May 2007

linen bagi finished this last week and have already got a few uses out of it. took it to the bjork concert full of lawn picnic supplies and it performed beautifully. i used exactly one skein of euroflax geneva (color: sandalwood). i modified the pattern just a little (added a bit of circumference). i stopped the length when i thought i had about enough yarn left, and ended up with less than a yard! whew! click the photo for more specific details on flickr.

i have been plugging away at wicked…we’ll call it the halfway point. i just decreased after the bust. i’m going to do a few inches of straight body, and then some hip increases. it’s only my second sweater, but i’m amazed at how confident i feel about shaping. doing this top down and trying it on is great (i’m a bit scared of doing a sweater in pieces, blindly) and using what i learned from the SKB and the tips in this pattern is fabulous. i’m still trying to decide on sleeve length…since it’s summer i’m leaning toward short sleeves, but i also think 3/4 length might be nice…we’ll see when the time comes.

i also just began my ester and made myself known in the KAL. i’m hoping to finish wicked soon, but i’ll be taking breaks by working ester. ideally, i’ll alternate the narrower bottom of ester with finished wicked, and by the time wicked is complete i’ll be ready to move on to the more time consuming portion of ester. it probably won’t work out that way, but i’d love to have them both done in the next month.

however, some new toys may be distracting me. my mom drove up my bass guitar, though i currently can’t do much with it because my amp isn’t working. i’m going to investigate that this weekend. also, look what i got in my first hello yarn order:

eek! i am a little afraid of it, but i’ll probably get started soon. i was trying to find some decent spinning videos online, but failing, so i might check out LJ and craftster to get some recommendations. i read through the instructions, but some visuals would really help me out. and i definitely don’t know anybody that spins.


found my camera charger!

artfibers kyoto

i got this last week when i went to artfibers to get some other yarn for the treeline striped cardigan. they were out of the color i wanted, and i couldn’t leave empty-handed. i think i’m going to make a simple spiral rib hat out of this…something that will get it noticed. the silk in this yarn makes the depth of colors absolutely amazing. i might have ended up with the most intense blue i have ever seen, but they only had cones of it in stock, and i couldn’t imagine what i would make with it.

my knitpicks order arrived so i have my yarn to start ester. i need to swatch first, but more importantly, i have a gift to finish before wednesday. i think ester will go quickly since it’s not a full-fledged sweater. i also found the forecast KAL and i have become really inspired to make it! i ordered a cheap bag of this fuschia yarn the other day and if i can get gauge with it i think that’s what it will become. otherwise, i’m bound to find a shade of cascade 220 down the line that will make me happy.

wicked is coming along, i’m getting close to finishing the raglan increases. i definitely need to finish that before i even think about forecast. wicked will be really satisfying when it’s done because i’ll be able to wear it right away, since it will be short sleeved (i think!) and it’s cotton. i can’t wait!

i wish i could post some pictures, but my camera died today before i uploaded anything, and i can’t find the charger!  how frustrating.  i’m pretty sure J moved it, but i have no idea where.  i even tried cleaning for awhile with no luck.  just for fun, though, here’s a picture of my favourite ride at disneyland that i look last month when we were there:


i am currently drinking my fourth roast attempt with my popcorn popper.  i’ve done two roasting sessions.  the first, was a little bit of a disaster.  i unknowingly used a coffee that produces a higher-than-average amount of chaff, and i discovered that my popper goes hot and fast.  both batches got pretty burned, in a short amount of time.  it was definitely confirmed the next day when i took it to starbucks and margie and i tested it out.  no good (but kudos to her for being my guinea pig!).

so last saturday, i tried again, after doing some research on the coffeegeek roasting forums.  i did a few simple things, like reducing the amount of beans from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup, stirring them more at the beginning, and even turning the machine off for a few seconds if i thought things were moving too fast.  it extended my roast times slightly and resulted in some lighter beans.  i tried the first from that batch last tuesday, which was a lighter looking roast.  it came out ok, but with a very bright acidity.  today i am trying the darker of the two roasts (same bean: guatemala fraijanes – finca aqua tibia), which got a bit oily, which i didn’t intend, and was a bit worried about, but actually, i think this is the best of the batch!  i’m definitely getting some spice and chocolate notes.  still some brightness, but according to tom, that’s to be expected, and it’s not as tangy as before.  the lighter roast was still good (i.e., drinkable), but i’m enjoying this one more.  i have a bit left of the two, but not enough for my mini-press, so tomorrow i might try blending them together.

tonight or tomorrow i’m going to try a third round, this time with a 15-foot extension cord to help cut a little voltage.  eventually i will at least install a thermometer, but until i get access to a drill (and a little bravery), that’s going to have to wait.

i have officially ended my life (for now) as a barista, and entered the professional world. i was fortunate enough to start my first temp job a mere 3 days after my last day at starbucks. today was my first day. it went well!

as a receptionist at a software company with no foot traffic and very few phone calls, i have a lot of downtime. and i can do whatever i want at my desk for much of the day: like knitting! after busting ass for so much time for cranky people, this is a welcome change.

i have had a few rounds of startitis lately…i’m halfway through a net shopping bag and last night i purchased and cast on for wicked. i’m using the debbie bliss cotton dk i have laying around. since it’s a neutral color, and i’m going to omit the front pocket, i’m hoping it will be something suitable for work when i’m done.

i also cast on for the ene shawl from scarf style, after ripping out what little i had done of the victoria shawl (from VLT). i saw ene, and i loved it, and i wanted to make it for myself, and then i decided a triangular shawl would better suit my grandmother anyway. it also has the benefit of getting ever smaller, so the slowest progress is at the beginning. i’m only halfway through chart one (and i haven’t touched it in a week) but i’m feeling much better about it than victoria.

with this additional knitting time everyday, i’m hoping to at least finish my smaller projects. i have one that is taking priority right now, and maybe i’ll actually finish my feather & fan scarf sometime soon (not that i’ll be able to wear it). i’m not too far off on that one. right now i’m not worrying too much about the number of projects i have going, but just about how much i am enjoying knitting. and i am trying to get more satisfaction out of a project for a longer period of time. so ultimately, it should all come out for the better.

i finally created my own account. i just finished retagging all my imported bookmarks. i am obsessed with hierarchies and organization and this is going to be so much better than my current bookmarks. i always have to add more folders and categories and there were way to many things simply under “miscellaneous”. my favorite thing about the 21st century is rethinking how we organize information. i love tags.