The Catch All

Where was I when I stopped blogging? I have been a bad blogger and, for the most part, it's because I am enjoying my time away from a computer. The end of summer came and went and autumn is now in full swing. The last few days the weather has been perfection. I am not ready for the nice days to end and I hope they keep coming. In any case, I must go back a few weeks and share some of the highlights of what's been happening around here.

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First, there was our time with the Etherknitters!  As it turned out, their timing was perfect! The beauty of autumn was in its full glory with the aspens showing off against the clear blue skies and the bronzed and burnished patchwork of color covering the mountainsides. To say it was a treat to be with friends we rarely see is an understatement. 

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Smith and I took our visitors up and over the mountain to our favorite spots. We had breakfast at Silver Fork Lodge (of course) and a delightful walk around Silver Lake (of course). The next leg of our trip was back up and over the mountains to the added bonus of more amazing vistas. We made a trip to Sundance and then, down American Fork Canyon during its most stunning time of year.

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We ended the day at another of our favorite spots, Red Iguana, which has the best Mexican food anywhere in the West (according to many). We were sorry to see the day come to an end, but happy we could enjoyed a fun time with truly wonderful friends. 

 Then...

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...there was a little thing we call The Retreat (The Alta Knitter's Retreat), which is a chance for knitters to come together and hang out, eat, drink and do anything else they can think to do.

The beautiful blue skies and autumnal colors of the previous weekend, came to an abrupt end Thursday night and, by the time I arrives Friday afternoon, the weather had turned cold and blustery. Snow started to move in and by Saturday morning we woke to about 8" of snow on the ground! The white snow and golden leaves made the views all the more beautiful, when you could see them, as the low lying clouds and fog often obscured the mountain.

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However, nothing could dampen our spirits. 

We stayed cozy and warm inside and had a great time drinking a little,  snacking occasionally, and spending a lot of time knitting, talking, and laughing. There was even some yarn buying, which I'll share with you later.  We did not lack for entertainment as Anna, one of the SnB grrls, introduced us to Korean facial masks, which provided a large amount of raucous laughter. Cheryl took a video of me during my bit of self-pampering, but you'll have to go here to see it as videos make the blog go boom. (Thanks, Kym!)

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After two days of cold, snowy conditions, the skies cleared and Sunday afternoon we enjoyed an hour or two on the deck. It was the perfect ending to a incredibly fun weekend. 


Day 6: Good Friends

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Without Vicki's inspiration I would not have been enticed by Alabama Chanin, would not have knit Different Lines, would not be knitting a new cowl and getting my walk on. There are so many things I've knit and done over the years by following Vicki. She dyed yarn for my Color Affection, Different Lines, and Moon Shadows. She, also, made my blog header and encouraged me to update the blog to the responsive format, as well as to blog every day in November (as did many other friends). My life is better because of this blog, which has, in turned, introduced me to artistic and multi-talented friends, like Vicki. She's a grand person and you should now go and wish her a Happy Birthday!!


Day 4: Sweater Weather

In the year 2009, my friend Susan thought it would be a great idea if we knit one sweater per month. Cheryl and I (and many of you) got right on board. We could do this and we DID! Although, I came up a little short due to a bump in the road. After that eventful year, my knitting desire tended to wan and I knit mostly small projects, including several pairs of Susan's Ragtop, a dozen shawls, or so, and about 1 sweater per year (if that).

Instead of knitting as much as I once did, I read more, spent more time with friends, and I was enticed into the Alabama Chanin sewing circle. In actuality, I'm not sure what I do with my time, but then there is that job thing, along with several other distractions. Knitting hasn't taken a backseat, but I am not able to knit at the lightning speed I once did. In fact, I wonder how I ever managed to knit a sweater a month, as it all seems an impossibility. 

