Saturday, September 30, 2006


I went to IKEA with Erin and Jeremy this evening. They have a beautiful new duvet cover with matching pillow shams that I think would be perfect to into an afghan or throw. What do you think?

It should also be fairly simple. I'm thinking it would just be single and double crochet. There would just be quite a few ends to weave in.
Its hard to tell from the phot, but it was a nice chocolatey brown, gold, green, tuquoise, a deep plum, tan, etc.

What do you think?

Friday, September 29, 2006


A short while ago I was contemplating over which sweater from the new issue of to make.
I'll have you know that I reached my decision and am making...


last week I purchased the yarn and it arrived in the mail yesterday. I'll post pictures of the yarn later, when I've had the chance to photograph it in natural light.
Also, the Top Secret Project.... just a little longer for photos of that. I still haven't sent it off to the intended recipient because I keep forgetting to take it in to work with me so that I can mail it off.

The sock is coming along well, I'm almost done with the foot and then will begin the decreases. I'm hoping to have it done by Saturday afternoon so that my cousin Erin can try it on before I start the second one. I'm hoping to start the second one by Sunday afternoon, when I will be sitting in my favorite knitting spot, the pub, enjoying a pint and fingering weight superwash wool sock yarn.

I want to get these socks done, for two reasons.
First, so that Erin can have some supercool hand knit socks.
Second, so that I can start on Viveka. In all of the years that I've been crocheting, and more recently, knitting, I have only made two items for myself. About 8 years ago I crocheted a queen size bedspread out of kitchen cotton. This may sound like an odd fiber choice for a bedspread, but I'd made a dishcloth with it and the texture vaguely reminded me of the cotton chenile bedspreads by great-grandmother used to have when I was a kid. I immediately had to have a throw or afghan made out of it, and of course I went over the top and made a queen sized bedspread. It took FOREVER, and MANY full sized cones of white kitchen cotton.
The second item I made was the very first felted hand bag that I made bacck in January.
Everything else I've ever made has always been for someone else - either as a gift, or for commission, or for charity. I don't regret making the majority for everyone else, but it is most definitely time that I make a pretty wool sweater for myself.


Theres a woman at my work who has the "Scrolling Marquee" as the screensaver on her computer. Any time shes away from her desk, on break, at lunch, etc., it comes rolling across her screen....


I haven't bothered to tell her that it's misspelled. Its been this way for MONTHS.

Monday, September 25, 2006


It's been a fun weekend....
Started early Friday by leaving work at 11 am for a farewell lunch for my boss. After working with her for the past year, it was sad to see her go but I do wish her well in her new position within the company.
Afterwards I went home, it was nice to be sitting in a bubble bath at 3 pm thinking "I'm still getting paid for another 2 hours".
Friday evening was Rhythm & Ribs with friends. We met up at the pub first then migrated over to Raley Field. There was a decent cover band playing, but not noteworthy enough for me to remember the name of the group. I sampled some ribs from a bbq company from Portland, OR. The sauce was great, but the meat quality was only so-so. After R&R, it was back to the pub.
Saturday, it was a friends 30th birthday and to celebrate her Scottish Heritage we made way to Dixon for the Scottish Games. Its always a good day when you're surrounded by men in kilts throwing heavy objects. After the games was a bbq at a friends back here in town.
Sunday, I got up early and took care of some chores around the house and spent the rest of the day knitting at the pub. It was a great day.

Now, the part where I'm looking for some suggestions...
My Scottish friend mentioned above will be entering the holy bonds of matrimony next month and the celebratory bachelorette party will be a weekend in Tahoe for the girls. We'll all be responsible for a meal and I have Saturday morning breakfast.
I've been looking at Epicurious and have found some recipes that sound great! Such as:
French Toast Santa Fe
Banana Stuffed French Toast with Streusel Topping
Creme Brulee French Toast
Blueberry Croissant French Toast

Theres also a few omelette/scrambled egg/baked egg dishes I've found that sound good, but I'm fairly good at making those type of dishes already and looking through those recipes was really just to give me ideas for different ingredients to toss in there.

So, any opinions on the linked recipes above?
Any suggestions on any other recipes that are quick and easy to make but yummy and decadent and seem like they took a lot of effort and time but really don't because chances are that I will be hung over and barely able to drag my ass out of bed.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Top Secret Project is finished. One or two of you have seen it in progress, but the rest of you will have to wait a week or so for pics of the finished item. Personally, I'm pleased with the outcome. It's blocking as we speak.

