Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Arches National Park

So this is why Lucas looked so nervous yesterday - we were climbing "fins" in a Hummer, which entails going up and down what felt like 60-degree inclines, though they were probably only 45.

Today we hiked in Arches National Park, doing Fiery Furnace in the morning with a guide and an awesome group of 7 other people, none of whom were annoying or whiny. This is Fiery Furnace in the distance as we're driving in the park.

They mentioned that there would be a good bit of climbing and traversing cracks in the rock, but I wasn't expecting narrow ledges along big drop-offs! This was at the end of one of those. Note Lucas in a shallow crevice in the back.

Here he is up close.

This is Surprise Arch, which is why we came into this dead end.

The pictures don't do it any justice, but there are deep canyons with huge towering rocks...

and narrow cracks to get through - cool!

This was a cool tiny arch the guide had us crawl through if we liked - reminded me of doing a Tough Mudder without the mud.

This was a neat pic Dean got of Drew sitting on this arch. Only a few people were brave enough to climb up the rocks and walk out on it - I didn't make it.

And after a little nap and lunch at the hotel, we went back to the Windows area of Arches. This is a panoramic view of Double Arch - I didn't catch the other arch - doh! There's no way to convey how scary it was to climb up these rocks, then I had to lie on my back because I couldn't look up without feeling like I was falling.

And the selffie stick finally came into use today, despite everyone's shame at pulling it out. This is the back side of North and South Arch, known as "Spectacles" from the back.

Okay, time for bed. Tomorrow is rafting the Colorado for a half-day. And yes, I knitted all the way here, so I may get to wear the black mesh sweater by the end of the trip. I also downloaded a new project called Waves of Lace, but I can't even get the gauge swatch started correctly, so that'll take a little more study. The cool thing is that Heidi of Mobile Yarn was planning to knit it as well, so we're doing it in 2 different yarns and comparing results - cool!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Summer Vacay Begins!

Just a couple of teaser shots - loving this place! I'll upload a little video later of why Lucas is making the scared but thrilled face....

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Fashion Blog

I will heretofore wear no shoes but Ivanka Trumps and Fluevogs! Ivanka because she makes beautiful and comfortable shoes, and Fluevogs because their philosophy is so cool. I ordered these online, and asked for sizing help since they reportedly ran large, so I got an email from the store in San Francisco, and they actually had a clerk with a size 10 foot try on a 9.5 to be sure it fit well - personal service! (Plus the guy signed it "Hugs," - precious!) And every standard email about shipping has a little paragraph about how good-looking you are and other funny stuff. They even tie a bow around the box.

The box not only had stickers and buttons, but Twizzlers, and Starburst -what?!

Behold the Lyra!

Remind you of something? (Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat)

They also included a shoe bag...

and the box has funny sayings. These people go all out!

One more peek from work - love these things! So now I really want Natalie Chanin to partner with John Fluevog - can't you picture her models with these shoes?

And now for the Japanese kimono silk fabric my MIL's sister sent me from Japan. They apparently use a narrow width to make kimonos...

and I have no idea how many yards this is, but it's apparently the whole bolt! Any suggestions on what to make with it?

Okay, ready for a million pictures of clothes? I realized I couldn't sew spring shirts for work fast enough, so I ordered one more box from Front Door Fashion. This time Morgan sent me a ton of things - I tried on clothes till 11:30 PM! This first one didn't work out too well - pants were a little loose.

I was going to keep these shorts, but turns out they were $91, and I just can't pay that much for a pair of shorts and live with myself...plus we're getting an H&M - have you guys heard that?

LOVED this top - kept it, but didn't keep the shorts.

Also loved this top, and these were my own white shorts from about 10 years ago.

Next time I make an AC shirt I may experiment with a hi-lo hem.

I did keep these pants, but the top was too low-cut, and I just feel so guilty buying a cardigan when I've knitted about 4 in different colors.

I did keep the pretty blue flower earrings that matched the back of this though.

And I loved this shirt - apparently Tencel is hot in shirts right now, because most of the shirts were made of it, and I kept a bunch. I also couldn't make up my mind on shoes, so you'll see a bunch of different ones.

Another hi-lo hem with a slit in the back.

Um....a little boxy for my taste.

I mean REALLY boxy!

Now these shorts were totally 1982 with big ol' stitching, so I asked Lucas if he'd go to Target with me wearing this. He immediately said, "No way, those are too short!" Which is what he told me about every pair of shorts after that - way too short. Hmmmm....

I was thinking they'd be good hiking shorts, but not if everyone's going to deny knowing me.

