Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yet another sad event in the summer of suck

Well... I must say I haven't had the best summer and I'll be quite glad when I get on with life as usual (for me that's mostly good with a little bit of not good).

Yesterday we (my mom, dad and I) had to put down our dear old dog Buster. Buster Tea Bear Junior, if you please. Buster had an exceptionally large tumor on his spleen causing massive internal blood loss. He had 10% of the normal red blood cells. He could barely walk and was having significant trouble catching his breath. We took him in to the vet on Monday when he stopped eating and found out on Friday about his blood work and he was in the hospital on Saturday for x-rays then back to us Sunday and Monday for goodbyes.

I can't really talk about it any more than that. It was so so so hard and I have been very very sad for several days. I haven't knit a stitch or looked at my sewing machine and can barely get a pan to the stove. Hopefully I'll snap out of this in a day or two... or a week... whatever. I'm going to go get some lunch now and try to think about happy things.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rockin' Spicy Catfish!

I made some really good Catfish last night and I wanted to share.

1 lb catfish, cut into 1" strips

Marinade:
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp Horseradish
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Place all ingredients in a plastic zipper bag and squish around to combine, then add catfish and throw in the fridge for an hour or so

Using another zippered plastic bag, combine 1cup breadcrumbs 1/2 cup corn meal and 1 tbsp kosher salt, and mix to combine.

Add the catfish to the breading mixture, and just like shake n bake, shake it up to coat.

Heat 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil in a heavy skillet and add fish, don't crowd the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side and then place on a rack to cool and drain off excess oil. Serve with potatoes and ceasar salad, make extra.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What shoes?

So there's this color that i have been seeing in stores for fall. It looks kind of like this:

That picture is from Fashion Fabrics Club and the call it "Dark Taupe" which is as descriptive a name for this particular color as any, I suppose.

My question, if you purchase a dress, or suit or jacket in this color... what shoes would you wear? Surely not black, as Taupe is in the "brown" family... and despite what some people say, I still believe there are rules about such things. But a real chocolate brown? No... that would never do.

What do you, oh wonderfully fashionable person reading this blog, think? The only thing I can think of is maybe gold? But that's a little... loud for everyday wear. Red might work if you had something else that was red in the outfit, like a belt or scarf.

Do chime in.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Fun Times

So I went to my embroidery class on Thursday. It was scheduled to have four students, and one teacher, so five people total... two showed up (including me) and neither of us was the teacher.

After a half an hour Emily at Twisted said she had no idea where the teacher was (she had tried to reach her but couldn't) and she was really really sorry, and she rescheduled us for the next class plus gave us a 10 % off coupon. I felt bad for her because it's obviously not her fault that the teacher didn't show up. I just hope everything's okay.

So then I went shopping. I told myself I could get some Yarntini using my KnitWars gold pieces ($1 per piece of gold). I was chatting with Emily, debating between "Home" and "Cosmopolitan" for my yarn choice, and she was showing me the Schaefer that they got in just yesterday. Including the Schaefer Andrea. Oh goodness... it was so soft guys, and PRETTY... and well... I just couldn't resist. I bought the "Diane Fossey" colorway in greens to make something lacey for my mom for Christmas. I'm not going to say how much it was, but you can probably look it up pretty easily on your own.

*edited* So I was discussing with my mom what shawls she likes in my Victorian Lace Today book and when she pointed one out I said "and of course you want green" and she said "no, fuschia" My mother wears green... not fuschia... count on her to pull one out of left field like that but hey it's her shawl. I'm going to see if I can exchange my Diane Fossey this week.

Today I have passed on the knits! One of my coworkers brought her daughter in today and I taught her to knit, she brought two colors of acrylic yarn and size 15 plastic needles. I showed her the long tail cast on and how to make a knit stitch, I taught her neither continental nor english style but told her to hold the yarn in the way that it felt most comfortable. She naturally went for English, which seems normal for a child's (10 years old) level of dexterity.

Here's her little swatch of garter stitch (we haven't tried purling yet).


I'm very excited to be teaching the goodness. It was easier than I thought, I never thought I could teach someone to knit since I knit right to left (mirror knitting, for obstinate lefties) but as I showed her how to make a stitch I just reminded her that she would be using opposite hands and she did fine.

Some links that have entertained me:
Paris wants to reproduce, run and hide! (Details in October's Elle)
A rant about kids today and their flip-flops which I enjoyed
I want to make this dress... despite the knowledge, deep in my heart, that it would look like barf on me. Somebody shake some sense into me (Starting with "Alexis, you are neither 6 feet tall nor willowy, so stop it right now!" would probably help.)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I have good friends

So two of my good friends from my previous job came over last night for turkey burgers (I did not plate, mostly because one most fix one's burger the way one would like it) and wine and conversation. They also brought me birthday gifts because they are too kind.

Here is one of my gifts:

(you can't actually search inside, I just hotlinked from amazon... they make a lot of money, it's okay, don't worry about their servers)

And this is the other one:


Both of these books were on my Amazon.com wishlist, however, being the dork that I am I forgot that and I cooed over my gifts "oh my God! How did you know I wanted that one? I've been thinking of buying it myself!" my friend proceeded to roll their eyes and then it occured to me "oh... these were on my wishlist huh?" and we had a hardy laugh.

The moral of the story is, if you get me something from my wishlist because you aren't sure what to get me, then I'll just think you're very very clever and not realize that you are simply sneaky. Keep that in mind friends.

I would also like to send a big shout out to Mia for sending me a box of goodies! I was very remiss in thanking her earlier, because I am simply a bad interwebs friend. She sent me some really lovely ribbon yarn from her stash, as well as this very neat papery yarn and a couple other skeins that I think shall be quite useful for the CHRISTMAS KNITTING (which I am naturally pretending isn't there). Thanks Mia!

I also long-ago received my Sockapalooza socks but I haven't photo-ed them yet (I have worn them though) Weebug Knits sent me a terriffic pair of, I believe Trekking socks, along with some bath goodies, a couple great skeins of alpaca yarn, and a kit for a dishcloth, and other goodies that escape me at the moment. So much thanks! (P.S. that whole me thinking you were Midgeling thing... sorry!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

To plate or not to plate?

Thank you very much for your kind words. I am quite well and am sure that in a few weeks my little drama will have been downgraded from "red-alert catastrophe" to "minor inconvenience" I'm just dramatic like that.

Nothing to report knitting or sewing. I haven't felt well enough to hunch over a sewing machine (perhaps I should not hunch...) and my knitting continues as discussed, I am finishing the gusset of my second pair of Bearfoot socks and working on MS3, which looks far to much like yarn puke to photograph.

Tomorrow I take an Intro to Embroidery class at Twisted. I will be embroidering a tea towel with a pattern from Sublime Stitching the theme is "Swanky decor" which goes just great with my midcentury kitchen. I'll see if I can't capture some images of my embroidery efforts.

On to my query, when I make dinner for Joel and I to share I always plate our food on our two plates and bring the plates, sans extra servings to the table, either indoors or out, which has already been set with napkins and silverware.

This weekend I hosted a wee brunch for my friends and I set the table with plates and brough the food in serving trays to the table for everyone to dish as pleased them. I'm not sure why I did it differently, perhaps four people is my threshold for plate dishing? Maybe since I can easily carry two full plates to the table but must make two trips for four this seemed like the right way of doing things?

What say you? do you plate or do you bring food to the table? I suspect that especially with children it is wise to just fill your own plate, since they can be so picky and also hungry. Plus asking for things to be passed and the act of passing helps teach good manners doesn't it?

I'm curious, do respond.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

3 things and some links

Okay... so I started a post yesterday that turned out sounding bitter and cruel... I'm going to try to be a bit more diplomatic and kind today.

*note: Yesterday, when I was bitching to my mother on the phone she said "so what are you going to have for dinner? I mean besides a kitten"

I replied "F*** kittens, I hate kittens" that was the kind of day I had.

We will take part in what a counselor I once had called a B.S. sandwich... *good thing, bad thing good thing repeat from *


1) I have made marvelous progress on my latest pair of socks.


