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March 2005
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May 2005

Rain, Rain...

Bigskyinslcutah We had a beautiful day on Tuesday, but it was raining again by Wednesday afternoon.  At first they said the amount of rain we have had so far was 'normal' and we were just used to 7 years of drought.  You can forget in 7 long short years what normal is, I guess. Now they have changed their tune and admit that our precipitation is actually about 130% (or more) this April.  But, back to Tuesday's partly sunny day, the day the lilacs started to bloom. Aren't they beautiful!?  (Today they may be pounded flat from the rain we had yesterday!)

Massolilacs

Pinkblossomsupclose

Beautifulpinktree Trees and flowers are/were at their bloomin' peak.  It was gorgeous around here.  Poor sad things may have drowned by now. Ooo, aaah...spring was everywhere as I walked around with my camera in hand. I could fill this post with so many flowers, like forget me not's, irises, tulips, pansies and much, much more. You, most likely, have the same lovely flowers happening in your yard or neighborhood.

LittlemaidsofpeoniesThe walk reminded me of the bright and beautiful yarn that arrived from Judy.  I bought 3 skeins of Peony, but had second thoughts, so I ordered the rest of the skeins.  I would like to make myself a very large wrap....someday (soon). Any ideas of a large beautiful wrap that takes 1200 yards?  And you must check out Judy's new colors! Oh my, more gorgeous yarn (just look at that Daffodil!!)

ApplesblossomtreesThe one constant thing about spring is that it is never the same day to day or even minute to minute. The thunderstorms were incredible yesterday afternoon, the amount of rain was a little scary to contemplate. On my drive home there was a short distance where I had to drive through 3" of hail!  Flooding has started north of Salt Lake in the Brigham City area, 1.5 hours away. We may still need an ark. The most concern is for area's in the Southern part of the State (where snowpack is 200%) and up north (too much rain). If rain continues in our area it could cause some problems with our mountain streams. The Utah Grrls should all be out of danger as far as I know. Unsettled weather may be the norm this time of year...sorta like a work in progress. Spring is a WIP, summer is is the FO.

I'm off to buy a rubber raft...have a good weekend!


Knit A-Longing

Maybe this should be called Knit Along Thursday....a new weekly feature!  As you know I'm enjoying my Zen time with stockinette.  But there is always need for a lace project and A Gathering of Lace is one of my favorite books.  Enter Kristi and Snow (yet again) and their new KAL. Since avenging with stockinette can't be the ONLY knitting, there was need of a new lace project. Jaeger Zephyr was in my stash, the needed book on my bookshelf, plus the fact that Snow is very pushy persuasive...there it is, yet another KAL button on my sidebar (and on the needles).

Lacingfaroseshawl In anticipation of joining this KAL, this past weekend, the chosen project posed for a picture.  Imagine my shock when I saw Jessica Rose's picture of the same project. I even wondered, at first, if I had posted it to the Gathering Blog and forgotten. But I'm chalking it up to great minds. 

Joan had commented in my stockinette post that she thought garter stitch also got a bum wrap.  I think that's true, too.  All knitting stitches are beautiful, lovely and useful.  It just depends on the project (as you can see any Thursday on Jessica's blog).  The Faroese Shawl is knit in lacy garter stitch from the wide end down to the point.  The way a Faroese Shawl sits on the shoulders, and doesn't slip away, is the attraction for me. Casting on 400+ stitches, knitting back while recounting the stitches, and then knitting the third row while placing markers took 3 hours!  That is the full weekend progress that you can see in the picture. My hope is that it will become easier, and more fun, as the shawl comes to a point. 

(Drat..forgot the picture.) And for more KAL news, the Spearfish Sock is moving slowly but may pickup speed again.  It has become my lunch time project and it may also get a bit more time here and there.  Sadly (well, maybe not too sadly), I have decide to not start the last Six Sock. There are so many wonderful socks to knit and the last one just didn't 'float my boat'.  I'm thinking a pair of Koigu socks will be in my near future instead. Progress continues in the Year of the Sock.

I'm enjoy my NBT and it has been growing so quickly that the back may be finished this weekend.  And the BWA jacket...well, let's just say it's on the (far) back burner. That's the report from the land of Zen on the state of KALs.

Hey, look! It's RAINING!

Just a quick shoutout to our newest Utah Grrl, Andrea! She has a new blog Knitterpatter AND she just made a trip to Threadbear. Lucky grrl!


Whad Ya Saaay?

