Monday, April 24, 2006

One UFO down, a few more to go . . .

I'm so excited to have this blanket done. It started out to be a baby blanket, but I've renamed it the "Mommy & Me" blanket because of it's size. I hope to deliver it to the intended recipient this week! It ended up being about 55 x 60 inches. I hope never to use that yarn again. It's beautiful and soft but a real pain to work with.

Finally I can go back to working on the Fisherman's Shrug . . . which I'm almost afraid of. I've decided the reason I've been avoiding it is because when you pair a pattern with a lot of errors and an inexperienced knitter it's likely you'll end up with a less than ideal finished product. But, I've decided in spite of this that I will bite the bullet and do my best on it and hope it comes out nice enough to send to my daughter!

What I'd really like to be working on is an idea for a purse that I've got in my head. Actually I've got a few notes on paper because I want even more to finish the list of UFO's. S0, with that being said, I'm going back to my knitting . . . Take care!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Flowers, flowers everywhere!

The Wisteria
The Calendula
The Camellia

Potato vine

SweetPea our calico with the pink Tulips.

I'm knitting as fast as I can . . .

Today finally felt like spring had arrived. I love this time of year, when all the trees are budding, flowers blooming, and what was barren is now showing new growth. Flowers have been blooming for a while here in Northern California but there has been an over abundance of rain that kept temperatures down and rivers high!

Today we cheered on our great nephew at a little league game. They lost, but it was clear they enjoyed the game and enjoyed the comaraderie . It's good to see these youngsters (about ages 7 to 9) learning the basics of the sport while enjoying their friends.

On the needles; I'm still muddling my way through the errors in the Fisherman's Shrug from Knit It. Even with the corrections published on the Lionbrand site I find it's not accurate. I usually don't have a problem knitting to gauge, but on the fronts I had to use the size 15 needle to get gauge. The back and both front pieces are done and I'm about half way on the sleeves, doing two at a time.

I'm also working on a baby blanket. The same one I started during my trip to Wisconsin. Today I bought the final skein of yarn I need to finish it and hope to have it done by early next week.

In the "I've got to finish this" basket is the Bella sweater from Knitty, two scarves from Plymouth's Africa, and a couple of evening bags. I'm trying to finish these things so that I can finally get to work with some of the really yummy yarn I bought with $$$ from my daughters for our 20th anniversary. This picture really doesn't do the yarn justice. The colors in the top yarn are very intense but I just couldn't get them to show up. That's Showstopper by Ironstone Yarns which I'm sure will end up being a scarf. The purple skein and the navy are Print 127 by Filatura Di Crossa, and will most likely end up as a purse with the main part done in navy and the trim in purple. On the right is Katia's Mexico which hasn't told me what it wants to be, and at the lower center and left is a large hank of hand dyed Peru by Interlacements which will be made into one of the I-cord scarves from the book "Knit Ponchos, Wraps & Scarves" by Jane Davis.

Life seems finally to have slowed down for me. I'm ready for a slower pace for a while! After returning from our last trip I found a swelling at the top of each leg, where the leg meets the torso (for lack of a better description) that worried me, but it turns out the swellings are nothing more than "fatty tumors". Who in the world wants any more fat on their body, not me that's for sure. The good news is that they are never malignant and they don't require removal unless they cause problems with the surrounding muscle tissue. The bad news is, that they will grow, and they're in a location where it is likely they will cause a problem. But, no sweat, until they do that's just a couple of ounces of fat that I am not in control of!

Remember . . . Life is too short to knit ugly things!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Time flies when you're knitting

It seems I should have achieved "world traveler" status by now with the traveling I've done this year, but alas, it's all been stateside.

My sister's wish to meet her siblings has been realized. I was able to travel to Wisconsin to meet her. We spent a full week in a hotel in Fond du Lac. It was perfect, there were no toilets to scrub, meals to prepare, dishes to do or anyone but ourselves to pick up after. We spent hours on end just chatting and getting to know one another. I knitted as we stayed up late talking. I made a scarf for her, and started a baby blanket for a family friend. We slept late, went to eat at odd hours, saw a bit of the area nearby and visited with our brother. It was awesome, but ended much too quickly. We even went for dessert at 2:00am one night.

The most interesting part of the trip was the fact that the area behind my sis's left ear that the doctor said was cancerous had been very swollen prior to leaving her home, but by time she drove to Michigan and then to Wisconsin it had begun to reduce in size. By time she left Wisconsin it was almost normal in size, thus she will be asking her doctor to do a biopsy of the area prior to doing further chemotherapy. Both my brother and I, individually had very strong feelings that the doctor may have relied on a PET test that could have produced a false positive result due to an open, infected wound from her last surgery meaning that maybe, just maybe the cancer is not back after all. I'm praying we're right and the doctor is wrong.

This is a picture of the scarf I took to her, which she loved. It's made with Noro Kureyon. I also made her another scarf which I neglected to take pictures of. I used a skein of very old Lee Ward sport weight acrylic in a very bright blue carried along with a split railroad and a railroad yarn in jewel tones of blue, purple and turquoise that were almost metallic looking. It turned out gorgeous and very soft.

