Thursday, July 31, 2008

State of the Karma Nation Address

My fellow knittarians.

I have been a full-on blogging slacker. I have been spending way too much time on Ravelry (darn them and their Friends Activity page! and their kazillion interesting forums!) and reading all of your blogs instead of writing posts to my own.

Let's just get up-to-date, shall we?

Blue Sky Alpaca Scoop Neck Vest

IMG_5016This would be, for anyone else, a very quick and dirty project. I had to, of course, reknit the scoop neckline several times (wrong numbers, wrong numbers, doubt about the neckline itself, etc. etc.) until I finally just decided to knit the dang thing. I'm using Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton in Pickle (snatched up at the Hilltop fire sale a few months ago), which is a beautiful yarn, but I think I would pair this pattern with a wool if/when I were to do it all over again. I've been doubting this pairing all along and I think that's psychically slowing me down. All I have to do is decide how long to knit the dang straps -- I've already seamed up the sides for goodness sake! (note: why didn't I just knit it in the round?) -- and finish off the edges.

Tangled Yoke Cardi

After having knit the body *almost* to the armholes, I set this thing aside for MONTHS. I mean, I started it in October! haha. So a couple of weeks ago I picked it up again and almost slapped myself on the forehead for it all. Each sleeve has taken me only about a week of knitting in the round. I am modifying the cuff so it won't be as floppy on me. But then... I stop myself and ask if this will fit me in the bust. I try it on and it's snug. I think about adding a little more length anyway, and while I'm at it I might as well add some short rows for more bust room. Whenever I start questioning things and having to think it all through, there is really only one thing to do: start another project! Isn't that what we all do?? /chirping

Mirabella Cardigan

This is from Interweave Knits Spring 2008. I love the tailored silhouette. I brought the Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Hand Dye to knit night with me Tuesday and started the knitted hem. This is my first knitted hem and it is so lovely and finished looking! It's wonderful to work with a larger needle for a bit. I'm getting perfect row and stitch gauge on a US9. The waist ribbing is cleverly done on a smaller needle (I'm using a US7) to bring in the waist a bit more. The yarn is delicious... bought at that same Hilltop Yarn fire sale, in 2-3 various dyelots, but I'm alternating them as I go and they're just melting together gorgeously. IMG_5020

Not sure if you can see from this photo, but the darts (left side) where I'm K2TOG are lining up perfectly; the darts with SSK (right) are zigzaggy. Anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Row 1 has the decrease and Row 3 has a slipped stitch. Anyway, I'm planning to knit the back in a medium and the front in a large and see what that looks like... may also add short rows... we'll see. By that point I'm sure I'll be starting something else! ha!

Churchmouse Excursion

I went to Churchmouse Yarn and Tea on Bainbridge Island last week for the first time. What a lovely shop with friendly employees. I bought Norah Gaughan's Volume 3. On my way out, the DHL man was bringing in eleven cases of yarn. The ladies realized it was a Malabrigo shipment and suggested we come back after lunch to see what was inside! The ladies opened up the boxes and brought out bagful after bagful of the chunky that I was looking for... we were like a bunch of kids on Christmas morning! I came home with these pretties:

Malabrigo Mosaic

Clockwise, slightly washed out photos: Pagoda, Saphire Green, Velvet Grapes, Tortuga

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Child's Placket Neck Pulli


Child's Placket Neck Pullover
Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Cotton Ease, Lake (1+ skeins) and Almond (a smidge)
US8 Needles

One of my dear girlfriends is expecting her second baby next month and we all joined for a shower this weekend. It was the best kind of shower, really a non-shower, since there were tons of people outside, lots of kids, lots of water to splash around in, and great food and company.

I started off with the smallest size, but since my gauge was much larger than the pattern called for, I followed the body and sleeve lengths for the middle (1-2 year old) size. That's a good size, anyway, since the baby will be able to wear it longer than an infant size. The fabric is very drapey and soft, which is lovely, but it made for a very floppy neckband, so I decided it looked better folded down polo style. Sweet.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Peanut had her first swimming lessons today. Fun! We just joined a new gym and I took a water aerobics class for the first time, which was also fun.

We played with Play-Doh later and she asked me to make "breakfast." So we made a plate, toast, grapes, a cup of milk, a cup of apple juice... it got dicey when she told me she wanted a spoon (not too hard) and a fork (er...). Good times.

I'm knitting, especially close to finishing a Scoop Neck Vest, the Tangled Yoke Cardi is sitting very patiently while I work on other things. Lots of ideas, no time or inclination to actualize said ideas, though.