Over the weekend we rented the movie Fargo. Yes, we may be the last people on the planet to see this movie but we're not big cinema fans. We did enjoy it and thought the heinous tale of a triple homicide, solved by a pregnant woman, worked well when told with humor. The humor was in large part do to the regional dialect of the sheriff and the others in the story. We found to our horror and delight that we had some of the same 'linguistics' in our region. We were not laughing 'at' their accent but at the way the dialect was so much a part of the story. It could have been small town 'anywhere' America.

Stephanie’s post about her first trip to the Southern part of the US was very funny to most of us. Having been to the South several times I understood her confusion. More times than I care to count I have had to say 'Pardon me?' or 'What was that?' so I could understand the word said. Steph was NOT making fun or anyone. If anything she was laughing at HER inability to make words out of some of the Southern tones. Having been in her shoes I understood. She also told how they got a kick out of HER 'local dialect'. It was hilarious.

Last week at Stitch 'n Bitch I asked if anyone had a tape measure. Teri corrected my pronunciation. I asked what I had said and she told me 'MA-zure'*. It should be Me-zure (in her estimation). I was shocked! After being told for years that I didn't SOUND like I was from Utah, here I was….outed, a true Utahan.

*If you look in Merriam Webster dictionary for the pronunciation of measure you will see I was ALSO correct.


Stockinette Avenger!

It was a quiet weekend of rain, more rain, and rain is forecast for the rest of the week.  It's cold too, which means I can wear winter sweaters at least another week.  It give me more time to get my summer knits completed and ready for warmer weather (if it ever comes). So, I 'knit on' all weekend.

Tshirthalffront Yes, I will avenge stockinette stitch to the death end. This much maligned stitch is my constant companion, for now.  I love the flow of the stitches, one lining up right after the other, and I love the smooth fabric created by these simple stitches. The garments will be simply perfect for summer wear.  The NBT by Alison is knit with Calmer.  It's fun(ny) to knit with, as it stretches. The stretching made it very weird to work with until I got used to the 'give'.  Instead of a name on the front of the 'T', I'm using the Chinese symbol of Love from this Knitty article on charting a design for intarsia. The front is about half way and, as usual, modifications are being made to fit my 'statuesque' frame. Bossing the knitting is paramount around here.

Eyeletcardibeginning So, I bossed around the Eyelet Cardi, too.  Being a 'statuesque' person most of my life I have a couple of hangups.  It took me forever to buy 3/4 sleeves and crop pants.  These two fashion trends were the things my nightmares were made of. Every garment I could buy, in my early years, was too short in length.  Long sleeves hit three inches up the arm, and pants...well, I wore mostly skirts because all pants looked like 'floods'  I do buy these fashionable lengths now and again, but I don't want a closet full.  So in the interest of making my Eyelet Cardi 'classic', the sleeves will be full length. I can push them up when I want them shorter. The body will need to be about 2-3" longer than the pattern but that's a usual 'fix' for me.  The sleeves are finished and the body, knit in one piece, is up about 6".  (The Eyelet Cardi is much like the Sitcom Chic and I'm not sure what the differences are.)   Stockinette...it's the stitch of the goddess....it IS the process.

Annie is my Weekly Zen as she has moved to her new domain name, www.knittygritty.net.


Damper on High Hopes

Peaksinthecloudsrainyday_1 Silverforkfrontmelting_1 Our hope was to find a different place to show you all, but with Sunday dawning on one more wet day we decided to treat ourselves to the best breakfast in the 'Land of Salt'. That means, you know where, Silver Fork! We love this place as it makes Sunday morning feel more like a vacation outside of Utah. It's more like being in Jackson Hole or Yellowstone, if only for an hour or two.  It is 3/4s of the way up Big Cottonwood Canyon, just off the road, in a very old log building.  It takes only 20 minutes from our front door to arrive at this oasis.  The entrance was a little different this time around, as you could see the big log in front of the window instead of only the snow covering it. The rain was coming down hard and the mountains peaks were swaddled in thin, fog like clouds.

After our delicious repast we decided to check out Brighton Ski Resort just a few minutes up the road.  The snow is melting very slowly. Everything was closed and few people were about.  It was snowing lightly, covering the resort with a fine powder, and it was so silent and beautiful.

Brightonsnowinspring

Snowmeltingbank_2 Wetlandsfacewestonroad_1 We headed back down the canyon stopping along the way to check the stream. It isn't running high, as yet, because the snow isn't melting in the higher elevations with the continuing cool temperatures. In the lower elevations it was interesting to see layers in the melting snow along the stream banks. And, in a wetland area just off the road, the willows, which are completely covered with snow during the winter months, were reappearing.  It was a beautiful day despite being chilly and wet.  Winter still clings to the higher slopes while spring fills the Salt Lake Valley with blossoms.

