Monday, October 30, 2006

Famous Last Words

I have wanted a scooter for soooooooo long, so last year I got one!

I am a native Utahn, it gets cold in Northern Utah, really really cold.

I moved to Seattle, I didn't think it ever got very cold here. Well, let me tell you, under scooter circumstances (yes scooter circumstances) it can get very cold.

DISCLAIMER: If you are in the group of people who are my parents or grandparents,

Here is me.
Here is me at about 9:15 pm just after getting home from school.
Here is me at about 9:15 pm just after getting home from school on my scooter on a very very cold evening.

If you went outside tonight you wouldn't think it was particularly cold. The thermometer on my scooter said it was 4 degrees Celsius, that is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It wasn't freezing, a jacket would keep you warm, a scarf, gloves, you would be nice and toasty, until. . . wind chill factor

I go to school on Capitol Hill. I live in North Seattle. It is about 10 miles nearly all of it on I-5. I don't have the math skills to figure out what the wind chill factor is at 40 degrees when you are traveling on a scooter at 60 mph. Just trust me, IT'S COLD!

So here I am, scarf, gloves, wrist warmers. I love wool, I will sing the praises of wool, but let me tell you, it just may be that God never intended a person to be traveling out in the open at 60 mph. It seems that one of the warmest natural fibers on earth, was not meant to keep this little girl warm under these somewhat unnatural conditions.

This little scooter girl knows that wool is not nature's warmest fiber.

To Be Continued. . .

Sweet Socktober

Here they are, one pair of finished socks for Socktober. Aren't ya'all proud of me, well you should be.

Here are the specs:
Patterns: Jay walkers by Grumparina
Yarn: "Merino" by Fleece Artist
Color: I think it was "vintage" but it isn't on their website anymore. Sorry.
New Skill Learned: Magic Loop, and I am never going back- my apologies to my abandoned double points.

I also cast on for another pair of socks today. The call of the Socks that Rock was more than I could resist. I know, I know, should be working on my vest for the fashion show on Thurs., but I couldn't knit that during church! Socks are the perfect church knitting item.
And just so you know, the vest is 75% done. In just a few rows I will cast off stitches for the arm holes. Yes, it will be done by Thurs. and I will get my midterms done, even if I won't be getting paid this week. It doesn't seem to make much difference to my sickly band account anyway.

I just keep telling myself, it's OK. In 5 months, I will, for the first time in nearly 6 years, no longer be the one making the money to support this family, and seeing as I don't seem to be very good at it, I am very much looking forward to passing that responsibility on to the Duke and becoming "the student" of the family.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

AKO PA (a little self affirmation)

Ako Pa

Literal translation: "Still me."

Meaningful translation: "I'm the man!" (or woman as the case may be, as Tagalog has no gender specific pronouns- gotta love that.) or "I Rock!"

Today, for me, it means, that I am successfully navigating my world. It means that I am accomplishing my sometimes too lofty goals. It means that despite the reality that it is hard to be a woman in today's world, and that can sometimes frustrate me beyond rationality, when I take a step back I see that I am on my way to being the person that I want to be.

Here's why:
In the past 10 years I have managed to:
-live in the Philippines, learn about their culture, and become fluent (or proficient by academic standards) in their language, Tagalog.
- help people there learn how to better themselves and live more fulfilling lives.
- find and recognize the man of my dreams and marry him. (Probably the hardest thing on this list.)
- graduate with a BA from a great university.
- become extremely efficient at one profession, realize it wasn't for me, and take the risk to leave it.
- find a job and become submerged in an industry that I love.
- be admitted to a top 25 MBA program.
- support my husband (without divorcing him) through pharmacy school.

When I look around at the women around me, and the struggles they face, I am amazed and inspired.

I don't think that we often enough say AKO PA! Look what I have accomplished, look at the struggles I have overcome to get where I am. I deserve a freakin' award!

So here is my award to all of you. Post it on your blog along with a list of all that you have accomplished. Give yourself a big ol' pat on the back, and proclaim, with pride, to the world. . .

Monday, October 23, 2006

Giant Vests and Random Things

So, now I know the true sacrifice it is to knit for your tall, broad shouldered, or in other wise giant hubby.

This isn't for my med. sized Duke, but for Jen's husband. He will be modeling it in our up coming fashion show on Nov. 2. (6:00 at Hilltop, see you there!)

