Monday, December 31, 2007

Sweater Speedster

I am racing along on this sweater! It's amazing the different between knitting socks on US 0s and knitting a sweater on US 8s! So much faster.

I measured the body of the sweater against a comfy old sweater I have, and it still turned out a bit short. I don't really want to pick out the cast off edge and the ribbing, so I'll try to block it out. The fabric is stretchy like woah, so it should work out.

We skiied all day yesterday, in a fantastic blizzard. On our last two runs at 3:30, we were skiing in fresh, knee deep powder. It was amazing.

The view this morning after the blizzard.

Happy New Year, all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

Mike's mom and my mom both came up to Oregon for a Christmas / New Year's vacation, and we celebrated Christmas with a nice meal and presents on the 28th. In knitting related gifts, I got a swift from my brother, and two ball winders, one of which I will return. I also got a gift certificate for a cute downtown LYS, which I am very excited to use!

In non-knitting presents, I got two vegan cook books and a hamburger cookbook, from Mike's grandparents. It was a strange juxtaposition, especially since I don't eat hamburger! Two other exciting presents were a stove top popcorn popper and a cake decorating kit.

For Christmas dinner we had wonderful brussel sprouts, a beer and almond braised fish, and I made a delicious fudge pecan pie, with homemade whipped cream. (I'll post the recipe links later, when we have a better internet signal.)

I've been diligently working on the Tree Jacket, to meet my goal of finishing by January 14, when classes start. It's going really well. I made a few mistakes on the garter stitch section - the garter stitch section- but hopefully I'll forget and it won't be a problem when I finish.

I used the lace pattern as written for the neck, and it twisted a little, so I'm using the alternate lace pattern for the body. K2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk.

The yarn is a more cranberry-colored than this picture shows, but this is as close as I could get.

We also (as promised) got a new camera, and these are the debut photos! I hope the photography actually gets better around here...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, from our little family, and our little tree! It's a little late, but still Christmas here on the West Coast. We're keeping the spirit alive for a few more days, and opening presents when Mike's mom gets here, on the 27th.

And my lil' bro, enjoying his Christmas socks! Look at that beard!

Sweater progress: I'm just about to finish the second ball of yarn, and am almost to the point of putting the sleeve stitches on holders! I felt very Christmassy today, wearing a bright green sweater and knitting a bright red one. Pictures tomorrow, maybe.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Early Christmas

A package came in the mail today.

Many packages have been coming in the mail recently, actually. Our little tree is sitting atop a rather large pile of presents and boxes, which we were instructed not to open until the moms come and wrap whatever goodies are inside. This box, today's box, however, did not come with such instructions. So of course, I opened it!

Boy, am I glad I did! Thanks to my most wonderful of brothers, I now have a gorgeous swift. He opened my present last night, so it's all fair. (The socks fit, thank goodness, and I impressed into his mind how important it is that the socks are not for skiing and they must be handwashed.)

Mike didn't get how the swift worked so I wound up a skein of Malabrigo I got last week (Indigo dyed, and fabulous). I loved it. And so did the cat. Winding yarn is going to be a family affair, I think. Me to wind, kitty to get in the way, and Mike to keep the kitty out of the way!
Don't even think about it, Kitty!

I got myself a Christmas present too. In addition to the Malabrigo.

I haven't had hair this short since high school! I got about three inches cut off last week, and decided it was too boring to have gone to the stylist for the first time in at least a year, for the same haircut I already had! So I went back and told him to take it all off. I love it. And so does Mike ;-)

I love this vacation thing. Yesterday, I spent the entire day working on the last remaining Christmas gift, which was also the first one I started. It's amazing how much knitting I get done when I can actually sit and just knit, all day. Delicious. I'll post about this wonderful project next week, after it gets delivered.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Hat and the Holly

Pattern: Camo Earflap Hat
Yarn: Classic Elite Alaska in Apres Ski, 2 1/2 skeins
Needles: US 13 circulars
Notes: I used a much bulkier yarn and higher stitch count than the pattern called for, so I largely made it up as I went along. Two earflaps, cast on to connect with twice as many stitches in the front as in the back, knit for six inches or so, decrease evenly and cinch shut!
As soon as I finished sewing in the ends and braiding the tassels, this hat went straight onto my head. It has pretty much been there since! I've been coveting Mike's hat, and seriously needing a hat that would actually cover my whole head (Ravelry links, sorry).

