Saturday, May 31, 2008

Where am I?

The land is flat,
the earth is red,
the sky is blue,
the sun is bright,
and it's hot outside.

On the cab ride from the airport, I asked the cabdriver what was good to eat here.
Pause, then:
"You're not one of those vegetarians, are ya?"

I'm definitely not in Seattle anymore... (not in Kansas either!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gnome 2.0

Remember my first gnome?

He has a new friend...

Introducing the new and improved gnome!

The pattern is loosely inspired by the pattern I used for the first gnome, Simply a gnome!, by Else Tenessen. This time, I wanted a pointier gnome, so I did smaller numbers of increases and spaced them out about every 4 rows for the hat and 6 rows for the head and body instead of every 2 rows (basically, whenever I felt it was time for the next increase). Compared to my original gnome, I have about 16 rows for the hat compared to 12, 6 rows for the head compared to 5, and 9 rows for the body compared to 8. I also stuffed it more and did a better job of crocheting the bottom circle for a better fit.

The other major differences are the beard, eyes, and nose (there is one!). Instead of making the beard separately and sewing it on, I crocheted it directly on the face before stuffing it. Same for the nose. I also sewed the eyes and eyebrows on before stuffing it.

Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool and Superwash Wool, leftover from various projects. Eyes from Jo-Ann's.
Hook: size G (4.25mm) for body, size F (3.75mm) for beard and nose. Eyebrows sewn on with darning needle.
Started and finished on May 14, 2008

It's so cute! A definite improvement. I made it as a gift for a friend. It will soon leave for a new home... I think my original gnome will be sad to see his new friend go so quickly, maybe I should give him a nose to cheer him up...

Generation Gap

A conversation between a mother and daughter, overheard recently while walking through the gift shop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland:

Mom: You can have a souvenir if you want. What would you like?

(pointing at the posters, cds and other memorabilia of artists like the Beatles, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Police, U2, REM... and the prominent displays of the 2008 inductees, including Madonna and John Mellencamp)

10-year old girl: Hannah Montana! I want Hannah Montana!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Belated gift, belated post...

Although I have been knitting and crocheting lately, this post is about a project I finished months ago. Last fall, I was invited to a wedding reception across the country. (Not the wedding itself: they were married in a small ceremony over a year earlier). Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the reception, so I decided to knit them a wedding gift. I chose the Moss Grid Hand Towels, from Mason-Dixon Knitting.

I figured I would give it to them when they came back to Seattle after the reception. Well, I wasn't quite done. I had just started the second towel and was kind of bored with the pattern. It was right before Christmas and lots of gift knitting needed to be done. Also, I realized I wouldn't see them before the holidays so I decided to put the hand towels on hold... and didn't pick them up again until February. Oops... When I did get back to actually working on them, I promptly finished the second towel. You're thinking I gave them the towels as soon as they were done, right? You would be wrong...

Well, first there was the baby shower and I didn't want to give the wedding gift with the baby shower gift. Then it took a while before I saw both of them together. I finally gave them the hand towels with some fancy guest soaps at the end of April. Which explains why I didn't post about them earlier. Funnily enough, I gave them their wedding gift 9 days before the birth of their son... (he's very cute).


Pattern: Moss Grid Hand Towels, from Mason-Dixon Knitting, by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne.
Yarn: Knit Picks Cotlin, in "Linen". 2 balls each.
Needles: US 5/3.75mm
Started: November 2007
Completed: February 21, 2008
Gifted: April 26, 2008

Although the pattern gets a little repetitive, they're actually a fun knit. I would simply suggest alternating with a different project to break the monotony. I like the natural color, it gives the hand towels a rustic feel. The Cotlin is actually very soft, even more so after a run through the washer and dryer. The fact that it's machine washable makes it a great choice for towels. The cotton gives makes it softer to the touch than some pure linen yarns.

The recipients seemed really happy with the towels. When I suggested they use them as guest towels, both of them rejected the idea flat out... They said they would much rather use them themselves! That makes me a happy knitter...

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival for the first time this year.

There were tulips in many different colors, sizes, and shapes...

Multicolored tulips.

Tall and pointy tulips.

Fuzzy tulips.

Even some scary tulips.

These delicate pink tulips were my favorite

How can you NOT take 250 pictures of tulips?

Yes, I might have gone a little overboard...

To see pretty pictures of tulips in Holland, at the famous Keukenhof Gardens and around Leiden, go here and here.