Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mostly Dead...

I've been a big fan of Canon Cameras since I went digital years ago...and since we tend to be a bit hard on our cameras (what with all the sand and swimming around etc. etc) we tend to purchase the camera and a waterproof case for protection each time. In order to get the most use out of a case, I'll usually try to pick up some spare cameras if I notice them at a good price...

Here's my small family of Powershot A-series cameras (there was one other, but it was sent back to canon in exchange for my current point and shoot, an SD900). You're looking at one A60 and a pair of A70s. Not too long ago, I had sent in their waterproof case for replacement/repair since we had managed to scratch...of course, once I got the case back, the cameras started acting funny.

So there they sat, all by their lonesome selves, scattered across the shelves - neglected, in favor of the newer and shinier cameras...On the advice of my brother, who visited recently, I decided I'd go ahead and ping Canon customer service and see what they had to say. Of course, none of these cameras are within the normal warranty period, and I kind of figured that they might wind up telling me they aren't worth fixing...but lo, apparently there is a known issue with the ccd sensor for these cameras...and Canon is going to send me paperwork and shipping lables to send them back for repair! Here's hoping they still have CCDs on hand, and will fix them up (as alluded to in their email response) at no cost. Worst case, perhaps they can recycle the cameras for me if they aren't worth repairing.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Happy New Year everyone :) It's the Year of the Ox! And since I've not been so good with the diet and exercise portion of my whole "everything in moderation" plan for the year, I figure this is another reminder to buckle down and focus on little steps. I've managed to work my way up to doing 27 pushups before my arms turn into noodles, so I am making some progress!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Slow progress

Look! Another long-time WIP! It was supposed to be done for a knit along, but I wound up setting it aside - for whatever reason I was having some difficulties following the pattern back during the KAL. I put it into a time out, and when I picked it up recently, it seems I'm getting along better with it now - though I'm finding the purl rows really slow me down - I guess that's courtesy of all the circular knitting I've been doing lately! Current progress: most of the way through chart 3 of 8...I guess I'll be knitting on it for a while yet...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We have a Winner!

Congratulations, Angela :) I look forward to reading about your Gingerbread adventures next holiday season with your little one!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Meet Frolic - a lovely Rowan design by Kim Hargreaves (from Rowan 29). She's endless 2x2 ribbing with a wee bit of shaping thrown in to make you realize you are indeed making *some* small bit of progress.

Thank goodness for Ravelry - apparently, I've had this project on my needles since October 2007. Without Ravelry, I probably would have forgotten what size I'm knitting! I'm knitting out of a very lovely shade of old-school Southwest Trading Co Bamboo from the stash. The knitting is probably taking forever since this has been designated my "carry around" knitting, and I generally only knit a row or two (or four if I'm lucky) every week or so (I carry different knitting when I go out specifically to knit). The good news is even at the snail-like pace I'm going on this project, I'm nearly to the underarms and should be able to finish it off to wear once things start heating up again down here!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Have I lost my mind?

Here we are, in the middle of January, and those personal New Year Resolutions around health and fitness are proving elusive. I'm having a heck of a time getting in the habit of weighing and writing down what all I'm eating (so far, I've been very not successful in that front) - and as for the getting back in cardio-vascular shape? Well that's proving to be quite the struggle too. I need to figure out how best to block time out and just get it done. I've discovered with the lack of activity over the last year has really cost me in fitness, and I need to start from ground zero....

In other fitness news, one of the things I have stuck with so far (though my body is begging me to stop) is this 100 pushup quest (I'm starting out the quest by doing these girly style on my knees...If I make it to 100 girly kind, I'll go back and do it again in full plank)

It doesn't take much time, and I can squeeze in the reps in a few minutes no matter how frazzled I am. Unfortunately for me, my body does not seem appreciative of myh efforts - its safe to say that while I'm not far in my quest, every single time I do the workout, 24 hours later, I either awake to serious muscle soreness (esp in my forearms, what's up with that??) or I feel like someone has battered my triceps and back. Seriously. This has happened Every. Single. Time that I have done the pushup workout. I can handle regular muscle soreness - but whatever these pushups are doing are far and away much worse than "regular" workout soreness. *sniff* I've actually had to resort to the advil...though I suppose if I was smart I'd get with the ice too...

Here's to hopes that eventually my body just HTFUs and gets with the program - then maybe I can go on that six pack quest...though the thought makes me feel faint (and I also realize that proper six packs are made more in the kitchen rather than via crunches...)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Houses for Hansel and Gretel...

I've always had a fascination with Gingerbread houses - both from the gingerbread baking and the building and decorating aspects. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to indulge in my creativity this holiday season. Had I been able to do so though, I probably would have attempted a variation of one of the houses found in this book: The Gingerbread Architect - it contains recipes and instructions (and blueprints!) for twelve different gingerbread all begins with an introduction, a 7-day schedule for the building of your gingerbread home (I had no idea it would take 7-days - but this is also why I didn't get to it this past holiday season) in addition to tips and commentary on the use of the templates, making the dough, assembly, and decoration. While all the houses in this book are 100% edible, there are also some tips on preservation, should you opt for saving your gingerbread house rather than nibbling away at it as did Hansel and Gretel.

