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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fun with Fiber

Blogless Sandy has been enabling my spinning by giving me fiber. The mosaic shows 3 types of animal fiber...maybe a local sheep or just a mystery, some Corriedale, and some llama sheering from the zoo.

She also gave me some natural Wookiee colored cotton from Guatemala. The differed stages represented are bolls with seeds, cotton with seeds removed, combed cotton fiber and a small amount spun up on a Tahkli spindle. I'm not a very experienced spinner so the short staple is quite a challenge to spin. There is also the learning curve of using the Tahkli. I have some cards on order to give this a try.

Meanwhile my FO for Friday is Basketweave Vest (by Beatrice Smith). It still needs buttons and blocking, but the knitting is done, and the ends are all woven in. The discontinued Rowanspun DK was a pleasure to work with. It's not a very strong yarn, but I had no unplanned breakage along the way, and the resulting fabric is very light and elastic. A very nice yarn. I have 5 more skeins. Hmmmm?

I'm giving lace another chance and have cast on Adamas Shawl in Cascade Heritage. I hope the nylon in it does not hinder the blocking. See I'm thinking positive and I beginning with the end in mind:)

My new TV was installed so now I can knit again in my more comfortable chair. Unfortunately the amplifier decided to give up and suffers from "amp block". I will have to watch without the home theater until a replacement is found.

I need a mindless project to take to knit night. I know better then to take the lace and I want to ensure success!

I have not updated the shop for awhile. There is one new dp needle storage roll in Amy Butler Clematis Turquoise. The one bag I made was mad at me and the interfacing refused to fuse properly and the bottom seam decided to pucker. I just hate when that happens. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact this cold took a week to turn the corner, but I'm rethinking the design anyway.

I end this post with a photo of the inside of the state capitol building. I learned some things about it on the Architectural tour. It was finished the year I graduated from high school. It's design represents the Hawaiian Islands. There is a pool for the ocean, columns to represent the volcanic mountains and of course the blue sky.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finish it or Frog It Friday

My Beaverslide came!

I see Totoros!!! Speaking of Totoros, thoughtful Chris took a photo of the this Totoro tree at Honolulu Hale for me.

Finished Objects

Pattern: Fischschwanz by Diana Harrison
Yarn: Lorna's Laces, colorway envy

This pattern is written in German. Here is the 8 stitch pattern (Fischschwanzmuster) in English.

Row 1: YO, K2 , Slip 1 K2tog pass slip stitch over, K2 ,YO, K1 , YO, K2, Slip 1 K2tog pass slip stitch over, K2 , YO, K1
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K1 , YO, K1 , Slip 1 K2tog pass slip stitch over, K1 , YO, K3, YO, K1 , Slip 1 K2tog pass slip stitch over, K1 , YO, K2
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: K2 , YO, Slip 1 K2tog pass slip stitch over, YO, K5, YO, Slip 1 K2tog pass slip stitch over, YO, K3
Row 6: Knit
For pattern. - Repeat 6 rows.

As I struggled to translate even the pattern stitch, I used the 8 stitch sock pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, casting on 64 stitches and knitting 1.5 inches of K1P1 ribbing for my small woman's sock. I did my first eye of partridge heel and there was an acceptable amount of pooling. The Lorna's Laces was a joy to knit with. I drew it in the lucky number at the Christmas dinner. Lucky me!

Pattern: Habitat by Jared Flood
Yarn: Cascade Venezia in red

The yarn is wonderful to knit with. . The silk gives it a bit of a shine and softness. It is less sproingy then pure wool, but the pattern holds it shape well. I usually do not like to knit the same pattern twice but I have started a 3rd hat at the request of a friend in Knit Picks Andean Silk in Pitch, but alas 96 yards is not enough. The alpaca/wool/merino blend holding up well with nice cables. It is bit splitty to knit, but recovers well. Unless I can come up with another skein, this hat is doomed for the frog pond. I'm not desperate enough to order one from Knit Picks as they charge too much for shipping to Hawaii.

