Saturday, January 29, 2005


I just got the sweetest surprise - an e-card from my Secret Pal! And how fitting that I should wake up this morning, NO COFFEE in the house, and see a bunch of dancing coffee cups taunting me with their liquid elixir! Heeheehee, it was super cute and I appreciate the thought. Thanks SP!

It's rare that we'd run out of coffee because I'm usually very diligent about either roasting some, or going to get it at Peet's, but it was raining cats and dogs yesterday so I let Mikey take the car. So why did I not roast? Well, since I just got the i-Roast, I had to run several experimental roasts and ended up using all of my good coffee, the Sumatra and Sulawesi that I love so much. Unfortunately, Sweet Maria's is out of the Sulawesi so I'm waiting until they get it to place my next order. The last two weeks we've reverted to buying store-bought :-0 coffee and I must say, my stuff's pretty damn good for being a fraction of the cost (not counting the machine, thanks Mom!).

Anyhow, I just sent Mikey to get us some joe and a couple of bagel sandwiches from Noah's. We gotta energize up for the day because we've got a lot to do! I wanted to hit the yarn stores today to see if I can find something for my SP - she's into Fair Isle, which automatically earns my respect. Anyone who can knit several colors at a time, keep them from getting tangled, AND follow a pattern has really got some MAD skills, I tell ya.

I also wanted to check out the other colors for Rowan Plaid yarn. Someone is selling several packs on eBay and since I enjoyed working with the one ball for that scarf, I wanted to bid but didn't know which color I liked best. I thought I could perhaps "assist" my husband in the purchase of my birthday present. You know how that goes - "here honey, this is what you got me" - and they're so glad they didn't have to think or go shopping!

We also need to go to Fry's to get some nerdy thing that has to do with getting the data off my old hard drive. I have no idea, I just tag along and hang out in the video game section while Mikey's off doing his thing. It's the same thing at yarn stores - he usually waits in a corner and plays a game on his cell phone and I'll come by to ask his opinion on colors.

Oh, and before I forget, I completely finished my Amy vest last week (argyle stitching and all) but I can't get the photo off the card until I get my computer running again. I guess mine was the only one that had the correct reader or something. But it is complete, and although it's a little big, I really like it a lot.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

RIP, my little sweet

A few things have been happening lately that I thought I should mention (mostly for the sake of my curious mother-in-law). ;-)

To start, my computer is currently out of commission. I was in the kitchen making dinner the other night, and went into the other room to see what that strange noise was. I looked down at my laptop, as it was dying slowly, the bizarre scratchy sounds indicating that it was not doing well. Luckily, my husband was home and rushed over to perform some CPR (that's Computer Processor Resuscitation).

Alas, the hard drive could not pull through and time of death was 6:40 PM. The computer's less than a year old, so this was completely unexpected. Apparently, HP is sending another hard drive but I'm really hoping we can salvage some of the data off my old drive.

Well, I suppose I'm lucky in the sense that my husband is a geek, so there are plenty of extra computers around the house. He was able to set me up on another laptop within minutes. Yeah, it ain't as loaded or as pretty as my beloved HP (whose shell is now lying sadly on the floor), but it works so I'm not complaining.

And just in time for Secret Pal 4! Mom, if you're reading this, Secret Pal is a knit/crochet gift exchange program. Like Secret Santa, you don't know the identity of your gift giver, and likewise you send gifts to someone who doesn't know who you are. You get to know one another via blog, which is why I started this whole thing.

Not to mention, I actually did enroll in two classes, one of which is online. These will go toward a Certificate in Small Business Management. The first class is Intro to Sm. Business and it's actually a TV course (good thing we have Tivo!), and the other is Accounting 1 (the online class). It's been 10 years since I've been a student, so I thought it would be wise to ease into it by taking classes from home. I'm not even sure if this is for me, so I'm taking the basics to decide if I'll move forward later on in the Summer/Fall.

That's the "big" news for now. I'm getting over a strange infection in my salivary gland, but we won't discuss that here (my jaw was swelling up like I was involved in a bar fight!). Hey, if you're my SP and you're reading this, you'll soon come to realize that I'm a magnet for unusual occurrences so don't be scared! :-0

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Dear Secret Pal,

Hiya! Welcome to my blog! I hope you'll find my little corner of the world at least remotely interesting, and I hope we can share opinions and tips on all things yarny.

