Thursday, December 27, 2007

If, for whatever reason, I am not regularly going to work, I tend to completely lose track of the days. I was completely convinced that I would be leaving for Chicago today until I woke up this morning and realized that is not the case at all. I really thought today was going to be Friday until I realized that is not possible. Oh well, extra day for me! I guess I can get the cleaning and knitting done that hasn't yet, or I could just play my new video games.

Ok, so my goals today are to finish the sleeves of Wicked and block it so I can wear it to Wicked. I also want to get my cousin's and uncle's hats done, which wouldn't be a problem if I could just seam them correctly. I had to rip both of them out already. I also need to clean the kitchen, living room, and bathroom, which shouldn't be too bad, so Josh doesn't get stuck with a dirty apartment and company coming over. OUr place has been a mess the last couple of weeks and we have been lazy. Not a good combination.

Just so you aren't completely without pictures of my holidays.


I took this picture after we had a laughing fit while my mom was trying to take a picture of us to send to my aunt. She's making a calendar of the grandkids for my grandma. This was the best pic we got. According to my mom we kept making weird faces.

Monday, December 24, 2007

With thanks to DFly, I finally got some decent pics of the ring. She reminded me of a little used feature on my camera for taking detailed shots! Thanks!





Sorry they aren't the greatest.

As for my baking exploits over the weekend, there were quite a few.

First off, no-knead bread. You can't not love bread that takes about 10 minutes of hands-on time.



Molasses cookies


Shortbread with cashews


Almond coffee cake


Savory parmesan shortbread


and cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow



I still want to make something else, but I should probably shower before heading to my mom's. She might appreciate that. Oh! I should pack too.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sorry, no ring

My camera is incapable of taking a picture of my ring. I think it's too shiny and small for it to focus on it. Someday I will have a nice camera; not my 4 year old cheap thing.

I will give you some other crappy pics though. I can't get any decent light due to the fog and clouds.

Pattern: Unoriginal Hat
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza #4544; held double
Needles: 6.5mm Knit Picks circs
Mods: Added a purl stitch to the end of each pattern repeat




Pattern: Peekaboo Mittens
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza #4554
Needles: 4.5mm Knit Picks dpns


I would say the pic of the hat has a more accurate depiction of the color, but neither are quite right. I am messing with the sleeves on Wicked so they will fit how I want. I want more fitted sleeves than the pattern calls for.

I made a batch of no-knead bread last night but followed Cook's Illustrated's instructions and added beer. It rose much better than my first attempt, but I think that has more to do with the yeast than the beer. I think Josh has requested some chicken and wild rice soup so the bread should go nicely with it. Tomorrow I am attempting cinnamon rolls so I can bring some home for Christmas to share with my mom and sis. Today I plan to make some savory shortbread cookies and something else. Something sweet. Probably molasses cookies for my sister and maybe the peanut butter filled chocolate ones again.

Our hallway smells weird again. Yesterday when I got home it smelled like moth balls and chili or something similar. Now it smells like dirty diapers. Lovely. I know the people downstairs have a baby or toddler, but I am not sure what they are doing with their diapers. I think they must leave them in the hall for awhile before taking them to the dumpster.

I am heading home on Christmas Eve and then to Chicago on the 27th. Apparenlty I may have to sing a duet with my sister at our Christmas Eve service. I don't even know the song yet! Anyway, you may not hear much from me during that time because I am not sure if I will have access to a computer. I want to have Wicked done so I can wear it to Wicked so I better get to work.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two days of work...

and then I am leaving again. I like that. We got back Tuesday night and spent yesterday recovering. I was so exhausted from all the driving and not sleeping well in uncomfortable beds that I needed a vacation day after my vacation.

It was nice to see our friends again. While there we played video games, watched movies, played with puppies, got engaged, had fondue, and went to an aquarium. It was fun if exhausting. I also did quite a bit of knitting and reading and playing with my new computer.

Did I mention Josh and I are engaged? He completely surprised me with it and he is very proud of that fact. I will give him credit since he took one of my rings to a jeweler to get it sized while I was out of town and spent several months doing research. I will go into more details later which may include a pic of the ring if I can get a decent one. Now I have to do some work.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

When I left Iowa it was snowing, barely, but snow nonetheless. When I arrived in Virginia it was 50 degrees and sunny, before the sun set. It was a two day drive but Josh did most of it because I was tired and kept getting headaches. I believe that is partly due to the fact that I am near-sighted and according to my appointment on Wednesday, I am finally at the point where I need glasses for more than just lectures in large lecture halls.

Josh and I are in Yorktown, VA visiting a friend and his family. Josh wanted to go to a couple breweries while we were here, but that hasn't happened. They have all been playing video games and I have been sitting here messing with the computer and knitting mittens. Maybe we will do something tomorrow. They are taking us out for dinner at a fondue place which should be fun. The bed we are sleeping in is not doing my neck any good and neither are the hotel beds, so I will be visiting the chiro and picking out glasses before I leave for Christmas. Today has been all about the wireless guitar we gave the kids for Guitar Hero. They haven't fought over it yet, just the songs they were trying to play.

I have got a lot of knitting done. I also finished the book that was stressing me out. Great book, I just got a little too involved. That always happens to me. Anyway, I am almost done with the Peekaboo Mittens. I need to add the sleeves to Wicked. I also finished another Calorimetry, which I just gave to the recipient. I forgot to get a pic before gifting it though.

I have also been playing with puppies. Our friends dogs had 3 puppies a few weeks ago. They are so tiny, and they aren't able to walk yet. They are really good at scooting backwards. I think they plan on selling the puppies and having their dogs breed again later and try to sell those puppies as well. they aren't a breed of dog I would enjoy having myself, but the puppies are adorable.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I usually don't remember much about my dreams. If I do, the details are definitely lacking. The last couple of mornings I have woken around 5am, looked at the clock and gone back to sleep. During that last hour and I half before my alarm goes off I have had similar dreams. Yesterday morning I dreamt that I was going to my class in which I was supposed to give a presentation on my current research project. The problem was I forgot to bring my iPod which I had saved my presentation to. I went back to the lab to grab it, got distracted by something and rushed back to class. Once I got there I realized I had forgotten my iPod again. I tried two more times to bring my iPod with me before I woke up. This morning's dream was similar, but instead of presenting I was going to my eye exam. In this case I forgot to get off the bus at the right stop or something like that. The details are fuzzy.

A few nights ago I had been working on a red cabled hat before I went to bed. I mis-crossed the cables in the last row, but was too tired to fix it at the time so I went to bed. It must have bothered me more than I thought because I had trouble falling asleep and kept waking myself up because I was dreaming of cables in red yarn.

Well, I did make it to my eye exam this morning and I was a half hour early because I couldn't remember what time I had scheduled it for. It looks like it's time to get some glasses. I am near sighted and if I drive for long periods of time, especially at night, I get headaches. Luckily I can get by without them for the most part, but I think I will appreciate them for driving. Since I have extra money in my health care spending account, I think some prescription sunglasses may be in order as well. Maybe I can squeeze in a massage this year too!

I may not seem like it, but I think I am a romantic at heart. At least when it comes to fiction. It's kind of silly because I will occasionally have to force myself to read the book if it's not going the way I think it should. If the two characters, who I know love each other for some reason aren't going to get together I get a little distressed. Why? I have no idea. I usually overcome this and continue the book after awhile, but for a little while I can't stand the thought. I am a dork. I guess it's probably a good thing I never got into romance novels.

