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.