Monday, April 28, 2008

Why I Hate Toes.

I HATE the toes.

It's funny: if you knit socks toe up, you can knit till you run out of yarn.

On the other hand the toes are really tiny and tight and the first stitches.

If you knit socks top down (my favorite way) then those damn toes are boring knitting and the only thing standing between you and a finished sock.

So either way, I have to say:


PS Can you imagine knitting 5 separate toes? AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!


The wonderful thing about Tiggers....

One of my very good friends in LA is about to have a baby. Well ok, it's probably his wife about to have a baby, but that's just semantics, right?

Anyway, they're due to have a little boy in August. I've been dying to knit a baby blanket for them since I found out she was pregnant in January, and was waiting to see whether it was a boy or a girl to determine if it was to be a Hello Kitty blanket (yes it's THAT friend) or a Winnie the Pooh Blanket. Since it's a boy, Pooh wins out. So I'm designing a 9-patch blanket in 4 colors (red, green, yellow and blue) and four characters (Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore).

Now you would think that Disney would see the opportunity out there (thousands upon thousands of knitters) and sell patterns, but apparently they just want you to buy their finished goods. So I've played with some charts, and consulted some charting experts and come up with a few designs of my very own. I finished my first block tonight. Does it remind you of anything?


On Midwestern Weather

After I discuss the phenomenon of "Hail Damage" sales.

Him: Are you going to buy a car at the sale? Come on - you need a sportscar or something for the non-hail days!

Me: For the 3 days a year I won't either dent from hail, freeze from ice or cook like an egg from heat?

Him: That about covers it -- ooops, except for the 30 days you may blow away!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Reads

I confess I haven't been reading too much lately because I'm swimming in things I want to knit, and unfortunately, the more complicated the pattern, the less able I am to read while I knit. Reading is also a solitary activity, and while I love it, I also enjoy spending time with Wes, so I prefer to knit and spend time talking with him than sitting with a book. That said, I LOVE READING and I'm so excited to have finished two books on my "want to read" list.

The first is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I admit that the first time I picked this book up it was on the recommendation of friends and I just couldn't get into it. Indeed the first section is told in somewhat of a dialect and I really had to forge through the first 40 pages. However, after I did that, I was hooked. The first half of this book is told in chronological order, and the second half in reverse chronological order. The stories are seemingly unconnected and yet in some small way the characters in each briefly touch each other. Although certain sections were harder reading than others, overall I'd say the construction of the book was really masterfully done and I enjoyed reading this one quite a bit.

The second book is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I stole this one from my mother's shelf when I was home, and in the course of an 8 hour day of plane rides and layovers I tore right through it. The story narrated by an old man, recalling his days spent literally running away with the circus. It's an interesting read and the author notes that she spent quite a bit of time researching the history of the circus - many of the seemingly unbelievable tales are loosely based on actual events! This was quite an entertaining way to spend a day!


Friday, April 25, 2008

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Our garden seems to be growing! We can already smell the basil (the big green and purplish plans) and the chives. The only one that hasn't grown too much yet is the parsley (that's still domed). I can't wait to harvest though, because every now and then I get wafts of wonderful herb goodness.

It's also evident that spring has sprung here. Everywhere trees are full of beautiful blossoms (whites and pinks and reds and yellows), tulips edge lawns all over the city, and it has rained most days a little bit, despite being in the 60s and 70s. Wes and I have recently decided to exercise together (he gets the credit for the idea, and for pushing me to do it) so now we go walking together a few times a week. Our complex is right next to a golf course and a pretty park area and there are some 15+ miles of walking paths. So far we've only conquered about 1.5 miles of it (that's a good 3 mile walk out and back), and it's really peaceful wandering among trees and lawns and furry little creatures, even if there are adjacent homes and golf carts sometimes. There's a pond and several ducks right near our house, a creek that runs through the area and tons to see and photograph (especially for practice!) All that makes the exercise go quickly. What more could I ask for?


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stuck in my head all night long.

Mairsy doats and dosey doats and liddle lamsy divy.
Kiddley divy do, wouldn't you, wouldn'nt you?

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear,
A little bit jumpy jivey, sing:
Mares eat oats and does eat oats, and
Little lambs eat i-ivy, oh...

Mairsy doats and dosey doats and liddle lamsy divy.
Kiddley divy do, wouldn't you, wouldn't you?


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring

Today I started a new job. We're not sure yet if it's permanent - he and I are using a few months to test drive on both our ends. It was, as first days go, exhausting. There is a lot to learn, and he doesn't seem to have too much time to teach it (he's getting phone calls every few minutes). I think the work could be interesting, but I'm not sure that I'm the right fit for the job so we'll see how it goes.

I did, however, get to go to knitting night tonight and that was super relaxing. I'm about halfway done with my mom's Mother's Day gift and pondering what of the many projects, gifts and samples I have here to start next. I want to start everything all at once, but I'm trying to temper myself and only have a few projects going at a time. I will have progress pictures soon!

