Friday, August 31, 2007

Cooking disappointment

So I was cooking this chicken that I let marinate for a few days. It smelled soooo good as it began to cook. G even noticed from the other room. My average dinner is, well, average.

Now I love my range but I think it can shoulder some of the blame here. The knobs are at waist level which makes the temperature hard to read ... if you're on auto pilot. It was cooking hot, I turned it "down," a little bit too long later ... and I started to smell BURN. That horrible awful smell that reminds you how hungry you are and that you'll choke it down anyway.

Eh it'll be better next time.

The recipe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This is a knitting survey……

Mark with bold the things you have knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.



Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire


Stockinette stitch

Socks: top-down

Socks: toe-up

Knitting with camel yarn

Mittens: Cuff-up

Mittens: Tip-down


Knitting with silk

Moebius band knitting

Participating in a KAL


Drop stitch patterns

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn

Slip stitch patterns

Knitting with banana fiber yarn

Domino knitting

Twisted stitch patterns

Knitting with bamboo yarn

Two end knitting

Charity knitting

Knitting with soy yarn


Toy/doll clothing

Knitting with circular needles

Baby items

Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn


Graffiti knitting

Continental knitting

Designing knitted garments

Cable stitch patterns

Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book

Participate in an exchange


Teaching a child to knit

American/English knitting

Knitting to make money


Knitting with alpaca

Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting

Dying with plant colors

Knitting items for a wedding

Household items

Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars

Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn

Knitting with dpns

Holiday related knitting

Teaching a male how to knit


Knitting for a living

Knitting with cotton

Knitting smocking

Dying yarn


Knitting art

Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously


Knitting with wool

Textured knitting

Kitchener stitch

Knitted flowers


Knitting with beads


Long Tail CO


Knitting and purling backwards

Machine knitting

Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn

Stuffed toys

Knitting with cashmere



Knitting with synthetic yarn

Writing a pattern



Knitting with linen

Knitting for preemies

Tubular CO

Free-form knitting

Short rows

Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers


Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine


Knitting on a loom

Thrummed knitting

Knitting a gift

Knitting for pets


Knitting with dog/cat hair

Hair accessories

Knitting in public

Sunday, August 26, 2007

24 Hours Into The Fall Felted Bag Exchange

Yarn: Lamb's Pride worsted in Chocolate Souffle, Trendsetter Yarns' Muse - a thicker mohair

I'm afraid this piece is going to be a LOT smaller than the pattern indicates. Surely my error. But aside from that the yarn knits up beautifully and feels great. The pattern is cute although I'm not going to needle felt the sheep appliqué. I'll probably end up knitting all the side pockets - can't have too many pockets!

You can't really tell in the pic, but I'm one row into the body of the purse. The pattern started with a rectangle for the bottom and then it said "Rotate work. Do not turn." What did I do? Why I joined in the round of course! OF COURSE!!! So a row into that mistake I realized there was no way it was going to become a purse. Maybe it was late. Maybe I was distracted by the Couture fight on UFC. Eh. I just need more experience.

Speaking of inexperience, within the first 24 hours I've already given out my name to my upstream. Yay! Like I say, I like to think I can ________ (fill in the blank)

FFBE Contest!

1. What is your favorite yarn for felting, and why? Manos - I’ve only felted a couple projects and most of that yarn came from my mom’s stash. The thick and thin gives the piece a nice bumpy texture. The variegated colors are gorgeous with the deep reds or the brown and pinks, mmmm. Yes, Manos is Mom’s favorite but as they say: like mother, like daughter!

2. Name one person in the swap who is not from the U.S. and tell us where they are from, and link to their blog. Cathy is from North Vancouver, BC Canada … Beautiful, diverse city with an impressive landscape. Just like Seattle but clean!

3. Find one person in the swap who has a dog, and let us know the name of their dog(s) and link to their blog. Heather has two Labs – Sophie and Pierce

4. Find one person in the swap who has a child or grandchild and link to their blog. Cynthia - Two grown children and a grandchild on the way

5. And finally, tell us if you like October or November more, and why! (Yea, I know part of September and November are technically fall, but for this question, only October and November matter!) Hmm. October is still kinda warm here. Halloween used to be one of my least favorite holidays (I won’t get into costume unless it’s clever AND perfect), but now that we have a little baby I think that might change in the coming years. Kids and their costumes are so cute! Trick or Treaters are adorable, carving pumpkins is a favorite, roasting pumpkin seeds YUM. Wow – I really thought November was going to be my preferred month! I love shopping the sales but not necessarily the crowds, Thanksgiving get-togethers are fun, a week’s worth of turkey and cranberry sandwiches, colder temps here in AZ. But no, October wins out!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Perils of Desert Living

Ahhhh ... The A/C is finally fixed. How long did this go on? About 11 weeks. Actually it was off and on during that time period, but if I had to guess, we were probably completely out of A/C for 4 weeks total. Yeah. It was 110 in the house last week. But it is OVER! Now I can get back to knitting.

