Monday, June 25, 2007

Better 6 months late than never!

Finally! I finished the socks I was making for Taz! Sure, they were intended to be a Christmas gift. But then somehow they became a Valentine's Day present, but that didn't quite happen either. Then I was trying for a First Anniversary gift, but the day came and went. His birthday, I thought, surely they'll be done by then! Wrong again. They are now a slightly belated Summer Solstice present, it seems. Even though it's hot and humid, Taz was happy to model them for me:

Nice and simple, just his style. Knit on US size 1's, using Dale Baby Ull (superwash wool). I used the Priscilla Gibson-Roberts short-row toe and heel, and worked them toe-up. I also did a grafted bind-off, which is the stretchiest bind off I've found so far for 2x2 ribbing.

I was pretty sick of the metal needles and the charcoal grey yarn by the end, but I'm happy with them, and most importantly, he's happy. Which makes me happy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Busy busy car car

That's basically been the monologue in my head this week. With bits of "Hindi Hindi" and "free time, what's that?" thrown in.

A typical day: Wake up, eat, shower, bike 12 miles to work, workworkwork, bike 3 miles to Hindi class, act like a sponge for 3 hours, navigate home via metro and bus with bike in tow, feed cats, call Taz, fall into bed and sleep upon contact with the pillow. So that's the "busy busy" part.

The "car car" part is because our dear little '97 Honda Civic has finally reached the point where repairing her transmission will cost way more than we could sell her for. So for the past couple weekends, Taz and I have been doing a lot of car shopping (yay for test drives! boo for clueless salespeople!). We have narrowed it down to the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius. I think we are leaning toward the Prius for a number of reasons (mileage, cargo space, leg room, available extras), but I'd love to get some feedback from all of you, if you have personal experience with hybrids. What hybrid do you have? What do you love and hate about it? What made you choose the one you did? Would you choose the same one if you could do it again? With luck, we'll be able to figure out the money part and make a decision within the next week or two.

In knitting news (I know, it's been a while, hasn't it?) I am now officially within two rounds of being ready to bind off Taz's second sock. Nice dark wool socks, just in time for the hottest part of the summer. Do I have good timing or what?

p.s. Sorry for the dearth of pictures lately. There are pictures, I swear. They're even on my computer. At some point they will actually make it onto the blog.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ben and Ivy on the Summer '07 Knitty

Opinions are like assh.... well, let's just say, everyone's got one. Even my darling furry knitting companions (whose hairs are surely knit into everything I produce). When they saw the Summer '07 issue of Knitty, they had quite a lot to say:

Ivy and Ben

Hip in Hemp
Ivy says: This would be good if someone made it and left it on the couch for me to knead and nap on. Which is probably what would happen, since it wouldn't get worn much. Please make this one! I'm getting bored of the blue fleece blanket.
Ben says: Bright colors! Squiggly lines! Almost as cool as that new toy you got me. If you make this, can I kill it?

Ivy says: Oh, this would be great if you were a cat, because then you wouldn't have to worry about bust support, and the back would be open so people could scratch you and pet you all day long!
Ben says: Yeah! And then I could come and chew the ribbons off and then you'd be naked!

Ivy says: Now this is a garment made for a cat--oh, wait, why is she wearing it backwards?
Ben says: I like the drapey part in the front. A kitten could curl up there and have like a little hammock!

Ivy says: I want to lick this!
Ben says: It's good they put in the pointy-down part. That way she won't forget to look down and feed the cats.

Tangerine twist
Ivy says: I wonder if this smells like that lotion of yours that I like? If it does, I would lick this one too.
Ben says: It's got orange, like me! I love it!

Ivy says: Looks like her cat got involved in the design process. I like it.
Ben says: Yeah, nothing like an oddly placed hole to make something pretty. I do it to all our paper products.

'vog on
Ivy says: I'm more interested in the shoes here. They look like very nice ones to shove your head into.
Ben says: These would make nice socks for Ivy to carry around the house in her mouth.

Ivy says: Nice color socks. That pattern looks like fish scales.
Ben says: Oh, look! Legs! For me to walk on while they're sleeping and wake them up several times a night! Oh yeah, and the socks are nice too.