Summer rocks. Picked up new Salman Rushdie novel a couple of weeks ago. Plan to read more this summer!

Here's that cool flickr game all the cool kids are playing:

Flickr Game

1. bubble karma, 2. ripe, 3. Seattle Space Needle "mini", 4. Mosaic in Turquoise and Rust, 5. clive owen, 6. 2006 21 June DILO Diet Cherry Coke, 7. Aurulent Adria, 8. Very Berry, 9. The Medicine Buddha Lapis Light, 10. family day out, 11. Calm Sunset [HDR], 12. Good Karma

the concept:
a. type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. using only the first page, pick an image.
c. copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ooh, La La!

Photo 7

La Parisenne Beret
Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Winter Sky, .4 skein
US3 needles

I suddenly wanted a beret last week, and it's a good thing, too: we've been getting snow in Seattle in April! Wha...? This beret is meant to be knit with two contrasting colors to really show off the chevron stitch pattern, but I was looking for something unsocklike to do with my sock yarn, and decided to go for it with the one colorway. I think it turned out beautifully. The handpainted colors still "move well" (says Jenna) within the stitch pattern without being garish at all. When I finished knitting, it fit my head, but I wasn't sure it qualified as a beret. Wet blocking with a dinner plate inside remedied that right away; the resulting fabric is soft and drapey and the shape is definitely all beret. Bonus: it's not so tight on my head that I get hat hair after wearing it! Woot! For such a lightweight hat, it's a lovely warm layer for this insane weather we're having.

Photo 6Photo 12

And the 'Nut likes it, too!

Raveled here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring, Schming.

No wonder we're a bunch of depressed freaks in this town... From today's weather forecast for the Seattle area:

Since Nov. 1, we've had (count 'em) only 10 days considered mostly sunny. (And four of them were in January where the average temperature of the day was 33 degrees or below.)

I really like the idea of hats but don't wear them very often. This week, I had the sudden urge to knit a beret out of a hank of Mountain Colors Bearfoot that's been languishing in the closet for a while. I have knit myself a few pairs of socks but don't really wear them very often (heresy!), so maybe hats are the way to go?

Any suggestions for cute sock-weight hat/beret patterns? I was thinking of something simple like Grumperina's Periwinkle Beret, maybe, and that's about as far as that thought went.

Also, my friend gave me a lovely ball of Be Sweet African Bead Ball yarn for a belated birthday gift. It's absolutely precious, handmade by women in South Africa; mine's the dark plum purple with multicolor beads shown at the link. I wonder how to use this special yarn to best effect... a loosely knit scarf, maybe? Which stitch patterns use the least amount of yarn? Ball band info = 50g ball is 65 yards. 3 stitches / inch on US 11 needles.

I'm still slogging along on Tangled Yoke cardi. It's good TV knitting!

Come on spring!!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

How I'm Spending My Spring Break

PhotobucketReading: Click, by Nick Hornsby. I'm pretty sure it was Moni who recommended this Young Adult book on her blog. It's written by ten fantastic authors (including Roddy Doyle, Eoin Colfer, Ruth Ozeki, Gregory Maguire, Nick Hornsby), each taking on a different chapter in the book, all connected and concerning some aspect of a photographer's life. Really well done; I'm captivated by the book but also impressed with the project itself. I think that Hornsby was the editor? Finally, all the proceeds for the book go to Amnesty International. What's not to love?

PhotobucketReading: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery, by Rose Carrarini. This recommendation must've come from Rangiswan. What a lovely book! It's a glimpse into the life, philosophy, but mostly the recipes, from a French bakery/cafe. They are very intentional about preparing simple, delicious food from local and organic sources. My friend is leaving for Paris in a week and I hope she'll go there, just so I can live vicariously.

PhotobucketWatching: Into the Wild on DVD. I didn't read Krakauer's book; it just seemed so Bestseller List, which has often been a big turn-off for me. Now I wish I had... the movie is haunting me a couple of days after watching.

Avoiding: Report cards. Bah. They go home on Monday, and I've got a good chunk of them finished, but I'm feeling a sort of emotional stall-out after the stress of finishing my portfolio. Spending loads of time with the Peanut; today we tried Play-Doh for the first time! She kept wanting to taste it, and Wikipedia tells that the exact recipe is a secret, but the ingredients list sounds pretty safe, sooooo.... I'm trying to teach her not to eat things that are not food, but also trying to have fun. The eternal struggle! hahaha.


Monday, March 31, 2008

She's Alive.... ALIVE!

