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.



Friday, October 19, 2007

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!!

OK maybe it's not worth THAT much panic but it sure got windy here yesterday. Not as bad as last December when we were out of power for a week with daily temps in the 30s :p Ick. But we have power and things seem to be holding out... here anyway (the county to the north isn't quite so lucky, but they are working on it swiftly i hear). But I digress!

Hey Robin!!

Have you even seen maple leaves as large as your head?? Here let me show you:

Little Guy demonstrates bigness-of-local-leaf

Seriously these things are huge. And that's not the biggest one I could find! You would think they fall off of a proportionately-large tree right? Nope. One of them was not much larger-around than my thumb. Must be something in the water...

In other news: I have been so busy trying to keep my notebook up-to-date in Ravelry that I had forgotten to update my "on the kneedles" in the sidebar! Woops! That is now up-to-date as you can see. The hat is an issue (You Don't Know Our Women). I made it with the same yarn and kneedles as the designer and the hat came out to be about three inches wide. I think maybe I was knitting a little tight. Maybe.
The very lovely Malabrigo chunky yarn is more green than in the photo. I seem to be having more issues with color lately. Anyway, it has a little of the silvery-ness you see here but not quite as much...

So we're starting that puppy over with a larger kneedle size... or three.


Wine and Yarn: Two great tastes that go great together

Hey Kate!

Once upon a time, my mother, who knows I love wine, gave me a wine gift basket. In it were "wine glass jewelry". First of all, I drink wine from a goblet whenever possible. Secondly, why does my glassware need jewelry? I've kept them all these years for no good reason except they don't take up much space.

I stumbled upon them recently and realized their REAL use: stitch markers. They work great for either knitting or crocheting because they open like an earring but otherwise are a nice round non-catchy hoop.

I think Crazy Aunt Purl, whose hat I'm making, would be proud. Wine related stitch markers used while making her hat in the yarn she recommended. insert fangirl noise here

About the yarn, it is SWS in Natural Plum. I love working with it and it knits up nicely, but it gets fuzzy really quickly. If my mom (who gets the hat) wears it a lot, she'll need another next year. Muhahahaha.




Thursday, October 18, 2007

The evil Knit Picks catalog

Hey Kate!

As you know, those jerks at Knit Picks sent me a catalog in the mail today. I know, I know. I signed up for it. But I shouldn't be held responsible for actions I made while under yarn buying induced euphoria.

If you want to be tortured like me, you can sign up for postal evilness in the My Account section under Privacy.

Bulletpointed rantings to follow:
  • I like the container for the Options nickel plate set better than the one for the Harmony set. Ah well. I must have those wooden interchangeable kneedles!
  • Oh look! You can buy the bags separately.
  • They have a very nice sock kneedle set which is going on my dream list.
  • They are evil about the toys too. have you seen their teleidoscope? They call it a design tool. How dare they turn a toy I can resist to a "design tool" that I need?
  • They have a section about the proper use of stripes for flattery. A very nice section. That makes me want to make a stupid fair isle sweater. They have it on a model in the catalog so you can see how comfortable and flattering it looks.
  • They put that on a model too. It looks SO awesome on. So now Big Girl Knits is on my wish list.
  • The black stripes on this are so flattering on the model. It's too sporty for me... but can you see it with like a celtic knot color pattern on the sleeves instead
  • They also show some things which i might have thought were cute but that on the model just don't work, which is good.
  • They have a whole section for EZ.
  • And a book section.
  • And stupid cable kneedles that are harmony ones and look like lovely toys i must have. They are even an evilly great price.
  • And what do you think of this? Look at the note on the bottom. It's obvious the people who work there knit.
  • This is cool too.
  • And the colors in their print catalog? Truer than their online one. For the yarn. Much truer.
  • The back cover was partially ripped from the mailbox and Emme completed the tear. She probably wants me to make the cute colorwork sweaters on the back for her. Well tough! I'm not doing it! I will not be coerced!

You may now return to your regularly scheduled blog reading.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sending you a cable

Hey Robin,
Sorry for the lack-of-posts! I've been KNITTING and apparently I can only do one thing at a time... who knew?

What am I working on now you might ask? Well, i will tell you! First I will tell you that I am working on a Jayne Hat. I am trying to kinda work my own formula for it as the one linked here doesn't quite work for the yarn I have (Moda Dea Washable Wool). But I messed it up... the earflaps aren't NEAR long enough and it has to really be long in order to be right!! So no pics of that monster...

Next up! I cast-on an Earl Grey sock from Yarn Harlot (scroll down). It's a super-simple pattern... assuming of course that I am doing it right. It's cables without cable needles, which I am unused to, but she explains it pretty well, so I think it's going all right. Unfortunately it's not the same yarn, or even the same weight of yarn (Elann Baby Cashmere in tapestry blue). But I was able to alter the number of st st in between the cables. If I ended up doing it all correctly I will be very proud of myself! Here's a pic, just to tide you over. But I warn you the next few pictures are a pretty lost-cause as it seems my photography skills (being what they are) have gone on vacation. So I apologise that you can't see the mini-cables very well. Perhaps if I had stretched out the stitches a little? Maybe for the next post...

