October 31, 2007
Not many tricks, but certainly lots of treats!
Tilli Tomas Disco Lights in Black
For the “Little Green Clutch” from the 2007 Holiday issue of IK. This will most likely be a Christmas gift for FIL’s girlfriend.
Knit Picks Cadena in Cranberry
For a secrety squirrel Christmas gift-to-be!
Knit Picks Shine Sport in Coral, Cherry, Blush, Green Apple & Grass
These are for this super cute pattern which will be Christmas gifties for my 1 year old and 8 year old nieces. I couldn’t decide what colors so I bought a few since Knit Picks is so super cheap. And I may just happen to get carried away and *oops* make an extra red and pink one for myself ;)
Knit Picks Bare Superwash
For some future Kool-Aid dyeing messing around & general kitchen disastrousness….
Hope you are all getting treated on Halloween too! Happy Yarn-o-ween!!
Edited to Add: Finally, after stalking my prey for-freaking-ever, I was able to snag a skein of Vesper Sock Yarn from Knitterly Things! Woot!! AquaMelon, you will be mine!
October 29, 2007
Let’s face it. At least half of us never get around to finishing our knits. *twitches sheepishly* Guilty! My latest issue is blocking. I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing, and as much information as I’ve been able to spin out of the various knitters I’ve talked to, or books that I’ve read, I still am not convinced that I’m doing it right. Like almost anything to do with knitting, everyone has their own way of doing it and no method seems to be any better than the next. Mostly I’ve gotten by with a haphazard half-assed attempt at wet blocking on towels on top of the washing machine. Oh, and that time last winter when I had lace scarves pinned out on both sides of the guest bed for a couple weeks straight. What with all the dips from the buttons on the mattress, it’s a wonder they didn’t come out all warped like a damp old Zeppelin LP. And it was a b*tch besides.
But Fiberistas Beware: There’s a new toy in town!
Check it out: The Knitter’s Block from Cocoknits (though I purchased mine through Knitwhits). I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but it just sounded like such an amazing alternative for the wet towels on top of the dryer thing I’ve been doing. You can rearrange the “puzzle” pieces to make shapes of varying sizes and you can even lay them out in a 12″ x 108″ piece that would be a perfect alternative to the old pin the scarf on the mattress trick. I had considered blocking boards before that I’d seen on WEBS or in various catalogs, but my main problem with those was the limited variety of sizes that could be accommodated. Sure, they’d be kickin’ for a sweater, but what about a long ass scarf? The only benefit those boards have over this system might be the grid which would come in handy if you were blocking something to a specific measurement. But I think the versatility in shapes/sizes of the Knitter’s Block will make up for the lack of a grid. Besides, I can always do it the “old-fashioned” way and bust out the measuring tape.
So, (hopefully) no more fighting with my fiendish knits! I’ll be a blocking banshee next time I’ve got a knit to wrestle into submission.
October 25, 2007
Posted by knittymuggins under Etsy
, Knitting Accessories
| Tags: Etsy
, Hazel Knits
, Sailor's Delight
, sock yarn
, stitch markers
, Yarn Harlot
|  Comments
Mmmm…… squishity Tulip-y yarny goodness from Hazel Knits
Check it out – it’s a shop shout out to my Pacific Northwest pal Wendee! She’s opened her own etsy shop called Hazel Knits, specializing in hand-dyed yarn and “luxury-with-whimsy” handcrafted stitch markers. And, even better, the Yarn Harlot has been knitting socks with her yarn! You can read about it on the Yarn Harlot’s blog here and here. Now don’t you want to run out and get yourself some? You can sign up for the mailing list on the Hazel Knits blog, and I figure you’ll want to because who knows how long her yarn will last in the shop! She’s doing a major shop update tomorrow (Friday, October 26) with loads of new colors and more of her coveted Sailor’s Delight colorway, part of the proceeds of which goes to Doctors Without Borders. I’m guessing you’ll want to snap that one up as soon as you can because it seems to be her most popular colorway with a gorgeous blend of “garnet, pumpkin, rust, and pomegranate”, evocative of a fiery summer sunset. But don’t fret, if you don’t get there in time, she can special dye you a batch if you send her an e-mail or convo her on etsy.
