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October 2004
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December 2004

Weekend Report (Two of Three)

Bestviewnorth_1

Neenasouth_1 What do you do in a house without window coverings? When you are far enough away from any neighbor you can certainly let it all hang out AND allow the wonders of nature in. Neena hasn't bothered with any window treatments because it would obscure the beauties of nature that fill the house with light, and sights of wonder, which can be seen from any window. The view from the back of the house is breath taking at any time of year (as you can see in these pictures). Thursday it was warm and sunny allowing Smith and I to sit on the deck and watch the clouds roll by.  Friday was much the same except Neena was in residence cooking up a storm. She made bread (challah) and then moved into the usual traditional fare. She is a wiz in the kitchen and loves to do it.  I'm very inept, so it was very nice to sit back, knit, visit and relax.

Rockwall_1 Neena and Don have only been in the house since February. Last Thanksgiving they put in the kitchen tile floor and hardwood floors for the living room. (I cooked the turkey but she did the rest of the cooking after a day with the floors!) The land around the house was disturbed as little as possible during building, leaving a natural landscape. To protect the house from land or mudslides they built this rock wall. Every stone was set in place by hand, their hands! There must be thousands of rocks collected and placed.

Saturday we took a quick trip to Zion Park (that's part three).  It started to rain on our way home and turned to snow after dark.  Just before heading to bed the power failed and left us trying to sleep with many unknowns in our heads. The view from our window was of snow falling on cedars in black and white.  Living in the country they usually have little light (therefore the billions of stars) but with NO light and the pure white snow, it was a very a eerie and wonderful sight. We know what time the power came back on (around 1:00a.m.), as a lamp in the living room was left on (the one I used to knit by) and hit me right in the eye.  After Zion Park report I'll get you a knitting report. Promise!

This picture is taken from the kitchen window (looking south) just before we left to come home. That was the only sun we saw until we reached the Wasatch Front.

Kitchenview

And for a little knitting news:

Carole is hosting a Ribby CardiAlong. While Bonne Marie worked on this design I watched and waited. It looked like another perfect "Everyday" cardi that would be fun to knit. Monica & Lynette blogged about all the colors available at Elann and the rest is herstory.  Now you know another reason I must be on the YNBA.  This will be a great project to start after the first of  the year while still in the 'agreement'.  I'm using Charcoal Heather for the body and Oxford Gray Heather as the contrast.  You still have time to join us.

This is post 202.  It's amazing that I've been at this "blogging thing" for that long. Post 200 was about the awesome pie my sister made.  We'll never make another recipe as this is the best ever and well deserving of an auspicious post number.


Thanksgiving Weekend

Weekend Accomplishments

  1. Drinking a double shot eggnog latte and driving 90 miles to Nephi Utah without stopping.
  2. Not beating, stabbing, swearing at Smith for taking the LAST exit in Nephi.
  3. Knitting all the way to Cedar.
  4. Knitting while my sister cooked Thanksgiving dinner.
  5. Not envying Being happy for my sister in her beautiful home with many breath taking views.
  6. Keeping YNBA (it helps that there were NO LYSs in Cedar City.)
  7. Knitting on Blaze and the Desert Sock.
  8. Visiting Zion park.
  9. Enjoying every minute with wonderful family.
  10. Visiting Charlotte.
  11. Not succumbing to too much time on the computer (i.e. blogging).
  12. Seeing the peaceful beauty of 8" of snow Sunday morning.

Weekend Low-lights

  1. Drinking a double shot eggnog latte.
  2. Drinking (almost but not quiet too much) on Thanksgiving (Neena is a bad influence.)
  3. Eating endlessly (gym on Monday!) including THAT pie for breakfast.
  4. Not blogging enough.
  5. Loosing a knitting needle for 12 hours (found it in my thrice checked knitting bag the next morning!)
  6. NOT seeing the "billions and billions" of stars or the full moon as clouds moved in every night.
  7. Not knitting more.
  8. Not spending enough time out doors (it was freaking cold!)
  9. Having the power go at just as we headed to bed Saturday night.
  10. Driving home in very bad conditions making the 3 hour trip into a 6 hour trip.

