Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Be In The Know

Not that anybody has wondered where I went, but if you're curious, I went over here.

Also I finally have my own site, dis-associated from Geocities, etc. It's here, and has links to my new blog, some photos, and my Ravelry and MySpace pages.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lolz - I haz them

*edit* I had a pic here, but it didn't fit right. Instead, go see it here.

This is Isis. My roommate took this pic and captioned it, and since it's cute, I thought I'd share it with y'all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yarn Delivery!!!

Came home to the delivery of my first ever (and surely not last) KnitPicks order! Say it with me now: "oooooooooohh!!!"

I got three balls of Felici in Mixed Berries

Four balls of Palette (two in Purple, two in Grass)

2 hanks of Gloss in Cosmos

and two balls of Shine Sport (one in Violet and one in Leapfrog)

I also got the first of my collection of KnitPicks Options interchangable needles - a 60" cable (two actually, I didn't realize they came in pairs) and a pair of US 4 nickle-plated tips.

I'm so excited! I can't wait to start using them. In fact - here I go!

Monday, June 9, 2008

To lace, or not to lace

I found myself, not long ago, enamored with Anne Hanson's Fiddlehead Scarf pattern. Not sure why, as I've never really been drawn to knitting lace. But this one called to me, and I answered. Or at least, tried.

I made my first trip to the Yarn Garden last Saturday and picked out some Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb (here it is in my Rav stash). The fine gauge was a little daunting, but I forged ahead and tried casting on that evening. Try as I might, I couldn't manage to loosen up. Ok, so maybe laceweight yarn is something I'll have to work on.

I really wanted to try out this pattern though. I couldn't get it out of my head! So I decided to improvise, a little, and cast on using some Mirasol Hacho and US 10's. The pattern as written is 9 repeats (or 10, I don't have it in front of me) wide, but I shortened it to just 3 repeats.

Here was my progress yesterday afternoon:

And by this evening I had this:

I did goof somehow. I was watching Brother Bear (GREAT movie!) and knitting at the same time. Beginner knitter + lace + distracting movie = OOPS! Click here to see it. Somehow I ended up knitting a wrong side row on a right side. It was at the end of a repeat anyway though, so I just knit another wrong side row (this time on the right wrong correct side) and started over with the first row of the pattern. It's character, right? :)

It's a great pattern though. It's working up so fast, and I can't wait to see it blocked.

Other fun thing this weekend, watching the Dock Dog Competition at Oaks Park.

I would love to do this with my dog, Malakai. He's not interested though.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Picture-less craft update

Tesserae Socks: Stalled. Actually, I'm not sure where they are. Probably in one of my yarn bins, but I can't access them at the moment. Last I worked on them, I was working on the heel flap.

Through Any (Blue) Window: Making very slow progress. I leave it at my desk to work on during my breaks and lunches, but it's slow-going. Since being busted for being online during work time, I've been trying to be good about using the internet on breaks only, which is cutting into crochet time. But, it isn't quite stalled.

Sunflower Purse: Stalled. It, too, is probably in my yarn bins. I'm shooting for finishing it by September. Truthfully, all I have left to do is crochet the "trellis" and sew on the outer lining, and find (or make) some handles for it.

So what AM I working on? Well, not much. Swatching, mostly. Just small things to keep my hands busy and practice the knitting skillz. I found my Knitting Stitch Bible, so I'm having fun playing with new stitch patterns.

I've added some yarn to my stash. I've become a bit of a yarn snob, but I've decided I'm ok with that. My favorite recent addition is some bulky black superfine Alpaca from Lavish Fibers. I also bought my first laceweight yarn, Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb. I was going to make the Fiddlehead Scarf with it, but it's causing me some major headaches so I'm going to re-evaluate that. I also ordered some sock yarn yesterday from KnitPicks (this in Purple and Grass, this in Cosmos, this in Mixed Berries, and this in Violet and Leapfrog), along with the beginning of my collection of KnitPicks Options circular needles (the 60" cable and size 4 nickle plated tips). I hope they're as great as I've read. I want to try my hand at two-at-a-time socks, both the toe-up and cuff-down versions.

Let's see, what else. I'm trying to keep my Ravelry notebook up to date with the new additions to my stash. I'm also building up my collection of bamboo needles. I bought some fabric that I want to use for a needle case specifically for the bamboo needles, and since I couldn't find a pattern online for exactly what I wanted, of course I'm making it up myself. I've got a schematic-type-thingy drawn up with measurements, so I hope to start work on that tonight or tomorrow. Malakai ate some of my bamboo DPNs the other day so I need a too-big-to-eat place to keep them all organized.

