Sunday, November 25, 2007

Be Thankful!

I just wanted to share what I am thankful for. I am trying to remember to do this daily and not just when it is prescribed on the calendar. Mood music, please:

I am thankful for: my family - who love me no matter what; my bestest friends who are around when I need to talk or I need to bounce ideas around ( and I am there for them too if they need me); my favorite feline, Pedro, the Magnificent (as seen here - modeling his new, favorite place to sleep - a pair of snow pants, and in earlier posts);

my knitting and new knitting friends; the job that keeps the bills paid; and the beautiful place I live. I hope your holiday has been relaxing, full of fun and all the things that you are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Birthday Trip to Golden

This year, to celebrate my mother's birthday, we decided to travel to Golden, Colorado to take in the holiday melodrama and musical review, From Rags to Riches, presented by The Heritage Square Players. This Victorian-style melodrama was written in 1908 by Charles Alonzo Taylor and adapted by T.J Mullin, with original music and lyrics by Johnson and Estey. And after two act play the actors come out for a Christmas Musical/Comedy Revue.

It was a fabulous show! We did not partake of the buffet dinner that is offered before the show. Instead we went for early supper at the Lonestar Steakhouse and had a great meal and a little b-day singalong with the staff.

Prior to our evening out we had driven to Golden by way of String. This hidden-away-in-a-shopping-center knitting store is small but stuffed floor to ceiling with an incredible array and selection of yarn and fiber. It has a lovely gather-to-knit table with stools, a back room with another table they must use for classes and filled with more yarn. It was fun to see another store and how they have it set up for knitters. On this Saturday morning it was already filled with knitters, men ,women and kids, sharing their ideas and projects and love for knitting. The other great thing was it is near Tattered Cover, my favorite book store. All my favorite vices in one stop.

Then we headed north and found where our hotel was located. Could not check in yet, so we decided that a visit to National Center for Atomospheric Research (NCAR) was in order. It sits on a hill against the backdrop of the Flatirons just south of Boulder. Below are my partners-in-crime for this trip and a close up of eagle carving they are standing next to. It was beautiful.

It has two floors of displays about all things weather and climate, a couple videos to watch, a gift shop and my favorite thing, a tornado machine. It was really cool.

Behind the building is a weather trail that was getting good use on Saturday, more so than the inside sightseeing. And the view is fabulous, out across the plains with Boulder to the north (left) the plains of Denver to the east (center) and down the Flatirons to the Red Rocks of Morrison (right).

On the way back to the hotel in Lakewood I took the scenic route through downtown Golden, which looks like a great walking shopping experience, the Coors/Molson factory and to the Recycled Lamb yarn shop, another fun yarn stop. Again lots of yarn choices and a place to sit and knit. At least here I found a pair of #7, 10" needles to finish a scarf I have been working on with super long straights that was making me crazy.

The next morning we headed home by way of a stop at the Butterfly Pavillion. It is located in Westminster, just east of the fabulous and overly large, Flatiron Crossing mall. We had a great time seeing all the creeping critters (Mom hates spiders so she mostly stayed away from those terrariums)

and then the flying ones. The butterly avairy was amazing. We even timed right (luck) and were there for the butterfly release and informational talk. It was very interesting.

I will finish here with butterfly pictures. Now that I have reviewed my photos I can tell you that b-flys are difficult to photog. Here are the best of the group. Enjoy these pics and your life!

And I was not the only one fascinated by the fluttering bugs.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Knitting Marathon

What do you do when you realize that you have not considered a knitted gift for someone very important in your life and their birthday is a week away? It's called a "knitting marathon" and I pulled one recently when I realized my mother's birthday was on the horizon. Here is the pictorial version of panic:
Day One: Have an idea, find a pattern, buy the yarn and cast on (don't forget to swatch):

It did not take long for help to arrive:

Pedro had his own ideas of what should be done on the project when I got up to get more coffee. He thinks the color suits him.

Day Two sees some progress. Please note I am doing this while still attending my full time job.

Day Three: I have the contrasting color stripes working and the inspector is liking the larger size and is in the process of softening it up.

On Day Four Pedro decides that he wants it and "Grandma" will have to get something else for her birthday gift.
By Day Five I am getting anxious to get this done. The toughest part of knitting this was doing the yarn in double weight and my left hand circular tip kept disconnecting from the weight and the angle I had to hold it to knit.

Day Six it is off the needles and ready for felting. Here it is posing with Dracubear for scale. It came out the size of a lapghan.

Now it is off to the washer for felting. Note: since this felting is an inexact science, do not cut your 2-inch styrene blocks until you have it felted the way you want. Then cut the forms and place two if them in the bag, stuffing plastic bags in the middle between the foam to get a squared look for your tote. Then if you want to make another like it you have the forms already built and hope that the next one comes out about the same size. This one had to go through the washer three times before it was felted completely. The finished size after felting was 15" wide, 5" deep and 15 1/2" tall.
Needless to say, Mom loves it.
Pedro got to visit it recently and did not like it as well as he did before it was felted.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Really, I Do Knit

I believe that everyone who knits or does any type of craft should have supervisory/quality control staff. As you can see above I have that particular help in the furry form of Pedro, The Pirate Prince of Pasah. Nothing leaves my house without being inspected by "boss."
In that picture he is examining the cream colored kittyghan that I made for The Cat Care Society donation drive. It is made with garter stitch, bramble or trinity stitch and seed stitch triangle stitch. It turned out really nice and I am also going to submit the pattern for consideration in the Knitting Pattern-A-Day calendar for 2009. (Better get busy, the deadline is December 15th -- this year). Also in the picture are three of the five Amanda Squatty Sidekick felted bags that I have done for Christmas. The turquoise one that is mostly covered by gold and white is the unfelted on, the other two are felted and awaiting buttons. And the multi-colored one in front is a Take Along bag with fringe and pony beads. The pattern came from Creative Knitting July 2007.
Below is another pic of the kittyghan being tested for how well they fit on the back of a recliner and how well they show off the intended recipient. He is so helpful. I believe he may have a career in modeling.

I still have several items to knit before the holidays so I will be busy.

Hope you are having a good time in your life.