Sunday, December 30, 2012

Revolving Around the Holidays

Every year I tend to cast on a project to keep me occupied while I spend hours in front of the TV relaxing on my days off. This year I decided to finally start the Revontuli shawl by AnneM. I've had my eye on this pattern for quite a while and this is the second yarn I've tried for this. The first yarn was what the pattern called for but I realized after I started that I only had one skein and the pattern needs more. I used about 1 1/2 skeins of this yarn called Fame Trend by Marks & Kattens and I love the results. The shawl is blocking now but here are a couple of shots of the finished knitting. So pretty!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Manos Mania

I just finished using up the last of my first two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Maxima.  The three projects I completed are; a beanie version of the Spring Cap by Woolly Wormhead,
the Quaker Cowl by Lisa R Myers,
and lastly the One Day Beret by Kirsten Kapur.
I must say I am in love with this yarn.  The colors are fabulous and the feel of it moving through your fingers is top notch.  Yummy!   I used 2 skeins to knit all three of these projects; the beanie style Spring cap and cowl out of one skein and just a smidge of the next and the beret ate up most of the rest.

I have another skein in a different colorway with beautiful browns, pinks and oranges and I'm leaning towards some kind of cowl with it so I can cozy up into the softness.
I think knitting these projects is really helping me confirm that I want to knit with yarn that really speaks to me and then find a project to show it off the best.  I have some pretty skeins in my stash and I'm on the hunt.  There are certainly worse ways to spend my time.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Daybreak Dos

I finally got around to washing and blocking my second Daybreak Shawl. This is made with my CampKIP 2011 yarn from the gift bag and some Knitpicks Essentials I had in my stash. I love the way this turned out. I think the simple brown really highlights the colors of the yarn from Camp and takes it to another level. I also ended up finding the perfect beads that reflect all of the colors you see in the colored yarn. I really do love this one and I continue to thoroughly enjoy Stephen West's patterns. So elegant.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Shroomin 2

I continue to be enamored with all the mushrooms. They are huge and amazing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


We got a good amount of rain over the last weekend and it has really brought out the Mushrooms. As we walked through the park tonight we saw hundreds of mushrooms of various shapes and sizes. It's so neat to see these just pop up out of nowhere, hang out a while and then disappear. Nature is cool! Darla wasn't quite sure what to make of them all.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August Travels

On this last day of August I thought I should spend a few minutes and document some of the traveling I've been doing for work.  I have been taking more trips lately and I'm approaching them with a new attitude; as little "mini vacations" from my regular life.  My first trip in August was a team visit to Chicago to meet with a client and have a team building event.  While the drive in a van with 7 people for a quick visit to Chi-town wasn't exactly tops on my list of things to do, it ended up being a pretty fun trip.  The highlight was going to a Cubs game, sort of, on a rooftop overlooking Wrigley Field.  I had never seen the rooftop seating before, except quickly on TV and I have to say it is pretty darn cool.  These folks have figured it out.  You are on the roof of a three story building just across the street from the stadium but you feel like you are right there in the ballpark.  The event had free food and drinks (nice!) and we even agreed to be on the side of the Cubs since they were playing the Reds and we wanted them to lose.  The view was pretty darn fabulous:
I have to say that for me the most impressive thing was the rooftop seating itself.  The structures they have created to allow bleacher and chair seating on top of these roofs are awesome!  The roof next to us had a steel structure extending from the ground below on the outside of the building and supporting these amazing stadium style seating and dining areas on the roof.  So ingenious.

I love that Chicago has embraced it's historic stadium and not felt the need to tear it down and build some generic ballpark like the rest of the country and this extra seating and party area is really cool.

My next trip was to sunny California.  I flew into Burbank Airport for the first time and it was kinda fun getting off the airplane using the outside stairs on the tarmac. I haven't done that since Thailand.  I had to go to Thousand Oaks to start with and then drive down to San Diego to visit a couple of jobsites.  The LA portion of the trip was fine but nothing really special.  I was more worried about getting my work done and getting on the highway headed south before the traffic got too bad through LA proper.  I do have to say I stopped at the nicest Rest Area ever down near San Diego even with the special warning signs.

The rest of my trip was in San Diego and when I could get away from the work portion, it was all about the food and fun.  I stayed in Old Town, ate well, and just had a really nice time in general.  The weather was perfect and San Diego is really a beautiful location.  Oh, and the Sushi was great! Yeah!  If you don't like raw fish, you may want to skip the rest of this post because not only did it taste great, but I think it is beautiful and I am sharing some pics.

My first dinner was at Harney Sushi, which I would highly recommend, and after I spent some time walking around Old Town and just enjoying the atmosphere and beautiful cactus and succulents.  So pretty!

The next day was all about the water.  I went down to the area where the Maritime Museum is located and ate at The Fish Market Sushi Bar; again, yum!!

