Friday, March 28, 2008

Stash enhancement

Santa Fe loot

My yarn stash increased and my bank account decreased substantially after the Santa Fe trip. But it was such a satisfying feeling!
La Lana Wools. Forever Random series both in worsted and DK weights. Also their silk/wool solids. And no I did not just get one skein of each. The picture is just a sampler.

The Dream in Color was waiting when I got home. I have been waiting for this for so long. Their Smooshy sock yarns knit like a dream and I cannot wait to try their Classy worsted weight. Too bad they don't have DK weight. Here I have Deep Seawater and Black Watch:

Can't you tell my favortie color is blue? One of this is going to be the Nantucket Jacket. Probably the blue.

So many things to knit, so little time. Wish I had two more hands!

I also need to hurry up and finish my entrelac vest. It has been hybernating for several weeks now. In the meantime Velva finished hers:

It fits her beautifully. Everybody is oohing and aahhing over how beautiful it is. She will teach a class in May. If I ever finish mine I'll help her.

Why do I keep casting on socks?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Santa Fe Reunion

What a wonderful weekend!

I spent Easter weekend in Santa Fe with two of my best friends. Renee and Mary Lee worked together with us when Bill and I were posted at the American Embassy in (then) Moscow, USSR, back in the late 80s. We have gone to various postings around the globe on foreign serive assignment but have kept in touch. Mary Lee has retired and now lives in Durango, C0lorado. Renee is a Diplomat-in-residence at Duke University in Chapel Hill. I see Renee occasionally when she passes through Washington but we both have not seen Mary Lee since her retirement almost ten years ago, so this was indeed a special trip.

Santa Fe seems a perfect place for such a meeting.

On Canyon Road in Santa Fe. I, Mary Lee and Renee. This is probably one of the largest congregation of fine art galleries in the US and a fine place to blow a big hole in your wallet. Boy, did we do that!

We visited Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, where Georgia O'Keefe spent the later part of her life living and working. The view was spectacular. I have never seen anything like it before.

This is image-heavy, so it might be slow to load...The pictures cannot quite do justice to the real thing but they are as close as I could get them for you to see...

This one is partially hidden in the haze, but the mountain in the back in Mount Padernel, which Gorgia O'Keefe fell in love with. She said that if she "paint it often enough, maybe God will give it to me."

Ghost Ranch is now a conference center and a hotel where you can stay. You can also make an appointment to visit O'Keefe home. It was open only on weekdays and by appointment so we did not get to see it.

Here is an interesting rock formation.

The sun was quite strong and Mary Lee misplaced her sunglasses!

We visited Georgia O'Keefe Museum. Opened only in 1997, it houses but a few of her works. It is quite unfortunate but understandable. Most of her major works are in large, well-funded museums all around the world. A small musuem such as this simply cannot afford to buy back such works. It is interesting to see some of here early works nonetheless.

We stayed right in the center of town. I found the southwestern archintecture so intriguing. it fits the landscpae so perfectly. From one of the gzillion boutiques that line the streets of Santa Fe:

To the Museum of American Indian Art...

To the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi..
And a local parish church.

Or even a walkway just outside our hotel room!

Everything blends in with nature and the landscape around. No skyscraping eyesore here.

In the center of Santa Fe is the plaza, ringed with shops, restaurants and other attractions. Merchants and artists gather in the plaza every day and especially on weekends to sell arts and crafts. It is like a giant flea market. Everything from paintings to wood carving to rugs to jewelry to pottery.

I love the sand art.

And all the turquoise you'll ever need.

But our downfall was indeed Canyon Road and the fine arts galleries.

And particularly this Chunga palm leave woven basket.

This Woonaan basket was woven by the Darian people of the rainforest on the Panamanian-Colombian border.

Entrelac in 3-D.

There were so many things to see but we only had the weekend. And it was the Easter weekend; thus a lot of things were closed. We managed to get to Taos, about 40 miles away. It was five o'clock Saturday afternoon and it was Easter eve and stores were closings all around us. Renee and Mary Lee did not have a choice. In Taos is La Lana Wools.

I will show you what I got later (did not take pix yet. That's blog fodder for another day!) Suffice to say, another substantial hole in the credit card. But totally worth it. Totally.

Santa Fe. Beautiful City. The weather was beautiful. A wee chilly but I can't really complain. It was sunny all weekend. People drive fast there.

The posted speed limit is 75 miles per hour! Still I managed to finish my artichoke socks.

And just in time for dessert at the Old House Restaurant,
one of the finest restaurants in town.

That was, er, their version of the Black Forest Cake. As Mary Lee told our waiter: "It was good. But you pastry chef obviously has never been to Austria."

It was a wonderful weekend indeed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


My favorite four-letter word

Finally, the Central Park Hoodie is done. Except for the buttons, which I hope to pick up today when I go spinning.

The yarn is Main Line from Knit Picks. 75% cotton, 25% wool. I like it very much. This is going to be my go-everywhere-cardigan. I may knit another one in wool for fall/winter. It just needs buttons, which I will pick up today this afternoon when I go spinning.

