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May 31, 2002
Flat Cat Pants Ella



Flat Cat Pants



Ella was wearing these today and it dawned on me that I should post them. The fabrics on these are especially cute -- it really makes them click. it's cats, kanji and cranes. I like using unanticipated fabrics for kids' clothing.

This is a pattern I made up a couple of years ago. They're not cut at all like traditional pants, but they are very easy to make. You only have to cut rectangles and sew straight seams. Look for the directions under "free patterns" to the left.



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11:56 AM
You must be Yoking.



You must be Yoking.



Okay, sure enough, I sort of plowed blindly ahead with the yoke/neck shaping of Rex's sweater and it's definitely not right. I think that I need to rip it out a ways and do some shaping with short rows. I think I have grokked the idea of the short row wrap, though I haven't put it into practice yet. I think I need to do a little more reading before I jump in again. Any good tips on how to do a V-neck raglan neckline? Send me some email!

Now I remember why I was going to do the thing top down!



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09:33 AM
May 28, 2002
You Rexy Thing! Well,



You Rexy Thing!



Well, this is hardly the little addendum it was Friday! The yarn came Thursday and it's arrival pushed me to finish the scarf so I could get knitting with the Pronto. The good news/bad news is that Ella's cold and bad sleep habits have combined to wake me irredeemably at about 4:oo am the last few days. So once I've lulled her back to sleep, I've been getting in some quality knitting time (with her on my lap or shoulder, of course).

I joined all the pieces today and have started to cable the raglans. I've joined the cable nation! Groovy.

I haven't quite decided how to finish the neck. It's going to have a V-neck. The cuffs and bottom have cable ribs, but that won't work at the neck line. Suggestions?


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03:15 PM
Easy as Apple Pie



Easy as Apple Pie



Okay, so Apple Pie is hardly a culinary mystery, but it is good. And so easy a 4 year old can make it... provided you have this medieval instrument of torture known as the apple-peeler-corer-slicer! I'm not a big gadget person, but I love this thing. It really does peel, core and slice the apples with a simple turn of the crank.

So here's how we made so-easy-it's-cheating apple pie:


Run 8-10 assorted apples through the torture device (3 or 4 different kinds),


Sprinkle with juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 c. flour, sugar to taste, and cinnamon. Mix.


Put into one of those frozen folded pie doughs (not as good as homemade...)


Dot with butter, Put on top pie crust. Crimp edges.


Bake for about an hour at 350 degrees.


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02:54 PM
May 27, 2002
new leaves All of



new leaves



All of a sudden summer is here. The jasmine has bloomed and it smells so good! Sure, other flowers smell nice, but there's something about the intensity of jasmine. I remember it was about this time of year when we moved to southern California (not without some trepidation), but when we walked around the neighborhood with all its gorgeous and funky plants (Dr. Suess used to live in our neighborhood; you can tell where he got his inspiration.) and it smelled like flowers everywhere, it was hard not to like. I want to plant another one.


A rogue fig is growing between the fence and the hot water heater. Now that I've figured out what it is, I need to move it. I have no idea how it came to be there, but there are real figs you can eat in the neighborhood, so I'm excited.


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03:42 AM
May 26, 2002
a new leaf We'll



a new leaf



We'll I'm feeling good on the knitting front. I have, at long last, finished the scarf! The YO, p2tog double stranded wasn't so fun to knit because I had to keep my eye on it all the time. If I didn't pay attention I messed up and it was almost impossible to figure out how to undo the error. Ah, well. It's pretty. It ended up being about 5 feet long (not stretched). That's when I ran out of the Linen Drape. Used about one and a half balls of Flora. Can't wait to give it to the recipient!

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06:18 AM
May 24, 2002
The T-Gene If there's



The T-Gene



If there's a spot somewhere on the double helix that codes for thrift-shopping, I've got it! Check out today's score! With the exception of the velvet pants, all of these are brand new French baby clothes (mini man, marese). You can't really see their true fabulousness in this picture, but trust me. Most are fully lined, the red top is even reversible. I'm not sure Ella'll even get to wear most of it sizewise, but it was too good to pass up, so I'll pass it on to someone. Given the quantity of stuff they had, it must have been a donation from a boutique. Plus I had a 20% off coupon for donating stuff to them, so I only spent $16!

But wait, you also get this extra large Ecuadoran pure wool sweater! Weighs a ton. Lots of lanolin. Makes a great tent door. Just what I need in San Diego! I'm definitely ripping this one up. I already started. My idea was to make a jacket for Zoe since she's having a rainbow phase, but she says it's itchy. There's enough yarn here for a myriad of projects though.