I am totally in the mood for soup. On Sunday I made beer cheese soup. a little oniony but had good flavor otherwise. Last night I made white cheddar and potato soup. It was so good and a great way to make a dent in my potato stash. I am going to write my recipe here so I don't forget it.

White Cheddar Potato Soup

Servings: 3-5 depending on who is eating it.

Ingredients:
1lb potatoes cut into 3/4" cubes or as close to cubes as you can get them
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced or pressed through a garlic press
3 tbl of butter or olive oil ( I did a combo because I didn't add enough butter initially)
3 tbl flour
3 c low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 c white wine (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried parsley
3/4 c half and half, whole milk or some cream (I would use less cream)
I think condensed milk would work fairly well if going for a lower fat version
1 cup shredded white cheddar ( I used 50% fat free because it's what I had on hand)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. In 4-5 qt pan on medium heat add oil. When oil is shimmering add onion, carrots, garlic and celery. Cook until soft, 7-10 minutes

2. Sprinkle flour over the veggies and stir a lot. Cook for another minute.

3. Pour in chicken broth, wine (if using), bay leaves, parsley and tarragon. Bring to a simmer and add potatoes. Cook with lid on for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

4. Stir in half and half and return to a simmer.

5. Turn heat to low and slowly add the cheese while stirring constantly.

6. Remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Best served with crusty bread and a big glass of milk, in my opinion.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Huh?!

I am completely baffled. The university has canceled classes due to the weather. The last time this happened was when we had a tornado the night before. I attended or worked at the university since 2001 and and this has never happened. Funny thing is, I am supposed to have a class this afternoon. I am supposed to give a presentation in it. Classes are even canceled on the medical campus, which, since it is associated with the hospital, is even stranger. I just talked to the head of my lab and he says they have only canceled classes one other time in the 20 years he has been here, which I guess would be the tornado.

In knitting news, I have finished two hats and a mitten and have plans to knit a couple scarflets to complete the sets. Since these are all gifts, I am going for small things that require small amounts of yarn and small amounts of time. I have a lot of car time over the next few days so I should be able to complete some stuff. I am on a stitch pattern hunt for the scarflets, so if you have any good ideas let me know. I want something that doesn't curl and looks interesting with minimal work. i want to stay away from cables and lace, but other than that I am open to anything.

If I could knit as fast as this woman I would be golden.

As long as I don't also fall off a cliff.

In other news probably very few who read this blog will care about, my fave UFC ref has retired.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas has never been about traditions for me or my family. Christmas was usually at my grandparents in Ames and then we would go to my aunt and uncle's place in WI between Christmas and New Years. We never baked cookies together or had special ornaments. There wasn't a fancy meal or advent calendar. We had a fake tree, so we never went as a family to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. Since my parent's divorce it has been even less about traditions (unless you consider my dad's gift of a check or cash in a card for every occasion as a tradition) and more about juggling schedules.

When I moved away from home, I didn't have any special ornaments. I bought all my ornaments last year at Target to supplement the few Josh has from his family. I got some glass balls and snowflakes that I thought were kinda pretty and the cheapest on the racks. I think I am going to make one this year so I can have my own. I was just reading Brooklyn Tweed between some washes on my latest experiment and saw his little sweater ornament. I really want to make one or two or three or... Not that I need to give myself anymore knitting projects right now, but they look so cute. They remind me of the sweaters my mom used to knit for my Barbie dolls. Mini socks would be fun too! I even have a pattern for one.

ETA:

While wasting more time between washes I stumbled upon these little guys! I must make them and these Pac Man and his ghosties.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Apparently the blue blob is out to get us! I hope Josh is home when my boots are delivered so I don't have to wait an extra day. I ordered the Columbia boots because I will be in Chicago just after Christmas and will probably be doing some walking. They look like good walking boots and they are kinda cute.

I actually kinda enjoy my French cigarette comments. My comments come to my email and I usually read them there before looking at my blog. For some reason the cigarette comments and a few others didn't get sent to my email so I had no idea why everyone was commenting on my French cigarettes. I was so confused!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I am in search of winter boots. I have had a pair since high school, but they are too small for me and pinch my toes which makes them cold and numb, therefor totally defeating the purpose of the boots in the first place. I like the idea of boots without laces so I can just pull them on or off easily to change to my regular shoes or slippers when I get home. Trying to untie boots with partially numb fingers is no easy task.

I really like this pair of Keens, but they are more than I want to pay. This pair from Land's End is definitely cheaper, but I am afraid they won't be really warm. This pair from Columbia is cheaper than the Keens, but still more than I want to pay. It's also kind of a cross between the first two boots. I want something I can wear with jeans to work and not have to take off if I don't want to. They need to be able to keep my feet warm while standing and waiting for the bus, which is notoriously late during the winter months. My current pair (similar to these)is so inflexible that it can be hard to walk after awhile. I figured after almost 8 years it's time for some new boots.

Any suggestions?

Monday, December 03, 2007

I think I must have purchased all the jeans I am wearing regularly during the summer or at least when I was wearing flip-flops. My jeans are too short, for the most part. I have one pair that is way too long, no matter what shoes I wear and one that is just about perfect, but I didn't wear them all summer because they were too long then. The other three pairs I have are too short to wear with any shoes other than flip-flops or other really flat shoes. Not only are they too short, but they are too big. I think I bought most of these jeans during a couple shopping trips to the outlet mall over the summer after all my jeans seemed to die at about the same time. I must have had a bad shopping month.

I just found this link to some great tips for making food prep easier. I think my fave is using the CD spindle for a bagel holder.

And another link. I used to work in the lab of Richard Smith. His daughters and sons would work in the lab during the summers and sometimes during the school year. One of his daughters has a kidney disease and is on dialysis. Her mother nominated her as a Kidney Idol and she can win a dialysis-friendly trip if she gets enough votes. Click here to vote. Her mother's entry is the one entitled The Lightness of Hope. You can vote every day until the 10th.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This will be a long post

Yesterday was very interesting, to say the least. Not only did we spend almost 9 hours driving through a snow and ice storm, but I competed in a cooking competition at Le Courdon Bleu Culinary School in the Twin Cities. I am not sure why I didn't mention it before. I found out I was a finalist two weeks ago today, which was right before the Thanksgiving craziness and I guess it kinda slipped my mind as blog material.

Anyway, 10 people were picked based on a 250 word essay. I, along with 9 others, was picked to participate in the Panier de Marche Scholarship Competition. We had an hour and a half to cook a meal consisting of a protein, a starch and a vegetable. We were limited to a list of ingredients they provided. I made lemon and herb cous cous, salmon with a lemon butter sauce, and green beans with roasted onions. Just for participating we received an apron, hat, embroidered chef's jacket, really nice chef's knife and $125 towards culinary books. The prizes were $1,500, $1,000, and $500 scholarships for the top three.

I placed third and received the $500 scholarship. I really didn't think I was going to win anything. I was just happy to get a new chef's knife! The guy that won looked about 14 years old and the 2nd place winner is a sous chef somewhere, I think. I am still surprised I won anything because everyone's dishes looked really good. We were judged on taste, presentation, and sanitation. I really wish I could have seen the scorecards. I washed my hands a lot to kill time because my meal was really simple and quick to make. I could probably finish it in about 45 minutes, but since I had 90 minutes to kill, I tried to waste my time in a constructive way.

