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February 2008
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April 2008

R & R

This is the view yesterday (at dawn) from the window of Neena's guest room.  The clouds had a pink lining and the sky had a bit of pink, too. It looked like a seashell.
The trip was relaxing, beautiful, with blue skies and the warmth I so craved.  I came home to a very cold, wet snowy day in the SLC Valley that didn't even reach 40 degrees.  Winter seems to have a death grip on so many parts of the country. 

I did no knitting, no blog reading, no email...nothing but visit, eat, drink and enjoy the views of So. Utah.  It was heaven.  I also got my new Keen's very dusty, which was a nice christening, don't you think?

Friday the day started by rushing Moxie to the vet at 6:00am because he had broken his stitches and the wound was agape!  He spent the day there, had the old almost healed wound cut away and restitched.  He will now be relegated to wearing his cone head attire and he is very unhappy about that.  However, I'm not spending more money and time waiting for this wound to heal.  He's fine, if subdued.  It's only a week and he'll survive (even if he tells you otherwise).

The spinning class with Celia Quinn was wonderful, so full of information, and I came away with a head swimming with facts and new ideas.  Emmylou and I hope to start a new project soon with renewed interest and a fresh start. 

Tomorrow is the start of Project Spectrum Elements - Earth Edition and so, that's when I'll share pictures of my trip to Zion. The pictures make a very appropriate kick off, just as this photo is a perfect way to end the "Fire Edition".  From Filmore Utah...isn't it breathtaking?


A Plan of Action

Time to make a change (or ten)....a change in attitude (get out of the winter doldrums), a change in eating habits (more fresh foods), and a change of scenery.  Building up this weakened immune system must be my main priority and the first thing I'm going to do is run away!   

This afternoon, after my first ever spinning class, I'll be heading South to spend time with my sister, Neena.  She knows food (and herbs) and will know just what's needed to build immunity.  Saturday we'll head off to Zion for a day of sun (hopefully) and fun, with some good food (and drinks) thrown in. It will be nice to see a different landscape and get my head in a different place.  Winter has been long, too long, and I'm going off in search of spring.

The spinning class, my first, is being taught by Celia Quinn and I'm very excited to have some guidance on my spinning quest.  Spending the day in this fashion, and running away right after, seems like dream come true.  The weekend is a much needed respite.

On another note...


How do you like my new red Keen's?  I like them so much I may never buy any other brand again.  The little bit of embroidery is especially pretty.


Only a few flowers have found their way through to the light of day.  This bunch of crocus, which I anticipate every year, is the harbinger of what's coming to the garden.

Mom, make sure you tell everyone how tough I am.

Moxie would like to have a beer trade battle stories with Dale and compare scars. Thank goodness they'll both heal!

Happy Weekend!

Picture Frames

Taking pictures was a life long hobby of my father's and one of my earliest memories is of his black photograph album. The first pages contain pictures of his friends, his interests, his car and girlfriend (my mother) before he was married.  There were a few pictures of the wedding, the year before I arrived, and then the rest of the album was page after page of pictures of his first child, me. A few years ago I riffled through the album and took a bunch of my favorite pictures and that started my quest for suitable picture frames.   


Some were purchased when we traveled and others were found while shopping. Many of the pictures were very tiny and it wasn't always easy to find proper frames.  Over the years enough frames were collected to fill a shelf with images of my childhood (and before). But, a few years ago my interest in collecting frames was abandon.  I do enjoy seeing the grouping of frames and looking through them from time to time while remembering my parents and other family members.


This frame is a souvenir from Martha's Vineyard.


And this frame holds a picture of my hanging upside down on the monkey bars (age 8) and it was a gift to Smith.  Around the edge it says, "You do something to me You send chills right through me You're my thrill"


Here are three very tiny photos of my mom and dad during their engagement, their wedding day and my mother holding me. The frames are around 2" tall.


This frame from Santa Fe holds the first picture taken of me with mom and dad.

Because of this post I have enjoyed going through each picture and no longer walk right past the shelf each day.  I stop and pay homage to my family, my parents and the past.

