Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Bit of Reflection (Photo Heavy)

Family gatherings are always interesting. This year was the first in which the family was not completely together. The why of this is disappointing and upsetting. The result was an entirely too-quiet-Christmas. I did get to see everyone, and nothing exploded like I anticipated at least. Hopefully it stays that way. Now I am just really annoyed to be trapped by snow.

All that being said, the time I did spend with the family was good. I enjoyed my gifts and I think everyone enjoyed the gifts from me. I love that smile on someone's face when they open a gift.

So I am still unpacking. I am going to make a major push to get through some boxes today. Someone recommended when I first move that I keep most of the unpacked items in a single room, so it wouldn't damage my calm. This worked, but had an unfortunate side effect--I have completely ignored that room for weeks. Whoops. I will see what I can get through today.

Now, on to the photos. For SuperFriendCousin, pictures of the yarn cabinet (which has been completely organized now, courtesy of SuperFriendCrochet).





And now for some recent knits.

Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery in Malabrigo Sock, color Botticelli Red
A Christmas gift for SuperFriendWonderWoman (henceforth SuperFriendWW)



Hermione Hearts Ron by Christy Aylesworth in The Fibre Company Road to China Light, color Amethyst
This was supposed to be for me, but ended up too short. I am going to give it to my niece for her upcoming birthday.


I made hats for all the nieces and nephews (except for the baby) for Christmas. Pattern is the Boy Hat by Elizabeth Heath-Heckman in various superwash worsted w



And since I didn't think one of the girls would wear a ribbed hat, I made her a Foliage by Emilee Mooney in Berroco Cuzco.


Now to start with the unpacking spree (ah!).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Very Special Window Sill

Although the yarn on this window sill is pretty great (acquired at fibre space's Black Friday sale), the where of the window sill is very important. And yes, I went out on Black Friday. I stood in line for a yarn store, and cannot imagine that many other shoppers had the same experience that day. Polite, friendly staff AND fellow customers. Not to mention good company.


I took this picture in my apartment.

I have moved, my friends. And found a lovely place to store all my yarn. The quiet is still a bit unsettling, but I am not complaining. Now just to finish unpacking (crap!).

And in closing, continuing the yellow theme, some pictures of a ginkgo tree outside of my parent's home.




Sunday, October 31, 2010

Of Family and Photographs

My grandmother passed away. And I am sad. In moments, it feels like it happened just a few seconds ago, and in others, it feels like it has been years. Really, it has been three weeks. Part of me isn't sure how the whole world didn't crack the moment it happened. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that that I will never hear one of her stories again. So I find solace in my knitting, and try to think of what must come next in life.

I am still playing with my camera. I was trying to find the right time of day to catch the fall colors I wanted to. After a couple of cloudy days, I think I caught it.




Last weekend, a friend and I went into Old Town Alexandria expressly with the purpose of visiting the yarn store, fibre space. My expectations were very high, and rarely does a place actually ever meet those expectations, but this place did. Not only did it carry my favorite brands, the atmosphere was everything you expect out of a well-run store. Friendly, knowledgeable staff and a great selection of patterns. I am very much looking forward to going again. While in Old Town, we also grabbed lunch at a nice Italian restaurant and an antique store (B&W Art, Antiques & Jewelry), which specialized in vintage jewelry.

One of my finds at the stores was a skein of Malabrigo Rasta in Arco Iris. I did a twisted drop stitch scarf, unsurprisingly called Instant Gratification.



I have knit two more since this one...each only takes about an hour of dedicated knitting, which makes for an easy Christmas gift. I am not as happy with the pictures I took of this scarf. I am still having trouble with my angles and lighting inside. Maybe once I move and have a little bit more space to operate in that might change. Still no luck finding an apartment though; I didn't realize it would be so difficult to find a decent place. I will be setting out again this week to visit some apartment communities. Huzzah. I am going to do my best to resist early pessimism and withhold any judgment until I actually see the places.

Wish me luck..

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Not really here...

I haven't been much of a blogger recently....mostly because I haven't been much of a talker recently. There is a good reason, but not one I am interested in talking about.