 And I ended the night back at Old Town again where I sat at Casa de Reyes and enjoyed a lovely margarita and some amazing Shrimp Ceviche.
 Overall, I have to say this was the best work trip I've taken and I think I have more in my future with my new approach.  Next stop, Seattle.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A New York State of Yarn

This past week I had the great fortune to accompany my mom to New York City while she presented at a conference.  The day Mom spent in the hotel ballroom doing her thing, I spent walking the city taking pictures for work and finding nearby yarn stores to visit.  The first store I found was String on 65th where I stalked outside the front door for about 15 minutes waiting for them to open.  The store itself is on the second floor of a building and you ring a bell to get in but they have lots of pretty yarn in their windows and you know you are in the right place.  The store is fairly small and the selection is on the smaller size but I was really impressed with the number of samples available to try on and review.  I was even more impressed when I realized the woman standing in front of the mirror trying on samples was non other than Tracy Ullman!  OMG, I was excited.  I tried not to go all fan girl, and completely failed, but I stayed out of her face and as she was leaving she shook my hand and said it was nice to meet me.  I gushed a bit more and finally let go of her hand so she could get to the gym.  I would have asked for a picture but who wants to have their picture taken on the way to the gym even if she did look great!
As for the yarn, I found some really pretty Prism yarn in shades of brown and grey and I'm thinking to make a Windschief hat by Stephen West for my brother.  I only hope it's enough.
After lunch I headed off to the other side of Central Park to Knitty City.  I was really excited to get to Knitty City as I had heard a lot about it on several different podcasts over these last few months.  It sounded like everyone's favorite local yarn store for general community and I wanted to check it out.  The store is a small little place packed full of yarn and accessories.  I was impressed by the shear volume of stuff in a small space.  One whole wall is yarn and they have an impressive collection of books and notions bags.  In this store I found some beautiful Manos del Uruguay Maxima in some browns and pinks that is yummy.
I also had the luck to see madelinetosh for the first time in person.  I now understand what all of the fuss is about as this is a truly beautiful yarn.  I cannot wait to figure out what I am going to make with this to do it justice.
I thought those two stores were the end of my informal New York City yarn crawl but I ended up having amazing luck.  Mom and I were walking through Chinatown and Little Italy when we suddenly realized we were in Soho and the next thing you know I saw a sign for Purl Soho.  This was truly an OMG moment.  I opened the doors and I may have heard a sound somewhat angelic in nature.  The store itself is beautiful!!!  It has high tin ceilings with shelves lining the walls with yarns sorted by weight and color.  The visual display in this store is simply amazing.  The back of the store is given over to fabrics also arranged by color and also beautiful.  I loved the look of the store and the energy matched.  We were there on a Monday afternoon and the store was busy and the staff was friendly and available.  I know I'm getting repetitive but I loved this store!!!  As for the yarn, I was again mesmorized by the madelintosh yarns and walked around the store with several different colors in my hands.  In the end I picked the skein that yelled my name the loudest and I could not be more happy. 
Thus ended my New York yarn crawl and I can't wait to get back and see what else I can find.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Beauty of Repetition

There is a certain beauty in the simple repetition of form that I just love.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Potluck Handspun

I plied the singles of my Potluck roving and got pretty darn nice results. Overall I ended up with two skeins of different sized yarn. The first is a bulky thick and thin and about 80 yds. The second skein is much more consistent and somewhere between DK and worsted weight and about 240 yds. I've been looking for a good pattern to use the thinner yarn since I feel like it could turn into something nice.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oscar's Summer Cut

I'm always amazed how small my little guy is when he doesn't have all his hair. He's so cute and just wants you to rub all over him after the cut. He's also super soft. The only downside is the other cats must hate the cut because it's usually about 3-4 days before the house is back to normal.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Art and Design Expo 2012

I got to display my knitting at the Expo again this year. Luckily I got a space right in the front on a pretty white sofa and table so the colors of my yarns looked great. Unfortunately it was 108 degrees yesterday so not many people I know made it but we did have a good turn out overall. It was fun.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm stuffed!

I'm making a Giraffe for a baby gift, as I've mentioned before and it seems to have given me the "stuffie" bug. I just want to knit cute little toes. Because I don't want to post images of the Giraffe, just in case, I had to knit something else too. So, an Octopus was requested and viola! The pattern is "Octopus" by Amy Gaines and I got it from the book Little Knitted Creatures. I knit the body in the round to save some seaming but the rest is as written. I have to say I think this is too cute.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Box of Venus

As I read the headlines and saw the news article about watching Venus cross in front of the sun, I thought to myself,"I wish I knew someone who would go through the trouble to make one of those boxes to watch the event live." but alas I knew no one. But wait, as I walked the dogs through the park this evening I came across a neighbor who did take the time and was diligently following the sun's progress along the grass with his cardboard box and lenses set up to project the image. And as I watched, Venus moved across the image of the sun reflected on cardboard. Too cool for school!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Visit to Rockbridge Ranch

We just got home from spending the weekend at Rockbridge Trout Ranch where I watched fishing while knitting. I wish it had been a bit warmer but otherwise I don't have a single complaint. Fish were caught, scarves were knit and all was good in the world. Really pretty place!