Generosity

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Our Christmas of 2015 was filled with all that's good. We spent with friends who are generous, talented, and who throw great party. Our dear friends Monica and Steve had a crowd over for a Christmas Day feast. Monica not only cooked dinner for a large group, but she also made cookies and treats for everyone to take home (YES, me included!). She is a friend who goes above and beyond. Sadly, I left my camera at home, so you only get a small representation of the treats she made.

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Just as everyone dreams, snow fell Christmas Day covering the ground giving us a picturesque (if not treacherous) day. That night, just as we were leaving to head home, we saw the full moon. It was lovely night cap to our wonderful day.  The day after Christmas, Boxing Day apparently, was picture perfect, with the blue sky making the cold nearly bearable. Smith had the day off which meant we could meet friends for lunch. This time of year is all about sharing time with friends and family and, with our family so far away we feel grateful for our friends. 

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Our fun didn't stop there, as we were invited to have dinner at now-blogfree-Susan's. Cheryl and Larry were there and, once again, we had a really great time. Susan talked us into doing a Yankee Swap, but Cheryl and I were unsure. Holy cow, we had way more fun than expected, with Cheryl bringing the most sought after gift, a unicorn head!  Smith opened it first but Susan's DH thought it too good to pass up and he took possession. (Maybe you had to be there.)  Life is tough when you're a Mets fan, just sayin'.

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A week or so ago our power was out for a few hours and I mentioned how I'd spent the evening wrapped in fleece reading by flashlight. Susan was incredulous that I hadn't wrap up in the warmth of something wooly. She generously gave me her latest project, a huge and beautiful Nuvem. I feel so fortunate to have a warm, cozy, BIG blanket of a wrap whenever the cold starts to creep into my bones.

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I have been knitting! And, to do my own bit of paying it forward, I started a pair of gift mitts using Gale Zucker's new pattern Trip Mitts. They're quick knitting and have a fun, rustic, and very charming look. Did I mention how much fun I'm having knitting them?  They're just what you need when a little instant gratification is in order. I'm ending my year by knitting this pair and starting 2016 with another gift pair (just to even things out).

How are you beginning your knitting year? Something fun, something adventurous, something for yourself?

Have a very Happy New Year, friends!

 


We Are 11!

For eleven years the SnBers of SLC have been meeting up on Tuesday nights (and Sunday afternoons). We do what you think any bunch of knitters would do, we knit, we chat, we bitch, we share ideas, we help with problems both personal and knitterly, AND once year, we knit for each other.

Our eleventh year theme was Parallel Lines (thanks to Susan!), which is brilliant, because, if you think about it, all knitting creates parallel lines. We had a varied line up of interpretations, which made the evening all the more fun.

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Susan knit Extra which ended up in Cheryl's hands.

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Cheryl knit a pair of mitts which Anna now wears.

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Anna knit a cowl which Caroline wears with aplomb.

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Caroline knit a pair of mitts which Susan was thrill to own.

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Jacquie knit (and designed) a unique scarf, which Laurie now sports.

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Laurie knit a nice long Linen Stitch scarf, which I now love and wear.

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And I knit a headband, which now keeps Jacquie's ears warm.

 Thank you to Laurie who put the group together and to the Jitterbug who has been our host for all 11 years. The Grrls of SnB Rock!! 


A Full Heart

Moxie was the sweetest dog we've ever known and he was loved by everyone who visited our home. Even Cheryl's hubby, who is not known as a dog lover, would crawl under the table to pet and talk to Moxie.

Friends rallied around after Moxie left us and Cheryl, my ever-caring friend, found a darling tote with the likeness of a schnauzer who looked very much like Moxie.

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I was surprised and delighted when she handed the bag to me. My Moxie on a tote! I am so please to have a way I can keep, and carry, his memory with me. Do you see the bright red hearts that hang from the handle? Cheryl crocheted and added them to show her love of Moxie (and mine). My heart was already filled with a mix of emotions when she said to look inside.

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There was the shawl she'd just finished, French Cancan, in a beautiful Moxie gray. By this point I was in shock...surprised, pleased, with my heart ready to burst.

