Sunday, February 27, 2011

Check Please

Check It Out...

For those interested, the haul above clockwise from upper left:  Brooks Farm Duet, Lisa Souza Petal in Pesto, Redfish Dyeworks Yak/Silk, Tess' Designer Yarns Microfiber Ribbon (enough of each color for a sleeveless shell), Lisa Souza Cashmere/Silk lace weight, Tactile Silk lace weight, Tactile Superwash Merino, Tactile Yak sampler, Tactile Superwash/Cashmere/Nylon, Rabbitworks Toe Jam, and Sanguine Gryphon Gaia Lace.

So - yeah - Stitches.  Quite a weekend!  I spent most of it helping out in the Tactile / Rabbitworks booth.  Wild times, I tell ya - check out the evidence:

Check It Off...

This has been a weekend of gettin' it done.  Housework - check: the laundry's done, as is the vacuuming (my least favorite).  The kitchen looks better than it has in weeks, plants are watered, the bathroom is clean and while it's far from perfect, the house looks pretty good. 

But I haven't just been tackling the boring stuff.

Workouts - check: I got two of them in this weekend - we took the dogs to Sunol Ohlone Regional Wilderness.  Nothing terribly strenuous, but it was a nice 3 hours getting some fresh air, exercise and unfortunately a bit of sunburn - doh!
We took the Road More Traveled this time.

Random enormous boulder

Little Yosemite at Sunol Ohlone

Knitting - check, check, checkity check check check.  I've been busy!

A Pretty Thing #3A

A Pretty Thing 3B

No I didn't accidentally post the same picture twice -  I made two of them.  But forgot to take a picture of the 2nd one but it looks exactly like the first, so....  Anyway.  These are Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's A Pretty Thing in a Cascade Silk/Merino (?) fingering weight.  Pink isn't my color but it's perfect for the two friends who received these.  And the yarn no matter what the color is lovely!  Soft, non-splitty, and a great value.

I also got started on my afghan:
Afghan Square #1

Afghan Square #2 (it's really greener than that)

I love alternating these squares with other projects - it keeps things interesting and hopefully will prevent me from burning out on this huge project before it's done.

I finished my Fenimore Hat:
I'm finally cold enough to knit myself a hat

 This is a fun pattern by Jared Flood.  Interesting enough to keep it fun, but not so complex as to make my head explode.  The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash.

I've also been spinning a bit - one of my favorites, Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino in Stand By Me, destined to become a 3-ply sock-weight.
Crown Mountain, how I love thee!

And I have knitting in process too - this is my second Simple Things Shawl, this time in Lisa Souza silk lace-weight in Sedona (held double).  Nearly done!

Next on the list - another Clapotis using the Brooks Farm Duet that I picked up last week at Stitches West.  Pretty, no?  I'm hoping to cast on this week.

Here's another thing I picked up last week - not quite as exciting as yarn but at over 68% off, still worth gloating over. 
Cole Haan's at over 68% off.  Jealous?

Neener, neener.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why Not Make 'Em Four Deep?

Some of you will remember when about four years ago, I participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer - 39.3 miles over two days (note to the squeamish; the 2nd link has a nasty picture of my blistered foot - you might not want to cursor all the way down).  I managed to do the entire walk, and it wasn't until a week or so later that I realized I had blisters on blisters on blisters.  No wonder I limped to the finish!

But I healed up quickly, and much like childbirth (ok not at all like childbirth) I've forgotten about the discomfort (did you ever notice how often those in the medical profession use that term?  Just say 'pain' damnit!) and I've decided to give it another go.  But do the same thing again?  Noooooo...that would be too easy - I know I can do that.  I'm bumping it up a notch - by doing the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure.  3 days of walking - 60 miles.  Yep - that should add another layer to the blister pile!  I signed up yesterday, committing myself to raising a minimum of $2,300 in order to participate.  However, my personal fund-raising goal is $5,000. 

So I'm ready to go - I've got a new iPod, some new gear, and my walking partner from the last walk.  Anyone else want to join me?  C'mon - it'll be fun!  Or, if you don't want to raise the funds by walking yourself, will you support me?  Just click on the Donate button in the sidebar.  Thanks so much!

My new training buddy...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh! My.....

Oh lookie - a package for me!

What could it be?

Something from the Cupcake Fiber Company!  Is this not the most fab packaging ever?


Close up fluff!  Oh!  My....

This lovely stuff is the creation of The Fairy Godknitter.  It's 6 beautifully carded one-ounce batts created for spinning sock yarn.  You spin each batt separately, then ply two 3-ply skeins of sock yarn from them.   There's plenty for a pair of socks - even knee highs!   I'm not one to jump in and buy something the minute I see it, but the Fairy Godknitter posted about her new venture and I couldn't resist.  So lovely - and the packaging is pure genius.  I can't wait to finish my current spinning so I can get going on this!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... 

There's been knitting.  I seem to be all about the small stuff lately.  I finished my afghan square (picture some other time) and then started Fenimore by Jared Flood.  When we were at the zoo I felt really chilled for the first time since moving here about 5 years ago.  Maybe I'm finally acclimating!  Anyway, feeling cold for once game the urge to make a hat:

Here's what it'll look like:

Both pictures are pretty sucky, but I hope you get the general idea.  I'm using Cascade 220 Superwash in a heathered dark purple.  I also continued on my socks.  I'm now done with the heel flap and I'm ready to turn the heel.

But first, I had to stop everything to make this for a post-holiday gift exchange at work:

This is Pretty Thing by Stephanie Pearl McPhee out of 'Baby Twist' Alpaca.

