Saturday, January 31, 2009

WIP: KAL Style

Look what I started yesterday!



It's the February Lady Sweater for our Knit Along! or in other words it's the WIP of my FLS for the KAL! HAHAHA maybe I should just rename it the Acronym Project.

Anyhow I am very excited to have finally gotten this on the needles. We have been talking about and planning this KAL since December! It took a lot of restraint but I waited for the group cast on yesterday. I even did a swatch! So out of character but it had to be done as this is something I want to get a lot of use out of once it's done and the best thing to do is make sure it fits right. I'm loving the Twisted in Rose Quartz from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (or BMFA) it's a gorgeous color and I love that the color variations are so subtle. Plus that ball you see is 570 yds! that means I only have to sew one set of ends in!!! Fantastic!

If you are interested in joining or following the KAL check out the U-Knitted Amiras blog... and don't worry I'll keep you update on my progress ; )

Friday, January 30, 2009

FO: Phiaro

I finally finished the Phiaro.... (insert happy dance here). I know you have been seeing it on my WIP (work in progress) list for a long time but now I can finally announce that it is FINISHED! Done. Finito. Khalas.

Here's princess doing a Vana for you...






Honestly I'm so happy with the way it came out! Perfect drape, perfect color and just for me!
So here are the details

Pattern: Phiaro Scarf from Interweave
Yarn: Wendy Pure 100% Bamboo
Mods: I decided to take one repeat out to make it slightly shorter. Also I twisted the first and last stitch of each set of remaining stitches to give them more structure when I dropped the rest. I also purled all the dropped stitches so that I would remember better when to twist. For the CO I decided not to break the yarn 8 gajillion time because I didn't want to weave in the ends. Instead I cast off 5 looping the ball through the last stitches then K 5 repeating until done leaving me with just the live stitches to drop. If you need clarification feel free to contact me. Finally the scarf is 14 inches wide instead of the 22 inches the pattern calls for... I'm really happy with the end result. Big cheesy grin for this one

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Knit Two

Now i'm a big believer in waiting for books to come out in paperback (preferably even used) because why pay more for a hard bound book when the words inside are the same. However, for this I made an exception....



I'm so excited that I got Knit Two by Kate Jacobs because I just could NOT wait for it to come out in paper back.

Friday Night Knitting Club was fantastic and really shows just how close knitting groups can become and that knitting is about so much more than just knitting. What I love is that MY knitting group is becoming more than a knitting group and a group of fantastic friends who all happen to knit.

Fingers crossed that this second book (of hopefully a very long series) is as good as the first

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

bloggers block

man i was on such a role there for a while. i had something new to share with you nearly every day! and now i just stare at the blank page and think.... hmmm.... what to write, what to write?

i don't really want to tell you about work cause that's just super stressful and frustrating right now and i don't want to bring you down.

I can't really tell you about my knitting because well NO progress has been made because work is sucking up all my awake time.

I have been reading a little but really, i'll spare you the chapter by chapter recap of New Moon even though so far it's FANTASTIC

:::sigh:::

oh i know i can tell you about the pretty pretty sunset i saw today in Dubai!

wait. i already talked about that on the u-knitted amiras blog...

see? told you i had nothing new to tell you

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

This has been a fantastic weekend.

Thursday I received these:

They are the latest 3 books in the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer. Twilight was a great book and I'm anxious to see how the story unfolds from here. So anxious in fact that I could wait for every sold out bookstore in UAE to restock... nope I ordered these from Amazon. Seriously I HAVE to know what happens.

Thursday evening I spent with my friend, Ashley, (don't worry, I'm slowly talking her into the knitting!)... It was great! We had dinner, she showed me around her AMAZING apartment and we basically had a great time just talking girl talk.

Friday my husband took me out on a date to dinner and a movie in Abu Dhabi. We went and saw "Yes Man" with Jim Carry in it and the BIG Red Bull scene... That scene was definitely a hit with the hubby and the movie was hilarious. I recommend it to anyone. Then he took me to Benihana at Rotana Beach Resort. All I can say is YUM! For the first time I finally talked him in to sitting at one of the cooking stations for the show and we had a great time!

