Monday, June 30, 2008

Later that day...

Hey Robin,
I had to share what I did today.

Don't worry, there's still some left:

It's making it's happy-way to Pantene Beautiful Lengths right now! Anyone know a good stylist in the Bellevue area? ;)

Feeling a Little Behind?

Hey Robin!
I am so-not-caught-up here. I seem to keep forgetting that updating my projects on Ravelry does NOT automatically post a pithy-update here. AND WHY NOT we might ask?! Casey get on that! ;)

I seem to have forgotten several "dones" so I will list here. Hopefully I will not repeat myself...

Starting at loafer: One pair of loafers for my Aunt using the CocoKnits Malabrigo Loafer Pattern which i LURVE and which is so handy. This time I used that 100percent Wool (I may have the name wrong). I gotta say the material is nice, but I probably won't purchase from them again *alas*. Then a Chinese Waves dishcloth and an Everlasting Bagstopper for a swap-pal! The purpose of this swap was to make a market bag (either knit or crochet) and include a fair-trade product of some kind and an organic yarn. I sent her a skein of Malabrigo Organic Cotton because I AM a Malabrigo Junkie and must spread-the-word! It was a fun swap and I look forward to getting my goodies :) I will share as soon as I get them, I promise! Other things i recently finished have already been posted so I won't go there again. However there is one notable that I have not recently spoken about and you may notice has disappeared from the sidebar WIP list. The Jaywalker.


I was just not meant to have this sock. I have had several false-starts with it and even when i get-gauge I am not haveing a success with the fit! I know it's supposed to be tight, but I am always getting "loose" and i just don't have the strength to do it again. Never say never though, I may try again another time! It is a super-easy pattern and really looks neat! Except on my foot:

Icky wrinkles and the fabric just felt too stiff. Ah well. I LOVE the yarn though! Hazelknits Artisan Sock in the Greenlake colorway LOVE! Even though I just frogged this sock, I immediately cast-on something simple so that I could have a portable-project. Namely Wendy's Generic Toe Up sock pattern. I am already at the ball of the foot and can tell things are going well. I hope to put a picot hem on it to jazz it up a little, but really I am just looking foward to a sock that FITS! (Did I mention that my Greenman socks have gone all wonky on me??). Yaaay for fitting socks. :)

Speaking of swaps, I gotta get this puppy out of the house! It's my "Magic Yarn Ball" and it's gotta get outta here before I get in trouble! (Gotta find a box "square" enough though! Yipe!)

I wrote out a great letter to go with it, but I want to wait to post its contents until after the swappee has gotten it. Sorry!

Other than that I am still attempting to Liberate my Laceweight (No darling! I haven't forgotten you!) and have also started another felted tote bag, though I am going to try to make it with a pair of wood handles I purchased ages ago... we'll see! Once I have something to show there I will show it ;)

Meanwhile nature has a little WIP going in my front yard!


A rant about boucle

Hey Kate!

Because the patterns in my sampler are all lace from charts, I decided to start with the simplest project for practice since I'm a charted lace noob.

Unfortunately, that means working with the yarn I least wanted to use in the sampler: the Crayon. Crayon is a cotton boucle yarn. It's soft. It's machine washable. The colors are nice. And now we're done with the nice things to say about it, unless "it's not terrible for a boucle" is a nice thing to say. It's a very odd choice for a lace project.

Who invented boucle yarn anyway? I couldn't find it (though I didn't look that hard) but it seems to be from the French for buckle. So I blame the French.

Other than a gratuitous picture of Emme...

... that's all I got.



Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Potential and finished projects

Hey Kate!

I got my Victorian Sampler and kneedles yesterday.

And I finished my hat! The seam is too visible and the top has too much fabric, but I love it just the same. It's mine, MINE, MINE!

Except when Emme is wearing it of course.

I still have half a skein of Malabrigo left over, so I'm just going to have to make a camera cozy and a DS cozy with it. I know. Life's hard.

That's all I got.



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Attempted Stash Dive

Hey Kate!

I know I have enough projects to work on right now, but I got the urge to make a Short and Sweet and decided to go stash diving. After checking my living room stash...

I went into the bedroom to check out the less favored stash, just in case there was something usable only to find it guarded again.


That's all I got.



Monday, June 23, 2008

The best retrospective I've seen

Hey Kate!

Reading this retrospective made me feel better about things.



A moment of silence...

...For the guy who never shut up ;) I gotta say I truly will miss George Carlin! It seems too soon. I hope his last thought was about how great his life was and that he lived it as well as he could.

Hey Robin!
I finished my very-first-ever test knit! Of course I flubbed it up, but when I am enjoying knitting something I can't be bothered to notice that it is TWO WHOLE INCHES wider than it's supposed to be can I?

