Friday, June 29, 2007

If I post it, will it become true?

I'll be on a semi-vacation starting tomorrow morning. I have two WIPs hogging needle space: the feather and fan mohair scarf and the boy's other sock. Can I finish at least the sock? Tune in next Thursday for the answer...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Super Secret Project is complete!

The ends are woven in, too! Pictures will come after it lands in the recipient's hands...

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Glass is Half FO

One finished object (FO) is off my needles! I love how the ribbing on sock's cuff ended up turning into a spiraling stripe pattern. Of course, I have one more sock to knit, but I'm going to finish the super secret project before I tackle it.

For the cast off, I did a double crochet bind off. I like the way it turned out! It looks better and is more stretchy than the standard BO.

The boy is more than thrilled! Even though I made him try on the sock at 2 AM, he was thrilled. Thrilled, I tell you! Trust me on this one.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Not even my dogs are morning "people"

For some time, I've suspected that my dogs are not fond of the early hours. From their perspective, morning and evening are pretty much the same: sleep, eat, sleep, play, sleep (you get the picture), so I see no reason why the early morning hours are so offensive to them. They have no appointments to go to and no money to make (which really sucks for me).

Here is photographic proof that they do not like mornings. They are lined up outside my kitchen, waiting for their cue to eat their meal.



See the difference? They are energetic and jazzed in the evenings!

And just what are they so excited about eating, you ask? Why, this:

It's raw chicken necks, chicken liver, and green tripe. It's the breakfast (and sometimes dinner) of champions! We decided a couple of years ago to feed our dogs a raw diet. It's not for everyone, but it works for us and our dogs look and smell great. Well, ahem, saying they smell great is a bit of stretch, but they don't smell so doggy.

More information on the raw diet, and some beautiful pictures of very old GSDs, can be found at Raw Dog Ranch.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Math + Knitting = $$$

I just got sucked into Woolly Thoughts, a website chock full o' mathematical knitted patterns.

Before I could think twice about it, I bought two patterns. I bought the pillow patterns, too, since they are not that different from the blankets and I can have them almost instantly - they are .pdf files. (When did the pound become so strong against the US dollar???)

Oh dear, their symmetry made me do it!

Monday, June 18, 2007

My knitting habit made me do it

Sick of listening to all my podcasts on my computer, I broke down and shelled out money to the evil Apple empire for my first iPod. Yeah, no one will ever accuse me of being a trendsetter. Now, I can be completely saturated in the knitting world while I sit on BART and, as an added bonus, no one will talk to me, because we all know that nothing says "leave me alone, I just want to knit" like a pair of headphones and some very sharp sticks.

Most of my knitting time this week has actually been spent futzing around with iTunes and searching for new shows, both knitting and non-knitting. One of my favorite series is Hidden Kitchens, a show about cooking in the most unsuspecting places and ways. My knitting podcast subscriptions include Stash and Burn, Knitters Uncensored, Lime & Violet (of course), Knit Science (hail to the knitting engineers!), Socks in the City, SSK (love them!), and Let Knit2gether (video podcast - I haven't watched it yet).

So if anyone has any podcasts to recommend, please leave me a comment! I'm still searching for a good news program, more knitting shows, anything animal related or about homesteading, and anything that's just so totally out there that you can't explain it. Like musical robots.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Are your unorganized circular needles driving you loopy?

Yes? Then, I have a cheap solution for you!

My quest for a circular needle organizer has been a long one. Since I knit exclusively with circular needles, I wanted a filing system for them that would be functional and portable. Offhand Designs and knitpicks have cases, but they still weren't exactly what I wanted. The Offhand Design clutch looks nice, but I'd rather spend $45 on more needles or yarn. Knitpicks has a more affordable circular needle case, but even it would be near $35 by the time I paid for shipping and the extra needle pockets. Plus, it is backordered until the end of June. Neither of those were ideal options since I need instant gratification and when I have the time to do something, I need to tackle it.

So, what's my solution? Why, this:

1 8.5" x 5" 3-ring binder for $6
1 set of 20 sheet protectors for $5

Now, all my needles are in one place, and I can even put them in my bookcase. Since the pockets are large, they fit my pigs (size 19, 32" circulars) that I still plan on using for a lacy scarf. I even labeled each page so a quick glance can tell me the size and length of the needles. Of course, it looks a little drab, but I can spruce it up if I feel like it. Or not. I actually like how bleak it looks.

Not bad for $11!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Life as a Cover Dog, by Mingus

B: "Mingus, your modeling career has taken off! Just months ago, people only knew you as Vespa's brother or got you mixed up with a jazz composer and bassist. Now, the name Mingus makes people think of your pure genius."

M: "Thanks, Barbara. I always knew that I would be famous. It has always been a matter of 'when', not 'if'."

