Monday, December 13, 2010

Marshmallow Bonnet

I finished up the Marshmallow Bonnet yesterday! As with most of my knitting projects, I didn't check my gauge, so the sides seem a bit too long to me, but I still think it is pretty cute. I might do another one one in pink with white puffs.

The specs:
Pattern: Marshmallow Bonnet from Itty Bitty Hats by Susan Anderson
Yarn: Cashsoft Baby DK and Kidsilk Aura
Needles: Some good old aluminum size 7 (would use size 6 next time)

I LOVE the way the Kidsilk Aura gives the hat a little loftiness. It's so soft and fluffy.

I'm not sold on the bobble as a fastener...I think a button might be easier. I may try that with the next one. It was a fun knit and I think a pink one with white accents would be cute. I'd also like to try some changes other people on Ravelry have suggested.

It was really hard to get that container of salt to sit still for the photo!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let it Snow!

Yesterday was Snowmageddon! The snowpocalypze! The Snownami! A Snowicane! A Snownado! The roof of the Metrodome collapsed under the weight of all the snow! Crazy!

Well, we got a lot of snow. And a lot of wind. And a lot of cold. It was great. Why? It meant we were stuck at home and I was able to get my knit on! Finally! I almost finished the Marshmallow Bonnet from Itty Bitty Hats. I just need to get the right sized crochet hook to make the little loopy things. So, pics to come.

D and I did venture a block up to Cupcake, just to check out how bad it really was. It was bad. It sealed the deal that we would not venture to Lea and Amit's house to meet with the On Tap group to start planning our fall trip to Spain and Portugal. Instead, we stayed in, ate cheese and crackers, watched movies and SNL, and I got some organizing done.

One of my projects was to organize my yarn stash. Wow. It's pretty bad when you have yarn you forgot buying. Like this blue stuff I got from Austin's Mohair and Gifts in Harmony, MN when we went to Lanesboro right after our wedding. Pretty, eh? Just sitting in a bag, neglected all these months.

I also made some new purchases when my mom and I went yarn shop hopping the day after Thanksgiving. What a fun day we had! It was fun to hang out with just my mom.

We went to Three Kittens where they were having a massive sale! I got this Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette, 10 skeins....

And this King Tut cotton, also 10 skeins.

I guess I was in a pink mood that day.

I also bought some yarn to make the marshmallow bonnet, and some secret gift stuff, at the Yarnery, my favorite place.

As I organized my stash, I found several odd projects from years ago. One of the very first knitting classes I ever took was knitting mittens in the round on DPNs. Took the class at my other favorite place, Crafty Planet. So, this was back in the day where I had the attitude that I was taking the class to learn a skill, not to get a finished product, so I used the cheapest yarn I could find. And now, I have some really ugly mittens.

What to do with them? Donate? They are kind of ugly and misshapen, but they still work. I dunno.

I also found a bunch of zippers I ordered from a zipper place in New York for my Ribby Cardi - like 5 zippers (got some different sizes to try) that I couldn't use because I ordered the wrong kind. Woops! Those, along with a bagful of yarn are ready to be donated someplace. My mom is going to take my pile of GGH kid mohair off my hands, the rest...who knows. I feel pretty good getting my stuff organized.

And now, since the roads are plowed, we are off to those greatest of all places, Target and Best Buy! Let the shopping begin!

Alas, the honeymoon had to end

We wrapped up our honeymoon in Vieques, Puerto Rico. This is a small island off the coast of the main island...about a 20 minute flight. We took one of those little 10-seater planes, where seat #1 is the pilot. I didn't really like that. ONE pilot? What if something had happened to him? Yikes!

Anyway, we got to Vieques and it was beautiful. Wild horses everywhere.

Beautiful beaches.

Laid back bars and restaurants.

This crazy tree.

I almost wish we had had more time to spend there. It was while we were there that I realized that I really am one of those people who just wants to lay on the beach on vacation. We stayed at a place called Hector's by the Sea, which I loved.

