22 December 2008

sew confused!

a local film production company has created a Girls of DC Theatre pinup calender as a fundraiser. i am somewhat confused by the product as featured on their website because..

um.
Miss November is not a costume designer. i know her. she is an awesome lady and super foxy, but she is an actor, not a costume designer.

throw us a bone, folks. not all designers are dumpy and hard on the eyes. i can think of a few that are distinctly hot. heck, i even know one petite busty redhead (no relation) who is like... Bettie Page 2.0. let's not even get int the hot asians and a few costume designer milfs.

puh-leeze.

20 December 2008

intarsia

berryinstarsia is also known as "picture knitting". it is most often seen in the wild in the following 4 forms:

1. teacher sweaters.

2. reindeer sweaters.

3. big 1980s flower sweaters.

4. kiddo sweaters.

it is a very challenging means to creating an incredibly tacky end product. unless it is a cute kiddo sweater. i like to think this strawberry, my first foray into this form, falls under heading #4.

19 December 2008

being green

puffy vestmost of my recent knitting is of the stealth variety. i will be able to share it all next week, but for now i need to reach back to provide content.

i have been hanging on to this one for a modeled photo. it is really cute when worn, but i have not been able to take a good picture of myself wearing it. i think it is the sort of odd garment that requires seeing the whole person to not have a "whoa. what the...?"

PUFF-n-STUFF!

Himalayan Vest
designed by Katie Himmelberg.
published in Knitscene, Fall 2008.

knit in approx. 6 skeins of Manos Del Urguay Wool (#68 citric, 100% wool) purcased at K+S=B on size US 11 and US 8 circular needles and stuffed with 100% wool roving purchased at Just for Ewe in Marblehead, OH.

started: november 4, 2008.
finished: november 17, 2008.


i started this while watching the election returns. i needed something pretty straightforward because i was obviously distracted.


detailyou knit this with a double strand of yarn on very large needles. this was a little tough on my hands, so while the knitting itself went quickly, i could not work on it for long periods of time. despite being knit almost entirely in one piece, this has a lot of finishing. there are only two seams (shoulders) but because of the construction method with the "chambers" that need to be stuffed to make a puffy vest. there are just a ton of ends that must be woven way.
i wear it with the front open, and you would not think the vest would be that warm, but when you take it off, you really notice a big difference. i like it because it keeps me warm, but i don't get too hot when i have it on.

i have some more vests in my sights for 2009. i want to get back to some sweater knitting for myself, but i plan to go into it slowly because i don't think i can have more sweater disappointment.

we shall see!

17 December 2008

i made polenta

and you can make it too. go to Eating Cleveland and enjoy some step by step photos!

this was my first try.
it will be better next time because i have learned a few things.

1. i am short. this makes it hard to stir a pot on the stove. i need a shorter pot and a step stool. seriously, this stuff gets difficult to stir at the end.

2. 5 more minutes on the stove would have done a world of good. (see logic for stopping in item #1)

3. rWs oven sucks, and it needs to be dialed up to bajillion if i want to brown anything. i need to get him an oven thermometer before i try this again.

still, it was pretty good, and i plan to fry the leftovers per another EC suggestion. confession: i will make rW do it. i am bad a frying things. the closest i get to frying is sauteed veggies or the sizzle of pancakes. actual oil frying is a no go for me.

16 December 2008

the most beautiful thing i have ever made

baptism shawli don't even know where to begin on this one. i mean, some projects are just so intense and wonderful that you can't regard them in the same way you do say... a hat. or even a sweater for yourself.

that is more or less how i feel about this one. my Dad tried to ask me how much i would sell Collin's christening shawl for (of course. he sees most things in $.), and he didn't believe me when i said i could never sell this one. and i think that is true. i could be paid thousands of dollars to knit another one, but i could never ave sold the one right off my needles.

it means too much.
it has in it all my hopes for him, and his family. all the happy thoughts i had while making it, and all the frustration too. (all the sweeter for being a little bitter!) i think about the project and i think about all the great things that happened while i was working on it--my cousin's trip out to visit me on the spur of the moment, the oohs and ahhs from other knitters when i pulled out the piece in progress, how thrilled my cousin's husband sounded on the phone when he told me Collin had arrived, the compare and contrast my mum and i had with our various projects for the baby to be, the trip out for the shower.

probably best of all was the reaction from the proud parents when i handed it over. i love when i can make something that makes people happy.

Collin's Christening Shawl

based on the Celtic Knot Stole
designed by Sarah Kendra Hughs
published in I Dream of the Sea

knit in 5 skeins of Rowan 4-ply Soft (#376 "Nippy", 100% merino wool) purchased at K+S=B and knit on size US 4 addi Lace circular needles.

started: april 17, 2008.
finished: november 27, 2008.


if you want the complete glamour shots and work in progress photos, they can be viewed in the picasa album posted below. there are 2 mistakes that are visible in the final project, but they are relatively small. if you want to stay on my good side, you will keep them to yourself.

finally, here is the link to my ravelry page for the project. other ravelry members can read all about the knitting trials there.

