Thursday, April 27, 2006

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWhen you're pregnant, you're not supposed to change the cat litter box. Mr. Goodkarma wasn't very happy about that. He made the loudest, most dramatic protests every time he had to do this chore that I've been doing for the last ten years and insisted that it was time to get an automatic litter box. The kind that basically cleans itself. Right. Away. This is what he came up with. Naturally, he chose black.

It's enormous and robotic and the first time Julian and Lennon saw it do its thing (the globe part mechanically rotates more than 360 degrees and then back again to clean itself, each time a cat leaves a deposit), they must have thought Darth Vader just invaded their home. BIG eyes. Very curious and a little scared. But now, a day or two later, they seem to think it's just another part of the house.

In more interesting news, I met Sundara and her friend V again last night, and their friends S and D were there, too. This time, we actually knit! Yay! These are four really great gals and I'm glad to have met them. Plus, V taught us all about hush puppies. She thought we were all so cute for not knowing what they are. I've had them a couple of times but most of the others hadn't. Next time, though, I want her to explain the mystery of grits.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI finished the first Rib and Cable Sock over the weekend and it fits perfectly! Yay! Nancy Bush is really smart and I should just follow her directions. (Unlike with the Conwys when I assumed that my feet were bigger/wider than they truly are and ended up with sloppy socks.) I like the toe shaping; I believe it's the same as the Star of Three Points toe in her Knitting Vintage Socks book. Here's the first one:

And so of course I cast on for sock #2 right away. For me, in my limited sock experience anyway, sock #2 always goes so much faster. I take my time with sock #1, sometimes putting it down for days/weeks, because I worry that it won't fit or that my heel will suck or that I'll run out of yarn or some other ridiculous thing. I think now I'm going to attack socks much more confidently (as long as I have a pattern that I know is well written) and not worry about that stuff. I have yarn for a couple more pairs of socks Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting(thinking of those Retro Rib Socks by Evelyn Clark in IK for one pair) and then I've got to try out Sundara's sock yarn. So. Pretty. She tells us about the yarn that she chooses (only the best, none of this cheap stuff for her), and tells us what she does or doesn't like about other sock yarns out there, which is really good information for me since I'm still experimenting so much with different yarns/fibers/brands/etc. I am super tempted to buy her yarn already, but I'm trying to be reasonable and not have tooooo much "overstock" in my house at once.

At my first meeting with Sundara, I had Jemima with me and she said I was "brave" for knitting sweaters while I'm so preggo. That made me stop and think. Am I being brave, am I determined to get my figure back as much as reasonable, or am I in denial? Something to think about while I redirect my attention to socks! haha

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAnd speaking of babies, I have received the sweetest gifties in the mail recently! The first one came from Mitten's mama, Heidi. She's makes baby bibs and changing pads out of cool vintage fabrics and sells them at her shop. I was surprised and happy to receive this cool one! I love the red print and it's reversible with an olive green back. Tres chic! My little peanut is going to be so stylin'. Heidi also sent a couple of great articles; what a good pal.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI was really surprised to get a package today from New Zealand. Kim (aka Kozmic at Knitty) knit this sweet baby sweater for the little peanut! I love the colors. The yarn is a machine washable wool blend with primary colored flecks, from New Zealand, naturally! Can't wait to see this on the little one, maybe with the red Robeez monkey slippers my mom gave me. How lucky am I?

Finally, I got the new KnitPicks catalog this week and decided to skim through it this morning. I found two projects that look strangely familiar....

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I brought the Shawl Collar Pullover to my mom's house for a visit a few days ago. Guess who it fit perfectly? Grr. Jealous? Me? Hmph. She said she wants "hers" to have longer sleeves, though. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Guess who I'm planning to meet tomorrow for the first time? I'll give you a hint. You might know her by her purly whites. And she dyes really beautiful yarn! We've been chatting for ages about meeting up sometime to knit and we finally made plans for tomorrow, after my yoga class. Can't wait!

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I'm still in love with Jemima + Rowan Cashsoft DK + Addi Turbos. I finally found a good solution for Jemima, too. I've been mentally tinkering with how to add length and waist shaping, possibly keeping the lovely tubular cast-on and subsequent ribbing, without having the puckering at the hip problem. Wanna know what I'm doing? I'm using the directions for Shawl Collar Pullover for the bottom half of Jemima! I'm also thinking of ixnaying the placket and buttons. I don't think I'll ever find buttons that will match my colors, and I hate that poorly matched buttons might make the whole sweater look cheesy. So now, is this still Jemima? Maybe her name will change to Jemi-not. Or something equally dorky. 'Cause that's how I roll. har har.

I had to buy a new bra today. In a new (read: bigger) size. And dangit, the lovely associate at Nordstrom wasn't convinced that I'm done growing in bra sizes. She thinks I should come back again a couple of weeks before my due date and get fitted AGAIN. Like expensive supportive bras for girls like me grow on trees. Aiya. Whatareyagonnado.

Have you heard of Maybe I'm the last girl on earth to find out about it. I thought I'd never be able to access my home email on the web (what a pain when you're traveling, out and about, at work expecting an important message to come to your home email addy, etc.) and the Mr. just found out about this one. Cool.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Adrienne Vittadini Shawl Collar Pullover

We haven't had many shiny happy days in Seattle lately, so I forgot all about photographing this finished sweater. In fact, since it doesn't fit me right now, I put it in my knitting basket and forgot all about it!

