February 28, 2011

I love Honey Cowl! This is a fabulous pattern and I haven't even finished it yet. The fabric created in this pattern and the MadelineTosh Tosh DK yarn has a fantastic drape and is so soft.

I'm using my new stitch markers that I got at Stitches West and they are really great. I like that the ring is non-snagging and has no splits in it to get hung up on anything...not to mention that hey are just pretty.

I'm glad I decided to take a break from all the stockinette stitch that is Larch and work on Honey Cowl. Plus we've been having some very strange weather and I want to be able to wear this before the weather changes to spring permanently. Last Friday they were calling for a chance of snow on the valley floor. We didn't get any snow but it did hail quite a bit. Today its short sleeve shirt weather. And Wednesday this week they're calling for rain again. I'd really like to finish the cowl by Wednesday so I can enjoy it for the rainy weather they are forecasting for.

February 27, 2011

I wound up my MadelineTosh, Tosh DK last night to start on my Honey Cowl. Let me tell you, wound up this stuff is even more beautiful then it was before I wound it. And it's so soft.

Stitch definition is really nice too and the cowl looks great...until I tried to try it on. To small. Gauge is right but I'm going to rip it out and cast on 160 stitches instead of the 110 that was originally called for. I think it would stretch enough to fit over my head but I think I want it to be a bit more drapey. I don't like anything tight around my neck.

February 26, 2011

Book #15 of the 50 Book Challenge...

Feed by Mira Grant

From MiraGrant.com:

In 2014, two experimental viruses—a genetically engineered flu strain designed by Dr. Alexander Kellis, intended to act as a cure for the common cold, and a cancer-killing strain of Marburg, known as "Marburg Amberlee"—escaped the lab and combined to form a single airborne pathogen that swept around the world in a matter of days. It cured cancer. It stopped a thousand cold and flu viruses in their tracks. It raised the dead. Millions died in the chaos that followed. The summer of 2014 was dubbed "The Rising," and only the lessons learned from a thousand zombie movies allowed mankind to survive. Even then, the world was changed forever. The mainstream media fell, Internet news acquired an undeniable new legitimacy, and the CDC rose to a new level of power. Set twenty years after the Rising, the Newsflesh trilogy follows a team of bloggers, led by Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they search for the brutal truths behind the infection. Danger, deceit, and betrayal lurk around every corner, as does the hardest question of them all: When will you rise?
2 out of 5 stars. This book was more about politics then zombies. It was OK.

February 25, 2011

Finished! This took me so long to read but I finished all (almost) 600 pages of it and it was great!

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

From the Goodread.com:

"This novel not only puts the cap on the most eagerly read trilogy in years; the sequel to The Girl Who Played With Fire marks the completion of its Swedish author's career: Stieg Larsson died at the age of fifty in 2004. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is, however, too exciting and too adept to be read simply as a major author's memorial. From its onset, with "avenging angel" protagonist Lisbeth Salander lying in intensive care, this fiction pulses forward. One British critic called it "intricately plotted, lavishly detailed but written with a breakneck pace and verve...a tantalizing double finale—first idyllic, then frenetic."

This was a really great book, 4 out of 5 stars.

February 24, 2011

I love getting new technology. Hubbs and I were finally eligible for upgrades on our cell phones and we went to the At&t store for iPhones and ended up buying the brand new HTC Inspire. It's pretty cool, all the latest gadgets. I love getting new toys.

February 23, 2011

Dogs...so patient, so cute.

February 22, 2011


Pattern: Roheline by Suvi Simola
Yarn: Fisherman's Wool By Lion Brand Yarn (2.25 skeins)
Needles: 6 US
Started: 02/02/2011
Finished: 02/16/2011
Mods: Made sleeves 3/4 inches longer then pattern calls for before reattaching to work yoke.

This was a very easy to follow pattern and an easy knit. I really enjoyed it.

February 21, 2011

In addition to going to Stitches on Friday we stopped at New Pieces Quilt Shop in Berkeley on our way home. I picked up a couple of yards of fabric for my dress for our friends wedding in June. I decided to go with the Butterick 4443 in the strapless.I found this green and cream piece that both my mom and I really like.

I'll need to get some cream fabric to use for the sash and the band across the top. I think I'm going to knit the Camellia Shrug from the latest copy of Knitscene to go with the dress. It'll be June but I get cool once the sun goes down.

I'm thinking of doing it in a cream to go with the cream flowers on the green fabric. I still need to get the pattern, get the cream fabric for the sash and band, get the fabric for the lining, get appropriate undergarments, notions for the dress and find the yarn and knit the shrug...that's a lot to do. The wedding is at the end of June so I have some time to get it done.
I think knitting the shrug is the least of the problems. Making the dress is going to present the biggest challenge. For one it's lined and second, because it's strapless, it really needs to fit right so I think I'd be smart to make a muslin before I start cutting my fabric. It's a bit intimidating but I think I can get it done as long as I don't get sidetracked. And truly, not getting sidetracked is some times the hardest part.

February 20, 2011

I got Roheline done in time for Stitches and let me tell you, this sweater was such a hit. People were grabbing my arm and stopping me as we walked around the market place to ask me about it. It's such a great feeling as a knitter to have your work noticed especially when you're surrounded by other knitters.

