Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma Clara!

Today was Grandma Clara's 86th birthday. She received birthday cards and phone calls from friends and her two younger sisters, who live in Oklahoma, earlier this month. We celebrated with a family outing today to Friday Market in Palmer.

There were many interesting crafts and artwork for sale, along with perennials, herb plants and fresh produce. In fact, we came home with some beautiful yellow squash to saute' with scallions and serve with fresh salmon for dinner tomorrow.

After the Friday Market, we headed to Evangelo's in Wasilla for a late lunch/early dinner. We came home and there was a message on the phone from two of Grandma Clara's nieces in Oklahoma singing "Happy Birthday" to her. I think it tickled her pink that they remembered. We let dinner settle for a while and then continued the celebration with (from scratch thank you very much!) Chocolate Truffle Cake and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and opened presents.

She had specifically asked for a new clock to set on top of her television as her last mantle clock (that the man and I got her for Christmas when we were very first married) bit the dust several weeks ago. I found this one at a local craft co-op and knew it was right up her alley!

She also is very specific about the types of jammies she likes to wear and I was lucky enough to find 2 new pairs of the exact brand, style, and size in cheerful colors she will enjoy...and they were ON SALE! Whoot! There was also a craft bag with a zillion pockets, that was a JoAnn's find, and we filled it with candy, craft magazines and other supplies for the greeting cards she creates. DD gave her a nifty new jigsaw puzzle with hidden pictures in the puzzle. Grandma Clara always has a puzzle going on a card table in the living room and this one should be an entertaining challenge. She also gave her a wonderful honeydew scented candle. Grandma Clara keeps a couple of those candle warmers going in her room all the time and this will be a nice new fragrance change. Thoughtful girl, DD also picked out a nice pot of bicolor mums for a cheerful accent! All told, the outing, gifties and (from scratch people!) cake and ice cream were a hit. I think the little Grandma Clara enjoyed her birthday, and we enjoyed helping her celebrate it! Happy Birthday sweetie...we love you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Enemy of Better

The Montego Bay Scarf is fini! As you can see, I embellished it somewhat after finishing. The embellishments are inexpensive circles of seashell dyed in colors complementing the "Mahogany" colorway.

"Montego Bay", by Amy R. Singer, Interweave Knits Summer 2007.
Handmaiden SeaSilk: Mahogany Colorway-1 skein
Started 7/14/07...completed 7/22/07 (just worked on it a few hours here and there in the evenings mostly!)

The pattern was a total no-brainer....honest, if you meant to start the row with the K4 instead of K3 or vice doesn't show one cares....sure..if you want to get all nit-picky you can lay the laciness out and follow the YOs until "aha" there's an error...but who'd do something like that? This is a fabulously wonderful summery accessory in that wonderful drapey soft easy to work with Handmaiden Sea Silk. Needles: Started out with Brittany Birches in size 8, but ended up using antique yellow plastic (celluloid?) needles of unknown origin....the tips are long and slender and pointy like Bryspuns and they ended up working better with the "drag" of the fiber. Now I know why I collect old just never know when you'll find the perfect match! Anyway...I think I'll be using the SeaSilk again. It just feels wonderful.

The scarf blocked out to 83"x 8 1/2". A gorgeous accessory and the colorway will go with all sorts of browns, burgundies, wines, rusts, and deep golds. I'm loving it.....and....I'm keeping it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I need some WEEKEND please!

Yes, there is knitting content...not much granted...but some.
On the baby front it still seems to be raining babies. July is ALWAYS a busy month, maybe it has something to do with advent of winter, first snow making folks feel all snuggly cozy like...whatever. Was the "Midwife du Jour" at hospital Tuesday day (I usually don't work day shifts on purpose but that's the way the schedule came out). deliveries in 12 hours..stayed over another hour and a half to finish the paperwork. Talk about roller skates. It just felt like I was finishing in one room and being called to the next. "Hello, nice to meet you, Lisa W at your cervix"....sheesh! Full clinic yesterday with 2 new admits to the treatment program so another super busy day. I'm supposed to be inducing one of my moms who is now 41 and a half weeks but all the labor beds are full...we'll check back at noon...and then reschedule to tomorrow if she doesn't kick in on her own. She's had 2 days of misoprostil ripening so we'll see...I'm not a big fan of pitocin inductions without ripening...just increases the c/section rate...unless you've already had a section...then there are other ways to get things really don't want to know.

We've had beautiful sunny skies and 70+ degrees the past few days. The garden is in full bloom. I've never really chronicled the bloom progression so this is my garden diary as well as knitting diary these days.
First lily bloomed yesterday. The orange ones. There are lots of other colors interspersed throughout the garden, everything from yellow to ivory to magenta to wine to bicolor stargazers. We'll have lilies through September.

I couldn't remember when the Eidelweiss was supposed to bloom. Glad to see it back...always makes me think of that song from "The Sound of Music". I love how the silvery tones provide contrast in the front borders and seem to really accent the white of the Shasta Daisies and white Columbine.

