Thursday, March 31

handpainted yarn

i have noticed that i have a tendency to go for multi-colored yarn. especially handpainted. i don't know what it is, maybe it has to do with seeing how the colors play out when you knit them. color excites me. seriously. i think it has to do with my graphic design schooling. both of my clapotis experiences were enriched because i used yarn in unique colorways. the thought of making something in a solid color makes me go "eek!" in most cases. it just doesn't seem as exciting. just a thought i had today when i didn't even look at the solid colors available from an ebay seller that i purchased these from





i am constantly on the hunt for specific color combinations in yarn. i would love to come across some blue/brown, green/brown and especially pink/brown yarn.

i did finish one side of my flower basket bag, the decreases look a bit odd on the right side, but i think i can make it work. especially if i make the next side a bit better, then the odd piece can be the back of the bag (although technically there isn't a right/wrong side, i will just consciously have to carry it with the uglier side towards the back).

fyi, the dessert in the previous post was lemon custard from martha stewart. it is like a lemon souffle, but the bottom forms a pudding. when you invert them out of their custard cups then the pudding is on top. yum!

Tuesday, March 29

mini clapotis complete

i managed to finish up all my easter stuff. i thought i was running behind and would have to eliminate making the dessert. but i didn't, and it was delicious.



i also managed to finish my green 'mini' clapotis last night. i could have done a few more rows to make it a bit longer (i had just under 1/2 of a ball leftover after finishing), but didn't know how to judge it quite right. i didn't want to run short. i am happy with it, although the ends need to be blocked. (sorry for the terrible picture)



now i have to focus on the flower basket bag from the latest vogue that has been stashed away. i am scared of starting the decreases, but really wanna get this project done. hopefully i will make a little progress today. the weather is really bad so it is a good day to stay inside and knit.

Sunday, March 27

easter preparations : part II



yesterday's knotty knitters meeting was great. we had wonderful food and lots of great knitting. i made up a smaller version of the cozy for your cadbury and took it with me to the meeting. i had printed out patterns and brought the yarn along in case anyone wanted to make some up.



i also brought along the scones i mentioned before and if you are interested in the recipe i made a pdf here.

my easter egg dying didn't go so well. the new dye doesn't use vinegar so it has oil in it. i can't believe how sticky it was, but yet it would only stick to a small part of the egg! i really love the swirly look, but just couldn't get it to work. so i went the old fashioned route and did food coloring. the result is the pretty pastel eggs above.

i finished up my easter baskets. my mom's includes a small knitted bunny that i was intended to look a little bit like a chocolate bunny. it turned out cute, but next time i use a yarn that you can actually see the stitches (vs. the ggh esprit that i used before) i would go down more than one needle size. when i stuffed it, you could see through around the neck (the bow seems to hide it well).



hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, March 25

easter preparations : part I



it is a cozy. yep, a cozy...for cadbury eggs!



leslie over at whimsy blogged about her love of cadbury eggs this week. she was kind enough to share the link to the cozy pattern. i did not think i would have time to knit any of these up before easter. but darn if i didn't just happen to buy some yellow yarn the other day. and today, even though i was super busy i squeaked one out.

i also found the funniest link to dancing cadbury eggs via another knitting blog but i can't seem to find it now. darn.

earlier this evening i had just put a big pot of water on the stove to boil my easter eggs when the fire alarm in our building went off. i thought it was my apartment only for a minute and freaked out. i mean i was only boiling water for goodness sake! but it turns out everyone's alarm was blaring. so we huddled outside for awhile waiting for the fire department. they came, they checked each apartment and then finally they turned the alarm off. no fire. good. i felt sorry for all the poor animals in our building. the were not happy about the horrible screeching alarms. oh yeah, and there were no cute firefighters. darn.

so back inside i went. and finally, i got the eggs on the stove.



they are now all ready to be dipped and dyed. tomorrow i will share pictures (assuming they turn out, it seems like the egg dye out there just isn't the same as it was when i was little, remember those glass jars with the bunny heads on top? what happened to those? i loved those!).

i also picked up some meyer lemons to make this martha recipe. i have made them several times before with regular lemons. hopefully i will be able to taste a difference with the meyer lemons. the lady at trader joe's seemed to think there was a huge difference. she said her son loved meyer lemons so much she was putting them in his easter basket!

the lemon dessert is for sunday, but tomorrow morning i have a brunch with my knotty knitters group. for that i am whipping up the BEST scones ever. the secret ingredients...



carmelized walnuts and toffee. i originally had these scones years ago at the woodmark hotel. they were served for afternoon tea. according to their online menu, they no longer serve this 'flavor' of scone. but after having them i searched the web for a recipe and came up with something very close. i'll snap a pic of the finished product tomorrow when i bake them. seriously, they are sooo yummy.

alright, how is that for a lengthy blog entry? time to go work on the easter baskets. i hope you are all having a lovely start to your weekend!

