Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Who Ordered the Snow?

This weekend I got a wonderful treat. I spent the weekend in Tahoe with eight ladies from my book club! Normally we meet one Sunday night per month and we switch off who hosts. Well this month the hostesses said, "let's all meet at my cabin in Tahoe!" At first it wasn't clear that many folks would be able to make it but ultimately we had about half the group. It was such a wonderful weekend and great to have a bunch of Mom's around! There was always someone cooking something or cleaning up - not like when you go somewhere with your own family and you have to do all the work. I had a fabulous time.

There was even a quick trip to a cute little yarn store called the Wool Tree. They had lots of lovely yarns including a fabulous selection of Trendsetter Tonalita. I was looking at the pretty colors trying to decide what to make and I decided to finally give Lizard Ridge a go. I've always wanted to make it but I don't like the feel of Noro Kureyon. The Tonalita is very soft in gorgeous colors so I think I'm going to like this. I didn't get enough for the entire blanket because I wanted to knit a few up to make sure that I liked it. I really do so will now have to hunt down the rest on-line.

The weather was in the '60's on Saturday and the sun was shining. But what a surprise when we woke up Sunday morning - SNOW!! We were like little kids on their first snow day. We made snow angels, took pictures and threw snowballs. It was absolutely gorgeous. The only bad part was having to dig out my car . . .

Oh yeah - and the book? We read The Help which I highly recommend. It takes place in the '50's and '60's in Jacksonville, Mississippi and it's a realy eye opener.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fair Isle Baby

I FINALLY found a hat pattern that I thought would be cute for a baby boy but it was fair isle. To date I have not really done much fair isle and have not been very good at it. But the hat was so darn cute I just had to give it a try. I even had colors in my stash pretty close to the ones in the pattern which I really liked. So here it is - my first ever fair isle baby hat. I must say that this is really easy peasy fair isle in that the colors change every other stitch when you are doing the pattern so therefore you don't have the long color runs that mess me up. I even learned to "pick" and "throw" having a different color in both hands. There are definitely more of these hats in my future!

To see something much more impressive than another hat - go on over to Jen's blog and see her beautiful Ulmus! Now I'm really put to shame since I suggested we both make an Ulmus, mine is about 6-8 inches big at this point and hers is all done and oh, so gorgeous! Way to go Jennifer! I'm so impressed (and quite envious).

Finally - I haven't shown you a photo of Miss Molly in awhile. She is almost 8 months now and a rambucous puppy. She is growing like a weed and is a long leggy "super model" as the vet said. She remains a sweet pup who loves to be around people and has the best sad puppy dog look of any dog on the planet (and therefore gets her way a lot!) She has become such a member of the family it's hard to remember a time without her.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Surprise Jacket

I had to be careful as I thought of the title for this post. I am making the famous Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket but when I sent an e-mail to Bonnie about it I ended up with an unintended consequence. You see she read it on her blackberry/trio/handheld and only part of the title of my message could be seen. Well I think she just about had a heart attack when she got a message from me titled, "Baby Surprise!" No Bonnie - no more babies in my future but plenty of knitting for other people's babies!

This jacket has intriqued me for a long time so I finally decided to make one. The pattern comes on an extra long piece of paper with lots of writing, diagrams, etc. But then when you start to make it you realize there are only two paragraphs of instructions and I've got to tell you they are NOT THAT CLEAR! I got started just fine but then I had several questions. Thank goodness for the internet. There are several sites that offer some help (glad to know I'm not the only one who had these issues) and even a 6 part video instructions on You Tube! I love the internet! I'm using some Socks that Rock Heavyweight so we'll see just how big this sucker turns out. I'll keep you posted. In the meanwhile, if anyone else has made this and has some tips for me please send them my way.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where Have I BEE'n?

HELLO everyone! Long time no "talk". I look at my last entry and I can't believe it has been almost two months since I have posted. Where have I been you ask? I wish I had a tale of fabulous travels that kept me away from the computer but it was really just every day life. We did have a nice vacation in Oregon the end of July/beginning of August but other than that I've really just been very busy at work and dealing with three kids going back to school, starting soccer, horses, hip-hop, learning to drive, and the like. I have been stalking your blogs though and enjoying your posts (to the extent you're not delinquent like me!)
My main project of late has been the Girasol shawl which I showed you earlier. I am now at the point where the rows are 640 stitches long so they take FOREVER! I feel like I'm nearing the end but then I realize that I can only get through about 1 to 1.5 rows per night and I have about 33 rows until the edging so that's about 1 month more!! I also continue to suffer from my major knitting A.D.D. and have many other projects going as well. Lots of babies being born so I have been making hats (there's a surprise!) The guy who grows the organic garden near me (where most of my flower photos come from) just had a baby girl. So I made him a tomato hat and also a bumble bee hat. I couldn't find a pattern I liked for the bee hat so I made one up. I am so tickled with how it came out. He named her Eden which I think is so perfect!

