Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FO: Cable Car Hat

One last FO for the year:

FO: Cable Car Hat

I cast on for this hat at the airport in Dallas on a Saturday, and finished the following Wednesday in San Francisco. I've dubbed it the Cable Car Hat. The pattern is Relm by Brooklyn Tweed, from the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Knit1. I used less than a skein of Malabrigo in the lovely Sealing Wax colorway. I made some modifications, mostly to conserve yarn and to make the hat less slouchy.

I used a size 7 circular throughout, instead of switching needles after the brim.

Then, at the decrease section, I did the following:
Worked Row 1
Skipped rows 2 and 3
Worked rows 4-7
Skipped rows 8 and 9
Worked rows 10-11
Then:
(p2, ssk) repeat to end
(p2tog, k1) repeat to end
k2tog repeat to end
k next row
k2tog, k1 repeat to end
k next row
k2tog repeat to end
Seam 10 remaining stitches

FO: Cable Car Hat

Although it's pretty cute on me (modest, I know!), I gifted it to Beth, Elliott's sister (and mother of the adorable Oliver) this weekend. She'll get better wear out of it in DC this winter. And besides, I can always make another hat. That's the beauty of being a knitter, right?

Raveled here

By the way, it's my birthday today! I'm 29, for the first time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Revisiting 2010 Goals

Here are the goals I established for myself for the past year and my success (or lack thereof):

Knitting Goals
-10 shawls in 2010
50% complete. 5 shawls done. 2 others started (one destroyed by Olias, one stalled out)
-finish my CPH
Fail. I picked it up earlier in the year, and all I lack is the button band/seaming
-knit more socks
Half-fail. I finished a pair for my sister, knit one half a pair, and started a second new sock.
-a colorwork project
Half-fail. I started Opus Spicatum in October. I'm not very good at colorwork, so it takes forever.

Sewing Goals
-make a quilt
So, so close. Quilt top is done. Got scared of quilting, as I had never done it before. I'm currently finishing up a table runner (my practice round before I tackle the quilt top).
-sew some skirts
sort of a win. Even though I didn't finish any skirts, I made a dress, which I think counts.

Misc. Crafting Goals
-buy a spinning wheel
Nope. I've shelved this idea so I can focus on the crafts at hand.
-practice more spinning
Again, nope
-embroidery
Big fat fail

Cooking Goals
-make ice cream
Half-win. I made frozen yogurt once.
-make bread
Half-win. I've made pizza crust countless times this year. It's so freaking good.
-make caramels
uh-uh. Nope. Sure didn't complete this one.

If you judge this list by the cover, I didn't finish much in 2010. I disagree, though. I tried lots of new techniques, and improved some skills. Next up, I'll post my 2011 goals (and one more FO for 2010!).
Did you accomplish any of your 2010 goals?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

San Francisco: Golden Gate

The Golden Gate is definitely a national landmark. There's a good reason for that.

Golden Gate
From Muir Beach

It's breathtaking. Considering there were no computers when bridges like this were built, it's an astounding feat of human logic.

Golden Gate at Sunset

Top of the Mark

We had drinks at the Top of the Mark, on the top floor of the Mark Hopkins Hotel while enjoying this view. We also ate a cheese plate. Super delicious and so fancy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 Favorites

I thought a little retrospective of annual favorites would be a nice reference point. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Favorite new(to me) music artist:
Tie: the Avett Brothers and the Black Keys

Favorite new fabric line:

Joel Dewberry fabric

Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow
AND

Secret Crush Fabric

Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush

Favorite new movie: Zombieland

Favorite new knit design: Beatnik, by Norah Gaughan

Most played album: The Swell Season

Most played TV show: Tie: Gilmore Girls and It's Always Sunny

Favorite Bella Picture:

Bella Cat

Favorite Olias picture:

Olias

Favorite meal:Tie: Cheese plate at Top of the Mark in San Francisco AND Harry Potter Feast at the Alamo Draft House

Favorite crafting moment:

Progress: Grellow + Pink Quilt

Finishing my quilt top

Favorite new (to me) blog: Three-way tie:
Life on Laffer
,
Knitted Bliss,
and
A Life of Photographoe

What are your favorites from 2010?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cheer

I've been running crazy this week. I'm sure most of you have as well, trying to get it all done. I'm looking forward to a few days off work, enjoying the company of family and friends.

Besides the previously mentioned Betty for my grandmother, I managed to do a little more holiday crafting.

Holiday potholders

I finished four potholders. It was a very good practice for me, especially since I've never done binding, and this is part of what has prevented me from finishing my quilt (but that's on my 2011 goal list!).

I know I'm not alone in this, but I often read/review/follow a craft for so long before trying it, that when I finally get down to business, I find I'm not as skilled as I am in my brain. As in, I had read so many blog entries about quilting, purchased books, sewed (but not actually quilted), that when I actually quilted (on the table runner I started months ago), it wasn't perfect, and I was shocked.

