September 29, 2010

Amaya's NYC Hat

Last night I made chicken parmesan... without the parmesan. Basically it was breaded chicken covered with spaghetti sauce. Whatever, it was still good. It's important for you, my three loyal readers, to know that I have a dairy allergy. This means that when you are possessed with an act of fanatical devotion, please don't send me a cheese log, fudge, or a homemade cheesecake. I won't be able to enjoy these delicious goodies, but will instead stare at them pathetically, willing my allergy to disappear until I delude myself into thinking my incredibly strong willpower has banished the allergy for good. I will then dig into the offending dish, embracing the creamy deliciousness as it caresses my tongue... enjoying all five seconds of it until my allergy flares up. My tongue will start itching, my saliva will get thick and hard to swallow, and my throat will feel like a baseball is lodged in it. This feeling will last for up to an hour, during when I will compulsively drink water trying to make the baseball go away.
Trust me. This has happened on several occasions, the most memorable being my senior prom. We had a fancy prom at a gorgeous local winery, complete with a yummy three course meal that was served with chocolate mousse as dessert. I knew I shouldn't have eaten it, but my desire for the chocolaty goodness overpowered common sense and I ate it. I was sidelined for an hour as I drank gallons of water trying to make the baseball go away... and when it finally did I danced my butt off!
Long story short, I made a cheeseless cheese-based dish and it was delicious.
That's not all I did last night! My friend, former roomate, and now big city dweller requested I make her a hat. She had a picture of one she liked, so I made it! I didn't make it all in one night, but I finished it last night while watching the Giants beat the D-backs.
It was simple and fast, which was fun. It's nice to have a project that is quick and easy, especially because I am a very instant gratification kind of person.
I had a little trouble with the flower because I am not a very good crocheter and I refused to follow a pattern. I think it turned out pretty well for being completely winged! 

This little guy is now on his way to New York City! I will be following him in December, when I go out to visit Amaya for almost a week. I am very excited!

September 23, 2010

Life is Keeping Me From Crafting!

Phew - what a busy weekend/week! Friday I snuck out of work early to head up to AT&T Park for a Giant's game. We got there in time to get the free promo Buster Posey t-shirt, which made my night...which was good because the Giants lost. We sat in the very top row!! It was kind of cool but mostly scary to be perched up at the very top of the stadium.
the view from the top
 One of my bestest friends in the world came down to visit me Saturday, and she stayed til Monday afternoon (I took the day off work to spend time with her). That meant no time for crafting... although I did squeeze in a few minutes to skein my newest yarn!
It is still a little thick and thin, but it is much more even than my last attempt!
I love the colorway! I don't know what I'm going to use it for yet, I still have to wash both skeins of yarn before I can begin knitting with them. I am vowing to do that this weekend!! I also received a new batch of roving to start working with... I just need to find time for it in between work, school and sleep! 

September 13, 2010

Cliffs are no fun

Another weekend has come and gone, and yet again I have little accomplished to show for it. I have this vision in my head of weekends being this time where I magically accomplish tons of stuff - in my head I knit sweaters (please note that I have never knit an entire sweater before. ever.), become a master gardener, rearrange my house, do all my accounting homework for the week, and read 3.5 books. In reality, I am lucky if I can drag myself to the grocery store, sweep the cat hair off my floor, and maybe drink a cocktail (or five).

Actually, I am being a little hard on myself. This weekend was fairly productive, although I didn't really do anything I needed to do. Friday night was spent on the beach with a few friends, drinking a few beers and eating delicious burritos from Taqueria Michoacan while watching sea otters and seals frolic in the waves. Saturday I began digging into my homework - I gave it about an hour of effort before I actively began looking for a distraction. Said distraction showed up soon after and we went for a hike.

We went up to Fall Creek in Felton. It's one of my favorite places to go- it has this mystical quality about it that makes it almost seem unreal at times, and it is gorgeous to hike any time of the year. We had gone with the intention of finding a limestone rock for Boy's planter box. Apparently the only place to find a rock that was perfect enough for him was at the top of a freaking cliff - something he neglected to tell me until we trekked past the sign that said "Danger - Sheer Cliff Face Ahead".

Now please keep in mind that I will try anything once. That is, unless there is a chance I won't survive the thing I am trying. I saw the sign and thought "Oh, hey... a cliff. That's pretty scary. Maybe I should stay away...", but by the time I completed this thought in my head Boy was pretty far ahead of me and I had to scramble to catch up. We went along OK for a few minutes... until it started getting steeper. And steeper. And as it got steeper, there were less rocks to climb up and more slippery dirt to slip around and slide on. I started breathing heavier and keeping my eyes on my feet. I could feel myself getting more and more scared as I kept slowly climbing higher while in my head I was screaming "Why are you doing this? Stop and turn around!!". Finally I tore my eyes away from my dusty, pink trail running shoes (certainly not cliff-climbing shoes) and looked up. We were nowhere near the top. Not even close. I looked behind me and saw a rock tumble down the cliff, leaving dusty poofs of dirt as it bounced towards the leafy green ground I wanted to be safely standing on. Boy witnessed my hesitation and realized that maybe having me follow him up a cliff was a bad idea. As he turned and started towards me I burst into tears.

