Saturday, December 29, 2012


Wow, wish I could have made this announcement earlier... but having a new cat that loves to be the center of attention and having gotten home just recently... Well, that didn't make for very good computer time.  Every time I tried to do anything, she would walk all over my computer.  So, slight delay, but without further ado, here is my newest release:
Libelula!  Spanish for dragonfly.  Designing this shawl took a bit more effort than my previous patterns.  I designed it to be a part of Stitch Jones's Yarnageddon Club.  Spots are still available for 2013 through the end of January!  :oD

It only takes about 400 yards of fingering weight; I used Stitch Jones sock yarn (colorway Salmon Dave).  It is a nice alternative to shawlettes for those skeins of sock yarn, as it is longer, more similar to a scarf, but gently crescent shaped, such that it can be wrapped around you without the necessity of a shawl pin.

I hope you all like it, and I would love to see your version!  :o)  Send me pictures of your version if you decide to knit one up!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I've been nominated?!?

For a Liebster award??  Wow!  I didn't even know I had actual readers out there, let alone the capabilities of being nominated.  :o)
Thank you so much, Courtney, for giving me an award!  As I have seen many variations upon this theme, I will copy and paste the rules Courtney listed on her blog:

How It Works:
1. Add the award icon to your blog!
2. Link to your nominator to say thank you.
3. Each blogger should post 11 facts about themselves.
4. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, & create 11 questions for your nominations to answer.
5. Choose 11 up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers, go to their blog, and tell them about the award.
So, without much futher ado, here are my facts!
1.  I prefer baking to cooking, but rarely make casseroles... despite the fact that I prefer savory to sweet.
2.  I love cupcakes, but don't love cake.
3.  When I see there is an establishment with the word "needle" in the name, I automatically assume it is a yarn store.
4.  I learned to type with 2 spaces after a period, and I still type that way despite the fact that there is no need any longer.  (I've been told that it was a hold over from typewriters; typewriters used to stick, so this was to guarantee there would be at least one space after the period.)
5.  Central Market makes a fresh apple, orange and beet juice that I am addicted to.  I drink one a week.  If I ever move, I may need to purchase a juicer so I can replicate this.  
6.  I co-own a stuffed monkey (I think it's actually ape or gorilla) in a bucket that we have named Monket.  They are two separate items, but they distinctly look  better together.
7.  I usually give away the projects that I knit.  
8.  I love teas of all kinds, but don't like coffee.
9.  My boyfriend's favorite board game is my least favorite board game... above and beyond my least favorite board game.  >.<  
10.  After I learn the layouts of a city with multiple yarn stores, I will typically use those as major landmarks to help me navigate with ease around town.  I do this with Portland and Austin.  It does lend itself pretty easily to Portland...
11.  My cat has made it her job to make this post impossible to type, and has decided to type a few notes of her own which I have had to delete numerous occasions now.  And as a side note:  I once lost a spelling bee because I thought "monstrous" should be spelled "monsterous."  I was reminded by "numerous" instead of "numberous." 
Answers to Courtney's questions:
1.  Do you still think about your first love? Not really.  Sometimes he comes up in casual conversation because he's still friends with some of my good friends.  But otherwise, no.
2.  What three people (dead, alive, or fictional) would you like to have lunch with? Is this 3 separate lunches or 3 people at one lunch with me?  Honestly, that would change my opinion quite a bit.  I mean it'd be a bit weird to have Legolas (from the movie... yeah, that's Orlando Bloom, but I think I'd really rather have Legolas from the movie there instead), Aragorn (from the books), and Wil Wheaton at one lunch together wouldn't it?  Hmmm, wait, maybe it wouldn't.  Well, I think I'll keep Wil Wheaton, he seems like he'd be wicked fun to talk to in real life.  And I'd also love to have lunch with Samantha (a friend from Athens that I haven't seen in awhile) again.  And, well I guess I'm boring.  I don't really know.  Take that scatterbrained answer, and do with it what you will!!
