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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm back and having Guinness withdrawal

Well hello all! I hope everyone is well. I must say that I just returned from one of the best vacations I've ever had. I'll tell you why...NO ITINERARY. Now normally an itinerary is in order for most vacations, but this time it was all about feel. I didn't have to be anywhere at anytime and enjoyed myself to the full. My reflux problems were completely gone by day 1. (Can we say anxiety folks?) We went where the wind blew us for the day. The only plan was to stay in Miltown for at least 4 days to reconnect with some old friends and our adopted Irish Dad. I'm in the process of gathering all of the pictures to share between my friend, Wendy and myself. This time we flew into Dublin and drove to Donegal town. Took in some sites there and drove south to Galway and made some lovely new friends. Then it was on to a place where I feel the most at home, Miltown Malbay. We even extended our stay an extra day there just because we love the people so much.
So since I wasn't able to get some modelled shots of the Urban Aran Cardigan before I left, here is a picture of the Urban in action at the pub. The Guinness was like filet mignon. It's always so much better than it can be poured anywhere else.
This is me with my friend, Wendy (aka Tornado as she was referred by the end of our trip) and our new friend, Aisling, who is just lovely.
More to come. I just wanted to say hi and I'm back. Oh prepare yourselves, for the fiber acquisitions. Yes, yes tweedy, fibery goodness.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You know you need a vacation when you can't put a cohesive sentence together

...Or cuss out the stapler on your desk because you know it knows better and shouldn't be dropping the ball not having an adequate amount of staples. You consider putting it on performance evaluation for it's lack of initiative to load itself. Or when your so tired your ability to speak like an educated professional makes you sound more like teacher from Charlie Brown.

Vacation is calling. Yes folks, by this time tomorrow I will back in my favorite place, Miltown Malbay. Trust me, I'll have a Guinness for all of you.

I'll be back on the 25th, hopefully with a new finished object. Check the top of my Ravelry queue if your curious. I hope to be refreshed when I come back and maybe, just maybe, those brain cells will start firing again without the aid of caffeine.

Oh and yes, there will be yarn. You can bet your fattest DPNs on that. Hopefully, I can get back to regular blogging when I get back too. Lofty ambitions....I have them.

Knitballs OUT.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

FO- Urban Aran Cardigan

Finally something to show for my hiatus, right? I present the Urban Aran Cardigan. Unfortunately, this is the un-modelled version. I need to take time to do that. I will at some point before the weekend is up. In the meantime, please enjoy the arbitrary on-the-deck picture. Ahem.

Pattern: Patons Urban Aran
Started: January 17, 2008
Finished: April 8, 2008
Yarn: 16 balls of Elann Peruvian Highland Chunky
Needles: Size 10, 10.5, 7
Recipient: ME!
Modifications: Cardiganized

Now you will notice that the zipper is nicely done, no? That's because I didn't do it. Honest answer, right? Trust me, I'm not spending all this time knitting cables for me to screw it up by installing my zipper. It was worth the 8 bucks.
On a separate note, is it possible to love an appliance so much that you miss it when you can't cook? My new boyfriend is this new convection oven. It has 5 burners (with an extra griddle) of cast iron and 2 ovens with separate temperature control and convection.
Sorry for the blurry pictures. Another side note, RIP Magknits. Go over to the website and you can see what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ding! "Bring out cha dead!" Ding! "I'm not dead yet. I feel haaaaappy!"

Well I was in a Monty Python kind of mood. I happen to see The Search for the Holy Grail again this weekend and now we find ourselves reciting lines from the movie. Anyway, the title reference does relate to me. I'm not dead...but I thought I was dying for how sick I was last week. Folks, food poisoning has got to be the most awful sick experience of my life (and hopefully ever). You're so sick you think you're dying and so sick that you almost wish you were so you wouldn't be so sick anymore.

"The Pants" and I went out to Iowa for Andrew's baptism (the godson) and we missed our connection home on Easter Sunday through Cleveland. So we decided to grab a quick bite to eat. My husband is known for his scoffing of junk food, unless it's a dessert (that's another show), so he brings back hummus with pita and a yogurt parfait with fresh fruit for dessert. So the hummus was quite good, but I though the yogurt parfait was sickeningly sweet to me, especially a little post-hummus. I don't particularly do back flips for yogurt so I wasn't particularly impressed with it.
We proceeded to board the next flight and it was packed. It was warm and bumpy. I started to feel a little something going on inside and a slight headache, but it was nothing had hadn't experienced before in all my travels.
To make a long story short, I made it to a farm road about 2 miles from the house and had to have him pull over to the side of the road. I proceeded to get home, shower, and lay down for 2 hours before he came to bed. Then all hell broke loose. I was up until 3 AM and in the facilities every 45 minutes. I will spare you the details but let's say neither end of me was happy. I got to sleep for maybe two hours and started the routine all over again although not as intense. Eventually, things subsided, but the doctor said I was very quickly dehydrated and it was definitely some sort of food poisoning. I don't wish that on my worst enemy. The waves of that awful nauseous feeling continued until at least Saturday, although things were "staying put" since Monday. So needless to say, my hiatus is hopefully over.
Now to the good stuff: Please meet my godson, Andrew.
He's a little peanut. My goodness, he's tiny. He's a little over 2 months. He's a really happy baby.

And the two most highly anticipated Finished Objects of 2008 get to meet up. Andrew and his christening gown, booties, and bonnet.

I never did show the bonnet. It was done out of 1 skein of the Royal Bamboo and I added ribbons to tie under the neck. We didn't end up using it, but they had it anyway.

Here he is when we tried it on him on Friday to make sure it fit. I ended up taking in the neck a bit with adjustable seams. I didn't know how big his head would be so I gave myself the adjustable room and also in case they would like to use it for another baby.

He's a big wiggly to photograph, but a talented family member, who is also a professional photographer, took lovely pictures during the christening which I will eventually get to post. She took some great shots of him sound asleep on me in his christening outfit. I was very humbled by the kind words from the guests on the christening gown. We went for a very early Victorian look and we got it.

Other projects right now would be the kitchen renovation. It all started with a leak in the ceiling back a few months that lead to new counter tops, lights, appliances, stripped cabinets, new hardware, new's amazing how a leak in the ceiling can snowball into a large renovation. Damn HGTV.

So here is the new granite counter top. We had a crappy off-white counter top before that I just despised. This is Amazon Uba Tuba and it looks charcoal here but it's actually a almost black, mossy green.

We are just waiting on the stove delivery this Saturday and the Pergo flooring that's coming in today. Then we need to paint, wait for the custom pantry cabinet and we're mostly done. We want to bust out the back splash tile and do a tumbled marble, but for now, it's ok.

The new stove is stainless and black as well. It's a 5-burner convection oven. It has a second oven as well, which I am very excited about. I can cook a turkey in the convection, and side dishes in the second oven, which has it's own separate, temperature controls.

In the spirit of the new kitchen, we dumped the old knife block and got some swanky professional chef knives that all a solid piece of stainless, new bamboo cutting boards, and stainless/copper pots. I think I'm done spending money on the house for a few weeks. I also suppose I won't be eating out as much anymore. :-)

Also, the very talented Mr. Knitballs, decided to make better use of that pesky, skinny cabinet that is virtually useless except to store cutting boards or baking sheets. I now have a custom, spice rack AND cutting board rack. There is the same space on the other side of the slide out for my baking sheets. He was not paying like $800 for a the Harmony pieces to do this so he built one himself. Sweeeeet. I am one lucky girl who is now expected to cook...a lot more.

The cabinets have their polyacrylic coat and hardware here in this picture.