Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What a contest!

Check out this drawing at Death by Denim. You could win a hotel stay in Portland over New Years.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Apple attack!

I've been experimenting with preserving foods this summer and fall. I've moved from freezing strawberries and blackberries,
to canning dill pickles,
to ...

I turned 10 pounds of apples into 6 half pints of apple butter, then another 20+ lbs became two batches of frozen pie filling, a 9x13 apple crisp, 6 pints of apple sauce, and another 1/2 dozen jelly jars of butter.

thats a lot

a lot of apples

ready for crisp

1st crisp


sieving applesauce

jars of sauces

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Decisions, decisions

My sweet man gave me a spinning wheel for our anniversary!

Actually, he tried to get me a wheel, drove to Woodland Woolworks, got totally overwhelmed, bought me flowers and told me to pick one out myself.

I haven't had a chance to go play until today at OFFF. I am more confused than ever! I know you're supposed to put function over form, but looks are really influencing me.

SO, no purchase today. I'll try to go up to Woodland next week when they get the Kromski Sonata back in stock, s o I can try out all the wheels on my short list.

As much as I told myself no spending today, I did fall for 4 oz. of Sincere Sheep carded wool from Tactile (this color). Mmmm, love the natural dye colors done by Maia and Brooke. I bought yarn from them at Black Sheep, and some BFL roving when their store opened.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


My pirate name is:

Red Bess Rackham

Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

You'll be "Mythed"

RIP, Robert Aspirin.
I gobbled up the Myth Adventures and Thieves' World books starting in Middle School, and re-read most of them over the years.

Here's a bittersweet entry from Lynn Abbey.

Daily Kos
diarists weigh in, too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A little knitting, a little random

May has been a very busy month. Due to popular request, I started a second session of my two-at-once sock class. It's very interesting how different classes need help with different things. The first group had some trouble with the increases and the magic loop technique. This group zoomed right through those, but took a bit longer to get the cast-on going.

E turned 3 in April. I'm stunned at how big he is, and how mature he seems.

I'm especially proud of the one knitted gift.

Armed with a basic felted pack pattern, and a couple hours on Google Image, I came up with . . .
Rescue Pack!

Details on Ravelry.

In other knitting news, I finally found my rhythm with Jeanie. And learned that it's best not to correct mistakes by the light of late (very late) night TV. When one of the dropped stitches stopped four rows from the bottom, I had to drop 9 stitches down 11 rows (past two cables) and knit them back the right way. Back on track now. It's not exactly zooming along, but it is a pleasurable experience. Smooshy certainly lives up to its name.

I'm almost to the heel on my Trekking Nine-to-Five Socks. These are my car knitting, and aren't getting too much attention, but they are pretty. Sorry no recent pix.

I want to knit about 80% of the projects in The Knitter's Book of Yarn, and the lovely plant-dyed yarn I bought at Abundant Yarn is perfect for the Little Shells Socks.

My resolve to follow the pattern lasted only as far as the last toe increase, when I decided to start the lace early.
Shelia laughed and said that's how the other version of these socks was written. So technically, I'm following a pattern after all (nevermind that it's one I've never seen).

Speaking of Shelia, her shawl is the one that was stolen from MDSW. How friggin' rude. Stealing yarn or money would be shocking enough, but to take a finished object representing hours and hours of knitting and designing by an independent designer, from the booth of a small business is the ultimate outrage.

Don't want to end on such a downer, so here's a little bit of funny:
Can you see why this melon was so amusing to E? (click for bigness)

In crazy cat tricks, "Can't get this monkey off my back."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Must be from all the knitting


Your creative fluency score is: 722.

This means you're more creative than 72% of the people who took this test!

Find out how creative you are!

More tomorrow, including Yarn Harlot's visit, maybe some photos and FO's too!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Winter Soldier 2008

I can't believe (well, sadly I CAN) that the corporate media isn't covering this.

Winter Soldier: Hundreds of veterans and active-duty soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are gathering today for the Winter Soldier hearings. The soldiers plan to give eyewitness accounts of the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, the gathering is modeled after the 1971 Winter Solider hearings organized by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

For more information, and to read some transcripts, see these links:

Iraq Veterans Against the War
The War Comes Home (KPFA radio)
Democracy Now

Spread the news. These men and women have given so much. They deserve to be heard by every American.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Apparently, I have been totally obnoxious at ye olde yarn shoppe. They had a great time talking about me and my constant queries over the status of the Dream in Color order today. One of the managers left a message on my phone. Everyone is also quite shocked that I managed to hang on to my Christmas money this long. They all spent theirs long ago.

