Sunday, January 30, 2011

FO: Keep Chill beer cozy

Keep Chill

2011 Knit the Book Challenge: 4 knit, 56 to go! (almost made my Rocket Goal of five knit things/ month. Super Goal is not bad though!)

Keep Chill bottom

I'm pretty stoked about this! It's a small enough project to finish in a few hours but a large enough area to experiment with color and design!

I frogged the Twisted Torque hat. I'm not really sure where I erred, or if I even did, but it didn't look right once I started knitting the "twisted" part. It was those darn M1s on my dpns rather than on circulars, I think.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Table

Our new table:

New Table

I quite like it, especially the color =) and our bar stools are the perfect height.

P.S. Staples employees/ Staples shoppers: does it look familiar? ;)

Cleaning up

Today we:

Bought a new bookshelf


(and put Christmas away...sad face...)

Packing up
 Gram's ornaments fit nicely in this egg crate!

Packing up

Packing up
Ho ho ho! see ya next year

Baked Spiced Apple Butter Muffins


Muffin nom nom

and I sewed a needle case (finally!)
out of a pillowcase too! no cutting, hardly any measuring (big plus)

Needle Case
now my needles have a snug home =)

Needle Case

all rolled up

Happy Sleeping!

Friday, January 28, 2011

UFO: Twisted Toque hat

I'm not sure if this will be finished in time to count towards January's stats. I'm stuck on the ribbing. The first inch and a half went well. I was still interested. Now that I'm nearing three inches and still have another half inch left, the novelty is gone.

After some thought, I've decided to alter my 2011 Knit the Book Challenge. While I love all the patterns, realistically some don't make sense for me to knit: I won't wear them and I can't think of anyone who will. So I'm offering this substitution: Continue towards my goals of two, two and half, and five projects a month, but they can be any knitted thing from any pattern source. That way, I'll be knitting practical things rather than for the sake of knitting a book.

Time to watch some Golden Girls, drink hot coffee, and fill out some job applications.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FO: Mock Cable Wristers

I finished these puppies this morning =)

2011 Knit the Book Challenge: 3 knit, 57 to go!

These aren't real cables, but they sure are pretty

I wonder if I can squeeze one more project in before the end of January?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bag and book haul!!

I am a pockets and zipper gal. The more the better =) and baby, this has a ton!

o fo sho!!
It's REI's Chock Shoulder Bag and you can see the specs here. Ever since I was young, I've bounced between bags, and I never found one I liked very much. Yes, I am picky about certain things. Even anal. But a bag needs to be functional. Equally important it needs to be attractive. The problem I've found is that most companies don't know how to mix functional and attractive, so functional bags are often big ugly messes.

I do love REI because they have quality products at prices lower than the competitors. When I was at REI tonight I browsed through an awesome KEEN messenger ($80) and Timbuk2 (for an extra small messenger $80). Both bags were great, but a bit too large (and expensive) for what I was looking for. Then I saw the REI Chock bag and loved it instantly. However, there wasn't a price tag on it, so I immediately assumed it was at least $60, if not more. Story short, it was $40 =)

I'm looking forward to flow from school to work to home to shopping with the same bag that, fingers crossed, holds everything.

Now for the book haul:

Found a great sale at Hastings, buy two used (of anything) get the third for $1!
-- The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
-- Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
-- Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

(kind of a weird assortment, eh?)

and one I've been meaning to pick up for awhile:
-- My Life in France - Julia Child ((squee!!!))

ALSO, all their 2011 calendars are on sale for $2.99 and I found a page a day KNITTING calendar!

perhaps I'll squeeze some of these patterns in between my 2011 knitting challenge!

 Also, Happy Birthday to Scott's mom, Penny!
(flowers photographed in Seattle)

FO: Waffle Mittens

2011 Knit the Book Challenge: 2 knit, 58 to go

Color GOLD in Lion's Brand Wool Ease. Even though it's 100% acrylic, which I usually stay away from unless making an afghan, is very squishy and I was kind of taken by it.

