Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tidings and joy and all that junk

Hi there!
The Tall Guy, Annie and I have been in NH since last Wednesday and will be heading back to DC after a New Years eve in Boston with friends. I just realized that I knit a good amount of gifts this year and managed to take NO photos of the projects! Alas, two pairs of socks, a few pairs of mitts, a hat (I'll get a photo of that soon!) and nothing to show for it. Oh well.
In the meantime, I have plenty of vacation time knitting happening right now, so hopefully there will be something to talk about soon!
I hope everyone is having a happy, fun and safe holiday season!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do you remember this sweater?

In February, 2008 I was packing boxes, dealing with a very neurotic dog (no, really, trust me), newly engaged and was a wee bit stressed out. So, as any good knitter would do, I cast on a sweater.
And for the last 22 months or so, I would pick it up, knit a bit and forget about it. I've knit a lot since then, but haven't seemed to be able to finish this sweater until now.
Just a few days ago, I needed a mindless hanging out with friends straight knit no counting sort of project and I dug up the second sleeve and knit a bit. I then looked at what I had and realized I was about 30 rounds of a sleeve and a bit of seaming away from a sweater! How sad that I had let this languish for so long, but so exciting to see that with little effort I'll have another garment to bring to NH for what I expect to be a chilly Christmas!
Pattern: Gathered Pullover, Interweave Winter 2007
Yarn: As in the published pattern, Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb Sport (100% wool; 154 yd [141 m]/50 g): in the Peacock colorway... I'm not sure how much I used I need go back and see if I have any stray balls lying around!
Needles: I think size 7's.
Modifications: I made everything longer by at least two inches. If you look at the photos in the pattern, it's a bit cropped looking, which isn't what I was looking for. I wanted something I could pull over my hands and be cozy in. This is perfect!
In general this was not a difficult knit at all. I got bored in a few places and was freaked out at prospect of seaming a sweater... I now know that was a silly thing, as the seaming was really not that bad at all!
Ps... for those of you not in the DC area... yes, this is a TON of snow for here! We got at least 18 inches this weekend, which I've only seen one other time in my 7+ years here. A great way to put us into the holiday spirit!

Monday, December 14, 2009

My little monster

It's hard to believe we've had Annie for two years now! So much has happened in such a short amount of time...
This photo is from Saturday. The Tall Guy took her on a (chilly!) birthday mountain bike adventure.

Happy "Birthday" Annabelle!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fall Shawl

My Mother-in-law is one of the nicest, sweetest people I know (no, really, I'm super lucky to have married into a great family). While in Detroit this past weekend, we exchanged Christmas gifts with the Tall Guy's parents. So, what does a girl give her mother-in-law? A shawl, of course!

Details: Pattern is the Forest Canopy
Yarn is Misti Alpaca's sport weight silk/baby alpaca I used about a skein and a half and I have no memory of the number of repeats I did... I think about 11.
It's a pretty fast knit that's easily memorized (this is the second time I've knit it) and I didn't do any modifications on it.
These pictures are leaving me thinking I should have kept it! (I kid I kid...)

Monday, November 30, 2009


Somehow, while having a hundred funny/silly/fantastic moments this weekend between my 20 month old niece streaking through the house post-bath, to finding ourselves at a warehouse- underground-totally-illegal-concert I have zero pictures to show for it.
I have more to say tonight, but truthfully... we drove 500 miles today, unloaded a very full car, picked up Annie from the boarder and came home to discover that mice had turned our kitchen and pantry into a party location with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Thus, we've pulled things apart, cleaned and cursed and the Tall Guy went to bed at 730pm. Whewwww!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanks.. a year in review

A year ago I paused to think about all that I was thankful for, namely family and friends. I'll spare you my ramblings with a "wordless wednesday" post.
Happy Thanksgiving all! We are off to Detroit for a few days...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hey there Lady

I finished and started wearing my February Lady Sweater over a week ago. Just yesterday, the Tall Guy and I got around to taking pictures. It's so comfortable!Details:
Pattern: February Lady Sweater
Yarn: Miss Bab's "Yowza What a Skein" about 700 yards
Needles: Size 8
Mods: I didn't do too much to this pattern. I made the second to smallest size and decided not to cast on an extra 7 stitches when I separated for the sleeves. A smart move that kept everything from not being too big.
I would def. knit this or an incarnation of it again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make this recipe.

