Donnerstag, Dezember 31, 2009

I lose some weight in 2009

Hopped on the scales this a.m. as I do on the last day of each month: another 3 lbs. down brought me to a round 20 lbs for the year. Slow and steady wins the race, I think.

The cool thing is that when Paul sent me to Utah Woolen Mills to pick out my birthday sweater, for the first time, the sweater I wanted fitted. I didn't have to leave it behind on the shelf and take a second choice.


I gave up on Weight Watchers. I just make sure that my carbs for each meal are in the 45-60 gram range my dietitian recommended, and I have 20-30 gram snacks in between and before bedtime (if I remember). At least this is the goal.

What has helped me most is that in 2008 I went to Overeaters Anonymous and learned a great deal about myself and the reasons I was overeating, and this year I began using lights to treat myself for Seasonal Affective Disorder. The combination of these two changes in my thinking have helped me immensely in stopping using food as a drug. Just not thinking about food at all is a good way to not eat.

The drawback is that I sometimes find myself in mental shutdown because I have forgotten to eat and to bring snacks. For Christmas, Paul gave me a coupon to a restaurant near campus so I could go out for a decent meal while I am practicing at the music building instead of buying Fritos out of the vending machine.

A very Happy New Year and Guten Rutsch to everyone! And many red sweaters to all!

love from Tan

Mittwoch, Dezember 23, 2009

I finish some Christmas knitting

Wow, this was a last-minute finish! I just got back from taking it to FedEx. I think I took care of their budget for the year. Just kidding. It wasn't as bad as the time we sent chips and salsa to Sharman in Jordan when she was on study abroad.

Now I am going to wrap presents, make cheese balls, and go to hear Howard play trumpet in a Christmas concert. I might do some more Christmas shopping just for fun.

I like Christmas :)

Samstag, Dezember 19, 2009

I survive Fall Semester; and review some CDs and a book

I think fall semester cured my anxiety. I'm not kidding. I was so stressed out over the oral presentation for music history class, that I think I may have used it all up. There was no anxiety left over for anything else. Organ juries were actually fun.

So, your CD reviews:

Christmas In The Heart by Bob Dylan

I have been a Bob Dylan fan forever, and have raised a second generation of them; OK, maybe just Todd and his wife. But I have to admit I bought his Christmas CD with a little bit of trepidation. Could That Voice do Christmas? So I ordered it, but then put off listening to it for a couple of months.

So, yeah, it's definitely Dylan. But as far as Christmas, I think it has to go in my weird collection. My seven-year-old grandson made the definitive comment on it:

"I didn't think any Christmas song could be that bad. His voice is really horrible. I can't stand to listen to that any more."

(Keep in mind this is one of the kids whose dad is an opera singer.)

So, if you're a Dylan fan, thumbs up. Otherwise, maybe not.

The other CD I got was this Sting CD.

If On A Winter's Night by Sting

I find it more listenable. There are some nice rhythmic things, some old sounding songs, some actually old songs. I was listening for hurdy-gurdy; there's a song called Hurdy-gurdy Man, but I didn't pick up on actual hurdy-gurdy in it. Well, I will have to bring it in out of the car and read liner notes. If there are any.

And now a book review:

The Gilded Bat by Edward Gorey

I picked this up at Tabula Rasa (actually I got the Sting CD there as well). We can't decide what it is, other than Edward Gorey, which pretty much says it all. I think it is an allegory* but I haven't decided for what. Sharman thinks it is a parody of a Russian novel. I think everyone should read it and we should have an online book group to discuss it. You will have to guess which is my favorite picture when you get it. It definitely calls for an Edward Gorey shawl and legwarmers, though.

And speaking of knitting, I must knit. I am knitting for Nitin, Cherry's boyfriend who has never had a Christmas stocking and who WILL have one this year.

And so, adieu.

Is there some subtle, hidden significance to the sizes of the pictures, which increase as the post goes on?

