Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fall Color Predictions

I like to check out the fashion trends, especially the ones for Fall.  It's not that I'm going to follow them.  No one will ever accuse me of being a fashionista.  I wear what's in my closet, often things that are several years old.  That isn't to say that I wouldn't love to have a closet full of beautiful clothes, and to be tall and skinny and able to put on anything and make it look good.  But hey, to quote Popeye, "I y'am what I y'am"!

Recently I came across the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall 2011, which was written last spring.  It's odd how the designers and artists choose different colors and each person is supposedly a trend setter.  I wonder what goes into their decisions.  Fabrics that they can easily get?  Something that hasn't been "new" for a number of years? Maybe they honestly like certain colors?  What will the public buy?  I have no idea how these trends are decided and take hold.  Do they confer with each other at all? 

Yesterday I was in a mall here in Calgary and I noticed that many of the ladies' clothing stores had garments in black and in deep burgundy/maroon.  If this is the trend, then I like it.  I often wear black pants as they are versatile and I can wear them with my multi-colored sweaters. 

I'm particularly fond of dark burgundy.  Will I give in to this trend and buy something in this color?  Maybe.  Will I buy yarn and make a burgundy sweater?  Yes, IF I finish the projects that are currently on the needles, none of which are maroon. 

The chances of finishing said projects this year:  NIL.  Even less than that.  Maybe I'll make a burgundy sweater for Fall 2012, but will it be in style then?  Probably not!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oh What a Tangled Web....

..... I've made when I tossed my knitting project into a bag.

I haven't knitted in more than a week because of all the things that needed to be done for my move.  I tossed my Paul Smith Cardigan into my knitting bag, not being terribly careful.  I should have been.  Now, I finally have time to knit but two of the balls of yarn (white and black) are totally tangled so knitting is further delayed.  

As for the move, things are coming along nicely and I expect that I'll be able to knit more often from now on.  Yay!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Today was a very nice, relaxing day...the first one I've had in a very long time.  Jessica, Drew and Braydon took me on a tour of Calgary and it's much more interesting than I thought it would be.  It's going to be fun to explore the various parts of the city later on.

We went to a lookout point where you can view the skyline of Calgary:

That's the Saddledome in the front, home of the Calgary Flames hockey team.  I'm sure I'll be going there for concerts often.  Santana is playing tomorrow night and I'd love to go but it's too late to get great tickets.  Another time.

Looking to the left of the skyline you can see the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, the world's biggest rodeo.  It's quiet now but come next July it will be the busiest place in Calgary.  In 2012 the Stampede will be celebrating its 100th birthday and I plan to be there.

Downtown, the Calgary Tower:

We drove through neighbourhoods such as Chinatown and Kensington and stopped and walked though Eau Claire, a recreational area with walking paths, music, shopping, playgrounds and more.  It's a beautiful place.

Rafting on the Bow River in Eau Claire

We ended the day with a very good meal at Montana's Cookhouse.  It was a fun and very full afternoon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Off The Road

Yesterday was the end of the long drive, a total of about 1150 miles.  I actually enjoyed it and look forward to more trips in the future.  I snapped this picture, through my windshield with all the bugs:

Yes, Star Trek fans, there is a town of Vulcan in Alberta.

This story is for you, Sheila:  Today I was at the U-Haul dealer, dropping off the truck and trailer.  There was a family there, helping a friend load up her truck.  Two little boys, about 7 and 8, were running around and I asked them if they were fans of the Calgary Flames.  One boy replied that he didn't like hockey, but if had to cheer for a team it would be the Edmonton Oilers because that's the team his cousin was on.  His cousin is Jordan Eberle

Oh, and the lady that was getting her stuff loaded on a truck was from Elizabeth, Colorado.  Small world.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is my day of rest.  The first one I've had in months.  I plan to enjoy it.  I hope that you do too.  I plan to knit for the first time in about a week and I plan to savor every minute of it..

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gooooood Morning, Chey-enne!

Cheyenne, WY.  That's where I started my day, hitting the road at 7:30am.  It's been a very long day and I'm tired.  I ended the day on the road at 10pm. Over 800 miles of the journey is behind me, 330 miles left to go.  It should be a much shorter day tomorrow, depending on how long it takes to cross the border into Canada.

The scenery in Montana is spectacular.  I understand why it's called "Big Sky Country".  The landscape is different than Colorado.  The Rockies (the mountains, not the baseball team) are still there, in the distance, but with great expanses of rolling hills. 

