"I hate waiting."

As you might guess, I'm a bit impatient. I had hoped that picking up a pair of knitting needles would help me learn about the virtue of patience... but it seems I just want my projects to go along as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

SP 5 Q&A

For SP5

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

> I certainly appreciate some of the more expensive yarns, but I do use red heart and lion brand for some stuff (mostly baby blankets). I’ve just discovered Cotton-ease, phooey on them!

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

> No spinning. Very rarely do I crochet (again, only baby blankets for the most part). I did crochet up the Blizzard shawl from Scarfstyle.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

> No allergies known. A strong dislike for the smell of smoke though.

4. How long have you been knitting?

> I’ve been knitting just about a year now.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

> Yes, I do now!

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

> Lilac is my all time favorite scent. I also love vanilla, orange/citrus, - anything clean smelling (fresh linen or rain smells). No heavy musks (makes me gag a bit). Bread baking, and wood fires are some very good scents too.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

> Not too much. Of course, being a woman and all, I do need chocolate once a month.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

> I’m limiting myself to knitting and crocheting. I like to cook and bake too.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

> I love all music, except country country and gangsta rap. Anything from Snoop to Beethoven. Metallica to Sarah McLachlan. Techno (Plastikman) to Aerosmith. I have a mini IPOD and an mp3 playing computer. I don’t really do gospel or Christian music either...

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

> I don’t like pink. AT ALL. Any shade (including fuschia). I prefer greens, blues, browns, greys, blacks. I do like purple though. The color of a cloudless sky at twilight (that beautiful rich dark blue).

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

> I am a single woman, with two furbabies (cats).

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

> Life dreams for now: to successfully finish my education (finish my Master’s, move on to the PhD in the next couple years). Find a man I can love and live with (I’ve found both, but not in the same man). Be kind to others by trying to help as many people as I can, and to not have regrets when I get old.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

> Since I’m a newbie…this question is tough. I loved the bamboo yarn with which I made the clapotis. I have some tweeds I’m working with now, but I’m not loving how they tend to split. I’m avoiding 100% cottons b/c of the lack of ‘give.’ I have yet to try mohair but I love the soft silky feel.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

> Anything TOO frou frou-y or bulky. I’m large chested, so I don’t use anything that might make me look bulkier. NO fun fur for me.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

> RIGHT now, I’m obsessing over tank tops and socks.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

> I’m a bit limited in what I’ve made so far. Scarves, attempting a tank, I’ve finished one sock, and a couple shawl type things. No ponchos for me. I’d love to try a sweater soon (the project is in my stash). I love how quickly socks knit up.

17. What are you knitting right now?

> The Katia tank (still) and a pair of socks. Plus, all the UFO (mostly scarves that will wait til Fall)

18. What do you think about ponchos?

> No –a –a. That’s what I think. Not for me. Not for most.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

> Circulars.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

> I don’t think I’ve knit with plastics. I have a mix of both bamboo and metals- it depends on the yarn I’m using.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
> I’ve got one done (using interlacements toasty toes). I have some regia and sockotta sock yarn in the stash.

22. How did you learn to knit?

> My grandma when I was little. I relearned at a knit shop.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

> Oh boy (blush). About 6 months.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

> I love dogs, polar bears, bears, pandas, cats, dogs, bunnies, wolves, etc. Anything cute and cuddly. No bugs, spiders, lizards, fish (except for Nemo. Everyone loves Nemo).

25. What is your favorite holiday?

> Thanksgiving, hands down (for food content). Next up, 4th of July. Love the sparklies.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

> Books, yarn, friends, shoes, handbags, clothes…

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

> none. I’ve bought and liked a few issues of Vogue knitting and Interweave knits.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

> Too many to list. I can’t wait for the latest Stephanie Plum book by Janet Evanovich (the eleventh book in the series). Trying to get a copy of Stiff by Mary Roach. And….can anyone say HARRY POTTER? (but I have it on hold at the bookstore for 40%). Wrap Style, maybe. I’m hoping it’s not really PONCHO style.

What's that you say? A sock on my hock?

Sorry for the disjointed post early this morning (umm.. yesterday morning). My #2 Jerry Springer moment. I have a genuine JS moment...but I'll share that embarrassing story later (not).

Here's the finished sock. I've successfully cast on for the mate, with help from Wanda. She's got a trick to help join in the round which involves much trickery. Please ignore the ends that I have not weaved in quite yet.

