Sunday, March 1, 2009

Something red, blue, and green

Dear Anna,

I have to say that I'm totally sick of the drama between Gina and Kelly on BH 90210. I really think that Dylan and Kelly need to stop fooling themselves and admit that they are meant to be.


Well, with that confession out of the way, I present to you my Something Red:

The photo isn't great (it's hard to do a self-pic of a sweater) but I am really pleased with the way it turned out. The button band truly became a labor of love - I ripped and reknit it at least five times and it's still not perfect (the ribbing doesn't line up because I picked up too many stiches on one side compared to the other) but no one can tell unless you look closely . . . especially with it buttoned.

The angora is blissfully soft but it's totally unpractical for southern California weather . . . however, it's perfect for the air conditioned office. In fact, I wore it to work once and got a lot of compliments - the best was "I love your sweater, where did you buy it?!". I think that any knitter can agree that THAT is the best compliment ever. Another co-worker commented that she didn't know a person could knit "something stylish". Ha! We knitters are very industrious!

My Garter Yoke Cardigan is coming along really great - I'm nearly done with the first sleeve. So far, it fits great and I see myself getting a lot of use out of it when it's done. I only wish I had splurged on nicer yarn. The acrylic blend Elle Mae that I bought when we went on our most recent San Diego yarn crawl isn't bad . . . it just isn't particularly soft. But, the good thing is that I'm sure it will hold up really well in the wash.

Since I'm rounding the last corner on the cardi, I was compelled to cast on for a new project. I started the Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style. I bought the yarn at Black Sheep with a gift certificate that Ron got me for Valentine's Day. As I mentioned in my project notes, I really wanted Rowan Kid Silkhaze in a creamy white or light blue but they didn't have anything suitable. So I got the next best thing, SRK Oration which has a similar blend (75% mohair/25% silk compared to Rowan's 70% mohair/30% silk). Ravelry didn't recognize the yarn brand when I entered in the project details so I have no idea if this is a little known gem or a really bad knock off . . . I guess I'll find out!

So far, I am enjoying the Shetland Triangle pattern so much more compared to the Ene Scarf (both are lace triangle shawls). With Ene, you start with casting on over 300 stiches (which I had to do multiple times). With the Shetland, you also start at the neck but you cast on only two stiches . . . it's a really odd construction but it's kinda cool to see it grow.

Oh, I just watched Mama Mia! last night and I loved loved loved the set design. It made me want to paint my whole place ocean blue.

So. . . whose up for a girls trip to Greece in 2010? :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

Dear Mmmmmargaret,

Well. I woke up this morning with volumized hair. And the blog has been updated twice in one week. I believe this bodes well for 2009, don't you? We just returned from a trip to Philadelphia, where The Professor diligently interviewed for a job at many Universities throughout the Midwest and Canada. Will 2009 be the year we move to a cornfield in Nebraska? Or perhaps to an igloo in Alberta? At this point it's impossible to say.

HOWEVER, I did get to wear my new mittens:

And take a trip to Loop, where I purchased 1000 yards of chocolate brown Lorna's Laces Fisherman Wool. I'm thinking of using it to make something from Custom Knits... maybe Ingenue?

Thanks to you and Rose for the birthday gift card!!

I just checked the Rav and apparently I finished kind of a lot... clearly I have no life. And Neal will be gone most of January, so my lack of social engagements will continue and maybe I can even finish a sweater or something. The offical list of 2008 projects is:

3 hats (Jenny Cloche, Koolhaas, Shedir)
4 shawls (two Forest Canopy shawls, Summer Lace Shawlette, Eyelet Capelet)
3 pairs of socks (Thuja, Monkey, plain Yarn Harlot recipe)
2 scarves (Haven, Yarn Harlot One Row Scarf)
1 baby sweater (Child's Placket-Neck Pullover)
1 pair of mittens (Give a Hoot)

And a few random dishcloths, but I don't really keep track of those. Phew!

I am determined to finish a sweater this year. For reals. I will do it! Maybe I will even do two. My Mother also commissioned me to make her a scarf, so I'll have to get to that soon.

Also, check out this totally Rav worthy pic from Philadelphia:

Seriously. I could be a Knitty model. It was taken in Fork - they had Coca-Cola in BOTTLES, my friend. Tiny glass bottles. So obviously I had to have one. And I'm wearing my luxe neckwarmer from Knit2Together. I love the blue and green combo.

In other news, I tried to spruce up the blog a bit so let me know what you think. I added a book list! I've been wanting one for awhile now. And I changed the background just for funsies. Feel free to edit as you see fit. I'm not really planning to take up any new hobbies but since we will be moving away from So Cal this summer I am working to get rid of AS MUCH STUFF as possible before then. It's a frightening proposition, I know. I will become a cleaning machine. Just as soon as I get out of these pajamas.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

Dear Anna,

So, It's only been since August . . . averaging one blog post every five months . . . pretty much we rock at blogging!