How sweet are these?
She sent me a sweet little package for my birthday and I got the yarn pictured above in the “Tulip” colorway and these lovely stitch markers to go with it! The stitch markers are almost too pretty to use and the yarn is so super-squishy! I am hoarding it for the perfect pattern. Hurry up and get yours and share in the yarny love! There will be a new color each month in the shop, so have fun deciding which one’s your favorite!
October 24, 2007
Posted by knittymuggins under Knitting
| Tags: bicycles
|  Comments
What I did on my summer vacation
My husband came home one night in June with this bright idea to train for a half-marathon with some co-workers. Not being one to do something half-assed, that half-marathon turned into a marathon quicker than you can say “welcome-knee-injury-with-foot-pain-come-on-in, never mind the fact that he hadn’t run in over 3 years and was having trouble running a couple laps at the track those first few nights. Don’t get me wrong. He wasn’t out of shape. He just wasn’t in running shape.
At first his training schedule was barely a ripple in our domestic life. A few extra minutes in the evenings he’d be off doing his thing and I’d putter around the house. Didn’t take long for that to change. Soon, it was an hour each night and then a long run each week working up from 4 miles to a final grueling training run of 20.5 miles. Sometime in July we bought Bluebell. Since I wanted to keep R. Darling company as his runs got longer and longer, but I can’t run anymore (thanks a lot craptastic knees!) and the robot knee is still cranky, a bicycle seemed like the best option. Pretty soon I was logging in almost as many miles as he was.
Here’s me on Bluebell wishing I could multi-task
Some days I didn’t want to go. Others, maybe I kept him going with the promise of a Robek’s smoothie on that day’s finish line. In the end, don’t let anyone ever tell you that “being there” for someone isn’t that big of a deal. It takes time and sacrifice and a whole lot of cheerleading. But when your spouse has a dream and you help them achieve it, that’s a little bit of relationship magic right there.
By the end of 13 weeks worth of training, and plagued with injuries, my husband completed his first marathon. On a cold miserable day the first weekend in October, he crossed the finish line looking none the worse for wear after 26.2 miles in soaring winds and threatening rain. Congratulations honey! I’m so proud of you!
Marathon Day – Just as bad as it looks…..
26.2 miles and feelin’ no pain (yet)!
And lest you think there’s nothing about knitting in here, I’ll leave you with something interesting. I’ve discovered that knitters and “knitter-friendlies” surface in the darndest places. During all this running business, my husband found a store in town that sells shoes to runners by examining their old shoes, diagnosing their body mechanics based on the wear of those shoes, and helping them find the right ones to keep their alignment as it should be. When I needed new workout shoes, we headed there for some expertise and ended up chatting with a very nice fellow who helped fit me for my shoes. In the process of idle chit-chat, he revealed that working at the running store was only his part-time job but that he loved running and talking to other runners which made it really fun for him.
Out loud, I likened his situation to how I would feel if I could work part-time at a knitting shop (oh joy!). He asked me if I was a knitter and after responding wholeheartedly “yes!”, he told me to check out the site y2knit.net Apparently, his mom is the brains behind the site and she puts together all kinds of retreats and events for knitters and is a bit of a knitting celebrity (though I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know much about her, but I have heard of her book YNotKnit). Her sister is also apparently a well known knitwear designer in San Francisco. It kind of made my day to run into someone whose mom probably has knitterazzi following her every move, and the fact that her son works in a running store, in my town, just made me smile with wonder. Knitters and knitter-friendlies in the darndest places! Who knows who I’ll run into next……
That crazy marathoner guy I married is already planning his next marathon. Oy!
October 20, 2007
October 16, 2007
Posted by knittymuggins under Baby Knits
, knit along
, Knitting Swaps & Exchanges
, Top Down
, Yarn  Comments
It’s been a while since I’ve posted pics of what’s been on and off my needles, so here’s the 411 on the fiber.
I get a grand total of about 2-3 hours knitting time during the work week which puts a major cramp in my knitting style. That’s pretty much all accumulated during my lunch breaks on workdays. And at home? Keep dreaming chicky. There’s just too much other stuff I have to get to first. And somehow, in a new evil plot to rob me of sleep and knitting, I have to magically find myself another hour each day for exercise! If only I could get used to flabby thighs and biofilms in the kitchen sink, my WIP’s might be persuaded to show me a little more love.