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Recently, the desire to wear a new hand knit sweater has come on strong and the only person I know who will make me a new hand knit sweater is ME.  When it comes to sweaters I like a classic style, a simple cardigan I can wear with anything. Languishing in my considerable stash of sweater yarns was classic Rowanspun wool in the very classic color of gray. I found a pattern, Amy Herzog's Cayley, which matched up to the gauge I wanted, and I've been knitting, sans embellishment, as a plain, virtuous cardigan is all I desire.  I am already thinking about the next sweater, but first things first, this one must be completed. 

Book Reveal: 1. House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, 2. When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams, 3. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, 4. Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, 5. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, 6. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, 7. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, 8. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata, 9. Piano Man's Daughter by Timothy Findley, 10. Clover by Dori Sanders.


Day 3: One Liner

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When I was a kid I thought it would be wonderful to be a best selling novelist. I read as many books as I could, my nose constantly buried in a book, and I thought writing a novel would be FUN! But, novel ideas rarely came my way, therefore, I never put pen to paper. I've concluded novel writing would be a very hard thing to do (especially when you have no novel ideas).

Here it is ToT and Carole has requested we writing the first line of a novel, but I don't think my first line(s) will capture your imagination. Instead, I thought it might be fun to turn this into a quiz. Each quote comes from one of my favorite novels and I want to see if you know any of them (without searching for the answer on-line). Answers to be revealed at a later date.

1. Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. 

2. I am fifty-four years old, the age my mother was when she died.  

3. A candleflame and the image of the candleflame caught in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered the hall and again when he shut the door. 

4.The idea of eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzsche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum!

5. I have been afraid of putting air in a tire ever since I saw a tractor tire blow up and throw Newt Hardbine's father over the top of the Standard Oil sign. 

6. On a mountain above the clouds once lived a man who had been the gardener of the emperor of Japan. 

7. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. 

8. The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country. 

9. I had seen her just the day before--a day of pale blue skies and summer breezes. 

10. They dressed me in white for my daddy's funeral. 

I'd love to know if any of the first lines make you want to read the book. If so, leave a comment and I'll share the title with you and I'll reveal the titles on the list later in the week. 


Day 2: Best Part of the Weekend

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My usual sushi chef had the day off, which turned out to be a wonderful thing, as it was the big boss sushi chef who made my sushi! Part of going out for sushi is the fun of having the chef make anything he thinks I'll like. The chef needs to carefully clean the work station, as my roll cannot be contaminated by gluten and the place we go takes extra care. I love the attention to detail and the beauty of their art. This cucumber wrapped tuna and Japanese striped yellow jack was one of the most delicious and freshest bites I've had. The chef followed with two more amazing rolls. The best part, however, was visiting with a friend I only see a few times a year. 

Halloween was spent alone watching the World Series. We never have kids come by so candy wasn't a worry. I'm a fan of good baseball and because every game has been great baseball, I don't honestly care who wins, although Monica and Susan will call me a fair weather fan. (Susan already did!) 

I enjoyed a visit with Cheryl, as we were the only two to show up at SnB. We knew a couple of friends were traveling so it wasn't a big surprise. I have to say what a good friend Cheryl is, as she did her best to comfort me and cheer me up, as she knew I'd had a bad day. 

The weekends give me a chance to spend time with friends, and friends hold my world together, especially when Smith works late night shifts. Spending time with you, dear friends, as we go though a month of posting together, being there for each other, and play off each others ideas, should be very fun. 

How was your weekend? I'm off to read all about it. 


Day 1: Standard Time

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Instead of complaining about the loss of light, or being elated about the extra hour in my day, I'm going to go with the flow (once my body clock is reset a few days from now).  For me, the return of Standard Time feels like the beginning of winter, a reminder of the long dark nights ahead, neither of which I like very much, but will get through the next few months just like I have for many, many years. I have thoughts on how to keep the blues away, a mental list of things to do in order to stay on an even keel, and I think I can do this. I WILL do this. 

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I had a bad day yesterday and I thought about not doing NaBloPoMo, but today I'm glad I waited to post as Vicki lead me to a new KAL. It might help with my fitness level and my mental attitude. I'm fairly sure I have yarn I can use and I know I have the desire to knit something new, plus I think a little Startitis is not a bad thing.  I will do this. 


