Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adventures in Decorating

On Friday night, I bundled Mr. Right off to the airport for a 9 day visit with his folks.  9 days is a long time.  Just sayin'.  Anyway, I've been trying to keep busy over the weekend and found a zillion and four things to do.  There was cleaning to be done (boo), picture organizing (bleh), Christmas shopping (yay), and Christmas decorations to put up (double yay).  I started working on switching out the Fall decorations for the Christmas variety this morning, hauling boxes back and forth from the basement.  Good times. 

By early afternoon, the mantle and the alcoves around it were off to a pretty good start, with room to grow...

And since it was such a pretty day, I decided to put the outside lights up during the warmest part of the afternoon.  I left for Target around 2 (Christmas lights on sale!  Woo!), and noticed that it seemed to be clouding up awfully quickly. 

I got home around 3, and set about putting up the lights just as the first flakes started to fall.  And by first flakes, I mean the first snow we've had all year.  Seriously. 

I was able to get some of the lights onto the tree, and some on the bushes out front before the dog and I, and everything else were completely covered in white. 

So here's what my Sunday Christmas light expedition looks like now...

Pretty, but a little sparse.  Don't worry, there's more to come!  Just as soon as it stops snowing and I can manage to crawl around on the roof without maiming myself.


Friday, November 26, 2010

FO Friday -- Gobble Gobble

Happy Friday, everyone!  Another week has whooshed by in a blink (is it just me, or do they really zoom by at a faster clip this time of year?), and it's FO Friday again! 

I have tons of FOs to share this week, though (probably not surprisingly), none of them are knitting related.  I have, however, been working my fingers to the bone...

Roasted turkey (Big thank you Crate and Barrel for making amazing brine and herb rubs), homemade pumpkin pie and not-so-homemade, but still awesome rolls.

Also on the FO list for this week...

Sausage stuffing (artsy camera angle, courtesy Mr. Right.  It's making me a little dizzy...)

But wait... there's more!

Mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce and green beans with bacon and onion.

The brussells sprouts were apparently camera shy.  Probably not too tragic, as they tasted much better than they looked (I know what you're thinking -- ew!  brussells sprouts! -- But really, I swear!  They tasted great!)

Anywho, back to my final FO for the week, a very, very happy Mr. Right...

Who was so beside-himself-excited about his dinner that he photographed his plate.  And then proceded to eat leftovers for every meal since then in an effort to consume as much as possible before he left to visit his folks.  Pretty awesome compliment, that.

And since I've just put him on a plane for the next 9 days (Boo!), I fully expect to have at least one -- possibly more (!) FOs of a knitted nature to share next week.

Hope all of you Thanksgiving-celebrating types had a lovely holiday, and that the rest of you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Work In Progress Wednesday v.16

Happy Wednesday Before Thanksgiving to everyone in the US (and any celebrating expats), and Happy WIPW to the rest of you!

Personally, I'm gearing up to cook my face off tomorrow.  But in between roasting and baking and brining (not in that order), I plan to sneak in some more time knitting on my new projects.  Both of them are super fun, so I'm having a hard time putting them down.

Elijah is coming along nicely, once I got past that crazy disappearing loop cast on that the pattern calls for.  Seriously, it's only 6 stitches, but between Mr. Right (did I mention he's an engineer?) and I we spent 45 minutes or so going through the directions and diagrams and still didn't have it right.  Thank goodness for youtubeThis video finally did the trick though, and is a total lifesaver if you're looking to knit up an elephant.  I'm finishing up the trunk now, and here's what he's looking like...

Something still went a bit amiss with the cast on, unfortunately, and I did the first two rounds of stitches inside out.  Oops.  I think you can't tell unless you're looking for it and I know the recipient won't mind, so I'm soldiering on.  Not too bad, right?

He's not so cute yet, but I have high hopes for him.  I'm not quite sure about the stuffing though.  Does anyone have tips for how much polyfill one should cram in into one's elephant?  I want him to be soft, but not wobbly, and it seems no matter how much stuffing I stuff, there's room for more.  I'd love any suggestions from any of you who've knit (or crocheted!) any stuffies.

I have another new project this week, too.  And *gasp*, it's not knitting.  I know, right?  Who woulda thunk.  We'll keep it a mystery at the moment, but I'm hoping for an FO to share with you on Friday.  Here's what it looks like at the moment...

