Tag Archives: knitting

What I’m reading and doing

Despite the time of year, Fall has not quite hit the Bay Area yet. We still have pretty high temperature and clear blue skies as far as the eye can see.

That still doesn’t stop me from acting like its fall and that the temperatures are cooling. I’m cooking more and crafting more too. Can’t say much for TV and Movies. Its been baseball games everyday since the LA Dodgers are in the playoffs.

What I’m seeing: 

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Station

This is a wonderful (and small) state park near Half Moon Bay. There’s even a hostel in the park. Wouldn’t this be an amazing view to wake up to on vacation?

pigeon point 1

Ano Nuevo Open Preserve:

I wasn’t lying about the clear blue skies. This gem is also in Pescadero (about an hour drive away from San Francisco), and its a short 2 mile hike (4 miles round-trip). You get gorgeous views of the ocean and we got to see a small grouping of lady elephant seals hanging out on the beach.

ano nuevo

What I’m cooking:

salmon

Pan fried salmon with caulifower rice and steamed veggies. Delish! And it only took about 25 minutes to make too. I sauteed the cauliflower rice and mushrooms, steamed the broccoli and green beans. It assembled really quickly.

What I’m crafting:

This is my second $5 in Paris sweater. Right now I’m finished up the sleeves. I improvised on the pattern and decided to make this long, cableknit sleeves. But now I have to frog the sleeves and start all over because I made the larges too large. Oops.

I finished this pillow case as my final project for my Sewing 101 class. Its much smaller than it looks, but I’m very proud of it. I learned how to do the fancy French seam for this project.

I’ve also enrolled in another sewing class. This time, we’re making pajama bottoms. I’m so excited for this project. I’ve been wanting to learn how to sew my own clothes for as long as I can remember. I’ll post pictures of that project soon.

What I’m reading:

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of…The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

Narrated by Levar Burton.

Fred Rogers was an amazingly patience, loving and emphatic human being. The first 3/4ths of this book is a recap of the recent documentary, “Won’t You Be my Neighbor” but this last portion focuses more on his social ties to friends, family and the community at large.

There Are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Comin…There Are No Grown-Ups by Pamela Druckerman

This book has me terrified (but also a little bit excited) to turn 40. I’m still plenty of years away from that milestone, but seriously… I need to start preparing for that next era of my life now before it catches me off guard.
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Newborn Vertebrae Cardigan – Knit

In lieu of reading multiple books a weeks, I’ve been knitting again. I stopped knitting sometime in January when I got carpal tunnel on my wrist. I gotta say, it feels really good to be knitting again. I miss being productive with my hands as well as going through my yarn stash and finally starting to deplete my supplies.

So, what was my first project?

The Newborn Vertebrae with Giraffe Patch

My sister-in-law recently welcomed a baby born into the finally, so I was motivated to knit something for my new nephew-in-law.

The pattern is actually really awesome. Its drafted for newborns, but all you have to do is use thicker yarn and larger needles, and you can make a little cardigan for ages 0-6 months. Its knit from the top-down, using sock yarn (super fine and thin). The sleeves are meant to be knit using the magic loop, but I opted to use double-sided needles for each sleeve instead. I also made them cap sleeves instead of full length. It knits very quickly. I think it took a little less than a week, even with the design I added to the pattern. I was a dork when transcribing the giraffe patch onto graph paper. I forgot to block out the mouth, so the whole face turned out yellow. Oops. But here is the final product.

IMG_00221

Feb Recap

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February royally sucked in regards to challenges. I failed my reading challenge (it doesn’t help when awesomely awesome publishers send unsolicited books in the mail, and it certainly doesn’t help that multiple Borders within a ten mile radius are going out of business and having massive clearance sales).

That being said, I’ve been pretty good about only reading books off my bookshelf, regardless of the number of additional books I’ve been bringing into the house.  The only exception has been Almost Moon, which is the current mandatory bookclub selection.

Books read in February

Paris Was Ours – Penelope Rowlands &

Pygmalion – Bernard Shaw &

What The Dickens – Gregory MaGuire

Almost Moon – Alice Sebold

Paris was ours : thirty-two writers reflect on the city of light by Penelope Rowlands https://i1.wp.com/var.pulist.net/what-the-dickens-library-edition_small.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/h0/h1129.jpg The almost moon : a novel

The Yarn Diet is going okay….I’m not knitting much, mostly because the yarn I have is yarn I inherited when a friend moved away, and thus I have no project concepts for any of it, other than a king size scrap blanket.

I did finish a shrug, a vest and a beanie that I am particularly proud of:

February did bestow the Stitches West Knitting Convention in Santa Clara, CA. I did keep in mind the option of 5 anytime yarn puchases loophole with the Yarn Diet. I only made 2 purchases (of a TON of yarn), so I have 3 extra yarn purchases, and I think I added another 50 skeins to my stash. =/

Lets hope March is a more successful month.

Yarn Diet 2011

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I found out about the Yarn Diet via Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. She and Tami from Tami’s Amis are hosting the 2011 Yarn Diet for knitters and crafters. The diet goes from January 2011 to June 2011.

