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August 2011
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October 2011

Eye Candy Friday: Rocky Mountain High

A knitter's view from Alta.


At Albion Basin.


In Big Cottonwood Canyon...

...on the way to Silver Fork!

Trout for breakfast, of course! Times two!

After breakfast, it was a visit to and a walk around Silver Lake.

How about a closer look at that MOOSE!

She was there the whole time and didn't seem too bothered by us -- or the bus-load of busy school kids scattered 'round the lake.

From there, Margene took me over the mountains.

The patch of red providing background in the photo above is this...

...patch of red leaves. I believe that is the Heber Valley beyond.

I'm thinking that we hit the reds at their peak. Completely, breathtakingly, beautiful.

All I'll say about this is that chickens don't sit still much in the best of times, and when there's corn-on-the-cob involved? Yeah! Blurry chickens! That's Margene trying not to get her fingers pecked.

I had a wonderful tour of the community garden!

Next up: I finished a project at retreat, blocked it on Margene's guest room floor, and took some FO photos at Silver Lake!! (Pinch me!)


Hello! I'm back... fly-by edition

I have no time between the laundry and getting right back to work and all that jazz. I managed to process a few photos this morning -- and I must have hit a wrong button, or something, because a couple of them had to be REprocessed -- and I'm going to apologize right off the bat for the almost unforgivable lack of photos with/of people. People like Margene and Suzy, Cheryl, Jeanette who sat and knit with us both days, or any of the other 40+ women and man at the Rocky Mountain Knitters' Retreat! Or Shelley or (bonus) Mim! Neither was at retreat, but were working during one of our stops at the yarn store(s)!

Here are some of them, sitting on the patio... near the "beach."

And if that's the beach, then this must be the "ocean." Lord. I was blinded to anything but the landscape.

The weather was PERFECT, the view SPECTACULAR, the food AMAZING... it was everything a retreat should be.

I couldn't have asked for more delightful knitting companions, and Margene & Smith were terrific hosts. I have an FO and SO MUCH MORE to show & tell, but it's gonna have to wait!


You, Ewe, Utah!

You know, I can hardly believe that we're in the last third of September already! It's been pretty jam-packed with goings-on, and I guess that's why it's flying by -- all good, but a bit too whirlwindy for me. It's the "lazy" and "hazy" parts I like best about Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of (late) Summer!

It was only a week-and-a-half ago that I was at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival -- it seems so much longer than that! My one and only purchase there, greatly encouraged by Rae, was a huge hank of mohair from Ewetopia Fiber Shop in Viroqua, WI.

A slightly more easterly route home from Iowa earlier this summer means we missed Viroqua by about 15 miles. I'd like to visit someday and, since LaCrosse is still on the list of Sister Weekend possibilities, it's likely that someday I will.

Yep, it's as soft as it looks. So pretty! I have to admit that the sample Fern Lace Mohair Shrug hanging in the booth sort of sealed the deal. It looked so warm and cozy and I'm all about that with the onset of autumn! The colors are more reminiscent of summer -- sky, water, grass -- they ought to be nice, hopeful reminders in the dead of winter of what's to come.

I think I'll be winding this baby up and taking it with me to Utah! I'm flying out on Friday to meet up with Margene and heading to the Rocky Mountain Knitters' Retreat at Alta Lodge on Saturday & Sunday. I' I've lamented to and commiserated with Margene, possibly more than any other blogger I've "met" in the past 7.5 years (and possibly because I've "known" her almost as long), about "the curse of the internet" -- we're so close and yet so far away! I'm actually pretty lucky in that I have met Margene -- five years ago at Rhinebeck. The atmosphere at a festival can be pretty frenzied, though, and I'm looking forward to a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere... at a ski lodge... in Utah... in autumn. Oh, it's going to be wonderful, gorgeous, relaxing, inspiring, rejuvenating, maybe even clarifying!

