Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Crofter’s Cowl – keeping my neck warm

Today I have an FO for you! I love, love, love this thing and I’ll definitely be making another one soon.

Pattern: Crofter’s Cowl by Gudrun Johnston (Ravelry link, only available for download there)
Started: October 23, 2008
Completed: October 26, 2008
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky in Teal Feather
Needles: US 8 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I knit a total of 5 repeats on the first half and 4 repeats on the second half because I wanted to use up as much of the yarn as possible. I only have a tiny bit left! Yes, I actually grafted the whole thing together and it doesn’t sound nearly as bad as it was. It went by pretty quick. I’ll admit, though, that I watched that video on KnittingHelp.com a ton of times, so I have the whole thing memorized ;o)

Here’s the whole thing, laid flat (no, I didn’t and won’t be blocking it):
Crofter's Cowl

Here it is on me:
Wearing the Neck Warmer

The only other interesting thing so far this week is that my odometer in my car hit 99,000 miles. I have a 2004 Matrix XR, so I’m averaging about 25,000 miles/year. Not too bad. The average according to my insurance agent is about 20,000 miles/year, so I’m only slightly above average!

1,000 miles to go

As for the Gable sweater… it’s coming along. I got some help at knit night last night and pretty much just continued on faking it like I did the yoke. I wrote down lots of notes for the yoke and now the neck shaping, so if anyone else is knitting the large size, I’ll be happy to share them (they’ll also be in my FO post for it). I’m a few rows into the hood now and I’m hoping it will continue to go well. I’m hoping to finish it up tonight!

We leave for vacation to Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday. I am excited to go and ready for a break!

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Posted in Current Projects

Knitting right along.

I like that my cell phone has a camera in it (I have a SideKick LX). Sometimes it takes some decent pictures, but it IS a cell phone and the pictures aren’t fantastic. I like the convenience because I can email the pictures to myself to upload rather than using my regular little HP camera that doesn’t always work right and having to get the pictures off the card. Honestly the little HP I have is a real pain because the little plastic bit that holds the battery in is broken, so every time I want to get the camera card out, the battery pops right out along with it. I like pictures with my blog post and I’ve been using more pictures from my cell phone lately because my HP camera has been acting up more and more – it won’t take pictures, won’t save pictures, does this thing where it records voice with the picture and you can’t shut it off you have to pull out the battery. It’s apparent that it needs to be replaced. If/when I get a new one, I’d like it to be similar to my cell phone in ease of getting the pictures off, but better quality so I can easily make blog posts any time I want!

This week has been tough. Had to see the neurologist and it went okay. Finally feel solid about everything that will be happening and then I get my end of year review and things were thrown up in the air about all of it. After my initial OMGWTF moment (day?), I pulled it together and have a plan now. I will admit, I couldn’t have gotten over it and into action mode without Matt. This month has been a roller coaster of things going on and the review gave me a blow I wasn’t fully expecting and put a lot of things into perspective for me. I don’t want to go into too much detail about it, but my actual review was good, just other things going on that I can’t control that have nothing to do with my performance. Matt has been fantastic and held me up when I just wanted to sulk rather than get it taken care of. We’ve had some great talks and I know we’ll work it out, no matter what happens. The best feeling is knowing that he’s there for me no matter what. I don’t even know how to put into words how that makes me feel! Just… totally loved :o)

Anyhow… I wanted to show you my knitting today.

It’s been all Gable all the time around here lately. I’ve worked on it pretty much non-stop since I started it nearly two weeks ago now. The yoke is getting on my nerves at the moment, plus it’s pretty heavy to carry around with me, so it’s currently the knit-while-sitting-on-the-couch project. Hopefully I’ll finish it up this weekend. Here’s a picture of it just before I joined the body and sleeves.

Body and Sleeves

I started the Twisted Flower socks just before I started the Gable sweater. When I ran out of yarn to continue it, I worked on this sock and I’m now on the second chart repeat. I really love how it’s coming out.

Twisted Flower

Juno Regina is moving along slowly. I only really knit on it when I’m out somewhere because it’s become my designated purse project. It’s nice because I’m at the part where I don’t have to follow the chart anymore so I can pick it up at any time and just knit a row or two. It’s come in handy when Matt and I have been out somewhere and there’s some down time where I can pick it up and keep my hands busy.

