Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I am SO excited to be going to my parents' tomorrow!

Tonight I am looking forward to getting off work early so I can get to Daniel's house and have some time with him before I leave.

I'll be coming back on December 30th, so plenty of time to celebrate New Year's here. :-)

I have started to think about my New Year's Resolutions, which I almost never make, because I don't plan on keeping anything ;-), however I do have a few plans in place:

- make a "car payment" to myself every month into my HSBC account; I want to be able to cash out on a car in early 2009.
- fatten up my savings account that was drained for the car payment
- lose 15 more pounds
- take the dreaded GRE test and be done with it; hopefully start applying to gradamate school. 2009/10 would be an ideal time for me to go to grad school, since Daniel will be out of the state / country during that time :-( but it would keep me busy, for sure!

And, of course, KNIT MORE. ;-)

I had to talk myself out of taking three pairs of socks, a vest, and two pairs of fingerless gloves to knit with me on the trip. I only have 10 days, after all! :) I narrowed it down to the vest and two pairs of socks ;-) but I did take the patterns for the gloves to show my parents with an estimated birthdate. hah!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Deco's!

I thought I would share my Christmas decorations with everyone! I am very happy with how they turned out. I just want a tree skirt to hide the fake Xmas tree base.. otherwise, I am very pleased. I am so happy that Target carries ornaments in turquoise, green, and brown (to match my condo).

1: The Full Monty:

2: The Garland:

WIPS - 8 December 2007

Here are my current WIP's.

First up, Daniel's socks. I've plied and wound off the yarn for the insteps, so now they are waiting to be finished!

Next Up is a "LuvGun", from MochiMochi Land. A friend and I are making them concurrently.

Here is the yarn for the "Ms Marigold" vest from ZephyrStyle. I love the color from KnitPicks! Sometimes it's hard to gauge what a color will be based on your computer monitor, but I love this deep red lipstick color. :-)

Finally, here is the beginning of my "Breeze" socks from Knitty. I don't think Knitty has the pattern anymore, which is a shame, because it's quite a neat little cabled socklet. The stretch of knitting you see there is the beginning of the heel flap (which is also cabled), and the pattern for it is slightly confusing because there is not enough repetition for me to get a rhythm going, but that is OK. I just need to carry my pencil and make notes whilst I knit. :)

Eye Candy Sunday :)

I haven't posted in a while. Stuff has been frenetic, at best.

Two weeks ago, I thought Daniel had dumped me, but it just turned out that we needed to get the whole emotional conversation ball rolling... we are doing great again, for which I am very glad. :-)

I've also been really super busy at work, and today is really the first whole day to myself I've had in a while. I went shopping & to lunch with my friend Kris earlier today, and also got my hair stylist, Ingrid, since it looked like she had accidentally missed a spot when she did my highlights earlier in the week... Although I messed up the evening by having a mug of hot chocolate made with cow-milk, and also eating a small ball of goat cheese for dinner. Let's just say I'm glad I've been alone today. :-P

However, I've finally had time to post a bunch of pictures on Flickr and here, and hopefully to Ravelry, too.

First up are the yarn skeins I am sending to Milagro in Baltimore, MD.

Next is my first skein from the Sumptuous Sock Yarn Club. It is GORGEOUS, in a colorway called "Cabarnet", and it is 45% Mongolian cashmere and 55% silk. Holy Rare Fibers, Batman!

I wanted to show off the (non)-progress I've been making on Daniel's socks. Here is a photo of the plied, wound-off instep yarn, of which I have enough for probably a whole pair of socks. I think I might use the leftovers to make myself some cuffs or something (coordinating, but not matching...Keywords of the Day, People!). I think both the legs are done, but now that I look at the picture, it looks like the leg still on the needles needs a couple more rounds... hmmm...

Here is a picture of my second pair of FO-socks, the "Dove" ones from Cat Bordhi's newest book. They are knit in Blue Moon Fiber Art's Socks That Rock Mediumweight in "Rhodonite". (I just looked on their site, and it looks like they don't sell Rhodonite anymore. However, there are a few Etsy shops that have a very similar colorway...eerily similar, but I guess "hm, magenta and purple sounds fun" might not be a very original thought among dyers (?) ).

I am very proud of these socks, especially since it took me three or so tries to knit the first one! The only thing I am NOT proud of is that I knit that first one a lot tighter (a lot!) than the second one, presumably because I was frustrated from ripping it out so much, and so the second one is noticeably bigger than the first. Observe:

I was going to give them to my sister as a Christmas gift, but I couldn't do that to her, so I am wearing them. As I type this, in fact. And if I wear them and wear them under pants, no one will know that one is a little longer than the other. :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I think I found a flat-screen TV!

For those of you who know, I live in a tiny, 460 sqft condo. I need all the room I can get. Which is why I can justify the flat-screen to myself. I need the room!

I am looking at a Vizio 37" LCD TV (model VX37L). I've done my reviews-research, and priced it at several places. The cheapest "immediate" place I could buy it would be Sam's Club, where it's $750, not including tax. (The NEX does not carry Vizios). However, I checked the Dell website, and with my employee discount, I can get it for $760 including tax. (shipping is free). And it comes to my house.

