freecia: August 2004 Archives

eagle eyes

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Sorry about the lack of sidebar for a few hours today, IE users. 4 hours later, much googling, and mulish stubborness generated a workaround for IE's non-standard CSS. Use firefox like I do! It's got some really nifty features- tabbed browsing, pop-up blocker, and excellent standards compliance (unlike IE. GRRRRR)

If your eagle eyes have spotted some differences in the layout of the blog, then your eyes are sharp indeed. Movable Type 3.1 came out today and after upgrading, my index page looked like... *shudder* I don't want to remember. After quite a few hours, I managed to get my templates to behave again. I guess this is what you get when you use pre-packaged solutions. Hmrph. While at it, I also changed the body text a bit making it easier for tired eagle eyes to read.

MT 3.x came with all this newfalngled commenting stuff which they had hoped would keep spammers out, more control of comments, and login once- comment everywhere like blogger or LJ. If readers (that's you) ever click to leave a comment, you'll see that it is a bit different now. Comment approval is turned on to keep the blog free from icky spam. This did involve updating several files (virtually all my templates have been updated with current default templates) and merging the index and archive templates. Not so fun. To those of you who want to implement the new comment features, you'll need to download your current templates, download the new templates, run a diff, then merge.

Enjoy.

alpaca paca

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Finally almost done with the purple alpaca scarf. The ends are woven in and all it needs now is a wash, block, and snip off the tails. By the middle of this scarf I felt like it was taking forever and it was, too. Perhaps I will call it the never-ending scarf. The n-e scarf is super-long and has more than 300 yards of yarn in it. I'm thinking that the next scarf I make with the dark blue alpaca will be doubled up and on larger needles.

knitter gifts

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While thinking about what to get a fellow knitter (I haven't received my secret pal assignment yet but am brainstorming) I have come up with a few ideas-

  • knitter's daily calendar
  • Imported candy from Aji Ichiban or scharffenberger chocolate
  • yarn, of course, especially some rare yarns like artfibers
  • pattern books or knitting mags
  • fun stuff from Maido, my favorite stationary store (imported Japanese goods)
  • a web icon for her webpage if she doesn't have one (assuming she is a she... I don't know if there's any boys in this round)
  • goodies from Lush like a Massage Bar or Bath Bomb

It'll be interesting to see what other Secret Pals will be sending along. My own secret pal should read the extendo-entry for the secret pal questionnaire.

Princess Diaries 2

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Just saw Princess Diaries 2 and enjoyed it. Wonderful outfits, cheesy romantic staging, and the incomparable Anne Hathaway is a good combination for a fun movie. No, I did not knit during the movie. A) I love Anne Hathaway movies B) I fear for my yarn in the sticky floored theater.

All in all, I'd say this movie would be worth watching again, either buying if inexpensive or renting from blockbuster. Rare praise from a "watch once and never again" person such as I. It is more than worthy of a Netflix rental, but I doubt I'd pay $7.75 to see it on the big screen again. Very funny with lots of snickering at the cheesy spots made the teenyboppers in front of me glare (loved the reference to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) and her looooooovely outfits were so darn princess-y, I almost didn't notice how large her smile is. Julie Andrews also sings a small song (to which Anne sings a bit, too) which is rare these days.

missing home?

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Pizza-la commercial. Give this a watch, it's great! It's advertizing the pizza-la pizzas in Japan. Much different from the in-your-face pizza ads we get here.

alpaca scarf antics

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This past weekend was a slow flurry of knitting progress. While up north, Char, Melissa and I worked on our scarves. We knitted in the airport waiting for our delayed depature, knit on the plane, knit on the ferry to Bainbridge Island, knit on the ferry back to Seattle, knit while in the car on the way to Vancouver, knit while waiting to enter Canada for about an hour and half through the backlog, knit while in Vancouver, knit on our way back to Seattle and the 45 minute backlog at the side crossing to avoid a two hour wait at the Peace Arch (nobody feels peaceful waiting that long), and knit while on the plane home. Yes, there was a lot of knitting. Almost enough for Robin to start whimpering as Julie joined us in craftyness with her cross-stitching.

Here's the progress on the elann alpaca scarf- I knew there wouldn't be much stitch definition and I'm wishing that I'd picked a different pattern because I've seen it worked up in worsted wool blends and it's much lovelier that way. This WIP1 is taking sooo long and I wish it were finished. The next scarf has got to be a bit more interesting of a stitch pattern... except I like to be able to mindlessly knit along without having to remember more than two rows. Two balls of yarn have gone into the scarf and I'll probably knit along for another ball before I stop. Then I'll wash and block to flatten it out a bit.

