Wednesday, November 30, 2005


My mind is racing with all the decorating possibilities of our home. So I've consulted a few sites, like Gothic Martha Stewart, for some design ideas.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, I am not going to paint bats on the ceiling or drape lace over the lampshades (unless *cough* J requests that sort of thing). But I've come up with a couple of good ideas:

- Decoupaging our lampshades with rose petals. I think that will be a pretty way to display our garden's wares in a more permanent way. I could also press some lavendar or something for the kitchen lamp, mix it up a little. I'm tired of our plain white shades!

- Using our little white bookshelf-thingies in the garage as a side table next to the large bookcase in the living room. I could paint it black, drape a pretty scarf over it, and put one of our directional desklamps in that corner so I can see my knitting/reading/whateverprojectI'mworkingon at night, without disturbing J in his corner of the room.

I'm also thinking about colors to paint the walls. We know that we want to do some sort of sage/burgundy thing downstairs. J wants deep red for his office. I think I want a greyish violet for the craft room. I'm undecided on the bedroom or the bathroom. And I kinda like the kitchen the way it is. Maybe I'll just drape some fabric over the window over the sink and call it a day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


We had a wonderful weekend visiting George.  Only one of us in the group got sick (no, not J or I), and there was much wine tasting, laughter, and poker playing.  I just wish we could have stayed longer!  The vineyards are so beautiful this time of year.  And yes, we brought home enough bottles to fill those spaces that have been nagging us recently.  We also joined another wine club for Koehler Winery.  Gotta have a little variety, right?

Thanksgiving was nice and quiet, and the food was good as usual.  Because of our trip, I wasn't able to fix my own turkey last weekend, so I'm doing it this weekend.  This is the last Saturday that I have free until the end of the year.  The 10th is the 3DC work party, the 17th is the Victorian Dinner, and the know.  I'm looking forward to the turkey pot pies and the turkey stock that will result from my labors on Saturday.

I need to start with the holiday shopping.  I got some decent suggestions from my dad for his Xmas list.  My mom will be a little more difficult, but I will come up with something.  I already have something I'm making for my sister.  When asked, J's parents gave a resounding "I dunno" to the question of what they wanted, so we will be flying by the seat of our pants once again.  And don't even get me started on his sister...  Yeah, I'd said that we were going to have a talk with the families about not exchanging gifts this year, but it was too late by the time we made that decision.  So we'll suck it up this year and have that discussion with them at the appropriate time (on, oh, Christmas Eve or something ).

In preparation for the work party on the 10th, J and I are going into a cleaning frenzy.  More accurately, one hour of frenzy each evening before collapsing on the couch to watch our DVR-ed shows.  We need to clean up the guest room and the office, bag up our clothes for the Salvation Army to pick up on the 8th, and generally spit-shine everything so it doesn't look like we're complete pigs.  Since there will be two people (at least) spending the night, I suspect we will have to move the litter boxes into our bathroom and make the "hall" bathtub presentable upstairs.  Man, I hate cleaning.  At least we have a decent vacuum now.

We are also trying to decorate and make it look like somebody actually lives in our house.  We've already been here for almost two years, and have done nothing to the decor.  For starters, I bought some curtains and valances from Target.  They are cotton velvet, and the valances have beads.  We put them up last night, and they look fancy.  I love it!  Maybe one of these days we will get around to re-upholstering our dining room chairs.  And painting.  At least we have pictures on the walls. And we need to find a good place to display the Dickens Village collection. Hi, I'm 80 years old! If I had a front porch, I'd be out there shaking my walking stick at all those damned kids. If I wasn't knitting something.

Speaking of knitting, I am in an ennui. Good thing I only have one project to finish before the holidays - Bobbi Bear for my sister. Which means I should probably get started on it again, eh?

But I digress. I must retaliate for the Paul McCartney Xmas music from the other office with some Manheim Steamroller.  Back to work...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Introducing...The Great Pumpkin!

(Morrigan is all "Village of the Damned" in that first pic)

Okay, so the pictures aren't nearly as bad as I feared they would be. Now don't get me wrong - I think Stephanie is a brilliant designer and I love how this sweater came together. But I don't think bulky yarn is right for my body type :( Which is a bummer, but the sooner I come to terms with it, the better.

Oh and didja notice I'm doing the Rachael?

Now I am back working on the Mariah sweater. I think that I will start the other sleeve, get to the same point that I am on the first sleeve (row 31), then work on them together so I can really crank them out. I really love doing the cabling, and I am at the point in the pattern where I only need to glance at the chart from time to time to make sure I am on the right row for the increases. The design is really intuitive.

