Archive for March, 2007
Posted by: Tamara in knitting
New project in progress!
Pattern: Tomato by Wendy Bernard, published in No Sheep for You by Amy Singer
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton in colors 614 and 618
Size: I’m combining elements of the first 2 sizes so we will see how that goes…
Thoughts: So far so good! I need to put the stitches on waste yarn and try it on but that just takes so long! I know a stitch in time saves nine, so I just have to suck it up and do it. I also wish the snow in my front yard would melt!
Do you like my artsy photo? I’ve been inspired by Sarah to try to a more creative approach to my knits-in-progress photography. Don’t you just love her ocean of a blanket?
Here is the front of Tomato:
The neckline looks a little looosy-goosey but that will get better when I pick up stitches to do the neckline.
I’m also still working on my entrelac socks. I submitted a class proposal to teach them at my LYS and I think I’m going to be able to. I’m really going to have to practice that Middle East CO! Anyone want to volunteer to be a student guinea pig so I know how much class time it will take????
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I am terribly sensitive to vast quantities of flip flops.
Yes, it is true, last month when we were shopping for vacation, the outgassing of flip flops in Old Navy caused me to have an outbreak of allergic conjunctivitis. Which is unfortunate, but I’m sure many people live happy and productive lives without setting foot into Old Navy and I’m sure I can too.
What is truly sad is that many other things cause me to have the same reaction, and I have to use eye drops everyday to avoid looking like a zombie. Many of these things are commonly found in the knitting world. My biggest culprit is moth balls. Even second hand moth ball odor can make my eyes burn. Once IHA came home from a fiber fest (yes, he goes to fiber fests without me!) and I said, have you been near moth balls? All he did was walk by a booth several hours previously that had some moth ball issues. I can not knit with Noro. I don’t know what they use to preserve their yarn, but it is not a pretty picture when I knit with Noro. I also seem to have issues with Cascade 220 and a couple of other yarns. I can’t predict ahead of time which yarns will bug me, it is all trial and error. (One of the worst situations was when I tried to knit with that yarn make out of recycyled silk fabrics!) I’ve even tried writing to some of the yarn companies to ask what they use for preservatives in their yarns but, alas, I have not ever received a reply.
Sometimes it is rather difficult to avoid mothballs and other preservatives. It is quite common for customers to come into the yarn store with yarn that has been stored in mothballs for years for help finally finishing that sweater they started for their first husband. If you attend a fiber festival or workshop, there is bound to be a fellow student or two dosed in ode d’moth ball. Sometimes I just can’t stay and have to leave for fresher air.
So, now as the author of a knitting blog and I can put this out to the world, I’m curious to see if this happens to other people? Please leave me a comment and let me know if you have ever encountered this or have any thoughts on the subject, I would greatly appreciate it!
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Posted by: Tamara in blogging
I don’t know if you are really going to notice or not, but I’ve done a little redecorating around here. I think it is a Cool Change, just what I need while I wait for the snow to melt. If you can believe this, it has only taken just over 4 hours to go from my old theme to my new theme. Changing is easy, customizing takes time.
Are you ready for the really coolest change of them all??? This new theme, Pomodoro, is Widget Ready!!! Whoo hoo!! That means no more FUBAR sidebars! (OK, that is an admission that I really needed to change themes because my old sidebar was just beyond repair. I tore that baby apart beyond all recognition. It appeared to be ok, but appearances can be deceiving.)
Another cool change is that I can change the photo in my header in like 4.5 seconds flat! Just find a photo, resize it, rename it, ftp it, refresh and all new! So now I have a much more appropriate header of my own handspun yarn to head my spinning/knitting themed blog! (The original photo with this theme is of tomatoes which I also love, but doesn’t really make a lot of sense here.)
I think there is still some tweaking that I need to figure out. I think the sidebars are too close to the post text and it is looking a bit busy, but really, it has only been 4 hours. Did I tell you yet what being Widget Ready really means? It means that my sidebars are drop and drag-able. For example, if I want to move AvaSpinny to be on the bottom left instead of the top right all I have to do is go into my Sidebar Widget menu and drop and drag her from one place to another, save my changes and she is there. I do not need to go into my sidebar code and risk deleting half of it with one wrong click! Whoo hoo!
