Monday, October 27, 2008

A photo update

So much has happened lately.

First we adopted a cat. His name is Butter (he came with the name). He was so freaked when we got him, that he spent the first week behind our couch. By day 7, he and our dog were helping me knit:

IMG00172.jpg by you.

Then Butter got so confident with the yarn, he decided to try it solo:

IMG00160.jpg by you.

We went to Cloudcroft, NM for brief break. The aspens were beautiful and the temps were deliciously cool!

We stopped in Muleshoe, TX, which I was suprised to learn has a McDonald's AND a playland! Who knew???

IMG00163.jpg by you.
I finished my "car socks" that have been in the car and on the needles since early summer:

New knit socks...  IMG00164.jpg by you.

The twins saw their first memorable mountains. The pic below was taken shortly after Eli said "these are the tallest mountains EVER!"

Eli declared IMG00165.jpg by you.

We went to White Sands, NM where the boys went sand sledding:

IMG00169.jpg by you.

The innocent charming face below posed for this pic after pushing me down a dune when I casually commented that it seemed an awfully long way down....he just. pushed. me. down. the. dune!!!!

Are this face? IMG00170.jpg by you.

I regret that I don't have any good pics on my computer that show the boys in the "real" mountains -- but let me assure you that there was hiking, elk, elk poop, chimineas, and marshmallow roasting all around!

It was a great trip but we're glad to be home!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sick day

I'm home with a sick little 6 year old today. He was feeling rotten, so we were cuddling in bed watching Sesame Street (such nostalgia value for this mommy). Good love!

Sesame Street is always evolving to excite kids with updated music and skits. Eli loved it, and Mommy loved this piece so much she had to share with you. I nearly rolled off the bed when it started.

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Because yarn is a terrible thing to waste.

Last winter I fell in love with the genius that is Stephanie Japel and Fitted Knits. Her patterns are so approachable, flattering, and fun. I jumped off and made Boatneck Bluebell and knit with a fervor never before seen. I wore it for exactly 3 hours in early April. Then I felted it.

I called my friend, Chris. I showed her the shrunken felted mess and we had a memorial stout to help ease the blow. Then my friend Chris, who is a very petite gal and at least 6 sizes smaller than me, pulled the sweater over her head and walked out the door. Yep, that's right, the sweater shrunk to fit her size small frame vs. my large frame. I chalked it up to kharma and knitterly cockiness. I shouldn't have been knitting that selfishly on a sweater. I gave myself some time to digest the problems and recommitted to doing it again. I started it sometime in July and finished it in August. Meet Boatneck Bluebell versions 1.0 and 2.0 (unfelted).

Fw: Have I ever sent you these? by you.

I'm officially a dumbass. Any questions?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

About last night...

I went to a concert last night.

IMG00144.jpg by you.


Double wow!

Words don't do it justice. Plant and Krauss were amazing. Plant's voice is pure nostalgia and Krauss' voice is pure heaven -- put those two together with a kick-ass talented band and you've got magic.

I saw a knitting friend there (who shall remain nameless). She told me she just found out about the show 2 hrs. before it started. She was really excited to "see Alison Krauss and some old guy." When they sang Plant's "I'm in the Mood" I turned around and told her very self-righteously "THAT'S the 'old guy!'" WONDERFUL!

It was also great being at the Zooampitheater. I saw SOO many concerts there in college, and being there again last night was like a trip down memory lane. Great venue, great music, great memories.

Enough waxing nostalgic. Just go buy "Raising Sand" if you don't own it. It's amazing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happiness is...

  • Temps in the 7o's with NO HUMIDITY
  • A new sweater in the pipeline (doesn't it SCREAM 1986?)
  • The new Genius feature in iTunes
  • My new "70's Sap" playlist (via Genius above)

IMG00139.jpg by you.

What's on the 70's playlist you ask?

