Coming soon:This baby grew in the sink. I'm a little concerned, but pre-blocking it was a bit tighter than would be the most flattering. Not tight by any means, but being bulky yarn, well, being a bit bigger with more drape would be preferable.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
From the left: Rachel, Jennifer, Pam (great new haircut!), Daisy, and me.
I am almost finished with the Peekaboo mittens - just one thumb to go, and all the other ends already woven in. I knit the whole second one in just a few hours last night - they're an ideal quick gift project. I was going to post another photo of them but figured I'd wait for the FO shot, since it won't be long in coming!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Last night I made serious progress on a project I just cast-on on Tuesday:As you can see, all I'm missing is a thumb! This is a great pattern (Peekaboo) from Magknits, written by Megan at Pensive Frog. I actually know Megan - she was one of the founders of the graduate student knitting club I organize. Sadly I have to admit I didn't realize this was the same Megan until Anne-Marie pointed it out! She blogs a fair bit about cooking, but she did recently post a nice discussion of how she designed the finger slit in these mittens, which was pretty cool. These are being made for someone with slightly larger hands than mine, so I'm really hoping they'll fit. They're just a wee bit large for me, so I think it'll work out. Oh, the yarn is Lamb's Pride Worsted, which I love more everytime I use it.
And now for my favorite WIP, the Asymetrical Tank from Loop-d-Loop. I posted that I was almost done with this here, on February 28th. Well, that wasn't a lie, I was almost done, and I finished the knitting that weekend as promised, and then came the crochet edging. Anne-Marie was very helpful with this at knitting club last week, but I need to rip out what I had done because I think I was a) crocheting twice into the stiches, and b) using too small a hook. So, I've produced a tight, puckering, waving edge that I'm not really happy with.You can probably just see the wavy edge of the right (left in photo) armhole, if you squint. While this isn't the best photo, I thought I would post it because I haven't posted any photos of the progress on this item. Not that I haven't taken any photos, but they all turned out awful. It was knit in the round so it was always bunched on the needles, and the light blue is a tough color to get a good picture of in our low-lit apartment. The yarn is Rowan Polar, which is sadly discontinued. I love working with this yarn. Bulky yarn = instant gratification! This is my favorite of my current WIPs mostly because it's for me, which is a rare thing most of the time, and because it's very unique. The cable is off-center, and the back has a panel of seed stitch running up one side, and I also love the way the cable splits for the neck. The pattern was very well-written, although I found the decreases on the back neck a bit confusing so you'll not be seeing a close-up of that region. I figure I have long hair and I can cover up the mistakes!
Both the socks and the vest were my Project Spectrum February/March items (color theme: blue, white, grey), so I'd really like to finish one or both of them by the end of March. We'll see...The colors for April and May are green, yellow, and pink, which might be a bit tough for me. I have some green yarn in the stash, and also some green/yellow socks on the needles (definitely in UFO, as opposed to WIP, status). Hum...
Oh, I get to pick up my skis tonight - I'm super excited! Now to find someone to go skiing with this weekend. Anyone, anyone?
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
These babies are cupcakes from The Magnolia Bakery, brought to me all the way from NYC by my friend Tracie, who was visiting a friend there for spring break. I developed a taste for them a couple of years ago whilst in a long-distance relationship with a guy who was in medical school at NYU. They are SO good. Words really can't describe the frosting, it's just SO sweet and creamy. I've tried to replicate it, but no luck. Pardon their appearance - they came all the way across the country in a suitcase! It was SO nice of her to bring them for me - thanks Tracie!!!
Yes, I do intend to eat them all. The blue one was the first to go. I might give one to Dave, if he's really nice...
Oh, I also now have these, which really is more exciting than the cupcakes, but I was going to wait until I had them in hand to show them off. But, I am super excited about them and I can't wait, so here you go. Never again will I rent skis!
I also bought boots, but you don't need to see them. I didn't bring the skis home because they have to mount the bindings, but I will get them on Thursday. Probably won't get to use them this season, but maybe. We'll see. I got them at Evo, which is a great store just up the road from our apartment. Generally their stuff is really pricey but the end of the season sale was phenomenal. Let's just say I got the skis and the boots for almost $200 less than the retail price of the skis alone...
