Monday, October 26, 2009

End of October

Obviously I don't know how to post regularly, but I spontaneously took another picture of my Hemlock Ring blanket:


honey cuddling with the hemlock

Synopsis of the last 2 months:
  • **, *work, knit, sleep, repeat 5 times from *
  • clean house, hang out with friends
  • watch tv, knit
  • repeat from **
... hence the lack of posting...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Random Stuff


Hemlock Ring


Detail


Georgia Aquarium


Jellyfish


Shark


Carrots grown in a pot on my porch (who knew?)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rat Eating Plant!

Samurai Knitter posted about carnivorous plants, which have always freaked me out. Her post was brought on by this news story about a new carnivorous plants that eats rodents as large as rats!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Last Few Weeks

I had a great birthday surprise from my mom this year. She sent me a big LL Bean bag filled with goodies... six (!) skeins of Fibre Company yarn, a big bottle of extra virgin olive oil, and some Persian Lime lotion from Williams Sonoma. My friend Becky gave me a knitting needle roll.


olive oil, lotion, and bag


needle roll & fibre company road to china & road to china light

I've also been meaning to post about the Talia Vest I finished a while back. My friend Jennifer helped me pick buttons out of my big button jar. I haven't been posting much about knitting since it seems so redundant with Ravelry around, but I know that my non-knitting friends never get to see those projects (at least until Ravelry is opened to the public).


talia vest

After a great Saturday of dining with various friends, I decided on a whim to hike up Stone Mountain yesterday. The last 1/4 mile or so was really steep, but the rest wasn't too bad.


the steepest part

At the top, I had a treat of Mango and Cherry italian ice and watched the sky ride come to the top.


sky ride (which I did not ride to the top)

It was a bit hazy and cloudy, but I was still able to see Atlanta.


a hazy view of ATL

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Spring Ruffle Dress

Remember my spring ruffle top shown at the bottom of this post? Well, someone made one as a cute dress! I might have to try this sometime...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dixie Highway

A couple of weekends ago, Becky and I went to the Dixie Highway Yard sale in North Georgia. We probably only traveled about 30 of the 90 miles and neither of us found anything spectacular, but it was a nice ride away from the city. We saw a few "oddities" along the way. First, here's Becky standing next to a very large cactus (which are not indigenous to the area, but they seem to thrive when people plant them, even with the humidity).


Becky with cactus

Next, we saw a mama and baby camel... in Georgia??? Well, I guess it's no stranger than the kangaroo farm in Dawsonville. I am pretty sure we were in Cartersville when we came across these.


camels in Cartersville

Then, in Cassville, I just thought it was funny that this tiny little place is their museum. Someone was selling a real iron pipe stove right across the street from the museum. We also had some pretty good Mexican food in this tiny town.


Cassville Museum

The last time you saw my garden wasn't too long after I planted my pots for the season. As you can tell, it's grown up a lot in the last 6 weeks...



The carrot pot, which looked empty last time, has made vast improvements...



I had a couple strawberries, but I think all the rain last month made them rot. So, they're gone, but I do have a pretty strawberry flower...



And nine (9!) green tomatoes...



A snail is also living in my microgreens...



I remember living in Rochester, after the rains, there were always slugs (yuk!) outside my house. In Jersey, it was earthworms... and in Georgia, I get snails (like this one last summer)! There was also one outside my front door this morning.

Remember Jennifer's kitty Zooey? Well, she's decided to go into business...


Zooey

And here's my kitty sitting around reflecting...


Honey

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Good Reads

I often use Goodreads as a place to keep track of the books I've read, want to read, and currently am reading. I decided to post a list of the books that I've rated with 5 stars. I've listed them by my rating, so it currently shows some of my 5 star books, but since it doesn't show them all, I decided to still post a list. They are in order by author's last name because it is too hard to pick a true favorite. Also, most of these I have read multiple times in my life. Even re-reading this list, I have my favorites, but since my favorite would probably be different depending on the day you ask me, I won't tell you what it is. It also turns out that there's a widget for blogs and I've added it in my side bar.

