Monday, December 21, 2009

Modifications to the Alpaca Earflap Hat

Modifications to the Alpaca Earflap Hat--Be warned--this is my first time writing instructions out.


1. I reversed the design on one earflap so that the open part of the "claws" or whatever you call the design would both be toward the face.


2. I double knitted the earflaps.  Based on previous experience, I knew the earflaps would stick out like Pippi Longstocking's hair in just plain stockinette, so I decided to try double knitting them.  I had never double knit before.  The process itself wasn't so hard, but when I threw in the reversal of the design and the whole thing gave me fits.  It took two days to knit the two earflaps.


This is a chart of the right earflap in double knitting.  I can't figure out how to number the rows beside the boxes.  The bottom row is Row 1 and so on like usual.  I increased the black on its knit side by knitting in the front and back of the stitch.  I increased the gray on its knit side by casting one on using backwards loop.  The right side is the black side.


        KB=Knit Black

        PB=Purl Black

        KG=Knit Gray

        PG=Purl Gray






 This is the left earflap. The black side is the right side here, too.  I hope this is right.  The "claw" is facing the other way.  Reversing this and double knitting is one of the hardest knitting things I've ever done. 




3.  I changed the arrangement of the cast-on stitches.  18 stitches for the front was REALLY not enough.  I ended up casting on 38 stitches for the front and 32 for the back.


4.  I changed the top decreases and added an I-cord top.  In black only:

        Round 1: Knit even

        Round 2: Knit even

        Rounds 3 and every odd row thru 17: [K4 K2tog] repeat to end

        Rounds 4 and every even row thru 18: Knit even   

        Rounds 19 and 20: [K2tog] repeat to end  


5.  To stop the front and back from curling, I picked up stitches, knitted in garter stitch for 2 rows, and then bound off.


IF/WHEN I knit this hat again, I will make the following changes:


1.  Knit first 2 or 3 rows in 1x1 rib to stop the stockinette curl.


2.  Use size 7 needles after the earflaps because the hat is a tad too tight.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Meme

1. What time did you get up this morning?4:15 am

2. How do you like your steak? Very rare. The bloodier the better.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Bandslam

4. What is your favorite TV show? True Blood & Hell's Kitchen

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I'd have to say England.

6. What did you have for breakfast? Diet Coke

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican

8. What foods do you dislike? Fish

9. Favorite Place to Eat?Lately it's been Quaker Steak and Lube

10. Favorite dressing? Honey Mustard

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Honda Pilot

12. What are your favorite clothes? Jeans and t-shirts

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Australia, to visit where I was born

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 Empty

15. Where would you want to retire? Somewhere near family

16. Favorite time of day? Early morning before anyone else is awake

17. Where were you born? Exmouth, Australia

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? I don't watch sports.

19. Bird watcher? No

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? Definitely morning

21. Do you have any pets? 1 dog Kacie

22. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share? I'm starting my new position this week.

23. What is your favorite childhood memory?My grandma baking gingerbread at Thanksgiving just for me

24. Always wear your seat belt? Most of the time

25. Been in a car accident? Yes, a guy hit me on an icy freeway.

26. Any pet peeves? When someone puts a new roll of toilet paper upside down. It's supposed to come over the top. That's why the design is on that side, people!

27. Favorite pizza toppings? Pepperoni & green olive

28. Favorite Flower? Lilies

29. Favorite ice cream?Anything coffee flavored

30. Favorite fast food restaurant? Chipotle

31. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? None

32. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Barnes and Noble

33. Do anything spontaneous lately? No.

34. Broccoli? Yes. I love broccoli.

35. What was your favorite vacation? San Francisco. I'm a big sightseer.

36. Last person you went out to dinner with? Hubby and the kids

37. What are you listening to right now? Muse's new song Uprising

38. What is your favorite color? Black or green

39. How many tattoos do you have? Two

40. Coffee Drinker? Oh yes. The darker the better!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Food Meme

I saw this food meme at Chez Shoes and thought I'd do it.

Sweet or salty?

I'm definitely a salty person (no pun intended). I prefer cheese and olives and all that rather than a dessert of some kind.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla most of the time, especially in my coffee.

Hot or mild?

I never used to like very spicy food until a few years ago. Now as more time goes on, I prefer food spicier and spicier. Maybe my taste buds are dying.

What won't you eat?

