The Early Days

Something shifted in my life, I'm not sure exactly what or why, but before 2010 I was more productive when it came to knitting (and probably, everything else).  I've been thinking about some of the very large projects I've knit in past and, while searching through the blog, found two of the very large shawls from the early days.

HangingvinesOne of the largest shawls I ever made was Hanging Vines, which was knit with Judy's beautifully dyed single from her company, Ball and Skein. I remember how quickly the lace repeat was committed to memory and how easily the yarn flowed through my fingers. Once finished, I carried it along on a hike and had a great photo shoot at Willow Heights Lake.

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The next big shawl, and one of my most favorite shawls ever is, Hidcote. The photo shoot for this shawl is a forever favorite too, as Smith and I took pictures when we visited Bryce Canyon where the views can't be beat!

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The shawl is gigantic, soft, elegant, and simply stunning. I'm not sure I ever wore it again, but it's going to a fine new home, as my sister will be wearing when she marries in September. I'm sure this shawl will engulf her, but I think she knows I'm surrounding her with love.

Happy America's Day, friends! Have a safe and delightful 4th of July!


My Home

Carole asked us to come up with "10 Things You Love About your Home" and I had to think about it for awhile. We've lived in this place for 35 years and it is getting a little tattered and dated. It needs new carpet, new furnishings and a new a/c unit, new kitchen, and a few other repairs.  But, when it came right down to it, I had no trouble coming up with a list for ToT.

1. I love that we live in a condo, which is more like a row house or a townhouse, with 3 floors (including a basement). We have no lawn to mow, no snow to remove, no roof to replace, and a mailbox that drops the mail right into the house. Condo living is the best.

2. I love that we have a big front lawn and tons of trees throughout the grounds. We only care for our front garden (if we choose). The other big amenity is the pool!

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3. I love that when I drive home this is the view I see. 

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4. I love the stained glass window, made by a dear friend, which sits above the front door. I like that the front door faces north and the living room stays a little cooler because of it. But as you might guess, the back of the house faces south and that can make the patio unbearable in very hot summers. Like now.

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5. I love our patio, when it's not 105 in the shade. We use the patio much of the spring and fall and some summer evenings are very comfortable, too. (Just not right now.)

6. I love the layout of first floor and the open living room, kitchen, and dining area, as it has a nice flow and (if we like) it is easy to entertain (not that we have in years).

7. I love that our bedroom is large, large enough we were able to build in a wall of cupboards and drawers, as well as an area for a TV (rarely used) and a small stereo. 

8. I love we have a dozen large closets.  If you care to know--in the basement we have a double closet in the bedroom/office. In the hallway there is a double closet and a single closet, as well as, a space under the stairs, and to make the basement space even better, a large walk-in pantry. The main floor has a paltry pantry, a broom closet, and a coat closet. Upstairs we have a wealth of closets, the deep and double wide linen closet, double closets in the guest room, and a walk-in closet in our bedroom. Unfortunately, they are all stuffed (not by me, I might add). 

9. I love our new furnace (the one we replaced was 44 years old) and that it works with our ancient air conditioning to cool the house. THANK GOODNESS!

10. I just asked Smith what his favorite thing about our house was and he said "YOU" and I am now in tears. 

And, as everyone else is likely saying today, there really is no place like home.


You Might Say It's Hot

The weather this weekend was what you might call blistering. It was 105 on our patio both Saturday and Sunday. It felt like a blast furnace when you walked out the door. We did our best to stay cool, mostly by hibernating.

Sunset

But, Saturday, we decided it was too hot to cook, so we headed to our favorite Mexican place and ate dinner on the patio. We weren't the only ones enjoying shade of the umbrellas and eating guacamole (and drinking ice cold drinks).  Later that night, after it had cooled down to 97, we walked over to the high school to watch the sunset. We could see the air quality was poor, but the sunset was beautiful, nonetheless. 

Beading progress

My indoor activity was beading my Alabama Chanin T-shirt and I made good progress. Placing each bead is time consuming and slightly fiddly, but I've only a couple more small petals to do on this side of the T. On the other side of the neck, I've only started to cut the detail. Nothing about the process says fast, but I'm enjoying every stitch. 

I'm looking forward to the the weekend, as I took Thursday off to spend with Smith, which means I'll have 4 days off. We can only hope the weather will cool down by then. 


A Little Alcohol*

Susan wanted to take an art class and asked (on FB) if anyone would like to join her. I signed up right away, as the art form looked like fun. Painting with alcohol paints has no form, no exactitude, no sketching, no drawing, just, movement of color.  (Just search for "alcohol ink painting" and you'll get the idea.)

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Our teacher, Sarinda Jones, gave a demonstration of the medium, shared a few of her techniques, then set us free to work with our own creative juices. The class was a little fast and furious, fun to do, but too short, without much time to play, but, nonetheless, we had a good time. Eileen, Susan, and I want to try it again and we have plans to do just that.

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Susan put a lot of thought into her piece, puzzling and planning what to do next. We each created a couple of pieces and had fun with the process. 

