Friday, June 30, 2006

Avocado Fever Flip Flops!

No big news today, just wanted to share my recent acquisition. I couldn't resist these, they look like they were made for this blogger's feet! Thanks to my lovely model Kingston, for helping to display these to full advantage.

Off topic (aren't I always), is anyone else annoyed by the Frosted Mini Wheats commercial where the little girl is at a spelling bee and she starts to spell "aardvark" incorrectly and that little cereal guy jumps up and whispers to her that she better start over? Come on, you can't start over in a spelling bee!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I have never really seen a hailstorm before, but yesterday, this happened.

It was all nice and sunny when suddenly the sky went dark and it started pouring, and then, little white things were falling from the sky, about as big as blueberries. I felt bad for the guy moving out across the lake, we could see him standing in the back of his truck waiting for the storm to pass.

I had a nice surprise yesterday when Claudine called me and said she would be in nearby Niles with her mom. We met for coffee (and knitting, of course) and caught up. I miss you NYC SnB'rs -- and it was so good to see Claudine! Of course I forgot my camera, so no pics, sorry!

Here's an update on my Honeymoon Cami progress -- lots of stockinette in the round right now. It's kind of relaxing and tedious at the same time, because I want to get to the fun part but I also don't want to have to think about what I'm doing.

Does anyone want to go to Peru next year to see (participate in?) the vicuna round-up?

Everyone should know that I was recently a BIG FAILURE as an aunt, grand-daughter and daughter when I missed the opportunity to wish a big happy 1st birthday to Sam, happy 90th birthday to my grandpa, and happy 43rd birthday to my mom earlier this month. So happy wishes, guys! I miss you all! Sam is walking now and is really into giving kisses to her friend Emily and just about anyone else who asks...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Colorway: Avocado Fever!

OMG OMG OMG! I went the mailbox and found the BEST PRESENT EVER!!!! Yarnmonster Supersock Yarn, in colorway Avocado Fever. My very own colorway, made by the sweet hands of the Yarnmonster! And it was the first yarn that she ever dyed and gave to someone else. I really feel lucky, and actually honored, because her new etsy shop is going to hit it big. Check it out, her first batch is almost gone!

Anyway, just a great big wonderful THANK YOU to Jess for the awesome gift, you totally made my day. I was so excited when I got it, I brought it with me to show Dave when I picked him up from school. He thought I was weird for that...but it really made me happy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Shameless Plea for Help!

As many of you know, right after college I lived and taught in Kingston, Jamaica, as part of the Notre Dame Volunteer Programme. It was one of the toughest and most enjoyable experiences of my life. One of the things we did was run Jumpball, a basketball clinic, every summer, which has always been free to all participants. The clinic has grown tremendously over the past 11 years, and while we have many generous sponsors every year, we are really in need of individual donations to help bridge the gap between our expenses and our revenue. If any of you can and want to help, or just want more info about the program, please visit the Jumpball website. This is a cause that is very important to me personally, and I would truly appreciate any help you can give.

Thanks so much, and that's the end of my begging for now!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Too Big for My Britches

Um, does this look a little bit smaller than the last time I posted its pic? This Honeymoon Cami's failure to grow is especially perplexing when I spent a lot of time working on it this weekend...of course much of that time included putting this onto some scrap yarn and trying it on, only to realize my gauge guessing really wasn't very skilled after all and this would be about 5" too large. So I frogged it. The frog-themed ripping sound delighted my friend Becca. So here's where I am after casting back on (the casting on was a bitch! I had to do it so many times because I kept on getting too few stitches, and I know I can just do the cable cast-on or whatever it's called that Claudine (hi Claudine!) showed me once but I just wanted to get these all on the needles the same way. And the yarn is kind of bumpy (is it called striated cotton when there is a string winding around the fibers?) so when I ripped it, it always got stuck and I lost a lot of valuable yarn.) Anyway, I'm moving along and I hope I have enough yarn left to finish this. Or I may cry.

