Chartreuse Knits

Where a college student learns--and struggles with--the zen of knitting. It's the process, not the product, though the product is much more fun to wear!


Thrifty Thrills

I love thrifting. I love it even more when there is a lot of selection at the stores I go to. I love it best when the company is excellent. Needless to say, I had a glorious time thrifting this weekend. I went with my dear friend Alexa and a friend of hers I was glad to meet named Maria. We spent about four hours together luncheoning and exploring the isles at Saver's and the Goodwill. It was a perfect way to decompress from the stress of the past week.

One of my latest obsessions has been simplifying my life while at the same time making classier choices in the things I decide to buy. For example, I try to buy posters that I know I won't regret having on my wall next year, or buying a pretty dress as opposed to a witty T-shirt. But I am such a sucker for things on sale. For example, at the mall yesterday, I got a lovely blouse that is a teensy bit too small because it was only 5 bucks. My reasoning is that I'll loose a bit of weight and all will be well. But still, I'm all about the low prices. So on Saturday I ended up getting some great and comfy plain t-shirts, an adorable blouse with roses on it, some brand new sequined flats, a cookbook, a beautiful embossed tin made from heavy aluminum and a series of lovely frames to house cross-stitch projects. It's things like this that make me very happy.


Life's Better with a Cupcake

Today heralds the beginning of a series of stressful and very hectic weeks. I have to coordinate various events in addition to schoolwork, and manage money for school groups as well as for myself. Coupled with meetings and visitings by my Daddy, and this week is quite full.

Today, however, is more relaxed than the rest of the week, and I felt like taking a walk around my neighborhood with the purpose of relaxing (and getting a carrot cupcake from Quack's bakery). The glorious temperature and lovely little houses along the tree-lined avenues of Hyde Park were exactly what I needed. Coupled with a delicious, moist cupcake topped with rich, smooth, cream-cheese frosting, and my afternoon was complete.

Blogland has a soft spot in it's heart for cupcakes. It really does. And I do too. When I feel upset, stressed, or in need of comfort, I often turn to sweet things. Diabetic in the making? Maybe.

May you all find a way to de-stress, and then get all your work done!


Like a Banana

Like that old Groucho Marx quote: "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." The good old clock most certainly has wings.
Firstly, I would like to apologize to those who read this blog for my lengthy absence. My summer was spent in the lovely lands of Germany and Spain, and I only got back a few days ago.

Germany was a new experience for me, and Spain a very familiar one. Germany is a beautiful country with lovely greenery, castles and churches. The people are friendly and beautiful, the food scrumptious, and the language simultaneously difficult and alluring.

The picture with the roses was taken in Konstanz, a city on the Swiss border, and incidentally relatively unaffected by World War II. See, since Switzerland was neutral, if it turned off its lights at night, it wouldn't be bombed by either Axis or Allied forces. Konstanz got word of this deal and turned off all its lights, and therefore wasn't bombed.

During the month I was there, I explored Freiburg, which is in southwestern Germany, and an enchanting town on the edge of the Schwarzwald, or Black Forest. I also visited Konstanz, Colmar, and Heidelberg, each lovely and charming cities. Amidst the joys of Germany and the World Cup, I managed to learn a bit of German, including but not limited to phrases involving payment, counting, scenery and classroom objects. It wasn't as difficult as I expected, but it was very different from what I expected too. I sampled a variety of German food, including many types of wurst, (my favorite being the tasty weiƟ wurst in a bread roll), Radlers (lime soda and beer) and one scoop hazlenut, one scoop mocha eis (ice cream).

Spain was fun, though familiar, and quite relaxing. Some of my favorite things about my home country across the pond are the food and the mountains. Coming from Texas, and South Texas at that, any sort of topography is a welcome change from the sheer flatness. I think that's why I love Austin's hills and tall trees, since they are virtually nonexistant in my home town. However, Spain has a myriad of hills, mountain ranges and other sorts of topographical features. The food is so lovely and tasty and filling. It's very simple food, with humble and ordinary ingredients, but splendid results. My favorites among the rustic Spanish cuisine are lima beans cooked with chorizo, manchego cheese on a slice of rustic bread, and paella. Mmmm.

This picture was taken on our farm, viewing the Sierra de San Vicente, to the north of the Tagus River, which lies just behind those trees. I love the farm, and it's a lovely sanctuary from the fast-paced lifestyle of big cities, both in the United States and in Europe. My favorite thing about the farm is walking out on a clear night and picking out constellations amidst the cloudy stripe of the Milky Way. I wouldn't trade that for the world.

On the crafting and 101 things in 1001 days fronts, there are quite a few things to say, which I will save for a future time. Suffice to say that cross-stitch has made a reappearance, Germany has a lot of sock yarn that made its way home with me, and I am striking things from my 101 list as I re-work it slightly. More soon!


My Very First Time

I finished knitting and began blocking my very first lace project. I have another lace project on the needles and plans for many more on the way.

Currently on the needles is the Flower Basket Shawl. It appears that all knitblog-land has made this shawl, and for good reason! It's totally gorgeous! I'm following everything in the pattern exactly, except I'm holding one strand of cream and one strand of lime green alpaca together. It'll be my Key-Lime Flower Basket.

The finished project is Branching Out from Knitty. I wanted to knit my grandma a light scarf in purple. I had some mercerized crochet cotton in a lovely little violet color that I knew would be perfect. Since she and my grandfather are coming down for my sister's high school graduation in a week or so, I wanted to give her something nice, especially since I won't see her on her birthday.

