Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Knitting Blackhole

I've been knitting this hat for the Dulaan Project and after hours and hours of knitting, it refuses to be any longer than 4". I'll sit and knit for a few hours and then whip out my tape measure to see if the hat has reached the magical length of 5" to discover that the hat has now shrunk to 3 3/4" in length.

So I'll knit some more and whip out the tape measure again, now it is 4". I'll knit and knit and knit while watching television to discover that the darn hat is still ONLY 4". I curse the hat. I throw down my needles in anger to pick them back up and begin knitting again. I complete one row. I whip out my tape measure, hands shaking to measure again when the hat magically measures 5" as it if knows that I'm about to go over the edge.



Now the hat is ready for decreases as long as it stays the proper length, I think I can handle it, otherwise the hat will have some explaining to do!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chocolate



Warm chocolate cupcakes bake in the oven. The scent of rosebuds drifts in from the yard on this sizzling spring day. It’s barely 9 a.m. and the temperature is already in the 80s.

“Today will be hot”, she thinks as she sizes up the cupcakes. Will the chocolate melt before she can get these delivered to her inappropriate crush? The chocolate chips are already beginning their oozing slide into chocolate sauce after lying on the countertop much too long.

A wave of heat sweeps through the kitchen as she pulls the cupcakes from the oven. The chocolate slowly dribbles down the sides of the cooking pan. She determines the cupcakes are just right and promptly puts them on a cooling rack.

Now it’s time for the frosting. Chocolate cupcakes call out for chocolate icing but she’s thinking of trying something slightly different. Something that will catch the taste buds of the person she is trying to impress. Maybe a chocolate cream cheese frosting, it would certainly give those melting chocolate chips something to do instead of continuing their slide into oblivion. The beaters whirl in the large mixing bowl as the frosting is made. It’s so hot though that the heat is melting the butter and cream cheese almost as fast as she can whip them together.

Sweat drips from her brow and she wipes at it with a dish towel. She doesn’t have the energy for much else. Right now her energy must be directed toward making a frosting that shows her inappropriate crush all the inappropriate feelings she has for him.

She frosts the cakes and places each one into the cupcake holder she purchased especially for this occasion. She’s been planning her cupcake flirt attack for months and tomorrow is implementation day. Steam rises from each cake and little droplets begin to form on the frosting.

She quickly opens the fridge to cool the cupcakes and spends a few moments positioned in front of the fridge cooling off. She gently places the cupcakes in the fridge and puts a post-it on the door to remind her to bring the chocolate cupcakes to her crush the next day.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Yellow-ness



Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And everything you do
Yeah, they were all yellow

I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called yellow

So then I took my turn
Oh what a thing to have done
And it was all yellow

-- Yellow by Coldplay


This month in Project Spectrum the colors are Yellow and Orange. Last night I went on a walk with Julie and Zubin. We made sure to watch for all Yellow items and I snapped photos of everything. It's amazing how much yellow is out there even on a short walk. Thanks to Julie for helping me spot all the YELLOW!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Last week was Maundy Thursday, This week it's HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY THURSDAY


click on photo for larger view

Gabby goes home today, right after her last dose of antibotics. Her Mama said that their bags are packed and as soon as the last drop of drugs flow into her IV, they are sprinting from the hospital where they've spent the last 3 1/2 weeks. Children's is a nice hospital but really who wants to spend that long stuck in one place!

Gabby will be one month old on Sunday and today is the first day she will see her new digs. Her room is gorgously painted and her name is already on the wall.

Soon, I'll be able to hold her some where other than the hospital with its vinyl seats and loud machines. YEA FOR GABBY! Gabster -- you are SOOOOO getting special cupcakes! (OK so your parents will have to eat them but I promise that when you turn 1 year old, I'll make you another batch!)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Learning the proper way to do Intarsia

A few weeks ago, I began knitting my very own Jellybean Cushion but sadly last week I realized that I was doing something terribly wrong. There were gaps where the two colors met and Debbie Bliss's instructions mentioned something about twisting stitches which meant nothing to me!



So I loaded up my knitting and headed to my Ferals Knitting group where I knew that Karen, knitter extraordinare would be able to lend me assistance.



Karen examined my knitting and gently asked me if she could tink back. I announced that she could rip out the entire thing if she wanted. Well she only wanted to tink back a few rows so that she could show me the RIGHT way to do Intarsia and then I could compare it to my previous attempts.



Karen very nicely (way too nicely!) tinked back my knitting and then began teaching me how to knit Intarsia and I THINK I GOT IT! I worked on the cushion last night and while I am still not at the previous point, it is already looking so much better! SO MUCH! Of course it takes some brain power but soon I feel I'll be flying along. Karen -- you are a GEM! and I would take knitting classes from you if you offered them (seriously! I've already learned so much from you!)

I was also lucky enough to corral Ryan and obtain her autograph on the Dulaan article on my own Vogue Knitting Magazine! Thank you Princess Ryan!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006



April's Self Portrait Tuesday's theme is "April Fool".



