Thursday, September 28, 2006

My New Wheels

Thank you for all the help (and additional suggestions) in picking my next pattern. It was just the distraction I needed. I wasn’t able to pick just one, so instead of forcing myself to, I decided instead to prioritize…and start… time. Aah. Breath. I bought some super-soft baby alpaca for the Cropped Cardigan in a camel color & some grey merino for the Sangria skirt. So, more on that to come.

A whole lot of interesting things happened this past weekend that I didn't get to report on due to my chronic pattern distraction.

:::I taught my mom to knit:::

My mom refers to herself as "the knitting school dropout". She didn't show much interest after the initial frustration of trying to learn from an impatient teacher. Until....I told her that I wouldn't have kids until she learned how to knit baby booties. Miraculously she's dying to learn. And she's damn good at it so far. Oops, I think she called my bluff.

:::Enjoyed watching my dad and Frida relax:::

Frida has a way of sneaking into every single photograph. She's such a flirt.

Aaaand…dun dun da dunnnn…I GOT A SPINNING WHEEL!!
I spotted it at an estate sale. She (for some reason, I feel the need to assign her a gender) was just sitting there quietly in the corner waiting for me to claim her. She's beautiful, and old, and gives me a sense of connection to the past.

I’m now presented with the interesting task of unraveling the mystery of the wheel and answering some pressing questions. Who has spun with her? How old is she? Where was she made? And…uuhm…how do I spin? Err…well I took a spinning class over a year ago but remember absolutely nothing.

Susan has been a great help in getting me introduced to some online resources about the wheel itself, a little on wool & of course, the online spinning culture. I think I need to take another formal class using my wheel & maybe even a consultation or two on things I need to fix on her. If you live in the bay area and spin or know of someone who does – keep me in mind for lessons. I have big dreams of things I eventually want to make…

Beth and I are going to the antique fair this weekend, so I'm hoping to find a beautiful new-old basket to keep my roving in. And maybe some buttons. And a few patterns. And...And...

posted by Cristina at 6:48 PM | link | 6 comments

Monday, September 25, 2006

What to do...what to do?

I'm searching for the next big thing. I have some Berkshire stockinette stitch recovery to do, so I need something interestingly complicated, yet practical & straightforward. Here are a few options...

The first 2 are from Knit Spot & were suggested at Pink Purls.
Vine Flower Child's Dress:

Sangria: A lacey skirt with good drape & bounce.

Below is the super versatile Cropped Cardigan by Blue Sky Alpacas:
This one looks like a VERY quick knit using chunky yarn & big needles.
Karabella KK 219: I've never made a cardigan before and would love to try this one out because of the cables & good fit. But is the neck look uncomfortably high?
Karabella KK 206: I love the shape & lacey detailing on this. I see it in black or possibly cream. The only thing stopping me from making this one, is the thought of having to look at this woman's' frightening tan for a few weeks while working on the pattern. It's something to consider.
Karabella KK183: Cute. Cute. Cute. From the sounds of it as posted on other blogs, construction might be a little tricky. However, the fit is super cute. The style would be good for foggy San Francisco. And there might be some willing bloggers to help me me out when I get stuck.

Karabella KK 181: Cute fit. Strange arms...but that might not be too difficult to switch to a nice fitted ribbing, right?
I would put up one of those nifty little web-poll thingys, but I'm too sleepy to figure out how....maybe just a response would suffice in my decision making process!

posted by Cristina at 11:47 PM | link | 7 comments

Friday, September 22, 2006


Okay, fine, we're friends again. After a VERY rough start, he & I made up. There have been many things that have gone wrong with this sweater. Some my fault, yes, some not so much. Anne put it in terms I could understand:

"...when knitting for a man, it is essential to...glean as many details as possible, while completely wiping your mind of your own taste AND JUST LISTEN. many men have extremely exact likes and dislikes, but have a pathetically small vocabulary for describing them, especially in knitting terms."

THIS, my friends. Is so true. When he says he wants a sweater made of 8 miles of stockinette stitch. He means this. And it doesn't matter what you say to convince him otherwise....YOU WILL BE KNITTING THAT THING OVER AGAIN. Heed my warning, girls.

This week was a little tough.
Call me crazy, but it might be because I stated it out by watching Spike Lee's, "When the Levees Broke". Enlightening? Yes. Depressing? Very.
Lots of tears were had.
Dreamy-Eyes wouldn't even let me watch the 2nd part. It was THAT bad and THAT good all at the same time.

I tried to lighten things up around here with a little "makin'"....and uuh...."breakin'". My sewing machine wasn't having it. This is what I ended up with. A rugged camera bag.

