Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12 Books in 12 Months

As I was browsing through some new blogs this morning, I came across this post by The Latter Day Bohemian. Since I have dozens of books on my shelves I have yet to read, I love the idea of tackling them one dozen at a time.

I know that in the next few weeks, I'll reflect on changes I want to make in 2011. Reading more frequently will certainly be one of them. To help with that, here's my reading list for the next 12 months:

1. The Portrait of the Young Man As an Artist by James Joyce. I bought this book 
from an English bookstore in Madrid, during the first week of my semester abroad, in September of 2005. As I sat in the cafe/bar portion of the bookstore, the cutest English boy I have ever met joined a conversation I had been thrust into by a half-Iranian girl being hit on by a very drunk Spaniard. After the Iranian girl left, the English boy, Edward, convinced me to go with him to another bar that was quieter so we could keep talking. As I was packing to leave with him, Gabe, a boy from my program, called and invited himself over to where I was going. The conversation was so brief that I didn't even realize what had happened. Gabe, my first real love and the boy I would date for nearly two years, tagged along on my first date with Ed, the man I dated through nearly the remainder of my time in Madrid. I was too busy with Ed(uardo Blanco) to pick it up the rest of the time I was there, and though it has followed me through... 5 moves since then, I've still never finished it.

2. The Flaneur by Edmund White. I picked up this book over the summer while browsing The Strand with Nick. I loved the time I had spent in Paris with Gabe during the summer of 2008 and always dream of going back. Next time with fewer tears, I hope.

3. The Beauty of the Husband by Anne Carson. I bought this book of poetry from my favorite used bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Raven. Before my good friend Ross moved to Portland this spring, he threw a giant goodbye house party at his house in Upton. Nick and I went for a night and day and then headed to Boston for a few days of exploring. When I found this book, I read several of the poems and fell in love. We spent a great part of the rest of the day reading the poems to each other while sitting next to the lake at the Public Gardens. It was one of the first times we read together and to each other and made him that much more special to me. We always planned to go back and finish reading it together but then the summer started with all of our bar review, then packing my apartment, then only a few short weeks before I had to move to California. By that point, we were looking for more positive, uplifting literature rather than reading the beautiful collapse of a romantic relationship. I would very much like to finish reading it, though, before the winter gets too cold and my disposition regarding relationships gets too hopeless. I get awfully sad during the winter time when I'm away from my loved one. 

4. Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World by Niloufar Talebi. My very thoughtful friend, Mike, bought this book of poetry for me back in 2009 for my 24th birthday. He said that he had taken the train into the city (he lived in Newark at the time) without a clear idea of what he had wanted to get. After searching for a half hour, he gave up feeling defeated and just sat down on the ground in the middle of an aisle. He looked up and saw this book staring back at him. He knew it would be perfect and he was right. I've often picked up this book and thumbed through it but have never devoted any substantial amount of time to it. I can't wait to do that now!

5. A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield. My dear friend Molly suggested this book to me, nearly three summers ago, after she read this as part of her yoga teacher training in San Francisco. I immediately bought it but never actually found the time to read it with my busy school schedule. I'm sure it would have helped me immensely then but I think I'm more ready to listen to its messages now.

6. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway and 7. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. My favorite book of all time is High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. Had I never been fortunate enough to read High Fidelity, then my favorite book of all time would have been The Sun Also Rises by Earnest Hemingway. I became obsessed with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck back in high school and devoured nothing else for months. A few books did fall through the cracks, however, including For Whom the Bell Tolls and This Side of Paradise

 For the record, The Sun Also Rises would have only remained at the top spot in my "Top Five Favorite Books of All Time " list until I read East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Also for the record, my Top Five list looks like this:
(1) High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
(2) East of Eden by John Steinbeck
(3) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
(4) Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
(5) Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

8. Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon. James had me read The Crying of Lot 49 a few years ago and I loved it. I picked this one up soon after, believing Pynchon to be a genius. After reading a few pages though, I realized I wasn't quite in the mood for this genre of literature. I still think Pynchon's a genius and still very much want to read this book, though.  


9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. This book is a classic. Everyone knows it. I know it.  It's not that I haven't tried to read this book  before. I have. Several times! I don't know why but I  just can't seem to get into it. I know I need to just suck it up and get it over with. Maybe I'll be blown away, maybe I won't be but at least I can finally get people off my back about it. =P

 10. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Again, this is another book I know to be a classic. I've read and loved  both Slaughterhouse Five and Galapagos. I read about half of Breakfast of Champions but it did not blow me away like either of the other Vonnegut books I'd read. I promised to give Cat's Cradle a chance, though, and I will sometime in 2011.

