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March 2011
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May 2011

All That Matters


Saturday was the day I gave the Haruni ShawlRav_linkredyarnball to Margaret. As an unexpected gift should be, it was a complete surprise, and seeing the shock on her face turn to joy, gave me a gift in return (oh, and the hug!). We were together for the next couple of hours and she wore it regally.


Margaret is Suzy's Mom, which means friendship from Margaret has been given twice over, squared if you will. She knew Suzy would love knitting socks, she knew Suzy would like my blog, and she knew Suzy and I would be fast friends. She knows everything, except how deserving she is of this gift.


Knitting this shawl, with this beautiful yarn, for a beautiful person, was a joy, but seeing it wrapped around her shoulders, with a smile on her face, was all that mattered.
Raveled hereRav_linkredyarnball

Yarning Along

This post cold also be called "At Last", as I haven't touched poor Hamamelis since January! Back then I was struggling with the pattern and watching every stitch I made. With patterning (garter stitches) on both sides, I was easily confused and couldn't (quite) see the design.


This week I picked the shawl up again and, even though I'd stopped in middle of a repeat, things fell into place, the design was apparent, easy to see and keep straight.  After a only a few hours of knitting, much progress has been made and I feel excited, and relieved, its going so well.

Most of my reading actually involves listening and, because of the iPod, the number of books I've read has increased. I listen when knitting, walking, and even working (slow days can be deadly dull), but the past year I decided I must take time to actively read a book.  The heft of the book, the feel of the paper and turning the pages...there really is nothing quite like it. I read one or two books a month this way and have started using the library for more than downloads or CDs.

At the moment I'm reading "How to Knit a Heart Back Home", by Rachael Herron (one of my first blog buddies!) and enjoying the beauty of a romance unfolding.  As you can see from the cover, knitting is involved, too.  On the iPod is "The Love of My Youth" by Mary Gordon.  The story takes place in Rome and her writing is lovely, which makes this a perfect book for the ear.

Today I join Ginny in her YarnAlong.

We Never Give Up

Since the weather is mostly cold, drearily gray with hit and miss rains, we've taken advantage of every bit of sun, every tiny bit.


Smith has been planting throughout the "spring", with onions here, radishes, lettuces, peas and potatoes there. The little sprigs (barely) survive and are ever grateful for the little rays of warmth that come their way. So are we.


My obsession with TV cooking programs is the only reason I know we need to grow cipollini onions in our garden.  With my need to eat gluten free, and our new favorite past time, gardening, there has been a renewed love of cooking (and eating). Some of our best meals have been created with ideas gleaned from network chefs and food blogs.


When I mention the garden I know you want to see the chickengrrls. The grrls are a lovely lot and they love being fed by hand.  Sunday I sat in the coop and fed them bunches of lettuce and, just as they finished, Smith showed up on the wrong side of the fence, with morsels of goodness.


Egg production is still high and, every once in awhile, we find a double yoker. Can you believe how long that egg is?  These little jewels are the best eggs ever...guaranteed.

Scre-e-eching Halt

The minute I started the border of Haruni I tried to conjure the spirit of the Queen of the Last Inch. She often finishes a project with inches to spare. Sadly, I do not have her powers and her force was not with me.  I swear, only Susan has the touch. 


Luckily, someone on RavelryRav_linkredyarnball was willing to part with a partial skein and, as soon as it arrives, I'll be able finish the last four rows, along with the crochet bind off, which eats up the yarn! The flowers of Haruni will soon be adorning my friend's shoulders.


Knitting with this glorious red has my fingers itch for more! Truth be told, I have the lace projects lined up as far as the eye can see. While lace is a good companion, and I believe creating holes is a nice thing to do, delusions of grandeur may be returning.  I'd love to hear what shawl has recently captured your imagination.  Are you knitting lace, too?

Henley Happening

Saturday afternoon the sun decided to come out of hiding and show her beaming face. Smith was in the garden, so I ran over to see if he could help with a Henley photo shoot, but, as you can see, I could not get the hang of it.Couldnotgetthehangofit
The garden just wasn't the right spot and I could tell Smith was itching to get back to work in the dirt. dang  What to do?

Later in the day I mentioned the photo shoot fail to Suzy and she offered to come right over and take charge.  Maybe two grrls together could figure out a good way to show off my exquisite Henley.

We set off to find a lovely spot for our colaborative effort and my first thought was to go swinging. (You never know what will work.) Suzy tried and tried, however, as you can see, that idea was a fail, too.

Suzy then decided a pretty red tulip would help the situation but, have you ever smelled a tulip!?

We ended up laughing more than photographing. (I tried to discard the tulip behind a forsythia bush but, sigh, Suzy insisted I keep it.)

Suzy also told me over and over to turn around.  I was getting a complex, but she said the back of Henley was amazing, as it showed off Kim's fabulous dye work. The only place I alternated skeins was the front (and I'm not sure I needed to). That should tell you what a master Kim is with the dyes.

Why I had so much trouble knitting this sweater, and trying to get a photo of the finished project, is a mystery but, for some reason, it has been a trial.  The yarn is wonderful, the pattern perfectly written, but they almost did me in.

