Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Emmett

I have a sickness. If I focus on reading, I do not...and will not knit. If, for instance, I finally get my computer to allow me to watch shows online (like Lost!), my mind will switch modes and skip the "pages." I think you all can guess which mode I was in recently:
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I was searching throughout my brain for some ideas of what I should sent Joe in the mail for a care package. I've done the popcorn, and the corn nuts (must be the ranch kind), and the hot-chocolate, and the pictures, and the cd-mixes. But not the knitting. I decided that I must "do the knitting" this time. So, here-be "Emmett." A mixture of the colors that he likes, a new design in general, and hopefully a unique idea for a hat: woven stripes.

It's a really easy pattern, and I'll have a version that is a little shorter. Because I designed this hat for Joe, I'm guessing that it would be fitting for him to actually model the FO for the pattern. Not me. I see him for Valentine's Day (can't wait!), so I'm hoping to release the pattern in the shop after the middle of February, when I get back. I actually have a person from Ravelry who offered to test-knit my patterns because A.) she likes to knit, and B.) she has oodles of yarn. And I'm guess there is a C.) she's just a really nice person and would live to help out where she can for our fellow knitterkind. :)
I've never really had an official test-knitter until now. It's a really good idea, especially for those stupid "where's instruction #3" or "how much yardage?" mistakes that end up in the pattern, even after self-proofing.

Upcoming post: my own twist on the "orangettes" recipe that will truly make you salivate. It's so yummy!
Upcoming design idea: a lacey cowl

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Candied Orange Rinds

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Torn between health & a sugar tooth, I decided to do something Martha Stewartly yesterday to satisfy both needs. Although I modified the recipe so that I would make half the original batch, I tried parikha's Orangettes and they seemed to be a hit!

I won't lie, it is a process. The slicing of the oranges is very time-consuming, not to mention all of the boiling-draining-boiling-draining-boiling routine. I found that this technique is not only easier, but was a lot nicer looking: when cutting the orange rind to remove from the orange, section it first only two ways...vertically and horizontally around the orange. After you do this, carefully remove the four sections from the orange. Cut the edges of the sections so that they look more rectangular, and slice it lengthwise into thin strips (about 1/8'' if you want more bang for your buck).

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I did learn that I'm not much of a rind-fan, but I did seem to find that my family enjoyed the treat. I even passed them around at my work. They sure do look artsy & yummy though!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And so it begins

Jeepers creepers. Where has the time gone? I've got under 8.5 months left before the big day and I still feel 15-20 pounds out of shape for it. Call me insane, but I can't have all of the cousins twice as skinny as the bride. Not even kidding...most are like 100 pounds. It just feels wrong.

My foot is far from healing, so the least intensive thing I can think to do (besides crunches and all that good stuff) is swimming. My swimsuit from 11 years ago (yeah, I know...that sucker just held out for me) finally got replaced the other day for a dark blue number. After having my old one basically be a chest peep-show for all the guys (as well as little rips starting in the behind area), I knew it was time to bite the bullet and fork up 60 dollars for a new one. And that was with the sale! Chlorine and hair (especially blond hair) doesn't mix too well, you know, so I also had to buy a rubber cap for my head. I had a heck of a time trying to put it on for the first time, but you know what...not only did I feel like a legit swimmer (despite my crappy technique), but I felt like it was easier to swim and my goggles fit more properly along my eyes.

Ok, here's the start of the first of many overviews:

WEEK 1:
The work-outs
Sunday: 20 minute swim
Monday: (30 minute swim? Can't remember if my mind is just making this one up)
Tuesday: 30 minute swim
Wednesday: 40 minute swim (all sorts of ways to swim), stretching, plus a few crunches
Thursday: 40 minute swim, 5 minute leg extensions in water, more stretching, crunches
Friday: Streching
Saturday: 60 minute swim & lots of stretching in water
The diet:
Sunday-Tuesday: Cereal, sandwiches for lunch & dinner-?
Wednesday: Turkey & egg sandwich, cereal & grapefruit, home-made chicken soup & salad
Thursday: Lean egg pocket, chicken soup, salad, healthy tv dinner
Friday: Weight watcher's breakfast quasadilla, BLT sandwich, tacos
Saturday: W.W's breakfast quasadilla, Turkey sandwich, 2 chocolate nuggets, smoothie & rice

Weight-loss total: 7 pounds!!!

Side-note for all you Twilight fanatics: I'm 1/3 through Breaking Dawn. If reading burned calaries, I probably wouldn't have to worry about weight-loss at all. ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

From the knitter's journal: "Cropped Sweater" v.1

There's something about a bulky quick-knit project that makes you toss your previous WIP aside for a little while. (Sometimes tossed indefinitely aside....but hey, let's stay a little optimistic; it's tossed aside until the new project is finished.)

