Sunday, July 31, 2011

Follow The Yellow Yarn Trail

I wonder where this yarn could lead...

Oh dear me, have I become a sock knitter?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Breezy Days and Starry Nights

I just wanted to share a few more camp memories before getting back to the usual (knitting).
The first week at camp left me with free mornings. After breakfast and the morning staff meeting, I'd sit with my book and drink one of my secret Starbucks stash. I ended reading the whole 4th Anne of Green Gables book and started the 5th. It's been a long while since I was able to enjoy the breeze, the sun spotting through the trees, and a general sense of serenity. I've incorporated a bit of reading into my routine since I've been back.

Over the first week, we had a heart display. Every day it glowed a different color, starting with a purple/black and ended on white. The last night, the heart was taken from the stage and put up in the grove where we had an intimate worship.

There was a night swim both weeks, but on the first week, I was told that two of the directors had midnight tickets to the final Harry Potter movie and were too tired to go. Jordan, who was lifeguarding, and I jumped at the chance. As soon as the swim was over, we hustled people out of the pool area. We waited for an hour in line and got excellent seats. (Take that people who waited for 12 hours) I'm going to credit the seats to Jordan, though. He spotted a pair of seats and ran up on the non-aisle side to beat out two girls. That's right. He ran up people's armrests. He then hurled his body into the seats with a smug smile that said, "Claimed!" The guys that ended up being in front of us thought it was great fun and cheered him on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Into The Briar Patch

One evening at camp, I saw a line of guys running towards the tent cabin. I, of course, did the only logical thing one can do when seeing a bunch of people sprinting in a general direction. I joined them. This was the evening John Lightfoot threw himself under the tent cabin into briars to catch a snake.

The snake was less than happy about it. He spent a good amount of time making angry hissing sounds.

I was briefly worried that John had caught a rattlesnake. I don't think he would have actually caught it if it had been. At a glance, I find that gopher snakes and rattlesnakes have similar coloring. Their markings aren't wildly different either.

With a rattlesnake, you can't always look for the rattle. It is possible for a rattlesnake to lose theirs.

I always look at the head. A gopher snake's head is more of an oval while a rattlesnake's head is more of a triangle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Camp Memories

Camp is full of all sorts of fun memories. It was fun to see some of the high school campers become cabin leaders for the middle school kids. Both weeks we went on a beach trip, which included fire pit s'mores and singing.

I had the opportunity to spend time with people I hadn't really seen or talked to while I was at university. Good times were had by all.

I think my favorite memory was when we had an all staff night game of Nine Square In The Air. Kyle (in the center) had gotten himself a sandwich. He played nine square by hitting the ball with his plate all the while raving about his sandwich. At some point he got out and was going back to the first square when Josh (on the left) spiked the ball towards Kyle. The trajectory couldn't have been better. The ball flew over Kyle's shoulder, hit the edge of the plate, and spilled the sandwich into the grass. The highest pitched scream was uttered with high, whiny tones of "MY SANDWICH! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? THERE WERE ONLY TWO BITES LEFT!!!!" Everyone, and I do mean everyone, collapsed to the ground, laughing, for a solid three minutes. People's sides ached the next day from the laughter.

No camp would be complete without John Lightfoot. Everything you've heard about Chuck Norris is true when it comes to John Lightfoot. I saw the guy dive into a briar patch under a cabin in order to grab a gopher snake. Who does that? John Lightfoot. That's who.

If you doubt his awesomeness, just watch this video.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Third Sock's A Charm

I didn't have too much knitting time at camp, but I did manage to finish up my socks. And they fit! It's a miracle. (The project has been raveled)

The Leyburn pattern is truly an excellent pattern. I was able to pick up the sock at any point and see exactly where I was in the pattern. And it was just plain old fun to knit to boot. The yarn is from Newton's Yarn Country Merino Nylon Superwash that I picked up at Stitches West in 2010. It didn't have a color associated with it.

While at camp, I heard that there was a Sasquatch in the woods. But I never saw him. If I had, I might have handed him the third sock. It was just his size.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chief Crafting Engineer

I'm back from two weeks of camp. Man am I tired! But it was so worth it.

When the campers started to arrive, I helped out at the front of the camp. The official dress code for guiding cars: orange visibility vests and lightsabers. We were asked to make lightsaber noises while guiding cars. There was also a discussion about how we would have looked more like CalTrans workers if we didn't have the lightsabers.

At the beginning of each week we did a staff flashmob. (This video is from the second week, which was better rehearsed than the first week. I show up half way through in the back leftish corner. I don't have a blue shirt on.)

Since I wasn't cabin staff, junior staff, or anything with a particular title, I gave myself one. I was referred to as the craft engineer for most of my time at camp. I spent 5 weeks prepping the crafts, two weeks doing them with campers, and two hours cleaning it all up in the end.

I was so busy, I didn't really take any pictures of the different crafts. I did however manage to snap a picture of our lanyard setup. I remember some of those sample lanyards from when I was a brand new camper. (Which was maybe 15 years ago)

The snack shack was open during freetime. Among many yummy snacks, there were snow cones. Mmmm. Lime snow cone.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Taking Summit Road To The Summit

I've got another week of camp to go, but I drove home to do laundry, which has given me time to write a little something. The day before camp started, a group of us decided to bike over the Santa Cruz mountains. It's a 30 mile route and there is one hill that was so steep that we slid while walking our bikes up it.

And the bikes took quite a beating. The locking mechanism on Travis' bike's high gear shifter gave up part of the way through. Lucky for him it was stuck on 1st and not 3rd.