I love this pattern! I loved putting on the beads, I loved carrying the yarn across the stitches, I loved watching it get longer and longer almost faster than I could keep track! I also love the buttons I picked... aren't they cute? I may have to go back and re-stitch them down because they seem a little loose, but I think this might be the first time I have added buttons to a knitted garment. Or it's the first time I have done a single-hole button... something like that. This might take practice!
The pattern is by Nina Dayton and its called The Faberge Neckwarmer (Ravelry link). Pattern will be available soon, with a cowl and a hat option as well, though I am not sure if they are one-pattern-buys-all or if they are separate. That's up to Nina! I hope she lets me test knit things in the future even though I botched up the width-thing. I think it's rather fetching! Don't you agree?'

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, Velvet Grapes colorway
buttons: a bargain from Jo Ann craft store
beads: 2/0 seed bead type things... I don't know from beads but
they are gorgeous... and they match the malabrigo perfectly.

I gotta go, the Ropa is calling!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Trying my hand...

Hey Robin,
Thanks for the linkage to the DIY photo-boothies. Mine has come in so handy but now I really need to learn to use a camera...

I mean, how hard is it to put something in the MIDDLE??

Or focus??

It's awfully good at capturing the reds though...

P.S. The brown balls are recycled cashmere, the cake/beads combo is for the test-knit, the last one is MMmmmmalabrigo lace in the Intenso colorway. Mmmm....

Friday, June 13, 2008


Hey Robin!
I wanted to share a recipe with the world as well. It's the only one that I think I can probably call my own and not attribute it to anything i read in a cookbook. Actually this is a recipe that Dad and I created when we were "just us" oh so many years ago. It's a comfort food for me because it makes me remember those sweet days with my Dear Old Dad. Back then, he was doing his best to bring up a good kid and also have a life of his own! It was hard for him, but he did a great job. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DADDY! I LOVE YOU!

Then again, recipes are like knitting patterns aren't they? There's not a whole lot out there that's COMPLETELY new and original, just about everything is inspired by something else. That's neat.

So here's my addition to our comfort food edition of recipe's online :)

Kate's Ham and Cheese Macaroni (casserole)

1 lb shaped pasta (I use large elbows, but i have also used rotelli, mostaccioli, ziti with success)
1 package of honey ham slices (I use the Hillshire Farm deli select but have also been known to just pick up a ham steak)
1.5-2 cups grated cheddar cheese or cheddar/monterey jack combo. Use your faves! BUt I found that with this recipe i have more success leaning toward the cheddar side of things
1 bag of frozen veggies - broccoli/lima beans/edamame/cauliflower/peas/brussels sprouts (cut in half) work great
Some oregano
Some basil
Some garlic salt
Some Lawry's seasoning salt
dash of milk

The procedure:
You'll want to eventually heat the oven to 350 degrees...
Boil a big pot-o-water (I like to salt my pasta water, but that is optional). When it's ready add your pasta, if you are using brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower, then add this to the water as soon as it returns to a boil. If you are using more diminutive veggies, you can toss them in the water a minute before the pasta will be done, or just toss it in the baking dish with the pasta because it will have plenty of time in the oven to cook. Make sure you give the pasta and veggies a stir a couple of times so that it doesn't stick to the pot.

While that is boiling away, cut the ham into bite sized bits and put aside.

When the pasta is al dente immediately drain it and you can give it a rinse too to help it to stop cooking.

In your largish baking dish (I will assume you can eyeball what this concoction will fit into, but this works best in layers, so you might want a dish that's a little deeper than your typical 9x12 baking dish) put a half of the pasta and vegetables in, add half your ham, half your cheese, sprinkle with some oregano/basil/salts and any other herbs or spices that you like to put on your pasta. These just happen to be the ones I always reach for but I have been known to try a lemon-pepper instead... just to see what would happen ;). Put on the rest of the pasta/veggies, then the ham, then the cheese and herbs/spices. At this point I like to drizzle some milk in, this helps keep the pasta softer and also steams the veggies a little more. You can get away with less than a 1/4 cup i bet.

Cover the whole thing with a lid or some aluminum foil. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove the foil/cover and bake until the top is a little bit crispy (I like the crunchy bits but if you don't then just let it bake to even out the consistency on the top and take it out). Enjoy!!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What a surprise!

Hey Kate!

I got this from Sheepish Annie.


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

The surprise here is that I didn't rank as a failure. Poor Sheepie got a negative score. Well, maybe that's a good thing with this test.



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nerd Rage

Hey Kate!

Wanna get your inner nerd all riled up? Look at this link from EW. I only got to the third choice before my head started spinning. It was getting limber on choice 2. I fear what comes next.

I'm too tired to right write anymore. /whine



Monday, June 9, 2008


Hey Kate!

