Friday, June 28, 2013

Favorite Things 14

Hiya! Releasing two patterns and moving won't stop me from sharing with you two new favorite things. I suppose you'll understand if I keep it brief?

1. Favorite shade of blue: I guess this top row covers it pretty well. Think of the stormy Oregon coast and you've got it.

Original Picture found here

2. Favorite genre (of any type of storytelling, movie, book, etc.):

I love mystery, documentary, and stuff that makes me laugh. And other things too.

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Favorite Things 11, 12, 13

Hi friends!

It's been a while. I got stuck three weeks ago when it was Favorite Things Eleven time. I've been avoiding the blog ever since. I am not proud of this at all so I am coming forward to say Favorite Things Eleven is "favorite book" and that just isn't fair. I could do it, but it will cause me tremendous agony and lengthy explanations.

1. Favorite Book: This actually sums it up pretty well, even though it is concerning 5 books:

2. Favorite Author: See above. Also Mark Twain.

Favorite Things Twelve:

1. Favorite recipe: This changes from time to time but I'm going to go with chocolate chip cookies. This one is special to me because the recipe was given to me by a friend's mom before he died and they remind me of him. The sweet, young him who was excited to get his mom's cookies in the mail. Also they are the big chewy kind, very nice.

Cliff's mom's cookies

2. Favorite brand of toothpaste: I have a toothpaste quirk. I like to have two different kinds around. I don't see why we have to use the same toothpaste every time. You never can tell what kind of toothpaste mood you'll be in, and if you have two or three you're covered.

Favorite Things Thirteen:

1. Language: I'm going with sign language. Any of them. I love non-verbal forms of communication.

2. Cuisine: Local, fresh, seasonal, healthy, plant-based food is my favorite... Also, pizza.

Pizza in Eugene
Pizza in Eugene, during the Black Sheep Festival

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Friday, May 17, 2013

Favorite Things, Ten

Hi friends! This week I get to share with you two more favorites. This won't take long, and the pictures might make you smile. They did that for me at least.

1. Favorite Fiber: Wool

Yarn I spun from a blend of merino, targhee and rambouillet (All breeds of sheep)

I have worked with many fibers as a spinner and knitter and wool is always the mainstay. Sure cashmere has charm (goat, not sheep) and silk is luxurious (worm, what?) but wool is the most versatile. There are so many breeds of sheep that produce wool. Shorter fibers like merino are soft and the longer staples (non-fiber people say "scratchy") are long wearing. Wool is warm, even when wet. So yes, I have to go with the obvious answer here.

2. Favorite blogs: My friends are my favorites. Then people I know. Then random things. Okay, I used to really love Cake Wrecks. I don't really look at it much anymore. I'm sure it's still good though...

my favorite category - literal interpretation of the instructions

I also used to spend time on Cute Overload. I don't know if these are blogs. I don't really know what blogs are anymore. How about a cute pic now? See you soon, I hope!

This image is burning into your heart right this minute

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Favorite Things Nine

Whoops, it isn't Friday anymore. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway... welcome back, you! This week was kind of silly for me. You'll see.

1. Favorite Animal to Have as a Pet: None

Mostly this is because I'm allergic to cats and dogs. I love animals very much though. I'm not crazy about the part where they become part of your family and if everything goes right you outlive them. I'm still sad about all of the animals I have known who died. In short, I'm not great at pets.

2. Favorite Physical Activity: Cycling

I'd love to make a joke about "Favorite Physical Activity" but this blog is intended for everyone and that includes people at work and kids and such. So you'll have to make a joke in your head for me.

Cycling is as close to flying like a superhero as I'm going to get. It's also practical and gets you here-to-there faster than walking and more thoughtfully than driving.

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Friday, May 03, 2013

Favorite Things Eight

Hi pals! Hope your week is going well. I am going to take a moment to check in with a new post about favorite things. Surprise, surprise, hard questions again.

