Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back From the City of Roses... and a wonderful Colorswap package!

I just returned last night from a four-day business trip in Portland, OR. I haven't been to Portland since I was a child and for whatever reason, I have a much clearer memory of the dunes on the coast than the city - so this trip was a nice re-introduction. Portland is an imminently walkable city. My co-worker Oskar and I walked all around the city before we had dinner each night and being the nice Swedish man that he is, Oskar indulged me when I wanted to go into tourist shops to buy Willow her asked-for yellow t-shirt and even better, let me wander starry-eyed around the many-floored Powell Bookstore...

Sorry... I got lost in the moment there. I could have spent lots of money in that bookstore but I was limiting myself to one book because I only had one small suitcase and my small carry-on was already full of yarn I had bought at Knit Purl... more on that tomorrow (batteries for the camera need recharging).

I digress... back to the walking. Whilst perambulating, we came across this sign:

I don't know... beer-soaked sushi? Sushi-flavoured beer? Any which way you cut it, I don't think it is for me. It isn't even a Japanese beer!

One day I had lunch in the multi-syllabic McCormick and Schmick's restaurant where I had to take a picture of the dome roof that was made entirely of stained glass:

Portland is known as the City of Roses, and unfortunately by the middle-end of August most of the smelly beauties are past their prime, but there were these gigantic hanging baskets everywhere! I wish there was something in the picture to gauge scale, but I would say that the basket is easily 5 feet long:

A day before I left for Portland I received my August Colorswap package from my incredibly generous partner Elizabeth:

In it was Interweave's Scarf Style book (which I have had out of the library 2-3 times and am so happy to have a copy of my own!), different vanilla scented body sprays and lotions (yum!), size 1 Brittany sock needles (She reads my blog!!!), a gorgeous candle from the Biltmore estate, a brass sheep needle gauge, a kit to knit a chocolate brown satin bag, a skein of Fiesta Dazzle in the Coyote colorway, a skein of Noro Transitions of creamy beiges and tans... and... and...


Oh my goodness. You should have heard me shriek when I pulled these out of the bag. I had never even seen Koigu before much less felt it in person... and I am in love with these two charcoal skeins of merino softness. I can see how it is possible to become a Koigu junkie on very short acquaintance. Elizabeth, thank you so much!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Weighing Options

Thanks for all of your input. I think in the heat of the summer all I can think about is that I have no clue when I would wear the clapotis again. Maybe I should revisit this decision when the weather is cooler. I did like Libi's suggestion of just getting more of the yarn and making a vest then. I have one grapefruit-sized ball left and I've been looking online and can't figure out if it is colourway 9438 or 9436 Cascade Quatro - I'm leaning toward the former. Now to find a pattern - I'm thinking a vest with a v-neck and a single cable - or maybe two (one up each um, protuberance).

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Clapotis Sacrilege


I like the wool (Cascade Quattro in a strawberry/orange/rhubarb/beige mix) I made my Clapotis out of, but the truth is that in its one year existence, I've worn it twice. Once to the party above and once to my department's Christmas party. I just don't see myself wearing it again in the near future and feel guilty about it.


(Don't hit me here...)

I'm thinking of frogging my Clapotis and using the wool to make a vest instead. I think I used 5 skeins of the Quattro, so there should be enough.

Any objections?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blogstalking #5

PICT0006, originally uploaded by jochibi.

Someone did guess this one - although they guessed the picture would say "Happy Father's Day!" rather than "Happy Mother'd Day!"

Blogstalking #4

PICT0005, originally uploaded by jochibi.

Okay, I think nearly everyone guessed this one correctly - it is one of my chair legs.

Blogstalking #3

pict0004, originally uploaded by jochibi.

A chainmail corset? Something you stick your face in to make an imprint (okay, that confused me...)?

No - it's the vent above my stove! (No one guessed this one - again, not even my sister who has been in my apartment...)

Blogstalking Reveal #2

PICT0002, originally uploaded by jochibi.

My clock. This is one a few people guessed correctly.

Blogstalking Reveal

PICT0001, originally uploaded by jochibi.

A wine bottle? A vase? No, it is wrapping paper taped to a mailing tube that I use as my long needle case!

Nobody guessed this... even my sister Teri who has *seen* the tube...

Try Again

I can't post any pics right now no matter what method I try - I'll try again later.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Blogstalking: Macro Guessing Game

This week's assignment for Blogstalking is to take macro shots with your digital camera and have people guess what the objects are. Now, I have a cheapie digital camera and it doesn't have a macro feature, so I was left to use the paltry 2X zoom and then use software to cut an inset out of the photo. Guess away!

