Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Date night

Max has been so busy lately with school, I was really surprised when last night he suggested we go out for dinner and see a movie. He's supposed to be studying for his final exam! But he had done that for 3 hours already and I have been really busy at work lately (and therefore stressed), so it was a nice treat for both of us.

For dinner we went to Johnny Rockets (and I didn't feel so bad about my burger and onion rings since I really pushed myself in Olivia's yoga class at lunch).

After we ate, we went to see Bridge to Terabithia. The movie is based on the book by Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia. I've never read the book but I liked the movie. It was well-done and Annasophia Robb was good as Leslie Burke.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Another hat!

Frivoli Grey frivoli hat

Sadly, the partners yoga workshop I was supposed to go to with Max on Sunday was cancelled because of heavy snow. 5-6" in the DC area is alot. While it was snowing on Sunday, I finished the hat I was making for myself. I was worried I might run out of yarn but I didn't, even have a few ounces leftover. When I showed Max the finished hat, he commented that the top (where I crocheted the hat shut) looked like a rose. What do you think?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Frivoli for me!

For Christmas, Kristina went ALL the way to Italy just to buy me this yarn:

Filas yarn

Okay, not really... she was there for school and came back with all kinds of yummy yarn from Italy and interesting pattern booklets from Poland. This is one of the many balls of yarn she brought back (photo taken using a make-shift light box... white paper on three sides... and surprise! It works! This is actually the true colours!). It's a combination of merino wool, alpaca, and something else. Very soft. After knitting up so many things for other people, and especially after making this hat three times for other people, I decided to make one for myself since I like it so much. I've knitted another repeat since taking this picture.

Frivoli hat

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Purple frivoli

Frivoli hat

I've been on a real hat kick lately. This purple frivoli* I finished over the weekend. It's a gift for a long way off so once it's washed and dried, I'll put it away in my "gift box" for many, many months. Feels good to get something done early!

*Warning! Pattern is in PDF.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Olivia's bright pink hat

I've noticed over the past few weeks that my yoga instructor, Olivia Sheldon, has a scarf and gloves that exactly match some pink yarn I have in my stash, TLC Amore. I've been thinking about whipping up a hat to complete the set and so that what I did this weekend. The hat is pretty cute and Olivia totally loved it!

Bright pink hat Bright pink  hat

The colour is much truer in the second photo. It's knit in the round on size 6 needles, decreases at the top like Swell, and a double crochet edging gives it a little flare.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Brookline & Erin

I never wonder what my kitties do at home all day while I'm usually at work... I already know the answer to that from the various Monday holidays and sick days at home - ABSOLUTELY nothing.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gung hei fat choi!

A popular greeting at Chinese New Year... it translate into something like "May you explode with happiness!"

When I was really little, my family used to go to my grandmother's house for Chinese New Year. My Mom and my aunt used to help my grandmother with the cooking. Everything would be prepared in the kitchen. When the dishes were cooked and ready, they would be brought out to a table that was set up in the living room by the fireplace mantle. Above the mantle was my grandfather's photo. He died when my Mom was 15 so I never met him. I always only knew him from the black and white photo above my grandmother's fireplace mantle. When all the food for Chinese New Year was ready, my grandmother would light a stick of incense, then my Mom, then my aunt, and then my uncle. They solemnly intoned words in Chinese, bringing in the new year I think, but I was too young to understand what they were saying or what was going on. When I was a little older, I got to help light the incense and got to drink the water from the little white cups that were set out with the food. At the time I had no idea what was going on but essentially it was Chinese ancestor worship, worshiping my dead grandfather whom I had never met.

When that part was done, all the children were given hong bao, red Chinese envelopes with cash. Then all the food was brought back into the kitchen and the whole family sat down to eat together at the long table in the center of the room.

Tonight, Max and I celebrated Chinese New Year simply. Cards were mailed out to our parents two weeks ago so they would arrive in China and Canada on time - which they did. Max's parents called last night (time difference) to wish him a happy new year and ask about his studies. We made Chinese for dinner... rice, dofu and lop chung stirfry, and one of my favorite Chinese dishes, sea and sky chicken. For dessert, we had mandarin oranges (all the way from Morocco!). And we watched House of Flying Daggers. Simple but very Chinese.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Here's my sweetheart, out in the snow, getting the driveway and sidewalk cleared.



