Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sweaty sweaty knitting

The Chelsea Fleece Fair was, as always, a huge success. I am proud of myself because I only went over $15 of the budget that I had set. I picked up 4 different kinds of handspun, more than enough to make at least one garment for everyone in the family. I immediately cast on this:

After some discussion on Ravelry with Houston knitters, I decided that I needed a layering piece for the Houston ‘winter’. This is the Cloud Bolero, but instead of keeping it bolero length, I’m going to keep knitting until I run out of yarn (my favorite thing to do) and make it vest length (hopefully), much like this one.

I have had a lot of difficulty maintaining my interest on this particular project for the past 2 days, not because it isn’t turning out great, which it is, but because suddenly we are in the mid 80’s again, and it is too HOT to knit chunky wool and mohair! I forced myself to do several rows yesterday despite the heat, but I’ve also been casting about for a pair of socks to work on in the interim.

I’ve cast on and frogged two pairs, and am now selecting a third. Hopefully the yarn/pattern combination will work this time. I won’t show them because they might be Christmas socks, I haven’t decided yet. I can show you Charlie’s newest pair, covered in Siamese catfood breath:

My cat's breath smells like, well, garbage, to be honest.

My goal was use up all of my Sundara Sock yarn, and I still have 2 tiny balls left. I’m determined not to let an inch of this gorgeous stuff go to waste.

I’ll leave you with last night’s dinner—Stir-Fried Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Peppers with Carmelized Tofu. This was a huge hit with everyone, and we’ll definitely be making this one again. Charlie ate the broccoli (bocky!), tofu (fufu!) and peppers (pepper!).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Strange Things That We Find on Our Floors

Charlie likes a lot of normal toddler stuff like trains, fishies and Barney (who is really not so bad compared to the Satan Spawn that is the Teletubbies). He also likes some strange things, which we find around our house all of the time.


Exhibit A: Butterflies

I think that it is sweet that he likes butterflies. One of his favorite books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle because there is a butterfly at the end. I even contemplated making his first birthday cake a butterfly since that was one of the things that he really liked. He’s obsessed with these teeny tiny butterfly magnets and we find them everywhere.

Not that weird? I agree. Read on…

Exhibit B: A potato

He discovered potatoes last week while visiting his grandma and has been scouting them out ever since. If I leave the pantry door open for a minute all of the potatoes are thrown on the floor. His favorite thing to do is to wait until he has my attention and then pretend to eat a raw, dirty potato. Go nuts!

Exhibit C: A pinecone (or 50!)

Last summer my soon-to-be Doctor Husband took our son on a walk and they came back with a freshly plucked pinecone. Charlie has been obsessed with them ever since to the extreme that sometimes he even wants to take one to bed with him. He knows exactly where the pine trees are when we go on walks, and begs for a pinecone when we round the bend. I really don’t mind the fact that he likes pinecones because 1.) I like to think that he likes them because he likes nature, 2.) they’re FREE and 3.) there is a never-ending supply of them.

Ok, knitting content.

Remember the Sea Lettuce Scarf? Frogged. I don’t have enough yarn to make it the way that I want. I have some mods in mind, but I’m really thinking that I’ll pick up something at the Fleece Fair tomorrow in order to really highlight this pattern. In the meantime, I’ve been making some Toddler team colors socks with the Dissertation leftovers:

I’m using this random number generator to determine the stripes, and am having a hoot of a time with them. Let’s not think about Michigan’s record right now, and just enjoy the socks, shall we?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Socky Beety

First off, I finished the Anastasias. What a quick and fun knit! The pattern is really easy to memorize and it seems to fly, even on size 1s.

How much do I love Hello Yarn? Let me count the ways, over and over and over….

I’m hoping that these will be my Houston winter shoes. Crocs are perfect for showing off hand knit socks.

Secondly, I’ve succumbed to the Sea Lettuce scarf. I’m still torn on whether I want to do the one that is 20 stitches across or the 32 stitch scarf (this one is 32).

I’m concerned because I only have one skein and am hoping that it will be a nice length. I don’t have high hopes for this though, and see another skein in my future. I forgot how much garter stitch sucks yardage. I’ve also had a problem sticking with any project larger than socks lately, and the urge to frog this always looms. Wish me luck, because as of right now, I really like the result.

And last, this book is changing the way that I cook.

It’s a wonderful read if you love the slow food movement. As a result I purchased this veggie cookbook, and am trying to cook exclusively vegetarian at home.

I made patty pan squash fritters with sweet potato muffins several days ago for dinner, and last night I made this recipe:

…which will never be repeated. Ever, ever, ever again. Although the soon-to-be Doctor Husband told me that it was good “for a beet dish”, he said it about 10 times, which is a sure sign that this dish was a dud. I thought that it was delicious, and Charlie acted like he was dying when he ate one bite. To any family who may be reading, don’t worry, we still think that turkeys are delicious and wonderful, and we won’t mess with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Tomorrow on the menu: fig and arugula salad with goat cheese croutons!

I hope that we can eat as well in Houston as here. I already checked, and Rice U. hosts a farmer’s market once a week.

