Saturday, October 31, 2009

November nigh

Waking up, getting ready for a full day of editing (for DC), enjoying the season's firstfruits on a lovely autumn day.

first fuyu

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paid off!

Life is  spinning by these days: lots going on.  I pledge to post -- later rather than sooner as it will turn out -- but in the meantime have a wee slice of the goodness of late:


Look what came in the mail last month.  Boo-yah.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scrunched-up Swallowtail

It wasn't until I was nearly a week into the knitting that the idea came to document my progress day by day.  By then I'd gotten to the 6th of 14 pattern repeats.  And I found that at 7, 8, and 12 repeats, the Swallowtail Shawl looked about the same on my needles, something like this:

swallowtail day 4

Since then I've just about finished all 14 repeats of the second chart and moved the stitches onto a longer circular needle.  It's easier to see the shawl's growth, but it still kinda looks the same, something like this:

swallowtail day 10

It's been two weeks since I've cast on, and although I was making killer (for me) progress, my bus knitting has come to a halt in the past few days in favor of naps (yes, the kind in which one's head embarassingly bobs up and down). 

This week is the dash of last-minute shopping and crafting for the weekend's Family Fiesta (a.k.a. the un-baby shower, un-wedding reception, and un-housewarming party all rolled into one), so I may or may not make any more progress.  The goal is to finish by the end of the month though, so do expect an FO post by then!

Friday, October 9, 2009

My kind of sandwich

Although I'm sure that in my childhood days I was seduced by the Oscar Mayer jingle and succumbed to a few bologna and cheese sandwiches, along with -- okay, I admit it -- the odd Lunchable here and there, by and large, the idea of cold meats has never really appealed to me.  Which explains why I'm not such a fan of sandwiches.  When it comes to preparing lunches to bring to work, making a sandwich is a last resort.

So it has to be my way, or I won't touch it -- which means I have to make it myself.  DC once packed me a sandwich with thick tomato slices and cheese that, by the time I got to it, was soggy and got stuck in my molars.  I came home with 2/3 of it and made him a sandwhich the next day, for his reference.

Yesterday, rushing to catch my bus, I only had time to toss my ingredients in a bag before heading out the door.  That ended up better for me after all, since I like to take my time.

Here's the kind of sandwich that works for me:

my sandy

  • Whole wheat sourdough, lightly toasted

  • Swiss cheese (put on the bread as soon as it's done toasting)

  • Plain ol' yellow mustard and mayo

  • Turkey

  • Salami

  • Mashed avocado

The avocado really makes a difference, and makes me really glad to live in California (although they've been coming in from Mexico and Chile a lot this year, which is why I try to buy them at the farmers market as often as possible); a ripe one, well mashed, will not slide out the ways slices will, and you're sure to get a little in every bite, which is very important.  This sandwhich would have been *perfect* if I'd grabbed a tomato or had some sprouts on hand, but that's cool.  Add a can of Coke and a girl's in heaven -- and powered-up for the rest of the worklong day. 

How do you like your sandwiches?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blue Baktus

This was my no-brain knitting for Hawaii--which was tossed by the wayside in favor of a coupleTwilight books (what can I say?).

It got done sooner rather than later, though the posting about it here has been the reverse.  No changes to the original pattern.

blue backtus front and backPattern: Baktus 

Needles: US3 Addi 16" circular

Yarn 1: ShiBui Knits Sock, Gekiryuu/Rapids

Yarn 2: Patons Kroy Sock, Chelsea Tweed

Yarn 3: Navy merino leftover from the first FO.



[looks nice on the reverse side, too, no?]


