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October 2013
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From My Heart

Crownedoly

By rote, at this time of year we state the "things we're thankful for", the gifts we have of family, friends and food. Carole's ToT has me thinking a little harder about what I am thankful for in this moment.

1. I am grateful for being aware of where I am right now, in this place, with the sound of friends around me.
2. I am grateful for the eye sight that allows me to easily read the words I am typing.
3. I am grateful for the touch in my fingertips and for the sound of the keyboard as they type each letter.
4. I am grateful for the hot tea steeping in my cup, for the warmth of the liquid the elegant taste of the tea, as it fills my mouth.
5. I am grateful for the amazing piece of chocolate truffle my tongue awaits.
6. I am grateful for task at hand and the ability to use my brain (limited as it is).
7. I am grateful Thanksgiving will be with others for the first time in years. I am grateful for the friend who is brave enough to invite me to dinner. She is sure she can provide a safe (as in GF) and delicious meal. My being GF impacts my friends and I am grateful for all who put up with my limitations.
8. I am grateful for the many of the modern conveniences that make life easier, safer, luxuriously so for many of us.
9. I am grateful for the stalwart, caring man who is my partner, my husband, my dearest friend.
10. I am grateful for every breath I take.

Wishing you all a very, very Happy Thanksgiving.


A Long, Long Time Ago

Today is Thursday and I'm horning in on Kym's Throwback Thursday to post the picture I promised our Cookie I would share.

Five

It was July, we were in a park across the street from our appartment, Dayton Ohio (we spent the summer there on occasion throughout my life). I was 5 years old. I did not have the fancy cowgirl outfit, but my dream was to become a cowboy, ala The Lone Ranger or Hopalong Cassidy. The only thing I remember of the horse was its gait during my short ride and the twitching of its ears.

Dad has always loved to take pictures, which he still does today. He's been going through his slides from years past and digitizing them for us. Last week he sent a large batch of photos, many of which I've only seen in black and white.

4yearsold

This photograph was taken on my 4th birthday. My mother made the skirt and I still remember the feel of the soft corderoy fabric, the blue floral pattern, and how much I loved it.


Honey Do

Before I left for Flagstaff I told Smith of my wish for our winter "honey do" project. Our master bedroom closet has not been painted in about 30 years and hasn't been thoroughly cleaned in that long either. The cobwebs in the corner and tired old paint were getting to me and, since all the other closets in the house had had recent facelifts, I wanted the same for our room. 

This story, actually begins some time ago, as I have been bugging Smith for years to pare down his closet and get rid of clothes that are (very) out of style. We're talking late 80s, early 90s, folks. His side of the closet was so stuffed I stopped hanging his laundry, as I couldn't fit it in. I am a borderline minimalist and he is a full blown hoarder.

Oldcloset

While I was away the gods were with me, as one of his closet rods fell! He (jokingly) accused me of sabotage, but seriously, could I get any luckier? Thus, the closet redo was in full swing shortly after my return.

Smith spent all his spare time patching and sanding. The closet is a small walk in and we each had double racks on opposite walls. A shelving unit on the back wall, held shoes or folded clothes. The overhead light offered poor lighting, which is part of the reason for the dinginess in the photo.

My job was to pick the color of the paint and I had an idea before the project was ever set in motion. The color is called "Iconic Sky" by Behr.  I don't have the best track record with paint choices and often Smith ends up repainting, but this time I nailed it.

Thinkdarker

The brightness of the new light (yay!) washes out my photo, but think much darker, more like the upper corner (or click the link above). Tonight we'll hang our clothes in the new space! I can't wait to walk into our bright, fresh closet!


Tales of a Sweater Knitter

I am a sweater knitter and, while I'd like to say I've loved every one I've ever knit, that is not the case. Far from it, actually. Many a sweater has been completed only to reside in the back of the closet until I give it away or frog it. Many a sweater has ended up with a friend, a family member, or in a bag to give to goodwill. I've frogged a good many and even put a few directly into the trash. Once a sweater is complete I am no longer attached to it.

Part of the problem has been being swayed by fashion, or knitting something that's "hot" at the time. I've knit sweaters too big, too small, and too unsuited to my style. Finally, I think I'm mature enough to know what I like, what fits well, and how to make good choices.