We did have a wonderful visit with Neena and Don.  They are excellent hosts and just staying in their beautiful space is a treat.  Saturday night it was hard to find sleep as the power went out, the snow was coming down hard and we had a call about a dear friends passing.  It made for a night of worry.  "Will my friend who lost her brother be ok...what can I do to help...will the snow be too deep and impede our progress home.....what time will the power come on...WILL the power come on"....very un-Zen.  It's good to be home and more details of the weekend will be forthcoming!


Being Thankful

Safe in Cedar City.  The sky is the most incredible blue and the air is crisp and clean.  Perhaps the sky will be clear enough tonight to enjoy the blackness filled with an amazing number of stars...something we don't see with all the city lights.

Today my heart is full of thankfulness for family who are all scattered across this country, but still near in spirit, for all my dear friends and for my Smithie (and who could forget the boyz). 

May your day be full of beauty, love and joy.


Over a River or Two and on to the Red Desert Sand

We had a delightful dinner with Anne and D. Monday night. They are trying to figure out the ebb and flow of SLC and commute considerations, while finding a suitable location for their new 'farm'. We talked and talked and talked and enjoyed the evening together.  D. was a little concerned about meeting up with another 'blogger' and I think he was surprised pleased we weren't slasher types. Here's hoping they had a successful trip.

Lotus14okWe're heading out early tomorrow for Cedar City. The decision of what to take for the long weekend knitting turned out to be Blaze AND a pair of socks.  After spending quality time with Lotus over the weekend it feels ok to leave her behind. Lotus is at 14" of the 26" needed for the body. Tuesday night at class Lisa (hi Lisa!) demonstrated how to cut and insert the sleeve. ODG, I'm months away from that point but, it didn't look too daunting. We'll see if it's really that easy when the time comes.   (The class was at the LYS, Black Sheep.  OMG, they had a table FULL of Alchemy yarns!!!  Stephanie, Monica, Lynette...I walked away!  Waaaaaaaaa)

Blazesring Desertsockrib Blaze is also moving along with about half the body and one sleeve complete.  Perhaps the second sleeve will come to be this weekend. This is such a joy to knit as the yarn is lovely and the pattern easy to remember.  Quality time for Blaze is a must this weekend.  But, I'm so in the mood for a new sock (and you all gave me the push to knit a pair!). Retro Rib Socks from IK will be my constant companion in hopes that at least one sock will be completed.  The pattern is in the new Winter IK and has been rename Desert Retro Rib because of the yarn color. It reminds me of the sand and rock of our beautiful Southern Utah deserts.

We'll stay with Neena in her beautiful home just outside of Cedar City. She and her DH will be with his family on Thursday. So we'll relax after the journey down and then help cook Thanksgiving dinner on Friday.  Neena is such a fabulous chef that we can be sure of a wonderful feast. Relaxation is high on the list for all four of us but, we might fit in a visit to one or two of the local wonders. That could mean more pictures for you on Monday. But, only if we get off our fat, lazy behinds.

May your weekend bring you Joy, Love and Peace.


Why YNBA!?

Ynbaluarie_1

This is NOT a yarn diet.  No yarn will be lost or gained during this time period.  It's a Yarn Non-Buying Agreement. No purchases of yarn, books, or patterns until February 1st, 2005. There are many good reasons. Capish?  (I'm trying to convice myself!)

Monica & Lynette have been knitting up a storm and some of their projects have lead me to buying...adding to the stash, REALLY adding to the stash.  They have been buying quite a bit, too and, therefore started the idea of YNBA.  I joined their cause. As I said there are good reasons for entering this YNBA and the main one is that there is plenty in this stash already!

Pinksicsocks_1 The last purchase was for the next Six Sock Along.  Yes, there was most likely something in my stash but, this pink Jaeger Alpaca spoke to me from across the room at the LYS. Having seen the next sock in person, visualizing it knit in this yarn was easy. It had to be. What was the reason for being in the LYS? None...who needs a reason!?

Omgstash_1 When I started blogging the four large boxes which house my stash were each less than half full.  They have filled up quickly because of all the beautiful projects found around the web.  Several purchases for large projects were also made in the last few weeks and it just seems like a good idea to get a handle on what's here.  The tops are ready to pop off  (if I can get them closed at all.)  The black bag is full of yarn that just wouldn't fit inside the boxes. A grrl can get carried away and this grrl has!  You can see a list of major project acquisitions on my About Page. I'm not ashamed of all that's there but, piling on would be unfair.