*serendipitous pun

Mittwoch, November 04, 2009

Just in time for next Halloween

I finished the Halloween socks on Sunday.

All Hail the Pumpkin King!

I wore them to school on Tuesday. I wanted to wear them to play the organ for convo but they were just a little too thick for my organ shoes so I had to go with basic black.

All Hail the Pumpkin King!
These aren't the leg hairs you're looking for. Move along.

The bobbles around the top are knitted on every other knit rib, increasing to five stitches by knitting in front and back of the stitch, then knitting five rows in stockinette, and then decreasing down to one stitch again. For this decrease I slipped one, k2 tog, passed the slip stitch over, k2 tbl, passed the slip stitch over again. The only tricky bit was what to anchor the bobble to. I decided to grab a stitch from the row below on the inside of the sock and knit the bobble stitch together with this picked up stitch. It seems to work fine.

Samstag, Oktober 31, 2009

I have Halloween knitting

There is something about the changing colors of autumn that makes me want to knit orange things.

I knitted a scarf

yarn: Zitron Trekking Tweed in "Casablanca" handpainted by Zauberglöckchen
--how does she do that, hand-dye a ball of yarn so the color changes
go from one end to the other without repeating?
pattern: Windsbraut Wintersturm from Klabauterwolle

and am still knitting socks.

Pumpkin King meets KawKawEsque
yarn: Djinni in "Pumpkin King" from Dragonfly Fibers;
pattern: KawKawEsque by Yarnissima

The scarf is itchy, but hey, that's what turtlenecks are for. I'm knitting another Windsbraut in a silk blend. Should be more comfy. These little lace projects from Moni at Klabauterwolle are working out well for Miss ADHD here.

I will see if I have time to put little bobbles around the top of the sock this afternoon. In the meantime:

Happy Halloween!

Samstag, September 26, 2009

I see too many holes

I have run into a problem with my beaded gloves.

Eve pattern by Julia Mueller (not available yet); Wollmeise in Jultomte

It's that line of holes running through the diagonal design. They happen when a right-leaning decrease (k2tog) is right next to a left-twisted stitch (ktbl). Other people knitting the design are getting them too, but mine are more noticeable.

Diagnosis: The knitting is too stretched becase my glove is too tight.

Treatment: Start over with the next size bigger needle--or the next size up in the glove. I kind of like the dense gauge, so the bigger size might be my answer.

I don't have all that much time to knit since I am taking classes this fall and practicing the organ more. It's sad to have a project crash and burn.

Sonntag, September 06, 2009

I try beading with dental floss

When I knitted Roxie this spring

Roxie by Lisa Grossman

I could not figure out the Tsarina's instructions for using dental floss as a beading tool. I put in all these stacks of beads one by one with a crochet hook.


Then someone on the Tsock Flock Ravelry group explained it a different way, and I got it. It goes like this.

First you need Oral B Superfloss.


This stuff has a a stiff nylon end intended for threading through braces or other dental obstructions while flossing. However, it also works as a beading needle.

When you string beads on it, they stay on because the middle section of the floss is puffy; it scrooches down as you slide the bead on, but then expands so it won't slide off.


Once you have a bead or two strung on, you put the stiff end of the superfloss through the stitch.


Fold the tip back so that you can slide a bead down over it like this:


Now pull the stitch off the needle using the loop for traction.


Slide the stitch from the floss loop to the stitch loop. Some beads are smaller than other, so if the bead won't go, you can just take it off the loop and try again with the next bead.


The bead can be put on before or after the stitch has been knitted. In Roxie the beads were put on after the stitch was knitted. In this swatch, the bead on the right was put on before the stitch was knitted, and the remaining bead was put on afterwards. They seem equally secure, but you would need to decide which method to use before starting and stick with it.