 11. She Loves Me by Peter Esterhazy. This was one of about two dozen books I had to read in my Eastern and Central European Literature course during my sophomore year of college. I was obsessed with the Cold War and took almost nothing but history and political science classes about it that year. This was one of only two non history/political science courses I took (the other being Spanish since my parents used the promise of allowing me to study abroad as an incentive to study that rather than Arabic or Russian which I had been planning to take). I'm so glad I took this course because it ended up being the best course I have ever taken. I read so many amazing books in that class (The Street of Crocodiles, The Khajar Dictionary, Closely Watched Trains, The Notebook/The Proof/The Third Lie, etc...). I didn't really understand the amazingness of this book at the time, however, especially in comparison to some of the other books we read. I'm hoping to get more out of it.

And finally, 12. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I first started reading this book in the fall semester of 2006, my last at NYU. It was the very first book on the reading list for my Modern Latin America history course. I spent many afternoons at Esperanto Cafe (now sadly closed) savoring each of the first 100-150 pages of the book before the semester started and I became swamped with more scholarly reading and writing assignments. I always planned to go back and finish it but I never could quite get myself to do so. Maybe it's because I stopped reading while everything was still pleasant, before the colonialism I knew was coming. I think it will be bittersweet to re-read since I know the place where I fell in love with this book is no longer the same and because the boy I was falling so deeply in love with at the time later broke my heart. That boy was Gabe, btw, the boy who interrupted my first date in Madrid. And who I later dated for almost two years.

That all having been said, I live in a beautiful city now where it seems to be perpetually a mix of spring and autumn, am closer to my family than I  ever even thought possible, and am dating the best person I have ever met. There are certainly no complaints here about the change in my current circumstances. Except for living so far away from my love. We'll work that out, though. And in the meantime, we'll visit when we can, talk on the phone everyday, and read books with each other over Skype several times a week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1 - Self-Imposed Holiday Knitting Deadline

I didn't quite meet my self-imposed December 1st Holiday Knitting Deadline but I did get darn close to it! The problem is that Nick's family is so huge that despite knitting relatively consistently since mid-September, I still have gifts to knit for two 3-year-olds and a 4-year-old. Also for his brother and brother-in-law, if I have the time (which I should). Also, for him.
I *did* manage to complete gifts for his mother (the long, white "Falling Leaves" scarf), his father (the greyish "Antler Scarf"), his oldest sister (the blue "Summerflies Shawl"), his older sister (the orange "Cable-O" fingerless gloves), his younger sister (the light blue "Fetching" fingerless gloves), his twin nieces (the matching "Baby's First Cables" in purple and pink [in slightly different sizes since they're fraternal twins and one is definitely larger than the other]), his baby nephew (the blue and turquoise "Sailor Rib Beanie"), and his oldest nephew (the larger blue "Sailor Rib Beanie").

Above, are some close-ups of the hats...
 ...and below, of the fingerless gloves.

I've been looking through patterns on Ravelry for ideas on what to make the remaining niece and nephews. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make this for his 3-year old niece, in the same shade of purpose as the larger "Baby's First Cable" hat but with some darker green for the leaves.

I'm thinking about making this for his 3 and 4 year old nephews. Maybe one for him, too.

I'll probably make adult versions of whichever hats I end up knitting for his remaining nephews for his brother and brother-in-law.

If I have the time and enthusiasm, I would really like to make some journals, too. Apparently both Nick's mom and younger sister loved the journal I made and sent along to him a few weeks ago in my Halloween care package. Since I had originally planned to give one away to Nick's oldest sister (see below), I would only feel comfortable doing that if I could do the same for his younger sister, as well. I don't want to play favorites.
Each journal takes about four hours to make, though, so I want to make sure I finish all the holiday knitting first, before I go about making additional gifts. If I do make one for his little sister (she likes spirals!), then I will give this one to his mom:
...unless I decide to knit her this hat to match her scarf. We'll see.

I would love to knit things for my own family, too, but they're not really into knitted clothing. It's a shame, but there's nothing I can do about it.

I'm hoping to finish all the knitting by mid-December so I can wrap everything up and ship it out to New Jersey with plenty of time for it to get there by Christmas. That should happen since my friend Nance is coming to stay with me for about a week, starting on December 6th. She's an amazing knitter and I'm sure we'll spend most of our days knitting and chatting away!