Pattern: Plain stockinette with a German Heel (from Knitting Vintage Socks... Nancy Bush... natch) and a round toe (same).

Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in "Mountain Tango" this yarn is so amazingly beautiful... every time I pick it up I'm just giddy to see what the next color will be. I love you yarn.

Progress: Just about to turn the heel on the second sock


2) The reason I have been so prolific... having just started these two weeks ago (besides that they are easy, and the yarn is a bit thick, worked with only 60 stitches) is that I was in a car accident last week and my car was totalled. I am now taking the bus.

Due to a variety of economic and environmental circumstances, I will not be getting a new car. Besides, no car could ever be what Doris the Taurus was to me.

I have been quite childish about the matter. Yesterday I said that I did not want to take the bus and my boyfriend, being ever so f---ing level headed responded "so ride your bike" to which I retorted "No! I don't wanna ride my bike, I want to drive Doris" and then I folded my arms over my chest and proceeded to pout. Because I am now 25 years old and it is well past time for me to act in such a dignified manner, don't you agree?


3) I have something mysterious and wonderful on the horizon which I cannot talk about. I'll give you a hint though...

It has nothing to do with knitting, but if it happens the way I'd like, then it would be totally awesome if I finished my MS3 before it begins. Here's some random person's finished Mystery Stole:


Mine will be in black... and is coming along famously thank you. No... I cannot recall right now how far along I am. Thanks for asking

(Thanks to Quietknitter for letting me swipe your really wonderful picture *kisses*)

I would like to leave you with a quote from "Miss Manners Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior"

DEAR MISS MANNERS:

Who says there is a "right" way of doing things and a "wrong"?

GENTLE READER:

Miss Manners does, you want to make something of it?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bonus!

I should really save this post for tomorrow since who knows if I'll have anything to talk about... but I don't care. I live on the edge!



The Interweave Knits Fall Preview is up. I'll definitely be purchasing a copy once it's available.



Here's some of my favorites... which I will probably knit someday.




And this one that I will not knit, but I like to look at anyway:

I believe that knit dresses should be approached with caution. As with knit skirts. Not that they cannot be cute or flattering, but odds are that you should probably say no if the urge strikes you to knit a dress. In case you're about to say "but _____ is really cute" I will remind you that knit dresses are, in fact, sweater dresses (usually) We all remember that time don't we? Does anyone really want to return to the era of the sweater dress? Don't answer that.

Okay... that's my knitting pr0n for today. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Birthday Meme

So I didn't actually get tagged with this, but I saw it on Mia's blog and it looked like fun.

Here's the rules:
You go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday month and day only. Then post 3 events, 2 births and one holiday that occurred on your birthday, then tag 5 friends.

August 18:
Events:
293 BC The oldest known Roman temple to Venus was founded.
1920 AD The 19th ammendment was ratified
1958 Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita was published in the United States

Births:
1774 Meriwether Lewis
1904 Max Factor

Holidays:
Buhe (Ethipian orthodox)

I'm not tagging anyone, but I do hope if you participate you'll leave me a comment so I can go see :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Be very very quiet...

We're hunting knits.




Aha... Caught one!




Stats:

Name: Sockapalooooza sock
Pattern: Kinda sorta Dublin Bay by Ryan Morrissey
Yarn: Lisa Souza Sock! in What A Melon
Needles: Crystal Palace DPNs size 1
Mods: Well... I didn't really follow the pattern at all... I just kind of looked at the picture and thought "hey... I can knit that" and so I did. The heel is slip stitch, the toe is the "French Toe" from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks

We'll see what else I can hunt down in the wilds of my craft room tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

When not knitting...

Well... knitting hasn't been non-existent. But it's been difficult to hunt the wild knits in their natural habitat to photograph them.

I thought I'd tell you about some of the other ways I've been recreating.

I read this on Saturday (and a little bit of Sunday):
No spoilers of course... but I'm really happy with how the series has closed. Although I wish it wasn't over *frown*


Also I have this checked out from the library:

It makes my brain tingle with the possibilities. It's a small quick read based on an article from Wired by the same name.

Maybe I'll get some knitting content soon... maybe not... I guess you'll have to wait and see. Is the suspense killing you? I thought so.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Casserole (R)evolution


I've been experimenting with the classic tuna casserole. The classic dish is simple, complete, and when properly prepared, delicious; not to mention it freezes like a dream. I thought I'd share my results (because they are delicious) with you all.


So, to refresh your memories if you haven't had a tuna casserole since 1987 here's the premise, or "proto casserole" that I used as my jumping off point:

2 cans chunk light tuna
1 can peas
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup cheese, shredded
1/2 lb cooked pasta like penne or farfalle


Combine in casserole dish (oddly enough) cover and bake on 350 (d) for 30 minutes.


Remove, let cool, devour.


what's awesome about this classic:

Easy Peasy, that's what's awesome. Aside from cooking the pasta there is nothing on the stovetop and assuming you can set the timer on your oven, it's pretty hard to screw up.


The downside:

SALT... cream of mushroom soup, at least the can that I had (Fred Meyer brand) has something like 800 mg of sodium, and that's not counting the cheese and the canned chunk light tuna that always tastes like a salt lick to me anyway.

Texture... I find canned peas about as appetizing as dog food really. They're gray and mushy, it's just unnatural. And the chunk light tuna basically disappears in the mixture so that you don't really get any solid bites of tuna.


Solution:

1) Come up with a subtitute for the cream of mushroom soup.
2) Use fresh vegetables
3) Don't use the canned chunk light tuna


After some experimentation, this is what I came up with:


Ingredients:
1 head chopped broccoli - blanched
2 cans Solid White Albacore Tuna
1/2 lb cooked pasta (like Farfalle or Penne, cooked al dente)
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup cheese

Several crumbled crackers, like Saltines (a handful)


Preheat oven to 350. To a large skillet on medium heat add your desired form of cooking fat (butter, EVOO, Canola oil) add the tuna, broken up in bite size pieces, and broccoli. Cook just until heated through.


Add Mayo, Yogurt, Buttermilk, cook for a minute or two until hot, then add eggs, seasoning and half the cheese. Cook until thick and bubbly, a few minutes.


Remove from heat and pour into a casserole dish, add pasta and stir until combined. Sprinkle remaining cheese and the crackers over dish. Cover, bake for 30 minutes. Uncover for last 5 minutes to goo-ify the cheese on top.


Try it... it's good. And Gooey.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Yuck!


20 days since I've posted? What a slouch.

And probably a few more until I get a real post together.


I got 39... but I totally should have had 40... I'm just dumb. (goes without saying)

I *have* been knitting, and I've been sewing and cooking, just like usual. I just can't seem to force myself to stay indoors any longer than absolutely necesary to put a post together.

Some new (non-knitting) toys:




Fabric Depot has a 40% off sale this weekend... I am totally there. Any suggestions on fabric for my new babies?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Discovery!

I have found something WONDERFUL. I'm probably the last person on the planet to find it, but I don't care.

Goodwill has an auction site. Did you know this? It's spectacular, much better deals than EBay (IMO) at least in my short perusing time. See I'm looking fora cast iron skillet. I had not yet been able to find one actually at the goodwills near me, so when searching the web (not working) I found the Goodwill Auction site.

It is a lot like a Goodwill store... there's no real search feature although items are categorized and sorted by auction end time, but you really have to "dig" to find stuff. There is yarn there peeps... among other crafty supplies.

I now have 4 bids and a bunch of watched items... I really need to put it away before I get crazy :)

The only downside is the shipping on larger items. Like this 68 piece dinnerware set currently going for $11 but weighs 82 pounds total. Too much to ship, unless you live in St Paul and can pick it up... that'd be awesome!

Anyways, go, have fun, waste time. Remember it's reduce REUSE then recycle.

P.S. I watched a great movie last night "Her Highness and the Bell Boy" 1945, Hedy Lamarr and June Allyson. if you like old movies you should watch it, it's adorable.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Imagine the Knitting!

I did something very awesome this weekend, but I didn't take pictures so I guess that means it didn't really happen?