It's going to be in the 90s again today. Nothing too unmanageable, but our gorgeous "Spring" is over. Emme gets hot very easily and I haven't been handling the heat since carrying her which makes me wish for the first time ever that we lived in a place with seasons. Of course, knitting has helped that feeling along. I wanna use my scarves and hats more than ten days out of the year! Anyway, here are a few other things I've been thinking about:
  • I miss our D&D games.
  • I need to go back to being a HomestarRunner regular. I didn't even know there was a game gestating!
  • I miss hanging out in Vegas with the gang drinking out of enormous bowls of booze.
  • I almost miss the days when Jack Thompson was considered sane. Well, not really. But I do fear whoever takes his place. So often when the reigning bad guy of a country or a "cause" is replaced, the replacement is so much worse.
  • I know there was a time when I was actually turning yarn into F.O.s instead of just fondling and my current knit/frog combo. This is why even though I horked the perfectly clear pattern for the Amanda Hat, I am just "changing" the design and bulling on through. I want my malabrigo hat.
That's all I got.



Friday, June 6, 2008

Old Clothes, New Hat

Hey Kate!

Instead of keeping up a separate geeky blog which I'm just not doing, I'm just going to mix it all together, much like I did with this recipe I posted on WoW Insider. It is my version of Ropa Vieja, which means Old Clothes in Spanish and is a Cuban dish usually made with skirt steak. I have redone it as a kind of pot roast turned meat and rice bowl.

As far as substituting white rice for the brown, I do agree that white rice tastes better in general. But you can't really taste the rice in this dish -- or the individual ingredients at all, particularly after the first reheating. This dish is designed to be a tasty coverup for cheap meats which makes it perfect for raising the healthiness of the meal. Brown rice is much better for you nutritionally and has a better glycemic index which means that it takes harder work to convert it to sugar/energy. To illustrate, let's go to the guys in charge of working the carbohydrates in my tummy. Meet Bob and Joe. Bob is the supervisor of the carbs, so we'll actually call him Mr. Bob. Joe is the FNG.

Here's my understanding of what happens when I just drink a commercially available ginger ale:

Joe: Here comes more carbs, Mr. Bob.
Mr. Bob: Ah, high fructose corn syrup. We can convert that straight into energy! Ok, what's she doing?
Joe: Sitting, sir.
Mr. Bob: Again? Then why did she give us all this energy? Ok, we'll put it where she obviously needs it most. Send it to the T's.
Joe: The T's, sir?
Mr. Bob: Tush and Thighs, Joe. Tush and Thighs. If she isn't going to use the energy, she obviously needs the cushion.

Now, white rice is definitely better than high fructose corn syrup, but there's a magic thing that happens when you mix simple carbs with much more complex ones, like brown rice. To illustrate, here's the Tummy Carb Gang again after I eat some of my Ropa Vieja with brown rice along with the same ginger ale:

Joe: Lotsa carbs, sir.
Mr. Bob: Brown rice? Ok, break out the heavy machinery! We're going to need a lot of energy for this. What else do we have?
Joe: Wine, tomatoes, bell peppers and that ginger ale again, sir.
Mr. Bob: Ok, we'll use the ginger ale, to work on the wine and then use that energy to work on the tomatoes. Then we'll work on the bell peppers. The energy we have after breaking all that down we'll use to work on the brown rice.
Joe: Will we have enough, sir?
Mr. Bob: Yes, we'll have plenty, but we won't have as much leftover for her use. Is she moving yet?
Joe: Nope, still sitting.
Mr. Bob: Pity. Well, you know where to put the extra energy then.
Joe: The T's, sir?
Mr. Bob: That's right. Eating brown rice is a good start, but she still is going to have to move if she doesn't want the extra cushion on her Tush and Thighs.

Of course, I may not truly understand what's going on in there. Dr. Weil talks about glycemic load and highly recommends brown rice for his Wellness Diet. So maybe you should listen to him instead.

I suppose you want a peek at what I'm knitting. Ok, here is the Amanda Hat which I'm knitting up with the Lime Blue Malabrigo.

I love the yarn and the pattern and the Harmony kneedles and the great stitch marker that someone gave me and my little model.



Thursday, June 5, 2008

Random links

Hey Kate!

Your cowl pattern is awesome and I can't wait to try it myself. Well, I'm going to have to wait. I'm a bit behind in my writing for WoW Insider and Massively because of various issues and so everything must wait while I catch up. In the meantime, I have links (some of which I know you've already seen):
It's late. I should probably be sleeping or something.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hot Vegas Sands

Hey Robin!
I think I had already mentioned that I made a cowl out of the Silky Merino Malabrigo that my Malabrigo-Swap partner sent me. It's such a gorgeous color and I luuuurve the silky (evidenced by the fact that I have since ordered 5 skeins of silky and make a Clapotis out of it... but that's another blog post on another day). Anyhoo, I wanted to share the deets about the cowl because I am pretty durn proud of it.