Collin's Christening Shawl

15 December 2008

"neck" is a funny word

cowlthere are some words that the more you say them, the funnier they sound and the more they seem to lose meaning as a word and just become a sound. rW and i were saying one of these words over and over again yesterday--'pointy'.

'neck' is one of this words.

obviously our shopping trip went poorly yesterday if the thing i am reporting is funny words we said, not gifts bought. gah!

SO!
things that go on necks.....

Serenade Cowl
designed by kittything
offered as a free pattern with yarn purchase at K+S=B.

knit in 2 skeins of Artful Yarns 'Serenade' (#6011 "Against All Odds" 70% pima cotton, 30% angora) on size US 7 needles.

started: october 22, 2008.
finished: october 24, 2008.


i whipped this up for the shop as a store model. we started carrying this odd cotton/angora yarn for scarves and needed something to show it. turns out, it is not that great as a scarf yarn
and it is mostly used as a very basic sweater yarn.

so i made a simple cowl. i like to think it as a scarf one cannot lose. pretty.

swirlafter i knit the cowl for the shop, i wanted one for myself.

Spiral Cowl

designed by Keri McKiernan
published at Knitty Gritty Thoughts

knit in 1.5 skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino (#430 "smoke" 50% merino wool, 50% silk) purchased at Now and Then in Takoma Park, Md and knit on size US 5 circular needles.

started: december 1, 2008.
finished: december 5, 2008.


i started and then had to entirely rip out this project on the ride home from thanksgiving. i twisted the join and would have had a yucky mobius.

after i overcame the initial stumbling block, it went fairly well. i knit it at a first read for a play and then on the metro when rW had to borrow my car for a few days. i think it is excellent train (or bus, or tv) knitting.

were i to knit this again, i wold cast on fewer stitches because i think it is a little larger than i would like for keeping warm. i will say it works very well with a brooch or stick pin holding the extra fabric in place. and it looks nice!

the best things: the yarn and the edging. this is the extra yarn i did not use to knit the cabled tam. i loved it for the tam and i still love it for this. also, the edges are very pretty. i used sewn down picot "hemmed" edges. this was my first go at this technique and i think ti is very pretty, but i want more practice.

diagonaland finally, a scarf.

Go Diagonal! Scarf
designed by Sophia Kessinger.
published at Yarn-over Manhattan.

knit in 3 skeins of Plymouth Expression (#3326, 55% wool, 45% acrylic) purchased at K+S=B and knit on size US 11 needles.

started: december 2, 2008.
finished: december 6, 2008.


i am not a big fan of scarf knitting, but every so often, i will turn one out. this one is for rW's mother. i decided that she needed something happy and colorful for christmas, and i think this just about fits that bill.

this yarn knits up very fast and reminds me a lot of Berroco Foliage, which has been discontinued.


more holiday gifts revealed after the big day. i can't believe how quickly it is coming!

11 December 2008

hop hop hop

angora bootiesi have a new favourite fiber: angora. it is warm, fuzzy, and comes from the cutest creature possible... a long haired bunny. i have recently knit two projects in this delightful stuff.

Bunny Toes
aka Angora Baby Booties
designed by Joelle Hoverson
published in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

knit in 1.25 skeins of Spinnerin "Ballerina" (lipstick red, 100% angora) purchased at A Yarn Shop Marblehead, OH on size US 5 DPNs.

started: november 6, 2008.
finished: december 1, 2008.


these are incredibly cute, easy to knit, and take no time at all. i would have finished them the same evening i started them had i not run out of yarn. my gauge was correct, but i still ended up needing a little more yarn to finish

my mum was kind enough to get me a second ball at one of her local yarn shops. unfortunately the dye lots were different and the one cuff is a little off in color. i doubt the future baby who wears these will notice. if they do, then i have decided i don't like that kid or their parents who let their kid criticize a gift.

so there.

floppy
Bunny Flop
aka Floppy Toque.
designed by Cathy Carron.
published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2008.

knit in 12 skeins of ACA Supreme Pure Angora (ink black, 100% angora) purchased on Ebay and knit on size US 6 DPNs and circs.

started: december 5, 2008.
finished: december 7, 2008.


this hat is super warm. i love how fuzzy and soft it is, and i enjoyed knitting it as well. you work it from the top down and knit with two strands of angora held together. it is very dense and even thicker because the deep ribbing folds back on another layer of hat. delightful!

i really like the look of this hat, and i may make another one, but i would probably switch to brushed alpaca because angora is just a little too rich for my bank account. at least it would be if i tried to use it all the time!

