Saturday, June 25, 2005

My bottle came!

Look what I got in the mail! Ah, Bottle Swap Mom, you are so clever - YOU are my bottle swapper!

I immediately opened it up and look what's inside:

Unrolled the 2 tubes and here's what I found - 2 socks on 2 circs kit! I haven't tried this before and now I have everything I need!

The yarn is Lang Jawoll cotton jacquard superwash in color #156 - here's the sample card so you can see the pattern:

Next I found two handmade washcloths pinned together with a large stitch holder - so pretty!

and a skein of Nepalese recycled sari silk. I'm looking forward to making something beautiful out of this!

More? I next pulled out a cute little bag with cats and dogs on it, perfect for scissors, tape measure, etc. Look what I found inside:

a little book on knitting with a bookmarker that's a ball of yarn and needles, 3 Breast Cancer Ribbon bookmarks, a Red Hat Lady bell, a little box with stitch markers - both large and small - and 6 pretty pink buttons.

We're not done yet! Here's the card from Sue, a magnetic notepad and Pook bookmarker!

And at the bottom of the box, a scrubbie with bath gel and some cucumber melon lotion - how did she know that I love that scent!

Here's the whole shebang spread out (plus the bouquet of flowers from TK on display again).

Thanks Sue!! I also checked out and it's a neat site that puts together care packages - some for soldiers, some for students, etc.

Project Update

I finished the back of the Big Brother Rugby quite awhile ago but didn't have the camera going, so here ya go:

Interesting pooling of colors, don'tcha think? I just finished the front last night:

with similar, yet different pooling. I'm now on the sleeves, done at the same time so I won't suffer from second-sleeve syndrome, and they will match (dimensions, probably not pooling patterns):

When I'm done it will look like the Little Brother Rugby Sweater, finished months ago:

They will go to R (almost 3) and A (almost 1), SIL's little boys, for their birthdays. I bet R can fit in the little one! Oh well, plenty of room to grow, and Debbie Bliss' kids patterns are HUGE!

By the way, the pattern for this and Y's sundress are from this book. That's the Rugby on the left, and the sundress on the top right.

I have a picture of Y in her sundress, but I need to get it scanned so I can post it.

I also have a little progress on the afghan. It's 24 squares, not 20. Sigh. But TK offered to learn to knit so he can help me !?!?!? I might ask him to join me at Saturday's Relay for Life (see sidebar) and teach him to knit chemo caps. Or maybe he's just joking.

Friday, June 24, 2005

SEX - Stash Enhancement eXpedition

This morning I went to The Knitter's Studio to see about getting a job - part-time, full-time, whatever. Lu had seen a sign that they were hiring, so I brought in the Knitting Resume from the CommuKNITy effort and a cover letter.

They're having a sale for the next 2 weeks (uh oh) so the manager didn't have a lot of time to talk to me, but she'll call me after the holiday weekend, when the sale's over, to set something up. I borrowed my SIL's new felted bag, before I gave it to her, and the manager really liked it! I couldn't be rude and just leave, so I did a little browsing and here's what I found:

Crystal Palace Iceland in Straw into Gold - I think this will be my Sophie like SIL's:

and Schachenmayr Nomotta Crazy Cotton - if this colorway has a name it's in German and I can't find it.

Are you sensing a theme in my colorways recently? For example:

That's the wound ball of KnitPicks I got at Tuesday's yarn swap! One's cotton, one's wool, but they're similar enough that I could possibly combine them for one of the cute Interweave Knits shrugs to wear around this summer.

Oh - and tonight I stopped by a used bookstore and found this:

by Nancie Wiseman. I took her Knitting with Glitz class at Stitches and loved it, so I was thrilled to find one of her books. It looks really useful!

OK, I have to stop shopping...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


This was supposed to document the felting process of my SIL's Sophie bag, but my stupid camera only took some of the pictures, despite taking several shots each, so this is more of an "after" than a "before and after".

SIL mentioned a couple months ago that she would like a "colorful" bag similar to one I'd picked up in Mexico a couple years ago - a simple black pouch with colorful cording, and a long strap. Since her birthday was June 3, I decided to make her this bag.

For those who had not seen the bag pre-felted, it took almost 6 balls of Dale of Norway's ARA 6, plus almost a full skein of Cascade 220 in black. Sophie called for Cascade with 10 1/2s, but since ARA is listed as bulky, I used 13" needles on the ARA and 10 1/2 dpns for the Cascade, with a few modifications.

