Friday, December 30, 2005
a finished project! (i can't believe it!)
1x1 rib knit long scarf
yarn: katia's 'nepal', color #5000, 2 skeins on #15 needles
time it took to complete: 5 days, off and on
Thursday, December 29, 2005
o christmas tree, o christmas tree...with all my 2600+ lights...
i know. just call me ms. griswald!
i'm very excited! two days after christmas, i'm about to leave to go after-christmas shopping on north michigan avenue, and look what shows up on my doorstep:
sp 6 treats! yay!
a box 'o stuff from my secret pal! yay! i received a beautiful purse, a copy of the reader, stitch markers (hey! what happened to my other ones?! hmm...), a giant stitch holder-thingey (is that what they're called? i can't remember...) which i *totally* need for all my bulky scarves that i've been working (and procrastinating about) on lately, and, my very, very favorite part:
a pattern and yarn for this gorgeous lace (yikes!) scarf! i'll probably work on this after i finish my french girl project... i can't wait to start it, though!
and speaking of the french girl... this is what has become of it:
o unfinished stuff, o unfinished stuff...
well, at least i only have 3 (1 not included in photo) projects on the needles at this particular point and time. one, of course, is my beloved french girl, the second, is a 1x1 rib scarf out of katia's 'nepal' yarn in this gorgeous darker-rainbowish colorway (#5000) to replace my beloved chez casuelle bulky scarf that i knitted up last year but am *so* allergic to, and the one not pictured - a 2x2 rib scarf in a charcoal bulky alpaca yarn that is *sooo* soft for my boyfriend. (that was supposed to be part of his christmas present. oh well. so much for deadlines!)
so, thanks again to my fabulous secret pal, marissa, for all the goodies, and, here's to a safe and happy new year's! see you in 2006!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
it's just that...i've been busy...procrastinating!
first off (as usual)...a very special thank you goes out to my secret pal... i received a not-lost-in-the-mail-this-time (ahem, thank you, usps...) envelope yesterday...and guess what it had inside! stitch markers! they're blue and lovely and gorgeous...and, my digital camera is freezing in my car right now, so, i'll post photos soon. (promise!) thank you, thank you, thank you!
one balls worth of progress on the french girl
secondly...big news...i've actually *made progress* on french girl! i started it thanksgiving day, while waiting for the rest of my very late (umm...it's a well-known fact that we have to be told that we're having lunch - at noon - for people to start arriving by 6 pm) family to arrive, and, i actually was able to complete (and not tear back) enough that i actually finished one entire ball of rowan big wool. the color that i'm using is called 'lucky', this gorgeous lilac-y/purple-y color. will also post photos of my progress (excited! excited!) soon, as soon as i defrost the camera. i just hope i'm not breaking it (or messing it up for that matter) by leaving it in the console of my car. i guess we'll find out now, now won't we?
thirdly...other big project accomplished. my boyfriend, dan, threw a holiday party last friday, and, me, being the neurotic girlfriend, had to overindulge in cooking and baking in preparation for the event. of course, he assured me time and time again that i wouldn't have to do anything - and i shouldn't make anything - but, that wasn't good enough, of course! *of course* i had to prepare "just a little something" - there was no way that i was going to be involved in this whole thing, and risk the chance of someone saying, 'geez! he has a girlfriend, why didn't she do anything?' so, my little something ended up being my delicious chile con carne (with my secret ingredient...corn), a chicken and shrimp jambalaya (which turned out *much, much* better than my previously mentioned attempt), a 'chicago dip' spinach-dippey-type-thing, a cheddar and bacon log cheese-ball-type-thing, brownies, chocolate dipped pretzels (white and milk chocolates, of course...and, i'm so bummed, i broke my much-coveted glass double boiler from cooking.com while in the process of cleaning it), peanut butter kiss cookies, cupcakes, and rice krispie treats. i should've taken a photo of my kitchen once everything was said and done; i don't think i was able to see my counter...at all. it was truly a mess...truly! but, the aftermath is all taken care of, and, my kitchen is now beautiful once again. (so glad that's over with!)