I liked the colors better in the hank, even better in the ball, but I do like knitting with the Interlacements! Soft and forgiving.

At the birthday party, someone brought a puppy. See? I about bit my tongue off to keep myself from squeezing this puppy to death. Yes. Elmira, that's me. I'll love him and hug him and squeeze him and feed him and name him George.

sweetest thing

puppy porn

I suggested we raffle him off as a door prize to the party, but that wasn't received well at all.

I'm off to CA on Thurs morning. Wed will be spent doing laundry and cleaning, so shouldn't be anything exciting to report. I'll be back on Tues, the 31st, and hopefully will have some stash enhancement to flash.

PS. I love Six Feet Under. I'm on season 3, disc 4. WTF is wrong with Billy? And poor poor Claire. Let me be the mean bitch and say I'm glad Lisa is gone (sorta).

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Living la vida loca??

aka living on the edge of downtown. So interesting. So convenient. Most of the time. I've been here about 2 1/2 yrs now, and you'd think I'd get used to the city night noises.

For the purpose of today's story, it doesn't matter that I am a light sleeper. If the whole west side of my apt building wasn't woken at 430am by today? tonight's drama, then they sleep so deeply and heavily that it puts them in mortal danger.

I wish I had Crazy Aunt Purl's glib tongue to tell the tale.

It's been wicked hot here in D-town. So I sleep with the balcony door WIDE open. Balcony door is never locked anyway, b/c anyone who's dedicated enough to their burgulary skills to do a spiderman crawl up to my floor must need my shit more than I do. I fell asleep around 230am... a nice peacful slumber tonight. No sirens wailing from the fire station at Colfax and Speer (i'm at 13th and speer). No bar fights from across the street. No loud drunken arguments at the projects next door (these brawls are regulary scheduled for either Friday or Saturday nights).

I wake up to "Stick your hands up in the air" being shouted over a megaphone into my apartment. "Stick your hands up next to the window." The megaphone sounded like it was right next to my ear. The cats bounded off the bed, running for their lives b/c apparently mommy is some criminal. The other thought is that I've been tempting the fates far too long by saying that if anyone wanted my shit badly enough to do the Spidey to my floor, a locked balcony door wasn't gonna stop them...
I carefully peered out my bedroom window (as I raise my hands up in the air), and to my sort of relief, find 4 cop cars surrounding a huge Dodge double cab truck that is on the parking structure next door. Whew. It's not me they're after!

The next 30 minutes are spent watching a live episode of "bad boys bad boys...whatcha gonna do? whatcha gonna do when they come for you!" I watch the P-Os carefully extricate the two people out of the truck, have them lay spread eagle on the floor, and cuff them. Rifles are present. A thorough searching of the truck. (where's the canine cops? c'mon...liven up the show for me here!). The sad sad security guard pulls up in his little tonka toy SUV car, sidles over to the P-Os to say "what's up my brothas?" They barely acknowledge him (ooh, DISS!) and shoo him away. 15 minutes after that, they all file into their police cars, one PO driving the arrested suspect's beloved tricked out truck (with low riding wide wheels and all), off and away. Leaving me wide awake with questions.

Ahhh...the joys of living downtown.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Batteries not included...

Wow! Very flattering to see so many admirers of my baking abilities. I can't take credit for the recipe, just the hard work it took to make the sucker. A few people asked for the recipe, which I will post at the end, so as not to bore everyone else.

Thursday night was a blast, as expected. Stacey bought many goodies for us to snack on (gummy bears...here and there and everywhere!), cheesy sticks, brie and crackers, and assorted other candies. I took over left over cake and made some artichoke spinach dip to fulfill the vegetable portion of our meal. I availed myself of the ball winder and swift, spinning up my Interlacements Toasty Toes and 2 skeins of Manos. Wanda came over after she was done with work, and we hunkered down for some TV action and fiber craft. I worked a bit on the tank, then watched the ER with complete attention. Goodbye Carter. You will be missed.

Sock action: I don't know if I completely grasped the concept of how to arrange the stitches on my needles, but I'm trucking along on sock #1. I'm just about to the decreases by the toes. Wanda knit at lightening speed on her nursing shawl for her sister (and finished!), while Stacey worked on her clap. She's gotta be so close to finishing, since she's on the decreases. I wonder how long it'll take her to cast on for bambootis after she finishes her giant beast of a clap.

