Sunday, December 31, 2006

What is that white stuff?

The 3 days of rain, started to turn a strange white color around 10 this morning. Then the "rain" drops got really, really large and started accumulating on the ground, cars, driveway and roads.

I have a vague memory of what it is but I can't quite remember it's been so long! I think we'll have time to remember the name of this white stuff since it's still coming down in full force

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Branching out complete

I have finally finished the Branching Out scarf I started for Grandma in October. It is a project that isn't very easy to talk and knit or knit and pay attention to something else so my time was rather limited for working on it. The scarf is a pretty dusty blue - the pictures didn't turn out very well but you can at least see the pattern. She will get her belated birthday present on Christmas eve. :-) I'm very pleased with the way it turned out and will definitely make more - it won't be during hockey season however.

I used Peruvian Collection Baby Cashmere (60% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, 10% Cashmere) in Color 1620 on size 3 needles . The scarf is 63 1/4 inches long and almost 6 inches wide.

Now - what to work on next.... there's the mitred jacket sweater for me that just needs the border.... there's the sweater for hubby that was started in February 2006 and has the back section 1/2 done (endless stockinette!).... there's the millions of projects I have printed off from the internet that I love. Such decisions. I think I'll enjoy the holiday with our families and decide later. I do have that book from the library that needs to be finished and returned.

Merry Christmas everyone - may your holiday be peaceful and filled with good memories to be!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Gift Exchange!

It's been an absolutely rotten week at work - way too much to do, way too little time and everyone needs everything now. YUCK! I came home crabby and tired tonight and found a box addressed to me waiting on the table. It's a gift from our gift exchange! My week just turned WONDERFUL! :-)

My partner sent me 4 skeins of Cascade 220 in the gorgeous colors of mustard, purple, red and a heathery green with a pattern for felted embellishments. The colors are so rich and wonderful. I want to drop everything and start on the pattern!

She also shared 4 balls of Rowan Chunky print in the exact colors I've been eyeing at the LYS since last winter! Are you a mind reader? All that AND a handmade card! You are the best!

Thank you so much - you made my entire week!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Baby Hat and booties again

Are you sensing a theme lately? It seems there has been a sudden increase in the baby population around here. This is a set I completed in late October and didn't get the photo from the camera before now. Cascade Fixation yarn on both again - love that stuff!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Last Minute Stripes is complete!

The Last Minute Stripes sweater is complete. I made it in the sized 3-6 months. You can see my billfold next to it in the one photo. (My billfold is 7.5 inches wide.) It seems so tiny I'm not sure how itty bitty the 0-3 month size would have been!

The sweater was completed on Saturday and delivered to the new Mommie and Daddie for baby Cole who was born on November 22nd. We are hoping to have lots of time ice skating and playing with Cole and big brother Liam in the months and years ahead!

This sweater took a VERY long time to make - the sock yarn and size one needles didn't agree with the limited time I have to knit but it is gorgeous and I'm sure Cole will look dashing in it. I would like to try a sweater with the self striping sock yarn again, preferably one without all the separate pieces to seam together. :)

Now... on to finishing Grandma's Branching out scarf - it's half way done and I'm anxious to block it and see it bloom.

Some finished objects finally!

This is the finished bootie and hat for Niece #5 who arrived on November 10th. Grandpa flew them and the diaper bag sweater out to her and delivered them in person! Thanks Grandpa!

They were made with one ball of the Fixation yarn from the LYS. They are newborn sized. I even have some scraps leftover. I really need to find all my Fixation scraps and make a scrappy hat for someone.

Things have been nuts around here lately. It's amazing how far behind you get when you leave for a week - and then of course there's getting ready to host Thanksgiving. It's all good though, it's nice to have family and friends spend a day enjoying good food and wine.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Saturday - free day

Saturday, our very last full day, we really didn't have anything planned. We had a "free" harbor tour from our Wine Country tour that we hadn't used yet so used that at 10 am and then walked up and down the piers and just relaxed and wandered. Friday night we had seen this man on the sidewalk painting pictures to sell. He was using normal everyday spray cans, a spackle knife and paper - amazing. Saturday after dark, we saw him again and purchased a picture for only $5. They were so cheap and so neat. Ours has a sunset with the Golden Gate bridge and shooting stars. Watching him was absolutely the best.

We were in bed fairly early since we had to get up at 4:45 to catch our shuttle for the morning flight back to chilly Minnesota where they had received SNOW while we were gone. We arrived safely home just after 4:00 pm, just in time to dump our stuff, grab a bite to eat and head off to the rink to watch youngest son get a shutout in his hockey game.

