October 4, 2009

Smoke on the Water

My hairdresser trimmed my hair the other day and said we should do a trade. She asked for deep purple gloves. I'm interpreting that to mean purple fingerless gloves - she wasn't definitive, so I feel like I have enough artistic license to not produce solid indigo fingering weight gloves. Part of the reason I plan to do fingerless gloves is because I have this great skein of white Cascade Lana D'Oro yarn that's not quite enough yardage for really-o-truly-o gloves. Anyway, it's allowing me to kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone - trade work and stash busting. I dyed it this afternoon using Wilton's icing dye. It took a couple of hours because I seriously underestimated how much dye the whole skein would really take, but in the end I think it has turned out awesome! I'd like to find a smoky stitch pattern so I can really call them "Smoke on the Water Mitts". I'm so creative, I know, besides who doesn't love some classic rock in their knitting?

In general today has been super productive! While the yarn was prepping and dyeing I was trimming my quilt pieces that I cut sometime during the last ice age. Now with the whole world warming up I'm finally getting ready to actually assemble this quilt :) I'm about 1/2 way through the process of trimming the previously cut pieces, but considering how long it's been since I've even thought about it, I'm calling that a major success!
Now I'm cooking one of my favorite dinners - Chicken Cacciatora. It's been at least 2 years since I've cooked it and now just smelling it is making me smile :D It's one of my very own comfort foods not handed down from my mom. Much as I love things like chicken over rice and beef stroganoff cooked only the way she cooks it, it's really fun getting to have a few of my own. Maybe someday it will be my family's favorite. Man, must I wait this last 15 minutes before it's ready? I am so excited for dinner!
In other news, I'm working on Christmas knitting which consists of lots of things that I will put on Ravelry (or are already there). I'm knitting Owls for myself. The body is complete up to putting together w/ the sleeves and the sleeves are almost 1/2 done. I'm worried the sleeves will be too tight, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

September 6, 2009

Not Knitting

Today I tried needle felting! I got a kit when I went to NW Needlemarket with the ladies that own Cashmere Cottage Yarn. They asked me to make a sample because I thought we needed the kits. I finally did it and I think they turned out great :)

It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I'm not sure what I was expecting... The directions are really clear.

The kits are Woolpets and they come in Chinese food boxes.

The kits have enough roving to make at least 2 of the pet in it. All I need are a few inches of pipe cleaners and I can make more of these guys. I'm thinking of using it to make something different, though. We shall see.
Now I'm going to try and make chickpea burgers by mixing hummas with rice. Then I will get back to knitting.

September 1, 2009

The Ends

How to maximize weaving in ends on a pair of socks in just 6 easy steps:
1. Begin by deciding to make socks with contrast yarn for the heels and toes. (btw, this is a great way to use up that little bit left from your last pair of socks)
2. Start knitting beginning at the toe.
3. Knit a few rows past the heel and admire your handiwork.
4. Decide said handiwork is not at all what you were after.
5. Start over.
6. Knit your pair of socks again using a pattern you like better.
By following these steps you will undoubtedly not line up your knitting the same way you did before and have many many more ends to weave in than your every day, one-yarn-throughout pair of socks. However, the final product is totally worth it!

Go Cougs!

August 29, 2009

Knitting and Music

Last night I went out to see these guys play. They are called Ravinwolf aka Jamie & Heather.

They are such nice people and I love their music, so it's perfect :) Well, except for the weird guy old enough to be my dad that asked me to dance at least 3 times. I finally said, "You just don't get it, do you? I'm not interested!" His response, "I'm just asking you to dance. I'm sorry." Dude, you've asked me several times and I've said no each time... He also told me about how he coached his kids' baseball teams, his ex-wife, how his mom used to crochet doilies, and his poetry. It's too bad that he's lonely, but if I'm knitting at the bar and talking to the band I'm probably not overly interested in dancing with people twice my age...
In other news, I'm thisclose to being done with my Go Cougs socks! And in plenty of time for the kickoff of Cougar Football in Seattle on September 12th.
I'm going to finish my brunch of home fries w/ garlic and sour cream, then finish those socks and do a bunch of sewing. (I said I should sew last weekend and I definitely didn't... my excuse is that the lining fabric needed to be washed, dried, and ironed and by the time it came out of the dryer it was way too hot to iron and by the time it had cooled off enough to iron it was way too late to cut. Good news is it's all cut and ready now!)

August 23, 2009

I dare you!

Tell me these don't look delicious! (I can tell you that now that they are baked, they are delicious)

Peach Tartlets with 50/50 butter/margarine pastry and fresh, local peaches. Yummy!