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In the beginning I had no notion of where I was going or what I was doing and I now know I used too much of the blending solution. It made the colors run together and took away the texture.

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After the pieces had time to dry (which doesn't take long) I went back for a second layer of tweaking and liked the results a little better. The class gave me a better idea of the medium, how the colors and elements work, and I look forward to more play time with this art form. 

*No alcohol was imbibed during this event. 


Who's Your Daddy

Just so you're not confused, this is my dad about the time he was engaged to my mom, maybe even a little earlier, which is cr .1948-49.

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This is where I admit I don't really remember, or know much in any case, about TV dads. Most of what I think I remember is what I watched as a kid in the 1950s. My TV watching was limited and after I left home I didn't pay much attention. Even today, I don't know much about TV. So, when Carole asked us to list our favorite TV dads, I was at a loss. Furthermore, I admit, I had to Google TV dads! Seriously, I couldn't think pasted Leave it to Beaver and Ben Cartright, but Google did its job and my memories came flooding back. Here's my Ten on Tuesday list of my Favorite TV Dads. 

Ward Cleaver -Leave it to Beaver

Andy Griffith - Andy Griffith Show

Dick Van Dyke - Dick Van Dike Show

Robert Young - Father Knows Best

Ben Cartright - Bonanza

Ozzie Nelson - Ozzie and Harriett

Sky King- Father of a GIRL!  

Archie Bunker - All in the Family

Tom Corbett-Courtship of Eddie's Father

Cliff Huxtable - The Cosby Show

I loved Sky King (Google didn't help me there), Leave it to Beaver and the Dick Van Dyke show. As it is I only watched small portions of the other TV shows, so if you really want to know more about TV Dads you'll have to follow the other ToT posters. But, before you go, tell me your favorite TV Dad. 


Green Weekend

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Smith had the weekend free, which is a very rare occurrence and we took full advantage of the time. Our front garden was denuded, which was our wish, and we spent the weekend planting anew and making the garden our own. The garden had not been updated since the 1970s and we felt the bushes needed to be removed and the ground replanted. Withe the consent of our neighbors we added the Japanese Maple and planted shade loving plants, which should fill in over time. The idea is to add ground cover as needed. I'm very pleased with the way it's looking, so far. 

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Smith harvested the first of the garlic from our big garden and it looks like this year will be a banner year. With the temperatures climbing we try to keep the garden watered and the early plants from  feeling deprived of moisture. It means at least a trip a day to keep the garden hydrated.

The weekend was spent in a blur of gardening and time with friends, loving the sun, wishing the summer were longer, and enjoying the heat. Truly, you'll think I'm crazy, but I am happy to soak up the sun (as I've said) and enjoy the heat as I can. The temperatures will climb into the 100s this week and will be even hotter next, which I will admit, is a little too much (and too early) for my delicate constitution (JK), even if it is dry heat. In any case, bring on the summer! 


Another Beautiful Box

18908195261_8b065fb37f_oMy sunglass are pictured for size comparison.

My brother made this box when he was in high school woodshop.  By that time I had my own place and had no idea he was working on something so grand.  The year must have been 1978 or 79 and he gave it to me for Christmas. You could have knocked me over with a feather--I was so touched! 

He knew, at the time, I liked and wore a lot of jewelry and that I had a thing for boxes. He knew I would love and use it to hold my treasures, although, now, it holds the special pieces I rarely, if ever, wear. Years ago I wore bracelets and necklaces, earrings and pins, but now I only wear earrings, maybe the occasional pin. Necklaces bother my neck and bracelets just get in my way. I'm more of a minimalist overall, but especially when it comes to my wardrobe.  

By way of an update, the box I received when I graduated high school went to a friend (Susan, I'm looking at you) who said she would love it. I feel very good about giving it a good home, as she was delighted when I put it in her hands. 


Wednesday's Are For Knitting

Getting organized in a timely manner in order to list my Summer Bucket List just didn't happen. However, there are several things I'd like to do this summer while the sun shines and the skies are blue and first on my list is to soak up the heat! I'm the one who is always complaining about how cold I am so my intent is to get as much warmth into my skin as I can (not by sitting in the sun, but in any other way I can). 

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Second on my list is to knit, read, and sew every chance I get. I am working on my beading my Alabama Chanin T-shirt, a slow, slow process, but loving every bead and sequin I sew into place. I'd also like to work on my Market Bag and maybe sew a pair of pants, ala Marcy Tilton and Vogue.

And, since Wednesday's are for knitting, I plan on knitting as often as possible through the summer. Through the Loops Mystery is on my needles now and since it's a mystery, the results are slightly obscured.

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I love my-new-favorite-color of Kim's yarn, Through the Looking Glass. At some point, there should be the addition of another color (where or when remains a mystery) and I think my choice will look great with the blue. I am much enamored with the process of the lace, even if it has tripped me up a few times, but sometimes the process means "back"  as much as it means "forth".  How does your knitting go?