Here's a short overview of what I've been up to....

Thanksgiving in NM with Mr. C and my family.

LOVING the birthday scarf Meg knit for me and delivered in person this weekend! (Debbie Bliss Pure Silk- nummy nummy nummy.)

The Meg visit naturally involved some retail therapy at three of Austin's yarn stores. Wheeeeeeeeeeee! It was such a good visit. I'm going to stop before I get all weepy that she's back in Michigan. :-)


Trying to Be Generous

Since my FO post about the Lace Ribbon Scarf, I have fallen MADLY in love with the scarf. I heart the yarn, I heart the pattern, I heart the color, texture, weightlessness, EVERYTHING about the scarf. It was all set to become my all time favorite knitted thing of all time, and I was looking forward to a long, but mild winter of fondling it as I wear it around town.

And then my husband asked if we could give to to his mother for her birthday.

We did give it to her, and I know it went to a good home.

Being fairly recently married, we haven't had much expeirence in all the in-law social dynamics. And she is a fellow knitter. It's tricky knitting for other knitters, especially those you want to impress but don't yet have a good sense of her style/likes/color preferences yet. She knows how much effort went in to the scarf and will cherish it.

As much as I loved the scarf, I don't think I want to knit another. The pattern is great, but it got really boring toward the end. The yarn was fab, but my LYS is out and I don't care enough right now to track down any more.

It's funny- when I first started knitting, I knit generously. Baby blankets galore, hats for friends, socks for mom.... I have recently become very, very selfish with my knitting. Maybe it's that I don't have as much knitting time as I once did, so each stitch feels like an indulgence?


I voted!

Amazingly, there was no one in line at my polling place this morning. Apparently half the registered voters in my county took advantage of early voting.

Have YOU voted yet???


November 1

NaBloPoMo? NaKniSweMo? I'm uncommitted at this point, but keeping my options open.


Fabulous Finished Objects

Ok, even though I have been acquiring yarn at an alarming rate, I have also destashed a bit courtesy of Ravelry.

I've also been knitting! This weekend I finished my Kaffe Fasset Tumbling Blocks pillow- lurv it.

Pattern: Tumbling Blocks Pillow, Kaffe Fasset (Rowan membership gift- I got mine on ebBay)
Yarn: Rowanspun 4ply, held double (love eBay)
Raveled here.

I also finished my Lace Ribbon Scarf-

As you can see, Scooter was invaluable to the blocking process.

Pattern: Veronik Avery's Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty Spring '08
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in yummy blue
Raveled here.

This scarf turned out so nicely. I started it thinking it would be a gift for one person, so I knit happy thoughts for that person for the first 6 inches or so. They my Mom hinted that she wanted it, so I knit happy thoughts for her for the next foot. Then I fell in love and knit happy thoughts for me for the rest. :-) I think this one is mine.


My Stash Overfloweth ad absurdum....

So with my bargain buddy and ravelry scores, one would THINK my yarn desires would be completely fulfilled.... and one would be wrong.

My LYS had a summer sale and, since it is FREAKING HOT here most of the year, I thought I'd score some summer yarns:

8 balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay:

and 8 balls of Rowan RYC Bamboo Soft:

Both have already been at least partially knitted and ripped. Good times!

Said LYS also had a warehouse clearance sale at which I scored some decidedly NON-summer yarns....

Two cones of Jamieson's Shetland Aran:

And then I bought some KnitPicks Gloss to make Thermal, but am now thinking maybe Union Square?? I don't know!

So yes, I have had a piggy year on the stash acquisition front. Oink oink oink.

Next time: Revenge of the Stash Thing


Stashity Stash Stash....

Meg asked when I'm going to knit up all the lovelies I have purchased/acquired.

First, I have not yet finished chronicling my stash expansion. Yes, there is more to come. A lot more. I've been bad.

Second, I plan to knit six sweaters, a baby blanket, three pairs of socks, a Christmas stocking, and several Anne Hanson scarves, all before Christmas.

Third, yes I am completely delusional. But at least I am prepared for the impending financial crisis- I have enough yarn to knit forever, so at least my hobby won't be impacted by a return to the financial stone age. I knew I was hoarding for a reason!!!


My Stash Overfloweth Even More....

So I have been blessed by a bargain-shopping buddy. But I have ALSO been very proactive about enhancing my own stash.