They have three casitas, are right on the water, and were just the friendliest people ever. They provided a cooler and beach chairs for us so each morning we headed to the store, filled the cooler with beer, and then just laid around the beach. PERFECT!

We headed back to San Juan for one more night before we had to come back to what was the iciest night so far in the Twin Cities. It took us an hour to get home from the airport (this is normally 20 minutes tops for us).

And, it is three weeks later and we have just experienced Snomageddon. As my tan fades it is hard to believe we were ever on a beach, beer and book in hand, the biggest worry where we would go for lunch.

Knitting related content coming soon! Afterall, we were snowed in all day yesterday!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let's try this again...

So, we left Dominica and headed back to Puerto Rico. After a long wait going through customs, A LOT of traffic in Old San Juan, and a bit of drizzly rain, we made it to the Hotel El Convento where we stayed the two nights we were in Old San Juan. Beautiful hotel, lovely service. We made it just in time for the nightly wine and cheese reception. There was a pretty obnoxious group there, but we still enjoyed the wine and snacks after the traveling. We had dinner at the tapas restaurant at the hotel, more wine, yum!

The next day we went to the two forts (or castles as they call them), San Cristobal and El Morro.

It is about a 20 minute walk between the two of them.

It was a great day. It was really hot, but there was enough shade here and there to cool off and we had plenty of water. The castles were so fascinating. Old San Juan was just really cool. I'd love to go back and explore some more, try some different restaurants.

We also found a geocache while we were there!

It was near the militant sheep, as I called them!

The large breakfast we had sustained us until about 2:00 in the afternoon, and then the big question was: go get lunch now, or go back and sit in the pool. We opted for the pool and it was a good choice. We were so hot and sweaty. The cool water was very welcome!

Then we headed to La Bombonera which has been around for about 100 years and had good food cheap!

Made it back to the hotel just in time for the wine and cheese reception and then zipped over to the Sheraton to meet Debbie for a nighttime walking tour of Old San Juan. We'd enjoyed the Dublin walking tour so much that we thought we would give this a try. It was great! Learned a lot of history, met two other very nice couples. As we walked to different parts of the city she had us imagine we were soldiers or tradesmen or slaves.

That was over with my 9 p.m. and then we went to the tapas place across from the hotel for some snacks and drinks. The next day, we would head to Vieques! Stay tuned!

Monday, November 22, 2010

More Honeymoon!

But before we get there....Baby Goat!

As we left Dominica, we saw the baby goat again. Isn't it cute?

We had to check out of the hotel at 11 a.m., but our flight wasn't until about 4:00, so we had some time to kill. We stopped at this beach by the airport to catch a photo of David recreating a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. Several scenes from the second and third movies were filmed on Dominica. Then we headed over to the Pagua Bay Bar and Grill where we had ceviche, fish tacos, and rum drinks. It was a nice place to relax for an hour or so before we headed to the airport. Great view, too.

Pagua Bay from Michelle on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home Again!

And I thought the roads in Dominica were bad! D and I got back to the Twin Cities last night about 10:30 but didn't get home until 12:30 because the roads were so bad. Sheer ice. I don't think our cabbie had ever driven on roads like that before. It doesn't instill a lot of confidence when the guy driving you keeps talking about how scared he is. We made it though! Home!

So, I sort of dropped off the face if the earth for the second week of the honeymoon, blogwise. We had iffy WiFi at our hotel in Old San Juan, and then on Vieques, no WiFi at all. blogging. I'll work on getting you all caught up over the next week.

We loved Old San Juan and loved Vieques even more. The great thing about Vieques is that it has so many beaches, and they are all kind of in a row, so you can kind of beach hop all day long. It's a totally laid back place. And Old San Juan has so much history. We had a really great time.

More details to come!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Off to Puerto Rico

By popular demand, I bring you:

Goat. Sadly, the baby goat was not out. We haven't seen the baby goat again. Oh my! It was so cute! Baby goats are just the cutest thing ever.