Speaking of Malakai, check out this video of him and my roommate's dog, Isha, finally playing together after a week and a half of nothing but barking at each other. (Oh wait, I can't get to YouTube from work. Well, do a search for "Malakai & Isha" and you should find it. If I remember, I'll update when I get home) **Ok here's the link**

Upcoming projects! I've decided to make the Shifty sock with my Knitters Without Borders skein of STR. I only have one skein of it, so I'll have to buy more and hope that the lots are close enough in color to pass. Other than that, I think I'm going to stick with small things, stash busters especially, until I can do some sorting out of my stash. Yarn snob that I'm becoming, I'm thinking of giving most of it away on Freecycle.

I finally started a notebook for my patterns, rather than having the pages scattered about willy-nilly. I'm also hoping to change my yarn storage method from the giant purple Rubbermaid bins to the sleeker, see-through, stackable Sterilite drawers.

I just realized I forgot to blog about my trip to LA. But that has pictures, so it'll have to be later. Look for it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Food P0rn

Something I made several weeks ago that sat on my camera til now. Bay scallops and asparagus in a citrus sauce with lots of fresh ground pepper.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Looking downhill at 30

Last Friday was my 27th birthday. My mom, who works (or worked, since she's changing jobs) on the same team as I do, brought in a cake for me. I love how the flowers look like hibiscus.

That night we went to Joe's Crab Shack for buckets o' crab and trash cans o' booze.

Carol and Sue, long-time friends of my mom

Linda (my new roommate) and Shylent (my old roommate)

Amanda and Ben, both a little incognito

Me and my mommy :)

Some of the Mags (Mag 7, who aren't really 7 anymore) - it really touched me that they came because they were "Annie's friends" at first.

My dear friend Sarah, who has known me for 20 years. Yikes!

At Joe's, they don't just sing happy birthday. They make you dress up like a total dweeb and do really embarrassing things. Much tequila was necessary for this, where I had to wear a crown and big goofy sun glasses and bang together two lids and make a full run through the restaurant while they sang.

And the best part is that my friends A) really know me and B) really love me. They bought me a bottle of Patron!!

Much birthday happiness.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Updates, updates everywhere, but not a stitch of knit.

Busy week. Well, week plus.

On April 25th, my roommates and I applied for an apartment. We got the official Yes on the 29th, and picked up keys and started moving on the 3rd. I am not good at planning ahead, and even worse at packing, so on Saturday morning there was still a lot to do. Most of my usual moving crew was unavailable, so for most of the day it was just one of my roommates, Shylent, and my sometimes-step-dad to help. By the afternoon, Todd and Angie of The Bridge came over and finished moving the last of the furniture (except the washer and dryer, which we forgot). We didn't get to bed til about midnight Saturday night, but we were (mostly, we thought) moved. Except for the washer and dryer which we realized we forgot about 20 minutes after everyone left.

Sunday morning, my grandmother took Mom and I out for brunch at Salty's to celebrate our birthdays (Mom's was the 2nd, mine is the 16th) and, I decided, Mother's Day. After a hard day of moving, there is something to be said for all-you-can-eat Crab (King and Dungeness), peel & eat prawns, and much other fresh seafood. The bottomless Mimosas weren't so bad either. When I got home it was time to go to work on the old apartment again, getting things ready for the GotJunk? guys to come get what was left, and for my dad to come help move the washer & dryer to store at my grandmother's for when we move again. We realized there was a lot of stuff that hadn't been taken to the new place on Saturday, but should have. But we got it all moved eventually. I decided, given that I knew I wouldn't get my deposit back anyway, I wasn't going to go out of my way to clean. That took a lot of the stress off.

So, now it's Wednesday and I've only unpacked one box. I'm going to have to try to do laundry tonight because I'm out of clothes for work. There's barely enough floor space for my twin bed (I miss my queen, but I gave it to the roommates since there's two of them and only one of me). On the plus side, all the animals seem to be settling in really well, and today Comcast came to hook up our TV and Internet (we've been without both, and it's killing us). Plus our dog, Malakai, has had a total attitude turn-around. The new place, being new and all, is clean enough (as far as no stray garbage/junk/socks/etc on the floor) that he can be out of his kennel without fear that he's going to eat something he shouldn't, so he's out all the time unless nobody is home. He's not getting into things, not having accidents on the floor, and not chasing the cats as much as he used to. Plus, not having two flights of stairs, he's getting walked more often too. We're all pretty happy.

More crafting soon, I promise. Everything is packed except for the Through Any Window Baby Blanket (blog/ravelry), which I keep at work. The next co-worker giving birth is having her shower on the 21st, so I've got to get moving on her gift too. Plus pregnant co-worker #3 was supposed to find out today if she's expecting a boy or a girl, and pregnant co-worker #4 just found out within the past few days she's expecting. Much baby crochet/knitting on the way.

