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Friday, April 11, 2014


Curtis and I are moving in together! We found an apartment on Queen Anne (about five minutes north of the Space Needle) and we can start moving our stuff in on April 18th.

We have both been going through our things and trying to purge... This means yarn too. If you're interested, or know anyone who might be, take a look at some of the yarn I am willing to part with. If you have any questions or would like to buy some, send me an email!

Araucania Nature Cotton - $3 each
Regularly retails $14, but on sale for $8ish elsewhere online
Marine (whole skein, unskeined in transit)

Teal (whole skein, unskeined in transit)

Beehive Baby Yarn - $2 for Beehive lot
2 50 g skeins of 100% acrylic sport weight 
Light Teal

Cascade 220 Superwash - Whole Cascade 220 Superwash lot for $25 or $3 for anything .75 or greater and $1 for less
Retails for $10.50
Beige (Whole skein, no label)

Bright Blue (.8 skein, no label)

Charcoal (.3 skein, no label)

Dark Red 855 (.75 skein, no label)

Dark Teal (.8 skein, no label)

Heather Brown (partial skein, no label)

Light Blue 897 (whole skein)

Light Brown (whole skein, no label)

Multi-Green 1928 (whole skein, but with a few yards in a separate ball, no label)

Navy (.75 skein, no label)

Neon Pink 829 (whole skein)

Pink 836 (.8 skein, no label)

Red (.8 skein, no label)

Cascade 220 Heathers - Whole Cascade $4.50 each
Retails for $8

Bluestone 4001 (2 whole skeins)

Blue 2404 (2 whole skeins)

Cascade Remnants - Free if you come get them or add them to something else you purchase
Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash
Charcoal (~.5 skein)

Cascade Yarns Pastaza
Black (~.5 skein)

Classic Elite Yarns Miracle - $6 for lot
Pressed Olive 3350 (whole skein and remnant)

Purple (~.5 skein)

Rose (~.5 skein)

**SOLD** Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply - $15 for Fyberspates lot
Retails for $27.60

Midnight 309 (~.5 skein)

Natural 310 (~.5 skein)

Louet Gems Fingering Weight - $10 for Louet Gems lot
Retails for $9.95 each
Hot Pink (whole skein, no label)

Light Pink (whole skein, no label)

Navy (whole skein, in two balls, no label)

Knit Picks Capra - $5
Retails for $7.99
Regal (whole skein)

Knit Picks Maeve Hat and Mittens Kit - $20
Kit Retailed for $30
Contains pattern for hat and mittens and 9 skeins of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Never been opened

Mirasol Yarn Sulka - $6
Retails for $9.95

Pink 235 (whole skein and remnant)

Patons North America Silk Bamboo - $5
Retails for $9.99

Light Blue 85219

Plymouth Yarn Suri Merino - $3
Retails for $5.50
Natural 100

Rowan Kidsilk Haze - $10 for Rowan Kidsilk lot
Retails for $15 each

Ice (whole skein, no label)

Navy (whole skein, no label)

Rowan  Pure Wool DK - $12 for Rowan Pure Wool DK lot or $5 each
Retails for $8.50
010 Indigo (whole skein)

052 Orchid (2 whole skeins)

Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK - $6
Retails for $9.95
Opulence 521 (1 whole skein)

Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK - $2
Froggie 0220 (.75 skein, no label)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Social Media: Brands and Facebook

As some of you may know, I am in my final quarter of my MLIS program (woohoo!). I didn't coast out of the iSchool by any means; I'm signed up for 12 credits this quarter (in addition to my full-time job and my part-time job) and one of those classes is Strategic Management of Social Media. I've been learning about transitions from traditional marketing and outreach techniques to new, innovative social transmedia. This includes thinking about how to plan and implement a social media strategy, evaluate and reach your desired audience (even determine who your desired audience really should be), create meaningful content that engages consumers, and SOMETHING. You may have noticed that I've ramped up my Twitter presence and have been working to improve my blogs (this one and Most of my efforts have been incorporating things that I've been learning. How have I been doing? Do you feel more engaged?

Anyway, one of our assignments is to write about how brands are leveraging Facebook to engage their customers. So here are my thoughts (which are informed primarily by our in-class discussions and lectures and Jeff Bullas' writings on his site). Let me know what you think!

