Observations & Ruminations

Hi All,

I just wanted to post and say Happy Thanksgiving everyone! My house smells like cinnamon from the home-made pecan caramel rolls (recipe on Breadworld.com, the Fleishmanns yeast website) and I’m just relaxing after dinner with friends and an afternoon spent at Mission Bay Park flying kites. I am thankful that I have had so long here in San Diego to explore so many new things with Mr. Nemesis. We have had a chance to visit so many fun places, and try out lots of new activities, as well as a few old favorites. I have been able to spend more time getting to know Mr. Nemesis’s family, especially my siblings-in-law, which has been great fun. I have also been fortunate enough to have several of our friends stationed down here, and to make several new ones.

Since my time is coming to a close, less than 3 weeks now! I have been feeling the time crunch and started cranking out knitting projects. I know when I get home I will have plenty to do with work and holidays, and getting back to my sewing.

So here are a few of my latest finished objects.

Here is Turn A Square from Brooklyn Tweed My super simple project used some scraps of Berroco Ultra Alpaca and Noro Silk Garden. I did use a smaller set of needles than called for, which was good, the hat is still a bit big on me, it would work better if I had longer hair to fit under there. This took about 8 hours to make, so I was done in 2 days.

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This next one is a titch blurry and not quite as much of a close up as I wanted, but its the best I could do by myself in my living room mirror. At least you can get an idea of the fit.
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Here is the view from the top. I really liked the raglan decreases on this pattern. They really give a tailored look to the hat.
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Next up is the popular Chevron Scarf Pattern from the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts I made my scarf with Socks that Rock Medium weight. Its an awesome yarn that I can’t say enough good things about. My version is made in the Lagoon and Algae colorways. This is a hugely long scarf…..mine turned out around 8-9 ft long. I don’t have a long enough tape measure to check it with. I do have to say there is no way that this qualifies as a last minute gift….It would have taken me probably 40-60 hours of knitting to do this, but since I have been working on it since last February, so I’m really not sure.

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The last finished project I have to share now, is the Gust Scarf from Anne Hanson at Knitspot. I actually purchased the yarn and pattern together as a kit at Ball and Skein The yarn is a lace-weight 80/20 Alpaca and Silk blend called Arequipa. I was really pleased with how this yarn knitted up, and am just absolutely thrilled with my first lace project. The pattern was well written and easy to follow, with both a chart and written instructions.

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I’m putting this picture in full size so you can see the lace pattern better. This lovely colorway was a fabulous combination of purples, lavendars, charcoal, and black.
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So there you have it, my projects for the last 3 weeks. Oops, there go my cinnamon rolls. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, have a safe trip if you are travelling and otherwise may your pumpkin pie be spicy and your turkey be moist 🙂


Hi everyone,

I’m still in San Diego…..Its been a while since I have posted. I have had a bit of a roller-coaster of family things to do, so I have really been laying off my knitting for a bit. I’m still cranking along on my cedar creek socks and the scarf that I’m working on. It’s so hard to get in that groove when its 90 something in October. I’m definitely not used to this type of weather.

I have finally been to a couple knitting shops in the area. The Black Sheep in Encinitas was lovely with a wide variety of novelty yarns and a whole section devoted to cloth doll making, and using the yarns for wearable arts. The other shop was Knitting in La Jolla, which was another neat little shop. I saw my first Malabrigo in its natural habitat 🙂 It was lovely, but I managed to get out without spending more than 10 bucks…..so I was happy. I may head back before I leave.

In other news I was privelaged to attend the baptism of my niece. It was a meaningful service, and I’m happy for her that she is progressing and growing up to be such a sweet girl. I had a great time with my sisters and brother in laws…..who are all great fun to be with.

I finally spent some time swimming our apartment. I can’t believe I haven’t spent more time doing it. Despite it being 98 degrees today, the pool was frigid…..They definitely don’t heat them down here.

To wind things up here is a shot I took recently. I have some more to download from my camera, and need to take a few more shots.

San Dieog Wild Animal Park 101

To wind things up, I was honored that my friend KissmyKnits nominated me for a blogger award…..Makes me feel so guilty for not blogging more lately! I do have new stuff coming….I promise

blog award

So the rules of this award are:

1. Please put the award on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. You must nominate at least 4 fellow bloggers for this award.
4. Add links to the recipients.
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

So my favorites (this is hard to come up with, because I read so many, and so many have already been nominated)

Spindles and Spices Who has a real flair for dressing her pets that I can relate to!

Octopus Knits Who has lovely creative projects and appreciates a cephalopod as much as I do.

Dandelion Mama A mommy blogger who writes so incredibly well that I love to read all her posts. Also a creative soul who shares her lovely paintings occaisonally.

Scribbet Another mommy blogger who shares a little of her life in the last frontier. She has a lot of contests and give-aways and such. Also has a lot of fun recipes

The Pioneer Woman Who has an absolutely enormous blog with several sub-sections. She usually has a contest a week or so, and has an awesome recipe section. I can vouch for her recipes…..tested and approved. She can have upwards of 14000 comments on her contest posts.

So enjoy

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  I wanted to take a moment to remember and be thankful for all the lovely women and men in my life who have taught and supported me in my hobbies! 

My mom and dad who tirelessly supported me growing up, and taught me that it is Not a shameful thing to craft, either in fabric, words, or pictures, or the kitchen. 

 To my husband who loves and supports me and motivates me to finish projects. 

To my sister who has provided a lot of motivation and incentive over the years to hone my skills, and to Tana who encouraged me to start blogging so I could share my work.

 To all the other people who have supported, encouraged, educated, and dreamed with me. 


To my readers; what are you thankful for?