I'll get better pictures but here she is the night before I leave...so happy I finished it in time.

The highlight of going to Stitches for me was meet Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting podcast and blog fame. I love her so much, I was so excited. My mom made fun of me saying that it looked like I was meeting George Clooney or something! I was so excited. And she is so sweet.

She asked if I wanted to say something on the podcast and I chickened out and said no. But now I'm totally kicking myself. I should have done it. She was so sweet. Highlight of the show.

I picked up a copy of her Shawl Collard Cowl pattern. I've been coveting it for a long time and was thrilled that I could buy it directly from her. Mom picked up a copy of the Adult Spring Garden Tee pattern. I'm going to have to borrow it from her because I love that one too.

I picked up a single skein (I should have bought more) of The Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller in Kalmar colorway to knit my Gram a pair of socks for Mothers Day. My sister gave me a sock pattern book for Christmas and Gram had pointed out a couple of patterns that she would like to have made for her...I can take a hint.

The only thing I really wanted to buy was some fancy stitch markers while we were at the market place and I found these pink ones. They're from Miss Purl...very inexpensive and very cute. I was prepared to pay up to $20 for some nice markers but including the adorable bunny box..only $12! A steal. I should have bought more then one set. I might have to go to her Etsy shop and order an additional set.

I had a great time and I can't wait to go again. Actually I have to admit that I'm disappointed in myself. I didn't buy barely anything. I think I was too reserved in my spending...oh well now I have money for next year! lol

February 19, 2011

I'm on my way home today from my mom's. I'll try to have all my pictures posted and a full review of Stitches West for you this weekend. Suffice to say that I had a fantastic time and yarny goodness abounded!

More later!

February 18, 2011

We're off to Stitches today! So excited! I did finish my Roheline in time (barely) so I will get pictures of it as soon as I can. Let's just say that I had to take all the buttons off of it and put them back on again. About 75% of them ended up being too low for the button holes. That's never happened to me before and I had to pull them all off and replace them. I guess I shouldn't watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and sew on buttons. I think it turned my brain to mush. But I got it done and just in time too.

We'll be leaving my mom's house in the Napa Valley shortly and hope to be in Santa Clara in time for the Market Place to open this morning. Fingers crossed that it doesn't pour rain today like the forecast has been calling for. Either way, I can't wait! I'm so excited!

Hope your Friday is awesome too!

February 17, 2011

Today, I'm heading off to my mom's house. I'll be staying with her tonight, going to Stitches tomorrow and then spending the night again before heading back to Sacramento on Saturday morning.

I mentioned to my mom, who is a professional seamstress, that I'm going to be needing a dress for our friends wedding in June. So now in addition to going to Stitches on Friday, we're going to be making an additional stop on our way back at a quilt shop called New Pieces Quilt Store in Berkeley.

I think I've pretty much settled on this dress for the wedding.

Lotus Morning Glory by Amy Butler

I love Amy Butler fabric and New Pieces has lots of it. I'm hoping to find Lotus Morning Glory for this dress but if not, I'm sure that I'll find something else that I really like. This pattern only calls for 2 yards of fabric for the bodice and the skirt which is hardly anything.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to handle tomorrow...knitting and sewing fun in one day?! It might be too much!

February 16, 2011

This June Hubbs and I will be attending the wedding of one of our oldest friends. He and his finance are have an outdoor wedding at a winery in the foothills this June. It's four months away but I'm already thinking about what I'm going to wear.

Since it's going to be June a dress is tops on my list. Here's my top 5 pattern choices right now.

Vogue - V1088, design by Donna Karen
This one is a halter.

McCall's - M4769

Butterick - B5490

Butterick - B5029
Butterick - B4443
While I like the yellow version, I'm actually leaning toward the white version sleeveless with the black sash and trim.
I just don't know which one I want to pick!

February 15, 2011

Finally! The slow boat from Knit Picks arrived!
My replacement size 4 interchangables arrived! I thought they were never going to get here and I was really starting to get antsy. Roheline is almost done and I was really starting to need these needles. I'm working on the yoke for Roheline now and am hoping to have it finished before my mom and I go to Stitches West at the end of this week.

And if I finish Roheline in time for Stitches, I'm going to need to have a project to take with me while I'm at my moms. Even if I don't get to knit at all while I'm gone, not having something to work on in case I have a few minuets stresses me out. But that won't be a problem now since I'll have Larch with me.

I'm pretty excited about getting to go to Stitches this year. This is the third year in a row that my mom and I have tried to go. Two years ago we had plans to go but ended up not going because I was broke and my mom really had to get out to a yarn shop in Grass Valley because they had ordered some yarn for my grandmother and my mom needed to pick it up for her. Last year we had planned to go, bought tickets to the marketplace in advance and we were both really looking forward to it, but then my Great Aunt passed away and we had to leave for Alabama the same week that Stitches was being held so we missed it. I was hoping that I might get to swing into Stitches South when Hubbs and I drove from Atlanta back to California but we just didn't have the time. This is the year for Stitches West. I have the time off from work and unless there's an emergency, we will be there and I can't wait.