Welcome December.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My horoscope for November 26, 2010

"If you have been planning to make changes in your life, this is the right time to do so. With the Sun aligning with the planet that rules endings and beginnings, Pluto, you now have the insight and the courage to break free from situations that you have outgrown. If you back your instinct about certain issues, you will make a positive and life-enhancing choice." 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Beginning

I've taken a much needed break from this space the past few weeks to sort a number of things out.

I flew back to New Jersey two weeks ago because a dear friend of my beloved passed away from a brain tumor. He was only 28 years old. They buried him one year after he and his wife were married. Nick took the news really hard (as did the rest of his friends) and I flew out there as soon as I reasonably* could to help ease him from the pain. He had a hard week from the time he found out about the death until they buried him a few days later. Knowing that I was coming to visit helped. By the time I got there, he was feeling much better and we spent a wonderful 6 days together.

Visiting New Jersey just confirmed how much I miss living there and how unhappy I am here in California. I moved here. I tried it out for two months. But it's just not working out. Being close to family isn't enough to make me happy and I desperately want to move back home.

I found out on Friday that I failed the California bar exam. I was devastated when I found out. I cried for hours. I still feel melancholy knowing how hard I worked to prepare for that exam. I was pretty ready to sign up to take it again and to sign up for a course right here until all my friends told me what I knew was true-- that I shouldn't just take this exam for the sake of taking it. That I should let it go and focus on the New Jersey bar exam since that is where I want to be. Not here. I very much do not want to be here.

This has been stewing in my mind for the past two days. I've slept poorly thinking about it. I've felt weighed down by this awful news and this major decision. For most of it, I've felt helpless.

I wish it hadn't turned out this way. I wish the path was easier. I wish I didn't have to confront my father and break his heart (and my own) to be happy. But I'm not happy here and I won't be happy until I stop doing what I know he wants me to do and start doing what I want to do.

So, I'm just focusing on the task at hand. I'm trying to keep my best interest in mind. I'm trying to own the consequences of my decision. I'm figuring out how to make this all work.

It's hard. But as Anirban keeps telling me, it's ok because it won't last forever. And it's ok for it to be painful and to cry and feel miserable. As long as I keep working towards my goal.

I've lost my knitting mojo and I'm a bit bummed out by that. But I have been looking through a number of beautiful blogs, which has very much helped to keep me going. So thank you to everyone helping me get through this, whether or not you know you're helping.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Knitting continued...A FO and a WIP

I finished and blocked the blue Summer Flies shawl a few days ago. The pattern was incredibly fun to work with and I loved the ever-so-slight hue changes in the yarn I used to knit it. Gotta love hand-dyed yarn. While I was knitting it, the yarn was dying my fingers ever so slightly, so I was worried that the shawl would bleed horribly while I soaked it before blocking. Fortunately it did not bleed at all!
 The picture above represents the color of the shawl best while the two below it show the details more clearly.
 Since I had approximately 440 yards of yarn and the pattern only called for 380 yards, I just kept knitting the ruffled edge until I thought I reached a safe enough point where I could start binding off without having too much leftover yarn.

The pattern called for a picot bind off (binding off 2 sts, slipping them back to the left needle, cable casting on 2 sts, then binding off 5 sts)... I forgot that the picot binding ends up using a lot of yarn since you're creating lots of stitches with the cable cast on. I followed the instructions for the picot bind off until about half way through the row when I realized I would not make it through to the end of the shawl. I wasn't sure if I could properly pick up all the right stitches if I ripped back the last binding, so I decided to forge ahead, binding off 6 stitches, rather than two, then increasing that to 8, until the last few sections ended up binding off 10 stitches!
I wasn't sure whether I should go back and rip out the last row so I decided to see how I felt about it after it was blocked-- honestly, it doesn't bother me very much at this point. I don't really think it's noticeable unless you're actively looking for it, so I'm going to keep it the way it is for now. This shawl is meant for my boyfriend's oldest sister, a woman I admire very much and really enjoy spending time with. After I finish the rest of my holiday knitting, I might come back to this and reevaluate whether I want to rip out and rebind off that last row.

