June 30, 2009

Two Skiens of “Purple Mystery” Malabrigo Worsted

Filed under: Knitting — maryparadox @ 9:04 pm

A little second hand shop opened up down the street and the girl who works there, Ria, does some alterations too. I took a dress down to be taken-in and we got to talking about sewing and knitting and the like. In exchange for the dress alterations I said I would make her a knit item.

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I’m a very selfish knitter and the only other time I’ve knit something for another person was  hat I made for my sister over a year ago. I was surprised how fun it was; much less stressful than knitting for myself. I decided to start with a yarn that I wanted to try out — Malabrigo Worsted, and then chose a pattern that I thought was really cute (Liesl) and wanted to knit, but knew I wouldn’t end up wearing myself. Ria said she liked jewel tones so I used the opportunity to stroll down to my local yarn store and spend some glorious time browsing for the perfect color. I ended up choosing a dye lot called “Purple Mystery” with a little help from Peter.

Knowing this wasn’t an item for myself allowed me to cheat in all sorts of ways! I didn’t make a gauge swatch, I just cast on again and again until things looked about right. I made it short sleeved because I don’t really like knitting them. I didn’t add button holes because I forgot one and was too lazy to go back. When it ended up looking too small I just started changing the needle size in the middle and a super easy increase instead of figuring out how to add stitches into the pattern. Overall I was pretty happy with the result, and I think I know exactly how I would make another one if I did want one for myself.


The best part was the large amount of yarn left over! I used about one and a half skiens for the cardigan, then I decided to make a impulse knit for myself.  A quick search for Malabrigo and hats found an adorable bonnet hat that didn’t seem to take a lot of yarn. I don’t look particularly good in hats so I’m always searching for new styles to try out.

The ties were a little ridiculous so I removed them, and I still need to block, but so far I like it.

But there was still yarn left over! So I decided to make a felted flower based on a pattern I found on Ravelry. I had just enough for one flower with a slight modification. I’m not sure if I’ll put the flower on the bonnet, I’ll figure that out after I block.




Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 8:47 pm




June 18, 2009

Garden in Bloom

Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 5:05 pm

I pruned this rose bush once during the winter and it looks amazing. Our neighbor says he planted it for an old woman who used to live in our house.

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Our cats love the yard and always come hang out with us when we garden. They eat grass, chase bugs, poop everywhere, and occasionally catch a mouse.


Lemons, artichokes, tomatoes, pumpkins, oh my!

Our pumpkin plants are perhaps the most successful so far. Once they took root they started growing incredibly fast even though they are competing with nasturtiums and California poppies.  I keep hoping to get just one morning glory to grow up the fence, but so far the delicate vines are no match for the cats.

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One of our tomato plants was supposed to be cherry tomatoes, but both have such big fruit already that we clearly have a mystery on our hands.

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The only sad thing is that two of our plants are dying; the kumquat and the Meyer lemon. They looked unhappy so we fertilized them, then they dropped all their leaves! We can’t tell if it’s too much water, not enough, too much fertilizer, not enough…


Down to the last sprig.


The leaves are turning yellower than the lemons.

June 2, 2009

House Theme – ZiM House?

Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 3:44 pm

We’ve needed a house name ever since we moved in, but have never found one that felt right. Our house has lots of chandeliers, but  “chandelier house” was just too much of a mouth full. Peter’s last named home was “BHH” which stood for “Big Happy Home” and that is pretty hard to beat.

We recently had to get our garage door fixed, the bottom had rotted since water flows down the driveway to rest against it.

Our new bottom panel.

When looking through the paint in the garage to find the right color there was only a very small can of touch up paint. I brought this up to Peter and he said he wanted to paint the garage a different color — something crazy. Our front door is a rather bland purple, but we don’t have the paint for that either. Then, when we were eating dinner we found our inspiration — the Invader ZiM house! Peter got this model with the box set and it has been sitting on our kitchen table for weeks.


Roses from the garden, the Invader ZiM house, and leftover ceramic bits from my class.

Now all we need to do is go to the paint store and do our best to match this craziness. Doom doom doom doom doom-duh-doom-doom.

Shades of Blue? Green?

Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 10:22 am

Since the bathroom installation required ripping out part of the wall in the living room, and therefore moving out all the furniture, Peter and I took the opportunity to paint. Since almost everything in the room in red, chandelier, carpet, couch, we opted for a cool color that would hopefully go with some of the accents in the rug. We made mistakes — apparently this paint selection thing is pretty difficult — but I think it came out all right in the end. The painting my grandmother painted sort of pull it all together — containing both red and grey/blue/green pallet.


The doorway to the front hallway and the wall where the china cabinet used to be.

It is so nice to have a living room again! It’s been months since we’ve had a place to socialize with friends, and now we can start up our Craft Night event again!


The rug that I love and won't let Peter throw away.

The paint is about half way between a blue and a green, and seems to change color depending on the light:


Green in some light.


Blue in some light.

We didn’t paint one wall still, Peter talked me out of it, since will be ripping it out when we remodel the kitchen. For now it is a primered monstrosity that will be a steady reminder to get started!


The primered wall. We're not sure why this wall was left unpainted by the last tenant, but we're going to move the doorway soon so that you don't have to walk through the middle of the room.

What did we learn about painting from this experiment?
1. Buy flat or almost flat paint. We bought semi-gloss, then downgraded to Satin, and they are both too glossy for a wall.
2. Go for the cheap paint. The “fancy” paint was really thick and didn’t hold the roller texture as well.
3. Go thin around the edges — when we pulled off the blue tape the paint was so thick at the edges that pulled away from the wall with the tape.
4. Buy nice rollers. Cheap ones shed and leave little bits all over your wall.
5. Wear a face mask when you sand, otherwise you end up with colored boogers!





June 1, 2009

Shoe Mania

Filed under: Rachel's Wardrobe Remix — maryparadox @ 2:18 pm

I must be crazy, I bought three pairs of shoes in the last month! Behold!

Operettas from Fluevog in “wine”. Peter won them off ebay for me for a bit of savings. They are incredibly comfortable and I wish I had bought them sooner, they would be totally worth the new price, even though I wish they were re-solable. Now if only I could afford to have them in every color — the yellow is calling to me even though I don’t own a single yellow item of clothing:


Frye Liv T-Strap in “sapphire” which is more like a midnight blue. Bought of ebay for cheap! They fit in well with my recent purple craze, though they don’t fill in the brown-shoe hole like I hoped they would.


Frye Liz High Heel Mary Jane in black. On sale, though of course they went down in price again immediately after I bought them (but my size was sold out, so I didn’t feel so bad). Hopefully these can replace my very very worn out black dress shoes. If the purple ones had arrived before these I might not have kept them, but they are actually even more comfortable, even though they have a 4.5″ heel (!!) because they have such a tall platform in front.


Now if only I could stop thinking about these, or these in brown, or these.

Me in my new red shoes and headband I made to match:


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