Friday, November 28, 2008

One Sock Finished

Yarn Pirate socks B, originally uploaded by jochibi.

Don't worry - this one isn't a Christmas present - this one is mine.

For the first time I am deviating from the sock pattern (Ann Budd's basic sock pattern). When I got down to the heel flap I realized I had two too many stitches (78 rather than 76). I knit my heel flap with 38 stitches, then decreased my gusset right down to 76 to correct my mistake. I knit a woman's large for the sock, but started the toe decreases as if it were a woman's small. I also knit a rounder toe than I usually do - I started the kitchener stitch at 18 stitches on each needle - I think that suits my short wide feet better.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Meme

In which Jo blatantly shows off her Thanksgiving ineptitude.

Pilfered from Stray Thoughts.

1. Which do you like better: cooking at your house, or going elsewhere?

Okay, here goes. I have *never* cooked a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I have never cooked a turkey. I've cooked turkey breast in the crockpot. I have roasted a chicken in the oven - does that count? I guess you could say I prefer going elsewhere for Thanksgiving.

2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird?

I've never bought one. That being said, I would prefer buying a fresh one because it's weird how you need to defrost your dinner for a few days.

3. What kind of stuffing?

Stouffer's Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing. I didn't know I liked stuffing until I had this. Sorry, Mom.

4. Sweet potato or pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin! Oh my - you just reminded me I get to have pumpkin pie today!

5. Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing?

I love having turkey leftovers - turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches, open faced turkey sandwiches and gravy, turkey soup - it's all good.

6. Which side dish would provoke a riot if you left it off the menu?

My side of the family? I think it would have to be a toss up between turnip fluff (baked mashed turnips with brown sugar, eggs, and butter) or pudahha (perogies). Andrew's side of the family? His mom's pineapple and carrot cream cheese jello mold (don't let the description phase you - it's delicious!).

7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock?

Yes - I help my MIL do this.

8. What do you wish you had that would make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier?

A bigger oven - maybe even a dual one, and definitely a spare refrigerator / freezer to stash things.

9. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour?

Again, I've never prepared this meal myself, but my MIL likes to have it at lunch time because then she is not spending all night cleaning up and putting stuff away. I like it that way too because it leaves the afternoon still to do other things. I especially like walking through the neigbourhood and smelling everyone else's turkeys.

10. If you go to somebody else’s house, what’s your favorite dish to bring?

Something easy. Andrew's family has not always been fans of my ethnic dishes (I know - a baked turnip casserole does sound odd!), so I am just bringing over cut up veggies and dip to snack on.

11. What do you wish one of your guests would not bring to your house? What would you like them to bring?

I'm not sure - I think you should always be gracious if someone brought something to your dinner. Although, most people would let you know or ask what they could bring - and not just spring something on you.

12. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you’re happy to see?

My last few Thanksgivings have been small affairs - just us, Andrew's parents, and sometimes his brother, Stewart. Growing up it was a much larger deal - my Mom is one of seven kids and everyone would be there with their respective others and children and sometimes even extended family members beyond that.

13. Is your cranberry sauce fresh or canned? Whole or jellied?

Jellied and canned - I like the fact it is like jam and you can spread it on your sandwich. Willow will eat all of her cranberry sauce before anything else on her plate gets touched.

14. What’s your absolute favorite thing on the menu?

The turkey! Although, if I am with my family, pudahha is going to get eaten first because I don't get that here in the US.

15. Share one family tradition.

In Andrew's family, before we eat dinner, everyone has to say one thing they are thankful for - even Willow.