The drive home was almost as interesting as the competition. The snow started during the competition. By the time we left it looked like there was almost 5" of snow on the ground. We decided to stop at a coffee shop so we could check the road conditions on our new laptop, which luckily arrived Thursday. We decided to head home after grabbing a celebratory lunch at Red Robin.

The roads weren't great, and we saw a bunch of cars and trucks in the ditch. It made me very thankful my tires are relatively new. It took us around 9 hours to get back to Coralville, but I think we made the right decision because the Twin Cities weather wasn't supposed to be any better today, so we may have gotten stuck for another day if we had stayed.

I finished a Zeebee. While it is too small for the intended recipient, it fits me nicely. I am working on another one, that will hopefully be a better fit. My gauge swatch wasn't terribly helpful, so I am guessing as I go. I may need more yarn for the second one! Well, technically the third, since I intend to make two for Christmas gifts. The first one doesn't count because it's for me. I am really enjoying the garter stitch on Zeebee so I am not complaining.

I have finally gotten a decent picture of Foliage. Not an action shot, but better than nothing.

Pattern: Foliage
Yarn: Cascade 220 #7811
Needles: 4.5mm

Monday, November 26, 2007

Five days of no-work makes me lazy! I wish I could stay at home and spend my days cooking, baking, knitting, and playing video games all the time!

Thanksgiving was nice. I didn't enjoy driving through the snow on Wednesday night, but the picturesque snow that fell most of Thursday was kinda fun. The big fluffy snowflakes drifting lazily to the ground were very holiday-ish. All but one of my extended family members made it. He's currently in Africa, so I suppose I can forgive him. All the food turned out well, and I didn't overeat!!! That's an accomplishment. I made the flourless chocolate cake for my uncle's b-day celebration and everyone loved it, which made me happy.

We put our Christmas tree up last night. That was of course after re-arranging the kitchen and playing Zelda for most of the day. I also started a Zeebee and Wicked just needs another 2" or so on the bottom edge and the sleeves, which are going to be 3/4 length. It will definitely be ready for Wicked.

Monday, November 19, 2007

filed under miscellaneous

I think my hand is going to fall off. Yesterday Josh helped me track down all the bugs and some heart pieces in Zelda. Well, all but two. I spent most of the afternoon playing Zelda and my left forearm is still tired and sore. I can't even knit! I am pathetic. At least I got through half the foot portion of the second Stripey sock while watching the latest UFC Saturday night. I didn't do anything else notable yesterday either because I didn't leave the apartment.

Saturday was slightly more productive. I got the oil changed in my car and bought a cake carrier. I also ordered some the Harmony needles set. I really prefer the Knit Picks, metal and wood, over my Denise needles and I realized that I needed the bigger needles, though I don't like chunky knits. Big needles make Christmas gifts go much faster.

We also bought a laptop from the Dell Outlet. We got a great deal on a nice computer. I can't wait until it arrives. My computer is so slow anymore. You don't get to customize it, but there are lots of good options if you need a cheap, but still good machine.

I had steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast this morning. They take a little longer than rolled oats of my fave multi-grain cereal, but it was a nice change. I need to get some more cranberries or other dried fruit to toss in there. I have a 1qt saucepan which is perfect for my morning oats!

I am so excited for Turkey Day!!! I am looking forward to all the cooking I get to do on Wednesday.

This game is addictive, but it helps others when you do well.

I must be smart! At least my education did something for me.

cash advance

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So angry!!! Everytime I get an email from my dad I get angry. It doesn't help that I came home angry so started talking to Josh and by the time we looked at the clock again it was almost 6:15 and too late to get ready and drive across town to Tae Kwon Do.

For the AB fan in us all

Alton Brown merchandise

Finally some knitting pictures

My newest WIPs are in preparation for winter. I need to finish up some gifts and get started on two others, but I am feeling selfish about my knitting right now. So the first one is Foliage. I don't have a circular in the correct length to do it on one set of needles so I am using two. Actually I do have the correct length, just not in my possession at the moment. Using two helps me keep my place, but I had to steal a set from Wicked, so no knitting on it right now. I think I am finally back on track with the leaf pattern. There were a few issues initially, but it's going better now. The yarn is the last skein of the purple heather Cascade 220 I bought for my first pair of Fetching and also used in the latest pair. I had to dip into the second skein for the second pair.

See that bag in the corner? It's from Piddleloop on Etsy. I love knitting pirates! I hear there is going to be another one in fabric that is my favorite colors. I may need it. I always need more project bags! Right? Especially when they are made by such cool people. They put a bunch of fun extras in there the package too.

My more recently started WIP is a scarf. The pattern is My So-Called Scarf. I am using Malabrigo as the pattern calls for. Gorgeous yarn. It is so soft and the colors are beautiful. The colors are a little darker in real life. I think this pic is a little more accurate on the colors. I am using needles a size smaller than the pattern calls for, but the width of my scarf is about the same as others knit with the larger needle. I must be knitting looser due to the bamboo needles.

I tried baking that cake again last night, and while it isn't as odd tasting as the first try, this one doesn't even taste like chocolate. It is really bland. I don't trust all the rave reviews about it anymore. Time for a new cake!

Update: I bought the bag! I was honestly wishing I had one more large one yesterday because I had to take one project out so I could put in another one. I guess I could just finish stuff, but what's the fun in that!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I spent my weekend taking care of frog embryos, screwing up my knitting projects and playing Zelda. I think I may have messed up a chocolate cake too (may have only added half the amt of sugar!). At least the chicken pot pie turned out well. I can't forget the huge amount of laundry we did either. It included all the bedding and pillows! And three baskets of laundry, or was it four? Either way, it was a lot! I still didn't get to make pumpkin butter.

I finished the crown section of Foliage, but I keep messing up on the body of the hat. I am not sure how it is happening. I tinked back to the end of the crown and am starting over for maybe the 4th time. So much for my plan to have it done by today. The Malabrigo arrived on Saturday so I stared my scarf last night and screwed up almost immediately. I gave up and went back to playing Zelda. I didn't even attempt to start the second sock or work on Wicked. My Ravelry shirt also arrived! I was worried it would be too small, but I think it will fit. It may just be one of those shirts I wear under a zippy hoodie.

Speaking of Ravelry, I was lucky and am getting a chance to test the Ravelry progress bars. now I just have to figure out how to integrate them into my blog's code. my first try was unsuccessful, but I may try again today when I get tired of making my presentation on in situ hybridization.

Go to Melanie's blog and try to win some of gorgeous yarn she dyes!

ETA: I got the Ravelry progress bars working. I will play with them some more so they don't take up so much room. Maybe no pics.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Ugh! It's almost 6:00pm, and I am still at work. I Hope I can catch the 6:15 bus outta here. We ended up doing an unplanned experiment, so I have some embryos to take care of this weekend. Pizza and beer for dinner is what I need. I have sent Josh to acquire them for us.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The FO:

Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers #7811 purple jewel heather
Needles: 4.0mm Brittany DPNs
Mods: added two rows of ribbing after the thumb and two rows after the final cable; bound off tightly in knit. I moved the thumb on the right hand mitt to mirror the placement of the thumb on the left mitt.


The WIP:

Pattern: my basic toe-up sock w/short-row heel using YO short-rows
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici Aurora
Needles: Knit Picks 2.5mm 16" circs
Mods: Ummm...since I am not following a pattern I doubt there are any.