Thursday, March 24

knitting, frogging and watching tele

i am posting a picture of a nearly completed clapotis, here you can get a better idea of the 'mini' version. i have two more 12 row sets before starting to decrease. hopefully that will make it long enough and i won't run out of yarn this time!



i am hoping to get further on it this evening. today's interview was disappointing, so knitting is a good release :) that and maybe a big glass of red wine!

i also have to take a few minutes to frog this ugly thing



ok, it isn't that terrible. but i don't like the midsection where i had to start a new ball of yarn and the color pattern seemed to switch (notice the lack of black after each color). no problem though, i have been meaning to knit the two color kureyon scarf from "last minute knitted gifts" anyways. this yarn will be good for that. you can see some really good examples of similar scarves at mason-dixon, crayonbrain's and bag 'n' trash.

i'm excited to see the office tonight on nbc. i am hoping it is good. then there will finally be some real "must see tv" on thursdays. of course when they do the martha version of the apprentice it will probably be on thursdays too. what a great tv night that will be!

and speaking of the tele...

I was tagged for a meme by the recently engaged linda :)

How much space is left on your TiVo or Comcast box?

well that is the thing, i don't own a TiVo or have a comcast box. but i want one! i could record all those Seinfeld and Sex and the City reruns that i love to watch!

Have you ever bought a DVD of a TV series and if so which one?

the office

What was the last TV show that you watched before reading this message?

alias

List 5 shows you won't miss.

I try not to miss alias, scrubs, new episodes of house hunters and two and a half men. i can't think of a fifth.

Name 3 people to whom you will pass this stick.

i won't be passing this one along as i see most have already been tagged, but if you want to snag it from me drop me a comment so i can check your's out!

Wednesday, March 23

whew!

well my interview today for some freelance work was cancelled. i am kinda thankful because i only have 4 pieces done in my portfolio right now and i need 7. i need to call and reschedule. i think i am going to aim for monday. but tomorrow is the big interview for the 'real' job. i am not really nervous because they are aware i don't have all the skills they need, but they are looking for a good fit and are willing to train, from what i hear. so we will see...

i seem to have a problem lately leaving a store without any yarn. i didn't mean to buy all this. but i did.



my rationalization is that this yarn will be used for some scarfs i plan on making for a bazaar. what bazaar you ask? i don't know. i just think i might do one this fall so i am crafting away.

i also bought another skein of lion brand wool ease in a pale yellow. i bought a bunch when it was on sale for like $2 awhile back and wanted the yellow to break up the other colors i bought. it is either going to be a crazy stripey scarf (although i don't like wearing acrylic next to my skin) or a baby blanket (more likely). i almost walked out with some lion brand polar spun for something else i am planning but resisted (why, i don't know, i actually NEEDED that yarn!).

then the other night i went back to our local fabric store with a great novelty yarn selection (where the stash above came from). i bought 3 skeins of noro kureyon in, i think, color 148. i am making a quick felted bag. i needed a small break from clapotis, although i am nearing the end.

so in the next couple days i hope to have a couple finished projects to share!

ONE MORE THING! for those of you who have been interested in the stole, here is my response to a comment about the colors etc. the pattern comes from scarf style.

Sunday, March 20

didn't they learn?

ok the american version of coupling was horrible. every episode that aired was nearly the exact script from the british series. it was supposed to be friends replacement and it bombed. so now they are taking on an even more untouchable show. the office. one of my all time favorite comedies. i LOVED this show. if you haven't seen it, run to your nearest store and buy it. don't even bother renting. it is so worth owning. you can check out the homepage here for a sample. ricky gervais is amazing. he also wrote a childrens book recently that is hilarious. i can't say enough about it (obviously!). but now i wonder what the fate of the american version will be. the previews i have seen just don't live up to the original. the only thing it has going for it is steve carell. i don't know if he can carry the show though. i guess time will tell.

this weekend i also watched a couple movies i had been waiting to see. i heart huckabees and alfie. the first, ugh. the second, ok. of course i knit while watching both of them and got further along on the second clapotis (which is about 1/2 the width of the original pattern).