I like it, but there was blood on the sewing machine when I was done. You think I'm kidding. There really was. I checked my hands. No blood. So, a logical assumption would be that the sewing machine herself was the one bleeding. I wouldn't be surprised.

The week of negative energy finally let up last night when I began to sew my friend, Tasha's Birthday-Bag.

Once midnight was smooth sailing for me, and I've never finished a bag in such a short amount of time with almost NO issues. Ooh, and by the way, I love wool. And I love the beautiful fabric pieces that Erieann sent me. And I love the design sense that Dreamy-Eyes contributes every once in awhile.

Rant: CRAM CREAM & how I want to marry it:

Uuhm, okay, so NEXT time some genius comes up with Funky-Japanese-Cute tape & other household accessories, can someone PLEASE do me a favor and clue me in??? Like within the same century that it happens? Please? I stumbled upon this stuff at Mi's blog & fell in love. Did a search, and realized that it's been around for ages. There's even a flikr support...urr...I mean, discussion group dedicated to the stuff. Good God, where have I been?

P.S. Is it just me? Why would you let your child slide out of an elephant's ass like that? Would that lead him to being anal retentive? I'm no Sigmund Freud but...uuhh....

Photo courtesy of imagevenue. last P.S. - Just wanted to share some *really*really* great tutorials & pattern resources:

Owl Softie - Not sure if I'm in love with the design, or the fact that we're pulling this poor little girl into our chaotic crafty world...

Awesome Lovely Leafy Spring Bag.

Zakka inspired Boxy Cosmetics Pouch by Small Hands.

Knit Spot Patterns brought to my attention by Esther. Knit Spot ACTUALLY has a skirt pattern that I would consider trying. Like how I act like I haven't already purchased the pattern and the 8 balls of yarn? Who am I kidding?

~Lovely Lovely weekend to all of you~

posted by Cristina at 12:57 PM | link | 1 comments

Monday, September 18, 2006

Cave Man it is, just for Cyn Cyn. (he's going to kill me, you know that, right?)

See entry below:
posted by Cristina at 9:51 PM | link | 3 comments
Berkshire Sweater....ooh how I Hate Thou

*picture to come...blogger's acting stupid again (big shock). Is it time to change to TypePad?

I started this sweater because I am happy to and because I promised Dreamy-Eyes a knit sweater.

Right now, I AM TOTALLY FRUSTRATED. Had I not made my promise AND spend like $60 on the yarn & 8 million hours knitting I would throw it in the bay.

Or had I not made a public promise to finish this no matter what.

I did everything right this time.
I even swatched, (despite my reputation).
My swatch came out perfect, and I knit 80% of the sweater (entire week in Maui). I was in denial the entire time, when Dreamy-Eyes finally achknowledged the elephant in the room - "uuh, babe, does that look a little small to you?". It did. The whole time. So we tried it on, & it looked RIDICULOUS.

Like he was a 19 year old girl "goin' to the club" - tight.

So, I ripped the whole thing out, calculated a more accurate gauge....& re-wrote the pattern.

As frustrated as I am, I have to admit to having a pretty good laugh at my husbands expense. Now he looks like a cave man.

After I picked myself up off the floor....I begged him....

"...please (chuckle chuckle)...let me (laugh...choking).....take a picture to show my blogger friends..."

I'm determined to finish this damn thing, and I will. But for now, I need a break.
This thing is really challenging my patience.

Olive thought it was pretty funny too. Here she is laughing. She's laughing because all she had to do was wait a few hours for me to knit up her sweater.

She's sittin' pretty now. Not a single cuss word for her sweater, nope, not one.
posted by Cristina at 10:50 AM | link | 6 comments

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Eye Infection

I think I have one.

What do you think?
posted by Cristina at 1:16 AM | link | 6 comments

Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday WIP

Friday WIP

Who could this be? Any guesses?
....and a finished one too....

Pattern: Saturday Market Bag

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Dusty Sage (from the stash) purchased here on this trip with this lovely lady & this one too.

Modifications: I didn't want my apples hangin' down to my knees (wait, can I rephrase that?) so I used a few suggestions from the 8/28/06 Disdressed post, as well as added my own little signature seed stitch touch.

We'll see how it works out tomorrow at Noe Valley's lovely neighborhood farmers market!

~Happy Friday Everyone ~

posted by Cristina at 5:55 PM | link | 6 comments

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Windy City

Dreamy-Eyes and I are in Chicago right now.
What's that you say?
Ooh, Chicago wasn't one of the stops on our Fall/Winter tour?
Riiiiigggghhhhtttt.....unless you have wind...rain....and a tarmac under construction.