What a fun and full week!

Welcome to the clan Niece #5

On Friday evening, my newest niece arrived! Grandma will be there soon to deliver our hugs and kisses to you!

Friday - Wine Country Tour

We were picked up at our hotel in a double decker bus and transported to the office of the tour company to join our fellow tour goers on our treck to Napa Valley. Our first stop was a visitor center where we sampled 5 different types of wine. We were then on to Kirkland Ranch Winery where we sampled another 4 wines. This is the place where Jim discovered he really does like some wines! We left there with 6 bottles of wines packed for the airplane and membership in their Wine Club which will see 2 more bottles of wine arrive at our door every 2 months. The next 2 winery stops were interesting, but we liked Kirkland best and were very pleased that we hadn't waited to purchase until the last stop of the day.

Thursday - Alcatraz

The ride out to Alcatraz was very chilly - that breeze is very cool! Once we arrived at the island, we began our walk up, up, up. Once at the top, we listed to our MP3 players and followed along on the tour they were narrating. I cannot begin to imagine being held there.

At the bookstore there, they had a former inmate in attendance selling and signing his books. It made me very uncomfortable to see the elderly gentleman sitting there being asked to be photographed with the children of people. They weren't interested in his book or his story - only to get a picture of their young children with an "inmate". I hope he wasn't as uncomfortable as we were.

Thursday - Sausalito

After the Muir Woods, we stopped for an hour or so at Sausalito. We walked down the pier by the bay and looked at the boats and houseboats. Then we shared a meatball sandwich at a sidewalk cafe and soaked up some sunshine. Some of the boats are small, some huge and some just took our breath away with their gorgeous woodwork!

Thursday - Muir Woods trip

I'm going to try to recap our San Franciso vacation one segment at a time. This is the first leg of our trip - a stop at the Muir Woods. We took a bus from San Francisco over the Golden Gate bridge and up and down windy roads and arrived at this beautiful spot. It makes you feel very short.

Friday, November 10, 2006

My feet hurt!

Yesterday we walked, walked, walked, walked... Today, we walked some more. Phew!

Yesterday we went to the Muir Woods and saw the VERY tall redwoods. There's a shot of me with a tree, and one looking up at the trees.

Then we stopped at Sausalito... walked the piers, then we hopped back on the bus and headed back to San Francisco.

We then went on the ship out to Alcatraz... There's a picture of a cell. Alcatraz was very interesting - lots of hills to climb and lots to see. We received MP3 players at the top and proceeded to take our Audio tour - moving and walking as directed. It was actually pretty neat to hear the sounds and voices as you went through.

Today - we went on a bus to the Napa Valley. We made 4 stops with a wine tasting at each. At the second stop we bought 6 bottles and signed up for the Wine Club. We will receive 2 bottles every other month. Jim actually found a few wine types that he likes - amazing. Tonight at supper, we ordered a bottle of Riesling instead of Hubby getting a beer... very different! :)

Tomorrow we have a short cruise in the harbor and the rest of the day will be bumming around. Sunday morning at 8:30 we fly back to MNk, just in time for a hockey game.

I'll post pictures as soon as we get home and I have a moment to breath. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

San Francisco, here I am!

I made it to San Francisco on Sunday night around 10pm local time. After landing at the airport - finding an airport shuttle to the hotel - and then checking in.... all I could do was crash. It was very odd to suddenly have 2 more hours to my day but didn't have the energy to enjoy it properly.

The conference took up our entire days on Monday and Tuesday - we would leave for the conference center at 7am and return around 11 at night. Today the conference was over at 3:45 so I grabbed a taxi and headed to my new hotel down by the wharf.

After checking in, I headed out to finally find a view of the water! I walked just a few blocks from the hotel and found Pier 39 - I heard the sea lions so decided to walk down the pier. The sun disappeared quickly, but I still managed to see the sea lions, hear them "talking" to everyone and then ate fish and chips on the walk back to the hotel. Now, I'm relaxing in the room and waiting for hubby to arrive on his flight from Minnesota. He is at the airport now...