1. Favorite Tree: Pseudotsuga (aka Douglas Fir)

Douglas Fir
photo by bilge-water via flickr

I love trees and I don't really trust anyone who doesn't. Redwoods! Fruit trees! Pretty trees! Angry trees! I love them all. Today I choose the Doug Fir for many reasons... It's a symbol of the Pacific Northwest, and the official state tree of Oregon, where I call home. Evergreen trees provide hope during the long winter with their fresh color and pine-y fragrance. You may have had this one in your house if you do Christmas. You certainly have written on paper made from it. The Doug Fir grows quite tall and has funny petals (3-pointed bracts) within the cones. Love it!

see the center cone? photo by Vivian Aubrey

I even made a sock pattern with a lace cuff inspired by this special cone:

Laurelhurst Socks
Laurelhurst Socks, photo by Vivian Aubrey

2. Favorite Woodland Creature: Three-way tie for first!

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Friday, April 26, 2013

Favorite Things Seven

Hello to the handful of you that visit my blog! I appreciate each and every one of you for stopping by. I'm going to attempt to address this week's theme carefully, since one is easy and the other is not.

1. ecological sin (being things that are deleterious to our planet’s resources but that you enjoy anyway): Pass. Or electricity. Or pass. No wait, LIVING!

Do I get to have a favorite of this one? Having a car is nice. Computers are useful. I enjoy electricity. A lot of my clothes are produced unethically. If I ate meat I would probably go with that, but I don't. Does my mere existence count? Then I choose being alive. It's really unlikely that any of us are, and yet here we go, depleting the planet. I choose being alive as my favorite ecological sin.

2. bogus swear word (when in mixed company): Bonkers/Bananas/Loony Tunes

I use these three a lot to suggest something here is crazy. I love all three and they can be used interchangeably.

Runner ups:

Rats! (self explanatory)

Jack Monkey Doodle - as in, "I don't know jack monkey doodle about pleasurable ecological sins!"

Dog Business - as in, "I feel like dog business today." I love this one because my business is knitwear and dog business is you know what.

(I also like "You Know What")

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Monday, April 22, 2013

Favorite Things Six

Hi blog readers! This week we have two difficult themes again. I finally got it all sorted and my computer crashed, saving nothing. I can't help but feel this version will not be quite as good as the last one but please bear with me... Let's jump in!

1. Favorite Movie Pre-1965: I considered the Marx Brothers, Screwball Comedies, and Historical Dramas. I then narrowed it down to The Sound of Music and the Wizard of Oz. Today's choice: Wizard of Oz.

It was in you all along

The movie made me want to read the book, which made me want to read all 14 official books. Despite outdated cultural insensitivities, there is also a great deal of magic and imagination created generations before Harry Potter hit the scene. My favorite thing about the film is the underlying message that if you want to improve yourself, you can. A wizard can't fix you, only you can do that. You'll probably have to walk through some scary places to get there, but if you are willing to face your demons, you'll be rewarded with great power. It's a great message and just rings true.

2. Favorite Children's Book: This time I have to mention a few faves, but will ultimately settle on one. Probably.

First runner up - any of the soothing Ant and Bee books by Angela Banner. I used to get these at the library when I was little and studied them very carefully. As an adult I tried to hunt them down, only to discover they are considered "collectible" and go for hundreds of dollars apiece. Oh well.

Ant and Bee and the Rainbow... A Story About Colours by Angela Banner

I also loved The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Oh what a crazy story, full of puns, which seemed meaningful to my young mind. Reading this book as a child was like an acid trip, in the good way.

Map from The Phantom Tollbooth
Map illustration by Jules Feiffer

...and let us not forget From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. In short, what kid doesn't want to live in a museum, collect coins out of the fountain and sleep in important beds? I did.

I don't know what this picture is

Okay, enough honorable mentions. It's time to make a real choice here. Favorite book? The Best Story Book Ever by Richard Scarry. Also the Best Word Book Ever. Pick one? Why?! Richard Scarry is the best. That is the point.

don't you want to play with paint now?

He doesn't eat the toaster

I used to think a lot about Kenny's Breakfast and how huge it was. Anyone else?

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Favorite Things Friday Five

Hi Friday Friends! Perhaps you have noticed that it is Saturday? More importantly, so what? This week we have two new favorites to explore: school subject and board games. I'm going to jump in with the easy one first...

1. Favorite Subject in School: Art

"Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth
Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth - photo by goldberg via flickr

For a long time not much else mattered to me. What can I say about art in a brief yet meaningful way? I dunno. I'll turn to Picasso:

Everything you can imagine is real

OR maybe Nietzsche?