Today was spent with my new books and knitting. I mostly spent my time on the Noro Striped Scarf. This pattern (like everyone says) is completely addictive. I just keep thinking OK one more stripe and I'll put it down but then you just cant wait to see what color combinations come out next! I really love this scarf... but my husband called dibs so I guess I have to share it with him...


And just in case you are wondering: Princess would rather sit in a wet bathtub than have to face the vacuum cleaner



look at that face!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day!!

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on being elected the 44th President of the United States!

You can feel the excitement in the air even out here in the Middle East. This has got to be the longest 74 days ever! It has felt like all of the U.S. and half the World have been waiting for January 20th like it was their birthday. Waiting for you to take your oath. The pressure that you are experiencing must be extraordinary but one thing you have that not all President Elects have had is that the people of the U.S. and the World are not waiting for you to fail but rather expecting you to succeed. They KNOW you can do this. The two million people standing outside in Washington DC and the millions at home who are waiting for your to take your oath are proof of our confidence in you.

I'll be hoping along with the world that you will bring the United States back to where is has not been for many presidents now. Love your family and always keep them close to you as only they can support you in the way that you will need now.

I'm wishing you all the best in the next four years

And please if there is anything I or anyone else can do for you... All you have to do is ask.

Best Regards,

Lindsay

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What? Here?

So I was flipping through the channels tonight looking for something good to watch (of which there's nothing!) and look what I stumbled upon...

Yup. That's the Pasadena Rose Parade! Here in UAE!

For those of you who are not familiar, the Pasadena Rose Parade takes place during the Pasadena Rose Festival in Pasadena California. They also, during this festival, host the Rose Bowl which is like the Super Bowl for college football. It's very exciting if your college team makes it to the Rose Bowl!!!

Anyhow I have been trying to figure out who would want to see this parade out in the Middle East except for maybe the 100 or so of us that are from the West Coast of the states but apparently there's a demand for it. Or they're just running out of things to put on tv.

Pride

I was looking through all my old photos when I ran across these ones.

That's my mom and my uncle standing in front of the house my grandpa built for my grandma. He proposed and she said "not until you have a house with furniture". So he built her a house and furnished it and she happily agreed to marrying him

There's even a little apartment to the left because so that when my grandma's mother went to live with them she could still have some independence.

My Grandma was definitely an independent woman. She moved by her self to America when she was only 11 to live with an aunt she had never met. She taught her self english and accounting so she could earn her own money and always stay dressed in the newest fashions. My Grandpa being the most easy going, happy guy ever was just happy to see that his wife was happy. My grandma taught my mom to go for whatever she wanted in life and when my mom was told she couldn't register for the architecture class in high school because she was a girl well my grandma went down to that school and gave them a piece of her mind. Of course my mom got in and had one of the highest grades in the class. And all the while my grandpa was cheering them both on. They, together, taught both their kids that men and women can achieve whatever they want in life and that the only factor that really made the difference was hard work.

My grandpa was also the biggest prankster ever! He once (when he was a teen) put all his neighbors' yard furniture on their roofs for April Fools Day. No one could figure out 1) how he got it up there with no one noticing and 2) how to get it back down. He also sent me a huge box when I was probably 3 or 4 and on the top it said:
To: Lindsay. Do Not Open until after you take a bath

But I gotta say the bath was totally worth the giant teddy inside

I miss them both a lot and I know my mom does as well. But they would both be so proud to know what an amazing woman and mother their daughter is. She raised three independent kids that were never afraid to follow their dreams. And even when those moments of doubt come she still pushes us forward with promises of a soft place to land if we ever need it.

i love you mom and thank you.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yum.

Today I have been nothing but domestic. I woke up and started cleaning the house. Then I got to work on my neglected knitting projects and then finally I baked cookies...

with extra chocolate chips!

They came out amazingly if I do say so myself! Even my husband liked them! There were more... really there were but they didn't live long after coming out of the oven.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I stand corrected.

Rain is real and it can come out of the sky in buckets at a time... Seriously it was amazing how much water could fall out of the sky. and to think it happened without the help of the government seeding the clouds.


It's hard to tell but there are a bunch of cars pulled over on the side of the road waiting out the down pour! But not me! Nope! I'm an Oregonian. If we pulled over every time it rained, well, we'd never get anywhere. I laugh in the face of rain! Of course I also know to drive at a reasonable speed and get away from the fast lane so all the crazies* can go by.


