Tuesday, December 06, 2005
1. I was born in the Philippines and moved to the US when I was 3 years old.
2. I didn't become a citizen until I was 22. My coworkers threw me a party and I was very surprised - I had kinda taken it for granted.
3. Every weekend my parents' Filipino friends would get together and play mahjong until 2am. The kids played cards and bet with black jelly beans.
4. I do not speak Tagalog anymore.
5. I have learned French, Spanish and Japanese.
6. Carolina Girl 1989 and 1997, BS in Business and MS in Information Science.
7. I avoided computers until 1990 when I had to use one for work.
8. I was married to my college sweetheart in 1990.
9. I got divorced when I was 24.
10. My mother's best friend taught me how to crochet when I was little but it never took.
11. I had a kid's knitting machine, the kind that created a tube after you threaded yarn on the spool and turned a crank. That was my first introduction to knitting.
12. Skin care products are one of my weaknesses.
13. I have driven a stick shift since I was 22.
14. When I was 16, I won a writing competition at school but couldn't advance it any further because I wasn't a US citizen.
15. I was the news editor for my high school newspaper.
16. I was the business manager for the indie paper in college for a couple of years.
17. I learned to ski at 24.
18. I have been running since I was 18.
19. I have a tendency to date men with German or Norwegian heritage.
20. Photography became a serious hobby at 22.
21. I own at least 13 film cameras.
22. At the moment, I have 2 digital cameras.
23. My dogs' names were Ferdie, Sally, Tasha, Mathias, Stella, Woody and Jessie. Only Tasha, Woody and Jessie are still alive. They have other owners.
24. My cats' names were Cat, Big Kitty and Little Kitty. Cat ran away before I moved to California. Big and Little are current.
25. The tallest mountain I have hiked to the summit is Mt Sneffels in Colorado at 14,150 feet.
26. I have skied at Killington, Alta, Snowbird, Kirkwood, Sugar Bowl, Okemo, Sierra, North Star, Heavenly, Squaw, Alpine Meadows, Mt Rose, Sun Valley, Blackcomb, Whistler, Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone and Mammoth.
27. I have run the Bay to Breakers 4 times, the Bridge to Bridge twice.
28. I have ridden 65 miles twice, my longest bike rides.
29. My backhand is pretty mean.
30. Longest drive was 230 yards with a men's 3-wood.
31. I was not allowed to participate in any sports when I was a kid.
32. 80s music is another weakness.
33. I don't know exactly why, but I really like airports.
34. I cook everything but Filipino food.
35. Filipino food is tastier than other Asian food but you will develop heart disease faster.
36. I hate leftovers. They're just former meals.
37. I officially stand at 4'11" but my driver's license says I'm taller.
38. My mother says I'm short because I stubbornly refused to drink milk as a baby.
39. I have two younger brothers who both studied art history in college but ended up in the IT industry. Go figure.
40. I first read The Hobbit in 5th grade.
41. I always knew I'd live in California at some point.
42. I didn't have a Southern accent growing up. Everyone thought I was from California.
43. I will live in North Carolina again some day.
44. Countries I have visited: England, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.
45. Countries still on my list: China, Iceland, Japan, Singapore, Antartica, Peru.
46. I am embarassed to admit being a huge Duran Duran fan back in the 80s. Roger Taylor was my favorite.
47. I also had a crush on John McEnroe. You can't be serious!
48. In my teenage daydreams, I thought I would be happily married by age 32 with 2 or more kids and being a stay-at-home mom.
49. Um...I'm 38, divorced once, kidless and working full-time...but happy nevertheless.
50. I thought I would grow up when I turned 30 but soon realized that maturity does not come with age.
51. Penguins are my favorite birds because they are short, can't fly and seem to have fun all the time.
52. My favorite time to write is when I've had a glass or two of wine, a la Truman Capote.
53. Secretly, I love to dance but can't find any guys to dance with. Karl does. not. dance. at all.
54. I "stole" Karl from another woman. She didn't deserve him anyway.
55. I can be very demanding. Because I'm a perfectionist. Some tell me I'm high maintenance.
56. Clutter makes me nervous.
57. Travelling, the actual travelling part like being on a plane or train, is strangely soothing.
58. My friends think I'm an electronic gadget geek. OK, what's wrong with having 4 cell phones???
59. I faint at the sight of my own blood. I passed out once when I had to had to have my finger pricked.
60. I do not drink milk or any white beverages.
61. I am very nearsighted but this condition wasn't discovered until I was third grade. Up to that point, my memories are all blurry.
62. I broke 3 teeth in a rollerblading accident.
63. I have torn both rotator cuffs because of skiing.
64. Oh, and I also tore my left ACL going down a stupid easy blue run. I had to be put on a stretcher and taken across the ski resort behind a snowmobile.
65. Snowmobiles are sexy when you're riding on one with your arms wrapped around your man under a cold clear starry night.
66. My first name was originally Maria. I dropped it when I became a citizen.
67. Filipinos like to give their children 4 names and call them by their second.
68. I am really not very Filipino. I think my mother subconsciously agonizes over that.
69. There is a hoard of snacks in my desk drawer at work but I hardly eat them. Control.
70. On the other hand, I cannot eat just one bag of Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar potato chips.
71. My favorite city is Boston. It has romantic connotations for me.
72. My favorite plant is lavender (not orchids, although I love those too). My yard is covered with lavender of all kinds.
73. I could really use a glass of wine right now.
74. I wish I was more happy go lucky.
75. Every now and then, I tell Karl what my favorite whatever is..fruit, color, item of clothing, etc., just in case we are ever on the Newlywed Game. And just in case he forgets those things.
