Friday, June 30, 2006

Quick Update

I am writing a quick post from Price, Utah, having arrived a little bit ago. I find it rather amazing that I am not at home, but with my handy laptop, I can still see what all of your were up to today, and keep track of email. What a wondrous time we live in, huh? We had a beautiful drive through the Rocky's, through Vail and Beavercreek and then Glenwood Canyon. DH's uncle has recently married and is living in Grand Junction, CO (we went to the wedding in January---sweet, and very Colorado), and we met up with he and his new bride for an early dinner. Lots of good food and good chatter. After we parted, we headed west, into Utah and then northwest to Price. Tomorrow morning we will head toward Salt Lake City, and hopefully check out one of Margene's favorite treks around Silver Lake. Who knows, we may even meet up with her on the trail! In knitting news, I started my nephews clogs in the car, but the beginning rows need fairly strict attention, so I took a break. I also worked on the trekking sock a bit, but I found out that the lace pattern was not going to work out right, given that I use 2 circular needles. I suppose I could shift the whole thing one way or another, but again, it's not car knitting, so I took a break from that as well, frogging the sock back to the ribbing. So now you're all caught up. How 'bout a Favorite Foto, for the road?

Sunset, in Cozumel, on our 25th wedding anniversary (12-29-04). One of us took this picture from the lighthouse on the island......a beautiful ending to a fun day.

I'll check in when I can.....maybe with pictures of MOOSE!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

And the winner is.....

...............he reaches into the "hat"....................

..........pulls out a winner.............

Holly, from right here in Colorado Springs! Congratulations Holly, and thanks for playing. The hand-dyed prize 'o perfection will be on it's way to you in three shakes of a lambs tail :) Here's what I've learned from the contest: 1. Many of the people I thought would enter, didn't . 2. People who have never left a comment did enter, and got all the questions right. 3. There are a whole lot of you out there reading my musings, but for whatever reason, you don't want me to know. 4. A site meter can be an interesting addition. 5. It's loads of fun to see who enters, and to meet all those who de-lurk for the possibility of a prize. We will definitely do this again, perhaps with souvenirs from vacation (yarny ones, of course) as prizes. In other news....the socks are done!

The pattern I had chosen for the next pair is too fiddly to do in the car, or while mildly inebriated and sitting in a lawnchair by the lake, so I've come up with a different plan. If it's not going to work, will somebody please tell me before I spend hours in frustration??? I've found a nice little lace pattern, that I think will make cool socks, but the pattern is written for flat knitting (and not for socks at all). If, since I will be knitting the socks in the round, I knit every other row (say every odd row) opposite of what is written, will the pattern work out? I think it will, but I would really like a vote. Do you even think it's worth it??

Tomorrow, bright and (kinda) early we will leave for our pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest. I'm not sure how often I will have internet access and will be able to post. Now that I know there are more than 3 of you out there reading, I would be very sad if you abandoned me. Check in every few days, I'll do what I can to provide a travel log of sorts. Blogging will return to normal 'round about the 24th of July, with a vacation report; good, bad and ugly.

Until then.......happy crafting!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not. Quite. There.