I sometimes forget there is a difference between believing you can do something and actually doing it.

Potholders - Christmas Tree

Like I said, though, I've learned a lot about quilting since then, and my quilting has gotten much better. I'm going to tackle the table runner first and then complete my quilt.

I got a little off topic there, but I've been meaning to say that.

In other Christmas news, there was much baking this past weekend. My friends Julie and Rhonda met me at my mom's (she's got a double oven and a much bigger kitchen) for an afternoon of baking.

We made the following delicious things:
Texas Trash

Texas Trash (Chex Mix, but with a few extra delicious additions, such as french fried onions and Louisiana hot sauce)
Kahlua Spiked Pecans

Kahlua Spiked Pecans (recipe here)

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies (no picture available because they were eaten so fast, and I'm only slightly exaggerating)(You should make these immediately. They taste like thin mints or Andes mints. Delicious.)
Almond Cookies

Almond Cookies - If anyone wants this recipe, let me know. I've got it on an index card from several years back. They're sort of like snickerdoodles with a cinnamon-sugar coating, but with a strong almond flavor.

Enjoy the end of this year with your loved ones.

Cheers!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Progress: Mourning Marlene

As previously mentioned, I started a sock several weeks ago using some Madeline Tosh sock yarn in the Mourning Dove colorway. I haven't had much time to work on it lately, but I did manage to snap a progress photo.

Progress: Mourning Marlene

I'm hoping to work on it over the holiday weekend. The only mod I've made is to decrease a few border stitches. The sock seemed like it was going to be a little too loose on me, but that will mean a heel modification as well, since those extra stitches are needed. I'll figure it out as I go along, I suppose.

Progress: Gray Skies Cardigan

In other progress news, I managed to finish the back of my Gray Skies Cardigan and I've started a sleeve. The sleeve seems very wide to me, but I'm going to check my gauge and trust the pattern. I can always give it a wider seam if it's not to my liking.

I've also been working on some holiday potholders for coworker gifts (and a few extra). I just need to finish the quilting and bind them. Pictures to follow soon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

San Francisco: Muir Woods

Have you ever been to San Francisco?
Jill and I visited six years ago to celebrate her 21st birthday. For this trip with Elliott, there were some new-to-me sites, and some revisited favorites. Muir Woods was a new attraction, and I'm so glad we went.

Muir Woods

Muir Woods is incredible, and we were lucky enough to have good weather for our early morning visit. Instead of renting a car and dealing with parking, we chose to go with a small tour group (there were only five people in our van), care of Extranomical Tours. We had about two hours to spend in the woods, and I made good use of my time and camera.

What struck me the most about the woods is that certain trees were positively glowing. I'm guessing it was a combination of the moss and sunlight.

Mossy moss

Muir Woods Fungi

Postively beautiful. Elliott and I walked along the trail for almost two hours, pausing to take pictures (pretty frequently) and enjoying existence.

Muir Woods

It's a very magical place. I definitely want to go back someday, just to make sure the magic of these giant trees still exists.

Rays of Light

I'm pretty sure I won't be disappointed.

Muir Woods

Monday, December 13, 2010

FO: Betty

I've been slightly incommunicado lately. The main reason is that I hopped over to San Francisco for a few days last week. It was a much needed break with the boy, and I honestly didn't want to come back to work. We had a great time, and I'll be sharing pictures with you soon.

In the meantime, I finished my grandmother's shawl this weekend.

FO: Betty

This worsted-weight shawl was made using Chrissy Prange's Followill pattern. It was really intuitive and well-written. I appreciated that Chrissy included the symbol legend on each page of charts; it was much easier than flipping back and forth.

I used Valley Yarns Northampton, a 100% Peruvian wool.

FO: Betty

I'm really pleased with how it turned out (and please excuse the end that needs to be woven!). My sister was kind enough to take pictures for me yesterday.

FO: Betty

She's really good about capturing silly moments like this one! If I haven't mentioned, she's working on her photography as more than just a hobby, and you can check her out here if you're interested.

FO: Betty

I made no mods to the shawl, and I used approximately 520 yards of yarn. I'm hoping it will keep my grandmother warm. This is my fifth completed shawl of 2010. 50% of the goal isn't bad, but it's not great, either. Oh well.

Side note: my grandparents are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary early next year.

In.cred.ible.

Raveled

Friday, December 3, 2010

Proctor Pics

A few glimpses of my Thanksgiving weekend:

DSC_1641

DSC_1636

DSC_1660

And my personal favorites, meet Duke, my grandparent's llama:

Duke

Duke loves:
-when we visit
-kitchen scraps
-and most especially, tortillas.

Duke

I promise I'll have some actual knitting content soon. I'm just a few rows from the finish line on the shawl for my grandmother, and I started a pair of Marlene socks. It's my first Cookie A pattern, and I'm using this lovely skein of MadelineTosh Sock:

MadelineTosh Mourning Dove

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