Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quick FO And Some Silliness

Yep, you read that right! A real, honest-to-goodness FO. Sure, it's a simple one, but whatever.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy handwarmers. I used size 7 needles and about half a skein of my red Manos Del Uruguay 100% Wool. I especially like how the stockinette looks in this gauge, it makes a really nice fabric:

Nathalie called them my 'Fingerless Gloves of Doom', so that is what they are. These aren't even worked in the round, that's how lazy I am. But my hands were cold at work all the time, so I figured quick and easy was the ticket. Actually, these ended up going to a coworker, so my hands are still cold at work... Which is why I cast on a second pair, this time with ribbing at the top so it doesn't curl. (Duh, stockinette curls, you'd think I'd have caught on by now...)

Progress on the second pair:

This pair is done in Twilleys of Stamford 'Freedom Spirit', in a purple/green colorway which I guess is called 'Zest' (it doesn't say that on my skeins, but Ravelry says that's what it's called, so... Yeah.)

And now for some very silly things.

First up is a picture of my friend Tom, "cosplaying" as the Prince of All Cosmos with the help of a couch cushion and a knitting needle:

And finally, this is what happens when Chris decides he wants to use the camera, but he isn't sure which button does what. (This was hilarious to watch.)

My friends are awesome.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ten Signs You've Been Watching Too Much Veronica Mars

10. You start narrating everything in your head.

9. You treat every single detail as if it's super important. A receipt from Wal-Mart in the garbage? That must be a clue!

8. You have freaky ass dreams about Logan Echolls refusing to sell you a voodoo doll. (Actually, that's if you watch too much Veronica Mars... and are also crazy.)

7. You cannot get that god damned Dandy Warhols song out of your head.

6. Your knitting blog reminds you of that one episode where Beaver wasn't invited to the shooting range his dad and brother were going to, cause he said "Guess I'll just sit here and knit something then." (That line was hilarious.)

5. You learn that Jason Dohring is in Moonlight, playing a vampire P.I. no less, and despite the clip you find on YouTube being incredibly cheesy, you immediately resolve to watch it anyway.

4. You're still humming 'We Used To Be Friends'.

3. You finish watching Season 1, and instead of waiting for the next download to finish, you race to take the bus to Wal-Mart a half hour before they close to buy Season 2.

2. At work, you suddenly find yourself emulating Kristen Bell's voice and mannerisms.

1. You really, really wanna be a P.I. now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Great Cake Caper

... Heehee, caper. I like that word. Caper. It makes everything sound like so much fun, even if it was just making a cake. Although, to be fair, it was a pretty intense cake project.

My friend Natalie (not my roommate, another one... I know like five. They do get confusing) was turning 25 and having an 80s themed party. It was a lot of fun - we all dressed up, we played Singstar and Guitar Hero 80s, and we watched Interview with the Vampire (which, okay, is not an 80s movie, but we enjoyed it all the same, dammit.) Some choice pictures:

The birthday girl with her tiara, courtesy of me and Nathalie!

I think my favorite part of this one is how fierce Nathalie looks with that guitar controller.

Chris didn't dress up so much - that polo is from the 80s, but it still needed something else. Enter Elise and the rad Flock of Seagulls hairdo.

Pac-Man nacho dip by Elise.

Charles getting into the spirit of his 'chezzy rocker' outfit.

Nathalie went the Madonna route with her costume.

I am told this is very 80s... I think it's nifty, anyway.

I decided I would provide the birthday cake, and that it would be a red velvet 'bloody' cake. Now somewhere along the way I learned that Natalie didn't like chocolate, so... well, red velvet was out, since it's a chocolate-flavored cake. It kinda screwed with my ideas on what to do decoration wise. But then inspiration hit - probably from watching wayyyy too much Buffy - what about a coffin cake? Vanilla, with gray-tinged icing, and slightly ajar, with raspberry coulis leaking out of it. Not 80s, no. But still wicked cool. So Nat and I pumped ourselves up with lots and lots of 80s music and set to work.

My roommate helped me hardcore with this project - it was my design and all, but most of the actual decoration work was hers. All I really did was make the mix, pour it in a square pan, and turn the oven on. Then I made the gray icing, but she did supervise that - as she frequently reminds me, she's taken entire courses on how to mix colors, so she knows much more than I do about that. Then Nat cut the cake in a coffin shape, and we baked a separate, thinner layer for the lid and cut that to shape. We cut out a hollow in the cake, about half an inch deep, and smushed a bunch of raspberries with a tiny bit of sugar, and filled the hollow with them. We iced the sides and the rim of the hollow, then put the lid on top - slightly open, and iced that. Then we used more of the raspberry mush to have it overflowing out the side that was open, and over the side of the plate as if something had crawled out of the coffin trailing blood. Nat used green icing and some sugar roses to decorate the top and sides of the coffin, and I put a gummy spider on one side of it and one in the trail of blood. The end result was exactly what I wanted, and a big hit at the party - it tasted pretty darn good, too. (Progress pictures are coming - as soon as Nat unloads her camera!)

