Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jaywalked myself right back home again.

We had a great trip. I ate so very, very well. I do miss the food out there and how really earthy everyone seems to be in the Southwest. Here's a shot from a lunch break on the drive home. We stopped at this little park in Minneola, KS and ate in the shade sitting on an old-time wooden merry-go-round. It's nice to have both my birds back in the nest.

Finished Jaywalker sock #1 right after I got back, have to hand-wind the other skein of Artyarns Supermerino 4 and cast on the other sock. This really is a cool pattern. The backless mary janes I picked up at a Maurice's shop out at the Legends shopping center by the racetrack in KC, KS for $20. Love them. Can't wait until fall so I can wear them every day.

Tired, catching up on work, chasing kids, life as usual again. Heading out to knit with the girls tonight. My kids are going to my brother's house to swim at their neighborhood pool so I get to go KIDLESS! WOO HOO! You know, in the old days going topless was what the wild chicks do. Now I'm feeling like a wild child if I go to a coffee shop by myself. Knitters gone Wild!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

La Lovely La Lana Wools

Oh I had a great day. A long, tiring day, but a great one. I'm all proud of myself. I went on an adventure all by myself. Yeah for me. :) I have no problem hanging out by myself, I enjoy the solitude once in a while. A day of shopping, or a dinner out is great. Driving across the country by myself was freaking me out. I almost turned back at Santa Fe. What if I got a flat tire? I kept seeing these vehicles on the side of the road. FREAKING me out. Then I got into the mountainous areas and kept seeing those big ass boulders and rock slides up against the edge of the road. Only slightly nervous since there were those net things holding most of them back, and would hopefully catch any that started. No worries. Until the netting ran out and the mountains got closer to the road. Then these signs kept appearing almost as often as the No Passing signs. nice. I must admit I had a repeating prayer each time I saw one. "Dear Lord, please don't let me get squished like a bug, Amen."

I made it to Taos, stopping along the way to see a few museums and buy some ground up red chili to take home. I spent about 3 hours wandering around the shops and had a great time petting and admiring the yarns in La Lana Wools. I ended up getting 2 skeins of light blue local alpaca yarn (which came with a free hat pattern) and a pattern for a very classy/sexy silk vest. I priced the yarn and even if I bought only the number of skeins the pattern recommended for the XS size, it would have cost me $90. It's tiny. Yeah. I figured $15 for the pattern was enough of a splurge for me. I then had the lunch of a lifetime at Michael's Restaurant for about $6 and am STILL FULL and it's 10:20pm. If you travel to Taos, you've GOT to eat there. I had a bean burrito smothered in red chili and it was so freaking good. MAN I miss the food back here. (I used to live outside of Alb. for a couple of years when I was first married about 14 years ago.) The Jaywalker got a little longer on this trip up to the mountains. I'm turning the heel tonight on the first one and it's really looking good.

After a VERY long nap yesterday afternoon, I drove to Village Wools in Albuquerque. It's got a new location on the east side of town and has such a pretty view. It's HUGE inside now. I wandered but really wasn't tempted by too much only because I was saving my money for Taos. I did find a skein of the purple yarn I made the roses tank top out of. I wasn't able to make the beautiful roses that go up the front of it as I was short on yarn. I'd ordered another skein from the Studio but they never got in my color. $10 for that. I'm excited to finish that project officially. I also picked up a Dale of Norway pattern booklet with kids sweater patterns that look like a good start for some projects for my kids.

Then I went out to the world's coolest spot for the Albuquerque Knit Night, this coffee shop/restaurant/pastry place that was just a great spot. You could have a decent priced meal that tasted heavenly, artsy fartsy or plain old hamburgers & fries, Sam Adams beer and a couple of wines also, a great patio to sit out at and it just rocked. If we had a spot like that for our KC Tues crew, we'd have knit night every night. Here's the sign from their Harry Potter book night. I instantly was in love with the place before I even went inside.