A few years ago I mentioned to a friend, new to knitting, that I don't knit much in the summer because I get so hot. She comically retorted, "Why? Do you knit so fast your needles catch on fire?" Oh, Sunny, you still make me laugh. First thing on the list - bullion knots on Lucy's blanket. Stripes are done (the easy part).

OTN: Blanket, yoga bag, baby sweater

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fresh off the needles!

Although awaiting embroidery, I have to share! It came off the needles last night at 10:00pm, measuring 30" by 36" or hopefully very close. I've been working on this "Lilac Loveliness" baby blanket for about two months. It has traveled with me to Portland, OR (to pick up Yellow, a Volvo 850 T5R) and Orlando, FL (trade show). Knitting is my all-time favorite activity on the plane - iPod tuned to Electronica and I'm in heaven!

Embroidery for this piece will be in a deep purple: bouillon knots on the lace and stripes down the purl rows.

I'm a few days from working on this again. A/C is still out and the thermostat reads "Overload." It's just too darn hot to do anything.

OTN: Lucy's baby jacket, Yoga bag

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My First Crochet Project

A couple years ago I tried to teach myself crochet with a self-modified dishcloth pattern. Above is the result. Your basic cotton yarn from Wal-Mart - Peaches and Cream in natural. I like how it's curly on one edge and tapers on the other edge.

How did this masterpiece emerge from the yarn stash? Our spoon rest up until this point had been a paper napkin from Filiberto's. (Mmmm Machaca burrito....) Didn't take long for it to get stuck to the counter and leave little, gross napkin pieces. Eww. So the bf, tidier than any guy I've known, jokingly suggests cutting a square out of one of my favorite dish towels. I considered finding an old one to "part out" but ehhh .... Oh! I can make one! He he how fun! I took out the bin of cotton yarn and ... Voila! The perfect little swatch there before me. Ahh my first crochet project put to good use.

If you're wondering why there's a fork on the spoon rest and not a spoon, your guess is as good as mine. I only said he was tidy.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Two Bears

Here they are! Can you guess which one I knit first? Yep, the one that's barely felted. White doesn't felt well to begin with, but please, it's double the size! Mama Bear and Baby Bear. Mama Bear was completed about 5 years ago, Baby Bear is a newbie - just a couple months old :)

I love the pattern despite it's mistakes because I make plenty of my own. But shoot! It's felted and thereby hiding just about everything. Ahh ... felting.

I found the pattern in Easy Knitting, winter 2002. The LYS didn't have the exact wool yarn for the white one so I got something close. The second strand was a mohair. The orange is leftover Cascade I borrowed from my mom when she felted slippers. No second strand on that one and I think I like it better.

Baby Bear was knit for my very first nephew, Caleb. He was born over a month ago but I'll be taking it with me when I see him for the very first time at the end of this month. Auntie Ursy comes bearing gifts! Big White stays with me. Maybe Lucy will like it.

There's a story behind the orange.... Some other day. The A/C is out again (9th time this summer) and I'm HOT. I think a nice matinee sounds good.

