Friday, November 26, 2010

Little Elephant and some Thanks

I have a little surprise for a new baby this Christmas.
I loved making the Elijah pattern by Ysolda Teague so much for little baby Lucy over a year ago (who named him Elmer and now sleeps with him every night) that when I found out my cousin Kirsten was expecting come February, I knew it would be the perfect present.
It works well as a unisex present, especially since Kirsten and her husband are going to wait to find out if it's a boy or a girl. Besides that fact, it's an adorable and well-written pattern, which is a staple of patterns written by Ysolda.
I especially like how awkward the little body of the elephant is. :)
Specs real quick:
Knit with: Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino in Superwash, I used sz. 4 needles and was able to get away with one skein of yarn. I stuffed the guy with roving one would use for thrumming, so he's super squishy.
Favorite thing about knitting him: The number of people that commented on how cute he was when I was knitting him at the climbing gym. Also, how fast he knits up when I actually work on him.
Worst thing about knitting him: Probably picking up stitches for and knitting the arms. The first couple of rounds are a pain. Difficult to find something I didn't like about knitting him. :)

I'm halfway through a pair of double-knit mittens for a climber friend, and I'm enjoying being home this weekend for the Thanksgiving weekend. My school to-do list is formidable, but it's been nice so far to take time with family and friends I haven't seen for awhile. Coming home puts things in perspective for me, and helps me recharge my batteries a little.
I'm thankful for my family and my friends, and the advice I get from them (whether I want it or not).
I'm thankful that I haven't been hurt badly while climbing.
I'm thankful for my awesome digestive system, which deals with my random dinners of Oreos, cereal, or half a jar of pickles.
I'm thankful for my jobs and especially the people I work with.
I'm thankful for malabrigo yarn, black diamond cams, vanilla white chocolate mochas, and the crackling of the binding breaking on a new book.
And I'm thankful for how lucky I am for the chance to pursue everything that I want, academically and career-wise, climbing related, or all the other chance things that have come my way thus far.
It's amazing what life throws in your path. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Knitting In Action: Comp Hat

A fellow climber and reader of my blog enjoyed the last post of Knitting in Action, and sent me some pictures of another of my knitted goods tearing it up.
There's a bit of a story behind this hat. While it looks like the most cookie-cutter, easy hat ever (and it was- just K2P2 ribbing for the brim and I followed the closing on the top for the Turn-a-Square hat by Jared Flood), I have to say that of all my knitted goods, this hat by far and out is getting the most use.
The guy wearing it- Justin- is one of those guys that never, ever, ever goes without a hat. Thus, last year, when the crocheted black hat his wife made him kicked the dust and completely unraveled, he commissioned me to make him a new one. 4 hours and some black Cascade 220 later, I had a super simple hat ready to go. Since I gave it to him, I see him at least 3-4 days a week in the climbing gym since he's not only a dedicated climber but the head route setter at our gym.
He has been wearing that hat every single time I see him, without fail. People have actually commented when they don't see him wearing it.
It's nice when you have someone that's so dedicated to a piece that people notice more when it's not being worn. Especially if that piece is something you made.
Simple, yet loved.
I like knitting. :)

(Above photos are Justin climbing around Duluth, bouldering at Sandstone, climbing at VE in Canal Park, and sport climbing in Southern Illinois)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Knitting In Action: Devil's Tower

Since I knit a lot for fellow climbers, I attempt always try to sneak in a comment when they received their knitted goods that I would love a picture of them using/wearing the object that I've made them. Preferably while they're climbing some crazy sick route. I never have very many hopes, since that means not only do they have to get a photo taken of them while climbing where the knitted item is clearly visible, but that picture has to make it back to me somehow.
I've started to get better and better results with these requests, and the latest in what I like to call the "Knitting In Action" pictures come from Devil's Tower in Wyoming.
I made a chalk bag for Tyler a long while back, and he brought it with on a short trip out to the Tower a couple of weeks ago. He promised I would get some pictures, and low and behold they finally made it into my hands!
This is a lovely picture of what is being called the "Chalk Trough" as Tyler gets ready for a route called "Assembly Line". The chalk trough is rather large and bulky, and really best for easier routes.
I have to admit, I was pretty psyched to see pictures of my knitting a few hundred feet in the air. Who wouldn't be? :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The semester has really been picking up speed, and while I haven't drowned yet, I'm barely keeping my head above water with all the things I'm balancing.
Yesterday was one of the first days I simply got away from my office at school and my desk at home to a new venue to work- a local eatery called Burrito Union.
With a breakfast Vegetarian Burrito bursting with eggs, salsa, potatoes and veggies, I was able to get a lot of work done while not feeling stifled by my surroundings. I think the key is to switch up what's going on around me to keep myself focused more.
I'm thinking more and more about next year and the way I want my life in general to go, since applications for PhD school are due soon and I need to either get rolling on that or let myself breathe a little. I want my PhD, and will eventually get it in my life, but I'm starting to wonder if I should go out and experience a little of the world first while I'm young, unattached, and my body is able to handle a lot of abuse.
It doesn't help that a buddy and I sat down and listed all of our goal climbing destinations. His list included the intimidating Moonlight Buttress route in Zion National Park- hundreds of feet of just splitting finger cracks. As a free climb, it rates at 5.12d. Although crack climbing is my bread and butter, I still have to work a 5.12 for a long time, so this will be a big step if I free the whole climb too. If I'm going to be accompanying him, I'd rather push my ultimate limits and free it myself, instead of jumaring up the tough sections. Time to start training... ;)
In the meantime, back to working hard on everything else.
Good thing I got burritos to back me up. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I had a smashing Halloween, filled with friends, happiness, and good times.
My costume came together right at the end with a lucky find at a store- after years of looking, I found a hat worthy to complete a Carmen Sandiego costume.
This costume was a ton of fun to be, although some of my younger friends didn't exactly get the reference. I ran into a few other characters in my Halloween wanderings:
One of my favorites was White Goodman, the owner of Globo Gym from the movie Dodgeball. My buddy Curt found some hockey pads for a 3-year old, cut the back open so he could fit his head through, and put the Globo Gym emblam all over it.
Another was my buddy Mat- it took awhile to figure out what he was:
Any guesses?
He was the Bermuda Triangle- note the little toy planes and boats stuck inside of him. :)
I'm completely back logged right now with grading, papers, homework, and other things, which is why I've had trouble keeping up with things. Knitting for Christmas is going very slow. The elephant I'm making for my cousin's soon-to-be baby has a head and the beginnings of a body, but hasn't progressed much since that. Hopefully the next two weeks I can catch up and start to figure things out.
Besides that, I hope everyone had a great Halloween and sweet beginning to November so far... :)