Sunday, December 7, 2008

Homemade for the Holidays

Like the past 12 years of my life, I am working with my mom to make our Christmas presents for the family. We decided that it would be nice to etch some different kinds of glasses with different designs for the family. I have officially finished the ones for my family, and am now working on the ones for Craig's family and our SLC friends. So far, they have come out quite nicely. I even made an Instructable for it today and it has already been featured and gotten quite a few hits and comments.

Coffee mugs for my uncle:

Wine glasses for the grandparents as well as some friends (these are for the friends):

Beer glasses for my aunt and uncle:

Beer glasses for Craig's dad, Craig's brother, and my brothers:

I was going to make some glasses for my parents, too, but I had a change of thought. I realized that my parents wouldn't really care about the glasses, and have enough glasses of their own. Then, I found the best knitting pattern ever. My parents love sushi, and I thought that they would get a kick out of this.

This picture shows: the cucumber roll, clam, octopus and tuna sushi pieces. There is also the decorative grass, wasabi and pickled ginger. Since then, I have finished every other piece of sushi except for the rice on the eel and shrimp pieces. I have them on the coffee table and everyone who sees them thinks they are the funniest thing ever. I agree. I think I might knit an I-cord in white and put a chopstick in it to make knitted chopsticks to go with them, but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I need...

A Pedicure.

So I can use these. My first pair of almost socks.

Pedicure Socks from Knitty

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Silver Grey (09)

Needles: #6 Dpns

These are super soft and super comfortable. I was a little nervous about turning a heel, but it was extremely easy. I did it once, and second guessed myself and then I took it out. After researching a little more, I realized I had done it right and did it again. All in all, they're beautiful and now I have very little left of this yarn! Maybe now I'll try to knit whole socks!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Wallis Wallis Wallis

Behold the Wallis Cardigan

Pattern: Wallis Cardigan from Interweave Knits Summer 2008

Yarn: Cascade's Pima Tencel in White

Needles: sz 4 and 6

This yarn is so soft and drapes so well. I wasn't happy with the sleeves from the pattern, so I altered them as follows:

On smaller needles, with waste yarn, CO 42 sts using backwards cast-on method. Join yarn and k1, yo. Repeat pattern to the last st. K1. Following the same pattern as the beginning of the body, knit rows 1-6.
Row 7: Knit row. Row 8: With larger needles, Purl row. 83 (89, 95, 99, 105)
Follow pattern as directed to finish sleeves.

It's better, but not perfect. I think my arms are just too skinny for such big sleeves. Ah well.

As you can see, it looks great over a cardigan, in the Netherlands, with my family:

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Season is Upon Us....

...aka school has started. I have been back from vacation for a few weeks, but have been back in the classroom for just that long. In that time I have finished my Ravelympics Sweater, though not by the end of the Olympics. I did, however, finish it within the same amount of days as the Olympics. So that counts, right?

Minimalist Cardigan:

from Interweave Knits Fall 2007
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran 10 skeins

Needles: sz 7 (luckily bought in a Dutch craft store when I realized I brought sz 8s!)

Notes: By the end I was sick of Moss Stitch, but I get sick of most things by the end of a large sweater. However, I love this sweater. I finished it last Wednesday and I have already worn it two days. It's warm, soft, and creamy. The color is amazing. Of course, I bought 11 skeins and used very little of the 10th. So now I have to make something with the rest. I was thinking Pedicure Socks for my first sock attempt.

The pin also looks beautiful on it, I just need to block the sweater so the knit band lays more flat and I can wear the pin more easily.

I am also extremely pleased with the way I grafted the neckband together. The first time I did it, it looked horrible. I frogged it and tried again. This time: perfection!

On another note, I also have started hanging out at my LYS, Blazing Needles, and have been getting a lot of knitting done at their Thursday night knit night. Yesterday they had their Grand Opening and I bought lots of yarn for various projects.

First up: SuiBui Silk Cloud in Ink for the Everyday Wrap.

I can't figure out why Blogger rotated this picture, but I have about 4 inches done.

