Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holidays

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted on here. Believe or not, I've been working on a post. However, I'll wait until after the holidays to put it up. It's a bit depressing, which is not what anyone wants right now.

On a positive note, I think someone slipped felix felicis in my coffee this morning. I went to the mall today. I know, brave and dumb. Actually it wasn't bad this morning. I found parking right away, they put a Lush cosmetics  (my favorite self pampering shop) in my mall and I got what I came for!! Not only was what I came for the last of said item (it's a present for Joe), but it even happened to be in the size I needed. How lucky is that? Now the sun is even coming out. What a pleasant day.

Now I get to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special marathon on BBC HD (thank you again Comcast), bake cookies and relax. Oh there might be some litter box cleaning and dish washing in there, but all in all, not bad.

On a knitting note, I finished my first pair of socks!! I started these last year as an intended gift for a friend. Instead, I got so frustrated with the second sock that they have been on hiatus. My friend ended up with my second pair of socks instead. He's loved them so much that he's been begging me for another pair. Since I had this lonely sock with half a mate in his size, I just decided to put on my big girl panties and get it done. They are far from perfect, but I think he'll love them anyway.

I also finished my starry night shawl! Ok, it's finished by my standards (aka it's off the needles), however my friend wants fringe on it. I'm not a fan of fringe, its boring and tedious. So I just I have to get down to it and get it done. Maybe Monday since I have it off and have no plans.





Happy Holidays to everyone out there.

My cute little tree

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mythology

I love Greek and Roman mythology. I first fell in love with it when I found a fantastic book at the public library as a child. It had gorgeous illustrations to accompany each myth. I loved how myths explained everyday things, all the whys and hows you ask as a child. Sadly, I can't remember the name of this book as I have been trying to find it again for quite some time.

In high school, I studied Latin (3 years worth) and was on the Junior Classical League team. Yep, NERD! My specialty, was Roman history and myths. My Latin teacher was really kind and knew how much I loved learning about mythology, so she's lend me books to read. I just never grew tired of the exploits of the gods and the poor mortals that got involved with them. It still amazes me how much of it crops up in every day life.

I still like reading those stories. What inspired this post is my recent knitting, at the TV I've been watching to accompany it. My Pegasus mittens and Aster Nyx shawl are two coincidentally mythology named projects. One named for the yarn I'm using and the other being the pattern name. Neither was chosen based on the name or with any theme in mind. It just sortof happened. Oh and as for the TV show I'm watching while knitting. They've got all of Xena on Netflix. I'm such a sucker for the cheese. I always like Xena better than Hercules. Something about tough chicks.


There was finally some decent light this afternoon, so I was able to get some pictures of my finished Pegasus mittens. I think they turned out rather well. The yarn as I've mentioned before the Fresh From the Cauldron merino/silk worsted. It's a single ply yarn, which means it is really warm and cushy. Like the other single ply yarn I've worked with, it's amazingly non-splitty. The luster of the silk gives fantastic stitch definition to the cables. While the memory of the merino makes doing something like mittens possible. I am so in love with this yarn, I have plans to do a matching hat and scarf with it.











As for my shawl, I finished the body today!! Now I just have to finish the 59 edging repeats by Wednesday. Sounds simple right? Even though it's only a 14-17 stitch per row 12 row repeat? Yeah it's taking about 15min/repeat at this point. I think I've finished 4 of them so far. Have so much shawl hanging off one side causes some twisting that slows things down a bit. I see some late nights in my future if I am going to get this done in time.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wishes

With the holidays quickly approaching, Christmas stuff is everywhere. Knit Picks is again doing their win your wish list contest. To enter, you just add things to your wish list and then share it. So, here is my entry. Also, if anyone is interested in taking a peak, your sure to note my love for all things purple.

I noticed I never did a follow up post regarding The Black Prism. Let me just say, I can't wait for the next book. This was simply brilliant and well written and I'd recommend it to anyone. I also found out Barbara Bretton has a new Sugar Maple book coming out next month! I am pretty sure I've mentioned her books before. They are a guilty pleasure of mine, knitting mystery with a side of romance. What more could a girl want? The new book is Spells and Stitches. She has also put a free short story on smashwords. If anyone is interested.

The snapdragon mittens are coming along well. I've finished the mitt, now I just need to do the -en. I had gotten most of the way through one of the foldover bits and then noticed my picked up stitches were crooked. So I'll be frogging that part.

The starry night shawl is continuing along. I think I can still get it done by the end of the month. I am going to try really hard to do so. I'm on row 140 of 172 before starting the edging. It's taking me 30-45 minutes per knit and purl back row combo (or 2 rows total). So that means about 12 hours of knitting left to finish the body of the shawl. Put that way, it doesn't seem like so much. I'm a bit nervous about the edging though, I've never done a knitted on edging like this before. It's always amazing how lace looks like a dirty dishrag until it's blocked.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sick Day

After 2 weeks of fighting it off, my husband finally managed to infect me with his cold. It's quite a doozy too. It started on Thursday and has been getting worse and worse. So today I've been sitting around the house watching BBC (in HD now, thank you Comcast!) and re-runs of the X Files and Star Trek the Next Generation and drinking Emergen-C. Joe was kind and made me some sausage and kale soup the other night, so I've been working my way through that. It's so delicious and makes me feel a bit better. The kale came from our first CSA box from Whistling Train Farm.

Yesterday it was some comfort in my sickened state that I received some lovely new yarn. I got 3 skeins Fresh From the Cauldron mythos in Athena, Artemis and Pegasus. The Artemis was a swap actually as the gal needed 3 matching skeins and I had one close to what she needed. The one I got from her is a bit darker, but works better for what I want it for anyway. I plan to make a matching hat for my Pegasus Mittens with the second skein I got in this package. My October yarn co-op package from Liberty's Yarn also came in. She can no longer get in her Jabbersocky base and needs to find something to replace it. So this co-op shipment included to different bases which are possible replacements. We get to try them and vote for our favorites. So far each has something I love and something I dislike. It'll be a hard choice.

Joe and his sockhead hat
October was a good knitting month for me. I finished my Elphaba mitts from my last blog post. I also made a sockhead hat for Joe using Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs strychnine in the multipass colorway. Using the leftover yarn from this I also made a yarmulke for a friend of ours.  Lastly I also made a calorimetry for myself. I'm not overly thrilled with it. It's a bit big and doesn't do much for keeping my ears warm.


The Pegasus mittens I am making use Ysolda Teague's Snapdragon pattern. It's a cute convertible (mitten to mitt) design with cables on the cuffs. For the hat, I am thinking of using Al Fresco by Faina Goberstein. I am going to try doing the cables in some Eyes of the Dragon (also FFtC) leftovers that someone was nice enough to give me. I just hope I have enough.


My work on my Starry Night shawl is going well. I am on row 128 out of 172. Once I am finished with the main body, I have to knit on the border. Other than a few bits here and there (mostly due to printing the pattern in black and white) the pattern is really straightforward and not overly difficult. The yarn is a dream to work with, soft and yummy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've posted. Things have been busy around here. I had 2 straight weekends of call time in addition to the other stuff in my life that hogs up my free time. I've been knitting like mad though. Joining the HPKCHC on Ravelry has given me inspiration of motivation to keep my needles in motion.

