Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Eagle has Landed!!

Hey Robin!
I whined and complained and moaned about waiting for my MYB (Magic Yarn Ball) and I feel like a toad because it CAME!! It's wonderful and I feel so spoiled (again... the Malabrigo Junkies are the bestest). Here is my Photo Journal on the unveiling of the package:

The box-o-goodies, just opened; The MYB still wrapped! Oh the anticipation!

All the "stuff" in the box! And this is BEFORE I unwrap the ball (which is btw Spunky Eclectic 100% Alpaca sportweight in colors that are PERFECT for me!)

In front is an adorable needle-felted otter (my favorite animal!) and a copy of the pattern for Green Gables, can't WAIT to start that one! There's two, count 'em TWO hanks of Malabrigo worsted in the Loro Baranquero colorway. Very hot. Very.... enticing. Mmmmm....

In the edibles department, there's a bag of Ghirardelli's dark chocolate collection, Little Guy LOVED the raspberry stuffed one and I noshed a caramel stuffed one while unpacking (how could I not? The bag was right on top of the box!) and BRACH'S NOUGATS!!!! I swear, my swapper, "Kimothy Jones", is ON TOP OF THINGS! She rocks!

The MYB itself was choc-full-o-things that she knew I would lurve:
<--The Haul, the large items: a BROWNCOAT t-shirt! OMG!!! You have no idea (or maybe you do!) of how much I have wanted one of these but decided not to spend the money! The back says "I aim to misbehave" one of the best lines in the whole show (That would be Firefly, if anyone out there hasn't seen it, you are missing out). A Serenity button-magnet too. I heart it, it's already on the fridge at my eye-line. A PIRATE MUG!! It matches exactly the t-shirt I bought Hub a couple of years ago that he wears rather often, but I get to put my coffee in it. How lucky am I?? Oh and ANOTHER ball of 100% Alpaca from Drops. In a gorgeous blue color that I neglected to get the name of. Nice.
Two packets of Soak, I look forward to trying. Some stitch markers in rainbow colors that I had favorited on Etsy (so cool, they're like chain maille). LOVE THEM!! OMG She was too generous!!
A mini-sock (squee!), awesome buttons, a set of tapestry needles (I really must find out what the three sizes mean) and T-pins!! How did she know I totally needed to get more?!
And this little moment of zen. I've been cradling this little guy around the house ever since he was unwrapped. He's adorable and I love him. He has been introduced to my Otter backpack-purse that I bought at the local aquarium. They are buds now. Totally tight.

Kimmer, you rock. You stalked me well and did a great job. Thank you from the bottom of my Malabrigo-linted-heart. You are awesome.


Monday, July 28, 2008

"T" bag anyone?

Hey Robin,
It's been a long time since I mentioned the possibility of a "t" bag (lol! Get it? I slay me...) and with the recent era of cooperation between myself and the sewing maching I have finally managed it!

At long last I give you: The "T" Bag!! *commence trumpet sounds and crowd noise!*

I know... after all that set-up the pictures are a huge let-down. Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a picture of a bag with just one person? I will try again later when The Little Guy is feeling like helping Mommy.

It's reversible! I thought the double-thickness would make it a bit sturdier (duh!). I assumed that the arm-holes were plenty large enough (because at one time they were, after all, for arms) so I merely shortened the sleeve to make it easier to carry, next time I might contemplate making them even narrower. I opened up the neck-line a lot to make it easier to stuff things inside, but again I may go larger next time. I have to use (see: "test") this one a few times and find out what alterations are necessary.

I can guarantee that if I can make this, YOU can also make this. I am the world's most-pitiful seamstress and seriously if I can figure it out.... well you get it.

If anyone wants a tutorial, then I will work on a picture tutorial after this weekend (family is coming to town and I felt like I should maybe clear-off the dining table).

This bag is going to join my pantheon of already-often used bags in an attempt to reduce the number I shall need to take from various shops. I like that both the inside and outside shirts in this test-run are for the Xbox 360 in one way or another. I also have a Pirate shirt that Hub is too-chicken to actually wear... can't wait to make that one into a bag!!

"T" Bags FTW!!!


Friday, July 25, 2008

A new bag in town

Hey Robin!
How's the vacay? I have to thank you again for the Ropa Vieja recipe. It's sooooo good and I have to admit lately that meals that spend all-day getting to where they are... are my absolute favorites. Tuesday I made my Mom's Etouffe! THANKS MOM! That was awesome too. I never knew how much butter went into that dish. Eegads, but then again, no wonder. Y'know?