F is for Frame

Coming Back to Life

My immune system seems to have abandon me and taken a holiday this year.  The last few days I've been too ill to think, to write, and yes, even to knit. Monday I thought I might die, yesterday I knew I'd live. Improvement has come rather quickly.  There is an ABC Along post almost ready to go (because I worked on it last weekend) and only if improvement continues will there be another post this week.

Let's finish up some movie business.  Amazingly, many of you knew the movie quotes from my list, however there is one quote that no one knew. I asked several people if they'd even heard of the movie, and no one had.  It's obviously a sleeper, but one you should see.

The movie is Smoke.
Quote:  If you can't share your secrets with your friends then what kind of friend are you? (Smoke -1995)

Hopefully tonight I'll feel like picking up the knitting needles again as I'd like to cast on for Miriam's new scarf, Persephone.  The pattern was part of the last fiber from  Wooly Wonka's Exotic Fiber Club.  Since it will be awhile before there will be a chance to spin up the luscious angora/silk I've opted for Judy's new yarn.  Persephone will be available mid-April and if you've been waiting for Aspen Grove the wait is over. 


Can you see the subtle color changes in the yarn?  It's rather exciting to start something new.  (You don't need to remind me just how many things are already on my needles. Thank you very much.)

Well, that's all I've got in me for today.  I'll be back!

A Very Beautiful Sunday

The sky was just that clear, the air warmer than it has been, but still on the cool side.  It was just warm enough to sit outdoors comfortably and enjoy the knowledge that spring is near and the days will be warming up.
Strawberrieswereheavely Protectionfromthesunwasneeded What could be better than sitting under a blue sky, the first strawberries of the season and company of friends?  Kids played in the yard and everyone relished the chance to be outdoors without coats.   With the sun so bright I was happy to be the only  person wearing an Easter bonnet.  It was a lovely Easter Sunday, despite the early date. 

Since finishing EPS it's been hard to get back into knitting. I have been knitting, but haven't fallen in total love, throwing myself with abandon into a's been a bit of a slog.  My head is still enjoying and reveling in the success of Elizabeth's creative genius and nothing has captured my attention in quite the same way.  I know it will happen and what's on the needles will become effortless and enjoyable as EPS fades into the background...but for now, I go through the motions without attachment. My emotions are not engaged, good or bad does not exist.

Sockissquishedandtight Non-attachment is sought for in Zen, but I must admit, that attachment to a project does create joy and the anticipation of what's to come as the process become product.  Without the swing of emotions a little of the joy is lost. No joy, no disappointment and so, when I had to frog the Flickering Flames sock, I just did problem, no thought, to angst.  Of course, if I'd been in the right state of mind the frogging may not have happened.  I would have seen the fabric was too tight, too squished and that there was no way such a small sock would go over my foot. 

In the end, the beginning began again and the sock is now on the right track. The lace pattern is visible and the process of knitting with this fiery yarn is beginning to capture my imagination. 

It's back to the process of loving my knitting.

Ten x 4

It's been quite a week!  You know that feeling you get when things have gone well and it's all wrapped up...the time when you brush your hands together with the satisfaction of a job well done?  That's just what today feels like.  Birthday celebrations were better than wonderful (and continue) and the finishing flurry, along with resulting posts, were very rewarding.  It feels like an ending and a new beginning and I guess it is. With it being a very busy week there hasn't even been much knitting time (damn!) and I seem to have run out of posting steam.  So, I'm falling back on a random list to finish off the week.  After seeing the movie meme spread around blogland and the new 10 on Tuesday meme, I decided to make another post of 40 on Friday.  You get 4 different sections on 4 different topics....riveting, no?

