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A new me

So all I have are poorly lit photos taken by me on my cell phone at work BUT, I thought I would share anyway.

Before:

After:

It is like it is a whole new me.  (But still totally me.)

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I miss knitting

I know it is a silly thing to say, seeing as how I am perfectly capable of picking up the needles at any time.  But the past 6 months…life has been busy.  An unsettled kind of busy.  And when life gets like that for me, during my downtime I seek less release in my more active and creative pursuits and tend to fall back on easy and mindless activities (like browsing the internet or playing word games on my phone while I watch TV.)

I spent some time on Ravelry tonight, browsed patterns and projects, took a look at my queue, and started remembering.  I remember what it is like to see a design or a finished object and get that flash of inspiration/obsession.  To carefully choose yarn and colors–usually spread out on the floor of a friendly local yarn store.  To rush home and make a hasty effort of a swatch (just so you can say you did) and then excitedly cast on.  Then there is the actual knitting process, watching something grow and seeing how the colors and texture take form.  Setting mini-deadlines and reaching mid-way milestones of finishing the back, or a sleeve.  Finally being able to block the finished pieces and always forgetting how long it takes to actually seam the garment.  Trying it on for the first time and taking that first “I just spent over 100 hours on this project and what if it is hideous” look in the mirror.  Then of course there is the awkward photo shoot to show the blog what it looks like on even though you feel like a huge dork and hate having your picture taken because you over smile and feel self-conscious and worry others will think you are a wannabe model.  Yeah, I remember it, and I miss all of it.

So, all this to say, I haven’t been knitting.  Or I haven’t been knitting much.  I’ve had the same project on the needles since before I moved from Colorado.  And it is no where close to being done.  See?

When I started this top I was so proud of myself for the season appropriateness of it all.  I reasoned, by the time I finished, summer would be here.  Although now that I think about it, by the time I finish NEXT summer will be here.  So I guess it is okay.  This is such an interesting knit.  I mean, it is constructed diagonally! I have never seen a sweater knit this way and don’t know what it means in terms of fit.  In fact, I have no clue how it is going to fit and probably won’t until it is done.  I have gotten good at adjusting a sweater to my body but on this one I have no choice but to follow the pattern as written.  I just have to have faith in my gauge…although it is hard.

Crazy, crazy top.

Even though I haven’t spent a whole lot of actual knitting time with this project, I am still feeling the pangs of boredom that come from looking at the same pattern and colors for months on end.  So, sadly, I doubt I’ll finish this any time soon.  Just don’t let me put it off too long.  In the mean time…winter knits anyone?

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News

Last time I wrote I promised news.  Now I am aware that from time to time I have promised things on this blog and didn’t deliver.  This is not one of those times.

So you ready for it?  My news…

I am buying a house!

Actually a condo, but I hate the word condo (for some reason it feels like a very cheesy 80’s word to me.)  I don’t like the word apartment either because that word=renting in my mind.  And I will be a renter no longer.  So if you have a great word I should call my place please let me know.

This whole buying a (insert great word for property I am buying) is a pretty big deal to me.  I know, many of you have already done the ‘buy the house’ thing but it is new for me and I can’t help but be terrified and at the same time very impressed over my grown-up self.

Sure, there is the chance that this doesn’t happen.  I don’t close for 2 weeks and something could go wrong.  (Please don’t go wrong.)  But it feels like it is going to happen and so I feel relatively safe making this announcement.  Plus I am just so excited I can’t stand holding it in any longer.  In fact my reasons for being excited are so many I feel an itemized list coming on…

Reasons I am excited for my upcoming move/purchase:

  1. My new neighborhood: the Avenues.  I love the history and charming homes, the proximity to downtown and yet the feel of a neighborhood.
  2. Hatch Family Chocolates.  My new place is within two blocks to my favorite chocolate shop in all of SLC.  Say we are hanging out at my place one night watching Gilmore Girls on DVD.  I could turn to you and say “Hey, you want 1000-calorie-but-best-I-have-ever-tasted hot chocolate right now?”  You would say: “Um, yeah!”  And then we would go and be back with said deliciousness in like 10 minutes.  I am not saying the close proximity of Hatch’s is good for my healthy diet but I am certain it is good for my soul.  In fact, I am contemplating a change jar which will serve as my slush fund for Hatch’s and nothing else.  Am I a little too much of a superfan?
  3. Decorating.  Really it is just another creative outlet that I am tapping into.  I watched my sister Kara have so much fun making her “flat” (her chosen word) hers by searching for deals, painting, and finding accents that has made her place truly envy worthy.  These things take time though (and money) and so I will have to pace myself but I am having fun so far with visions of what it could be.
  4. I get to be with my stuff again. For the past 5 months, 95% of my things have been in storage.  I miss my stuff.
  5. My new commute. Remember my 1-hour-each-way commute to Loveland from Denver?  Now my commute will be 5 minutes by car, 20 by foot.  Yeah, I could walk to work if I wanted.  And then walk downtown on the weekends, you know, for fun.
  6. Finally, the apartment itself which was found pretty quickly. I did a lot of research and looking online but on the first night of looking in person I found it.  It was the last place we went to and I am pretty sure my real estate agent knew what he was doing saving it for last.  I love it.  Hardwood floors, french doors opening to a “balcony”, open kitchen and living room space, awesome views of the mountains and valley.  It is not a huge place (about 900 square feet: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath) but it is perfect for me.  I promise to take lots of pictures as soon as I can.  It is going to be awesome.

