FO Roll Call

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*roll the Brady Bunch tune*

Here’s the story, of Itty Bitty on Ravelry,

Where there’s always a monthly, charity drive.

It was KnittingDaddy’s turn, for this August,

Preemie hats for a NICU.

I have four preemie hats to send off to Greg; they were a bit hard to photograph and I didn’t feel inspired as I usually do. Most of us used Carissa’s pattern.

For the nonknitters who read KO, here are some pics to give you a sense of the sizes:

1. Size 3 DPN’s:

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2. Size 2 DPN’s:

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My favorite one is this ribbed one:

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It’s so tiny! I have never made a beanie so small.

The patterns are really easy to follow. I also liked this yarn – Lion Brand Babysoft Solid – very much. It has a soft feel. I hope these bring worried, new parents some comfort while their babies grow stronger in the NICU of Women’s Hospital of Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Flow of Nom, Nom, Nom

Yes. The title says it all. You’ve been forewarned.

Earlier this month, was E’s la hanau. So for my man, I ordered him a banana cream pie from Ohana Bakeshop:

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Isn’t it beautiful? The tart crust was so pretty and you would not believe how heavy it was. Amy really packed it in. The Big Kahuna was extremely happy. I’m sorry I didn’t get a Canon shot because as soon as this was brought out, we oinked out on it for two evenings.

One big part of our summer was plenty of ohana time. At my mum’s request, the nine of us try to get together once a month.

On a Saturday was potluck for E and my SIL’s la hanaus:

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I made the musabis. They look good and were fine okay. But the onigiri I had made for the keiki’s first day of school were much betta. I’m starting to flavor the rice with vinegar which makes a big difference.

My mum made the popovers, the ox tail stew, and the peanut butter cup cheesecake.

My SIL made the potstickers. Aren’t her folds so professional looking? She also made that light, tasty salad.

Recently last week, Princess Cupcake requested chocolate cupcakes. So I found Martha Stewart’s One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe on Pinterest and got bakin':

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I filled the liners 3/4 of the way which wasn’t a good decision. The top overflows into a Little Miss Muffet top. The eighteenth cupcake was 2/3 full and had a nice, rounded top. Oh well, trial and error, yeah? After all, this blog is about roller coasting through yarn and life.

I used this vanilla buttercream recipe by Alice Currah. I think next time I’ll put in more powder sugar for stiffer piping. The buttercream did hold through to consumption.

I watched a few videos on piping tips and tried these out for fun. Still trying to improve my skillz. Amy, classically trained pastry chef, liked my work so that was a compliment.

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I can’t tell you what tip it was. It was part of a set from Michael’s. I forgot it was in the dish pan and so when I emptied it, the garbage disposal had a field day. I made E look for it but it was a goner *shrugs*.

Now I’m hungry, LOL. However, I’m not starving. I’ve been drinking green tea every day. I started out with decaf and read online how its properties are a bit altered and not as beneficial as caffeinated green tea. So I tried out the regular bags and my stomach is able to handle it.

Sautéed spinach and over-easy eggs for me.

What are you eating for lunch today?

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Aloha. How’s your hump day so far?

Mine had a very productive morning. It’s Shark folder day at the school where you see many parents or even grandparents stuffing 411 items, such as the weekly newsletter and other informational letters, for students to take home to their parents to read &/or fill out. Another active, parent volunteer takes care of the 2nd grade kumu who her son and Princess Jellybean have so I can concentrate on the 5th grade – Princess Cupcake’s kumu. I told him this morning to think of me as his secretary who’ll take care of the menial work that takes up unnecessary time so he can teach and grade papers. I told him I can even correct the straightforward work, like math problems and one word answers, as I had done last year for Cupcake’s 4th grade kumu. Speaking of who, she had mentioned earlier this week how she had missed me, especially on Wednesdays, so I offered to take care of her folders as well.

Remember this WIP – A Spot of Tea – for the elder keiki’s former, 4th grade kumu?

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I forgot to blog about it last time. The fourth repeat of the branch lace is completed. I need to knit a few rows before reaching the picot BO. I need to work on this shawl more.

In the meantime, I started this new project:

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A paraprofessional who we love and who we always greet with an “Annyeong haseyo,” asked me to knit her mum a pouch so dentures don’t go missing for a good, two hours. After perusing Ravelry, I found Susan B. Anderson’s free pattern: Pear-Apple Cozy.

I’m using heavier yarn – worsted – and size 6 DPN’s so it’ll be spacious enough. I’m about halfway through right now. The yarn – Everyday Soft Worsted Prints in Cold Mountain – was part of a free, gift bag for attending Deborah Norville’s lecture at VOGUE Knitting Live!, L.A. three years ago.

I need to eat before keiki pick up! Aloha.

