Monday, December 22, 2008

Secret Admirer?

Woke up this morning to discover these two interlocking hearts at the end of my driveway. Kinda odd, huh?



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Socks

It has been snowing like crazy here in Seattle for a week now. As I type, it is snowing again.


I took the above picture from my backdoor. It shows an accumulation of all the snow we've had since a week ago yesterday. I'm guessing it is a least a foot of snow.


There is a crust of about an 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch over the top of the snow which you can see broken up from where my dog, Pachebel, walked when I let her out earlier.


She was none to fond to be outside!


The snow has been good for one thing though. I was able to finish a pair of socks that I started when I was teaching a friend how to knit socks. If you think your monitor is off or the lighting in my picture is off, because the two socks are different shades, you'd be wrong. They are actually different shades of the same colorway. One of the socks is much darker then the other. Something I didn't notice until I started knitting the second one. Don't know if they are from different dyelots or not since I threw away one of the ball bands.

The yarn is Lane Cervinia Calzetteria and I used size 1 DPNs. I just used a K2P2 stitch pattern. I like to knit socks with that stitch pattern because it is easy to remember and is pretty forgiving in size. Since they are socks I'm not to worried that they are so different in shade. Not many people will seeing them on my feet anyway!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow, Finished Objects, And Being Published

The weather has been crazy here in Seattle. We had about 3-5 inches of snow at my house on Saturday night. It hasn't gotten above freezing since. I didn't leave the house yesterday because I kept reading about bad roads on the Internet. My street is one big ice rink.

But since I wasn't prepared for the snow or freezing conditions, I didn't have much food in my house. I did learn this morning that depending on the coffee, not having 1/2 and 1/2 isn't a crisis. I drink Cafe Ladro coffee. I love their Fremont roast (and they make a great Latte' if you ever one want one). It wasn't awful, it was pretty good, but I like my 1/2 and 1/2 and food. Did I say I didn't have much food in my house?

So I just ventured out to the grocery store. I made it back safe and sound but had to park on the street now instead of in my garage because it is impossible for me to get up the driveway. Hopefully, I won't get side-swiped or run into by crazies driving down the road. Did I say how icey it is on my road? I think I might have been one of the crazies driving down the road. But I took it nice and slow and didn't run into anything.

Staying home all day yesterday, I was able to get a bit of Xmas knitting done. I finished weaving in the ends of my machine knit wash clothes that I'll be giving with a bar of handmade soap I picked up at Urban Craft Uprising.

I also knitted a Button-Tab Hat for my brother's new girlfriend. I think it is super cute. Hope she likes it.

Now for totally unrelated knitting news, but something I was surprised and excited to see today was a link to a book I helped write 10 years ago when I worked for IBM. I didn't know it had been made available outside of IBM. It is called Data Modeling Techniques For Data Warehousing. I know totally boring! But it is my claim to fame, so I'm going with it. ;)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Tonight instead of meeting at our usual Starbucks, a lot of the women in my knitting group got together at my friend Erica's house to knit and exchange cookies.

Last night I made over 10 dozen Toffee Squares. And this is what I got in return. 20+ different kinds of cookies:

Outrageous. Between all of us there was over 2400 cookies!

Shawna was an overachiever and made an assortment of cookies:

I don't know how she did it. She has her hands full with her lovely daughter, Bella, who is such an angel:

And for my final picture of the evening. I present Erica's wall-o-yarn:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Toffee Squares

Tomorrow evening I'm getting together with some of the women from my knitting group for a cookie exchange. I was hard pressed to come up with a recipe, especially since I don't eat sugar anymore. I had thought about making some sugar-free version with Splenda but I just didn't find something I liked right away in my search on the Internet. I did find a Lemon Bar recipe that I want to make sometime since Lemon Bars are my favorite and I haven't had any in years since I gave up sugar. :(

Anyway, when the ex left she left her Betty Crocker Cooky Book. This book is older then me, printed in 1963.

It has some great recipes in it for all kinds of cookies. I wanted something that would be easy and wouldn't require me to form or mold individual cookies. The Toffee Square recipe was perfect.

Because I bought the butter required for the recipe an hour or so before I started prep, I looked online for a quick way to soften butter. Several places suggested cutting small slices so that the individual pieces would soften quicker. The trick worked although it does look like a lot of butter huh?

This is what the pre-cooked crust looks like once the egg yolks, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla are mixed with the flour and salt and spread on a cookie sheet.

The recipe calls for chocolate bars so I splurged (they were on sale too) for Ghiradelli. When I opened the packaged and caught the smell of the chocolate I almost couldn't resist eating some. I didn't and all the chocolate was used for the Toffee Squares.

