knitting it up in a big way

but not a real green dress, that’s cruel*

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i feel like a broken record sometimes, but one of my favorite things to do with a remix is choose an item in my closet that i love, but i’m intimidated by. this dress is that item. i love this style of dress, and i have since i was teensy tiny. My aunt spent some time in central america when i was a babber, and brought us back embroidered dresses like this, as evidenced here:

Lemme tell you about grandparents

look at my cute mama! so cute!

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and last year in LA, with a few hours between flying in and departing via train for san diego, we dropped off our luggage and walked to nearby olvera street for some delicious mexican food and a little shopping, which resulted in the purchase of this dress.

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so this dress is great for summer, totally comfortable, and i got like four compliments on it. i also spilled everything i attempted to consume on it over the course of the day. #classiceliza

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olvera st my (real) green dress – hand-me-down belt from gram – target shoes

* ah, and since we’re already on the subject of the barenaked ladies, i’ll just leave this right here:

and now for something completely different!

i usually announce on the blog when a new episode of PoPS has gone live, and guess what? episode 8 is live! check it out!

also, i posted an outfit selfie on instagram last week, and rebecca and i decided it’s been way too long since our last remix! soooooo: it’s remix time! whoo!

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even though i had the weekend to prepare, i ended up doing some PoPS stuff, biking to the library to get a book, cleaning a little, cooking a bit, and generally doing pretty much whatever i felt like. i thought about the remix a litttle bit, but i didn’t really make decisions or lay out selections or any of that. so i’m approaching this a little differently. i’m going to just wear different outfits until i’ve collected 15 items! and then i’ll remix those! ta-da!

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for points of reference, though, selections broken down along these lines have worked really well for me in the past:

-4 shirts (long & short sleeved, usually at least one blouse)
-3 layering options (cardigan, sweater, blazer)
-3 bottoms (pants, shorts, skirts)
-3 pairs of shoes
-1 dress

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target cardigan, t-shirt – talbot’s skirt from my gram – old navy sandals

4 items downs, 11 to go! 1 outfit down, 14 to go!

dublin: the cake cafe

one of my dublin to-do’s was the cake cafe. i heard about it from the design sponge dublin city guide, and from the first time i heard of it, i wanted to go there. a cafe dedicated to cakes? it just sounds so delightful! and a peak at their website and offerings only supported the hypothesis that i would love it. so after my detour to this is knit, we decided to walk to the cake cafe for an afternoon pick me up. the majority of the walk was along a street that was busy and had lots of businesses and shops, but we turned off that road onto a rather residential looking street, and then turned again onto a narrow, almost alley-like street, with nary a soul (or business) to be seen. now, it wasn’t a long walk by any stretch, but it also wasn’t just around the corner. we were still pretty jet-laggy, compounded with the post lunch sleepies. grandma rita was gently dubious as we were finishing our walk towards this place; ‘eliza, are you sure you have the address correct?’ and i’m thinking ‘aw, crap, where exactly am i leading my grandmother and aunt in this foreign city? but, lo, at the end of the block and smallish sign beckoned:

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(do you see what i mean about this looking a bit more like an alley?)

and so we proceeded. a mostly closed gate opened with a gentle push… and suddenly:

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we were in a small courtyard, which abutted the promised cake cafe!

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feeling much relieved that this place actually existed, and i didn’t seem to be inadvertently trespassing, we wandered inside to claim a table and ogle the cakes.

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we ordered our teas and coffees, and decided to try their sample plate of cakes:

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it was soooo good. i only really remember some kind of moist, not-overly-sweet courgette cake, the chocolate lace was really delicious, as was the brownie type thing. karen really liked the one with the candied fruit in it (names escape me, i’ll edit it in if i can get the name of it from her!). we ended up buying a book of their recipes to bring home, as well as two tea towels (the dublin and cork ones).

towards the end of our visit, we ended up striking up a conversation with a man who worked there or managed it, or was in some way affiliated with it (aren’t i specific and informed on the matter!). he asked if we were tourists, where we’d been and where we were going. we said we were going to be spending some time in galway and cork, and did he have any suggestions of where we should eat in either of those cities? without any hesitation at all, and quite enthusiastically, he told us to visit ard bia in galway, and cafe paradiso in cork. grandma jotted down their names for later reference, we visited both, and they were among the best meals we had in ireland!

so this little trip to the cake cafe, which started with such uncertainty, ended up being a total gem of the trip for us!

FO: when in doubt, go to the library

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FO: when in doubt, go to the library <-ravelry project page

pattern: hermione’s everyday socks, knit with modifications from the humble sock goes toe up, as well as my own!
yarn: pagewood farms chugiak in mardi gras, purchased in san diego at the grove
needles: US size 2

Not sure how I feel about the pooling so far... Thoughts?

these socks began their journey last autumn as simple two by one ribbed socks, but i decided that was way too boring, and i was at that time deeply engrossed in re-reading the harry potter series, so i switched courses for hermione’s everyday socks, which i think suits the yarn better. the name is of course, about hermione, a quote from harry potter and the chamber of secrets. it’s no secret that there’s scarcely a character i don’t love in those books, but hermione is quite high on the list. this sums it up pretty well. i have several pins dedicated to HP in my bookish board, in case you happen to have a sudden need for more harry potter things.

