Monday, February 26, 2007

Fair isle, Pinot, and the Oscars...Perfection

I worked at Mosaic this weekend and organized the Ella Rae amity. Looks good huh!

I stopped in on Sunday too. I got to see Purl and another pug stopped in! His name is Curbie (He's in the pic above). He was about twice as big as Purl with twice as much extra skin too. They chased each other around the shop. It was pretty cute.

I had the bug for a new project and I picked Red Light Special from Brooklyntweeds blog. Like Mimi, I too have been wanting to expand my knitting range. One of the things I have on my "skills I wish I had list" is fair isle. A fair isle hat seemed like a good starter project and it seems like a lot of people are making this hat, so I assumed it's a good project. It has a silk lining which will be excellent in cold weather. For the outside of the hat, I'm using Silky Tweed in navy, forest green, light blue, and chocolate. Here's a pic of what I've done so far...
It hasn't been very difficult. There are only two colors on every row, so it's pretty easy. Most of it I knit while I was watching the Oscars. That brings me to my best and worst dressed list. I thought the best dressed was Reese Witherspoon and Kate Blanchett. For the most part, I was unimpressed this year by the clothes. Reese was by far my favorite! The worst dressed were Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman (It's the Oscars, not Christmas she looked like a present I swear)and the absolute worst was Kirsten Dunst (there have only been a few acceptable dresses in fashion history with feathers; stay far, far away).

Not only did I knit while watching the Oscars, I also had a nice glass of Pinot Noir. Since everything I do must be knitting related, I had to find a wine that fit the bill. Thankly, I found Dyed-in-the-wool! It's a good wine too!

I took another picture of the ecowool sweater I just finished so you can get a better look.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Binding off!

I've finished a couple of projects in the last few days, so I'm feeling pretty darn good. I made a really cute sample for the store. It's a flower shaped wash cloth made with Araucania Nature Cotton. I just love it! It's the perfect little gift. I think you could get 3 out of 2 skeins. The pattern is in Weekend Knitting. The other washcloth there is a peaches and cream one that I made a while ago. The pattern is on the tag and in Mason Dixon Knitting. The ridges give it a great texture which lends to washing things.

I like it so much I decided to make a few more. I got a valentine's day card from one of my friends that used to go to tech, so I thought I would send her one out of Pehuen, another Araucania yarn. It's a very pretty teal and blue color. Here's a picture of a ball I hand wound with I cactus I've had since my freshman year. It was one of the few plants to survive the dorm hall.

I also finished my ecowool sweater! I initially thought it might be too big, but I wore it today and was extremely happy with it. First of all I love the neckline. The cardigan is asymmetrical with adds the quirkiness I love in a knitting pattern. The buttons are perfect too. They're hexagons and really play up the hexagon pattern in the stitch pattern. On top of all that, I was warm and cozy all day, I never felt hot. It's the quintessential wool sweater that everyone should have in their wardrobe.
As soon as I cast off on projects, my mind starts going crazy. I look through all of my books and start thinking of endless possibilities for new projects. I really want to make the urban aran cardigan. I started searching through Mosaic and my favorite was a blue color of Reynold's Lopi. Then I had a brainstorm! Sheep Shop! This is the color I'm thinking of...
I just love it!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Knitters Eat First!

While my mom was in town we had to go to the best breakfast place in the burg. Gillies! It's a vegetarian restaurant, but even if you're a meat eater Gillie's is a must. They have delicious homemade biscuits, fabulous seasoned potatoes, and mimosas!

We walked in and found ourselves a table. As soon as we sat down we realized that we were going to have to wait a while. The dining room was full and there were only two servers in site. That was fine by us, we're knitters after all. We got out our projects and started knitting and chatting. Shortly, after we sat down two women came in and sat at a table next to us. After about 5 minutes of sitting at the table without service they stormed up to the counter and complained, snatched menus angrily, and returned to their seats. Their waitress apologized and explained some people didn't show up for work. They ordered and a few minutes later my mom and I placed our order. We had our coffee and knitting projects and that's all we needed to make us happy.

Somewhere around 20 minutes later we received our meals. The rude, angry women did not. Right away we could hear them moaning and complaining. They stormed up to the waitress again and said they had been waiting 45 minutes and were trying to catch a movie. First of all, it was about 1/2 that time. Secondly, if you wanted to catch a movie eat McDonald's. Thirdly, if you weren't so damn rude you probably would be eating already.

