Friday, September 30, 2011

It's A Mystery

My buddy Alina and I went to the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot yesterday. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I really had a lot of fun. (That guy behind me laughed at Alina and I while we took jumping pictures. I think he was jealous of all the fun we were having)

At the center of the mystery spot, you truly lean about 17 degrees and it feels upright. I even closed my eyes to see if I could right myself, but in order to not fall over, you really have to lean. Check out Alina's ankles. Definitely leaning.

There are multiple demonstrations on how distorted gravity is there. In this demonstration, the board appears lower on the right hand side. But when the guide,Ned, put a level on it, (which Alina checked out) the board was level. When the tube of chap stick was put on it, the tube rolled upwards. Weird.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Into The Wild Blue Yonder

Knitters often gravitate towards a particular color when shopping for yarn. Mooncalf likes grey, Ewenique likes Yellow, and Coopknits likes green. I suspected my color, but was able to confirm it once I pulled out the stash. I definitely like my blues. (The four skeins on the bottom left row were a recent purchase and are for my next sweater, which I'm not allowed to start until I finish my other sweater.) I almost brought out my entire stash to take a giant yarn rainbow picture, but then it occurred to me that I could be a bit more productive with my time...

Kiwiyarns was talking about Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting in her blog today. Talk about a coincidence. A half hour before I read that entry, my copy of the book arrived. I've only leafed through it, but I already love it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mothra Ate My Wool

I had been going through my wool box looking for a certain color when I saw evidence of a moth invasion. Needless to say, I felt like a big old idiot for not putting all my wool into ziplock bags like I should have. For those of you not in the know, I thought I'd let you know what you should do if you find moths eating your fiber. First off, you should have all your fiber in air-tight containers. I did not, so I'm paying the price.

How do you know you have an invasion? Well, the first sign is seeing moths. The moth itself doesn't eat fiber. But their larva do. If you see moths around, be extra vigilant. You can tell you actually have a problem when you find larva poo. It looks like little grains of sand.

The fiber will have chunks missing. The larva just bites right into the fiber. There will be a bunch of poo around missing chunks as well.

You may even find a live larva. They are pretty gross.

Put all your fiber in the "infected" bag into quarantine. Even if the fiber appears to be untouched, if it was next to mothy fiber, bag it up. Then put it all in the freezer for 2-3 days. The temperature will kill off all the larva and moths. Conversely, if you have a rather hot garage during the summer, the fiber could be left there for a few days. Extreme heat will also kill off any unwanted pests.

While I was able to salvage a bunch of my fiber, I did lose a bag to moths. It was just filled with little larva poo and every few inches of the roving had a chunk missing. I learned that moth larva have good taste. They ate the angora-wool blend.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Are We Done Yet?

Sometimes when no one else is around and I need a picture taken, I'll recruit my brother. He's a good sport. And I have to admit that I like his style of photography. (Don't tell him that I said so though.) His style is: I don't care about this, can we be done yet? He holds the camera haphazardly and doesn't even bother looking through the viewfinder... and he gets a kick out of taking a bunch of dumb pictures of me. Eventually we get what I was aiming for, but honestly, his relaxed, "Are we done yet?" style is better than what I ever direct him to do.
In this one I'm laughing because I couldn't get a sock off and ended up hopping on one foot in circles.

He's getting a bit more pushy too. I was informed that if I didn't smile for this one, I'd look like an idiot.
In other news, I finished my Koolhaas. I had planned to give it away, but after adding the pom pom, I've become smitten with it. Maybe if someone really awesome asks me, I'll send it their way...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Latest Buzz

The Free Bees pattern is now available and it is free! (Get it... free bees... freebies. Haha.) You can get a copy on or on ravelry.

This is my very first sock pattern. The pattern is adapted from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Patterns, pg. 273 : Honeybee Pattern with Faggoting. It's a toe-up pattern with short row toes and heels. No worries if you don't know how to do short rows. I've explained them in the pattern.

I'd never really considered myself a sock knitter, but I may have been bitten by the bug. Socks are just so portable. I love being able to throw a sock in my purse and know that it will continue to fit no matter how much more I add to it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Twisted Stitches And Holey Armpits

I've had a bunch of new opportunities crop up in the last month and on Monday one came to pass. I started my new job! And it's at Green Planet Yarn. Green Planet Yarn is the first thing I blogged about. I wouldn't have ever thought that I might work there one day when I started this blog. Anyways, one of the first things I was asked to do was touch straighten all the yarn. I can already predict what will be happening to all my future pay checks...