I'm not afraid to try new things usually. I give most everything a chance. I have tried but won't ever eat again: limburger cheese, beets, brussel sprouts, and lima beans. I will never try anything made of insects.

Most memorable meal?

One of my best meals was when I was around 13 and my dad took me to a nice restaurant where I ordered King crab legs. They were delicious.
One of my worst meals was when I lived in France and my French "mother" made a dinner of what I THINK was oxtail. She wouldn't tell us exactly what it was. I remember picking what seemed like 100 little bones out of each bite I took. I was disgusted. I will never forget that meal ever.

Favorite object in the kitchen?

It would probably our toaster oven. It very versatile. We use it every day.

What are you scared of in the kitchen?

I'm reluctant to try new things because I don't want to have wasted the effort. I want to know beforehand that I'll like it.

I'm afraid to try new fruits and vegetables because sometimes I have no clue what to do with them.

Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?

Graham loves to help in the kitchen, so if I'm doing something pretty easy, I'll let him do it.

What country would you move to for the food?

This is a hard one. There are foods in almost every culture that I wouldn't want to live without. If I had to pick one, I'd say Greece.

If you were to come back as a fruit or vegetable, which would it be?

Probably a coconut. I'd put up a good fight before someone ate me.

What's for dinner?

I'm trying a new recipe tonight in spite of my above answer. We're having these chicken roll-up things with stuffing. Not too adventurous.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The boys and I decided to go to Marietta yesterday. No particular reason. Just wanted to go somewhere and see some things. We walked around the downtown area and along the Ohio River.

We saw that the river had flooded as high as 48 feet one year, which is nearly to the top of the brown pole behind the boys. I imagine most all of Marietta would have been underwater, too.

Then we went to the Ohio River Museum and saw lots of replicas of riverboats and items like silverware and clothing from the mid to late 1800s. We toured the riverboat that's moored (not sure if that's the right word) there. This is the oldest surviving pilothouse on display at the museum.

We drove around Marietta to see some of the historic old homes. They are so pretty with columns and huge wraparound front porches.
The surprising highlight of our trip back home was the Big Muskie Bucket, which I've heard a little about but never have been too interested in seeing. I"ll just say WOW!

The Big Muskie was a crane used for mining. It was built on site due to its immense size. It no longer survives, but here are the boys are standing inside just the scooper which was attached to the crane. Just the scooper. Can you imagine how huge the crane had to be that used that scooper? I don't know if you can read this, but I took a picture of the Big Muskie facts from a board at the park. It weighed 27 million pounds and was 1 1/2 times the length of a football field. It could scoop enough dirt at one time to fill a two-story house.

Here's a link with a few pix of the Big Muskie being built. The bottom picture shows the crane holding the bucket that the boys are standing in the above picture. The bucket looks tiny compared to the crane.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Doing some catching up

So I got on Dustina's blog tonight and saw that (haha) I haven't posted anything for 5 months. 5 months. I've thought about posting but thought "Nah. I'm not in the mood right now." I finally feel caught up with everything else in my life that I can take some time to post.

There are some big changes in our household. First of all, I am changing careers in a way. I'm moving from the classroom to the library. This means lots more schooling for me, but I think it will all be worth it. I'm excited and nervous for the change and am looking forward to the start of the next school year.

Second, Gavin spent his first week away from home at Boy Scout Camp. He was a little homesick but stuck it out and made it through the week.

We spent a fun week at Poppo and Nana's house. The 2 G's loved spending time with their cousin R, who is so cute singing "Lady" by the Little River Band. Why my brother teaches him weird songs like that I'll never know, but it cracks us up.

Katie and I are getting so excited for the Muse/U2 concert in October in Raleigh. We're making a whole weekend out of it.

The 2 G's have football camp to look forward to next week.

I've been knitting and reading up a storm. I've finished 7 projects since school's been out and have 3 more on the needles right now. One of my favorites was my Amanda hat.

