Monthly Archives: January 2013

Nautical Themes

Here is what has been keeping me from finishing up my knitting projects:

My first quilt!:

I’ve spent a few long days working on it so far.  I have to make over 200 of these 5″ blocks.  I have about half of them done.  For a while I’ve been reading quilting blogs and thought I would start with something super modern or with asymmetrical large blocks.  But I ultimately didn’t feel like taking a long time picking out fabrics and stressing myself out about My. First. Quilt.  So I bought this kit from Connecting Threads!  It was on sale, and I was just really into the fabrics.  I think they are so cute up close, mostly all nautical themed.  The quilt pattern is a little more traditional than I thought I would start with, but I just wanted to jump into doing something!

I’m enjoying the piecing together so far.  I love being able to chain piece!  (That’s where you sew a series of pieces together with just some empty stitches in between and then cut them apart after.  It’s quicker than cutting the threads and starting over each seam).  Though I did have a dream where I pulled a long string of pieces out of my bed like a circus clown.  Before you cut them apart they look like a long piece of bunting.  So far my biggest challenge has been trying to square up fabric.  I am awful at it!  I think it is straight and then after cutting, notice all my prints have a slight diagonal skew to them.  Oh well.  That’s what first quilts are for!  I have an arbitrary deadline of having the piecing done by the end of February when I go to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo with my Mom in Puyallup.

I am kind of obsessed with nautical themes.  Which is kind of weird because I have no Navy or seaside background, somewhat dislike overt patriotism and puke whenever I’m on the ocean!

In 2011 I knit up this Delancey Cardigan (my rav page here)

With little anchor buttons!  I don’t wear it much though because I always feel a little dumpy in it.

I also recently got some custom ordered Sven Clogs. They were a birthday gift from Lucas!

They would be perfect with a vintage style nautical outfit.  Or something with a sailor collar!  The problem with custom orders is that you can’t see how they’ll look before you get them.  I really like these, but have had some trouble finding things to wear them with.  If they were all navy blue they would probably be a lot more useful in my wardrobe.

Back to knitting soon!

 

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Spinning: Rain City Fiber Arts

I have been barely spinning, but I finally finished a skein of something!  The first thing I’ve finished in months!  This started out as 4 oz of 70% Superwash Merino/30% SeaCell.  Remember these guys?:

I bought them when I went to the Convergence festival with Michele.  I’ve only spun up the bottom one so far.  To be honest, I thought they were a little ugly, but was curious about how they would spin up.  I loved the feel of the fiber.  It was a fun blend and ended up a little bit shiny.  I spun two bobbins of singles and planned on just randomly plying them together (basic 2-ply) with no plans of how it would line up.  But it ended up looking horrible!  I like barber poleing, but only to a certain extent, not when the whole skein is like that!  If I remember I’ll edit this and add in a picture of how that was looking.

I had made it a little bit into plying and just decided that it was not working.  I ended up navajo-plying the singles into a 3-ply.  This way it kind of kept the colored sections together.  I’m not going to end up with real stripes but at least it won’t be a muddy mess.  There is the chance this will still knit up really weird and splotchy!

Because I didn’t want to waste any fiber, I went back and actually unspun the part I had already plied!  That actually took a long time.  I put it through the wheel again, this time unplying the two singles (turning the wheel the same way I did when initially spinning, opposite of plying twist).  Then I had to wind the separate plies off onto a stick (my niddy noddy), then wind them on a ball winder and navajo-ply them to match the rest.  Phew!  The result is a heavy worsted/aran weight skein that I forgot to get a yardage count for!  I’m not sure how soon I will knit it up, but I am very curious about how it will turn out.

There has been plenty of crafting being done at my house, but not much to show for it.  Maybe I will do a progress post just to have something to write about!

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RIP: Lucas’s Pennant Scarf

Sad news.  Lucas let a relative wear his Malabrigo Pennant Scarf while he was in St. Louis for Christmas and it went missing!  They searched all over St. Louis, but with no luck.

Look how lonely.  I hope some unfortunate soul is now taking comfort in this scarf that they found.  The colors are a little kooky but that was an expensive scarf with all those colors of Malabrigo!

Lucas wore it all the time so I can’t be too mad at him.  He is still knit-worthy, but I don’t know how soon he’ll get another scarf.  Scarves are boring to knit for me.

Back in the good old days:

It would probably be harder for him to lose a sweater, right? Well, no plans for that quite yet.  In any case, if you see this scarf hanging out in a Lost & Found in St. Louis, please grab it for us!

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FO: Rigid Heddle scarf

I’ve been meaning to show these pictures for a while. While I was at home my Mom set me up on her Ashford rigid heddle loom. We warped the loom using the continuous loop method (I just called it that. I’m not actually sure what it’s called, but we didn’t cut individual strands for each warp. Clearly I don’t know anything about weaving.)

We used a yarn with long color repeats. It is also a bit sticky, so that made it a little more difficult.

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Rav page here
Yarn: Viking of Norway Nordlys in color way 964
Start date: Dec. 22, 2012
Finish date: Dec. 27, 2012

We had 90 warp threads and the width of the scarf came out to 8″. The finished length is only 4 feet, but we had plenty of yarn left, so could have made it longer and still made it under one skein.