10 December 2008

proper topper: hats part II

the hat chronicles continue. i noticed something as i thought about my hat knitting some more. i tend to make hats in the last quarter of the year and there are very few that fall outside that period. funny, huh.

blue twist
Unoriginal Hat
designed by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
published in the Yarn Harlot

knit in 1 skein of Malabrigo Chunky ("bobby blue", 100% kettle dyed merino wool) purchased at Now and Then on size US 10 DPNs.

started: november 13, 2008.
finished: november 13, 2008.


i bought this skein to be the pom pom and i-cord on the earflap hat i never knit out of the other skein of darker blue malabrigo. i had this pattern kicking around my queue for awhile and i thought it would be a good back-up gift to have on hand in case i can't find something better for the person i have in mind.

it is a fun and simple pattern. cables rock.

gold star
Gold Star Beret
aka "Aspen Beret".
designed by Pam Allen.
published in CEY #9092 Autumn, Book One.

knit in one skein of Lion Brand Woolease Thick & Quick (#189 "Butterscotch" 80% acrylic, 20% wool) on size 13 DPNs.

started: november 18, 2008.
finished: november 19, 2008.

the star stitch was very fun!
i started this when i was in dress rehearsals for Lord of the Flies. there was enough light spill from the stage that i could see the star stitches, but the pattern was easy enough that i didn't have to pay much attention.

the student actors thought i was a super star because they saw me knitting the hat on tuesday night and i wore it on wednesday.

were i to knit this again i would have gone down a needle size for the ribbing because it loosened up with wear and i have had to thread a drawstring through the ribbing and tie it in a bow at the back to keep the hat on my head. eek!

smoke cables
#09 Cabled Tam
designed by Jennifer Hagan.
published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2008.

knit in 1.25 skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino (#430 "smoke" 50% silk, 50% merino wool) purchased at Now and Then and knit on size US 5 DPNs and size US 4 & 5 circs.

started: november 14, 2008.
finished: december 4, 2008.

this project started with the yarn. i had. to. have. the smoke silky merino, and i bought enough for the bobbed tam also published in this issue of Vogue Knitting. then i decided the color was not good for the bobbles and switched to the cabled tam. the pattern calls for more yarn so i bought a third skein.

it turned out that i barely needed the second!

this hat is really beautiful, and the pattern is very good, although there is a small mistake in the last couple of rows of the chart. as enjoyable as it was to knit the tam, i will say it had a few tedious moments. most of those were centered around the rows in which every single stitch is cabled and you are working over 240 stitches in the round. those rows were blessedly few, which means on the balance, this was extremely enjoyable and gratifying to knit.

i call the project done, but i am pretty sure i am going to tear back the bind-off and ribbing and reknit it on size US 3 needles and for a few more rows to make a snugger band. this hat has a problem similar to the Aspen Beret.

one more hat to go!

09 December 2008

put a lid on it: hats, part I

while i have been primarily devoting myself to complex gift projects that are running on deadlines, i have managed to squeeze in some other projects. almost all of these have been hats because they are very fast to make, and some of these have been skill builders to boot.

hats! hats! hats!

foliage
Foliage
design by Emilee Mooney
published at knitty.com

knit in 1 skein of Malabrigo Chunky (#98 "tuareg", 100% kettle dyed merino wool) purchased at Now and Then on size US 10 DPNs.

started: october 31, 2008.
finished: october 31, 2008.


i originally bought this yarn to knit an ear flap hat with a pom pom top and ties. as i started the hat, i discovered it looked awful in this yarn because it is too springy (texture, not season). i bought all of this color at the shop, so i couldn't get more to make something bigger than a hat, so i was on a search. i don't knit a lot of lace, so i decided to try this hat and see how lace in a chunky yarn looks. i like it. this is going to be a holiday gift to match the blue mittens i posted about a few weeks ago.

the construction was really cool for Foliage. you knit the hat from the top down increasing in the leaf lace repeat. fun.

beanieFIN beanie
designed by Mari Muinonen
published in Made by Myself

knit in 1 ball of Jo Sharp Silkroad DK tweed (#409 "night" 85% wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere) purchased at K+S=B on size US 5 DPNs.

started: october 21, 2008
finished: october 22, 2008.


i love this yarn, and i am a big fan of this hat because it has an awesome star decrease pattern on top. pretty straightforward hat that really shows off the tweed yarn.

yum!


rufflesSweet Girl
design by kittything
available free with yarn purchase at K+S=B

knit in 1 skein of Schoeller + Stahl "Sweet Girls" (100% acrylic with silly ruffles!) on size US 10.5 needles.

started: october 4, 2008.
finished: october 21, 2008.


this is a store model to show this funny yarn we are carrying this fall. i am not into novelty yarns, so this is not my thing, but the hat design itself is cute. the top has an eyelet row and ribbon drawstring to close it up so a little girl can wear her ponytail through the top of the hat.

i know, adorable. speaking of adorable...

browns
The Littlest Brown
designed by kittything
unpublished improvisation

crocheted in scraps of Frog Tree Merino (100% merino wool) with a size I hook.

started: november 6, 2008.
finished: november 6, 2008.


this is a hat for Collin to match the browns hat i gave his father last year for christmas. i made it from the scraps of the bigger hat. you can see father and son sporting their tasteful sports themed hats together on Collin's blog. this kid is amazing. he is cute, quiet, and already a prolific blogger!

