Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things Are Looking Up

Merlin is settling in beautifully! He doesn't seem to need quite as much exercise as we'd thought, which is sort of nice, and he looks pretty cute when he zonks out.

He is also gorgeous when he's just been groomed. Luckily, he was trained to lay down and be good while being brushed, which makes it a lot easier on me! He also responds immediately to "No" and "Leave it", and seems to remember boundaries well. This makes him a very polite dog! He also likes to get excited and play. He's already commandeered some of the cat's toys (she wasn't really using them anyway) and likes to just mouth them or carry them around.

As for the cat, the two are getting along very well. He's still very nice to her, and occasionally tries to get her to play, but she just doesn't understand. I can foresee them playing together in the future, once she's more used to him, though.

Really, the cat isn't TOO upset by his presence in the house :).

Another good thing is that I have been really searching hard for a part time job and I may have found one. I did a group interview yesterday morning, and by afternoon they had called me in for a second interview. It went very well and we agreed that I'd be a great fit, but they have another candidate who was good, too, whom they will interview on Monday. So I will know on Monday. Please think good things for me! If this works out, life will be running very smoothly.

The only things I've been knitting lately are silk shawls. I love knitting with silk so much; I may never make a wool shawl again! One of them is quite tedious, being mostly stockinette: the Icarus shawl by Miriam Felton, out of Sundara Yarn Silk Lace in Black over Violet. I'm calling it my Darkangel shawl, after a beloved series of books.

A project I just started is the Print O' the Wave stole by Eunny Jang. I used a gift certificate that my mother in law got me for my birthday, and got my first Claudia Handpainted Lace yarn in Jungle. The colors remind me of a kelp forest, and the yarn is a joy to work with! The stole will likely turn out quite small, since I'm using size 1 needles, but I don't mind. The pattern has just the right amount of interest for me, so it's nice to go back and forth between this and the Icarus shawl. I have fifteen repeats done.

OK, that's all for today! My preceptor is coming over later with her kids and we're going swimming. They're excited to meet the dog, too. Should be fun!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Meet Merlin!

This is our new dog! Merlin is a seven month old Sheltie. He was a show prospect that didn't turn out, and so we got to have him!

He dealt with the car ride very well:

He's getting used to going to the backyard:

And he and the cat, Valentina, are getting along very well:

He is very sweet and I think he'll be a great member of the family. Maybe tomorrow he'll pose in the sun for some better portraits!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Ravelry is spoiling me

Oops! I hadn't realized that while I added new pics of my finished sweater on Ravelry, I hadn't done a blog post with them. Sorry!

My sweater hasn't been getting a ton of wear because of the very hot weather, but it fits well and I really love it! Again, this is the Sienna Cardigan, in Malabrigo.

I went to my LYS, Web-sters, to find buttons. I thought wood might look nice. It turns out that the first ones I looked at were the best! The colors in the grain perfectly match the array of colors in the yarn, and the shape is interesting yet simple.

So, tomorrow I will probably have more pictures--of a new addition to our family. We're picking him up tomorrow morning, and I'm so excited!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I have been keeping myself busy whipping up a nice warm sweater out of Malabrigo Merino Worsted. This is my first time using this yarn, and I'm very pleased (except when it's 100 degrees out!).

Check it out:

This colorway is Rich Chocolate. I've seen a lot of variations in it on other people's blogs, and I'm happy with the version I got. It's a rich brown, with hints of pink and gold shading. The color isn't quite variegated, but still has a lot of interest.

I've finished all the pieces of the Sienna Cardigan and am ready to seam it and add the collar. I like the simple yet interesting cable along the fronts:

As you can see, I added shaping to the waist that isn't there in the pattern. It appears to hit me just right, so I hope it looks good in the finished product. It will probably make its debut on Saturday, so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My picnic blanket

This shawl is really quite big on me, even though it only measures 64" wide by 36" deep. I consider it my picnic blanket! I am happy because it is nice and warm and fuzzy, and should ward off air conditioning quite well.

Also, some more garden pics:

Bee Shawl takes wing!

I finished my Bee Fields shawl yesterday and blocked it. Here are some blocking shots:

It starts with a little edging:

Then a beehive:

Now bees swarm from the hive:

Into the fields where they enjoy summer's bounty:

Full view:

This shawl is by Anne Hanson of Knitspot, a true lace genius. It is the first lace I have done with pattern stitches on both sides, which definitely got interesting! I think it is the most difficult project I have done so far.

The yarn is the Wooly Wonka laceweight merino in Tupelo Gold, a beautiful blend of yellows and grassy greens. I used size 4 Addi Lace needles.