August 20, 2009

Project Runway...

premier on Lifetime tonight! When PR is on, I feel an uncontrollable need to craft.
I'm blocking the crazy scarf.

And the fronts and back of the blue sweater. They need to block before I finish the sleeves because I need to make sure I've got enough yarn to get it done. Eek!

I'm also starting a dress that I've had fabric for all summer. I'm doing view A of McCall's 5876. If I get on the stick and sew this weekend I'll still have a few days of sun left to wear it :)

I've been knitting nonstop, but other than the sweater, not a lot of finished projects.

July 25, 2009

Am I in Oz?

Things come and go so quickly!
The former neighbors and previous-now-current kitty owners came by at a friendly 12:30 this morning to let me know they'd like Topaz back.
I'm a little bummed, but I hadn't become completely attached because I had it in the back of my mind that this might happen. At least other than the wool fetish he was the best kitty one could ask for to look after :)

I'm off to NW Needlemarket with the ladies who own Cashmere Cottage Yarn for the weekend!

July 19, 2009

What happens on Saturday...

when you get a cat on Monday and finish some socks on Friday?

This is Topaz, the not so innocent.

I'm not sure if he hugs the fan because it's hot or because he's weird. He's generally sweet, but causes his share of havoc during the day. His antics range from jumping on the desk to drink plant water to chewing anything wool (he must think my apartment is some kind of gold mine...)

July 12, 2009

What do you do in eastern Montana?

I just spent a week vacationing in eastern MT and before I left Pandora's Slave asked, "What are you going to do there?" At the time I wasn't completely sure, but I knew it would be fun at least to see something completely new and different to what I know here in WA.
So here is a short list of things I did and a few pictures.
1. Camped, fished, and rafted on the Stillwater River
2. Visited Wild Purls. It's a really cute shop and I sat and knit for about 4 hours :)
3. Saw Pompey's Pillar where you can see Clark's (of the Lewis & Clark Expedition) signature carved in the sandstone. It's the only physical evidence left from their entire trek.
4. Stayed in one of the last towns in MT before ND, Glendive.
5. Saw the vastness of the Yellowstone River. It doesn't seem that big compared to the Columbia, but it's not dammed, so unlike the Columbia it's still a river and not essentially a long series of lakes.
6. Dug up clam shell and ammonite fossils. (I don't have pictures of mine, so google can show you...)
7. Went to Makoshika State Park to see the Bad Lands. It's almost like being on the moon, it's such a strange landscape!
7. Went to an Out Door Dance; aka live band and drinking outside next to a bar.
8. Rode the train home. For frame of reference on the size of the state of MT, it took me 11.5 hours to cross it by train...

June 6, 2009

I'm back and I brought my knitting!

I guess I disappeared for a while! I never really died, just never felt like blogging... meh. I've been knitting a ton, but my best friend got married, so I was thinking about that for all of May :) Now she is in Maui making everyone jealous. Here she is just before jumping in her dress. Completely gorgeous!

In knitting news I've been knitting socks (surprising, I know) for myself and for Drew. Mine are some yarn that I got from my other best friend. It's Yarn Pirate Merino Bamboo in Daffodilly. I love it,but she didn't which is why it became mine :) I'm using a stitch pattern called Ixslein and Cat Bordhi's Sky Architecture. Of all of the architectures in New Pathways for Sock Knitters so far this is the only one that I don't especially like. It feels too big at the back of the heel. Oh well, I love all of the others I've tried from the book, so I just won't do this one again.

Drew's are Regia heavy sock yarn in a "manly rainbow" colorway.

I went on the Cashmere Cottage Yarn Bus Yarn Tour right after Kate's wedding and in my goodie bag I got GlamKnits. I've been half eyeing the book for a while, but didn't want to buy it because I didn't know if I loved any of the patters enough... I'm so glad it was in my bag because I really like it now that I've had a chance to comb through it! I started Romantic the bell sleeved cardi using Zitron Kokon. I got the yarn in the discount bin at Skacel - 5 balls at $5.00 each. It's a silk/cotton/acrylic blend and $5.00 seems like a pretty good deal :) It's got quite a bit of yardage, too, so should be enough. If nothing else it will be a short sleeve cardi which in being silk/cotton it's kind of summery anyway is totally fine! Since it's top-down raglan style I'm in the middle of the massive increase section and having the usual hard time getting through it. I'll be so glad when I get to separate the sleeves out. Until then I have hours of mindless knitting... (I would call the color aubergine in person, but the picture makes it look a little like a rusty brick; maybe I need to consult my knowledge of lighting and actually use it)

