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Friday, May 30, 2008

The Power of 7

I can't believe Barbara and Georgi tagged me for 2 different Memes in the same post! Is that even legal? Oh boy, I better clear off some old Memes off my plate before I tackle these new ones. FIFO.


Surely I must win the prize for slowest person in the world to respond to Meme tags. Claudia tagged me for The Power of 7 back in Feb 2008. So I chipped away at my responses until I came up with seven things. It took me a while. It was tough! It's hard to think of something that I haven't blogged about before, and there really isn't much interesting stuff I can say about myself.

Then a few days ago, I noticed the "drafts" link in Blogger and clicked on it. Oh my, I had no idea there were so many old draft posts! And one of them was titled "7 Random Facts" from July 2007 which I started because Karin tagged be back in May 2007!!! So what I am doing is amalgamating my responses from that post into this one. This means there are more than seven items listed below. Hope that doesn't throw you off.


1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I have a hard time watching TV/DVD/movies without close captioning turned on.

I used to be able to watch stuff without CC, now I depend on it. I started turning on CC on my TV after Miss M was born, so that I could watch stuff on mute while holding her when she slept. I also started to turn on CC/subtitles when watching DVDs too (which really helps when you want to catch all the names while watching The Lord of the Rings), even English language movies. Now I find it difficult to follow programs/movies when there is no CC/subtitle option.

2. I prefer flipping through books/magazines backwards.

I mean, using my left hand to flip the pages from back cover towards front cover as you would do for a Chinese book (although I don't read Chinese). Now I don't mean reading English novels backwards, I still read those from front cover to back cover. But I'll flip through books like my knitting stitch dictionaries from back to front, it just seems easier to me. I also do the same with magazines, flipping backwards until I find an interesting article, and then read the article going forward of course.

3. I spend too much time planning out potential comfort stops on road trips.

It's almost anal. I make two lists, one for potential eateries and one for potential restroom stops, anywhere along the way between home and destination. It's rather time consuming when you're not familiar with the places along the way. Most of it is done by searching for big name/chain type stores/restaurants.

The restroom stops are more important to me since I have a micturition issue and suffer from the "small body, small bladder" problem. And I need to find a fairly decent restroom. That public restroom at that gas station (Beacon? Now Valero?) in the middle of nowhere on Hwy 1 somewhere between Capitola and Monterey does not qualify. Sorry, I can never remember the name of the gas station or what town it is in, but it is on the west side of the highway. The drive between San Francisco and Monterey used to be so painful until I discovered the mall at the 41st street exit of Capitola. Restrooms. Starbucks Coffee. And Marie Callender's, a good place to eat with Miss M. You never would have guessed the mall was there unless you were local because it's not right next to the highway and there are no signs advertising it.

4. I wore a robot costume for a video game photo with the developers of a Sega Genesis game.

In the early 90's, I worked for a small company (and I really mean small where the staff numbers varied between about 5 and 20 over the almost 5 years that I worked there) who had a contract with Electronic Arts to work on the Sega Genesis game B.O.B The Paranoid Android. They had a costume made, and the owner/developers wanted to do a photo with the B.O.B. costume. I can't recall what it was for, perhaps it was for the game insert. The costume was so small that I was the only person petite enough to wear it.

The company was two sided, one software side, one gaming side. After working for such a small company with it's financial vicissitudes, I have to say that I was very happy to move to a more stable medium size company after the company collapsed (especially after not being paid for the last few months of work at this small company, and other more sordid details; it's a long story and not appropriate for this blog).

5. I use the (chess piece) knight's move to choose eggs in my carton, especially with a carton of 18 or 24 eggs.

Nope, I can't go sequentially down a row or column. It makes the carton feel unbalanced when I pull it out of the fridge. The carton is more balanced when I randomly choose eggs out of it.

6. I rarely wear high heels.

I can remember the last time I wore heels. It was Sept 2005 for a friend's wedding. And before that it would have been my wedding reception in March 2003 (gosh, has it really been that long?). My wedding was actually in November 2004, it was a very small affair with immediate family and close friends. But the in-laws wanted a big "thing", so we had a Chinese wedding banquet (dinner). I think it was just all "show" for their friends, since 80% of the guests were theirs. DH & I didn't really know these people. It was quite stressful to plan this thing and I have to say weddings are much more fun as a guest. I cannot tell you what dishes were on the menu either because we seemed to spend most of the time roaming the floor greeting everyone, and in my case, changing outfits (which is a Chinese tradition at weddings).

Chinese dinner banquets can be fun for those who have never been to one. There are 8 or more dishes served family style. It is a great way to try different dishes. Dishes are often chosen for their good meaning. I've gone to so many of these banquets in the past that they all seem pretty much the same, despite slight variations in the dishes. Dishes you are likely to find at one of these dinners include some sort of cold appetizer plate (meats, jellyfish, etc), shark's fin soup, peking duck, lobster, fish, roast pig, chicken (or other bird), veggie dish with mushrooms and/or sea cucumber. For dessert, you may get some sort of bean-like soup, bun filled with sweet paste, as well as the wedding cake. Oh, I forgot rice. Of course there is rice, but it's better not stuff yourself with rice and save room for all the other food. ;-) It is not unusual to have a noodle dish at a (usually much older person's) birthday banquet; they symbolize long life.

So anyhow, back to foot apparel. I'm pretty much in casual shoes, usually Josef Seibel shoes. I put on a pair aeons ago and they were so comfy. I've worn several different styles from this shoe maker. Stick with what works is what I say. The only challenge is finding my size in stock (size 36). My daily shoe looks like this:

and on warmer days I might wear this:

7. I met my husband in college.

We were both taking a boring computer course, one of those introductory ones where they tried to teach you 4 languages in one quarter (we were on the shorter quarter system, not a semester system). I distinctly recall this course. Of the 4 languages they tried to teach us, they taught C during the last couple of weeks of the quarter. Well, that did not help me when I was also taking a Database course (boring!) which required programming with C. So I pretty much gave myself a crash course in C, and knew it pretty well by the time we got to C in that introductory language class.