This here’s the most that I can show you of the Something Exciting that I mentioned a while back. I finished it a while ago, sans weaving in ends, blocking and adding the buttons, but it’s been tragically anticlimactic because I still can’t share it with you yet. I’m not even sure I’m allowed to show the sleeve, but I figure you can’t tell much from a photo of the sleeve and besides, Stefanie has a full photo on her blog and in her Flickr set. I knit it with some Berocco Nostalgia from my stash and it was an easy pattern to follow, I just got kinda bored of knitting monogamously so it took me longer than I’d hoped. I think that Stefanie is a bit overwhelmed right now because I e-mailed her a couple weeks ago to tell her I’d finished and I haven’t heard a peep. From reading her blog it sounds like the pregnancy is really wearing her out. Heck, I’m tired all the time and I don’t even have another person growing inside me! She deserves some rest. So, I’ll finish it up for reals soon and then when she’s ready maybe I can show you more of it. Honestly though, and this is totally not a reflection on Stefanie or her pattern, but it looks terrible on me. Really terrible. A Grade-A Milk Chocolate Nightmare. But it was fun to do her testlab even if I never get to do it again.
Man, I finally finished my socks for my first SITM Swap pal. I don’t know why but the second sock was a b*tch to finish. I seriously re-did the heel on it about 10 times. No sh*tting. Talk about major suckage. I have no idea why it gave me so much trouble, because the first sock knit up without a single hitch and I am one of those people who follows instructions like nobody’s business (yeah, I’m boring like that). I kept ending up with the wrong stitch count and it just kept getting worse the more stressed I got. I’m already almost a week and a half late with these, so I was sweating to get them done. Now they’re all blocked with my fancy new blockers from here (gorgeous by the way – buy some if you can!), packed up, and on their way to Virginia. Next up: the second pair since I’m an “angel” and have an extra partner. I’m being incredibly unimaginative and am knitting the same pattern for my second pal in a different color yarn. Time to renew the “Mystery At Heel’s Turn” (sounds like a good Nancy Drew, eh?) and if I find the stitch count off again I might have to throw something. Or throw up. Either way, something’s getting thrown. I’m a little bit farther along than what you see below, but not much.
This pair’s in STR Heavyweight in the Midsummer’s Night colorway. Pal #2′s favorite color is blue, so I hope she digs these. I’m a little afraid the color’s not deep enough since she says she doesn’t like “baby” colors of anything. Didn’t find that out until too late though.
Knit this as a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ for my SITM pal’s package. It’s a free pattern from here and I made it with Sugar N’ Cream in the Pool colorway. Super cute and super easy. Smariek has tons of them to choose from and they’re all so pretty! It looks a little wrinkled because I was too damn lazy to take another photo after blocking.
This is an almost finished baby hat that I got at my new LYS when they opened up. Kind of a cool deal. They’re called “Apple Yarns” and this little hat was a promotional deal they put together for the shop. Knit the little hat, they put it in the window for display, and then when they’re finished, the hats go to charity. I’m all for the charity stuff, though lately I haven’t had much time for it. I took this one to the coast with me and just have to finish the leaves and sew ‘em on and voila! Baby hat.
Nope, this funny looking thing is not half of a halter top. Good thinkin’ though. It’s actually the baby sweater I was working on in Vegas (see previous bikini photo from Vegas posts). The pattern comes from the Greetings From Knit Cafe Book and I thought it would be fun to give it a try since I just happen to know someone with a new baby girl. She doesn’t dig pink like I do, so I’m using Valley Yarns’ Longmeadow in Seafoam and I like the yarn pretty well so far. The sweater is kind of interesting in its construction since it’s knit from side to side in one piece. I’m looking forward to finishing my socks so I can finish this one up. I think it will be pretty cute when it’s done.
