Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In Hoc Signo Vinces

Susie's Brilliant Sunset

A visit to a good yarn store is like salve for a knitter's tender soul.

Babetta's Yarn in Fair Oaks (near Sacramento) was exactly what I needed. It was a warm, friendly shop where a bunch of ladies were gathered in the back knitting and chattering and admiring each other's work and, the first thing I saw after I came in the door was a hedgehog. I knew I'd found the right spot. Hurray to Caitlyn for the recommendation!

It was so wonderful to see and feel and admire so many yarns that I have only seen before online. Lori was a very good sport, looking around with me and pointing out yarns that sounded familiar to her - and some scary novelty yarns. Luckily, she came to her sense before we left the store and decided she didn't want a scarf from some scary ladder yarn.

What she did want (and how can you deny a women who only rarely mocks your knitting and supports your habits so enthusiastically) was a knitted bookmark. So I got some Misti Alpaca laceweight.
In my enthusiasm, I took off the labels and started knitting in the car. Then when I got home, I wound the skeins into center pull balls and and now have no idea what the names of these colors are so I am calling them (amazingly) dark purple and light blue

Babetta's had a great selection of Cascade 220 and I picked out these two darlings for a little project that has been milling around in my head. I like the brown and red (garnet) together.I picked up a little something for my Secret Pal.

I don't think she knows who I am but just in case...

Last but most certainly not least, I brought home this fabulous, beautiful skein of Trekking XXL.Trekking is another one of those yarns that I have heard knitters talking about (well, blog about) but never met in person. I am eager to knit with it. I'm sorry, I am a lazy blogger...I can't remember the name of the colorway and I am not getting up to look. It is very pretty. Feeding my weird green cravings that seem to continue unabated.

That was all from Babetta's but today (oh, hurray for today!) I got a package in the mail from the always super duper uber fabulous Susie. It was some handpainted merino and a book she was destashing.Susie's beautiful handpainted yarn in the Pastel Rainbow Black.

And the book is The Knitter's Template. Kim recommended this book a while back and I've heard several other's say it is very useful in learning about garment construction. There is some very enthusiastic and (in my opinion) misguided use of novelty yarns in this book but after just a casual first flip through, I can see why so many tout the virtues of it.

So I am feeling all yarned up and happy. I was reading the Yarn Harlot's posts from the last several days about the big get together in New York and all the nice knitters and the hats and the socks and the gathering togehter...that combined with my latest yarn acquisitions... it all just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy and proud about being a knitter. (ahhhh....)

Today's Quote:

“In hoc signo vinces. (Under this standard shalt thou conquer.)” - Emperor Constantine, motto assumed by him, AD 312

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring has Sprung

I apologize in advance to anyone whose internet connection objects to this many pictures in one post. It was hard to decide which ones to include so I included a bunch.

It's no secret: I am not a fan of Spring. March and April generally leave me feeling bitter and resentful, mourning the passing of winter, poor excuse for winter though it may be.
Blatantly disregarding my own feelings about Spring, I ventured out this weekend with Lori and my camera with the purpose of documenting the sunshine and green grass and blue skies.
This post is dedicated to Dorothy, who has so unselfishly shared her Canadian winter with me - well, with all of us but that includes me. Also, this is for Kim, who is quite tired of her Michigan winter and in need of a dash of sunshine and flowers.
Here's to all of you who are longing for a little dose of Springtime.
Springtime in California's Capitol City
The view from our hotel window. I think this is an Episcopal Church (the domed building). There were so many crosses on the rooftops. It is a beautiful church.
Except as noted, these pictures were taken in Capitol Park, at the corner of 15th & L Streets in Sacramento, California this past Saturday. Both the California Firefighter's Memorial
are located in Capitol Park. The Capitol Park website has better pictures of the memorials. (I was focusing on "Spring" pictures not "memorial" pictures.)
For the macabre among you - and I know there are those among you - this is not very far from the house at 1426 F Street where, in the 1980's, Dorothea Puente murdered several of her boarding house residents and buried them in her yard. Though she was only convicted of three murders, 7 bodies were found in the yard. We didn't go looking for the house on this visit. Which is a good thing, I guess, because I had it in my head that it was on 17th Street instead of F Street. Actually, I'm not really even sure if the house is still there. I will have to find out one of these days.

It was mostly clear on Saturday, a few wispy clouds, as you can see and and the temperature was in the upper 60s or maybe 70 degrees. All in all, just a perfectly pleasant day. These pictures are a mere fraction of the bazillion pictures I took. I was going for artsy in some of them but mostly, I was just taking pictures of whatever caught my eye.
Before our visit to Capitol Park, we went yarn shopping in Fair Oaks (more on that tomorrow or the next day) and then to Old Town Sacramento. It has been a long time since I had visit Old Sac and it has become much more touristy since my last visit. We had a decent lunch but aside from that, it was by far the least interesting/entertaining part of our day. I took a few pictures there including this one of
the Gold Rush History Center building. (I mostly took it because of the flag - you can see how windy it was.)
These are the old buildings next to the Gold Rush center.
Then we went to the park....

We parked across the street from our hotel and entered the park from the L Street side, where we were greeted by these camellias.
From a distance, I saw this craggity looking treeJust begging to have its picture taken.

On the way to craggity tree, we came across the bamboo.
I stood very close to the bamboo.
Then I looked up toward the sky through the bamboo. Once I got close enough to the craggity tree, I discovered that you could see our hotel just across the street.
Walking a little further, there was this very tall tree.
Here is the first purple tree we came across in the park.
The flowers were beautiful up close.

