Friday, July 28, 2006

What I love and don't love (about knitting)

Taking a page from my friend Darren...

I love knitting! I love the feel of working a good yarn in my hands. I love the feel of good quality needles (rosewood). I love trying out new patterns. I love learning new techniques. I love casting on! I love it when the new issue of Interweave Knits arrives in the mail so I can devour it page by page. I love shopping for yarn and feasting my eyes on all the beautiful yarns. I love it when Max gets involved with my knitting and helps me with my projects. I love it when someone really loves something I've made for them. I love taking roadtrips and not having to drive so I can knit instead. I love my ball winder and I love winding yarn - it's so much fun. I love it when I've substituted a yarn and changed the needle size and the final product turns out just right nonetheless. I love checking the stats from my sitemeter and seeing all the places that people visit my site from (Canada, the UK, Argentina, Lebanon, France, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Australia). I love getting comments on my blog. I love reading knitting blogs - especially the Yarn Harlot, Grumperina, My Self-Absorbed World, Gathering Some Wool, the Heathen Housewife, and Wovenflame. I love knitting podcasts - especially Cast On by Brenda Dayne and KnitCast by Marie Irshad.

I hate is when a pattern is wrong. I hate it when I'm trying to learn a new technique and just don't get it. I hate it when I'm too scared to try something and then when I do it turns out to be not that hard (cables for example). I hate having a knitting budget. I hate weaving in the ends. I hate it when I lose my knitting mojo. I hate running out of yarn in the middle of a project.

I wish I could knit all day! I wish more people would add themselves to my Frappr map. I wish Max wasn't always so hot and I could knit something for him to wear. I wish I knew who my visitors were and that they would leave more comments. I wish all my friends were knitters.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

No better way to say Thank you

Once I've finished a project and gifted it away, sometimes there's a feeling of sadness in letting it go. That said, I love seeing people wear the things I've made for them! It's the best thank you ever.

Here's Kristina in her Green Grass Sweater!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Madison, Wisconsin

Knit a few rectangles of Lady Eleanor while waiting for our flight to board in DC. We arrived in Madison around noon. Kristina's cousin Vanessa and Aunt Debbie picked us up at the airport. Knit a bit more after lunch. We had dinner with my friend Ray Hsu and his girlfriend Nikki at a Nepalese place, Chautara Restaurant. The food was really good (I had the shrimp and scallop special) and we had a good time hanging out. It's been a long time since I've seen Ray and Nikki was great. They both know Peter and Katie. Ray signed my copy of his book, Anthropy.

Ray Hsu and Nicole

Later that night, I finally met Kristina's boyfriend, Bruce. He's funny, generous, understanding, intelligent and I completely approve.

The weather that morning was not promising but by noon when Peter and Katie's wedding ceremony started, it was beautiful, warm, and sunny. I almost cried the entire time. Along with the Hylands, Anna Clark and Ben Rimes were there from St. Joe. I met Ben's wife Nikki and his daughter Ella.

Peter and Katie Max, Nicole, and Kristina

Edited to add: Photos from the photographer can be viewed here

We were all seated together for lunch and it was nice to be able to catch up with Ben since I haven't seen him in years. Ella was adorable and charming. The wedding ended sometime in the afternoon. For dinner, Max and I went out with Kristina and Bruce and a few of Bruce's friends. We ate at a place that Ray had recommended, the Kabul Mediterranean Restaurant. The food was good. I had the Duck Strudel special.

Breakfast was a big Hyland meal at the Cracker Barrel with Kristina, Bruce, Andy, his fiancee Jackie, Kristina's Mom, Aunt Debbie, her husband Dave, and Kristina's Uncle Peter. Afterwards a bunch of us were leaving and Aunt Debbie started crying, which got me crying, and almost Jackie too I think. Which is funny because we're all going to see each other in three weeks at Andy and Jackie's wedding. It's been a long time since I've spent time with so many Hylands. They're a wonderful family (sometimes I think I love them more than my own) and they're so very lucky that everyone gets along so well. Kristina and Bruce took me and Max to the airport. I knit some more while we waited for our flight to board. Almost finished the second ball of yarn!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday Sky

I'm cheating a little with today's post... since I'm anticipating no computer/internet access in Madison I've picked out a picture that I took during my birthday weekend during our hike up to Hawksbill Peak. At 4000 feet you can see the shadow of the clouds! The black specks are peregrine falcons.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Midwest Wedding

Wedding #1 is this Madison, Wisconsin. We leave tomorrow morning and I can't wait! I haven't seen my bestfriend Kristina since last Thanksgiving and although we talk all the time, it's just not the same. Plus I'll be meeting her boyfriend Bruce, having dinner with my friend Ray Hsu from university and meeting his girlfriend, meeting Peter's Katie, and Andy's Jackie. Guess I'll need to tamp down my anti-social side for the weekend.

Lady Eleanor will be coming with me since the airline allows knitting needles. Max is worried about the airport security but hopefully it will be fine if I use circular needles. I've wondered in passing if there is a yarn shop I could visit but since we'll be sans car...

