Saturday, September 26, 2009

FO: knotted hat

I managed to knit this hat while I was on vacation in the States over the summer.... (don't ask why you're not seeing it until now - I'm just lazy)

My mom and I were shopping at Knit Purl in downtown Portland Oregon when she found this amazing yarn. It was so soft with a slight halo and ivory white. If you know my mom than you aren't surprised by her purchase. I asked what she would like me to make with this yarn she loves so much. A hat. A plain stockinette hat. This yarn requires size 2 needles(!) and knitting a whole stockinette just did NOT sound like fun. So I logged on to Ravelry and set out find the perfect hat pattern.... After much searching and narrowed it down to the Knot Hat by Bobbi Intveld. My mom loved it so I got started...





I really enjoyed knitting this hat. The stockinette was relaxing but the knots gave me something to keep my interest and I'm really happy with the way it came out.

So here are the pattern details:

Pattern: Knot Hat by Bobbi Intveld
Yarn: The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering in Orchid
Needles: size US 2's
Mods: None this pattern is great the way it is... If I made it again I might make it a tish longer.


And because they were feeling neglected I thought I would update you on Princess and Jerry.

Princess has learned that she really likes boxes...


The one she loves most is the one my mom sent just for her


Husband also found this DVD for her that has kittens playing... Princess was trying to figure out how to join the fun


Jerry also found a new favorite sleeping spot just outside our bedroom window


Doesn't she look comfortable?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What year is this again?

I know it's naive but it makes me feel better thinking that a majority of people look past such things as race, religion and nationality and judge people on the content of their character.... and then I read an article like this:

Muslim Teen Alleges Discrimination

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 18) - A Muslim teenager claims in a federal lawsuit that she was denied a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store at a Tulsa mall because she wore a head scarf.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tulsa by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 17-year-old Samantha Elauf said she applied for a sales position at the Abercrombie Kids store in the Woodland Hills Mall in June 2008. The teen, who wears a hijab in accordance with her religious beliefs, claims the manager told her the head scarf violates the store's "Look Policy."
"These actions constitute discrimination against Ms. Elauf on the basis of religion," the lawsuit states.
A spokeswoman for the New Albany, Ohio-based retailer declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the company has "a strong equal employment opportunity policy, and we accommodate religious beliefs and practices when possible."
An attorney for the EEOC claims the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects workers from discrimination based upon religion in hiring. The EEOC said the lawsuit was filed after the agency attempted to reach a voluntary settlement.
"It is unlawful for employers to treat applicants or workers differently based on their religious beliefs or practices in any aspect of employment, including recruitment, hiring and job assignments," EEOC senior trial attorney Michelle Robertson said.
The suit seeks back pay for the teen and a permanent injunction against the retailer from participating in what it describes as discriminatory employment practices. It seeks undisclosed monetary and non-monetary losses resulting from "emotional pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation and inconvenience."
The suit also seeks punitive damages against the company for its "malice or reckless indifference to her federally protected rights."
In 2004, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the EEOC that accused the company of promoting whites over minorities and cultivating a practically all-white image in its catalogs and elsewhere.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2009-09-18 11:45:35


Now this isn't even the worst of it... this article alone got me upset but then I saw the poles at the middle of the paragraph I got even more upset and more disappointed.

When readers were asked:

Should Abercrombie & Fitch employees be allowed to wear Muslim head scarves?
75% of readers said No Out of over 27,000 people polled

NO!!! What is wrong with a woman wearing a head scarf! and why should Abercrombie be allowed to tell employees they CAN NOT WAER ONE! Last time I check my country had freedom of religion and WE as a people should NOT discriminate against it! I mean HELLO the country was founded by PEOPLE who WANTED freedom of RELIGION! SERIOUSLY?!?!?