I cast on for a practice run of what will be matching mittens for myself and two of my best friends as Christmas gifts (Yes, I'm starting Christmas knitting in June... on December 22 when I have everything done and wrapped and you're trying to build a time stretcher... we'll see who's laughing).

The knitted item is the Pirate Mittens from Hello Yarn. I'm making them with Knit Picks Telemark in Snow Leopard (background) and Aubergine (skulls). Thank god these are not on sale now because I would have just died. Although it's not like they use a lot of yarn so maybe I just shouldn't be such a cheapskate.

When I bought the yarn I thought the Snow Leopard was more blue than gray. I was wrong. It's a lovely pale gray... quite reminiscent of the sky at this moment (because you can all see my sky) It's a lovely color, but paired with the aubergine that make the mittens maroon and gray... my high school colors (Franklin Quakers!).

But the big news about these mittens is that they're my first stranded knitting project! Hurray! I have all but finished the first one (had to rip out the thumb... it was bad). They went super fast and I think I may be hooked on stranded colorwork... super happy fun time. They look great (IMHO of course)

I have so much stuff to take pictures of and upload, but I swear I'll do it... eventually. I did join a new knitalong yesterday. The "Mystery Stole 3" run by Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist. If you're interested check out her blog and then sign up on the Yahoo Group... signups close July 6 so HURRY.

P.S. boy is taking his LSATs today, right this second as a matter of fact, wish him luck. :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Buster & Aspen's Meme

Midge tagged me for the 7 things Meme, which I already answered. However two other bloggers had their pets answer memes so Buster and Aspen asked if they could do a joint one. (Buster & Aspen refer to my mom as "Mom" and me as "girl")

Aspen:
1) Mommy & Girl got me from pet store when I was a baby 10 years ago. They say they wouldn't get another pet store dog because of all my health problems, but they still love me lot's which is nice because I get really sick sometimes and mom says stuff about $300 trips to the vet. I don't know what that means but she doesn't sound happy about it.

2) Some of my health problems include chronic ear infections, a torn knee (they fixed that but then mommy was yelling about $1200 for a stupid knee), fatty deposits, and last year I had a hematoma (I don't know what that is but it hurt) in my ear and had to have surgery and then I shook my head too much 'cause it was itchy and I tore the stitches.

3) I like going to the vet because they give me treats and tell me how pretty I am. Some dogs (I hear) don't like the vet. They must not be very pretty.

4) I like to be petted more than anything. People like to pet me, but sometimes they forget that they can, so I put my head under their hand to remind them that it's okay to pet me.

5) Sometimes we go to the beach and I think that's awesome. I can run in Tide Pools (Girl yells stuff about delicate ecosystems... whatever that is) and roll in dead things. I think dead things are the greatest thing to roll in. After we go to the beach I get really itchy though and I need a bath.

6) I liked it a lot when girl lived here because she would spend all day Sunday making special food for me because of all my allergies. She'd roast chicken and yams and green beans and turnips and carrots like my vet told her and I'd eat that all week. YUM! But girl doesn't live here anymore and mom is too busy to cook for us so now I eat prescription dog food from the vet. It's good... but I liked girl's food better.

7) Katz R Dum.

Buster:
1) My people adopted me from the Golden Retriever Rescue in Utah when I was 7 (2002 I'm told) The rescue place was okay, because it was on a farm, but I really liked coming to a forever home.

2) I am not a dog. I'm a rare wolf/bear hybrid and I'm very dangerous. My people think I'm a golden retriever. They're really stupid and don't even know what a wolf/bear hybrid looks like (they look like me). I was born in the wild and captured and raised like a dog.

3) When I lived in the wild I ate bacon a lot from the bacon bush. I tell my people this all the time and that they should give me bacon because it's my natural food but they don't listen to me.

4) I don't like children. I'll growl at them and might even try to nip them. Children make me really grumpy. The people keep children away from me and that's the way I like it. Children are stupid.

5) Sometimes I get grumpy if people get too close to my face and I'll growl. No one's really scared which pisses me off because they don't even know that I could tear their throat out (since I'm a wolf/bear hybrid).

6) My favorite thing to do is nap on the couch with my dad.

7) I think puppies are stupid.


As you can see Aspen & Buster are two pretty special dogs. Buster does have a bit of an attitude problem, but he's old so we let him get away with it.

And she's back

I'm back!

Friday was Grandma's service in Newport and it was beautiful. I didn't think I would cry because I had already done so much crying and I had been to the viewing earlier and cried a lot then and I was really just feeling unemotional. Then one of the hymns was "On Eagles' Wings" and I started bawling like a little baby (when you get to "take you to the breath of dawn"). Stupid songs.

Joel and I drove home late that night. I was a little tipsy from dinner so I slept some of the way. Saturday I went to the Portland Farmer's Market at PSU where I purchased some tasty sweet sugar snap peas, new carrots, asparagus, and some delicious Hood strawberries. They're a little tart so I think I'm going to mix them with pineapple for some pineapple-strawberry muffins. yummy! Saturday night I julienned the carrots and tossed them with the sugar snap peas with olive oil, blasamic, salt/pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. It was delish.

But the best part was the salad bowl. A large pot with six varieties of lettuce, I can't remember them all right now, but there was two types of romaine, two red leaf, Butter lettuce and regular Green Leaf. I set it in the full sun of our back porch and can't wait to have some tasty garden fresh salads.

Sunday I baked Banana Bread Muffins (using Alton Brown's recipe in I'm Just Here for More Food) and laid around the house like a bump on a log. It was great.

Now here I am back at work, back in the groove. I rode my bike again today and as usual it was great. I think this Friday I'll take some pictures on my way in so you can all see what I mean. 5 of my 7 mile ride to work are on a bike trail along the river, I see all sorts of herons and ducks and geese and stuff.

Anyways, that's all, I hope everyone had a great weekend. See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

In Memory


Margaret Timms Franklin Saety

July 17, 1927 - May 27, 2007




Grandma, not a sweet grandmother in the traditional cookie baking sugar giving, spoiling rotten sense. But a woman who loved constantly.




Besides her children, and grandchildren she also loved;

Music - playing the piano, seeing the opera and the symphony

Ballet

Shoes - dozens of pairs, especially red ones, oh if only she didn't have such tiny feet.


She is survived by her sister Imogene, daughter & son-in-law Barbara & Kerry, son Don, grandaughter Alexis and grandson Jason.


If you have a second to think a nice thought about a really topnotch ladt today, please do.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I can sew! (50th post woohoo!)

Joel's grandma gave me her old sewing machine.






It's not very fancy, it can't do zig-zag stitch or button-holes or any of the cool stuff that even an inexpensive modern machine can do. *but* it is exceptionally cool looking (that counts right?) it was so sweet of Joel's grandma to give it to me, and it was *free* which is my favorite price. I moved it into the craft room last night. Hopefully when I go home today (I'm at mom's right now) I'll get some sewing done.

Like most things in Joel's family the machine has been exceptionally well cared for and it runs like a dream.

I'm just happy that all my belly-aching paid off this time. The funny thing is that I don't think I even mentioned to Joel how much I wanted one. I may have said something in passing but as he doesn't really understand my drive to craft and create, I usually don't tell him stuff like that.

Maybe I was just sending "get me a sewing machine" vibes into the universe... it's The Secret! It works! hehe



In honor of this being my 50th post I decided that what I really needed was a kitten heel red patent leather shoe. How else do you celebrate 50 posts I ask you? So I went to target.com and purchased this:
psst... click on the picture to get yourself a pair

Okay so I didn't really buy them because of 50 posts... but it sounded good right? I bought them because they remind me of my grandma (grandma loves red shoes) and I thought they'd look nice with my navy dress... even if red shoes are played out.

I will do something in honor of the 50th post though... I'll have a CONTEST.

It's easy, leave me a comment (say something nice... or maybe neutral) and I'll use one of them thar random number generators thingies to pick a name. I'll send you some yarn. Because I love you. Good yarn too.


I guess we'll say leave a comment by 5:00 pm Pacific time on Tuesday. Thanks.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Purchases!