I had a great time. The ladies that were there welcomed me right in and I think I was there for at least 4 hours. How can you not bond with women that love the fiber? It was amazing. You can go to any part of the world, sit down with people that share this obsession with knitting and crocheting and connect. It really is an amazing thing. There were some seriously beautiful socks in process, including one pair that was CROCHETED with cascade fixation. One lady brought out quite possibly the cutest toddler sock I'd ever seen in my life. I was totally fondling strangers' yarn and it was a normal thing. HOW COOL IS THAT?

This restaurant just cracked me up. I mean, when I think of family outings, I guess I never thought of combining family with TAQUILA! God, I love New Mexico.

A few more random pics. We head out tomorrow. It's a good thing I'm not this close to these shops very damn often. The amount of local or at least NM and Colorado fibers that are hand spun or hand dyed or just grown local are so tempting. SOoooooooo tempting.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Knitting around Old Town Albuquerque

Well, first of all, let me just say I WON'T be spending lots of money in the yarn shops now. Not very lucky at all. crap crap crap. Ah well.

In honor of my southwest trip, I pulled out this sock yarn to take along for the trip. After knitting about 2 inches of the cuff in my normal K3,P1 ribbing, it was looking icky. Frogged it and cast on again but this time in Grumperina's Jaywalkers design. I'm using Artyarns Supermerino 4 and size 1.5 dpns. I took myself out to Old Town this morning and bought a little jewelry, wandered around, people watched and then wandered into this old adobe church that was very cool inside. It was so peaceful and pretty (windows open and door open and outside was 85-90 but inside was lovely. I sat and knitted for a while and people watched in there too. Here's a few highlights of the day. How cool does this turquoise and brown yarn look with the adobe and turquoise accents in the architecture? Very. The rug is one that was in this amazingly beautiful (and unbelievably expensive) Peruvian clothing shop's dressing room. I tried on a $158 white cotton sundress that was sooooooooo pretty and sooooooooooo out of my price range. The rug was lusciously soft and cute as hell. Baby and momma llamas.

I'm back in the motel room for a little siesta, then off to Village Wools yarn shop and am going to meet up with some knitters for the Alb. Knit Night at a coffee shop. Tomorrow I'm heading to Santa Fe and Taos and anywhere else I wander to. I may even HIKE a little bit. Maybe. Jaywalkin' across NM.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Day 1 NM Vacation rocks

So, NO KIDS, nice hotel room, NO KIDS, no boyfriend, NO KIDS and a plethora of yarn shops with unbelievable amounts of local hand-dyed, hand-spun luscious yarn. How could this not rock?

Dropped Joey off with the ex-hubby, hugged on my daughter, chatted with the ex-mother-in-law (who likes me ever so much better now that I'm not in the family) all about trading quilting patterns (to her) and knitting ones (to me).

I visited my first yarn shop of the trip (I'll have to wait until the way home to hit the Wichita, KS shop). Good Fibrations in Edgewood, NM (east of Albuquerque) and it was really REALLY nice. It's probably a good thing I don't live nearby. The classes, oh the spinning classes they have, the beautiful drop spindles and spinning wheels, THE YARN, neat little places to sit & knit and walking in the door felt like home. Oh, and the best thing? It's Christmas in July and everything in the store (except the big spinning wheels) is 20% off, ON SALE!!! I made it out under $50. I've got to pace myself. Even though vacation yarn doesn't count, it sure does decrease the funds needed to live on.

Spoils of the day are a skein of OnLine Supersocke 100 Sierra color sock yarn. 75% superwash wool, 25% polyamid. Very sqooshy and good manly colors, black with grey and red throughout. 3 skeins of the world's most heavenly fiber, also known as Drops (Garn Studios) Alpaca, 100% alpaca 50 grams, 180 meters each skein. I have no idea what kind of weight this is, it's not light enough to be laceweight, maybe fingering? Between fingering and dk? All I know is it's SOOOOOOFFFFFTTTTT and very pretty. It's a good thing there were only 3 skeins in the purple color. NO FREAKING IDEA what to make with it. I may just walk around rubbing it on my face. Or I could make a scarf.

