The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Year Day!

Welcome to the first edition of Friday's Flowers for 2008.

And the first day I wore shorts after getting off work!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Blankie for a Birthday Girl

I haven't been posting about too much knitting because I've been devoting myself to finishing the Moderne Baby Blanket. If you recall, I started this blanket for granddaughter Felicity on the day she was born, March 4, 2007. She was born on her grandpa Joe's birthday and I cast on that same afternoon. The blanket languished in one of my work bags for quite a while until I decided I had better get busy and finish it up for her first birthday. The pattern is Mason Dixon Knitting's Moderne Baby Blanket. I used four colors of Dreambaby DK, which while soft and washable might be a bit too soft and drapey for my personal taste. I used a little under two skeins of the cream color, and slightly over two skeins each of the light green, dark green, and blue. There is a fair amount of yarn left over that I will save and use for something else someday. I followed the pattern exactly, except that I chose to do a knitted-on Icord edging in the cream color. I really like the Icord for edgings; the neatness really appeals to me. I don't know, though, if I will do another project again that is this big using only garter stitch. But I am quite pleased with the results and no regrets about doing this. The blanket has been wrapped and sent on its' way to the east coast, where it should arrive in time for Little Missy's birthday on Tuesday.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WWMW - French Joe Canyon

On Sunday afternoon, the weather was just too perfect to stay home. The temperature was nearly 80 and there was a good breeze blowing about. In fact, had there been no wind, it would have been too warm to hike comfortably.

We took a hike we had not known of previously, but having seen it mentioned in the local paper piqued our hiker's curiosity. French Joe Canyon is in the Whetstone Mountains of southeast Arizona. If you do an advanced search on Google you can find several interesting sites with historical and natural information. Apparently this is quite a site for birdwatching.

We didn't want to drive the car all the way in on a poor road, so we parked by the highway and walked in. The sky was perfect and clear and wonderfully blue. It's been very dry here so it was pretty dusty. We weren't sure where we were going and there really weren't any signs to guide us. We wandered part way up a dry riverbed. The water has cut quite a gully into the earth and one can see how the ground under the few inches of soil is nothing but rocks. No wonder hardly any thing can be cultivated out here, at least not without a lot of excavating.

At the end of the first turn we took we came across several old corrals and a tumbledown stable or shelter of sorts. I wouldn't say that this site was abandoned; I can imagine it still being used for cattle or horses. This particular trail went no further than this, so we turned around and went back to the last intersection in the road. It seems that this turn was the one we should have taken in the first place; we found ourselves heading up into the main portion of the canyon. The wind was quite strong coming down the canyons and over the top of the mountain range. The cloud formations were really unusual.

About an hour later we finally found ourselves up on the trail itself. The trail was taking a gradual upward incline and we found ourselves up in the trees, a very pleasant shady route. There were several dry creekbeds that we crossed and we found a concrete trough used for collecting spring water. Containers like this one were often built to collect the spring water for the use of both man and beast.

Unfortunately it was starting to get too late in the day to go much further up the trail into the canyon. We had lost too much time on the wrong road. However, we did not regret the wrong turn. We enjoyed the exercise, the sun, the fresh air, and the serendipity of exploring the area. I'm sure we will soon return better prepared to explore further up the canyon.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Cat Enhancement

Last Monday (has it really been ten days since I've posted?) we went to town to do a bunch of shopping (think Costco, Trader Joe's, etc) and to see Annie's new apartment. Annie has a very nice apartment now, and a new roommate. You've met Big Cat and Little Cat; now meet Baby Cat. This is Kyra, the latest in family cat enhancement. (Come on, you know everyone needs a little cat enhancement now and then.)

Of course there was also stash enhancement of the usual type. The last shopping stop of the day was at Purls, where I got lost in the Cascade 220 display. I think every single color was there. I wanted to pick out yarn for stranded mittens and hats ala Elizabeth Zimmerman and Meg Swanson, for the trip to Alaska in the fall.

Dark red and green with ecru as the contrasting color.

Dark gray with light gray for the mister.

And about 1400 yards of Malabrigo laceweight. I'm thinking possibly a retry on the Icarus Shawl and maybe a scarf from Victorian Lace Today. But there are so many options out there. Decisions, decisions. I'm going to let it marinate a bit and see what comes to mind.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

C is for...

Cactus Flowers.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! I decided to make today the day I give out the Nice Matters Award, and I give it out to everybody -- all my blog readers and all the bloggers that I read! I know that all the bloggers I visit regularly are as nice as can be, and I'm certain that anyone who reads Pumpkinknitter on a regular basis is as nice as can be, too! I just couldn't pick certain blogs and not others. I know that I enjoy linking to new blogs, and I listed a bunch a little while ago with the "You Make My Day" awards -- I've added some new blogs to my Bloglines as well, with all the awards going around. All of you reading this are wonderful friends and talented knitters. I heart you all!