B: "Tell me about your breakthrough."

M: "Well, Barbara, the pivotal point had to be my Lord of the Rings shoot. I was hired to be an extra hobbit, but after the photographer saw my mad skillz, she pulled me aside and let me be the lead. I was Frodo! One ring to rule them all!"

B: "Let's discuss your famous photo. Mingus, what were you thinking about here?"

M: "I was channeling my feelings when Vespa gets a treat and I don't. I'm sad. I'm distraught. I can't believe it. Life is so unfair. "

B: "That's fascinating! How about this picture? What was going through your mind?"

M: "Oh, that's a good story. I was thinking about this other time that the cats got a treat and I was not allowed to eat it. I wasn't even allowed in the same room. My guardians made me sit and stay while they fed those cats treat after treat after treat. I get all riled up just thinking about it now!"

B: "Wow, that is heavy. You are really abused by your guardians!"

M:"I know, I know. However, there are good times. Like the times I get treats. In this next shot, you can see me channeling my feelings when I do get a succulent, delicious treat. I am happy! I am thrilled! I am ecstatic!"

B: "Uh, I see a central theme here..."

M: "Hey, Barbara. Do you have any treats?"

B: "No, sorry."

M: "What? You mean I wasted my time for nothing? There's no payoff? Later, lady. I am so done with you and your stupid questions."

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Note to restaurants that make sushi rolls

Please, please, please make sure that I can eat a piece of sushi in one bite. There's nothing more horrifying than taking a bite of my food, and having all the sushi innards spilling onto my plate as if I don't know how to use chopsticks.

This has been a public service announcement.


Other Uses for Circular Needles

Greaseball is pleased that I caught the knitting bug. In fact, if I didn't think he was so slow, I would say that he somehow convinced me to learn how to knit. (Hm, there have been quite a bleary eyed mornings where I discover he is sharing my pillow with me. Could he be trying to push his evil agenda? Nah, if Greaseball could influence me, he'd be convincing me to feed him 5 times a day.) Why do I think this? Well, because all my needles and yarn are just another cat toy to him. If I don't put away my needles, I find them all over the house and sometimes under the bed. Brat.

Vintage magazines rock. My MIL gave me one that she received from her mother. This magazine, Juvenile Styles, is from 1939. Look, it was only $0.25! There were plenty of cute children patterns in it. Maybe I can knit these for myself? I especially like the little boy's jacket - he looks quite smart. The striped beret is quite nice, too - I can make one in raspberry for the boy to wear on those days where he feels Princely.

My super secret project is still taking up the majority of my knitting time, although some quality BART time has allowed me to keep on trucking on the forever sock. I'm hoping to cast on something new on Sunday. Maybe (shocker!) another sock.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Fries with short rib gravy and cheese? Yes, please!

Work lightened up enough for the boy and I to take yesterday afternoon off to celebrate our 1-year wedding anniversary! Since this is us we're talking about, everything was planned at the last minute, but it turned out great. Our day started off with a visit to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The South Asian exhibit was outstanding!

Since our day's itinerary was slapped together, we unintentionally skipped lunch, so a visit to Gyro King (Turkish diner) was in order. I ordered sultac, which I thought was a soup with broiled cheese. Sultac turned out to be a rice pudding served in an ovenproof bowl - the top of the pudding is broiled. The boy had, what else, a lamb and beef gyro wrap. The wrap was the size of his head, so he ended up getting much more food than he intended. However, it all went happily down the hatch.

Dinner at Salt House was the highlight of the day. Poutine was our first course, and we could've just ate that and have had a very happy dining experience. Poutine is French fries topped with cheese (in this case, a white Vermont cheddar) and smothered with short rib gravy. Oh, yeah. I'll be heading back to Salt House soon. Good wine, good food, good times.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Magic loop de loop

Magic looping is for me
Magic looping is pretty
Magic loop, loop de loop
No more DPNs for me!

Sorry, but I'm feeling a little bit loopy this morning. I got a work call last night at MIDNIGHT, and when I returned home, I was so amped up that I stayed up a couple more hours to learn magic looping with a new pair of Addi Turbo lace needles. Let me just say that the Internet is the greatest invention ever for insomniacs with inquiring minds! I transferred the boy's sock to my new needles and started loop de looping while those around me were sawing logs.

Observation: I need a shorter cable, say around 32-inches, to do this magic looping thing.

Update: Yarn Boutique in Layfayette is the best LYS ever! After searching my other LYS in the area for the elusive 32-inch size 1 Addi Lace Turbo needles, I found them here. Well, actually, they were out of stock, but one of the employees returned her needles just so I could buy them. I also picked up some yummy Schaefer sock yarn.


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