I went shopping yesterday. I bought some Soak Citrus (I love the Soak woolwash, you should try it)

I also bought some Cider Moon yarn from Sheri @ The Loopy Ewe. It's Icicle - Taos, but it's all gone now, haha.

And some of the Lane Borgosesia laceweight (also from Sheri) in Black... to make a shawl to go with my dress to wear to Carmen this fall. maybe I should start that once it arrives huh? I'm still debating what pattern... more on that later.

So after I spent $50 at Sheri's I strolled on over to Knit Picks where I purchased 6 skeins of Telemark (3 Snow Leopard and 3 Aubergine) to make 3 pairs of of Pirate Mittens (arrgh!) for myself and my 2 homegirls. Rather than putting the year I will put "Lex" "Sha" and "Jess" on the palm of everyone's respective mittens. Clearly this yarn does not count since it was purchased for gift making.

Ditto for the 11 skeins of Wool of The Andes (Grass and Chestnut) purchased for felted clog making (a pair for my mom and a pair for Joel... say it with me now *awww*) I was going to do a contrasting sole on them, but then I decided to put leather soles on.

Then I bought Victorian Lace Today from which I hope to find a shawl to make for Carmen.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

And we have sweater

Look at her... she's just so beautiful...

The sweater... not the girl. The girl looks like she's on drugs and doesn't brush her hair. I have no idea who that person is. I assure you that *I* do not look like I'm on drugs, I have a charming rather than creepy smile and I do brush my hair.

Here's a better view of the pattern on the sleeve.


Specs:

Pattern: Phoebe Pullover from knitpicks.com (based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage saddle shoulder sweater)

Start/End: 2/15/2007 - 5/18/2007

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of The Andes. 11 balls (not 12, definitely not 13!)

Size: 40" around and 26" from top of shoulder to bottom of ribbing

Needles: size 6 KnitPicks DPN's on sleeves size 6 36" AddiTurbo Circular on body

Mods: I decided not to do the mesh pattern on the shoulders and instead just do the straight lines of twisted stitches. I decided to do this because it is more aesthetically pleasing. It has nothing to do with it being really hard to do the mesh pattern on the wrong side while doing the saddle shoulders. Nothing at all. How dare you even suggest it. Otherwise, that's it.

I feel victorious. I must return to family obligations now... but I just wanted you all to know that I made the greatest sweater ever.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Finito!

I finished Phoebe on Friday
Blocked her on Saturday
Wore her on Sunday

Plus I took pictures!

But I haven't gotten them off my camera yet. Joel said that she makes me eyes look "really pretty" So that's nice.

Blogging will be intermittant at best this week. My grandmother is very sick. I'm spending most of my free time with her while I can. (This is not free time... I'm supposed to be working)

I'll get back to all you peeps later.

Friday, May 18, 2007

7 Things

Mia tagged me. And I want to play fair so, here's my 7 Thing's Meme that's been floating around. The deal is that you list 7 things about yourself and then tag 7 people.

1) By the time I graduated high school I had attended 7 schools in 4 districts (Yaquina View, North Clackamas, Newport Middle, Sunnyside, Sunrise, Kellogg, Franklin)

2)I had also lived in 11 unique residences in 3 cities (Newport OR, Clackamas OR, Portland OR) if people ask me where I'm from I usually say Portland and don't go into it. I'm not sure why.

3) Today I rode my bike to work for the first time, it was fun. 7.16 miles, most of which was on a scenic path along the river. A good time... good time.

4) I recently moved in with my boyfriend of 3+ years... so far it's working out pretty well, I haven't killed him yet, so that's a positive ;-)

5) I have a three-way tie for my all time favorite movies: Casablanca, The Godfather, and Office Space.

6) I love to cook, even if it's just Mac & Cheese (not from a box, of course). But I have difficulty following a recipe. I am not always a good cook.

7) I don't have a favorite book, I love them all unconditionally, if pressed I will usually say White Oleander by Janet Finch. You should read it for sure.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you haven't done this, you should. And then throw me a comment so I can see who actually listens to what I say (if it's no one, I'll be sad, but I'll probably find a way to move on)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Look what I can do!

I can knit a sweater!

And take pictures of it.


Phoebe on Sunday. Despite being directly in front of a window, the color still turned out like poop. The Arctic Pool Heather is much more blue and not very gray at all.

I have completed the shoulder shaping and at the point in the picture I am ready to start joining the front and back with the sleeve pattern beidging the two.


Today I have completed the first shoulder and will start on the second once I get home. I hope to finish it tomorrow at knit night and do the collar on Friday, block the sweater Saturday and take pictures Sunday.


I believe it will actually fit me. The sleeves are a teensy bit snug... but not exceptionally so. The body has the perfect amount of ease and the sweater will be just the right length. Hooray!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hi again (no knitting)

So I'm back, for the second time today. Apparently I have a lot to say. or maybe i've eaten too many chocolate covered espresso beans and I'm jittery. Whatever.

The opera Joel & I went to this weekend was The Magic Flute by Mozart (sung in German, with spoken word in English)

The role of "Queen of the Night" was played by Mari Moriya and she sang with such beauty and clarity and strength that her arias have been haunting me all weekend and all day. Especially Der Holle Rache Kocht in Meinem Herzen (Hell's Vengeance Boils in my Heart). I would really strongly encourage you to go to the bottom of the Wikipedia page and listen to a rendition of it. Even if you do not follow or care for opera you'll recognize the tune and I think anyone can appreciate the difficulty of the notes the soprano must hit in this number.

Listen, enjoy, please.

In other news... I need a sewing machine :(

I know in a previous post I mentioned getting one from Craigslist for a good deal. Well when I went to get it the "owner" was clearly a meth addict with a house stuffed full of things (most likely not entirely legally hers) so I politely declined to take the hot sewing machine off of her hands.

Then one of my flaker friends said I could come over and use hers, she then cancelled on me twice and I have since given up on that angle.

My mom has a sewing machine, the tension is *way* off. I considered using it anyway but decided I would be too mad if it snagged my fabric. It would cost $70 to tune it up, which is far more than the damn thing is worth, even running perfectly. Plus I don't have $70.

So... anyone in Portland want to let me use your sewing machine? I am but a poor pitiful crafter who wants desperately to make a couple of summer dresses. Have mercy on me. I'd even rent one if there were a place that lent them out for the day for cheap. Anyone know of such a place?

*sigh* it sucks to be broke.

Any Day Now

Phoebe is SO CLOSE to being done. I probably would have finished her this weekend if I could have spent the time taken up by getting ready for and going to the opera Saturday night (about 5 hours) and the time spent cooking/eating/cleaning/hanging out with mom on Sunday (6 hours).

I even have pictures! But they're trapped in my camera... I'll try to get to my parents' sometime this week and get it uploaded.

Right now I have finished the saddle shoulder shaping (which I like... it looks nice). I need to put the neck hole stitches on scrap yarn and start attaching the front and back. Which by my calculations will be about 26 rows of 32 stitches back and forth on each side.

That means each shoulder will be approximately 832 stitches, which is the equivalent of 4 rounds of body knitting. Although the shoulders are in pattern and the body was in stockinette... so I guess it's closer to 13 of the sleeve rounds. That would have taken me about an evening, I guess that means I have two more evenings of knitting before I can pick up the neck.

I think I'll only do about an inch of the 1x1 ribbing for the neck so that should take one evening or a lunch hour (half hour).

That means I expect an obscene amount of criticism if I am not finished by this weekend. Feel free to kick me out of the knitter's club. I will deserve it. Yup.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Ravelry.com love

I'm on Ravelry!

Violet invited me to beta with her a month or so ago but I never signed up because their site said they weren't compatable with IE and I'm much too lazy to download a whole new internet browser :)

Anyways, I'd heard everyone talking about it so I had to go and check it out. It seems to be doing just fine with ie and it is so awesome.

You can list your current projects, your yarn stash, your needle inventory, your "wanna do" projects and soon your library of knitting goodies. There's also goodies for designers that I have yet to check out.