Photo #1

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Photo #2

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Photo #3

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Photo #4

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Photo #5

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On a side note here, I am having an absolute horrible time with my allergies this year. This is the worst it has been since before Willow was born - the first summer we were in Delaware my eyes nearly swelled shut due to some allergen. I am going to have to seriously consider getting allergy shots - I tried nearly every OTC medicine (Claritin, Tavist, Benadryl, Dimetapp, Aleve Cold and Sinus, Chlor-trimeton) and they either make me a groggy mess or are useful for about 4 hours and then I'm back to square one again... even for the meds that claim they are for 24 hours. Does anyone have any better ideas?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Willow Original

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"Daddy" By Willow

Thursday, August 10, 2006

SP7 Package Number Two!

Woo-hoo! Look what the mailman brought me!

My second package from my Knitty SP7 (who has still managed to elude identification) arrived on Monday, and in it was two gorgeous mossy-emerald skeins of Softwist, a lovely denim-blues skein of Top Print (trust me, I've been daydreaming of what to make with these when I really should be doing other things!), a package of cute knitting note cards, and a pattern for 'Pretty Anne' socks. Thank you so much! I am wondering if there is enough yardage on the Softwist to attempt the generic toe-up sock pattern that was unveiled as one of the Knitty surprises yesterday...

Thank you again, SP7!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Dinner Tonight: Blogstalking

This week's Blogstalking task was to complete a photo essay of what you are making for dinner. I thought I was going to have a problem with this one because it has just been too damn hot to cook. Seriously, last week we had sandwiches, hot dogs, leftovers, ate out once - really anything to get out of turning the oven on. Then blessed relief came - yes, it has been in the high 80s (maybe low 90s today), but the humidity has gone away and it has felt so much more comfortable. So, I was going to make my Thai Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken... but Sous Chef #1 forgot I asked him to take the chicken breasts out to defrost so I had to come up with something else. I had plans to pick tomatoes at my in-laws' house after my SnB, so I decided dinner tonight would be BLTs.

So, I started out with this:

This box is about 9" wide by 6" tall by 12" long and it is over half full of cherry tomatoes... No, I don't plan for my family to eat all of these. I am bring the bulk of them to work tomorrow to share with my friends. The one I used is the big boy up in the top right hand corner. (Oh, and the riper cherry tomatoes in the bowl against the wall were the ones I picked a few days ago - those are destined to be fresh tomato sauce - just chopped up cherry tomatoes, feta, and green onions - later this week.)

Tomato chosen, I cooked my bacon:

I always cook my bacon in my George Foreman grill, and I cook the entire package at once and refrigerate whatever I don't immediately use so BLTs are an instant option anytime this week.

Then I enlisted Sous Chef #2 to help dry off the just-washed romaine lettuce. She had aspirations of helping with the bacon, but was denied.

Then I chopped up the crudities (um, yeah - fancy word for chopped up vegetables...) and put them aside - we have yellow pepper, red pepper, cucumber, and baby carrots:

Oh! Don't forget the lovely tomato from my in-laws' garden!

Now the secret of my BLTs... what makes them so tasty is my liberal use of seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper. Nothing terribly exotic, but the seasoned salt and pepper do wonderful things for ripe tomatoes.

And here is Sous Chef #1's sandwich - I don't care for lettuce on mine:

And here is the complete dinner:

And all this work was not good enough for Sous Chef #2. She doesn't care for raw tomatoes (yet strangely enough loves tomato soup, spaghetti sauce, and ketchup), so she had bacon and eggs instead. She didn't get out of eating vegetables, though!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Precious Little Knitting...

... going on, that is.

It's just too damn hot. I don't think it has quite made it to the century mark yet, but the RealFeel(C) or Humidex factor has pushed it way above that and it is so uncomfortable. Willow and I have been heading straight to the pool after work and playing there until Andrew gets home and I am finding that for the first time since I was about 10 years old I have a tan. Not nearly as dark as Willow - but I am attributing lack-of-purpleness to my diligence with the sunscreen. And this is the first summer that we have gone through multiple tubes of sunscreen - I think we are up to number 4 or 5 now.

The last few days I have read a couple of articles about how the heat is making people short-tempered and nasty... Hell, I don't need to the heat to achieve that! I was in traffic this morning and saw some twit drop some cigarette butts and other garbage into the street just ahead of me. Was she dropped on the head as a child? I wished I had a horn on my car that played an annoying nasal voice saying, "Litterbug! Litterbug!" and then just follow her around until she was so embarrassed she came around and picked it up again. I always see signs on the road saying there is a $50 - $500 fine for littering... and I have never seen that enforced.

Bah. Teri, can I move up with you in the Yukon?