Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Quiz Time

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Go help out a grad student with his Ph.D. work; take this quiz at MIT.


Before I get to the good stuff, I need advice. I won an auction on (Germany) and the seller doesn't know anything about PayPal. Do any of you know of easy, speedy alternatives? I checked out Western Union and it would cost about $20 to send 9.50 Euros. HUH? Help! Worst case, I'll mail her a money order, and I'll receive my package around December. Ha!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comLook what was on my porch when I got home today! Yay! Books!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI got Loop-D-Loop, which is the one I'm most excited about, plus Knitted Toys (good to have around for gifts and such), Simple Socks, Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns, Ann Budd's Book of Sweater Patterns and Yarn Requirements. That ought to keep me busy for a while. I've definitely hit a point where I have more books and magazines than I'll ever use, but that's kind of fun.

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There was also a weird, very plasticy (you know that smell) little tote stuck in the bottom of the box, plus a sample. Calcium samples? Hm.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cotton Ease and Shizzle

So. Remember when I said, "Yay!" because school was out for summer and I'd be doing 24/7 knitting? Yeah. That hasn't happened yet. I have made a little progress on Aprikot Jacke, but not enough to tell you about.

Here's what has happened:

- Toddler birthday parties are crazy. Crazy.

- Mothers in law get very excited when their daughter in law suggests a day together at the new outlet mall.

- GAP and Ann Taylor have cute stuff.

- Mr. Goodkarma shopped for clothes (!) by himself (!) and didn't only buy the usual uniform of black tshirt and olive shorts!! I was so proud of him I almost had a heart attack.

- Fremont Outdoor Cinema double date is a good idea. Them playing Napoleon Dynamite to a crowd of folks who've obviously seen it before and are laughing/quoting the whole time is hilarious!

- Fledgling stitch n bitch got together at a local coffee shop. Fulay (from Little Knits -- go shop there, she is the coolest business owner/fun friend!) vented about being a tired mom to a toddler and a new baby. When I told her I'm trying to get pregnant she offered to hit me over the head. Then we laughed a lot and I snorted, which is normal for me. :)

- I went to Tuesday Morning for the first time in search of Cotton Ease. Bought 6 skeins of pistachio and 6 skeins of blue popsical. Not sure I'll even use them (I already have 6 skeins of blue popsical!). Would rather trade for other colors, especially Licorice or Vanilla (of course), or a darker teal green that I've seen in the past at a shop but isn't on the website (was I on crack that day?), or Candy Blue or Blueberry. Anyone wanna trade? This picture of blue popsical seems a bit light/bright to me. It's deeper and turquoisier.

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- Oh, and the owl pellet I disected yesterday at my week long science class (see, I wasn't just complaining that my summer hasn't really started yet) was kind of gross.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Huh? Ooooh...

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So the Aprikot Jacket is absolutely gorgeous to knit and I'm all in love with the pattern. However, the details are a bit fuzzy and I had to break out the graph paper last night when I was done with the ribbing and it was time to start the diagonal pattern.

After that, it all made sense. You just have to start the graph on what would normally be the wrong side of the garment (the side that has P2 on the edges rather than K2). At least, that's what finally worked out for me.

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Here she is, peeking at you in her halfway done back glory. I've figured out that optimal color photographing time/place is out on the back deck after dinnertime. Ain't she pretty?

Didya notice the new Interweave Knits there in the background? I love fall. So much. There are a few things I'll consider from this issue.

Big Geek Beth and I have been talking. I didn't want her to think I was stalking her, but we have a lot in common. Without spelling it out for the whole world, we've both been noticing how many of you are making One Skein Wonders, and we've both been shaking our heads. You see, Beth and I are well endowed chicks and we just don't know how OSW could possibly do anything else but highlight our bustlines in disgusting ways. We also suspect Orangina, another of Stephanie Japel's fantastic designs, might look equally disgusting on us. So, if there are any of you out there who read this and have knit either OSW or Orangina, and have bOObs, would you let me know? I'm talking thirtysixdoubledee for me. Not sure about Beth's size, 'cause I haven't really been stalking her. :) hee hee

Oooo! And it's blue!

what flavor pocky are you?

