2.25.2015

Big Lace

* I love patterns! My old knitting friends know this about me.  Its half the fun of the knitting project, finding a pattern to go with that YARN.  So I want to start talking more about knitting and patterns here.  Even if its not a complete Knitting blog, knitting is a huge part of my life.

From my first lace project waaaaay way back in the day.  Which was "Branching Out" published in Knitty from 2005.  I had only been knitting a short time back then, Ravelry wasn't even a thing yet.  It was a nice safe way to start knitting lace.  Much like the first time I shifted from first to second gear, I was hooked.  I really like lace knitting.  In particular I really like Estonian Lace.  Estonian lace has lovely repeats, easy to memorize patterns and they have a logic to them that makes the knitting easy to read.  More than just lace knitting, I live knitting lace in fingering weight yarn rather than lace weight yarn.  I prefer the better stitch definition and the warm wear.  As anyone who knows me, knows I love shawls as scarves.  Maybe its my inner hipster, maybe I don't like to be cold.
 


Just a few "Claire is knit shawls" pictures.  BTW they are Summerfly, TurnTable, Raindrops, Shallow tail and Glitz at the Ritz.  Luckily the rest of the knitting word is starting to see how awesome it is to wear shawls as scarves.

In 2012 I cast on for Juneberry, the epic worsted Lace triangle from that "hurt so good" designer we all love but never wear Jared Flood. Don't get me wrong the man takes amazing pictures, knows how to sell a brand and does create gorgeous patterns.  He also doesn't have hips or boobs nor has the slightest clue how to design a flattering pattern for anyone one who has either.  So I stick to his slightly overly complicated shawl and scarf patterns.  Shockingly Juneberry doesn't have a provisional cast on but its makes up for that with lace knitting on both the knit and purl sides.  If you make this pattern remember, the 3 knit boarder stitches are knot listed anywhere but in the notes and put a stitch marker between each pattern repeat.  DO IT! It took me years to knit this thing because I'd put it away and put it away and put it away.  Finally I just did it, and knocked the damn thing out this year.  Its also so squishy I might die.  Now that its extremely cold I've found I really like the extra added warmth of worst weight knitting.  There are some great knits out there to show off your lace skills and use a warmer yarn.  Juneberry of course.  There is Conifer, by Kate Gagnon Osborn, she has more than one worsted weight shawl but Conifer is the best of her lace.  The Lonely Tree Shawl and From Afar from two of the coolest kids on Ravelry.  The Skye Boat Shawl which looks so squishy. There's also Hojas and Farid from Sneezerville.

There aren't a lot of lace-worsted patterns available which is a little disappointing. But when you want to a change up from those oh so cozy but not so exciting garter stitch shawls which are popping up everywhere, take a peak at these patterns.

2.24.2015

On a Tuesday

I'm pretty sure that's the name of a friends former blog, "On a Tuesday" and when I say former blog I mean lets get into the waaaaaaay way back machine and hop back to the early part of this fine century.  Back to when twitter was still just little thing, Facebook was not cool and MySpace still was a thing people used.  Once again I don't have a lot on my plate and I wanted to get some of this back log out.  


Here are 4 of my quilt squares for my square a month sampler.  The 5th is TERRIBLE.  Its so bad I took it apart and put it back together and its still bad.  So I'm going to buy the fabric (or close enough) and make a new one.  I've learned that I have a special stitch on my machine which should help me make better squares.  But the truth is, I'm not a good quilter, and I'm okay with that.  


Made this scarf for my coworker, since he's fresh outta college.  He's a good kid. But mostly because he's running around in basically a wind breaker when its like 23 degrees.  Boys.  Now he can stay warmish and look awesome.    


Here let me take some notes at the morning meeting!


My dear friend Kathy sent me this lovely sock yarn from her quilt shop!  I don't know what I'm going to make with it yet, but she trusts me to come up with something fantastic.  


Edgar approves of my sonic screwdriver.  You'll see where this is going next month.  


See I'm getting better.  This one is a little more square, and I'm trying to be more patient.  It may or may not be working.  


EDGAR! stop being so damn cute little bird.  Seriously.  

Keep a look out for a post this week about knitting worsted weight shawls! 