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You may think I'm sappy, but so be it. Every time I wear the shawl, or carry the tote, I'll think of Moxie. I'll also think of the kindness of friends, the emails, the cards, and the FB posts that let me know friend cared. But, most of all, I'll think of my dear friend, Cheryl, who gave me this lovely gift of her time and creativity. I am so lucky to have had the sweetest little pal, my Moxie, in my life, and to have the best friends anyone could want.

Thank you, Cheryl.


Party Hardy

We had a little party and I took a few (mostly blurry) photos, but I thought it worth sharing them, nonetheless.

Our SnB group celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a party and a gift exchange. Our group has been through the best of times and the worst of times. This is the place to come for support, encouragement, solace, and joy. Together we have celebrated births and mourned deaths, cared for each other in sickness and health. It's been a marriage of like minds and we're built true friendships.

The gifts this year ran through the gamut of patterns and yarns, but each one was exceptional, as well as, appreciated by all. The gifts are wrapped and out of view so no one knows what they'll get until the package is opened. It's all we can do not to open our secret gifts until everyone has one in hand. We then open each one and oh and ah, as the gift is revealed.

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Jacquie received the exquisite beaded cowl you can see here, which was knit by Melanie. Behind her is Caroline who received Laurie's Linen Stitch scarf (the 10th one she knit).

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Laurie recieved Barley, a hat knit by Cheryl, which you can see here.

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Cheryl received Anna's amazing hat, knit in 1x1 twisted rib with a crown knit of star stitch. I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the pattern. eta: Anna shared the link in the comments below. 

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Anna received perfectly matching mitts knit by Caroline in a fun colorway.

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Susan (sorry for the very blurry picture) received Jacquie's 10 Shades of Gray cowl. Believe me, it was knit with 10 shades of gray.

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Melanie received wrist warmers knit by me (black and brown under the sleeves of her sweater) and I received a bright red scarf from Susan!

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I had the luxury of time, as my photo was taken a few days later by Smith.

Other friends joined us at the party, but since we all had fun in the moment, few pictures were taken. We're looking forward to many more years of spending afternoons and/or evenings together to bitch, to laugh and to gossip and knit! We love our grrls!


The Weekend Looked Something Like This

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Because I had a free Saturday, Cheryl and I decided to go to a favorite Middle Eastern restaurant, Mazza Cafe, for lunch. Cheryl saw Turkish coffee on the menu and told me how it was made and how good it was, so we each ordered a cup, and it was as delicious as she'd predicted.

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Finally, after weeks and weeks of gloom and gray, the inversion got busted! Everyone was delighted to see the weather patterns change and the skies clear. There could even be more snow coming through this week. We're rather envious of our friends to the north who have snow totals we'd love to have in the mountains. Keep your fingers crossed there will be more snow headed our way. 

How was your weekend? 


Glorious Retreat

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Winter cares not that Autumn hasn't had a chance to settle in. She stomped right over the top and left her white mark with ten inches of snow at the Lodge. A night of cold allowed the white covering to stay until my arrival Saturday. It's hard to argue with the beauty of a mountain covered in fresh snow.

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Few of the trees have had a chance to show off their fall colors, but after this snow and a few nights of very cold temperatures, they'll be quick about the change.

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Saturday afternoon's temperatures warmed enough we decided to go for a walk. Carole, Kym, Suzy! You'll be happy to know I can now walk up the 55 stairs without stopping to rest and even continue on up the road. The day was glorious and we warmed up quickly only needing our sweaters when we walked back down into the wind.

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Sunday the air was warm enough a hardy group of knitters had brunch on the deck, but when clouds moved in to cover the golden globe, many of us moved back inside to a cozy corner.

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The weekend ended, as it often does, with a delicous Bloody Mary and the accomplishment of a fair bit knitting done.

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Saturday sunrise


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Another great way to chase away the winter blues and blahs is to hang out with grrlfriends and PARTAH!  Tuesday we held the 9th Anniversary celebration of the SLC SnB! For nine years we've been chatting, arguing discussing, laughing, knitting, and celebrating together, and we plan on at least 9 (or 49) more!

While going through the pictures it became very apparent that I am not great at taking candid shots as I'm in too much of a hurry. However, the beautiful hand knits deserve a showing, so I'm posting what I have.

To keep the gifts a secret they are hidden inside of paper bags and our founder, Laurie, does a great job of tossing the bags around the room until everyone has a gift. (heads up!)