I've now finished several hexipuffs, and am waiting for more left over sock yarn to knit them up with. I came up with the idea last night while falling asleep of using some of my yarn samplers so I can try out the yarns. It'll also give me a wide variety of colors for the puffs. I can keep a small strip of the yarn to label for future color reference.

I have also been working on some yummy fingerless gloves using Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs' Laudanum Lache in Romantic and Valerie Johnson's Elphaba pattern. It was one of the skeins I managed to snag at Sock Summit. They were to be for the Halloween knit along in the Gothsocks forum as well as for HPKCHC. However, I didn't finish them by the deadline for HPKCHC, so I have until the end of the month for the Gothsocks turn in. The yarn is simply lovely, the cashmere in it makes it super soft while the wool and nylon keeps the halo to a minimum. It may bloom in the wash though, we shall see.

I recently broke down and purchased a Kindle. I've had it for 3 weeks now and I am madly in love. I think I actually read faster using it. It's so easy to use and with the e-ink I forget I'm not reading a paperback. I've bought several books for it already as well as put my patterns onto it. It's easy to read the patterns and I can zoom in on my charts. I don't know why it took me so long to make the decision to get one, but I am happy I finally did. It celebration of this I knitted a Doctor Who themed cozy for my Kindle, since both it and the TARDIS are bigger on the inside it seemed appropriate.

The last and most recent of my projects since my last post is an argyle cell phone cozy. I used some lovely yarn I got from the caffeine addicts swap a while ago. It is a Norwegian wool yarn called Dalegarn Falk. So now my phone is looking snazzy in charcoal and red argyles.

So with the purchase of the Kindle, I have added some new books to my reading list. The main one being Brent Weeks' The Black Prism. I just found this great YouTube trailer for the book. Who'd have thunk, a trailer for a book? Ah well, you may remember my rants about his Night Angel trilogy. This new series is even better. He's developed a totally unique system for magic involving turning light into solid. It's a pretty cool concept. Each drafter (his term for "mages") can use one or more spectrum of light. Each spectrum has it's own properties for drafting. For instance green is flexible, ultra violet is invisible and sub red is hot. I also love that the main character is chubby 16 year old boy. Something more realistic than the usual athletic sword trained men in more fantasy sci-fi. I'm about halfway through the book now, so I'll be sure to let you know if my enthusiasm holds up or if I am disappointed.

I think that is enough for now. I just hope that gap between posts isn't as long next time.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Yarn by the Pound!

I thought, while I am waiting for my friend Sabrina (yes there are going to be 2 of us) I might do a quick update. I am waiting for her as  we are going to the Knit Picks warehouse sale. We figured it was worth the 2-3 hour drive for lovely yarn at $12/lb! I wonder what they will have, I'm hoping for some aloft and maybe some WoTA in colors for my upcoming projects.

So, I  finished a pretty twisted bracelet. The pattern is from Knitty First Fall, 2011 and is by Cat Wong. I used a sample skein of Spincycle natural novelty yarn I got at Madrona last year. The yarn is a varigated grey to black thick thin yarn with slubs of deep purple mohair. The linen stitch worked well to even out the thick thin bits and the little pops of mohair I think look kinda cool. The picture makes it look a bit more messy than it really is.

I also started working on an Aster Nyx shawl for Alyx. It is my payment to her for making my steampunk costume for me. So far it's buzzing right along. It is also my OWL project for the HPKCHC on Ravelry. The Gaia lace yarn from Sanguine Gryphon that I am using for the shawl is just amazing! It's so soft and yummy. It's a bit bit like kid silk haze, without the haze. I might have to pick up some for myself.

unstuffed puff
Other than that, I have caught the hexipuff addiction. Hexipuffs are part of Tiny Owl Knits' beekeepers quilt. They are super easy to make, use leftover sock yarn and are really addictive. The reason being is it takes 30-60min to make 1 hexipuff, but then you've finished something! I really am jealous that I didn't think of this. It's blown up on Ravelry like no tomorrow and at $5.50 for the pattern, she's gotta be making money hand over fist. Much like the Monkey Socks, I think it's just brilliant in it's simplicity.

I think that's it for now. I'll try and post my spoils from the warehouse sale.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Updates

I keep saying I want to update this more regularly. Apparently I stink at doing so. I could make a long list of excuses, but I won't. I will say it's partially due to the fact that I discovered that my blogger droid ap was pushing ads onto my phone. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind seeing ads at the bottom of free aps, but pop ups, no way! So I un-installed it.

So, As I mentioned before, I finished my hitchhiker scarf! I even managed to get 42 teeth, even though the last one was 2 rows short. Joe even managed to take a good picture of me wearing it, which is nice. I have very few pictures of myself I like sharing.

Since I finished the hitchhiker, I've been knitting away. I managed to bind off the left front of my whisker cardi. I you all remember me talking about that a bit back. That just leaves the right front and the sleeves. Then all the finishing tid bits that I hate.

I've also resumed my fancy socklets, which were the culprits responsible for the breaking of my needle several months ago. I had managed to cast on and do 3 increase rows on the toe before the needle snapped. As you can see they are coming along well. These are from the Knit Picks fancy feet anklets kits. It is the Saturday pattern done in twinkle heather. The yarn is really fantastic It's soft and sproingy and not splitty in the least. The  stitch pattern is really showing up nicely. This is my first time following a pattern blindly, without doing all the math myself. I was really trepidatious about them fitting properly. It gives 2 different stitch counts for the cast on based on foot size, but the rest of the sock is all 1 stitch count. The heel you start once you are ready, it doesn't give a set length or anything. Which is good and I would have ignored it any way. What's amazing, is that I'm trying on the sock as I go and so far it is fitting well!!

Other than that, I've started horseback riding again. His name is Tiny and he's a lovely 18 hand Belgian lad. It's been fun to get back in the saddle. Riding was always the one form of exercise that I enjoyed. I will say it's a lot harder now that I am older and fatter. However, muscle memory is a blessing. Tiny's a lot of work, but at least I enjoy it.

You'll probably be seeing more regular project updates from me, and hopefully more reviews (I have lots of them to write up). I am doing the Harry Potter Knitting & Crochet House Cup on Ravelry this fall. One of the requirements for it is that you do a project a month. So I'll have lots of knitting to write about! Also, I might be going to Japan in October, so look out for more on that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reviews

So, just a side note, I updated some of my Sock Summit posts to include pictures and correct some typos caused by using swype to write them on my phone.

So, when I am looking to buy almost anything online, I like to look at reviews. I also like to look at lots of pictures. Since I've been knitting, I've noticed there aren't a lot of reviews out there for knitting tools. Sure, Vogue Knitting and others have some, but that's once every couple of months. Particularly, I've noticed project bags are quite limited on photos and reviews. I love project bags and am in fact addicted to them. However, they have to have the right kind of pockets and other things. So I am cautious when buying new ones. With that in mind and to help out my fellow knitters, I've decided to start doing reviews on my project bags and possibly other knitting tools on my blog. I am going to try and do a new one every Wednesday. If you guys like my reviews, let me know. If you know of another site doing project bag reviews, let me know. If you have any questions I don't address in my review leave a comment and I'd be happy to provide other information.

With just 1 caveat I'll begin this review. Please keep in mind that my reviews are in no way endorsed or influenced by the companies whose products I am reviewing. These are just my thoughts on products I have purchased. All photos are take by me (currently on my cell phone, I am hoping to buy a good camera soon). If this is your product and you wish to talk to me about my review, feel free to email me or leave a comment.