My newest favorite blog to read: The Heathen Housewife

Ever since the Yarn Harlot mentioned it on her blog, I've been reading it everyday. I think what I love most is watching her open her mail. You can think whatever you want about that. Yesterday's post was expecially great since she had all kinds of nice things to say about Canada. And I love watching her blanket grow. It looks like a knitted quilt, all those wonderful little squares.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Take 5

I love candy bars, especially if they have chocolate, nuts, and carmel. On the other hand, Max is pretty picky and doesn't usually get too excited about sweets. But he likes Take 5. I asked him, "So, is it the Greatest Candy Bar Ever?" He says that just maybe it is. High praise indeed. I think it's the inclusion of pretzel that he likes. His best friend Brian who lives in New York worked on the TV commercials for Take 5, so that's a little added cool for us.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Progress on Lady Eleanor

Still love knitting entrelac. I carried this project around with me last weekend while MIL was here and it was great to be able to work on it in the car and while we were waiting around. It's up to 19.5 inches, so that's just over half way through the second ball of yarn.
Lady Eleanor 19.5 inches

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm a winner

But you already knew that, right? No, seriously, I won some sock yarn from Knit Girl. She was counting up all her sock yarn and made a contest to guess how many pairs of socks she could knit from her stash. I guessed 78 - partly because it's my birth year but also because, DAMN, she has alot of sock yarn! I'll be going down to Knit Happens to pick up my prize. Then I'll have no excuse for not finishing my pair of socks (poor lonely first sock).

Nothing like winning a contest to brighten your day!

13 minutes

-The amount of time it took me to go "running" this morning. Had to stop a few times to catch my breath. Only 10 days until wedding #1 and I'm still not sure how comfortable I'm going to be in my dress (that I picked out months ago when I was confident I had enough time to slim down).

-Twice as long as it took for my MIL to open the gift box wrapped in red yarn, say "Thank you. You made this yourself?" and then close the box and set it aside. At least she liked it. I think. Does it fit? Don't know. One of her friends did ask me how long it took me to make. I started it in December.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Who's who?

Max and I both took this quiz... so which one am I? You guess! There are only three categories in which we scored the same: interdependence, individuality, and sexuality.

Advanced Global Personality Test Results "A"
Extraversion |||||||||||||| 56%
Stability |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Orderliness |||||||||||||| 56%
Accommodation |||||||||| 36%
Interdependence |||||||||||||||| 63%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 63%
Mystical |||||||||||| 50%
Artistic || 10%
Religious || 10%
Hedonism |||||| 23%
Materialism |||||||||||||||| 63%
Narcissism |||||||||||| 50%
Adventurousness |||||||||| 36%
Work ethic |||||||||||||| 56%
Self absorbed |||||||||||| 50%
Conflict seeking |||||| 30%
Need to dominate |||||| 23%
Romantic |||||||||| 36%
Avoidant |||||| 23%
Anti-authority |||||||||||| 50%
Wealth |||||||||| 36%
Dependency |||| 16%
Change averse |||||||||||| 50%
Cautiousness |||||||||||| 50%
Individuality |||||| 30%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||| 63%
Peter pan complex |||||||||||||||| 70%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Physical Fitness |||| 17%
Histrionic |||| 16%
Paranoia |||||||||||| 43%
Vanity |||| 16%
Hypersensitivity |||| 16%
Female cliche || 10%

Advanced Global Personality Test Results "B"
Extraversion |||||||||| 36%
Stability |||| 20%
Orderliness |||||||||||||||| 66%
Accommodation |||||||||||| 43%
Interdependence |||||||||||||||| 63%
Intellectual |||| 16%
Mystical |||||| 23%
Artistic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Religious |||||| 23%
Hedonism |||||||||||||||| 63%
Materialism |||||||||| 36%
Narcissism |||||||||||||| 56%
Adventurousness || 10%
Work ethic |||||| 23%
Self absorbed |||||||||| 36%
Conflict seeking |||||||||| 36%
Need to dominate |||||||||||||||| 63%
Romantic |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 43%
Anti-authority |||||| 30%
Wealth || 10%
Dependency |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Change averse |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Individuality |||||| 30%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||| 63%
Peter pan complex |||||||||||||||| 63%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Physical Fitness |||||| 24%
Histrionic |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Paranoia |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Vanity |||||||||||| 50%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||||| 70%
Female cliche |||||||||||||||| 63%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
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Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Almost done! Tonight I sewed on the buttons (with waxed floss, as recommended by Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book) and then hid all the ends so I could take these pictures.

MIL cardigan

Cardigan close-up with buttons

Just need to weave in the ends... and there are a lot of them. I have to hurry - Max's parents arrive on Saturday. Wish me luck!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Although the forecasted high is 90F today, when I woke up this morning, I felt like baking. First I made the crust for Max's favorite pie, "Icebox Blueberry Pie" from America: The Beautiful Cookbook.

Then I decided to bake some rye bread using the recipe off the bag of flour. First time trying it out but so far it looks good.

As with all sorts of baking, there is waiting time... chill dough for one hour... let rise for 45 minutes... and so I've been catching up on my knitting blogs. Later, I'll be sewing the buttons onto the MIL cardigan! We bought some yesterday at G Street Fabrics... Max helped pick them out. What do you think?
Button for MIL cardigan

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day!

Nicole celebrating Canada Day with some of the Canadian soldiers at the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Pancake Breakfast. There were over 2000 people at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC

Max at the Alberta exibits on the National Mall, part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This truck is 1/4 size of the ones used in the Alberta oil sands.