Juno Regina Grows

Yesterday I cast on a cowl (finally). I’ve been wanting to start this all month and finally did. This pretty skein of Malabrigo Silky had been sitting on my desk waiting for me to wind it and make a cowl, so over the weekend I had Matt assist me in winding it up (he’s my official Yarn Winder) and I picked out a pattern – Crofter’s Cowl. I’d had my eye on it since I saw it sometime in September and wanted to knit it even more after seeing Zarzuela’s. I was thinking about not grafting it and just continue the pattern rather than knitting two halves, but I decided to go all out and knit the two sides and graft it. I think it will be a bit more stretch this way as I have problems binding off a bit too tightly! I considered doing it the other way first because I thought I might not have enough yarn. After looking on Ravelry, though, I should have enough to be able to graft it. Here’s my progress so far.

Crofter's Cowl

November 1st we leave for a week vacation to Charelston, South Carolina and I can’t wait! I’m planning on some things to do and places to see (or eat at) while we are there. I’m also thinking about what knitting I want to pack ;o)

Posted in Knit Ramblings

Changing Seasons


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Originally uploaded by Gorillapond

Fall is here and it feels like winter is moving in pretty quickly. The last two days I’ve woken up to 37 degree temperatures and it’s cold in the apartment. All I want to do is stay under the big squishy comforter snuggled up with Matt rather than get up and get out into the cold weather, all bundled up, but still freezing.

I love this picture that Matt took when we went to Sharon Woods last week. The colors remind me of my first fall and all the subsequent falls in Connecticut. I don’t think I’ll ever forget driving on the winding roads there, the trees all in full color, the air crisp, the sun shining, and my favorite music playing on the radio. Just like this time last year, I find myself really missing living there. The fall in New England is the most colorful I’ve experienced. That’s not to say there haven’t been beautiful trees in an array of colors here, it’s just that there seems to not be nearly as many trees. Fall is definitely my favorite season.

~~~~~

I’ve been working on the sweater – the yoke seems to be taking forever to get done, plus the pattern is a little vague as to what you do once you run out of purl stitches to decrease. I’m trying to wing it and just write down my modifications as I go.

Today I started the Crofter’s Cowl with Malabrigo Silky. It’s a pretty teal color and I think it will come out nice.

Pictures of the sweater, cowl, and the Twisted Flower socks soon. Right now I’m busy trying to keep warm! ;o)

Posted in Cooking

On Sandwiches (aka What a Delicious Post)


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Originally uploaded by Gorillapond

I used to hate sandwiches. Not all sandwiches (I've always loved hot, toasted or grilled sandwiches), but cold, pre-packaged lunch meat sandwiches with crap I didn't like on them (like condiments other than may, lettuce, tomato, onions… anything but meat, cheese and mayo, really). Then I discovered the deli counter. What a fantastic discovery! No longer did I hate cold lunch meat sandwiches so fiercely, but I wasn't convinced anything belonged on them yet. It wasn't until the last year that I really accepted lettuce and red onions on my cold sandwiches and occasionally I'm game for tomatoes.

This weekend, we attempted to recreate (with our own touch) the delicious sandwiches Matt loves which are all variations of an Italian sub or sandwich. We went to the deli counter and purchased Angus roast beef, maple turkey, hard salami, prosciutto and provolone cheese. Picked up some turkey peperoni, shredded lettuce, Roma tomatoes, red onion, Italian vinaigrette dressing, hot banana peppers, and cuabatta bread. When we got home we made this delicious sandwich and man was it GOOD. This isn't one of those sandwiches you eat every day, but it was great to be able to create this sandwich at home and not have to go someplace to buy it pre-made. Besides, if you ask me, our version was way better ;o)

Posted in Current Projects

Sweater and Love

I’m about 6 rows short of competing the body of the Green Gable Hoodie and then it’s on to the sleeves. Here’s the picture I took on my cell phone camera after lunch today:

And the sweater grows

I’ve been wanting to share this picture on my blog for a while now, but somehow haven’t yet. My friend Grace took this picture of Matt and I. I love it.

Cute

I’m still not sure how I managed to get so lucky. To be honest, relationships before this were never “right” (for lack of a better word). Something always felt like it was missing, I always felt unhappy, unsatisfied, unloved, unwanted… and I’m sure a bunch of other “un” words. I just always felt like something was missing. Then I started changing. Changing my behavior and thought process. Changing my life and making it a bit more about me instead of about everyone else. I became more happy on my own and no longer depended on someone else to make me happy. Then I started to get to know Matt. Our relationship has grown from that point on. I feel like I can’t say or think it enough, but this is nothing like anything I’ve experienced. This relationship we have is what I’ve always imagined having. I feel so lucky and fortunate to be able to wake up with him every morning and fall asleep with him every night. For the first time in my life I’m not questioning every little thing in a relationship, holding things to myself, dreading and fearing doing something wrong to screw it all up. I just wanted to share this because I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Life is full of surprises and this has been the best of them all so far :o)

Tonight Matt and I have to go to a class on spinal fusion. I might be having surgery done in the coming months. Nothing has been decided yet, but it has definitely been on my mind.

Posted in Current Projects

Dish Rag Tag, DVRs, the Outdoorsl, Yarn and a Sweater

First things first. I inteded to post this about the Dish Rag Tag last week, but forgot. So here’s the update about that first:

Last Monday (10/6) I received the Dish Rag Tag box. In the morning I checked the Delivery Confirmation Number on the USPS website to see where the box might be. The status was “Delivered at 3:45 am.” It was 9 am when I checked the USPS website, so I went and looked outside the door. No package. I figured that it was out for delivery rather than delivered anyhow, but no harm in checking! I knew it was going to show up sometime, so I didn’t worry too much about it. I went and had lunch with Matt and when I came home I found it sitting right outside the door waiting for me. I was excited to get it open and start the dish rag, but I was able to snap a quick shot with my cell phone before tearing into it:

Box Received

Here’s what I received in the box:

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Here’s the box all ready for a trip to the Post Office:

Box Mailed

I didn’t get any sort of decent photo of what I sent. I only had two photos on my camera phone that I took and they both were very blurry! The box is now on it’s way to Emily and I’ve been checking her blog regularly to see if it’s arrived yet.

