October 31, 2010

What a lazy Sunday. We enjoyed a very sunny Sunday in which we did almost nothing. We did some grocery shopping and that's about it. Hubbs cooked dinner (a Paula Dean recipe that he got off the Internet) and it turned out really good.

Hubbs is so proud.
Taste dish of chopped chicken, mixed veggies, a few other things with a biscuit topping. It was really good.

Earlier in the day, we discovered that we had a visitor on the back patio. Rex, being the unsocial dog that he is, wasn't really happy about it. Too bad the visitor, or maybe luckily, the visitor was up too high on the wall for him to get.
On Point

Our visiting praying mantis. Finally a green one. Normally we get lots of brown ones but since we've had some rain everything is starting to green up and I guess that includes the Mantis.

He was so cool. When we'd talk he'd turn his head to look at you. Neatest bug ever!

October 29, 2010

Is it just me or does this bag look like it has a bad attitude?

I'm in the process of obsessing over my need for a new knitting bag and I keep running across the Zuma Bag from Namaste. Every time I see it, it looks like it's frowning at me, frowning in disapproval. I'm sorry that Zuma doesn't approve but I can't help it. I love to browse knitting bags. And I do need a new one.

But I'm lusting after this one:

The Jordana Paige "Rio" in Olive. Oh how I want this bag. I've been thinking about it for two years. I asked for it for Christmas last year but then decided that it cost too much. But I still love this bag. I want it, I think about, I do dirty things to it with my eyes. I just adore it. And I know for sure that if I get any money for Christmas I'm getting this bag.

October 28, 2010

The one in which wild life wanders through...

After a weird/bad day at work, I walk out of the building and see about 20 wild turkeys crossing the parking lot. I'd seen one or two before, real early in the morning but never this many. They were calling to each each in the high pitch chirp. It was really neat. I stopped in my tracks and grabbed my camera from my purse.

Big Tom with his lady friend.

Suddenly the whole flock started running and these two were trying to catch up. I was so close, I could see the blue on the tom's head.

Another lady trying to catch up to the flock. I think girl turkeys are called hens but I'm not sure.

Sacramento is such a weird city. It's the center of state government in California. It's a hustling city but at the same time, the highway is full of hay trucks and cattle trucks. You get held up on the way to work by combines and tractors. Wild turkeys run through the parking lot of your office building. It's a weird place...and I love it.

October 25, 2010

What a wet and stormy weekend! We had lots of rain and high winds, not the first storm of year but it was enough to capture every ones attention around here. Normally our wet season doesn't really start until about February but it looks like after such a mild summer, it's going to start early this year. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. We NEED the water. All of the reservoirs are really low and have been for a few years now.
Hubbs is already looking for snow but I think it's a bit early for that. But I could see my breath this morning so you never know. I love fall weather, even if it's rainy. I love being cozy inside. I love sweaters and boots. I love walking through fallen leaves. I love seeing the deer move around more and the squirrels gathering food for the winter. I love fall.
Plus fall makes for great knitting weather...which is really the most important thing, right? Since it was rainy outside Hubbs and I didn't do too much. We went to the zoo on Friday, got Hubbs hair cut Saturday and stayed home all day on Sunday and watched it rain. I worked on my Vera sweater by Snowden Becker.
Pictures by Snowden Becker

Picture by Snowden Becker

I love, love, love this sweater. I finished both sleeves and got them attached to the body which is knitted in one piece (love seamless) but I'm having trouble with the arm hole shaping part of the pattern. I'm finding her directions at this point pretty hard to follow. I had to draw myself a little schematic in order to understand where to put the increases and the decreases. And the directions aren't real clear about the increases on the front that move the vine leaf panel over. I understand that you add them but I'm not sure if they are supposed to be knit stitches or purl stitches or what.
But despite the challenges that this pattern offers, I'm still trying. Yesterday I was seriously considering frogging this sweater and using the yarn for something else. I even went so far as to look at other patterns. But at this point, I'm going to keep going on it. I want to try and see this through. It doesn't seem like any of the other people that have made this pattern so far have had the troubles that I seem to be having. Maybe it's just me. But whatever the case, I'm going to keep working on it and see what happens.

October 22, 2010

The one in which I show off my finished Slouchy Cardigan at the zoo....

Pattern: Slouchy Cardigan by Helene Roux (Greetings from Knit Cafe)
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Moss Heather
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony Options
Mods: I used A Friend to Knit With's directions for the cap sleeves but other wise I pretty much followed the directions. I found the directions for the hood hard to follow but I managed to get it done. I would knit this again in a heart beat. It wasn't an exciting knit due to the all stockinette but it was nice to be able to watch tv or knit in the car.

But on a side note, The Folsom Zoo was awesome! I'd been begging Hubbs to take me to the zoo for while and we figured today would be a good day to go. They were predicting rain for today but it was nice and sunny this morning, so we took advantage.

Hubbs and Bambi. This deer kept following up us and down the fence line. We were able to pet it and I think it wanted to eat Hubbs face.

Of all the animals there I loved the deer the most. They were so pretty.

The tigers were so amazing. They look like huge house cats.
There were so many beautiful and amazing animals. I can't wait to go back again.

