Thursday, January 31, 2008

This video has some amazing footage of sea creatures. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I have finished my Inga Hat!
Pattern: Inga Hat
Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style Storm, Asparagus, and a little Vanilla; less than one ball of each
Needles: 3.25mm and 3.75mm for colorwork
Started: 1/18/2008
Finished: 1/26/2008

I am very happy with it. It fits me really well, but it is a little taller than I like. If I knit this again, which I may do, I would start a few rows into the colorwork. I carried the MC, Storm, in my right hand and the CC, Asparagus, in my left, and it worked beautifully for me. I may be switching from a thrower to a picker! The braid was neat if a little fiddly. I used this tutorial which is really good, but my yarns were so twisted by the end. I used magic loop for the colorwork, but I think a 16" needle and dpns would have worked a lot better for me. I am heading to the Knit Picks site after this to purchase some for my next hat.

I keep forgetting to take pics of Wicked so I finally did it today. Sorry for the lack of action shots, but I haven't showered since Friday after tae kwon do and I am still wearing my pj's.

Pattern: Wicked
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers 4009(?) 5 skeins
Needles: US7, 4.5mm and US6, 4.0mm

More pics of Flickr.

Josh is brewing today so I get lots of knitting time to myself! We did all the fun stuff yesterday, you know, grocery shopping, returning bottles and getting rid of recycling. We also went to HuHot for some yummy food. I may start a new project. I gave Norberta some eyes and now I want to define her mouth a little more, maybe with some teeth, and give her a nose. I should probably go to the gym too.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Getting back to tae kwon do last night was nice. I didn't realize how much I missed it, which I think was part of the reason I had trouble making myself go last semester. I get a little burned out teaching tae kwon do six hours a week so it was hard for me to think about enjoying it when I wasn't teaching. I love to kick things, and I am somewhat good at it occasionally. I am not horribly sore, but the soreness will probably hit me tomorrow when we have class again. We did a lot of kicking last night so I know my hammies will be feeling it soon.

I am a little worried that I may have lost my most favoritest hat ever..est. It's the one in my profile picture. I either left it in Josh's truck or the room we do tae kwon do in, but I am still paranoid that it is gone forever. I am heading to the building we workout in to buy a new fitness pass and may head upstairs to check for my hat. Josh hasn't called me back yet about the possibility of my hat being in his truck. I love that hat! I want to make another one just like it because I can, but that is a little hard when it is not in my presence. At least I still have the matching mittens. I am unnaturally attached to this hat.

I changed the background color because,...well I don't know why. I just did.

ETA: Found the hat. It was in the truck! Yay! I am totally paranoid about losing that hat. I am amazed I am willing to wear it. Thanks for looking Emily!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I forgot!

I can't believe I forgot to post about a couple of FOs. They are part of a very belated Christmas/birthday gift for some relatives of mine, that I hope to get to the post office today.

Pattern: Zeebee
Yarn: Cascade Ecological Wool #8049
Needles: US7 4.5mm

These are for my cousin and uncle. I hope they fit! I had to guess on size and didn't have anyone with a similar sized head to try them on.

Pattern: Linen Stitch Scarflet
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza #6003
Needles: US7 4.5mm

This is for my other cousin to go with her hat and mittens. Again, I hope they fit!

Inga is going well. I had to frog the first third when i realized it was way too small because I forgot to switch to larger needles. Doh! At least I enjoy the pattern so reknitting isn't horrible at all.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

UFC birthday cake and some knitting

Yesterday was my birthday, so I of course made a cake. Despite some initial problems with the cake not cooperating and falling onto the stove when it wasn't supposed to, it turned out well. I used a chocolate stout cake recipe from Epicurious. The cake was covered with fondant made according to this recipe, and I topped it with a UFC logo since UFC 80 was last night.

The cake is really good, but so rich. I may have a piece for breakfast since I don't seem to have anything else breakfast like around here.

This is the blurry start of Inga. The yarn is Knit Picks Merino Style in Storm, Asparagus, and Vanilla for the stripe. I am carrying the main color in my right hand the the contrast color in my left. So far it is going really well. I realized the Storm color is almost the same as the color I used for Wicked. i am going to try to get some pictures of Wicked today while the sun is out and I am showered and my hair is brushed.

I finished one Monkey and started the second because I am a good little sock knitter. Apparently I am incapable of taking a clear picture, though.

Ok, now for some cake for breakfast since I lack anything else. Don't worry, I will eat the scraps without frosting and have a Clementine.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I want one of these! I may have to try making one myself. I saw the innards of a frog just last week as I was cutting his heart out, so I should be able to do it. His heart is still on my bench in a clear vial waiting to be covered in wax.

Anyway, I am rather excited for my birthday this weekend. We are having people over and are thinking about doing fondue for dinner. My mom got us a fondue set as an engagement present (I didn't know you gave engagement presents), but it is on backorder. Josh thinks we should have two anyway so he is going to pick up another from Target. The first course/appetizer is will be cheese and the main course will be a broth fondue. We want to make it vegetarian friendly as well, so that may take a little planning, i.e. cook the veggies first and use veggie broth.