Appleblossomtime

(I felt very calm after our lovely day and after writing this post. Then I checked Bloglines! I have a love/hate relationship with our dear friend, Bloglines.  OMG, you people! How do you expect me to catch up when nearly ALL of you decide to post on the weekends?  Argh!)


It's a Lifestyle, not a Resolution

Propsfromptforme I've Graduated! Yes!!!  I did it with a little help from TJ the (cute) therapist at RPT, my many 'props' and Smith (of course).  The chair (it's always in my car so I have a comfortable place to sit), pillows for my back, TENS unit, knitting, martinis, ball and band for stretches, exercises, and friends all created the recipe to better health! It is a recipe I will follow for the rest of my life. Must be vigilant! I have had a couple of major health problems and surgeries, but nothing has been as long and painful as this disc problem.  The disc was one thing, but then having it move into sciatica, and even worse, piriformis syndrome...grrl, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!

I'm not at 100%....more like 85%, but I will stay on track and will NOT do anything too aggressive, like rake the flower beds. This summer will be a healing time...that means doing very little work around here (poor Smith), but working out more to gain strength.

I will work very hard to be 90-95% by mid-June when I hope to be headed to the Estes Park Wool Market.  It may not be Maryland but it's exciting and makes me less bitter about not going to MSWF. It looks like Anne and I will head out together and meet up Snow and Cathy (and anyone else who will be there.)  I'm very excited for my first 'real' Fiber Festival as our BOW just hasn't been very big (I'm happy we have even that, however).

Speaking of happiness...Laurie, of Etherknitter, has a compelling post on the exploration of what makes us happy.  Give it a read and add your bit...we're very interested in what others think.

Weather update: We had 22" more snow in the mountains!  No rain yesterday or today, and even Saturday should be nice. More rain Sunday and who knows when it will stop. 

We're trying to think of some place new to head this weekend, but the mountains are always a draw.  Have a good one whatever you do!


Where's My Desert!?

Rainoverslcvalley

Hello up there (or wherever you are)! Weather goddess...hello!?  Please stop the rain!  Utah is a desert not a tropical rain forest!  Whoever is in charge of all this rain please be aware that we live in the high desert country.  We are not used wearing rain gear, not building arks (do we need one?).  We can't usually grow moss or ferns.  We like dry air with the humidity at 15% not 85%!  People in the northeast need rain and the hops crop in the northwest needs rain, too. (Do I need to tell you how important this is!). Don't you think they should have their fair share?  Snowsnowsnowspring_1 So what's up with 10 new inches of snow in the mountains?  We already have 17' and the ski resorts are closed. Wouldn't you call this overkill? It's too wet now and we don't want a recurrence of 1983. Plus, it's freaking cold!  And to boot, I can't get a decent FO project in this weather. Please listen to me and get this rain to stop! 

OK, got that off my chest.

Someday I will become a spinner....like Judy and so many others who seem to be taking it up in Blogland.  Jackie seems to have a natural talent, as she has created beautiful yarn after only a couple of weeks of working with a spindle.  The consulation is that I can buy, and knit, some of the most beautiful yarns created by 'friends'.  Don't worry, I'm not giving up and will continue to work through the process of spinning. Maybe I need a wheel. Anyway....

Having this beautiful yarn from Judy has made knitting the Lace Leaf a great experience (and took the sting out of not being able to spin it myself).  The thick and thin of the yarn, the changing shades of green in shades of teal, the creation of lace through yarn overs, decreases and knit stitches, was good therapy to help me become a wantless, process knitter (once again).  I held my breath through the bind off as I was unsure there would be enough yarn (the shawl is one row short as it is). But, the goddess blessed me and I ended with 12" to spare.  The shawl is finished in plenty of time to send it off to my sister for her mid-May birthday.

Laceleafjudysyarn

Pattern: Lace Leaf Shawl from Fiber Trends (by Evelyn Clark)
Yarn: 50% merino wool/50%silk Handspun, hand dyed by Judy of Smatterings
Time to knit: Less than a week. 
Now I need a shawl of my own!

Please send life preservers!


Twas the Summer of our Stockinette

"You know you knit to much when"...instead of teaching your needlepoint class, you read to your students from the bookbookbook, occasionally substitute the word 'knitter' for 'stitcher'.  You also buy the book at every independent bookstore and LYS you enter, JUST so you can tell them in no uncertain terms that they should bring the Harlot HERE let them know you would like to have the Harlot, who is on a book tour, come to Salt Lake City. (Consequently you have a bookbookbook in every room of your house, your desk at work and, more importantly, in each of your knitting bags.)

