Ohhh baby, baby, B-baby, baby

hi ya’ll! If ya’ll are still there…:) it has been quite a while since i’ve posted but i’m still around. i know i owe another post about knit nation 2011, but at this point it just seems…too late. but here goes anyway:) i had a blast, and one of the best things was charity bingo. it was really fun. the mc was hilarious, i believe he was the son (16 years old i think…) of a volunteer who was working the event. and the bingo was a little bit different than what i’ve played before. just in that the cards/books  were completely different. the 4th block down is my “winning block” hehe:) i was super surprised and really excited to win:)

bingo in the uk

i dragged my husband along for this event, and we each bought 3 books to play during the evening. some of the highlights were the hilarious people that were calling out bingo, only to find that they didn’t have bingo (this happened 3 times in a row, all from the same table), anne hanson, cookie a.,  and alice yu were there. i know there were more “knitting celebrities” however, i can’t remember all of them at this point.

the group of people we sat with were extremely nice, and funny as well. everyone was showing off their loot from the marketplace. almost at the very end of the evening, i won an awesome prize! an entry into this year’s socktopus sock club, hosted by alice yu. i’m very excited about this:)

since then, i’ve purchased alice yu’s socktopus book, and joined in on a kal for the entire book:) i completed one pair of socks already (kwalla project page) and gave them away as a gift. i’m working on the next pair, spring shoots. if you are interested in this knit-along, head over to ravelry, and join the socktopus kal group.

spring shoots by alice yu, wollmeise 80/20 in pitahaya colorway

on to what has been kind of keeping me busy…

yep, i’m having a kid. a boy to be exact. he was originally due at the end of march, but now it looks like he is due mid-march. i’m honestly not putting much stock in the due date, because i’m sure he will arrive when he feels like it:) just let me finish this last class, ok little alien t-rex ? 🙂

i wasn’t able to use the computer for more than 5-10 minutes during the first part of my pregnancy because it made me nauseous. i thought that was really weird. and inconvenient. i also was not able to knit for more than 20 minutes or so, for the same reason. Very inconvenient. However, I am now able to do both with no side effects, so yay! 🙂 and i’m thankful as well because i recently completed 2 more classes, in an effort to get as much done before this new life adventure completely begins:) let me tell you, cost accounting is…fun (what??) and was stressful to learn/comprehend in 8 weeks. business law is interesting. now i’m taking 1 more class, federal income tax I, and that has really been interesting so far! i feel like such a geek! but i’m not bored with it, and it is keeping my interest:) along with knitting, which i’ve been doing a lot of lately and the whole reason i even have this blog.

when i wasn’t really knitting, i didn’t feel like i had much to write about here, well…much that was pertinent to knitting and not really anything that anyone else hasn’t already written about (preggo issues, etc.) so really, i saved you all from being bored stiff:) ok, well…i will get more knitting pics posted soon, and re-evaluate for 2012 as far as knitting goals go.

oh yeah, i had some goals last year, 11 garments in 2011 if i recall (and i do…the guilt is…well, not there). i did complete 2 sweaters (1 for me, and 1 for a friend’s baby, not totally sure that one should count), and then 1 tank top for me, that might fit me now that i’m 7 1/2 months along with a baby…yeah, it was ginormous…and i still haven’t even taken a picture of it. i’m in denial. so 3 out of 11, and one of those is to be ripped…the other definitely doesn’t fit at the moment…this year, i’m going to be a bit more realistic…:) and of course, my goals are more along the lines of raising a healthy, happy child:) who will be covered in hand-knit items (i have a few already), and hopefully i’ll be able to resist knitting things that will embarrass the crap out of him:)

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yarn along cinq!

i’m interrupting my promised “more on knit nation” to write a little bit about reading and knitting today.

reading and knitting:)

i started reading freedom a while ago, and i was really into it, but then it got a little boring for my taste, so it went into hibernation for a little bit. i really want to finish it though, so it is back in rotation (i have a few other books i’m reading at the moment as well). the reason i originally set this book aside is because walter, one of the characters, bores me to death. i like his viewpoint to an extent, but i also think he is a little nutso. he is super into pushing his idea of population control and that is kind of…strange in my opinion. i mean, i get what he is saying, but…he just seems to be a little extreme in his views.