These mittens look large don't they? Well they ARE large. Way too large for me. As my first mittens, they sort of flopped. I will find someone with large fingers.

I will definitely knit these again! 

FO: Scalloped-Edge Beanie

2011 Knit the Book Challenge: 1 knit, 59 to go

The variegated yarn I used, Patons Classic Wool, made for some interesting color patterning around the hat. My favorite is at the very top (picture didn't turn out unfortunately) because there are zig zags of color.

a.ka. the hat that gave me such a headache!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Small project burn out

When I finished the Waffle Mittens yesterday, I was anxious to begin a new project right away. However, I jumped from one pattern to another, nothing really feeling right. And I think it's because I'm tired of these 2-3 day projects (really?). While I like the accomplishment and instant gratitude that arises from finishing a hat or pair of mittens in a few short days, the commitment I put into those projects at the start feel all too short-lived. I'm also in the midst of a star-shaped Ripple Afghan that does involve long-term commitment. But it's not enough.

My problem is (well, one of them) since the holidays are over, I'm not pressed for time to knit gifts for people. So nothing feels urgent. And the things I wanted to knit for people after the holidays (Howler Monkey Hat and Hearts Amore) I have already knit.

So while I sip my coffee, let's assess the new techniques and small goals I've gained in the past few months:
1. Fair Isle, check
2. Mittens, check
3. Techniques: yo, ssk, SKP
4. Lace pattern
5. I have already achieved my Great Goal for the month, which is to knit two projects from 60 Quick Knits. Hooray! (not stoppin' there!)

I guess that's it... on top of those, I've also expanded my knitting bag with new needles (3, 6 & 7 US dpns, 8 US 16" circs & 9 US 24" circs) as well as new yarn (mostly Patons).Oh! and cable needles, which I haven't used yet.

My next project will probably involve cables. That's how I'd sum up these last few months: I wanted to learn a new technique/ knit something completely new to me, so I did. What's left on the knitting table? Socks, cables, afghan. They shall be conquered.

(ok that was really cheesy)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Problems #2

Finished Scalloped-Edge Beanie (yahoo!) and then found out there are a bunch of erratas for the book that aren't included in my first edition of the book. Uh huh. And guess what? There's one for the Scalloped-Edge Beanie! Instead of K1, *yo, K2, SKP, K2, yo, K1 it's *K1, yo, K2, SKP, K2, yo. So not the biggest change ever but I am still blaming it for my massive struggle. There are a few other knitters on Ravelry who've knit this hat without the errata and they ended up with a good result. Not really sure how that works...

Promise to post pictures of the Beanie soon. I'm sort of avoiding it because I don't want to block it... but I should.

I started Waffle Mittens a few nights ago. This is where Problems #2 enters. First mitten, bam! finished. I had decided to shorten the length a little in the finger area because I figured it would fit my little fingers better (ok so it was a little snug, but that keeps my fingers warmer). WRONG! After I got to the same point on the second mitten I gravely realized a little extra room would accommodate my fingers much better. Finished second mitten and it fits beautifully. I thought first mitten was a dream but no, second is so much better.

Fast forward. On second mitten I forgot to continue in Basketweave Pattern so it's just ribbing. First mitten has been lengthened but is a little pointy at the top. And I'm still trying to unweave my end for the dumb thumb.

I have about five hours until work. That gives me enough time to finish thumb and start a new project to take with me, right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Problems persist

I spent some time in bed last night thinking about the problem that is Scalloped-Edge Beanie. Should I give it to a toddler, since it would probably fit her? Do I consider it "finished" and move on, but never wear it? Answer to the last question, hell no!! Not after that epic struggling the lace pattern caused me! I decided to unknit the decreased rounds and start increasing the length of the beanie's body. I know a beanie isn't meant to keep ears and head warm, but it should actually touch the ears, right? Haha this one barely skimmed the tops.

Before breakfast I began lengthening. And it wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be. I've already knit two or three rounds. Hooray!!