I have yarn coming so I can make Inga. I picked some rather wacky colors, and since I ordered them online, I have to hope they go together as well as I picture them in my head. I ordered some white too so if they don't I can use it instead. The yarn may be at my apartment already so the Monkeys may be put aside for a bit to make this hat. What I should do is finish this first Monkey and start it's mate before starting Inga. That's what i would do if I was a responsible knitter.

I made chicken tortilla soup Sunday night. It was really good so Josh suggested the next venture should be chicken enchilada soup. My theory for a recipe is to combine the tortilla soup recipe with my cheese soup recipe, i.e. use the soup base (chicken broth with cilantro and a puree of tomato, onion, garlic, and jalapeno)from tortilla soup and add cheese to it. Have any of you made it before? I did a quick search for recipes but didn't see anything too promising. I usually rule out recipes with processed cheese food rather than real cheese, so that cut down my options. Processed cheese food...That just sounds icky.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

For your viewing pleasure

FO: Stripey Socks
Pattern: My own, YO short-row heel, plain stockinette
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici Aurora
Needles: Knit Picks 2.5mm circs

They will be sent to a Sockapalooza-4-er that did not receive socks from her pal. They took me entirely too long to knit so she is getting some extra goodies including a candle, soap, and couple hanks of sock yarn.

A very late Christmas present is this little scarflet. I am lacking buttons, but it is washed and blocking. It is part of a set that includes the red cabled hat and Peekaboo Mittens in the same yarn. I am so slow about getting Christmas gifts out this year. I think all my traveling threw off my schedule.

Yesterday I started a pair of Monkey socks. They kept me sane during a football game and little conversation.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thanks for all the helpful comments and discussion about cameras yesterday. I think I will get the Canon PowerShot S5 after my next paycheck. I am not quite ready to spend another chunk of money after Christmas, traveling, a new computer and my car's lack of registration issues. I have the money, I just don't want to part with it yet. Maybe after my birthday. I will most likely get some more money as gifts to put towards it anyway.

Speaking of my birthday, I am going to make a cake. Shocking, I know. But this one is a special cake because I am also going to really decorate it, not just frost it and dump some sprinkles on. I am taking inspiration from this cake. The next UFC is on my birthday and it is also the 20th UFC my friends and I have gotten together to watch. Mine will probably not look as nice. I think I am going to play with some fondant and try my hand at piping the UFC logo, though I may just make it out of fondant and stick it on there.

In other completely unrelated non-news, I just found these instructions for making a self-watering planter. I think I may make myself one for a little herb garden. Unless the farmer's market is going on, it is impossible to find herbs that are fresh and not overpriced. I like this little box because it could sit on my kitchen table, and I wouldn't forget to water it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I really want a new camera. I have taken a lot more pictures lately, and I get very frustrated with my camera at times. The zoom is useless because it just makes things blurry and the camera can't focus it. I can't get colors to turn out right unless I have just the right amount of light. Low-light pics are not happening because it is nearly impossible to keep the camera still while the camera takes the picture so they are always a blurry mess. Since I am opposed to using the flash for the most part, this makes taking pictures frustrating.

Since I received my first digital camera as a gift almost 3 years ago, I am not opposed to spending a bit more than I would normally. I think I will use the money I received for my birthday and Christmas for a new camera. I thought about getting a DSLR, but they are more than I am willing to spend right now, especially with lenses figured in. I am thinking about a bridge camera because they are significantly cheaper and probably all I really need at this time. I am leaning towards the Canon PowerShot S5 because I have read good things about it and the price isn't bad.

I figure if I wanted a camera similar to mine, but newer and better, I would pay almost $200, and this one, at Amazon and a few other places, is around $320. Now, with my Christmas/birthday money added in I am paying about $100 of my own hard earned money. I can deal with that.

Josh thinks I am nuts for wanting a new camera, but I don't think I care. He's the one that took a photography class!

Any thoughts/suggestions?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I made a stupid mistake. I somehow forgot to renew my car's registration and last night we got pulled over for it. The worst part is, Josh was driving so he got the ticket. I am of course paying it, but I feel so bad because it was my stupid mistake. I took care of it this morning; i.e. walking about 45 minutes in a cold drizzle to get from the bus stop to the county administration building and back to work, because driving my car wasn't an option.

At least all the walking kind of made up for not going to the gym this morning. I wasn't going to risk another ticket by driving to the gym. At least I have my lentil soup to comfort me in this nasty weather. I also have the His Dark Materials series loaned to me by a former co-worker so I have some reading to look forward too. I bet a I could sneak in a little reading at my desk today while I am incubating, digesting, and PCR-ing DNA.

Monday, January 07, 2008

I still can't get used to the idea that I have to work for a whole 5 days this week. I know some are now moving to longer work weeks, but after my last three partial weeks I don't know what to think! I also have to teach tkd tonight.