That means there's only two more sleeps... and I'd better start getting my shit together. Other than the above (not yet wound, as we speak, never mind locating needles, etc.), my camera and "some clothes," I've no idea what I'm bringing or how I'm packing!


Ten on Tuesday: All the news that's fit to print

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Headlines from the Year You Were Born (1958)

I don't know how others did it, but I didn't find it easy to find actual headlines from the year I was born. I did, however, find a local newspaper from the very day!

Five headlines from the front page of the local paper on November 6th (though the location is local now, it wasn't local then... whatever):

1. 28 Aboard Safe After Rebels Capture Plane

2. Reds Celebrate Revolution

3. 21 Marooned as Ice Island Breaks In Two

4. Nixon Given Task of Trying to Rejuvenate Republicans for 1960

5. Nelson May Put Some Principal State Administrators To Pasture

And, randomly, in other news...

6. Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from its orbit and burns up

7. Sputnik 2 disintegrates in space after several orbits

8. The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3

9. Pope Pius XII declares Saint Clare the patron saint of television

10. Pope Pius XII dies; Pope John XXIII succeeds Pope Pius XII as the 261st pope

BONUS (and continuing with the random):

11. The USS Wisconsin is decommissioned

12. The SS Edmund Fitzgerald is launched

13. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act into United States law

14. The first IHOP opens in Toluca Lake, CA

15. The U.S. Congress formally creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


You say, "Tomato"

I say, "Let's make some sauce!" Wow, and how. I made two batches on Saturday and three on Sunday! The house smelled simply fabulous all weekend. There are enough tomatoes for another batch or two, but I ran out of onions even with a trip to the farmers' market on Saturday morning. I'll stop at a farm stand on the way home and maybe knock another one off tonight. Or I may just chop and freeze the rest for later. We'll see. Either way, I need onions.


Otherwise, except for dyeing, the weekend went off pretty much as planned, and then some:

  • Al Corso was fabulous! Definitely worth the trip, which I'll be making again (along with reservations next time).
  • The kids were VERY cooperative for my little project -- each in a different respect, but it's been deemed an all-around success.
  • Tomato sauce!
  • I made my Aunt Celia's meatballs to go with all that sauce on both Saturday and Sunday, taking the whole shebang over to enjoy with Mom's pasta and Ann's salad on Saturday night, and having the girls over on Sunday.
  • Spaghetti & Meatballs: It's what's for lunch today!
  • Not only was it Fall Fest weekend at the farmers' market, as well as Fox Cities Marathon Weekend, it was also city-wide rummage sale day on Saturday. There was great energy all weekend! I had to go out a couple of times on Saturday and stopped at a few sales -- not going out of my way to do so -- and, in addition to a random Halloween paper tablecloth, scored a nice big Crockpot and a small microwave that I can designate for dyeing projects!


I managed a little bit of knitting over the weekend, finishing one leg on a pair of Monster Pants and picking up stitches for the other. There wasn't much new knitting on the project pictured -- Different Lines -- and I wasn't so sure as I began about this color combo, but I'm loving it more and more. The pink is my PS project yarn for August, which I'm calling "Virginia." I've not named any of my other projects, but pink was Grandma's favorite color and I think this would be a shade she'd like... and I'm thinking about her a lot, so I named it for her, and I'm loving it all more and more. I'm loving it all so much that I'm thinking of foregoing all extra-curriculars this week to do some dyeing!


New favorite

This is my new favorite striped shawl... 'til the next one comes along! I still haven't washed and blocked it, but since I'm actually wearing it for the third day in a row, it's been declared done.

This shawl goes with EVERYTHING! The gray with the subtle shades of green and blue... the black with the little pops of green and purple, yellow and red... it turned out better than I'd even imagined.

I love how different the lines look with the shift in focal point... The next shawl (a current WIP) will, indeed, be Different Lines!