My office, like many in this area, follow the federal government. Today "federal agencies in the Washington, DC, area are OPEN under a DELAYED ARRIVAL/UNSCHEDULED LEAVE policy. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than 2 hours later than they would normally arrive, and employees who cannot report for work may take unscheduled leave." This affects the shuttle bus that normally picks me up down the street and drives me to the Metro station. The roads are a mess, cleared but still snowy. Max is working from home today, and my boss told our department to feel free to do the same - so I am too.

The upside to this? Max's new hat is finally getting some action!

In knitting news, here's the progress I made on a Frivoli hat last night (in one night!):




I'm using size 8 needles and the yarn is Red Heart Soft.

Monday, February 12, 2007

SP10 questions

  • 1. a) What are your favorite yarns to knit with? Debbie Bliss' cashmerino astrakhan, Knitpicks' Swish, and Lion Brand Woolease.
  • 1. b) What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Scratchy, splitty, fun fur
  • 2. What do you use to store your needles and hooks? Fabric needle case and large tin.
  • 3. a) How long have you been knitting & how did you learn?Since December 2004. My sister taught me how to knit.
  • 3. b) Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate, or advanced? Intermediate
  • 4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes
  • 5. What's your favorite scent? Cinnamon apple, vanilla, and flowers
  • 6. a) Do you have a sweet tooth? Yes
  • 6. b) Favorite candy? Snickers, jujus, Crunchie, Payday
  • 7. a) What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Baking, cooking
  • 7. b) Do you spin? No
  • 8. a) What kind of music do you like? Enya, Jewel, Bon Jovi, U2, Cher
  • 8. b) Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? Yes
  • 9. a) What's your favorite colour? Blue
  • 9. b) Any colors you just can't stand? Muddy, muted, murky shades
  • 10. a) What is your family situation? Married
  • 10. b) Do you have any pets? Two cats
  • 11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes
  • 12. What are your favorite items to knit? Hats
  • 13. What are you knitting right now? a helmet liner and a cotton dishcloth
  • 14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes!
  • 15. a) Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Depends on the project.
  • 15. b) Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Yes, yes, and no.
  • 16. Do you own a yarn winder and swift? Yes, both.
  • 17. How old is your oldest UFO? Over a year old
  • 18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas! Unless my birthday counts as a holiday...
  • 19. Is there anything that you collect? different kinds of wooden knitting needles
  • 20. a) Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? Victorian Lace, Wedding Knits
  • 20. b) What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None
  • 21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? maybe weaving or spinning one day but I think I'd rather someone showed me how in person
  • 22. a) Are you a sock knitter? No.
  • 22. b) What are your foot measurements? Size 7
  • 23. When is your birthday? June 18.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Excerpt from Moby Dick

CHAPTER 4

The Counterpane.

Upon waking next morning about daylight, I found Queequeg's arm thrown over me in the most loving and affectionate manner. You had almost thought I had been his wife. The counterpane was of patchwork, full of odd little parti-coloured squares and triangles; and this arm of his tattooed all over with an interminable Cretan labyrinth of a figure, no two parts of which were of one precise shade--owing I suppose to his keeping his arm at sea unmethodically in sun and shade, his shirt sleeves irregularly rolled up at various times--this same arm of his, I say, looked for all the world like a strip of that same patchwork quilt. Indeed, partly lying on it as the arm did when I first awoke, I could hardly tell it from the quilt, they so blended their hues together; and it was only by the sense of weight and pressure that I could tell that Queequeg was hugging me.