Here's a slightly better scenery shot. I didn't take any from the summit (obviously, since I didn't take the camera), but you can get the general idea.
This is a nice shot of Silver Star village:
Most of these buildings are hotels, shops, and restaurants. We stayed at the Bulldog Hotel (below)our first two nights, and had a lovely dinner there Friday night after the $5 night skiing we arrived just in time to take advantage of. I know I shouldn't end a sentence with of, let's not talk about it. The first time it was ending with 'for,' which really isn't much better. C'est la vie.
Here is another mountain shot, taken from the tubing park: I skied most of what you can see there. The mountain was much bigger, this is only a tiny portion. Tubing was SO fun! We only took two runs because it was expensive, and something that you don't really need to do many times to appreciate. Here I am going up the tow rope in my tube - sorry it's blurry, Dave took it while we were both moving. Our last night we stayed in a hostel to save money. This was my first time staying in a hostel, and it wasn't that bad, although the word from those who know is that this is quite a nice hostel compared to most. It was fine. I'm not so into the whole communal aspect of hostels, but we had a private room (no bathroom), and it was only one night so it worked out just fine. Here's our room:Lovely bedspread, no?
Don't we look like we had a nice time? I will say that skiing three days in a row is hard on the legs, and I was glad I've been spending so much time at the gym. Strong leg muscles really come in handy skiing, both for controlling the skis and for recovering from little bobbles caused by the ubiquitous snow snakes. And for skating around, which we did a lot of because there were so many flat traverses. I think I encountered the steepest terrain I've skiied this weekend, and dealt with it quite well. They groom some of their black diamond (difficult) runs at Silver Star, which was great for me. I usually stick to the blue runs (intermediate) because I like to avoid moguls when possible, which crop up on ungroomed black runs (and ungroomed blues I suppose, although ungroomed blue runs are less commonly encountered). So, I enjoyed the groomed black runs, which are groomed with a Snowcat on a winch (I'd LOVE to see that in action). I also had fun skiing through some relatively open glades, which was a new thing for me since none of the ski areas I've been to around Seattle have any gladed areas that aren't crazy steep. I don't do crazy steep + trees. One difficulty is enough!
Silver Star was phenomenally uncrowded. There were no lift lines, and half the time I was the only person on a given run, which was really nice. AND, there weren't very many snowboarders, probably due to the frequent flat traverses, which are hell on a snowboard (so I hear). I would definitely go back to Silver Star, although if we do this next year we're thinking of going to Red Mountain. Also in BC, but a bit closer to home...
Thursday, March 15, 2007
What I did today, the IDES of March, 2007:
8:07am - Dragged lazy self out of bed after snoozing since 7:30. Notice Dave is hiding under his pillow to avoid hearing the alarm clock. As soon as I get out of bed my side of the covers becomes part of his side.
8:17am - Finish shower. Check email and turn on tea kettle because I'm driving to lab today and can therefore take a beverage. It's difficult to drink tea on a bicycle, my usual mode of transportation. Clean Oliver's litter box. Like every day, be thankful for flushable cat litter.
8:20am - Realize I have 20 minutes before I really should leave the apartment, and therefore become racked with indecision over clothing options. Want to wear my red suede boots because a) I am driving and b) it is not raining. Can't find a skirt I want to wear to go with them. Wanting to wear a short skirt to show off slim thighs (At this point I must share that I can leg press 140 pounds, which is WAY more than I weigh. I am proud of this fact and have no other way to work it into the conversation, so there you are), but all short skirts are probably TOO short for work, so knee-length denim skirt is chosen. And teal striped t-shirt with thin grey sweater. Brush teeth. Feed cat.
8:27 - Kettle is boiling. Make tea. Reused 20 oz. Tully's cup (I always reuse them a couple of times - good for the environment). 1 PG Tips tea bag + 2 splendas (large cup, strong tea = 2 packets).
8:35am - Apply makeup. Even put on mascara. Dry hair.
8:40 - Realize Dave is still in bed. Feed cat. Mutter about not leaving on time whilst struggling to find appropriate outerwear.
8:42 - Why do I not have a black or brown medium-warm jacket that is not fleece? How can I have this many useless jackets? Decide on red puffy vest, which only kind of matches the red boots. Alas. Will suck it up and move on.