Also, I bought some Lamb's Pride Bulky to make Prarie Boots.

I am using the purple for the bodies and the grey for the soles and maybe a stripe at the top. I just need to find some awesome buttons. I would, however, love to buy some moccasin soles and actually sew this to some plastic soles that I could wear outside.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Knitting Olympics

As you probably know by now, the Olympics are coming up on 08/08/08. There is also a little known Knitting Olympics that takes place during the same time. The goal of this is to choose a project that might be a little challenging for you and start and finish it during the Olympics. I have decided to join and knit the Minimalist Sweater from Interweave Knits Magazine. I went to a LYS that I have not bought from yet (Soul Spun Yarns) and splurged on Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Oh boy, did I splurge. But this will be the nicest, softest cardigan ever.

I also bought a beautiful pin from them to close it.
I am very excited to start this sweater, I can barely wait! I am going to Belgium and Amsterdam with my family on 8/5 so I will have to bring the project with me. The plane ride will be incredibly difficult knowing such an exciting project is sitting in my bag. Maybe I will check it. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Finally Knitting Again

After months long haitus, I have started knitting again. I don't know what inspired me, but last Sunday I picked up my knitting and went at it. I had begun my third incarnation of the Stardust Sweater after the first being too small and the second being too big. I frogged the second sweater and started it for a third time. I had about 5" of the ribbing for the body finished when I stopped knitting. Then something inside me clicked and I picked it up again. And I finished it yesterday. I just couldn't put down my needles! And may I say it came out fantastically! This one fits like a charm and I can wear it to the wedding I am going to in September as well as just around! It feels like a great weight off of my chest.

FO: Stardust Sweater the Third

Needles: sz 7 circular

Yarn: 5 skeins of Sublime Yarns Kid Mohair Blend in white

Notes: After trying to accomplish this for the third time, I felt that I could make some adjustments without making a mistake. So, I knit the body as one piece until the armholes, than I finished each part sepearately. Therefore I had much less to seam in the end. My favorite. I hate seaming things. I also made the ties thinner. The pattern calls for 20 sts, but I only did 16. Looking back, I might have made them even smaller, but I saved the ties from the second try at this pattern because the ties were the most annoying thing to knit. And they took the longest.

Overall, I am quite happy. Now onto bigger and better things. I am thinking about doing the Minimalist Sweater for the Knitting Olympics this year. I bought a REDICULOUS amount of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran to complete it. I just don't know if I want to bring all of this to Europe to work on.

Also on my plate is figuring out how to make the sweater dress Stephanie wears in "The Science of Sleep." I finally ripped the movie so I can get stills, but pattern planning is hard work. Luckily, I don't go back to work until August 19 and I am not even ALLOWED in my school for the next two weeks because they're waxing. Woot woot!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mermaid Parade 2008

I was in NYC last weekend visiting friends and attending a bachelorette party and it just happened to overlap with the Mermaid Parade. The Mermaid Parade is wonderful. It takes place every year in Coney Island and different groups dress up like sea creatures in attempts to win Queen Mermaid and King Neptune (like kind and queen of a prom). It is a crouded event, but Jonathan, Lisa, and I made our way through the crowd and found a pretty good viewing area. Here is what we saw:

Some choreographed mermaids dancing to Michael Jackson's "Bad."

Rediculous Superheroes (notice woman's best friend)

Some sort of crazy machine.


Obama supporters.

Metrocard Mermaids. Yes, all of that was made out of metrocards. And they were throwing metrocard bracelets and necklaces to the audience.

LolKat Mermaids

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"New" Computer

For the past two weeks I had been without my computer. Ever since I bought my computer last August it has been doing this weird freezing thing every now and then after I close the lid of my laptop. Realizing that my warranty was expiring, I have been calling HP trying to get it fixed and finally they realized that my hard drive was crap and they had to replace it. Of course this meant sending my computer away.

