Sunday, January 24, 2010

Being a tourist in my own city.

Today we were Seattle tourists. I forget how much fun it is to actually do touristy things where you live and work. Well, technically we don't "live" in the city of Seattle but still it is my town. On this overcast and what turned into a rainy day we hit the Seattle Aquarium with some old friends.

The aquarium had a rather large renovation done a few years ago. This huge tank was one of them. I should have taken a step (or twenty) back and gotten a picture of the entire wall. The glass front of this tank is 20 feet high 40 feet long and 12.5 inches thick and weighs 50,000 pounds! WOW!

There is a whole area where children can touch starfish, and other sea creatures. This is the favorite part of the aquarium for our children.

Here I am dorking it up in front of a wooden cutout of a shark. Hey you need pictures of yourself in front of things when you are a tourist right?

Now for a little sharing time. I found this wood carving while at the aquarium. This is Northwest Coast Native American artwork. I am in love with anything of this style. Here is a good link that shows off some beautiful art. To share further Bill Ried, who was a phenomenal contemporary Haida artist, is one of my favorites. He was so incredibly talented and makes beautiful art. I also have a tattoo of a NW Coast Orca on my lower back.

I have always been somewhat of a history buff and learning the history of the area in which I was born and raised is fascinating. So just a reminder to take some time and tour your town. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back to the Knitting

Now that the holidays are over and it is still chilly or in my case rainy enough to stay warm inside I have been knitting quite a bit during the past week.

I have another sweater in the works made from gorgeous Divine yarn that I got on an insane blow out sale. I believe it normally retails at $14/ball and I got it for just over $3/ball at work. The yarn is so pretty and I can tell it will drape really nicely when I am done. The pattern is Braided Pullover from Interweave Knits Fall 2008. I just need to finish one sleeve a neck band and finishing work. However, a knit along caught my eye and I moved on to my Kauni Stole.

I have never worked with Kauni but pondered over many colors a good number of times. The Little Knits group on Ravelry is having a Kauni K/CAL through January and February and I thought this would be a good excuse to buy more yarn, I mean um... opportunity to work with Kauni. I decided on Diagonale by Arlene's World of Lace. I think I have one red shirt which I don't even like anymore in my wardrobe. I love the color red so why isn't there more in my wardrobe? I figured a nice red hued stole would be nice addition. I love triangular shawls but I did not see any that I liked with self striping yarn. I also didn't want my pattern to get lost in the striping of the yarn. This color EM fits what I was looking for.

Now because I don't have enough projects going I wanted to make my mom a thank you gift for picking up the kids two days a week and watching them until I get off of work. Most times it is after dinner so my children are fed as well. I know it is my mother, she loves spending time with her grandchildren, and I never have to actually give her a gift to thank her. With that said I know she will love this and I am enjoying knitting it. Plus I am probably never going to get around to knitting her that sweater she has been hinting at. Win win right?

This is Dream in Color Starry. Awesome yarn! There are silver threads spun into the yarn. It isn't itchy at all like I would assume. The pattern is the Vertical Drop Stitch Shawl made in the scarf size. Someone had come into the shop a few months ago and she was working on this pattern with Malabrigo Lace and I immediately had to queue it on Ravelry when I got home. This is my progress from just last night. The pattern is very easy to memorize and goes quickly. I bought a skein of Malabrigo Lace yesterday to make the same scarf for my grandmother.

This ends up being a rather wide scarf when using the sock yarn so I am wondering if one skein will be enough. My mom doesn't really care for garments being up around her neck though so she might just wear this around the back of her neck. I think what I am going to do is see where I am after this skein and it should be long enough to wrap around the neck and hold with a shawl pin like this one. I have been wanting to practice making shawl pins anyway and again another great excuse. :)

These projects should keep me pretty busy through winter. I do have my Mariah cardigan that has been hibernating because the hood was ended up being WAY too small and I didn't sew the zipper in correctly due to impatience. I saw this sweater in person and I love the idea so I am going to rip back the hood and do the fold over collar. After I finish the three projects above this will be my next knitting venture.

And now for the cute shot.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Prayers Answered!

I can't believe that I didn't share this part of my life earlier. I am a HUGE believer in the power of prayer and if I feel that someone needs prayer I try to spread the word as much as I can.

Back in August my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with a very rapid growing lung cancer. Her doctor said it was probably from smoking even though she quit 30 years ago. I am very close with my grandmother and took the news very badly. Her doctor got her on a rigourous chemotherapy schedule which her body took to quite well.

Through her chemotheraphy there was a wonderful event (my brothers wedding) and a sad event (the passing of her mother). She is such a strong woman it is unbelievable. She has such a strong faith and has had such a positive attitude throughout this entire process so far. I have to say she looked very cute in the chemo hats I made for her too.

Onto the wonderful news. She got the news on New Year's Eve that she is officially in remission. Her tumor was gone. This is why I believe in prayer. She is so fortunate to have a cancer that reacted so well to chemo and the fact that it did not spread to any other parts of her body.

We are all very happy over here. :)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I met Jared Flood!

This has got to be the GREATEST perk I have ever had working at a yarn shop. We were fortunate enough to have Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed fame over to teach a few classes today. May I just say that he is so sweet and down to earth. I was working but as I walked by the classes during the day I can say the little bits of instruction that I heard were packed full of information. I definitely say that if he comes to your area it is worth the money and time to take a class. He is a very good speaker. His instructions were clear and he is just a super nice guy!

I did get a bit star struck I have to admit. I felt a little silly but come on Jared Flood. He is such an amazing designer it is hard to not feel fortunate to have met him.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hello 2010

As promised here is a photo montage of my weight loss over the past year. I did weigh myself on January 1st and the official count from the Wii is 34 pounds. However, I did gain 5 pounds this past week. I am thinking the beer and fried foods from the New Year's Eve party might have been a factor in that one.

This picture was taken late 2008. I could not find any pictures from last year right when we weighed in but I was for the most part the same size so I figured this was a good starting point.

Here we are at Christmas time last year.

This picture was taken in April. I had probably lost around 15 pounds at this time.

This is the end of June.

Here I am in late August. I think my weight loss was about around 20 pounds.

Here is where I finally started to feel thinner. This is taken very late September I think. I believe I had lost around 25 pounds or so.

This is the day of my brother's wedding. I am thinking I was pretty much at a 30 pound weight loss at this point.

This was taken the first of November.

And here we are yesterday 34 pounds lighter. I decided that I am now back at zero. Starting over from here. It definitely could have been more weight shed but I can't stand coulda, shoulda and woulda. I didn't lose more but I DID lose 34 pounds and that is something. I got rid of the clothes that are too big last week which felt very good. I also tried on a bunch of pants that were tucked away and I am just a bit too small for the size I am in now and the next size down is just a bit too tight.

So there we are people tune in next year to see how I look then. ;)