Shrug It Off

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve knit something beginning to end. I have a lot of projects lying around in various stages of finishing. There’s a mostly done baby blanket, three mittens waiting to be embroidered at Christmas time (there were four, but one got lost and needs to be remade), and the rest of the mittens that only have ribbing started. But I haven’t sat down and finished anything in a while. Mostly because it either doesn’t need to be done for a long time, or has no deadline at all.

This shrug/cape/shawl thing does have a deadline, however. My mom needed it done for her gala at work on April 30. She decided she needed a new one around March 20, so, with shipping time for the yarn from Knit Picks, I had a bit of a time crunch on my hands. Luckily, she picked the Gloss Lace yarn which is a blend of wool and silk and therefore could be spit spliced together. Which means I only had to weave two ends, the beginning and the end.

I made up for having only two ends to weave by dropping a stitch about twenty rows from the end and only realizing it when I was on the last row. So I dropped a couple around it to give myself yarn to fix it and did a lot of this:

It worked out fine, so I was able to finish in just over a week. Now it just needs a bath and a dry before I give it to her this weekend and take a final finished picture. Which you will be able to see Sunday on my Instagram or a few days after on my Tumblr.

You can find the details on Ravelry here. The pattern is Fairy’s Shrug (Drops 119-17).

Exhaustion, Sickness, and Pictures

Not all of which are mine. Most of which aren’t, actually.

The exhaustion was, though. I ended up in bed at eight, asleep by nine. Granted, I’m usually in bed by nine-thirty on a normal night, but I basically couldn’t stand up any longer. Strange, since I slept the night before just fine.

I’ve also been thrown up on twice this week. Well, not physically thrown up on, but I’ve had two separate children blow chunks under my watch. The first was my fault for giving cheese toast with antibiotics, and the second one came out of nowhere. We left a nice little mark on the park today…

After all that loveliness, how about some pictures?

Baby’s first experience with the DSLR. (Mama, ignore that last sentence. Baby did not use your camera. That is not jelly smeared on the shutter button…) He went back and forth between, “Cheese,” and “Heavy,” but these are some pretty good pictures as far as blurry pictures of feet go. I think he’s ready for his own Instagram account.

Let’s Hit The Beach (And Aquarium)

Though it was two separate days.

Tuesday, after I got off work, we decided to hit the beach. You know, considering I’ve lived on the coast for almost six years now and can count the number of times I’ve been to the beach on one hand, we thought it was a necessary vacation activity. That and we were very pale:

Of course, being summer it was quite crowded, as were the roads to and from Santa Monica. So we thought we’d take Sunset back to the valley and avoid major traffic. Bad idea, because we missed the announcement that the break in the water main at UCLA had closed Sunset. We ended up traveling through UCLA, and even heavier traffic. But we eventually got home and got some pizza, just added a bit of sightseeing to our trip.

The next day we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific. And for lunch stopped at the Bubba Gump restaurant located across the driveway…Anyway, here are lots of pictures:

These are jellyfish sharing a tank with a tiny octopus through the magic of TV reflections.

Sea dragons and sea horses.

Soon-to-be baby sharks, still in their eggs with windows added.

Birds, for some reason.

Not-so-camera-shy penguins.

And lots of jellyfish, other fish, and shrimp.

I’ve put all 286 photos into a nice little Google+ Photo Album if you’d like to see more of the sea creatures we encountered. Tomorrow, The Getty Center.

Breakfast Time

Not mine, because how boring would that be. If you want to see pictures of people’s pancakes, etc., go browse Instagram.

No, apparently I stumbled upon this little guy in the back yard

as he was eating his breakfast. (My apologies if the pictures are blurry. They were taken from at least ten feet away with the zoom as high as it would go.)

See? Right there between his feet. Some poor unsuspecting fly has now become a meal. Although, good riddance really. Those flies are annoying.

He might seem tiny against all those leaves, but he really was gigantic for a spider. Unfortunately, when I came back from my bike ride, I couldn’t see him anymore. but the web was still in the same place, so hopefully he was just in a cool place out of the sunshine and not plotting an attack somewhere.

Paris in Pictures

(A bit of background for those who don’t know, I recently went along with the people I babysit for during the week to France for two weeks to help watch the kids. These are the promised pictures from the first week of that trip.)

I know I promised these pictures on Friday, but I was folding mountains of clothes and packing and shopping and then got caught in a cooking frenzy. Saturday I was out and about, and Sunday I did even more cooking. So, here are the promised picture of my trip, a weekend late.

Mind you, this won’t be all of the pictures. The full 110 are posted in this album on my G+ page. Most of them are captioned, but there are a few I know are of landmarks, but I haven’t figured out what landmarks just yet.

Let’s start with the one thing I most wanted to see, which we also happened to see on our first day – Notre Dame:

After spending at least a few semesters studying it in pictures, I couldn’t be in France without seeing it in person. It was seriously impressive, and hopefully my pictures do it slightly better justice than the tiny pictures in my textbooks.

I also loved being able to walk down the river. There are so many interesting boats parked along the bank and floating down it at all times.

Because the Seine river runs directly through the center of Paris , there are plenty of bridges to take you from one bank to the other and provide great views at the same time.

There are a couple bridges with an interesting tradition. Couples and families write their names on locks, lock them to the bridge, and throw the key into the water to symbolize love lasting forever.

Another thing you must see in Paris? The Louvre, of course, and it is massive.

Especially the famous glass pyramids and fountains in the center.

From the Louvre, you can walk straight into the Tuileries Gardens. There are fountains, flowers, trees, and a view directly down the center of the Obelisk and Arc du Triomphe.

But traveling with kids meant we spent most of our time here:

That’s right, there is a park full of trampolines in the middle of the gardens. Pretty awesome idea, really.

Another great park in Paris is the Luxembourg Gardens. I think it was actually larger than the Tuileries. It has a large reflecting pool and statue near the side entrance.

The Pompidou Center was a must-visit. The outside is covered with color-coded pipes…

while the inside is a modern art museum. All the exhibits I saw were cool, but I think this one was most impressive. When you see it in person, it doesn’t look like much. Just a net with some reflectors. But when you take a picture, it lights up in your camera display.

At the top of the Pompidou Center, you can look out and see all of Paris. That’s where I took possibly my best picture of the Eiffel Tower.

We went to it, but you can’t exactly take a great picture of a giant structure standing at the foot of it.

The baby and I took a walk to the Place du Vosges one day after a particularly long nap (his, not mine). It has some wonderful fountains.

Another day we went with the older kids and their dads on a boat ride down the Seine. on the way we saw the Memorial des Martyrs de la Deportation, a memorial to those who helped the Jewish people escape France in Word War II.

It was really eye opening to see all the names of people who were willing to risk their lives to help their neighbors and friends, and sometimes even strangers.

That pretty much sums up my first week in France. To keep this post from being too incredibly long, I’ll post about the second week on Wednesday. It will be less pictures, but still as interesting.