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08:11 PM
May 22, 2002
another wish list project



another wish list project



Oh... I forgot to mention earlier the project I was dreaming of when I got up: A sort of Henley collared pullover made from Noro
Kureyon -- saw some on ebay that's fuschia and orange (102) and some that's foresty shades of green and brown. Both are lovely. 1090
yards should be enough for a sweater, no? If not, I'd probably throw in some co-ordinating Cascade Pastaza. Probably just striped.

I like the brights, but am always drawn to the greens. Okay, of the maybe 10 sweaters I own, 5 of them are green, but not THIS particular green. Don't know what that means in terms of knitting another sweater...

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03:14 PM
I'm Aortal! Hey! I'm



I'm Aortal!



Hey! I'm Shobhana's Aortal Link this week at My Life in Stitches! How
exciting. This definitely counts toward some of my 15 minutes of fame.


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09:46 AM
Startitis I so want



Startitis



I so want to begin a new project! I am still working on the flora charm scarf -- it's maybe 30 inches long now, but it's not a
project that really flows. Still, I want to get it done and I continue to stick doggedly to my "one project at a time" pact with myself.

That's not to say that I haven't been scheming and dabbling... I bought the sock yarn, but after swatching, I don't know if I can really get into anything so tiny. I also am thinking about recycling the Fandango baby sweater and using the yarn with some the Zanziba that didn't match the Green Parrot Fandango... I think I'll have three skeins of each, so that should make a cardigan from Colinette's Art to Wear... Also, I bought some orange Berroco Pronto on ebay which may end up being the cabled sweater for baby Rex. Decisions, decisions. But first, the scarf!


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09:41 AM
May 21, 2002
DC Textile Event If



DC Textile Event



If you are in the DC area, mark your calendars! The Textile Museum is
having a free "Celebration of Textiles Day" on June 1st. No knitting mentioned, but there will be hands-on activities including
spinning, weaving, dyeing and real live alpacas. Also music and kids' activities, so there'll be fun for the whole family. Too bad our
trip didn't coincide with the event, but if you're in the area, check out their website, www.textilemuseum.org .


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06:43 AM
Genealogy While out visiting



Genealogy



While out visiting with Leo's family I did get a bit of genealogy done -- or at least got some pictures scanned. I really love some
of these old pictures. This is my husband's father's father's father and mother, one of their sons, and a mystery cousin.

I've been (slowly) working on gathering up the histories of my family and Leo's family and getting it all digitized so it won't be lost. My maternal grandmother was a great genealogist, but her painstaking records are starting to degrade.

Anyway, I got a few pictures of my husband's father's mother's family which is great -- I didn't have any photos of them before.

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06:33 AM
May 20, 2002
Proselytizing First off, I



Proselytizing



First off, I haven't fallen off the planet or anything, we've been in DC visiting relatives, seeing some sites, etc. We'll be flying
back home today, and finally I have something knitworthy to post. (The great magic of blogging -- you can do it from anywhere! Though I
can't access my email from here -- so if you've been pounding on my virtual door for the last ten days, that's why I haven't answered.)
My sister-in-law and I went to a LYS yesterday in Silver Spring, MD and picked her out some yarn for her FIRST EVER project. Because I
have been spreadin' the faith!

Anyway, while in the yarn store I picked up some Opal sock yarn and some teensy tiny little needles -- they're a lot more like needles
than what I'm used to -- ouch! I had hitherto been averse to sock knitting as I never wear socks and it seemed like a lot of work for
something to stick in your shoe. Then I read No Idle Hands (see post way below), and got into the idea of socks -- envisioning
the birth of America hinging upon Martha Washington and friends furiously knitting socks in a tent at Valley Forge... such dramatic
imagery!

When I saw Ivete's link to Karen's Place with some very darling baby socks, I was hooked on the idea. If I knit socks for babies, I realized, they'll go a lot faster. Plus, babies don't wear shoes much and their cute little socks show. So how do I knit a sock for a baby? I found a basic sock recipe, but baby legs and feet are so small and pudgy, they may require special instructions. Plus, how do you make a sock that will really stay on?

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06:11 AM
May 9, 2002
Charmed Scarf This is



Charmed Scarf



This is the scarf that I am working on now, with Rowan Linen Drape and Trendsetters Flora. I'm using Jennifer's "Cancun Scarf"
pattern from Moving Hands. I had a terrible time getting
started with this lacy thing, but here's what I've learned:

YO, p2tog works a lot better than YO, k2tog: Jennifer's pattern calls for p2tog, but I figured, "potato/potahto", you're working it the same on both sides, what's the difference? There's a difference.

Don't use big needles. I assumed big needles were the answer to the lacy look, but worked my way all the way down to 6's (that's is an 8 to you... I knit big) to get it to look like this.

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10:11 AM
Kool Jughead Hat Here's



Kool Jughead Hat



Here's a hat I knit with some of my Kool-Aid yarn, modeled by my friend's baby, Rex.