05 December 2008

goodbye fall, hello 300!

fall wreathguess what folks? this blog has officially reached 300 posts! thanks for hanging in there with me through work, play, knitting floods, and work related droughts. onward, 300 ho!

this week it has officially become cold in the greater DC metro area. it has been hanging out in the 30s more than the 50s (surprisingly low for this month) it was fitting to take down the fall bittersweet wreath and haul out the christmas tree.

i'm glad i knit.

speaking of knitting, i have been doing more of that then blogging. the most notable accomplishment on the knitting front is the completion of Collin's christening shawl. it rocks. it is done. the knit-on edging made me near suicidal.

(not really. sort of knitterly suicidal. not the real kind.)

i still owe a post on all the hats i have been turning out, and i plan to do one of all the glamour shots of the shawl. i hope to get together a photo album of the trip rW and i took to ohio for thanksgiving.

promises, promises!

24 November 2008

yeeeesssss

edgingthis photo represents my current state of mind.

i am full steam ahead on a single minded mission to knit the edginging on to Collin's christening shawl. i am now 75% finished with said edging (i week ago i was 20% finished), and i feel this haze setting into my line of vision. everything that is not cream lace edging receds in importance.

who knew knitting come be so important and consuming. i have high hopes for this project. time will tell.

and shortly, i hope!

in other news, rW brought me orange roses. this is one of my favourite colors for roses. beautiful.

roses

did anyone else notice how my blog's coolness just went down 17% as soon as i introduced lace and roses into it tonight? yeah.

14 November 2008

eww.

humilatinghi! i am a totally humiliated Interweave Knits model!

the preview for the winter issue of Interweave Knits is out, and i am unimpressed.

1. most of these sweaters make the skinny mini models look fat. not fat, i guess.... the sweaters are not adding fat rolls but it does make them look thick and/or chunky. that is an adjective i want to apply to peanut butter or soup, not sweaters.

2. if the sweaters are not fat-looking, the photos are! ew. ew. ew. who publishes in a magazine a picture cropped in the least flattering way possible? that makes me want to knit Fatty McGee sweaters. yeah.

3. colorwork accessories. ugly ones at that! gross. okay. the poinsetta mittens are cute, but they re a little cheesy.

4. and to be fair, the one man sweater in the issue is very nice. too bad i am not a man.

11 November 2008

the first

angorafor the first time ever, i have run out of yarn on a project. moreover, i have run out of yarn on a project on which i should have had enough because...

1. i have the amount the pattern calls for.
2. i am getting gauge.
3. um. this never happens to me.

this almost happened with the sweater i made my father. according to the book, i needed 7 skeins, i bought 9. i used all but 4 yards of the last skein. nice.

but at least i had what i needed that time, and more importantly i could get more because i bought the yarn where i work. is that the case this time? no way. this is bright red vintage angora i bought in ohio at the yarn shop my mum and i only go to because well... it is there. and there may be something interesting.

like angora.
the kind i only need 4 more yards of to finish a project. gah.

good news: my mum found it, and when i go visit for turkey day, i will be able to finish my project.

10 November 2008

lest you feel abandoned.

i have abandoned no one!
i have just been busy with a new show, meetings for winter projects, and the store. , yes... and the election! it was, dare i say, fun. i was reading a lot of commentary and listening to bipartisan speculation about the forthcoming administration. it has been pretty interesting, not to mention historic.

i have also been knitting some gifts and finishing up projects that were languishing at 50%. i have a current favorite... mittens!

here are four projects for your enjoyment.

harvest mittens
Yellow Harvest Mittens
designed by Mari Muinonen
published in Vogue Knitting, Fall 2008

knit in 1 skein Manos del Urguay 100% Wool (color X "topaz") purchased at K+S=B, on size US 6 and 7 DPNS.

started: september 11, 2008.
finished: november 3, 2008.


these were a lot of fun, and they look great. i blocked them after this picture was taken, and they are awesome.

charts were good. bobbles are fun to knit (who knew!) and i have only one complaint. the pattern tells you to work the decrease area in stockinette but if you want continuity on the mitten, you need to be using reverse stockinette. i followed the directions exactly and realized when i was done and had blocked them that i should have been a rebel and changed the pattern.

live and learn, but i still love them. this is a project for me obviously.

super mittens
Super Mittens
designed by Margrit Lohrer
published in Weekend Kitting

knit in 1 skein Malabrigo Chunky (color 98 "Tuareg", 100% merino wool) purchased at Now and Then, on size US 10 DPNS.

started: october 29, 2008.
finished: october 30, 2008.


