January 31, 2011

Book #9 in my 50 Book Challenge...

Farnham's Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein. Great book! Love it. Different then any other post apocalypse book I've ever read.

January 30, 2011

Book #8 of the 50 Book Challenge...

A Canticle for Leibowitz...1 out of 5 stars. I couldn't finish it. It's heralded at a classic but it wasn't good. I gave up after reading 2/3 of the story or more. I just couldn't push myself to continue to read something that I really wasn't enjoying, that's not what reading is about. But I gave it my best shot.

January 29, 2011

Book #7 in my 50 Book Challenge...

The Postman by David Brin. This is one of the few post apocalyptic books that I've run across that isn't focused on California if they're focused on the west coast. Interesting look at what's going to happen to Oregon. I really enjoyed this book but it's not like the movie at all. I kept waiting for Gordon Krantz to challenge The Rule of 8 and it turns out that Nathan Holn is dead! He's not running the Holnists and there are soldiers that have been give implants to make them super strong like The Million Dollar Man!
Again I say not at all like the movie but I still enjoyed it.

January 28, 2011

Winter means a lot of things to me but one of my favorite is getting bags full of Mandarin oranges from my grandmothers tree. They're not perfect like the ones you get in the grocery store but they are so sweet your mouth will water just thinking about them.
Wrinkly orange skin...

I can almost smell the citrus smell...

My favorite part of winter.
And how cute is my tea up?! My sister-in-law made it for me in her pottery class a few years ago. I love the blue-grey glaze.

January 27, 2011

Book #6 in my 50 Book Challenge...

When the Wind Blow by Raymond Briggs is a comic style book. Pretty sure that I read it in about 15 mins. Still I enjoyed it but I find that I get distracted by the pictures and keep looking ahead and missing out on the story. 3 out of 5 stars. Very quick read.

January 26, 2011

I've never knitted with Lorna's Laces Yarn but I love looking at them. They are truly beautiful color combinations but that's not what this is about. I love them for the names they give the colorways...
Turtle Rodeo


Robot Overlord

And last but not least...Zombie BBQ.

How can you not love those name?! And I have to admit that I have the worst urge to knit something in Zombie BBQ.

January 25, 2011

Things have gotten a bit crazy lately at work and apparently its sent me into survivalist mode. I'm squirreling away food like a crazy person.

I haven't been eating my afternoon snack at work, so I just toss them into my desk drawer. I hadn't really noticed it until I opened my desk drawer to get out my staple puller and there were 5 granola bars and a bag of microwave pop corn.

I guess I'm afraid of getting stuck at work with nothing to eat...it's happened but I never starve to death. Guess I'm prepared for over time now!

January 24, 2011

Well...Adiez is done and I'm not happy. It's too small! It looks too small, it's so tight I can barely get into the dang thing and I'm so disappointed. I'm hoping that it might fit my older sister. She's smaller then me.
The back. You can see that in putting it on I blew out the seam on the right seam on my shoulder. I like the length.

The front...I look like 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack. It looks terrible. And the sleeves! I added 1/2 inch to sleeves because I have monkey arms and they're still too short and too tight. I just don't get it. My arms are so skinny that I'm often compared to Olive Oil from Popeye! Yet, still...too short & too tight. Sigh.

I would remake this in a larger size again but not right away. I'll put it back into my queue on Ravelry and see if I get back around to it. However, despite the tragedy that Aidez turned out to be (tragedy might be a bit strong...maybe, maybe not), it did do one thing for me. It got me to retake my measurements. All this time I've been making 36's because that's the size I thought, for reasons unknown since I don't recall measuring, I was. But it turns out that my chest size is 38, not 36. Suddenly I'm much bustier then I was before! Score! lol Anyway, now I know and hopefully this won't happen again to me.

January 23, 2011

I like the outdoors but I'm also not the type of girl that loves hunting...fishing yes, but hunting no. So when Hubbs asked if I wanted to go to the International Sportsman's Expo yesterday I was hesitant. These things are always crowded and either too hot or too cold. I just don't have fun but being that Hubbs goes to all kinds of knitting and quilting things that I'm sure he doesn't want to go to, I figured that it would be nice if I went with him.

