Monday, April 30

3 is the magic number

well the duet socks are complete! and i love them. the army girl colorway is so great.

the fabric was dense as i knit them on size 1 needles. but i really like that. i think it will help them last longer. lately i have noticed some wearing on my socks and so i am actually going to go to size 0 needles for all my regular sock weight yarn (i have always knit on 1's).

well tomorrow is may day and if you have been reading this blog for awhile you know that may is my blogiversary month! i'll officially hit 3 years at the end of this month. it boggles my mind. as you know, i have done some give aways in celebration and this year will be no different. i haven't worked out prizes (but duh! you know stitch markers will be involved!) but i will say that i highly encourage you to leave comments in may. i will actually be keeping track of all the comments and my contest will somehow revolve around them. so if you are a lurker i suggest you de-lurk if you want the chance at some good stuff! more details to come.

Friday, April 27


i sent the flyer for the lys tour off to the printer last week (if you click on the map link you can see a bit of my handywork). i also completed some work on a family friend's wedding invitation so i no longer have any deadlines!

so this lack of deadlines was supposed to lead to some completed knitting. but it hasn't. i am in a tiny funk, just trying to complete a couple socks and find my latest inspiration.

and wouldn't you know it but i had to cast on for another chevron scarf (this is my 6th color combo attempt!). i was lucky enough to win some str (peaseblossom) from wanda. it is now paired up with watermelon tourmaline.

the colors are working really well together. it is still a bit too purple for me, but as soon as i got going i realized that this would be perfect for a friend of mine's birthday. she would love these colors. so on i go! i will however keep working on a combo for myself (currently i am in love with this combo by larissa over at stitch marker).

in other non-knitting randomness, i found an awning solution for my deck (i think). i discovered offset patio umbrellas this week and hope to get one ordered if i can't find them locally this weekend. i also managed to move my concrete hearth, which was not flush with my fireplace, but in doing so dropped it on a finger that is now very numb and very sore. 2 ginormous trees were taken down in my condo complex yesterday and the kit kats enjoyed watching the (loud) process. i am hoping this will allow a little more sun in the morning, but won't know until we actually get sun.

i also purchased a matching teapot and mugs for my existing french press from my lys which also happens to be a tea shop. my payment for the wedding invitation work was in the form of a gift certificate to the shop so it didn't cost me much. i just love the chartreuse color.

i also wanted to mention that canidae was the food of choice when it came to my kit kats. they are currently on the felidae dry and wet (although the wet is getting mixed reviews). their website states that all ingredients are US grown and these foods do not contain the bad ingredients involved in the recall. i can finally sleep at night people! thanks for the help in finding this company! currently they are snuggled up together but earlier cooper was doing his usual routine of carrying his yarn ball around the toilet numerous times getting it all tangled up. he just LOVES yarn. he will carry any ball, any size around if he can get to it. one day i'll catch him in the act and share with you.

ok, happy friday all. i am going to get back to sending out some spreadsheets for work. oh joy.

Monday, April 23

spring things

how excited was i to find boots products at target? especially the chocolate nail polish i have been searching for. i am a wee bit behind on the trend, but when i looked for it last fall none of the drugstore brands had it yet and the higher end brands were out. and see that glare? sunshine in seattle today folks, mid 60s we're being told. hallelujah! (of course the rain will be back tomorrow)

this weekend was spent searching for the right pots for my deck. now that the fireplace is done and the weather is warming up, i want to finish my outdoor space (what little of it i have!). the green pots in the corner are just right. my metal pots from last year will be moving to my front landing i think.

now i have to come up with a couple creative solutions, one - the kitties (that is lil's tush in the pic) need some sort of barricade, i panic when they get on the top railing. i am thinking tall trellis painted chocolate brown. we'll see. two - i need some sort of awning. i live amongst the trees and you wouldn't believe how much the trees drop onto my deck. i am currently investigating roller shades as a cheap substitute. that way i don't have to worry about leaving my carpet on the deck during the rain as well. lots to do.

here was my deck last summer. not too bad, but i hope to finish my intended projects for it this year so i can move onto my bedroom re-do. it never ends. :)

Friday, April 20

the fireplace reveal


getting a good shot of my new tile was hard. thankfully my errors don't show in the picture! the tile is even in most areas, but the area closest to the new glass doors (love them!) is really wonky. for something that is supposed to be contemporary, it should be really flat and even. it isn't. i am pretending it is. for sanity's sake.

the whole thing isn't quite complete. there will be a mantel in a dark brown that will go across the top. and i have to move the hearth (good luck to me) and give it a fresh coat of alabaster paint. the tiles came from oceanside glasstile. the tiles are all white or clear. some iridescent, some beach glass. very lovely!

here is the before shot if you were wondering what it used to be. very 70's. not horrible, but not liked.

the airbrushed faux concrete stones were too much for me. some probably prefer them to what i did, but that is ok. i love the new look.

as for knitting, ellen came over last night to watch grey's with me and remind me how to mattress stitch. i have had the pieces for this baby sweater completed nearly 3 weeks. it is time to wrap it up!

i saw this peaches and creme colorway over at continue in kind a short while ago. within 5 minutes of seeing it i had purchased a cone for myself on ebay (we don't have a lot of sources for peaches and creme on the west coast besides wal-mart). it knit up so fast and i still have a lot left.

ok back to seaming!