~~~~~

When I met Matt, he already had a DVR that he’d built himself. I never realized how convienent a DVR could be, since I never had any interaction with one before we met, but I totally love having one. We don’t watch TV regularly and prefer to watch it when it’s convenient for us, so having a DVR is absolutely fantastic. We also don’t have cable, but do have an antenna that gets more than enough stations with things we like to watch. The plus of having a DVR is not being tied to the TV schedule so that you don’t miss your favorite shows or get behind on them. Lately, though we were getting some really crap recordings of some of the shows we watch most often. Something needed to be done since not all the shows we watch are available to watch online. We finally narrowed down the problem to one TV tuner card that kept having shows with anomalies in them (weren’t even watchable).

We discussed the possibility of totally replacing everything in the DVR, but the cost was more than we are willing to spend right now, especially with vacation coming up the first week of November. Instead we agreed to some minor upgrades that are more reasonable right now: a new hard drive and new TV tuner cards. So, this past weekend Matt and I did some upgrading of the DVR. We went to Micro Center and purchased a Western Digital Green 1 TB hard drive and an HD HomeRun TV tuner. I think both of those things are really cool. The hard drive because it saves power and is more efficient and the HD HomeRun gives you a lot of options for how you have your DVR set up (great for future use when we can do the rest of the upgrades we’d like to do). Here’s a review that gives a little more detail on how it works (and here’s their website). SO.COOL.

Anyhow, the DVR already had three hard drive and three TV tuners in it. Hard drives: 500 GB, 350 GB, and 200 GB. Two of the TV tuners are Hauppauge and the other is KWorld. The first thing we did was move the shows on the 500 GB hard drive to one of the smaller ones. This was done because one of the smaller hard drives had the operating system on it and we planned on keeping the 500 GB hard drive in the DVR along with the new 1 TB hard drive we purchased, but the shows needed to be moved off of it so we could put Windows XP on it (two hard drives with no OS is not going to work!). After that was done, the DVR was taken apart, one of the TV tuners moved (the KWorld one), dust was cleaned out, the two smaller hard drives removed and the new hard drive put in. The HD HomeRun was easy to install and since it is a separate box, it’s hooked up externally (nothing needed to be done to the inside). Next came the hard part: getting it back up and running again! We ran into some issues, most of which seem to be video card related, but it took a lot of testing and tweaking to narrow it down to that. We haven’t figured out a solution for that just yet (other than buying a new one). The issue only seems to pop up when we try to “ask” too much of the computer or if it has to be restarted. The hardware part was easy, but the troubleshooting part was frustrating!
Everything seems to be working smoothly so far, but we’ll see how it goes in the coming weeks. I didn’t actually DO a lot in terms of putting it together or anything, I did LEARN a lot. DVRs are, in my opinion, quite easy to build and really handy to have!