[c] sugardew

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Schooool's Out For Summer!

Yay! School's out, so in between summer science courses, doctor appointments, home organization projects, planning for our vacation, etc., I'm ready to catch up on knitting. I promise to have knitting news in the next couple of days.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIn the meantime, I have some fun pics to share. A couple of weeks ago, we had a big birthday bash for my younger step-sister. She's 24 and drank way too much, so the only picture I have of her is very, Image hosted by Photobucket.comvery unflattering and not fit to share. :) But here I am sitting on my mom's deck in the back yard. She has an amazing flower garden. Here's my Mr. Goodkarma in the one picture where he doesn't look stoned. That's a special talent of his. I suspect this one looks Image hosted by Photobucket.comokay because he's wearing his shades.... cause here's one where he's posing with my other stepsister, and what did I tell you? Stoner-looking husband.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comOn Father's Day, my brother and I took our dad to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (known to Seattleites as the Ballard Locks). Dad used to take us there all the time when we were kids. Any trip to Seattle would be complete with a visit... the locks themselves were engineered and built by the Army Corps of Engineers way back in 1917 as a way of allowing boats to travel between the Image hosted by Photobucket.comPuget Sound (saltwater) and Lake Washington (fresh water). Now it's a fun place to watch the sailboats pass through. Also, there is a fish ladder to assist the salmon in returning to their origins to spawn, and you can see them rushing up the ladder, against the current, through big underground windows. The Locks also has gorgeous botanical gardens and lawns, isn't far at all from Golden Gardens and Shilshole, in case anyone wants some beach time. And across the street you get to eat fish and chips at the Totem House, making family recipes since 1948. Yum yum! Image hosted by Photobucket.comWe saw this newish outdoor sculpture there, photo from the Roddy Scheer website.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis week I was fortunate enough to receive a fat gift certificate to one of my favorite spas in town, Ummelina. A couple of parents got my whole class together to chip in and buy a gift certificate for me, isn't that thoughtful?! Wow, BIG surprise!! So I went on Monday night with a couple of girlfriends and had a fabulous facial. I still have money left to go toward a massage... their massages are The Best I've Ever Had. Probably because the whole place is lux and you get to go through several steps of relaxation, including a shower beforehand in a room with many showerheads, heated comfy massage tables, warm neck pillows afterward in the tranquility room, etc. Sigh...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAnd what should appear in my mailbox today from Yay! I bought Last-Minute Knitted Gifts because of all the Hourglass Sweaters I've seen; I hadn't even looked at all the other patterns in the book. I'm impressed with the layout and design of the book and there are actually a few things I will make; looks like a good book to have on hand for gift ideas. And Knitting On the Road has been calling to me ever since I checked it out from the library a couple months ago.

Maybe tomorrow my Crafters Choice books will arrive. Yes, I signed up a week or so ago, mostly because they offered Loop-D-Loop, which I really, really want!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tiny Taste of Seattle

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So I got to spend the day at EMP with 80 second graders. In case you've never heard of EMP, aka Experience Music Project, it's a rock 'n roll museum that was begun as a way to celebrate Jimi Hendrix and his roots in Seattle. Mr. Goodkarma (guitar extraordinaire) and I are members, natch.

The kids were hilarious. Of course they loved the Sound Lab, where you can basically take mini guitar/drum/bass/keyboard lessons with instruments that are attached to computers that walk you through the chords, etc.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThey didn't quite get why Jimi wore those crazy clothes, and "Why did he smash up his guitars??" (Little photo here is a remnant of one of his hand-painted guitars.) But they did have a rockin' good time. If you ever find yourself in my home town, you must visit EMP.