They finally got their food. They started slamming their plates and making all kinds of noise. My mom and I couldn't contain ourselves and kept laughing hysterically. It was absurd. I then noticed that one of the woman had ordered grits. The my cousin vinny references couldn't be held back. Did you think you ordered magic grits? Why do expect water to soak into a grit at Gillie's faster than at any other restaurant? Did you think the laws of Physics don't apply at Gillie's?

After they finished, they threw some money on the table and stormed out. I'm assuming they rushed to their money. After the entire dramatic scene, one of the woman came back in and grabbed her purse that she had forgotten. So much for their grand exit. She then threw a sheepish smile in our direction and finally left.

If they had been knitters they could have avoided that whole mess. They probably could seriously lower their blood pressure too!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Funny Valentine

I woke up Valentine's day and went into the kitchen to make breakfast. Almost every morning, I have a green smoothie, which is green juice (has algae, spinach, barley, all that good stuff), frozen fruit, some ice, and usually a little mango juice. I looked at the fridge, contemplating if I wanted yogurt this morning. On the fridge are those word magnets, they're just plain white magnets with black words on them. My crazy mother, sent me a set that was knitting terms. Of course my roommate immediately tried to write dirty sentences with them. Anyway, what I noticed this morning in particular was that one word had fallen on the floor. Love. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad sign, but I figure it's either really good or really bad, what do ya think?

Here is a pic of my Valentine this year...

Ok, so he's a tad young and a little messy, but a single girl can't be picky on Valentine's day. His name is Hunter and I'm visiting him in North Carolina this weekend. I've known him for about 5 of his 6 years and I swear he's only grown a foot in that time which is probably due to the fact that his mom isn't even 5 feet tall. He runs around even faster than purl, I swear!

We all went to REI today in Greensboro. I bought 4 hiking shirts for about $50. If that's not a bargain I don't know what is. We visited a yarn shop too, called This and That. It's a nice shop. They had lots of buttons (hint, hint Gina ;P ). I was very tempted to buy some Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, but resisted the urge. I must say that I am one of those obsessive sock knitters now! I am so sad I missed out on the Socks that Rock Sock of the Month Club this year. They get sent colors that the rest of us not so lucky knitters won't get to see until 2008! I will definitely sign up next year.

By the way, I'm so close to finishing my ecowool sweater. I have to knit the collar and seam the sweater together. I'm so excited!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Snow's dangerous!

Funny story, well kinda... We had our first big snow here in the Burg during the week. I was so excited that I immediately went outside and made some snowcream. For those less fortunate that have never heard of snowcream, you mix together 1/2 c. milk, 1 tbs sugar, 1 tbs chocolate syrup (or other delicious flavor) and then add clean, white snow until desired consistency!

Later that evening, I couldn't sleep and crazy me decided it would be a great idea to go sledding. It was midnight by then, but that didn't stop me. I mean, come on, one of the best hills in B-burg is a 2 min walk from my apartment. I was sledding for about 45 min and really having fun. I hiked back up the hill and said those famous last words, "This will be my last one". I say that when eating brownies too and that never works out either! Anyway, I ran, jumped on the sled and off I went! When I was almost at the bottom, my foot caught on the ground, my sled turned, and I rolled off and on to the ground. I stood up and immediately could feel that I had sprained my stupid right ankle. I tried to walk up the hill, but instead I had to ask two strapping young gentleman if they could get me back to my apartment. (For other single ladies out there, I think faking the sprain and picking the cutest guy on the hill is an excellent strategy) One of them was bigger than me and I had complete confidence when he asked me to hop on his back. They then decided to switch and this little guy that I probably outweighed by 75 pounds told me to hop on his back. To which I said a resounding, "Hell no!". That evening had already been embarrassing enough, thank you! They carried me up the hill got my roommate and I was off to the ER.

They confirmed the sprain, gave me crutches, pain medicine, and sent me on my way. However, the trip wasn't a total wash. I meant the real life mc Dreamy. mmm, let me take a moment and stare at the picture......... ok back to blogging. That's right ladies head out to the ER in the Montgomery County Hospital and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse. Luckily, I had knitting with me... umm, of course, who do you take me for? As a woman was x-raying my ankle I unconsciously made my pitch for Mosaic. I bet I say it in my sleep too. She said I was a good salesperson! Woo hoo! And that she'd stop by Mosaic and sit and knit. She also admitted she had a weakness for good yarn, so I'm sure she'll love Mosaic!