2.23.2015

Its Monday...

I know crazy right.  But hell there is nothing else to do around here.  I'd like to say that just sitting on my duff pulling a paycheck is nice, but its not.  I'd like to be up to something, doing something so I alternate between reading free papers on PLOSOne and blogging.  

For my birthday we went to see the Black Keys.  Its the second time we've seen them and they're great in concert.  You can tell they just love to do live shows.  The song are never the same as they're recorded and they have a great light show too.  St. Vincent opened for them, and she's pretty amazing too.  

Of course there was an encore.  The whole place lit up with cell phone flashlights in an amazing display.  It was really cool.  However nothing, nothing, nothing beats the encore from their El Camino tour where they played Everlasting Light with a massive mirror ball.  I was rewarded with what I think is there best live version song, Little Black Submarines. We heard it at the Fresno show and they played it for part of their encore.  Its spectacular.  



Seriously have you had these!  Birthday gift from a friend and more than delicious.  They are from the wonderful candy makers Olive and Sinclair out of the every more awesome Nashville.  They come in a shotgun box too.  



Edgar gives his beak of approval to a shell stitch scarf I made.  



We sometimes have crazy amazing sunsets.  It doesn't make up for the sad brown that is winter in Kansas.  





I've been working away on my sweater.  Which actually fits, as you can see from how fab my bum looks in it.  




Tracing the patterns for my first knit sewing project.  I bought the Sewing with Knits class from Craftsy.



BAM! An awesome wearable item.  
Its way comfy, and I plan on making more, maybe with pockets.  


We just keep having snow, like 3ish inches at a time.  


The Cider is slowing down, and should be ready to move to the next jug soon, like this week.  Then it hangs out there for a while until it can be bottled.  If this batch goes well I'll make a large batch.  Finding good cider in Leavenworth is hard.  

2.22.2015

Quick post

So we're a good ways into the year.  January is behind us and we're well into February.  It zips by.  So this is mostly an update post (aren't they all).  I haven't bought any new clothes as per my resolution.  I've bought 2 pairs of pants, 2 dresses, 2 shirts and a jacket ALL FROM THRED UP!  I'm in love.  They're a great webpage.  Everything I've gotten has been fab.  One shirt and the jacket are for my Lady-Tenth Doctor outfit which I'll wear to Planet Comic Con next month with my friends.  But all the pieces came from the Salvation Army or Thred Up for like 20 bucks.  I did buy myself an amazing pair of boots (what new, claire, boots!)

I'll try to update more throughout the week.  Work is more than slow, and they haven't a clue how to effectively use people so I just sit at my desk for hours on end.  I do have an interview on Thursday, with a hospital so I'll let you know how that business goes.

Love ya
Claire

2.01.2015

Superbowl-Superbowl-Superbowl!!!

Sunday-sunday-sunday!!!

I am huge Seahawks fan.  Not a bandwagon fan, but a long suffering Seattle sports fan.  Years of crap teams, years of almost selling, and years of never tasting victory.  More importantly that horrible superbowl we got shafted.  Last year was like a dream, a crazy making Payton Manning cry dream.  This year oh holy fucking-shit!  We're going again.  Too bad I'm in Exile and can't be there to send them off or welcome them back.  WE did both last year.  We stood on a foggy morning to send them off to the superbowl it was great


No more cared how cold it was we all just yelled and made friends.  It was fandom at its best.  No one was rude, and tons of people just hung around waiting and having a great time.  


Blitz was there, all the best fan groups and all the coolest tailgate trucks.


I took over the chalk board at work (which mega-bitch erased before the big game and I had to redraw).  


IT all led up to this.  Me up in Seattle at 6AM in the ice cold to see the parade.  Which was amazing. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY PEOPLE.  And once again, everyone nice and orderly.  Come on this is Seattle.  We stayed in the city all day, eating an early dinner at 13 Coins to top off a perfect Seattle event and drive down 99 and not I-5 back to the city of Destiny.  

This year, we've got snow and Kansas.  Lucky for us, we have an Adopted Seahawk (a guy in Hubs class who is a born again PNW'er) he'll join us for the awesome today.  



In non-football related fun......