  • Project: Stripes Soothe The Soul (Stripe Study Shawl) by Veera Välimäki, 100% Rain
  • Yarn: Zitron Trekking Hand Art (black) from Rainbow's End Alpacas, Norway, MI
  • Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashmina (grey) from The Village Knitter, Babylon, NY
  • Needle: Susan Bates Quicksilver 6US/4.25mm
  • Mod: Knit one row and cast off in contrasting color
  • Start to Finish: August 24, 2011 - September 14, 2011

* * * * *

Kids are coming this weekend and I hope to catch them, individually, in a cooperative mood for a little project I have in mind for their mom... and for their Nana and Noni, too, I guess! They visiting before Mom leaves for Italy for the third summer in a row -- I know.... it's "a business trip" with my stepdad, but with plenty of pleasure, of course! This particular trip has been anticipated and delayed numerous times since April, so it's high time!

Once. I'd like to go to Italy just once. Thankyouverymuch.

Since that won't be happening anytime soon, I'll be trying out a new (to me) Italian restaurant in the middle of nowhere... Al Corso of Collins. I'd have visited sooner except that they're not open for lunch. They tempt me almost daily with menu updates on Facebook, so it's high time!

I'll also be making tomato sauce this weekend, and dyeing! Technically, there are only two weekends left in September and I'll be away for one! I may need to option that first weekend of October for September Project Spectrum (yellow) stuff. Man oh man, autumn sure is taking the fast train!


It'll always be blue to me

This is my Project Spectrum Blue yarn for July.

I learned that a little black goes a long, long way.

I used the yarn to make a project bag... because one can never have too many project bags! I imagine that the base will only get sturdier as it lightly felts with use. The tie doesn't match -- a super-bulky strand of silk yarn -- and will likely be replaced at some point... or not. The bag has been all but finished except for the tie and, yesterday, I just needed it done!

I had the knitted piece with me on our visit to Iowa and I think I did okay keeping "blue" in mind while also choosing to match my *blue* yarn. I cut the fabric so as to make a tall bag -- tall enough for the long straight needles that I prefer.

Current projects in the bag are my Juniper Scarf and Gretel Cowl-neck -- ready to grab-n-go!


Last chance tomato sauce

Sorry, it's the first thing that popped into my head. I love Ricky Lee, love this song, love this version... what's not to love?

There's a warning for frost tonight. I made a desperate call to my CSA farmer, Tracy, for more tomatoes. I'll be picking up 40 more pounds of tomatoes with today's regular delivery.

The roasting ought to keep the chill from the house this weekend.

I predict something with tomato sauce on the weekend menu.

Bunch o' stuff to do today, so best get flying...


Ten on Tuesday: Consumerism

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things You Buy Every Week

I stop at the coffee shop on my way to work every morning and among the things I might regularly buy are:

1. A small bar of dark chocolate.

2. A bag of freshly ground coffee.

3. Smoothie or soup (depending on the weather) to fill my Thermos -- this is usually my afternoon snack at work; if I'm starving, it might be lunch.

4. Bagel -- usually an Everything bagel, often eaten at lunch. I like it well-toasted and plain.

I don't buy all of the things all of the time, and sometimes I buy other things (a muffin, sandwich, juice... there are lots of choices!), but the items above are on the current rotation.

5. I guess I buy gas about every week (I'm not always the one to do the deed).

I'm struggling to come up with things...

6. I'm happy NOT to buy cigarettes every week, as I once did.

7. I'm also happy NOT to buy soda pop every week, as I once did. I drink (purchase?) much more water and tea now.

8. Beer/Wine. Technically, not a weekly purchase -- and not a direct replacement for the soda pop -- I buy it more than I once did. I like the "make your own" 6-packs at the store, I also like local breweries and wineries.

9. Something to feed my passions. Yarn, fabric, notions, paper, patterns, classes, scissors, tools, glue, crayons... If I don't actually buy something every week, I'm sure it would probably average out that way!

10. Media... um, also not weekly and it probably wouldn't average, either. I like books and music and movies and TV shows.