I also grabbed 2 patterns, one for this cool meitered little bag and one for a scarf written for 2 skeins of the garn studios alpaca. I'll probably go wandering around the free patterns on Garn Studio Site and get ideas.

I promise to have actual NM pictures to post tomorrow. I got in kind of late this afternoon. Two and a half days left. I'm taking myself and a sock-in-progress out to dinner and then may have to head to a casino to play a little poker. I'm not wanting to spend too much $$ on gambling, that's YARN MONEY, but if I happen to hit a few good hands? Let's just say Taos may not have to be a look and drool only trip. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Countdown....3 days to LEAVING FOR NM YARNY VACATION!!!

I'm going through my projects and stash, finding yarn you didn't know you had is like Christmas all over again! I cast on for yet another project. It must be, oh a WEEK since starting the last. I don't kow how I contained myself this long. Adult ADD Knitter anyone? yes very much, thank you.

Cast on for this one last night and knit the first ball. Pure & Simple's Neck Down Hooded Tunic for Women with stash yarn. I've got 10 balls of Teseo grey/black/blue yarn and it calls for 1010 yards, which will be close since each ball only has about 98 yards. Hope the thing won't have to be knit without the hood or with short sleeves.

I was trying to drop into ravelry and add a few things, but apparently the rest of you slackers were all ravelry-ing while you should have been working and it was making my pictures load slower! I was ravelry-ing my ass off working diligently as usual. Did you know you can put your books on a bookshelf there too? ooooooooohhhhhh I'm gonna take my laptop along on the vacation and spend some time updating completed projects in there next week.

And, didn't you know it, but my little addiction to the free bags at the makeup counters is finally paying off! This is my organizational system for double points and circular needles. Bags courtesy of Bare Escentuals and Clinique. Love that!

The three noisemakers and I took a trip to a bowling alley yesterday and stopped off at the new Bass Pro Shop to run around and see what there was to see. Buffalo, Mountain Lions and Bears, Oh My!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A little yarny vacation just for me!

Well, I found my sport. Seriously. TENNIS! It's the ONE sport (besides monster dead weight lifts and jumping on a trampoline) that has an advantage for the large thighed woman. We loaded up the boys and had an uber tournament. Jeff got to go last because, as his boys put it, he was the "Champion MAN." I snorted and then whooped all their butts. I hadn't picked up a racket for at least 18 years, but it all came back to me. Let's just say there was a little bit of singing and thrusting/dancing and singing of "Champion WO-man! Oh Oh OH! Champion WO-man!". It wasn't pretty, but it was almost dark. I didn't even MIND exercising, sweating my ass off or running around the court. Freaky. We're gonna do more of that!

I'm also all pumped up as I've created a little yarny vacation just for momma! WOO HOO! My ex-husband lives in NM and usually only takes Elizabeth out for Christmas and summer breaks. Joey really wants to go out and see his dad and grandparents, so Joey and I are road-tripping out to Albuquerque from KC on Sunday and then we'll bring Elizabeth back to KC afterwards. We're going to break up the drive (13 hours) on the way out and back and then spend 4 days and 3 nights in Alb. He'll hang with his dad, sister and grandparents, I'll hang with NEW MEXICO YARN SHOPS! Sweet mother, can't you just hear those cash registers ring? caCHING caCHING caCHING! I'm going to hit a cute shop in Edgewood, one in Alb. and 3 or 4 in Santa Fe and also TAOS. I'm also planning on eating myself silly. Navaho tacos? Soapapillos? Guacamole? mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Guac and yarn? Does it get any better? I'm having entirely too much fun deciding what projects to pack.
Knitting/Crocheting I've worked on lately: Teal socks, yarn from Crafty in a Good way. 3X1 ribbed, top down. How pretty are they? More work on Joey's crocheted ripple blanket. That's about it.