Mittwoch, September 02, 2009

What I bought

This is what I bought when I had to reset the "not buying yarn counter":

Arlene and Raku
Wollmeise: Top, Raku Regenbogen
Bottom, Arlene

I have wanted Raku Regenbogen ever since Claudia invented it, but for some reason it has been hard to find. And Arlene is named after the person I test-knitted for this spring, so of course I had to have it. Sadly my photo does not capture the real colors. It is brown and purple, not blue.

This came in today's mail, the result of a happy trade:

Goldenrod Crab and Buffalo
Bugga! in Buffalo Treehopper (left) and Goldenrod Crab Spider

I really like getting yarn in the mail; but getting it less often makes it more special somehow :)

Upcoming activities:
  • Thursday: picking up mom in Pocatello for a visit over Labor Day weekend.
  • Friday: taking mom to her uncle's funeral in central Utah--he was 90.
  • Saturday: making cinnamon rolls, one of mom's specialties.
  • Sunday: Wee I's blessing at church (like a christening).
  • Monday: taking a day off to relax.
  • Tuesday: taking mom back to Pocatello, where Robin will meet her and take her home.

  • Wish us luck.

    Donnerstag, August 27, 2009

    I start school

    My first week of school is finished.

    So far I have:

  • Taught someone how to play the recorder
  • Downloaded 107 PDF files for one class
  • Tested my new exercise routine by hiking all over campus up hill and down without dying
  • Gotten my first parking ticket of the semester*
  • Gotten the organ teacher I wanted
  • Turned in my schedule so I can get practice time on the pipe organ

    Archive shot of the Lively-Fulcher organ at the U

    My knitting time is going to be seriously restricted. Not only do I actually have to practice, but I have homework. Yikes! I had almost forgotten about homework.

    My first goal is to work on projects that are promised to people, such as Piper's other glove

    Miss Sophie
    "Miss Sophie's Hands," pattern by Julia Mueller; "Der Letzte Versuch" colowary in Wollmeise

    and sweaters for Wee EE. Although the Baby Surprise is going to come out so big that I might not worry about it right away.

    I wanted to have knit a sweater for each of the little girls by the time school started, but I am stumped on M1's. I have the most gorgeous red yarn, but she wants "rainbow." I did rainbow for her last year. She might accept pink and purple, but my pink and purple yarn are kind of saying "Modern Baby Blanket" for some reason. You know I don't knit blankets . . . the sweater might be safer.

    The purple on the right is Cascade 220
    The other three are from Steadfast Fibers in Bonners Ferry, ID
    (no website that I can find)

    Right now? I still don't have my piano sign-up sheet mailed out. I guess I'll think about teaching for a while.

    Er, just a minute. If you are reading on Bloglines, you didn't notice that I had to reset my "I haven't bought yarn since" counter. A friend went to Pfaffenhoffen to visit the Wollmeise store, and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. And as long as I was having to reset the counter anyway, I ordered a skein of Eidos from Sanguine Gryphon. But I am going back to being responsible now.

    *Who knew they were actually enforcing the 2-hour rule on parking next to the playground?
  • Samstag, August 22, 2009

    I figure out double knitting

    Summer is over. School starts on Monday. Time to finish up the summer knitting.


    Cheesehead (pattern not yet released) by Julia Mueller.
    Wollmeise Buxkranzl and Hollerstaud'n

    This is my first successful double knitting project. I really wanted to make a video of how it works because I was so excited. But I just couldn't stop knitting to make it. It was kind of addictive. I will let you know when the pattern is released. The instructions for the double knitting are in the pattern.

    I forgot to show you the cute scalloped edge. I did a knit 1 row purple, purl 1 row purple, then knit 1 row green before ribbing in green for the alternate side of the cuff.

    Scalloped edge


    Cesare had his dental surgery on Wednesay. Four teeth had to be pulled. He seems to have recovered completely, though--I saw him eating hard cat food last night. The vet had suggested soft food for three days, and but I guess Che had his own schedule.