Slipped Stitch Studios sock bag
Since I am still in post Sock Summit recovery, I'll start with the sock project bag and pattern wallet I got there from Slipped Stitch Studios. I have been lusting after her products for some time, but given the cost and lack of interior bag pictures I wasn't sure about them. So I was excited to see she was at Sock Summit and I could look at and handle her bags in person before making a commitment. Laura had made some sock project bags to debut at the Summit (they aren't available on her Etsy page yet) and was offering a show exclusive price. Sadly I don't have my receipt, but I recall it being $16. These were available in her super cute assortment of fabrics. Mine is blue with hedgehogs and hearts on it. She also had her miPattern saver wallets $5 off with purchase of a magnet set. So I couldn't resist.

interior of Slipped Stitch bag
Let me start with the bag. It fit my 425 yard ball of sock yarn quite comfortably. It has 2 interior pockets which are roomy enough that I stick my needles in them when not in use and I could fit more. They are perfect for cable needles, altoid tins, spare needles ect... They are about 5in deep and 4in across and my caked ball of yarn sits mostly below the edge of the pocket with the bag open. The drawstring is handy when I'm feeding yarn through the top. It allows my cake to stay safe from the cat hair, while letting me easily knit from it still.

miPattern Saver Wallet
miPattern Saver Wallet and
magnet
The miPattern Saver Wallet is also great. Especially with the addition of the pattern magnets. The wallet fits several pages of regular 8.5x11" paper with no problem. I had a 5 page pattern in there last week and felt I could fit more easily. The magnet was strong enough to hold all the pages in place as well. The magnet is actually 2 magnets covered with fabric on one side  so that it is hinged with fabric on one end. This allows it to be used on non magnetic surfaces, but it also means the magnets must be lined up. This leads to my only complaint about the pattern wallet and magnets. When moving the magnet along a lace chart, I found that I had to stick my whole hand into the wallet to move the magnet up to the next line. This made it a bit cumbersome and annoying. So I ended up only moving it every couple rows or just moving when I was done knitting for a bit to mark where I left off. That said the magnets are quite strong and despite lots of jostling in the knitting bag, the magnet never moved between uses. The pocket in the back of the pattern wallet is perfect for storing your magnets or a folded up pattern or other supplies.

In addition the fabric used on all of these items is quite nice. The stitching is well hidden and very sturdy. After a week of heavy use I did not observe any wear or other issues. So from a structure and quality view point, these are also top notch.

I highly recommend these and can only imagine that Laura must put the same attention to detail into her other Slipped Stitch Studios products. They are a little pricey, but given the durability, lovely assortment of fabrics to choose from and attention to details, I think they are worth the cost.

This weekend I'll be posting about the books I just finished reading and my completed project.





Sunday, August 7, 2011

A week late and a skein short

So, this will wrap up my sock summit report. I meant to do this last sunday when I got home, but I was simply exhausted. I was in bed by 8:30 and had to be up for work monday morning.

Saturday morning, I had a volunteer session in the bookstore again. It was fun, I got to meet some more authors. I also picked up 2 of Cat Bordhi's sock books. The reason for the books (other than I've been wanting them) was this mysterious whirlpool heel on the f2f pattern description. I wanted to be prepared.

Saturday afternoon was the planning for self striping success class. It was really good and taught us to forget measuring our socks and let the stripes do the talking.

Saturday evening was Stephanie's (The Yarn Harlot) lecture. It was nothing short of hysterically funny, informative and thought provoking.

After all that, Clarine and I decided to get some dinner. We decided seafood sounded good and after consulting google maps, we decided on South Park Seafood Grill and Wine Bar. It was quite lovely. I redeemed oysters and chardonnay for Clarine, so my work was done. After our lovely dinner, we walked over to Rougue where I had a ginger beer that was fantastic and I got to meet an author friend of Clarine's. I made a much later night of it than I wanted to, considering the f2f competition the next morning.

So, Sunday morning I was pretty nervous. I was actually too worked up to drink my coffee which is saying a lot. I met up with my team ahead of time, we were all wearing our matching t-shirts. Thankfully we got the pattern early on, do we were.able to review it and divide it up. It seems my panic was for naught. The cast-on's were all of our choosing as were the bind-off's. For the specific bits, clear instructions were given with a key. The only thing I looked up was a refresher on provisional cast-on's.

The sheep were adorable, and watching them get sheared was fun. Once the fleece was distributed, things were in motion. I got a quick and dirty lesson in flicking fleece and helped get our spinners stocked. Once they had spun enough yarn to get me started, I went to work on the toes. I did 2 at a time magic loop. Interestingly the increases called for in the pattern were the same ones I had learned in my Friday class. So thank goodness I asked for extra help with those.

Toes being fiddly and time consuming, I finished them around noon. Just in time for lunch. After quickly eating a hot dog and drinking nearly a liter of water I was ready to go again. I moved on to doing the leg of the sock, which had a lovely lace pattern.

2 of the pieces I knitted for f2f
A few notes here. This fleece came straight off the sheep, with not time to wash it. While the sheep wore coats, there was still some vegetable matter. Also, all of the natural lanolin was still on the wool. So while my hands were soft, there was this pervasive smell. As I knit with it, the wool warmed up and it just made it smell worse.

It was a lot of fun. There were reporters and importers running around and taking pictures and asking questions. In the end, my team won. We raised almost $400 for doctors without borders. My thumbs hurt for 3 days.

Since sock summit, I have finished my hitchiker and started a new secret project. It is for a steampunk swap on ravelry. I'll post pics of tge hitchiker shortly dvds the other project once my swapee received it.
yarn bombing at Sock Summit


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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sock Summit day 2

So, today (Friday) has been another good day. It started by getting on the wrong train to go to Voodoo doughnuts where some of the knitters were meeting up. Eventually though, I got there. The line wasn't even too long. I got a bacon maple bar, an old dirty bastard and an apple fritter the size of my face. Don't worry, I didn't eat them all at once.

My classes were chroma zone with Tina from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Curvy Girl legwarmers and knee highs and arch shaping for toe up.socks. All of which, were good. I also worked a volunteer shift in the bookstore which was fun. I got to meet several knitting authors while I was there.

The highlight though, was that Clarine and I went to Pok Pok. Joe and I had wanted to go there, but tbe 1.5 hour wait was a no go. Luckily Clarine and I got a spot in the bar right away. Pok Pok serves Thai street cuisine, which is lovingly reproduced.

Our water was flavored with some sort of leaf, which made it smell like jasmine rice. We both had the Vietnamese coffee spiked with burbon, which was delicious! For food, I had the spicy boar collar served with iced mustard greens and sticky rice. Clarine had the curry with pork belly. We also split corn on the cob with creamy coconut sauce. All of it was stellar!! For desert, there was mango sticky rice. I can't even describe how good of a meal this was.

I am really having so much fun!!
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Sock summit day 1

This is a little late, as by the time I got back to the hotel last night, I was exhausted.

I was up by 7 and taking a nice walk to Stumptown coffee by 7:30. From there it was a quick ride on the max to the convention center. My morning class was heels for toe up socks. I was proud for having done all of my homework, until I discovered that the homework changed while I was at comic-con. Suddenly I was scrambling to make the modifications from the changed homework. The class was good and I learned quite a bit to point me in the right direction for my socks.