Finally! My freakin’ Louet Gems showed up! I ordered this yarn from one of my less-than-usual LYS’s because I had a gift certificate there and I wanted to change up the colors and thought it might be nice to have a little advice. The sample book came in handy too. Hadn’t even thought about needing that to help me decide. Anyhoo, after waiting for over 3 weeks it’s finally here (Note to self: They are lying through their teeth when they tell you it will only take a week to arrive. Don’t believe the hype.). The KAL actually started October 1st so I’m already late, but unfortunately, Mirepoix’s just going to have to wait a little longer. I’m kind of excited to swatch though. I’m curious to see if the new color combo will be crack-a-lackin’ or just plain old lackin’.
So, if you made it to here, you must really love knitting! That’s the 411 and thanks for stopping by!
October 14, 2007
Today is my first bloggyversary!
I cannot believe that I’ve been blogging for a year now. Though today is my official bloggyversary, I’m not going to have a major celebration (contest!) until February because I consider February to be my true bloggyversary. February of this year was when I really started to get serious about knitting and sharing, and finding my way in the world of KAL’s and groups out there in blogland. But today deserves a post all its own :)
So, I have to thank all of you out there for your comments, your perspectives, your thoughts and camaraderie. Without all of you I would have quit the “blog business” a long time ago (and I have considered doing this many times). I appreciate each and every one of you that has taken the time to stop by. Your comments and the fact that you’re even reading my random chit-chat means more to me than you’ll probably every know. Because of you, I actually made it to my first bloggyversary and I can’t thank you enough.
So here’s to you bloggy peeps! Thanks so much for always being there.
October 11, 2007
Has anyone else been watching Pushing Daisies (if not, then you can catch up here)? What’s not to love about a show that involves a guy who makes pie (in a place called the “Pie-Hole”), his childhood sweetheart, a Lemony Snicket-ish narrator, and enough technicolor tones to make Alice In Wonderland faint from envy? As if I didn’t already love this show, last night’s episode introduced the fact that the very gruff and decidedly unsentimental private detective Emerson, knits when he is stressed, stores his money in handmade socks, and carries a telescopic knitting needle in his pocket as he hates to knit in public. Not only that, he saved their lives with this telescopic knitting needle! I can’t wait to see the next epsiode. Perhaps he’ll be knitting another set of gun holsters for himself……
October 9, 2007
Robin and Kasia both tagged me for the “8 Random Things” meme! Oh boy! More stuff about me that you never wanted to know! Seriously though, these are always fun to do and I always love reading everyone else’s, so I had to play along.
Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.
1. I have a “thing” for smooshed pennies. You know those little handcrank machines they put in tourist traps, where you pop in 50 cents and a nice shiny penny, and then you crank while the little machine rolls your penny flat and stamps a design on it? Yep. I’m a sucker for those. R. Darling actually scouts them out for me when we go on trips. And once, on a motorcycle trip that he took without me, he managed to find me a little album made specifically for holding the darn things. Seriously though. They’re shiny, they have a cool design, and you get to destroy money. What’s not to like?
2. Along the same lines as #1, I collect old pennies. Specifically the ones that have the sheaves of wheat on the back. Whenever I get a handful of change back from a purchase, you can find me sifting through it looking at the backs of all the pennies. Of course, they had to go and make those state quarters (from two different mints) and those funny nickels too, so now I’ve got even more little piles of loose change on my bookshelf. Because, of course, I collect those too.
3. Elvis was my first crush. I was all of like 7 though, so I didn’t really know what a real crush was all about. I just remember loving his songs and thinking he was the handsomest guy I’d ever seen (we’re talking young Elvis here – think “Blue Hawaii”). I’ve gone for dark-haired guys ever since.
4. I hate jell-o and most things with jell-o in it. Don’t ask me where the aversion came from, because like most American kids, I grew up eating it. It was never my favorite and after trying it again in a “diet phase” I decided I never wanted to waste another taste bud on it ever again. And fruit in jell-o? Sick and wrong. Totally against the laws of the universe. Why make something gross even grosser? I have however, been known to eat jell-o with alcohol in it (jell-o shot anyone?).
5. I have huge feet. For my height that is. I just bought athletic shoes last Friday and I had to get a size 9 (I’m only 5’4″)! Of course the extremely nice salesguy tried to reassure me that athletic shoes are sized differently and you want to buy your shoes larger anyway because your feet will swell. Dude, just say it. I know my feet are freakishly ginormous.