I mailed my portfolio for National Boards on Friday!!! I have rejoined society!!! It does feel strange to, you know, relax on a weekend. But I think I could get used to this. It was surreal, surrendering a year's worth of work to a USPS employee for $9, but I quickly remedied that odd feeling with a giant mai tai at the West 5. Ahhh. Now I just have to take the exam in late May, and then wait for my scores to arrive around Thanksgiving time. La la la...

I have much to report, three finished projects to share, a long queue of dreamy projects to begin (or continue!). But let me just ease back into this blogging thing with the help of the Peanut:

Toddler Explains the Economic Stimulus Plan:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Like Buttah

Photo 15

Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Silk
Cashmere and Silk
Topaz colorway
Excellent work avoidance mechanism.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nose to the Grindstone

I find myself mentally blogging as I go throughout my day, updating my own synapses on my progress on various projects. Surprising, then, to see that it has been a month since my last post. In that time, both Tiennie and Katherine have told me that I "make their day"! Aw, thanks, pals! You know they both do the same for me.

I still haven't blogged my finished Excellent Jacket or Tilted Duster, but have worn them both a couple of times. There doesn't seem to be time -- or daylight! -- to take pictures this winter. I'm off work this week, though, furiously pecking away at the keyboard in an effort to complete my NB portfolio, to be postmarked by the end of March. Perhaps I'll find a little pocket of sunshine in which to photograph myself in my new jackets?

I went to Madrona Fiber Festival this weekend with Jenna and Melissa. It was my first fiber festival and I was really excited to go; I'm glad that it was much smaller than I imagined it would be. I was afraid that I'd be too overwhelmed to buy anything at all, but I did manage to buy a couple of things... a lovely hank of turquoisey Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Cashmere and Silk... I actually talked to The Handmaiden herself about the little skein of heaven, ooh la la! I also bought a couple of skeins of Shibui sock with plans of making my first pair of colorwork mitts... Endpaper Mitts, perhaps? We had lunch at the obligatory Mexican restaurant nearby and then explored the Tacoma Art Museum, luckily on the last day of a local quilting exhibit.

Naturally much of my energy is focused on my dear Peanut, who is beginning to incorporate sentences between all the gobbledygook... "I want some" is a favorite, lately followed by "Where did my clothes go?" I kid you not. This girl is destined to be a shoe 'ho. At my school's Lunar New Year celebration, she tried to engage an older girl in a barter, Peanut's wilting carnation bud for a pair of fabulous silver glittery shoes. No luck, but it was fun to watch!

She'd better get a hands-free set for her cell phone, soon, though! She's gonna get a ticket!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Foliage v 2.0


Foliage, Knitty Fall 2007
Malabrigo worsted, Saphire Green #4, 2/3 of a skein
For Claire, Xmas 2007

This was the first Foliage that I knit and it seemed to turn out a bit loose without blocking, so I knit the next two on the same size needle but with a tighter gauge. In the picture, though, my dear sis has it pulled back off her forehead... or has a bigger head than I do... heh heh. I do love this shade of green.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


In spite of my long absence from the blog, I have actually been knitting quite a lot. I finished the Excellent Jacket (it just needs a closure of some kind), knit three Foliage hats for Christmas gifts, three pairs of mittens for Christmas gifts, and am halfway done with my Tilted Duster. I will be posting more pictures and information about all of those projects soon, before I forget all about them, but baby steps, baby steps...


Foliage, Knitty Fall 2007
Malabrigo Worsted, color Vermillion #24, about 2/3 of a skein

We had a white Christmas Day in Seattle! This Foliage is knit for A, my brother's girlfriend. She is a gem. I am so happy for my brother for meeting someone who seems to have it pretty much all together. Here she is posing with her cutie daughter, J, and with the Peanut, who looks less thrilled than she truly was. This was a quick pattern to follow so I made one for each of my two sisters as well, all in different shades of the buttery, delicious Malabrigo. You know I love to try new techniques with each project I make, and this time it was the Magic Loop. I've become quite enamored of the two circular method, and tried Magic Loop out of laziness and curiousity. It worked out quite well!

I am still working feverishly on my National Board Certification portfolio, teaching full time, and -- best of all -- mommying the best girl in the world. I've also somehow found time to restart the Couch to 5K running program (thanks to Rachael's linkage to the Couch to 5K podcast, lifesaver, I'm tellinya). And I'm meeting up with some really sweet friends pretty regularly, thanks to Project Runway! 

I'll post again when I have time. Must go get my socks and shoes on soon... I'm starting week two of the running program tonight.