I took the sock along to the wedding yesterday. The wedding was at a beautiful bed and breakfast in PINE. I had plenty of knitting time in the car. I took along my clapotis for evening warmth and got MANY compliments. And statements of disbelief that a) I made it, and b) that it was made of bamboo.

Sorry about the lack of pics. Camera dead.

Recipe (with some side notes from me)
From here.

2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Make cake:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 F. Butter and flour two 10-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; line each with round of parchment paper or waxed paper. Combine first 5 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend well. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs and egg yolks in large bowl until very thick and heavy ribbon falls when beaters are lifted, about 6 minutes. Add oil, sour cream and vanilla, then dry ingredients all at once to egg mixture. Beat at low speed until just blended, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat at high speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips; divide batter between prepared pans (about 3 3/4 cups batter in each).

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pans on racks. Cover; let cakes stand at room temperature overnight.

notes: I bought one cake pan (the silicone floppy type) and used a springform pan that I already owned. They were slightly different sizes, but it worked out alright.

if you live at high altitude, i suggest finding out what the appropriate changes should be made. Otherwise, you'll end up with two 1 1/2" thick brownie type cakes. I cut off the uneven tops of both...ending with a 2 layer cake instead of 3 layers.

3 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 pounds bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Make ganache:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer ganache to glass bowl. Let stand until thick enough to spread, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

notes: nothing different here. i used all bittersweet.

4 1/3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Make mousse:
Using electric mixer, beat 3 1/3 cups cream in large bowl until peaks form; refrigerate. Combine remaining 1 cup cream and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan and bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted, smooth, and still warm to touch. Pour warm chocolate mixture directly onto whipped cream and fold in gently. Chill until mousse is set, at least 8 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

notes: the directions say to let the mousse set for 8 hours in the refrigerator. In hindsight, I wouldn't let it set so long. Maybe make the mousse 2 hours or so before assembly. Otherwise, it will need to sit on the counter to loosen up so it's spreadable. again, all bittersweet.

Assembly and serving
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

parchment or wax paper (for cake pans and two 4 1/2-inch-wide by 15 3/4-inch-long strips for chocolate decoration)

3/4 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

3 1/2-pint baskets raspberries
1/2 pound cherries
1 1-pint basket small strawberries
1 1/2-pint basket blueberries
1 1/2-pint basket blackberries

note: I used 1 quart of strawberries, 1 pint of blackberries, 1 pint of raspberries. Could've used more fruit.

Assemble and serve cake:
Cut around pan sides; turn out cakes. Peel off paper. Cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake layer, cut side up, on 9-inch cake board round. Place another layer, cut side up, on clean baking sheet. Spread each with 1/3 cup raspberry jam. Chill until jam sets, about 15 minutes

note: use a flat plate or cake platter if you have it. if you like, use more jam than called for...

If ganache is chilled, microwave on defrost setting in 15-second repetitions until just soft enough to spread, stirring occasionally. Drop 1 cup ganache by rounded teaspoonfuls over each jam layer. Using offset spatula (angled blade), gently spread ganache to cover jam. Drop 3 cups mousse by heaping spoonfuls onto each ganache layer; gently spread to cover. Refrigerate cake layers 30 minutes. Using large metal spatula, place cake layer from baking sheet, mousse side up, atop cake layer on cake board. Place third cake layer, cut side down, on cake (reserve remaining cake layer for another use). Spread 1 cup mousse over top of assembled cake. Using spatula, spread sides of assembled cake with enough ganache (about 1 1/2 cups) to fill gaps and make smooth surface. Transfer cake to platter.

Turn 1 large baking sheet upside down on work surface. Arrange two 20-inch-long pieces of foil on work surface. Cut two 4 1/2-inch-wide by 15 3/4-inch-long strips from parchment paper. Lay 1 parchment strip, onto each sheet of foil. Place chocolate in medium metal bowl; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Stir until chocolate is smooth and very warm to touch (about 115°F). Remove bowl from over water.