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i’ve pretty much stopped following original sock patterns… i’ve found that 56 sts on US size 2’s give me a comfortable fit, so if the pattern doesn’t call for 56 sts, i make the necessary adjustments. for a long time, preferred toe up because it allowed me to knit the socks from a single skein without worry that i would run out of yarn before finishing the pair when i didn’t have an electric scale to make sure i had the yarn in two equally sized balls. now i have an electric scale, but i prefer my socks a little shorter than most patterns call for and have never once run out of yarn for socks for myself, and i’ve kind of gotten stuck in my comfortable groove. which i’m totally fine with, so onwards i trot in a similar fashion as the way i came. maybe one of these days i’ll shake it up and try out a few more sock techniques. in the mean time, well you know what they say: ‘if it ain’t broke…’ etc.

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i’ve probably mentioned it before, but the humble sock goes toe up is my favorite toe up pattern, both because it is infinitely adjustable, and also because it has a gusset, which i like a lot! short row heels feel tight on me, and i feel like i am placing stress on the knitted fabric of my socks when i’ve made short row heels. (oh i definitely have, in fact just the last time i finished a pair of socks!)

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i was drawn to this yarn for it’s deep jewel like tones. pagewood farms excels at these, and i’ve admired them for years, but they are just rare enough in yarn stores, and i always seemed to have other priorities when i did see them, that i had never purchased a skein before this one. it’s very tightly twisted, and knits up a little too defined, a little loosely, but it fluffed up and filled out nicely with a blocking. i suspect working with size 1 needles would fix it, too, but man, progress really seems to slow down between size 2 and 1. it might be more about perception than reality, but that’s how i feel on the matter.

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i finished these in ireland, knitting on trains, and in restaurants, and on buses. they were the perfect mindless, easily portable project for that. it took me my typical eons to block them, and then my camera battery was drained for another month, but now! now i have a new pair of hand knit socks! huzzah!

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dublin yarn store: this is knit

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i’d heard about ‘this is knit’ from several different sources, so when i passed powerscourt centre, where it’s located, i decided to duck inside. my main yarn purchasing destination while in ireland was scheduled for the last stop on our trip, so i did try to show restraint in my yarn-y purchasings.

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i really really like the aesthetic of shopping centers like this and i wish they were more prevalent in the united states, where the vast majority of shopping centers are huge ugly concrete boxes plopped unceremoniously into acres of unbeautiful asphault parking lots. of course smaller, independently owned stores, which yarn stores tend to be, rarely make appearances in malls anyways…

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there were several really nice shops that i wandered through in search of ‘this is knit’, including a modern home goods store which had the knit doily inspired¬† platter pictured above.

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onto ‘this is knit’!

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because i was trying to be good, i only purchased a pattern book (colours of shetland, which i’ve been wanting since it’s release!) and a needle felting pen.

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they had a section dedicated entirely to irish based indie yarn companies, featuring hedgehog fibres, and coolree, among others.

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i have a special soft spot for cream tweeds. there’s something so luminous about them!

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the yarn selection is downstairs, as are needles and sundries. upstairs is more of the class space, as well as most of the books.

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the shop ladies were extremely kind and helpful, not only with shop related issues. i asked what else of note there was in powerscourt centre, and they told me that the cafe literally outside their door had the best sandwich in dublin (according to the sunday times), but unfortunately i had come to the yarn shop directly from lunch, with the intent to walk to the cake cafe after the yarn store (which the shop ladies were kind enough to help direct me towards), so i could not even contemplate eating a sandwich. i did grab a cup of earl grey to combat my afternoon lag, and that was quite nice!

lately

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i’ve been on a reading streak! it has felt really good. i owe you so so many reading posts, including about dreams of gods and monsters, pictured above! also, that mug? i tried the sharpie mug craft that you see everywhere on pinterest. i tried the version with oil based sharpies, but even with those, the edge around the top rim is already chipping a bit. ah, well.

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i love ranunculus! i’ve been eying them in the store for months, but up until recently, they were all pretty rough and battered looking. i totally bought them the first time they looked healthy and lovely, though!

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mirah just released a new album, and i got to see her in concert for the first time in a decade! you can hear the new album on spotify. i’m listening to it right now! you guys have spotify, right? because it is the BEST.

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jake and i inadvertently had a night of local beer appreciation! both are really excellent, if you happen to see them!

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the current state of the hex blanket! it’s slowly pushing all of the other things off of the coffee table. this has 13 rows and 10 columns pictured. i have two more rows worth of colors on hand, so i need to figure out what the last five will be, as well as two more column colors… i borrowed some leftover fingering weight yarn from a friend only to bring it home and realize they were almost exactly the same as some colors i already have represented here.

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this robin just made it’s nest at my grandfathers!

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i was there helping to pot some geraniums and other pretties for the summer.

not pictured but also happening: i’ve been getting into podcasts recently! i’m totally in love with radiolab (their sound editing is soooo good!) and 99% invisible, but also casually trying welcome to night vale. are any of you fans of podcasts? do you have any suggestions for me?

trinity college in dublin: the long room

when i travel, there are a couple of places that are on my default list of places to go: yarn stores (obvo), grocery stores, and libraries. and the long room of trinity library was definitely on my bucket list of library destinations.

this place made me feel like belle when she first saw beast’s library. or like i wanted to start waltzing around the place singing ‘i could’ve danced all night’. (although no one wants to see/hear that!)

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