Zarzuela Knits and Crochets
My blog about my knitting, crocheting, and anything else I feel like ranting about!

Blocking bunny

Thank you to everyone who left sock fixing suggestions. I think I'm going to go with the "use the spare yarn to finish the other heel" and then try and find something to go with it to finish it off suggestion. It might be a rather interesting pair of socks when they finally finish, but I think I'm going to step away for a while before I give that a whirl.

In the meantime...

Thanks to Stephanie's great blocking post I decided to get brave and give it a try on the bunny scarf. I've only really ever tried to block something once. That something was my first clapotis and basically all I did was wash it and lay it out to dry on a table. Not very ambitious but it seemed to be enough. With the bunny scarf, I was hoping that the blocking would bring out the pattern of the feather and fan a little bit more.

I wanted to do straight edges so I used some Mariah leftovers as my smooth thread. I threaded through the long side of the scarf so that it looked like this:

Then it was off to the bathroom sink for a soak in warm water and a touch of Eucalan:

(Notice the lack of "stuff" on the sink. ;)) I let it soak about 20 min., rinsed it a bit and squished it in a towel or two to get the water out as much as possible. Since Stephanie used the bed (and who am I to argue with a published author [not to mention my carpet in the new apartment is still coughing up hairballs]) it was over to the bed to be pinned.

I found it a little difficult to get the long sides stretched properly but eventually got the hang of it. I also decided to pin the short ends a bit to make sure they were as straight as possible.

Then it was on with the fan, close the door to keep you know-who-out (one of the things I really love about the new apartment... the ability to keep a certain kitty nose out of places it really doesn't belong without worrying about an "accident"):

When I came home that evening it was dry and ready for the modeled shot:

(One thing I miss about the old apartment... the big mirror for blog pics!)

Not bad if I do say so myself. I think I will definitely use this method again when I need it.

Thanks Stephanie!!

I hate it when that happens!!


Now what do I do? :(

A little local knitalong...

Somehow in all the craziness I have yet to talk about the big project that is currently on the needles. In January of this year (was it really that long ago already?!) Sami, Sneaksleep, K.U. and myself all piled in the car for a road trip to Morehouse Farm in Milan, NY. They have some really fabulous stuff and we certainly couldn't go home empty handed. Sami, Sneaksleep and I all ended up with the kit for their Lace Cardigan. Now being the bunch of busy girls we are with plenty of things to do in our personal and professional lives (not to mention enough projects on the needles to keep us busy most of the time) we only cast on recently (was it May? I can't seem to remember at this point). Here's my progress so far:

Sometimes I seriously can't believe I'm making this thing. Look how thin the yarn is!

It's like knitting with dental floss or something. Crazy! One thing we were all happy to discover was while the pattern called for size 3 needles it turned out that none of us could get close to gauge on anything less than size 7. I really can't imagine what that would have been like on top of the tiny yarn.

All of us are in what I'm affectionately calling "increase hell" at the moment.

The sweater is a top down raglan with 5 sections separated by markers. On the knit side you increase one stitch before the marker and in the third stitch after the marker (which is a bit hard to remember at times as we have all found out). On the purl side you just purl across. It makes for a nearly mindless knit which I'm enjoying on one level and hating on another. You start with about 16 stitches before the first marker and have to increase until there are 67 before the first marker but you only increase one stitch every other row there! Do you understand "increase hell" now? I have about 52 stitches so far so I'm nearly there...but it still seems a long way off. (And no, I'm not going to do the math to find out just how many more rows I need.) So far, this pattern definitely makes for good social knitting.

Hopefully I'll be able to get to Rhinebeck this year to visit Morehouse again and see all there is to see. I mean, I grew up 45 min. away from where it's held and I've never been! Definitely need to fix that! Anyone else planning on going?

Edit: I just edited the misspelled links to Sneaksleep's blog. Sorry about that!!


Alex tagged me for one of the latest meme thingys that is going around. Now that I've finally gotten caught up with my blog reading, who am I not to oblige?

id*i*o*syn*cra*sy - a structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group. Write down 5 of your own idiosyncrasies, then if you wish, tag 5 people.

1. I absolutely HATE cheap toilet paper. I mean, yeah, it's cheap but that means that you have to use about 3 more feet of it to get the same coverage as the good stuff. There will be no cheap-ass t.p. in my humble abode.