October 19, 2010

The one in which I talk about the weather...

Fall is for sure upon us here in Northern California. Its dark in the morning when I leave the house and after Sunday's rain, the air has been crisper.

The trees are changing color. There are beautiful reds, yellows and greens every where you look.

No frost yet, but it's headed that way. My friends, the 10 turkeys, are missing from their regular spot in this field.

But the sun rises are amazing.

The ground fog is so beautiful and romantic. Fall means sweater weather. Fall means falling leaves. Fall means unabashed knitting. I can't wait!

October 18, 2010

The one in which I went on the great yarn hunt of 2010...

Oh boy. I hate when I'm in the middle of project and it's rapidly coming together and then the unexpected happens...you run out of yarn. Oh jeez. Thursday evening I can see that my last remaining skein of Patons Classic Wool for my Slouchy Cardigan is not going to make it to the end of the project. There was just no way that I was going to get a hood out of it. I tried to decide if I wanted the hood at all, after I rarely will pull a hood up over my head.

After much thought, I decided that I did want the hood. So Friday after I got my hair done did, I stopped at the Jo-anns to see if they had any more of the Patons Classic Wool in Heathered Moss. Naturally, they were out. Not so much as one skein of a different dye lot. Errrrrr. I headed home without checking to see if Michael's had it because Hubbs was waiting for me to go to dinner.

After dinner I checked on line to see if Michael's even carried the stuff. I had heard that they had a small yarn department but since I don't normally shop there I didn't have a clue what they carried. According to their website, they carried it but colors vary from store to store. I called, they put me on hold for 15 min's and finally I hung up. I hate being on hold.

Saturday morning, I head off on what I started to call the great yarn hunt of 2010. All I needed was one lousy skein! Just one! I was willing to take a different dye lot, I wasn't being picky. It was for the hood, it wasn't like I was going to finish a half finished front with it or anything. I stopped in at my Jo-anns on the off chance that they stocked it last night or something but no, still no Heathered Moss. Ran across town to Michael's. They had Patons Classic Wool but again, no Heathered Moss.

And just like that I was out of local options for this yarn. Thankfully I'd had the foresight to print out directions to the next closest Jo-anns. It was at least 30 min's away but since I'd been there before (4 years ago) I had some idea of where it was. I find the right exit, I follow the map. The map says that my destination is on the left side of the street, so I'm in the left lane. The more I think about I remember it being on the right side of the street but Hubbs was driving that time so who knows how closely I was paying attention (wedding highs don't lead to having a great memory). As I cross Morse Avenue, I see the sign...it's on the right. The store is on the right...fawking google maps. No prob, I jam on the breaks, cut in behind a car that is already turning into the parking lot and whip in.

I felt like jumping out of my car, arms raised and yelling, "taaaadaaaaa!" But I exited the vehicle like an adult, meaning that I hopped out and tried my hardest to walk calmly across the lot. Once in the store I located the yarn section. Amazing! They have the yarn I need in the right color way! Woohoo! Score! Of course it's not the same dye lot but beggars can't be choosers. Now I have to decide, 1 skein or 2. I decide that one should do and all but skip to the register.

I dash home, slowing only to make a pit stop at Target where I discover that they have jeans in lengths but that's another story. I cast on and knit like a mad woman. The hood is coming along swimmingly. I knit and knit, all the while watching my one skein of yarn dwindle. By Saturday night it has become abundantly clear that I should have bought two skeins. Oh dear.

Sunday morning, now know at the Dropped Stitch Household as, "The Great Yarn Hunt 2.0." I head off, but at least this time I knew where to get the yarn. I zip there and back despite the rain. I knit madly for the rest of the morning and finish the Hood. While the hood is blocking, I clean out my knitting bag and discover that I had enough yarn in my bag all along. I could have easily finished the hood with the partial skein that was lurking under my Berroco Vintage. Ack! Wasted gas, wasted time. I hang my head in shame as Hubbs laughs at me.

My hood is currently blocking and in the mean time I've been working on seaming up the Slouchy Cardigan. I normally whip stitch projects together in stead of actually seaming them in the "proper" way. But I figured that I should challenge myself and learn to do something new. Turns out seaming isn't all that hard and I managed to seam the entire cardigan (fronts, sleeves and sides) in one evening. I'm still working on getting all the ends woven in but hopefully by the time I finish that the hood will be dry and I can get it seamed up and on the cardigan.

October 17, 2010

The one in which I done did got my hair done...

Hubbs suprised me and took me to get my hair done on Friday. I was a hair virgin. I'd never had my hair dyed or really styled. I had it all one length and had had it that way since at least my senior year of high school (we won't talk about how long ago that was).

Before from the front/side.


In foils

Oh my gosh! What a change for me! I look so different that I keep going back to the mirror to look again. You can see my eyes! The hard part is for me is going to be doing the maintance on it. I used to get my nails done every two weeks and had to give it up becuase I just couldn't sit there for the hour that it took to get it done. But chatting with Nancy is a pleasure. She and Hubbs grew up together and have know each other for years. It was so fun getting insight into what Hubbs was like when he was in high school and after getting to talk to Nancy I can see why they were friends. She was so warm and welcoming that I think I fell in love with her a bit! lol She was awesome.
So if you're in Sacramento and you want to have a great time while you get a cut and color, call Nancy at Sexys Salon.