So, here in Dominica, as you drive around you see goats and cows tied up on the side of the road. A goat here, a cow there. I'm not sure the protocol here...does someone bring the goat or cow out in the morning and tie it up? Do they come back for it that night? They MUST because it is so dark on the roads at night I would think a goat especially would get run down. Although, when David and I came back from dinner the other night, there was a goat sitting in the middle of the road and it got up and lazily moved out of the way.

I really wish I had a picture of the cow we saw on the drive back from Chaudiere Pool. It was a pretty cow and David had to get out of the car and coax it to the other side of the road because the rope was stretched across the road about 2 feet high. My hero...the cow wrangler.

I thought I had another cow photo, but can't find it right now, so here is a closeup of of cow and duck.

Some other random pictures

Pretty flower outside our home away from home for the week.

Brrr! It is cold! Must be 70 degrees!

We are heading back to Puerto Rico later today. We have really enjoyed seeing all the pictures of the snow back home. Seems they everyone on Facebook has posted a comment about or photo of the snow.

We are pretty excited to go to Puerto Rico. We are really hoping we will sleep better once we get there. Last night it got really windy for about 15 minutes and then stopped. It was a little bit scary. David said it was his worst night for sleep so far. We are hoping at the the hotel in San Juan, with real windows and the lull of the AC that we will sleep like babies. Can. Not. Wait.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last Day in Dominica

Sigh. But, we have a whole week of vacation left! Yay!

This morning we walked down to the beach. When we went there Monday, I called it the most disappointing beach in the world. But, go there when the tide is right, and it was pretty cool! Black sand beach, warm water, gentle breeze, dude with machete walking our way...wait, what?

I had read not to be alarmed by this, that many men carry around a cutlass for agricultural purposes. I said this in my head as D and I stood on a pretty much deserted strip of land with a guy with a very big knife walking towards us. I couldn't help but feel nervous. Turns out, Red Shirt Machete Dude was pretty nice. We chatted a bit and then headed back to our place to get the kayak.

We saw Red Shirt Machete again as we kayaked. We kayaked from the same beach and they had a little camp set up there. Said hello again and we were off.

We kayaked over to Treasure Island, which Red Shirt Machete Dude had told us you could also swim to. We hiked about there a bit, which freaked me out. Wait! How many times I have been freaked out in Dominica? Roads, rocks, guys with knives. Is this the way one should spend their honeymoon?

Then we kayaked into some huge waves and I was thrown from the kayak, which D seemed to think was pretty funny. I'm pretty much on board with that assessment
now, but WAS NOT when it happened. It...wait for it...freaked me out.

We kayaked back to the beach and Jenner, from the place we are staying, came to get the kayak. Then we stayed and swam around some more. It was pure bliss. Floating on the waves, sun shining down on us, clear water. There were two other women swimming as well.

When we left, Red Shirt Machete Dude informed us he had kept an eye on our car since the young boys we had seen earlier could be "trouble". Then he sort of guided us to get the car turned around in the mud. Then has asked for some change for a beer, which we were all too happy to give him. He wasn't really that scary after all, but...I still think that if you want to talk to strangers on the beach, you should leave the machete behind.

Friday, November 12, 2010

More scary roads and friendly people

Well, Hello! So nice of you to visit the blog!

Sadly, I have no photos from today (Friday). I neglected to put the card back in my camera, so I cannot show you any photos of the mind-boggling scary road we drove on today. I really wish I could. Although the road really freaked me out, the hike at the end was lovely and there were some nice views along the way. Oh, and cows as well. And a baby goat (although I may get a picture of that later).

So I will intersperse this blog post with random photos.

So today we decided to hike to Chaudiere Pool, which we had heard many wonderful things about. After getting really good directions, we set out. We left the main road and climbed up through a little town, asking several times if we were going the right way. Then we got to a dirt road that got worse and worse and worse. We knew we would need 4-wheel drive, but I didn't really think it would be THAT bad. Deep ruts, up and down, one lane, bushes coming in through the car windows. I freaked out and made David turn around because I was sure this was not the way.

We stopped a really nice woman balancing a bucket on her head and she assured us that it was the road and it was about a 15 minute drive to the trail head, since the road was "not so good".