The problem with most of the other babies are that they are boys. Not that I have anything against boys but I'm having a really hard time finding cute baby boy hat patterns. I find tons and tons of cute patterns for little girls but not for boys. In fact I've even made several for baby girls with no one in particular to give them too! Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

On a non-knitting note, the Little Man's school had a cake walk at the back-to-school BBQ. People are supposed to bring cakes which are then judged. After that the kids play something akin to musical chairs and when the music stops they jump on a number. Then a number is called out and that person gets to go pick a cake. Inspired by Janice I made cake balls. The theme was "Kentucky bluegrass" so I made blue and green cake balls. It was something short of a disaster. Trying for colors I went to Michael's and bought candy melts which I thought would be good for dipping but it was really too thick. Then I dropped in some coloring trying to darken the blue and it immediately thickened and was ruined. So I had to make the rest green . . . what you see are the salvaged ones. Anyway - I was totally put to shame by THIS cake. Isn't it amazing? I have no idea what it has to do with bluegrass but it was amazing!

Then sadly at the end of the day the kids picked whichever cake had the most candy or toys on it! When the Little Man finally won it was close to the end and my cake balls were still there . . . . and would you believe that with all these wonderful homemade cakes he picked a carton of cupcakes that came from the grocery store but had little superman decorations on them! I have SO learned my lesson!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Never Enough Time

I am continuing to learn how to use my new macro lens and I think things are getting better. I just wish I had more time to play with it and study what to do. The story of just about everything in my life. I wish I had more time to knit, more time to read, more time to photograph, more time to blog and read your blogs and most of all more time to have fun with my family. But I've been trying to make the most of the summer and get home a little earlier and do some fun things. We have a vacation coming up and I plan to bring lots of knitting, books and of course my camera. I do that every year and bring most of it back barely touched but hope springs eternal!
On the knitting front I continue to work on my Girasole and it is progressing well. I think I'm more than half way done but I'm not quite sure. This is the first time I've started a shawl and wanted to work on it almost exclusively. Usually I flit from project to project. There is one project that I have also been working on, especially when I need something mindless. I have a friend who is going through hard times and I wanted to knit something for her. I couldn't decide what and then one day I stepped in to my LYS and saw this gorgeous new Berroco Lustra yarn. It just shimmers and comes in all these gorgeous deep colors. I decided a scarf out of the luminous turqouise was just the thing. I tried some lace designs but ultimately decided a simple ribbed scarf shows of the yarn the best and is oh so yummy! It's taking me much longer to make progress on the scarf even though I seem to progress quickly on the shawl. I think it's the knitting in the round!

Look who came to visit us last night. He had a friend with him as well. We have several young bucks in the area with their horns still fuzzy. They are truly gorgeous creatures.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Round and Round and Round

I've been working on the Girasole by Jared Flood and I must say that I LOVE this pattern! It's really quite easy yet it looks so fancy in the end! It is knit in the round which clearly goes faster than having to turn after every row and the pattern continues to change to kee in interesting. It is really quite simple lace knitting and I think both the novice and experienced lace knitter can enjoy it. I'm making this one out of Malabrigo silky merino which is wonderful to work with. It's hard to show you what it really looks like since it is crinkled around the needles but you can check it out on Ravelry to get the full view. I think I'm about half way done now (further than when the photos were taken) but it's hard to say. Also the stitch counts goes up and up so each row is now taking much longer so it's not entirely clear how much longer it iwll take me.

I have been wondering lately what's going on in the knitting blog world. It seems we're all posting less and commenting less. Does that just mean we're busy? Have people gotten tired of the blogs? Is everyone spending their time on Ravelry instead? Do other people see what I see? Does anyone have any ideas what is happening?