Don’t get me wrong though.  I will miss my roommies Mom and Dad and the fun times we’ve had living under the same roof.  I’ll miss having disposable income.  I’ll miss…um, I think those are the only two negatives.  My tentative move in date is Halloween.  I am totally dressing up as a homeowner this year.

P.S. All this house stuff has really put a damper on my other creative pursuits.  I haven’t been knitting.  Or sewing.  I know I will get back to it but for now my mind is otherwise occupied.  I will post pictures soon though of what I have been able to accomplish this summer.

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Catching up

Not posting for a while is kind of like taking too long to email a friend back (of which I have way to much experience with.)  You keep meaning to write but every day/week/month you wait, all the things you have to cover just grow exponentially.  The more you have to write, the harder it is to find the time to write until you either never write or you break down, skip all the fun details, say “life has been busy”, and start from scratch.  I am trying to fight the urge to do either one of these things.

I really do have stuff I want to share. The summer was crazy….I moved!, started a new job!, went to China!, sewed 3 skirts + 3 shirts+ 1 dress!, started a new fitness plan!, became roommates housemates with my parents!, frogged and casted on again for the carp!, watched the 1st season of Big Bang Theory on DVD! (okay, so maybe I did have some time to blog.)  Anyway, crazy times for me.  When I move to another city I feel a little like I am hitting the reset button on my life.  It is kind of an awesome/strange feeling.  I like fresh starts for the same reason I like new year’s and birthdays.  I like taking stock, making changes, and the promise of the unknown.  But it takes a little time for me to feel comfortable in my skin, to settle.  And even though this time I moved to a familiar place, I still felt unease that for me only calms with time. I miss my apartment and my supermarket and my neighborhood and my restaurants.  But most of all, as my dear friend Shelley would say, I miss my people.  (My Denver people that is, thankfully, I do have Salt Lake people that I don’t have to miss any longer.)

All this to say that thanks to this angst-y adjustment time, I have gotten out of the blogging habit.  But, things are changing.  Pieces are falling into place and it is starting to feel normal that I live here again.  And of course…it is October.  I LOVE October.  Good things happen in October.  So maybe it is my calming down life or the magical month of October that is bringing my blogging mojo back but either way, here I am, and I will be back soon with some fun news and maybe a peek at what little knitting I have gotten done.

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I had another post planned but I had to preempt it for very important breaking news.  Denver is home to many things I love, one of which is Smashburger.  Most of my Denver friends (and every friend that came to visit me when I lived in Denver) knows how much I love me some Smashburger.  The decision to move was made more difficult when I realized I would have to leave behind my BBQ Bacon & Cheese, Mushroom Swiss Smashchicken, and Haagen-dazs ice cream shakes.  With great reluctance I said goodbye to Smashburger vowing to return soon.

Well folks, soon may be closer than I thought…

0714092038

No, your eyes do not deceive you (as they did mine at first.)  Smashburger is coming to Utah!!!  The Sugarhouse location is opening in mid-August.  Um…can you believe it?  I am kind of freaking out here.  I am not sure what it says about my life that this is the best news I have heard in a long time but whatever…I get to eat Smashburger!  Any time I want to!

Now all that is left is if my Denver people moved to Salt Lake.  Smashburger did it, why can’t you?

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Oh, hello.

I know, it has been a while.  Sorry about that.  In the last 6 weeks I have moved states, started a new job, and just got back from two weeks of this:

Hiking the Great Wall of China


Viewing history unearthed


Cruising the Li River


Floating down the Dragon River


Shopping at Vickie…shoes!


Helping these two say goodbye to the crazy beautiful Hong Kong skyline

I am a little tired but filled with a lot of awe and gratitude for both surviving the last two months and for the very blessed life I get to lead.  I have plenty of things I could (and have been meaning to) post about.  I will try and get my act together very soon but I just wanted to post and see if anyone was still reading or not.  I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t…but I hope you still are.

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The last couple months I have been in a bit of a knitting lull.  I’ve started several projects only to lose interest and frog or just put the project to the side.  I just couldn’t get excited–I wasn’t inspired by anything.