The beer was done (we think) See that nice layer of floculation from the yeast falling out of fermentation.  Hellz ya! Sorry I love yeast.  


We bottled.  Micro-skills (no not small skills, microbiology skills) Its handy to have a microbiologist who brews stuff for a living inhouse.  I handled this part of the game.


Red caps of course (field artillery) 


My current reading material. Its super well written, and its very informative. 


Pre-cheese


Gelled Curd


CHEESE!
I made cheese, in fact I made Mozzarella.  I got liquid animal rennet and followed the instructions online.  It work nearly perfectly.  The trick I found was using the wooden cutting board to my advantage and letting it soak up the extra whey.  It was also super yum.  

1.24.2015

More stuff


I got this great cart at Ikea for my sewing stuff


Put my antique trunk in my office


MADE BEER! (we can drink it on the 31st)


Took this great picture of my antique microscope


I'm finally able to display the great microscope that Hub got me for my birthday like 2 years ago.


I framed some stuff


The SNOW STORM, that wasn't


It did get bitterly cold (thats without the windchill)


Five Mile Creek froze almost solid.

One more thing I forgot to add to my New Years resolutions, was to try to keep organized.  Try to find at least as many old things I don't need or do not bring me joy and send them off to Goodwill as I bring new items into the house.  I've been busy purging stuff which is no longer useful to me.  I think my office is done.  Next up the guest room.  I have so far not purchased any new clothes.  I did pick up 2 pairs of pants from ThreadUp they'll be here this week.  

1.11.2015

Back Log

Hey hey hey!

I've got lots of pictures to show you, of lots of stuff.



Fall arrived, and was lovely.  My Mom came for a visit for Halloween and we ran amuck around Kansas City.  We visited all the hot spots, like Crown Plaza and saw the new Hall's.  We had sooooo many tricker treaters that we had to turn off the light.  Next year, more candy!


I became an accidental hipster.  The warehouse is a shitshow of dirt and things that what to ruin my clothes so I got an old flannel at Goodwill, which has a handy pocket for pens (which lady jeans do not make space for) and keeps me looking clean afterward.  I wear my blue knit beret to keep my hair out of my face.  Add in my hipster bearded (its f'ing cold here and its a seasonal thing not completely a fashion statement) warehouse manager and BOOOM we're the coolest warehouse in town.  Maybe I can convince him to grow his hair out and go for the man-bun! HAHAHA, or not.  


I finished my Pendulum shawl which I modified because I didn't have enough yarn.  This was a quick mindless knit which burned up two balls of old yarn.  I'm almost through my stash.  I'm very proud of myself.  I have two sweaters worth left and they have patterns.  I have a handful of sock balls, which might be given away.  Two pair mittens to knit, a few shawls worth and I'll be at a level which makes me feel I can buy some yarn again.  


I started this great sweater.  Its coming along fantastically.  I'm almost to the sleeves now.  Andi is a fantastic pattern writer.  She understands shape so well and I also made some bold sizing decisions myself.  I have a 17inch back but a 40 inch bust line.  This means when I knit 40 inch sizes I have HUGE arm holes and saggy sweaters.  I plan to only ever knit 34" sweater sizes from now on and add some stitches to the bust if I need them.  I'm a cardigan knitter so I'm mostly good.  


I met this fellow on a walk and I though he was too cute pass up.  He even mugged for this picture.  Turning and looking the whole time I shot photos of him.  


Then Christmas came! I got a Lego Advent Calendar this year.  While I'm not an advent person its the perfect birthday count down clock.  And LEGOS! A whole box of little lego fun.  It was fantastic too, Luke and little cannons that fire legos bricks, a speeder and a xmas droid.  


My favorite holiday wreath I got years ago at Target.  


Ornament 1, from Target with a little bird.


Ornament 2, a porcialan feather from KC's own Hammermill Press.  Can you see the bird theme we've got.  


My Felt Advent Calendar


Finally our tree.  Which was dry and sad but we made it pretty.  I miss you great northwest and your lovely xmas trees so full of live and beauty.  Here its just 1 kind of tree and they kinda suck.  But we power trough.  

So I've got more pics of more stuff.  Stay tuned for Beer making, Cheese! and the hard freeze.  

Love ya all!