Anyhow, we didn't actually meet first in class. He actually fingered me first. Doesn't that sound obscene? Well, it's not what you're thinking. When you finger someone (it's a UNIX command) it'll display what you have written in a .plan file which you keep in your home directory. Can't recall what was in my .plan file, but it must have been interesting enough for him to notice me. :-)

8. I absolutely must have a glass of water (or tea) at my bedside when I go to bed.

It's just not right if the water isn't there. When I wake up in the middle of the night and want a sip of water, I do not want to have to get out of bed to get it.

9. I don't eat fu gua, literally translated as "bitter melon".

Yuck. Although you'll often find little old ladies buying this stuff by the boatloads. I don't like brussels sprouts either, however I might eat it if Gerald Hirigoyen cooked it. (I have one of his cookbooks which he signed when I used to eat at Fringale, in a previous lifetime)

10. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ..... I used to write messages in morse code.

Yeah, I used to be a bit eccentric; I don't do this anymore.

11. I am unable to learn new languages.

I've attempted to learn several languages, I just don't get very far in them. I've taken about 12 years of English and still find articulating difficult, however it is slowly improving these days now that I am no longer spouting baby babble and actually getting to use simple sentences with Miss M. :-) I've had 3 years of French in high school, still can't speak fluently or comprehend someone speaking French. However I can probably manage reading text if I have several books/online resources at my disposal. I took 1 quarter of Italian in college, but don't remember any of it since I was so bogged down with a Computer Graphics course that really should have been 12 units (instead of 4, or was it 3? units) with the amount of time/work we put into it. And I don't even remember how many courses of Cantonese I took, but that doesn't count since it was way too easy for me (because my family speaks it). I thought about learning Russian during my freshman year in college, however nothing materialized. I've dabbled in Latin for a few months, Mandarin & Japanese for 10 minutes, and Irish for 5 seconds (when I attempted to send text pages to someone).

12. My college GPA ranged from a high of 3.75 to a low of 1.92.

I discovered this when I went through a lot of old paperwork in preparation for our house move. I stumbled upon some old college report cards. I didn't have a complete collection, so this range only comes from the ones I found.

Well there you have it. Are you bored out of your skull now?

If you'd like to play, please leave a comment with your blog url so I can visit and read your post. Besides, I love discovering new blogs. :-) Blog reading is improving on this end as I am learning to get more organized.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Down by the bay

Down by the bay,
Where the watermelon grow,
Back to my home, I dare not go,
For if I do, my mother will say,
"Did you ever see a fly wearing a tie?"
Down by the bay.

Miss M used to sing this song A LOT when we were in our Raffi music phase. I haven't hear it in a while though. She is currently in her Sesame Street music phase. This is all we ever hear in the car. If she's not singing the Sesame Street theme song, then she's singing Elmo's song (to the tune of Jingle Bells) with any improvised lyrics she can think up.

It was a nice change of scenery to spend a couple of days in Monterey and Carmel. The drive was a little slow due to holiday weekend traffic (which was expected) but we did make it to Monterey before the sun set and took a nice walk around Cannery Row. I've been here many times and usually don't take the obligatory touristy photos, but I did stop to take a few this time.

There are lots of touristy shops and restaurants along Cannery Row. I think that having lived in San Francisco for decades and having seen all the touristy stores there, this leaves me with very little desire to look at similar touristy stores anywhere else.

We don't see too many seagulls at home, so I took this opportunity to point them out to Miss M.

Ok, where did these buildings pop up from? I swear they weren't here two years ago. Some buildings have gotten a face lift. The green one is a hotel.

The room at the place we stayed was much more spacious than I expected. I should say rooms since it is a family suite where there was a king bed in one room and a sofabed in the sitting area. The best part was the DOOR between the two rooms, so that we could put Miss M to bed and still stay up for a little longer afterwards without having light or sound disturbing her. I knew there would be a refrigerator in the room. What I had not expected was also a separate sink area, microwave, and dining table. All this was in the sitting area side. Both sides had a fireplace and sliding doors to a balcony. It was very spacious and perfect for travel with a toddler.


We managed to head over to Carmel where we walked down the main strip (Ocean Ave). Then we headed up towards Knitting By The Sea. I can never remember exactly where it is, but I did eventually find it. This time the store was open. Miss M enjoyed meeting Foster, the dog who hung out in the shop.

I was hoping to find some yarn to use for my latest cable scarf but nothing jumped out at me. I'm having some difficulty finding the perfect yarn that is soft, works well for cables, and is thin enough so that the scarf won't end up being more than 12 inches wide. If I can't find a yarn that fits the pattern I charted up, I will have sacrifice 2 cable panels in order to obtain acceptable scarf width. Maybe that's for the best. Vicki told me she preferred the version with less cable panels more than the version I wanted to make. In any case, both charted versions are ready for posting. Now I just need to knit it up.

I did see some lovely yarns at the shop. Mmmm...cashmere! They have Filatura di Crosa Zara, which I like very much. I saw some soft soft soft alpaca/silk blend yarn (7 sts per inch) in the back that would have made a lovely scarf, except that they only had two colors, black and light pink. Not quite what I wanted.

I also checked to see whether they had a Nancy's Knit Knacks needle gauge, which Barbara recommended for needle sizes omitted from the Susan Bates needle gauge. I am still searching for one of these.

Monterey/Carmel trip continued in this post.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Lavender

I'm in Monterey, CA right now. After packing tons of stuff, I still managed to forget some things. I packed the AC adapter and the camera doohickey which allows me to charge the digital camera. Unfortunately I forgot the USB cable and am unable to download photos until I return home.

I'm not doing as much knitting as I had thought I would during this trip. :-( I did take my Mom's vest with me but haven't finished the Right Front section yet. I forgot to bring the Back Section and Left Front section, so I wouldn't be able to proceed further since the instructions say to seam the shoulders after finishing the Right Front section.

The weather is nice here. I get to hear seagulls outside our room, a refreshing change from the cacophonous crows in my neighborhood at home. Miss M is having a great time and behaving nicely. She's starting to say embarrassing things in public. We were having dinner at Schooner's (at the Monterey Plaza Hotel) where we sat next to another table with a younger baby. The woman turned to Miss M to ask her, "how old are you?" Miss M replied, "Three years old." After which the woman commented, "Oh, you're a big girl." To which Miss M stated, "I go poopoo in the potty!" Oh gosh, that was embarrassing. There's a little background you need to know about why Miss M said this. We're in the process of potty training and we tell her that "big girls" use the potty or toilet.