The deal gets better. Every year, Dell has a holiday sale, where our employee discount is increased. So, I figured I could wait for that to occur. I've already waited 11 months! :-)

The only thing I need to find now is a good deal on an articulating-arm style wall mount for the TV. I am scouring Amazon, Monodeal, Salescircular, and any other place I can think of. I should have Daniel check the NEX website.


The other big purchase I am looking at is a drum carder. A woman in Portland has a Pat Green one for $200. !!!!!!!!!!!! I am going to go check it out the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov 24). Hopefully Daniel can go with me...

I am hoping that a spinning wheel is still up for grabs down there, too. Liz is looking for one, and this one was advertised for $50. If it's still around, I told her I would pick it up for her (if it worked).

Sunday's Work

I had to get up today at 0630 to go see Daniel. So, of course, if I can't sleep more than 8 hours on a weekend, at least it gets me knitting. I am about a third to halfway through with Daniel's second sock leg. The instep yarn is half-spun (ie one ply is done).

I am ALMOST DONE with my second Dove sock. They seriously need to be blocked, though. One needs to be stretched out, and one needs to calm down and just be blocked. :-)

I began a swatch for my Ms. Marigold vest. I need to re-start it, and this time make it bigger than they ask for, so I can be accurate once it's blocked...

Last night, I finished spinning up the second half of my Duets roving. I think it's pretty cool that this girl, Angi, is living in suburban Washington and has made it big (relatively speaking). (She's in Liz's knitting group.) I mean, The Loopy Ewe is going to start carrying her stuff, and she got mentioned on the next-to-most-recent Lime&Violet podcast.

I also made some more yarn labels for my Etsy shop . . . that is mostly ongoing. I need to spin up more yarn for Milagro in Baltimore, and I am SO looking forward to spinning up my Loop roving.

Vegetal Madness

I just spent the last hour in a whirlwind of kitchen efficiency. I made a roasted concoction of celery root, potato, fennel, and ginger with some maple syrup. I made a mess of rainbow chard + dinosaur kale, with sweated onions, bacon, and gewurtztraminer wine. I braised four chicken sausages in unsweetened cranberry juice and gewurtztraminer wine. I made a cup of thai iced tea with coconut milk. I chopped and prepped a bunch of carrots for lunches, two heads of broccoli for broiling, and some beets for roasting later.

I also discovered that some things had not fared so well in the crisper - I had forgotten about my baby bok chois and some baby kale mix (sadness) and it was time to dump a head of Napa cabbage.

On the flip side, I am overwrought with squash. I have two acorns, a delicata, a pumpkin-looking-thing-but-it's-green-and-splotchy, and a spaghetti squash. I have two yams, and maybe 7 lb of different types of potatoes. I have sunchokes. I am flush with produce! :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


First, a note. Today's movie recommendation?! "Jeffrey". Patrick Stewart plays a gay decorator, and Nathan Lane is a gay priest. I think the main character is one of the guys from "Wings", too... Freakin' Hysterical!!!!!


Well, I finished my first "Dove" sock last week. I finally took a picture:

The subtle diamond shape worked in purl stitches that encompasses the gusset increase is a little hard to photograph.

And here is the cast-on toe for Dove #2!!

I am very glad that I don't suffer from SSS (Second Sock Syndrome), often characterized by a reluctance to repeat a pattern in order to make a second (matching) sock. I enjoy that I have worked out all the kinks (if any) in the first time around.

Here is my current spinning progress. I finished up a ply of the second half of my Duets roving. I started the second ply last night, after finishing the first ply of Daniel's instep sock yarn.

Here's a pic of the Duets roving:

And, finally... my 2-at-a-time Metamorphic socks. It is taking a little longer than I figured, because it takes a lot of concentration for me to be pulling the yarn correctly, and also sometimes I get confused which needle is supposed to go where. It just takes patience. ... Which is why, I guess, knitters have different WIPs. Different projects for different levels of patience.

A Quiz

1.) Name one person that made you laugh last night?

My friend Randy, before pilates class last night. He was telling me about a horrible coworker of his wife who doesn't know when to shut up!

2.) What were you doing at 0800?

This morning? I was checking e-mail at work, and doing the final touch-ups to a data request before my coworker returned from Hawaii.

3.) What happened to you in 2006?

I moved to Seattle on January 4, and started working at Boeing on January 20. I dated a bunch of interesting guys, met some great friends in the area, rented a great apartment in Belltown, and was able to take a vacation to Maryland to see my friends I'd made in 2005.

4.) How many beverages did you have today?

A cup of Maya Chai Teecino, about 5 cups of herbal tea, 32 oz of water (at least), and a tofu/frozen fruit smoothie this morning (does that count as a beverage?)

5.) What colour is your hairbrush?

It's a red wooden handle with black bristles that I stole from my mom because it brushed my hair better than anything else ever has before.

6.) Where were you last night?

At 6 PM I went to pilates class, and returned home at 8:30 PM or so.

7.) What colour is your front door?

Some sort of generic off-white color. I live in a condo building.

8.) Where do you keep your change?

I try to keep it out of my wallet. Quarters go into a jar so I can use them for bus fare, and other coinage goes into a bag in the same jar so I can roll them up and deposit them when I get enough.

9.) What’s the weather like today?

Cloudy. The high temperature was about 50 deg F. It rained pretty heavily this morning, but tapered off, and wasn't raining last time I checked outside.

10.) What’s the best ice cream flavour?

