Archive for May, 2006

Ginger-Raisin Muffins!

A big thank you to my knitting group for eating and enjoying (or at least politely pretending to enjoy) my muffins. For the interested, I got the recipe from my all time favorite cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance- Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock. I highly recommend it if you are vegan or vegetarian (it could definitely turn you over to the vegan side!), or even if you’re not, because the muffin chapter alone is worth every penny spent on the book. Mocha Chip Muffins are the Official Muffin of Goddesses everywhere, and this should be the Offical Cookbook of Goddeses too.

Anyway, I got distracted. Some of the lovely ladies in my knitting group are also Weight Watchers and wanted to know the points value. I am happy to report that these came in at a mere 2 points per muffin. Enjoy!!

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Army of Knitters

In case your not the kind of person who goes through the comments left on blogs, here’s the great comment that Jessie left regarding my previous post of my future MIL in her hat/purse:

If knitters were to form an army, you know what our helmets would be?  Felted Marsupial Totes.

Thank you Jessie for making both Bob and I laugh very, very hard.

Other than that, I haven’t got to knit a stitch all day. Working 12 hours really sucks. But here I am, following up on my resolution to post daily. *contented sigh* It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I know a lot of you read the Knit and Tonic blog, but if you didn’t see this and you feel like being pissed off, this just might do it for you! Fraud!! I am totally down for leaving a ton of negative feedback on this asshole and I doubt that I’m alone. Grrrrrrrr! Let’s send the wrath of our well outfitted army of knitters down upon him!!

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Post Vaction Confessional

Forgive me fellow knit bloggers, for I have sinned. I have not posted for over a week since returning from my vacation, in spite of resolutions to the contrary. I don’t really even have a good excuse. I was just feeling too lazy to deal with the "technical difficulties" I experienced when trying to upload my vacation pictures, and overall not feeling very interesting. In spite of doing a lot of knitting on my trip, I didn’t actually finish anything. I have been feeling sick pretty much since I got home, so I guess that’s kind of an excuse. I swear, I am allergic to the entire Ohio River Valley. One of the bad things about the whole blogging process is that after you haven’t done it for a while, it’s hard to get back into the groove. Well, it’s hard for me anyway! Nevertheless, I think after we get through the initial difficulties of this "return" post, all will be back to normal. (Well, as normal as it gets.)

My vacation was a lot of fun, even though we ran into financial issues about halfway through our trip and therefore I didn’t get to do nearly as much yarn shopping as I would have liked. Highlights of our 2006 visit to Washington state are as follows (in no particular order)

  • CANVAS WORKS   Their selection of sock yarn was spectacular, and they weren’t doing shoddy on any other kind of yarn you might take a fancy to either. We were lucky enough to only be a/  fifteen minute drive away so I got to visit three times. The employees were friendly and I had a really good experience. Downsides- no parking and no public bathroom. But the more I look at these pictures, the more I wonder how I ever made myself leave.
  • Visiting with my very high colorful future in-laws. Pineapple
                                                                                                                                         This is Bob’s father, known to all as Buzz. Since the neither Bob nor his brothers has produced any children, someone handed Buzz the pineapple and said that it was quite possibly the only grandchild he would ever have. A very touching moment ensued. Can you guess why we call him Buzz?

Lindapurse_1

Here is Linda modeling the Felted Marsupial Tote I made for her. I’m not sure she will ever actually use it for its intended purpose, but I have to admit that it makes a very fetching hat. Some of you have probably made the same bag and might remember the matching coinpurse with i-cord. When Linda saw it, she said it was like "a little umbilical cord going from me to you." Ummmmm…. how do you respond to that? I think I said, "Not really, it’s just a coinpurse." Am I lame or what?

Brotherly


This is Bob with his brothers Chad and Jeremy. (Bob is in the middle, Chade is the darker haired one and Jeremy is the blonde.) I told them to act brotherly. Men sure do have a weird idea of showing affection. Oh well.