So, after two long weeks and a few long days of trying to figure out how to put my backup back onto my computer, everything is back in working order!
During that two week computer break, I had a lot of time to work on my Walking Miles column and go on other adventures. I am currently working on another Walking Miles, so I can't show that to you, but I can show you my incredible Zion Adventure!

While at the Fifth Water Hot Springs, Craig and I met another couple who loved adventures and home brewing as much as we do. We exchanged numbers and after many weeks of declining their invitations for adventures, we finally agreed to go with them to canyoneer three canyons in Zion National Park. Well, we didn't know it would be three canyons when we agreed to go. We were told that it would be a beginning canyoneering adventure with a bunch of other first timers.

So we left Salt Lake at 7PM to head down to Hurricane, UT. We met up with our friends an hour south at Springville. They were at a party, so we hung out for a little bit and then everyone headed down finally around 10PM. Another four hours later, and a few gas stops and meal stops later, we reached our campsite at 2AM.

We were woken up at 6:15AM and had to break camp. We found out that if you enter Zion before 7AM, you don't have to pay to enter the park. (Sweet, saved $25.) We entered, waited on line for our licence to go on the hike, ate breakfast, crammed into our friend's pickup and drove 10 miles to the trail head.

We started down the trail, sliding along the loose dirt until we reached our first repel. For my first ever self-repel, I had to go down a cliff with no foot holds. And with water falling on me. Scary, yes. But a ton of fun.

We then proceeded to go down about 10 other cliffs ranging from about 15 feet high to 100 feet high. This was by far my favorite part. I got really good at repelling myself down the face of a cliff.

On the way we saw some beautiful canyons with walls of red and black rocks.

After we left this first canyon, we entered Orderville Canyon (named after a Communist Utopian society in Utah named Orderville). This was mostly just walking through the canyon enjoying the scenery until we reached our first hint that there may be a lot of water coming up: a ton of snow.

Little did we know that there would be a lot of swimming up ahead. Not just wading up to our waists, full on swimming to reach land. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of this because I was afraid of getting my camera wet and ruining another one. The only hint I have at this is in the beginning. Doesn't Craig look happy?

It was after our third swim when I found out that this hike was 10 miles long and would take at least 10-12 hours to complete. I was freezing (the water was around 60 degrees) and we hadn't even reached our third canyon! However, there were a few more good photo ops.

After two more miles of swimming and hiking, we finally reached the Narrows, our third and final canyon. Because of the harsh winter and the high water levels, the Narrows was full of water. And fast moving water at that. And it was getting dark. We hiked the two miles of the Narrows in water mostly up to our waists (its normally up to the knee area). By the time we got to the end of the canyon, it was completely dark and we still had another mile to go to get out of the canyon. Luckily, this was all paved and we had head lamps to see our way. We reached the end, had to wait 30 minutes for the bus to take us back to our car where we could finally eat dinner and change into dry clothing. This was 11PM. We still had to wait for our friends to get their cars from the top of the hike and meet us back at the parking lot. Over an hour later, we were on our way to our campsite. Finally, around 1AM we were set up and ready to go to bed.

All in all, it was an amazing adventure, I just wished that they had told us to be prepared for a 12 hour hike!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Job

With school winding down (half of a day left! Woot woot!), I need a summer job. Luckily, Craig's newspaper just started a website about outdoor adventures in Utah. They were looking for someone to write about having a dog in Utah. And lo and behold, I have a dog! So I have begun to write a column about hiking with my dog, or as I call it: Walking Miles. Come read my first article!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh, Utah!

Recently, I have really started to warm up to Utah. Yes, there are crazy alcohol rules, weird religions, and not much to do, but DAMN is it beautiful! Recently, I have been enjoying the nature of Utah with the bf and dog and this has not let much time for knitting.

Last weekend we went camping and hiking to Fifth Water Springs. After a 2.5 mile hike following Sixth Water River and then Fifth Water River, we made it to a gorgeous waterfall and 5 natural hot springs. Here, we met some very interesting characters and soaked in the hot springs for 4+ hours. (Yes, we were VERY pruney by the time we went to bed.)

In the morning we woke up to a beautiful view and to a still tired puppy.

