Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweet November Shawl

For 2010, I plan to release at least 4 patterns and here's the first one. This one isn't original in that I didn't come up with the look; however, I saw this shawl/scarf in the movie "Sweet November" and had to make it. Charlize Theron wore this shawl/scarf in various colors throughout the movie and while the movie was not really my cup of tea, I couldn’t take my eyes off the scarf. As soon as the movie ended, I wanted to knit the shawl but considered that others had probably thought the same. I googled ‘sweet november scarf’ and found a number of crocheted versions of the shawl. While I can crochet, I thought it would be cool to work out how to knit it. Thus, the ‘Sweet November Knit Shawl’.

Here's Charlize Theron in the shawl:

My Version:

A copy of the pattern is available from my sidebar or can be downloaded from ravelry (for those that want to be able to save the pattern to their rav library). It's a free pattern: download now

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sun and Wind

After a day of storming yesterday, today has been absolutely beautiful. I woke up and went for a run. Then I convinced a friend to come out to take photos of my new FOs. It was so great outside. The wind was blowing furiously but the sun was shining and it was a great day to catch up on my vitamin D.

Anyhow here are some photos from my day out:

First, a new shawl I designed based on the shawl Charlize Theron wore throughout the movie Sweet November.

Then here's Damson designed by Ysolda Teague:

A Hat Fit for my Brother designed by Stephanie Nicole

And lots of mitten photos:

1. Original design which will be released soon: Paluk Mitts

2. Zephyr Mittens designed by Tracey Grzegorczyk

3. Spiraluscious Mitts by Anne Hanson

Saturday, January 16, 2010


So far I've been doing a decent job of getting my 10,000 steps. I haven't been perfect however, and a couple of days have gone by where I haven't reached my goal. But for me this isn't about perfection but about putting forth effort and there I'm doing well.

In other news, I'm feeling pretty proud of the US right now. It's amazing the effort that's being put forward to help Haiti. Ravelers have been absolutely amazing as well. Designers are giving between 50% and 100% of profits to charity and that's great selflessness. Especially when people like Ysolda Teague and Wooly Wormhead are doing it - that's going to be quite generous donations.

To do my part, I'm donating 50% of proceeds from my Cable Crush Cowl pattern (can be purchased through ravelry or just by clicking on the sidebar) as well as 20% of proceeds from my Etsy shop to Doctors without Borders.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Sale!

I got my first sale from my Etsy shop which was great. Humdrum day overall. Went to gym, crafted, watched America's Next Top Model marathon. C'est tout!

Steps today - 11,664

Knit, Wine and Etsy shop

Well last night I did not figure out the RAW thing. I also found out that each picture is like 8mb. While they were great pics, I'd never be able to upload files that big to Etsy. So today we changed the settings on the camera and I re-photoed everything.

Then I had to rush off to Knit and Wine night at Gotham Fine Yarns. It was a good time. I chatted with Rebecca, the proprietor, about teaching a lace knitting class at the shop and it's tentatively scheduled for the beginning of Feb as we work out the details. I'm pretty excited about the opportunity to teach knitting classes and I'm hoping I'm fairly good at it.

I'm now home and I've put a bunch of stuff up on my Etsy:

Here are some pics of the items:

Foldover Armwarmers

Lots of stitch markers

Steps today - 10,000 (had to do some marching to get up to the 10,000 steps as I didn't go to the gym today)

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Right now I'm trying to download software that reads RAW format photos. My Etsy shop is up and running but since my camera was stolen, I haven't really been able to take effective pictures. My aunt bought me a camera for xmas but it's just not that great for my needs. It's an Olympus point and shoot and I'm underimpressed.

A friend is currently visiting and she brought along her Canon DSLR and I've been taking tons of photos. I also bought myself a light tent which is awesome for my photo needs. Anyhow, now I'm trying to upload the photos to my computer only to realize that it doesn't read RAW format. So I went on the Canon website and they seem to have some software I can download. Hopefully all will be well. I hope I can upload it all to my flickr without issue. I really love the DSLR and once I'm employed I think I might have to treat myself to a decent camera.

Steps today - 11,150

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


It's 11:10pm and I'm knackered. I had a good workout today - was at the gym around 2 hours. Then I spent the day doing some photography for my Etsy shop items. I'll update that soon.

Steps today - 17,243

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spin and Sculpt

Today I joined my local gym and went on to do the class spin and sculpt. It was hard but not as hard as expected. It always surprises how I'm always just a little bit in shape and generally within about 2 weeks, I'm in shape again. My problem has always been diet not exercise.