Brands use Facebook in several ways, some more successfully than others. They are working to get their consumers engaged with them on Facebook's platform by trying to get them to post about them on their own walls, write comments and respond to the brand's post, "like" their page, and provide feedback. If you're on Facebook, I'm sure you've seen some of these efforts. They look like this:

Right smack-dab in the middle of your News Feed. But they're offering a deal! You have the opportunity to "Like" their post, comment on that post, even share it on your own wall or on your friends' walls. And it's easy for the consumer.

These promoted News Feed posts are a lot like standing on the sidewalk and shouting at your customers as they walk past with their friends. It's a bit jarring for the customer and it frequently goes more or less ignored, but sometimes you have something valuable to shout and your customer stops, listens, and, hopefully, engages.

In my opinion, the most successful brands are offering something in return. Sometimes it's a deal or a special offer. Many brands offer exclusive savings or giveaways to consumers who "Like" their page or leave a comment -- some way of visibly proclaiming to all their Facebook connections that they support the brand. Other times, the brand is offer superior, quality content and not just "advertising". They aren't sharing promotions or deals. They are sharing informative content that the consumer finds valuable in some way; it's entertaining or educational. This type of interaction with the consumer creates a more stable relationship than just clicking "Like" (a superficial metric if ever there was one) and if the content really is good, then you'll get repeat consumers who share your content with others.

What do you think? What have been your experiences with brands on Facebook?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Toes in a Pinch? Try a Cinch!

I finished knitting my Haleakala Socks (while running year end reports for work from home and while everyone else in the country was watching the Super Bowl... go Seahawks!) and I am preparing to sew up the toes.

These are different socks, but the toes end up the same... a couple of live stitches at the very end of the sock!
To finish my socks, I have always grafted the remaining toe stitches together, creating a seamless finished toe. Doing this is a bit of a pain, but it's only for about 20 stitches, so it's never been a big deal. You take those live stitches** (below) and sew them together so there isn't a visible seam.

When you're done, it looks like this:
So tidy! (Yes, those are two pieces of fabric that have been grafted together, I promise!) The instructions that I've used in the past are HERE. I think they are clear, easy to follow, and have big pictures to help. Once you get the rhythm of grafting, it isn't really all that onerous, but maybe don't try to watch TV and learn how to graft at the same time.

Now, switch gears: it's time for a new school of thought. Kate Atherley of Knitty advocates abandoning grafting for socks and just cinching the remaining toe stitches together. That's right. Says Kate, 
Socks ... do not need grafting.
Yes, that's right. I'll say that again. Grafting is unnecessary – indeed, it's actually counterproductive – in sock knitting.
She goes on to explain that grafting is a lot of work for not a lot of return. There isn't a lot of visual impact at the toe of a sock; why spend all that time? On top of that, when you graft, you get little puckers of extra fabric at the corners that either hang on and bunch up on your toes or require additional work to sew down. Read her article HERE.

Instead, why not try running the the tail of your yarn through those lovely live stitches and simply cinch them together and then weave the end in?

So, I thought I'd give it a try. These Haleakala socks already aren't my favorite -- I'm not a fan of self-striping yarn -- so what could a different toe really hurt? You just thread the tail of your knitting back through the live stitches, pull tight, and then weave in the ends.

My socks! My comfy toes!
Turns out I love it. It took me almost no time at all and they are more comfortable than grafted toes. Sold. I do not anticipate EVER grafting a sock toe again. Thanks Kate!

**Live stitches! These are stitches that you could knit into to keep the project going. If I were to just leave them as they are without weaving in the ends, grafting them together, or cinching them like I did here, the project would unravel.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

WIP Party: My Haleakala Socks

WIP Part Project #5: My Haleakala Socks

These are my first socks ever! Well, sort of. I originally cast on for these so that when my first Cookie A Sock Club shipment arrived, I would have knit at least one pair of socks. But then the first package arrived and I just launched into knitting those socks instead. I got about 3/4 of a sock completed before I set them down last January. Since then, I've knit several pairs of socks, but never picked these back up, in part because I actually misplaced the project for several months...

The pattern is pretty intuitive and easy to memorize. The cable panel only runs down the front of the sock, which I like aesthetically and comfort-wise (I worry that bulky cables will be uncomfortable around my Achilles tendon and ankle), but all of that 2x2 ribbing got a little bit dull. I do like patterns that are repetitive, but that was quite a bit of k2,p2*.

See? Stripes!
Overall, I'm happy with how these turned out. My biggest complaint is that the yarn striped. When I purchased the yarn, I thought that it would be a greeny-black, but the way the yarn was painted it ended up creating black and green stripes. I think this hides the cable pattern and black and green stripes is not something that I would have selected intentionally.

