Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wandering Wednesday: Good Morning!

These are pictures from the beautiful sky last Saturday as the SO and I left Indiana as we started our drive to New Hampshire.  I hope you have a happy Wednesday and a very happy New Years Eve and New Years Day.  Wishing you all the happiness and good health and fortune for the new Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Curse of the Gorgeous Yarn

From the moment I saw this yarn at River Knits, I was in love!  I am talking about the Kraemer Sterling that I blogged about a while back.  This yarn is so cool!  That sparkle... that is sterling silver!  The sterling silver is throughout the skein in wicked thin strands thus you don't see a gaudy flashy silver yarn, but instead a very nicely blended sophisticated looking skein of yarn.  The fiber is a blend of 63% superwash Merino, 20% silk and 15% nylon and 2% sterling silver.

Pretty yarn yes.  Pain in the neck yes.  This pretty yarn went through a number of trial and errors.  Initially I doubled the yarn and tried it out on the Hermione cable and eyelet hat.  Super cute pattern, but the yarn wasn't liking being a hat.  I knit almost the whole thing then decided to rip it out, unwind so no longer doubled.  

Then I thought it would look nice as a shawl and I ended up trying out 4 different patterns.  One that I tried was the Heartland Lace Shawl.  Very pretty, but after knitting about 40-something rows I decided the yarn was again not feeling it.  That happened again and again and again.    

It was about then that I started to feel like this yarn was perhaps cursed.  My friend Kate and I have a theory about shoes.  We call it The Curse of the Hot Shoe.  There are many times when you have a hot shoe, THE Hot Shoe.  And you buy it.  And then, you have nothing to wear it with.  You love this shoe.  Everyone agrees it is a beautiful shoe.  But you can never find an outfit that goes with the damn shoe.  Thus, The Curse of the Hot Shoe.

That's when I started to get scared.  Could this be the Curse of the Gorgeous Yarn?  All these lovely patterns and yet nothing was quiet fitting for it.  I mean, really, any of the previous items would have looked pretty, but nothing was fitting just right (very similar to the hot shoe, you may find something that goes with it, but nothing will ever be perfect for that perfect shoe).  

Then I found a pattern.  

Nothing too fancy.  

Just simple and elegant.  

I present My Meandering Vines Shawl.  

Pattern: Meandering Vines Shawl (Ravelry Link), by Susanna IC.  
Yarn: Kraemer Sterling in colorway Tuxedo
Needles: US sz 8 (or 7, I can't remember what size I used!) 
Started: Sometime in November
Finished: December 22, 2009

This pattern was perfect for me because as the end of the semester became crunch time (between work and school) I had very little time.  Very little time for yoga, very little time for knitting.  However I really need to do both for my sanity.  This pattern was easy enough for me to knit just a couple of rows without getting stressed or frustrated (especially because this was my stress reliever).  And as this took me a number of weeks (almost 2 months!) it didn't matter if I did a row or two and put it down for a week.  Typically this would take me (or anyone else) a week to complete.  But honestly, I'm glad I used this as my end of the semester knitting.  This spiffy shawl goes great with my little black dresses - I always wanted a nice shawl to wear with these little cocktail dresses and now I have one!  

So after all the drama with this yarn and finding patterns; it ended up being the perfect pattern for this perfect yarn!  

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Star Wars in Concert

The SO and I are on our drive up to NH and I thought I'd get a post prepped and scheduled for launch.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day and wish us luck as we drive from IN to NH!

Today's post actually takes us back to December 12th, when the SO took me out on a date.  Yep lucky me as I got to see Star Wars In Concert.

The SO loves, loves, loves Star Wars.  Not the - dress up and run around with light sabers (hopefully), but loves it enough that he would write a thesis dissertation on it if he could.  I don't know how that would fly in neuroscience/digestive anatomical studies - but there you go.  Now you know how nutty he is over this stuff.

Well he wanted to go and asked me to accompany him. I love symphony and orchestra; in fact, I love all kinds of classical music.  So I figured it would be too bad, even if I'm not a huge Star Wars fan at least I could enjoy the concert.

Well as the concert started the lights dimmed and we saw this: 

The iconic logo and the very recognizable trumpet of the brass instruments.  As that happened my whole gut squeezed and tumbled -- Holy Shit, is this going to be the WHOLE damn movie?!?!  Yep, I said that, and not in my head as I thought it was, but I said that out loud.  A couple of people behind me laughed and the SO was like, No!  It's just scenes from the movies, besides there are 6, that would take a whole weekend.