Most Amazing

I loaded up my bike on Saturday and drove down to participate in "The Amazing Race" during Waterloo's Wiener & Kraut Festival.

I was having a little trouble with the front wheel of my bike. If it's just me, I usually try to wiggle the bike in the trunk of my car with the back seats down (I really miss having a wagon) -- it's tricky, but with patience it'll fit in one piece. My BIL was helping me after the triathlon last month and the next thing you know, I was taking off the front wheel -- which is easy-peasy, and it fits so much better, but I've just never done it. When I went to put it back on, it was loose. The "Clix" mechanism wasn't clicking. I stopped by the bike shop on Friday and they showed me what to do -- also easy-peasy but not working for me.

Luckily, Waterloo is TREK HQ! Also, in addition to all the wiener activities, it's also city-wide rummage sale day and there are people everywhere! I struggled for about 3 minutes and then someone who works at Trek stopped by and... voila! Back in business.

2011-09-10 11.33.03
Our team (called "N/A" this year because Annie forgot to fill in that line on the registration form): Ann in the middle and me on the right; Carrie, left, was on a competing team but used to watch Addison when he was little(r) so she's okay. Heheheh. This year, the racers brought up the rear of the "Wieners On Parade" procession before collecting maps and "passports" and taking off!

Karen and her husband were the only team on a tandem bike! They came in 6th place, Annie and I in 8th. It was a fun race -- no swimming this year, thankfully, and more bar games than last year! Also new this year: riding my bike through a few cow barns (they gave us curious looks but didn't seem ruffled), shopping at the Piggly Wiggly, manning a fire hose (SO FUN!), and injury. I can't even tell you when or how it happened, but it looks like my pedal met my shin... hard!

On Sunday, I drove over to Jefferson and met my cousin Rae and her husband at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival. Thankfully, I arrived a little bit before them and took advantage by rolling down my windows and napping a bit while listening to a nearby small flock of sheep.

Web-2011-09-11 13.47.28
I went in a different direction and saw different things than last year... like lambs. There were 6 or 8 very tiny newborns -- one pair only a day old. We looked at some of the judged articles and fleeces, a quilt and rug hooking display, sampled some delicious cheese, and then finally made it to the vendor barns. I made it all the way through the first barn, but only half-way through the second before the whistle blew. Thankfully, Yellow Dog's Dixie spotted me and called out just as everyone started packing up in earnest. I haven't seen her in so long. It was good to hug her and we had a nice chat.

And, because of Dixie's sample, I cast on the third striped shawl but it has Different Lines!


Look at that! I believe this is the first video I've ever uploaded!

Ten on Friday: Ten To Do

Ten on Tuesd... Wednes... Thursd... (wha?) FRIDAY: 10 Things To Knit This Fall/Winter

Busy much?

And where do I begin to tell the story of 38 pages in my Ravelry "Favorites"???

1. Little Monster. A gift for a little guy who's turning one! I stopped for yarn on the way home last night and knit during the football game. (Woohoo! What a great season opener for the Packers!)

2. Weave It. Love this and want to knit one... as soon as I get over the stripe addiction, or at least curb it for a while!

3. Larch and/or Williamette. I thought I blogged about this, but I guess not... I meant to (maybe I shared it on Facebook... yeah). Anyway, Amy at Savory Knitting donated 100% of pattern sales over the holiday weekend to hurricane relief efforts for farmers in Vermont and I love to buy a great pattern (or two) for a great cause.

4. Williamette and/or Larch. She raised over $2400! There's no denying the loveliness of these (all of her) patterns. I guess you might look for lots of Amy's patterns to be queued this winter!

5. Hats. I have "my" boys in mind, but there's also a need for hats in Vermont -- check the "Warm Hats, Warm Hearts" group on Ravelry, if you're interested.

6. Zola. Man, I love vests.

7. Maenad. And also shawls. And Carol Feller.

8. Garter Yoke Baby Cardi. Never enough baby stuff. I am finding it very satisfying to knit for the future... no, there are no babies anywhere in sight (no announcements to be made)...

