Friday, October 27, 2006

WARNING: Awesome Shoes Ahead

Ok this is a non-knitting post, but I'm really excited about this. It was my birthday on Wednesday, and I've REALLY been wanting this special pair of boots. I've wanted them for about two years, and lately, as Rob and I visit our family's land where we will eventually build our dream house, I have visions of me planting our garden, building stone walls, hanging laundry in the sun, hiking through the woods in fall, all of this with Robby slung on my back and Rob walking beside me, with these boots on. These are the kind of shoes that will last years and years. Ok, enough about that, here they are. They were on sale from 240 dollars to 168 dollars here. So, if you like them too, snatch them up before they are all gone!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Update on EZ Sweater

Here are some progress photos on Rob's Seamless Hybrid. I had some gauge issues, so I started a few different times, then I cast on for the sweater, and after getting about 10 rows in, read about a much cleaner technique for doing the hem on the sweater, so I ripped out and started again, but now I'm chugging along. The problem with knitting with my own handspun is my gauge was varying from between 4.5 sts/in to 5 sts/in. I first cast on 200, but that ended being way too big, then tried 180, that was still too big, then finally cast on 170. I pulled it off the needles after knitting a few rows to check the size, and I think this will work. I figured if it's slightly small circumference-wise, I can block it and the wool has enough stretch where it should give. I hope! Any thoughts on this? Besides my gauge and hem woes, I'm really happy with the way it's coming along and Rob was pretty stoked about it too, he's really excited about wearing it and is really hoping he can wear it this winter, I'm going to try my darndest to accomplish that. I love this wool, and I love it more and more as I knit with it. The bits of leaves from the sheep that I just spun into the yarn make it look a little tweedy in some spots, and there is this really pretty halo to the sweater. Something about knitting with my own handspun, while a daunting task, is very satisfying, and the fact that I'm knitting it for Rob, and that he really likes it, until this point, I've only made him hats, and one sweater that I just kind of made up as I went (it doesn't fit very well, I'm going to rip it out someday), I REALLY want to finish this for him. His b-day is coming up, as well as, he's going to be a daddy in about 7 weeks, and I'm sure being a new mommy will take over knitting time :) So, I'm knitting like a madwoman!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Y is for Yoyo and Yarn

Robear was a hit with my sister's ESL class. I had to keep him in the Ziploc bag for the visit so he wouldn't get lots of germies. My sister teaches ESL at a local school and has been asking me for weeks to do a yoyo demonstration, I finally caved and went today to show the little kids some yoyo tricks and give them a spinning demo. The kids were SO cute and very entertaining. They were so hyper too! Climbing all over each other, asking questions, and requesting for me to "walk the dog" and "rock the baby." I have a new respect for elementary school teachers, it takes some serious patience to keep the kids inline and focused! I also showed them samples of my BFL wool top and my BL top, they thought the brown wool smelled like chocolate :) I also showed them how they spun yarn back in the 'ol days. They all thought he was so cute and were very excited about the baby in my belly. As I was leaving, they all gave me hugs. It was amazing how open these little boys and girls were, and how they were unashamed to be excited or give hugs. I work in a male-dominated environment and am not around kids very much at all, so this was a really fun experience. I asked my sister about one of the kids who seemed really needy for love and affection, and apparently he doesn't have a good home life. It really got me thinking about how hard it must be for teachers to try to meet the needs of children in their classes who are struggling with difficult situations at home and how heartbreaking it must be at times to balance the desire to help as much as you can, but still maintain a balance between your own things you have to deal with. Anyway, when my kids are in school, my goal is to really try to support the teachers I come in contact with and help them out if I can. They have a huge job!

Now Presenting...Robear!

I've been putting off finishing Robear because I find finishing work to be somewhat tedious. But seeing as Robby Cubed's arrival is only 7 weeks away, I thought I better get on it. So, I began, sewing up his body, and it turns out, it was actually really fun finishing him! It was cool watching his body come together. Here he is pre-stuffing. When Rob saw that Robear was ready to stuff, he got interested and wanted to help. Robear was very patient and did not cry or fuss during the stuffing. He actually seemed quite happy to finally have a body and be free of the Ziploc bag. I then sewed his head to his body.Tada! He is all done. Now he is ready to be a friend to little Robby Cubed.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Four Things

Well, Crazy Aunt Purl, technically tagged me for this questionnaire, so I will participate. So, whoever reads this post, consider yourself tagged and answer these questions!