Our travels this holiday season will be landing us home late on Wednesday night in MI for Thanksgiving and in the afternoon on Christmas eve in NH. I always like to contribute something sweet and homemade to the festivities, so whatever I make this year needs to be able to travel well in the car.
Last week around twitter, a number of people were tossing around comments about the most amazing rice crispy treats EVER and, well, I got curious. Last night, I made them using Smitten Kitchen's recipe and really, they are super tasty. So, I'm distracting you from the lack of knitting content (I'll show off a sweater this week, I promise!) to tell you to go to the store, buy the ingredients and make them. Really, it will only take you about 7 minutes longer then it does to make the normal ones.
Off to eat another one!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

knit worthy

I've recently had a few people ask me why I'm not selling my handknits or if I ever plan to. While I understand the natural thought towards selling what you love to do, I just can't seem to come up with any reason for me to do so. When you consider how much time you spend knitting a project and multiply it by what would be a reasonable hourly wage for yourself AND then add in the cost of yarn, it makes zero sense for me to knit for anything but love for those that are "knit worthy". Really, all that means is that you'll appreciate the knit good, wear it, or at least tell me you wear it and are not scoffing at the time I spend on my hobby.

For some of my friends, knitters and non-knitters alike, this have become somewhat of a joke (do you remember the Seinfeld episode about being worthy of a contraceptive? hehe).
Anyway.. I just gifted this shawl-ette to one of my girls who will always be knit worthy. Not only does she appreciate a good scarf, but her husband's Mom owns an alpaca farm (I'm still holding on to the yarn they brought me for just the right project), so she gets it.

Pattern: Gaenor
Yarn: Koigu, KPPM about 300 yards.
Needle: Size Six
Mods/Comments/Notes: Nothing. You start at one end and work to the halfway point and start decreasing back down. I thought that I was going to have less left over, but I somehow managed to have about 1/3 of a skein left over. Odd. Otherwise, this was a pretty simple, 12 row repeat that you knit the edging on as you went. Great commuting project and I'll be likely casting one on for myself. I'm torn for my next one if I should stick with the garter throughout, if if I'll purl back on the wrong sides... thoughts? I'm not sure it will stretch out as much if it's not in garter.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What? You still knit?

I realized as we were packing for our Fall trip, that I had no hat that worked just right with what I was bringing. It's sort of amazing how many of "us" knitters often are the ones lacking in the handknits! (The Yarn Harlot was just talking about this). So, I found the right yarn and knitter-friend Anne steered me toward a pattern she had written.
The hat took me just a little bit longer then the flight to Seattle to complete and I love the combination of the yarn and pattern.
Pattern: Kanikara (The Monk Hat) Rav link here.
Yarn: Be Sweet, Thin "Black Light" (i.e. Grey to the normal person) 1.25 skeins, about 125 yards, give or take.
Needles: Size 8
Notes/Mods: I decreased the pattern by one repeat, and went down a needle size. I'm not the biggest person and I wanted a fitted hat. Perfect! The yarn is not spun consistently, so it's perfect for a hat/mitt/scarf type project, I would never knit a sweater from it, as I hit some reallllly thin spots along the way.
Overall, I would and will be using this pattern again, the Tall Guy picked out a skein of Malabrigo in the Sealing Wax colorway while we were on vacation and I think this pattern will be just right for what he wants. Thanks Anne!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pac Mid West...

I'm not going to bore you with too many photos of our vacation... here are just a couple for you to see why I was so enamored with this part of North America...

We were in Seattle for three days (no photos here) and then took the scenic route from Seattle to Vancouver. The pics above and below are from this drive... It was a gorgeous day and we were in awe of the views...
On our first day in Vancouver, we took a drive (we could have walked, but didn't quite realize that until we got there!) over to Stanley Park. This is a very large park where the aquarium, several boat clubs and other outdoor activities for the city are (think Central Park with better views) are. The below photo is looking towards North Vancouver and is a completely "normal" view for the citizens of the city.
Since we were so close to the site of the 2010 Olympics, we decided to take a day trip up to Whistler/Blackcomb and check it out. Really, it was a normal ski town, but it was still cool to see the work going into the area for the upcoming events, and even saw a team having lunch! Overall, the trip was a great adventure. We spent time with family, saw parts of the world we hadn't seen before, met some very nice Canadians (If ever in Vancouver, hit the bar named "The Greedy Pig", trust me!) and came back recharged and ready to go for the holidays. Or so I hope.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What's in a name?

As many of you know, I got married over a year ago and while I hadn't thought that much about it, I've spent the last year working up to changing my name. What a painful process!
I know full well that the Tall Guy could give two hoots about what I did with my name, but finally, after the 5th or 6th (or 12th...) time of having confusion about what name a given joint account was under (vet, car repair, etc.etc.etc) I decided to bite the bullet and today was my big adventure to shed the name.
Truth be told, my now maiden name has never held a big place in my heart. That part of our family is small, and really with a first name of Pia (a family name), I'm somewhat convinced that half of the people I know rarely even ever use my last name. Still, it feels a little funny to suddenly have to start signing my name with four less letters and three less syllables. When hyphenation was suggested, all I could do was laugh! Talk about painful!
Anyway, when the decision came down to it, I really don't see my feminism as defined by retaining my last name. As the man at the bank quipped today "So you're just changing from one man's last name to another", the whole thought was put fully into perspective.
Thanks, Edwin at the bank.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

hello hello!

