August 2008


Hi All,

It’s been an interesting week or so, since my last post. I finally finished a Monkey Sock! This one has been on the needles for so long it’s not even funny. I had finished it up to the point of the heel and just kind of put it aside. I heel flap was diffrent for me, as my first sock was done with a short row heel.

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This is how it turned out! I am really pleased, as this was my first project using in any type of lace patterning, and chart reading. Although, let me tell you, I sure am glad all this was written out long-hand…..I really don’t like trying to read charts….it’s so hard for me and I kept losing my place. I also really have a hard time with charted cross stitch as well….I’ve only been working on the same cross stitc project for the last 8 years :(.

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I haven’t started the second one yet……I did start a different sock entirely. I needed a bit of a change of pace sock wise, and am working on the Cedar Creek Sock by Kaci Kyler Hays. This one is a much more simple pattern, that I have been able to memorize. I’m already 4″ into this sucker, so it’s going quickly. I guess I have the Second Sock Syndrome that I have heard so much about 🙂 I don’t have any pictures of this one yet, but will post as soon as its recognizable. The yarn is a great Socks That Rock yarn in the Hard Rock Colorway

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So in other news. We went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park last week. What a fun day! It was only in the mid 90’s so it was a good day to go out there. We hit it in the afternoon, with the intention of doing “The Park at Dark” which was just them staying open late. It ended up being a smart move, as many of the animals were a lot more active. Since we received a membership to the park as a gift (Thanks Mom and Dad!) we had some money to put towards one of the additional activities. We went ahead and sprung for the Photo Caravan Safari. It was a great move on our part, they take you out in a truck and actually drive through the enclosures….additionally, you get to hand feed an animal! We hit the Giraffe feeding which was awesome…..but I must warn you, giraffes have the longest, stickiest, and bluest toungues I have ever seen.

Mr. Nemesis got lucky and managed to lure this little (in relative terms) cutie over to feed.
San Dieog Wild Animal Park 171 This guy was one of the baby giraffes, he was about 8 feet tall! Here are the two of us with the Mama giraffe. Please ignore the really awful tan lines!

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Here I am with the Mama Giraffe. She was not shy about nosing around you to get at those yummy yummy leaves. One of the other girls on the tour got her ear licked by the baby…..She needed about 4 wet wipes to get off all the giraffe spit.

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We also got a lovely close up view of these guys too. Cape Buffalo….Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk to the guide into going out and staring it down a’ la’ Crocodile Dundee. This one was definitely giving us the stink eye. I have some other great shots of an ornery ostrich, the cutest little baby rhinocerose and his mama, and various and sundry other critters. They may make appearances here from time to time.

Hope everyone is having a great end of summer!

Ok, anyone who knows me, knows that I love to bake. It has been said that I single-handedly support the C&H Sugar company, and that my dentist must send me personal Christmas cards for using so much sugar.

Normally, the recipients of my baking are Mr. Nemesis’ coworkers……who are definitely appreciative. But this one was all for me. I found this recipe for Pioneer Woman’s Apple Dumplings. Oh man, these things are to die for!

My normal family recipe for Apple Dumplings is to peel and core apples, fill the empty core with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then wrap the whole shooting match in pie dough and bake them. Well, there is more to the recipe than that…..but you get the general idea. Pioneer Woman’s recipe is really different. It has a different flavor than mine, but still, the recipe is amazing.

Her’s are made with Pillsbury crescent roll dough, apples, butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and a can of Mtn. Dew. Yes, you read that right…..Mtn Dew. I don’t know quite what it does to it, but it sure does make an out-of-this-world sauce. So head on over to Pioneer Woman’s Blog, and check out her Apple Dumpling recipe. She also has a bunch of other awesome recipes…..some that have been in my recipe box for many years.

Happy Baking!

Well after moving, I finally found my USB cable so I could download my pictures! I got my bag felted yesterday.

Wow, it’s finally finished! Nearly a year later, I have finally got this beast done. While not a particularly difficult pattern, it was a long term project for me. This has been such a busy year, that I have been working on several knitting projects simultaneously.

The French Market Bag on Knitty was designed by Polly Outwhaite. The bag itself on Knitty wasn’t particularly inspiring to me, but after seeing this version by PA KnitWit, I was inspired to make my own. I loved her use of Paton’s Soy Wool Stripes.

So my version is Paton’s Soy Wool Stripes; 6 balls. After looking at the pattern I was puzzled why such small needles were used for a felting project. That really kind of worried me, because I like a really tight felt….and it always seems like the tighter I knit, the less it really felts up the way I like it. So I did go up from the recommended size 7 needles to size 10’s.

