30 March 2008

I think I'm in luv...

I went skiing with Jen and company at Stevens Pass yesterday. I have some decent Rossi skis (circa 2003), but they're adorned with bindings from the last century which have finally decided to call it quits. So while I did take them to the mountain with me yesterday, I had in mind to rent some skis with working bindings when I got there. And since one of Jen's cohorts was able to get me a $12 discount on my lift ticket, I used those 12 clams to upgrade from a basic rental to a demo. I demoed these skis, and I think that they and I would be very happy together. When I returned them after a very satisfying day on the slopes (easily my best day of Cascades skiing), I asked the rental guy how much they wanted for these lovelies, figuring that they'd be selling of their demos soon, as Stevens Pass will be shuttering the lodges and rolling up the lifts in about two weeks. He quoted me about $450 ($479 minus the cost of the rental). Hmmm. While I did consider it (a quick internet seach tells me that they retail at around $900), I can't really justify spending that much on an activity I only do three times a year. The price of luv...

28 March 2008

in like a lion, out like a.... snowplow

OK, perhaps plows won't be necessary, but it's snowing outside now as though it were December. Bad for the garden, but tomorrow's skiing should be pretty nice!

26 March 2008

ribbit

The blocks are done on the huge log cabin quilt! (crossing fingers, because when I laid it all out this morning, it looked alarmingly small...)



To answer DinoMatt's question from yesterday: “frogging” is knitting slang for realizing that something has gone utterly awry with your project (in this case, the sock was too big for my taste—it would have suited me fine back when I sported slouch socks, some eighteen years ago), pulling the needles out, exposing all of the live stitches grabbing the ball-end of the yarn and pulling out all the stitches. Crying may be involved, and likely red wine. Why do they call it frogging, you ask? Well legend has it that it that since the other way this activity is described is to “rip it back”. Now follow me here.…. rip it… ribbit… frog ….change the noun to a verb….frogging.

25 March 2008

WIP tuesday & weekend update

On Saturday morning, Eric and I went curling again -- we love it! I am really getting serious about joining a league next season (September). I forgot the camera, but we had a great time.

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On Sunday, I made applesauce from the huge bowl of apples I had inadvertently collected....




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Eric and I got the spring veggie starts underway, converting the garden window into a... garden window....


We planted broccoli, kale, two types of lettuce, beans (from seeds we harvested from last year's crop), basil, cilantro, walla walla onions, scalions and Italian roasting peppers.



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But with the success of those things came the agony of defeat with other things. Well, not defeat exactly, but disappointment, both in quilting and in knitting.


Turns out I miscounted on the Huge Log Cabin, and I need 24 blocks, not 16. Such a silly mistake, but with a little production modification (why wasn't I chain stitching these babies before?!?) and some serious motivation in the form of other quilt projects piling up, I am already halfway through the eight additional blocks I need to be back on track...




And as for knitting, I had to frog my first sock attempt when it became clear that the sock was just too big. Smaller needles or a stich count reduction, not sure which, but I am determined to begin again! In fact, I have so enjoyed this sock attempt that I have truly had to sit on my hands to refrain from buying more sock yarn already.... ugh.


hmmm... perhaps I should have tried to modify it into a fingerless mitt before I frogged.... oh well.

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And remember the Gift Exhange I mentioned, oh-so-long-ago? I haven't forgotten it! This is my first felted bowl, which I am now embellishing with beads for one recipient....




17 March 2008

WIP Monday

This is eleven log cabin blocks -- only five more to go! Then the sashing, and the border....


These are the felted coasters -- they were so easy and fun, my friends and family will be lucky if they don't all get felted coasters for the holidays...


And this is a book cozy that I made for Karen....

Kiss me, I'm Irish!




Rock House Designs

My friend April has just started her own crafty business, Rock House Designs. Her Etsy shop is here, and her own website is coming soon. I have one of these lovely bags myself, and I highly recommend them! They're created entirely out of reclaimed materials, save the zippers and thread. Good luck April!

16 March 2008

you know you've made it when...

... IKEA starts naming stuff after you, even if it is an ugly pillow.