February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!
I reached in the cookie bag and this is what I pulled out, a heart shaped half of an animal cookie. I'm taking it as a sign of good things.
Hope your day is special!

February 13, 2011

My birthday was last week and Hubbs being the great guy that he is got me a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Black Velvet. It is so gorgeous in real life.

The colors are so beautiful and they are going to look awesome with...

My purple snow jacket. I'd been wanting to make a cowl to go with this for a while but I hadn't been able to find anything I really liked until I saw...

Honey Cowl by Madelinetosh. Love this cowl and it's a free pattern! I love free patterns and this pattern is going to be a very easy and quick knit. I actually found this pattern which lead me to look at the yarn called for in the pattern and that's when I saw the Black Velvet colorway. I wasn't sure it was going to be a great match when I first saw it online but when I got it for my birthday last week, it was perfect. Now if only my bag handles would show up or my replacement needles so I can finish either Lacy Leaf Satchel or Larch!

February 12, 2011

I ordered my bag handles for Lacy Leaf Satchel from Joann's a while back and they finally arrived this week. By "they" I mean one showed up. Saying I was unhappy would be a major understatement. I huffed and puffed around the house and finally checked my original order and my bank statement. Turns out I only ordered one handle.

When I realized that I only ordered one handle I was really mad at myself. Joanns.com charges $6 for shipping regardless of how small the item is. I was mad about the cost of shipping when I ordered the first time but I was really upset knowing that I was going to have to pay for it again. Thankfully I did have a 40% off coupon but still, $6 for shipping a handle that weighs like an ounce seems like gouging to me.

I did order the 2nd handle and I'm sure that it's on the slow boat from China just like the first one was. But that's ok, it'll give me time to put in the first liner and cut out the inner liner. So that way when the second handle arrives, I'll be ready.

February 11, 2011

Book # 14 in the 50 Book Challenge...

From the Book:
In Oryx and Crake, a science fiction novel that is more Swift than Heinlein, more cautionary tale than "fictional science" (no flying cars here), Margaret Atwood depicts a near-future world that turns from the merely horrible to the horrific, from a fool's paradise to a bio-wasteland. Snowman (a man once known as Jimmy) sleeps in a tree and just might be the only human left on our devastated planet. He is not entirely alone, however, as he considers himself the shepherd of a group of experimental, human-like creatures called the Children of Crake. As he scavenges and tends to his insect bites, Snowman recalls in flashbacks how the world fell apart.

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars. I liked it but I didn't love it. It took a long time to get to anything that I really found interesting.

February 10, 2011

Book #13 of the 50 Book Challenge... Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

From the book:
Set in the near-future, Into the Forest is a powerfully imagined novel that focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home.

Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society's fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to reexamine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.
Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale, Into the Forest is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking novel of hope and despair set in a frighteningly plausible near-future America.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars. I liked it but I didn't like the end.

February 9, 2011

Hubbs and I took the day on Saturday and went out to the Sierras. I've been begging for the last few years to go to Bassi Falls. Hubbs has always said that we should go in the spring time when the river is really running but I mentioned show shoeing last week and we decided to try Bassi Falls.

It's about a five mile round trip...uphill going in. I thought I was going to die.

But we made it and the falls are beautiful. Pictures truly don't do it justice.

The water was roaring and the sun was shining, warm enough to not need jackets. I didn't even use a sweatshirt.

The water is so amazing...clear as glass. It cut ripples and swirls in the granite.

I kept searching each pool of water for a large chunk of gold. I only need one...

It looked like something that you'd find created for you at Disney Land, but this was nature at it's finest.

After we explored a bit, I got a chance to work a few stitches on Roheline.

I packed it 2.5 miles in just for the chance that I would get to knit in one of the most beautiful places in the world and it was pretty much all ours. We only saw one other couple all day.

Self portrait by Hubbs.

Thank goodness for self timers on cameras!

It was a great way to spend a Saturday. I still want to go back again in the spring time.

February 8, 2011

I was finally ready to start swatching for Larch the other day.

So I wound up a couple of skeins of yarn...

and I really fell in love with Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. It is beautiful and the colors made me want a piece of pumpkin pie.

So I swatched and got gauge. So I cast on and was able to knit a few rows before bed time. I carefully put Larch into my knitting bag and off I went.

The next day I come home, did my chores and finally after waiting all day to work on it again, I pick up my needles. And that's when I saw it...someone had chewed the tip off the needle! My beautiful Harmony interchangeables! Devastation...so sad.

And that was the beginning to a week that went down hill from there but those stories aren't worth repeating. However I did order replacement tips but Knit Picks seems to use the slow boat from China when they ship unless you're willing to pay a lot more in shipping, which I'm not.

So in the mean time I found a different project to start. I swatched and cast on for Roheline by Suvi Simola. Pictures will be forth coming in a future post. We all know that I can't go without a knitting project and I'm still waiting on the handles to finish Lacy Leaf Satchel so there was no help there. But at least I have something to work on and it was something that I wanted to work on since the new Twist Collective came out a while back.

So that's it for now...off to work on Roheline.