April 2008


Three posts in a day? Guess I’m trying to make up for lost time!

I made a bento in my new box today 😀

sausage bento

Sausage and onigiri, watermelon, yogurt and celery with peanut butter. It’s a pretty random mish-mash of stuff, but I didn’t plan any lunches this week and kind of just threw together what I could find. Works for me, it smells good!

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Blocking can make a project go from looking like this:

before block

To this:

hemlock ring 2

Remember the yarn recycling tutorial? The cotton/ramie sweater became the Hemlock Ring throw. Just an aside fyi; the recycling tute is the single most visited post on my blog with more than double the hits than any other! Anyways, the color in the picture directly above is the most accurate.

center ring

hemlock close up

The only reason I think the color came out so green in the close up shots is because I took the pictures in my bedroom and there’s virtually no light in there.

I did a really hard block on this project because it was so pulled in on itself. I washed it on the hand-wash setting in my washer, then pulled it straight out of there and started stretching it out on the bed. I couldn’t find all of my pins, so I only used a few on the center flower section and was lucky enough that the rest of the throw kind of stuck to the bed as I pulled and forced it in to submission.

I only knit the pattern up to its original bind off point because I was starting to get a little nervous about running out of yarn and I’m glad I stopped because if I’d made it as big as I’d originally wanted, it probably would have taken days to bind off!  Turns out I had enough yarn that I could have gone through at least another three or four repeats, but I’m happy it’s finished.

Now I can only wait until May 9th and hope that my Mom likes it!

My update was thwarted yesterday by a visit from an old friend. I hadn’t seen her for several months so by the time she left it was almost time for Paul to get home and I didn’t have the chance to finish what I’d started. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling all sorts of off kilter and paired with my laziness my pictures suck.

But, I managed to get all my gifts (or at least the ones I can remember off the top of my head!) into a picture. I wasn’t sure about posting 50 pictures so I crammed everything in to one shot.

birthday gifts

I’ll start with one of my favorites. In the front, on the left is the bento that Hammie got for me. It’s really roomy and so I could use it to hold a few lunches or one big picnic lunch for a couple/few people. The penguin and Spiderman dog are mp3 player toys. I’ve wanted one for awhile because they’re so cute and Paul got me the Spi-dog. He liked it so much that we went and got the penguin to match so we both have one. (I took the penguin!) Let’s see….the purse is from my in-laws, the Nightmare on Elm Street figures are from Paul (One of my favorite horror movie series!) Behind the figures is a new food processor from my mom, Paul got me the pink tool kit (Cute, huh?!) The electric pot is from my mom, and the ds games and movies are from Paul. That’s a lot of stuff…jeez! The movie is Juno, with an cd of extra songs that didn’t make it on the soundtrack and Paul also got me season 4 of Nip/Tuck and the first season of Hell’s Kitchen.

Paul had to work for a while on Saturday morning. He had to be at work at 5 am, but he was home by 7:30. We got dressed and went to the swap meet and walked the entire thing. It’s bigger since I was there last. That’s where we found the ds games…for a steal! We got all four of the games for $15. Afterwards we went to my parents house and after visiting for awhile we went out to lunch. We’d originally planned to just go over for cake and coffee, but my mom was super butt-hurt over not getting to spend time with me on “her” day, so we went to lunch with them. After lunch we went to my In-laws house and opened gifts there. My mother in law wasn’t feeling well so I feel kind of bad that we stayed so long she had to go back to bed, but I got a nice surprise while I was there. Hammie, in her stealth mode, called my mother in law and asked for her address so she could hunt me down. The funny thing is that as soon as my mother in law got on the phone with her I knew it was her! But, Carmen was cute about it and said that she had a friend she wanted me to meet lol. When we finally left Carmen’s house, Paul, Hammie and I went back to our place and played Guitar Hero 3 for awhile. After Hammie left, Paul and I just kinda hung around and then later in the evening we did some shopping and came home to fall in to bed exhausted.

It was a really nice birthday overall and the best part is that I got to spend most of it with people I love.

Last night, after Paul went to bed and all was quiet, I was able to finish binding off on the Hemlock Ring. It took me about four hours or so to bind this sucker off. Look at what a nice little mess it is right now:

before block

Looks great, doesn’t it? lol!  It looks so shriveled up and kinda jellyfish like, but it’ll look much better once I block it.  I need to clear off my table in order to block it, or I may wind up doing it on my bed since it’s going to be fairly large.  I also need to go on the hunt for lots and lots of pins because this sucker’s going to need them!  I can’t wait to see what it looks like all sorted out though, it should be nice.