I love crazy flavors, like champagne, or pumpkin pie... but the classic one is chocolate chip cookie dough!

11.) What excites you?

Getting to spend time with my family / boyfriend / friends. Losing weight. Knitting. Spinning yarn. Petting animals. Driving fast cars. Reading new books and magazines. Getting my hair highlighted. Watching my skin clear up. Waiting for packages to come in the mail. Walking outside and discovering it's a beautiful, clear day. Discovering my orchids are growing new flower stems. Going to a farmer's market.

12.) Do you want to cut your hair?

I had it in a boy-cut for 10 years, so I decided I might try growing it out. It currently is beyond my ears.

13.) Are you over the age of 25?


14.) Do you talk a lot?

Why yes I do! :-) Actually, it's nice to be with Daniel because he is one person, ironically, who I don't absolutely need to talk around.

15.) Do you watch the OC?

No, but I've been there...but that was a long time ago. :-)

16.) Do you make up your own words?

I like to make up cuss words so I can spout them at work and to my sister. My sister and I also make up animal noises, and for some reason my family has adopted the noise of a dog howling as a valid exclamation (sometimes shortened to "Barr"...)

17.) Are you a jealous person?

Not too much. I can usually admit it when I am, though. :-)

18.) Name a friend that starts with an ‘A’.

Alyison! Since when did you know someone who spelled their name "A-l-y-i-s-o-n"?

19.) Name a friend that starts with a ‘K’.

Kim Knecht, Kim Nguyen, Kris McCord...

20.) Who’s the first person on your received call list?

My friend Aash. He called me up last night!

21.) What does the last text message received say?

I don't pay for text messages, so I actually get somewhat annoyed when people send them to me.

22.) Do you chew on a straw?

I used to, but not anymore.

23.) Where’s the next place you are going?

Work...tomorrow morning. Then back home, then to rehearsal up north of Seattle. The next exciting place I am going will be to Daniel's house this weekend (I presume).

24.) Who’s the rudest person in your life?

I've got a few folks, but I try hard not to talk to them so much.

25.) What was the last thing you ate?

A tofu ice cream bar-lette.

26.) Will you get married in the future?

Hmmm.... I don't know. Maybe, if I find the right guy. :-)

27.) What’s the best film you’ve seen in the last two weeks?

I am actually watching "Jeffrey" as I type this. It is hi-larious. I love Patrick Stewart, and he's an uber-gay guy... it is hysterical!

28.) When was the last time you did the dishes?

I did a bunch of dishes earlier tonight. There is a mixer and a small Pyrex dish in the sink right now.

29.) Are you currently depressed?


30.) Did you cry today?

No. I can probably count the number of times I have cried on ...well, the answer is not a lot.

31.) What was the last thing you said aloud?

"Bye, George!" ..this was to my neighbor's cat, who I am cat-sitting (well, the cat is next door, so I don't have to live with it...)

32.) What car do you drive and what bumper stickers do you have on it?

I drive a Honda Civic 4-door. I love it because it never has any huge problems, and it will go forever. I used to have a "Starfleet Academy" bumper sticker on a window, but it faded while I was in college, so I took it off once I moved to Maryland.

33.) Why did you answer this and post it?

I was bored. It looked like a good idea at the time.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Day In The Life

You may ask yourself, "Where does all my time go?"

Well, here is my thought experiment on where all my time goes... this is a typical Monday and Tuesday, which sort of covers the entire week for me:

0604 hours: Alarm goes off. Pop out of bed and into shower.

0615 hours: Exit shower. Dry off and apply various face creams and body lotions. Dress.

0620 hours: Dry hair using hairdryer.

0625 hours: Brush teeth with Sonicare, and while one hand is doing that, the other hand sprays orchids with water mist, and gathers lunchbox and smoothie mug out of the fridge and sets them by the door.

0630 hours: Exit condo with work bag, lunch box, smoothie mug, jacket, and keys. Hope I remembered my work ID card.

Get into car and drive to work.

0705 hours: Arrive at work. Unlock laptop from cabinet in cube, plug in and turn on laptop, lock it to desk. Turn on cubicle fluorescent lights. Put away messenger bag and purse. Get out teabag for mug. Take lunchbox, mug, and water bottle to coffee area. Refrigerate lunch box and fill mug with hot water, and water bottle with cold water from water cooler.

0730: Finish checking morning email. Sign into UNIX server and begin work.

0830: Get first "bug" from coworkers regarding work (average time). If I'm lucky, I've had time to spool up before work gets busy. Take first of many trips to the bathroom.

Alternately work and check email.

1100: Time for lunch. Eat while either surfing internet or running files, depending on how busy the workday is.

1200: Someone needs something around lunchtime, usually. Or my friend will want me to go stand outside with her while she smokes a cigarrette, doing her best to stand downwind of me.

Alternately work and surf internet, check email. At least email is justified - lots of files take their time running. Coworker will invariably complain to me about something during the day, usually by this point.

1600: Time to leave (1500 if Tuesday). Skedaddle!!

1645: Average time of arrival at home. Arrive and eat dinner, relax for a minute. If I'm especially enterprising, I'll make lunch and breakfast for the next day at this time.

1800: Leave for band rehearsal (if Monday).

2100: Leave band rehearsal.

2130: Arrive home from band rehearsal. If I haven't made lunch and breakfast during the break, I have to do it now.

