I spin!

Well, let’s just ignore the fact that I’ve neglected to post anything for about a month and move right on to the big news, eh?  I bought a spinning wheel!

It’s a Majacraft Suzie Pro.  I’d been saving up to get one for about two years, and the right opportunity finally came along, so I went for it!  I’m so happy I did, too.  It’s everything I wanted.  :)

So I’ve really been enjoying wheel spinning.  Once you get the feet and hands coordinated, it’s really repetitive and relaxing.  Here’s my first skein, 4 oz/280 yd of DK weight BFL that my friend Cary gave me (for anyone wondering, BFL is short for Blue Faced Leicester, a breed of sheep):

I’m currently working on some other fiber, a fine wool that my friend BJ sent over.

Between spinning and work/school, I also managed to finish my first real sweater!  I’m so proud.

Unlike the unfortunate yellow beast of a sweater I knit a couple years ago, this is something I will really wear.  Actually, it takes me considerable effort to not do so every single day.

The pattern is Central Park Hoodie, and it took me 5 skeins of Cascade 220.

ethnic cooking

It’s not that hard!  In fact, it’s really simple after you find a recipe and a place to purchase ingredients.  I won’t deny that those can be challenging tasks, but for someone like me who loves ethnic cuisine and doesn’t eat out much, it’s totally worth it.

Somehow, we lucked out on the small Asian market lottery around here.  It almost makes up for the lack of a decent large grocery store.  Almost.

This weekend, I made beef and snow peas in oyster sauce.  It only took about 20 minutes of cooking time total, and it wasn’t any more difficult than cutting up ingredients and pushing them around a pan.

(Yes, I forgot to take pictures the first time around.  Don’t judge.)

getting there

We painted another room this weekend!  I’m so happy to have another one done.  ..especially because it’s our bedroom.

Here’s what it looked like before:

And now:

Of course, the pictures don’t really show how gross the old paint was, but if you haven’t seen it yourself, you’re just going to have to trust me when I say that it was pretty bad.  I really love it now!

cake and a sweater

As classes start back up tomorrow and will soon consume my life, I’ve spent the weekend making good on some of those personal goals for the year.

I saw the recipe for this pistachio cake last week and was immediately attached to the idea of making one.  So I did.  :)  I’m such a sucker for bundt cakes.

I’ve made a lot of progress on my sweater in the past week, too!  I took this picture yesterday, but I’m probably about halfway done with the sleeves by now.  The body of the sweater’s already done.  It’s really a walnut color..not mauve as this picture would have you believe.

Happy 2011!

Those of you who know me really well know that I hate New Year’s.  But you also know that I can’t resist a good hand-written list.  :)

Happy Hanukkah!

:)  I hope it’s been nice!

I made some stuff!

I don’t have a whole lot going on right now, but I was really productive with the crafting this weekend, so I suppose I may as well show it off!  It’ll probably die down soon, since I’m extra busy with school/work stuff from here until Christmas.  I guess I have to brag while I can.  ;)

I finally remembered to take pictures of the cardigan I’m working on..

This piece is both the back and front sides of the cardigan, and in about 5 rows, I’ll be dividing it up for the armholes.  I suppose you could call this my first real sweater project, and I’m really excited about the way it’s turning out!

I also managed to finish a skein of handspun this weekend, 138 yd/4 oz of BFL singles spun from Knitty and Color.  Though I’m not particularly thrilled with the quality of my spinning, the fiber is really soft and fluffy, and the color is rich and pretty.

It’s been a while, but I finally picked up the crochet hook and worked on my afghan squares.  I still have no clue how many I’m aiming for, but I’ve made it to 30!

I’m here!

Far too much time has passed since I’ve last blogged.  I guess grad school finally caught up with me!  I’ve been keeping busy with class projects/papers/exams and (of course) research.  Things are finally set up in the lab the way that I want them, so I’ll probably be spending a lot more time in there.  :)  I feel like such a badass in my tie-dyed labcoat with my new instruments going.

By now, I’m sure it’s apparent that I’m not taking part in NaBloPoMo this year.  There’s no way; I just don’t have enough to write about for a whole month!  The knitwise among you probably know that it’s also NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month), though.  As I cast on my first “real” sweater recently, I’m hoping to finish it this month.

A couple weeks ago, Mom came to visit.  (Has it really been a couple of weeks already?)  I’ve been really homesick, and it was great to see her.  I can’t wait for the holidays.

Before she got here, we thought we’d get really crazy and paint the guest room!  I’m really proud of the way it turned out.  Here’s the (ugly yellow) before:

And the after:

It’s hard to tell from the pictures because the lighting is so much different in different corners of the room, but the true color is probably somewhere between the first picture and the third picture.  It looks great, and it’s so nice to have another room done.  Our next project will either be the bedroom or the basement!  (They’re both yellow, too.  WTF!)


Happy (S)Oc(k)tober!  :D  Life’s good.

Water Sampling!

This past Friday, I volunteered to help out with the Wabash Sampling Blitz.  I had no idea what to expect, but it was so much fun!

Our little group of three drove south a ways into the middle of the country and got dirty (literally) in some of the Wabash streams.  We brought back some water samples and did a few tests (pH, temperature, chlorine, copper, etc.) right in the stream.

It’s definitely something that I’ll volunteer for again in the future!  :)