Ravelry's ISO/Destash group has been very helpful. Through them, I've scored:

Six skeins of Sweet Georgia sock yarn:

Five big balls of Kauni Effectgarn:

Ten skeins of Rowanspun Dk in Catkin:

A skien of Emily Parsons' Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn:

And three balls of Regia Silk Sock Yarn in snowy white.


My Stash Overfloweth....

When I got married and moved in with my hubby, my goal was simple and achievable:

KEEP MY YARN STASH SMALL ENOUGH THAT IT WILL FIT IN MY MOTHER'S HOPE CHEST. (A large cedar-lined chest that should be large enough to store any reasonably sized stash).

Hardy har har har.

It was all fine, really, until my friend B started showing up with thrift yarn. She found FIVE SWEATERS' WORTH OF WOOL at Goodwill for a grand total of $10. This haul included:

Eighteen balls (1650 yards) of Jacques Fonty Tweed Aran

Ten balls (1300 yards) of Emu Superwash DK

Twenty balls (2740 yards!!!) of Emu Naturally DK

and Ten balls (1370 yards) of similar but slightly darker Emu Naturally DK

YEAH. A lot of nice wool.

THEN, a couple weeks ago, she showed up one Saturday afternoon with a FAB-YOU-LUSS score: Eight balls of Rowan Calmer in pale pink and ten balls of Louisa Harding Grace (50/50 Wool/Silk Yumm) that she scored for EIGHT DOLLARS at a garage sale.

That's a grand total of SEVEN sweaters' worth of yarn, two sweaters' worth of high-end current yarn, for $18.

Meg, you have mad thrifting skilz, but I think the gauntlet has been thrown. :-)


I Heart Austin

Spent the weekend at the Austin City Limits Festival. It was hot and fabulous.

I didn't take any knitting, but I wish I had! This woman has the right idea!!!

Check out this great photo from last year's show- perfectly captures the vibe of the fest...


What's on my needles?

I've been a frighteningly monogamous knitter recently. Which is... scary.

The Mitered Square Blanket is still in progress- I think I've finished 10 squares. I'm really pleased with how this is turning out, but may give up on my dream of a queen-sized blanket. I just don't think I have it in me, and it would weigh a TON in the Tahki Cotton Classic.

I'm almost done with a Kaffe Fassett Tumbling Blocks throw pillow. The knitting is done, and the fabric backing is washed. Now just need to drag out the sewing machine and back it. I really enjoyed this project. Learned how to do intarsia, which really isn't as hard as I thought it was going to be! Now I'm much more confident when I think about approaching other Kaffe projects. I remember my Mom bought the Rowan magazine with the Foolish Virgins pattern (Ravelry Link) and thought it was stunning. My desire to make that pattern has passed, but his other stuff is so fun!

Anyway, here's what the cushion cover looks like right now:

The cushion cover is raveled here.

I'm also nearly finished with a pair of magic-loop toe up socks. I used Silver's Sock Class tutorial for the basics of magic loop, and Fleegle's pattern for my heel. I'm using some of the Regia Kaffe Fassett landscape yarn in the... fog?... colorway. I thought I'd LOVE this yarn, but I'm feeling rather meh about it. Socks are almost done....

The socks used to look like this:

But are now almost done!!!

Socks raveled here.

Last but not least, I'm working on Veronik Avery's Lace Ribbon Scarf from the Sprin '08 Knitty. I'm making it out of some very lovely Malabrigo Lace Weight I got at a Ravelry white elephant held at the Knitting Nest last year. LOVING the yarn. Here's roughly what the scarf looks like:

Scarf is raveled here.

I love this project, but it is only this big:

because I've been trying to finish the socks!

So, that's what I'm working on now.


Oh Thank Heaven.


Yesterday’s high was a freakishly low 79 degrees (average for this time of year is 90 degrees). We slept with the windows open and the air conditioning off for the first time since early May, and it was heavenly. We’ll be back in the low 90s by the end of the week, but even that is welcome relief from this summer’s massive heat. I can finally be outside without wanting to die immediately.

You may think I’m kidding, but this has been a very hot summer. Austin had 49 days of triple digit days- that’s 100 degrees or higher. The heat came early and stayed late. I’m serious when I say 95 is a relief.

The weather has such a profound effect on me. I’m a winter person. I was born in December and grew up in the mountains. Snow skiing is my all time favorite activity. I love Christmas, and sweaters, and warm foods and hanging out around a fireplace. I joke about getting reverse seasonal depression here, but it is true. March brings a sense of doom about the upcoming extended heat. August is always miserably hot, but somehow made bearable- it usually occurs to me a week before Labor Day that we have at most six more weeks of super heat and then things will cool down.