I had the good fortune of having class let out after only 45 min (normally a 2 hr and 40 min class.) This lead to some good knitting time, thank you very much Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP. (She was speaking at SU. We were released early so that we could attend, and me being the huge fan of cooperate America that I am, decided I could skip this one.)

And a few random things.

1. You may have noticed that I have a "finished projects" link and a "patterns" link on my sidebar now. There isn't much in the finished projects as of yet. I may or may not be adding previously finished thing to it, but there are two of my patterns available FREE, FREE, FREE under the patterns link. Help yourself, the only thing I ask is that you give me credit and link back to my blog if and when you post your project.
I will also be adding links to where you can buy copies of my other patterns as soon as I get the new Hilltop Site up and running.
2. Tzarina sent me this crazy link, you have to check it out. This lady (Lauren Porter) was crazy and dedicated enough to knit an entire full size car. Granted, she had help, but I have a hard time knitting a sweater, for heaven's sake.
3. My mom, The Yarn Queen made her debut into the bloggin world today. Visit her here.

OK, off to do some more knitting.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

And the Winners Are. . .

The names

The drawing- out of a knit mitten (it is Yarnnation after all.)

And the winners are:

1st: Lucy van Pelt
2nd: Manic Hispanic
3rd: Kat

YEAHHH Happy Birthday.

So Lucy, let me know which gift you want.

Now, moving on to yesterday's activities. First, we (The Duke, friend J., and myself) went to the post office to pick up a much anticipated package.

It is the Duke's early Christmas present. The Dale of Norway 2002 SLC Olympic commemorative sweater pattern and yarn.
I had a hard time finding this, but finally found it at Allegro Yarns. I was a little bit miffed that she sent me the wrong cream and red colors. The red is actually fine, but the cream really needs to be cream, but an internet search should remedy this. Also, she didn't have any patches left, as it has been a long time since they were issued. I just figured that I would search for them on them on ebay.

Here is the close-up of the photograph. He is getting the navy one that the woman is wearing.

So, then we took off to Poulsbo, WA for a day get-a-way. I visited Wild and Wooly, where, as usual, I didn't buy anything. I am not a big fan of that particular yarn store. There is another one in town called Amanda's Yarns which I had never been too, as I am usually there in the evenings after she is closed. I walk in, and lo and behold, what do I see, the SLC Olympic Sweater all knit up! I also find some lovely sock yarn from Nature's Palette.

I go to the register to pay and I start talking to the owner, Amanda, about how just that day I had received the kit to make the SLC sweater, and how exciting it was to see it in person.
Then she asked if I got the patches. I told her no, Nora at Allegra Yarns had said she couldn't get them anymore.

"Oh Really," says Amanda as she opens up her drawer and pulls out a small plastic bag. She opens it and produces. . .


Can you believe it??? Isn't that the defenition of serendipity? The very same day I get the kit for the sweater, and the main patch is even the right color. The Dale patch for the sleeve is gold instead of silver, but I'm not complaining. No, not one bit.

The rest of the day was spent happily frolicking around Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island (after a few short business meetings.)

We went to a pumpkin patch and picked out our pumpkins. We also ate at a great recurrent called "Winslow Way." I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Happy Blogger Birthday

Maya was very excited. She got a new winter outfit for the occasion.

She also got dropped in a neighbors back yard, got fished out with a hanger, dropped in the bushes, rescued through the fence, and then interrogated by a neighbor who thought we were trying to steal her car. Lucky for me, Maya charmed her socks off, so we were OK.

So now that we've been out and gotten in trouble it's time to start the celebration!

So here are the totally awesome gifts (if I do say so myself)

Gift #1: For the Supper Serious Paper Artist
--A selection of decorative papers, card stock and velum.
--Some cute snowflake stickers (by Hallmark) for the coming season
--Two supper old Creating Keepsakes Magazines (Dec. 03 and Jan 04 - almost vintage) At first I thought this was kinda wired, but they are brand new (except for the date) and have supper cute ideas in them. . . so I'll go with it.
-- Purple scrapbooking glitter
--Some supper yummy Sa'von de~luxe soap (in case you didn't know, I am a lover of nice soaps)
--And last but not least, a scrapper's or cardmaker's dream, a collection of 24 "Kraft Edgers" decorative scissors in a rotating holder. Hip Hip Horray!