I started a scarf for my boyfriend's father. I bought this beautiful worsted weight yarn while I was out in Apple Valley last week, helping my parents move into their new house. And I cast on for the scarf yesterday afternoon:
I am thrilled with the way this scarf is knitting up! I love the horizontal strips of colors and think it's looking rather professional. This is the pattern from Son of Stitch 'n Bitch I mentioned in my previous post. I'm not generally a fan of scarves since they always take so long to knit up so I'm hoping to complete this by the end of next week. Then I should only have 3 infant and 4 children's hats to knit before my Holiday knitting will officially be complete! Depending on how much time I have, I might knit up hats for the boyfriend's brother and brother-in-law, too.

I'm pretty sure I know what I want to knit for my boyfriend but I think it'll be a good idea to get all these little projects out of the way first.

I've also been cooking and baking lots of yummy treats but I don't have too many pictures of those. I  made a batch of Buckeyes for a Halloween party this weekend...

... and a modified version of Pumpkin Chili (fully clothed), some Apple Walnut bread and Sesame Chicken with rice.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween and Christmas Knitting

The boy and his family received the care package I had sent them at the beginning of the week. I filled the box with scarves for his mom and sister, a big box of Iranian black tea spiced with cardamom, an Iranian fruit-roll up type snack, home-made Halloween-themed candles, and Halloween stickers and decorations for his nephew. For him, I sent a traveler's coffee mug, which I decorated the insert with pictures of us and from this summer, a knit cardboard mug warmer (pictured in a previous post sans buttons) because he hates the wastefulness of the cardboard sleeves, a bunch of pictures of us (including a number of kissy-face photos), a pouch of reece's peanut butter cups (his favorite candy), and the orange and blue journal I bound for him after he saw the rooster one I made in class.

He was incredibly touched by all of it. I really enjoyed making all of that stuff for him and his family. I love that they appreciate it, rather than think it's a waste of time the way my family does.

This very slighly puts the pressure on for Christmas, though (1) I'm sure they don't expect anything from me, and (2) I've already been working on Christmas gifts for the last month. I've already knit three pairs of fingerless gloves for two of his sisters and his sister-in-law. I am giving the rooster journal to his oldest sister. I already knit and plan to weave in the ends and block his mother's falling leaves scarf later today.
There's a pair of blue Fetching in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, a pair of pink Cabled Fingerless Mitts also in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, and a pair of light pink/orange Cable-Os in Debbie Bliss Fez.

Still left to do include making reindeer hats for his nephew in Seaside and niece in Rhode Island, finding a cute hat pattern (and actually knitting) for his two other nephews in Rhode Island, knitting baby hats for his twin nieces and baby nephew. I should probably knit hats for his brother and brother-in-law, as well, but I'm not quite sure how much time I will have before the Holidays to do that. I found this really cool yet manly scarf pattern in Son of Stitch 'n Bitch that would be perfect for his father.

The boy's mom and younger sister apparently loved the journal I made for the boy and kept trying to claim it as their own. I think I might make another long day of it at the UCC to whip up another couple of journals for them, especially since I'm already giving away one of the journals I made to his older sister. That means that I need to step up my present to his older sister so that things are relatively equal.

I thinking about giving her the Summer Flies shawl that I'm working on using the indigo fingering weight yarn I picked up while with her and the boy at the Genesee Country Village this summer. I absolutely love this pattern since (1) each row is written out clearly, (2) each section is different so I never really have time to get bored with it, (3) and because it's knitting up very quickly. I've only really worked on it for 3 days and I'm just about at the last section. Since the pattern calls for 380 yards in either a dk or worsted weight, I'm going to have a whole lot of yarn left over if I follow the pattern precisely since this skein has over 440 yards of fingering weight. I'm a little concerned about blocking it since the skein was hand-dyed using natural materials and bleeds onto my fingers very slightly as I'm knitting with the dry yarn. Hopefully it will be ok.

Please forgive the pictures... my camera battery died sometime last week and I still can't find the charger. The photos above were taken using photobooth on my laptop.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spilled Milk

So much crying tonight. First over a stupid... thing with my boyfriend. Then over a long conversation with my ex. Sometimes I feel like I should just pull away from everyone and into my own little corner of this apartment.

At least I finished my December Little Shawl and half a pair of Cable-Os gloves for Ali.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Candles, Knitting, Cooking, and Bookbinding!

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last posted on here. I've mostly been keeping myself busy with crafting and going to the gym. 

