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July 2005
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September 2005

Still Hanging Around

You might expect me to say I'm plodding or plugging along (still) on my Hanging Vines stole.  But it doesn't feel that way.  Each and every stitch is still a joy. If I could sit and knit for hours, this would be my choice. There is no denying the beauty of  the yarn or how much I enjoy knitting the pattern.  Five balls complete and the enjoyment of knitting has not diminished.  Three more balls to go before she is on the blocking board.  My only question about continuing (to post),  would be if it becomes boring  to you, dear reader.  But, I do feel it is still blog worthy.
You can see the pattern well in this picture.

Prettypinkpatternonhangvine

Motivation also continues for the shawl, as I wrap this beautiful yarn around the needles and watch it create an amazing pattern. 

Here she is again hanging out at Silver Lake last Sunday.

Hangingvineshangingatsilverlake

Knitting time has lessened because of 'moi dejunque-ing'. An update will come on Friday, as there should be something to show by then. Motivation continues and progress is made, albeit slowly.

Now for some Blogland updates. 

Nathania has set a date! Congratulations, grrlfriend. 
Carole is having a contest, ala moi...comment and win yarn (still more to be given away here, too). 
Shelby has one more week! Well, now only 6 days, but then we know new babies have a mind of their own.  We're waiting for you Appleseed!
Annie has received a 158 squares for John's memorial afghans.  Grrlfriend, are you going to put them together all by yourself!?
Donna wants you to find something beautiful within a mile of your home and post it to your blog. What a great idea!!  Here's my picture:

Wasphiveonfrontdeck
It may not look like much but, then again, it might send you screaming. It is a beautiful wasp hive.  It looks like pale gray papermache and is constructed in swirls,  which form a spiral pattern.  It hangs from the  deck above my front door, but not one wasp has bothered us.  I'm sure management will remove it shortly.  Nature is beautiful and I wish they had picked the nearby tree to nest in, instead of my stoop.


Giving and Receiving

Some of you have asked about the button on my side bar that says BP Autumn 2005. Rock Chick and Shobhana thought it would be fun to have a small swap among friends and that's what we did. I have already found some new friends in the group, as some participants were new to me.
Awhile back I sent a package to my BP giftee and this weekend I received a very, very nice package from the person gifting to me.

Wonderfulgiftsfromawonderfulpal_1

After picking up the mail and dropping my glasses and keys, I opened the package quickly.  It was from far, far away and I love the yarny card and the pink paper she used to wrap the gifts.

Inside were so many wonderful, knitterly things!  I love the little pen that says 'Get Knitted' and the tiny bar of soap, too. Both have been put to use.  See the chocolate. It still looks just like that. I'm saving it, savoring it, for a very special day...the kind of day when you need something extra special.  This is my favorite chocolate and one of the bars is full of nuts!  Grrl, I love me some nuts 'n chocolate!

Themostbeautifulofgiftsfrommybp

But, the 'icing on the cake' is the yarn.  There is Opal sock yarn in a color of blue that I love, love, love. Not only was I dying of curiousity to see what the yarn would do, but it spoke loudly and clearly....Start Socks Now!  So I did...my easy sock with the Picot edge.

Castonandknittinglacesoon

The other yarn was a kid mohair, a soft and lovely yarn in colors that make me smile.  I've never seen this yarn from Australia called Kaalund.  I've been wanting to knit with a mohair lace weight and I'm just thrilled! 

Some yarns come with a vision, don't you know?  Have you ever had that happen with you meet a new yarn?  This yarn told me it could become the most beautiful lace scarf, just perfect to wear over a sweater. I could see it...knit and finished around my neck.   A quick look through some patterns produced a lace scarf by Nancy Bush that was inspired by Estonian lace. It's called just that, 'Estonian Lace' from the Fall 2001 IK.  This will be my next lace project.  Thank you, My Better Pal, for such thoughtful and lovely gifts!  You are truly the best.

The auction for Oliver brought in over $300.00! One of the canvases was very sought after, it seems.  How exciting to be a part of giving this darling boy a set of 'Wheels' so he can get around in style. You can still donate to his cause by clicking the Oliver button on my side bar. Go Oliver!

Don't forget, there is still Lorna's Laces Lullaby yarn to be gifted to commenter #7000.  Just over 300 comments to go...the yarn could be yours! 


