Monday, June 30, 2014

Lullaby Rain




Ah. Don't you love the name of this pattern? Lullaby Rain. I've been knitting it for a while. I also had a large time out for my shoulder, but it's done. It isn't a particularly difficult pattern, but it has a lot of stitches on the needles, so, in my oh-so-humble opinion it requires both a life line and stitch markers. I used both. In fact I had two lifelines at a time. Let's just say that I have learned the hard way. Mistakes happen, and in lace knitting they show. Big time.

First let me show you the blob. Lace isn't lace until it's blocked. In fact it's difficult to find mistakes unless stitch markers are used while counting stitches. If the numbers are off, chances are that a mistake has been made.








The first step is a lovely slightly warm bubble bath.




These next photos are rather off color wise. I think it's the ugly towel. So please use your imagination. Here comes the big test. Are there any holes? Well, I should have said are there any holes where there shouldn't be holes?
Are the lines all in place? Anything crooked?




Lace needs to be stretched to be lace. What is lace, but a series of well placed patterns.









The ends still need to be woven in, but I find that works better after the piece has been blocked. Otherwise you might have a tight row, because the yarn has been woven in without the ease of blocking.




Ta-Da! It's done, and I really like it. I hope you do too.













Sunday, June 29, 2014

Love









This is my love. One of them, but oh-by-far my heart dog. I fell in love with him the day I brought him home almost twelve years ago. He's my best friend. He knows all my secrets and all my worries. He loves me any way. He wants to be with me every day, all day, and I want to be with him. He is having some sort of major health issue, and I thought that this last Tuesday was going to be his last. I was as prepared as I could make myself. Oh thank all that is good, it wasn't. He came home with me. He's still sick, and we don't know exactly what the problem is, but he's here right now. Today. 



He's still smiling, and I love him.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sewing Room Start Over






I spend a lot of time in my sewing room. A LOT.  It is essentially the basement of our home in the mountains. I have a lot of "Obsessions", as you know. Each of these obsessions requires stuff. Supplies. Stash. You get the idea. I am lucky enough to have a large space, but it does have a few faults. The biggest one is that the only closet is a tiny, little cubby under the stairs. The door is only about three feet high, so the contents are not organised, and are rather thrown in and forgotten. It includes boxes of sewing patterns and quilting templates and pillow forms. The normal sized door goes to a space under the rest of the house with a dirt floor. Sort of a storage space for deck furniture, and Christmas decorations and other treasures (and a little bit of junk). I am lucky enough to live with multiple Golden Retrievers and consider them part of my family and my best friends. They need crates to be fed in and to sleep in, and they reside in my sewing room as well. They take space as well. The rest of the room is filled with sewing and knitting and art spaces. Oh, and books...

So, first I'm going to show you some of the before photos. They were taken while we were moving things out of the way so that we could paint and install new carpet.






As you can tell these photos were sort of an afterthought. I have two more of all of my things piled OUTSIDE under the deck. Now if you don't think that made me nervous...






Well enough of the before. Now the after. I'm not sure how accurate the wall color is in these photos. It's a taupey, chocolate brown. The new carpet is sort of in the same family.











I'm sorry about some of the photos. It's a difficult room because of the way the sun comes in, and we have no window coverings. I just can't wait to get back to sewing. I haven't done any sewing at all since the beginning of March because of my shoulder surgery. I think I can do it now. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Counting






We are in the middle of deck weather. It's a short period when it isn't too cold. We love to sit outside to eat dinner. We watch the pines sway in the warm breeze, and listen to the sweet call of birds. I love to sit outside and listen to music on Pandora, and read. It's so relaxing.









And then there's the opposite of relaxing. At least for me. I love to knit lace, and as you know it requires a lot of concentration. I can't knit lace when I'm outside, as I get distracted, so I sit inside with no noise and count. I ordered my current project from Quince and Company. The name of the pattern is Lullaby Rain. It really isn't a difficult pattern, but there are three hundred and fifty three stitches in one row. SO-- It requires  stitch markers. You will also notice a yellow yarn running through one of the rows. That is a lifeline, and boy-O-boy is it ever! As usual I've had my share of un-knitting and re-knitting. That's okay. It keeps me out of trouble, and I sure get my moneys worth out of my yarn.

I hope you are having a relaxing day with just a little bit of stitching in it!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Fun












This weekend is the first time we have the air conditioner turned on. It's supposed to be toasty warm. Hot! I've been cleaning and baking like mad, because we are having company. Grandchildren! I'm just so excited... We have big plans. Pizza and board games and candy and ice cream sundaes and cake. Oh, there will be upside down day, where dinner is eaten at breakfast time, and breakfast at dinner time. In between, there will be a party for California Chrome's try for the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes. So we need streamers and cupcakes and fancy drinks! The Disney and Pixar movies are ready to go. Oh-and we have squirt guns! And there will be bat watching... We are going to the gold mining town of Columbia to see what we can see.

I'm trying a new recipe from a friend. It's a super moist pound cake made with ricotta cheese. It's topped with delicious berry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. The real whipped cream with a little vanilla in it and some powdered sugar. Yummo! 

This last photo is a sneak preview of my sewing room plans. Things are a-changing!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bloom











I thought I would show you a few blooming things from the garden. We are under very strict water restrictions, because we are having an "extreme" drought emergency. We save every bit of water in buckets and then pour it into a large covered container outside. Like when you rinse those juicy strawberries? We use a bucket underneath the strainer. Or, when we are warming water for that morning shower. We have a bigger bucket for that. We are our very own bucket brigade. Unfortunately, because of our lack of water, there will be no vegetable garden for me this summer. I'm pretty sad about it, but our water situation is dire. I've planted one teeny, tiny tomato in a pot on the deck. We need to reduce our water consumption by fifty percent. In fact there is a possibility of running out of water at some point this summer. 

We live just north of Yosemite, and have a large summer tourist population. In fact, our population quadruples in the summer. They rent cabins and cottages and are responsible for keeping this little village afloat financially. They are being asked to reduce their water consumption as well, and I don't know how it's going to work, but I sure hope they do their part. What I'm really hoping and praying for is a very wet fall and winter. As always, and especially after last summers "Rim" fire, I'm especially praying hard for no fires here this summer!