2. I bite my fingernails. Maybe this doesn't count for this particular thing but I'm thinking about it a lot right now since I'm desperately trying NOT to in preparation for the upcoming nuptuals of my friend in Pittsburgh which I believe involve me getting my first ever manicure. But as bad habits go, I think this is pretty mild compared to what I could be doing (smoking, drinking, etc.).

3. Certain programs on my computer have to be open in a certain order. For instance, Outlook must be before Yahoo messenger when I have the messenger window open. Don't ask me why. I change it if it isn't the "right" way. (Hey, you asked for idiosyncrasies, right?!)

4. I can be a bit obsessive sometimes. If I get an idea for something that I want to do or I want to have done, it has to be right that min. or I get a little crazy. Like hanging the pictures in my apartment. I decided I wanted to start working on that Saturday morning and I didn't finish before I had to leave for my hair appointment. That made me a little nuts but I quickly forgot about it once I got out the door.

5. I don't like a lot of "stuff" on the bathroom sink. By stuff I mean, the toothpaste container, hairspray cans, bottles of whatever. There are a few things that have to be there like soap and the toothbrush holder and things like that, but I'd much rather keep it to a minimum.

Let's see now. I think I'll tag Sami, Sneaksleep (go check out her new blog!! Yay for CT knitbloggers!), Heidi, Drew, and anyone else who wants to do this one.

Catching up...

Whether I realize it or not, this has been a whirlwind summer. While I've had a great time, I'm glad things will be winding down soon. Hopefully my blogging will be a little less sporadic from here on out. So now that the laundry is done, there is food in my fridge, there are things covering up the naked walls, fresh bread made and I've managed to get a little extra sleep, how about a recap of some recent fun activities?

First, Aug. 9th I went to Boston with, what shall we call him... how about "He who juggles fire" 'cause, well, he does! Let's just call him HWJF for short. It was incredibly hot and humid that day but we had such a great time. Here I am waiting for the train into the city:

We parked outside and took the train in and I'm glad we did. All the roads in Boston seem to go every which way and I can't imagine what driving would have been like! By the time we made it into town, the first order of business was lunch and where better than Quincy Market:

My Gyro was delish! :) Then it was off to the Aquarium for a while. It was very cool (both literally and figuratively) and I think I liked the huge sea turtle in the main tank the best (her name was Myrtle!) although the penguins were a close second. After the aquarium it was off to criss-cross the city a number of times seeing everything we possibly could. Including Fenway, B.C., an ice cream shop, Cambridge and lord only knows what else. If I didn't see it, it was only because I was too tired to look. We did EVERYTHING!

While we were in "enemy territory" I also had to get my digs in.

The original plan was to sit on some sign that said something about "That other school that starts with an H" but this was the best we could find.

In the evening we ended up in the North end and saw the Old North Church and had a lovely dinner in a little Italian place (although what the heck is up with only taking cash or American Express?!?). It was a great day and we were both completely exhausted, especially considering we had 2 and 3 hour drives home! I'd love to go back again sometime, but I think I'll pick one or two things to see in a day instead of EVERYTHING.

Last weekend after having lived in my new apartment about four days it was off to visit HWJF again, this time in Maine by way of 100 degree crazy humid Long Island. I got to Maine around 7:30pm on Saturday after the 6 hour drive and was very happy to be greeted by cool, pleasant weather. The highlight of the trip was HWJF's day off where we hiked up Bald Mountain (and considered spending the night... haha) with some of the other camp counselors. Here's one shot of the view on the way up:

It was a pretty tough hour long climb, but the view from the top was totally worth it (although I don't know how we managed to not end up with any pictures of it!). After that it was off to HWJF's parents house for the most amazing Lobster dinner I think I've ever had in my life. I think I would climb a mountain again just for that!

Tired but happy, I left for CT on Wednesday morning thinking I could make it to work for a couple of hours. However, that's not possible when you have what one friend recently told me is called an "idiot's breakdown". Yep. Ran out of gas on I-95 somewhere in New Hampshire on the way home. While I was upset when I realized what was happening, I really began to freek when I couldn't get through to AAA. Luckily my mother was home and sent them out after me. It's pretty damn scary being on the side of a major highway with cars flying by and shaking your car like crazy even when you drive an SUV! But as you can tell, I ended up getting home safely, although I missed work, and all is well with the world. And HWJF comes back to CT this week which will definitely make me happy.

