March 31, 2011


Literally!  Today I started a three day juice cleanse, and I'm alternating between acceptance and freak-out.  The freak-outs are a result of my fear of failure. I'm not concerned that I'll wake up one day surrounded by a half-eaten cheese pizza, but that I'll cave and have a salad. I've ever been a great one for self control, so the thought of not chewing solely because I've decided not to chew scares me.

So this is what I'll be having for the next three days:

I'm doing the Blue Print Cleanse three day Renovation Cleanse, which is great for a newbie juicer like me.  The renovation is their entry level cleanse, which I think means it had heartier juices/more calories than the other cleanses.  It's only a little past one on day one, but I'm liking the juices (conveniently labeled in 1-6, the order in which they are to be consumed) so far.  Right now I'm sipping on a pineapple, apple, mint concoction and it's delicious.

In other, less literal juicy news, I recently finished another hat.

Pattern: Rikke, by Sarah Young
Yarn: Madeline Tosh DK
Needles: 3.5mm, 4.5mm
Start: March 24
Finish: March 26

I love this pattern, so so much.  It's so simple in it's appearance, design and construction, that it's genius.  All garter stitch and a subtle change in texture brought about by a simple change in needle size.  This is actually the second Rikke hat I've made; the first was for me and I wear it all the time.  It's black and I haven't managed to take a decent picture of it, so no blogging, but this pretty green (Jade is the colorway) shows the stitch detail and texture nicely.

I selected this yarn as part of a thank you gift I received for knitting something for a friend.  The way that it's dyed, the yarn seems almost to glow from the inside, all space-agey and stuff.  It's the first Madeline Tosh (side note: is she related to Peter Tosh, by chance? Because that would be cool) that I've ever worked with and now I get what all the fuss is about. It's incredibly buoyant and springy, making it a great pairing with patters in which stitch definition is a plus.  I was at Purl last week and had to stop myself from pulling one of her glowing tans off the shelf and shoving it into my basket, such was my enthusiasm for this yarn.  But I kept myself to the one skein of Spud & Chloe Sweater that I needed to finish another work in progress.

Last Friday I went to what turned out to be a lame party with some close friends (we enjoyed each other's company, anyway, almost as much as the Nilla Wafer banana pudding dessert that was on offer), and as we were leaving, I pulled this hat out of my bag and started working on it as we walked to the train.  I asked Him if he thought he might have use for the hat, when She jumped in and said she liked it, too.  Fortunatly, they're married, so Megan & David, this hat's for you!

Finally, a third, slightly more salacious and definitely funkier kind of juicy.  I leave you with the 1983 R&B hit "Juicy Fruit" by Mtume.  Sexy lyrics, yes, but it's still Sunday morning cleaning the house music to me.

March 23, 2011

What you can, when you can

I've come to loathe my morning commute.  It is mercifully short (20 minutes door to door), but people can be shockingly rude in the a.m.  My complaints are of the mundane variety, so I'll not bore you with them; suffice it to say that nothing makes me happier than walking or riding my bike to work. I get to be not on the train and in the fresh air.

Yesterday's weather report called for a high of 50 degrees, so I decided to take advantage of the spring atmosphere and hoof it in to the office.  I kind of planned my outfit poorly, so that I was both cold and sweating as I walked, but the sun was out and my iPod was on shuffle working its magic, so I didn't mind.  Too much.

Today we've been experiencing what the weather forecasters call a "wintry mix." It's been raining and snowing off and on all day.  I've not been too disturbed as I work indoors and have plenty of handknits with which to bundle up.  The weather has, however, made me glad that I took the opportunity yesterday to spend some time in the air and sun while I had the chance.

On the topic of seizing opportunities and making the most of right now (ham fisted segue), about 10 years ago a not great movie starring one of my biggest Hollywood crushes was released.  He is Keanu Reeves, and the movie is Sweet November.  I'd never intended to see the movie, and in fact, I once decided that a guy was "not right for me" because he suggested we see it on our second date (which subsequently never occurred), Yet see it I did, last fall when I was dogsitting for some friends.  As I said, it's not a great movie, but I'll forgive a lot when I find an actor charming. 