In other news, my flu shot made me a little queasy last night. I was not the only one. The PI for our lab also received his shot yesterday and also felt queasy. I was not sure if it was due to giving blood, the flu shot or both. At least I felt well enough to go to the gym this morning, though I was lacking energy and the last few minutes were not fun. It's a good thing I had a magazine to distract me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Three Pokes,...

a drawstring bag, two toothbrushes, an apple, long sleeve shirt, a mint,mp3 player/sunglasses/cell phone case, ear plugs, fruit smoothie, a bottle of water, a package of cookies, two pens, a ruler, a small notepad and Baked Cheetos. That is the list of the things I received at the employee health fair today. One of the pokes was a flu shot. One was a poke to the finger to measure my hematocrit and the last poke was to donate blood. I have a good collection of shirts from DeGowin Blood Center for donating blood. The water and cookies were also given to me then. The nurse wrapped my venipuncture with a purple wrap with smiley faces. I must have looked bad because they kept asking me if I was ok. It felt like they asked me more than the previous times I donated.

The last time I remember donating blood we went to The Vine for a late dinner after teaching Tae Kwon Do. I of course ordered a stein which was probably a bad idea. The fluids you lose from donating blood should not be replaced with a beer.

I finally finished Fetching today while sitting for the requisite 10 minutes after donating. I really thought I would finish them on Sunday, the day I started them. hope I brought my darning needle so I can weave in ends while doing washes on the embryos I am working with this afternoon. I made some modifications and I like how they fit a lot better than my first pair. I may slightly felt my first pair to see if I can get a better fit. They are loose and the picot BO curls like crazy.

I caved in and ordered the Malabrigo for the My So Called Scarf. I got the Autumn forest colorway which probably won't go with any of my winter coats, but I don't think I care. Maybe that means I need a new winter coat. I also went ahead and got yarn for making Thermal. I wentwith the Pumpkin colorway.

Now anyone can knit!

Update:

The Malabrigo yarn has shipped alread! My already neglected Christmas knitting and sweater are going to be even more neglected. So are my second Sockapalooza pal's socks. I better finish the first one tonight!

Monday, November 05, 2007

None of the baking I planned on doing happened. No bread, no scones, and no biscuits. No pumpkin butter either. I did make a flourless chocolate cake Saturday. It was supposed to be my mom's birthday cake, but our plan to meet at my sister's dorm on Sunday didn't work out because my mom had to work. I had to increase everything because my pan is significantly larger than what the recipes calls for. I intended to leave some of the cake with my mom and sis so now I have a lot of cake. It's really good though! I had a sliver last night and I sneezed about 10 times while eating it. Josh and I each intend to take some in to work so we don't have to eat it all by ourselves. It's essentially chocolate, butter and eggs, so the cake is really rich.

It looks like I will be making the cake for my uncle's 50th birthday celebration. We are doing a family party at Thanksgiving, so I get to make a cake along with the stuffing and green bean casserole I am providing. It looks like I will have to take a whole day off work to cook!

I was in the mood for some Thanksgiving-style food yesterday but Josh wanted meatloaf. I have only had meatloaf one other time and I had never made it. We made a turkey (turkey is Thanksgiving-style) based meatloaf along with mashed potatoes and some previously frozen corn. I thought it turned out pretty well, and Josh said it tasted like meatloaf. It was a light recipe so it wasn't a saucy as I would have liked, but it also wasn't greasy like the last meatloaf I had. I appreciated that.

I needed a break from my current knitting projects so I started a pair of Fetching. They are from the same ball of yarn as my first pair. I think I may make this hat with of the rest of the yarn. I purchsed two skeins initially in case I screwed things up royally. I did go to Crazy Girl to look at yarn for a My So-Called Scarf, but they didn't have any yarn that seemed quite right. There was some nice hand-painted and also some Noro that would work, but I would need almost $30 of yarn for either of them and my goal is to keep it around $20. I may end up going with the yarn the pattern was originally written for.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I am sure you are already bored with my ramblings.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Josh may not want anything to do with pumpkin

but I do! I must make some pumpkin butter this weekend! And biscuits or scones to slather it on. Maybe I will have to try my hand at No-Knead bread again. Since our apartment won't get below 75F for some reason (my guess is the downstairs neighbors installed a sauna or live in a mini tropical rain forest), I don't think the bread will have a problem rising.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I just made pumpkin bars from this recipe and they turned out really well. I made 50% more frosting because, for a 15x10 pan, I thought the amount was a little skimpy and omitted the raisins. I would have liked to add walnuts but since this was for the whole biochem department I refrained in case anyone is allergic.

It only took me four tries, but I finally turned the heel on the stripey socks. I am not sure what my problem was. One just looked bad so I switched to a different technique. I somehow screwed up again so I started over. The next time I ended up with too many stitches on one side so the heel was really off center. I finally got it on the fourth try. It actually looks pretty good now. These are about the most troublesome socks I have knit yet. I will post pics soon, if I ever have decent light and the time.

I have been listening to Wicked a lot lately. Yesterday I had it blasting from my work computer so everyone could here it. They asked me to. I wasn't just doing it to annoy them. I love musicals, but I haven't seen many. I haven't been able to justify the expense in most cases. I think someday when I have money to spend I will go to lots of musicals. I am a huge fan of Kristin Chenoweth on Pushing Daisies. She gets to sing! I hope they keep that up because I think it would be sad if they didn't keep taking advantage of her voice.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I meant to only take out the bind-off, but I ended up frogging the whole collar on the Ribby. I bought another zipper, the one I meant to get, and I had ordered it a little longer because I decided I wanted a longer collar after trying my sweater on a few times. I wove in my ends really well apparently because I couldn't find it, so I decided to snip a little bit at the edge I knew it would be on. I am not sure what happened but I ended up frogging the whole mess because I had two strands of yarn, and I couldn't figure out where the other came from. I am still not sure. That is what I did Friday night before I went to tae kwon do. I am still sore from all the push-ups we had to do and the fact that I hadn't done push-ups in awhile. At least kicking stuff made me feel better. The collar is almost long enough now, maybe two or three more rows are needed, so I may actually be able to put the zipper in sometime this week. It may not be done until this weekend though because Tuesday night, my only guaranteed free night, is probably going to be taken up with laundry.

On Saturday, we intended to drop the motorcycle off at Josh's parents' house for the winter. Josh rode it there while I went to work to for about 30 min and then followed in my car. I got a call from Josh about half-way between here and his parents' house. The throttle cable had broken, but luckily he was near a gas station and in a town where he had some family. I met him at his great-aunt's house and his dad arrived later with the trailer. Josh had to ride in the trailer with the bike! He said it was interesting, especially the turns. We took it to the guy that fixed it up initially.

We then went to lunch with his parents and returnedto their house so he and his dad could build stuff in the garage. They made me a swift! I brought the directions with me and we dug through the scrap wood pile and found everything we needed in the garage except a bolt. It's not the prettiest swift in the world, but it spins!

I need a new scarf, and while the prospect of knitting a scarf is totally unappealing, I really don't want to buy one either. I am trying to decide between this one and this one. Cables are another option.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reboot

Reboot was one of my favorite shows as a kid and I have been in the mood to get as many of my childhood memories in DVD form as possible, but I don't think this one is likely to happen. Click on the link to see why.

update to this post too:
I just found all four seasons for around $100, but I am leary because one site had it for $116.99 and a site that looks an awful lot like the first one had it for $89.99. Weird.