I just wanted to write a quick blog in the midst of some frantic cleaning to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and gifts.  It was a really great birthday, save for one pooey incident that I’m not going to waste my time explaining.  Jenn, in case you didn’t see the comment I left you; I got your card, thanks so much!  (By the way, I’m way envious of your handwriting lol!)

I’ll try to post a more detailed blog about my birthday weekend with some pictures later.  Thankfully, there are none of me!  Nobody took pictures during, so I’ll take some random shots of some of the good stuff I got and all that.

During short breaks of trying to get this messy place decent looking I’ve been slowly binding off the Hemlock Ring blanket.  I made it relatively small because if my mom is going to use it as a tablecloth I don’t want it hanging to the ground.  There’s 380 some odd stitches to cast off, and the way the cast off is done you make five stitches to create a decorative ring, so it’s very slow going.  Two cast off for every seven…ugh!  Looks pretty nice though and I can’t wait to block it.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend and with any luck, Monday’s going well too!

Stolen from Jen!

1. How old will you be in 3 years?

33.

2. Do you think you’ll be married by then?

I better be, if Paul wants to live!

3. What do you look forward to most in the next 2 months?

The new album from the Dresden Dolls!

4. Who was the last person you called?

My mother in law.

5. Have you ever played a team sport?

Nope…I’m not a very sporty person.

6. Who was the last person to text you?

Couldn’t say…I haven’t had my cell on in a long long time.

7. Who was the last person you hugged?

Paul.

8. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Sleeping…for once!

9. Parents separated/divorced/married?

Well, my mom is married and I have a step-dad, but I consider him my “real” dad, so….uh…I’m confused.

10. Last time you saw your dad?

My “real” dad?  Last weekend.  My bio dad?  In 1995, about two weeks before he died.

11. What happened at 9:00 a.m. today?

I was commenting on Jen’s blog.

12. How many states have you visited?

Six or seven.

13. If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?

In Eureka…I’m really missing it right now.

14. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?

Bare feet…it feels better!

15. Are you a social person?

I used to be….not so much anymore.

16. What was the last thing you drank?

Coffee.

17. Favorite ice cream?

It’s a toss up between plain chocolate and Black cherry vanilla.

18. What is your favorite dessert?

Pepperidge Farms coconut cake!

19. Whats your favorite color?

Purple, but teal runs a very close second!

20. What Jelly do you put on your PBJ?

I like grape, but we rarely buy it because I almost never eat pb&j, so usually strawberry preserves because that’s what Paul eats.

21. Do you like coffee?

More than puppies!  (Okay, as much as puppies!)

22. How many glasses of water a day do you drink on average?

Ugh…NOT my strong suit lately…maybe two if I’m doing good?

23. What do you drink in the morning?

Coffee usually.

24. Would you rather kiss someone with or without a tongue ring?

I love tongue rings!  But Paul doesn’t have one, so we’re going with without.

25. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?

Yep, on the left.

26. Do you know how to play poker?

Yes, but I’m not very good at it.

27. Whats so good about Fridays?

Fridays are payday…duh!

28. Any plans to visit the green monkeys on GoofyAuctions.com?

I have absolutely no idea what that is…and I don’t care to find out 😛

29. Do you eat out or at home more often?

At home.

30. How big is your TV?

We have a 40″ in the living room, and a 27″ that never gets turned on in the bedroom.

31. Ever stolen a street sign?

Does it count as stealing if it was already on the ground?

32. Do you keep a piggy bank?

Kinda…we use gallon wine bottles for pennies and silver change.

34. Have you ever been in an ambulance?

Yes, when Paul was air-vac’d to Phoenix.

35. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool?

Ocean.

36. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat?

Window, for all two times I’ve flown.

38. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?

Stuff Paul likes, crafty stuff.  Boo/hiss to bills!

39. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7?

Nope, none.

40. Do you speak any other language?

Nope.  I’d like to though.

41. Can you roll your tongue?

Yep!

42. Who is the funniest person you know?

Paul…he’s such a dork you can’t not laugh!

43. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?

I used to, but now with a Paul, a Moxie and a Cord in bed with me, there’s just no room!

44. What is the main ring tone on your phone?

When I was using it, it was Classico by Tenacious D.

