You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

Some old friends (old as in college buddies not overall age) finally let it slip a few weeks ago that they are friends with a couple who have Shetland sheep. I’m on my way down to Portland to visit L & J since it’s been ages plus if 1 or 2 or 10 Shetland fleeces happen to make their way into my car then so be it. (fleeces have been offered up for free and how can I pass up that price?)

Leyburn sock #2 has been cast on although very little progress has been made so far. Since March 1st is on Sunday I seriously doubt I will finish before then. Due to my stashing habits in February and my lack of knitting progress I know my Stashdown numbers won’t be pretty.

My biggest purchases have been knitting related but not yarn. Little Knits has started carrying Namaste bags and I couldn’t resist. First I fell for an eggplant Buddy case and then somehow (I’m really not sure how) I also ordered a peacock Newport bag. The latter is on sale right now so if you have always wanted one….

In other news…please send good job vibes my way on March 4th around 3pm PST. I’m just at the preliminary stages of interviewing for the position but it would be a great fit for me.  I’m not going to get my hopes up but this is only the 2nd decent lead I’ve had in 12 weeks. Kind of demoralizing until you realize everyone else is getting the same results.

I have to admit I’m kind of enjoying my flexible work schedule right now so the prospect of going back to a 40+ hour work week definitely has its pros and cons.

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Why is it the pattern that so many people have declared as a super fast knit is taking me forever?

I finally cast off the first Leyburn sock and keep meaning to cast on the second. It’s not that the pattern is hard or that I don’t like the way it is turning out.

I’m just slow and magic looping the cuff sure didn’t help speed things up. It worked fine but I spent the entire cuff thinking “I hate magic loop. why must I magic loop?”

In other fibery news. Ginger, Betty and I all signed up for a Rigid Heddle class in April. Yup. I’m going to see if I like weaving. It’s almost as if I can’t stand already knowing how to knit, spin, dye and crochet. I need to know how to weave too.

Sigh.

That is how much I spent on yarn today. Such a shopping spree!

3 skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in a pale silver with a tinge of purple. 

Before you think I got the deal of the century this was after a 30% sale, a $25 gift card and almost $12 in store credit (that I didn’t realize I had). All that matters though is that I shelled out $2.75 for 3 lovely skeins of silvery purple silk. The reviews are mixed on this yarn and I can tell from what I see in the skein that crisp stitch definition isn’t going to happen. No matter what this yarn will become something lovely.

The only knitting progress today was getting to the heel turn of the Leyburn socks. They have languished for several weeks and were only picked up again tonight because I actually found the “safe place” where I stashed the project bag.  I need them off the needles if I want to even come close to breaking even for February in the stashbusting goal. At this rate I’ve added far more yarn in February than I have knit.

So much for progress.

I was good, I swear! I had my budget and stuck to it. There were a few things I would have liked to get but I stuck with the 3 items that called to me the most.

A mediumweight STR in Typhoon Tina (maybe I will have STR luck if it isn’t the lightweight), 4oz of a 50/50 camel/silk roving in Pomegranate from Tactile Fiber Arts (I still have their carbonized bamboo from last year waiting to be spun up) and the Kerry Cardigan pattern from Black Water Abbey Yarns. I tried on the Kerry sample they had at their booth and loved it, while I may not knit this anytime soon it is definitely on the ‘to do’ list.

All in all I had a great time and the stop at Ikea on the way home sure didn’t hurt. I think I spent almost as much at Ikea as I did at Madrona but almost all of it was business related items. I finally have proper containers for my dry dyes and several plastic buckets to soak and tote yarn and roving around it. It got tiresome trying to juggle large dyeing sessions when you only have one plastic bucket to haul wet fiber around in.

Speaking of dyeing.

I did a little kettledyeing of sock yarn the other day. Nothing earthshattering but I personally love kettledyed semi solid yarns. If you remember the green Test Socks I knit a while back, well this is the same yarn and technique. These aren’t destined for the shop though but for a big wholesale order. Right now I’m working on team/school colors and from there it will be a wide variety of handpainted yarns.

I think I’m in love.

I finally decided to take the plunge and bought a countertop spin dryer. My only regret? Not buying it sooner. I held off on buying it because while I felt yarn could go through unscathed I wasn’t sure about roving. Boy was I wrong. I tested it out with the kettledyed yarns the first night and by morning the skeins were all dry. Last night I tried it with a batch of roving and hung up one roving to dry using the old squeeze and let drip dry method. The spun rovings are bone dry and the single dripping roving is still wet and probably has another day before being dry. Talk about a timesaver! Of course last night while I was carting 6lbs+ of dyed sock yarn up and down the stairs to the kitchen I started considering a portable hot plate/burner for the dye bathroom.

Yesterday I was confronted with the realization that there are really bad drivers out on the road. Somehow (and I’m really not sure how) someone managed to hit the front bumper of my parked car on Saturday night despite the fact I am parked over 4 feet away from the nearest driveway. It isn’t a head on hit which I could kind of see but more of a ‘I’m turning/backing out of a driveway and am going to scrape half of your front bumper’. I just don’t see how it would have been easy to do because in order to hit me the way they did the car would have been almost perpendicular to mine.

