Archive for September, 2010

WIP Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Even with my school activities I’m hoping not to fall off the face of the planet! It could get boring around here though – my WIP list will be changing slowly.

1. Blue Flowered Table Runner – still working on stitching the center panel. I did work on this a little bit the weekend after our vacation, but I haven’t touched it in the last week and a half.

2. Wakefield Scarf/Cowl – when I was originally considering what to use my Cleopatra leftovers for I wanted to knit Icing by Samantha Roshak (Rav link), but I was worried about having enough yarn so I switched to the Wakefield Scarf which I thought would still be do-able with a small amount of yarn. Then Terri sent me her leftovers; leftovers that amounted to *much* more than I was expecting. Look at that beautiful skein! My leftovers look like flattened, messy yarn cakes. And that takes me back to Icing – since I have plenty of yarn I’m going to rip back Wakefield and do Icing after all. 🙂

Wakefield Scarf

3. Waves of Grain – this is the one thing I have been working on. This scarf is knit in two halves, working from the bottom edges to the center. I’ve actually complete 2 halves to this point even though my photo only shows one of them.

Waves of Grain

Season of Change

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Not only was last week the beginning of Fall, but it was also the start of my college classes. I’m taking Inorganic Chemistry which meets in person, complete with lab…

College

…and Intro to Psychology which is all online. I expect both my blog posts and my knitting will slow down as I give over the time from those activities to studying.

College

It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since I graduated from WSU. It does seem like a long time ago, even so, I can’t help but compare how I left college knowing all my classmates (architecture only admitted 45 students for years 3-5) and being comfortable in that environment, knowing how everything worked. Getting started at the community college I’m back to square one with getting to know my classmates and figuring out this college’s processes.

I’m sure I’ll find a routine and it will get easier. Right now I’m asking myself whether it’s wise to take 2 courses while working full time and I’m trying to hastily adjust to the quarter system.

Oregon Coast Shopping

Monday, September 20th, 2010

It’s an odd day that I mention shopping on my blog. I really dislike shopping, but something happened on vacation that still makes me giddy.

We were at the Seaside Factory Outlets having a not-very-enthusiastic shopping experience because, let’s face it, most outlet stores aren’t really offering any great deals.

I had picked up these two items (the one you can’t see is a pair of black yoga pants) for $50 some odd dollars. Not a great deal, but I was feeling okay about finding longer yoga pants than the one other pair I have. My Mom had found nothing.

Shopping

We debated going into any other stores. I saw something that looked cute in the window of Bass, a store I had never been in before because I thought they only carried men’s clothing. While browsing around we noticed the prices were mostly marked 50% off, plus some other amount ranging from 10-30%, but the sweaters were $80 to start with and I’m thrifty so I saw a couple things I thought were okay and I tried them on.

Then we heard all WOMEN’S APPAREL was ringing up at 90% off!!! Evidently they had some pricing glitch that came out of corporate and there was no way to fix it until the end of the day. People were going crazy.

This was my haul:

Shopping

Wanna see that again? FOUR sweaters (two with hoods), ONE tunic/vest sweater, ONE hoodie, ONE fancy t-shirt, ONE dainty, ruffly top, ONE short sleeve shirt, THREE long sleeve shirts. How much do you think? $111. I saved $686. ***

Shopping

When the men dropped us off DH said, “get whatever you want.” He knows me well, I never blow a bunch of money on anything. When I walked out with this enormous bag I read his lips saying, “holy crap!”

Seriously, this never happens to me. Wearing a small size and being tall it *really* never happens – if the mark downs are that much the clothing won’t fit me. It was certainly the best shopping day of my life so far.

Did you think this post might be about yarn? I did by 2 skeins at Latimer Quilt and Textile. They are Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in colors Lupine and Juniper.

Shopping

***Disclaimer: Yes I’m still a knitter and I bought sweaters. Cotton sweaters at that. They were $8 EACH. I figured I can wear them NOW and if I make my own sweaters in wool, good for me. And if I don’t find time to make my own in wool, I have these cotton sweaters that only cost $8 each. LOL.

Oregon Coast Mini-Vacation

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

The weather was like this:

Oregon Coast Vacay

Oregon Coast Vacay

Okay, to be fair it was cloudy and gray the whole time, but it did not rain the whole time. If you look closely you can see Haystack Rock to the right of the binoculars in the bottom photo.

What’s one of the silliest places a person who can’t eat dairy could go?

