Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tortoiseshell Cat

It's much, much too early to think about Christmas.  Regardless of what the ads on TV or in the newspaper say, Christmas is NOT in July, or August.

Having said that... I'm knitting a Christmas present.  Huh?  The perfect project came to mind.  A friend and co-worker loves cats and has 4 of them.  One is a Tortoiseshell Cat and Ancient Arts has a Tortoiseshell-color yarn.

It's part of their Meow Collection and part of the proceeds goes to help take care of abandoned cats and will help them find a good home.  You can read more about this worthy cause here.

I chose the DK weight yarn and the Rustic Potato Chip Scarf pattern.  It's free, by the way!  It's an excellent pattern to use with variegated yarn and so much fun to knit.  After you've completed about 4 inches the scarf begins to twist.  Right from the beginning it's an easy to remember the pattern.  All you have to do is to be able to count to 8, 6 or 4.

There are only 20 stitches on the needle and I'm using a pair of double-pointed needles in US size 8 because I wanted short needles.  The stoppers at the end give me peace of mind that the stitches won't fall off the needle when I set it down.

I'm already thinking of making this scarf for myself in the future.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Which Classic Guitar Are You?

I took one of those silly online quizzes, this one was called "Which Classic Guitar Are You?".

My result.....

I don't put much faith in these quizzes.  They are just for fun.  However....what kind of guitar do I own?  A Fender Stratocaster (in black).  Hmmmm......!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Amazing Race Canada - Yukon

If you've been watching The Amazing Race Canada on TV you likely saw the last episode where the contestants were in the Yukon.  The tasks included dogsledding, portaging and canoeing, a biathlon in which they had to bicycle for 1 km and then shoot at 5 targets, and "make your bed".  For "make your bed" the contestants were required to set up a campsite identical to one that was done.  A wildness expert then checked what they'd done and, if approved, gave them their next clue.

It was all very exciting and to say that the scenery was spectacular is an understatement.  But, being a knitter, something else also caught my eye:  the sweater worn by the wilderness expert.  This is a blurry picture of it (when I hit Pause, the picture would go blurry) but you can see the design.

Click to enlarge.
This looks like a Dale of Norway sweater, but which one?  Is it one that is ready-made or is there a pattern for it?  It looks like there are edelweiss on it.  I don't recognize the design but I certainly do like it.

MYSTERY SOLVED:  Thanks to Mary deB I know now that the sweater is indeed a Dale of Norway design and there is a pattern.  It's called Norge 2000.  I found this link where you can get the pattern if you want it.  Thanks for the great detective work, Mary!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Assembly Required

Rowan Afghan Knitalong - 48 squares

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rowan - Time To Start Sewing

As usual I'm balancing more than one knitting project.  Today, I'm going back to my Rowan afghan.  The squares are finished and blocked and it's time to assemble them.

Click on picture to enlarge.
My blanket is different from the original in some ways:
  • Instead of making it in 1, 4 or 17 colors I used 48 colors.  It'll be 49 colors when you count the border.
  • The original was knit with the new Rowan Worsted Weight yarn.  I used yarn that was anything but new.  It's all stash yarn in fingering weight.
  • I won't be making the cabled border.  Instead, I plan to knit a garter stitch border in 1 color, well, maybe 2.  I'll decide when I get there.
The next decision is the layout.  I'd like to have it so that no two patterns touch each other, i.e. no Clue #1 touches another Clue #1.  Hopefully it won't be too difficult and that the colors end up looking pleasant enough together.

This afghan is going to be considerably smaller than the original since I used thinner yarn and smaller needles, and that's what I wanted.  I was looking for a small afghan that my little grandkids can use for a nap or a fort, or anything they like, when they come to visit.  I'm betting that they'll like all the colors.  When I look at this I think back to when I was a kid and got a box of 48 crayons and how cool I thought it was!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Talavera Dreams

Every now and then a knitting pattern comes along that is just too pretty to ignore.  Okay, so it happens quite  often, but this particular pattern was a "must make" from the moment I spotted it.  It's an afghan called "Persian Dreams" by Jenise Reid (Ravelry link).

It's just the kind of knitting that I love to do.... lots of color, flexibility of choice and each section makes up in a reasonable amount of time = fairly instant gratification, fingering weight yarn and small needles.

I looked through all the projects on Ravelry and the color choices and was drawn to two in particular.  The dark rendition by joan8904 and one that reminds me of the colors of Delft pottery in the Netherlands by CeruleanSarah.

I've decided to go with the dark background and take my color inspiration from the colors of the Southwest U.S. and from Talavera pottery.  I love the bold, deep, vibrant colors and the designs.  I've decided to rename my afghan to "Talavera Dreams".

There are 6 charts and I've just finished the first one. I plan to make every chart in a different colorway.  For the colors, it's a great stash buster.  However, I had to buy the black background color as I didn't have enough of any one color in my stash.  This pattern uses a lot of yardage.  In this hexagon I used, from the center out:  Trekking XXL sock yarn, color 516; Space Cadet Oriana 8-ply, color Burnt Clay A; Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat, color Barley Sugar and Vice Yarn, color Calypso for the last 2 outer rounds.  The background is Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock Yarn, black #5601. My plan is to do the last two rounds of every block in the same vivid cobalt blue.  Hopefully I'll be able to stick to my plan of doing a block a month, but if the first one is any indication, I might pick up that pace a bit.

I haven't forgotten my Rowan afghan.  Today I finished the last of the 48 squares and it's now being blocked.  I'll be assembling them any day now.  This was another great stash-busting project.

Here's a Talavera dish that I have and is one of the things I look to for inspiration:

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Joker

For Music Monday, I bring you the Steve Miller Band.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some People Call Me Maurice

I saw the Steve Miller Band at the Pepsi Center in Denver last night and it was even better than I'd hoped.  Unless I'm forgetting one, they played every song that I've liked since first hearing them in the 70s.  The show opened with the sharp musical spears of "Jungle Love" darting all over the venue, along with a light show.  The version of "Fly Like An Eagle" sent chills through me, it was so beautiful.

I wish I could have taken better pictures with my phone - it could be the operator and not the phone.  Below, they are performing "Jet Airliner".  Today I've got the music of the Steve Miller Band in my head and that's a good thing.

Click to enlarge the picture.  Why does a tall guy with the big head  manage to get into photo?!
The show opened with the band Tower of Power.  Also on the bill was Journey.  Great show, too, but I was there mainly to hear the Steve Miller Band and I hope that I hear them again one day.  Soon, I hope.

I must fly like an eagle because time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future ...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another Beautiful Day in Another Neighborhood....

Today the neighborhood is Rocky Mountain National Park.  I drove to the top of Trail Ridge Road.  The altitude is in the proximity of 12,000 feet, give or take.

Trail Ridge Road is a stretch of Highway 34 and is the highest continuous paved road in the U.S.  The road is closed during the winter and often remains closed until late spring or early summer depending on the amount of snow.

The weather was good at first but slowly the skies clouded over, thunder rumbled and there were a couple of bolts of lightning. Time to go back to the car.  On the way down the mountain it started to hail. There are parts of the road that are a bit scary to drive with multiple sharp turns, no shoulder and a long drop off the side of the road. I'm sure that keeping a tight grip on the steering wheel helped my driving!

I wish I'd taken pictures along the Big Thompson Canyon. Words cannot describe the road weaving through high mountain walls of craggy rock. It made me feel so small.