A second, belated “It’s Monday! What are you reading?”

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Aloha. Howz it?

Sorry for being a bit misleading in the last post. We didn’t have WiFi which streams our Roku and powers our landline, but we did have 3G on our phones. I didn’t want to post Android pics as you know I’m trying to step it up with photos. Not to mention our laptop isn’t recognizing my Nexus 4 when it’s connected with the USB. If I have an Android photo, I have to upload it into a post via the WP app, save it as a draft, and then go on the laptop to open up WP so I can download it and edit it with Picasa to then reupload it. Anyways, our outdoor cable wire was hella old, more than 10 years. Comcast replaced it and our apartment one yesterday – hoorah!

Well, it still feels like I’m a flip-flop or two behind where I should be as it’s been busy with our ohana lately. Case in point: Book Reviews.

But before I get into them, I just wanted to say mahalo nui loa for the worry about me and the crew over here on the wes’side. While talking to ppl Monday morning, some said they slept through it which shows you how most San Franciscans are used to earthquakes. A few were freaked out but the majority of us take each one in stride. The fault that will affect us the most is the San Andreas one which runs along the coast. This is the one that caused the big, 1906 earthquake, a magnitude of 7.8 to 8.25. If you’re ever in our city, go to the Academy of Sciences. There is an earthquake exhibit that shakes and gives you a good indication of how strong the 1906 earthquake was.

I. WICKED APPETITE BY JANET EVANOVICH

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From Goodreads:

Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

I don’t have much to say about this eBook which should give you an indication of where this review is going.

The Good:

1. Descriptive, bakery scenes

2. Doesn’t shy away from explanation of magic

3. Some humor among characters

4. Plot right on target

However, while I’ve been wanting to read Wicked Appetite – was rated about 3.78 on Goodreads – for quite some time, I just didn’t feel that hook while reading it. The vibe was different. I guess I had high expectations after all the supernatural romance I’ve read. Lizzie, the protagonist, wasn’t perfect which was fine but she was an uninteresting newbie at magic. Her antagonist, Diesel, was cocky and machismo. I think this was somewhat of a turn off for me, like he wasn’t believable enough for me. I had the urge to roll my eyes. Also, maybe the books I’ve read in the past had more grit and darkness while Evanovich’s work was full of light.

Two stars from me.

II. NICE TO COME HOME TO BY REBECCA FLOWERS

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I told you before that I was a bit of a book snob as I tended to add books to my TBR on Goodreads if they rated above a 3.5. Well Nice to Come Home To rated 3.33, but you know what? I enjoyed this read.

From Goodreads:

Everyone around Prudence Whistler, thirty-six, seems to be settling down. Her once single girlfriends have married and had babies. Her gay best friend is discussing marriage with his partner. Even her irresponsible younger sister, Patsy, is the single mother of a two-year-old. But when Pru panics at losing her mediocre boyfriend of two years-and begins to see the door to her traditional family life closing-she accidentally finds something even better: a new definition of family and happiness. First, it’s the crazy cat who moves into her apartment. Then come Pru’s headstrong sister and two-year-old niece. Then the niece’s dog, the sister’s ex-boyfriend, and, ultimately, Patsy and Pru’s widowed mother. With the strength of her modern new household, Pru musters the confidence to open the dress shop she’s always wanted in town-and discovers an extended family of sorts in the community of shop owners and devoted customers. It’s only then that she ends up with the man of her dreams.

I think one of the things that attracted me to it was the main character was in her late thirties, near my age. I liked how even at that age, with some life under her belt, a woman can reinvent herself and can find something she’s always wanted later in life.

This is by no means a fast-paced book. It is a thorough journey of Pru’s road from being dumped to finding herself to finding true love. Because no stone was left unturned, it took some getting used to. But while my expectations had to adjust, I found this plot to be realistic. It made me think of a conversation I had with a police officer many years ago – we were talking about TV, cop shows; I told him how I liked to watch CSI and he had made a comment about how they solve the crime in a half an hour. We know this doesn’t happen in real life. It takes months or even years to find a murderer. I felt this old conversation paralleled this eBook. Recovering from a break up and getting laid off each has its own special cycle or process a person has to go through. The author was detailed in having Pru go through them.

And there is something about Rebecca Flowers’ style of writing that a few of her passages had this certain effect upon me. I don’t know how to properly identify it. Maybe it’s imagery? Could you nail it down to a technique or term for me?

Page 25, 8%:

“Rudy reached over and put his other hand on top, sandwiching her hand between both of his. She did not like how this made her feel, like deli meat, like cheese. His hands were not much bigger than her own, but the move was accompanied by a power shift so real she could feel it. She had the wild thought to shift it back again by covering up the pile of hands with her free one.”