I treated myself this week to some Valentine gifts for myself. I picked up a knitter's bag to carry around sock knitting. Isn't this an eyeful? I love the bright colors. It has a belt clasp and a row counter attached.

Here's a shot of the inside. All I need is some sock yarn and needles inside it. I hadn't put a new sock on the needles since finishing the Mystery Socks; seems like I stopped feeling the sock love for a little bit. But receiving - and wearing - my sock swap socks got the sock juices flowing again and I've cast on for a new pair. No pictures yet, but soon.

I also treated myself to some sock/fingering yarn. My LYS has gotten in a bunch of Crystal Palace. They never carried it before but now there is plenty to tempt me. I got four balls of this Panda Cotton in Dotty Grape. I want to make one or two things for the grandbabies with this. Matching scarves and/or socks? Gloves? A hat or two? We'll see what the yarn wants to become.

I also got this Panda Wool in the Menswear colorway for me. I fell completely in love with the green and gold colors. This is enough for a good pair of socks for me. Right now I'm leaning towards Nancy Bush's Traveler's Stockings. But I might find something else I like on Ravelry. We'll have to see what this yarn wants to become as well.

Nana sat up today (in a wheelchair) for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks. Thank you all for all your support and prayers, they all really mean a great deal to us. Have a wonderful and loving Valentine's Day!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Mystery Socks

A couple months ago I finished up the pair of socks for Abigail's little Apres Christmas sock swap. I was knitting socks for Abigail herself, and couldn't post until the swap was over. So here are the Mystery Socks revealed: The Retro Rib Socks by Evelyn Clark from Favorite Socks. The yarn was Lang Jawoll in green (I did not use the reinforcing thread), and they were knit on US Size 2 needles with no pattern adjustments.

I really enjoyed this pattern. The texture work in a solid color was something I'd been wanting to knit for a while. I like knitting with multicolored yarn, but I really wanted to see the pattern show up without the yarn competing for attention. This was a wonderful knit, and pehaps someday I'll make a pair for myself. I also would use the Jawoll again without any hesitation.

Abigail, wear them in good health!


Sunday, February 10, 2008


On Friday I came home from work to find a package waiting for me. My Apres Christmas Swap Pal's package had arrived! What a wonderful pile of goodies from Tiffany!


Chocolate and stitch markers!

Knitter's socks!

And the most wonderful pair of perfectly colored, perfectly snugly fitting socks!

The pattern is Autumn in Oregon by Chrissy Gardiner. The yarn is "Momma E's Cye*Eye*ber fiber" but Tiffany didn't have any more details than that. The yarn does make me think of STR. And I love the leaves on the cuffs!

In other news, Nana has been released from the hospital, against all expectations, and is back at the care center. The move seems to have perked her up, but it will be a long time, if at all, til she regains her former health. Thank you for all your lovely comments and support, they all do mean a very great deal.

Next time, the "Mystery Socks" revealed!

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Scarf Among Friends

The Friendship Scarf is finally finished, thanks to a massive knitting effort during the Super Bowl. In between providing hot wings and nachos for the males in residence, of course. I didn't expect it to take this long, but that's because I wasn't thinking about how much longer it would take to knit a scarf in fingering weight as compared to worsted weight. Those who are looking for the specs can find them here. This is a very soft scarf and I know that it will get plenty of use. The scarf has not been blocked and it may not be; like Susan, I like the texture that the pattern has in it's unblocked state. But that of course may change at any time.

The scarf also took longer because I did end up ripping out a good bit, due to miscounting and otherwise allowing mistakes to creep in and mess up the pattern. Of course I wouldn't realize that there was a problem until several rows later, making the tinking all the more time consuming. This was totally due to me being completely distracted this last week. Nana was taken to the emergency room last Monday night and she is still in the hospital; her status right now is not very promising. The scarf, which began as cruise knitting, ended up also being hospital knitting, which had a lot to do with the miscounting. But the act of knitting did keep me grounded during a difficult time of trying to get answers out of emergency room doctors, etc, etc.

I've been playing around with some other yarn and another scarf pattern, but mostly now I am knitting on the Moderne Baby Blanket in hopes of finishing it for Felicity's first birthday on March 4. Has it been a year already??


Friday, February 01, 2008

B is for...

Buddy, our rescue dog. He's been with us now since Thanksgiving, 2006. For those of you not familiar with his story, Buddy was dumped in the desert where county animal control found him. I saw him in the holding kennel near my old work office and that, as they say, was that. He was skinny, malnourished, suffering from tapeworm and foot infections, and scared to death to get in a car. Now he is as healthy as can be, grown up and filled out, very protective of the house and of me, and loves to go ride in the car.

That's my baby, and my walking companion.

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