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November 29, 2006

Beau on the go

We've got progress peeps! I've just been chugging away on various bits of Beau. I finished the front a week ago, and jumped straight into the sleeves. Here's where they were on Saturday:

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And here's where they are now...along with all the other finished bits for reference. I know it looks like a huge goldish lump, but the sleeves are there over on the right side there (picture taken at 11:30 last night. Sorry about that.)

As usual, I'm knitting both sleeves at the same time so that they'll be identical. It's a bit of a pain to cram all those stitches onto the needles* but it’ll be worth it. I just have another inch or so before the sleeve cap shaping and then there's just the blocking, sewing up, and collar knitting-on. Maybe I'll have this one done by sometime this weekend? Maybe?


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In other news:

-I have done no Christmas shopping. But Rae helped me put the tree up over the weekend so that puts me ahead of last year when the Christmas decorations never even made it out of the box.

-Snow forecasted for Friday!

-Somewhere along the line (like last week) I decided that it would be a fantastic idea to knit an army of of Saartje's Korknisse to make into Christmas ornaments. This would be an extra little knitty gift for, you know, everybody in my life (except Rae, who thought they were weird, so she doesn't get one). So far I've got two done, but am suffering from a cork shortage. A trip to the winery is on the to-do list. Pictures to come.

*I know that circular needles are the most fantastic invention since the wheel, but somehow I always find myself using dpns and straights. I can't explain it. Does this means I'm an enigma? I've always wanted to be an enigma. Though on second thought it probably just means I'm stuck in a rut.

November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Guestblogger: my sister Rae

Wednesday we drove down to visit Elli and Thunk for a very festive T-day weekend. In a burst of domesticity, Elli and I undertook a rather ambitious Thanksgiving feast. It turned out to be delicious, with only a few small mini-disasters (the fancy canned organic cranberry jelly Elli had purchased had a spot of mold on the top, the turkey decided to finish cooking approximately two hours before anyone was hungry, and the dishwasher exploded as it was draining and leaked gallons of rinse-cycle water all over the kitchen floor). Ah, the stuff memories are made of…

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you know we're feeling extra domestic when we break out the aprons

A few weeks ago Nate and I found out we’re having a boy. This means that Elli will be an aunty. As such, she must fulfill her social obligation to spoil her little nephew, which means that she will spend many hours knitting small adorable booties and sweaters (gigantor hint) and buying cute baby clothing. Below you see the first outfit I have received for the baby so far, a prezzie from Elli. It’s perfect as I love duckies.

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Since this summer, I’ve spent many hours lazing around and generally using pregnancy as an excuse for excessive unproductivity. However, I have found a little time betwixt my full-time teaching job, graduate class and watching Grey’s Anatomy to make a few items for the baby:

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From Butterick pattern 5439.

I’ve also been stenciling onesies for the baby (using freezer paper method as per angry chicken’s instructions.) I have to admit I went a little crazy with this. They’re just so much fun. Elli got one in this weekend as well (hers is the adorable squirrel in the front).

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(bomb onsie idea shamelessly copied from here)


About the author:
Even though she doesn't really act like it, Rae is my older sister. She enjoys sewing, physics, and dragging her sisters along on wilderness camping trips with lots of poison ivy. She is married to Nate, who is a fine specimen of man. Their baby will probably enjoy archery, canoeing, and competitive caber tossing.

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November 19, 2006

Reshaped: Knitting Needle Bracelets

You know how sometimes you see something and you think…I could do that! Well, I saw something (click on the "shop" link for more).

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It’s no secret that I love my vintage knitting needles, and normally I would never do anything to harm them. However, I have a few odd mateless one sitting around cluttering up the joint and I may have sacrificed a few of the wonkiest for the sake of science, er, fashion.


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At first I tried using boiling water to soften the plastic, but I eventually gave that up in favor of steam which we all know is hot, hot, hot*. So I put on my biggest oven mitts and was very cautious. They aren’t perfect, but I think they turned out pretty well. I kinda want to make some more.


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*Please do not say I didn’t warn you. If you have a hankering to try this at home, please be very, very careful.

November 12, 2006

Beau and Walnuts

Beau's back is complete. The front has been cast on and I'm planning on knocking out a goodly chunk of it tonight while listening to more audio books.

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A few of you commented that you listen to audio books when you knit too. I love the way that they make themselves part of the knitting experience. Sometimes they make enough of an impression that I can look at a finished project and remember which books I was listening to while knitting it...other times not so much.

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I finished out the back while listening to Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 which I enjoyed. I'll admit it. I'm a Praire Home Companion junkie, so it logically follows that I’d love a book by Garrison. There's just nothing better than spending Saturday evenings singing along to out of tune old-timey hymns and listening to radio dramas. What was that I just heard? Oh yes, the un-hippometer going off. Oh well.

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I couldn't help myself. I had to pull a Jane.

The Yorkshire Tweed Aran is just the color of walnuts. Ummy nummy.

November 9, 2006

Me, me, me, meme!

I was going to post some knitting progress today but I forgot my camera. So you get a meme to tide you over instead. I know, I'm sorry.

1. FIRST NAME? Elli

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Nope!

