Monday, March 29, 2010

Change of Season.......

Change of creative season that is.....

New things to do, new vistas to explore............. it is the Season of the Squirrel!

Season of the Squirrel????

Yup. A combination of thrifty stash-busting, and tucking small items away, some gifty some not.

My stash is small, single balls here and there-- mostly utilitarian, a few luxe. I've added 2 (okay almost 2) new pairs of socks to the drawer and all of the gloves and mittens are the stuff of ragamuffins. Gift giving always sneaks up on me and I find myself rushed or unable to complete things I'd like to give.

So the Season of the Squirrel is (for me) a season to knit some smaller projects that will be squirreled away for future use. As all best laid plans, we shall see how it goes. There is a happy collection of plans for mittens, gloves, socks, scarves, etc. It feels very satisfying to make plans for the season, useful and thrifty---- definitely the order of the day!

I'm still happily knitting (although with not the vacation time) on the gorgeous golden shawl, and that last single sock of the second pair may well be slower to come off the needles--- but it will get done. Of course I still have plans to frog the boat cover (big ole' aran cardigan) and start anew but that is down the road a bit I think.

After finally pulling photos out of the camera I have a final shot of the first down and dirty socks finished....

Not much special about them but they will serve me well. Happily the sock wearing weather is coming to a rapid end. With forecasted temps in the high 70's to low 80's this week (depending on who you listen to) sandals and painted toes are the order of the day.

What do YOU like to squirrel away? Any squirrely plans of your own?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Home. Tired.

I've been home for 2 days after splitting a long drive in half. Denver meant a quick escape to stay in front of the snow, which we did.

Now at home I'm just beat! After unpacking, laundry and a quick run through cleaning (how does that much dust and dirt accumulate?) I've been re-inventing. My daughter is still living here and may well be for awhile so it was necessary to move all of my things out of her room, in other words relocate the sewing room/creative space. It's not the perfect solution by a long stretch---- but sometimes flexibility rules. I've spent time moving the 'guts' of the room, cleaning, organizing and putting away the flotsam that has landed elsewhere since my daughter moved in.

I'm hopefully optomistic!

The photo above? Looking down on my feet while hiking a 'moderate' trail in Zion. I'll be better shod on the return trip and a seriously crazy trail. I love the pic, it says to me that we're heading down a new path, with fresh fire.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lastest Leg

Last Leg............... homeward bound, one final days drive (I hope!).

And internet, a rather lovely thing although too much to catch up on.

Denver tonight, really REALLY good pizza delivery and the best tiramisu I've had in a very long time.

Photo above comes from the last two days in Utah, 4 wheeling to the end of a snow covered road one day and hiking Zion the next. Fabulous, really fabulous. I want to go back and hike out on the river/rocks to the Narrows.

It has all been spectacular----- the scenery amazing, coming into Colorado the change from spectacular desert to snowy skiing was lovely. Why yes, I do wish that there was dog-less time to explore Vail, and all the little towns down the divide.

Home tomorrow I hope, weather willing and a fairly long day's push. Laundry and work call but until then I can think about a pair and a half of finished socks------ and a lap full of the lovely growing scarf (above), shot in action looking out the window at Steamboat.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gauge: FULL

When I left home all of my gauges were on E, E for empty, bottom baring, past the dregs empty. Em.Tee. After 2 days on the road and 9 days of bliss in Santa Fe (with a day trip or two) my gauge is on FULL, overflowing, bursting and complete, absolutely FULL for body, spirit and soul. I feel not only rested, happy and whole but creative again. Heaven! I've knit a pair of socks while here (albeit down and dirty), I've sketched and journaled, scribbled and almost filled a notebook of things I can't wait to get into my creative space and conjure up.

Yes, it is true, my daughter still living at home has taken over my creative space but I've decided while here that I'm just going to move out all of my lovelies and necessaries into the living space for a make-do space. I must.

Tonight is the last night here at casita away from home, which has been so close to heaven you can surely touch it from here!!! A fire in the kiva, some knitting while watching it snow (again!), and just relaxing in this filling place will fill the bill. A big bowl of green chili stew is a necessity as well! I'm armed with new recipes from the full tank as well, things that will also remain with me forever.