Gift #2: For the Do It ALL Yourself Knitter
--Three skiens of my own personal handspun, a lovely red tweed wool, abt worsted weight
-- All of the mini skiens from our Koolaid dyeing day. All of them are sock weight, 100% wool, about 440 yds.
-- The book Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton
-- A package of five mini chocolate orange scented soaps from European Soaps Ltd. (a local Seattle company.)
--And THE book, a copy of Mason Dixon Knitting by the supper fun Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne.

Gift #3: For the Modern Knitter on the Go
--A copy of the most current Sunset magazine (one of my favorites.)
--Two skiens of K1C2's Melange
-- Two skiens of recycled silk (not the same colorway)
-- A copy of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
--A copy of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan.
-- Some oh so lovely Sa'von de~luxe soap
-- And an island inspired knitting bag with a matching notions pouch. (For those of you who knit with me, yes it is the same one I carry- well not the exact one, it's the same bag only brand new.)

So, who will be the recipients of these lovely gifts? Well, good question. Leave me a Happy Blogger Birthday comment. This weekend I will put all the names in a hat (or some other appropriate name holding receptacle,) and draw out three names. The first person gets to pick the gift she (or he) wants, the second, and then the third. Get it. . . .good.

Happy Happy Birthday Happy Happy Birthday Happy Happy Birthday. . .

Monday, October 16, 2006

Why Miles is Cool.

Miles posted this on his "news" under his cool web comic. Thanks Miles, we think you're pretty too.

The Scarf

Here it is, the finished scarf from the Navajo plyed yarn. I LOVE the stripes.
The colorway of the roving is called comfort, the artist said it was inspired by the way that you feel when you are bundled up on a cold winter's night in front of a dying fire.

Some Things I Find Entertaining at 2:27 am

First off, let me tell you that the fact that I need to be entertained at 2:27 am in very, very irritating.

So, I want to say thanks to a few sites that keep me from going insane at 2:27 am.

Thinkin' Lincoln
My friend (and also husband of Tzarina,) Miles Grover, writes a web comic that I find more and more amusing the longer I read it.

Post Secret
It is no secret that I love history (as in love it enough to have a BA in it.) I am especially fond of public history and along with that, public art. This is a strange and interesting sort of combination of the two of those things.

A Dress A Day
Erin, the author, and seamstress extraordinair continually inspires and enchants.

Any other suggestions to keep me from screwing up my knitting late at night?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Happy Blog Birthday (Late, of course)

I knew my blog birthday was this month, but I didn't know which day. Well, I missed it, it was the 8th. I'm pleading sick. Anyway, this of course means that I will be giving away a cool birthday present to someone. I like it, it's like the Philippines. In the Philippines they throw themselves a party on their birthday, cook for everyone, and may even give out small presents to their guests. Oh, and no one brings birthday presents for the birthday person, but they love Americans because we always do anyway.

Anyway, more about that later. . . (ah suspense.)

So the fruits of my down time. . .

The Purple Darts Vest
This is my design, but I'm not really planning on writing it up.
So why Purple Darts? Strange though it is (it actually sounds like something my older brother would have called on of his more smelly gaseous discharges,) there is a reason for the name.
First, it's purple: Rowan's Chunky Print (now sadly discontinued- from the stash) in color "tart."
Secondly, it has bust darts in it.

I have on occasion recommended this website to people who have wanted to put bust darts in their sweaters. I have never, however, used it myself, so I wanted to know how it worked.

It works like a charm. Just plug in the appropriate numbers. The only one I didn't understand is "shorten bust darts by ___." I just left it what was recommended and it worked great. (Thanks Lucia!)
If I were going to add bust darts to another sweater, I would use it, but I think I like alternate methods of shaping, simply because the bulge created by the darts makes the sweater look funny when I'm not wearing it. Maybe also because it reminds me that despite being only 27 my gals are just not the perky type. The darts sadly reminded me of where they lie in relationship to my armpits. But enough about my bodily insecurities (besides the Duke has promised me a "makevoer" in return for nursing each of our children for 1 month - yes, only 1 month, I am totally freaked out by the whole idea of a child sucking on me.)

And moving on (I know a little too late.)

