Thursday, May 29, 2008

There is a Catch

Oh for shame...
I know that I need to finish the second baby sock.
I know that I need to work on Iza's birthday present.
... But you know what else?

My Rockin Sock Club yarn came in today. It's one of my favorite colors. The pattern looks interesting, but not too complicated. Actually I take that back, it looks really complicated, but I don't think that it's as complicated as it looks. I think it just took a lot of words to try and keep everyone from getting confused.

I've hidden the true colors behind some black and white so that I don't get shot or something. With any luck you should be able to see the pretty pictures I took by clicking on the b&w image. I tried to get pictures of all the pretty shades I saw, but I'm not that hot a photographer. I am impressed by how good the colors look. I think they're pretty accurate this time.I just don't think I can wait to knit this. I'll put it off until the weekend, but that's probably the best that I can do. I mean.... the other two months have been nice, but this one... this one I adore.

I've Been Knitting

I have been knitting up a storm lately. Of course it's a wee baby sized storm which made it quite easy to weather. Traci's due to become a mom is less than a month, and since I'm a fantastic knitter now I figured I'd better make with the hand made gifts.

The first project that I under took was Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. It's funny because it's such a simple pattern, but I couldn't have done it without the help of the notes I found here. The reason that it's called a surprise is because it starts off looking like this...
then you magically transform it into this!
This is actually a picture from before I seamed it up. But take my word for it, I did a good job. The jacket is sewn together (across the tops of the arms) and I added crochet around the neck. The only thing it lacks are buttons, because I don't have any buttons... It's possible you will see another photo of this once I procure and add said buttons, so lets move along.

I finished that baby hat that I was talking about. Even after knitting it a third time I still love the pattern. It has a nice rib to help it snug up to the head, and then these cute little ridges of purl rows then you leave holes so that a little braid can cinch it up at the top into this cute little poof.I apologize for the ugly baby doll in this and the sock pictures to follow, but I haven't got a baby of my own and I would feel weird asking a friend if I could borrow theirs for a bit so that I could post better knitting pictures on my blog.

I've knit one and a half pairs of socks for Lily so far. I'm working on sock #2 of the second pair. The first sock is a variation on Cookie A's Monkey socks. The pattern mod is called Baby Monkey by Nikkiana. The second sock is High Energy Baby Socks by Jodi Green. They're plain stockinette for the most part, but the CUTE picot edge at the top of the cuff makes the sock. I like to think that my color choice screams high energy.I find it fascinating that although both of these socks were knit on the same needles with the same yarn, and only a 2 stitch difference in width, they came out much different sizes. The monkey pattern really pulls the fabric in a lot, while the plain stockinette spreads out a little more. See what I mean? The high energy is knit a bit longer, but I didn't think they'd come out quite that different in size. Hopefully Lily will fit into one of them.I'm going to need to start working on the gift idea I have for my step-mom next. I know what Bree's getting for her birthday (and so does she) so that's no biggy. My step-mom is harder though. I have an idea, but it's crochet so as soon as I finish the baby socks I'm going to need to get cracking on it, since I still don't really know how to crochet. The deadline is June 13th, since that's when we go to Dallas next celebrate this pair of birthdays.

Must Not Peek

Oh the temptations. I have two links on my RSS Reader that I dare not look at.
1. The Rockin' Sock Club Blog
2. The comments for that blog

The sock club shipment has been mailed, and the last time that I looked at any of the comments I saw that one person has received their shipment. I love the surprise of opening the yarn package and having no idea what will be inside. I don't want to find out ahead of time what's coming, so I'm avoiding both of those feeds like they have the plague. Of course that means that they are piling up unread material that is taunting me.

On the one hand I figure even if I find out ahead of time what the yarn or the pattern looks like that it was still a surprise, and will still be fun, but I'm insane, and people post really bad photos that totally lie about what the yarn really looks like. If I see a picture ahead of time and get all excited then it only tortures me more while I wait for the mail man to make my delivery. Then what if it doesn't look like the picture and then I'm all sad? Or what if they post the picture, and then I don't even want the mail to show up because I think it's ugly? Okay, so that last option is pretty unlikely, but why risk it? So instead I sit here not reading the blog or comments just in case someone can't contain their feelings on the shipment and accidentally spoils my surprise.

Well... that was a really stupid post. Better luck next time, please try again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Captain Obvious

It's not often that I will post a picture from the "ladies room" but this had to be done. I like to think that they mainly posted the sign so that none of our rocket scientists tried to sit on it sideways.

I will acknowledge that there are far likelier reasons, including that the sign had been baring entrance to the entire bathroom earlier, and they just put it there to hold it until they came back to finish repairs, but my version is funnier.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yo Gurt

I'm a yogurt eater. I know not everyone enjoys yogurt, but I do. I've seen Rachel's vanilla chai yogurt in stores several times, and since I love chai I figured it was time to give it a try. I brought it to work for breakfast today, and I was not at all impressed. This has to be my single worst experience with yogurt ever. If this had been the first yogurt I ever tried I would hate yogurt and vow never to eat it again.

My first impression was that it looked a bit off. The color was "funny" I don't know how to describe it better than that, and the texture looked wrong too. I raised an eyebrow, but didn't think too much of it, since a lot of yogurts look strange but taste good. When I put my spoon to it, and tried to stir it up I found that I had a cup of something barely thicker than a rich milk. This was the runniest yogurt I've ever seen. I really didn't want to eat it, since I prefer something with more substance, but this was all I brought for breakfast so what was I going to do? *

I deeply regret having put a spoonful of that stuff in my mouth. I wish I had tested it with a taste off the tip of my finger instead of a full spoon. The only good thing I have to say about it is that the texture was smooth, not gritty or curdled feeling. The taste was horrible. It was all sour lemon and unpleasant. I didn't taste any sort of chai flavor, and really didn't smell a chai scent either. To make matters even worse the taste stayed, even after eating something else I could still taste a lingering after taste of the sour note.