Brush teeth and wash face. Change into pajamas. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll check my email at this time.

2200: Lower Murphy bed and crawl in. Fall asleep by 2300 hours.


0604: Start Over.


The after-work activities vary depending on the day:

Monday: Band rehearsal 1800 - 2100 (really 1900 - 2100, but you have to find parking beforehand)

Tuesday: Pilates from 1600 - 1700, Spinning from 1800-1900

Wednesday: Pilates from 1900-2000 hours, dinner following (leave by 2100)

Thursday: Spinning from 1800-1900

Friday: Work (if not a day off) is usually done from 0600 - 1400 hours (yay!)...then I get to play for the weekend!

My First Etsy Sale

I am so happy! I actually sold something on Etsy! And I figured out a better link:

Nevermind that it was my friend Dave in San Luis Obispo who bought it, it's still a sale! :-) The sale also paid for a trip to Target to buy some scrapbooking paper bits and some ribbon. This is my new way of labelling yarn that people are buying - it looks great and finally allowed me to get all the yarn information on one side of paper, neatly organized. It also allowed me to post some new items for sale on Etsy. I will be glad if some of these things sell!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

One Leg Done

I finished the first of Daniel's sock legs this morning. I am impressed with how quickly the ribbing knit up. I should have brought waste yarn and put the first leg on hold while I knit the leg of the second sock, but I didn't. (I should mention that I'm at his house right now, listening to his comments as he repairs a motor that controls one of his headlights on his Firebird (his daily driver is an Acura, but he brought his old car back from Texas on his last trip home). I did offer him help, but he only needed it once, when I pointed out the order that the motor should be removed from the vehicle. Other than that, he knows what he's doing (I am pleasantly surprised that a EE can figure out mechanical linkages ;-)).

Anyway, back to the sock. It's sort of on hold till I return home tomorrow. I guess I could turn the heel now, but the instep will have to wait till I spin up the rest of the merino/silk roving. I think I'll have enough if I just knit it in ribbing on the instep. He mentioned he goes through socks quickly....thank god I found a yarn with nylon in it!! (I was thinking of carrying along a woolly nylon thread while I was knitting, but at the last minute I threw caution to the wind). I will have to excavate my mom's supply of woolly nylon thread cones when I go home for Christmas - she used them a lot for swim/ dance wear. And she might not mind if I pilfer some, now that she doesn't sew as much as she used to. ;-)

Meanwhile, I've still got my Dove sock to knit. I am in the midst of the gusset increase. It's going well this time, although I lost my notes sheet that I had tucked in the sack with the sock.

And now I have to get out of Daniel's rocking recliner. Whenever I am in a rocking chair, I am compelled to use the rocking feature, only rocking and typing is making me dizzy. So off I go to knit some more!

And the weather, you ask? Well, it was still black out at 0700 this morning (when I was out in the cold, waiting for a bus that was 20 minutes late), but it appears that the sun is trying to break through the Bremerton, at least..

Friday, November 2, 2007

Stash Acquisition

I checked the mail tonight, and I got my order from Loop on Etsy! It is beautiful! I ordered two batts: Lavender Mint Tea (I think), and African Violets. She even included a lavender sachet (aww) :-) They are pictured below. Lavender Mint is on the left and African Violet is on the right. They are gorgeous and soft and I can't wait to spin them!!

And here is a picture of what I bought at Weaving Works earlier today. The Spring IK issue, the Fortissima Socka coordinating sock yarn, and an alpaca sock yarn (house slippers, perhaps?) The alpaca sock yarn is a lot more colorful than what is shown in the picture.

WIPs - 2 November 2007

Here are my WIPs for the day...

Last night, after I got home from dinner with a couple of friends, I cast on for Daniel's Socks. I decided on using the "Simple Socks" pattern from Cat Bordhi's "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles", because I figured I'd be using enough different yarns, that I didn't want to distract with a crazy stitch pattern.

I am planning on using my handspun - one skein of which is a two-ply blend - one ply is alpaca down blended with a merino/silk blend roving from Weaving Works in a soft olive (main color), plied with just the merino/silk blend. This yarn will be used for the leg portion of the sock. The instep will be a two ply of just the merino/silk blend roving. The soles will be made of Fortissima Socka yarn - I found a coordinating colorway at Weaving Works today when I went searching (it was also 20% off! Yay!)

As you can see, I am probably about 4" into the leg of the first sock. I was impressed to see the subtle striping of the alpaca-plied yarn:

Now, here is the (THIRD) beginning of the toe-up "Dove" socks. I just started the gusset increasing... this time I am just following the pattern for the women's size. I think it's turning out well, though - it fits great!

That's all I got for now. I just opened an Etsy shop, and am in the process of updating my Paypal account to use it on Etsy. I think it's time for dinner! Daniel is working tonight, so I am entertaining and eating, and lots of knitting.

Should I admit that I got a couple of other things at Weaving Works? I picked up a skein of Honey Lane Farms Alpaca yarn in a soft grey (the queued pattern for that is "Fetching" fingerless gloves, from Knitty), and I also picked up an alpaca sock yarn (Alpaca Sox, from Classic Elite)... and the Spring 2007 IK issue. It had a great Entrelac Sock pattern in it!

I'm on Etsy!


This is a quick post. I just opened up an Etsy shop!

My username is "dhshippie"...