We stopped by Knitting By The Sea in Carmel, it's a nice little store. I don't think I will make it to Monarch Knitting in Pacific Grove during this trip.


I got this from Barbara. Purple is one of my favorite colors so I'd be happy with any of the results from this little quiz. If you look at my yarn stash, you would see that it is heavy in shades of purple. Of course this doesn't explain why I feel like I'm always knitting with green. Hmmm, how do you explain that?


You Are Lavender

You are a sweet person with a very soft personality.

People become easily entranced with you. They seem to glow around you.

You have a quiet energy that can keep you active late into the night.

Even if you aren't the life of the party, you definitely keep the party going.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Do you remember...

that blog scraper I mentioned a little while back who was copying entire blog posts -- my blog posts and other knitters' blog posts -- and posting it on his own blog as if it were his own? He's done it again today. On his front page I see copied blog posts from other knitters!!! Unfortunately he has still copied parts of my newer blog posts onto his website, however he was not able to copy my blog posts in their entirety which I believe is the result of the minor change I made in Blogger. One other thing I noticed is that there are Google Ads at the very bottom of his webpage. I suspect he is blog scraping merely to get people to go to his website and help him generate GA revenue. If you enter his website addy (without the "http://" part) in a search engine, you will see from the result that it appears he also tries to spam various forums with his website url. And get this, many of the forums appear to be non-knitting related! I thought that was amusing.

I have discovered a little more info about that site, however nothing of consequence.

A WhoIs query (from here and here) will give you some info about the person who registered the domain name. I suspect that some of this info is bogus. The address listed would lead you to believe he is in China, however the email address suffix is based in Russia. The phone number gives a country code of "906", which I do not believe to be a valid country code; take a look at this list of country calling codes on Wikipedia. WhoIs query tells you he registered his domain name from "ESTDomains, Inc.". The WhoIs query will also tell you who hosts the website. It returns an IP address, and says it is located in Moscow.

What next? I dunno. All I know is that I am tired after typing all this up.

Anyhow, thanks for listening to me ramble here. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend/holiday. I am still packing for our little road trip, but I think I'll go make a pot of tea first...


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Two Diagonal Scarves - Flora

This is Part 2 in a series on Two Diagonal Scarves - Miles and Flora.
The full series is Part 1 and Part 2.

Scroll down further for outlines on how to knit the Flora Scarf.

Flora Scarf

Pattern: Flora Scarf (pseudo pattern below)
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Blue Mist, 3 balls
Needles: 5 mm (US8)

This is Part 2 in my series of Diagonal Scarves. I actually picked out 4 diagonal patterns I wanted to knit, three knit/purl types and one cable pattern. However I managed to limit this to only two two. The Flora Scarf is the second diagonal scarf, based on the Steep Diagonal Rib from BW2. Like the Miles Scarf, it is easy mindless knitting. Flora is actually easier to knit than Miles because once you get a row started, you are merely doing K3 P3 ribbing. This scarf is completely reversible, and it is suitable for a man. It would be lovely knit up in a better quality yarn than the one I used.

See? I'm not limited to knitting cable scarves. I have a couple of other easy knit/purl type scarves too: Asherton Reversible Scarf; Winterbourne Scarf; Seeded Rib Reversible Scarf; Pythagorean Reversible Scarf.

I like this blue yarn much more than the mushroom colored yarn I used in the Miles Scarf. This blue one has the normal feel of Wool-Ease.


Flora Scarf, close up
Note: Pattern corrected on 9/18/2008.

© Designed by S.M. Kahn, April 2008
Smariek Knits -=<>=-


Lion Brand Wool-Ease (worsted weight yarn), about 400 to 500 yards (more if you want a longer scarf)

5.0 mm (US8)

Guage is not critical. Use a needle size appropriate for the yarn you are using. Thicker yarn & larger needles will give you a larger scarf. Thinner yarn & smaller needles will give you a smaller scarf.


K = Knit

P = Purl

Wrong side even numbered rows can be read as: Work stitches as they present themselves. Viz. knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.


Cast on 42 stitches.

Knit 4 rows.

Row 1: K3, * K3, P3 *, K3
Row 2: K3, * K3, P3 *, K3
Row 3: K5, * P3, K3 *, P3, K4
Row 4: K3, P1, * K3, P3 *, K3, P2, K3
Row 5: K4, * P3, K3 *, P3, K5
Row 6: K3, P2, * K3, P3 *, K3, P1, K3
Row 7: K3, * P3, K3 *, K3
Row 8: K3, * P3, K3 *, K3
Row 9: K3, P2, * K3, P3 *, K3, P1, K3
Row 10: K4, * P3, K3 *, P3, K5
Row 11: K3, P1, * K3, P3 *, K3, P2, K3
Row 12: K5, * P3, K3 *, P3, K4

Repeat rows 1 to 12 for pattern.

Knit 4 rows.

Bind off. Weave in ends.

Stitches used in this scarf include:
Garter Stitch, BW 1 pg 10
Steep Diagonal Rib, BW2 pg 5

This is Part 2 in a series on Two Diagonal Scarves - Miles and Flora.
The full series is Part 1 and Part 2.


Friday, May 23, 2008

An easy contest

Looking for a contest? Check out this blog for a super easy one. All you have to do is leave a comment about what you like about summer. Can't get easier than that, can it?

Since we moved to our new house in the fall, this is our very first summer in our new city and it is a hot one! We recently had a little heat wave that brought temps into the 90s. That was way too hot for me, a native San Franciscan who is used to cooler, foggy, overcast weather.

What I DO like about summer:

-- Having air conditioning which can be turned on at night (because we can't sleep with any windows open due to burglaries in our city)

-- More daylight in the evenings. I hate when it gets dark so early winter.

-- An excuse to enjoy more ice cream or stop by Jamba Juice.


Off my box


You may think I'm off my box when you see what I picked up today, especially after I had picked up six almost 3 weeks ago after my search for safe replacements. Did I really need to pick up 9 more??? As you can see, I really do like these. So many sizes. So many colors. And PBA-free too! You can never have too many, right?