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I am pleased to report that I can’t remember. Probably when I watched The Notebook a few weeks ago. And if you don’t cry at the end of that movie you’re probably not human.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No. It’s terrible and illegible and horribly inconsistent.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Smoked turkey, please.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I surely do hope so.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Not a paper one. All my journals had about two entries in them before I gave up. Blogging seems to be working out for me though.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes (I have yet to see anyone say no to this one. Does anybody get their tonsils out any more?)

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not without a very, very, very good reason. Maybe for chocolate.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Currently that ginger flavored one with the dehydrated raspberries. Can’t think of the name right now…

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No. I guess not.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I’m as strong as I need to be.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Mint chocolate chip. Or maybe Phish Food.

14. SHOE SIZE? Size 11. Hooray for large feet!

15. RED OR PINK? Both. At the same time.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Oh come on, you really expect me to answer that? How about my inability to reveal anything too personal in memes…

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I don’t really miss people. I’m just happy to see them when they’re around.

18. WHAT FOOD WILL GET YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT? None that I can think of. It would mean I’d have to brush my teeth again before going back to bed.

19. WHAT COLOUR TROUSERS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Brown blouse, blue jeans, green and orange shoes.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Smoked turkey on wheat with provolone and alfalfa sprouts. Thunky packs my lunch and every day I eat the same thing while knitting or blogging. I know it sounds boring, but I like it.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Nothing. It’s lovely.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Robin’s egg blue.

23. FAVORITE SMELL? Real lavender. Or maybe my mom’s perfume (which I never realized until I smelled it in a public bathroom the other day and it made me feel all happy).

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Agnieszka. About coal database permissions.

25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their mood.

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? I think I would if I ever met her.

27. FAVOURITE DRINK? Organic Valley chocolate soymilk. Or Tazo Calm tea, depending on my mood.

28. FAVOURITE SPORT? The Olympics. It’s the only time I get the tv hooked up and then I’m glued to most events (especially ice skating and gymnastics) until it’s over. Otherwise I couldn’t care less about sports.

29. EYE COLOUR? Hazel

30. HAT SIZE? Big. I’ve got a big head.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No

32. FAVORITE FOOD? Hard to say. Either a good chicken korma or that cold poached salmon thingee that Thunk makes for me every year on my birthday and Valentine’s Day (can you tell I get in a bit of a rut with food?)

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. Scary gives me the shivers.

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer. For many, many reasons. Right now I miss summer because we generate so much more laundry when it’s cold out.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? Usually hugs.

37. FAVOURITE DESSERT? Chocolate. I keep eating unless I have some chocolate. Other sorts of dessert don’t give me closure and I still feel like I need to eat something else.

38. WHAT SIDE OF THE BED DO YOU SLEEP ON AND WHY? The left side. Thunk reads me to sleep most nights and the lamp is on the right side of the bed.

39. IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE THE DECISION TO GET MARRIED AND HAVE A FAMILY, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING TODAY? No family. But if I didn’t get married I would definitely not be living in Indiana.

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? A prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (bedtime reading) and Me talk pretty one day by David Sedaris (on the ipod).

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A sensible wrist-rest.

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? The extras from season seven of Buffy.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? A good book on cd while I’m knitting.

44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? The Beatles.

45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? St. Lucia.

46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? If I undertake some crafty endeavor it will turn out how I want it to. I have no idea how. I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself.

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Holland, Michigan.

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Nobody. I just ganked it off Anna’s site.

November 6, 2006

Mail!

This past week was a bit on the unproductive side…it’s amazing how much less I get accomplished when I have a cold. A bit sad really. But I’m all healthy now.

One thing that wasn’t at all dismal was the mail. Early in the week a package arrived from Lois (all the way from Singapore!) with my prize from her birthday drawing. Thanks, Lois!

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See that yummy looking yarn? It’s pretty much a direct sub for Kidsilk Haze. I keep having visions of it knitted up in a simple shawl. Maybe something similar to the bubbly curtain from Mason-Dixon Knitting except, you know, less curtainy. It really wants to be something simple to show off the colors. Still, it’ll be a couple months before I have time to cast on for that. Plenty of time to think, but suggestions are always welcome if you have any!


On Friday another package was waiting for me when I got home, this time from the lovely Angela! Guys, she knitted me socks!

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Do I have the whitest white-person legs or what?

Hooray! We had to have an artsy-fartsy photoshoot to celebrate (Thunk is really a good sport about this whole knitting photography thing). The socks are absolutely perfect…and I’m talking down to the very last stitch. Here’s the proof:

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Beautiful, eh?

I took them on a test run to the doctor’s office this morning. Nothing’s better than a pair of nice hand knitted wooly socks to keep you warm when you go in for your yearly lady-parts appointment. Though a heated examining table is nice too.

If you want the specs and back-story on the socks, check out Angela’s post for today…it’s pretty funny, actually.

Thanks again Angela!


In other news:

Saturday I felt a sudden inspiration to cast on for Beau (gotta get those Christmas gifts in gear!) and cranked out a goodly sized patch of knitting while listening to Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation (which I loved). It’s amazing how quickly things go when you aren’t knitting cables or lace.

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At this rate Beau should be done in no time. Hooray for mindless knitting!