Did I show you the finished blue-felted bag that I recently made? I think I was keeping you appraised of the progress, but since I felted it (mostly successfully) I haven't said much. TADA! It's DONE!

Yesterday dragged out the sewing machine, bits of fabric, magnet clasps and handles (bought specially for this) and sat down to see what I could make!

You know that I am no seamstress, and indeed my machine and I are rarely on speaking terms. But this time we cooperated and managed to kludge-together something that I am actually rather happy with! It's rare for me to find that in a sewing-scenario! I really wanted this to be lined, in order to be more useful, and also to add a pocket or two. A lining would also serve to hide whatever method I choked-out for attaching the handles to the entire structure...

That as a tricky-bit let me tell you. We can't all be Grumperina!

At any rate, some bits of my fave fabric scraps, some grosgrain ribbon that I've had since the early 90's and the aforementioned handles and clasps and VIOLA!

It's that odd-mixture of all my favorite bits and pieces and obviously they don't go-together for just ANYBODY. I have a feeling this is going to be another one of those projects that only-I will love...

Next: I guess I should update my 'on the kneedles' bit and also maybe think about a couple of future projects YAY!

Also: the shawl for the beloved Aunt was well-received. Brought a little tear to my eye, that one.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Miss ya already!

Hey Robin!
I know I JUST dropped you off at the train station, but I miss our conversations already! Little Guy was sad that Emme had to go, but he was maybe just a little glad to have his personal space back. And yet it's easy to believe that he enjoyed himself thoroughly. Look at this face:

I love this picture...
We hope you and Emme can come again sometime... oh and the mochi is almost all gone by the way. Tell Emme "Kake says hi!"

On to the FOs!!
I finished my first-ever lace triangle shawl. It's the supremely easy-though-it-doesn't-show Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style. I swear this pattern is easier than it looks. The lace-repeat in the body is just 10 rows, half of which are just a purl row with 2 knits on each end, and 90% of the RS rows are the same stitch repeat in every row. So you have to consult the chart, what, once every four rows? It's just so easy to memorize. I love it. I can't wait to try another Evelyn Clark shawl. Yippee!

This one is going to my Aunt Carole whom I love dearly. She has put up with so much from me (bs mostly) and still loves me even though we aren't blood-relation. That somehow makes it more-special, and the fact that she is married to one of the most special people I know just makes it better. She's wonderful and I can't wait for her to have it.

If this shot gives you a little vertigo, that's because it's upside-down. Just sayin'
Happy Birthday Carole!!

Lastly, there was a request for more 'body pictures' of the Rogue. Thanks to Robin I was able to get some relatively-stable images in a pretty good light. I hope they satisfy some of the needs, though I am a little bummed that I didn't think to get a better side-shot, though I think the mirror pictures from before show that part pretty well already:

I really love this sweater.

Hope your train trip was uneventful!
Later ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Monday before our departure

Hey Kate!

Things are hectic around here while we prepare for Emme's and my Big Train Adventure and I'm so excited we'll be seeing you so soon! In the meantime, here's some randomness:
I suppose I should add a little knitting content, too:
Unfortunately, for Thor, no place is safe from the camera...

or from the Two-year-old:

See you Thursday!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm such a fangirl

Hey Robin,
I promised a blow-by-blow on my studio visit with one of my FAVORITE Yarnies: Wendee Shulsen! So here 'tis:

First of all how sweet is Wendee to let some Crazy-Lady invite herself over to her studio?? SO SWEET! I tell ya. It was a long-time in the making, but she was true to her word and let me come snoop the premises. My ultimate reason for going was this:

Sorry the picture is kind of dark, I am still learning to use a camera as you can see. That's my VERY OWN colorway! Well sorta my very-own... OK we'll call it my very-own skein of Alki Reflections... but I helped! I sorta inspired the colorway and Wendee did the ever-so-splendid job of putting it together. I can't WAIT to knit something with it. I'm so excited. I'm almost TOO excited. I'm thinking maybe I should buy another skein of it so that I can have this one bronzed ;)

KIDDING! I'm knitting something with this puppy!

Anyway, my visit wasn't entirely motivated by greed. Wendee is very sweet and personable, we had met a couple of times at my LYS where she was working and chatted a couple of times through Ravelry. I insinuated myself into her studio and YAY!

