Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lazy days... love em

Five days off of work ... this has been a great, lazy five days! I need to do this more often. And the best thing, big piles of work shouldn't be waiting for me since everyone else has been off too. Yeah!!

So what have I been doing for the past several days. Well amazingly little knitting it turns out. I've been on a Twilight binge. After I saw the movie, I reread all the books. I'm thinking about going back to see the movie again. Teen angst... love it!

But it hasn't been all teen romance around here, I did finish up one project and have been working dutifully away on my sweater. First up, a finished object.

A pair of garter stitch mitts for myself.

Last May I made pairs of these for my mom and sister and planned to make a pair for myself. Here were are 6 months later and I've finally gotten around to it.

My favorite part... the way the greenish gold colors contrast with the pinks of the Soy yarn on the palms.

Garter Stitch Mitts by Ysolda
1 ball Pattons SWS (70% wool, 30% soy), Natural Violet (color 70312)
US 9 circulars
Cast on about November 14, 2008
Finished November 28, 2008

Modifications: Cast on only 26 stitches given yarn with a different gauge.

Ravelry details here.

I've also been making progress on my ribbed cardi. Instead of knitting the body pieces in pieces, I put them all on the needles at once. This is making for slow going, but it is finally starting to look like a sweater. So far, I'm still pretty pleased with how this one is coming along.

And last, pictoral proof that I am able to cook and enjoy Thanksgiving solo. S... here's my yummy thanksgiving lunch. An overflowing plate of starchy calories.

Yum! Hope all of you counted your blessings and enjoyed your weekend too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OK... admit it ...

you want to see it too.

I did ... I love teen angst movies... always have. Loved it. All the sappy, illogical, heartthrobby stuff. It was great! Want to have that giggly teenage girl feeling again... you should go too! You won't regret it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sad news in the LYS department

Yes, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but my favorite LYS, Knitwitz in San Dimas, will be closing next month. I'm going to miss this place... locale for my regular Thursday night knit group. What will become of me? (OK... maybe that's a bit melodramatic, but it is quite a loss, a girl has to have a place to whine a bit). It's been great to have a store close by with friendly people, a place to hang out and knit on thursdays. Maybe this will be a good excuse to move to a venue with wine.

As part of the closing, the store of course is having a sale. While I hate to prosper at the cost of a closing, I did want to continue supporting the store, so I went out sweater-quantity shopping. Here is my ambivalent (yeah new yarn -- boo store closing) haul.

Pretty cascade pastaza ... great soft lavendar color.

Alpaca with a Twist, Baby Twist. There probably isn't quite enough here for the cabled short sleeve sweater in the new Debbie Bliss magazine, but maybe for something similar.

More ecological wool! I really liked this wool when I was making S's sweater so it seemed like a good choice for more knitting.

And last, but certainly not least, cascade 220 in a rich purple.

All lovingly selected, even with some remorse mixed in. I was laughing at myself a bit when I picked this pile out. Recently S made a comment about how all my sweaters are light green ... not the truth I claimed. Of course, in the store I kept being drawn to the green yarns. I purposefully didn't let myself overload with green and look what happened... purple everywhere. At least I can identify themes in my likes and dislikes!

So on other fronts, life around here has been crazy, accounting for my recent blog absence. I spent several days in Florida on a business trip and then came back and had to immediately report for jury duty. I spent two days on a panel seating a jury for a gang-related double homocide (with a juvenile defendant). It was a long process to seat the 12 jurors and 4 alternates. Out of the panel of 60-80 people, there were only 12 of us left (including me) who hadn't been questioned when they finally settled on a jury. It was a frightening insight into the judicial system, I have to say, although in the end I felt the process was OK. Now I am back to work, trying to dig out from the pile of work that accumulated during my absence. Studying to make up a spanish exam I missed during my excursions. Why is it that you have to work twice as hard before you leave and twice as hard when you come back from an absence? Somehow that means you've done twice as much work as you would have if you never left. Makes me want to stick around more.

Hope everyone else is having a good pre-Thanksgiving week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Look what the postal carrier brought

A gift, and what a gift! Barbara Bretton just published another book and did a celebratory drawing on the blog she contributes to, Romancing the Yarn. Lucky me... I won some Debbie Bliss cashmere. Great hmmm? And to make the gift even more super she threw in a copy of the new book! I can't wait to read it. I think it will be perfect plane reading when I go on a business trip soon.

And all that cashmere... well I'm going to have to think about what kind of sumptuous items I'll make with that. Thanks Barbara!

And those of you who haven't visited the blog, you should. Barbara's very generous and has been having a number of give aways of late. It's fun to see what she, and her other author contributors, are up to.

Knitting on the ribbed cardigan continues slowly ... because of work I'm once again finding less time to knit. Yep another Sunday spent in the office... = [

On Monday for my spanish class we had a bit of fun though. We're learning various types of past tense now and for practice found recipes (in spanish) for a popular spanish food. We were to make the recipe, bring the food to class to share, and then share with the class how the item was made (yep in spanish).