Another change

As you can see, I added a column to my template. What do you think? Is it too crowded with three?

Update:

I just increased the width a bit to give the posts a little more room. Scroll down a few posts to see how it looks with a pic in the post. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

one year ago

Well, approximately anyway, I re-taught myself to knit and actually kept knitting. My mom gave me a lesson a few months earlier, but it didn't stick with me. I don't remember exactly what day it was during that week, but it was probably Friday or Saturday. I made a flag. It wasn't supposed to be a flag, but I didn't know how to bind-off so I left it on the needle and waved it around occasionally. It was a blue acrylic, garter stitch, quadrilateral on a pink aluminum needle. It's probably still in my apartment somewhere. It may even be on that needle.

I had a slow start, but I think I have evolved fairly quickly into a competent knitter. My first real project included short-rows. My second project had cables and dpns. My third project was a pair of socks. I can knit socks, have completed a sweater (if you don't count the lack of zipper) and am about 1/3 of the way through another. I can knit while walking, reading, listening to an audiobook, on the bus or watching TV. I enjoy knitting much more than crocheting, though I learned to crochet first. It may have to do with me being better at knitting than I am at crocheting and the variety of knitting patterns. I found knitting to be much more intuitive for me.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Via The Traveler's Lunchbox - Project Vanilla

I think this could make some nice gifts when poured into nice little bottles, and the real stuff is so much better than imitation.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I saw my breath!

Yay it's cold! Well, sorta... if you consider 60F cold, and I don't. Anyway, I could see my breath while I was waiting for the bus this morning and I wore part of my winter jacket. I wish it could be fall all year. I guess that would probably make fall less enjoyable though.

I am missing one of my Fetching, so I must make some new ones and I don't like how short the finger portion is. I need to finish some socks before I do that though. Very little progress on Wicked as the rows are getting longer, but after about 10 more I should be starting the sleeves.

I am making shepherd's pie tonight! Can't go wrong with mashed potatoes on top of ground beef and veggies. I don't remember liking it when my mom made it, but then again, I never liked what she cooked when I was a kid except for her stir-fry, egg rolls and crab rangoons. Well, anyway, I love it now and it is perfect for this weather and is great as leftovers. I am bad about eating leftovers. Just ask Josh.

Oh! I almost forgot! We have a two-headed tadpole in the lab. It is really interesting because it has two sets of eyes and when I looked at it under the dissecting microscope it looked perfectly symmetrical.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A walk, UFC, chocolate cake, no boots, no socks and a sweater

GuluWalk was fun! My toes were a little numb and my feet a little sore afterwards, but it was a nice walk and the weather couldn't have been better. I think I need some new running shoes or better circulation in my feet. More people participated than I expected and they were a fun group. I am really glad I was able to participate.

We had a few people over on Saturday night to watch the latest UFC. It wasn't a bad one. Not as exciting as the last UFC and a couple disappointing outcomes. I made the chocolate stout cake and it was rich. I didn't have enough pans in the same size to make a a three layer cake, but I think two is plenty. A normal size slice is too much for me even when i dilute it with vanilla ice cream. I think it's partly the ganache I used for frosting it. Maybe next time I will just make it with a chocolate frosting. Josh told me if I keep making stuff like that I need to make sure he has a gym pass.

We went to the outlet mall in hope of finding Josh some new boots. He decided he deserved new shoes since I just purchased some. They didn't have the pair he wanted in his size, but I did get a new silicone covered whisk to use with my enameled Dutch oven. For some reason I keep misspelling "whisk".

I frogged the stripey socks for the second time because now they are too tight. I may just go with toe-up so I have a better idea of fit as I go. I don't really like toe-up though. I have about 12 more rows before I get to the sleeves on Wicked(sorry for the bad pic). I ordered the wrong zipper for my Ribby. Doh! I misread the description so I will be ordering again today. I think I may prefer the collar a little longer anyway, so maybe it isn't so bad. I have back-up zippers for other things. Yeah, that's what they are.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Purple Shoes

Uh yeah, I bought some. It's probably not that surprising if you know me. I have stared at them for months, but they never had any in my size. When I looked today, they had 3 pairs. THREE pairs people! How could I not buy them?? I should make some socks to go with them.

First of all, a big THANK YOU to all that donated to GuluWalk! I really appreciate it. It looks like we are going to have some nice weather on Saturday for our walk.

I started Wicked last night. I wound the 5 skeins into some cakes using a laundry basket as a swift because Josh didn't want to be my human swift. I am in the middle of the second row of the pattern, but I think I am going to frog and do the collar on smaller needles so it is less likely to stretch out and because I want it a little smaller. At least I started it.

I need to get some socks done too! I have three pairs yet to knit for Christmas gifts and one pair should have been done last month. I also have the Sockapalooza socks which I restarted to change to a smaller needle and fewer stitches. They were too big for me and my pal has smaller feet!

The zipper for Ribby should be here tomorrow or Saturday as well as some sock club yarn. I washed and dried Ribby and it didn't fall apart!!! I call that a success. The sleeves are still looser than I like, but at least I will be able to wear it over long sleeves shirts without a problem. I doubt I will get the zipper in until Sunday because I will be tired from a 7km walk and 2 hours of UFC, but you never know!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm a follower

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

But in this case, it's for a good cause. Today is Blog Action Day. Bloggers all over the place are posting about the environment. I have done those carbon footprint calculators before and I am always shocked how awful I am to the environment. I do a little to help, but definitely not enough. I take public transportation to and from work. I use reusable bags for shopping. I recycle whenever I can. I turn off lights and my computer when they are not in use. I turn the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. When I have my own house I want it to be as energy efficient as possible.

Today I am going to look for one more change I can make in my daily life to help the environment. I suggest you do the same! It doesn't have to be anything big, but the small changes can add up. I am going to look for more environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.

Even closer

I love seaming! Well, maybe not love it, but certainly appreciate it. Watching the pieces of my sweater come together with a few tugs on that yarn and how seamless that seam looked, was actually kinda fun. Ribby (Ravelry) is all seamed and has button bands and a stand-up collar. I blocked all the pieces and seamed the sides to the back on Saturday, seamed the sleeves on Sunday and attached them to the body. It went a lot smoother and faster than I thought. The only reason I didn't get to the sleeves on Saturday was they weren't dry. It was rainy and damp and cotton ribbing is slow to dry.

I used the 2x2 tubular bind-off on the collar, but realized just as I wove in the last end that I had dropped a stitch while binding off;so I need to fix it, but other than that, all it needs is a zipper. I may run it through the washer before adding the zipper in case it shrinks a bit. I want this to be a sweater I can throw in the wash and not have to worry about. I figure if I shrink it a little before I get the zipper the zipper won't be too long and make it bunchy later. I will post a pic ASAP, but it may not be until after I get a zipper. I think it fits well and the sleeves are a little long, just how I like 'em.

I keep finding things about knitting that totally amaze me. I am so glad there were smart people out there to figure all this stuff out so I can just blindly follow directions and watch the magic happen. I would have to say the tubular cast-on, Kitchener stitch, and mattress stitch are right up there. I love the rolled, sturdy edge the tubular CO makes, and you only have to count out half as many stitches to start. I look forward to starting Wicked (Ravelry) and learning more new stuff!