October 14, 2010

More Finished Reading.

I finished reading Kate Mosse's Sepulchre yesterday. It's the second book in the Languedoc Trilogy, the first was Labyrinth that I finished last month. It seems to me that normally, the second book is never as good as the first book in a series. However, this book was better then the first. The first one I had a hard time getting going on but this one just grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I have to admit that since I was reading this at work, I did sneak in a few extra min's of reading time at the end of my breaks and a couple of days I was so into it I didn't notice that I had gone over my lunch period by more then 10 min's. Oops! But the story was really good and really engaging, especially at the end. I couldn't put it down and when I had to I spent a lot of my time wondering what was going to happen.

I started reading Dragonwell Dead by Laura Childs a while back when I ran out of library books. I've read other books int he Tea Shop Mystery Series before and really liked them. Theodosia Browning is an interesting character and the mysteries are not so complex that it's hard to understand but make for good no brainer reading. I want to finish this one up and I'm about 50 or so pages into it. They're not long books, averaging about 250 pages. But still fun reading.
I've requested (of course) more books from the library but they were closed yesterday for Staff Day and most of my books haven't arrived from other branches yet so in the mean time, I'm going to read Tea Shops Mysteries and try to finish my other library book, Gone South by Robert Cammon. I'm almost done and the story is getting good. Can't wait to see how it turns out.
Edited to Add: I'm number 399 on the hold list for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson. I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

October 5, 2010

Because I'm completely neurotic, after I finished my Butter Cream Jacket I had to find something to knit. I was trying to wait for yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool but I can't go one day without something thing to knit. I was literally driving myself crazy for a few hours on Sunday morning. I couldn't sit still and was fidgeting myself right off the couch.

When I headed off to go to Costco for a new dog bed I had no plans to stop and buy yarn but when I made the stop to pick up buttons for the Butter Cream Jacket I picked up some yarn. I can't be held responsible for my actions! Jo-Anns was having a sale on Patons Classic Wool!

(Image from Greetings from Knit Cafe)

I've been eyeballing the Slouchy Cardigan from Greetings from Knit Cafe by Susan Mischer for a while. It looks so comfortable for everyday wear. So I picked up 5 skeins of Patons Classic Wool in Moss Heather. I cast on for the back on Sunday and so far I'm enjoying it. It's a nice simple knit being that it's all stockinette.

I haven't cast on for Vera yet but I'm looking forward to working on this to break up the stockinette stitch of the Slouchy Cardigan. Now if only I didn't have to work and could just knit all day! Oh dare to dream!

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

October 4, 2010

First of all, thank you to Jimmy Beans Wool! I got my yarn today. It was in my mailbox when I got home and I love it! I ripped open the package and the yarn is a fantastic purple and it's so soft! I love it!
Berroco Vintage in Sloe Berry

And second of all, how cute is their packaging?! I love the cartoon...and now if only I could get Hubbs to make dinner while I knit every night. Sounds like Heaven to me!
There was also a free pattern on the back of the package! Now who wouldn't want a free pattern!?!
Thanks again to all the fantastic ladies at Jimmy Beans Wool who helped me get exactly what I wanted and in time for my vacation. They are fantastic! Now all I have to do is wind up the hanks and get out my needles!

I finished my Butter Cream Jacket or as I call it, Coffee with Cream Jacket. I think it turned out really well. It fits really good in the body but the arms are a bit tight but still wearable.

I love the buttons. I knew I wanted a toggle button but found these at Jo-Anns instead. They toggle-esqe. I loved that they had holes big enough to use yarn to put them on instead of having to use thread.
Yarn: Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool in Brown Heather
Needles: US 5 & 6
Started: August 27, 2010
Finished: October 2, 2010
Mods: None, but if I were to knit this again I would make the sleeves slightly longer.

I ordered yarn last Tuesday from Jimmy Beans Wool to start a new sweater. I chose the pattern Vera by Snowden Becker. I waffled a lot on what yarn I wanted to use for it and finally decided to use Berroco Vintage in Sloe Berry, a purple-y color. So I ordered the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool and it turned out that they didn't have that color in stock and did I want to choose a different color. Hubbs and I are leaving for a mini vacation this Friday so I wanted to get the yarn right away because me on vacation with nothing to knit (even if I don't knit at all) is not a good idea. So I picked a different color and they didn't have that one in stock either. They sent me a list of what they did have in stock that would fill my order but I didn't really like any of the colors they had. I decided to wait and hope for the best for the Sloe Berry.
To make a long story short...not really...I got an e-mail on Friday from them that they shipped the Sloe Berry. Hopefully it will arrive in today's mail. Being that Jimmy Beans is in Reno and I'm in Sacramento, it doesn't take that long to get shipments from them. I have to give them tons of credit for trying to make my order happen in time for my trip. I've been to their brick and mortar store and I've ordered from them on line and they have always treated me really well.