Pictures of the shawl in action to come, once Daniel gets home from work!

I think spring has finally made it to southern Oregon! I was inspired by the beautiful blossoms right outside my house.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shaking the Blues Away

Oh, my. I really didn't intend to just not post for nearly six months. If anyone out there is still checking this blog, I apologize. There has been so much upheaval in our lives here--including a period where I didn't knit for three months--that blogging just got dumped by the wayside. Mild seasonal depression combined with situational depression has made me not feel like doing much of anything.

But spring is here now, and for those watching Easter Parade in honor of the holiday, Ann Miller has the perfect solution for the blues--just shake 'em away!

With that in mind, I have a couple of blue projects recently finished. I guess you could say I've shaken them right off the needles into their finished glory.

I started the Peacock Feathers Shawl in October, out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silk Thread in Spinel. The teal color is beautiful, if a little lighter than I would have liked. I put down all of my knitting shortly thereafter in order to write a novel in November, at which point I learned that my job was ending. After scrambling, I found the perfect apprenticeship to a local midwife and started that in January. Eventually I picked up the shawl again and almost in a frenzy, completed it in about two weeks. I blocked it on a beautiful snowy day and came up with this:

I think it's really lovely, and can't wait until my wedding in September when I get to wear it!

Light as a feather! I used size 0 needles with the thread-like yarn to achieve a size more suitable for my petite figure.

The next project I tackled to finish was the Indigo Ripples Skirt. I wanted to be able to wear this fun, flirty skirt in the spring. I had the yarn for it on hold at my LYS and was purchasing one ball at a time as we could afford it. This week, I bought the last two balls with birthday money and finished it up.

It is rather flirty!

Unfortunately, using this heavy cotton yarn hurt my hands a lot. As I said in an earlier post, I had to go down three needle sizes and reduce the stitch count to even get the skirt to fit, and so each stitch was rather difficult. If I had not been looking forward to the product so much, I surely would have quit a while ago. The pattern is great: the lace pattern is fun, and the ruffle is very cute. It did take quite a lot of yarn for just that last little bit!

Next up for a springy finish: the Bee Shawl. This project caused me a bit of angst because I picked it up after leaving it for so long and realized that I had made a mistake somewhere. With lace on both sides, I really didn't want to undo it all, so I put the project in timeout for a while. Then I was reading a thread on Ravelry about very difficult lace shawls, and someone said, "It's just knitting!" I thought about how much more difficult this lace could have been, and decided to tackle it again. I read the pattern carefully, tinked back a couple of rows, and found my mistake. Having familiarized myself with the pattern again, reknitting was easy, and I finally felt like I had my lace mojo back. I love that feeling--being so confident in my skill that I can just memorize each line and hum along, easily seeing what stitch goes where. I put this to the ultimate test by taking the shawl to a jazz jam session in a bar. Even after having part of a Long Island Iced Tea, I was mistake-free! (I did put it down after a while; no sense in tempting fate!)

Anyway, I've finished the Bee Swarm section and am in the Bee in Field part. It's fun doing the great "googly-moogly" as Grumperina would say to complete the bees.

This has been a very long post, so I will just close with a small request for good thoughts on my partner finding a job soon. Because of the economy, the job hunt has been extremely frustrating and we really need a stroke of good luck. Thanks!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Reading Meme

I like doing the book list memes that float around occasionally. Here's one from Blue Garter.

These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users (as of some days ago). Bold what you have read, italicize what you started but couldn’t finish, and strike through what you couldn’t stand. Add an asterisk to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude*
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion

Life of Pi: a novel
The name of the rose*
Don Quixote
Moby Dick*

Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities*
The Brothers Karamazov

Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad

The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations

American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West*
The Canterbury tales*

The historian: a novel
A portrait of the artist as a young man
Love in the time of cholera
Brave new world
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s pendulum*

The Count of Monte Cristo

A clockwork orange
Anansi boys
The once and future king
The grapes of wrath*
The Poisonwood Bible: a novel*

Angels and demons
The inferno
The satanic verses
Sense and sensibility
The picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park

One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
To the lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s travels
Les misérables*

The corrections
The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime
The prince
The sound and the fury
Angela’s ashes: a memoir

The god of small things
A people’s history of the United States: 1492-present
A confederacy of dunces
A short history of nearly everything
The unbearable lightness of being
The scarlet letter*
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The mists of Avalon*
Oryx and Crake: a novel
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the art of motocycle maintenance: an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down*

Gravity’s rainbow
The Hobbit
In cold blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The three musketeers