We took down the tent, packed up and went for another dip the next morning. This time, the water was beautifully clear (see first picture, actually taking the next morning) and this time we were actually alone (no naked, tattooed, pierced guy with a gun to disrupt our soak this time!).

Finally rejuvenated, we walked out of the canyon to take a leisurely drive home.

On another Utah note, I have also been enjoying some of Utah's delicacies. Now, for those of you that know me, I am quite a food snob. I love my food, and I love it to be good. Living in Brooklyn and NJ made this quite easy because NYC has some of the best food around. Delicious pizza, amazing pastries, great ethnic food (ahhh, Joe's Shanghai soup dumplings...), and pretty much anything that you could want at any time of the day or night. Utah, on the other hand, is quite different. There is limited food choice, and what we have isn't necessarily good. Yes, we have found some good things, like typical brunch at about 20 different restaurants is quite yummy, but much ethnic food (especially Chinese!) leaves much to be desired (like not feeling sick after you have eaten it....). However, Utah is known for a few "delicacies" (a word that I use very lightly): funeral potatoes and green Jello. Now, I will address them each, for they each have their own deserving qualities.

1. Funeral Potatoes. This "delicacy's" name came from the fact that this was an easy dish to make and bring to a funeral. It's comforting, warm, and usually delicious. I had the fortunate experience of first having funeral potatoes not at a funeral, but at my elementary school's holiday party. A fellow teacher had made this dish from scratch, and boy was it delicious. Typically, Funeral Potatoes are shredded potatoes cooked in a roux. Then, cheese is added to make it creamy and cheesy. Sometimes, though not this time, corn flakes (yes, the cereal) are added to the top for a crunchy surprise. Fortunately, the teacher did not add the cereal, and forgot the chopped onions. The result: deliciousness that I had 3 servings of.

Recently, I was in my favorite small-time grocery store, Emigration Market, buying some locally grown meats and vegetables, when I saw in the freezer aisle: FUNERAL POTATOES.

I just had to buy them. Unfortunately, they weren't very good. Maybe next time I will make them myself....

2. Green Jello. The official food of Utah. Reminds many people of being sick as a child. I probably haven't had green Jello since camp. Oddly enough, in Utah, they put fruit and vegetables in the thing. Gross. But I decided, when in Utah, act like a Utahan. So recently I bought the stuff. I know green Jello is supposed to be Lime flavored, but I found the green Melon Fusion flavor. I know it's not traditional, but I really couldn't pass up a picture of green Jello, and I still wanted to eat it and not feel sick.

Well, besides teaching, this is pretty much what I have been doing for the past month or so. Hopefully this spring will bring more adventure in the Beehive State. Also, hopefully there will be no more snow this spring (we had a fantastic storm two days ago, it snowed all day practically).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good News Bad News

Good News:

I almost finished my Snowdust sweater! I have the front panels, back, and neckline finished.

I noticed when I first made the Stardust Sweater the neck was loose and didn't look so good. After some Ravelry research I found another person who had the same problem and had a solution. Unfortunately, I couldn't follow her directions for the life of me, so I knit less of the neckline and stretched it out to make it less drapey. Fortunately, she mentioned using the Kitchener stitch to sew up the two sides of the neckline seamlessly. I googled the stitch and found a great how-to. On my first attempt I did a pretty good job (much better than just making a seam on the Stardust Sweater).

Bad News:

After sewing up the seams of the sweater and almost finishing the first sleeve, I tried on the sweater. IT WAS TOO BIG! The Stardust Sweater is too small, so I made the size larger and adjusted the gauge (because I was using different yarn). I thought I had figured it all out, but no. It is HUGE. Now I have to frog the whole thing and make it a size smaller! I frogged the first sleeve and it was a huge pain in the butt. This yarn catches on itself and makes knots. Don't even mention the fact that I have to find all of the yarn I used to sew up the seams, unknot them, unsew them, and then frog all of the pieces. PAIN IN MY BEHIND! Arg. This totally turns me off to making this sweater again, but I plan on wearing it for a wedding in September, so I plan on using my summer off to re knit this with a fresh mind. I guess I'll have to find a new knitting project.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Knit for Hire

I have taken a break from knitting my own projects recently because a fellow teacher has been having some health issues and had to stop knitting. She asked me if I could finish her shawl she had been working on. And she said she would pay me. So I have spent the last month working on a very mundane shawl.