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star

That kinda sums it up succinctly I think.

2. Board Game: Arkham Horror

Believe it or not this one is way harder for me. I am a total board game nerd and do not wish to commit myself to one game. That said, Arkham Horror is amazing. This is the game that got me into complicated, cooperative games. This means players work together and you either all win or you all lose. In this case, that could mean a gruesome, gory, Lovecraft-inspired demise. Yes, the board is ridiculously huge and you need a big table to play it. Set-up is long, as is putting it away. I once spent six hours playing this game. You can feel sorry for me if you want but I loved it. I don't play it much anymore but it will always hold a dear place in my heart.

Thanks for stopping by, pals!

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Pollination Collection

Hello fiber friends! Check it out - I have some patterns to show you. The Pollination Collection is a Malabrigo ebook of four accessories. 

Plum Creek Mitts and Honey Orchard Shawl
Plum Creek Mitts and Honey Orchard Shawl

First up, a nice little shawl... Honey Orchard is a made-up place with dancing lambs and bees with no stingers. The sunlight tastes sweet and always comes paired with a gentle breeze. This asymmetrical shawl pattern is inspired by a dreamy little fictitious place like Honey Orchard.

Honey Orchard Shawl (large)
Lee rocks the large Honey Orchard shawl


Finished Measurements: (blocked): 58 (72)” 147 (183) cm wingspan, 21 (27)” 53 (69) cm deep

Gauge: 22 sts/28 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch (Not blocked) 18 sts/22 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch (Blocked) Exact gauge is not critical

Yarn: Any dk-weight yarn. Samples shown: Malabrigo Silky Merino [51% Silk, 49% merino wool; 150yd per 50g skein]; colors: Cape Cod Gray (small - 2 skeins) and Sand (large - 3 skeins)

Needles: 1 set of US 8 (5 mm) 24” or desired length circular needles or size to get gauge.

Pattern is $4.99

buy now

Conestoga Bonnets and Honey Orchard Shawls
Conestoga Bonnets and Honey Orchard Shawls

Next up, Conestoga Bonnet. Before the development of the railroad, people relied on covered wagons like the Conestoga to travel the Appalachian Valley. The Conestoga Bonnet revives old time carriage dress into the modern era.

Conestoga Bonnet
Lee is so cute in the Conestoga Bonnet


Bonnet Sizes: (3) Child [Adult Small, Adult Medium]

Bonnet Measurements: 18” [20,” 22”] OR 46 [51, 56] cm

Gauge: 13 sts/18 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch

Yarn: Chunky-weight yarn. Samples shown: Malabrigo Chunky [100% Merino wool; 100yd per 3.5oz skein]; color: Pearl (child), Pink Frost (small) Geranio (medium): 1 skein.

Needles: 1 set US #10/6mm 16” or larger circular needle and double pointed needles OR size needed to obtain gauge.

Conestoga Bonnet
Anaiah is oh so adorable in her Conestoga Bonnet

Pattern is $4.99

buy now

Next up, Plum Creek Mitts. On the banks of Plum Creek, “She heard pa shouting,’Jiminy crickets! It's raining fish- hooks and hammer handles!’” (Laura Ingalls Wilder) Plum Creek is a place where country gals ride horses and picnic in the grass. It is the inspiration for a set of armwarmers that integrate delicate lace onto a sturdy structure. These mitts are a little feminine and a little bit practical too, right at home in Plum Creek.

Plum Creek Mitts
all three sizes of Plum Creek Mitts


Sizes: (3) Adult Small [Adult Medium, Adult Large]

Measurements: Wrist Circumference: 6 [7, 8]” OR 15 [18, 20] cm. Mid-Arm Circumference: 8

[9, 10]” OR 20 [23, 25.5] cm. Length: 7.5” [19] cm.

Gauge: 16 sts/28 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch using Worsted-weight yarn and larger needle.

Yarn: Worsted-weight yarn AND Lace-weight yarn. Samples shown: Malabrigo Worsted [100% Merino wool; 210yd (192m) per 3.5oz (100g) skein]; color: Sealing Wax (small), Pearl Ten (medium), Pearl Ten (large): 1 skein. Malabrigo Lace [100% Merino wool; 470yd (430m) per 1.75oz (50g) skein]; color: Pink Frost (small), SimplyTaupe (medium), Dusty (large): 1skein.