So we went and guess what? I'm the only one who bought anything! I picked up two cards of antler buttons for only $2 each! Cheap! And beautiful too.

The small ones are just a bit over 1/2" wide and the large ones are just slightly larger then 1 & 1/4" wide.

The Small ones

The larger ones have nice sheen to them.
I like the texture of them, bony and irregular but beautiful.

January 22, 2011

Tragedy has struck my Vintage Knee Socks. I stupidly tossed them into the washing machine along with all my other hand knit socks forgetting that these were not made with super wash wool. Felted, they felted...I almost cried when I realized what happened.

Before...up to my knee

After...mid-calf and a bit tight at that.

The design is almost completely lost due to the felting.

However the heels are extra sturdy now, so that's a plus.
However I can still get them on and they are wearable, so it's not a total loss. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. I've never accidentally felted a hand knit before so I guess I was due.

They're so still pretty. I think they're going to be "going to the snow" socks now that they're felted.

January 21, 2011

Wouldn't you know it, my yarn for Larch showed up in yesterdays mail. I didn't cast on for it because I'm working on the Lacy Leaf Satchel and I haven't seamed up Aidez yet. Those two along with my Central Park Hoodie (that I haven't worked on in a really long time and only needs the sleeves re-knit) make three WIPs. I know that I said 4 was my max WIPs but I just don't want to start another one right now. I need to seam up Aidez (will only take maybe two evenings) and I want to finish Lacy Leaf Satchel before I start on Larch. I just know that if I don't finish that satchel, I will get totally side tracked by Larch because it's mostly stockinette stitch which makes for a simple knit.

Lacy Leaf requires a bit more attention. And I already bought all the necessary notions to complete the bag except for the handles. I will need to order those on line since no where local has them. Since I chose a red colorway, I'm thinking black handles might be the way to go even though I love the walnut colors that I've seen, black will just go better with the red.

I finished the first lacy leaf side panel and am blocking it to see how it looks. My gauge is a bit off. The pattern says to wet block it to indicated measurements but I don't see where it says what the measurements are in the pattern. So I blocked it to the finished size. Pattern says finished size is 13" wide at the top, 18" wide at the bottom and 11" high. Mine came out as 15" wide at the top, 18" wide at the bottom and just a bit more then 11" high. But the yarn did block out nicely which was my main concern with Bamboo Ewe. I'm used to working with 100% wool yarns most of the time and they block differently then something with acrylic. But the bamboo looks really nice.

I don't think I'll be using Lacy Leaf Satchel for a purse. I need a bag that zips closed at at the top and can be tossed over my shoulder for every day use. My worst fear is someone reaching into my bag and taking my wallet out without me noticing. But Lacy Leaf Satchel will make a fantastic knitting bag. Right now I'm using a tote that I made some time ago. I don't really take my projects many places but I do keep it on the couch so all my things are together and the dogs and cat stay out of it (kitty especially has a taste for yarn). I can't wait for it to be done.

January 20, 2011

My yarn for Larch didn't show up over the long weekend. For some reason USPS sent my yarn from Reno all the way to The Bay Area for sorting instead of sending it to Sacramento. Some times I just don't get why the postal services does the things it does. Hopefully I'll get it this week.

Aidez is pretty much done. The sleeves are blocking and as soon as they're done, I'll be ready to seam it up and wear it. But since I can't go 20 min's without something to knit, I started going through my back issues of Interweave Knits. I found this really cute satchel in the Summer 2010 issue that I remember wanting to knit but not really having the time to do it. The pattern is called Lacy Leaf Satchel by Pam Powers.

© Pam Powers

© Pam Powers

© Pam Powers
Seriously, how cute is that bag? The pattern calls for Worsted weight yarn. I didn't feel like making a trip to my LYS so I headed to Jo-Anns Fabrics to look at their yarn. I picked out an Aran weight yarn by Debbie Stoller. I got 6 skeins of Bamboo Ewe in the Lipstick colorway. It's 55% Bamboo and 45% Wool...let me tell you, this stuff is so soft. It's a smidge splitty but it's softness makes it worth it.
Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller, Bamboo Ewe in Lipstick

I haven't blocked it yet so I'm a bit concerned on how it's going to block out. The last time I used a Bamboo yarn it was 75% acrylic and 25% bamboo. It blocked beautiful so I'm hoping this will be the same.