  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Hour I First Believed: A Novel by Wally Lamb
  • I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Anthem by Ayn Rand
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Blindness by José Saramago
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chattanooga

Since I haven't explored a whole lot since I moved to the south, I took the 3 day weekend as an opportunity for a little trip. Chattanooga's only a little over 2 hours from here, so I thought it would be a great place for a day trip. I started at Ruby Falls, a touristy but beautiful spot about 1100 feet underground. Unfortunately, it's a guided tour that takes over an hour all together, having to stay with your group and all. Also, you only have about 5-10 minutes to enjoy the falls themselves, but all the rock formations on the walk there are interesting.


Ruby Falls


Some interesting lighting on the rocks underground

After I left Ruby Falls, I went over to Genuine Purl on the North Shore. At the yarn shop, I picked up some Koigu in a colorway I hadn't seen before. The shop itself was kind of boring, style-wise, but it's the only yarn shop in town. The staff was friendly and the selection was pretty good though.

The North Shore is a cute little area I'd like to explore more the next time I venture up there. There's a long pedestrian bridge that goes over the river that looks pretty cool and a park below it. On the North Shore are a bunch of cute little shops and restaurants close to the bridges. I ate at MudPie, a casual place with great food. On the other side of the river is the Tennessee Aquarium, which I'd like to visit even though Georgia now has a larger and better one here in Atlanta. The building looked super-modern from the outside so it's probably not too many years older than ours. Other than that, it didn't look like there was a whole lot to do on that side of the river (within walking distance). About a mile and a half down the street, though, is the Chattanooga Choo Choo. It's a Holiday Inn property that's a little more than just a hotel. You can sleep and/or eat in a train car, browse the various shops (which is what I did), take a train or horse ride, or walk through the beautiful gardens.


A statue at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Garden


The garden


One of the many types of roses in the garden

The night before I went to Chattanooga, I decided to work on a new top. I was originally going to use this fabric for Amy Butler's Cabo Halter. I started it last week and cut my fabric wrong, leaving too little for that particular top. So, I found a free tutorial for the Spring Ruffle Top online and used the fabric for that instead.


My finished Spring Ruffle Top

I liked this tutorial. It was pretty easy to follow and would have probably taken far less time if it hadn't been my first sewn garment. I think it took me about 4-5 hours all together. I made lots of mistakes, but I think it was good for a first effort. I even wore it to Chattanooga without it falling apart.

Modifications: I opted out of the ruffle, or even the trim as mentioned in a variation towards the end. So, for the straps, I just sewed the edges together and pressed them, turned them inside-out, and sewed them on so that the seam was in the back (instead of on the side how they would have been with the ruffle or trim). I also opted out of the pockets... cause who needs extra bulk at their hips anyway?

I did opt for the arm divots, as well as the waist shaping (1.5" on each side instead of 1"), both of which could be done earlier in the process instead of as an afterthought next time I make this. Also, the actual size of the front and back ended up far too big for me and I ended up taking it in a lot.

The pattern suggested for larger busts that the pleats not be sewn down, but instead sewn across the top. I took this advice (also because I think it looks better) and I think that worked out well.

The back ended up larger than the front after the pleats were made, so I ended up with some inadvertent gathering in back, which I would likely do deliberately next time (similar to front, but maybe only with 2-3 pleats instead of 6), or just cut the back smaller than the front. In addition, I'd likely make the back slightly shorter, as well as take up the center top a bit further. I am not sure how I would do this, or if the slight pleating on the back itself would help with the puckering. I knew something like this would be needed, similar to short-row shaping on the back of knit sweaters, but I didn't realize it until I saw how much it puckered. So, I ended up taking it up in the center-back in a somewhat wonky way (which is why I am not showing a picture of the back).


Close up of pleats

My favorite modification isn't really one. The tutorial doesn't specify any special way to hem the bottom, so I took advantage of a cute stitch on my sewing machine about an inch from the bottom.


Hem detail

Not too long ago I came home to a gecko at my door - at least I think it's a gecko - that's what a friend told me it was - I just thought it was a regular lizard if such a thing exists. He was crawling down one of the poles right outside my front door. I ran inside to get my camera and luckily, he was still there when I returned.


