Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I spent today with friends and it was good. There really is a lot in life to be thankful for. Perhaps working where I do sometimes leads me to melancholic introspection about this, but it is what it is. I am happy to be alive, healthy and loved.

Now, enough of that! Elmira made a fantastic turkey which she cooked upside down (on purpose). It was super moist and delicious! Joe as per normal made his world famous pepperoni stuffing  and also cranberry sauce. I made a pecan and an apple pie. The pecan pie was fabulous, I was less impressed with the apple. We had a really great time.

I finished Barbara Bretton's Casting Spells.. Why didn't anyone tell me there was someone who wrote fantasy romance books that involve knitting? It was fantastic! Other than being a great niche series it was really well written and kept me really engaged. I didn't see the story going quite the direction it did. All around I was pleased. I am happily awaiting the second book to arrive at the library for me. I am also planning on re-reading the Harry Potter books. After watching the new movie I realize I don't remember much of it anymore. It's been so long since I read them all. I am planning to get them as audio books so I can listen to them while I commute or knit.

My other recent life break through is Lush.  Their dreamwash smoothie has worked wonders for my KP in under a week. It also had the side effect of making my skin so soft I keep wanting to pet myself. I have also started using their solid shampoo and conditioner for my dry hair/scalp and it is also amazing! The other big Lush revelation is I have been using their tea tree toner and a sample of their greased lightning spot treatment. My blemishes have started clearing up after only 3 days of use. I plan of adding in their products as I run out of my Dermalogica products. The Lush versions are almost half the price, a made from food grade sustainable materials, are preservative free and produced entirely with wind power. Oh and they seem to be working better for me so far. What's not to love?

I cast on my spring armwarmers tonight. They are to be another Christmas present. Hopefully I can finish them in time. I am also working on the afterthought heels for my two at a time magic loop socks. I still have more to work for the cuffs, but I want to get the heels done so I don't run out of yarn at a bad spot. John tried them on today and they fit him perfectly! He is really excited to be getting them. I am looking forward to wrapping up my Christmas projects and being able to fully engage in selfish knitting January.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It was a 6 hour tour... I mean commute

So, for those of you not living around here, it was snowing today. I'm sorry, did I say snowing, I meant SNOWING! I made it to work with no problems, but this was before it really started coming down.

While I was on my lunch break, Joe called to inform me that our truck was stuck. Queen Anne hill was covered and he had no way out of there. So, I wrapped up everything at my work and 3 hours later I headed over to pick Joe up. What usually takes 20 minutes tops took a good hour due to the busses that were lining 4th ave and were stopped. Once I got around them, it was smooth sailing. Once I retrieved my husband, it was onto Mercer in the hopes of getting onto I5. After another hour, I made it to where there was a WSDOT tow truck and a police officer. They were stopping all the cars and only letting one on the on ramp at a time. That way if they couldn't make it up the ramp, the tow truck could pull them to the side. I made it up the on ramp just fine and onto I5. We managed to make it maybe 5 miles in 4 hours, due the road closure 10 miles down the road. After sitting still for so long I started to go slightly stir crazy. I decided to start listening to the traffic information again. The WSDOT person said that if you can get off I5 to do so, and take other roads. As I was sitting next to the West Seattle bridge exit I decided screw it, this can't get worse. I exited and had Joe use navigator to avoid highways. After driving carefully across several sheets of ice I managed to make it home in a little over an hour.

So, there is actually hope for me getting to work tomorrow. I was worried I would have to drop Joe off and turn around and head back. To top off the evening I was exited to find that my dog managed to hold it until I got home. Miracle of miracles! Now it's time for beer and pizza rolls.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I am sitting on my couch watching Soul Eater surrounded by knitting books and kitties. What more could a girl want? Ok, maybe ice cream and a mound a yarn wouldn't hurt, but hey, life isn't perfect. As the anime and cats need no explanation, let me move onto the knitting books. One of the OR nurses is a fellow knitter and has been for many years. She recently decided her bookshelves were too full and decided to organize them. In doing so she discovered several knitting books she no longer wants. So, I am the happy recipient of her cast offs. As I am still a relatively new knitter (1 year last month) a lot of what she is getting rid of is perfect for me. There is one book, The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns, full of basic pattern recipes for different i tems such as sweaters, socks and hats and suggestions for tweaking them. There are also books on lace, socks and ponchos. Perhaps the ones I am happiest about are Yarn Harlot's (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) At Knit's EndThe Secret Life of a Knitter and Knitting Rules! I follow her blog and adore her patterns. The other one I am excited about is Franklin Habit's It Itches. It's just too cute for words! So many thanks to Kendra for giving me her cast offs.

In other knitting news, I am over 5in on both of my toe up 2 at a time socks. I need to get to 8in by Saturday to start the heel turn in class. The good news is, John will be receiving a pair of socks from Christmas last year and also a pair for this year. He's my good friend's husband and he's a bit in love with comfy socks. So, at least they are going to a good home. I will try and take some pictures this weekend.

The rosé scarf is going well. I haven't had much time to work on it with all the mad sock knitting, but it's almost done. That leaves me with a cowl, another scarf, some arm warmers and a mini top hat to finish before Christmas. Yeah, yeah, laugh all you want. A girl can be ambitious if she wants. I am also going to do some small soap sachets for friends. 

