Knitting Dilemma

I recently finished a good deal of hats to be sent to a children's hospital in Maine. I mailed them to my sister who brought them to the yarn store that was running the collection. When my sister came to visit me she said that they liked them and that she had a surprise for me. The surprise was three cones of yarn and a request to knit afghans for Afghans. This in and of itself would not be a dilemma but I didn't have any instructions before I started and begin knitting up an easy feather and wave pattern from Seven Day Afghans which I was pretty happy with. After spending two whole days on this I finally read the instructions on the website where they state that afghans should not have lace patterns as these will not insulate properly. While I had been concerned about this initially seeing it in print made me realize that as much as I loved the results this blanket was not going to keep someone warm enough, and that's kinda the whole point. So, alas and alack, I took the whole thing apart and started again but with a mock fisherman cable pattern from the same book. Two repeats of the pattern in and it started to look too lacy too!! So I rewrote the pattern and will be showing the results as I get a little farther into it.
While the afghan is slow going I've at least had some success lately. This little ipod sock came from a great pattern on Smariek Knits and is an easy and fast project. I believe these and other adaptations of ipod socks will be making a strong showing as Christmas presents next year along with other knit goodies!


Week Of Baking

Apple Crumble!! I've been in love with a recipe from How to Eat where you simmer the apples in some rum before you bake them, but because we've been enjoying that recipe so much we were out of rum!! So I had to do some improvisation and created this apple crumble with muscavado sugar which was super delicious!

Looking back on the week I just realized that it was a super baking/cooking week. The school I work at was on break this week so I was able to be home for dinner every night which was a treat. Rick and I went to town with pesto pasta, pizza, calzones, mahi mahi with twice baked potatoes and kale, and quesadillas! And that was only the cooking we did this week...
Pizza night! It was a late dinner because I didn't start the dough until 6:30 pm but it was worth the wait. Feta and garlic pizza and a pesto with spicy Italian chicken sausage and mozzarella (only my side had peppers). Yum! I through the left over dough into the fridge in plastic baggies and the next night I made calzones (which can be made ahead and cooked later, or once cooked travel pretty well so they make a great treat for a lunch).

We also got to celebrate Rick's birthday which we did with a cake and banana nut bread. Later in the week we also enjoyed the crumble shown above. Also, for St. Patrick's day I helped my roommate make green rice crispie treats and then green sugar cookies shaped like stars (I wanted to do shamrocks but without a cookie cutter Jen decided that would be too time consuming).
The birthday boy with his cake. When asked what kind he wanted I believe the answer was "vanilla with a lot of frosting" so that's what he got and we were both happy with the final result!


Harvard Museum of Natural History

I had an awesome sister visit this weekend! Ali wanted to go see the glass flowers exhibit at Harvard and it was amazing. The flowers were not at all what I was expecting, I was thinking of more art style glass, but these were very realistic replicas of glass flowers made by a German father and son team in the 19'th century for teaching purposes. When you look at the detail and intricacy it's hard to believe that these models were made in the field!
The museum also has animals and insects and a great collection of photos on birds and eggs.
Making a fool of yourself: always a free source of entertainment!

The museum only cost $7 (with a student ID) to get into, and seeing the crowds in Harvard Yard was free. As was the perusing we did later at the Harvard Bookstore. That evening we made dinner at home before watching Breakfast at Tiffany's which I got from the Boston Public Library (hooray free books and movies!). At the end of the day I was feeling pretty happy about our cheap entertainment so as the recession doldrums continue to hit I'm going to start a new feature of $20 entertainment where it will be my job to come up with a fun day of activities that can be done for... you guessed it... under $20! I'll try to also detail many of the fun activities that are free in Boston!

More Hat fun

Obviously I have a knitting addiction. Now that that's out of the way, look at my newest baby!
Lace Leaf knit hat, WEEEE!!

My first successful lace knit project and I could not be happier or prouder.


Further Knitting Adventures

The first of my "knitting for myself" projects, this hat calls for a coronet style cable band joined to the rest of the hat, it's supposed to be rolled up as a brim but I found that to be a little chunky, so instead i flipped it inside out and left the band down. My friend Marti pointed out that the shape of it now resembles a hat from the 20's or 30's and I like to think that's all part of its charm.

What's that you say? It's snowing outside? Again? While this weather may stink for long walks on the beach or barbecues, it is ideal for snuggling into bed with a good book or some knitting. Which means I have been involved in "Hat Knitting Frenzy Part II." During the first part I knit 10 hats in 14 days for a children's hospital in Maine. Then I took a brief hiatus to make my Mom's birthday present (shown in bottom picture).
Once my Mom's birthday presents were done (the matching hat, scarf and mittens you see below) I decided it was time to make a hat that would go on my own head!
I've been obsessing over Ravelry and Knitty.com, great knitting inspiration and the sources of all the patterns you see here, and I printed out a couple different hats that I was dying to make for myself. Although admittedly some of them will be for 30 years from now when I'm able to handle the complexity some of the patterns call for.
When I said curling up in bed with my knitting I wasn't kidding. This was when I had the flu that's been going around, and since being vertical wasn't feasible I spent most of my sick time in bed with my knitting watching seasons of Friends.

So if you're a knitter and not on Ravlery yet go do it!! You have to request to join, but once you're added you can network, search patterns, buy yarn, post your projects, store information on your stash (spare yarn for any non-knitters) and needles. Just to warn you though it's pretty addictive.
My Mom's finished hat!

Knitty is also amazing, and as my friend Nadia said "it is the source of all funky knits." This site is practically an online museum to all things knit and it's fantastic to see some of the things people come up with. So if you're interested in learning how to knit and need an easy project to start on, or you're an experienced knitter in a rut and in need of something fun, go check out the sites and knit away the winter blues!!


Tropical getaway for $20?!?!

Well now that I have everyone's attention... I have a confession, I am officially sick of winter. Right now it's snowing, and we have a winter storm warning, and I just want spring to come. I know I cannot possibly be alone in my miserly sentiments and thoughts of "What?!?! more f-ing snow?!?! Aren't we done yet?" So I want to get away, and go somewhere warm.
My Mom recently came down for a visit and had the exact same sentiments. We just wanted to not be cold and to not think about snow or the endless nature of New England winters for a couple hours. Our solution? The New England Aquarium! While the entrance fee is not as cheap as some other entertainment in Boston, it does cost a lot less then a round-trip ticket to Aruba. For three hours we wandered, enjoyed the heat and the exhibits, and forgot that we are in for at least another month of "wintery mix" as the weather channel euphemistically refers to the slush on the streets.
So if you too are looking out your window at the quickly accumulating snow and going "WHY GOD, WHY!?!" then cheer yourself up with a visit to your local aquarium (or inside botanical garden) and soak up enough warmth to last you till April, cause we're going to need it.