Friday, April 30, 2010

need a smile?

you can read more about this here as well as see some more Military Music Videos of Lady Gaga's Telephone

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coolest booklight ever!

I don't talk about it much here... but I love to read. LOVE to read. I can go through a book in a couple days if I put my mind to it and I love love love love getting sucked in to series books where I can stick with the characters for a while as they go on their different adventures. One of the things that goes along in my quest for good books is my quest for the perfect book light. I like to read before bed but a bedside lamp is too bright, I need it to be dark and sleepy in the room.

On my quest for the perfect book light I have learned through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. And like any good relationship I have sorted out my needs so that I know what I want going in. My needs aren't unrealistic (at least I don't think they are)... they are simple.

  1. The light has to be bright - so that I can READ the book and not squint at the book.
  2. It must clamp on to the book and stay there and not slide around everywhere or :::gasp::: fall off!
  3. Said clamp must work on paper back or hardcover. I like diversity here.
  4. It can’t be too bulky other wise it just makes reading the book uncomfortable and the back starts bending under the weight of the light and it’s just a mess I tell you! A mess!
  5. Most importantly - It must not take lithium batteries. I am not going to go to some specialty store and buy outrageously priced batteries just so I can get home and have to un-screw some back panel to replace some battery ever few months. No way.

This quest has had its highs and lows. Sometimes I think if found IT, the perfect book light! Only to be disappointed and let down when the light is dim or it falls of the book. The only way around the lithium battery that I knew of was to go the AAA battery rout. I didn’t mind this so much as I could just pick up batteries during my regular shopping but it sure did seem wasteful.
But all these problems are in the past :::cue happy dance:::

pic from MoMA

My mom found this book light in the MoMA catalog and it’s perfect. I mean seriously perfect. Let’s go through the check list

  1. Bight light? – check! The light is almost too bright it’s so bright.
  2. Good clamp? – check! Look at that clamp! It’s huge! Definitely has good coverage and even has a little pattern on the inside of the clamp to give it extra stability
  3. Clamp good on paper back and hardcover? – check! The clamp is designed in a way that seems to work great on both types of books. LOVE!
  4. Not bulky? – check! Look at that thing! How can that be bulky?
  5. No lithium battery refill? – check! No lithium or AAA batteries to worry about (or any other for that matter) cause it’s RECHARGEABLE!!!!! That’s right! That trendy little base (that lets that light work standing up as well) recharges the book light!

Is this not the coolest book light ever! The charge lasts for about 2 hrs after 8 hrs of charging which is great for me on a normal night. On a sleepless night I will have to either call in my ol’-stand-by book light or just plug this pretty lady into the base and read with the light from there.

It’s a tish pricy but when you take into account that there are no more battery purchases necessary this thing pays for it’s self in a few months. It's worth it for something used daily and that is more environmentally friendly and looks cool!

Monday, April 19, 2010

FO: Tweed Baby Blanket & Hat

When I saw this blanket made by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed I knew I had to make it. The simplicity of the center paired with the lace edge was just perfect in my eyes. Not too cutesy but cutesy enough - know what I mean? So I immediately went to KnitPicks and shopped around for the perfect yarn when I ran across their line of organic cotton available in four colors. The four colors available are gorgeous and colors together looked fantastic... I immediately added them to my basket (as well as some of the tweed) for the gorgeous blanket I knew I just had to knit.

Not long after my purchase I got the news that my sister was expecting. I was so excited and knew immediately that I was going to knit this blanket for the baby. And since this was during us packing up and getting ready to move to America I gathered all the cotton together and packed it carefully in my bag so that I could start knitting it while we began our new adventure (you may remember me showing the beginning of this project

Knitting this blanket was a pleasure. The pattern is written well and it made it easier to make the modifications to handle the lighter yarn I was using. I also loved watching the colors as they changed from light to dark.

Project Details

Tweed Baby Blanket by Jared Flood
Simply Cotton Organic Sport from Knit Picks in marshmallow, malted milk, toffee and ginger
Needles: KP’s Zephyrs in US 4
Modifications: Since this pattern is written for a bit thicker yarn and bigger needles I had to knit more in order make the blanket the right size(ish). I knit up two balls of the marshmallow increasing as directed then started the decreasing at the end of the second ball. I added the “E” as I finished up the decreasing and used the contrasting color of ginger.

For the lace boarder I added two lace repeats to each side of the blanket. For the coloring I did the 1st lace chart in marshmallow, 2&3 in malted milk, 4&5 in toffee and 6 and BO in ginger. I then blocked the blanket as tight as possible. I loved the blanket and will definately knit this again!

After I finished the blanket I had plenty of the yarn left over and felt that the blanket needed a little hat to go with it… So I found a top down pattern for baby hats. So cute!

Project Details

Top-Down Baby Hat by Jennifer Meyers
Simply Cotton Organic Sport from Knit Picks in marshmallow, malted milk, toffee and ginger
Neeles: KP’s Zephyrs in US 4 using magic loop
Modifications: I did the crown in the marshmallow and added 2 extra increases. I then knit down until I had roughly 5.5 inches left and started the first lace chart. I decreased the lace charts to be for 12 stitches and knit the colors in the same striping as the blanket.