76. I never had allergies until I moved to California.
77. My first volcano experience was on the Big Island where I hiked across a dormant caldera.
78. I get along better with men rather than women most of the time. This is curious. I think it's because with men, I can take 'em or leave 'em and they don't care. Or I don't care, anyway.
79. Money talk causes great anxiety.
80. Religion - don't go there with me. Actually, that's not completely true...I believe in believing in a higher, ethereal spirit. Organized religion bothers me.
81. I have a true soft spot for dogs of any breed. There's something about them that makes me feel very motherly. They are like little toddlers.
82. Cats do not inspire the same feelings, however. They are like...little evil toddlers.
83. My favorite color was black until about 3 years ago when I started knitting. I can't stand knitting with black yarn.
84. I grew up very sheltered and introverted.
85. Now most people think I'm quite outgoing.
86. Certainly everyone knows I like to organize trips, dinners, menus, anything that can be organized.
87. I used to want to be a travel agent specializing in ski vacations until I found out it didn't make much money.
89. My ideal job would be working as a photojournalist for a travel and/or cooking magazine. Wouldn't that be cool. Travel, eat, take pictures and blog about it.
90. It's taking me too long to write 100 things.
91. Ants give me the creeps but I like lizards (a California thing).
92. We came upon a rattlesnake while hiking in Yosemite. Then I rode by a couple on the bike trail around town.
93. I have run over 2 squirrels on my bike. My friends call me "Squirrel Killer".
94. I am not a fan of coconut.
95. Given the choice between a sweet chocolately bonbon versus a salty crunch snack, I will always go for the salt and the crunch.
96. Rain and thunderstorms always make me feel nostalgic for home.
97. There are a lot more than 100 things that are random about me.
98. Can you tell I like lists?
99. Change is good for you.
100. Favorite quote: "Know where you're going in life... you may already be there."
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Edited to reflect items sold 12/05/05.
All prices in USD, please email me at lgmalong AT yahoo DOT com if you have questions. Shipping will be USPS priority unless otherwise specified. Buyer to pay shipping costs. I accept Paypal and personal checks.
- CASCADE PASTAZA - SOLD
- Sky Blue - 50% wool, 50% llama
- 2 skeins, 132 yds ea.
- 4 sts/in on US#9
- $4.00 per skein
- Great for a fuzzy felted purse!
- LA LANA FOCUS MONDIAL
- Brown Tweed - 97% new wool merino, 3% nylon
- 8 balls, 130 yds ea.
- 3.75 sts/in on US#10
- $5.50 per ball
- Would make a beautiful cabled sweater!
- BERROCO PRONTO PRINT
- Coney Island - 50% cotton, 50% acrylic
- 14 balls, 55 yds ea.
- 3.25 sts/in on US#10.5
- $3.50 per skein
- Easy-care yarn for a baby blanket or kid's sweater
- AUSTERMANN ACAPELLA
- Marseille Blue - 50% kid mohair, 50% acrylic
- 4 skeins, 163 yds ea.
- 4.75 sts/in on US#4-5
- $4.00 per skein
- Would make a stunning shawl!
- GJESTAL NATURGARN
- Sea Blue - 100% new wool
- 8 skeins, 118 yds ea.
- 3.25 sts/in
- $3.50 per skein
- LE FIBRE NOBILI IMPERIALE - SOLD
- Navy Blue and Cream - 80% kid mohair, 20% acrylic
- 3 skeins navy blue, 2 skeins cream, 109 yds ea.
- 4 sts/in on US#6-7
- $2.50 per skein
- Enough for a shawl and scarf
- KATIA SEVILLA
- Melon - 100% nylon ribbon
- 4 balls, 153 yds ea.
- 6.25 sts/in on US#3-5
- $4.00 per skein
- Enough for the sexy tank top pictured
- KATIA SUMMER PATTERN BOOK #48
- 55 women's patterns for tanks, summer sweaters, bikinis, sporty tops
- Includes pattern using Katia Sevilla above
- CASCADE PIMA MELANGE
- Chocolate Brown - 100% cotton
- 10 skeins, 115 yds ea.
- 5 sts/in on US#7
- $3.00 per skein
- For a sophisticated summer sweater or the Cable Eight Top from Interweave Knits
Thursday, November 17, 2005
|Your Birthdate: September 9|
You are a born idealist, with more pet causes than you can count.
You prefer be around others, both when working and while relaxing.
Generous and giving, you believe you can change the world one person at a time.
You're open minded and tolerant. People feel like they can tell you anything.
Your strength: Your go-with-the-flow flexibility
Your weakness: Your flair for the over dramatic
Your power color: Pine green
Your power symbol: Circle
Your power month: September
OK, OK. This is not me. I am not go-with-the-flow. I am not an idealist. I like to be alone. Green is not my power color, that would be burgundy or magenta. And a circle? No. I'm a right-angled kind of gal. But the other things are close: I am open-minded, generous and people can tell me anything. And I've been told I can be dramatic ;-)
It's been a while since I posted and I'm feeling guilty. It's the lapsed Catholic in me. The Zippered Cardigan still isn't done but I'm close - I have to sew the zipper and finish the collar. I'm really close! In the meantime I've been totally distracted by knitting for a friend's baby. I was supposed to knit something back in the summer. Doh. The baby is 3 months old now and I'm determined to finish something by Christmas. I've started a very easy cardigan called Baby Baby from Jill Eaton's Minnies using Berroco Plush. This yarn is so incredibly soft, like cat fur or cotton balls. I'll try to post pictures this weekend. Hopefully there will be something to take a photo of.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
The shop is actually a converted old house and consists of 4 rooms. Each room except the entrance has a wooden table and chairs in the center over an antique rug, with either a ball winder and swift or stacks of magazines. The sitting room - complete with fireplace and a mantle of knitted goods, comfy chairs - is stocked with handpainted yarns. There's a room devoted to sock yarn and yarn suitable for kids garments. Then there are two rooms of fabulous, luxurious fibers neatly organized in wooden cubbies.