Understatement of the year. It made the road from Tuesday look good.

But we made it and the hike to the pools was very nice. We swam a bit and then headed back to our place. We stopped at the tourist center in town and bought some postcards and chatted with the nice women there. We could hear the kids singing at the school next door.

People in Dominica really are so friendly, and it is true that to really get the most out of a visit here you have to be able to go out of your comfort zone and talk to strangers. I don't think I am quite there yet, but maybe the next time we come back to visit I will be!

Tomorrow is our last day here. Sounds like we will go kayaking. The guy who was going to kayak with us got really sick (he was also going to take on us the Boiling Lake hike) but I think we'll be able to paddle around the bay on our own.

Another beautuful day

It is another beautiful day here in Dominica. 84 degrees, lovely breeze from the Atlantic, blue sky, white puffy clouds, and another day full or opportunity.

Yesterday we went with a guide to Victoria Falls, Glasse Trail, and the Kalinago village by the sea (think of any park you have been to that recreates life in a bygone era...this of the original Amerindian population of Dominica).

Victoria Falls was beautiful, but the hike freaked me out. We had to cross the river 5 times, which wasn't so bad. It was climbing up and over rocks, sometimes quite steep, that really freaked me out. We got to the falls and swam a bit, but the force from the falls was so strong it wasn't ideal for much swimming. We did see some freshwater crabs on the way, one of which was a female...the guide lifted up a little flap on her underside and we saw her babies scurrying around!

By the end of it all, we were completely soaked. I hadn't expected to get quite so wet on the hike (I knew we would at the falls). So, I spent the rest day wet. Oh well.

Then we headed to Glasse trail, a beautiful hike through the forest down to the Atlantic. Yes, down. Which meant we then had to go back up. But, it wasn't so bad and the view was amazing and we were able to soak up some sun in a little pool that the ocean carved out of the rock.

By then, we were pretty tired. We stopped for fresh bread and cokes in this little village and then headed to the Kalinago village. It was quite interesting. We learned a lot about the history or the original people of the island. Got some souvenirs while I was there ( you will like them Gigi) and then we headed back to home. Exhausted. This morning I am still sore from the hike. We just had a big breakfast and will soon head out for a little hike, if we can find it.

I should note, D and I have been up by 7 a.m. at the LATEST every morning. We have not slept well here (the insects at night are very loud) and are pretty much up when the sun comes up. Then again, we are usually in bed by 9. So, I have many lovely sunrise pictures.

I am getting excited about heading back to Puerto Rico. I can't believe we have a whole week left!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Midway through week 1

The hubby and I are midway through the first week of our honeymoom. Dominica is lovely. It is called the Nature Island for a reason.

(note...we are on the island country of Dominica, NOT the Dominican Republic)

The island is mountainous and green, with many rivers and waterfalls. Today we went to Emerald Pool, where we also some some German butts (after the German tourists got out of the water they would change "discreetly" behind their towels) and boobs.The pool was beautiful and we had a nice drive arund the interior of the island. It was a much nicer drive than we had Tuesday when we went to Fort Shirley. We took a road on the way back that crosses the northern part of the island and it was VERY steep and VERY twisty. I kept my eyes closed quite a bit and reminded myself that people seem to make it up and down the streets of San Franciso which are also very steep. Seriously, some of those roads seemed like they were at a 45 degree angle. Even though my eyes were closed, I could feel it. I didn't like it.Each day though, it has been a pleasure to come back to our little home away from home, take a dip in the plunge pool, read, knit, and just relax in the breeze. The weather has been great and each night we head up to the roof to stargaze. We have seen Pegasus, Pisces, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda, Perseus, Jupiter (not a star, obviously!), and a bunch of sattelites. We can see the island of Guadaloupe from our place and can see the lights twinkling across the ocean.

Tomorrow we are off on a tour with a guide. We'll do a hike, see some waterfalls, etc. So far we have not had the best luck finding stuff in Dominica (no signs) so I'm hoping we will have a lot of fun!