But very close, as you can see. Again (mostly because socks aren't all that exciting on their own), we have the handsome Kramer, showing you a very nearly done sock. After I got home yesterday afternoon, I took some time to ice my neck and shoulders and knit in front of the TV. I'm ashamed to say, I stayed there throughout the evening, completely caught up in the History Channel (more on that later). The up side is that sock number 2 is only a few rows short of being done. This is the quickest I've knit a pair of socks in a long while, (and Margene?? I'm actually looking forward to the next pair!) Okay, the History Channel. First up, for my educational viewing pleasure was a story about the Aswan Dam, in Egypt....interesting but not enthralling. Next was "Decoding the Past" (love that) and more on The Holy Grail. Very interesting, but I'm growing rather weary of the whole grail thing. As I was watching yesterday, one thought I had was this: if there was a cup, do you really think someone thought to save it? And if there was a cup, and someone saved it, what do you suppose the chances are that it has a picture of Jesus on it, as some museum pieces do? Forgive me while I chase a rabbit here for a moment...... When we were in Italy last year, we visited a lot of churches. Hard to believe, but that is where some of the best art in the world can be viewed, and for free. Anyway, we had been in this fabulous church in Rome, the art and architecture were stunning, we overheard folks singing in a side chapel, it was all together a beautiful experience. Later in the day, I was reading in our guidebook that in that church, under the alter is a glass case containing bits of the manger. I have to tell you, my first thought was yeah, right. I mean really, when Jesus was born, in an out of the way stable, there were just a handful of folks who even knew what was going on. Which of them do you suppose decided to keep a feeding trough, in the hopes that it would one day be a conversation starter?? As a Christian, I thought it was a cool idea, but the logical side of me wasn't convinced. (Please understand, I am in no way mocking those who believe in the validity of such relics, to the faithful, they are evidence of their faith, and worthy of respect). Okay, back to the History Channel, and New Word Wednesday. Today's word is caldera which is a noun that means a volcanic crater that has a diameter many times that of the vent and is formed by the collapse of the central part of the volcano or by explosions of extraordinary violence. Last night on "Mega Disasters," geologists were talking about Yellowstone National Park, and how it exists today as a caldera. Now, I've been to Yellowstone numerous times, I've been to the visitors centers, watched the movies, stopped at the walking trails. Why didn't I know this?? Was I not paying attention? Did I not get the memo?? Seems that the whole northwest corner of Wyoming is just waiting to blow, devastating everything within 100 miles and changing the global climate for years. Scared yet? I thought, Oh well, it won't happen anytime soon, but then they started talking about GPS probe thingy's and satellite images that show the bulging of the land in and around the caldera, movement upwards to the tune of 6-8 centimeters per year, and I started to get a little nervous. Geologists say that an eruption at Yellowstone would be 100 times worse than Mt St Helens, and would ruin crops all across the midwest, killing livestock and people as the ash spread east. One guy said the entire Pacific Northwest would be "toast," (his words). Okay, enough of that, huh? On a positive note, the contest is drawing to a close. You still have a couple hours to get your answers to me by email. This afternoon I'm going to put the yarny prize in a box and send it off to one of you. I will send an email to the lucky winner, so watch your inbox! And now, I'm off to get some packing done and finish that sock!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What am I doing???

Nothing productive....that's for sure. I don't know about you, but when there's a lot to do, I do a lot of nothing. Somehow, though my mind is going a hundred different directions, in this case bouncing between what to pack, what to load into the car, what to clean before leaving the house for three weeks, who to call, bills to pay (you get the idea), I actually get very little done until the last minute. Can we all just say "Thank God for the last minute!!!" Today will be one of scheduled activity, lunch and massage with my pal Lorna, then off to the chiropractor. Along the way I'll drop by the bank and the library. Once home, I really need to get some sort of packing list together and think about laundry---I figure laundry should wait till the last minute so everything that gets packed will be clean and there wont be such a pile waiting for me when I get home. Yesterday, I joined Eva and Stephen for lunch and then, after his nap, the little dude came over while Eva went for an eye exam. We had a great time blowing bubbles, playing Hide and Seek ("where is that 'neaky miss heesa"--he is so funny sometimes) and while we were sitting in the lawnchairs having a cool drink I reminded him about our vacation. We went down the list of people we will visit in Washington, and I asked him what he thought I should pack. He thought on that for a moment or two, and said "Yarn." Too smart for his own good, that one. There was a wee bit of progress made on the trekking sock. I talked Kramer into helping me show you:

Because I have small feet, I'm actually pretty close to doing the toe. Kramer always looks a bit uncomfortable in the role of model (check out the second post---way back in February).

Last but not least, the contest is perking along well, but I still have lots of room in the "hat" for more names. Get your answers to me before noon tomorrow if you want in!

And now I really must get something done.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Who knew??

The contest has been a real eye-opener. People that have never left a comment are entering the contest and a couple have gotten every answer right! Go figure. I had no idea that there were so many of you out there, reading, but incognito....so to speak. I'm actually thinking of another random contest, just to see how many comments I could get in one day......interesting thought. Anyway, it has been a load of fun. I'll bet some of you are waiting to see what the prize is before you bother to enter, so here ya go:

An 8oz skein of hand dyed woolly goodness, fresh from my pal Christy. The yarn is sport/dk weight, and very yummy. If, per chance, the winner is a pre-knitter (just can't say non-knitter, why would anybody not want to knit???) there is a gift for Audible.com (you don't need an Ipod, just a computer, and once you've downloaded your choice you can even burn it to cd). Each prize will be accompanied by a couple of my handmade beaded bookmarks. Remember to get your answers in by noon on Wednesday, so I can pop the prize in the mail before I head off on vacation.

Speaking of which, the plans are coming together. I talked to son #1 yesterday and the gang is anxious for us to get there. Our traditional 4th of July at the Lake should be a blast, somebody is bringing ribs (yipee, I won't have to do it all!), and it looks like we'll have a good crowd. We've got brunch on the calendar, another family bbq and a national park we've never been to on the way home. Now, if I can get the packing figured out.......

