Monday, December 31, 2007

Last 2007 Post

That's me at Xel-Ha poised to chase the fish around! The water was warm enough to swim in for an extended period without a wet suit.

It is New Year's Eve in Pasadena, Rose Parade central. Colorado Blvd. is lined with brave parade watchers. Greg and I will probably not make our usual drive down at 11 p.m. this evening as we are both very busy with projects around the house.

I promised to post a few more pictures from the trip to Cancun - hopefully, I will get them in their correct locations. The first few are more animals and believe it or not, they were all on the resort grounds. Yes, one of the crocodiles is quite large and the other is a baby.
The next two pictures are of a heron, we saw several and they were not shy, at all...and Meghan's personal favorite, iguanas.

The next two pictures are of a large photograph that hangs in the entryway to Del Lago, one of several restaurants at the Mayan Palace, and a dancer we saw near Tulum. I was struck with how similar they looked. The young man spoke with us at length after his performance because he was interested in the design on my shirt. He explained what the symbols represented and said he was familiar with the artist. By the way, I purchased it from a booth at the Pomona Fair two years ago.

The next shots are from Tulum - they are of a particular building, a sign that tells something about it and a closeup that shows great detail, I think.

My final picture from Mexico will show you how little knitting I was able to do on this trip...practically none. However, the Jaywalker is underway and I truly love working with the cashmere yarn from the Knittery.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Back Home

We are back home in chilly S. California after spending a glorious week in Cancun at the Mayan Palace on the Riviera Maya. After making a "crazy" ebay purchase of a timeshare, I thought we should go and check it out. It proved to have been a very good buy and a fantastic resort. The pool, room and service were quite good and we look forward to many trips in the future. Grupo Mayan has several resorts spread throughout Mexico so we won't tire of going to the same location over and over.
While there, we booked two tour days and saw Tulum,
Xel-Ha and Sian-Ka'an. Sian Ka'an is a huge biosphere and was an incredible treat for all of us. Greg and I had visited Tulum and Xel-Ha before, but it was Meghan's first visit to both locations. At Sian-Ka'an, we snorkeled in several spots and saw a number of plants and animals. We even saw male Frigatebirds courting the females on a floating island!Tomorrow, hopefully, I will post some more pictures from our trip once they have been uploaded. Among the shots will be my latest sock adventure(Jaywalkers) and my surprise Christmas present from my most thoughtful daughter.

Monday, December 17, 2007

An Interesting Shot

I wanted to share this interesting shot of Unraveled that I took a couple of weeks ago..and forgot to post. Here is a picture of the entire car with the shiny hubcap for you old car buffs....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Dinner and Gifts!

Last night we went to dinner at Shiro's in South Pasadena. It was an early gift exchange as we will be apart on the actual day. The food was yummy, the company delightful and the presents were over the top.

Meghan finally received her Pomatomus socks. I had kept them here until she was sufficiently healed from a skiing accident that occurred last February and then reconstructive surgery to her knee and a very long recovery. Ubermom didn't want to be responsible for a slip and fall accident.

Julien loved his "his birthday scarf" and said it would be most appreciated next week when he travels home to France.

There were other surprises, large and small. Meghan said that she would like to have a hat, which gave me the opportunity to attempt the Koolhaas Hat from Brooklyn Tweed. What a fun knit that to follow.
Greg, rascal that he is, noticed me looking at a particular designer's rings a while back and knocked me out with a very lovely citrine ring.

Meghan and Julien have found the perfect gifts for us...a Tamron 18-200mm lens and a 2 gig usb flashdrive filled with 509 beautiful pictures from their recent California adventures.

Spookie, the quasi-Maine Coon cat, is really enjoying the cold weather. He seems to have more energy to run around in the yard. In the evening, he jumps into his bed in front of the fire, arranges his toys and sacks out.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Day & Weekend

Greg and I had to fend for ourselves this Thanksgiving, so we decided to do it in grand style. After we squeaked into the Raymond Restaurant, a personal favorite, both of us selected traditional turkey entree, followed by pumpkin pie.  The starter was a delicious set trio, so no choice there.  I had intended to take a photo, but the marguerita and wine caused me to forget. 