I made beef stew and Irish soda bread yesterday. I used Guinness in the stew instead of wine and the powdered buttermilk instead of the stuff in the carton. Both turned out pretty well, though my timing was completely off. I should have made the bread before I started the stew, but I was so caught up in finishing my sweater that I did it backwards and the stew was done almost an hour before we really wanted dinner and the bread had to share oven space with the stew so it didn't rise as much as I hoped it would because the oven temp was lower than called for. It was good but I felt sick afterwards, which was probably due to the headache and lack of a real meal all day until I ate supper. Sitting hunched over a sweater for almost 4 hours didn't help either. I didn't bring any for lunch today, which means I need to buy something overpriced on campus. The hospital cafeteria is cheaper and I get a discount, but the quality is not always there.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Soooo close!

I honestly want to do some seaming! I am so close to being done. I just bound off the second sleeve and the other pieces are blocking. I don't have the floor space near the fans to block the other sleeve right now. It would go faster if it wasn't so damp today. The stitches evened out so nicely. All that's left is seaming the fronts, back, and sleeves then adding a button band and, and installing the zipper. My mom keeps offering to do the finishing for me, which is tempting, but I would rather do it myself. Now it's time to knit some socks while the pieces dry. The next one I make will combine the fronts and back into one piece and knit the the sleeves in the round.

Josh is reformatting his hard drives and may do my compy next. I am just trying to stay out of his way. Mine has so much crap on it anymore that it barely runs sometimes. Of course, it is over 6 years old, so that could have something to do with it. I would do it myself, but I would much rather have him do it so I can play Guitar Hero or knit socks.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I love looking at micrographs and the Small World competition always has some neat ones. There is even one from the UI.

I am switching my fall/winter clothes for the summer stuff tomorrow!!! I couldn't find a hooded sweatshirt this morning and I really wanted to wear one. It's perfect hooded sweatshirt weather. It's also perfect Ribby weather, so I really want to finish it!! I am still afraid of the zipper though. My hand sewing is not all the pretty.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I was actually cold this morning while waiting for the bus! I wore a long sleeve t-shirt and a double layered fleece jacket, but my poor hands and ears were cold! I almost wished I had a hat and some gloves. Yay for fall! I may need to make another pair of Fetching or Dashing that fit me better to wear this fall. The Endpaper Mitts would be fun, but they would take me awhile. I often knit or read while waiting for the bus so I like my fingers free.

I finished the first sleeve and started the second sleeve of Ribby last night. I intend to seam it up this weekend and put the collar on so I can get the zipper ordered. I will have a pic soon, but right now it doesn't look like much. I really hope it fits! I just purchased this book to help with assembly and zipper installation. I have been very monogamous with this sweater, which is rather surprising to me. I hope the Sockapalooza-er who I am acting as sock savior for can forgive me for how long her socks are taking. I started her socks; I just need to frog the portion I did after the cuff so it doesn't look so crappy and start over with a different short-row technique. I am leaning towards this one, which I have used successfully before.

I may need to make some chili or creamy chicken and wild rice soup tonight. I have an acorn squash and a mystery squash that I need to roast. I still need to make the brownies I have been craving for the last month, too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hee! I just thought of something that is probably only amusing to me. My sister and I are giving my mom and ourselves tickets to Wicked in Chicago for her birthday and taking care of all the trip expenses for her Christmas gift i.e. hotel, food, anywhere else she wants to go. Of course I am also making her socks. But anyway, I am going to make Wicked for myself, which I can then wear to Wicked.

Ok, so it's not really that amusing, is it? Sorry.

In other news, I am in charge of the stuffing, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, a veggie side-dish, maybe some mashed potatoes and possibly a turkey, for my family's Thanksgiving dinner. We need a large turkey, i.e. 20lbs, to feed all of us and have leftovers for supper and the next day. I made all the side dishes last year, but not the turkey, so i am a little nervous about that. I have successfully roasted a chicken and it's essentially the same idea, it just takes longer. Maybe I will roast a smaller one for practice and use it in soups and other stuff. I also don't have a roasting pan, but my mom as two, for some odd reason, so I will probably just borrow one or buy it off her. Everyone really liked what I made last year, so I am not worried about that stuff. A 20lb turkey is a little daunting though. It's a good thing I like cooking for people.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A weekend at home is so nice. We went to a movie and out to dinner. I also got to see my sister as she passed through town. We were at the mall for a very long time, which was weird.

Josh replaced my car's stereo since mine died on the way back from MN a couple weeks ago. The kit we bought didn't fit correctly so he had to mess with it for a couple hours to make it work. We told the guy at Best Buy what car it was for and he went back and got us a kit. After awhile wh realized my car wasn't even on the list the kit came with. No wonder it didn't work. Josh will try to return it today. At least it is in and working. At least that's what Josh said. I haven't examined it yet.

Didn't do a lot of knitting. I didn't even finish the first sleeve of Ribby, but I do have the back and both fronts done. I hope to have it all seemed this weekend so I can order a zipper. I think I am going to do the short, stand-up collar rather than the rolled or shawl collar. I got the yarn for Wicked on Saturday. It's actually about the same color as sweater on the website. I am planning on 3/4 length sleeves, but have enough yarn to make full-length if I so choose. Pocket or no pocket? I like the idea, but I don't think it will be terrible flattering on me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lookie what I did!

I made a picture for my header. Whaddya think?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

To me October means fall, but when the forecast for the next few days includes highs of 85 degrees or higher, I start to wonder if it really is fall. I want cool crisp air. I want to see the leaves changing color and I want to make soup! I also would love to turn the oven on to make some no-knead bread to go with the soup. I should try making real bread sometime.


Ribby update:
Back and one front piece are done and I have about half of the second front piece done. I ordered two more balls of the Charcoal and luckily they are the same dye lot! I can't believe how lucky I am. I really wanted to keep it all one color. I hope this sweater will replace the Old Navy hoodie I wear at work everyday.

I have some socks I need to knit, but this sweater has become the only thing I want to work on. I guess i just really want to wear it. I am surprised how fast it is going. I figured it would take me a couple months, but I still have a zipper to install which could take me that long.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention our road trip. It was nice to get away and learn a little more about culinary school. I think I could really enjoy it. With approximately 4.5 hours of class each day, I would easily be able to work while in school. Reading the class descriptions made me excited. Funny thing is, I still need a few of the gen eds they require. I think I need econ, environmental science and speech. Weird.

I know I like the Twin Cities and Minnesota. I would be close to most of my family and even closer to our cabin! It looks like living expenses would be about the same. We are considering buying a house, which is a scary thought, but I like the idea that I wouldn't be handing my money to a landlord each month and never seeing it again. I don't even want to think about how much money I have spent on rent.


Hello??

purple
By the way, I know I don't have a lot of readers, and never expect to, but I would like to know who you are so I can get to know you too. If you feel like coming out of hiding leave a comment. It's another one of those delurking days, not the national one in January, but my curiosity is getting the better of me.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Back!


Back of Ribby and also back in town. Will write more about it later. I am too tired right now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I am sick of work. I have gotten some good results and some interesting results lately but I can't seem to get as excited about them as everyone else here does. Sometimes I just don't want to be in the lab anymore. Today's interesting result led to more questions that we don't know the answer to and the grad student I am working with is all excited about figuring out the changes in the chemical structure of the compound I used that produced this result, but I could care less. I really need to have a better attitude about this stuff.