Fall Felted Bag Exchange

Fall Felted Bag Exchange
  1. How long have you been knitting or crocheting? How did you learn? or from whom?
    My mom tried to teach my sister and I to knit when we were about 8 years old but it didn't stick. Then about 10 years ago, I cornered one of my youngest sisters
    (who wasn't even around for that first go-round) while she was visiting from out of town and begged her to teach me. Before she left I had the knit stitch down. Needless to say when it came time to get the project off the needles, I was at a loss. From that point on, I've learned through knitting books and sporadic calls to my mom and sister. (Four girls and only two of us knit ... so far.)
  2. What was your first felted object, and why did you decide to try felting?
    A bear - I love the pattern so I've knit it up twice now. Great gift for kids. (I'm posting pics of both later today.) I guess I dove in to a felting project because I like to challenge myself. Also, my mom felts a lot, I loved her projects and I'd have a resource to fall back on. :)
  3. What are your favorite colors? Any you hate?
    I love blues, oranges, deeper reds, pinks and purples.
    Black of course. Yellow and neon green as accents. Taupe is fine. Not so hip to the natural palette which IMO includes all other greens.
  4. What are your favorite styles\types of bags? (Long straps? Short handles? Handbags? Totes? Embellished? Plain? Include links to patterns or photos if you’d like – give your pal an idea of what you enjoy!)
    Hmmm.... I guess I like totes! Medium size, medium to short handles. Some embellishment like a button or clasp to jazz it up some. Contrasting colors or stripes. But in the end, clean and simple.
  5. What handbag or bag are you carrying today? Do you use a separate bag to carry your knitting?
    My purse this week is a leather tote. My only knit purse at this point is a medium size, orange tote with medium length handles and embellished with what I think is fun fur. I carry my knitting in a canvas-like tote. The top has ties which came in handy when I knit my mom's Fair Isle sweater (lots of balls that could jump out). The small inner pocket is a necessity. My other knitting bag is a gray wool messenger bag, a little bigger than the other, also an inner pocket.
  6. What other things do you enjoy knitting or crocheting?
    For some reason I like knitting stuffed animals. Maybe that way somebody doesn't have to wear my creation. I shrink in embarrassment when my mom wears her sweater but she loves it and shows it off. Just like a mom :)
  7. What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs circs, bamboo vs aluminum)
    I just LOVE bamboo! I have one gorgeous pair of rosewood needles that are to die for. A gift from Mom :) Sometimes I miss the click of metal needles and sometimes, as you know, bamboo just doesn't work with certain yarns.
  8. What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make?
    A few months ago at my mom's LYS, the owner had knit up a sloppy hobo bag but then felted it - Perfecto! We bought the pattern, Oat Couture shoulder bag, but I have yet to dig in. The yarn was really cool too - multi-colored textured in deep pinks, may even have had a hint of metallic in it. mmmmmm
  9. What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with?
    Huh. I should have one but I don't.
  10. What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden?
    Besides the day-to-day girl things (cooking, cleaning, organizing) which I thoroughly enjoy, I actually have a lot of fun when I help work on the car and helping with our remodel. Landscaping is so much fun - designing, planting, watching them grow, transplanting, etc. Someday soon we'll have an herb and vegetable garden - So tasty!
  11. Besides yarn, do you collect anything?
    Not really - it all tends to collect dust. I don't much care for dust.
  12. What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? Anything you hate or are allergic to?
    Ugh. Although not strictly outside of my diet, the AMOUNT of chocolate I eat sure is. mmmm chocolate Sooooo carob, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, spelt pretzels. Yeah, I'm a health food junkie.
  13. Do you have any kiddos? (Furry kind count!)
    Step baby girl, Lucy who is 11 days old, and two rescue dogs - a pit bull (8yrs) and a blue heeler/collie mix (2yrs). Be wary of the blue heeler, the pit is a lover.
  14. What kind of project best personifies you and why?
    Projects in high-contrast colors and unusual. I felted striped coasters, knit up wrist warmers for my sister, have some punk designs in mind for Lucy.
  15. What is your favorite part of Autumn? You can also share a special Autumn memory if you'd prefer!
    There's this candle by Red Barn Candles, their original Red Barn scent. WOW! I've never smelled anything like it in a candle. It IS autumn. But.... I fear they are no longer around. Oh, and why do I like Autumn? It FINALLY cools down. I love the Summer, I love the Arizona heat, but enough already. Give me a cool breeze.
  16. Tell us 3 things you would do if you won 10 million dollars in the lottery.
    Ooooh! 1. I would travel to beach after beach around the world, 2. buy a bigger house and have someone decorate it while I was on vacation, and 3. put in a salt water pool and hot tub.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lucy's Bunny

I worked on this little guy for too long. Or rather it sat on my needles for too long. I was 1/4 of an ear short on yarn. Argh. So as I drove past yarn store after super yarn store, there it sat. Stuffed, ear-less, tail-less and face-less. Neck-less too - take that cute little bow off and there is NO neck. I was a tad ashamed of the project (another reason I ignored it) until the neck appeared.

Back to the yarn deficiency - The yarn is a nice deep purple chenille ... until you get to the back of one of the ears. I'd had just about enough of all my partial projects and I could only find black. Yep. I did it and it's done.

The pattern was written for Plymouth Yarn's Oh My! but for some reason I used that thin chenille. Oh my how difficult that stuff is - no give whatsoever. I recommend Oh My. Trust me. Chenille is doable, but not worth it. I'll bet that would solve the "see through" problem in the picture. Next time I'll stuff with something closer in color.

OTN: baby blanket for Lucy, baby jacket for Lucy, yoga bag