Otherwise I'm glad to be home in Kansas. Don't tell Wes cause I don't want him to get a swelled head, but I missed him lots while I was in LA. Although I'm still not sure exactly where home is geographically, it's quickly starting to be exactly where he is.

Ok, off to bed to rest and refresh for a new day.

P.S. I couldn't decide whether to title this "First Day Blues" or something with rain in the title - I am a little blue, but it is also POURING outside and we've had some great electrical storms the past few nights.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Bigass Update

I arrived home last night after a great week at home and have lots and lots to tell!

I flew home Tuesday evening and arrived just around the same time as my sister. Dad picked us up at the airport and took us home where we slept in the same bedroom and talked all night (kind of like an extended sleepover!)

Of note, I finished my first summer tank top on the plane ride to LA.

The Pattern: Ribby Tank from ChicKnits

The Yarn: Incense from

The Needles: US 6

The Verdict: I really like the way this tank is structured and it fits very well. It's a simple pattern, and a little boring to knit, but produces a really simple, elegant tank. I love the color, but the yarn itself is a wool/bamboo/silk blend that I think will be a little heavy for summer. Regardless, it was a pretty quick knit and I know I will wear it!

Wednesday was my play day. I got up early and visited a yarn shop close to my parents house where I found some great Noro Matsuri - 87% cotton. I think I'm going to use it for a bias tank top. The best part was that I had a gift card!

Then I headed up to West LA where I got a pedicure and then met my friends for sushi lunch at our favorite place. The waitress gave me a huge hug and knew my order right off the bat. It was a little like coming home to Cheers again. Catching up with everyone was great, and it didn't even feel like I had left! After lunch I went by the old job and visited with people. It was nice to see everyone, but I'm pretty happy with my choice to have left there.

After that, I headed over to A Mano for an afternoon of fun with yarn. They had some beautiful new yarns in the shop which I got to touch and buy. I also picked up a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's The Opinionated Knitter, which I can't wait to read! I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening knitting, catching up, and picking out a few samples to bring back to the midwest and knit up. By the time I left I had to add a third bag to my luggage to get all the yarn home. Ooops! I capped off the night by having dinner with my Knitmeister S at our usual Brazilian place. The waitstaff remembered me there too!

I have to say that Wednesday was a great day catching up with friends, but it was also a little depressing. I think it's finally hitting me that I'm not the LA girl anymore, and that I really don't live there any more. It's so hard with such special friends there and places that know me. I really like Kansas so far, and I've met some wonderful people here, but it's weird because now I feel like I have two homes, and I don't really belong in the one in LA.

Thursday dawned bright and early as Mom, the Li'l Sis and I headed out to spend a day doing assorted wedding stuff. We started inauspiciously by getting stuck in a lot of traffic and a freeway closure and being 30 minutes late to our first appointment. The day got better though - we visited 2 invitation designers and 2 florists and should be able to get everything we need from these visits. We even managed to get in a good deli lunch, some midafternoon iced coffee treats and make it home by 5:30. I spent the evening in with my parents, discussing wedding details and catching up.

Friday morning was gown day! We headed over to the bridal store around 11am to pick up my gown. The gown fits almost perfectly and it looks like it will only need some alterations around the bust line. I'm still in love with the dress and can't wait to get it altered to fit (that's up for June). Now all I need to do is put together a veil and shoes and I'm dressed for the big day!

Friday afternoon we managed to go to lunch, all 4 of us, at a great local Mexican place. I can't remember the last time I was able to eat lunch with my parents and my sister on a weekday.

After lunch, I headed out for a doctor's appointment, and a bit more wedding shopping, and then back up to West LA to see friends and attend Bel's birthday party! Other than managing to scrape my dad's car (ick, definite worst part of the weekend), I had a good time seeing old friends and catching up, not to mention snacking on great nibbles (Knitmeister S's brownies are to DIE FOR!).

Saturday was the first day of Passover and we celebrated it family style, with my aunt and uncle and young cousin coming to visit. It was a nice last evening in town, with good eats and good company.

Sunday morning was an early one as we dropped my sister at the airport and I had breakfast with my parents before heading out myself. The day was mostly spent flying and I arrived home late last night to lots of laundry, and some growing plants. Today is a catchup and errand day and tomorrow I start another job. More details on that as I learn them!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Still Alive.

Believe me, I have lots to post and pictures to boot. But for now let me just say that the Midwest appears to be undergoing some kind of havoc since I left.

Behold: my friend Amber's house.

But wait, there's more. Shakey bakey Midwest quakey.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

How do you pronounce these?

Today I finally finished my Pomatomus socks (it rhymes with Hippopotamus) and I am so in love with them I can't stand it. Without further ado, the pics and the specs:

The Pattern: Pomatomus by Cookie A. (found on

The Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Blue Lagoon from MisKnits.