The weekend gave me time to get back to the feeling of Zen as last week was very unbalanced.  What WAS I thinking in my post last Friday?  Many of you reminded me of 'the process'.  How could I forget my own mantra!? And yes again, Claudia...it is the 'want' that makes the process disappear. (She is just too smart!)

Pinksleeveoneonly_1 Norma asked Abby to create a button for those of us who realize (anew) how much we enjoy 'the process'. (I snatched it right up for my sidebar.) Stockinette is the essence of the knitting process.  It is the reason the Eyelet Cardi (that's the first sleeve) and Nothin’ but a T both sounded like excellent spring knitting; the pure and simple act of 'just' knitting. The Eyelet Cardi sleeves are knit in the round (ah, just the knit stitch) and the body is back and forth just like the 'T', but it is all knitting...every stitch.

Shawlkarengrass_2To bring the balance of the knitting process back into my life, I became a monogamous knitter, for the weekend.  The choice for this task was the antithesis of stockinette, however.  Judy’s beautiful handspun, hand dyed yarn made knitting the Leaf Lace shawl even more wonderful. Just wait until she unfurls her wings.  Lace is a lovely way to 'feel', to reconnect, with the process.

Thank you for all your comments on the Chickami.  No Neena, you can't have it! Oh, and it wasn't TOO cold for the photo shoot. The temps were in the 50's and only the snow was cold...oh, and the wind...anything for you, dear readers.

Weekly Zen (on my sidebar) is Marguerite of Stitches of Violet.  She is a great advocate for CIC  and knits many items for them, including vest and socks. She also has Swans in her neighborhood! Check out her free (and beautiful) sock patterns and make sure you enter her contest!

Enjoy the process!


Readying for Summer

Mycutesummerjacket_1Yes, Claudia ...you CAN buy nice summer clothes but, look what happened when I did.  The purchase of this summer jacket made me 'want' a Chickami to go underneath. And wearing this jacket made me think how much fun having a hand-knit cardi would be,  which brought on the 'want' for the Eyelet Cardi.  It's a vicious cycle, I swear. 

Thisstandingchickami_1 After the very unZen week, a trip into the mountains seemed like a must. What better way to get back to balance than to feel the warm sun on your face, breath the clean crisp air and see that true blue sky.  Ah, it was heaven.  Chickami came along for her photo shoot and provided us more time in the sun. While knitting the 'Kami' I had to become the boss to ensure a good fit.  More rows were added  before starting the decreases that shaped the waist.  Also added were more rows before starting the increases for the bust.  The best thing about knitting your own clothes is that you can 'make' them fit well.

Chickamilonginthesnow

Chickami by Bonne Marie of Chicknits
Yarn: Saucy by Reynolds - 637 'Purple'
Time to Knit: Quick! A couple of weeks.
Fun and fast. (You think I'm smart....my pants were soaked through!)

Teaonthepatiowithmurphy_1 After returning home and cleaning up the Zen patio we enjoyed some Adagio Tea. The true signs of summer; yard work, grilled food and ice tea.  Come on over! Ice tea, everyone!?


Still Piles and Piles of Snow

Northslopestillsnow

Southslopenosnow The last day of skiing in most of our resorts was on Sunday. It was a perfect weekend to get the last bit of winter out of your system and ready for spring!  There is still a ton of snow on the north slopes and we're wondering where all that water will go. Hopefully it will melt slowly enough we won't have any flooding.  The south slopes are fairly clear of snow except on the highest peaks.

Blueskiandpeaksofsnow

We had a lovely morning at our favorite spot, The Silver Fork Lodge and then headed up to Brighton to see how many people were taking advantage of the last ski day. The parking lot was nearly empty, which lead us to believe that most people were doing what we were heading home to do....yard work.

ZengardenmessZengardencleaning_1 The Garden of Zen was full of winter refuge, such as pine cones and needles, leaves and unwanted dirt.  We raked the front garden (it's about 3'x3') and then tackled the big job of sweeping up the patio. We love living on our patio in the spring and eat many of our meals there. Getting ready to enjoy this lovely space meant cleaning the table and chairs along with the rock.  We tried for years to grow herbs, vegetables or flowers of various sorts, but sadly the sun hits the area for too short a time.  The next step was to build our Zen Garden.  Our dear friend Thom, who would have celebrated his birthday this weekend, gave us the beautiful garden lantern. This Zen space has been enjoyed very much. We're now ready for warm weather to stick around.  Hope your weekend was full of fun and that spring has fully sprung in your neighborhood.