these are a gift. i want to keep them. not really. i don't wear much blue, but they are super squishy and soft and this yarn was a delight to knit. this project continues to reinforce my love for the book Weekend Knitting

i was given the book last year for christmas, and i have made 6 projects from it so far. two of those were sweaters. not bad considering how ADD i get about patterns.

i made a hat to go with the mittens. i will share it later in the week.

baby mittens
Baby Mittens
designed by Kaitlyn Wong
published at Sassy Stitches

knit in half a skein of Artful Yarns Serenade (color 6211 "Against All Odds" 70% pima cotton, 30% angora) purchased at K+S=B on size US 5 DPNs.

started: october 24, 2008.
finished october 26, 2008.


i knit these for Collin. i started them when my cousin told me she was headed to the hospital because i needed something else to focus on... a movie was not cutting it. i finished them the day after he was born and they went off in a little birthday gift package with a hat. more on that later.

i modified the pattern to use heavier yarn. the designer calls for fingering weight doubled. i used a "worsted" that i consider especially light.

cables
"Beaded" Cable Mittens
designed by Shirl the Purl
published by Cabin Fever

knit in 2 skeins of Berroco Pure Merino ("kale" 100% superwash merino wool) purchased at K+S=B on size US 4 & 5 DPNS.

started: october 2, 2008.
finished: october 28, 2008.


these are a store model that is part of out holiday 2008 gifts display at the shop. they were fun to knit, and i love the color, but i think the mittens would have looked nicer in a wool that was a bit sticky and didn't have as much smoosh or softness.

i know, sacrilege to exchange looks for softness, but that is how i feel about it.

obviously the pattern is written to be beaded, but i decided to forgo beads because that is a technique many knitters have an artificial fear of trying.... and as a store model, it needs to appeal to the masses.

i also think these could be good for a man in a masculine color, and then the beads are going to be a no-go for most occasions.

looks out for more knitting updates later in the week.

tonight i have pledged to fix my mistakes in the shawl and get back to work on that thing. i really want to take it back to ohio on turkey day... even if i have longer, i feel anxious about it!

04 November 2008

yes, maxine, democracy can be boring.

today i stood in line to vote in front of man who brought his daughter with him to see democracy in action. he was very sweet and she was a cute second grader who asked a lot of great questions. when we had been in line for just over an hour she declared voting boring. i told her that democracy can be boring, but we have to vote anyway.

her dad thought that was funny.

i voted

two major thoughts about the experience... touch screen voting is strange and it is cool seeing a lot of people you know at the polls. especially because they are excited to participate in our occasionally "boring" democracy.

knitting update: i took a lizard ridge afghan square with me to the polls and i was so excited and weird while in line that i kept having to rip what i knit. i think i did 4 rows in line.

27 October 2008

my grandmother can have peace

apple piei made good use of those apples yesterday. this is my first apple pie.

i am not a very good maker of crusts, and this one is my first personal success. rW had some hand in it. he encouraged and helped cut shortening when my arm got tired.

it turned put pretty well.

the filling is made from the Rome apples we picked saturday and one Honeycrisp apple to throw in some textural variety and sweetness. i spiced it with both cinnamon and allspice.

now my grandmother can be a happy woman. it took 90 years to reach this point, but now she has the icing on the metaphorical cake... her wayward granddaughter has made a real pie. crust and all.

knitting content soon, i promise. i have been busy on secret knitting.

26 October 2008

wet but fun saturday

pumpkinssaturday was a very busy day. we will start with the top story.

my super-awesome cousin gave birth to her first child saturday morning. His name is Collin Thomas, and you can see the photos on his very own website (with commentary by his father, a man of eccentric humour.) which i am sure will have frequent updates of cuteness.

the family expansion was happening in cleveland, so here in the mid-atlantic, we had a pretty typical weekend on our hands.

rW and i took a trip out to Mt. Airy, Maryland to pick apples and a pumpkin. it was fun, and we took a bunch of pictures. i even did some knitting on a mitten in the car.

the only hitch in the day was some inclement weather. we got pretty wet, but it was worth it. the pumpkin we found is as perfect as any pumpkin i have ever had. it has one slightly flat side, but someone clearly picked it up off its side and set it upright before it finished ripening and turning orange because it doesn't have too much of a deformed side.

i sort of also wanted to take home one of the fancy bright orange pumpkins that were already picked, but i am happy with our guy. rW will have to name him because i am bad at that sort of thing.

here is an album of our countryside activities....

Pumpkin' and Apple Pickin'


later saturday evening i went to a cocktail party at my friend Jen's apartment. i met her new man (well, new so to speak, they have been friends for a long time, but they started dating this year.) and caught up with a few old friends.

all in all, fun and busy.

