Monday, July 30, 2007

For a good cause

I will be knitting for the Red Scarf Project this year. I ran across this project last year but the deadlines had already passed so I am happy that I am a little more on the ball this year. I will now be on the quest for the perfect soft red yarn! As some of you may know, I work with juvenile delinquents and a fair percentage of them are wards of the state. It is sad that once they are on their own at age 18 without any real support system unless they lucked into a mentor along the way who will keep in touch once they age out of the system. I can remember joking about my parents kicking my brother and I out of the house when we turned was okay to joke about it because I knew that my parents would always be there for me. Now imagine that you are 18 and that happens because you are a ward of the state. Goodbye money to live on, goodbye place to live, goodbye adult caretakers helping you make decisions--you are now an adult, deal with it! Fortunately there are groups like the Orphan Foundation of America that step in to help. I will be making scarfs and sending some gift cards for the care packages that they send to college students. Please consider doing what you can to help out. Here is the link to the charity navigator page so you can see that the are a well-run charity!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Impatience leads to:

One: More yarn--specifically a beautiful evergreen laceweight from the local yarn store. I checked the mail on Saturday and there was still no package so I went to Needleworks to check out their yarn--just to pet it, I swear--but once in the store I was overcome with the urge to buy. I my defense it was very soft yarn.

Two: Yarn holders--in this case a lovely woven basket with brocade fabric liner. I decided that I wanted a safe place to store my lace project so I picked up this lovely Lantern Moon basket while I was at Needleworks.

Three: Finished objects--in the form of the hat that was for a Klose Knit knitting class that didn't happen because of the blizzard this winter. Yes, I am aware that it's summer but I can procrastinate with the best of them. It was already cast on and I had about two inches done so this morning I decided that I would just wing it and finish the hat. I used the information provided by the Yarn Harlot in "Knitting Rules!" to guide me and finished the hat with minimal problems. My biggest hurdle was wrestling the hat on 16" circulars when I was down to the last few of rounds. I think that switching to double-pointed needles might have been a bit easier but that is only a theory as I have never used them (they couldn't have been worse than all of the tugging and contorting of needles that I was doing). But, the hat is finished and I think it is very cute even if it doesn't have the flower right at the top of the hat that I would have learned in the class. I don't know if it was just stitch work of if it was a fancy bind off but I am happy. Here are a couple of photos:
If you don't have "Knitting Rules!", I highly recommend that you get a copy!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Knitting or lack thereof

I am sad to report that right now the only knitting that I am doing is on a dishcloth. It is a pretty little dishcloth but the pattern doesn't show up very well since I am using a variegated it is a little frustrating to knit. I am close to finishing it so here is a picture:
I only have about another inch of pattern and then 4 rows of knit before the bind-off. I am waiting rather impatiently for my order from Knit Picks to get here. They are very timely with their orders, I just want instant gratification which won't happen until someone figures out how to download yarn. Maybe Willy Wonka has a cousin that specializes in yarn! I am getting some lovely lace weight yarn (Shadow--Jewels Heather) to make a scarf and some super bulky yarn (Suri Dream--Gloxinia) to make a caplet. Now if only the mail person would cooperate and deliver my yarn.

Monday, July 23, 2007

For a friend...

Tuesday and Wednesday please send all of your smart lawyerly thoughts towards Indianapolis where Holly is taking the bar exam!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I just finished reading the final Harry Potter book and I must say that, for me, it was the perfect conclusion to the series! [And, I was right about Snape.]

Book started at 12:23am and finished at 5:17am...not too bad for 759 pages.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Two more states and a wedding

You may or may not know that I want to see all 50 states and this month, thanks to a trip to attend a college friends wedding, I managed to cross two more states off the list! To add to the adventure factor, a former roommate and I took the California Zephyr from Chicago to Grand Junction which is a 27 hour trip. We did meet some lovely people on the train: on the trip out on the California Zephyr we had lunch in the dining car with Frank & Patty who were headed to California to see one of their kids and on the way back we met a nice couple [we never exchanged names] who were just traveling for fun. I can only hope to be as active as they are when I am retired: couple one likes to go white-water rafting and couple two likes to go distance biking!

I don't know if I would want to take that long of a trip again with someone but I think that I would do okay by myself because I could knit or read and keep myself occupied pretty well but when you travel with someone else that is a long time to try to make sparkling conversation. Plus, occasionally we were subjected to the excruciating conversations of others...the worst of which was the hippie granola missionary man. The sad thing is that I agree with many of the things that he was saying but the two hour proselytizing was just too much for me. Plus the girl that he was talking with kept confusing the words barter and banter. With 19 hours left on the return trip, Holly was wishing for the train to derail so she could get a rental car [granola man overdose!].

Overall, the trip was amazing. I haven't seen Tyson since college and over the years he has gone from occasionally funny to hysterically funny just about ever time he opens his mouth. Brad and Rachel's wedding was beautiful and the reception was a lot of fun. I hadn't met Rachel prior to the wedding but she seems like a tiny bundle of sass which is a perfect foil for Brad. I won't post any photos of their wedding but I will share some of the fun that Tyson, Holly, and I had with the gift. We were completely underwhelmed by the wedding gift wrap at Target so we went with some monkeys in a kick line and a Tyson created gift bag with a bride and groom monkey. It cracked us up but maybe you had to be there...I don't know.

Holly and I pose with the monkey-wrapped gift:
Tyson poses with his creation:

We were on a bit of a mad-cap schedule for this trip and if I make it back to Colorado there are still lots of things that I would like to do and see. I would like to go rafting on the Colorado River and I would like to drive through the mountains between Denver and Grand Junction and get out and explore and hike around. The train did afford a wonderful view but there were definitely places that I would have like to explored. In a three day trip we managed to fit in a rehearsal dinner, a wedding, a reception,

the Colorado National Monument,

a supposed ghost town {Cisco, Utah},

a scenic drive,

Arches National Park and souvenir shopping in Moab, Utah. Not bad!

Oh the places I've been...