ANYWAY, Charlize Theron stars opposite Keanu as a woman with a poorly kept secret (SPOILER: it's lymphoma) who takes men under her wing, one at a time for one month at a time, and teaches them how to be present and embrace life.  Hokey, yes, but she wore some great scarves in that movie.

Had I seen the movie when it was released, I wouldn't have known what to do about these scarves I liked so much, but now I am a knitter and a crocheter and I knew what to do: Ravelry!  Turns out patterns for both knit and crochet versions of the scarf are available (for free).  I opted to make the crochet version, for maximum authenticity, and I'm really glad that I did.

Pattern: Sweet November Scarf/Shawl by April Draven
Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle Twin
Hook: H/5.0mm
Started: January 22
Finished: February 19

Love the pattern, love the yarn.  I bought the Wollmeise from The Loopy Ewe on total impulse and in a panic, because the stuff sells out within 5 minutes of being posted.  I love how acidy bright it is, with incredible depth of color.  The hype surrounding Wollmeise is not for naught.  The colorways are gorgeous and it's easy to work with.  It's so tightly plied that it's almost like working with cotton, so maybe it's funky to knit with like cotton, but to crochet was a breeze.

I wanted to make this big and drapey so that it could easily wrap around one's neck more than once, so I ended up using about 1 1/2 skeins of yarn. Still, it's light enough for damp and chilly spring and fall days, and possibly even summer nights if you live in a temperate climate.

So, Sweet November, might not be an award winning movie (although it was immeasurably better than that crap fest Forrest Gump) there are some nuggets of wisdom in there (like do what you can when you can (SPOILER: because you mighty not have a tomorrow), and it inspired this dope scarf, so yay for that.

Maybe next time I'll share my thoughts about The Lake House (SPOILER: I love it!)

See!  Even they're dubious.

March 13, 2011


I have a secret that's not so secret if you know me well.  I can stress out about anything.  Before leaving for Mexico, I had a quiet freak out about packing.  Too much? Too little?  More tops?  Fewer skirts?  How many swim suits (for the record, I packed and wore 4).  When I freak like this, it's quiet and internal, my mind races, I move quickly and bump into things. I am, quite literally, spazzing.

I never spazz in Mexico.  I think it's impossible for me to freak out there.  Being in Mexico always feels so comfortable and familiar.  It's not that I've spent an extraordinary amount of time there, but there's a vibe about Mexico that agrees with me, and heading there for vacation is like dream time.

On the flight down we were upgraded to Business class.
I am, therefore, enjoying a V&T.
 The impetus for this trip was a friend's birthday.  Seven of us flew down, for the sand, sun and food.

We were responsible sun worshipers, all of us heavily armored with SPF and some of worshiping from the shade. 

I started with SPF 15 and quickly upgraded to 30 (body) and 55 (face).  The sun was intense.I brought a crochet project with me, thinking I'd have all this downtime at the beach, I'd surely get bored.  Oh, no.  I didn't crochet a single row.  Instead I read Jackie Collins trash (Poor Little Bitch Girl, which I highly recommend)  

and stared at the sea.

Was it all fun? Pretty much.

But there was some expanding of cultural horizons.  I learned a lot, more than I can recount here so let's just say the Mayan's were pretty incredible.

And there were some physical activities.  Snorkeling, anyone?

I've been back for over a week now, and, true to form, have started stressing.  About unimportant weird things, like projects I want to finish, blog entries not written, photos not taken.  It's not totally out of left field;  I've got a lot to do before I move at the end of May, so my mind's started buzzing.  When this happens, I can get compulsive about my knitting and crocheting, so I'm trying to be conscious of this and calm myself.  "Calmate . . .," is what a Spanish speaking friend would tell me, "calmate."  So instead of racing to the finish, I'm working, calmly on this.

It will be done when it's done, and until then, it will just be fun.