Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Adventures in Lace Knitting: Part Two

@#$*! *&$%! #$%@!

Wondering how the adventure in lace knitting is going? Not well. Not well at all.

I finished the last portion of the body knitting, and the stitches basically matched up. However when I counted them to move on to the edging portion, I was 14 stitches short. That's a lot.

Now I have three choices here:

1. I can knit another row or two and creatively add 14 stitches. It's lace so what's a few extra holes here and there?

2. I can break my steadfast rule: don't turn back. Knitting, much like life, is never perfect so why go back and fix mistakes? But if I did, I'd have to rip back 12 rows to the third body section and hope the mistakes were just contained to the fourth section.

3. Shove the damn project in the bottom of the knitting bag and let it think long and hard about what its done.

I think I'm going to resort for option 3 for now.

In the meantime, I'm going to go play with my fabric for a while.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adventures in Lace Knitting

Knitting on the Springtime Bandit Shawl is hitting a few bumps. The first three sections of the body portion worked out perfectly. Even numbers. Even knitting. It was lovely.

Then, somewhere, somehow in the fourth portion of the body section repeats, something got all pear shaped. The numbers didn't add up. The stitches weren't matching. At least that's how it was on one row, then the next, it'd magically all work out. I don't get it.

It's an adventure yes. And one I'm trying to remain patient on. But as we all know, that isn't really my strong suit. And I'm beginning to think neither is lace knitting.

But luckily, I'm always up for a good adventure.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tag - I'm it!

Thanks Holli.

I've been photo tagged by Holli. She actually tagged me few days ago, but I've been enjoying an off-line weekend so I'm only now just discovering this. Unfortunately, it means a not-so-flattering pic for me.

Here are the rules:

Take a picture of yourself right now. No primping or preparing. Just snap a picture.
Load the picture onto your blog.
Tag three people to play.

Today was my yoga class, laundry, errand running, craft Sunday. A perfect day. But I was doing all this without a shower and still wearing my yoga clothes and no make up. Lovely, I know.

So I just snapped the pic on my cell phone.

Now it's my turn to tag folks. I'm tagging Sara, Shannon, April and Jen. I know I'm only supposed to tag three people. But I just miss seeing these ladies lovely faces.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The creme brule quest continues

From France to Fremont.

The hubby and I went out to dinner at Rialto Pata Bar & Grill the other night. It's this cute little Italian place we've driven past hundreds of times and always thought we should try it. Well we finally did. It was pretty tasty and the ambiance was very quaint. The service was good and the wine was delish.

The dessert special of the night was creme brule so I just had to try it.
It was a coffee infused creme brule. I'm not a coffee drinker but that didn't deter me. Overall, the creme brule was tasty, but the quest for the French-like-creme brule is still on. Good thing I'm up for the challenge. It's also a good thing I've started back at the gym this week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The search is on

I hit the Fiber Gallery sale this past weekend. I stocked up on the rest of the Baby Alpaca Chunky for the Springtime Bandit Shawl, which is coming along nicely if I do say so myself. It's my first lace pattern from a chart!

I also picked up this lovely pink Cahscotton DK. Now I just need to find a cute little baby sweater for this yarn. The search is on!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd share some of the things I'm doing - or soon hope to do - to help Mother Earth. Plus they say if you share your goals, you're more likely to make them happen.
  • Continue riding the bus to work and drive only a few times a month when needed (plus parking in Seattle really adds up!)
  • Eliminate the use of paper towels in my house. We already use cloth napkins, but the hubby really likes paper towels.
  • Start using homemade cleaners. Any one have any good recipes?
  • Grow more veggies this year.
  • Start making my own bread.
  • Buy things with less packaging.

These are a good start I think, but I can't wait to add more to my list!

Monday, April 20, 2009

FO: My Socks

While I was in France, I was able to finish my socks!

Pattern: Simple Socks from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles
Yarn: Nodding Violet from Socks That Rock

Once again, I seemed to have a bit of a yarn pooling issue. Now that this is the second time I've made these socks with the same pooling issue. Which means it's the knitter. I've started a pair of socks the hubby and I'm seeing the same pooling. It's time to get smaller needles, rip out his sock and start over.
But at least his socks had a bit of an adventure. Here they are soaking up some sun in Nice, France. Nice, huh. (Editor's note: while the socks may look like they are striping, the other side is really pooling.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009


That's me.

I'm grateful for all the generosity that poured out at last night's charity auction for our very worthy cause.

I'm grateful for all the help I got in organizing the event and for the businesses that donated goods for our live and silent auction.

I'm grateful for my family and friends that put up with me as I planned, organized, stressed and was a wee bit crazed during this time.

And, I'll be honest here, I'm grateful it's over.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The reason for radio silence

Life is a little crazy around here and there is a very good reason for it. I'm in the final throws of organizing a big charity auction for a group I'm involved in. While it's very rewarding, and I'm excited at the possibility to help out a worth charity during these tough economic times, it's been a little more time consuming than I anticipated.