I had little choice about getting the one pictured above as Miss M would not let go of it in the store. It is Miss M's favorite color (well, mine too) and the perfect small size for her (500 mL). This was also the last purple one on the shelf. They had no purples ones the last time I went to the store (REI).

I noticed that they had some new Nalgenes today, in the same shape/style as my old polycarbonate Nalgenes. The sticker on these new bottles state that they are BPA-free. I picked up 4 of these.

Oh, I forgot to mention this. All the Camelbak water bottles are 30% off at REI. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! They were completely out of the 1 litre bottles when I got there. Another shopper was holding the last 4, but he was really nice and let me have one of them. It was perfect because my goal for that trip was to buy DH a blue bottle to replace the polycarb bottle he kept in his tennis bag.

Ok, I promise not to talk about water bottles ... for another 3 weeks. ;-)


I need to start making a packing list for my trip to Monterey. I usually do this well in advance, I just haven't been focused enough to do it this time. Georgi suggested I take my Mom's vest (last seen here and here) with me, so I hope to get some of that done during the trip. I still haven't decided on a book yet.

I'm looking forward to seeing V tomorrow. Besides getting more details on her recent trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong and general catching up, we also plan to shop for fabric to line the 3 cable bags we have been working on.

Speaking of bags, I discovered the Everlasting Bagstopper from Allison, and it looks like a possibility for all this cotton yarn I picked up. Rachel had suggested using the cotton for bags. I also loved her suggestion on how to get Miss M to drink more water, and I still have to try Cactusneedles' reccomendation.

I kinda wish I had my iPod Touch, DH's birthday gift to me which has not arrived yet. It would have been a neat thing to have on the trip. Yes, I wanted to figure out where all the wi-fi hotspots were in Monterey. Hmm... why is it that many of the gifts DH gets me tend to fall under the consumer electronics category?

Catmum informs me that there is a yarn shop in Pacific Grove called Monarch Knitting. I'm not sure I'll be able to swing by there during this trip, it is more likely for me to stop by Knitting By The Sea in Carmel. We'll see.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Which WIP to take?

Yay, we're going on a little road trip to Monterey, CA for a couple of days. I am so looking forward to this little trip, even though it is only 85 miles (136 km) away. I'd like to drop by Knitting By The Sea in Carmel, CA. It was closed (on Sunday) when I walked by the store the last time I was in Carmel (Nov 2007). Although if I were being realistic, it probably would not have a very good experience browsing with DH & Miss M in tow. And anything I may pick up would probably not hide well in my bag. Yes, DH is still "in training".

Anyhow, I need to figure out which WIP to take with me on my little trip. Which do you think I should bring with me?

1. Mom's Vest
I've been working on this since Nov 2007! I have already completed the Back section and the Left Front section (seen here). I'm in the middle of the Right Front section (progress seen here).

2. MIL's Scarf
I'm a little more than halfway done, you can see it here. I made great progress with the first half, then momentum fizzled.

3. Cable Scarf
You've seen a small section of this scarf before where I made a glaring mistake and ended up frogging the whole thing. I have cast on again and managed to knit a few rows.

4. Baby Blanket
I started this in March thinking it would make a nice gift for Shree. Unfortunately, she has already had her baby, so I missed yet another baby deadline. My track record for baby blankets is not very good. However my plan is to complete this one and hope someone will have a baby after the blanket is finished. Sorry, I can't find a photo of it, I don't think I have ever blogged about it.
I can't bring them all due to limited space in the car. It's very odd. The amount of stuff packed is inversely proportional to the person's size. Miss M, being the smallest person, seems to have the most stuff volume-wize. It has been 2 years since our last road trip with Miss M. I think the baggage will be similar, however this time we will not need to bring the Pack-n-Play. We think we found a place to stay where the room arrangement will be efficacious to Miss M falling asleep near her usual bedtime (viz. 8 PM) while allowing DH & I to stay up a little longer with the lights on. The place is supposed to have a separate sitting area containing a sofa bed and a DOOR between it and our bedroom. I'll let you know how it turns out after we return.


I also need to choose a book to bring with me on this trip. I recently finished reading Mourn Not Your Dead by Deborah Crombie. This was my first book by this author and I will definitely check out some of her other mysteries. Since I am currently in between books, I need to choose a new book to read and have a few at the top of my "to read" list. Which would you suggest? Or would you recommend something else?

1. 13 Steps Down by Ruth Rendell.
2. A Suitable Vengeance by Elizabeth George.
3. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
3. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson.
4. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.
5. Through a Glass, Darkly by Donna Leon.
I can't decide which one to bring.

I've already picked up EVO magazine for DH to read; it's a UK based car magazine. I was trying to find Car magazine, another UK based periodical. Unfortunately all the copies I managed to find at the bookstore looked like they went through someone's Cuisinart. No pristine copies to be found, so I passed.

I picked up a Sesame Street Abby puzzle book to keep Miss M entertained while we are in Monterey. I couldn't find a photo of the book, but it is similar to the Elmo book you see above (which Miss M already has and absolutely loves it). These books have five 12-piece puzzles. I love how the backing on each puzzle set is a different color so you can easily sort them.


Wow, I can't believe I actually won a contest! I won second place in Alana's contest. She is giving away knitting books and yarn. The best part about second place is not having to choose the prize. I must say that whichever book I receive will be the first non-stitch-dictionary addition to my knitting library, of which I have eight. Isn't it awful that I have been knitting for just over 3 years and don't have any "real" knitting books?


American Idol is coming to an end. I just wasn't too impressed with tonight's show. I was expecting to hear 6 songs that would wow me, and I can't say they did. I think David Cook will win. DH thinks it'll be David Archuleta. We'll find out tomorrow night...


My goal is to determine the differences between (California) prop 98 and 99 before we leave for Monterey. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


What has changed? Just for shishabobs and giggles, I decided to give this a try again and the results are decidedly antithetical to last month's results. I believe it must be a fluke.

blog readability test


An apology

I wanted to apologize to some of my readers, particularly my feed readers, as well as pass on some info about duplicity in the blogging world.

