Ok, NO. And a new yarn store.

Yeah. The whole two circulars thing doesn't work for me at ALL. I ripped out the little progress I made on the fingerless gloves and am now almost done with the pair using my trusty old DPNs. It was a nice thought, but I'll take five pointy sticks over a pair of circulars ANY DAY.

I finished my Monkeys, and I'm just not in love. Very "Meh." I think they'll be a perfect Christmas present for my Dad's wife, though- and I know she'll appreciate them. The camera is still shot, so until C and I can coordinate a photo shoot with his iPhone camera, I can't share them with you!

In other news, Austin has been blessed with two new yarn stores in the last three weeks! Craziness! I stopped by Gauge Knit on their opening weekend. This looks like it's going to be a great store. Everything is organized by, you guessed it, gauge. The space is really hip and modern, and it looks like they'll be offering some good classes. I also stopped by The Knitting Nest on Friday, and had a little credit card incident. Stacy, the owner, has in stock at least one full pack of every single color of Cascade 200- talk about a wall of color! Well, she had full packs till I bought almost all of the charcoal grey. She also has the worsted and DK weights of Peace Fleece, which I hadn't seen in person yet- very nice- and is waiting on a massive Lorna's Laces order. Gauge Knits is really close to my house, and the Knitting Nest is on the other side of the universe, but both are great additions to the local knit scene, and I'm sure I'll be back at both stores sooner than I want to admit. :-)


Outstanding books on the way!!!!

I am such a sucker for good knitting books, and it looks like this fall is going to be a gangbuster season for gorgeous books....

I just ordered Jane Brockett's "The Gentle Art of Domesticity from amazon.co.uk- it doesn't look like it's available in the US yet. Jane Brockett writes the amazing yarnstorm blog, which is visually stunning. Her color sense and general aesthetic is fantastic- I cannot WAIT for this book to get here. I don't know how much knitting will be in this book, but frankly, I don't care.

Kaffe Fassett fans rejoice! Not only does the master of color have a new line of sock yarn out, he has knit again! I've got a couple of his other books (Kaffe Fassett's Pattern Library: Over 190 Creative Knitwear Designs and Family Album) and they're great. I'm curious to see the new book and all the color goodness it surely contains!

This book, Pretty Knits, is apparently patterns from Loop, a fantastic yarn store I visited when I was in London in 2005. The cover alone is enough to make me want the book.

Again, a serious case of Rowanphilia and cover photo love makes this book virtually mine.


Socks(ish) on two circs?

Last year I knit a pair of fingerless gloves for my Mom out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. She owns an estate-sale business and frequently finds herself in under-heated houses, storage units, and warehouses in the colder months. She also suffers arthritis in her hand bones (so sad for my knitting future, but that's another story). She wanted something warm and cozy that would still let her use her hands to rifle through buried treasure, and whatever I came up with had to be machine washable.

Interweave Knits did an article called "Gloves Made Easy" in its Winter 2003 issue- the first I ever bought! The article is eeeeexcellent- describes basic glove anatomy, how to do several different types of gussets, etc. I knit a pair of fingerless gloves based on the pattern in the article, and they turned out GREAT- good fit, perfect yarn, right color, all around a great project.

Until they got lost. The gloves got left at a friend's house, then put into a Christmas gift bag and returned to my Mom, and sadly thrown out Christmas morning in an attempt to clean up after the grandkids' Christmas Morning Messtacular. An honest mistake, and Mamacita feels HORRIBLE.

But she wants another pair. :-) So, I picked up some Louet Gems in the sport weight at one of Austin's new yarn stores (Gauge Knit, http://gaugeknit.com/). It's perfect. But I thought I'd teach myself a new trick, instead of facing a whole lot of stockinette. I decided to do them on two circular needles....

I'm using the tutorial at http://www.socknitters.com/2circs/index.htm, and it is excellent. But can I just say that this is really hard?? I've got the hang of it now, but dayum- I never would have discovered that I love to knit socks if I had started this way. I can see myself using it for plain stockinette socks so that I can avoid toes/legs of different lenghts, but otherwise I think I'll stick with my handy DPNs.


No pictures. Bummer.

Mr. C and I both have Canon Powershot A70 cameras. Mine started acting up a year ago, and finally died in March. Now Mr. C's appears to be on the fritz, in the same way mine did. So sad. Looks like we probably need to look at a new digital camera. I really like the Canons, but I don't like how quickly they stop working.

