Thursday, September 27, 2007

oregon flock and fiber

this week i turned one in blog years! blog years must be something akin to dog feels like i've had this little blog for much longer than just one year (in a good way!), but the numbers don't lie. i remember starting it on impulse while bored at work, thinking i would probably abandon the idea in a short time, but instead, it turns out i really like blogging. so here's to another year!

saturday morning, jenna and i got up early and drove to the oregon flock and fiber festival. it was such a nice day! we got to the festival a little past noon, and immediately hit up the blue moon fiber arts booth, where i scored some much-coveted socks that rock lightweight in oregon red clover honey. i'm so in love with this color, and i contemplated buying it in the silk thread and lace yarns as well, but my better sense prevailed.

i also picked up a cheapo mill ends skein of the medium weight, in a color i've admired for some time, blue moonstone. i'm really going for the semi-solid yarns these days.

i had planned to buy some yarn to make the drops cardigan that everyone seems to be making these days, but i didn't find anything suitable at the festival. instead, the only other thing i picked up was some sock hop handspun in 'my boyfriend's back' -- this will hopefully become calorimetry here shortly.

so three skeins of yarn - less than $40. i was pretty well behaved!

of course what fiber festival would be complete without some cute, fuzzy little animals? we saw goats, sheep, bunnies, alpacas, llamas, yaks and even two teenaged camels.

and that was our exciting day! we headed home at around 5:30 (not before getting some great photos of the clackamas county fair and rodeo queens and princesses), stopping near mt. st. helens for some roadside mexican food, and got home at about 10. it was a long day, and i was glad for sleep, but it was a really fun little road trip. i'm looking forward to going again next year!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

fo: chevron scarf

so my plan was to get this done before i moved back home, and i almost made it. i had all of three inches, plus the border, left to do the night before we were to move, and i fully planned to come home and finish it up, but my car had other plans. i ended up spending that night waiting for a tow truck, so scarfy had to wait. if only i'd had the scarf with me at the time, that two-hour wait wouldn't have been so bad. but i did finish it the day after i moved back - i can live with that!

the end result is, i think, really great. i had kind of a roller coaster of emotions about the color combo all the way through - i love it! it's too green! it's too burgundy! it's perfect! in the end, i think i am happy with the colors. it's not a subtle scarf, for sure, but i think the blend of goldenrods and olives and navies and peaches is actually quite lovely, and will match many things in my closet - including my new navy coat!

it's funny though - these two, disparate colorways look nice together, but individually, i think they've got to be two of the ugliest skeins of yarn i've ever bought! or not ugly exactly...just really not to my taste. watermelon tourmaline is way too pastel-y, and farmhouse reminds me of the early 90s when people wore mustard and forest green jeans and thought that was a good idea. yet somehow the two together work!

i did not knit it to the full 72 or so inches called for in the pattern - i knit it to 65 inches, which is how tall i am. it seemed like a good place to stop. i blocked it though, and it grew several more inches - i haven't measured, but it's probably around 70 inches now - a good scarf length. a good weight too - i used socks that rock lightweight, as opposed to the medium weight that many others have used, and it makes for a warm but not heavy scarf that feels really nice around the neck.

i'm so pleased with my new scarf!

here are the details:
pattern: chevron scarf, last-minute knitted gifts
yarn: str lightweight, in farmhouse and watermelon tourmaline. i used a little more than half of each, so i have enough for baby booties or something else small in each color still

needles: size 5 denise
modifications: i added two stitches at either end to prevent curling, which worked pretty well. i also made it shorter.

yesterday i went to oregon flock & fiber with jenna - i'll show off my goodies later this week!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

home again, home again

we are finally back home! it's been a hectic couple of weeks getting everything finalized and getting moved back in, but it's pretty much calmed down now, and we are now homeowners! even though one of the benefits of buying our apartment was that we wouldn't have to move, it pretty much felt like we had to move anyway, even though most of our stuff never left the apartment. everything was boxed and moved to one side in the living room so construction in the kitchen and bathroom could take place. our house was an absolute mess of dust and boxes and crumpled newspaper. so i took thursday off to unpack and get settled, and i spent a whole lot of the weekend doing the same. but who cares about that...want to see some 'after' shots?

first, the kitchen 'before,' in case you forgot what it looked like pre-remodel:

and partially through the process, when i thought it would never end:

and finally...ta-da!

i really like it, though it feels way fancy. i can't actually believe it's our kitchen. i was worried it would look a little too show-homey, but i've tried to put in some personal touches, like all our colorful plates and mugs, and some art, and lots of photos. and already, it feels like home again.