You can link to your blog, browse other people's projects, it appears that there's even a yarn trading area either up or in the works (I haven't looked too closely yet), link to pictures from Flickr, start -alongs. It's still in beta and I guess they have something like 3,000 people in the queue to send invites to (they are making sure they can handle that much traffic before they let them in... good idea!)

So come see me and definitely think about joining once it's 100% open. I plan on doing much photographing over the weekend to update all my projects and stuff. Yay for the internet!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Best Girlfriend Ever

That's me :-)

I made a winner of a meal last night and the title of best girlfriend ever (BGE) was graciously bestowed upon me.

I thought I'd share with you the secrets of my masterpiece so you to could become a BGE or BBE or BWE or BFE... whatever.

The menu:
Rachel Ray's Cognac Steaks from 2,4,6,8 (the "Aren't We Fancy" supper for 2)
Caramelized Onion and Bacon salad
fresh French Bread from New Seasons bakery

Steaks:
Two 1" thick New York Steaks (raised in Oregon, from Oregon Country Natural co-op)

Season one side liberally with pepper, pat into the meat. Place in a Medium High pan with 2tbsp Olive Oil and sear 3 minutes on each side (for rare). Remove from heat and cover with tin foil to keep warm.

Add a cup of coarsely chopped onions and 2 cloves of garlic to the pan (more olive oil if necessary) season with salt and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft but not browned. Remove from the burner, add 2 shots of cognac and return to heat, allow the cognac to flame up. Once the flames die down add about 3/4 cup of beef broth and 1/4 cup half and half. Cook until reduced by half. Serve over steaks.

Salad:
6 cups washed chopped spinach
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (if you don't live with someone who thinks tomatoes are evil)
3 strips bacon
1/3 cup sliced onion (either rings or strips)

Cook the bacon to very crispy. Drain the bacon grease and add 2 tbsp of Olive Oil to the pan.

Add onions to oil, stirring frequently, cook for 10 minutes. Remove onions and place on a paper towel to drain. Remove pan from the heat, to prepare dressing add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp dijon mustard, whisk until mixed. Very slowly whisk in another 4 tbsp olive oil, set aside.

Combine vegetables, and crumble bacon over the salad. Mix in dressing. Top with onions before serving.

So go, make, and become the BEST GIRLFRIEND EVER. Be sure to serve with your SO's favorite beverage (mine is a gin martini).

Monday, May 7, 2007

The 13th ball

I'm so close to being done with Phoebe.

I finished up the second sleeve this weekend. I did about 13 inches in a week... without trying that hard. If only that had happened, oh... 4 weeks ago.

Now I have about 3 more inches of boring stockinette tube to finish for the body, then I join the three pieces together at the armpits and continue up the shoulders to the neck. Hurray!

Here's where I'm concerned. I purchased 12 balls of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Arctic Pool Heather for this project. I am currently using the 8th ball (50% finished), on the body. I used 1.5 balls on each 19" sleeve and have so far used 4 full balls (probably 5 once I'm done) on 17" of body.

Does this sound like 4 balls will be enough to finish once I join at the underarms and work up to the saddle shoulders then complete the crew neck? I really think it is, but since this is my first sweater I don't feel 100% confident. Do I need a 13th ball?

The thing that's keeping me from just getting some spare yarn is that I'm sure if this isn't enough all I'm going to need is one more ball. But since it is KnitPicks that means I'd have to pay $2.50 shipping on a measly $2 ball of yarn and that hurts my heart a little. Am I the cheapest person alive? I think maybe I am. *sigh*

So the only comments I want to see right now are "Yes Lexy, you will definitely have enough yarn to finish that sweater. Don't worry about being 6 yards short and crying yourself to sleep because you're a cheap idiot who doesn't order an extra skein. You will have enough yarn"

Ya' dig?

P.S. I do realize that if I do not order the yarn, I will be short, and if I do order it I will finish not only without using the 13th ball, but with 20 or 30 yards left on the 12th one. I'll accept this in time.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Nooooo!

Dammit!

I tried to leave my sockapalooza pal a seceret comment on her blog and the damned thing automattically put in my blog address in the comments.

So if you're here, Ruth, look away! Don't come back! I know NOTHING.

I hate autofill...

Luckily I have posted nothing about here sock here or on the blogger blog... hopefully nothing will be spoiled. And I suppose I'll just have to refrain from posting in the future. I'm really mad that I gave myself away in the first week. I love a freaking surprise.

Damn my idiocy sometimes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The View From My Desk



These are the horrific results of a girl with too much time on her hands and a camera phone :)

The top picture is what I see when I look to the left. Watching those trees bloom all Spring has brought me an unreasonable amount of joy. I really try to make a mental note of them almost every day so I can think back to how they looked bare and with little buds and everything.

I'm a nerd, I know, no need to rub it in.

The bottom one is what I see when I look over the top of my computer (why would I do that?The whole world is here in this box) And it's a really bustling little corner here in The Pearl, it brings me much people watching time when I'm not doing anything. Like right now.

So, what do you see from your window?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Phoebe has progress!

But no photos.

See, Joel only has dial up (the horror, I know) and a really old laptop, which he takes with him much of the time. I sold my computer to my mom when I moved... well my half of it since we paid 50/50 for it. Anyway, the blog may be photoless for a little while until I figure out some voodoo. I could take pictures with my phone, but, ew.

I finished one and a half repeats of the Phoebe sleeve so that the second sleeve is now 13 inches long (I believe it needs to be 18, I'll have to look that up) I'm really closing in on the sweater... I know that it will not be sweater weather when it's finished (or maybe it will... I can be pretty slow when I want). But I'm still excited to get my first sweater off the needles and in the closet.

This weekend, I organized my stash *gasp* *shock*. See, at my parents' house the stash was very spread out, there was some in my room, some in the living room, some in the office, some crammed into tiny corners... whatever. I had to pack it all up and find room for it in Joel's impeccably organized tiny little house.

So I stuffed it into two drawers in my dresser and two drawers in this little wicker 3-drawer organizer thingy. The top drawer in that is holding all my WIP's from the previous post, and those two bottom drawers are stuffed with sock yarn. I guess what this means is that I shouldn't any problem sticking to my yarn budget, since I can't buy yarn that I don't have room for, obviously. Except for the yarn for Andy's petit bebe yarn for gifts doesn't count toward stash right? Right? Somebody get my back here.

To recap:
Mission 1: Finish WIP's, do not cast on new projects (except for Dulaan, charity doesn't count)
Mission 2: Use up my tres awesome stash yarn for most future projects. Until I deem a reasonable amount has been used. One dresser drawer full, at least. Not counting yarn necesary for gifts, of course.

You know, in January I didn't have enough stash yarn to join knit from your stash. My how the mighty have fallen.

carry on.

Friday, April 27, 2007

What's on your needles?

Well, let me tell you.


Phoebe is still on the needles... body is 15 inches long, one sleeve is finished and the other is about 6 inches long. Quite a bit larger than in this picture, but still... maybe 70% done.


Floral Felted Tote by Nicky Epstein, which I have from the holiday issue of IK. I have completely finished one side... and that's all. Just one lonely side, and to think I bought the yarn for this nearly six months ago ::shame:: so it's about 40% done.


The Clapotis which I really don't even want to mention... except that I pulled it out of it's hiding place last week so now I must acknowledge that it exists. I have not touched it since around Christmas. probably 50% done.


Twisted Flower Sock I love you, I really do, but I messed up on the last row and I'm avoiding ripping back (yes, I know it's only one row... shut up, I hate you). Not terribly larger than in this picture. I'd say, 55% done on this sock (which means, what, 27% done on the pair? Oh the shame)


I did just finish a Dulaan hat. I will be casting on another in Encore Chunky. Probably the Avalanche Hat pattern. It's not on the needles yet, but let's face it, it will be soon.


So with all this in mind, I bet you can guess what I did this week. That's right, I worked dilligently at completing my in progress projects so that I can rid myself of the terrible guilt.


