Archive | May, 2005

Mendocino

31 May

Chad and I got back from Mendocino on Monday. It was awesome. The weather was perfect–I wish I had brought my shorts. We went running on Saturday along the water, then later on we went back and Chad took some great photos. It’s so pretty up there. We went wine tasting, to Handley, Husch, Christine Woods, Lazy Creek, and Roederer. Hadley and Husch both had some nice wines. Christine Woods was run by a funny old couple who got into an argument that started off a bit charming and then got a little mean.

Lazy Creek is great. Chad and I went there the last time we were in Mendocino and bought a bottle of the Gewurztraminer (we’re also taking a wine tasting class next weekend, so I hope I’ll at least learn how to spell that) that was delicious. We tried the Gewurz, a rose (the first rose I could ever imagine myself drinking), their pinot table wine (delish), and another pinot noir (also great).

If you ever have the chance, check out Lazy Creek. It’s up a really windy dirt road, but it’s well worth the trip. The family who runs it is really nice, and Josh, the guy who will likely be in the tasting room, is also the winemaker. And say hi to Pokey the dog and the black sheep!

[I also made some awesome progress on my Hourglass sweater!]

Cyclism Sundays and King Wilkie

25 May

Dang it. I just wrote up a big long post and forgot to save it, so after I checked the links to make sure they worked, and closed the window–poof! Gone.

Oh well, I made some good progress on the Hourglass sweater on Sunday while Chad and I were watching Cyclism Sunday and the highlights from the Giro d’Italia (it’s so fun to listen to Bob Roll butcher the pronunciation of that). I’m halfway to the second increase, and it’s really starting to look like something.

I almost did some more knitting before the King Wilkie show at the Sweetwater last night, but I did work instead.

Part of my lost post was a review of the show, but here’s the long and short of it:
The show wasn’t nearly as packed as Erika and I thought it would be (or as packed as it should have been, for how good of a band they are). The first set wasn’t as good as when I last saw them–they didn’t have quite the same groove. The guys in King Wilkie can play, and I’d venture to say that even beyond their individual musicianship, what really sets them apart is the groove they get. There’s an edge to it that seems to have more to do with punk or indie rock than bluegrass, yet it totally works. They’re in their early 20s and already playing the Grand Ole Opry. Sick! The second set was great, though, although I got the giggles during “Lee and Paige,” the saddest song in the world. (It’s Spielberg or Scorsese sad, completely manipulative in its artistry, but it still gets you.)

But the new material–I have to say I have some concerns. Ted Pitney seems to be trying to be another Dave Rawlings. Now, let me say, I love Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. Their harmonies are transcendant, her songs are amazing, and his guitar work is both adventurous and melodic–a rare combination. But they’re not bluegrass, and those non-chord tones in the guitar breaks stick out a bit in bluegrass. Plus they did a Gram Parsons song, and again, I love Gram Parsons and there are few sounds more pleasing to the ear than his harmonies with Emmylou, but that’s country-rock. Once you veer into that territory, you’re an alt-country band, and that’s not where I think they should be heading. Not that they care what I think, of course. Plus with the drive they get, they just make such amazing bluegrass music.

Chad and I are heading up to Mendocino for a nice relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I hope to get some more knitting done on my sweater!

My First Grown-Up Sweater

14 May

The hourglass sweater is going pretty well so far. I’m almost at the third decrease row and almost need to ball up another hank of yarn (that sounds like something a cowboy would do). It’s knitting up quicker than I thought, but unfortunately, I’ve been swamped at work (as usual) and so my lunchtime knitting time has been replaced with a few rows on the bus on the weekends, a few rows before I go to bed, and a few rows otherwise here and there. I’m so excited for this project, though.

Hourglass1.JPG

The color is closer to this:
Hourglass1CU.JPG

I also bought some leather to make myself a day planner type thing. The leather is a burgundy color, and I think I’m going to use thick black thread to sew it up so that it somewhat matches my pink and black purse, which I will finish some one of these days.

What a feeling!

