Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Migration

Spring is the time for migrations.  This year I migrated south to go to Stitches South in Atlanta.  I took a couple classes and spent too much in the market.

My main reason for going was to take the Amy Herzog Knit To Flatter class.  It was fantastic.  Amy is such a great teacher and wonderful person.  She did a great job of demonstrating how fit can compliment or detract from your body.  It was a bit of an emotional challenge to have our measurements taken in class.  But she reassured all of us that we are beautiful and deserve flattering clothing.  She signed my copy of her book. She's a sweetheart!

I also took a lace knitting class from Brooke Nico.  The class talked about the different styles of lace from around the world.  Brooke had us try several styles.  My sample is below.  Starting from the right, we knit some ground fabric in the Shetland style featuring a variation of faggot stitch.  Next we knit a section of Estonian cross stitch.  I really liked how that stitch presented when blocked out a bit.  The third work was another Estonian pattern called Water Lilies.  This is a traditional pattern in Estonian knitting because of the country's geography.  The last section we knit was an Estonian flower basket pattern with nupps.  I've knit nupps before, but didn't like them because I needed to use a crochet hook on the return row.  Brooke showed us how to make the nupps looser so that they could be knit in line without grabbing another tool.   I can't say I love knitting nupps now, but I don't dislike them as much as I previously did.

Here are some of the goodies from the market. This is Valley Yarns Alpaca Silk.  This will someday become a lacy tunic.

This is Miss Babs Tarte.  I bought this because I love the name Bat****Crazy.

This Louet Euroflax sport weight will become a summer top.  My goal is to have it made by my trip to Hawaii this summer.

This Louet Euroflax laceweight is going to be a shawl for my goddaughter who is getting married next year.

And finally, this stash of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool is going to become my cardigan that I am making based upon my Knit to Flatter class. A swatch is already in progress.  I have way more than I need for the sweater so the extra will get used for something else.

I have much more to share, but no more time.  I'll save that for next week.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rainy Saturday

March has two days left to change things up and go out like a lamb.  Today is cold and rainy.  It would be a good day to stay curled up on the couch and knit but I have plans to explore a couple new stores.  Since I don't know if they are open on Sundays, I'm going to venture out today.  After that, though, I will be settled in for the day.  I plan to make a pot of chili for dinner and relax.  Since I hosted my card club Thursday night, I was able to get my housecleaning finished before the weekend.  It is nice to have the agenda open.

Yesterday Blake and I visited the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. It has been years since I was there.  It is such an interesting place.  Blake and I were amazed at how much technology has advanced.  In less than 66 years man went from the first manned flight to walking on the moon.  We quickly walked through all of the exhibits.  We want to go back and explore some more, taking time to read more of the descriptions of the aircraft.  One of my favorite exhibits was the tribute to Bob Hope.  I explained to Blake about how Bob Hope hope was so dedicated to the USO and risked his life to entertain the troops every year.  

While we were in the Dayton area we drove through Wright State University's campus.  Blake is thinking about majoring in engineering for college.  Wright State has a very good engineering school.  Blake is putting that school on his list of universities to consider. We also ate lunch as LaRosa's.  LaRosa's is a Cincinnati pizza chain that has expanded out a bit beyond the Cincinnati area.  I grew up eating LaRosa's but can't get it often anymore because there aren't any restaurants in central Ohio.  While we were there, I noticed they now sell their pizza sauce to take home.  I bought a few jars for myself and a friend who also grew up in the Cincinnati area.  I won't be able to totally replicate the pizza at home, but I will have their sauce.  It is a good start.

Not much has happened on the knitting front.  I got a few more rounds of the Pi Shawl finished.  There isn't a picture because there is no visible difference from last week's photo.

In a couple weeks I will be going to Stitches South with a friend.  I'm excited because I am taking Amy Herzog's class.  I need to round up my supplies for the class.  That will be next weekend's project.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Quick Note

Just a quick note today.  And no photos.  I'm heading down to visit my mom for the weekend.  One of my sisters who lives out of state is visiting.  Some of the family is gathering at Mom's tonight for dinner.  I'm going to make chicken fajitas and Mexican rice.  Everyone will contribute something to the meal.  We know how to do a Pot Luck well.  Blake and Trisha are going along.  Blake is going to make empanadas.  

Blake has been taking a global cooking class at school.  He got the recipe for the empanadas from the class.  He likes to cook.  In fact all of my kids do.  That is one victory in my crusade to raise responsible, independent children.  I'm failing the battle for having them clean up the kitchen after they cook.