*if all that* wasn't enough, the next few weeks will be filled with christmas parties, dinners with parents, surprises, friends, family, love & laughter. and then, to top it all off...new year's 2006 is a mere 18 days away! and to think...it was only new year's 2005 the other day! where has the year gone?!?
so, my apologies to my secret pal (whom, for some reason, i just never get back to) for not getting back to her sooner, and, i'll *hopefully* get better at this blogging thing and actually post more often than once a month. :) ah well. c'est la vie!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
i have to say a *huge* THANK YOU to my secret pal! (yes, i am turning into one of *those* people that don't even e-mail or acknowledge or anything!) thanks to a huge post office snafu (go figure), i never received my first 'secret package' - and she was nice enough to send me this as a replacement:
ribby! ribby! joy! joy!
needless to say, very excited. i've been wanting this pattern *forever*! and don't you just love the blue/brown combination?!?
but seriously. this is what has been keeeping me busy (and not posting!) for a while:
halloween, first of all. that's me, on the right. i'm an autumn fairy! (and don't mind my sister's boyfriend's 'thumbs up'...i could kill him for ruining what would've been a very nice photo!)
freakin' french girl
and the title says it all. this project is a nightmare! (the rowan big wool that i'm using is its saving grace.) *this* is why i'll never be able to knit any kind of lace anything. i've ripped this back more times than i can remember (or care to admit) - i'm always ending up with one more stitch, or one less, or just who knows... i've seriously got to take one of those classes that shows you how to go back and figure out where the mistake was made, because, enough already! i'll re-start it another day... (considering that i ripped it back to the beginning twice already today!)
and my most recent 'excursion' (or what have you):
packing. again. for the fourth time. and it's not because i'm moving - it's because i'm having carpeting issues...but don't even get me started on that one!
so, there you have it...i am alive and well...and very, very busy...
until next time...
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
51 degrees? okay...so i'm a wuss. (kinda.) i absolutely *love* the cool, crisp weather that autumn brings to chicago...it's just the adjustment!
so it's 3:42 in the morning, i've got t-5 hours until my 1st calculus exam, which, i should add, that i haven't even *started* studying for. it's not that i didn't mean to study. it's just that there are so many other things to do. like not study. and there are just so many websites to look at in the middle of the night - like ebay. (or weather.com for that matter.) or downloading songs off of itunes. (yay, gray's anatomy soundtrack!) i've also been compulsively checking my usbank.com mailbox for a reply to my e-mail that i wrote on tuesday, about 1:30 pm. considering their '5-star service guarantee', and the fact that they 'promise' they will respond to any e-mails within 24 hours, well, they owe me $5. it took them 36 hours to reply! so much for their 5-star service.
well, before my caffeine buzz wears off, i'd better get a-studyin'. wish me luck!
Saturday, September 24, 2005
(courtesy of my ever-favorite saturday morning farmer's market)
*more* honeycrisp. (yes, i know i'm obsessed)
(blognote: for those of you who *really* didn't believe that i *love* pink, yes, it's true. i *do* have pink colanders & a pink cutting board.)
today's weekly trip to the farmer's market proved very fruitful (no pun intended). not only was i able to get some more honeycrisp apples, i also ventured up to the lincoln park farmer's market, and was able to get a different variety as well: senshu. now, i've never heard of 'senshu apples' before today, but they sound promising: a very good, but not too 'apple-y' tasting apple.
and as for the raisin challah? *excellent*. i've *got* to get another one of those next week.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
chicken jamba-TOMATO PASTE-laya
so much for my potentially-will-be-*really*-good jambalaya recipe that i tried today. at the (almost) last step, i added *2* (yes, two) cans for tomato paste. considering the fact that i was *halving* the recipe instead of *doubling* it, umm...yeah. didn't turn out so well. hence chicken jamba-tomato paste-laya. sigh. i was *so* looking forward to it, too!
Saturday, September 17, 2005
i just remembered, that i forgot to 'submit' my first exam (for this web class that i'm taking) by midnight last night. i logged in to my blackboard account, to see if maybe i would be lucky, and, by some act of the good-fortune-on-christina-gods, the module would still be open. this is what i got:
(oh yeah. big blank page. and the best part? that big, black bold print near the top of the page? it reads: folder empty.)
no such luck.
will i ever get the hang of this online thing? i've seriously got to print myself out a calendar to remind myself. geesh!
i'm in love.
so i just got back from the clark & division farmer's market, and guess what i found there? honeycrisp apples! now, for those of you who aren't in the "know", there are like fifty gazillion types of apples out there (i only found this out last year). in any case, i discovered these apples through a friend of mine last fall - and let me tell you, i've been eagerly anticipating their arrival since then!
