Monday, March 30, 2009


I have been working on these socks on and off for a few months. I am glad they are finished so that I can wear them before the weather gets too warm. It will get warm eventually, right?!

The yarn is Cherry Tree Supersock in Serengeti. The pattern is Leaf Lace Socks from the Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock Book.

These were fun to knit because the pattern changes depending on the part of the sock being knit. The back is in an interesting lacy rib and the front is a mirror image leaf lace pattern with a zigzag center panel.

Plus, the cuff has little, bitty picot edges!

And, as if that weren't enough, there is also a nice eye of the partridge heel. What a pattern!

Thanks to Charleen for passing this yarn on to me. It isn't a color I would have been likely to pick out on my own, but I really enjoyed the colors. Plus, now I will think of Charleen whenever I wear these socks.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Farm Fresh from MVFF

Guess what I finally got in the mail this week?

It is my Fall 08 share from Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm! Tchazo had a really good time taking some enthusiastic sniffs of the yarn. I am sure it holds all sorts of farm fresh smells for his sensitive nose!

Shareholders were given the option of getting their share in the natural color or paying a bit more to have it dyed. Since I bought the share last April, I had been envisioning it as a natural, creamy white color. When I saw all of the beautiful colors that I could have, I was tempted to change course, but in the end I couldn't budge from the natural color.

The yarn is a 50/50 blend of cormo wool and mohair. Each shareholder received 5 skeins of a light worsted weight yarn, with approximately 220 yds/skein. I was hoping to get enough to make a sweater, but with 5 skeins, I would have to be very selective about a sweater pattern. I would hate to find myself short on yarn when almost finished with the sweater as this yarn is probably not going to be easy to get more of. Any suggestions?

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm won a tech makeover contest and one of the things Susan did with the money was to install a LambCam. It is just about time for newborns at the farm. You can check out the live action feed here where the camera is focused on the pen where all the pregnant goats and sheep are being held.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Silky Shiny Scarf

A simple, shiny little F.O. for your viewing pleasure:

Made using the Drop Stitch Scarf pattern by Christine Vogel, but really, it is just the Seafoam stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Stitch Patterns.

I used 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk that I bought on clearance from Webs when I visited in February 2008. I started and frogged many options for this yarn before I finally settled on this pattern.

I wore it yesterday and can now confirm that this is the softest scarf I have. I think this will be a nice winter to spring transition scarf. I have a hard time having a naked neck after so many months of constantly being bundled up!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


On Sunday, Jill and I met up for a little coffee and sweet stuff at Cafe Latte. Then we headed over to the Mitchell College of Law where the Yarnery was hosting Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter.

The Melville's were in town to talk about their new book Mother-Daughter Knits: 30 Designs that Fit and Flatter. One of the greatest things about going to this kind of event is the table of samples! Knitting is such a sensory thing. It is really helpful to be able to see, touch, feel and try on the garments from the book. The photos in the book are nice, but I am normally much more convinced that I want to make things when I have seen them in their three dimensional form.

There were some projects in the book that I would likely have never been interested in if I hadn't seen them in person. Specifically, the Mother-of-the-Bride Cardigan. It is made partially in a lace weight yarn and partially in a worsted weight yarn. The combination of thick and sturdy with light and lofty and the use of lace stitch patterns in both weights of yarns is really striking.

I was so taken with the Melville's focus on altering patterns to fit and flatter and their application of that concept to the patterns in their book that I shelled out the $30 and got it signed by the lovely ladies. It sounds like they both enjoyed the process of creating the book and they told us to expect a book of Christmas related items to be published as a follow-up to this book. They promised that their Christmas book will NOT include red, white and green things. I'm interested to see what this mother-daughter team will publish next.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I have had so many instances in the past week or so where I have thought "I should put this on the blog." And then, I didn't take the photo I meant to or I finished whatever it was I was doing and was too tired to write about it. So, the blog is terribly neglected because of it. I am already feeling as if I am juggling enough at the moment, so I think you might see fewer posts from me in the near future. For now, though, here are a few tidbits from the recent past:

I was walking the dogs and I passed a teen-aged boy on the sidewalk.

