Monday, February 27, 2006

Girls Who Wear Glasses

I received the two pairs of glasses from mimiwoo on ebay today, and couldn't wait to share photos of the girls. By now, you must all be bored to tears of seeing my bookcases - I swear I'll get around to making new backdrops, but for now, here's some pics of my girls in their new glasses:

Olivia, the bookworm:

And UltraViolet:

Can't wait to make a gorgeous costume for Violet - was gonna keep all of this underwraps until it was done, but am so excited I just have to share ;-)


I pulled out the Branching Out scarf to work on it again, and one thing's been really bugging me - the fact that the lace holes don't look like those in the photo. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, so started another lace scarf - a mohair one from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Well, it's an all-knit scarf, and my eye-lets are HUGE. Wha?!? Why isn't that happening on Branching Out? So, I thought, "I'll try something new for the next couple rows - I can always un-knit it." I thought I'd been purling my YOs wrong, but what I discovered is that I've been doing my YOs wrong! I'd been wrapping them clockwise instead of counter-clockwise and that's why my lace holes (eyelets) weren't gaping like they should. ARGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! And the worst part of this? I wasn't sure in the beginning if I was doing any of these new stitches right and asked my mom and she assured me it was right. Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I thought if there was one thing my mom was *perfect* at, it was knitting. I'm so sad.

So, I guess I'll be frogging the scarf and starting over again. All 6 repeats... Including the last 4 rows where I finally got it right (see those gaping holes nearest the needles - beautiful!):

I just keep thinking: "What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger." And next time, I'm so checking my Knitting Answer book after asking mom (sorry, mom!) - just in case.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ribbed Hats

So, instead of finishing Branching Out like I was supposed to, I put my hands to work making hats for two one-year olds. I couldn't help it - they're cute, they're family and they're one. I mean, what does a one-year old need? Food and clothes, right? They're easily entertained with car keys and funny faces at this point, so I made them little stripey hats. I used self-striping yarn, which makes the hats look more difficult than they were to make. I took measurements, and checked my yarn gauge, and created the pattern myself. K2, P2 every row, and decreased the second to last row k2tog, p2tog and then k1, p1 last row before drawing the tail through the last row and sewing up the back seam. Anyway, the hats turned out really cute and fit them both - yeah! I did make the girl's 1" smaller than the boy's as she is a petite little lady. They have a nice 70s vibe to them, which is great too. So, once I finished the hats, I had some leftover yarn, which I then used to create hats for Blythe, using the same method as desribed above. Here are the finished projects:

Boy colors on Violet (they match her hair):

Girl colors on Didi (the pink is cute and girly and matches her hair):

I'll probably pick up some fluffy yarn today, as I have yet another little one in the family now - just born yesterday - and can't have anyone feeling left out :-D Whatever's leftover will be used for Blythe - such a great way to use up stash!

I've been a little naughty

OK, so Violet isn't the only new girl to arrive this week... I found another girl who called to me, and now I have a Samedi Marche Encore who arrived about half an hour ago... She hasn't even been taken out of the box yet! I hear her name starts with an "H" and is a little old-fashioned... I'm not sure, but I think it might be Hildegard - Hilde for short. So, those are my last girls for a little while, although I will be keeping an eye out for a Merry Skier and a Pinafore Purple. But, for now, I have plenty of girls to play with. It's been like a floodgate around here - I waited forever to get my first girl, and then suddenly I find I have 6!

So, here's the pic of my SME still in box while I figure out where I'm gonna put her:

My Little Butterfly

Ah, so I caved and got an Asian Butterfly Encore Blythe. She's really quite gorgeous in person - the flash from the camera makes her hair extra blue, but in person it's much more subtle. Her name is Violet, and she'll be dressing like the character from The Incredibles in no time ;-) She just has that leave me alone teenage personality. A little like me at that age, actually.

Here's her first official Photo on my blog:

I have a couple design ideas for her, as well as some costume ideas for Blythe in general that I think will turn out well. Now I just need to find the time to work on them.

Give me a Bronze Medal and Call It a Day

Ah, the Knitting Olympics. I really was quite zealous and thought I could complete Branching Out, but alas, life threw me quite a few curve balls over the last two weeks (new baby in the family, following up on some health stuff - trust me, you don't want details, but will say all is good and I don't have to go through that again for 5 years - and the 1st birthdays of the other babies in the family) and I've only finished 5 repeats (20 to go). I don't think I'll be able to finish by tomorrow night's closing ceremonies. Am I sad? A little, but I've also finished quite a few other projects in the meantime - two baby hats for family (hey, family comes first - especially where kids are concerned), I worked on another Paris Loop, and I also finished two hats for Blythe from the leftover baby hat yarn. The thing is, Branching Out is the most solitary item I've worked on due to the repeats and the need to keep track of your stitches as you do each knit row, so I couldn't work on it at lunch and still hold a conversation with M (unless you call screaming "Fcuk! Fcukity fcuk, I made another fcuking mistake!" a conversation). So, it wasn't worked on nearly as much as I'd have liked. But, I did learn quite a few stitches and learned how to identify my mistakes and how to fix them, so for that, I say, give me the Bronze Medal and call it a day. I'll definitely finish the scarf, just not as soon as I would have liked.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I finally get it...

I only had to frog Branching Out two times, but I've now finished two repeats (something like 25 to go) and it's looking pretty good. It won't be blocked until it's done, so my version looks nothing like Knitty's (unless you squint really hard). I even discovered a place where I'd twisted a stitch and was able to fix it in the next row (phew!). So, I think there may be more lace in my future when I'm done with the Knitting Olympics. ;-)

Here's my progress so far:

The Agony of Defeat

Now that the Winter Olympics are officially here, the Knitting Olympics have begun. For my project, I chose a lace scarf called Branching Out from Please note that this is my very first lace anything and that I am, in general, an over-achiever. Familiar with Hermione from the Harry Potter series? Picture her grown up and you get the general idea...

Not only do I pick lace, I choose to do it in mohair. I cast on and frogged the damn thing 5 times before I realized there was no way I was ever going to be able to see my stitches in all the fuzz. So, I ended up buying some gorgeous Noro in teal that's a lovely wool/silk blend in order to save my sanity. Things were going well until this woman was like "blah blah blah" at my LYS and distracted me to the point that I realized I'd lost count of where I was. This scarf really is a solitary pursuit with counting not only of how many rows in the repeat, but also how many stitches in each row due to the pattern involved. I frogged it once at the LYS, and was getting going again when I got home, and just as I realized that I'd missed a stitch somewhere in the last row, the phone rang and I gave up trying to figure out where so I frogged it a second time. Not to worry though, I think I finally know what I was doing wrong, so I have a very good chance of doing it right the third time.

The whole thing just put me in a funk, coupled with having to drive the 405 to go out with M and friends for dinner (and other less fun things that no one wants to hear about anyway). So after dinner, I finished the left front of the cropped bolero by Veronik Avery and that perked me right up.

I have to say for all the knitting and frogging I did today, I learned quite a few stitches I'd been avoiding for fear they'd be too difficult, and would like to recommend this book, as it was extremely helpful in grasping how to do them. Don't know what I'd have done without it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

It's a Mod, Mod, Mod World

Georgie's been keeping me company at work this week, and when she played with the other girls at home, I noticed she has a kinda greenish tinge. It was bugging me, so I did a little research on the forum and discovered that the ADG repros are known for this, and not as well-loved because of it. :-( The thing that made it stand out the most was the harsh eyeshadow. One clever girl on the forum recommended removing it with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which is exactly what I did. :-D

The girl was right, it's a huge improvement. G's still slighter greener than her sisters, but I'm loving her so much more now that she doesn't look like she's gonna be ill all the time. I took some pictures to document the difference:




The next thing I'd like to do is give her a peachier lip color, as the fuchsia is currently reminding me of the lipstick I wore in 1986. Let's just say, it's retro in a bad way...

And following that, a bit of a haircut - maybe make her look a bit more like Pow Wow Poncho, as I picked up the complete outfit for cheap on Ebay (love BIN!).

I am having way too much fun with my girls ;-) Next up is making clothes for them...

Cholesterol Sucks

Yesterday my doctor's office left me a message with the following information:

Overall cholesterol: 251
LDL: 129

Suggestions for improvements:

Exercise and eat better (well, duh).

I've always had borderline high cholesterol - around 215 - but this is BAD, even for me. The LDL should be below 100, and since high cholesterol runs in the family, I doubt I'll ever see 190 overall, but will aim to get it back to where it usually is.

The first thing I did when I heard the message was to run over to M and tell him "No more dessert!" So, even though it's only been 2 days of *healthier* eating, we're doing pretty well (Let's just say it was a good thing we tried the lemon meringue cheesecake before I found out my numbers - yikes).

The last time it spiked like this, I did a modified low carb diet and ended up losing 14 lbs. We like that.

So, between me, MacGeekette and LoQuesha, we've come up with a plan of attack to get my numbers down fast: 1) oatmeal for breakfast - apparently it just sucks all the cholesterol out of your blood - we like that, 2) once my shoulder's heeled and I'm off the meds, I get one glass of red wine a day - we like that too, 3) cinnamon continues to go in my coffee - yet another thing that just sucks the cholesterol out of your blood, 4) LoQuesha suggested pomegranate juice, which I will try with seltzer water and report back - she says it's strong like cranberry juice, 5) exercise is my friend - already hit the gym last night, and LoQuesha and I will go hiking over the weekend and finally 6) I will go back to my modified low carb diet - meaning I mostly eat lean protein and veggies, with occasional treats of bread - the wheat kind - and chocolate (hey, I'm not perfect) - the dark kind, which happens to be good for you (no more of the milk chocky that M likes so much).