Oh one more thing! I'm a licensed driver!!! I took my driver's test today and passed (with 75%, but it was nit-picky stuff that I almost argued with the test-giver about - like when I was doing 28 in what he said was a school zone, but the sign said "20 when lights are flashing" and the lights weren't flashing). Anyways I passed, so I'm driving again, which is nice. And no panic attacks, which is also nice.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life Update

Sorry, no knitting/crochet here. Maybe later.

I've found a place to live - an important thing to have by most people's standards. It's lower level (only 2 stairs), and allows both cats and dogs. It's more than what we were paying before, by about $50, but I think we'll be ok. Plus it's only 2 blocks from where we are now, so it's still not too out of the way for my mom and I to carpool to and from work. I was worried about how I would come up with the deposits to move, but I have been blessed by many people who have helped out and I'm pretty sure it's all under control now.

My roommate, Shylent, came back from California with his girlfriend, Linda, in tow. She was going to just visit, but now it looks like she's staying, which is good. That also means that he is staying, so I'll have roommates after all (this is good, and bad). If When Linda finds a job, things will get even easier for all of us (2.5 incomes is better than 1.5). She has even expressed the desire to find things she can do to contribute until she gets working, which is a nice change of pace from previous living arrangements.

I forgot to post a while back about our my car. Annie and I bought a Jeep Cherokee back in January of 2007. We were I was paying way too much for it (payments over $300/month) and the interest rate was insane (33%) but it was a reliable vehicle. When Annie vacated the relationship, the plan was that she continue to drive it - and carry the insurance on it - until I got my license again. When her move to Florida got moved up, we had to make some quick decisions. I couldn't afford to make the payments on it. Thankfully, the company that held the title was willing to work with us me and lowered my payment to $200 and my interest rate to 15%. It's only til the end of the year, but it gives me time to work out the finances.

On a similar topic, I have made the first step to becoming a licensed driver again! Last Saturday I went in and took the knowledge test to get my permit (passed with 82%) and have been doing most of the driving since then when Mom and I are together. I can also drive with Linda in the car, since she's licensed in California. I've got to get the insurance thing figured out on the Jeep, since it was previously in Annie's name only, but that shouldn't be too rough (I hope). Re-learning to drive hasn't been nearly as scary as I thought it would, and I'm looking forward to the freedom it will bring.

So, life is finally starting to settle down. Hopefully that will mean more time for the important things like knitting (those two hanks of STR are still taunting me from their ziploc baggies). Thanks for all your positive thoughts during this time - keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Harlot Wrap-Up & Scavenger Fun


Besides the stitch I still have in my side, and the screaming muscle pain in my hip and back, yesterday was pretty fabulous.

Let's go back to Saturday though.

This is... well ok, I didn't get her name. She was volunteering at the Cully Neighborhood Cleanup, though, and I got her to hold my sock. She got a kick out of what I was doing.

So, yesterday. Turned out my dad had the morning off, so he was nice enough to drive me out to Scappoose and back to get my "At the Scappoose Post Office held by a postal employee" picture.
Apparently I was the first person to get out there because she was really confused at first. But I warned her of the approaching hoards. The weirdest thing about the SPO is that the building appears to also hold the offices of a psychiatrist. Not sure if that's for the benefit of the postal employees, or just a unique use of federal building space. Hmmmmmmmmm.

When Dad and I got back into town, he drove me around to a few of the non-downtown pictures I needed to get. First, East County Recycling, which is apparently now known as Environmentally Concious Recycling.
Seems a bit redundant, but good on them for getting the point across.

Next was this Horse Ring Project shot.

There were three right in a row on this street, but this one had the prettiest attachment to the street.

Finally the Joan of Ark statue which, contrary to what was on the Scavenger Hunt checklist, is NOT in Laurelhurst Park. It's down the street. But you get the idea.

The statue is at the center of a very busy roundabout, and rather than risk getting struck by inattentive motorists, I stuck to my own side of the street.

Oh he also brought me by work where my sock got to visit our photocopier and "My Boss" (who is actually my boss' boss, because MY boss was in a meeting.

I did get a photocopy of my sock as well, but alas no scanner to show you with.

So we headed back to my house where I picked up my friends/roommates Shylent and Linda, and we began our adventure by taking the Max to Lloyd Center. I stopped to get "In any of Portland's many parks with visible signage."

Although Holladay Park is not one of the most senic, it was on the way. I should have also used the opportunity to get "At the bottom of any large tree" but I intended to get that one Downtown in the Park Blocks.

This is the Made in Oregon Store at Lloyd Center, and one of the employees. She gave me a funny look, but she was a good sport.