This is the scene as I left my office today. Beautiful, clear sky... like the whole thing never happened. All that's left are a few puddles here and there as proof that we don't have a proper drainage system is this ever growing country known as the UAE

*by "crazies" i mean those guys in the fancy cars and feel that even though it hasn't rained properly in 10 months that they can handle the roads and speeds averaging 100 mph (160 kph) because they have "traction control" :::eye roll:::

WANTED: More knitting time

This whole work thing I have going on from 8-6 five days a week is really eating in to my knitting time. Seriously, how much knitting can I get done in an hour or two a night!?! It's just not possible to knit as much as I want to.

The result of this lack of knit time is that I work on only one of my WIPs at a time leaving the less exciting ones to sit and wait patiently for their turn. Case in point. My noro striped scarf is getting ALL the attention right now while my cable purse, phiaro and (cough) textured tunic sit to the side, watching me, taunting me even with their little you-have-done-NOTHING-for-me-in-a-week attitudes. "Ha!" I say back. "I have NO knitting time and I will work on the instant gratification project if I want to. But in the mean time please don't hate me. You're special too and I'll get to you... later"

I wonder if people take vacation time so that they can catch up on knitting projects?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I might have a problem....

See when i got this last order of KnitPicks I officially ran out of the space I allot for my yarn.

Officially means that I cant cram, squish or shove any more yarn in to the three spaces that hold my yarn. The reason I don't want to expand on my alloted yarn space is that I'm afraid my stash will get completely out of control then.

I know you are asking "Sheesh Lindsay (cough not lingy -latest attempt at my name- cough) How much yarn do you have?"

Well. Let me tell you. I have more than I thought was possible given that I live in an LYS Free country. :::deep breath::: I have 149 skeins. Seriously 149. and when I calculated the yardage (thanks a lot Ravelry but some things are better left unsaid) I calculated that I have roughly 10 miles of yarn. 10 MILES. And ok really 149 isn't THAT bad. Right? I mean I got 26 of them just this week so really I have 123. See that? I stash busted right there!

But even 123 is a lot. So I have devised a plan

First step: is to NOT buy yarn but to use the yarn I have. Although I like to think of this as a Yarn Diet rather than abstaining completely... I mean if I have a really bad day, I'm going to need a yarn fix. Or if I travel internationally I can tell you now, yarn will be purchased. Lets be realistic here. However, I will commit to making no yarn purchases for the next 90 days. :::hyperventilating::: Where's a paper bag!!!!

Second step: Stop saving the yarn for the perfect pattern (that I haven't found yet) and just use it, after all when I do find the perfect pattern I can buy the right yarn in the right color for it!

Third step: To knit. I think that is key to reducing my stash.

Does anyone else want to join me in this quest? We might even be able to make this a little fun.We can call it the UAE Knit Down '09. Perhaps who ever reduces their stash the most gets to be the 2009 Queen UAE knitter! or maybe something more fun than that... oooh! Or we can all put something in to a pot and who ever knits the most gets the pot? Ya know just shooting ideas off the top of my head here. I'm completely open to suggestions....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

WIPs!

I have three (kinda) Works In Progress at the moment. I don't know how I got to three. Really that's unlike me because I hardly ever have more that two projects that I am working on at a time. But because one is off the needles I suppose that it doesn't count. kinda.

The first one I cast on was a Drops Design Cable Bag. I loved the simplicity of it and could actually picture my self carrying it around so I got the yarn quite a while ago but finally cast on for it last week. I'm telling you Cascade Lana Grande + size 8's = HARD. Not to mention that I needed to increase from 88 stitches to 220! That was just insane. But well worth it. Anyhow I have done two cable repeats so far and I'm really happy with the way it's coming out.


Then yesterday I cast on for the Noro Striped scarf. I know a million people have made this scarf but I just couldn't resist. I love the way it looks with the color changing stripes. The bright colors are fantastic!


Then of course there is the Phiaro. I finally undid all the stitches and wow, that took way longer than I thought it would. I mean you drop a stitch when you are knitting and it seems to slither four or five rows down before you can catch it but when you give them permission to undo them selves they seem to hold on to their spots with all their strength! Anyhow I dropped the stitches and cut carefully down the center and now I'm in the middle of the braiding faze. I have one size done but still have all of side 2 left. sigh. But I won't give up! I have come too far to give up now!!