Well, it is well after midnight and I think I’m already setting myself up for a rough morning tomorrow, I hope the girls get enough sleep tonight. At least the weather is supposed to be better. I shoveled all the snow off the deck yesterday to get ready just in case it may possibly be warm enough to spin out there soon. I’m crossing my fingers for tomorrow… See you then!
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March has not been a banner blogging month for me. I don’t know what is going on. Actually, it is more likely a lack of things going on (to use my new vocab word, I’ve been rather troglodytic lately) which makes this only my sixth post for the month. (Just for the record though, there are a number of you out there in the cave with me and not really posting this month and you know who you are, right? *hint, hint* to: Knitty, Stitchy, and Croppy…)
Anyway, I must stop scolding my fellow bloggers and get on to the fiber part of this post. One of my top-hit-generating posts of all time is this one on Recommended Daily Fiber Intake. I can tell that there must be bajillions of people out there searching for info on fiber as I’m sure it is only small percent of those who click on my blog. At least I link to a real dietary fiber web page so I don’t feel too guilty. It was just in my early blogging days so I must have had some kind of subliminal blogging foresight to know that so many people want to read about dietary fiber! (Which, by the way, is very good for you.)
This weekend we processed fiber in an entirely different way. We didn’t eat it. We didn’t spin it. We didn’t knit or crochet or felt it. We blended it, strained it, pressed it, and dried it. At the Girl Scout Scrapbooking event this weekend, we had a new volunteer (and a new friend for me!) to teach a paper making class. Linda is a graphic designer by profession, but she loves to partake in all kinds of crafts. This activity was much more of a process than product craft and through her excitement for learning and experimenting we had a chance to be creative and get a little messy too!
Here is Linda and Agent B processing the paper pulp in the blender. Linda brought a base mixture which contained some plain paper pulp, egg cartons and other fibery goodies. Brenna chose some different colored paper scraps to add her own personal touch. Linda had a vast array of materials that we could add to our paper like glitter, flower petals, sequins, and even scented oils like lavender and wintergreen.
This photo shows Linda and B straining the pulp through a screen. The screen has an edge around it called a deckle that helps to define the edge of the paper once it is removed. To remove more of the water, Linda taught us to place a piece of felt over the pulp and to use a roller to squeeze out as much excess water as possible.
This photos shows Agent K checking to see if our sheets of handmade paper are drying. You can see a sheet that K made at the bottom of the photo where she included all kinds of sparkly things plus feathers, yarn fibers, and the whole kitchen sink.
Here are our finished papers after drying. You can see that K, B, and I are all rather fond of purple:) I stuck some of my recycled denim fibers into my sheet and you can kind of see that K’s piece located at about 1 o’clock has the imprint of a hemlock branch in it.
What will we do with these? I think I’m going to use mine to make some Happy Spring cards, maybe with a little distress ink and some stamping? I don’t know what the girls will do yet…probably depends on how messy I want to get. I hope a little of Linda’s sense of craft adventure and the willingness to get really involved in something regardless of the mess rubs off on me!
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Posted by: Tamara in reading
I don’t really have time to do this right now, but I just can’t resist a book meme. I ran across this when I was reading Sara’s blog while watching for the bus to go down the road this morning. Hope you enjoy. Please feel free to share back! Oh, and thank you to everyone for your awesome comments on my entrelac socks! It was so great to get all that positive feedback!
So here’s the meme:
In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. +Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. +Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. *A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. +Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. +Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. +The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. +The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)(never quite made it to the end though…)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella) (sometimes you just need some light reading, ‘k?)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) (also never quite made it to the end…)
47. +The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. +Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. +The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. +Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. +Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. +The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. *One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. *Shogun (James Clavell)
The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. +Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On the Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. *Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
+ The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98.* A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
5 Comments »
Posted by: Tamara in Uncategorized, tags: socks
Sorry, I’ve been away. I’ve been very busy entrelac-ing…
I finished the first Entrelac Sock by Eunny Jang. I also joined the Entrelac Socks Knit A Long. I hope that will encourage me to keep up this pace through the second sock! Also, in order to do my best to avoid second sock syndrome, I immediately cast on for sock two:
Doesn’t it start off so cute! A baby toe!