The purple & charcoal felted bag? That hasn't gone anywhere. It's still sitting in my knitting bag.
Instead of finishing that project I've started my next one. Socks. I've started the first sock and so far, it's fairly tedious. Teeny tiny yarn, teeny tiny needles, teeny tiny stitches. I'm hoping that as I become more adept at it, I enjoy the socks more. There certainly is one thing to say about sock knitting - it's very compact and portable. It's also going to give me arthritic hands.

I like the sock yarn I'm using. I ended up not going with either of the ones I showed the other day. I just wasn't 100% happy with them, so over the weekend I found a pretty pink, blue and purple yarn. So far, I'm liking how its working up BUT I am only about a 1/2" into the ribbed cuff.

Completely unrelated, I'm in the mood for a pedicure. I'm also in desperate need of one.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Here Knitty, Knitty, Knitty....

The new season of Knitty is up, and can I just say how much I love it???
I LOVE the Viveka and Lucie sweaters and really want to make both. For myself, of course.
I hardly ever knit anything for myself. I am one of those knitters who always make things for others, and I don't mind. I like giving my family and friends hand knit items. Especially when they appreciate the time and love that went in to it, and most of them do. But, I think I am going to have to take a break from knitting for others and work on one of these for myself. Any suggestions on which one I should do first? Either way, I'm sure I'll be seen working on these at the pub this fall.

The Ivy wrap sweater is pretty cool too.

I'm tempted to make Avast for my father for his birthday in January... well, considering my "to knit" list, Fathers Day 2018 would be more realistic.

I'm sure my little cousin would love to have an Ayla bag. Again, with my to knit list, I'm sure I could have it completed in time for her first borns 1st day of kindergarten.

I don't know about this one, Intolerable Cruelty. I do love the design, it's just the style that I like... romantic, and curvy. But, I think my "curves" are a bit much for a KNIT skirt. My ass would look infinitely larger than it actually is.

Now, the pattern I take issue with....
I think Lizard Ridge is one of the coolest afghans I've ever seen. Absolutely beautiful. HOWEVER... 21 skeins of Noro Kureyon??? Thats about $180! For an afghan! Who on earth has $180 to knit an afghan?? Seriously, it is beautiful. I love the color changes of Noro Kureyon. I also like how that multicolored afghan is so brilliantly colored. BUT, if I had an extra $180 lying around, I seriously doubt that I would use it to knit an afghan. I'd probably go to Sephora or L'Occitane
I can only assume that its one of those project that you spend a year or more making, buying a skein and knitting up a square here and there as a diversion from other projects, put the squares away in your closet and one day you realize that you have all 24 blocks knit up and eventually seam them together.

Before I can make anything for myself though, I have a couple of projects to work on. First, an update on my recent projects.

The crocheted crib blanket for a friends pending niece? Finished! See....

Friend was pleased. I like how it turned out also. I love this pattern... its one of the free patterns available on the Project Linus website. Its called the Sideways Shell Baby Afghan. It works up fairly quickly, the pattern is an easy repeat - not so much so that its boring and overly repetitive though. Many times I've thought of making this with a bulkier yarn in more of an afghan size.

I also finished the Super Skinny Sari Silk Scarf. Its entirely possible that I may have gotten carried away, not paid attention to how long it was getting, and ended up with a scarf thats approximately 9 feet long. Keep in mind that its only 3 inches wide.

The felted messenger bag experiment that I've been working on intermitently since April? Lets not talk about that. All I'm going to say is that I see a lot of ripping out in my future.

The purple and grey round bag that will ultimately be felted?? Very close to being done. I'm working on the last i-cord handle, then it will go in the washer.

New projects?

A Top Secret Project is in the works, I'm a little over half way done and have a deadline looming so I'd better get cracking. I'll be able to show a picture around the first of next month. All I will say is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the yarn I'm using.

After T.S.P. is completed and the purple & charcoal bag has been felted, I'm going to try my first pair of socks. These will be a gift for my lovely cousin Erin. I've bought 2 different yarns, the first was a very cheerful looking pink orange and yellow. Then I found a very pretty blue colorway that I think she'll like a lot. I'm just not certain which color I'll use first.