I'm hoping at the BIG Dubai / Abu Dhabi meeting at the end of the month that I will have some FO's to show off. Fingers crossed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Knit Picks!!

I got a shipment today! I know! I'm so excited. Let me show you what came...

First I needed some more Knit Picks supplies. I ordered two sets of cables and a second set of both 7's and 5's. I also got some of the buttons that are the rainbow colors like the KP Options. I LOVE THESE!!


I also got some some Wool of the Andes in Coal and Telemark in Cream and because I already have some colors stashed and I thought these would give me t he perfect opportunity to work on some fair isle work.


and then there's this! this is the reason i place the order in the first place (really i don't know how the other things ended up in the basket. i'm blaming it on... uuuhhhh... the mouse slipped? yeah! the mouse slipped! lets go with that one) it's the Swish Bulky in Squirrel Heather. And I love the color

It's merino. It's soft and comfy and I can't wait to turn it into the Windowpane Coat from Interweave Knits. I'm so excited to get started!


On a side note I saw this as I was leaving for work today



I heard that it is something called "rain" that comes from the sky. hmmm. Apparently it's a natural and common phenomenon. But really I just don't trust it. I mean water comes from the black hoses running along the ground under the bushes. Not the sky. Right?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Aching for a Phiaro

I'm so close to being done with my Phiaro and it feels so good.


But I'm having some problems with the next step.

See? After knitting eight gajillion rounds on the Phiaro, I have bound off all the stitches that will stay and left the stitches that I will drop. The problem is I just can't drop them.
There are 107 stitches to drop. 107. and that's just around the top that's not counting the entire column of stitches that makes each of those 107! So much work. Hours of work. Rounds and rounds of work and I'm going to willingly undo it for the good of the project. If I had not seen Charmaine's Phiaro in person I may have decided that it wasn't worth the risk to undo more than half of what I spent hours knitting. But it is worth it. Now I just need to get up the nerve to :::gulp::: undo it!

Don't worry I'll post the end results.

Meanwhile:

Jerry and Princess have been chasing and attacking each other all over the house while I have been knitting the final rounds on the Phiaro and going through drop-stitch turmoil. But they sure have been having fun and look cute doing it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Meme

Ok i thought i would give this whole meme thing a shot. i found it over at no-blog rachel's blog. So here goes

1. How long have you been blogging?

Um August of 2007

2. Any advice to beginners?

pictures are good at taking up space and people like them.

3. What are the good things that blogging has brought into your life?

uh hello? U-knitted Amiras which are all my friends that i met because of knitting! Ravelry (thanks Charmaine!) And it's fantastic to get messages from people when I post an FO (woot woot)!

Also this has been the closest thing to a diary I have ever been able to keep up with and it keeps my family updated on what I'm doing daily.

4. What would you consider the pitfalls?

Sometimes I just don't know what to talk about (cough-like today-cough)

5. Tell us about your blog name. Ever think of changing it? If so, to what? Why?

Well my college mascot is the Ducks (Puddles the duck to be precise (i know, i know so not intimidating)) and I'm living abroad so duckabroad it is.

I have thought about changing it but then I can never think of "what" to change it to... then football season rolls around and I'm happy with the duck part again ; )

6. Knowing what you know now, was starting a blog a good thing for you? Why or why not?

Absolutely!!! I met some fantastic people through this blog and made some great friends.

7. How do you think blogging, bloggers or the blogosphere has changed since you first started?

I saw a blog the other day that looked like it was snowing. That's definitely new to me!

8. Ultimately, what would you like your blog to accomplish for you or others?

Find more knitters in the UAE (Abu Dhabi or Dubai ; )) and keep in touch with my family and friends

Sunday, January 4, 2009

High Hopes

After talking to friends and family throughout the past few weeks I have realized that there is a general consensus. People have high hopes.

High hopes for the Obama Administration

High hopes for the economy

High hopes for our selves

So far 2009 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in the world's history. There are so many things and people that the world is focused on at this precise moment. When I reflect on the last eight years I remember just how much we have gone through; so many historical moments. It makes me wonder what we have ahead of us. What is waiting just around the corner to change our theories, to change our perspectives and to change our world?

