A Force of Nature

Isaac Newton almost had it right. The theory should be 'a boy in motion tends to stay in motion.' This is one of my favorite photos of two-year-old Miles - arms in motion and slightly out of focus 'cause he's always on-the-go. He was over for a few hours today while mom was in school and dad was at work, and the only time he stopped moving was during his 30 minute nap. Miles loves having his picture taken and will pose for the camera . . . for about 10 seconds. And then he's off again, just a little boy in motion.


Itsy Bitsy FOs

Last week, my favorite LYS got a call from a knitter asking for help with crocheted flowers. She wanted someone to show her how to make the embellishments for the knitted baby blanket she'd just completed. She had the pattern, with directions, so I said sure, no problem.

Ahem. The directions were in Italian. And the knitter didn't speak crochet so having her translate them into English was a no-go. We struck a deal; I brought the pattern photo home and with the help of Ravelry (I {heart} Ravelry!) I came up with these -
and these - from her leftover baby yarn. They look huge in the photo but are pretty small; the top flowers are 2.5" across and the bottom ones are about 1.75".

I've been doing my part to stimulate the economy. Knit Picks Harmony needles.
I need them for my take-along to Kansas project. And some needle felting supplies - a kit, book and spare needles from the Woolery. A few more packages should make an appearance by Friday. Sure hope George W. comes through with that rebate check.


I'm Spoiled

Dick surprised me* with an early Mother's Day present today. We're leaving this Saturday (at 6 a.m. - yuck!) for Kansas, where I'll spend MD at a rug weaving workshop with Jason Collingwood. Dick was going to give me the laptop that day, but decided I'd rather configure it before we leave. And he's right. I love my new toy! Now I just need to figure out Vista . . . .

*Apparently Dick was listening when I complained (repeatedly - sorry, dear!) during the Yosemite trip about how slow his laptop was at uploading pictures. I wasn't expecting a new laptop, though. I was going to ask for knitting needles!



I've got a bad case of startitis. There are a bunch of UFO's* lying around here, but I've got a craving for something(s) new.

Like a cabled crochet sweater. I've wanted to do a cabled sweater for a couple of months, but couldn't find the right pattern. While looking through someone's Ravelry projects, I found IT - Dusty Miller from Crocheted Aran Sweaters.
AND I had the book with the pattern AND the right amount of yarn in the right weight. It was meant to be. This is two day's worth of work. It's going to take awhile, but will be totally worth it. (if it fits.)

I haven't started it yet, but I've got the yarn, needles and pattern out and ready to go for the log cabin blanket by Mason Dixon Knitting.(Ravelry link) I just got the book - I came late to that particular party since it's been out for awhile. I kept waiting for the book to go on deep-discount sale and it never did. Could be because it's so popular - and for good reason. I read it cover to cover in 2 days - something I almost never do with a craft book - and found 3 projects that I have to make right now. Lots of humor, good patterns and great knitting info.

This blanket is going to be my traveling-to-Kansas project, made with all stash yarn.
It's all garter stitch so it should be mindless but entertaining with the color changes. We're driving and I can't read in a moving car. I'm hoping I can knit and not get sick.

I sorta finished one thing. This is 8 ounces of Polworth that I finished spinning tonight.
I'm planning to Navajo ply it tomorrow at spin night. I've got another 8 ounces of a darker gray that still needs to be spun. I'm planning to combine the 2 yarns into a project. Just as soon as it tells me what it wants to be.

*UFO's = Unfinished Objects. Like the Peace Shawl, Weekend Sweater, knit cardigan, one-row handspun scarf and Fantasy shawl. And probably more that I've forgotten about.


Yosemite, Part 3

Thursday night we again stayed at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls (no more midnight raccoon visits however) but they were booked solid for Friday night, so Dick and I had a reservation at the Ahwahnee. Everyone needs to stay at the Ahwahnee at least once in their lifetime. The hotel, built in 1926, is spectacularly beautiful. There are at least 3 of these enormous fireplaces in the public areas. Carolyn and I were entranced by the little visitor we saw several times in the hotel lobby. He was perfectly calm, even when approached by tourists, and obviously was not new to the surroundings.