My friend finished a little less then half of her 100 miles...a *mere* 47.3 miles. After falling 3 times running over roots, in the mud up and down hill in the dark, she stopped at 3:30 am. When I picked her up she was covered in mud! Luckily she had not suffered any serious injury. Apparently limping, blisters and loosing toenails is normal!

We had a nice walk at Ala Moana Beach Park the next day and saw a turtle.

She flew off the next morning and is back to work and planning a ski trip this weekend. Whew!

I did my wimpy little walk around the block and took some photos.
(click to make the photo larger)

The jabong (citrus maxiums or Pomelo) are ripening all over the neighborhood. The household has lined them on the wall free for the taking! I didn't take any as my dad has a tree full. I did liberate the Macadamia nuts from the side walk where I believe they are in the public domain.

I stayed home from two knitting engagements to day as I have a sorethroat and feel contagious. My TV is officially bonkers now and everyone is fuzzy and orange, so I watched Netflix on my computer (Enchanted, Fido)and little TV (Black Book).

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Friday passed with nothing frogged or finished. I thought on it though. Second Fishscale sock has progressed to the heel and Basketweave vest back has only 20% to go.

Nothing like visitors to inspired a flurry of housekeeping. A friend I haven't seen for 31 years came into town to run the HURT. Apparently she is one of those select nuts who runs 100 miles for fun. She was the first person I met when I moved to Lexington, Ky and was so kind to me, allowing me to stay with her while I found a place of my own. It was wonderful to see her again and catch up before dropping her off at 5:30 this am for her race. I don't see her again until Sunday night! Yes, you read right! She runs all night and two days!!!! This is no wimpy run either. A storm passed by yesterday with winds and rains, so the 5-20 mile loops-rain forest run through roots, crumbly steep trails in the dark, has slick mud to boot. Join me in wishing her well!

My stash has been enhanced two skeins of a the wonderfully soft Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky. This is the danger of knitting in a yarn store. I envision some really big cabled hat with this yarn.

Blogless Sandy came up with this really great idea for blocking using the Multi-purpose Reversible Foam Mats. These can be locked together in any size and put on a table instead of the floor, thus saving one's back. They are foam so pins can be poked in it.

I have acquired two bales of cotton from the knittybird. They were used in a display where she works. Thanks knittybird! Now to figure out what to do with this massive amount of cotton. If you live on Oahu and can meet somewhere to pick some up, holler if you want some. It has a pretty short fiber length and I have no combs. Yikes now I'm obsessing on cotton combs (I guess they are finer then wool combs) and a Tahki spindle.

Have great weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Finish or Frog It Friday

I've joined the fun of Finish It or Frog It Friday. This is the brainchild of the Majorknitter. As I'm am a self proclaimed serial knitter, I was doubtful this was a group for me, but I was able to seek out, frog and re-purpose 5 projects. Try it! (It doesn't really have to be Friday...Friday is just a day to contemplate forgotten UFOs that need frogging.

One is the pink Malabrigo chunky. I really wanted to try out cosymakes Pixie Hood and I have just the pink flower for it.

Friday, January 09, 2009

More hats and leaves

I knit at Aloha Yarns Thursday with Kim, Tia and Sandy. I got a wonderful set of blocking wires made by the talented (and blogless) Sandy and her husband from some aluminum wires and PVC pipe. I borrowed some a while back from Opal and I must say they made such a difference when blocking Feather and Fan Shawl.

Namea of Aloha Yarn is such a friendly warm person, and she carries some very tempting yarns!

This month for me so far has been about knitting for others. I sent three leaves to the The TikkunTree Project, "A community art project: growing peace stitch by stitch". I also made two more for me. One is Paton's DK crepe picked up in the thrift store, and smaller one, left-over Koigu on size 1 needles. Totoro loves these leaves.