I think both people who are critical and those that supportive of the events of the last few years are looking forward to this New Year like a breath of fresh air. We are tired of the same complaints and the same topics and we are waiting for change. We are optimistic that there is a light at the end of our tunnel

What I hope for is that we are not let down. I hope some of us change the way we live and that we do not forget what this world has been through in the last decade. We should take our experiences and learn from them. Perhaps if companies and financial institutions thought more about the goodness of the over all people rather than the deepness of their pockets or perhaps if the US remembers just how influential they are to the world both politically and socially then the economy and world perspective would recover quicker and stronger then ever. Perhaps if we remember that we are all human, with families, with people who love us we will be a little bit more considerate to those around us.

I have no doubt that we are going to experience some bumps in the road but lets have high hopes that it will be a smoother year for us all.


Ok ok, enough of the heavy stuff. I'm going to go shop for yarn online now

Thursday, January 1, 2009

First FO of the New Year!

I finished the Jane Austen top from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines.





I love the baby pink color and I also love the lace detailing. I didn't make any changes but could not figure out the directions for completing the neck for the life of me. Seriously confusing. So I faked it and I'm still happy with the way it came out. Now I'll send it off to my mom so that she can put on the skirt! I don't know how to sew so this one is a collaboration ; )

2008 FO Recap

I saw on some other blogs that people were recapping all their FO's for the year 2008. I thought I would give it shot thinking I would have some dismal list of perhaps 4 things I had managed to complete in the last year. But to my surprise I had way more! So here you go!

1. Yellow baby booties - first shaping

2. Husband's scarf - very simple garter stitch scarf out of the yarn of his choice. there was a little drama when I ran out of yarn though

3. Vintage Baby Cardi - My first attempt at a sweater

4. Matching pair of baby booties - the second pair of baby booties on my list but they look great with the cardigan.

5. Wavy Scarf - I loved making this scarf and I'm so tempted to make another one... or two

6. Pinwheel Sweater - This was for my niece and I loved making this as well. It knit up so fast and looks so unique as well. Definitely a project I would be willing to knit again.

7. Baby Hooded Cardi - The baby who this was knit for was born the day after christmas and is a little girl, Mia.

8. Lacy Leaf Purse - My first lace project. woot woot!

9. Fetching - My very first cables : )

10. Back to School U-neck Vest - this was a challenge but worth it. It's my first grown up sized FO

11. My wedding! I know it's not knitting related but it's still my proudest FO of all.

Not bad, right? 10 (knitted) FO's for the year 2008. I'm really surprised that I was able to complete so much in one year. So my new years resolution is to complete more than 10 FO's and I have to say my first one is done all ready! I'm off to a great start.

After looking over the list I have come up with a second new years resolution: Make something for me! I did not keep one of those 10 things. But I'll sure hold on tight to number 11 ; ) Although I must say that I really enjoy knitting for other people. Especially babies. Little red headed babies.

New Years Eve

I was flip-flopping back and forth on whether or not I wanted to leave the house for new years eve or not. I am not a big fan of going out on nights that I know a lot of people will be drinking and driving. Especially when everyone and their mom is coming from Dubai to party because (for good reason) Dubai decides to go dry.

BUT how do you say "No" to Shakira tickets!!! Yep we went down to the Emirates Palace Hotel to watch Shakira ring in the new year. I have to say that I had more fun at this concert than I have had in a long time. I mean they are all fun don't get me wrong but this one was different. People were all in a great mood and everyone was being curtious and considerate of the people around them (i.e. no frizzy hair in my face).

Shakira put on a fantastic show. She sang all her most popular songs, did some proper belly dancing and even gave shout out to her Lebanese roots.



Because we wanted to miss all the after party drivers we ended up leaving the concert a bit early (although we always leave early) and this is the fog that greeted us.



There was also a huge line of people trying to get in to the concert as we were leaving even though it was after midnight. The party inside was suppose to go on until 4 am! Oh there was no way I was sticking around for that

But back to the fog - seriously the fog was so bad that you could hardly see the fire works when they went off at midnight. Driving out of the city was a nightmare. We could barely see 20 feet in front of us almost the entire way. I'm really glad we went home earlier rather than later when thousands of other peopler were trying to make their way through the fog too.

Oh and then guess what was on TV when we got home. Shakira Live in Dubai concert from a year and a half ago! hahaha!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe new years celebration! Happy New Year!