Archive for July, 2006

pura vida

My trip to Costa Rica was absolutely incredible. I saw a volcano, soaked in the hot springs, witnessed Tico karaoke, spoke broken Spanish, stood inside a strangler fig tree, zip lined through the jungle, hiked through the cloud forest, stayed in REALLY nice hostels, met lots of interesting people, kayaked through the mangroves, fed the spider monkeys, swam in the Pacific Ocean, ate gallo pinto, arroz con pollo, ceviche, casados, pico de gallo, cerveza, sangria, some weird koosh-ball-looking fruit, and all the avacados I could get my hands on! Saw tucans, a tarantula, glow in the dark mushrooms, a side-striped palm pit viper, frogs, iguanas, hummingbirds, white ibis, Jesus Christ lizards, crocodiles, crabs, sloths, and spider monkeys. And all this with a 33 pound backpack on my shoulders. The country was so beautiful and diverse and friendly. I can’t imagine taking a more perfect trip.

And there was knitting! I completed 2 Odessas, one for each of my dear travel buddies. Here’s Odessa #2 looking out the airplane window, waving goodbye to Costa Rica.

Pura Vida!

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descisions, descisions…

In between packing, trip planning, maid of honoring, more packing, moving, unpacking, rearranging, and settling into the new apartment, I’ve been considering my elusive Perfect Travel Knitting Project. I’ll probably try the Fetching pattern eventually, but for travel, I think anything on dpn’s is going to be too much of a pain in the neck. I need something I can pick up for a few stitches or rows and then stuff it back in my backpack without having to worry about it slipping off the needles or losing my place in the pattern. I think Odessa is my answer. I started one a while ago, but haven’t finished it yet. I like the pattern and I have another ball of yarn to use for a second Odessa in case I need it!
I found a few minutes to fix the straps on my Razor Cami and took her out to socialize with the girls Monday evening. As it turns out, Razor Cami loves bellinis! And caprese salad..and beer bread…and hummus…and zucchini squares…and monkey bread…and artichoke bake…
Yikes. Good thing she’s stretchy!!

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a little progress on the prairie

This weekend I finished the back piece of the Prairie Tunic, and just barely started on the front. Here’s she is, unblocked. The triangle shaping was much easier than I thought it would be, although I’m not sure if I did the ssp decreases correctly, according to Interweave. I think whatever I did looks ok, though. (To the untrained eye, at least. )

wip - Prairie Tunic

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chicks with sticks

About a year ago, my knitting addiction had taken full hold and at the time, I didn’t really know anyone else who “got” the knitting thing. I was jealous of reading about everyone else’s hip knitting clubs and all the fun they seemed to have. I decided I wanted to join a knitting club. I Googled and e-mailed and scoured the internet and pestered knitting store owners to excess. And I couldn’t find a knitting club in my city. It became clear that if I wanted join a knitting club, I was going to have to create one, myself. I started by e-mailing a few people I kind of knew who knit or crocheted and asked if they would be interested in getting together to knit…and they said yes. I called some coffee shops and bars in the city and asked permission to come and knit…and they said yes. I posted some messages in some online forums and there seemed to be some more interest. I immediately started the Yahoo group, and now anyone could find us. That’s when things started getting good. Chicks with Sticks was born. Now, after a year, we have 150 chicks and dudes on our Yahoo group. Not everyone comes to the weekly meetings, but there’s an ever-changing, ever-evolving group of about 30 who come to knit on a semi-regular basis.

I could not be more excited (well, amazed really) about the way this knitting club has grown over the past year, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of this eclectic group of people. I don’t know if there’s any other way I could have met such interesting, talented, funny, intelligent, quirky, sincere, and unique knitters and friends. It seems strange to get so sentimental about something that is usually just plain nonsense (and I mean that in a good way!) but this knitting club has truly been a gift.

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travel knitting

Of course the most important aspects of planning any trip is deciding what knitting projects to take, right? I’ll soon be backpacking through Costa Rica and at this point I should probably be worried about more important things—you know, like transportation, the fact that I don’t speak Spanish, food, shelter, blah blah blah… but of course I’m surfing the web and leafing through my knitting books trying to pick the perfect project. What exactly does one knit in the jungle? I don’t want to take anything too big, or too nice, or too complicated. None of my current projects seem to fit the bill. I’m considering the new Fetching pattern from Knitty.

Complicated enough to keep me interested, but not so complicated that I’ll screw it all up, should I get distracted by a spider monkey or something, small enough to fit in the backpack and not so precious that I’ll shed any tears if I accidentally drop it into a volcano. Oh, yeah—and if they make it back in one piece, someone will have a beautiful, well-travelled pair of fingerless gloves!
But something on circulars would really be ideal…

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summer to do list

I recently finished Katie’s Razor Cami pattern and loved every minute of it.

I knit with Elann Collection Esprit, a cotton/elastic yarn, which was a new experience all in itself. I’m happy with how the finished product looks from the front, but I have to fix the straps in the back before I can wear it in public. The straps are attached at the very widest points on my back, almost at the armpits, which looks truly funky. I should say, however, that this had nothing to do with Katie’s pattern, and everything to do with me knitting first…and thinking second.

The next thing I should do is finish the last sleeve and a half on my self-designed lace panel cardigan.

I’m 95% finished with this one (and it’s about time, too!) but other projects are competing for my attention. I’d really like to finish the Prairie Tunic and wear it some time this summer. It’s slow going, but I’m enjoying the pattern so far and I’m in love with the Dale of Norway Stork that I’m using.

Mmm…summer and cotton.

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moving in

Since I just moved into my new blog, I thought I’d start by doing some decorating…

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