And I had to make this too:  a friend of mine at work asked me if I'd make her a headwarmer and brought me the pink one in to copy:

I don't know what it was about this project that excited me so much, but I did it in a day.  It's so girlie, and so not my style - I couldn't put it down!  I stayed up past 2:00 am to teach myself how to crochet the flower.

And I found the perfect buttons. 

 I love it.  And my friend does too.

And Miele loves Trouble.  A little too much for Trouble's liking...

Friday, December 31, 2010

I Am On Fire!

Simple Things is done - it took only 3 days!  It's a nice pattern, great for social knitting as you don't have to keep track of too much.  I'll make it again sometime - maybe out of handspun?

Brian and I went somewhere today we've been meaning to go for quite a while - the Oakland Zoo.  We've been to the San Francisco Zoo a few times but wanted to check this out - it's smaller, but you can get a little closer to the animals, which is nice.

This is a lousy picture but this tiger was asleep with his (her?) paws up in the air.  So cute - and a bit undignified. :)

The elephants were pretty funny.  These two were 'having words' - though it looked more like playing around than anything combative.  The plaque indicated that the one on the right was their 16-year-old male who is very playful and likes to get into trouble.  That's what you need - thousands of pounds of trouble.  We've got about 25 pounds of our Trouble and she's plenty, thanks!

And my favorite - I definitely have a thing for giraffes.  The one on the left is the 'grandma' - she's about 22.  Feeding time was listed at 11:30 this morning, but all that happened was a woman came out with some carrots - and most of the giraffes ignored her.  We got cold waiting for more excitement, so if there was a feeding frenzy, we missed it.  It was still nice to see them though.

There were plenty of other animals but those were the best pictures.  I didn't get any pictures from yesterday when we went up to the city, where we had roasted crab ( for lunch and then picked up some nice treats at Red Blossom Tea Company in Chinatown.  However, as we took the train, I did get going on a new project:

This is a garter-rib sock (Sensational Socks) out of Rabbitworks Fiber Studio's Toe Jam in the Revenge colorway.  This is the same yarn as the Simple Things shawlette, just a different color way, both purchased at Stitches West last year.

The sock is my mindless knitting - I also started my Great American Afghan:

This should keep me occupied for a good long time.  So I don't get frustrated with knitting this and only this for months to come, my plan is for every other project to be one of these squares.  Once this is done I have a gift to make and then a few UFOs to finish up.

Wow - blogging 2 days in a row.  Don't expect it to become a habit.   I just happened to have progress to report, an FO to show off and time to post about it.  Hope it all comes together like that again soon.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Well!  Now.   Where was I?  Anyone still out there?  My silence has probably lost me at least half my readership (which brings it down to about...3?).  Well if any of you are still out there...Hi!  How are you?  

Things have been fine here in no-blog-land.  Work has been insane (in a good way, most of the time) and I spent a few months at either the office or crashed at home and not a whole lot else.  But I'm back (kind of), socializing and knitting again after not having done much of either for a while.  Well comparatively 'not much' - I've still accomplished a bit:

First, a final report on Tour de Fleece (in which I actually exceeded my goals, thankyouverymuch):

I finished spinning the green Meriboo (Merino Bamboo) into a 2-ply lace weight:

I also spun up the Camel/Silk from Redfish Dyeworks.  It's a 3-ply dk weight.  I loved spinning it so much I may have to buy more of the same fiber so I can make a lace weight with it the next time.

Late in the summer, The Queen of Purple Yarn and I each raided our stash and spent a fun afternoon at her house playing with color.

My handspun Cormo from Tour de Fleece went from this:

To this:

I over-dyed some nice (but incredibly garish) Alpaca that I'd found at a yarn swap:

It's now a bit more 'me' (as in, I'm now willing to be seen near it):

And another 2 crazy-loud skeins from a different swap went from here:

to here (embiggen to really see the color):

Here are some more shots/results of that afternoon - it was a lot of fun - sunshine, friend, fiber (and a goofy dog) - what more could you want?

We also took a short vacation this summer to the Mendocino coast.  The dogs came with us (they deserve a vacation too!).

Brian showed Miele the ocean for the first time:

She did a good job being brave!

She and Trouble also explored the beach together:

And napped together at the end of each day.

(being on vacation is hard work).

It was also The Summer Of Giant Garden Produce:

That's one (elephant) garlic clove that's half the size of Miele's head.  A clove!

The figs that ate San Jose:

Got eaten by us.  Arugula, fresh figs, fresh mozzarella, a touch of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Try it!

And this:

Turned into one of these (the largest came in around 102 pounds - the smallest nearly 90, if I recall correctly):

And now we have a freezer full of pumpkin (and a whole one still left to cut up).

In spite of losing the mojo but good, there has been knitting:

During my least-productive time, a tea cozy requested by my husband, out of some of my first hand-spun:

This small thing took me nearly 2 months to complete.  Yeah, mojo-deficient.  Sad.

Fortunately, things picked up.  I knit my 2nd Girasole (out of Cascade EcoWook in Natural) in about 6 weeks:

This hat (Cascade 220 Superwash) took 2 days:

This is 'Snowflakes on Mulberries Hat' (worsted weight version) by Amy Klimt. Super easy, nice looking, and free - thanks Amy!

Yesterday I started this:

And a day later, I'm here:

I should be finished within a day or so.

Next in line:

This will become The Great American Afghan - it was requested because the new leather couch can be cold.  See how uncomfortable Miele is?

Trouble wants me to hurry up and knit it already.