Thursday, January 31, 2008

A quick finish

This hat was so quick... worsted weight on size 8 needles, what a joy! I even had yarn leftover.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When any colour is fine


So I started making Asminah's Hat for one of my co-workers. She has had trouble in the past finding a hat that fits right, so I measured her head to make sure that this one would. Whatever colour was fine with her so I went through my stash to see what I had. I'm using Mission Falls 1824 Wool in teal. It's so squishy, I love it! for the ribbing, I used size 6 needles. After about an inch, I switched to size 8 needles.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Blue Mittens


This was part of my Christmas present from my bestfriend - lovely soft yarn all the way from New Zealand. It's part Merino wool and part silk, which makes it really wonderful to knit with. I'm making a pair of mittens for myself and I'm almost done!

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I just need to knit the thumb of the second mitten and I'll be finished. Good thing because it's cold outside and you can't have too many pairs of mittens!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Busy in the kitchen

Spent some time in the kitchen this weekend putting together some really yummy food - just perfect for a cold day!

Asparagus Soup from the Moosewood Cookbook

Quiche Loraine from Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Thank you Julia Child!

Maple Pie, a recipe from my Mom. The crust is from America's Test Kitchen and the best one I've ever made.

Is it any wonder that I put on weight during the winter? Good thing I went to a 2 hour yoga workshop today!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Date Night

Last night, Max and I went out for dinner and then to a hockey game. We ate at the Chophouse, which still had it's Restaurant Menu prices from last week. We had the pancetta wrapped shrimp appetizer.

Which came with salad and cornbread.

For dinner we had the steak tips - out of this world fantastic!

And for dessert, pecan pie. Yum!

Then onto the hockey game at the Verizon Center, Toronto Maple Leafs v. Washington Capitals. It was our first live hockey game (aside from watching my brother play when he was really little) and it was pretty exciting. The guy beside me when down to get two beers every period but he didn't seem to get all that upset that I sang the Canadian anthem or that I was cheering for Toronto and not the Caps.

The Caps scored in the first period and there were all kinds of lights and sirens and cheering. Toronto scored next and I was very excited, and happy that there were enough Toronto fans in the stands to make some noise. There was one guy in the row in front of me to the left who was glaring at me like he was going to jump over the seats because of was cheering - which just made me want to cheer louder! :) But then the Caps scored again and won the game. Still, I'm happy that Toronto scored and it was a fun night out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ithaca and Beaufort

Over the long weekend (MLK), Max and I went to Ithaca, NY to visit his brother. It was really really cold. We flew into Syracuse, NY on Friday night and then drove to Ithaca in a rental car. Stayed at the Inn on Columbia. Cute place and everyone gets a generous box of goodies for breakfast every day. The couple staying next door to us was from Bethesda, MD (what at the chances?) and the couple downstairs was from Brooklyn. Both of the wives were knitters and so we talked yarn stores over breakfast. On Saturday Max, Marvin and I went back into Syracuse to do some shopping and have lunch at Dinosaur BBQ. On Sunday Max and I did some shopping for yarn (at Homespun and Knitting Etc.) and comic books, then we all watched the Patriots game together and had dinner at the Moosewood Restaurant. On Monday we flew back to DC.

Driving update
The car we rented was a small Mazda sedan. I drove the three of us to lunch on Saturday, which was a breeze because the small car was easy to maneuver and Syracuse was dead empty. Even parked well in a tiny squeezy spot. Then on Sunday, Max and I went out shopping by ourselves and I drove some long highway stretches at 65 mph, then 45mph, and 65mph around some curves with some snow blowing across the road. It helped that it was mostly farmland and only a few cars on the road at any given time. Plus the drivers seemed nice and did not pressure me too much when I was going too slow. All in all, I did pretty good. It was not as scary as I thought it would be and it's the longest I've driven at one time since highschool.

I cast on Friday night once we had checked in and knit throughout the Patriots game. Had to wait until I got home on Monday to finish so I could switch to DPNs. I brought it in to work today to give to my coworker, who seemed to love it. Yay! Now she has a matching set.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


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After all those RLCs, it looks terrible. If you think it looks alright, trust me, it's too tight and too long.

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Definitely for charity.

My second attempt at making a pretty hat out of this yarn turned out much better. More on that tomorrow... along with a driving update!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Small world

In the past two weeks, I have been contacted by friends from highschool who I haven't seen or heard from in 12 years. And whenever I tell the stories to someone, it seems they also have a story about something similar happening to them. Both of these were made possible by email and Facebook.

First, there's a friend from highschool that Max and I lost track of right after graduation. None of our friends knew what happened to her either. Back in August, I saw her brother on Facebook and sent him an email. A couple of weeks ago, she sent me an email and we've been writing back and forth catching up since then.

Second, last week I got a Facebook invite and then an email from a friend from another highschool (I went to three over four years). He had moved away from the town in Michigan that we had gone to school together and moved to Beijing where I went to highschool after I left Michigan. One of the friends he made in Beijing was over at his place looking through scrapbooks from his highschool in Michigan and pointed at someone and said, "I know her." Sure enough, although however unlikely, it was me. She went to highschool with me and Max in Beijing.

What's your story?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mom's quilts

Over Christmas, my Mom took out the quilts she finished. Using just a small portion of her fabric stash, she made these lovely quilts. They're similar but different.