Feel free to peruse my questionnaire:

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- a nd/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
Guilty - I'm in love with "designer" yarn, but I avidly look for sales or only purchase a small amount... long sleeved cashmere sweater coats only exist in my dreams!
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I don't spin, but I do crochet on occasion (I'm not that skilled, but I did manage to complete a fabulous flower-motif bag from Rebecca 24
3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Yes - smoke, cats, and pinenuts (probably won't be a concern here, unless somehow they've figured out how to make yarn out of pinenuts... you never know - they did it out of soy!)
4. How long have you been knitting?
Just over two years
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Sure do! Just search my full name over at Amazon, and I think I'm the only one that will come up
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
It's a toss up between jasmine and herby smells like rosemary, mint, or lavender
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
I think I may have a sweet mouth! My absolute favorite thing is cake, particularly from a fine French bakery, but I also have a thing for Donnelly chocolates (support the local guys!)
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I homeroast coffee (mostly Indonesian), and I recently got a sewing machine for Christmas but I haven't learned how to use it yet!
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
My favs are Cake, Beck, Moby, and Weezer, but I also like a lot of 80s stuff
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
I love red, grey, blue-grey, and "autumn" color combinations
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married three years (almost), no kids (don't plan on it), one brown dog named Gibson
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Wow, umm... I think they are fairly simple - I would like to own a small business (a yarn store would be ideal), I'd like to have a house on a bit of land so that we could raise some animals, and I want to visit a good portion of the world
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I love anything soft, wool and/or alpaca, and anything worsted or chunkier
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'm not particularly fond of eyelash/furry yarns, or anything thinner than worsted (I need fast gratification)
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I'm not really fixated on any one thing because I'm trying to gain experience with all different yarns, stitch patterns, etc., so I have several projects going at a time
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like knitting bags because they almost always turn out and they're useful, but I also like knitting tank tops or vests because I don't have the patience for sleeves
17. What are you knitting right now?
A cabled tank top in GGH Goa (see earlier post for pics), an argyle vest in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed (almost done, picking up around second armhole), two fluffy scarves for my sister, and numerous abandoned projects waiting to be finished
18. What do you think about ponchos?
I actually really love them (I have a few myself), but I'm trying to focus more on "timeless" items these days
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circs all the way!!
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I love Clover bamboos in particular, but it really depends on the fiber because sometimes bamboo creates too much drag - in which case, aluminum is a better option
21. Are you a sock knitter?
Unfortunately, no - I would love to have a pair of handknit socks (my feet are small, so a snug fit is pretty hard to come by), but I don't enjoy working with thinner yarns and I'm not terribly fond of working with double pointed needles
22. How did you learn to knit?
I taught myself by looking at books and online resources, and still do!
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Woah, had to look up "UFO"... that one's new to me... umm, I can't think of any project that would be considered a UFO because I tend to either finish what I'm working on, or abandon them completely
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Fav animated character is Hello Kitty, fav animals are dogs, chickens, and donkeys (don't ask)
25. What is your favorite holiday?
I gotta go with Christmas - I love exchanging gifts (hey, kinda like SP!), and you can justify indulging in some guilty pleasures
26. Is there anything that you collect?
We have a growing collection of chickens, mostly handcrafted, funky chicken figurines by artists from all over the world

Monday, January 24, 2005

Good for you!

I can't believe it... I actually finished something!!

Finished "plaid" pattern scarf in Rowan Plaid
Posted by Hello

You can see a close-up of the pattern in my previous post.

Not only that, but I finished half of the tank top in GGH Goa.

First half of "Sweater with Diamonds" from Rebecca 23
Posted by Hello

I'm really proud of this one because I didn't mess up on the cabling, and as you can see, there were plenty of opportunities! I used US size 10 needles, and coincidentally, I got a set of Brittany cable needles for Christmas which included a size 10. I had lots of fun following the pattern, but it was kind of exhausting so I'm taking a break before starting the other half.