Monday, April 28, 2008

Cookies and grandma's socks

I recently suffered a knitting related injury and wasn't able to knit for a few days. It was horrible! In my spare time I stared at the cats expectedly, demanded much of Apollo's attention and obsessively surfed the web. Finally, I called Mom and had her find an old peanut butter cookie recipe to me. It's an oldie from a rural cookbook I used to cook out of as a kid. I made some minor changes to the recipe (like substituting butter for shortening) and whipped up the cookies. They were delicious! Apollo loved them so much I whipped up another batch a week later.

The good thing about peanut butter cookies, at least for me, is I don't really like them a lot so I'm good after one or two cookies. Apollo is another story. He LOVES peanut butter cookies. So much that he cooked a batch from the left over dough at about 5am a couple days ago. I woke up to the smell of warm cookies wafting through the bedroom. It was better than coffee!

After my self imposed knitting restriction, I got to work and finished grandma's Go with the Flow socks. I used Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Yarn in Pacific. Yes, I'm addicted! Plan on seeing a lot more of her yarn in my projects!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Soothing my nerves

Yesterday I let stress get to me, so I took a break from work and went to Balboa Park to relax and get some sun. To my surprise, the Botanical Building was open. I've never been in the park when it's open so I was happy to go in and check out all the plants. Here's a few of the photos I took, you can find the rest in my Flickr account (my photostream is available in the column on the left).

True Lemon

If you like lemon in your water, you should check out True Lemon. I also read that you can use it on food, if you're into that sort of thing. I signed up for some free samples of True Lemon and ended up getting some True Lime and True Orange too. This morning I used some of the lemon in my water and it was tastey. For your free samples, click here. It's not sweet, it just tastes like I put some lemon juice in my water.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Alligator Lizard

I wondered what everyone was looking at outside our complex and when Apollo called me, I discovered this cool looking lizard, the California Alligator Lizard! Not only is he beautiful, but he has a cool name. Click the pic to get a closer view, this guy's gorgeous!

Notice his alligator like head and that his tail is trying to grow back from a previous encounter with a predator. My neighbor said that he moved him from the step to the fountain and was bitten in thanks.

I tried to get one of his face but hard a hard time doing so, especially since I had to lean way over with one of my feet on the side of the fountain and the other on the steps just to get these.

It was evening when I saw him last, hopefully we'll see him around again!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is it April 15th already?

I just finished my taxes. Normally I get them done within the first month of the new year but after an incident last year involving my employer's accountant and a mistake on my W-2 that ended up being a huge pain in the ass, I decided to wait it out and see if any mistakes were made this year before filling.

I was finishing up when I came to this section which asked if I wanted to donate any money to any special funds. Everything looks like the usual. But then I saw the last one.

Don't get me wrong, I love sea otters! But what makes them so special that they get their own special mention with the IRS? Why sea otters over any other animal?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Birthday has come and gone, arthritis is already kicking in.

I've felt stabbing and throbbing pain in my hands since I stopped knitting this morning in the early AM. My fingers ache when I rinse them in cold water. I think it's related to the new slippery needles and my apparent need to grip them like there's no tomorrow. All knitting has ceased.

Damn labels!!

Well. When I bought this Baby Cashmerino a couple weeks ago, the lady at the store convinced me that the two dye lots of the remaining yarn balls in this colorway looked pretty close. Even if they weren't, it wasn't that big a deal, I figured I could knit the hat in the other dye lot or the back panel, etc. This was before I realized the body of the sweater is knit in one piece. Once I realized this, I put the extra dye lot yarn balls aside and started knitting. Last night I cast on the second ball from the same dye lot and knit away until my eyes couldn't take it any longer. Around 1:30am as I was stuffing my project into its bag, I realized there was a problem.