HA! In your dreams sucka. I cast on this little trouble maker:

Yup, it's the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club sock kit from February. Since the April one is at my parents' house, but not yet picked up (therefore not yet in the stash, right?)
Yes, it's suggestive, and yes knitting with STR Mediumweight on size 0 needles kind of sucks. But overall, I love it. I especially love how the colors are spiralling so loverly all around.
That is all... tune in next week when our heroine loses all self control and casts on projects with every set of needles she owns.

Friday, April 20, 2007

No progress

No progress on anything. I'm halfway moved in with Joel (the boyfriend) but most of my knitting stuff is still at mom's house. Hopefully I can remedy that this weekend.

I went to Sip 'n' Stitch at Knit/Purl last night as I generally do on Thursdays. I got very little knitting but much talking done. I also did some pre-shopping. I just found out that Joel's best friend and his new bride (of a year) are expecting their first child. They have chosen not to find out the sex of their petit bebe. Which to me means that they are begging for a pink lace cardigan... but I will refrain from making an incident.

It seems to me the best knitted choice for a baby of unknown gender is a toy. Plus it's a reletively easy knit (just say no to blankets!) and an appreciated one. So, now to lower the field.

There's LouLou the Elephant. In Tracey Chapman's Toys to Knit, and in that book is also a Kangaroo with a Joey in it's pouch, and a monkey in a cute little vest. So those are all adorable possibilities.

Also, Debbie Bliss (The queen of baby knits as Rodger put it) had a book... I think it was Simply Baby but don't quote me... at the store which had two little baby costumes in it, one was a bunny and one was a lamb... now since the wee one is due October 30, I thought these would also be a great idea! Plus there was another Debbie Bliss book (aren't I being specific and interesting? I know) which had a bunch of cute toys.

Those are my thoughts so far. What do you guys think in the way of Unisex Baby Gear to knit?

Not that a lacey pink cardigan can't be unisex... I just don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today we sew

I knit two rows on Twisted Flower last night. It is still glorious but I was distracted last night. I knit afew rows on one of my Dulaan hats today during lunch. I've switched to a half hour lunch and it really cuts down on my knitting time. Oh well though... I think I'll be alright.
I have two sewing projects in the works. This one I have cut out the pattern in a Navy crepe with white bias tape for the ties and edge. It's a reproduction of a vintage Butterick pattern. It will be adorable, but I think it may be a touch too long, we'll see once I get it put together.

It's a very simple pattern, 4 pieces of fabric, a couple darts, it doesn't even have a zipper, there's elastic at the waist, and bias tape on the edges, so all I'll have to do is hem the skirt. Well, I have to sew the tape on, but that's cake.

This is the other one I bought fabric for. A lovely Michael Miller print that I got for 40% at Fabric Depot (I love Fabric Depot, btw).


I'll be making it next. It is slightly more complicated, with lining and interfacing and stuff, but still a very simple pattern.

I used to sew all the time in high school. I (with my mom's help) made most of my dresses for school dances as well as some rather crazy halloween costumes. I made my prom dress and a wedding dress for a woman I worked with at the hotel. Mind you it was a very simple dress... but it was white, and she did wear it to get married in... so it was a wedding dress.

This will be the next on my list. I will make the short one, in red, to wear to Carmen at the Opera next season. Next season's theme is "Great Women of the Stage" and I would like to make a dress for each show (Carmen, Cinderella, Rodelinda, and Aida)... but that might be a tad ambitious for me. As you all know... I love to voer extend myself and make lofty goals. Following through... not my strong suit.

I'll keep you posted though. And I'll even post pictures if I ever finish anything.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sock it to me

Hehe... I'm really good at lame titles huh? Don't worry, that is only the beginning

Beary Nice hat! MWA ha ha... heh... It's for either Dulaan or Sheri's Loopy Ewe q2 challenge. I haven't decided. Made with some of the Encore that Mia was kind enough to donate. I'm working on another one with a neck/ear flap to keep the little ones warm.

Awww... Buster is such a cute model... he even sort of tolerates it. IT's the same hate, I just couldn't resist this picture. Look at that face!

Here's my glorious Cookie A. Sock (The color is off in this photo... the weather is crap, there's no natural light, leave me alone). See the beautiful lace? The intricate cabling (with n.u.m.e.r.o.u.s. errors) on the leg? ::sigh:: I'm so in love. So in love I must return to knitting it.

No cookie!

I'm a very bad blogger.

I have been very busy, with knitting and with life and I haven't been blogging. Because I'm a very naughty girl.

I have some fantastic stuff on the needles right now. Like Cookie A.'s Twisted Flower sock pattern. Which I am knitting with Yarn Pirate BFL in Celery. (Note to Georgia: I love the BFL... a lot... a really inappropriate amount... please get it again if at all possible. *heart*) The sock is truly a thing of beauty. I have a picture on my camera but it's old... and on my camera (not my computer) This weekend I finished the entire second repeat on the leg, did the heel flap, turned the heel and picked up the gusset.

I am so in love. It is not by any stretch of the word an easy knit. I have to have the pattern in front of me the whole time and there has been much tink-ing and much ignoring problems because I'm just not going to rip the far back.

I opted to not use a cable needle, because doing so with 1x1 cables on every row (during the cabling pattern) would make me crazy. Knitty.com has a pretty good tutorial on doing mini-cables without a needle here. I also used the method for twisted stitches sans cable needle found in the Phoebe pattern that I am "working" on. I think that buying the pattern is worth it just to learn that technique if you do not know it.

I went very quickly from monogamy to poly-amory with my knitting though. As you recall I was very happy to be working on the now cast aside sweater, but then, I made mittens, and hats for Dulaan (a good excuse for whoring, no?) now I'm in love with this sock. Plus I Still haven't cast on my blue moon sock and the next package should be here this month. And I have all my great sock yarn from Mia the awesome. Which I have no firm plans for just yet. I'm thinking basic ribbed socks.

I also have an extensive list of gift knits. However, one item got knocked off, not because I finished it but because the wedding was called off. How sad is it that when I was told this the second or third thing out of my mouth was "thank god I hadn't started that shawl" I'm a bad friend. I've accepted this. No need to call me out.

Lastly... Have you guys been watching Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel? You totally should. I watched it for like three hours last night while working on Twisted Flower. Not the best choice for knitting since it's so beautiful you want to have your eyes glued to it. But I enjoyed it none the less.

If you haven't seen it, look up the times (Comcast has it on On Demand) Tivo, record, sit in front of the TV, whatever. It is so breathtakingly beautiful. Nature in all it's dirty, eating, fighting, f***ing glory. The captured, on camera, a Piranha feeding frenzy. Awesome. Really freaking awesome.

That is all... maybe I'll get some pictures up this week. I don't know, leave me freaking alone about it. Geez,

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Story Time

Here's a good Knitting in Public story for you guys.

Yesterday I stopped to get gas, and in Oregon the general public is not deemed smart enough to handle the massive responsibility of pumping our own gas, so I pulled up to the pump and there were a few other people there so I grabbed my knitting while I was waiting for the attendant.

The attendant in question was an older gentleman with a very thick French African accent (or maybe French islander) and he got a big smile on his face and asked me what I was making, I showed him the first mitt I had already finished. He said, in his very weak English something like "So your spare time is spent wisely" nodding at my knitting. I replied that yes, it was so he said.

"Do you drink?" I said no (a lie? yes, but i Thought maybe he was going to ask me out for a drink, so I'm bad)
"Do you smoke?" I said no
He nodded and said
"My son, he is married to a lazy woman who drinks and smokes, he should meet you"

So now that I type this it sounds creepy, but I swear he was just a sweet old man with a really strong work ethic who thought it was great that I spent my waiting time doing something productive.

It kind of made me smile and I thought it was really sweet.

Normally if a man said something along the lines of "I love seeing women knit" it makes me kind of mad and I want to tell them where I'd like to stick the needle in my hand. But this was a little different.

What's your favorite KIP story? Share with me, thank you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I got stuff!!

I got lot's of stuff from Mia 'cause she rocks. Here's a picture of it in the box.




It's like Christmas!