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Despite making it about 4 inches taller than the pattern called for, it still was smaller than I expected, but I am guessing that might be due to how tight I got it felted.

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I did notice that the yarn felted up really nice and tightly, but it had an awful lot of fuzzy halo around it. The fuzz was so long that it kind of ended up matted and sticking up funny. I wasn’t so happy with that, but a good once over with a set of Barber clippers set on No. 2 fixed that.

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I am definitely pleased with the outcome, and can always use knitting bags and totes, so this works great. I would certainly recommend the pattern, it is quite easy using simple increases, decreases, and stockinette stitch. It’s a good introduction to Kitchner stitch used to graft the handles together, especially given that it’s felted, so if you goof it like I did, no one will ever know 🙂

Thanks for reading! Monkey Sock pictures coming soon!

Hi Everyone,

I think I have finally gotten into the groove with my knitting. I have had The French Market Bag from Knitty on the needles since last October. It’s not a particularly complicated pattern, it just was rather tedious to knit through the miles of stockinette stitch on the body of the bag.

I haven’t been able to felt it yet, as I only have access to laundromat style machine at our temporary housing. But here is a picture of it unfelted.

French Market Bag

I think we will be moving into permanent housing next week, with hopefully our own washer and dryer, I will be able to do the felting. If not, then it will just have to wait until I get home this winter.

I have also been working on the ever so popular Monkey Sock by designer Cookie A. This is my second pair of socks, and these have also been on the needles for a long time…..Over a year in this case! I like the pattern, but got sidetracked with other projects, and kind of lost my vision for them. Mine are in my favorite Socks that Rock yarn, in the Rolling Stone colorway. I am nearly finished with the first sock. I think now that I have the pattern down, and have gotten through the heel (this is the first time I haven’t done a short row heel, so it’s a little different for me) the second sock will be a lot smoother.

I will have pictures of the sock soon! In the meantime here are a couple more shots from our San Diego adventures!

From  the Shamu show “Believe”  I don’t remember which whale this one was, but its not Shamu.

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The whale trainers really have to be in great shape for this to work.  In order to do this stunt the trainer had to dive to the bottom of the really deep tank so the whale could get a good momentum going to get the trainer up.  They are under water for quite a while!

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This lady trainer was great!  She actually “surfed” around the tank on this guys back.  Boy, were these whales spoiled rotten!

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The elusive Mr. Nemesis!  I finally got a picture of him, he isn’t too big on pictures……This is right before the dolphin show Ignite.  Fireworks and Dolphins OH MY!  Actually it was a good show, but very difficult to photograph.  Since it was full dark, I didn’t really get any good shots of the dolphins or pilot whales that were performing, the back lighting from the pyrotechnics was too brigh for my little camera.  I got smart and took my little one with me, it fits in a ziplock bag so it doesn’t get splashed 🙂

Mr. Nemesis

Hi all,

Here is one of the items that I created in preparation for my trip. I made up this nifty purse/handbag from a pattern from my friend Kathy at Pink Chalk Studio . This nifty hands free handbag is just the trick for my upcoming adventures and the inevitable trips to major theme parks that my husband has in mind.

This silk version, is not necessarily great for the water rides at Magic Mountain, but it has been just the ticket for toting around all the essentials for dry days at the zoo…camera, sunscreen, cash, husbands junk (I volunteered to make him one, but he declined the offer). The silk base of the bag is an embroidered silk found at Pacific Fabrics in Bremerton The flat fold tables are a treasure trove of different fabrics. If you take the time to root around you can come up with some lovely treasures. The rest of the fabric was also purchased at Pacific Fabrics.

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The contrasting strap and top of bag are made of a marvelous silk duppioni. The bag and strap are fully lined in a fun asian themed quilting cotton. I was really pleased how the whole project turned out. The inside of the bag has plenty of pockets (one zippered, and one divided) for carrying around the essentials, and keeping the sunglasses from getting scratched up when they float around the bottom of the purse with my keys.

Check out this fabulous organization:
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The pattern instructions were easy to follow, especially regarding the option to make two different sized bags. I made the kids sized bag (since I’m not a big purse type of gal) but with an adult length strap lengthened even further to traverse the terrain so to speak :). Also, the instructions for the optional zippered pocket are good even for a beginner to learn on.

I made another one of these bags, that I will share in a later post. In the meantime, I leave you with……..You guessed it! More meerkat pictures!

Digging a hole to China perhaps?
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Just kicking back…and kicking a stick
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Talk to you all soon!