This is a photo I took about a year ago after attending an "Ugly Bridesmaid Party" which I thought fit perfectly into this month's April Fool theme as I do look like a fool here! (Makes me giggle though)
When we were wee…



When we were wee, we played Dukes of Hazard, Wonder Woman, Superman and Office in the backyard. We’d hide out in our playhouse or behind the Pampas Grass waiting to leap out and surprise the other. I’d climb the back fence to taunt the German shepherd who lived back there while you kept watch for our Mother. We were constant companions.

There were times we allowed others into our confidence in order to round out our games, but they were rare. Most of the time, we’d secret ourselves away and refuse to allow others entry to our secret games. The cats and dog were used as props and somehow kept calm composure through the most harrowing of games. We tried to create a secret language but even to us it sounded like gibberish and we quickly learned that we would never understand Pig Latin. We had battles for the goodness of the galaxy while running up and down the large hill in our backyard.

And if it was hot, we’d have the “Slip and Slide” to slide down the hill on. We looked forward to those extra hot days as the slide provided so much entertainment. We’d spend hours playing on the slide, splashing in the wading pool and later playing at the swim club. I remember each of us trying to hang on our Mother who only had one rule which was not to get her hair wet! This was a challenge to us and we’d splash, splash, splash until she roared at us to “Knock it off!” We’d also spend our time trying to hang off her neck as she performed the “Mom Stroke”. By the end of each summer, we’d end up with skin darkened by the sun, often times the sun would darken us to the same color as our friends from Mexico, Juan and Pepe. I’m sure it was quite a sight to see; two blonde kids with skin the same color as their Hispanic counterparts as they cavorted through the neighborhood. We never noticed it until years later when we’d flip through the family photo albums, comparing the color of skin from when we lived in Texas to when we moved to Washington.

Along with the move, it seems our skin lost its pigmented hue. Shortly after that we found out that we were no longer wee for it seemed we had both grown-up, O Brother of mine, and we no longer had time for those childhood games.

Thanks to Laini and Meg of Sunday Scribblings for this prompt!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Psssttt...

The Interweave Preview is UP!

And as usual, Kate has outdone herself! I'll be making this just as soon as the pattern is available! So precious!

Quick Knits

I've been very interested in Quick Knits lately from large gauge socks to baby hats! When Rachael came for a visit and I stalked her to Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, I purchased some Debbie Bliss yarn for the Swirl Hat in Holiday Handknits. I had marked this pattern down when I purchased the book back in November as a possible hat to make for Gabby.

I have to say that I love this pattern! I found it easy to follow and I adore the end result! Now it's a bit big for Gabby right now but it should fit her come October when the weather starts to cool down again.



I love this hat so much that I'm tempted to make one for myself (the pattern includes instructions for children along with men and women!)

Now I just need to figure out what my next quick knit will be...maybe I should finish my second Debbie Bliss Cabled sock from Home. I do know that I'm bothering the Ferals with questions on the Jellybean Cushion tonight so that is also back in the running.

This week also marks the official start of my Danskin Triathlon Training. I can't wait to get back in the game!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sundara Sock Yarn

After I purchased my Sundara Sock yarn, I spent some time fondling it and sniffing it. Then I spoke with it to see what it wanted to become. There was rustling through my patterns until I hit upon Jeanie Townsend's Cascading Leaves pattern.



I cast on tonight and so far, I am loving this pattern! I can't wait until I have these socks on my footsies! The only problem with this pattern is you can't knit it and watch Lost at the same time! Lost requires much more concentration.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Artist's Way Week Twelve and Wrap-up

Weekly Check-In (this recap is overdue!):

1. Morning Pages: I did my morning pages 3 out of 7 days. I had a hard time keeping them up since I knew it was the last week.

2. Artist Date: I took my artist date to drive to the Beach. I took photos, watched the waves, danced in the sand and collected a few rocks as memories. I do so love the ocean.

3. Synchronicity: Synchronicity abounded. I looked for support for Gabby's parents and I didn't have to look far. It was all around them.

Artist's Way Reflections

I'm so glad that I took this journey and I do want to take it again. I was re-awoken to all the creativity within me and around me. I know that if I take the time to write, I will be able to write beautiful things. A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to Kat for taking on the responsibility of being the group's leader and she continues by supporting us in our creative journeys by proving us with the Contagious Creativity blog. The blog is full of creative tasks and goals. Some scare me (writing poetry) and some excite me (using poetry as inspiration), but I can't wait to try them all!


April's Self Portrait Tuesday's theme is "April Fool".



I shot this photo this week while at the beach. The sunglasses were purchased as a laugh for St. Paddy's Day. They continue to make me laugh.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Reasons I love the book, "One Skein"

I'm on a quest to make every design from "One Skein". This week, I finished the Felted Bowl (and I'll be making more!).





I've also made the Irregular Cabled Hat, Baby Hat, Felted Clutch (still being finished) and I've started the baby bolero. This is a book that everyone must run out and purchase!

I'm also watching the Italian Greyhounds this week. They spent many hours chasing each other around last night with barks bouncing from the fenceline.