Pour thick ribbon of melted chocolate (about 2/3 cup) onto 1 parchment strip. Using long offset spatula (angled blade), spread chocolate evenly over parchment strip, covering completely (chocolate will run over sides of strip). Lift edge of chocolate-coated strip with tip of knife. Slide hands between parchment strip and foil, lift entire parchment strip and place it, chocolate side up, on inverted baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate on strip is set and loses gloss but is still flexible (do not let chocolate become too firm), about 1 1/2 minutes. Using fingertips, lift chocolate-coated strip and attach, chocolate side in, to side of cake. Press strip to seal chocolate to side of cake (strip will stand about 1 inch above top edge of cake).

note: i had to let the chocolate ribbons set for far longer (about 4 minutes) b/c i made them a TAD thicker. DO NOT overlap the parchment paper, b/c when the chocolate sets, you can't get the parchment off the inside layer of ribbon (duh!).

Coat remaining parchment strip with chocolate, transfer to inverted baking sheet; chill until set but still flexible. Arrange 1 end of second strip against (but not overlapping) 1 end of first strip. Press second strip to seal chocolate to side of cake (both strips will just encircle cake). Refrigerate cake until chocolate strips are firm, about 30 minutes.
Carefully peel parchment paper off chocolate strips. Chill cake at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
Mound fruit atop cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Cake can be assembled up to 8 hours ahead.)

note: let cake sit out about 20 minutes before serving. Use a large SHARP knife. Run hot water over the blade of the knife, then wipe dry to help the knife cut through the ribbon. Make slices as small as you can, b/c the cake is the richest, densest cake i've ever had. it serves TWENTY!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

In for a penny, in for a pound

Like I said before, my friend wanted a chocolate cake for her birthday, and she got it!

Now, if you're comparing my cake to the one from Pastrywhiz, you can stop reading my blog.

I made it from scratch. The cake part (more like a brownie), the ganache, the mousse, the chocolate ribbon surrounding the cake. The only part I did not make by scratch is the raspberry jam. And I did not grow the fruit myself. My arms are killing me. Needless (and needle less) to say, i did not knit last night. I was covered from fingertip to elbows in chocolate.

My friend thoroughly enjoyed the cake. As did I, so I get to keep my Righteous Woman's Union Card. The finished product was HEAVY. I would guess it weighed in at about 15 lbs. I used between 3-4 lbs of chocolate for this one! I brought home a bit of it to share with my knitting crew, so they can weigh in their opinions later. I'm thoroughly impressed with myself right now, as I didn't really think I would be able to pull this sucker off.

Go see how Cathi lovingly referred to her progeny. I'll trade her one of her BWB's for one of these...

a floor cleaning model! I suppose I can't trade away my friend's kid, huh?

While we're on the topic of trading... has anyone else seen this game? You can win stuff. Like Jimmy Choos. Nuff said.

I'm hoping to have some knitting progress to blog about soon. Going over to Stacey's tomorrow evening for a tutorial on sock knitting and to watch the ER. The weekend is busy, since I have a wedding, hot yoga, and a floor cleaning bitch's friend's kid's birthday celebration to attend. His mom gets cake, he gets duplos.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Weekend Update...

A picture is worth a 1000 words?

That's the finished (sort of) back of my tank. Yes. I suppose I could weave in the ends now. Yes indeed, I could.

The instructions are NOT clear for this pattern. The left and right sides are knit up separately, then joined just for the cable in the center.

See? The first time I tried joining them, it just didn't make any sense. I had put both sides (separately) on a circular needle. Um. NO. For my own future reference. Knit on separate needles, working from outside in. Plus, the pattern says the left side should be in front. You think I'm ripping it back so that I can have the LEFT in front? The answer is a resounding HELL NO.

Yes, that's a Barbie. Either Malibu or Latina Barbie, if I remember right. Is there something inherently wrong with me if I don't enjoy chocolate cake? They might revoke my women's union card should I admit that, but I don't enjoy it that much. Now, if I don't enjoy THIS cake on Wednesday, I'll relinquish my women's union card myself.

We're celebrating my dinner club friend's birthday early. I have many May birthdays, my best friend's kid, my dinner club friend (same day), and dinner club friend's kid (a week earlier than the previous two). We're ordering from Wild Ginger followed by the above cake.


I spent a good portion of the weekend knitting and reading. Cosmo didn't like that the attn wasn't focused on him. What am I supposed to do when he's being so darn cute? Obviously, the paw-thigh connection is preferable when I'm busy, but could my heart melt into a puddle any faster?