Saturday was busy at Unraveled.  It slowed down a bit after 2:30.  Knitdad dropped by for lunch and emergency advice on the Patrick Sweater.  I am at the back armhole decreases and misread the directions.  Actually there are two was not carefully reading the pattern and the other is due to my not knowing how to handle the pattern when some stitches have been decreased away.  Because what he said did not sink in, I will have to travel over to S.i.T for an official drop-in today. 
Because the Patrick was dead in the water, I started another project that will be a Christmas gift.  The pattern has a 19 row repeat to keep me on my toes.  
Sunday morning, after breakfast at the Central Park Cafe, D & J (our friends from Virginia) piled into the hybrid for a trip to the L.A. Equestrian Center.  There was an Arabian show that ran from Fri-Sun in progress.  One of the horses entered is owned by friends from Altadena, and I thought that J might enjoy an outside activity.  It seemed to be a hit and he snapped many pictures with his new camera.  He also kept up a running commentary that sounded strangely like a NACAR race.  I have also included a picture of our friend with his horse, Santiago. The second shot is Wolf, his gorgeous stallion.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Three Annes and a Nancy!!

Yesterday, shortly after we opened the doors at Unraveled, DD and her son, JD, unexpectedly appeared in the sock yarn area. I had no idea that they were in the area and were stopping by. They live in Virginia and are in town visiting relatives until late Sunday. M, my daughter, was able spring free from experiments in the lab and join us for lunch at the Peach Cafe, next door to the shop. JD is so much fun to watch grow up...he just sparkles. Greg and I have set aside Sunday to spend with JD and his mom before they leave. Now, to figure out something fun to do and see with them.

Knitdad and L&H also made appearances at the store yesterday. Knitdad seems to be working through Knitting New Scarves. L&H also came back after 7 pm for Knit Night, so we were able to chat for awhile.

Christine surprised me the most beautiful bouquet of mixed roses and other buds and YARN... She is so generous and thoughtful. Look at my new treasures - I am open to suggestions, especially with the Nancy.

This morning the festivities continued at breakfast. Ken and Lorraine, who run Fox's (our breakfast hangout) treated me to breakfast. Greg enjoyed it, too - as we typically split meals. Our table regulars, John and Tracy (who got married at Fox's last Sunday), Devra, Diane, Scott and Karen sang "happy birthday" when Lorraine brought a slice of marble cake for me to enjoy later.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tale of Two Sweaters

With Thanksgiving fast upon us, I find myself knitting more than ever. 
The Separation Sweater is officially done.  Since I got a great deal on the yarn (75% off) at Stitch in Time, Knitdad's lair, I returned to the scene of the purchase for finishing techniques. Once the sleeve was correctly identified as a sleeve and not part of the sweater front, it went together easily. Today I learned how to single crochet and finished the edging and ties. 
 While there, I took advantage of the time and learned how to interpret part of a new pattern (new to me) that was confusing.  Black Purl has a pattern called Patrick (a braided cable pullover) that should be perfect for Greg.  I purchased 12 skeins of  Donegal Tweed at Unraveled this weekend and did the ribbing on my own.  My lack of experience and some items not included in the pattern proved too much for me on my lonesome.  Knitdad came to the rescue, thank goodness!  I am very encouraged with how the cables are coming out, so far.  What do you think? 

Tomorrow is a workday at Unraveled for me.  Drop by if you are in the neighborhood and keep me company.

A friend sent me a very useful link - especially if you are prone to speed when driving from one yarn store to another.  My first and best advice is don't speed .  But if you must, give this link a look, it is for real...take a look (here).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Birthday Loot and Bandits

This entry is actually part II of my Butterfly Birthday. If you read my last posting, you know where we went and what we saw on our journey up the coast. Monarch trivia - if you look carefully at the pictures from two birthday cards I received, you will see a male and female butterfly. The male is the second photo and can be identified by vestigial scent glands and a finer vein pattern.

Now, for the exciting part - presents. M, my daughter, gave me some fantastic yarn for future socks, hand/wrist warmers and you can see. Greg, gave me a Butterfly feeder that will be placed just outside the craft room, on a sheltered patio. He also found a framed collection of butterflies and one gigantic moth (what every knitter wants - a dead moth, right!) that will be displayed as soon as the wall is up and painted. My theory is that if a moth happens into the room it will see impending doom and fly away. Works for me.

I spent some time with knitdad on Friday and learned some finishing techniques...even had the opportunity for extra practice when we discovered what we had thought was a sleeve, was actually a piece of the sweater front. Surely, that only happens to me?

Earlier in the week, I attended a practice of the Unsyncables at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center. They are a lovely group of ladies who swim beautifully. Given lots of practice and coaching, I may eventually learn a routine and compete. We are talking 1+yrs. of drills. It is good to have a challenge and this would qualify as that.