The different pieces of fabric remind me of the original projects - dresses my sister made, with matching scrunchies, a top that is hanging in my closet, the back of a pillow. Scraps made beautiful! I think the quilts are being saved for friend's babies that are due this year.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Whole lot of reading

As I was recovering from my cold, I didn't do much but I did get a lot of reading done. I finished In a Subburned Country by Bill Bryson, which I started before Christmas. Great book! Not only did it make me really want to visit Australia, it totally whet my appetite for more of his writing so I went out and got a bunch more, which I haven't started yet but Max just finished reading A Walk in the Woods and really enjoyed it.

After my trip to Australia, I read The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini. I love the whole series that she's written, the characters, the quilting, the house in the woods and so this was a nice feel good story that filled in the blanks a little more. It was a quick read and something easy for my brain to process, which is good because I was in a fog for a couple of days.

Then I started reading a book that I received in the holiday book exchange at my office,
My Life in France
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme . Read through half of it in one day and it's not exactly light reading (nor was I feeling much better that day), just that engrossing. It's been over five years since Max and I took our honeymoon in Paris... this book really brought me back, and made me want to go back. In fact, I'm hoping that Max will not take too light my suggestion that we should go back in 2010. As I was reading, I had my mother's copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking sitting on my kitchen counter. Although I had no appetite and was too tired to make anything from it, I really wanted to! Especially her recipe for buerre blanc.

Right now I'm back to something lighter, Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky. Another book I received in a holiday gift exchange. There's a newborn baby, some talk about knitting and alot of arguing (which I can't say I necessarily enjoy but it's interesting and I'm sucked in). After I'm done with this I think I might go back to Bill Bryson.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Swirling right along

Max was sick most of last week with a cold and despite my best efforts (tea, soup, astragalus, echinacea, ginseng, extra vitamins), it knocked me out on Friday as well. Too tired to knit. Even after taking the day off of work yesterday, I still feel like I'm in a fog. Still, here's what progress I made before Friday:


It's slow going, not just because of time off for napping and drinking tea, but all the RLC's are really hard on my hands. I can only manage one set of four rows before I have to take a break, even under the best of conditions. Lose the stitch marker and expect to have a few rows of twisted rib before you notice!

I think I'm almost ready to start decreases, need to measure again to make sure. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Twisted hat

Using Red Heart Soft, size 6 needles and the Spiral Hat pattern by Bethany E. Kok. I started this at the airport on 12/21, finished the twisted rib brim but then got stuck when I came to the instructions for the right leaning cross stitch.

The instructions in the pattern for the right-leaning cross are confusing. They don't make any sense to me. The ones from Eunny Jang are much better. Basically you're crossing the stitches, holding the purl stitch to the back and knitting the second stitch first then purling the purl stitch. Very easy once you get it, though a little labor intensive to do this every other row. I find I have to take a break after a few rounds.

According to Eunny Jang, "to do this without a cable needle, slip these two stitches to the right needle. Holding the left needle at the back of the work, insert the tip of the left needle into the back of the first stitch slipped. Pull the right needle free of both stitches (the skipped stitch will be loose for just a second, here), and pick the loose stitch up from the front. Put it back on the left needle and knit each stitch through its back loop."

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I'm a little worried that it's going to be too small but it's hard to tell right now... so I'll just keep on going. Worst case scenario, it becomes a hat for someone other than the intended recipient.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ashley's scarf

My brother has a new girlfriend, Ashley. They started dating a couple of months ago and I got to meet her on Christmas day. My brother has been so happy since they started dating and I had heard so many wonderful things about her from the rest of my family that I decided to knit her a scarf for Christmas (pictured here in my parents' snowy backyard).


It was a quick project, two strands of worsted weight wool on size 11 needles. Cast on 12 stitches, knit in brioche rib (from The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches by Reader's Digest Editors) until I ran out of yarn. Complementary yarn used for the fringe.

Ashley is wonderful, just like everyone had told me, and I think she is great for my brother. I didn't want to scare her off by saying welcome to the family but she is indeed.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wow, this is my two year anniversary of blogging. How time flies.

Review of 2007
Max and I went on several trips together, to Pennsylvania in January, California in May, and Canada for Christmas. And a few apart - I went to Georgia to visit my best friend and to New York for a conference - he went to China for two weeks to visit his parents. These were all short trips because we've been saving up our vacation time.

This year I completed 29 hats, 5 scarves, 4 headbands, 9 baby bibs, 2 pairs of socks, 1 washcloth, 1 yoga mat bag, 1 shawl, 1 wizard robe, 1 iPod cozy, 1 neck warmer and 5 pairs of mittens. Of those, only 8 items were for me (three hats, a pair of mittens (that took several attempts), a scarf (completed over Christmas), a pair of socks, a headband, and the bag). Here's the latest finished object:


A scarf for me in beautiful angora/wool Enzo Lucci Reves yarn that I bought in Toronto at Romni Wools in the bargain basement for $9.90/ball. Took about 2.5 balls to complete, 30 stitches in k1p1 rib and a "la fleur" on the end from Nicky Epstein's Knitting Over the Edge. It's very warm and soft.

Travel for 2008
So far, there is only one big trip planned for this year... and I'll be using up all my vacation time at once! The tickets have already been purchased, we have a place to stay, and many events planned. I'll leave it a surprise as to where we're going. There's a smaller trip planned for the spring, to see my BIL graduate from university (and hopefully have dinner at a restaurant I've been wanting to go to for years). And maybe a friend or two getting married but no dates have been set yet.

Resolutions for 2008
This year, I'm skipping it... mostly. There are things I need to work on, like my driving and big projects that I'd like to start but they're all sort of vague. Important but vague. How about you? What are your new year resolutions?