First person to give me the name of the genius who thought Chicago would be a good place for a major U.S. airport gets a prize. Seriously. I have some words for that guy.

After many an hour sitting around waiting to get on the outbound flight for Chicago from Boston....we finally boarded for a relatively smooth flight. We arrived....just to wait around again for hours and hours.

We decided to hunt down the silver lining in what looked to be a fairly dismal travel day....and bought one of these babies:

Actually, that's not really what I meant to say, but it slipped out, because these hot dogs are really the only thing on my mind right now. Partly because I still have a stomach ache from the one I ate last night, and partly because I can't wait to get back to the airport so I can indulge in another before I fly back to the vegan-land others refer to as "San Francisco".

The silver-lining was actually our decision to give up our seats in exchange for 2 free tickets anywhere in the continental U.S., a night in the (very swanky) Sofitel Hotel of Chicago & a whooping $6 to cover 3 square meals for 2 people (hence, the hot dogs). We found out later that the flight ended up leaving hours and hours later. We reveled in our good decision making skills. Skills that don't come to light that often. We need to celebrate when they do.

Sitting around. Waiting. More sitting. Looking. Gave me lots and lots of time to think about...well...myself. I know. Sounds bad. I came across the most wonderful picture while blog surfing last night, of YarnBoy knitting with his wife, Z. The picture prompted me to add to my ever-expanding list of birthday wishes.

So I looked over at Dreamy-Eyes, and this is how the conversation went:

KK: Sooooo, aren't you wondering what I want for my birthday?
DE: No. You already told me. You told me lots of things.
KK: I want an afternoon with you how to knit. And then I want you to make me a striped scarf.
DE: I already know how to knit.
KK: laugh. pause. wait. nothing. Is that right? Then, how?
DE: I know how to purl. And, I know how to knit. But I only know the long tail cast on. (which I don't know how to do, by the way).
KK: Is that right?
DE: yeah, you didn't know that?
KK: No. I guess I didn't.
DE: What kind of scarf do you want?
KK: I changed my mind, I want a sweater now.
DE: No, I'm making you a scarf.
KK: Fine. Then, I want a scarf.
DE: But, then that means, I'll be knitting you something before you've made me something. You know that right?
KK: laugh. laugh some more. fall off the bed. laugh again. turn red. realize he's right. laughing some more....turning really really bright red. Enough said. You're right.

Yes folks, you've heard it here first. I have never knit anything for my husband. Unless of course, the "beanie" (that's actually a ridiculous "beret") counts. Or the 12 inch scarf (I was too cheap to spring for more yarn. It was $30 a hank, do you blame me?). Or...the...uuhh...crap, I think that's it. I'm so selfish. Damnit, my selfishness amazes, even, me.

But I'm working to redeem myself. Yes, that's right. I'm knitting up a sweater right this very minute. It's about 880 miles of stockinette stitch AND it's the 3rd time I've started it (more on that later). THAT, folks, is love. This is the sweater that he wants. And this is the sweater that I'm knitting. Happily.

It's The Berkshire Sweater from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick in Cascade - Eco-Wool. Pictures to come. to the airport...again. Wish us luck!

posted by Cristina at 2:52 PM | link | 4 comments

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blogger hates me.

Here's that detail shot of the bag - blogger seams to hate me. But only sometimes. Ooh well...add 'em to the list.
posted by Cristina at 11:02 AM | link | 1 comments

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Uuh ooh! What do we have here? Could it acutal finished project!?!

I know, I can't believe it myself. Not only did I ACTUALLY finish something...but I even followed through to photograph & blog it. Good God, what has gotten into me? Must be some left over gusto from my vacation.

This little pretty you see here is the completed "Mama's Lunch Bag" for my mom's new job. This was a free pattern that came with my sewing machine - started back in January....finished...well, a couple of nights ago.

"It's cute, but not 8 months cute, why did it take so long" you ask?

Well....a little anxiety with the pattern....led to....screw the pattern....led to throwing the pattern away (not literally, you know I dont throw anything away)....led to just getting it done & a little matching tissue holder to boot.

Absorb the leather detail, 'cuz it's the last time you'll ever see me use 'n it....that stuff is a total bitch to work with. I used a Teflon foot, which worked well to feed it through, but then the feed dog scratched the heck out of the bottom side of what I was sewing. Annoying!!