You may have noticed a change in the way you are receiving the blog feeds. I am trying out the "short" feeds to see whether it will prevent blog scraping which I have recently experienced. I used to have my feeds set to "full", which is how I would like them to be, but I am not too happy when someone else takes my entire blog posting -- entire text & photos -- and then posts it on their own blog as if it were their own.

There is one such site which has done this and I thought you should be aware of this site especially if you are a knitter with a knitting blog. knittingclub dot org (no "www" in front of that) takes posts from other people's knitting blogs and posts it on their site. Yes! People do this!!! Can you believe that? Doesn't it make you mad? I am not happy about this at all. Unfortunately, there is no contact info on the site and it does not allow you to leave a comment.

(If you look at that site right now, you will see that two of my blog posts is right there on the front page, showing this post and this post.)

So for the time being, I have set my blog feeds to "short" in the hopes that it will minimize further blog scraping. I am truly sorry for having to do this and I understand how it may diminish the blog reading experience through blog readers.

I suspect that many of the "Big" bloggers set their feeds to "short" partly for the same reason (for example, Yarn Harlot and Grumperina).


Monday, May 19, 2008

Help Grace

Check out Grace's blog, she needs some help choosing a shawl as a gift, and there is a chance for you to win yarn! Then take a look around her blog, she is famous for her shawls but has gazillions of other beautifully knitted projects.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Testing - Ignore This Post

Please ignore this post. I'm just testing something in Blogger.

2000 Tobin James Chateau Le Cacheflo Paso Robles
2000 Caparone Aglianico Paso Robles
1999 Caparone Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard
2000 Peachy Canyon Zinfandel Incredible Red Bin 111
1999 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Grand Estates
1999 Morro Bay Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast
1999 Midnight Cellars & Vineyard Zinfandel Paso Robles
1998 Fife Vineyards Max Cuvee Napa Valley
1999 Cline Cellars Zinfandel California
1999 DeLoach Zinfandel California
1999 Gallo of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County
2000 Columbia Crest Chardonnay Columbia Valley
Montpellier Syrah California 2000
Borsao Borja 2000
Terre Rouge Tete-a-Tete 1999
Rosemount Grenache-Shiraz 2000
1999/2000 Dom de Montpezat Prestige
2000 Louis Bernard CdR
2000 Hecula
2001 Big House Red
2001 Isabel SB
2000 Feraud-Brunel Rasteau
1998 Guigal CdR
Bonny Doon's Big House Red
1995 Taurino Notarpanaro
Taurino Salice Salento
2000 Bogle Petite Sirah
Guigal Cotes du Rhone
Louis Jadot Beaujeaulais Villages
Parducci Petit Sirah
2000 le Clos du Caillou Bouquet des Garrigues CdR
1999 Altano Douro (Portugal)
2000 Dom. du Vieux Chene CdR
2001 Vina Alarba
2001 Borsao
1999 Snoqualmie Syrah
2001 Anselmi San Lorenzo (Soave)
2000 Texier CdR Villages Chusclan
1999 Chapoutier Belleruche CdR
1995 Ch Pierre-Bise Anjou Gamay
1997 Gallo of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma
1999 Pepperwood Grove Syrah
1999 Villa Lanata Dolcetto d'Alba
1999 Lamborghini Umbria Trescone
2000 Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica Tarragona Red Wine
1999 Domaines Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve
1999 Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico
2000 Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone-Villages
Chianti Classico Castello di Ama ’00 - Castello di Ama
Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio ’00 - Barone Ricasoli
Chianti Classico Doccio a‚ Matteo Ris. ’00 - Caparsa
Chianti Classico Vigna Il Poggiale Ris. ’00 - Castellare di Castellina
Chianti Classico Rancia Ris. ’00 - Fattoria di Felsina
Chianti Classico Castello di Fonterutoli ’00 - Castello di Fonterutoli
Chianti Rufina Montesodi ’01 - Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi
Chianti Classico Grosso Sanese ’01 - Podere Il Palazzino
Chianti Classico Cellole Ris. ’00 - San Fabiano Calcinaia
Chianti Classico Poggio Rosso Ris. ’00 - San Felice
Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro ’00 - Tenimenti Ruffino
Nobile di Montepulciano Antica Chiusina ’00 - Fattoria del Cerro
Nobile di Montepulciano Asinone ’00 - Poliziano
Franciacorta Gran Cuvée Brut ’99 - Bellavista
Franciacorta Cuvée Annamaria Clementi Brut ’96 - Ca’ del Bosco
Franciacorta Satén ’99 - Ferghettina
Franciacorta Cabochon Brut ’99 - Monte Rossa
Franciacorta Comarì del Salem Extra Brut ’98 - Uberti
Amarone della Valpolicella Cl. Vigneto Monte Ca’ Bianca ’99 - Lorenzo Begali
Amarone della Valpolicella Cl. Terre di Cariano ’99 - Cecilia Beretta
Amarone della Valpolicella Cl. Caterina Zardini ’99 - Giuseppe Campagnola
Amarone della Valpolicella ’98 - Corte Sant’Alda
Amarone della Valpolicella Vigneto di Monte Lodoletta ’98 - Romano Dal Forno
Amarone della Valpolicella Roccolo Grassi ’99 - Roccolo Grassi
Amarone della Valpolicella Campo dei Gigli ’98 - Tenuta Sant’Antonio
Amarone della Valpolicella Cl. Casa dei Bepi ’98 - Viviani
Amarone della Valpolicella Cl. Sergio Zenato Ris. ’98 - Zenato
Friuli Isonzo Bianco Arbis Blanc ’02 - Borgo San Daniele
Friuli Isonzo Pinot Grigio Gris ’01 - Lis Neris Pecorari
Friuli Isonzo Merlot ’01 - Ronco del Gelso
Friuli Isonzo Sauvignon Piere ’01 - Vie di Romans

Check out this contest

I just discovered that Alana is having a Blogiversary Contest, go check it out. Quick! The contest closes soon.


Two Diagonal Scarves - Miles

This is Part 1 in a series on Two Diagonal Scarves - Miles and Flora.
The full series is Part 1 and Part 2.

