Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pipes in the Valley!

Today was Hartford's 9th Annual Pipes in the Valley, their Celtic music festival.  Despite the heat it was so much fun.  There was all sorts of cool stuff there.

Like Highland cows, which are the cutest cows ever.  Their long coats are adorable but with the temperature hitting 90 today I felt pretty bad for them.

There was an itty bitty owl from a bird rescue place.  I forget the name, but these little guys are native to Connecticut, how cute!

Robbie bought me pretty new earrings

There was music.  That's the Red Hot Chili Pipers accompanied by local pipers.  It was definitely cool hearing covers of rock songs with bag pipes.

Of course, I knit during the show.  I brought my latest sock project along.  My friend Katie won VIP tickets so we got to hang out in the 'VIP Garden' and drink free Ten Penny Ale, yum!

Ah, there's nothing like ice cold beer and knitting on a hot day.  Now its time to cool down and hope I didn't get sunburned.

Monday, September 20, 2010

One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days that just starts out with things going wrong?

This morning I opened the fridge for my usual morning orange juice.  While shuffling things around to get to my oj, a jar of pickled eggplant antipasto fell and the plastic cap snapped.  Pickled eggplant splattered all over the fridge and kitchen floor.  Then I almost broke a wine glass while loading it into the dishwasher.  Not a promising start to the day.

I'm changing plans for the day.  If I start cutting out the pattern for a new skirt or peeling sweet potatoes for dinner I'll probably just cut my finger off.  Instead, I'm going to make a cup of tea and work on this pretty little thing.

This is my first  Earl Grey sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in brown Cherry Tree Hill Supersock.  I started these on Friday and I'm already on the 3rd repeat of the cable pattern.  I usually find guy socks to be very slow.  All that plain stockinette or rib just seems to take forever, but these socks feel like they're  going quickly. The little cable panels keeps things interesting, and the stockinette makes this a fast knit.

Now hopefully I'll manage not to break anything else before my much needed yoga class tonight.  Maybe I should put my tea in a metal mug just to be safe.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

FO: Orange you Wicked?

Robert commented recently that I seem to be in a finishing mood with my projects.  Maybe its having finished law school and the bar but he's right.  For whatever reason I feel compelled to wind up knitting projects that have been lingering around.

One example is my new Wicked, which I choose to model staring majestically out my window because well my I just look tired or my eyes are closed in all the photos where you can see my face...

Hmm, I really need to work on self protraits.  But I just discovered the timer function on my camera and I consider this an improvement over past efforts.  Here's another shot that shows the color more accurately:

I started this one last fall because 1) I felt this lovely orange malabrigo deserved better than sitting in the huge plastic tub of yarn in my closet and 2) my apartment was getting chilly and a new cozy sweater sounded perfect.  I made good progress at first but then it languished when I became distracted by Christmas knitting.

Its little different from my pink wicked.  I love my pink wicked but with its wide neck that doesn't like to stay on both shoulders it seems rather 80s-tastic to me.  I avoided that this time by going down a needle size, and the tighter gauge did just the trick. The neck stays where it should, though does threaten to show off my bra straps.  I also decided to not do the twisted rib pattern.  This is mostly because I didn't really want two sweaters that were the same, but also because it annoys me that the numbers in the pattern don't match up at the bottom.  This results in the twisted rib pattern not coming out quite right unless you have the foresight to count your stitches and adjust them accordingly.  I was feeling much too lazy for even this little bit of extra counting and math so I just did plain 2x2 rib instead. I also did short sleeves since I had only three skeins of yarn.  I could have made the sleeves a little longer since I still have a half ball left, but I'm happy with the sleeves so I decided not to bother.

Overall, I'm very pleased.  Its finally getting cool enough for me to wear this now. This is a great addition to my sweater wardrobe for days when its a little chilly but I don't need a full sweater.  Plus it's so bright that not even the horrible Hartford drivers can miss me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

yoga and knitting

It's yoga month!  This probably doesn't mean much to a lot of people.  I've been doing yoga pretty regularly for about a year now.  In celebration of my yoga-versy and yoga month I've put together a list of poses that I think are great for knitters or really anyone who spends lots of time sitting.  These are all pretty simple poses, if you do yoga you've probably seen them before.  For those of you don't do yoga, give some of these poses a try.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how much better they can make you feel.

Note:  Just to be clear I'm not a yoga instructor.  I've included links yo to show how the poses should be done, but the best way to learn how to properly do a pose is to attend a class.  Also don't do anything to hurt yourself.  I'm certainly not as stretchy as the yoga journal models, and don't expect yourself to be, just do what feels comfortable for you.  Of course, enjoy!

Bound Angle/Cobbler's Pose- Feeling a little stiff in your hips and pelvis?  I love this pose because it helps stretch out these areas after a long day of sitting.  One of my favorite things to do is lay down while in this pose to let my hips gently relax.

Standing Forward Bend- I love how this pose stretches the back.  It's also very refreshing since it helps send fresh rush of blood to your head.  I do this pose all the time, whenever I feel I could use a little refreshment.

Modified Half Moon- This is great for stretching your side and arms, but I could only find the description for a more difficult version.  Here's what I recommend you do: Stand or sit up straight.  Raise your hands above your head and gently clasp your right wrist with your left hand.  Lean your upper body to the left.  You should feel a stretch in your right side.  Hold for a few breathes.  Straighten you upper body, and then repeat for the other side.

Cat to Cow Stretch- Inhale into cow pose and exhale into cat pose.  The combination of these two poses gently flexes your spine and opens your chest.

If you'd like to learn more yoga poses and get some suggested routines I'd suggest you look at Essential Yoga.  It's a great book with very clear descriptions of poses and the benefits of each.  If you're interested in DVDs check out Yoga for Beginners for some great intro level routines.  Barbarba Benagh gives clear descriptions of each pose and how to move into it, which is great for anyone starting out.  Shiva Rea's Flow Yoga for Beginners is also good for anyone who knows some basics but is still looking for beginner level stuff.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


That is the view from my bedroom in my pretty new apartment.  I could do without the creepy brick building in the foreground but I do like that we can see the capital through the trees.  And well, the apartment is beautiful so I'll deal with the creepy building next door.

I've been so busy settling into the new place that my knitting has been suffering.  I have no new FOs but I have been making some progress.  First up, my somewhat cowl:

It has a sleeve- it almost has two.  Soon I'll be working on the neckline and then it'll be done.  I tired it on after finishing the body and I'm much happier with the fit.  Reknitting is always painful but worth it.  As long as I don't slack off I'll pretty new sweater for the fall.

Second, I have a cardigan going for my sister.  This is my first bottom up sweater and I have about 6 inches of the body done.

It has been sadly neglected because during the move it got stuffed in a bag and then I forgot about it.  But I dug it out today for pictures and hopefully having it within view again will help motivate me to work on it.  I promised my poor sister this sweater years ago so I really need to stop procrastinating on it.