There is no lack of cowl patterns to be found on Ravelry. Seriously. Tons. And yet none of them was exactly-right for what I wanted... so I looked in other places (scarf designs) and found the perfect pattern. I have been wanting to make the scarf for so long, this was a way to temper that desire and still get something I wanted. I give you: Vegas Sands! (Thought it was pretty perfect as the pattern I "stole" from is called Shifting Sands and the color reminds me a LOT of the neon entry at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas.)

I used the basic dimensions found in many cowl patterns, extrapolated a stitch count from what Grumperina said about her stitch and went to town. It was a seriously fast knit and very satisfying! I highly recommend Grumperina's tutorial on how to cable without a cable kneedle. And now, for the first time I will share my own pattern! Enjoy and please feel free to make your own version and share a picture with me!

Vegas Sands (the cowl)

1 skein Malabrigo Silky Merino in Amoroso colorway (or Intenso)
Size 7 circs, 16” length
Tapestry kneedle

Gauge: approx 5 sts/inch in stockinette, approx 22 sts/4 inches in pattern

Finished size: about 8” long by 18” around

Pattern stitch (adapted from Grumperina’s Shifting Sands Scarf):
Worked over 4 rows:
Row 1 (RS): *1/2LC, K2, repeat to end
Row 2 and 4: knit
Row 3: *k2, 1/2RC, rep to end


CO 105 sts using whatever method you like to give you a nice-edge, but remembering not to start too tightly as this does have to fit over your head! The edges will curl a little, but I consider that part of the charm. If you would like it to not-curl, perhaps go with a picot-hem at both edges? I haven’t tried that yet, but it would probably work well.

Knit first row, joining the ends and being sure to place a marker at the beginning of the row.

Next row: begin the pattern stitch and continue knitting in the round until the piece measures approx 8”. End with a row 4 if you can, but I really don't think it matters all that much. Bind off loosely in your favorite manner, I used a bobble-style picot bind off because I like to know which edge is the top:

Work picot bind off as follows:
*Knit 1 st. Slip knit st back to left-hand needle. Use cable cast on method to cast on 2 sts. Bind off 7 sts. Repeat from * until all sts are bound off. Cut yarn. Using yarn tail, connect the first picot point of the round to the last bound-off stitch.

Finishing: Weave in ends, block if you want (but I didn’t) wear around the house and look MAGNIFICENT!

1/2LC: slip 1 st to cable kneedle and hold in front, k2, then knit1 from cn
1/2RC: slip 2 sts to cn and hold in back, k1, then k2 from cn

cn: cable kneedle
co: cast on

Note: there were no test-knits so if you find any errors please let me know!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Meme me me me memeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Hey Robin,
I spotted an interesting Meme on cosmicpluto and thought it would be a fun thing to explore! Later I have cowl pics... I think. OK here we go:

1) What was I doing 10 years ago? I can hardly remember what I was doing 10 minutes ago! Let's see.... I was 29 and newly married. We were thinking about looking for a condo in the Valley. I was working for a company that at the time was really wonderful but ended up going all-bad in the end and has left me with a not-so-great memory of the place, but i do have fond memories of the people so I guess that counts for a lot. And considering that it is June, and I was living in the Valley, in a house with no central air... I was probably sweating.

2) What are Five Things on your to-do list today? Hum. Need to return some shirts that didn't make the cut for our upcoming Family portrait. Need to also exchange one shirt that DID make the cut for a... ahem... slightly larger size. I need to get some fresh ginger to make something special for a special someone. Weeding if it ever gets nice outside. Re-work logo for Dad's scottish dance band. Find something to cook for dinner tonight. And also ball another skein of wool for a belated gift that I really should get going on... that may be more than 5...

3) Snacks I enjoy: big slice of cheddar cheese dipped in salsa (Can thank the Hub for that one); Ruffles potato chips; triscuits with cheese melted on top; (are you sensing a trend here?) uuuh Roasted Plaintain chips from Trader Joes; mostly salty stuff, but then sometimes I get into a "sweets" mood. eta: forgot about APPLES n cheese and apples and PEANUT BUTTER! YUM.

4) Places I've lived: In order as far as I can remember: Lake Charles, LA; Houston, TX (brief); Five different places in a region we will just call "Los Angeles", CA; Seattle, WA (or Bellevue). Cosmicpluto added: Where would I LIKE to live? and my immediate thought was: in a Craftsman style house in Pasadena, CA.

5) Things I’d do if I was a billionaire: Travel all over the world. Go back to College and become an archaeologist. Buy a Craftsman style house in Pasadena, Ca. :D