Ventura Highway
Make It with You
Everything I Own
Baby I'm-A Want You
It Don't Matter to Me
Guitar Man
Lost Without Your Love
I'd Really Love to See You Tonight
Nights Are Forever Without You
Love Is the Answer
It's Sad to Belong
Baker Street
Right Down the Line
Rocky Mountain High
Annie's Song
September Morn
Play Me
Holly Holy
I Am...I Said
Diamond Girl
Deacon Blues
Hey Nineteen
Rikki Don't Lose that Number

Don't scoff, I didn't call it "70's Sap" for nothing! Oh put me in Mom's Monza driving down Doghouse Road in 1975 listening to many many of these tunes! Mom's didn't have the racing stripes though -- it was a totally cool color, you know, something like blue.

Never fear -- I've also got a kick-ass 80's playlist -- it's called "Skinny Rocks" - -because really, I was skinnier and rockin' in those days. ;-) I'll share that list with you sometime.

Time to get gauge for the new sweater (no, I'm not using the rainbow colorway, I promise).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One of my favorite blogs

I read a lot of blogs. A recent blog posting from a favorite blogger left me wanting to simultaneously stand in my chair and shout approval AND wipe tears from my eyes. She has a gift for words that I wish I had, and today I share one of her wisest entries with you. It's a favorite not because it's written with her usual humor, but because it is written with a profound insight and grace.

I will stop now lest I detract from her message:

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What a nice shiraz, duct tape, and patience will do...

Think about it -- shiraz, duct tape, and patience...

Never mind.

I had seen a piece on how to make your own dress form on Knitty Gritty a year or so ago, but I recently bought Wendy Bernard's book Custom Knits which describes in detail how to do it again -- and, well, I just had to try it out.

So my friend Chris (the owner of Boatneck Bluebell version 1.0 felted) came over. With wine and duct tape in hand, we went to work. (The process is like this.)

When we were done, we had our mini-me's (although both of us imagined ourselves about 15 years thinner.)
IMG00122.jpg by you.

Let me know if you decide to try it. It was definitely entertaining...the kids particularly enjoyed running around in them. It gave us some great ideas for potential Halloween costumes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

You should be scared, very scared!

I finally took the time to figure out how to make a slide show. Enjoy the last of the pics of the Bethesda style show.

Monday, August 25, 2008

In search of completed UFO's

I didn't make any lofty goals for my Olympic viewing knitting...other than to, um, finish every unfinished object in my house (which includes 3 sweaters, 3 pair of socks, a pi shawl, and well....that's enough for now).

What did I do instead?

I finished a market bag I started knitting exactly one year ago:

IMG00102.jpg by you.

Wow did I feel self-righteous after that. ONE WHOLE UFO finally finished after just one year!

What did I do next: I sagely started knitting mittens...because, as my Alaskan friend can attest, nothing says Oklahoma winters like wool mittens.

I give you Malabrigo burgundy:

IMG00103.jpg by you.

...and Jil Eaton (from Classic Elite):

IMG00104.jpg by you.

It's mate is on the needles now. This was my first time knitting with both of these yarns. The Malabrigo was everything I've heard it would be, but I have to tell you that the Jil Eaton is way up there too. Both have amazingly soft hands...and in my humble opinion, have a lot in common.

THEN as I suffered through the Olympic track and field events, I pushed through sleeve island and finished my Boatneck Bluebell (version 2.0 [unfelted]).

IMG00105.jpg by you.

Coming soon: pics of versions 1.0 and 2.0 together and the story of how this knitter got a bit wiser despite her stupidity!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A photo essay

Kendra  Eli 2 by you.

Eli thrived in Kendra's presence at the Bethesda style show. He worked the crowd with his big brown eyes, sweet smile, and enchanting wave.

FW: Saturday pics by you.

Seth was overwhelmed at the impending prospect at modeling. He sacked out for the entire show.