9. Gee's Bend Pullover. Quilt inspiration. Mary Jane Mucklestone. Love.

10. A million other things!

11. Not to mention the finishing of things to do... I could surely come up with 10 more things!

Happy weekend, y'all.

Nature calls


I woke up super early the night-before-last and couldn't get back to sleep.

image from

I determined a little later, given my mood, that not only did I get up a bit too early for a holiday Monday, I must have also done it on the wrong side of the bed.


I'd have taken a nap... if I could have fallen asleep (cruel, cruel world).


Instead, I took a hike. I grabbed my camera, and went down in the woods to photograph the amazing fungi growing on the rotting oak trunk -- it's been catching my eye quite a bit lately. Amazing stuff.

image from
There are more than a few of these flowers, too, which I can't remember the name of; it forms a long, small seed pod that "explodes" when touched. Very cool.

While mostly orange, there's enough yellow for me to qualify for Project Spectrum -- and dye inspiration. Formulating...

Meanwhile, today is the fourth and final day of a long holiday weekend. I spent much of yesterday helping Ali at the coffee shop -- mostly cleaning a new-to-her 5-foot refrigerated display case, and rearranging the counter area and appliances to fit it in.

I slept well last night.

I think my latest Stripe Study Shawl is going to be a little larger than the first -- the border is taking FOREVER! I still have an inch or so to go, but maybe if I knit out with the group tonight I'll make some progress and even get it done!


Good enough to eat

Yes, I actually took it outside to photograph. When purchasing my next house, kitchen light will be a huge consideration!

For some reason, I bagged up and froze the entire first batch of tomato sauce. Today, I'm making the second and we'll be having it fresh over some pasta and probably with some CSA eggplant.

That's about 8 pounds of red tomatoes and one nice looking heirloom from the CSA some orange cherries that were in the 'fridge; some yellow cherries that I picked up this morning, along with some garlic and peppers (also in the pan), at the farmers' market; 3 enormous onions; 3 varieties of my own fresh basil; and some dried herbs, seasonings, and olive oil from the kitchen cupboard. As it was all tossed in above; and after a stir, below.

I thought for a sec this morning that my oven wasn't working, but all is well. It hasn't even been in for a half-hour and already smells AMAZING!

I can't wait for supper!

A mighty wind...

...blew through here this morning, making the rain "fall" sideways, and it was sorta scary! I was at the top of the stairs, this >< close to heading to the basement. There were 30,000-40,000 people without power, at one point, and some were told it could be Monday before it's restored. We were expecting a storm, but this one arrived about four hours early and was just WAY MORE. I've never seen so many downed trees and branches -- all the way home. It certainly isn't on the scale of Hurricane Irene but, you know, it was sort of like that... we knew it was coming, perhaps we should have been more prepared.

Oh, me.

Everything's fine at home except for some cables at the back between my house and the neighbor's -- either phone lines that neither of us even use anymore, or cable lines that aren't affecting our services. Nothing urgent, but you don't want people or animals messing around...

The rain enhanced the fungi growing on what's left of an old oak stump... another year or two and there will be no trace!

Here's my "Juniper Scarf," mentioned in the previous post. I've not knit much with laceweight yarn... it's so soft and light!

And "Stripe Study II" that I'm loving more and more as I near completion (I'm on the last short-row section).

So. Anything fun for the weekend?

I'm hangin' close to home... making tomato sauce; processing photos from a wedding a couple of weeks ago (I'd REALLY like to finish that up); Ali's making some changes at the coffee shop, so I'll be handy if they need me; I'd like to put the final touches on the Project Spectrum Blue (July) project and maybe get started on the PS Pink (August) project and figure out what color is up for September!

(Just checked as I copied the link... it's YELLOW!)

That's the tip of the iceberg, but plenty enough to keep me busy for a few days, eh?