Not much else is new around here. I did get a new lens for my camera - it's called a macro lens for taking very close-up photos. I'm still trying to get the hang of it. I'd love to hear from any of you who are experienced macro lens users for your tips and suggestions. We continue to enjoy the summer with the kids and they are very busy with a variety of camps. On any given night I'm down at least one kid and that in itself it a little odd. I want to go to camp! Instead I go to camp work every day. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day to all of you. I hope everyone had a wonderful day filled with fun and family (and maybe even a little knitting!) We started the day with a parade down one of the main streets of our town followed by a BBQ and swimming at our friend's house. We brought Cake Balls thanks to Janice's wonderful recipe. Horsey Girl and the Little Man helped me make them and they had a fabulous time decorating them. Everyone was very impressed and thought they tasted fabulous. One person even asked where we bought them!

On the knitting front - I made a cupcake pin cushion for Mom out of the new Spud and Chloe yarn from Blue Sky Alpaca. I don't really understand why they came out with a whole new brand name but it is supposed to be more wash and wear than their other yarns. It was nice to work with but the colors weren't as pretty as they looked on-line. It was a quick knit and I am happy with the results.
Here's a photo of some of the hats I made for the Realy for Life. I really had a good time making these hats with multicolored brims. Hopefully they will find their way to someone in need and make them smile.
And of course I have to leave you with today's Molly photo. Here she is decked out for the 4th of July parade and already panting!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Who'd A Thought

Remember this? I showed you the two yarns I had picked to make the Ulmus and I KNOW that some of you were thinking, "Ewww - has she lost it?" Well it's just so amazing to see how colors look once you combine them. I thought the colors would look good together but sometimes I would look at them and worry that perhaps I was crazy. Well lookie here. I'm thrilled with how this is turning out. I definitely recommend this pattern as it is quite easy but turns out a beautiful shawl. There is one point I will make though - when you slip the stitches it is always WYIF. I made that mistake at first only having the yarn in front on one side and not on the other. The pattern uses different symbols depending on the row even though it is for the same stitch (slip with yarn in front). I can't understand why they did that but once I figured it out things are going smoothly.

I'm also working on a few other things that I will share with you soon. It's been a little hot to knit lately so progress is slow. On the summer front Miss K is off to camp for 2 weeks and I miss her already. It is so weird just having 2 kids instead of 3. It gives me a little glimpse in to what my life will be like in two years when Horsey Girl heads off to college. I must say I am NOT looking forward to it. I'm not a mom who is eagerly waiting for her kids to leave home. I think I'll be the one hanging on their legs as they walk out the door!
I leave you with the obligatory photo of Miss Molly who is getting longer legged by the minute. I hope you all have a wonderful family, fun and fiber filled FOURTH!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Earth Baby

As I mentioned before, the Little Man's kindergarten teacher is expecting and we Mom's decided to have a baby shower for her at the end of the year. At the last minute I decided to knit a baby blanket for her. She loves earth tones so I skipped the normal pink and baby blue and went with teal, brown, tan and sage. I had three criteria when I went to pick out the yarn. It had to be earth tones. It has to be able to go in the washer AND dryer. It had to knit up quickly! I went with Universal yarn Classic Worsted. It is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. I knit the blanket on size 11 needles so it went quite fast. The pattern is of my own design. I was thrilled with how it turned out as was the soon to be mom. I hope she ends up using it often.
The kids are all out of school and summer camp season is about to start. My oldest has gone on a college tour in southern California and my middle is already bored, bored, bored! Maybe she could walk the dog . . . .

Thursday, June 04, 2009

What's a Girl to Do?

There is a new yarn store in the vicinity of where I live. It's called Green Planet Yarns. I've been hearing about it but it's not that close and it's in an area I don't tend to find myself. Recently Horsey Girl had a soccer game at a High School that was only 3 miles from Green Planet. So what's a girl to do? I volunteered to drop her at the game since she needs to be there half hour early to warm up. Mom was with me and we snuck on over to the yarn. My plan was just to check it out quickly and then get back for the first quarter. Well you know what's next! We did at least make it back at half time and at luckily BEFORE hubby got there so he never had to know!
There was so much to look at and so many yarns I'd never seen before! I didn't think that was possible since I've spent so much time in yarn stores and looking at yarn on line. I was "forced" to buy something. There was this gorgeous bamboo yarn in bright, bright colors. I decided to get it for a baby blanket. I don't know what baby yet, but maybe by the time I finish it someone will be pregnant! I'm loving this yarn. It is so soft and the color is not disappointing!
I leave you with a photo of one of our kitties. They are getting jealous that Molly is getting all the attention!