Pictures later today or tomorrow, can't decide if I should block this. Probably.

#27: Scalloped-Edge Beanie

started it tonight.

also finished it tonight

non-stop knitting for five or six hours.

hands achy.

pictures tomorrow.

hat is too small

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Knit the Book!

So begins my new project: 2011 Knit the Book!! 

That is, 60 Quick Knits! 

I absolutely love this book! Since purchasing it at the end of fall semester last year, I've knit three sets of fingerless gloves (Ribbed Wristers). And I've been a little intimidated to attack another pattern... so I decided last night to set some goals:

Great Goal: Knit at least two patterns every month......I will knit 24 things!

Super Goal: Knit at least half the patterns....that's 30 things! 2.5 a month

Rocket Goal: Knit five patterns a month... 60 things!

I'm not counting the Ribbed Wristers that I've already knit, so if I want them to count I will have to knit a new pair. I tried to start the Scalloped-Edge Beanie (see previous post) and failed. I will decide which project to actually start tomorrow. It's too late to begin one now (I'll just make mistakes...)

By taking on this goal, I'm forcing myself to knit patterns that I might not normally knit and also learn new techniques and stitches (yay!) I also figure this will be a great way to make gifts for people.

Time for bed. Extremely excited for this project!


Since 6am this morning until now I have been so frustrated! (6am happened to be the hour that our roommate drunkenly stumbled home and made so much damn noise doing I-have-no-clue-what...for an hour).

I won't even tell you what happened at work today. ugh and sigh.

And ever since I got off work at 5pm, I've wanted to work on a new hat I'm knitting. Alas, for the past five hours I have been struggling to work the first six freakin rows of this hell-born hat. I have frogged it at least four times, each time hoping and willing it to work. Sometimes I didn't have enough cast-on stitches. Or at the end of the row I had too many stitches left.

I think this has been the ordeal that it is partially because I'm brain dead and tired. Also, it's the Scalloped-Edge Beanie from 60 Quick Knits. And it's so freaking hard. The first 18 rows are a lace pattern, which I haven't tried before, and there are two new stitches that are completely bonkers and always mess up my counting. The guilty bastards are YO and SK2P (yarn over and slip, knit two together, and pull stitch over). While I understand how to do these (I can even recognize them for the most part!) I always fudge something up!! For my sanity and health, I'm going to forget about it for awhile.

I am seriously ready to burn something down.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hearts hat!

I started this baby two nights ago and finished it tonight! (might have finished it sooner but fearing I'd run out of yarn, I put it on a one day hiatus to start an afghan...I don't understand the logic either but there it is))

hearts hearts hearts! who doesn't love hearts?

I watched a lot of Invader Zim while knitting this

I'm not intending to add a pom pom or earflaps. The last three hats I knit all had those. I think I like this earflapless, at least for the time being. Except my ear lobes are slightly exposed and would turn cold if it's windy.

Yarn is from Loopy Knit and Crochet...oh yes... if you haven't heard about my adventure (read: struggle) on trying to remember which yarn this is, read this post. And as it turns out, I didn't run out of yarn! Yippee! I even had made plans with BL to return to Loopy and purchase more today, but then decided not just yet.

Sometime last night, after ignoring this hat pretty much all day, I started an afghan. It will be very similar to BL's birthday afghan, only crazier color work and maybe some different stitching along the way. Also I'm using up a lot of the extra yarn I have (there's a ton, srsly) so it will be beautiful Frankenstein afghan. I'm already looking forward to it.

No, really, I do love mismatched things. The big Granny Rectangle afghan I made for our bed seriously makes me so happy sometimes. Especially comparing the different yarns: some are thinner, some have fibrous tufts sticking out all over, and one row I used two strands of the same color together because that's how much I hated that yarn and wanted to use it up asap. I really do remember each yarn that I used, like why I purchased it to begin with.