  • Lamb’s Ear Yarns in Tacoma.
    I got to stop there on the way back from Seattle, even though Bob was
    practically throwing a fit because it is in Tacoma and Tacoma is
    apparently a good place to get your car stolen. I think it was worth
    the risk. The store was small but *packed* with yarn in every nook and
    cranny. I can’t verify this for sure, but it looked like a room was
    being added on, so hopefully this store has a bright future. The owner
    was friendly and she gets bonus points from me for letting me take her
    picture. (She claims that she’s not very photogenic but you’ll have to
    be the judge of that when you check out the pictures. [Pictures coming soon!]) And our car
    didn’t get stolen. So suck it up, Bob!
  • Seattle!!! Me and Bob were there for two days and just hung out and did
    the tourist thing. We got to walk through Pike Place Market, the
    Seattle Aquarium, and the Science Fiction Museum. I took a lot of
    pictures [pictures coming soon!], but in case you don’t want to go through all of them (I know
    vacation pics aren’t always that entertaining unless you were the one
    on the vacation) here is my personal favorite: the Alien Queen from the
    Sci-Fi museum. Yes, this is the real one that was used in the Aliens
    movies. Yes, it was totally scary in person. (Taller than me! Eeek!)Alienqueen_1

The worst part about vacation was that I was bored a LOT. I missed two whole weeks of knitting group that I can never get back, which is said. I definitely missed everybody, and next time I’m planning a shorter trip!

As for current projects, I’ve given up on the Fortissima Disko socks for now. Those of you who were at knitting group on Wednesday probably remeber me pulling the socks off my needles after a long and frustrating night of trying to turn a heel that didn’t seem to want to turn. I haven’t ripped them out, but I’m just sick of them, plain and simple. They were supposed to be a Mother’s Day gift, but after all this time, I’ve just decided that they’re not really that great of a gift. I know the yarn has some fans out there, but I just don’t care for the Fortissima sock yarn very much. It’s much rougher than say, Opal, and the colors it comes in aren’t nearly as compelling. I think my mom will be happier with something softer and more luxuriant. She’s not really the kind of person who needs a hard wearing, flashy sock. I’m thinking Berroco Plush in a light blue or pink will make a perfect pair of house socks for her.

On Wednesday night, I cast on with the Opal yarn I bought in Washington, and after successfully turning the heel, my faith in the sock knitting process has been restored. I’m zipping down the foot! With luck I’ll be finishing them up within the next day or two, and with even more luck I’ll follow through with my commitment and cast on for the second sock. It would be really, really nice to have a pair for once!
Byopalsock Thanks for reading through my unbelievably long post. Hopefully now that I’ve gotten over this hump, I can get back regulary scheduled knitting! It’s great to be home!

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On Location…

I wasn’t expecting to get to post during vacation, but we’re visiting with Bob’s Nana in Kennewick WA for the weekend, and good old Nana has come through with a functional, internet accessing computer. I don’t know why she has a computer, since she admits that she’s only turned it on once in the last three years, but why ask questions! God bless her senile little heart!

So far, our trip has been pretty good (until yesterday, but I’ll explain in a minute). I love Sophie’s and all, but if I ever need an excuse to relocate to Olympia, Canvas Works would be a perfectly viable reason. I can barely describe it. (Fortunately, I took a lot of pictures.) I have never seen so much sock yarn in one room in my life. (Tons of Opal. Not just Opal, Opal Handpaints.) I only bought a couple things because I’m saving up for the Seattle yarn stores, but I hope to go back and spend a lot, lot more.

My tragic tale is this: on Friday night, I felt a little bit yucky, so I skipped dinner and went to bed early. I chalked it up to the stupid birth control pills I take. When I go from taking the placebo ones back to the real ones, I feel a little nauseous for a day or two and then it (usually) goes away, so it’s not such a big deal. I woke up on Saturday morning and felt better, so I took my pills and got ready for the five hour drive to Kennewick. I decided that I really should only take my latest sock so maybe I could concentrate and get it finished over the weekend. As an afterthought, I threw in a random skein of Lamb’s Pride Bulky and some size 10 needles, just in case any Kennewick relatives showed an interest in learning. I think that’s called foreshadowing.