Then when readers were asked:

How would you characterize the teen's lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch?
81% of readers said it was frivolousOut of over 27,000 people polled

Wow! WOW! W.O.W.! really? that's where we are at? PLEASE tell me these polls are wrong cause I KNOW that had the manager laid a hand on her butt then it would be ok to sue? But for a women to be expected to expose a part of her self that no one sees just so she can have a job is ok? THAT is ok? might as well ask her to flash people because that is how exposed she would feel if she were to have to un-veil. Not to mention it's a commitment to God not some I-should-have-the-right-to-sport-my-gang-colors situation. Women fought hard in the United States of America to be able to wear what they want when they want and now we are telling women what they can and cant wear again? Women can walk around like no-panty-wearing celebrities flashing their "Bi'ness" to anyone and everyone but OH MY GOSH they should NEVER be allowed to be conservative!!!!

I am spitting angry people. Seriously outraged. Ridiculous is the only way I can describe this! And, I think, for bringing this story forward that AOL News should be applauded because this story was NO WHERE to be found on any of the top news sites I checked. This isn't the first time that I have noticed that AOL News reports the real news rather that only publishing news to play off stereotypes and biasses.

From now on ignorant Abercrombie & Fitch will no longer get my business and I would venture to guess that my friends who cover will no longer shop there either.

But tonight I will hope that the citizens of the United States will remember what values our country was founded on. Freedom.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid Mubarak Everyone!

I'll be honest and tell you that before I moved to this country I had no idea what Eid was or that there was even such a thing as Eid. I remember sitting with my new friends on campus and them saying that Ramadan started in couple days and we better all get ready.

"Ready?" I asked "I don't even know what Ramadan is!"

"It's the month of fasting and no one can eat or drink out side, in public during daylight hours" my friends replied

Um Sorry? Did I miss understand?
No eating or drinking in public?
Seriously?
No SERIOUSLY!
Oh you are serious
Do "they" (the rule makers) remember that it's like 110 outside?

So I quickly called my new bf to confirm this wasn't some huge joke my new friends were playing on me. He confirmed. I learned once Ramadan started that nearly everyone in this country fasts from water and food (also one would fast from relations, swearing and being short tempered) from sun up to sun downand that it's hard enough with out people drinking and eating in front of them because like I pointed out it's seriously hot here. Although I must add that most people fasting don't really mind if you eat or drink in front of them because, well, no one but their inner resolve is stopping them from going to the fridge and getting their own.

What an experience that first Ramadan and subsequent Eid Al Fitr (celebrating the end of Ramadan) was. We had iftars at friends houses I snuck Cokes in the car as we drove down the streets, and I remember the feeling of charity, celebrations and happiness not at all different from the atmosphere back home in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Now that my fourth Ramadan has come to a close I have realized just what an important month this has become to me. I look forward to the change in lifestyle and I love and respect how a whole religion and country comes together during this Holy month to work towards the same goals. I know now that both Ramadan and Eid will always be apart of my life.

Eid Mubarak everyone and I hope this holiday greets you in good health.

FO: Bath blanket

The second FO I managed to finish under the radar for Charmaine's surprise baby shower was a blanket that I have dubbed "wash wash wash" (the name was inspired by my niece) as it is 100% organic cotton and in my mind it is the perfect blanket to cuddle your little bundle of joy in after a bath.


It was hard to give away! It's just so cuddly!




Details:

Pattern: I cant really say that I made up this pattern but what I can say is that I made a hybrid of a couple different patterns to knit this. It's knit corner to corner with a seed stitch boarder. I knit the 4 stitches of the boarder then I increased by one stitch at the beginning of the stockinette of each row then when I reached the desired width I decreased in the same manner.
Yarn:I used 6 skeins of Rowan Purelife with 2 held together
Needles: Size US 7's
Mods: None (see pattern details) : D

I'm very happy with the way this came out and I hope Charmaine and her bump enjoy it too!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

FO: Monsters

I can finally tell you about two secret projects that I had been working on for a friend's baby shower.... Charmaine frequents my blog and my ravelry page so i had to be very secretive in my projects as to not let the cat out of the bag.. hehe

I also had a strict deadline to work with as we were thowing her a Surprise Baby Shower / Dyeing party!! But more on that later... First I want to share the FO's so here's the first one.

I found this pattern through Ravelry a while ago and fell in love with it. These guys just look so cute! So Charmaine's bump gave me the perfect excuse to make one.

