Monday, March 31, 2008

1st attempt at Double Knitting

Over the weekend I started knitting the Uncle Argyle scarf from Debbie Stoller's Son of Stitch n Bitch book. I'm using 4 skeins of Bernat Wool Blend - 2 in 'Wood' (brown) and 2 in 'Slate' (grey).

This double knitting thing is quite tricky - I've had to frog and restart this project 3 times just to get this far! But, as of today, it's 1/14 done. I've also made a few mistakes along the way - I think I've figured out how to correct them with a crochet hook rather than having to refrog it.

It's awesome - I think - having both sides of a scarf turn out with two 'nice sides' instead of one knit and one purled side. Although it's tedious having to carry both strands back and forth to knit every stitch. But, the end result looks great! And, at this rate, I've got a few ideas for double-knit argyle-esque future patterns.

Once I get my hand good at it, I can hopefully make a few by the end of the year to hand out as December-holiday gifts.

Friday, March 28, 2008

looking up for the weekend

Well, I've finally finished that candle flame shawl - it consumed 3 skeins of TLC Wiggles, and my hands have been cramping up like crazy. Although I think I could've easily gotten into a fourth, I was so tired of working on it at this point that I just casted off and was done with it. Now, I've a fantastic (and weirdly unique) shawl for the summer - yay!

Dinner the other night was fun - although it's always a bit awkward when you first meet people. The fortunate thing was we had a few common things to talk about: knitting and home renovations. It seems that - now since DH and I have completed our kitchen renovations - everyone else is redoing their kitchens as well. Very crazy!

Oh, and I've found an online interactive knitting game - I've no idea what language it's in, but I think I've figured out how to play it and I'm completely addicted to it! It's all ravelry's fault - if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have even known about it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

today is taking forever

So much going on today - but I needed to make a blog post nonetheless.

I'm currently bidding on ebay for a big lot of noro kureyon. A lot of people have been bragging about this yarn - and although I've never used it, I love the handdyed colourways that appear in the things that have been knit with them. I'm nerve wrecked because I won't find out until tomorrow if I've won the auction. My only hope is that the price doesn't go too high - because as tempted as I am to splurge on this yarn, I've my limits as to how much I want to spend per skein of yarn, and yes I also factor in shipping into the cost.

I'm also a bit neuritic about tonight - I'm meeting someone from Ravelry. Her and her husband are coming over for dinner, and it'll be the first time we meet. I already know we've a few things in common: her and I both knit, and both her and I are going through or have just completed similar home renovations. It'll hopefully be a good starting ground for the four of us to converse. I'm just always in a wreck when meeting someone new, although this is a bit exciting. I'm also nervous because I'm making chicken, and there's always a fear of serving it undercooked or too well done (burnt).

There are weird things going through my head - I must stop trying to overanalyze things! :P

Monday, March 24, 2008

Free Speech Doesn't Exist

I'd rather not use my blog as a place to vent - and it's rare that I feel the need to do so. But, considering the fact that not only is there an incredible hipocracy brewing, also I'm not the only one who feels this way.

I've been frequenting and for some time now (close to 10 years) and at the beginning, loved how this was the Free Speech Site that it claimed to be. There were open forums for all religious and spiritual beliefs, gay forums, music and many other very open forums that openly accepted all, and gave great resources for those in need of help and info in various topics.

But, the last 5 years or so - and especially the last couple - Skip (webmaster) has turned it into a business, and Free Speech went out the window. Anyone who posted a difference of opinion to him was banned. A tight restriction on outside links (relatable resources, info, etc) were not only deleted, but forbiden. Anyone who posted these outside links were considered 'spammers' and then banned. Anyone who even had their crafty hippy stores via ebay or etsy outside of their proviles were banned. Long time posters were tossed aside and disregarded.

Now, the forums are filled with posts by Skip asking for 'donations' for memberships to apparently run the site. I mean, look right on the top of - the first thing you see is 'Support Free Speech' and a paypal thingy to donate! Paypal buttons everywhere! There's a slew of posts with inadvertant begging - how he apparently so goes out of his way, spending countless hours and tons of money out of his pocket as a supposed favour to hipforums posters. The chat room has become a snubbing group onto its own, that blackballs anyone new who joins with insults to which they're protected from bans because Skip picks and chooses who he wants to keep.