You know, if you didn't actually KNOW ME you'd think I was an outdoor girl. We headed out to the farm (Jeff's best friend's land where their 12 cows and about 9 horses live) to check things out, help put up new fencing and look at a lovely little 40 acre farm with barns, outbuildings and AIR CONDITIONING that we might want to buy. The beautiful farm was SOLD. nice. Still available is the armpit place directly across the road from Jeff's, um, colorful friend. Yeah. Good guy, but very interesting. There is one more beautiful farm on 60 acres with trees surrounding it and its own lovely pond and a pretty sheltered 20 acre pasture that could SO be supporting sheep when we retire out there. Yes, retire out to a farm. In the middle of nowhere. ME. The plan is to find a place now, work on it every couple of weekends and MOVE TO THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, KS and live there. with animals. and no shops. My rule is I want CENTRAL AIR, not a crappy ass window unit, internet access and running water. You laugh, but the place Jeff's favoring? holy crap. 130 yr old house that's been sitting empty since around 1950. No, not empty. Trash and animals are living inside. nice.

Joey's first horseback ride went very well. We rode Red, a sweet but slightly stubborn horse that was HUGE! Jeff is riding Lightning, named for the white mark that runs down her neck. She was only saddle broke a week ago and this was the 2nd time anyone'd ridden her. That's the horse that ATE the antennae off our truck a few months back. Joey and I went to lunch at the only local business, a general store up the road and Joey got to learn how to do this seated pedaled knife sharpening stone contraption. This amazing 92 year old man was in there telling stories and Joey just ate it up. He worked the pedals for the old man who sharpened his pocket knife. I don't know who had more fun, the old man finding a willing audience or the little boy worshipping the old man's wisdom. Very cool. Did I tell you there was no airconditioning there? Apparently very few people have it. Some have one window unit. Sweet mother, I'd better have a way to get back to the city periodically. And lots of yarn. lots and lots of yarn.

I'll leave you with a cool shot of the side of Jeff's friend's chicken house. It just looked amazing in the sunlight with the shadows. The chickens don't actually use it much because "somethin' or other got in there and et them up." yes "et them up". There's one rooster and one hen left. Joey found an egg hidden behind a tree, and it was like he'd found gold. Very cool.

Oh my, I just saw a link for a NEW YARN SHOP opening July 24th in Wichita, KS. Looks fabulous. Oh, wow, we're stopping in Wichita on the way out to visit the ex's grandma (the one who still loves me). Hmmmmm, maybe we'll be stopping in there too! Twist Yarn Shop.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Best sock yarn collection in the city and YARN SALE DETAILS

Oh my holy hell. KnitWits in Olathe, KS. I just went out there for 2 balls of yarn to make sure I had enough to finish the sleeves on the first boyfriend sweater for Jeff. I know she's got good stuff. I know that. She's always had sock yarn. I know that. But OH. MY. HOLY. HELL. The woman now had sock yarn all over her little shop. Artyarns 4, a whole basketload of gorgeousness, Mountain Colors Barefoot yummy, Lucy Neatby, cases of it, Lorna's Laces sockyarns, dk weight and the silk/merino stuff too, I saw opal and I think Trekking, but didn't let myself go look because I was trying to get out of there without spending my vacation yarn money before I left KC. She's got crates of the most beautiful Claudia Handpaints. CRATES of it. She's got Crafty In a Good Way sockyarn so scrunchable and beautiful it hurts. Then, I glanced down at this plastic bag holding spun sunshine. Schaefer Anne in colorways that I couldn't even touch or I'd buy them. Thank God she hadn't unpacked the bag yet. That thin plastic was the only thing standing in the way of my bank account getting much lower. Did I tell you about the damn $3 boxes? FIVE boxes full of yarn for $3/skein. Big boxes. I got 7 skeins of dark grey and 6 skeins of burgandy acrylic blend stuff to make Joey a sweater and a blanket with the leftovers. I'm telling you, it's worth the drive. Just email me first to ask for better directions. Everyone I know has gotten lost on the way and it's really simple. really. You just have to get the right lane at the right exit. Did I tell you she had extra yarn IN THE SAME DYE LOT that I needed? How awesome is that? Here's Jeff's armless sweater. Gonna start on the first sleeve tonight. He tried it on at the lake and IT FITS!!! WOO HOO!