23 October 2008

17

 17 beanslast night i made 17 bean + barley soup. these are the beans before i soaked them. pretty!

it was delicious.
i served it up with pumpernickle bread and halves of delicata squash stuffed with veggie sausage (or "fauxusage", if you will). it was delightful. i had never had "sausage" stuffed squash before, but as i said of faux meat technology... there have been advancements.

i am pretty sure that fake sausage just tastes like smoke and spices, but it works for me.

i am on a store model knitting spree. i have a cowl on my needles right now that is made of cotton and angora blend--fluffy! this is the 2nd one this week that i have designed myself. photos soon.

help!

me and hatremember the head shots i had taken on sunday for the company website? the proofs are up, and now i have to decide which 5 i want to have edited. here are 52 to pick from.

please help me. photos are here. i am fairly certain they won't be up much longer than a week.

leave your favourites in the comments by photo number.

or maybe i should use my self-portrait?

21 October 2008

another thing

une pipei have been sent public and private comments about how i handled my ear infection. specifically how i handled in incorrectly.

yes, i realize there are ear, nose, and throat doctors in the world. i also realize they handle these things much better than a GP, an urgent care center, or Minute Clinic ever could. i even went to one the last time i had a throat in infection that kept me in bed for 5 days.

but specialists cost a lot of money.

health care in general costs a lot of money. the kind of health insurance i qualify for as a "young" single female in the state of maryland can be described as either "under insurance" or "$800 out of pocket per month".

to put that figure in perspective, i currently spend as much combined on my car insurance, student loan repayment, and rent every month.

well, some insurance is better than no insurance right? not really. when i had health insurance, i could never find someone who was qualified to call themself a doctor who would actually see me. i didn't have expensive enough insurance to be seen by someone fancy and reputable.

when i went to the ENT, 100% was out of pocket, even though i had insurance.

now, without it, i am the pariah in the corner at urgent care.

i try not to get political or turn my blog into a PSA, but this gets my goat. the faceless uninsured are not just the homeless black children living in the inner city you can readily conjure up in your head when you watch the evening news.

it is also me.
a white woman living in a small hippie town next to the big city. someone with a car, a roof over her head, her own business, a job at another small business, and a terminal graduate degree.

put that in your pipe and smoke it.

sweet life

model hat i have been doing secret holiday knitting that the blog readership cannot know about (hi family peoples. what up.) so i will share a so-not-me project here today.

this is a store model for the shop. i designed the pattern to be given out with the yarn, which as you can see is sort of silly. i plan to see if i can knit a second one in a plain yarn for more long term use in the shop.

the details....

Ruffled Drawstring Hat
designed by kittything
free with yarn purchase at K+S=B

knit in one skein of Scholler+Stahl Sweet Girls (100% acrylic) on size US 10.5 needles. fits a toddler or young child (16"-18" head).

started: october 4, 2008.
finished: october 20, 2008.


i started knitting this and then realized i didn't have a real plan. so i set it aside, designed it out in my head and finished it in one sitting yesterday while watching the movie Airplane!.

because it is store model (needs to be easy to knit) and it the yarn is a little tricky, i knit the hat flat and seamed it rather than knitting in the round.

the ruffles are goofy. you make them by grabbing only part of the ruffled section of the yarn and knitting or purling only the edge. on the knit side, you purl the ruffles, on the purl side, you knit the ruffles. it is opposite in order to keep the ruffles on the right side of the work. strange.

the cute thing about the pattern (never mind the yarn) is the drawstring top. a little girl can pull her ponytail through the top of her hat. cute!

in other news...
i had my head shots taken on sunday (and had to miss a BBQ at my aunt's house for it! grr!) and they went better than the horror show in my head. hair and make-up was easy. she didn't lecture me about home hair dye or going to a dermatologist, so that was good.

photo shoot was also good. we will see how the pictures turn out. i think i was done up a little on the vintage pin up side, and my glasses were problematic with glare so i had to take a lot without them. but i am sure there is something i can use.

last night i made a favourite dish from my childhood--macaroni and cheese omelet! it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. macaroni, egg, extra sharp cheddar cheese, fake bacon, salt, pepper, milk, frying pan. cook it. delicious.

prior to last night, i only have eaten it once since i went veggie. it is sort of bland without the bacon. now fake bacon technology has caught up and i was able to make it with the fakcon (as rW and i like to call it) and enjoy a slice of childhood once again. i also substituted in whole wheat macaroni.

i bet the whole thing could be made vegan, but i am opposed to soy cheese for personal reasons.

18 October 2008

a month ago

moi
that was the last time i wrote an update. egads. much has happened.

and unrelated to all of those things which i will detail, is this photo rW took of me. i like it because i am relaxing on the floor betwen the couch and the coffee table--a favourite spot. AND (!!!) because i am wearing the Gathered Pullover i knit for myself.

i opened 3 shows. Busytown (children's musical), Temptation (political satire with costume party!), and The Serpent Woman (fantasy/commedia).

i was sick from september 26th through.... well, probably this past wednesday, but i am still not at 100%. it started with a bad cold that spread into a double ear infection that eventually also became tonsillitis in one (and only one) tonsil.

then i went on antibiotics that made me 500% more sick and didn't cure the ear infection. so i could neither eat nor hear and was still in tech.

now all the shows are open, and my ears are still about 40% clogged, but i am told it can take up to a month for ears to fully clear and webMD says i shouldn't really get too worried unless i still have hearing loss after 3 months.

ridiculous.

i read Breakfast at Tiffany's while i was at the urgent care and on the metro because i was sick enough to not feel like knitting (!!!). i have since recovered enough to report that i have knit....