And one of my personal favorites is in great shape. I love Delphiniums. It's always a crap shoot as to whether the rains will make them too top heavy and snap their fragile stalks before they fully bloom. I have every shade of blue to purple planted in a 6ft by 3ft swathe outside the dining room window to enjoy from the inside as well.

See, knitting content as promised! The Sea Silk scarf is coming along nicely, even if I don't have much time to work on it. Such a great marriage of fiber and pattern in my opinion. The drape is incredible! Can't wait to get it finished and blocked. This will be a great gift scarf!

And here's just the cutest picture of DD's BFF and her mini, Danny, cooling off during the HeatWave on Tuesday.

Lastly, here's DD and friend from Barrel Racing last night. Hey Benne, Freckles wants to know if Belle likes to ride too!

Hopefully a Finished Object next post. Til then, have a great knitterly day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sorting Hat Says....

The sorting hat says that I belong in Ravenclaw!


Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose intelligence is surest."

Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron's affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine's editor).

Take the most scientific Harry Potter
ever created.

Get Sorted Now!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Yarn: Handmaiden SeaSilk (70% silk, 30% Seacell)....color: Mahogany
Pattern: Montego Bay Scarf by Amy R. Singer, Interweave Knits Summer 2007
"Fishnet Lace", easy peasy! Super soft in the hands, easy to knit on Brittany size 8s.
Started: 7/14/07

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Not much knitting lately. Not much gardening lately (as you can see by all the weeds in the photos!). Not much of nothing lately except catching babies. And they are just coming in one at a time...a little labor here...a little labor there.......Six in all since Sunday.....Three of them my very own private moms...the others were from on-call. But I am off today (unless my last July momma goes into active labor today...she was due on 7/9....and I'll induce her Monday if she's not delivered by then). But I just don't work on Friday the 13th. Ever. Not in the past 6 years anyway. I'm not superstitious or anything really, but shared a really awful experience with another midwife on a Friday the 13th several years way back and I just don't tempt the fates that way. So it's great to sit here at keyboard, drink some tea, kick back in my jammies on this cool and rainy Friday morning, and try to figure out something clever, newsy, or mundanely intelligent to write about. Let's go to the garden to contemplate this. (And just to rub in the Alaskan-ess of the pics...these were all taken 7/12/07 at approx 11pm...except the barrel racing photos...those were at 9:30pm :))

Received a wedding invite the other day. From a sweet younger cousin....who moved to Alaska about 5 years ago...about 3 hours away from me on the road system. Do you think I've seen or heard from this woman in the past 5 years? One several day visit after a fight with the boyfriend (not the same guy she's marrying), one voice message on the phone, one Christmas card. 5 years. I'm the closest relly for 3000 miles! The wedding will be on a Riverboat in Laughlin, Nevada. I'm debating whether or not to go. It would be a fun little trip and there are direct flights to LostWages from here and Laughlin is only about an hour away from there. And it would be good to see her mom (one of my childhood fav aunties) and most of the other motley crew of rellies that would show up. But...the small petty part of me says "why bother". She did attend my wedding some 18 years ago...she was just a gangly teen of 14 then and came with her parents.....I should go's such an internal conflict sometimes when dealing with family who think you no longer exist when you leave the fold....yet even though they're pretty wacko...I still long for that sense of family we all had when I was a kid...advice from the peanut gallery is welcome! Sometimes the answers come from just taking a different perspective on things.

The Bobble-Less Show Off Skirt is now 14" long....10" of dropped stitch lace and the rest just twisted rib on 100+ fewer stitches so I'm hoping it speeds up now. Only about 15" left to go or so. Love the drape of the fabric it's making. Still photographs like a pile of brown string so far so no pics today. Here, enjoy a pansy instead.

Work news...I'll be leaving my treatment program position behind within the next couple of months and transfering over to the Women's Health Clinic within the Primary Care Center. It will be a nice change of pace to be "off" at the end of a clinic or hospital scheduled shift. Two 8 hr clinic days a 12 hr hospital day 12 hr hospital night shift each week. And I'll get to focus on an interesting research project with one of my fav OBs too. After 7 years of essentially 24/7 call it was time for a change...especially now that the grrrrrrrrllll is so active with horse competitions and all.

Speaking of the girl. See my Girl. See her Go. Go Girl Go! GO GO GO!

Yeehaw! My lil' champion. She's such a tough little redneck goat-roper!

The man is planning another 3 week sojourn soon. I'll be taking 2-3 weeks off during that time too as I transition between positions. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get that skirt finished up by then. Let's enjoy just a few more of the Maltese Crosses from the garden to kill time.

As always, you can click on the pics for supersized details!

Awright awright...but that's all I've got folks....knitting content, and maybe some yarn porn next week...till then as always, have a great knitterly week!

Friday, July 06, 2007


DD and one of her boys in the local small town 4th of July parade. A little rainy, but good times nonetheless!