The ToT topic today is 5 Favorite Sweater Patterns and 5 Favorite Yarns to Use.

Fitted sweaters are more comfortable, as there isn't the extra yarn bulk under arms or around my waist. In my head there is an ongoing mental debate over cardigan vs. pullover, but cardigans usually win out.

1. Acorn Trail CustomFit Recipe by Amy Herzog- This one is currently on my needles.  The pattern came along just as I was trying to decide what my first CustomFit sweater would be. I am excited to have a warm cabled cardigan, but nervous because I want it to work out. CustomFit is determined by correct measurements and correct swatching. The "elves" magic is determined by the knitters accuracy of both.

Sprossling

2. Sprossling by Anne Hanson is hands down my favorite "already" knit sweater. I wear this sweater more than any other in my wardrobe. The reason it fits so well is the shaping is made with front and back darts, not in the side seams. From now on I'll use this detail is a criteria for sweater fit. I want to make clothing and I will make another Sprossling very soon.

3. Aislinn by Amy Herzog -I've swatched and it's waiting in the wings.

4. Wellwood by Michele Wang-  Cheryl and I went to the Brooklyn Tweed trunk show at the LYS and this choice, and the next, came from the visit. We were able to try on the sweaters we liked and determine what changes we would make (if any). Trunk shows are a good way to find sweaters you like.

5. Burr by Veronik Avery- I love the detailing on the sides and on the sleeves.

Five Favorite Yarns to Use

1. By far, my favorite yarn is Opulence by The Woolen Rabbit. I've knit shawls and sweaters with this yarn and plan to use it in another sweater soon.

2. Beaverslide! You saw that one coming, right? It's my favorite worsted yarn and I've knit many, many a sweater with it. There are other wonderful worsted yarns, but this one has proved itself to me. I love it.

Lucent

3. The Woolen Rabbit Lucent- I used it for Germinate and loved using it, so much so, that I'm planning to knit my next Sprossling with it.

4. Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool - I've knit a couple of sweaters with this yarn and have enough in my stash for two more sweaters. My plan is to use it for Aislinn (maybe). A knitter can change her mind.

Shepherdswool

5.Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool- This is one of my favorite wools for accessories like Susan's Two Ribs Infinity Scarf, but it would also make a soft and lovely sweater. It is high on my list for the next worsted weight cardigan.

Today I hope to be introduced to other new patterns and yarns in other ToT posts. Like I need any more encrouagement to stash! What's your current favorite yarn and/or knitting pattern?


Best of the Weekend

Alovelysushiroll

~delicious sushi and time with a friend. She shared stories of her travels, as we enjoyed a parade of sushi rolls and glasses of wine (more than we should have but who's counting)
~pilates still starts my Saturday and every week I feel stronger, better. The level of my back pain has decreased measurably. Count me happy
~spending more hours with friends. My obligations were few and I was able to spend time with friends knitting, chatting, and laughing. My sweater grows.
~our "honey do" project is almost finished. There's a story to this one which I'll share with you soon. Count me thrilled!

Crispclear1117
~the mountains were dusted with snow and the sky was brilliantly blue Sunday morning
~the day was warmer than expected. I took a Moxie on a long walk and then took an even longer walk sans dog.
~the weekend ended with the moon coming up over "my mountain (Mt. Olympus), ending the weekend on a perfect note.

How was your weekend?

Weekending with  Amanda


Still Life

A few months ago we moved the furniture around, eliminating a few pieces, and simplifying the living room layout. Because furniture went out there wasn't enough shelf space for some of my personal treasures and one of the casualties was group of pictures in silver frames.

Photos

Over the years I've collected small silver frames as a way of displaying my childhood photos. I'm of the age that almost all the photos of my early years are in black and white and, since I was the first child (and grandchild), there are many more pictures of me than any of the other children. In fact, I have a full album of my earliest years. My father loved photography, still does. After months of being tucked away (for no particular reason other than laziness), I have returned the photos to the shelf. The room feels complete again.


Still Weekending

The weather has stayed warm and sunny, but since I'm a working slug I'm still dreaming about my weekend.

