Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I know you're all dying w/ anticipation.
And the winner of the previous vote was.....

The write-in candidate proposed by SealDaze!

I don't have a picture to show you what I'm talking about but it's basically the more complicated pattern (Little Leaf), but using garter stitch so the odd rows are knit across instead of purl across. It does lose something in the cuteness that Little Leaf had - but now it's reversible! And it's not that complicated after all. I memorized the 2 different patterns for the even rows and it's going pretty quickly.
Now my only complaint is that I HAVE NO TIME FOR KNITTING! But you guys can't really help me w/ that via voting.
Today is my last full week at work - I have 2 more days next week and then I start the new job on Wednesday. Wow. Normally, I'd have all these profound thoughts to share about this big transition, but with the back-to-back meetings we have tomorrow and Friday, I haven't had time to breathe, much less think profound thoughts.

I'll leave you with some shots of the antiwar protest from Saturday.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Indecision 2007

Since we don't actually get an election in '07, I'll give you all a chance to vote right now.
Some of you are already familiar with my search for the perfect pattern for my lovely Qiviut (musk ox) yarn, a Christmas present from PassionKNITly. I wanted something reversible, lacey, but not too complicated because I'm not that experience with lace. This hunt turned out be to be quite challenging. I can't even count how many times I googled variations of reversible lace pattern. A certain M-friend of mine said I was going about the whole thing like a scientist (in a good way i think). Thankfully, I was able to narrow down the myriad options to 2 choices.

  1. Little Leaf Lace Scarf and

  2. Feathery Lace Stole (from Exquisite Little Knits, but brought to my attention by SealDaze)

Here is the issue. I like both of them. Only the Feathery Lace Stole is reversible. It's also much easier to keep track of. But the Little Leaf pattern is so pretty! And some people have said that the purl side doesn't really look that bad. It's just more complicated because I have to count rows.
Do you have an opinion? Is the Little Leaf pattern pretty enough to be worth the extra thinking required? And should I care that it's not reversible?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (so why did I write so much?)

This past Christmas might have been my craftiest yet. I didn't quite realize that until after we were back in DC after our exotic stay in rhode island. While I didn't knit nearly as much as some of my friends, I managed to make a good number of the gifts. Unfortunately, I'm a bad blogger and didn't photograph all of the items so this, and the subsequent post in this series might be a little lame for those of you who only want to see pictures and don't like all the 'reading'.

But you're in luck, because first up, we have the photographic gifts. Having had such success last April when I gave my gram a framed shot of her favorite cherry blossoms, I decided to try my luck again by giving my dad a trio of monument photos for his home office. Because that room is my former bedroom, it suffers from a lack of masculinity and so far, no amount of techy gadgets and action DVDs seems to butch it up enough. I woke up extra early the last weekday before we flew home and spent an hour with my camera, the sunrise, and some humbling monuments. I have never seen the Vietnam Memorial or the Lincoln Memorial so empty. I wasn't there to photograph the Lincoln, but I rode by it on my bike on my way to the Korean War Memorial.
Here are the results, arranged the way they were hung on the wall.

It was particularly cute when, on Christmas Eve as Erich and I were assembling his mother's homemade gift, my dad remarked how nice it was that we were making it and how he is always so touched by homemade gifts. Score. He was indeed touched the next day when he opened his gift. Especially a few minutes later when Erich astutely realized something about my dad's reaction and told him that I had taken the pictures myself. Apparently my dad originally thought I had just purchased some interesting shots of the monuments and framed those as a gift.

Speaking of the gift for Erich's mom...
One of the things we gave her was a small album of mostly architectural shots of DC for inspiration for her pottery. She has a kiln and potter's wheel right in her house and spends many evenings throwing gorgeous bowls and assorted dishes. She asked several months ago if we might take some pictures of interesting architectural motifs in the city that could bring some outside inspiration to her pottery. That's easier said than done however since we don't usually have our cameras on us during commutes to work and errand-running. I therefore started jotting down building names and addresses whenever something caught my eye and lucky for me, the weekend before we flew to RI was gorgeous, blue-sky weather. I did a little bike tour of the city starting by Trader Joes at Foggy Bottom and ending up in Adams Morgan at an entrance to Rock Creek Park.

Finally, I also gave Erich a gift involveing photography, but in this case, it was his own. He took HUNDREDS of photos in Peru and never got around to printing them out or putting them in an album. He loves the album he put together a couple years ago of his service trip to Nicaragua. So I secretly orderd prints of the ~200 best Peru photos and tracked down a brown leather & suede album (it's hard to find manly looking photo albums!) in which to mount them, scrapbook style. I didn't include any captions because I really have no idea what the names of any of the sacred trail points are. But most of the challenge lay in trying to keep the whole thing a secret from him. Apparently I was successful because he seemed very surprised on Christmas morning. It's still a bit of a work in progress because the 2nd set of insert sleeves for the cardstock don't quite match the 1st set even though they're from the same brand and had identical labels on the packaging. So the 2nd half of the album sticks out a little more. Also, it would look better if a handful of the best photos were enlarged to 5 x 7 so he's going to pick some out and insert those pages later.

Still to come in this 2-part series: Knitting and Co.
Also, here's a tip on how to get out of Federal Jury Duty: make sure you work for an organization that fights for the same rights that are being contested in the case you're called to be a juror for. The opposing side usually doesn't like that too much and will probably make sure you're not selected so you can't brainwash the other jurors.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Grounds for a Rant

Ho hum. So much time has passed and as more and more people remind me that it's been ages since I posted, I get more and more intimidated by the prospect of trying to lump all of last month's news into a succinct post. But I refuse to let blogger intimidate me. I am not its slave - it is supposed to serve ME!
- end rant -

I was also reminded recently that I've only posted one entry in the Things-That-Annoy-Me Series. So here's another for you...

Travel Coffee Mugs
My 3 main complaints are:
1. they're hard to find
2. when I find them, they often are too large to fit in the car cup-holder thing
3. and they ALL seem to have metal pieces that make them unsafe for the microwave.

WTF!? I mean, I am slowly learning that my family is a little non-traditional in their obsession with the plastic travel coffee mug. I grew up thinking that everyone had at least 4 of these at home, that they were all microwave safe, and that they were the natural vessel for having coffee on the go. Regarding that last point, I regret to admit that the Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts/styrafoam throw-away coffee cup is probably the vessel of choice for most people who drink Joe on the go. Grr. However, wouldn't you agree that IF you are the type of person that prefers to brew your own and store it in a travel coffee mug, that you would ALSO need to be able to reheat the coffee in a microwave? Next time you're in the kitchen section of Target, take a look at their selection of travel coffee mugs - 90% have metal pieces!!!! This drives me nuts and Erich is sick of hearing me bitch about the lack of suitable mugs on the market. So I'm making you all suffer instead.
ugh! these have metal AND their base is too large for a car cup-holder. Double trouble.

And I know some of you might want to point out such stupid things as "well they're metal so that they insulate the coffee and keep it warmer longer" or "they have large bases so they don't tip over" - shove it! This is my soapbox and there's only room for one of us.

Oh, and Happy New Year! I'll go back to being warm and fuzzy shortly - then you can read all about our fabulous Christmas-in-Rhode-Island adventures. Here's a teaser: it included a chick from France, duckpin bowling, and karaoke.