OMG... thank god!

So once I got over my worst nightmare I was able to enjoy it a little more.  The setting consisted of a stage with the orchestra and a huge LED screen.  I think I read somewhere, this is the largest traveling LED screen. It was wicked cool and the images were crisp clear.  It was cool to see the members as they played.

Unfortunately, that is the best picture I have of the maestro.  He (as was the rest of the symphony) was amazing.

And narrating: C3PO!  Well, Anthony Daniels, the man who voiced and characterized C3PO.  He was great, and very charming.  He is really a good actor, I would love to see him live in theatre!  

Here is a picture of him... big screen and itty bitty him on stage....

The concert was broken up into different themed sections.  Each section Anthony Daniels gave background on (for those of us who don't live, eat, breathe Star Wars) and the screen would show bits from the movies and still shots (such as pre-filming drawings) and the music.  Oh the music was lovely.  Even though I personally think these movies rely way too much on french horn and other brass instruments, yes i'm staring at you trumpet (i'm a fan of the strings section), one can totally appreciate live music synchronized with the movie and the lights show.

I was able to capture some screen shots.  I really wanted a nice pic of Han Solo -- I heart hunky Harrison Ford -- but he moved too quick for me and my cheap little camera.

Oh and the character that the SO can't stand.  Actually I think he might hate this character.  Well I always joke around saying how much I love Jar-Jar (really I don't but it irks him so much!).  So here is a picture of that character the SO loves so much.

And my favorite image from the evening is this one -- it looks like we are IN the Millennium Falcon.  Kinda cool.  Overall, it was a nice evening and as long as the SO had fun, so did I.    

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to you and your families!  The SO and I are going to visit his family today and tomorrow (wicked early) we will be starting our drive to New Hampshire to see my family.  I am so excited to see my fam... Mumma Roy, Daddy and of course my bro and his SO waiting for us - I can't wait!

I have a couple of posts lined up for while we are in the Hamp... a post about the Star Wars event, some holiday knitting and a couple others.  So look out for all of those posts in the next week!  

But today I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!  The SO and Kyle both send their luv as well! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Date Night with the SO

A couple of weeks ago the SO and I had a date night.  Boy was he surprised and excited when I took him to All Fired Up, a place where you can glaze your own ceramics (can you sense the sarcasm here?!).  Initially he was being grouchy and only wanted to paint with me and not his own piece, however he started to get into it.  At one point he was pretending to be Bob Ross on LSD while painting... I kid you not.  He was going on and on about how he should paint happy little trees everywhere (he painted the penguin).

It was a fun evening and I recommend going to these places as a date with either your SO (if he or she can stand doing crafty things) or going with your crafty peeps.  I am totally calling a Ladies Night out next semester... You can bring your own wine and paint pottery and drink booze... how cool is that!?!?

Here are the projects from our date night.  We tag teamed both items, painting and holding it was a cute little date.  The mug is huge and perfect for my coffee.... I had to modify it and make my own design in addition to the relief cut snowman....

And we painted this little guy.  It's a piggy bank (penguin bank?) that we'll give to my Brother and his SO when we see them at Christmas.  They loooove penguins, I hope they like this little guy!

Wandering Wednesday: Knit Princess

Happy Wednesday Folks!

Today I'm going to direct you to The Knit Princess a cute little comic that I just adore.  It can be found here:

I'm going to ask the SO for a subscription to the comic book, but you can see the online comics here.  It's too cute and too funny -- you guys will get a kick out it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Wednesday

I don't have too much time to blog as I have 3 finals projects due this week (actually 1 is done, another is almost complete and the last one has yet to be started).

Sooo... not much knitting nor blogging.  However, I have a couple of posts lined up including:

- A pottery painting night
- A night at the Star Wars symphony
- A number of knitting updates

I hope to write this weekend after I finish the semester.  Wish me luck!

BTW --  For today's Wandering Wednesday...

Back in 1773, a group of colonists in Boston began what became a number of acts in protest against the British government.  Today, December 16, 1773 a number of patriots boarded ships and threw the tea cargo into the Boston Harbor, thus it became known as the Boston Tea Party.

