Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas-Hanukkah!

Dan and I are very happy because our big present is... a week off together starting today. Yay! But the weather is conspiring to keep us inside for a while.

I haven't driven the car for over a week, and the only way we were able to get over to my mother-in-law's house for Christmas was by getting a ride with relatives in their giant monster car (otherwise known as a Suburban).

We ate turkey, opened presents, and enjoyed each other's company. I particularly enjoyed watching my niece and nephew opening their gifts.

After a bumpy ride home, I lit my candles and spent some quality time with Ella.

I look forward to seeing my family in Portland soon, but I'm waiting on the weather to figure out when and how I will get down there.

I hope to post again soon. My camera is full of pictures of the snow, and I want to share them with you before it all melts.

Love and good wishes to everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Paris Loop

Two things: I finished something and it's been snowing here.

Jenny took these pictures of me modeling my new Paris Loop over a week ago on Sunday during knitting group. We had fun. The snow was just starting. It was exciting. Little did we know what Mother Nature had in store for us.

I like my Paris Loop. It adds a touch of elegance/hippie-sheik to my wardrobe. Plus it's a pretty color and warm. It knit up super quick the chunky yarn I got for my Birthday (the name of which escapes me while I am typing the content of this blog entry on my morning break from work, but I'd be happy to look it up at home if anyone wants to ask). It was a great project for knitting while reading, in the dark on busses, or watching TV.

Dear Kelly knit a couple of these in our knitting group in Santa Cruz. It isn't an item of clothing I would expect to work with my figure, but when I tried Kelly's on (long ago) I was surprised by how flattering it was. But, if I make another one, I might try to make it a bit smaller around but with looser, more open stitches.

This project also made me realize that I really must try knitting a sweater in the round. Soon.

Coming soon: pictures of snow... and more snow.... and more snow...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why I love knitting scarves: 16th birthday edition

1) They fit everyone (except maybe babies.... but babies look cute in everything else).

2) They offer unlimited opportunities to play with color and stitches.

3) Simple or complex, it's up to me!

4) Most scarves involve very little finishing (particularly now that I've converted to spit-splicing).

5) I enjoy watching them grow longer and longer--offering a sense of progress.

6) Knitting a simple scarf is a form of meditation.

7) They don’t take too much yarn.

So when Tristan asked me for a scarf for his 16th birthday, I was super thrilled. And, to make it even better, the yarn I used was a birthday gift from my dad. I knit this scarf in just a couple weeks and brought it on a little trip with my family to Cannon Beach in Oregon on the weekend of Tristan’s birthday in early November.

The blustery costal rain didn’t invite a lot of pictures, but I did take a few rather dashing pictures of Tristan with his birthday scarf. He was a fabulous sport about everything.

Note: Tristan’s is wearing his favorite shirt in these pictures. You can see the complete message in the final picture: “I’d rather be watching Red Dwarf.”

Tris, I hope you had a lovely birthday! I'm so glad I was able to be there for your celebration! I'm so proud of you!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A perfect lunch

Yummy. Wish you were here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Knotty Historian + Job = No Blogging

Working a full-time office job has really reduced the amount of time I want to spend in front of the computer at home... to nil. And this isn't good because there are things I want to do on the computer at home--like blog, and upload photos, and check my email, and write my dissertation--but I just don't do it. 

I'm scheming to figure out how to add my online life back into my daily life. But don't worry, my knitting is great and so am I. 


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A working woman

This is my first blog entry written at work--I started a new job yesterday! It may be a distraction from knitting (and that dissertation thingy) but the people here are nice and it's good to know that we'll have money for important things like rent, food, and yarn...

Nothing much else has changed since my recent posts: I'm still knitting the second sleeve of Ribby, slowly but surely, and Ella is cute. I'll try to make another post soon with some pictures of something so that I can hold the interest of you, my lovely readers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cute Ella

She just keeps growing and growing!

And this picture kind of cracks me up.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The honor of competition

I am not a Ravelympic winner, but I was a competitor.

My first week of knitting wasn’t very strong. I underestimated the challenge facing me and only finished one sweater front in the first week. I kept thinking those infamous last words:

“I only have the sleeves after this.”