I spent the rest of the week in my apartment, basically by myself. Thank goodness there is finally a couch in the living room, so I could spend all day watching my free Starz and HBO. All last semester my roommate kept saying next week the couch is coming, then a week would go by and no couch. At last, it's here! There's a love seat too!
I did, however, get gobs of knitting done. I finished a pair of jitterbug socks (to be mailed to a special someone), one lizard ridge square (though I'm not sure it's going to make it into the afghan, Do y'all like it?), a scarf out of Ozark (a thank you present), one chaco trekking sock, and I'm about 6 inches from finishing my ecowool sweater!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Vaseline + Knitting = ?

I've already graced you all with a few quirky stories about my family, but we are about to reach a whole new level.

I've turned my whole family into obsessive recyclers. Even my dad, the carnivore, is a zealous recycler. My mom has really gotten into recycling and has been working on one of those knit tote bags that is made out of recycled plastic bags cut into strips. She was having trouble though sliding the plastic on the needles so she switched from a bamboo needle to an aluminum needle. It still didn't work.

Now so far, I agree with her logic: recycler--> recycle plastic bags--> knit tote using plastic bags--> use aluminum needles..... The next step, or shall I say leap in logic, is perhaps what I love about my mom the most, she's crazy. She decided that she needed to reduce the friction between her needles and plastic, so she got out the vaseline and lathered the suckers up. I bet none of you new that handy little trick! It actually is working too.

Today, she was in Panera knitting on her tote. Alas, her needles didn't have any more vaseline on them, so my mom digs in her purse and finds some lotion. She did the only logical thing. She puts some lotion on her hands and starts putting, or shall I say, stroking her needles with the lotion. As she is admitting the lubricant, casually she looks up and sees a man staring. Yeah, I know you all get it, certainly Mimi does.

As a result, I have decided to spend the rest of the evening searching the internet for her premier (I hope) voyeuristic video. I'm sure someone captured the moment and put it on You Tube.

Friday, February 2, 2007

She's a brick...... hoooouse

My family's dog Annie has gained some weight recently. She tips the scales at about 135 pounds. She's not overweight though, just a very big dog. In an effort to shed those holiday pounds, my mom cut back her food some and when I was home I would take her on hikes to increase her exercise. She didn't really lose weight though and now we have the answer!

Today my mom was minding her business in the kitchen when Annie pranced in and looked at her bowl. She then looked at her food bin which is basically a trash can (never used for trash though) and she used her nose to press on the hinge and open it. She proceeded to have herself a little snack. Now, one might wonder how no one seemed to notice the dog opening her food bin, but here's the amazing part if you ask me. After she eats, she actually closes the bin. What can I say smart family, smart dog.

We had a dog before Annie, named Mandy (a doberman), who had a similar trick which my mom also witnessed. She took the top off of a glass candy dish, ate all of the candies, spit out the wrappers, and then placed the top back on the dish. Either my mom is delusional, or we have some amazing pets. She's probably just delusional, must be all that crack, right mom?

Back to what this blog is supposed to be about, I stumbled upon some amazing yarn today while surfing the net. Fleece artist has some of the most gorgeous colorways these eyes have seen. The website is I adore almost all of them except for a couple that are too pastelly for my taste. Check out handmaiden yarns too. It's a new line from fleece artist. They have some very interesting yarns including sea silk (a yarn with sea weed in it!), beautiful lace weight silk, a slubbed silk, fabulous plyed cashmere, and of course wool. I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! I haven't even felt this yarn yet, but I seriously need to find some!

On another note I think I may be going just a tad crazy. I got a shipment from REI the other day, it's a big hiking store for you knitting nonhikers. I got a REI quarterdome tent and I hadn't seen it in person, so I pitched it in my bedroom. And hey it was pitched, so I went ahead and slept in it last night. For a fleeting moment I thought of getting rid of my bed, painting my room black, putting glow in the dark stars on the ceiling, covering the floor in turf, and getting more plants. I decided against the idea, though clearly I did put some thought into it.