The Quest

We heard tell that fall was coming on strong, and we decided to head out on a quest to find if this could be true.  The temperatures have been very comfortable and, actually, quite delightful, with just a bit of coolness to the air in the mornings.  It, however, hasn't been cool enough to wear any  extra cover. Then Sunday morning, while we had our breakfast snack (in bed) we heard it was 45 degrees at our favorite place. Now, that is just nippy enough for a jacket and we decided to start our quest for fall at Silver Fork Lodge...which has the best breakfast in the West.  We dressed, grab that extra layer and headed up the canyon.

Hummingitupatsilverlodge_1Themostbeautifuldayatsilverlake_1 I did wear a jacket while enjoying our repast on the deck, but Smith found the temps just fine. It certainly wasn't as cold as had been reported an hour earlier.  We also found our tiny feathered friends were still battling each other at the feeders.  We heard tell that the humming birds had already started their flight to the South, prophesying an early winter.  That report was patently false.  After breakfast we took our usual Sunday stroll around Silver Lake.  We searched the mountain peaks for signs of color and found everything still gloriously green.  Summer is still alive and well along the Wastach Front.

GauntletwithcarishirtIt was warm enough to wear just a T-shirt and I wore my new favorite 'T' purchased from Cari’s Café Press Store.  She sketched this self portrait awhile ago and has it available on several items.  This shirt fits so well and I love the color (pink is MY new black).  It seemed a fitting way to show off  my newest knit, Sally Melville's Gauntlet from The Purl Stitch (click for a bigger picture).

JustahintahintofcolorinthehillsofmidwayNear Brighton, there is a backroad you can take over the mountains to the 'back' of the Wasatch and we headed up and over to Midway, Utah. If there was color to be seen, this was the spot.  We drove for miles and saw green everywhere until we were almost out of the canyon. There it was, on the mountain, just a hint of color, oranges and reds, tinting the leaves of the gambol oak, and a feild of yellow flowers at its foot, to make the picture perfect.  We knew it was coming, it's unavoidable, and, hopefully it will be a long, colorful and glorious fall.

Today is the last day for my Ebay auction for  Oliver. (There are several items.)  He had a birthday yesterday!! What a darling little boy he is and we hope to make his life a little better.


Saturday Surprise

Pumpkinmama was the first to guess that my 'not sock' project was a pair of fingerless gloves so I'm sending her Twinkletoes in what happens to be her favorite colors. I knit the Leaf Lace Shawl with it and I hope she'll like it too. And Rachel guessed EXACTLY what I'm knitting so, she gets a prize (yet to be determined), too. My secret Koigu project is gauntlet's by Sally Melville from the Purl Book. Pictures next week. 

You must see Julia’s pictures of her trip to Arches. She traveled through Utah on her way to her new home in California.  Thanks so much, Julia, for sharing this uniquely beautiful place with us!

And did you hear!?  Melanie is having...well, just head over to her blog and see. It's going to be crazy around her place for years!

If anyone hears from Deb or  Carolyn who were in the path of Hurricane Katrina, please let me know. I'm a bit worried about my Blogland buddies.


Motivation-less?

BeautifulcanyonatthepicnicgroundBeautifuldayinthecanyonDuring the summer our motivations change. It is hard to be productive when our knitting time, and perhaps inclination, is stretch to encompass more activities. There are gardens to tend, time with children who are out of school, vacations and many of us take advantage of the longer days by being out of doors as much as we can.  Whether it's the beach, the mountains, whatever your favorite landscape may be, it is nice to be able to spend time in a natural environment.

The heat of summer can take the motivation to knit right out of us.  For that reason,  my summer was the summer of socks (many of them lace socks). During the summer months -ok well, most of the time- I have a sock on the needles, ready to go anywhere, anytime. Socks were my summer knitting salvation. After a very productive May, June's FO's totaled ONE sock.  July was slightly more productive, with 3 pair of socks and a shawl. In August the sock motivation continued and it has been a socky month with three more pair finished. That's about it for my summer knitting.  Socks, socks, socks everywhere you look.

This beautiful pair of socks has been my constant companion the last few weeks.  They are knit with fabulous hand dyed yarn from Plain and Fancy Wool, which I purchased at the Estes Park Wool Market.  The yarn was fun to knit and the finished socks are delightfully soft and yummy to wear.  Sock Bug's River Rapids pattern was a quick and fun to knit, too.