I love that it took just 3 hours to knit this up. Or would have, if I had ordered enough yarn the first time. Luckily Webs is amazing and got my second order to me within a week, and even still had the right dye lot!

I love the tassels, the thickness, the color, the earflaps, the fact that even without a crochet edge, nothing rolls! The next picture shows the color fairly well- blue with threads of varying shades of purple throughout.

Just as I said it would be, this is the perfect hat.

I wore it to the Farmer's Market today, which ended up being perfect, as there is a large and lovely holly hedge right there! I don't think I've ever seen this much holly- it's really lovely!

The house keeps getting more and more Christmasy- we've got the tree, and presents, and even a cat in a festive bowl! Oh, that's not a tradition in your house?

Well, as of today, it is in ours!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Three things

No. 1: Has everyone seen these? Knitting stamps! I bought them the other day, and I didn't even realize they were knitted until I got them home. They're not just images made to look like knitting- they're pictures of items knitted especially for the stamps! Too cool for school, USPS. (Image copyright USPS, 2007.)

No. 2: My soon-to-be-finished Best Hat Ever! Squishy and delicious with earflaps and tassels! It's Classic Elite Alaska, knit on huge circular needles. The first two skeins got me this far, and I had to order a third to finish it up. I sped through this, all in about an hour. With a high of 26 degrees today, I certainly wish this hat was complete.

And, No. 3: Mike was on NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday! The theme was maps, and we love maps. One wall in our bedroom is actually covered in maps. Our friend, who he talked about, also loves maps. Last year, there were a whole bunch of us (maybe ten, total?) who moved to the San Francisco bay area. Five of these friends lived together and when anyone came over, we'd draw a map of "our" San Francisco. Each map was unique to each person's experience of the city. Then, our friends hung the maps up on their wall. It made for some really cool decorations.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One down, three to go.

I'm talking about both presents and finals.

Yesterday I took my first final and celebrated by going up to Mt Hood and doing some night skiing. It was fantastic. Now, just three more agonizing three-hour finals left to go.

When I got home from skiing, I sat down and finished up the toe on my brother's second sock.
Pattern: My own, 2x2 rib with slipped-stitch flap heel.
Yarn: Alpaca Sox in gray
Needles: Brittany US 2s (2.75mm)

Notes: This yarn is fantastic. Although I've begun to wonder if I picked out something too delicate for my outdoor-leadership, wilderness EMT, ski patroller, hearty, kilt-wearing brother. I'll have to remind him (daily) to handwash these babies.

I hope they'll be big enough. I had Mike try them on, and there's some extra room in the toes. Hopefully enough to accommodate size 10 feet!

Usually I do heels and toes using the short-row method, which I really like. I'm not sure why I decided to do a heel flap, but I'm glad I did- there's a lot more room at the ankle, making these socks easier to put on.

I kitchenered the toes closed, only messing up once on the first pair. I'm not sure why, but I always get lumps on either end of my kitchener seam. Hopefully that will go away with wear.

Now, I'm off to memorize arcane property law and try to find some time to finish up the other gifts I have in my head.

Also, I want to apologize for the pictures on the blog over the past six months. As you may or may not remember, the camera broke on our trip across the country in May. Being essentially unemployed students, we've been muddling along with a digital camera sans screen, but Santa has promised me a new camera! In a couple of weeks, we'll all be able to rejoice in better pictures.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Study Aids

Exhibit A: Pumpkin cheesecake, rosemary Christmas bush & sunshine.

