Archive for July, 2008

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run lara run

27 July 2008

Thanks for the comments on the afghan! I am excited to be close to the finish line on this project. Speaking of finish lines, the Professor and I decided to run a local 5K race that will be held in October. So, I started a new running plan, and I’ve just finished the first week! I’m really enjoying myself so far. The Prof is amazing; he ran about 4 miles yesterday.

Since the new house doesn’t have carpeting, we bought our dog a new bed. It has a removable, washable cover (which I like) and a cushy, comfy mattress inside (which the dog likes, as you can see):

It also has his name monogrammed on it. Awww…

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splish, spash, I was takin’ a bath…

26 July 2008

Pattern: Absorba, the Great Bathmat (from Mason-Dixon Knitting, by Kay Gardiner & Ann Shayne)

Yarn: Peaches’n’Creme Double Worsted, held triple (eggshell, baby blue, and Williamsburg blue)

Needles: US 15 Addi turbo 32″ circular

Gauge: to enormous to contemplate…besides, who cares? It’s a rug.

(more details on ravelry)

I don’t know that I enjoyed the knitting itself (it was sort of exhausting), but it certainly went by quickly, and I love the result. Squishy, absorbent, easy care…and it covers some of the hideous bathroom vinyl. There’s still a good bit of yarn remaining; can matching towels and warshrags be far behind?

In other news, I finished all of the log cabin squares for Grannymo’s afghan:

There are thirty-two of them, for anyone who’s counting, which means that I wove in 320 ends, plus more for if I ran out of yarn mid-stripe. Whew.

Actually, I completed the squares last week, so this status photo is pretty old. I’ve crocheted them together and knit six of the fourteen setting triangles I’ll need. I’m hoping to finish by Tuesday or Wednesday, but that is probably impossible. We’ll see!

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Lavender’s blue

14 July 2008

We’re doing some painting in the new house, and today we started on the upstairs bathroom. It was blue. Not pale blue, not medium blue, but dark, almost navy, BLUE. Currently we have attempted to cover it with two coats of good-quality primer, but it is pernicious. While working in there today, I fantasized about going back in time to talk to the previous owners about their color choice:

Me: Wow, that looks really dark! Are you sure you want to use it on a small room like the bathroom?

Them: Sure! It matches the little details in the tile work. It will be great.

Me: But it doesn’t match exactly…and that color looks nice in the small quantity of tile, but don’t you think it will be oppressive when it is all over the place?

Them: Nah, what’s the difference? Also, we’re getting the super high-gloss finish!

Me: (weeps in despair)

Next up for a return to normalcy: my study, which is chocolate brown.

Meanwhile, here’s a sample of something I was doing back before I went mad began this moving odyssey:

Lavender sugar! Here’s how to make your own:

1. Gather your materials: a suitable jar, some sugar, and some lavender

2. Put the sugar in the jar with the lavender

3. Close the lid and wait a few days

Comically simple, but lovely results. When your sugar is sweetly fragranced, you can use it in a variety of ways:

1. Mix with olive oil for a homemade sugar scrub

2. Use in lavender-flavored cupcakes or other baking

3. Add to a savory sauce or glaze for meat (particularly roast chicken)

I used our homegrown organic lavender, so I didn’t bother to wash the leaves or flowers. If you want to wash them, just make sure that everything is completely dry before adding the sugar! The natural oils in the lavender make the sugar clump up a bit, and any extra moisture could turn your sugar into a hard, calcified lump (ask me how I know).

Of course you can scent sugar or salt with any herb in this way; I found the inspiration in How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson, one of my favorite cooking books.

I’ve finally located that essential tool of bloggery: my digital camera. So, expect more knitting content next time!

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Re-entry

12 July 2008

We’ve been in the new place for about five days, and I’m starting to feel like I’ve gotten a new job on a home-improvement reality show. Either that, or a much more boring show in which the characters spend all their time looking for various essential household items (cell-phone charger, watch, keys, etc, etc).

But enough about that! Here’s some yarn:

A thousand yards of merino-linen blend, scored in the Webs sale. And:

The first shipment of the Seasons Yarn Club. No photo does this one justice. The color is called “Arabian Nights” and rightly so; it’s smoky, mysterious, and beautiful. Right now I’m just looking at it.

No knitting lately (for a few days there weren’t any chairs, which I find to be necessary for knitting), but I’ll try to get a picture of the Teosinte Socks in progress soon.

Meanwhile, the list of things to do with the rest of the afternoon, in no particular order:

1. Put together basement shelf

2. Find small but essential parts to bedroom lamp (this one may be impossible)

3. Go to the hardware store (this is a daily event)

4. Obtain propane tank (we must start eating real food again)

Wish me luck!

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Finished: Pirate Socks

4 July 2008

See the details on Ravelry. I’m glad to be finished with these; I liked them, but the dye came off on my hands while I knit.

On a different note, I wanted to make a list of some of my favorite things about America (big and small, in no particular order):

1. National Public Radio (and PBS as well): free news, music, and general great programming available to everyone!

2. the Smithsonian museums and research centers: the best of American art and culture, also free to the public.

3. the National Parks Service: dedicated to preserving the natural and historical beauty of America. Almost 25% of American land is federally protected.

4. Midwesterners: we are generally friendly, helpful people. 🙂

5. 24-hour stores. If I need a new hairbrush or a chocolate bar at 4 a.m., by golly, I can go and get it!

6. Universities, public and private. Students come to America from all over the world to study here.

7. StoryCorps. Go to the website and listen…this project is amazing.

8. Comics! In books or in newspaper strips, they began right here in the U.S.

9. Thanksgiving. My very favorite holiday is a uniquely American one: it’s about gratitude, family, and the best meal you’ll eat all year.

10. Moving! Americans move, on average, every five years. Where are we going, and why? Who knows, but I love the idea (romantic and non-factual as it may be) that we are descended from people who came here from elsewhere, and that we are still looking for adventure, something new, a different place to call home.

Happy 4th, everybody.

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happy yarn-day to me

3 July 2008

My wonderful husband gave me the following for my birthday:

1. Louet Gems fingering merino, destined to become these, or possibly these, or yet these…so many choices!

2. The delightful Teosinte Socks pattern. I’ve already cast on, using this yarn:

Claudia Handpainted Fingering; it’s a bit greener in person, and the slight variation in tones complements the organic stitch pattern perfectly. I love them already, and I haven’t even reached the first heel.

3. The piece de resistance (how does one make accent markings in this text editor?): two skeins of Schaefer Heather in Wild Iris. Be still my heart. I can’t decide between the siren call of Clapotis or the more elaborate appeal of some Entrelac Socks

I should also note that my fabulous in-laws sent me a gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe. They are wonderful people. My mother-in-law is quite a knitter herself, and my father-in-law doesn’t knit, but he is a sweet wonderful man and he once cleaned my oven. I love them both.

I’ll be posting sporadically right now (had anyone noticed?) because Casa Larakarma is in the process of moving, but things should settle down soon. If you’ve asked about the tank pattern, I’d love to say that I’m working on it, but that would be a scurrilous lie! I hope to have it finished in a few weeks, or to at least figure out which box I’ve packed it in. Thanks for your kind words about the finished project; I’m excited to show you all the beta version soon.

Happy knitting!