Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekend Knitting

Since this is actually a "Knitters" blog, I figure I should have a post now and then about some actual knitting.

This weekend I felt completely burned out from the week before so I pretty much stayed close to home and did some knitting on a FEW of my WIPs (works in progress). I just realized that all of these projects have one thing in common, they are knitted from the top down, in the round, and with a raglan sleeve style. I had never knitted anything from the top down till about 5 weeks ago and so far, I think this is my preferred method for the moment. It requires little finishing work when the knitting is done and that is a HUGE BONUS. You can literally finish knitting in the afternoon and typically walk out in the evening wearing any one of these projects.

One of the fastest and most engaging knits I have going on right now is a pattern named "Fifi". I got the pattern through The Sexy Knitters Club who is using this pattern as one of the Summer Knit Alongs. I have worked on this sweater for a little over a week now and it is moving along swiftly. I am going to modify the pattern to make 3/4 sleeves instead of the cap sleeve as written in the pattern. The yarn I'm using is the yarn recommended by the pattern, Rowan Calmer. Calmer is a soft cotton with an incredible memory and one of the few cotton yarns that behaves like wool and makes this particular pattern a joy to knit.

P1010734 P1010735

The next pattern, has been a great knit as well. It is a pattern named "Wicked" which I found online at Zephyr Style. The picture doesn't show the detail of the neck edging which will be repeated on the sleeve cuffs. Other than the neck and cuff detail it is mostly a straight knit which makes it a great project for mindless knitting in front of the TV or in the car. I have been working on this knit for a little over 3 weeks now. (I can get 3/4 of a row done at a long Traffic Light!! 8-) )


Last but not least, is a pattern named Boatneck Bluebell, from the Fitted Knits book by Stefanie Japel. When I got this book I truly hit a jackpot. I have several projects going from this book and the detailing and the fitting on the patterns are fantastic. I used Cascade 220 wool for this knit and it is all but done with the exception of a little sewing up of the 2nd sleeve and then it needs to be blocked. This sweater took about 1 1/2 weeks to knit up, but has been sitting in my knitting bag for about 3 weeks begging to have the finishing done on the sleeves. I have enough of this yarn left over to knit a vest for Janeva for her back to school wardrobe!! (an added plus)


Aside from this knitting, I cleaned out some drawers, and Janeva and I baked a cake to practice for our Cake Decorating class that we are taking together.

All in all, a very quiet weekend and sometimes I think those are the BEST!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Australian on the 4th of July

The day started off like any other holiday. All the girls slept in till about 9am and then slowly the house woke up and a steady hum could be heard. Grant was the last one to get moving. Apparently, he didn't get the memo.

My mom is staying with us for the summer and since EVERYone in the U.S. BBQs on the 4th of July, she decided that Grant needed a brand new BBQ to break-in for this 4th of July festivities. At 9:15am we realized our first problem. The BBQ needed to be assembled.

I wake Grant up with ...."Grab your hand tools!"

It would help if I explain: Grant is a fabulous writer. He is wonderful with computers. He loves to hike into the middle of nowhere and is fearless when confronted with the indigenous wildlife there. He single handily helps clumsy drunks stay in their seats at the ballgames. He is incredibly patient and kind when he rolls over in the middle of the night to find the random knitting needle that I had been searching for just a few hours earlier. He will even confront a neighboring diner in a restaurant when they say something vulgar or use "inappropriate language" in front of me. But when it comes to power tools....or hardware....wellllllll Grant assembled the tools needed to assemble the BBQ, I readied the first aide kit. With everything laid out in the side yard, and instructions (yes my husband actually READS the instructions! :::she says proudly:::) and a couple of beers under his belt, the assembly took place without a grumble or even a DNA trail.

Mom and I had planned a large meal, so together we got ready for Grant's first American BBQ.

Mom presents Grant with "BBQ TOOLS" (insert Tim Allen's man grunts here) and the one that really enthralled Grant was the spatula with a bottle opener built in it. He pulled the tops off one beer after another with that thing.

The BBQing went really well, and Grant did a fabulous job. Everything came off the grill finished in perfect timing. Grant got into the holiday BBQing and his confidence was high as he was flipping the meat with one hand and tossing back a cold one with another like an old Pro. (The oven-mitt Grant is using has a Christmas pattern on it.
NOTE TO SELF: buy Grant a butch oven-mitt)


My mom and Grant had a great time and it should be noted that they get along fabulously. She cheered him on as he cooked, and Murphy was hopeful that one of them would drop some food for him. Max who is camera shy and had the smarts enough to stay away from the hot BBQ just sat back and supervised.


(OMGawd, I just realized that if you look real close at the picture above, I think the damn dog was licking the tongs that were used to remove the food off the grill!!!)


After the meal, we all lounged around and relaxed (because we could....
NOT knowing Murphy's secret taste testing had taken place!)....and waited for the fireworks.

Janeva, Grant, Murphy (I am still grossing out wondering what else he was licking) and I walked over to Kennedy Park to watch the fireworks. I was very nervous taking Murphy because in years past, both Max and Murphy would freak out in the backyard when the fireworks would go off. But Grant was determined to take Murphy and said "no worries".

We get to the park, we laid out a blanket and took our positions. Grant and Murphy were sitting in front of Janeva and I. It was completely dark, and then we see the first flare go up and then BOOOOOM! Murphy jumps up and barks excitedly into the sky. I'm thinking "that's it, we gotta get him outta of here."

Grant pats his back and says "Sit down and watch the damn fireworks Murphy. You're acting like a Nancyboy, it's not like you are in Iraqi for crying out loud!"

I kid you not! That dog sat down, looked up in the sky and from that point on, he mumbled, did little whisper barks and Janeva and I ended up watching the back of Murphy's head as he tilted it one way then another. THE DOG WAS WATCHING THE FIREWORKS!!! Janeva asked about the mumbles and little whisper barks and I said, "I think Murphy is ohhhhing and ahhhing!!!

So the night ends, Janeva and I ended up missing the fireworks because we were watching the back of Murphy's head. Who knew?