I’ve also cast on a tiny baby sock, as my knitting ADD knows no bounds as of late.

I suck at goodbyes, and also conclusions, so I’ll just leave this as it is. Cheers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Better late than never

Wow! I didn't intend to be away for so long! Charlie and I went to Lansing for a few days to spend some quality time with Grandma and give the soon-to-be-doctor Husband some much needed work time. We had a great time, and of course went to Threadbear Fiber Arts Studio while we were there. I can’t believe that we'll be moving away from this amazing store in a month. While we were there I picked up this Lucy Neatby pattern and some Jitterbug. Hopefully one skein is enough for a nice size scarf. I wouldn’t have even been interested in this pattern if it wasn't for this picture. Isn’t it beautiful? I think it looks so much different from the picture on the pattern. I hope that the Jitterbug colors work. I just love purple and orange together.

I also, finished the Augustas:

They look like they're different sizes but it's just my amazing picture-taking skillz.

They turned out well, and I cast on immediately for another pair of toe-ups:
This is Hello Yarn Sock—amazing stuff. I have a vague idea of gifting some socks to my family for Christmas since I’m on such a sock kick, but the Sea Lettuce Scarf is calling me with it's siren song. People do wear scarves in Houston, right? Maybe to combat the air conditioning, not the outside air itself.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Guilty as Charged

Augusta progress

I'm almost finished with the first Augusta, so I'm allowed to dream about new projects, right? (I'm actually much farther now then when I took the picture this afternoon.)

The yarn that I'm dreaming about....

A big mess of Hello Yarn!

Something beautifully dyed from Radiant Twist!

Or good old-fashioned Socks that Rawwwwwwck?

And then there are the patterns. Could my next project be something from Interweave, like Ambrosia, the Genome socks, or Honeycomb?

Or the Red Dwarf Socks?

Or Bellatrix?

Or how about some Anastasias?

I think that I'm getting back to my knitting roots---I learned on socks, and they've always been my first love. I'm going to ride the desire and see where it goes next...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Inspiration Monday and another FO

Do you read The Keyboard Biologist Knits? If not, please check out Theresa's blog. I've been reading her posts for about 2 years now, and she always has something new to say. She knits, spins, quilts, designs patterns, and recently has become a mom. She tackles each project with a thoughtfulness that could only come from a scientist; treating each project as if it is an experiment, and documenting all of her 'discoveries' along the way. She inspires me to spin more, which mostly just involves ogling fleece these days.

And now...Breeze is done! This is the first time that I've knit socks with cotton, and to be honest, I'm lukewarm about this material. I need my sock yarn to have a little more elasticity and bounce. But they do fit perfectly (on me, and hopefully on the recipient), the pattern was really fun, and just interesting enough to stay exciting through both socks.

Finished Breeze
Pattern: Breeze
(the first pattern that I've ever finished from Knitty, believe it or not)
Yarn: Dolce Amore by Filatura Di Crosa, 198 yards per skein, about 3/4 of the skein used
Needles: my trusty size 1 1/2 dpns
For: Mom #2's birthday

As I've mentioned before, I'm hopelessly in love with anklets at the moment, and might make this pattern again, this time in merino. Click here for an absolutely stunning pair knit up in Jitterbug.

Despite my better judgment, since I've got three unfinished projects on the needles at the moment, I cast on another pair of anklets:

My first toe up!

They're toe-up (obviously)--my first ever, and I have to say, they are easier than expected. I am smitten with toe-up socks right now. The next couple of days will be spent searching the internet for some patterns and if I'm not careful (and this ALWAYS happens), I'll have 10 ideas lined up in my mind, which makes me just want to finish (or in some cases, frog) whatever I'm working on so that I can cast on a new shiny project.

I need to live more in the moment and enjoy the work at hand instead of constantly looking into the future. Maybe in knitting and in life?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Frantic Gift Knitting Time

One of my knitting New Year's resolutions this year was to knit more gifts. I have accomplished this goal several times over, and am doing it again right now. I'm working on the first Knitty pattern that I have ever actually completed--Breeze. I've started and frogged several Knitty projects ---Pomatomus kicked my ass once, wrong yarn once, I never seemed to have the right yarn for Clapotis, and Katja looked like a giant dishcloth because I tried to use cheap variegated yarn instead of Rowan. Breeze has finally sustained my interest, looks greats, and the niggling feeling that I sometimes get mid-project that causes me to frog isn't coming.


This pattern serves its purpose for the recipient--it's not wool (allergy, ick!), it's quick to knit, and it will cover perpetually cold feet when a move is made to Arizona. This pattern is also scratching my itchy urge to knit anklets right now. This is my second pair in as many months and there is at least one more pair in the future. Breeze will also work for the August Sockdown Challenge on Ravelry, since they have lacey components.

Charlie wants to help ALL THE TIME

Can I be completely selfish for a moment? Thanks to this wonderful little dude, my knitting time is at a premium right now. A result I'm always happy to have the gift given to the recipient and get back to my own projects. Shhh-don't tell!