New Addition to the Zoo

I am a sap. That is the only possible reason that this:

Has invaded my house. Yes, it's a basenji. A dog that Wikipedia describes as "somewhat casual about obedience." A dog that does not bark, but rather, makes a sound best described as a yodel from hell.

But she is so darned cute. Look at those sweet little eyes saying "As soon as you leave, I'm going to eat more of your lamp cords. And you don't mind if I sleep under the covers with you, do you?"

DemonEris (tm) says: "Get that thing OUT OF MY HOUSE."


A Walk in the Park, pt. 1

This is what I would call a highly experimental post. If there's good feedback (or no feedback), I'll keep it up. If y'all hate it and don't care, well... I'll give in to peer pressure, I guess.

So I'm one of those poor types that can't afford to travel, and I love seeing new cities. I just don't get much of a chance. It occured to me that I'm probably not the only one like this, and I'd love to see photo essays of people's cities - especially the smaller places you probably wouldn't see as the typical tourist. So on that note, I thought I'd start off with a small trip through one of my favourite evening walking routes.

The first photo is a small canal that runs through a heavily developed home area. There are always ducks here, and while I tried to capture them on film, they are elusive little buggers. You can sort of see them in the area of water that's looking a little disturbed. Everything around this canal is concrete. It sits next to a car repair shop that is always packed full of old, beat up, and rusted automobiles. And yet, here it sits, pretty and green in the midst of cars, smog, and people.

Right around the corner is what I think of as the typical Californian church. Stained glass windows and palm-trees. Although I am definitely not a church-goer, I love looking at this each time I go by. It sits so serene and lovely behind a gigantic chain link fence.

I love flowers, and colour, so this vine always attracts my attention. It's in another field of concrete - right behind a huge sound wall that tries to keep the exhaust and noise of 3rd avenue away from the local residents. Maybe it's just the hippy in me, but I always love to see parts of nature flourishing amongst man-made materials.

Finally, two shots of the Bay for which the area is named. The Bay lands are always stunning, albeit somewhat smelly on warmer days (brackish water - yum). This spot pictured in the next two photos is one of my absolute favourites. Again, it's a strange juxtaposition - high voltage towers mixed with the reeds, silt, and rocks. This is part of a recently built park with trails, playgrounds, and a fantastic dog park (not that I have a dog). I'll have more pictures of the park proper tomorrow.

Doesn't it just make you feel... serene?


Gauge Hell

So I spent this last Saturday with my two bestest friends (Yes, you know who you are), and even found a home for the Dibs on Ribs sweater that has been the cause of so much knitterly angst. Turns out that while I thought I was making myself a birthday present, the sweater knew it was being made for my friend Jessica. It looked hideous on me - gorgeous on her. Such is life.

Anyway, Jessica's birthday is coming up in July, so when she was looking through my Interweave Knits magazines and decided she loved the Prairie Tunic from the Spring issue, I thought "why not?" I had a good cotton yarn substitute that was going to be another Eris sweater before I realized that cabling REALLY makes me want to set my needles on fire, I had the proper size needles, and how much work could a tank top be?

So I did a sort of vague gauge check (this, dear readers, is where the Jaws theme song should start playing in your head) and went ahead knitting. Did I mention this top is knit on size three needles? Several rows in, it occured to me that this piece (the back half) was looking, well... slightly... large? We were going for a length of 21 inches (IIRC) and we had 28. So I took a second look at the yarn, realized that I had utterly perfect row gauge, and decided to knit two sizes down and just see what happened. Instead of 21 inches, I had 25.

I know the good knitters here are snickering at my lack of proper swatching, which would no doubt have saved me 4 hours of super teeny stitches, and I thus hang my head in shame. I have learned my lesson:

I'm knitting the smallest size possible and hoping for the best. *ducks to avoid needles being thrown at her head*

Eris says: Mom, I think you're a few inches off.


Finished Baby Booties!

Spurred on by the successful finishing of the hat (Thanks to Chelle, for clearing up that pronunciation thing, "tuque" does make more sense) I sewed together the Ugg-Style Baby booties last night.

Here they are pre-sewing... very lumpy little buggers. At this stage, I was concerned. They didn't look at all bootie like.

