Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking a Deep Breath

This is not a photo of knitting, because there has been very little knitting lately, except for a few inches of the yellow cotton thing that I can't show you. What there has been a lot of this past week is family, food, and grandbaby cuddling, and that's O.K.

This photo was taken at the Denver Botanic Gardens, in the Japanese Garden section. I love this place. In the center of all the craziness that came with DD's commencement, the few hours we spent there probably saved my sanity. It's my Lourdes. It's where I came to the realization that I will never, ever come close to being able to juggle everything I want and need to do, and hold on to what little sanity I have left. If I don't love it, it goes to the bottom of my bottomless list. And if I do love it, it's O.K. to move it around that list--I'll eventually get back to it.

I'm admitting to the fact that sometimes, for me, multitasking means blogging, walking the dog, and knitting all in the same day. I realize there are people who do these things simultaneous, and if you are one of them, don't judge--several times this week I held a baby, made sandwiches, did laundry, checked my email and Twitter feeds, and carried on conversations with a room full of people, all at the same time. So clearly I have skills. I'm just judicious about when I use them.

I do feel bad about all your blog posts I haven't read, let alone commented on, and the comments on my own blog that I haven't acknowledged, but I hope you'll cut me some slack. I'm taking a deep breath, lingering in my happy place a little while longer, and getting some extra sleep so I can get back to my knitter's life with a vengeance. I just hope they left a beer in the refrigerator. That would help.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Because I ran out of mint...

I'm knitting something new but it's secret stuff that I can't show you--I'm told there are rules about these things. Whatever. I'll knit fast so I can show you, one way or another, sooner or later.

So what else have I been up to, you ask? You may have heard things, especially if you read blogs like Traveling Ann. Do not listen to the rumors. I'm not nearly as nice as she makes me out to be. Or as sarcastic. O.K, fine! I'm sarcastic--I'm working on that telling the truth stuff. If you follow Donna Druchunas (Twitter (@druchunas) I'll be left here tomorrow night when the End of the World thing happens. Fine with me. My yarn stash is way to big to leave behind and I'm pretty sure The Rapture is carry on bags only.

In case you're also going to be around for the weekend, you might want to try this tasty adult beverage I concocted. It was inspired by a drink called a Moscow Mule. I'm calling mine the Atlanta Mule. Cheers!

Atlanta Mule

1 ½ oz Vodka
½ oz peach schnapps
3 oz ginger beer

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled rocks glass, stir gently, then garnish with optional stitch markers, or mint sprigs.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Rock Island Shawl--Ta-da!

I love this thing so much, I almost can't believe it came off my needles. Don't get me wrong--it's not without  mistakes--but I'm not going to point them out. I'll just wrap this beauty around my shoulders and feel the love.

Unblocked, it measured 21x46 inches, and blocked out to 42x64 inches. I probably could have stretched it a bit more but this is exactly the size I envisioned. Anything bigger would probably look silly on me--I'm on the short side.

If the sun ever decides to stay out for an extended period of time, I'll get DH to take a photo of me wearing it. For now, here's one of those "I took it in the bathroom mirror" shots, and an artsy-fartsy photo.

There's more details on my Ravelry page, for those who are interested.

And can you believe I already have another project going? Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Rock Island is finished and on the blocking wires. Photos and numbers tomorrow; celebration tonight!

Photo from Barbellsandbacon.com

Friday, May 13, 2011

Confession Time

I broke Blogger yesterday so nobody would know I haven't posted for a while. I'm obviously delusional about my powers, since I also thought I'd be finished with my Rock Island shawl by now.

I have progressed to the center part of the shawl, which is all garter stitch, decreasing at the sides and center. Some people get all bug you-know-what crazy over big chunks of endless garter stitch, but I love this--little decreases that make the rows a tiny bit shorter every other row. Before you know it, the decreases will meet in the center, about where the nubbin ball of yarn is in the photo. Then, there's a four-stitch Kitchener bind-off, which I can do in my sleep. Not to brag on myself, but if I can break Blogger, then Kitchener is a slam dunk.

I'll leave you with a tasty little recipe for sangria. It's healthy too, if you consider the fruit. O.K., maybe not exactly healthy body-wise, but mental health is important too, and I feel way better after a glass or two. ¡a su salud!


1 bottle red wine—Rioja, Côtes du Rhône, or whatever red floats your boat—doesn’t have to be expensive but not rotgut either

4 oz Cognac—go for something fairly decent
¼ to ½ cup organic sugar, depending on the wine and your particular sweet tooth
1 organic apple, cored, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
2 organic oranges, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
juice of two organic oranges
1 organic lime, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
1 organic lemon, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
about a cup of fresh seasonal berries
1 cup sparkling water

Mix together all ingredients except berries and sparkling water, and chill overnight. The next day, pour over ice in a pitcher, add sparkling water, and gently stir. Pour into tall glasses and use some tongs to fish out some of the sliced fruits and add to each glass. Garnish with the berries and enjoy!