Actually, the lack of posts is my fault as it has been my turn but haven't had any photos to share since my crappy digital camera passed away earlier this Spring. But Dear Ronald got me a new shiny camera for Christmas! Yay!

Looking back on 2008, I realize it has been a good year for knitting. I completed:

2 scarves (Chevron and Dimple Shale), 2 wraps (Clapotis and Ene), 3 pairs of socks (Jaywalkers, Artichoke, and Lichen Ribbed), and one hat (Koolhas).

My favorite project of the year was hands down Ene, which I completed in November:

By the way, the table cloth in the background is my favorite unnecessary splurge of the year (from Anthropologie). Ene was my first major lace project. I used Mmmmalabrigo lace weight held double throughout for a slightly thicker and springy-er fabric.

A view of Ene in action:My knitting new year's resolution for 2009 is to try my hand at color work and finish a sweater (hopefully the one in progress now).

Since about Thanksgiving time I've been working diligently away on Something Red by Wendy Bernard. Considering we moved the first week of December and I didn't pick up my needles for about 7 days, I think I've made quick progress.

As of this past weekend, I had begun the button band (the last step) but decided that I really would prefer a few more inches on the body of the sweater - so I ripped back the button band and commenced knitting a little longer.

I'm using Elsebeth Lavold's Angora (60% Angora, 20% Wool, 20% Polyamide - whatever that is!!) which is as soft as a bunny rabbit.

The halo of fuzz on this sweater is incredibly decadant - I have no idea what sort of use this will get in San Diego (probably not much) but so far I'm in love with this yarn and the fit.

In non knitting news, I'm planning on trying to garden a bit. The new place we moved into has a small, neglected bed perfect for a small kitchen garden with veggies and herbs.

Right now, there appears to be lavendar (the big bush on the right), aloe (in the back, left), and a lot of mint and various weeds running amuck. I don't know jack about gardening but this weekend I plan to get out there to dig up the weeds, buy some soil and fertilizer, and plant new shiny plants and seeds. Hopefully it works - I'm pretty terrible about killing house plants but I'm really trying to keep my new ones alive, including this:

I'm forcing a daffodil bulb. Supposedly, it will bloom in 3 - 4 weeks.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Introducing Knitpix!

Dear Margaret,

The Professor has decided that we should start a business photographing knitwear - he has determined it shall be called KnitPix, which I hereby copyright (I expect to hear from the KnitPicks people any minute now). BEHOLD, the wonders of a brand new Nikon D40 with accessorizing lens filter! Ooh and ahh! Prepare to be amazed!!

Or not. Whatever. As you can see, the back of my Sunshine Cardi is almost complete. Phew! It has taken awhile, and I still have the front panels, arms, blocking and finishing to do. A knitter's job is never done, as they say. Or as I say. I love how soft the yarn is and the seed stitch (or is it moss stitch? I always get them confused) looks fabulous, but the cotton/silk combo makes it quite sheddy, which I find endlessly annoying.

Oh, and the wedding was lovely and most everything went smoothly (except for a slight ringbearer meltdown, but 2 year olds are not known for handling these things particularly well). We didn't take shawl pics until the post-wedding brunch, but you get the idea.

The idea that basically we are hot. Hott, even. Geez, I totally need to work on my posture. I'm the slouch queen.

Oh, and here's something to keep you occupied while I'm in Ireland for two weeks. My friend Jenn had it on her blog and I love the random mingling of Flickr photos:

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page, pick an image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. (choose four columns and three rows, also choose individual URL's)

1. What is your first name? Anna
2. What is your favorite food? Thai
3. What school did you go to? WWU (Western Washington University)
4. What is your favorite color? Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Elijah Wood - shut up, he's not gay!
6. Favorite drink? Coffee
7. Dream vacation? Africa
8. Favorite dessert? Chocolate Chip Cookies
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Happy
10. What do you love most in life? Domesticity
11. One word to describe you. Knitter
12. Your nickname. Stitch (thanks Ben)

Cool, right?! Give it a whirl.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No knitting content

Dear Anna,

This post is long over due. I wish I had a really exciting FO to show off but alas. Not only have I not had a FO in over a month but I still haven't gotten around to purchasing a new camera. What there has been lately is lots of change, especially at work. I've been putting in long hours . . . it's been good but definitely challenging. I have so much to learn and I'm trying scare myself that this is the slow part of the year! School starts in less than a month and work will really pick up.

I'm making slow but good progress on my Ene scarf - I'm finally on chart 3 - and I've got 49% of my artichoke socks complete. So there IS some knitting going on. . . lately it's just been on the weekends, if that.

Over the weekend I got my hair cut much shorter - I brought these photos to my stylist for inspiration:

That's Kimberly from Hollywood Season of "The Real World" and Katie Cruz-Holmes. The result was really cute - cuter than I expected. And even though it's short I really don't miss the long hair at all. I can't even remember what that looked like on me. Again, if I HAD a camera I'd post a photo but unfortunately that will have to wait. I also went to the eye dr last week and they determined that I'm in need of glasses - so I picked out frames and am waiting for them to come in this week.