It seems the labels for the yarn balls got mixed up in the store and the second yarn ball is from a different dye lot. At first I thought it wasn't that visible and that the non-knitting recipients wouldn't see the color change but when Apollo noticed it right away, I figured I would have to frog it today. And now that I look at it with refreshed eyes, it's glaringly obvious! I'm only inches away from finishing the body of the sweater too. :(

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"smart" or just another way to break your legs

We saw this tiny smart (yes, all lower case) car at Mission Valley Mall the other day. Of course we were immediately attracted to it because of it's size. If there's one thing I enjoy, it's checking out unusual cars. (Or even better, fast cars - I can't help it, they make me drool!)

The last time I saw a car similar in size to the smart was a little over a year ago when a car salesman showed me a two door Yaris. When we saw it, Apollo and I both busted out with uncontrollable laughter. We were car shopping for Aimee and I told the salesman, "This car isn't good enough for my sister." *snort* Anyway, you can tell how small the smart is just by looking at where the owner parked it in relation to all the oil spots from other cars.

The owner walked out to the car not long after I took the photo and didn't seem too interested in talking to us, but we did pry some information out of him. Apparently he gets about 40miles per gallon and didn't seem too happy about that. He also pointed out that it's a 3 cylinder with the motor in the back. He did say though that being a Mercedes, it's got lots of nice little gadgets and is a quality purchase.

The website isn't joking when they say "reservations for two." At just a little over 8 feet long, only two people can fit in it. I'm not even sure if you can fit stuff in the back either, I think the motor takes up all the room. The last bit of info the owner of this car gave us before slowly driving away (3 cylinders, how cute!) was the going rate of $11k to $17k. Sounds some what similar to the Prius, I wonder if this is going to start a new fad?

While this isn't the car for me (I keep envisioning my knee's buckling after bumping into a curb) it certainly is exciting! I hope to own an ecologically friendly car some day and am happy to see all the innovative automobiles on the market.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Embossed Leaves

I LOVE this pattern and am looking forward to knitting these again. I've had my eye on the Embossed Leaves pattern for quite a while but was intimidated by the pattern. After some fellow Ravelers decided to do a Knit Along with this pattern, I was ready! Though the leaf motif will look great with any color, I knew I had to use some beautiful green yarn I had just purchased from Hazel Knits.

The pattern starts out a little cantankerous, what with it's wonky 1x1 Rib Cast-On. But once you get past that (I don't like change so it took me a few tries), it's surprisingly fast. I made two modifications. The first was to use a sturdy heel rather than a plain stockinette because I've heard that the plain heel is quite loose for most people, plus the sturdy heel design really works well with the leaves. The other was that I didn't break the yarn in the gusset section. Why cut perfectly good yarn? I'm also extremely pleased with the star toe. It really helps to put an end to the leaves, so to speak. I'm curious to see how it looks on an actual pair of toes though.

Baby got back!

The Embossed Leaves socks are officially finished! They're blocked, dry and look gorgeous! I love them, I hope they fit the recipient! I'm busy preparing the final photos* but when I'm done I'll upload them. Meanwhile, this is what I have to deal with while working in my homemade photo studio (essentially a table top and lamp).

*I ended up taking new ones outside where the natural lighting let the true colors pop.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A couple knits

Today is my Friday and I'm making good on my time to myself by regressing into my little cave I call my apartment and attempting to finish up the Embossed Leaves socks. They're for my aunt whom I've heard has been feeling down lately so I want to get them finished as quickly as possible. I was finishing up the last round of the leg when I realized something was wrong. Long story short, there was a lot of ripping and angry mumbling as I realized I missed a yarn over about 18 rows down. Nooooooooooo!

I decided to rip a group of rows out at a time on each needle. I'm just about finished with all the careful ripping. And I was so close to the heel!

I guess you would call this the "pea" of the Peapod baby sweater I'm attempting to finish for a coworker's baby that's due in...well I don't want to think about it. I'll just do what I can do and if I have to give it to him after the baby's born, then fine. Thankfully I'm knitting it at the 12 month old size so it won't be worn any time soon. Cute stitch though!