Experienced knitters already see the fallacy of this statement because, first of all, the sleeves weren’t the only thing I had left. Blocking, knitting the front bands, sewing up, knitting the collar, and sewing in the zipper all remain to be done after finishing the sleeves.

Plus, the idea of only sleeves belies a fundamental ignorance of how BIG long sleeves really are.

A large amount of knitting goes into a 2x2 ribbed sleeve. In fact, finishing one sleeve turned out to be all I could manage in the entire week--the thing is so huge it’s practically a scarf.

But, even if I’m not a Ravelympic winner, yesterday I started the second sleeve. This challenge didn’t end in a finished sweater, but it did get me to pickup a languishing project and make significant progress toward its completion.

It may not be finished today, but soon I will wear the first sweater I’ve made for myself.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Ribby

Thanks for all your comments on my last post. I chose to pull my Ribby cardigan out of the depths of my closet, and finishing it is my Ravelympics challenge. But, I enjoyed all of your cheerleading about my tessellating fish blanket, and I hope to start work on it again soon. I’m just not sure how to work on it with Ella. She’s been quite a little troublemaker with my sweater--I can only imagine what she will do when I start laying out fish to sew together.

The sweater is actually quite far along. The back and left front were already totally done when I set it aside. I picked it up again last weekend and started with the right front just below the decreases. That’s almost done now, even though I haven’t spent much time on it. I better hurry this up because I don’t have that long before the Olympics end on the 24th of August.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Olympic Knitting

I want to do some Olympic Knitting. But the deadline for signing up for the Ravelympics is rolling closer and closer, and I can't decide what to do...

Should I submit one of my languishing unfinished projects in the "WIPs Wrestling" category? Or should I start a new project? I need to decide soon in order to sign up on the Ravelry web site... I do have quite a few big WIPs:

I'm thinking maybe my lace project that hasn't seen much work for a few months.

But there's also my Ribby sweater.

Or, does anyone else ever think about all those fishies in my closet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Imagining hats

Well, the knitting has been slow lately. I’ve been oddly distracted, and knitting group hasn’t met consistently for months. But I am knitting. And imagining knitting.

Lately I’ve been thinking about hats. Lots and lots of top-down hats for all of my friends, my family, and my friends’ families. My imaginary output is surely staggering, while my real output equals almost nil.

Some of this vast imaginary productivity is inspired by reading Through the Loops! She makes an amazing amount of beautiful stuff all the time and knits hats as easy as a sigh. They always look super pretty too. I want to be liker her… So I started by looking at the free hat patterns on her blog. There are quite a few to choose from. I started with the One Day Beret, one of her many top-down hat patterns, but I'm not knitting it in one day.

I’ve only made a few hats top-down (actually, baby Joe’s hat may be the only one) but so far it’s going fine. I had a little trouble keeping my DPNs strait for the first couple rounds, but then things sorted themselves out. The yarn is some Noro that I got on clearance a while ago.

Maybe I’ll knit faster now that I have a new accessory.

What do you think? I got them on Monday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Little trouble

Kitten ownership is challenging.

Ella is a sweet little devil, but she is a little devil. I am her favorite chew toy, and she loves nothing more than to climb up my body and sit on my shoulder. Last weekend I showed my sister the scratches all over my shoulders, and she became concerned and somewhat disturbed.

But I do like Ella... very, very much. So, it was extremely upsetting when she took her stitches out the night after she was spayed last Wednesday. I'd confined her to the bathroom overnight, as per the vet's instructions, but she chewed off the outside stitches sometime between 3:00 AM and 10:30 (Thursday is our day to sleep in). Upon this discovery, I immediately began to panic and called the vet's office. I took her in for them to look at the opening, and they told me it was closed enough to heal the rest of the way on its own--but I needed to keep her very confined for the next three days--our extremely vocal little kitty had to stay in the pet carrier. This was a trial for Ella, me, and Dan.

Now she’s out and about again, and acting like she feels fine, but I can’t help worrying about the strange, hard little lump where the wound is healing.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Catching up

Although I haven't posted much over the past few months, I did take pictures to show you. Time to play catch-up, before these get any more out of date.