Exhibit B: (L-R) Civil procedure outlines, FRCPs, handknit socks, latte, snacks, caffeinated tea.

This is post #100 on the blog! Celebratory retrospective to come.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Strange Light

I woke up this morning, seeing a glow from underneath the bedroom door. Cautiously, I opened the door and stepped out into the living room. What is this? Did we forget to turn the lights off? Unplug the tree?

No! The sun is out! A rare, strange occurrence. Quick! Where's the camera? Grab the yarn!Here's the Elsebeth Lavold for the Tree Jacket, in Aged Wine.

And some extra bulky yarn for a comfy, cozy earflap hat for me. Classic Elite Alaska in "Apres Ski".

Are finals over yet? Can I knit now?

Friday, December 7, 2007


It's a good thing I don't have my heart set on beating the curve with my grades this semester. I'm not very good at the whole focus-on-nothing-else-for-nine-hours-straight kind of studying. I can do about two hours before I need to take a break with some mindless yarn-surfing.

Classes ended on Wednesday, and my first final is Tuesday. Then it's a final every third day for two weeks. Yuck-tastic.

I'm plugging away at my brother's socks in my self-prescribed downtime. I'm about to turn the heel on the second sock, and then I can send those off to VT.

I decided that as a reward for myself, I'm going to knit a sweater over break. I picked the Tree Jacket, which is a pattern I had to buy, a first for me. I went to Webs and, after a thorough perusal of all the yarn on sale & clearance, decided on some Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL in a cranberry-color. The yarn for it (and a nice chunky earflap hat, also for me) arrived today, and it's taking all my self-control not to cast on immediately.

I've got finals and Christmas presents to finish!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Chill Friday night

There are very few things in life I perfer to an evening of Scrabble and knitting.

The socks are a Christmas present for my little brother. (I hope he's not another closet reader of my blog.) He works winters on ski patrol in northern Vermont, so these are some comfy alpaca socks for him to slip into when he gets from work and his feet need a break from big chunky wool ski socks.

Mike tried them and and says they're comfy. But my little bro has feet two sizes bigger than Mike, so I just have to hope I made the toes long enough!

The Scrabble game was great. I was beating Mike, which doesn't happen often, until the kitten jumped up on the board and scattered tiles everywhere.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Finished & Gifted

The Fetching mitts I was working on before Thanksgiving were done and wrapped up in time to give them to my friend when she arrived from Boston. We're both very happy with them. She didn't bring them camping with us, which is fine by me, because now they are still nice and new for her!

Pattern: Fetching, from Knitty, Summer 06
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Garnet, leftover from the Minimalist (Ravelry link)
Needles: Inherited aluminum dpns, size 6 or so

Notes: Great, fun pattern. I'll knit a pair up for myself one of these days. I have a pair of elbow-length fingerless gloves, and the length is just so annoying for long-sleeved shirts and jackets.

I did four repeats of the cable on each wrist, and the cables are all going the same way. The pattern has the cables mirroring each other on each hand, but I think that's a bit much. I don't like having to figure out whether a mitten is for my left hand or right hand.

These photos were taken at 7 am before taking Shannon to the airport. That would explain the silliness, but Shannon and I are silly like this all the time. She's a wonderful friend!

On a non-Fetching related topic, I just learned I have several lurking blog readers! It's always fun to know who shows up and reads, since without any comments, I have no idea whether anyone is actually reading! I mean, I have BlogStats to tell me, but that's just not the same.

So, c'mon guys (Dad, Melissa, I know you're out there!), leave a comment, even if just to say hi!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Epic Tale of an LYS

I'm in the library, where I am supposed to be studying (my Contracts book is actually open in front of me) but I've been so neglectful of this blog! I don't expect to have much time, or sanity, to post until finals end (just before Christmas), but I will try not to abandon you totally.

