Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Swallowtail photo session

The Swallowtail Shawl and I had a little photo session yesterday, and here are the results:

It's not quite as dark as it looks in these partially back-lit photos, but it's not quite as light as in the photo below. Maybe a light navy color? It's hard to describe exactly.

And this is the pin I made a while back that I pulled out to wear with it on Tuesday night:

It's just base metal, so nothing fancy. I'm going to make up a bunch more of these, I can tell! One for every shawl I own, probably.

I dyed the shawl on Sunday and blocked it on the floor, where I let it sit for two whole days since it's been so humid here. I'm quite thrilled with it!

Vital Statistics:

  • KnitPicks Dye-You-Own lace-weight merino (pre-dates the Bare line), not even close to a full hank.
  • Started May 9, 2007, finished knitting May 19, 2007.
  • Dyed using Pro-Chem dyes.

I would definitely recommend this as a newer-lace-knitter project, despite the nupps (those are the little dark "knot"-looking things, for those of you who aren't into lace knitting). The trick with those is to keep things very loose and all is fine.


Thank you to everyone who's commented on my shawl edgings. I think I'm going to go with the first one, but not blocked out quite so strongly. I'll probably add some stuff to it, as well, and maybe get a swatch knitted tonight and tomorrow. We all know that I seem to have a basic inability to just leave something as-is and follow a pattern, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm going to change a perfectly-good edging. ;-)


I got tagged a while back for two MeMes, one of Seven Weird Things and another that's Six Random Things or something like that. I'm still working on them, so Anne and Rebecca, don't think I've forgotten.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Shetland Tea Shawl edging (yes, again)

I've been working more on the edging for my Shetland Tea Shawl, and between last night and today I swatched two more edgings. So far I'm not happy with either one.

Yes, I suspect I'll drag this out for at least another week or two.

To recap, here are my samples in order:

This is the wide point lace from Victorian Lace Today, and the ruler along the top is for scale (the edging is 8" from side to side at the top).

This is a chunk of an edging called Normandy Lace from . I like this one, and the more I look at it the more I like it. I'm just worried that it's too open for an edging.

This is my attempt at combining the motif above as insertion, with a border from Victorian Lace Today. It's less than successful because I elongated the center motif and don't like it as much, plus I've got too many disparate elements going. It has some possibilities, but not as it is. It's sitting on a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper, just to give you a feel for how big it is.

And here's today's attempt. This one is WAAAAY too lacy and open for an edging, although I do love it. It, too, is on a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper.

I have a few more ideas, but I think I'm going to take a brief break from this project and let things percolate in my brain.


Thanks to everyone who commented on the new look for my blog!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Vacation Day #3, #4, and #5, STS edging

Warning: LOTS of pictures; lace knitting at the end of the post.

I'm really falling behind in my vacation postings, but I'm going to try to catch up a little bit.

Day #3: in Cedar City, seeing family and friends.

We spent the morning with the kids in the pool, and four of the cousins came over to swim, too. Much fun was had by all! In the afternoon we all met up at one of the great parks in Cedar City, Canyon Park. When we were living in Cedar we spent a good amount of time there.

Here's a picture of Greg with our kids and two cousins, walking from one side of the park to the other:

There are two streams that run through the park. One has bridges like this one, and the other is really wide and quite deep, with only two bridges across it at either end of the park. This is toward the beginning of the picnic, before all the kids ended up in the stream.

A view of the canyon from the park.

Ryan, debating about whether or not he's going to climb down by himself. (He didn't.)

I have some other pictures, but I didn't get permission yet from the people in them to post, so I'm going to wait.

That evening we went to my friend Gale's house (and Brad's house, too!) and hung out for a while. We all had a great time! Here's a very very patient cat that Gillian decorated. It was so funny! Gillian was crumble dandelion petals on the cat, then go look for more and the cat would follow her and then wait patiently while she put more stuff on her!

Gale and Brad have fiber animals, and this is Devo. He's a part-mohair goat and he and Ryan became good buddies.

The kids also enjoyed chasing Gale's exotic chickens, hoping to get one to let it pet it. Yeah, right, like that was going to happen! Much fun was had by all.

Brad and Gale have motorcycles, and Gale's has "Ride like a girl" written on it (in purple, of course!) so Gillian put on her helmet and posed for a picture.

Day #4 I didn't take many pictures; we pretty much just recovered from the busy days we'd had and visited with Greg's family. It was nice to relax a little bit!

Day #5 we went from Cedar City (Utah) to Idaho Falls, Idaho, which is about 8 hours. Here's a view of the back side of Cedar Breaks National Monument. One of my all-time favorite drives is from Cedar City up the mountain to Brian Head/Cedar Breaks (US Hwy 14).

Here's a picture of the back side of Cedar Breaks, with the morning light.

180 degrees from that picture, the kids and my wonderful husband, enjoying a quick roadside stop:
This is the Zion Overlook on Hwy 14, which is very special to me/us because this is where DH gave me my engagement ring more than 11 years ago. All those craggy areas in the distance are Zion National Park.