Thursday, April 19

pet food question

ok, totally random, but just curious if any of you have found brands that have no imported ingredients in them? cat food specifically. the recall seems to be following me, every brand i switch to is somehow involved in the recall (thankfully not the specific "flavor" of food i was feeding). the latest being natural balance. and then i found out that the wellness brand wet food i was buying - because it was so natural - is made by menu foods. i refuse to support them. so i bought wellness dry food (not made by menu foods) and some brand of wet food that actually owns there own cannery. of course that doesn't mean all the ingredients are from the states. i googled it but no luck. which worries me. if you were a pet food company who's ingredients were all from the US wouldn't you be marketing yourself big time right now??

duets sock 1

one sock down. this colorway is really hard to capture. i don't know why, but it looked different in every shot. which is too bad, because this color is now at the top of my list. i love this sock, the contrasting heel and toe make it even better. it is a dense fabric compared to what i normally knit (should have probably used size 2s instead of size 1). i have already cast on for the second which is a good sign.

and lucky me, i won part of wanda's blogiversary contest. a new skein of str! yeah for me! i have my fingers crossed that it will somehow turn into a chevron scarf. i already have plans to test it out with watermelon tourmaline.

today the glass doors for my fireplace will be installed. i hope it goes smoothly, they are custom fit so i have some concern, but if all goes well i will finally show a peek of the re-do. all that will be left is painting the hearth and a new mantel. the tiling didn't go quite as planned, and there is a visual snafu - but it isn't bad. i am trying very hard to live with it (as the person who did it my eyes go straight for it, but everyone else tells me it is fine).

oh and i ordered some of those moo cards. i went back through my pics and noticed that i have been knitting mostly socks for about a year. hmmm. i need to change it up a bit!

Monday, April 16

more sock.

i started working on the duets sock yarn from a swell yarn shop a few days back. i am actually past the heel on the first sock and really love this yarn. the colorway, army girl, is awesome!

so you see, i have been knitting. it is just really sporadic. i have a few other things going on so focusing has been really tough. i didn't want to cast on for more socks really (i don't enjoy knitting socks so much in the spring/summer). i have a baby sweater that needs to be sewn up (need to get help on this) and my table runner is in limbo because i can't decide if i want to continue.

i have some lady godiva yarn for a clapotis. i need to make the mini version though and the thought of having to figure that out keeps me from casting on. basically i want to use every last inch of the yarn but not run out. i found some blogs out there that have some great tips so i might get over it and cast on here shortly.

i took a freelance job for our local lys tour (laying out the guide) and it should be wrapping up here shortly which will free some time up as well. after talking about it, now i am itching to cast on for the clap.

Saturday, April 14

bread = sandwich = paris

the brioche turned out really good. as i mentioned before i used the recipe from ina'a "barefoot contessa paris" book. it wasn't difficult at all. didn't rise as perfect as hers, but my oven doesn't distribute heat well. that's ok by me, the finished product still tasted wonderful! my mom has been a fan of ina's since her very first cookbook. it took me awhile, but now i am completely sold. her recipes always turn out and are fairly simple. just good food.

i had two loaves and wasn't quite sure what i wanted to do with them. bread pudding? french toast? cheddar and chutney sandwiches? and then it hit me, just a few pages ahead of the brioche recipe was the recipe for croque monsieur.

remember jan?

our first night in paris last october was spent at this little cafe down the street from our apartment. my friend jan and i enjoyed a dinner much like this, croque monsieur with a green salad.

although brioche isn't the traditional base, it was delicious anyways and brought back lovely memories! if only i were there now!


Thursday, April 12

mitten books

recently i have taken a liking to fair isle/intarsia mittens. i am always inspired by what i see on blogs out there and the combination of colors seemed like a fun thing to attempt. so i checked out the mostly mittens book from my library for inspiration. it is a nice book and i like the patterns. although they weren't quite what i had in mind.

the very next day i am at my lys friday knit night and i came across the book selbuvotter by terri shea. mainly because she was standing right there in the middle of the shop with her self published book hot off the press. she is a regular knitter at the lys and i had not met her before. it was so great, she had a knitted sample of every glove or mitten pattern.

so after seeing the samples and being SO impressed that she had the drive and initiative to publish her own book, i bought a copy for myself. lovely, lovely patterns. the website has more information.

i also started some brioche bread this afternoon. recipe comes from the barefoot contessa paris book. i even whipped out my scraper from the famous e. dehillerin that i picked up last fall. the cookbook actually has pictures from the very shop. i'll see how it turns out tomorrow. yum, i love brioche!

Tuesday, April 10

my very own colorway come to life

finally! one sock complete using my lovely yarntini good to be girl colorway. i used the giotto pattern i purchased awhile back from my fashionable life. i only followed the instructions for the cuff portion and then completed the rest in stockinette. i thought it looked a little bit like a crown at the top, you know kind of princess like - they are "good to be girl" socks after all.

detail of the cuff.

must cast on sock 2 now!

Monday, April 9

oh stuff. nothing important really.

here is miss lily enjoying the tulips in my mom's easter basket. while she was swinging at them cooper was trying to pull them out. these two are still little trouble makers at 8 months. but oh so cute.

last friday we had an amazing weather day. it was in the 70's! i loved it. as i was looking out my bedroom window i noticed that the new spring growth is nearly identical to my wall color. of course i have been in great debate about painting over it because finding any sort of bedding to match is tough.

i also tiled most of my fireplace! ok, i sholdn't say i, my friend denise did a lot of the work, mainly because she actually knew what she was doing, where i, not so much. it is looking amazing. i can't wait to finish the tile work today and grout in a couple days. then i can show you the before and after. i have to get my dad working on the mantel here soon, and then i am also getting glass doors installed sometime in early may (custom order). and i was a bit relieved after putting the tile on, i didn't hate the hearth i have so much (just a stone slab with rough edge). which is a very good thing because the only one i found that i liked to replace would have cost me $1500 or better. seriously.

ok, off to face the gray work week now and maybe sneak a chocolate egg for breakfast ;) if i get some decent light today i'll also snap a pic of my completed (single) gtbg yarntini sock.

Sunday, April 8