45. Do you still have clothes from when you were little?

I don’t think I’ve got anything from when I was little.

46. What is the color of your bedroom wall?

Two shades of aqua blue.

47. Do you shut off the water when you brush your teeth?

Yep.

48. Are you crushing on someone right now?

I always have a crush on some famous person.  I love Jack Black…he’s my fake famous husband!

49. Do you currently hate someone?

Hate is a strong word.  That said, absolutely! 😉  (That’s tongue in cheek people!)

50. Why do you take surveys?

Because I needed something to post on my blog and I was bored.

It’s old news to a lot of yarnies, but can I just say that I would kill to own a stash like this?  I know that to some, it may seem like overkill, but holy cow!  Enough yarn at any one time to knit pretty much anything you could possibly want?  Paul tolerates my yarn room throwing up and taking over half the house, but he’d probably have me committed if I ever accumulated that much.  Still, a girl can wish, right?

My guitar is done, and I’m fairly pleased with it despite the problems I ran in to.

db guitar

The first problem I ran in to was with the pink paint. It had a much thicker consistency than the black (maybe due to it being a different brand…I don’t know) and even after a test spray it coated my face plate with a bit of a lumpy texture, so I got some bumps I wasn’t really happy about. It’s a satin finish…not sure if that has anything to do with it either. A few coats took the worst of it away though. You can still see small bumps/imperfections, but in person it looks far less worse than in pictures.

dd logo

I used the Dresden Dolls plane logo for part of the design. They’re my favorite band and I love that logo! If you haven’t heard of them, please visit their site!

This is where I ran in to my second problem. I used some packing labels Paul brought home from work for the stencils I used. They’re sticky, but not too sticky because I wanted to be able to remove the stencils without marring the paint. Apparently they weren’t quite sticky enough for the detailed work I was trying to do because the paint feathered all along the edges 😦 You can really see what I’m talking about in the next picture.

db closeup

Dirty Business is the name of a song by the Dresden Dolls. I love it, so I chose to name my guitar after it 😀 You can see the way the paint feathered out under the stencil. In retrospect I should have used masking tape and many many thin coats of paint instead of four or five thicker coats. I sprayed some paint into a paper cup and hand painted around the plane logo to clean it up, but I decided to leave the feathering on the words because it just seemed fitting. It was an unexpected design element!

I even did detail work on the rest of the guitar:

details

pink gibson

Details were hand painted. They’re a bit shaky, but I liked making it all match. I learned a lot with this project. I learned to test my paint better, do many thinner coats instead of a few thicker ones. I learned to be more fastidious with my stencils and that spray paint is near impossible to wash out of paint brushes. I still love the way it turned out, despite it’s unexpected design elements 😀

I finished the pink cabled strap too.

strap detail

I’m probably going to have to wind up lining the back side because it’s a little stretchier than I expected. It turned out pretty well though!

I also started two more knit projects this weekend.

I pulled the Valpuri top that I was making for my Mom apart, and started a new project with the yarn.

hemlock start

I just kept having this nagging feeling she wouldn’t care for the top, so I started the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I’m actually using the instructions here though, instead of the original instructions from the vintage pattern. I think this will be much more to my Mom’s liking and she can use it for whatever she likes. It’s a pretty nice cotton yarn so she could use it as a tablecloth, a blanket, a shawl, whatever she wants. It’ll probably wind up a giant doily or a tablecloth for her outdoor table. Mom and Dad just bought a new gazebo/pavilion so they’ll be spending a lot of time out there this summer. I have a feeling she’ll probably use it out there. it’s a beautiful pattern and I may queue it up again later to make one for myself!

I also started work on my Burridge Lake Aran Afghan.

burridge 1

I got a pretty good amount of it started for as little as I worked on it this weekend. I’m using the no cable needle method and I’m liking it much more than if I had to knit, move stitches to cable needle, knit, knit stitches from cable needle, repeat. I can move the stitches over into a twist and then knit them all in a row. It’s an interesting technique…maybe I’ll do a video on it one of these days.

So, that’s what I did this weekend! I wanted to update yesterday but I spent a good chunk of the day laying in bed in agony from a friggin’ migraine. They always seem to hit me when I’ve got plans that don’t involve cleaning house.

**And to you WordPress. Shame on you!!! You don’t log someone out halfway through a big assed post where they lose half the damned thing when they try to publish! You suck right now!

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