Friday, June 25, 2010

Wise Hilda's Ribbed Socks complete

See, my right foot is longer than my left foot! Drives me nuts!!!!

Loving my new socks! Just about as soon as these socks were done, I cast on another pair. Yep, I am officially on a sock kick.... I am tickled about how well the stripes lined up. I would have had these socks finished this morning, but as I was finishing the toe on the second sock this morning, I realized I had started the decrease rows at the toe too late! See how much pressure it is to make the darn stripes match up!!??? I ripped out all the decrease rows and a little bit more and got back on track. My new socks fit great and are very comfy. I plan to make my next pair of socks a bit longer; I like to roll the top part over for a cuff.

A day of shopping

I am feeling a bit self-indulgent. Ordinarily I pride myself on not being much of a shopper... I am a bit of a tightwad. Yesterday we went to Colorado Springs for my car to be serviced and it ended up my car was worked on from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. They gave us a loaner car so we had to keep ourselves busy in the area. (Where I get my car serviced is over an hour from our home so going home did not seem like much of an option). We went out to breakfast at Panera, we went for a hike in Red Rock Canyon open space across the highway from Garden of the Gods (wish I would have had my camera to show you this place... cool red rocks jetting out of the earth), we went to Manitou Springs for the old fashioned arcade and window shopping, we went out to lunch, we played mini-golf, we did some sporting goods shopping and I checked out Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers, and we went out to dinner. I just have to show you my indulgences... I am rather tickled about them.

There's a new store in town... "The Olive Tap" in Manitou Springs is an olive oil and balsamic vinegar "tasting emporium" and it is just a few doors down from my favorite kitchen gadget store. The Olive Tap is filled with shiny metal kettles filled with olive oils and vinegars and you can sample just about everything. They bottle the goods from the kettles for you if you find something you like. I found I love the Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar... bright, vibrant, slightly sweet. I couldn't decided between Basil Olive Oil and Garlic Olive Oil so I purchased one bottle half filled with each of the two... smells like pesto.

I've mentioned the Manitou Kitchen Shop before. While my son and husband play at the old fashioned arcade in town, I explore the Manitou Kitchen Shop. I have to limit myself to one item per visit because I tell you... I could do some serious financial damage in this store since I love kitchen stuff so much. I know I said I am a bit of a tightwad but somehow I seem to be able to justify kitchen purchases more so than other purchases because I know kitchen items will get used since I enjoy cooking and baking so much. I have been eyeing this red tea kettle for a long time. See how well my new tea kettle matches the other red things in my kitchen? The salt holder and pepper mill are things I purchased on previous visits to the Manitou Kitchen Shop. Why I think it might be time for a cup of tea!

Hiking Socks

Visited Needleworks by Holly Berry in Old Colorado City yesterday... a very nice knitting/yarn shop to visit. Found this great sock yarn. Colors fade from grays to pinks to greens but the constant is a fine strand of black thread which wraps around the fibers. Can't wait to see how it knits up.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Dishes

We finally broke down and bought some new dishes the other day. We've been searching for a long time for something really cool. The green ocean tones in the center are more vibrant in person. The border is a matte black but in some lighting, the color almost looks dark brown. We found these at Sam's Club... they were a real bargain. I hope they last for a good, long time.

Wise Hilda's Ribbed Socks

Using my new Berroco Sock yarn from The Knitting Bee in Portland, Oregon. Yay!
I found this pattern for Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Socks on Ravelry. Click here for the pattern link. I have been on a quest for the perfect sock pattern and I think this pattern is just about it... it fits my foot perfectly! Hilda is very wise indeed! I only made one small change to this pattern. For the heel portion, the pattern indicates you should knit 21 rows of stockinette stitch. I opted to *s1, k1* across since I like the look of that (from previous socks I've made). I did not intend to make the stripes in my socks match perfectly since I find that difficult to do with self-striping yarn. As I started the second sock, I decided I would at least like for the tops of the socks to both start with dark blue and then from there I did not care if the stripes matched up. Wouldn't you know... after knitting several rows, I realized my stripes on the second sock were just about a perfect match to the first sock. Dumb luck. As I am starting the heel of the second sock, I am trying to ensure the stripes will continue be the same... ahhhh, the pressure!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Arrowhead Lace and Cable Scarf

I wanted to take some "beauty shots" of my completed scarf before I mail it off someday soon. My house seemed too dark for nice indoor photos, so I headed outdoors.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Branching Out Scarf... upcoming project

After enjoying using Crystal Palace's Mini Mochi yarn in my recent scarf, I had to go back to the store and buy a bit more. On Ravelry, I saw a number of pairs of socks made with this yarn and that is what I had in mind, but I am switching gears. I found this pattern for another lacy scarf on Ravelry. The design is called "Branching Out". Click here for the pattern link. I think this pattern would look really nice in a solid color but am hoping it will also look nice with the yarn I have purchased. The colors in the yarn above are more vibrant in person... brilliant blue, vibrant green, and earthy brown. The color combination reminds me of a peacock feather.

Lacy Sampler Scarf... upcoming project

After being so pleased with my recently finished Arrowhead Lace and Cable Scarf, I have been eyeing patterns for other lacy things. After using almost exclusively worsted weight yarn for all crochet and knit projects over the years, the finer yarns are such a luxury to me. Here is one project I am excited about.

This is Madil Kid Seta yarn. For this yarn, I plan to make a scarf called "Lacy Sampler Scarf". Here is the pattern link.

