Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Amazing Autumn Coffee Swap Package

I received my swap package last week, I've just been to lazy to post the pictures. Jill L. sent me this great package. You can't tell from the picture, but the biscotti and caramel cookies (holy cannoli, they're amazing) have been eaten from already. I love the colors and the pattern on the needle holder, I'm actually planning on knitting a cat bed in similar colors and polka dots.
The yarn is Misti Alpaca and she sent a pattern for a very cute scarf. And then there was the pumpkin lip gloss, chapstick, and body scrub. I'm sure Jill could not have known that I've managed to misplace all of my chapsticks in the weeks before. The cute coffee dishtowel is hanging on my stove, and actually matches my kitchen pretty well. And the coffee is divine. I made a cup with a french press my friend got me for my birthday.

Right before posting, I realized that there was a piece missing from my picture. It's the neckwarmer that Jill made me, which was with my coat because I'd been wearing it (we've already had snow falling for a solid week). I love the colors. Thanks Jill!

My swappee already recieved her package, so I'll let you know what the mystery knitting was next time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Une Mitaine

My first mitten. Very exciting. Turns out that mittens aren't too tough. I'm sure socks are equally not that hard....perhaps....

I forgot to take a finished pic of the Amanda hat but it's done, save for the weaving in the ends. Mystery project is almost done. And after the recipient receives it, I'll let you know what it is.
Surgery on my ACL is scheduled for the beginning of December. I split that sucker right in half. It also turns out that my lack of wobbliness that usually accompanies a torn ACL seems to be due to the amazing musculature of my legs. The resident who did my initial evaluation saw the tear in the MRI, and was thoroughly confused about the seeming stability, just like the soccer ref... and my primary care doc... (though they haven't seen me do stairs lately). Gotta love genetics.

Recovery from this surgery will not be a blast, and I probably won't get to run Vermont City Marathon next year. Or any marathon again, in fact. Apparently the surgery gives me arthritis in the foreseeable future, but without it there would be no skiing, tennis, or soccer again. So I'll take arthritis. There's always the half marathon, and the 10K...and of course, way more time for knitting. At this rate, I might be ready to take on the Tilted Duster this winter.

I'm hoping to use my recovery time, not including the painful drugged up first week to read the Twilight series. I'm not sure if I should see the movie first. Any suggestions? I have yet to read a book that was better than its movie counterpart. On the other hand, my expectations for movies based on books are presently so low I usually always enjoy the movie.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sweet Charity

The first project is a secret, but I feel no one will know what it is by the pic. Can you tell?
Because I've been working on mystery A, my hat has taken a back seat. I'm a bit worried that the hat is too big, but I guess it's not too big for a guy. Maybe someday...if I ever work on my dream project.
Myha does love to interfere. I hope the recipient isn't allergic to cats. It has become that time of year...when I get home and it's dark...and all pictures are taken inside in less than stellar lighting. Gotta love the time change.
I got my MRI results back yesterday.
Not a mere meniscus tear; I actually managed to rupture my ACL, as well as bone contusions (bruises), a minor sprain to a ligament on the outside of my knee, and some minor meniscus issues. The ACL tear most probably means surgery, if I ever want to run/hike/horseback ride or play soccer again. But no worries, I have an in for info working in the College of Medicine, so I've got an appointment next week with the best orthopedic knee guy Northern Vermont has. Presently...because not so long ago the best one had a sexual harassment claim against him. That's a bummer for all involved.

This week I went shopping at one of the local organic market in Burlington called City Market. I was a bit wowed by the variety of local apples, many heirloom; all of the local veggie options, the fact that they tell you where all of the produce comes from, the bulk tofu from local Vermont Soy
(and the fact that it was a fraction of the cost of the pre-packaged tofu), the multitude of different bean options, the local meat, and local prepared foods (samosas, Indian meals to go, egg rolls...) Did I mention I was wowed? I will definitely be supporting them more often.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Amazing Autumn Coffee Swap Topic #3

This morning I sit here sipping a fresh cup with a bit of cream and some sweetener.. and the first sip makes the morning seem just a bit better than it was before. I love the smell, the warm feel of the cup in my hand, the taste - just everything! What is it that you love about your first cup of the day? Are you a daily drinker? How do you take yours? Tell us how you love to enjoy your first cup!

I love holding the warm mug in my hands and smelling the coffee, especially on cold mornings. The caffeine, of course, is essential for Monday mornings :) I drink coffee mostly on the weekdays. My co-worker often makes a pot of dark roast (or as he calls it, "monkey sweat") in the morning that a few of us split. I use a sugar in the raw packet and a bit of half and half in a nice thick ceramic mug. When I make coffee on lazy weekends, I sometimes add chocolate and make mocha. My mugs at home are huge and covered in blue and green vines, I just love them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More Charity Knitting and Less Carnivorousness

I finished My So Called Scarf for charity yesterday. I still have to weave in the ends, all two of them.... I would love for someone to come up with a tool that makes weaving in the ends unnecessary. I think that person could make a small fortune off knitters, because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one out there that loathes this process. I think this might be the fastest scarf I've ever knit. It is so amazing to go from size 4 needles to size 11! Under two weeks to finish a project is great.
My current WIP is an Amanda Hat. This charity knitting thing has made me uncover an embarrassingly large stash of acrylics; many mill ends. For awhile I was part of a prayer shawl group at my church. I think I now have enough Lion's Brand Homespun to knit about 13 prayer shawls. Anywho, I'm uncertain that this color choice is appropriate for a woman's hat. It looks a little too busy and bright. Oh well, maybe I'll use the rest of it to do some children's size hats.

Because I have been unable to exercise lately, I though of going a bit veggie until I can exercise again and require the extra protein, fat, and iron content that is so easily bio available in meat. I'm not going to be crazy about it, but I've been reading some Barbara Kingsolver, and being that I was an Animal Science major, I intimately know the factory farming system that our country is based on and the more I think about it, the more I don't want to contribute to the continuation of that system. In the summer I support local agriculture through a local CSA, or farm share, but while I was incredibly impressed by Jericho Settlers Farm system of raising swine and chicken and beef (their pigs graze on pasture that is rotated with the chickens, and most incredibly don't stink!) I haven't been able to get over my stingy side that doesn't want to pay more than double the price per pound for most cuts of meat and chicken. But it costs more to raise animals and vegetables sustainably, and deal with less hearty, but more genetically diverse breeds. And I think during my time of eating mostly no meat, I'm going to pay more for local and organic vegetables, and when I decide to start cooking meat again, I'll seek out local sources. It's time to put my money where my mouth is, and I think the price will only serve as a reminder of appropriate serving sizes.

I've already volunteered to bring the turkey for Thanksgiving. I'd rather pick up our bird from the local farm where I can see how the turkeys are managed. And I know Butterball turkeys don't get to live a good life. And yes, I'm pretty sure I made up the word carnivorousness. Just like my spelling of cankle :)