The Farmhouse is decorated in a sumptuous, old country, Arts & Crafts kind of way with dark hardwood, period lamps and chairs and soft lighting. The colorful yarn contrasts with the decor beautifully. Gorgeous sample sweaters, felted bags and ponchos hang everywhere and goodies like delicate Lantern Moon silk needle cases and twinkling glass beads are scattered around in baskets.
According to Sandy, the proprieter, one of her bestsellers is a line of hand dyed yarn created by a local artist operating under the name Blue Moon Fibers. I bought three skeins of "Sock Candy", a cotton/elite blend in a deep blue sea, magenta, forest green and mustard colorway.
I had an interesting chat with Sandy about local yarn shops and the knitting trend in general. In the greater Portland area alone, she said something like 16 stores have opened in the past few years, mostly by relatively new and inexperienced retailers. In the meantime, the knitting craze has started to wane. A lot of store owners have seen their sales go down noticeably. Sandy wondered how long the new shops will stay in business versus those like hers which have existed before knitting became such a fad. I personally had not noticed the knitting thing tapering off (my own funk notwithstanding) but I have observed, with some dismay, the trend of the latest designs targeted at the 25-and-under crowd. There's nothing wrong with that - the yarn companies and designers want to make money - but the patterns in Knit It! and knit.1 aren't for me. When I asked if that target market could afford to buy quality yarn and keep the new shops afloat, Sandy's opinion was, "Credit cards. 18-, 20-year olds can get credit cards and charge the yarn." Whew. Thank goodness I didn't have a credit card when I was that young or I'd still be paying off those bills.
If you're ever in the Beaverton or Hillsboro, Oregon area which is about 45 minutes west of Portland, stop by Farmhouse Knit Shop and say hello to Sandy. You'll definitely be charmed.
Monday, October 31, 2005
I've been tagged by Agnes with a knitting meme! Although it is a rather dubious honor to be tagged because I sound depressed :-)
What is your all time favorite yarn to knit with?
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. Super soft, easy on the hands, luxurious.
Your favorite needles?
Addi Turbos, hands down. I hardly knit with anything else except for birch DPNs or bamboo circulars if the yarn is extra slippery.
The worst thing you've ever knit?
There's a tie between the Tivoli Tee and the Diane tank because I messed up both of them so badly, although with Diane you can't tell.
Your most favorite knit pattern? (maybe you don't like wearing it...but it was the most fun to knit)
Toughie. I guess I would have to say the Not-Knit-Round-Scarf, aka lacy capelet, from Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch. I had a tough time with the yarn used in but I really enjoyed the pattern itself.
Most valuable knitting technique?
Knitting continental style. I spent a month practicing this and will never go back to the English style.
Best knit book or magazine?
In terms of techniques, Vogue Knitting Quick Reference. I carry it in my knitting bag at all times. It's been a lifesaver when I've forgotten how to do something. For designs and photography, I love Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick and Interweave Knits. Very inspiring. I look through both when I need a pick-me-up.
Your favorite knit-a-long?
I've only participated in one, the Tivoli Knit-a-Long, and didn't fare too well. Doh.
Your favorite knitblogs?
My favorite blogs are a mix of knitting and life experiences. I love knowing how knitting fits into people's lives and reading about the other experiences that shape the writer. So with that in mind, I have to say A View From Sierra County written by Birdsong and Knotted Thread written by Kelly. And Knit Knack by Rebekah is a hoot!
Your favorite knitwear designer?
Veronik Avery who designs for Interweave Knits.
The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)
The item I wear the most is the Give the People What They Want cardigan from Yarn Girls Guide.
But my favorite to wear is Marilyn by Debbie Bliss.
Who to tag?
How about it, Birdsong and Roberta?
I leave you with this photo of my camera-hogging cat, Little Kitty. She loves being photographed and is one of my favorite subjects.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Recently I've been distracted by the thought of knitting a shawl. I have the Shoalwater Shawl pattern in hand plus some lovely Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Iris Garden, but the Leaf Lace Shawl is so pretty too. Stop! I must stop! I can't finish the cardigan and I'm thinking about a shawl??? Just because it's freezing in the office? Stop.
In other news, I am one of the winners in a photo contest sponsored by The Company I Work For (TCIWF). The theme of the contest was Corporate Values. TCIWF has 6 major values that everyone is supposed to adhere to, with several mini-values in each category. I submitted 4 pictures and 2 were selected out of a pool of about 600 photos. Not bad, eh? TCIWF will professionally print and frame the photos poster-size. They will be displayed at the annual awards banquet and then given to the contest winners afterwards.
That's about it for any interesting news this week. It's finally cool in Sacramento and I'm happy to be wearing sweaters, corduroys and tall boots. Hope you're happily knitting or wearing your knitting wherever you are.
Until the next day in the life...
Monday, October 24, 2005
So these books had nothing to do with knitting except I noted the knitting references in the Harry Potter book - many sweaters from Mrs. Weasley. Will be interesting to see what they look like in the movie. Speaking of movies, I saw Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit over the weekend. Gromit knits! There was a cute scene where he picks up his needles and knits a bit on a jumper. Everyone looked at me when it happened.
The last random knitting thought - Katie Holmes, as the whole world knows, has been impregnated by the sly Tom Cruise; in an interview picked up by CNN, she says she is organizing a baby room and learning how to knit. Eeeeww. I don't know why this bothers me but it does. I don't approve of the Holmes/Cruise thing because I think Tom Cruise is a total control freak who brainwashed this young woman but WHATEVER, now she wants to knit. For the baby. It's just too, tooooo sickeningly pefectly young motherly.