Well, I bit the bullet, and decided to enter both some knitting and sewing in my local county fair this year.  I have never entered anything in adult open class divisions before, so we shall see how it goes!

I entered my purple hoodie, Oregon Tote, and baby booties.  I was really debating about this, but decided after much angst that I should support my local fair.  I was in 4-H for many years, and it was always discouraging how each year, more and more commercial stuff was taking over the traditional exhibits.  When I first started entering things in the fair 20 years ago, it used to be the exhibit halls were stuffed with quilts, veggies, crafts, pictures, knitting, yummy looking pies and cakes, and all manner of animals.  It has been kind of sad going back and seeing how many fewer items there are.

 I look at this as a way of showing people what can be done with traditional arts and crafts.  Maybe my booties or hoodie will inspire someone new to take up sewing or knitting…..If more people were involved in these hobbies would we be lamenting the closure of our favorite local yarn and fabric stores?

 Food for thought…..what can you do to share your hobbies with other people?

I was reading the Yarn Harlot this morning and her post reminded me of my summers growing up.  My mom is a former high school teacher and 4-H leader who had no intention of letting me rot my brain during the summer with TV.  I don’t remember precisely what year she started it, but during the summers my sister and I would wake up (by 7:00 am if I remember correctly) and head down to breakfast to find a list taped to the stove hood every morning. 

 On that list was usually 4-5 different chores that we were supposed to accomplish.  They weren’t anything terribly outlandish, and being the stay at home mom that she was, she knew if we were wasting our time.  Neither my sister nor I were allowed to get a formal job until after we graduated from highschool, so we earned our spending money through allowances and our 4-H prize money and the occaisonal large project like painting or major yard work. 

 Summer was our prime time for cranking out things to enter in the fair, clothes, crafty things, photos, baked goods etc.  It was a pretty good way to earn money, and we both usually did quite well, about $75 to $100 dollars, and we weren’t even on the end of things that earned the most money (the animals).  Not to mention that we got a lot of our school clothes out of the deal!  Dad was one of the major benefactors of our summer baking, life for him just wasn’t complete if there weren’t homemade cookies around, and most of his (and our) lunches were sandwiches made with homemade bread (and not out of a bread machine either). 

I really long for those days sometimes.  I’m now a married adult and I am finding several years down the road, Mom really did know best!  I need those lists to keep me focused on my goals.  I can honestly say, I do now rot my brains with the TV……but I am nearly always doing other productive things at the same time, reading, working on the computer, knitting, sewing, cleaning, cooking etc.  I don’t just veg. out in front of the idiot box I am productive!  But I am thinking that I am about ready to start making myself lists again.  I don’t work outside the home, so I just don’t realize where the time goes sometimes.  I made a great start this morning,  I got up and took a walk this morning before sitting down to the computer.

 Heres to the “mean moms” everywhere!  I love you mom, and yes,  you really did know best!

Well its 11:00 pm Friday night…..and not a decent TV program to be found.  This tends to slow down my knitting since I mostly knit in front of the TV.  Its the perfect relaxing activity. 

 The TV is pretty much just white noise for me most of the time.  I hate the overwhelming quiet, since I am terribly skittish and startle really badly.  I completely lose myself in whatever task I am working on to the exclusion of all else, so if a sudden noise pops up I am shrieking and jumping around.  Now that really amuses my husband to no end, since he likes to sneak up on me and scare me…..one of these days he is gonna get popped one…..but he does it anyway.

 So to substitute for the sweet sirens lure of the Boob Tube I am listening to music.  I am a total music aficionado and have a huge amount of music of all genres.  Tonight for some reason I am in the mood for techno and electronica dance beats.  I hadn’t really thought about it, but this is the stuff that I exercise to……if I exercise, that is.  For some reason a good beat really speeds up my knitting.  I am clicking right along to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Gwen Steffani, Cascada, Aqua, the Rednex, and quite a few others.   Can ya tell I’m a little eclectic.  I decided that my collection of country might not do the trick tonight.   The added benefit of music is that I can lock myself up in my office and sing along to the music to my hearts content.  I do try to spare the ears of my husband and cats since I couldn’t carry a tune even if you stuck my head in a metal bucket.    There is a reason that I was in band instead of choir.  🙂

Knitty Night

On Saturday I finished and felted my new Oregon Tote.  The bag turned out better than I had anticipated.  I had seen a sample knitted up at LYS and I wasn’t too happy with how sloppy and floppy it looked, so I went into the felting process knowing that I was gonna felt that sucker to a fare-thee-well.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well combining Lambs pride and Cascade 220 went.

The bag shrunk by about 40% total.  It needed approximately 1hour of felting time.  The bag was originally approx. 20″ tall including the I-cord trim. It’s now down to abour 14″ tall.  Its actually about the size of my Tide laundry detergent box….in fact I am using the detergent box to block it over. 

This project was relatively simple…..The new techniques used on this project were making I-cord seprarately…for the straps (I have done I-cord borders before); also making button holes.  Both techniques were not at all challenging and went quickly.  I did have to resist the urge to change the pattern when it looked like the buttonholes weren’t going to be centered.  That was just as well, since they turned out just fine…..I just wasn’t seeing how it was working as I was actually doing it.

This pattern turned out so nicely I definitely intend to make it up again.  In other knitting news, I also ordered the Booga Bag pattern.  It’s made up out of Noro Kureyon, which I love the looks of…..then felted.  I am also currently in the process of making blocks for a Lizard Ridge Blanket.  Its featured on Knitty’s Fall 2006 pattern line up.  http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall06/PATTlizardridge.html  It is well worth a look……It’s one of the most striking blanket patterns I have ever seen.

Happy Knitting

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