Eric back safe and sound from Atlanta (he missed the tornados there by a day), I promptly left him at home for a day on the slopes. A great ski day, cold enough to keep the snow from getting that spring slush feel, but warm enough to be comfortable. I had a bit of a skiing epiphany too, figuring how to keep my skis close together without having to struggle so hard (answer: lean forward a tiny bit).

Eric had to work today, and I spent the morning knitting and trying my hand at felting. I knitted and felted a set of four coasters* while listening to the end of The Other Boleyn Girl. Now, that's 19 CDs worth of audiobook, so it's been awhile, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. Meaning, I am not sure I would have enjoyed reading the book so much as I did listening to it. So when Anne lost her head and the book concluded, I got a little panicky. Not like when I finish a book and I want to know what happens next, but rather, I have been listening to Susan Lyons telling this story for so long that I don't know what else to listen to as I knit/quilt/do the dishes/ride the bus. In fact, I have so neglected NPR lately, I have found that I am not nearly as up to date on current events as I usually am. And what's worse, I'm OK with that. So I hunted around the Seattle Public Library for a new audiobook fix, and placed holds on two other Phillipa Gregory audiobooks, and when I saw the "download now" button for The Boleyn Inheritance, I clicked. Twenty minutes later I was happily knitting again to a new story about the Tudors, Boleyns, Howards and Careys. The bad bit is that the downloaded audiobook isn't compatible with my iPod....

* I bought this yarn last week while I was at the fabric store buying a rotary cutting mat and quilting ruler. Two balls of Fjord Crystal Palace 100% wool yarn jumped off of the shelf and right into my hands, I swear. After I had paid and was putting my haul into my messenger bag, a shop employee walked by and said, "Wow. Knitting and sewing. you've got it bad."

09 March 2008

curling!

That's right, curling! Eric and I attended the Granite Curling Club open house on Saturday with Matte. It was great fun -- with league curlers on hand to show us how it's done, we learned the rules of the game, some basic strategy, how to throw the stones, and of course, how to sweep the ice as the stone slides towards the house (which is the "bullseye" in the picture below, but at the opposite end of the ice). I am smitten. And for a newbie, I'd say I was pretty good (I got one "knock-out" shot!).

Here, Eric has just released the stone. It is now gliding towards the other end of the sheet, or ice.


On Sunday, we visited with Eric's roommates from Humboldt, Ross and Kim, who have recently relocated to Tacoma from a six year stint in Texas. They're settling in Gig Harbor, which will give us all the more reason to visit there again. They were living in Houston during (and through) Hurricane Rita -- their recounting of it sounded awful. Beyond awful. I can't even imagine....

And in other news, my paper on The Use of Climatically Appropriate Plants in Landscape Design in Southern California Between 1900 and 1950: The Work of Kate Sessions is done and turned in! Hurray! My final exam is next week, and I am all registered (and really looking forward to) the next class, Introduction to Planting Design. Does that not sound facinating?!? Up until now, I have had a nice, easy class schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00-7:20pm. After work hours, and really easy to get to. Next quarter though, class will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30-10:20am. Throws a bit of a wrench in the work schedule, but fortunately I have highly supportive supervisors, so it's alright.

the most wonderful time of the year



I love Girl Scout cookie season!

01 March 2008

a letter

Dear guy sleeping in the UW Library of Natural Resources at noon on Saturday, March 1, 2008,

Please. Stop. Snoring.

At first, I thought it a groundskeeper using a leaf blower outside, but as you started to snore louder, I recognized the undulating pattern…zzzzzzzz (pause) zzzzzzzz (pause) zzzzzzzz (pause)…. Why I can’t bring myself to grab a stack of books (we are in a library after all, I could easily find some doozies) and drop them on a nearby desk (or your foot) will always be a source of shame for me.

Darn. For a minute there it sounded like you’d woken yourself up by snoring so loudly.

Seriously. If you’re that tired, why don’t you just admit it and go home and take a nap? I won’t think any less of you, I promise. Don’t stay here, pretending to be studying, all the while annoying the bejesus out of conscious people like myself.

Thank you,
Andrea