Other signs of knitting around here include 3 more hats. The cream one being modeled by me is the brown sheep hat my best friend Jildo wanted and we got the yarn from that cute shop in Manhattan, KS. It's going out in the mail tomorrow. My modeling shows why I'm not meant to wear knitted hats. Tank tops yes. Knitted hats no. Hats seem to make my long face look even longer, which is why I've usually just got a scarf wrapped up around part of my head. I've also made a few more for extras around the house with all these kids. The red & black one shows the jogless join I tried.

I finished my mountain colors barefoot socks (that were supposed to be Jeff's but SOMEHOW I totally screwed up and made them my size......subliminal wanting here or what?) I've also started a pair of toe-up mountain colors in another color for the boy and am making them HUGE so they should fit. What? Measure his foot? Calculate? Naw. That's too easy.

I did survive the lake. It was a blast. Joey went down early with my folks to their lake place, I went down on Monday, spent the night there and then we went over and joined Jeff and his boys where they did, in fact, pee outside every chance they got. I was happy because I got lots done on Jeff's sweater, we ate great, good weather, and no one got blown up with all the fireworks (always a challenge for my overprotective instincts as a mother). We took a boat ride to Ha Ha Tonka, a state park in MO right on the lake. It has a freshwater spring that comes surging up from the caverns below and funnels about 58 million gallons of water each day into the Lake of the Ozarks. The picture below shows the bright blue water and then it merges with the dark green lake water. The kids took turns swimming through the icy water that is REALLY MOVING and then got smart and started using the tube to float down the current. We went hiking around in our swimsuits over the mountain and there's even cool old stone castle ruins up on the top. Did you know Daniel Boone was born in that part of the ozarks? Very cool. GREAT lake vacation.

And because many of you think I'm exaggerating when Jeff comes home and is actually SHIVERING when it's below 80 degrees in our house. It's FREAKING HOT and HUMID AS HELL but the lowest our home gets is 80 degrees. ok, the lowest our house gets when Jeff's HOME is 80 degrees. Let's just leave it at that, shall we? The scary thing, is that 80 is actually a compromise. He usually doesn't even turn on the air until mid-August if at all. I think he was born on the sun. I don't mind heat OUTSIDE. Summer is supposed to be hot. But INSIDE is supposed to be cool and livable. cripes almighty.

OH, and I went to the Harry Potter movie at midnight last night. I'll just say I loved it and OH MY MY MY those Weasley twins are growing up quite yummy.

OH OH and I almost forgot.....YARN SALE AT THE STUDIO...
Gumball Sale on Sunday July 15th and Monday July 16th from 10am-6pm. When it's time to check out, you put your coin into a gumball machine. Depending on the color you get is your discount. Discounts from 15-75% off. Extra 15% off from 10am-noon both days. I called and the sale includes yarn, patterns AND NEEDLES. I'll probably be there around 11am on Sunday. Come and say hey and tell me to put the damn yarn back! I've got vacation yarn shopping in NM in 2 weeks.....

Monday, July 02, 2007

Off to the lake

Sorry no post people, too much to do in too little time. I'm off to join the band of boys at the lake. With my daughter in NM with her dad, it's just me and 5 boys. and my knitting. :)

Over the weekend I knit two stocking hats and finally figured out the damn crocheted ripple deal. On the THIRD freaking frog and rip session, I got it. Now one side isn't getting continually smaller and one side isn't growing larger. It's probably not the official way to work it, but it's working for me. I really cranked along last night and now have about 2 feet done. It's going to be a Christmas present for Joey I think.

Got to run, the new knit shop ROCKS! More details later. Go check her out!

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