Monday, November 27, 2006

I wish I hadn't knit this.

I found out a few weeks ago that my cousin has breast cancer. She's 30. Needless to say, this totally sucks. It's scary, and sad, and scary some more. I don't know much about cancer or medicine, but it's stage III (which means it's not anywhere else in her body) and she's otherwise very healthy and she's started chemo and I've heard that there have been a lot of advances in breast cancer treatment recently. So that's good.
Anyway I made her a chemo cap, but I wish I didn't have an occasion to knit a chemo cap, hence the title of this post.
Here it is (modeled by my sis over Thanksgiving):

It's made out of 1 strand of Lang Cora (which is one of those super uber soft synthetic yarns that makes you marvel at how far the technology of softness has come along) and 1 strand Cascade Fixation for stretch, on size 10 dpns, a few inches ribbing at the bottom (not that you can tell) and then just stockinette for the rest. It is so soft and cosy, everyone in the family had to try it on. I'm thinking of getting some more of this yarn for bedtime socks.

I also made a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving and forgot to take a picture until it was mostly gone, but I wanted to show you the neat swirlies (result of dividing the filling in 2 and only putting the pumpkin in half, then came the swirling):

Delish! I hope all of you had lovely Turkey days (or if you're not American, Thursdays) as well.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I heart my secret pal

Seriously, she is the cat's pajamas. The bees knees. The shizknit. (Yes, I know I spelled that wrong. Didn't I make a cute pun there? I'm sure nobody else has ever thought of that.)
Anyway, she sent me another package! Can you even believe it? I am still longingly fondling the last stuff she sent me. When I said that I want to start knitting with some of my new sock yarns (but am holding myself back for fear of not finishing Christmas presents), it was that beautiful variegated brown stuff she sent me that I was really thinking of. Anyway, here's what she sent me:
SP9 package #2
I forgot to mention in the other post how nice the presentation of her packages is (probably because I was too eagerly ripping everything open). She picked out tissue paper to match the color theme of the package (plus, there's a color theme to the package! (it's blue)), and put little notecards on some of the things and cute gift bags/boxes. Anyway, on to the good stuff. In the position of honor in front is 2 skeins of KP gloss sock yarn in Dusk, exactly the color I was coveting. Yum. There are also: cute blue flowered gift tags, apple cinammon tea, 2 little teensy jars of jam, blue sock-shaped point protectors, knitting-themed notecards, and a size 1 KP circular needle. Awesome! How does she know exactly what I will like? I usually think of myself as a pretty picky person.

In other news, I got myself some Lorna's Laces shepherd sock yarn a while back. This place was having a great deal where you get 8 skeins for $46. Why am I unable to resist yarn sales? Oh, but the catch was the 8 skeins were a surprise, although it was guaranteed that there would be 4 sets of 2 so you could make socks out of all of them. Anyway, from left to right they are: Forest (I originally got Liberty, that red white and blue one, but that was before the most recent election and I was feeling most unpatriotic, so I swapped them on the Knittyboard for the Forest color, which I like much better anyway), Sand Ridge, Purple Club, and Happy Stripe. I was a bit unsure on the Happy Stripe when it showed up, but it's grown on me since. It is, as the name suggests, very happy looking!
Lorna's laces

Anyway, it was this purchase that forced me to admit to J. that maybe I had a little problem and maybe I needed some help. I'm really running out of storage spaces for my yarn stash, which is pretty ridiculous. Our apartment is not that small. Anyway he has taken his role as yarnoholic sponsor seriously and has stated that any yarn that shows up at our front door is to be immediately donated to Goodwill. I made him make an exception for Secret Pal yarn. So I'm once again on a yarn diet. But I have bought 2 pairs of shoes since the yarn moratorium started.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Not much knitting

I have been knitting, but I've only been working on 2 surprise Christmas presents and I'm so paranoid about not finishing them in time that I haven't let myself start anything else, despite the fact that I would really really really like to start knitting some of the many new fancy sock yarns I've aquired. I think it's really nice to knit people gifts, I like giving people unique gifts and obviously something I've made myself is about as unique as it can get (since my attention span is too short to ever make the same thing twice). But at the same time I wish I was a faster knitter, since there are things I'd like to start for myself but feel like I can't until January. Boo.

