Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Hope Faith Gives Us

Beloved Father, Rest in Peace
October 31, 1926 - December 30, 2009

It seems that we all have to face one sad thing after another. But let us not forget the hope our faith gives us. God is our strength and no amount of trouble should make us fail to realize it. On the contrary, trouble should help us deepen and confirm our trust. This is an old story, but as far as I am concerned, it is the one we always get back to. There is no other.

Thomas Merton, Daily Meditation for December 30th

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Noro Garter Yoke Cardi II

I should call this my Fourth Quarter sweater. I started it during the busiest time of year when work had me on the road with meetings and tons of overtime. Every year it's the most stressful time but my knitting actually keeps me sane, gives me a reason to slow down, breathe and just knit. A very good balance. It's my 2nd garter yoke cardi and I could easily do another in a different Noro shade as the color combinations are endless and my love for Noro never ends...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's What's For Dinner

Beef. It's what's dinner! I'm so excited about this gift from my sister-in-law. I'm not much of a cook but I LOVE to grill and this is one of my favorite gifts of the year. What a cool idea for beef lovers and accompanying cookbook of steaks and stews from Buffalo Gap, Texas. There's even a recipe for jalapeno cheesecake and bread pudding with whiskey sauce I'm excited about trying out.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A White Christmas

Merry Christmas to you. We have been blessed with a White Christmas and a lot of time with family making it a very special holiday. The young'ns of the family fixed us "elders" a wonderful Christmas meal and husband gave me a leather and rhinestone Harley jacket. A girl can never have too much BLING!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hurry Up & Knit!

Seems like every year I'm knitting feverishly right up to Christmas and this year is no exception. I've only got two more days to finish two more hats to go with the matching mitts out of Araucania Panguipulli merino wool. The pressure is ON!

Update: Finished up the last hat Christmas morning. Mission accomplished!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baubles & Knits in KC

Melanie and I are in Kansas City for a little holiday shopping and girl-fun weekend on the Plaza. We spent a couple hours in Stuff and I picked out a rockin' pearl necklace creation from one of my most favorite jewelry designers, Amy Labbe.

I LOVE THIS PLACE!! We spent several hours in this shop that's literally stuffed with all kinds of handmade works of art by regional artists. I even brought along a little of my own art work for us to wear while strolling along the Plaza - matching wool hats that I knitted up the night before just for the trip. The shopping was good and our seafood meal, oysters and cocktails at McCormick Schmicks topped off the evening. Well, actually, the cheesecake we took back to the hotel topped off the evening and a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Handspun Mittenettes

These mittenettes are easily one of my favorite "go to" patterns to knit with any worsted weight yarn. This time, I'm using some of my own handspun yarn from an Art Club wool batt that makes these mismatched, funky and fun. A pair to gift and a pair to keep.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Knits in KC

Husband and I went to Kansas City over the weekend for his work Xmas party. Down the street in Westport is a knit shop, MisKnits, where I found inspiration in tiny socks hanging on a clothesline at the register. The owner knits one with leftover yarn after completing a pair of socks -- such a clever idea. Then I found knitted ornaments and yarn balls at Trapp & Co. I debated just making my own but with so many lingering projects I thought it best just to purchase several for some knitted holiday cheer.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

2009 McPherson Toy Run

Our long-time riding friends, Matt and Melanie, had us over for the night at their house in Galva, KS. Melanie is the ultimate hostess with the most-est. After a filling breakfast this morning, we lined our bikes up at their house with several of their friends and rode over to the toy run line up in McPherson. We were blessed with a sunny, mild day, riding our bikes through town in the parade ending at the American Legion where we handed over our toys. Thanks again, M&M, for the hospitality - we love you guys.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Torque + Hp = Big Thrills

Matt at M&M Choppers hooked me up with an enhanced motorcycle engine. He sent my HD Crossbones heads and cyclinders to Dave Mackie for oversized valves, cyclinders, pistons, and porting/polishing of the heads for an 103 cubic inch engine upgrade. There's a noticeable difference in torque and horsepower that not only increased the performance of my ride but also sounds pretty nasty (and that's a good thing!) I couldn't be happier, M&M.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Noro on the Road

Work meetings have me on the road all this week and you know what that means - lots of motel knitting. I brought along some Noro Kuryeon to start a 2nd garter yoke cardi and picked up some coordinating soft brown wool yarn at Wildflower Knits in Manhattan, KS. This cardi is going to have cropped sleeves and dark brown coconut shell buttons.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Osage Hills Weekend

Husband and I spent a relaxing weekend at my annual family reunion in Osage Hills State Park in Oklahoma where we all played cards, sat around the campfire, hiked and a few of us rode our motorcycles to the casino in Bartlesville. We saw several deers roaming in the park and on one of my hikes with a cousin, I found a trophy piece of root stump driftwood that's going to be a cool addition in my flowerbed.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Weaving at City Arts

I'm into my third weaving session at City Arts and it's been productive so far. I completed a rug designed as a shoe mat by the front door. I wasn't

expecting pefection (it's not pefectly square) but it serves a purpose I'm pleased with. Now on to a bigger more complicated project, a shawl. Weaving is a repetitive motion just like knitting that's very relaxing and calming.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Noro Garter Yoke Cardigan