House styles represented in the book range from relatively simple projects like the rustic adirondack, classic cape cod, and old west dawson-city houses to the very intricate classic carpenter gothic style house. The book has designs that are suitable for all range of bakers. Simply flipping through the book was a pleasure, seeing all the fine details on the roofs and yards of each of these homes brought a smile to my face - a particular favorite yard decoration were the pink flamingos of the South Beach house.

Now then...since I'm guessing next year may well be just as crazy as things were this year, I'm not sure that I'll be able to take advantage of the great ideas in this book. If, however, you are game to take on the challenge, I will offer it up along with my copy of Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse. Just leave me a comment before January 18th - make sure there's a way to contact you if you should be the lucky winner. Shipping only within the US though, I'm afraid.

Friday, January 09, 2009


Seeing as I always knit my socks two at a time, from opposite ends of the ball, I sometimes get different flashing to appear...

These socks aren't handknit - they're from Keen....but they sure do flash as if they were handknit - and the flashing doesn't match from right to left - it's like they try to mimic the individuality of handknit socks :) I wonder if someone at Keen is a knitter....

(yes, they are really labled R and L and they really do have a handed-ness to them)

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I've been tagged by Cayli for this meme - and a good thing too, as it seems I'm low on blog fodder ;)

The rules:

* go to your 4th picture folder
* go to the 4th picture in the folder
* tell everyone 4 things about that picture
* tag 4 more people

Course, I have photos in several places on various computers...and several online photo accounts I decided to pick whichever one seemed the most interesting - which happens to be my ancient snapfish photo account...

This photo harkens from 2004 - when my husband and I took an extended vacation to Europe. It was taken while we were canyoning in Spain, while participating in an International Canyoneering get together - the name of the canyon is Consusas Inferior (and yes, that's me in the photo). The water was frigid, as the canyon is fed by snowmelt. Apparently, this was the 2nd canyon we hit on the least according to the trip report :) Mmm. Fond memories. I'd love to head back to that part of the world again!

Who to tag - how about Angela, Mel, Raquel and Pam?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Over 25 lbs...

...of fresh fiber and yarn are now available at the shop!

First, let me introduce 4 new blended batt colorways :) Those would be Chocolate Varietal (Merino-Alpaca), Peppercorn Blend, Grape Jelly and Zinfandel (all merino blends)...

Then there's the yarn:

45 limited edition colorways....including some that are dyed on the brand spankin' new Naiad base :) I was going to try to come up with some new "regular" colorways....but I figured it was the holidays and I deserved to have my fun to just play :) so all limited editions it was :D

Friday, January 02, 2009


Pools in the Grand Canyon, photo by my husband

2008 has gone and 2009 has arrived - and this year I find myself wondering where the time went so quickly. It flew past even faster than previous years!

The year started out with an appearance on the Stitch n Bitch calendar, followed by a feature in Spin addition to plenty of dyeing, blending and spinning. Spritely Goods marked another successful year, and can now be found at a LYS in addition to the Loopy Ewe. We celebrated the shop's success by donating generously again to our charities of choice. Especially enjoyable this year, I managed to squeeze in various yarn related field trips, meeting various knitterati along the way!

Knitting-wise, I didn't quite manage to get the steeking in this year - perhaps I'll manage in 2009 (venezia is still on the needles (and not much further along than in that blog post)). I was stumped by a few projects....but was quite successful with others. From knee high socks, fancily cabled socks/cuffs and a pair that had a pretty neat stitch pattern, mitts in various styles including cabled and lace varieties, a camera case, a blanket (which has been put to good use this winter), and even a sweater!

In addition to all the knitting, I read a bunch of books (have you discovered GoodReads yet?) - and reviewed quite a few too. I trained for and ran a half marathon (though unfortunately that milestone benched me for the rest of the year) and late in the year, I discovered Facebook and started the 365 Self portrait project.

On the home front, the husband and I celebrated our 10 yr anniversary this year :) While the time has flown by, it has been a pretty good year.

For 2009, I do hope to work more on that whole "everything in moderation" thing - along with working on improving my balance (both for the sake of my knee and my sanity ;) ) January promises to be exciting in more ways than one - but more on those things as they pass.

I do hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and new year celebration - I wish you all health and joy in 2009! Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Something New

Happy New Year!

While I have been diligently working on some of my older projects, I do feel compelled to cast on some new projects...this is for a knit-along I'm doing with Blogless Erika. :) We're both knitting up some Wollmeise into a lovely sock featuring plenty of twisted stitch seems I still require some practice with that magic cast you see my yarn going everywhere while I work on getting both socks cast onto my single circular needle....

In other New News, I've named the new fingering base, it's called Naiad - it's a fantastic merino-nylon blend, and so soft you can't even tell the nylon is there! I've only just finished with the skeining, but you can be sure there will be a shop update shortly...