Laure's Shawl

6 skeins of Berroco Suede in Palomino
sz 10.5 needles

Cast on 2 stitches.
At the beginning of every row add one stitch to the beginning and knit to the end.
Continue this pattern until you finish all of your yarn and have enough to bind off.
Bind off.

Overall, it was really easy and kind of boring to only knit. I also didn't really like the Suede yarn. It feels kind of like suede, but in a weird way, and it's made out of nylon. It also kind of hangs funny. But, it's not mine, so I can't complain.

Now, it's back to the Snowdust sweater and enjoying the spring weather. Or the snow. Both happened today.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I haven't blogged in a while, or really knit for that matter, because we have been having some big changes in our humble abode recently. We got a puppy! It was a long ordeal, but our landlord agreed to let us have a dog and we adopted the cutest border collie/hound mix. His name is Miles, and he's the sweetest.

Meet Miles. He is about 14-15 weeks old. He already knows how to sit, lay down, shake (not pictured), and let us know that he needs to use the bathroom (most of the time).

He is also a health nut. Notice the Superfood that he is enjoying. (No, he did not drink it. He did however steal the bottle from Mark, the intern, and decided that it was his new favorite toy.)

He also likes the snow. Craig and I are convinced that he has not known anything but snow (he is only 15 weeks old), and got visibly sad when it was 50 degrees out last week and most of the snow had melted. He would run from snow patch to snow patch trying to play with the last of it. It was super cute.

And look at those paws! The paws say he is going to be huge! However, all of the information on the internet says that you can double your dog's weight around 3-4 months and that will be his final weigt. Miles is 25 lbs exactly right now, so that puts him around 50-60 lbs when all said and done. This is not the huge that his paws and ears say he will be. Maybe the professionals will be wrong, maybe he will be pretty big. Who knows, it will be an adventure.
Basically, he has been the reason that I have not been able to knit recently. The second he sees any yarn, he goes after it. One day he found my stash and decided that some pink Lions Brand Wool Ease would be a fun toy. Luckly, I found him pretty quickly, and no damage was done. But right now I am working on my white version of the Stardust sweater, which I am affecctinoately calling the Snowdust sweater. Last night we had Craig's long-lost hiking buddy, Guiness (trail name, not real name) over and I got to knit while she distracted him by being "new and exciting." I actually got a majority of the back done and finished shaping the arm holes. Now I just need to knit some more and then shape the neck hole. I like the fact that I have knit this sweater before, because I can adjust certain things for my body. For example, being so tall, in my first Stardust the ties came to the center of my bust, which was not that attractive. So I have added an extra Stardust row before shaping the arm holes. Hopefully this will be enough to place the ties below my chest in a more appealing place. So far, the crude measurements I have taken point to having done this correctly.
On the Science of Sleep sweaterdress front, all knitting has stopped. I had begun to cast on for the dress and realized that my drawings were not as accurate as I needed them to be and the movie had been removed from On Demand for free. I have been searching for images of the dress on the internet and copies of the movie around town for cheap, but with no luck. So, until the Science of Sleep is in the 4 for $20 bin at Hollywood Video, I will have put it to sleep.
Also on the knitting front, a co-worker (possibly the coolest, funniest teacher in my school) has commissioned me to finish a shawl for her out of a suede yarn. She had begun the shawl, but health problems had caused her to stop and not be able to finish. I have all of the materials in my classroom, but she forgot to give me the pattern (which makes it difficult to finish for her). Luckly, this doesn't seem to be a difficult pattern, and the yarn is pretty cool, so I am excited to finish it for her. She even offered to pay me for it. Even better. Pictures of the shawl will come once I bring it home.