Thursday, November 23, 2006

Things I am Thankful for in 2006

  • I am thankful for my friend V who let me spend this gluttonous holiday with her and her family. The food was excellent and she prepared it using my first sewing project - the apron. Here are some "America's Next Top Model" shots for you.

No, she does not normally practice ballet while cooking.
The camera makes people do crazy things

  • I am thankful for all the food that we were blessed to have on this day. I was especially thankful that V's mother cooked greens which is a very southern, african american food that just rings in the holidays for me. She made a good pot of collards and candied yams to go with it. MAN!! I am hungry again just thinking about it.

I could only get one set of models to look at a time

Look at all that great food and that wasn't even half of it!
  • I am thankful for all my family and friends that presumably forgave the fact that I was so late in calling them for the customary well wishing on this holiday of thanks. I am so bad at this that I have to call my brother today, the day AFTER Thanksgiving because my cell phone ran out...or at least that is the excuse and I am sticking with it!
  • I am also thankful for yet another year of good health - minus the two months of bronchitus that I am still not over - and the great things that I have accommoplished both in life and craft :O)
  • Last but not least I am thankful for all you who read and comment so often in my blog. It is amazing that you can build such a community nowadays without ever meeting those you begin to know and love as cyber family and friends.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and look forward to reading about all your holiday treats.

Giving Thanks the Knitter's way

Today I am giving thanks for all the things, including those things knitterly. Since the last time we spoke I...

Finished my snake skin (a.k.a. Mermaid gloves). I will have to give more detail and better pictures when I have time, a photographer other than self-timer, and adequate sunlight. In the meantime here is one:

I also started my first socks, which is the every popular Jaywalkers. I got some Vesper Sock Yarn in Knit and Tonic last week so I was so eager to start. Here is a picture of my sock in the Denver airport

since this picture I worked another 4.5" into the pattern, ripped it out because it was way too big (I am using the extended pattern sized because my feet are so big) and have reknit about 2" into the pattern again. My heart bled when I had to rip but this yarn was too expensive not to.

And here is a picture of the snow capped mountains in Denver. They are beautiful, but I do not like the cold.

Which brings me to the subject of how freaking cold it is here in Tampa, Florida where I will be spending my Thanksgiving. It was 55 degrees when I got here! It seems as though the cold snap happened the morning of my arrival. I guess I wished too hard for the weather to not be hot and humid. Instead I have been bundled up for 3 days now.

I will be back with some Thanksgiving pictures tomorrow. Have a great Turkey Day.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Meet my SnB

These are the moments that make me REALLY miss being in Berkeley, Portland, Long Beach, or any other place with a semblance of culture (a.k.a. not Orange County)

In my last post I mentioned that I got a new camera. My old point and shoot was not completely dead but it was having problems with opening and closing the lens. This had been going on since July and finally I had to say enough. Especially since I will be going to Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday to visit a friend and don't always like bringing by big DSLR everywhere.

So, my new photographic baby is the Canon SD700IS. Man this things is great. I did a lot of research before I chose my camera. Now it is not the latest version, which incidentally is SD900, but it was the one that suited my particular photographic needs. The selling point for me were, the Image Stabilizer (IS), the 4xOptical zoom - since I normally zoom out as opposed to taking wide shots, and the price - about $100 buck cheaper than the other models.

Since this is a knitting blog - I already have a photography blog - I decided to stretch my new camera's wings at my SnB meeting. Along with the photos at the start of the entry, in which I used the very cool color accent feature, the ones below will show you what the camera can do and also will give you an idea of why I travel 30 minutes from my house to the Long Beach SnB instead of going 5 minutes to the one by my house. The sacrifices I make for diversity and knitting.

Our SnB Cafe Called Viento y Agua

Cafe w/o and with flash

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nubian Craftster Gets a New Look

I have moved over to Blogger BETA and with that comes its fair share of problems and new cool discoveries. Since I am very HTML deficient I have to rely on the kindness of Blogger hacks to make my site a little more presentable.

I will try and make the random Bloglines updates as minimal as possible, but since I am a newbie to this whole system I can't guarantee anything.

Knitwise - I hope to have some finished object pictures of the Lizard Skins (a.k.a Mermaid Gloves) taken from my new camera this weekend.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Material Girl

...and I am living in a material world as I am a collector. Of what you say? Of just about everything. Not to the extent that people will see newspapers piled to the ceiling when I die (it would actually be more like magazines anyway), but I do have a sizable collection of things that are either past or present hobbies/loves/future careers. I will give you a peak into the madness. Please be warned that quantities viewed in pictures are only a fraction of the true extent of the problem..I mean collection

You all know I stash yarn...I am a knitter for God's sake! I would not be able to hold my head up in blogger land without a stash bordering on S.A.B.L.E (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy.

So I guess I also have C.A.R.E.S (Cookbooks Approaching Ridiculous Eating Standards). Here is a small glimpse of my cookbooks and magazines that I acquired during my desire to be a cook. I loved cooking but it just did not pay the bills.

P.A.L.M.S(Photography Love Accentuating Material Stashing). Here is a little of my photo magazine and book collection. PDN is such a great trade magazine. I took classes after college and continue to take classes on and off to improve my skills. I have been kicking around the idea of going back to get my Associates/Bachelors in Photography. Still thinking on that though.

So there should be no surprise that I have contracted F.A.U.N.A.S (Fabric Acquired Under New Addiction Stimulus). Since I am rapidly approaching the end of my sewing class, with only one more class to go, I thought I would show you a WIP picture of my sewing.

Look at those stitches...on a curve no less!! Given I was sewing as slow as a molasses after my debacle on the second day of class but man am I proud.

