If I don't blog today, there won't be any post until next week.  Thankfully I have a four day weekend and only need to slog through two more days of work.  Busy, crazy work.

Roasting the sunflower seeds turned out to be quite easy. We followed the recipe on The National Sunflower Association's website and the seeds turned out to be very crunchy and tasty, plus the whole process was very easy.


Knitting has been sporadic and often only accomplished whilst chatting. I am thankful I have any time at all to knit, thankful for friends who love to knit and chant, and thankful I can knit warm coverings for my hands.  The gloves, the blue handspun gloves, grow slowly but they are growing.  My main distraction is the mitt.  One down, one about half way done.  There can never be too many mitts in the cupboard.

The weather had been gray for days. First it snowed, then it rained, but over the last several days it has just been gray and more gray.  The view comes as goes, as the mountains play hide and seek behind the clouds. 

However, my friends, things could be so much worse.  Instead of bemoaning the weather, the ever changing weather, I should be giving thanks for every day I have, for every breath I take. And I am!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, my dear friends.

Overcast with 60%


The sky has been quite amazing this past week and showed off in its various forms and colors. One day it's clear, the next there is a mix of clouds. The sunsets and sunrises have been laced with shades of pink, salmon and gold, very awe-inspiring and stunning. Sorry no pictures, I just gape at the beauty of nature.

Today the rainy snowy days of autumn-into-winter return. Leaves still hang on the branches and the earth has not given up its warm, but they know, we know, the shift is happening. It is a knitters time of year, as hands, needles and yarn work together to create warmth.

Plans for Thanksgiving begin in earnest this weekend and, for the first time in years, we're alone. Smith is planning to grill half a turkey and we'll have squash, potatoes, onions, and perhaps, beets from our garden. Since there is little green left from our summer venture, we'll shop for Brussels sprouts or asparagus. That's it, we're keeping it simple, if such a term can be used for all that food.


The last couple of weeks we've been winnowing the chaff from our two sunflower caps. Research says they need to be soaked overnight and roasted the next day. Plans are to start tonight, or Saturday night and, how nice for me, they're a perfect color for this months Project Spectrum.

Neutral by Nature

As the landscape shows, November is a very good moth for PS Neutral Black/White/Gray. Storm Mountain is appropriately named, as the clouds gather around its craggy surface where snow snuggles in for the winter.

Clouds of varying shades of gray tone down the landscape, as the pure white snow does its best to heightens the contrast of dark and light. As Kim responded in an email exchange about the neutrals of her landscape, this lack of contrast gets old quite quickly.

It takes every ounce of zen I can muster to get myself through the darkest days of winter, especially if the sky stays gray for long periods of time. But, let's not thing about that for now.  Let's hope there are blue skies ahead, even if the landscape is mostly white.



The weather was ever changable throughout the weekend.  The sky had a great time showing off its different colors and all the types clouds, it could produce. The clouds played peek-a-boo with the mountains, but Friday into Saturday they were productive and dropped various amounts of snow around the valley.  The few wet inches in our area melted away quite quickly.  It was cold, that much stayed the same all weekend long.


The change in time doesn't bother me, but this weekend I pretty much kicked back, relaxed, and didn't spend much time looking at the clock.  In fact, I took Monday off and we took a trip to Silver Fork to breakfast with Cheryl and her hubby. The sky changed constantly while we were there and the forest looked beautiful with its new dusting of white.

Never Give Up

According to my Ravelry account this pair of socks was started on January 3rd, which is quiet sad and lame for someone who claims to be a sock knitter.  This makes me wonder, if I only one sock a year, does that take away my sock knitter status?


I am unsure of the answer to that question, as my knitting, any knitting, seems to be in a slump. But sock knitting, in particular, has been difficult. The sock is lovely, the pattern is interesting and fun to do, the yarn is fabulous. I'm even carrying the sock in a lovely new bag, sewn by Suzy, and still I'm in a sock knitting slump. Oh, Socktober, you've passed me by!


The bag may be the only thing I post for this months Project Spectrum, which is sad as turquoise is in the range of my favorite blues.  I love aqua, love cyan, and love turquoise (but not when they are taken it into that tealy, greeny-blue color). Turquoise and aqua must be true to blue.

Oh dear, I've allowed PS to distract me (there's the rub!). Wasn't I talking about socks?  Anyway, the goal is to finish this sock by the end of October Socktober, but if that doesn't happen (and I'm not holding my breath), I'll be happy just to finish in 2011.

A year for a pair of socks, at least for this knitter, is pathetic and sad. Will there be another sock in my future? Will my sock knitting keep up with attrition? Even one pair per year is better than none, no?

The Color Yellow

At this beautiful time of the year, the landscape incorporates the color yellow into its pallet, and does it in a very brilliant way.

The grasses at silver lake have turned yellow before many of the aspens, although the aspens, in the background, are a beautiful mix of yellow-green and golden yellow.  (In the center of this picture is a brown dot called a moose. The school children are clustered on the right.)


A color that enhances the yellow quite well is the color blue. In nature the best pictures of yellow seem to be a nice balance between blue and yellow or, maybe, that's just how I choose to see the world when the color yellow is involved. Blue and yellow go together like a horse and carriage.