Tomorrow, Phoenix bound. Not a bad drive at 8 hours but we're supposed to get up to 4 inches of snow tonight, might make for a slow start. I'm anxious to see my Mom, to eat my favorite Mexican food on the planet (and you thought I was sick of such meals) at Lupe's and go to haunt sock yarn at Jessica Knits and see the gang. It's good to have highlights for the second half of the road trip.

Yes. Heaven.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day Trip to Taos

A day trip, and a great one at that!

The road to Taos, up the low road and down the high road. We'd thought of going up on Thursday but the snow in the area made visibility slim to none--- not to mention the road conditions. So yesterday it was and a more beautiful day could not be possible. Snow on the mountains, not a cloud in the sky, and vistas to delight every sense! We stopped in little towns along the way and arrived in time for lunch and a stroll along the plaza.

Shopping has been fun here and of course the usual suspects had to be purchased, a gorgeous red ristra, an artisan milagro with angel wings, a piece or two of jewelry, and a few gifts for loved ones. But what else does a knitter do on vacay?

Yes indeed! A big fat gorgeous chunk of yarn (660 yards!!!) of locally produced hand spun Blue Faced Leicester, hand dyed in the golds and yellows that make me think of this part of the country. Yum-my!

When I saw the cute sign for The Yarn Shop in Taos, I had to go in and was so happy I did! The shop dog Rocky is a Chinese Crested Powderpuff like my beloved babies here at the Casita (who can think of a trip without their best friends and loved ones???)--- he was darling. Lori the owner was delightful------ and she turned me on to the locally produced yarn as well as the pattern below to turn the soft golden yarny goodness into a beautiful shawl with a 6 ft. wingspan that was the 'official shawl of the 2009 Red River Retreat'. The designer is Gudy Klawer and I can't find the"Come Along Shawl" or the designer on Ravelry, sadly.


With a half of my second blue striped sock to go I can't wait to begin this gorgeous creation. Because of the long arms of this wrap, the long skinny supple ends also make this rather scarfy!

Off to enjoy the day, my tea is gone, the sun is up and magnificent--------- I just can't bear the thought of leaving in a couple of days!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Heaven.... down and dirty

Pure heaven.............. I'm not going home and you can't make me!

In between exploring and enjoying (and eating, can you say green chili stew??)--- there is plenty of relaxing and filling up the tanks of spirit and soul. That means that some knitting happens--

A pair of socks were cast on a few days back and I'm now approaching toe shaping, that is to say that I'm much further along than this photo. Turning the heel was positively zen factoring in the view and the margarita!

They are mindless and happy down and dirty socks. Self striping yarn from a big box store calling to mind local turquoise. No patterning no lacy bits, no cable rows no nothin'! Just easy functional socks knit (sorry Melissa) on dpn's. Two's at that making for ribbing that might well have been a better idea on 1's. Regardless they will serve to add to the sock drawer and work quite nicely.

I know you want to see the art piece the sock in early progress is photographed in front of:

One of the blessings of this casita away from home are the fabulous artsy touches found everywhere, the selection above as only one example. It is an old drawer, glammed out at every turn. Love it!

Another day calls.......

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Feather Dogster & Cross Training

The Feather Duster Shawl in salmon pink worsted weight? Not so much. I didn't like the chunk of it! If I'm going to have a chunkier shawl for my money it should be simpler, the lace just wasn't nearly as, well, lacy In the name of full disclosure I had crazy moments with the lace repeat (which was marked) but it made my brain wrinkle! As I didn't have Emily or Yo-El's fine brains to pick, the best course of action was to just stop. Continuing the struggle when it didn't make my heart sing seemed silly. So............ I was frogging it back and got almost to the end of the first chart and had a thought~!

Feather Dogster!!!!!!!!!! I did some reduction via k2tog's and added neck ribbing, then knit a garter belly band. Because of the triangular shape of the shawl it got wider faster than little girl dog so I took two of the motifs, tucked them up with some stitching and made angel wings.

It is dang cute I'm just sayin!!!! From Feather Duster to Feather Dogster!!!!! Isn't little girl dog rockin' it???


In the midst of culture, food, scenery and architecture we happened along one of the all time great sights in the world! The Oscar Meyer WeinerMobile!!!!!!!! When asked if I wanted my picture taken with it, there was no hesitation. Probably not my favorite vacay photo or moment but PUHLEEZE, it is a very good thing!