6. Whenever I go to the beach I come home with my pockets full of rocks. The complicated colors, textures and compositions irresistibly catch my eye as I walk along and I can’t help but want to capture that mini round world to take home with me. Inevitably, the magic fades once they’re home and they look dull and lifeless and I can’t remember why I picked them up to begin with. So I’ve started limiting myself to only bringing home 5 or 6 of the prettiest ones I find on a given day at the beach.
7. I love to sing. And I do it mostly when I’m in the car or cleaning house. And I sing like I really mean it. But never around other people. My husband doesn’t even know what my “real” singing voice sounds like. I’m pretty much an alto so anything in that tone I can sing pretty well, but my range is terrible and anything too high I have to sing louder to try to hit the note properly. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Needless to say, there’s very few songs I can sing all the way through without much difficulty. Doesn’t mean I don’t try though.
8. When I was little I believed in fairies. For reals. And not just the tooth fairy. I got to thinking that with all those fairies flying around all the time, where do they sleep when they’re traveling? I figured they needed a fairy hotel where they could get a warm bed and some nice food while they rested between flights. Remember those cardboard school supply boxes with the flip lids that you used to get when you were a kid? I took one of those, folded out the lid and made a cozy little bed in the box portion and turned the lid into a table where I laid out a feast of cheerios with peanut butter on top and a glass of fancy city tap water. My Dad loves to tell anyone who will listen, about how he used to prance into my bedroom at night, pretending to be a fairy of course, rumple the bed and eat the horrific cheerio concotion, then write up a sweet little note and wait for me to wake up all excited about my latest guest at the fairy motel. Apparently things got tricky when I started comparing the handwriting on the notes and Dad had to get a little more careful with his penmanship. I think he once resorted to stealing my stash of fairy notes to make sure Wanda’s handwriting didn’t look too much like Cedric the Leprechaun’s.
O.k. Now you know some really embarrassing stuff about me and it’s my turn to pass the fun around. So I tag: Wendee, The A.D.D. Knitter, Jess, Lisa, Laura, Jennifer, Maryse, & Didi. Have fun ladies!!
October 7, 2007
Despite the rain on the first day, the rest of our stay was gorgeous. Woke up in our lovely room to sunshine and perfect temperatures. Man, I love vacations!
Pirates love Vegas too!
We walked the strip quite a bit on our second day and did some shopping and eating (of course!) since we don’t gamble much. Remember the porn gauntlet? Probably the funniest thing I saw during our time walking the strip that day, happened in the porn gauntlet. We were headed away from all the pamphlet snapping, and coming our way from the other direction was a 20-something, clean cut, nice looking couple. The guy was studiously ignoring the porn snappers, looking every other direction and appearing disinterested, while his girlfriend was dutifully taking each pamphlet given to her and studying it like there was going to be a pop quiz later on. I guess you really can find it all in Vegas! Not that there’s anything wrong with that….
Us at The Venetian
We spent a lot of time, on our shopping day, checking out the upscale casinos and shops that we’d never really gone in. The Wynn was one that we’d never even heard of (I think it must be relatively new-ish) and apparently the whole theme of the place was shopping. I did dig the central indoor garden area though. How sad is it when I care more about the garden than the Jean Paul Gaultier shop 100 yards away?
Inside The Wynn
The garden display at the Bellagio was something I’ve been wanting to see for a while, so we made sure to stop by and check it out. Despite it looking and feeling like summer outside, they did an amazing job of recreating autumn inside. Here’s a few pics: My favorite is the apples cascading from the basket…..
Our third day we lounged by Mandalay Bay’s gorgeous wave pool, complete with real sand, waves, and semi-pounding surf sounds. We never do this while on vacation, so it was lovely to just relax by the pool. R. Darling read while I knitted. Simply lovely! Here I am working on a baby sweater for my good friend who had a baby girl in September. I also brought my sock for my SITM Swap pal, but got stuck on turning the heel and turned to the baby sweater instead. Some nice lady at the pool asked me about what I was knitting and I was amazed when I realized that this was the first time a woman had asked me what I was knitting. A few men asked me in the airport, but they were Canadian and probably drunk, so I don’t quite know what their intent was. The dpn’s were probably confusing in their alcoholic stupor.