The weekend was wonderful; Friday's date night consisted of grabbing a bite to eat and then watching the latest Zorro movie. Gotta love Netflix. Saturday I joined the KAW gals at the Black Kettle for some good knitting time. I once again discovered that one must pay attention whilst knitting the Jaywalker sockies, or one discovers anew the joys of tinking. Some of the gals came home with me for some more knitting time, and I ended the evening with Eva and Stephen, eating pizza and discovering a new wine.

Hubby spent the day at his office, working, but took a break and discovered this:

Earlier in the afternoon, Brad took a break and saw a new fawn with it's mamma just outside the door. Later on he caught these two cuties napping on the steps---notice the traffic just a few feet away! Deer are not uncommon at the Air Force Academy, but this is the first set of fawns he's seen lounging on the steps of the lab. Last week he came across his first rattlesnake (oh joy) while riding his mountain bike on one of the trails. He's seen "evidence" of bears and mountain lions, but so far hasn't come across any while riding.

Lastly, I'll leave you with a note of progress. We are gradually approaching detente, at Black Sheep Central.

Kramer and Zorro are about the same size....Kramer would really like to just make friends and get on with life, but the cat, having never been exposed to dogs, is not so sure about that concept.

Here's the scene this morning, the cat wanting to join me in the dining room. On the left is Jakes rump.....he couldn't care less that Zorro is there, but when he lifted his fat lazy head to acknowledge the cat, Zorro returned the greeting by hissing at him. The cat just doesn't get it.

But at least he has ventured up from the basement.......and that is progress.

Friday, June 23, 2006

CONTEST!!!

We'll get to that in a minute.....first up, Favorite Foto Friday:

Here's another shot taken last weekend up at Rocky Mountain National Park, this time from the trail along Bear Creek. The trail is mostly flat, about half a mile round the lake and just right for a leisurely stroll as the sun goes down. We've walked this path quite a few times, as well as a few of the more challenging trails that branch off from here. It was a beautiful little trek (yes, I brought the sock). In other news, I actually got a little spinning done, late yesterday.

I may not have mentioned it, but I ended up taking my wheel to Estes last weekend, with the thought that if I didn't have it, I would be overcome with an unbearable urge to spin (after intense fiber exposure, you know). As it turns out, though I did want to spin, I didn't really have time. All that to say this, my little wheel was very fussy yesterday as I sat down to work up some of the Romney I brought back from Victor last week. At first I wasn't sure what was going on, whether I had lost my spinning mojo, whether it was fiber from hell, or something was seriously out of adjustment. I decided it was time for a little research, so I dug up the video that came with my wheel and watched the section on spinning---if all else fails, read the directions, right? I won't elaborate on what I learned....that would only go to accentuate my ignorance....but I will say that eventually the issues I was having worked themselves out and I have about half a bobbin spun up. Shouts go out to Kristi, Laurie and Cathy for helping a girl out.

Speaking of spinning (yes, yes, I'm getting to the contest), Kristi has put forth a Summer of Spinning Challenge. I'm fixin' to jump in, but I'm having a bit of trouble formulating a proper goal. That is on my list of things to think about today.

Okay........Drum Roll Please.............................this is my 100th post, and so in honor of said achievement, let the contest begin. The following questions can be answered from the previous 99 posts. If you have been reading for a while, they should be fairly easy, if you have not......happy hunting. There will be a winner chosen from those of you who play---honorable mention (and your name in the hat twice) if you get all the answers correct. The winner will be chosen next Wednesday, June 28, so make sure you get your answers in by noon on Wednesday. Tell your friends....the more the merrier (unless you want a better chance at winning, I suppose). Ready??? Here we go. 1. How old is son number 1? 2. What unfortunate event occurred while I was in Washington in March? 3. For whom am I knitting the Cambridge Jacket? 4. Where did I buy my spinning wheel? 5. What was my Knitting Olympics Project? 6. What are my dogs names? 7. What is the name of the knitting group I belong to? 8. What is the name of the park that we like to take the dogs to? 9. What did I bring home from Rock Ledge Ranch? 10. Who sent me tulips for my birthday? Send your answers to me by email (there is a link in the sidebar). Have fun and good luck!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Progress.....finally