If anyone has had a different experience with Rachel's please tell me. It was so bad that I half wonder if it hadn't just gone bad during shipping... Also, has anyone tried any of the other flavors, or do you have a favorite yogurt that I should know about? I mostly stick to Yoplait Light. I recommend trying the Key Lime Pie flavor if you're into yogurt and enjoy key lime. It's surprisingly good, of course I also like the Lemon Cream Pie, but I didn't really care for the Orange Creme. Other than that I stick to Strawberry, Cherry, Blueberry, and occasionally Blackberry.

*Acutally what I had to do was to go to the cafeteria and get a sausage biscuit. My yogurt was not edible.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Holy Cow It's Not a Sock

I know, it's strange. I haven't posted knitting pictures of much other than socks lately. Sorry about that, they're just so portable that they tend to dominate my knitting world. I also love sock yarn, and tend to have it just lying around waiting to turn into socks, so they are convenient. Not to mention all the brilliant patterns out there. Anyway today I have sock yarn that is instead becoming a hat.

I'm undertaking a few baby knits to welcome my newest niece into the world. Traci's daughter Lily is due in at the end of the ever so chilly Texas June, so of course she needs tons of knits to keep warm. (That should be read with severe sarcasm to those of you who are not from/in Texas.) I know she doesn't need to be bundled against the snow or anything, but that's not going to stop me. My only hope is that there are overly active air conditioners to guard against or that these items still fit when the summer swelter has passed.
The first project will be posted on later, because I haven't photo'd it yet. I was too enamored with this new yarn so it got it's picture taken first, even though it is further from completion. I mean, I even took it's picture before it was wound up into a ball. I would have loved to make Lily a jacket with this yarn, but a few things stopped me. 1. This is wool and wool is warm, and Texas is warm, so Lily would melt like chocolate in a pocket. 2. Although it claims to be machine washable I wouldn't want to risk a felty mess with it. 3. There was only one skein, and I'm not sure it would have made an entire jacket.
Instead I'm making a baby hat for the third time (Simon and Georgia were the babies who got the first two). That's how much I like this pattern. It's quick and fun to knit, but also I like the way it looks when it's done. I've worked the beginning rib so far, and now there's a couple inches of plain stockinette, then the fun begins with decreases and purl ridges. From past experience with the pattern I know that I'm going to have a ton of this yarn left after doing the hat. I'm excited about making some baby socks for Lily with all this left over yarn. I'm curious to see what a smaller diameter will do with the color repeats.
The pattern is available for free at Hill Country Weavers. You can usually find the store sample attached to a copy of the pattern living in sock land.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Look Ma I Posted

I feel awful for my lack of updates. I just haven't been able to stop and type the postings.

I really wish I could have blogged my honeymoon. We saw and did so much in such a short time, and it was sooo beautiful. You would have loved it, and I hope that you go some day. However, only having WiFi when eating breakfast put a crimp in my blogging plans. I suppose it's for the best. We only had one laptop and I probably would have gotten on Jeff's nerves if I spent an hour each evening blogging while he sat there watching. Still, it's been hard to come back to "real life" and get back into the swing of the blog.

I've been playing video games and knitting and trying to pretend that I'm happy to be back. I miss Hawaii. I really think that I could have stayed and been happy. Well, except that I would have missed all of you and that would have eventually drawn me back to Texas. I don't think I could be really happy long term too far from my family. I like to be able to visit several times a year, and long expensive plane rides would put a crimp in that style. Maybe when we're rich (we talk about this time a lot, Jeff and I, not if ... when we are rich) I can move to Hawaii, because when I'm rich I'll be able to fly first class and go back and forth once or twice a month. But I think I'll fly my family to Hawaii for Christmas, because I don't like the cold, and it gets way too cold in Dallas.

I did some crazy sock knitting on the way to Hawaii, but it fell flat. I couldn't get into it. It didn't help that I started off sick, and that there were so many other things I wanted to do that conflicted with knitting, but I also just don't think I want to knit it. I don't know if it's my choice of yarn, needles, or what, but I'm not enjoying it. I've almost knit one sock, and I think I'm going to rip it out. I wanted to press on through and knit the pair because the pattern is beautiful, and I was looking forward to dying them later, but I don't think that's going to happen. I was thinking about mortality and knitting the other day, as I do, and once again found myself thinking about the multitudes of projects that I want to do, and how I am limited by the amount of time that I can dedicate to knitting, and the time I have left in life. There is no way that I can ever do it all, unless robot bodies become a reality in my lifetime. When I thought about the sock again I decided that if there's no way that I can possibly knit all the projects that I want to knit in my life, then there is no good reason to knit one that I don't like. I should be having fun.

There are certain things that you have to do if you want to be a healthy person (bathe, brush your teeth, eat, sleep, etc) and there are things that help you achieve comfortable living quarters and tasty foods (like work) and then there are other bits of your time that are just for you, the times that you can watch television, play video games, surf the net, talk on the phone, knit, read, bike, hike, fly kites, hang out with friends, or family, or the one you love, whatever it is that brings you joy. When you're just having you time, don't waste it on stuff that's meh, that's what I say.

Well, at least the sock got to see a volcano before it died. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008