My new job has been keeping me very busy.  There is a lot to learn.  Fortunately, I already have a lot of the business relationships established.  I just need to learn the procedural part of the new job.  There are a lot of people willing to help.  It is forcing me to be extra organized.  I'm still trying to work out a system.  My dry erase board has turned into a large To Do list.

Oh I did think of a picture to post.

The daffodils survived last week's freeze.  The tips are a bit yellow, but they are still growing strong.  No sign of buds yet.  It is officially Spring.  We may get more snow and cold, but the warm weather is dominate now.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Leftover Pi

 Friday was Pi Day - March 14, or expressed numerically 3.14.  Actually, you could say this is Pi Month since this is the third month of year 14.  To celebrate, I pulled out the hibernating Pi Shawl.  I am resisting the urge to go by more yarn and begin a new project.  I have a rather large project planned for my niece and I don't want to distract myself with something else.  That is the beauty of hibernating projects.  They can feel new again and satisfy startitis.

Spring is trying to break here in Ohio.  There are signs that life is emerging from the deep freeze that we've had.  My daffodils are starting to poke out of the ground.  We are supposed to have a couple more nights below freezing so these may get their tips nipped, but they will survive.  It is wonderful to see signs of green, which happens to be my favorite color.

I do appreciate other colors also, such as the colors of a spectacular sunset.  This was the sunset last Sunday evening.  Ed and I were in the family room when I happened to glance toward the front of the house.  Through our dining room window I noticed a pink glow.  I got up to see what it was from and was struck by how beautiful the sky was.  

Beautiful sunsets always bring me joy.  The house I grew up in sits at the top of a hill overlooking a valley to the west.  The living room has a large picture window.  I don't know how many sunsets I watched while sitting on the couch after dinner.  I would watch the sun dip below the opposite hill and fill the sky with color. 
My current home doesn't have a good view of the horizon.  I don't usually see the sunset anymore because I am busy with dinner and evening chores.  When I am gifted with ones like this, I consider it a blessing.

Speaking of blessings, I feel like I have to acknowledge a few I've had recently.  

I recently changed roles at work and am now in a position that I've wanted for several years.  I have a lot to learn but I feel like I am finally in a position where I can contribute fully to my department.  It is rewarding to feel that my abilities are now getting utilized and appreciated.

Wednesday was my 50th birthday.  It is a blessing to have my life and good health.  It is funny, but I don't feel 50, nor do I think I look it.  But for that matter, I haven't asked anyone what 50 looks like.  Some people have asked if 50 bothers me.  Honestly it doesn't.  When I look around me at the people in my life who are in their 50s, I see a group of happy, vital people.  It looks like a great decade to be in.  I will admit to one bit of vanity.  I invested in some skin care products marketed as anti-aging.  I figure it is time to up the ante a bit in that area before things get out of control.

Another blessing in my life is my greatest blessing, my family.  I have the most wonderful husband and fantastic children.  They are the primary reason I am grateful for the life I have.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Dash to the Finish

Here is my completed Swallowtail Shawl.  It was a race to finish.  I was able to bind off before the flame was put out during the broadcast of the Closing Ceremony, but I didn't get it blocked until a couple days later.  So technically I'm going to say I missed the podium.

But that doesn't bother me.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  (Sorry for the blurry picture. I shouldn't take pictures without my glasses.)  I wore it to work yesterday and got many compliments. 

The pattern was easy to follow and the yarn was great to work with.  I am not a fan of doing nupps, though.  I had to use a crochet hook for each one.  I got a rhythm going, but it was a pain to have to pick up the hook every 9 stitches.  I was concerned at first that I wouldn't have enough yarn.  As it turns out my fears were unnecessary.

There is a lot of news outside of knitting.  This photo is symbolic of the new dawns that have happened, or are about to happen.

First, I ditched my old, "stupid" phone and got a smart phone.  It's great, but my Kindle is lonely.  I'll have to find an e-book and spend some quality time with hit.  The photo above was taken with my new phone while on my way to work Thursday morning.

Another 'new' in my life is a new job.  I am still at the same company and in the same department.  However, I was asked last week to take a new role.  This new role involves working with the corporate executives to decide which projects are going to be completed by IT.  I am very excited for this opportunity.  I assume my new role next Friday.  I told my husband I'll need to go shopping for new clothes.

The last 'new' is about Trisha.  We sent in her acceptance form for the nursing college.  The  college responded very quickly with a scholarship offer.  I am having trouble believing that two of my three children will be in college next year.  I'm not that old!