I added a flap, and used doubled-Cascade for an I-cord bind-off around the edges of the bag and flap, and instead of a short twisted I-cord handle, I made 3 long I-cords and braided them. I also added 2 small pockets in Cascade to the inside.

Before (no picture) - I could fit my laptop in it. HUGE. I didn't measure but I'm guessing 18" across and 12" high. The neat thing was that the ARA is practically roving (almost no twist) and was thick-and-thin, so it had bulky areas and thin areas.

After: please ignore the strings, I never weave in the ends on a felting project 'cause I can just cut them off without a problem. The bag is now 10 1/2" across by 9" high - probably 1/3 the size of the original bag. I felted it twice in the front-loader in the laundry room. The business card is for size reference.

Pre-felting, TK said he thought the strap was too long. I designed it to wear across the chest, and it sits on my hip when I wear it that way. We'll see what SIL thinks, I can modify to a shorter strap if necessary.

Here it is turned inside out so you can see the pockets. The Cascade didn't felt as much as the ARA, so the pockets kinda bulge out - but they're perfect for keys or cell phone.

There is NO stitch definition left in the ARA, and a little in the Cascade. I'm glad the Cascade felted less - I was nervous the I-cord bind-off was too tight, and now the pockets are roomier.

Stash Swap

Lu is a member of the Knitter's Review Stash Swap, and she brought the box to Peninsula Knitters last night so we could all participate. I turned in a skein of turquoise wool, a leftover skein of blue Cascade 220 from my cabled cardi, and a ball of white cotton I bought without thinking from Elann. And traded for this:

One skein of Knit Picks Color Your Own fingering weight 100% merino, 100g/44o yds, kool-aid dyed in purple, green, orangey-pink, and yellow; one ball of Twilley's cotton Freedom DK weight, 85m, and one ball of Hot Socks Sockenwolle 75% wool 25% acrylic, 100g/460 yds.

Oh, and a bouquet from TK - he brought me flowers when he went grocery shopping - he hasn't bought me flowers in the longest time and it was a super-sweet surprise.

Turns out, the kool-aid yarn and the sock yarn were both from Lu's stash! She's on a stash reduction effort - put in 18 balls and took out 3. I don't have nearly that size stash, almost everything is targeted for a project (except lots of sock yarn).

I'm now looking for a fun summery non-sock project for me with the kool-aid yarn - any ideas?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Kay got her bottle!

I got the sweetest email today - I'm sure Kay won't mind if I share parts of it on my blog:

My bottle came in the mail today, and I can't tell you
how much I LOVE it. You did an amazing job.

The first thing I pulled out was the pez dispenser.
My daughter Melina grabbed it right away (she was so
excited about "Mommy's surprise in the mail"), and I
let her have it so she wouldn't commandeer anything
else. Then my mom grabbed the chocolate, but we have
worked out a joint custody agreement. We all adored
the note cards, post-it notes, and notepad, and we are
all going to blow up the towel tomorrow. Also, I have
just started thinking about designing stationary, so
the stamp will see a lot of use in the very near
future! It is very cute!

Melina was very interested in the beads, so I told her
that we would make her a necklace together. The kit
is very neat. I read on the whenever database that
you like to bead. I haven't tried before, but I am
really getting interested now. Like I need another
expensive hobby! :) Speaking of your beading skills-
I am blown away by the stitch markers. They are
BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait to put them into a knitting
project. I am making the "Sleeves in Your Pi" shawl
right now, and I think I will yank out my yarn circle
stitch markers and put in the ones you sent me. I
think they are wonderful.

I have a garden with sage, rosemary, and mint. Now I
think my herb garden will be complete, once the
parsley, basil, and chives get going. I may grow them
exclusively indoors if that is the only way to keep
them year round. The beaded candle holder is lovely,
too. I'm not sure what I will put in it yet.

I have been planning for a LONG time to buy myself a
bath pillow, and I have never managed to find one. My
tub is hard on the neck, so this pillow is going to
see a lot of use. And, as I said in my email to the
list, I was planning to buy Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn
the next time there was a reason to spoil myself. I
was so thrilled to see the beautiful yarn (in the
perfect colors), and I can't wait to see what I think
of it. I am sure it will become socks....

I better sign off and see what my husband is doing. I
really LOVED my bottle. I put everything back inside
or beside the bottle so I can open it all again
tomorrow. Thank you, Amy!!!!

I was nervous because she sent out such a great bottle to her partner, who described all the goodies on the mailing list. I'm so thrilled - her plans for the bottle contents were exactly what I was hoping for - fun things for her daughter and herself. She's a gardener so I hoped she'd like the herb pots, and I knew she'd love the sock yarn since it's the jewel colors she said she loved. And I'm so excited she liked the stitch markers - they're the first set I've ever made and now I can't wait to make more - for myself and for others!