They were so much fun to knit and the pattern was SO easy to follow. I would recommend Danger Crafts to anyone!


Aren't they just the cutest!



Pattern Details:
Pattern:Daphne and Delilah the Momma and Baby Monster from Danger Crafts
Yarn: Plymouth Worsted Encore - two held together. total stash buster! woot woot!
Needles: US 9's
Mods: I ran out of the light yellow towards the top of the baby so I omitted one of the decrease rounds.
Bonus: There is virtually NO seaming!!! It was only needed to close the stuffing hole and put the arms on! How fabulous is that?!?!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wo-MAN's room

So today I'm sitting and waiting for an appointment in Abu Dhabi when I need to use the restroom....

I thought "no problem" as there was a men's and women's restroom not 15 ft from where I was sitting. I mean, fortunately it wasn't one of those places that expects you to wait forever for some appointment but with no bathrooms in sight.

Anyways I leave my purse with Husband and get up and head into the women's bathroom where there are two doors. I look behind door number one and find a hole in the ground. A porcelain hole, but a hole none the less. Cautiously I check door number two which to my relief sported a real toilet with toilet paper and everything!

I start to walk in and I hear the door to the bathroom open behind me. I turn and look and see a man walk in. A MAN! WALKED IN! And he headed straight for the porcelain hole! I froze! I didn't know what to do... all these thoughts running through my head

Should I say something to him?
But what?!?!
Wait, am I in the men's room?
I'm sure I saw this was the women's room.
How did he NOT know this was the women's room?? Maybe he doesn't read english very well?
Should I leave?
Should I stay?
He sure doesn't care that I am here that's for sure.
Oh my door doesn't lock. I'm totally leaving!!!!

I walk back out and check to make sure I really was in the women's room and I was! I also realize that they symbolize "women's room" by a little picture of an outline of a stick figure in a dress so guess there wasn't a language barrier problem.

I go sit back down next to Husband... "That was fast" He says to me...
"Watch the women's room door" I reply

Some 5 minutes later (FIVE MINUTES!) the guy comes strolling out of the women's room like there isn't a problem in the world... Husband looks at me and says "Seriously? He was in the ladies room?"

"Hehehe Yeah!"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Seriously Ducks?

I know I wasn't the only duck embarrassed by the game against Boise State on Thursday and I don't mean by just the beating we received on the field but rather we were embarrassed by this little development after the game

Oregon RB throws punch after season-opening loss to Boise State

Oregon suspended star running back LeGarrette Blount for the remainder of the season on Friday for punching Boise State's Byron Hout.
In their home opener, the 14th-ranked Broncos ran over the 16th-ranked Ducks, as Kellen Moore threw for 197 yards and a touchdown to cap a 19-8 Boise State win Thursday night.
But all didn't end quietly. As the Broncos started celebrating their victory, defensive lineman Hout yelled in Blount's face and provokingly tapped him on the shoulder. Broncos head coach Chris Petersen responded immediately, but before he could pull his player away, Blount snapped and punched Hout in the jaw.
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Blount then hit one of his teammates before police and team staff escorted him off the field, holding him back as he tried to swing at heckling fans.
"It was just something that I shouldn't have done," said Blount, who had eight carries for a loss of five yards. "I lost my head."
Lt. Bryan Hagler said Boise police would not get involved in the scuffle, though there were rumors Blount may get arrested.
Oregon coach Chip Kelly said he wanted to review the tape of the bunch before making a decision on Blount's punishment, and his future. On Friday, Kelly chose to keep Blount off the field for the rest of the season, including any bowl games. He will, however, remain on scholarship.
Mike Bellotti, Oregon's former head coach who stepped down last summer to become athletic director, said the Pac-10 was consulted about the pushiment -- commissioner Larry Scott was at the game -- and supports the school's choice of punishment.


Not only was this Blout guy just a big a$$ embarrassment to my school and all the other people that go there but he was an embarrassment to him self.... saying "It was just something that I shouldn't have done," isn't good enough... being suspended for the rest of the year isn't good enough... retaining his full ride scholarship ISN'T good enough!