i really like the alchemy yarn. but i have decided that no matter what i won't order more. between the first clapotis out of lion and lamb and this mini clapotis out of alchemy i have spent too much. but i have to say, the clapotis is addicting. maybe it is because i love wraps, scarves, stoles etc. and this pattern is so amazing. the drop stitches keep it interesting and it isn't a hard or super boring knit. overall, i would say it is quite the perfect pattern in my book! i am already thinking of another one! maybe cotton?

i also bribed my mom to help me with another bag this weekend. the first one has been getting a lot of compliments when i go shopping. seriously. at target two girls commented on it and another woman at the mall. i was flattered, although it isn't my own design! so the new bag is very green and i love not only the outside but the inside too. if i didn't mention it before this bag is super great because it is completely reversible.





i should head to bed now. it is late and this week will hold a lot of interesting things for me. one, i had a phone interview with a company last week for a great job and should be hearing back from them soon. two, i have a meeting with a company for freelance work. this means of course i actually have to get the portfolio done. stress! but i need to do it and so far i am on track to have about 7 pieces. the scariest thing? all this 'real job' talk frightens me. i have become so accustomed from working from home as a contractor (and the money!!). but i need to get back to the real world (a sentence i keep repeating over and over and over....).

and one more thing, i just want to thank all of you who check out my blog. i can't tell you how amazed i am each time i check my stats and see just how many people happen by here each day. and for those who link to me and make me even more popular (including a german blog that i had to translate by babel fish to see what they said about me!)! blogging is really just the most amazing thing don't you think? i am so happy that i started this. so thanks all!

Thursday, March 17

happy st. pat



that yummy yarn came to me the other day from

and is currently being made into a 2nd (smaller) clapotis. the colors are funky greens, but i really like it. it is the alchemy i mentioned before.

i also whipped out a few fabric flowers. this one is for the bag that i made


and this is another that still needs a center button


fabric should arrive today for another bag to sew! in the meantime i am working away on the green clapotis.

Monday, March 14

breathe again

i think my cold just ended. you know that moment when you realize you can breathe through your nose again? i love that moment!

so feeling better led me to a photo shoot with clapotis. i received a comment from leslie today that made me want to post pictures of clapotis. she ordered the same yarn as i did (lion and lamb in colorway vera). i didn't want her to think it was horrible after my last post about me not being happy with the color. it is actually very pretty, just not very 'me' at the moment. but it is sooo soft and luxurious that i have had it wrapped around me a lot since i finished it. and one more thing, i did check my gauge, but my finished size was 58" long and the pattern calls it at 55" - but mine is only about 19" wide and the pattern says 22" - who knows?. the thing is, it is so floppy it is hard to measure. so maybe i should have gone down a needle size. that may have prevented the yarn running out at the worst time. i will definately plan accordingly with my next clapotis (the alchemy should be here tomorrow!!).

so on with the pictures..







i also have been very crafty sewing up this great tote from amy butler. i am not big on sewing, but her fabrics are amazing and i can't resist. this tote was made with much help from my mom! i bought a ton of amy's fabric over the last week so i will be starting some more bags. i have 3 of her patterns. last summer i made a great handbag that i will try to remember to post. this bag is intended to be a knitting tote.



it reverses to a soft paisley print (i love paisley!). it still needs a big bow to tie onto the handles, but for now i am delighted it is done!

as you can see it was a beautiful day here in seattle. the flowers are all starting to bloom. megan over at pensive frog has some great pictures of the beautiful UW campus.

happy spring!

clapotis update

sorry i haven't been posting. i seem to have caught the cold going round. it has also been beautiful here so i have been soaking up the sun. i did manage to knit quite a bit. which means i finally finished clapotis! i was pretty excited. the only thing is....i don't really love the yarn now. it is ok, but i think i should have gone with pastels. the other issue - i ran out of yarn. that is right. i ran out of $28 a skein yarn 20 rows before finishing. i was SO mad. i had to wing it because there is now way i was buying another skein of the yarn. especially since i decided i didn't love it. so the end is kinda wacky, but not horribly noticeable. i am trying not to dwell on it, but it really sucks. i just feel like my last major projects have gone amiss. argh.

i will post pictures of the clapotis soon. i also hope to get my alchemy yarn in the next few days. it is destined to be a more narrow and slightly longer version of clapotis. i can't wait to get started and actually feel successful (fingers crossed)!