But, after loads of experimenting with embroidering... they turned into things an actual child might wear.

I'm still a little worried about the size, but this is the 9-12 month sizing. To continue my general theme of asking the commentors to help with my ignorance, if anyone could let me know if this looks like the appropriate size I'd be incredibly grateful.

I still have a load of the yarn left over, so I'm thinking about trying to make the smaller size with what I've still got. Worse comes to worst, I figure I can switch the colours, and use the darker brown as the main colour.

Coming soon: Your humble host figuring out how to link to photo albums of previously Finished Objects, and hopefully a list of 2006 FOs.

Have a great weekend, I'll see y'all on Monday!


Finished Toque!

Okay, before it gets sent to Canada to live out its days, voici le toque!

The pattern is Girlfromauntie's cabled hat pattern. I can't recommend her patterns enough - 3 dollars gets you not only the pattern, but loads of instructions on customizing, and different charts for different gauges.

This particular toque was made with Noro Transitions, on size 7 needles, and only took two days. Boy, do I love quick knitting projects. I bought two skeins just in case, and it looks like I'll have enough to make myself one as well.

Incidentally, for any Canadians who might be reading this post... how does one take the word toque, which my years of French classes insist should be pronounced "toke" and end up with... tooque? I am much confused.

Will post pictures of booties soon, I swear. No, really.


Long weekend in San Francisco

This weekend was spent with my darling man's parents, touring various parts of the city and getting No Knitting Done. Luckily, I'd finished the knitting for the booties and toque on Friday evening, and now they just want finishing.

I have to say, I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful set of days in San Francisco. We attempted to go to the Legion of Honour, but were thwarted by not realizing that it was closed on Mondays. We went instead to the zoo, where of course, all "special" exhibits were also Closed On Monday. No matter we said, tomorrow we're going to Half Moon Bay and will do more there.

Who wants to guess how many shops in Half Moon Bay were Closed on Tuesday? No fair if you live there, or go there often enough to actually know the sheer number.

At any rate, it was the amazing food tour. I could probably go without eating this entire week and not have the slighest hunger pangs - Ninis and the Yacht Club on Sunday, Buca di Beppo on Monday, and Duarte's on Tuesday. Too Much Food.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the toque, which has turned out absolutely GORGEOUS (and I'm beginning to think I must have one), and the booties if I've finished sewing them together.

Looks to be another ludicrously hot day here in the Bay Area... I need to start knitting more with cotton.


Project overload

Once upon a time, I had all my projects so caught up that I was able to work on one project at a time. I would finish each project before moving on to the next, not ordering yarn till I needed it, and was feeling awfully proud of myself for having defied the Yarn Harlot's theory that no such knitter exists.

That lasted about... oh.. two weeks. Now? Having given into the Mason-Dixon Log Cabin knitting obsession, I'm cheerfully trying to log cabin away my stash o' random yarns (I'm even forcing myself to use up the old acrylic from my newbie knitter days - nevermind that it feels like sandpaper, MUST USE UP OLD YARN. Me? Obsessive). Of course, then thanks to Brenda Dayne at http://www.cast-on.com , I'm using up my acrylic/wool blend to knit the gigantic Dulaan scarf of Doom. And then there was the yarn that I bought to make the darling boyfriend a sweater...

A quick side note here: How stupid am I to buy yarn for a man who is too hot every day of his life? What actually made me think that this man, who will not EVER wear sweaters, would wear one if I knit it? I blame temporary insanity.

Anyway, I'm using that yarn to make the Eris cardigan from http://www.girlfromauntie.com . I made the pullover a while back in a lovely alpaca, and now I'm thinking a cardigan would be nice.

Oh, and then there's the toque I'm making for my friend, who was promised a proper toque about... a year ago. It's also a girlfromauntie design, and while I love her patterns, those cables are freaking killing my hands.

And then there's the UGG baby booties I'm knitting for my co-workers (shhh, surprise) shower.

How did I get here? I used to be such a good knitter... ;)


Welcome to Duck Knits!

So, I've finally gotten around to making a proper blog. I'll be trying to get the various pictures and such over from my poor disused msn spaces account. In the mean time - be patient with me as I try to get this thing up and running!