Four Jobs I've Had
A yoyo cart in a mall named Yo Mamma (I'm not kidding)
Sandwich artist at Subway
Yoyo and kite store on the Huntington Beach Pier
Electrical Design Engineer for a company that builds submarines (I'm not kidding about that one either)

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
The Hustler
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Princess Bride

Four Places I Have Lived
Bronx, NY
Huntington Beach, CA
Hixson, TN
Fayetteville, AR

Four Television Shows I Love to Watch
CSI: Las Vegas
I Love Lucy

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation
Costa Rica
Istanbul, Turkey
Yamaranguila, Honduras
Mystic, CT

Four of My Favorite Dishes
hard tacos with ground beef sauteed with taco seasoning, tomatoes, guacomole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, refried beans, and salsa
Stuffed Pasta Shells
any kind of sushi

Four Websites I Visit Daily
my bloglines, which includes all the knitting, spinning, and crafty blogs I visit
my email

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now
at home with my husband
at my LYS
at my mother-in-law's house talking, drinking spiced tea, and watching the birds in her huge catawba tree
at my aunt's house in Georgia, pigging out on korean food

Four Bloggers I Am Tagging
i'm a little shy about tagging all my favorite bloggers, so anyone who reads this, feel free to answer the questions, and leave a comment letting me know, so i can read your responses!

Friday, October 13, 2006


Update on MHH. He decided that instead of a hoodie, he would like just a plain sweater in my BL handspun that looks like this. So, we were flipping through Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Without Tears that I FINALLY got from the library, and we came across a picture of EZ's Tomten Jacket. Here is a link to a completed jacket on a little kid. He exclaimed, "Why don't you make me that? That's perfect, exactly what I was picturing for my hoodie." As I'm always excited when Rob gets into my handknit item's for himself, I compromised and said I would do his Tomten jacket out of plain ol' storebought yarn, in a dark gray I think. I did a gauge swatch with my handspun last night, and began casting on for the body of the Seamless Hybrid, more pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Twisted Knitters

Ok, I'm taking the knitting and spinning thing to the next level. No, I'm not getting a wheel, darn it! But I am joining my first knit-a-long. I am now officially a Twisted Knitter! My twisted knitting project is going to be My Husband's Hoodie or MHH for short. So please, comment and encourage me as I spin my way to 1000+ yds!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ode to my Local Yarn Store

Well, I thought I would give all of you people in Bloglandia some info on a very important place in my life. My local yarn store. It's in the lovely town of Fayetteville, Arkansas and is relatively new. I think it's only been open for a couple of years. In college, when I would buy yarn for various projects my only sources for yarn were Hobby Lobby and Walmart. Blecch! I was so excited when this yarn store opened. At the time, I wasn't working, so I worked there one day out of the week as a trade for yarn, whoo hoo! Then, I started teaching crochet classes. I also went to the awesome Monday night Knit Night otherwise known as the Monday Night Tear Out, where many glasses of wine were consumed and lots of laughs were to be had. The past year I've been so busy with remodeling, pregnancy, and working I haven't been able to spend as much time as I would like at the shop, but I try to make it at least a couple times a month. SO, if you are in the Northwest Arkansas Area, check it out! Colleen and Joy are the owners of the shop and very knowledgeable, helpful, and fun. And on any given day, you may catch any of the other LYS regulars. The customer service is great and there is a coffee shop across the street if you want to stay and chat for a while. Here are some pictures of the shop.
Here is the main yarn goodies area.More yarn goodies and our yarn table.And because no yarn shop is complete without a shop cat, here she is, Queen Sasha. You can also find Handheld Knitting online here.

North Korea - Children of the Secret State

North Korea - Children of the Secret State

Watch this video, and if you are interested in finding out more, check out the following sites:
Amnesty International
Liberty in North Korea
North Korea Freedom Coalition

The sad thing for me is that because North Korea's government is so closed, it's impossible to directly help the people with food, adopting children, etc.. Right now, it's down to hoping the government is replaced and the country opens up. I don't know much about the history, but I'm trying to educate myself to see what the historical context is for the current situation. I've got a really good book that I started reading on the topic. As a first generation Korean American living in the US, I'm so thankful and blessed with family, friends, and prosperity. I know my grandma and my parents had to live through the Japanese occupation and the Korean War, thank goodness they are here in the US and have been able to make a good life for themselves.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

We interrupt our regular scheduled programming to bring you....

