Tuesday, October 31, 2006

T-Minus 4 Hours until NaNOWriMo and NaBloPoMo


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OMG! It all starts TOMORROW...That's just 4 hours away! What am I thinking?

I'm saving my Socktoberfest Wrap-up Post for tomorrow! Look for sock details and more!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Purl Scarf



I think I'm in love. I'm about halfway through this scarf and soon I'll be able to wear it EVERYWHERE.

**Edited**
Scarf Notes
Pattern: Purl Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Manos Del Uruguay in 118, Rowan Kid Silk Haze in 579 Splendor & Nashua Creative Focus Chunky in 4899 Khaki
Needles: US15 Straight
Dulaan Knit-In



MaryB was kind enough to host a Dulaan Knit-In at her house yesterday which included some spinning and cat loving.



Irina showed up from Olympia with bags full of sweaters and hats she had knitted. I asked Ryan if I could steal 5 of Irina's items to the 5 I have committed to make. She showed me pictures of cold Mongolian Children and I quickly abandoned that idea. In fact, it made me knit faster!

TMK brought along her new spinning wheel and was kind enough to let me take it for a spin. I'm not that good at it but TMK was very patient with me. VERY PATIENT! She's a saint!

After I gave up spinning, TMK set to work spinning the roving she dyed last weekend at Janine's house.



This is going to be gorgeous -- bright colors and all!



MaryB's Cat, Charlotte even allowed me a few moments to photograph her. She's a beauty.

**More Knit-In photos can be found on Flickr!**

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bedtime Story...

Come on Little One. Come and climb beneath the covers so I can tell you a bedtime story; one that carries you from this little house by the shore to the biggest castles in the land with the strongest princes and the most beautiful princesses in the land.

Let me tell you tales full of magical stories of frogs, puppy dog tails, NeverNeverLands and Wicked Witches. There will be stories where you can imagine that you are the princess and you hold the magical key to everlasting happiness. I will take you places where the glass slipper fits only your foot and the Ugly Stepsisters can bother you no more; places where the prince has been searching for only you.

Snuggle on in to your covers as I tell you about the Dwarves who took in a young woman in need or the little girl who fought a wolf and survived. What about the little boy and little girl who found a house made of candy in the woods? What shall I tell you about them?

Do you want to know more about how the little girl and little boy escaped the witch who lived in the candy house? Would you like to hear the songs the Dwarves sang as they headed to work? Can I tell you the fable of when the boy cried wolf? How about the three little pigs? They also fought a wolf.

There is the legend of King Arthur and his knights. They sat at a round table. It is an important part of the story. There was the little boy who pulled the sword from the rock. He gained much acclaim. I can tell you all of this and more. I can fill your head with fantasy and romance.

I wonder though, will you remember these tales? Will you remember these nights? When you grow up and have children of your own, will these nights be as precious as they are to me? Will you do this with your own children? Will you snuggle in with them and expand their minds with parables about faraway lands? Will they believe that you make up the best stories? Will you tell them that every Mother tells her children these same stories? Will you tell them that your mother and her mother told them these very same stories when they were children?

Come on Little One. I have much to share. Let me help you drift off to sleep with the tales I know. Snuggle in deep. I have a bedtime story to tell you.

Saturday Sky



Saturday arose with fog and clouds but I suspect the sun will make an appearance later this afternoon.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Alpaca Spinning

A few years ago, my best friend’s mom took up knitting. She knit baby sweaters, took classes and really embraced the lifestyle. Every time we saw each other, we discussed knitting patterns and our favorite yarns.

Then one day, I heard from my best friend that her parents were buying alpacas. Next they decided to buy a ranch in order to raise the alpacas. Now they live in a beautiful location with several (I can not remember how many) alpacas and two llamas.

When I heard that they were raising alpacas, I announced that I would learn how to spin the fleece if they gave some to me. Of course I threw this out in jest and never really expected to get any of the fleeces. I figured they had bigger plans for the fleeces.

Last week, my best friend came into town and stayed the night at my house while I house sat. She let me know there was a present for me and when I got home, I found this on my bed.



Fleece from Poppy, a delightful looking Alpaca who I hope to meet one day. She has a sweet face and I know that she wanted me to have her fleece.



And so this is the reason I purchased a drop spindle and am now learning how to spin. I’m practicing on wool first though since I heard alpaca is harder to spin with.



Also this fleece needs to be washed and carded and all that good stuff. Of course I need to learn how to do all that good stuff but with the book Jessica loaned me and the Internets, I think I’m set.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Steps Toward Becoming a Hippie*


Illustration by Robert Neubecker/Slate

In the recent few months, I have noticed my tendencies drifting toward becoming more environmental, more sustainable and more conscious of what I do and where I spend my money.

I have begun reading more and more environmental blogs, like The Worsted Witch along with my daily allotment of knitting/craft, writing and photography blogs.