3.  What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?  Depends on who you talk to.  I've had natto, which is fermented soy beans that's slimy and somewhat stinky.  But talk to a Japanese person, and all I've done is eaten a delicacy that they love to eat for breakfast over rice.  I've also had halo halo, but talk to a Filipino and they will tell you it's the best dessert you can ever have.  Honestly, I don't think there can be a "weird" thing to eat... I think that "frightening" would be a better description of food that you might not want to eat.  I've had pig intestine, which appeared to be... well.  I don't even know.  Stir fried, I think.  With sauce on it.  I made the mistake of going into a local Chinese restaurant (in China) that didn't have ANY pictures on the menu, and pointing to one of the items that had the character for "meat" in it.  I  could only eat about 5 pieces before I gave up.  This was no intestine casing for sausage.  It was pure pork intestine that may not have even been cleaned well.  It was unpleasant.  Never again.  (Unless I'm in a Chinese restaurant whose menus have no pictures in them...)
4.  What's your favorite punctuation mark?  Or grammatical rule? I use the ellipsis a lot... but that isn't to say it's my favorite punctuation mark.  In all honesty, I probably have a soft spot for the semi-colon.  People just don't know how to use it anymore; it's a shame.   Favorite grammatical rule?  Dunno, but I am a tyrant over homonyms.  Learn the correct definitions people!!
5.  What's your go-to way to pamper yourself?  New yarn or fiber or fiber related item.  
6.  In the light of the Holiday season, what's your favorite family tradition?  Lots of food.  I like food.  It's yummy.  :o)
7.  Can you dance?  No.  Not in a coordinated manner, at least.  Do I dance?  Yes.  
8.  In the soundtrack to your life, what's your theme song?  Changes daily.  Though, the second I read that question the theme song to "Chip and Dale:  Rescue Rangers" popped into my head.  Maybe that's it. 
9.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  A yarn store owner.  With a few published patterns under my belt.  
10.  If you could change your name, what would you change it to?  Wouldn't change it.  It's a pain and a lot of money to get them to recognize you as an optometrist with a name different than the one you graduated with.  
11.  Write your epitaph.  Here lies Noriko, Knitwear Designer, Yarn Store Owner, and Optometrist all in one.  She was awesome.  Please feel free to yarn bomb at your leisure.  She loved colors.
My questions:
1.  What's your favorite type of tea?
2.  Did you ever have an imaginary friend, and, if so, what was/were he/she/it/they like?
3.  Who is your favorite Batman villain and why?
4.  If they were to turn your life into a movie, who would play you or who would you want to play you?
5.  Show me a picture you took that you are extremely proud of.  It can be the picture you're proud of or the item you are picturing.
6.  What is the book you are currently reading?  If you aren't reading a book right now, what was the last book you read?
7.  Give me a fail proof recipe.  Something easy to make that is always delicious.
8.  Favorite holiday?
9.  First memory?
10. Do you have a favorite musical?
11.  When you have to get a present for a White Elephant, do you have a "go-to" gift item?  Or does it change with who is in the White Elephant?  If you have a go-to item, what is it?
The Blogs I've nominated:
Spirit Sandwich:  fun recipes with some heartfelt articles about food and healthful living. 
PNW Bookgirl:  updated frequently with topics of many crafts and spatterings of cute pics of her pup!
Bethany Hendrickson:  fun knitting, periodic recipes, and a great writing voice (I always enjoy it when I read a blog that sounds like I'm talking to them!)
Nadine Knits:  A gratitude journal??  Very awesome and inspiring to read.  
Dark Matter Knits:  Graphic designer and knitwear designer.  Love seeing what she's up to!
With the rule that the blog has to have less than 200 readers (and I don't even know if I truly stayed with that rule), I could only come up with 5 blogs that I actively read to honor.  So, instead I shall honor these 5 bloggers and highly recommend them.  :o)

Monday, December 10, 2012


Here are some of my favorite free slipper patterns on Ravelry.  If you're looking for a quick last minute knitted gifts, you could try one of these!  If you do, send me a picture of the ones you do!
Short-Row Felted Slippers
Bunny Hop
Kimono Slippers
Side Cable Slippers

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Tree for Small Spaces

I am loving this idea!  Honestly, I'm not so fond of getting a real tree for many reasons that I won't go into... and we do *not* have any storage room for an artificial tree, but it's not like I dislike getting into the holiday spirit.  Will probably go ahead and put one of these up this weekend.  :o)
My Poppet
I may also be hanging lightweight ornaments instead of Christmas cards.  I'm so glad I saw this!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The 52 Best Colleges for Food in America

Not gonna lie, I'm pretty proud that UCLA is #4 on this list. Also, pretty cool that the cafeterias went vegan for a week to show support for "Bruins for Animals".
The Daily
Note:  That picture is not from UCLA, it was just one of the pictures used in the list.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I don't swatch often, but when knitting a sweater, I suppose swatching is more important.  And after a few mistakes, you learn that swatching really *is* as important as they say.  As much as you don't want to admit it.  So, here's my swatch for the sweater I'm starting tonight.
Yarn:  Everlasting DK (by Dream in Color) in the Colorway:  Congo

I used 4 different needle sizes:  US6, US7, square needle sizes 6 and 7.  After washing (yeah, I know!  I even washed it!) I discovered that US6 standard was the needle that got me gauge.  Now, all I have to say is... my gauge swatch better not lie to me later on!!  ;o)

Saturday, November 24, 2012


We adopted a kitty a few days ago!  We named her Izi.  :o)
According to the shelter, she is 2 years old.  She is so small that it is hard to believe that she's already 2!  She's probably a max of 6lbs.  We'll be bringing her to the vet to get a wellness check up in a few days, so we will find out how much she weighs then.  She's slowly getting more comfortable with us and our house.

We adopted her from Austin Pets Alive!  and are thoroughly happy with the shelter.  The shelter is a no kill shelter with fairly nice facilities for the animals.  They also have foster homes for a lot of the animals, including a lot of special needs animals.  We were planning on adopting with the Austin Humane Society because we also were very happy with this no kill SPCA shelter, but we ended up connecting more with Izi than any of the kitties at the humane society.

Now, here's hoping she doesn't end up love attacking my yarn.  ;o)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas Gift Idea?

Maybe I shouldn't be revealing this, but I haven't even knitted them up nor do I think the recipient reads my blog anyways.  And these were too cute to not share anyways!!  :oD
I got the image from Ravelry
Pattern:  Feet Eaters
Designer:  Anna Hrachovec
Found in Knitting Mochimochi

I really do need to get to knitting more of my Christmas gifts.  It'd be a lot less stressful if I start now, but I'm also working on a sweater that I want to get finished while it's still cold!  Living in Texas, that is an easier said and done task.  Especially since I decided to use fingering weight on a full length, cabled sweater.  Well, at least it will be lighterweight for the Texas weather when it is done.  :o)  What are you guys knitting up right now?  Also working on holiday gifts?  Anybody doing some charity knitting?  How many of you are with me on wanting to do some "selfish" knitting?  ;o)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Route 1

I think this will be the next sweater I knit.  After I finish the current sweater I'm knitting... and a Christmas gift... and maybe a few other UFOs.  But after that.  This is super cute!

Berroco Route 1
I think I have the yarn for it already.  The purple in the top photo is the one I have.  I think it'll be quite a good match.  Can't wait till I can get around to it.  :o)

Hipster Kitty?

I think I'm in love...
She has sunglasses and regular ones.  And an interchangeable bow white frame too.  These are amazing.  I need these!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Vivian Colorway

This is a post very close to my heart.  My kitty, Vivian, passed away earlier this summer.  It still makes me sad to think about... but this post is not about that exactly.  This post is about this:

Vivian has been turned into a colorway by Bohemia Fibers!!  It thrills me to see that my kitty has been captured in such a meaningful way to me.  I can't wait for it to arrive on my doorstep so that I can work on a project that I can snuggle up with and remember her with.

I am hoping to do a Hemlock Ring Blanket with the yarn, but I will have to test it out in a variegated colorway to ensure it isn't too much.  I would like to know how big the blanket really is before starting it also.  Hmmm... Will def be checking out more blanket patterns.  Any suggestions?  :o)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Little luxuries

The last of my purchases include these pretties that I can't figure out how to group them other than calling them my little luxuries.
The leftmost bag of fiber is one ounce of bison down.  It is super soft and I am super excited to get to try it soon.  It was found at Hill Country Weavers, along with lots of different bison yarns.  I was very tempted to get the fingering weight yarn which was a 50/50 blend of bison/silk.  It came in gorgeous colors, but in the end I decided that the fiber was a better choice than more yarn.  
My new turkish spindle is from Yarnorama in Paige, TX.  The exquisite woodwork done by Jeri Brock caught my eye.  If you look closely, you can see that there are 3 small sheep on each side of the spindle.  It was one of many different variations, as well as top and bottom whorls.  Yarnorama has spinning, weaving, felting, knitting, etc materials and equipment.  Loved this shop as well!
The swan shaped device in the box is a handturned crochet hook from Furls Crochet.  It is the most beautiful and well balanced crochet hook I'd ever seen.  They are handturned in Austin, and I was happy to discover that they will be selling their products at Happy Ewe.  I was debating between two different hooks, when one of the two was purchased by another patron.  Well, that made my mind up for me!  I'm still thrilled with the hook, and can't wait to need a reason to use an F hook.  ;o)
The buttons were purchased at Nan's Needleworks. This store was fascinatingly found inside of a traditional office building!  You walked inside of an office building, up to the 2nd story, down a hall to a door that opened up to a traditional yarn store!  One of the ladies there does dye work.  I was tempted to buy one of her skeins, but they were a blend of wool and mohair (both from local farmers who had bred them to be as soft as they have seen), but I have found that no grade of mohair has ever been soft enough for me.  And no one I am buying gifts for uses lace weight... so I finally decided to be practical and opted for wooden buttons instead.  

All in all, I am very pleased with my purchases, and actually can't wait for next year's crawl! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The yarns

I did end up purchasing something from each store.  I primarily tried to stick with local items or unique items.  I took a few pics, so I will give my descriptions of each, along with a mention of the store where I got the item below.
The yarns!
At the top we have a beautiful skein of alpaca from 2 different alpacas raised at the ranch where I got the yarn itself!  The store was called Old Oaks Ranch, and I was stunned when I arrived at my destination.  The ranch has a store that has supplies for knitting, crocheting, and spinning.  Outside the store they have Huacaya Alpacas that they apparently do shear and sell the fiber and yarn from as well.  Next to the alpaca pen, they ALSO have bronze sculptures from local artists and a koi pond grotto.  It was a wonderful place to visit!
Below that left are two different skeins from Lucky Ewe.  They have a wall of local yarns, which I truly appreciated because I love supporting indie dyers.  I ended up falling in love with Alisha Goes Around and had the hardest time choosing one.  In the end, I got the deep brown you can see there.  It is 75% superwash merino, 20% nylon, and 5% stellina (shimmery, but not flashy!).  The golden yarn next to it was from Lucky Ewe's newly launched own yarn line!  They are using natural dyes on a merino/cashmere blend.  How can you resist that?  The really cool thing is that they will try to use flowers they can gather themselves locally if it's at all possible!
The bright pink/orange skein is from Gauge, the closest yarn store to my apartment.  The day I went in, Dizzy Lettuce was doing a trunk show, and after talking with her, I knew I had to leave with one of her many many exclusive colorways.  This one jumped out at me, and ended up following me home.
Furthest right is a gorgeous blue camel/silk blend that is from Anzula, a California yarn.  This yarn (and so many more that I wish I could have brought home...) came from Yarnivore.  This store surprised me by it's ability to carry both unique yarns, but also lots of workhorse yarns.  The wide variety was definitely good.  I nearly bought 5 different skeins of things I hadn't seen before, but I knew I had to pace myself... So, alas, just the one for now.  ;o)

Next up are the bags.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The bags

The bags!!
I won't lie... I'm typically a gallon plastic baggie type of project bag girl.  But those do get destroyed over time, and how can you resist bags that look like these??
The mustache bag is a locally made (in Austin!) simple bag by needle and knife.  It's as simple a project bag as you can imagine, but it does have a nice, sturdy button to be sure it remains closed... and when I took a pic to show B, he told me it was a winner and had to be gotten.  ;o)  This bag was bought at The Knitting Nest, the yarn store where I teach drop spinning occasionally.  The Knitting Nest boasts space enough to have a large table to work at, as well as cozy couches.  The owner seems passionate the community as well as knitting.  She constantly has donation projects going on such as a bucket filled with yarn scraps that you can crochet squares for blankets, dishcloths for a women's group, etc.
Next to this, we have the cutest small project bag I've seen in person yet.  Feisty Knits appears to be a Texas seamstress who has a large presence at The Tinsmith's Wife.  Found in the tiny town of Comfort, I loved every bit of my short time there.  This was the 4th store I had hit up on the crawl, and I kept saying to myself, you know, that last store was so awesome, I can't imagine the next one will be as good... But this store managed to put me in my place.  Filled to the brim with amazing yarns including Shepherd's Wool, Malabrigo, and Madelinetosh... what amazed me was when I found yarns from one of my favorite indie dyers of all time, Stitchjones!  I have not seen Stitchjones outside of the west coast, seeing as she hails just outside of Portland, OR, and so I was ecstatic when I discovered a local source to get her.  :o)
The last bag is notions bag by Frabjous Fibers.  I've gotten some of her fiber before to spin, and it's always been very wonderful.  When I found this fair trade bag designed by Frabjous fibers, I knew I had to get it.  I found this lovely little character at Hill Country Weavers, commonly referred to as the "mothership yarn store" in Austin.  It has a remarkable space that has yarn, fiber, spinning equipment, and weaving equipment.

Next time, the extra luxuries...

Central Texas Yarn Crawl

10 yarn stores, 2 days, lots of driving, lots of new found respect for Texas knitters.  :o)  In the end, I was very impressed by the stores on the crawl.  I can't wait to get to visit them again.

First off, the freebies.  You had to pay $20 to be an official member of the crawl.  This was different than any crawl I'd ever been on before, but in exchange you got a "passport" that you got stamped at each store and if you were a very lucky person, you would get a magical grand prize.  Each store also had 10 prizes that you had a chance to win if you visited that store as well.  In addition, even if you weren't a winner, you still felt like a winner because each store had a freebie you got to have if you were an official crawler.

My freebies!!
You got to choose colors for each of the freebies.  They were all pretty cool.  Starting from the left and going clockwise:  uber soft yarn and pattern to knit a sheep (!), a free pattern book (this wasn't an official freebie, but the store was giving them away in addition to the freebie), a beginning needle felting kit, a cotton blend (periwinkle) skein and they emailed me a pattern for little fingerless mitts, cotton pima (in the plastic baggie), official yarn crawl swag bag, ball of a yarn called "princess" (brown), ball of novelty yarn that makes one of those swirly scarves (red, tan, black), puppy snips and measuring tape, crochet stitch markers (you got your choice of crochet and knitting, I went with crochet since I have none of those), row counting bracelet, and a small kit to create a yarn necklace.  WHEW!!  Honestly, with these freebies, I feel like $20 was a steal!  I did not win a prize, but it was worth it either way.  :o)

In an effort to keep this post from being 50 pages long, I'm going to break up my posts.  Tomorrow I'll reveal my purchases... ;o)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Zilker Gardens

Zilker Park is one of the popular locales for Austin.  It is a large spanse along the "greenway" here.  Lots of grass, Barton Springs Pool, tons of music festivals, movie nights, etc etc.
Zilker Park
But, today we went to Zilker Botanical Gardens instead.  It costs $2/person, $1/senior or child.  It was just beautiful.  The following pics were taken by B (who is not even remotely into taking pics, so that tells you how pretty it is!).
Bridge in the Oriental Garden
Oriental Garden
Bamboo Forest

Friday, September 28, 2012


Long week for me.  Flew to Atlanta last Thursday, worked till Tuesday, flew back Tuesday night, worked Wed and Fri... Basically Thursday was my relax day!  I am so glad that I have this weekend off.  :o)  And in thanks for that, I plan on heading to P.Terry's and trying their Maine Root Beer Milkshake!  I've never had it before, but it sounds so yummy!  Pre-mixed root beer float??  Yes, please!
And other than the fact that I'm thrilled that it sounds delicious... I'm extra excited because this Maine Root stuff is very high quality!  It uses fair trade organic evaporated cane sugar and real herb flavors.  Read more about it on their website.  My favorite one is the Ginger Brew, but most of them are absolutely delicious.  If you can find them around your town, you should definitely try it out!  :o)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kid 'N Ewe

I am so excited that there is a fiber festival less than 2 hours away from me.  In hot hot Texas.  Though, I suppose with all the farm land out here, it would only make sense.  :o)  Kid 'N Ewe isn't until November, but I've already started planning for it.  My mom is coming out to visit me and we plan on going there for some fibery fun.
I know we're going to be there Saturday, but I can't decide if there's any reason to stay longer than that.  I am going to love seeing all the fiber and dyers and animals!  And there is going to be a cashmere shearing demonstration!  Better start saving money now.  ;o)  Anybody been before?  Are there any good restaurants to stay and have dinner at afterwards?  It is still a bit of a drive, so it'd be nice to grab something to eat then head back.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

StitchJones Yarnageddon 2013!!!

Can I say enough about this club??  I joined it for 2012, and have enjoyed all 3 of the shipments so far.  There's one more shipment left for 2012, and I don't know what other luxury fibers and treats she can cram into this year!  I wish I were at home to post pics of my goodies... but let's just say that it has included an oversized skein of worsted weight Merino/Silk (50/50 blend, and when I say oversized, I think it was 800 yds!!), locally sourced Oregon Cormo, Alpaca/Silk, Merino/Cashmere/Silk, fair trade alpaca, indie made stitch markers, indie sock project holder, patterns, Japanese handkerchief, and more... all wrapped with love from Sharon, the creative mastermind behind StitchJones.

The club sign ups are open now through Jan 1, 2013.  However, space is limited, and if she fills up, you may miss out on some fantastic goodies!  StitchJones... where color goes to eleven!!  :o)  Go here if you need them shipped to you.  Here if you happen to be local to Portland/Hillsboro/Forest Grove area.  :o)  And enjoy!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Juice Cleanses

I've never done one.  I'm only semi-interested in doing so.  But I will have to say, if these juices are a part of the cleanse, I'd totally be down!
The Dieline
I tried a few, and this one was my favorite.  On my trip from Cali to Austin (which has yet to be chronicled on the blog yet... will have to change that soon.), we stopped at Whole Foods in Pasadena.  They were sampling these delicious juices, and I gotta say, they were fantastic!  Super clean ingredients, super fresh tasting... and way easier than making all the juices myself!

Anyone out there done a juice cleanse?  What is it like?  I'd like to hear more about it before I make the plunge.  :o)

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I am in love.  With moccasins.  These moccasins in particular:
Maybe I'm being silly... but I think they are awesome.  It's the color that got me.  And maybe a little bit of the limited edition thing.  Gah!  There are a few retailers in my area.  I wonder if any of them would have them.  >.<  Except that I have so many pairs of shoes already.  But no moccasins!  Hmmm... ;o)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Homemade" Pizza

B and I have been talking about buying pizza dough and making our own pizza at home.  (We aren't at the stage where we have a good baking area set up in our kitchen yet, but we're working on it.)  So, when our local grocery store had a "Buy a Pasta Sauce, get a Pizza Sauce and Organic Shredded Mozzarella for Free" we had to jump on it!  We also grabbed a made in store, partially baked pizza dough crust.  I love that idea so much!  It's fresh, they made it that day... and the partially baked means that they have rolled it out for you (great since we don't have a rolling pin nor have the tossing pizza dough skillz to pull that off), but it won't be overdone after baking!  Anyways, we're now thinking about toppings, and I think we're both going to have to make concessions.
Everyday Finesse
I'm much more of a veggie pizza type of person.  And while B likes vegetables on his pizza (he is thinking fresh spinach and tomatoes sound pretty good on the pizza), he is much more of an "everything" pizza or meat pizza type of guy.
Kimbesa's Homemade Pizza
And we differ in opinions when it comes to certain toppings also.  I love olives while he loves bell peppers... and of course, he hates almost all olives and I strongly dislike actual pieces of bell peppers.  I'm thinking that a fresh spinach, fresh basil, sliced or chopped fresh tomatoes, a small sprinkling of onion, and a high quality sausage sounds like a pretty good compromise.  What do you think?  Do you have a favorite type of pizza?  I'd love to hear if you've made your own pizzas, and if so, what combinations have you found to work best?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Fun!

Can you believe that in the dry, arid dessert of Texas, there can be these random bits and pieces of liquid beauty?
Dave Wilson Photography
This is called Hamilton Pool, and is about 40 minutes outside of Austin.  I am so glad to be so close to a place as neat as this.  I was pleased with how natural they have manged to keep a place like this.

We also managed to have a few fantastic meals at wonderful restaurants.

County Line BBQ has a number of locations, and while I'm sure they all serve the same fantastic bbq, I was more impressed with the gorgeous view we had.  It was also some of the best restaurant coleslaw I'd ever had, great beef ribs, and I would definitely recommend the marbled brisket.  Good food, great view, cool breeze blowing... made for a fantastic way to end the day.
Lonestar Ball
Kome is a wonderful Japanese restaurant that serves lots of traditional Japanese foods and sushi also.  The traditional Japanese foods included takoyaki, onigiri, karage, etc.  It is serving foods you might find inside of a Japanese home vs foods you find at an American-Japanese restaurant.  The sushi was excellent, and we were all very pleased with the dishes we got as well.
In addition to all the good food, fun times with friends, and running around experiencing new things... I also taught my first drop spindle class in Austin.  Getting to teach again is a fantastic thing; I was definitely missing teaching spinning and knitting.

It was a very busy weekend, and I did enjoy getting to explore Austin more!  Hope everyone else had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend, as well!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On Designing

Today I spent about 6 hours taking a pattern, then reversing it, turning it into my own pattern, then testing it.  After swatching, reswatching, then reswatching again... I have a pattern that I think is satisfactory.  The only downside?  It turns out the pattern was not actually reversible.  So, I did spend a good portion of the day testing and drawing out a pattern that will not work.  Ah well, so goes life.

Brighter side of things, I'm loving the pattern now, and though I'm testing now, it will not be revealed until November.  Can't wait to show it to you guys!!  :oD

Burger Joint Found!

Wow, that was quick.  Decided to try local chain (about 6 different locations in Austin) called P.Terry's.  Got to test drive the ketchup holder... yes, it did work, be sure to only pull on 1/2 of the folds, otherwise it will be completely flat.  Triple the amount of ketchup tho!!  :oD
Anyways, going back to P.Terry's.  Their basic burger is $2.00!  Cheeseburger is $2.25!  They also have a chicken burger, veggie burger, and a double burger.  All under $4.00.  A meal is $5-7.  The fries that come with the meal are made from potatoes they cut there on site and fried in pure canola oil (not trans fats which are typical for fries).  And you think, $2.00, how good can that be?  It was real angus beef made from beef they ground themselves, organic tomatoes grown locally, buns crafted locally... their orange juice and lemonade is fresh squeezed!  And, to complete the story, they pay above minimum wage for their employees.  I am thoroughly impressed by this place, and there is one about 10 blocks away from our apartment.  I will go back and try it again to ensure that it is consistent, but for now, I am convinced that I found a decent inexpensive place.  Yay!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Did you know?

I do believe I've been doing this all wrong all my life... And considering how much I do enjoy my ketchup, I think this calls for a trip to a burger joint.
If I were still in Portland, I'd head to a Burgerville (seasonal, local specialties, local meats used, tons of vegetarian options... who doesn't love that?).  In Cali, I'd probably run to a Nations and grab the BEST grilled cheese and some fries just to try this out.  But out here in Austin, I'm really not sure where the best place to get good quality, but stay on budget (i.e. - not spend over $12 on a burger and fries) is... Any recommendations?  :o)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sparkles! Sparkle-y Everythings!

I can't help myself.  I love sparkles!  I've seen a number of DIY sparkle projects, and it makes me want to do some myself!  I've got ModPodge... I've got sparkles.  I just have to go find something to sparkle!  :oD  Here are some inspirations for you.
Vegan Housewives
Lil Blue Boo
Bridal Musings

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thrown off Track!!

Woow!  Who knew going back to Cali (visiting family for a wedding and staying for a week for fun) and then driving back (Wow!  That drive is sooo much longer from SF than from Athens, GA!!) and then having a good friend of 16 years stay for a few days would wipe me out so much!  I guess I truly understand the meaning of "I need a vacation from my vacation" now!

Anyways, I went to Austin's Craft Riot show this past weekend, and while I was mildly disappointed by the size of the show, it still had a good amount of fun stuff!  I loved a lot of stuff there, but ended up with a cutesy acrylic ring and a wooden pendant from nom nom.  Couldn't find the pendant on her etsy shop, but here's a pic of the ring I got.
I got the sweet raccoon one!
And the other awesome news is that in December, there is a 13 day craft and fine arts show called the Armadillo Bazaar!  I can't wait!  Looks like I can put off my Christmas shopping till the last minute.  ;o)  I've done the vast majority for the past few years of my Christmas gifts from etsy or small businesses (with a few handmade gifts thrown in too), and I don't plan on changing that anytime soon.  It'll be even more fun to get to support local indie businesses this year.  :o)  Can't wait!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sheep Wearing Sweaters?!!

Have you guys ever seen Wallace and Gromit - A Close Shave?  In it, Shaun the Sheep gets put through a contraption that Wallace creates that shears a sheep and machine knits a sweater, and somehow Shaun gets put into it!  My favorite part was how Shaun sounds an awful lot like "shorn"!  Why, yes, I do love puns, how'd you guess?
Shaun the Sheep
Well, some great people in Germany (or at least this website seems to be in German...) have decided to actually dress some sheep in knitwear!!  Cute-overload is inevitable!!  Enjoy.
"Mom... are you wearing my wool?"
"Ah, I see they got you too..."
"I look so dashing in my aran sweater!"

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ravellenic Games Shawl

So, this shawl (test knit, so no pattern link yet!) is my official Ravellenic Games knit.  I think it is obtainable, even without me knitting non-stop the entire time.  Which is good, because I have been busy with doing the finer details of unpacking (now rearranging things to be more aesthetic vs placing things so they can just fit inside), applying for jobs and introducing myself around town, and soon I will be heading to my home town to visit with family and old friends... yay!
I started with completely different colors, and I really wasn't very fond of them.  So, I stash dived again, and I found the lavender seen in the pic.  I did have to go purchase the darker purple, but I think that it's turning out so much nicer.  I love the way the pattern is turning out!  I love it when things work out perfectly!  :oD

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wendy's Lookbook - Ravelry Style

Well, I know my last Ravelry related fashion posts were last week, but it turns out I have no clothes that are really the right color to do a posed post.  I was going to try to remedy that, but then I found this post!  Wendy is one of my favorite fashionistas, hailing from one of my old stomping grounds... California!  She's originally a Bay Area native (hey, me too!!) and now resides in the So-Cal area.  She is so well put together with her outfits, and I love how she isn't afraid to use patterns with patterns!  Her eye for detail is amazing, also.

I was idly browsing her blog when I stumbled upon this post.  While this was not meant to be a "Ravelry" outfit, I couldn't believe how appropriate her outfit was for the Ravelry theme anyways!  I hope you enjoy!
All pictures from Wendy's Lookbook

Monday, July 30, 2012

Oma's Winter Bonnet

Well, I have had a couple false starts with the Ravellenic Games, but I am making some progress on some projects that are unrelated.  This project does not count for the Games as I started it prior.  I am test knitting another Raveler's pattern.  The story is so sweet, as this is actually her Oma's pattern.  Her Oma has Alzheimer's and so she wrote down a lot of notes to remind her how to make the bonnet.  The current designer decided to take those notes and turn it into a bonafide pattern.  The pattern is not yet released.  I believe this is the "designer's" first attempt at writing a pattern, so there were a lot of questions that had to be asked before it was perfectly clear.  Nothing an intermediate and beyond knitter would need to ask, but a beginner who has just finished a couple projects including a hat might get tripped up over some of the details that were missing.  The pattern is written in 4 different sizes:  baby, toddler/child, small adult/teen, and adult woman.
I decided to test the "teen" size and love how it's coming out.  I have tried it on, and, alas, it fits, but is snug.  There goes my dreams of wearing this around my non-existent garden pretending to be a farm girl... And just to clarify, it's my fault for choosing the wrong size, not the pattern's fault.  I typically would choose a 20" hat to get some negative ease for a beanie.  I should have realized that a bonnet is not the same as a beanie.

I'll update with links once the pattern is ready.  :o)  Happy knitting and/or watching the Olympics!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Opening Ceremonies

I spent the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games at the Knitting Nest.  They are doing a KAL for the Color Affection Shawl for the Ravellenic Games.  There was a nice potluck dinner with TONS of delicious food.  I brought the drinks, so no pics of that.  Otherwise, I'd totally be toting my baking prowess.  ;o)  I got to meet some people from around the neighborhood.  I have heard from many of the knitters around town that there are three main LYS in Austin proper, and so I'm trying to get myself acquainted with them all.  :o)
My boyfriend won a doorprize.  He won a beautiful skein of Socks that Rock Mediumweight in the colorway:  Fire on the Mountain.  Oh, and a pattern too!  My made-one-garter-stitch-scarf-ever boyfriend.  The pattern has some cables on it.  He'd better get to learning how to purl and cable fast!!  ;o)
I did not cast on my Ravellenic Games project tonight because I couldn't print my pattern.  So, I worked on a coaster.  I'm using various fingering weight yarns in various colors.  Mine aren't quite as adorable as the designer's, but I still quite like them.  I'll get pics up when I have more done up.  Planning on casting on tomorrow for my Ravellenic project.  Can't wait!!