Friday, January 25, 2008

blog land makes me happy

leah and jodi both made my friday with a 'you make my day' award. yay! leah, with her great taste in music (and a shared love of wes anderson), has been one of my favorite blogs to read from day 1. and jodi always posts great recipes and beautiful knitted projects, and is just lovely in general. thanks girls!

Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.

so in addition to the above lovely ladies, i want to give the award to the following ten bloggers: people whose blogs i absolutely love, and always am inspired by. blogs that i rush to read when i see they have a new post in bloglines. this was such a hard choice! these ten are only a sample of my many, many favorites.

1. twinknit. i just love jennie! i've been reading her blog since i started reading blogs, and hers is still one of my favorites. i'm always inspired by her choice of projects, and i like hearing about her music studies. i miss all the posts about her life in rural appalachia though!

2. me, myself and kai. karen is so prolific in her crafting, and is talented at knitting, sewing, i admire her frequency in blog posting, which is something i always strive to improve but never quite achieve. her star pillow pattern is on my to-make list. and her doggy is so darn cute!

3. brainylady. i just love her whole aesthetic--the yarn and fabric she chooses, the projects she makes...i'm always left feeling like, 'i want that!' i love hearing about her thrifting adventures as well.

4. carrie girl. one of my newer reads! carrie is a fellow gocco-er, and in addition is a talented seamstress and all-around crafter. plus she gets the coolest stuff at the midwest thrift stores she frequents.

5. chrysanthemum. a fellow seattle-ite, and we also have a shared love of trophy cupcakes (and, looking at her sidebar, eerily similar taste in books as well).

6. kitty genius. i have SUCH a crush on ashley's art, especially her little beardy men. plus, her success in making a living from doing what she loves is great to see, and reminds me that it can be done.

7. quelle erqsome. more than anything, emma's blog makes me laugh. her stories about work and home life are hilarious. and her zeal for buying new sock yarn is infectious. also a fellow cupcake lover!

8. knotty bits. i'm glad that maritza has taken up the knit blogging again, in addition to blogging about her cute, cute softies. her color choices leave me breathless--check out the daisy stitch hand warmers she's working on (and she's already inspired me to make at least one of her projects, same yarn choice and all: the chevron scarf).

knitting school dropout. melissa never fails to inspire me with her amazing, amazing sweaters. seriously, this girl has given me knitter's envy more times than i care to admit (and i dream of one day making her scottish tweed raglan sweater). plus, we have the same name!

10. zeitgeist. again with the pretty, pretty sweaters! kate doesn't just choose patterns that i also happen to like...she designs her own sweaters that i absolutely love. sweaters are not my strong suit...seeing sweaters like hers makes me want to get better.

that's it! thanks to you all for bringing a little cheer to my days.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

a work in progress

thanks for all the kind words and support for my 2008 goals! though i have to admit...i'm failing somewhat already. i have done a terrible job of cutting back on sugar, and my first efforts at making jam...well let's just say i spent three hours yesterday making pink grapefruit marmalade, and instead ended up with two jars of hard candy that i'm pretty sure i will never be able to get out of the jars. good thing jars are cheap! (it's also worth noting that those two resolutions are in direct conflict with each other...there is a LOT of sugar in jam!) anyway, i will persevere with the jam-making efforts. i think next time i'll try some apple jelly.

one other thing i also want to be better about this year is showing more works-in-progress. i tend to only post about things when they're all done, which isn't much fun, and really, i think, not the point of blogging. so, seeing as i'm in the middle of quite a few projects at the moment and don't have any finished objects on the immediate horizon, i thought i'd show something i'm still working on. after making my raven mittens, i got the taste for doing some more color work. so i cast on for a project i've been dreaming of for some time, some endpaper mitts.

i struggled a bit with deciding on a color combination. i bought yarn for this project about a year ago: two skeins of louet gems in teal and green. but when i finally got around to starting the project, i decided the colors weren't contrast-y enough. so i decided i needed to buy more yarn! eventuallly i settled on some shibuiknits sock in bark, and some nature's palette in coral, both from the loopy ewe. perfect! i'm so in love with this combination, and i'm even more in love with the nature's palette yarn in general. the color is heartbreakingly beautiful, and the yarn is the perfect amount of squishy. so right away this project seems destined to be a winner. i'm almost done with the first mitt - i just need to do the ribbing around the top and the thumb. i can't wait to wear these!

Friday, January 11, 2008

looking forward, looking back

Knits of 2007
Originally uploaded by owlandacorn

here we are, well into january, but i'm still feeling reflective about the past year. craft-wise and otherwise, i did quite alot in 2007! it was also a pretty stressful year, with both good and bad stress: i lost a job and found a new one, i moved out of my house for two months while our kitchen was remodeled, we bought our first house (well, condo. but still!), and my brother moved from seattle to another country (sob!). i also made some great new friends, read 26 books, watched more movies than i could count, and completed 19 knitting projects (and failed to complete a few others).

i think my fave projects of the year were my silk garden socks, my le slouch, and my foliage. i learned this year that i'm a hat girl!

looking forward, i have quite a few goals for next year, all of which seem pretty attainable right now. my list:

1. take a spanish class (already signed up!).
2. bake bread in my new dutch oven.
3. beat the 26 books i read in 2007 - i'm aiming for 30. there was a time when i easily read twice that amount in any given 30 will be a struggle, but i think i can do it.
4. learn to make jam.
5. learn more about food preserving in general, and preserve some food this summer for the winter.
6. eat something i've grown myself.
7. buy a real bed...our mattress is still just sitting on the floor. i'm not in college anymore! i think it's finally time.
8. knit at least one sweater.
9. sew some clothes, starting with a skirt.
10. try my hand at crewel.
11. make a small quilt.
12. the one that will definitely be hardest for less sugar!