Have you ever seen a black and white St. Bernard? I hadn't before Saturday.
There was a great deal of squirrel frolicking going on in the park.

Walking along this path,
and off to the right, we saw this
one of the bell towers of this mission.
(If I were to do a little searching, I'm sure I could find out which mission this is but for now, I don't know. It might be just a plain old church but California has lots and lots of missions and this is consistent with the style.)
This is the second purple tree of the day. This tree was swarming with bees. Bees be damned, I took my life into my own hands and stood under this tree to take a shot from underneath the tree.
This park is just covered with great big trees.
A view from the park bench where I sat a did a little knitting.
This is probably my favorite picture of the day, sitting on the ground looking up at the sky from underneath the cool tree shown at the top of this post.
The last picture I took as we left the park was of this tree, all full of white flowers.

I took these while out at my parents' house Sunday afternoon. The sky was crystal clear and the flowers were all showing off.
This tree is just starting to bloom.
My blossom pictures are a little fuzzy; even the camera was more interested in the blue sky above.
The pansies are particularly vibrant this yearMama and Daddy have lots of varieties, including these that make me think of those close up pictures you sometimes see of the sun.
These two colors grow from the same plant. I thought there were two separate pansies planted close together but I got down and inspected and, indeed, it was two different colored flowers coming out of the same plant.
My sister Carrie referred to this as the fluffy pink bush. I don't know what sort of plant it is but fluffy pink bush will suffice.
Here's its neighbor, the not so fluffy purple ground cover.

I leave you with this cheery little lot. This is the parade of pansies that leads up to my parents front door.
Dorothy and Kim, I hope these will tide you over until Spring makes it's way to Sioux Lookout and Flushing.

Today's Quote:

"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!" - Sitting Bull

Friday, March 23, 2007

Like a Big, Deep Breath

This weekend (in a few hours, actually) I am going with Katy and Lori to Sacramento for a little adventuring. Katy has a conference to go to for work tomorrow all day so it seemed like the perfect excuse for a little outing. Dinner tonight, some shopping and wandering around tomorrow and then Chik-fil-a before we come home. Lucky for me, I had time earlier in the week to find a knitblogger in that area and she, Caitlyn, was oh so very helpful in recommended a couple of good yarn shops. Thanks, Caitlyn!!

It is nice to get away - even if it isn't far away and isn't for long.

I think we have decided on a name for the baby dog:

I wanted to name her an old lady name (Sally was nearly Ethel except for the fact that my mama refused to call her that....) I considered Mae (for Mae West) and Fanny (for Fanny Crosby) and Tallulah (as in Tallulah Bankhead) and Edna and Ethel and Myra and Flossy and a variety of other names that I am certain are very popular in Miami Beach. Then we were taking her over to my parents' to meet the family Wednesday evening and I was holding her in my lap in the car and it just came to me:


That sweet, mischievous face. Somehow the name just seems to fit her.

This week, there has been no real knitting accomplished. I've worked on one of the tiny sweaters that I will be using for Christmas ornaments so, truly, nothing monumental but it is good to keep my hands busy.

Mostly this week has been work and craziness. Busy-ness. Hectic hither and thither. The kind I am glad to have reached the end of.

This is a picture I took on one of our trips to Oregon this winter. I have nothing of consequence to say about it and I don't remember exactly where it was taken - somewhere between her and my mother-in-law's.
Dorothy, I have fresh batteries in the camera and have vowed to take some nice warm sunny pictures just for you!

Today's Quote:

"That ain't the half of it, honey, but that's all I'm telling." -Alice Coachman

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Puppy Love

I apologize for the screwy spacing issues in this post. I don't know what the problem is but I got tired of fussing with it.

Update on the Co-Worker: He had a 5 vessel bypass Friday night and is doing as well as can be expected. Thanks to all of you who sent well wishes. I haven't asked his girlfriend if she gave up on the knitting but in the end, I think it is the sentiment that matters.

In Knitting News: There is no knitting news.

In Baby Blanket News: Palette #2 is the clear winner. (A lucky thing, since it is my favorite, too.) I will be ordering the yarn from Web's on Friday. (I love that Web's offers a 20% discount on yarn purchases over $60.)

In Other News: Ya'll remember my little dog Sally, right?Sally who is usually a sucker for the camera and loves to have her picture taken? Last night I tried to take a cute picture of here but she would not cooperate. This is the best picture I got.

She was very distracted. She wanted to be in my face but she also wanted to make sure that she kept her eyes on the interloper in her house.

This is the interloper.
(One dog, three pictures.) This is the newest resident at our little house. She is a less than four month old short-legged Jack Russell terrier. The people who owned her before were not good dog parents. She has been living outside in a cage since they got her in January and they never even gave her a name. It made me so sad when I heard about that and my husband loves short-legged Jack Russells...which all adds up to: we have a new puppy. Such a sweet little face.
Considering the circumstances she has been living in, it should come us no surprise that I couldn't get her to chill out long enough to take a cute picture. She is very happy to be in the house and very excited to be around people. That first one she is about to dash under the bed, in the second I had to strong arm her to sit still (you can't see her tail wagging 90 miles a minute) and lastly, she is trying to get up on the bed to Sally.
Sally and Xena both apparently think she is crazed but other than that, they seem ok with her. Maybe when she calms down a bit, I can get a picture of all three of them.

Today's Quote:
“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.” - Emily Dickinson