I've just finished making the reservations for our trip to Washington----here's what I've learned. 1. Traveling on a holiday weekend is nuts. Motels are either booked or outlandishly expensive. 2. You might as well forget about getting "last minute" reservations near anything interesting, unless of course you would like to stay at the Four Seasons at $1700 per night. 3. Even with the price of gas, and the absurd hotel rates, it's still cheaper to drive. 4. The motel tax in Idaho is 11%. 5. It pays to plan ahead. My frustration at it's peak, I decided to forego the meandering trip through Yellowstone and take a more direct route. We can meander on the way back, when the holiday madness has past. Between now and then, there is time to come up with a plan. This afternoon I plan to devote myself to spinning and knitting, as it seems there has been precious little progress on those fronts. I've been playing around with the fiber I brought home from Cathy's the other day, just little bits of this and that, to see how I like each fiber. I'd like to do a bit more of that, and also some experimenting with spinning "fatter" singles. It seems that since the spinning faerie visited, I can only spin thin stuff. The other option would be to ply more than 2 singles together....another worthwhile experiment. Somewhere on the list is coming up with a fiber containment plan. As I was showing my friend Eva (a non-knitter) all the fibery goodies the other day, her comment was "girl, you've got a problem." Obviously she knows nothing about stash. And truly, it's all relative. I've got stash, but not flowing out of closets, cupboards and baskets. In fact all of what I have would fit into a couple 33 gallon bins----yarn included. But the fact remains, I cannot just keep all the ziplocks full of fiber on the chair in the family room, and hiding under the accent table. A plan must be developed. And pretty soon too. I've actually been thinking about reappropriating one of the linen closets upstairs for fiber storage...but that would mean finding other places for most of the linens in the closet. Storing the linens in the rooms in which they are to be used makes the most sense to me, and would free up a good amount of space, but it will take

some figuring any way you look at it, and thus far I've not been up to the task or not bothered enough by my "problem" to do anything about it. Thanks for the comments and emails on yesterday's post. I usually hesitate before going on like that, what with this being a knitting blog and all, but your comments were so good that I suppose it's okay to deviate now and then. Perhaps in the future I may venture into news items I find particularly interesting (or galling). Speaking of which, did any of you catch the story yesterday about Brad Pitt scheduling a routine dental exam in Namibia because they could provide tighter security?? Seems Mr. Pitt will return to Africa in the fall for x-rays and a routine cleaning, where the government will pratically close the border and create a no fly zone over the dental office. The dental x-rays are to be sold, with the money given to charity. Good gravy. (edited....I tried to find the aritcle mentioned above earlier, thanks Kathy for pointing me in the right direction. Thank goodness it is satirical, though I have to say, with all of Brangelina's recent antics, it's within the realm of possibility. See the link, mentioned in Kathy's comment).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Factotum??? You betcha!

Thought I'd share a few more images from the weekend: As with most plans, the one I had for yesterday was largely overcome by events. I met up for coffee with Eva and Stephen and then in the evening the little dude was here for a few hours while Cliff and Eva went out for dinner. Laundry, bill paying and spinning were replaced by blowing bubbles and wrestling in the yard. Not that I'm complaining, mind you; who wouldn't rather play than work, hmmmm? But the fact remains, I've got work to do.....which brings me to New Word Wednesday. Today's word is factotum which is a noun that means 1. a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities 2. a general servant. I don't know about you, but I think a third definition could be mother, woman or homemaker. The word comes from the Latin words facere (to do) and totum (everything). In the 16th century it was often paired with a persons given name as a surname---John Factotum or literally, John Do-Everything. Back then it wasn't always a desirable title, because it also meant meddler or busybody. Now it is used to refer to someone who is adept at many different things or responsible for many different tasks. Back before I was a nurse, and "just" a mother (tongue planted firmly in cheek here), I often was asked "what do you do?" The answer I developed was this: "I am responsible for raising good, kind and responsible citizens of the United States of America. What do you do?" Given enough time I could have said "I'm an accountant, chef, nurse, chauffeur, coach, tutor, personal shopper, banker, housekeeper, nanny, teacher........" You get the idea. No one is just a mother, or just a homemaker. Even now, with my "responsible citizens" living on their own, I find the things I do in a day varied. (Watch out, I'm about to climb on my soapbox here). In many ways, the Women's Liberation Movement has done as much harm as good. The media has taken up the mantra that in order to be fulfilled, a woman must have a powerful job, and a family, be thin and without blemish. Hogwash. What has transpired, in many cases, is that we have unfulfilled women, trying to do it all, exhausted and feeling guilty when they don't meet the standard. We've embraced the "you can have it all" message without stopping to ask ourselves if we really need to have it "all," and what we'll be giving up to get it "all." No matter what we choose, you can bet we are still a factotum, we do a bit of everything. 'Nuff said. With that, I'd better get to it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sorry Laurie.....