And I'm adding another one:

16. Tell us a good Thanksgiving memory.

When Andrew and I lived in Boulder, Thanksgiving was so low-key. There was no point in cooking a turkey for two people, we were into full-blown Weight Watcher mode, we had no family nearby. Our normal plan was to go see a movie and troll around until we found a restaurant open. (We actually had turkey burgers at Denny's one year and they gave us a free piece of pumpkin pie each!). This one year I decide to make turkey burritoes (a good alternative when there are only two people!); the WW side of me was satisfied: ground turkey, whole wheat tortillas, tomatoes, lettuce, low-fat cheese, salsa, and avocados. It was a beautiful sunny day and not terribly cold, so we decided to go for a walk. A few weeks prior, Andrew had gone on a ghost walk around the old area of Boulder, so he replicated the tour for me. We must have walked for two hours - then we made our way down Pearl Street and found Starbucks open. We had lattes in front of the fire, then walked home.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another 100

Pilfered from Karen because I need to do something else other than eat cheezies.

Bold the things you have done, strike out what you will never do:

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (The day we found out we were pregnant with Willow we had woken up at some ungodly hour to watch meteor showers)
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world (Tokyo Disneyland!)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped (You have to write your weight on your hand!)
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (Took me a loooooong time to eat shrimp cocktail again. Still can't eat sushi because of food poisoning.)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables (And plan to grow more next year.)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (Okay, I won't say never, but it is *highly* unlikely I will ever run a marathon.)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (Don't like deep water!)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language (tried to at least…)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing (See cruise comment #32)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Again, see comment #32)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater (One of my earliest childhood movies is seeing some king fu movie in the drive in.)
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (Every 6 weeks or so I do plateletpheresis.)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (Knock on wood!)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar (ook!)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (And won't as long as I am a Canadian living in the US.)
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rose Garden Offset Wraplan

Your eyes do not deceive you! This is a finished object!

Isn't it pretty? I think the little flower-shaped buttons set it off perfectly.

Yes, it is a Christmas present, but since the intended recipient isn't even a year old yet, she probably doesn't read my blog and I hope her mommy can keep her mouth shut.

The Particulars:

Pattern: Offset Wraplan (Rav link)
Size: 6 - 9 month size (not sure about this - I got gauge, but this looks awfully big)
Needles: Size 5 circulars and then DPNs
Yarn: Patons Decor in 'Rose Garden' and Red Heart Soft Solids in 'Wine' for edging

I had a lot of problems with this pattern - and that isn't to say that pattern is difficult - it isn't, and it makes a lovely little sweater, but it seems to me that the math is off in so many places. They were easy fixes, however - I have knit enough top-down raglan sweaters that I was able to work through the counter-intuitive moments.

There are some great examples of this sweater on Ravelry, and that is where I got the idea for the three buttons at the top rather than buttons all the way down. I think it is easier for babies and makes a swing-coat like shape.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

12 + 25 = 37

I think I like it when Christmas is further away.

Willow and I were driving home from school today and she asked me how many days was it until Christmas. Great opportunity to do some math! Okay, there are twelve days left in November, and Christmas is on the twenty-fifth of December, so:

12 + 25 =



Oh crap.

Artsy-Fartsy Quiz

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Traditional, Vibrant, and Tasteful

20 Islamic, 0 Impressionist, 13 Ukiyo-e, -16 Cubist, -25 Abstract and 14 Renaissance!

Islamic art is developed from many sources: Roman, Early Christian, and Byzantine styles were taken over in early Islamic architecture; the architecture and decorative art of pre-Islamic Persia was of paramount significance; Central Asian styles were brought in with various nomadic incursions; and Chinese influences . Islamic art uses many geometical floral or vegetable designs in a repetitive pattern known as arabesque. It is used to symbolize the transcendent, indivisible and infinite nature of Allah.