After class was a quick lunch, and them camping for the marketplace. I met some lovely people during my 3 hour wait and made a lot of progress on my hitchhiker. I am up to 32 points. Sadly, my center pull ball has fallen into disarray. As I am writing this some lovely knitter next to me is untangling it. She said she loves to untangle and asked if she could help. I love knitters! Anyway, back to the waiting. We all got bunched up at the doors before they opened, and despite the fact that I was first in line, everyone shoved, pushed and elbowed. So despite my patience, the Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs's booth was empty. Luckily they had some tucked away that I got my paws on. Not as much as I wanted though. Poor Clarine even had yarn ripped out of her hands. For shame knitters! I also got some Sanguine Gryphon skinny bugga. Other than that, just a couple of project bags came home with me. I'll post pictures later.

The opening night reception was fun. Tina and Stephanie were really funny. There was also vodka. Nursing our wounds and toting our precious cargo Clarine and I headed back to the hotel before going out for some beer. We went to the Deschutes brew house. It was yummy.

More coming soon.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sock Summit Day 0

After a little frantic lady minute packing, I got myself out the door and headed south. The drive was really pleasent and traffic was negligible. The farther south I got, the sunnier it got and it ended up being nice and warm. I had some podcasts to keep me company, Knit Picks, Never Not Knitting, Ready Set Knit and Stash and Burn, so I was able to get caught up on those.

After checking in, I met up with my friend Clarine who is sharing a room with me. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous. It is the nicest hotel I have stayed in, including the 5 diamond I've stayed in. I am currently blogging from their roof top lounge.

Once we got settled, we headed to the convention center and git checked in. We did lunch at Burgerville, which was awesome! I then reported for my volunteer shift on the loading dock. It was fun seeing all of the pretty yarn come in. I got to plot out my course of attack for when the hall opens.

Now, I'm finishing up my homework, for my 9am heels for toe up socks class.
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

SDCC 2011: The rest of it

Ok, I was going to try and blog each day, but out just didn't happen. Partially, because my phone was usually dead as a doornail by the end of the day. Also, because I was constantly, moving and exhausted. So, here is a break down of Friday- Sunday.

Friday, I premiered my new steampunk costume. It went rather well. I managed to wear it for 7 hours, which is pretty good considering the corset and 3in heels. We wandered the exhibits hall some, working on the Doctor Who QR code scavenger hunt. Also Joe picked up a Bender (Futurama) print he had been wanting for years. We also worked the ANCEA/Sakura-Con booth and took donations for Peace Winds America.

Later we met up with one of Joe's former co-workers who had just moved to San Diego 2 weeks ago. She's already got a great tan and is really happy. We also had dinner with one of my Japanese guest contacts. It was this great Brazilian place. Fantastic good and drinks!

We were waiting outside the restarunt to say goodbye when a lady walked up to us and asked if we wanted to see a movie. We were all tired so we kindof shrugged and asked what it was. Turns out it was a pre-showing of Fright Night, including a pre-funk. We all agreed and were lead to this gorgeous Spanish style house. After convincing the bouncer that Alyx was indeed 31 and no that's not a fake ID, we were allowed into the bar area. The drinks were good, my glass of Svedka with a drop of cranberry juice was delicious! The inside of the house had been totally done up with a coffin in the corner and all kind of other vampire themed decorations. After a few minutes Colin Farrell and other members of the cast (sadly no David Tennant) showed up to introduce the movie.

Next we were given stainless steel water bottles that said holy water on them and lead down the street to a movie theater whet our phones and cameras were checked and we were given sweet 3d glasses in a coffin case, popcorn, candy and a drink. The theater was large and nice and had been booked just for this event. The movie itself was rather good, I love David Tennant and he was his usually crazy self. My friends who had seen the original said it was a really good omage. It got out around 1:30am and we all wandered back to the hotel and passed out.

I'm not smiling because we had been taking pictures for 10min
Saturday was Steampunk day at SDCC, so I wore my costume again, minutes the heels. I ran into one of my best friends from high school, Hector, who read also in costume. We went to the meetup together, which was a lot of fun. There was also a photo shoot at the Privateer Press booth in front of the War Machine statue. I then abandoned the costume for the day.


Joe and I wandered the exhibits hall, handing out Sakura-Con brocheures and looking for anything we missed. We met up later with the FUNimation crew for some drinks before an early night of packing.

Line for hall H
This morning (Sunday) we were up at 7am, so we could make it to the Doctor Who panel at 12:30. We got into line at a great time as right after we got there, it started filling quick and ended up across the street and down the block. We got into the hall right when it opened, which meant sitting through the Glee and Supernatural panels. Neither of which I really cared about. It was worth it though.



Matt and Karen are just as funny in person as they are on camera. They showed clips from the next half of the season, which have me wondering about a great many things. The show is just simply brilliant!

So, now I an waiting at.the airport to fly home. I have lots of laundry to do before Sock Summit and my homework for class.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

SDCC day 0 and 1

This has been a really good SDCC so far. Day 0, was initially a bit rough. There was trouble with the hoyUtel. First, their fax machine had been jammed for 18 hours and they didn't realize it and therefore didn't have our paperwork. So our check in was delayed an hour. Then, apparently SDCC collapsed the grid and we lost power in the hotel. I had to carry 40 pounds if flyers down 10 flights of stairs.

Once we got to the convention center, check in went well. We had to lug those flyers about a mile though. Setting up the Sakura-Con booth was pretty easy. It's pretty much booth in a box at this point. So, that left us plenty of time to stalk the exhibitors hall. I did some work for Sakura-Con while we were at it.

I managed to score a TARDIS bobblehead, 2 Doctor Who shirts, a my little pony and a Futurama plushie robot devil. After that, we got some room service and decided to call it a night.


Today, I decided to get into room 6A for the panel before the one I wanted to see. It was the Oh You Sexy Geek panel. It was about women in the world of nerdom and the self image of women. It was ok, Seth Green made an appearance even.

What I was there to see was the Putting the "epic" in Epic Fantasy panel. Patrick Rothfuss is one of my favorite new authors and he was on the panel along with Brent Sandersen (Wheel of Time), George R. Martin (Game of Thrones), Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle) and others. It was literary masturbation, but I loved it. I also managed to get Patrick, George and Chris' autographs.

After that Alyx and I went into the exhibits hall to talk to some people and do some shopping. While she was checking out I was looking around and saw 2 guys hugging. One of them I realized was John Barrowman!!! For those of you who don't know who he is, he's Captain Jack from Doctor Who and Torchwood. We got a picture and a hug. So, my weekend can't be bad after that.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Craftspolsion

Finished wrist cuffs
Lace Wrist cuffs blocking
So, leading up to SDCC and Sock Summit I have been doing a lot of crafting. For my steampunk costume, I had to cut all the fabric which Alyx kindly sewed. I had to cover my nuclear grade welding goggle in leather and brass studs and paint them. I finished knitting my lace cuffs and neck collar and had to decorate my felted hat. I even made myself a necklace. So, my house is an utter mess and there are bits and pieces of costume remnants everywhere!

The good news is, I think blogger droid is going to work great for posting from SDCC. I also got a new battery for my pedometer, so I can tell you guys how far I walked each day. It'll be fun! I hope you will enjoy my report.

goggles
Me Wearing the necklace I made

Monday, July 18, 2011

MIA aka What I do for a living

I've been meaning to post for weeks. I've even been meaning to write this post for weeks. Where does time go? So, my apologies to those out there who read my blog and to those who were disapointed I wasn't at AX this year.