.......to keep you waiting, waiting, waiting. We had a VERY full weekend and got back home yesterday evening around 7:30. After unloading the van, putting stuff away and all that happens when you've come home from camping, I just couldn't bring myself to write a synopsis of all that happened. Besides, the spinning wheel was calling my name. We headed up to Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday. You know how it goes; Hubby says "I'm thinking we'll leave first thing in the morning..." I say "I'm not going to be ready at the crack of dawn..." so nobody hurries and we get out of town at 2 instead of 11 as I was originally thinking. Anyway, we had to make a stop or two, and we waited out a horrendous thunderstorm before putting the awning onto the camper, and finally headed north, arriving at our campsite around 5. We had a nice dinner, figuring out how everything worked on the new camper, a little walk and then I went over the game plan for Saturday morning. --Here's the view from our campsite-- Up bright and early, armed with my notes and reference book, we headed into the fairgrounds. There was already quite a line to get into the vendor barn, but the doors opened quickly and we were inside. First thing I saw was a black CVM/Romeldale fleece. Now Cathy had told me, if I saw such a thing from this particular vendor to grab it. After lusting over it for a while, I kept walking---it was the first booth for crying out loud. Two booths down we saw more fleeces, and one in particular had some a heartrending story attached I nearly bought it too. Maeve (the ewe who had worn it) had been killed by a mountain lion shortly after being sheared, along with her lamb, this was the last fleece she would ever grow. But I wanted a soft black fleece, and this one was a honey brown shetland cross. I kept looking. Around the corner I ran into Margene, who had already scored some lovely yarn from Plain and Fancy. We chatted for a minute or two, then we were both off to see what we couldn't live without. I have to tell you, a fair like this is a feast for the eyes as well as every other sense. Color everywhere, all different textures, raw fleece, roving, yarn, and things knitted up. There were wheels and drop spindles, drum carders and combs, looms and needles; a banquet everywhere you looked. Brad was particularly interested in the tools, of course. I was after fiber, and bobbins for my wheel. I made at least three sweeps through the barn on Saturday, and I know I missed something. On my first pass, I was after fiber, and saw little else. We ran into a couple from Brad's department----it's so fun to see people "out of context," I had no idea Signe was a knitter and grew up around sheep! I've invited her to KWA, and she's anxious to come; a nice break from her two small children. At 11:00 we met up with all the other bloggers. There was quite a crowd, and being rather new, I hung back a bit. I did meet Kristi, and Carole, and Melissa (blogless) in addition to Margene, before we decided to grab some lunch. We settled on BBQ----I just couldn't bring myself to eat lamb at a Wool Market. We took our plates to the grandstand to watch the llama agility/obstacle course competition, and there we met up with (blogless) MJ and her hubby, Linda and Ellen (the enabler). Linda was about to take the plunge and buy a wheel (remember how we taught her to use a drop spindle at the merino shearing??). By the end of the day she had settled on a Majacraft, and was spinning her little heart out in her cabin Saturday night. I ran into Chery and her friends outside the llama barn. During the afternoon we looked at all the animals; sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, all so cute with beautiful fleeces. We looked at the fleeces entered in the competitions, drooling just a bit. I finally found bobbins for my wheel, in a basket tucked away in a corner, in a corner booth that was so crowded it was almost claustrophobic. We left around 4, the damages being 2lb of wool blend roving (from Brown Sheep), three skeins of Lambs Pride Bulky (black) and three bobbins. No fleece.

The afternoon and evening were spent enjoying the park, first at the Alluvial Fan, where we made sandwiches, and then on a hike around Bear Lake (note the socks---one done, one in the middle of the heel flap). The bears didn't get the memo that they were supposed to be hanging out there, so we saw none. We did see an elk and a wild turkey. Although we've seen tons and tons of elk in the park, this was our first turkey sighting. Brad did a little fishing in Glacier Creek, got one nibble but no fishies. Sunday was my day to meet up with Cathy, so after Brad spent an hour or so fishing first thing in the morning (while I slept in), we went back to the market. I met up with Cathy and we wandered around the market a while before heading to town for some lunch. Cathy bought a small shetland fleece that she is planning to have blended with angora and maybe a little silk. We parted company after lunch, with a plan for Brad and I to stop by her place on our way home on Monday. (I can't believe neither of us took pictures!!) As Sunday was Fathers Day, Brad talked to both of the boys before we headed back into the park and lost phone service. We stopped at a fly shop and got the proper bugs, then headed back to camp to do some reading and relaxing. When evening rolled around we headed back to the creek for some fishing---a couple bites, one small fish and the near loss of the new fishing rod. Back at the camper we cooked s'mores and rolled into bed, exhausted.