One of Four - Random Bits

  1. It's been a tough week for Moxie (and us) as he was attacked by an off leash pitbull.  He had surgery, but is doing very well and is now being humiliated by wearing a baby t-shirt. It's better than being a conehead which was bad for his poor psyche. He's bouncing back quickly and we're all relieved.
  2. This week was a little crazy so I still have not mailed the packages from my Blogiversary contest.  They will go out tomorrow.  Promise. (I hate making excuses, but please do excuse me.)
  3. My needlepoint students (I have 13) gave me a large and lovely gift certificate to a LYS.
  4. For the life of me I'm just not sure what to buy.  It will marinate for awhile while I make up my mind.
  5. Can you believe I really don't know what yarn to buy, what project (beyond what's in my stash) I want to knit?  Perhaps a new bag and some accessories will be fun.
  6. My main musical loves this week have been Bright Eyes and Lou Reed (always Lou Reed). 
  7. I did get a little classical infusion by listening to Death and the Maiden quartet. I'm crazy for string quartets, too.
  8. I told Cindy I didn't think spring would come and that we would jump right into summer.  That notion has been revised.  It looks like spring will be here for the weekend.
  9. What's up Hollywood?  The new movie Bonneville, filmed mostly in Utah, has a character named Margene, played by Kathy Bates.  Big Love, on HBO, about a polygamist family in Utah, also has a character named Margene.  Not many Margene's spell their name like I do. It's usually Marjean and there are very few of either spelling in Utah!  I'm a little fed up with you ripping off my name, Hollywood.
  10. I haven't seen the movie as yet…hope to change that next week.

On that note...