You see, my job requires me to be on call ever so often. This year, it was my turn to do 4th of July. This holiday has a much more ominous ring when you work in the operating room of the level 1 trauma center for a 5 state radius. People are dumb, 'nuff said.

For those who have asked me what I do, you know I often give cagey answers. Such as I work in an operating room. If you really press me, I'll tell you I'm an Electro-Neurodiagnostic Tecnician, and hope you won't ask what that means. Why? My job is hard to explain. It's not terribly mainstream or out in the public eye. The UW system (Harborview, Children's an UW) has only 12 people who do my job.

So, here it is, what I do accordong to Wikipedia. I know, it sounds like a lot. Here is another one.

One might ask how I came to do this job. Well, this all goes back to when your parents told you to go to college because having a degree will get you a job. You see, I really wanted to be a vet. I got my BS is biology and went to Ross Veterinary school in the caribbean. I started vet school at the age of 20. Between personal and medical issues, I didn't finish. So, I needed something to do. After working some jobs I hated, my friend got me a job as a sleep tech. I will forever be indebted to Jenny for this. After 6 years, the sleep field got really boring, and there was a job in a related field open. So, that is the long and short of it.

For the weekend of the 4th, I.worked 40 hours of overtime, and got 13 hours of sleep. It was a bit crazy. I'll clean this up later as I am on the bus posting from my phone.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Belated weekend posting aka blogger droid ate my post

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So, I spent 30min or so this morning writing up a post to make up for missing this weekend. It was lovely, and then my blogger droid ap ate it. So, I wil attempt to re-write it and give blogger droid a second chance. I wanted to test out this ap as I am hoping to use it at SDCC and Sock Summit to do travel blogging. Since the droid X didn't have spell check, and I use swype in my phone, please forgive any mis-spellings and/or typos. 

The steampunk costume is progressing nicely. Alyx pieced together the muslin test and after some initial confusion (the 2 center back pieces hid on us and didn't originally get seamed in) it fit great! The fabric swatches for the skirt arrived, so I am trying to pick a color. Once I do, I can order the fabric. Alyx, bless her, is in the process of re-sizing the shiry pattern. Her bf has also kindly agreed to help me make a belt to go with it all. I also have some great ideas for accessories.

 I cast on Marnie MacLean's executive funk on Sunday. I am already halfway through the lace pattern chart. I am making it with Knit Pick's comfy sport in ivory. The pattern actually calls for a fingering weight yarn, but they were out in my color choice. So, I cast on the number of stitches for the smaller size on 40in size 2's and then switched to 3's for the ribbing. I used size 6's instead of 5's fire the larger size. Initially I used a 36in cable, but I had to switch to a 47in and I might switch to 60in now. The grow a lot as you knit them. They are firing my 7.25in wrist perfectly at least! You can check out my ivory wristlets on Ravelry.

 So, my yarn choice was based on ether fact that I am knitting 4 accessories for my costume, 3 of which I want to kindof match. Knit Picks has several yarn lines that have a variety of rights with the same colors. Cindy was the only one with an off white in the neighborhood of the rights I needed. The cuffs called for a fingering, the collar for a dk and the spats for a worsted. So for the cuffs and collar I am using the sport. The spats will be done in current and trimmed in the ivory. I just have to knit like the wind. So, the whisker cardi is on pause for now. I will try and post pics as things progress.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

books, television and crafts

So, I finished Jen Lancaster's Wish You Were Here. It was really well written and quite good. I've always enjoyed Jen's writing style, but it's interesting to now see her imagination at work. Some of it was a bit "pink book," but I think the characters were still enjoyable. It's a nice break from my often more serious and dark reading.

I managed to finally get Patrick Rothfuss' next book from  the library. The Wise Man's Fear is the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicle's series. The first book, The Name of the Wind , was nothing short of brilliant. I have never read a first book from a new author and just fallen into their words. Often the writing is awkward as they haven't established their voice or style yet. Patrick however, didn't have any of these awkward moments or storytelling issues. It makes his books really enjoyable. Not to mention, his story itself is fantastic. I can't recommend it enough.

I have also started watching The Game of Thrones on HBO. It's really a pretty cool series. Joe and I have also been watching Mad Men. We just finished the first season and so far we really like it. I am sad that they are splitting up the Doctor Who season. The last episode was awesome though!


In the crafting section of my life. The back of my cardigan is bound off, and I am now working on the left front. I just ordered the yarn for my accessories for my steampunk costume. Speaking of which, pattern cutting and altering continues. I have settled on the fabric for the jacket, from Vogue Fabrics. We are still working on the rest of the fabric choices. We should be starting to mock up the jacket either today or next week. Most of the muslin is cut, it's just a matter of stitching it together.



(left) cut out skirt pattern.

fabric swatches (right)





Fabric for my jacket.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

So much for sunshine

The weather yesterday was fantastic! Sunny and warm and wonderful. I took my dog for a nice long walk which made us both happy. I had plans for taking photos of some of my yarn for Ravelry, and I was able to get a few. However, before the lighting was quite right I got called into work. I comforted myself with the fact that it was supposed to be sunny and nice today too. So, I got out all my un-photographed yarn and set it aside so it would be ready. Mother nature had other plans though. While it was warm today, it was overcast the whole day. So now, I have a large pile of yarn that it is still picture-less. Gotta love the PNW!

I finished the arm hole decreases on my whisker cardi! I am now just working the pattern repeats to get to the shoulder and neck shaping. It seems like no matter how many repeats I do that the arm holes still measure 7in and I need 9in. Oh well, let the slogging continue. I am debating about casting on for Martina Behm's Hitchhiker scarf just so I can whip through and get the fun of completing something. It could be a nice use of my one skein of Wollmeise.

The steampunk costume project also continues. I have mostly settled on my fabric choices and swatches should be here shortly. I also got the rest of my patterns from Laughing Moon. I will have to adjust the sizing for the shirt pattern a bit. I think it'll come out nicely though. Here are the links for the patterns I am using for my costume: skirt, shirt, jacket, and if I have time I'll knit these cuffs, spats and collar. I've settled on doing the cuffs and collar in ivory. I just need to order the yarn and then decide on colors for the spats.

I am going to try and regularly post on here every weekend. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Arm Hole Decreases

I have found what I am expecting to be the bane of my garment knitting life. Since the only two garments I have knit have been cabled and lace, perhaps it was a poor introduction to the concept. Arm hole decreases suck! It has been two steps forward, one step back (if not two) for the last week or so with my whisker cardi. I have to decrease one stitch at either end, but maintain the pattern. This sounds simple enough, expect the pattern has increase rows, decrease rows and lots of yarn overs. So being sure I am even decreasing a stitch at both ends can be a challenge. There have been a few times where rather than following the decrease instructions I've instead eliminated a yarn-over. This is mostly due to the fact that a few rows start with decreases in the same place as where I would be decreasing anyway. I figure for the sake of the pattern and my sanity that removing the following yarn-over creates the same effect and won't be noticed. The problem really gets to be that every row I have to figure out what part of the 6 stitch repeat (increase rows are 8 stitches) I am looking at and then using the chart to figure out what I should be doing to those stitches. This process can sometimes take up to 15 minutes and involve tinking a few times. It's even more frustrating due to the fact that I am so close to finishing the back of this sweater. Which means I could easily finish it before my July deadline. I have gotten to the point where as long as the pattern looks mostly correct, I am happy. My perfectionist ways have been overridden by my deep frustration.

