Saturday, December 29, 2007


Hey Kate!

I got my birthday goodness today: Knit Picks Options Harmony Interchangeable Kneedles set. I haven't had a chance to play with them yet because Emme thinks they are pretty too, so they get played with after she goes to bed. Here are my impressions so far:

  • The case sucks. The case they used to provide with their nickel plated kneedles is much better, though I notice that they now use the same case for all.
  • There are no 16" cables. Probably because they don't work so great on interchangeable kneedles. I know the smaller cords are rather stiff and yucky on the Boye set.
  • It only goes from size 4 to 11. But the interchangeable kneedles definitely don't work below size 4 and I'm covered on the sizes I need above, so really this is a non issue.
  • They aren't interchangeable with the Boye kneedles. I didn't expect them to be. I just had a teeny hope.
  • I didn't get them sooner. Ok, that's not really a problem with the kneedles. I know this.
  • They are beautiful -- much more beautiful in person.
  • They feel deliciously smooth which just a teeny bit of a resistance.
  • They are pointy.
  • The cables are nice and flexible.
  • They are mine! MINE! Muhahahaha!
I'll enthuse more when I've actually been able to use them. The Apprentice Beanie is still going, by the way. I'll finish it some day soon. I promise.



The Aftermath...

Hey Robin,
So much has happened since the last post! I'm so sorry for the quiet but I have been dealing with new toys/new books/new movies. And the Little Guy got some too! Christmas has been beautiful, we even got some snow on Christmas Day! Though I have been told we were the only neighborhood in our area to actually have it stick. I just told that person that our home owner's association is good at planning ahead ;)

I'm excited to report that all planned-recipients of hand-knits got their knits and showed due-appreciation. (nothing worse than giving something that took many many hours of devotion and getting a shrug and a "thanks" in return). The Hub whipped his socks on and refused to take them off all day. Now THAT'S encouragement!

We took more video than stills, so unfortunately I don't have any cutie-pie pictures to share. BUT!! I do have a pic of my next project:

Oh wait, this one is done already. It's a pair of Malabrigo Loafers por Moi! In the hummingbird colorway. Yummy! I might have to felt the loafers though, they really ARE stretching like it says.

OK HERE'S the new project. I used the grid pattern from Hello Yarn... very helpful! And pulled a spiral pattern from my Celtic Cross stitch pattern book. Something handy to have around for sure! I had to agonize for a LONG time on which pattern to use, there were so many that would work!

I decided on spirals because an interlace pattern would seem like a cop-out. Interlaces should be cabled! But I wanted to try some colorwork and it's coming out OK if I may say so myself. It's puckering a little at the dpn-joins, but it's getting better and better! This is fun, but I am so glad i picked mittens to do because it's a short project and good practise! Yay!

I hope you are passing a glorious holiday and that your knew knitting kyear is frogless and happy! :)


Monday, December 17, 2007


Hey Robin,
I wanted to share with you something from my Mom's recent visit. I know I lampooned her recently for "not getting it" with the knitting bag thing (she DID offer to help me try to find the stuff she thinks is needed to make that bag though) but I feel badly about that. Here's why:
Look what she made for Little Guy! She made every one of these dolls (her current obsession... i get my crafting genes from her) with her hands... just for him. Wait, here's some closeups:

That's Joseph, and his "halo" (how brilliant to make a star one!), then one of the Kings (LG's favorites) and the angel... and the back of the angel so you can see her "wings".

It's honestly one of the best things of hers I have seen in a while. And let me tell you, this woman has done EVERYTHING that is crafting. She throws her whole self into them and when she gets bored she moves on. How gutsy is that? I don't think I can drop my kneedles, but it's amazing to watch her go. I wonder what will be the next obsession?

Anyway, you know how I feel about religion, but I really don't mind this wonderful little reminder of what this holiday is supposed to represent. It's grand don't you think?!


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wall o' pics

Hey Kate!

I'm a bit hopped up on homemade orange glazed biscuits. You have been warned.

So here's the progress on the Apprentice Beanie.

Emme knows where it goes.

And here's the beginning of my Happy Sock.

So Mr. Loki! How does it feel to be the furniture?

That's all I got.