Since Dave had a lot of studying to do and Ryan was on call all weekend, Becca and Eoin came down to South Bend to keep up our record of hanging out every weekend since I moved here. We went to Shipshewana, one of the Indiana Amish Country Towns, and Dave was actually able to tag along. This was the most social time I've spent with him since we moved here! I visited an Alpaca fiber store, but wasn't that impressed.

On Sunday we drove up to South Haven, on Lake Michigan, to visit our friend Renny and her family. Her very cool parents were EXCELLENT hosts and completely welcomed us into their cottage...AND fixed us a gourmet brunch not to be forgotten soon. I'm sure you can read the explicit details on Renny's blog (she's quite a foodie and accomplished writer, so she can do a better job of it than I can), but suffice it to say that the food excited my taste buds and inspired me to subscribe to Vegetarian Times so I can cook a bigger variety of dishes. Thanks guys!

After dropping Becca & Eoin off at the Michigan City South Shore train station, I decided to do a little shopping at Lighthouse Place, the outlets in Michigan City. I didn't buy too much, however I did see this big ugly smokestack-like construction that made me wonder if I was in Springfield...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thank you berry much, Renny!

I read my friend Renny's blog yesterday and realized that since strawberries were in season in Ohio, the same must hold true for Indiana. And that there MUST be some fresh strawberries somewhere in my general vicinity. So I googled. And there it was, Hilltop Farms (which, in the land of flatness, was really a misnomer). I called. The sweetest recorded message I have ever heard tickled my ears -- I recommend you call this number, just for a smile. I couldn't resist her promise of fresh, sweet berries, so off I went. I picked them myself! I guess being in the middle of farm country does have its benefits.

I was staring at one of the pictures I took and thinking about how cool strawberries are. Completely unpretentious, they wear their seeds on their sleeves, for everyone to see. Their intentions are so clear, no games of hiding a big hard pit in the middle of fleshy sweetness, a nasty surprise for some unsuspecting person to bite into when they are in the middle of enjoying a peach or apricot. No small, weirdly woody yet supposedly edible hidden seeds like in the middle of grapes or apples. No, strawberries put it all out there, saying enjoy me, my seeds are small and add to my pleasing texture. Eat me, put me on strawberry shortcake, blend me up in a shake. All I ask is that you enjoy me, and let nature do the rest. Peck at me, birds, and poop out my seeds as you fly, so that I may go forth and multiply. Or simply let me hang here on the stem, I will eventually droop to the ground and be reborn as a new strawberry plant.

I digress. Bottom line -- go get you some farm-fresh strawberries and pronto, while they last!

And no, I didn't get around to checking the size on my Honeymoon Cami yet. I'm scared to.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Honeymoon in the Windy City

Dave was busy studying all weekend, so I decided to take a honeymoon to Chicago...the Honeymoon Cami, that is (bad, bad wordplay there). I cast on for this on the South Shore train, but now I'm a little bit worried about the size. I had the perfect gauge with #5's, but then I decided I wanted a slightly tighter knit and so I moved down to #3's and went up 2 sizes on the pattern -- and now I don't think those two figures are meant to be exactly correlative. But I didn't have a shorter set of #3's to do a swatch with, and I was just too anxious to start. So now I have to put this on some scrap yarn and try it on. I really hate taking things with 200+ stitches off of and putting them back onto the needles...but anyway, if it's too small/big, then I'll just consider it a very large gauge swatch and start over again. I really like the yarn, it's 100% cotton from The Spinner's Hill Shop -- I bought it at MD S&W last month.

Besides knitting, I spent a lot of time at street fests in Chicago with Becca, Ryan & Eoin. His favorite word is BALL!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A little imperfection is what makes it handmade...