Now that summer has come in earnest to Olympia, I have pictures to show of our very strange spring:

The Yarn Harlot toured the area, and I drove down to Portland to see her speak. My super sweet family came with me to the event, and my 13-year-old brother charmed all the knitters--he even got free yarn!

I've been holding onto a little knit sweater that was too small for the original baby I knit it for. Not any more. It finally has a home with a sweet little guy who was born just a couple months ago. These pictures were taken when he was only about a week old.

I'll try to post again soon and give you an update on my knitting. And, perhaps, a few more kitten pictures. We named her Ella.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Playing: A Kitten's How To Guide

Step 1: Jump out of the bag at the silly human with the camera. Surprise!

Step 2: Find the best toy ever! (Recommended toy is anything but something overpriced your silly human purchased in an attempt to buy your affection.)

Step 3: Give chase and kill, kill, kill! Do not let it escape your grasp!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A new friend

Dan and I found a some new trouble yesterday.

She doesn't have a name yet, but there are several we are considering: Gabby, because she's quite a little talker; Rocket, because she takes off like one; or maybe Jayne, because we're Firefly nerds. She was nicknamed Killer at the Humane Society, but she doesn't seem like a "Killer" to us -- more like a little bundle of wiggling purring silliness.

After a relatively short period of shyness when she first got home, she began exploring and playing all over the living room. She's so tiny that she fits almost anywhere and has decided that one of her favorite places to hide is on the bookshelves in the little space on top of the books. I'll try to get a picture of that for you later. Her almost constant state of perpetual motion makes photographing her a bit of a challenge, but at least I got a couple good shots to show you.

Anyway, I've had a bunch of things to blog about over the past couple months, but didn't manage to post. This little furry girl is too cute not to share.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I'm still knitting, but I may be a bit out of sync with the seasons because I just finished some fingerless gloves. Then again, it snowed here a week ago. So maybe I'm not that far off...

This is the Dashing pattern from Knitty. I fell in love with this yarn (the new Manos silk blend) and wanted to find a quick project that would only use one skein. The cabling on the wrist is a bit lost in all the colors, but I still like it. Yay for knitting and blogging!

I meant to post about this project earlier, and even took some in-progress pictures (see below), but I’m afraid I’ve been a naughty blogger--not just a knotty one. Still, all the lovely flowers beginning to bloom encourage me to post more often. There are all sorts of lovely things to show you other than my slow knitting progress...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amanda's scarf goes to Washington (D.C. that is)

The title of this post was the title of a lovely little email I got from a dear friend and fellow aspiring historian who left for D.C. the night after she passed her oral exams in January (congratulations!). You may know her by the moniker "New Knitter" which she uses when leaving comments on my blog.

D.C. is a bit colder than Santa Cruz, and she brought the scarf I knit for her a few winters back and has been using it frequently to keep warm when she's out and about in our nation's capital. I told her it would thrill me if she sent a picture for my blog of her wearing the scarf in front of a national landmark. She out did herself and sent several. Here are my favorites.

The Washington Monument:

The Vietnam War Memorial:

The Lincoln Memorial:

Yay New Knitter!!! I love pictures of people wearing the things I make for them! Thank you.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I have a short amount of time to write this blog entry before the battery charge on my laptop fades into nothing, so bare with me.

First, I started a new project:

I decided that I really need more lace in my life. And, after digging out some old holiday yarn that I've been hoarding, I decided that now is the time to actually make a scarf pattern I've been coveting in Victorian Lace Today.

Second, I have a new haircut:

I'm not sure if you can see my hair very well in this picture because I took it myself while walking to the coffee shop and the wind was blowing, but my hair is now a bit short. I think I like it. It's fun to have a new look. What do you think?

Coming soon: Amanda's scarf goes to Washington (D.C., that is)

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Exactly one week ago, at this time in the afternoon, I was in bed with a fever of 102.4. It was rather awful. Now I'm better, and I'm embarking on a new campaign in my battle to master (my) time. Goal setting, here I come! Grrrrr.

One of my goals (along with specific time/page requirements for this week) was get a book to read for pleasure, hence the Pratchett book in the background of picture of my new planner. I think it's already had a discernable positive impact on my general wellbeing.