A Note on Web Surfing:
To me, surfing the crafting blogosphere is like visiting one big Victorian home, where each room is a different studio - or different blog page. Posie Get's Cozy is the Kitchen Studio. Soule Mama is the Backyard Studio (a BIG New England backyard), and Bara + Design is in the Library Studio. So, when I stumble across a new blog that I had never come across before, an awesome feeling rushes over me like finding a secret garden in this great big Victorian house that I didn't know existed. Okay, sorry, that was probably too much information. Anyway, last night, I found another secret garden. Or more like, a big Mid-Western Porch Studio - the blog of See Eunny Knit. She has completed some of the most gorgeous knit projects and you have to check out her original designs. I'm constantly amazed by the creativity I find around here.

Getting back to my travel schedule - I've got a few trips in the works. Mostly for family reasons. 'Tis the season of weddings & birthday parties...which makes the trips fun and exciting.

Most are quickies...but I might be able to sneak out for a bit should there be good enough reason....left in the comments section of the post...perhaps...just maybe?

New Hampshire - leaving tomorrow for the weekend.

NYC - End of Sept./Beginning of October.
-Business...but wanted to check out:
-NYC garment district
-M&J Trimmings
-Purl Soho

Washington D.C./Arlington/Fall's Church - Oct. 19th - 22nd.
-Wedding - bestfriend, Crystl getting married.

Orange County, CA - End of October
-Birthday parties.
-Halloween (?)

Toldeo & Madrid, Spain - End of the year
-Family, Family, Family
-3 Kings (Christmas)
-New Years

posted by Cristina at 9:39 PM | link | 5 comments

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I'm Back from Maui!!!

wow. an energizer indeed. 8 days in maui & i'm feeling refreshed. inspired. sun burned & a bit itchy. amazing how that happens when you have a little time to frolic in the jungle.

a few quick highlights from the adventure....and i'll try my best not to bore you.

first, let me start, by saying..."no, i'm not pregnant". sorry mom. as much as you hoped that this vacation would bring to you...possibly...just maybe...a grandchild. it did not. just a daughter with an ill-fitting dress and lots & lots of wind.
i appreciate your candor, though, mom.
it's good to communicate your needs.
back on subject - how 'bout that view?
it's a stop along the road, somewhere in west maui.

the oldest banyan tree in the u.s.a. it's in lahaina, maui and my best friend, Katy told me to check this puppy out....and boooy am I glad that I did.
planted in 1873.
60 feet tall.
200 feet wide.
12 major tree trunks. all. connected.
one little tree became 12 big trees. all connected. all creating shade and inspiration for those that have the opportunity to visit it. here's an explaination of how this works.
kinda like this little crafty-blogging community we have goin' here, huh?

bamboo forest. this is something you have to experience...too hard to explain here. but, i'll try.

picture millions and millions of long thin bamboo trees completely encasing your pathway, making it very dark..but bright green all at the same time. now picture the sweet fresh smell of their leaves coupled with this sqweeky clapping, flapping, sqwacking sound they make when the wind blows and they start smacking together. it's rhythmic like music.

crap description. sorry. just go. trust me, it's unlike anything you've probably experienced before. just an assumption here.

sunrise at the summit of haleakala volcano.

waking up at 2:30am.
driving 3 windy hours on a dirt road skirting both boulders AND death.
sunrise on the top of a volcano.

ooookay...sooorry, that was cheesy, but i couldn't resist.

red sand beach, hana, maui.
a slippery, steep, anxiety inducing climb on the side of a cliff to find a private cove to swim in.
red sand beach was a highlight fo-shizzle.
the red volcanic sand up against the turquoise blue water.
quiet. private. beautiful. it's what vacation is all about.

not that i'm usually "matchy matchy"...but the color of my back is now matchy-matchy with the color of the sand at red sand beach.
i do it for the glamour and style of blending in to surrounding nature.
it's a "couture" meets "zen" moment.
keeps me close to nature.
and stuff.

Drum Roll Please.
and now...for the "what I learned on my summer vacation" moment.
or better yet...."My End-of-Summer Resolutions":

1. Over-all healthier living
a. more cooking, less eating out.
b. more exercising, less excuses.
c. more balance, less time-wasting.

2. Peaceful Home
a. more use-what-you-have, less look-what-i-bought
b. more look-what-i-took-to-goodwill, less (see 2a "less of")
c. more walks
d. organization

3. Living in the "here" & "now"
a. less planning, more living & doing.
b. less blogging, more making (don't worry readers, all 2 of you, you'll still see me...I'll just cut back a bit with the blog-surfing).
c. less obsessing about other peoples lack of regard for recycling, reducing, re-using and more appreciating my own RRR and unique things people ARE trying to do to RRR.
posted by Cristina at 6:19 PM | link | 6 comments