That's all my furniture, yarn, etc. rolling down the highway with my son-in-law, Drew, at the wheel. 

One day I'd like to brush up on my history lessons and come back this way and visit the sights, including the Little Big Horn monument:

There was a beautiful sunset and today's drive ended in Great Falls.  This picture was taken through my bug-bespeckled windshield.  As for those bugs that hit my windshield, if they had the guts, they'd do it again.  I can't believe I just typed that.

Tomorrow, Calgary, by way of Coutts, Alberta.

I'll end with a story that would be funny if it wasn't so sad.  Last night I went to the Village Inn in Cheyenne for dinner and had this conversation with the waitress:

Her:  "Where are you coming from."
Me:  "Denver."
Her:  "Where are you going?"
Me:  "Calgary."
Her:  "That's part of Denver, isn't it?"
Me:  "No, it's in Canada."
Her:  "Oh, I didn't know that."

Obviously.  So aside from the fact that she obviously failed geography in school.... what the hell would I be doing in Cheyenne, Wyoming if I was moving from one part of Denver to another?  DUH on both counts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On The Road

I'm on the road and heading north to Calgary.  My apartment has been all packed up.  My goodness, I knew I had a lot of yarn, but I have a LOT of yarn!!  I left Denver around dinnertime today (Wednesday) and I'm now in Cheyenne for the night.  Tomorrow will be a very long day. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Calgary Bound

My move is well underway, the truck arrives tomorrow and I hit the road on Thursday. Blogging may be a sometime thing for the next few days, but the knitting will continue!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Poorly Dressed & Packing Knitting

Hello, bonjour, hallo, hola, hyvää päivää, hei, hallå, привет, ahoj:

Yesterday I found out that I'd made to the Poorly Dressed website (posted 08.17.11 - 11:53 am).  What an accomplishment, hahaha! "I'd like to thank the academy, my mother, my teachers, and most of all, Vanilla Ice for being such an inspiration. Yo!"

I've had quite a few inquiries about the availability of this sweater, the New Kids on the Block sweater, or the patterns.  Right now I don't know if I even have the pattern around here somewhere.  I rather doubt it as it's been 20 years since I made these, but anything is possible.  Since I've packed up boxes for my move I can't do a search.  Would I ever knit these again, or make the pattern available?  A definite "maybe"!  I'd have to be sure that I'm not treading in illegal territory as far as copyright is concerned.  If there is an update later on (after the move), I'll post about it here.
The packing is almost finished and I still have the fun (?) of unpacking ahead of me later on.  The hard part was packing some knitting that would hold me over until I get a chance to take my yarn out of the boxes and bags when I get to Calgary.

Like a lot of knitters, I think I packed too much, but I don't want to run out of projects.  In one large plastic bin are the following, each is packed up like a kit with yarn, needles, pattern and notions:

- Damson (it's going to be a little knitalong with my friend, Sheila)
- Multnomah

- Red (one sock is finished)
- Blue variegated (1/2 sock is finished)
- Black with silver bits

- Paul Smith Cardigan (back is finished)
- Queenland #10, pattern 28 (one front piece is finished)
- Stealth Project (it's a secret)
- May Pullover
- Knit-o-Graf Cowboy Sweater
- Bohus Large Lace Collar Pullover (colorwork is finished)
- Sprössling

- Triangle Squares Cushion (can't wait to get back to this one)

- Knitter's graph paper (to design flags for an afghan)

Too much?  If I focus on these projects for the next few months I will have made a wee, tiny dent in my stash, finished some UFOs (unfinished objects) and had the pleasure of starting some new projects. Oh, and there will the yarn for Rowan's 4-ply Waistcoat waiting for me in Calgary.  Why yes, I did order more yarn!  I couldn't resist this pattern.  I'm such a weakling.

Back to packing and cleaning, but I'd rather be knitting, especially after seeing this list of projects!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm Busy Procrastinating

There's not much to write about today as I'm still in the midst of packing.   I'm dragging out the packing, it seems.  I really could have been done a day ago, but noooooo..... when packing a gazillion knitting books I had to stop and look through each one, becoming reacquainted with some older ones.  I've enjoyed it but later on I'm sorry when I see how slowly the boxes are getting filled.  Time is running short so I must finish up soon.  I can reread the books again when I put them on their shelves in Calgary.

I've only been working on one knitting project lately.  What a concept!  I have one more inch to knit for the back of the Paul Smith cardigan and then it's on to one of the front pieces.  So far the pattern has been very well-written.  I like that in a pattern.