When we checked in, the clerk said she thought we'd like our room. We thought she was just making conversation . . . until we got to our fourth floor room. There was the king-size bed (as requested) - the sitting area (with leather sofa) - the rubber duckie in the bathroom (I thought about 'borrowing' it for Addy) - and . . . . . . our own personal patio, shared with just one other room. Not a balcony; we had the only full-fledged patio in the hotel. See the fenced area in the center of the photo below? That's our patio. We had a view down the valley, with Yosemite Falls to our right, and a smaller waterfall outside our bedroom window. We took advantage of our good fortune by having dinner with Bill and Carolyn in our sitting room (wonderful food, of course), and Dick and I had breakfast on the patio the next morning. Raisin brioche french toast. It was every bit as good as it looks. The grounds behind the Ahwahnee are like a private park. We spent several hours walking around,

View of Half Dome
taking photos and enjoying the beauty.
Saturday we drove out to Sacramento - past long, long lines of people driving into the park - so I could catch a plane home. Dick and Bill continued on to Andersonville for a day of fly-fishing and then to Monterrey to visit the Aquarium and 17-Mile Drive - where the guys found these deer grazing on the beach. Beautiful.


Yosemite, Part 2

Continuing the Yosemite saga - Part 1 was here - we spent the second day sightseeing and, boy oh boy, were there some gorgeous sites. This is what we looked like most of the time - Bill and Carolyn are photography nuts, so we had electronic viewfinders plastered to our faces most of the day. And what were we viewing? Yosemite Falls - With all the rain California had this year, the falls were full, loud and beautiful.

Bridal Vail Falls -
The Ansel Adams Gallery - with some of the only flowers we saw in the valley. I was surprised at how few flowering plants we saw; there was very little snow still on the ground - mostly small patches in well shaded areas - and everything was beautifully green, but no flowers anywhere. It just seemed odd.

To me, the most interesting thing we saw was in front of the chapel (wouldn't you love to get married here?? As we were driving out on Saturday, we saw a wedding party about to enter the building.)
The sign marks the height of flood waters on January 2, 1997. It's hard to imagine the valley being that far under water. Most of the changes that Mother Nature made that year are being left as they are. Several camp grounds were washed away; one meadow I especially remember from previous visits is gone.

Some things are still there and better than ever. Next up . . . .The Ahwahanee.


Oopsie - Look What Followed Me Home

I'd decided awhile back to stop buying spinning wheels. Seven was enough (3 functional, 3 antiques, 1 - a Clems and Clems - to fix up and find a good home). No, really.

Uh huh. Look what followed me home from the Ventura flea market today.
This is Elspeth. She's German, from about 1849 according to the seller. Isn't she beautiful? I spotted her last month but the $300 price tag was way too much. I had no intention of buying her when I stopped there again today, but the vendor really wanted to make a deal. Let's just say I got a bargain. Elspeth has the square nails and joinery you'd expect from wheels of that era. What attracted me is her small size, jaunty angle, and her treadle. I can't explain why, but I love the look of this treadle. She needs a little work - some wood polish, new leather pieces, and a few wood repairs - but I think she's functional. Can't wait to get her cleaned up and see how she spins.

I found a few other treasures. This crocheted table cloth is in perfect shape, just needs a gentle cleaning and a few threads woven in.
The workmanship is beautiful. I spotted this table runner as we were leaving. It too is in perfect shape - not something you often find in vintage, flea market textiles - and I love the subtle shading. Dick and I had gone through all our cash by this point, so we had to borrow $3 from a friend to make the $5 purchase price.

I found these at one of our first stops of the day. The vendor has boxes and boxes of vintage textiles, a lot of them hand-made, in various states of disrepair. I got a purple and green silk scarf for $1. This blanket,
which looks like doubleweave and is in very good shape, was also $1. And these vintage fabric remnants, that I'm planning to hem and use as runners on blanket chests? Yep, just $1 each. I love flea markets.