A blog about my life, knitting, and other stuff.

August 31, 2008

Cruise Recap

We have never gone on a cruise before. We were a little apprehensive but we all had a very good time on our trip.

Friday: Boarded the ship from downtown Seattle (no plane rides! Hooray!)in the afternoon. We had a few hours on board to see where everything was on the ship before we left Seattle. We had the late seating for dinner which worked out well. We were able to take our younger son (super-picky eater) to the buffet before we all had our sit-down dinner.

Saturday: At sea all day. It was really rough this day. Really, really rough. We started the day with both kids throwing up in our stateroom (good times). We finally dragged them and ourselves out of the room and found some spots on the ship where the rocking and swaying was less pronounced.

Sunday: Juneau, AK. It was rainy and in the 50s the entire trip. The area of Juneau where the ship docked is entirely built around the tourist industry. It's tacky. But if you want to buy tacky, touristy stuff this is the place to get the best deals. We took the Mt. Roberts Tram up and did a little hike around in the rain. Very pretty. Very expensive. We left Juneau around dinner time. It was much smoother.

Monday: Skagway, AK. We did a little walk around town in the morning. Touristy but cute. We took the scenic railway trip in the afternoon. The kids were bored, bored, bored. We should have left them on the ship. The train ride was very pretty but awfully long. We're also not really train enthusiasts so all the train information went right by us. We left in the evening.

Tuesday: We were supposed to go to the Tracy Arm Fjord but the conditions there weren't good for getting close to the glacier. We went to Endicott Fjord instead. We arrived very early--7ish. It was amazing. We coasted up the fjord passing seals and huge icebergs. Then we got right up to the glacier. It was just stunning. The kids were bored, as always, and went back to the stateroom and missed the whole damn thing.

Wednesday: Prince Rupert Island, BC. We left the kids on the ship and walked around town. Not much to see. The museum there is very nice but the signage is awful. There is next to no information about anything on display. In the afternoon we went on the whale watch. Once again, we probably should have just left the kids on the ship (free childcare, gotta love it) but I hoped they would enjoy it. Younger son enjoyed the free cookies. Older son slept and then got to see a few whales. We arrived back just as the ship was about to leave.

Thursday: At sea. Not nearly as bad as the first at sea day but still a little rough at times. Lots of great views of Vancouver Island and the coast. A few orca sightings. Lots of activities to keep us all busy.

Friday: Seattle. When we woke up we were already docked. We had a very leisurely breakfast and waited for our luggage group to be announced. We grabbed a cab and were home before lunch.

Overall, this is a great, easy way to travel with kids. There's a childcare center on the ship. We also felt, after a few days, fine with letting the kids roam a little on their own. We brought walkie talkie because cell phone service was either non-existent or completely insanely priced ($5/minute!). The on-board entertainment was as silly and cheesy as we feared but so much so that it was fun to go watch. There was karaoke which Wes and I enjoyed. There was family karaoke which the boys LOVED. They seriously rocked the mic with renditions of "I Wanna Be Sedated," "School's Out" and "Sunshine of Your Love." Older son declared karaoke to be "wicked." After dinner each night we'd put the kids in bed and go to the dancing lounge (non-smoking). I would knit and we'd watch the dancers. I only saw one other knitter on the ship and she didn't seem very interested in talking to me.

We developed nicknames for many of the passengers. (Funny how with 2000 people on a ship you see the same 20 people over and over.) There was "The Hills Have Eyes" family, Long Island family, Dancing with the Stars couple (complete with matching outfits!), Tony Montana (15 year old kid in a white suit just like Pacino's from Scarface), etc.

We would definitely do this again. We especially loved not having to deal with going to the airport and all the hell that entails.

August 29, 2008

Because I Know You Love This Too

Vacation pictures!

Okay, you probably don't care much about my vacation pictures but what about whales jumping in the air!

Because I Know You Love This

Steeking pictures!

I snapped these before I left on the cruise.

Back Home

Hi everyone. Sorry I forgot to leave a goodbye message before leaving on vacation. We just got back from a week-long cruise to Alaska. As I sit here the room is still swaying. I'm hoping my "sea-legs" wear off soon. I'll get some pictures from my trip and my Ravelympic sweater up soon.

August 21, 2008

Doubleknit Podcast #7

Is up.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Such a versatile garment. You can wear it one of two ways.
Ugly and constricting.

Or just ugly.

August 20, 2008

Keeping My Head Down Toward the Finish

Every time I knit a sweater from the bottom up I have a moment of stupidity. It comes when I join the sleeves to the body and stupidly think, "I am practically done!" No, dumbass, you have about a third of your sweater left to knit. And not only that, it's the part that requires some thinking.