The edge where the yarn ends are carried up looks ropelike and much neater than I thought it would (sorry, no pic).  The most tricky bit about working with three yarns was the different amounts I had of each.  This one turned out smaller than the first Baktus I knit, but still wrap-around-able and tie-able:

blue baktus

I wanted to keep this one for myself, but instead gave it to my friend for her birthday last weekend.  Oh, sacrifices.  I'll just have to dig up combo of sock yarn leftovers and knit another one, I suppose... darn. (^o^)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Knitting For Me: Whisper Cardigan

This little number was finished and blocked in time to be worn in Maui.  There were tons of mods, the details of which I no longer recall, and which may not help anyway because there is no method to them at all... but here's my best shot at a recap of what I did:

Pattern: Whisper Cardigan (Hannah Fettig for Interweave Knits, Spring 2009)

Yarn: Recycled cotton/cashmere from a thrifted I.Magnin sweater

Needles: US6 aluminum dpns + circulars; US3 Addi turbo circulars

whisper cardi   whispercardi back 
[difficult to take pics of a piece that is the same color as one's walls...]

I wanted straight sleeves so knew from the get-go that I wouldn't be casting on 90 stitches.  From sock-knitting, I knew that 60 sts in the round on US1 needles could be a sweater sleeve for me, which helped me determine 64 as a cast-on number for the Whisper Cardigan -- with positive ease from the larger (US6) needle size.  As you can see from the photos, the sleeves are not tight around my arms at all.

Accordingly I decreased the number of stitches cast off at the underarms.  The only other change I made was to do increases for the 'flaps' every 4 rows, instead of every 2 as called for.  So the sweater still drapes, just not a whole lot.

Although you can't see it in the photos, the back/shoulder is a bit longer than ideal:  it got stretched out a bit in the blocking.  Doesn't make it unwearable, but it does fall off my shoulder every now and then.   If I were to knit this again (a great gift knit) I'd make the shoulder length a couple inches shorter than called for in the pattern, to account for the slight stretching. 

Here's another shot I took -- in my kitchen this time instead of the living room -- so you could see it a little bit better.  

whispercardi[Please excuse my peeking pajama bottoms!]

The cotton/cashmere makes this sweater sooooo buttery (like the color) soft, and so warm!  In sum: a great sweater, clever design, and definitely wearable -- success!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Succulents and spider plants

I've kind of been obsessed over plants and planting these past few months.  DC started me off with a potfull of succulents on my birthday, which I left sitting precariously on a narrow window ledge and proceeded to knock off.  The poor things did not recover.

A few months later I treated myself to a couple more on a trip to Ikea:

new succulents

They started shedding their leaves:  the unfortunate victims of overwatering, methinks.  Within a couple of weeks they began to droop more and more.  I'd find their sad leafdroppings on the table, a little more each day.

dying succulents!

The fledgling hydrangea and spearmint cuttings didn't survive my week's absence in Hawaii, and since then I've failed on newer mint, as well as geranium, cuttings.  But I'm still determined to grow a healthy -- and free! -- mini garden!

My single hope is the spider plant that just. doesn't. stop.  I put it on the table that also holds my TV, open the windows to let the southern light in, and water every few days. 

spider plant[I deserve a prettier pot!]

And it even makes babies!  I am hoping to plant them in water or pots, and have little holiday prezzies for my coworkers and other friends.  The gift that keeps growing, indeed.  Here's a shot of my prototype, a baby terrarium.

spiderarrium[reused stemless wine glass terrarium]

It's easy to see when I need to water; just fill to rock level.  Peasy!  And super cute!  There will definitely be more of these guys in the future.

Of course I'll continue to collect cuttings from friends and family (and neighbors), too, keeping my fingers crossed for success one of these days.  Wishmeluck!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October!

Okay--I'm back, with my blogging mojo in tow!

After six weeks, my apartment retrofit is completely finished, the travels are done, and The Big Clean is ON.  But, it's going to be The Slow Clean, too, because there's much to do elsewheres.  Like knitting.  And crafting.  Oh, and I'm making a quilt.  And planning a party.  A Family Fiesta.  For my brother and his wife.  Because they are having a baby.  In December.  As are two other friends.  And three more are due in February.  And two people just found out they are expecting.

Nine weddings in '09.  Maybe 10 babies in '10?  Could be!

But while I do all these things, I need to update you lovelies on my where- and what-abouts these past weeks.  Picture-heavy posts forthcoming!  It feels good to be back here.  Home.