I have a Grand Total of 3 items posted right now (all handspun yarn), but I plan to post more as the holidays near!

Go Visit, and Tell Your Friends!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Club Insanity

I feel a sense of accomplishment. I bought my airline ticket to go home for Christmas today. FINALLY. And it ended up being cheaper than when I looked at the beginning of October....go figure. PLUS I was able to coordinate scheduling my return flight with my sister, who just found out she's going to get to go home for a few days after Christmas, too! (YAY!) I am so glad she's coming out, though I wish the rest of the family (i.e. brother, sister in law, and brother in law), could come out, too. Hopefully I can wait to go out to dinner with my grandpa till my sister gets there... I need a buffer, especially now that he is more feeble than before. I ...can't...wait... to see his house.

Anyway... Club Insanity has struck me! I am signing up for the Blue Moon 2008 "Rockin' Sock Club" tomorrow. I am stoked! A year of bi-monthly sock yarn in special 'exclusive' colorways (they put them on sale the following year), along with an original pattern, and "mini-skein" key chain (ok, I have no use for the silly mini skein and would rather get something else for my money, but I suspect I might be able to make swatches out of it?). My friend/coworker Jen has been a club member for the past two or three years, and she loves it. She is also a really good knitter - her socks are freakin' amazing! I am also trying out another sock club, which ships luxury sock yarns (which, actually, should probably Not be used for socks...e.g. cashmere. Maybe that skein will turn into gloves or something).

Note: My Ravelry ID (for those who didn't get it already) is "DHShippie". For those who don't know what Ravelry is, is a beautiful thing. It is a blend of a social networking site with an interactive database for knitters and crocheters. You sign up (although right now you have to get on a waiting list to be invited), and you create a profile. Within the profile, you can list your WIPs (works-in-progress), FO's (finished objects), yarns in your stash, queue of patterns you want to make, your book library (I haven't figured out if this feature is to list the books you have , or to list the books you want ... I am using it as a list of books I own). Once you list all this stuff down, you can see who else is making the same pattern(s) you are, with the same yarn, or different yarn, or who is using your yarn to make something completely different. You can search by tags or types of garments / objects, or designer, etcetera. And, of course, you can collect friends and groups. I've already searched out Liz, Jen, and Kim. I was actually talking about it with my coworker Adam (Liz's huz), and he agreed that it seemed to be a very well implented website. All Hail The Ravelry!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ravelry and Trever

First off, I would like to say Hello! to my friend Trever. He and his partner, Jason, came out to Seattle last weekend to provide go-go dancing for a party called Tricks-N-Treats at a place called "Ouch My Eye" ... I am sure they were fabulous. I thought about going, but I didn't want to spend $150 on tickets (for Daniel and myself) only to be tired by midnight! Gawd, I'm old. ;-)

Below is a little candid shot I took of Trever and myself at Pike Place Market:

The entire set is on my Flickr page. My ID on there is (guess) "dhs_hippie".

Now, on to knitting.... I am FINALLY on Ravelry! My ID on there is (heh) "DHShippie", so if you need a Ravelry friend, hit me up :-D ...

Here are my WIPs. First up are Metamorphic (STR) 2-at-a-time-top-down socks:

Here is the newly cast on (AGAIN) Rhodonite (STR) "Dove" sock from Cat Bordhi's Pathways book:

I should note that since this picture was taken, I am significantly farther on the toe. I am almost ready to start gusset increases. Whee!

Below is the newly cast-on "Nakiska" headband. This will be my final attempt. If it doesn't fit me or a family member, it might fit a child, Hobbit, or girdle a small animal. I might sell it on Etsy, although I don't know if that is allowed (?)...(I mean, I don't know if it's allowed to make something using a free pattern and then sell it, even if you cite reference to the original free pattern).

As you can see, I'm not very far on any of it! But that's OK. I've been busy.... work has been insane. My moody coworker is on vacation for the next week and a half, so I have been filling in for him where I can. I never realized how busy he was. I think if I knew more about the engine I could do a better job (ie probably handle both of our jobs), but this is a good trial-by-fire. :-) My lead is very understanding, which is great.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Eye Candy Friday, and more

Eye Candy Friday, you say?

Well, I think I've found my winter coat. I just got this from Lulu Lemon today, when I in fact ONLY went to the mall to pick up some Lulu pants that had been hemmed:

The other coat I was really liking was from Eddie Bauer. It's called their "Girl on the Go trench", and it's a pretty nice fit, too, but I like the belt here, and the fun plaid.

So here is my Cautionary Mall Tale:

I went to the mall today to pick up my pants. I got sidetracked in Sephora, and was looking at their acne care products, when a salesgirl told me that some Stila makeup reps were there, doing free makeovers. Yay! So I waited for one of the makeup artists to become free.

She did my face, and all was well and good.

I was shopping around, and about two minutes after I had gotten out of the chair, I noticed my face was itching. And hot. I went back to her, and told her, and when I saw the horrified look on her face, I looked in a mirror. My face was completely red. And it burned. It burned like I had a fever, and it itched like hell. So my artist and another one went and got me some Caudalie toning water on Kleenex, and I started to remove the makeup. I surmised that it was the brush cleaner they had been using, because I've used Stila before and never had an adverse reaction, especially like that. The stuff is called "Brush-Off", or something, and it is awful. They don't even put the active ingredients on the bottle, so this other girl gave me the website and phone number off the bottle. I couldn't take my face any longer. I wanted to rip the skin off. My artist-girl suggested I go to the bathroom down the hall and use cold water.

