Sunday, October 30, 2005

Charlie the Beagle

Charlie the Beagle is my boyfriend's dog, and his dad took this picture of Charlie "helping" him rake leaves. I thought this picture was just too cute not to share. Did you know that the word beagle comes from the Old French word bee gueule, meaning loudmouth or noisy person? If you have ever met a beagle you would know that the name is fitting.

Chuckie, keeping the backyard safe from rabbits

More knitting content will come soon. In addition to socks, I'm starting a very cool project.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Katrina's Purse

As promised, here are photos of my cousin Katrina's wedding and the Going Out With a Bag purse that I made for her. The wedding was held in Peoria, IL, and the whole crazy Burke clan made it out to celebrate with Katrina and Mike. Highlights of the wedding included my brother's girlfriend Veronica catching the bouquet (her second of the summer, watch out Stuart!), and my eight-year-old cousin catching the garter belt. He then proceeded to wear it around his head and danced like he was on way too much sugar and caffeine for an eight-year-old. As Veronica said, it was like he was Elvis, MC Hammer and a break dancer rolled into one adorable blond boy.

Here are pictures of Mike and Katrina during their first dance. They looked to be very happy and very much in love. I was so touched that Katrina held the purse I made during the first dance.

The purse was also used for the dollar dance. The dollar dance, as I was informed by Kim, is a German-Polish tradition where the bride and groom dance with their guests for a dollar each, and the bridesmaid and the best man collect the money. Here I am pictured with Katrina after the dance, and as you can see the purse is stuffed.

Now on to the purse. I had to really darken the photo so that you could see the beads. Knitting with beads was fine. I strung all of the beads on the yarn first. The one thing I would do differently is knit tighter with the beads. When I was done some of them were a little droopy.

I sewed in a zipper onto the top of the bag, and braided and wrist loop that went through the zipper. The zipper was smaller than the bag, so ended up centering the zipper and tucking in the edges.

The bag has this great halo look from the mohair. The yarn that I used was Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino and Filatura Di Crosa baby kid extra held together. The purse was probably one of the softest things I've ever knitted.

The bag was lined with satin, which proved to be the most difficult part of the bag. I figured it out with a lot of trial and error, and Lynne's instructions on how-to-line-a-bag.

I sewed the zipper flap in between the yarn and satin, so that you don't see it. Look at those hand-knit stitches. The hand-sewing was kind of relaxing in the same way knitting is, but I can't imagine hand-sewing all of your clothes, bedding, etc. Wow. Hats off to our great, great, great grandmothers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Strawberry Supreme

If you're having a major strawberry craving, this recipe is for you. I made it for my friend Tara's birthday (Happy Birthday T-Co!), and it was fabulous. The cake is made from a strawberry cake mix, but instead of water you add strawberry nectar. Then in between the layers is strawberry jam and thinly sliced strawberries. The cake is frosted with strawberry frosting, and topped with more sliced strawberries. Yum, yum. As you can see, I was only able to get photographic evidence after most of the cake had been eaten. The jam and strawberries between the layers made the cake very moist. The artificially-flavored strawberry frosting might have been a bit too much, but I'm also not a big fan of overly sweet frosting. I think a vanilla or butter cream frosting would be good as well.

the cake was beautiful before it was cut into, perfect for a girl's birthday party or valentine's day.

look at all those moist strawberry layers!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Mork and Mindy

At knitting last week, I made some comment that I thought that it would be really cute to name a pair of dachshunds Mork and Mindy. Dachshunds sort of waddle, and I think Mork would be a good name for a waddling dog. Then the next day I opened up Hollywood Knits Style that I checked out from the library, and low and behold there's Mork and Mindy:

Aren't they cute? Posted by Picasa

Overall though I thought the book was just okay, but I don't want to purchase it. It was fun to look through, although there were only a handful of patterns that I would consider making.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Midwest Enzyme Chemistry Conference

Last weekend I went to a conference in Chicago, and here's a picture of me with my poster:

Overall the trip was fine. I got to visit with my undergraduate research advisor, and I met some of the students who currently work in her lab. My labmates, advisor and I had Chicago-style pizza which was yummy! I did have to put up with one of my labmates though, who I can't stand. He's a complete moron when it comes to common sense and chemistry, and he has gross personal habits like smacking his lips while eating and snorting constantly. Conversations with him are always punctuated with snorts, and it's easy to locate him in a crowded auditorium.

I got alot of knitting done on the car ride, and helped another labmate with some knitting. She's more of a crocheter, but wants to knit a baby blanket for a friend. I walked her through the basket weave pattern, but it kept looking funky. So I finally watched her knit, and what she called knitting was purling into the back of the stitch. The woman who taught her how to knit said knitting was done with the back of the stitch and purling was done into the front. I'd never heard of that before. Once we got things straightened out her swatch looked great. I didn't get all of this sock knitting done on this car trip, some of it was done the weekend before when I went to Peoria for my cousin's wedding. There will be pictures of that trip as soon as my boyfriend remembers to email me the pictures.

stormy sock in lab