Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Books!

Look what I just got in the mail!

My latest installment from Amazon.
I haven't really delved into them, except for cursory flip-throughs. I read the technique in the sock book, which appears to be Magic Loop-ish, but I will probably need to practice it. She uses big yarns sometimes, though, which is .. okay, I guess... but ... I dunno. I'm used to sock yarns. We'll see. I'll have to buy some KnitPicks 40 or 60" needles in sock sizes now (darn ;-) ).
I started reading the Naughty Needles book. It's cute, to say the least. I like most of the patterns I've encountered so far - I'm still in the "sweet" area of the book. The Baby Blue-Ball Gag sounds hysterical, and I told Daniel he could start pickin' patterns out ;-) ... I want to make the corset top and gloves in there, for sure...
And, after a cursory glance through Debbie Stoller's latest SnB book, I think something I definitely want to make are the "wrap-up" scarves. When you wear them, they look like double-crocheted scarves in solid colors with random stripes, but when you roll them up and look at the spiralled side, you get an image - they have one of a yellow smiley face and one of a sushi roll - it's actually a really clever idea! I wonder what others will come up with, once they've seen that technique! (oo, and I could use Cascade 220 or Lamb's Pride Worsted for that...)

A Visit to the Frog Pond

As you can categorize something on Ravelry, "RRR"..... I had to rip out this sock today.

Look how big it is on my foot! And that was just before I was going to start the toe! I kept trying to convince myself that, No, Cotton Shrinks, and Nooooo lace just stretches but when it washes it will be fine, buuuut in my heart I knew the truth:

To The Frog Pond, Ladies and Gentlemen!!!!

In the spirit of my environmentalism, I would like to note that many knitters Recycle, Reduce, Reuse... when they frog. You Recycle the Yarn. You Reuse it (and the needles, and possibly the pattern, if it hasn't pissed you off too much). And you..Reduce... somehow... uhm... by not buying factory made socks? Hah!

Anyway, here is a pic of the freshly wound yarn cake from the Former Sock:

I'll get back to it. I think in the meantime I might try a hand at Nakiska again.

And a final picture for this post, my current WIP, Ms. Marigold. She's a-comin', if slowly... I guess I haven't been giving myself a lot of time to knit lately. Plus, I've not been on the ferry too much lately, either. Mr. Daniel has been taking a lot of ferry time on his end, to which I am thankful - I love being able to see him more often, now that his schedule is allowing it. I know it may not last, but I will make the most of it while he is able to come over during the week!

Organized Home

I would like to share my recent organizing adventures. Some may find them boring, but I know that at least my sister and I find it exhilirating to get rid of old things and make room for new! :)

The first item in my condo I tackled was my bookshelf. It was getting out of hand. Books were piled on top of other books, and the order was just getting destroyed. Here is the "before" picture I took for posterity:

I got rid of about a box and a half of books, between things I admitted to myself that I'd never read, things that I'd already read and didn't want to re-read, and general textbooks that I wouldn't ever need again (Intro to Linguistics? History of Rock & Roll?). I gave my friend Randy the books, since he sells books for a living on Amazon.com. He says he gave me "the gift of space". :) Anyway, here is the bookshelf, after the transformation:

Look at how everything's leaning in order to stay upright! Yeah!


My next area to tackle were the "cubey" cabinets on either side of my bed. (This is really sad, but I just looked, and discovered that 5 out of 7 plastic storage boxes I have are full of either yarn or spinning fiber..) Nonetheless. I concentrated on cleaning out boxes of magazine clippings I'd been collecting for over a decade. (I sound so old!) I did a "random search and destroy" with the clippings - I randomly rifled through each box containing magazine clippings. If something I touched caught my interest, I kept it. If it didn't, out it went to the recycling bin. I did save the lists of stores in different cities, however. Anyway, I managed to get rid of a whole shelf and a half of clippings, which makes a big difference to me in a space as small as this! See the beauty below:

The last area I approached was the corner where my old TV used to be. I used to have a cabinet over in the corner, inside of which I hid my technology (laptop, DVD player, printer/ scanner / fax machine, computer CDs, and wireless modem). Since I bought the new TV, I got rid of the old TV and the cabinet, and now had an entirely new problem: the box the TV came in. I don't want to get rid of it, because it will be very helpful the day I want to move into a bigger place - styrofoam packaging made for a specific product is pretty hard to improve upon in terms of secure packing of the original item. Anyway, I managed to fit the few pieces of framed art I wanted to keep into the TV box, and put it in the corner, behind my inflatable kayak, and next to my printer and some other miscellaneous stuff:

The final love will hopefully be happening this weekend. I received a wall mount for my new TV in the mail recently. I haven't opened it yet to check it out, but I should do so today. I want to invite my friends Adam and Liz over for an evening, so Adam can help Daniel install the TV mount, and I figure I can make dinner, or at least snacks and then take everyone out to dinner. Anyway, once that is done, I will be so happy, because I will not only have my other "side chair" back, but I will have the TV off the floor and out of the way.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Knitting + Resolutions = Whee!