My darling Scott also wants me to mention how sniffly I have been while writing this post. I think I have a cold (all the usual symptoms, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, throat ache) but I'm not positive. It kind of came out of nowhere. And also, I suppose I want to deny it because right before I started feeling so pukey I kissed my grandma who is 91 years old and I don't want her to become sick either. Guilt.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Path of Least Resistance, Taking I am

Path to lookout station, Lolo, MT. I think there is something Olympic about it, though

Morning wake up at noon rather than 3 pm, a small improvement, I'd say. Last night I started a hat (purchased some 16" circulars size 8). It's a beautiful bluish greenish darkish color, and white too. I'm Fair Isle-ing hearts too. The hearts I graphed out this morning. Everything was going smoothly, until I realized I will run out of my bluish yarn. For about two hours I contemplated what to do... knit more white hearts and use less blue yarn? Make the hat half blue half white?

I've decided to buy more bluish yarn. Except Scott, in a horrific fit of cleaning, tossed the yarn labels out without me knowing and I haven't a clue the brand or anything. I could say that.

But really.......... I threw them away one day because I was tired of cluttering the coffee table and probably said to myself as I threw them away, "I'll remember the brand. Besides, the labels don't even have a color name (they don't)." That led me to search the internet. At first I thought it was Cascade but zOMG there are so many different types!! Scanning the list (no pictures unless you individually click on each name) I didn't offright recognize any (none that I have purchased recently, that is). So I went to the LYS website where I bought the yarn, Loopy. They have an entire list of all the brands they carry but no specifics nor pictures. But Berroco jumped out at me.

SOOO I googled their website and lo and behold, I believe that is the brand I purchased! (it was during Christmas time, after all. A girl forgets). Unfortunately (or fortunately, since I've decided I love Berroco) they have a zillion different types of yarn. I'm almost positive I have Cuzco, except I don't remember buying a yarn with superfine alpaca in it... you would think I'd remember that, right? I mean, it is just about the softest fiber out there.

And that is how I spent the first three hours of my morning. I've decided I most likely need more Cuzco yarn, but will return to Loopy on Monday to scope it out. And buy more.

Oh, and their stats for Cuzco yarn recommends using 10 US/ 8 mm needles, but I'm using 8 US!!! gah. While I was knitting last night and earlier this morning, I has this feeling that a larger needle size would be nicer. Shit. That's what I get for ignoring gauge.

Double Oh. Berny vommed on the stairs. I vaguely remember at one point this morning that she meowed almost frantically. Now I know that she was saying, "Mom! Mom! I ralphed on the stairs and it went through the steps since these are spiral stairs and don't have backs and it dripped into dad's slippers. Mom!"

Stepping barefoot in cat vomit is always something I've feared. Especially since I often walk down the hall and down/up the steps in the dark. Before today, I always considered it a silly fear; what cat barfs on stairs? so it the fear always hid deep in my brain. But now, today, I have a legit reason for that fear. Not so much a fear anymore though. I'm never taking my slippers off.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Night Schedule

Spiiider!!! his legs give me the heebie jeebies

Photo taken somewhere off a highway in Northern California, on a small hike up a densely-fern covered hill. Hike also took us to the ocean, which was stunning and gorgeous. But it was also very windy and cold that day (late April?) and there were intermittent hail storms. Reflecting on that trip now, I am hit with its impact again. I think I'll blog about our trip to the Redwoods soon. It was such a memorable trip! Especially since it was a two week vacation with no one but Scott, experiencing the Redwoods for the first time, and traveling around and getting lost in Oregon and California. Yes, I will blog about it =)

For the past three nights, all of us roommates have been on the same schedule! While I like us all being awake and asleep at the same time, I do not like waking up at two in the afternoon! Yesterday Scott and I went out for breakfast (and purchased the last largest desk I hope we ever own) and as we drove to Ruby's Diner, Hellgate High School was getting out of class. It was a horrible and weird feeling. And this is what our roommate experiences every day. I am thankful it isn't our usual schedule, yes sirree.

