Thursday, May 4, 2017

Progress Post

I'm planning on finishing up that new pair of socks for my friend Annie this weekend. I did return the repaired pair to her because I was so excited to have actually pulled that off.


I have lost the ball band on this yarn, but it's a bit thicker than my usual stuff. It's sturdy and will be good for her padding around her big kitchen with a cup of tea and a laptop going and fresh granola baking. (Yeah, she's that kind of lady. Her 3 kids have a hot breakfast every morning and remind me to tell you how we met over her Martha Stewart Syle Homemade Kale chips some day ...).

Anyways. I love my double point needles for sock knitting. I like how they prop up the sock as if it's shaping up around an invisible leg, but I have had a hard time NOT knitting socks with the circulars these days. It feels faster. Also I feel like I'm constantly shoving my knitting inside a bag in a hurry and I seem to lose less stitches with the circulars. I know I have some point protectors ... somewhere, but that is the problem; they are somewhere, but where, I do not know.


I'm feeling really monogamous now so I'm pretty sure I will finish off this pair of socks before I cast on for a Gramps cardigan. Very truthfully, I really need to organize my knitting gear. I love my stuff, but it's a hot mess right now.

How's your knitting gear? Did you manage a spring clean?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gosh Darn it!

This is a story about me actually fixing a sock. I had finished the gusset on a pair of simple ribbed socks and was feeling the groove.

Then the holey sock looked at me from the side of my bed sad, despondent, neglected, cast aside.

My heart can be cold but it tries not to be cruel. So before I finished my new sock I picked up the broken sock, determined.

In my last post I "woe is me'd" a bit and you all were very supportive. Many of you are my people and suggested just knitting her a new pair. I've decided the new socks I'm knitting are already for her, so she'll definitely get a new cozy pair.

Steph suggested embroidering over it (fancy!) Nancy suggested pulling out the toe stitches just below the hole since the damage was up near the top of the foot. (Feeling too impatient.)

Autumngeisha sent a link I'd been eyeballing and it felt, right. This looked more my speed. I also used this one for reference from cookie A.

My first attempt I picked up my "anchor" stitches too close to the hole and it wasn't secure enough in my opinion. This time I knew better. I took the advice to pick up the right of each stitch I needed. It made it easier to see the spacing.


Knit a row! Purl a row!


Yes that's my keyboard. What? One must utilize the the lunch hour the best you can. After that set up row of knit/purl you pick up a stitch to the right of your first stitch to k2tog. That's what I'm doing below:


K2tog 4ever and ever. big hear eye emoji. On the otherside of your knit row, you pick up to the left and SSK. Purl as usual.


You need to eyeball before you pick up for those stitches that tack your patch down on the sides.


See the little patch coming along?


And then between mouthfuls of lunch at the desk and trying to darn a hole in my sock and take photos lunch was over so the rest of the photos take place at home in the knitting chair.

This was when my patch was of length. I just knit until I felt like it was sufficient, after lots of eyeballing. Now this is where you can start grafting with an egg. But that wasn't happening. I took Cookie A's cue and inserted a dpn a few rows above the hole to kitchener it off.


I turned the sock inside out to weave in some ends. Meh. Not pretty, I was worried it might feel bumpy on the foot...


But amazingly the patch was pretty comfortable inside. I think they'll be used as slipper socks though, not with shoes. The patch itself not being knit in pattern looks, okay. The SSK is a little rough, but I'll try to smooth that out next attempt.


Now, back to our regularly scheduled sock knitting. I've got small people cardigans to knit next :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Knitting Status

Indeed the epic baby blanket is finished.


It feels divine, but it was definitely a labor of love. The final edging didn't turn out exactly as I wanted it too, but I'm hoping after I block it, it will be a little less annoying. My measuring skills were wonk city.


I will not lie, as soon as the last end was woven in I couldn't wait to cast on for a new pair of socks. Socks glorious socks. Just something simple I said. I sort of blindly threw my hands in the stash and pulled out a perfectly purplish ball.

I was on auto-pilot for the cast on and ribbing so that dictated what non stockinette pattern I was going to do. It was a 60 stitch cast on so I went with just a basic ribbed stitch.


It's giving me the happy. I secretly plan on knitting on this by headlamp as much as possible this week.

And that brings us to what I REALLY NEED TO DO.