So what this means is that even though I joined the sleeves and the body on Sunday I am only just now finishing the decreases. Then it's on to the saddles. I feel very confident that the sweater can be finished by the end of the Olympics. If I wasn't going on vacation. It will be a sprint to get the steeks sewn before I leave.

Here's my giant lump of a sweater at knitting on Monday night. We're not in the photogenic phase of the project.

But one project that is extremely photogenic, completely beautiful and lots of fun to knit is Rivendell. It's a shop project knit in Smooshy. Love.

Click for extra big and lovely.

August 18, 2008

Make Your Own

The Malabrigo Mini Mitt pattern is now available as a free Ravelry download. Thanks so much for all the interest. I'm stunned to see that 39 people have queued the pattern already!

My Favorite Olympic Moment So Far

And it's not Michael Phelps.

August 17, 2008

Maybe He's Not Such a Genius

Scene: Driving in the car discussing The Tick.
Older Son: And then there's that one with the Terror and Ben Stiller!
Wes: What?
Older Son: The Terror introduces all the other guys and there's Ben Stiller.
Wes: Joseph Stalin.
Older Son: Oh, I thought it was Ben Stiller.

August 16, 2008

Sewing Day

Despite the Ravelympics deadline's swift approach, I declared today a sewing day. I haven't been sewing at all lately. I have a doll quilt that needs to be sent out by the end of the month and my sewing machine needs to go in for repairs before it's out of warranty (next week). So I chose the hottest day of the summer to hunch over my sewing machine and ironing board. Putting the sweat in sweat shop.

I had a plan for the quilt swap. I had a pattern. I had a vision. As soon as I started sewing I knew it was crap. I stopped and regrouped. I went back to my true love--scrap quilts.

I used the spiderweb instructions found here. Then I pieced together a billion scraps for the border. I'm really happy with it. I'm toying with the idea of hand quilting it. I've toyed with that idea before and always chickened out.

My Ravelympic cardigan is right on track. I will hopefully finish the body to the armholes tonight (then rip out several inches of the sleeves) and join the sleeves to the body. Then the most fun part--decreases!

The Kid is a Comic Genius

While walking past the Nordstrom shoe department I spotted these boots in a bright purple. "What do you think guys?" I said to just mess with the kids, "Should I be cool in some big, purple fringey boots?"

Older son scoffs and says, "Not unless 'fringey' is French for 'awful.'"

August 15, 2008

Let's File This Under "Worst Ideas Ever"

Texas school district to let teachers carry guns

Malabrigo Mini Mitts

Pattern: Malabrigo Mini Mitts by me (I will make it available, possibly through Ravelry, on Monday)
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (less than 40 grams)
Needle: US7 Addi Turbos
Notes: I had this small amount of Malabrigo left after knitting the watchcap last week. I decided on a simple pair of fingerless mittens. These are 2x2 rib with a thumb gusset.

How Many Does That Make This Week?

There is another online knitting magazine debuting this fall. The preview for Popknits is up now.

This field is getting a little thick, isn't it?

August 14, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Just what I need, a bullseye on my abdomen. I'm also seriously thinking about knitting a dart board for my ass.

I feel your pain, kid.

August 12, 2008

Wallace and Gromit on Hulu

The Cracking Contraption videos are now on Hulu.com.

Cable That Bag!

Pattern: Cable That Bag! by Chrissy Gardiner
Yarn: Cascade 220 Quatro
Needles: Clover US7 dpns
Notes: This is a shop project. I'm going to teach a class on making this cute little bag for the fall.

August 11, 2008

What I Learned Yesterday

Michael Phelps uses more muscles in his arms to cheer than I have used in my entire body over the course of my lifetime.

August 10, 2008

Get Your War On

If you're familiar with the Get Your War On and My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable comics then you will love these new Get Your War On videos.

Episode 2 is here.

Ravelympics Two Days In

One sleeve is done. I've got a good few inches on the second one.

This is all thanks to having the day off on Friday. I was supposed to work so I arranged for the kids to go to camp. Then it turned out I didn't have to work but I didn't tell the kids. Hee hee. Amanda and I went downtown to the big quilt show. We both throughly enjoyed the vintage quilts. I can't tell you much about the marketplace. I didn't see very much that looked all that new or special. Unfortunately I couldn't see much at all because every booth was 5-deep with quilters. And I noticed again that certain quilters who have no problem just pushing you out of the way if they want to go somewhere or see something. Amanda and I wrapped up our afternoon with a really great lunch at Serious Pie and a little dessert around the corner at the Dahlia Bakery.

