Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | November 3, 2009

in which yelley knits a hat (twice).

I won a blog contest. Somewhere out there is a random number generator that likes me, and I received a copy of the Squares Squared Hat pattern from Cosy. Cosy is one of my favorite knitters that live in the internet because she makes all sorts of creatively embellished things from little bits of scrap wool and recycled yarn and buttons and other fun whimsies. Anyway, part of the deal of said blog contest was that I had two months to make the hat and blog about it, so here it is (would have been done in one day, had I not had to reknit it…):

True to the designer’s style, I used some bits of my drop spindled yarn, some random leftover white wool that has been living in the corner of my wool box for 3 years now, and some purple Cascade 220 that I’m not sure what I was thinking about when I purchased a year ago. Yarn rescued from the depths of my stash that I would have never thought to pair together, but somehow it works in the finished hat. Which I love, even if it is a little bright and silly.

I had some issues with the sizing… after I did my gauge swatch and checked the pattern I decided to make the XL size; my head is roughly the same circumference as Cosy’s and she preferred the fit of the XL, I also like my hats to be a bit large and come down very low over my ears. Well, that was a pretty big mistake, as I got most of the way through the hat and realized that it would be ridiculously large, even for me. So I ripped it out and restarted with the large size and still had to make some mods to make it work: changed the 1×1 rib on the brim to 1×1 twisted rib, which I do for everything because I like it better, omitted the last stripe (which meant that I Kitchenered the top using my handspun thick and thin yarn… not fun), and added some creative decreases to the top to keep the fairisle pattern neat and so that the hat would be narrow enough on top without the last stripe decreases.

So, yay for new hat, yay for using the handspun, and yaaaaaaaay for fairisle. Have I mentioned here before how much I love fairisle? It’s a lot. Very addicting knitting since I always want to do more to see the patterns emerge. Maybe I should go dig up those Christmas stockings I was working on…

Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | October 21, 2009

in which yelley remembers that this is a knitting blog.

So I am still sick and stayed home from work yesterday and today on doctor’s orders. And now my sister is home sick too, though she is sicker than I am. She went back to her college last weekend where there have been 30something confirmed cases of H1N1 and she stayed in a house where people had the flu… brilliant, I know. So now it’s only a matter of time before we’re all as sicky as she is…

Being home sick has its advantages though… I’m starting the throat cabling section on my Rogue hoodie, which is pretty amazing since I just pulled it out of the WIP box last week with the pocket barely joined. I don’t have a more recent in-progress picture, but here’s a poorly lit one from the last time I worked on it… in January…

I’m using Dream In Color Classy in Chinatown Apple on US 5s, which is beautiful and great to knit with. It’s a superwash wool, but my swatch looked rough after it came out of the washer and dryer (yes, I made, washed and dried a swatch!), so I think this will be a handwash only sweater. I am stoked on finishing it though. It fit really well the last time I tried it on, which was before I split for the upper body and arm shaping. I’m feeling optimistic though! Me, optimistic! Though I guess all the meds I’m taking right now might have something to do with that…

My anniversary socks are finished!

I didn’t talk about this at all on the blog (sorry), but The Boy and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary this past September with a trip to San Francisco. He let me stop at Imagiknit first, because he is awesome, and I picked up some Sheep Shop Sheep Feet on an impulse and cast on for socks while waiting in line to see Il Trovatore. This yarn is also quite wonderful, and I am very sad that it is being discontinued. It’s all on sale at Webs and I have already stocked up on the colors that I like, and I recommend that you do the same if you are a sock knitter type. Il Trovatore was pretty amazing too… I think I am getting pretty into this opera stuff. We’re probably done for this season, but I hope to make plans to go see another at the opera house next season.

My yarn studio is coming along nicely… I had a great weekend with Craigslist and managed to find a large storage shelf, a table and 4 chairs, and a twin mattress for the daybed I bought a month ago all on the same day. It’s looking more and more like a yarn shop in there, which is the look I was going for.