Sunday, April 09, 2006

Of Rachael and Lala

Saturday morning arose rainy and deary but then I remembered! Saturday was the day I was to meet Rachael and La! So I packed up myself and made sure to get to the ferry with plenty of time since missing the ferry would be just too much.

I arrived a bit early and knit along on my Debbie Bliss sock. As I neared the toe shaping of the sock, the ferry began to load. Once my car was settled, I leaped from the car, ready to run to the front of the boat where we had all planned to meet. I noticed Ryan, TMK, Rachael and Lala pulling up in Ryan's shiny car. I lingered in the walkway and the excitement began to build. I was about to meet Rachael! Rachael who also ran a marathon around the same time as me, Rachael who is quite possibly the nicest and cooolest knit blogger around, Rachael who, OMG, would she be as cool in person as she is on the internets?



The group arrived in the walkway and hugs were all around. AND GUESS WHAT? Rachael is as cool in person as she is on the internets! AND Lala is damn cool (really, you need the damn to really understand her cool-ness) AND La went to school in Moscow, Idaho which is about 5 miles from where I went to school in Pullman and the place where I worked at my very first newspaper.

TMK decided that even though it was rainy, we would head out to the ferry deck even though the wind was threatening to lift all of us off the deck and sweep us away!


After near liftoff, we huddled back inside the warm boat and soon we were on our way to Churchmouse Yarns and Teas.

Ann of Much Ado About Knitting also came along for the blogger's fieldtrip! She rode with me from the ferry to the yarn shop and noticed a unique van which turned out to be neighbors from her very small town (she drove from over 2 hours away to come and meet up with all of us in Seattle).



I think Ann was trying to convice Ryan that she needed to buy all the yarn in Churchmouse (or was that me?).



La is a focused shopper and quickly snatched up a few books before retiring to the "husband" chairs for some baby sweater knitting.



While fuzzy, here is the gang (sans Ryan since she was buying yarn) at Churchmouse. So much fun!

After all that yarn shopping and a forced trip to Bad Blanche where Ryan announced I was torturing her, we went back to TMK's house for a BBQ. TMK tried to convince all of us that we needed to eat outside since it was a BBQ but no amount of good food was going to convince me to eat in the rain.



Once at TMK's, Rachael broke out her lovely wedding photos. They were fantastic and so beautiful!

We also had some party crashers at TMK's -- Janine, Janine's sister, Gingko, Elaine and BLING. All were fantastic party crashers! There was knitting, laughter and great conversation to fill the room.



I made sure to pose with Rachael and Lala to prove that I was in the same room as them!



Frankie was even wearing her party necklace for the Honeymooners.

And all the time, Rachael was knitting a baby hat from "One Skein" which inspired me to cast on for the same hat the next day while visiting Gabby at the hospital. It is such a quick knit that I was able to cast on for the hat and before my visit was over, Gabby was wearing the hat!





I think Gabby liked it!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Of Babies and Finishing

As my vacation draws to an end (how did the time go by so quickly), I take a moment to reflect on what I've accomplished and what I need to accomplish.

1. The Confetti Scarf is complete!

Finnley was kind enough to model for me.

2. I started and finished the Felted Clutch from One Skein (OK so I still need to felt it)


3. I finally got to hold Gabby!


She's been moved out of the ICU and is in her own room at Children's where I can hold her to my heart's content (well assuming her Mama doesn't want to hold her at the moment). They are still trying to figure out what is up with Miss Gabby but she's in the best place for them to figure that out.



As for what I still need to accomplish, I still need to:

1. Turn in my Taxes
2. Finish the Purple Sweater
3. Finish the Debbie Bliss socks (I fixed the heel this morning and just need to get down to the toes).
4. Finish burning my CDs to iTunes (only about 15 more to go!)

Tomorrow, I get to finally meet Rachael in person!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

All about the finishing...

This week is all about finishing and in that vein, I gathered up all my unfinished projects. I quickly took tally and grabbed the quickest one to finish yesterday. I'm about half way through the skein of yarn and once the skein is gone, the scarf is finished!



Once my confetti scarf is complete, I'll get working on completing my purple sweater and the Debbie Bliss socks I've been working on (and need to fix the heel on).

This will be a vacation where I actually get some stuff DONE! What a great feeling!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Inspiration



Lately I've been gathering inspiration from many sources, particularly from Yarnstorm and her Jellybean Cushions.

A few months ago, I picked up a pillow from IKEA for a few dollars and thought, "I'm going to knit a cover for this." Then I let it sit and sit. On Saturday, I visited the Fiber Gallery and gathered my supplies for my very own Jellybean Cushion. I already had Debbie Bliss's Home book but I did need the yarn. While at Children's that afternoon, I cast on and haven't looked back. As I head back to the hospital this afternoon, I plan to take my pillow with me.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for Gabby. She is doing very well and the doctors are running many tests. She will be at the hospital for at least a few weeks. I've been keeping her parent's entertained as have their many, many friends. This is definitely a couple with a great support system. It's has worked out well that I had this week down for vacation. I didn't know how much Kim would need me but sometimes the world knows where you need to be.

OK time to get going!
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