8

An Ugh & An Awww…

The Good:

 

Lacy Baby Sock from Hazel Knits

 

Pattern: Lacy Baby Socks (on Ravelry here) from Hazel Knits

Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Sanguine Peach (purchased as a kit with pattern)

Needles: Size 2 bamboo dpn’s

Mods: Zip.Zero.Nada.

Comments: I love love love these darling little things.  The hardest part is believing that they will actually fit a human child – they are so insanely tiny! The pattern was simple and yet not so boring as to make knitting them completely zombie-licious.  I am now frantically scrabbling through my stash looking for all my sock yarn leftovers so I can make more.  Good thing every woman I know within a 400 mile radius drank the same kool-aid, guaranteeing me tons of munchkins to make these for!

 

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And, the Not-So-Good:

 

Love Your Lobes Helmoot Flaps

 

Pattern: Bike Helmet Ear Warmers (on Ravelry here) from Amy O’Neill Houck

Yarn: Just under 3/4 of a ball Valley Yarns’ Berkshire Worsted in Light Blue #24 & a few yards of Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Lotus Pink #M-38 (all from stash ~ boo-yah!)

Needles: Size 8 bamboo straights

Mods: Just the addition of the heart motif in duplicate stitch added before seaming

New Techniques:  First time doing a duplicate stitch motif on a knit item

Comments: I am entirely miserable that these turned out to be an “ugh”.  Actually, I adore them to pieces, so they’re not truly uggers.  It’s just that they don’t actually fit my helmet.  Yeah.  Suck.  The first and only time that I’ve actually needed a knit item and I can’t use it :(  Turns out my new-ish bike helmoot just doesn’t have the right dimensions for these little guys (there’s two – one for each lobe).  Sooooooo, now I’m trying to decide what to do with them.  A pair of cavegirl crotchless panties?  Hmmm.  That would just be itchy and wrong.  A tuque for my water bottle?  Nah.  They’ll most likely be frogged and repurposed for Warm Woolies socks.  Oh well.  It was worth a shot.  Everyone’s entitled to an ugh now and then, no?

 

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By the ways:  Chrispy over at Pursuit of Fiber is having a birthday contest!  Go check out her bloggy, wish her a happy belated birthday, and enter to win some lovely fibery prizes!

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4

What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Here’s a few photos for you to enjoy from our recent trip to Vegas.  Looking at these photos makes me long for that desert sunshine as we continue to labor under winter’s thrall here at home.

 

 

There’s not much to tell you about our trip really.  It was actually pretty uneventful this time.  After arriving in Vegas on Monday the 14th around 4PM, we picked up our rental car and headed into rush hour traffic out to our hotel which was way way way off the strip.  Though it was beautiful (we stayed at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa) and quiet, just as we’d hoped, it was one of the most strangely laid out places I’ve ever stayed in. While most places in Vegas don’t fail to direct you right where they want you to go with huge signs with the equivalent of “go here now” emblazoned on them, we found ourselves nearly constantly lost in this place. Not that it was astoundingly ginormous, just not laid out for the usual casino crowd. We wandered around for a good 10 minutes just looking for the registration desk which, it turned out, was erroneously located downstairs far away from both the parking garage (where we’d parked the rental) as well as the elevators and generally trafficked areas. We only found it after asking somebody where the heck it was. Then, it turned out, we were in a room on the 10th floor about as far as possible down the hallway from the elevators. We kept joking that we didn’t need to workout while we were there, just walk to our room! But all that aside, it was a really fab hotel. I’ve never stayed in a hotel with turn down service before! I guess that’s why they charge you a $21/day “resort fee” on top of the cost of the place ;) 

Tuesday morning I slept in while R. Darling went running in the spa and then he brought us some Starbucks while we lazed around before going out.  We made a short trip to the strip that afternoon (as you can see from the photos of the Forum Shops at Caesar’s in the slideshow).  Just bought a couple things and then relaxed some more before dinner.

Wednesday, we slept in and then I spent the day with a photographer while R. Darling went running in Red Rock Canyon.  That was an especially long day and all we had the energy for at the end of it, was getting some takeout burgers from the cafe in the hotel and crawling into bed.