Monday, September 17, 2007

eight random things

carrie tagged me for the eight random things meme. how exciting! i've never been tagged before. i know practically the whole blog world has done this already, but this is a first for me.

so let's see...

  1. apparently i'm a really picky eater, even though i don't really feel like i am. i don't like most cheese, mushrooms, pickles, olives, cottage cheese, or cantaloupe. *shudders*
  2. when i was little and learning to write, i would pick up the pencil with my left hand and start writing, and then halfway across the page i would pick up with my right hand and finish writing. my mom made me just choose a hand, so now i write with my left, though i do a lot of other things with my right hand.
  3. i have a regular, m-f job, but on sundays i also work at lush for a few hours, purely for the discount. i've worked there over two years now!
  4. i'm obsessive about getting my hair cut, and keeping my fingernails really short. if i let either go too long, i go nuts.
  5. i have lots of little random collections: vintage japanese mugs, vintage buttons, and old state postcards - the ones with the map of the state and little drawings of that state's industry and attractions all over. i don't have all 50 states yet though, so if you have any you don't want, let me know!
  6. i lived in england for a year, for grad school. london and i didn't really click - i liked it ok, but couldn't wait to come home, though i still desperately miss marks & spencer!
  7. i have a big and totally irrational fear that when i pull out the plug in the bath tub when i'm done taking a bath, cockroaches are going to swarm up the drain and attack me. i've never even seen a cockroach in seattle! i grew up in phoenix though, and everyone has them. they tormented me throughout my childhood.
  8. i drink a LOT of tea. i live in seattle, where coffee reigns, but i don't drink the stuff. i do, however, drink several cups of tea a day, and i have a whole cupboard devoted to the stuff at home. my favorite is vanilla earl grey with milk.
sheesh, that was hard! i don't think i'll tag anyone in particular - if you want to list eight random things about yourself, consider yourself tagged.

i have two posts-in-progress that i'm working on. i'm just waiting on the chance to get good pictures. more later this week!

Monday, September 03, 2007

brigitte = bad

hello! thanks for all the tag blanket love!

unfortunately i have some fugly knitting to report on. i finally got around to finishing brigitte, and it's awful. really, really awful. i really like the pattern in theory - i was picturing a cute, open, sort of retro tunic-y type top to layer over summer dresses. that's definitely not what i got. i started to get a bad feeling about this top pretty early on when i had to keep doing raglan increases way past the point that the pattern indicated. i was using the called-for yarn, and had the correct gauge, but still, the sweater was knitting up way too small. it also was a lot less elastic and stretchy than i expected - the pattern said that it was a really stretchy top, and the huge spans of measurements for each size suggested as much as well. it just didn't even really look like the top in the picture! it was so frustrating.

i decided to persevere anyway because it was such a fast knit, and i figured i wouldn't ever find another use for the rowan cotton braid that i used. so i used up all of the yarn, which should have been enough to knit the largest size, and still the sweater comes up three inches shy of my belly button when i put it on. i think it's safe to say that i'm not bothering to weave the ends in on this one. i've been talking to
jenna about it, as she had a similar experience with her attempt at brigitte as well, and i really don't know if there's something wrong with this pattern, or if we just both had bad luck. who knows...i guess my cute little summer top just wasn't meant to be though.

and about that yarn! i kind of went out of my comfort zone a bit with the rowan cotton braid, as it's definitely in novelty yarn territory, and i also don't usually go for oranges. i learned my lesson for sure. no more orange! and easy does it on anything so poofy!

at the very least, i can now cast on for another sweater guilt-free, and hopefully i'll have better luck with this one. tonight i got started on the back-to-school u-neck sweater from fitted knits. i'm using cascade 220 in a pretty heathered mustard color. i looked at some other people's finished sweaters on ravelry tonight and i'm super excited about this project now! everyone else's looks great, and i'm hoping mine will be a very wearable piece. pictures soon!