Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hats and more hats

It's been over a month since I updated. I am doing better than I was then, just because I've had time to digest what's happened in my personal life. I'm trying to do NaNoWriMo this month, but I'm finding myself very distracted and generally emotionally drained. That's a bad thing. I feel really off my game. Some of those who have given me constructive criticism have said that one of my greatest strengths is my ability to convey emotion vividly in writing. I don't feel like I can give it my all right now. Even when I'm not thinking about my daughter, I just have that weariness.

Anyway, I've kept knitting. I have about six weeks left to finish gifts, and I can safely admit here that I am making hats for my family, knowing they will never ever read it. So far, I'm on my 8th hat. One for each of my siblings, my mom, as well as Jorge and me. I wanted to make another one for myself because I'm selfish like that. I also made mittens for Jorge and myself. I am getting really psyched about seeing snow for the first time. If I have time after making the 9th hat (for me), I will make a cowl/scarf. I am on fire! Not literally, but if I was then that would be too warm, what with all the winter clothes and all. I will post pictures eventually.

The hat I'm currently working has cables, and in a sad and lame way, I'm excited about learning cables.  Sometimes I look at that hat and say, "Oh, you fancy, huh?"

See how disconnected this all is? Back to NaNoWriMo-ing. It is sure to be a muddled mess.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I last updated this blog on September 12, 2012. Two days later I wound up in the hospital, and to make a long story short, I am no longer going to be a mother in February. I guess you could say I'm a mother now, but we didn't get to take our daughter home. Not the way we wanted to. I feel like my whole world just went swirling down the drain.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So many knits to make, so little time

I have so many projects I want to start, I don't even know where to begin. I tend to have periods of extreme motivation to do things, and then I have these lulls where I can't bring myself to work on something to save my life. That's kind of how I do most things, including housework. I will procrastinate until things get very messy, then put in a few solid hours and make a huge difference.

I go on knitting and reading binges all the time. I mean, I'll go six months without reading a book, then in 3.5 weeks, I finished all 7 Harry Potter books. Well, I have knitting fever once again, I just finished a wool lace shawl, am about 5" away from finishing the other sock, and am wondering what comes next. I made swatches for a sweater for Jorge. I bought the yarn back in January, and I want to finish so he can use it this winter (if it even gets cold... HA!) I settled on everything, It's just a matter of casting on.

But I can imagine I'd be working on this thing and nothing else till almost Christmas. That leaves me in a pickle, considering my ambitions include making warm weather accessories for my siblings who just moved to Minnesota, and I have a long queue of baby items waiting. I have until around Feb. 1 to finish, and then I will have no more time for knitting. That's because I will be too busy being a mother! That means, any items I want to use for the baby will have to be finished by then, hopefully much earlier. When planning these things, it seems like the months will fly by. Heck, it already seems like that now. I've had a productive year, though. I finished my knitcoat (which I started in Oct last year), and I've finished & started 3 shawls, 1 wrap, *almost* a pair of socks, a pair of mitts, and some random small projects like a needle roll and an Oliphant that looks like Max Rebo. I really should post these, shouldn't I?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I made a sock!

I am now halfway through making my husband a pair of socks, still trying not to get distracted with other projects, namely baby ones. I'm at that age where everyone I know is pregnant, which means everywhere I look there is baby pictures, baby news, cute baby things. I really should try my hand at tiny baby things, they take so much less yarn. The next socks I make may be tiny ones. Anyway, this is the first one just before I bound off. He was so happy to wear that one sock, telling me "No one has ever made me a sock before!"

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello, blog

How long has it been? Too long, surely. Well, we've been up to many things lately, and I suppose that I ran out of a bit of steam when it came to documenting. As a matter of fact, I don't see how I will be able to permanently keep up with a blog with all the other stuff I've got coming up this next year.

For the moment, I'm enjoying my home with my husband, and all the domestic bliss that comes with knitting by his side while he plays L.A. Noire (a detective game set in 1947). We just finished sending my mom and siblings off to the northern parts of the midwest, where my siblings will surely suffer shock when they experience their first winter. I still haven't seen snow, though.

Tonight I hope to finish a shawl I've been working on, and will block the beauty sometime over the next week. I just finished the first of a pair of socks for DH, and will eventually make its mate.