75% of a christmas gift. 2 mittens, each from a different pair. 20% of a hat. and one whole side of the edging on the christening shawl. i made a mistake on that on day 2 of tech #1 and it has been sitting ever since until i have the time and brain power to tear back and resume.

jess has assured me the bambino will not be baptised until december, but i want to get it done before his arrival as a point of pride.

other items of note for the month:

locked myself out of the apartment. twice.

rW and i have passed the 6 month mark.

i have started to sew for myself again.

my car had to go to the doctor.

i registered to vote in maryland.

i started my christmas shopping.

and i discovered a new bakery.

tomorrow i am having a head shot taken for use on the company website and programs. i am unsure how i feel about this. it means i need to go wash my freshly dyed hair so it will be manageable tomorrow for the hair and make-up gal.

i hope i get to wear my glasses.

17 September 2008

the hour before i go to bed

i have been working a lot lately. more than my usual "a lot" usual, that is. when i work a lot i get home late and have to decompress for an hour or so.. some what of what i do with the time i should be sleeping....

finished

rW and i finished our 750 piece puzzle.
it was fun. i used to do puzzles with my mom when i was a kid, and we always had a good time. she is a very "make your own fun" sort of person, a quality rW also possesses.

now, i don't think i am going to devote myself full time to puzzling by any means. i still find knitting more relaxing.

two puzzles

after the big old 750, we put together two 100 piece puzzles. they came as part of a ten puzzle set (two 100, four 300, four 500). roll of tape shown for scale. they are very small, and both of them took us less than an hour.

sure are cute and americana.

pumpkin

and finally a farewell.
last weekend, i bought a pumpkin at safeway, and tonight i was going to draw a face on him when a sad discovery was made.... he has the cancer.

one small spot of rot on his bottom where his skin was pierced, probably in transit. it does not seem like much, but he will spoil quickly. Owloysius tried to comfort the little guy but he looked decidedly nervous when i placed him on the ground level windowsill outside rW's building.

R.I.P.
Lil' Punkin


i am in tech this weekend, so busy times and little time to report back. i hope to ave pictures of this show to share. it rocks.

14 September 2008

the fun part of the full week. sorta.

puzzlerW and i have made some good progress on our puzzle despite only working on it intermittently. we did most of it last saturday and another hour of puzzling on one week night. we mostly have water and rocks left... some trees.

i did all of the sky at once.
go me.

i may have already bought a new puzzle. maybe. ahem.

i can tell you i bought new sneakers yesterday. all of my shoes are dying, and i needed something to replace the 4 pairs of canvas/rubber combos i pitched over the last few months. i also threw out a pair of real sneakers yesterday, but i may have to ask santa for some of those.

champagne of beerslast night we went out to the beer store and discovered they had 7oz shorty high life!

high life is my favourite cheap beer. i got the 8-pack of shorties for $3.49. these may be the most perfect thing ever because i don't always want a whole beer.

meet Owloysius. he is a fan of the champagne of beers too.

i have done a lot of knitting on the shawl this week because my car had to go to the doctor and i had a lot of time on the metro. also, i sat (knit) through a first rehearsal of one show and the design run for another. i finished up the body of the shawl, knit the eyelet border, increased to a multiple of 8, and started the knit-on edging.

the edging experience has been a doozy. many false starts and corrections, but i think i have it now. 3 repeats down 51 to go!

shawl

06 September 2008

holey wow.

unblocked lacethis is piece of unblocked lace. um. that's why it looks so goofy and relatively bad compared to other projects i have shown here. don't worry, it will be pretty before the end of next month!

this is the christening shawl for my future nephew. mama knows i am making it for the bambino, but i hope my FBL doesn't tell her i posted a progress photo. ahem. this project is really giving me a run for my money.

i am a new lace knitter, and this has been a learning experience.

i have decided that non-repeating patterns are difficult for me. i can't memorize the knot motif so i am glued to the chart row by row. i would be in agony of i were knitting this to a full stole size with repeats of the knot chart.

but i am not!
and it will be beautiful and worth all the careful chart reading when i have knit the last stitch, blocked it so it looks like something and a new wee person is wrapped up in it.

in other news...
i finished rW's tie. it is beautiful. i don't have modeled photos yet because we have both been very busy this week. i had 2 first rehearsals, 2 production meetings, 1 nineteen hour work day, 3 shifts at the shop, costume fittings, and a partridge in a pear tree. i'm glad it was only a 4 day week!