And, although I haven't been blogging, I have been knitting. I even finished a simple little scarf for my niece, but I don't have pictures. My main project is a hat with earflaps for my sister, who requested a new hat about a year ago. I'm designing it for her and really hope it lives up to all her expectations. Isn't this yarn super lovely?

I'm proud of my little sketches, I made them while watching Project Runway several weeks ago. Oh, and a nice French girl who came to my knitting group wrote Tricoter on my design (because that's the word for knitting in French).

Back to work!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Further adventures of the birthday scarf (and a new hat)

I would be remiss not to tell you about the wonderful show I attended a couple Fridays ago and the spontaneous roll that my unsuspecting birthday scarf played in the festivities.

The first knitting related event occurred when I met the lovely Miss D.

My sister's introduction included describing Miss D. as "crafty," and (as if to provide evidence of Jenny's statement) Miss D. immediately pulled up her sleeve to show me the words "crafty lady" at the bottom of a large tattoo. I, of course, asked to see the whole tattoo and then took a picture to share with you, my gentle readers. She's considering continuing the piece around the inside of her arm by adding a heart shaped ball of yarn with two knitting needles sticking through it--a choice I fully support. Plus, she came to my knitting group this Sunday. (Yay!)

The show was quite long and I managed to knit most of a small hat during the evening (which seemed to give Miss D. knitting envy because she brought a fuzzy scarf project back with her after a quick jaunt home for some earplugs). I started the hat a few days before with the intention of making a new baby hat for my little nephew, who is already way too big for the first hat I made him. I was about an inch in and finished it during the show. But it's too big for a baby! Even a big baby like sweet Joe! So, I think I'm going to give it to Derek, my friend Karen's son, who it will probably fit. (I'll try to get pictures when I present the gift in a couple weeks.) Anyway, it's fun to spread the knitting bug at rock shows.

But, you ask, what about the scarf? What adventure did it have? Well, after the show, Cataldo recorded one of the tracks for his upcoming album, and I was one of a bunch of people who stuck around to sing for the chorus. One of the other performers acted as the hypeman (indicating to us when to sing, etc), and he used my birthday scarf as his signaling tool. It was fun. I shook bells. My scarf was the center of attention. I sang. Music + Knitting = Good Stuff!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A holiday knitting recap

I did some holiday knitting: scarves, of course.

I wanted to make something else for my dear Lynn (who I knit Odessa for last winter), and I decided on a light airy scarf, simple but elegant, that won't be too heavy for a sweet lady who's having hot flashes. I'm also hoping that it will be more versatile that the large lace scarf/shawl that I made her before I started this blog.

I knit this scarf with Kidsilk Spray (in the "Regal" colorway) on size 11 needles in a simple garter stitch pattern. It's the same technique (skinny mohair/silk yarn on bigger needles) that I used for Kayla's birthday scarf. I think Lynn's happy with the final product and looks quite cute in it.

The second scarf was for my Grandma Tennie. And, in naughty knitter fasion, I didn't have it done on Christmas, but I did get it done the day after and took some pictures with my brother before I left town.

To be honest, I've been working on this scarf for just shy of a year. The pink yarn was a gift from my father last year at the holidays, and right away I intended to use it on my grandma's scarf. Looking back over my blog posts from the last year, you can see the project mentioned here and there, and I even showed the yarn in my post on Valentine's Day. For some reason, I really wanted to make Grandma a scarf with reversible cables, but none of the patterns I tried looked good with this yarn. I've lost count of the number of times I would find a pattern, start knitting it, get frustrated, frog, and then feel guilty that I still hadn't made Grandma her scarf.

This fall I made the realization that my concept needed revision, and I shifted to experimenting with using the slight bulky yarn in more open/lacy patterns. I settled on knitting the scarf horizontally in a simple feather and fan pattern, with an instant fringe made by cutting and reattaching the yarn at the end of each long, long row. After the addition of blue stripes, I decided that it was probably going to be nice enough for my super sweet Grandma. When I revealed the project to her on Christmas (still on the needles) she seemed excited about it. I tried to finish it before we drove her home, but I couldn't manage to complete the bind off until late that night.

I would have preferred to take FO pictures with Grandma, but Cody was a super model. After donning the scarf, he immediately inquired, "Do I look like Dr. Who?" I love my family.