Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grannies Gone Wild!

As you might remember from a previous post, Grandma Clara's baby sister Louise (age 82!) and niece decided to pay the grannymeister a visit to celebrate her birthday. Louise and Kathy arrived late last Friday night and left the following Wednesday night. The five days in between were jam-packed with touristy action. I thought you might be interested in a little travelogue.

Saturday morning, we went to breakfast and then headed south towards Portage to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. We drove through the park and were able to get up-close and personal with a variety of wildlife including.....

Quiviut on the hoof (aka Muskox)

Caribou (my favorite game meat ever!)

And local celebrity, Jimmy the (Grizzly) Bear and his brothers.

We then headed back towards town and stopped in Girdwood. We took the tram up to the top of Mount Alyeska and visited the Round House Museum before having a nice lunch of reindeer hotdogs and clam chowder. Several hanging glaciers are visible from both the Round House as well as the restaurant. Unfortunately I left my camera in the car during that escapade so you'll just have to make do with the linkage provided ;0

Driving back home, we stopped at the Eagle River Nature Center. Everyone had a good time looking through the telescope trying to spot sheep, bear and mountain men.

We decided on a little adventure and hiked/wheeled down one of the trails to the salmon spawning overlook where we spent a good hour or more watching fish fight to swim upstream, rolling and congregating in the still pools.

It was a beautiful and peaceful evening, but the hike/wheel back was essentially uphill all the way and tired everyone out for the evening!

We decided on a more civilized day for Sunday and after breakfast visited the Anchorage Museum of History and Art where we strolled around for 2 or 3 hours, had coffee and forgot to take pictures. Next was a stop at Grandma Clara's favorite venue...Alaska Wildberry shop for wonderful chocolates and see the "Chocolate Waterfall". Everyone certainly enjoyed THAT stop ;0

On Monday, we drove to Seward and enjoyed the Alaska Sealife Center. It's one of my and Grandma Clara's favorite places. We enjoy learning about the seabirds, fish, and marine mammals of Resurrection Bay.

There are Octopus (octopi?)

Pettable Starfish....

Friendly puffins...

and other seabirds...

and the favorites including Harbor Seals....

and Woody the Sea Lion!

After the Sealife Center, we drove up the road a ways and visited Exit Glacier. The Okies were impressed with the river of ice ;0

Tuesday was spent touring the Mat-Su valley and visiting quietly at home. Louise and Kathy wanted to have their pictures taken in our winter coats (Laura Wright Parkies).

As I had to work an overnight that night, Grandma Clara entertained our guests by showing off some of her current cardworks in progress and reminiscing about the 'good old days'.

Russ and Zoe took everyone out to the Haute Quarter Grill for seafood and steaks. I slept late the following day (Wednesday) then we went out to Lake Hood to watch the floatplanes take off. We had a late lunch of Shrimp Tomato Bisque Soup with Rolls and Salmon Spread, and said our goodbyes at the airport.

It was a rather whirlwind trip, but I think everyone had a good time. I know Grandma Clara really enjoyed visiting with her family.
And so ends this episode of "Grannies Gone Wild"....stay tuned, you never know what those girls will get into next! Until next time....Knit On!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Knitting & A Big Thank You

Thank you all so much for your kind words of comfort in the loss of my beloved 'Lulu'. As with all changes, we are slowly adjusting to a new 'normal' for our family. I was so surprised at the sheer number of comments and the outpouring of support. You are all wonderful. If I haven't PM'd you my thanks yet, know that I will eventually catch up.

I have been doing a little knitting lately. No brainer knitting is about all I can handle right now. I finished the first of a pair of Broadripple socks in's Esprit. Knitting them up just like the pattern on size 3 dpns. I'm liking them just fine. Will probably gift this pair to one of my favorite L&D nurses who is leaving to take a position in Hawaii (to be near her AF man)soon. Hope to have these finished up by the weekend.

Have had company the past week. Grandma Clara's sister and niece came to town and we've been doing all the touristy things. I'll try to post some of those pics later in the week.

Again, thanks so much for your thoughts and well wishes. Until next time, knit on.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Goodbye Sweet Girl

Tallulah Bean

11/19/99-8/21/08 You were well loved, and will be sorely missed. You left a giant-sized pawprint right on my heart. There's way too much empty space in my house and yard now without you. Knowing when to let go is the hardest part...but you told me it was time. Goodbye my sweet girl.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Blue Backpack...mine.

I can't make it work the regular way for some reason. Click on the link and watch a little real Alaska for your very own self. DH shot the video clip. And no one got hurt.

