Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hiking! ...and a bit of crotchet, too!

My friend Michael invited me to go hiking with him yesterday afternoon. I was thrilled!

Although I've wanted to go hiking all summer long, I never managed to make it to any of the weekly hiking meetup groups--the idea of battling midweek afternoon rush hour to drive 14 miles just to get to the beginning of a hike always seemed pretty silly.

Then there was Death March, a 14-mile hike from the San Fernando Valley to the Pacific Ocean, for which I impatiently waited-- just to be unable to do since I had an all day mediation class downtown.


Michael, my hiking buddy!

You can see downtown LA in the background...

The best shot of 'purple hour' I could get with my i-phone's camera.

The last bits of rush-hour traffic on the 405.

Thanks Michael for getting me out hiking again!
In yarn related news, I picked up about 9 skeins of wool/silk blend yarn at the UCC's rummage sale: all for 3 dollars/skein (more than half off retail prices).

Since I'm not knitting Christmas gifts for anyone this year, I decided to start myself a true Granny Square blanket, one that will be warmer and more useful on cool winter nights here in LA.

Since I've still got 2 active knitting projects (the Sunset Shawl and some fingerless gloves to go along with my Potato Chips Scarf), I'm going to take my time with this blanket, crotcheting only a couple of squares per day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Snapshots from my life...

Not much to blog but lots going on:

 (I've been taking a mediation course downtown these past two weeks) 

(The little park I sometimes read at before my class starts up for the evening)

(I've also been doing a bit of knitting, too.)

(And a whole lot of eating...)
 (A feast I prepared myself a few days ago - salmon, shrimp, sauted mushrooms,
mashed sweet potato, and salad)

 (A mac 'n cheese pancake from Blue Plate in Santa Monica)

 (An epic grilled vegetable panini and salad from Vanilla Bean Bakery in Santa Monica)

(And an Umami burger with sweet potato fries)

(Enjoying tea while catching up on some busy work and blogging while at Profeta)

I've also been doing a whole bunch of running, but that is much harder/more boring to document.

I must say that after a year of living out here, I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. And that's a pretty wonderful feeling. =)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Although I have been knitting pretty consistently since my friend, Nance, re-taught me how during my senior year of college, I never had a particularly strong desire to learn how to spin yarn. 

That changed when I visited the Genessee Country Village last summer. Since then, I've tried to teach myself how to spin at the UCC using both drop spindles and spinning wheels but I never had much luck on my own.

The UCC came to my rescue this month by offering a 2 day/week spinning class with a wonderfully patient and kind teacher!

Though this yarn is terribly uneven and unprofessional, I'm absolutely thrilled that I produced it today!

 I spun 3 bobbins full of the stuff this afternoon!

While I managed to use the spinning wheel to ply the first two bobbins, I used the Andian plying technique to help ply the third, smallest bobbin.

 I then had to wind the yarn.

Which resulted in 3 incredibly tiny skeins of real yarn!

I have now soaked/rinsed the yarn and set it out to dry, in order to set the twist.

I highly doubt I have enough yarn here to make anything substantial, but I am so happy I learned the process of spinning these past 2 weeks. Man, it is definitely tricky!

I can't wait to go back to the UCC to spin up the extra roving I bought -- maybe in a few weeks I'll have a finished hat or cowl to show you made from this stuff!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Garden Updates

One of the few things I lament about living in an apartment in Los Angeles is the inability to garden. That's why I absolutely love playing in the soil whenever I visit my parents.

First, I found this big, beautiful eggplant waiting to be plucked!

Then, as I looked around a bit more, I saw all these baby squashes hiding underneath their leaves...

...and slowly starting to escape their bed.
 Our fruit trees are also heavy with ripening fruit: peaches

...and apples!

And finally, my lovely mother holding our crop yield of the day. 

No running for me today since I ran 5 miles yesterday. I'll be back on the road tomorrow for more training!

Monday, August 8, 2011

222 days and counting...

I like the idea of having a countdown on this thing rather than a marker of how long it's been since my heart was last broken.

Noah and I have been really great about sharing our enthusiasm with each other over this upcoming marathon. We tell each other about our runs, what we've had to eat that day, various tips we've picked up from different running sources. I'm so happy to have him training with me, even if he's doing so 3000 miles away.

I ran 5 times last week for a total of 13.73 miles. I have run 2 times this week so far for a total of 7.65 miles. One of them was a 5 mile run. I have not run 5 miles since highschool!

In knitting news, I've been slowly working on two scarf projects. I typically hate scarf projects but I wanted something relatively mindless to work on while I was cat-sitting and now baby-sitting.

The first is my Raspberry Chocolate Braided Scarf:

The second is my Peach Potatoes Scarf:

Who knows when I'll have time to finish these...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Running, running, running!

In 228 days, I'm going to run the LA Marathon!

I'm pretty excited about the whole thing... I've done a bunch of research on training schedules, nutritional guides, cross-training and so forth. My best friend, Noah, is going to train for it while in NJ and we're going to run it together during his spring break. 

I've been running relatively consistently for the past month or so, made more fun with the Nike+ application on my Iphone, which tracks all of my runs. I can easily* run over 3 miles without stopping, so I'm confident that I can build up to marathon distances in the next 8 months. 

In knitting news, I've got several projects on the needles: Multnomah - I'm actually about 80% done with this shawl now-- just working on the fan and feather repeat at the bottom of the shawl.

I also started a rasberry chocolate braided scarf, though I have no pictures of it yet. =(

The garden has grown considerably in the past few months:

 Yielding beautiful tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and squash, thus far! There are a few more eggplants, a whole bunch more tomatoes, and some cucumbers in the works, too.

We also had an adorable visitor to the garden yesterday afternoon-- a tiny hunter, stalking and then capturing a lizard in the rose bushes. I really, really, really miss having a kitty!