If you’re not going to serve the entire pitcher right away, I suggest not pouring the sangria mixture over the ice in the pitcher. Rather, once the sangria mixture is chilled, pour each serving over ice in individual glasses, then top off each glass with an ounce or two of the sparkling water. Don't forget the berries and fruit. 

You can certainly can make this without using organic fruits or organic sugar, but you won't get that virtuous feeling. I just like using organic fruits when they are in a solvent such as wine.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tink is a four-letter word, and so is lace.

This past week just needs to be flushed down one of our brand new toilets. I won't go into any more detail, otherwise people will read this blog then want to jump off a bridge. Line forms behind me, by the way.

At any rate, there has been knitting and not nearly as much wine swilling as you'd think. I'm going to call that maturation on my part. That, and my wine stash is getting a little thin, so I'm conserving for the rest of the weekend.

In spite of much gnashing of teeth and cursing, my Rock Island shawl is making progress. I'd say that I'm making progress on it, but that would be giving me way more credit than I deserve. I've gotten so good at tinking lace it's really kind of scary. I'm not going to count getting good at fixing mistakes as a good thing. You know what I mean.

Here's a sexy close-up:

If you aren't familiar with Rock Island, it's a triangle shawl worked from the outside in. I love this type of construction. There are increases and decreases on both sides, so all I can say is, count your stitches after every single row. Yes, that's a PITA, but trust me on this. If you're on Ravelry, pay no attention to those who say Rock Island is a slam dunk piece of cake. Those are the same people who wake up with perfect hair every day, and never gain weight on vacation. They are not to be trusted.

Tomorrow is supposed to be nice weather-wise here in the Denver area, so I think DD and I are going to the Botanic Gardens to have a little lunch and take some photos. If you're ever in the area, or happen to be lucky enough to live here, check it out. It's one of my favorite places in Colorado. DD and I try to go several times in the summer. We stop at our favorite falafel place and then picnic in the gardens. It's a lovely way to spend some time together--as long as we both eat the same garlic-heavy lunch. Otherwise, the drive home is kinda rough.

Have a great weekend, everybody, and Happy Mother's Day to my mom. You were right, by the way, about damn near everything, and I don't mind saying it. Love you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And the winner is...

Thanks everybody for all your kind words about Katie and please forgive me if I didn't respond to you personally for your kind words. We miss her terribly but are trying to focus on our happy memories.

I really wish I could send this giveaway to each and every one of you, but I'll do another giveaway very, very soon--stay tuned!

The winner is...

Ann, of The Adventures of Traveling Ann. Congratulations!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We will love you forever, Katie Cat.

Our beloved Katie went peacefully this morning. She was the sweetest little thing on four paws you can ever imagine. We will miss her forever.

I will have the giveaway drawing tomorrow. Thanks for understanding.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Birthday Giveaway*

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll just shut up and wish you all luck.

*Click here for details!

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's almost my birthday, so you know what that means...

Yarn. Yarn so soft it's like petting angels. I'm not kidding. And there's also a giveaway. But first, I'm going to be a tease and make you read about my weekend.

I celebrated May Day and my upcoming birthday by going to the Great Western Alpaca Show. It's not just about alpacas. There was all the usual fiber festival stuff--classes, vendors, and very expensive food and parking. I sat in on Donna Druchunas' Japanese crochet class, which was really fun, then afterwards she bought me lunch. Thanks Donna! Pretty awesome in itself, right? But wait--it gets better. And more expensive, much more expensive...

I got to pet this guy. I can't remember his name, but the kid who raised him was awfully proud. Alpacas are so soft and fluffy, you just want to squeeze them like a pillow, but since they will kick the snot out of you, I restrained myself.

This white alpaca was being shown in the ring. It looked like the alpacas were doing some sort of agility course--you can see some of the stuff in the background. I have no clue why alpacas would need to do this, but it was fun to watch.

Maybe alpacas like to do crazy stuff and need to get tired out, otherwise they get out of control. Embiggen this photo and check out the signs:

One of the vendors had this very cool knitting machine that she let people take a turn at. You crank the handle and it makes a tube which you can use for socks and scarves:

Now for the pricey part--if you knit, you know what I mean. In my defense, it was on sale for the alpaca show, and tomorrow is my birthday. I couldn't help it and I don't care:

O.K. Enough with the teasing. To celebrate my birthday I'm going to have a giveaway--a very pretty project bag containing yarn and other goodies. No, it won't be qiviuk, but it will be something nice, I promise.

You don't have to do anything to be entered. If you follow my blog you'll automatically be in the drawing. It's just my way of saying thanks for reading. But if you aren't a follower, or for an extra chance at winning, leave a comment about why anyone would take an alpaca up a flight of stairs. Let's make the entry deadline midnight MST, May 4. I'll draw the winner on Cinco de Mayo, which is celebrated mostly here in the U.S., and mostly by drinking beer and eating stuff that gives you gas. Party on!