I didn't get a lot getting-rid-of-stuff done (one box to Goodwill), but we did reorganize the computer room and it's closet. The storage room off the kitchen also saw some changes for the better. I cleaned out our little pantry and put everything in it's place. The new magnetic knife bar from Ikea didn't get put up, but that's a quick and easy project that will hopefully be done this week. I feel much better. My closet will be tackled sometime. I already have a basket of clothes that I don't wear a lot, but I need to do a deep cleaning of the closet. The bookshelf is still a mess and I need another magazine thingy.

I did finish a few things from the knitting basket which makes me happy. Wicked and the Zeebee hats are done and drying on a towel in the living room. I just need to weave in the ends of the Stripey Socks and send them to their recipient along with some goodies. Pictures of all to come when the sun comes back. I think I have a good lead on some eyes for Norberta.

I started a little scarflet for to include in some belated Christmas gifts due to a possibly too small hat. Since I want to do some colorwork this year as part of the Fearless Knitting KAL I decided to teach my self to knit carrying the yarn in my left hand to I can have one color of yarn in each hand. so far it is going well except I tend to twist the stitches in a decidedly combined knitting way. Not bad, but could get confusing when I knit with yanr in both hands since I don't twist them when I knit with the yarn in the right hand.

Josh received another call from his sister yesterday while we were out shopping. He had left his phone at home charging so was not able to answer it. His sister left a message ending with a remark about how he probably didn't answer his phone because she called. That didn't make Josh happy and he almost decided to not visit her next weekend. I talked him into going, but he really doesn't want to. I don't either, but I really think we should. It will most definitely be awkward.

It's 50 degrees right January. There may be thunderstorms.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I love being organized. I am not saying I am always organized, but there are certain things I maintain a strict order to. One of them is my work notebooks. I recently re organized them so they made more sense to me and what I am now working on. I just did the same with all my tubes of DNA and oligos. It feels so nice. My notebooks for classes were always organized too when I was in college.

My apartment on the other hand is a complete disaster right now. I have been either busy or sick the last few months and things are completely out of control. I can barely stand it sometimes. Our computer room is a mess. We keep trying to reorganize but either get distracted or don't have the time to finish what we started. My old computer's guts are hanging out of it right now and it's cover is in three pieces in three different places. My bookshelf is overflowing and my magazines are in a pile on the floor. Mystery boxes and tubs are stacked all over the place.

Our bedroom is not much better. We both have an excess of clothes. I have been carrying some of my clothes around with me since high school. They aren't in bad condition and they do fit for the most part, but they are old. We just have a lot of stuff in general and there aren't a lot of places to put it. I am not sure how two people can have so much stuff, but we certainly do. I hate stuff. Why do I have so much?

I don't know if it's because of the start of a new year or the fact that I can't stand it anymore, but I want to clean. I want to get rid of stuff and simplify my life. I want things neat and easy to find. I want only the clothes and shoes I wear in my closet and dresser. I want everything in a place that makes sense. Of course, the desire to clean usually leaves me as soon as I look at the mess(es).

I was usually messy when I lived with my parents. As soon as I moved out I was all about keeping things neat and tidy. I think part of it was due to avoiding studying by cleaning. I want to be that way again; not the avoiding, the cleaning. I used to put my shoes away as soon as I took them off unless they were wet or dirty. My clothes were always put away after being washed and dried, not sitting around in laundry baskets a week later. I have yet to own a desk with drawers, so my desks have always been a little messy, but I want to change that. I want the stacks of towels and bed linens to not fall out when I open the closet door. I want the pantry organized so I can find things easily.

Honestly, if I wasn't at work, I would probably go home and start on this right now. I have the cleaning bug after going through my DNA. My goals this month, along with working out more regularly and eating healthier, are to get organized, stay organized, reduce the amount of stuff I have and beat Zelda.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Food Networks Top 100 Recipes of 2007

My fave chef, AB, has 2nd and 3rd! His baked mac and cheese is very tasty. I will be checking out some of the others. I need some new dinner ideas.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Hello 2008

Happy New Year! I hope you did something exciting last night. I was in bed by 9:00 and asleep by 10:30, but I am not complaining.

I got back from Chicago late Sunday night. It was almost Monday actually. We had a great time. We went to the Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and a performance of Wicked. You can see pics from the museums here.

I didn't finish Wicked for Wicked due to some sleeve issues. They were huge, well they were when I followed the pattern. Just a few inches on one sleeve and it should be done.

I think I may bake some bread today. Maybe that will help me decide what I want for dinner. I took some more pics of the ring in natural light.

Josh's sister invited us to stay for a weekend at her and her boyfriend's place. I don't think I have talked to his sister in over a year and he hasn't talked to her much more than that. We had a little bit of a falling out about 2 years ago when she decided that we were getting in her way which ended with Josh practically moving in with me almost two months before we moved to our current place and pretty much ended all personal contact with her. She has barely looked at me when we have spent time together usually in the company of their parents. We are thinking about spending one night there, but not the whole weekend. I still feel so angry towards her sometimes and Josh hasn't been happy with her lately either mostly due to how she has spent the holidays away from their parents. I don't usually feel this much resentment towards a person for so long, but I can't seem to get past it this time.