Watched while knitting - Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn and Going My Way

1 Work in Progress

Seattle Pictures

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P8210033.JPG Pictures from our jaunt to Seattle and Vancouver are up at gallery.freecia.com and I hope to post the photos from everyone else when they send me them on cd.


robin comes back for a visit

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If you've looked at the sidebar, you might have noticed a picture of Robin because she's been home for a few days and we've been getting together. So far we've gone to dinner at Frankie Johnny and Luigi's, Max's, and a get-together at her place. She got home Thursday and we got together for our usual night out. Char met up with us late in the evening at Melissa's before she departed Friday for Tahoe.

Saturday we did some shopping where Robin pounced on the current natury trend and purchased two tops with birds on them. One is purple from Urban Outfitters and a pink, yes pink, from Hollister. Melissa came out with a shirt from Urban. I managed not to buy anything except for dinner which was at Max's in Saratoga. Melissa, Robin, Greg, and I all gorged ourselves on yummy food and had no room for dessert at the time. Basically, we just dropped off into food coma and called it a night.

Yesterday Robin came and picked me up to go scout out a desk for her. We went to Ikea and Office Max where she found a glass desk she liked at Office Max but didn't buy because it was expensive ($220+). There was a get-together at her place on Mon. night so we did the rounds at Costco and supermarkets picking up supplies. I bought a big box of Ghiradelli Brownies from Costco as my contribution and we whipped up a pan of brownies for the party. People arrived around 5:30 and we sat around watching a few episodes of Full Metal Panic Fumoffu then chatted a bit as Char, Julie, and Melissa all found Robin's (or rather Robin's Mommy's) new place. Robin's friend Cy also came and that was the first time I had met him. He was a hoot! Megan, the engaged one younger than all of us, also came. Basically, the only no-show was silly silly Sean but he had work so I guess we're willing to forgive him. After a dinner of stir fry, salad, and copious amounts of mango cheesecake and brownies, we plopped down to The Last Samurai after Cy and Robin popped in a small lasagne in case Sean showed up (or in case they got hungry again?). After a bit of staring at the cast-on stitches for the knitted hat I'm working on, I caught a ride home with Melissa while Char went off to see her friend Maulik who was in town. It was a great night of chit chat and I'm really looking forward to our departure on Thursday to Seattle. It's going to be so fun!

Basically we're all going to be together except for Stephi who we'll miss (as things are never as fun without the wacky Steph element). Disneyland and Legoland was the other trip option which would also be exciting but I think we all decided to do that sometime cooler and less populated.

movin along

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The golf club cover/sock is just about done and I'm taking a break from weaving in the ends to blog a bit. I am working on a His Hat knit up in Austermann Candy but am having issues with the gauge. I've swatched and matched the gauge1 stated on the pattern but every time I cast on, it doesn't seem like enough circumference-wise. I think I'll probably bring it to Seattle with me as a smaller wip2 and ask Char to help me with it. Char changes patterns, gauge, and cast on all the time.

Instead, I think I'll get out my Alpaca and start on a Christmas gift scarf. Oh speaking of scarves, we (Melissa, Char, and I) have all fallen for this free chicknits.com scarf pattern which has the really great benefits of being somewhat detailed but easy to do and doesn't eat yarn like 2*2 ribbing. Every one of my female friends who has seen a bit of this knit up has loved it. We personally don't split it for the hole because all three of us don't like scarves like that.

1 stitches per inch

2 Work in Progress

inhuman self restraint

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I went into the yarn store today looking for double pointed needles (non-knitters1: points on both sides) to work on my circular golf club cover which is similar to a sock. I had been using one needle magic loop but shifting the stitches along so slowly made me slightly peeved. The store was out of the size I needed, though, so I splurged a bit and bought a #6 24 inch circular needle. This will enable me to do the two needle loop which should be a bit faster. The thing with circular knitting needles is that they come in several different lengths and you have to use the "correct" size when you're working on something circular. Too short or too long and you're going to be spending another $6-13.50 on another length of pretty much the same needle with a longer cord. Don't remember if I mentioned that I picked up a Denise Interchangable Needle Kit and I don't regret getting it. While I do favor non-plastic needles, it's just so convenient having all these sizes available. Besides, I still pick up a few premium (addi turbo/ bamboo) needles here and there in sizes I'll use frequently.
The needle was the only thing I purchased which is really showing restraint especially since I saw the new Debbie Bliss Baby Alpaca Silk in stock for $8 a ball (nk- this isn't expensive, most good yarns cost much more). The photos don't do it justice, it is soooo gorgeous and soft. The sheen is wonderful and noticible. It's definitely going on my wish list! The other yarn I wanted to run away with was Goddess Yarn Julia which I'm told deserves the name since it is "I love this yarn!", repeated every three stitches, to knit with. It does hold a cable well and is softer than most (though not the softest ever). Julia doesn't look like it sheds, either, which is also wonderful.
Ahhh back to my current projects.
On a sad side note, there was supposed to be a Knitter's Click meeting today but no one showed up. Did I scare off the others or are they all on vacation? My hunch, despite my scary demeanor, is vacation because I wandered over to the yarn store and the owner indicated that the last meeting, which I'd missed, had spartan attendence.