speaking of extreme views…i checked out Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, by Eric Brende. and…yeah, here is another guy with extreme views, in my opinion…obviously. i have gotten to page 14 in the book and i don’t think i’ll finish it. i even had to look up this book online to see if any of the reviews were in line with what i was getting from this book. this guy writes in a way that just…annoys me. every time i pick the book up (i’ve given it 3 shots) i put it down because it agitates me. his writing style is one of the main problems for me. but his ideas are also…a little too much. the idea of this book intrigued me. a guy and his family spend a year without using technology. cool. but his viewpoint on technology is that basically all technology is bad and it is ruining the human race. i disagree. i think there are definitely ways to balance out one’s life with technology and not rely on it to the point where you are no longer thinking for yourself. also, the way he describes his wife is like she is some fairy tale elf. it is odd. ok, end of rant.

besides reading freedom, i was also lucky enough to get a copy of ysolda teague’s newest book, little red in the city. this book is Awesome. there is  a ton of information in the first half. the idea of the book is to help you to customize your knits to fit your body, and ysolda goes into great (in plain english) detail about how to do this. there are also 7 patterns in the book, which is a great bonus, but i was really happy with all of the information provided as well. also, when you buy the book, you get an electronic version, AND each pattern is its own file, so if you scratch off the silver in the back of the book, and enter your code, you get 14 downloadable files. which is super cool. you can load just what you need, or print just what you need, and have the entire book as one file too. i thought this was pretty genius of her:)

i also read the help, by kathryn stockett about a week ago, and this book was really well written and interesting to read. this is another book that i heard about through reading some of the yarn along posts over the past few months, and it was so good, i couldn’t stop reading it.

last but not least, the knitting. of course i have a few wips at the moment, but i had to start this as soon as i got back from knit nation. it is so warm looking. peaks island hood, by ysolda teague. i’m knitting it in fyberspates scrumptious aran, which i picked up at the tall yarns ‘n tales booth at knit nation:) i’m a little further along than this picture, but i have a ton of seed stitch to go before i get to the hood part of this scarf:)

 small things hosts this every wednesday, and i really love participating. take a look at what everyone else is reading and knitting:)

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knit nation!!! part 1

so the excitement i had for this event is still with me:) it was a Great day:) saturday morning i was so excited to get up and start the day. because we were staying in the dorms at imperial college, breakfast was included with our room. and breakfast just happened to be in the room Next to the Knit Tea Salon:) we headed to breakfast early and i’m really glad we did. it was very crowded between the “regular people” staying there, and all the knitters/crocheters who had gathered in the same location. and the breakfast really wasn’t that good. it kind of reminded me of the year i spend deployed in iraq…ick. or, the time i spent 6 1/2 weeks in basic training. basically, any time i had to eat in a military chow hall. i had sauteed mushrooms and hashbrowns for breakfast, but it was really cold, and therefore, not really good:( but i didn’t really care because i knew i was about to get some yarn shopping in:) and meet sophia:) and take a class with cookie a! and then later play bingo for charity! so, first things first, the marketplace!

while waiting for the marketplace to open, i sat in the knit tea salon, right next to ysolda teague’s area:) which was awesome:) not only did i go crazy and buy all 3 of her books (whimsical little knits, whimsical little knits 2, and little red in the city), but i also got to try on one of her designs and get a picture with her.

i was so excited i wasn't looking at the camera 😦

and she signed all 3 books. she was just as sweet as i imagined she would be. and i have already cast on for one of the projects in whimsical little knits 2, peaks island hood.

next, a walk around the marketplace. with 36 vendors/booths to check out, it was crowded:) there were so many beautiful yarns to see, and i tried my best to walk by all the booths before making a purchase, and i failed. it was overwhelming. i came away with approximately 36 skeins of yarn! plus some gifts:) it was really amazing.

sophia and i met up for a bit and wandered around the marketplace, and also sat in the knit tea salon for a few, but i didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with her as i would have liked. i had a class to be in at 2pm, so it was a little rushed:(

sohpia and i

she was sweet enough to make me! this gorgeous project bag:)

beautifully hand sewn bag by ewenique

and ever since, i have been moving whatever i’m currently working on into it, so i can tote it around with me. i told her she needs to open up an etsy shop:) her work is perfection. and i love not only the colors of the fabric, but also the print she chose:) i was lucky enough to visit paris a few years ago, and i absolutely loved it:) so this bag is absolutely my cup of tea:) thank you again sophia:)

cookie a and ME:) hehe

next, i had a class with cookie a, intuitive cable chart reading. she was really nice, and down to earth. she let me get a picture with her:) i was all nervous to ask her for one too!
and boy, this class was intense, kind of. i mean, you have to kind of commit the ideas/thoughts that cookie gives you to memory in order to get the full benefit, and for the chart reading to become intuitive. i actually hope to practice what i learned soon. she also taught us how to cable without a cable needle, and seriously, it is way easier than it sounds from reading the instructions.