Another thing you must do if you ever find yourself in my home town (or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest for that matter) is go to one of my bro-in-law's gigs. He's becoming quite a rock star in our city and has recently signed a big record deal. All the drums you hear in those songs (I like Montreal best) are real, played by Kevin himself. He used to call himself The Human Drum Machine. He's fast, fast, fast.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Rebecca Sleeve #1

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI love this design. I do. After knitting several rows of the diagonal chart, I would stop, look at it, shake my head and smile. It's the architectural feeling that gets me. Pay no attention to the fact that the person who designed it and the people who wrote/edited/translated/re-edited/published the pattern probably have never met nor spoken to one another.

I'm also in love with All Seasons Cotton. It feels really good on my hands, is airy and sproingy, and I can't wait to wear it. I already can't wait to make something else with it and I'm barely knee-deep in this project!

Every time I photograph the yarn, the light is different and it looks like a completely different color. I think the May 28th entry is truest so far.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Soho Summer

Lookie, lookie! The Jo Sharp Soho Summer arrived from WEBS!

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I ordered 12 balls of the color Sailboat, which turned out to be more of a greeny-grey than a blue color, which is fine by me. I think it'll make a swell Rebecca jacket.

There are only 11 school days left. I canNOT wait to have more free time to work on projects, add plants to my yard, sleep, read, etc. etc!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Back and Undefeated!

First off, thanks to everyone who sent a supportive comment about the miserably unattractive Ribby. After a day or two of supreme funk, I understood that the sweater could either be fixed, donated, or saved for future maternity wear (ha!), and to hell with it, I'm going to keep working on Lucky.

So that's what I've been doing this week, knitting Lucky and becoming chemically dependent on Jack Bauer and 24 on DVD. (Also, Mr. and I went to see Hitch at the cheap theater the other night. It was a cute, funny, romantic date movie. Kinda predictable, but the actors kept it fresh.)

My luck is changing, though, which makes me feel all cosmically good. I'm buying a great car from a friend who's leaving with her husband and 3 year old to teach in Tanzania. I'm moving to 4th grade next year with an awesome new teammate. I'm looking forward so much to going to Hawaii with my husband next month, where we'll also be celebrating our 5 year anniversary.

Now back to the mundaneness of home ownership: scrubbing the kitchen floor while hubby blasts Mars Volta from the basement as he stains the new wood cabinets he built in our laundry room. I don't know if I'll drop first from the fumes, the noise, or the shock that I'm scrubbing my kitchen floor. :)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

What Would Bonne Marie Do?

Warning: Knitting Rant Ahead.

Last night I sat down and installed the zipper into my Ribby Cardi. I tried it on and it looks terrible. The main problem, I think, is that the damn thing turned out too big. It looks boxy and horrible, which is sad, because others have knit cute, form fitted Ribbies that show that they really do have waists. It looks so bad, I don't even want to bother taking a picture.

I know some of the problems...

a) I knit the damn thing too loosely. I had gauge, I really did. I swatched. But since then, I've used the same Peruvian Highland Wool for Mariah, on smaller needles, and the fabric is much nicer/denser/etc. that way. Damn.

b) I must make sure that I have waist shaping in all pattern choices. This one has side ribbing, which I thought would be enough to bring it in in the right places, but no.

c) Perhaps I should do what Grumperina does and knit 36" sweaters for a 39" bust. Okay, so I actually have a 40" bust, but I also have a 32" waist and a short torso, so I need to pay more attention to schematics and such, so I'm not swimming around in a sweater that matches my bust measurement. I knit Ribby at the 38/39" size.

There might be a way to "boss my knitting around" but I'm just plain irritated with it. And I was so disappointed in the thing that I started to doubt my whole obsession/committment to the world of knitting. So far, the things I've finished for myself haven't been too successful. (See problem b above.) I don't want to spend more time knitting -- and more money on yarn -- if I'm not going to be happy with the results. That, or stick to knitting for all of my friends' babies and kiddos.

Now that I've had some time to think about it, I might try altering the sides to cut out excess bulk. But not today.

Grumble over.

Next I'll install the zipper on Mariah, which I know will fit better. See, I solved problems a and b when I was planning and starting Mariah. Wish me luck.