While driving over the mountains in search of the vibrant red-oranges of fall, Vicki and I found the vibrant yellows of fall, and wouldn't you know, the blue sky was the perfect contrast.

Random Fall Spectrum


Sunflowers dot the community garden plots and line the roadways around the valley. The sunny yellow faces contrast nicely with the blue skies. Clouds roll in and out this time of year, perhaps, bringing storms or just painting shades of gray and white on the blue canvas of sky. 

The garden is beginning to fade and Smith is already pulling spent plants in ready for next years garden. A large section will be prepped as a garlic bed and we're also planning on a larger onion crop, including this summers favorite, the golden cippolini.

The tomatoes are still coming on, but the rate has slowed to the point we can either eat them all or find them loving homes.  There could possibly be one more batch of the OMG sauce. However, tucked into the freezer, are about 2 dozen 1 quart bags, and that's enough to keep us very happy.

I'm all a dither over what I want to knit while spending time at the Knitters' Retreat, which is the last weekend of this month. Alta Lodge will surely be surrounded with aspens in changing shades of green and gold. I'm looking forward to this year, which will be even better than last.

I've not finished any of my current projects, nor taken current photos (thus the sunflowers only) but, hopefully, something will fall off the needles soon.

Saturday Pink Sky


The heat of summer has rarely made a show
it has rained often, more than normal
temperatures have been below normal
humidity has been higher than normal
the garden is still behind in production
a change is in the air
dry weather is on the return
Orion has slowly crept into the pre-dawn sky
crickets have started their nightly chorus
I am not ready for fall

See That Sky!

So far, I'm batting zero in the Summer of 2011 KALs and SALs. I added the sweet little buttons to my side bar in the hopes I'd actually be participating. However, nothing, but nothing is working out except Project Spectrum. My world is crazy busy at the moment, but even so, I am a sky watcher. Project Spectrum in July means BLUE! Fortunately my world is full of blue and it's no wonder blue is my favorite color. Look at that sky!

Much of the summer looks like this (or slightly hazier), but days when the skies are most interesting are the days when clouds dance by in their varying shades of white. Sunday the clouds painted the sky with dots and dibs. It was a spectacular display of white on blue.


I'm an early morning walker and, as the morning light appears, the deeper shades of blue start to brighten. Monday morning (5:00am) Sunday's puffy little clouds encircled the nearly full moon like a lei and the moonshine turned them a cherry pink. I stopped in my tracks to stare and enjoy the unique beauty of the moment. Sadly, I do not carry a camera at that time of day.


This time of year the sun crests the mountain peeks just as I'm heading to work. When clouds defect the sun, catching the light and absorb the rays, the reflected light is especially impressive.  I know a day that starts out this amazing will be a good day.


The blues in my world do not consist solely of the sky. You could say I'm well grounded, as bare toes are a summer must and my after hours uniform is a pair of blue flip flops and a happy blue t-shirt.

Life IS good, especially when it's blue!

Whale Tale

It all started when Yarndude posted his Blue Whale.  It was an amazing creation of complimenting and contrasting knits and purls.  Desire came to the fore and off I went in search of the pattern, which was just out of reach.  It was February and the pattern would not be published date until April.  I waited, checking the designers page every day in April, and then one day, there it was...mine for the taking.


Blue Whale almost turned into my Moby Dick but, I refused to be Captain Ahab and let this one get the best of me. From the get go I had troubles, all mine, as per usual. If you make this incredible work of art let me give you a tip. Go through and mark (highlighters are great for this) all the make ones (left and right) in the pattern, don't leave any of them out and, also, make sure as you knit you "make one" on the correct side of the marker (markers are a must).

Now, dear knitter, do not think this shawl is difficult, because, the truth is, once a textured section is set up knitting across the row, there and back, is effortless. After I started the first section twice (must pay attention to ALL make ones), the seas calmed and the sailing was smooth.


The most fortunate part of this whole experience was the yarn, received as a gift, which happened to be dyed as if to capture the depths of the sea.  (String Theory's Caper Sock, color Slate) The celadon greens, earthy browns, stormy purples and muddled blues, created a tonal eddy of color. The MCN creates a sheen even the camera lens could not defeat. Not even my miles of frogging daunted the quality of the yarn.

As the ball of yarn grew smaller and smaller, I knew I a storm was brewing and, instead of taking heed to check the yardage, I just knit on, asking for trouble Into uncharted waters I sailed as the waves grew heavier. I am not good at due diligence and, as I've said, all the troubled seas were of my own making.


With only 4 rows of a 6 row border I knew, by the very small ball of yarn, binding off would be a crap shoot. I nearly made it to the end (15 stitches short), but was too disheartened to take out the border and start again.

I felt as if this poor shawl would end up to be nothing but a rag.  It poofed and pooched, with the top border looking puckered and haggard. I was so unsure the shawl would be worth blocking. It looked more like a drowned rat than a beautiful, elegant shawl. Knitting is an act of faith and I confess, my faith was wavering.


I should have known better, should have kept the faith as this it was not a white whale. Swimming in a sea of suds gave my whale new life. Its metamorphosis was almost instant, as the drape of the yarn infused new life into the incredible design. I tenderly pinned her into shape and set her free to roam new seas.


Stunning she is in her new glory.