    The big yarn sale netted enough to pay for Che's procedure with some over for tuition. It is on hold now. It is so time-consuming to photograph the yarns, and eBay is kind of expensive.

    I am a little nervous about the upcoming semester. I have always been really excited about school starting, but after having had two semesters where I could not finish the classes and just dropped out, the old excitement isn't there.

    School was always the thing that I was good at. Suddenly it doesn't feel that way. We will see if the new exercise program (step aerobics and light weights) and the light box--treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder--make a difference.

    Dienstag, August 11, 2009

    I See Stars

    Photo from Jim Harrington

    Last night was the peak of the Perseids meteor shower. I decided to stay up and watch meteors. It was hazy, and there was light pollution, so only the big ones got through. I saw six shooting stars that trailed across a couple of degrees of arc. One left a trail hanging in the sky for a few seconds.

    The best one I ever saw actually made a hissing sound, but that was several years ago.*

    I was going to stay out longer, because you see more meteors after midnight. My late father-in-law once explained why. It has something to do with the part of the earth you are on turning towards what you are looking at (Perseids meteors radiate from the northeast sky). However, at about midnight Paul came out to get me. He couldn't sleep because Cesare was sitting in the window looking out at me and yowling at the top of his Siamese lungs.

    I also spent some time yesterday looking for knitting stars.

    Since I did not go to Sock Summit, I have been watching for blog reports by people who did go. The most star-studded blog report I've found was from Sheri at the Loopy Ewe. She seems to have met everyone.

    Anne Hanson went to dinner with the stars.

    Lots of articles, great interviews, and a podcast showed up on the Oregonian's website. They did a video of the Guinness World Record knitting event.

    Knitting Daily interviewed Nancy Bush, my own personal sock hero. It was Nancy, when her shop "The Wooly West" was still a brick and mortar store, who introduced me to sock knitting.

    My Bosnian socks (purchased a few years ago from the Sundance Catalog) met several knitting stars, thanks to JC Briar who took them to meet Cat Bordhi, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Anna Zilboorg, and Barbara Walker. I had sent them along to see if anyone can tell how they were constructed. Sadly, socks do not take photos of the people they meet. But when they get back in the mail, I will take photos of them and show you why they are interesting.

    People who are promising more Real Soon Now: Stephanie. Gryphon. Knitnana. Lisa.

    *No one believes I could hear a meteor, but I swear I heard it.

    Freitag, August 07, 2009

    I find a scarf pattern I like

    I was looking through blogs today and ran across this scarf:

    I saw it on Crazy Aunt Purl, and the pattern is available for free on Freckles and Purls here.

    So why am I so excited? Well, I have this yarn that I bought from Sanguine Gryphon earlier this summer.

    Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller in (from left):
    Mogok, Rangoon, Mandalay, Arakan

    The colorways are all done in honor of her dog, Burma, whom I had a chance to meet when I went to Gryphon's dyeing workshop. I love how the yarns look together, and thought that entrelac would be a fun way to focus each color and still have a coordinated effect.

    And Little Traveller is a soft, squishable yarn. It feels good.

    The only problem: I don't know how to do those side triangle thingies. And now I have a pattern with side triangles.

    A friend offered to copy a pattern out of Scarf Style for me, but I have a rule against taking copied patterns. I told her I was sure I had the book so she wouldn't feel bad, but I looked and I don't. You never know, I could have forgotten I had it.

    Aren't you glad I didn't say eBay?

    Donnerstag, August 06, 2009

    I try a photo collage again

    I spent another day uploading yarns. I am trying a different collage program. Today it is Smilebox.

    Note: Smilebox opens a new window. You can get out of the slide show by closing the window.

    Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Today's yarns
    Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
    Make a Smilebox slideshow

    I also tried a different format for the yarns. They are all on auction rather than "Buy Now." I think if I decide to post any "sure thing" yarns, such as Wollmeise or Bugga, I will use Etsy. eBay seems awfully pricey. They take a 12% cut, whereas Etsy only takes 3.5%. But I think eBay has a wider audience.