He asked me, "What kind of dog is that you have there. That little one."

To which I replied, "He's a mutt."

Laughing, the obviously multi-racial teenager said "Same here!"
As we were packing up our stuff to leave the last session of our homebuyer workshop, one of our fellow classmates went up to the instructor and had the following exchange:

Classmate: "So, what do I owe you for the workshop?"
Instructor: "$35"
Classmate: "Do you accept money orders?"
Instructor: "You just happen to have a money order on you?"
Classmate: "Yeah. I have to put my money into a money order so I don't blow it all at the bar."

Ummm...signs point to this person not being quite ready for home ownership.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Yay for spring-like weather! Yay for lighter coats! Yay for more sunlight!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Glorious Downtime

I was really craving some low-key time this weekend so I made sure that I kept my planned activities to a minimum. I got to spend Saturday night with this on one side:

and this on the other side:

I drank wine, listened to podcasts and knit knit knit, dividing my time between my 3 WIPs. And, I did the same thing for a big chunk of Sunday afternoon as well! I made some great progress on my projects and got to listen to a lot of the podcasts I had fallen behind on.

The 3 WIPs I worked on were:

I am currently doing this project as a long distance knitalong with Becky. We are both making the Oblique sweater from Knitty in Cascade Eco Wool. I am using this awesome Eco+ red color, which is not quite portrayed true to color in this photo. The pattern repeats require a good amount of attentiveness as they are worked over different numbers of row repeats and are done while also doing the waist shaping. Luckily the patterns are pretty easy to follow once you get a repeat or two finished. I primarily focused on this project this weekend and completed about 75% of the back panel.

I am also working on Bottoms Up (ravelry link) which is going to be a thin, tanktop/tee shirt. I am using my stash of Hempathy. This is being knit on size zero needles. The first million and a half rows of this project are worked in a 1x1 twisted rib. The combo of hemp yarn, small needles and twisted stitches means that I can only work on this project in small doses.

The Vine Lace Socks have been in progress for a long time. I have only been devoting a little time here and there to them so they have progressed slowly. This photo was taken at the beginning of the project. I am now past the gusset on the second sock. It should be quick and easy from this point on!

After having big spans of time to rest, knit and be alone, I feel refreshed and ready for the week. I know I can't possibly have weekends like this regularly, but I hope I can continue to work them in when I really need them. And, judging by the 10 hours of sleep I got on Friday night, I was in need of some rest and recovery time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Payday for Pets

This past week I finally received my first paycheck from my new job. It was a long awaited check as there was a big gap between my last temping paycheck and the first one from my new job. Phew! I really am amongst the employed again!

I thought I would spread the paycheck love around, so I bought the dogs some new toys. With all of the things we have had going on in the evening the past few weeks, they have a had a lot of crate time. They definitely deserved some new treats.

Tchazo got this squishy rubber ball that has a bunch of ledges built into it so that you can put treats in one side of the ball and he has to work them out the other side. He is very food motivated so just putting a few pieces of his food into the ball makes it a really appealing toy. Plus, he gets to chomp on it, too.

Jack is much less treat and toy motivated but he does like rawhides. He got this bell shaped rubber toy made for wedging mini rawhide bones into it. He is very into holding things with his front paws while he chews them so this bell shape works well for him.

Fanny didn't get to share in the paycheck love since she already has a lot of toys. Besides, her favorite toys are boxes, bags and things I knit, none of which are sold in a pet store. She did, however, have a friend come over to visit. This cat appeared outside of our window today. I think he/she belongs to one of the tenants upstairs and they must have let him/her out to enjoy the nice weather. Fanny was intensely curious and totally entranced by this cat until he/she got bored and walked away.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Still Renting

Yes. Yes we are. But, we are thinking about changing that soon. And, that fact explains my recent lack of blog posts. We have been attending homebuying workshop classes in the evening to get ourselves educated. We are still gathering information at this point, but have high hopes about being on the path soon. Renting is currently getting a bad rap as we have been having annoying landlord issues in abundance. But, I won't go into them since spewing radiators, missing windows and lease disagreements have already taken up enough of my time and energy as it is.