Those shelves are looking pretty empty… maybe I need to buy more yarn?

Pink chairs! How could I resist pink chairs?
My stash looks happy in its new home and I am excited to get the room completely finished. Still have to finish painting the bed frame and get that put together, need to dress the bed somehow and cover it with unnecessary pillows (maybe I’ll knit some?), maybe get a rug (the floor is awesome, but very cold), need to frame and hang all my knitting-related art (socktopus!), need to get (make?) some curtains… it’s still a ways off, but I’m getting there!

So this was supposed to be primarily a knitting blog, but the last time I mentioned knitting here was in early September… lame, I know. Bother me to post about knitting more.

Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | October 8, 2009

in which yelley crawls out from under the covers to blog.

I am sick. No, I do not have the swine flu. It is more of a cold that has decided to settle in my lungs which causes my asthma to stir from its normal state of dormancy. Suddenly it wakes up, realizes it has been more than a year since it last tried to kill me, decides to start making my life miserable again… you know how adult asthma works. It’s great… the coughing from the cold triggers an attack to the point where I actually need the medicine I’ve been trying so hard to not use.

I used to get sick like this in the past quite often. Using my imaginary MD skills I decided that the times it happened were when I would get a cold accompanied by some other asthma inducing factor. I’d get it when I would come home from college for more than a few days, which I decided was from being re-introduced to our dogs and the dust and everything that Michigan had that Indiana didn’t. So here’s what I think my trigger is this time:

That’s Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. I spent last week in Colorado attending a management training meeting and visiting my internet friend John (who received a very nice scarf from me, if I do say so myself). The training was in Denver, which was not anything at all like the awesome city I’d heard it was (sorry Denver), then i went up to Fort Collins to visit John. Fort Collins was much nicer and had the best yarn shop of the 4 I went to in Colorado, which is of course very important to me in a city. Anyway, the state is beautiful, but I don’t understand how people breathe there! Even walking at a leisurely pace in downtown Fort Collins seemed like hard work, and not just because I am out of shape… I trek around San Francisco for hours without feeling like my bronchi have given up on life. Going up into the mountains was incredibly difficult… the sign said “Distance: 237 feet to Bear Lake” and by the time I got there I could barely breathe. Ridiculous. So yes, I think that getting a cold combined with struggling to breathe all week has resulted in my asthma sickness of near death. Awesome. I suppose I’d get used to it after a while, but for now I think I can cross Colorado off the list of places I might want to live in someday.

So I am home from work, catching up on the DVR and some knitting, cuddling with Tomo-chan, feeling incredibly guilty for not being at work, the usual sick day activities. I hate calling in sick because it feels like such a waste of a day. Now, if only I could call in I need to do laundry, or call in I haven’t had time to go grocery shopping in 3 weeks…

Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | September 16, 2009

in which yelley is a good person without god.

The local newspaper here in Modesto, The Modesto Bee, has an opinion section in which members of the community can write about whatever it is that they feel. For some reason I like to read them, even though I know that my beliefs are generally not in line with the conservative Central Valley and most of the things I read in the opinion section are perplexing at best and maddening at worst. Sometimes people say things that make sense though, for example:

Regarding “Bible fights crime?” (Aug. 21, Letters): I was born with no religion in my household (or school) and I am a pretty good person. The reason why I don’t commit crimes or do anything dumb is because my parents have taught me better.

You don’t need religion to tell you what’s good or wrong; you need positive people who can inspire you to do good and be successful and not worry about the little things that can mess up your life. To teach God in schools in unconstitutional, because everyone has the choice of religion.

This is something that makes sense to me. While it is definitely true that religion can teach a lot of good moral values, I would say it is also true that one can obtain good values from non-religious sources. Teaching about the Christian god in schools should not be allowed, unless you are going to teach about every sort of god and the absence of god, which I don’t see happening since apparently we can barely even teach kids to read in school now, but I digress. Even if you were to disagree with the statement made about not needing religion to be good, I would like to think that disagreeing with the bit about teaching God in schools being unconstitutional would be a bit odd.