The only problem I'm having with the pattern is that it says "Block to indicated measurements" but I can't find those measurements anywhere. After looking at all the other project pages on Ravelry for this bag, it doesn't seem that anyone else is having the problem. I guess I'm just going to have to wing it and hope for the best. I have almost finished one of the leaf side panels. As soon as it's done, I'm going to block it just to see how it comes out.

January 19, 2011

I've been wanting a new vacuum for some time. My vacuum is over 10 years old, smells bad, doesn't always suck up what it should and is so noisy that if I run it for any real amount of time I always end up with a migraine. Basically, she's old and she don't suck much anymore.

I'd been looking at the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser at Costco for a while but hesitated to buy it because it was $150. But we bit the bullet last week and bought one.
Let me tell you how much I've been loving this vacuum. It does great on carpets. I was totally shocked at how much dirt it brought up. I had vacuumed with the old vacuum two days before we bought the new one but the Bissell brought up so much dirt that the old one missed I was a little grossed out.

The best part is that the vacuum pops apart and you can carry it around and use it like a canister vac. Since we have a lot of hard wood (and a lot of dog hair) this feature is so great. The upright has a bare floor feature but you can't get in to corners really good with it but you can when you use it like a canister vac. It came with a bare floor attachment and it works great.

I think I've vacuumed more since I got the new vacuum then I have in the last year! Joking but really...it's such a joy to use, I vacuum just about every other day. My house has never been cleaner.

It's not on my list of goals for the year but I've been working on doing some small chores around the house everyday to help keep it cleaner longer. Sometimes it gets to the point around here that if someone stopped by unexpectedly, I'd be embarrassed to have them in the house...and I hate that feeling. So far I've been doing great. I'm keeping a journal of what I do everyday so I feel like I've accomplished something. I also write it in my date book so I'm not accidentally doing the same thing two days in a row. So far it's working pretty good. I've done something almost every day and the house is pretty clean. I also don't have to spend one whole day of my weekend cleaning anymore.

January 18, 2011

Book #5 in my 50 Book Challenge...

I finished Monster Nation (Zombies #2) by David Wellington. Very interesting book. This time instead of a human being the center of the book it was a zombie. 4 stars out of 5 on this one. I'm sure I'll read the next book in the series.

January 17, 2011

Book #4 in the 50 Book Challenge...
I finished Blindness by Jose' Saramago last week. I really enjoyed the story but the style it was written in made it really hard to read. It has lots of run on sentences, no quotation marks for when a person is speaking, & doesn't always identify the speaker. Not sure I'll read anything else by this author.

January 16, 2011

Aidez has been coming a long very quickly. The Cascade Eco + is a bulky yarn so it knits up quickly, which is a good thing since Aidez is so beautiful that I can't wait to wear it. I finished the back already and have almost finished the fronts too. I'm working the fronts two at a time because it makes reversing the shaping easier for me.

Some patterns will have it written out how to do the shaping for both the left and right front, but Aidez just says, "Work to correspond to left front, reversing all shaping and placement of pat sts. Bind off for armholes on WS rows. Work armhole decs at end of RS rows as SSK, k2." for the right front. I find it easier to reverse the shaping when I'm working it two at a time. That way I know exactly when to do the shaping so that both fronts come out the same. Not to mention that they both will be the exact same length.

Hubbs has gone out of town on a "boys only" off-road retreat kinda thing for the next couple of days. I have the house to myself so I'm planning on finishing Aidez while he's gone. Of course being this close to finishing a project means that I have to plan for the next one. And true to my nature, I was already planning the next one before I started on Aidez.