Once the socks are completed I'll be working on.... Viveka? Lucie? Bueller? Anyone?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


last week I had the pleasure of losing my wallet.
It had to have been some time Wednesday night. I remember having it that afternoon and I went straight home from work, then it was Thursday morning that I noticed it wasn't in my purse.
I figure it must have fallen out of my purse somewhere between lunchtime Wednesday night and after I got to work Thursday morning. I have a horrible habit of trying to cram too much stuff in too small of a purse. I've searched my car, the office I work in, my house. It is nowhere to be found.
I had about $40 cash, a token for a free beer at the pub, credit card, debit card, kaiser card, etc. I've canceled them all and requested replacements, so no worries there.
What I'm really frustrated about losing is all of my "frequent shopper" cards. My favorite LYS has a card where once you spend $200, you get $20 off your next purchase. I had about $150 on my card, thats gone. I talked to the owner and she was able to mark off the purchases I've made since they upgraded their computers about a month ago though, so that helps some.
There was also the card for the local drive through coffee shop, my next latte was going to be free =(
Then there was all of the gift cards I still had from my birthday - $25 for JoAnns, $40 for ULTA, $15 for Blockbuster and :::sniff::: $25 for Sephora. I think that one may hurt the worst.
But the most painful of this experience, my drivers license. So that I don't have to use any more of my personal time at work I'll be spending a good chunk of this coming Saturday morning at the DMV.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ugh, I've been putting this off....

I've been having some problems with my car for a couple of months now.
Initially I'd put off taking it in to the shop because I was busy dealing with my moms angioplasty and then traveling up to Portland when my grandmother died.
Putting it off hasn't been too much of a hassle because my car still runs, its just that accelerating to above 50 mph can be tricky, the "overdrive off" light is constantly flashing and the "check engine" light comes on sporadically.
I'd been putting it off because when I initially called my car guy and talked to a couple of coworkers who are more mechanically adept than I am they all said it could be one of two things...

1 - The O2 sensor (whatever that is. its been explained to me but it left my brain as immediately as it was told to me) needs to be replaced - a quick, easy, and cheap fix. I like cheap. My mechanic estimates it could be as cheap as $50. I really like that initial price estimate.
2 - The whole transmission could need to be replaced. Again, my mechanic called around and the best price he could find on a rebuilt transmission for my car is $1,600. I do not like this initial price estimate. What makes it worse is that he said a rebuilt transmission comes with no guarantee. It could last for 5 years or 5 weeks. No guarantee. His suggestion in the event that I need a new transmission is to take that $1,500 and use it as the downpayment on a new car.

So, I've been putting it off and putting it off. Then I got my paperwork to renew my car this month. I have to smog my car this year and since my "check engine" light comes on, thats an automatic fail.
I'll be taking it in to the shop next week and as nice as a new(er) car would be, I'd like to put off buying one for a while longer. Ideally, I'd like to have a huge downpayment - about 1/2 of the sale price - and it will take a while longer for me to save that up. So (I use "So..." too much), please, everyone keep their fingers crossed that its just that pesky O2 sensor.

On a sidenote, I think I'm coming down with a cold. I'm stuffy, sore throat, tired, etc. I'd just like to crawl into bed and stay there for a couple of days. I have my dads birthday party this Saturday. Its his 50th, I'd like to be feeling like my normal self by then. I've told his girlfriend that I'll bring my Asian Noodle Salad, recipe below....

1 lb spaghetti (I've also used angel hair or vermicelli)
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (1 tsp if you don't want it as spicy)
1/4 cup corn oil (I've also used vegetable or canola)
1/2 cup sesame oil (be sure to use the dark sesame oil - it makes all the difference)
6 tbsp honey
5 tbsp soy sauce (if you're concerned about sodium, opt for the low sodium soy sauce from Trader Joes)
1 tsp salt (again, you can skip this if you're concerned about sodium)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I love cilantro so I always put extra in)
3/4 cup chopped peanuts, unsalted (I generally use cashews instead of peanuts, but only because of personal preference)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (again I put in extra because I like it)
2 tbsp sesame seeds (again, I put in extra because I like it)

Cook spaghetti al dente and drain.

In a saucepan stir in red pepper flakes and oils for 2 minutes. Add honey, soy sauce, salt and garlic powder.

Stir and mix well with cooked spaghetti. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I try to mix the pasta and sauce together the night before because the longer it sits the better).

When ready to serve, add cilantro, green onion and nuts to pasta, toss.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Also, when making for a party or pot luck of any type I'll double the recipe because it goes fast and if I'm taking it to a party the host usually doesn't allow me to take home any leftovers, ITS THAT GOOD.

