Friday, April 29, 2016

Finally Some Finishes and More Flowers!

At last I have a couple of finished projects to share: a sun hat for Stella and a cowl.

This pattern appealed to me because it's adjustable. I added the felt flower and a little charm that I found at Rainy Day Knits in Gig Harbor. The yarn is Cascade Sunseeker and has a bit of sparkle that doesn't show up in the photo.

I first saw this cowl pattern on Dee's blog and finally tried it. For some reason I found it a bit challenging but would make it again in a heart beat!

For some reason it looks blue but is really a silvery gray in Knit Pick's Galileo.  I had quite a bit of yarn left, but used more than one skein.

After the gray days of winter, our yard is full of color.  (Notice that the leaves have been raked up!)

Here's a close up of the Mollis azalea.  Unlike the red azalea above, it loses its leaves in the fall.

Out back, the trillium has turned pink and is about done for this spring, but the golden chain tree will soon be in its glory. Stay tuned.

And in our living room, the hibiscus surprised us!  As soon as it's done blossoming, it will be sent outside for its annual summer vacation.  Have a wonderful weekend! Check out Patchwork Times for some more knitting inspiration.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring Has Sprung!

You may be wondering where I've been.  Well, the sun has been shining pretty consistently, so we've been outside in the garden, trying to clean up.  I have a number of projects in the works, but they are all going slowly.

This pretty azalea was a Mother's Day gift a few years ago from our son.  Every year since it has outdone itself with blossoms.  What you can't see in this photo is that it's a small tree!  You can, however, see the leaves that are everywhere, waiting to be raked.

Finally our dogwood decided to bloom!  When we brought it home, maybe four or five years ago, it was covered with flowers, and then nothing until last year when it graced us with ONE bloom.  What did we do differently?  Nothing!?  Maybe it took a while to feel at home?

Each year our trillium has a few more blossoms.  I love flowers! Are you surprised?

And here's someone else I love.  Stella's showing off her first haircut and modelling a sweater I made ages ago that finally fits!  Carpe Diem!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Home Again and a New Post, Finally!

The last half of March and the first part of April passed in a blur, first with all the Holy Week/Easter singing and then with a trip to Florida.  That trip was our most unusual yet as we spent a lot of it sleeping of the choir crud that came with us. But we are home again, done with our jury duty and ready to get back to our normal activities. Hurrah!

As you can see from our attire and the blue sky, we were not in Washington.  This was the first day we were back to "normal," and just in time to visit our friends, the Malones.

We shared a fun lunch at Ulele's on the waterfront and then took a boat ride on the Pirate Water Taxi which was lots of  fun. Unfortunately we didn't have our camera with us, so we have no photos of the scenery on the Tampa waterfront.  The next day we visited with Dee and Steve and finally got to meet the famous Giroux.  However, once again we failed in the photography detail.  Our brains weren't functioning yet, I guess.

On Monday we flew home on a late flight so decided to explore the trails at the hotel complex across from where we stayed. We weren't deterred by this sign, but it wasn't kidding. We saw two gators swimming, and I am sure I heard another grunting in the brush.

Despite the sign, we saw other wildlife enjoying the pond.  These turtles at least were out of the water! The one in the front really seems to be enjoying the sunshine.

Dick was the first to spot this pair.  He also caught their serious discussion.  We saw another heron in the tree a few yards from this nest.

Lots of other birds seem to frequent these waters, and it was fun to see them.

Not a bad way to while away some time, eh?  We were glad the last few days of our trip were fun and very sorry not to see my cousins.  Next time, hopefully.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Exploring a Wee Bit of Arizona

It's been almost two weeks since we returned from our  trip to Arizona, so don't you think it's about time to post some photos of our time there? For the first couple of days we stayed in Tempe and had fun exploring that area and visiting our long time friends from San Diego who now live in Paradise Valley . Then we headed to Tucson which isn't far from where my sister and another friend from college are spending part of the winter.

First we went to Tubac, a place with lots of interesting history.  We had great fun learning all about chocolate and watching how it used to be made. That gray stone was heated and it's brown from all the chocolate that was removed from the seed by grinding with an instrument that looked like a stone rolling pin.  Lots of samples were enjoyed as well as some drinks made from ancient recipes.  We also had a fun discussion with a docent about spinning wheels.