My marathon wool cardi is now complete. I selected Noro Kureyon for the yoke and Cascade Heather for the body of the sweater but the detail is in the finishing -- I made button holes in grosgrain ribbon and then sewed to the button band as reinforcement for a designer touch.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Chemo Caps

A relative of mine is undergoing chemo treatments. Since losing her hair, she says her head gets really cold and asked if I could make her a hat -- well, that's the least I could do. I found one, two, three chemo cap patterns on Ravelry (completing several this weekend from Nashua Cilantro) and delivered them with a bouquet of flowers to brighten her day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

The neighbor girls came a knock'n.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Learning to Weave

Laurie, Pattie and I are taking weaving classes at City Arts instructed by my previous spinning class teacher, Nancy Squire. We each decided to work on different projects. I am making a small rug from strips of woven cotton. The frayed fabric edges makes for a scrappy looking weave that I kinda like and I eventually want to work with denim.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Red River Classic

Many years ago, I used to compete in bodybuilding and even qualified for Nationals. This was the fun part: performing on stage. I'd still be doing it if the training and diet wasn't so time-consuming and difficult. I guess if it was easy everyone would look like this. Husband and I are in Oklahoma with a good friend who won the Master's division (over age 50!) Red River Classic bodybuilding championship. He's looked like this for the 20+ years we've known him and is still going strong.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Alpaca Shawlette #4

Just wrapped up my fourth alpaca shawlette. This one I made for myself out of the hand carded/spun alpaca from Ashwani at Heartland Farm. I noticed this fiber was much softer than William - interesting how each animal has a different fleece.

Monday, October 19, 2009

100 Miles or Bust

I'm starting up my own 100 Miles in 100 Days jog/run challenge. (I've done it successfully once before). It's a goal-oriented numbers game that works for me so I'm dusting off my running shoes to give it another GO. And the timing couldn't be better - just in time to keep things in check during the holidays. The clock starts today with a completion date of January 26, 2010.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Marathon Knitting

I didn't set a record, but I did get quite a bit of knitting completed for what I'm calling was my Noro Cardi Knitting Marathon. I set a comfortable pace for myself with the garter stitch yoke, slowed slightly for the button holes and kicked it into high gear for the stockinette body. As for contemplating running a marathon someday (April?) Jackie recommends getting the book Half-Marathon by Jeff Galloway.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

KC Marathon

Today was the big day. At 6:00 a.m. we walked down to Crown Center in a dark, cold drizzle and the girls took off on their runs at 7:00. I headed for a warmer climate inside and got to sit and knit for almost five hours until it was time to cheer them on at the end of the finish line. It was so inspiring to watch my friends conquer the elements, hills and for some pain to finish their race, relay, half marathon and full marathon. Now I'm motivated to add running a half marathon to my bucket list someday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

KC Bound

Angelique is back in town from NM and we drove together to Kansas City today for the 2009 Waddell & Reed Marathon run on Saturday where we met up with Team Tabor (Jackie) and relay Team Twist (Judy, Becca, & Laura) and Lori who's running a half-marathon. I'm going along as a team supporter and will be in charge of taking pictures and holding the signs. We enjoyed a high carb dinner at the Cheesecake Factory on the Plaza and did a little p.j. knitting in our room. GO T-E-A-M!!

I'm excited to be starting a new knitting project on the road with my knitting friends. I'll be working on the Garter Yoke Cardi from the fall/winter 2008 knit.1 issue using Cascade for the body and Noro wool on the yoke. While my friends are running a marathon I'll be doing my own little marathon knitting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Socks 4 Mom

Finished a pair of ankle socks for mom from the Panda Cotton she picked out in Texas. She isn't a fan of wool socks so this bamboo/cotton/elastic nylon yarn will make for the comfy bed socks she has in mind.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Made in Texas

Although the weekend was busy with travel and family time in Texas, I did manage to crank out a pair of ankle socks for myself from leftover Panda Cotton in chocolate mint. Conveniently, while at a yarn shop, mom decided she wanted me to make her a pair so she picked out the yarn and I started hers on the way back home.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Shabby Sheep

Believe it or not - but there's a yarn shop around Dallas that I haven't been to before. It was challenging for me to find Shabby Sheep in the Uptown area but when it comes to yarn - I'm determined and found a way. Knitting shops that occupy a house are just so inviting and this one features a front porch swing and patio in the back. Then inside the shop I found inspiration in a shop sample sweater vest from Berroco's new vintage wool yarn. I'll be making mine in Chana Dal.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sassy Spinster

A quick trip to Texas provided me with the chance to venture out to Lancaster to visit the Sassy Spinster. It's a great shop filled with spinning wheels and weaving looms of all sizes. I don't know much about weaving...yet...but that's about to change in the very near future.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Woofstock 2009

Today was a day for the dogs and benefit for the Kansas Humane Society. This year's Woofstock event at the Sedgwick County Park was improved with more organized parking and a more spacious vendor layout. It's always entertaining to see all the different kind of dogs and it seems the most popular breeds in town are great danes and boxers. Our pack played well with others during the Woof, Walk and Wag event and then laid down to do a little dog-watching of their own.