now, i'm not really sure what the appeal is - or what my obsession's all about, really. maybe it's because of the fact that not a lot of people know about this variety of apple (kinda like a cult thing). or perhaps it's because they're only seasonally available (kinda like a demand thing). i'm not really sure. but, what i am sure about, is that these are the most delicious apples that i've ever tried. tart, but not too tart. sweet, but not to sweet. and just the right amount of 'crunch'.
bottom line: *absolutely delicious.*
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I admit, I *am* a yarn snob. I have to admit, when I was really new to knitting, I had no idea. I went to Michael's and JoAnn's and bought Lion Brand. But then, I went to a knitting store, and I was absolutely seduced by the colors, and the fibers, and just how much natural fibers (wool) and higher quality acrylics (such as Encore acrylic/wool) differ from the "cheap" stuff. Don't get me wrong; the cheap stuff (Baby Clouds) is absolutely *wonderful* for baby blankets, but, I wouldn't be caught dead wearing it.
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Well, I'm allergic to cats. But I have two of them! :)
4. How long have you been knitting?
I've been knitting for almost two years now.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Not currently, but, I'll look into it, and keep you posted.
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I don't use any scented bath products, but, as far as candles go, I absolutely *love* Gold Canyon Candle's 'sweet vanilla sugar' and 'birthday cake'. They're absolutely *scrumptious*!
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Umm...can we say those Milk Maid caramels from Brach's Pick-a-Mix bulk candies? Sour watermelon candy. Twix. Mr. Goodbar. Just not anything in *dark* chocolate. And let's not forget my 'grande-triple-nonfat-white-chocolate-mocha-with-no-whipped-cream" indulgences!
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I'm very into home decorating right now, since I just recently moved. I also like to make collars for my cats (although it's hard to find small-scale cute prints!).
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I'm really into a lot of different types of music, really. I *adore* soundtracks, right now the "Hitch" soundtrack's residing in my CD player. I'm also into The Postal Service, Mil Mulliganos, Jem, Modest Mouse, and anything they play on 101.9 FM. I also am into musicals (The Lion King is the show I've most recently been to) and opera (Anna Netrebko).
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Pink! Anything Pink! I especially love pink/brown combinations, as well as blue/brown combinations.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
My two cats allow me to live with them.
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Realistically, to be accepted into and complete a B.S. nursing program. Unrealistically, to buy all the gorgeous yarns that I absolutely *drool* over at the yarn store.
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Anything Blue Sky Alpaca, or Plymouth Yarn's Alpaca. Handpainted yarns.
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Pure acrylics. Anything scratchy. I'm not particularly fond of novelty or cotton yarns, either.
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Shawls/stoles, hats, scarves, mittens. After all, winter will soon be upon us here in Chicago. What I've been looking for is a pattern to replicate the large scarf that was worn by the character, Lisa, in the film "Wicker Park". It's not really one of those hood/scarf things, I think it's just more of a oversized scarf that she wore like one of those hood/scarf things.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Scarves, shawls, and things for other people. :)
17. What are you knitting right now?
Another scarf, what else? I've got to get this baby hat on the needles for my co-worker who is due in October, though!
18. What do you think about ponchos?
Ponchos are cute, but I prefer the more modern-type, solid ones. (Think Gap.)
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Straights. 10", if my project allows it.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Brittany Birch. Addi Turbo circulars. Clover Bamboos. (And I'm currently staking out the "blonde" wood collection of Lantern Moon's. In time, in time...)
21. Are you a sock knitter?
Haven't even attempted it. Mittens are enough for me now!
22. How did you learn to knit?
My mom initially taught me the knit stitch, but, by the time I actually got around to knitting something by myself, I had completely forgotten what she had showed me. I went to Michale's and picked up one of those multi-colored learn-to-knit scarf kits, and am self-taught from there.
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Hmm. A baby blanket that I'm 96% (I know, I know) done with that is from last October, and a Gryffindor scarf that I'm still knitting for one of my managers - from last Christmas!
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I love all things cute-cat related.
25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. I just love the season.
26. Is there anything that you collect?
Does yarn count? :) I have a small-but-growing collection of Maneki Nekos (lucky cats).
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None, although I do buy Family Circle Knitting if there is a project that I like inside!
28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
"Last-Minute Knitted Gifts" by Joelle Hoverson and "The Last-Minute Party Girl: Fashionable, Fearless, and Foolishly Simple Entertaining" by Erika Lenkert
29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??