Another interesting spot Was the San Xavier del Bac Mission which is south of Tucson. It's one of 23 founded by Father Kino many, many years ago and still going strong today. It's beautiful! Isn't it amazing when you think it was built 300 years ago without our modern machines?

The altar was very ornate as was the domed ceiling.

We also enjoyed a fun evening with my sorority sister and her husband.

Probably my favorite spot we visited was the Desert Museum, also near Tucson. First we watched the raptors free flying. 

 And then we strolled around the grounds, enjoying all the interesting exhibits.

We saw javelinas and later heard that Jane and Ted had eight or more just like this one run past their patio one evening!  (This guy below also strolled by their patio on another evening.)

We loved the humming bird exhibit at the museum, too, and were excited to see this fellow in another area. Do you recognize him?

On our last day , we went to the Phoenix Botanical Garden which was also very interesting. The part I liked best was a trail through a typical village of long ago.

I was intrigued to learn that Pima cotton originated in Arizona and was grown first by the native people that lived in the area. If you look closely, you can see the white puffs of cotton waiting to be picked.

It was a whole lot cooler in this dwelling!

We'd probably find cooking in this kitchen quite a challenge, not to mention finding the food to cook!

Here's DH reveling in the sunshine and his temporary wheels.  It was a fun reminder of his first long ago Mustang that wasn't a convertible.  We had a great ten days, but it's good to be home, too.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Unraveling a Mystery

For the past few weeks I've been working on a mystery sock which was the focus of a KAL sponsored by the Knitters Brewing Company. It was one of the more difficult patterns I've ever attempted and the source of quite a bit of frogging.  However, I kept at it and one sock is DONE! (The sock is actually gray, not beige.)

It was supposed to be the "canvas" for embroidery, but I just couldn't bear to put any kind of stitching on the cables.  The heel on this sock was really unique as well; it's created by a series of yarn overs that are then decreased.  One of these days I'll start on sock #2.

Even though it's been kind of chilly here today, our yard is looking very springlike.  The flowering plum is blossoming as are lots of pretty daffodils.

It was spring inside our house, too.  When we got home last week, the minute we walked in the door, we smelled this almost sickeningly sweet smell but couldn't find the source for a couple of days.  After we'd almost given up, DH found it.  The corn plant had a hidden stalk of flowers behind the canary island pine.  I cut it off, Dick took a photo, and we put it outside!

Still haven't posted about our trip, but I will soon.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Finished at Last!

We've been home from our trip to Arizona since Wednesday night and are just about caught up with mail, laundry and such.  And I am finally finished with the Scoreboard Scarf! It became so long that I decided to finish off the ends rather than kitchener them together. I couldn't quite imagine such a long cowl! (Stretched out, it's taller than I am!)

Each row except for the gray edges represents one point, the navy being our home team (The Seahawks) and the green, their opponents. The single gray line separates the season's games, all sixteen of them but not the playoffs.

While catching up on my blog friends, I found this chart which made me smile. I just had to share it, too. Now someone needs to do one for knitting!

And if you've ever wondered about the value of knitting, you will enjoy this article.  I think the benefits described could be applied to any handcraft.  OK, gotta run but will post again later about our trip.  Carpe diem!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Catching Up ~~~

We have a plaque on our kitchen wall that says:The hurrier I go, the behinder I get."  That's sure been me lately. My poor Scoreboard Scarf as been neglected while I've been doing other knitting, some by request and the other by need. All of those things have been finished though, now I can get busy on some other things, including the above scarf!

My son asked me to make a gift for his friend who is expecting their first child. Here's what I did.

A friend of mine from choir is struggling with metatastic breast cancer and told me she's losing her hair again.  She also told me she was wearing a hat I'd made a while ago, so I thought, 'She needs another hat.'  When the hat was done, there was enough yarn left to make a pair of mitts.  The pattern just happened to include a pair of mittens which I modified a bit.  We had lunch together this week, and she happily donned the hat and wore it home.  I think she was glad to have some mitts as well.

The yarn leftovers from both of these projects will go to a quilting friend who makes hats for preemies and hats for American Girl dolls that are donated to needy children.  Of course, I had to replenish my stash, right?  So, my friend and I went to the Mad Cow yarn shop (interesting name, eh?), and it was no problem.  They were even offering a discount on red, white, and pink yarn!  Plus, we read this sign and tried to take it's advice. LOL

Have a great week!