I hope I didn't just offend anyone with that knit rant. I think knitting baby things is cool. Just the whole learning how to knit because I'm pregnant sounds so fake to me.
Oi. All right, things for you to think about on a Monday.
And Vicki, I plan to be at the Guild next Thursday!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
What is wrong with me?
I still enjoy reading everyone's blogs and keeping up with your knitting triumphs but right now I have lost a bit of motivation. I'm not in a bad mood or unhappy, just not inspired.
Even my cat senses something is amiss. I have thrown a pile of yarn on the yarn room floor, oddball skeins that I plan to donate. Each is zipped up in big plastic baggie. Big Kitty has taken to dragging the bags of yarn from the yarn room and leaving them in the hallway or in the doorway of the master bedroom. Is she trying to tell me something?
You know, not knitting has freed up an enormous amount of time. I have cooked dinners this week and started reading the latest Harry Potter. Still, I feel a bit adrift somehow.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Since signing up, I've seen everything from bed frames to appliances to chickens and a rooster (must go together) to construction materials being offered for free. Someone was even giving away yarn but I was too late!
If you're a packrat (like my SO), there's got to be something in your home that you don't need but are too lazy to pack up and donate to Goodwill (like me). Perhaps you'd be willing to send out a short email and let someone who needs it come take it off your hands.
Monday, October 17, 2005
My fingers are tapping the keyboard waiting for inspiration and cleverness to begin flowing. It hasn't happened yet. I am at a loss for anything meaningful to say except "Hello World". Maybe it's because I did nothing this weekend. Wonderful nothingness. No trips, no excursions, just a normal Saturday running some errands, getting the house cleaned up and spending a decadent amount of time on the couch.
I discovered that my cable company is finally carrying DIY and I eagerly watched my first episode of Knitty Gritty. I wasn't sure what I was expecting but perhaps I'm just not hip enough for this show. The episode was about skirts. Lisa Daniels was the guest designer. The patterns were interesting and easy-looking, but the show's host seemed so impatient with the designer. And there were 3 youngish knitters of varying experience on the set. They introduced themselves in the beginning and promptly faded into the background. I wanted to know what they were knitting so furiously, why they knit, what they liked about it, etc. but there was nothing like that. The show was only 30 minutes and even less, really, with commercials. I can understand why they would move along like that but still...
I have made slow progress on the zippered cardigan. It's a fast knit when I'm doing it but I haven't had much time lately. So far I've finished the back and 2 sleeves. I just cast on for one of the front pieces. That's it. I need to run off now. Hope you all have a good week!
Until the next day in the life....
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I brought some socks with me to our weekend camping trip to Yosemite National Park last weekend but progress was slow. It's hard to knit during the drive when the road curves and bends every hundred feet or so.
Instead, I did a lot of hiking! Almost 20 miles worth. Every year we make at least one pilgrimage to Yosemite and last weekend was probably our only one for 2005. It was gorgeous! Some fall colors were beginning to show, the skies were deep blue, the air was just crisp and cool enough. We took a couple of short hikes up to Vernal Falls and the Tuolumne Grove. You can see more pictures on Image Zone. Our main hike was new to everyone - a fantastic trail to the North Dome, a smallish rounded hump of granite that was directly across from Half Dome. It took my breath away, the view. It was one of the best I'd ever seen of Yosemite and we've done quite a few hikes there. Half Dome is the gold standard of hikes. If you go to Yosemite, you have to hike up to the top of Half Dome at least once. It's 18 miles roundtrip and takes all day. There are cables along the short side that you use to pull yourself up.
Along the way to North Dome we took a short detour to Indian Arch, an amazing natural rock formation. It's huge as you can see from the photo with the 4 guys. The arch looks so thin and brittle, yet once we were on it, it could hold a few of us up. Maybe not for long though.
The Tuolumne Grove was an easy hike to a small stand of sequoia trees. Sequoias are some of the longest-living trees in the world. They are gigantic but lovable at the same time. They are fairly rare since their living conditions have to be just right - the amount of water, the deep, loose soil, the elevation and temperature. My friend McGinnis pictured here is 6'4. He's standing about 6 feet in front of the tree.
So, not much knitting was accomplished. Thought about it a lot...I wonder if I could knit socks that could withstand all the hiking abuse. I haven't tried any sock yarn heavier than fingering weight so I have no idea what to use. I have sport weight but I'm not sure that would cut it. Any ideas or suggestions?
Until the next day in the life....
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
It could be that the seasons dictate which sweaters I would wear, but even so there are certain ones that I gravitate towards more often than others. It could also be argued that these are the best fitting but that's not really true either. And then there are people who knit for knitting's sake and not use the garments or give them away altogether, but that's not my MO.
So why then? Well, after a moment's thought...I think it simply boils down to the best combination of function and comfort. Comfort is fit, softness and the degree to which the yarn does not irritate my skin. Fit is VERY important because if it doesn't fit, it isn't comfortable. Function is convenience, versatility and ease of care. If I'm going to worry that the sweater will get wet, must be dry-cleaned if it gets a speck of dirt on it or can only be worn in specific situations, it will probably spend most of its time in the closet rather than on my person. Versatility is a huge plus - I will wear something a lot if I can wear it on the weekends, at work or on a casual evening out. Given all of this, it won't surprise you to know that I wear the 2 cardigans the most often. Both of them are simple knits and I'm happy to say they've held up well so far.
Although I unofficially select each project based on the sweater's function, comfort, technique/stitch, style and yarn it seems I get the biggest bang for my knitting buck with the projects based on the first 2 criteria. This may change which projects I knit up in the next few months. The tweedy cardigan I'm working on now is a good choice - I'll most likely use it right away.