On Monday we went to Sharon Woods just to get outside the house since we spent most of the weekend inside. I didn’t have my camera with me, but I did take some pictures with my camera phone that came out pretty decent.

Trail

Stairs

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Leaves Changing

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The Photographer

When we came back home after the outing to the park, there were two packages waiting. One for me and one for us. The first thing that was opened was the package delivered by DHL addressed to me. To explain, Antonio from Malabrigo Ravel-messaged me asking for my address because he wanted to send me Malabrigo lace yarn in natural for free. I could only guess this was because I’d posted on Ravelry in the Small Bob group (cute little crocheted Bob dog) about not being able to find it and having to order from two online shops. At first I was a little wary to be giving my address to someone I didn’t know, but after looking at his profile and seeing him quite a bit on the Malabrigo website, I decided to give him my address. After a few days I forgot about it, but about a week later a package arrives address to me sent from Uruguay – from Antonio!! I was so happy to see the package and when I opened it I found 5 skeins of Malabrigo Lace yarn in Natural AND a skein of their new superwash sock yarn!! WOW!! I immediately sent Antonio a thank you note on Ravelry and just feel like I can’t say thank you enough. It totally made my day.

Malabrigo Lace and Sock Yarn

The other thing that came in the mail for both of us was the Radio Bookmarks from NPR. Matt had surprised me by doing a donation to NPR in an amount enough to get two Radio Bookmarks – one for each of us. The funny part was that I was thinking about doing the SAME THING the exact SAME DAY! What I didn’t know was that he got mine with PINK buttons!! Love ❤

Radio Bookmark

Over the weekend while Matt was troubleshooting the DVR issues, I knit. I started a sweater and have made a fair amount of progress. I decided to do the Green Gable sweater from the Fall 2008 issue of Vogue Knitting with Caron Simply Soft. The yarn called for in the pattern is Wool Ease Thick & Quick, which is 80% acrylic, so I figured what difference with 20% wool make anyhow? Plus, I had three skeins of Caron Simply Soft in my stash that had no purpose and had the needles called for. It was a match all the way! I am really loving the pattern and how it’s coming out so far. Here’s the picture I took last night of my progress which has about a third of the body knit:

Sweater Progress

After knit night tonight, I have about half of a chart repeat to go to be done with the body. I’m making it a little longer than called for because I was a bit over a half of an inch off which I think would have made it too short in length. I think I’d much prefer a sweater that’s a little too long than one that’s too short! I haven’t been knitting or crocheting anything else besides that since I started it Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be done before knit night next week!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

New Workspace

Today I went to dinner with my family in celebration of my birthday. Dinner was good and when it came time to gifts, they gave me a card. Inside the (singing) card, was piece of paper with a picture of a desk and a note saying “IOU one desk from IKEA.” I totally didn’t think they’d ACTUALLY get me a desk of any sort, so I just passed it off as nothing. As we walked to the car, my mom was asking me when would be good to go and get it. I told her whenever is good for her. She popped open the trunk and said something like “Is now good?” and I looked in the trunk and there were two boxes from IKEA – my new desk!! I was totally shocked and didn’t expect it at all, but it was a really happy surprise. I’ve been using my sewing table for a while because desk are, well, not cheap! So, I’ve been putting off buying one since the sewing table was working well enough. The last time my mom was over she mentioned seeing some desks at IKEA for like $140 or so and was suggesting I get one. I said that that was more than I wanted to pay and didn’t think much of it after that. Tonight, though, I came home with a new desk! I love it :o)

Here’s a picture of the new desk (I forgot to take a picture of the old set up, whoops!):

New Desk!!!

You can’t really see it, but my rockin’ new chair from Matt is in the picture, too. I love that chair, it’s sooo comfortable!