Anyway, I'm a knitting fiend at the moment, I can't get enough. I go over to Ravelry for times like this, because they understand me there. Yes, I realize that it makes me sound like a hipster, but hipsters are big frauds. They like to do things before they were cool, but doesn't that imply that they wanted to be cool first, though? I'll never understand.

Till next time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Not-so-winter Garden - Week 3

So much for "winter" around here. We had some torrential downpours here, and the garden seemed to shoot up overnight.

As you can see, the red bucket is filled with water pouring off the roof- it filled up in just a couple hours.

More sprouts popped up all over. These are the habaneros and cayenne peppers.

Whoops, one zucchini too many. Have to either get rid of it or transplant it!

These are sweet peppers from a carnival mix. I guess I won't know what they really look like until they bear fruit!

Eggplant! This interesting plant will always remind me of that episode of Inspector Gadget where he feeds a bunch of Mammoths some red eggplant things.

Tiny fernleaf dill sprouts.

The row of moneymaker tomatos grows as I feel pity for the runts and transplant them instead of getting rid of them completely. I don't know what I'm going to do with everything I have!

The first tomato set fruit. This is why I do this.

Another angle of my tomato runts.

Winter Garden - Week 2

I just wanted to post a quick photo update of the garden two weeks after planting. Not much has changed since the last post, except that a few more seedlings have sprouted up.

These are the transplanted herbs. From the left: Basil sprouts, parsley, another variety of parsley (and much healthier looking), and a small Oregano bush that used to be hanging in a pink pot.

Tomato plants, which are much bigger now.

Not very visible, but there seems to be some chamomile, marjoram, and thyme sprouts there.

Habanero and cayenne peppers.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter garden - week one

I should have planted three months ago, but my dear husband was still putting this thing together for me. He is so good to me, I just thought I should say. He's got a lot on his plate (teaching 7 periods!) but he still made the time to help me make my garden. We hauled in over a ton of manure from Home Depot for this project! There were no truck rentals available, so we just made several trips. I was a bit dubious about using only the manure because the HD sales dude told us we should not just buy the $1.75 bags of manure, but buy the $4.97 bags of "garden soil" instead. Let me tell you, I got the idea for using well-rotted cow manure from "experienced" gardeners who teach at Fairchild, and featured an article on the intarwebs somewhere. We actually saw them speak at our local library. They said that it's safer because it's disease-free. Well, the manure we bought looked like it had some mulch and sand mixed in, but at that point we already bought a TON of it- literally. Let me tell you, seven days after planting- I saw sprouts popping up all over! Oh joy! No more doubts now. Chamomile and Thyme which aren't supposed to germinate until about 14 - 28 days were the first! Among the others were Zucchini, Tomato, Marjoram, Onion, Peas, Dill, and Forget-me-nots. Yay! At this point, just about all of them have sprouted, but since I haven't been updating, I'm going to focus on one week each post. Here are some pics from the first week after planting (Jan 29 - Feb 4)

This is what the garden looked like approx. one week after planting the first seeds directly into the soil. I transplanted all my existing plants (the ones in the background will be added later). That includes parsley, oregano, sweet basil, Moneymaker tomatoes, and Yolo wonder bell peppers.

Here are some of the Thyme sprouts. I put stones next to where the seeds were planted so I could remember where to water.

The zucchini was one of the first ones to sprout. 

This is literally one day later.

This is two days after that.

Another two days later.

 You can see the second zucchini sprouted days after the first. I started to get worried after seeing just some of the seeds sprouting, so I planted extras to be safe.  Well, now I have three zucchinis, about 16 eggplants and 20 peppers. Oh well. The peas are an exception, I wanted to plant a bunch there. They were very early sprouters, and 100% of the peas planted sprouted eventually. I'm hoping these will make it worthwhile!

Sadly, one of the first casualties came this first week. A bastard cat used my garden as a colossal litterbox! I found cat scat in there and everything! >=(

I put these Moneymaker tomato plants in the ground, which I had been waiting to do for a while. They didn't look like they were doing well. It turns out it was really good for them to be planted in the ground because they took off from here.

It's pretty amazing. Three days after I transplanted the tomato plants into the ground, flowers opened up! Now I've got tomatoes growing! They weren't doing so well in the tiny pots I had them in. They have made so much progress since then.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Knitting a rainbow

First of all, I've been a busy, busy lady. I may not have documented my hobbies here for posterity, but I have done many things. I've completed a dozen more knitting projects, invented and tried out new recipes, and our queue of home projects are slowly getting completed. Right now I'm drooling over the yarn I have sitting in my stash, I can't wait to make more lovely things.