8:43 - Move essentials from backpack to teal purse. Triumphantly find long-lost red fleece gloves in vest pockets. Exit apartment.
8:44 - Forgot tea. Leave. Forgot ID badge. Leave again. Forgot cell phone. Leave again. Decide if I've left anything else it's not coming to work today.
9:00 - Park car 1/2 mile from work in the "No Parking 7-9am" spaces. Parking is hard to come by around where I work so these spots are key. Hence the rush to leave to arrive there at 9:00 or as soon thereafter as possible.
9:15 - Attend retrovirus meeting, with Morgan from my lab presenting. Realize he accomplishes more in a week than I do some months.
10-12:30 - Putter around the lab, doing this and that. Surf the internets a bit. Talk to a sales rep and score a free bagel (chocolate chip with honey almond cream cheese, for the curious).
12:30-1:30 - Eat lunch with Rachel and Kristen. Forget to bring knitting but got several books from amazon to peruse whilst eating and chatting. Ate the bagel, some yogurt (blackberry) and a getting-too-ripe-for-my-taste banana. And then some pretzels. And a diet Dr. Pepper.
1:30-2:30 - Marvel at the ability to distinguish 55 base pair bands of DNA from 60bp bands. Maybe not for a whole hour, but this is still an amazing thing to me. Whilst marvelling become annoyed that I still have 60bp bands where ideally I would have 55bp bands.
3:30 - Electrocute (essentially) some human foreskin (seriously) fibroblast cells to get DNA into them.
4:11 - Compose blog post. Realize you don't care about any of this but decide to post it anyway...
So, that is what I do. A typical day. After work I am going to go to REI to get some more socks for the ski trip, and then to Weaving Works for some short size 2 DPNs, and then to Trader Joes for chocolate-covered espresso beans. Then I will go home and pack for the trip to Silver Star. At some point dinner will be consumed. I suspect we will eat pasta, or maybe lentil soup. Maybe I will convince Dave to cook yam burritos. We have a very limited repertoire of dishes we make, so one of those three is a fair bet. I'll probably knit a bit, and maybe I'll update with some photos of what I've been working on. Most likely we will watch a lot of tv and I will complete the Thursday crossword puzzle and Jumble in the Seattle Times. Then I will go to bed and stay up too late reading one of the Little House on the Prairie books, even though I am too old for them and I know exactly what is going to happen, having read them repeatedly. I will become concerned that I should be reading Tolstoy instead...won't worry about it.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Wow, I just wrote an entire post about shoes. With a record number of unnecessary links...what does that mean? Eek.
Try not to be jealous! Hope it looks like that for us...
I will try to post again, maybe even about knitting, before we go, but no guarantees. You know how I am...
Sunday, March 11, 2007
In case you're looking at this photo in utter confusion, that door on the right is supposed to be attached over on the left. This is one of our laundry room/closet doors, and it's been nothing but trouble since we moved in. It keeps sticking in the track, and I had had enough. So I took it down, figuring they would have to ACTUALLY FIX IT this time...No, really what happened was I thought that maybe up lifting it a bit I could get it back on track properly, and instead I ended up detaching it somehow. You can see the hardware on the washing machine if you squint. The door track is really messed up, and has been (hence it keeps sticking), so I'm really hoping they'll just replace the whole damn thing. Finally.
I have been quite crafty this weekend. Yesterday I even got out an old needlepoint project:
As you can see, Oliver was quite excited by the needlepoint. Or maybe it was the extra heat from the three-pronged lamp I dragged in from the den. I'll never understand why they print canvases with such similar colors next to each other, such that you need 20/20 vision and excellent lighting to tell what you're doing. I realize it's so the yarn kind of matches the canvas, but still...
I also finished the first of my Austermann Step socks. I had been charging along on this back in early February, and then I got to the toe was stopped in a fit of confusion over what type of toe to do, and how long it would take (length, not time), and so on. Tonight I realized I didn't have any simple knit-in-front-of-the-tv-whilst-paying-attention-to-the-tv knitting, so out came the sock, and the toe was just fine. Although the sock is just slightly too big for me. I'm now trying to decide if I should make another like it and give them to someone with slightly bigger feet, or make the second one a bit smaller and then make this one over. I feel option one will win because I abhor ripping things out...