I almost panicked when I realized that my store credit receipt had fallen victim to yesterday's purse-purging frenzy. Thank the yarn deities it was on the counter where said frenzy started.

I made sure to get to the shop early enough to grab my long awaited (I requested it right after Christmas; it was ordered at TNNA) Ruby River. Good thing it came on a Tuesday, or it could have sold right out from under my nose. My skeins were in the box with the rest of the order, and the 3rd Ruby, ordered for the shop, was already sold.

Jeanie, here we come!

Erm, as soon as I finish the Boteh (and on Ravelry) I started Saturday.

For my mom's birthday.



(Though we probably won't do an official par-tay until the 16th, which is the first day we'll all be available.)

Ooh, just noticed that both of these fit nicely into March's Project SPectrum theme, too!

Wow, wonder if I'll have this much luck with the next element?

Snuggling my new yarn, working with the luscious ZYG (this yarn, in this color), and hanging with my knit girls was just what I needed today. I spent the morning making some dinners to take to my aunt. My uncle just got moved to hospice. I hope I can take a little of the burden off by making sure she can at least get some healthy food.

Sorry for the abrupt downer. Look, knitting ==>

Bulky Hooded Vest in action.

Ayany yarn in Savannah Green
pattern from KP&S

E's also wearing Perfection Pants, in Three Irish Girls' Lindon Merino, color Malachy (must be discontinued, as it's not on the site now).

Friday, February 29, 2008

Crochet is calling to me

After (finally!) finishing my Peace Fleece Mid-East Market bag, I have been all hopped up on crochet.

I've been flipping through some mags, and not really finding the perfect project, but now one is smacking me upside the head.

Last week, I saw a Boteh scarf (Interweave Crochet, sp 07) on Crochet Me. Mmm, pretty I thought. I couldn't figure out why I didn't remember seeing it when I bought the mag, so I dug out the issue. Kim's version is so different. The original didn't jump out at me at all, just not my color. I would never have thought to try a variegated yarn.

It's been tickling the back of my mind the past few days, then today I came across another Boteh on Flickr, completely by chance.

Guess I'll be picking out some yarn and tracking down my hooks tonight!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sweet gifts and sweet little knits

J was off work early, so he picked M up from school so I could get a little cat-nap.

When they came back, they each had a card for me, plus flowers and candy, and a balloon for E.

I gave the boys cards with a little bag of Kissables.

J got a card and the 2-disk version of The Two Towers. I gave him The Fellowship of the Ring for Christmas, and he has been itching for the rest of the story.

This is going to take all the surprise out of things when his birthday rolls around.

We only made it to the end of Side One tonight. We'll have to watch the rest on Saturday night, as J and his nephew are hitting the mountain tomorrow.

On the knitting front, I finished my hat, and I love it. I was afraid it would be too small, but it's almost too big. I think that's good, because it will probably shrink a bit with future wear, especially with the singles yarn.

Pattern:Ring of Fire from Cider Moon
Yarn:Recycled Sweater and Handpainted Yarn Thick & Thin (disc.) in Col China
Needles:Knit Picks Options sz 6
Mods:Left out one repeat to adjust for gauge.

This soaker is a custom order I donated to a raffle for Jess's family.

Pattern: Curly Purly Soaker
Yarn: O-Wool Classic Oatmeal and Peace Fleece Grassroots

I've had this shopping bag for almost 2 years. Every few months I pull it out, work a couple of rounds, realize it's very wrong and put it back in time out. Last week I showed it to a co-worker and she helped me figure out how to make it work. I can't do it too much or my wrists get tired (it's been years since I've crocheted anything that took more than 5 minutes.), but I think it will be perfect to keep in the car for Farmer's Market trips this summer. PF bag

There's an A4A deadline coming up. This round, they are collecting newborn items. Since they usually get plenty of hats, I whipped out a couple pairs of socks. I should be able to do one more tomorrow and then pop them in the mail.

Then I have got to finalize my class handouts and outline. I'm teaching 2-at-once Toe-up Socks starting the 23rd. Eek!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Project Spectrum 2008

I didn't even realize there was a third round of PS until this morning, but my current WIP fits in perfectly with the theme for Feb and March.