In other news, it's Friday! I'm glad I'm only working 4 days a week right now- it's a nice transition from nothing to do all day into working again. Unfortunately, I'm spending today doing laundry and cleaning- it's a little scary around the house! This will probably be my routine for the next few weeks. I'd rather clean and organize on Fridays than spend weekend time doing it.

As predicted, my knitting pace has slowed. I've got 2/3 of the second Monkey sock done, and it probably would have been finished if I hadn't been at work during the day.

I was worried this spring and early summer that my interest in knitting was waning, but that appears to have passed. Meg teased me earlier this week because I have 142 projects queued on Ravelry. There are some great projects out there right now!

The new Interweave Knits is great- I know everyone has reviewed it already, but there are several projects I'm interested in. I'm thinking about making the Tangled Yoke Cardigan out of the Green Mountain Spinnery New Mexico Organic yarn reviewed in Knitter's Review this week. The original pattern calls for Rowan Felted Tweed, but I don't much like alpaca (gasp!) and alpaca is So. Hot. that I'd never wear it in central Texas. (As if pure wool is better- yes, I am delusional.) I also really like the Placed Cable Aran, Dickinson Pullover, Tyrolean Stockings, Minimalist Cardigan, Cinnabar Pullover, Cobblestone Pullover, Snowflake Socks, William Street Socks, and Ambrosia Socks. Speaking of the Ambrosia socks- go check out Meg's recently finished pair! They're gorgeous, and make my fingers itch to catch on.

I am also more impressed with the new Knitty, which has failed to catch my interest for a couple of issues. Muir is gorgeous, and may be in my future as a stash burner. I find Henry quite charming- I see us with lots of quality time together this winter. Again, potentially a stash burner for me, though I liquidated my 4-ply stash over the summer via eBay. I definitely plan to make the Back to Basics Socks- interesting construction, but still basic socks. I also really like Roam, Neiman, Mr. Greenjeans, Totally Autumn, and the Diamond Waffle Socks.
The Foliage patterns are interesting, too- a friend here collects knitted beanies, and I'm thinking about making one of these, or the famous Shedir cabled hat (PDF! and scroll down) for her, as I already have a ball of Calmer sitting in el stash to use on that pattern.

Be sure you stop by Rebecca's blog and encourage her to keep blogging when she gets back to Australia- she and her husband are moving back home after spending 3 years in Albuquerque.

Sorry for the lack of images- I'm not sure when I'll get around to figuring out what's going on with the cameras. What a pain!


Good Day.

Job is good. Nice to have some structure to my days. I get to take Fridays off- WOOT! I'm missing the knitting already, but that'll happen in the evenings. And Mr. C has a TON of soccer games to referee in the coming weeks, so there's plenty of three plus hour stretches of knitting....


Made the switch

I subscribe to a lot of blogs.

A LOT of blogs.

Knitting blogs, legal blogs, foodie blogs, home decoration blogs, technology blogs....

I had been using Bloglines to manage my subscriptions, but it was pretty cumbersome and sometimes just didn't work. (one post showing up several times, some posts not showing up at all....)

I just switched to Google Reader, and I like it a lot. The interface is a lot easier to use. I do wish I could save posts the way I did in Bloglines, but it seems that feature will be going away with Bloglines Beta, and it's easy enough to use del.icio.us instead.


Albuquerque Wedding Vendor Reviews

Hopefully this is the last wedding-related post I'll write. :-) (all photos copyright Ginger Russell unless otherwise noted).

I had a really hard time finding information about New Mexico wedding vendors online when I was planning my wedding. I managed to find really fantastic people to work with, and want to make sure other people can find them, too!

We had our reception at the Albuquerque Museum. It's a beautiful space and we were generally really happy with them. The staff isn't very accomodating- we had a close call on scheduling (they had a lecture for 25 people scheduled to end about an hour and a half before our reception was scheduled to start, and they refused to do anything to make our reception setup easier). If you use Stefani at City Treats as your caterer, though, you can get around some of the Museum staff issues.

(this is not a Ginger Russell photo)

(this is not a Ginger Russell photo)

Speaking of Stefani and City Treats, LOVE THEM!!!!! I cannot say enough wonderful things about Stefani and her staff. The food was awesome, there was a TON of extra food, they managed to get tables, chairs, and complicated table decorations for 180 people set up in a REALLY SHORT amount of time, and her prices were the best in town. The staff was incredibly professional. Stefani also does events outside the Museum- if you need a caterer anywhere in Albuquerque, USE STEFANI. You will not be disappointed.

