Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to Us!

My birthday is September 23, and I share a birthday month with two of my coworkers, Jan and Jennifer. Here's to us!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bei Mir Bist Du Schön

For all of you who missed the Notorious House Concert on July 3, here's a taste! Go to for more!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

When I first heard the lyrics to the song Carrick-a-Rede, I thought it must be a shanty. The chorus goes: One Step and Two, hold tight, let go, Twenty and Four, hold tight, let go...I'm nearly there, let go, let go.

Well, It is surely just referring to crossing this bridge!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How to catch a train in Japan

The Capitol Corridor train hasn't come to this yet, but with the price of gas these days, it may not be that far off!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sock Wars III 2008

I signed up for Sock Wars III, and the pattern was released on Friday, May 9. Well. It was not an ideal time for me to knit my weapons, because I had THINGS going on. I had to work on Friday, but I managed to cast on the pair on 2 circular needles. I had a little issue figuring out the INC1 in the pattern, but I decided to knit into the bar of the stitch below the next stitch first, then knit that stitch to complete the increase. It worked, so I went with it.

I used Tofutsies yarn on size 0 needles. My gauge was right on. I had to carry one stitch around on the fourth row of the pattern on the leg, but that was accomplished by hanging it on a hook style stitch marker and picking it up with the other needle when I came around.

I got a couple inches done on both socks on Friday night. I had to work on Saturday, but I took the train to Berkeley, 2-3/4 hours each way. So I knit all that time, and a little more when I got home. Sunday I had yoga in the morning, and the In Harmony's Way song session at my house in the afternoon, and then our Irish session at Latitudes that night. I couldn't really bail on any of it, so knitting on Sunday was pretty light.

Monday was another work day, but my husband had a colonoscopy that day. So I had a couple hours knitting in the waiting room. I managed to finish the heel flaps on both socks, and that night picked up for the gussets. Besides knitting, I had to pack, because I was leaving the next morning to visit my mother in Tennessee! I also split up the socks, and put one on waste yarn, and one on doublepoint bamboo needles, that I could bring with me on the plane.

I knit for 5-6 hours on the plane. I wasn't even interrupted by a meal, because they don't feed you anymore! I finished the first sock, but I didn't have a needle to kitchener the toe, so I got the other sock onto three of the needles, and left the other one on the first two. Mom picked me up at the airport in Nashville, and took me out for lunch and shopping at Opry Mills mall. It was after nine when we got home to Clarksville, and I tried to knit, but I was pretty wiped out.

I got up at 7 this morning, and knit until 11:30, when I had to stop. We went to a luncheon given by a group my Mom belongs to, The Students. It meets once a month, each member takes a topic, studies it, and gives a report on it. This was a special luncheon, so they didn't have a program. We got home about 2:30, and I began to close in on the second toe. I finished at 5pm on the dot, packaged up the socks and we drove to the UPS store. I decided second day was the most I was willing to spend on this, so they will arrive at my Target's door on Friday.

Here is my weapon:

This colorway really grew on me as I worked with it. It has navy blue, brown and olive green in it, and it's really quite nice. I tried the socks on my Mother's size 10 feet, and they fit perfectly.

Meanwhile, I got an email from my Assassin. She finished her weapon on Monday, and she lives in Indianna. She didn't say how she sent them, but posted a picture here. She tells me the yarn is Scholler and Stahl Fortissima colori socka color 4010, and I think it looks fabulous. I emailed her to let her know I am in Tennessee, but I will have my husband let me know when the package arrives, so I can post myself dead.

Can't wait to die, and get my cool new socks!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

5th Engagement Anniversary

On Wednesday, April 23, it was the fith anniversary of the day Jaya asked me to marry him. It was in Ireland on the banks of the lakes of Killarney. So when Jaya met me at the train on Wednesday, these flowers were on the front seat... one red rose for each year, and the bells of Ireland.

You can read about the day 5 years ago here.

And Jaya did his best to recreate it! He drove me to a Chinese restaurant in Sacramento, where we feasted on pot stickers, fried oysters, vegetable fire pot and boneless chicken with ham.

When we got home, we settled down and watched Johnny English.

I told you he was romantic.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Storm's done!

Finished! Here are photos:

This pattern wasn't easy to follow, because it requires you to keep the zig zag going without actually telling you where it is after the second bend. If that makes any sense.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Personal Touch

I'm posting about this on the Here Comes The Guide Blog, but it has to be edited. I'm posting the whole interview here:

A Very Personal Wedding Dress

The great thing about weddings is, it's all about personal style. Take wedding dresses, for example. New designs are coming out all the time, from designers like Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang. And they are gorgeous.

But what about the creative bride who wants her dress to be more than a fashion statement? What could be more personal than knitting your own wedding dress? Kathryn Ashley, who owns the Ewetopia Fiber Shop in Southwestern Wisconsin is doing just that. She is designing her own dress. with a bodice adapted from the Lace Edged Corset by Michele Rose Orne in LaceStyle.

The leaves on the corset-style bodice of this dress and those worked into the lacy skirt represent the season of the wedding (fall). She's using a 100% silk yarn called Cascade Petite in a soft offwhite.

When I asked what made her decide to knit her own dress, Kathryn laughed and replied, "I needed a really big, daunting project! I've always wanted to design a wedding dress, and so I decided I would knit one!" Kathryn has a love of costumes, and her design choices spring from her fondness for Renaissance and Victorian era dresses. "I love corsets and bodices and big skirts! But my design is not at all like those!" she says.