Very little knitting - OK none if you can believe that - has occurred (except when I manage to make it Purly Girls!) I really can't remember the last time I've made it to the gym and any "free time" I do find myself with basically consists of me lying in front of the TV because I'm too tired/brain dead to do anything else! It's quite sad really.

But the auction is this Saturday night! I'm very excited for the event and I confess, I am also excited to have it over with! Then I can get back to my crafty/exercising ways! I'm already dreaming of my next projects. They include a baby quilt, several baby sweaters a shawl and a pair of socks for the hubby! I also can't wait to get back to reading all of the blogs that I've grown to love! I miss every one's creativity!

Monday, April 13, 2009

France: It's all about the food

I have no shame and I'm fine admitting it. I basically ate my way through France and loved every minute of it! In fact, I've been craving some serious carbs since I got back! Apparently my diet is craving uber amounts of bread! Here are some of the delectable dishes we consumed - or salivated over:

Creme Brule was the dessert of choice for us. We "tested" it out all over the place and I can officially say the best is at La 16 in Arles, our favorite restaurant of the trip. I'm determined to learn how to make this dish!

These Sables were from the bakery down the street from our apartment. The picture above that is another dessert we ate with friends on night in Paris. Below, chocolate Eiffel Towers for sale in Montmart.We hit the Sunday morning farmers market at the Bastille and it's amazing to see the people who shop there every week! Below are some seasonings for sale.

More carbs please!

Cheese please! I was salivating over a huge hunks of cheese at the market! I had to have a cheese plate at La 16 in Alres! I love how the French eat their cheese plates for desserts, however I prefer to eat mine as an appetizer and have some chocolate or creme brule for dessert! But that's just me.
Above are some of the biggest beef steak tomatoes at the farmers market in Alres! I was amazed by how large the fruit and produce were at these small town markets! And what would a trip to France be without a crepe? So we had a nutella crepe in Aux-en-Provence. We had to slow down long enough for me to snap the picture. It was really good!
It's time to hit the gym...but worth every minute on the treadmill!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finally, France!

It's been a very busy week, one made more difficult by the fact that jet lag kicked my ass much worse than I thought it would! But now, things have slowed down, sleep has been caught up on and I've finally had time to sift through some of my favorite pics from France. Enjoy!

A self portrait from the river cruise boat. Don't let the sunshine fool you, it was freakin' freezing in Paris! In fact, the night we went to the to the top of the Eiffel Tower, it was snowing! Pretty neat to see, but really cold! The stained glass windows in the Sainte-Chappelle Cathedral. They were the most beautiful windows I've ever seen. It's this little cathedral 2 blocks from the Notre Dame. On your next trip, this is a must. Plus there is no line. Below is a street pic I snapped just two blocks from our apartment in the Saint Germaine neighborhood. It was the perfect place to stay! The neighborhood was very lively and full of quaint shops, bakeries, tasty restaurants and walking distance from all the major sites! I'll be staying there again!

This block in Montmart was filled with artists....very inspirational to see! Below is the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. We took a 1/2 day trip out there and it was quite the palace. It was too early for the gardens to bloom, so I guess I'll have to go back.

This is the courtyard in our little hotel in Arles, the Hotel du Musee. It was the cutest little place I've ever stayed. Arles was a great town, full of beautiful old buildings, Roman ruins and great people. We were lucky enough to be there before their big tourist season hit. We were able to chat with shop owners, they told us where they liked eat in town and what they loved to do in the area. If you go to the South of France, you must stay in Arles at the Hotel du Musee. Below is a picture from inside the big Roman Amphitheater. They still have bull fights there. Easter weekend is their big fighting tournament.

Above is a picture of an Arles courtyard where they were growing their own lemon trees. Below if the Mediterranean coast in Nice. The day we went down there, it was nearly 70 and people were frolicking in the water! I even saw one lady knitting on the beach!
The sister's self portrait series was snapped throughout France, her we are on the rocky beach of Nice - it was so nice!
This was only the tip of the iceburg of pictures. Tomorrow, I'll be posting many of the pics of French food! It was that tasty so it deserves its own blog post!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Home Sweet Home

France with my mother and sister was absolutely amazing! The trip was a ton of fun and a huge adventure! Now I'm back home, doing laundry, unpacking my treasures and getting ready to get back to life.

I have nearly 600 pics that I need to download, sort through and then post (not all of them, don't worry!) Until then, I'm catching up on all my emails, blog reading and such (thank you jet lag for waking me up from 12-2 and then again at 5am to get this all accomplished...).

But for now, I have sweet memories, fun pics and a strong desire for pain au chocolate for another breakfast. Thank goodness there is a delicious French bakery at the Pike Place Market. I think they have a new customer for life. Oh, and I decided I must learn how to make my own bread and creme brulee.

Stay tuned.