Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sewing Mojo Back in Action!

But first! The Century Plant, Agave americana, which only blooms once in a lifetime. Wikipedia says it can reach up to 6 feet tall...I beg to differ! Looks like something from a Dr. Seuss book to me.


Next, I love this little shrug I made, but it wouldn't stay buttoned and always hung awkwardly. Enter 2 buttons from Mobile Yarn...


Fabulous!


Next, I made a shirt in a day! I used the Alabama Chanin T-shirt top but changed the front neckline to a Jalie V-neck. My original plan was to add a peplum to it, but I didn't have enough fabric, and an AC "babydoll" treatment would make me look pregnant.


Very proud of this V-neck, since it's been a few years since I made one.


I couldn't give up on an individualized bottom, so I tried a new decorative stitch on my Brother and loved it!


Should've done that swayback adjustment for sure, and the hem gave a little waviness to the bottom of the shirt, so I have a pseudo-mini-peplum, I guess. (Brief Aside on Aging: Do you notice that you purse your lips more as you get older? I constantly find myself pursing my lips for some reason...age? Or early Alzheimer's?)


And I was Facebook'd that Dean's Japanese cousin had a new baby boy, so of course I have to knit him a baby blanket! Enter some baby-soft DK and a blanket pattern. Heidi recommended holding the yarn double to make it go faster, so I've learned yet another technique.


Who wants to come for a mini-GCGSW(KW) Saturday? Robbie, at the very least, maybe we can get together for lunch or coffee....whatchoo doing this weekend?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pioneer Woman and Publix for Dinner

But first, some knitting ART. My Mom and I did another sock class at Mobile Yarn and these were on a display table!


They even have SHRIMP! How precious is this? And who the heck spent hours knitting it? (And what do you do with it?)


Okay, if I'm going to spend hours on something, I think it'll be something to wear. So let's look at my current art project...it really looks like a sock!


Didn't realize I photographed the one mistake in my sock - I twisted a stitch or something and threw off the ribbing just a smidge.


Look at that gusset - stunning!


Gusset and heel flap - LOVE!


So knitting the foot gets a little boring, thus I took a minute to finish my sleeve. Unfortunately, I dropped a stitch on the double-pointeds and couldn't get it all the way back, so I decided to make them 3/4 length sleeves and call it done - yay! Except that I noticed the sleeve fits a lot better with a proper lace pattern...


so the other sleeve is not only full-length, but quite baggy.


Therefore I have committed to fixing the other sleeve, and have already ripped it back to the start. But that was yesterday while I was still on call. Today I'm off call and got home from work a little early, so I decided to cook dinner. Lucas and I perused the Pioneer Woman cookbook, and he settled on a salad for dinner...behold, the chicken taco salad!


Instead of cooking my own chicken, I picked up a Publix Barbeque chicken and shredded it. The avocado and roasted corn make it really delicious, but Dean added some roasted jalapenos - even better! The dressing is Ranch mixed with salsa and cilantro. (And have you ever put 3 corn cobs in a skillet on high heat? It starts making popping sounds and the kernels swell up before turning brown - I was worried one would blow off and hit me in the eye.)


And while I was in Publix I spotted the Apron booth's dessert - Greek honey yogurt with berries. Now Greek yogurt is kind of tart and unappetizing, so you have to sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar on it...


and let it sit for a while in the frig, then it actually does taste like a dessert. Lucas ate 2 helpings!


I'll be having it for breakfast tomorrow...and hopefully getting further along on that sock...and that sleeve!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My ADHD Knitting Weekend

So I knit my black mesh sweater sleeve too tightly on the circulars and couldn't get it to slide onto the bamboo ends to finish, and when I tried to start the new blue Waves of Lace coverup, I messed up the lace several times. I decided it was time to take a lace class at Mobile Yarn since I was still off work.


I've never done a knitting class before, but it was nice to sit with 2 other ladies and work out our lace issues. I got this far before leaving.


AND, I also tried my first knitting on double-pointed needles! Ariel kindly worked my black sleeve onto these, and I should finish it up shortly.


But I wanted to take maximum advantage of vacation time, so I signed up for another class the next day...


SOCKS!


Only messed up once when I kept knitting with the wrong needle - Dean realized it before I did when he saw 2 empty ones lying on the counter.


Here's my progress in one day.


I am in LOVE!


Of course I can't wait to finish - I had to see how it'd look with a shoe.


Jake couldn't stop sniffing the yarn, and I realized it must smell like the sheep and alpaca at the festival.


Dang work - have to go back tomorrow and I'm on call. This is seriously going to interfere with my knitting. Wonder if I can keep one of these projects in a drawer in case of no-shows or cancellations...

The Group Tour Lottery

So we experienced several different tours with other people over the course of this vacation. I’m fairly antisocial, and the main reason I’m not interested in cruising is the meal situation, as I prefer a family dinner to dining with a bunch of strangers. Well, I changed my mind during our Fiery Furnace hike, which involved 6 other people on a large bus. We started out in the back but Dean felt this was too antisocial, since the guide Maggie asked us to all introduce ourselves and get to know each other. Well four of these people were Diane and John from NY, and Kim and David from Connecticut. It turns out that Kim and David were staying at Gonzo Inn like us, and she mentioned they had enjoyed the pool the previous day. I then recalled that we had waited by the pool while our room was being readied, and it turns out she and I had said hello to each other! David was a hoot during the whole hike and kept us all laughing, and even engaged with the kids a good bit. He kept asking about how Dean and I met, how we handled the stress of being 2 doctors while raising kids (he seemed to think it was way more stressful than it actually is), etc. Another guy said he felt like he was listening to Dr. Phil interview a couple.