So here is the response to that letter that does not make sense to me at all:

Regarding “We can be good without God” (Sept. 1, Letters): With deep respect, I would like to make a correction: Some people can be good without institutionalized religion, but nobody can be good without God because all good comes from God, whether you believe in him or not.

“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33) God’s law is love and goodness, so every time we do an act of love we are shouting to the world that we indeed believe in God or a Supreme Being, however we want to call him.

Remember, the only difference between the words God and good is the extra “o.” Just an interesting coincidence? The great irony of faith: sometimes you believe in God without even knowing it.

I don’t even know where to start with this one. Opinions like this just leave me totally confused about what goes on in some people’s minds. Do you think by saying “Supreme Being” the writer also means Ganesh or Poseidon or FSM or any of the other gods that people worship? I’m guessing no. I just don’t understand how someone could be so audacious. It essentially says “Hey, you’re wrong, and I have a holy book to prove it. How do I know it’s holy? Because it’s the word of god. How do I know it’s the word of god? Because it’s holy. You call it circular reasoning, I call it no loose ends.” Really, we’re talking about the same book that gave us these gems:

If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. -Exodus 21: 20-21

For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. -Exodus 35:2

If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity. -Deuteronomy 25: 11-12

“But yelley, those are the outdated parts of the bible. Everyone now realizes that not everything needs to be taken literally.” Well, if that’s the case, can I be the person that chooses which parts of the book we get to ignore next?

The second letter is an insult and even if the writer said it, that person means no deep respect. What is being said is that it does not matter what everyone else believes in, the writer’s beliefs clearly trump all else. The real great irony of faith: faith is something that people will defend the strongest, but cannot be backed up with any strong facts that don’t rely on that same faith. Maybe I should write a letter too.

P.S. Dad asked me to start a new blog where I don’t talk about religion. Sorry Dad, I promise I didn’t make this post to spite you.

Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | September 3, 2009

in which yelley gets a new addition and knits something awesome.

We have a baby now.

His name is Tomo, he is a Shih-Tzu, and he is so so small. Yeah, he is pretty much the cutest thing ever.

And I am knitting something awesome.

I’m only 6 pattern repeats into this and it is going to need some serious blocking, but so far it is turning out great and the colors are stacking as I had hoped. I met the Wenat half of Yarn Floozies at Sock Summit and she had a gorgeous pooling stole made from rainbow Wollmeise. She was kind enough to tell me how to make one of my own (and she has a great pooling tutorial on her blog), so I made sure to get some yarn that was dyed symmetrically while I was at Sock Summit so I could make one too. I’m using some Blue Moon Socks That Rock Mediumweght mill ends and size 5 needles (maybe I should have used 4?). I backwards loop casted on 41 stitches, enough to use up one color repeat, then chose a stitch pattern that fit evenly across that number. In order to get the colors stacking continuously I have to adjust my tension a lot, sometimes in the same row even I have to make myself knit tighter or looser. It’s strange knitting that way, but it makes things more interesting. I’m hoping it won’t make things look to weird once it’s finished and blocked… we’ll see.

So I have been pretty much dead to the world for the last few weeks. Work has been ridiculously busy and I get home every night (well, get home every early morning) and I just want to fall into bed and sleep forever. I’ve been sustaining myself using coffee Rockstar energy drinks, which is probably unhealthy at best and dangerous at worst. I guess it is paying off, though? Last month my lab did a record 80,000 tests in the micro department, breaking (obliterating?) our old company record (also held by my lab location) of 72,000 test per month. I suppose I should feel proud of our hard work, but really I just feel tired. All the days I spend at work melt together into one big day and I can’t remember when I’ve done what or what still needs to be done. Bitching and moaning, I know.

Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | August 12, 2009

in which yelley recounts a weekend of fiber frivolity.

How lucky am I that I can escape from my job and obligations to go to something as completely unnecessary and hedonistic as Sock Summit? I truly lead a privileged, earned and unearned of course, life. I suppose one may argue that it isn’t necessarily frivolous to indulge oneself in their hobbies every now and then, but I still feel a bit guilty that I just spent so much time (and money) pursuing yarny endeavors.

Regardless of the guilt I may feel, it was an amazing weekend. Portland was nice, someday I hope to go back and actually see more of the city than the convention center. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many knitters, so many people with whom I didn’t need to justify anything. I made lots of new yarn friends and learned a lot of great things to incorporate into my knitting repertoire. I met so many knitting celebrities, even got to take a couple classes with Star Athena and Cookie A. Barbara Walker signed one of my books, Anne Hanson helped me save a dropped stitch in my sock, Cat Bordhi told me my sock was beautiful… yes, it was an amazing weekend.


Banner outside the Oregon Convention Center


Me at Yarnia with the world’s biggest sock


Knitting on the big sock at the marketplace


Filling in the ballroom to set a world record for the most number of people knitting simultaneously


Swapping stitch markers in the lobby


Meeting Ravelry


Receiving the prize I won at the Ravelry Meetup from Chrissy Gardiner


After class with Cookie A and my sock


The long line for the Luminary Panel


The Luminaries


Meg Swansen cutting Elizabeth Zimmermann’s 99th birthday cake


After the Luminary Panel with Cat Bordhi and my sock


My spoils

Now to start saving for next year…

Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | August 2, 2009

in which yelley mourns a great loss.

Dear The Green Ninja, wherever you may be,

It is often said that you don’t know what you have until it is gone, and sadly I am finding that cliche to be quite true. The last two weeks without you have been painful, your presence is sorely missed. Thinking back on our time together now I feel a twinge of regret; regret that I didn’t think as highly of you as I should have.

We have been through a lot together and you have always remained faithful and dependable. I remember when we first met, I was a sophomore in high school. Still two years too young to fully enter a relationship with you, and yet you were already promised to me. Until then you belonged to my mother, but it was a comforting two years for me. While all my friends wondered how they would get around, I knew that I had you patiently waiting for me. Until the day actually came, and my mother was not ready to part with you. Then four years later you went to The Mer. I was so sad, and so bitter… if you ever meet up with her again, please don’t tell Kwan that a lot of the time that I was with her, I was thinking of you.

We still had some good times together, though! Remember that time The Mer and I took you to New York? The Mer got pulled over in New Jersey and I swear the only reason she got off on that ticket was because the cop was Filipino too. Remember that time The Mer was driving you home from Chicago and your hood came flying off on the Chicago Skyway? How could anyone confuse the hood latch for the trunk release? She drove you around with no hood for weeks! Remember when we had to caravan around, you with no hood and Kwan with her donut on, both flashing hazards the whole way? People staring as they passed by, couldn’t get away from us fast enough, we looked so dangerous! You’ve had your share of accidents too, mom always did seem to be a magnet for that kind of thing. With your chipped fenders and your replacement primer-black hood, you weren’t much to look at in your later years, but you were still just as reliable.

Remember the day when you finally came to me? We signed the papers in our driveway and you became ours, secured to the tow dolly and ready to set off on a cross-country trip to California.

Remember that night in Iowa when The Boy thought he could back up the moving truck with you behind and got you all crooked on the dolly? We had to call someone to help straighten things out. You always had those scrapes on your side from that night. We made it out to California just fine though, you had a bit of trouble with your exhaust system, but nothing we couldn’t fix. Remember when we moved down to Arizona and you got a flat tire on I-5 in the middle of Los Angeles rush hour? We unpacked our whole trunk on the side of the expressway to change the tire, only to find that the spare was flat too! Good thing I bought you that AAA coverage the day before…

Yes, we’ve been through a lot together these past several years. And now you are gone and I can’t help but think it is my fault. It was my idea to keep you parked in the street. We do have room for three cars in our driveway, but you had a slow oil leak and I cared more about a stained driveway than I did your safety. I see the error in my ways only now, now that it is too late. We had you towed away… if i had known then that it was the last time we would see each other… the insurance agent called you a total loss and I was devastated. But I will remember our good times together, all the times that you were there for me even though I wasn’t always there for you. I hope you can forgive me.