Heading towards the finish line on the KPS wrap cardi...just a half sleeve and some i-cord ties, a good blocking and then we're done! So am I now turning to finish the oldest UFO?'s still hanging out in the living room just like it was a week ago. But I did...ahem...begin another new project. Yes that's right...the startitis virus has lingered. But it wasn't really my fault. See, I was cruisin around blogland all innocent like and happened to stumble on the Wry Punster's June 23rd blog entry....('s the website...i can't make my links work right lately and I'm not in the mood to figure it out!... so anyways...check out the entry. Yep. It's a skirt. A SKIRT....A KNITTED SKIRT? On anyone older than 30, some folks would think it was just obscene, a big waste of time..etc..etc..etc. However. I DO have the pattern in the book Knit Style. AND it looks SO much better on Wry Punster's blog than it does in the book. AND I happened to have some Silk City Spagetti (100% mercerized cotton ribbon...very crocodile if you ask) purchased as a big assed cone of yarn...(DH looks like a weapon or something...that's a LOT of yarn)....over 2lbs.....from the beloved in June 05. Anyways....the pattern is called the SHOW OFF and has an edging of BOBBLE LACE. Bobbles...heh? Well, I said to myself as I sat in the truck for 2 hours waiting for the parade, something new to try.(DH ALWAYS likes to go early to get a good spot...and you know they close the parade road off an hour before it starts.....whatever...a nice latte', good yarn and pattern, I'm good to go for a couple hours) The pattern also had a couple of new techniques I've never tried, like....long-tailed how fun is that to cast-on 343 stitches with? kind of fun I must say! Nice pretty, sturdy edging. I like it! Then the Bobble Lace pattern...first bobbles aren't until row 5 so I cruised along until then (cruise is relative....343 stitches per row and all). On row 5 I got ALL excited....and made my first, second, third and fourth bobbles. Then I re-evaluated. Bobbles suck. Seriously. are turning back and forth on 5 stinkin little stitches.....and then it just looks like a a little turd hanging there. (Might be due to the brown yarn..but anyway)....and each one of them took like 10 minutes to do....hmmmm....approx 40something bobbles per bobble row times 8 bobble rows times ten minutes do the math. Needless to say, I didn't want to spend the next two years of knitting time knitting turd bobbles. So I DECIDED to keep going with the "lace" and just omit all the bobbles. If I need something there for "oomph" or weight to make the skirt bottom flip all sexy like, I can sew some pretty beads at each bobbly interval right? So now, it's just almost comfort knitting! Oh sure there are twisty stitches and all, but I really love the way the string is knitting up and the fabric it's making (pre dropping stitches to create the lacy goodness of course) and I am supremely confident that this will be a wardrobe staple when complete. No pics yet just photographs like a boring brown blob (minus the little bobble turds) right now...but soon...sooon! Seriously....go look at Elspeths (Wry Punster)! You'll see why I was inspired. I'm at hospital all weekend so will catch up with you on Monday! Have a great knitterly week!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Really, I DO Knit!

See....something NEW!

I'm supposed to be finishing a project for the KOW (Knitting Olympic Warmups)...but I have until really next weekend to do it (17 days and all) ....and like Cate should really only take a couple of in typical fashion, I've ignored the LUNA for Juna..oh well...2 more repeats and she's done...and in typical fashion started something totally new. It's mashed potatoes for cryin' out loud! I needed comfort knitting, easy cozy gentle semi-mindless comfort knitting. And yes, I must confess, it was a semi-impulse, semi-self-indulgent, post-all-night L&D purchase...knowing full well I'd be up the rest of the day for DDs horse show ( which she blue-ribboned several events, including jumping...people don't get it that she's an amazing young horsewoman who is as comfortable in hunter jumper as she is at barrel racing) After signing paperwork and figuring out which horses she'd be running, I headed to Fantastic Fibers, my favorite LYS in "The Valley", and my closest LYS come to think of it. Knowing I only had 30 minutes or so to find something...and it was only about 55 degrees, cool, overcast....i grabbed up the KPS Neck-Down Wrap Cardigan #263 pattern (about halfway down the page in this link) and several skeins of Cascade Quatro in Kauai. My KPOptions were in the truck and I quickly had gauge on sz 8s. The picture above shows where I am a week and a half later. I love the fit and the feel of the fabric. I changed over to shorter Addi sz 8s for the sleeve at first, then switched to sz 8 Clover Doublepoints.
Do you see the difference in gauge... (AS USUAL....CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SUPER LARGE DETAILS)

luckily I wasn't too far into it before I caught it. Just goes to show you, gauge changes between types of needles.... I'll move up to sz 9 doublepoints and see how that goes tomorrow.

For those of you wondering how we are getting along on our almost 24hrs of daylight.....
Here's the ubiquitous garden update photo....July 2, 2007, We love our summer midnight sun...oh yeah!

And this picture is for you Joan! Here's my mountain in the can barely see the top through the low cloud. Yep, July 2, 2007, 10:45pm.