I sewed my first two diapers today, and I think I actually did alright! They are newborn size that I will keep closed with a Snappi. I had a good time figuring out how to do this. I used two layers of flannel with two layers of terry cloth in the middle, all 100% cotton. The first diaper I used a straight stitch to sew the right sides together then turned it inside out, the second diaper, I figured out how to use the overcast stitch on my sewing machine so I could eliminate a step. The edges are a little more wavy with the second method, I think because the fabric has some stretch to it and as I sewed, I was stretching the fabric causing it to give it that funky edge. Oh well. I didn't have a baby on hand to try the diaper on, so I drafted my 25 yr old bear, Peachy. He was very embarassed that he had to wear a diaper, being that he IS 25 years old, but he just kept his mouth shut and indulged my whims. Ignore the sewing pins I used to hold the diaper closed, obviously I won't be using those on Robby :)Note the sweater Peachy is wearing, I think I knitted that thing for him 15 years ago. Awwwwwwww...

Chocolate-y Goodness

I wanted to post some pictures of some of the BL fiber I have spun on the spindle for Rob's monk sweater. 116 yds spun, only 1000+ to go!!! Yikes! This stuff is amazing, it's so soft and fluffy. I spin it into relatively thin singles, but when I ply it, it blooms and makes the softest, cushiest yarn.
I got some great advice from Hello Yarn. Thanks Adrian! I wound the singles off onto toilet paper tubes and mounted them on a spare shoe box and stood across the room to even out the twist.

I also used Marnie's tips on achieving balanced yarn on a spindle, and when I finished plying, I had a beautiful perfectly balanced skein of yarn.
Isn't it pretty, the color is such a rich, chocolate-y brown. And, there is very minimal shedding. Excuse the leg in the background, I really need to get a Swift Model #GLI-222.

For those of you who like the cooking portion of this blog, I made "Bea's Famous Chicken Curry". Not the salad, but curry. Actually, it's not my recipe, it's Maya Kaimal's Chandran's Chicken Curry. The only thing I change is she sauteed zucchini and squash with basically the same spices she uses in the curry with the addition of mustard seeds and serves that as a side dish. To minimize on time and dirty dishes, I just add my veggies to the curry and it turns out pretty well. I served it with jasmine rice, if you haven't cooked jasmine rice before, it really complements the taste of this curry and has the best smell when cooking. Here is a picture of the finished product.
You can check out the pictures I took of the cooking process HERE.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Lots of news to update all you folks and a bonus cooking section! Well, it's not really my birthday yet, only 22 days to go, but I got some birthday gifts in the mail! Ok, I bought them for myself, but the spindle is Rob's present to me :D.

After lots of research, I decided on the Golding spindle, 1.7 oz weight. After much deliberation, I decided I wanted kind of a medium weight spindle that would spin DK to worsted 2-ply yarns. She said I could even spin lace weight on it, but I think I will just have to buy another spindle for that :) Even Rob was impressed by the way it spins, it took me a little bit to get used to how fast it spins. I couldn't draft fiber fast enough to keep up with it. I'm really happy with it, and have been spinning this:

I should have put something in the picture for scale; it's 1 lb of Border Leicester wool, the brown is the natural color of the sheep! I got this from Blue Goose Glen's Ebay store, and I also got 1 lb of black merino wool. The BL fiber is very soft and fluffy, but I'm finding alot more clumps of wool and bits of vegetable matter in the fiber. It doesn't really bother me though, some of the lumps get spun into the single and gives it a earthy look. I like that I'm so close to the sheep, you know? Can we say compulsive? How the heck am I going to spin through all this fiber with a spindle? Where there's a will there is a way... Roberto actually has told me twice that he really likes the color of the BL wool, and I have something in mind that he has asked me for, a Christmas present. Roberto very rarely make requests so I'm really excited about making something for him. We have been talking about a sweater, kind of tunic-y with a monk type hood. I think the brown fiber would look very monk-like. I was initially thinking I would do stockinette, but now I'm thinking I would like the look of a woven type stitch. I really like the look of Veronica's Woven Stitch Poncho. Something along those lines on a smaller scale. Any ideas?
In other knitting news, I have finished all of Robear's body parts and just need to sew and stuff him. I also did another hat for Robby Cubed with the BFL fiber I got from Hello Yarn. Rob was kind enough to model the hat for me.

Onto foodie things, there was a recipe on Hello Yarn's blog for an amazing lasagna recipe that I had to try. Click on the Flickr badge in the sidebar to view all of the pictures. Here is the link for Martha's Favorite Vinaigrette.