Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've moved!!

No, not to San Francisco ;) Not yet anyway!

I've moved from Blogger over to Wordpress. I like the features and templates a bit better. Make sure to change your RSS feeds if you use a blog reader.

Here's the new blog address:

And don't forget about our other blogs:


Monday, June 11, 2007

An FO, a UFO, and a haircut

I officially love Fetching! As I was working this pattern, I realized that working on DPNs is my favorite way to knit. I definitely need to learn how to knit socks.

In the meantime, I learned the cable cast-on, how to make a thumb (using waste yarn, pulling it out, then picking up stitches), and do a knit picot bind-off with this pattern.

AND, this is a feat for me. I finished it in TWO DAYS! I started it at our WWKIP (World Wide Knit in Public) Day event and finished it last night (and not late either). I worked on it while I was chatting with ladies at my church's 3rd Annual Ladies Spa Day so I got a good chunk done there.

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I still need to work in the ends, but it's basically finished. I also made sure to start the next one right away so I (hopefully) don't get catch "second-sock syndrome" (a knitters "illness" in which the second item in a pair is not made, or delayed, because the knitter loses interest in the pattern). We'll see how successful I am, considering the number of UFOs I've got stashed away. People, I am sick. SICK!

Speaking of is the Clapotis. Horribly neglected for the past few days, but still in my WIP (Work in Progress) bag.

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I love this pattern, and I love this yarn. It's such a beautiful color and texture. I think it will be my favorite scarf for the winter in San Francisco.

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I think it's kinda weird that I've been so interested in knitting cold-weather items. Perhaps I'm subconsciously preparing myself for the colder climate in SF (sheesh, I'm talking like we're moving to Wyoming or something, ha!), and using this as my therapy. All I know is that I'm going with it!

Hopefully I'll finish that tank top sometime before summer ends so I can actually wear it. Or maybe I'll end up working on it in the winter so I can feel closer to summer. I am so weird.

Lastly, going back to my Ladies Spa Day reference, I got my hair cut! I also got my eyebrows a bit more under control, thanks to the wonderful women at my church. For the past three years we've done a spa day where brunch and various treatments are available to the women and guests for FREE! It's an awesome opportunity to spend time together and fellowship as women and be pampered. A number of women in our church are skilled in various areas, so it makes for a fun day.

This is kind of a weird picture - it's at a funny angle, but I was having a hard time getting Nathan or I to get a good picture. Most of you who read this will see it in person soon enough anyway!

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By the way, if you look closely, you can see that my shoulders got a bit burnt at WWKIP. I wasn't expecting to stay as long as I did, and I paid for it - I really need to find my sunscreen!

PS: I forgot to mention the cool new sidebar gadget. I discovered My VisualDNA through Tracy and Chauntel's blogs. And I liked it so much that I personalized it and put it up here. It's pretty accurate in describing me if you go to the website and view the details of each "label". I don't know where you gals find this stuff.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I feel like it went REALLY well. We'll see what the outcome is in a week or two (or however long it takes them to deliberate).

I went in feeling confident and it turns out that I knew two of the panelists. One was my voice teacher when I was in the Applied Music program at SBCC (which you have to audition to get into), and the other was a faculty member that Nathan was close to and has heard me sing at various times at SBCC.

I took the rest of the afternoon off and it was delightful.

Craft and Purpose unite

Disclaimer: Depending on your definition and comfort level, part of this post may be considered over-sharing. Don't say I didn't warn you.

So I've been on a journey lately to simplify my life and my home, and be a bit more purposeful in how I live. Part of this has been de-cluttering (motivated largely by the impending move), part of it is making more earth-friendly choices, and part of it is making more wallet-friendly choices.

(Oversharing about to begin)

The Land Down Under
Nearly a year ago now, I switched from using tampons to using the Diva Cup. I had a variety of reasons, but the main ones were financial and environmental since it's reusable. Considering that women use about 16,800 pads or tampons over their lifetime, that's a HUGE savings of both money and landfill space. The Cup has paid for itself a few times over by this point (it's generally around $30, but I've seen it for as little as $20 online) and it's still got at least another year, if not a few years, of life left.

Not only that, but I don't have to worry about the toxins that can be found in standard tampons (it's debatable that this is an issue, but I would rather not risk it), or the fact that tampons soak up vaginal fluids that are necessary to maintain a healthy pH balance in the land down under. I've also noticed that some of my period "symptoms" have actually changed for the better since I started using it too. I have a feeling it's linked to the pH balance factor.