Friday, May 13, 2005

No flower power for showers

I had that burning 15% off email from Colorful Yarns, so of course I had to go back. Especially since Stacey went and bought so many of the neat vintage needles. I bought a few pair myself, but limited myself to needle sizes I didn't already have. Sometimes it's good to be a newbie knitter. Since only the YARN was 15% off, I had to search for something to buy!

Artful Yarns, Serenade. 70%pima cotton, 30%angora. 18sts on 7s. I bought enough for some tank or another.

I went over to a good friend's home for dinner. Her little girl is my buddy, and she's a little bit of a princess, as you can see. She was getting her nails done... I had to give her mom a hard time about my buddy's chipped toenails, since she makes us sign the Summer Sister Shoe Pledge every year. It was past my buddy's bed time, hence the blow dry action by her auntie and mommy.

We watched ER at her house tonight. I mistakenly thought it was the season finale, in which Carter makes his exit (sniff sniff). I'm obligated to bring dip every time I go over...my friend thinks there's a secret to the dip (nope, it's really as easy as I say...just follow the directions).

I laid out the clapotis this morning b/c D' asked me some questions about the clap made out of bamboo. I came back to this...

Really!?!?! Does that one thin layer of bamboo make the rug cushier?

Here's the part where I vent a bit re:LYS. There are enough LYS here in Metro Denver to make sure my pocket and bank account never suffer from overflowing. I mentioned earlier that Stacey took me to Showers of Flowers last weekend to show me the "largest yarn store" in the world. I don't care that it's so big, their customer service sucks. I was excited to start knitting some socks, under the expert tutelage of Ms. Sheep in the City herself. I bought some DPNs at said store... when I got home, I noticed there were only 4 needles in the set of Clover Takumi needles. Hmm... that seems strange, so I google Clover DPNs and see that yes indeed, their DPNs are sold in sets of 5. I hiked my butt back to SoF yesterday. Do you think they gave me the cash back? (they didn't have another set of clovers, i guess). Nope. Some lady told me that's how the clovers come. Hmmm. Offered me some alternatives (brittany's, lantern moons) for which I could pay the difference. Seeing as I paid $6.50 for the clovers, and Lantern Moons cost half an arm, NO THANKS. I took the store credit. As I put my receipt away, I saw...

PROOF that clover takumi DPNs are in sets of 5. Do you think I'm being picky/bitchy about this? I kind of expected my cash back, an apology, SOMETHING. No soup for YOU, SoF!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

how often is too often?

We had the littleton meetup last night, and it was SO much fun. We met at the B&N, then a big bunch of us (9, to be exact) headed off to the Hacienda for some margs and food. Stacey, her mom, Cathi, Tam, Ellie, Libby, Anne, and a few others all enjoyed some really tasty margs and food.

Marg anyone?

The aftermath

Holey kreikey, Batman! Almost lost the post while I played around with the pics.

Anyhoo, after stuffing ourselves to the gills, we shuffled back to B&N for some knitting. It was pretty late (almost 10pm) so not too much knitting was done. Cathi worked on her "just beachey", Libby worked on a very cute ballet styled wrap sweater, Stacey and her mom worked on their claps... I had plans to get the front of my tank going, but seeing as I left the pattern at home, I was forced to work on Tempting... which isn't all that tempting to work on. A girl can only take so much k2p2 before she signs up for the looney bin. Or commits a felony so she can work with Interlacements in prison instead. I wish I had some pics of all these WIPs, but the carb coma had fully set in.

Oh! Prior to setting off to the meetup, I decided I needed some sort of yarn justice for the almost failed yarn crawl from Saturday. I headed over to Colorful Yarns, on University & Arapahoe Rd (in the same plaza as Southglenn Mall). They had lamb's pride seconds, which I snatched up for some future felting projects. Another bonus is that it's open on Saturdays from 10-6pm! If you're gonna go, look for the brown office building on the SE corner of the plaza (nearest to Sears). It's on the bottom floor of that building.

