Green cards and argyle hats

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My dear Canadian friends got their green cards, last week, and threw a little party to celebrate. The other guests wore green in honor of the occasion and I brought some AmeriCone Dream ice cream. With knee slapping humor like that, here in the states, it's a wonder they didn't pack their lovely things and head back to the icy embrace of the Canadian snow. It was a small but rowdy festive group, and the hosts ensured there were plenty of libations.

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But I learned something very important about myself.
I
am
the
BLOCKUS QUEEN!
I admit, I may have let loose with a bit of language that was unbecoming a queen, but when one must bring the smack down, one must also bring the smack talk. I believe their is a theorem that covers this.


In other news, the Corn on the Nod hat is coming along nicely.

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I've completed the argyle section and now need to decide how long I want to make the hat before decreasing for the crown.

Sexy knitting

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Woohoo! Both Bella Paquita AND Giselle were chosen for this session of the Sexy Knitters' Club.

I really couldn't be more flattered, especially considering the spectacular competition.
Just check out this list.

One of the things about my free patterns is that many are a bit rough around the edges, so I expect to be doing a lot of pattern support for Bella Paquita, but Giselle has been test knit 3 times, tech edited and copy edited so I'll mostly be answering clarifying questions for that one.

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If any of you were thinking about knitting either pattern, you might consider joining the group and knitting along. I can't wait to see how people's projects turn out.

I felt badly

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No really. That's not bad grammar up there, I really don't felt well, but I sure have fun trying.

My mom got me a fantastic needle felting book, about a year ago and I read every word of it but hadn't actually tried my hand at it. This is not uncommon for me. I generally take time to absorb a certain amount of technique before diving in.

When I saw that the Mendocino Yarn Shop had some needle felting supplies, I decided it was time.

So, while watching a bit of TV, on a lazy Saturday, I began stabbing the bejeebus out of some of my Almost Solid Series fiber sampler pack.

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Stabby stabby stabby stabby.

I find it equal parts tedious and fun. On the one hand, I don't really like having to constantly watch what I'm doing, and the little multi-needle tool makes a little clacking noise when you use it, which is not loud, but it's noticeable. On the other hand, it's pretty amazing seeing and feeling the transformation of fiber from soft and floofy to dense and matted. And once in a zone, it can be really addicting.

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I figured I'd make a little case or cozy of some sort. At this point, I was more driven by process than product. When I'd had about enough of stabbing, I started trimming off edges.

But how to finish it? Well, duh, this is roving after all. How about I spin myself some matching yarn with which to seam the piece?

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I didn't need much. In a few minutes I had enough length for a 2-ply yarn with plenty to spare.

After some more snipping and embellishing, I had a funky looking case for my sunglasses.

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And I even added a button from a collection of vintage beauties, my friend Ruinwen sent me.

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I think this is a really fun way to use up scraps of roving and fiber I have lying around. I'll definitely be doing more.

Not exactly a little project

| 10 Comments

When your hat has over 200 stitches per row, it's not really a a little project, is it?

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While in Mendocino, I picked up three balls of Crystal Palace Maizy, two in deep purple and one in a coordinating print.

This yarn is 82% corn and 18% nylon which means it's soft and stretchy. It'd make fabulous socks but since I'm really not much for knitting socks, at least not second socks, I wanted to do something else with it, something I'd actually use.

Maybe winter in Portland, with all it's overcast skies and rainy days, makes me dream in color, but lately, I've just been bitten by the colorwork bug. Instead of working a standard stranded or intarsia design, I decided to give double knitting a go.

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Double knitting produces a flat piece of fabric that is knit on both sides. It can be used to make two color pieces that have alternating color patterns on each side and it's none rolling. All good stuff. But even better, keeping an even tension in double knitting is loads easier than other color work techniques. Because of the way double knit is worked, you are never carrying your yarn more than two stitches, and just maintaining one's normal tension is sufficient to produce a relatively elastic and even tension.

The progress is slow going but I'm happy with what I've done so far. This was a great, nearly mindless piece, to work on the road, too. The right side rows (those on the predominantly purple side) progress in a standard pattern, and the wrong side rows are worked exactly as the previous row, so there's little need to refer back to the chart I made.

New Year's Eve Road Trip - Part 3

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Ahh, San Francisco. If we could pick any city in the US, in which to live, it'd probably be here. This is not to say that we don't love Portland, because we do, but there is just something about San Francisco.

We arrose relatively early on Sunday morning and decided to reward our good little girls with a walk in the park.

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We spent a couple hours frolicing in the park and the girls had a fantastic time. Even Panda let loose a little in her own reserved way. The folks in the park were just delightful too.

Once we'd exhausted the girls throuroughly, we dropped them off at the hotel, and went out for lunch. Guess what Leo wanted.

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There's only so much butter and garlic soaked, and fried food I can handle, so I opted for a salad instead.

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Mmm

Oh, and look who joined us for lunch

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It's good ol' COF. San Francisco is a great place for knitwear.

Being Sunday, we didn't have grand expectations for nightlife options, but it turned out that riiight down the street from where we were staying was a cute little bar called the Voodoo Lounge. We ordered a couple filthy martinis, and, to Leo's delight, we got to play some poker.

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We both lost. The big winner was the bartender.

After losing we headed back to the hotel, all of 100 feet away, and tucked into bed. The girls seemed glad to see us.

The next day, New Year's Eve, we decided to devote solely to relaxation and spending time with the pups.

It looked a lot like this, plus some walks and a quick breakfast at a neighboring cafe. There might also have been some knitting. More on that in a future post.

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When evening rolled around, we showered and got purdy. There was a moment of panic when I realized the shoes I brought to go with my dress were busted, and that we forgot to pack my wrap, and the nylons I had gotten came with a hole. Oy! Luckily, I'd brought a more casual, but still appropriate alternative outfit. Rolling with the punches, baby.

We made a reservation at a restaurant we had passed a bazillion times but never entered, called Bobo's. Turns out it's owned by the same folks who make his favorite crab AND they specialize in Leo's other favorite food, steak. I appologize to all my vegitarian friends out there, this may make you queezy, but for us, this meal was extrodinary.

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We started with iron skillet roasted muscles and some lobster soup, and followed it with a petite filet for me and a bone in filet for Leo and a crab. Great googily moogily, so good and so much food. We finished the meal with a cup of espresso and then popped back over to the hotel room to brush our teeth and give the girls a little taste.

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Happy New Year to THEM.

For the celebration, we headed over to Leo's favorite Cigar Bar for some live music, mojitos and, of course, a cigar. When midnight rolled in, we had a big smooch and a glass of bubbly. Perfect.

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But the night wasn't over. We made a quick walk to the waterfront to catch a few fireworks, caught a cable car, and then walked back to the hotel.

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And the walk back? Only the better part of about 4 miles...in heels.

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We were good, and kept the alcohol consumption minimal and ended the evening relatively early, so we could check out and start our drive back home the next morning. We took the 101, up to wine country, crossed over through Napa Valley to catch the 5 in Scramento, and made it home in 12 short (ha!) hours. I think we were all glad to be back home, even if we were pining for more crab.

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I can't wait to do it again.

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