My current WIP is a shawl I'm making for myself (and another three or so things I'll write about later). I used to think that shawls were something only old ladies wore, just like knitting is supposed to be a pastime for the female members of the retirement community. Since I joined Ravelry over a year ago, well, all that changed. Now I think they are artistic and refined, a means of self expression and a manner of warming oneself in a stylish way.

The first shawl I tried to make was a lovely lacy purple one, but my gauge was too large for the amount of yarn I had in that color. Since I love my Plum Pudding  colored yarn, I bought a little more in the same dye lot, and now I can make more purple things. Anyway, I have this soft fingering weight rainbow yarn, called Serenity Garden by Deborah Norville. The colorway is Gems.

I fell in love with the color but had no idea what I was going to make of it. I've seen other Ravelers make lovely lacy shawls with this, but the sad part is that in the pictures at least, the intricate lace is not as aesthetically appreciated because the Gems outshines the actual pattern. My eye is drawn toward the color changes, not the pattern itself. So, I found a simple shawl that would be the vessel for this beautiful, bright yarn.

I chose a pattern that is worked from side to side so that the stripes are vertical (rather than the typical top-down shawl that has horizontal stripes). I chose this for two reasons. The first reason is that toward the beginning of a top-down pattern, the stripes are visible, but as the stitch count grows, the stripes start melting together in a weird variegated pattern. I guess that the colors are pretty regardless, but I prefer the neat transitions.

Second, I just like the stripes better vertical. I added two pattern repeats because the pattern calls for worsted and a larger needle, but it seems to be plenty large with the way it's coming out. I can't wait to wear it, and be shameless about fashion faux pas in public. I will update again when I'm done!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


We have had a busy and productive past few weeks. My husband is on fire! He resolved for this new year to be more productive, and so far he's installed a mirrored jewelry cabinet (he bought as a gift), taken down the track spotlights in the kitchen and installed a new light- I can see now!

Here is the hubby in the kitchen with the original spotlights. Note that they do not light up the area well.

And here is the new and improved, bright and evenly lit kitchen! Note how much more lived in the house looks now as opposed to the previous pic, where we hadn't moved in yet. Jorge also hung the frames on the left recently, which deserve a post of their own. I cross-stitched a massive Save the Date and Wedding invitation. On the right is a double sided clock, imitating a vintage Parisian train station clock. We also finally got our wedding photo framed, and Jorge put that baby up!

Finally, Jorge is helping me plot that garden. I know, it's something we have been talking about since June! Since then, I've lost all my tomatoes and peppers to whitefly, but replanted a few weeks ago. So far, these are doing much better in the cooler weather. I think that the high humidity was a lucrative environment for pests.

This is what the "garden" plot looked like last time I posted about it. Now, here's what it looks like:

We got cedar instead of pine even though it's a bajillion times more expensive (and is very fragrant) because cedar is rot resistant. Those frames are going to house lots and lots of garden soil, and it will look great. Note in the upper left hand corner of the yard, the banana plants have flourished!

When I decided to start planting, I wanted to immediately dig up all the rocks in my little plot and fill it up with soil. I went and borrowed a dozen books from the library on the subject. A few months ago, all we just had were a tremendous pile of rocks that no one wants, and it was either too hot or too wet to plant anyway. The thing about a sudden urge to do something is that it doesn't work well with having to wait. I haven't been taking pictures of our compost bin, but it's actually broken down quite a bit as it is teeming with grubs! Timon and Pumba would love it in there. It's not really enough to amend let's say 200 lbs of topsoil, but I plan on adding some cheap cow manure compost (don't worry it doesn't smell) and using my compost as an organic side-dressing. Hold on, I can't help myself.

Manure. I hate manure.

I still have some plants that are somehow alive. This is the second batch, the first (as you saw in past posts) did not survive the whiteflies and blight. Well, the oregano and succulents did.

Here's my Oregano and sprouts of Sweet Basil. As you can see, the Oregano is doing well.

Here we have the new tomatoes and bell peppers, and a tray of butterfly flowers.

So, the weather is nice and our one week cold snap is over. This weekend we are going to fill that baby with soil and transplant my garden- or bust. The good thing is that with all the work that we (Jorge) put into it, it will last years to come, and there's always next October...