Yesterday, The Worsted Witch discussed how Slate and Treehugger were combining forces to create an eight-week green challenge to "evaluate and reduce your carbon emissions between now and the end of the year."

I along with The Worsted Witch find their reasons to be compelling:

The average temperature of the Earth's surface has risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past hundred years, and overwhelming evidence suggests that most of the increase is due to greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide released by humans. Though a 1-degree increase might not seem like much, even a small rise in global temperature significantly changes the climate, potentially resulting in major storms and droughts, disruption of the food supply, and the catastrophic spread of disease.

Human carbon-dioxide emissions come mainly from two sources: burning fossil fuels and changes in land use, such as deforestation. Americans are the climate's worst enemy. On average, each of us is responsible for about 22 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions every year, according to the United Nations, compared with an average of six tons per person throughout the rest of the world. That means the typical U.S citizen emits the equivalent of four cars.


For the next eight weeks, Slate and Treehugger has invited us to think about our own individual contribution to global warming and to tighten our belts in terms of our carbon consumption. The dieting goal is to reduce the amount of CO2 we release into the atmosphere by 20 percent.

To participate, take a short quiz that will serve as your weigh-in, and then keep track of the carbon pounds you lose each week with the help of reminders and tips from the program. Every week between now and Dec. 11, you'll be asked to assess your consumption on subjects such as transportation, food, clothing, electricity and even holiday shopping.

In the interest of full disclosure, my annual carbon emissions are 27,845 lbs or the equivalent to the emissions from 2.73 passenger cars. Now I am below average for the average US citizen BUT above average for the average Frenchman.

Average carbon emissions per year, per person:

United States : 44,312
Qatar : 117,064
France : 13,668
India : 2,645
Kenya : 440


So last night I took the first step toward reducing carbon emissions and replaced the light bulbs in my bedroom from incandescent light bulbs to compact flurescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Now I just need to figure out how to change the ones on the bathroom mirror.



As The Worsted Witch says, "If you're going to do just one thing for the planet, make it the switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Although they cost several times more than regular incandescent light bulbs, they also last about 10 times longer, which means for that every CFL used, there are eight less incandescent light bulbs ending up in landfills."

For more information on CFLs, click here

*I will never be able to become a true hippie because I really like make-up and you can't stop me from dyeing my hair!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Soctoberfest Delusions of Grander



Lest you think I've forgotten about my sock goals in the middle of the Scarf War (which is currently at 38" or about halfway), I thought it high time to check in on the progress I've made with the blue sock.



My goal was to have the leg completed by Monday, October 23rd and last night, I was able to knit through most of the heel flap!



This takes me to the next step in my goal of finishing the blue sock by October 31st (just a mere 8 days away!). Tonight I will finish knitting the heel flap and knit no less than one inch of the foot. That will leave me eight more inches (including the toe decreases and kitchener-ed toe) to knit in order to finish the sock. If I knit 3 inches every night for the next seven nights (this is a word problem, PEOPLE!), I will accomplish my goal. May the Socktoberfest be with me!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pumpkin Patching



On Saturday some friends and I headed up North to the Pumpkin Patch. The perfect pumpkins were found...



Posed photos were taken...



Children of the Corn were found...



Fuzzy Wuzzies were loved on...



Engagements were announced...


Congrats Kevin and Carrie!

All in all, it was a perfect pumpkin day!



**EDITED TO ADD**

We visited Biringer Farm off Highway 529 between Everett and Marysville. Their website can be found at: http://www.biringerfarm.com/

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday Sky!


click on photo for larger view

This week's Saturday Sky greeted me with sun and a gentle breeze which is perfect as I'm off to the Pumpkin Patch today!

Friday, October 20, 2006

On The Verge...



With all the embellishments, I may be in danger of crossing the threshold of taste. But no matter, I LOVE it and so will its' lucky new owner.
Purl Scarf



A few weeks ago at Purly Girls, I noticed Meg making the most luscious scarf. I started lusting after it. I wanted a scarf just like it but in different colors. I wanted to buy that yarn!

Meg and I made a date to meet up at Hilltop Yarn for some yarn shopping. She told me she was making the Purl Scarf from Last Minuted Knitted Gifts which made me perk my ears. A beautiful QUICK scarf. Yarn began flying. I was shouting, "Would these colors work?" Meg made me take a deep breath. We discussed combinations.

Soon it was determined that these three yarns would make the most divine scarf.



While winding up the Manos, Meg commented that she didn't want me to finish my scarf before she finished hers. I crackled in response and rubbed my hands together.



As soon as I arrived back at Hugo's house, I cast on the 16 stitches with my Kid Silk Haze, Manos del Uruguay and Nastasha Creative Focus Chunky yarn and began knitting.



After about 5 minutes, I was cruising along.



Hugo kept watch as I sent pictures to Meg via cell and she returned photos with a vengence. It's on! May victory go to the knitter with Friday off (that would be me!).

