Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Years Contest

I want to wish everyone another great New Year. 2009 has been a significant year for me, I got married, my hubby graduated with a Biomedical Engineering degree (which means that we aren't separated through states anymore, like we were for a year), he found himself a great job with even more potential, we are living happily in my first apartment, we celebrated our first Christmas, I'm applying at my job to try to move upward...but It did have its downs: my grandfather's illness and eventual death, Joe's two grandfathers getting cancer (one terminal), my aunt's constant illnesses, etc.

I've always known how sad my newly windowed grandmother is lately (my grandfather died the week before my wedding), but after spending Christmas Eve with her and my family, I've been more motivated to set important resolutions for 2010:

1. To pick up my grandma once a week to go grocery shopping (she doesn't drive! And now she's all alone!...and she has to order her food) so that she feels loved and can also get out of the house. This also takes care of the fact that I've been really bad about not visiting...

2. To spend more time on charity work (no matter how small it seems).

3. To get back in shape (My muscles are not liking how out of shape I am)

4. To try to move up in the library-world, or if I can't, to spend more time educating myself on various subjects because my brain feels like a blob not doing anything stimulating (besides knitting).

5. To continue to work on a good marriage, to not let anything change our relationship during the first year of our marriage (even though it's still a struggle to work out that whole "toilet seat" thing. ha ha.).

6. To work on my hibernating projects. I have some good projects that have been treated unjustly. You can't even imagine how many are in that pile...


What to win: a knitter's goodie bag (including a skein of KUAS yarn and a pattern)!

How to play: Tell me your most important resolution, and why it will effect your life in a good way. You must supply me with an email address (you can send me it via email if you don't want it seen: knittingupastormATgmailDOTcom). After the contest closes, I will randomly pick a name out of the hat.

How to bump up your odds: tell your friends about this contest, or write about this contest on your blog (give me the link) and have them refer you (your name must be stated). Feel free to copy & paste the rules. For every reference and/or posting to your blog, you get another name in the hat.

CONTEST CLOSES 1/2/10 at MIDNIGHT!!! Check out my blog soon after to see the winner announced! See ya'll next year! In the meantime, check out my last post...I'm kind of stepping on it right now.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas '09 knits

Hey gang. Now that the whathaveyou's have died down, I'm back in blogland to post a couple of pics of what I knit for a couple of people for Christmas. I still have Joe's birthday hat to knit up (that's about a week or so away). I choose to not make it for Christmas because I might try to do something fancier than just plain 'ol ribbing. Obviously, I plan WAY in advance for people's presents. Golly...maybe that should be a resolution.

braided scarf

The first scarf is for a volunteer who comes in on Wednesdays at the library to help me out with "feature films" (dvds). She is a very nice lady who is quite knowledgeable with nutrition; she teaches me little tid-bits on those days about vitamins and such, and how "knowledge is power." I've gotten talks about how I should use probiotics more, get more vitamin C (washing my hands every 30 mins isn't enough), the power of tumeric, etc. So, I knit her up something for all of her hard work and for being such a nice person to me all the time.

braided scarf

I came across this "braided scarf" idea while shelving (my mind needs something stimulating to cut the boringness of alphabetizing all of the time). It's not really that original, but I thought that stashbusting with boucle yarn would not only be a better way to show off the braids because it hides the (blah) garter stitch, but it's also really warm and fuzzy. The scarf has a button on it, but I had to snap these pictures really fast before work because they were literally "fresh off the press."

Project: "the Braided Scarf" (KUAS original)
Yarn: stashbusting boucle yarn (I lost the brand labels long ago), 2 skeins in different colors
Needles: size US15 staights
CO: 12/20/09 FO: 12/23/09
Skill Level: easy-schmeasy, only garter stitch.

My brother has been asking me for a "red & black" scarf for several years. I finally decided to oblige (bulky yarn in mind, of course) the day before Christmas Eve. LOL.

Woven scarf

It's a woven stitch pattern, to make the two contrasting colors pop. The back is actually cool because it makes the scarf reversible with a weird almost-woven type of garter stitch look.

woven scarf

The most ironic thing was that when my brother opened it up, he wrapped it around him and said "it needs to be longer" and "I'd rather the next one be simpler. Just a solid black and then red stripe."
Blast that boy. He's going to turn my head to mush faster than Hulu.

Project: "Woven Scarf" (KUAS original)
Yarn: 2 skeins of bulky yarn (Lion Brand's "Hometown USA")
Needles: size US17 circular needles
CO: 12/23/09 FO: 12/23/09
Skill Level: easy

christmas 2009-joe and anna

Joe and I had fun celebrating our first Christmas together. Wonders beyond wonders...before we opened our presents Christmas morning, I was going to light a candle on our kitchen table in the dinning room, and I felt a cold drip of water on my back. I looked up and saw that the beam on the ceiling was leaking! We had several leaks going that morning. Poor maintenance guy, he had to come and scrape our roof to put a stop to the leak. Of all days! I gave him some baked cookies for his trouble. Other than that, we split the day hitting two of our family's houses.