Monday. Nowhere to be in the morning, whew. We lazed around, had a big breakfast and then readied the camper for the trip home. My goals for the day were coffee at Starbucks in town (the most beautiful outdoor setting imaginable---see photo) and a visit to Cathy on the way home.

We parked downtown, and walking toward Starbucks we saw elk, munching away, just off the sidewalk. I didn't count, but there were several 'spikes,' several cows and a calf or two. Ya gotta love that.....elk right along the road.

After coffee and on the way back to the van, we stepped into another fly shop---the equivalent of a yarn shop for fishermen/women. Brad was thoroughly and completely engaged for over an hour. After extracting him from the "rabbit hole," we headed back to the van, and then down the canyon toward Loveland and Windsor. Cathy's house is another feast for the senses, you can see her creativity everywhere you look. Beautiful crocheted curtains and swags, handmade drop spindles (courtesy of her hubby), and too many things to mention. We went 'stash diving' and I came away with enough to keep me busy for a long, long time.

Okay, that's enough for one day.....there's laundry to do, plans to be made for the next adventure and the spinning wheel is calling my name. Sometime this week there will be a contest, so stay tuned. Worth the wait Laurie?

Friday, June 16, 2006

I'm outta here!

I'm going to try to make this quick, since we're trying to get out the door and on the road to Estes Park.......it seems like no matter how organized you think you are, how may lists you have, there's always a rush at the last minute. Yesterday, Linda and I took the nastydirty merino fleece to Leighton Farms Fiber Mill in Victor. This is a very small operation, with a cute little storefront in what is very nearly a ghost town. It was a beautiful drive up and back, with a stop in Cripple Creek for lunch on the way back. If I had time, I'd tell you all about how nice the guy was, how we pet all the roving in the store and how he was practically giving it away. I would tell you that I came away with some Romney roving, in a gorgeous charcoal gray, how Linda bought three little balls of fluff and all about the shop cat in the antique place next door. I'd wax on about the quick search through an antique mall, here in town, on search for a yarn vender we heard was there, and how Linda bought some new Addi's. But I can't do any of that this morning. This morning, I've got to get the food to the cooler, that and all the other paraphenalia required for a camping trip out to the camper and van, and get outta Dodge. I'm looking forward to a full, but relaxing weekend, in the mountains, and I'm sure I'll have lots and lots to 'show and tell' when we get back. Here's one parting shot, because it's Friday and I'm in a hurry (sorry 'bout that)

......totally not my photo (it's off the Wool Market site), but how cute is that??? And two of my favorite kind of beastie.

Have a wonderful Fathers Day Weekend (call your Dad). Be sure to tune in next week for all the weekend's news.......and my FIRST contest (yes, with a prize).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lists

I don't know about you, but I'm a list maker. This morning, I'm surrounded by bits of paper and post-it's; lists of what I need to collect from the grocery, lists of what needs to make it into the camper or van, lists of what to have for meals while we're camping. And then there are the lists of possible routes to take to Washington and back. I should probably make a list of what to tell our house sitter. I love being able to check things off, but for now........well, for now there are only the endless bits and scraps of paper, reminding me that I should be doing something productive. I realized this morning, while I was enjoying my coffee and watching W hold his Rose Garden press conference, that today is my day to get things done. Tomorrow will be taken up with delivering our merino fleeces to a mill in Victor, and we will leave Friday morning for Estes. Any minute, the glass guy should be here to replace my broken windshield (which I've been putting off until all danger of snow had passed). This afternoon, I have a haircut scheduled, and a few errands after that. So this morning, I'm making lists, and doing laundry. Lists are interesting. Even when I was a busy working woman, and relied heavily on my Palm Pilot, I made lists. Something about writing it down, seeing it on paper, helps me collect my thoughts and prioritize. When I need to process how I'm feeling about things, I write it all down. When weighing a major purchase decision, I make lists of pro's and con's. Seeing things on paper brings a modicum of clarity. Earlier this year, I made a list of what I wanted to knit in the next six months, as well as what I wanted to read and what I wanted to do. Without looking, I can tell you that some things I can check off, and others have been put off in favor of a more attractive option. Do you make lists?? What is on your list? And now a New Word: gasconade (gas-kuh-nod) is a noun which means bravado or exaggerated boasting. Apparently, the citizens of Gascon in southwestern France have been known for their bragging and boasting, a reputation that has been immortalized in such books as The Three Musketeers and Cyrano de Bergerac. Linguistically the word is linked to the word gascon which means braggart. And don't we all know a few of those. And now I really have to get to it. Pop on over and wish Stephanie a Happy Birthday today, and I'll talk at you later!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

One down....