Thursday, the 17th, was our last full day in Vegas and most of the photos in the slideshow are from this day.  We slept in and then headed out to Red Rock Canyon for some sightseeing.  There were so many desert flowers in bloom, and I’m sure if we’d come back the next week, there would have been acres of cactus blossoms to see.  At one point, we climbed down into a canyon and sat there on the rocks soaking in the solitary scenery.  It was as if we were entirely alone in the park, just the two of us and those gorgeous red cliffs.  Truly amazing.  After hiking around for a couple hours and taking tons of photos, we stopped for a ghetto Burger King lunch, relaxed a bit and then went down to the pool with our books for an hour or two. 

The pool at Red Rock Casino is amazing.  There are actually many different smaller pools off of the main pool as well as hot pools mixed in.  So, if you’re like me, and you hate swimming in front of or with other people you don’t know, you can basically have a pool almost to yourself.  Divine.  They also have the most comfy loungers ever.  The chaises have big fatty cushions on them and you will be led, when you arrive at the pool, to a location of your choice by a youthful cabana boy or girl who will also bring you a pair of lovely fluffy towels to sit on too.  But we’re lame and we got hot and sleepy so after an hour or two we went back to our room and took a tasty nap.  I love naps on vacation!  Then, for our last meal (and since I didn’t have to worry about fitting into my swimsuit anymore) we indulged in the casino’s buffet.  Yum.

And Friday morning, we headed home to the dreary northwest.  All in all, it was a lovely and much needed vacation and I feel so lucky that we were able to indulge!  Hope you enjoyed the photos!

10

Remembering Mrs. Blake

Dear E.L.,

When we first met, you had already lived over half of your lifetime and I was just a tiny monkey-faced girl awed by my new surroundings.  Growing up, I took for granted your presence in our life.  The holidays we shared as family since our respective relations lived too far away to visit on those occasions, the special meals you cooked for us just because you wanted to do something nice for our family, how you always made lemon meringue pie for dessert when I told you it was my favorite. 

In recent years I began calling you “Grandma” because I had come to realize that that special title really doesn’t have to be reserved for those related to you.  You had been everything to me that a “real” grandma would have been.  And yet, I never really knew you.  Once, you were my age with your raven hair and flashing blue eyes.  Sometimes I got a glimpse of that young woman in a story you’d tell, and I wondered about your life before I knew you.  I always thought I’d have more time to get to know that girl and who she’d become.  What were your dreams?  Did the hopes you’d had when you were young blossom into what you’d imagined they’d be?  I’ll never know now and I am so sorry I took for granted that we’d always have another day, another chance to talk. 

I’m so sorry I wasn’t there on Wednesday when you took your last breath.  But I’m so glad that you weren’t there alone, that Mom was there holding your hands and calling the angels to take you home.  What I remember now is that last day I saw you, how cheerful you were and how I kissed your forehead when I said goodbye.  The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.  I hope it’s a beautiful day where you are now and that the sun is warming your face always.

I love you,

M 

8

The Letdown

A happy day at Red Rock Canyon - April 17, 2008

At Red Rock Canyon – April 17, 2008

 

At some point in nearly every vacation, you find yourself missing something from home.  Maybe it’s your pets, the intraweb, your garden, or your marshmallow bed.  At any rate, you find yourself longing for home and everything you encounter on a daily basis that your vacation just isn’t the same without.  So you hop on that plane, or motorcycle, or get in the car and you think you’re ready for all that awaits you.  And when you arrive you hug the dogs, say hello to the garden and stretch out on your marshmallow bed.  Life is good. 

But soon you notice the inch of dust on the end table, the dishes in the sink, the prospect of unpacking and cooking and all that real life stuff that suddenly seems much less appealing than it did on board the plane coming home.  The thought of work rears its ugly head.  You long instead for that warm desert sun, hours of unplanned relaxation with no place to be and nothing to worry about. 

Ah, I’ve got the post-vacation blues.

So today, I am unpacking, doing my laundry and easing back into the skin of my “normal” life.  But I’ll be back soon with photos from our trip.  I hope that all of you had a fantastic week while we were away and that your week is off to a great start!  Happy Monday! 

