September 25, 2006

Catching up

Life is beginning to return to a normal pace around Chez Karen. I know it won't stay this way for very long....I work in retail and the holidays are approaching at lightning speed. Speaking of holidays...I've started my holiday knitting, so there will be some top secret knitting round these parts. I hope to keep knitting a little something non-secret on the side so I still have something to show you. Last week Doug and I took a mini-vacation to celebrate our one year anniversary. Say it with me now, we're no longer NEWLYWEDS! On our first day of vacation we laid low around Charlottesville, taking a hike in the morning at Humpback Rock, which is on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 30 minutes away. I'm so thankful that I live so close to such gorgeous mountains and views, they are truly breathtaking. The wildlife is amazing too. I was able to get close enough to a buck to shoot this picture. He glanced at me and then went on grazing, not even worried about my bright yellow t-shirt and flashing camera.

Friday morning, we headed to the Outer Banks. I absolutely love this beach. If I had the ability to do anything I wanted to, I would take April-September off and rent a house down there for the busy season. I could just bartend to make some cash and walk on the beach every morning, maybe learn how to surf. That's my dream life, folks. Nothing but tropical drinks, sand, and salt water. Sigh.

Saturday night we went out to celebrate our one year anniversary, which actually fell on Sunday, September 17th. We went to a wonderful restaurant called The Flying Fish which has a wine listing to die for. Mmmmm.... (add wine to that list of perfect life stuff)

On our way home we passed a church with tons of flags decorating the front yard. I pulled over to look more closely. It is a monument dedicated to the soldiers fighting overseas. Each flag represents an American soldier that was killed in battle. I'm not sure if it only represents soldiers that were known by people of the church, or total Americans killed. It was a very windy day, and the flags were very striking. Simple, but effective.

After arriving home last Monday, I caught some terrible cold that has been going around and had me laid up on the couch for the better part of last week. I was able to make a significant dent in the UFO basket though. I worked on Green Gable quite a bit, and I am about 2 inches away from finishing. I've already finished both sleeves. I should have a finished object picture for you soon, but for now here is a progress pic. I've gotten a little further than this, but it will give you an idea.

I love this time of year! The weather starts to get a little colder, the leaves start to change colors, and football starts. Now I have to admit, I've never been really a huge fan of football in the past, but I don't dislike it. I've just never really watched it and paid attention. This year I am going to learn how the game is really played, try to learn all the rules, and really watch it. I love tailgating, so I should also love football, right? I have also decided that I need to make some team scarfs for my friends and family. I'm making this scarf using LB Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. I really love the weight of this yarn, the price is pretty good (5.99 ea.) and it only takes two balls to make a pretty decent size scarf. My big complaint is the color pallette. It will work for two of the teams I am doing scarfs for, but I'm hoping to churn out a whole bunch of these. Can anyone recommend a similar weight/price yarn with a better color selection?

I have a huge projection waiting in the wings. It probably won't get started for a while, and it will probably take me a really long time. I saw this sweater in a magazine a few weeks ago (sorry for the dark, blurry pic) and fell in love. The price tag isn't too unreasonable, but it's nearly impossible to find around here and I can't find it online either so I've decided to try to design it myself. I bought a few balls of different weight/content yarns to play around with guage. This is going to be such a challenge for me. For one, I've only completed one adult sweater, and that was straight stockinette and ribbing (Tubey). For another thing, I get the concept of cables, and I've cabled before, but only just a simple 3x3 twist or something similar, nothing like the complex lattice-like cables here. Finally, I have no idea how to take shaping and all that into account when writing this. I'm being really ambitious though, because I think it would be so fantastic if I can pull this off. I'm even going to try to write the pattern for more than one size so I can submit it to MagKnits or Knitty or something. Wish me luck everyone!

September 10, 2006

I. O. U.

I owe many apologies to many people out there. The past two weeks have been very crazy and hectic. I have had a few ups and a few downs. I will not dwell on the downs here, but will give you the highlights of the "ups". Since I have so many pics, I'll just let them do the talking. Let me start by giving a long overdue thank you to my Secret Pal! My super-aweseome secret pal was Shelley of She Knits She Rants . This was my final package from her-how cool is this? The cables edition of Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules, a bag of A&W Root Beer candy (yum!), a skein of DB Cashmerino Aran (to make Fetching, a pattern she sent but not pictured), and my FAVE needles in the whole world-Brittany Birch DPNs to make Fetching. Thanks a million, SP! This was my first ever Secret Pal, and it was a great experience.

Speaking of Fetching.....I had already bought a ball of navy Cashmerino to match my winter coat, but hadn't gotten the pattern or needles yet. I swear my SP is psychic! Since this picture was taken I have finished Fetching #1, and have yet to start on Fetching #2. Second Fetching Syndrome?

The dog kennel is coming along nicely......

I have never previously taken a "Saturday Sky" picture, but this one was too good to pass up. This is the view from my front yard, looking directly up.

On Friday, September 1st, Kayla Dorian was brought into this world weighing in at 8 lbs, 5 oz. and sporting a full head of this black hair. Congratulations to her proud parents, Shining and Ra!

Wednesday we went to see a baseball game. The St. Louis Cardinals played the DC Nationals at RFK Stadium.
We had a great time, despite this....

(I'm a bit of a Cards's those Missouri roots.)

We had a much easier time getting home than we did getting there. We had left with enough time to tailgate for an hour before the game. I HATE driving in DC. We took one wrong turn off the interstate and couldn't get back to the road we needed. We ended up asking 5 different people for directions on the street, including a cop who was in a hurry to stop a "jumper". (Hope that guy is ok!) Finally we had my mom google map it and walk us through getting there. We arrived just in time to see the 5th inning.

This technically wasn't a Saturday, but this sky was too good to pass up also. This was on the way home from the game on Wednesday. It reminded me of that saying, "every cloud has a silver lining".
Finally, to end my busy two weeks, I attended the wedding of our good freinds Kari and Brian. Congrats guys!