This is why I am happy I now have a new project to take up some of my creative processes. I have finally started (with a lot of help from a friend) making the Steam Punk costume I have wanted to do for the last 2 years. I want to have this done before SDCC and it might even be possible. The costume will eventually be a series of interchangeable elements that will allow for the change of one or two pieces to create and entirely new outfit. For now, I am focusing on getting a jacket, skirt and shirt done. I am also going to try to knit a few accessories. I haven't sewed a whole lot since I was a kid, so this is a bit ambitious. Thank you again to my friend who is far more experienced than me and has been gracious enough to help me out. I will be sure to post pictures as I go along and also of the finished project.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blogaversary and LYS tour 2011

So, I didn't realize it, but I have now been blogging for a year! How crazy is that? According to my blogspot statistics, I've had over 1000 page views in that year some from as far away as Malaysia and Poland. Pretty neat stuff. Most of my readers come to my page via Ravelry and my event posts seem to be the most read. So, without further ado here is my LYS tour 2011 review.

Last year was my first experience with the LYS tour and I was a new knitter. I had no stash and didn't really know what stash was. Now after 1.5 years of knitting, the stash has gotten a little crazy. Last year I went to every shop on the tour and bought at least one skein of yarn at almost every single store. One might ask, how much of that yarn do you have left after a year? Yeah... it's embarrassing, most of it lays un-knit in one of my two storage containers. I know, compared to some of you, my stash is weak, but I do currently have 40 skeins of sock yarn. *sigh* So between my stash issues and also the fact that elections for Sakura-Con are tomorrow (and I'm up for re-election) I couldn't do the whole tour this year. I did manage to do 13 yarn shops today though. I went to all the shops in Seattle and south of Seattle. I was pretty proud of myself for doing it in 7 hours. It made for a busy, but fun day.

Last year I tried to be very diplomatic about my reviews, this year I just think I'll stick to being honest. I started at my home shop which is Renaissance Yarns. It is literally 5 minutes from my house. I may be a bit partial with this one as I love and adore all of the ladies there. Michell Mauer yet again made a fun and original pattern. It is called climbing leaves fingerless gloves. There is also a matching hat that one can get out of the same skein of yarn that will be posted later on their website. The best part for me was they chose to use Liberty Yarn's sportmagudi. Liberty is a local indie dyer who also does handmade soap. One of the presents I got for the con guests this year was a custom batch of her soap infused with sake in a cherry blossom scent. It was fantastic! Anyway, I digress. I was happy to see one of the shops supporting a local dyer and I love the colors they brought in for it. I personally picked up a skein in flicker LE. Which is a lovely variegated purple.

The next shop on my trek was The Knittery. Their pattern was a scarf done in Stacy Charles Luna. It was pretty and ruffly and reminded me a bit of Churchmouse's pattern from last year. It is called Flower Garden Scarf by Win Fisher. I apologize for the poor picture, but they didn't really have the pattern out where you could look at it or photograph it easily.



From there I went up to the Quah and Cultured Purls. I was hoping to replace my recently belated size 1 circulars (RIP) that had snapped mid toe increases while working on some anklets. However, they didn't have any 40 or 47in Knit Picks circulars. Oh well, that's what I get for being picky. Their pattern was one of the three neckwarmers I saw today. It is called Cable Mesh Cowl and has some nice cables with lace in-between them. Done is Cascade Pure Alpaca, I am sure it would be quite warm. Cultured Purls is always a lovely shop and even has quiviut now in stock. It's kept in a glass case so it doesn't accidentally fall into anyone's knitting bag. At $80 a skein, I don't blame them!

So, Serial Knitters is a new shop and has been open for just under a year. As such it was new to the tour and I was excited to check it out. They had signs outside with baloons saying LYS tour on them. They also had some ladies out helping to direct traffic to their supplemental parking area. They were a really nice bunch! They had both a crochet and a knit pattern. Their knit pattern was It's a Cinch by Anneliese Wallborn. Done in Madeline Tosh Light (left) it is a cool scarf with an i-cord running through it so you can cinch up the ruffles and have more of a collar or stretch them out and have a scarf. The crochet pattern is Mesmerizing Mobius by Clare Cronkleton and uses Manos Del Uruguay Serena (right). It's the first crochet mobius I've seen and it was kindof cool. I collected the crochet patterns for my co-worker who re-taught me to crochet which indirectly lead to my learning to knit. The shop was really well laid out and had some nice yarns. I was particularly smitten with the Black Trillium yarn near the register.

After hitting 520 and crossing the water I ended up at Acorn Street Shop. I forgot how much yarn this place has. It's small, but it is packed to the gills. I spotted some lovely Mountain Colors yarn while I was there as well as some mohair I'd never seen before. I am definitely going to have to keep them in mind for future yarn shopping. They were one of 2 shops kind enough to put their pattern in a page sleeve, which I greatly appreciate. Like last year I'd like to put these all into a binder for easy keeping. Their Holding Hands Scarf by Karen Aho is lacey and lovely. They used Araucania Itata which is a wool silk and bamboo blend and feels quite lovely. The pattern really does look like people holding hands. The other thing about Acorn that I greatly appreciated was the little bottles of water they had out. It was quite refreshing!

Fiber Gallery, home of the Doubleknit Twins was next. Sadly, I didn't see Erin or Jessica while I was there. Cabled Caps for All is a multi size pattern done in Malabrigo Rios. They had a lovely assortment of colors out when I got there. At this point I was wondering if the ahem.. temperate spring we've been having influenced the pattern selection this year. Everything seemed to be warm and cozy. Fiber Gallery had some really unique yarns in stock, including ones made from banana silk and some sort of interesting cotton. They had one that also had glass beads worked into the plies. I also spotted a nice selection of Hand Maiden yarns and some Zauberball lace ball on clearance.

At this point I was getting really hungry and things were starting to blur together. My only thought, was that Joe's restaurant was near the next two shops I wanted to hit. So I set it in my mind that after those two shops will have earned lunch. So I worked my way through the crowds of University District farmer's market folks and hit up Bad Woman Yarn. They had lady out front selling beautifully quilted, handmade needle cases. They had both a knit and crochet pattern for the tour. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the crochet pattern. Their knit pattern was Palouse by Marjorie Walter, using Madelinetosh Merino Light. By the time I got there, out of the 100 skeins of Merino Light they ordered for the tour, they had 1 left. It was yellow which some of you may know is not my color. They were subbing in Malabrigo Sock, which I snagged in Candombe. Okay, so if any of you are noticing a theme, I'm a sucker for purple lately. Bad Woman also has a great clearance area and they were busily pairing their 40% off yarns with patterns so you could get an idea for what to make with it. They had some great Noro on clearance as well as several other lovely discontinued yarns.

Tea Cozy Yarns was another new addition for the tour. Out in Ballard, it's a bit of a haul. Just getting through the crush of bodies and finding a parking spot was an adventure. I was excited to see that their pattern was indeed a Tea Cozy! Aptly named the Tea Cozy Tea Cozy by Patricia McHugh. They used Cascade 220 Superwash Paints and had some fantastic colors in stock. Including a lovely mauve one. I was happy to see a more economical yarn getting some love here. Sadly, I was so focused on the prospect of lunch, I completely forgot to get a picture. The tea cozy, looked very cozy however.