Yes. I was standing on a cliff, clutching a scrawny little tree and crying. That's a pretty pathetic sight. To be honest, it wasn't even that big of a cliff, but the fact that it was a cliff and it was scary and I could slip and fall to my death petrified me. Boy held me and apologized for not realizing that I would be afraid. He told me that he and his brother have climbed up this cliff before, sat on the top and played harmonicas. Somehow this did not make me feel better. The image of them perched on the top with their legs dangling off the edge while innocently playing harmonicas made me feel worse - partly because I know they have no musical ability and it must have sounded terrible, and partly because he made it sound so easy to get to the top. Maybe I was being irrational. I took a deep breath and looked up again, this time thinking about how I could make it up. Then I thought about how the hell I would get down. Scrambling up a cliff is a whole hell of a lot different than getting down. This made my breathing even tighter, and I knew I needed to get down.

As I looked down to figure out my path of escape, my eye caught something. Nestled in between two rocks on a soft patch of green lichen was a snail shell. Not a garden variety snail with those big, bulbous shells, but a small, graceful shell with a delicate pattern. And as cheesy as it was, I knew that I was meant to find it. I had conquered my fear enough by climbing up partially, and this was my reward. I protected it carefully as I slid down the cliff on my butt, avoiding rocks and sticks and finally skidding to a stop at the bottom leaving a cloud of dust behind me. Boy was apologetic and guilty, but I was too - I should have voiced my fear before climbing up instead of panicking partially up. We walked on nice, flat ground for a while before finding a log next to the creek to sit on for lunch. There, I found some moss that I knew had to be complemented with my shell, and on the way out of the park I found a perfect green acorn. I came home and created this little ... whatchamacallit plant decoration thing.
The rock did not come from the hike, unfortunately. I stole it from my friend's driveway a few weeks ago in hopes of making these, but I failed when it ended up looking like the rock was wearing a yarmulke. Anyways, I know it's silly, but it somehow makes me feel better about the whole situation. Now I know to voice my concerns when I am afraid (because chances are that fear isn't going to suddenly disappear), and Boy knows that I won't climb up a cliff and play harmonica with him.

Having a panic attack on a cliff that's not all I did this weekend! I started spinning my new roving, and I already feel like I've gotten much better. 

It still has its thick and thin bits, but as a whole I feel it's much more even.

I also skeined my first bit of yarn. I read that if you skein it and wash it, that can help get rid of some of the extra twistyness, so I will hopefully be doing that sometime this week so it can sit outside and dry over the weekend.

September 10, 2010

New Roving!

I got new roving in the mail yesterday! It's a little bit like getting a Christmas present, because even though you know what it looks like from the picture online, it's even better in person. I bought this roving from Woolen Mill Street Yarns on Etsy.


Once again I tried to be artsy. Here it is with my lovely fish, Buster Posey. He wasn't too interested in the roving - I think he thought I was going to feed him. He looked upset when I didn't give him delicious fish flakes.
The colors in this roving make me think of spring time, apples, and Snow White (for some reason... I haven't figured out why yet). I suppose all three of those things go together pretty well.
I started pre-drafting, and Cindy came over to play. Please ignore the fact that my rug is disgustingly dirty. Anyways, I pre-drafted all of the roving, and look forward to spinning it this weekend.

Happy Friday!

September 8, 2010

Christmas Projects

Every year I tell myself I'm going to start my Christmas gifts early. I am filled with nothing but good intentions and ambition during these sunny months of summer as I brainstorm, collect yarn, and begin knitting gifts that I know (or at least hope) my friends will love. Then reality kicks in about two days later. Who wants to be knitting in the summer? Why do it now when I have plenty of time before the holiday season? These projects get abandoned, carelessly shoved  in boxes or bags, closets or baskets (still on the needles) for the time when I'm sure I will complete them. I forget about them, lose the patterns, or begin something else that is much more interesting and these projects get added to my list of incompletes.
This year was going to be different, I told myself. In all honesty I've been telling myself that every year for the past four or five...but that is besides the point. I completed one project in June, and despite being distracted by my new spinning stuff managed to finish another one yesterday! I know two projects in four months doesn't sound like that much of an accomplishment to you, but if you understand the power of my procrastination you'd understand. The funniest part is that I didn't procrastinate in things like school, but I do when it comes to things I enjoy. Figure that one out!

Anyways, here is my newest project in all its glory.

It's the snowboarder hat that rocks, a pattern I found on Ravelry. I was thinking it would be great to line it with a fleecy material to make it slightly waterproof and super warm, but who am I kidding? I would never finish that, and you can't give someone a half-lined hat for Christmas unless they have some hair loss issue that causes them to be half bald.

September 3, 2010

i have made... yarn!!

I feel pretty accomplished. I mean, it's certainly not the greatest yarn in the world. There are parts where it is really thick, others where it's almost impossibly thin. It didn't amount to all that much (maybe 80 yards at the absolute most), but I did it!

The lighting wasn't very good in my house last night, so the pictures are kind of ugly... but I'm still proud. Now I have to figure out what to make with it. I was thinking little hand warmers, because they don't use very much yarn and I could do a simple pattern that would show off the colorway. The only problem is it will be pretty obvious that the yarn is uneven. Oh well!! 

Cindy didn't care too much for my accomplishment. She slept through the final spinning stage, waking up to glare at me when I squealed with delight at the end.