Words in the Wild

Words in the Wild was started by Kym (my memory isn't all that great, but I think that's what happened) and she has a knack for finding words here and there. Honestly, I'm not sure whether WitW is a Wednesday or Thursday thing, but I'm doing it today, in any case. 

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Last weekend, I had to stop by one of the big box department stores to pick up new "foundations" and, as I walked from one department to the next, I saw this sign. It not only tickled me, I knew it would make Kym smile, too.

My life has been so busy, with mostly good things (and work), but with a little trouble here and there. Monday night someone rear-ended my car and while I am okay (a little sore) and the car is still drivable, everything just feels even more complicated (it IS more complicated). 

One of the really good things happening this weekend is the Alta Knitter's Retreat. The weather will be superb (70-80s) and I decided to add a day to my stay to take advantage of the fantastic weather. The aspen leaves should be at their full glory, too. 

Enjoy your weekend, my friends!


Delving Into Mystery

As of late, Vicki has been my hero. She not only helped me (inspired me, really) to change my banner, but  also dyed the yarn for my next project, Romi's Mystery Shawl 2015. I was thinking of the sea and sky and Vicki captured my vision perfectly. Since the project is a mystery, I'm cannot be sure what's in store and I'm curious to see how the colors work throughout.

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You may or may not remember I started a sweater, but I've been dawdling and only work on it while at SnB. In fact, I haven't done much in the way of knitting or sewing, it's mostly been reading when I have any leisurely time. I've been waiting for this shawl in lieu of starting anything new and tomorrow it begins. 

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But, I have reach the point where I'm cutting the petals of the design on my Alabama Chanin T-shirt and I'm hoping to try beading and sequining this weekend. Even if I stitched this project non-stop it would be a month of Sundays before it was finish.

This is the proof I do my crafting for the process, not the finished project. I love every stitch I put into my knitting and sewing, and if I didn't it would all be for not. Enjoy the process, my friends!


Love Long Weekends

T'was the weekend of skies.

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Golden skies, blue skies, sometimes a few clouds. The temperatures stay in the fifties, both high and low. Birds started their mating behaviors and sang songs of love and joy. It is heartbreakingly wrong, but it is hard to do anything but enjoy the warm weather and the sun.

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T'was the weekend of mail. Postcards came from far away places, but the one postcard that brought surprise and delight was from Beverly. She has an on-going Postcard Project, one for every day of the year, and I am the lucky recipient of a card. It thrills me to no end that her great-grandmother's lapels have an Alabama Chanin look. Beverly has a new moniker for those of us who dabble in AC stitching...Chaninistas! 

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T'was the weekend of of silly love notes. Smith collected all the sticky notes we've left for each other over the last year and set them inside a frame. Happy Valentine's Day to me! 

 Truthfully, I didn''t do as much crafting as I'd hoped, but plans are being made and ideas evolving. I do have one more day to do as I wish. We'll see what I can cook up. 


Friday Letters

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Dear Weather Dogs-

From what I understand, you have a change in store for us, but it doesn't look like much of one, nor does it look like it will give us much in the way of precipitation, let alone snow. As you can see from the above picture, a weeping willow is leafing. In February. Seriously, I don't like to complain, but will you please bring us weather appropriate for the month? We need a little winter before we have real spring, not that we expect you to honor the calendar or anything. 

Dear Andi & Anne,

Thank you for having a contest, the contest in which I won a copy of Anne's Legendary Knits Vol. 3! I've known Anne a long time and I love her designs based on legendary people and fairy tales. 

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I'm quite fond of The Little Mermaid Sweater and I am completely smitten with the Guinevere Shawl. I even think I have the perfect Wooly Wonka yarn marinating in my stash. 

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The colors in the elegant Flora Mitts are a reminder of beautiful colors of spring and summer, seasons we all love (and miss!). 

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 It's always fun to win, but even more so when the designs are something I'll knit (if I ever find time to knit again).

Dear Readers-

Please make sure you check out Volumes 1 and 2 of Legendary Knits. And, that you have a great weekend!