This week's activites: 
Christmas-themed candles for to be sent to the Boy's family. I wasn't 100% thrilled with the green I used for these but after much trying, I had to give up and just go with what I could get.
 I made a coffee cup/mug warmer for one of the Boy's older sisters. I think I'll make another one in a different color and give those along with a couple of knitted bookmarks as a Christmas present. I made her fingerless gloves back at the end of the summer as a present when we stayed with her in upstate NY for a long weekend. I'm sure she'd love another pair of them, but I'd rather give her something more unique. She's actually going to visit LA in early January for a conference so I can't wait to hang out with her then!
 I had a really strong desire to bake on Sunday and Monday afternoons. I ended up making apple crisp, based off a recipe from the food network, on Sunday...
 ... and I baked "Mommy Bread" on Tuesday night. The Boy's mother is an amazing cook/baker and I heard about this amazing bread she would bake for everyone when they were kids. On one of my last days in NJ, she and I spent all day talking while she painted the kitchen and I wrote down recipes into my book. At the end of the day, she taught me how to make the bread from scratch! I still have two more loaves worth of dough in my fridge, in addition to the 3/4 loaf sitting out on the kitchen counter. I'm not sure when I should make the other loaves since it's just me out here in the apartment. If only the Boy were here so he could help me eat it all...
 Lastly, I took a bookbinding class today at the UCC, which was incredible! I made the book on the right in class, and then stayed afterward and made the book on the left on my own! I am thrilled to have this new skill under my belt and definitely plan to make more books in the future. I'm probably going to go back to the UCC tomorrow morning to make some more book covers. The Boy requested a "Knicks" themed journal and I'd like to make one for his (above mentioned) older sister, too. Plus, the more books I make now while this is all still fresh in my mind, the greater chance I have of solidifying it so I remember how to do this all in the future.
I'm also still going strong on the crocheted blanket. I think it's currently the perfect size for one person to cuddle up underneath it but I'd like to comfortably fit two people. =) Sadly, I have no recent pictures of it and my camera battery is now dead. I'll look for the charger tomorrow morning and possibly post some pictures of it then.

I'm really excited to check out the West Hollywood Stitch & Bitch tomorrow evening! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween Candles!

The colors in this photo are slightly off, but you get the general idea.
 I think I've fallen in love with candle-making.
 I can't wait to send these out for Halloween!

FOs: Falling Leaves Scarf, Cabled Fingerless Gloves & Candles!

The past few days have been full of creative energy. I'm running late to the UCC so I'll just post some pictures for now. Enjoy! 

 Cabled Mitts for the Boy's sister-in-law.
 Falling Leaves Scarf for the Boy's mother.
 Soy candles made at the UCC.
 Same candles, different angle.
Oh, I forgot to take a picture of the pillar candle I made in class a few weeks ago with the rest.

I'm off to make some Halloween themed candles to ship to the Boy's family, along with some yummy Persian treats. I wish my family would enjoy some of this stuff so I could make/give them these types of things. They just think it's a waste of time. Oh well.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Instant Gratification

I woke up to a rather dreary morning and decided that I needed a burst of color and some instant gratification while I continued laboring on my longer projects (the crocheted blanket, the evil stepmother shawlette I had to restart, my falling leaves scarf and a newly started green wrap).

Insert these cabled fingerless gloves I decided to knit for one of the boy's sisters. Knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, this glove worked up rather quickly and enjoyably. I misread the pattern a bit though and ended up with 41 total rounds, rather than the suggested 39 so I'm debating whether or not I should go back and adjust the glove. To compensate, I only knit 8 rows of the ribbed pattern on top, rather than the called-for 10 rows, so I did end up with a glove in the size described in the pattern... I just got to it in a slightly different manner. It's late, so I'll knit the thumb tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I can't wait to go to the UCC to continue learning how to spin fiber! Ana was a great teacher last week... I just hope that I can continue teaching myself what to do in her absence.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Candles, Roving, and New Friends

I had the loveliest day yesterday! I headed over to the Urban Craft Center in the afternoon for a candle-making class. We had a lot of fun playing with soy pillar candles, honeycomb wax, and beeswax sheets, along with a variety of scents and colorings. I came home with a lovely variety of candles and can't wait to start making my own here.
My favorite candle is definitely the mermaid, made using a silicone mold out of honeycomb. I plan to give this one to the Boy's mom as part of her Christmas present.
I've been making slow and steady progress on the second part of her Christmas present, her falling leaves scarf, in white. I can't wait until this is finished and blocked. I hope she likes it.