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Click for bigger -Props to Cheryl for the photos of me and of Eileen.

I was the fortunate recipient of Eileen's warm and cozy Shepherd's Wool mittens! They fit as if made for my hands! As coincidence would have it, Eileen received the gift I knit, 198 Yards of Heaven, made with Berroco Vintage. It was a fun, quick knit.

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received Susan's linen stitch cowl and Susan received Eliza's gorgeous hat. Gwen, who is sitting next to Susan, is wearing a scarf knit by Larisa.

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Eliza is wearing a cowl knit by Anna and Anna received slippers knit by Gwen. (They fit!)

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Larisa received Laurie's shawl and Laurie received a beautiful hat knit by Cheryl. Sadly my picture of Laurie wearing the hat did not turn out. Larisa may kill me for the picture of her with the shawl but, hopefully, this picture of her with Cheryl makes up for it.

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Since this is my blog I'm going to share a bigger picture of the mittens, as I am very, very happy with my gift and my hands are nice and warm!

Thank you SnB Grrls for a wonderful night. Here's to many more!


Heirlooms

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When Smith inherited a beautiful martini shaker, with a matching set of glasses, from his grandmother, she told him they had been a prized possession of his grandfathers.  Since Grandfather S had passed in 1941, we guessed the set had to be from the 1930s. We loved it and we used it and, sadly, we've ended up with only 4 of the glasses. A few weeks ago we decided the last of the set was just too precious to use and we retired them to the back of the cupboard. On special occasions we bring them out again.

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Cheryl and her Pontiff must have been with us when the decision was made, as Saturday night they arrived at our home with a token of friendship. Somehow Cheryl had come across a set of glasses in a similar pattern. They have a more solid base and cool frosted bands encircling the bottom. As you may expect, we broke them in immediately.

Smith and I were touched by the generous gift, and we're very excited to have a new set of heirlooms, a set we will use and use! Thank you, Cheryl (and hubby), for your treasured friendship. 


Shear(ing Day) Fun

We started out early... ready, willing and able to help with shearing day at the Sunrise Ranch. I hitched up my jeans and headed on into the fray of fur, fun and gittin' dirty.

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Deb hangs onto the first of the pretties and Scott the shearer stands nearby.  After we do a bit of wrangling the animal is sheared, toenails clipped and teeth checked. 

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This little one had a pretty saddle of deep and soft fur, which we took away to shirt and save for future yarn. Scott, the most excellent shearer, adeptly shears her back, legs, neck and face with tender loving care.

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After shearing the alpaca check each other out, as everyone looks different (clean and shaved)! Later that night, it was cold enough to wrap everyone in a quilted or fleece coat.

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The day started with many hardy helping hands but, as time goes on people have other obligations, which means.... near the end when the big llama are left to do, only a few of us were around to do the work.

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Thusly, the photographers were ask to step in. Even though the videographer had to work hard to keep the animal in place, he still had a smile on his face. Smith is also there to wrangle the big llama as they readied him for shearing.  

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After a hard days work we head in for a drink (or two) and some relaxation time.  Despite the hard work, or because of it, we have a good time.  Jim and Deb are the best hosts, as they feed us and make sure we're warm and happy.  Sadly, there always comes the time we must take our leave...

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As we walked out the door a rainbow greeted us.  Not a person in our group had seen such a low lying rainbow. It was a good sign after a great day of hard work and fun!


The SnB Swap

As you may have heard, the SLC SnBers are a tightly knit group and, while we have fun every week, the best thing about having a swap is seeing people who can't visit that often.  Sadly, my camera never came out of the bag and when it did, the pictures were crappy. Such is the life, and light, inside a coffee shop. We love our Jitterbug, nonetheless.  

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Eliza was the recipient of the lovely Tree of Life mitts and she not only loves them, they fit her perfectly.  Beaverslide, vintage buttons, and a nice pattern, made knitting a pleasure, and seeing them on Eliza hands was icing on the cake.

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The very cool gift I received was knit by Kathryn, one of our newest members. She knit a long piece, covered with a two color design that created the number seven, folded it in half, and crocheted around the edge to create a thick mat. It is the perfect trivet for my teapot.

The festivities were fun and raucous.  All the gifts were not only beautifully knit, they were well received. We’re quite a group, and that's a fact.