I ate a bagel with some soymilk and off we went in our gigantic rental truck. Which sways a lot, especially on the curvy road through White Pass. But I still was feeling pretty good. I put away my Game Boy (Harvest Moons rocks!!) and pulled out my purse, so I could plug into my ipod and listen to one of the many knitting podcasts I downloaded before we left home, and work on my beautiful sock. I had just finished the ribbing. It was the totally unfamiliar, beautiful self-striping Online sock yarn that I had just bought the day before. I was so excited! I picked up the needles… I started to knit…

And that’s about when I projectile vomitted into my purse, all over my knitting, my clothes, and the backseat of the truck.

We pulled over, I changed clothes, I cried a little cry over my totally ruined sock yarn. Bob said, "Well, maybe we can wash it when we get to Kennewick." I let loose with a long string of expletives about birth control and sock yarn and why couldn’t I have been working on something totally ugly? Why? After that, I calmed down and concentrated on not throwing up again for the remaining 4 hours of the drive.

When we arrived in Kennewick, I dumped my whole bag of vomitted on stuff into the washing machine and said to hell with it. Maybe the skein would stay basically in tact. Maybe my sock wouldn’t be a total bust after all. Maybe….

Definitely not. By the time the wash was over, the sock yarn had basically unraveled and wrapped itself around everything else in there. We had to cut it off the rest of my clothes. I kind of wish I would have taken a pictures, just in case you ever wonder what happens when you throw a skein of yarn into the washer, but I was too depressed about the whole thing. Just trust me, it’s not a good idea. I suppose I could have handwashed it but… handwashing a ball of vomit covered sock yarn just didn’t sound appealing.

The worst thing is, all I have is this dumb skein of Lamb’s Pride Bulky now. I can’t believe I packed an entire suitcase of yarn for this trip and somehow, this is what I’ve been reduced to. So I cast on for a scarf and am trying to make it last as long as possible. I decided to try some basic lace so every other row I’m doing K1, YO, K2TOG, and purling on the other. It actually looks good for something I totally pulled out of my behind, but it is kind of diagonal and wonky looking. I hope I can block it into something resembling a straight line in the end.

So I still have a few hours here, and then another five hours back to Bob’s house before I have my TVS back. I hope I survive. I may have to rip this stupid scarf out and start another one on account of not having anything else to work on.

On the bright side, Monday and Tuesday we’ll be in Seattle, and there are two or three yarn shops within walking distance of our hotel so it should be a good time for all. Well, for me anyway. 

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See y’all in about two weeks!

Tomorrow is the big day! We’ll be flying out tomorrow a couple hours after Bob and I get off work. We’re all packed (I hope) and ready to go. I prepped my knitting bag by removing all shiny objects and replacing them with air-friendly plastic. I should have enough knitting to keep myself occupied through… about the next year. And that’s not counting ripping things out and reknitting them!

I probably won’t be posting until I get back. As I’ve mentioned before, no computer avaliable at Casa de Murphy. But that’s ok because guess what?

I GOT A DIGITAL CAMERA!!!!!

Finally, I can quit complaining about my sad, nearly pictureless blog. Instead of hunting down links to pictures of yarn I’m buying, I can just… take a picture of it! I’m so excited. We got a great deal on it, and just in time to go on vacation. So when I come back, expect loads of pictures of me fondling admiring yarn all over the great state of Washington. And after that, I get to take pictures of all the stuff I’ve been blogging about and couldn’t show off! Thrilling, isn’t it?

I printed out maps to all of the yarn stores I linked last night, and I’m going to try to squeeze them all in somewhere. I hope they are as big in real life as they are in the websites. On the other hand, if they are, I might have to become an indentured servant at one of them to pay off my debt.

