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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rather long post with FOs

Yesterday there was thunder and lightening and the island had an island wide power outage. It was so dark. Luckily I found the crank flashlight and Kaiser flashlight and had bought a million candles when I was contemplating retirement as I thought candles would help me improve my mood. I even found the matches and batteries! The flashlight was given to all the providers at the last luncheon I attended in honor of one of our past presidents who had died of Parkinson's. His son told a touching story about his father's love of flashlights and how his dad always made sure he and all the children had a flashlight by their beside so they could find their way out in the dark.
My Hello Kitty radio which is always on the verge of going to Goodwill, came in handy again!
I was in the middle of making dinner when the power went out so we finished dinner on the grill and went to bed early. Power is almost completely restored to the whole island as I write this this evening.

In spite of the intermittent pouring rain today, my son tried out his new camera lens to document my recent projects.

I watched Firefly again and got inspired to make more Jayne Hats, this time the mini variety. I also can't stop humming the theme song...

Main Title Theme Written by: Joss Whedon
Performed by: Sonny Rhodes

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me...

Pattern: Jayne Cobb brooch by Eva MacDonald on craftster
Yarn: Lamb's Pride worsted
Needles: size 5 for smaller one, size 8 for larger one.
I am so sad Firefly never went on beyond Serenity.

That little blue Totoro is such a ham, but I think he just couldn't help nestling in the the cashmere!
Pattern: Palindrome by Kristin Bellehumeur
Yarn: 6ply 100% China Cashmere in coal, 3 skeins from Handknitting
Now I know why cashmere is such a luxury. It truly is not pokey at all! The pattern is remarkable as it is truly reversible. It was very easy and fast.

Opal lent me her blocking wires so I finally blocked feather and fan shawl. I love it and it is just the perfect size for me.

Here's a close up of the crocheted edge.

Another very clever pattern is the safed, veined leaf from the Tikkun Tree Project. It's a double knit leaf with veins. It fits perfectly on Take2!

Pattern: Habitat hat by Jared Flood
Yarn: Cascade Venezia, silk merino, one skein
Needles: size 8. smaller for the ribbing.

The photo did not come out too well. It is finished and drying now. The yarn is smooth and very soft with slight sheen and drape. I definitely will use it again. This pattern is well-written and satisfied my desire for cables.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Get ready for the New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

From all of us to all of you:)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gingersnaps, Sea Foam Green Gathered Scarf, FO

It's cookie time. I love these Gingersnaps from Marion Cunningham's
The Breakfast Cookbook. I will forever be grateful to chotda (creator of the Totoro cupcake!) for introducing me to this cookbook. The gingerbread recipe is awesome, too.

Pattern: Gathered Scarf
Yarn: Plymouth Bristol Buckingham, color way dark seafoam green (1042). The color is difficult to photograph, especially with the cloudy weather here.
Needles: size 2 and size 7

The pattern calls for size 4 and 7 needles, but I copied a scarf in the same yarn knit by another raveler. The intended recipient will be traveling to Boston in February (brr!) and no longer owns any cold weather clothing. I mentioned scarf and she said "itchy" so I picked this yarn hoping it would have no scratchies. It is very soft, so I'll just have to see. I was looking for jadeite green, her favorite color, but could only come with apple green, sage green and sea foam. So sea foam it is. Now I'm wondering if black would be more practical...hmmm. I do love the color, though.
This was a fun pattern to knit. Changing the needle size kept it just interesting enough even though it is just garter alternating with stockinette and some increases and decreases. Very clever.

The store has not been updated for awhile, as visiting family keep buying my stash and I have been working on some custom orders.'s cookie time!!! The waistline will suffer.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Winter in Hawaii means it's green in Koko Crater

But first the wips, as this is a craft blog. I have basketweave vest in a DK weight wool and gathered scarf in baby alpaca silk. These are both inching along and are attached to balls that never end. I feel the interest waning and the desire to cast on a sock or something colorful coming on. Only the scarf is a Christmas gift so I shall attempt to persevere.

Blogless Melody and I explored another surprising, hidden gem, the the Koko Crater Botanical Garden. It was one of those incredible lucky live Hawaii days! Koko Crater is on the dry side of the island, but the season's rains have greened it (and it's more famous neighbor Diamond Head) up. There are several gardens in this quiet peaceful place...plumeria garden with all bald trees, Mexico with amazing cacti, Hawaiian garden with some large Loulu palms, and Madagascar with some very alien looking specimens. For some reason I was under the impression there was only one Loulu palm left anywhere, so I was happy to see many large specimens of this native fan palm in this garden.

Today I tried Pumpkin Scones. I used this recipe and I must say, they taste wonderful! (it's all about the butter)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ramblings of a retired one, or another day with no agenda

My sky goddess sister flew in for one of her kamikaze visits and cleaned out some of my jewelry stash and bags. Thank you sistah! The holiday eating out frenzy has started! We did manage 3 walks, then my knee complained, so here I am sitting on my okole in front of the idiot box.

I had a lovely lunch with P. I think we agree that being retired is great fun! Also that menopause causes brain farts and speeds up time. I had the classic CPK barbecue chicken pizza while she had the sensible salad. Sigh. I gotta work on my healthier eating resolve. A stop at the Ed and Don's didn't help. I swear I was Christmas shopping!

I got rid of my electric Christmas tree last year. I just don't think a Christmas tree should hum. I decided to crochet one this year. I was fun to decorate it. I am still looking for the pattern I wanted to make, so found this one on the Internet. But no Christmas tree smell :(

Project: Crochet Christmas tree with star topper
Patterns: Crochet Christmas Tree and beaded star
Materials: Red Heart, assorted beads and crystals, small ornaments from Ben Franklin, and two blinking necklaces for lights.

WIP: Basketweave Vest
by Beatrice Smith
Published in
Jamieson's Shetland Knitting Book 2
Jamiesons of Shetland
This is one of those patterns that just jumped out at me when I saw it in the pattern book. The dark color obscures the pattern, but it is getting more obvious as it crawls along. Remind me not to do garments in DK weight yarn, hah.

Project: Helmet Liner
Material: Cascade 220 Superwash
This project looked very tiny, but my round-headed number two did the size trial and even his hair (which he tells me in growing in the style of a mathematician) fit into it. The Cascade Superwash is quite fun to knit with. This is my kind of instant gratification, one skein project.

Spindle Bag Prototype
Materials: Vintage yellow ginger Hawaiian print cotton.
The challenge is to make a bucket bag for a large ball of roving and 3 drop spindles, that stands up when put on the ground.
In this first prototype, I used fusible fleece for the sides and plastic canvas for the bottom. I think it needs stiffer handles. I actually like this bag and love the fabric, so it will be my spindle bag:)

I would love any additional thoughts drop-spindlers have about what is needed in a drop spindle bag.

I'm waiting for Netfliks to deliver Season 3 of 6 Feet Under and I'm waiting for some yarn to make my friend Christmas scarf. Think I'll pack up the Grab Bag for the Wisconsin connection, perhaps make those gift bags for the Saturday walking group, and really those Nurberger cookies taste better if they sit for a while before eating.