People that like Islamic art tend to be more traditional people that appreciate keeping patterns that they learned and experienced from their past. It is not to say that they are not innovative personalities, they just do not like to let go of their roots. They like to put new ideas into details and make certain that they will work before sharing them with others. Failure is not something they like to think about because they are more interested in being successful and appreciated for their intelligence. These people can also be or like elaborate things in their life as long as they are tasteful. They tend to prefer geometric patterns and vibrant colors.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy


I'm not sure about this - the results may be from the choice of paintings they showed rather than any real inclination. I do like Islamic designs (or any designs like that for that matter), but I wouldn't necessarily say it is my favourite kind of art. I like everything from Gustav Klimt to Norman Rockwell (hey, don't knock it until you have seen the real paintings up close!).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Six Squared

Happy Birthday to Me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Just fiddling with the settings - all of a sudden I had a weird grey line through my blog on all the computers I use.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mellow Happy - Catching Up

I just got back from my birthday dinner with my friends - my birthday isn't until this Thursday, but this is our normal knitting day so we knew it was a day that we all could meet. We decided to try a new restaurant in town - Rasa Sayang, a Malaysian restaurant that opened up a few weeks ago. I'm so happy we chose this place - it was so delicious! We each ordered an appetizer, ranging from Achat (Malaysian pickles - think sweet/salty/sesame), Roti Canai (potato and chicken pancake served with curried potato sauce), Roti Telur (like a thin chapati pancake served with curry sauce) and Chicken Satay skewers with peanut paste - and shared them all. I had the house curry - Rasa Sayang Chicken Curry with lemongrass and chilli paste - oh my :) I love finding a new food I like! I can't wait to go back again - and next time I want one of those pomegranate martinis...


I didn't want this to get lost in all the fibery goodness that was my apres-Stitches post, but I got to meet someone whose blog I read all the time - and she picked me out of a crowd! Kathy and I had just turned the corner on the 200 aisle when someone yelled, "Jo!" I looked around and this tall woman was looking at me and I was confused... until I saw her Ravelry nametag - it was Kemtee! You could have knocked me over with a feather! It was so nice to meet you in person, Kelly - and even more so because it was so unexpected. I hope we get to meet again soon!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Stitches East ReCap (a.k.a., 'The Haul')

or perhaps, "It's a damn good thing my husband loves me so much!"

We just got back from Stitches East, and I am feeling pleasantly exhausted. We didn't do too much outside of the hotel this time as we weren't on the Inner Harbor side of Baltimore, but we still had a wonderful time and had some fabulous food. I know you are eager to see what I picked up, so here goes:

Perhaps my new favourite colourway: Yarn Love's Bayfield Apple:

Yarn Love Bayfield Apple

As soon as I finished my current Yarn Pirate socks I think Bayfield Apple will be on the needles. The ladies in this booth were so nice, and I love how the yarn types are named after literary characters (the yarn I bought was called 'Marianne Dashwood' from Sense and Sensibility). I also bought this yarn, Strawberry Shortcake, from Yarn Love:

Yarn Love Strawberry Shortcake

Miss Babs Baby Bamboo and Superwash Sock in Light Turquoise:

Miss Babs Pale Turquoise

It's hard to make out in this picture, but there is a vein of darker turquoise that is in here and I am really eager to see how it will knit up.

Storm Moon Knits Twilight Sock in Rockabilly Blues:

Storm Moon Knits Rockabilly Blues

Lisa Souza Sock! in Lapland:

Lisa Souza Lapland

Valley Yarns Northampton from WEBS:

Valley Yarns Northampton

I have a hooded cabled vest in mind for this yarn.

And lastly... and this was the first thing I did buy because I expected it to be much rarer than it was, my Malabrigo Sock yarn in Boticelli Red:

Malabrigo Sock Boticelli Red

It's so soft - and the yarn is shiny almost as if there was some silk in it.

The only bad thing about this whole weekend is that it is now over and I don't have time to dig into my expanded stash!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Can't Wait!

People, it's been quite the week. The Phillies win the World Series, all the election excitement... and tomorrow I leave with my friends to go to Stitches East in Baltimore!

I heard that WEBS sold out of all 200 skeins of the Malabrigo sock yarn they brought with them before the Market was even opened to the public on Thursday night (those pesky students!). Oh well, I am sure I will have lots of other things to choose from!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Public Service Plea


This election, more than any other, had made me wish I could vote in the US - but as a Canadian citizen (here legally and married to an American and all), I cannot. Don't assume your candidate will win or lose - vote because every single damn one of them counts.

Thank you.