Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday fun

This morning I decided to do a few things I don't usually do, so I went over to the beach and took an hour walk, ending at Casa Arigato, where I ordered a cappuccino...and it was so lovely, as well as delicious. I must do this again!

And I took a few pictures around town. A nice day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Home Alone

So what's a girl to do when she has the house to herself? Well, keep on knitting, for sure. I started this sock before I left for Chicago, sure that I would have enough knitting time on planes and while waiting for Kristen in various places, and I did do some knitting in those circumstances. But somehow I seem to be as slow as molasses on this thing. I am not quite up to the toe decreases on sock #1. But it is a handsome sock, is it not? Patons Kroy stripes in the colorway Burnished Sierra Stripes. I may cast on something else before I do the second sock, however. Maybe more Romance mohair? I am surprised at how much I enjoyed knitting with that. Might be the difference between size 2 needles and size 10.5 or 11.

And of course the other thing to do while home alone is to cook and eat whatever I want! Which in this case was a bottle of Thai yellow curry sauce from Trader Joe's. I cooked several potatoes, poured the sauce over the finished potatoes, added some fresh chicken tenders and some frozen peas and carrots, and had it along side basmati rice. Last night and the night before. Not bad. I also have a bottle of Thai red curry sauce and I am thinking about the fresh skinless duck breasts that they sell at, not this week. Maybe after Kristen gets home? We shall see.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Busy Day

I attended two of Kristen's classes today, and then went and did a few other things while she went to Italian lector and writing class and then had her phone interview. While she was working, I took a few pictures around town:

I found the Treasure island grocery store, which is quite fancy and has everything you could want, though a bit pricey.

The Museum of Science and Industry as seen from the corner of Kristen's street.

Kristen's front door

and her 8th floor apartment from the outside.

We met up at The Snail Thai restaurant, and it happened to be Thai New Years. We got fired rice and red curry, both of which were delicious. And in honor of New Years, they gave us a free little dessert of mango and sweet rice.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

To start a rainy Monday off on the right foot, we stopped at Istria bakery under the Metra tracks on 57th street for a cappuccino. They serve it with little disks of chocolate, which made a cheery face melting into the foam.

Then I accompanied Kristen to her Italian class in Cobb hall. Her professor, Rafaelo, is great--I was able to get the gist of the grammar points that he was making, and the time went by fast.
Then Kristen went to Green Hall to work in the psych lab, while I relaxed in the Reynolds club, reading and knitting. At 3:30 we made a dash over to the Ray School where kristen's tutee was waiting. Mirai is so cute, and after Kristen helped her do all her homework, they had a little time to play paperdolls!

We came home for a short time and then walked to Giordano's pizza, which is on Blackstone near 53rd Street, and met up with Ezra, because I wanted to take him out to dinner.
Ezra kept us entertained with stories of his blog and his political adventures while we waited 40 minutes for them to cook deep dish Chicago pizza. It was worth the wait!

The pizza was delicious. But even though 2 people were sharing a 10" pizza, we had to take half of it home with us.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday at UChicago

After a few false starts, we went to the infamous C-Shop so that Kristen could work on her writing class.

This is what the C-Shop looks like inside.

And this is what Kristen looked like for 6 solid hours, as she tried to find a suitable article for her report. I read a book on language and mind, took a brief nap, made a couple of phone calls, and offered what moral support I could. Luckily, she finally found something she could use by 4:45, and then we met up with her friend Susan and went up to the north side for sushi.

Here's a link to their menu and location: House of Sushi and Noodles.

As you can see, Kristen and Susan both enjoyed it! As did I.

Saturday in Chicago

We got up early in the morning and looked out the window from Kristen's apartment...yup, looks like a good day to go have some fun.

We took 2 buses and ended up by the Water Tower, where we spent a little time in Borders.

Then we walked towards the Chicago River, which is this green all the time, not just on Saint Patrick's Day!

There are sculptures and art works all around the city, including this enormous sculpture of American Gothic.

Kristen bought new sunglasses and was looking awfully cool!

For dinner we went to the Parthenon Restaurant, where the meal begins with flaming Greek cheese to the cries of Oopa!

The main course was a plate that included braised lamb, roasted chicken, spinach pie, and eggplant moussaka. We had leftovers!

Then we went back to Uchicago, to attend the Contra Dance. The musicians were playing...

and about 100 people were dancing.

including Kristen...and mama a few times, though it's much harder work than you would think. But a whole lot of fun!

And finally, we fell into bed! Kristen's pedometer registered 18,000 steps, and that doesn't count the dancing. Our feet are sore, but we had a great time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shawl again

This was my first try at a neck-down triangular shawl, and I really enjoyed it. You start with 5 stitches, and then make a yo on each end one stitch in, and on each side of the center stitch. It seems confusing, but the part closest to you in the picture above is the neck edge and the part where the needles are will be the two bottom edges.

I had some difficulty with the stitch marker indicating the middle stitch slipping underneath the yo and misleading me about where the middle was, but once I figured out what was going wrong, I looked carefully at the center stitch , and it worked out fine.

Here is the pattern.

I liked this so well, I might make myself one as well. I ended up doing 82 rows, and the finished size was 50" wingspan, 22" deep (neck to point) and 30" along each side. So it's relatively small, a shoulder warmer, but big enough to tie in front.

I went over to Christine's house this afternoon to give it to her, and learned that unfortunately, she has a second surgery scheduled tomorrow. So it was perfect timing to give it to her.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

That's Shawl She Wrote

All right, bad pun for a header. But nice shawl! This is Feather and fan done with fluffy Romance yarn on size 11 needles. The yarn seemed like cotton candy and I was afraid it was going to be hard to knit with, but it wasn't bad at all. It was tricky to undo, in the event of mistakes (who, me?) but for straightforward knitting, it was pretty easy.
This reminds me a lot of the very first thing I ever knit--a scarf for my baby sister when I was a teenager. It took me like 2 years and I finally just bound off because I couldn't stand any more garter stitch. But I recall it being some sort of blue acrylic/mohair.
I will send this to Aunt Bobbie, who gave me the yarn.

I liked it so well I decided to try the pink skein, and have a go at knitting a triangular shawl from the neck down. It seems that a triangle would have to have hundreds of stitches cast on for the top edge, but not so. This starts with just 5 stitches, and you increase two stitches in the center and a stitch on each edge on every right side row, and it makes a triangle which is a triangle no matter how much you have done. This is for Christine, who unfortunately was diagnosed with breast cancer recently. In keeping with the pink ribbon theme.

And after that, I think I want a feather and fan shrug of some sort for myself. If the shawl above were made a little wider, the edges could be stitched together to create a simple shrug. This yarn is very warm and cozy, so that would be nice.