Frozenfeather

One of the more curious sightings made while at the lake was of this feather frozen in the ice. Another of the same color was half submerge a short distance away. I can only guess it is from a mallard, as they are summer inhabitants of the lake. I had no idea their feathers were of such an electric color. 

Localsskiing
Silver Lake is part of Brighton* which is one of the few ski resorts open for the season. The local skiers had the right idea, as they queued up to take advantage of the beautiful day, although the snow would have been less than optimal. We need a good snow season this year.

Aspenforestbrown
The aspen forest surrounding Silver Fork Lodge has turned brown, the snow on the distant peaks is quickly melting. After my walk along the lake I decided it was time for lunch and Itook a gamble, as it was after the breakfast rush when the kitchen would be less than crazy/busy. My lunch was delicious, but sorry to report I won't be eating there again. If you don't have celiac disease I highly recommend their food.

The housework remains undone, but will be address later this week when the weather has changed from blue to dull gray.

*If you click on the Brighton link you'll see the area from the air. Silver Lake is the all white oval of snow (and ice) in the bottom right hand corner. 


All By Myself

Rightidea
This grrl had the right idea as she was in a sundress. Look at the blue sky!!

Sunday Smith had to work, which meant our usual routine was not to be. After accomplishing 2 loads of laundry, a trip to the grocery store, and while standing with dusting cloth in hand, I realized the weather was far to fine to be confined to more household chores.How many beautiful days do we have to waste before the snow and cold descend? NONE! I jumped in the car and decided to see where it would take me and it went with a well worn path. Up, up we climbed while squeals of joy escaped from my throat, my eyes filled with the delight of the mountains, and a smile beamed on my face, the car drove directly to Silver Lake.

Silverpathsnow
The path was snow packed and icy, but I carefully made my way along, feeling the glorious sun on my face. In the distance I could see the glistening of the frozen lake. What a perfect day, as the breezes were warm, the air only slightly cooler than the valley.

Bfrozensilverlake
Most of the lake was frozen, with only a small portion of moving water remaining unbound. The ice shimmered with the reflection of the sun.

Silverlakeice
There is a spot where the trees and sky reflected in the water create one of my favorite Silver Lake scenes.

Aselfieofme
selfie 1

Meatfrozenlake

Vicki always has the best "selfies" and I decided to try my hand at one or two. One is too dark, the other overly bright, but there you have it...me.


A Contest I Didn't Have

Sunrisenov8

The picture is of yesterday morning's sunrise. This time of year the sun doesn't come over the mountain until after 8:00am. There you have it, yet another sky picture for the week. At least I got in one knitting related post this week.

Yesterday Cheryl blogged about her milestone of 1,500 posts, which reminded me to look at my stats. I knew I was getting close to a nice round number of comments, but hadn't thought to look the past week. As it happened, the comments were sitting at that nice round number! I checked to see who the last commenter was and it was KYM!

Kym, you were commenter 67,000! I've been blogging for nearly 10 years, but that's quite a number. Thank you everyone for reading and sharing your thoughts, giving encouragement and love, and for being with me through thick and thin. Everyone who lurks or comments here is awesome. Thank you!!


You May be Floored

As I'm knitting a sweater. Not only am I knitting a sweater (I hope) it will be a sweater that (wait for it)...that FITS! Perhaps with the last sweater I suffered a relapse into the era of oversized fashion. It's true my size has changed in the past couple of years and, it's true, I have knit many a well fitting sweater. I want to do so again, but this time I expect it will be easier.

Cardi
My desire for a cabled sweater has grown with the changing seasons and when I saw Amy's new design Acorn Trail with the add on of her Custom Fit Recipe, I knew I'd found the right pattern. I am of the belief that anyone can knit a sweater that fits well and looks fabulous no matter their body shape or size. Amy has the software to help a knitter create a one of a kind fit. All you need to do is be measured correctly and knit a proper swatch.  I have swatched, purchased the Custom Fit pattern, and cast on. Will I have a sweater before winter is over? Let's hope!

When I don't knit, I read, and when I don't read, I knit (sometimes I do both). I'm currently reading Cari Luna's book "The Revolution of Every Day". Cari is taking me into a city I will likely never see and into a lifestyle I will never live. After only 75 pages I am wrapped up in the lives of the characters and commited to seeing their cause through.