Page 135, 42%:

“The hand. As soon as it was holding hers, she had a feeling about it that didn’t fully make sense. It was a nice enough hand, dry, with sensitive fingertips. Through it she could feel his worry, and his wish to reassure her, and his heartbeat. She was glad to have it guiding her along, in the darkness that at last had begun to close in on them. But it gave her an eerie feeling, too, of something familiar, something she had forgotten but now remembered. Like when you looked under your bed and there was your watch, which you hadn’t even noticed was missing.”

Four stars.

Okay; I need to eat something as my brain is running on empty.

Two books reviewed – check! Now for the fun part – picking out the ^__^ next read.

TTYL.

6.0 Earthquake

Good morning. At the insistence of Nancy and a thank you to Tracey for emailing me yesterday, I am quickly posting to let you know San Francisco is fine. I felt the 30 second earthquake three something in the morning Sunday. I knew it was stronger and longer. We usually get a fast, slamming jolt that are around 4.1. I felt like a ball slowly rolling down a spiral.
The damage is across the Golden Gate Bridge up north in Napa. The earthquake happened along the West Napa fault. They have many old buildings with bricks and of course wineries.
On an unrelated note, our cable wire outside has seen its last legs so we haven’t had Internet, Roku, and a landline all weekend. Hopefully Comcast will fix it this morning.
Thank you very much for your concern.

FO Rollcall

Stitch n Pitch Giants Game (313x500)

Annyeong haseyo!

Made my TJ run with no hassles. Glad to check that off for the week as the ga-jok has had slim pickins grubwise. And TGIF, yeah? Hoo-rah!

Kamsa hamnida for the pixie love. I personally think anyone could pull it off, no matter what face shape you have or what texture your hair is – look at pictures of celebrities on Pinterest – Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emma Watson, Audrey Tautou, and Rhianna. Link here to my Pixie Cuts board.

Then it’s about hair styling in which you need product. You always need the right products no matter what texture you have. I use Garnier Fructis De-Constructed Beach Chic to grit up my baby fine hair that’s slippery and straight. The blow dryer is on low and I use a hand to rub in that sandy grit. Then I work some Garnier Fructis Power Putty Mess Maker in my hands via rubbing them together and then working it into my hair which really shows off the texture. I then finish off with Bumble & Bumble Semi Sumo for more definition and a bit of shine.

I always feel I don’t get the full effect of my ‘do unless I doll up my face. I usually have a cat eye via Lancome’s Artliner. But lately, I’ve been rockin’ the eyeshadow – brow highlight, light base for lid, medium shadow for crease, and a darker one for the corner – and pencil eyeliner for smokiness via lining the waterline on the bottom. How’d I learn all this? The eyeshadow basics mostly from Smashbox long ago, some from the MAC counter, and of course, Pinterest.

So today is a quick FO:

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After 12 days (still miffed at USPS), on Monday, the 18th, Courtney finally received her Ombre Stripes: “Thank you…! I love my infinity scarf! It feels so cozy around my neck! And of course, you know my fave colors!!” She gave me permission to post this from her Viber text.

Well, I may have a tardy, YOP post. I’m bringing home PTA docs that need to be stapled together with envelopes which I still need to get. I figured I could enlist the girls to help me. Husband offered too. I rather get it done this weekend, otherwise, I’ll stress over it even if I was going to have help from parents next week.

Until our next chat…Annyeong kaseyo.

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Aloha.

I have Claire Bowen of the Nashville Cast singin’ “Black Roses” right now. What a poetic and haunting song this is. I really love it.

I am still getting these first days of school under my belt. I know now that I’ll be volunteering Tuesdays and Wednesdays for about two hours per day. Princess Jellybean’s kumu has plenty for me to do; the elder keiki had her and I used to help Mrs. C almost five days a week. Princess Cupcake’s kumu is getting used to parental help; would you believe he’s never had help other than for field trips? Mr. I told me he has always thought that he should be doing everything, even those mundane, time-consuming, clerical chores. I told him I understood but I’m here to take care of those for him so he can concentrate on teaching our kids. He was so excited when I told him I’ll xerox the emergency cards and disaster relief forms for him!

So I’m not ready to fully show these pau, preemie hats yet, but here’s a sneaky peek:

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The very bottom one was knitted on size 3 DPNs in which each are 3.25 mm thick – clarification for the nonknitters who read KO. The upper two hats were knitted on size 2 DPNs – each 2.75 mm thick.

Number four beanie is a third pau:

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It will be all ribbed.

And here’s a little flash at my week old ‘do:

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I got a standard pixie that’s a bit asymmetrical. I love it as it’s textured, sassy, and it’s so much more manageable.

Gots to leave soon for keiki pick up.

Aloha.