Remember these? I knit them for my friend Annie. She gave them back to me with a small hole, wondering if I could repair it. I thought, hmm. I should learn about this.

That was almost a YEAR ago.

I started trying to repair it, maybe a little too late at night. It didn't work. But when I pulled it out ... I made the hole bigger.

Sigh. Any advice or reference for hole fixing is greatly appreciated.

Good knits and good things to you and yours.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The catchup

Well, well, well ... surprised to see me?

Yeah me too. I've been a boring knitter these days and roller coaster of busy so I just didn't post. But here is the catch-up:

Knitting: I am literally finishing the garter border on my baby blanket. I'm definitely at the yarn chicken point, but I'm going for it. If I have to back it out to get the right number of rows, I'll lifeline it to reduce pain. 

My plans of finishing it this past weekend were interrupted by a horrible stomach bug which I'm weakly recovering from. I wore my Ravelry hoodie and slip on shoes to work today, because that's about as fussed as I could be to get there. Unsurprisingly the work still tastes the same ;)

Things learned: My tape measuring skills may not be all I thought they were.

Baking: I had a good run of cakes for a bit.
A post shared by @theellenreport on

Then it went to pot.  I overbaked a bunch of stuff this weekend. I salvaged some cookies for soccer and the neighbors, so there's that. 



Secret Ingredient: Cream cheese

Family: Well, after a long arduous journey, we have pretty much finished the High School selection and assignment process. He was accepted to the 2 private schools we applied to (Drew School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) 2 wonderful schools. He also got his first selection in the Public High School Lottery selection, Lincoln High, which is a very large All American high school with lots of great classes and teachers on the other side of town.

He ended up accepting a spot at his first choice, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in Media and Film Arts department. 

It was a long fought battle. H. submitted an initial portfolio mainly of photography and I think one stop motion piece. He then went in for his 2 hour audition. My understanding is that this was 1 part panel interview, 1 part writing assignment and then they put you in a group of other stranger children and they story boarded and shot their bit.

After the first round, we received notice he was not accepted but they would like to see additional work from him. So then he decided to work on a screenplay sample. The initial draft went surprisingly smooth. The editing not so much. The last weekend before the deadline I sent him to his room to work / edit it down. He went in with 7 pages and came out with 10. Edit was misinterpreted.

After some stereotypical Angry Asian Mom moments his father took over and it got done. He submitted and waited. 

Then we heard he did not get a spot. So we waited for the letters from SFUSD with the lottery results, fingers crossed.

But before the letters arrived I get a call from SOTA admissions saying there was a mix up and they knew a lot of families had already made *decisions and they didn't want to complicate things and send us the letter if we didn't want it, but ... he was accepted. I said, "we'll take the complication." The letters came later that day, and he found out he got into Lincoln as did 2 of his best friends. But his heart was with the art and his besties were very supportive of him. It meant the world to him to hear his friends say they would have to make sure to make plans on the weekends. I thanked their mothers in tears after, for raising such sweet boys. 

*Private schools have a decision deadline. Deposits and acceptance must be must be made in a week. For us, we had a day at this point, we were lucky and pretty comfortable with most of the public schools in the lottery.

The application process to private schools and some of the public selection schools is similar to college, tests, interviews, letters of recommendation. Hell, even the decision process reminds me of college (Big envelopes vs. little envelopes.) 

Things learned: 

  1. I may not be a helicopter parent, though I may not be the disciplinarian I thought I was, I parent from a place of using negativity as a lesson too much. Dang.
  2. As much as I am a firm believer in best fit for your child, I am a child of public school and even if we had gotten the financial aid was leaning towards the public school hard. 
  3. I think we're going to use this as an intro for the college application torment. And I'm going to bank some of that money for that SAT prep thing.

So now, I'm basically trying to stay, get? healthy, be a good worker and start decluttering my apartment, hard core. Oh and swear less. It's all really hard.

But that's me. What's been a challenge for you? What have you been changing up? 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

I remember there was a time I knit other things besides stockinette baby blankets. I can't really even use that "s" in good conscience since I know it's really only one baby blanket I've been slaving away on. Still haven't finished color 3/4. Whisper words of encouragement from your own needles to mine, friends ;)

I am still utterly and completely disgusted when I try on something new or get dressed in the morning and I'm ... unsatisfied but after all these decades I have to talk myself down from the ledge and remind myself that a number, a specific size does not matter as much as the actual fit of the garment.