Keever Gabe  Katie by you.
While Gabe strutted his stuff flanked by two cuties -- Keever and Katie. Hard to resist those young smiles...especially the one missing two front teeth.

Nat  Gabe by you.

Or the close up of the two missing front teeth and his buddy the 15 y.o. varsity cheerleader!

IMG00083.jpg by you.

A few days later, we went fishing for the first time. Here's Seth's first catch...which, had you been there, he would've convinced you that he was catching a WHALE!

Baiting the hook IMG00085.jpg by you.

Here's Gabe working to bait his first hook. My city-boy son learned how to bait that hook and make the family proud. It was a big day!

IMG00058.jpg by you.
Bananas Blanco was knit for Seth and is awaiting a new wardrobe to be sewn by MiMi. Just WAIT until you see the fabric Seth picked out for him.

Two boys and one garden. IMG00057.jpg by you.

Lastly, here's a pic of two cousins with the fruits of one garden. Caleb (Marty's son) is on the left) and Gabe is on the right. They are two peas in a pod. I think often of Marty and Eric or Marty and Foshee when I see them together being wild boys in the country. Those faces tell the story of the stories they will be telling for years!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Open Invitation

I am pleased to invite each and every one of you to join the fun:

FW: Common Thread and an Invitation by you.

Bethesda is central Oklahoma's only non-profit dedicated solely to the treatment and prevention of childhood sexual abuse. This is an amazing organization and I am honored to support them.

In addition to the style show, there is a silent auction with tons of great loot -- including for us knitter fools:

  • HUGE knitting basket with lots of premium yarn, books, the Yarn Harlot's 2009 calendar, and market bag kit.

  • A darling hand-knit red elephant (which is lovely with THREE original elephant art paintings from the elephants at the OKC Zoo)

  • A beautiful felted cabled bag for carrying anything your heart desires

Each of the above items were generously donated to Bethesda by Norman-area knitters.

I snapped a few pics of the auction items and tables and you can see them on the right.

AND because my photos don't do the items justice, below is a list of just a few of great offerings.

Norman Date Night
One Night Stay at Montford Inn
Legend's Restaurant Gift Certificate
Wine Caddy

Pamper Yourself
Teeth Whitening (Office Visit, Bleaching Trays and Bleach)
Gift Certificate for One Hour of Personal Training and Fitness Consultation

Family Fun
2008 All You Can Eat Seats at the Oklahoma Redhawks (6 Tickets)
4 Admission tickets to Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
4 Admission VIP Passes to Oklahoma City Zoo
(4) $25.00 Gift Certificates to Pole Position Raceway

Indulge Yourself
Gift Certificate for One Hour of Personal Training and Fitness Consultation
(3) $50.00 Gift Certificates to Mariposa Medspa
Soy Candle Gift Basket

Time with the Kids
2008 All You Can Eat Seats at the Oklahoma Redhawks (6 Tickets)
(3) $25.00 Gift Certificates to Pole Position Raceway
$50.00 Gift Certificate to Young Chefs Academy

Dinner and a Show
Dinner for 4 @ Toby Keith's Bar and Grill
Four (4) tickets to "Music Builds" Tour at the Cox Convention Center
Dine Around OKC
(2) $10.00 Gift Certificates to Italiano's Pasta and Pizza
(4) $10.00 Gift Certificates to Chuck House
(2) $10.00 Gift Certificates to Cheeseburger in Paradise
(2) $25.00 Gift Certificates to Alfredo's Mexican Café

Dine Around Norman
Gift Certificate to Hideaway Pizza
Dinner for 4 @ Louie's Grill and Bar
Forward Foods Gift Certificate