Labor Day signals fall, even though fall won’t truly arrive here for several more weeks. My parents were from Michigan, where Labor Day means pulling boats out of the lake, back to school, and cooler weather. I realize how silly this inherited clock is down here, but I am nevertheless impacted by it.

Our cooler temperatures make me feel lucky to live here. We have several months a year of perfect outdoor activity weather- those months just happen to flank summer, not embrace summer. I do miss winter, though.

While the summer heat zaps every ounce of energy, the recent dip in temperatures brings new energy. I’m toying with the idea of blogging regularly again. The last two weeks have also made me itchy for knitting. I have several sweater projects competing for an actual cast on. I have spent a significant amount time trolling Ravelry for inspiration. I have also stocked up on sweater-quantities of wool (oops!)

Here are some of the things I’ve finished since last we spoke:

Several squares for my Mitered Square Afghan:

A pair of cashmere socks (Nancy Bush’s Conwy out of HipKnits Cashmere purchased while I was in London) that were a birthday gift for Meg:

A razor shell neckwarmer out of single-ply Victory Ranch Alpaca:

Next time: WIPs and stash enhancement.


How did I not KNOW this????

Elizabeth Zimmerman is completely charming. And hilarious. And brilliant.

In a spending frenzy a couple weeks ago, I threw copies of "Knitting Workshop" and "Knitter's Almanac" in my amazon shopping cart.

I started with Knitting workshop- have giggled out loud and said "ohhhhhh" and "hmmmmm" and "wowwwwwwwwww" multiple times. I'm only to chapter 3.

I know everyone loves EZ. I'm just now starting to understand why, and I feel like a silly stubborn girl for blowing it off for so long!



As seen at Knitorious.

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.



You know you've been in Texas too long when, at the end of May, 90 degrees feels brisk and refreshing.

Send ice.



Meg tagged me with a meme. Despite my best effots to abandon the blog, I will post it here for your enjoyment. :-)

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was starting my first week of work for a US Senator in Washington DC one week after graduating from college. One of the greatest and worst experiences of my life- so glad I did it, so glad I knew when to quit and leave the east coast. I've come a long way, baby.

2. What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:

Enjoy BBQ with my Mom and Brother visiting from New Mexico.
Empty Mr. C's car- it's full of antiques that my Mom and I drove back from New Mexico over the holiday weekend.
Find an alterations person so I can get a new pair of pants hemmed.
Drink enough water.
Post this meme to my blog. (Check!)

3. Snacks I enjoy:

Fruit- apples, berries, apricots, etc.
Pita and hummus, espeically the delicious jalapeno and cilantro variety I can get here in Austin.
Wendy's french fries.
Peanut butter on anything- apples, crackers, a spoon....

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Pay off the house, the cars, the student loans, and those of the ones I love.
Make a major donation to the University of New Mexico School of Law, and some favorite charities.
Fund a permanent fellowship for my friend K, who wants to provide legal services to those who cannot afford them.
Travel. A lot. Not necessarily extravagantly, but make a habit of stepping outside day to day life on a regular basis.
Do whatever I can to support my family and ensure that my hypothetical children grow up to be well adjusted, non-spoiled, functional members of society.

5. Places I have lived:

In chronological order-
Santa Fe, NM
Corrales, NM
Lynchburg, VA
Arlington, VA
Washington, DC
Avon, CO
Vail, CO
Albuquerque, NM
Austin, TX
Albuquerque, NM
Austin, TX

6. Jobs I have had:
Babysitter, Head Counselor at a music camp, deli/bakery worker and waitress, Resident Assistant at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff of a US Senator, Legislative Corespondent for the same US Senator, internet specialist and sales assistant at an estate sale/art appraisal company, manager of a ski resort ski school/lift ticket/season pass office, sales staff at a hoity toity ski resort retail store, waitress at a Tex-Mex chain restaurant, technical recruiter, dotcom employee, project manager and technical writer for a tech company, research assistant for a law professor, law clerk for various firms, attorney.


Happy Anniversary!!

We tied the knot one year ago today- absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me.

(Photo copyright Ginger Russell)

Happy anniversary, Mr. C!


Consolation Koigu Socks

I never posted a picture of my Koigu socks... I LOVE them. I wish I could remember what colorway these are- in the skein, they looked like a rainbow but are much more subdued in person.