Tomorrow we are going on a bus tour of the Muir woods and Sausalito....then take a boat out to Alcatraz. Friday is a Wine Country bus tour of several vineyards. :) Saturday a yaht cruise and then relaxation by the water. Sunday - we fly home and will make it back just in time for youngest son's hockey game. We are packing a lot into our short time here, we want to see as much as we can in case this is our only chance to see the city.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Baby gifts in process

I've completed one baby gift set of hat and booties and am starting on a second. Two of hubby's former students had baby boys. It would have been nice to know that one of the babies was almost 1 before I finished the 2nd set of newborn size booties. Oh well - there are more babies on the way! ;-)

The brown tones set is completed and ready to be wrapped... the yellow, blue, green set needs the 2nd bootie sewn up, the 12" ties done and laced through the ankle and then a hat made. I'm hoping to get this set made so hubby can send them out next week but I leave for San Francisco on Sunday and there's way too much to do to get ready for a week away.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Last-Minute Stripes Sweater update

I'm taking a break from the Mitred Jacket sweater to decide if the bottom band should be blue (as I originally intended) or black. I spent last night working on the left sleeve for the Last-Minute Stripes sweater and finished it up this morning. My knitting time today was spent sewing it together. Wow - all those tiny stitches sure take a loooong time to stitch together!

I decided to let the stripes fall where they may, so to speak. The sleeves match amazingly well, probably better than if I had tried to make them match. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Border dilemma

ok, what's your opinion?

The last knitted piece to go on this jacket is the band at the bottom of the sweater. Would you do blue (my original plan) or black.

My fear is a blue band at the bottom might make my hips look much W I D E R. The black may make it look odd though since it won't match the button band and collar.

Your thoughts?

Knitting bags

We have had a lively discussion on the KnittingParents yahoo group I'm on. There are so many really nice bags out there I had to share mine. :) There are shots here of my notions bag - this gets moved from bag to bag and includes everything I will need for knitting.

There's a shot of the basket that holds tons and is wonderful to just dump stuff in and go. It was great in the car traveling cross country this summer - contained all the "car" stuff and kept it from rolling around. Sometimes it gets too big however because the men in my life tend to put their things in it too. :)

The last 2 shots are another knitting bag I use. This one is much easier to toss in and go with - it is lighter than the basket and holds a lot in a smaller space. I love the long strap. It has lots of pockets and is crushable where the basket is not. There were 2 skein holder pockets on the bag as well but they stuck out too far and bugged me so I took them off. I haven't regretted it.

How do you transport your knitting?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mitred Jacket update

I need to get rid of this knitting funk and finish this darn jacket! My class was over in September, yet here it sits. I finished the left side last night. The next step is to join the two halves together in the back and then do a border along the front center and bottom with more of the blue Malibrigo yarn.

I am very pleased that the striping seems to match, so I managed to keep that consistent (whew!). I also like the size of the stripes with the black. I'm anxious to see it finished.

I'm a little concerned that the half I just finished seems to be slightly under one inch shorter than the first half - but I'm hoping that's due to it sitting condensed in a plastic bag since early September. The directions say to do the kitchener stitch to join at the back seam but.... it's garter stitch.... I'm going to do the 3 needle bind off. I'll let you know how it turns out! ;)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thank you!

I received my gift from my one-skein partner tonight and they are gorgeous! So soft and warm and yet absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much Andrea!

I wore them tonight to DS#1's football game and they kept me toasty warm and still let me clap. :)

I tried to get a close up of the twists and turns - let me just say they are MUCH prettier in person than in my silly pictures.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

London Beanie

I managed to squeeze in a couple hours of knitting this weekend. I bought this yarn with my eldest son in mind. The colors are the same as the MN Wild hockey team. I made him the London Beanie. It was too big so I had to pull out the top and re-make it 10 rows smaller. He likes it much better now. ;)

It is made with Katia Tundra color 6705 that is 50% wool, 40% acrylic and 10% viscose so I'm almost certain he can't felt this hat.

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm still here

Hey everyone. Sorry I've been so silent lately. School starting has really bogged down the free time. I am still working on the mitred jacket and finished the one-skein gift for my Knitting Parents email group. Of course I didn't think to get a picture until it was packaged up and ready to mail. I started many things, rug of old t-shirts, string market bag, etc and nothing seemed right. I finally settled on a simple felted bag. My exchange person lives in the south so all the cute mitten patterns just didn't seem right. :) Hopefully she will get it soon and may send me a picture that I can post.

I haven't knit almost anything in the last 3 weeks. I did sneak in a couple hours last Sunday at the cabin while the guys all watched football and took out the jet ski and its lift. I sat in a sunny spot that was out of the wind and listened to Cast-On podcasts and knit. Ahhhh, dreamy!

Hopefully now that school has been back for almost a month we are more into a routine and I can get some evening knitting in. Hockey starts the end of October so I'm always guaranteed knitting time while waiting for practices to end. ;) I promise to post pictures of the mitred jacket soon - it is about 80% done.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Knitting Pod Casts

Look what I've discovered.... Cast On Knitting Podcasts.

