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Archive for November, 2006

Last Day of the Month Socks

Back in August, I joined Sock a Month 2. I had been knitting socks, and I didn’t think it would be a big deal to finish a pair a month. Well, last month and this month, I have been frantically finishing the socks at the last possible moment.

This month, my knitting has been sidetracked by a combination of baby (for friends) and christmas knitting. When Monday rolled around, I pulled the Yosemite socks out of hibernation to finish. You might remember that I started these socks back in July when Evan and I were celebrating our third anniversary in Yosemite.

The were knit using the twin rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks using Trekking 108. They are definitely fraternal socks, but they are for me and I love them. These were the first socks that I’ve knit on size 1 needles. I think that it why they took me so long. I’m a knitter that likes to see her progress.

yosemite socks

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Today I turn twenty-nine.  This time last year our super awesome friends were helping us load the moving truck to move here.  (Not a super fun way to spend your birthday.)  The past year has gone by amazingly fast, despite the fact that my first few months here (living alone, while Evan finished his degree in Oregon) were painfully long.  I sort of wish I could say that we have a new big gaggle of friends to come over and celebrate my birthday, but the Evan and I are slow warmers.  I’m spending the evening instead with my husband, who is currently serenading the dinner he’s cooking for me.  Certainly not a bad way to spend an evening.

P.S.  It did in fact snow while we were in Oregon.

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It’s off to Oregon we go

Around this time of year, Evan started obsessively checking the weather forecast for central Oregon. His extended family has gathered there for the last twenty-seven years. I have very much enjoyed joining his family tradition, cooking for the masses, drinking good wine and playing board games or cards, and sitting curled up with a book next to the roaring fire. (There is always a race amongst Evan and his brothers over who starts the first fire. Evan the pyro typically wins.) One of the things I enjoy most about this holiday weekend is getting to observe my mostly serious husband anxiously await any sign of snow. I grew up hating snow, but Evan’s love for it has rubbed off on me.

I want to wish all of my blog readers a happy, stress-free Thanksgiving. If any of you knitters out there have some free time over the long weekend, you might want to consider knitting for firefly’s gracious parcels project. I will be.

Oregon in the fall.

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Switzerland Top Five

5. Jet l’eau. This fountain is so simple and yet so fun. I think it is because it resembles a firehose pointed straight up in the air. Of course it would be the Swiss who would design such an efficient fountain.

4. The fog. The morning fog in the mountains surrounding Les Diablerets could rival that of the bay area.

3. Self-cleaning toilet seats. My fellow conference goers may have been disturbed by the fact that I was taking pictures in the bathroom, but I had never before seen a self-cleaning toilet seat so I had to document it for my blog readers. The cleaning mechanism was pressure sensitive, so after the toilet user got up, the entire seat would rotate through the cleaning box (which pops out of the toilet back) on the back. I think it also gave off a pleasant orange scent.

2. Goblins. I read a bit about Les Diablerets before I attended the conference. My guidebook described the town (up in the Swiss Alps) as full of devils, goblins and elves, various supernatural species thought to cause trouble for the town’s residents. Many of the town’s buildings were decorated with silhouettes of these Puck-like creatures. It was fun to be someplace that embraced its folklore. This is the only goblin that I saw in town (a resident of the Hotel Victoria, where I stayed). Now that I look at the tag, it appears that the goblin was an import from Norway. Oh well.

1. Cows. My number one favorite part of my visit was all of the cows. There was a town herd that grazed outside the hotel, so my days in Les Diablerets were filled with the cacophonous clanging of cow bells.  I can only imagine what it would be like to live my life with an enormous bell around my neck, chiming with my every movement.

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I recently joined the knit mitt kit swap, which involves make a homemade project bag for a mitten knitter, along with sending the supplies to make a pair of mittens. I’ve only made one pair of mittens, and they were a disaster, so I thought it would be fun to have an excuse to try again. Plus, the last swap like this (knit sock kit swap) inspired me to actually use my sewing machine.

Here’s my questionnaire for my pal to look at.

You allergic to any fibers?
Nope.

What are
your favorite colors?

I have been really drawn to contrasting color combinations lately, like turquoise with orange or lime green with pink. In contrast to this, I also like heathery grays, blues, reds, purples, or rich warm colors like rust, maize, olive, eggplant. Pretty much I like color.

Are you a new mitt knitter? How long have you been knitting mittens?

As I mentioned earlier, I knit one pair of mittens and they were a diaster. However, since then I’ve knit a ton of socks. They can’t be more complex than socks, right?

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?

Both.

What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn?

Something with nice stitch definition or something with a hazy of fuzz (not fun fur, more like angora or mohair).

Where do you usually knit mittens?

The one pair I knit was in front of the television. I also knit a bunch in the car, or on airplanes (when they don’t take away my needles.

How do you usually carry/store small projects?

My sock kit pal knit me an awesome little felted bag that I use. I also throw small projects in my purse or just carry them in my hands to the car.

What are your favorite mitten patterns?

The one pattern I’ve used is the smitten pattern from patternworks. I didn’t have the yarn the pattern called for, and used something really different so the gauge was horrible off, hence the weird mittens.

What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques?

????

What new techniques would you like to try?

I’ve been dying to try two color knitting, but having gotten the gumption to do so yet.  (edited to add:  I just signed up for a fair isle bag class that starts today!)

What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens?

Whatever the pattern calls for.  I either use addis or bamboo needles, depending on the project.   If the needles have a good point, so much the better.

What are some of your favorite yarns?

Yarn that is soft and color rich. I’ve been buying mostly sock yarn these days, and thus have been enjoying STR, mountain colors (their bearfoot yarn has the haze I mentioned), trekking. I just knit a baby hat out of some debbie bliss cashmaerino aran yarn and it was yummy.

What yarn do you totally covet?

See above. Also, I love alpaca yarn. LOVE it.

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?

After I finish my current WIP, m y next major project is to make a shawl. My awesome Sockret pal sent me the flowerbasket shawl pattern, so I am planning to knit that once I’ve found a good yarn to use.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?

See needles mentioned above.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?

Something squishy and nice.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?

Licorice, caramel, chocolate, probably not all together in one candy though.

What’s your favorite animal?

I say cats, but I also love fish and anything related to insects (bees, dragonflies, ladybugs, etc…).

Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts?

Living in SF, I probably don’t need super warm mittens, but feel free to send a pattern than inspires you.

If you were a color what color would you be?

Mauve.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?

The sight of those first spring bulbs popping out of the ground.

Do you have a wishlist?

Nope.

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?

Sorry for being so slow to post this.

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I promised more than a week ago to write more about Switzerland and the awesome scarf I received from my Funky Scarf Swap pal.  Unfortunately for my blog readers (but fortunately for me), I was pulled away by super cheap plane tickets for a long weekend in Eugene.  I got to spend superconcentrated friend time with a few folks, hear the news of more babies on the way (more knitting!), and watch a dear friend become a Ph.D.  So, sorry to neglect the blog, but it was a weekend well spent.

The scarf that I received from my funky scarf pal, Courtney, at yarntootin, is BEAUTIFUL, but oh so difficult to photograph (part of the reason this post is so delayed).  Evan took numerous picture of me wearing the scarf, but they all turned out blurry (this is the reason you never see pictures of my on this blog), so I took a shot of the scarf this morning with our pumpkins.  You can’t really see it in the photo, but it knit in a wave shape, that jogs back and forth.

Not only did she send me this scarf, knit from recycled sari silk, she sent me yarn to knit myself another scarf, candy, and a cool texas beer cozy.

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