Now I'm watching the Biggest Loser. It's the first time I've ever watched the show 'in real time'. I recognize it's not real time but I've only watched reruns of the shows, never as it is aired. It's weird I have lots of issues with the show:

1. way too much crying
2. setting unrealistic expectations - I think it reinforces that sense that you can lose weight overly quickly which is what has made the US the fattest nation in the first place.
3. way too much crying

However, in its way, it is inspiring. And as I'm unemployed at the moment, I might try to spend 2-3 hours in the gym per day like them to maximize the burn. I'm hoping I get chosen in the NY half marathon lottery which is in March and I want to be in shape for that. I don't want to be as out of shape as I was for the marathon.

ETA: Steps today - 13,377

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday, Monday

I know that when you decide to do something, you should listen to Nike and just do it but there's something about starting on a Monday. I did start getting in my steps right away but today I feel I've really started on my other goals.

I woke up at a very early 10:30 (I've kinda been staying up till 3am and waking up around noon or later) and went for a jog on the boardwalk. It was a bit pitiful (my pace) and my limbs weren't particularly in the mood (it was freezing) but I got a good 40 min jog in. The nice thing about the freezing weather is that any temptation to walk is quickly sidelined as you'd turn into an icicle.

Later during the day I went to check out gyms in the neighborhood. I feel a bit spoiled as I had the best gym in London (3 floors, pool, sauna, steam room, etc etc) for very cheap as part of my insurance. The gyms in my hood are pretty basic but that's really all I need and the one I think I'll join is close by so I have no excuses. They also have tons of spinning classes, I love spinning (on bikes that is, I've given up on trying to spin fiber).

Then I went to the grocery store and got ingredients to make some nice, healthy veggie chili which I just made and it turned out yummy.

I've managed 12,674 steps as well and it's only 5pm. I think I'll do some marching in front of the TV later to get an evening burn. The best part of this day is just feeling positive about making some changes and exercising again. Woot!

Black bean Chili Recipe (for anyone interested):

1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 tbl chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans (19 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (19 oz each) crushed tomatoes

In a 5 quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic;season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally until carrots are tender-crisp, 6 to 10 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.

My version of recipe provided by friend

ETA: Steps today - 14,332

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sooo cold!!!

Today is absolutely freezing! I had intended to go to the Downtown NY Knitters group meeting today but just couldn't bare to be outside. It's soooo cold and living right next to the beach is not cool in the winter. The winds just cut right through you.

Thank you everyone so much for your support!

Lisa - I use my exercise as part of my 10,000 steps. When I lived in London and worked to and from work, I managed around 20,000 steps per day of pure walking.

Since I couldn't face the cold today, I've been doing aerobics on TV. We have this exercise on demand channel which I just discovered yesterday and there are all these crazy workouts. Today I tried out cardioke. It's Billy Blanks Jr (son of Billy Blanks of TaeBo fame) taking you through a cardio exercise where you sing along to the music - yes it is that cheesy!!! It was fun for about 5 minutes and then I was just like, I'm a running girl, aerobics ain't for me. I think I'll have to join a gym so that I can have a nice indoor treadmill to run on. I had no problems running outdoors during a London winter but a NY one is another story.

Well I still have around 4,000 steps to do today. I think I'll put on my marching shoes and get marching in front of the TV. Might try some more exercise on demand. The bollywood burn wasn't too bad :-).

ETA: Steps today - 10,165

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy Palindrome Day!

Seems today is a unique day in that the day (written American standard) forms a palindrome 01/02/2010. On this day I'm hoping to be somewhat productive. I need to organize my room. Moving all my stuff into one room in my mother's house is very challenging. There just doesn't to be space for anything. And our design aesthetics are very different. She likes everything to be very pretty and decorated whereas I like space for storage. I have a lifetime's worth of yarn to store plus my many knitting books and magazines and then there's my huge DVD collection and there just isn't any space for any of that in this room. I guess this should inspire me to get a job and find a place that can accommodate my crafterly stashes.

Happy Palindrome Day!

ETA: Steps today - 10,438

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello 2010!

I'm hoping this year will be a good year. Last year was pretty good but it didn't end on the best note.

I have so much I need to do this next year. The number one thing is finding a job and the number two thing is losing weight. I've really let myself go and this morning I weighed myself and it wasn't pretty: 220 lbs!!! When I look in the mirror I'm not too happy with what I see and I think that's really affected my knitting, among other things. While I want to knit garments, I don't want to knit anything that would fit this body so I don't bother.

So for next year I have the following resolutions:

1. Find a job - send out 4 applications a day
2. Lose weight - clock at least 10,000 steps each day
3. Run at least 1 marathon and 1 half marathon
4. Design and release 4 patterns
5. Raise at least $1500 for charity
6. Learn to sew competently
7. Improve beading skillz- make jewelry for Etsy shop
8. Get my drivers license

These are all things I need to work on daily. I have a pedometer and I plan to hold myself accountable on my blog to be active and meet the 10,000 steps minimum daily. It would definitely be nice to have a few cheerleaders pushing me along. :-)

ETA: Steps today - 10,040