The Holiday knits poll is closed, and here are the results:

winter poll

It seemed that knitting hats was the winner, followed closely by scarves and then mittens. That doesn't seem too odd, although I might have believed that scarves would be the winner. I wonder what types of toys were being knit up. Who voted for that? Let me know what you guys knit up. :)

Woven scarf

My husband modeling the scarf before I never get to see it again. He's got my heart.

Stay tuned for a "2010 Resolutions contest," to kick off the new year with some fun! Start thinking of some resolutions...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Quick Holiday Knit: Doubled Looped Scarf Pattern

Well, I planned on posting two patterns, but I hope this is sufficient for those of you who still need a 1-2 day knit for a last-minute chic gift. Have a very Merry Christmas and holidays, everyone! Enjoy this super-duper easy and fast pattern! I'm off to brew some hot cocoa and do the annual snowy drive-around in the neighborhood to look at the Christmas lights with my hubby!

Doubled Looped Scarf Pdf (links to Ravelry) 
Skill: EASY
TYPES: Seed Stitch & Garter Scarves

Needles: 1 skein (240yds) bulky yarn in Main Color. 10-20 yds in contrast color for the border.
Needles: size US15 circular needle (29'') & darning needle.
Hook: size K or N

GUAGE: approx. 5 sts=2''

MEASUREMENTS: 47'' circumference

K=knit P=purl ST(S)=stitch(es) RD=round

Sunday, December 20, 2009

leftovers never looked so gourmet...


Just checking in. I just got back from work from the library (yup, on a Sunday), and I was planning on making this gourmet leftover dinner ever since I made the grilled steak and chicken dinner last night.

Above is a soup-salad-sandwich combo that's mostly Asian inspired. Because the steak and chicken was grilled with a sesame, ginger and garlic marinade, I used the sauce again for the salad that has sesame seeds, almonds and carrots and the leftover medium-well cooked steak. I also used the marinaded chicken to make an Asian chicken salad sandwich on a fresh croissant. The soup is cheesy cauliflower soup that is semi-homemade and topped with crustini bread that is seasoned with oil, salt and garlic and is crusty enough to taste like flat croutons. Goodness gratious... it was Delish!

Check in with me in a day or so. I plan on uploading a couple of free scarf patterns (the double-looped scarf & also a new unique scarf one) in the next post so you have another fast and east knit pattern that you can knit up really quickly for the holidays. Off to watch more Meerkat Manor (so cute and addicting!!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter waltzes

Sorry, gang, for being rather quiet and boring the past couple of weeks. I've been as busy as one of Santa's elves with a lot of the holiday bustling. I've been taking photos along the way, but they just haven't made it into the computer until just now.

gingerbread men

Above is a photo of one of the many batches of gingerbread men I've been making. They are scrumptious! I plan on hanging with a friend or two tonight to make gingerbread houses!

I'll just jump into the knitting right away, since these are just WIPs, and not really worth the suspense. These two knits are both KUAS originals that I've started and worked on here and there. The purple knit is a baby cardi that is a little similar to EZ's "February Lady," but has a different, and more wavy lace pattern. The blue heathered project (not really visible in the photo) is a hat pattern that has a different construction than the hat patterns that I'm sick of used to. I knit the cabled band first, and then picked up the stitches around the rim before continuing with another cable pattern.

winter 09 knit and tree

A little ironic: once I did all the cable work, and picked up stitches (twice, since I ripped it out the first time to do things differently), I realized that the cable pattern could probably have been done vertically, and still look the same. To stop laughing myself silly, I told myself that I wouldn't have known how many stitches to cast-on to fit my head perfectly (who's swatches really work out in the end?), and this way was better because I'll just end up doing another cable pattern that can't be done vertically for some other hat...and this is my guinea pig project. Fair enough.

frozen river hat

On another note, I was excited when the first snowfall happened. There is something magical about that first fall...an electric spark of awe and hope for that white Christmas that you remembered as a kid. Or it might just be me...one who is a little into the sensory around this time of year. Cold crunchy snow. A warm fireplace cracking and popping. Aromatic pine needles burning. Cookies of all sorts baking. The soft yet brilliant glow of the lights on the Christmas tree. Holiday-inspired coffees of peppermint, eggnog and gingerbread...

first snow fall

Speaking of winterly things. Joe and I rode the train to Chicago and enjoyed a Saturday in the city, shopping and eating at a pub. We enjoyed all of the lights littering the city trees, and checked out Macy's displays. Let me tell you, that store is a little intimidating, what with its 8 or 9 floors...

Chicago winter 09

Chicago winter 09

Chicago winter 09

Chicago winter 09

Chicago winter 09

Macy's had a magnificent Christmas display. I can't even imagine how much it cost, but things where hanging every which way from the ceiling.

Chicago winter 09

And the most current news: I celebrated my 24th birthday on the 12th. We had a great time going to see the Nutcracker and eating out at Jimmy's Charhouse and drinking up at Chilies. I'm enjoying my birthday gift, the new Wii Mario game (awesome!! I love mario, and I'm stoked that they remade the game while trying to keep the wonderful elements of the first couple of marios). Last night, I cooked a yummy dinner, a Shepherd's Pie that I tried to replicated from the pub in Chicago (Elephant & Castle...or was is Castle & Elephant? I forgot).

shephard's pie

Let me leave you with a wonderful photo from one of the winterly Sunsets from a week ago:

winter sunset 09