Sunday, February 25, 2007

String Madness

For about 2 weeks, I've been looking forward to the String sale. And today was the day. Apparently, my mom, aunt and i were not the only ones looking forward to the sale. We got there 15 minutes before the store opened, and there were at least 30 people in front of us in line. When you think about this, its pretty amazing that there was a LINE for a yarn store sale. After a bit of waiting, my aunt and I got in and did some serious damage - I scored 20 skeins of noro chenille (for what I have no idea), four skeins of classic elite cashmere, and a sample short sleeve silk sweater in cool purples, cream and camels. Somehow, I thought there would be some of their really amazing stuff on sale, but no dice. It was a total zoo inside, but unlike NY sample sale mayhem, people were friendly about climbing all over each other and digging around in bins on the floor. My mom was still waiting in line by the time we were done, but she was happy to give up and join us for Chocolate across the street. Excellent sustenance for a maddening shopping expedition.
Slightly off topic, but I'm watching the Oscars right now, and they are showing everything nominated for costume design. I think one of the costumes for Marie Antoinette had a sail-boat headpeice. Seems very strange. Did women every really wear sail-boat headpeices? Crazy.
Ok, now back to knitting... I finished the first purple sock. Time to CO for sock #2, unless distracted by more interesting headpeices.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Crafty Caroline, Master Sushi Chef

I lived in Japan for about a year in 2001 (more on that another time). Before I went to Japan, I loved sushi. When I lived in Japan, I loved sushi even more. And when i returned from Japan, I started making my own sushi. Here is last night's dinner, as documented by twice pulitzer prize nominated photographer, my husband.

Yum yum yum

Tomorrow is the sale at String. I'm as so excited - hoping for some massive finds, but am bringing cash, because lord knows that String is a place one could go massively out of control with the stash enhancement. Until then, I'm just going to spend my Saturday chillin', watching tv (Notting Hill is on right now - excellent!) and working on the sock. Oh, and looking over my new book, Favorite Socks. Lots of ideas...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Relpax to the Rescue

Migraines absolutely suck. Totally debilatating. Every couple of weeks or months, the throbbing starts, and then all bets are off. That means its time to take my favorite medication, and lie down until it all passes. And that is what I did yesterday after 2 hours of work. I hadn't had one in a while, but that doesn't make them any better. And the replax leaves me with its own distinct hangover-type feeling for the next day, which I guess is better than the migraine, but still crappy.
After everything passed, and I got a bunch of work done (from my bed), it seemed like an opportune time to try the short row heels again. Armed with my trusty copy of Simple Socks Plain and Fancy, and an amazingly thorough resource compiled by Knitwerk, i was able to turn the heel. Once I got the hang of it, it was fine, but goddamn was that hard!

Max found the heel intriguing too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Short Row Heels

Work has been crazy, so i keep coming home looking forward to working on these short row socks i just started. I think the socks are just stressful as work has been. i've pulled out the heel three times now. ARGGH...
Maybe spinning would be better therapy right now.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nothing says Happy Valentines Day like Red Velvet Cake...

Yesterday, there was an article in the The New York Times about Red Velvet Cake . I'm a closet Red Velvet fan - I've been known to order it, especially when living in North Carolina, but probably have never proclaimed my appreciation publicly. But yesterday, that all changed. I saw the recipe and HAD to make it. HAD to. So once I got home safely on the icey roads, I convinced Scott to go the store and get all the stuff we needed. So after some fun with food coloring, we enjoyed this yummy cake.

So today at work when asked what we did for Valentines Day, I proudly proclaimed "I made Red Velvet Cake and it was SOOO good". No more red velvet shame here! I'm even bringing some of it into work tomorrow for everyone else to enjoy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

I'm excited for my first Secret Pal. Its taken me a bit of time to complete this, but here goes...

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I'm a sucker for natural fiber and anything with a cool colorway. Right now, I'm in a phase where I love Artyarns supermerino, claudia's handpainted sock yarn and lorna's laces shepherd sock. I really don't like anything with acrilyc or that sheds a lot.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
My crafts room is an attempt at organization, but the one rubbermaid tub devoted to needles and various acoutrements has not proved to be the most efficient storage. I rifle around to find things, so I've been eying some of those nifty bags.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting for 22 years, on and off. I'd call myself an intermediate/advanced intermediate, mostly because I really started knitting when I was nine, and nine year olds don't knit all that well. My mom taught me how to knit when I was seven, but I didn't complete my first project until the fourth grade when we were required to select some sort of knitting or embroidery project. Who would guess that my school was known for creating intellectual young women - cause in retrospect, it sounds like an enforcement of gender roles! (however, my husband will point out that they did not teach us to clean...)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes - Amazon...

