A Good Yarn

Saturday, July 31, 2004


Not a lot of knitting going on around here this week. I've had something going on every night of the week, except Thursday night. I spent that night knitting up some of the Elann samples. I've decided to start knitting them all together into long strips, and then eventually I'm going to sew them together into an afghan. Should be interesting looking. I don't know how it'll turn out, but I'm just wanting to actually do something with all of those little swatches. And I wasn't looking forward to sewing all those tiny bits together.

Last night I went to Ribfest and saw this band:

They're a great band out of New Orleans, LA and their shows are just incredible - so much fun! If you get a chance, you've gotta see them.

And, just because it's been a while since I've posted pictures of my babies, here's Finbar's regal profile:

Fiona's harder to photograph because she's so dark and she tends to stay in my bedroom, which isn't well lit:

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

End of the Month

At the end of every month, I get sample skeins of the yarns that are going up on the Elann website the next month. Here is this month's selection.

I love the sparkly one. It comes in some great colors, too.

It's really fun to knit the little swatches and dream about yarns I'm going to buy. Luckily, the yarns are not available immediately when I get the samples. Each Tuesday a new yarn is put on the site. That calms my impulsivity to buy the ones I like right away, but I still have gotten a lot of yarn - it's a great deal and you should check out the website if you haven't already.

Last night I saw this play:

It's put on by UM Students aboard the Minnesota Centennial Showboat - a boat docked on the Mississippi River. As the brochure describes: "In keeping with Showboat tradition, delightfully choreographed olios (musical interludes) are interspersed throughout The Mousetrap to amuse, entertain, and tickle your fancy." I quite enjoyed it. The students were cute as a button and really good. I loved being on the boat!

I finished "Atonement". Very good book, and I highly recommend it. Next up is a book I got from my brother for my birthday:

I love Penn & Teller - last spring I saw them in Vegas, which I would also highly recommend.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I love new projects

I haven't shown you my latest project yet:

It's a garter stitch shawl made with the K1C2 Tartelette I got at Amazing Threads. They had a garter stitch shawl in this yarn in the shop as the project of the month and I loved the yarn and these colors, so I had to get some for myself. The shop project had an edging of a complementary colored ribbon yarn crocheted around, but I decided to leave that off and do the eyelet edging instead. Here's a close up of the yarn fabric:

Love that combination of purple, green and pink - my favorite color and the hottest colors around right now.

This yarn reminds me a lot of Berroco Zen, which I made a sweater from a few years ago:

The tartelette is much softer and has a better drape, though. I don't think I'd ever knit with Zen again, but I probably would with Tartelette.

Sunday, July 25, 2004


It's just absolutely perfect around here these days. No more stifling heat. No more unbearable humidity. I love it!

I spent a couple of hours sitting inside, in the dark, to see this on Friday night:

It was a good summer flick. I liked the first one and I liked this one too.

Yesterday I did apheresis at the Red Cross, so I got a bit of reading done on my book club book. This is what we're discussing at our next meeting:

It's a good book. The writing is beautiful. I'm getting close to the end and I can't wait to see how it comes out, which is always the mark of a good story. He did a great job of portraying a young girl who doesn't quite understand how the adult world works, and then revisiting the character when she's an adult and finally understands the consequences of her actions and can figure out what really was going on. I'd highly recommend it.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Music of the Night

No knitting yesterday, as I went to this:

It's my favorite musical of all time. I bought tickets for my niece for Christmas last year. July 22 seemed so far away back then - time flies!

It was a great show. The actor playing The Phantom was really good and I started bawling at the end.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Finished Object!

I finished this on Sunday:

It's an animal mat for the Critter Knitters Knit-a-Thon. I used Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. I got the natural colors in the Great Stash Redistribution Project. I picked up the blue and red at the new yarn store in town, Borealis, to add a little color to the project. I've wanted to try this yarn for a while because I love the 1824 Wool so much. I think I prefer mercerized cotton. I've also wanted to knit a blanket in squares like that for quite a while also. Perfect project to do both!

I did a little yard work, not my favorite thing. I had a nice treat, though. I was mowing and found this hidden in a little corner:

Aren't they cute? I was charmed, despite the sweat dripping off me. I also finally planted the annuals I bought. They look pretty sad, but here's the hanging basket:

Sunday night I saw this guy:

I was going to try to find a picture of Clapton with a guitar, because the show was smoking hot and his guitar playing was totally on, but I really liked this picture. It was a great show, with mostly great blues numbers, like a set in the middle of Robert Johnson songs. At the end he rocked out with the great hits like Layla, Cocaine, etc.

Before the concert we ate dinner at Fhima's. I highly recommend it. The food was great and we had a nice table outside so we could watch people going to the concert. The staff was very friendly and they upgraded our wine for free when the bottle we ordered wasn't available.