I saw this scarf knit up when I recently visited The Knitting Bee in Portland, Oregon. After leaving the store, I regretted not jotting down the source of this pattern. I emailed the shop through their newsletter, and the shop owner was sweet enough to send me the pattern link. It looks like a great introduction to so many great lace patterns. I can't wait to start!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Knitting Bee in Portland, Oregon

Visited a very nice knitting shop near my parents home last week... The Knitting Bee in Portland, Oregon. I could not resist this cute bag. It's a perfect bag for small projects and was nice to have while we were on the road. It fits my 10 inch straight needles very nicely. Also found some nice sock yarn... on sale. My mom said I should get it since the colors will look so nice with jeans... I agree! The Knitting Bee is a nice place to visit. Comfy couches in the front of the store so you can sit and browse patterns. The back portion of the shop had a big table where gals were knitting and talking. The gathering folks working at the table were working on various projects, getting assistance where needed. The Knitting Bee has a nice newsletter; I've viewed it on the internet a few times. I think their newsletter often features free patterns. This knit shop has a nice charity knitting project. They make sweaters and hats for teddy bears and then the bears are given to children who are going to summer camp. The camp features a program for children and teens who have experienced the death of a loved one. Before the bears are off to camp, the bears are on display in the shop. Last year, my mom went to the shop and took photos of the bears so I could see the creativity. The shop's website has information about their charity knitting project, as well as photos of some of the well dressed bears.

Arrowhead Lace Scarf almost done

Aside from weaving in a few loose ends, my scarf is done. When I was about 87% done, I think I FINALLY had the eight row pattern memorized! It's a very nice pattern. I think it would also be fantastic in a solid colored yarn. Here are some photos showing the scarf on the blocking mats. I love these blocking mats from

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Guerilla Knitting in Bend, Oregon

Just returned from a trip out west. Would you believe I walked right past this tree... my son had to stop and point it out to me! "Guerrilla Knitting" is what I think this is called. I think these photos are especially nice with the awesome old VW bug in the background. I did not see a knit shop nearby, but I was scoping out all the shops hoping I'd stumble across the opportunity to shop for some "souvenir yarn".

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Progress on Arrowhead Lace Scarf

I have stopped working on the first half of this scarf and am now working on the second half. To make this scarf, you make two halves and then graft them together in the middle so the two sides of the scarf are mirror images when the scarf drapes around the neck. This also results in the "arrowhead" eyelet design pointing in the same direction on both sides of the scarf. I am making fewer errors as I go... just missing one little yarnover can really foul things up! I am anxious to see how this looks blocked. For now, the sides are curling in quite a lot.

Out with the old...

Looking toward the back door, the dining area is off to the right (the bright blue area is the pad under the old carpet... when I took this photo, they were tearing out the last of the carpet).

Out with the old and in with the new... new carpet that is! We've lived in our house for 18 years. The house was new when we moved in and the carpet was not high quality. We had a Rottweiler for the first 10 years and we've been needing to replace the carpet for a really long time. We finally bit the bullet... I thought it might just be easier to move to a new home than get new carpet... seriously! We were really dreading the hassle. The new carpet is in and it looks AMAZING! Our entire home feels brand new. Our new carpet is nice quality and is a blue/grey color called "Jana Blue".

Taa-dahhhh! Pretty, huh?

After working a 10 hour shift yesterday, I came home and painted our master bedroom. Knowing the carpet would be removed today, I used the carpet as my "drop cloth". Drip, drip, drip...oops! No problem! Several years ago, I had tried to decorate our bedroom and it was an absolute disaster (it's a long story). I painted the walls in a taupe/brown color called "Squirrel's Tail"... it was a Martha Stewart designer paint color... you know... a good thing! The color is lovely but just did not work well in our dark bedroom. I also installed the chair rail. I got my husband to snap a photo of me as I was painting over the last of the brown paint last night. I had to do two coats of paint... over two gallons. I wasn't done until 11:20 pm. Ugh! Painting is hard work. Our walls, ceiling, wood trim, baseboards, etc. are not white, but actually a nice pale shade of grey called "Minimal White". I really like it. I love how our bedroom looks now!

This is another view of the bedroom... new carpet and fresh paint. Our entire house, and especially the master bedroom, feel brand new! Getting the new carpet installed was a lot of work and a big hassle, but totally worth it!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

We spent our Memorial Day Weekend in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We stay here about once a year. We go back over and over because we enjoy it so much.

We stay at the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Pool and Lodge. In this photo, you can see the river in the foreground, then Interstate 70, then the red Hot Springs Pool buildings, and then you can see a glimpse of the pool on the left hand side. The lodge where we stay is just beyond the pool. It's a great place to have a little vacation. You can walk across the river on a foot bridge (I took this photo from the foot bridge), enjoy meals at great restaurants, and check out the nice shops in the cute historic downtown area. Pretty much everything we enjoy in Glenwood is within walking distance.

Huge pool, huh?
The only time we hop into the car is to drive to play mini-golf at Johnson Park in West Glenwood. It's just a few minutes by car. Never in my life have I seen such a nice mini-golf park. Beautiful flowers, trees, and waterfalls.
Husband and son.

Can you believe this is a mini-golf park?
Iron Mountain in the background. If you look on the mountain top, you can see lots of dead trees. This was the site of a horrible fire years ago.

Another waterfall.
We enjoy meals at our all time favorite restaurant, "Juicy Lucy's". We ate there three times in two days! A new family record. The food there is that good! Hope you all had a nice time with family and friends over the holiday weekend.