(this is not a Ginger Russell photo)

Melba of Melba's Floral Studio did our flowers, and they were beautiful. We kept things somewhat simple, using mostly white tulips (spring wedding), but everything Melba did was gorgeous and very reasonably priced.

Ginger Russell was our wedding photographer, and we are really happy with the work she did. Ginger is a delight to work with, and she really captured the feeling of our day. She lives up in Santa Fe, and her prices were good- not cheap, but far less than other photographers who specialize in the journalistic style we were hoping for and only slightly more expensive than the blah photo factories that everyone in Albuquerque seems to choose. We're working on putting the album together right now, and I am really excited to see it. Ginger's work is really wonderful- check out her blog- she does portraits and non-wedding photography as well.

We hired Jim Gross of Carousel of Music as our DJ. He was fantastic. EVERYONE, from age 8 to 70, had a great time dancing, and several people commented that he was playing all of their favorite songs. I even had people call me after the wedding to ask for the playlists because they loved the music so much. Each of Jim's DJs are also talented musicians who play live music (included in the package price) for an hour during dinner or cocktails- Jim plays classical guitar and was wonderful. Jim also had the best prices in town.

Finally, we rented a limo, but not just any limo- we got a 1956 Chevy Imperial Limo from Monty at Imperial Limos. He's a gas, and the car was fantastic.

(this is not a Ginger Russell photo)
If you're planning a wedding in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have- there aren't a lot of internet resources for New Mexico wedding vendors and I'm happy to share my research and thoughts if you'll find it useful!

(albuquerque, new mexico, wedding, vendor, venue, caterer, reception, photographer, flowers, dj, limo)


The end of an era?

Remember yesterday when I posted about how much knititng I'm getting done without a pesky job to get in my way?

Well. This era of extreme knitting productivity appears to be at an end already- I start a part time job doing legal research for a small firm on MONDAY. It's a great opportunity to get my feet wet with a local firm and to start learning Texas law without committing to a full time gig just yet. Even though this position could potentailly become a full time lawyer job, I plan to continue the networking I've started so I can develop a better understanding of who's who in this town's crowded legal market. It never hurts to get to know people in your field, especially when you don't have many contacts in a new town!

I'm excited, nervous, and a little disappointed that my leisurely days are over. But I know it's time for me to get started and I'm looking forward to the challenges down the road.

My only question is- what should I wear?!?!?


Freaky Finishing

I tell ya, this whole unemployed housewife thing is really good for the knitting! Notsogood for the income, but great for feeling like I'm getting SOMETHING done....

In the last week, I've made two baby hats from stash yarn:

This little guy is based on the hat formula in Ann Budd's "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns," and used up roughly one ball's worth of leftover Lion Brand Microspun. This yarn is incredibly soft, but DANG is it splitty.

This hat is also based on Ann Budd's hat formula, with different decreases at the top. I was going for an elf hat thing, and it didn't quite work out.... Ooops! This one used up leftovers of Manos del Uruguay that were gifted to me when I first started knitting- probably 150 yards worth?

I also finished my Cherry Scarf Redux over the weekend. The scarf itself was finished back in December or January, and I had put off making the pom poms and leaves. Mr. C and I drove to Arkansas so he could referee a game in Fayetteville on Sunday, so I was a captive in the car and had plenty of time to finish this up! I'm so glad I did- now it's done in plenty of time for the recipient's birthday at the end of this month!!!

While the leaves on this one are way better than the one on mine, the stems look kinda spastic.... Oh well!


RIP, Onde Tank

I pulled this lovely out of the trunk of my car yesterday*:

Yep, that's my hideous tank top made out of the Phildar Phil'Onde yarn that was all the rage back in 2004. This may have been the first garment I ever knit, and it shows. I recognized last spring that this tank just didn't work, but didn't rip it out for some reason.

Yesterday I got a bee in my bonnet about this thing and ripped it out. I think I'm going to turn it in to a birthday present/summer sweater of some kind for my niece, who will be three years old in May.

It felt really good to rip this thing out.....

*I'm not sure how this ended up in my trunk- I think I was trying to leave it in my Mom's garage when I moved back to Austin in May, but she must have stuck it in the trunk right before I pulled out.