Before I split to pick up Daniel and go to pilates class, I wanted to post quickly. Pictures to follow at a later time.

I decided to reward myself for every 5 lb lost (I have 15 to go) with a special skein of yarn. Behold! I have found Reward #1. The Tsock Tsarina's Vintage sock kit. A pair of socks with grapes knit into the instep, and leaves appliqued onto the socks. Oh. My God. How cute is that?! I discovered it on the Yarn Harlot's blog today.

I also decided that I have to make a visit to the Frog Pond. Sadness. My little socklets I was knitting? TOO BIG. Like... way too big. Like... my feet would have to be Daniel's size to fit in these things. I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the way I ended up knitting the number of stitches for the Large sock size. ?!!!? I wear a 7.5 shoe! Plus, the lace pattern did indeed provide some stretch. I might be able to get away with just ripping it back to the heel, though... I'll have to see how good my frogging skills are. :-) I was so close to being done, too!! I was ready to set up for the toe!! And that freakin' cabled heel was so time intensive! ARgh. Oh well. No matter. I shall let it lie for a few weeks while I do something else.

Like finish the Luv Gun. Possibly in time for Valentine's Day (?).

And Daniel's socks.

And. And. And.

Oh! And I just bought some new books, which came to me yesterday. Melissa Morgan-Oakes' "2 At a Time Socks", Debbie Stoller's "Son of Stitch 'N Bitch", and Nikol Lohr's "Naughty Needles". Mmmm...new patternlicious. ;-)

Wedding Tour 08

I managed to side-step three weddings last year. This year, I am not so fortunate...I mean... (hah).

Let me back up. I love that my friends are getting hitched. Fully support that. However, I don't generally enjoy travelling for a long weekend somewhere remote to spend that time by myself, since the wedding party is undoubtedly busy with other obligations than spending time with Little Ol' Me. However, I'd also like to add that I was very honored that my last three wedded-friends asked me to their weddings. They included: Leslie and Ron, and Erin and Daniel.

So, this year I congratulate three sets of friends:

John and Olivia

Priscila and Nick

and Daniel's brother, Joe. I haven't met Joe, but I'll be at his wedding with Daniel. An excellent chance to meet the rest of the Berglund Clan.

I am really looking forward to Priscila and Olivia's weddings. I haven't seen Priscila in years, and she has been a close friend since junior high, and I know John and Olivia's wedding will be a blast - basically a big party with all our friends from college! :) (And hopefully Daniel will be able to accompany me to one or both of those events!)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Resolutions All 'Round

I generally don't fall into the trap of making New Year's Resolutions. Most people don't keep them, and while they are a nice sentiment, they usually fall out of favor with the first big shopping spree/party/bakery opening/car repair bill of the new year (depending on whatever it was that you resolved to do). I prefer to resolve myself to do something without waiting for a specific time, e.g. "I'll do it tomorrow." Tomorrow will never arrive, and whatever it was will never get done.

That being said, I do have some habits that I am going to integrate into my life:

- Lose another 15 lb over the course of 2008

- Put $500 / month into a savings account, as a "car payment". That way, when 2009 hits, I'll be either ready to cash out on a nice Honda Accord, or I'll be a few thousand away from a luxury car (G35 coupe?)

- Eat, cook and then eat, or give away the vegetables in my CSA box before they go bad.

Now, for the Yarn Resolutions:

- Finish Daniel's socks (I had him try the tube on, and it fit his foot circumference really well, thank god)

- Finish the Ms. Marigold vest

- Finish the lace socklets

- Finish the Luv Gun

- Keep the WIP's to 3 or less at any one time

- Find a good YO stitch pattern to knit and use up my giant pile of chenille tape yarn that I unravelled from the crocheted blanket gone awry. That will clear up a LOT of stash room, actually.

- Make my Clessidras in the KnitPicks pumpkin yarn

- Make my mom the Dog's Paw shawl from a back issue of Spin-Off, once I get my hands on a drum carder (c'mon, Louet-Lady-from-Ravelry!)

- Make the Viking / Brunhilde hat set for my friends Kris & Randy

- find a good flip-top mitten pattern for my mom

- a pair of Fetchings for Mom, and a pair of Dashings for Dad

Glass Spinning Wheel

I tried to upload pictures from this artist's website, but Blogspot didn't seem to like that.

He made a fully functioning spinning wheel out of glass, as well as some other incredible glass sculptures: