Navigation Tips

Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.

Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.

The most comprehensive listing of Patterns, Pseudo-Patterns, and Pattern Outlines can be found on the Pattern Bibliography page.

Please read the Blog Housekeeping section in the sidebar for more info.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Andohalambo ch2-22



Here's another Andohalambo Hat. It looks much better in purple. Or maybe it's because I like purple more than blue. This hat took me a while since it lived in the car and I only got to chip away at it a very little bit at a time. This hat is a chemo cap for Cap Karma.

I haven't been doing much knitting lately. Much of my knitting has moved to the new house. We thought we were moving this weekend, but that didn't happen. We weren't ready. Still waiting on shutters for our living room & dining room, both rooms face the street. Still waiting on carpets. Still waiting on getting the electrical system upgraded; none of the outlets are grounded, and we need to add a few new outlets in various spots. We also need to do a little painting in our bedroom where part of a wall was knocked out to remove a pocket door.

We had a pocket door removed from the master bathroom on Friday 7/20. When DH arrived at the house on Friday morning, he discovered a note on the front door from PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) informing us that they turned off our electricity the day before, Thurs 7/19 around 3 PM. Geez, they didn't even bother to leave a courtesy notice a few days in advance informing us that they were planning on turning off the electricity. That would have been nice so that we would know that we needed to set up service with them.

We had thought all our utilities were set back in June. We had received a notice on our door about calling a phone number to get our utilities set up. DH called the number, and we thought we were all set with everything. Well, apparently that only set up service for water and garbage. Oops. We didn't know that it wasn't the "one stop shopping" we thought it was, so we had assumed that calling that phone number had set us up for water, garbage, gas, and electricity.

We were a little worried about having our electricity shut off on the day we were expecting people to work on our pocket door because they had battery powered tools and were expecting to be able to charge their tools at the same time. Fortunately, we were able to get PG&E to stop by and restore electricity. So there were no delays with our pocket door removal.

The pocket door in our master bath was broken, it didn't slide open/closed. We had it removed and replaced with a regular door that swings into the bathroom. Much better. We also have a broken pocket door between our kitchen and dining room. I suppose we'll eventually fix that too. I really hate pocket doors. I understand that they are space saving, but they don't seem to work very well.

We got our dryer to vent to the exterior of the house. They just ran a hose from the dryer to the part of the wall (in the garage) where they could make a little hole to exterior venting. The previous owners had this little box contraption that was supposed to catch lint; you place water into the box, and then connect the hose from the dryer to the box.

I've packed some of my knives. The 8" chefs knife, 3.5" paring knife and steak knives have been packed into the boxes they came in. I think I can make do with using just my 6" chefs knife; it's the one I use most often anyways.

I've cleaned and lined half of the shelves/drawers in our new kitchen. I've already started to unpack some things into our kitchen cabinets/drawers to free up the boxes for packing more stuff. Everything will eventually get moved around until I figure out how I want things placed.

Been so busy lately that I almost forgot to mail in a Sears rebate for 12% cash back on the stove we bought. It had to be postmarked by 7/23, and I only remembered it on 7/22. That was a close one!



This photo was taken a couple weeks ago. You can see that our family room is filling up with boxes! We've actually moved more boxes into this room since the photo was taken. And there would be a lot more if I hadn't unpacked a bunch of boxes to reuse for packing more stuff. There's only so much we can unpack at the moment. Once we get our shutters in the living room, we can start moving boxes into that room instead. And we can start unpacking some of these boxes after we've moved some furniture (bookshelves!).

--<>--

So I thought I was done entering books into my Shelfari bookshelf, but I kept coming across more books to enter. Now according to my profile, I have 650 books and 2054 tags. How did that happen? And these aren't even all the books because I've tried to enter many which aren't in the Shelfari book database yet, probably because the books are too old or obscure. For example, I could only add one of Richard Kirk's books, Lords of the Shadows, which is #4 in his Raven series. I could not add books 1, 2, 3, or 5 of the Raven Series (Swordmistress of Chaos; A Time of Ghosts; The Frozen God; A Time of Dying). I'm still entering a few more books, so the final book count will probably be closer to 670.

--<>--

I finally got around to going to downtown SF to check out the new Westfield shopping center. It was a brief visit. I checked out the food court to have lunch at Bistro Burger. Then went up to the 4th floor to Cocola for a little more quiet while mom had coffee and M had fruit salad. Then we walked across the 4th floor towards Bloomingdale's. I needed to change M's diaper. I saw a restroom sign in between Borders and Bloomingdale's and thought I'd do the diaper change there. After walking a gazillion miles down a maze-like corridor, I discovered that there was NO diaper changing station in their public restroom. That was surprisingly disappointing for a "new" shopping center. You'd think they'd put a baby changing station somewhere in their public restrooms. Aren't they as standard as wheelchair ramps? So I had to walk back out through that long corridor, and then hunt down a restroom in Bloomingdale's. Yes, they had a changing station. :-)

The oddest changing station I've seen was at the Macaroni Grill Restaurant at the Hillsdale shopping center in San Mateo, CA. The table was set so high, it was at chest level! That was a bit awkward for me.

--<>--
I'm on page 312 (out of 759) of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. DH finished the book earlier today. He keeps telling me I'm "getting to the good part". I think he'll just keep saying that no matter where I am at the book, lol. It took me one week to reach Chapter 14, pg 268. My goal is to reach pg 500 by next Saturday, and finish the book by the Saturday after that, just in time to return the book to the library.

I checked out an audio book from the library, With No One As Witness by Elizabeth George, and discovered that I was missing disc #9. I had discs 1 through 8. Now what do I do? How do I find out how the story ends?

I have started to watch The Sculptress, a movie based on Minette Walter's book. It's a long movie, so it'll probably take me 3 or 4 sittings to get through it all.

.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ipod Shuffle 07/26/07

Today's Thursday iPod Shuffle...

  1. Symphony No 12 (KV 110) in G Major Allegro - Mozart
  2. Bad - U2
  3. Tout Au Bout De Nos Peines - Isabelle Boulay
  4. Walking Away - Information Society
  5. Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo
  6. Fat Boy - Jewel
  7. All I Want Is You - U2
  8. I Used to Love Him - Lauryn Hill
  9. Symphony No 6 IV Allegro - Beethoven
  10. Karma - Alicia Keys

.

Booking Through Thursday



Here's this week's question:

Who’s the worst fictional villain you can think of? As in, the one you hate the most, find the most evil, are happiest to see defeated? Not the cardboard, two-dimensional variety, but the most deliciously-written, most entertaining, best villain? Not necessarily the most “evil,” so much as the best-conceived on the part of the author…oh, you know what I mean!
There are so many possibilities, it's hard to decide on one, however the first person to come to mind is Hannibal Lecter. It's been a long time since I read Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal. One of these days I'll get around to reading Hannibal Rising.

.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows



So I got my hands on a copy of this book this morning, and whadya know... DH has grabbed it and is reading it this very moment. We have to time slice the book...

Oh well, I do have other books to read. I'm about 3/4 way through A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George.

And I have some other books queued up:

  • Snow Blind - PJ Tracy
  • A Certain Justice - PD James
  • One Good Turn - Kate Atkinson
  • Case Histories - Kate Atkinson
  • The Art of Detection - Laurie R King
  • The Winds of Change - Martha Grimes
  • Strange Affair - Peter Robinson
  • The Grave Tatoo - Val McDermid
  • The Tomb of a Golden Bird - Elizabeth Peters
  • What Came before He Shot Her - Elizabeth George



.

Slip Cross Cable with Bobbles

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.


.

This is the cloth I made over a week ago, I've just been too busy to blog about it. I had been doing cables & lace lately and felt like doing something different, so it became a bobble cloth. I know that what I like in a dishcloth is usually not what everyone else is looking for in a dishcloth and that most people would probably think bobbles are a weird thing to have on dishcloths. I think they add an interesting texture. This is my second cloth with bobbles (Bonbons was my first) and was inspired by BW3 p73. No time right now to make a proper pattern posting with an extensive abbreviations list, PDF file, etc, so this will get filed under Pseudo-Patterns. If you need help with some of the abbreviations (like K, P, P2Tog, CO, WW, US7, * asterisks, RS, WS, CN, YO, etc), you can look at the "Notes" section of some of my other patterns, or you can just email me and ask. :-) You can make this cloth as wide or as tall as you like. To make it wider, just cast on extra stitches in multiples of 6 (viz. 6, 12, 18, etc).

Stitches used in this cloth include:
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10
Slip Cross Cable with Bobbles, BW3 pg73



Slip Cross Cable with Bobbles Cloth
© Designed by S.M. Kahn, July 2007
Smariek Knits -=<>=- http://smariek.blogspot.com


T5B is worked over the next 5 stitches and is done as follows:
1. Slip 4 stitches onto CN and hold in back.
2. Knit 1 (from left needle).
3. Move the Knit stitch (it's on the far right) from CN to the left needle.
4. Purl 3 from CN.
5. Knit 1 (from left needle).
Note: In Step #3, you might find it easier to move that Knit stitch from CN to your right needle, and then transfer that stitch to your left needle.

MB (Make Bobble) is done as follows:
1. (K1, YO, K1, YO, K1) into the next stitch.
2. Turn.
3. Purl 5.
4. Turn.
5. Knit 5.
6: Turn.
7. P2Tog, P1, P2Tog
8. Turn.
9. Slip 1, K2Tog, Pass slipped stitch over.

Sl1 wyib = Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in back.

Sl1 wyif = Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front.


Using WW kitchen cotton yarn and US7 needles, CO 39. Knit 4 rows.

Row 1 (WS): K4, * K1, P1, K3, P1 *, K5
Row 2 (RS): K3, P2, * K1, P3, K1, P1 *, P1, K3
Row 3: K4, * K1, P1, K3, P1 *, K5
Row 4: K3, P2, * K1, P1, MB, P1, K1, P1 *, P1, K3
Row 5: K4, * K1, P1, K3, P1 *, K5
Row 6: K3, P2, * K1, P3, K1, P1 *, P1, K3
Row 7: K4, * K1, P1, K3, P1 *, K5
Row 8: K3, P2, * Sl1 wyib, P3, Sl1 wyib, P1 *, P1, K3
Row 9: K4, * K1, Sl1 wyif, K3, Sl1 wyif *, K5
Row 10: K3, P2, * T5B, P1 *, P1, K3
Row 11: K4, * K1, P1, K3, P1 *, K5
Row 12: K3, P2, * K1, P3, K1, P1 *, P1, K3

Repeat rows 1 through 12 until desired length, end on row 7. (I worked rows 1-12 three times, then worked rows 1-7)
Knit 4 rows. Bind off. Weave in ends. Block.




.

ISFJ

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, ISFJ stands for Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging. You can read more about ISFJ here and here. And the different personality types here and here.

.

You Are An ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.
A good listener, you excel at helping others in practical ways.
In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.
You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.

In love, you express your emotions through actions.
Taking care of someone is how you love them. And you do it well!

At work, you do well in a structured environment. You complete tasks well and on time.
You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

How you see yourself: Competent, dependable, and detail oriented

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, dominant, and stuck in a rut

.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ack, sidebar photos fubar

.
Ack! I just noticed that some of the photos in my sidebar, particularly those for my free patterns are all screwed up. For example, the Cap Karma button shows up where my Persephone Scarf button should be. Then there are 3 other which are all wrong, and the photos isn't even one of mine! It's like Blogger pulled some random photo out of a hat and plopped it into my sidebar. Strange...

Then I noticed that my sidebar looks fine in Internet Explorer. Grrrr.... that means this is a Blogger quirk with Mozilla Firefox (my browser).

I hope Blogger irons out the wrinkles soon...
.

Ipod Shuffle 07/19/07

Here's today's iPod Shuffle...

  1. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
  2. Swamp - Talking Heads
  3. Presque Rien - Francis Cabrel
  4. Down So Long - Jewel
  5. I'm Looking for a New Love - Jody Watley
  6. Symphony B in B Flat Major - Allegro Molto - Franz Joseph Haydn
  7. Touched by the Hand of God - New Order
  8. Qu'est-ce Que Ca Te Foute - K-Maro
  9. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Serenade in G Major, K. 525 Movement 1 - Mozart
  10. Wild Honey - U2

.

Booking Through Thursday



  1. Okay, love him or loathe him, you’d have to live under a rock not to know that J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out on Saturday… Are you going to read it?
  2. If so, right away? Or just, you know, eventually, when you get around to it? Are you attending any of the midnight parties?
  3. If you’re not going to read it, why not?
  4. And, for the record… what do you think? Will Harry survive the series? What are you most looking forward to?
1. Yes, yes, yes! I will read it!

2. No, most likely not right away.

It'll be at my slow reading pace (side effect of having a toddler), and it will definitely take me longer than it took me to read all the previous books since we're currently in the middle of trying to get our new house ready to move in, sorting through all our stuff to separate keep-items from throw-away-items, packing everything into boxes, and moving all the non-essential stuff over there. I will definitely pick up a hard cover copy to complete my set, however I may also try the audio book since I've recently discovered audio books working out better for me right now.

No midnight parties for me. I don't think I could do that for any book, even before I had baby, lol.

3. n/a

4. I haven't thought about it much, I just want to find out what happens. I certainly hope that Harry lives. I think it would be very traumatic for many readers if that were not the case. However I also think JKR would want to keep her options open in case she decides to continue the series. I'm hoping Snape turns out to be the good guy Dumbledore always thought he was; he's usually perspicacious and a good judge of character, so I suspect he was right.


.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My pysche...



Not much knitting going on over here. Most of my yarn has moved to the new house, or is queued up in the garage for moving soon. Everytime we move a bunch of boxes from the garage, another set replaces them. It is never ending.

New projects won't be started anytime soon since I don't have ready access to my entire stash. I only have a cable project, a lace project, one ball of kitchen cotton for an undetermined project, and of course my mindless knitting hat project which lives in the car. I decided to keep the one ball of cotton in case I feel inspired to knit a dishcloth between now and the time we move and finish unpacking. I did finish a bobble dishcloth last week though, I'm going to make another. After working on lace and cables, I wanted a change of pace and decided to do bobbles. I think most people would find bobbles a little weird on a dishcloth. I like the interesting texture it adds to the cloth.

I wanted to get started on my mom's vest but did not think I'd have enough brain power to concentrate on something new. I haven't had much knitting time lately. It seems like all I ever do these days is sort through old stuff while packing. It sounds like a simple task, but it is a time consuming one!

While clearing off a bookshelf downstairs, I stumbled upon old computer games. Remember when they used to come on floppy disks? 3.5" or 5.25"?! I found my very first computer game for my 286, Kings Quest IV.

I have lots of old books. It's interesting to see which ones have held up well, which ones have considerable yellow pages, and which ones got all spotty/icky. I'm not sure what determines how each book ends up. Is it paper quality? These books were all in the same bookshelf. There would be a pristine book adjacent to an icky one. So it's not a locational thing on the bookshelf. I'm not sure what I can do to prevent damage to my books. The room was kept fairly dark most of the time, so it they weren't exposed to an extraordinary amount of sunlight.

I haven't figured out where to store all our books at the new house. We have packed about 20 boxes of book so far. Can't find anything if they remain in boxes. But it would be ridiculous to put them all in bookshelves ... plus we don't have enough shelves to accommodate all the books.

There are some built-in shelves in the family room which could be home to a few books. You can see it in the photo above. I really don't like the look of that entire wall and I hope to get it redone sometime in the future. The family room doesn't look like that right now. The end of the room is filled up with all the boxes we have been moving over there in the past few weeks.

I've been sucked into Shelfari and am working on populating my bookshelf there. It's still a work in progress. You can see my Shelfari bookshelf here: http://www.shelfari.com/Smariek/shelf, although it might be easier to browse by tags here: http://www.shelfari.com/Smariek/shelf#tags, which is also a work in progress since I did not start out by applying tags to my books, and I am now going back to add them.

--<>--
.
Your Psyche is Blue

You are deeply emotional and very connected to everything (and everyone) around you.
By simply understanding other people, you are able to help them heal and let go.
While you are a very deep and thoughtful person, you do have a very silly, superficial side.

When you are too blue: the weight of the world's problems hangs over you

When you don't have enough blue: you lack perspective and understanding

.

.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Five Factor Personality Test

M is napping right now, so I'm taking this opportunity to enjoy a pot of Lupicia Lichee Oolong tea. And I am contemplating opening a bar of Scharffen Berger Mocha Chocolate (66% cacao) which was made for Peet's. No, it doesn't really go with the tea... but I certainly can't eat it in front of M! Imagine M on a chocolate buzz...

--<>--

Hmmm... interesting results. I wouldn't go as far as to say my life is organized and well planned. It's more like go with the flow and see where it takes me...
.
Your Five Factor Personality Profile

Extroversion:

You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.

Conscientiousness:

You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.

Agreeableness:

You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.

Neuroticism:

You have high neuroticism.
It's easy for you to feel shaken, worried, or depressed.
You often worry, and your worries prevent you from living life fully.
You tend to be emotionally reactive and moody. Your either flying very high or feeling very low.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is medium.
You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.
But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.
You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.

--<>--

My new addictions are Ravelry (for knitters) and Shelfari (for books). You can find my Shelfari Shelf here; it's still a WIP, I'm still entering books and applying tags. In retrospect, I probably should have applied tags as I added each book. Oops.

I've just discovered Persephone Books, which has a shop in London which is about 8,600 km too far for me to pop over there.

--<>--

We have blinds at our new house. Yay! They look great! It's starting to look more like a home, instead of just an empty house. We got the kind without the holes in them, so it does a great job at blocking out the light. We're still waiting for shutters for the living room and dining room. Sorry, no photos of the new blinds. I forgot to bring the camera with me yesterday.

We moved more boxes to the new house yesterday, and spent a good amount of time sorting through boxes of computer/math books and computer crap ... we emptied 7 boxes of stuff. Separated everything into "to keep" and "to give away". We probably should have done that before we moved it to the new house, lol.

The pile of crap included ... DOS 6.22, back when an OS came on 3 floppies ... old Mac OS CDs ... old Microsoft software (various flavors of Windows OS and other misc software) ... ThinNet cables ... SCSI DAT drive ... SCSI cables ... a gazillion CAT5 cables (up to 50 ft, in a rainbow of colors) ... a few hubs ... old hard drives ... a crimper ... LOTS of old memory in a variety of shapes and sizes ... old mice (ps/2) and new mice (usb), some with balls, some with wheels, some 2-button, some 3-button, ond and one trackball (which I always thought were neat, but could never get used to using) ... SCSI cards ... AC adapters ... power cords ... keyboards ... laptop batteries ... PCMCIA nics and LOTS of dongles ... trackpoint covers ... several AB switch boxes with 8 to 10 sets of corresponding cables ... CDROM drive, CD burner ... and other stuff I can't think of right now.

We whittled it down to one "to keep" box.

There's more crap in the old house to get rid of. Does anybody need old Sun OS manuals from nearly 2 decades ago? LOL. I have several volumes, and some of them even have a metal attachment on their spines since they were designed to be mounted on a stand.

--<>--

I haven't been doing very well in the knitting dept. We just started watching The Emperor and the Assassin on DVD, which is in Mandarin. I don't understand Mandarin so I have to rely on reading the subtitles, and that precludes any knitting. I never like reading English subtitles for Chinese films because something always gets lost in the translation. Watching Chinese films in Cantonese works out better for me since I understand more by listening rather than reading subtitles.

We'll probably finish the movie in 2 more sittings (yes, we are seldom able to watch an entire movie in one sitting, side effect of having a toddler). Depending on how the movie turns out, this may become a possible gift for my Aunt K and Uncle A (DH's aunt & uncle). Aunt K can speak English but chooses not to, so I'm always surprised on the few occasions when she decided to say something to me in English. She just feels more comfortable speaking in Mandarin. Unfortunately I don't understand Mandarin and I think she sometimes forgets that fact and may start speaking to me in Mandarin while I stare blankly back at her. So it is safe to conclude that she is not very likely to watch any movies in English. Once I finally figured this out, I have been making Chinese DVDs part of their Christmas gifts and it seems to be working out to everyone's satisfaction.

Last year(?) I saw In the Mood for Love, which was very nicely done. Nat King Cole's Quizás, Quizás, Quizás sounds great and fits perfectly in the movie. But I'm not certain this would be an appropriate movie for Aunt K. It's probably not "mainstream" enough for her tastes? I'm not sure. I have such limited experience with Asian films.

The last movie I saw was V for Vendetta, which I loved. I just love a rogue hero... :-)

.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ipod Shuffle 07/12/07

Oops, yesterday was Thursday. Totally forgot Thursday iPod Shuffle...

1. Dormir Debout - Francis Cabrel
2. A.M. 2 P.M. - Christina Milian
3. Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads
4. Tainted Love - Soft Cell
5. Better Man - Pearl Jam
6. Soar - Christina Aguilera
7. Animal - Francis Cabrel
8. Impossible - Christina Aguilera
9. Pictures - System of a Down
10. Les Lignes De Nos Mains - Patricia Kaas

.

Scavengers



There's something annoying about city living. OK, there are a lot of annoying things about city living. I just wanted to talk about the scavengers...

Many years ago, I placed a small pot of herbs at the bottom of our front stairs. It managed to walk away with somebody.

Some of the non-profit organizations in the area will designate a certain day to pick up any items you want to donate (clothing, furniture, etc). All you have to do is leave it outside your house with the postcard they mailed you (or you stick a sign/paper with their name) on your bags/boxes. They will pick it up sometime during the day. Sounds pretty straight forward. So we leave our bags/boxes outside our house somewhere near the garage door. Now the annoying thing about people in the city -- or perhaps it's just my neighborhood -- is that they'll come around and scavenge through all the bags/boxes left outside for these organizations. This has happened numerous times in my neighborhood.

It's not limited to donation left outside. People in my negihborhood also rummage through garbage cans on the day before and day of garbage pick up. Can you believe that?! And they will also put their garbage into your garbage cans too!

Our garbage pickup is on Monday. Last Monday I took our garbage cans to the curb around 6:30 pm. DH had one small bag to add to the garbage can later in the evening. When he went outside, he found that someone else had topped off our garbage can with their huge garbage bag. We knew it wasn't ours because we usually don't fill up our garbage can completely, plus they used a garbage bag that was a different color/design from the ones we use. That's really annoying when we can't even add more last minute garbage to our own garbage can because the neighbors are using our garbage can for their overflow. This is not the first time this has happened. On the other hand, we also have people who come by to scavenge for bottles/cans from everyone's recycle bins on the night before garbage pickup. I find them less annoying.

So our garbage was picked up last Tuesday. I happened to look out the window when the garbage truck came by, and noticed that they rejected a plastic dish rack & drip tray which my R neighbor put in her recycle bin. The Garbage Man just left these two items on the sidewalk between her two garbage cans. When I looked outside the window again a few hours later, I noticed that my neighbor's garbage cans were still out there but the dish rack and drip tray were gone. Someone had passed by and decided they wanted it.

OK, many of you know that I'm in the process of moving house. As I'm packing and moving stuff, I stumbled upon an old 8-bottle Florentine wrought iron wine rack similar to the one you see above. It's in great condition, but I don't want to take it to the new house. It just takes up too much space for 8-bottles. So I wanted to get rid of it. Given that I know there are scavengers in my neighborhood, I thought why not just leave it outside the house? Somebody will surely come by and pick it up. Right? ... Wrong. I put it outside by the garage door on Thursday morning. The wine rack was still there at night. It boggled the mind as to why somebody wouldn't want this wine rack which was in practically brand new condition. I mentioned this to DH and he told me that it's probably because I put it too close to the house. Huh? That never stopped the scavengers from picking through the donations bags/boxes, which were always placed outside next to the house. So today (Friday), I moved the wine rack closer to the curb, next to the tree outside our house which Mayor Newsom decided we must have along our street. I looked outside an hour later and the wine rack had already disappeared. Geez, why was it so hard to get rid of this wine rack when nothing stopped the scavengers from walking away with stuff near the house in the past? It's a mystery. Anyhowz, I'm glad my wine rack has found a new home. I already miss it just a little, but I really don't need something that takes up so much space...

--<>--

New house updates...




On Monday, we had our water heater replaced in the new house. These are photos of the old water heater. As you can see, it's pretty old, and there's even corrosion on that pipe. The installer told DH that the white stuff on the pipes was asbestos! Who woulda thunk. We assumed it was paint. Well, I'm glad this has all been replaced...

We're getting an estimate on the electrical system update from two different companies. None of the outlets in the house are grounded, not even in the kitchen/bathrooms. And we need to add a few more outlets in the kitchen. I think one company's estimate was around $3700 (eeks!). I'm not sure what the other company's estimate will be, but I'm guessing it'll be about the same.

We are having our blinds installed today. Yay! I'll get to see them this weekend when we move more boxes. We're still waiting on the shutters.

Carpets are delayed. The Carpet Measurer came by to measure the bedrooms on 7/2.We're waiting to get the estimate for our carpets and pay for them to get that order going. The lady who was helping us went on vacation so we had been waiting for her to come back. We didn't discover this until we hadn't heard from her in 4 or 5 days after getting our carpets measured; she neither called to let us know she'd be on vacation nor made arrangements for somebody else to cover for her while she was gone.

Our stove arrived last Friday. Plugged it in. It works. Haven't tried cooking anything yet.

--<>--

My right knee has been bothering me for a month or so. I think it got tweaked one day when I was sitting cross legged on the floor with DD on my lap; we like to sit on the floor and read together. DD can't sit still and I think my knee got tweaked when she sat on my knee in a bad way. It was just a minor annoyance at first where I only felt some pain when going up or down stairs. Then on July 4th, it really acted up. I felt pain even while walking. So I've been limping along since then and trying to take it easy on my knee. I'm even wearing a knee support/wrap which I think helps a little. I think my knee got worse from moving boxes around and down the stairs. I've been doing A LOT of that lately. Now I walk up/down stairs like DD, placing both feet on each step. Right foot first going down, left foot first going up, whichever keeps my right leg straight so I don't have to bend it. When the pain is at its worse, I can even feel it when I'm sleeping or just trying to turn over in bed. :-( I think my knee is improving though. I just have to remember to take it easy... I'm not 20 years old anymore... ;-)

--<>--

Rip it. Rip it. I've been working on knitting cables and just plugged along for about 50 rows before I realized that I crossed some of my cables wrong here and there since row 8. Eeeks! So I frogged the entire thing and started over. No photos yet...

I love to read but find little time for it lately (well, actually since DD was born, lol). I think I have found a solution to this problem. Audio books!!! I'm currently working through "A Place of Hiding" by Elizabeth George, and I am already on disc 2. The nice thing about audio books is that I can also knit at the same time as long as it isn't something super complicated. This is working out better than trying to knit and watch TV simultaneously...

Since Ravelry, I've stumbled upon something similar for books, Shelfari. Haven't had much time to explore it, and it will take me a while to enter in all my books. It'll be another WIP. I already have 14 boxes of books packed up, some at the old house, some at the new house. I have no idea what I have or where it lives. Same goes for my yarn, which is why I haven't entered anything in my Yarn notebook on Ravelry, plus I have to find some time to take photos of my yarn and organize the photos. I'm not very good at organizing photos and it seems to take me a long time. I'm still trying to sort through photos of M from the last few months so I can share them with the inlaws.

.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fun with Names

I got this from Grace.

Here are the rules: ~ Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. ~ They MUST be real places, names, things…NOTHING made up! ~ If you can’t think of anything, skip it. ~ Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial.
~You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Marie
1. Famous Singer/Band: Mylene Farmer
2. 4 letter word: Marc
3. Street Name: (Boulevard de) Montparnasse
4. Color: Malachite
5. Gifts/Presents: Music
6. Vehicle: Maserati
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Magnets
8. Boy Name: Michel
9: Girl Name: Mireille
10: Movie Title: Munich
11: Drink: Madeira
12: Occupation: Monk
13: Celebrity: Martina Navratilova
14: Magazine: macCompanion
16: U.S. City: Mountain View, CA
17: Pro Sports Teams: Torronto Maple Leafs
18: Reason for Being Late for Work: MUNI foul up
19: Something You Throw Away: Moldy food
20: Things You Shout: Mórán cainte ar bheagán cúise
21: Cartoon Character: Mickey Mouse


.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Eyelet and Bead Cloth

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.


Note: You can see photos of 2 other Eyelet & Bead Cloths here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2008/02/eyelet-bead.html.







Here's an easy cloth, as long as you don't mind a few purl-2-through-back-loops. I actually cheat a little with those when the stitches are two tight. I push my needle through the two stitches as if to knit-through-back-loops. This loosens them up just enough for me to push my needle the correct way for purl-2-through-back-loops. I saw this pattern in BW3 p156 and thought it would make a good dish cloth. The cloth above was knitted with S&C painted desert. I dug up this ball out of my stash and wasn't sure I liked the color, but it looks so much better knitted up. I think it's a good pairing of pattern & yarn color. The other cloth you see was knit in S&C Soft Teal. Both cloths are around 10" by 9" (25 cm x 23 cm). They will shrink to perfect size after their first washing.

Stitches used in this cloth include:
Eyelet and Bead Pattern, BW3 pg 156
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10



.
Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.



Eyelet and Bead Cloth pattern can be downloaded from these locations:
1. Eyelet and Bead Cloth from Smariek Knits Yahoo Group (free registration required, instant access)
2. Eyelet and Bead Cloth Pattern from Box.net (no registration required, just click on link & save file)


Note: Pattern was corrected on 7/13/07. Row 7 should read:
Row 7: K4, YO, * SSK, K3, K2Tog, YO, K1, YO *, SSK, K3, K2Tog, YO, K4. There was a typo with an extra "2" after a comma which most likely occurred when I hit my "w" key to type the comma (because I have a Dvorak keyboard mapping). Thank you Christine for pointing this out! :-)





This is another photo of the cloth. I thought the eyelet pattern showed up a little better against the black (my laptop).



.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Flacon Cloth

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.


.
Here's another lace cloth. I know most people prefer the solid fabric cloths, but as you can see, I really love lacy cloths! And they also tend to work well with variegated yarn. That's a plus cuz I picked up a lot of variegated yarn before I realized that I could do more with the solids. This cloth is inspired by BW3 p170, and is knit in S&C Spring Swirl. I thought it was neat how most of the yellow in this variegated yarn ended up on the left side of the cloth. This is definitely different from the usual zig-zag color pooling I get with many of the variegateds.