We were hoping to go up the mountain, then through Cedar Breaks and down, but Cedar Breaks wasn't open for the summer yet. Instead we went by Navajo Lake, through Duck Creek, and down over the other side of the mountain to US Hwy 89. We went up 89 through Panguitch, then took I-20 across to I-15.


I'm really discouraged by a lot of the posts on the knitting email lists lately. There seems to be a lot of negativity going around. I posted a question on the KnitList about why more dishcloth patterns aren't charted a few people jumped all over me for even suggesting it. Honestly, I just don't understand 1.) why designers don't post charts as well as the word instructions, and 2.) why people jumped all over me for even asking about it. If people aren't open to new ideas (not that charting is a new idea!!) then why are they on lists like that? I just don't get it.

Three hours later: My dear friend Rori came to my defense with the acrimonious woman, and I was quite relieved that it wasn't just me who thought I was being rude. I'm feeling much better about things now.


Last night I swatched a lace edging pattern for my Shetland Tea Shawl, and I'm not happy with it. Well, that's not true--I love the design but I think it's way too open for the edging on a large shawl. It might be really good on a shoulder-size shawl, but on this big shawl I think it'd catch on things. Especially as clumsy as I am sometimes. Here's my two-repeat swatch or just the outside part of the edging:

It's gorgeous, but it's really open. I'll have to keep swatching. :-)

I think I might use it as an insertion, with something somewhat less open at the very edge. We'll see—I haven't found a combination yet that has the right number of stitches.

Wow, thanks for reading all the way to the end! Hopefully tomorrow's post won't be quite so long....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tweaking my Blog

You may have noticed (or may not!) that I've changed a few things on my blog.

I'm still trying to get all my little things back, but so far I like how it's all turning out.

Opinions? Preferences?

Of course what I should have been doing is posting about Day #3 of our vacation, but you get this instead.

If you look closely at the tree, around the center of the picture, you'll see a face. :-) My MIL (hi, Vickey!) gave it to us when we were in Cedar City a few weeks ago. Ever since she visited us out here the first time, she's been thinking about how fun one of these faces would be on our very large trees. The kids love it!

Our Cannas have been pretty happy this year, and here's our first bloom of the season:

Fred, as usual, is not impressed.

(No, he's not dead, he's just enjoying the warm driveway.)

And no, I still haven't blocked my German doily. Maybe tomorrow. Today "we" worked on cleaning out Gillian's room and I'm exhausted. That would be Gillian's "royal we," which in this case means that I cleaned while she watched. I keep telling myself that she is six years old and that she'll get better about keeping her room clean.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Vacation, Day #2

I finally finished unpacking for everyone, only four days after we got back. How's that for pathetic? ;-)

Day #2 was pretty action-packed, and I'll warn you now that I took a lot of pictures. Like 200+. Don't panic, I'm not going to post them all! This one is going to be pretty picture-heavy, I'll warn you now. Blame Lisa if you don't like it. (Kidding, Lisa!!!)

We started out with breakfast at the hotel, which was very nice. We saw one of the girls' sports teams from DH's high school (Cedar High, for those of you who are interested) eating breakfast at the hotel, and had the rather sobering epiphany that we're closer to the coaches' ages than the students' ages. Le Sigh.

After breakfast we headed over to a park in the middle of town that we'd spotted on the way in, and the kids had a great time running around.

Ryan actually went down the big slide, much to all of our amazement! He absolutely refuses (and I mean REFUSES) to go down the slides at places like McDonald's or Carl's Jr, so it was surprising to all of us that he went down this one. Not only once, but three times!

He wasn't too sure about the climbing dome, though, so his wonderful daddy helped him out. (Check out the mountains in the background!)

And at the Heber Creeper, this just looked too cool to not photograph:

Just look at that sky! That's a true mountain-desert sky, and I miss it. The skies here in Oklahoma just don't look like that.

I really like that picture for some reason, and I'll probably have it blown up to like 8x10. I got it as a 5x7 and I'll probably use that for my scrapbook.

And a la The Yarn Harlot, here's my sock lace with a person train (the Heber Creeper in this case):

It had gotten a little bit bigger by this point, about 18 hours after the picture on the airplane. Not that I'd worked on it much, as I had sleeping (and getting kids settled, and swimming, and eating dinner....) to do.

It's a tradition in our family that we put pennies on the train track and attempt to retrieve them when the train has gone by. They're usually very flat. [Oops, I probably shouldn't be admitting to defacing U.S. currency, but there it is. We've probably "ruined" about 50 cents grand total.] We only found one penny this time around, but that's all right. My dad had put a penny on the light rail track in Salt Lake and it was still somewhat recognizable as a coin, which was very interesting! Anyway, here are the two we put down:

If I can find the one penny we found after being squished I'll post a pic later. It doesn't look like much, just a flat, elongated copper disc, but I think it's pretty cool.