A bit of history and now I'm back to writing a paper on the evaluation of consumer health applications... Happy Wednesday folks!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wandering Wednesday: Fruit vs Veggie

Today's Wandering Wednesday is a random one.

Today my labmates and I were arguing over the difference between fruits and veggies (now you know what we awesome scientists do during the day).  I am in the boat that suggests veggies are the part of the plant that absorbs the sun light, produces chlorophyll and basically allows the plant to survive.  Whereas fruits are the “things” that are produced by the plant as to spread it’s seeds (think apples and peppers).  My peep Kate is very adamant and suggests peppers and such are NOT fruits and are in fact veggies.  

So here I give you some definitions:

Fruit: The term fruit has different meanings dependent on context, and the term is not synonymous in food preparation and biology. In botany, which is the scientific study of plants, fruits are the ripened ovaries of flowering plants (from Wikipedia, great source a scientist/future librarian is using, I know…)

1.        the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato, or pineapple.
2.        the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana

Veggie: The term "vegetable" generally means the edible parts of plants. But the definition is traditional rather than scientific, so the usage of the word is somewhat arbitrary and subjective, as it is determined by individual cultural customs (again from Wiki).

A plant cultivated for an edible part, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower.

Examples of fruits and vegetables

Here's an interesting list of fruits that are often thought to be vegetables:
§                         tomatoes
§                         cucumbers
§                         squashes and zucchini
§                         avocados
§                         green, red, and yellow peppers
§                         peapods
§                         pumpkins
§                         olives
Apples, eggplants, rose hips and corn kernels are also fruits.
Examples of vegetables include broccoli, potato, lettuce, spinach and cauliflower.

However, before I start jumping up and down saying I’m right I found out the fruit-veggie debate with the tomato made it to the US Supreme Court in 1893.  In Nix vs. Hedden the tomato was identified and taxed as a vegetable as per the 1883 Tariff Act on imported produce.  However the court did acknowledge scientifically the tomato is a fruit.  Figures, the government goes against science.  J

So is Kate right or am I right?  I guess the debate is still on.  

Happy Wandering Wednesday!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The one where I find 25% off

This past Saturday the SO and I took a trip to Indy with the bunny.  We're trying to habituate Kyle to longish drives because we'll be going on a long trip at the end of the month.  Last year he (Kyle bunny) didn't care for the long drive and didn't eat for most of the 17hrs we spent driving.  As some of you bunny people know, buns need to constantly eat, so this was concerning.  So to hopefully circumvent bunny drama we are attempting to habituate Kyle to car rides and thus now you know our past couple of weekend adventures.

This weekend, however, we went to Indy and made a stop at Knit Stop.  Although not my LYS, a nice LYS that I frequently patron.  I wanted to stop by so I could purchase yarn for a Holiday gift for Heather (my bro's SO) and for Ash (the BF).  I'm thinking about making an Infinity Scarf (or as Oprah calls them, Snoods) for each of them.    

I found some nice Cascade 220 for Ash in two shades of purple.

And for Heather I found a green (her fav color) skein of Berroco Sundae and picked up a couple of skeins in this lovely colorway called Rocket.

Again I am thinking of making both of them Infinity scarves.  Not too bad in price and I think these will look nice on both ladies.  However, imagine my surprise at the register when I found out EVERYTHING in the store was 25% off for the day!!  Those skeins of yarn are even MORE lovely!

I purchased my yarn and I left.  Yes I left.  The SO and I went down the road to the mall to grab something from The Body Shop and the whole time my head was spinning.  Malabrigo - Malabrigo - Malabrigo.  For real, I think there was a voice somewhere chanting Malabrigo because the SO heard it too (it might have been  a spirit mimicking my voice, I'm not quite sure).  The ever sweet SO offered to drive back to Knit Stop so the little voice could be appeased.

And boy was that little voice was pleased with the results (multiple sweaters may now be made!).

Breathe a sigh of relaxation....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wandering Wednesday: Library Programs

Support your local library!

Well I know all of you know that.  But I came across this article about a library in West Virginia running a program where teens can come in and make homemade crafts for the holidays!  Many public libraries sponsor neat programs for children, teens and adults.  Programs such as crafts, book clubs, game nights (the West Lafayette Public Library here sponsors a Guitar Hero night!) and many other educational programs for health-related information.  Check out your local public library for events and programs and don't forget to support your locals library!

Happy Wednesday!