I hope everybody has a Happy Thanksgiving, and eats lots of good food this weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Nice weekend

I had a very nice weekend. Friday we did nothing for once, which was great. Saturday, our friends Meg and Craig came to visit from Fallbrook. We went out for sushi at Wasabi and drank way too much beer and sake. Yum! It's been far too long since we've had sushi, and I forget how good and inexpensive that place is. And it was really nice to spend some quality time with Meg and Craig. With 5 kids, they don't get a lot of quality adult time, so this was good for them.

Sunday, we got up early and went to breakfast at Johnny Reb's with John and Mary. We sat out on the patio and probably pissed off a number of people with our obnoxiousness. It is trouble when we get together - our "inside voices" tend to find their way outside. Tact just goes flying out the window. I had a lovely meal of chicken fried steak, scrambled eggs, biscuit, and cheese grits. They had to roll me back out to the car. But we did manage to make it back home in one piece. We then started the laundry, and I went grocery shopping. By that time, our friends Randy and Ginger had arrived. Randy and J went to work patterning some slops for J's Border Reiver outfit, while Ginger read and I knitted on my cardigan. We then went to dinner at Cosmo's, where I had some of their yummy Gnocchi. I love how I was able to hit all my favorite restaurants this weekend :)

And yes, I did finish the cardigan. Lemme tell ya, bulky yarn and big boobs do not mix :( It turned out great, but it makes me look HUGE. For the sake of this blog, I will post pictures so you can witness me looking like the Great Pumpkin. I had to make one change - Lion Brand Thick and Quick doesn't block worth a damn, so the button bands were rolling like crazy. I put the buttons on, and it didn't help. So, I grafted the button band with the button holes to the other side of the cardigan, so I would wear it like a pullover, but it has a faux button band going down the front. It turned out very nice. Maybe if I have a friend that has no boobs, I can gift it to her. But this is the last time I am making a sweater out of big yarn. I have learned my lesson.

I'll take some more pictures later of my other two projects - the sock and the Mariah sleeve. I'm into the foot of the sock and about 5 inches into the sleeve. Both look pretty spectacular. I should have those pics up this week, but don't hold me to it.

So, I have all of this heathered green Wool Ease yarn. I've tried making two sweaters out of it, but get bored to death with each pattern I try. I think I'll try a third pattern - Klaralund. I love the shape of the sweater, it only has 4 pieces, and the stitch patterns change enough that it should keep my interest. Plus, this sweater wouldn't make me look like the Goodyear Blimp. I don't like the feel of this yarn very much, but I don't want to just toss it. And I think the drape would be just right for this pattern.

So, to totally change the subject. J brought this up yesterday - after two years, we haven't really settled in to our house. The craft room and office still have boxes and aren't organized. Same with the garage. So, since we are having a big work party on December 10th where people will be spending the night, we need to clean up some of this stuff. We are also going to decorate a little more. Target has these velvet curtains and valances on sale for $24.99 and $14.99, respectively. These would not only look kickass in our living/dining area, but would help to keep the heat out in the summer. Plus we will need to decide if we are painting and which rooms get painted. We are so used to moving every two years, it's weird to think we will be here longer than that.

The rest of this week should be pretty nice. I only work three days this week. Thursday is Thanksgiving at my Mom's house, with both sides of the family. Friday, J is having some sort of work party at our house, so I'm hoping to get some more knitting in. And Saturday and Sunday we are visiting George in Santa Maria. I'm looking forward to that little vacation!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Insert Title Here

I think we had originally planned this to be a lazy weekend, but things never quite worked out that way. Now we have plans for tonight and the whole day tomorrow. I shouldn't bitch too much - I like spending time with my friends. I just like having time to myself, too.

I finished the scarf about two weeks ago. Just got around to taking pictures of it Thursday night. Here 'tis:

I love the length and the colors. I'm not sure when I'll wear it, though. Probably when we go to Victoria BC in December. Surely the weather will be cold enough up there! We don't get real weather here in SoCal.

I haven't written here in a while because, frankly, I'd been too lazy to take pictures. I should just write, and not worry about it. I'm absent too long, and people stop checking here for updates. And I do love my comments when I get them :)

So, things have slowed down around here since October, which is a blessing. J and I will celebrate Thanksgiving next week with our parents, then go up to Santa Maria on Saturday to visit our friend George and go wine tasting. Specifically, to Andrew Murray. They are having a big open house and BBQ to celebrate their harvest. Yum, yum, yum. I can't wait!