Since I last posted, I have gone to Otakon in Baltimore. It was a lot of fun, and I was in good company. However, a fire alarm at the convention center and the subsequent evacuation kind of pushed me to the edge on the stress level. After some sleep though, I was happy.

I also went to see Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center, which was fantastic in a thousand different ways. And again, I was in good company, which made it even better. (The only disappointment is that I will never EVER win a game of Yellow Car.)

I have been apartment hunting. The search could be going better, but I will find something eventually.

I am still knitting along, and playing with my new camera.

Pictures with the new camera:




I still need to work on figuring out the lighting and all of the camera features...

Here are some pictures of recently finished knitting projects (photos taken with the old camera). Links are to Ravelry (no membership required to view).

Kerchief started at Otakon.

A hat using some leftover yarns.

Another hat with some interesting construction.

I also managed to practice some of my crochet skills with flowers. I still need a lot of practice, but I can at least do more than chain now.

Flowers for Grandma.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Two Sad Days

Two years ago, when I moved from a decent sized apartment to a tiny room in a townhouse I rented with two other people, I had to downsize my book collection. The first time was frustrating. I was a little sad, and pretty annoyed that I had to give up so many. All of my books except for those for class were stored in boxes in a tiny closet. Gearing up for a move now, I recognize that I still just have too many books that I will never read or read again. Most of my belongings are currently stored in plastic bins in a basement (yay...), so I need to go through them primarily to assess what I need to get when I move and how it all should be stored. The first victims of the purge are my books. I slimmed down a double stacked bookshelf and four boxes of books down to a proper bookshelf and three boxes. And I was sad. I am not typically a sentimental person, but I found myself looking at the copy of The Call of the Wild, or a copy of The Civil War (Julius Caesar), and remembering the first time I read them, and the good days associated with them. Sentimental value or not, they books can't stay. There just isn't room. Next up will be kitchen supplies. They will be MUCH easier to go through. You can only miss crappy college kitchenware so much. And I am looking forward to upgrading.

NOW. On to the knitting. First up is The Eleventh Hour Scarf [Ravelry Link]. I held some Rowan Big Wool doubled throughout on US 35 [19.0mm] needles. I will probably not use this yarn again. In 87 yards of one skein, I found 4 knots. Knitting on the huge needles was weird. My broomstick was across the room giving me the evil eye the entire time. Jealousy is not a pretty thing.


Next up is another Odessa [Ravelry Link]. Knit in Malabrigo Silky Merino on US 5 [3.75mm] and US 7 [4.5mm] needles. Used size 6 seed beads, strung graciously by Elizabeth.

My hair is still wet from the shower in the first picture...




Still not sure about the new blog name. Waiting for inspiration to strike.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Small Fire and a New Name

Well, my brother's yearly fireworks display went well. Mostly anyway. The setting is picturesque. A dock on the river, framed by trees, but with enough open space that you have the perfect view. After a decent round of single shots, my brother and cousin set up for the final bit of fireworks, lit the flame, and strolled back up the dock so they could enjoy the full view. And things, as they often do, went a little wrong. See, my brother and cousin forgot to take the paper cover off the top of the firework...thing [it's a technical term, seriously]. So the "thing" turned over, and began shooting horizontally instead of vertically. Whoops. Over the water, it was actually an impressive display. And as the final one went off, and nobody had been hurt, we all breathed a sigh of relief. That is, until, my father pointed out the small fire down the river shore. Remember that addendum? A dock on the river..."framed by trees..." Well, it has been exceptionally hot and dry the past few weeks, and one of those brilliant little flaming starbursts landed in some brush, and voila, fire. My brother put it out pretty quickly, but everyone was frantic for a few minutes. Still, no injuries, so I declare this one a success.

Work is not quite as hectic as it was thankfully, which is a good thing for everyone around me from what I understand. Apparently, I lose my sense of humor when I am stressed. Really I don't know what they are talking about--I thought I was perfectly delightful. Nobody had their face ripped off now, did they? In fact, I believe I showed remarkable restraint. Not only that, but I managed to make some headway on a couple of projects.

Brandywine Shawl [Ravelry Link] in Plymouth Yarn Mulberry Merino on a US6 (4mm)
I choose a worsted weight for a heavier shawl, and the silk adds a nice sheen to the whole thing.