The other explanation for my recent lack of posting is that the combo of my new job and the recent clock shift has resulted in feelings of total exhaustion and mushy brain at the end of each day. I was just starting to acclimate to the new schedule when the clocks got changed and threw me off all over again. Is anyone else having the hardest time getting out of bed in the morning this week? I've also been losing the battle of staying awake on the bus. The craziest thing is that I am not sleep deprived, just tired.

The good news is that I have still found a little time for knitting. After a few weeks of swatches, false starts and multiple trips to the yarn store, I started a few new big projects. I'll fill you in soon, but for now I have to get some sleep.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Cedar

Wow. What a weekend. I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Besides the stuff I already blogged about (dinner and jewelry making with Mom, puppet show with Sally), I also fit in the requisite weekend errands, yarn shopping, a belly dance class, a knitting group, getting some necessary things done around the house, some hanging out with Paul and a volunteer shift for a show at the Cedar.

I started volunteering at The Cedar Cultural Center in February. During my first shift, I met Brianna Lane who was performing as part of a hootenanny style show. She was knitting on stage and, during the few minutes I poked my head into the show, I heard her mention that she hosted a knitting group. After the show, I snagged a little time with her to find out the details. Since then, I have been regularly attending her knitting group at the Cars R Coffins cafe.

This time around there was no knitting involved, but I did get to sit in on part of Cheryl Wheeler's show. She was great! The stories she told and the chatting she did between songs was quite witty and her songs were engaging and beautiful. Cheryl's sense of humor is evidenced by her percussionist playing her cat's ashes as a shaker in the recorded version of the song Cat's Birthday, which is about said cat. I am not making that up. She called the instrument a "catash". Clever, clever.

The Cedar hosts a lot of singer/songwriter musicians so I am sure that I will get to discover more exciting musicians through my future volunteer shifts. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Beneath the Surface

When I was planning the move back to Minneapolis, I made this list. One of the old favorites that I was looking forward to visiting is the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater. I have seen a few shows at this theater in the past and have enjoyed multiple MayDay Festivals. When Sally suggested we go check out the newest Heart of the Beast show, I was totally on board.

The play we saw was on par with past performances I have seen there, which is to say it was a feast for the senses. The Heart of the Beast has a tendency to put on shows that have something to offer kids AND adults in the same performance. The show we saw, Beneath the Surface, was no exception.

The show addressed water issues, with a focus on the virtues of tap water versus bottled water. I am already a devoted Nalgene bottle user, but with the message of this show fresh in my mind, I am newly reminded to decline those tempting disposable bottles of water whenever possible.

Today is the last day of this show, but you will have another chance to check out the theater's awesome puppets and masks at the upcoming MayDay Parade and Festival on May 3. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cussin' At My Mom

Last night my mom came over for dinner. I still haven't gotten used to the fact that hanging out with my family members is an option. For the handful of years I lived in Boston, I kept in touch with my family regularly via phone. We joked over the phone about them coming over to eat dinner when I told them about something I was cooking. It is so neat that I can invite them over to eat and actually have them be able to come over!

Since our time was limited to the time between when work ended and when my mom got too tired to stay awake, I wanted to make something quick. Paul and I teamed up to make this big pan of Vegetarian Lime Orzo. It isn't super pretty but it is very tasty and makes excellent leftovers.

Part of the reason we didn't spend the whole evening making and eating dinner was that we had to leave time to make some jewelry. As part of my mom's birthday present, I gave her the supplies for a set of jewelry and an explanation of the designs I was envisioning. I promised her that we would get together and I would make them for her. I opted for giving her the supplies vs. the finished jewelry so that she could be there to try things on as I made them and approve the designs. Here is a shot of the necklace, bracelet and earrings set.