I really do love these socks- they're soft, comfy, and a perfect fit. Hurrah!


Stripey Watermelon Socks

I finished my stripey socks over the weekend.... Another pair of wool socks just as the weather here starts to heat up. It was almost 80 here today!!!

Yarn: Knitterly Things Vesper Sock Yarn, Aquamelon, purchased at kpixie.com. I think this is one of the original skiens back from when Julia was dying with kool-aid. The colors, while certainly vivid, are not quite as vibrant as the more recent colorways....

I love them!


Big Bird Babie Blankie

As promised, though much delayed, here's the big bird baby blankie pictures:

It's made out of 5 balls of Berocco Plush, which is a really soft yarn. Mr. C picked it out- he specifically wanted something fuzzy and cuddly, and this was the one fuzzy novelty yarn I could think of that I wouldn't mind working with again (one of my first knitting projects was a scarf for my mom in the baby blue Plush.) I knit it on size 8 needles, instead of the 10.5 called for because I wanted the fabric to be firm and full- yarns like this knit too loosely can feel stringy and flimsy. The bright yellow and orange made me think of big bird the entire time I was working on the blanket....

The recipient also knits, though not quite as much as I do. :-) She was really happy with the blankie!.


What a LOVEly day

Neither C nor I go in much for Valentine's Day. I do like getting flowers, and we both like to eat, so that's pretty much it.

Yesterday I got a gorgeous bouquet at my office:

Instead of turning on the TV and chatting through commercials, as is our norm, we spent the evening making homemade pasta together. It was so wonderful to stand in our little kitchen, cooking together, talking about life without the noise of the TV to distract us. We drank a bottle of champagne that was an engagement present from a dear friend- it has been in the fridge for 18 months!!! Dinner was good but simple, conversation was fab, and it was a lovely lovely night.

I am so happy to be married to this amazing man.


Flu, knitting, etc.

Sorry for the silence. I got nailed with the flu last week and was down for the count. Finally starting to feel better, but man! this was a nasty bug.

I finished a baby blanket for one of C's friends, and the shower was Sunday. Pics are on my camera, which is at home. Naturally. The blanket turned out really well- it was bright yellow Berocco Plush (fuzzy and soft) with an orange band around the edge. It felt like I was knitting big bird!

I also finished my kusha kusha scarf. It needs some serious blocking, and I'll hopefully get a photo up soon.

Again, sorry to have disappeared. Being sick is NO. FUN.


Finally- a winner!

One of my new year's resolutions was to cook one new recipe a week, and so far it's going really well. I made a pot roast in the crock pot using the seasoning from James Beard's American Cooking and the process from Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann's Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook- pretty good. I made the Pan Seared Salmon With Avocado Remulade from Elise's Simply Recipes- meh (generally, though, I've had great luck with her recipes in the past....)

But last night I found a real winner- the Snapper with Zucchini and Toasty Garlic mojo from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday. It was fast, easy, flavorful, and deeeeeelish. Makes me want to try a bunch more recipes out of this cookbook!


Bananahead Hat- my new go-to baby pattern!

I am so smitten with this little hat! (Pattern: the Bananahead Baby hat (Ravlery link and PDF Pattern link)

A well written, cute little baby pattern. Yay!


Well, It's Official!

I started my first ever attorney job this week. I love it. It is overwhelming. I have great colleages, an awesome assistant, my own office with windows, and three cases that I will probably refer to (and think of for the rest of my professional life) as my babies. It's good.

I am really glad I have worked for 4 law firms, though. Helps me breathe as I feel like an idiot, because I understand that I am a new attorney- they know I'm a new attorney- and they don't expect me to know much. I know that the new job jitters come with each new position and will pass soon enough. And I know, without a doubt, that law is what I'm meant to do. I'm glad I'm not in private practice, because the people are friendlier, the hours are better, and we get 17 (SEVENTEEN!) paid state holidays a year. All in all, I think this is going to be really, really good.

So, that's why it has been quiet this week. I did finish the ADORABLE baby hat, and will take a picture on Saturday before I deliver it to the mom-to-be on Saturday night. Not much knitting this week- I've been fried- but as a weekday routine develops, I anticipate getting into a regular habit again. It'll be so nice!!!


A Realization

I just finished listening to this week's podcast from David Reidy, aka Sticks and Sting. It sparked a couple thoughts...

The theme for Show 50 is "We choose"- he referenced JFK's speech about choosing to go to the moon NOT because it is easy but because it is hard. David challenged his readers to return to the challenge of knitting, because accomplishing something difficult is really, really satisfying.