And since my new love is Doctor Who, some TARDIS socks [Ravelry Link]. Done in Dream in Color Starry and Knit Picks Palette



Ahh, thanks for hanging in there. When I do blog, the posts tend to go a bit long [I tend to ramble, and get a little adjective happy]. Anyway, I am thinking about renaming the blog, and I would like some feedback on a new name. The current one is a bit obscure. Thoughts?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Are we there yet?

This week's blog title perfectly describes the past month and a half. I feel like I have been moving at full speed for a while now, but never quite finishing anything--at work or at home. On top of that, my Xbox died. I was using it mostly to watch DVDs, so it wasn't that big of a loss I guess.

Anyway, in an effort to resolve the stagnation, I am redirecting.

Ever since I moved from a townhouse to a single bedroom, fully packed boxes have sat in the basement. I will be moving again the beginning of next year, but the thought of moving ALL of this stuff makes me a little sick to my stomach. So, it is time for a purge. I have already gone through all of my old shoes. Clothes are next. Yarn isn't going anywhere. Then kitchen-ware. Yarn isn't going anywhere. Then the assortment of other things I have collected through the years. Yarn isn't going anywhere. Books will be the hardest. About two and a half years ago, during yet another move, I had to purge about half of my books. It is still a sore spot for me. I tear up a little just thinking about it. I have my Kindle now, which ensures that the collection space-wise won't grow much more. Except for the knitting books, need to have those in full color and size. Yarn and yarn-related items aren't going anywhere.

I am also going to try and knit some quick and easy type things that I can finish quickly. My current projects all require at least thirty to forty hours of knitting time apiece or more. So, I will try some dishcloths, Quincy [Ravelry Link], Selbu Modern [Ravelry Link], Lace-Edged Hat [Ravelry Link], and Grove [Ravelry Link]. I have a new collection of organic cotton for my dishcloths. Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton is pretty pricey, BUT I have never been happy knitting with any other cottons.

I got these at a discount:


Speaking of dishcloths, I finished some Doctor Who inspired dishcloths from the same ball of Malabrigo Organic Cotton. I have enough leftover to do another cloth too. They are unblocked in the pics, so they look a little messy.

The Tardis [Ravelry Link] (this dishcloth is bigger on the inside)


And a Dalek [Ravelry Link] (pattern is called EXFOLIATE!, which I think is just fantastic). And yes, the bobbles are JUST as annoying to make as they look.


Oh, and I got my new phone this week. A Droid. Love.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Making Friends with Spring

I have a love hate relationship with Spring. It loves to torment me, and I hate the effects. My allergies can be severe, and this is the first Spring that I have not had to spend on prescription meds. Of course I still take a daily dose to manage, but I am not nearly as miserable as I usually am. And for some bizarre reason, Spring, instead of finding a way to undermine my lack of misery, has been surprisingly agreeable.

No one is more surprised than me that the flowers I planted weeks ago are not only still alive, but thriving.

This is a mix of Marigolds, Lantana, and a Dahlia. The Dahlia started off with a single miserable bloom. Now it has cycled through several blooms.

I don't remember the name of these blue purple flowers, but they were pretty tiny when I first got them.

The Lantanas are my favorite.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ruby Vroooom

Isn't it strange the things that pop in your head in the middle of the day? Like that old Soul Coughing song, "Bus to Beelzebub." I spent a lot of time today on the phone, on hold, so I let that be my hold music. It kept me from reaching through the phone line and strangling the person on the other end.

Voulez-vous the bus?

And now for something completely different. Here is a baby jacket I finished:


And here is a view of my sewing table, with the orchid a very sweet coworker gave me for my birthday:


I am currently catching up with some emails (and blogging), so you might hear directly from me soon. Well you know, not you personally...just if I know you...yea...

It's a grind...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Springtime Bronchitis

My sinus infection has evolved since I last posted. I have bronchitis now, but I suppose it could be worse. I got a chance to finish my Springtime Bandit shawl.

I blocked the heck out of it, but it doesn't look like it in the picture.