    See the yarns at my eBay store, Tan's Yarn Sale.

    I hope tomorrow I will do something else. I am really tired of trying to sell yarn online. Buying it really is more fun.

    *FSOT: For Sale or Trade

    I crash my blog

    Yesterday I spent all day uploading Scottish Campion to eBay and my Ravelry sell or trade pages. Then I tried to make a collage of the yarns I was selling. I tried the Dundoo site. When I put the collage on the post, it put the Dundoo logo all over everything. The whole layout was ruined.

    So my advice is, don't use Dundoo. I am open for suggestions on a collage site that works.

    While I was trying to fix my blog, I happened to check my email. Someone had already bought all the Scottish Campion. This is good. As soon as her payment clears (when the tracking number shows that it has been delivered), I will have enough money to pay for Che's dental work.

    Yes, cat dental work. Who knew that cats have so many tooth problems? Fortunately we found a vet who has extra training in dentistry.

    I should just get a job as a veterinary assistant. I am a slave to our pets. My routine:

    Twice a day:
  • Change litter box
  • Give Che antibiotics for severe gingivitis
  • Rub solution on Che's gums for same (yes, in there with all those teeth)
  • Check or clean Trusty's ears
  • Give Trusty antibiotic for infected place on hock
  • Clean Trusty's neck and put on either cortisone or an antibiotic cream
  • Clean out and refill everyone's water bowls
  • Feed Trusty and check the cat's food

  • This is in addition to feeding and walking etc.

    Oh well. That's why we have pets, to teach us a sense of responsibility.

    In the meantime, I am not buying yarn. I am looking at it, though. Walking on the edge. The slippery slope.

    These are some of the winners from the Dye for Glory contest that was held on Ravelry.

    Georgia Peach by Three Irish Girls

    Father Time by Three Irish Girls

    Twilight from Becoming Art

    Gypsy Love
    Gypsy Love from Becoming Art

    Estuary by Three Irish Girls

    Wizard Wheezes
    Weasley's Wizard Wheezes from Green Eyed Monsters

    This one is not a prize winner, but I love it! I wonder why I love Halloween so much? Maybe I could dye this colorway for myself. It would be a lot easier to get than the Georgia Peach.

    The Pumpkin King from Zen String

    Mittwoch, August 05, 2009

    Dienstag, August 04, 2009

    I Sell Some Yarn

    I have needed to destash for a while. There is so much yarn that there is no place to put more yarn. And now I have stopped buying yarn (if you are reading on bloglines, please click over to the actual blog and admire my ticker), it is time to winnow the pile.

    I just started yesterday.

    In an effort to see what works and what doesn't, I have some things on eBay at Tan's Yarn Sale.

    Different ones are listed on (as supplies, since I didn't make this stuff) also called Tan's Yarn Sale.

    I plan to put up more stuff as I have time. There will be some items by a certain Scottish lady whose name I dare not publish online, mostly Scottish Campion and a little Scottish Heather. Anyone in the Salt Lake area who wants to come over tomorrow (Wednesday Aug 5th) and have a look at these, I will knock off $1 since you are saving me all the photoing and data entry it will take to list these on Ravelry. I think the Scottish Campion will be $5.00 online and the Scottish Heather will be $7.50 online. I do not have sweater quantities of the Scottish Heather.

    Let me know if you have any suggestions for either shop. I am way new to this!

    Today I am trying free shipping on a couple of items.

    Mittwoch, Juli 29, 2009

    Harder Than It Looks

    Spoiler alert for Co-op Club and Embrace the Lace! continue at your own risk!

    Nobody has said anything about my new ticker. I waited until I had gone without buying yarn for a month before putting it up. This is mainly because that was the point at which I got tired of looking in my emails to see when I bought this skein of yarn from Handu.