Last Christmas (2006-2007) I got my BUTT kicked by the Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl from "A Gathering of Lace" by Meg Swanson. (Eunny's version is gorgeous, and here's a link to the book photo). I also Eunny's Bayerische socks and got smacked around by them as well. (Maybe the lesson I SHOULD learn is to stay away from Eunny's spectacular but very challenging projects?!?!?!)

I realized, listening to David's podcast, that every project I knit in 2007 was a reaction to that spectacular failure- I knit safe, relatively easy things. No cables, not much lace, just stockinette and simple socks are far as the eye can see.

Maybe it's time to take another stab at the Frost Flowers. I love that thing, and succeeding would feel fantastic. Hmmm....


Farewell, Spin Stash!

I have officially given up on spinning. It's not that I didn't enjoy it- I did - it's just that I would rather spend my time knitting. So, through the marvel that is Ravelry, I found a local gal who was interested in buying all my spin stuff. I think she got a smoking deal (at the price I suggested!), and I hope she enjoys it! This lucky lady got my Jim Hockett Mesquite wood bottom whorl drop spindle, my Maggie mid-whorl spindle, my 80/20 llama/tussah silk blend roving, my crayola wool roving, my red with sparkles batt, a bag of red Colorado corriedale roving, and two books on spindle spinning for the low low price of $25. (Each of the spindles cost that....) And I am so glad to have that much more room in my yarn chest!


Mmmm. Silk makes EVERYTHING better.

I'm behind on baby knitting (is 2008 going to be one of THOSE years where everyone I know pops out progeny?) which resulted in a bout of baby startitis last night.

Ravelry introduced me to the Bananahead Baby hat pattern (Ravlery link and PDF Pattern link), which is adorable. I cast on using Debbie Bliss Cathay, that delicious 50 cotton/35 viscose microfiber/15 silk blend. LOVE THIS STUFF. Alas, I do not love the color- mommy requested purple (not plum, not lavender, not anything good, just plain old grape juice purple). But man, does this stuff feel good in the hands. The baby shower was Saturday- doh! Fortunately, the hat is going really fast.

A childhood friend of Mr. C's is also expecting her first child in March. He picked out Berocco Plush in yellow and orange for a cuddly baby blanket for her. I started that one last night, too.

I now have 6 projects on the needles- it has been a LONG time since I've had more than 2 or 3.... Here's hoping I don't get too distracted!


(Midnight) Sunrise Circle

I have finally experienced complete sweater success- I love my Sunrise Circle!

Pattern: Sunrise Circle by Kate Gilbert, Interweave Knits Spring 2006
Needles: Addi Turbo size 8
Yarn: Cascade 220, 6.5 balls, in Jet (charcoal gray)

While it is a little larger than I intended, it works perfectly as a jacket. Love it!

I've even had people say "I love your sweater" without then saying "Did you make it?"



A Very Happy New Year Indeed

2007 was quite a year- it included:
1. A new job for Mr. C.
2. Knee surgery for Mr. C.
3. Our wedding.
4. The end of law school.
5. A honemoon in Tahiti.
6. A move to Austin.
7. Studying for, taking, and passing the Texas Bar Exam.
8. Getting stung by a sting ray (not on the honeymoon....)
9. Adjusting to married life.
10. A trip to New York.
11. A trip to Florida.
12. Two trips to New Mexico.
13. Two trips to Arkansas.
14. A new job for ME!

Yes, I found out on December 20 that I will have gainful employment as an attorney in 2008. I start January 14- woohoo!

While 2007 was really amazing, it was also exhausting and brought a ton of changes for me individually and for us as a couple.

I hope 2008 will be a year of routine- settling into a daily routine with Mr. C, settling into a daily routine at work, getting back into the eating reasonably/working out regularly/reading more habits.

I haven't really fleshed out resolutions this year- I have more general goals, which include:
1. Getting healthy- eating lower fat/lower refined sugars, exercising 3 times per week for at least 45 minutes each time, drinking 8 glasses of water each day.
2. Cooking more- making one new recipe per week, cooking from at least 26 of my cookbooks this year (I have a massive cookbook collection).
3. Reading at least 6 fiction books- it was easy to skip this in law school, but I love to read and want to get back into literature.
4. Posting to the blog at least twice per week.

I hope your New Year's Day was filled with as much gratitude for 2007 and hope for 2008 as mine was- here's to a great new year!