The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday's Flowers

With the temperatures up in the 80's and 90's the last couple weeks, it seems time to start posting Friday's Flowers once again.

The very last rose of the spring bloom.

The mums I planted last fall have decided to go to town in the warm sunlight.

The pansies are going wild.

And a patriotic bouquet from the grocery. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

In Progress

There has been more knitting going on lately. Life is returning to normal, I guess, or whatever passes for normal around here. I've been knitting an Irish Hiking Scarf with some Prairie Silk in blue. This is my take to work knitting these days. Things have been a bit slow there lately...This scarf will probably become a Christmas gift.

I've finished one sock in Austerman Step. I'm very pleased with the result. The sock is in plain stockinette and fits very snugly, just the way I like my socks. The second one is started and it looks like the stripe pattern will match up very nicely.

Both these projects are very portable. The more complicated knits are at-home knitting. It's getting a lot warmer around here these days (mid 90's) and the smaller projects are definitely in order. Today is Barbara's high school graduation. Finally no more kids in the public school systems! I don't think I'm ready for this. It's been a long time coming and sometimes it seemed like it never would. Let the celebration begin!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I is for....

Institutes of higher education.

Northern Arizona University is one of the most beautiful campuses that I have seen. Okay, I'm partial to mountain views and pine trees. But my institute of higher education was in the middle of an urban concrete jungle. Going to a college with a beautiful campus like NAU would have been an unbelievable experience.

Maria has been attending NAU for the last four years. She finally graduated on May 9.

We went out to a lovely old Flagstaff restaurant (Charley's) to celebrate her graduation, Michael's girlfriend Carolyn's graduation from University of Arizona, Carolyn's birthday (May 6), and Barbara's eighteenth birthday (May 9, the same day as Maria's graduation). Carolyn will be going on to medical school and Barbara will be heading to the local community college for her first two years of higher education, after she graduates high school on Thursday.

We are very proud parents.

And extremely worn out after a long ceremony and the packing out of the dorm room. Some experiences are the same no matter what institute of higher education one attends.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Norwegian Mittens, Project #1

I've finished the first pair of Norwegian Mittens that I have planned. And, as expected, they are just a bit small for me. The next pair will be done on Size 5 needles, rather than the Size 3s I used for this pair. All the same, I am very pleased with the way these turned out.

Once again, these are Elizabeth Zimmermann's pattern for Norwegian Mittens as found in Knitting Around. (My first EZ project!) The yarn is Cascade 220, in Ecru #8010 and Red #2401. I still have a good amount of yarn left in the skein of each color. These didn't go as fast as would have liked. I'm still getting accustomed to working with two colors. But I loved the knitting of these and there will be another two-color knit to show you soon.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Entrelac Scarf

A couple weeks ago I finished up the Entrelac Scarf. This was meant to be a practise piece to get familiar with doing entrelac, and it served the purpose admirably. I started out using Laura's pattern, which by the way is quite clearly written, but by the time I was half way through the scarf I had memorized the technique and no longer needed to refer to the pattern. In fact, I got so comfortable with the concept that I did the finishing row without refering even once to the pattern. It's a very helpful thing, indeed, to understand a process that well.

After finishing, I soaked it a bit in warm water, then laid a towel out on the picnic table and patted out the scarf to block. It blocked out beautifully and now I have a soft, warm, colorful scarf that already has garnered many compliments. It seems folks are fascinated by the color play and the block pattern.

The yarn, once again, is Schoeller + Stahl Limbo Color in colorway 2539, knit on US Size 6. I used a bamboo circular and that worked out very well, especially with as much airplane knitting as I did with this.

A new scarf has been started. More on that down the road a bit.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

H is for...

Hiking, of course. If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that hiking is one of our favorite activities. I've selected just a few of the hundreds of hiking photos that I have.

In order, Fairyland Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon South Rim Kaibab Trail, North Rim, North Rim, and Red Rock Canyon (Utah). Edited to add: Thanks, Margene, for pointing out my mistake in originally putting the first picture in Zion rather than Bryce. Ooops! I guess that's what happens when you look at too many pictures before picking a handfull for the blog.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

G is for...


No, I am not being morbid. Old cemetaries in the west have a character all their own. This particular one is the old cemetary at Fairbank. Fairbank, if you recall, was my "F" entry a couple weeks ago. If you follow a well marked trail north of the townsite for about a quarter mile or thereabouts, you come upon the old town cemetary. It is situated on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding mountain ranges.

As is typical in these old graveyards, the graves themselves are covered with rocks and are seldom marked -- any markings that existed are mostly gone now.

A few graves are watched over by wooden crosses.

Some still have wrought iron fencing surrounding the ever present mound of rocks.

But even the fencing gives way to the ravages of wind and time.

Only a very few of the gravesites have stone markers, most of those broken and crumbling. They date from the early nineteen-hundreds. Some of the crosses are adorned with plastic rosaries and flowers; someone still comes to visit their ancestors' graves. In the silence one listens to the wind and wonders about those who abide here. Do they rest quietly now on their hilltop?

A few years ago Joe did a graveside service at the Tombstone cemetary. Not Boot Hill, that tourist sensation on the northeast side of town, but the actual cemetary. I had come along because we were going someplace else when he was finished; I waited by the car and watched. The wind was blowing cold and steady, the hills were gray and the ground hard and dry as dust. There were only a couple mourners, and as I took in the stark, lonely scene it suddenly seemed to me that I was seeing something from a hundred years ago. A preacher in black, and two women in long black mourning dresses, veiled and shawled. The wind, the hills, the sky, the hard cold empty land, all the same. And when the service was done, the two mourners walked back to the town and to their hard, empty life. No time to grieve, only to make a life for themselves now without the husband, the father, the son.

It's been said of Tombstone and the surrounding area that the past is not past, it is still now and is still happening. That afternoon in the graveyard, under the dry hard sun, that saying was very easy to believe. The hilltop cemetary in Fairbank is the same. Life in the high desert has not changed much at all. Those who have gone before are still there in memory. When you walk among the rock covered gravesites, a hundred years are as yesterday.

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