29 July 2006

I wish I were still on vacation!

Well, I made it back from El Salvador and now am back at work. Work is definately not as fun as El Salvador! It was awesome to se my old friends and the wedding was fabulous. They loved the tree pillow and my pillowcase with the lace insert that I made for them even got a special place in the ceremony. More on that when I actually havesome pictures to show you.

You could be looking at pictures right now but Blogger is being stupid.

I saw Mayan ruins, cool birds, and lots of tropical flowers. I hiked through a coffee plantation, ate lots of pupusas (kind of like tamales but better), got caught in a rainstorm, stayed in a hotel in the highest town in the country, ate breakfast for only $1, rode buses with crazy drivers, saw only 2 other Americans (other than my friends who also came for the wedding) the entire time, drank soda out of a bag, learned that my Spanish is not as good as it used to be, got stuck in the biggest market in San Salvador between 2 buses that didn't move for the longest time, knitted while at a bus stop at what felt like the middle of nowhere, met lots of nice El Salvadorans and generally had a great time!

And now, for your knitting content, here are my answers to the latest batch of secret pal questions:

1. What is your favorite season of the year and why?
I love the fall. I love the leaves changing colors and the (usually) slow transition from flip flops and tank tops to long sleeved shirts and then sweaters and jackets.

2. Summer is hot. What do you knit in the summer?
Usually I knit tank tops and lacey things. This summer I'm knitting a wool sweater, though. Hopefully I'll have it done in time to enter in the fair although time is starting to run out.

3. If money was no object.....what would you buy at the LYS?
Everything. To narrow it down, I'd have to say everthing that's soft. No scratchy wool for me. I love merino and angora and alpaca. Mmmm . . . soft . . .

4. What are some activities that have become family traditions for your family?
Mike and I love to go camping and every year my extended family and friends have a reunion camping at Fallen Leaf Lake near Lake Tahoe. We try to go every year and it's a lot of fun. We coulnd't go this year because of our trip to El Salvador.

5. What is the weather right now?
It's cool and cloudy in the mornings but sunny in the afternoons. It's pretty nice. We missed the crazy hot heat wave that happened while we were in El Salvador and I'm so thankful for that! I do like the summer but I'm definately more of a cool weather girl.

13 July 2006

knitting + sewing =

This!!I finally finished sewing the pillow I made for Cindy and Camilo. I made the knitted part a slipcover so it can be taken off and washed as needed. It's not a "standard" size so I couldn't use a pillow form. I had to sew a pillow and then stuff it so it was a little more work than I had originally planned on but I'm happy I did it that way. Here's the back.My camera can't take a close up of the fabric without it being blurry, which is too bad. It's really pretty up close and actually has a fair amount of blue in it. It took just under 2 skeins of knitpicks merino style in the color frost and comes out to be about 13 x 17 inches.

It's going to be really hard to part with this pillow. I want to keep it! Cindy will love it, though, and I even found a great quote about love and trees (I can't remember it right now) that I'm going to write on the back.

Also for their wedding gift, I'm knitting some pretty heart lace using Mandarin Petit cotton. It's so soft! Lastnight I told Mike he had to feel it. He did to humor me and I could tell he wasn't excited to touch my yarn but then he exlaimed, "Wow, that is really soft!" I'm going to sew it onto some pillowcases like the ones in Weekend Knitting. I don't know if I'll have these done by their wedding since it's just over a week away! I can't believe we leave for El Salvador on Tuesday! I'm so excited but I have lots of packing and trip planning to do before then.

I don't think I'll be needing these inEl Salvador. I finished them because I went camping in the mountains last weekend and I needed some warm clothes. I finished the second one while I was sitting by the campfire just as the last of the light was leaving the sky. It was perfect timing and as soon as it got chilly that 1st night, I got to wear them!
It's a great pattern. I totally recommend it! You can find it for free here. The only modification I made was to extend the cable pattern all the way to the top instead of ending with a few rows of plain ribbing. I used Lamb's Pride worsted and used less than 1 skein!

Do you notice the green in the picture? That's my new backyard!! It no longer looks like this. Our baby grass grew up and it's a real lawn now!

Lasly, I'll leave you with a pretty purple picture. This is lettuce that I got from the farm last week. It's the prettiest lettuce ever and it tased really good too.

06 July 2006

Cable-y goodness

Thanks for the nice comments about Phoebe. I realize I didn't actually put in the link to the picture of her fur that I spun. If you still want to see my sorry attempt at spinning angora, it's here.

My good friend is getting married this month. I've been planning on knitting her something and at the beginning of the week I started to panic that the wedding is only in 3 weeks and I have nothing. I had just finished the sleeve to my ogee tunic so it was a good time to take a detour and turn my knitting attention to something else.

Cindy loves nature and so I got the idea of knitting a pillow with a pattern of intertwining trees. None of the existing patterns were exactly what I wanted so I read this article 3 or 4 times and then set out to design my tree pattern and chart it out.

After two nights of Mike getting tired of papers spread out all over the couch and me too involved to talk to him, I ended up with a crazy chart that looks like this.I thought of knitting a practice version out of some crappy yarn but then realized that if this didn't work, I didn't have the patience to redo it. And, if it did work, I didn't want to have to knit it again.

So, I dove right in with some Knitpicks merino style in frost and this is how it turned out. I actually knit it in only 3 days! I surprised myself.I used size 4 needles so it's a fairly tight fabric- good for a pillow. I got some great fabric to make the back with. It kind looks like tree roots so it's very fitting and it even has the same blue color in it! It's much cuter than the picture shows. (This photo shows the color of the yarn better then the previous. Neither is quite accurate, though. It's a little more turquoise than this picture)Now I just need it to finish blocking and I can sew it up!

04 July 2006

The prettiest bunny ever

Phoebe, my pretty princess of a bunny died on Sunday night. She was lethargic and not breathing well so we rushed her to Dove Lewis- the emergency clinic I was hoping I'd never have to take a pet to. After several hours we cried and decided to euthanize her and then cried some more. It was really sad but best for her.

She's a german angora and I have tons of her fur safely stored away that I've been wanting to spin. You can see my first attemps at spinning her fur here. I though I had lots of time to learn and lots of angora fiber to proctice with since she kept growing more. Now that I don't have her anymore I don't want to waste all her fur learning to spin it.

Is there anyone out there that can spin angora and would do that for me? For a price, of course. I just want some mittens with a Phoebe cuff or maybe a little mini-Phoebe to snuggle up with.