Wednesday, March 9

dang.

i found it.

i ordered it.

alchemy•synchronocity•rain forest

Tuesday, March 8

spring!

we have been having great weather here in seattle! of course we will probably have an issue this summer due to the lack of rain and mountain snow. but for now i am enjoying the warmth. i am also wanting to knit some cheery spring projects. the clapotis is pretty cheery so farl! it is looking so nice. i have only dropped 4 rows so far. here is the lion and lamb before the stitches are dropped.



i also cast on for a simple project. i needed something i could knit without a pattern so i could take it with me when i am out and about.



this scarf is made with noro silk garden. it will be a skinny version of the multi-directional scarf.

i bought the noro yarn this weekend on a super-crafty saturday that i spent with my friend denise. it was crazy. we were coming up with new crafts left and right. i think we were inspired by a local craft shop (at least i think it is only local) called ben franklin. i bought myself this cute tote there



inside you can see sewing patterns. that's right, sewing patterns! last summer i made a handbag based on a pattern from amy butler who makes fabulous fabrics. she came out with a new bag pattern that will be a perfect knitting bag. i am still on the hunt for the right fabric (her fabric isn't super easy to find locally). looks like i will probably end up ordering online. i HATE to sew, but her stuff is so great i can't resist! i'll post more about it when i get closer to making it.

i also have to post this adorable cupcake ribbon i picked up at michael's this weekend.



tonight i will be attending a new knitting group very close to my home. i am excited to meet some new knitters. i will try and work on clapotis but if there is too much chatting i will work on the skinny scarf.

so did you see all the hype around the crocheted poncho martha wore? a local tv station reported that martha was receiving hundreds of emails about where she got it. apparently an inmate crocheted it for her while in jail. maybe martha has changed, i bet she wouldn't have been caught dead in a handmade by a jailbird poncho before. and man, even more so if it is cheap yarn!! :) but boy she looked really good even if i am over the whole poncho thing.

Thursday, March 3

at last

i have made it known on my blog that i am a HUGE martha stewart fan. although i don't know what happened that fateful december day, i do know that i think it is wrong that she was made an example of. it has been almost 10 years since i first discovered martha stewart. she is an inspiration in my life. i know that there are aspects of her and her company that go over the top, but overall that creative power is intoxicating. i subscribe to all her magazines and have most of her books. i shop at kmart to support her brand. i believe in what she is doing. and there aren't a lot of people out there i can say that about. my brother once suggested that by being such a martha fan i was anti-feminist. i actually think quite the opposite. it doesn't mean i think all women need to be housewifes. it means i think if a woman chooses to put her family, friends and home first then that is her right. it is not anti-feminist to enjoy domesticity. to be proud of a homemade meal or to relate it to this blog, knitting. feminism is about having the power as women to do what we choose. no matter what that choice is. when i was little i didn't think it was ok to want to be a homemaker. i thought i needed to be consumed with a career, proving i could do what any man could. martha was partly reponsible for showing me that wasn't the case. i could do one or the other, or for many, many women, both. i love to be with my family and friends. to entertain, to create memories. martha inspires me to do that. so for that i am ever so thankful that in a few hours martha will go free and will once again (and to the chagrin of many) be that source of inspiration. they couldn't bring you down martha. in her words, "it's a good thing"

Wednesday, March 2

much better

yesterday was turning out to be such a good day. i really was in a groove with my entrelac stole and then at around 4 p.m. i got sick. i could barely walk and was nauseated. i had no choice but to give up the knitting and go to bed. me thinks it is vertigo. i had it a few years ago and have noticed similar signs lately. it just doesn' t have the room spinning like it did before. to put how sick i was in knitting terms? i had a package of yarn waiting for me at the apartment office and i couldn't muster going to get it!

but today i felt better. and i did manage to make it to the office. and there indeed was the lovely vera.



yeah! i get to start on clapotis! finally! if i am 100% tomorrow then clapotis will commence!

the stole is now over 1/2 way complete. it is making an excellent lap blanket as i knit it.



for those of you who have noticed, my archives are currently not working. they are there, it is just blogger is not pointing to the right directory. it is weird. i have emailed them (my ftp path setting is correct). hopefully i can get it fixed back up soon. i also apologize to those of you who view my blog on a PC. i use a mac to blog, and it doesn' t show those terrible blue borders on my links that i just discovered on the PC side. i took care of that so now it looks a bit better. (sorry that is the designer in me who actually kinda freaked out when i realized my blog looked like that on a PC!)

also, a commenter on my blog today noticed that the ears on my bunnies didn't stand straight up like everybody else's. hmmm, i didn't alter the pattern. could it be the yarn i chose? i am not sure, maybe i didn't interpret the pattern correctly, although it isn't a difficult one. i'll have to knit a few more and see what happens i guess! :)

off to watch alias.