Where did I go instead? Lush. Luckily, my friend Alyison was working there. I waited for her to finish helping another customer, then hugged her and pleaded for her to help me! She gave me a sample of Aquamarina mask to use, since it has calamine and some other calming stuff. I slapped it on and walked around the store like that for 20 minutes, then washed it off with plenty of cold water, then I was pressing Eau Roma Water compresses on my face for another 10 minutes, then I finally got around to moisturizing with Gorgeous face cream. My face felt much better, but it was still freakin' pissed at me. Alyison's coworker told me she used to work at Nordstrom in the makeup section, and she said that the brush cleaner I encountered was really harsh because it had to kill all the germs on publicly used brushes. I totally understand, it's like a public pool. And, by the same reasoning that I refuse to use public pools (except the salt water one in Seattle), I don't like using public makeup brushes. But that is the first time I have had a reaction like that. I've had my makeup done at lots of different counters, but maybe those people are better with the cleaner....?

Anyway, I ended up dropping a wad at Lush (it is both great and evil to have a friend like Alyison be your salesperson. She knows exactly what I like, and on the other hand...she knows exactly what I like. However, she was great about giving me small sizes of stuff, like I had requested).

So that was my horrible trip to the mall. I bought the jacket after that. No more Sephora brushes for me.

Prior to the mall, I had hit the grocery store so I could buy additional ingredients for my cooking orgy later today. Check out what I found:

In case you don't know who that is, that's Frank Zappa. On a beer bottle. I LOVE IT. Frank Zappa is one of my favorite musical artists, and has been for the better part of a decade (ever since my brother brought me a tape back of FZ stuff from college....yes, back in the days of TAPES!). Anyway, so you know I had to check the beer out! :-) It's made by Lagunitas Brewery. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll let you know. Usually microbreweries aren't bad, even in their mediocre stuff.

On my way home from the mall (the day went: oil change, groceries, mall, yarn store), I stopped by Weaving Works *my LYS*, and flipped through a large pile of books to decide what I would potentially want as Christmas presents. I ended up buying the new Vogue Knitting, the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts issue, and a ball of red alpaca yarn (7 st/in) to use for a pattern created by the guy who writes Brooklyntweed ... it is a gorgeous hat. Very textural, like fishnet but solid. I was between the red yarn and a gorgeous emerald green. I asked the saleslady, and she liked the red on me better. I was impressed - this little ball of 100% alpaca was only $6.10. A Fabulous Deal, if you ask me.

Here is my current project list:

To Redo:

- second "Hurry Up Spring" armwarmer (thumb on wrong side)

- "Nakiska" headband (was too small)

- chenille tape blanket (at some point; holes in crochet were bothering me)

To Finish:

- "Dove" socks from Cat Bordhi

To Start:

- "Koolhas" (sp?) hat from IK Holiday Gifts (IKHG?)

- some socklets from Knitty

- Clessidra stockings

- socks

- socks

- more socks

- did I mention socks? :-)

- more gloves / accessories...

- SPIN YARN for Baltimore store Milagro (She doesn't actually have a website, but I hope she gets one soon!)


Now, on to cooking. It is 4:54, and I just pulled the apple bake-thing out of the oven. Here it is, at the beginning of the cooking process:

What did I do? Coalesce a lot of other recipes. I basically needed to get rid of a bunch of apples. So I cut maybe 7 or 8 apples - a Golden Delicious, a couple of Fujis (?), and a few Granny Smiths, and tossed them with 1 lemon's worth of fresh-squeezed juice. I then tossed those into a buttered 9x9 Pyrex dish (ok, it could be 9x9, I am assuming that those are it's dimensions). In another bowl, I mixed 1 cup AP flour, 1 c white sugar, and 1 stick of butter to make a crumble. I mixed half the crumble in with the apples, and threw the other half on top. I dotted the crumble with another 1 T butter and sprinkled on the tad of lemon juice left in my juicer, and also squirted on some Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract. I threw it in a preheated 400 deg oven till I could smell it. MMM.

This is the other thing I cooked: my first potato gratin. I also had a few pounds of potatoes to get rid of (do we see a theme?) This used my bigger Pyrex dish, pre-buttered. I basically cut potatoes to make a single layer, then threw down some shredded parmesan, salt, and pepper, and repeated till I got to the top. Then I poured in enough cream to come to the top (yes, real cream), and pressed down to make sure the cream got in everywhere (a tip I picked up from "Good Eats"). I then sprinkled the remainder of the cheese on top, as well as additional salt and pepper. Into a 375 deg oven till it was brown and lovely. I think it took 30-45 min?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Socks! Flickr!


OK, so I have just found this really neat website: Go Here

My diamond "Dove" sock is progressing. A WIP picture will follow soon.

I am taking some extra (like I need extra) knitting to Leavenworth this weekend. I am thinking that glove (if I can't whip it out tonight and tomorrow), the Dove socks, and possibly trying my hand at the "Knitting Circles Around Socks" book - I like the technique, but not many of the patterns... I'll try her lace pattern, should be interesting, anyway.