stalagmite, by cookie a

i have been working on her stalagmite socks since may, and i keep having to put them down to rest my brain. after taking cookie’s class, i feel that i will be able to knock these out quicker than before, once i actually sit down and do some knitting on them:) i was also really excited to be learning from such an incredible designer as cookie:)

more on knit nation in the next post! stay tuned, it will be a good one:)

*please forgive the awkward formatting; i’m tired of fighting with wordpress. i may have to change things up a bit soon…maybe a new theme will help…

Posted in knitting, travel | 8 Comments

london calling…

i was lucky enough to go to knit nation this past weekend, held at imperial college in london. it was awesome. incredibly awesome. stay tuned for another post on the exact awesomeness of it. with pictures and celebrities! the entire event was great. i feel like i have so much to write on this subject, so i’m going to break it up a bit.

we left here on thursday morning, to arrive around 3pm in london. however, there were weather issues and so a lot of flights were delayed/cancelled and we didn’t actually arrive in london until after 8pm.

this helped to calm me down. an ice cold heineken in amsterdam is amazing. especially after having been in airports for almost 12 hours. i think it also helped keep me in line, while being in line. oh, i crack myself UP. because once we got to london, there was….

…the passport queue (see, i acclimated quite quickly to the language:) which was Insane. No really. I so wish I had snuck a picture. you are not allowed to turn your camera on or use a cell phone when in the queue, but i wanted to take a picture sooo bad. we were in line (oops) for approximately 2 hours. imagine a very long, long, long queue that seems to go to infinity and beyoooond.

next up, how to get to imperial college where we had booked a room. despite the fact that the language in london is english, we were quite worried that we would take the wrong train and end up in the wrong place, making our trip even longer, and possibly losing our room. all of these worries were useless, so if you decide to make this trip, and stay at imperial college, take the bloody tube from the airport! you will save A LOT of pounds, ahem, i mean, money. money that could be used for more of the things at knit nation:)

i would like to thank again, ewenique (who i got to meeet!!! more later), for recommending the dorms at imperial college. the location was the absolute best part. we were literally across the street from the convention, and within a 10 minute walk of food, shopping, museums, the tube, and a starbucks! which we didn’t even go into!! i know, i’m very shocked. one night we tried, but they were already closed.

friday started out with checking in for knit nation, and alice yu checked me in. more on her awesomeness later. next we had breakfast at the kensington crémarie crêparie, one word for that breakfast, Delicious!!! next, we wandered along the city somewhat. we took the tube and walked across london bridge to look at tower bridge.

view of tower bridge from london bridge

we stood in line Forever to go through the London Dungeon, we stopped at a pub to have fish and chips for me, and a burger for dana, both meals included a pint, and i do believe it was one of the cheapest meals we had, under 11 pounds, and it was good! finally, our evening ended with a jack the ripper walking tour.

as far as the london dungeon goes, the best part was waiting in the queue for over an hour. oh no, wait. the best part were the two little kids in front of us as we were walking through. we were in an area covered with mirrors, it was like a mirrored maze in the dark, and one of the little boys in front of us said, look at those awfully handsome kids:) maybe you had to be there, but it kept us laughing for a while. the tour itself was OK. but for the price, and wait, eh…i’d say pass. unless you have absolutely nothing else to do.

the jack the ripper tour was actually very interesting, but also very creepy. there really wasn’t a point in taking any pictures along the tour, unless you’d like to have lots of pictures of gravel roads, or alleyways. but the tour guide was informative. also, it was kind of funny to see how serious some of the other tourists took the information. it seemed like there were a few that had maybe spent a little too much time poring over the details of these gruesome murders that happened so long ago. one interesting item was that before the ripper was referred to as the ripper, he was referred to as leather apron. look it up if you are interested. i don’t want to spoil it. also, at one point, the ten bells was actually called the jack the ripper, until someone got smart and decided it wasn’t that great to have a pub named after a serial killer, and the name was changed back. but we did see a place called jack the clipper as we were taking the tour…

check back later for more on knit nation!!! 🙂

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yarn along vier: an FO, a WIP, and a book :)

pattern: kai-mei by cookie a; yarn: meilenweit 100 cotton spirit by lana grossa

i finished these a few weeks ago, but haven’t had a chance to get a blog worthy picture, until this morning. the photography is thanks to dana:) he did an awesome job.