I'm downloading some now. I'm hoping this will be fun to listen to while walking or waiting for kids.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

First Day of Sixth Grade

My "baby" is attending his very last year at the Elementary level. At the end of this year, I will no longer have anyone in an elementary school - how odd! We have had someone in an elementary school since 1998.

I know personal expression is important - but I'll be glad when the "long hair" thing is over with! :)

First day of 9th grade

Ninth Grade?!? How did he get so big? Can you believe drivers education starts this fall? HELP!

Our internet is back!

Yahoo! It took a new router, but we are back in action. The technician who came to save us said our connection was "slower than dial up speeds". No kidding? :)

The great news is that with just a $49 router we are back in action, and now we also have wireless so when I bring work home, I don't need to hook up a cable to get access. Love that!

Here are the pictures of my Mitred Jacket sweater in progress. I haven't knit on it since my class last Tuesday. I'm not sure I'll get my homework done given all the stuff that needs doing at home, but I'll give it a shot!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mitred Sweater Update

Our internet connection is so slow it's worse than dial-up at home so haven't posted lately. They are coming to see if they can fix it tomorrow - oh please, oh please, oh please.

I've been busy with the first weeks of school, and working on homework for the Mitred Sweater class. I have the first half of the sweater complete and need to finish the 2nd half and pick out buttons before the next class. Do I go with basic black or jazz it up with some fun buttons... hmmm, such decisions. I'll post a picture as soon as I'm able.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Homework is finished.

I finished my homework for the Mitred Jacket class Sunday night. This is one arm and the cuff on the 2nd arm. All ready for the next class Tuesday night. I really should finish the arm for the Last Minute Stripes baby sweater and get that finished but tonight I'm off to get school supplies for my 9th grader.

Black out knitting

What's a person to do when the power goes out in town and there's knitting homework to be done? Borrow your son's head flashlight of course!

Deja vu?

Our house - March 1998.

Last Thursday we had several tornados go through our area of the state. It was very scary for people in our town since we had millions of dollars in damage when a tornado went through in 1998. We spent a nervous 1/2 hour in the basement bathroom with the 2 dogs as the sirens blared continuously.

Unfortunately, not everyone in our area was as lucky as we were this time. This is a slide show of pictures taken, some of which are only a couple miles from our home. We had an opportunity to drive near some of the areas this weekend and it made tears come to my eyes. The memories it brought up and the emotions I knew they were going through. I wanted to go up and hug them and let them know it would really be ok but from my experience before, I didn't believe them until later.

Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Please remember to take care of yourself to keep your body and mind strong for the trials you will face in the next 12 months.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Class was great!

Anna is our teacher - she's so much fun! There are 3 of us in the class and the other 2 couldn't make the first class so I received tons of individual attention. I finished the cuff and am making my way up the sleeve. We planned out where I wanted the black and the color and marked up the pattern book so I can remember to switch - hopefully. I'll be making the cuffs and the band around the sweater in the color. I will also make 2 stripes in the middle of the garter stitch section. I really want the color to be a fun highlight instead of the main part of the sweater. I can hardly wait to see it all come out! My homework is to finish the one sleeve and to get as much of the other sleeve done as possible.

I found these fingerless mittens I have to make - they would be great for when it's chilly at work - or for those hockey arena's that aren't cold enough for big felted mitt's but are still a little cool for my thin blood. Thanks to my KnittingParents yahoo group for sharing them with me.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Class starts tomorrow

I signed up for the Mitred Jacket class at the LYS - Tangled Skein. I'm so excited! I picked out some black (what was I thinking) Cascade for the main part of the jacket/sweater with some Malibrigo (verdeazul?) for the accents. Yummy!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Last Minute Stripes update

The Last Minute Stripes front, back and one arm are complete. I am doing the arms on DPN to avoid that seam. The directions say to wash and block the pieces before seaming so this is a shot of the front and back drying. I have one arm finished and hope to finish the other arm soon.

I've never blocked anything until it was completely done so I'm anxious to see if blocking first makes seaming easier. I sure hope so since this is sock yarn on size 1 needles! Next time I should probably pick a different colored towel to pin it to so it will show up better!

A finished sweater!

Thanks to many hours in the car driving to a hockey tournament - I have a finished object. I made it exactly to the pattern - with the exception of the i-cord ties. They just seemed too big using the doubled yarn so I did it with just one strand and like them much better. They also said to only do them 6" long but I've done them almost the length of the sweater, about 8 inches. I will definitely do this pattern again, I'm not sure if I will make it the same width however.