The thought of the week... I know I promised to post more often now that I'm on summer break, but really, how often is too often? If I was a more productive (aka faster) knitter, or had a more interesting life, then I would blog more... but I just don't think anyone wants to hear about all the journal articles I'm reading about competency in multicultural counseling. Or all my drunk friends. Stacey turned me onto Laurie's blog, who can make the most mundane events in her life into the snort coffee/soda out of your nose funny.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Weekend bliss

Ahhh... I guess weekends are supposed to feel like this, but it sure feels self indulgent. Friday, I had a spa pedicure, then headed over to the dept. chair's home for an end of the semester party. She had a pretty good spread, with cocktail shrimp, smoked salmon, cheese/crackers, guac and chips, wine and beer. I made the required chit chat (I really do like most of the people in my program, despite all the bitching and moaning I do here on the blog), and escaped around 730pm to head over to Stella's to meet up with Cathi, Stacey, Lacey, and Katie (both of whom I met that night). The venue was great for a knitting meetup, since they conveniently have these comfy sofas and chairs for lounging. The only possible negative of this coffee house is the location. Sushi Den is across the street, which makes parking HELLISH in this area. I say possible negative, b/c you never know if you might get the urge for some really yummy sushi while you're knitting. I do love that area of town, and Stacey pointed out a few cute stores selling various chotchkis that I will be checking out soon. Not to mention that LaTiDa is right down the street. After a good bit o knitting, hunger pains set in, so Stacey, Cathi, and I headed to Jerusalem's for some num nums.

Saturday, I attempted to spend mucho money on yarn. Stacey was shocked!, shocked! I say, that I had yet to go to Showers of Flowers, so we planned a small yarn crawl. The store is really just overwhelming, and I was lucky enough to go back into the storage area (where I almost hyperventilated) to search for some size 3 dpns. Then, we attempted to give some money to Strawberry Tree and Aurora Yarn Supply. Both of these stores close at 4pm on Saturdays, DAMMIT. We hauled our now desparate to buy some yarn butts off to Knitty Cat. I wanted to buy some Berrocco Glace for a tank, but couldn't make myself spend $100 on a TANK TOP. Instead, I bought some Manos and Cherry Tree Hill.

The Manos will become a scarf for me (My So Called Scarf), which I wanted to start immediately. Good thing I don't have a ball winder. Instead, I restarted my Tempting. The last attempt ended in disgust b/c I twisted my stitches.

Now for a gratuitous pic of the furbabies.

That's what I woke up to this morning...a good start to my Sunday. Happy Mother's day!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The load has been lifted...

off my shoulders. I had my last final for the semester tonight, and it was fairly easy. It's just nice to be finished... and if I wasn't such a geek, I could be done with my coursework. BUT, I want to take two more classes (optional). The class in the fall that I'm signed up for focuses on issues of Gender and Sexual Orientation. The class for Spring 2006 focuses on Spirituality in Counseling, a class I badly need, since I'm a heathen and all.

Yesterday was my dinner club night. Click here for the recipes we used. We roasted cornish game hens, and had a super yummy salad.

As for knitting news, I've restarted the tank (try try again, right?) and have about 8 inches of the back finished. Some of us are meeting up at Stella's around 7pm tomorrow for some knitting action. The most exciting things I'll have to show off will be my toes, b/c I booked myself a pedicure as a treat for finishing the semester w/o taking a dive off my balcony.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Dum dum dumb!

Title is to be said in the style of badly made movies when horrible
things have just happened. We'll start with cheery news first. I have 2 days left in the semester. I had a final exam tonight, which kicked my ass, but it's over, right? I can't really torture myself anymore about it. The other final exam (on Thurs) is a joke. It's an open book, open note, GROUP final (didn't I bitch about this already?) So, I kind of consider myself finished with the semester.

Knitting news: Here are promised pics. I'm trying to avoid the feast/famine thing I have going on with posting pics on my blog. Aren't these the CUTEST stitch markers? Michelle gifted us with markers on Friday. I want to make another clapotis just so I can use them!


Here's the shipment of yarn from Webs. The skeins on the right hand side are Cascade 220. The green/blue is for a friend's clogs. The secondary color wasn't shipped to me. The other cascade 220 was supposed to be for MY secondary pair of clogs (which would reside with ME), but didn't match. The lighter purple on the left is the heliotrope CE provence. Umm...it's a bit brighter in tone than I thought...


Ok. The bad news. See how big the back is? width wise? and I'm not completely done, so I think it'll be too long as well. So, farewell, second attempt at a tank top. I consider this a lesson well learned in the importance of swatching and getting gauge. I'm starting you over again tonight, AFTER I do the freaking math. Doh!