I also tried out a new method for finishing up the toe and I am quite pleased with the results! I'll be posting on that on Monday, February 17th. Stay tuned :)

Now I just have my purple sweater and the blanket for the living room left from the WIP Party!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Apartment Therapy January Cure: Assignments 8 - 12 - Party Planning (Not), Landing Strip, Media Fast (Not), Project, and Bedroom

This post starts out pretty negative, but gets better I promise!

Assignment 8: Get a Get-Together Together (Nope)

During January 31 - February 2 (or somewhere in early February), I'm supposed to be planning a party to celebrate the completion of my January cure. That just isn't going to happen. With two jobs, job interviews, full-time graduate level coursework, my new fitness regime (post coming soon...), and trying to maintain an outward semblance of sanity, I really don't have time to plan a party, let alone host one. So maybe I'll have my get together towards the end of March when I graduate, rather than right before midterms.

Assignment 9: Create a Landing Strip

Sort of like the Outbox is purgatory for things possibly going out of your home, a landing strip is a screen for things coming into your home. Rather than just dumping everything on the kitchen table and letting junk mail, un-needed receipts, your bag, your lunch tupperware, whatever accumulate, you have an organized area right when you come in where things go. Possibly most importantly, once your standard items (coat, keys, purse) get put in their spots, you are supposed to immediately filter the other stuff, like the mail you picked up on the way in. It all sounds terribly grown up and responsible...

Makes getting in the front door with grocery bags tough, but at least I'm not paying for sq. ft in the hallway...
My apartment is quite small and has a *very* narrow entrance. I sort of already have a landing strip; there are a few hooks inside the pantry, which is immediately to the right of the front door when you come in. This is where my keys, coat, and purse are supposed to go. Unfortunately, my pantry has been pretty much unusable because of the disorganization, but this has improved once I got the pantry organized!

Something I don't really have a landing strip for is other miscellaneous stuff. And my boots -- which I wear a lot, particularly during the fall, winter, and spring (anyone else from Seattle?) -- now live in a basket near the living room, which is practically the length of the whole apartment away from the front door. I'm working on getting a spot for them in my closet with the rest of my shoes, but that's even farther away. My mail still gets dumped on the kitchen table, as does anything else that isn't able to be hung up on one of those little hooks. I'm not sure what to do. Do I really need a space for this other stuff? How much other stuff do I really bring into the apartment? Something to think about in the coming weeks, I suppose.

Assignment 10: Try a Media Fast (Nope)

I would so love to do this, but this is totally unrealistic for me right now. The majority of my coursework (I'm studying to become a librarian) is online and with work and everything else, any spare moment that I have, I need to be online and listening to lectures, participating in discussions, or reviewing the reading. Maybe after I graduate, I can disconnect...

Assignment 11: Project Progress

Done! Mom came over and helped me go through the pantry this weekend. We went through all of the food and got rid of what I don't use and what was past date. The hooks that I use for my landing strip are available. The spices are alphabetized. All of my canning stuff is organized at the bottom of the pantry and my vacuum cleaner even has a spot for it now. I feel so relieved when I open the pantry now. I know what's in there and where it is. I can even step into the pantry to get to the stuff that is (organized) at the back and to the left of the closet!

Who doesn't love alphabetized spices? Shelf-baskets are from the Container Store.
As a bonus, I also changed the light bulbs in the dining area. They are a different color than the rest of the light bulbs (they seem quite a bit brighter and ... whiter? more natural? I don't know) but they are what I have!

And I hung up the birdcage thing. I'm going to get some fake topiary stuff to stick in the bottom.

Birdcage from Molbak's.
Assignment 12: Flowers, Bedroom Cleaning, and Wardrobe Organizing

I washed all the pillows, swapped out the bedding for some lighter, spring blankets, and (thanks to my initial Outbox set up) have a tidy closet and wardrobe. I still want to vacuum, dust, and clean up the stuff that is hidden along the far side of the bed, but I think I'll have time to do that tomorrow. When I think of this area -- something I generally avoid doing -- I think of it as The Crevice. Actually, since I've finished my big January project, I think I will make finishing up the tasks in my bedroom the next project to tackle!

Some of this stuff has already been moved and put away... but not much.
I didn't make it to the store on Sunday (I have leftovers that should get me through the next few days) but when I do, I will be sure to post some more pictures of the flowers I get. The two bundles I got earlier this month are holding up pretty well and are still hanging around the apartment.