Stitches used in this cloth include:
Flacon, BW3 pg 170
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10
Stockinette Stitch, BW1 pg 10

Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.
.

Flacon Cloth pattern can be downloaded from Smariek Knits Yahoo Group.


10/12/07 Update: Trying something new here to improve pattern distribution. Flacon Cloth pattern can also be downloaded by clicking on this link: http://www.box.net/shared/i8fceack8j . No registration required for this link..

Note: Pattern was updated on 11/7/07 to fix typos. Thanks Candice for spotting them!



.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Persian Jar Cloth

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.


Here's another cloth made from Sonata. I love working with this yarn. Like the Cabbage Rose Cloth, this is another big cloth, about 10 in x 15 in (25 cm x 38 cm). Sonata is a DK weight yarn, so this cloth would come out even larger when using a worsted weight yarn like S&C or P&C. I think this would be nice knit up in something even finer than DK weight. This pattern is from BW3 p184. Did I mention that I love this yarn? OK, I definitely need to throw in some more Sonata yarn the next time I place my Elann order. The hard part is choosing colors because this yarn comes in so many beautiful colors, both solid & variegated. I haven't washed these two Sonata cloths yet so don't know how much they shrink compared to S&C/P&C shrinkage.

Stitches used in this cloth include:
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10
Persian Jar, BW3 pg 184
Stockinette Stitch, BW1 pg 10


Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.

Persian Jar Cloth pattern can be downloaded from Smariek Knits Yahoo Group here.

10/12/07 Update: Trying something new here to improve pattern distribution. Persian Jar Cloth pattern can also be downloaded by clicking on this link: http://www.box.net/shared/r0uoain2j4 . No registration required for this link.

Note: I knit this cloth directly from my notes, then transcribed them into this PDF file. I have not actually test knitted from this PDF file. I would appreciate it if you would let me know of any errors you encounter with the pattern.



.

Rosa Centifolia

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.


What happens when you take this ball of yarn and push it around a needle for a week? Scroll down to see! :-)

This was my very first time working with Elann's Sonata yarn. I loved it! The yarn felt great in my hands. It has a nice sheen, and it comes in a gazillion solid & print colors!!! I love how they even list the solid colors which coordinate with the print colors. This yarn tended to split at times, so I'll have to remember to use blunt needles next time. I'd like to see how my Hobby Horse turns out in Pecan or Nougat Sonata. And I can see using Sonata for a baby blanket.

I think this is such a pretty cloth. I think I'll keep it for myself as a "spa" cloth. I just can't see using this in the kitchen. All the dishcloths I use in the kitchen have tea stains on them because they eventually end up underneath my teapot and/or tea cup. This is a very large cloth, about 8 in x 11 in (~20 cm x 28 cm), using DK weight yarn. I think this would be a lovely cloth worked up in something lighter, maybe fingerling weight. The pattern is from BW3 pg 183. As you all know, I can't knit from a chart (yes, it's still on my "to learn" list), so I translated the chart into row-by-row instructions. This is quite a tedious task -- even more tedious than knitting this pattern, lol -- but it's a method that works for me. I often hold up my knitting for DH to see and ask him what he thinks. His answers are as varied as answers to the Rorschach inkblot test. But this was one of the few times where he actually saw the pattern and said it looked like a flower. :-) Oh and even little M pointed at the cloth and said, "fow-wer."

Stitches used in this cloth include:
Cabbage-Rose Design, BW3 pg 183
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10
Stockinette Stitch, Bw1 pg 10




6/21/2008 Update: Corrected typos. Thanks Tara! (Tara on Ravelry)

Cabbage Rose Cloth pattern instructions can be downloaded from these locations:
1. Cabbage Rose Cloth pattern from Smariek Knits Yahoo Group (free registration required, instant access)
2. Cabbage Rose Cloth pattern from Box.net (no registration required, just click on link & save file)

Note: I knit this cloth directly from my notes, then transcribed them into this PDF file. I have not actually test knitted from this PDF file. I would appreciate it if you would let me know of any errors you encounter with the pattern.

I have a visual description of how to do the D4 quadruple decrease here:
http://smariek.blogspot.com/2007/02/d4-quadruple-decrease.html




.

Chiroptera

Note:
1. More Free Patterns can be seen along the sidebar (on right side),
or you can use the Free Patterns label to view all posts.
2. Free Pseudo-Patterns or Pattern Outlines can be found using the Free Pseudo-Patterns label.


I'm trying to post 3 patterns today, and am taking this opportunity while little M is napping. This one is a quick and easy knit. :-)




I know, it's a few months early for Halloween. I just couldn't wait. I'm having fun converting charts to row-by-row instructions, and then knitting them up to see how they turn out. I still can't knit from chart. :-( It's on my "to learn" list. Really!!! This pattern is inspired from BW3 p179. I saw it last year and had been meaning to knit it up, I just never got around to it until now. This cloth is about 9.5" x 8.5" (~24 cm x 21.5 cm). The Bat Cloth above is knit with S&C Hot Orange. I have two orange yarns which look the same to me.