The colors are slightly yellowed in this picture.  That's what I get for trying to take a quick picture indoors at midnight.  Oh well, it'll have to do for now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stuff Found While Surfing

First of all, I've added a new page to my blog.  It's a way for me to keep track of places I've visited and you're welcome to check it out here.  You can also click on the Travels icon on the sidebar.

I came across this picture of Super Mario sweaters that was on a Japanese website:

Okay, kind of cute, for kids anyway.  The price is 36,000 Yen.  I checked a currency conversion website and found that, at today's rates, the price is equal to US $468.79 or Cdn $460.72.  The question for knitters is this:  how many of you would go out and buy the yarn, knit one of these sweaters and would be willing to sell it for the bargain price of, oh say, $400.00?  I'd do it in a heartbeat!

Donna (@druchunas) tweeted about this craft...embroidered car doors!  Check them out, here:

On another website I found an identity-hiding balaclava.  Very clever, but how can you see where you're going?  There are more pictures on the website.

I find it interesting to see the ways that creative minds work.  Some people think outside the box and others don't even know that there is a box.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flashback to the Early 1990s

Yesterday morning I opened up my email and found that some of my designs had been featured in the online Craft Magazine.  What fun.  It made my day.  In the early 1990s I made sweaters with the New Kids On The Block on them, also one with Vanilla Ice. 

If you're interested, here were my 3 original blog posts:

I wonder where all those sweaters are now?  I still have the Joey McIntyre sweater, but none of the others.  I don't think I have the patterns that I designed either, unless they are tucked away in some old binder, but I don't think so.  I hadn't planned on making any more of the sweaters, afterall.

Darn, I wish that Blogger would have a feature where you can require people to leave their emails addresses (not to be published) so that I can reply to emails personally.  Iris and others, if I had the pattern I would send it to you.  One of these days I really should dig through my ancient collection of knitting stuff. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Guitar Hero

Yesterday was an excellent day and a very welcome break from preparing for my move.

First up, I went to Longmont and hung out with my friend, Donna Druchunas.  I always like spending time with her and conversations are often about knitting throughout the world, which I enjoy immensely.  I was pleased to hear that she'll be coming to Alberta next June so I'll see her again then. 

Later in the day, I headed to Boulder to see the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them.  Use your Back button to return here.

Derek Trucks is one of my all-time favorites guitarists.  In a word, he is amazing.  He was a child prodigy that sat in with the Allman Brothers, and other famous artists when he was 11 (his uncle is the Allmans' drummer, Butch Trucks) and was playing professionally with his own band in his early teens.  If you click here you can hear him at 14.

Now that he is all grown up  (age 32) he is one of two lead guitarists for the Allman Brothers Band and heads his own group, The Derek Trucks Band.  I like the music from both of these groups a lot - the songs, the slide guitar, Gregg Allman's gritty voice.  However, I don't particularly like the current group, the Tedeschi Trucks Band.  I'm rarely a fan of female singers (Gladys Knight is one exception that comes to mind immediately), and I don't like country music.  This band doesn't play country, but Susan Tedeschi's voice has that country sound to it.  It's just my own personal preference.  I do admire the fact that these performers, husband and wife, are touring and performing together, often with their kids in tow, putting family first.

Having said that, I could not pass up the opportunity to hear Derek in person, no matter what band he is in.  There were a number of guitar solos and I was in awe of the fact that I was in the front row, 30 feet away, watching him play.  I didn't want the experience to end.

He holds his guitar close to his body and it is an extension of him, not just an instrument to be played.  He plays with such focus and intensity.  His performance is not about being flashy and jumping around the stage.  As a matter of fact, he doesn't move much at all.  It's all about the music.

Photos weren't allowed but, I'm sorry, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to take his photo after waiting so long to hear him.  I had hoped to get an autograph, but that didn't happen.  I did, however, get a guitar pick!!  I was also handed a paper that was on the stage for the musicians with the band's set list.

In the Tedeschi-Trucks 11-piece band was bassist for the Allmans, Oteil Burbridge, another fantastic talent.  He had a few minutes to shine on his own.  Way in the back, almost out of sight, was Derek Trucks' Band singer Mike Mattison,  I wish he'd been able to come up to the microphone and belt out a couple of songs, but it was not to be.