In the in between spots, I'm also still plugging away at the cable lace vest, which continues to go pretty well.  On Saturday, Mr. Right and I drove up to Wyoming to pick up some truck parts he'd bought, and I decided it would be a perfect time to knit lace short rows in the car on the way.  I am not super smart, sometimes.  So I knitted away for a while, juggling pattern and needles and row counter, and when I got to the end of the short rows, things didn't add up.  So 1 hour into our 12 hour day of driving, I crammed the vest back into the bag, grumbled a bit, and that was that.

Turns out I hadn't screwed anything up, I'd just misread the instructions.  There are different numbers of short rows on the left and the right, see.  And I expected them to be symmetrical.  Silly me.  So in the end, I was fine.  I just missed out on oodles of car knitting time.  I'm done with the short rows on the vest now, and I think it's looking pretty good.

I'm going to give myself a few more days of knitting on it before I put it down to finish up Elijah and start  working on an Ice Queen to give as a Christmas gift.  Once the Christmas knitting is finished up, I'll dive back in to vest-land.

At the moment, though, I'm going to head over and check out everyone else's progress over at Tami's blog.  You should too.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Life isn't Fair

Sometimes, life just doesn't play fair. 

When you hold a contest, you're supposed to remind everyone that they should leave a way to contact them, should they be lucky enough to win.  But I didn't.  And the only person who didn't leave contact information?  She won.  And never came back.  So it's back to the number generator, where we come up with 14 this time.  Comment #14 was left by Kate! of  You should go check out Kate's blog.  It's filled with beautiful pictures of pretty things, some of which are knitting-related.  Bonus!

Noreen, I feel terribly about this.  Should you happen by again, drop me a line and I'll send you some sort of treat for your trouble.  I promise to make it a good one.

And, while we're on the topic of things that aren't fair...

Really, it's not supposed to cost $4500 to get dental work done, especially when you have insurance.  Boo.

And by late November, it's supposed to be snowing around these parts.  It should look something like this any minute now...

But we've yet to have so much as a flake hit the ground and stick.  Boo.

Your mother isn't supposed to dress you funny, but...

Yeah, I have no idea.  Easter?  And that  doll I'm holding was Mom's when she was little.  It's in a box in my basement now, too creepy to keep around and too much family history to let it go.  Yikes.

But most of all, I shouldn't be whining when I've been so stinking blessed.

Really, truly blessed.

And on the topic of blessings, Mr. Right and I have some friends who could use a few.  Our friend Shadow had an accident at work a couple of months ago, and is having surgery tomorrow to find out if they'll be able to save his leg.  If it doesn't go well, they'll have to amputate.  Since Shadow is a heavy equipment operator and a race car driver, he'd really like to have 2 legs.  So if you're of the praying kind, would you offer one up for Shadow, his amazing wife, Carolina and they're cute-as-a-bug daughter, Layla?  If you're not the praying sort, I'm sure they'd appreciate any kind thoughts you could spare.

I'll be back on Wednesday with cheerier thoughts.  Promise.  :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

FO Friday or Once a Cheater...

It's FO Friday again!  The day of the week that most inspires me to leave my integrity in the dust.  Here I am, playing along with a post, and I'm still (kinda) not done.  Boo.  I had 2 whole days to install my zipper, which I figured would be no problem with my knitting guru neighbor and her trusty sewing machine.

Turns out she wasn't home, then the ladies in my knitting group disapproved en masse of a machine-installed zipper.  Apparently, it's not what you do.  Who knew?  Not me, that's for sure.  So here we are late on Thursday night, with the zipper pinned into the sweater and Mr. Right carefully tucked inside.  I think it looks pretty good...

Of course, it'll look a bit better once it's actually done, but I'm going to give myself the weekend to try and sew it in for reals.  You guys still respect me, right?

In other news, I took the afternoon off yesterday to go to lunch with my knitting group and then sit around all afternoon chatting and knitting.  It was really, really fun.  And I got a fair amount done on the cable lace vest, though with all that chatting-while-lace-knitting, there was quite a bit of tinking going on, too.  I finished the bottom section though and got a few short rows under my belt while I had folks to hold my hand.  Turns out they're not so bad. Yay!

Go check out Tami's blog, where loads of other folks have posted their latest finished objects, which are all probably more finished than mine.

Happy Almost Weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WIPW v.15, And... We Have a Winnah!

It's Wednesday again, and that means two things.  First (like I'd make y'all wait any longer...), we have a winner for the yarn giveaway!  To keep things ultra-fair and super-scientific-like, I went to's Random Number Generator, and entered numbers between 1 and 18.  It thought for a nanosecond, then coughed up this:  6.  Comment #6 was left by the lucky Noreen.  Congratulations, Noreen!