I also started a new project. I'm making a Koolhaas so that I can understand twisted stitches better. Although I'm not really sure who will get the finished hat, so if anyone is interested....

The sweater is slowly being finished. It took me a week to decide that I was indeed going to put sleeves on it. The number one reason I decided on sleeves (even though a vest would be neat) is that I bought extra yarn for the sleeves and wound it into balls, so the skeins can't be returned.
The only problem I'm now having is that when I attached the sleeve, a large hole appeared in the armpit. I'm not really worried about closing the hole. I left an extra long yarn tail to help stitch it up. But I sure would like to know why it even occurred and what I can do to prevent it from happening on the other sleeve. The stitches for the sleeves are put on stitch holders and knit after the sweater is done. Does anyone know why the hole showed up?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spirit Guides

The next morning at Yosemite, Natalie discovered this amazing view right behind our tent cabin. I enjoyed the sun for a little bit before we all had breakfast.

After breakfast we started on another hike. We past right by this doe and her three fawns. It's rather unusual to see a doe with more than two, but all of them looked healthy. I even got a picture of one of the fawns nursing.

On our way up to Vernal Falls, I was taking pictures and nearly stepped on this guy. He actually frightened me a little. I wasn't expecting to turn around and have another little spirit guide staring up at me. He kind of reminded me of Scooter since I'm pretty sure he was begging for food.

The Mist Trail was pretty slick, but it afforded us a lovely view of Vernal Falls. The way the mist was being pushed around at the base of the falls is indescribable. You really have to see it yourself. It was a little hard on my camera, though. I kept having to wipe off my lens.

At the top of the falls there were two baby squirrels playing with each other. The rock was pretty steep, so they would wrestle around and roll downwards, then pause to run back up and wrestle some more.

Instead of descending the million steps that we had climbed up, Mum, Natalie and I decided to take a bit of the John Muir Trail. We climbed a bunch, decided that we might be going the wrong direction and descended. After asking a park ranger we found that we had been going the right way and climbed again. I got a little cranky about going up, down, and up again. Eventually we got to the top and saw Nevada Falls.

It was pretty late by the time we finally headed home. I really love seeing all the orchards around the Escalon and Manteca area, especially when the sky is on fire.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yosemite, The Final Frontier

I've lived within 4 hours of Yosemite National Park my entire life, but I'd never been until this week. It truly is a beautiful place. My Mum, Natalie and I went for two days. The first thing we did was visit the Mariposa grove. The trees are just huge. You can see me jumping to the left of the giant tree in the picture below.

While hiking around the grove, we first saw my spirit animal. This little guy was pulling bark off of the stick to make a nest. Over the course of our visit, I saw multiple little guys. They usually showed up when I was tired while hiking and needed some encouragement. And more than once they would sneak up behind me and scare the bejeezus out of me.

After hiking around Mariposa Grove, we headed towards the valley floor. This is the tunnel that you go through right before seeing the most amazing view.

The vista point is to your left just as soon as you exit the tunnel. It's impossible to drive by without stopping. You can see El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Falls. A guy near me chuckled when I shared, in detail, the significance of El Capitan in Star Trek 5 to Natalie and Mum.

It's necessary to stop and high five in front of Half Dome and Bridalveil falls. If you don't do this once in your life, you are most definitely missing out.

In the evening, I was able to take a bunch of beautiful star pictures right before the moon rose. Almost every picture had a shooting star in it. (Check out the streak on the right side of the picture just above the cliff) After stargazing, Natalie got a little bottle of wine, I got a bottle of beer, mum got a flashlight and we all played scrabble at the lounge in Curry Village.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Solace In Solas

I'd been a little hesitant to buy yarn from people on ravelry because "What if I got ripped off?" That had been my excuse until I found some impossible-to-get yarn that I had to have and someone on ravelry was selling it. Short story, I now have a skein of String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn in Caper Sock - Solas. I don't even know what I want to make with it, but it's 400 yards of awesome. (Feel free to suggest patterns. I'm kind of leaning towards a scarf at the moment, but who knows.)

