Monday, June 30, 2008

Good company, great food and a lot of knitting...

...I enjoyed a little piece of heaven this weekend :)

Each year a group of knitter friends plan a weekend trip away to knit, eat, hang out and enjoy each other's company. The weekend event is named Camp WannaKnitKnit, and this year I was lucky enough to be invited along.

Now, it's called 'camp' but our lodgings were truly luxurious -- a fabulous home in Vail:

Stacey, aka the hostess with the mostess, needs to find herself a career in event planning because she had every detail down. The first surprise is that we all had lovely goodie bags waiting for us -- piddleloop bags, stitch markers, Red Rocks Fiber Works yarn (in a colourway named Camp WannaKnitKnit).

And we also got some Camp WannaKnitKnit sweaters or t-shirts! I can't wait to see some of the group pics of us all modelling them.

And if that's not enough, WOW we ate well! The meal responsibilities were divided up between the group, and the girls really pulled out the stops on their dishes.

Oh yes, and there was knitting of course. I devoted all of my knitting time to working on the corntastic baby blanket. Whew I'll be glad when that's all finished up. I'd better hurry - August (and a couple of babies) is only a couple of weeks away.

Roll on the 4th so that I can take advantage of the long weekend to catch up on some sleep!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Home again

I just returned from a fantastic weekend away with some knitting friends (more to follow on that later...)

But first: I love how excited my furry family members are when I return home, greeting me with wagging tails and big grinny faces:

And I did get to sneak in some cuddles (and a couple of Zzzzs) with my big lazy boy!

I'll return fully rested tomorrow with details of the trip.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


It seems all I've done in the last couple of weeks is start new projects:

First off it was Estes Park wool festival this last weekend. I came away with some lovely Plain & Fancy yarn in what I'm calling mermaid colours.

There's some yarns that just beg to be knit into something immediately... and this is one. I'm following Terrie's lead and making an hourglass sweater. Ooh and I also came away with this very cool cable needle ring. No more cable needle hanging out the side of my mouth.

The weekend was fabulous and you can see a great account of it, with pics, on Stacey's blog. A fun time was had by all. Thanks Stacey for organizing this fun trip.

Next up are some baby goodies. A couple of friends back home are going to be having babies in August. They've decided not to find out whether they'll be little boys or girls and so instead of opting for white, I've decided to go multicolour.

I'd checked into nursery colours and one of the rooms looked to have a very similar colour scheme as this corntastic blanket. So I've got that on the needles right now. I'll be changing the basic pattern up a little, and adding some matching accessories. More to come soon on this one.

Then there's a Phyllo yoke sweater in the lovely Rowan calmer. I've only got a couple of inches in on this one, but I'm so excited about how it's going to turn out. A nice fall sweater methinks.

It's just dawned on me that these are all mindless stocking stitch projects for the most part. Maybe there'll be another new project on the horizon for which I'll be able to put my new nifty cable needle to good use.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Try to control your enthusiasm

Joe's boring blue socks are finished!

It's not the most interesting project I've ever finished, but it is an FO and figured it deserves a little blog entry. The yarn is some of Sundara's yummy sock yarn in Navy over Cerulean. A nice manly colour! The pattern is my usual 'basic recipe' in a 3x1 rib. And Joe's a happy boy!

I always like to have a basic sock on the needles; it's a good portable, mindless knit. So while they may not look very exciting, my socks typically hold fond memories because they travel around with me. This pair had the good fortune of visiting opening weekend at the Coors Field, the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup playoffs and Colorado wine country.

I'll witter a little about Colorado wine country since I didn't really mention it back in early May. We spent a weekend away for my birthday and stayed in a lovely B&B that was situated in a vineyard. The hosts were warm, welcoming and fascinating people. The food was delicious! All locally grown fresh produce whipped together into the most wonderful breakfast by a French chef. Yum! We toured around the area visiting Paonia, Hotchkiss, Needle Rock and the Black Canyon.

It was a wonderful way to spend a weekend.

I was hoping that I'd be able to add to the Colorado Yarn Tour blanket, but the only 'shop' that I was aware of, hadn't yet opened for the summer. However there was an art gallery open evening at The Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss, where I was able to come away with this beautiful handspun:

I'm still fumbling about trying to figure out how to put the colours together on the Colorado blanket, but have knit a couple of squares. Up next though are a couple of baby blankies...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Summer 2008 Vacation

Joe and I just returned from a 10-day road trip. We like to go away for our anniversary and this year decided to see a bit more of the US with our ultimate destination being a beach (we both miss living close to a coast) and so we decided to head on down to South Padre Island in Texas.

First day we drove down to Amarillo in Texas, passing by Cadillac Ranch. This is one of those 'roadside attractions' that seem to be popular here in the US. It was fun to see and take a few snaps.

Next we we made our way to Fredericksburg. I loved Fredericksburg -- a cute little German town in the heart of Texas.

We were lucky enough to enjoy a memorial day service at the National Museum of the Pacific War. It made for a beautiful and special day. The museum was huge. You'd have no idea looking from the outside, but it actually occupied 6 acres. Joe was in military history heaven!

Then onto San Antonio. I really enjoyed San Antonio -- the Alamo and the Missions, the River Walk, La Villita, King William Historic District... I could have spent the whole week in this city, and hope to return again soon.

Whilst in La Villita I met a very interesting lady whose mother happened to be from Blackpool -- my home town. Small world isn't it. Anyway, she recommended that instead of South Padre Island, Joe and I might want to check out Port Aransas.

And so we did. Port Aransas was a great recommendation. We took the ferry over and enjoyed a couple of days on the coast. We got to laze around the pool, go for walks on the beach and enjoy fresh seafood... It was a lot of fun.

We did have an 'incident' in Port Aransas: The locals use the beachfront as a road and think nothing about taking their cars on there. At first we weren't convinced about the whole driving on the beach thing. But figured that since the locals were doing it, it must be ok. (Note that the locals typically had 4 wheel drive vehicles; we did not!) Needless to say we got stuck... at 8pm at night with the tide coming in. Yikes. Thanks to some friendly locals, we were pulled out 3 hours later! (Geeky side note -- I'd read that the name Texas comes from an Indian name 'Tejas' which means those who are friends. And that the state motto is friendship. I can't gush enough about how true this was on our trip -- we were welcomed everywhere we went).

While in Port Aransas we took a day trip to Corpus Christi to see the USS Lexington. It was particularly interesting for me to be able to walk around the ship -- when I was little my Dad was in the Royal Marines and was often 'on board ship' for months at a time. It was fascinating to see what life might have been like for him on a military ship. And again Joe was in heaven -- he looked like a giddy little boy the entire time we toured around the ship.

After Port Aransas it was the home stretch. We headed across Texas to El Paso. Miles and miles and miles of driving... and land as far as the eye could see. There was a striking sunset that evening. Just stunning. But El Paso -- whew! Driving through there was like being on the Dodgems at the fairground. You've got tonnes of cars weaving in and out between each other against a backdrop of many many lighted signs. My head was spinning by the time we got into Las Cruces, New Mexico.

From Las Cruces we headed to Alamagordo, New Mexico, to go see the White Sands National Monument. This was pretty impressive to see and I can only imagine how picturesque the sunset walks are.

I'm really glad we fit this into the trip. Next time I need to come armed with a 'board' so that I can go sand 'surfing'!
And that was the last stop before the long drive back to Colorado. It was a great trip and I expect more roadtrips in the near future.