And then, about a week ago, I got my hands on a copy of this book:

Japanese Inspired Knits

I want to knit EVERYTHING in this book.  Okay, not everything but close.  First there is this sweet cardigan:

the fan

and this pretty fair isle:

summer in tokyo

I love, love, love, this cardigan coat:

flower buds

and finally, this clever tee:

the carp

While the one I am most excited about is “flower buds”, I thought I would first start with something a little more season appropriate.

beginnings of “the carp”

I love it!  I have never knit a sweater this way before, all in metered squares.  You basically knit it in stripes–such an interesting way to construct a garment.  I am excited to see how it all fits together.  Here is a close up:

The lighter yarn looks a little more green in person but I like the slight blue cast of it. Why my knitting mojo had to come back in force when I should be spending all my time packing boxes, I don’t know.  I guess that is just the way it goes.

Okay, back to kni…ur, packing.

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Change

First off I should say, I love Denver and the two years I have lived here.  I love the city and the restaurants and the over-sized animal statues.  I love my job and the company I have been lucky enough to work for.  I really love the people I’ve met here, real lifetime friends that I hope to always have in my life.  But, no matter how much I love a place, when I feel the need to move on, I need to move on.

In the last week, I accepted a new job (a great job I couldn’t be more thrilled about), gave notice at the company I currently work for, and began the process of moving my life from Denver to Salt Lake City.  Yes, I am coming back.  Close to family and many dear friends–I am excited to start a new life in a familiar place.

I officially move on May 16th so I have LOTS to do until then.  In the next three weeks I will be writing some posts about some of my favorite things in Denver so stay tuned for that.

Also upcoming…taking advantage of my transition period coinciding with the news that my parents are moving away from Hong Kong in July, I decided to go on a 2 week trip to China in June.  Crazy!  So you can expect some travel notes on the blog after I return from that adventure.

I feel very blessed with all the great things happening in my life right now.  Life is never perfect but so far 2009 is really doing well by me and for that I am very grateful.

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In the craziness that has been the last month, I completely neglected to post about a quick knitting project I picked up one night when I needed to knit something different, small, and out of stash yarn.  I went to my handy ravelry queue for ideas and was reminded of the Anthro-Inspired Scarflet–a pattern that copies a pretty little scarf as seen in the Anthropologie catalog.

It was perfect.  Fast and easy and the end result is so very sweet.

The thing is, as I was knitting it I started to have a little debate with myself over which side looked better.  The above picture is of the “right side.”  Here is the “wrong”:

Both are pretty I think.  This is a perfect little scarf for those cool spring nights.  It was also the perfect little project that distracted me for a few days and then…it was done!

Stats:

Pattern: Anthro-Inspired Scarflet

Source: Kim Seio (Free Ravelry Download)

Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist, Highlander – less than 1 skein

Needles: US 8

Mods: None.

And special thanks to my friend Teri for lending me your modeling skillz.  I need to get more knitting done so we have another excuse for a fun modeling shoot!

I will be back soon with the new sewing project I have been waiting to show.  Hope you all are having a spendid weekend.

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For those who don’t know, I grew up on Oahu in the State of Hawaii.  During my college years I remember visiting home one summer with a friend.  We went to go visit my grandpa one day.  He was out in his yard hard at work–wearing his coveralls of course.  He greeted my friend warmly and asked her if she had ever been to Hawaii before.  She said no, it was her first time.  He then lifted his arms and motioned to the beautiful green mountains so prevalent in the Manoa valley and enthusiastically said, “isn’t this paradise?”

Grandpa LOVED Hawaii.  Almost as much as he loved ice cream.  (You thought I was going to say my Grandma didn’t you?)  He loved faking us out and pretending he didn’t have the tickets to whatever show we were going to.  He loved his watch Mei Ling (yes, that is the name he gave the watch) which faithfully spoke the time to him for many, many years.  He loved dinners out–especially those that had salad and dessert included in the price–Grandpa loved a good deal.  Grandpa loved his faith and lived it with conviction–leading his life the way he professed to believe.  He loved his name, my name, and hoped all who bore it would always honor it.  He loved his children and grandchildren of which I am very proud to be one.  And of course, Grandpa loved, loved his classy wife, my Grandma.

Last night Grandpa passed away.  I knew it was coming, it was his time and I am happy for him, just feeling a little sad for me.  I wanted him to meet my future husband, to have my children know the man who was so influential in my life.  As I get older, the more I understand what he and my Grandma gave me and I am forever grateful for them both.

Dad, Me, and Grandpa in Hawaii last summer

I miss you already Grandpa.  Give my love to Grandma and Aunt Patty.  Paradise just won’t be the same without you.

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