Since then I've just been working, working, working and sweating, sweating, sweating. Enough with the hot and humid weather already!!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

AK Get Together

The Twin Cities Ample Knitters got together at Border's in St. Paul yesterday. There was a pretty good turnout - 8 in all. As usual, we had a great time chatting and knitting. I worked on my Florentine Flattery and made some good progress.
Alex brought along pictures of her knitting cruise to Alaska and I was extremely jealous! It looks like a fantastic trip and Alaska is just beautiful. One of these days I'm going to take that cruise too. Someone brought a shell made with Rowan Calmer. OH MY GOODNESS!! Now I know what all the fuss is about. I think I'm in love. It's pretty pricey, but feels like butter. I've put a couple of bids on some lots on eBay, so perhaps some will be mine, mine, mine!
In the evening, I saw this:

It was ok. Didn't love it, didn't hate it.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Are you sure it isn't Saturday?

We were able to settle almost everything yesterday, so the trial did not proceed. There were a few issues that we submitted to the Judge, so everything was done by noon! Yeah!! The trial was scheduled for 4 days, so it feels like Saturday, now. I only got 4 hours of sleep on Tuesday night, so I was dead tired, but when I tried to take a nap, I could only manage a few minutes before thoughts kept intruding.

I still managed to stay up until my usual bedtime last night, so I worked a bit on my pink cabled sweater. It's the cover sweater from Knitters, Spring 1999:

Kind of hard to see with that big "Sold Out" splashed across it. As you can see, this was a very popular issue, probably because it was the "Multi-sizing Sweaters" issue. It also had some of the squares for the GNAA and I knit a square based on one of these for the cable and lace afghan project:

It also has the knitter's angels.

I already made one of the sweaters from this issue - "Opulent Options", which is made in Berroco Glace, one of my favorite yarns.

There are some other classic patterns that I know a lot of people have knitted in this issue too - Striped Illusion, Ridged Raglans, the trio of A-Line vests, and More Than a Sweatshirt.

I bought the yarn for the Florentine Flattery back in 99 when the issue first came out and it's been aging in my stash for 5 years, so I'm happy to finally get it going. As I think I've said before, I don't think I'll be able to finish before it starts to get cold again, but c'est le vie. I've finished the back and I'm halfway up one of the fronts:

And just because he was looking so darn cute, here's Finbar watching me take a picture of Florentine Flattery:

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Knitting Content!

This was a knitting blog, right? Oh yeah, perhaps it should have some knitting content.

It's looking very much like my case that is supposed to go to trial today is going to settle, so instead of madly preparing last night, I did manage to do a little knitting. I worked on the Cabled T Knitalong.

I'm working this in Lion Brand Microspun, which calls for a gauge of 6 stitches per inch. I cannot even fathom being able to get that gauge with this yarn. I swatched and was able to get 5 stitches per inch on size 4 needles, so I cast on and began knitting. The bottom "ribbing" is a little messy, but I think that's the nature of the pseudo-cables. I worked on it for a couple of hours over the weekend and once I got to the stockinette stitch section, I began to suspect my gauge was still too tight. The sweater just didn't drape all that well. However, I had already knit 4" or so and so I kept chugging along.

Well, last night I was far enough away from all that work to see the light and realize I just wasn't going to be happy with a stiff sweater. So, I swatched again and came up with 4.5 stitches per inch on size 5 needles. I frogged down to the ribbing section and then decreased to the new stitch count for 4.5 spi and started knitting again. After about an inch and a half, I realized I was still a bit tight. Checked my gauge, and it's closer to 4.75 spi. So, I just switched to size 6 needles. I don't think that far down it's going to be that noticeable. I really wish I had started with the back instead of the front though.

In any case, here's the progress. I'm still not even close to where I was before I ripped, but I know I'll be happier:

And here's the middle cable and twisted rib detail:

Monday, July 12, 2004


I grabbed another movie after interviewing a father, yesterday. This time it was this one:

I liked it. Not as much as Anchorman, but it was definitely funny. A lot of great cameos. I guess I must be needing some laughs in my life, judging from my recent movie choices.

I worked on my pink cabled sweater in the evening while watching the Trading Spaces special. I started this sweater in March, I think. It's looking like I won't be able to finish it while it's still warm out. That seems to happen every summer. I need to start my summer projects a little earlier!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Is it the weekend?

I have a trial next week, so I'm spending most of the weekend working. However, I did sneak out to this movie:

Loved it! I can't wait to see the outtakes on the DVD.

I also did a little work on my Cabled T. It's a knitalong for the Ample Knitters list.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Block Party

I went to the Basilica Block Party last night to see this band:

Unfortunately, I had to work until 6:00, so we didn't get on the road until about 6:45. It was totally packed downtown, so we didn't even get in the gates until 8:00 or so. By the time we got a brat and a beer, the stage area was packed. I hate big crowds like that! Eventually we worked our way about halfway to the stage and found a spot next to a fence so we could get some air. I got to see Adam for about 30 seconds, but the music was pretty good. I don't think I'll be going back to The Block Party again, though.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Robert Smith

As you'll be learning in a month or so, I'm a huge football fan. My all time favorite player is Robert Smith, the Vikings running back who retired in the prime of his career. His autobiography is about to be released, and I'm so excited!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Back to the Grind Stone

Back to work again. The week is going really fast, though. I have a trial next week and way too much to do before that, so I'm somewhat stressed out.