One thing I noticed: if you sleep in so late, you miss out on a lot of breakfasts. Although, there are plenty of restaurants who serve breakfast all day... but fast food joints stop at a certain time. And sometimes an Egg McMuffin is what I really want (haha but not in a looong time. The last one I ate was probably the morning we left for our Redwoods trip, was almost a year ago).

Speaking of McMuffins...I watched Supersize Me. Even though it came out years ago, I hadn't seen it but heard about its message, impact, etc. Yeah...really gross. But I also enjoyed it. A lot. There is something sick about me that I like watching men eat disgusting amounts of food. Case in point: I LOVE Bizarre Foods and Man vs Food. Not to sound sexist about liking men gorge themselves sick, but there aren't a lot of women out there doing the same thing (read none??). This should tell us something about men in general... hmm... let's all think about that for a minute.

Anyway, back to the weird schedule. I thought I would be able to knit a lot since I'd be up pretty much all day and all night. But nope. I mostly watched Netflix. I finished my cowl two nights ago, but am disappointed with it. Not quite the size I had imagined. I tried to start a new project but nothing really appealed to me. Mittens? meh. Hats? waiting to get a 16" circ. Socks? meh. Crochet an afghan? too much effort rounding up stray skeins of yarn. I will probably start both a hat and an afghan today or tomorrow though. I have so much yarn that is just sitting in the spare room, and it's mostly acrylic, yucky itchy stuff. Perfect for a bed spread, right? Well, not all of it is itchy. I have plenty of Red Heart but also Lion Brand Homespun and Carons One Pounders.

Gah! It's 3pm! And I'm just drinking my morning coffee. Horrendous.

Hope you all stay warm today

Monday, January 10, 2011

Help Kelp

Spring vacation 2010: Beach, Northern California

I've decided to try and include a photo with every post. But I don't take photos everyday so this poses a problem. Cue stored photos, yay!

Tonight we have chosen to brew a pot of coffee and stay up until our heads fall down. Well, there's more to it: Scott is one of the lucky workers who was picked to work two overnight shifts in a row! (you are reading the sarcasm, right?) So we are doing this to readjust his time clock. Anyway, it's only midnight now and I'm already exhibiting signs that it's time for me to sleep: I'm cranky, moody, and my head feels like it weighs ten pounds. I will probably not last past two in the morning.

I have been working on a cowl since last Wednesday and it's impossible. Stockinette stitch is very boring. Stripes are very boring. One huge ass St st tube on US 9 circs and worsted weight yarn is murder. I'm not even sure if it will be the right size. Right now it seems like it's too big for my neck region, like it'll just flop over and not keep my face warm (which is my intention). I measured it and it's at least 32 inches circumference.
I think it's too big.
I think I'll begin k2tog until it's only 24 inches around.

Cables really would have made it more interesting.

New Year Resolutions, at this point to me, are stupid and naive. Why wait a whole year to try and better yourself through goals and achievements, only to give up (as many resolution-makers do)? If one is truly trying to better one's self, don't you think a self-assessment should occur more often? Like every month? or better yet, every day? Because it takes a well-disciplined person to take that much time to do it. Alright. Monthly resolutions it is. January is almost to the half-way mark.

Next week (Jan 17-24) I will fast for one day. Not for any reason in particular, just to see what it's all about. I talked about this with my dad when he was in the hospital for a bit, and it intrigues me. I wonder what sort of things I will think about? (besides food)

College has not made me smarter. There are still loads of things and words and facts and common sense that I am still in the dark about, things I thought college would give me insight to. But, in another sense, college has smartened me up...I'm just not sure in which ways yet. If I try to compare my smarts now to my smarts pre-college, I can't. Knowledge that I have now feels like I've always had it. Why is this?