After breaking the ice, I searched ravelry and got some Malabrigo Worsted in a color that I hadn't been able to find at any local shops. Given the choice, I much prefer to get my yarn at local shops even if it is a few dollars more. It's important to support local shops.

My Oma sent me a surprise package of some craft booklets she had found while cleaning her house.

My favorite is definitely the 1964 sweater collection. There are a bunch of sweaters representing different countries. I may have to make myself the French Jacket. It has subtle detailing which I find quite attractive.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Paper Kites - Bloom

I don't post what I'm listening to all that often, but this is too good not to mention. I stumbled upon The Paper Kites while surfing along youtube, and was surprised that I'd never heard this song before. At least until I saw that the album it was from was released in August.

There is decidedly little information about The Paper Kites, but from what I can tell, they are from Melbourne and have been a band since 2010.

Their song Bloom is absolutely lovely and deserves a listen two... or three, or perpetually like I've been doing. I've definitely had it....

Find The Paper Kites on:

Or get their album, Woodland - EP on:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Yesterday Doesn't Count

Mum and I drove past a yarn shop that I frequent.
Me: "I haven't been to a yarn shop in awhile."
Mum: "Didn't you go to a yarn shop yesterday?"
Me: "Oh yeah. But that didn't count."

After all the modifications I made on this sweater, such as knitting a medium instead of a small, and adding pockets, it became apparent that even though the sleeves are striped, half a ball of green and burgundy was not going to cut it. Luckily I was able to get skeins in the same dye lot.
Although now that I have the yarn, I'm very seriously considering adding a little grey ribbing to each sleeve and leave it as a vest. I'd love to have some input on this idea. I've never had a vest, but I'd love a hoodie too. Or I could make one of each..... So yeah, input would be good. (There will be grey ribbing along the outer edge as a zipper band that is currently being added. So whatever it ends up being, it will have a zipper... or buttons. Not sure at this point.)

I also purchased some yarn for a baby sweater. I touched it and just knew I had to get it. Superwash Merino, people. Enough said.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sock Crazy

I'm a bit sock crazy at the moment. All I feel like doing is design socks. My first sock pattern is being test knit at the moment. I'm hoping to release it in late September.

My second sock pattern only needs some pattern editing before it is ready to be test knit.

And I cast on for my third sock pattern last night. This addiction doesn't look like it is going away any time soon. I've got two more patterns on my mind and one is already being swatched.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Counting Conundrum

How many things do you see wrong in this picture? Well, for one, we can see that I have trouble counting when I'm knitting at 2:30AM and I've had a beer. It looks like I gave up counting when I got to the grey stripe. At least the decreases look correct, right?

Wrong. The decreases are going the right direction, but the top of the hood has a kind of short row thing going on. I just put in random decreases. Although that had more to do with misunderstanding what the directions meant than being up late. At least I had enough sense to see that it looked weird. I put the knitting down and went to bed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Anne Of Green Gables Is Full Of Knits

I was re-watching Anne Of Green Gables (with Megan Follows) the other day. I'd seen it before and talked about the film and knits in a previous post, but I didn't realize how many knits I had missed the first time. Even background characters just passing through scenes have awesome knitted items! I would totally wear that hat and sweater.

Before I had only noticed sweaters on the female characters, but all the guys have wonderful knits as well. Just look at the cut on the sweater vest Gilbert is wearing. I took a bunch of pictures from every angle that vest was in, but taking pictures of a computer screen really doesn't do it justice.

This scene was full of sweater vests. Of course Gilbert is blocking them, but have a look over his shoulder. The guy with the red/ grey/ white sweater vest was my favorite. Although Gilbert's sweater was excellent as well. It isn't just a ribbed sweater. There is garter stitch in the ribbing.

I would love to have this sweater. The front paneling has a cute grain or leaf pattern. It was a bit difficult to tell because there was never a closeup. Trust me, I checked. I'm really curious about what stitch the back and sleeves are in.

This sweater showed up a bunch of times. I love the seed stitch collar. The seed stitch even extends into the button band. How clever. I might have to do that to a sweater in the future.

And I can't believe I missed Marilla knitting. I guess some one had to make all the knits in this film.
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