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Adrienne Vittadini Shawl Collar Pullover
Vogue Knitting Winter 2004/05
Cascade Lana d'Oro, Heathered Purple, just over 10 skeins

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I love the shape of this top. The pattern is exceptionally well written with clear instructions on which increases and decreases to use when. Gentle waist shaping means it's going to fit me well this fall. It's really a simple design, and the collar is all the detail it needs. I didn't have to make any alterations to the pattern to make it fit (my normal body) just right, except for adding some length to the sleeves. I tried it on today, just for kicks, and I can tell that later I'm going to love wearing this sweater!

Now I just have to translate this fit to Jemima and I'll be flying high!

Image hosting by PhotobucketCascade Lana d'Oro was discontinued a year or two ago, so I'm lucky to have bought a couple of bags of it when I did. This purple bag has been sitting around waiting for just the right project. It's a great yarn to knit with and I can't wait to wear it. Lovely soft heathery goodness, great stitch definition with the ribbing.

I'm on spring break this week, which means getting lots of things done around the house, but it also means a little much needed R&R time. It was spring break two years ago when I bought my first needles and Lamb's Pride Bulky to make my first scarf. Two years already! Wow, this hobby has really taken hold.

Image hosting by PhotobucketP.S. Just have to share this sweetness sent to me by dear Karen. A Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran baby hat, so sweet, and a great book of fairy tales, poetry, etc. that will, I know, be a bedtime staple in Casa de Karma. I'm such a lucky gal! I can't wait to show a modeled shot of the little hat. Thanks again, Karen!!! Mwah!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Grumpy McGrumpybutt

Spring break starts in about 7 hours. I'm not counting or anything. I've been a big grumpy sourpuss this week from lack of sleep and readiness for a break, so I want to thank my Mister for putting up with me. xoxo

I was tagged by Big Sister Nicole today. This meme spoke to me for some reason... It's a short little meme that I think had to do with yesterday being the 5th of the month, so I will progress it to 6 for the 6th:

Six minutes to yourself: how would you spend them, ideally? Relaxing in a comfy chair with my eyes closed. See, I told you I'm tired.

Six bucks to spend right now: how would you spend it? I would buy a big pack of Diet Cherry Coke. I'm out. I've been out for a couple of days. Maybe that's why I'm tired?

Six items in your house you could part with, right now, that you hadn't thought of already? We're in the middle of Goodkarma Clean Sweep at my house. I can see about 60 items I could part with! Possibly not working paper shredder, possibly not working inkjet printer, a box of styrofoam peanuts, a bamboo window shade that was never installed and never will be, a vinyl window shade left behind by the previous owners of the house, and a few bags of magazines that multiplied overnight.

Six items you absolutely, positively could never part with in your house? My husband, my iPod, my Mac, my digital camera, my knitting stuff, my photos.

Six words you love? "Come here and snuggle with me."

Your turn Moni, Parikha and Angela.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Jemima was here

I'm still working on Jemima. At least, that's what I tell her as she sits patiently in a big zip-lock freezer bag for the past few weeks or so. The two sleeves are done. I've been working out how to add both length and waist shaping to the bodice. I started out with a tubular cast on (love it) and kind of winged it but now I think I have too steep a slope from hip to waist and I don't want any bulging going on at the hips. So that's why she's sitting in a zip-lock still.

I was thinking about whether or not I really want that ribbing at my hip. And then it hit me this morning on my way to work: why not build an Hourglass Jemima? I can use the bottom half of Hourglass to construct a knitted hem (including a couple of rows of contrast color at the very bottom, just like Jemima has?) and waist shaping, but keep everything else true to the original Jemima pattern. Hmm. Still considering this. I think it's a good idea.

Now I must get my fix watch 24.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

F is for feet

Where have I been? The past two weeks have been unbelievably frantic.

*Car repair estimates: check.

*Kitty cat feeling better: check.

*Attend Sen. Barack Obama rally for Sen. Maria Cantwell: check.

*Baby's first goth show: check. (Sisters of Mercy came to town... sadly, their show was very poorly engineered so they sounded awful and the smoke machine was working so well that you could only see the performers' sunglasses... but on a brighter note, Rob Dickinson, lead singer of The Catherine Wheel, opened with a solo set and was brilliant.)

*Prenatal yoga classes: check.

*Childbirth classes: check.

*Pass the gestational diabetes screening: check.

*Belly finally grown bigger than bust: check. check.

Image hosting by Photobucket*Home office deconstructed to make room for nursery: check. I've been relegated to a corner in the dungeon basement rec room, which is working out pretty well. Lennon (in the picture to the right) welcomes me to his lair. His favorite spot is on top of the hot water heater.

*Bureaucratic meetings, workshops and conferences: check.

*Report cards: almost done.

*Knitting: check.

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Ruffle Rib Socks
Interweave Knits, Summer 2005
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Georgetown colorway, leftover from my own Conwys.
Addi Turbos size 0 (2mm)

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These were fun to knit. At another time in my life, they would have taken so little time, but they were the perfect project to bring along to a meeting or to knit along with the little bit of TV I've had time for these days. A row here, a heel there, and they're finally done!

I've been wanting to try short row heels and this pattern felt like a sampler: short row toes and short row heels, plus a decorative zig-zag bind off that I hadn't tried before. I'm really happy with the results; I hope the future wearer of them feels the same way.

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My Conwys (color is more true on the first two pictures than here) were knitted on Addi Turbos size 1 and I really, really like the denser fabric of these socks done on size 0. Lesson learned: check!