And here's our little family, before boarding the train. (Thanks, GrandDad, for taking the picture!)

A view of the train ahead as we went around a corner:

That turned out better than I'd expected, seeing as I was borrowing a technique from my sister and holding the camera out the window without looking through the viewfinder. I have a lot of these that are at really odd angles--trying to take pictures with the camera held out on a moving train it not easy. Fun, but hard to get a good picture.

They don't allow outside food or drinks, and they started cooking popcorn about 10 minutes into the three-hour ride. Popcorn is a real weakness in my family and there was no way I was going to go the entire three-hour train ride without some popcorn. My wonderful hubby got enough for everyone and some water, and we were set!

The Heber Creeper is one of the only trains in the country that has a caboose. This one has been restored, minus the bunk beds, and adventurous passengers can climb up into the cupola. It was way cool! The kids enjoyed it and would've spent the whole time up there, but it was very very wobbly up there--the whole train ride was wobbly (kind of like being on a boat in somewhat rough seas), and being up high in the cupola magnified it a bit. It was great! Challenging to get up and down since you kind of got bounced around climbing the ladder, but totally worth it.

We spotted some elk on the mountainside as we went by. The train didn't go very fast so there was plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. [Click on the picture to make the elk big enough to spot--they're in the center, just above the power lines.]

At the gift shop before we boarded the train, Grandma got talked into buying some toys for the kids. Gillian got some of her favorite thing, little shaped sponges in gelatin capsules that dissolve in warm water. They had a set of six that became a train, and she's really enjoyed playing with those. Ryan got a train that makes noise and lights up, and goes when you pull back (a pull-back train, maybe it's called?).

Ryan was fading a little bit toward the end, and actually fell asleep a little while after this picture was taken.d
And here's a picture of the station as we were leaving the parking lot. We sure had a great time!

Directly after getting off the train, we drove down to Cedar City (in southern Utah), and went out to Greg's parents' house. Here's Gillian inspecting the hen house:

There were two eggs, so both kids got to bring one in. (There were cousins involved, too, but I'm not going to post pics--I haven't checked yet with their mom for permission).

And this is an old delivery truck near the hen house. I just couldn't resist taking some pictures.

And the boy, brandishing his egg. I have no idea why, but every picture I have of him with this egg he's being a dork. He kept twisting his arms all around and wrinkling up his face. Kids are so funny!

All right, I'll stop torturing you with vacation pictures now. More tomorrow. Hahahahahaha!! (insert evil laugh here)

In knitting news, I did manage to cast off my German doily. It doesn't look like much since it's not blocked, and I didn't have the time/energy/willpower to block it today so hopefully in the next few days I'll get to that and take pictures.

Spinning experiment

Before we left for our vacation, I was one of the lucky recipients of some hand-dyed pencil roving from Rachel. As most of you know, I got my wheel in January so I'd consider myself a rank beginner. Since I was testing it, I gave myself permission to play. I'm pretty pleased with what I came up with:

The one on the far left is navajo-plied slightly thick and thin yarn, the middle is two singles plied together, and the right one is a very thick-and-thin singles plied with some thread from Superior Threads (using Highlights, one of my all-time favorite machine quilting threads).

And some gratuitous close-up pictures:

Kinda fun!! I still have to measure them for WPI and I haven't measured the yardage yet. I want to try knitting with them, although I'm not sure what--probably just some stockinette pieces with garter-stitch borders, just to play. I figure that I can always rip them out and re-knit if a better project comes along!

You can go to Rachel's blog for some pictures of what other people have done with her roving.

Thanks, Rachel, for the roving!


And yes, LisaK, I'm working on more pictures of the trip. :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vacation, Day #1

I haven't finished unpacking yet, but I thought I'd start on my vacation recap.

I'm going to try to do one day per post so today's post is about the first day, tomorrow will be day #2, etc.

Day #1 - traveling from Tulsa to Salt Lake City, then on to Heber City, Utah.

Ryan had a good time playing with his woobie when he wasn't napping.

Here's a view outside of the neat clouds. I loved how puffy they were. These are somewhere between Tulsa and Dallas.

This is the start of my Swallowtail Shawl. I cast on the night before the trip, which would've been Thursday, May 10. Note the handy pattern holder that the airline supplied. :-)

In the Salt Lake Airport, playing with the luggage cart. There was a large open space between the baggage carousels, and no one was standing anywhere near. They weren't going as fast as it looks like in this picture--I didn't have the flash on.

And of course Ryan had to try pushing Gillian. LOL!

Once we got to Heber City and checked into our hotel (and had dinner), the kids really really really wanted to go swimming, so we did.

Here's Gillian in the pool with her new floaty,

And Ryan thinking about getting in (but not getting in unless I was holding him). He didn't get into the hot tub, but it looked like something more his speed until we turned on the jets. Then he wasn't interested.

Tomorrow, the Heber Creeper!