I’d been hesitant to bring my knitting stuff on the plane in my carry-on because of all that security song and dance you have to go through nowadays, but hubby was sweet enough to talk to TSA beforehand and find out what was allowed. So here’s what I brought, in case any of you knitters are planning a flight soon: 1 zipper pouch containing: small tape measure, 2 plastic row counters, plastic stitch markers, set of 5 size 5 bamboo dpn’s; Ziploc bag containing 1 ball of sock yarn, 2 balls of cotton yarn, 5 size 4 bamboo dpn’s, size 5 bamboo circular needle.
And best of all, we did manage to leave Vegas on the upswing, making $15 and change in the Luxor on day 2, $35 in New York on our last day, as well as $40 in the airport on the way out. Add in a new tan and some relaxation and all in all, though it was far from cheap, Vegas was totally worth it. Rock on Sin City!
* Blog post broken into parts for the benefit of the scroll-weary and those opposed to excess verbiage
October 6, 2007
The only thing cheap in Vegas these days appears to be the porn pamphlets that get snapped in your direction on certain blocks on the strip, a regular porn gauntlet if you will, and maybe a few of the trashy
hookers hoochies slouching around random streetcorners. Seriously, when you pay $3 for a drip coffee, and $12 for a small drink by the pool, you can no longer consider Vegas a cheap getaway. But we still had fun. Yes, we did.
And apparently, so did the Canadians on our flight down. We had a direct flight from our hometown to Vegas, and as we live fairly close to the northern border between Canada and the US, there were quite a few of them on our flight. I swear they all started getting their drink on by at least 6 AM because there was way too much tomfoolery going on around the plane for a noon flight. In fact, I overheard some rather amusing conversations through the gin-soaked miasma behind us. In the row directly behind I us, I heard this:
Voice 1: O.k. You’re Jessica, right?
Voice 2: Right. And you’re?
Voice 3: I’m Chantel!
Voice 1: I’m Susan, you’re Jessica, and you’re….. What are you again?
Voice3: Chantel! I’m going to be Chantel!
Voice 1: Right, you’re going to be Chantel. Good one.
It was all I could do not to choke on my laughter, until I heard from somewhere in the back on the left side of the plane, this conversation:
Female voice: She wants to find a husband this weekend!
Unintellible male voice answers something
Female voice: Well, we figure she can meet him on Friday night, go out with him on Saturday, and be married in Vegas by Sunday.
Annoying shrieky guffaws follow from various seats around the female voice (and continue throughout the duration of the flight).
Keep in mind, the plane hasn’t even left the tarmac yet.
We arrived in Vegas in the middle of a humid, brewing storm. “Ha ha”, we laughed to ourselves. How funny that we left rain, only to experience rain somewhere else. What kind of vacation would that be? As we hailed a cab and headed off to a 9:30 showing of Cirque du Soleil’s Ka, thunder rumbled around us and jagged ribbons of lightning erupted between the massive casinos, outshining even the millions of neon lights in a city that never seems to darken.
The show was positively stunning, with one heartpounding moment when one of the acrobats almost fell from a wildly spinning contraption that he had previously been jumproping on. It was so worth the trip, if only for that show!
And of course, it’s not a real trip without a new hat for Knittymuggins……
Despite the rain on the first day, the rest of our stay was gorgeous. We walked the strip quite a bit on our second day and did some shopping and eating (of course!) since we don’t gamble much. This was our first time staying at Mandalay Bay, and holy crap was it awesome! I never sleep well in hotel beds, but this one was dee-vine, all full of downy feathery goodness. The room was gorgeous too. Think I could have them decorate mine at home? The only drawback was no coffee pot in the room. Thus, the need to shell out $3 every morning for our drip coffee. Oh well. We were on vacation, so “When in Rome…..” I’ll leave you with some assorted pics of the surrounding hotel grounds. So luxe!
Wendee: Check out the heffalumps! I found ‘em!
Stay tuned for part 2…..
* Blog post broken into parts for the benefit of the scroll-weary and those opposed to excess verbiage
October 3, 2007
Posted by knittymuggins under Fun Things
| Tags: pin-ups
|  Comments