I hope my Wednesday night group has fun without me (but not too much fun.) *sniffle* I’ll miss you!!

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Decisions, decisions…

First of all, thanks to Tara  for reminding me about the spindle and fleece! I do want to work on my spinning while I’m out there! So now, I’ve added to my suitcase a bag of fleece and my loaner spindle (thanks again Mery!)

Secondly, I would like to say that in case you guys haven’t used these yet, these Space Bags are definitely my stashes new best pal. I actually managed to cram more yarn into my suitcase using this vaccuum packed miracle. They are seriously cool.

Ok, so let’s get down to business. Here are a sampling of websites for yarn stores in the Washington area, all of which I will be within an hour or less away from for most of my trip, and much closer when we visit Seattle for a couple days. If anybody has thoughts, they would be greatly appreciated (especially if you have actually visited one of the stores in question!!)

Canvas Works
Lamb’s Ear Farm
Little Knits
So Much Yarn…
Tricoter I’ve seen this one’s ad in Vogue…
Weaving Works
Seattle Yarn Gallery
Acorn Street Yarn Shop
Hilltop Yarn and Needlepoint Shop
The Fiber Gallery
Shipwreck Beads not a knitting store (as the name would imply) but one of the largest bead distributors in the world, right in Olympia WA. I’m told it is a sight to behold, and might give me an excuse to take up beaded knitting (as if I needed one.)
Two Swans Yarn

There are actually several more that I’ll be pretty close to, but… I think that’s enough. Help me!!

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T.V.S. (Temporary Vacation Stash)

In preparation for my impending vacation, I decided that it would be a good idea to start packing the most important stuff I’ll need for my 11 days in Washington state. So of course, I started with yarn! Bob caught me noticed me standing in front of my stash with my empty suitcase open in front of it. He said,

"Do you really think you need a whole suitcase for that?"

To which I replied,

"This isn’t even the biggest suitcase!"

At which point he backed away slowly, which was probably the safest course of action.

I really love the fact that after being with me for over six years, he doesn’t even bother to put up a fight when he finds me stuffing a suitcase full of every ball of sock yarn in the house!

Of course, I did pack more yarn than I could reasonably expect to knit through in the next six months. But like a boy scout, my knitting motto is "Be prepared." I mean, you never know. We could crash and end up stranded on a semi-deserted island ala Lost . And I would be one unhappy castaway with no LYS within driving distance. (Odds of plane crash= pretty low. Odds of plane crash/survival of plane crash/ending up on deserted island while flying over the continental U.S.= much lower. But remember, be prepared.)

Here is a list of the things I decided were absolutely neccesary, so that somebody can alert me if I’ve left out something important.

  • every ball of sock yarn in the house
  • the half-finished Purple Cardigan of Doom
  • several assorted skeins and weights of Lamb’s Pride (probably won’t use them, but somebody might want to learn and I can’t waste my really good stuff on noobs.)
  • the rest of the yarn for the Madge  hat
  • a bunch of assorted cotton and cotton blends, in case it is too hot for wool
  • a bunch of assorted wool, in case it is too cold for cotton
  • Stitch and Bitch, for noob assistance, although I really wish I had one of those compact little resource type books. It would be a lot lighter.
  • all the needles, straight, circular, double pointed and darning that I could find.
  • stitch markers, etc.
  • enough room in the suitcase so that I can cram all the new yarn I’m planning on buying in.

I think I’ve probably got it covered, but it never hurts to check! Tomorrow, I will post a list of all the knitting stores in the general area of where I will be staying (there are way more than even I can attempt to visit in 11 days), and then y’all can help me decide which ones are absolutely essential and which ones I can skip this time around. You can also leave bitchy comments, because I know you will be jealous when you see the pure array of yarn stores Washington has to offer. I guess hippies and knitting kind of go together, and I am soooooo not complaining!

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