Sunday, November 26, 2006

Frog Tree Felted Mittens

Finished! I didn't think it would take long to knit a pair of mittens, but these took longer than I expected. They are made from Frog Tree sport weight alpaca yarn on size 7 needles using the pattern, "Felted (Fulled) Mittens" by a local knitter and designer, Nancy Lindberg. The yarn is produced by a cooperative in Bolivia and purchases provide support to the cooperative which allows them to provide training and work to women in Bolivia to supplement their income. The yarn is nice to work with, very soft and felts nicely. I would love to make a sweater from it. Only one mitten is felted at this time because they are a store sample for a class I will be teaching.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Sky November 25

The end of a perfect November day for Minnesota.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving is Over

After a successful (I thought) and fun Thanksgiving with most of my family, the outdoor Christmas tree was lit. I just love it and make myself wait until Thanksgiving to light it. It is so bright, we call it our beacon. Our son has one, too, and we joke that when we both have them lit, we don't need car lights to go from one house to the other-12 miles apart!

The dinner yesterday went real well with planning to make the stress-and me crabby-the day before instead of Thanksgiving Day. The table was set and chairs put around on Wednesday. We cooked and cut up the turkey (we only get breasts) the day before, put the sliced turkey in a cake pan and poured a sauce of 2 c. combination drippings with fat skimmed and broth and 2 Tbsp honey on top so all I had to do was pop it in the oven to warm up. I cooked the turkey in a baking bag I picked up at the grocery store and it cooked up faster and my husband said it was easier to cut and it was real moist. The sweet potatoes and dressing I mixed up the day before so they just had to be heated up. The gravy and vegetables did have to be cooked at the last minute. My son brought his cheesy potatoes, my daughter brought a fruit salad and my sister brought the pies. Thanks to a friend for the turkey precooking instructions and a friend I met in New Orleans at Mardi Gras for the sweet potato recipe. So after a good dinner and an afternoon and evening with family, I was tired! It was a good day!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

More Birthday Celebration

Last night we celebrated my birthday with our three children and their significant others by going to The Melting Pot in downtown Minneapolis, an expensive, excellent fondue restaurant. We had a four course meal, all fondue except the salad. It started with cheese fondue and dippers of raw vegetables, cubed bread and apple chunks, followed by a salad. The main course was vegetable cooked en masse in the fondue pot with a choice of liquid-we had one broth and one wine base with lots of herbs and spices. For dippers we had two kinds of chicken, shrimp, two kinds of steak, and ravioli. We were so busy eating, I didn't get pictures until the dessert course. These are the dippers.
A flaming pot of chocolate and Bailey's Irish Cream with the white chocolate and frangelica next to it. Since it was my party and I'm 70 years old, I licked the pot! And enjoyed it all!
A good time was had by all!


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday Sky November 18

A gray cloudy morning gave way to patches of blue sky with temperature now (3:30 PM) 37 degrees.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My "Nest"

Since I'm entertaining about 22 people for Thanksgiving this area will have to be cleaned up, you should see what it usually looks like! 6 projects are clearly visible-more are in the bag and behind the couch.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. I've been dreading this birthday for a long time as the number sounded so old. You know how one birthday seems to bother more than any other? Well this was the one. Then, for some reason, I scheduled myself to teach 2 knitting classes that day, but that was fine, because it is something I like to do. Well, my last class was just about over and this crowd of people entered the room calling out, "Happy Birthday". Here were several of the knitting shop employees and owner, plus my daughter and 2 of her children, my son and his 3 children and my husband. My daughter had planned this surprise-"What better place to celebrate Mom's birthday than at the place she spends so much time and enjoys being?" So we all had carrot cake-my favorite!

On becoming the oldest lived ex-president, Gerald Ford said,

"The length of one's days matters less than the love of one's family and friends."

My birthday was a celebration!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday Sky November 11

Not a cloud in the sky with the moon this morning when I took this picture-clear, but cold. I honestly don't know if it changed during the day because I taught 3 classes at the yarn store all day. Now, I'm going to have something to eat, put on my jamies and park if front of a movie and knit with my qiviut.

Yesterday, I forgot to mention that the plot of the book, "The Shop on Blossom Street" is about a woman who opens a yarn shop and the women who are taking a beginning knitting class.