Since I’m here posting about my new desk (from my new desk!), I’ll show you what I’m working on right now – the Twisted Flower Sock:

Twisted Flower Beginnings

And here’s the Grim Reaper with eyes and a mouth (still needs a scythe):

Grim Reaper

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

On Birthdays and Yarn Things

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to meeeeeeee
Happy birthday to me

Yesterday was my birthday! I’m now 27 years old, but in most ways I don’t feel like it. I got lots of birthday wishes yesterday from friends and even people I didn’t know! I had to work yesterday, but Matt came and took me to lunch. We went to the new Chipotle across the street from where I work which is actually opening today, but they had a free food day yesterday in preparation for their grand opening today. They passed out flyers to get in and I didn’t get one. We went over anyway and Matt had brought a crown and a sash that said “Birthday Girl” for me to wear. The lady that was collecting the flyers said she couldn’t turn me away on my birthday and let us in even though we didn’t have a flyer. As I went through the line, all the workers were saying “Happy Birthday!” to me as were a bunch of customers that were there! It was pretty awesome even though I was a little shy about it.

When I got home, we watched some TV, then we made dinner – baked potatoes with chili, cheese and sour cream and veggies. It was delicious! After that we watched the VP debate, which was quite interesting. Matt definitely made my birthday feel extra special and the celebrating isn’t over yet! This Saturday we’re having lunch with some people from the knitting group and in the evening we’re planning on going to Dave & Buster’s to play some arcade games. Then on Sunday we’re going out to dinner with my family. Not sure where yet, but I’ll pick something good. I’ll be sure to be wearing my crown and sash for all the festivities!

As for knitting, I recently finished the Pomatomus socks I was knitting, so here’s the run down:

Pomatomus Socks Finished

Pattern: Pomatomus by Cookie A.
Started: August 27, 2008
Completed: September 28, 2008
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Paints
Needles: US 1 bamboo DPNs (4 instead of 5 because I broke one while knitting the first sock!)
Notes: I would have had these done faster, but when it came time to knit the second sock, it became my “TV project” (the thing I knit while in front of the TV only) so it took a little bit longer than usual. Great pattern and I’m sure I’ll knit it again!

In other knitting… I started a cowl and ripped it out before I even got a picture of it. I was using Cascade Heritage red sock yarn I have, but the fabric it was making was just a bit too loose for me, so I ripped it out. Now I’m going to make socks with the yarn instead. After seeing the Twisted Flower Socks by Cookie A. on Ravelry in red, I just had to make them, so I’ll be starting those soon! Here’s the yarn I’m using:

Cascade Heathers Sock Yarn

I’m still knitting away on Juno Regina. I’m at the part where it’s just knitting the columns of the middle portion for a long stretch, so I doubt that will be very interesting to blog about anytime soon. I do love knitting with the Malabrigo lace, though. It’s so very soft and buttery. Speaking of Malabrigo lace, I ordered the yarn to make the crocheted Small Bob (if you’re on Ravelry, you may have see this). Since it doesn’t take up a lot of yarn and I’ll have a lot left over, I decided to make up Small Bob crochet kits. The last of the yarn I was waiting on arrived today. Here’s all of it:

Malabrigo Lace

Since I needed to meet an order limit for the natural colored Malabrigo lace yarn, I indulged and bought a skein of Silky Malabrigo for me for a cowl. I love it!

Malabrigo Silky

I’m still working up these little cute crocheted things. Here’s the latest one – Grim Reaper:

Grim Reaper - Front

He still needs eyes, mouth and a scythe. (I’ll get to it this weekend!) The next one I will be making is the Spartan from the same book as the Grim Reaper (Creepy Cute Crochet).

Recently, I saw the cutest Hello Kitty crochet book. I almost didn’t try to acquire it because it’s in Japanese, but it does have charts and I think I’m finally figuring out the crochet chart thing, so I went for it. I mean COME ON, it’s a Hello Kitty book! How could I not have it? So, I messaged this Etsy seller to see if she could obtain a copy of the book for me. She lives in Japan and agreed to get me a copy. I’ve been impatiently waiting for it to arrive in the mail and when I got home yesterday, there it was waiting for me!

Hello Kitty Amigurumi Book

I can’t wait to make something out of it!