I chose Larch Cardigan by Amy Christoffers for my next project. I am so in love with this sweater.

by savoryknitting Flickr

by savoryknitting Flickr

The pattern calls for Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. I hardly ever use the yarn that the pattern calls for. 99% of the time, I make a substitution based on what other people have used for their project or I check the weight of the called for yarn and go from there. Since I order most of my yarn on-line instead of my local yarn shop, I don't shop by feel much. However, I did make a stop at my LYS last week to feel yarn for this project and I loved the Ultra Alpaca Light. Being me, I like a good deal, so I went home and did some price shopping. I had a credit with Jimmy Beans Wool and a coupon for free shipping, which made it much cheaper then I could get at my LYS. It was cheaper to begin with but with shipping it would have been about the same. So I ordered 11 skeins in Candied Yam colorway.

Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in Candied Yam

It's so orange-y and tasty looking! I can't wait for it to arrive. I'm so hoping that it gets here before I finish Aidez. Or maybe not. If it doesn't arrive I can head back to my LYS and pick up something for a small project to work on in the mean time! Now I must go plan for that possibility! Yay!

January 15, 2011

Since Girl Friday is done and I can't seem to force myself to work on my one remaining WIP, I swatched for Aidez.

I had my Cascade Eco + that I ordered from Jimmy Beans Wool, so I got out my needles and got to swatching. The pattern calls for US 10 1/2 needles, so I figured I start there for a gauge swatch. Gauge is 15 sts = 4". I got 15 sts = 4". So I figure, I'm in business.

I had read somewhere that the Cascade Eco + was itchy but I'm not finding that to be true at all. It's soft and easy to work with. And I freaking love the color. When it first arrived I thought I had chosen wrong but when I saw it in natural light, it is the most beautiful color of deep blue. I love it.

January 14, 2011

Making her Internet debut...Girl Friday!

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (Worsted) in Red (11 skeins)
Needles: US 8
Size 37
Started: 11/27/10
Finished: 01/08/11
Mods: Added an additional 1/2" to sleeves. I have monkey arms so I need a longer length.
This sweater blocked up so nicely. It was a very easy pattern, not much shaping. Easy to memorize charts. All over, this was a fun knit.

January 13, 2011


This is honestly, the funniest book I've read in a really long time. It's got a great cast of intresting characters and a very funny plot. Zombies at Christmas? Who could want more. Great book! Totally unexpected.

January 12, 2011

Finished book #3 in my 50 book challenge...
The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau. Good story! Love the lead character, Lina. It's nice to see a young woman taking the lead in her community and trying to make life better for everyone. Great story and highly recommended to young adult readers.

January 11, 2011

The new Winter/Spring 2011 preview of Knitscene has been up for a few days now. Previews of magazines that I don't have a subscription to are so awesome. I love being able to decided before it hits the news stand whether or not I actually want the magazine. Otherwise I end up spending a day searching all over creation to find it, only to discover that I don't want it.

Here's my favorites:
G├╝rtel Cardigan by Tonia Barry

Chiton Pullover by Melissa Wehrle
Love the draped neckline.

Love the side detail - So cute!

Camellia Shrug by Cassie Miller
I'm not really a shrug wearer - but it might be a fun challenge to make this into a pullover with the detail on the back only. Also, the color is fabulous.

Love the detail on the sleeve

Bandha Hoodie by Christa Giles
Love the belt detail and the lace hoodie.

January 10, 2011

Obviously, I'm obsessed with Ravelry. That pretty much goes without saying. But lately, I've become obsessed with Jimmy Beans Wool.

They have this fun little thing called Wool Watcher. They put a limited amount of a specific wool on sale at fantastic prices for a limited amount of time or until it sells out. So far almost every thing I've seen on sale has been almost 50% off. I haven't bought anything yet but I'm totally obsessed with checking the site to see what is on sale. It's the first thing I look at in the morning and I always check it about 50 times during the day. It's so fun to see what they put on sale and there have been a number of things that I have been so tempted to buy.

If you haven't checked out Wool Watchers yet, you should! It's so fun!

January 9, 2011

Finished The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham...

Interesting concept...3 out of 5 stars. I liked it but I didn't love it. Comets and man eating plants that walk...decent enough to finish in only 2 days.