Another book that has a chapter where knitting is part of the story is "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield. The chapter called, "Mrs Love Turns a Heel" is interesting, but if someone can explain to me how you can turn a heel twice, let me know. I listened to this book on my I-Pod and did have difficulty getting into it-almost quitting for several hours, but it got real good.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Wonderful Wallaby & The Shop of Blossom Street

A rumor is going around that Julia Roberts is going to be in a movie based on the Debbie Macomber book, "The Shop on Blossom Street." I don't know any facts or if it's true.

The Wallaby for my granddaughter has the sleeves attached and the yoke begun. I've made a basic raglan slip over sweater pattern for the American Girl doll using Sweater Wizard and will adapt it to match the Wallaby.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can

I'm knitting a lot, but am not seeming to make much progress! The Wallaby for my grandaughter to the armhole, one sleeve is done and the second has about 2 inches to go before joining the 3 pieces. The lace shawl is really progressing slowly as I now have over 900 stitches on the needle. Only about 5 or 6 rows left though! I finished a pair of mittens yesterday, have another one started and almost to the thumb and have a felted mitten started but the cuff isn't even done. My Arctic Lace Knit A Long scarf is to about the middle of the first big star motif. Haven't touched the Norwegian sweater and am waiting for the pattern update on the Taos Pinwheel Sweater (haven't checked the website for a couple weeks, so it may be done.)
Would you believe this is from my daughter's backyard in the middle of a city? If you look from her kitchen at an area about as wide as this picture this is what it looks like-the rest is houses.

Today was a fun (and fattening) adventure! A friend told my husband about Legacy Chocolates in St Paul, so we had to try it out. Wonderful! It is all truffles with varying percentages of cocoa up to 99% with many different flavored fillings, all individually packaged in little cups. Next we went to a bakery/deli around the corner and had lunch in this little neighborhood cafe. I had a wonderful chicken, wild rice, cranberry salad which was very good. Bought several loaves of bread home but haven't tasted them yet as they were put in the freezer. My husband had a buffalo burger which he said was good and the bun looked homemade and delicious. Next, a few doors down from the chocolate store was Izzy's Ice Cream. I saw them on a challenge with Bobby Flay on Food Channel and they are rated as the top ice cream made on the premises in St Paul. A fun feature is when you buy a cone or a dish you get an extra Izzy scoup-a small scoop of another flavor of ice cream perched on top. Very good! I had Norwegian chai with a chocolate almond Izzy scoop. Now, I'm ready for a nap!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Arctic Lace Knit A Long

Does anyone know why Blogger downloads my pictures sidewise? They were not taken in this position nor are they stored on my computer in this position.
After much waiting, both the book and yarn have arrived. The book was scheduled to arrive the day before I left on my trip, but due to a UPS "driver error" arrived after I left, so I had to wait 3 weeks to see it. The yarn arrived just as I was leaving to go to MN Knitters Days, so I put it in the car but had to wait until I arrived in Red Wing to fondle it. I really restrained myself and waited until I got home to start knitting!
The yarn color is Arctic blue (I think it was called) and the pattern I'm using is North Star Scarf. I did graph out a little border for the bottom which matches the side border. I cast on with the crochet cast on which matches the traditional bind off and am slipping the first stitch in each row purlwise with the yarn in front which gives a similar braid effect.
Qiviut yarn is the softest yarn I've ever knit with. I've used luxury yarn before, but nothing is like this-pure luxury-almost sensuous!


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday Sky November 4

Taken Saturday near Red Wing, MN on the bluffs of the Mississippi River where I spent the week end for MN Knitters' Days. Note the eagle's nest in the top of the trees on the left.

Lucy Neatby was the teacher for the weekend and taught a choice of a snowflake bag, mini mitered bag or mini origami bag, all of which will be felted. These will be the subject of her next book. Even though I was a rebel and did not knit the project, Lucy always teaches me something. She's such a delightful person and teaches in such a way it's easily understood. I chose to be a rebel again-I often do that-as I have so many of projects of my own to knit I didn't want to spend the whole weekend knitting something I didn't especially want to. Just listening and observing I can learn!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Norwegian Sweater

What is with Blogger that it uploads my pictures sideways? I dug out this UFO tonight to take to the first Norwegian Sweater class I'm teaching.

The pattern is in a kit from Arnhild Hillesland ( and is called "Sara". The yarn is Rauma Fimullgarn a Norwegian yarn she imports from Norway. I'm knitting it with US size 3 needles. Arnhild is a delightful person, native of Norway now living in Iowa. I've attended many of her knitting camps, both in Ames, Iowa and Ely, MN and also went to Norway with her on one of her trips. She imports Norwegian yarn, translates patterns and books from Norwegian to American, writes patterns, and teaches classes.