I want them both...opinions?
Friday, March 09, 2007
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'll knit with almost anything natural. I like wool (who doesn't?!?), and alpaca is lovely to knit with as well. For summery things bamboo, cotton, silk, etc. Blends are nice. I'm not big on novelty yarns or the fake stuff...
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A drawer in my side table! I have a lovely DPN case made for me by a previous swap pal, but otherwise I keep my needles in their original packaging in my drawer, and this is just fine with me - many of the size labels have worn off, so keeping them in their packaging is quite useful...
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for about 3.5 years, and was inspired by my cousin but taught by my mother and many good friends. I would consider myself intermediate.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, Amazon. I'm the one in Seattle; I think I have many counterparts across the country, so be careful!
5. What's your favorite scent?
Vanilla, or citrus. Fresh scents in general. I don't like lavender (I know, I'm weird) or anything strong/musky/incensey (is that a word?).
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes - I've been putting my dentists' children through college for many years! Milk chocolate (unadulterated), or anything sweet/sour like Lemonheads and Sour Patch Kids.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I used to do a bit of needlepoint, but not so much lately. I make my own paper and I sometimes mean to scrapbook. I have two spindles and a slew of roving but the spinning bug never quite caught me as I'm way too impatient for something with that kind of learning curve.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I listen to mostly British rock music, or I guess what could be considered alternative rock. I can tolerate anything but jazz and hard-core country and have been known to listen to rap more than occasionally...
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love teal, turquoise, purple, blue, green, and red (but not with the others). I'm not that big on neons or pastels, but I love a good jewel tone.
10. What isa your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my boyfriend and a fiesty orange tabby named Oliver, who makes frequent appearances on the blog.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Anything but ponchos. Me and ponchos don't get along. When they were in fashion a few years back I made a valiant effort at pulling one off, but I honestly couldn't figure out where my purse was supposed to go and I like to have the full use of my arms...Of the above scarves are my favorite, then hats, then fingerless gloves, which are quite useful in Seattle and in my lab, which alternates rapidly between boiling and Antarctic.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love knitting hats, and scarves, and pretty much anything in the round. Socks are fun too. I have a lot of sock yarn, so I should really get on knitting some more socks...
13. What are you knitting right now?
What am I NOT knitting right now? Actually, it's not so bad at the moment. I'm knitting a pair of socks, fair-isle mitts (my first fair-isle!), a Koigu scarf, and a lace stole that I really just started so I'm not sure it counts. I just finished a bulky tank/vest that is in need of its crochet edging, and I have a sweater that is in need of seaming and finishing, but I prefer not to talk about that...
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Depends. I'm not crafty in my decor, but if it's something fun and useful, or an accessory, maybe.
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I much prefer straight needles and only use circulars when absolutely necessary. I do my best to avoid knitting straight items on circular needles. I love DPNs. I prefer bamboo but I have some metal needles I like for socks and for hats, since the slick metal really seems to be faster. That said, I'm rarely in a hurry with my knitting (Nov/Dec not withstanding), so I prefer bamboo on the whole.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have a ball winder (two, if we count the boyfriend), and I use my knees (or his) as my swift :)
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 1.5 years, the sweater that shall not be named.
18. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween, although Christmas isn't bad!
19. Is there anything that you collect?
Aside from yarn? Not really. Shoes maybe, and handbags...
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None spring to mind at the moment, aside from the Barbara Walker Treasury's, which would be great to have. I subscribe to Interweave Knits. As for yarns, I covet Manos, and other handpainted yarns of any nature. I love washable sock yarn, and I'm just trying to get into knitting lace so solidish sockweight yarn that could be used for lace would be lovely.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I would like to learn proper fair-isle, as opposed to the crazy thing I'm making up at the moment...And I totally need to teach myself some good finishing techniques so I can finish the sweater I keep mentioning (that I'm not talking about).
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes. I wear a 6.5 (small feet = quick socks!).
23. When is your birthday?
5.11.79. But, I still get carded at movies (seriously).
I hope this is helpful! There is plenty of other random info about me on the blog, and I'll try to get back to posting more frequently. I've been so busy - until last night I hadn't knit a stitch in 6 days!