Two miles from the end, Matt's chain broke. We didn't have the right tool to fix it. So he and Chris walked the rest while Travis and I finished the ride. (Travis had to be at camp to get CPR certified, so we had to finish quickly)

We took the route that Chris and Matt had taken the previous time they biked. Apparently they got a bit lost the previous time. I loved how they were able to figure out where we were this time. Sentences such as, "I remember this part, this is where we had a fight" and "This is the spot where I lied to you" were uttered.

I am proud to say that I was in the best shape of everyone, so I wasn't all that sore at the end despite having done the same ride the week before. (It was a little harder this time though.)

I'm hoping it won't be too long before I get to do the ride again. It really was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Night Games

I didn't mention this earlier, but I'm going to be at camp for the next two weeks. I'm the Chief Crafting Engineer. Internet is spotty, so I might manage to get a blog post or two in, but I won't really be checking anything or responding to anyone until I get back. Camp has already been really awesome. The first night, we had night games, complete with glow bracelets.

There were several games. I spent most of my time fiddling with my camera in order to get the glow bracelets to even show up in the pictures. Or I was dodging campers.

It was an excellent night. Everyone was exhausted when it was all over. I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Sock Saga Continues

I'm still obsessing over the socks. So far I have made one that fits and one that fits Sasquatch.

I've been rather clever with the second sock. I didn't want keep the overly large sock. That would be a waste of yarn. I also didn't want to unravel it so I could compare the first sock with the second sock. And because I want it all, I chose to rewind my yarn so that I could still have a center pull ball.

I took the two socks down to my LYS (Local Yarn Store). The ladies were surprised to see my giant gauge difference. The left side is done with size 1 needle. On the right is with a size 0 needle. We puzzled over it. I think the conclusion was that I have terrible sock luck.

The second sock fits so much better. (The right sock is the Sasquatch one. The left is the better-fitting one) Only one more sock to go.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Knitting Is Wallet Kryptonite

I'm usually pretty controlled about yarn purchases, but this last week has been a doozy on my wallet. I got some Cascade 220 for a sweater. If all goes well, it will become an Émilien by Ariane Caron-Lacoste. I'm already planning to modify the number of stripes and I want to have a button up, not a zip up.

This pair of Cascade Heritage is for a shawl idea I have. They will be paired with two additional colors. I realize the combo looks a little Dr. Seuss, but the actual shawl will be a bit more balanced.

I also picked up some Madelintosh sock in the Duchess color way for a sock idea I have. A sock idea I might want to release in October. First things first. I have to actually knit pair of socks that fit me.

Since I've gotten into socks, I also picked up sock blockers. I also got a magazine. Honestly, knitting magazines are my weakness. There wasn't any particular patterns that stood out to me. But I loved some of the photographs. Taking good knit pictures is difficult, so I like to collect good images for reference.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tree Party

We have a family of raccoons living in our backyard.

There are three teenagers. But I haven't seen their mum or dad. They might be on their own.

It seems a bit odd that they would be awake during the day. It was late morning when I took these pictures.

I figure that if raccoon teenagers are anything like human teenagers, they stay up way past their bedtime.

They also fight like siblings. One of them stepped on another and there was an argument between the two. It was rather funny.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sprig Hat

I was invited to do a little guest post over at Katie's blog, I Go By Katie, today. So you should all check it out. It involves a free pattern! EDIT - As of November 30th, 2011, this pattern is now a pay-for pattern.

The pattern happens to be a companion piece to the Sprig scarf, the Sprig hat.

To download a copy of the Sprig Hat, you can check out, ravelry or go over to Katie's blog.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Catching Bugs With My Mouth

On June 6th, I went on my first ride with my new bike. It seems like I just decided not get off. I accumulated 168miles in my first month with the bike. It would have been more, but I got a little heat sick and decided to take a week off from being outside.

This past month of biking has taught me that there are several useful items worth having with you on a ride, such as:
1. Helmet (Safety first!)
2. Lock, if you plan on stopping. When I ride out and back I leave it. No need to lug a few extra pounds.
3. Water bottle.
4. Wallet/ Cellphone/ key combo. Bonus points if your keychain includes a bike themed bottle opener.
5. Garage door opener, which would only be useful if your bike lives in the garage.
6. CHAP STICK! I'm always sad when I forget it at home. I seem to lick my lips a lot when I ride.
7. A nifty bag that attaches to your bike to hold all your nifty items.
Bonus: Sunglasses. I was wearing them when I took the picture. They are great for keeping bugs out of your eyes. Not your mouth though. And if you're like me, you forget your mouth is open and choke on a bug or two during your ride.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day The Musical

Happy 4th of July! I hadn't planned on blogging about it, but then this video showed up on my facebook feed. It was too good not to share.

Mum and Dad, this is funny because it's a parody of this particular song/ video combo.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Fourth Time

Today I donated my hair. It's the fourth time I've done it, and it feels great every time.

I'd like to encourage anyone who has been thinking donating to go ahead and do it. There are several places that accept hair donations. The last three times I've donated, I sent my hair to Locks Of Love. They require 10 inches and the wigs go primarily to sufferers of Alopecia. This time around I'll be sending my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. They require a minimum of 8 inches of hair and send the wigs to the American Cancer Society wig banks. (There has been a little controversy with Locks of Love as of late, so I was more inspired to send my hair to Beautiful Lengths this time around)

To help make the trip to the stylist go a bit smoother, there are a few things to bring along:
1. A plastic bag to hold the cut hair.
2. Extra hair ties to tie the hair. The donation can't be accepted if it is not in a ponytail or braid.
3. A ruler. Hair salons do not tend to have rulers. It's much easier if you bring your own, just to be sure you donate the right length.
4. You might consider bringing a couple photos of possible hair styles. I've started to bring pictures of myself with short hair.
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