But I just wanted to share that really neat site above...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007



I can't believe I did this... I was knitting along, merrily thinking I was almost done with the latest incarnation of "Hurry Up Spring" armwarmers from "SnB Nation", and then I figure out this:

Yep. Mel didn't pay attention and she put the thumb for the left-hand glove on the same needle she used for the right-hand glove. Hence, two identical gloves, instead of mirror imaged gloves.

And I thought I would document the honesty of my one table in the condo:

Kleenex (I did think to spare the viewer the sight of two dirty ones on the table!), two knitting projects (I just started the arch increases on the pink sock), scissors, mug o' tea, TV and DVD remotes, my phone, and the plastic bag that holds the cable that connects my camera to the PC.
Sigh. So I have to rip that sucker out now. If I can manage to do it to the level below where I made the increases for the thumb gusset, I'll do that. I may end up getting mad and just ripping out the entire thing. Sigh! I also noticed the new one was a couple of rows SHORTER than the first one....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blanket Frog and New Socks

Greetings! It's Sunday night, and I have much to report from the weekend.

Friday I was bored. I stared at a giant blanket I had crocheted out of hand-dyed chenille tape back in college, and decided I'd had Enough. The thing was too long and too skinny. Here is a picture of it before I frogged - you can see where the colorway changes, too, because, well, I had run out of yarn and bought more, and of course the colorway was different (this was years ago, before I discovered little tricks like "buy enough before you start"):

Look how long it is!

So I frogged. And frogged. Thank god I have a niddy-noddy; I was able to wind off everything into 2 yd skeins. This blanket weighed at least 5 pounds:

I know that my skills have vastly improved since the days of pure crochet with giant hooks. I had followed a "granny blanket" style zig-zag pattern (in my family we call them "Mrs. Rolfe Blankets", because the old woman who my parents had babysit all 3 of us kids would crochet these giant acrylic afghans in lovely retro 70's colors of burnt orange, mustard, and olive, and I also remember an itchier (presumably wool) one in butter yellow, red, and turquoise. They were always that same zig-zag stripe pattern...ah, memories. Anyway, I had tried that pattern, and because both the tape-yarn and the hook were so big, there were way too many holey areas in the blanket. My toes would always get caught. I figure now I can do some easy / neat looking blanket type thing knitting the yarn, and both get a bigger and better looking blanket out of my $100 + investment. :-) I love recycling.

Next up are my new socks - well, they're really socks for my sister for Xmas. I am doing the "Dove" sock pattern in the Upstream architecture chapter out of Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One". I thought I could do two-at-a-time, toe-up with this, but in the first few rounds, my needles and yarn balls kept getting in the way of each other, so I said Eff It and took one sockey off, for later knitting. I did split the ball of yarn in two, though (by weight). I am using Blue Moon Socks That Rock midweight in "Rhodonite", size 1.5 (grr) Addi Turbo 16" circular needles, and.... a Whirlwind Toe out of Cat's book. The cast-on for the toe is pretty interesting. I like how the increases sort of spiral out in the toe. And I think it will be nice for my sister's feet, which are wider than mine.

Yes, this is the yarn that I had in a previous post that was starting the cuff of "Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks" from the same Cat B. book. I had to start over anyway - I think the cuff would have been too big for my sister, anyway.

Onward! Tomorrow is Monday (ech).

In different news, I just booked a b&b for Daniel and myself, and my friends Kris and Randy, in Leavenworth, WA, for next weekend. It's the last weekend of Oktoberfest out there, and Leavenworth is known for being a quaint little Bavarian village out in the middle of... well, towards eastern Washington, anyway... I am excited. And the room price wasn't at all bad for a b&b - the total for each room is around $104, including tax. Pictures will be coming! :-)

Friday, October 12, 2007


So it's Friday. I am working on my work computer, and blogging on my home computer (I love telecommuting). A file is running, so I thought I'd post seems a file is perpetually running at work. Which makes my job kind of nice - I'll set a file off to run, and then I can wait around for anywhere from 2 minutes to over 2 hours for it to finish itself.

My friend is emailing me with perpetual arguments- I don't know why he is so defensive. I have to learn to ignore his comments and let him be right, even when he's not, but it is very hard for me to do that. I guess it's a good lesson to learn.

On to Knitting (aka the important stuff). I cast on the second "Hurry Up Spring" armwarmer last night, and I only completed about a half inch of ribbing before my spinning instructor showed up for class. On a side note, I learned he's an electrical engineer, which is pretty neat. The class itself was crazy - we did a lot of long hill climbs and "jumps", where you go rapidly in and out of the saddle. I timed it to the Franz Ferdinand song that was playing, so I had 8 pedal revolutions between getting in and out of the saddle - it made it a lot easier. :-)

I haven't progressed on my Sky architecture sock. I am afraid to keep going with the size 1.5 Addi's. I think I may have to rip this one out and do something else till my NEW size 1 and 2 circulars come from KnitPicks! (All Hail the Knitpicks!) I wish I had bought my Addi's there...well, then they wouldn't be Addi's, but I am pretty sure the Knitpicks nickel-clad needles are the same thing...for less than half the price. Ah well. I guess if I rip it out, I can start over and do the "two socks at a time" deal from the "Knitting Circles Around Socks" book I bought recently. I might use some easier patterns for the Xmas gift socks; I haven't decided yet.