Anyway, there are a lot of other reasons I could tell you about as to why you (or if you're a man, your wife, sister, etc) should try it out, but I'll get off my soapbox now.

My point is, I decided to also start switching over the cloth pantiliners for backup support.

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The first one looks like crap and I put one of the snaps on backwards, but hey, it was my first try. The one on the right is the pattern I think I'm going to go with. It fits perfectly and is very comfortable. I used a cotton jersey fabric I had on hand and it doesn't slip around either (using flannel on the bottom also helps with that...some have had success using pads and liners without wings by using flannel).

Eventually, I'd like to get some natural (non-dyed) and/or organic cotton to use, but for now I'm using the fabric I have on hand.

(Oversharing is over now *wink*)

It was really nice to pull out the sewing machine after a long hiatus too. I think I might try making one of these purses next (discovered on Abby's Knits and even cooler looking in person). I love bags, especially roomy ones, and I think these would also make awesome gifts for the birthdays coming up in my family and for Christmas.


Another aspect of the whole simpler living business is food. I've been buying bulk from the IV Food Coop for the last month or so and I love it! They have excellent produce there as well. It's a little more expensive, but the quality is even better than Trader Joe's and I limit it to just a few things (avocados, bananas, apricots, and lettuce at this point). I'm sure the dairy is very good there too, but TJ's prices are half the coop's, so I can't justify that.

They have a lot of bulk goods including spices, baking items, beans, cereals, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate-covered items, and also things like oil, peanut or almond butter, liquid soap (Dr. Bronner's), and yeast.

So far, the bulk items I regularly purchase there are white and whole wheat flour, semolina flour, yeast, brown rice, oats, cornmeal, polenta-style cornmeal, sugar, choc chips and whatever misc things I might need. I love that I can get *exactly* the amount I need, and a lot of it is either organic or close to it.

I've been making more things from scratch too. I've really been enjoying baking our bread and smelling it as it bakes. I've worked out some kinks and have begun experimenting with recipes.

Below I've got the latest batch of bread along with homemade cornbread. The bread is from a basic recipe that I've used to make wheat bread. This time, I used about 1/4-1/2 C semolina flour in place of the white flour to add extra flavor. It turned out really well and I finally got the bread to rise to sandwich size. This was also the first one I baked in glass rather than metal and used the bulk yeast from the coop. I think the glass bakeware made a big difference in the second rise.

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I really have loved this process. I am a natural domestic!

Monday, June 04, 2007


I'm just about to head home to eat lunch, change and spruce myself up a bit, warm up my voice, and then head to the Music Academy for the scholarship audition for the Santa Barbara Foundation music scholarship.

I am SOO NERVOUS right now! Hopefully once I start warming up I'll relax a bit.

I might end up taking the rest of the afternoon off too.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Knitting to-do list

I picked this up off Suzanne's blog and thought it'd be fun to see.

Bold for stuff you've done,
Italics for stuff you plan to do one day (or will maybe do in my case),
Normal for stuff you're not planning on doing.

Garter Stitch
Knitting with Metal Wire
Stockinette Stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with Camel Yarn
Mittens: cuff-up
Mittens: tip-down
Hat (in progress)
Knitting with Silk
Moebius Band Knitting (I have no idea what this is)
Participating in a KAL
Sweater (in progress)
Drop Stitch Patterns (in progress)
Knitting with Recycled / Second Hand Yarn
Slip Stitch Patterns
Knitting with Bamboo Yarn
Two End Knitting (I've never heard of this either)
Charity Knitting
Knitting with Soy Yarn
Toy/Doll Clothing
Knitting with Circular Needles
Baby Items
Knitting with Your Own Handspun Yarn
Graffitti Knitting (Another never heard of)
Designing Knitted Garments (In progress)
Cable Stitch Patterns
Lace Patterns
Publishing a Knitting Book (One can dream)
Teaching a Child to Knit
American/English Knitting
Knitting to Make Money
Button Holes
Knitting with Alpaca
Fair Isle Knitting
Norwegian Knitting
Dying with Plant Colours
Knitting Items for a Wedding
Household Items (Dishcloths, Washcloths, Tea Cosies...)
Knitting Socks (or other small tubular items) on Two Circulars
Olympic Knitting (huh?)
Knitting with Someone Else's Handspun Yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday Related Knitting
Teaching a Male How To Knit (I will convince Nathan someday!)
Knitting for a Living (I'd rather make music for a living)
Knitting with Cotton
Knitting Smocking (I think I know what this is and I have no clue whether I'll do it)
Dying Yarn
Knitting Art
Knitting Two Socks (or other small tubular items) on Two Circulars Simultaneously
Knitting With Wool
Textured Knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with Beads
Long Tail CO
Entrelac Knitting
Machine Knitting
Knitting with SelfPatterning/SelfStriping/Variegating Yarn
Stuffed Toys
Knitting with Cashmere
Knitting with Synthetic Yarn
Writing a Pattern
Knitting with Linen
Knitting for Preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform Knitting
Short Rows
Cuffs/Fingerless Mitts/ArmWarmers
Knitting a Pattern from an On-Line Knitting Magazine
Knitting on a Loom
Thrummed Knitting (Again, no clue)
Knitting a Gift
Knitting for Pets
Knitting with Dog/Cat Hair
Hair Accessories
Knitting in Public