I also got a sign in multiple languages back at the Max station.

Next it was down to the Convention Center to get the MLK statue and a building mural.

And we timed it well because another Max came as soon as we got the building mural.

Next stop was Skidmore Fountain where I got the fountain and a Benson Bubbler in one stop.

Then we walked up to Voodoo Donuts for what was by far the dirtiest-in-a-good-way picture I got.

Much Donut Awesomeness.

We walked up the street to get the Chinatown Gate

Then hopped on a bus to get lunch and more pictures.

At a red light I got the bus driver - very puzzled - to pose for me

Lunch was at Ringlers

And if you've never had a McMenamins Ruby Ale, you're seriously missing out.

So, at lunch, I thought I'd take the opportunity to count up my pictures and points so far, and re-evaluate what we had left to do. I opened up my purse to get out the ziploc bag with my checklist and My First Sock (which I brought to show the Harlot) and it was gone. I had everything else - current sock-in-progress, camera, wallet, pen, etc - but no First Sock and no checklist. 'Scuse me, another beer please!

So the next stop was to find a Kinkos so I could print out a new checklist. My sock was gone, but I'd have to try not to dwell on that. We headed back to central downtown, stopping at a Stumptown to get the Stumptown Rooster (you can see it, barely, up at the top center in the dark)
and I realized - it was 2:37 already! I was supposed to meet with Phil Margolin at 3, and I didn't even have half of my pictures yet! And did I mention that it started to rain right after lunch? So here I am in this swanky author/lawyer's office, a drowned rat, face red as a radish from all the walking. He, too, was a good sport though :)

Outside his building was another multi-language sign

On the way to Kinkos to get my checklist, Linda and Shylent wanted to stop and we had passed Buffalo Wild Wings so I left them there, got my list, and then joined them. The bartender was a (very nice looking) non-knitter so I introduced her to my sock.
She didn't charge me for my iced tea either. And I made Shylent, also a non-knitter, hold my sock for that point.

We walked back up to Pioneer Square and on the way shot the Animals in Pools fountains

And then three in one place, the Weather Machine, the Allow Me statue (love how Shylent posed) and a street vendor.

Those Mexican guys backed away slowly once they saw I had my camera out!

We caught the Max one stop up to the parking structure at 10th & Yamhill and took the elevator to what we thought was the top floor. Turns out there's a very top floor that you can only get to via stairs, so I made Shylent go up and get that picture.

Across the street we got the Windup Toy Station at Finnegan's and the nice guy that was in charge back there.

By that time, Shylent and Linda were ready to head home. So was I, actually, but I wasn't going to give up! Walking back to the Max I ran into my friend Ken, founder of HomePDX. Hadn't seen him for a long time, so it was a pleasant surprise. While waiting for the train I saw some folks with handmade-looking felted bags and wondered to myself if they were headed the same place I was. Sure enough! So I got points for "On the Max on your way to the signing with fellow knitters."

When I thought about my day, I forgot that it would be rush hour time on the train, standing room only. Ugh. Enough standing. Srsly. Then when I got to the Washington Park/Zoo/World Forestry Center station, go figure, the elevator at the WFC-end of the station wasn't working. More walking. In the rain. Uphill. Did I mention the rain?

Finally got to the WFC, bought my book and my one skein of Socks that Rock in the Knitters Without Borders colorway, and got settled.

Ahh, seated, relaxing, knitting time. I got into The Zone and when I finally looked around this is what I saw.
Knitters. Everywhere. I'll bet there weren't more than 20 people in the whole place that weren't knitting. It was awesome. Much yarn fondeling, project comparing, etc. Lovely-ness.
*And yes, that woman on the left is the same woman who held my sock on the train

The first thing they did was points for the Scavenger Hunt. Everyone around me was rooting for me, but I ended up being the last person who DIDN'T get a prize. The cutoff was 65 and I had 62, thanks to all the time it took to hunt down a new checklist.

I took some really bad, blurry, unflattering pictures of Stephanie, but you don't get to see those. But you do get to see Duffy
singing "My Travelin' Sock" to the tune of "Little Deuce Coupe" - ROCK ON!

I stuck around to have my book signed and was one of the last people in line. When I got up to her, I told her about my Sad Sock Story and that I would have had probably 70 points if I hadn't had to track down a new checklist, and everyone felt sorry for me and they let me pick a skein from the prize bucket anyway :)

I was so ready to go home. I laughed so hard and my body was so worn out that I barely made it out to the car when Ben picked me up. Oh Thank God for Ben!

This was the best part. "I'll hold yours if you hold mine!"
I gotta say, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is one fabulous woman/writer/knitter/human being.