Anyway, to keep you entertained in the mean time, I'll tell you about some non-knitting things. J. and I have been living the young single no kids high life the last few weekends, which for us means weekend trips.
Last weekend (the 4th) I surprised J. with a trip to the Russian River area (our favorite area for wine tasting, straight north of SF).
We stayed overnight in the beautiful Bodega Bay area:
Bodega Bay

And then we hit the wineries. This is California's version of fall foliage:
Russian River grapevines

Look! A persimmon tree! I'd never seen one of those before. I thought they were oranges when we saw them from the car, but J. insisted they were persimmons and I thought he was crazy. But he was right.

Then, this most recent weekend since J. had Friday off we drove down to Santa Barbara to visit his sister. On the way we stopped in Monterey for a few hours and went to the aquarium, where we saw (among many other things) some hauntingly beautiful jellyfish.

Pink jellies
Can you believe these things are real live animals and not just some crazy made up cartoon or something?

In Santa Barbara we went for a walk overlooking the ocean, where we saw some dolphins and many adorable sea birds, like pelicans and snowy plovers.
Santa Barbara

And we went to the Elwood Butterfly Preserve, where jillions of Monarch butterflies hang out in the winter. It was amazing. I have never seen so many butterflies in one place before, and it was really warm so they were all flying around like crazy. It turns out that flying butterflies are very hard to photograph. Here's one that kept still for a few seconds:
Santa Barbara - Monarch Butterfly grove

And I guess, since you've been so good and looked at all my vacation pictures, I'll show you a bit of my WIPs.
This one is an orange surprise:
orange surprise

And here's a pink surprise:
pink surprise

I hope the intended recipients like them!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blogger sucks, my SP9 pal rocks!

So, I meant to post this yesterday, but Blogger was driving me CRAZY! It still seems to be not uploading pics at all, but at least now I have been forced to open a Flickr account and learn how to get the pictures from there onto my blog. It's been a slow learning curve. Yesterday I learned how to get pictures onto Flickr. Today I learned how to get multiple pics onto my blog.

Anyway I got an AWESOME (please forgive the many instances of all caps writing, but I need to convey to you how cool my pal is) package from my SP9 secret pal. She (I'm assuming it's a she, please correct me if I'm wrong) is the best! Here's my loot:

Pear preserves made by the pal herself:

I have to tell you, this is great bcs J. is obsessed with jam/preserves/jelly and the like. When I moved in with him I was shocked to find that he thinks it's normal to keep like 4 or 5 different kinds of open jam jars in the fridge (and often several more in the pantry) just to have a wide variety of jams. It took me a while to accept this way of living, I was more of the philosophy that you buy one jar of jam, and then when it's gone, you buy another one. But I have come around to J.'s way of thinking, aided in no small part by his persistence in buying tons of jam. There was one time shortly after we'd moved in together that we had run out of jam (this was back when I was putting my foot down about buying all the jams) and he called and asked me to pick up some jam on my way home from work, so I did and I even bought 2 jars as a concession to him, only to get home and find that he had bought 3 different jars of his own, sneakily having figured out that this would be the only way to get several kinds into the house.

Anyway I digress. I also got some candy:

And a long size 1 circular Addi Turbo plus Magic Loop booklet (hooray):
magic loop!

And last, but by far my favorite, some gorgeous sock yarn made by a company called Sugar Bunny Boulevard, which I had never heard of, but I'm so glad I've found out about it now! It is so super soft and beautiful and I love the colors. I'm thinking it would make a lovely Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks.
SP9 sock yarn

So thanks secret pal! I'm so thrilled with everything you gave me!

This wasn't in the SP9 package but it is a little bitty punkin that I carved for Halloween. The one from the last post was J.'s (that was before I figured out how to put multiple pictures from Flickr in one blog post).
my punkin