You'd think that with the busy week I have scheduled, I'd have lots to talk about. Not so. Most of what's going on here is the planning that must happen before a camping trip, (like the one to Estes Park this weekend), or before a road trip (like the pilgrimage to Washington at the end of the month). I've been thinking a lot about what to bring in the way of food this weekend, what route to take to WA, how long we will get to stay, and how much knitting I can get done on the road. Speaking of getting knitting done, Trekking sock number 1 is complete!

I finished it up yesterday afternoon while listening to the current Cast-On episode.

I did have to tink the toe, but the third time was indeed successful (if a bit fiddley). As soon as I had woven in the ends, I cast on the second sock, and before I went to bed I had made a bit of progress. I have to say, that for the first time in a couple years, I'm actually enjoying socks. The combination of the Trekking XXL and the Jaywalker pattern have been delightful. As you saw the other day, I've got two more balls of Trekking on deck and I've even got a pattern in mind for the next pair. Thanks, Margene and Norma for the push. With that, I'm off to the events of the day. Make it a good one!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Let's Talk Llama's

It is on Monday mornings like this, that I am ever so glad that I don't have to spring out of bed and go to work. We had a full weekend, and at this time of year, when the days are warm and much time is spent outside, I'm just flat worn out come Sunday night. I'll leave it to you to scroll down and catch up on Saturday's Knit in Public Day. Let's talk llama's. Yesterday, after church, Brad and I headed north to Ellen's beautiful little farm, to take part in the llama shearing. When we arrived, they were about half done....Apollo was already sporting a new summer cut, Einstein was in the chute...... ..................and Lone Star was on deck. Linda was there, as well as some other friends of Ellen and Jan's. Ellen's mother is visiting from Holland, it was a delight to meet her. As far as fiber, not much of it is worth spinning, except, perhaps for a felting project. Of Ellen's three fella's, Apollo's fleece was the best, but there is not much of it. The horses came for a cuddle........

................relieved, no doubt, that they were not the center of attention on this day.

After the llama's were back in their ample paddock, we had a lovely lunch and then a hike through the scrub oak that grows in abundance in this part of the state.

Thank you Ellen and Jan for the fun day!

We headed back to the Springs, to join our good friends for dinner. Eva is hosting friends from Germany, and we had such a good time. As always, Eva outdid herself, preparingg a fabulous meal.

Little Dude, of course, thought Mister Brad was there just to see him......I think they wore each other out. While we women lingered over wine, Mister Brad did bubble bath, and the menfolk cleaned the kitchen....sweet.

Okay...on to a little knitting news. Although both Linda and I had our Trekking socks with us at Ellen's....they did not join us for the hike. I'm on my second go at the toe on sock number one, and sad to say, I may have to make another go. Since I am using two circulars, I need to adapt the directions, and, at least in regards to the toe, I have stuck out once and probably twice. We'll take another look at it this afternoon.

And now, I've got to get moving---have a great day!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Special Edition

Images from World Wide Knit in Public Day, Colorado Springs:

Sock progress! The park was almost a little cool, but we had a blast! As things wound down, Linda, Kirsten and I decided on lunch and a trip to the newest LYS (still not all that local), Ruxtan Avenue Fibers. It's tucked away on a little side street in artsy fartsy Manitou Springs. Lovely little shop, very nice owner, and a discount program. Handpainted yarns, handspun yarns, and several commercially prepared yarns----good selection of books, too. And fiber.

We took pictures......

Lest you think I came away empty handed......

........two more balls of Trekking XXL (#78 for July and #69 for August----unless I'm really sick of socks by then). The soft gray fibery goodness is 7oz of baby alpaca that begged to come home with me (how can you say no to baby alpaca, hmmm?) I could have bought so much more.......

..............but then what would I buy at Estes Park, I ask you??