Friday, December 7, 2007


Hey Robin,
I really wanted to take some time to post pictures of the FO's but i am up against some technical difficulties. There are alien objects in my pictures! I give you example #1:
and example #2

They are the Maine Morning Mitts and the Sasquatch Earl Grey socks respectively. The mitts are for Little guy's teachers. He's in a preschool that's at a Jewish Community Center, so the class celebrates Chanukah... i had to get these done SUPER fast (as Little Einsteins would say) as soon as I realized what had happened to my calendar.

Next up: I decided that just wrapping the hand mades wasn't enough of a "presentation". Is it vain to want to announce that I made each of these things by hand with thoughts of the recipient dancing in my head? I hope not... so I made these little wrappers:

I got the idea from a blog that I visited WAY back but I can't remember which one it was! It was all about making little sleeves for hand made socks. Excellent idea. Kudos to the blogger!

This is how far I am on my Best Friend's Hug. This was meant to be her birthday present (May people!!) and so if I can get it done for Xmas, I'll only be one gift behind! Yay me!

I think I told you that Little Guy was supremely concerned that his "pet" puppy, Libby Lu, didn't have a stocking for Christmas. "How will Santa know where to put her gifts?" I must admit I was confounded by that logic. We set to correcting that enormous error on my part. (I won't mention that yours truly doesn't have a stocking and that news wasn't met with nearly the same amount of concern).

Here she is with her newly-made felt stocking (no, I didn't knit and felt it. There's just no time!) decorated by Little Guy. Such the artist! And in case you didn't notice, I posed her with Santa's soon-to-be revealed present for her stocking. To match Little Guy's hat!
Libby didn't seem to mind knowing ahead of time....

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On the Snow-Wagon

Hey Robin,
So many of our favorite bloggers are discussing the snow in their areas that I felt I had to share a little as well! And then if I get up the energy I will take pit-churs of my recently completed gift-items! Yay for the recently-completed-part!

OK, so Sunday was our big-snow-day. I took the Little Guy to a birthday party and by the time we came out it was snowing. Actually the MOMENT we came out of the building it started to snow. Needless to say Little Guy was pretty excited.

We got home and immediately started to play. Though there wasn't much to play WITH by this point, I still got a pic to demonstrate a point. We got a lot of snow people. Here's the pretty-tree in the backyard at approx. 1pm:

Notice how dark it is at 1pm. I didn't manipulate this image at all.... OK now here is the same tree two hours later:

The snow has slowed but not stopped at this point really... its like a Winter Wonderland!! I know, I'm all goofy about snow because of all my formative years being spent in non-weatherey areas... but how could you not get all goofy about prettiness on this magnitude?!

Speaking of things to get all goofy about:

I know I'm his Mom, but I ask you... has a cuter little cherub ever lived?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Simon Sez...

Hey Robin!
I got THIS in the mail today! W00t! I mean SQUEEEEEEE! The fluff is from a bloke named Simon (whose picture graces the bag). Apparently he sez it's time for me to try to spin! Got this little set with some printed instructions that I will promptly read-though-behave-as-though-i-haven't from a store called Big Horn Mountain Alpacas.

The kit was $12 or $13 and it's just-right for me. A real-simple spindle... real simple instructions and what feels to me so far as the butteriest, softest fluffy-fiber i have held. Granted I haven't held much in my hot little hands, but this stuff is neato. I may never actually knit anything from it, but my plan is to appreciate the work that spinners do on a regular basis... i really hope I don't get hooked on this because, like I need another hobby. Seriously.

And this is what else has consumed my time in recent days. (Besides my glee that Nerd Night* will continue for at least one more season! W00t!) I stayed up two extra hours last night to get more done on sock #2. Seriously this is a HUGE sock. My Uncle better like these things and wear HOLES in 'em! They are the Harlot's Earl Grey socks (in actual GREY this time!) because i love that pattern so much and it goes SO fast... and this yarn likes it anyway. It told me.
Just before I was getting ready to take a picture to show that the foot of the sock is the SAME LENGTH as the leg, the battery died. So you will just have to take my word for it. The sock is huge. Good thing i heart this yarn (Baby Cashmere from Elann).

P.S. Nerd Night = Chuck and Heroes, both on Monday, NBC. Watch them. Oh, and I am going on record as coining this phrase. Where's my royalties!?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mine isn't done yet...