Yesterday was just work and little evening knitting. But after dinner we went to the grocery store in the rain. We emerged to find a huge rainbow.

I tried to take a sleeve progress under rainbow photo when I got home but it was less successful.

August 8, 2008

Best Swap Ever

I responded to an ad on Ravelry from a knitter who needed a single skein of Heilo. I told her I'd be happy to swap and she proposed sending me mill ends in exchange. Mountain Colors mill ends. Because she owns Mountain Colors. I happily agreed and told her I was knitting a sweater from Bearfoot mill ends. She offered to send me a pound of them! I told her that was too generous but she said it was no problem.

Well, my package arrived today.

20 ounces of Bearfoot mill ends! I'm stunned by the generosity and in love with all the color. I can make myself a sweater from all this if I want to.

Baby Surprise Jacket

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot mill ends (at least four unknown colorways)
Needles: US4 Addi Turbos
Notes: If you haven't made one yet run out and do it now.

Let The Games Be....zzzzzzz

So I'm pretty sure when I ordered my decaf coffee last night that the waitress just gave me a pot of regular. How do I know this? I am awake at 5am. I was also awake all night. I think I've gotten about an hour sleep with four hours of tossing and turning. I figured I might as well cast on for my Ravelympic sweater so long as I'm up right at the starting time. Wish me luck.

August 7, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I'm pretty sure I understand this outfit.

It's a God's Eye meant to protect the wearer. Or maybe to protect anyone looking at the wearer.

Or, depending on your belief system, it's the eye of Sauron. In which case you better hustle and get that ring into Mount Doom.

And that reminds me of this.

P.S. What is the deal with the model's shoes? Are they made from human skin? They are seriously creeping me out.

August 6, 2008

Sometimes Being a Parent is Really Fun

At a restaurant recently my 10 year old son saw a poster for The Last Polar Bear.

Son: If that's the last polar bear then why is there another polar bear in the distance behind him?
Me: Oh, after they took that photo they shot the other bear.
Son: What!? (dissolving into laughter when he realized I was making a joke)

Foux da fa fa

Wes's newest karaoke video is done and ready for tomorrow night's Karaoke Challenge.

FDFF (music video version) from Wes Kim on Vimeo.

August 5, 2008

Another Day, Another New Online Knitting Magazine

Knotions has arrived. What do you think?

August 4, 2008

Easy Watchcap

Pattern: Easy Watchcap by Kristin Llyr (available at the Fiber Gallery)
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Tortuga (60 grams)
Needle: US7 Addi Turbo
Notes: Another shop sample. Ah, the joy of a simple project. It's my first time knitting with Malabrigo and I can see why everyone loves it so much. The Tortuga colorway wasn't very impressive in the hank but knits up into a mysterious black-purple-gray-brown that is very beautiful.

August 2, 2008

"What are you, twelve?"

Yes, Wes, I am. That's why this Flickr pool of foods that sound like sex acts made me laugh until I cried.

Well That Explains It

The Dead Baby Bike Race kick off was just down the street from the shop tonight. While we had our first Friday spinning group cyclists kept streaming by on all manner of bike. One of these even went by.

August 1, 2008


Sarah asked in the comments on my Hemlock Ring post about my blocking board. It's just these floor mats I got from Amazon. They are cheap, light and compact to store. The downside is they stink that rubber-plastic-new tire smell.

Twist Collective

Have you looked at Twist Collective's premiere issue yet? Hot damn. That is one fine looking online knitting magazine. I haven't had a chance to read the articles but damn it looks fantastic.

Hemlock Ring Blanket

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket
Yarn: 1.8 skeins of Ecological Wool
Needles: US10 Addi Turbos
Notes: Oh dear. This is my biggest knitting fiasco in ages. After accidentally (partially) felting the blanket I put it in a pot of hot water with vinegar to attempt to undo the felting. It definitely helped and I was able to stretch the blanket out to block it. I neglected to then rinse the blanket. I was running late for work and I was stupid. The vinegar in the blanket did two things. 1) The blanket reeks of vinegar. 2) The vinegar made the pins all rust! The edges of the blanket are completely discolored from all the rust!

What I need to do is wash this again (carefully) and reblock it. I also need to buy all new pins because I had to throw all of mine away. Also I need to clean off my blocking board. The vinegar turned it into a Hemlock Ring Shroud of Turin.

I don't have the stomach for all that right now. I'll take it to the shop and when I can't stand it anymore I'll bring it home and reblock. Sigh...

Doubleknit #6

It's up. Enjoy.