Pattern: Springtime Bandit by Kate Osborn
Needle: US 9 (5.5mm)
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Polar Morn (2 skeins--I did an extra body repeat, and had a bit of yarn left over)



Many thanks to Scott for the birthday wishes. I had a better birthday than I deserved, really. Last Saturday, a friend surprised me when we met for lunch with a surprise birthday celebration. She decorated at the restaurant, brought a cake, and had the people sing to me. It was pretty awesome. That evening I shared another b-day celebration with my brother (his birthday was on Sunday). The best thing about these kind of celebrations (and one of the reasons I love Christmas), is giving a gift to someone else. I think my brother liked his gift (books).

I ordered a Kindle 2 for myself after taking all of the comments and votes into consideration. Although the Nook did really appeal to me, I wanted something that had been through enough releases that most of the bugs would be worked out. I appreciate all of your recommendations.

My thoughts on the Kindle--although I miss flipping through pages, and that wonderful book smell...this thing is just cool. Thinking, oh, I would like to buy that book, then finding it on Amazon, buying it, and SHAZAM, there it is instantly. While I was sick, I read several books because I just did not feel like knitting. I am trying to get some work done now, so I had to put the Kindle down.

Next planned projects: Sheldon, the Brandywine Shawl [Ravelry Link], and another Baby Surprise Jacket [Ravelry Link]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Happy Birthday, Emily! You have a sinus infection and a high fever.

Birthday cake and antibiotics at my house everybody!!

//end sarcasm//

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quilt Fail

Blah, I tried to make a baby quilt, but it was a bit of a failure. Everything is off (Although the only reason it looks lumpy in the picture is because I haven't straightened out the batting).


Friday, February 19, 2010

Crochet Fail

Apparently I should have stuck to crocheting scarves for a little while. I had hat failure.

I took a stab at making the Lush Angora Crochet Cap (sans the angora, which makes me itch). Things didn't start off well when I realized I didn't have the right size crochet hook (needed a 5.5 mm, had a 6mm), but I kept on trucking. And this was the result:


Don't know that I mentioned it before, but I dyed my hair darker. The hat was a bit of a disaster, the stitch pattern is all fudged up. The color doesn't help; I feel like Kermit the Frog.

And because the first picture was a bit mean looking:


Still haven't decided between the Kindle and Nook. Although I appreciate your votes. Kindle is currently in the lead.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Kindle vs. Nook

First, thanks to Carolyn and Phil for your comments. I am still torn between the Kindle and Nook.

Some of the important (for me) pros and cons I have noticed for each include:

Nook (Pros)
Replaceable battery
SD card
Screen (Reading is more comparable to book page)

Nook (Cons)
No Barnes and Noble remotely nearby
Software is still bit slow and buggy

Kindle (Pros)
Book selection
Software more stable
Ability to re-download deleted books

Kindle (Cons)
No memory expansion
No replaceable battery

I am going to give a poll a shot. My primary hangups right now are between the battery and the software. Although I do want to retain that book "feel" when reading, which the Nook seems to offer, I haven't really seen either to know. So, opinions please!

Nook or Kindle?
Kindle free polls

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kindle vs. Nook and a baby

Well, obviously I am not a very good blogger. My update rate is about every month or two. Meh.

By means of update, I have knitted a few things since I last posted:

Some booties with leftover yarn (Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Green Eyed Monster) from my Baby Surprise Jacket.


Bird in Hand Mittens (unblocked), Wool of the Andes for Elizabeth:


Scrunchable Scarf for me in Malabrigo Worsted in Polar Morn


There have been a few tense moments in the family recently, mostly because of an early arrival:


That is my new nephew, Mason. His mother went into labor seven weeks early. The nice people at the hospital were able to hold off delivery for two weeks while his lungs developed and he gained some weight. He is a tiny little fellow and has been in the NICU for about a week and a half now. He is steadily improving.

Okay, so part of the reason I am posting, besides showing off my new nephew, is to get some feedback. I am considering buying an e-reader. My book collection has reached the point that for every book I bring in, I have to take one out. And I don't like doing that. I like to re-read my books. I have looked at some reviews, and it looks like Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble's Nook are the two best readers out there. Kindle's software runs smoother than Nook, which can be a bit sluggish. Nook, however, supports ePub files (Google has several thousand classics available in ePub format).

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Also, apologies for all of the security stuff with the comments. I had to adjust the settings because I kept getting viagra spam.