I am, indeed alive.
I just haven't had a ton to say, and have spent a weekend in Detroit and a week in Seattle and Vancouver since we last spoke.
I have, however been knitting and promise to share as I start gearing up for the cold weather and holiday knitting is in full swing.
Pictures and fun stories coming, pinky swear!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mmmm dinner

I'm trying to get in the habit of cooking ahead/prepping ahead and all round more organized dinner eating. The Tall Guy and I get home from work about 6ish, which isn't late, but when I cook from scratch, as I try to do more of now, dinner doesn't hit the table til close to 8pm some nights and what one doesn't need is me hannngry! (hungry=angry for me!)
Last night while cooking one dinner, I prepped for tonight as well. The Tall Guy thought this made for a cool picture, so now you also get to see inside our refrigerator. Yikes!
The recipe is from Food Network's Cooking with the Neely's and is here. I did sub Soy Chorzio for the real stuff which you can now find in not just Whole Foods or Trader Joe's but I found it at Giant!The great thing about making a casserole tray for dinner for the two of us is that even though the Tall Guy eats a decent amount...there's plenty for leftovers for the rest of the week!

Anyone have any recipes that stay happy in the fridge for a few days (i.e. cooking on a Sunday for dinner Wednesday?)

The February Bandwagon

7,008 (and I'm sure more as I hit "publish") knitters can't be wrong... After years of toying with yarn choices, I finally cast on for my own February Lady Sweater.
Here's a photo of the original from Pam's website Flint Knits.
(saved to my server)

While I don't wear the vintage clothing I did back in high school anymore, I love this sweater's nod to the 70's, especially in this color.

Here's my version in progress...
While I've played with the color some, I don't think my camera is doing this any justice, it's a bit more kelly in person. The yarn is Miss Bab's worsted weight in the verdigris colorway (I think).

So far, I can see why there are over 7000 of these babies on Ravelry alone. It's a great pattern, based off of Elizabeth Zimmermann's baby sweater that is holding my interest, but is also just right for couch/TV knitting. I'm so excited to get this done as Fall has arrived in D.C. with a bang!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hello Fall!!!

Crafty Bastards was yesterday and the weather could not have been more perfect. Of course, this also made for some super crazy crowds, but I was happy to see the vendors appeared to be doing well, and I ran into lots of people I hadn't seen in some time. I was sad to miss Paula Woolarina with her new baby, but will hope to track her down soon!
When I ran into Malia, she had a special treat for me!How gorgeous is this handspun?
It's 100% Alpaca and I think it will become either a cowl or a pair of mitts. Check out more of her handspun and other creations here!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Well, it's official, the third of my best girls is all married, meaning that the last wedding of the season is done. Whew. Yve and Al's wedding was in Hampton Beach NH, about 15 minutes from my Dad's house. It was such a fun night! We don't have another wedding until April and while they have been tons and tons of fun, dudes. I'm tired!

Highlights included a mashed potato bar at the cocktail hour (yes, exactly what you would think, mashed potato in a martini glass and you put a huge assortment of toppings on it)
Seeing my bestest friends (I've been so spoiled this year!!!) and a general all around good time.

If you had looked closely, you would notice that in the mashed potato picture, I'm wearing the newest Damson. You can't knit just one.

Of course, the Tall Guy and I can't sit still long, so we'll be in Detroit for Columbus Day and Seattle/Vancouver/Victoria the last week in October. Lots of plane knitting time!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The cupcake quest continues

Yesterday, Jessie and I had a grand adventure. It pretty much revolved around food and knitting all day. Awesome. In between some quality couch time, we walked to Georgetown so I could have my fist Baked and Wired cupcake. Not only do I think I've found the absolute winner of the best cupcake in DC, but this is a great coffee house and full range pastry shop that won't be kaput the day the cupcake bubble bursts.My cupcake was vanilla with chocolate frosting. Yum. The ingredients tasted fresh and were definitely decent quality. The cake was dense, moist and just right. It also wasn't super sweet. Here's Jessie with her Red Velvet cupcake as well.
Later in the evening we went to the AFI to see Julie and Julia. Funny enough, I like the movie SO much more then the book. I think Meryl Streep did an amazing job. Amy Adams? Eh. Could take her or leave her.