I'm also in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks group on Ravelry and am on book 60 right now.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

99 Things

Saw this on boogaj:

99 things
Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band (I'm learning guitar!)
4. visited Hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to Disneyland/world (just got back 2 weeks ago)
8. climbed a mountain (does it count if it's in a car?)
9. held a praying mantis (NO WAY NO HOW!)
10. sang a solo (in grade school I think)
11. bungee jumped (again NO WAY NO HOW!)
12. visited Paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. grown your own vegetables (home-grown tomatoes (I know they're technically fruits)
are the best in the world)
19. seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. slept on an overnight train (The sensation of moving all night was very weird. I don't
think I actually slept much.)
21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden a gondola in Venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset (Did this 2 weeks ago, too.)
31. hit a home run (in whiffle ball!)
32. been on a cruise
33. seen Niagara Falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an Amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the leaning tower of Pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen Michelangelo’s David in person
41. sung karaoke
42. seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited Africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theater
55. been in a movie
56. visited the Great Wall of China
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited Russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies (except it was Boy Scout popcorn)
62. gone whale watching
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood
65. gone sky diving
66. visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a check
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt (helped Gran when I was young and still have the quilt)
73. stood in Times Square
74. toured the Everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guard in London
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle (one of the funnest things I've ever done)
79. seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the Vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in Jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. read the entire bible -- most of it
86. visited the White House
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating (another thing I did with Gran)
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous (haha Vince Neil of Motley Crue)
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the Alamo in person
96. swum in the Great Salt Lake
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Our Florida Vacation

We just got back from a week in Florida, our first big week-long vacation as a family. We stayed in Melbourne right on the beach. This is a sunrise view from our condo's balcony. The weather was fantastic. The temp was in the high 70s all week. No rain. Blue skies. Couldn't have been better.What do I notice as soon as we arrive? I look at the mailboxes for the condo and I see...Yes, I got excited when I saw that name. Yes, I know I'm a big nerd, but I don't care!! Yes, I kept my eye out for them all week, but they were nowhere to be found. Apparently Florida is too sunny for them in the daytime. Haha.

I was able to finish Katie's Bella Mittens. Not in time for Christmas, but they did get done. They turned out pretty well.

The weather was perfect for the boys to play. The water was too cold for me, but they don't care about that.
I was lucky enough to come across this jellyfish on one of my morning walks. I've never seen one in real life. We did go to Disney three days of the week. Pix for that will be in the next post.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Books I've Read 2009

So I've joined the Ravelry group 52 Groups in 52 Weeks. I'm including the date finished for my own reference. Unless otherwise noted, a book is started on the same day the previous one was finished.