Now the story behind the cussing remark in the title of this post. As my mom was getting ready to leave, she mentioned something to Paul about how her daughter would never swear because she is such a good girl. To which I reacted by using a few choice expletives. The surprised look on Paul's face was pretty priceless and I think my mom might have burst my eardrum with her shocked yell. A person has to shock people sometimes, you know!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Add this to the list.

Here is yet another reason why knitting is completely and totally awesome to add to the already plentiful list. According to this article published by BBC News about a study done at the Mayo Clinic, knitting can delay memory loss. Or, phrased differently, it can delay the onset of dementia. Rock on, knitting!

Another point made in the article is that those who watch TV less than 7 hours a day are less likely to develop memory loss. What?!?! 7 hours a day is whole freaking lot of time in front of the TV. I would say that if you watch that much TV, you probably have bigger health issues than possible, future memory loss.

So, considering this new information, are there any non-knitters want me to teach them how to knit? Speak up!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Sally and I met about 7 or so years ago when we were co-workers in Minneapolis. One of the great perks of my new job is that Sally and I are co-workers once again. OK, we are not exactly co-workers in that we don't interact with each other on work related tasks. But, we CAN interact in the important ways like sharing lunch breaks! We spent our lunch hour yesterday viewing the Changing Identities exhibit at the Weisman Museum. Having Sally to spend some of my lunch breaks with is a pretty sweet job perk, if you ask me!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Grow, Baby, Grow!

No. Not this baby:


Or these babies:

Paul and Zoe

I am talking about this baby:

This is what is used to look like just a few weeks ago:

My how it has grown! I am soon going to be eating salads from the garden box and using the cilantro and basil. I am amazed at how little effort the garden box takes to grow things. I planted it and I fill it up with water once a week. That is it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Contented Cat

Why is Fanny so content?

Because her favorite napping location has been restored to its original condition.

Two weeks ago our landlord removed the windows in our bedroom in order to replace them with a special glass that would bring them up to building code requirements. The swap was supposed to happen all in one day, but one thing led to another and we were left with shoddy storm windows keeping out the cold for two weeks. We had to stuff blankets into the windows and keep the curtains closed tight to preserve as much warmth as we could in that room. We finally have the windows back and can now open the curtains again. Fanny is now happily napping warmly and peacefully in the sun on a soft bed. What a life!

Monday, March 2, 2009


Yesterday morning, Tchazo and I went over to Jamie's house for brunch and a doggie play date. Jamie put out a colorful and tasty, berry-themed spread: berry smoothies, berry pancakes, berry syrup, and fresh berries. Yum!

Sylvie (The Unofficial Gerber Baby) woke up from her nap in time to give me some silly smiles and watch Tchazo run around her living room. Sylvie's dog contact has been mostly with Lucy the pug. I think she was impressed with Tchazo's size and his constant movement.

The play date portion of the morning was successful in that they both got worn out, but the truth is that Tchazo thought Lucy was annoying. He didn't care to play with her as he was having a good enough time running around her yard in the snow. That fact didn't seem to bother Lucy at all, so maybe she will win him over with her persistence next time.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Galactic Game Night

Last night we went over to Mark and Jerri's apartment for a night of playing games, eating Galactic pizza, drinking beer and hanging out.

The only disappointment of the evening was that the Galactic driver did NOT deliver in a superhero costume. I had been especially looking forward to that novelty because our apartment is out of their delivery range and thus, we have not yet experienced the delivery person in spandex amusement. The dude made some lame excuse about being exempt from the costume because of the temperature yet he was delivering pizzas in a sweatshirt! Oh well. Maybe next time.

Before we settled into playing games, we had a bit of goofing around time with Zoe. In the photo above, I am attempting to tickle a normal smile out of Paul for the photo. The end result was not really any better than the usual goofy faces he makes. Doesn't Zoe look like she is unsure about the crazy dude holding her? It's OK, though, because she got him back by yanking on his beard.

We had a well rounded game playing session which included a Cheap Ass game called Light Speed, Bananagrams and Dominion. Our evening also included a call to Beth for clarification on Bananagrams rules. Beth, we wish you could have been there with us!
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