I have a wonderful LYS story to share. Every year for Thanksgiving, I get together with a dozen or so of my family of friends from a fantastic summer job. This year, we camped in Redwoods National Park in northern CA. Five of us drove down from Portland, in a fantastic camper van (Jimmy) and food to feed 18 people for five days.

We stopped for gas in Grant's Pass, at a station that just happened to be next door to a knitting shop! While we were filling up, I thought I'd just pop over and see what the shop had to offer. My friend Becca came too.

Walking in the door, we were greeted by a large table covered (covered) in knitted objects, finished, and in various stages of progress. In the next room was all the yarn and in the third room, the patterns and needles, etc. The four women in the shop immediately started talking about how wonderful it was to see teenagers (teenagers!) knitting.

I was wearing my recently finished So-Called Scarf (FO post to come), and the women picked up on that. The owner of the shop asked me what stitch it was, and I told her the name of the pattern. this is where the story gets crazy. This woman (Susan) started to berate me about how knitting is an ancient art, handing down through the generations and we do a disservice to our ancestors if we abandon the stitches for patterns. And, if we use patterns, we don't actually learn the principles of knitting and don't actually know how to knit. Plus, we're evolutionarily at the top of the chain because we know how to use tools, and what are you doing, using double-pointed needles for socks?! Didn't anyone ever teach you the magic loop?! Or using two circs?! Or just two double-pointed needles?! This is blasphemy. You aren't using your tools correctly, you have no place on the evolutionary scale!!

At this point, Becca and I are just looking sideways at each other and trying to gauge how quickly we can escape.

The UPS man comes, and Susan starts to jump up and down (jump up and down) out of excitement, splitting her pants in the process. We have no idea what was in the box.

She comes back to us and asks what we're making and buying. I'm not buying anything, but I've inspired Becca to take up knitting again. She selects some sport weight alpaca, and asks the owner what needles she should get. We get another lecture about tools, and gauge, and then she asks me if I'm a "flicker" or if I "manage my line in my right hand." I have no idea what she's talking about. She makes me knit a round on a sock she has lying out on the table, and determines that since I hold my working yarn in my right hand, I am not a flicker (continental style, I suppose) and am therefore not a knitting snob.

Since Becca wants to make wristwarmers, the selection of needles was a long process, complete with Susan pulling out pattern books. We finally convinced her that since Becca hasn't knit in a long time, she will be knitting them flat and then seaming them, so regular old circular needles will be just fine, and no pattern, cables, or short rows are necessary.

Susan then begins to try to explain to Becca how to cast on, and we tell her that I will be helping her in the van, and we don't need a knitting lesson right now, thank you. However, when she learns I do a long-tail cast on (which apparently isn't even a true long-tail cast on, but it's what my mother taught me, so I'm totally carrying on the tradition of my ancestors, lady), she freaks out. She makes me learn some crazy "Dorothy's cast-on" for socks, which she says will blow my mind. (I'm mildly impressed, but I'm not unhappy with my regular cast-on, so I'll keep using it. Plus, I can't remember this mind-blowing cast-on.)

Mike has since finished filling up the van and come into the store, trying to get us to leave, but he can't handle Susan's craziness and immediately rushes back to the van. Susan is in the process of telling us that it is too bad Becca and I aren't named Susan that that we don't have another friend named Susan with us, because when there are five Susans in the store, there is an automatic "Five Susans" Sale of 10% off.

Finally, Becca gets to pay for her yarn (without a 5-Susan-discount) and needles, and then we begin the process of winding the skein into a ball. Susan again rails against big-city snobby yarn stores that make you pay to have your skein wound (I've never encountered one of those), which again, leads to a discussion of yarn-snobbery.

With the skein safely wound and the yarn paid for, we try to make our escape. The last straw comes when Susan runs off to start the water boiling so Becca can boil the cable of her needles so it's pliable. Finally, we tell Susan we actually have four more hours of driving to do have three people waiting in the car for us, and really, we don't have time for her to boil water for us!!!