Reference: For my Whenever Bottle Swap

One down, nineteen to go

I've been distracted by other fun projects lately, but have picked up TK's secret afghan again. I just finished the first square:

I'm pretty close on guage - about 12" square. It's a little short but it should be fine.

My plan for the afghan is: 4x5' (20 squares), with these SF squares on the 4 corners. The 2 squares on each side and the 3 squares across the top and bottom will be stripes (still working out the pattern there) and the center 2x3 rectangle will be the curved GIANTS logo from the jerseys, orange on black.

I need to work faster! Only 4 more months of baseball season!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Trip Report #1: Vegas/Grand Canyon

Tuesday night we only got a couple hours sleep after TK got home from work and packed, since we needed to be at the airport at about 8:30 am. We flew from SJC to Vegas and met our friends at Bally's, and spent the afternoon playing at Bally's, Paris, and Caesar's. Well, I went back to take a nap and they kept playing - and I guess TK did pretty well! We had dinner that night at the Aladdin for TK's birthday (happy birthday honey).

Here's a view from our room at night:

Thursday we spent most of the day playing at Bally's and Paris, since we were staying close to our friends who were playing poker at Bally's. That evening we met up with our friends' parents and saw:
George Carlin

at the Stardust.

That night we stayed at our friends' parents house in Henderson. We left bright and early Friday morning and drove to the Grand Canyon, a mere 5 hours away...

We hiked along the rim for a few hours and watched the sun go down. Here's TK and me at the Grand Canyon. The colors are so much more vibrant than in the photo.

That night we had a great steak dinner and stayed just outside the park. We had talked about hiking into the Canyon on Saturday morning, but decided to take a helicopter tour instead!

This is the helicopter we rode in - seats 8, including the pilot, and the 4 of us sat across the back.

Approaching the grand canyon via helicopter - we had to go out of the way of the touristy areas, so about half the flight was this kind of view over the forest.

Everything's so green on the north rim!

We flew over a formation called The Dragon - here's the head and part of the back of the Dragon - you can see his nose on the left.

After the helicopter tour we piled back in the minivan and headed back to Vegas - with a stop on the way:
Lunch Break!

One last sight on our way home: Hoover Dam, taken from the car window as we crawled through traffic. Apparently this is a high security area so they did random car checks. We were fine, however - none of us looked like terrorists...

Saturday night we played at a local casino, and I hit it big! I was almost out of money and borrowed some from TK, and won back everything I'd lost plus everything he'd lent me - and then it was time to go back to the parents' house and sleep.

Our friends had an early flight Sunday morning, so we got dropped off at the Strip where we checked out the new Wynn Casino:
and worked our way through other casinos between there and Caesar's, managing to spend everything we'd won in the last few days.

We did manage to earn enough comps by playing Paris, Bally's, Flamingo, and Caesar's (all on the same player's club) to have dinner at:
SO YUMMY! But spendy - lucky we had the comps.

Then we got picked up by the parents and taken to the airport, where we spent every last dime in our pockets before our midnight flight home. We sat in the back of the plane (50 seats) and I think the couple across the aisle joined the Mile High Club on the way home.

Monday TK had the day off work so we saw Star Wars Ep. III. A very nice, crazy, relaxing, fun-filled 6 days. And I needed a vacation at the end of it.

I'm at the Hotel Nikko in SF visiting my sister C overnight - I should go to bed now so we can play tomorrow after her conference. And I'm probably keeping her awake.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I hate laundry

I've been a good little domestic goddess today - made the bed, did the dishes, semi-cooked dinner (half cooked, half leftovers), even made lunch for TK to send him off to work. And laundry.

God, how I hate laundry. I used to complain as a kid because the laundry room was in the basement. Then I discovered the "joys" of coin laundry. It wasn't so bad in college, 'cause everything was either jeans or T-shirts and they didn't have special requirements. My first apartment had one washer and dryer for the whole complex of 9 apartments, but I managed to get my laundry done without running into other people too much. It was nice when I was dating a guy with his own house, 'cause I got a few years of free laundry use out of it. Not good enough to keep dating him, though. The best was at our townhouse last year, 'til our landlord decided to sell and we had to move. We had our own washer and dryer in a closet just off the kitchen, with plenty of room to hang wet laundry. At this complex, laundry sucks. (sorry Mom)