Poor girlie was super-busy preparing for her trunk show in Laguna Beach tomorrow. (I wish I could go because it sounds like a lot of fun!) I wanted to help her out rather than just sucking up her free-time like the knitting-leech that I am, and she took me up on my offer. I got to help with some prep and last-minute things while we chatted up a storm about yarn and trunk shows and LYSs and all sorts of things. I got to see pretty much every colorway she makes (which is pretty amazing, dudes, I'm talking like 30 colorways and they all ROCK). I want to buy them all!

She's a smart, talented lady who really cares about her customers and wants to put her best foot forward. I am here to tell you guys that she works HARD for the product she makes and it shows. If anyone chances to see this and lives anywhere near Laguna Beach GO BUY SOME HAZELKNITS! You won't be sorry.

And she even made me lunch! Seriously the best tuna melt I have ever had. That's not saying much because I don't eat a lot of tuna melts, but I really wish I was paying more attention while she was making it so that I could reproduce the recipe!

She also taught me something new about knitting with variegateds. There was a lot of math involved, but it boils down to this: when you have a variegated with lots of color changes (like my precious Alki Reflections) cast on starting at the beginning of a color. Me... I don't usually pay attention, and heck I don't like pooling in my socks but I don't go mental about it either. Turns out this simple fix makes for a VERY different look in a knitted project! I am so glad she told me this, I will start my second Greenlake sock using her tip and compare the two for you. Hopefully soon but since I have a case of startitis it may be a while...

(re: the right picture, wtf is going on with the low-tech-lightbox? Same camera, same box, light is unmoved in relation to the picture on the left... seriously wtf??)

To compound her sweetness, she sent me off with a couple of unsellable-skeins-of-happiness (something weird happened with the yarn and they don't look like her usual great stuff) which I had already oohed and aaahed over thinking: "Heck I would buy these! They look neato!"

I had a grand time Wendee and I hope I can come help you out again! Anytime! Seriously! Call me! lol...


The internet will save the world

Hey Kate!

As you know, I am an emotional basketcase ever since I saw this amazing video [via Mason Dixon]. The internet really will save the world. In the meantime, let's have another random links post!
Sorry to disturb your slumber, Thor, but I needed a picture for the blog.



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nothing to do with pirates

Hey Kate,

As the subject says, this post has nothing to do with pirates -- not that there's anything wrong with that. It is some more randomness, however, because you know I love the random links. Let's get right to it:
And now for the random picture of Emme to go with the random links:
Emme thinks she looks like Tweety Bird here. You can't make this stuff up.



Monday, July 7, 2008

Pirate Messages and other Yaaarrrrns...

Hey Robin,
OK OK! Uncle! Uncle! I'll post the Pirate message!! Please don't take away my rosewood dpns!

Here, for those of you who might be a little confused, are the contents of the Pirate-themed message that I sent to my latest Malabrigo-Yarn-Swappee (mentioned in the previous post):

Aaaaar! So I suppose, young Lass that ye’ve noticed the fancy pouch that this ‘ere cannon ball of wonders arrived in. That’s fer the makin’ of small knitterly items and the containment of supplies necessary to the completion of said-items. Use it well and fear not the brandishment of yon pouch as it will allow your compatriots to know you for who you are: YARN WENCHES UNITE! Yaaar!

Inside yon cannon ball of magical containment, you may OR MAY NOT have found these items. It is necessary for me to tell ya the secrets therein or ye may hurt yerself in the mis-usin’ of them. Can’t have ye spearin’ a cable with a stitch holder!

It is the hopes of the Yarn Wench sisterhood that ye may find use for the spare cable needles (‘J’ shaped) and stitch holders included, the guild hall is filthy with them and no yarn wench should be WITHOUT!

Also necessary in the outfitting of the Wench is the comestibles. Namely the CHOCOLATE! The innermost container was purloined (we will not say how… some things are best left unknown) at the nearest shack of Honorable Joe: Trader. He never fails to keep a hungry Yarn Wench from starving! The portable packets of Liquid chocolate are for emergencies. I would have sent you the milk goat to re-constitute the drink, but alas you will have to find your own as the curs at Postal Offices will not allow it!

Pouch mirrors, bedecked with image of pirate chick… not to be confused with Yarn Wench! To be used afore the storming of local merchants or pubs! Aaar!

The guild finds it useful to keep notes regarding the location of stash or treasure, parchment has been included for this need. Use it well!

Should you find your hair giving you problems when you are storming above yarn merchants or pubs, find inside a useful tool for holding the tresses away from your sharp and all-seeing eyes!

