Monday, December 07, 2009


Saturday night it was crisp and cold. Just perfect for waving at adoring crowds along the parade route. Last night it snowed.

It's a stay indoors as much as possible day. Toss another log on that wood burning stove would ya?
I made another batch of soap. This recipe is referred to as a "Julia Child" type of recipe. Not hard but with lots of little ingredients. I'm not sure that's fair to her memory. Her recipes work where others (martha, for instance) do not.

I tried something new this time. I used annato seeds to give the soap a deep, buttery color. I recently did an inventory of what I have in stash (so many stashes, so little time, such a bruised credit card) and found the little bag of seeds bought some years ago.
I very much like to make soap. It's simple chemistry and a lot like cooking but with sodium hydroxide. After trying out a few recipes you end up with a great product with quality ingredients that suit your type of skin.
The previous batch of soap was quite cantankerous, more so than any other that I've made and I ended up with two small chemical burns because I stopped paying attention. You must ALWAYS pay attention when using acids. This batch went together with less effort than making butter cookies.
I have a few gripes though. Recipes flip between asking for teaspoons, tablespoons, a half cup at one point along with the more common ounces and grams. Can you just pick one, puuleeeze???

I am making up my vintage apron at long last. I decided that it needed a nice contrast color for the tabs and pocket so off to I went. Trying to pick a matching green (see that little bit of green on the pink squares?) at night under a yellowish light using my monitor, their website and whatever they used to photograph the fabric was fun. I finally just said, this one and that one too. Thankfully, one of the two greens I finally decided upon is a very good match. Oh, and I couldn't resist just a couple more yards of some of their gorgeous Day of the Dead fabric.
When you: knit, sew, make any sort of craft you just love seeing that UPS truck coming up your drive. It's Christmas!!!

My much waited for and needed skein of linen/cotton came over the weekend. Now I can finish the silk open cardi. I also bought a partial skein of Louets Gems on Ravelry. I needed a couple hundred yards but not a full skein. Thank you Veronica!

Taking a break from frogging back the pink Vine Lace Vest I started another Thorpe for my stepson. Seems that he is sensitive to wool so my first hat is itchy. This is Catalina baby alpaca and ever so soft. I went for the size large but it's too large. I tried it on hubby using the logic that father and son probably had similar sized heads. He'll be here for Christmas and this will make a lovely little present. I will have enough to make him a neck warmer too. Yes, the irony of starting a new project to avoid frogging then needing to frog is not lost on me.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Last year the owner of the coffee shop where we meet weekly to knit asked us to be in the local Christmas festival. This involved sitting in the back of her 1969 pickup truck which has, I swear, the original clutch and brakes. Sitting on hay bales, even going at approximately 5 miles an hour, is something of an adventure. We live in the foothills after all. Life is not flat around here and parades seem to have a lot of stopping and starting.

This year we had a Whole Lot More information gleaned from what we wished we had done last time. We also felt that we were nowhere near enough Sparkly for a parade of lights. I mean, there were large dogs with more wattage.

We did what we could with an inverter (thank you so much Hubby - we could knit you up the most fantastic sweater but hooking up an

Along with self decoration there was a Very Cool ball of yarn. Even the needles had lights inside of them.

Auburn is a small town. How small? People come throughout the day and put their chairs along the parade route. It wouldn't occur to anyone to steal them.

The parade involves a lot of animals. Ribbons, bows, lights, you name it.

And it's cold. I have very pink cheeks, nose, and chin. The various bottles of "warming" beverages I was sipping from had nothing to do with it! This year we were much more prepared. More clothes and we showed up later so we didn't just sit there for two hours and freeze!
All in all it was Great Fun (and still bloody cold).

I finished the body of the Vine Lace Vest only to discover that the two fronts did not match. Off by all of one stitch but it makes a difference. Ribbit! It shouldn't take all that long to redo though.

The Squeakers continue to grow. Yes, Becky, they are girls. We were mislead.

Knitting baskets hold the best stuff. The best stuff to dump out, scatter around and chew up. That's all exhausting work so what can a little girl do but take a nap?

Friday, December 04, 2009


Things have been hopping at Chez Earin's. Having a crappy, very old camera didn't help with photographing any of it.

But! I have a new toy. I liked the camera that Valeria bought and decided to take the plunge myself. A Canon Powershot SD780 IS. I still haven't worked out the bells and whistles but heck, just pointing and shooting is giving me nice results.

Kate came to visit and that is always a pleasure. She didn't want to sign any autographs though.

She met the kittens and many photos were taken.

Omar wanted to make sure that Kate still thought he was cute. He's the dog after all.

He gladly posed with the new duvet I stitched up. I've made a couple pair of pants but no photos. : - ( More comfy than stylish.

Kate, hubby, Omar, and I went to an old cemetery in Nevada City and many wonderful symbols were found. I will save them for another post.

Kate has not one but two blogs. If you are interested in hearing about cool cemeteries her blog, Grave Misgivings is the place to go.

Another new toy is this yarn holder (No More Yarn Barf!) that I bought on Etsy. I love it. I estimate that it's saving me 10 to 15 minutes per skein - that is having not to detangle the barf that I always get towards the end of the skein.

I knit a hat to go with the Sammy jacket.

I won a very cool Rowan magazine from Valerie. She and her husband will be coming to visit in a couple of weeks. YEA!!!!

One of my knit night friends went to a knitting retreat and this yarn called my name to her. Apparently, my color is aqua. I have to admit it. I like aqua.

Speaking of yarn. I really, really, really, am trying to knit out of stash but that darn sales rack at Meadowfarm just sucks me in. Half off yarn.

Superwash, purple = perfect baby items.

Ecco Zitron. German. Superwash. Merino. Enough for a top.

A gift from Kate. Sock yarn, self striping I believe.

After seeing my Mason-Dixon mitered hanging dishtowel she requested one in purple for her Christmas gift. My pleasure.

The pale blue, aqua actually, is Louet Gems. It will be the contrast color on Acheron. The variegated purple will be the main color. This is an adorable and somewhat unusual little jacket. I can't wait to try it out.
Wait! There is More! Alas, not yet photographed. I've some yummy semisolid rose pink Fleece Artist silk/wool blend that I've been knitting up a storm with. The pattern you ask? The Vine Lace Vest.
I'm through the back and left front and burning my way through the right side. It's a soft, springy and all together delightful yarn.
Tomorrow is Auburn's Festival of Lights parade. Auburn Knit Night rides in the back of the coffee shop (where we meet weekly) owner's pickup knitting with glow sticks. Last year we about died from the cold. This year: Many.Layers.
There has been soapmaking! Recipe experimentation. And much more!

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