Waffle heaven.

July 30, 2005

A saturday morning tradition gets even better with the addition of fresh nectarines and blueberries instead of the typical frozen raspberries!

I love summer fruit season.

Stitch n Pitch

July 29, 2005

Last night was Stitch n Pitch, aka knitting at the Mariners Game. The way the story goes, there are some unflappable female knitters who work at the Mariners Headquarters. They'd spend their lunchhours knitting and ignoring the teasing. Then, someone watching them had the idea of selling tickets to knitters as a theme night (the mariners are neither leading their league nor selling out the park), expecting a crew of maybe 40. Instead, they had between 1200 and 1600 people show up (depending which paper you read). Knitters rock.

It seems that as the ticket count continued to mount, the organizers got more and more psyched. They draped the Mariners Moose (does he have a name? not sure?) in yarn, gave him huge needles, and had him throw a basket's worth of yarn out (instead of the usual t-shirts or towels) to an adoring crowd of knitters. They displayed each of the Mariner's names in cross-stitch on the jumbotron when it was their turn to bat. They changed all of the crowd-rousing slogans to things like "You hit the STITCHES off that one!" Very cheesy, and very fun, though with $10 tickets the food prices felt particularly ridiculous, and so also very hungry. I ended up in the middle of a slew of eastside knitters and bloggers, including Laura and her husband, Diana and her boyfriend, Rebecca, and Janell and her husband. (You'll note that the pictures are all of the moose -- we were all way up high at the tippy top of the stadium, so attempting to take pictures of the game would have been optimistic. :-))


July 24, 2005

I found these buttons at Fred Meyer for $2 a package:

A little bit of fishing line later, I now have:

The first quintet

July 22, 2005

I finally got all of the fabric ironed and cut into strips a few nights ago. All of that color sitting just inside the door to the bedroom makes me happy.

Then I got on a square making kick last night, and so here's the progress:

Aren't they pretty? I still have yet to make a perfect 5" square, but someday it will happen. I also noticed that sometimes I log-cabin around clockwise and sometimes it's counter-clockwise. However, since the point of the squares is to blend the colors, not to create a pattern, I don't think it matters so much, and I can keep quilting as the spirit moves me.


This is not a geranium

July 21, 2005

In a slightly misguided moment at knitting on Wednesday, the conversation devolved into a game of "guess that houseplant." I have a plant that I got at the grocery store with pink flowers on long stalks. I keep forgetting to water it, and on the next sunny day it wilts and looks dead, and then I water it in a fit of obtuseness and the thing spits out new leaves and flowers -- I love it. We've been doing this for nearly a year now. The group decided by consensus that it was a geranium. I'm confident it's not.

Here it is... You can see that it 's been through a drought and lost most of its leaves, but there are two more buds in the back so not too much harm done.

So, all-wise knitters... now that you have a visual, what kind of flower is this? :-)

And yet another

July 19, 2005

My sewing machine is contagious. Or maybe I'm just particularly susceptible to the siren song of fabric stores, but I have more sewing projects. Specifically, shirts for work.

In true dive-in spirit, I found fabric for versions B and D, buttons, thread, and fusible interfacing (that I haven't figured out yet). My only tailoring experience was in fourth grade (third grade?) when I "helped" my mom make me these two one-piece summer outfits that I loved dearly. So, I can't entirely say that I know what I'm doing. Exhibit A in that regard is the amount of fabric bought... I read the back of the pattern, deduced that I needed 2 1/4 yards of each color, brought it home, washed it, ironed it, hung it over the railing and realized that I'd bought enough to clothe the Von Trapp family.

I guess it's better that too little though? And it wasn't exactly an extravagant purchase at $2.50 a yard, so no harm done.

I've now made it through cutting out all of the patterns from the tissue paper, and folding the mountains of fabric right side together. Cutting is next, wish me luck. There are four cutting patterns -- I think I'm supposed to choose the most appropriate, not use them all, but I can't say that it's entirely clear. And I think bias tape is only needed for version E, but I also can't say *that's* clear. And there's a boatload of symbols scattered all over the pattern, which I'm sure are there for a reason (mysterious as they may be) -- any offers of websites with tips or tricks would be very helpful and well-received at this point! I'm sure I can't go too woefully wrong by just jumping in, cutting, and sewing, (I'm a smart girl, right? And I knit!) but I'd really like to understand the finer points of what's expected -- the pattern gives basically no discernible guidance.

P.S. Bonus points/Project motivation: I'll get to use my sewing machine's buttonhole-maker! Sweet!!

A little 1998 humour

July 12, 2005

My brother just came across this gem of a forward from back in the day. Worth a good laugh (*how* exactly do you woo women?).

Though it is interesting: I found this funnier back when I was caught up in (read: hysterical over) the college application process. I've always admired people who are utterly capable but take things less seriously.

(Google update: Sad to see, it was for a writing contest?)

First time!

July 10, 2005

Here's the first log cabin "square", yay quilting:

The colors rock, yet I think something went awry on the assembling, as the end result is 4 3/4" x 5" instead of a solid 5-by-5. Obviously more practice is needed. :-) I'm in luck though, as the final square count is over 80 so by the end of this I should be an expert. I'm figuring to aim for a square a night, and hoping the assembling will move faster as I get in the groove. Meanwhile, I'm loving the 1/4" foot that came with my sewing machine (thanks again, Mom and Dad!! -- the machine was my endlessly appreciated and already highly used birthday present from last year.)