Edited to add: Pictures and an article have been posted online at:

Okay, enough gushing and time to get back to the reality of moving!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Paul Smith Cardigan In Progress

The Paul Smith Cardigan is the project I chose to work on during my move.  Luckily, I have other projects chosen as well as this one is progressing so quickly.  I think that elves must be sneaking in while I'm packing or sleeping and working a few rows.  What you see is barely three days of knitting when I could find time.  I have another inch or two to go before I start the armhole shaping.

I'm following this pattern as written.  I taking a chance here as I've never seen a proper picture of the finished sweater, only a sketch.  Normally I would never knit a bottom band with 3-inches of ribbing, but hey, why not mix up my sweater knitting a bit?  I'm trying it.  I might like it.  Time will tell. 

The yarn, Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply is wonderful to work with.  If I still like it as much by the time I finish this cardigan I might have to use it again.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Inspirational Blog

I haven't done much cooking in the past number of years.  Mostly it's because I am cooking for one and it's easier to put something in the microwave, go to a restaurant or order out.

Lately, however, I've had the urge to cook.  I'm guessing it's because I'm going to have people to cook for, which excites me, once I move.  I've always wanted to have a big table with room for family and friends to gather round and share a meal (and knitting time too, of course!).

I mentioned in a previous post that I'm in search of good Mexican recipes.  I haven't cooked Mexican food in the past.  I don't count opening a box and making tacos from a kit.  It's not something that I grew up with.  I've found a website with a variety of recipes, including this tasty-looking guacamole

There are also German recipes.  I love German food and have made quite a few dishes in the past.  My friend, Rosa in Ettenheimweiler, taught me some recipes as well as some German as we cooked together - and she learned some English.

I'll be going back to "My Kitchen In The Rockies" often as a source for good recipes and ideas.

Okay, now I've made myself hungry........

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thinking Anything But Green

FedEx delivered a large box to me today:

And what's inside?  Why, it's a box!

In knitting news, I packed my sock yarn afghan away today.  It's not destined to become a UFO (unfinished object).  I'm not going to allow that.  The project is too much fun to ignore.  Since I'm moving soon, it's too big a project to work on and carry around and I had to pack away all the sock yarn that I was clipping lengths from for it.  Once I'm settled into Calgary this project is moving back to the top of my list.  

I've now completed 8 large blocks.  Each one is equal in size to 4 small ones, so that makes 32.  Add to that the small blocks and I now have 498 blocks done, out of 566.  Not counting the border, I am about 88% finished. 

My projects for the next several weeks will be socks, of course, a shawlette and a sweater, and my Triangle Squares cushion which has been resting while I worked on the afghan.  I have no lack of projects.  Not only that, I understand that there are yarn stores in Calgary in case I need more to do!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sweater From Grandma

A while ago I posted about the blue cable sweater I made for my grandson, Braydon.  I mailed it off to him and it has arrived. 

As you can see, it's going to be a while until he can wear it.  He is 18 months old and the sweater is a size 3.  It won't be long, though!  Now, what shall I knit next for him?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Knitting Gadget

I cannot deny that I like knitting gadgets and I have several, actually more than I'll ever need.  The majority of them come from companies specializing in such objects and charge for them accordingly.

Isn't it fun, then, when you think of a way to get a gadget free or for little money?  Many knitters have gone to the hardware store for little plastic washers, an inexpensive purchase that can replace stitch markers.

A few days ago I went to Fazoli's restaurant and I had a coupon for a free Italian Lemon Ice.  It came in a plastic cup with a dome and a good-sized hole cut into the dome.  Inspiration!!  I washed it out and now it is my little table-top garbage container.  I'm still working on my sock yarn afghan (now 85% finished!) and after each block I weave in ends, trim them, and deposit them into the cup. 

The fuller it gets, the prettier and more colorful it looks, so I'm in no rush to empty it out.  Table top garbage containers are widely available, e.g. Starbucks, in case you'd like one for yourself!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Keep It Real

Up until 1997 I had eaten very little Mexican food, but when I moved to Denver I learned to love it.  I never did get used to the spicy heat and I've made more than one person laugh as I struggled with eating something that they considered to be mild.  I never minded their laughter and teasing!

Now, I'm moving to Canada which is not a hot bed (pun intended) of great Mexican food.  I'm sure that you can probably find a good restaurant there, but I'd really like to learn how to cook authentic Mexican cuisine at home.  I'm talking about the basics, not the stuff you might get in a fancy-schmancy restaurant.  I'm looking for home-style cooking:  smothered burritos, tacos, guacamole, salsa, quesadillas, that kind of thing.

