Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Odds and Ends...

Wrap-up of projects:

The Dork's homework project (a Shinto shrine) that he and his class partner decided to make out of Legos:
Side view. The roof wasn't quite right because they didn't quite have all the pieces they wanted.

(And yes, that is a stormtrooper on the roof!)

Bird's eye view, including interior


From the other side

Dork placed 3rd (tied) in a saber competition. He's the one on the right, and he's giving me the "don't take my picture, Mom" look.

As a reward, we ate at Joe's Cable Car Restaurant (mmm, patty melt and onion rings).

I've finished my fingerless mitts (and have been commissioned for 3 more pairs by members of my family).

New Stuff:
Started a Scrunchable Scarf in Mirasol K'acha as a mindless project to take to the theater when we saw the Reduced Shakespeare Company in "The complete works of William Shakespeare (abridged)". Fun yarn (not purple!), fun pattern, even more fun show!

I've started (and restarted, and restarted) a baby blanket that needs to be gifted by Dec. 16th. Nothing that I've tried has really resonated with me and I'm getting bored after only 2-3 inches. I may give up on the dk weight yarn I'm using and find enough worsted-weight and just crochet a fast giant granny square to get it over with! The older brother got a giant granny square blanket from me 3 years ago. Or I'm intrigued with the thought of knitting random stripes...

I'm thankful that I have enough yarn in stash that I can change my mind.
I'm thankful that my family is healthy and happy.
I'm thankful that I'm happily employed and that my husband is too.
I'm thankful that we have a happy, well-adjusted Dork Teen.
I'm thankful that I have great friends that I can laugh and cry with.
I'm thankful that we have a roof over our heads.
I'm thankful that we have enough food to eat and clothing to wear.
I'm thankful that we have a producing vegetable garden and access to fresh local produce.
I'm thankful that we have access to this fabulous communication and research system called The Internet.
I'm thankful that I have enough brains (usually) to solve minor house repair issues (the kitchen faucet this time) by searching the Internet for information.

I'm thankful that I can contribute to other people's fund-raising efforts. Stacie is raising money for the Lymphoma Research Foundation through her Etsy shop. I sent over a scarf for her to sell (and I'm looking for a couple other ones that I know I have around here somewhere...). You must see her Incredibly Soft Vibrating Scarf!

And with that, I'm thankful that we have options for our Thanksgiving meal this year. It will only be the 3 of us and an out-of-commission oven. We were smart enough to realize that we don't have to heat the entire smoked turkey at once, so I carved the turkey when it arrived home Tuesday. We have a small convection oven that we've been using, but there was no way to get even a smallish turkey into it! The bonus: getting to eat leftovers before we've even had Thanksgiving dinner!

Hope your Thanksgiving is a joyful one for you!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Homework report heard this afternoon:

"Mom, I have to create a Shinto shrine by Wednesday. And I want to do it in Legos.

Yeah, I know I need to get the bin out of my closet. I think it'll be mostly white and red.

I kinda got the idea from this Lego Golden Temple."

I'd forgotten just how many Legos we owned! The blue bin is a 30-gallon tote.

And how crazy is it that my Librarian brain said "we should probably sort them out better...hmmm - by size, color, type of piece (windows, angled roof, Technics...)"

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Last Monday was so cold in the morning when I left for work that I scraped ice off my car windows. The thermometer read 40°F. My hands were so cold that I did what any good knitter does - cast on some gloves right after I got home. The left one is done (sans thumb ribbing) and was super easy. It's the Mitt Envy pattern from Weezalana. Nicely written, the pattern was easy to follow, cable pattern was intuitive. There are mirror image instructions for the right mitt. I'm using Handmaiden Casbah (yummy cashmere-blend) in a beautiful rich purple that refuses to photograph nicely.

So I started the right one. This is the point at which my brain says "I know what I'm doing. I don't have to read all the instructions through because the cable rows are the same."

Yeah, they are the same - but I managed to miss one crucial part. Here's a picture of the two mitts next to each other.

Can you spot the mistake?

Can you see it now? It wasn't the cable pattern that I goofed on. I missed the "K8" part after the cable and BEFORE the gusset increases.

Now to rip out 21 rows...sigh!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello?! Is anyone out there?

So, after my last post (has it been over a month already?), I hunkered down and tried to regroup my energy. I haven't felt like I was very productive, but in looking at the pictures I've just uploaded, I guess I've done okay.

See, there was knitting!

Two socks were done. But too bad that they are not mates to each other. However, one is for me (the top one in Regia Galaxy) and one is for The Hubby (bottom, Dream in Color Smooshy), so I guess they are mates after all. I'm working on the matching socks.

Remember this post about my epic Olympic project equipment failure last year? Well, the yarn has been resurrected as the Farmer's Market Cardigan from the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Knits. The pattern actually calls for Lorna's Laces Green Line Worsted, which is what I have, in the Dusk colorway. I realized that there was still a lot of excess dye on the yarn, so I would need to wash it again. This time, I used the hottest water I could and a lot of vinegar, hoping to wash and set the color. You can see how much dye there was! I'm still getting a little on my hands, but it's not bad now.

And it's working up beautifully! Since my skeins were from different dye-lots (I had to get one extra, just to make sure I had enough), I'm alternating a few rows from one skein and a few rows from another. So far, so good; I've reached the waist decreases.

The Sea and Shells Stole is finally done!

Pattern: Sea & Shells stole
Yarn: Malabrigo Merinocash in PearlTen
Needle: size 4 US (3.5 mm)
Started: May 12, 2009
Finished: September 29, 2009 (on my birthday!)

Crocheted a baby blanket for a co-worker's baby born last week.
Pattern: Rainbow Blocks (a Leisure Arts pattern)
Yarn: Lion Brand Woolease in Blue Sprinkles, Hunter Green Sprinkles and Ivory Sprinkles
Hook: size I US (5.5 mm)
Started: October 3, 2009
Finished: October 20, 2009

In garden news, we got a grand total of 5 butternut squash this year. The smallest of these is a little over 1 pound, the largest is almost 4 pounds!

Remember the pumpkin plant that tried a takeover? Well, we got a total of 6 off the vine. The largest is 19+ pounds, the smallest (a surprise that we just discovered last week under the basil) is about 2-1/2 pounds.

And a friend from school finds these gigantic Fuji apples every couple years and brings me one. The tape measure does not lie - it is almost 13" around (4" in diameter).

So then I see a post from Norma about butternut squash, plus apples and onions with a little cinnamon and brown sugar. This turned into our version, butternut squash, apples, onions with a little curry powder. Yummy! Sorry, no picture - it was eaten up too quickly.

Oh, and then there's The Dork and his new best friend, Ellie. Peek-a-boo!