We made cupcakes to match, since the cake ended up pretty small:

Note the gummy spiders and smushed raspberry 'blood'.

It was Charles's birthday the day after, so we made him special boobie cupcakes (linked in case you don't want to see cartoony boobies). He liked them.

All and all, a good time was had by all. (Except maybe for poor Nick, who is severely allergic to Jake, Natalie's cat. Poor thing.)

On the knitting front, I haven't really gotten anything done. I had kind of a long week, with work (my company moved buildings this week, it's a mess), and scriptwriting, and the cake-planning and shopping, plus yesterday I had a bellydancing workshop and dinner-and-show event for my teacher's 10-year anniversary of dancing. It was a lot of fun, but... this weekend tired me right out.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

To The Yarn Shop We Went

Ok. Uh... Yeah. Still here. Yarn? Yes.

My friends and I went to London-Wul last Thursday. I'd already been once before with my roommate, and we wanted to take Chris there cause, in Nat's words, 'he would shit a brick'. Here in Moncton we have about three places we can go for yarn: Wal-Mart, Michaels and Cricket Cove. Wal-Mart and Michaels carry mostly commercial, acrylic yarns, and we've (well, at least I've) kinda... graduated from those. Cricket Cove is awesome for fancier yarns, and I love going there, but they are still quite small and they don't carry handspun (and... I'm a sucker for handspun.) London-Wul, however, is not just a yarn shop, it's also Heidi Wulfraat's workshop, where she spins and dyes really gorgeous yarns. They also have pretty hand-turned needles, and they have a bunch of commercial yarn too - some that Cricket Cove doesn't have. It's really worth the trip - about a 15 minute drive from where we are - just to see the place. It's smack in the middle of nowhere, it's gorgeous, it's big but it feels cozy, there are birdies and a gorgeous huuuuuge super shy dog... There are big wood sheep outside with the heads cut out so you can take pictures with your face in a sheep. Chris. Was gonna. Shit. A brick.

The plan was to blindfold him and drive him there without telling him where we were taking him (how, I do not know - it's not like he'd have let us drive his car) and then un-blindfold him once inside the store (and hopefully the owners/staff wouldn't call the cops on us. "There's some... weird people in the store... I think they've kidnapped some guy."). The plan was flawed, first because of that car thing, and second because... well... he'd already heard of the place. We still wanted to be there when he went, though, just to see his face. So Nat, Chris, his girlfriend Danielle (remember her? the one who looked adorable in the slouchy hat?), their friend Valerie (a non-knitter, poor girl) and myself piled in Chris's car and moseyed on over to Lakeburn.

(Well. We had breakfast at Cora's on the way. It was good... except for my honeydew melon, which was crunchy. That was somewhat less than pleasant.)

Anyway. Chris's reaction did not disappoint, and a good time was had by all. Even Valerie, who said she didn't know the first thing about knitting, kept getting excited by the pretty yarn. (That's the first step... Insert evil cackle here.) Here's my portion of the haul:

Dazzle ribbon yarn by Estelle, with which I have cast on a bellydancing fringe belt.

Two skeins of handspun, handdyed polwarth wool. The green and blue one I actually already had from my last visit there, but I hadn't posted about it (see: wanting to surprise Chris.) The pink and white one I was kinda looking at, and then someone behind me said, Oh, nice, strawberries and cream! and the idea latched itself firmly in my brain, and I went 'yoink!' and promptly bought it. Not sure I would have if that idea hadn't taken root, but I'm glad I did.

This... this is something special. It's an 'odd lot', and the tag says... nothing. Seriously. All I know is that it is dyed by the Fleece Artist, but it doesn't match any of their colorways; it's 110g; it's a two-ply, but not quite laceweight (or at least, a bigger gauge laceweight than my Knitpicks Shimmer); and it's gorgeous. Fiber content? Yardage? Suggested gauge and needle size? What on earth I'm gonna do with it? I have no idea! The yarn feels like it could be mostly wool, maybe merino, and it's a little bit hazy like alpaca, but hell, don't quote me on that.

Anyway. All in all, I'd consider our expedition to London-Wul a resounding success, if not entirely healthy for my credit card. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go smell my Fleece Artist - it still smells like the yarn shop...