Currentwips_1 Here you can see the bags and baskets that hold my WIPs. They are scattered around my office/studio as a constant reminder and offer easy access when the urge strikes. You can see many of these items in my WIPs Photo Album.  There are just too many to knit any of them quickly.  This could end up feeling more like a bog than a blog if acquisition continues.

Another reason is the Holiday Season. It's the time of year for discretionary dollars to go towards giving and not to my own gratification. My gratification will come from working on the projects that are now on the needles. A quick sock here and a hat there for charity, will be good to knit, too.

This agreement is with me, only me. And with support from the Passionknit Grrls we'll hopefully have some fun along the way.  Monica wrote the lyrics to our anthem.

Sing along with me Y-N-B-Aaaa !!


Beginning A Short Week

Letthesunshinesnowbird

It's been said that Monday's are the best posts at Zeneedle because you get to see pictures of beautiful places.  That's the way we like it and today is no exception.  That's Snowbird with the dusting of new snow blowing away in the wind.  It was clear and blue in the valley too, but going up to The Bird and then even higher to Alta made Sunday a great day!  Alas, we don't ski but, the mountains can be enjoyed  in a multitude of ways.  Just breathing in the crisp clean air is a good enough for me.

Annegaiteralta_1
It was very chilly with the wind blowing and the neck gaiterAltaskynorth_1 I knit from Anne’s  luxurious angora/alpaca handspun (and pattern) made her debut. Grrl, I was glad to have it on.
Behind me are Alta's ski runs and the thumbnail is from the other side of the parking lot.  The sky was completely amazing in every direction.  The ski conditions are already as good as mid-winter, but we need more snow...lots more!  It doesn't get better than this when it comes to a mountain visit.

We spent the weekend as many of you most likely did by running errands and getting ready to travel and/or cook a big dinner.  It's a short week and we leave on Thursday for Cedar City and a visit to the The Charlotte Thief.  She's fabulous in the kitchen and turkey dinner will be a delight

But first the most exciting news! Anne is in our fair city to find a house before their move here in December.  We'll have dinner with her and D. tonight.  It is amazing when you consider how easy it is to connect because of our fiber and blogging habits.  The world becomes a smaller, more manageable place when you can make friends across the miles.

Today is Homegrrl, Shannon’s  birthday!  And say Hello! to another Utah Blogger, Tracy!  She's a volunteer DJ at my favorite radio station...you got it, KRCL!

And just in case you've seen the new button under Just Be, tomorrow I'll tell you "In Depth" what that's all about.


Try, Try Again

Oriellace2repeats

My attention has been waylaid buy a piece of lace. The Oriel Lace scarf/stole has been fluttering her eyelashes fuzzies at me and turning me, once again, into a fickle knitter. Not being very competitive (it truly is the process, the act of knitting that speaks to me) it was still Susan's speedy knitting on Oriel that turned my head. She actually brought it to Stitch 'n Bitch and knit there! Now THAT is something I could never do! No way could I keep my place while enjoying the conversation! But her saying that it was fun and easy to memorize made me wonder if I should tackle it again. It hadn't been that easy for me after nearly one full (28 row) repeat in class. So the curiosity got the best of me and I picked her up anew. 

My first problem was that she is very clingy and hugged the Bamboo needles too tightly.  Sticky yarn, sticky needles...not good.  So I stopped by the 'store from hell' and bought some cheapass fun and colorful needles. The yarn moves with a little more ease (I'm a tight knitter) BUT, who knew aluminum needles could be so heavy? They are hard to handle and I have the sense that if I drop them the knitting it will fly off the needle leaving me with a pile o' trouble.  They don't make things that much easier in the all of it and I feel like a total klutz. I fiddle and fumble and the pattern, too. You'd think that as an (almost) accomplished knitter, with several pieces of lace to her credit, I would have the confidence to overcome.  But no! I feel like a rank beginner as the lace is giving me an inferiority complex. It seems I have little grace when knitting THIS lace.

We all need something to keep us humble.