I almost forgot about the "Bandits" in the title. Friday morning at 3 am, we were awakened by loud, guttural growls outside our bedroom window. That was immediately followed by several thuds on the roof and the sound of large, running animals. They scrambled around for a few minutes, so Greg grabbed a flashlight and camera for a better look. He was able to snap this blurry shot before they scampered off into the trees for a more secluded rendezvous.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Butterfly Birthday

We just arrived back home from the best birthday yet. My actual birthday falls later this month, close to Thanksgiving. Since so much is happening around the true date, we decided it would be more convenient to celebrate early. Combine that with the Monarch migration...what do you come up with??.....that's right, a trip to Pismo Beach to photograph the Monarchs. The really good pictures are on Julien's camera. So, meanwhile, you will have to be satisfied with some shots I was able to get.
Saturday, after work at Unraveled, we rolled down the hill to pick up Meghan and Julien. Then off to Santa Barbara for dinner and zzzzz. Meghan had booked the lodgings and made our dinner reservation. Both were fantastic. Dinner at Downey's was perfect, not rushed at all. It is a real hands-on establishment from the wonderful dishes from the kitchen to the California landscapes hanging on the walls. The Marina Beach Motel, located not too far from the pier, provided a comfortable bed and a delicious continental breakfast Sunday AM. We continued on to Pismo, to see the butterflies and have "world famous chowder" at Splash before checking into the Sycamore for our second night. Present opening happened before dinner at the Gardens of Avila (on the grounds of the resort). The gifts were perfect - what is better than yarn?...more yarn, that's correct! I got quite a haul. Meghan has been providing my own private sock club. As you will see by photos of her selections in a future post, I will soon be knitting 24/7. Greg, who finds the perfect gift no matter what the occasion, presented me with a butterfly feeder and framed butterflies for the soon-to-be-finished craft room. After checking out of Sycamore and bidding our hot tub a fond farewell, we stopped at Avila Valley Barn for some animal petting, purchases and photos before a final Monarch viewing.
It was a perfect birthday. Thank you, one and all...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Taking Care of Business

Slowly, my blog is coming together. I have definitely gotten my feet wet in the blog pond. Later today, when I am off "the hill of no signal" that I live on, I will attempt to mobile blog.

This has been a week of taking care of business- flu shots and car maintenance. The hybrid and Greg's diesel are set for another few thousand miles.

Last night I joined Unraveled's knit group for 1+ hrs and got to see some of the interesting projects people are working on. Sylvia and Melissa are taking the BSJ class and doing well on their jackets. Great yarn choices! Christine is almost finished with a Sursa shawl...will have to add that to my growing wish list. L&H have interesting projects, too. L's (also known as Feltaholic on Ravelry) Artyarns ruana is quite tempting. H has an entrelacesque hat cast on. I am a sucker for entrelac, faux or not.

Here is a picture of my Pomatomus progress. You can see that I am closing in on the toe of the infamous second sock. However, when I attempted to put the 2nd sock back on the needles after trying it on, I had a problem picking up the last instep stitch. I may have to have an emergency consult with Knitdad.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Not quite there yet

I am still having problems with my flicker badge, as you can see. Apparently, the Leopard upgrade may be the issue. Think I'll wait a few days and let the bigger minds deal with a resolution. Get to work Geeks!

Tomorrow is a work day at Unraveled for me. That means I have to get busy on my second Pomatomus sock if I want to take the first one home. I have decided that when I begin a pair of socks and have finished the first one, it lives at the store until the second is complete. That way (in theory, at least) I force myself to focus and finish. So, if you happen into Unraveled and see a lone sock on a mannequin left foot - that is the story. It is my sock without a partner.

By the way, if you haven't tried one of Cookie A's designs yet, you are in for a treat. She is not only a fantastic sock designer, she is also a really nice person. I had the good fortune to meet and spend a few days at Blue Moon Fiber Art's Camp Cockamamie earlier this year. I hope she will be there for Camp Crow's Feet this April. My deposit for camp was mailed last week...I am so there!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Not up and running yet...

I am trying to publish the first posting on my blog, however, as you can see, I'm not quite ready yet.  One might say that I am somewhat technology challenged.  Once I am have conquered a few more elements of Blogger, I will be ready to inflict myself on the rest of the world.

Spookie, our trusty cat, is patiently waiting by the keyboard.  It is one of his favorite haunts.  He doesn't understand our fascination with the computer, but is interested nonetheless.