Scroll down further for outlines on how to knit the Miles Scarf.

Miles Scarf (Side A on left; Side B on right)
Pattern: Miles Scarf (pseudo pattern below)
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease, mushroom color, 2 balls
Needles: 5 mm (US8)

I finished this scarf two weeks ago and it has taken me this long to actually sit down and blog about it. I've also finished the Flora Scarf too, and will blog about it soon.

I needed a break from cable knitting because I suspect it has something to do with the wrist pain I've been experiencing. I thought it was time to do an easy, almost mindless knitting, knit purl type scarf. I wanted something with a diagonal theme to it and found several while browsing through my stitch dictionaries. I settled on this one for Miles, pattern # 61 from NKSL, which looked interesting, offering a bit of texture yet plain enough to be a "manly" scarf. It's perfect for the guy who doesn't want anything too fussy. Although it is not reversible, I find the back side not entirely unattractive. Yes, I know I could choose to do a knit purl pattern that runs diagonally and is completely reversible, but where is the fun in that? It's odd, I actually like the back side a little more than the front side. Here are photos of both sides. Side A is the one with the purple watermark. Side B is the one with the red watermark. Which side do you prefer? Can you tell which side is the "right" side and which is the "wrong" side?

Miles Scarf (Side A)

Miles Scarf (Side B)

As you can see, I am not above using acrylic/wool blend yarns that you can find at places like Jo-Ann or Michael's. I actually like acrylic/wool blends like Lion Brand Wool-Ease and Plymouth Encore. However I wasn't sure about this mushroom color Wool-Ease because it felt more scratchy than any other Wool-Ease I had used in the past. I think it might have something to do with the flecks of black that runs through the yarn. Also, I noticed that the label says it is 86% acrylic / 10% wool /4% rayon. I could have sworn that all the other Wool-Ease I used in the past were 80% acrylic / 20% wool. I'd take a guess that the black flecks make up the 4% rayon in the yarn. I wonder if I would like this mushroom color more if the yarn were softer.

See? I'm not limited to knitting cable scarves. I have a couple of other easy knit/purl type scarves too: Asherton Reversible Scarf; Winterbourne Scarf; Seeded Rib Reversible Scarf; Pythagorean Reversible Scarf.

© Designed by S.M. Kahn, April 2008
Smariek Knits -=<>=-


Lion Brand Wool-Ease (worsted weight yarn), about 400 to 500 yards (more if you want a longer scarf)

5.0 mm (US8)

Guage is not critical. Use a needle size appropriate for the yarn you are using. Thicker yarn & larger needles will give you a larger scarf. Thinner yarn & smaller needles will give you a smaller scarf.


K = Knit

P = Purl

Wrong side even numbered rows can be read as: Work stitches as they present themselves. Viz. knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.


Cast on 42 stitches (or 33 stitches for narrower scarf, or 51 stitches for wider scarf).

Knit 4 rows.

Row 1: K3, * K1, P1, K3, P4 *, K3
Row 2: K3, * K4, P3, K1, P1 *, K3
Row 3: K3, * P1, K1, P1, K3, P3 *, K3
Row 4: K3, * K3, P3, K1, P1, k1 *, K3
Row 5: K3, * P2, K1, P1, K3, P2 *, K3
Row 6: K3, * K2, P3, K1, P1, K2 *, K3
Row 7: K3, * P3, K1, P1, K3, P1 *, K3
Row 8: K3, * K1, P3, K1, P1, K3 *, K3
Row 9: K3, * P4, K1, P1, K3 *, K3
Row 10: K3, * P3, K1, P1, K4 *, K3
Row 11: K3, * K1, P4, K1, P1, K2 *, K3
Row 12: K3, * P2, K1, P1, K4, P1 *, K3
Row 13: K3, * K2, P4, K1, P1, K1 *, K3
Row 14: K3, * P1, K1, P1, K4, P2 *, K3
Row 15: K3, * K3, P4, K1, P1 *, K3
Row 16: K3, * K1, P1, K4, P3 *, K3
Row 17: K3, * P1, K3, P4, K1 *, K3
Row 18: K3, * P1, K4, P3, K1 *, K3

Repeat rows 1 to 18 for pattern.

Knit 4 rows.

Bind off. Weave in ends.

Stitches used in this scarf include:
Garter Stitch, BW 1 pg 10
Pattern # 61, NKSL pg 42

This is Part 1 in a series on Two Diagonal Scarves - Miles and Flora.
The full series is Part 1 and Part 2.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Sugar and Cream


Lily Sugar & Cream yarn, Super Size 4 oz balls.

Does this happen to you? You walk into a store with the intention of buying A, but end up walking out with a bunch of B? Well this is what happened to me recently. I somehow ended up with a few balls of kitchen cotton yarn I really did not need. I mean, I have about 100 (2 oz) balls worth of kitchen cotton yarn (Lily Sugar & Cream, Elmore-Pisgah Peaches & Creme) which I bought years ago and am still slowly working through these. But I was weak and couldn't pass up these Super Size 4 oz. balls of yarn at 97 cents each. 97 cents!!! Would you be able to?

There are 6 balls of blue (Hot Blue color, I think), 4 different dye lots. If I look carefully I can almost discern the shade difference between lot numbers. I could have come away with 7 balls, but decided it was not right to do so, so I left one lonely ball of blue on the shelf. I mean, it would have been like taking the last cookie! Couldn't do it. I think the pink is called Hot Pink.

So now I have more Sugar & Cream, and nowhere to put it. The bag is sitting on top of a box in my closet. I have no more box space for yarn. (I even have some yarn tucked on a shelf on a small table which happens to be in the dining room right now (what do you call that piece of furniture that would usually go next to the sofa?). Nobody would really notice it for now, since the room isn't really being used for its intended purpose.