cujo showing his support 🙂

cujo wanted to be a part of it as well, as always:) i have a final to look forward to this friday, so there hasn’t been that much knitting…but i do have a WIP to show off…

today's wip

these are the arrowhead arm warmers by Veronik Avery, from Interweave Knits, Holiday Gifts 2008. yeah, i’ve been wanting to knit these since…november of 2008. better late than never right? also, the yarn i’m using is Valley Yarns Charlemont in the burgandy colorway, and it is very nice to work with. however, i did rip out about 2 1/2 inches once, and it wasn’t as nice to work with after one slight frogging…so i was reluctant to rip it out again for a third re-do. so i just decreased a little instead of re-casting on fewer stitches. i’ve finished 3 chart repeats, but i am contemplating making these a little longer, and adding a thumb…so for now, they are hold until i can make up my mind on how exactly i want to accomplish that. and finally a book Bossypants, by Tina Fey.

i haven’t started it yet, but i have a feeling that it is going to be Blerg!, i mean, very funny:) hop on over to small things to see what everyone else is working on and reading this wednesday:)

Posted in cujo, knitting, reading, school | 14 Comments

5K Stash Dash!

currently on the bookshelf

there has been a lot going on here lately…and some knitting as well. i’m only taking one accounting class during this term of 10 weeks, and so i enrolled in an intensive german course through a local language school. we meet in the morning for 4 hours, which doesn’t sound like a lot. but it does seem like i’ve had less free time lately.

last week we covered “time” in german. and all i can say is…wow, it is a little confusing.

Wie spät ist es?

they have official and unofficial time, and supposedly everyone uses unofficial time at home and when talking to friends. here is a snapshot of the “unofficial time.” all i can say is…if i had a few beers, and it was 4:25, i’m not sure i’d be able to tell someone that it is 5 till half after 4. i think i’d get too confused with all of that “math.” the official time is much easier. you just use your standard numbers. so 4:25 would be vier Uhr fünfundzwanzig.

i’ve also been working on my ACCT 311 homework during the week, but mostly on the weekends, which really hasn’t been all that much fun. i am looking forward to taking these classes in a face to face environment, i’m just not sure when that will happen. this week we are covering the statement of cash flows, very fun stuff (kind of). anyway…as far as knitting goes, i’ve finished some things here and there, but i think my favorite thing lately are these socks i made for dana. i just love the color:)

guitar man socks; wollmeise sockenwolle 80/20 twin; we're different batch

i’m way behind with all of my knitting podcast listening, and a bit behind on the knitting video podcasts as well. but i did catch up mostly with the knitgirllls yesterday, and i’m excited about their stash dash. basically the idea is to use up 5 kilometers of your stash yarn between May 27th and August 15th, which equates to 5,468 yards of yarn. i’m going to participate and see if i can manage this. the knitgirllls have a thread on ravelry with more information if you are interested.

i’ve also realized that my goal of knitting 11 garments this year is probably not going to be happen. seeing as i’ve only finished one garment, and i’m working on only one more (and not very often at that) at the moment, and it is soon to be june…yeah, i think i was reaching a tad high with that goal. i’ve also decided to rip out my lettuce and make simplicity instead. more on that later. i’ll leave off with another pair of finished socks:)

thelonious socks by cookie a; cake walk yarns walk base in ness colorway

i love these as well. the yarn was a joy to knit with. i have one more skein in my stash, but i think i want more:) cakewalk yarns on etsy.

Posted in knitting, school | 6 Comments

haruni I & II

yellow haruni for nana; purple haruni for mom

mother’s day is right around the corner, which got me thinking…i have a haruni for my nana, and one for my mom, and both need to be sent off in the mail. i am terrible about going to the post office here, it is just something i dread. i have a baby gift to get in the mail too, which has been ready for over a month, and now the baby is here. since mother’s day is next sunday, i thought i should get some pictures of the completed shawls before popping them in the mail. i’m going to mail them tomorrow morning and there is a chance that either it will be cloudy or raining, so i had dana take some pictures for me this afternoon. i wanted one with both shawls together. i thought it would be neat to see the two colors against each other. the purple one is for my mom, and the yellow one is for my nana. those are their favorite colors. i really wish i was going to be there when they open the package…i hope they enjoy them 🙂 the links above each go to their (my) own project page on ravelry.

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