Individual Items
Hilton Anatole Dallas Weekend Get-Away (2 night stay, breakfast and 2 massages)
OU Basketball & Bag signed by Coach Sherri Coale
Round of Golf for 4 @ Jimmy Austin Golf Club w/ Private Lesson
Elephant Painting #1
Elephant Painting #2
Elephant Painting #3
"Sweetheart Moth" Oriental Brushwork Painting by Ariel Richter
"Julia Heliconian" Oriental Brushwork Painting by Ariel Richter
"Postman Heliconian" Oriental Brushwork Painting by Ariel Richter
"Landscape" by Sue Hale
"Native American Shawl Dancer" by Sue Hale
"Tulip" by Sue Hale
"Dory and Beldy" Giclee Print by Sue Hale
Original Jewelry by Michelle E. Kelley
One Night Stay at Quartz Mountain Resort (with Breakfast)
Dallas Cowboys Jersey and Football signed by Roy Williams
Knitters Delight Basket
Barry Switzer Photograph
Beauty Product & Service Gift Basket
Texas Rangers autographed baseball hat
Arbonne Gift Basket
"Pink Granite, Wichita Mountains" Photographed and Printed by Andrus Clark
"Giraffe, Ngorongoro, Tanzania" Photographed by Steve Newcombe, Printed by Andrus Clark
Original Thrown Pot by Tiffany Couch
OU Football Tickets - Opening Game! OU vs. Chattanooga: August 30, 2008
OU Men's Basketball Tickets - 4 Spectacular Seats! November or December Game TBD
Original Thrown Pot by Victor Watkins
Italy Photograph by Mary Summers
"Vermilion Cliffs" Photographed by Stephen Newcombe
Cigar Gift Basket
OU Fan Basket
Dinner at Park Place Grill at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel

Hope to see you Saturday (I'll be there as my kids are modeling!!), and if you can't make it then, please stop by and bid on some of these treasures.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Teeth, Tweed, and Temperatures (and a note for Mamacate)

In the last few weeks the following excitement (or lack thereof) have happened to the Blanco Bunch:

Gabe lost his two front teeth:

Seth lost his first tooth ever:

(For the record, Eli still has a "wiggle tooth" but no action.)

The Boatneck Bluebell Version 2.0 (Unfelted) is well underway. It's knit in Cascade 220 Tweed and I'm loving it. I'm optimistic that I will have it finished this week and can have a photo shoot of Versions 2.0 and 1.0 together. In the interim, here's what I have done to date:

Despite the climbing temps (100 promised today), I am having a blast in the garden harvesting tomatoes, squash, and green beans (with plans for expansion next year since it seems that the deer aren't interested in the fruits of my labor)!

I'm also thrilled to share a pic of my first ever Passion Flower that was discovered near the garden. This is the most amazing flower ever -- doesn't it look like it should be on Star Trek or something?

I will be propagating this baby next spring and trying to get it to do it's thing. It's just amazing!!!!

Oh, and Mamacate, I have identified and am plunging through my first lace shawl. Okay, wait, plunging makes it sound like I'm working on it nonstop and am obsessed. Truth be known, I had to borrow the needles for another project but am ready to begin my 3rd repeat. I'm working it in RY Cashsoft and am convinced that when I wear the FO I will look JUST LIKE the model on the pattern page. Does DK count for true lace...even for a first time lace gal?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

In which knitting, one-eyed frogs and banana pudding happen in the same week...

Yep you read it right. Knitting, one-eyed frogs, and banana pudding.

First the knitting. The Andes Mint sweater is getting there. I finished the body ribbing and have started the first sleeve. The sweater looks decidedly like arse on me, but it will be warm and as a friend said the other day, I can always wear it while doing yard work. (You'll have to wait to the end of this entry to see the pic though.)

After a big rain this week, I spied what we later learned to be not only an American Bullfrog but a one-eyed bullfrog. We thought the suburbs of Oklahoma City weren't the best place for him to be when we knew of a pond that he would just love:

Sure enough, he seemed to jump right into his new habitat (OH I kill myself...jump right in)!

See the absence of one eye on the right? Wild, huh? We named him Cyclops. We sang Born Free (okay, I thought it but didn't sing it), and we thought how happy would be.