What other kid with a full scholarship could walk around campus and punch someone, on school property no less, and NOT loose their scholarship!!! Once again this is the university showing their biased towards their football starts rather than the students working hard to pay for college and get a good education. Give the scholarship to a kid who is working two jobs and going to school full time and will STILL walk out with their degree and tens of thousands of dollars of debt yet also manage to never punch someone in the face because they are a poor sport.

I'm just sayin'

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I made purple yarn!

Apparently dyeing yarn is like eating chips - it's so hard to stop after the first time.

Dyeing yarn has gotten under my skin and I just can't stop! I LOVE IT! And a couple weeks ago I got the perfect excuse to dye again...

My good friend Melissa is getting married... She needs to cover her shoulders in the church she says. That's when a little thought bubble popped out of my head. A shawl!!!!! I have been itching to knit a shawl for a while and this would be the perfect excuse! I have seen her dress and it's gorgeous! It's also an absolutely gorgeous shade of purple... and she wants the shawl to match only to be a lighter shade. "I can do this" I tell her! Getting excited and plotting how much fun this would be.

I start scouting patterns for shawls. I narrow it down to the Flower Basket or the Swallow Tail. I studied them both and showed them both to my friend. Fortunately yet unfortunately she loved them both and was more worried about the color... I got the color covered I assured her.

I finally did and eeney-meeney-miney-moe and chose the Swallow Tail.

I picked two skeins of naked Malabriio Lace for the shawl because I saw the same yarn used on some other people's projects and it looked fabulously soft while still showing stitch definition


and then I picked some naked KnitPicks fingering weight (merino wool, silk) just because I wanted to make the dyeing worth it!


Then I got to dyeing!!!

I picked a beautiful purple dye by Dylon that I knew would match her dress perfectly. Look at the beautiful purple water...


Here's how the Malabrigo came out. I wanted it to be all purple but I also wanted it variated so I stuck two ends of each skein in the dye for about 10 minutes. Then I stuck the entire skeins into the water for another 10 minutes so that it would come out with darker and lighter spots


And the KnitPicks Bare. For this I just stuck the entire skein in the water because I would like to try to add a different color to this at a later date and see what happens.


Aren't they fabulous!!!

Then I got started knitting the shawl with my new Zephyr needles from KnitPicks I might add.


I'll keep you posted on my progress

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

3 years today

A couple of days ago was my 2 year blogaversary and now I have another anniversary to celebrate already! Three years today I moved to the United Arab Emirates.

THREE

TRES

THALATHA

TROIS

SUN

TRE

THREE eh?

(That last one was Canadian incase you were wondering ; ))

I can't believe it's been three years since I got on a plane and flew literally to the other side of the world.

I moved here just two weeks after I had graduated from the University of Oregon. I had one week to spend moving everything out of my apartment in Eugene and up to my mom's house and then I flew to Washington D.C. and New York for the week. I went there first to spend time with my sister and look for the neighborhood I wanted to move to when I was back from my 4 month trip to Dubai. That's right! I was only ever moving here for 4 months. I just wanted to check the place out and do a little exploring before I started working and living in the "real world"

I remember sitting with my sister in her living room and I said "What temperature in Fahrenheit is 40 degrees Celsius?" 40 is the average temp for Dubai this time of year
She said "I dunno..." and asked her husband
Her husband said "I think it's something like 104 or 105 degrees"
My sis and I looked at each other and laughed.... that couldn't be right. 104 what kind of place has an average temp of 104.
I heard her husband clicking away at his computer and then I hear "Yup 104 = 40"
I think my face fell and that was the moment I first thought to my self "what am I getting my self into"

See I hadn't really been able to think about any of the realities of moving to a far away land that I hardly knew anything about. I was way to focused on graduating. I was working full time and going to school beyond full time. I was taking 21 credits for the last two terms just to make sure I got done (12 credits is considered full time enrollment btw) on time. Someone put the idea in my head that I should check out Dubai and without thinking too long about it I just started planning. School and life was so hard that I was just looking forward to taking some selfish "me" time. I wanted to worry about me and only me.