To make it more interesting we added in a 1/2 inch cardboard spacer every 7 rows/weft threads. This leads to the equivalent of dropped stitches. Open space instead of tight weave. Again, the yarn was very sticky (enough to make it difficult to go from up position to down position without the threads sticking and lightly felting together) so we thought it would definitely stay in place. But I have noticed that the weft has already moved itself around a bit to make the spacings look less intentional and more sloppy.

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My edges also look terrible! I didn’t quite get used to having the right kind of tension. I’m sure my next weaving project will turn out better!

Here’s a picture of me working on the loom.

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I am wearing a crocheted infinity cowl that my Mom made me for Christmas! She used a different color way of Nordlys for that one. The emailed picture probably doesn’t look very good, huh?

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It was fun learning something new. Next time I am home I will have to try something else on the loom. Do you have any good inspirational weaving projects to show me?

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Holiday wrap-up

For Christmas this year, I went home to my parents’ house in Camas, WA.  Camas is right across the Columbia River from Portland.  We are almost a suburb of Portland.  I hadn’t been home for a full year, so it was nice to be back!  Here are some pictures from my trip (mostly of food!).

My Dad and I went to my favorite sushi place, Saburo’s in SE Portland.  There is always a crazy line.  We had to wait outside for an hour!  And outside in Portland is a lot colder than outside in Los Angeles.  You can’t really tell the scale of the sushi from this picture.  One of those salmon pieces would be about the size of my palm.  And still really tender, delicious and relatively cheap!

I think this is the only Christmas food tradition we have that happens every year without fail.  Making the Borders Family Christmas Cookies.  They feel like a lot of work and we don’t even frost them!  They are cut-out sugar cookies that are sprinkled with sugar before baking.  I love the white doughy ones and most of the family likes them dark brown, so we try to make a mix.  There were many other kinds of cookies around at home too, but these are our traditional ones.

The neighbors have a massive kiwi tree that hangs over into our yard, for an area of about 100 ft.  Seriously.  Here is the haul that we brought in this year.  I couldn’t find the pictures of us picking them.  I wish I had brought some kiwis home with me!

We’re just about ready to open presents here.  There’s a bit of extra disarray with our Christmas junk everywhere!

We had just filled up on Stuffed French Toast that my Mom made with blueberries from their yard.  It was delicious but extremely filling.  The recipe called for challah, but it was very difficult to get any kind of egg bread in Vancouver, WA (our closest town).  I get so used to all my “ethnic” foods in Los Angeles.

Another family tradition: jigsaw puzzles!  We did 4-5 puzzles while I was at home!  We set up a special table for it.  This is my Mom and Uncle.  In front is my Mom’s rigid heddle loom that she set up for me.  I’ll show you what I made on it later!  My Mom is wearing socks that I knit for her a few years back!  (Sorry for the iPhone pictures!)

A trip home is not complete without a trip to Elmer’s Pancake House!  This is a local chain (weirdly, also in Palm Springs) that is known for its breakfast.  I don’t know if it’s very trendy but it is a classic for me.  I always get the German Pancake.  A few years back they changed the name to a Dutch Baby, which I believe is the common name of this kind of crepe/pancake.  But maybe they got some customer complaints because they changed it back to a German Pancake.  I don’t care what they call it, I will always order it.  I’ve made a couple at home with varying success.  I meant to write down the Cook’s Illustrated recipe that my Dad had, but I forgot.

I think that’s all the pictures I have for you today.  I had such a good time at home it was hard to come back to reality!  And now it’s just a normal work week.  And a full five days too, sigh!  I’ve been knitting away with little to show for it.

 

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Tasty Tuesday: Junior’s Deli

Happy New Year everyone! I don’t really do resolutions, but I do try to create a theme for each year. For example, a few years back was “not doing anything I don’t want to do.”. The theme the year following was, “re-engaging with society”. Ha. I haven’t quite figured out this year yet, but I think it’s going to be something about valuing myself. Which can mean many things, but the easiest to work on is not being a cheap bastard. Like using a full sheet on the lint roller and not eating potentially spoiled food. We’ll see how it goes. I could change my mind.

Sad news! Lucas and I happened to stop in at Junior’s for breakfast on Sunday and found out that they were closing! Yesterday was their last day. They had lost their lease after 53 years. They hope to reopen in the future. I’m going to be sad to see them go. They have great matzoh ball soup, though mediocre latkes. I wonder what will happen to their iconic signs.

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Because everyone else knew they were closing, it was a mad house. We decided to just order bagel sandwiches at the deli counter. Lucas ordered a bagel sandwich with cream cheese, tomato and onion. I felt a little rushed so I just got a bagel with cream cheese and lox. The guy asked what kind of lox I wanted and when I wasn’t sure, he said that Nova lox was what most people get. We also ordered some black and white cookies and rugelach to go. When we went to pay, I noticed that my lox bagel was $17! So crazy! I consider it our contribution to their re-opening fund. But holy crap that’s a lot for a bagel. It did end up being more like a lox plate, but still. I felt pretty obligated for it to be the best bagel I had ever had.

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It was delicious.

Junior’s will be missed! If not their lox prices…

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What’s your favorite Jewish deli in Los Angeles? And any resolutions? If you have a fitness resolution, come talk to me about Jazzercise classes!

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