Unfortunately, Noreen didn't leave any contact information, and her blogger profile is set to "private", so I don't have any way to get in touch.  Noreen, please zip me a quick email with your mailing address to KnitandSeek at gmail dot com.  I'll give Noreen until Saturday morning to claim her yummy yarn prize, and then we'll choose another random number, if necessary.  Thanks to everyone who entered, this was really fun to do.  So much fun, in fact, that we'll do it again for sure.

And now on to Work In Progress Wednesday #15.  I'm still knitting away on the Cabled Lace Vest that I started last week, and while I've made a fair amount of progress, I'm still at that point where it doesn't look very interesting.   The lace pattern is super simple, but with 236 stitches in a row, I'm about ready for something new.  You'd think after having knit 3 months of straight stockinette, I'd have a little more patience with 58 rows of lace, wouldn't you?  Here's what I've got so far...

8 rows to go, and then we start the short rows.  That should be interesting, as I've never done the whole "wrap and turn" thing before.  I sense some knitting videos in my future.

In other news, Avast blocked beautifully.  I was pretty worried, as it stunk to high heaven when I pulled it from the sink.  Blech.  Fortunately, the smell faded as it dried and now it doesn't smell much at all.  Also, the zipperstop zipper arrived and looks fantastic.  I'm really happy with it, apart from the fact that I must've measured wrong and it's about 4" too short.  Oops.  We've worked it out that it'll start about 1/2" from the bottom, and will end just before the collar, and it should be okay.

Now we're in a bit of a bind since I don't sew and have no idea how to install this thing.  I'm thinking a visit to my next door neighbor is in order tonight.  Hopefully, she'll give me some direction and lend me her sewing skills.  No pictures for you, though.  I don't want to spoil my FO Friday post.  Also, I'm having a really hard time getting Mr. Right to take the thing off.  LOVE that guy.

I was really hoping to start working on an Elijah this week, but when I found my size 3 dpns, I discovered that I have 2 of them.  Where are the rest?  No idea.  And really, I'm not that kind of girl.  Usually it's a place for everything and everything in its place and all that.  So this is extra frustrating.  For now, here's what I have of Elijah...

I can't tell you how much I wish there was a set of dpns in that picture. Sigh.   Hopefully we'll have a bit more accomplished next week.

Oh, also, some housekeeping stuff:  First, look at this awesome WIPW button that Stacey made! 

We're so official-looking now!  Just as soon as I figure out how to make it work (any minute now, I'm sure), I'll be stashing it in the sidebar over there ----------->

Also, you might've noticed the little thumbnails along the bottom of each post.  On the sage advice of The Crafty Cripple, I installed Link Within.  I'm not sure exactly what algorithm they use (beyond labels) to determine related posts, but some of the connections they make are kinda funny.  Anyway, I think it's pretty cool.  More sprucing up to come as I get smarter about all this. 

What sorts of widgets and gadgets do you use that you'd recommend?  Leave 'em in the comments.  I'd love to hear!

Monday, November 15, 2010


First things first... in case you missed it, We're still celebrating my 3-month blogging anniversary, posting the 40th post and finishing Avast, all on the same day. To share the joy, I'm giving away 2 skeins of yarn, just for leaving a comment before Wednesday on this entry. Go. Comment. Win.   There's still time!

I know I promised a family post this weekend, and completely failed.  That's the bad news.  The good news is I have lots of yummy yarn to show you instead.  Here's what happened...

Late last week, I noticed a post on the Colorado Knitters group on Ravelry advertising a Yarn! Sale!  Apparently, a Denver yarn store had closed and the woman who owned it brought all of her remaining inventory to a local church, where she sold it for cheap.  And boy, did she have some good stuff!  Here's what came home with me:

Picture 232

One of these to use for knitting an Elijah.  So stinking cute.

Picture 233

and two of these for making a second Elijah (non-Ravelry link this time).  Because, did I mention?  CUTE!

Picture 231

And one of these.  I have no earthly idea what it is, but it's this really beautiful yellow-y, green-y, blue-y, glow-y stuff (Really, the picture doesn't do it justice at all). And it was $1.  I know, right?  Crazy.

Picture 234

I also got one skein of this stuff, which totally stinks.  You know why it stinks?  Because I needed 2.  So frustrating.  I emailed the nice lady with the yarn and she's checking to see if she has another one I can buy so I'm not the dork running around with one Chevalier mitten this winter.  Fingers crossed.

Picture 230

And then I found this crazy orange and pink and tangerine colored sock yarn from Pagewood Farms.  And I had to have it.  I was standing there scooping up sock yarn one skein after another, and this nice girl next to me said, "So, do you knit socks, or shawls?  Or something else?"  And I said, because I cannot lie... "Sometimes I knit socks, but mostly I just buy sock yarn."  Who can resist a color called Fruit Freeze?  Not me, apparently.