We make our escape and make plans for an extensive blog post. And that, my friends, is the story of the Knitting Beehive in Grant's Pass, OR. If you ever go, make sure to bring your four friends named Susan.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Giving Season

I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to the Thanksgiving break. Let's not talk about the quiz I have to get through in Constitutional Law to actually get to break.

For the past several Thanksgivings, my family of friends has gotten together to camp and celebrate Thanksgiving together. I joined the fray last year in Big Bend, in Texas, and this year we are all traipsing out to Redwoods National Park in northern California. Three friends are flying into Portland this weekend and we're driving down on Wednesday. (Classes? What classes?)

Yesterday, I remembered one of the friends, who is flying in Sunday, asked me to make her a pair of wrist-warmers for the trip. Yikes! I pulled out the devastated skein if Cascade 220 from my Minimalist and deftly untangled it, wound it into a ball and cast on for Fetching. By about 10 pm last night, I had 2" completed.

I worked on it over breakfast this morning, and while waiting for my carpool. When I got home, I raced against the setting sun to try and bind off before the light disappeared for a good picture. Clearly, the sun beat me. But not by much! **ETA: I changed the photo, because this one is better. And more accurate of my life!

I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Cast-Off for both the top and the thumb (finished after this picture was taken) for extra stretchiness. I really like these, and I think I may have to make myself a pair. But after I get through my list of gifts.

Also exciting was receiving an Urban Outfitters catalog in the mail. I usually just shop online, in the sale section, because I'm not crazy enough to spend $98 on a t-shirt that looks like it came from Goodwill.

However, they do usually have very cute and hip things, and I do live in Hipster City, USA. What drew my eye tonight was this lovely sweater. It looks simple enough, and I'll be trolling Craftster and Ravelry for a knock-off pattern written by someone far more talented than I. (Than me?)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Knitty, not Witty.

This is just weird. Milk? In yarn? I'm not convinced.

Moving on.

I finished a commissioned piece! Claudia, a kick-ass, radical, genius, and inspirational friend from undergrad, requested a mug coozy of her own, after seeing the one I made for Katie. Now her hands can stay nice and warm, but not scalding, and she can move one step closer to a sustainable life, free of unnecessary paper-mug-holder-things. (Although let's not get into a discussion about the sustainability of acrylic yarn, svp.)

I couldn't find any paper mugs to model this coozy for me, so I used a pint glass from our alma mater. If I were as witty as Claudia, I'd say something witty here to end the post. Unfortunately, I can only help you out with knitty things. If you're looking for witty things, go read Claudia's blog.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fan Girl

Today I went out for coffee. I expected I would get to the cafe before the person I was meeting, so I brought along some knitting. Halfway there, I realized I was wearing my awesome knitting t-shirt and my Minimalist Cardigan. Luckily, I got to the cafe second, so I didn't have to face the decision of whether to be Knitting Girl, wearing a knitting t-shirt, wearing a handknit, and knitting, all at once.

We sat outside and a guy walked by asking for change. We told him we didn't have any (which was true) and he walked away. As he left, he remarked that he liked my sweater. Perhaps in a moment of TMI, I said, "Thanks! I made it!" (I don't know if any of you feel the need to tell everyone who remarks on something you happened to have made that you made it! but I do. Probably because I'm so shocked I actually like something I made enough to wear it.) He turned around and looked more closely at my sweater. Then he said it really needed a button. Or maybe a zipper, which are really simple to install, you know. Then he asked if the seaming was the hardest part. I said yes, and he said it looked like I had messed up on the shoulders (which, technically, I did). They just didn't look right. He then proceeded to talk about how matching a straight line to a circle is hard, because of physics and equal and opposite reactions. Eventually he walked away, revealing he wasn't wearing any underwear and was in dire need of a belt.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Two for you, one for me

In the midst of my many small holiday projects, I started a new scarf for myself. It's My So-Called Scarf, out of some yarn I got in Berkeley, back at the Great-Yarn-and-Fabric-Binge of 2007. I originally got the yarn with a hat in mind for Mike, but he was disdainful of the brown / blue blend, so the yarn has languished in my stash, moving across California and then up the coast to Oregon.

