Monday, May 17, 2010

School's out forever!

Technology is in the name of the school I guess. It's Actually in there

We're officially both Masters of Architecture! Okay, so I got my degree from University of Washington back in 2006, so I've been done for a while. But it still feels like a huge deal for Chuck to be done. We saw the need for a graduate degree as an opportunity to gain experiences in diverse locations, understanding the architectural environment of each. Chicago and Seattle both certainly have their own distinct history, and earning your degree there gives an even greater insight into that past than simply living in a city and working there affords you. But it's been a long process and I am glad it's finally over! We're not entirely sure what happens next, but this time we get to make a decision that's not based on where the accredited graduate programs are located, in other words: we're free!!!

Also, I have to mention, the commencement took place in Crown Hall, a historic landmark. Chuck is quite familiar with it & had classes there. But I haven't spent much time there and it was lovely to have such a gathering there even if a) space was very limited and b) views were some what blocked. It was designed as the architecture building, so there are some permanent wood pin-up boards. But I did get to snap a few shots of the graduate, so all is good.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happier Finished Object

knit.1 hooded tunic knit.1 hooded tunic
Old finished object updated Old finished object updated
In Spring 2007, I was really happy to find out I won a cover kit from Knit.1 Magazine. Cotton-ease had just been re-released, although I hadn't been knitting long enough to have been among the disappointed when they stopped selling it. I got a box full of Lake so I could make Helen Hamann's Hooded Tunic from the section on yoga style. Yay! Of course this was certainly a major undertaking, early on, with only one project, Tank Girl, close to the same scale behind me. But it was a simple project, which is one thing I really loved about Knit.1 simple projects with a lot of style. I still haven't recovered from the news that they aren't making any more issues. But at least they went out with a bang, the last two issues were amazing!

It took me ages. I managed to tote it along on a cross-country road trip, from Seattle to Colorado, and back, and it still wasn't done when I got home. I hit bumps along the way, stopped for a bit here and there, having lost my motivation. It took me about a year to actually finish it. And when I did, I just wasn't thrilled, as you can tell from the before pictures!

At some point I shoved it into a bag in the closet, thinking eventually I'd do something to fix it. Well, I finally did yesterday. This involved unraveling the bottom band I was never pleased with, it turned out floppy and weird. I suppose initially, and part of the reason I set it aside for so long, is that I was thinking I would re-do that band, and since I hadn't had much luck with it the first time, I wasn't very interested in trying again and possibly still failing. Over time I considered what to do with it...deciding that though I like the orginal design, it may not be quite right for me, at least not at the length I ended up with. The idea of sort of stepping into this garment...I dunno.

So I started my revisions yesterday simply thinking about that bottom band. But after frogging, Chuck commented it looked better but it's still very long. So I started playing around with it. More frogging would have been too much, the body came first, and the band of ribbing, including the hood, I believe would have had to have been frogged too. I was too happy with how that hood came out (my first and only so far!) to do that. So I started playing with, realizing that if I sort of hemmed it up, I could give myself some inside pockets.

I like it so much better now. Easy to throw on, more flattering on me, it just seems so much more useful than it did. I may try to add some kind of closure to it, something small like a series of hook and eye clasps. But at this point it feels much more ready to wear than it did. I'm very glad I finally got a happy ending out of this project, even if it took 3 years to get there!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lemon Bars!

Lemon Bar Lemon Bar
I can't really see or think of a lemon bar without thinking of my Mom. Since we got a copy of Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar around Christmas this year I've been wanting to try to make these. (Also really want to try the Vegan Samoa cookies!) Mother's day was a good reason to try this out. It was actually easier than I thought it would be. Agar agar and arrowroot help make the top layer jiggly. I sent my parents home with a box full of slices, otherwise we would've just eaten them all ourselves!

Since I have it in my cupboard now, I think sometime soon I will use the leftover Agar agar and make the macaroni & cashew cheese from the real food daily cookbook. Chuck, I think, has his own version of macaroni and cheese figured out, which is pretty good. But this is cashew cheese, so it should be somewhat different. And I don't often have the agar agar on hand, since it is a little expensive. I am also pleased since I think the farmer's markets here in Chicago should be starting up this week, so perhaps I can go pick up some fresh vegetables to go on the side!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Celebrations and so forth

Happy Mother's Day, and Happy 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. A good day for mothers and non-mothers alike! Also celebrating Chuck completing his Master of Architecture degree, Friday he finished off the last of the work, though we will have to wait until next weekend to make it official, with the graduation ceremony. Chuck won't like it, but I'm going to take lots of pictures. Friday night I picked up some Arrogant Bastard Ale, which I felt was quite appropriate for the M.Arch grad! I almost didn't get it, because I wasn't sure if it was vegan or not, but fortunately I was able to quickly look it up on my phone. (The website Barnivore is a handy resource for vegans, and anyone who might be helping a vegan celebrate.)

Need just a little more yarn...
In other news, I'm currently stalled on my most recent knitting project because I ran out of yarn. I knew when I started this project I knew I was pretty likely to have this problem...I just really wanted to make this project, and this was the most suitable yarn in my stash. I thought I'd roll the dice, there was a small chance I'd have just enough. I have about half a sleeve left, not much. So I guess the color, Rowan calmer in color #481 Coffee Bean, has actually been discontinued...I bought the yarn early on in my knitting career in Seattle, for a completely different project that didn't work out. So I've been looking into (and bugging) people on ravelry as well as online retailers. The color is available, but in the end I may have to just go for it and buy it in a different dye lot. It's only a little bit of the sleeve....hopefully it won't be too noticeable...

Lastly there are some new necklaces in the shop this weekend!