Happy Weekend, everyone...I'm knitting Blaze.

~~~~~~~

(You must see Cat's crocheted curtain. It is SO elegant!)

Check the Kersti Blog...Kerry finished her Raglan!!


Book Buying (NOT Yarn)

First I just have to say GO UTAH KIDS! You give me hope. And go to Jenla and enter the contest AND pick up the Color Me Purple button (see my sidebar, too.) Someday I hope to meet you two grrls!

Now on with knitting.

Monica, I'm with you...NO new yarn. But I have been buying books. Does that count? Can't really go cold turkey in the fiber goodness department, now can I? 

BooksNanette's book Stranded Color Knitting arrived and I read through it very carefully. She has covered the techniques and answered many questions one might have about stranded knitting. If you are thinking of trying this technique, or like me, have issues with color knitting you might find it very helpful. I sure did!! (The money goes to a good cause, too.) The pictures and descriptions are very clear and she has a couple of hat patterns that will help you execute the techniques.  A very impressive self published book, Nanette.

I also ordered Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. Hoverson worked for Martha Stewart and the book has the same feel as a Martha book would. It is very nicely put together, has great pictures, and very nice ideas.  This might be just the book you need to help you finish up the gifts you've been putting off.  It's broken down into sections by number of hours needed to knit a project. Starting with Less Than 2 Hours and going up to More Than 8 Hours you can find just the right gift for the time you have.  Included are hats, scarves (included a beautiful little lace scarf), yoga mat carrier, toys, blankets and many, many more.  The little sack on the cover is one of my favorites.  The introduction on color choices and knitting basics is very informative. And, the book 'wraps up' with fun ideas to package a gift for giving.  It is beautiful to look through and has projects you would really do for yourself or others.

At two of the LYS (no, I'm not staying away even though I'm on a yarn diet) I bought more new books and magazines including IK (some very nice projects this time) and the new Cast On.  I usually don't buy this magazine but, this issue had several projects that caught my eye. One is a pair of toe-up cabled socks and the other is a cabled mans sweater.  I won't subscribe but will check it out next time. This is best issue I have ever seen.

My last purchase is Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's third book, Transitions.  She designs with Arauncania Nature Wool in chunky and worsted weights.  The styles are beautiful and creative but classic, too. This goes into the stack of books with projects that are a must (in the far distant future--truly!).

So, I'm drooling and dreaming but still on the 'yarn' diet.

Disclaimer: No yarn was purchased for any of the above books...(yet).


To Everything There is a Season

The Holidays have become harder for me as I get older. It might be that I don't have children to care for and spoil, and my family, while large, is spread all over the country. Add to that the sun that can disappear here for weeks on end exacerbating the dreariest months of the year. There is way to much to do this time of year with parties (always two on  the same night), lots of gift to buy or make, baking to do, more and more obligations cropping up...it is easy for this grrl to fill overwhelmed.  This year I resolve to do more for others than last year and to change my outlook.

Last year I didn't go into the mountains during our overly long inversion because I couldn't face coming back down into the valley of clouds.  This year I will go up every weekend that I can and feel the sun on my face and get the much needed dose of vitamin D. That bit of sunshine will stay in my heart all week and sustain me.    There is a member of my family in great need so all my resources will go to making Christmas bright for her family.  Friends are also a big part of getting through the winter. They know I love them and need little more than a hug and that's what they'll get in return. (I have my stash and I'm surrounded with love.  Who needs more?) And I will do all I can to help others who are in need of cheering up and those who may not have even their simplest needs met.  Sharing the blessings we enjoy can only make the heart lighter.

Last year I I hadn't even heard of blogging.  This year will be better because of the incredible community of caring and support which is created and shared on-line.  There are many, many bloggers with great ideas for sharing time, effort and/or money with those in need. Lisa has information in her November 14 post on injured souldiers who need phone cards for the holidays.  Wendy is sharing info on knitting caps for children in need and has a pattern you can use. There is surely a group in your area to which you can give a cap or two.  Mrs. Pilkington has a slew of things listed in which you can be involved with your time or money, and Kerstin has a link to Made With Love, another worthy cause.  If you have a special charity leave a link or contact in the comments so others will know about them.

Giving cheer around the web with a RAOK takes only a few minutes when you leave a supportive comment or compliment on a blog you have never visited. This is the goal of the RAOK Ring, to spread a little cheer.  But you can give without joining anything.  Touching lives in real and kind ways is something we can all do during the crazy holiday season.  Giving without the need for recognition and without reward is the only way to truly give.

Breathe, give and love...you will received much more in return.

Nathania has been traveling Italy and while she did have some trouble with Typepad, she was able to post yesterday.  We miss you grrlfriend and look forward to wonderful stories when you return. You're coming back, right? 

And Sharon asks a very important question....are you game?