There was the Ruby Sapphire "Alexis"

Which is. so. me. It's bright, it's fun, it doesn't make any sense but you like it anyway :P It is in the classic Ruby Treadsoft sock yarn which is a pretty typical 100% Merino fingering weight, soft, squishy, with a nice even and tight twist. I'm going to make a kick ass pair of socks for *me, me, me* with it.



More beautiful Ruby yarn in Viridris






Also a beauitful colorway (and might I add very project spectrumy) this is the Sapphire Sock Yarn, 75% Merino 25% Nylon. It's just as soft as the 100% Merino but it's super fuzzy and is going to make a really cozy pair of fabulous socks... probably for me too, hehe, it's my box after all! Maybe something from my new Favorite Socks book.

I know, that's awesome right? Two gorgeous skeins of sock yarn, hooray! But *WAIT* there's more.


Crash into Ewe Still My Beating <3>


Don't forget about the Noro. Destined to be an adorable tank (I got the pattern too)
And so much more I can't even remember so let's look at a picture.Ahh yes, there it all is, books, yarn for me, yarn for cold children in Mongolia, books, candy, a cute little lamb, a palm size zen water garden... etc and so forth.
Yeah, it's been a fun night playing with my new yarn. And making the little lamb talk... but maybe I should've kept that to myself.

Bad Lexy!

So I'll have LOT'S of stuff tonight when I post, but I wanted to put up a quick thank you to Mia.

She has spoiled me rotten in the Lime & violet Yarn Pr0n swap. I luff her. I'm going to take pictures (except for the candy I've already eaten) tonight but let me see if I can get a complete list up here.

  • Ruby Sapphire Sock Yarn in "Alexis" (hey, that's me!)
  • Ruby Sapphire Yarn in some crazy name I can't remember but it's lime green beautifullness
  • Crash Into Ewe in "My Beating Heart" (as in be still, and it is)
  • A bag of Noro Daria (9 skeins) in a crazy bright variegated colorway
  • A pattern to go with the Daria
  • Two books (novels) "Knit Two Together" (I think) and another one that's escaping me right now.
  • A whole bunch of Wool/Encore for Dulaan knitting
  • Some store bought adorable easter socks
  • A bunch of delicious candy like a whole foods caramel/fleur de sel chocolate bar, reeses peanut butter eggs, Whoppers, Kit Kats, Good 'n' Plenty, and Hershey's Kisses with Coconut which taste like a mounds bar...mmmm.

So, that's it for now. Back to work with me. Pictures tonight/tomorrow, soon. Plus more blogging, coming to a computer near you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

must sleep... ::snooze::

Monday night I went to bed at 8:15... which would be awesome if I hadn't had to wake up at 4:30 to take mom to the airport. So by the time I got to work at 8:00 I had already been up for 3 1/2 hours. This from a girl who normally tries to get up at 6:20, but usually gets up at 6:45, to leave at 7:10 to get to work at 8:00.

Anyways, last night I got home, made dinner for my brother, hung out with the dogs and stayed up until almost 11:30 fighting with my computer. That equals 19 hours awake. Again, regular awake hours, closer to 16. I was really really tired last night and it's a good thing no one else was home 'cause I would have been cranky too (if you're cranky and no one's around to hear about it, did it really happen?)

This morning I woke up at 6 to get my brother up and ready for school. (his bus comes at 7am, isn't that sick?) However, the dogs were not pleased with this situation since they usually get breakfast at 5am when my mom gets up (the poor woman has to be at work by 6... I'd kill myself) Aspen got on the bed and made a growl like noise, which I ignored. I don't wake up at 5 to feed dogs. They get breakfast at 6 when I'm in charge and they'll like it too.

Anyways, now it's 2:30 in the afternoon. I'm SUPER DUPER tired and all I want to do is go home and nap. I would also like to say the Rhonda Shelby of the KGW weather team can kiss my ass. She was forecasting cloudy and cold today so I didn't wear my beautiful spring dress which would have withered in the gray, what do I see right now? ZERO clouds, I'll tell you that. Freakin' Rhonda Shelby, way to ruin my first day of spring.

Okay, that's all, just a bunch of sleep deprived ranting, sorry for the interruption.

13 inches done on the Phoebe Body. Hooray!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Somebody's fabulous!

and it's me!

First, the knitting.

I am really rolling along nicely on the Phoebe body. I didn't get much done this weekend because I was busy over indulging in alcohol. I have a little more than 12 inches right now and I need 16.5 before I join the sleeves and start working my way up to the shoulders. I'm halfway done with the second sleeve, the first one is almost complete. I believe I can legitimately say I'm half way through with this bad boy.

I know many of you are thinking "but Lexy, aren't you going to finish this right when the weather is getting nice, thus rendering it unwearable until next winter"

a) Even so, I don't care, I just want it off my back (haha... punny)
b) I go to the Oregon Coast quite frequently, and even during the warmest days of summer it can be windy and quite chilly on the beach, making a sweater practical, punk ass.
c) Our family vacation is in Sunriver (yup, that's the house we're staying in, no it didn't cost that much, we got a deal) this year, the beautiful High Desert of Oregon. While the summer days are lovely and warm the evenings (and mornings) can be down right cold.

So, that's my knitting world right now. I'm actually finding it quite lovely to be monogamous with my knitting. It brings me peace. Someone please remind me of this in a week (day? hour?) when I'm dying to cast on some new fling.




Now for something completely fabulous!


Before:

















This is actually a pretty good picture of my nasty-ass-down-to-my-boobs-haven't-gotten-colored-in-a-year-hair. It's from Saturday night... note the green.
After:


















This is a crappy cell phone picture of my new haircut. Three inches off in length, plus lot's of awesome layers. I thought this was an okay picture of myself, but now I realize I look kind of drunk... I'm not, trust me.


I have been toying with the idea of chopping my hair off super short, but now that I actually have a very nice long haircut, I like it a lot. And I'm pretty darn close to having most of the old blond color out... so I think the time is not right to chop it off super short... we shall see what the next moon brings though.
Okay, that's enough about my hair. See ya later.

Friday, March 16, 2007

SPRING!!

It is a glorious spring day here in Portland. The trees across the street are just starting to get little green buds on them. It's 70 degrees, and downtown Portland is positively bustling outside my window.

This, naturally, makes getting work done... impossible. I want to go down to Starbucks (1 block) and get one of those tangerine smoothie things...mmmm.

Oh yeah, knitting content, I worked on my second sleeve for Phoebe last night after I put up the show notes , I'm about six(?) inches into it and have gotten quite used to the pattern, although I do still need to glance at it. The main problem I am finding is that after about an hour of flying along my hands start to cramp up from all the pulling and twisting. So I can work on the sleeve for about an hour and then I have to work on the body, or just do nothing, which is fine. I'd really like to get the sleeves/body joined and start on the shoulders this weekend... but I doubt it's going to happen.

In other news, I became completely enamored with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab yesterday when I was putting up the show notes, so today I ordered six "imps ears" of perfume in:
-Morgause (Bewitching Brews): She is a sister, or sister-self, to Morgan Le Fay. A bouquet of five night-blooming flowers deepened by dusky violet, purple fruits and the barest breath of medieval incenses.
-Poisoned Apple (Bewitching Brews): A perfect, lovely, gleaming red apple whose sweetness masks a swirl of narcotic opium, oleander, and hemlock.
-Pride (Sin & Salvation): Vanity in extremis. The scent of rabid hauteur: Moroccan rose and narcissus.
-Marie (Diabolus): A blend of sinuous violet and elegant tea rose: the chosen scent of France's Demigoddess of Debauch: Marie Antoinette.
-New Orleans (Wanderlust):Reminiscent of hothouse blooms on a humid night, ripe, but touched with decay. Sweet honeysuckle and jasmine with a hint of lemon and spice.
-Queen (Voodoo Blends): For use only by women. An extremely potent passion blend, used to great effect when you're converting feminine sexual energy into power.

