Friday, May 20, 2011

Leni's 1st birthday!

My niece had her first birthday not long ago. You may remember my over joyed excitement when she arrived just one short year ago.

To celebrate her first year I knew that she would need something special.

Special like cashmere and ruffles. Hey, you don't turn 1 every day!

I decided to knit Baby Kina again. I'm not always such a fan of knitting patterns twice only because I would rather try something new but Baby Kina is just too cute. I could imagine it on my niece perfectly.

So now that I knew the pattern I went to Loopy and told them I was looking for something special. I was quickly shown to the back of the store. I felt like I was being let in on a secret. Maybe it is a secret!!! If so disregard this post. But when I got there I found the most amazing blend of DK yarn in the most gorgeous colors.

Azula Cricket MCN.
That's 80% merino (the bulk because it's durable, warm, soft make it's easy to care for) , 10% cashmere (plenty to feel the softness) and 10% Nylon (helps it keep it's shape)

For those of you thinking to your selves "Cashmere for a 1 year old?" Well let me tell you I don't knit for anyone - at any age (unless specifically requested) with yarn that is hand wash only. This yarn can handle the gentle cold cycle (80% merino) and then dry flat. Cool huh?

The depth of color in these yarns is just gorgeous and as soon as I saw them I wanted to pull them off the wall, put them in a huge pile and roll around in them (I pretty sure it's some basic instinct for yarnies).

I gazed at the colors, trying to decide which was best. The pattern I chose was already pretty girly and with buttons I could even up that a little so I wanted a color that was a little different. I went with orange. Persimmon to be exact.

It seemed to be insanely hard to capture the true beauty of this color (The color in the pics with Leni are very close) so you'll just have to trust me it's not too bright and it's not too creamy. Not too yellow and not too red. It's just right. In fact I recommend you just buy some to cuddle, drool over and of course get an accurate idea of the color.

It took all my will power (and a lack of needles and pattern) not to cast on on the train ride home but I managed to wait. When I did finally get home I cast on right away and this little sweater seemed to fly off the needles (except for the part where I forgot a crucial increase row and had to to start over. That may have been due to knitter error but I blame the intoxicating softness of the yarn).

When the little sweater was done I gazed at it and thought it's a good thing that 1. it's WAY too small to fit me and that 2. it was going to my niece, otherwise I don't think I could have parted with it.

And after seeing this photo I would gladly knit her a dozen more.

There's something about seeing my family wear my hand knits that warms me from the inside. I would knit miles of yarn (especially cashmere!) just to see them surrounded in my knits.

Pattern Details:

Yarn: Azula Cricket MCN in persimmon and incase you haven't heard it has cashmere in it! YUM!
Needles: US 5
Modifications: I added two extra buttons and button holes. The buttons are from Loopy as well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kentucky Derby Day!

I thought it was a bit funny that after living in Dubai for so long that it wasn't until I moved back to the US that I went to my first horse race.

As you may or may not know Dubai host the world's most expensive race (surprise surprise) which happens to be the Dubai World Cup for Horse Racing. They have some impressive camel races too but I digress.

My husband called me from work one day and said something along the lines of "Hey we're going to the Kentucky Derby in a couple weeks!"

My reply was something like "Ok cool!"

I'm use to these phone calls out of the blue from my husband. He is a bit spontaneous and I am always willing to go along for the ride.

so of course I got a hat

and I had to check out the paddocks...

...and the steeples!

There were a lot of statues of famous horses...

We could see the finish line! (at least until there were taller people than me in front)

The horses seemed to enjoy parading around and showing off almost as much as racing. But they should because they sure are beautiful

The horses are fast and really exciting to watch. Who knew there were so many races in the day!?!

The whole event is steeped in tradition from the dressed up ladies in their hats to the Mint Juleps being offered every few feet. The horses also have a whole set of events to do. They don't just run around a track but first they show off at the paddock then they parade in front of the spectators, they then race, then parade again and I think they go back to the paddocks.

Overall it was a fantastic way to spend the day and I would love to go again next year.

Good luck Animal kingdom on your next two races... Here's hoping you get the triple crown!!!

photo from here