Here is the crust after it came out of the oven.

It was fun putting the chocolate squares on the crust and watching them slowly melt across it.

Here it is with all that chocolate goodness spread across the top.

Then I sprinkled almonds pieces that I crushed across the top.

And here they are cut into squares.

I ended up making three batches since there will be between 16 and 20 people coming to the cookie exchange. I need 1/2 dozen for each person.

I hope everyone likes them!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Seattle Half Marathon Finisher

I just got home from walking the Seattle Half Marathon. It was a lot of fun but I'm beat!

Here I am before the race in front of the Seattle Fit booth. Seattle Fit is the group I trained with to prepare for the race.


This is the starting line. There was over 11,000 people between the Full and Half Marathon Races.


And here is the proof that I finished the race. My medal:



Here are my stats for the race.

Overall PlaceDivision PlaceChip Time Official TimeSplit 1 (10K) Split 2 (6.9 miles) Pace
853111/1254:08:584:10:261:53:052:17:21 19:07

Now it is on to training for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in June! But I'm taking December off first! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Hat Fit For A Brother



Another Xmas gift down! This one is for my brother. The original is called A Hat Fit For A Boyfriend. It was a quick knit. I started yesterday, got about 4 inches in and decided I needed to go up 2 needle sizes and so I ripped it all out and started over today.

It is supposed to be a skull cap that just covers the ears. I hope it is long enough. I'm used to longer hats.

Project Info:
Pattern: A Hat Fit For A Boyfriend
Needle: US 7 / 4.5 mm
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted Solid in Douglas Fir (1/2 skein)

Seattle Xmas Tree Lighting

My friend, Myra, who lives in downtown Seattle near the Space Needle invited me to go see the Westlake Center Xmas Tree Lighting yesterday. She has a wonderful view of the water and Harbor Avenue across it on Alki.


Because I'm still relatively new to the city and because I mentioned that I had never ridden the Monorail which passes by her building, she suggested we take it down to the Tree Lighting. I was smiling like a 10 year old riding an amusement park ride for the first time!

The tree lighting was fun too. There was a couple of choirs and Xmas carol singing. And then right before the lights were to come on, the sound went out. But they were still able to do the count down and light up the tree.


I got to wear my La Chapeau hat for awhile but it was actually not cold enough to wear it so it didn't stay on much.



Project Info

Name: La Chapeau Pattern from the November Lucky Lurker Club at A Swell Yarn Shop
US 1 / 2.25 mm
US 2 / 2.75 mm
Yarn: 1 skeins A Swell Yarn Shop Duet Sock Yarn in Beau Monde (Exclusive Lucky Lurker yarn)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Disco Thanksgiving


You can always expect something lively at my brother's house for Thanksgiving. This year the theme was "Disco Dining". It included a wonderful feast along with 70's music and disco light. (He tried to get a fog machine, but to no avail).


As you can see it is true what they say about white males and dancing. ;)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing y'all a Happy Thanksgiving! Many of you have been very supportive this year and for that I am grateful! Have a good one!

Today I'm off to share Thanksgiving with my brother, his girlfriend, and my Mom. I'm making deviled eggs and green bean casserole. Right now the eggs are on the stove.

Here's the recipe I use to make hard-cooked eggs from the Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Edition Cookbook:

Place eggs(s) in saucepan. Add enough cold water to come at least 1 inch above eggs. Heat rapidly to boiling; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 18 minutes. Immediately cool eggs in cold water to prevent further cooking. Tap egg to crackle shell. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell, then peel. If shell is hard to peel, hold egg in cold water.

Betty is anything but not thorough! But since I rarely make hard boiled eggs, I pull this out every time. Crazy huh? Who doesn't know how to hard boil eggs?!?

Here are the recipes I'm using for the Deviled Eggs and Green Bean Casserole. (Sorry Betty... technology is putting you out of business)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Garter Stitch Hat

Finished this tonight at knit night. Thanks to Angi for trying it on over and over again to make sure it fit right!

This was a simple pattern I made up to go long with the Garter Loop Through Scarf I made. First, I casted on 110 stitches and worked in K1P1 for about 2 inches and then switched to Garter Stitch for 5 inches. Decrease 10 stitches every other row until the last row is K2TOG all around. Cinch up remaining stitches. Weave in ends.

Needle- US 3
Yarn - Rowan Tapestry 1 Skein

I really like the Rowan Tapestry yarn. It is very soft and goes really far. I bought 3 skeins originally and have one left after making the scarf and hat. If I have time before Xmas after finishing other gifts, I may make some fingerless gloves to match.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Actual Knitting Content

Yes, I remember that this is a knitting blog. So here are some updates:

Last night, my friend Tammy came over to learn how to knit socks. Granted, it is near impossible to learn how to knit socks in one evening, but I did get her started on DPNs which she had never used before.