I suppose there is a difference of shades between S&C Pumpkin (left) an S&C Hot Orange (right). However they both look the same when I'm rummaging through a box of cotton yarn. That's M's hand in the photo. She is usually pawing at anything I'm trying to take a photo of.

Stitch Patterns used in this cloth include:
Garter Stitch, BW1 pg 10
Stockinette Stitch, BW1 pg 10
The Bat, BW3 pg 179

Please email me if you would like your photo and a link to your blog (if you have one) to appear in My Readers' Gallery.


Bat Cloth pattern can be downloaded from Smariek Knits Yahoo Group.


10/12/07 Update: Trying something new here to improve pattern distribution. Bat Cloth pattern can also be downloaded by clicking on this link: http://www.box.net/shared/b70af9r379 . No registration required for this link.



.

Ipod Shuffle 07/05/07

Here's Thursday's iPod Shuffle...

Back in Black - AC/DC
Love for Sale - Talking Heads
The Great Unknown - Dar Willams
Romanza - Andrea bocelli
Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
Brooklyn's Finest - JayZ
Too Late - No Doubt
Sinfonie Nr. 5 B-dur 3. Menuett Allegro Molto - Franz Schubert
Contribution - Jurassic5
Open Your Heart - Madonna
.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More Sonata




You saw my purple variegated Sonata the other day. Here's my solid Sonata in (I think) Spring Orchid. I love this color!!! I should have picked up the Sonata shade card. I would have done that too if I didn't have to trim down my order to bypass customs.



Here's another shot showing you the cloth underneath.

I definitely need to throw in more Sonata in my next order...


.

Butterflies


.



I made a few more Papillon Cloths back in May/June. Yes, the two greens are the same color.

The word Papillon (which means "butterfly" in French) always reminds me of Le Papillon restaurant in San Jose where DH & I went for dinner once many many years ago (definitely before baby). DH has dined there at least one other time for some patent award lunch thingamabob at work. We won't be going to too many restaurants like this one in the near future, definitely not with M in tow. Our restaurant choices seem to have changed to family-friendly noisy chain restaurants. M seems to do well in and enjoys dining at: Elephant Bar Restaurant, Mimi's Cafe, The Fish Market, BJ's Restaurant/Brewery, and Macaroni Grill. And of course McDonalds & Burger King.

This cloth is fun to knit and I love how it works well with variegated yarn...

--<>--

We've been busy with house stuff. Moving boxes. And more boxes. There is still an endless stack of them. Most of my English, French, Latin, & Farsi language books have moved to the new house. Some of my yarn has started the move; I have no idea where my yarn is now. Not that I was ever that organized when it all lived in the old house. Most of the old baby clothes have moved to the new house. All the boxes are piling up in the Family Room. We can't put them in any of the bedrooms because we will have carpeting installed. And we don't want to put them in the Dining Room or Living Room because they face the street and we have no window coverings yet.

We've managed to get carpets ordered and window blinds & shutters ordered. Still don't have a clear ETA on those, but it should be in a few weeks (we hope).

Our stove is expected to arrive this Friday (7/6), and we're hoping to get our water heater installed on the same day. It would just make it easier for us to to drive over to the new house on the same day to get these two things done.

We might purchase a refrigerator tomorrow. DH still has his mind set on Stainless Steel appliances. I've heard that keeping stainless steel clean is a pain, I will have to read up on that.

..
I'm currently in the process of cleaning & lining the kitchen cabinets and linen closet. The kitchen cabinets aren't anything fancy. I think the previous owners made it their own DIY project because the workmanship and materials are pretty bad. The wood is unfinished, looks like particle board, and it even smells like wood in a not so good way. Shelves are cut at different depths, nails poke out from odd places, etc. I'm thinking of using the cabinet you see above for cookware. It's about the only shelves which will support anything heavy. There are 4 shelves. Don't ask me why they put a wood board backing for the upper 2 shelf sections, but left it white/brown for the backing behind the lower 2 shelf sections. The top 2 shelves are fixed (glued? nailed?) in. That 3rd shelf is adjustable.



One kitchen cabinet smells fishy. Not raw fish fishy, thank goodness. It smells more like the dried fish snacks you find in Chinese markets (the previous owners were Chinese). I'm hoping a vinegar wash will clear it up, I'll find out the next time we go to the house (most likely tomorrow).

We have a more problematic kitchen cabinet, the one you see at the right end in the photo above. It's just one tall/narrow cabinet space, perfect for storing cookie sheets and stuff like that. But that cabinet reeks of garbage!!! I think this is where the previous owners kept their garbage can. We've tried to Lysol it several times and then let it air out, but I can still detect that garbage odor. Yuck! I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with this cabinet. Sigh...

.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Swiffer Mop Cover 2 after wash

My first Swiffer Mop cover was a bit narrow (see Mop Cover #1 here). So I attempted to make it wider; Mop Cover #2 looked pretty good (see Mop Cover #2 with modification details here). It fit better than Mop Cover #1. Well here's a photo of Mop Cover #2 after washing:



It shrunk a wee bit, but it still covers the surface of my Swiffer mop. :-)



And my mop looks good from the top too...

.