Love,
yelley

Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | July 7, 2009

in which yelley has millions of peaches, peaches for free.

There is a peach tree in my backyard. Now we have lots of little peaches.

We forgot about that part where you should take off a lot of the fruit so that the remaining peaches grow larger…. maybe next year. They are pretty delicious though.

So this blog has been viewed over 10000 times. Not counting all the times I’ve had to come here because I forgot the stitch counts on my own patterns. Time for a blog contest to mark this not-so-important milestone! Let’s make this a bit more interesting than the standard post a comment and I’ll draw a name from a hat contest. So instead I am going to have a Six Word Story contest.

Rules:

  • Have a look around the Six Word Stories site.
  • Post a comment with your own six word story. Enter up to three stories. Anonymous posts will not be counted.
  • Stories must contain only six words. Made up words are okay.
  • Entries must be posted before 12:00AM Pacific time on Saturday, July 11th. The expert panel of judges (me, my boyfriend, and my sister) will judge the entries and I will post the winner sometime that weekend.
  • Here is what I’m offering as a prize, which is hopefully enticing enough to get several entries since I’m excited to read some six word stories…

    Two skeins of Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino and one skein of Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sport. The colors look nicer in person, but you’re just going to have to trust me on that one. See, I told you it would be nice yarn.

    Some of my six word stories:
    That time really was the last.
    Until death do us part. Maybe.
    Atheist dies. God is real. Fuck.
    Christian dies. No God. The end.

    Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | June 29, 2009

    in which yelley glues herself to the floor.

    I mean that quite literally. I have been working on tiling my yarn studio this weekend and I am nearing the halfway mark. I’m using vinyl composition tile (VCT), like the kind that is used for elementary schools and hospitals and the like. I’ve been told it is an odd choice, but the look I’m going for in my yarn studio (we’ve taken to calling it that, more classy sounding than yarn room, yes?) is one of a cozy sort of local yarn shop. So I guess that means eclectic and inviting with lots of seating and yarn lying about. The local yarn shop that I frequent, and the inspiration for my floor, is not quite there yet for me. But it’s only been open for a couple of months and I think it’s on its way.

    Anyway, VCT is installed with a special adhesive instead of thin set used for ceramic tiles and the like. The adhesive is the color of ground ginger (and kind of smells like it too, but I may be crazy from all the fumes) and sticky as… something really sticky. No not honey, more sticky than that. Not Super Glue either… a little less sticky than that. But I digress. So the adhesive is spread on the floor and then you leave it for while to dry and become tacky, then you just press the tiles into place. Edge pieces that require cutting can be scored and snapped easily with a utility knife and a straightedge, as long as you remember a few things from high school geometry. Sounds simple, right? It is, sort of. As long as you don’t accidentally step in the tacky glue and, once you manage pry your foot off the floor, have to hop to the bathroom to scrub it off, taking several layers of skin with it. And as long as you don’t accidentally lean your forearm into the tacky glue. I have one very smooth forearm now. But really, you’re not here to read about my waxing alternatives, you’re here to see pictures. Here is my inspiration room, the floor at my yarn shop, The Urban Sheep:

    I tried the random arrangement and it just didn’t work for me. Since I’m staggering my 5 colors of tiles each one touches 6 others instead of 4 and that made it really difficult as I’d always end up with tiles of the same color adjacent to each other. So here is where I’m at so far:

    I love it, except now I feel like I need to switch the wall color. I’m hoping that once I have everything else in it it will be fine…

    In other news, my secret knitting from my last entry is no longer a secret. I was designing a pair of socks for the Anzula sock club. I only had a week to get it together though, so I’ve actually only made one sock so far…

    The yarn is Anzula’s 80/10/10 sock weight, a blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon. If you didn’t follow the link to Anzula’s store last time I still highly recommend that you do; the yarn is so soft and the colors are beautiful. I’ve names the pattern Lexie, after my house plant that is named after my friend Alexa that gave it to me. What can I say, the socks needed a name and Lexie was the first thing I saw when I looked up. Dull, I know.