Riverrapidsocksatbigcottonwood

After I finished the River Rapid socks I headed to my bin of sock yarn. How could there not be another sock on the needles?  So, I opened up the lid and played around in the yarn.  Oh, this is pretty....oh, I love this color...oh, what sock does this want to be?....  But truly what happened was nothing! Not one yarn said 'Knit Me!'  Not.one.yarn!!  I was floored and sat back, staring into the pile of sock yarn.  So, is the end of summer the end of my sock motivation? 

So tell me what you think is on the needles now.  Leave a comment and if you guess correctly I'll send you a prize (members of SLC SNB are exempt). Hint: it's made with Koigu KPPPM, on double points and it isn't a sock.  Also, commenter #7000 will get a prize but there is a ways to go before that happens.

Have a great weekend! I need to get my mountain fix.


Motivation to Be Fit

In the past I have only dabbled at exercise.  We have always had a gym membership and I have used it. At one point I even had a trainer (not a good one as it turned out). Still, there was little result from my workouts. The pain I went through at the beginning of this year was a powerful motivator.  Physical Therapy helped me work towards becoming pain free. Through movement and strengthening of muscle I could see and feel results.  It was suggested that I move to a personal trainer when I 'graduated' from therapy and I did.  I now realize that dabbling in exercise will get you nowhere.  It is called a 'work' out, ya know.

The first thing my trainer asked was, “What are your goals?”  My main motivation was to strengthen all parts of my body so that back pain would be less likely to recur.  Aging was also on my mind and I wanted to be able to age well, be a strong woman in body and spirit.  Within a few weeks of hard workouts I could see change and feel my muscles hardening.  I like to think my motivation was mostly from self love but there was a bit of fear factored in.  So many times have I seen older women struggle to stand from a seated position or have a hard time walking a short distance.  I didn't want that to be me. My workouts are now 'inked' in and there isn't much that will sway me from going to the gym at least three times a week. I miss the extra knitting or reading time, but this is an investment in my future.

PinkshoesformetokeepmotivatedAfter four months good changes are happening to my body.  It is easy walk up the two flights of stairs in my home and, while I climb, I can feel my thigh and glutious muscles working.   My core muscles tighten when I move and while it  still feels foreign, it does feel good to have them firming up.  My arms are loosing the flab that had started to form where my triceps should be, and my biceps are beginning to bulge.  It will take about a year to be where I want to be, but motivation continues in success.  I don't want to loose what I've gained and that is what keeps me motivated to continue...that and these pink workout shoes.

Drum roll....the winner of the Shimmer Turquoise Splendor is Krista!

I have so enjoyed hearing from you all. Remember there is still  Lorna's Laces Lullaby to be given away to commenter 7000...perhaps late next week. Thanks for endulging me and for sharing your thoughts on staying motivated while cleaning out the junque. One of my favorite comments came from Liz who walks the path she advocates.


Motivated to Clean the Junque

TheclosetfromtheroomBags and bags of no longer useful items have made their way into the trash.  Piles have been made of items to donate  and items to sell. There is progress...slowly.  It's hard work decluttering and my body can only handle short sessions. Besides who wants to tackle 25 years of crap and have little time for anything else?  I don't want to kill the motivation to clean up this mess, must keep the it alive and well.  This is, however, organized chaos.  If you asked me for a particular thread I could find it for you in a flash. I might have to move something to get to the right bin, but I could still do it. As of this morning two sections of the closet pictured have been organized and decluttered...2 sections to go.

All this 'stuff' is my needlework history.  For yeTheroomatitsworstars I studied needlepoint by traveling to seminars, bringing teachers to local guilds, taking cyber and correspondence classes, too.  I was passionate and totally immersed. It was easy for me and fun to do.  One of my teachers thought it was too easy for me and talked me into studying Japanese Embroidery. All the tool, threads, fabrics and such, were collected for both passions in abundance. For about 10 years I stitched and studied, and then my back started to hurt. It was too painful to bend over a needlework frame. At about the same time I found counted thread. It used a frame in which I could sit upright to work.  I fell in love with school girl samplers and started a new passion and accumulation. 