I'm hoping that the hair cut and glasses will give me a slightly more sophisticated look. I realized that I need to take my "look" up a notch when I had my first meeting with a reporter and he thought that I was a student and not the person he was there to talk to about a newly installed statue on campus.

My new favorite thing:

The "Seacret Dead Sea Nail and Manicure Set"

The buffer is the best part of the whole kit and you can buy that separately for $4. But the cuticle oil was the main reason I bought it - my cuticles are mangled and I have a bad habit of cutting them or biting them. After one use my nails look like I came out of a professional manicure. I'm totally sold.

Anywho, back in a few weeks with some actually knitting content.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How's It, Brudda?

Dear Margaret,

I am currently rolling my eyes at you and your beloved - The Bachelor? Really?? You guys must be the people who keep that show on the air. Although we watch Dog the Bounty Hunter so I guess we're just as bad. But Dog is out there to HELP people, Margaret. He's cleaning up the mean streets of Waikiki so people can get their surf on in peace. He's not, like, hanging out with blonde chicks in a hot tub for cash. Unless he is... because it IS paradise, after all.

Anyhoo you are so right - our public (all three of them) is longing to see Stitch N Pitch photos! (I also mourn the loss of your camera. a digital camera is a necessity for the high quality knitter. Maybe you could find one on Craigslist or something?)

So here are the three of us in our matching hats looking super cute:

And some random knitters:

I must say that the event was a little less organized than I would have thought, so that was a little disappointing. And everyone was over the age of 45, which is fine, but doesn't really represent the Ravelry crowd, you know? I am shocked - SHOCKED - that we didn't see one measly piece of Rav wear. Very strange indeed. And seriously, what is up with the drama about those tote bags? I mean, they're fine (a little Mom-ish for my taste but whatevs) but you'd think they were signed by Elizabeth Zimmerman herself the way people are carrying on. Sheesh.

But everyone seemed to have a fabulous time in spite of the fact that the Padres suck big time and lost by approximately 27 points. I did enjoy the ice cream-in-a-helmet... although we got the chocolate/vanilla swirl and it was WAY more chocolate than vanilla. Blech. Which leads right into the next part of my post, which is my "Six Random Things About Me":

1) I like chocolate in general and love brownies but hate chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream.

2) I wake up a full hour before I have to (5:30am) just to have an hour to sit and knit and drink my coffee and watch something on the DVR. I hate rushing around in the mornings - I need to ease myself into the day.. especially a work day.

3) I like the labels on all my bottles in the shower/medicine cabinet/etc. to face OUT. it just bothers me if they don't. However for the Professor's stuff I don't care.

4) I love eating horseradish on saltine crackers as a snack.

5) The Professor and I don't have pets and we don't intend on ever having any. I just don't see the point of them (although I totally understand/appreciate/respect pet people and their devotion to their animals. some of them ARE pretty cute).

6) I am one of the most un-athletic people ever - I am healthy and workout, but when it comes to organized sports I am terrible.

So yeah. It took me like 3 hours to come up with that... mostly I am very boring.

Now to totally change the direction of this post (yes AGAIN), check out the pic I took at the beach on the 4th:

I mean, doesn't that look AWESOME?! She looks badass in a casual way. I don't know why but I LOVE THIS PHOTO.

Monday, July 7, 2008

RIP 2003 Canon PowerShot

Dear Anna,

I know you will be saddened by the news. It is time to officially say good bye to my dear Canon PowerShot. You were a good camera and lasted longer than expected. We had good times together.

It's finally time for me to invest in a new camera - probably a point and shoot with a few upgrades from my last camera. This will be something to purchase before going to San Luis Obesbo this September (and Hawaii this winter). In the meantime, knitting photos will be lacking . . . which is a shame because I have some good stuff on the needles!

I've actually been suffering from projectitis: the need to cast on for a new project on at least a weekly basis. At the moment I have Ene, Lace Ribbon Scarf, Jitterbug Socks, Artichoke Socks, Khoolhaas, and My first Toe-up socks (might be frogged due to size/color pooling issues) . . .oh and I just remembered I also have Foliage on the needles too. Despite all this, I am contemplating using the Cascade 220 from my to-be-frogged Wicked to cast on for the Hemlock Ring Blanket . . . and I'm sort of in the mood for knitting a sweater too! Ack!!

In lieu of awesome and amazing photo updates of my projects, the recent Stitch N Pitch outting, or 4th of July fun (I'll leave that to Anna to post if she's up to it) here's a run down of other things I've been in to/doing a la Not Martha:


Tomato & Cucumber Salad Chilled

(Cucumbers, red onions, and tomatoes - simply sliced, salted, and drenched in apple cider vinger - crumbled feta cheese optional)


CVS brand Mint Julep Masque . . . at $3.99 it's a bargain!

Looking Forward To:

The finale of the Bachlorette -- tonight (no rolling of the eyes, yes I DO know how rediculous this show is) !! I'm rooting for Jason even if he does seem a little over zealous.


The Ped Egg - it was at CVS for $9.99!