What's the easiest way to move to a new land you ask? Well for someone whose been a student for the last forever years then the natural conclusion is to go be a student in the new land! I didn't want to worry about a place to live. I didn't want to worry about visas (whatever those were) and I wanted to be at least a little responsible and learn something while I was on my endeavor. So I enrolled my self for the fall semester at American University in Dubai. I enrolled in Arabic 1 and Middle Eastern Politics and that was it. I wasn't looking to get a degree so I didn't need to over load my self. Plus I wanted time to explore and seriously just relax. I had forgotten what it was like to do nothing.

The night before I was to take off from New York for the INSANE flight of 14 hrs my sister pulled out a world map... She said "you know where you're moving right?"
"Oh yeah I'm going the Middle East!" I beamed back at her
"Do you know where in the Middle East?"
I think I met that question with a blank stare...
She said "well just so you know" and she pointed out all the neighbors of UAE to me.

That was the second moment I wondered what I had gotten my self into.... Oh well I had a return ticket I could come back when I was ready. I didn't have to go the whole 4 moths if I didn't want to. I was a grown up now I could figure it out as I went.

When I finally made it to Dubai there were some people waiting for. Not people I had ever met before but people who were family of a friend of mine (later I learned people do this here because we're all expats and we all arrived not knowing anyone). They kindly scooped up all my baggage and hauled me off to get some dinner and show me Mall of the Emirates for the first time. That was the first time I saw men and women in the local dress. For some reason it surprised me. I guess I never put two and two together and realize that this land was "that" land. At the mall I also got my first glimpse of the over indulgence of Dubai. I mean seriously I was having dinner next to and indoor ski resort. CRAZY!

I went to my new little dorm room that I would be sharing with another student from Pakistan who was so nice and showed me all around campus.

Then I was quickly informed of the rules of the girls dorms by the mistress of the house.
No Boys past the security guard
You must sign in and out every time you enter or exit the dorms
You need a form signed by your parents to stay out past nine
You need a separate form signed by your parents to stay out all night

Seriously? Do they know where I'm from? I haven't had a curfew since I was 15!!! I didn't move all the way out here just to have to be home at sunset! I came to explore!
I looked at the lady, sighed, and said well ok I'll send it to my mom and get her to sign this for me I guess (boy did my mom have a laugh about that one)... "How old are you" she demanded. "ummm 25"
"Well lucky for you 25 years is the cut off... no need for a permission slip"
"great" i thought to my self... 25 just barely squeezed by...

I basically slept for the next three days letting my self get over the jet lag. On the 4th day was the first day of class. I showed up to arabic 1 where I quickly realized that arabic 1 was not for people who knew no arabic but rather for those who knew it but wanted to get an easy grade. I realized quickly that I was already behind the rest of the class and we had barely made it through the first hour.

Towards the end of class this really tall beautiful girl with an incredible accent came up to me. She was from Croatia staying here with her father. It was ladies night at most of the clubs the next night and she had a friend who knew all the great places to go to... I should come.

I said sure. It was not my usual to go and hang out with people I didn't know and go to places I didn't know but seriously WHO did I know? No one. She seemed nice and Hey I got lost in New York and survived that I can go out and have some fun in Dubai and survive that too....

So the next night I met up with her at Wafi City and we sat at a tapas bar and waited for her friend.... About 20 min after we arrived he briskly walked through the door waiving absently at the bouncer on his way. I thought to my self... that cant be the guy. Then my friend turned around and said "Hey! He's here!" He walked up to our table and did the three kiss lebanese hello with my friend and then held his hand out to me...

"Hey what's your name?"
"Lindsay" I replied with a smile on my face
"Where are you from?" He asked skeptically
"America" I replied "You?"
"Lebanon... and I don't like Americans by the way"
I smiled, "Well I'm not a fan of the lebanese so I guess we're equal" I retorted in my usual if-you-say-something-about-me-i'll-definitely-say-something-back way.
He smiled.

A year and a half later we were married

So for me, as you can guess, this move was life changing. It was never my intention to be here for three years but life has a funny way of happening when you least expect it. I have been very fortunate that the people around me always help me succeed and have my best interests at heart.