The only one of these similar to my usual scent(s) is New Orleans, I *love* honeysuckle and jasmine, I decided, for the most part, to try new things though since they have so many unique concoctions. Narrowing it down to six was definitely the hard part. The short list of other scents I was looking at:
Envy
Eden
Catherine
French Love
Jezebel
Lolita

I think I had about 20 on my list before I started crossing them off and paring down. Anyways, I know it takes them a long time to put it all together, but I am *super* excited about my new scents. Hopefully one will really really stand out to buy in a full vial.

I ramble. Do excuse me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A non-knitting project

So I've been blog surfing, and have found this fabulous little dress blog. The first day I visited I almost spent $75 at Ebay (seriously, I was seconds away from clicking BIN before I realized I can't spend $75 on a dress because I don't have $75)



I don't know how or why but the sewing bug has gotten to me in a bad way... actually I do know how and why... it's this site, that's how.










So, I bought this pattern (Go here for more vintage patterns)











The really pertinent question right now is "Hey, Lexy, do you even own a sewing machine?"

That my friends is a mere technicality thanks to craigslist.org I have two possibilities, not fancy, but functional, that I can pick up tonight. Sucka.

Oh but what about the fabric? Well I went to Josephine's today, and they have such beautiful stuff... but I'm not going to spend $24/yd on fabric for this little number. That's why I'll be going to Fabric Depot this Saturday for their 15th anniversary sale. I'm thinking something pink/yellow, maybe a big print, I don't know... think think think.

I don't know when I'll get it all together, I haven't sewn a garment in... six years? Plus I'm thinking I'll try to maintain the integrity of the vintage pattern by tracing it onto seperate pattern paper rather than cutting the pristine factory folded pattern I've got headed my way.

Here's hoping I'll have a new dress for the opera.

Oh, and I bought a cute spring dress at Ross for $17... totally adorable Anne Taylor Loft *heart*

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dogs

The two laziest Golden Retrievers that God ever made:















Exhibit A: Aspen. He's 10, he has a bum knee and is allergic to everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

We got him when he was a pup from the pet store (don't do that) We're hopelessly attached to him despite the fact that he costs us well over $1000 a year in vet bills alone, not to mention expensive dog food. It's hard to see in this picture, but he has the most beautiful amber eyes that you've ever seen. They match his dark red coat perfectly. He's a loverboy who wants nothing more than a good pat.












Exhibit B:
Buster Tea Bear Junior (we did not name him) he's 12. He's much lower maintenance than his brother, but is an enormous priss. (they're adopted brothers, not real brothers, FYI)


Buster is the dog that we talk for. You know, talk like it's him talking. He has a slightly annoyed voice and is quite convinced that he is a rare wolf/bear hybrid born in the wild, to which he wishes to return. In Buster's wild though there are king size beds in the forest bacon grows on a bush and you can find pools full of butter. We're a little crazy, but it's really okay with me.


Besides thinking he's a bear/wolf Buster is weird because he hates children/short people. He'll growl at them. Luckily there aren't many children in our lives, so it hasn't been a problem. We just have to keep the little ones away from him when we're on walks. The short people is a bit of a bugger though... we have many short friends (short means below about 5'3") I'm not sure exactly what his issue is, but he's old so we pamper him, what can I say?


So that's it, my boys. What are your pets like?

I am not a sweatshop

I don't have enough progress on anything to flash it to you. But that's okay. I might put up some pictures of my puppies (10 & 12 year old puppies that is) tonight... because they're really adorable when they nap. Which is most of the time.

I do have some thoughts on my knitting though, I'm having a bit of ennui and I think I've found the culprit. Naturally, it's all in my head.

Knitting is not a race.

I am not knitting to have finished projects.

Handling beautiful yarn is its own reward.

These are my new mantras. I feel like I haven’t been enjoying my knitting enough. Not that I don’t love doing it, because I do. It’s more that I feel like I’ve been trying to win some sort of speed competition when that’s not why I took it up in the first place.

A year and a half ago, when I learned how to knit I didn’t learn because there was anything in particular I wanted to make. I spent probably a month just knitting swatches (garter, stockinette, ribbed, seed) because I really just enjoyed the *idea* of the craft rather than any particular end.

My skills have increased. I would describe myself as a confident intermediate knitter. 90% self taught at that, not to brag. I enjoy the challenge of new things, socks, sweaters, intarsia, lace. I want to try it all, and I’m working on that. I also want to knit for other people, to give them the joy of a lovingly crafted gift. I have, I believe, knit more finished objects for other people than myself.

Gifts: 1 blanket, 1 scarf, 1 fetching, 2 hats, 2 socks, 1 gloves, 1 bag
Myself: 1 scarf, 1 fetching, 1 socks, 1 hat, 1 gloves

Yup, I’m a giver.

Currently I am working on Phoebe (for me) and the felted flower bag (for me) and the twisted flower sock (for me) so that should make it even(ish). Of course I have a long list of gift knits to do this year as well. Not to mention Dulaan.

But here’s the thing, I’m working on my current projects like I’m going to win a prize when I’m done. This would be great if I had an enormous stash I need to whittle down, or if I was going to win a prize. But I don’t, and I won’t.

I’m going to slow down and enjoy this moment, right now, with my knitting. I was about to type that I’m going to cherish every stitch… but that’s a little flowery and stupid for my taste. I’m going to enjoy each stage of each project for what it is.

For example, Phoebe:
* Ribbing: Creates support, structure, holds everything together and clamps it down. Simple, powerful.
* Stockinette in the round: A tube! A beautiful perfect tube. Look at how even my tension is, I can even knit with my eyes closed
* Complicated twisted stitch pattern: Beautiful! Fun to watch, fun to do, zen, I can even talk to myself without guilt (purl, left twist, right twist, left twist, right twist, purl and so on)
* Saddle Shoulders: A new skill! I can’t wait to watch my sweater come together, front and back attached with a simple k2tog, 4 letters, one number, one sweater.
* Collar: The end! The closing bell, the finale, the fat lady sings. The. Best. Part.
* Grafting the underarms: Oh kitchener bliss… every time I successfully execute you, I feel like a magician.

So rather than performing each task eagerly awaiting the next, and eventually the finished sweater, I vow to perform each task for its own sake. Because I can. Because each part of this thing has a purpose in it’s making, not just in it’s wearing. Yes I will end up with a sweater, but more importantly I will end up with a sweater I have spent hours of quality time lovingly preparing, as opposed to rushing through to the end product.

I am not a sweatshop.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Tattoo Meme

So on Scout's blog she asked everyone to flash their tattoos. I have two and I don't have pictures of either.

The first one was a gift for my 18th birthday from my high school boyfriend it is the Japanese Kanji for "Strength". It is a tramp stamp... it's true, although I got it before everyone had started putting tattoos on their lower back, so I started it... really I did. Due to it's location on my lower back I can't really take a picture of it.

My second one is also in a non photographable location... it's on my hip and most swimsuits cover it... just to give you an idea of the location. it's a skull and crossbones which I got my junior year of college. The skull and crossbones is one of the symbols of my sorority, along with owls... but the skull & crossbones is way cooler than an owl, hehe.

So those are my two current ones... I'll probably get another one I'm just not inspired as to what/where yet. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

New Day New Yarn

I got some new yarn this weekend.

For example, I received my first Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club kit. The yarn is called Monsoon and is inspired by Oregon storms. It's super beautiful... very earthy, which I wouldn't think I would like, but I do.



















he purpley bits are really more gray... a very difficult color to capture... everytime I look at it think it's a different color. It is very close in color to a big, heavy, storm cloud... perfect really.

Here's the whole skein...




Awesome!

Also, my buddy Mia sent me six (I think) skeins of Encore to do some Dulaan knitting, along with three great patterns, some delicious candy (The PeanutButter things are already gone) and a really delish Jasmine candle. Mia's really thoughtful and awesome, I was so lucky to get her as my Knit Mitt Kit Swap Partner back in January.















Here's the yarn... it's a really pretty mixture of blue/white. I think I'm going to do a child's sweater with a matching hat for some special Mongolian child. I turned down some Avalanche yarn from Ryan because I think I have enough Dulaan knitting on my plate for now and I really don't want to disappoint anyone because my eyes are bigger than my stomach (or faster than my fingers, as with knitting)