14

Vegas Baby.

I woke up this morning to find a rather ominous note on my table……

 

 

NOOOOooooooo…… Not Poddy! 

So of course I had to bring along the Knitterly Things Vesper Sock Yarn brandishing the dangerous dpn’s at me.  You didn’t really think I’d take a trip without bringing any yarn did you?  Me neither ;)

Well Bloggy Peeps, we are off to Vegas this morning and won’t be back until we’re fully rested, relaxed and pampered.  Hope you all have the most fantastic week ever and I’ll be back in Blogtown soon!  Take care!

8

Friday Fill-In #67

 

Interesting pillowcase seen last Sunday while shopping

 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday Fill-In #67
(get yours here)

1. I love springtime in my garden!
2. Sticky sweet pies, or cakes are foods I love to eat for breakfast.  But then again, I love good fresh fruit too!
3. It seems I’m always searching for the right html code now that WordPress has  changed everything (I hate the changes they made.  Total suck.).
4. Snuggling up with your lover is a great way to end the day.
5. I think I might not bring any knitting with me to Vegas (gasp!)!
6. A clean house and a vacation is what I’ve been craving lately.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing up my test knit, tomorrow my plans include a mani/pedi (woot!), and coffee with a knitty friend and Sunday, I want to finish up all my packing before we go to Vegas (woot woot!)!

 

 Have a Fiber-tastic weekend Bloggy Peeps!!

10

Oh Dear.

To all good things must come an end,
At least I’ve heard ’tis true,
And so
MagKnits, our patterned friend,
we bid farewell to you… *

 

Oh dear. No more MagKnits. I understand why they would want to pull the plug, but it’s so sad that they weren’t able to do it less abruptly. So many beautiful patterns lost forever in the pixelated universe of the intraweb, perhaps never to be seen again. Sad for me, but even more sad for the designers. I hope that they will be able to recover what they’ve worked so hard to publish and maybe someday (I hope!) their work will be available on Ravelry. I know my Favorites list will never be the same.  ~Sigh~  Just goes to show you that when you find a pattern you love, you shouldn’t wait – knit it now, print it now, download it now, or you might find yourself adrift without that beautiful new project bliss. Some things on the internet, it seems, are just not made to endure. 

But this pattern, The February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann, it does endure. You see its incarnations everywhere. And here, finally, is my very own to share with you……

 

 

 

 

Pattern: February Baby Sweater (Baby Sweater on Two Needles; Best Baby Sweater) by Elizabeth Zimmermann from Vogue Knitting: American Collection

Yarn: Valley Yarns’ Longmeadow; Approximately 2.25 skeins in Seafoam

Needles: Size 6 bamboo circs for body and Size 6 Susan Bates dpn’s for sleeves

Mods: Worked the sleeves in the round, and omitted the decreases at the bottom edge, but other than that knit this one pretty much to pattern.

New Techniques:  First time using a provisional cast on (for the sleeves).  Worked pretty well and wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d thought it might be.

Comments: I think this pattern would probably be pretty frustrating for a true beginning knitter.  Not that the techniques are especially difficult, but because EZ tends to present it as a “recipe” rather than a pattern.  This is my first EZ pattern, but I do hear this is typical for her and though that’s lovely after you’ve been knitting for a while, I think I would have been really unlikely to finish this sweater if this was the very first garment I ever attempted.  I’m pretty happy with the results, though I dropped quite a few stitches under one arm when removing them from the provisional cast on.  So, I know there’s errors under there even if the recipient may never notice them :(  I don’t like that feeling, but there was no way to make it “perfect” without ripping out the whole garment and since it’s already 6 months too late, I needed to get it finished and make it snappy.  I’m not sure I’d want to work the sleeves in the round again – it was nice from a finishing aspect, but I don’t know if it turned out as nicely as it could have if I’d knit them and then seamed them.  Who knows.  I’m so done with this though! 

 

* Crappy poetry courtesy of knittymuggins.  Please do not copy said crappy poetry.  Not like you’d want to, but you know, just in case.  Thanks!