(By the way, the number 10 isn't random. Fran from the Knitter's Review forums once said you could consider yourself an intermediate knitter if you've knit at least 10 sweaters.)
Thanks for letting me ramble on. Which sweaters - or scarves, handbags, blankets, socks - have you knit that you use the most often and why?
Until the next day in the life...
Sunday, October 02, 2005
OK, confession time. I have made un-progress on the Tivoli. After I first tried it on, I just kept on knitting and didn't check the fit again...this was last weekend while I was in Oregon. Well, after I frogged a bit and reknit the 20 or so rows, I tried it on again and realized with horror that I had made some horrible mistakes. First was that the size was simply too big. I could've lived with this but secondly, the waist decreases were off. I mean, they weren't positioned correctly. It was so obvious and I was so mad at myself. This is the second sweater in a row that I impatiently screwed up. Is this a sign? Am I burning out? I felt like it that night. So I put the sweater away for now. I need some space and time from it. In the meantime, I got back on the horse and started knitting the Zippered Jacket from the 2004/2005 Winter Vogue Knitting issue. This is a very fast knit. I started yesterday (Saturday) and have already finished the back of the cardigan. It is supposed to have some small easy cables but the yarn I'm using is a thick/thin slubby yarn. It doesn't show the cables at all so I'm not doing them. However I am keeping the 2 purl stitches in the middle of the stockinette expanse as a design element. It will be repeated up the sleeves and on the 2 front panels.
The other knitting-related news is while in Jack London Square, I picked up this super-cute silk tote bag from an Asian import store. It's the perfect size for WIP knitting projects. I was very tempted to buy more than one but that would've been a little much, no? Karl was indulgent and made no peep about the purchase. He knows I have so many bags! But he can't really talk because he has about 20 backpacks himself. Anyway, this knitting tote is just darling, so chic and ethnic. It will probably pull double-duty as a hip bag for work too.
Whew, another weekend down. I've got a few more fun ones coming up and then hopefully I can settle in and enjoy the longer, cooler evenings at home.
Until the next day in the life....
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Have you ever *not* bought a sweater from a store or catalog because you thought you could knit it yourself?
While looking through the latest collection of catalogs that have started to clog my mailbox in anticipation of the holiday season, I realized I can no longer look at Knitted Objects in any catalog without first dissecting how they are constructed. Then I decide whether or not I can knit them. This mental game, which began when I started knitting, has become more and more gratifying: if I can figure out how a commercial sweater has been knit, (1) I feel fairly confident I can knit it and (2) I don't have the urge to buy it!
For example, my favorite store is J.Jill. I swear that half my wardrobe is from this store because they carry petite sizes in such cute clothes that can easily go from weekend (very important) to weekday. All right, I will end the plug there. Anyway. Look at the interestingly named Textured Purl-Knit Cardigan to the left. I can knit that. Chances are, I can buy the cotton yarn at a discount for less than the $68 retail price (labor cost is another matter). But why buy something as simple as a reverse stockinette, nay, Purl-Knit, sweater for that much?
On the other hand, please look closely - you'll need to click on the link to zoom - at the intriguing Hooded Aran Isle Cardigan from the Sundance catalog. Only $288. It looks like it is knit sideways with cables and other textured stitches. Hmmmmmm. I'd like to knit that. The sideways concept is not difficult and I've done it already. However I want to figure out how to knit the sleeves without breaking up the cable pattern. I've seen a shrug pattern in IK that is similar so I'm going to do a little research.
Would I consider buying the $288 "Aran Isle"? Heavens, no. I enjoy spending money but even I think that's excessive. I would rather spend the cash on good yarn to knit it myself. Natch.
Until the next day in the life...
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Oh, I'm back in Oregon today for work this time. It's a long day when you get up at 5am, travel 4 hours, attend a 2-hour meeting, then travel back for another 3 or 4 hours. I brought some knitting with me but I am restless. I was working on the Carolina Blue socks, the one that I had done the Figure 8 Cast On for. I have since switched from the Magic Loop to DPNs for one of the socks. However, the DPNs are 8-inchers. I wrestled more with the needles and the yarn tangling in them than I did actual knitting so I think I will switch back to Magic Loop for both socks (single, not at the same time).
OK, getting close to boarding time. Until the next day in the life....
Monday, September 26, 2005
Busy, busy! Last Friday, a group of us took the afternoon off and drove up to Ashland, Oregon for the season's end of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We saw two shows, Twelfth Night and Room Service. The experience of seeing Twelfth Night in an outdoor theater was fantastic. We bundled up in warm clothes and brought blankets and seat cushions. Our seats were in the balcony; lucky for us the slight overhang prevented us from getting wet during the first couple of acts as a light rain fell upon everyone below. We sipped on hot chocolate while watching a mesmerizing production. The set and costumes were excellent and the acting was superb. Room Service was a completely different play, set in 1930's New York on Broadway about the antics of a play producer who connives various hotel managers to let his actors stay in the hotel and produce his show. It was hilarious, fast-paced and fun.
When we weren't watching the plays, we were enjoying some of the sights in and around Ashland. We hiked a trail up Brown Mountain before shopping in the quaint downtown area. I was keen on visiting The Web*sters, the local yarn store located in Ashland's historical district. I have ordered from Web*sters before for hard-to-find Lantern Moon needles and some books. I was expecting to find a small, charming shop. Instead I walked into one of the largest modern yarn stores I have visited so far with beautiful hardwood floors, shelves almost floor to ceiling, well-lit and easy to move around areas. The variety of yarn made my head spin with high-end name brands like Adrienne Vittadini and Colinette. Their collection of Noro alone took my breath away. I loved that they had swatches of most yarns. Samples of sweaters, purses and scarves were on the shelves or hanging on racks so that you could easily touch, survey and try on. None were for sale but each had a card with the pattern name, yarn, size, yardage and estimated cost to knit.