My latest handspun, which I am very proud of. With explanation from Sarah, and inspiration from the Yarn Harlot, I tried my hand at Navajo plying. It is really cool. I love that you don't have a couple (or several) yards of singles left on one bobbin after plying and that you don't have to spin singles onto multiple bobbins before you ply.
I can't wait to see how it knits up.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Supper Long Post (I'm bored)

So I am starting to feel better, my nest is getting a little more reasonable, and I've expanded my entertainment options. Boredom is a very serious symptom of what ever it is that I have.

I am able to knit again, as of this afternoon, and the second sock is progressing.

Here are a few things that have made me feel better during my recoup time.

Oatmeal w/ brown sugar, cinnamon, and rice milk
Satin PJ's

And this. . . get a load of this FUR- they say laughter is the best medicine, so Logan must be the best doctor in the house. Besides who couldn't love this little cuddle bug.

Here are a few more samples of what boredom will drive a creative spirit too when she can't knit. Kim asked how I was doing them. The first four were just done in MS Paint. The three below were done in Photoshop Elements with nothing more than my laptop- not even a mouse.

One last note: I have started another blog called Amusingly Mormon Musings. I wanted a place to write about funny things that happen to me and situations I find myself in because of my religion, as well as address misconceptions I run across, but not here. We must maintain separation of religion and stitches.
So if you are interested, click on over, I'll be fielding questions, go ahead, you know you want to ask. . .

More Laptop Entertainment

I can't knit. . . it's awful. I spent HOURS doing this tonight. BLAH

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Too Achey to Knit? or What DID we do before Computers?

Who says you need expensive software and fancy equipment to make digital art?
OK, digital artists do. . .

Magic Loop and Knitter's Nest

So here is a picture of the Jaywalkers in progress. The picture is pretty true to the colors, and do you notice something strage about the unfinished sock? Yes, that's right, it's on a single long circular needle. I decided I had tried two circulars, why not magic loop? AND. . . I love it. Much better than two circulars, and not as fussy as DPNs.

Other news coming out of Yarnnation is that the Duchess has been infected with a bug. Jennifer, her boss, is to blame. I'd be mad, but Jen's got is worse than I do, and she STILL went camping with her girl scout's troup. (crazy, maybe, dedicated and loving, for sure.)
I had been feeling a little tickle in the back of my throat, but I fought it for days. Then yesterday it struck, and my normally busy and active life was reduced to this.
The nest of a sick knitter. No fewer than five projects here, a pillow, a blanket, two sweatshirts, both shed during this feverish moment, and a tall glass of water, my decongestant of choice. IBUprophen has become a part of my meals, and I may actually be forced to add some pseudoephedrine. (Yes, I actually have some in the house, the Duke is a pharmacy student, it comes in handy sometimes.) I don't really care for it, as it makes it so I can't sleep, but then the liquid draining out of my sinuses right now is preventing sleep at 2:20 am, so what difference does it make? Oh yes, the annoying little thing called post nasal drip, which I am always seem to get after using Sudafed.
Have I whined enough??? Can you tell how much I enjoy being sick???

Monday, October 09, 2006

I've never participated in KAL, a Secret Pal Exchange, ect. ect. ect. . .

I had to start somewhere. I haven't knit socks for a long time. I have had some incredible sock yarn in my stash for some time now. I really like Grumparina's Jaywalker pattern (who doesn't). . .

So, here I am, an official Socktoberfest participant.

When did you start making socks? 3.5 years ago

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I taught myself, a friend gave me some sock yarn and a sock pattern as a going away present when I moved to Seattle.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? I started knitting them as soon as I found a place to sit in my new (and dark) Seattle apartment. The pattern was a free Lion Brand pattern, it was a simple ribbed sock. The yarn was Lion Brand Sportweight Wool Ease. They are the only pair of knitted socks I own that survived my dog's destruction of knitted sock spree (yes, I did nearly kill him,) as they are 80% acrylic, and he only likes to chew natural fibers.

What would you have done differently? I didn't like the yarn so well, but it was free.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? I am knitting with Handmaiden's Merino sock yarn, and I love it. This is the second time I've knit with it. I also have a couple of skiens of Socks that Rock in my stash, but haven't tried it out yet.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I use DPNs (size 1) I know how to use 2 circulars, and often show people how to do it at the shop, but I don't care for it myself.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) I only have done short-row heels. I like them, then again, I really like short rows in general, I use them when ever I can (shoulders, darts, wedges) I just like them.

How many pairs have you made? Not a lot, I'm not a dedicated sock knitter. Probably 4-5 adult size socks, and several baby bootie type socks.