WindowbookcasemessWhat is the motivation for all this accumulation in the first place? As I look back at my past needlework life I know it was love of the project and fear that I may never have the chance to buy it again.  Fear that I might not, at some point,  be able to afford to buy what I wanted.  Perhaps you could also say there was too much love and I bought everything, far more than I could ever stitch. Being reasonable about what I can do, and will do, does help in divesting and decluttering the piles. Tell the truth...now that's the way to look at thing.

The motivation here is not to gain more room for yarn and fiber. The motivation is to enjoy a clean surface, to have a floor where I can walk without tripping over a pile of 'stuff'.  It's about being able to open the closet and find, without moving a thing, the thread I want.  This process is about being happy with what I already have and not 'needing or wanting' any thing more.  It is about simplicity and the ability to enjoy the process of simplifying my life.  Success breeds success, so perhaps my progress will build the motivation to keep things simple.

Yes La, this is a shameless way to get people to comment, but I have met several new people who read my blog and found a few new blogs to read, too.  Thank you for commenting eveyone and just so you know, today may be the day the Shimmer yarn is given away. Comment on!

Bloglines dumped all the posts I had yet to read!  I'm way behind in reading and visiting, too.  Maybe Bloglines was fed up that I had several posts to read in each of my feeds. Hurmph!


Motivation

You are doing well with commenting and the number is rising.  Remember, I said 'later this week' but, it might be in the next day or so.  Keep it up and you could be the winner! Does the yarn motivate you enough to comment?

Stephanie (not that one) had a great post last week on motivation (which I found via Rebekah's blog).  We know we MUST do certain things, but the motivation to do them is often missing. Why is it that we don't enjoy the very process (yep, that again) of everyday life. What is the real reason we just can't get ourselves up and moving when our bodies are out of shape, or we find that sock or shawl just stopped speaking to us and we can't take one more stitch? Why are we always in search of euphoria, the feeling that comes from starting something new? Are we in denial about what 'really is' or are we stopped by fear of the unknown, (will it fit....is it good enough?)   Do we have a form of ADD or are we truly unhappy with our lives, the reality of our lives. Why can’t we 'Just Do It' or 'Just Say No'?  Is it because we need to face the truth about our lives?  We do need a true reason to continue the process of living and understanding our own motivations (or lack thereof).  What is it that motivates you?  This is a question that went through my mind over and over this weekend as I looked at the many changes in my life so far this year.  I think this will be the theme of the week, as I look at the process of my life, and my knitting life, too.

HangingvineshangingoutatmccImhalfwaydonewiththehangingvinesstoleHere is the Hanging Vines Stole, at the half way point, after a month of knitting. (She enjoyed hanging out in the canyon on Sunday.)  It would be easy to cast her aside and find something new to begin as the second half of any knit can become tedious. But, I am motivated to keep her in my lap for several reasons.  First is love (love is everything, actually).  I love this yarn, the merino/silk,  which Judy spun and dyed. I love the color and the way it moves from a soft pastel pink into a deep shade of red.  The pattern is easy to keep on track and actually rather fun to knit. Every third row there is a 'K3tog' that forms the top of a new leaf and crosses the vine in a new direction. The thought of it finished and wrapped around my body, while the fabric created drapes so beautifully, also keeps me going.  The accomplishment, and the feeling of a job well done, is a good carrot.  However, there really isn't much thought given to the end result or even the project at hand.  Most of all it is the quiet, lovely relaxing time of knitting, the time of contemplation, the simple journey of each stitch...it is the process that keeps me going. That is motivation enough as I love this process.

You can check the Ebay Auction I set up with a few needlework items. The needlepoint canvases are by a fun designer and I hope they will sell for a good price. All proceeds will go to Emma and Oliver.  It is wonderful to see the outpouring for this little boy and we hope to meet his needs. There are 5 items for sale so make sure you check them all.


A Party in Millcreek Canyon

AbeautifulcanyonglenApartyforcamilleIn years past we have often picnicked in Millcreek Canyon, which is one of the smaller canyon's in our beautiful mountain range. The character of this canyon is different, as there is a small stream (fun to play in) and picnic glens which are easily accessible. As a child I spent many weekends playing in this canyon with my family. As adults we have used it for many special occasions and quick getaways.  Our special reason for heading up on Sunday was to celebrate the birthday of our dear friend Camille.  She has a lovely family, who we call family too, and it was great to be with everyone.

