Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July Craziness

After climbing in Spearfish, it's been non-stop busy for me.  I decided that in order to keep my sanity, I would only really keep up on instagram (and occasionally facebook) and take a hiatus from writing on the blog.  This was partly because I was gone 4 days every weekend, and partly because I've been so busy that knitting has taken a back seat this summer.
Instead, here's what I've been up to this last month!

Almost every weekend, I've been trying to get down to the lake to enjoy time with family.  It's really cool that as I get older, I want to spend more time with my ridiculous family members.  And one really awesome thing- my brother got engaged!  We're adding a Kendra to my immediate family, and I couldn't be happier with my almost-sister-in-law!

(Myself, Brit, and Kendra hanging out on the lake!)
I spent my Mon-Thu teaching a summer term course at my college, which was really intense and really fast-paced.  Luckily, I had time in the afternoon to do a few awesome activities...

like picking strawberries with my friend Alex...

and passing the last navigation dive for my Advanced Diver Certification!  It feels SO cool to know that I've passed, and I have over a dozen dives under my belt- half of them in Lake Superior!  Diving scares the crap out of me, so getting to a point that I'm finally feeling a little more comfortable underwater is incredible!
My last two weekends have been filled with wedding related parties for one of my best college friends, Lady Lust!

Her rehearsal at Pizza Luce in downtown was delicious...

and I got to help assemble everything from bouquets to boutineers to drawing names and dates on hangers.

The wedding was fantastic, and one of the best parts was being able to hang out with all my old college friends that I haven't seen in far too long.  My old roommates Mark and Larissa attempted to coerce me to move down to the cities so I can hang out with them more often.  It was hard to say no!

I'm so glad I was part of Kate's special day, and it only fueled my desire to see them all more often!
I ended the weekend hanging out with my family, as my Dad flew up from Florida for a couple of weeks of MN summer awesomeness!  We did an entire day on Sunday on the water, touring the entire Lake Minnetonka area and jumping in whenever it got too hot out (which was just about every bay).  I've really missed having my dad around, and having all of the family together was fantastic.

I drove back to Duluth late Sunday, and last night was a special performance by my summer tap dance students down on the Duluth Boardwalk!

We performed the song we'd been working on the last few weeks, and the girls performed amazingly!  None of them seemed nervous, it looked like they had fun, and we even had a good size crowd!
Tonight is my last night of summer dance, and tomorrow I'll be taking my Mom, Dad, brother, and Kendra out on the Superior Hiking Trail for a couple of days of backpacking.  From there, back to the lake for the weekend, then a day of dance camp, then on Tuesday I'm off for a 10-day climbing trip in Colorado with two of my best friends!
Things don't seem like they're going to slow down until school starts at the end of August, but I'll attempt to do a better job of shorter posts with pics more often.
And maybe- just maybe- some finished knitting projects. ;)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

FO: U of M Socks

I'm heading down to visit family this weekend in the Twin Cities, but I wanted to squeak in a quick post about an FO that I've had done for awhile- a pair of University of Minnesota colored-socks for one of my graduating dancers!

Pattern: #9728 Beginner Socks from Knitting Pure and Simple
Yarn: Cascade 220 worsted-weight in Maroon and Gold :)
Needles: Size 6 bamboo DPN's

Mods: Lots, but mostly minor ones for color and to get the colored short-row heel that I wanted.  To get the color sequence to look like old-school athletic socks, here's my notes:
5 rounds of K1P1 
K5 rounds in base color 
K3 rounds of color 2 
K2 rounds of base color 
K5 rounds of color 2 
K2 rounds of base color 
K3 rounds of color 2 
Then back to base color for the remainder of the leg. 
I did a short-row heel instead of the heel asked for in the pattern in color 2, and also used color 2 when I began the toe decreases.
Worst Part: Not finishing these in time for the special performance.
Best Part: This is one of those fun times when I'm pretty sure she'll enjoy these the most when she's hanging out in her dorm room, and hopefully a glance at her feet brings back happy tap-dancing memories. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Keeping Busy

This summer has really taken off- I can't believe it's already July!  I've been doing everything from diving to friend time to my 30th birthday party to a trip to Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota for climbing!
Some of the highlights:

I ran the bridal shower for one of my best college friends- it was a field day, and with my Mom's help, it went fantastically!  Ridiculous games from elementary school are the best type of games for an event like this. :)

I went to a bachelorette party for one of my Duluth friends, Sarah.  It was one of those wine-and-paint events that I've seen on social media, and it was an incredible amount of fun to finally try something like this out!

I now have a fun painting hanging in my bedroom, and it spurred me to pull out my watercolors to start doing a little art on my off-days this summer!

Here's another big event- I turned 30!  I sent an invite out to Duluth friends, and had a get-together at Mexico Lindo.  After such a difficult week, having around 30 people stop by and hug me and do toasts with me and let me know how much they care was nothing short of incredible, not even counting the number of messages, texts, phone calls, and facebook posts.  It was exactly the sort of outpouring of love that I needed, and it warms my heart to know how many people care about me.

One of the most amazing parts?  These ladies drove up 2 1/2 hours from the Twin Cities just to be at my birthday party.  I definitely lost it when they came in the door, and again when there were hugs and support from them.  I'm so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people that care about me.  It's good to feel that love when I'm needing a little more support right now. :)
This past weekend, I got a last-minute opportunity to climb in Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota for a last-minute climbing trip over the 4th of July!

It was so much fun- I met a ton of new climbers, saw some old friends that I haven't seen for a long time, and got totally thrashed after 3 days of trying hard!

I worked a 5.12a called The Juvenile that was a fantastic climb, and if I was in endurance shape, I could have bagged my first 5.12a outside.  I actually got the difficult climbing portion, and just couldn't hold on to the bigger holds on top.  That's okay- project for next trip! :)

I didn't even know the people I was driving out with until I drove up to the apartment we were leaving from in Northeast Minneapolis.  That's okay- a 10 hour drive meant plenty of time to make friends!

All in all, it was an amazing trip that reminded me how much I love getting outdoors, going camping, and trying hard with fantastic friends.
It feels really good to enjoy so many positive experiences after some difficult changes. :)