Oregon Coast Vacay

Oregon Coast Vacay

Specifically the Tillamook Cheese Factory, but Tillamook in general is pretty much a dairy lover’s paradise. At the factory they have all 38 flavors of Tillamook ice cream (which was my favorite ice cream before finding out I need to stop eating dairy). They also have many varieties of cheese that aren’t found at the grocery store.

We also went to Blue Heron French Cheese Company where I ordered a sandwich WITHOUT cheese. *sigh* The sandwich was still very tasty.

For museums we went to Latimer Quilt and Textile which I would highly recommend for all fiber lovers. If you have any non-fiber lovers with you send them down the road to the Air Museum.

Oregon Coast Vacay

Oregon Coast Vacay

I have never seen so many looms in one place! They teach a class on these looms so if you visit during class you can see them in action. In addition there was a room with their current exhibit and another classroom with both historical and modern fiber artwork on display. Their gift shop section has many items created by local artists and a small selection of nice yarn.

All in all, it was a fun mini vacation. Next time we go we’ll stay in Cannon Beach instead of Seaside for a couple of reasons. Cannon Beach just seems a bit more adult oriented and also a bit smaller. It’s closer to Haystack Rock as well, which is really nice if you end up wet and sandy from viewing the rock (we didn’t walk out to it, mainly because we didn’t want to pile 4 people back into the car who were wet and sandy). There also didn’t seem to be any fine dining in Seaside while there were at least 3 choices in Cannon Beach.

Shakespeare In Lace: Kate Shawl

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Here is the latest Shakespeare In Lace kit! This is the Kate Shawl by Kristi Schueler, aka Fiber Fool.

There are more photos of the pattern on Ravelry if you want to get a better look at it.

Kate Shawl

Kate Shawl

The yarn this time is Wooly Wonka Fibers Thalia Lace which is 80% merino and 20% silk. The yarn feels fabulous and this color looks really good on me. I’m not sure yet when I’m going to start this shawl though – I still have the previous shipment, Ophelia, to knit too. Not to mention the other two projects I have on the needles!

Misti Alpaca Lacy Baktus

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

The Lacy Baktus that didn’t want to be finished finally IS finished. I don’t know what my problem was with this one – I really struggled to keep a constant gauge. As it is, I finished the scarf/shawlette once, ripped it back to just before the halfway point, and then re-knit it. The second time my gauge is a bit tighter than the first half, but it’s better than way too loose.

Misti Alpaca Baktus

Misti Alpaca Baktus

Misti Alpaca Baktus

Pattern: Lacy Baktus by Terhi Montonen with permission from Strikkelise who designed the original Baktus.
Yarn: 1 skein of Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock Yarn, used about 420 yards.
Needles: US #3 (3.25 mm) Addi Turbo circular
Notes: I still think this is a great, easy pattern. However, knitting it twice in a row isn’t the best decision I’ve ever made. Even though I needed an easy project it did get tedious to do the same exact thing over again.

WIP Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

This is a week of casting on and preparing to cast on. I wasn’t ready to jump into another large project, instead I started a couple of smaller ones that have been on my radar for a while.

1. Blue Flowered Table Runner – slowly coming along. Now that I finished the Baktus-that-didn’t-want-to-be-finished maybe I can get this done.

2. Wakefield Scarf/Cowl I’m using my leftover Cleopatra yarn for this which is why it may be more of a cowl than a scarf. It’s such gorgeous yarn I think it will still be pretty even if it’s so short that it has to be pinned at the neck.

Wakefield Scarf

3. Waves of Grain I’ve loved this pattern ever since it was released. I’m going to use my leftover yarn from Desdemona and either some matte finish pink beads or the gold mix beads from Cleopatra. Here’s the yarn I’m using:

Wooly Wonka Lace Blend

More Food Challenges

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Preparing for more food challenges and picking up more foods that are allowed on my diet. To challenge: hops (wheat free beer) and tofu. It seems all of my grocery trips are an odd mix of items these days.

Food Challenges

Cheese challenge: brown rice tortilla with brown rice (how boring), vegetarian re-fried beans, Colby Jack cheese, and cayenne sauce.

Food Challenges

Soy challenge: tofu, onion, and peas sauteed in olive oil with rice noodles for dinner. For a morning snack I simply had sauteed tofu. Luckily I like tofu.

Food Challenges

Nightshade challenge: tomatoes with fresh basil, salt and pepper, and olive oil. This was part of my breakfast. For dinner I had more fresh tomatoes and a rice dish with stewed tomatoes.

