Friday, July 25, 2014

Knitting for Deadlines... Oh Look, a Food Truck!

Lately I've been diverting all of my energy to knitting a scarf for one of my best friends who just graduated from high school! We have been neighbors for our entire lives; I went to her 3rd birthday party, and the rest was history! I really wanted to make something nice for her graduation party (missed that deadline), so I spent every spare second re-watching Doctor Who and knitting furiously on her scarf so that I could finish it today before we met for dinner! The pattern I used was one of my own devising, based off of the logo of her school; the University of Minnesota:

I used some free website to do it. I can't remember which one it was, but I was kind of annoyed that making an account was required. My iPad was dead and I was too lazy to plug it in to access my stitch maker app... so I really can't complain!

Here is the final product! (The colors are a little richer in real life) It took me countless hours, and it paid off because this is one of the nicest scarves I think I've ever made! The gauge is so fine, and the yarn I chose was really soft. I hope she likes it! 

The other day, my mom was driving me to school to get some work done on a summer project, and out of the corner of my eye I saw two food trucks! They were parked outside an office complex where I'd never seen food trucks before. I asked my mom if we could stop and we quickly turned around to check out what they had to offer. Luckily, it was around lunch time, I hadn't eaten yet, and there were some delicious offerings!

The two trucks were one called Totally Cheese and one that sold specialty cupcakes!


We tried a Cuban sandwich and some rosemary fries! The sandwich was delicious, as were the fries, although the fries were a little too greasy for my taste. 

Rule of Life #1: Always stop for a food truck!



Monday, July 7, 2014

Making Rope and Keeping Hope!

This past weekend, we enjoyed the 4th of July in our usual typical, red, white, and blue fashion with the parade, having our neighbors over for our annual cookout and bonfire and going to see our town's fireworks display! Our favorite holiday is Independence Day because we are all so proud to live in America and it is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what we have and to honor those who have given their lives so we may continue to enjoy our everyday comforts. I think this year was especially important as there has been so much disagreement and dissent lately in this country; but we have to remember who we are. I'm reminded of the song "Home" by Dierks Bentley when he sings:

"Free, nothing feels like free
Though it sometimes means we don’t get along
Cause same, no we're not the same
But that’s what makes us strong"

No matter what happens, I will always have faith and hope for this country and all the wonderful people who, like me, call it home. I hope you all enjoyed your Independence Day too!

Here is me (in the middle) with my two younger sisters at our early parade stakeout. We always go three hours early to get a shady spot and have lots of fun listening to country music and hanging out!

-------------------------------------

Yesterday was my grandpa's 85th birthday and so I made him a blueberry pie to take over to his house for the party:

Blueberry is his favorite, but I still cannot get the hang of making a berry pie that isn't runny with too much juice! As you can see the edges of the crust are saturated in juice... I've tried everything from tripling the amount of cornstarch to squeezing the berries before hand to trying different recipes. Nothing works. If anyone reading this has any tips I would be eternally grateful! At least it tastes great and with careful transport it looks great too (I did earn a blue ribbon at the fair for my blueberry pie once!). 

One of the main activities of the day was making rope! One of my oldest memories is making rope at my grandparents' house, and it was fun to actually learn how to do it all these years later, instead of enjoying a new jump rope resulting from someone else's labor, as I did before!

First you tie the twine between the crank part and the spider which is held a length away from the machine:

Which looks like this! Here is my youngest sister holding tight to the spider while the crank is being turned and the strands of rope are spinning together. After that, the spider is guided along the rope as the crank is slowly turned until the rope is plied!

Here is my finished rope! Not quite sure what I will use it for yet, but I'll think of something! 

Rope making, while similar to yarn spinning with the various steps of spinning and plying, is a lot more physically demanding, especially for the one holding the spider! But it was fun to spin for utility rather than art and see how one principle can work for many different materials and purposes!