Unfortunately, it looks like 100m (2 balls) are just not going to be enough. So far, I've got 12" of scarf. I'm already through the first ball. I just don't think a 2-foot scarf will cut it.

I'm using US 10.5 (6.5mm) needles, instead of the 11s called for in the pattern, and the fabric is really dense. I could rip back and go up a few needle sizes, or Mike has suggested making it into a neck-warmer, which might actually be a good idea for biking through the winter.

The stitch is great though. It's really rhythmic, and I got into a nice groove while watching Viva Las Vegas last night.

I've got a commissioned gift FO to share, but I just put it in the mail yesterday and it has to make its way all the way across the country to DC. And I don't even know if it had enough postage to make it. Let me know, Claudia, so I can share it with the world!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Extreme Makeover

I'm trying out a new layout.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Craziest of Gangs

Me and my friends on our way to the Halloween party. Let me give you the rundown.
A Dinosaur. (Down in front) A Battery (of the pair salt & battery... assault & battery!). A To-do list. The Right to Arm Bears. A Giraffe. A jellyfish.

We were in front of Burger King, waiting for the bus, entertaining the patrons.
And a close-up of the giraffe, which won first prize at the costume contest! Mike spent all day being crafty and sewing up his costume. He started at 9 am with a sheet and ended up with this at 3 pm.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh, the horror!

There's a crime scene is my living room!

Luckily Mike cleaned this up before I got home, so my tender little eyes didn't have to see the bloodshed our little kitty caused.

That is the remaining nearly-full skein of Cascade 220 from the Minimalist Cardigan. I haven't ventured into the yellow bag where the yarn awaits its final fate to see how much can be salvaged.

I had it in the bag to work on my first end-of-finals / surviving law school / holiday present. We went to a town hall meeting about a $54mn spending package to improve the streets of Portland for pedestrians and bikes (3 people have been hit and killed while riding their bikes here, in the last three weeks alone). First of all, it was lovely to go to a town hall meeting and feel like a part of the community. I've been so transient since high school, and it is nice to feel like I'm settling down to one place.

Second of all, it was lovely to sit at the back of the room, listening to the presentations, getting all the inside gossip from the woman who's lived here for 39 years, and knitting away.

The result is this: A Mug and French Press Jacket for my friend Katie (who I hope does not read my blog - look away Katie!)

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Garnet
Needles: my go to some kind of metal, size 7 or 8 dpns from my mom's stash
Notes: Since I don't have five needles of a dpn set large enough for this pattern, I attempted to use four and still follow the directions. I came up with a very large disc, much too large for the bottom of any coffee cup I know. So I frogged.

I tried again, but still, it came out all wrong. So I frogged.

Then I gave up on the idea of a mug jacket with a cute little button to go around the handle, and settled on a simple coffee cup sleeve. In the end, all I used from the pattern was the stitch pattern. I really love the smocking, and it's a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Katie drinks a ton of coffee- at least a latte a day- and while she usually uses a real mug, sometime I see her with a paper cup. This sleeve helps her cut down on at least a little of the paper usage, subbing in for those cardboard sleeves to help keep your fingers from burning on the cup.

Apologies for the terrible picture. It's 8 am and the sun hasn't risen yet. Also, the camera screen is broken (still).

As for the wonkiness of the sleeve... I can only direct you to the carnage witnessed above.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Look Ma! I finished my sweater!

Yaaaay, sweater!

I'm clearly very excited to be wearing my new sweater. One would think that being outside, in the cold drizzle, would make me this happy. However, I LOVE this sweater. It came out just perfectly.