It's a new year, that means its time a be a little bit more organized, no? Let's face it, if you really knew me, you would know that I have the rough draft of my patterns on little sticky notes, scratch paper, journals...really anywhere and everywhere. Most of the time, some of the patterns that never make it to this blog get lost. Thrown away. Recycled, sometimes. I think it's long overdo that I officially write in my notes, patterns, charts and such onto an official pattern journal book-for Pete's sake-if it doesn't make it quickly into the computer.
Voila: charts, notes, yarn sample and such.
Hopefully it won't end up like my old diaries. You know, a few long and heart-felt pages filled out and then....wham! A sea of blank pages. I am in the process of designing my own cropped sweater that should have a shape relative to the cropped sweater above. The yarn will be bulkier, the cables will be different, and the color rather brownish with some blue specks. I will use a 2x2 ribbing for the base and sleeves. I'm still undecided about the collar.
Ever since Twilight, I've been racing through all of Meyer's Twilight series. Since I work at the library, I know how the "hold" system work...and how fast the books usually come in...so I planned putting two books at a time on hold while reading the previous book. I read Twilight & New Moon, and I am half way through Eclipse. Thanks to my system, I won't be deprive after I'm done with this book because Breaking Dawn is safely harbored among my other library books "booty." I loved the first book, but I'll save my various criticisms for another post. My officially theme colors for my wedding. Notice the color of the felt on top. And my mom wonders why I could never "specify" the true color of the green that I had in mind for one of my theme colors. What would you say? "Light minty sea-green?" The picture is awful, and the green is a tad sea-greener and brighter, and the brown's darker, but hey, that's artificial light for you. I'm making a large felt blanket of squares out of this wonderful color combination. I do realize that I have a unique vision for my wedding reception decorations. But I'm not faltering in my green choice though. It's my favorite color.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Let's toast to 2009!

Once again, the year has come and gone, leaving nothing but experience, troubles, joys and lots of memories. We have faced more obstacles, the good and the bad, and have survived another year in the modern world.

Some people may have already adjusted to the norm of adult livelihood, while others (like me) are just beginning. There's the whole notion of finding jobs, paying actual bills, warding off injuries (incessant buggers that won't seem to go away), learning to heal relationships, and the big question of will things pan out according to plan after recent events. There are a lot of uncertain details lately, but I am truly optimistic for the 2009 year. After all, dust that rises must eventually settle.

This holiday season has been rather interesting, and I mean that entirely in the hind-sight & stand-offish in the whole mental/physical/emotional sense. I want to thank everyone for wishing me & my loved ones well. I was (and still am) suffering from tendinitis in my left foot & right elbow as I work every day on it-really, the least of my emotional issues-while learning that the wedding might not be in October anymore. The shortest explanation is that Joe will now be graduating in May now, his future work life will be put off now at least 4 months later, which leaves me in rather a tight spot. Because everything is still uncertain, I still don't know whether or not I will need to quit my two present jobs and move back to Iowa for his remaining months so that everyone is safe, healthy, and on track. The whole situation is a little overwhelming, and It gets harder and harder to listen to everyone talking about our wedding when I don't even know myself if it's still on this year. I really love my wedding date, and extending an already 3-year engagement is a little stressful. Joe and I have been ready for quite some time to get a move-on with our lives, as we have been together for almost 7 years, and the whole constant advise to "take your time, you have your whole life" from bystanders is getting a little old. Joe and I both know that I can't really settle into a full-time job because when he graduates his job location isn't necessarily in IL. To me, it's worth it to not have as much monetarily if you reap more in happiness. I don't need a lot, just enough to be comfortable and be able to officially start my adult life. Lately, I feel like I'm trapped in Limbo.
In all, this Winter season has been particularly taxing on me, and I have nothing really to show for my knitting work but the finale of my "Movies" KUAS club.
Meet the revised mitts of Ebeneezer Scrooge. They are interchangeable fingerless mitts with a long 1x1 ribbed cuff and triangle pattern on the main body of the mitts. These mitts are great for when you have to bounce back and forth between using your fingers and keeping them snug under the interchangeable top. They fit perfectly, which really satisfies me.

Pattern: an original KUAS pattern, "Mr. Scrooge's Interchangeable Mitts"
Designed for: the December KUAS knitting club
Inspiration: Mr. Scrooge in the Christmas Carol, with his plain grey fingerless gloves
Yarn: 1 skein of KUAS "blizzard" fingering weight yarn
Needles: size 2US & 3US dpns
Start to finish: few days to complete

Joe and I travelled back and forth between my parent's and his neighbor's New Year Eve party. We started at my place until we were stuffed (not to mention 5 pounds heavier), and mingled (a little awkwardly) for another 2 hours at his neighbor's two houses down, and made it in time for the New Year & the view of lots of drunken folks back at my place. I guess we missed out on a lot of drinks in those two hours. Ha. I will be getting back to the knitting force today, working some more on my 2-stranded hat that I designed a while back. In the near future, I plan on making a semi-sweater. I personally call it a sweater-shrug, to be a little loose with terminology.

As for resolutions, I have finished 26 books this 2008 year (that's one less than 2007-boo!), and have been rather bad to resolving the rest of my previous resolutions for the 2009 year. I didn't loose much weight. I didn't learn new knitting techniques (although I do intend to this year). Eh. I didn't do a lot of things beside graduating and getting some new jobs. That's good enough for me though. This 2009 year will hopefully be more productive. Instead of creating a long list and making it seem like I HAVE to do a bunch of things or "heaven-forbid," I'll make a mental "wish-list" in my head, and hopefully be more motivated to do them.

I wish you all a merry NEW YEARS....2009! Wow! Let it be good to all of us!



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