I exercise and I exercise just to break even. I know it doesn't matter what size things are as long as I am healthy and things fit appropriately -- whatever it is you like to wear, yoga pants, crop tops, burlap sacks, they all have a best fit for you. Yet I get upset when I get something new and I feel like "it should've fit." and yet, back it goes. I work too hard for my money to shove myself into pants that may or may not put me into "sausage" territory.

Mmm. Sausage. If you're a vegetarian have you ever eaten soyrizo? It's soy chorizo, it's a fun way to jazz up some meatless dishes. breakfast burritos, mmm. Perhaps it's not your thing, but I do enjoy saying soyrizo. LOL.


I learned to make BAKED cheese sticks this weekend. I was trying to bake a strawberry teacake at the same time so I over baked them and they oozed everywhere, but the teenagers hanging out didn't care and agreed it should be "put on the list" of things to make when they gather. The first trick is the freezing. The second trick is to not be fooled by their pale color. They are finished, do not overbake. Pretty sure I used this recipe,


I'm such a weirdo, aside from desperately wanting to knit some "fun socks" I want to knit cardigans. -- This is what I think when I look at all my friend's sock pictures, "oh look, those are so fun! Look at those FUN colors! I might be able to do that FUN pattern!"

But I think I'm trying to manage my crazy cardigan desires by first deciding the next baby knit (or 2) will DEFINITELY be a cardigan. I might have to do her favorite Gramps pattern. I love it too. Apparently I made one for a baby who will be turning 2 soon and he still wears his too small version. Time for an upgrade.

Two best compliments: Someone asks for a recipe. Someone wears what you knit.

Life is busy but it's good. Miss you. Keep at knit.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Work In Progress: Baby Blanket Edition


One of my old exercise pals from the original crew went and had herself a baby girl.

I like babies. Especially other people's babies, and let me tell you this kid is something so cute it's unreal. She was born in early December and honestly I had no extra time for baby knitting mojo. 

But when I saw the baby blanket kit I immediately thought of that cutie pie and well here we are. 


Super skinny yarn on US 3 needles. Send me some good vibes, b/c the yarn is a little splitty. Definitely requiring some bamboo and not metal needles. 

I've managed to make some progress since I actually took the last photo. I'm about to start color block 3/4. I'll post another photo when I get through #3. 

I was just beginning to day dream of pink socks and steel blue sweaters when my neighbors just announced they are having a baby boy this summer, hehe.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Oodles of Bread

Saturday night we woke up at 4am (technically Sunday I suppose) and whispered in the dark about our fears of the teenager and for the same teenager.

Last weekend we put the Kid in lock-down to finish an assignment. I was not allowed in the room on the second day of revisions.

So, I baked some bread.


I baked a lot of bread.


I baked some good bread and now you're going to benefit with the recipes. The bread is easy. The problem is that it takes time. You can't be impatient with bread. You save that impatience for the know-it-all teenager whom you love and cry secret tears about when you can still see his baby face when he's sleeping.

Patience and discipline is hard folks.

First up New York Times No Knead 12 - 18 hour rise.


I baked this one exactly 30 mins. cover on and then 15 off. Notice the golden color. The boys were concerned it was not baked enough, but sliced into it was a chewy delight.

Next up was the New York Times Speedy edition.


More yeast, less rise. I added a tablespoon of honey because ... why not. I also baked it longer for a darker color. I gave this to my friend Luis and he seemed quite pleased. He had it for dinner with ravioli 2 days after I baked it and he said the crust was hard but it warmed up in the oven quite well. I stored it in a paper bag not wrapped in plastic.

And this is my happy place, I busted out the pullman loaf pan for perfectly square Beekeeper's Pain de mie.


This was the house favorite. They have had it for breakfast every morning. It's been inspiring. There are many pullman loaf or pain de mie recipes out there. But this one had the least odd ingredients, like potato starch or something dehydrated. I will test a few more things out in this pan and let you know how it goes, but I love that I can make some nice tea sandwich bread from scratch. This is better than the white bread I usually make. Swoon. hearts and happiness.


Speaking of Valentine's Day I leave you with a picture of the lovely tulips my husband brought home. We can't grow anything at our apartment and we don't buy flowers very often so this was a really sweet treat.


Hope you are all well. Knitting progress next, I promise!