2 of Four - Movie Bits

The rules:    
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.    
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.    
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.    
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.    
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don't.

~~~Movie Quotes- Neener, you can't get cheating. ETA: Look how good you are!  I wouldn't know one and they're some my favorite movies!

  1. In a world of secrets, love is the most powerful weapon. Blue Sky- Tygher Knits got this one right! 
  2. If we forgive our fathers, what is left? Smoke Singnals - Katinka Good job!
  3. If you can't share your secrets with your friends then what kind of friend are you?
  4. The world is not made for people cursed with self-awareness. Bull Durham - Nancy! Way to go.
  5. It is a weird lullaby and so it is; it is mine.  The Piano - Jennifer got it right!
  6. Why do you pee on your lemon tree? - Worlds Fastest Indian -MIM (She's good!)
  7. This is dark chocolate. It comes all the way from Switzerland, Europe.Open Range- Nova (She has a great explanation as to why she knew.)
  8. Those women will do things to you you'll never forget. 3:10 to Yuma -  Mim (See, she knows her stuff!)
  9. Even if you do get the money, how do we know you'll come back? Silverado - CherylS (I knew she'd get this one.)
  10. I would've been much nicer. I would've just cut your face. Kill Bill 2 - Angela!

3 of Four -Ten on Tuesday Friday -10 Places You’d Take a Tourist to See in Your Hometown. Everything on this list is less than 30 minutes from my house. Pictures below (in order).

  1. Silver Fork Lodge - best breakfast in the West (maybe all of America).
  2. Great Salt Lake - a unique spot that is interesting and beautiful.
  3. Jordan Pines a big meadow area that's amazing year round.
  4. Donut Falls -  easy hike on a wide trail through a pine forest, cold water to wade in.
  5. Willow Heights - short strenuous hike straight up through a large aspen forest to an old beaver dam and lake. Worth the effort.
  6. Snowbird- this resort has everything you need all year round...including the best views.
  7. Alta Ski Resort- even more scenic than Snowbird and if you come in the summer the wild flowers are blooming in profusion.
  8. Cecret Lake - a bit of a hike to a glacial lake, but so worth the effort.
  9. Red Butte Gardens - a variety of gardens for all seasons.
  10. Silver Lake - easy, gorgeous walk around lake.

  Silverforklodgeinjanuary Antelopeislandfrommarinaongsl Snowatjordanpines2006_2

Donutfallsisfromthebottom Willowheightslake_3 Viewofsnowbirdfromwalkwaysummer_2

Altawildflowersinsummer_2 Cecretlakeataltautah Redbuttegardentrail


4 of Four

  1. If you're still reading I applaud and thank you.
  2. It's the time of year for thoughts (and perhaps action?) on spring cleaning.
  3. There are piles of 'things' to be put away and I MUST get motivated.
  4. New summer clothes (pants and linen shirts) are in a (nicely folded) pile on my studio/junque room floor. 
  5. They sit midst many other 'things', like yarn and roving.
  6. It is embarrassing to admit, more embarrassing (even to myself) to see.
  7. Must make a plan of action and start doing something about it this weekend.
  8. Who knows, I might be able to wear a few of the new clothes soon!
  9. Yeah, I'm not holding my breath.
  10. Moxie sez, "don't cry for me blogland"


Happy Easter Weekend! 

Happy First Weekend of Spring (whether it acts like it not)!

From the Ridiculous to the Sublime!


Dshelleygavemethebestslippers_2 The best gifts either make you laugh or cry and the birthday gift from Shelley made me laugh out loud.  She really got me with this one.  Shelley and I have known each other a good long time.  Needlepoint brought us together and we also discovered we both liked to knit.  Shelley has better taste in clothing than anyone I know.  She has great style and confidence. It's always fun to see what she's wearing as it's sure to be fabulous.  Years ago I gave her a T-shirt that said, "Every Morning I Wake Up and Thank God for My Unique Ability to Accessorize!"  Another thing I really enjoy about Shelley is her sense of humor.

Slippersfromshelley_2We were chatting a few days ago about when we learned to knit, which for both of us was a church function at around the age of 8.  Neither of us took to knitting back then, but we remember that one of the patterns we used was for a pair of slippers.  Happyfeetinmyhandknitslippers_2 I do not remember ever finishing my project, but Shelley said she made a pair or two.  Friday night she stayed up late and knit a pair for me! (What a grrl won't do for a laugh.)  When I opened the box we both broke out in roaring laughter…the whole restaurant must have thought we were crazy.  I've been wearing the slippers around the house the last few days and they have been warm and fun.  How cool! How crazy! How ridiculously lovely! Thank you Shelley. They bring a smile to my face every time I put them on.


Textureandpatternareinterestingan_3 One of the most sublime gifts I've ever received came with the card I told you about on Monday.  You must have read Norma's post about meeting up with Ruby and Judy and looking through Ruby's gorgeous handwoven scarves.  I looked with longing at several of the scarves Norma showed in her pictures.  Judy also took a picture of the Ruby and Norma "in action" and the scarf on the table just jumped out at me.  All the scarves were as beautiful as jewels.  I never suspected the reason for the meet up was to find a gift for moi!  When I opened the package and pulled out this scarf I nearly burst into tears.  It is so elegant, so beautiful, and so thoughtful. I love it Ruby.  I love it Norma. I'll be wearing it throughout the year as a lovely accessory.


Textureandpatternaresoexquisite_2 Beautifulfringeofmanycolors_2