Anyhow, don't be too surprised if you see a lot of blue wash cloths in the future ... ;-)


DH is funny. I'm lounging on the sofa trying to work on this 7 things meme which Claudia tagged me for aeons ago. These memes are difficult for me because there isn't much interesting going on in my life. As a stay at home mom with a 3 yr old, I could spend hours boring you with how we passed our day. Anyhow, back to what I meant to talk about. DH walks up to me, points to all the bags sitting on the back of our sofa, and asks what is the deal with all the bags and whether I need real bags. The bags were all my knitting WIPs, which each reside in their own little bag, some paper, some more sturdy canvas/fabric type bags. I currently have 7 bags perched up there on the sofa and leaning against the back wall. He wasn't just limiting this question to the bags in sight. He was also referring to the other bags that reside elsewhere in the house. No, I won't tell you how many there are. It's bad enough that I am admitting to 7 WIP bags.

I should explain that many of my bags are just the small shopping bags you get in stores. Think small Bath & Body Works bag or small Macy's bag (well, back when they did give out paper shopping bags), where the handle loops stick up. I love that they're the perfect size for small projects, and they're easy to pick up since the handles are up (as opposed to flopped over). When my WIPs aren't in these types of paper bags, I have other little bags/totes in various sizes too, but nothing I'd call the perfect all-purpose size bag. I guess I should mention one more reason I like these little paper bags. I can leave them in the car, and with their wide opening, passersby can see that they merely contain knitting and hopefully won't be tempted to break into my car for that. I'm afraid that a pretty or more expensive looknig bag would attract more attention and tempt more people to break into my car.

So DH hints that perhaps I should get some "real" bags, meaning replacing the paper bags with more permanent bags. Now don't get all excited here, I'm pretty sure he didn't mean it as a green light for tote bag shopping. I think it was more his bewilderment than anything else. Perhaps I should quietly move a few of these bags off the sofa and have one or two hanging out in the living room...

It's a good thing he hasn't noticed that I sometimes stuff 2 projects into one bag. I really have more WIPs than number of visible bags in the house.


It's way too hot to knit anything today (or yesterday for that matter). It's 98ºF (37ºC) outside. Thank goodness it's around 75ºF (24ºC) inside the house. Having lived in San Francisco for decades, I am really not accustomed to this much heat! Despite the relatively cooler temperature indoors, I still have no desire to cover myself with wool regardless of how small it may be.

The challenge on these hot days is getting Miss M to take in more liquids. We didn't do too well yesterday. Today I introduced ice cubes to her and let her put them in the new water bottle (the pink one with straw) we got last week. I filled the bottle to the brim with water before hand, so I told her she needed to drink some water to make room for the ice cubes. I helped her with that this morning and we managed to make enough space for her to drop 8 ice cubes into the bottle! I tried this trick again after lunch today, this time she drank the water on her own (without my help), and managed to drop in 4 ice cubes. I don't know how long this trick will last. The newness of anything wears off pretty quickly when it comes to toddlers. I'm just glad she hasn't yet figured out that she can merely pour the contents of the water bottle to make space for ice cubes!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Knitting Standstill, Done In By Cables


Knitting has come to a standstill as I'm faced with the blunder I made about 20 rows back. See that elongated "C" curve in the upper half of the photo? Well there should be a cable crossing similar to the one you see in the lower half of the photo. I can't believe I didn't catch the mistake sooner. Now I am faced with trying to unravel this section and hope I can work all the cable crossings correctly as I go up, or tediously tink back over 1350 stitches to correct my mistake. I should add that I'm knitting this on 3.25 mm (US3) needles and it is difficult to see well with this dark green yarn.

What would you do in this situation?

I tinked back 2 rows and was completely done in. I frogged the entire piece.

Now I need to work up to casting on again. I'm not sure if I'll actually complete this. I like the pattern but don't like it in this sport weight yarn, however the width too wide if I use the DK weight yarn I really want for this project. It can be challenging to find a good marriage between yarn and pattern, especially when one is making an effort to shop the (very modest sized) stash.


We're expecting a little heat wave tomorrow and the next day. I may even get to turn on the air conditioner. It feels so strange to have air conditioning. We never had it in San Francisco. Didn't need it there. If it gets unbearable, I may treat Miss M to some Jamba Juice...

I find it difficult to knit with wool on such hot days. Who wants wool draped over one's lap when it's 75ºF (24ºC) and up?

ETA: It's expected to be 92ºF (33ºC) and 99ºF (37ºC)respectively on Tues & Wed, in Sunnyvale, CA.


I'm a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Four Things Meme

Four jobs I've had:
1. Sales person at a department store (which no longer exists).
2. Support staff & factotum at a software company (which no longer exists).
3. IT staff at an investment banking firm (which no longer exists ... do you see a trend?).
4. Network/System Administrator at an accounting firm (one of the Big Four firms, so it still exists).

Four movies I've watched more than once:
1. Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth / Jennifer Ehle)
2. Dogma (Matt Damon / Ben Affleck)
3. Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branaugh / Emma Thompson)
4. Le Comte de Monte Cristo (Gérard Depardieu)

Four places where I have lived:
1. San Francisco, CA
2. Davis, CA
3. Sunnyvale, CA
4. Well, that's it...

Four TV shows I watch:
1. Doctor Who
2. Battlestar Gallactica
3. CSI
4. American Idol (guilty pleasure of mine)

Four places I've visited:
1. Nashua, New Hampshire (which had been named the Best Place to Live in the US in 1987 and 1997)
2. Hong Kong (before 1997)
3. Paris (France)
4. Vancouver (Canada)

Four favorite foods:
1. Sashimi (and Nigiri)
2. Chocolate
3. Rib Eye Steak
4. Dim Sum

Four sites I (try to) visit (almost) daily (or weekly):
1. Gmail (email)
2. Elann (chat site and shopping)
3. SF Gate (local news)
4. Pixels from the Orient (following my friend's vacation in China/HK)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. On the sofa, knitting.
2. Big Island, Hawaii (Kauai comes in second. Oh heck, I'd be happy anywhere in HI, lol ... except for that black sand beach I went to that was overrun by ginormous healthy ants)
3. Paris, France
4. Healdsburg, CA (Grape Leaf Inn B&B and wine tasting in Sonoma)

Four things I'm looking forward to this year:
1. Using my $50 Elann Credit (what to get?).
2. A mini-vacation with Miss M (Monterey & Carmel, CA ... yes, it's already set in stone!).
3. A mini-vacation without Miss M (still trying to work out the details).
4. Putting up our Christmas tree.