Then I went inside and cooked one of our family recipes, Grandmother Hall's Banana Pudding:

Don't tell anyone in the family, but it's probably a recipe off the side of a box somewhere, but my aunt Sue got Grandmother's recipe by following her around the kitchen and measuring as she cooked. NOW, being a sucker for tradition and history, one of the fun parts for me is that I make her banana pudding using the exact same pans she used. They are around 50-60 years old. Word on the family tree is that Grandaddy bought them from a door-to-door salesman in Odessa, TX for what was a small fortune on their teacher salaries.

Here's Grandmother's double-boiler with my double batch of banana pudding thickening away. Note the butter melting away into rich sugary goodness:

Here's the finished product ready to go in the fridge (half uncovered so the Nilla Wafers don't get soggy).

And here's one naked boy (who just finished swimming in the pond) in deep negotiations with his papa hoping he'll share some warm banana pudding with him:

The cute naked boy won.

See I'll take a million pictures and do most anything to avoid facing 18 more inches of ribbing.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hello Victoria. Remember me?

I got reacquainted with my old friend over the weekend.

This is what I did Friday evening with some of Gwen-the-Enabler's beautiful roving and a glass of wine. Despite what the picture shows, I DID spin some fine yarn, but it wasn't all fine. In fact, I am decidedly out of practice. I put her away with promises that we would get together again very very soon.

Gwen is on the road to distant knitterly and fiber-enhanced lands. Travel safely dear friend and fondle some wool for me!

I worked on the Cozy V-Neck Pullover and reasonably close to finishing the body. Remember that I'm using clearance Berocco Ultra Alpaca on this project, which shall henceforth be nicknamed my Andes Mint sweater.

See what I mean? Looks like an Andes Mint -- or mint chocolate chip ice cream.

It's a fundamentally busy piece for a sweater that looks best in one solid color. But we must remember, clearance yarn + lots of it = sweater. Must destash. Must destash.

The pattern is from Stehanie Japel's book Fitted Knits and this is the second pattern I've knit from it (the first being the doomed Bluebell Boatneck that was accidentally felted). I will next make her dropped-stitch lace tunic from the book in some lovely jewel-toned blue cotton stash. That is my reward for pushing through 30 in. of ribbing on the Andes Mint sweater. ;-)

Off to K2 P2...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer so far...

School's out. We've had a HUGE garage sale. We've had a lemonade stand. We've been swimming. We've been biking (Boomer Sooner!).

After biking, there was snack -- complete with "bwain fweeze" by Seth.

There have been knitted socks.

Miss Bab's Midnight colorway.

Miss Bab's Terracotta Tile colorway.

And two other pair on the needles -- one in Jitterbug and the other in Regia National.

The biggest knitting news is that my Ultra Alpaca copulated today. Maybe the early summer heat is melting my brain, but I found myself thinking less of color blocks and more of mint chocolate chip. THEN I swatched and got this:

I originally thought I'd hold two of the colors together and swatch for an Adult Surprise Jacket, but when I swatched, I realized that the colors work best in stockinette. So I'm using the green and chocolate brown and making Stephanie Japel's Cozy V-Neck Pullover. I'll save the taupe for another day.

In between it all is work, cooking, cleaning, knitting, and reading (just finished this, and going back to this.)

And at the end of the day, we peek into our children's rooms, and if we're lucky, we get a glimpse of this.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ahhhhh it's summertime!

There's going to be a HUGE garage sale here this weekend. My garage is packed with stuff, and it's not even all out there yet.

The most exciting part of the weekend though will be this:

Despite what the picture shows, there will be one lemonade stand and three boys (one was in denial about participating). They're excited beyond belief. If I were a better blogger, I'd show you the pics I took of them painting the box, but that didn't happen so you'll have to use your imagination when you think about two boys, 4 colors of tempera paint, and a sunny day.