The Amazing Adventures of Tom and Bel

Friday, August 31, 2007


Yesterday was a very good day indeed.
I spent a little more time at one of Portland's excellent yarn stores, Knit Purl:

Of course, a little bit of money was spent as well. I acquired another skein of Shibui Sock and some Meilenweit Tweed. It is perhaps kinder not to ask why I enjoy sock yarn so much, as I've completed exactly one sock this year. (Clearly, hope springs eternal in my mind.) But I am determined to create a pair

The Boy-O and I finally got to take advantage of his birthday present:

Yes, indeed, boys and girls, your friendly neighborhood blogger is a Monty Python virgin no more. Don't ask how I've managed 30+ years on this planet without seeing their work, but it was worth it to have such a delightful introduction last night. Relentlessly silly (shockingly so, at times), I enjoyed myself immensely.

And just when I couldn't have asked for a nicer day, what do I find here at home?

Just a plain old box, you say? Not so:

My Autumn Rose yarn has arrived, and I have a four-day weekend. Oh, yeah. The life, she is sweet.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Got Bugs

WE have bugs of multiple sorts these days. I stayed home yesterday with a completely awful stomach bug that the family is apparently passing back and forth (Boy-O and the kids had it, then I got it, and now I think the spouse has got it again). Erk. My least favorite thing to do: to be sick and have sick people who need me, too. Blech. Oh, the joys of pseudo-parenthood.

And I just discovered a horrendous infestation of ants under my desk! Blech blech blech.
Some days, you can't win for losing. No wonder my fancy socks are coming out at 9 sts & 15 rows/inch!


Monday, August 27, 2007

And Another Thing

Because everybody in the office gets Interweave Knits, I usually chat about it with my co-workers and don't bother to mention it here. And hardly anyone there gets Vogue Knitting (web site's still down, sorry), so I always chat it up on the blog.
But honestly, I believe the real difference between these two is styling.

Vogue, of course, tends to go toward a couture fashion spread effect, while Interweave shows off their patterns in ways and places that people might actually wear them. But I still say about 90% could go either way.

For example (note that the IK pics are theirs, swiped from their web site, whereas the VK pics were taken by me of my copy. Usual copyright jazz applies):

IK: Hedgerow Coat/VK #10

IK: Counterpane Pullover/VK #28

IK: Dickinson Pullover/VK #36

IK: Belle Cardigan/VK #39

Goodness knows, VK has definitely done little dresses like this one from the fall IK:

and IK's regularly featured hoodies like this one in Vogue.

(I have deep lust in my heart for this silk one, especially. As soon as I sell that kidney, it's on! But I digress.)

I guess because I'm a fan of both publications, I'm always surprised that people say there's nothing they'd ever make out of one or the other. I think there's always a little room for compromise there.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Proof of a Saturday Well Spent

All thanks to the charms of the Pacific Ocean and Cannon Beach.

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Friday, August 24, 2007


DESPITE the title, it's not a food post, but a crafty one.
I may or may not have fallen into Knit/Purl yesterday afternoon, and a bit of delectable sock yarn may or may not have followed me home.
(Excessive fondling of this beautiful yarn, however, is definitely occuring.)

I also picked up the special anniversary issue of VK (their website's broken, so no links today).
First, may I just say: I have the girl crush on Miss Lily Chin.
(Yes, I have met LC, and no, I'm not just a weirdo stalker.) But her article on choosing projects and making good decisions about fit is pure dee gold. Love it; highly recommend picking up the ish for that alone.

But I also dug the "behind the scenes of VK" story and the interview with knittings "old guard."
Seriously, I don't know how Trisha Malcolm was able to form sentences while talking with that brain trust. All I'd have been able to do was sit there going "ummmm...."
Honestly, that group's forgotten more about knitting than I've ever known.

And, as always, I did find some things I dig amongst the new stuff (Again, LC brings it with the lace dress, and there are a couple of things by Mari Lynn Patrick that are moving me) and the revisited stuff is like seeing old friends (dudes! they reprinted the Map Sweater *and* the Enchanted Forest. Even if you never wear it, these are so neat to knit).

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Reason #456 to love Portland

In case you can't read the additional commentary, it says "dating losers."

So true; so true.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


A much more appropriate selection of colors for my version of Autumn Rose. I'm extremely happy with my new choices.