The Rules

Without further ad0, the rules and exceptions of our yarn diet:

Length of time: January 1st-June 1st or until over half of your stash is gone. Obviously it’s pretty hard to use every single little piece of yarn in each skein/ball/cake/hank, so if it’s down to the point you can find much to do with it, then that is considered finished.

What may be purchased in that time: During the yarn diet, the participant is allowed to buy yarn 5 times. At each purchase, you may spend or buy however much you want. This includes LYS, box stores and even online shopping (basically any yarn purchases). You may also still buy as part of a swap and/or gift. Also, if you short less than half the skeins to finish a project (let’s say you’re making a scarf and you run short of yarn by 1 skein) you are able to purchase JUST that ONE item and it won’t count against you.

Punishment: For each time you go past the 5 given times you may purchase yarn during January 1-June 1, you will have another month added to the yarn diet, which will not include another chance to buy yarn for that month.

To participate: Just comment on this post (or the one I will be doing at the beginning of the year) to let us know you’re joining us. Then, take pictures of all of your yarn and count how many skeins you have. I know some people have way too much to count it all, so if that’s the case, keep track of how many bags/bins etc you have it in and gauge that way. Then, sometime in the first week of January, post on your blog all the pictures. That way, we can document the stash as time goes on. I will have a Mr Linky attached to my yarn diet posts where you can post new links to new pictures as the months go on.

My Stash

The Stats:

# of complete skeins     ___ 80

# of incomplete skeins ___ 15

Total amount of usable yarn ____95 skeins.


Without further ad0, the rules and exceptions of our yarn diet: 

Length of time: January 1st-June 1st or until over half of your stash is gone. Obviously it’s pretty hard to use every single little piece of yarn in each skein/ball/cake/hank, so if it’s down to the point you can find much to do with it, then that is considered finished.

What may be purchased in that time: During the yarn diet, the participant is allowed to buy yarn 5 times. At each purchase, you may spend or buy however much you want. This includes LYS, box stores and even online shopping (basically any yarn purchases). You may also still buy as part of a swap and/or gift. Also, if you short less than half the skeins to finish a project (let’s say you’re making a scarf and you run short of yarn by 1 skein) you are able to purchase JUST that ONE item and it won’t count against you.

Punishment: For each time you go past the 5 given times you may purchase yarn during January 1-June 1, you will have another month added to the yarn diet, which will not include another chance to buy yarn for that month.

To participate: Just comment on this post (or the one I will be doing at the beginning of the year) to let us know you’re joining us. Then, take pictures of all of your yarn and count how many skeins you have. I know some people have way too much to count it all, so if that’s the case, keep track of how many bags/bins etc you have it in and gauge that way. Then, sometime in the first week of January, post on your blog all the pictures. That way, we can document the stash as time goes on. I will have a Mr Linky attached to my yarn diet posts where you can post new links to new pictures as the months go on.

Feel free to use the button (thanks to Alea for making this for us!) at the top of this post for your Yarn Diet posts and/or the one in the sidebar (a smaller version).

This is supposed to be fun, so don’t get stressed over it. It will be a breath of fresh air using yarn that has been sitting waiting to be used for months or maybe even years. I know I can’t wait to get rid of some of it, and even find unique projects to make. Just think how refreshing it will be come June 1st when you can replace the yarn you used with even more yarn!

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know in the comments section! I’ll be happy to answer them.

I look forward to posting my first official yarn diet post in the first week of January, but before then, I’m heading to a LYS!

Simply Baby – Book Review

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Simply Baby by Debbie Bliss

Age: All

Simply Baby is a collection of knitting patterns for the baby, age 0-2 years, in your life.

I choose this book from a huge variety of baby knit books from the library because I find Debbie Bliss has a very modern eye for baby clothes. The patterns are incredibly simple to follow and they are adorable in every way. I made the baby shrug for my cousin, who is due early next year.

Its knit in one piece and in plain stockinette stitch. I feel like this pattern is a good foundation for improvised designed. I can easily alter the number of stitches to accomodate for cables, eyelets and ribbing designs. I’ll be knitting a few other patterns from the book as well, including baby mittens and baby booties.

This book is a great introduction to baby knits for a new knitter, or a knitter who has never knit babywear before.

Simply Baby: 20 Adorable Knits for Baby’s First Two Years
by Debbie Bliss
Trafalgar Square Books, 2006
ISBN 1570763348
144 pages

*****************************

Find this book at your local library

Preview the book

Life: A Photo blog post

I’ve been very absent from blogging for the majority of 2010. I haven’t really been reading much. I haven’t been able to really get immersed into any adult fiction books this year. Maybe I read too many last year, but this year I’ve just been bored with every book I pick up, except for children’s and teen books. I’ve started out this year reading more children’s books and hopefully that’ll turn into more adult fiction books. I’m reading Anna Karenina for my book club, which is more of a reread actually. I don’t know why Russian authors get such a bad reputation for their books. I love Russian literature, except for Lolita…that book still give me shutters.