I seriously think it might be the loser neighbour and if you saw her car you would agree there is a good chance she was involved. I’m personally amazed her car still runs since I’ve seen what she has done to it over the years. Somewhere in Seattle there is a body shop owner planning his Bahamas vacation based on her business alone.

In more uplifting news while cleaning out my apt to move last month I came across an old gift card to a LYS, one I apparently never used so that is part of my goal today. The shop is moving locations next month so they have a sale going on…more yarn for my gift card buck!

Can anyone think of a good plan for translating Mom’s recipes into English? She has books and binders full of recipes I’d like to have but since I can’t read Cantonese we need to translate them first. How can we approach this without going completely insane?

It’s been a busy week! First I offically gave up the keys to the apt and started to settle into the routine of living with the parents. Then Mom arrived back from her insanely long visit to Hong Kong. 77 days according to Dad. Then Sarah arrived the following morning for a 4 day visit. I went from living alone to being surrounded by 3 other people in less than 5 days. It was bizarre.

One of the first things Sarah noticed was my cheapo clip hangers for the handknit socks (I love Daiso) and she pulled on one sock in particular to ask about it.

The brightest pair I own right now and she liked them. So I hopped online to check out the Rav stash just in case I had something that would work. No such luck. That meant buying yarn! I told myself if I knit them immediately it was ok plus I only had a few days before Sarah went back home. Conveniently I had to go to the LYS job that day so a skein of Online Supersock Sport came home with me.

Sarah wanted bright and stripey.

Think I succeeded? I tried to match the socks because when it comes to self striping yarn I like them to match. With normal handdyed yarn I don’t care as long as they are similar. However sock #2 had other plans, I was barely done with the toe when I came across a knot. You can see sock #1 (on the right) has a wider stripy section on the ball of the foot but sock #2 is half that size. It threw the whole plan off but since they aren’t my socks I could let it go. 

I cast these babies on after dinner on Wednesday night and knit until I had almost reached the heel before falling asleep. I then managed to squeeze in about half an hour of knitting before dinner on Thursday and then picked up the sock after 10.30pm later that night. At 2am I cast off the first sock. #2 wasn’t started until around noon on Friday and I once again knit until I fell asleep (this is apparently a habit of mine). With a good break for dinner and other random errands I stopped around midnight with maybe 2.5″ left to go. By 11am Saturday morning the entire pair was done with the exception of weaving in the ends! 

I can’t believe I knit an entire pair of plain jane toeup socks in about 2.5 days without going insane. My hands haven’t quite forgiven me and there were moments of  “I really should stop before I hurt myself” but I made it through and have decided to take it easy with the knitting for a few days to recover.

Besides I have a cross stitch project that I need to work on and I also have this small problem of 50lbs of sock yarn needing to be skeined up in 4oz skeins before I can dye them. I’m thinking I won’t have time to knit right now 🙂

I have chores again now that I’m living at home. Granted it isn’t any different than living on your own only this time your Dad gets to tell you to sweep and vacuum the floors 🙂

In between cleaning spurts I baked.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from Tartlette. It’s a new to me blog and I’ve been revelling in the alluring food photos. The only tweaks I made was adding a tsp of vanilla and a 1/2tsp of kosher salt since my butter was unsalted. I used my Extra Brut cocoa and the TJ’s Bittersweet chocolate so these cookies are definitely for the dark chocolate fans. The Extra Brut cocoa is a lot stronger than the lighter brown grocery store brand and the rolled oats give the cookies a nice chewy/nutty feel. Definitely a keeper and I even goofed and put in baking powder instead of baking soda.

I couldn’t wait till Amused was completely dry before trying it on and taking a picture.

It fits! I will have to wait a few days before I can get a daylight photo of the sweater. The color is really quite nice and indoor pictures just never look right. 

There has been knitting since Amused was finished but nothing new. I’ve decided to pick up the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket again and much to my horror I was only 1/3 of the way through section 5. I thought for sure I was in section 6 or 7.  Before starting on another larger project I will only have the blanket and the sock on the needles.

Finishing the blanket in 2009 will automatically get me to my Stashdown goal so you can see why I’m motivated to finish it up. Besides I can’t consider making my Dad a new lap blanket to replace the horribly felted one (I wasn’t there to stop it going in the dryer) until I finish my own blanket. Thank God for Tivo and all those saved NCIS episodes, they are perfect for mindless knitting.

Farewell Apt 7.  It was a good year, I learned a lot, I enjoyed my space and I especially enjoyed not having to always wear pants in the house. 🙂

Hello new home. May you bring me the stability and familarity that I need so desperately right now. All I ask is that you take it easy on me otherwise you might end up on the evening news and lets face it…our family doesn’t need more drama right now.

Oh and before I forget….

Amused is finished. It’s still damp but it is done! It also used up 13 balls of my London Tweed. The remaining 7 balls have been gifted to Ginger and are destined to become a vest for her son. That means in the month of January I have reduced my stash of 233 balls of yarn down to 213!!! 

Only 27 more to go to my 20% goal. If only it was as simple as knitting 2 more sweaters. I just started helping out at a LYS and you know it’s a slippery slope when you spend your day surrounded by soft squishy yarn that is whispering “take me home, you know you want to”.

Flickr Photos

Dragonfibers

On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1

KAL

World Bread Day '07

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