Living in this apartment has been a horrible experience. Obviously I am glad to have a warm place to live and keep my shit. But this living arrangement with Scott's friend has absolutely poked all my buttons out. It has driven me to a creative slump (writing wise), made me sluggish in all things domestic (cleaning cooking organizing), and pretty much killed my sex drive (TMI --get over it). I spend all my time being pissed about  this and the rm that I have no energy for anything else. Even now as I type I feel myself tense up. I know rm is not actively responsible for my failing my class or having messy counters, but I BLAME HIM FOR EVERYTHING. which is not healthy for me. but I see no way over it. I have tried. peace is not an option.

In my head these last three or four paragraphs all tied together somehow with my rant about rm, but now I'm not seeing it. I am trying to make my posts more cohesive and less wordy.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Howler Monkey

I mentioned I finished the Howler Monkey hat for Scott. Just in time for above-freezing temperatures and rain. sigh. O well, there's always next year ;) I sort of figured this might happen; I make winter accessories too late in the season for appropriate usage.


Take photos of a boy and he *will* get ADD

I still have loads to learn about my new camera. While taking these photos, many turned out really grainy and looked like they might have appeared in an old magazine. Which I think is super cool, if only I was trying to make them look that way. Yep, lots to learn.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hospitals and circulars

Dad's surgery was yesterday. Everything looks good, seems that the cancer was contained too. They are waiting on the blood tests but he should be able to come home today =) He was much more his normal self today, making jokes and walking around. I guess he did make a few jokes last night, but they were quiet ones. Our neighbor JP was just around the corner because he had had the same operation as dad! So they kept walking over to each others rooms to say hello and it was very funny. JP hopes to be out by tomorrow. Even though his operation was two days before dad's, it was more extensive because his cancer was farther along. I hope dad's progress is encouraging JP to keep working at it.

While I was waiting with mom for dad to get out of surgery, I started a cowl on two straight needles. After casting on 92 stitches and working about 1 1/2 to 2 inches, I decided last night to move to circulars. I purchased some last night and recast on. I probably cast on about 200 stitches this time, and I think it'll be closer to what I envision. I was obviously dreading having to frog my work and recast on but casting onto circs are SOOO much nicer than onto dpns!! Even though the stitches get all turned and twisted, it's so easy to fix it! I am in love with circs.

I guess a lot of people have been telling Nate that they want a hat like his, and he told mom that he already has ten orders in! I haven't talked to him about it and I'm not even sure I want to sell any hats. For one, I'm kind of tired of knitting hats. Two, mom thought $10 would be an appropriate amount to charge, when really, that only covers yarn, if even (if I use Patons). So I wouldn't really be compensated for my time and effort. Plus, I've only been using published hat patterns, and I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sell someone's pattern like that.

Oh! I finished Scott's Howler Monkey hat =) I still have to upload photos but I think it looks great! And I'm pretty sure he likes it too, even though it causes him to overheat in the house hehe

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A few photos that I'm proud of taking:

For some reason, I really like this...the contrast of light and dark, textures...

Christmas ornament from BL's tree

I like photos in black and white

It has snowed all day! When I woke up the snow was falling at a slight angle and now about five hours later, the snow falls the opposite direction! I'm not sure why it does that, it's not very windy out.

I got an early (waaaay early haha) birthday present from goosey, a crossword book! It is very cute and small, and almost looks like a small notebook that one might carry in a purse for jotting notes. We finished three yesterday and I'm starting on another today. Why are crossword puzzles so fun? =)

Even though I only found out about Ek's death today, I don't feel so sad anymore. I'm in a weird state of mind now. I guess I have been preparing myself for this day for some time now, especially these last few days. The initial shock of his passing is gone. I do miss him, and if I linger on this I will cry. I hate saying this, but I feel better today than I have in the last four days. Goodbye Ek.


Coach Ek died on Friday, in the warmth of his home with his family. The news article is a nice one but it is hard to put someone's life, character, and values into print. Friday was the day he left the hospital so he could spend his last days at home. My parents cooked the Ekegren's a meal and brought it up that night. It was New Year's Eve. I stayed home and cried all night, not because I knew what happened, but my intuition must have. It saddens me that he didn't make it to the new year. But if he had, would that be better?

My heart goes to the Ekegrens