Picture 229

And speaking of sock yarn, here's another one that the picture just doesn't do justice.  It's Socks That Rock and the color is called Motley Hue.  How awesome is that?  It's grey, blue, copper craziness and reminds me a ton of my favorite eye shadow:  Club by MAC.  When one finds a skein of sock yarn that matches perfectly one's favorite eye shadow, there's really nothing to do but take it home.  Trust me on this.

Picture 228

And finally, a skein of the softest, squishiest palest pink imaginable for making Mousie(s) (ears and tails, that is).  I'm still on the hunt for the right shade of mousie grey, but this is for sure the perfect pink.

Picture 235

So, to recap... I scored all this yummy yarn for just less than $50.  I'm so proud.  Apologies for playing hooky on the family post.  There's one brewing that will be up soon.  Hopefully, later this week.  Right after I start knitting elephants...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Moab Part II -- Fear is your friend

First things first... in case you missed it, We're all kinds of celebrating around here for hitting the 3-month blogging anniversary, posting the 40th post and finishing Avast, all on the same day.  To share the joy, I'm giving away 2 skeins of yarn, just for leaving a comment between now and next Wednesday on this entry.  Go.  Comment.  Win. 
*   *   *   *   *

And now, back to our Moab adventures.  If you'll recall, we did some pretty cuckoo (at least by my feeble standards) 4-wheeling on our weekend trip to Moab.  And, in case you were doubting just how hairy it was, may I present:  Video Proof.  This is me.  Trying to take a video from inside the cab of the truck while we were going down an 80-degree slope.

No, I wasn't giving birth at the time, and yes, I am aware that it sounds an awfully lot like a clip from the Blair Witch Project.  No pride here folks, just the unvarnished truth from me to you.  :)

The next day, we got up early for breakfast in our hotel.  Really, breakfast is why we stay at the River Terrace Inn, about 45 miles away from Moab.  When you go in, it looks like most hotel breakfasts, toast and cereal and whatnot...

But then, this really nice guy (usually the hotel owner) meets you at the door and rattles of a list of 10 or so homemade dishes that they're serving along with all of the other stuff.  You want all 10?  You got it.  They make a green chile and cheese omlette that is out of this world.  Really. 

It's what I always get when we go there.  Mr. Right orders it, along with french toast, and some times homemade granola.  It's heavenly.  If you're ever in eastern Utah, go stay there.  Green River definitely offers a good dose of Americana...

After breakfast, I got to pick our activity for the day.  I picked an afternoon at Arches National Park, which is a pretty stunning place.  They have lots of natural rock arches scattered over the park, but there was one in particular that I wanted to see.  It's called Delicate Arch, and is the most famous of all of them.  So famous that it's the star of their tourism ad campaign and featured on Utah's license plate.

We only had time to see if in the way-off distance during our last visit, and I really, really wanted to hike over to it for the up-close and personal view this time.  So we hiked.  The sign said 3 miles round trip.  No biggie, we thought.  In fact, biggie.

Here's the view from about 1/3 of the way up.  If you peer closely, you can see small dots going up the rock at about 1 o'clock...

Here's what happened when I zoomed in on those dots with all the zoom that Mr. Right's camera could muster.  Oh. My.

It was a seriously long walk.  No shade, no scenery, pretty much straight up the whole way.  It was not so pleasant, and the only thing that really cheered me up was the fact that it was November and not July. 

But once we got there, the view was spectacular, and 100% worth it.  Even the guys said so...

For purposes of scale, here's a shot of Me and Mr. Right standing under the arch.  This thing is no joke.

And for purposes of dorkiness, here's our friend A at the visitor's center.  He's single!  Any takers?  (In all seriousness, he's a pretty amazing guy and we're trying to find him a Ms. Right, in case anyone has one laying around.)
On that note, check back this weekend for a crazy family update!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So much to celebrate!

Three months ago today, I took the plunge and decided to start blogging. Imagine my surprise when I logged back in to find that someone I didn't know had actually read it.  And made a comment.  And decided to follow it (Hi, Beth!).  Beth had way more faith than I did at that point, but it was fun, so I kept coming back.

Let's take a quick look back at the last 90 days...

344 different folks have stopped by,
from 18 different countries,
in 1,129 visits.
They left 138 comments (Yay!).
20 of them even liked it enough to delare their follower-ship (-ness?)!