Tonight, my friends Kris and Randy and myself are going to see "Transformers" on the IMAX screen. I am excited - it's been a while since I've been to an IMAX. There is also talk of dinner, perhaps afterwards.

Yesterday, Jen showed me a class she is going to take on Bohus colorwork - it looks insane. She is a great knitter, so I think she will pick up a lot of new craziness from this class. She also told me that she is taking the Selbuvotter class, based on the book by the same name. This is a gorgeous mitten book that has stranded black and white intricate designs. I guess the point is, if you can read a chart and follow directions, you'll be fine, but it looks intimidating.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Here are my current WIPs. I finally broke down (after the taunting from Jen and Liz ;-) ),and am running more than one project at a time.

First up are the "Hurry Up Spring" armwarmers from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation. I finally figured out how to knit into the back and front of a stitch (yay learning new techniques!). I am using Plymouth Yarns' "Boku", two skeins in colorway 8 (lot 14). I forget what brand of needles I am using - they are a lacquered bamboo, with nice pointy tips. I think they're a size 8, since I couldn't find a size 7 needle, for some reason. I am knitting them for a friend of mine...she is going to pay me (minimally) for the work done.

Here's Armwarmer #1, all done:

And here it is, off my arm:

I bought the Boku originally because it was $2 cheaper per ball than the Noro Kureyon, but I am not as thrilled with the color changes in the Boku as I am with the Noro. Liz warned me that the Boku might break on me, but I haven't found that to be a problem yet...


WIP 2: Next up is the Sky architecture sock, from Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One". The specific pattern is called "Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks". My only regret is that I bought Addi Turbo's in size 1.5 (2.5 mm) instead of true size 1 circular needles...I hope that the socks aren't too big!

I am really liking how the colors "pool" in the sock. It's pretty interesting how the color changes differ in the stitches when you do a slip stitch pattern vs just straight knitting. I mean, I understand that the yarn will be allocated differently, but I am always thrilled to see how color changes play out between my fingers.

Now, for playtime: I just got the new KnitPicks catalog, and I was just drooling over it. Liz and Jen both love the Options needles, and Jen hipped me to the sock needle set at KP.

If I only had $400 to spend on (more) knitting books and needles / etcetera! :-)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Cupcake Obsession

WOW... Vanilla Garlic has done it again:

Butternut Squash cupcakes with Sage and Allspice frosting:

And, to think - this person is in the Sacramento area. I wish I had known them when I was in college!

Works In Progress

Here are my current works-in-progress! :-)

This past Tuesday, after my pilates class, I went to the Weaving Works yarn store to get some more needles and yarn for my friend's armwarmers she wanted. I got some size 1 Addi Turbo 16" circulars, and two balls of Boku, which appears to be a Noro Kureyon impostor, but at $6 or so a ball, I couldn't complain:

Here is the beginning of my friend's armwarmers. I'm using the "Hurry Up Spring" pattern from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation:

Next up is a picture of my new umbrella swift and yarn ball winder. I began by winding (of course) a very tricky thing. A skein of peacock-colored laceweight mohair that was sort of stuck to itself:

Now for the final WIP. I just started on a pair of socks for a family Xmas gift. I am using the "Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks" pattern from Cat Bordhi's new sock book. It's pretty cool, I gotta say... plus, the Blue Moon yarn (STR midweight) is LIKE BUTTAH. Holy S, it's great to knit with. And on the Addi Turbos, it just flies by...

Roast Chicken & Flourless Cupcakes

Today I had the day off from work (ah, another perk of working for Boeing: Flex-Time).

I made two dishes today: a butterflied roast chicken from Alton Brown (the recipe is here:,,FOOD_9936_141,00.html ), and a flourless chocolate/ ancho-chile cupcake recipe from a blog called Vanilla Garlic. This recipe is here:

First, pics from the chicken. This below was the au jus, cooking after I had finished roasting the bird. What's in here was the base from roasting the chicken (a chunky mix of celery, carrots, and onions), thyme, the liquid that the chicken had released, and some red wine. MMM:

Here is a pic of the butterflied chicken resting in a bowl (yes, it's on my floor. My place is 460 sqft - there's not a lot of counterspace!):

Here is a picture of the chicken after I quartered it and put it in a plate under foil, to go hang out in the fridge till I was hungry):

Now, let's move on to Dessert! I followed Vanilla Garlic's recipe, and here is the mix at the point after I had folded in the beaten egg whites to the chocolate and ancho chile powder (which I made by pulverizing some dried ancho chiles in my coffee grinder. That thing rocks!). Yes, the bowl is resting on a chair:

Here are the finished cupcakes. You might ask: Why are they all sunken? Well, it's because they are flourless. The egg whites provided whatever loft there was in the recipe.

The last step in this recipe is to whip cream and load 'er up! I have two cooking pots (little pots) full of whipped cream right now. One is in my fridge and a bigger one is in my freezer... Anyway, I can attest that the cupcakes are great!

One change I made? I added ground coffee beans to the ancho chile powder!! I think it heightens the chocolate flavor. Had I considered it, I would have added some chocolate nibs that I have in the cupboard as well.

I also made my own Trader Joe's Wintry Blend coffee today. All it is is coffee beans with whole peppercorns, cinnamon chunks, and cardamom pods in the whole bean mix. Sooo I did it myself, since I gave away my jar of it to one of Daniel's friends about a month ago... it was darn tasty! :-)