Food Challenges

The good news is all these foods seemed fine for me to eat. The other good news is that I’m now entering the optional phase of food challenge testing. The items I’m considering testing as part of this phase are black tea, decaf coffee, chocolate (done, no reaction), hops (done, no reaction), wine, and liquor.

Horse Trailer Training

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

(I really have NOTHING for WIP Wednesday this week. I ripped the Baktus back to where I was last week and I’ve hardly touched the tablerunner.)

This weekend I figured it was well past time I got motivated and did some more trailer training – for me and Blondie. I need more experience towing the trailer and Blondie needs to realize this is HER trailer, her safe place.

I hitched up myself for the first time. Usually DH jumps in and does this even though I’ve told him I *need* to know how to do it myself (not just in theory which I already knew, but in practice). The hitch weighs at least 40 pounds, then there are the weight distribution bars, and getting the sticky clam shell coupler to slide into place. Hooking up the safety chains, lights, and breakaway are all easy steps, but each one is super important for safety.

Standing quietly at the trailer. This is good, neither of us is stressed.

Trailer Training

In the trailer. She’s actually a really good girl when it comes to loading up due to a lot of re-training I did about 4 years ago. When I got her 9 years ago I could only haul her in a stock trailer and now she’s pretty experienced at slants, straight loads, and big semi center loads. The trick to loading is that you really want the horse to self load – even though there’s a large escape door on my trailer (both sides) I don’t want to be in such a small space with a large animal. The other thing to know (if you’re a horse person I’m sure you already know this) is that you don’t ever want to tie the horse in the trailer until whatever gate or butt bar you have is closed. So, the horse needs to step all the way up in the trailer by itself AND stand there quietly while you latch the butt bar.

Trailer Training

What do you think she’s saying here? Personally I think this is, “why am I still in here? And where are my treats?”

Trailer Training

“Hey mom, are you going to let me out now?” I did let her out and it seems she will get a refresher in backing up as she came out a tad bit faster than I like. Not terrible, but definitely room for improvement.

Trailer Training

Due to a digestive upset issue on her part and a broken board in the floor of the left stall of the trailer, loading/unloading in the right side is all we practiced this time. That’s enough though! Next time maybe we’ll go for a short ride.

Food Substitutions

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I started my liver detox on July 19th, 7 weeks ago. As the weeks stretch on I’ve had to seek out substitutions for things I used to be able to eat. Luckily I’ve had some help from the Internet, namely from some vegan food blogs I discovered.

No, I’m not looking at becoming a vegan or even a vegetarian, but since it looks like I will be eliminating dairy and eggs from my diet the best way to find substitutions is to look at vegan recipes.

Even before I started the detox I was eating LĂ„RABARs, but on the diet they’ve become an essential snack that I always carry with me. I buy mine at Costco or from Drugstore.com. My current favorite is Coconut Cream Pie.

(Speaking of LĂ„RABAR, they recently came out with 4 new flavors. If you’d like the opportunity to win a case of the new flavors you can check out Chocolate-Covered Katie’s blog. I just discovered her today and I have a feeling I’ll be trying a LOT of her recipes.)

Food

A couple weeks ago I ordered Amazing Grass’ Amazing Meal in chocolate and original to add protein to my smoothies. Many protein powders are based on whey or eggs, this product is vegan and has proven to be pretty tasty so far. I’m looking forward to trying the chocolate in a few days.

Food

Do you know what Chia is? Do you remember Chia Pets? I bought the Chia to add to my smoothies and oatmeal. Then I found out it can be used as an egg substitute! For 1 egg use 1 tbsp chia seeds, 3 tbsp of water. Mix together and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. My pancakes tasted just fine! To really make the chia disappear into whatever you’re making you can buy all white chia seeds and you can grind them prior to soaking. Personally, I had no issue with the texture or visibility. Also, I can no longer have the cheap maple syrup since it is full of corn syrup. Pure maple syrup is SO expensive.

Chia

Right after I made pancakes I found Earth Balance at my normal grocery store. I was bummed I had pancakes without “butter”, maybe I need to make them again. A couple of the Smart Balance products are also vegan.

Vegan Butter

Do you want to know what the theme here is besides substitutions? EXPENSIVE. Part of it is the cost of transitioning – replacing products we already have (not throwing them out, DH is still eating whatever he feels like), but besides that all of these replacement products are more expensive than their more common counterparts. Over all though, I think it’s worth it.