While I was in Maine, I had time to cast on for this:

It's another Clapotis, this time made with 100% alpaca that I bought at the CT sheep and wool festival earlier this year. This stuff is so incredibly soft that I actually thought for a while that I wasn't going to be able to keep it on Addis because it was just so slippery. I seem to be getting used to it now though and things are moving along. I did have to rip it back a bit last night but that let me get my stitch markers properly aligned so that's ok (thanks again Eklectika!).

I've had a really nice day today of mostly hanging around the apartment and doing things like hanging pictures and making bread, but now it's time to start thinking about the new work week. And the next trip. I leave for Pittsburgh, PA in about a week and a half to be the maid of honor at a friend's wedding. If you know any fun bachlorette party games, please post them in the comments or send me an e-mail. I haven't got a clue and the clock's ticking!!

Hoppity hop hop and wiggle wiggle

Thanks for the comments on the last post. The possibilities as to why the toilet is doing its thing were pretty damn funny! Of course Andrea has the right idea...but the others were sure fun!

Check out what Eklectika gave me as a housewarming gift last night:

How cool is that?!?!! I absolutely love them. And of course, they have blue beads on them too. :) Thanks so much!!

After having completed two big sweater projects earlier this year, I am totally into small, instant gratification things lately. I want a project that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with when I begin it. Mindless stockinette is also a plus. But with that I needed a little variety. So a couple of weeks ago I finally cast on what is my graduation present to myself. A bunny scarf!

Now I know what you're thinking... "That doesn't look like bunnies at all!" And you are right. It's a feather and fan pattern with seed stitch boarder knit on size 8 addis. What makes it a bunny scarf is the fiber content. This totally yummy stuff is 50/50 angora/silk. I picked it up at the CT Sheep and Wool Festival way back in May from local knitblogger and bunny raiser extrodinaire, Chris. Not only does she raise the bunnies, but she gives them their harecuts (get it, hare. Hahaha) and also spins the fiber herself after having it commercially processed. After seeing a scarf she was making at one of our Stitch 'n Bitch meetings and experiencing this amazingly soft yarn for myself (I really wish there was "feel-o-vision" Internet for you people right now. This stuff is amazing!) I knew I had to get some. Graduating with my M.L.S. in May seemed like the perfect excuse so I went for it. Chris was even nice enough to e-mail me the pattern she was using for her scarf. Mine still needs a little blocking but I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Thanks for the great yarn and pattern Chris!

I even got more animal fun in my life today. Between getting ready for my trip this weekend and still putting things in their place in my new apartment, I got to puppy sit! My good friend Robyn's sweet boxer Thumbelina had 8 puppies on Wednesday! Belina needs a little support during her first few days as a new mommy so I went over to her place to hang out for a couple of hours. Sami was with me and they were so damn cute I just have to post a few pics. (Sorry the pics kinda suck. It wasn't too light in the room and I just didn't want to use the flash and disturb them.)

Belina had to have an emergency C-section to have her puppies, hence the shaved area and the big cut in her side. After a rough start, Mom and the kids seem to be doing really well. It was fun to spend some time with them.

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Maine by way of Long Island. (Yeah. I live in CT. Don't ask.) Until next week... Ciao!

Home Sweet Home...


I'm back and I am officially relocated. The move went well thanks to the help of Sami, R.B. and G.B. and my parents. Friday was really hot and muggy but we managed to fill my dad's pickup truck with boxes, fill the Uhaul and unload the pickup all that day. Saturday we had everything out of the old apartment and into the new one by 1:30pm! It was amazing. The Uhaul was unloaded in an hour and it had all the big things like the couch and my bed in it. Thanks again to everyone for the help!