The Needles: Magic Loop on US 2's

The Verdict: I LOVE LOVE LOVE these socks. The pattern itself is quite difficult but I love the interlocking crescents and the fish-scale look they create. (Which is quite odd considering that I hate fish!) The yarn was a little splitty and left my hands a little blue (note to self: remember to wash these by themselves for the first try) but I absolutely love the subtle blue/teal/green variation in the color. It gives the socks even more depth. I will definitely knit this pattern again - almost immediately in fact since I have a skein of yarn that will make beautiful socks for a friend who's birthday is next month!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

This weekend Wes and I headed down to my in-laws to work on some furniture. We also managed a few side trips to lakes and creeks near their house and I got some beautiful photos. Spring has definitely sprung.

I find myself more and more intrigued with photography and creating great shots. Some of this is after listening to my friend Noble's photography podcast, and some is after seeing some of the great photography on Flickr and Ravelry (Lolly to name one!) These are a couple of my favorite shots I got this weekend. For more, you can visit my Favorites set on Flickr. Let me know what you think!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Knittin' and Growin'

I realize I haven't posted too much lately and I think it's because I don't have tons to show for myself. The past few weeks I've been consistently employed, which is great on the financial side, but cuts down on the crafty productivity. The last two days I've been off so I've gotten to catch up on errands, chores and of course, some knitting!

Apparently I seem to have a fixation with blue right now. Clockwise we have Stefanie Japel's Airy Wraparound Sweater in Filatura di Crosa, ChicKnits Ribby Tank in Elann Incense, a sample for an LYS in Rowan Bamboo Ribbon, and my (almost there!) Pomatomus socks in Dream in Color Smooshy. I can't wait to get some of these projects off the needles! I've also got a baby blanket (the bright Encore in the background) and a few other gifts to get to knitting so it's going to be a busy month!

We're also doing some growing over here. We planted on Sunday night and as promised our basil has started sprouting in 3-4 days.

This weekend we're heading to my inlaws to finish up the bookcases that will frame the entertainment center and to bring Wes' bike back to KC since it's now SPRING! Next week I'm heading out to LA to see friends and family, visit A Mano, and do assorted wedding planning (get fitted for my dress!). Luckily all of this will include transport time which means more knitting.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

KITHing it up.

This weekend I spent most of the weekend with my knitty girlfriends at Knitting in the Heartland, the Sunflower Knitters Guild's annual conference. This year's featured guest was Stefanie Japel from Glampyre Knits and author of the book Fitted Knits. The best part was that this conference was local - right here in KC!

Friday night we started with a knitty girls dinner at the famous Jack Stack for some great margaritas and BBQ (and mmmm cheesy corn bake!). Saturday morning dawned too early for me. I got to the hotel just before 9am and settled into a class taught by Stefanie. I was so impressed! She's fun and funny, and a great teacher. While I was too advanced for the class, I enjoyed hearing about how she applies her techniques to existing patterns and she had some great thoughts about designing your own patterns using some simple tips and tricks.

Then lunch time arrived and it was time to SHOP! I was pretty good, but I did pick up a few things....

First I got a long awaited project bag from Girley Purls. The proprietress has been one of the most welcoming people since I arrived here in KC and her work is really amazing. She hand crafts each one of these bags, and she actually thinks about her customers and picks fabric that she thinks suits them. This one is perfect for me! I would highly recommend visiting her site and snapping up some project bags, stitch markers and anything else she sells!

But then there was YARN.

From left to right: Memphis from Textiles A Mano, Knitty Bits sock yarn from Two Windows Dye Co., and Happy Feet from Misknits here in KC. I also picked up some stitch markers and some beautiful buttons (for the purple yarn).

Then last night 20 of us knitters (along with Stefanie) went out to dinner. I think we scared the restaurant staff when we showed up, ordered drinks, and pulled out our knitting to hang out for the evening. What a great day!

Today was a lazy day. I slept in a bit and then started some laundry. Wes and I took a long walk on the paths near and around our complex and then did a quick grocery trip. We also managed to set up a garden! No, we're not planting outdoors but for Christmas I bought Wes an Aero Garden so that we could try hydroponic gardening (water, seeds and light - no soil!) We set it up tonight and in a few days we should have herbs sprouting in our kitchen. Within 28 days we can harvest dill, chives, cilantro, basil, parsley and a couple of others.

Tonight he's cooking dinner and I'm knitting my little arse off (working all week means I'm really behind on my commissions and samples) and preparing for Monday.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday funny.

I have no good words for this, only hysterical laughter.

Forwarded to me from my crafty friend of a friend S. and found here.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Multiple Choice

The feeder on the copier is broken. Do you:

A. Swear at it like a sailor.

B. Pour a Diet Coke over it and kick it with your shoe.

C. Take it outside and beat it with a baseball bat (Office Space style)

D. Place every one of your thousands of sheets on the glass individually and collate them by hand.

E. Wish you had called in dead.