I am on the armhole shaping for Ribby and am still on my second ball of yarn. I added 1.5" to the length to accommodate my long torso, but I didn't take that into account when I ordered yarn so I ordered two more balls along with 4 in another color in case the dye lot is way off so I can make the sleeves a different color. I got a light blue which, interestingly, is about the same color of the blue trim on the black fleece jacket I am currently wearing. I also happened to order enough yarn to make another sweater because there was still a sale on the yarn plus a discount when you order more than 6 balls as well as free shipping so I saved almost $20. I intended to make another sweater anyway so I figured I might as well get the yarn now when it's cheaper.

I am sleeping better, but I still wish I was sleeping more. It has been torture to get up in the mornings. All attempts to sleep in this weekend failed (stupid car alarms)and now my body wants to sleep in.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

FO and new WIP

Pattern: Fawkes
Yarn: Fearless Fibers in Wrath

I love how they turned out. They were a fun pattern that I almost had memorized after awhile. I should start the socks I am test knitting and decide what to make for my mom. I am turning the Anastasia socks into Anklets because the yarn isn't cooperating as taller socks.

Now I am working on a Ribby Cardi in Cotton-Ease Charcoal. This picture shows the tubular cast-on I used. I love the nice round edge it makes. The second picture demonstrates how far one ball of Cotton-Ease can go. That's about 8" of the back.

Yesterday was the IC BrewFest. It was a lot of fun. I got to try some beers I have wanted to try, but didn't want to spend $9+ on a six-pack. I had one that tasted like blueberry muffins! I think my favorites were the Octoberfests. It may be because I am totally ready for fall.

Last night was UFC 76. There were a lot of good fights. I was disappointed in Chuck Liddell's loss, but I think Forrest Griffin's win may have made up for it. We recorded it onto a DVD with our new toy and it worked nicely. We are already making plans to record more favorite TV shows.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fawkes


Just to prove they are done in time to be included in Summer of Socks. I will post some better pics later. Now it's time to swatch for my sweater.

I hope my Friday gets better

I got to bed a little later than I intended and, for some unknown reason, I kept waking up during the night. Considering how tired I was from lack of sleep on Wednesday night I should have slept like a log, but sadly, that was not the case. Whenever I get a cold it completely throws off my sleep schedule.

I got to work and first thing the head of the lab tells me that I messed up one of the treatments for the embryos. I told him yesterday that I had never done it before so he told me the recipe for the solution and to put it on the embryos. Well, I did that, but what he failed to tell me and what never occurred to me to ask, was how long I was supposed to let this solution sit on there. I assumed he would have told me if I was supposed to change it or do some washes. It should only be on for 5-10 minutes and it was left on for almost 6 hours. Needless to say, the embryos were ruined. The embryos are for my project, so now I don't have any to work with and will have to wait until we can make more embryos.

At least I have the IC BrewFest to look forward to tomorrow as well as the arrival of the yarn for my sweater today. It's the last day for Summer of Socks so I hope I can get the second Fawkes done tonight.


Update:
IMG_1625
My yarn made it! I freaked at first b/c one of the packages had a slice through the plastic and the ball band, but it looks like all the yarn is intact. Our new DVD player/burner/VCR combo thing also arrived. Yay UPS!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The yarn for Ribby Cardi should arrive tomorrow! No idea on the arrival time of the yarn for Wicked. I am not going to have both pairs of socks done for the end of Summer of Socks on Friday, but I should have Fawkes done. I haven't even started the second Anastasia sock. I hate the toes on toe-up socks for some reason. I offered to test knit a pair of really cool and complicated socks for Kelly at kelp! knits. I think it they will be a fun challenge and I have some perfect yarn for them in the stash. I also need to start some socks for my new Sockapalooza pal. I have a car ride coming up soon so I am going to devote that time to those socks.

Heather, my PI, and I are taking a class on microscopy. We are not officially enrolled in the class (we worked out a deal with the head of the department), but we are still doing all the homework and have to do presentations at the end. I am really not looking forward to that part. I enjoy microscopy, but I do not enjoy homework and especially not giving presentations.

Why did I bring a can of soup for lunch when it is going to 85 degrees outside today? Too hot for soup! Well, I think it's too hot in general. I need fall weather soon!

Don't forget it's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It's a pair, right??


They don't match, but two socks is a pair! Left is Fawkes and right is Anastasia. The colorways look kinda similar knitted up, but completely different in the skein. Fawkes is for me but Anastasia is a Christmas gift.with matching headband included.

I better cast-on for their mates before I go to sock club. I also signed up to be a sock savior for Sockapalooza. I am going to go on a hunt for some perfect sock yarn for my new Sockapalooza pal and for my mom. I think the yarn I got has too much brown in the red. I have another option in my stash, but that one seems a little too orange. She's pickier than I am so I am being more picky than usual.

I have two sweaters planned for myself and yarn has been ordered for each. One is a zippy cardi and the other a pullover. One is a cotton blend yarn and the other is wool. One is knit seamless, in the round while the other is knit flat. I think that's some good variety for first and second sweaters.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I made Josh's Funfetti cake. I just used a white cake batter and vanilla frosting. I think it turned out pretty well. The cake got a little darker than I intended and I wish I had a little more frosting to work with because I am not very good at frosting cakes. I also wish I had a better plate to put it on. The curve on my plate made it hard to frost. I wanted to make Josh breakfast tomorrow morning, but he is golfing with his dad at 8:00am in Muscatine and I am not getting up that early to make breakfast on a Sunday morning.

I haven't started my sweater as I hoped I would. Crazy Girl didn't have enough skeins of the yarn I want so they are ordering some more for me. It was a little darker than what I was looking for, but I would rather buy it from a local store than order it online. One Fawkes is done and Anastasia has 5 or so more rows on the cuff. I plan to cast on for both of the second socks tonight.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Woohoo!!

I just won a 1983 Honda VT500 VT 500 Shadow Instrument Cluster! Aren't you excited for me?

First, some knitting...


The first socks of Fawkes and Anastasia are almost complete. Anastasia just needs to be bound off and Fawkes needs another 2.5" before I start the toe. I am making Anastasia a little shorter than I normally do because I want to make a matching headband from the remaining yarn.


Now, on to beer...

On a whim, I purchased some Fat Tire beers at Fareway. There were $3 for 22oz bottles. I picked up the Amber and a black ale. I think we drank them in the wrong order because the amber tasted bland after the black ale. It was reminiscent of the Blackout Stout from Great Lakes, that is one of my all-time favorites. After awhile the amber tasted better; it is actually really good. I can't wait until we get the 6-packs around here. I also can't wait until Josh's amber is ready!

I have a question: Do the boxed mixes for Funfetti cakes use sprinkles for the confetti look? I believe that is the case, but it has been such a long time since I made a cake from a mix that I can't remember. Josh' b-day is Sunday and he wants a Funfetti cake, but I can't bring myself to used a boxed mix, especially when a cake from scratch is not much harder and tastes soooo much better.

Lexsea, if you are reading this:
Do you think mom will like this color?

IMG_1610

I think it may be a little too dark and reddish for her. I think it may even look a little darker in person than in this pic.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I just found some purple shoes I could see myself wearing. Maybe I will save up for them. They are a good style for showing off handknit socks.

Edit:

I have decided what my first sweater is going to be. Initially I was thinking about the Ribby Cardi, but i have switched to Wicked. I like the idea of seamless knitting also I will be faster at stockinette in the round. I plan to use Cascade 220 in either a dark teal, olive green, or brown. I think I will go to Crazy Girl on Saturday to do some looking.