I love the way the hat came out… Better than I had anticipated! But I’m a little worried it’s going to be a bit big for the baby - time will tell! She’ll grow in to it sooner or later right?

I am really happy with this little set. In fact I am so happy with it that it was hard not to keep it! I can't wait to see baby "E" all wraped up in it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

FO: Baby Leg Warmers

Don't get any ideas here! These leg warmers are for my niece who is on the way... She'll be here in few more weeks so I sent a few hand knits to my sis so that everything was there for her arrival. I mean what if she's like 1 day old and has cold legs? and the leg warmers aren't there yet?

So when my mom said she was taking a small trip out to see my sis I figured it was the perfect opportunity to send the knits along. I mean what better way to deliver hand knits then by, well, hand?

Project Details

Baby Leggings by Ruth Bendig
Dream in Color Smooshy in Pansy Golightly
Needles: US 1.5 circs
Mods: None – Knit using magic loop

I love these things! They are so cute and seem really practical for a little baby. Also they are a great way to use up some left over sock yarn

Friday, April 16, 2010

No Knitting

I haven't knit in 3 days. This (for me) is a substantial amount of time. It isn't that I don't have anything on the needles... You can easily look to the right and see that I have at least 2 projects waiting for me to work on. The problem, I have realized, is that I am unsure of them. I'm not sure the socks are the right size and I'm not sure what row I was on in the Ishbel and it just makes me stop. I just put them down and think about them all day. Should I continue when the socks might be too big and then I would have to rip them back? Should I stop and measure but measuring isn't as accurate as everyone makes it sound. We all remember the dreaded FLS rip of '09when I had to rip back an almost complete FLS, even though I swatched (for the first time ever I might add), because it came out way too small.

I guess I could get started on the shawl pretty easily but to be honest I REALLY don't feel like working with lace weight right now. Even though I am mere rows away from being done with the Ishbel I just cannot look at lace.

So now I'm in a dilemma... and what do I do? I sit and do nothing. I just stare at the socks. Then I hide them so that they don't taunt me and then I pull them out like I'm going to work on them only to start worrying and put them away again. sigh. Somehow, in my mind, if I let them sit long enough then they will magically be perfect and I can start knitting them again. I know I know - Great solution right?

Ok thank you for listening and letting me get that all out there. Back to staring at socks

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

FO: Hats - Part 4

I finally knit a hat for my self!

I loved knitting with the Malabrigo for Husband's hat so much that I decided to knit a mally hat for my self. A purple mally hat. A purple mally hat with swirls!

So I ran over to
The Knitting Bee and grabed the perfect purple and got started knitting

Here are the pattern details

Pattern: Hurricane Hat by Andrea Goutier but I called this hat "But you can call me slurricane" because whenever I think of the name of the pattern it makes me think of the song
"Hurricane" by The Click. (I know, I know you thought I only listened to country but let me tell you there's lots of mystery here!)
Yarn: MALLLLLLLLYYYYYYY!!!!! (Malabrigo Worsted in Holly Hock)
Needles: US 7’s using magic loop
Mods: Nope! Although I would make it a bit shorter by half an inch next time.

I would like to say that this is the last hat I knit for a while but alas there is one more but at least that one is part of a set… stay tuned.

Springtime in Portland

Spring in Portland is beautiful. There is green grass, lush trees and blooming flowers everywhere. But this beauty (as all good things do) comes at a price. Rain. Lots and lots of rain. I'm sure you have gathered from previous posts that I love the rain and that was one of the things I missed most about living in Dubai. I love the sound of rain, the smell and the way is cleans the dust off of everything.

Of course in my memories of rain while sitting in the 100 degree weather in Dubai I had completely neglected to think about the down sides to rain. The traffic, the way it makes your car all dirty and the fact that there are so many things you cant do when it's raining (like go to the Zoo)...

Portland is known for their rainy days and I remember joking with people back in UAE about how we get rain in Portland the way they get sun in Dubai. hehehe. But we finally got a break in the rain and we were able to go for a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy some of the beauty that the rain brings us...

Friday, April 2, 2010

FO: Hats - Part 3

After I finished the groovy cable hat for my husband he immediately said "I want a green hat now" and me being a person that will never pass up the opportunity to go to the local LYS agreed...

So we headed back over to For Yarn's Sake to see if whe could find anything he liked...

We found this gorgeous green Malabrigo worsted appropreiately named Olive.

I had been wanting to work will Mally worsted weight for a while so this was a treat fro me

Somehow this Handmaiden Fine Yarn Cabash Sock yarn also ended up in my bag... But that's for another day

When I started knitting with the Mally it was like a dream! I mean it really was a pleasure to work with. So soft and so yummy.

In fact I enjoyed knitting with it so much that I ended up finishing the hat in no time at all

Pattern Details

Pattern: A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend by Stephanie Nicole
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted in Olive
Needles: US 8 circs
Mods: None except to knit it using magic loop