Karabella's Gossamer #230 - a shawl with ruffled edges. Ribby Cardi, from chicknits.com. (It'd be absolutely *fabulous* in a blue/brown combination!)
30. What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like?
Umm, I have no idea. I'll get back to you on that one. :)
Monday, September 12, 2005
okay. so it's just another scarf to add to my enormous scarf collection. but, *the yarn*! it's just a simple garter stitch pattern on #35 needles, knit up on plymouth yarn's "baby alpaca grande", in color #3317, an absolutely *gorgeous* not-too-baby blue. i still have to weave in the ends, then add fringe, then block, but, c'mon...it's nearly done! (and i don't even think i ripped it back once!) my first fp of the season! (and yes, i will finish it...)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
this is my current "figure-me-out" obsession: http://www.sheepinthecity.prettyposies.com/archives/000079.html
so i have some gorgeous manos del uruguay yarn that i purchased at this yarn store up in long grove last holiday season - and i have the size 11 brittany birch needles. but, what i don't have is the slightest clue as to how to knit this, to make it look the way that it looks in the photo (nice). i've ripped back my first two rows so many times that i'm just going to have little multicolored yarn chunks scattered all over the place if i can't figure it out! i've googled and googled and googled to see what i can come up with, but, i've just come up empty-handed, every time. as a last resort, i actually e-mailed the blog's author to see what her take is on what i'm doing wrong. so, we'll see what happens with that. in the meantime, though, i think i'll stick with my 1x1 rib scarf that i started yesterday. at least *that* i can handle.
(until i can find something else to knit up, that is...)
Monday, August 22, 2005
so, i was supposed to re-pack up all the stuff in my second bedroom today, to prep for all the carpet re-stretching, re-tacking, re-whatever they have planned for this coming wednesday. umm, not so much.
in the midst of moving stuff around in the closet, well, i came across a part of my yarn stash. and what did i do? take a break and start knitting up a 1x1 rib scarf in this gorgeous handpainted bulky yarn, in the "geranium" colorway. i couldn't resist! so much for packing! it wasn't all a waste, though - i had to take advantage of this gorgeous weather that's passing through... the high today was 72 degrees and breezy! absolutely beautiful!
i knitted up about 10 rows or so, and decided that i really had to get going on this whole packing thing. but, i got sidetracked (again). this time, it was to try this cinnamon bundt cake recipe. call me crazy, but i am in *love* with that cinnamon creme cake from corner bakery. but, all my internet searches have proved fruitless, and so now, i'm left with experimenting with all these recipes to see which comes the closest. this is attempt #2, and we'll see how this one comes out! more updates next time...and, if i'm ambitious enough, i'll start posting some pictures up here as well!
Friday, August 19, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
so, i just discovered a new yarn store: nina, located at ashland & division.
there was actually a write-up about it in this month's (or maybe it's next month's) chicago magazine, the 'best of...' issue. and i really have to say, i do agree.
now, i wasn't able to spend a whole lot of time in there - considering that i had 15 minutes before they closed. instead of being pushed out the door, i was told not to worry about it, and take my time. i still managed to get out of there at 6:01, but, let me tell you, i'll be back in no time!
it's a very cool, contemporary place. kinda fulton-loungey, if you will. very uncluttered, very upscale, very trendy. yarns are arranged by brand/type, so it makes it easy to see if there's a color that you like in the yarn that you *love*. i managed to escape spending less than $100, but, let's not forget that i only had 15 minutes... :) i purchased two skeins of blue sky alpaca's blue sky bulky hand dyes, in this rich orange color (#1015), perfect for this bulky, drop-stitch scarf that i'd like to knit up (as soon as i find a pattern). i also purchased two skeins of the blue sky alpaca alpaca & silk, in a lovely pale blue, to knit up their 'opera scarf', which was inspired by the cute little display that they have there. i'll have to take photos once i have my wip's. (i feel so cool now. i'm using ackronyms!)
bottom line: nina is a must-visit, even if it's just for the "cool" factor. check them out at: www.ninachicago.com
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
lately, i've found myself reading people's knitting blogs, in the midst of my late-night internet surfing of all things knitting and non-knitting related. it's nice to know that other people have knitting-related frustrations like myself. but they've also proved to be an invaluable resource - they're sources for ideas and inspiration, and what i like the best is, is that some of them contain links to all kinds of websites yarn and knitting-related - websites that i probably would have not come across otherwise.
so, this is my attempt in aquiring a peeping tom. enjoy the ride!