Hey Robin!
I may be a little late to the table, but I thought I would add my two-bits to the knitting world's Thanksgiving recipe fodder! I also wanted to say how thankful I am for your friendship and for this joint-blog. It's a great episode in my life!

My Aunt Karin's Cranberry Relish
1 standard bag of cranberries
1 small to medium orange sliced into thin slices
1 cup of sugar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 to 1 tsp of nutmeg

Put the berries and oranges into a small pot and squish them up (I use a potato masher, but use your imagination) just to break the skins of the berries so the juices will start coming out. Add the sugar, and spices. Then put on LOW heat... low low low... for about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool, it will thicken up as it cools.

This stuff is even better if allowed to "mellow" for a day... so if you can make it now go for it! The flavors just blend together better. I am making mine right now, but I have to wait a bit because my berries were frozen. Will take a picture and post later if I think of it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

So much to do...

Hey Robin!
I have nothing really new-and-interesting to show you in the knitting arena. But I thought it would be OK this time... as long as I left you with a moment of zen (Daily Show style?)

This was taken by my Uncle John (of Sasquatch-sock fame) :)
Seriously, how often do you get to see a mountain cast a shadow UP?


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Double the fun!

Hey Kate!

I'm a weirdo. Ok, this isn't news. But I have to say, I love double knitting. Granted, I haven't gotten that far, but I'm having a great time.

Here is the beginning of the Apprentice Beanie, as demonstrated by Emme. I'm using Cadena in Tide and Natural. The Tide is prettier in person. I think what I find fun is the fact that I'm throwing the main color and picking the contrast color. I'll be keeping you up to date on this project.



Sunday, November 11, 2007

It came! It came!

Hey Robin,
It's here! It's here! What the heck am i going to do with this?
I'm so sorry the pictures suck. It's a rich, gorgeous range of reds.
In other news, I totally forgot to post the picture of this Dude who came to clean out our chimney. He was a hoot! Fast too... (Name of Mad Hatter Chimney Sweeps, for any locals who are interested!)
Sorry I have a derth of knitting news, i'm trying to finish a lot of bits and bobs so that I can put 'em in the "done" pile! Go me! :)


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Videos and more videos

Hey Kate!

Have you seen the new how-to videos at the bottom of our site? It's got a yarn ad on it and everything! I know. I haven't watched any of them either. Who has the time?

Besides, I've got this new video right here. This one isn't distorted. I'm having a hard time connecting it to yarnie content though. I'll think of something... In the meantime, watch Emme do her thing.

Emme just informed me that she was watching Abby (the fairy character on Sesame Street) when she was watching herself. Interesting.



Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Phear My 1337n3$$

Hey Robin,
PHEAR M3! Me'n'my leet Nikon rokked the hizzouse today hunting down them WIP's and... y'know... some other stuff. OK I can't do that anymore. Anyway! Here's some pics of stuff I've been dragging out for far too long. I think I've posted a lot of FO stuff lately because I'm in crunch-mode to get Christmas stuff done... but I haven't really "exposed" my WIP-Jungle in a while so here ya goes:

Here we see the indigenous Blobberific-Baby-Blanket (aka wonderfully squooshy, yet acrylic Baby Blanket) recognized in it's natural habitat (my desk) . The pic is blurry not because of the photographer, no, it must have just moved... or something...

In our next habitat... we have the chameleonlike "Best Friend Adornment" (aka Lacy Kerchief from IK Holiday '06) previously (and incorrectly) known as the "Best Friend Hug". The latter became something very unlike what was desired... or even intended... so it sacrificed itself on the altar of the Frog Pond and has emerged looking like this. Much better yes?
And on our left you may find the elusive "Vestible". No, not vestibULE.... that's a room. This is the object that has been languishing on my unused dining table (we eat in the kitchen) waiting for it's creator to become enlightened regarding the application of a zipper... I promised Dad a vest and I am so very proud of this one. It's from an awesome pattern (Oregon Vest) but it has absolutely no instructions about adding zippers to a knitted item.
It's like that cartoon (was it Non Sequitir?) Where the scientist stands before a chalkboard with an incredibly complex formula on it, but smack in the middle of all the calculations is written "and then a miracle happens". I love that. But yeah... thats a lot like how I feel about this pattern right now.

Anyone got any suggestions where I might find some good fool-proof instructions? Yeah, thanks.