I'll try not to post pictures of every new square. :-) Though: Kevin was actually amazed at the result. Mad cool. I'm used to a delay and a "huh" when it comes to crafting... :-P


And then there were 2, pt. 2

Nothing like motivation! Both fronts for the cardigan are done:

Unfortunately, this made completely clear the fact that the insets for the arms on the back were nearly two inches too short. I ripped them this afternoon (only five rows, luckily), and re-knit. No picture, but now the back matches the front. I should have done it earlier, since I knew it was needed, but at least it's done now. :-)

P.S. Download "All These Things That I've Done" by The Killers -- song of the weekend.

And Then There Were Two

July 09, 2005

A few weeks ago, I found an iron stand and another 55 gallon tank on micronews for $50. We've been looking at setting up a refugium and this seemed too good to pass up, so we bought the two, and I spent a highly noxious few days spraying the stand with assorted pre-sprays, enamels, and coats so that it (fingers crossed) won't rust. Here's the new tank atop the stand, 2/3's full, waiting for the sand to settle.

Ultimate optical illusion, by the way -- these two tanks are within a quarter of an inch of each other for the dimensions... who would have thought after seeing this photo? The second (now in-use) tank will go on the bottom of the stand, and will hold the protein skimmer, a pump up to the display tank, and a deep sand bed with assorted macro-algae to further filter the water. We went today to get the baffles cut, so now all that's waiting is the sand to settle so that we can move all of the rocks, fish and corals from the old tanks to the new, and so that we can clean and dry the old tank to get it ready for siliconing things in place.

The white cabinet in between is another micronews find, and will hold the new pump which will power a closed-loop circulation system, and which can also hold all of the food, etc. Best part: it has a towel bar on the right side. :-) There's a glass panel for the door, currently removed, which I plan to frost so that the pump, etc. isn't quite so visible.

Knitting Roundup

July 06, 2005

I found the prettiest color of discontinued kitchen cotton on sale at Fred Meyer last week, and snatched it up for an Eyelet Skirt. (I'm not convinced that this will be the best weight/texture, but the gauge is right, it's washable, and I love the color. Worse comes to worse, it was a $14 experiment and I can rip it out and make placemats or fishtank towels of it all. And it's certainly better than that horrible florescent red Cotton-Ease that I ordered online – lesson learned – for the skirt and which quickly found its way to a new home.)

I cast on and made it through a few rows before deciding that it was way too loose, and that I'd have to switch from #7’s to #6’s. Malheureusement, my 6's are currently engaged with the Bomber jacket (hate that name). So, I have a new wind on that project. I made it through the rest of the right front on Sunday at the beach, and am now working on the last half of the left front. The sleeves are almost all stockinette (yay!), so I think I'm going to try to finish them before starting the skirt… No promises on doing the ribbing for the collar, however – I get all burnt out on K3, P2 after a day or so.

My kind of workday

July 05, 2005

After a great weekend replete with movie, beach and deck time, I settled down to "work" on Monday with the washed and ironed quilt fabrics and the mat and cutter. The circular cutter took a while to get used to. I finally figured out that I had much better control when I stopped holding it like an x-acto (hand over the top, cutter at a 45 degree angle), and starting holding it vertically with my hand on the side (rather the way you would if you were stabbing with a knife – sorry for the graphic analogy :-P). I also didn't realize until I was 8 colors in that cutting one way is much stretchier than the other way. I get confused if it's with the selvage or against (I don’t have my lingo down yet), but things went much quicker when I started cutting parallel to the woven edge. My fabric was pretty neatly divided between fat quarters and 1/8 of a yard cuts, and so some of the cuts won't be long enough for the 10" strips that I'll need for the outer edges of the squares, but I should be able to fake something together for those.

I finished all of the blues and purples, which felt like major progress. I only have greens left to cut at this point, though I think I'm going to need more fabric – more greens, some yellow for the sky where it meets the mountains, and a different color purple – one of the colors is too yellow, and needs to be redder or else it won't progress properly (see the half line in the picture below). I was worried about it when I bought it, but after cutting it became too clear that it was a completely different color family.



July 04, 2005

I finished ball 1 of Branching Out -- here's the progress:

Obviously, it's hurting to be blocked, but you can imagine. I *way* overestimated how much yarn was needed, since I had five balls and this definitely only will need 1¾ max. Any idea what could be done with the extra 500+ yards of lime green All Seasons? Possibly I could be twins with (aka, a vile copycat of) Amanda and try to eke out a honeymoon cami? Or more scarves? If I was a knit swimsuit person, that would be a possibility, but I'm not. Also nix on the boob-holders/one-skein-wonders -- not so much my style. Any other ideas? It's a beautiful yarn and I'd love to make something pretty. If all else fails, I think I'll get more colors and do some sort of multicolor top?

The newest addition(s)

July 01, 2005

This has been a rocky week on the fish front. We've nearly given up on ever finding our small yellow tang (even though the fish store has 8 larger ones, it seems better to wait -- they little ones are so neat and are supposed to adapt better), and Kevin's been lusting after the firefish that they've had recently. Only problem was that there wasn't much information out there, and the little that was there was pretty conflicting. We knew that they needed about 20 gallons per fish, that they're jumpers, and that they are supposed to be extremely shy (odd because they weren't at all at the store), but other than that, reports conflicted. After reading up on Fenner, it seemed that the best option was to get a group of three. On the way home and in the settling-in period in the quarantine tank, everything seemed just fine. However, while we were both at work the next day, all hell broke lose and the dominant fish bullied the other two to death. We leapt in and isolated him in a colander floated in the top of the tank when it became clear what was happening, but by that point it was too late and the damage had been done. So, now we have one firefish. We both feel terrible, because we do want to be conscientious and we felt like we'd done our research beforehand. Lesson learned (be skeptical of what you read), and hopefully others will at least be forewarned by our sad tale. Meanwhile, the "bully" fish seems to be doing well, and we've forgiven him for his transgressions.