2 May

Yep, here are my snazzy legwarmers. I must admit, I like the original color scheme better–the light blue is too much of a contrast with the darker blue. But they sure are cozy, they look pretty good, and I was never planning on wearing them in public anyway.
Legwarmers.jpg

In other project news, after re-reading the directions and re-basting the inside and outside together, I realized that I did sew up the Vogue handbag correctly. I just don’t like it that way. So I’m going to sew the zipper to the top part of the interfacing, to give myself some extra room in the bag. It’s such a small bag as it is, it’s a shame to cut down on the interior space. We’ll see how it goes.

And my Cascade 220 arrived! The color is interesting, closer to the swatch on Purl’s site, but it also has flecks of blue in it. Pretty neat. I’m almost done my gauge swatch, and I might start on the Hourglass sweater tomorrow.

Hourglass Yarn

2 May

In case anyone out there doing the Hourglass sweater knit-along is as obsessive as I was when I was pricing this project out (I think I’ve finally gotten the concept of budgeting for a knitting project), here are a few yarn options that I explored before settling on the Cascade 220.

Cascade 220:
– $18.80 (4.70 each on WEBS), $49.50/10 skein bag on discountyarnsale.com
– 4 skeins @ 220 yards=880
– gauge=18s (#8), 20s (#7)
– 100% wool

Rowan Kid Classic:
– $53.75 ($8.95 each, theknittinggarden.com and myyarnshop.com) $10 on Purlsoho. $6.50 on ebay. $70/10 skein bag (Cucumberpatch UK+ free shipping),
– 6 skeins @140 m
– gauge=18-19s (#8-9)
– 70% lambswool, 26% kid mohair, 4% nylon

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino:
– $69.75 ($7.75 each), $60/10 skein bag on discountyarnsale.com
– 9 skeins @ 98 yards=882 yards
– gauge=18s (#8)
– machine washable
– 55% merino, 33% microfiber, 12% cashmere

Noro Cash Iroha:
– $86.8 ($10.85 on yarnmarket.com), $82.50/10 skein bag on discountyarnsale.com
– 8 skeins, 100 yards (91 m) each=800 yards/728 m
– gauge=19s (#7)
– 40% silk, 30% lambswool, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon

Nicasio Reservoir Loop

1 May

Chad and I went on an awesome bike ride this morning. It was 26.8 miles, leaving from the teeny tiny town of Nicasio, up Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Rd. and Highway 1 to Pt. Reyes Station, down through Olema, up Sir Francis Drake Blvd. (starting off with a serious climb), through Samuel P. Taylor park (with terrible, terrible roads and faster traffic), then up Nicasio Valley Rd. with a few more climbs, and back to where we started. It was a gorgeous day.

I think I’ve convinced Chad to try to do the Pac Grove tri with me this year. Yikes!

(Note to fellow bikers: the Nicasio locals don’t like us. Be sure to park sensibly–away from the town center, if possible. If you do park in the town center, be sure to honor the 2-hour parking rule.)

Friday night, I finally went to the Sports Basement Fun Run. What a great group of folks! I think I pushed myself, speed-wise, for the first time in ages. I’ll definitely go back.

Hell in a Handbag

1 May

Sometimes I wonder why I keep this blog–is it to make public my craft disasters? The latest casualty is my pink-and-black handbag, the first part of which went together lightning quick. I was confused by the directions for putting together the lining, and although I kept checking and rechecking the pattern instructions, I had a sinking feeling that I hadn’t done it correctly. Well, that’s because I hadn’t. When I sewed the inside to the outside and flipped it right side out, the interfacing went down inside the bag, the zipper floated about an inch or two below the top of the bag, and the lining didn’t reach the bottom. Oops.

I took out my trusty seam ripper, took out the seam that attached the inside to the outside, and am going to try again. I think I know what to do this time. I hope.

Here’s where it stands:
handbag3.JPG

I did finish my awesome leg warmers (a woman at the dentist’s office on Thursday made a Flashdance comment–“But I heard they’re coming back in style,” she insisted). I’ll post photos soon.

I can’t wait for my Cascade 220 to come so I can start the Hourglass sweater. I don’t want to start any new knitting projects until I start on that one.