On the needles now are the baby blanket I started while in Wisconsin, made of Red Heart Baby Clouds, and a scarf made with Moonlight Mohair which is turning out very pretty.

After returning from the Wisconsin trip on the 25th, hubby and I left on the 28th (yes, I really do let him join me sometimes) for San Diego where we spent two nights with our oldest son and his family. I helped my 7 yr old granddaughter pick up her knitting once again. We were treated to dinner at "Dominic's" in Poway in honor of our 20th anniversary. I highly recommend this restaurant!

From there we headed north to Anaheim where we spent a day at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, then headed north to Bakersfield to visit two of our daughters the next morning.

As an anniversary gift the girls gave me a "Knit This" patchwork pillow kit and cash with instructions that it was to be spent on something I wanted rather than bills or something I needed. It didn't take long to drive to my favorite yarn shop in Bakersfield and buy some luscious yarns.

I purchased 5 skeins of Print 127 by Filatura Di Crossa (4 in color 31 and 1 in color 37 which I think wants to be a felted purse with the #37 as trim),5 skeins of Katia Mexico in colorway 5851, 1 skein of Interlacements "Peru" hand dyed 50% super fine alpaca/50% wool in color #218 and 1 skein of Showstopper which consists of 3 yarns, Desert Flower, Eyelash & Mohair, by Ironstone Yarns. The eyelash is about 2" long, the Desert Flower is Metallic in gorgeous range of jeweltones of all colors and the mohair ranges from deep burgundy reds, to blues to purple to black.

We were then told reservations had been made for dinner at a local restaurant. We visited for a bit, then the girls brought in gifts and cards. A "Knit This" patchwork pillow kit and cash (with a condition that it be spent on something frivolous - like yarn) for me, and a collectible for my hubby. We made a bee-line to my favorite LYS in Bakersfield where I spent the cash and a bit more on yarn.

I got 5 skeins of Print 127 by Filatura Di Crossa (4 in color 31 and 1 in color 37 which I think wants to be a felted purse with the #37 as trim). Color 31 is basically navy with the same "extra" colors as this swatch of #37. 5 skeins of Katia Mexico in color #5851, which doesn't have a destination yet. 1 skein of Interlacements "Peru" hand dyed 50% super fine alpaca/50% wool in color #218 that I think wants to be the Striped Snake I-Cord Scarf from "Knit Ponchos, Wraps & Scarves" by Jane Davis, and 1 skein of Showstopper which consists of 3 yarns, Desert Flower, Eyelash & Mohair, it's by Ironstone Yarns.

After the trip to the yarn store we left to go check into the motel and upon our return found both daughters dressed in black and white, and were greeted at the door as though we'd stepped into a fine restaurant. We were invited to sit and relax until we were hungry and to let them know when we were ready to eat. Later we were escorted to a candle lit table under a canopy in the back yard, where we were presented with a very extensive menu, very professionally printed on heavy card stock. The menu consisted of;

Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings with Selected Dipping Sauces
Nachos with Cheese and Your Choice of any of the following; Beans, Beef, Olives, Tomatoes, Sour Cream or SalsaToasted
Baguette topped with Pesto and Feta Cheese
Bruschetta with Melted Parmesan

Romaine Lettuce, Pecan Halves, Dried Cranberries, and Feta Cheese with a Raspberry Vinaigrette
Cheese, Olive, and Tomato over Crisp Green Leaf Lettuce with Thousand Island Dressing

Beef Enchiladas served with Spanish Rice and Beans
Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs in a Red Sauce
London Broil Steak, with Herbed Rice or Roasted Baby Red Potatoes and Steamed Vegetables
Chicken Breast in a B├ęchamel Sauce over a bed of Vermicelli served with Broiled Parmesan Asparagus
Grilled Herb Chicken Breast accompanied by Garlic Mashed Potatoes and a Steamed Vegetable Medley of Zucchini, Carrot and Yellow squash

Coca-Cola, Iced Tea, Juice, Milk, Bottled water, or Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

The dessert menu consisted of:
Chocolate Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting
New York Style Cheesecake garnished with Fresh Strawberries
Carrot Cake with a luscious Cream Cheese Frosting
French Vanilla Ice Cream accompanied by homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

We were served as though we were in a very upscale restaurant (without having to dress up). The area was surrounded by candle light and a chiminea burned nearby for heat against the chill of the evening air. Because I chill easily there was even an electric heater located near my feet. Darci, the oldest of the girls does most of the cooking so Deanna acted as our server. Every item was home made, and very delicious (and we even got plenty to bring home). It is truly an evening we will forever remember with fond memories. I was also presented with a bouquet of tulips and rannuculus in pinks and deep rose, and my husband was given his favorite candy, chocolate covered peanuts. The food was truly fit for a four or five star restaurant, including the presentation. I couldn't have asked for a better 20th anniversary!

Now I'm off to sample some more of that dessert and to knit on that baby blanket as baby has already made his appearance.

May all your knitting experiences be good ones.