* denotes a CHS library book

1) An Ice Cold Grave--Charlaine Harris (1/1/09)
2) Divine Evil--Nora Roberts (1/3/09)
3) Perfect Match--Jodi Picoult (1/9/09)
4) A Woman of Substance--Barbara Taylor Bradford (1/19/09)
5) Dead After Dark--Sherrilyn Kenyon et al (1/22/09)
6) Trail of Crumbs--Kim Sunee (1/27/09)
7) Tribute--Nora Roberts (1/30/09)
8) Carnal Innocence--Nora Roberts (2/1/09)
9) Mercy--Jodi Picoult (2/7/09)
10) Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict--Laurie Viera Rigler (2/9/09)
11) A Kiss of Shadows--Laurell K. Hamilton (2/16/09)
12) Words in a French Life--Kristin Espinasse (2/17/09-2/24/09)
13) Salem's Lot--Stephen King (2/25/09-3/7/09)
14) Midnight Bayou--Nora Roberts (3/11/09)
15) Sizzle and Burn--Jayne Ann Krentz (3/16/09)
16) Daring to Dream--Nora Roberts (3/18/09)
16 1/2? The Dead House--Linda Fairstein--read to pg. 55. Too boring for me.
17) Light in Shadow--Jayne Ann Krentz (3/20/09)
18) Dark Seduction--Brenda Joyce (3/22/09)
19) Night Echoes--Holly Lisle (3/25/09)
20) Ghoul--Brian Keene (3/27/09)
21) One Quick Bite--Lynsay Sands (3/28/09)
22) Dark Rival--Brenda Joyce (3/30/09)
23) Dangerous--Nora Roberts (4/3/09)
24) Carolina Moon--Nora Roberts (4/5/09)
25) Dark Hollow--Brian Keene (4/8/09)
26) Love the One You're With--Emily Giffin (4/9/09)
27) Love Bites--Lynsay Sands (4/10/09)
28) White Lies--Jayne Ann Krentz (4/11/09)
29) The Darkest Night--Gena Showalter (4/14/09)
30) Company of Liars--Karen Maitland (4/18/09)
31) The Vampire Who Loved Me--Teresa Medeiros (4/23/09)
32) Single White Vampire--Lynsay Sands (4/25/09)
33) The Darkest Kiss--Gena Showalter (4/28/09)
34) Hidden Talents--Jayne Ann Krentz (5/3/09)
35) Tall, Dark, and Hungry--Lynsay Sands (5/7/09)
36) Midnight Rain--Holly Lisle (5/10/09)
37) My Lobotomy--Howard Dully (5/11/09)
38) Truth or Dare--Jayne Ann Krentz (5/14/09)
39) Dark Lover--JR Ward (5/15/09)
40) Second Sight--Amanda Quick (5/17/09)
41) Dead and Gone--Charlaine Harris (5/19/09)
42) Dead of Night--JD Robb et al (5/23/09)
43) Pitch Black--Susan Crandall (5/27/09)
44) Smoke in Mirrors--Jayne Ann Krentz (5/30/09)
45) I See You--Holly Lisle (5/31/09)
46) Women of the Asylum--J Geller & M Harris (6/1/09)
47) Last Girl Dancing--Holly Lisle (6/2/09)
48) Defining Moments in Music--Various (6/4/09)
49) Malice--Lisa Jackson (6/8/09)
50) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer (6/14/09)
51) Gracefully Insane--Alex Beam (6/20/09)
52) A Kiss in Winter--Susan Crandall (6/25/09)
53) All Night Long--Jayne Ann Krentz (6/27/09)
54) Dark Prince--Christine Feehan (6/29/09)
55) Dark Desire--Christine Feehan (6/30/09)
56) Seeing Red--Susan Crandall (7/2/09)
Read the 1st 75 pages of Drood but didn't like it
57) Many Bloody Returns--Charlaine Harris et al (7/9/09)
58) Lover Eternal--JR Ward (7/12/09)
59) Dark Gold--Christine Feehan (7/13/09)
60) Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King--Lisa Rogak (7/20/09)
61) The Devil in the White City--Erik Larson (7/23/09)
62) Lover Awakened--JR Ward (7/24/09)
63) Dark Magic--Christine Feehan (7/28/09)
64) Just After Sunset--Stephen King (8/03/09)
65) Lover Revealed--JR Ward (8/5/09)
66) Lover Unbound--JR Ward (8/6/09)
67) The House--Bentley Little (8/9/09)
Started The Likeness by Tana French but didn't like it
68) Lover Enshrined--JR Ward (8/18/09)
69) Marked--PC Cast and Kristin Cast (8/27/09)
70) The Help--Kathryn Stockett (9/2/09)
71) Betrayed--PC Cast and Kristin Cast (9/12/09)
72) The Fixer Upper--Mary Kay Andrews (9/17/09)
73) Lover Avenged--JR Ward (9/24/09)
74) Boy Minus Girl--Richard Uhlig (9/30/09)
75) Falling Awake--Jayne Ann Krentz (10/6/09)
76) The Perks of Being a Wallflower--Stephen Chbosky (10/18/09)
77) High Noon--Nora Roberts (10/22/09)
*78) Bliss--Lauren Myracle (10/24/09)
79) Strange Candy--Laurell K. Hamilton (10/28/09)
80) Be Mine Tonight--Kathryn Smith (10/29/09)
81) Inexcusable--Chris Lynch (10/30/09)
82) The Doctor's Wife--Elizabeth Brundage (11/1/09)
*83) Pure--Terry Elan McVoy (11/12/09)
84) Cravings--Laurell K. Hamilton and others (11/16/09)
85) Skin Trade--Laurell K. Hamilton (11/20/09)
86) The Night of the Huntress--Kathryn Smith (11/22/09)
87) Deep Kiss of Winter--Kresley Cole/Gena Showalter (11/26/09)
88) Running Hot--Jayne Ann Krentz (11/30/09)
89) Grave Secret--Charlaine Harris (12/11/09)
*90) The Book Thief--Markus Zusak (12/19/09)
91) Love at First Bite--Sherrilyn Kenyon et al (12/22/09)
92) Beyond the Dark--Lora Leigh et al (12/26/09)
*93) The Chosen One--Carol Lynch Williams (12/27/09)
*94) Scrambled Eggs at Midnight--Brad Barkley (12/28/09)
95) Something Wicked--Catherine Mulvany (12/29/09)

95 books in one year. Whew.