Seriously, Henley is my new favorite sweater. The touch of the fabric against my skin is silky soft and the fit is just as I hoped it would be; not snug, more like a favorite T-shirt and easy to wear. I made the body and sleeves longer, omitted the waist shaping and found the perfect buttons.


My job is done.  A great big Thank You goes to Kim and Anne, who make a fine duo, and to Smith and Suzy, who had to put up with me.  Now, it's onto wearing and loving my Henley.  Raveled hereRav_linkredyarnball

Randomly Yours on Monday


When the sky shows bit of blue I run out the back door and capture the moment.  This spring, the blue doesn't stick around very long, and we're left with rain and/or gray. Today, the rain is constant, the gray dark.  However, spring is in the air, as the infamous lake stink, a sure sign, is filling our nostrils.  lovely

When stuck inside, due to weather's inconsiderate nature, I turn to my favorite fibery passions. This past year sock knitting desire has waned and so, only slowly, does a sock appear. Pyromania has been a favorable companion, when sock mojo makes a call and, finally, I have made my way through half a pair.


The sock fits perfectly and feels like heaven on my foot, which means, by fall of this year, there will be a full pair. (I now deem the weather unsuitable for socks, unless it snows, as it surely will, but lets move on.)  The lovely yarn is Pandora, a bamboo blend of the highest order. (I also realize I am a Woolen Rabbit junky, which is not a bad thing.)  Only yarn of the highest quality is suited to wearing on the feet and I am a sock yarn snob.  Besides, how can you not love the subtle shading of color, the beauty of the dye job.  Kim is offering her first ever yarn club and I am over the moon with happiness.

Because the weekend was gray and drear I took some time to spin my wheel.  Look, the fiber isn't blue! (As yet.) On the bobbin of my lovely Corina is the first color of a Trio Set from the Cupcake Fiber Co.  Spinning with this fiber is an incredible and heavenly experience.  I may be spinning this for several months before all three colors of the Trio are finished but, it will happen. (If you're quick you may be able to buy some of Cookie's handspun Cupcake skeins.) oolala


I am quite excited about the new edition of the Ennea Collective as Anne's Chrrach Stole and Ballycastle Tam give me the push I need to get some spinning done. I would feel quite accomplished if I could knit something of substance from my handspun.  Ennea not only has the patterns, it also gives direction on how to spin for the project. I need to make it happen.

Color Full

Since finishing Henley (photo shoot soon, I promise), I've felt like a weight has been lifted from my knitting time. Henley never felt like an obligation, but I didn't feel as if I could ignore her. It feels good to have a beautiful sweater to wear (finally!), but the relief in finishing is palpable and most refreshing. Now, onto other good knits.

Last year I made a promise to knit something blue at all times and, as it turned out, it was easy because it took such a long time to finish anything. Henley is finished, but I still have a sock project on the needles in same color, Forever in Blue Jeans. We shall discuss the sock at a later date, but suffice it to say, it grows, as it is portable.


I still love the color blue, but with Henley on the needles for 7 months, the craving for new, bright color grew. The "new yarn shelf" in my room tells the tale of how I have been attracted to anything directly opposite blue on the color wheel.


The shelf holds potential for a summer run of shawl knitting, which I’ve already started. My dear friend Margaret deserves a shawl and HaruniRav_linkredyarnball, with its elegant edge of petals, is perfect. (How I love this glorious red.) I’m carefully knitting my way through the edging and hope for a finish in the next few days.



While my knitting is not (always) about the project, it feels good to have a sense of accomplishment on the heels of finishing Henley. The vibrant red gives my spirits a needed boost and the warmth of giving a hand knit gift fills my soul.

Have You Ever

We needed a quick dinner, something nutritious, flavorful and extra fast, as we both had meetings last night. Smith suggested pizza because Udi's GF Pizza Crusts are always in the freezer. (They are the best!)

In order get an extra helping of veggies I decided to try Brussels sprouts pizza.  I caramelized Utah Spanish sweet onions and, just before they were done, threw in thinly sliced Brussels sprouts. (Next time I'll throw in a red chili pepper for extra flavor, a touch of heat, and color.)


The first layer on the crust was mozzarella cheese (fake for me), then sliced Roma tomatoes, the onion/Brussels sprouts mixture, and Smith's favorite Italian sausage. We decided to use up the last of the prosciutto and topped it all with sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  We liberally sprinkled red pepper flakes on each slice as we ate. It was a winner and we'll do it again with a few extra additions for flavor.

Sky Watching

Yesterday, instead of another dreary day, we were treated to a day of beautiful blue skies, for a least half the day. I took a break and walked outside just to feel the sun on my face.  The clouds are back today and rain is forecast for most of the week.  The spring will continue on it's cool and wet path, according to the weatherguy.  blek

Not long after I started blogging, Miss Sandy, started "Saturday Sky" and I was so excited to share my love of the sky and post my Saturday picture. It seems I am now alone in my sky posts, so rather than a designated day, I've changed the category on the side bar to "Sky Watching" and I'll show off my sky every now and then.


Every morning, as I leave for work, I check my favorite view and this week the sun has been on the verge of cresting the peaks. Whether cloudy or clear, the view stops me in my tracks and gives me a boost. When clouds completely obscured the view, my day is negatively affected, much to my dismay. I love seeing the sky and "my mountain".

Is there something in your landscape that starts your day off on the right foot?