I have been knitting all this time. I, uh, dropped everything I had been working on when the kit for Glampyre's Bulky Cabled Cardigan came in, in Pumpkin. ADD knitter, anyone? I am such a slut when it comes to my knitting projects. I love the pattern, and so far it seems like it will fit. I've finished the body, one sleeve and half of the other sleeve. I just have the button bands and seaming of the sleeves to go, and I will be done. One problem - the kit provides 6 skeins of yarn, which is supposed to cover up to the XL size. I made the Large, because I wanted a close-fitting cardi. But I still had to go last night and get more yarn. My second sleeve was going to eat up the last ball. I don't think my gauge is out of whack, but who knows. I just hope that it looks okay on me - I don't want to end up a giant orange Michelin-woman in this thing. If it works out, I wouldn't mind making another one. It's a very clever and (hopefully) flattering design. I'll just know to get 7 balls of yarn next time :)

And I will pick up my other two projects that I had cast aside - my Mariah and my socks. The Mariah sleeve is coming along beautifully. It's so hard to work on at night, being a charcoal yarn. I really need a light in the corner where I sit in the living room.

So, I'll try to write here on a more regular basis. Just so you know there's more in my life than just knitting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Because if everybody else jumps off a cliff, apparently so will I...

Check out our Frappr!

If I have any readers left, add yourself. I wanna see your bright, shiny faces on my map!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Everybody else is doing it...

The meme everybody's been talking about!

What is your all time favorite yarn to knit with?

Well, "all-time" is relative, seeing as I just started knitting a little less than a year ago. I'd have to say Koigu, with Noro Silk Garden coming a close second. Both produce such a soft fabric.

Your favorite needles?

Depends on the project. For socks, I love the Addi Turbo 40" (I use the Magic Loop method). For heavier projects I love my Denise interchangeables. And I love my bamboo 14" straight needles for projects when there is little chance of me putting somebody's eye out.

What is the worst thing you've ever knit?

Unfortunately, I think it's the green sweater. I like the pattern and the sweater itself, but it turned out so heavy and HOT in the Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. I may do it again, but with the yarn the pattern calls for. I doubt that I will ever have the opportunity to wear it. We'll see, though - the weather hasn't really gotten cold yet.

Your most favorite knit pattern? (Maybe you don't like wearing it...but it was the most fun to knit.)

I can't pick just one. In terms of socks, I really enjoyed the Friday Harbor pattern (once I figured it out), and the Feather and Fan Socks from Socks Socks Socks has been really easy to memorize, and looks so pretty. I also really enjoyed the My So Called Scarf pattern. The stitch pattern itself makes a very interesting and beautiful fabric, especially with variegated yarns like Manos. And I'm really getting a kick out of the Mariah pattern. The knotwork is a lot of fun to knit!

Most valuable knitting technique?

Hmmm - I'd have to say the magic loop for socks. It's so easy and not as cumbersome as dpn's for me.

Best book or magazine?

Knitting on the Road is one of the best sock books out there.

No magazines have really stood out as my favorite. I really like Knitty - they have some of the best and most creative stuff out there.

Your favorite knitblogs?

There are so many - I have about 80 that I hit regularly. My personal favorites are Laurie, Stephanie, Jodi, JenLa, two Wendys, Stitchy, Margene, and Rachael.

Your favorite knitwear designer?

For socks, Nancy Bush. For other clothing, Teva Durham.

The knit item you wear the most? (How about a picture of it!)

All my socks, of course! And I wore my Clapotis a lot at War. It hasn't been cold enough yet to wear much else.

My court case ended last Friday. If you are interested, here are a couple of articles about the case. At least I can say it wasn't boring! I'm glad that it's over. It was really stressful being out of the office for so long, like I was split in two.

I finished my scarf, and will have pictures up this weekend. Currently, I am working on one of the sleeves for Mariah, and I'm to the foot of the first Feather and Fan sock for my friend, Mary. I tweaked the pattern a bit - I left out the garter stitch border between the leg and foot, did an eye of partridge heel, and used Grumperina's method of picking up stitches for the gusset, which turned out so nice looking, and no gaps! Pictures will be coming of these as well.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention - I got a most excellent package yesterday! I won a prize from the Give A Little drawing. 9 skeins of Rowan Magpie in dark blue! It is just gorgeous. I'm not normally much of a blue person, but this yarn has flecks of burgundy and sage green. This will be perfect for Rogue. I can't wait to get started on it now!

Back to work...