Now that I've found Pocky, I can have my taste of dark chocolate without all the calories and cholesterol of Ritter Sport (if you haven't tried Ritter... mmmm.... milk chocolate with coconut is best, but there are many, many yummy flavors - I know, I've tried them all).

I go back to see my doctor in 3 weeks, so we'll see if there's any improvement...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Latest To Join The Fray Is...


She's an absolute stunner. I had to go to my local PO twice before I got her (they felt the need to try to deliver her to me twice, even though I wasn't home to receive her). Anyway, she's well worth the wait. She's a Tweedly Do - a Japanese Toys R Us exclusive. Why can't the Toys R Us in the States have such cool exclusives?

Aside from Ebay, I haven't found any stores in town that carry Blythe, but did recommend her to an anime store owner at the Westside Pavillion. In the meantime, I placated myself with their lack of Blythe with a few boxes of Pocky. Mmmmm - chocky Pocky. Olivia is probably my last for a little while, even though I wouldn't mind a Samedi Marche or Asian Butterfly if one showed up for the right price... The anime store owner said to check back with him in April, which is just what I'll do ;-)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Foody Call

Due to our schedule, M and I have certain limited choices for our after work nourishment. Of the 5 or 6 places we frequent, each has its pluses and minuses. This has become the topic of many of our conversations (once we're done figuring out how to save the world, of course), to the point that I think he needs to start his own blog based solely on food. I mean, how much trouble can you get in writing about FOOD? As to our political opinions, well, I won't even go there - except to say the current President is far from our favorite.

So, now that M has fallen just as hard for Blythe as I have (I don't think he'd buy his own, but he's welcome to borrow mine to photograph anytime), we've come up with the idea that we need to photograph Blythe at all of our eating establishments. I don't know why we thought this was a good idea, but in addition, M wants us to treat her like she's real (because our fave waiters don't think we're crazy enough for whipping out our Nintendo DS and playing with our virtual dogs). Anyway, we haven't treated her like she's real, yet, but while I was knitting my Paris Loop at the table, I looked down and saw this:

Which gave me the crazy idea to do this:

That is EXACTLY the look I get when I want spicy food. Can't you just hear her? "Hand over the Cholula and no one gets hurt!" Come to think of it, I get like that when it comes to chocolate (hey, I'm a woman, I'm supposed to be crazy for chocolate!), but I will never deny myself the cholula, sweet nectar of spicy goodness.... ;-)

Friday, February 03, 2006


Seriously. I'm having a moment and it's not good. Here it is:

I know that's Georgie and not me, but that's exactly how I feel right now. Glassy-eyed with a headache. I'm just going to say that some people should not be allowed to be in charge of certain projects, as this is what they leave in their wake.


Since I've been sewing since I was 10, I tend to buy things I can't make (or can't make as cheaply), which has led to a minor obsession with shoes. On top of that, the nice thing about feet is that once they stop growing, that's pretty much it - even if you gain a few pounds, your shoes still fit. So, since my feet have been the same size since I was 14, add in my love of shoes, and you understand that I have a lot of shoes. It's your basic equation of if P=>Q and Q=>R then P=>R, too. There should be one person in my reading audience who will get this. ;-)

Sometimes, I don't pick my shoes for comfort. Sometimes they're just little pieces of art (read: super uncomfortable). Now, we all know art is in the eye of the beholder, so this doesn't mean everyone will find them attractive (I can guarantee my mom won't like these). In fact, if I hadn't fallen for them, I'd probably find them kinda ugly, but they speak to my inner granola child and days of making candles and tie dye t-shirts back in kindergarten. I've worn them once already and they were so uncomfortable, I was barefoot by the afternoon. Now, I have to say they only came in whole sizes (and I'm a half-size), so they were slipping around and gave me humongous blisters. Well, I'm going to try them again today, only this time I've inserted Dr. Scholl's in the hopes that will take up the extra half-size and make them wearable. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to find a worthy girlfriend to take them off my hands. So, wish me luck - my feet are gonna need it.

Here's a pic of the aforementioned shoes (note Dr. Scholl's already inserted):

On the plus side, they're platforms, so I'm going to be super tall today (another fantasy of mine, and one achieved through high heels only until science catches up with me).

Edited to add: I ended up having to wear them with my gym socks to keep them on properly. Also, the left heel tap fell off, so I was rhythmically challenged for most of the day, but no blisters - and that's a very good thing in my book :-)

PS - Picked up some heel grips at Target and now they fit PERFECTLY sans gym socks. Still gotta fix the heel taps (right one's about to fall off now too), but I can take them to the Shoe Doctor for that.