After some tasty Stumptown coffee, hasbrowns and eggs I felt much better. That was until I realized that Tricoter was really back by Acorn Street and that I was going to have to subject myself to the construction on Mercer and several detours to get back over there. While I love that they group their yarns by color, that pretty much ends my thoughts on Tricoter. I was sad to see the only Knit Picks needles they had were double points and so my search for size 1 circulars was still on going. Also, this year and last they had the most expensive yarn for their 1 skein. This year it was Filatura di Crosa Crystal. This is a sparkly polyester/cotton blend that they used to make a head band. It was $37 per skein before the 10% off for the tour. They were giving you elastic for free with yarn purchase though. The Knotted Lace Headband looked great on the lady in front of me who tried it on after getting her passport stamped. I'm sure it's great for someone, but sparkly headbands are just not me. The photo is of their modeled photo they had on display. The one I took of the actual headband ended up being a bit blurry.

Going to So Much Yarn always reminds me of some secret spy mission. You have to find it, and then be buzzed in. It's like a private yarn club or something. This was my first time there since the recent change in ownership. The new crew was lovely and polite. There was gentleman on staff who was even knitting! Their Starry Shawlette by Lauren Lindeman was done with Dream in Color Starry. The original pattern has square ends, but the lady talking about the pattern had come up with a modification to give it the more common tapered ends. Done mostly in stockinette, it has a lovely eyelet border. I forgot to photo this one as well. Sorry guys!

Next up was Seattle Yarn. I loved their 2010 pattern and was excited about checking out their button collection again. Upon walking in I was greeted by something new. They had mink yarn! I mean 100% mink!! It was so soft and feathery and under $30 a skein. 1 skein made a nicely sized scarf which they had on display. This however, was not the tour yarn or pattern, sadly. Their knitted pattern was Wristlet Whimsy by Virginia Bowen. I think if I had a little girl, this could be something she'd enjoy. A Chenille wristlet made in Muench Touch me Due, isn't my thing though. Their crochet pattern by Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby called La Vigne was done in Manos Wool Classica. It's a pretty series of crocheted leaves , but again not my thing. Yes, I'm a bad blogger and forgot to get photos here either. I was distracted by the mink yarn again.

The Yarn Stash's The Question Bag, was fantastic! It redeemed the bag overkill from the 2010 tour by coming up with something totally unique and easy. It's a mock cable and moss stitch pattern worked in the round using Cascade Yarn's Ultra Cotton Pima. The yarn is silky and fantastic and bags are super cute! The lady at the shop recommended making the i-cord drawstring first so that you can knit the bag until you run out of yarn. The ladies there were really nice to me. I had been on the lookout for a binder all day and asked there as I had gotten one there in 2010. They said they didn't do them this year. However, they printed out the cover sheet for me while I browsed the wide selection of colors the Cotton Pima came in, so I could make my own binder! They also complimented my Norwegian selbu slap bracelet. I can't say enough nice things about the staff there. Also, the fantastic sub $10 1 skein offering!

So, my last stop for today is a shop that is actually not far from my house. For some reason, I've never gone there. I pulled into Unraveled Yarn & Artful Gifts at 5:40. With 20 minutes to spare I realaxed and enjoyed browsing. Their Your mother Says to Button Up, neck warmer by Mary Triplett does not list the yarn on the pattern. Sadly, I've forgotten what they used. It's a very cute pattern and they had a version done in a Malabrigo variegated yarn as well that looked nice. The shop had a nice selection of yarns including some cool brushed mohair, multi yarn type skeins and other assortments. I picked up a Creative Couture yarn caddy while I was there. It'll look great clipped onto my Latern Moon Sapa bag this summer.

In the end, I came out with 3 skeins of yarn and the yarn caddy. Much better than my $400 haul last year. I wish I could finish the tour though. It was fun seeing all of the different shops last year. It was also a blast taking my husband yarn shopping with me. With 25 stores on the tour, it is a bit daunting. The only way I did it in 2010 was by taking a day off of work. I know it can be done in 2 days (or one if you are suicidal), but you can't enjoy it in that period of time. I wish more yarn shops would feature the lovely local artisans yarns we have in the area. I would be much more inclined to pay $20 for locally sourced alpaca than for something sparkly and mass produced. My thanks to all the hard working yarn shop owners and staff for keeping this thing going though. See you all in 2012, (or likely before hand given my yarn addiction)!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ok, I just finished watching the new episode of Doctor Who written by Neil Gaiman, The Doctor's Wife. I apologize if I am a bit over excited, but that was one of the best episodes of any TV show that I have seen since Mulder kissed Scully on New Years. I mean it was Doctor Who meets Neverwhere, but it was all Doctor Who. You can tell Gaiman is definitely a fan of the series and knows his stuff. Suranne Jones did an amazing job of playing the TARDIS. How do you even direct a part like that? So, you are a possibly sentient non-physical entity that powers an multidimensional, time and space traveling craft that has been trapped in a human body. Let's see your thoughts on the part.. Anyway, I am just blown away and giddy with excitement. I wish they'd get Neil Gaiman to do a whole season. The man is an effing genius and I love his work.


My original plans for this post was to discuss that due to the presence of this shiny ball of bright stuff in the sky today I got a lot done. It makes my yarn look really pretty in photos. So I managed to photograph my new stash additions as well as some old ones. I now only have about 7 balls in my Ravelry stash page that are un-photographed. Now that I am taking pictures regularly, I really want a digital SLR. I have put it off since they came out, because I just don't do photography as much as I used to. I am looking into a Sony camera, for the sole fact that my Minolta lenses from my SLR will fit it. That'll save me about $1000 over trying to replace what I currently have. Also, I am not looking to do professional photography, just to have something that will work and make me happy. I am considering the Sony A55 which I have read some great reviews on. It's downfalls are fast motion, which isn't something I ever do anymore, and the upshot is good lowlight photography, which I do a lot of these days. It came out in the 3rd quarter of 2010, so I will be keeping my eye on the reviews for a bit. I think this post is getting a bit long, so I will leave you with some pictures of my Whisker Cardigan I have been working on. 





Saturday, May 7, 2011

Obsessions

Ok, I think everyone knows about my poorly disguised knitting obsession. However, there are other things in my life that I am obsessed with. One of which is coffee, which happens to be the current inspiration for this post. I love coffee! I don't mean Folgers or Starbucks, I mean good coffee. I am constantly on the search for coffee I can fall in love with. Thankfully I live in the greater Seattle area, so this isn't such a great challenge. My new favorite are the Portland encroachers, Stumptown. Since they opened their Seattle roasting location several area restaurants have switched over to them, including my husband's. There coffee is just simply fantastic. I have had 3 of their different varietals and not only are they all distinct, but they are all fantastic. They use fair trade or as they call it direct trade coffee and they have several organic options as well. Everything is small batch roasted and it makes for a superior product. I got to see their Seattle roasting location and I was simply in heaven. Currently I am drinking their Holler Mountain blend, which I made using my Keurig (I said I like good coffee, not that I am a coffee snob) and I am just delighted. It makes me want to reconsider using a press pot (ugh the work involved!) as it would probably taste even better.