What the hell am I talking about? I'm going to bed right now. I went to bed after 3am, got up around 8am, and am now quite tired. A friend and I went downtown for dinner and drinks after class (we wanted to go to Rioja, but couldn't wait). I've got some time tomorrow to knit, as well as on Friday... would it be ambitious to try to finish the back by Sunday night?

Summer plans are falling into place. The class I was going to assist teaching was cancelled due to low enrollment, which frees up three weekends. I'll be spending a week in Telluride with my best friend and her kid (of the felted clogs fame), and I'm going out to the east coast (NYC, Philly, and Wash DC) for a wedding and spending some time with friends. The last time I was in DC was in 8th grade, so I hope some time and maturity will help me appreciate our nation's monuments more.

Monday, May 02, 2005

wherever you go, there you are...

I don't remember who said that, but it's so true. You can try to ignore something, try all sorts of things to distract yourself, but, at some point, WHACK! there's that freaking problem in your face.

I'm realizing I must rip out the tank top, ALL THE WAY to the bottom. Unless someone chimes in and tells me that you use TWO inches for seaming the pieces together. I've got about 2.5-3 inches extra width(compared to my black tank), it's too long, and lots of other things I'd change for the tank. (skip this part, these are notes to self re: pattern using this weight yarn) instead of decrease every 10 rows on each side, decrease every 8, do a few regular rows (until measures 8 in), then increase every 8 rows. for the armhole shaping: bind off 3 stitches for both sides, (over 4 rows), then bind off 2 stitches per side 2x (over 4 rows). Arm strips: cast on 7 instead of 9 and compare length to armhole. it's NOT the shoulder straps like you thought, you idiot.

I know I promised pics. and I should post some so I can remember why it's so important to do the whole GAUGE and MATH thing later on. This post is an official note to myself "stop being lazy, do the fucking math"

Oh well. I needed to study for finals anyway.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Please ignore the previous post.

Not all of it. Just the part I said that I would be finishing the back
of the tank this weekend. Maybe MAYBE by the end of tonight. I'm pretty
close... and will update with a pic very late tonight.

I had a great time on Friday at Wanda's place on Fri night, with Cathi, Jenifer, and Michelle. We fondled her entire stash, and tried to plot how to steal some of it (see Cathi's post). Wanda made us some very tasty drinky drinks (Cape Cods), provided mucho food, and Cathi even brought a cake! Then we knit and knit and knit. Most of them had to help me with my armhole shaping, since the tank is my first garment, and the directions from Katia leave a little bit something to be desired for a newbie knitter. Michelle gifted all of us with the CUTEST stitch markers! I get the sense she's a little bit of an instigator (one of those quiet types that you never suspect) b/c she purposefully gave me markers that weren't a set, and gave Wanda a matching set. Hmmm... Pics of these markers later tonight.

Can you believe that NONE of us managed to bring a camera? Jenifer worked on a lacy super light weight scarf for her MIL, Wanda worked on her Donna, Cathi worked on her paid knitting (which looks like a hat for Andre the giant, but that's what the pattern says it wants), and Michelle worked on her tank from Interweave? (with the Sonata yarn).

Saturday, I was a useless human being. I went to my regularly scheduled pilates class, in which the teacher made sure our asses burned like the devil. Then, I had the great idea (since I was already so stretched out from pilates class) to go try hot yoga. I think I've stated somewhere on this blog that the idea of hot yoga seems to combine a few things I detest. A hot, humid steamy room (gasp, gasp! get me some air!), and yoga. I don't like it when the teachers say "lightly push the heel of your foot into your hip... this pressure helps stimulate your bowel..." or somesuch like that. C'mon. Even if it's true, WHY would you be trying to stimulate my bowel during a yoga class? But, I digress. Hot Yoga was actually kind of fun! I did fairly well, and didn't pass out like I envisioned. But boy o boy do you need towels. You don't have to move in order to build up a sweat in there. I'm not talking ladylike perspiration, I'm talking full on dripping down your nose, running rivers down your arms and legs SWEAT. I had concerns about the horrid B.O. in the room (it's co-ed), but it really wasn't bad at ALL. After this hot yoga class, i was like a wet, limp noodle. It felt draining to just sit up straight. The side effects of the hot yoga were pretty good too! It's great if you need exfoliation anywhere, and the skin on my face feels very hydrated.

As you can read, I've not devoted any time to preparing for my final exams. Ahem. I'll start that when I finish the back of this gosh darned tank top. Maybe.