Friday, February 09, 2007

TGIF

In addition to the article from Real Simple I read a few weeks ago, this morning I read a bit in the February Vegetarian Times saying that positive thoughts are good for you. So here's my list of good thoughts for the week:
  • 1. Max bought flowers for me on Wednesday. It was totally out of the blue. The lilies are pretty and very fragrant.
  • 2. Yoga twice a week is paying off... I'm starting to notice a slight increase in flexibility, like being able to put my feet flat on the floor in poses that I could not when I first started. Still a long way to go but it's nice to see improvements.
  • 3. Max and I are having dinner with Erin and Simon this weekend. We haven't seen them in awhile so I'm really looking forward to it. I'll take pictures so you can see her knitting.
  • 4. My Mom received her birthday card on Tuesday, the day before her birthday.
  • 5. Last Saturday, Max and I went to see Pan's Labyrinth. It was dark and weird and I liked it.
  • 6. Marvin received his care package on Tuesday.
  • 7. We have the new Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner with shower caddy thanks to a new BzzAgent campaign. Not only is our shower cleaner because we can hang the Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner higher but it is also less crowded because we can do without our old wire shower caddy. I loved our old unit but the new one is way better. There's a $5 coupon available online if you want to try it out.
  • 8. Max left work early today to get a haircut. Since he finished before 5, he drove to me office to pick me up from work! Always love not having to take the Metro home.
  • 9. Finished reading part 12 of 252 of Moby Dick. I'm remembering as I go along.
  • 10. My coworker brought her son into work and I got to snap a picture of him wearing one of the hats I knit for him. He's so cute!
  • Swell hat for the "little" guy

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My Dad's sweater

Cambridge JacketAfter asking many times, I finally received pictures of my Dad wearing the sweater I knit for him for Christmas. It's the Cambridge Jacket pattern from the Summer 2006 Interweave Knits in Lion Brand Woolease. I made the sleeves much shorter than the pattern calls for so it would fit right on my Dad. Had to knit them twice because the first time around it was going to be too long. My Mom sewed in the zipper so I didn't have to wait to mail it.

I'm happy it fits and it looks right. My Dad says it is very warm and he likes the colour. Can't ask for more than that!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I’m not perfect

The I’m Not Perfect photo meme was dreamed up by Natalie of keeping me in stitches. I'm definitely not perfect when it comes to housekeeping (unless there are people coming over for dinner or staying overnight, then I frantically clean for two days prior and up until the minute they arrive).



Tagging: Ashley, Tina, and Harriet

Also, there is a college student, herself a knitter, who is doing her thesis on knitters and knitting. She has set up an online survey to collect the information to put her paper together. If you're a knitter, would you mind taking a couple of minutes to go over and fill it out? It doesn't take long.

Here's the link!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Care package

Yesterday, Max mailed a care package to his brother, Marvin, who is in university. I was somewhat puzzled at first about what to include, as I never received one when I was in university - my parents only lived 40 minutes from my room on campus. Here's what went in:

Marvin's hat

A Swell hat I made for him. Can you tell this is my favorite pattern? With the cold weather well upon us, I figured this is the best time to send it.

Also included: homemade cookies (mint chocolate chip and coconut oatmeal raisin), chrysanthemum tea, hoisin sauce, a t-shirt we bought for him at WDW, and some magazines.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New Year's resolution status update

Resolutions
  • - use more yarn from my stash (especially the good stuff!)
  • - finish one of my UFOs
  • - use my new sewing machine
  • - use my new ice cream machine (Christmas gift!)
  • - make a good loaf of no-knead bread
  • - lose my holiday weight (helps that I'll be practicing yoga twice a week starting tomorrow)
Update
  • 1) I have been using yarn from my stash, both good stuff and some of the acrylic. I've made a poncho for myself, several head scarves that will be Christmas gifts for my little cousins, a scarf, and some baby stuff for friends... plus I gave some to my friend Meryl.
  • 2) Have not even touched one of my Unfinished Objects.
  • 3) Have not even opened the sewing machine box yet, argh, really need to bite the bullet and at least do that.
  • 4) As you've already seen, I made ice cream! And I can't wait to make some more.
  • 5) As you've also already seen, I finally made a good loaf of no-knead bread. Only took me three tries!
  • 6) Hmmm... my weight. This is a tricky one since my appetite seems to increase in the winter. I've been doing yoga twice a week and going to the gym on the weekend at least once but so far... well, it's a good thing I don't have a wedding to go to until the end of April. Still, all my new size 6 clothes fits, so I it's only a little extra.

Kristen's red scarf

Here is the scarf completed by Kristen R. for the Red Scarf Project.

Kristen's scarf

It has been mailed to the OFA.