As is my squinty girl dog, who is absolutely fascinated by my sad attempts at photography.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sheeps Ahoy!

A bit abstract, but if you look closely you can see one of the cute little sheep on the bottom of Bean's blanket.
Two down, eight to go...


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Winter is Coming

WHILE on my early morning hydrangea hunt, I enjoyed a rare bit of alone time in the rain.
The dampness and the slight chill in the morning reminds me that winter is coming, and winter out here is an oddly beautiful thing.
Especially on misty days like this one, when the dampness clings to everything, turning the tree trunks black and the moss pale green, and my immediate thoughts are turning this natural beauty into something knitted.
Random ideas which may or may not become actual projects are below...

Wood chips on a neighbor's lawn. I love the contrast of topaz and grey in this one. If I were going to try to knit this one, I'd do something in entrelac with a selection of browns and a few random grey squares.
(Though every time I look at these colors, I hear Paolo Conte in my head singing about "chips, chips... dah-tee-doo-di-doo...")

Gorgeous dahlia. I can't wait until we can plant these in our own yard.
This one seems perfect for a classic Fair Isle pattern, done on a white background and pattern shading from light to dark and back again.

Ah, Oregon plums (snagged from a neighborhood tree). These have a shocking lime green rim and delicious, moist flesh that is almost the color of cantaloupe.
I think perhaps a deep purple top with a lace overlay would give the soft effect this brings to mind.

Here I tried (and failed miserably) to capture the deep garnet color of the leaves with the light coming through them. The jet blackness of the trunk clearly comes through, so I'll chalk that up to inexperience on my part. Again, to try to capture this, I'd try Fair Isle (red and black is a pretty classic combination) with a dash of palest green perhaps embroidered across the surface for the moss.

A Japanese maple from down the block. I am obsessed by the soft, feathery quality of the leaves, and am determined to acquire one of these for the yard as well.
I think intarsia would be appropriate to adequately capture the shape and shading of the leaves.

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Hydrangea Ranger

AFTER a couple of hours of disastrous swatching last night re: Autumn Rose, I woke up at quarter to six with a bee in my bonnet. (Have I mentioned a slightly obsessive tendency regarding my knitting? No? Okay. Forget I said anything.)

It occurred to me that I'd been going about it all wrong, starting with the heathers on the Palette color card, when the thing I want most is to find colors that will flatter my skin.
This project, theoretically, will be my reward to myself for managing to give birth without losing my mind, and I want it to be something I'll wear for a while. So as my little mental bee was buzzing about, it lit upon one of my favorite flowers:

Hydrangeas are all over our neighborhood. I so love living in the rain forest.

These colors are terribly feminine, but I adore them and think the very geometric stitch pattern will butch it up a bit. I'll have to wait until Monday to get back into the yarn bins, but I have a very good feeling about this...

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Saturday, August 18, 2007


Like nearly everyone else in the knitting universe, I have become completely besotted with Eunny Jang's Autumn Rose Pullover (click for the Simply Shetland 4 slideshow; front and back views are #2 and #3 in the show). A couple of folks I know want to make this as well, so we're having a mini-KAL. Above is a swatch I did while running around town yesterday (taking The Nephew to the last of his very expensive dental appointments, getting school enrollment forms, seeing my OB, etc., etc.) using what I had to hand, which are KP colors.

While I loved most of the colors in the swatch, I somehow forgot in my euphoric enthusiasm for this pattern that brown yarn as background color + brown skin = naked woman with unusual body paint. Whoops.

So I've turned to my personal colorist (i.e., my artistic spouse) and will be swatching with his choices. Should be interesting to see if I can make this without investing the mint I'd need to spend for J&S colors. Stay tuned...

(Baby update: Progressing nicely. I've finally started to put on a little weight -- amazing how that happens when you stop throwing up every day! --and am measuring right on target.
The little Bean is busily kicking away in there, and Boy-O has even been able to feel it if I lie very, very still. Good stuff!)

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Just Like Buttah

Though it is possibly the simplest thing I have ever made, I am unreasonably delighted that this works.
And the taste?

Now I'm gonna have to bake bread just so I have something worthy of this delicious condiment.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Getting There

We're looking good....

..but we're so not done cooking yet.