Really, I'm overwhelmed by all of it.  Thanks, guys!  You've made this journey really fun so far and I'm excited about carrying on and ramping up over the next few months.  I've learned more about my family in the last 3 months than in the last 30 years.  Tons about knitting, too.  Who knew?

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for...  (drum roll, please)... Avast is all knitted up.  And seamed.  And end-woven.  And gently soaking in a warm bath as we speak (we should all be so lucky!).  I'm still waiting for the zipper to arrive, since I needed a custom length.  Did you know that zipperstop will sell you any of their zippers in exactly the length you want for just $1 extra?  How awesome is that?  We put Mr. Right into his sweater and measured it that way, per Grumperina's very sensible instructions, and determined that a 27" zipper would be perfect.  It should be here early next week, in time to participate in FO Friday.

With all this free time, I was able to pick up my lovely lace vest again to find that I'd made some sort of epic mistake in the lace pattern.  I frogged it back to the ribbing and started over, and things are going much more swimmingly this time.  Here's what it looks like now:

And here's an even closer close up...

Not much, I admit, but the size 10.5 needles combined with no sleeves should make it go pretty quickly.  I hope.  Famous last words, right?

In honor of my 3-month-blog-iversary, and the fact that I've FINALLY finished knitting on Avast (!!), I'm proud to announce KnitandSeek's very first giveaway.  What might I be giving away, you ask?  Yarn, of course!  I have 2 skeins of soft and squishy, terra cotta-colored Pingoin Ligne Noir Angora, which is apparently discontinued.  It's lovely stuff and the color is awesome.  It's been carefully stored in my stash and is in pretty perfect shape.

Yarn - mohair

Just leave a comment on this entry and one week from today I'll randomly pick a winner next Wednesday at WIPW v.15.  Easy peasy, right?  So go comment your little fingers off, and I'll happily ship this yummy yarn off, anywhere in the world, at the end of next week.

Anyway, hop over to Tami's blog and check out all of the other really amazing yarn art that's happening over there, and I'll see y'all on Friday.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yay for Long Weekends: Moab edition

First things first... We had a blast!

On Friday morning, at the ungodly hour of 6 am, Mr. Right and I and our friend A loaded up and headed west, aiming for the Utah desert.

We ate on the road, some of us more successfully than others...

and so managed to be checked into our hotel (such a lovely phrase...) and head for the trails by late afternoon.  Not bad.

Our first stop was a very cool cave called Tusher Tunnel, a triangle-shaped passage through a massive rock wall...

After a quick hike, we opted for Thai food and TV (a total treat for those of us who operate in netflix-only households).

Saturday was reserved for putting the trucks through their paces on 4-wheeling trails.  Some fairly benign, some utterly ridiculous.  We started our day at Gemini Bridges, 2 natural bridges that formed 10 feet apart hundreds of feet above the canyon floor.  They're pretty spectacular, but kinda scary.  I opted for a safer view...
For sure not my best angle, but too funny not to share.  I'm SUCH a dork.  But the view was awesome...
The scenery everywhere was pretty spectacular, mostly standard desert-type stuff.  And one very lonely Aspen tree in full Fall yellow...
We did a few trails, ate some lunch sitting on the tailgate, and then the boys became obsessed with a trail called Fins & Things.  It's worth noting that this particular trail was marked in RED while all the others were marked with friendlier colors like blue and green.  Here's the beginning of the "trail"...

The first obstacle was a STEEP downhill.  Here's my view from the bottom of the slope...
After that, they pretty much had to scrape me off the roof of the truck, and I was done.  Really, really done for the day.  I think the boys were feeling guilty, since I got no grief for ducking into the nearest yarn store for a while when we got back to town.  Yarn -- it soothes the soul. 

So do these spectacular desert sunsets...
That's all for today, folks.  I'll post the pictures from the Bhutan Death March our lovely hike later this week.  Be sure to come back tomorrow for the first WIPW that doesn't feature Avast!  Also, knitandseek's first giveaway!  Exciting times!  Yay for exclamation points!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

I'm baaaaaaaaack!  But only kind of.  We rolled into town late last night after a full day of tromping through Arches National Park, and I've been knitting like someone who's been knitting the same sweater for 3 months and FINALLY has a new project.  Yep.  Pretty much exactly like that. 

I have a zillion or so pictures to sort through for you, but for tonight I'll leave you with a few shots of Balanced Rock -- it's pretty awesome...

It looks like a strong breeze would blow it over, but it's been there for eleventy billion years or so (I'm paraphrasing here)...

I love how different it looks from every angle...
But I think this one's my favorite.

I'll be back tomorrow with loads more pictures and details from the trip.

Until then... rock on!  (sorry...)