Tuesday night I did a little beading with the stuff I got at Bead Gallery. This is a bracelet I made with some square beads I already had and some 11/0 seed beads, accented with one piece of furnace glass. I love furnace glass!

Then I used the last of the charms I got from Beadbury to make another charm bracelet, this time in pink and white to match a pink and white necklace and earring set I bought last spring:

Finally, a pair of earrings, just because I loved those beads. I love hearts and anything celtic knotty, so these called to me:

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I love long weekends!

It's so much fun to not work on a Monday!

The 4th of July was relatively uneventful. We had a beautiful sunny day. My brother, nephew and I lit some fireworks and had some fun.

Yesterday I had the best intentions to get some work done. Oh well. I did make it to the nursery to pick up some impatiens for in front of my house. I usually have that bed planted on Memorial Day weekend, but it was really cold here most of late May and early June. At least by waiting I got everything 50% off.

I also found a new bead store yesterday. It's call The Bead Gallery and is in Woodbury. Very cute store and of course, I picked up some goodies. I'm looking forward to putting some more bracelets together tonight.

In the evening I went to Taste of Minnesota and saw this band:

It was really fun and they're still great. It started raining, so we got a little damp, but it didn't effect the fun. The food at Taste of Minnesota really sucks, though. When I first moved to Minnesota, the Taste was held at the State Capitol and nice local restaurants would serve tiny portions of their fare. It was really expensive, but the food was good. At some point, they changed the food to your typical festival food - mostly deep-fat fried or on a stick. I'm not sure that Taste of Minnesota is an accurate name any more.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Movie Day!

I went to two movies yesterday. After brunch, I went to this:

I liked it. There were a few logic lapses that bothered me, but overall, I thought it was enjoyable. I could relate to Viktor's plight after my own flight mishaps and the hours I spent at LAX last month.

In the evening, I saw this:

Loved it! Morgan is very funny and the whole concept of his film is fascinating. I don't think anyone was surprised the McDiet had a profound effect on his body, but I was shocked both by how quickly and by how much he was effected. He gained 8 pounds in the first week - 8 pounds. And his body chemistry levels were off the charts mid-way through. It's not going to stop me from eating fast food, but I hope I'll be a little more thoughtful about my choices.

Saturday, July 03, 2004


Beading is so much faster than knitting! Last weekend, I bought way more charms than I needed for my charm bracelet, so I've been wanting to buy more beads and make another one. I was thinking a very girly-girl pink and white one. I went to The Bead Monkey before going into work, but I couldn't find just the right pink. I did find plenty of other stuff, though. So, I spent last night doing a little beading. Here's the charm bracelet:

Then I saw these fantastic green glass beads, but they were very expensive, so I only got 2 so that I could make a pair of earrings. Later, I went to Bijoux Bead and found similar green glass beads that were much cheaper, so I decided to make a matching bracelet:

Finally, I've had my eye on the furnace glass beads for quite a while, but could never figure out how they would look. Bijoux Bead had a few bracelets made of furnace glass in the store and they were really cute, so I decided to make one of those, as well. I already have a ton of purple earrings, so I decided to skip the earrings:

Friday, July 02, 2004

Be a Bad-Ass Knitter

I'm a Bad-Ass Knitter! Wouldn't you like to be one too?

Here's how:


Thanks, Wendy, for spreading the gospel!

The Day After

It was a great birthday!

We had a barbeque at the office, grilling steaks. They were delish! It's fun to take a couple of hours off in the middle of the day and hang out outside, eating good food and chatting up the folks in the office and friends.

In the evening, I went to Cafe Lurcat for dinner and then over to Bar Lurcat to listen to Jazz. Jazz Night is awesome! They serve a Prix Fixe dinner from 5:00 - 6:30. It includes a salad, dinner item, side item, glass of wine and dessert for only $19. I HIGHLY recommend it! I had the mixed greens salad, the chicken and the fried gnocchi which also comes with a side of green beans. Dessert is mini donuts with cinnamon and sugar. It was all excellent. The portion sizes were really generous. At 7:30 they have live jazz in the bar. They serve highly addictive martinis - I got the Grapefruit Drop and could probably guzzle down about a half dozen without even thinking. :-)

My friends Alissa and Stephanie gave me a bracelet and earring combo, which Stephanie made, for my birthday. Stephanie also knitted the cutest little envelope as "wrapping". Here's the jewelry:

Beautiful, huh? Those wooden beads are gorgeous.

I always like to do a little knitting on my birthday, so when I got home I worked on the cat mat I'm knitting for The Critter Knitter's Knit-a-thon. Overall, it was a wonderful day! And I'm looking forward to the long weekend!!!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday today. We're having a cook out at the office this afternoon and then tonight I'm going to Jazz Night at a local hotspot. I think it'll be a fun day!!

Yesterday, I saw this:

It was pretty good. It's gotten great reviews, so perhaps my expectations were too high, but I thought it was good, but not great.