The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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March, 2010

Empty Space

Fried Plantains, Veggie Burrito, Egg Sandwich, Rice

I’m sitting in a very empty apartment right now. It is only slightly emptier physically – I’ve lived here for over four years if I can even wrap my brain around that, and PT had only lived here for about 10 months, so most of the things are mine and still here. But I’m sitting in PT’s spot on the couch just so there is something in it. The bed is HUGE with just me, Velma, and Pudge. I’m not crashing into someone else cooking in the kitchen.

I’m unshowered, because what is the point? I’m wearing super ratty underwear, because what is the point? I’m baking bread – small loaf. I’m making granola bars – mostly freezer bound. I cleaned the cat hair off the rug this morning – PT’s job. There are pictures of us everywhere that I just don’t know what to do with.

My freshmen year of college was full of long distance relationship drama. It seemed like everyone I met had one, including me, and eventually they all failed. As far as I know. I moved to Chicago after one year so I didn’t get all the follow up stories. But there was always someone screaming on the phone, someone crying in the bathroom, someone getting drunk and cheating on their boyfriend in California, someone carrying their room phone around with them because their boyfriend was supposed to call them four hours ago and he must be dead.

White Whine Pasta with Mushrooms and Broccoli

Sure, we were 18. We were living on our own for the first time. We were in relationships with the first boys we ever kissed. Shit is bound to happen. My own freshmen long distance relationship fell apart before October.

I like to think that a lot has changed in 8 years. Maturity, self control, smart decision making, knowing what’s important: all of these things should have grown exponentially in these early 20s years.

PT as Frog

But who knows. I have a couple girlfriends in long distance relationships now; Chicago/London and Chicago/Spain. Which sounds a hell of a lot more challenging than Chicago/NYC. Technology makes it easy to communicate constantly with anyone willing.

It’s funny and fitting that most of the pictures from this past week with PT are of food. We had a seriously delicious lunch at Irazu – the site for many past PT/Allyson meals. We made lots of veggie pasta. And tuna helper.

Officially single but fielding/making phone calls and texts and video chats and gchats galore, who knows what the right answer is. If it’s meant to be it will happen. If it isn’t it won’t.

In the mean time I’m going to work like a crazy person. I’ve got all this room and time now magically. Work, work, work.

The Luck of the Dutch

God decided that with the impending PT move he wanted me to win a couple sweet blog giveaways as an I’m sorry for giving me such a hard time so far this year.

Knits Three Ways - Knitting

Knits Three Ways

From the delightful Alice over at The Yarn Panda I won this knitting pattern book, Knits Three Ways by Melissa Matthay.

Knit Kimono - Cute!

There are some cute patterns in this book, like this knit kimono. The idea is to take a simple sweater pattern and change it up with different yarns to knit it three different ways. It’s a good book for a beginner, and I’m happy to have it for my students, but if you’ve got a couple sweaters under your belt it’s pretty redundant. We were looking at it in Sweater Club last night and having fun imagining the different styling of some of the frilly sweaters! It’s a great addition to my pattern book collection. Thanks Alice!

EatSmart Digital Food Scale

Then over at fANNEtastic Food, Anne had a giveaway for this digital food scale that I was so pumped to win because I’ve always wanted one!

Scale in Action!

Pudge was all over it when I pulled it out this morning. Well, she was probably just all over the cutie I was weighing, for it’s roll-ability and toy-like nature. Bygones.

Thanks so much, ladies! You made my crappy week way less crappy.

And both of these women have really fun twitters, too: Anne’s here and Alice’s here.

Chicago Bucket List

A couple weeks ago I shared PT’s plans to move to NYC. Things have been moving pretty fast since then; he is packing up and driving east Friday already. It takes a ton of guts to quit a safe but unsatisfying job and pack up all your belongings to start new in a city you’ve never live in before, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Despite how much I’m going to miss him.

But in the mean time we are doing all the fun things PT wants to do before he leaves the city. The PT Chicago Bucket List.

PT and ME

Biking around the lake in matching sun glasses.

Douche Lunch!

Faron Douche Lunch!

Eating Douche Lunch – where we go to a douchey bar and eat douchey food with douches!

PT Pizza

ME Pizza

Making our favorite foods, like these delicious pizzas. Mine is caramelized onion, corn, pineapple, artichoke heart, mozzarella and Parmesan. PT’s is all that plus bacon and olives.

And yes! I portioned. Because I can’t be a fatty and find a new boyfriend.

Left on the list? Just a lot more eating. Handlebar, Margies; all our favorite places. It will be a fun week! Then PT will be off to NYC and I will be holding down the fort, and probably unable to go out to eat ever again because of my new live-alone budget.

If you were moving, what would be on your bucket list specific to your city?

FO: ZebraSweater

Remember DinoSweater? Here is DinoSweater’s sister, ZebraSweater.

Zebra Teddy

ZebraSweater is my girly answer to DinoSweater, but is a black baby sweater a hard sell?

Don’t get me wrong; this sweater is clearly adorable. I mean, it’s a zebra baby sweater. Give me a break.


And I have a problem with baby girl/baby boy-ing things, anyway. I would give a baby girl that DinoSweater and I would put a baby boy in the ZebraSweater. And I would put a baby in a mostly black sweater if it had adorable ears and a mane.

Shut Up Already

How completely ridiculous. A bear in a ZebraSweater. I can’t even handle it.

Striped Baby Sweater

The ZebraSweater came together because I’m working on the perfect baby cardigan pattern. I got a request for a ZebraSweater, so I’m killing two birds with one stone. Here is a top down reglan baby sweater with about 2 inches worth of seaming that came together in a weekend. Easy.

Next Up: Hood

Then I picked up stitches along the collar and knit up a hood; a super quick addition to a super quick knit.

Next Up: Pockets!

These silly pockets are just a fun detail. And who doesn’t like pockets on their sweaters?! Throw your keys and wallet in there and you don’t need to carry a purse around. It’s really for the baby on the go.

Then, my sweater got a little crazy. Ears and a mane will crazy-up anything. But the sweater pattern I’ve written, for sizes newborn, three, six, and nine months, with options for a hood and front pockets, is pretty solid I think! I’m planning baby classes in the spring semester, and this sweater will be part of the action.

Mane Adorable!

I’ve got another ZebraSweater to knit up as a custom order so I’ll have another chance to test my pattern. I love knitting baby sweaters! They knit up so quickly!

Pattern: My own.

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Black and Lion Brand’s Pound of Love in White

Needles: Size 9

Ravelry Projecy Page

Blog it Forward: Inspirations

Designer Victoria Smith came up with a great way to discover new blogs and see what is inspiring people all over the blog world with Blog it Forward – a chain of blogs all talking about what inspires them as designers.

What is fun about being a knitter is you can find inspiration in so many different design areas. From fashion to textiles to home goods to yarn to necessity.

A Trip to

A Flip Through Vogue Knitting Magazine

Pretty Dresses, like Nadinoo's


Hot Ladies Rocking DIY

Pretty Much Anything Zooey Deschanel Does

Yarn and pretty dresses. That is Allyson in a nutshell. And I’m cool with it. What inspires you?

And please zip on over to The Sweetest Occasion tomorrow to see what inspires her.