Doesn't he sort of look like the Geico gecko?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Out with Friends

Last week I spent a night out with some friends. Jennifer's cousin was in town with her boyfriend, so we went out on the town. This was the scene while we were getting ready to go out at Jennifer's house:


Franny & Zooey

I love this picture. There's the lazy one... and the one giving me a dirty look.

After various spots, we eventually ended up at a bar near Jennifer's house.


J.P. & Jennifer


Becky & Mike


Me, J.P., Jennifer, & Becky

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring in Georgia

I've spent the last few weeks getting my deck in order and cleaned up a bit from the winter. Winter's here are relatively mild, but even with very little snow or anything, my deck needed an overhaul, including some deep-cleaning of the railings.



I also potted a bunch of plants - mostly herbs and a few vegetables (although I don't know how well the veggies will work in pots other than the tomatoes). I have a money tree, desert rose, lavender, basil, cilantro, sage, rosemary, oregano, strawberries, micro greens, carrots, tomatoes, and a few other tropical plants and flowers. Isn't my little wire plant stand cart cute? I got that at our great flea market last year.



There was a little surprise when I went to get my mail today. The mail boxes in my neighborhood are in the pool house area and when I looked through the gate I saw a woman looking at what I thought was a goose in the pool. We have lots of geese in the pond that is just down a little hill from the pool area (beyond the fence), but I was surprised to see one in the pool. As I got closer, I realized it was ducks! A mama and a bunch of babies. They were really cute, but I am wondering how they got in there, because the mother couldn't seem to get the babies out of there.



Stitches South Highlights

This past weekend was gorgeous here in Georgia... but I spent almost all of it inside at Stitches South. It was worth missing the sunny 90 degree days because of all the friends I had around me...


Amy & Laurie


Doug, Lou, and Sherrie


Wayne & Brittany (the Knit Witch)


my new friend Clara


Laurie, Sherrie, & Amy


Phyllis, Katey, & the Sanguine Gryphon


Brittany's family, our hosts at Scalini's


my new friend Fatimah


Sherrie, Katey, & Amy

Oh, and I did actually get some yarn too... mostly knit witch, miss babs, and some jaggerspun zephyr laceweight with a pattern for a gorgeous lace shawl.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Point

I am so sad to hear that The Point is closing on Wednesday. This was one of my favorite stores in Manhattan... and I am even more sad that I can't go to the sale since I am 1000 miles away!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

KnitBook

KnitBook: A good idea by Vogue Knitting, but it would cost a fortune to make a book with more than a few patterns.

I understand $5-6 per pattern because that's how much we pay for most PDF patterns. This is definitely not a bad price when you are paying by the pattern, but when we buy a whole book in the store, we are usually paying say $20-25 for a book with 15-20 patterns in it.

I understand it costs a lot to create a customized book (a lot more than volume printing by a publisher), but couldn't they have given some sort of discount if you are buying the patterns in volume? I don't expect the same rate as buying a book in a store, but you'd have to be crazy to pay $75-120 for a single book of patterns (leaving Alice Starmore out of this, of course).

I would probably be totally cool with this idea (love the spiral, lay-flat design, and probably would have even bought one eventually), if they cut the price in half or so... I don't know if they could even afford to run the business at say $45 for a 15 pattern, customized book, but since their current price is way out of my range (cause who's going to bother to make a book with only a few patterns in it), they just gave me the eventual goal of paring down my knitting mags by ripping out the good patterns and binding my own pages into a single book!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Happy Days

Congratulations Dad & Anna!!!


Married March 29, 2009


With all the grandkids


Braelin


My nephew John with Sarah


Sarah & her new hairdryer


My brother Dave & nephew Jake


Christine & daughter Braelin


Dad & Anna


The gang at Longfellows

I also recently got a chance to host a knit night at my house... here's a highlight:


Jennifer & Sherrie

And my brother David came to town for a trade show and we spent the evening having dinner at Ted's Montana Grill with people from his company.


me & Dave


ATL at sunset