Sunday was spent putting things together and making an IKEA run. I'll show you more of those goodies in the future. As you can see in the pics above, there are still some seriously naked walls, but I don't see much point in trying to put up pictures when you don't know where all the furniture is going to go just yet. The livingroom is pretty much settled which is why it's the only thing I'm showing you at this point. I'm still not totally happy with the seating arrangement, but that can be fixed later. For now I'm just happy to be able to sit and watch my new digital cable. :)

There are always great things and not so great things with any new place. With my new apartment came new carpeting (they were putting it in when I got my keys last Friday!). This is a good thing since god only knows what was in the old carpet, but it's also a bad thing for my vacuum thanks to what I like to call the "fuzz factor". New carpet such as this constantly coughs up fuzzballs for the next couple of months. Last night when vacuuming for the first time, this carpet clogged my vacuum about a billion times. The rug attachment starts to make a sound that I can only imagine is similar to a 1950s jalopy with a flat tire, I pick it up and a spits a fuzzball back at me. This happens about every five seconds. You can imagine how much fun that was.

Another not so great thing, the toilet flushes itself about once an hour. I think maintenance will be able to deal with that though.

New apartments also usually come with a great mystery as well and I'm proud to say I have already solved mine. This is my washer/dryer:

This is a very happy thing because I can now actually wash AND dry at the same time! (In my last place that happened all in the same hole and was a bit of a pain because the dryer kinda sucked. Not that I'm complaining! In unit laundry is not something to complain about!) I've already done my first loads of wash and found that the dryer wasn't exactly working too well. However, I couldn't seem to find the filter that they said had to be unloaded. I looked all over the unit. Under the dryer, off to the side, on the top, nothing. I figured I'd ask management when I got a chance. And then I looked again...

Do you see it? No? Don't worry. I wouldn't have either if it hadn't fallen out in my hand. It's that wierd looking space on the right. That whole thing comes out and is about two inches deep. Rather ingenious when you think about it. However, I apparently have above average intelligence compared to past residents of this place as, when I took it out it was crammed to death with lint and so was all the space around it and behind it! Yuck!! I won't tell you what I found in there for fear you may be eating as you read this (doesn't everyone have breakfast infront of their computer?!). Let's just say, mystery solved and I think the dryer will work much better next time.

So now that things are pretty much settled around here I have jobs to apply for, an audition to practice for, hotel reservations to make in Pittsburgh, PA for a wedding at the beginning of September (I'm the maid of honor, yikes!) and, believe it or not, I have to pack again! I'm going back to Maine this weekend. Something tells me the packing will be postponed to the very last second... oh wait...that's how it always goes!

Next time...knitting content!

Edit: I just found this on another blog and had to post it. It's hilarious!!

The day before the day before I move...

I hope y'all will excuse my erratic and quite disjunct blogging as of late. Apparently this whole moving thing has taken up much more of my time and sanity than I would have hoped. But it will all be over soon! Today I go to work and finish up with packing. Tomorrow it all goes in vehicles and Saturday I finally move into my new home! I just can't wait to be done with this.

There is still knitting going on. (Thanks for the comments on the sock issue. I think I'll skip the duct tape suggestion however since I'm hearing the sound of tape being pulled off the roll in my dreams now and it's starting to grate on my last nerve! ;-) ) I had all good intentions of showing you the sweater and scarf that I'm working on. Unfortunately, good intentions don't get one very far when the memory stick with the pictures is (hopefully!) in the camera that is packed in the big plastic "computer stuff" bin with several boxes piled on top. *Bad blogger! Bad!*

Equally problematic is the fact that I can't even show you pictures from Tuesday's whirlwind tour of Boston because the memory stick containing those pictures isn't even in the state at the moment. I hope you'll trust me that A) I had a really wonderful time seeing this beautiful city for the first time, B) when I say I saw Boston I mean I saw ALL of Boston!, C) I have the blisters to prove it (ouch!), D) when I go back to Maine next weekend I will acquire said pictures to share and E) I have learned the very important lesson that nearly crippling oneself just days before moving might not be the best plan on the planet. You, my dear readers will be sad to know that there was no yarn shopping involved, but please know that I am not all that upset about this because I am moving and don't need to move more stuff and my tour guide for the day possesses a Y chromosome which makes up for the lack of yarn in many ways.

I will tell you however that I am already drooling over this and see a hefty yarn purchase somewhere in my future. (Have I ever mentioned I'm a sucker for cables?) I'm not sure if I like the cardi or the pullover more.

And now I must leave you to continue the moving saga. Please cross your fingers for me for an easy move with nice weather and parents that aren't completely physically destroyed by the end of the weekend. See you when I get Internet access back on Aug. 9th!