The store was so large they had a section for artsy clothes and accessories and the front glass counter was filled with jewelry. This was not a cozy store where people could gather to knit. There were no comfy sofas or chairs. There was a huge back room with a large table used for classes but it didn't look like anyone could just walk in and knit. That was disappointing but I can understand why. Web*sters has tremendous foot traffic since it's smack dab in the middle of a very popular, touristy shopping plaza. The prices were not cheap. A little girl of about 8 or 10 was in the store with her mother. She apparently had just learned to knit, wanted to make herself a sweater and asked the sales person for yarn around $3. None were to be had! In fact, the least expensive yarn was around $5 and that was on sale. I felt bad for the girl. I myself was so overwhelmed with yarn choices that I became as useless as a bunny paralyzed with fright. I did not buy huge amounts of yarn, just a Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton pattern book (the one with Klaralund), size 0 Addi's for socks, and a couple of balls of Touch Me to keep company with the matching ball of it at home. However, I hope I don't regret not buying any Noro.
Finally On the way home from Ashland, we took the long way back to Sacramento by visiting Burney Falls and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Pictures will have to come at a later date. I forgot to put batteries in my digital camera after I recharged them, duh, so the only camera I had was my Ricoh 28mm compact. It will take at least a week to get the film developed. I'll save my review of those parks for when I post the pictures.
Hey, did I tell you I did some knitting over the weekend too? Road trips are great for knitting! I am almost finished with Tivoli and I swatched the Alpaca Silk for the Bed & Breakfast Pullover from the Winter 2003 Interweave Knits. I also swatched for the Ballet Pullover from the Summer 2004 IK. There are a couple of other patterns that I want to swatch for before deciding what I'm going to knit next.
Whew, well I have more to write but it'll have to wait for another day. Hope you all are having a good week!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
In the earlier post, I said my biggest peeves were (1) I couldn't enter my measurements other than my bust size and (2) I had to figure out the waist shaping on my own, manually. The truths are, while the only measurement you are prompted for is your bust size, you can change ANY measurement in the schematic and it will adjust the number of rows and stitches automatically; secondly, in version 3.0 (which I purchased) there is an option to select 2 types of body shaping - standard and hourglass. This too is customizable.
Here is what the v-neck tank top original pattern looked like before I made my own adjustments to the torso measurements. Note that the length is 12 inches between the bottom of the armhole to the top of the ribbing which corresponds to 60 rows starting from the cast-on edge based on my gauge.
Now I simply change the 12 inches to 8 inches and select hourglass shaping of 14 inches. I hit enter and voila....notice how the number of rows for the torso has changed and how the schematic now reflects the pulled-in waist. Of course, the pattern directions are updated too.
I discovered this when I joined the Sweater Wizard group on Yahoo. Ai caramba. Sometimes one must, as we say at work, think outside the box. I was being too guy-like in my approach to the software: it must be intuitive; it has to be plug-n-play. Otherwise I actually have to think or, god forbid, ask for directions.
What does this mean? You know very well. I'm frogging the tank top (which I was sort of embarassed to show you anyway because I didn't think it came out right) and re-knitting it using a pattern created the proper way. Don't hold your breath, though. This is probably going to be next summer's repentant project. I'm itching to knit a wool sweater or two for fall/winter. You ladies knitting the Frieda are making me anxious!
Until the next day in the life.....
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I'm concerned that the waist shaping will not actually correspond with my waist. I haven't made any changes to this pattern except the accidental issue that I somehow didn't end up with enough stitches after casting on at the armholes (6 stitches short). After counting umpteen times, I finally decided it was going to be OK. I was worried the torso portion was going to be a little big anyway because I'm in-between pattern sizes (it goes from 28" to 32" and of course I need the 30"). I am not griping about the pattern! Please don't think that. So far it's been pretty easy, minus my brain burp about the cast-on. I'm just whining that my size is hard to come by. You've heard this before so I'll leave it at that.
Well now. How can you tell when you've been shopping just a little too much? When you leave your package, nay, your large box, that arrived yesterday of expensive new clothes that you bought on a whim on a business trip on your front porch overnight even though you saw it there as you pulled into your driveway. *yeah* Just another package.
I'm going to rip open that box of goodies now.
Monday, September 19, 2005
This is post numero dos for today, this must be a Personal Best. Agnes has pulled me out of the blogging rut by tagging me. Agnes, by the way, has some inspiring photos of her most recent knitted works. Go see them. The woman has been knitting for only a year. That blows me away.
Here are the questions. Along with some answers.
TEN YEARS AGO:I quit my job and started graduate school full time. I had applied to 3 schools, was accepted by all, offered a whopping $30K scholarship to UCLA but turned it down to go to my beloved alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I was so happy to do something completely of my own choosing, my own will and desire. Graduate school was a heady, fullfilling time of my life.
FIVE YEARS AGO:My relationship with Karl was getting rocky. I had begun working in a new subsidiary of my company and it was just like a start-up. I had no idea what I was doing, my love life was on its way to disaster and even though company stock was spirally downwards I bought a new car. I thought nothing would ever be as difficult as that year.
ONE YEAR AGO:I was getting ready to cut loose on my sabbatical with only a couple of weeks left at work. I had spent months planning a very full schedule in which I was home for only 3 weeks. My sabbatical consisted of hopping on a plane to Australia (Brisbane, Coolangatta, Cairns and Port Douglas) with a friend and my brother; hopping on another plane to New Zealand (with Karl, to drive the entire perimeter of the South Island), hopping on a plane to Las Vegas, hopping on a plane to North Carolina and Massachusetts for Christmas. I love airports.