1 non-knitters will now be referred to as nk

photo stamps

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PhotoStamps: Home

Now we can do what the Taiwanese and (I believe) Brits do. Put your own photo on your stamp! People in Taiwan have been doing this for Wedding Invitations, but I imagine that this could just be plain fun. Now you can include a photo of a recent trip, Mr. Potato Head, or a picture of your friendly postman/woman. Neat. I wish they'd done this a long time ago.

Institutionalized squirrel

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My newest yarn has arrived. That's right, more yarn. I ordered some Alpaca from elann.com for Christmas gifts as I mentioned earlier. Who's getting what is a secret! Yes, that really means that I bought the yarn and don't have patterns for the projects yet but I know what these balls of yarn are vaugely being transformed into. Now my poor stash box (from ikea)
is a bit overflowing. Must knit more to buy more. If you're wondering what to get me for Christmas, well, no worries, I've got my list building. For a small preview, read my extended entry.

Right now I'm working on seaming the Zeeby's Bag I'm making for my mom and a small golf club cover for my dad. A golf club cover for my dad? Yes. Just one. Once I finish seaming the bag I need to line it or pay someone to line it. I'll probably wind up lining it myself and perhaps also line the straps so they won't stretch too much.

I've managed to resist purchasing any more yarn and I've also put myself on a pen diet. The pen vase is overflowing as is my stationary folder. [+Joined Secret Pal III] I do want to join a knitgroup secret pal III but I think I'm going to check my bank account first. I am so tempted but minimum purchase for swap is $50 including time and postage. My "do not buy" will-of-jello broke down and I bought another book but I purchased the hardback from costco and I WILL be selling it on ebay today/tomorrow along with one other I bought this week so I don't feel too guilty about it.

barter system

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MegaTokyo - relax, we understand j00

I think Piro and I will just start bartering on the black market for goods. We'll use manga, comics, computer parts, and anime fansubs to conduct trades. We know a lot a people who would trade the necessities of life for these goods.

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*snicker snicker* yeah. as do I. Could they be the same people?

I am a squirrel

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I've started stocking up for xmas gifts. People are getting knit gifts this year soooo yes, I admit it, I purchased more yarn. But it was yarn at a gooood price and I know where it's going! It's destined for projects! It was alpaca!

Now I just might purchase a book of stitch patterns to give the gifts some flair. Next month... maybe. if the library doesn't have it.

I think I'm going to declare myself broke now. With the upcoming trip, I'd best stop buying yarn and start booking travel reservations. Ughhgah. Oh, and I bought my two books for the month yesterday so no more book buying for Freecia! Stop me from buying anything unnecessary before we go to Seattle.

yarn nutty

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Uncommon Threads had a yarn sale this past weekend and I went a bit nutty, but I assure you they were all good deals! Great deals! I'd take a picture and post it but it scares even me. Sooooo much yarn.

I finished the cute aline bag as you can see. It's a bit floppy and the flap sticks out like a :p tongue. And ah, the handle is a bit stretchy. I think the next time I make this bag I'll use a non-stretchy type of yarn. I skipped over the lace pattern because I was stymied. Ah well.

There's a knitting group meeting tonight at Uncommon Threads (post sale) and I'm wondering what to cast on to take there. Hmm, with all this yarn and nothing currently in progress except for the bag I'm seaming together. I think I'll go take a look at my stash and see if anything inspires me.

Update- I'd forgotten about my family dinner. Relatives from Hong Kong had flown in and we had a nice dinner. Ah well, it got scheduled Sat. morning anyhow, after I had seen the knitting_click leader (oh fearless leader Hojo ) and when I got out around 8:35 pm, I went home and drove over to the store to see if people were still there. Alas alas, 10 til 9 and it had wrapped up for the night so I made my second stop at Walmart and picked up two gallon ziplock bags which I'd hunted high and low before yet they continued to elude me until I was at Jay's house on Friday with James. His mother, who loves Ziplock more than I do, had a few out to pack things into. She shared her secret and admitted that she gets them at Walmart, but occasionally buys out the stock with her friends. Today the elusive bag was finally my sighted prey and I snagged two boxes (10 per box) as my trophy.