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Crackyarn, Clapotis, and the Kiss

Evidence of my newfound addiction. I saw the update on K&P's blog yesterday, stopped by after picking up Nathan from work and bought a hank, once I got home, I cast-on for a skinny Clapotis.

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PS: It is actually "Indigo"

I've also had some other projects going on lately. This is a puzzle version of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. We bought it over a year ago (maybe even two years now) and never got started on it. This is what we've gotten done in the last week (and we weren't watching TV or movies all last week). IT IS RIDICULOUSLY HARD. I didn't think it would be this difficult. I've been working on it on my lunch breaks and we've both been working on it in the evenings.

It's 1000 pieces (there are actually some in a box off to the side, so that isn't even all of them) and 26x17 inches.
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This is the Home Resource Binder I recently put together. A reference guide to our family, if you will.

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Notice the lovely decorations instead of the Ugly Black Bar. Hee.

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Yes, that is right folks, I am now the proud owner of my first hank of what is affectionately known as "Crack Yarn" around these parts. I got a pretty purpley-blue kettle-dyed color (I think it's Marine, but I'll have to check later) from Knit & Pearl for $12.50.

Julie wound it into a ball for me using the ball winder and swift, and Nathan was positively fascinated. He turns to me and says "Why don't you get one of those?" [referring to the swift and ball-winder]*faint* I love this man!!

Julie then says "Do you have an anniversary or birthday coming up soon?" Why YES I DO! Ha! Anniversary in three months, birthday in four. Oh yeeeeaaaahh. Maybe I will end up with my own swift and ball-winder (or at least the winder). That would be awesome.

So later after my small group at Starbucks in Goleta, I called Chauntel to get suggestions for what to make with it. After stalking her at Kmart (hee), she suggested the currently popular chevron scarf. Very good idea. But then I got home and realized that I've been wanting to make a Clapotis, and what better yarn to use? (I'll still make a chevron, though. It's such a fun design)

I think I'm going to try to make a "skinny" Clapotis. We'll see how well that works. I've already cast on for it, so if I need to buy another hank to finish it, well, I suppose I'll just have to do that then won't I! hehehehehe....

(I'll take pictures and post later).

Oh, and speaking of crack, Nathan is teaching me how to play Counter-Crack...I mean...Counter-Strike. I am getting my badass self ON! At the end of our late-night terrorist adventures, I'd been killed about, oh...20 times, after making a measly 2 kills. Hopefully I'll get better once I start playing before 11:30pm without Aunt Flo pestering me.

I am stealing the DomiKnitrix's name for my CS alias cause Nathan agreed that it was awesome. We'll see how long this lasts. If I get frustrated (or Nathan gets frustrated with me commandeering the computer, hehe), then I've always got my crack yarn.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I am a blog addict!

Yup, I have created another blog on top of the two I update regularly.

I designed it to keep family and friends updated on what's up as Nathan and I get ready and move to San Francisco. I'm gonna start by giving info on our preparations (apartment hunting, visiting the schools and whatnot) and then what comes up after we move. Hopefully both of us will update it, depending on what's going on.

(I also have an option for people who want to get the info via email if that's easier for ya.)

I will still be regularly updating this blog and "Raining Grace" through the summer, and hopefully beyond since these are more personal ones.