Needles: Cuff: 1 set US #9/5.5mm 32” or longer circular needle (magic loop method) OR 2 sets of 24” or longer (2 circular method), OR double pointed needles OR size needed to obtain gauge. Lace Panel: 1 set US #3/3.25mm straight or circular needles.

Plum Creek Mitts
Plum Creek Mitts

Pattern is $4.99

buy now

Finally, Tree Rings. Every tree has a secret inner life. You can guess the age by the height but the real data is locked within the core -- growth rings. Tree Ring Socks show your knitting growth on the outside. This project is an easy way to use two colors in your knitting without having to carry more than one strand at a time.

Tree Rings Socks
Tree Rings Socks


Sizes: This pattern is written for 5 sizes: XS (Small, Medium, Large, XL)

Foot Circumference: 7 (7.5, 8, 8.5, 9) inches 17.5 (19, 20, 21.5, 23 cm) unstretched.

Gauge: 32 sts/48 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch.

Yarn: Fingering-weight sock yarn in two colors that gives you proper gauge, 350 - 400 yards; Sample Shown: Malabrigo Sock [100% SUPERWASH Merino; 440yd per 100 gram skein]; colors: Natural [MC] , Alcaucil [CC]: less than 1 skein each.

Needles: 1 set of US 1 (2.25 mm) 32” circular needles (magic loop), 2 sets of 24” circulars or double pointed needles OR size to get gauge.

Tree Rings Socks
Details, details

Pattern is $4.99

buy now

Polination Collection
Bonnet, shawl, mitts, daydreaming

Like them all? You can get the ebook for only $14.99 - all four patterns at a great price.

buy now

Thanks to Vivian Aubrey for the photos and Lee Meredith and Anaiah Aubrey for modeling. Thanks to Laurelhurst Park for being such a lovely place to do things like this. Thanks to you for stopping by and looking at the collection.

Favorite Things Four

I didn't post my favorite things last Friday because the topic was favorite food and drink. Let's just say I'm in a phase where food is kind of gross right now.

Please forgive me. I will update this Friday, as scheduled.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Favorite Things: Three

Hello Friday Friends!

I am still here doing this, which surprises no one more than me. Thanks for stopping by and proving that blogs are still a THING. 

Today is Friday which means it's a Favorite Things Day. What is that? Look at this lovely little set-up written by Vivian which I stole from her blog this morning:

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

These are almost always very hard. I am not so very decisive and some topics matter too much or perhaps too little for me to make the definitive choice. What I do is pick the first one that comes to me, and so far that has worked. Enough ado, let us get to it already!

1. Favorite Animated Movie: Kiki's Delivery Service

I have only seen it once, and it was while I was recovering from something, but this movie really touched me. It's about a girl coming into her power and learning to rely on her own magic to make her way in the world.

13 year old witch Kiki and her black cat Jiji

Also Hayao Miyazaki is a genius and I love all of his films that I've seen.

Hayao MIYAZAKI 宮崎駿
Enjoy this nice, humungous picture of Miyazaki

2. Favorite Love Story: Okay, wow. I am torn all over the place for this one. I want to half put down some kind of anti-love story and half some real, touching one. I am generally more moved by LOVE than I am by mushy, fused, icky romantic love between two people that is ultimately unsustainable. Bear in mind I am not bitter, despite how this sounds.

So, I turn to music. Girlfriend in a Coma? Perhaps not... I got it! John Lennon wrote fabulous love songs all over the place. So, here it is: In My Life. This is a beautiful song (in my top five all time favorite Beatle songs) that feels like a meditation on his past and an expanding sense of love in his present and future.

Lennon's Original Lyrics

I have always felt that the people and places I have ever loved I still love. The people and places I liked I still like. Nothing changed. This song echoes that warm feeling for me and I maintain that it is quite a Love Story indeed.

The song is great too. I just read that the solo isn't a harpsichord, it's a sped-up piano. How cool! Anyway, enjoy this weird weird youtube video of In My Life if you'd like and have a great week, Friday Friends!