On the quitting smoking... I've had a few hiccups. I went to a party Saturday night and smoked there and have had a few cigarettes each day since. Nowhere near the pack a day I was smoking before, but not smoke free like I'd like to be. I'm starting to wonder if I need to try that Welbutrin or whatever its called to help me wean myself off of smoking.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Ultimate DIY

A while back I was taking a friend to IKEA to pick up a new futon. At the time I didnt know whether or not the futon would fit inside my SUV or if it would need to be put on the roof.
At this time I hadn’t washed my car in a while so on the way to my friends I decided to go through the self serve car wash to take off at least one layer of the grime.
As I pulled in to the bay a man came around telling me where the change machines were located, how much the wash cost and how much time you got. Initially I thought it was odd that there was a guy working at the self serve car wash, then he followed up by saying “I’ll wash it for you, for a small fee”. At that point I realized that he was a homeless person looking to pick up some cash.
I opted to wash my car myself since I wanted to put a little extra focus on the roof in the event that I would be putting a new futon on top, and generally with an SUV the roof is the least focused on part of the car when washing it since its never seen.
He was nice enough to chit chat with me as I was washing my car, asking if I liked to go camping a lot and if that was why I had an SUV.
Then he started with the personal questions.
Random Homeless Guy - So, do you have a boyfriend?
Me - No
RHG - Do you want one?

uhh... I think I see where this is going so I answer very matter of factly

Me - Nope.
RHG - really?
Me - really.
RHG - see, I graduated high school and I’ve got 8 years military and a couple years college under my belt...
Me - thats great!
RHG - I've been on the streest for 12 years now and I just need a good woman to take me in and clean me up, put my resume together, get me a nice suit and find me a job.
Me - uhhh, thats really one of those things you have to do for yourself and not have others do FOR you.
RHG - well, I’ve been praying on it here but nothings happening yet

at this point he pulls a bible out of his bag, one that looks brand new and the spine hasn’t even been broken yet.

Me - well, it won’t happen overnight. You can’t pray for it and have it fall in your lap, you have to put some effort in to it.

At this point I was done with washing the exterior of my car and decided to clean out all of the empty water bottles and soda cans that had accumulated in my back seat. Since RHG had been cordial enough, chit chatting with me while I washed my car I offered him 2 plastic grocery bags full of recycleables.

Me - here, you can have these. you can take them up and turn them in for cash
RHG - nah. but leave them there, theres guys that come around collecting cans.

I had so many mixed thoughts after this encounter.

First of all, I was incredibly dismayed that someone who served 8 years in the military is in the position to where they are homeless and have been living on the streets for 12 years. I notice that a lot of the people you see on street corners holding up signs are vets.
When you see the commercials for our armed forces they all say that they will help you to prepare for a career. Granted, the person has to be willing to put the effort in to continuing their career after their discharge. I just can’t help but notice how many homeless people are ex-military.

Second - I think this guy was in the position he was in because he was unwilling to put in any effort to be more.
While I wouldn’t give him cash, I did offer him recyleable cans and bottles that he could have taken in for cash and gotten something to eat from it. He just wasnt willing to take the bags of cans and bottles up to the store 2 blocks away where there was a recycling station.

Third - This guy is the ultimate DIY project. Take a man and try to mold him in to what you want. Not my idea of good boyfriend material. Also, this is a good example of why I’m single. I have no delusional idea that I’ll meet some guy and be able to mold him in to what I want. Men, and women, pretty much come “as is” and I’ve yet to meet anyone who I’d be willing to accept “as is”.
Some may say I’m picky, I think I’m just aware of what I’m willing to compromise on and what I’m not.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Day One

on the Nicorette.

Today wasn't too bad. I had one brief moment of anxiety this morning as I got in my car for my commute in to work and realized that I wouldn't be smoking in the car on my way to work this morning. I popped a piece of Nicorette in and worked my way through it.
After that, the day wasn't too hard. I made it through work okay, on my breaks rather than go outside with the other smokers, I sat at my desk and knit or surfed the internet.
I'm not using the Nicorette as much as I am other gums and mints. I've stocked my purse with the following:
Trident White Cinnamon Tingle Gum
Clorets Gum
Trident White Wintergreen Gum
Life Savers Orange Mints
Life Savers Sweet Mints
Ice Breakers dual pack Tangerine mints & gum (left at my desk)

I'm using the cinnamon gum more than anything else. The Nicorette bothers my stomach a little, so I've only had 4 pieces today even though the instructions say that for the first 6 weeks I should have a piece every 1-2 hours.

So for my commute home I was fine. No anxiety about not smoking during my commute, I did fine until I got home.

Having a cigarette and a cup of coffee with my grandma is something we do when I get home from work every day. This evening I did falter and had 2 cigarettes. I'm not going to let that be a sign of failure and lapse back in to my pack a day habit. 2 cigarettes in one day is much much better than 20.