Imagine that I am doing a great job, and then the picture will instantly look better! Promise!

Perhaps if you squint a little too....

Next! Swirley hat! (aka Cap Karma). I have been wanting to make a red-hat for the Little Guy (his fave color) and this Blue Sky Cotton leapt off the shelf at me... I swear! It's bright, soft and holds a shape well. I will probably try this pattern again with another yarn to see what happens. Actually I know what happens. Anyway, it's a fun fun fun pattern and I fully plan to use it again (with the Brooklyn Tweed variation). Here it is thus far:
I apologise for my inability to take a picture of red.

On another note, when i went to Smariek's blog I noticed that she is also about to make a Jayne Hat. That's a freakish coincidence for me. She's using the Elann Highland Wool. If I had planned ahead I could have done that too...

I finished the present for my Dad. I will take a pic after I have gotten the zipper in and after it's been blocked and all that fun stuff. Yay! That's two Christmas presents DONE (almost). I'm practically giddy.

How goeth your Christmas preparations?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Holiday Stash!

Hey Kate!

Ok, this is old news, but I'm trying to make up for my recent lack of posting. I got my stash for the holiday stitching a couple weeks ago from Knit Picks. Love love love them. I have only one thing bad to say about them and that is that their color pages are not so true to the actual yarn color. Elann does a much better job with that.

So I got lotsa yarn, some jump rings for lace knitting and a set of the new Harmony sock kneedles. They are so great I never want to use anything else. Though I am using my Brittany Birch kneedles to work on the gift for the BiL. No pic of gifts here though. I'm k2togrobin on Ravelry if you want to see the goodies I'm working on there. It's nice having a closed stitching community. Of course, you know this, but in case anyone else is watching, I'm open for Ravelry friends.

At first I was disappointed by the Cadena yarn. I'm still disappointed that the Coal that looked charcoal in the picture is very very black -- though a nice black. But I expected it to be softer. Now that I've been working with it, I love it. It is smooshy. And it gets softer as I knit it, particularly on size 10 kneedles on close fabric. It is very warm and it feels like it will be very durable. But most of all, it is comfortingly smooshy.

When I was taking the stash pics, as you can see, Emme kept getting in the way. Well, I leave you with a picture of what else got in the way. My boobs. Honestly, I don't even know how I took that picture.



Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Better late than never

Hey Kate!

As you know, I got to meet the Yarn Harlot too when she came to Los Angeles. Because I currently have a car-deficiency, I took public transportation down to see our favorite Knitter/Humorist. The new Orange Line in the valley -- which is a bus that thinks it's a train -- was really great. I knit on an elevated seat next to the part in the bus that folds when you turn corners. I know, I should have taken pictures, but I didn't. The trip there included the standard random encounters of the super-chatty-lonely-rider and the aggravated-bus-driver. Unfortunately, no tin-foil-hat candidates were present on the round trip -- which is too bad, because I love me the crazy fellow traveler.

Two hours later I arrived at the Mark Taper auditorium which is in the beautiful central library building. It is very close to the Pershing Square Red Line stop and there are lots of signs for the noob traveler. I bet you were expecting a picture here, too. Sorry to disappoint.

I showed up a few minutes late (after purchasing my copy of Knitting Rules!) and got a seat in the back. I was just in time to see the end of Ellen Bloom's intro. Later, I heard Ellen telling how she had asked Stephanie if she ever crocheted. Stephanie answered that only when she had to for edging. Ellen was a bit irritated, since she is a crochet celebrity.

Then, of course, was the main event. Since I tend to tear up when I laugh too hard, I'm certain I had no mascara on by the end of the show.

I love how she doesn't even try to go for a broader audience. She's for us. Our own.

I also love how she knitted during the question and answer session, which she purposely took too long just because she could. (Sorry for the blurry. These pictures are with my old camera.)

Afterward, there was a huge line to get her signature. I did the preboarding (kinda) because I had a 2+ hour commute to get home and I was afraid of trekking through the Valley in the dark.

As it was, I walked from Victory to Saticoy because the bus was taking forever and sitting at bus stops sucks. But I did go the last leg of my trip by bus and got home just before Emme's bed time.

Harlot has a pic of me up with my first sock which will probably be frogged since I have no desire to cast on such a boring second sock. The tutorial is really great, it's just that I need more fun for all that tiny knitting to keep me going. Plus I think that tutorial is really for uber beginners and I'm definitely in the advanced beginner stage, ever since the purse. (How odd. Our archives seem to be in a different language.)

I leave you with my pic of me and the Harlot.