I sent off 2 helmetliners and one beanie to Citizen Sam. I hate the thought of our American men freezing in Afghanistan.

I also knit 5 hats from my left over Lamb's Pride. 4 of them are from the free pattern by Fiona. I will be sending these to Warm Woolies.

Now that these are done, I have no excuse not to turn the heel on Fish Scale sock number one or continue knitting on Basketweave Vest.

BTW, despite fallen weepy meringue, the coconut cream pie was a hit and is now all gone!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I'll call him Walter

Preop DX: Hippo
Postop DX: Rhino
Surgical procedure: Rhinoplasty
Surgeon: Acornbud
Anesthesia: local, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, size 6 DPs
Blood loss: 10 cc
Pt. left OR in excellent condition
Followup: Routine

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Heartbreak of Meringue

Good thing I took these pictures when my Coconut Cream Pie came right out of the oven, because when I went back later the meringue had separated from the edge and it was all weepy.

So why? The rule I knew about and tried to follow was: Seal the meringue all the way to the edge. Believe me, I tried very hard to follow this. Maybe the culprit is one of these other rules.

1. Do not make meringue on a humid day. Well if this is true, I will never be able to make it as it is always humid here. And beside, my sister's meringue was perfect when she made it here in my kitchen and I'm using her recipe!
2. Add the sugar slowly and make sure it all dissolves. Hmm, I may have been too afraid to over beat the egg whites. Must come from making butter while whipping cream. I wonder if there is a YouTube video on what makes a soft or stiff/glossy peak?
3. Filling must be hot when the meringue is put on. I took my filling off the stove while I made the meringue. Was it too cool? Sunset Magazine tries to explain this bubble theory in an article I read here.
4. Ma-rang weeps 'cus Pa-rang ran off with another sweetie-pie. I read this one on a google search and I think it's bogus.

Addenda: 5. Egg whites must be at room temp.

The recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, the "Meredith" edition.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! New Years is a big holiday here in Hawaii. The whole state goes wild with the fireworks. My neighborhood was lit up with aerials of all colors. The bombs lit up the sky with a lightning like flash and burst with a very loud sound. No sleeping early for me.

I ate my mochi soup and black beans to start off the New Year. This is the 4th year I made my own mochi in my mochi machine and I can say it is getting easier. I just haven't gotten very good at getting the beans inside. Anyway, my family and I like them in the ozoni soup and toasted. I toasted this one, and even though it made a face at me, I ate it anyway.

I found this cute baby hat pattern and the plan is to use up the Lamb's Pride stash to knit hats for charity. I'm not sure if Lamb's Pride is the best for a baby, but that's what the recipe calls for.

Speaking of hats. I finally got a better picture of Habitat. My lovely niece looks great in anything she puts on!

Hawaii has had quite a bit of rain lately. Today the sun was out and the beach was beautiful. Nuuanu Stream, behind my folk's house was full and muddy. All the rain makes for very happy plants:)
I noticed my mom has planted many of her pointsettias in the garden and this year they bloomed quite nicely next to the pink torch ginger.

My friend blogless Kathy, who is in to feng shui said it was going to be a hard year for rabbits (that's me born in a rabbit year) so I should have a blue rhino in my corner for support. The power of suggestion drove me to obsess on having a blue rhino, a knitted one at that, and so I knit this one. Number 2 son pointed out that this indeed is a blue hippo and not a blue rhino. I guess I don't get any points for that. The only rhino pattern I can find is in World of Toys. I could swear I own that book, but where is it? I think hippos are cuter then rhino. Perhaps I should just knit him a horn or two.

The ancient cat Lovey was a little suspicious of the blue interloper in her little basket. My folks have tried all kinds of nicer baskets but she prefers this one. She never looks that comfortable in it, imo.

knittybird and I went to see Twilight. It followed the book pretty well. It was fun if not a bit mushy. Not yer Underworld/30 Days of Night kind of vamps.