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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One for Etsy, Two for Retirement

My first knitted item in my very tiny Etsy shopAcornbud's Crafts. He is 100% wool including stuffing. In fact he is stuffed with roving from the spinning mad women, Opal who sells her lovely hand spun in her shop.

I used Zitron Loft Classic which was very nice to knit with.

Last night's sunset was pretty colorful. It's been rainy and humid all day.

I am nearing the 2 month retirement milestone. I love it. I don't ever want to work again! Those last few months of work were brutal and I'm still cleaning up the mess that resulted in me neglecting the home and house. I 'spose I better get those CVs out there though so I can find some kind of part time job, as that was the plan...a part time job, at least until I hit 60. It may take a while to find something.

I'm rearranging my stuff, and have thrown out or donated a lot of stuff. There is still a ton more. I have grass hidden in the edges of my yard that is 2 feet tall! Does it still qualify as grass or is it now a bush!

I joined a Ravelry group called Mittens for Akkol, which knits items for an orphanage in Akkol, Kazakhstan. So far, I have not cast on. The knitting mojo is in low gear, sigh.

Time to go put on the artichokes. Cooking them in a pressure cooking is the best use of my pressure cooker so far!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Acornbud Crafts, My Etsy Store

I have listed a few items on Etsy and hope to have some more soon.

Please stop by:)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Portland Lobster, FO

Pattern: Portland, by Lisa Lloyd, A Fine Fleece
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, color Lobster Mix
Needles: Knitpicks options, size 5 and 7

Started June 19, 2008, Finished August 20, 2008

This is my second project in Ultra Alpaca, and I enjoyed knitting with it. It especially slid nicely on the Knitpicks Options needles. I was worried the halo would detract from the cables, but in the preblocked stage, they stand out just fine. I really loved this colorway.

The pattern was easy to follow and once I figured out there is one 4 stitch cable in the central portion that crosses in front, the cables were a lot of fun. I may need to redo the neck as it just fits over my head and doesn't stretch enough. My failure to get serious about a gauge swatch may be the culprit. I only knit a stockinette stitch swatch, and cables pull in. I have some fears this will not fit the intended recipient, but perhaps blocking will help.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Little Bags and Shop Therapy

Portland Lobster is moving along. I have 14 inches of sleeves and since I'm doing two it once, that's something. Just 4.5 more inches of sleeves, then the saddles, then the finishing!

In the meantime I'm making little bags. I still haven't got them the way I want. The picture makes them look huge, but the base is 5 inches and they are about 6-7 inches tall. It has been fun fiddling with the interfacing and the drawstrings. I keep sewing the flaps on 90 degrees in error, so the drawstrings come out of the straps. They hold two yarn cakes. I'm think of putting some pockets on, too. It's been fun trying out different knots. The boys never made it to boy scouts, so mom never learned knots. I guess those guys on ships had a lot of time on their hands and invented all kinds of knots.

After explaining to The Knitted Brow how I did not want to buy a spindle online, because 1) I'm not much of a spinner 2)I would like to feel and try out the spindles and 3) how I could certainly wait a year or two until my next fiber adventure on the Mainland, lookie here!!!

I fell victim to shop therapy on Etsy. This spindle is "domestic" woods due to the subliminal message she put in my head. It is very cedar, and if I can't figure out drop spindling, or if Opal the spinning maven shakes her head in disapproval, it will keep my yarn fresh!

I checked with the Homeworld salesman, and my armoire is down to 4 in stock. I holding out for the floor model, hopefully for a discount and if not, oh well, that's karma.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Walking in Waimanalo

Sunday I walked in Waimanalo with my blogless friend J and her blue healers, Malu and Boki. Malu is my loaner dog where I get to practice my pack leader skills learned from watching Mr. Milan on TV. We successfully navigated the horse poop on the trail, although I did not always keep Malu from eating that white stuff on the trail. We decided in the end it was some sort of chalk to mark the trail and not toxic.

On the loop to the car, I was treated to a thrilling view of the Koolaus with the almost always present mist at the top.

Malu is on the right and Boki on the left. Boki is more white and older.

We found this bush on the back side of Frankie's with dramatic red/pink fluffy flowers all over it and buds that looked like raspberries.

This other mystery flower was growing outside the house of the wedding I went to 8/8/2008.

On the knitting front, bucket hat and Spring Forward sock number 2 are hibernating and Portland Lobster is moving forward. I've cast on two sleeves at once which always makes the knitting seem to crawl.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Yesterday, August 8, 2008

The number 8 is considered a lucky number and can bring good fortune. Many weddings were scheduled in Hawaii. No Olympic opening for me. I was feasting at a wedding. It was a beautiful backyard affair with wonderful food all homemade by friends and family of the couple. The bride's dad and his friend personally caught all the tako (octopus) for the squid luau which was especially yummy. The locally caught tako are so much sweeter then the frozen, imported stuff. Squid luau is a local concoction of luau (taro leaves), squid and coconut milk. Luau has a lot of calcium oxalate in it so it has to be cooked to death. It's not a pretty food, but it tastes good. For me, the fried aku bones were a real treat. Seasoned to perfection and so ono with poi.