Despite my being this paying member, a moderator and eveutanlly Super Moderator to apparently help him and the other mod's and as a sign of his apparent gratitute, he has responded to my concerns with either members or content with sexist and rude responses.

At least one other member that I know of has posted similar rants on her blog, and many more have left due to these reasons. Most recently at least one forum member (if not a group) had branched off from a dreadlocks themed subforum to start up a forums site giving more detail and information to help all those in need to maintain their dreads, and Skip had not only banned the people who started this site, but at least 20 other members who posted both on that site as well as hipforums. THIS IS NOT UNCOMMON - hipforums posters in groups at a time are being banned.

These online forums that claim the whole hippie ideology of 'free love' and 'free speech' thrives on nothing more than hipcracy and lies. Faithful posters are being banned left, right and center.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

mmm... blondies...

In my Read ~ Knit ~ Cook group on ravelry, the cook-along project was to make these Apple Blondies with Caramel Icing - I've been putting off making them until Easter, and whipped up a batch today.
DH and I snuck a peice each for lunch to taste, they turned out sooo good! :) I had some walnuts left over, so they got mixed into the caramel icing on top.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Paddy's Day / knit something green

Well, since it be St Paddy's Day and all, it only be appropriate to needle something green, so here be my contribution:

It's this version of the Candle Flame Shawl (there's at least 2 that I'm aware of) - I'm whipping it up in TLC Wiggles yarn, and on 4.5 mm needles. There's a wicked amount of yardage per skein - at this point I'm guesstimating that I'll have plenty in 2 skeins, despite my having 6 in my stash.

I would've rathered to have posted a finished item, but it's just a work in progress and about half done! By the end of the week I hope to have it completed.

Friday, March 14, 2008

whiskey glasses

Back during Christmas, I bought a glass etching kit at Michael's, and etched a few wine glasses as a gift for my sister in law. Since I still have a number of stencils and a lot of etching cream left, I went ahead and etched a couple whiskey glasses for my parents in law:

The duck is one for my MIL, since she loves ducks, and the other with the deer and wolf is for my FIL. They're coming down on Sunday for a visit, I'll give it to them then; hopefully they'll like them!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm longing for spring...

There must be a t least 2 feet of snow in the back yard. Still.

Apparently, this winter we've had more snowfall than in the last 5 years. With global warming, we've been spoiled with warm winters, and I've forgotton what an actual Canadian winter feels and looks like, until this winter rolled around.

We've had at least 3 good snowfalls in the last week alone. I long for spring, especially now that it's March. The other day - I kid you not - my neighbor was using a snow blower to clear her driveway, and a part of me was wishing it was the sound of a lawn mower instead.

Last week, I called my parents, who are tragically stuck in the south of France, eating breakfast on their porch and watching the flowers and almond trees bloom. How life must suck for them. ;)

I'm off to clear the driveway. Again. Bleh.

Friday, March 7, 2008

a before and after hat - I hate frogging

This is a Half Pipe Hat from Stoller's Son of Stitch n Bitch. The hat on the left is knit to length recommended in the pattern, which IMO was too short, so I frogged it and reknit it a bit longer to cover the ear, as it's pictured in the book. I used a variegated Paton's Classic Wool. This hat was also originally frogged because the original cast-on of 80sts wouldn't make a wide enough hat, but that's more my fault because I'm using a different yarn than what's used in the pattern.

It fits my head perfectly, but too big for my husband's head, so I may save it for a gift I may need to make come a birthday or holiday to someone who may need a warm hat to wear.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

mmm... coconut shrimp

For Christmas, my inlaws gave me an Asian cookbook with some fantastic recipes in it - last night I finally got around to making one of the dishes:
It's coconut shrimp, but it's a bit curried. There were a few spices that went into it that I'm not used to using, but overall it was delicious and a very good first attempt at the recipe.