LOVE these white jeans, but not with these shoes - just mixing it up a bit.

Lucas said I looked like a teacher at school who's very skinny - NICE!

Now this top had a really boring neckline in the front, but a very cute cutout in the back, which I accidentally deleted a pic of. Didn't keep it. I realized after my last box that I have to be brutal, because I have a couple of things that I've never worn or only worn once because they're kind of exotic, so to speak....have to be realistic about wearing them in Mobile, AL!

Loved this Tencel shirt, and that's a belt from my last box.

Just kidding with the Fluevogs, but I had to throw them in there!

Now this outfit was promising except the pants were a little tight, and I have an almost identical pair from H&M in Charleston that were like $20. I was digging the blazer. Morgan said this was my Ellen Degeneres look, which is awesome because I told her that's my style.

I just wasn't a fan of the hi-lo hem on the blazer, because it seems to almost showcase the derriere.

Now this next one took my breath away, so I had to pull out the platform peep-toe pumps I bought in Chicago a few years ago...and have worn exactly once. Lucas said this outfit made my legs look TOO skinny.

I didn't keep the pants, but did keep the top since it was so dramatic. It's kind of a thick material, and turns out to be polyester. Yay for washing and not dry-cleaning!

And this last one was 2 tank tops I didn't keep and a nice pair of shorts, though again, they were declared too short, and the legs were big enough that if I bent over, there might be a discussion about my assets.

So that was a ton of stuff, and I ended up with about 5 shirts for work and home (I left out a denim-colored Tencel sleeveless button-up that I wore to the hospital yesterday), plus some pants and earrings. Awesome that I didn't have to drive anywhere to find it all, and I just dropped the pre-paid returns at UPS yesterday - easy-peasy. Thanks, Morgan! Now back to thinking about my Grand Canyon knitting project...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Stella Pullover is Finished...and Undergoing Renovations...

But first...it's precious when your kids can give each other buzz cuts - so frugal!

And I made Pioneer Woman's meatloaf the other night using my usual combo of hamburger meat and Jimmy Dean Sage sausage, but she uses lots of milk-soaked bread as well...

and covers it with the most delicious diced tomato/brown sugar/cayenne pepper combination - very tasty! Could've used more of that topping...

and had a side of Lemony Green Beans, which Drew thought were too lemony, even though I only used half a lemon instead of 1.5 lemons like she recommends. Everybody else loved it, so we'll keep it.

Are you ready for a sour face and a beautiful sweater? (And that's a white tank top, not a white bra like my family thought.)

I guess it's much better over a full top so you don't worry that you're looking at my bra. And yes, Mom, next time I'll wear a black tank top, but then the lace won't show so nicely.

But maybe we SHOULD hide the lace a bit, since I've made a couple of boo-boos. Remember that I knitted one sleeve inside out? Well I also messed up the lace pattern on both sleeves pretty badly, and I can see it when I look closely, so I decided I was definitely ripping one sleeve out....after I wear it to dinner - heehee!

So I went by my LYS, Mobile Yarn (go shop there!), to see if they had any helpful hints on decreasing in a lace pattern, and they very kindly said they will chart this for me using a computer program they have! They were going to do it for free, but I felt terribly guilty since I actually paid for this pattern, and the designer offered no help on the charting when I asked her through Ravelry. We settled on $10 for the chart, depending on the level of difficulty, and I figured if I'm going to pay for a lace chart, I may as well rip out the other sleeve and do IT correctly too. When I told Dean that, he was flabbergasted, but I reassured him it's just a sleeve. He pointed out that since this took me almost exactly 1 year to complete, it'll probably take 4 months to fix. He may be right.

Oh well, we're planning a big summer trip to the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas, so this may be my knitting project on the road...or should I start something with my sister's yarn? Or a new Alabama Chanin baby-doll top that I've had in mind the past 2 weeks? OH - speaking of Alabama Chanin: I wore my pink AC shirt to work last week - remember the one where I used the selvages as neck and sleeve bindings? A grandmother of a patient stared pointedly at my top the whole time I was in the room, and then I left to get some paperwork for them. When I came back in, she said, "I have a question. Do you mind if I touch the stitching around your sleeve? That is just beautiful, and I'm a seamstress, so I want to see how it's done." You can imagine the sound of my head blowing up with pride! She said she thought I'd bought the shirt, and we proceeded to have a 10-minute conversation about the sewing store she used to own, Alabama Chanin, and the wedding dress she'd offered to sew for her future granddaughter-in-law. It's so fun to run into a fellow sewer in unexpected places!