This year, the theme is Elements, and I just happened to start Cider Moon's Ring of Fire hat this week.

rof wip

It's been a while since I've done any stranded knitting, and it's addictive. I have no desire to work on any other WIPs, and can't seem to set this down. I'm hoping to get it done today.

I'm using stash yarn for this. The black is from a recycled merino sweater, and the variegated is some discontinued Thick and Thin from Handpainted Yarn, in Col China. The colors are rather jarring in the skein, but perfect when toned down by the black.

I cut out a repeat to compensate for the larger gauge. I didn't swatch this, which is very out of character, so I'm just hoping it will fit. If not, I can tuck it away for future gifting.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Zipper Aggravation

No, not in the sewing it in part. I wish. I can't even find one that will look slightly better than ugly in the KP&S vest I just finished for E.

I've been googling all evening. I looked at JoAnn's and the local quilt shop.

I may have to settle for the wrong color, too boring, Coats & Clark plastic one.

I hate it when something that I think is going to be simple turns into a ridiculous ordeal. I just wanted something slightly fashionable.

If only those Clover purse zippers came in longer, separating styles.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Made my day!

Shelly gave me a

Thanks! It's just what I needed after a grueling 2 hour (!!) wait at the pediatrician's office.

Here are some people who Make My Day. Pass it on to 10 people.
Back atcha, Shelly. Love your blog and your scrumptious yarns;
Maia Spins;
Aija at sock pr0n;
Earthchick Knits;
Marin at AntiM and the Rickety Blog;
Kristin at Getting Stitched on the Farm;
Larissa at Stitch Marker;
Mariko at super eggplant;
Judy of Persistent Illusion.

Wow, that was hard. I read a lot of wonderful blogs. Taking a page from Shelly, I decided to focus on those that may be less widely known.

Thank you all for sharing your lives and crafts with me.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tikkun Project

Haven't had a chance to read this much, but I am intrigued.
Tikkun Project

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Phew, that was exhausting!

December wore me out!

After frantic knitting a couple years ago, I said you couldn't pay me to knit Christmas gifts. Turns out that, actually, you can. I had 2 huge orders of toys to get out in time for the holiday. Plus some instock stuff to ship. (Did I take any pictures? Of COURSE not. Grrr. Doubly frustrating given that some of the items were new designs. At least I managed to write down the patterns this time.)

On top of that and getting ready for my own holidays, I spent a lot of time online hoping a friend would make it through the season. As you can see by my last post, she did not. It's amazing how Internet friendships can have such a deep impact on ones life. Though I never met or even phoned Jess, she had a place in my heart and I will miss her.

I've never been big on resolutions, so I have no specific goals for 2008. I have been inspired to finish some lingering projects.

The Bulky Hooded Vest from KP&S is done and blocking. Bulky 100% wool takes forever to dry, especially shut up in the spare room to prevent cats from stealing the pins. Then zipper time. I've been reading every tutorial I can find on sewing a separating zipper into handknits, but am still nervous.

I mended a couple holes in the knees of the little one's pants, and added length to one pair. He's been outgrowing or tearing them faster than I can knit new ones.

I am almost finish with some convertible gloves for my oldest. He actually asked for something knit! I used the Knucks pattern, then read through Broad Street to figure out how to attach a shell. I'm a bit stuck on how to sew down the ribbing, though. The Knitty photo is very dark.

Jeanie knocked me off track big time. I had been pondering what to knit with the beautiful Dream in Color from my KCS3 box when the Winter Knitty came out. I just knew I had to make Jeanie. A lovely Christmas bonus in the form of a gift certificate sealed the deal. The managers and owner of the store are at TNNA this weekend, and 2 skeins of Ruby River Smooshy will be ordered just for me!

I held out until Friday night. Hopped up on caffeine from making the slog to drop off my oldest for the weekend, and everyone here asleep, I piled up my stitch markers, dug out some waste yarn and got to it. I'm taking it slow, though, as I may have to alternate skeins once I see how different they are from each other.

My most exciting news is that I am teaching two classes at the shop, and one of them is completely sold out, with a waiting list forming! Apparently Toe-up Magic Loop is a hot topic.

I've also been working on a shop blog, and am now going to be sending some layout ideas to the store's web person to liven up the main page, and make it a bit more distinct from the sew and vac store.

Knit blogging is not so fun this time of year in the NW, as my pictures tend to look like crud. I will try to get some next time I see the sun.

Off to work on my class handout for next weekend.