Random aside: A few weeks ago I was trying to put a bandanna around Annie's neck (something she normally loves). This day, however, she was clearly annoyed with me and didn't want me to finish putting it on. I left her like this for awhile.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why Hello

It would be fair to say that on Sept 1, in DC, autumn arrived with a bang. It's been brisk, chilly and rainy the last week and a half or so. I suppose this bodes well for my knitting projects, but really, did we have a summer?

I have been knitting, even if I haven't been blogging.
This is from my friends Mike and Shel's wedding last weekend. For knitters, the shawl I'm wearing is Damson by Ysolda Teague. It's a fantastic knit and I'm about to cast a second one on as we speak. It only took a week, a skein of sock yarn and not a lot of concentration. All of these things make it a great knit right now as my brain continues to be overwhelmed by the daily chores of being a Federal employee. (Please don't think all feds don't work, some of us are getting are butts kicked right now!)
It would appear that a large number of my friends have decided recently to take the next step. Congrats to those who have gotten engaged recently, especially today's addition. I don't think it's super public yet, so I won't name names... only know that I couldn't be happier for you both! Yay!
And in the meantime, those of you that really only read this to look at pictures of my crazy dog.. here's Annie from a recent day where she decided the blanket was on the couch not as a means to keep the dog hair off the furniture, but as a way to keep her toasty. Awesome. Anyone want a free dog?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A year

Happy Anniversary, Tall Guy!
I cannot believe how quickly a year goes!

Here's to many more.

Monday, August 17, 2009


The Tall Guy and I are brainstorming for a destination for a trip in late October. Any good ideas? The Islands are pretty much ruled out due to the risk of a hurricane, but otherwise, we're thinking a week off, some relaxing and some adventuring. I'm leaning towards not going to Europe since I'd rather have more then a week there, but my arm can be twisted for the right locale and price.
As you may be able to tell, my brain is in serious need of a vacation right now as is displayed by one of my current works-in-progress.

Jaywalkers. (You can find a link to the pattern on her site as well) Such a great pattern, in that they always look so much harder then they are, and they produce a sturdy, fun fabric.
These one's are in Lorna's Lace's, Amy's Vintage Office, sock weight.
This is my go-to pattern when my hands need me to be knitting, but my brain wants to wander a bit. And the yarn, well, you know my love of LL's.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A stealth revealed

A few weeks ago, I alluded to a project I couldn't talk about yet so, I've been without a good bit of knitting material to talk about as a result. My friend (who's getting married to another close friend of mine in a few short weeks) Shel got the package today!!

Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky, about 1.6 skeins, in Grey-Green
Needles: Size 8 (or 9?)
Mods: None, I decided to stick to the pattern as written. I probably could have done another repeat, but the silk content of the yarn makes it annoying to rip back. It wasn't worth the potential stress.

This was a straightforward knit that will fit the bride just about the same way it fits me. Not too big/unwieldy if she decides to wear it on her wedding day, and will make a good scarf as well all wrapped up in a New England winter.
At this point in our photo shoot, I was telling the Tall Guy that it was a good thing I like Shel so much and that this yarn was a perfect match for her blue-blue eyes... or I would be keeping the shawl for myself! We have a friend in town this weekend, so I'll be sharing what's on the needles now in a few days.
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Animal stuff

I'm not usually one for pushing people to feel bad about one thing or another, but the Washington Humane Society (where we adopted Annie from) recieved a good bit of press this week on a rescue they did on a victim of dog fighting. This sort of stuff just boils my blood.
No need to feel like you have to make a donation (though I did), but please take a moment to read this article. Or don't. Either way, do I think cruelty to animals (esp to this extent) should be a felony? Heck. Yes.
Here's the link to the WHS article.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Things that make me happy

I think I'm a pretty easy-to-please girl. Perhaps the Tall Guy or my Dad or Er (my HLP) would say differently... but really, here's a super quick view of what has made this a pretty awesome weekend in my world.

We had a last minute, overnight visit from the Tall Guy's brother, his wife and most importantly.. my peanut. Perhaps I'm biased, but she's the cutest 16 month old I know! We were sad to see them head on to the rest of their vacation.

There's been knitting, reading and a package arrival! My first Sundara yarn! (In Prickly Pear)
The blue project is a gift, which you'll see the finished product and details in the not-so-distant future.

Sunburst tomatoes from the Farmer's Market are amazingly tasty. I ended up tossing them with a cucumber, a can of heart of palm that I chopped and a light vinaigrette. So good!

And these cherries were about to become sorbet. Refreshing and easy!

Not pictured? An adventure with Jessie to check out Knit-a-Go-Go's new shop, Fibre Space, dinner and hanging out with the neighbors, a baby shower for Woolarina and some actual down time with the Tall Guy. All in all, a great weekend.
Hope you're enjoying the summer as well!