The bride's dad has created a wonderful garden of fruit trees and I scored a bag of longan to take home. Woohoo!!!

The cake was simple and dainty with red dots and roses!.

The sky was cloudy in Kahaluu, but it did not rain:)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Baby Quilt, FO

Finally the baby quilt is done (unless I decide to do more ties). The baby is sitting up already! This started as a baby futon, but I didn't buy enough backing fabric to made the borders quite as wide as I wanted with the mitered corners, so it became a fat quilt with bound edges.

I love the flower fabric and picked the sashiko blocks to represent the flowers. The hanging wisteria mon in the center belonged to my father's side of the family. The crane is a classic design (one who folds a thousand paper cranes will have their heart's desire come true) and the mirrored bass clefs are for the fact that both parents are very musical.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sewing FO

My blogless sister Susan wanted to see my bags. The quest was to make a bag for me to carry my water bottle and necessities for hiking. The lining of my fanny pack melted, if you can imagine, just melted(!!) onto my cel phone. How rude. Along the way as it always happens, I was led astray by a book in my stash, Mary Mulari's Made for Travel as well concern over the fabric stash languishing in the tubs until the proper storage unit can be found.

This tiny back pack is made from some upholstery fabric that never became the pillow it was supposed to be. The strap stopper thingys were cannibalized from a worn out back pack. I have rolls of grosgrain ribbon that finally found a use. In the book she recommends folding the ribbon in half and sewing the edges, making the straps double thickness. It's a lot easier to sew then the webbing. I don't know if I like her "exposed" zipper technique, at least for this fabric which was pretty ravel-y. I wonder if it hold up with use. I appear to have once collected zippers found in bags at thrift stores so I was happy to use a few.

This "green" bag was a test. It is a zippered tote that has an extension and outside pockets. I contemplated different ways to stiffen the bottom. I didn't like the cardboard idea as it may get wet in a grocery bag and read about using plastic canvas on the Net. I sewed a little pocket and cut some plastic canvas to fit the bottom. Yes, I had plastic canvas even though I don't do plastic canvas. It was purchased to make the earring holder in the picture frame thingy, which was a bust for me, btw. I like the construction of this bag. I may make another one, a bit bigger to replace my Hawaiian fabric one with the wonky bottom, but a little stiffer and with inside pockets, too. In fact, if no one stops me I may make a ton of these bags and my family will all get one for Christmas!

And I still don't have the bag for hiking. I have a plan, though;)

Portland Lobster is moving along. I am getting the hang of the cable pattern, and I love knitting with this Berroco Lobster Mix Ultra Alpacca, so of course that means Spring Forward is still a single sock. But at least the ball is now wound.

It's been over one month since retirement. I may be boring, but I'm not bored yet! Does anyone have fool proof recipe for pho?

I used canned chicken soup for the base. Maybe I'll have to get some chicken bones and make my own broth.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I zipped through Nora Ephron's book, I Feel Bad About My Neck and other thoughts on being a Woman, while Atonement and the first Vampire Hunter D graphic novel languish at my bedside reading spot.
There is no greater humiliation imo then trying on the swim suits. On Ms. Ephron's list of "what I wished I'd known"..."Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of 35 you will nostalgic for at the age of 45." and "At the age of 55 you will get a saggy roll just above your waist, even if you are painfully thin."
No one has ever accused me of being painfully thin so I won't scare anyone off with the telling reflections in those mirrors! A 20 something young women saw what I was reading and said she read about that book and though she would read it. Umm, I'm sorry, I don't know if it will make much sense at that age.
At Lands End, it is the end of bathing suit season so I had no luck. I finally found a similar style at Sears, but it has those underwires in it. Perhaps it's time for me to try an underwire as it has been years since I crossed those off my list. I hope they are better now. After all, man has been to the moon and back numerous times since then.

I've cast on the front of Portland Lobster. The full back picture shows my wonky cable twists, but I will resist pointing them out like I usually do. It's sooo obvious only a blind person won't see it.
This colorway is so difficult to reproduce digitally.

I followed Little Sesame Knits Super Easy DIY Sock Blocker Tutorial and made sock blockers out of a plastic place mat. I have only one sock done but can't wait to try them.

Spring Forward is such an easy pattern. I hope these socks are not too big for my sister as it casts on 66 stitches on number 1s. The Koigu was free from Vron via Opal. Lucky me it wasn't Opal's color;)

Free Koigu!!!

I have been retired one month now. I love it so far.