5. What's your favorite scent?
I'm a fan lavender. Not too big into citrus scents or anything cinnamon-y or musky.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
From the woman who had a candy bar at her wedding (as in a big buffet of candy), yes, I have a sweet tooth. I really like Jelly Bellys!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
My mom is teaching me how to spin, and I'm starting to get the hang of it. I'm also learning how to make hand-made books. I've also done some needlepoint and I love to cook and bake.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I'm not a huge music buff - I mostly listen to NPR...

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Pink, Pink, Pink. But I also love blues, purples, greens, creams, black, grey. Not a big red, yellow or orange fan.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married with two cats

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes - I wear all of these except for ponchos

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Hmmm, a favorite... Not quite sure. I'm getting into socks right now (working on my third pair) and I'm enjoying mittens and gloves. Nothing gives me more satifaction than finishing something big like a sweater, but there is one sweater I've been working on since 2002.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A few things - top down socks from Simple Socks, Plain & Fancy, some mittens for my dad, and a funky scarf for my mother in law. Always good to have a few things going at once.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Not really...

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular needles - big fan of Bamboo and of the addi-turbo aluminum. Also, big user of dpns.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
One of each...

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
It would be the purple sweater from 2002. Its really nice. Its just taken a back seat.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Turkey day! (Thanksgiving for those not from the US)

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Not actively, but I keep meaning to collect this super cool china pattern from the 60s that I have a few peices of. Not that I expect that anyone but myself would add to that collection.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I like to go to my LYS and pet the Blue Sky Alpaca. Its all so soft and cozy... I would like to expand my collection of sock patterns. I get Interweave, which I love.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd love to learn instarsia. And this is the year of the sock - I want to become a good sock knitter.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes I am! A beginner sock knitter, but a sock knitter none the less.

23. When is your birthday?
February 12th

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pink Sock Success?

It's been a whirlwind couple of days! Scott made me a yummy birthday dinner on Friday night

since I was out of town yesterday for my actually b-day. Rack of lamb... mmmm...
Saturday was jam-packed with visiting with our Our Friends in Portland and then an Ethiopian dinner in NYC. Then we ran to Philly on Sunday morning to look at houses and then I flew to Boca for work on Sunday afternoon. And now I'm home. With all this craziness comes lots of knitting time so the pink socks are now done.

They came out fine, but I definitely have some opportunities to improve technique. Especially where the heel flap joins - seems pretty loose. Also, gussets seem a little hole-y. I'll give myself a B on these. Now I'm starting some top-down socks based on Simple Socks Plain and Fancy with a short row heel. Claudia's handpainted again, this time in some fun purples. This year is going to be the year of the sock...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

out damn sock

I should know better than to feign any competence in the sock department. I can't keep them paired in my sock drawer or on my feet in bed, let alone knit a full pair. Sock number two of the pink socks was coming along swimmingly until i did something while working on the heel flap that was irreparable, and i had to frog a good 1.5 inches. ugh. just when i thought i was getting the hang of it...
Why did I think toe-up socks were a good beginner sock option? why?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New and Improved!

Like the new design? I sure do!

But it seems like we just got here!

After two years in Central Jersey, we're moving to the big city . No, not the big apple, the city of my youth. We're moving to the city of brotherly love! I got a promotion, and am transferring to another part of my company. The job is really exciting Lucky for me, Scott is self employed and very, very flexible. Have I mentioned what a great husband he is?
We're stoked to live in Philly. Well, I should clarify - we are planning to live somewhere on the Main Line, maybe Narberth, Bala Cynwyd, Ardmore or Haverford. Close to Philly, but no city use taxes... Not quite clear when we're going yet, but we should find out by Friday so we can start planning. So soon the stress of moving will set in, but for now its all blissful...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In from the Cold!

I know that Al Gore is right and that things are definitely amiss with the climate. But its still damn cold in Vermont, or at least it was this past weekend. Five of my friends/co-workers (fortunately, these are one and the same!) had a girls weekend at one woman's home in Vermont. Here we are embarking on a one hour hike in 8 degrees F weather.

When you are a passenger in the car for an four and a half hour drive, you get lots of time to knit. So I finished my first adult sock on the way home from Vermont to New Jersey.

The second sock is already coming out better, but there are a lot of opportunities to improve sock technique.

These are knit in Claudia's Handpainted using Judy Gibson's Generic Toe-up pattern. I'm excited to finish these and work on something with a bit more of a pattern.