I know you be workin on a mastery of stockings, therefore I have added a holder for your work-in-progress. Mind that you put the work into the BLUE TUBE first! Then slide yon red tube over to keep the mess from coming unraveled.

Also, glass rings of beauty to adorn your fair neck!

We Yarn Wenches have found use for tools which can keep our places when we are plotting the maps of our trade! The maps can be mighty ornery without them… contained herein find several so-called “book darts” to aid you in the conquering of the dreaded chart.

Alas, when you are unable to carry the Yarn Wenches Pouch or use the Yarn Wenches tress-container… we afear for your safety. That is why there are also buttons with the telltale symbol to aid you in identification!

Lastly, materials are always needed in maintaining the status of Yarn Wench. That is why the whole cannon ball of goodness contains the cream of our trade’s crop… the coveted Malabrigo... and if ye canna find something ter do with it… look inside the plastic holder to find NEW dreaded charts to tickle yer fancy. Wear them all well and GOD SPEED.

I leave you with the battle call of our people!


All better now?
Later ;)

Ramblin' Ramblin' Ramblin'!

Hey Robin!
Hope your weekend-of-4thness was worthwhile and fun! We had our usual slew of fireworks shows here, but since it doesn't get dark until 10, the fireworks don't start until 9:30 or so... and tend to continue until the wee hours. I slept through the wee hours ones, and fortunately so did the Little Guy.

So I don't know if I mentioned to you before that I ripped the Jaywalker. It was sad, but had to be done. After reading the Mason-Dixon post last month about "letting go" of the unloved WIPs I had the strength to do it. I am so glad I did because I immediately cast-on a toe-up sock using Wendy's generic sock recipe and i am SO MUCH HAPPIER! After turning the heel I decided to use this as a test for a stitch pattern I liked and wanted to turn into a sock. I think it's going to work:
Don't mind the safety-pin... that's uuuh... it's nothing. No really...

The next pair with this stitch will have it going down the top of the sock I think... just for more texture. I love this yarn of course, I usually go on and on about it... Hazel Knits Artisan Sock yarn. Did I mention that Wendee has been kind enough to let me come be a pest for an hour or so tomorrow? (That would be Wendee of Hazel Knits... not Wendy of the generic-toe-up sock!) I get to see her studio! I hope she lets me help her for a little while, she's got a lot of work to do and I hate to take up her time unless I can help out!

I also finished the knitting part on another felted tote. Again it's me using up a bunch of leftover bits of unidentified wool (at least that's what I hope it all is!). I'm going to throw it in the wash with the next load of blue jeans... i'll let you know how it turns out! But for now it's like this:
I loves me some blue.

Last week or sometime around-abouts-then I sent off my second Malabrigo Swap package! Wahoo! No offense to my swappee, but she isn't very 'involved' in the swap board, and that sure doesn't make it easy for a swapper to stalk! Anyway, she mentioned she likes Pirates and I glommed-onto that like a suckerfish and had a hard time focusing on anything else... so PIRATE THEME it is!!

I found the darling pirate knitting-project bag on Etsy From Miss Fiber Fox! Isn't it great? So well made too... I love supporting artisans on Etsy... it really feels like I am supporting a great group of people even though I don't know a-one of them from Adam!

The ball itself (called a Magic Yarn Ball) is supposed to wrap up a whole-scad-of-stuff to be found gradually by your swappee as they knit from the ball.... yeah PHOOEY on THAT! I know when I get mine that I am unwarpping that puppy faster than Little Guy unwraps his birthday presents! Hopefully the swappee will realize that it's way more fun to just upravel the MYB than to wait. The yarn is Malabrigo worsted in the Stonechat colorway (She said she liked Earth-tones and that's what this said to me...) and there's also a skein of laceweight in intenso inside because looking at her projects page... she may SAY she likes the Earthtones but she sure has a lot of PINK!

There's all kinds of helpful little goodies wrapped up inside, and a box of Trader Joes chocolates (which is the real reason I hope she unravels the dang-thing soon!). I also wrote her a Pirate-note describing everything and I had a lot of fun writing that up. I would love to post the whole message but I already feel like I am boring you with all this drivel!

And after the pacgage has been there for 4 days (yes I tracked that sucker like a missile) i realized that maybe the reason I hadn't gotten a "Thank you" note was that i NEVER TOLD HER WHO IT WAS FROM! *sigh*

I hope she liked it


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy day before Independence Day!

Hey Kate!

If you think that title is random, wait till you see this blog post!

That's all I got.



*I looked it up. It's Leopard.