Friday, June 09, 2006

Countdown to Vacation

I've spent the morning looking at the atlas, and making plans for our pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest that's coming up in the first part of July. It's always a bit of a mixed bag, these trips to the homeland; we get to see our family, spend time at the lake, eat seafood where you can see the sea, and have an opportunity to buy coffee every few blocks. The downside is that someone inevitably gets their nose out of joint, their expectations unmet, and that brings a level of stress to the whole shebang. It seems that no matter how careful the planning, you just can't please everybody----and have a restful vacation. So, this morning I've been thinking about routes and reservations. The other big news here is that we bought a new camper last night (no photo's yet, as it is tucked away in the garage). Now, I grew up in a home where vacations were road trips and motels----with pools. Until I met my husband I had never been camping. Ever. DH used to tease that a campsite had to have flush toilets and a plug for my blow dryer before I would stay there. Over the years I've grown to love camping--with or without the afore mentioned amenities. In fact, I really prefer those locations without all the extra's...they are quieter and more restful. In 2000 we had a big family campout planned---there were 20 plus of us meeting up in Glacier National Park and then moving to the Grand Tetons---a two week reunion plus travel time to get there and back. During the planning stage, I decided that I was getting too old, and two weeks was too long to sleep on the ground in the tent. After a bit of searching, we found an older pop-up style camper and bought it, just a day or two before the trip. It was wonderful. We arrived late on a Sunday night, and until we left Glacier the following Sunday, it poured rain every single day---except for two. DH's parents had an RV----aside from us, everyone had tents. And were wet. That first year we spent over a months worth of nights in our little camper, and have used it every chance we get. In the last few years, it has been affectionately called the "ghetto camper"---it's getting old and it's got, shall we say, issues. For the last couple years we've been thinking about upgrading, but we couldn't really find something we liked, or we didn't want to spend the money. On Monday night, DH came home and told me that one of the guys he works with was selling his (much newer) pop-up camper. We took a look at it on Tuesday, and it was very nice. The storage is different than what we are used to, and financially, the timing was bad. But the more we thought about it........we decided to look at it again. Yesterday afternoon we met up and took another, longer, more thoughtful look, and decided that the positives outweighed any negatives. It is now parked in the garage. We will take it to Rocky Mountain National Park next Friday for the Estes Park Wool Market. As in all new relationships, it will take time to get used to it, but I fully expect to develop the same deep love for this new camper as I have for the ghetto camper. We've had many, many wonderful trips in the past, and I have every reason to believe that we will have many years of fun in this new camper. So, with that in mind.....help me bid a loving farewell to the ghetto camper, with this Favorite Foto: (sniff)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Object trouve.....um

So, yesterday I got to thinking about how I referred to my 'stash' as an objet trouve'. On my next trip into the family room, I had to admit that not only was it no longer artful, but looking a little out of control. Thing is, lots of this yarn is 'in the queue', so to speak. In fact, I rarely buy yarn without a project in mind (heresy, I know). The basket was looking pretty tame, until I piled the yarn for Alex's cardigan, and the trifold moebius thingy on top. In the pile is kitchen cotton for dishclothes and a baby kimono. There is a wee bit of leftover from my shrug----built from yarn purchased in Italy last year. There are leftovers from other sweaters, Brett's vest, Alex's hoodie, and the Olympic rosebud cardi. And then the odd balls of sock yarn; just a few. Another basket holds wool destined to become felted clogs. This is the lions share of my stash. Pretty unimpressive, huh? But it does bring up the issue of containment. While I love having my yarn around me and where I can see it, I really should find a way to, I don't know, show a little more control? That is one of the things I'm pondering. On a related issue.....where am I suppose to keep fiber and roving? Right now I am storing it in ziplock bags and even a grocery sack, stuffed under a table (one of those cute little round accent tables with a floor length cover). But for the stuff I'm working on? There's got to be a better, more aethestically pleasing method than piling it on the floor next to the wheel. Though handy, it presents temptation for Kramer, who at least twice now has virtually TP'd the room with roving. Not. Good. I'm thinking a basket with a lid might work well---a pretty, yet functional accent piece, yes? God help me if I take up weaving. On the knitting front, I did some swatching for the Cambridge Jacket yesterday. I started with US 9's like the pattern called for, but the fabric was too loose for my taste. Moving to 8's I got results I like, the gauge is only off by 1/2 a stitch (over 4 inches), which when I considered the finished measurements of the sweater related to the finished measurements of the son who will wear it, is inconsequential. So, I cast on a sleeve (I hate sleeves----especially the ones that are stockinette). While I plan to knit this up as written, I am playing with the idea of knitting the two fronts and the back in one piece, like the red cardi. Aside from having a great hurking thing to drag around, I'm not seeing a downside to this-----anybody? Well, maybe that I'll have to buy another needle---but that doesn't really count does it? Yesterday I finished listening to "Across the Nightingale Floor." It's been on the Ipod for a couple months and I finally decided to give it a listen this week. It was thoroughly captivating, and yesterday I downloaded the second book in the trilogy. Whether you're driving, dusting or knitting, this is multitasking at it's best. Have a great day.