FIVE SNACKS:Do I really have to say? This is so embarrassing. Karl says I am not one to eat healthy snacks. No wonder I have to run 5 days a week.
- Andy Capp Hot Fries
- Shrimp Chips (especially the kind you can buy at Asian supermarkets, they are multi-colored and puff up when you throw them in a pan of hot oil)
- Cape Cod White Cheddar Popcorn
FIVE SONGS I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO:
- Crazy by Patsy Cline
- In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
- Leaving Las Vegas by Sheryl Crow
- Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around the World by U2
- Superman by REM
FIVE THINGS I WOULD DO WITH $100 MILLION:
- Buy a resort home for my parents in the Philippines and buy them in new house in Chapel Hill
- Buy resort homes for me and Karl in New Zealand and Whistler, BC
- Share the wealth with my brothers and set up trust funds
- Contribute to charities
- Travel all over the world
FIVE PLACES TO RUN AWAY TO:
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Bald Head Island, North Carolina
- Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand
- Vancouver, BC
- Yosemite National Park
FIVE THINGS I WOULD NEVER WEAR:
- White platform sandals
- A Corset
- Edible Undies
- Body Piercings
FIVE FAVORITE TV SHOWS:
- Law and Order
- Nigella Lawson (she's funny and sexy while she cooks...my heroine)
FIVE BIGGEST JOYS:
- Being able to travel
- Writing about whatever comes to mind
- Being fit, healthy and safe
- Being with Karl
FIVE FAVORITE TOYS:
- My cameras (they count as 1 entity)
- Knitting stuff (also an umbrella category)
- My road bike
- My laptop
- My heart rate monitor
OK, OK...Cyndi, Linda and Violet, consider yourselves tagged. This is a long one, though, so don't feel obligated. I know you're all busy.
Enjoy the week, happy knitting!
Not a lot going on knitting-wise in my corner of the world. I have been working on the Tivoli t-shirt and have had several debates with myself about what I should be doing with it...what kind of cast-on for the armholes, if I should try long sleeves, whether I should shorten up the torso. In the end I have not made any changes but my mind has certainly attempted different things. I decided not to do long sleeves after I found the Ballet Pullover pattern in the Interweave Knits Summer '04 issue. As far shortening the torso goes...well, this will just be longer t-shirt on me. I didn't think about shortening it until I reached the waist decreases and the thought of frogging doesn't appeal to me right now. We'll see. I'll try it on tonight.
Not sure exactly what's going on with the blogging thing. I think I'm in a funk. I haven't been keeping up to date with everyone's blogs. I want to, but I don't have as much "down time" at work as before. Which is the way it should be, right? Problem is, I don't have that much time after work either. I've been shopping.
Today's picture is a random selection from my album. This is Sally. We adopted her my senior year in college (undergrad) back in 1989. She died in March 2003. Sally was part Lab, part some-kind-of-snow-dog. She was very loyal to us, loved bounding around the backyard after a snowfall, kept my mother company on her walks and defended our house admirably with her intimidating, deep bark. Sally also farted like nobody's business. She would sit in the family room while we were watching TV and let one fly. Then look around to see if anyone noticed.
Until the next day in the life....
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Then there is the small matter of making sure, wherever you are, that you have network connectivity. The next best thing to having a knitting reference book on you is to have access to the Internet to look up what you are forgetting. Not having Internet access is REALLY FRUSTRATING, especially when you are supposedly a techie person who can figure this out. Networks, though, are not my forte. I was very mad on Tuesday morning because, after I got the wireless to work at the hotel on Monday, it didn't work on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or today. Crappy thing!
This means I am blogging at work where I am hardwired. It's almost like a shot of morphine....ahhhhh, Internet, ahhhhh.
Well, the business trip is almost over. It's been hectic because we packed a lot in a few days. Not to mention always eating out - this takes up time. If I were by myself I'd just have a sandwich or a bagel but on this trip I've had full meals every night.
FYI, on the knitting and planes. I've been taking bamboo needles with me and no one has given me a problem. *knock on wood* I've flown on Southwest, America West and American Airlines this year and so far it's been easy. Have any of you had issues with flying and taking your knitting?
All right, better get back to work. Until the next day in the life....
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Now that it's no longer in the 90s, I can think about projects for fall knitting. I went to my yarn room the other day and was amazed at all the pretty, nice and sumptuous yarns in my stash. I picked out a bunch and moved them into my bedroom stash (yes, yes, I have 2 stashes). My bedroom stash is the pile of yarn that eventually become actual projects. The Manos is there, along with 2 different types of Noro, the Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk from Sherry, the LL Lion and Lamb that I bought from Caitlyn, the Gedifra I picked up in Switzerland and some sock yarn. Potential projects are the Shoalwater Shawl using the LL, a couple of oversized cardigans (Manos, Gedifra), a cabled sweater (DB). Of course I could change my mind at any point.
The current knitting front is busy but manageable. On the needles are a pair of socks that I started on magic loop. I have since separated the socks - one on magic loop and the other on 8" Inox. I still maintain that shorter DPNs are better for my little hands. It's just that Inox doesn't make short size 1 DPNs. Also on the needles are the humble beginnings of Tivoli. If any of you have been considering this pattern, especially since Grumperina published it as Picovoli on MagKnits, you are more than welcome to join the Tivoli KAL. I finished the Phoenix tank and found the answer to the plunging V-neck in Ann Budd's A Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. No pictures of it yet, I need to block the neck. That may be next time.