Speaking of spinning, I knitted a swatch of my spun BFL.

I tried a swatch of Mystic Light but the yarn was too dark. I will find another yarn for that. This is a swatch of Branching Out. The spun yarn is just a tad thicker than a fingering. I still don't know what I am going to do with it. I will probably pick a lacy shawl pattern and try that. How about this:

The Swallowtail shawl. Maybe this summer.
Another FO is a little dress for a granddaughter.

Three more to go. Actually I finished another one but it needs the crocheted flower.

Now about the unfinished objects. I am frogging this:

The Dahlia. First it is too big. This is size small. I was on gauge but it still looks like a tent on me. I also don't like the raglan increase. Somehow it doesn't look right.

I can see one mistake right there! If I did it again I would choose this raglan increase instead.

This is Chic Knits' Eyelet Cardi, which is a DK version of the Sitcom Chic, knitted from the top down. I am knitting it in Sirdar's Calico, a cotton/acrylic blend which, at 170 yds per skein at $5, costs me $30!
I doubt if I will reknit the Dahlia. The extra small might work, but after trying it on I think it is a bit too girly for me. Too sweet.

The new Vogue Knitting arrived at the Yarn Barn last week. I made the mistake of leafing through it.

A supercute tank top/vest. This is Nashua Ecologie Cotton from my stash (yeah!).

Well, that's two projects finished. Two new projects cast on. What else is new?

I cast on a sock.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday update

Just a quickie.
I finally skeined up my spinning and washed it to set the twist. It looks really nice. Now what to do with it.

Well, I just signed up for the "Mystic Light" mystery shawl knitalong on the Yahoo group. I'll knit a swatch and see how it looks.

In the meantime Velva is almost done with her entrelac vest. It looks really nice!

She has run into a fate worse than death for a knitter, though: running out of yarn! We are looking for two balls of Silk Garden Lite #2021. Will pay top dollars for it!

Bye now. Gotta go on a yarn search mission.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Runty Knits

In case you ever wonder...

He makes me laugh.

He gives me love.

He asks for so little.

My Runty!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another weekend gone by

How fast time goes.

It is hard to believe we are almost mid-March already. February literary leapt by us!

Saturday was gloomy and rainy but that didn't bother us die-hard knitters. We had our usual workshop and knit-in day at the Barn. Except we had a most unusual visitor.

Flat Stanley came to visit the Yarn Barn.

For those of you who might not know him, Flat Stanley is a little boy who was flattened by a bulletin board. He took it in stride and uses his flatness to his advantage. He now gets mailed around the world where he sees and tells stories to children in grade schools and promotes literacy and letter-writing through the Flat Stanley Literacy Project. Read more about Flat Stanley here. And if you want to know about or participate in his literacy project, go here. Who knows, you might get a Flat Stanley in the mail!

At the Yarn Barn he checked out the progress on our entrelac vests.

Velva made the most progress. Hers (the one Flat Stanley is standing on) is almost done. I forgot I was making mine smaller than the pattern and should have had fewer rectangles before dividing for the armhole --- frogpond it went. Oh, well... It is getting there.

Another visitor is there to stay. Little Penny came to stay with Penny!

Her neighbor made the pottery doll for Penny as a thank you gift for supporting her in time of troubles. She is adorable. We all want one!

Late afternoon a wicked storm descended upon us. The sky turned black.

A lot of people lost power for several hours Saturday night. We lucked out and did not lose any.

Sunday dawned bright and chilly. I check the outside thermometer. 22 degree. The first day of Daylight's Saving Time? I took a deep breath, stepped outside to get the paper and was greeted by this:

There's hope.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I can' believe I pulled this through

Buy more yarn than you think you need.

I finished the Noro Bolero, but it was a close call.

The pattern, in Jenny Watson's Noro Designer Mini Knits, calls for 150 grams of Cashmere Island. I was knitting with Kureyon, which has the same yardage at the same gauge. I had two skeins at home. Penny had two at the Yarn Barn. Great, I thought, in case I needed more than three.

Tuesday was my spinning day. I went spinning at my second favorite LYS, Uniquities, when I came upon a skien of the same Noro colorway. Should I pick it up for extra, extra insurance? That sounded ridiculous that I would ever need a fifth skein. I did anyway. I could take it back.
Well, Tuesday night I had this much left to do at the end of the FOURTH skein:

Five more rows of ribbing on the second front. I could not believe it.

That was pure luck that Uniquities had that extra skein.

That was almost 40% more yarn that what the pattern calls for. Now this book's claim to fame is that all 30 patterns take five or less skeins of yarn. Maybe they should have said seven or less. I know that before I start another pattern from this book (and there are so many other cute patterns) I will make sure I have plenty of yarn!

But I can't start another thing for me just now. I need to get on with this.

Four of them to be exact, for my four granddaughters. Yeah!