I have been web/blog surfing and finding new sewing ideas but of course this requires a machine. I hope to squash my urge for a machine by using my mom's old White Sewing Machine until I decide if this is a permanent addiction. But the true addiction is the fabric.

Such wonderful colors and patterns. There was a 30% off sale at my local craft store and I bought these beauties, along with In Stitches by Amy Butler which has seemingly easy patterns for the beginning seamstress. I should break out my badge now for my support group

"Hi my name is NubianCraftster and I have a problem. I am a chronic collector..."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Giving You The Finger

Ummm...sorry posted that on accident before it was ready so for all of you bloggers who are deeply offended by my title there is more to the story...just wait a moment while I continue to write

So here is my first finger ever...

I have made fingerless gloves before, which I now think should be called digit less gloves, but I never had to actually make fingers for them. Of course I had to pick a lace pattern to try and figure this part out. I thank goodness for craftoholics roadmap for this glove, but was still a little shy when it came to the thumb gusset and the fingers. This procrastination, I mean foresight helped me to cast on for the second glove before finishing the first. Therefore, I am soooooo close to finishing both of these I can taste it. And man do I want the glory of a FO so I can start something else. I already have visions of the Knit 2 Together Doctor's Bag or a pair of worsted weight Rapunzel socks...or maybe I should get started on some of that xmas knitting with only 46 more days to go.

Ok back to the gloves....

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dear SP9 Pal...Thanks for Bringing on the Baking

Dear SP9,

The Package

I received a notice of your package in my mailbox on Monday and was uber excited, so excited I stayed home until the 9am pickup time from the Post Office. I was subsequently late for work but it was worth it. The first thing I saw was the wonderful stickers. They were great to see especially because I am missing Oakland, my old home town in Northern California, so the Golden Gate sticker brought on a bit of nostalgia.

Inside were some great gifts. Loved everything, especially the cup, tea cloth (featured in back), the yarn and soap. Uhh...Everything in fact.

The Result

I was inspired by all the great gifts that I had to put them to immediate use. So today I set about baking. Which consisted of baking Banana Bread and Double Chocolate Muffins.

I especially like making Banana Bread because it was one of the first recipes I tried to perfect. The technique that I like to do to make the batter a little less dense is to separate the yolk and whites of the eggs, beat the white into a soft meringue and then fold them back into the batter. This make a lighter, more cakey bread which I prefer.

Today I was too lazy to beat the whites or bring down the KitchenAid mixer so I just made regular Banana Walnut Bread. The bread was good and I had a piece with green tea in my new cup (I was out of earl grey which I was craving and would have been great with this bread).

Second item, because I was in the baking mood were the Double Chocolate Muffins courtesy of Ghiradelli Muffin Mix. My best friend got me hooked on these puppies. I finally got around to making them for myself because they were looking at me from my cabinet as I pulled out the flour for the Banana Bread. So I said "what the hell" and whip them up too.

Lastly, I shower using my new soap, you can see the pictures here...just kidding no picture of that but it smells really good and is 82% organic. I can hear my environmentalist best friend thanking you now.

Now what to make with the lovely super soft Merino Wool that was also included?? If you or anyone else has an idea for my 175 yards of pure joy, don't hesitate to comment. Until then I will have to sleep with the a "just friends sort of way"...Geesh the minds of knitters.

Anyway, thanks for all the great gifts and inspiration

Your SP9 Spoilee

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Umm...Maybe I Will Stick to Knitting

So you know that post a few weeks ago where I talked about being a Perfectionist as it applies to me. You know where I worry about doing things because I think I will not be good at it. fears of sewing were slightly confirmed. For reference in this story here is the pattern, maybe not so aptly names Kwik Sew (I wonder if this will be like the Lion Brands One Hour Scarf that took me a week plus when I first started knitting).

(Here is the specific pattern I am attempting to do)

Now to compound my Perfectionist nature, I am also competitive, a bit of an overachiever and very rule oriented. Now don't get me wrong, I am flexible and creative in my own right, but before I go adding my two cents to inventing the wheel, I want to do it right the first time, you know the way it was intended and then expand from there.

Anyway, back to the sewing. So the class is quite full with only one teacher for 12 deeply dependent students. We got right to work on the pinning of the pattern, then the marking of the pocket and then the cutting. This is where my sewing actually ended because the next hour and half was spent felling kinda dumb.

The teacher showed us how to thread the bobbins which was pretty cool, but when it came to my machine it was different, so she threaded it for me. Then she threaded the machine which was far more loops around this and that for me to have caught on anyway. Next I began to sew, I put my fabric in and slowly pressed the peddle. I WAS SEWING!!!! For all of 4 stitches because subsequently my machine jammed and ate my fabric. I was horrified!! My fellow student turned around and within seconds figured out my error and lowered my pressure foot. But by then it was too late. I called the teacher over who was already pretty overworked with the students and she began to fiddle with it. About 5 minutes later I was told to ditch this machine for another one and start again.

Well remember that whole thing about the teacher doing all the threading? Well, I proceeded to wait for another 30 minutes for her to get back to me for help. She set me up and wallah....I had to pressure foot on this machine (guess I can't have the same error if I don't even HAVE a pressure foot this time). So we quickly find a foot, she threads my machine, I run a line of stitches and the class was over. 2.5 hours of sewing resulted in a cut, pinned and marked pattern with 4 stitches on a practice piece of fabric.

Man, talk about trailing the pack. I felt like I hit every hurdle at the Olympic race. BUT!!! I tell myself that this is BEGINNING sewing, I am supposed to make all these stupid mistakes..right? RIGHT?!! Given I think I should be sewing quilts like Kaffet Fasset by now, but in the world of realistic expectations, I now know PRESSURE FOOT DOWN!!!

So I licked my wombs and consoled myself in the fact that I am a damn OK knitter.