Somehow in the middle of the Scarf Wars, I finished this little cutie.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

NaNOWriMo


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One of my goals this year is to write a novel and in order to do that, I've decided to participate in NaNoWritMo where you write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. This means the month of November will be about writing and running (I'm doing the Seattle Half Marathon on November 26th).



Now I've also decided to participate in NaBloPoMo which is something Fussy came up with in response to NaNoWriMo. She wants us to post everyday to our blog. Since I'll be writing everyday, I'm sure I'll be able to post everyday. Whose to say that it will be witty or even interesting, but I'll be posting, even if all you get is a quick snapshot.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Shuffling Along



Back in September when Apple introduced the newest Shuffle, I squeeled and ran to the Apple Website to order one for myself. The site told me that the product would ship in October and so under great delusion I envisioned that I would have my new Shuffle no later than October 15th.

NOW the site says that it won't ship until October 31st which is still technically October but means I won't have my Muffle the Shuffle until November 7th at the earliest.

I do believe the Apple is trying to hurt me for something I did or said. Why APPLE! WHY do you tease me?
Cascading Leaves



On Sunday after my 10 mile run, I thought I'd sit down and knit on my Blue Socks because when one has a goal, they must focus on it in order to achieve it. I instead decided to ignore my goal and made Tofu Spinach Lasagne which turned out so delicious that I can not wait to have it for lunch today.

Monday night though I knew it was time to focus on the Socktoberfest goal and after my spinning lesson, I began knitting on my Cascading Leaves blue sock. It's a lovely pattern but one that I have to pay attention to.



So I've knit one repeat of 6 repeats last night and I figure if I do that every night for the next 7 nights, I'll be through with the leg by next Monday, October 23rd. That will give me 8 more days to finish the sock of denial! It can be done!

Now I must go, I need to focus on my goals!

PS -- Ryan, I'm trying to post early so you have something to read :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Spinning on the Dark Side


click on photo for larger view

I went to the Ferals tonight and Evelyn Clark was nice enough to teach me how to spin. I think I like it!

Evelyn really has patience and great teaching ability. I can hear her instructions in my head as I draft the fleece and spin the spindle clockwise. I need lots and lots and lots of practice but so far, I'm intrigued!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

If I could stop time...

If I could stop time, I wouldn't use it to clean the house, finish up projects, spend more time at work or knit more sweaters. No, if I could stop time, I would use it to enjoy more of the world.

I would go back to the places that gave me joy and head out to the places that hold great promise.

I would dig my toes into the sands of the Nice shore. I would enjoy that long sip of Stella in the pub in Chester. I would enjoy every moment for all that it has to offer. I would go back to the times where I laughed the hardest with the people I love the most.

I would linger longer in the Anne Frank House without strange children pressuring me to go faster. I would make sure to really smell the crypt under the York Minster. I would dig my fingers into the lace in Brugge. I would spend hours starring at the paintings in the Louvre.

I would go to the places I want to visit. I would expore Manchu Pichu. I would climb to the top of the Pisa Tower. I would stare into the face of the Jesus Statue in Brazil. I would feel the wonder of the Weeping Wall. I would watch the sands blowing across the plains of Egypt. I would explore every nook and cranny of the pyramids.

If I could stop time, I would use it to explore all the places I've been and all the places I want to go.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Sky!


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This week's Saturday Sky greeted me with fog and gloom but that's ok. It was meant to be an inside day after all.

Spinning Alert!



After Mot emailed me about alpaca fleece from her parent's alpaca farm, I knew it was time to give into the temptation of spinning. I purchased my first drop spindle on Friday and I have no clue what to do with it.



I do think it looks lovely in my Halloween mug.



And while I was at the yarn store, I decided to pick up some yarn to make a little something for me!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt



Some how my delusion goals are being accomplished and now I truly believe they can be accomplished!



Last night while watching Grey's, I knit, knit, knit up the foot of the green sock. I arrived at the end, I bound off the toe, I fixed my horrible short row heels.



I had a moment where I realized that somehow I stitched the two sides of one sock together when I was fixing my short row heels. HORRIBLE! I fixed it and gazed in joy upon the completion of one of my goals.



Now on to the BLUE SOCKS!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Soctoberfest Delusion



I am currently under the delusion that I can finish the two mates this month! In fact, last night I plopped myself down in front of the television (it was LOST night!) and started knitting on my green socks.



And so I knit and I knit and I knit! I made it through the heel turn and am coasting through the foot. Luckily the green socks are made with DK weight yarn so they do knit up faster! So I am announcing a new goal since I believe my carrot may be in the mail. I will finish the green socks by Sunday!



I need to because I ordered yarn from Scoutj for Socktoberfest and this may just be in the mail for me right now! I've made a promise to myself that I can't start on these socks until I'm finished with the green ones and I've completed the leg of the blue socks. There is knittin' to be DONE!


Image taken by Scoutj but saved to my server. Isn't this the most gorgeous yarn? I am in LOVE!