Most of my enery this past week has been towards my guinea pig, Ginny. She had a really bad limp on Monday night, but she’s mostly recovered now. She’s 7 years old (really, really old for guinea pigs), but she’s still really stubborn and resilient. I’ve had her for about 5 years now and she’s a wonderful pet.

Miss Ginny!

I’ve been on a knitting whirlwind this year, which is why I haven’t been reading much. I can only do one or the either. I’ve made a good number of large projects this year. A sweater, a cardigan, a pair of socks and a shrug.

weekend hoodie  Alpine  socks!  Melody Shrug

Chris and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by going to see Cirque du Soilel this year, Ovo. If you haven’t been to a performance, then I highly recommend it. Ovo is a lot more dance-influenced than the other ones I’ve seen, but the costumes are amazing, the story is enchanting and the acrobatics are just stupefying.

Well, that’s my 2010 in a nutshell. =p Hopefully it’ll get more entertaining as the year progresses.

Read, Knit, Bake, repeat

Instead of setting up New Year’s Resolutions this year, I gave myself 3 New Year’s Challenges.

1. Bake something new each month.

2. Finish a knit/crochet project each month

3. Read all the books in my designated reading challenges.

Well, I haven’t quite figured out how to divide my time fairly between the three areas, as well as family, friends and work.

Unfortunately, my reading has taken a slight step to the wayside as I’ve been baking and knitting like a demon this past month. I did manage to finish 4 books (albeit I started one in December).

You may see my reviewing more cookbooks and craft books this coming year. I teach a knitting/crochet class at the library on Saturdays, so I’m always brushing up on new techniques and good books for beginners to learn from.

This book I am particularly fond of picking through this month.

31 Chunky-Chic Designs Twinkle’s Big City Knits by Wenlan Chia. My main attraction to this book is that a large number of Chia’s knits are produced and sold in Anthropologie stores!

I’ll be posting a couple reviews for 2 mystery books next week, Club Dead by Charlaine Harris and On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle. Both very good, fun and quick reads! Mystery books are so addicting!

Cowboy Boot Booties

I can’t help myself. I’m so proud of these cute little baby booties I knit. I only have one foot done so far, but its absolutely fun to knit (slightly complex pattern though). I hate it when knitting patterns are written in paragraph form instead of bullet form. Bullets are so much easier to read.

I came across this pattern by complete accident. My local library was giving away a few old magazines/booklets about knitting and baby project knitting. These little boots were in one of them!

Cowbow Boot Booties by you.

One love triangle to another

I watched the movie “The Jane Austen Book Club” a couple weeks ago, and as much as I enjoyed the movie, I think it would have liked it more if I had read more of Jane Austen’s works than just Pride and Prejudice.

So, having watched that movie and  in keeping with my new reading routine (1 book off my bookshelf, 1 book from somewhere else), I decided to give Mansfield Park a try. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying this book.

So, in reading this book, I feel like I need to make some kind of chart to keep all the characters and their stories straight. The book certainly does not lack Jane’s wit, sarcasm and commentary of the social hierarchies on morality and social status, all told through amusingly intricate love stories.

As far as I can tell, in the first 150 pages, there are two love triangles, the unfair and overbearing aunt, the absentee father figures, and the reckless youth.

Fanny Price, the heroine, is kind of dull. Miss Crawford is more interesting but seems superficial, and the Miss Bertrams are just plain annoying. I enjoy all the sections with Edmund Bertram, and all the tension that surrounds him, Fanny and Miss Crawford.

I saw the movie Mansfield Park back in high school in 2000, I think, and so I have flashes of the movie running through my head as I’m reading the book, but the movie images and the book storyline are not in sync, so its really frustrating. I haven’t seen the movie in over 5 years, but I can’t get out of my mind as I read this book. Well, I’ll just keep reading and hopefully the book will erase my memories of the movie. =) One can only hope.

The next book on my list is The Friday Night Knitting Club. I’ve heard some good things about this book, so I hope it won’t let me down.

On a side note, I don’t read mystery novels all too frequently, but I did read some very fun Knitting Mysteries a couple years ago. Needled to Death and A Deadly Yarn Both books by Maggie Sefton. I would recommend those two to any knitter interested in a quick and fun read, plus there are a couple of free patterns at the end of each book!

Knitting Book Review

This is one of the best knitting resources I have come across in a long time. Nicky Epstein’s Knitting on the Edge is full of fantastic edging ideas for sweaters, blankets, and scarves. The patterns are very easy to follow and the designs go from very intricate to very simple. I checked this copy out from the library, but its one I’ll probably end up buying. The book is broken into 7 sections, ribbing, cables, lace, ruffles, flora, fringing and points & picots. A lot of the patterns can be used as panels for sweaters, or just repeated for blankets, shawls, etc. The designs are pretty modern, so they’d work well for the young knitters and older knitters too.

https://i1.wp.com/syndetics.com/hw7.pl