Look at the colors in the warp and fringe, as well as the sheen and the intricate pattern Ruby wove into the fabric.  This is such a lovely work of wearable art. Ruby designed the pattern and calls it "Reverberations", a name that perfectly exemplifies the handwoven fabric.   The warp (the jewel toned fringe) is Tencel and the lilac ground is merino/silk.  It's one of the most beautiful gifts I've ever received. 

There is no doubt in my mind I have the best friends anywhere. Thank you everyone for making my birthday week so special.

Sun Dappled Maples

It  seems to be time for another finishing flurry.  Thank you for your comments on EPS.  It's one of my favorite sweaters ever and every one of you should try knitting a sweater with EZ as your guide.  Now to on of the most beautiful shawls I've ever knit.  This shawl certainly evokes the trees and groves of a forest; a beautiful forest of fall colored maples, with the sun dancing over the leaves, the roots diving deep to drink a last bit of water before heading into a long winters sleep.
Cornerofshawlingardenofzen  Aspenhangingfromgardenlantern Beautifulfullshawlonlantern

The design and yarn color were perfectly suited for either the spring green of aspen leaves or the warm richness of red maples in fall (the two colorways available).  Miriam is a genius when it comes to elegant lace and Anne is a goddess of beautiful yarn colorways. Together they created one of the most beautiful projects I've ever knit.


Shawlwithfullviewofforest The first section is designed to mimic the leaves of trees as they dance in the sun.  The lace patterning is knit on both sides of the fabric, which makes this the most complicated section of the shawl.  It's worth the extra effort as the leaves are beautifully formed.   

The second section evokes the trunks of the trees, complete with twists and knots.  This section was easier to get into a rhythm, but a knitter must keep an eye out for the subtle changes as the trunks twist and the knots of branches form.   

The final section shows the roots working their way through the soil to find needed nutrients. This was such a fun section to knit, but there was still the pitfall of knitting a row when one should be purling.  The garter stitch is effective, but reading and checking the pattern on every row (to see if it should be a knit or purl row) will keep a knitter from a visit to the frog pond. (Doesn't every forest have a frog pond?)

Aspen Grove is a forest of beauty, of color and of exquisite lace. 

Yarn/Pattern/Kit: Aspen Grove Shawl from Wooly Wonka
Colorway: Vermont Maples (Perfect for PS III)
Designed by: Miriam Felton
Time to Knit: February 10, 2008 – March 15, 2008

EZ EPS - The Finale!

It took a bit of math, a bit of EZ genius, a bit of luck and a lot of knitting to get to this point.  Can't help but dance when a sweater turns out this well.

With EZ and Meg's guidance a knitter can make any style of sweater fit well. Every step of their system is well thought out, laid out and easily executed as planned.  The only change I made was to start the  Fair Isle pattern a couple of inches lower on the yoke than EZs original sweater.  Because of that change I add a couple of inches of patterning after the second decrease section.


The updated modifications outlined by Meg in the Opinionated Knitter where also adopted.  Short rows added to the neck (and after uniting the arms and body) are described in The Knitting Workshop, which also has instructions for the basic EPS sweater.  Meg and Elizabeth have many sweater patterns in their publication based on the percentage system. It's a very good way to design and knit a sweater.  Try it, you'll like it! (All pictures are clickable.)


You've got a cute way of talking
You got the better of me
Just snap your fingers and I'm walking
Like a dog hanging on your lead
I'm in a spin you know
Shaking on a string you know*
Letsdosomemoredancing Ezepsdancinginthegardenheaddown

You make me feel like dancing
I'm gonna dance the night away
You make me feel like dancing
I'm gonna dance the night away
You make feel like dancing
I feel like dancing dancing dance the night away
I feel like dancing dancing ahhh


Pattern: Fair Isle Yoked Percentage Sweater from  The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann Yarn: Silky Wool by Elsabeth Lavold
Time to Knit: 1-01-08 – 3-9-08
KAL: EZ EPS Group on Ravelry & SLC SnB (The Ewe-tah Grrls)

*When I read the words to this verse I found them very appropriate for a knitter spinning, don't you think?

Not Quite Spring

Thank you for the birthday wishes!  The day was all the more wonderful because of you.  The office celebrated by serving our traditional birthday cake from Café de Normandie. This is chocolate to live for, the only chocolate cake I truly love.


Friday night we had dinner at the Silver Fork (our favorite spot), where the snow was lightly falling and we were treated to a spot by the fire place.


Saturday I was treated to a pedicure and lunch by sweet Camille and, yes, it snowed that afternoon.  Sprinter reigns, but my toes are ready for Sprummer.


While sitting in front of a little heater, to keep my bare toes warm, I finished Aspen Grove. (More to come)


The mail arrived while I was knitting and it included the funniest card ever.  It shouldn't be too hard to guess who it's from as you've surely read the pee break posts.  It's even more funny in light of Terry's recent post.  Good grrlfriends share everything, eh?


Inside it reads:

Friends like you
are few and far between
Just wanted toilet you know.

I laughed for an hour and then called Norma. She's a peach.


Sunday morning we woke to a winter wonderland.  I look on it as a gift from nature, as Pisces love their water. More snow in the mountains means enough water this summer, HOWEVER,  I am ready for some sun and warmer hear me Mother Nature?

Happy St. Paddy's Day!