(Rosé  scarf)

Lastly, I am not enjoying The Digging Leviathan yet. I am 50 pages in and it's slow going. The guy has a decent writing voice, but is a bit over descriptive. It also just doesn't seem to be going anywhere. We shall see. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reading material

I don't think I have posted in quite some time about what I am reading. Since I am an avid reader, books are important to me. I have a job in which there are long periods where I am not immediately needed  (such and opening and closing during surgery) and so during those times I read.

I finally finished E.E. Knight's Dragon Rule. Which is the 5th book in his Age of Fire series. I love this series for how unique it is. It's a fantasy series told from the perspective of 3 dragon siblings. The first three books focus on each of them in turn and their version of the story of their hatching and how they come to be separated and then what happens to them after the separation.

I have been following E.E. Knight since my ex got me to read Way of the Wolf which is from the Vampire Earth series. I always love "watching" how author's develop their style. The first book is a bit rough and you can tell  he was trying to get comfortable with himself. The new books though are really smooth and you don't notice the writer.

I am now starting into James Blaylock's steampunk series. I really enjoy the steampunk concept and I am interested in reading more of the literature that spawned it.

In the way of knitting literature, I started reading The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee. It is a book for developing all the skills you will ever need to knit a sweater either flat or in the round. She walks you through step by step construction of a sweater sampler that will include all the basic and some more advanced techniques of sweater construction. She starts with a cable cast on, goes through types of stitches, pockets, button holes, color work and more and ends with four different bind offs. I am planning to work through the sampler and will post more about that once I start it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Anime, knitting and more

So, I started watching some new (to me) anime series a bit ago, Soul Eater and Darker Than Black. Now that both are available on instant streaming through Netflix, it's been easier to watch them. I've been mostly watching Soul Eater and I have been really enjoying it. While some of the characters are a little flat, I do enjoy how unique the story is. I wonder how people come up with these ideas. I mean a school for weapons and weapon trainers that serve Death. I plan to finish Darker than Black once I am done with Soul Eater.

I started my toe up socks 2 at a time using magic loop class yesterday at Renaissance Yarns. So far, so good. I have finished doing my toe increases and now need to knit until I get to the heel turn. This is a nice reinforcement of the first class as we are using the same methods for toes and heels. So far, I am liking this a lot more than 1 at a time. It seems faster and if nothing else is more gratifying. When I bind off, I will have a pair of socks, not one more sock to cast on and knit.

Planning for Sakura-Con 2011 is going well. We just announced two new guests, Chris Bevins and Tiffany Grant. I am excited to about both of them. I think we will really have a good line up for this year.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Moving on

So, my brioche scarf is at the point where I could bind it off and be done. I might keep working on it though to use up all the yarn, but it's being put on pause. I was getting really bored with how simplistic the stitch repeats were and it was killing my hand to keep making the same motion over and over. Gotta love carpal tunnel! So, I am now working on my vineyard scarf again, which I am affectionately calling rosé after it's pretty pink color. The di.Vé teseo is pooling nicely into stripes of pink shades. I love lace, it going quickly, staying interesting and my hand doesn't hurt at all as the motions keep changing. The lace pattern is opening up and is quite lovely. 

My progress through Doctor Who continues. I am currently watching the Genesis of the Daleks serial with Tom Baker and it explains so much! Now I know why the Daleks hate the Doctor more than anything else. 

Wednesday is the Sushi and Sake Gala which goes to benefit the Densho association. This is from the Densho website: "Densho uses digital technology to preserve and make accessible life stories, photos, and documents of Japanese American history. Our free online digital archive is the most comprehensive and accessible resource on the unjust World War II incarceration. We present these materials and accompanying social studies lessons to educate the general public about democratic principles, civil rights, and the responsibilities of citizenship." There may still be tickets available if anyone is interested in supporting a good cause. I am as always looking forward to the loads of tasty sake and sushi!

I leave you with this moment of cuteness!

This is Neebler. Yes, someone is a Futurama fan. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

expanding the old knowledge base

So, my LYS, Renaissance Yarns, is finally offering a couple of classes I have been wanting to take. The first one starts on the 13th and is toe up socks two at once using magic loop. I took the toe up magic loop class a while back, but I think I now understand why people go with 2 at once as I have yet to finish my second sock. It is in time out after making me very angry and has been sitting there for a while. The second class starts in December and is a stranded color work class. I have been fascinated by Fair Isle since I started knitting. So I am really excited about adding this trick to my knitting collection. In the class I'll learn to make a 2 color tam using traditional Shetland wool. I can't wait!

In other news I hope to finish the brioche scarf this weekend so I can start on the vineyard scarf and try and get that done. I just have to decide how much knitting is really feasible to get done in time for Christmas. I guess we shall see how the next couple of weeks go.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brioche progress and more thoughts on Fable 3

So, I am up to over 4ft on my brioche scarf. I am really liking how well the colors are going together. However, I am getting bored with the stitch pattern. I think I am mostly a product knitter, but there is something to be said for the process. I think that's why I like knitting lace so much. Not only is the product beautiful, but the process is all consuming and interesting. I am looking forward to working on my vineyard scarf some more as the charted lace pattern in that is fun and interesting.

I have also been playing lots of Fable 3. The side quests aren't bad, but I still don't feel it has the depth of Fable 2. I really miss the pub games. Those were brilliant and a ton of fun! I would play them for hours. Also, the limited number of weapons sucks. I have been trying to find a new sword and it seems impossible without going into someone else's game. I find that annoying. Anyway, we'll see how it all wraps up.