Ivy says: Why do people wear socks anyway? Especially in the summer, when you don't even need furry feet to keep warm?
Ben says: I think they wear them to look cool. So they definitely shouldn't wear these.

Sweet pea
Ivy says: They could wear these ones though. They're kinda cool.
Ben says: Pretty colors! Squiggly lines! If you make these, can I kill them?

Ivy says: Oh cool! A two-pronged cat tunnel!
Ben says: Yay! Tag, you're it!

Ivy says: I definitely think you should make this. For me. With the lace-up part. I've been needing a hairy cave to nap in.
Ben says: I want one too! Tie it over my shoulders and watch me fly around the house! More than I do already, I mean, and not just every night at 10.

Prickly girl
Ivy says: Do we know any girls this age? This one doesn't look very happy.
Ben says: It has flowers! Can I eat them?

Ivy says: A baby bag! Neat idea! Small babies are about the size of cats, you know. And my sign is Gemini, in case you were wondering.
Ben says: And mine is Aries!

Grow with me
Ivy says: This is cute. I like the blue and white. Those strings look fun too.
Ben says: A baby with strings! Cool!

Ivy says: About time! They finally got it right and made a cat-related pattern. I hope you plan to make several thousand of these. I'm going to need them, but I can't tell you why.
Ben says: I think I already got my back foot caught in one of the loops of the lion's mane while I was trying to scratch his eyes out.

Chapeau marnier
Ivy says: A hat with a ribbon! You must make it!
Ben says: Did someone say there was more string??

Thursday, June 07, 2007

International neighborhood watch

I have a general policy of never blogging about work-related stuff, and I have largely been good about abiding by that policy (except for maybe once). However, this new site is just so cool, and the genocide in Darfur is so important, I am going to break my rule one more time:

Regularly updated satellite images of villages in Darfur that are at risk of being obliterated by the military or the janjaweed. Before and after pictures of villages that have already been destroyed. Background information about the conflict. Individuals' stories. Ways to take action to stop the genocide. Go. Check out the site. (Warning: it's depressing--but you should still check it out).

On a totally unrelated note, I am really enjoying my Hindi classes. Yesterday I finally learned how to write my own name: ब्रिना (and isn't it cool that I can write it in blogger too??)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Meme to the 7th

I have found my USB cable, but I won't have time to upload the pics until the weekend, and also, it's Friday, and I am really busy at work, so all I had time for was this meme. I was tagged for it by my old CT knitting buddy Jennsquared. So, here are seven random things about me:

1. When I'm using scissors, I tend to subconsciously stick my tongue out of the corner of my mouth and chew on it in the same rhythm I'm using to cut. Taz just loooves to tease me about this.

2. Unlike so many knitters (and, evidently, so many women in general), I am NOT a chocoholic. While I do enjoy good chocolate, more often than not, I prefer the chewy fruity candies instead of a chocolate bar, or a nice creme brulee over a dense chocolate torte.

3. I love being able to identify the plants and animals around me. A typical hike with me is peppered with exclamations of "Oh, look at the mountain laurel over there!" and "Look out for that stinging nettle!" and "I wonder what kind of turtle that is?" I was completely nonplussed when I made friends in Chile who had grown up in rural areas but didn't even know the names of some of the most common hedgerow plants, or when I was in India, and no one in Taz's family could tell me why there weren't any seagulls in Bombay, even though it's right on the Arabian Sea.

4. I love school supplies. Even though we have plenty of pens and pencils in the house, I am seriously considering going out this weekend to buy a new notebook and writing implements for my Hindi class that starts on Monday.

5. I used to hate cilantro so much that it made me nauseous just to smell it, but overexposure to it while living in South America cured me of that. Now I adore it!

6. Sewing machines scare me. Not in a nightmarish "they're alive!" sort of way; I'm just afraid that if I try to sew something with one, the machine will go out of control and sew zigzags all over the fabric and ruin everything.

7. The books in our house are arranged by category (fiction, poetry, religion, cooking, reference, etc.), and are alphabetical by author and title within each category. Yes, that is because I was the one who unpacked the books. It may be anal, but it sure makes it easy to find a book when you need it!

As for who I'm going to tag, I don't want to force anyone to do a meme if they don't want to, but if you feel like it, and you don't have anything better to blog about, consider yourself tagged. Happy Friday!