after the crazy week, rW went out for dinner last night. it was fantastic. we went to Franklin's in Hyattsville (why do they not have a website? or why is it so hard to find?) and i was pleased this go around. i used to go there all the time in grad school, and it was great, but over the last year, it was really sucking. i was pleased to see that this time we had good food, fast service, and a wonderful server.

this last point is especially important to me. i have had the lamest servers there every time i have been in the last year and a half.

we had a relatively simple dinner. beer (yay brew pub!), fresh made rolls, and salads. my salad was mix greens topped with grilled peaches, rd onion, blue cheese, pecans, and a sherry vinaigrette. rW had a salad of mixed heirloom tomatoes, red onion, and slices of feta cheese finished with a lemon dressing.

i cannot even describe how delicious the lemon dressing was on his salad. it is even difficult to describe the dressing itself, it was so unusual.

we went to the attached general store after dinner, and it inspired us to buy a puzzle. a jigsaw puzzle. yes, we are preparing for our geriatric years now.

750 pieces of pretty coastline. i think it is an italian sea town. i will keep you posted as the puzzle develops and my grey hair comes to visit.

01 September 2008

la mer

ocean blue
last week during previews for my latest show i was forced (really, my arm was twisted) to start a new project i could knit in the total darkness of a theatre. voila! new tie for rW in the works. it is knit in 100% italian silk making it a treat for both of us.

i think this color will be very nice with his eyes.

21 August 2008

before i retreat

jess and ime and jess at her baby shower. you can see the very top of the belly bump.

i forgot to share something that happened at the shower.

i am sort of the official shower assistant. i write down who gave what and make sure we save all the pieces. i did it for her wedding shower, so i was elected for this too. well, our grandmother sat next to me so she could see the gifts better (she's 90, distance = not so good).

at the end of the gift portion of the afternoon, jess made a short a lovely thank you speech and then we all went for refills. that's when she made her move. my grandmother grabbed my arm and i thought she just wanted a hug so i gave her the hug and we had the usual "good to see you/love you/etc".... then!

THEN!

grandma: hopefully we will be doing this for you in a year or two.
yvette: (!!!!)
grandma: i just want you to be happy.
yvette: (!?!?)
[long pause]
yvette: um, okay.

i escaped.
i had to. i even had to avoid he for the rest of the day because she tried to go back to the topic with me, and she went to my mother as well. i feel bad because she is 90, and i live far away, so it is not as if i see her every week. bu i think it took me at least 12 hours to fully recover.

yet it does beg one question... what exactly did my grandmother mean by "doing this for you"? because we were at a baby shower. not a bridal shower. maybe i am not giving her enough credit, but i just don't see my grandmother being that progressive.

okay.
thrift stores will be awake. off to shop my show. almost finished! see you when this beast is more complete.

20 August 2008

three ohio things

alpaca
this is my new friend. i met him outside my favourite yarn shop where my mum shops. isn't he cute? when i walked to the fence, he came right up to me and said hello while the other alpacas and llamas continued to frolick. i think he believed i was bringing him food, but i will just go on pretending we are pals.

roosters

these guys were also outside the yarn shop. they were chasing around a white rooster until i came up to them. i am sure they thought i had corn or some other yumminess.

marblehead light house

Marblehead Lighthouse is about 15-20 minutes form my parents house and about 5 minutes from my fav yarn shop. i cruised by but i didn't take the tour because i was on a schedule. i have never been up inside the tower--someday.

18 August 2008

argh!

i HATE our ftp server.

i am trying to write a bunch of blog posts for the store blog and schedule them to roll out over the next week or so.... i want to get this done before i go into tech so that it can 1. get paid. and 2. not have to worry about the blog while am up to my eyeballs in my "real" job.

boo.

boo on images and ftp servers!

shower craft

saturday i attended my cousin's baby shower. for the forthcoming bambino, i made a few crafty gifts. not all of them were yarn craft, but there was some of that as well (as always!). first, something we have seen before.

bambino is a little boy, and he will have the cashmere bootees i knit a few months ago. i added a blue ribbon to each to make it a little more "boy" and to help prevent him from kicking them of his little feets.

at the shower we had to pass the bootees around because everyone wanted to touch the cashmere.

in addition to warming his piggies, i made something to adorn the bambino's nursery walls. jess liked the winnie the pooh gang a lot when we were little, so i decided to make some pooh themed wall hangings. these four little guys are about 2 inches tall in their frames.

very cute and super fun to make.
each one took about 2-3 hours to stitch and frame. i have not done a lot of cross stitch since 2000, so this was a big change of pace for me. i enjoyed it a lot once i got the hang of the technique again.

finally, i created a "least common denominator" craft--iron-on transfer. i was at jo-ann's a few weeks back and saw these iron-on transfers and could not resist. super cute on blue onesies. they were a pretty big hit

there may be more shower and/or ohio pictures to come.... BUT! i am entering tech this weekend, so updates will become sparse soon.