My wrist feels better. I am not sure what brought it on or why it's going away. I iced it a little and didn't get a lot of knitting time in, but I can't imagine either helped that much. I didn't ride the bike last night because even driving my car to Fareway was painful.

Josh brewed a batch of amber last night and I grilled some burgers and chicken. I had perfect grill marks on the chicken. Josh complained that I left the burgers too pink in the middle. We ate the burgers so the chicken will be for salads tonight.

I was asked how many socks I have knit and I wasn't really sure so i am going to figure that out. I will just go with the ones for Summer of Socks since I think the only pair I have knit that doesn't count was my very first pair of socks.

Pairs:
1. 64-stitch Cable Twist
2. The Burrow Socks
3. Aurelie Socks
4. River Rapids
5. Upside Down Leyburn Socks
6. Charade

Lonely Socks:
1. Jaywalker

Socks in Progress:
1. Anastasia
2. Fawkes

I intend to have all of them done when SOS ends, but you never know. That means I need to finish almost 4 socks but September 21st. Ok, so that probably won't happen, but a girl can hope.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Winnie the Pooh was right

Honey has become my drug of choice to soothe my sore and scratchy throat. Saturday morning I woke up with a sore throat at 4:00am. I knew I wasn't getting back to sleep so I made myself a cup of tea with some Irish Breakfast Tea leaves and, on a whim, put some honey in it. I don't usually like my tea sweetened but I thought the honey might help my throat since I always see cough drops made with honey. As soon as I started sipping it my throat felt better. I had been drinking water before with no change. Last night I woke myself up coughing. I had a tickle in my throat that would not go away. I went through a glass of water and a cough drop with no end to the coughing. I decided to try the honey again and it worked immediately. Now if it would help with the tendonitis in my left wrist I would be even happier. At least the sore wrist doesn't affect my sock knitting.

Josh will be brewing tonight so I will have lots of TV knitting time!

Anyone interested in Gulu Walk? Walking is good for you so, you can do something good for yourself while helping someone else!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Josh went for two motorcycle rides yesterday. He had a lot of fun and I am jealous. I didn't feel comfortable riding with my cold and Sudafed in my system. I didn't even feel comfortable driving my car! Josh was very kind and took me to work yesterday afternoon so I could get some bacterial colonies growing for today. I need to get a pic of the bike. It has been painted and has a new seat. It looks so much better than it did.

As for knitting, I didn't get a lot done. At least not as much as I thought I would. I knit the heel on Anastasia 3.5 times. I gave the short-row heel another try, but had a gigantic hole where the heel and instep met before the start of the cuff. I switched to Wendy's toe-up slip stitch heel and it worked much better. The cuff and most of the heel flap are done on Fawkes. Oh yeah, my reason for not knitting a ton was this.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Josh and I took the motorcycle license test today and both of us passed. I missed one question and I think it was a dumb question to miss. I must have misread it or the answer. It's hard to say because I took some Sudafed and my brain isn't functioning at it's normal capacity. I also woke up at 4:00 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep which probably didn't help.

Our motorcycle will be back in our possession in about 2 hours. I don't think I will ride it today since I have this cold, but I would love to.

For some reason, on one row in each repeat of the Fawkes I have missed a YO. I don't usually catch it until two rows later. I think I have spend almost as much time tinking as knitting. Oh well, I like the pattern and it looks nice in this yarn. I should probably be working on the Anastasia socks because they are a gift and I still have 3 pairs that I want to knit for gifts.

Friday, September 07, 2007

So, that cold I thought I was getting, oh yeah, I got it. I got progressively worse during the day but felt better for about two hours while I taught at the GymNest. Before I went to bed I started sneezing and coughing again. I ran out of cough drops and cold meds so I will have to suffer through it until I can get to the store, which may not be until after work. I forgot my lunch so I may just go downtown for some food and drugs.

I am halfway through the first pattern repeat on Fawkes, but have yet to fix the heel on Anastasia. My order from Knit Picks arrived yesterday with my extra sets of 2.5mm and 2.75mm dpns so I may start another pair! Three at once! I have a feeling my weekend, other than taking the motorcycle license test at the DOT will be spent on the couch with some knitting, a glass of water or cup of tea and a Kleenex box.

I still haven't gotten my gym pass and it's already 2 weeks into the semester. Bad Chelsea! I should do that today.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Heather, a pediatric cardiologist at UIHC and my boss, and I want to take a microscopy class at the university. We thought it would be cheaper to do our research while taking this class since the fees for all the microscopy use and staff time are covered by the tuition. Yesterday, I decided to determine if our assumption that the class was cheaper is true. I emailed the microscopy core's business manager to get the hourly fees for use of the microscopes. I figured that this was a simple question, but apparently I was wrong.

We are already considered enrolled in the class, we have an account at the core and we have pre-paid for use of the microscopes as a way to use some grant money before we lost it. Anyway, the woman I emailed made a huge deal of me asking for the fees because of all this other stuff and was completely confused about why I wanted to know since all fees are waived while you are in the class. Even after I explained, she didn't get it. She emailed Heather, the professor, the core's administrator and the core's staff person we usually work with. I then received an email from the professor because she was worried that we weren't going to take the class and there are people waiting to take it. She would need to let them know soon if there is an opening. She did end up sending me the info I needed, but soon after i received another email from her because she was confused about something else. I replied saying I was sorry for causing her so much confusion with what I thought would be a simple question to answer. She then replied to say she knew what I was asking. I still don't think she did.

Later, Heather emailed her to ask if we could transfer money from our pre-paid account to pay for our tuition and that started another round of emails among Heather, this woman and the head of the microscopy core. She is hard to talk to in person, through email, and on the phone. The administrator finally stepped in and relieved Heather of the business manager and they are going to figure out something tomorrow.

Today, I went to the cafe in the building the microscopy core is in to get a Diet Coke and the business manager was standing in line at the register. I was so glad she doesn't know what I look like. I am sorry if this didn't make any sense, but I had to vent. I wasn't feeling well yesterday due to an oncoming cold, and she put me over the edge.

And here's a little knitting content:

I did a short-row heel on the Anastasia sock and I think it is too shallow. I have higher arches and so does the recipient of this pair so I think I will try a toe-up gusset heel instead. I did start Fawkes last night. for some reason I decided to try it on magic loop and quickly decided that wasn't going to work. The cord drove me nuts.

edited to add:
Crap! I just bought more yarn! One's for my mom, I think.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I started on some new socks! The yarn is striping just as I had hoped and the toe-up start didn't drive me crazy like it usually does. The yarn is Lorna's Laces in Lucky Stripe and the pattern is Anastasia. They will also be a Christmas gift. I am going to start another pair tonight so I don't get bored. I can't decide between the Socktopia Mystery sock or Fawkes.

I am not prepared for it to be September. I love the idea that fall will soon be here, but that also means I need to order Josh's birthday present and plan the rest of my Christmas knitting projects. I also want to start a sweater for myself, but can't decide on the yarn. I want to have it done so I can show it off at Thanksgiving. I also promised my cousin a scarf in his school colors. I should really get started on that b/c knitting a scarf won't be fun. Maybe I can find a way to make it fun. I still haven't made a chiropractor appointment either. I haven't had anymore bad headaches, but my neck is stiff.