The pattern's available at the left under "free patterns" it's called "mitered hat" or something like that.

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09:18 AM
May 6, 2002
art to wear I



art to wear



I had high hopes for a show at a gallery this weekend for San Diego Artwear's Spring Artwear/ware New Visions Show which billed
"one-of-a-kind designs from many of your favorite well-known local artists". I guess I was invisioning something more avant-garde, you
know, art with a capital "A". Turned out it was more along the lines of painted silk scarves and embellished jean jackets. One weaver
had some pretty nice stuff, but when I tried to engage her about where she got her fibers and how she dyed them, she gave a curt, "Well,
I've been collecting fibers for over 29 years..." Oh well. For being one of the nation's 10 largest cities, San Diego is amazingly
uncosmopolitan.


On Sunday, though, we went to The Museum of Contemporary Art for their monthly Family Free Day. Not only is the museum free, they have some very inspired children's projects drawing on pieces of art from their collection. This time it was painting pieces of clothing that had been dipped in plaster. This is Zoe's creation:

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09:45 AM
May 4, 2002
the magic of mitres



the magic of mitres



Bumped into this Koigu Oriental Jacket. It totally left my head
spinning.

I had noticed the "rambling rows" throw that Shobhana was working on and was already mulling over miters I guess, then stumbled across this. It's pretty intense. I don't think I would make the coat, but I like the variations in size of the squares and working each block with two colors. Maybe a baby blanket?


It's pretty easy, you just need to work some double decreases. Here's how to

mitre (or miter). Hard to use a search engine when you can't decide how to
spell it!

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02:43 PM
May 3, 2002
Stop Me Before I



Stop Me Before I Dye Again...



Here's an update on my Kool-Aid escapades. The latest batch I used Grape, Black Cherry and Strawberry. The Grape and Black Cherry
are delightfully subdued colors. Zoe was disappointed, but I think it's the best yet.


And here's the growing Kool-Aid stash:

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10:05 AM
Organic Veggies Thought I'd



Organic Veggies



Thought I'd put in a little plug for Community Supported Agriculture. We belong to a
CSA and get a boxful of locally grown organic fruits and veggies every other week from Be Wise
Ranch
. This week we got: celery, asparagus, radishes, kale, lettuce, peas, carrots, cabbage, cilantro, avocados, strawberries and
oranges. We live in a great area for year-round agriculture, but CSA's operate all over.

Short of joining a CSA, organic veggies and fruits are available in regular grocery stores, but it's tricky to know what to buy organic and what conventionally grown foods are okay. I found this great list from the Environmental Working Group, based on the total pesticide load in various fruits and veggies.

Top Twelve to Buy Organic (the most toxic):

strawberries

bell peppers

spinach

US grown cherries

peaches

Mexican grown canteloupes

celery

apples

apricots

green beans

Chilean grapes

cucumbers

The Lowest Pesticide Residues Occur in:

avocados

corn

onions

cauliflower

asparagus

Brussels sprouts

US grown grapes

bananas

plums

scallions

watermelon

broccoli

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09:44 AM
May 2, 2002
Thrift Sweater Update Back



Thrift Sweater Update



Back on April 16th, I bought a sweater at the thrift store. My original intent was to rip it back to nothing and use the yarn to
reknit something new (see the archive). I unraveled it's yucky cowlish turtleneck and left the rest for later. Of course, then I
started wearing it. Gold star to

Kate for recognizing that probably it should just get worn. Plus, I noticed that it
snagged easily, which makes re-knitting the yarn less tantalizing. How someone managed to wear it long enough to decide to expunge it
from their wardrobe without monsterous snags, I don't know. I guess they didn't have my "active lifestyle". Anyway, I decided to just
knit on a regular ribbed neck. Here it is:

cool.

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06:23 AM
No Idle Hands I



No Idle Hands



I stumbled across a great book the other day at the library, No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting, by
Anne L. Macdonald (Ballantine Books, 1988). I haven't checked to see if it is still in press, but I doubt it... sort of a limited target
audience, but boy, am I it! A social history of women -- and knitting! How domestic sphere can you get!

I've just started reading, but already I have a whole new appreciation for sock knitting (which I confess, was an area of knitting that I had little interest in). Think about it: with no hand-knitted socks, you were stuck with something woven! Sure a knit hat is nice, but the original knitters in America were busily making socks. Now you know.

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06:14 AM
Site Update The sun



Site Update



The sun is just rising and I've already designed a new hat and updated the blog! I've added a "free patterns" link to the left to
accomodate the patterns I want to share. Just a couple there now. More to follow.

I also did away with all my blog links because it was just too much. There's now a link to the knitblogs list, you can find (nearly) everyone there.

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06:00 AM