We have 6 washers and 6 dryers. Today, all 6 washers were in use when I dragged all my laundry to the laundry room - across the complex and down a flight of stairs. Oh, and coin-op but no changer, so you have to walk to Albertson's around the corner and buy quarters. 15 minutes later, all the washers were done but still full. 15 minutes later, I could finally start my laundry. 6 loads. Ugh. It's normally closer to 4, but I did towels and extra sheets since my sister was here, and lots of laundry from both trips (Vegas/Grand Canyon and Napa/Sonoma). Come back to move the laundry along, and one of the washers decided to crap out on the spin cycle, so everything's sopping wet. And this is the load with all the hang-dry shirts and my jean skirt, etc. So I have to wring them out by hand. Then hang everything in the bathroom on the curtain rod to half-dry so I can dry them on "delicate" tomorrow. What a pain. Laundry is a 2 day process because of this - but otherwise our clothes shrink from the dryer.

Now I'm on to folding, which I can do while I watch The Daily Show on TiVo. Then I get to watch Into the West that I TiVo'ed this weekend. -- And hey! I found a $20 in the wash - Bonus!

That was probably more painful for you to read than it was for me to do - but hey, you read my blog, you get what you get. :) Just kidding, don't leave! It'll be more interesting tomorrow, I promise.

Trip reports coming soon...

Yes, but will it felt?

My guess is not. Good news for making wool garments you don't want to accidentally felt, but something else to look for when buying yarn for felting projects....

Yahoo! News Story: New Wool Doesn't Itch or Shrink

Friday, June 10, 2005

Fake U2 Rocks!

Gotta love Improv Everywhere...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

One more update...

Blogging on the new laptop! Woo hoo!

I didn't get the job I interviewed for last week - not even called back for 2nd rounds. Oh well, it was a good practice experience and I'd prefer not to have to commute so far. I was contacted by a contract agency while I was gone and they submitted my resume for a 3-6 mo contract job in Mountain View, so we'll see how that goes.

Vegas and the Grand Canyon was fun but we lost all our winnings on Sunday. I have some great photos and I'll update tomorrow.

Sorry I missed you yesterday, Peninsula Knitters! Nasty headache... I'll surely be there next week!

J and I went to Commuknity and we ran into Emy who was working, and Abigail and Niels who were shopping. J got some yarn for her aunt in Hawaii and I pondered the Pacific Northwest Shawl but they don't have any laceweight yet so I'll wait until I complete more of my FOs.

My sis C is coming into town for a conference next week so we're heading up to the Wine Country. We're also meeting our cousin and his wife who are on their way to Tucson for his next Army posting after a couple years in Germany and Iraq. Busy weekend ahead!

Clearwater Rapids Shawl - FO!

Here's the lovely shawl spread out on the floor...

and me modeling it - thanks to TK for the photo.

another model shot, but I'm not so attractive at 2 am...

and a shot of the border so you can see the details.

This was an easy, quick project once I dealt with the resizing/running out of yarn issues. The stockinette really lets the yarn do its best to show off the pattern.

Now to wash it again, I wore it in Vegas and now it stinks of cigarette smoke.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Vegas Baby, Yeah!

Sorry, no pics today. We're off to Vegas for TK's birthday and our friends' 1st wedding anniversary. Yes, It's 3:15 am and we're leaving the house at 7:30 am. Not getting much sleep tonight...

Clearwater Rapids is done and blocked with enough left for a fish for HoJo's swatch stash. Just have a few ends to tuck in and she's good to go. I did wear her out to Peninsula Knitters tonight and she got rave reviews. I should have some pics shortly, been too busy packing to deal with the camera.

Interview today was rockin'! It was only 1/2 hour because someone booked him on a conference call, so it was all straight to the point. Everything he asked me about my past experience seemed to be exactly what he'd hoped I'd say, without my trying. I also really liked the vibe I was getting from him as a potential boss, and from the company and surroundings. He's only been there a month (this is a new division in an established company, so it's got a startup feel with the knowledge and experience to back it up) and seems like he's really enjoying his job. It also sounded like they had only selected about 4 people to be interviewed. Yay for me! Next rounds are next week and I'm feeling quite confident I'll be called back, but am trying to not get my hopes up. Commute from Sunnyvale would be easy via CalTrain (or CalTrain connect to Bart at SFO), and once we move to Fremont it's easy via Bart. AND there's a 24hr Fitness a block away so maybe I'd actually use my gym membership...

Photos and updates once we get back from Vegas. We get in at 1:30 am Monday morning and TK doesn't have to go back to work until Tuesday night so we'll have some decompression time.

Big Money, Big Money, NO WHAMMIES!