I am also officially done with school for the semester! Out of four classes, I've made three A's, and I'm waiting on the final grade. Hopefully I kicked as much butt as I thought I did on that final exam (worth 50 percent of the grade, by the way). After the last exam, I went out and took pictures of some of my favorite sights on campus. Well, actually, of one building in particular. It's scheduled for remodeling next year, and I'm afraid they're going to get rid of what I most love about the building: all the wood paneling. They'll probably put lots of tile and light in the rooms, and presumably they'll make the elevator a tad larger (it can't be more than 3 by 4 feet square) and put ugly plastic moveable desks instead of the lovely 1930's style that are bolted to the floor. It's such a lovely building, though it does need a good remodeling.

A big congratulations to all my buddies who graduate this year, especially my knitting best-bud, Laura!



Yeah I'm still here. I apologize for the lack of content, but there literally has been a lack of content here. I'm knitting the same thing, except a few inches on my Salina sweater, which I just realized I screwed up by doing the shoulder shaping all wrong. Oh well. I'll get to fixing that sometime.

I got yarn to make a Durrow Scarf as well, but I think I need time to do that, and now that the semester is ending, there isn't much of that around. Who knew homework and tests were so time-consuming? News to me!

Finally, I just discovered how utterly hot Axl Rose is. Thank you Transbuddha for digging up old Guns N' Roses music videos to remind me of the glories of 80's rock. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to disappear again, and resurface when something interesting happens with me. Who knows when that'll be.


Close, But Not Quite

So I decided I would try to accomplish #98 on my list of 101 in 1001: Donate Blood.

The blood donation buses are all around campus, people are talking about it in virtually all my classes, I see people with the little arm bands walking around, there are people handing out flyers for it and all sorts of other stimuli, reminding and insisting that healthy individuals donate blood. I've donated blood before, and both times were very rewarding (not only did I get a T-shirt and cookies, but my blood could be used to save 3 lives!). So today after my Geology lab, I figured, "I'm feeling healthy, a little tired, but not sick in the least. I haven't had any medication recently or gotten injured. I should donate blood, and knock that off my list of 101 things to do." So I go, fill out the paperwork and get ready. The nurse takes my blood pressure and pricks my finger to measure blood iron, takes my temperature, asks me a few questions, and is about to give me my little blood donor packet when he looks at my blood iron reading. He tells me with a serious face that I have a slight bit of iron-deficiency anemia. The iron count is supposed to be 12.0, and mine was 10.7.

I don't really think about it, but I remember from my nutrition class last year that not eating balanced meals can lead to iron-deficiency anemia. I'm a little concerned, and I call my mom to tell her about my inability to donate blood for a few days. I explained what the nurse told me about my iron levels, and she freaked out. (She's a nurse, so any health problem is either shrugged off or made a huge deal of). She asked me if I'd gotten injured, what foods I'd been eating recently, all sorts of questions about things that can impact blood iron. Well, it turns out that I haven't been eating much in the way of iron-rich veggies or meat. It's been mostly pasta and rice for the past week. Plus, I just got through with certain female occurrences which are known to cause iron deficiency in women (Sorry for the TMI). So that's why I'd been feeling tired recently. In short, all I neeed to do is eat well for the rest of the week, and I should be good to go.

So that's the story. However, I encourage any of you who are healthy and over the age of 17 to donate blood. It's really not a painful or scary thing, and even less so when you have a friend who will go with you. I find I can handle it about twice a year or so, and it's really quite rewarding to know that people who need blood can get it because of you. :) If you get the chance, do it!


Long Time No... Blog

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time. I don't even have a good excuse. And since today is dreary, ugly, and very grey here in Austin, I don't even have knitting update pictures for you.

But I do have a few little life updates.

I've made some progress on Laura's bedspread. I had made it up to 15 pattern repeats, was totally psyched that I'd memorized the pattern, and was ready to add ball of yarn number 3 to the strip, when I realized that somewhere around repeat 10 I'd skipped a row. So from then on, everything had been off. I mean, it wasn't that noticeable, but it irked me. So I frogged. And now, to catch up on a week's worth of knitting, I've popped in "The Goonies" to knock #65.15 off my 101 in 1001 list.

And finally, I knocked number 61 off my list, to test drive a Beemer. Ok, well, not quite a Beemer. My dad took me to the BMW/Toyota/Mercedes dealership in Harlingen when I was up there to get a cavity filled (woo hoo) this past Wednesday. We pretended that I was graduating this May, and that in honor of graduating with honors (ha-ha!) my dad would buy me a sweet little sports car. Unfortunately, they didn't have any BMW sports cars to test drive, but they did have a sweet little Mercedes convertible roadster. So in that vein, I got to test drive this baby:
It was sweet. I was a little too chicken to take it above 50 mph (you know, speed limits do exist), but I did get to do a little donut in the parking lot. WOW, the thing turns on a dime! I even got to drive it with the top down! The only drawback was that they didn't have any with standard gear shift. But the dealer assured me that they could order one for me, if I decided I wanted one. ;-) Maybe when my dad wins the lottery and I graduate Summa Cum Laude from UT. Tee hee.

So it wasn't a BMW, but it's about as sexy as the BMW roadster. Oh yeah, baby!