Anyway, when I showed Agent K the inside of my sock, she was so surprised at how it looks — not woven as you would think:
Entrelac is a very odd creature!
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We must all beware for the Ides of March are coming. As we all know, with the Ides of March come Girl Scout cookies. Yesterday, for example, I was hijacked by an entire box of Samoas; 12 cookies, 900 calories, no trans fats. Caramel and coconut and chocolate all put together in heavenly goodness…. Is it possible to resist?
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Posted by: Tamara in knitting, tags: socks
Prior to leaving for California, I took a little time to look up some yarn stores in Los Angeles. I looked on some blogs, got a couple of recommendations, looked up their hours, and plotted them on my map. After all that the store that I was able to visit (to spend my birthday money from my mom) was A Mano Yarn Center. We were able to find some time on Friday after spending the day at Santa Monica Pier to find out way over to the Mar Vista section where the store is located. As we were driving down the street, IHA said, “this doesn’t really look like an area for a yarn shop” and then I spotted it: “There it is!!!!” He pulled over on a side street and Agent K and I went in. Agent K was drawn to the knitted dolls in the front window and I asked if I could take her photo to which the owners graciously agreed. I think there are 2 or 3 owners and they were all busy getting ready for a sale on Tuesday. What luck for me and the other customers that day as they were have a pre- sale!
There were so many yarns that I’ve read about but never seen in person it was hard to decide what to get. I had intended to pick up some Malabrigo, but the spring yarns were calling! There were a couple of things like Rowan Summer Tweed that I wish I had just picked up a ball or two to swatch. I’m kicking myself now for not doing that!
So, what did I get, you wonder… First I bought the book No Sheep for You by Amy Singer. I really liked some of the patterns, but it is also full of information on non-wool fibers and how to choose them and knit with the appropriately. The two patterns that caught my attention are Tomato by Wendy Bernard and Peerie Fleur by Zoe Valette. I really wanted to get the yarn for Peerie Fleur but that was way over my birthday money budget so I bought the Blue Sky Alpaca for Tomato. I think mine might turn out to be more on an Eggplant:
A Mano Yarn Center also had Koigu! So I bought some for Eunny Jang’s Entrelac Socks from the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits. I started these yesterday and they are very addictive!
This is my very first entrelac project. I did the little sampler that starts on page 22 of that issue and then yesterday I just could not wait a second longer to knit with my new Koigu. I only bought 2 skeins of each color as I’m not intending on making mine into knee-highs with tassels. I was a little confused when it was time to join the contrasting color. I forgot that when I read about knitting entrelac in the round you actually still knit back and forth so that when you start that round you actually knit back the way you came from. I also discovered that the selvage edge where you carry up your yarn is the one where you pick up stitches, not the decrease edge. My one remaining problem is that in the ssk and p2tog sections, I have a bit of the other color peeking though and it is not looking as neat as I would like. I’m not sure if experience will help with that or if I’m just doing something wrong.
It is starting to warm up a tiny bit here. Not really warm by any means, but the sun is out and the winds have died down. Tomorrow I am going scrapbooking with Crops-a-lot and her SIL. I can’t wait as they are so much fun! I better start packing up my stuff! Have a great day!
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Posted by: Tamara in life
Wow, we are back, ready to start a new chapter to our lives. I really have so much to say; it is all clumping together in a bottleneck in my brain and can’t pour out my fingers. I spent the morning learning how to upload photos to Flicker so I can provide you with a photo tour of our trip. I think if you click on the above mosaic it should take you to my flicker photostream (or you can just click here). I hope you have a chance to go visit it and that you have a good time (at my photostream, that is). If you live in a cold weather place you will have to close your eyes and imagine warm breezes with the occasional scent of flowers in the air. If you happen to live in California or another warm place, you will have to imagine yourself bundled up with cold toes, drinking hot tea, and imagining what it would be like to be somewhere with warm breezes.
I will try to get back to my normal haphazard posting routine soon!
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