Cow and duck

Monday, November 8, 2010

Greetings from my honeymoon!

I know, I know. I shouldn't be blogging on my honeymoom. But, I don't get cell phone reception here in Dominica and since I want to update my sis on all the fun, blogging it is. Yup, no cell phone, but there is WiFi here!

We left Saturday morning and spent a day and a half in San Juan. It was lovely. We swam in the ocean, shared a hammock while we read, had sushi for dinner.

We left Sunday morning in a rainstorm for Dominica. I suppose for some people a flight that resembles a roller-coaster holds a certain appeal, but not for me. Fortunately, it was warm and sunny when we got to Dominica. We got our car and drove the skinny, windy roads to our home for the week.

We had a lovely dinner of jerk chicken and then went up on the roof and gazed at the stars. It was amazing. So many stars!

The guide book the owners left us stated that the sun rises "triumphantly" around 6 - 6:15 a.m. And so it did!

That's all I have to say for now. I'll update more in bits and pieces. For now, it's time for sunscreen, bikini, and the roof! Then a dip in our plunge pool.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ginger Leaves Shawlette

Well, look at me. I actually knit something. It isn't quite done yet. Obviously, it still needs to be blocked. I may take it over to my mom's house to do this, since our condo doesn't really have any space at the moment to spread out even this little shawlette.

It is quite small, and yes, I do intend to wear it backwards around my neck like a kerchief. Then I can pull it over my face and...INSTANT OUTLAW! Can't wait.

I'll post details once it is actually blocked and looks less like a scrunched up straw wrapper before you've dripped water on it. Less like ramen noodles before you've boiled them. Less like those crazy shirts that were all the rage several years ago (and are still sold at airports) that start out tiny yet can still be worn by adults of all sizes. Thank goodness I never gave in to the pressure and bought one of those.

Life is humming along nicely here at Casa de Knitting in Transit. We are now the proud owners of a storage unit (Well, I guess technically we are leasers? Lessees?). That should help with the lack of space to block shawls problem. We are planning the final pieces of our honeymoon in three weeks. We still head out along the river or around the lakes for a run every now and again.

I'm off to pick my next knitting project. With the cooler weather and more indoor time, it's time to get serious about this hobby of mine again.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Today I totally wiped out on my bike. Not my new bike...the "white Porsche" as one of my co-workers called it. No, I wiped out on my "old" bike. Perhaps this was its way of asserting its jealousy, but one minute I was riding peacefully along and the next I was sliding across the pavement.

It's funny how those things happen so fast. Upright one minute, the next the feeling of, "oh...I'm falling. Crap. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap. My hands! My head! Oh head didn't really hit the ground. owowowowowowow."

Then I sat up and used a different word to describe the experience. And then I was just kind of pissed off.

Ten minutes later as the hubby and I biked through campus I was laughing about it. And now I sit here, not even a scratch to show for all my trouble since it's October and I was wearing a lot of clothes. My elbow took the brunt of the impact and I am hoping tomorrow it will have a bruise or something. My way of saying to the world, "Look at me! I am a biker!"

Prior to all this excitement, we had been at Target Field watching a very exciting Twins game. We won! Wednesday we will be at Game 1 of the American League Division Series. I cannot wait. I've got a good feeling about the Twins in the post-season.

In other news, ever seen four-year olds play soccer? We went to the Little Guy's soccer class last week. So cute and funny. Lots of falling. Some tears. The Little Guy said it was "awesome". Perhaps he'll be the next Renaldo, although I am hoping he'll get into baseball.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yes, I Have Fallen Off the Face of the Earth

It's true!

It's the busiest time of year at work and there are many baseball games and such to attend.

Here's a quick rundown for anyone who cares on what's been happening.

I started knitting a shawl. I made a mistake and ripped it out. I haven't started again yet.

I completed both the St. Paul Triathlon and the St. Croix Valley Triathlon.

I bought a road bike. It is this one, only mine is white and I got it at a great sale so I did NOT spend that much for it. It is a Specialized Ruby Elite Compact. It's a carbon frame and light as a feather. Love it.