Over the Labor Day weekend Karl and I were busy purchasing this. Then he promptly left the country for a quick business trip to Japan. I haven't driven it at all this week in fear of something happening to it in the parking lot at work (that's what happened the last time I drove a new car into work). We also went on a pretty hike in the Berkeley Hills before catching the BART to see the Oakland A's get pounded by the Evil Empire (Yankees). This weekend I celebrated my 38th by going on a 12-mile run on Saturday. Just to prove I still had the legs. However, afterwards I felt a little tired. Then I found myself looking at this. Little Kitty has been a terror all weekend long.
Well, I've got to get going on a bike ride this morning. It's sunny where I am but probably overcast where we're going, brrrr. Hope you all have a good week, I'll try to post from Arizona.
Until the next day in the life....
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I was really out of touch with what was going on in the Gulf coast states last week, but now that I've caught up with the rest of the nation it feels like someone kicked me in the gut. I lived through a hurricane that took an unexpected turn from the North Carolina seaboard and travelled inland. I grew up taking tropical storms, flooding and tornados spawned by hurricanes for granted because they happened so often and we knew how to deal with the after affects, more or less. The conditions resulting from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi are deplorable and shocking. I feel very helpless here, donation or not. I wish there was something more tangible that I could do.
Isn't it weird that life goes on even in the face of tragedy? While we go about our normal routine, whether it's sitting at our desks at work, dropping the kids off at school, or attending class ourselves it's really distracting to know there is a more important, critical event going on and people's lives are at stake. I would rather be working on that and trying to make a difference instead of wondering what I'm going to do about dinner.
So I was going to tell you about my weekend and the latest knitting news, but I don't feel it's appropriate. It's a bit belated but consider this my little candle being lit for the people of Hurricane Katrina: may they find comfort and solace from all the prayers and thoughts directed their way, food and shelter from helping hands generously extended.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Friends and coworkers came to cheer on all the athletes but the cutest and by far the most endearing was a family of 3 kids who came with signs saying, "Go Dad!"
There weren't many women at all in either triathlon group, at least not individual competitors. There were some women who participated in the relay portions. Regardless, I was really impressed with how fit these ladies were and I vowed afterwards that I would get in better shape. Cindy, pictured as she began her transition from the bike ride to the run, had tried to persuade me to sign up. She's in her early 40's and is fantastically fit. She did her first triathlon last summer.
In other weekend activities, I finished the front of the tank top and man is it revealing. Not only is it cropped but the V-neck is something to behold. I will have to pick up stitches around the neck anyway but I had originally planned to just do single crochet. Now it looks like I'll be doing about an inch of seed stitch.
On Sunday morning, I got up early and, because I had vowed to get into better shape, ran 9 miles for my long run. I felt good for most of it. The worst was in the first 4 minutes where my knee hurt so bad I wanted to cry. Then the pain went away. I will admit that I'm in denial about this and am refusing to see my doctor.
When I got home, Karl was in a grumpy mood because he had to clean up from an aborted wash attempt - our washing machine finally died. We had to make an emergency visit to Lowe's and bought a brand new Whirlpool set. I insisted on a top loader...I must be able to felt!
Then later in the afternoon we played 9 holes at Indian Creek Golf Course, where I eagled the first hole! Woohoo! I beat the guys again, handily this time with an eagle, a birdie and a par to score 32. I tried not to be too smug.
There's still a couple of days left this month to seam up the tank top and redo the neckline. I...must...finish....
Thursday, August 25, 2005
This month has been tough on the knitting front. Very little actual knitting has been done although I've thought about it and I've certainly visited with other knitters. However, there's still a chance for me to finish a project this month. In the next few days I'm going to work on completing the tank top to match my OSW. Yes, you've seen this little number before. It is little...even Karl commented on it's smallness. I'm hoping it will at least cover the boobs. I mean, look how low the V is.
On a completely different topic, Birdsong tagged me with a fun little meme so here goes my 23rd post 5th sentence:
There are two colors, green and white?
Doesn't sound very interesting, does it? By itself the sentence is totally incongruous but my 23rd post was about asparagus! So, did you know that asparagus comes in green and white varieties? The green is common here but in Germany you must try the white spargel. It is delicious – thicker, milder and more tender than the green variation, it has to be peeled before cooking. Because it’s grown in the ground rather than above, however, it is more difficult to harvest and therefore more expensive to come by.
The rules for the meme:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.
I'm tagging Kelly, Ruth, Rebekah, Joan and Lori. What was on your mind when you started your blog?
In other life news, I've joined Fit to Knit!, a community blog for knitters who are starting or continuing a running program. Check it out, it's already inspiring. This Saturday, Karl is participating in a triathlon sponsored by the company we work for. It will be held at Beal's Point at Folsom Lake State Park. I am volunteering as a photographer. We've also been playing some golf lately, and this Sunday will be our 3rd outing of the month! That's 3 times more than last year. I've picked up Pilates again twice a week. All this exercise is definitely healthy for my state of mind. Oh, and the new job helps too. It's going well and there's even talk of sending me to Malaysia next year for a 2-month assignment. What fun!
I'll end this miscellaneous rambling with a miscellaneous photo, taken from my growing collection of digital archives. We've had such terribly hot weather in the Sacramento area this summer that I have a hard time thinking about winter. This should help - it's taken from atop Whistler Mountain near Vancouver, BC. I was on my way back to the lodge when I snapped this photo. Notice how clear it was from my vantage point before I descended into the fog.
Until the next day in the life...
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
FPK has a great variety. Violet and Kaedean have done a wonderful job ensuring their inventory is different from the other yarn stores in the area. You will, however, see a decided preference towards PINK. That's just fine with me. Plus they carry Bryspun and Inox!