After my candle-making class, I stuck around at the UCC for their open studio night to work on the above-mentioned scarf. About an hour into the studio hours, Ana, from BananaKnits walked in to work on some of her beautifully dyed roving. I asked if I could watch her fluff it up (I apologize fir obviously not knowing correct fiber terminology) and I'm glad I did because she was wonderfully sweet and helpful. A few minutes later, some of her other friends joined us, with fiber and yarn in hand. They proceeded to tell me about various knitting and spinning groups and meet-ups in the Santa Monica area. Ana also showed me how to use a Turkish spindle to spin fiber!
I certainly did not expect to start learning how to spin fiber when I woke up yesterday morning! Working on the Turkish spindle was a bit difficult for me, but I think I started getting the handle of it towards the end of the evening. The UCC has a bunch of different types of spindles in their collection, so I'm going to play around with a few until I find one I like. The also have a variety of wheels, so I will definitely check those out on Monday morning.

I signed up for a monthly membership to the UCC for October. I was going to wait around until November, but then I realized I would have to start studying for the NY/NJ bar exam then. So, I'm committing to making the quilt I started last April in NYC. I have a bunch of beautiful fabric, some of which has already been cut and is ready to be sewed. I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish the whole thing, but I'll do my best and see where I end up.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apple Muffins & Falling Leaves

Despite the fact that we've had record heat in LA this week, I am ready for fall!

I've been meaning to try a particular "Autumn Loaf" recipe for about 2 weeks now but finally gathered all the ingredients and motivation to do so this morning. Boy, am I glad I did! The recipe was incredibly easy to make and the results are fantastic! I had one for breakfast with a glass of milk and am excited to snack on these for the next few days. I've never really been a muffin girl, but that all changed when the boy's sister made her delicious banana-chocolate chip muffins earlier in the summer and I realized how easy it was to make muffins at home. I duplicated her banana muffins last week (substituting walnuts in place of chocolate chips) and they were phenomenal. Afraid that I would tire of banana nut muffins, I've been gathering different muffin recipes for the past few weeks. Today's Autumn Loaf muffins will definitely be repeated. I'll probably try making a different kind next week.

I casted on and started knitting a "Falling Leaf" scarf  for the boy's mom as her Christmas present. I have some beautiful burnt orange yarn in Debbie Bliss Fez that would be fantastic with this pattern, but I'm afraid it wouldn't get much use during wintertime. Instead, I opted for a nice Berroco Comfort yarn in a white-ish/cream color. The leaves sorta look like snowflakes, right? I've been looking for falling leaf hat patterns, too. I'd really like to give her a nice, matching scarf and hat set.

I've also been making slow and steady progress on my December Little Shawl. I figure it'll be done in a week so I haven't been rushing to finish it. Just knitting a few rows here and there, in between other projects.

I really should continue working on my crocheted blanket, now that I'm here in LA. I predict many nights of movie-watching on the couch so I really should finish it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moving In

I finally moved into my parents' apartment in LA. The place is a total mess since I've got boxes and belongings scattered everywhere. I've slowly been putting together the kitchen and my knitting materials. I still have to get my closet and bookshelves sorted. I need to complete everything before my parents show up on Friday afternoon for the weekend. 
That is a picture of my yarn stash, which does not include 7 balls of yarn I'm using for my crocheted blanket, a scarf I've already got on needles, a beautiful green wrap I started in NJ, and my December shawl. I... need to stay away from any yarn stores for a while... or at least until I finish my holiday knitting and all the projects I currently have in the works.

In other news, I joined a gym yesterday! I had a training session this morning (followed by 20 minutes of cardio) and a rather intense yoga session this afternoon. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I'll head over there for a 20 minute or so light cardio session. I really really want to get in shape and start having more energy. I often start exercising and then quit because I lack motivation and have too many distractions. This gym is literally 2 blocks away and with no bar studying (yet), I really have no excuse to avoid exercising. So, here's to a new start, I guess.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


The past few days have been rather busy. I went to a farmer's market. I made banana nut muffins for the first time. I made lasagna for my brother and sister-in-law. I knit up most of my December shawl before realizing I had done it completely incorrectly and so ripped it all out and started it over again. I'm glad I did because I think it's coming along beautifully now.
The reason that I spent my first week in Apple Valley, rather than in LA, is because my father was sponsoring a table at the 19th Annual St. Mary's Gala, essentially a "Who's Who" of the High Dessert Medical scene. Although I wasn't sure what to expect, I ended up having a really fun time, mostly because it was more time I got to spend with my wonderful nephew and the rest of my family.
Also, I'll jump at any excuse to get super dressed up, eat less than amazing food, and dance super silly to a half-way decent band while surrounded by strangers. Well, maybe not any excuse.