That's about it! I've been doing more cooking, D and I are still trying to get our house in order, still have thank you cards to write, and are finalizing honeymoon plans. Hopefully more interesting content to come!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Very Etsy Wedding

Now that it has been several weeks since the wedding, I should probably get around to posting about all the cool wedding stuff we got on Etsy. It started with the invitations. I hadn't spent too much time on Etsy, but once I got the invitations there, I started checking it just about every day. So many wonderful, beautiful things! A few weeks before the wedding, I had to stop myself from looking!

I've already shown off the invitations we got from Stelie Designs. They were the olive tree wedding invitation. She also did programs for us. I was so happy with how they turned out, and glad I followed her advice to only order one per couple/party. We still had a bunch left over.

I particularly enjoyed shopping for my bridesmaids on Etsy. The showcase on Etsy is a great place to browse and find some of the best of Etsy. That's where I found tagodesign. This shop is located in Japan. In addition to her bags being lovely, how cool was it to get gifts from Japan? I bought mini Granny bags for all the gals. They were beautiful and well received.

Each bag was stuffed with some Japanese newspapers! They enjoyed reading much that I had to point out that there was more than just newspaper in the bag!

Inside was also a necklace for each from Pear and Peacock. I heart this shop. I first bought a necklace at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. After David proposed, one of the first things I decided was that I wanted to get necklaces from Pear and Peacock for my bridesmaids. I also got one for my friend Molly who did my makeup for me. Each necklace I opened was more beautiful than the last. The next Renegade Craft Fair is September 11th. If it weren't for the fact that the St. Paul Bike Classic is the next day, I would be mighty tempted to go to Chicago to thank her in person.

Speaking of necklaces, my sister found these lovely necklaces from it's beautiful. They were perfect! Not too dainty...the black matched the dresses...the orange matched the flowers. I was so excited to find these and got very lucky that she had three. She put two more up for me to order, and before I could get to them, someone swooped in and ordered one. She had one more, and I got it! Yay!

Then of course, there were the owls! You must check out the shop for Pink Perch. I think she may still be on vacation, but if you check out the sales on her shop, you will see the cutest mobiles ever. By the time I got around to ordering the owls, I noticed that they weren't listed on her shop anymore. Turns out she was going on vacation, but she still made two owls for me to use for our owl tree. I'll post more about the owl tree soon...I'm waiting to get a decent picture from someone.

As I started this post, I realized I didn't get pictures of our water bottle labels! We ordered them form Natalilly Designs. Ours were like the one in the picture (click on the link), only with yellow and orange dots. We got the little mini water bottles, which I think is the way to go. We got larger water bottles for the picnic last weekend and there were a lot of half-full bottles laying around.

Last but not least, we ordered our wedding bands from Titanium Knights. I don't have a picture, but those are the ones we ordered (click on the link). We love them. David really liked the idea of continuing with the Etsy theme and getting our wedding bands there too. He also liked the price! We got them about three days after ordering.

Actually, I lied. I do have a sort-of picture of them on the ring-bearer bowl that we ordered from Paloma's Nest. I'll admit, I didn't put much effort into making them look pretty on the ring bearer bowl (I used the string that came with it and my dad tied an easy to remove knot). I've posted about the bowl before. It said "Two branches, one tree" which fit in nicely with the unity tree ceremony we had.

And doesn't the Little Guy look handsome carrying it down the aisle? He did a great job! And look - he let someone put his tiny boutonniere in his pocket. Before the wedding, he was having none of that. He absolutely refused to let the florist pin it on him. His little flowers are still sitting on my computer.

That's it! All the wonderful Etsty finds I made while planning the wedding. Please check out their shops if you are so inclined. Each was so easy to work with and really does make lovely items.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What a Perfect Day!

We did it! We got married. Saturday was perfect. Here are some pictures and snippets of memory.

A lovely setting.

With my dad at the rehearsal.

The Little Guy gives me a wedding present.

Me and the ladies.

Reading A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton to the kids at the ceremony.

After the first kiss as husband and wife.

All done!