I asked what the groom would be wearing, and Kathryn replied, "I don't know. It's going to be an informal outdoor wedding in late September, really just a place for me to wear the dress! No bridesmaids, but the guest list keeps growing. For the ceremony we may have as many as 100 people." "Will you be making a shawl or a veil to wear with the dress?" I asked. "I'm knitting a shrug, the Lacy Hug Me Tight shrug by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark in Knit2Together.

For that I'm using a strand of the silk and a strand of an alpaca silk blend, so it will be warmer."

I asked Kathryn if she would postpone her wedding if she wasn't finished with the dress. She said, "No. We talked about that. But I have time. And I don't have to make it full length." True! She has enough completed for a minidress right now! You can follow the progress of Kathryn's wedding dress at the Ewetopia Fiber Shop blog.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Current Projects

I just finished the back last night. Next it needs blocking, and seaming, and the last bit will be knitting the rest of the collar. I'll work on it tomorrow.

Here's a detail of the zig-zag pattern. And below are some buttons that Earin gave me,


I started these a while ago. I'm using Bare Superwash Merino from Knitpicks. It's turning out to be a good project to take on the train.
These socks are fitting me very closely, which I like, but SO much so, that they are difficult to get ON. That may mean I am knitting a GIFT. For a smallish person. I'm going to make them up to my knees, with a folded down cuff.

Potato Chip Scarf

I got this gorgeous yarn in Florida, and I got the pattern there, too. It's not the same as the Knit Picks potato chip scarf pattern, this one yields a double ruffle. If you click on the photo above, you'll probably be able to read the pattern.

Longcat Scarf

The Longcat Scarf is still growing. I'm using microspun acrylic yarn. It's VERY soft. This will be for Magda when it's finished.

Another Potato Chip Scarf
I decided to try this scarf in the purple mohair I recycled from the ill-fated shrug. I guess it's true. You can't knit just one!

Monkey Socks
I cast on for the Monkey Socks. My knitting group had a knitalong for them, and I'm way late. Well, it's not like I don't have any other projects!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stitches West 2008

Here's the loot from Stitches West!

I went down on the train on Thursday night after work, and met Jacky and Bo there in Santa Clara. We went to Bennigan's for dinner, and then Jacky and I went to the Stitches Marketplace.

There was a show special on Tofutsie's yarn. Four 100g skeins for $25! And a cd with 10 patterns included! Since I have signed up for Sock Wars, and SWTC is sponsoring the competition, Tofutsie's is the yarn of choice for the new sock wars pattern. These four colors are Stitches exclusives, so I thought, such a deal!

Jacky dropped me off at my hotel, and I met my roommate, Lesley, who found me on Ravelry. This woman flew from Seattle to San Jose, by way of New Jersey! She was flying standby, and her sister is a flight attendant, so she got to fly for next to nothing... except all the time on the plane! (I didn't ask her if she did any knitting on the plane—that might have made it more bearable!) We compared goodies, and then went to sleep. We had both had long days, and I had to get up at 6 for breakfast.

Friday, after breakfast with Jacky, I went to my class: Seamless Argyle Socks taught by Suzann Thompson. It was 6 hours of knitting, and I got the c-diamonds done. I still have the d-diamond and e-diamonds and the toe to do.

The technique is fascinating, but I wasn't super thrilled with the class. They cost lots of money, and I didn't feel like I had $140 worth of new skills when I left.

After class I met up with Meredith and Melissa, and we stood in line for the Fashion Show. Bo and Jacky joined us, and we got some great seats. The fashion show was just as much fun as last year. The highlight was when Rick Mondragon was describing a sweater on the model, and he said, "Have you got on the right garment?" Then he walked over to her and said, "No, you've got it on upside down!" She was embarrassed. She went backstage, and when she came out again, the sweater looked entirely different! It was green with a loopy cable midriff and a v-neck. Before, it was short, and had a cowl neck... not unattractive that way, but it looked even better the right way!

The next day, Jacky and I hit all the booths in the marketplace that had the garments we liked in the fashion show. We bought silk yarn and a pattern for this one, the Diamond Patch Sweater. I couldn't wait to start. I did the blue patch on size 7 needles, it's too big. The green one is on size 5's, and I'm liking the fabric those needles create. I may need to adjust how many stitches I cast on to get the right size. The pattern is ingeneous, you make a diamond that measures 1/6 the size of your desired bust measurement.

I loved the samples I saw at the JoJoland International booth. I was looking for Kauni yarn, which I didn't find, but this Melody seemed to have similar color changes, so I got enough for a scarf.

The Feather & Fan Wrap by Jane Thornley Knitwear looked like a good candidate for some tape and mohair yarns I have on hand. The pattern was a little pricey ($15), but looking through it I see it's actually a tutorial in free-form knitting.

The Diamond Girl Shawl was in the fashion show. I just love the pointed, entrelac back to this piece.

The booth also had a sweater displayed from last year's show that I really liked: Stairway to Heaven Pullover. So I bought that pattern, too. I was sad I hadn't bought it last year. You can see a photo of it in last year's Stitches fashion show here.

There were a lot of men's sweaters in the fashion show from this book: GuyKnits. It's a great one for menswear.

That's it for another fabulous Stitches West! Happy knitting.