Four people I'm (not) tagging:

If you want to play, please leave a comment with your blog url so I can visit and see your post. :-)


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This is insane


Fuel price on 5 May 2008 at San Antonio & Charleston, Mountain View, CA
$3.99/gal unleaded; $4.25/gal super unleaded

Fuel price on 5 May 2008 at Fair Oaks & Old San Francisco Rd, Sunnyvale, CA
$3.99/gal unleaded; $4.23/gal super unleaded

This is insane. I bet regular unleaded has already passed 4 bucks in San Francisco. I'm guessing that the Chevron(?) at 19th Avenue & Junipero Serra in San Francisco, which is usually higher priced compared to other stations, has passed the $4 mark a long time ago. (I used to drive past that station often and used to note that they were a little higher priced).


I've been playing around with Microsoft Sync Toy, a free tool that can help you backup your files to another location. You can specify 5 different methods for backing up or synchronizing your data. I did not have any fancy method for backing up data in the past, I merely manually copied folders (only 4, so not such a big deal... just don't ask how wide and deep those folders are) to an external drive. So far I've only used Sync Toy once and it seems to work OK. I won't really get a good feel for it until the next time I back up. I do like how they've made the interface relatively easy for setting up source destination and target destination.


I had an appointment with a hand doctor (orthopedic surgeon) about the hard lump at the base the ring finger on my right hand. It turned out to be a ganglion cyst. He said I had three options: wait and see if it goes away on its own; aspirate it; surgery. Surgery seemed like a last resort solution. Aspiration did not appeal to me since I did not like needles. So I was leaning towards the wait and see. However Dr. S noted that the cyst must have bothered me quite a bit for me to land on his doorstep. So I agreed to being briefly tortured by the suction syringe. Like (most) blood draws, I just could not look during this procedure. And as brief as it was, these things always feel sempiternal. The lump is much smaller now and my hand is just a little sore. Most importantly, it has not affected my ability to knit. :-)


I've been thinking about my drinking water lately after the buzz about bisphenol A (BPA) from water bottles leaching into water and decided that I needed to replace my old Nalgene polycarbonate water bottles with something safer. I'm also wondering what Miss M's sippy cups are constructed from. I love my Nalgene bottles. I have used them for years and think they are great. Now I need to try to find an alternate use for them.

My old Nalgene bottles, made of polycarbonate.

Here is a Consumer Reports Article for some more info:

Here's the gist of it:

-- Bottles marked #3, #6, #7, and PC could be unsafe.

-- Bottles which are safe include: #1 PETE; #2 HPDE; #4 LDPE, #5 PP. #1 bottles tend to be single use water/soda type bottles. Some #7 bottles are BPA-free, made with polyethersulfone (PES), and won't have the "PC" marking.

-- BPA-free plastic alternatives include: polyethelene; stainless steel; aluminum with BPA-free liners.

So off I went to research my water bottle alternatives. I did not want one of those soft plastic bottles that made water taste and smell like plastic. Yuck.

Sigg bottles, made of aluminum with a liner inside, seemed like a good light weight alternative and they came in lots of different colors and designs. However I was concerned about the integrity of the liner over time.

Klean Kanteen makes stainless steel bottles. I loved the idea. They are a bit heavier, however I was surprised to find the bottles lighter than I expected when I picked one up (although I might think differently after filling a 40 oz bottle with water). The only drawback to the Sigg and Klean Kanteen bottles are the price. How much did I want to spend on water bottles?

Nalgene now offers BPA-free bottles, however I was only able to find one, the OTG. I loved how the bottle felt in my hand. I nixed it from my list due to the lid construction. The carry loop is on the flip-up lid. I could just see this getting loose over time and then not sealing properly. A bottle is pretty useless when it is not watertight.

Camelbak makes a Better Bottle and a Better Bottle with Classic Cap, both in 500 mL, 750 mL, and 1000 mL sizes. The Classic Cap is just a screw on lid; there's a loop for you to hold it or clip it onto something using a carabiner. The Better Bottle has a spout that folds up for drinking and folds down when not in use (thereby keeping it cleaner). It's great! This bottle does not leak. Turn it upside-down, nothing drips out, even with the spout up. What's the trick? Well, you have to bite down on the valve (spout) to sip water. There's a straw inside, so you can sip water from it while holding it upright. If that feels weird to you, you can remove the straw insert and then turn the bottle upside-down to drink from it. Ok, cleaning this thing does take a little more effort than a regular screw-on top, but it doesn't bother me too much since I'm already used to cleaning all the extra parts (valves, straws) from Miss M's various sippy/straw cups. The Camelbak bottles are dishwasher safe in the top rack. I'm not sure how one would get the larger bottle in the top rack but it's no a big deal for me since I wash my water bottles by hand.

Camelbak Better Bottle and Camelbak Better Bottle with Classic Lid.

I picked up 6 bottles to try out, 2 in each size. The two 1 L bottles (gray and blue, back left) have the flip-up spout. The two 750 mL bottles (orange and pink, back right) have regular caps. The two bottles in front (pink and green) are 500 mL (16 oz) and fit great in my car cup holder; one has the flip-up spout and the other has a regular cap. I made a point to get the 500 mL flip-up spout so Miss M could drink from it (in the car) without spilling. She figured out the bite & sip technique pretty quickly.

Here's a sticker on the bottle:

Sticker on Camelbak Better Bottle.

Of course there will be times when I won't want to hold a water bottle or when I don't have room in my bag for a water bottle, so I will use a biner to clip it onto my bag. I actually have a load bearing carabiner (Trango Superfly), although any "toy" carabiner would also work great for a water bottle. However, using a biner with a screwlock would be overkill, unless you are extremely attached to your water bottle and it would be the end of the world if you ever lose it.

Trango Superfly Straight Gate Carabiner.


Oh, I did finish a scarf, but I haven't had time to blog about it. So here are some photos, I'll tell you more about it later.

Miles Scarf, Side A on left, Side B on right.

Miles Scarf, Side A.

Miles Scarf, Side B.
All I have to say is that I like the pattern, but hate the color of this yarn.

Ok, time for bed. I have an early morning tomorrow. :-( And yes, I do realize it is after midnight. So much for knitting tonight...