Car keys. In the blue backpack. No knitting. No food. Keys.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hard Rock

The granite was installed on Tuesday :) DH was home and emailed pics to me at work during the process. He's such a tease that way. I came home and did a happy dance. I couldn't stop caressing the rock. If my camera was better, I could give you awesome closeups of the intricacies...and the veins of sparkling amethysts that weave through the rock. Pictures do not do it justice. The appliances are sitting in boxes in the living room. We are waiting for the flooring installation (week after next) to move those in. I found brushed nickel switchplates (yay!) And found my lighting. All of it I think. But I want to talk with a lighting person to make sure I have enough ambient vs task lighting. (sheesh...the things you learn when you start googling around)..this entire process has been a learning experience. The end of this part of Phase 1 is in sight. Oh...and the granite? One seam only. One. I tell you, this rock gets me hot!
HARD ROCK DESIGNS in Wasilla. Over 200 different types of 8 x 12 foot slabs...walking through there was like visiting an art gallery. Great folks to work with!

I'll mebbe show you some yarn porn later...but here's some kitchen porn for you while you wait.

Have a great knitterly day!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Garden, Knitting & Remodel

I have no clever title. What you read is what you get. Finally. The sun was out. The sky was blue. I almost didn't recognize what it was. My garden went freaking nuts. The Delphinium bloomed. The weeds and grass must've grown a foot in the past 24 hours. But it's not bad. Sort of a cross between cottage and shabby chic. If the weather holds, the deck gets painted this weekend.

I went back to work Sunday night. Had 3 yummy babies. All nice families. All nice births. Tuesday was our day-long every 2 year ALL STAFF MEETING. Almost 1500 employees in my company. Imagine my joy. Blessedly, I had the perfect project started and was able to almost finish the back. Below is an earlier pic:

It will be the Triangle Cable T from S.Charles Collezione Spring/Summer 2003 Brochure. The yarn is Berocco Denim Silk purchased from in August 05. (Gotta love Elann's on-line shopping history to really put your stash marinade time in perspective!) The color is Cayenne and is pretty true in the pic. The cables start out 10 stitches wide and decrease to 1 stitch over several rows. Really neat effect I think and it will have the same treatment at the V-neckline and center outer short sleeve.

That's all the knitting. Stop now if you don't want remodel updates.

The cabinets are IN!!!!! I LOVE THEM!!!!

Here's another view. You may admire my farmhouse style apron front sink. And wait'll you see the new faucet. Swoon. I will, however, be replacing the stark white outlet covers and switchplates for brushed stainless to coordinate with the appliances. I'm all about the matchy-matchy that way.

Close-up of the custom island. Guess what. It's on rolling casters. So I can reposition it at will for various and sundry reasons. And will have about 10" overhang on the other side just the perfect height for short barstools. The fact that it rolls is amazingly convenient. I love this feature.

Yesterday, the granite folks measured and templated. They will be here to install next week. Gulp. Tomorrow morning, the flooring guy comes to pre-install prep. I cannot believe it. So far, once things got started, they've gone remarkably smoothly. And so far, I'm thrilled with the way it's coming together.

Knit On!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

....Something Old, Something New

At the end of summer last year, I started the KPS NeckDown Wrap Cardigan. I was at one of the girl's horsey events in Palmer. I realized too late that I'd forgotten to bring a bag of knitting! While things were quiet I zipped over to Fantastic Fibers and purchased the pattern, needles, and enough Cascade Quatro to do the job. Easy pattern. Seamless. Plain stockinette. The only fun was the shaping and the cool edging. It...was...boring. very very very boring. And although I had completed the front and back and started on a sleeve (which incidently changed gauge a bit when changing from circ needle to double-points for the sleeves), my eye was caught by something flashier, lacier, quicker to knit, whatever...and the KPS has languished in the time-out corner these past several months. Happily, during this little 2 week staycay, I cleaned out my WIP basket and decided it was time to finish this cardi. So I did! Just in time for a fall wardrobe pick-me-up.

And now here's the finished project......

Such a simple and classic knit. Close-up of the details....

Butt the cat also wanted in the photo shoot..

Pattern-Knitting Pure & Simple KPS Neck-Down Wrap Cardigan
Yarn-Cascade Quatro-100% wool
Needles-AddiTurbo size 8s, KPO size 8s, Brittany doublepoints size 8s

This is truly no-brainer TV knitting at its finest.

I bet you thought this was a clever something old/something new thing huh...not so..

The sweater was something old...but this is something NEW!

With the high price of gas (>$4.50) and my 70 mile RT commute, and a newly licensed driver in the household, we bit the bullet and got a new car. It's a 2009 Subaru Forester. Sunroof. Seatwarmers. 5 speed manual transmission. Front/side/curtain airbags. Best safety rating from Consumer Reports. Oh yeah...I'm loving it too.
Knit on.