Well that night we ate at Pasta Jays, where we ran into John and Diane, who stopped by our table to chat, and the next day we ran into them again during our rafting trip. But the real kicker was that when we left Gonzo Inn and drove 2 hours to Needles in Canyonland, the first car behind us in the parking lot was Kim and David! We ended up hiking with them the whole time, and when we had to turn around to head on to Monument Valley, David yelled out that he loved us - crazy!

Now I realized that we wouldn’t always win the tour group lottery when we arrived at Monument Valley and went on a sunset tour done by a Navajo group. We again joined 3 couples, who were sitting on 3 different rows in the open jeep (with 4 seats across) and almost refused to scoot over for us! The guide asked them to vacate a bench, but 2 couples argued in German and finally they just scooted over so we could have 2 seats on each row, even though they were all traveling together. (And they scooted in opposite directions so we couldn’t even talk to each other.) The other couple was French, and apparently no one spoke English, because they never spoke to the guide or even responded to his information. The worst part was when we were taken to a Hogan (house) where a lady inside showed us how they make yarn out of wool, and how Native Americans used to live. They all stood looking disinterested, and Lucas told me later that Dean and I were the only 2 who seemed to be listening and asking questions. The funny thing is that the next day at Lower Antelope Canyon (2.5 hours from Monument Valley), who should be sitting there waiting for the next tour when we emerged, but the four hateful Germans!

Do you have any funny or poignant stories about people in a tour group? And how would you feel about group dining on a cruise ship?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

End of the Road in Sedona

Little bit of catching up since I got some pics off the other phones. I don't know about your family going on vacation when you were growing up, but in the 1970's, we only went to the beach in Florida, or occasionally the mountains of Tennessee. In Florida, the hotel and restaurant of choice was Howard Johnson's, where I always ordered the fried clams. One time I ordered spaghetti, and I could only eat half off it, so got chewed out by my Dad about wasting food. Never ordered that again. The souvenir of choice was an airbrushed T-shirt or hermit crab. (Scott, do you have a scar from the time Tracey and I stuck the hermit crab in your underwear and the waistband popped it so it pinched you? Sorry!) Now that was Florida, but if we went northward, then everybody got moccasins, and we had the funniest picture of my sister (about 2 years old probably) pitching a fit while we took a picture with a nice Native American man fully outfitted with the Indian headdress, etc. So when I found moccasins in Moab, I was stunned that nobody wanted a pair. So much for carrying on family traditions.


This was a panorama of the roof from Lower Antelope Canyon - those guides know all kind of tricks for pictures there.


And does anybody recognize this view from the highway to Monument Valley? It was where Forrest Gump decided he was tired of running and turned around to go home. People pull over to get pictures here, so Lucas wasn't the only one standing in the middle of the road.


And now to Sedona, which was the end of our trip.


These are Honanki Indian ruins - this was apparently a 2-story structure with 80 rooms built up against the rock - cool!


Now let me explain these next 2 briefly. We went shopping in downtown Sedona, and Buck Thornton's World of Jerky was a must-see. Apparently the guy running it is the grandson of a Vegas dancer who made Tom Jones famous. They were best friends and she invited him to come sing, thus providing his break into show business.


And here you can see that his grandmother is on Tom Jones' album cover, just above center. (You can also see I wasn't quite sure if he was entirely sane, so I kept a fair distance.) Below center is apparently John Wayne singing Happy Birthday to someone, as well. Chick got around!


Now commencing random photos: Hummingbird at the hotel.


Boys mountain biking on some nice trails...


Which were easier to maneuver than these trails made for 4-wheeling! We were covered in red dirt after this.


Cool dead tree.


Okay, that's the last of the vacation pics, but I have one more post on people you meet on group tours, which will come tomorrow, because you're probably tired of reading now. After that, I have some pics of my escalating addiction. Do they make naloxone targeted to the knitting receptor? Because I need some!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Wool from Flagstaff, and a Drew Time-lapse

So we were heading down through Flagstaff on our way to Sedona, but had lots of time and wondered what was interesting to do besides the Lowell Observatory. Well, would you believe that at that moment we came across the Flag Wool and Fiber Festival?! The boys couldn't believe their bad luck, heehee. Dean took them to the Pioneer Museum after they tired of looking at sheep...


and whatever this is...


and alpaca...I think.


But I had a ball...er, a skein! The lady who hand-spun and hand-painted this yarn is Katherine Smith of Lollipop Acres Fiber, and asked me to link her Etsy shop in exchange for the pics, so there ya go!


This was beautiful stuff, but a lot of it was over my head, as in wool for felting, wool for spinning your own yarn, etc. I bought one skein from her...


and two skeins from Mary Gavan, who had the most gorgeous rayon-linen yarns and some beautiful sweaters hanging up. Took pics to track the patterns on Ravelry...





So the one on the left is a sport-weight merino/nylon blend, and the 2 on right are fingering-weight (not fingerling, right? That's a potato I think...) rayon-linen, and I just LOVE the coral color - officially Paint Brush.


It also turned out that there was at least one knitting store in Sedona and one in Moab I found after we left, but I just can't go in every ONE of them, can I? And by the way, I knitted too tightly at the end of the black mesh sleeve, so I can't get the dang stitches off those circulars - arghhh! I get the feeling God doesn't want me to wear this thing. And I had already picked up a project from Mobile Yarn before I left, but that lace pattern is throwing me for a loop - looks like a lace class is in order.

I'll leave you with a precious time-lapse video Lucas made of Drew as we were driving away from Grand Canyon.