I'm having her knit a basic cuff-down afterthought heel sock. I also cast on with her so we could work through doing the join in the round and the start of the K2P2 ribbing.

The yarn is Lane Cervinia Calzetteria in a lovely Blue, Green, Purple mix. And I'm using Size 1 DPNs, although I plan to switch to a circular needle after I have the ribbing of both socks knitted.

I got to show of my swift and ball winder too which she hadn't seen before either. I was almost hesitant to tell her about the dark side of knitting, Ravelry, but I did. We can always use another good knitter!

I'm also knitting a garter stitch hat to match the the Garter Stitch Loop Through Scarf I finished recently. Both are Xmas gifts.

I'm using Rowan Tapestry yarn. I need to check the needle size but I think it is a 3 or a 4.

And my final WIP for Xmas is a pair of Fetching wrist warmers in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light on size 1 or 2 needles.

I have some other Xmas knitting gift ideas in mind but I'm waiting to start them until the Xmas gifts I have on the needles are done first. And the socks... well they have to wait too. That is if I can keep my hands off of them!

ETA: Here's a picture of Erica with my Myvu glasses on at knit night last night. These thing rock! Check out the demo on their site.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prop 8 Protest March

History was made all across the USA and the world. Where you there?

This pictures is from the Seattle march. You can see more here.

P.S. If you see me in the photo pool, leave a link in the comments! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Join The Impact

Saturday, in cities all across the USA, there will be rallies and marches protesting the passing of Prop 8 in California and the discrimination GLBT's suffer everywhere. Seattle's Rally starts at Volunteer Park. If you are in Seattle, I hope you join me and all my GLBT sisters and brothers, in this show of support against discrimination.

If you aren't in Seattle, you can still show your support at a rally or march in your city. Find out more at Join The Impact.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

November 7, 1944 - May 23, 2004

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Vacation Yarn

While I was in California on vacation I stopped at several yarn stores. I didn't pick up a lot of yarn but here is what I did pick up:

Colinette Jitterbug at Ball & Skein & More in Cambria.

Colinette Taos at Ball & Skein & More in Cambria

Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light at the Adobe in San Luis Obispo

Ranch Of The Oaks Alpaca at The Village Spinning and Weaving Shop in Solvang

I also stopped at a couple of other yarn stores but didn't make any purchases. My favorite of those was Loop and Leaf in Santa Barbara. I visited the store on my way to the airport and didn't get to spend a lot of time there. They had a wonderful assortment of yarns including Hand Maiden and Habu. I hope to get back there again on my next visit to California in December.

I also did some knitting while I was in California. I finished one Garter Stitch Loop-Through Scarf using Knit Picks Telemark in the Aubergine color way and size 3 needles.

I started another one (and finished it after I got back) using Rowan Tapestry in a pink and gray color way.

I plan on giving both of the scarfs as Xmas gifts. I have two balls of the Rowan Tapestry left in my stash, so I'm going to make a matching hat or wrist warmers with those.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No On Prop 8

I haven't gotten to finish posting about my vacation in California yet. I'll try to at least get my vacation yarn photographed and posted. But I have a ton of beautiful pictures too.

Anyway, about the only thing about my trip that I didn't enjoy was seeing signs and hearing ads on the radio about voting yes on Prop 8 in California. Having had to go through my own horror story this summer regarding my marriage, I'm very sensitive to being discriminated against on this issue.

Let me tell you, feeling like a second-class citizen and being treated like one SUCKS. When 2 people love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together (even if that doesn't work out they way you hoped, as it did in my case), they should be able to do that and have equal protection under the law.

Find out more at No On 8, Don't Eliminate Marriage For Everyone

And if you live and vote in California, please vote NO on Prop 8.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Butterflies and Dogs

Besides the crashing of the waves outside my window, butterflies and dogs are what I will remember most about Carmel, California.

I'm about two blocks from the beach on Carmel Bay and went walking along the water last night and today. Carmel must love its dogs because the whole beach is a leash-free area for dogs. It was so fun to watch the dogs playing in the water and chasing each other. Made me think of Pachebel and how much she would love being on the beach. Maybe next time.

Butterflies... I didn't realize I missed them until I saw several flying around the flowers at the B&B I'm staying at, The Colonial Terrace. The grounds are immaculate here.

I wish I was staying another day but today I'm driving down the coast to San Simeon. I'll be staying on the beach there too. I plan on going to see the Hearst Castle tomorrow. It is supposed to be spectacular.