My other obsession recently has been a new game for my Xbox 360. I got Might and Magic Clash of Heroes and over 3 days have logged 20 hours on the single player campaign. Joe and I have also spent a lot of time on the multi-player game. It's been a while since I've enjoyed a console game so much. It just goes back to the old school roots of gaming and has a decent story line, lots of strategy and fun turn based game play. It won't bole you over with amazing CGI graphics or get your blood pumping with it's intensity, but it will exercise your brain. That is what I like in my games.

With my current bronchitis issue, I haven't gotten a lot of knitting done sadly. For some reason when I am sick I don't feel like concentrating that much. The whisker cardi is coming along though and I think I am up to about 4in on the back. The pattern gets easier every time I get through it again. I think it'll make a really nice piece for summer.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Post-Con

(yes, she is sleeping like that)
So, my state of being since con ended was summed up by my dog on the way home. It was a whirlwind adventure in managing chaos as per normal. I did have some fun though. I got to take one of the guests (who is a knitter) to Churchmouse Yarns and Tea on Bainbridge. It was the perfect little trip as she got to experience riding a ferry, eat at a Seattle area diner and indulge in much yarny goodness.

I also finally got to see Alex aka DJ Origami's set from start to finish this year! It was awesome as he was mixing his own video and audio at the same time.

Returning to the real world as usual feels weird. I went to work on Thursday and Friday this week and it took some re-orientation. I've been really tired, but it might have to do with the fact that I am still sick. I keep thinking I have this thing beat and it keep creeping back up. It's down to mostly this really awful cough though.

On the bright side, I have resumed knitting! I got a few rows of my fleurette cardigan done at work and while watching Glee. Oh... yeah... I forgot to mention, Joe and I have given into the darkside. Yep, we started watching Glee. So far, it's ok. It's not my new favorite or anything. I think we are just addicted to watching TV series. As things go Glee is really pretty slow, it moves in Dragon Ball time. We are about halfway through Season 1 on Netflix.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

so little time

I have had a ton of stuff going on that I have wanted to blog about, but sadly time has been short. I took a class on drop spindling! Perhaps I'll post some pics of my haphazard "yarn" I created. It's some of the ugliest stuff I have seen. The Frakkin' Smeggy socks are done, and I bound off the back of my test knit Trail Cable hoodie (yay!!!). I have now started on a light weight cardigan for summer. It is the Fleurette cardigan by one of Knit Picks independent designers, Melissa Dominguez. I am using the recommended yarn for the pattern which is KP's comfy fingering, in the whisker colorway. It's a nice light grey that I think will go well with my summer cami tops. I am hoping to have it finished in time for SDCC and Sock Summit.

In non knitting related news, Joe and I finished re-watching all of the new Doctor Who series. So we are anxiously awaiting the new episode. Since we will be at con when it airs, we are planning to watch it with some of our friends and guests at con. Yeah, 2 weeks until con. Saying that makes me want to cry. Although, I think that is more of a visceral reaction. I am really pretty prepared this year and things are going really smoothly. Actually myself, the treasurer (Renee) and the director of publicity (Elmira) all think it's going a little too smoothly. Oh well, gift horses and mouths and such. I also started reading a new book, which is super awesome!! I just kept getting bored with Killer Angels and so I put it down. I am now reading Yarn: Remembering the Way Home by Kyoko Mori. It is a memoir and so far is fantastic. It's well written and is just captivating. For the non-knitters out there, it's not really about knitting (at least not yet), but does include some knitting themes. I would recommend it to anyone. Especially if you love memoirs.

Ok, I gotta go get some work done. More soon I hope.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I have been using my days off lately to mostly do work for The Convention. However, when I am not a slave to my computer or taking phone calls, I have been trying to de-clutter the house. When we lived in VA we had a 2200 square foot house that we rented. While we shared this space with roomates, almost all the furniture in it was ours and the boys let me sprawl as much as I liked. As was, there was never anything in the dining room in the 2 years I lived there. So when Joe and I moved to WA, we paired down a lot of stuff for the move, but we still had a ton of stuff. 1 apartment and now an 1100 sqaure foot condo later and we still have all these boxes that haven't been opened since forever.

I started going through and opening some of these boxes to see what was even in them. I knew some of them had my pretties (music boxes, glass trinkets and such) for which I have been waiting on appropriate shelving to display them on. However, I found all kinds of stuff that I just had to let go. I had role playing character sheets from high school, through college and beyond. I had collected them because each one had a story to me. Not only the character's story (which I was always thorough in developing), but what was going on in my life at the time that I made that character. My friends, my ex-boyfriend, where I lived, what my hobbies were and such. It was kindof a bizarre look into my past and it was really hard to get rid of them. I had to remind myself that this is how hoarding starts, it's just paper Sabrina, let it go! I also found the ubiquitous prom photos and other assortments of crap.

My goal this spring is to know what is in every box and why I am saving it. If I don't ever intend to do anything with it, it needs to find a new home. I am allowing myself some small boxes of memories, like my baby books and such, but nothing extreme. Now, before you get the wrong idea, my house is not covered in boxes and I am really no where near being a hoarder (lets not talk about the yarn ok?). All of the stuff in question fits in a funny closet under the stairs. There are just other things around the house I could put in that closet and since I haven't looked at some of this stuff in 5 years, it needs to go. Simplify and de-clutter. I think it will be better in the long run, besides it will make the summer painting and re-modeling easier.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan disaster relief efforts

ANCEA (The Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association) has joined forces with other Seattle area Japanese Cultural, community and religious organizations to help get funds for Japanese disaster relief. The site http://seattlejapanrelief.org/ went live today. ANCEA is offering special Thank You items at Sakura-Con for it's members who donate at least $10.

I am happy that I have heard from all of my friends in Japan and know that they are safe. My thoughts and wishes are with all of those who haven't heard from their friends or loved ones or that have lost someone in the disaster. These events have been terrifying for us all.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Frakkin' Smegy Socks

So, to conclude the SSS saga. I washed them in hot water and tossed them into the dryer and that shrunk them up some. I think they will still be house socks though. The felici is incredibly warm and snuggly. Maybe the next go round with it will be better.

So, my new project are my Frakkin' Smeggy Socks. So named as it is Gothsocks gothling Frakkin' Toaster, on her Ricin' base. Ricin' is a merino, bamboo, nylon mix. I expect it'll last forever. It's got a gorgeous bit of shine to it, some nice stitch definition and a still a bit of stretch. The coolest part about the shine is that it makes the grey look silver. I'm really in love with this yarn and her use of colors. I don't generally like variegated yarns, but the way this is knitting up, I just might be a convert. So the second part of the name is a reference to Red Dwarf, which is a BBC comedy sci-fi series from the late 80's and 90's. It is really very hilarious and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do you. It's available on Netflix instant streaming. The reason for this reference, is the pattern I am using is Cristi H. Brockway's, Red Dwarf Socks. So, there you have a long winded explanation of my project name.

So far I am really enjoying the pattern. I have gotten to the heel turn at this point. I am substituting the fleegle heel instead of what she has in her pattern. I had a good experience with the fleegle, so I am going to continue to use it for now to get more sock knitting experience under my belt. Now, don't get the wrong idea. I am not going to be knitting nothing but socks. There were just a few KAL's I wanted to participate in the last couple of month. I plan to one day soon finish my hoodie, start a cardigan and a skirt. I want to have some nice things to show off at Sock Summit in July.