Aaaaah... here is where the leetness will overwhelm your virgin eyes! Have you never seen such a beautiful picture? Is it not the epitome of the picture-of-all-pictures?!? (psst... the Emporer is naked!) What? No! Pay no attention to that child!
Yeah OK. So this is the start of my Uncle-the-Sasquatch's sock. I fear it may not be up-to-scratch but I am willing to give it more time... it's a slog though... a bit. It's still nice yarn to knit with though, gotta love that Elann Peruvian Baby Cashmere!

Oh yeah, remember back a bit? I may have mentioned I was making a Jayne hat... here's the recipient of said-hat in his Jayne Halloween costume. He was so happy with it, and mentioned that everyone who saw him knew exactly who he was. Awesome. Must make one for the Hub.
Lastly, i have a funny story that may enlighten you more regarding the understanding of my Mom. Or it will do what it did to me and confuse you even more.

The other day i got one of those pesky ad e-mails from Dreamweaver. I can never afford anything they have, but I do like to ogle. That day I saw this. Go ahead, go look, i'll wait. Nice eh? Very practical looking for the knit-world right? So I send a e-note to Mom, who i respect greatly when it comes to the sewing skillz. I ask her, "can you make a bag like this?" and I ask "Is it hard to make?" She replies after not too long, "No it's not hard at all. I've already made something like it, i'll send it to you. Don't worry the colors aren't too loud." (?!) I'm thinking to myself WOW! Score!

Then yesterday I got this in the mail:
Now I ask you... (seriously, do i need to complete that thought?)


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It's all about Emme

Hey Kate!

So I took some video of Emme today and have been having issues with it. I took it sideways, so I had to get some software to rotate it. Then I uploaded it to YouTube and found that they squished and stretched it so it looks terrible. But too bad! Here it is!

She's wearing the poncho you knit her and the hat I knit her. There. Now there's knitting content.



Sunday, November 4, 2007

Loafing around

Hey Robin!
I finished the Malabrigo Loafers! What breeze that was. I finished the first one in a day and #2 took a little longer because I dropped a stitch way-back and couldn't figure out how to repair that through all the short-rows. This pattern, from Coco Knits, is usually done with two strands of worsted Malabrigo (and two circular needles), but I had the Chunky and swatched it (gasp!) to see if I could get the same results. Close enough, so I cast on!

When I finished part one of the first loafer (the sole) I was hit with a feeling: I didn't like how square the toe was when I bound-off. But I had trust because I had seen many finished ones on Ravelry and knew that so many people couldn't be wrong! So I finished the loafer, tried it on and said "aaaaaah". I was hooked. Cast on for #2 and thought to myself: "Self, why not leave those toe stitches live and see how that looks when you are done?" So I agreed to try it, since this is such a quick-knit! If I totally botched it I could bind off those live ones and do it the "right" way.

What usually happens is, you make the sole and pick up the stitches around the edge, starting at the heel (so that you end at the heel also, duh!). The live stitches were at the toe though, so they had to hang on a bit. Since i had two circular needles in my lap, I left the live stitches on one of them and started picking up stitches at the heel, when i got to the toe, I knitted 5 of the 9 toe stitches, then keeping the other circular on, knitted the other 4 and continued on my merry way. I must point out here, the pattern calls for just 8 sts at the toe, so i fudged it and picked up one less on the first edge. It wasn't that hard because I usually miss something somewhere along the line.

When i finished #2 i was so jazzed! The toe looks great. See my pictures below to find the differences. It's subtle but I like it! Yay me! :) I hope Coco doesn't get fussy at me... like she would ever find out anyway right? You and I are the only ones that read this blog. Right?

Why are you looking at me like that?

I cannot tell you how comfy these are. And WARM!
My feet are already sweating in this picture and it's the first one! (Sorry Mom)
The one the right has the "live toe sts"
side view... not pretty but you can see how it is shaped

Here's #1, with the bound-off toe sts. I love how it looks like it's sniffing the lense

This one was done with the live stitches at the toe of the sole.
It makes a slightly smoother transition from the garter-sole.
Oh I wanted to add that this pair took ever-so-slightly more than a single skein! Curses! But this means I can make one more pair if I can find something suitable in the stash to make up for the difference! I can't wait for you to make a pair too!


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Birthday to the Pirate Princess!

Hey Kate!

We wish you could have been here for our birthday trip to Disney. But what's the next best thing? A slideshow!



Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dates and other "ups"

Hey Robin!
I am so happy to hear that the fires in your region are beginning to show signs of being "under control". Also very happy to hear that none of my family/friends were de-housed. Though I am awfully sorry to hear of those who lost it all. I wish I could knit you a new house you guys! I really do! My thoughts and hopes go out to those who have a long hard struggle to get a new home... wherever that may be.

In completely different and less-significant news: I finished a thing or two and of course started about five others. Heh.

I definitely finished the "You don't know our women" hat. Love the yarn, love the hat. Not sure I like the two together. I definitely don't like it on me. I think I should have stopped at one pattern-repeat shy of done. It's a great cable though... so i might try again with a different yarn.

I really like how the tip-top is finished. She doesn't give up on the cables and it comes out quite finished-looking.

I am almost-almost done with the first-pair of Earl Grey socks. I gotta put them away, every time I ask Hub to model them for me it becomes more clear that I might not get them back! Sorry Babe, you gotta wait for Christmas!

Oh eyeballs! Whyfor do you not tell me what is in focus and what is not in that teeny-little 1" LCD screen?

And now I have begun one-of-two baby blankets for Hub's boss (twins) because it's all garter-stitch and I wanted something I could do without thinking... inbetween all the other more complex things. I have to decide whether to make another pair of Earl Greys (in actual grey!) for my Uncle or go forward with the pattern I had chosen out of Sensational Knitted Socks

So much to knit! So little time! Oh and I am still trying to work-out how to sew a zipper into the purple vest... so that I can take a picture of that one too! Whee!!

Sorry for the markedly uncreative post. But I feel much better getting those FOs off my chest! :)


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Los Angeles Fire 2007: The ramifications of a year without weather

Hey Kate!

Contrary to the massive press coverage, it's not just the rich and famous who are being affected by this year's fires. The California Condor habitat is threatened by the blaze that has now spread to the residents of Agua Dolce. And then there's me.

This picture is taken out of the window of my second story apartment. Though the temperature outside is nice, we can't open the windows because of the smoke, dust and wind. And we had to cancel our brunch outing this morning.

I know, our troubles are not even close to those who have lost homes and I am very grateful for that. But the wind damage and power outages and smoke aren't making life in the San Fernando Valley any easier.

Not that any of the locals are surprised at this turn of events. (Nor are you, Kate, since you used to be a local. I'm just pretending we have other readers.) It's what we get for a year without weather.

That's one of the reasons I live in the greater Los Angeles area: the lack of weather. I like being surrounded by people (like me) who complain when the temperature drops below 60. I like never having to check the weather before venturing outside. I like having to plan for rain about 2 weeks out of the year and never having to worry about shoveling snow. This "no weather zone" isn't for everyone, but it is for me.

The problem is, this year, our "no weather" weather really contained no weather. There were only a couple of hot weeks here and there, but overall it was the kind of weather the rest of the country dreams of. We don't get much rain here at any time, but this past "winter", we got practically none. This isn't because of global warming or anything trendy like that. It's because we are just visitors in this desert and periodically Mother Nature likes to remind us of that. So everything is dryer than normal and then the Santa Ana winds are nastier than normal and then powerlines get downed and sparks fly and fires start and the winds carry more sparks to more dry stuff and more fires start. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I don't know where all this smoke is from. It could be from Porter Ranch to the north or Agua Dolce to the northeast or Malibu to the southwest. It could also be from some fire that isn't getting the press coverage that the other fires are getting. Wherever it's from, it's here and it's smelly and it's trying to cover up our blue sky.

Though there is still some fun to be had.



Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm lazy coz I'm sick soup recipe

Hey Kate!

I'm sick. Again. So it's soup time. But I'm lazy. So here's my lazy coz I'm sick soup recipe:

In a medium saucepan, bring the following ingredients to a boil:

3 cups filtered water
3 teaspoons Better than Bullion
3 cloves garlic, minced
a handful of frozen spinach
2 eggs (beat into water briefly, breaking yolks)

Once a full boil is reached, add 2 packages of Ramen Noodles (hold the seasoning).
Let boil 3 minutes.

Serve in Pasta Bowl given to you by a good friend. Eat with a large spoon and fork like pasta. Read a good book and drink lots of water.

Have fuzzy cat in reserve for comfort later.