My contribution... arroz con leche. S wanted to see a pic...

It's not a runny soupy pudding like you get an most indian restraurants, but more of a sticky rice dish ... full of cinnamon, raisins, and condensed sweetened milk. Can you say sugar? Comfort food, Spain and Latin American style. Wish you were here to share the left overs!

Friday, November 07, 2008


Who me?

Well yes. Spending hours in front of a television watching election results allows one the opportunity to cast on new projects and make good progress!

These (terrible) photos are of my newest work in progress, the
Eco Wool Ribbed Jacket with Collar (ravelry link) by Sirdar.

After my last post about the bulky cabled cartigan, I saw two separate discussions about the pain that knitters get in their hands (which I also experience). I decided to take my own advice and take a break from knitting with big needles (which seems worse for my hand). That means I needed to cast on for a new project. The ribbed jacket is something I bought a few months back ... I ordered both the pattern book and yarn online from Rams and I've been looking forward to having the sweater.

It's a very interesting construction. You start at the end of one sleeve and knit up to the shoulder. The work then gets wider and half becomes the yoke for the back and the other becomes the front yoke. The front yoke includes lots of decreases so you end up with a v-neck jacket. Construction like this isn't my favorite because you can't try on as you go... you have to have faith.

I hate that since more often than not, faith in patterns seems to result in bad fitting garments.

Nevertheless, off I went. I had to recalculate the whole pattern since, even though I'm using the recommended yarn, there was no way I was going to get gauge. (The pattern recommended 6s... my swatch on 6s and 4s suggested I might have to go down to 1s or 2s to get gauge... no thank you!). You might guess this has even further heightened by lack of faith issue.

I ripped back once part way through the sleeve due to a misread on my part and then after the photos above were taken ripped back the very end of the "point" on the front of the jacket. I decided that the point needed to end sooner so the sweater would fit. The fronts do overlaps some, but would have completely doubled over each other if I hadn't tried, tried, tried again.

After I do the right side, I'll pick up stitches along the bottom (or what looks like the bottom in the picture above.. bottom is relative given how this is knitted) and knit the ribbing down. This should provide a nice finished project with ribs going multiple directions (down the sleeve and body; across the chest).

Wish me luck (and better picture taking for the next set of photos)!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

You spin me right round baby ...

We're having a dance party around here today!

Wanna join us? You've got to check out this web page for folding candidates president elect, first lady elect, and vice president elect. The music at this page (really play the video on the page... you'll feel good) is exactly how I feel today about the presidential election... deliriously happy, spinning .... Some things are good in the world.

Unfortunately, not all is well. In California, 5, 359, 110 people voted to legalize discrimination towards others. Really? Over 5 million people want to discriminate against other Americans? America is not yet a country of equality. I'm still hoping beyond hope with others though:

Statement by "No on Prop 8" Campaign on Election Status

Roughly 400,000 votes separate yes from no on Prop 8 – out of 10 million votes tallied.

Based on turnout estimates reported yesterday, we expect that there are more than 3 million and possibly as many as 4 million absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted.

Given that fundamental rights are at stake, we must wait to hear from the Secretary of State tomorrow how many votes are yet to be counted as well as where they are from.

It is clearly a very close election and we monitored the results all evening and this morning.

As of this point, the election is too close to call.

Because Prop 8 involves the sensitive matter of individual rights, we believe it is important to wait until we receive further information about the outcome.

Geoff Kors
Executive Committee NO on Prop 8

Kate KendellExecutive Committee
NO on Prop 8

Keep your fingers crossed that those who voted early by mail weren't bigots.
After all, two other states made the wrong choice yesterday. I'm going to keep hoping bad things don't come in threes.

link to puppets courtesy of monster yarn's post today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted ...

have you?

No?! ... well get off the computer and go! Voting this morning was so energizing! I got up early, well in fact I woke up early several times and had to keep going back to sleep until it made sense to get up. After a brisk walk with the pup and a quick shower, off to the polls I went.

I love my neighborhood ... so many different kinds of people. The polling place was a great slice of America ... it made me feel proud to be able to vote with people of different ages, races, sexual orientations.

My wait wasn't too bad... only about 25 minutes. I figured that early (I went around 7:20am) was the best bet for beating the crowds. I suspect it will be even busier later. Even more reason for you to go vote now!

Be part of the process. Read up on the issues and go vote! Me, I'm going to be waiting anxiously for the returns. We Californians voted on some important issues (beyond the obvious presidential choice) including whether or not to legalize discrimination in the state constitution... I'll be glued to the returns to see whether my fellow residents are truely humane and don't make the aggregious error of passing Prop 8.

I haven't been so excited to vote since 1988 ... that seemed like a chance to turn the country around but we didn't do it then. I think this time we might make a better choice. =]