Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It's always a little weird to celebrate a holiday when the weather isn't quite fitting - like an 80 degree Christmas or a rainy 4th of July. But here in New Mexico we got perfect Thanksgiving weather (even though it was 80 degrees 2 days ago):

This Thanksgiving I made my first pumpkin pie, to bring to our friends' house. Everyone really liked it, and wanted to know the recipe. "Is this your mom's recipe?" I was asked. "Um, actually its the recipe that's on the can of pumpkin," I was forced to reply. Busted! (Good thing they didn't ask about the crust . . . that was Pillsbury.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Back to knitting

I finished something! These are just basic socks with a seed-stitch cuff, made in Schachenmayr Regia Color 4-ply / 4-f├Ądig (how's that for a name?) that I got at Maryland Sheep & Wool. I really like this yarn - the stripes are cool, and the yarn seems nice and sturdy. (It's also machine washable, which is a requirement for my socks - it would take approximately 4 seconds for hand-wash-only yarn to deconstruct in my house.)


I started a sweater too! Right now it looks like a blob, though. It will be this sweater. I was sort of torn about the plain edges, since as you can already see, stockinette stitch curls like nobody's business. I really like the aesthetic of it though, so I could be setting myself up for years of frustration. The yarn is a cotton/linen/vicose blend that is very soft, and lighter than straight-up cotton. It's weird to knit a sweater bottom-up, it just doesn't make too much sense logically. Probably after this I'll stick to top-down, since they don't require seaming and you can try them on as you go along.

I just got a copy of Fitted Knits - I was super excited for it, although I was a little disappointed when I finally got it. I thought there would be more info about modifying the patterns - like how to sub yarns, etc. I like a lot of the patterns in the book, but almost all of them are knit with bulky yarn! I think the smallest needle size is an 8. Bulky knitting looks good on no one, in my opinion, so I'm going to get a math exercise when I make something out of this book.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wedding

I'm doing things a little backwards here, but before the honeymoon there was an actual wedding! As you can see the weather was perfect after a few days of constant rain. We had a very picturesque location, as well, in Williamsburg, Virginia.

I loved my short dress! Besides the fact that it was a "bridesmaid's dress" and only cost $140, it made me not look like a stumpy ghost, which is what a long dress would have looked like. Just for fun I tried on a huge dress with lots of gathers and rhinestones, and I kid you not, I could not walk in it. I felt like I was standing inside of a giant cupcake.

Our reception was also in Williamsburg, at a conference center that had a waterfall! Above are our wedding party - including my brother, sister, my friend of 20 years, and the groom's dad. Guess who's who! (Also, I totally have a delt muscle in that picture. Awesome.)

The whole thing went by incredibly fast, and so I apologize if you were there and I hardly talked to you. Taking 200+ pictures apparently eats up a lot of time. I missed out on an awesome cheese & fruit display, so I'm hoping everyone else took advantage of it. As I try to see the humor in everything, I thought the funniest thing about the wedding was that our musicians thought that we were Irish. The singer stood up and said "It wouldn't be an Irish wedding without an Irish toast!" and proceeding to give some Irish toasts. Except that we're not Irish. At all.

Next: back to regularly scheduled knitting programming.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Caribbean Interlude

After all of the months of preparation spent on weddings, they sure go by fast! I get a guilty pleasure out of watching Bridezillas on TV, and I never understand how you could get so worked up about 4 hours of your life. Oh well. Everything went perfectly - I'll post some pictures of the actual event soon.

For our honeymoon we spent 7 days in the Caribbean. It was an interesting experience, not at all what I had expected. For instance, I never saw any of those pristine white beaches you see on the travel channel. I did see beaches where you were harassed constantly by people wanted to braid your hair (I think my longest piece of hair is about 4 inches), sell you jewelry, and take you on jet skis. I even saw a guy selling maps that I saw for free at the tourist office, and another guy offering foot massages, who ran away as soon as the police approached him.

I'm not really a beach person anyway, so I was more in awe of the rainforests. We went on a hike in St. Lucia (in my opinion, one of the most beautiful islands), and the amount of produce growing freely is amazing: mangoes, starfruit, avocados, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, coffee, bananas, etc. I would like to issue a public service announcement that hiking in a bathing suit, towel, and watershoes through a wet, steep rainforest is not a good idea. (Hear that, girl in front of me the whole time?)


Our cruise ship was ridiculously huge. (It was bigger than the Titanic - I looked it up.) Despite my discontentment with the constant stream of black smoke and generally wastefulness going on on the ship, it was a fun experience. Good food whenever you want it, plentiful hot tubs, gym/sauna/steam room, ice rink!, and many, many deck chairs. (Our ship is the giant one, next to a "normal" sized cruise ship.)


And best of all, a new towel animal every night in your room.


I had a good time, and not to be down on cruising, but I'm not sure I'd do it again. You have to be around a large group of people wherever you go, and as I mentioned before, the whole thing seemed sort of wasteful. There was food left on everyone's plate, and we had to use paper cups for most beverages - I probably threw away 15 cups during the week, so multiply that by 3,000 or so. It's also difficult to get around on shore, and as a walking/explorer type of person, it was hard to deal with $20-one-way cab rides. If I had to do it again, I'd probably spend more time in one place, since its hard to see anything during short times at port. St. Lucia was probably the most visually stunning, and also one of the poorest countries. Barbados seemed to just be developing its tourist industry. Antigua was one of my favorites - once we passed the usual tourist shops, it seemed like a relaxed kind of place. St.Maarten is overrun with jewelry stores, and seemed the most international of all the islands we visited. We didn't see much of St.Thomas, but it seemed quite Americanized.


All in all, I like seeing as many places as possible, even if they don't end up being my favorite. So for my next vacation, maybe a lake? Rest of the pictures are here.
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