    Handu 100% merino in Sunrise Avenue
    Purchased to knit Yarnissima's Kiila pattern

    That was the last yarn I shopped for and bought. This was harder than it looks: the website is in Finnish. I was able to figure out what I wanted and get all the way to checkout (Finnish must have some loan words), but Ilu's website doesn't provide for shipping to the US. I gave up trying to find a link to email Ilu to place an order and made Cherry do it for me. Who knew it would come in handy to have a polyglot in the family?

    This does not mean that yarn is not still coming. As you no doubt already know, I subscribed to way too many clubs. And some of these are subscriptions that automatically come out of my PayPal or are invoiced. So technically, I am still buying yarn. But I am not counting those, because I am not shopping for and buying yarn. I am just filling commitments I already made.

    But temptation is everywhere. Someone on Ravelry posted a message asking if Dahlia in Gaia Lace is the same colorway as Calliope in Eidos. And I says to my self, I says, "If it is I will buy it." And I looks, and I'm sure it is, and there is one left.

    And then I remembered I am not buying yarn. WAAAAAAAAH!

    It is harder than it looks.

    The club offerings are letting me taper off gently. Here are the most recent ones I've received:

    gryphon co-op yarn
    Sanguine Gryphon's Little Traveller in "Kahuku Point" (not yet available outside the Unique Sheep's Co-op Club)

    Faith from Embrace the Lace
    "Faith" from Embrace the Lace, a Wool Girl club

    This kit has Miss Babs lace yarn in a sand color, a shawl pattern from Goddess Knits, a yummy orange-ginger lip balm, a row counter bracelet from Crimson Orchid (maybe this time I will learn how to use one), salt water taffy and sea shells, a note card, a Namaste Catalina Pouch, and a cat.

    What, you didn't get a cat in yours?

    ETA: When putting everything away I found a stitch marker from See Jayne Knit, two pouches of lemonade mix, a curly paper clip, and a Soak sample.


    Montag, Juli 27, 2009

    Never Blog Anything that has 231,665 Hits

    Eh, so what, rules are made for breaking.

  • The big news:

  • Laurel had her baby on Wednesday. He weighed 8 lbs. 14 oz. and was just over 20 inches long. No pictures on the Internet, in the interest of child safety.

    Turbo and I knitted a hat for him.

    Turbo prefers British wools

    Is this a cat bed I see before me?

    Capillifolium Baby Bonnet
    Capillifolium Baby Bonnet from Piecework Magazine, knitted in Hebridean 2-ply from Virtual Yarns.

    The hat is itchy. I guess I will put a little hat band in it and line the earflaps.

  • This just in:

  • My brother broke his leg camping at Yellowstone park this morning, badly enough to require surgery. His wife called our brother-in-law, Dan, who is an ER doc to ask if he should have the surgery in nearby Rexburg, or go back home to Las Vegas. Dan said that if they went back to Las Vegas, the leg would look like a python that ate a pig by the time they got there.

    The illustration from The Little Prince comes to mind. Of course, that was neither a python nor a pig.

  • Drumroll:

  • Ruth Ann has finished chemotherapy! Hurray! She can grow hair again!

    Montag, Juli 20, 2009

    The Shielded Ice Warrior Meets the Sock of Doom

    Unaware that his doom approaches, the Ice Warrior chills out while his Cat-Guard takes a nap.

    Shielded Warrior Meets Sock of Doom

    He turns to face the threat.


    How can this scenario end? Who is stronger, the sock or the Lego Empire? Can you even ask?

    Rogue Roses

    Yes, the Sock of Doom and it's mate have been defeated. (Also de-feeted.) They are mounted and put on display. All Bionicles rejoice!

    Shielded Ice Warrior and sock-down scenario designed by A; sock designed by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Rogue Roses); yarn designed by Tina Newton (BMFA Socks That Rock colorway Gertrude Skein).

    P.S. Look at the cute rosebuds:

    Rogue Roses detail
    No tickers