TheboyzintestosteronalleyLittlegrrlsonahikeThe guys hung out in one area and cooked up a good breakfast of hash browns, sausage and ham, while the grrls fixed bagels and yogurt parfaits.  The little grrls went for a hike with Hillary, as they wanted to have an adventure and it's time they got their 'mountain legs'.

After eating our delicious repast, Camille opened her presents.  Here she is showing her darling grand-daughter, Aspen, my gift of socks. Aspen is very impressed (maybe someday she'll be a knitter.)  I had a pretty good idea of Camille's foot size, as she was the model for my Sockapal2za socks, but it didn't keep me from worrying the whole time I knit them.  It turned out that my guesstimate was pretty good! The socks fit and she loved them.

Camandaspenlookingatsocks

Here is one pair of very happy feet!
Shelikesthesockies

Happy Birthday today, Camille!

Socks were from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet
Yarn: Opal Rodeo
Knit time: August 11-17, 2005
Changes: Spiral Toe instead of Garter Stitch Toe (no Kitchenering involved!)

AlpacasplendorificLornaslullabysockyarnLater this week the number of comments should hit 6500 (IF you all start commenting, that is). The person who leaves comment #6500 will receive 2 skeins of KnitPicks lace weight yarn, Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor colorway.  It will, perhaps take until  next week to reach #7000, but that person will receive two skeins of this beautiful Lorna's Laces Shepherds Sock in Lullaby. This is an easy way to offer a gift to those of you who take the time to read this blog and leave a comment. Thanks for making this blog so much fun.  Next prize will be commenter 10,000, but I'll just let that one sneak up on you.


The Road to...

As much as I hate to admit it, there has been a chill in the air the last couple of nights.  We've had rain for the first time a more than a month and it feels good to have a break from the heat. The cooler nights and shorter days will surely produce color in the mountains soon. Last week Sandy  started a new fall sweater ( she's onto mittens this week) and it made me think about what I want to knit/wear this year.

There are different ways a project is born.  Usually with a sweater it's the pattern that says 'make me'.  Next comes looking through the stash for yarn, or searching for something suitable via other modes…shopping on line, or the LYS, for instance. 

Many sweater possibles for fall knitting are making an appearance. Eris and Bonne Marie's Cutaway are both in consideration and in my stash are Noro’s Gloria and Butterfly, among others.  Then there is Chamomile, in a sort of limbo (Norma tried a little pessimism and that worked for her, so maybe I'll give it a go, too).  She is a perfect fall sweater and she should have some attention, but I feel I'll never get her finished. (Do you think that was pessimistic enough?)

This summer was truly a summer of socks.  I do think almost everyone in Blogland has knit a sock or two, or ten, this summer. OK, perhaps I am the one who really got carried away.  If not socks, then it was a tank, shawl or small knit item, and lots of lace was knit, too.  Not many of us can tackle large shawls, one after the other, like Wendy has, or Snow for that matter.  So, now it’s time to drag out the big commitments and get going again on 'real' knitting. 

I don't usually make knitting goals but, with so many things clamoring for attention, I thought it best to jot down my intentions. This is by no means set in stone.  My head has been known to turned at the drop of a hat.

This little list is just to keep my intentions straight for as far as I dare look ahead. Of course, there will be a sock here and there.  In order of choice my hopes, desires intentions are:

  • HangingvineshalfwayHanging Vines Stole (after the trip she is half way!)  I love the color and the yarn, as you all know by now.
  • Chamomile
  • Seaweed (at least get a good start as she has languished for too long)
  • MygloriousglorianoraGloria (A picture of the gorgeous yarn might help me get a move on towards this project.

 

  • Mim's Adamas Shawl (Brooks Farm, aahh)
  • Then I'll think about Eris or Cutaway (to make matters worse Emily just made her new sweater Kepler available free! On her blog!

You know how that road to hell is paved,  so we'll see how it goes. Tell me what will be your first sweater project this fall?

Next week I'll follow in the footsteps of Kim and Kerrie and set up an auction for some of the needlework items I need to declutter. The proceeds will go to Oliver's Fund (see yesterday's post for details on who the grand Oliver is.) Thanks Jean for the fabulous button!  More info next week when the auction is up.

Enjoy your weekend!