Pattern: Minimalist Cardigan, from Interweave Knits Fall 07
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Garnet
Needles: Rosewood US 7s

Notes: I thought I might be taking on more than I could chew by picking a sweater to knit during my first month of law school, but it turns out I was wrong. This sweater was the perfect thing to take my mind off school and case books and memos. I could pick up my knitting and an hour or two later, have a finished sleeve!

The pattern was easy to follow and progress was quick. I'd never seamed for real before, so I looked up some tricks online and decided to use the back-stitch method, since the fabric is pretty thick. I think I did it right- let's talk again after I've worn the sweater a few times.

I made the 34" size, and I probably could have made the next size up for the front panels to drape as they do in the Interweave photo, but the shoulders and sleeves and back all fit perfectly.

I love cardigans, and I usually wear them open, or maybe with just the center button buttoned. I might put a clasp on this, but for now I really like it the way it is.

Look for this sweater worn exactly the way I've got it on now- over jeans and a regular shirt, or perhaps looking a little profesh for a trip to the downtown community development law firm where I just started doing some pro bono work.

I have something else on my needles now, but it's holiday knitting for one of my most dedicated readers, so check it out on Ravelry if you're curious.

I've got other holiday ideas for people who don't read the blog (I think) so I'll try and get those projects going so I have something interesting to write about.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Hard Life of a Sweater

Dear Diary,

Monday, I was just a bunch of parts, waiting to be made whole.

Tuesday, I came together and took a field trip to the spa! Aaah, it's wonderful to just...

The today, I took a nice long bath.

Maybe tomorrow I'll make my public debut...

The Minimalist Sweater

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On Finishing

The knitting is done, but now I have to finish it.

I've never learned how to properly sew up knitting.

This will be an adventure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Kitty Luuuuvs Cupcakes!

Over the course of this week, we've discovered that our kitty absolutely loves cupcakes.

First, on Tuesday, a law school friend came over to study. She offhandedly commented that she wanted a cupcake. We convinced Mike to make us cupcakes, which he agreed to if I would make the frosting. Deal!

While we were enjoying our cupcakes (a little on the disappointing side- not so flavorful cupcakes with not so flavorful frosting), Arlo decided she wanted in on the action, too. (Apologies for the green-devil eyes in this shot. The red-eye fixer on iPhoto doesn't fix green eyes... go figure)

Then, last night we were sewing up some pillow covers for the giant couch cushions we got to remedy the incredible uncomfortableness that is our futon couch. I keep my straight pins in a cupcake that I knit up last winter. Mike had mentioned once that Kitty got a hold of the pincushion and went crazy, but I had yet to see if with my own eyes. It's intense. There's hissing and spitting and feverish running about the house.

Do you see the fierceness in her eyes? We think she might be incredibly mad at the cupcake because all the pins in it prick her as she attacks it, which make her think it's attacking her back. I'm going to knit her a pin-free cupcake to test our theory.

In non-kitty news, we had brunch at a friend's house on Saturday. Her condo has an incredible kitchen, but unfortunately she's more of a take-out kind of girl. Mike and I have been promising her that we'd come over a cook for her, and Saturday was the day. We brought all the ingredients over (except salt and oil), plus a waffle iron. Turns out, she doesn't have any bowls or measuring cups! We used drinking glasses and an ice cream scoop to measure, and some large cereal bowls for mixing. It was hilarious.

Luckily, brunch turned out fantastically, complete with excellent company. We went all vegan, since one friend doesn't eat eggs and the other is lactose intolerant. I found an excellent recipe for Lemon-Corn Waffles, and vegan sticky buns (I can't find the link right now... sorry!) All was delicious, and adequately measured.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Taking a Deep Breath

This was that week they warn you about before you start law school. Among other things, I had a quiz today in Constitutional Law. Just 10% of the grade, but with all the stress flying around, you'd have thought it was an enormous midterm!