Smothered burritos from El Parral in Centennial, CO .
This location is now closed but there are 3 others.
So, now I'm looking for help.  If you have a great recipe that you can share with me, or know of a really good cookbook with the kind of food I'm looking for, please email me or leave a comment.  Denver has many wonderful Mexican restaurants so I never learned to cook anything myself.  I never had to.  Now, I'd really like to take a bit of the real Mexico to Canada.

Anyone?  And, thank you.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Paul Smith Cardigan - The Swatch

First up I want to say thank you to friends and those of you who have emailed me, phoned or left comments.  You've made me feel very special, indeed.  I'm really going to miss Denver and I'm looking forward to new adventures in Calgary.

Yes, I will be continuing with my blog.  I have even more reason to write now as getting together to knit with my buddies and having show-and-tell won't be possible.  Ladies, think of this as a virtual show-and-tell.  This blog will be aimed at you, and a way to keep in touch with you, more than it is now.  I wish all of you had blogs so that I could follow your projects but I'll be checking on you regularly on Ravelry and I expect to see pictures in your emails.  Posting here will be sporadic over the next few weeks, obviously.  Now, on to knitting...

See this picture?  It's an honest-to-goodness actual swatch. 

I made it to be just over 4 inches, but I didn't, however, soak and block it.  I know that's part of the process of creating an accurate gauge swatch but I wasn't sure that I'd have enough yarn for the sweater if I didn't save this yarn.  Luckily, I got exact gauge on the first try.  Yay!  Now, I can pack my needles to go with the yarn for the cardigan.  I'm loving the feel of this yarn and I'm sure that I'm going to like knitting the Paul Smith Cardigan. 

Today would have been Lucille Ball's 100th birthday.  Wasn't "I Love Lucy" fun?  Don't you wish that there were more good, wholesome comedies like that again?  I sure do.   

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Paul Smith Cardigan

There is a lot to think about when planning a move, especially if you're crossing a border:  customs forms, packing boxes, discontinuing services, change of address, etc., etc.  As a knitter I also have to think about what project I'll do during the move.  It has to be interesting, won't be finished too quickly and simple enough so that I don't have to use too many brain cells when they are occupied with so many other tasks.

For a long time I've been drawn to a pattern from the Harper's Bazaar UK website, the Paul Smith Cardigan.  The funny thing is, I've never seen the actual sweater knitted up, only a sketch advertising the pattern:

Click here for the pattern.  If you want it, get it while it's still available.

I'm going to do something that I rarely do - follow a pattern blindly as written, unless I run into problems with it along the way.  I'm going to trust that it's going to work out.
I liked that it was plain, yet colorful and that it was to be knitted with fingering-weight yarn.  Several weeks ago, not knowing that I would be moving and just because I wanted to make the sweater in the original yarns (fearing that they could one day be discontinued), I ordered the yarns.  The yarn came from the Laughing Hens shop in Cheshire, UK.  Don't you love the name?  Now, I have the perfect project for the next few weeks.

Today the yarn arrived and the yarn was wrapped like presents.  What fun it was to unwrap the little packages.

Inside was all the yarn I'll need for the cardigan.  I'll choose buttons when the project is finished. 

It's Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply, 100% extra fine merino wool, 180 m/197 yds per 50gm ball.  The colors are 02 off-white, 03 black, 13 French navy, 09 red and 14 moss green.  I was impressed at how soft the yarn is. 

I hope that this turns out to be a good design.  This is a case of knitterly "living on the edge", I think.

Let the swatching begin!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I've made a very difficult decision.  I'm going to move from Denver to Calgary in approximately three weeks. 

I'm looking forward to being in the same city with my daughter, son-in-law, and 18-month-old grandson, Braydon.  I can't wait to spend lots of time with them and to watch Braydon growing up.

Braydon on the playground at the Calgary Zoo.
On the other hand, Denver has been home for the last 13 years,  I love the city and the US and I never expected to leave.  I have some wonderful friends that will difficult to leave behind.  I hope that they will come to visit.

If someone knows how I can clone myself so that I can be in both places, please let me know!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pizza Anyone?

I seem to be playing fashion critic in the last couple of days.  I just hope that no one turns the tables on me and critiques my wardrobe!!

On Saturday the new Royal, Kate, attended the Queen's granddaughter, Zara Phillips', wedding.  Of course, hats were the order of the day.  When I saw Kate's hat the first thought that came to my mind was....

...."please pass the tomato sauce and mozzarella"!  Was that too catty?  All in good fun, Kate....