

And now, a WIP: Hemlock! The KAL, soon to be musical. ...er, maybe the world is not ready for Hemlock! The Musical. One day world, one day.

(P.S.: don't you love my sweet blobular pic? I thought about pinning out sections and trying to take artsy fartsy pics, but I am all talk and no action, ferocious bark and zero bite, a lover not a fighter, big words/small stick, etc, etc....)

I guess it's time for actual homework. Le sigh. I need to hide my stash. It is trying to distract me already. Oh, how it calls to me...