I also dredged up my inspriration lady! She's been sequestered to a spider-webby corner of the basement for about a year since I wasn't sure where she would fit upstairs. I took her out in April so I could put my recycled dress on her for the Recycled Art Show and decided she should stay out and wear inspiring and memorable things. Right now she's got my bridesmaids dress from Kate's wedding on with an oh-so-ill-matching-and-partly-shrunken vest on. I loved the dress and wanted to look at it a while. The vest on the other hand is going to take at least one more trip through the wash and then I'm going to make mittens out of it. Ideally I'd like to put the mittens in the fair, maybe in the Make It With Wool contest and the Recycled Art Show next year. But they may also get to be a gift for someone, so I'd either have to skip a couple of those or gift them with strings attached :)

April 21, 2009

Spring... Summer?

We had spring for about 3 days and the WHAM-O all of a sudden it was over 80°! So yesterday and today were pretty freaking hot, but it's fun having a mini summer :) It's supposed to cool down and maybe rain tomorrow, but that's ok... it is only April, after all.
Last weekend I worked at my friend's house and she has a cherry orchard. Cherries are in full bloom right now, so I finally got to see hers with flowers. They are beautiful, but I really do love pink more than white, so I can't wait for the apples to bloom next month! More amazing than the flowers, though, is the sound the bees make. It's a really amazing feeling to be standing in the middle of thousands of bees, even right next to them, and know that you'll have to REALLY piss them off to be stung. They're so excited about the flower :)

She and I also went for a little hike on the Sage Hills trail. I didn't really get any good pictures, but it was such a nice hike.
I have really been knitting, too. I'm knitting some heavy weight socks, but I'm soooooo sick of them. So I started knitting Ripple. Pandorasslave gave me a bunch of single skeins of purple yarn. They go together really well, so I added one more purple yarn I already had and knit the squares of the pattern cycling the different colors. I just started the ruffle edge and I'm really liking it.

April 19, 2009

Aircarft Carrier

My brother is in training with the Naval Shipyard to become some kind of Nuclear Engineer (it has a special name which I of course forgot as soon as he told me) and over the last year he's been sent to work on a couple of aircraft carriers. Basically the shipyard needs guys trained in working on the nuclear system on aircraft carriers, but until right now there hadn't been any there, so he had to go first to San Diego and then to Everett. Now the ship he worked on in Everett is at the shipyard, so I think he will continue to work/learn on it.
Last Thursday the USS Abraham Lincoln had a family day cruise, so I got to see what they're really like! It's definitely huge, but I think I had an image of something unfathomably large, so it actually didn't seem quite as big as I'd expected. Nonetheless, the flight deck is 4.5 acres!
Some specs about the Lincoln:
Commissioned: November 11th, 1989
Length: 1,092 feet
Height (keel to mast): 206 feet, 6 inches
Breadth at flight deck: 257 feet, 5 inches
Propulsion: 2 nuclear power plants (this is the part my brother works on)
Anchors: 2 at 30 tons each
Anchor chains: 1,082 feet, each link weights 385 pounds
Complement including air wing: almost 5,500
Loaves of bread baked daily: 600-800
Haircuts given daily: 250
We got to watch an airshow from the flight deck. It was no Blue Angels air show with colored smoke and fancy flying formations - this was strictly a navy air show. They did Top Gun style fly-bys and touch downs no more than 30 feet from where we were standing! It was incredibly loud, so I didn't take a ton of pictures...
I'm pretty sure it goes without saying that I did not knit last Thursday :)
In line to get on the ship before 0500

Flight Deck approximately 0600 - looks like it goes on forever!

Mikaela, Yvonne, Mom, Me on the flight deck

Mom looking through the giant binoculars

The Olympic at about 0730. Coast Guard boats paced us for the entire trip.

Really high above the flight deck

Framed Olympics and Coast Guard boat

Me holding a giant gun. This was supposed to be my war face, but I kept giggling. Looks like the gunman thought it was funny, too. Don't expect this ever again.

A few 385lb chain links

Lots of people observing the mountains through the giant elevator door (the cover outside is one of the plane elevators)

Watching one of the planes fly by for the first time

Port Angeles

Fort Casey

Leaning into the wind on the flight deck when we were cooking along (maybe 20 knots? I don't know). Mom missed the memo about leaning into the wind and looks like she's going to blow over. Clark is a much better reference. It felt like we we hiking up hill just to walk to the end of the flight deck (which remained flat) in the wind.

one of the 3 tug boats that guided the massive carrier back into port