There you go, my sock knitting history.

Pipe Dream

So, Chef Messy, is wondering about people's "pipe" dreams, as in dreams that we have that we are unlikely to see come to fruition.

As I thought about this, it occurred to me that I am one of those annoying people who decides they are going to do something, and then does it. When other people tell me that I can't do something, it usually makes me more determined. Here are a few examples

1. I was told that I didn't have the grades to get into BYU. (ie I didn't have a 4.0) I got in.
2. I was told that I shouldn't serve a mission because I was engaged and should get married. I did anyway, and good thing, because I would have been miserable married to that man.
3. I was told that there was no way the Duke and I could buy a house, in Seattle, on our salaries. We did.
4. I was told that there was no way I would be able to keep my house if I quit the job that I hated. I did anyway, and I still have my house.
5. I was told that I couldn't make enough money doing something I loved to do. We just spend less money.
6. I was told that I shouldn't go back to school, that it was pointless. I did anyway. It has all ready helped us a great deal in our business transactions.

Who are all these negative people in my life anyway? Actually, they have all been different people. It usually only takes one experience with a person as stubborn as I am for others to realize that there is no point in trying to discourage me, it actually achieves the opposite of what they were hoping for.

So, in the interest of true "pipe" dreams, I have thought up a few things that really would require a miracle for me to have happen.

1. For me to be athletic. I am not gifted in this area, it doesn't really bother me, but it would be nice if I didn't have to force myself to exercise, if there was some sport that I just loved to participate in.
2. If I could sleep normal hours. I have tried EVERYTHING. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!
3. If my house was always clean and organized, my laundry always done and ironed, and my dogs always sweet smelling and groomed. (The miracle here would either have to be magical cleaning fairies, or me actually wanting this enough to always do it.)

Now here are a few of my future plans that I don't consider pipe dreams because I fully plan on achieving them.
1. To have a small herd of Alpacas
2. To have a very small herd of children
3. To serve another mission with the Duke

So now, lets hear about your pipe (or other wise categorized) dreams.

And thanks Chef Messy for starting such a fun topic.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Speed Knitting

Duchess, how fast can you knit?

We are finding out. . .

I'm on my fifth washcloth for the ball band pep rally going on over at the Hilltop Blog.

I also started a sweater for the Duke on Monday. I had the back all knit by Tues and here is the progress on the front, which, of course will take longer, with the cables, and all.

And a picture with more true color, but you can't see the cables.

In addition to this I have the fair isle vest for the fashion show which is nearly 1/2 finished. . . now the real question is, do I knit fast or do I knit a lot?

Ahh, the secrets of Yarnnation.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


You all remember Maya, right? Well, she thought you all could use and update, as she has been VERY busy. None of us could have guessed how she would do it, but. . . well, let me explain.

Princes P. wasn't too happy at her job. She was stressed out, waaaaaay out. Well, she's probably not any less stressed out, but she is happier.

Introducing the newest and most fabulous Flower and Gift boutique:


the new owner herself!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fair-isle Fast Track

So Jen, my boss, asked me if I wanted to knit for the upcoming fashion show. I told her I didn't think so, my knitting plate is full!
She said, they're just vests, there's even one in Little Big Wool. . .
I just love Jen, I know she would never lead me astray, right??? I took the bait, I looked. This is what I saw.

My Thoughts
Right brain: It's STUNNING!
Left brain: No, No, No, NOOOO
Right brain: The colors and the design, ohhhh
Right brain: (distractedly to Left brain) Where you saying something to me???
Left brain: Why do I even bother?
Right brain: Oh, you're so right, it would look great on our brother!!! Let's do it.
Left brain: I never win, I know, I'll just "forget" to take it home, Right brain will never remeber

Two weeks lateri
Right Brain: Oh, look Left brain, there's that beautiful yarn again, just waiting to be knit into the vest that would look so good on our brother. Remind us to take it home tomorrow when we have the car. . . you know we only have about a month now to get it done, but we can do it togerher!
Left brain: (to self) What were you thinking? Right brain only forgets about thing in the short term, not the long term, now you've cut our time down by 1/3. That plan really backfired.

So, the next day, Left brain reminded me to take it home. That was Sat. Sat night I started it, and Right brain really showed that she can get things done, if it's her kind of thing.

Who knew that there was a fast track to fair-isle knitting? Gotta Love the Little Big Wool!