    I learned a lot of things while making this sock, mainly that I prefer heel flaps to short row heels and that I like the slipped stitch heel flap better if done in 1X1 ribbing. The heel flap looks good from the back when worked in the ribbing too, so it would be a better choice when making reversible socks. Also I think I will make more socks where the back portion above the heel is in 1X1 rib as well; I like how it connects the heel flap with the cuff and it makes for a nice snug fit around the ankle. Next time I will try twisting the slipped stitches in the heel flap and making twisted 1X1 rib up the back, as that is my favorite.

    I’m nearing 10000 hits on my blog, which I think is crazy but the counter doesn’t lie. I know that most of the people that visit are looking for my Windmill Bag, but I know that there are a few of you that actually take the time to read my regular posts as well. (Also the strange 2 of you, or maybe the same person that came here twice, that googled “proud family movie peanut people” to get here. I won’t ask if you won’t tell, okay? By the way, to the person that came here by googling “my mother is angry that i’m converting” I sincerely hope that things went well for you.) And so I will be having a bit of a blog contest for you, the people that actually read what I have to say. The prize will be some selections from my stash, which I fear has grown to slightly ridiculous proportions when I wasn’t looking. And it will be good stuff, yarn that you will want; I actually don’t have even a single skein of Red Heart acrylic in my possession. Not that Red Heart isn’t a fine yarn for what it is intended, but wouldn’t you be a bit disappointed if that was the prize? Details will be up as soon as that counter rolls past 10000.

    And now I must go prepare for this evening. I have a date with the boy and I intend on crying a lot.

    Posted by: peanutbutteryelleytime | June 20, 2009

    in which yelley renovates and knits secretly.

    So aside from the part where all of my extra money (yeah, there really isn’t such a thing as extra money, I know) goes straight to Home Depot, I’m kind of liking this homeownership thing. I love my house. I love slowly turning each room into something that reflects me (and maybe the boy a bit). I love the little bits of green grass that are starting to grow in now that I water the lawn on my allotted days every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. I’d go so far as to say that this house is the best thing I’ve ever purchased, though Sabrina (that’s my car, for those who don’t remember) and my swift are definitely up there as well.

    One thing I’m not liking so much is living without a working kitchen. The stove is disassembled right now, the oven is in a pile of debris in the garage… we have 2 rice cookers, 2 George Foreman grills, a toaster oven, and a slow cooker that I guess we could be more creative with but we aren’t really trying as hard as we should. The kitchen is making progress though!

    Hmm, that looks kind of cool to see the pictures lined up in sequence like that. Let’s try it again!

    Needless to say, I am pretty stoked about how it is turning out. The contractors are coming again on Monday to sheetrock the edges and inside the kitchen. After that we’ll be at a standstill until more funding comes in from somewhere. I have some plans that I hope will come to fruition though…

    So about knitting. I’m still knitting, I promise. I can’t show you what I’m making though, I don’t think. At least not yet I can’t. I’m designing a sock pattern for the Head Over Heels Sock Club from Anzula and I hope to have it finished by this Sunday. Sabrina (the Anzula dyer, not my car) was nice enough to have me and a friend over last weekend to show us her yarn. I had been so good about not buying any yarn up until I saw hers…

    Anzula 80/10/10 – 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. Seriously, this is some nice yarn. You should buy some. Go buy some.

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