The Amazing Adventures of Tom and Bel

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

OPK (Other People's Knits)

While pregnant, I didn't ever actually seem to finish anything baby-related, though many a project was begun (and subsequently abandoned in my scatterbrained haze). Fortunately, people were very kind and baby did receive some sweet handknits.

This little beauty is the Tulip Cardigan, from Dream in Color. Indigo Mouse Melissa dyed the yarn, another co-worker did the knitting, and Melissa did the finishing. This was the shower gift that most impressed Boy-O, and he doesn't impress easily.

In personal knitting news, Streamlined was blocked...

...worn, and found wanting. I'm performing some super corrective surgery on it and will debut it later.
I have to say, though, this yarn (Ella Rae Shibu) lurves a good blocking. It's sleek and sexy, with a beautiful drape and lovelyhand post-block. When I first started this sweater I despaired of it, but now I'm thinking I need to get more of this delicious stuff.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Baby's First Trip to the Beach

We made a quick trip to Cannon Beach yesterday.

Ostensibly, we planned to introduce baby to the ocean.
While the big kids had lots and lots of fun...

...Z was unimpressed.

And moments later:

While we were at lunch, however, she did discover a new affection for cutlery:

so the trip wasn't a total loss for her. ;-P

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hot Jar Licks

Sorry, that title doesn't refer to a new recipe, but instead to my wanna-be-hip nephew's mispronunciation*. What sort of dish that would be? I'm imagining a spicy Chicago-style giardiniera, with bird's eye peppers, cauliflower, and whole cloves of garlic. I'll have to play around with this mix and see what I can devise.

In the meantime, I recommend you enjoy the opposite sensation with the perfect (pre-) summer peaches:

1 bag frozen organic peaches
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
1 nutmeg
pinch cayenne (optional)
2 tsp. dark agave nectar

Put the peaches in a bowl. Drizzle with vanilla; grate cinnamon and nutmeg over them to taste. Swirl agave nectar atop peaches and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes, or until peaches are semi-thawed. (Add cayenne here, if you wish.)

Eat, and dream of August...

*of the word

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Streamlined: Details

Thought I'd share a couple of detail shots for my new Streamlined sweater. Boy-O is a far better photographer than me, but was busy, so you get what I can manage as far as photo quality.

Tubular cast on, ribbed sides, side vents

Ribbing integrated into the V Neck

Incidentally, in working on this sweater I've finally discovered the perfect use for the connectors in my KP Options set. If you have two 24" cables, put a needle tip on one end and a stopper on the other. They are wonderfully flexible for working a neckline.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cutie patootie

Once again, she absolutely refuses to smile for the camera. Sigh.

Good thing we find her adorable no matter what.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Hail Yeah

A typical Saturday morning at our house (frantic cleaning before the babysitter arrived) was interrupted by the arrival of crazy weather. DH grabbed cups and sent the kids off to document the day:

T took the front...

...while Miss N checked out the back.

It's a far cry from last Saturday, when we could actually have used the grill.

In Knitting News, I'm making excellent progress on the Streamlined pullover. Pics of that coming soon!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Can't Hardly Wait

I'm so psyched. One of my favorite LYSes, Knit Purl, is hosting a workshop with Catherine Lowe next month. Of course I signed up as soon as i possibly could.

She's not as well know by the current knitting generation, but she's been working in the knitting world for ages and is a technical genius. Really fine details and couture techniques are her specialty.
I'm so psyched that I get a chance to see her in action!

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Something Else To Get Pissed About

The Orphan Works Bill, which forces artists to register any creation/work of art in order for copyright to take effect, is an insult to creative people in every field. Your copyright should be automatic.

Read more here and here.

Found via Ravelry.

ETA: Here's the link to the Senate page on the actual bill.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stupid, stupid, stupid

This really pisses me off. (Gap Brands Inc. isn't recycling their hangers.)

Of all the ridiculous, short-sighted things I've heard of companies doing, this takes the cake. For sure, we won't be shopping at Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic unless and until this policy changes. One angry consumer letter coming up!


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Loves of My Life

Happy anniversary, dearest Boy-O. Here's to many, many more.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Streamlined: Swatch Watch

When last we met our intrepid heroine, she -- er, I --was swatching for a new design.

Since I want a very basic top, stockinette is my chosen fabric. I swatched with the ball band-recommended needle size and with a size larger. Both swatches were treated the way I plan to treat the finished sweater: a gentle wash in a mixture of lukewarm water and Eucalan.
Then I laid them out to dry.

(Aside: my stash of this wonder elixir is in the old pink and white bottles. Is it wrong that I want to use it up so that I can switch to the sexy new containers?)

Results: An amazing difference in the fabric. While Swatch A (suggested needle size) produced a sturdy, solid fabric that took two days to fully dry, Swatch B (slightly loosened gauge, 1/2 mm larger) dried a whole day sooner and made a draped, flowing fabric. My design is closer-fitting, and this much more relaxed fabric will work with that. I decided to go with Swatch B.

I took the gauge in the regular way:

And also did a 'hung gauge':

This is a technique recommended by Lily C in both her books and articles and June Hemmons Hiatt. Basically, you place a weight on your swatch to simulate the effect of gravity. Since there was a significant difference, I went with the hung gauge.

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