So, this chilly, gray afternoon, I'm taking it easy, listening to the radio, and knitting, finally knitting.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lazy Fall Saturday

Fall is officially upon us. It's been gray and rainy, with a chill in the air, for the past few days. It's been nice to pull out the sweaters, slip on the corduroys, and snuggle up with a cup of tea.

After doing some pro bono work in the morning (keeping an eye on the police at an anti-war march), and slogging through some Civil Procedure, I rewarded myself with an apple pie.

I think the most difficult part about making an apple pie is deciding how to slice the apples. Growing up, we had one of those apple-corer-slicer-peelers, which was always the highlight of apple season for me. I'm used to thinly sliced apples for pie, but the cookbook (yes THE cookbook) said to cut the apples into 1/8ths. I thought those slices would be too big for eating, so I went ahead and sliced each apple in half, excised the core, and sliced the apples thinly, like an onion.

Tossed with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice,and a dusting of flour, those babies were ready to go.

After I trimmed the crust, and got the pie in the oven, I had a lot of leftover dough. I squeezed it all back up into a ball and rolled it out into a rectangle. I brushed some egg white on it, then generously sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar, and tossed on some nutmeg and allspice. I rolled it up and put it in the oven with the pie. 20 minutes later, we had a nice little snack of cinnamon bites.

While the baking was going down in the kitchen, I snuggled up on the study chair with the first sleeve of the Minimalist cardigan. It was nice to be back with the familiar moss stitch, after the brief foray with the Ribbed Lace. The kitten has adopted the chair as her very own, so she was a bit put out to have someone else sitting in it. She took out her anger on the ball of yarn, at first. But then she just sat next to me and watched, not even going after the needles! What a good kitty.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New kitten and an FO!

This weekend we went to a wedding, and today we got a cat!

I was able to finish the shrug the night before the wedding, and it was nice to be able to enjoy the day without a frantic race to the finish with the knitting.

Pattern: Ribbed Lace Bolero
Yarn: Lion Branch Microspun in Sterling
Needles: US 7 (bamboo) & US 10 (aluminum)

Notes: This pattern was great. Very easy to follow, and with quick results! I didn't do the cables to finish off the lace section, because I was on a plane and I didn't have a cabling needle (or the patience) to do hem. I think it looks fine without. Finished was really easy, and the finished product was just what I wanted.

The wedding was in Orange County, and let me tell you how glad I am not to live there. We left beautiful, sunny Portland (riding to the airport in a convertible with the top down, even!), and arrived in rainy, rainy LA. Totally lame. As you can see, though, it was gorgeous and sunny by the time the wedding started. It was still chilly, though, so I was especially glad to have my shrug!

The ceremony was held in the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum, where Mike used to work. Before the ceremony started, we walked all around, looking for pretty places to take FO shots. This first one is next to a pomegranate tree. I thought they were apples, at first, because I'd never seen pomegranates on the tree!

Since the ground was all wet and soft from the rain, I was having a lot of trouble walking in my heels (ok- I have trouble walking in heels anytime), so I took them off. Mike told me this was a red flag to anyone who saw us that I was definitely not from the OC. It is fine by me to have that fact be readily noticeable.
Another way you could tell that I wasn't from the OC was by the fact that I made the guy giving us a ride from the ceremony to the reception (in a giant mansion, right off the set of The OC) stop off at our hotel so I could ditch the heels entirely and pick up the flip flops. I wasn't about to let fashion stop me from dancing all night long!

And that brings us to tonight, and our kitten. She was abandoned (along with the rest of her litter) outside my friend's work. He adopted her and nursed her (with a bottle!) before realizing he has serious cat allergies. And he lives in a studio apartment! We're probably not keeping her, but we're babysitting for the month, until our friend's dad comes to adopt her. Or we find someone local to adopt her permanently. She is so darn cute we might just have to keep her anyway.