The socks are done! Finally! OK they are totally not the same as each other -- I think one is slightly shorter, and the toes are a little different, but they're my first socks and they're DONE! I like them, but I definitely need more practice on the sock front and next time I will not try to adjust the size by guessing how many stitches to cast on...not a good idea for your first time. Just stick to the pattern 100% and trust the pattern, understanding will follow...

Next I want to start up a halter top with some cotton I got from MS&W, I just have to find a pattern. I really want something simple, with sort of a v-neck that ties around the back of the neck and flares a bit at the waist. I could modify something, but I really dont' think that's a good idea at this point, it only leads to frustration and copious calls to the guru for mathematical and constructional assistance. I just want to be told what to do for this one.

I went for a walk around campus with my JA friend Brian & his dog Mr. Marshall the other day. Above is a pic of Howard Hall, the dorm I used to live in with the guru, Jen-nay, Em, Renny, Becca and various other loyal blog readers. And here's the money shot of the dome & basilica that they put on all the recruitment brochures. Ben, another JA friend also lives in town with his wife & cute son, at least for the rest of the month, and I went to his house for a BBQ last night. It was really nice to hang out with friends, except for the COPS-style bust that happened in the house next door while we were cooking -- complete with shotguns and arrests.

I bought the local paper this morning, and found this snippit:

New friend reportedly robs bar patron
A bar patron told police he was robbed by a stranger who invited him for a beer at his apartemnt late Tuesday night...The two men were reportedly at Donna Lee's Bar around 11 p.m. when they left together for a beer in an apartment...once inside, the man pulled out a large knife and a small sword...and demanded money from the victim.

A large knife and a small sword??? Did this guy suddenly decide to rob his new friend and happen to have these weapons easily accessible, or do you think he holds up all of his "new friends" at sword tip, as sort of a rite of passage for entry into his inner circle? I'd better be careful about making new friends here...

Last thing, here's a gratuitous speed shot of Em's husband Brian, the go-kart king of the midwest. Go, speed racer!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Goose Bumps

Yup, that pretty much sums up the weekend of our 10-year reunion -- 30-something men using their bread to try to lure young birds right where they want them...

Besides spending hours amusing ourselves in the Ducks v. Geese crust wars of Runaway Bay, we also found time to check out the South Bend Farmer's Market. I was so excited to learn that there was a Farmer's Market here, but I was a bit disappointed to find that most of the goods sold were not local -- and unless mangos, avocados & bananas have started to thrive in South Bend, I think most of the produce was from far far away. But it was nice to get some herb plants, which I consolidated into a little hanging pot outside, and some fresh bread plus Michigan asparagus. Becca also picked up some chocolate and pumpkin Whoopie Pies, which her adorable son Eoin and her funny man husband Ryan heartily enjoyed. There was NO yarn at the farmer's market, but Dave gave me a newspaper article listing about 20 markets in the Michiana area, so I'm looking forward to checking those out, too. And we'll be heading out to the Shipshewana Amish Country one of these weekends, one of the 1,000 places to see before you die...where there are lots of sheep and alpacas for viewing and petting and knitting from, oh my!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Before and After

Here's a pic of my sock before I left for this business trip to Asia:
And here's a pic of my sock as I'm about to head home:

Oh, wait, is that the same pic? That's because since I left Indiana last Monday, I haven't so much as knit ONE STITCH! Yes, that's 12 days of no knitting for anyone who's counting. Kind of like combining all of Jewell's summer "No Knitting Fridays" into one long continuous strand and getting it over with, like pulling off a band aid.

When I land tonight, my friends Becca & Ryan will pick me up at O'Hare and whisk me away to South Bend, where our 10 year reunion weekend lies in wait. I don't know who else is coming, except the Sterbas, but I'm looking forward to seeing some random friends. Although Dave & I aren't really participating in any official reunion activities...we're a little jaded about that and annoyed with all the "ooo we're so bad let's get really drunk and in trouble with student affairs again" emails we keep getting from the official reunion committe.