Lastly comes the Cross Training----aka, Must a Girl Knit Exclusively???

A very, very, very, (and VERY) long in the works hand applique project. It is from a mondo big quilt kit by the amazing Robyn Pandolph. This one is Botanika and it has languished for years. I still absolutely love it, right down to every extraordinarily labor intensive detail. I have 3 blocks finished at home (and they've been done for the same years!) and got two blocks prepped to bring along. The tracing, the cutting the glue dotting, the drudge of the prep is almost enough to make a girl crazy. At this point the vase is complete and I'm working on the stems. The zillion leaves will take forever. I may never get this project finished, and indeed it may go from a giant bed quilt to a wall piece (or two). It has been fun to do some applique work again!

3 inches of snow in Santa Fe last night, it is lovely! Not my perfect plan for vacay to be sure but the snow shots in the Plaza should be gorgeous.
As I have discoverd, green chili cures all!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Snow Sprinkle 4 Vacay

The weather here in vacay land has been early spring nice to downright chilly. I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow and understand that the mountains around us got a good bit of the white stuff. Speaking of waking up, somehow in this particular vacay mode I can't sleep more than 4 hours a night! I go to bed sleepy enough and rise before the chickens. (If there were chickens which there are not!) I think in part it is because I absolutely adore Santa Fe and wish I never had to go home. Heaven, absolutely heaven.

Off and on (mostly off) I'm working on Feather Duster, knit not in lace weight but in this yummy salmony pink worsted weight with a cottony feel (but is not cotton!) Emily's version in black fantastic laceweight goodnessis a future must knit but for the moment I'm enjoying this fatter version. After all of the fantastic food I'm feeling a lot like the fatter version myself! The wrap in progress is sitting on an antique prayer chair in a grouping around the dining room table here in the casita.

Citron is finished with a regular bind off instead of the surely more magnificent I Cord bind off. What can I say, I wanted to wear it! Love this knit and actually think I might knit it again (when the memory of that last 5oo-something stitch row wears off).

Last night we settled in by the kiva for fire and wine to watch the awards and relax. Lovely! Who knew a fireplace like this could warm up a room so much?

And I'm out.....................

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Final Lloie & Green Seen

Final shot of the Lloie Cardigan, worn. Thank heavens for turtlenecks, I'm just sayin'! The color is way off------ the lovely rich navy looks something other here. Trust me, navy.

It was finished in plenty of time to make my deadline ----- and it is residing in my suitcase as we speak for VACAY! I write this from the road, Amarillo to be exact.

My traveling companions, well two of them--- in a very dirty car. That's Prince in the back and Hana in the front. I have discovered that traveling sans male does mean that you can stop wherever and whenever you want, eat crap for brekky and never feel guilty about having to potty en route.

The shot above was the kick off shot for the road trip, taken just outside Tulsa Oklahoma. Apparently coney dogs are quite the thing and this place, sporting the self lubricating dog was next to a gas station and very busy. No, I did not indulge.

We're on the way to Santa Fe and will arrive tomorrow, early afternoon. The shot above was taken at the 'bug graveyard'------ the homage to the OTHER graveyard of Caddies.

Yes, graffitti'ed bugs, with noses buried in the dirt, next to a place that said something about rattlesnakes (as did the rest stop about an hour from here!) The caddies will be visited tomorrow morning on the way out of town with a few other fun stops as we get closer to NM. I have a newly acquired leaflet about the NM Fiber Arts and the Trail thereof.

To the Tuesday Knitterati, (and you of course) only 6 rows accomplished on the Citron ruffle, today I sat and watched the flat landscape roll by for the most part while listening to an audiobook. But I should have the shawlette cast off and blocking by the end of the weekend even though the vacay starts in earnest tomorrow. I truly do believe that I WAY overpacked knitterly and quilterly things. Way.

Edited to say that Citron is FINI! Cast off and ready to block, even as is, I really like it!

I absolutely can't wait!

On a green note, today were seen newly planted fields stretching for long rows of green and more green. Just that little stubbly bit of green that will become fields of something larger. I now believe that against all previous thought, spring IS coming!