Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Pre Parade Photos

In case you don't already know, I live just "up the hill" from Pasadena, home of the Rose Parade.
Greg and I usually make a run down Colorado to see some of the people camped out for the night...we do it before it gets too crazy! I had hoped for a shot of someone knitting. Sadly, that didn't happen. But I did get a few good ones.

You see many news crews and well-loved vehicles...

Before returning home, we caught a glimpse of the blue moon.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Journey's End and Back to Work

Yesterday was my first day back to Skein after Christmas vacation. It was a wonderful, busy day filled with old students, new students, a very good friend and many (yes, many) customers.

Unpacking is going slowly. There were a few souvenirs from this trip. Xcaret, as I mentioned in the previous post has many little areas that you just happen on. On our way to the wool shop we found a wood carver. He had been trained by his father and had many designs fashioned from mahogany. I selected this one because it reminded me of a Mayan dancer we had just seen.

He placed a hole in the back for hanging and signed the piece, too!
We spent most of one afternoon in Playa del Carmen. One shop had the most colorful textiles displayed...

There were a few interesting signs along 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.

Then it was back to the Grand Mayan to work on our skills at taking panorama shots with the new camera(the same one used for underwater shots). The panorama feature actually splices together a 3 shot series with internal software. There is a ghost image of the previous shot to help you line up the next one. It is very user friendly. We used it at the Xcaret show and for some outside shots on the resort property.This is the front end of the snake sculpture.

The final pictures from our adventure is something we haven't done since we were married. A professional portrait of the two of us..there are actually three. Which one do you like best?

Please let me know.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Xcaret and a Knitting Lesson

We arrived home from a wonderful Christmas in Cancun late Sunday. Christmas week is a good time for my DH to take a break from his busy schedule for sun and some fun activities. Many of his students travel to see family, ski or are involved in school a perfect time to steal him away!

I went to the Yucatan with our daughter a few years ago and spent a fun day at Xcaret. This was Greg's first visit. We bought the "all inclusive" and added a snorkeling package. It was a very full, fun-filled day. The evening show was truly spectacular. We saw a Mayan ball game, an early version of field hockey played with flaming balls (I have video), flying men, mariachi, equestrians, and many dancers. Here are a few pictures-

Xcaret is a huge park with more features than you could take in in just one day. Last time I was there I swam the underground river. This trip we walked the grounds and saw some different things...

Yes, there is a yarn experience to be had at the park!

Back at the Grand Mayan for a day of sun and relaxation, when I least expected it....
Greg came over and said, "I think someone needs knitting help over there." He indicated an area near the pool's sandy beach and a woman in a black bathing suit. He wasn't kidding. I went over and easily found Nina (from Wisconsin) who had unraveled her twirly scarf for the third time. She needed a few pointers and was good to go in no time. Who would guess that knitting skills would come in handy at the Grand Mayan pool?

I did finish the Jack-in-the-Box mittens over the break. You can check them out on my Ravelry project page. They are a fast knit and a good pattern.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jack-in-the-Box Mittens

A customer came into Skein last Tuesday who had seen some flip-top mittens that morning at Nordstrom. She decided to investigate knitting a pair for herself. I whipped out my iphone to check a pattern source on Ravelry (boy is that convenient) and found that several people had made this pattern and were happy with the outcome. It comes from a book, Knitting New Mittens & Gloves, that I happened to have in my collection. My DH was on his way into Pasadena when I called to see if he could drop it by the store...and he could. Eiko was thrilled that she was able to start the project and selected some Lamb's Pride in a soft pink, purchased needles and cast on for the cuff. One cuff was finished before she left and the other will be finished before she comes in this afternoon. The plan is that the first will sit on waste yarn until she completes one mitten. When I got home that evening I went stash diving and came up with yarn (color: Wild Oak) to start my own pair of mittens!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Puerto Vallarta Peregrinaciones

Before we left the Puerto Vallarta area, we ventured into town to check out the malacon (boardwalk), shops and local restaurants. As luck would have it, during the first twelve days of December there is a custom in many Mexican towns for the faithful to process to the cathedral. The custom is called Peregrinacion. The main street is closed to traffic for the evening as groups make their way to the church.

Because the street was closed to cars, it was easier to take photographs ...there were so many memories to capture.

Pictured above is one of the local chalk artists working around the plaza and the cathedral.
Who knew there would be a fork in the road?
After the processions were over, we walked to the Malecon and found an Italian restaurant with an upstairs view, La Dolce Vita. From this vantage point - more photos.

Remember, this is a knitting blog...just had to get these last few photos from our trip out of my system. I ripped out what I started of the Darkside Cowl during the plane rides. It lacked the stitch definition I had hoped for. The redo is quite satisfactory and was accomplished in a day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Puerto Vallarta/Nuevo Vallarta

We took a brief but enjoyable trip to the states of Nayarit and Jalisco, Mexico last week. Our timeshare, Grand Mayan, is located just north of Puerto Vallarta (which is in Jalisco) in Nuevo Vallarta (state of Nayarit). You think you are confused??? But locals in NV use the PV time. It certainly made it less confusing when preparing for our departing flight, as the airport is located in Jalisco. Thank goodness we were actually early for our flight home because it took FOREVER to check in. Someone needs to do some serious reorganization of that airport!! Everything else about the trip was great - with that one, small annoyance.

Here is a shot of Greg chasing me down the "Lazy River" or "Rio Lento" at our resort...

Yes, that is the famous chainsaw scar above his knee.

We took two "side trips" during our vacation. The first, last Wednesday, was to the town of Tequila. Guess what the main industry is....that is right. Tequila! We toured the Jose Cuervo factory. Cuervo means raven, thus the bird pictured in the family crest on the website.
I couldn't take any shots inside the building to show the beautiful barrels and copper distillers as it was prohibited. The town is also where one of my favorite hot sauces, Cholula, is produced. On Thursday we ventured out again - this time our destination was San Blas. Over 50 years ago I spent two weeks there with my parents and a friend of the family who lived in the small port town. I had fond memories and was relieved that things were much the same...
Above is the old church in town and below is the new one.
Then, outside of town is the original one... it was burned many years ago. Residents point out figures that they say some can see. In this photo is the face of a woman. Do you see it?I was intrigued by the vendors in the marketplace on the plaza. The masks were colorful....
But the highlight of the day was the "jungle" trip through the swamp just outside town. There were many birds and reptiles (herons, hawks, iguanas, turtles)...but my favorite was the crocodile. There were many!
This week will be filled with work at Skein and some serious knitting which I will take pictures of to post both here and on Ravelry.