Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sedona views

I'm back from vacation! We were in Sedona AZ. My parents were using one of their timeshare weeks out in Sedona and we decided to join them for a long weekend.

We flew out on Thanksgiving day and landed in Phoenix for a beautiful warm Thanksgiving in a beautiful hotel.

We stayed at the hotel for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, and all the fixings. The next morning - we drove up to Sedona through some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. We stopped along the way several tiems.

In Phoenix we visited the Desert Botanic Gardens. Everything was sharp! Literally!

Then we stopped at Montezuma's Castle -
Built by the Sinagua Indians the Verde Valley - it was virtually impenetrable.

Next we stopped at Tuzigoot - another Sinaguan ruin.

After a beautiful sunset - we finally made it to Sedona.

The red rocks are beautiful out there.

Many of the rocks have been given names based on how they look - like the Coffeepot rock,

There's also a rock named Snoopy, steamboat, and Madonna and child.

The Madonna and child is near a chapel built into the rocks which was an amazing sight.

Here's the Madonna and Child....

We also took a drive up to the Grand Canyon. Wow... is the only thing I can say...

There is an impressive artist population in Sedona. Everywhere you go - there are amazing sculptures and paintings and art of all kinds.

They say that Sedona is full of magical healing places or vortexes - well I can't say I experienced anything personally - but it was a beautiful place indeed.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lazy Weekend

I had a nice relaxing weekend. The main reason for this is my husband was away :) He was at Summit Point racetrack driving his car really really fast. Ladies - I highly recommend this place to you - your husbands will go away for a while and leave you home to knit! The one downfall is when they come home - you have to endure endless stories of how he "took that turn like he was on rails!" or how "did you see how tight the line was" and other such nonsense. Just nod your head and smile - it seems to work! (Kind of like what they do when you talk about knitting!)

Anyway - in my free time this weekend - I enjoyed several knitting related (kind of) events. Friday - I went to celebrate the holidays with Mr Mike - owner of Lakeside cafe where we have sit and knit. He graciously invited the knitting group to come to his annual holiday party. There were treats and drinks and I met up with all the knitter gals and had a great time!

Saturday - I went to see a friend's show at Savage Mill. My friend Sheila is an amazing knitter and can crank out a hat in record time! She was in an invitation only art show at the Queen's Ink in Savage Mill. She was selling her hats, stitch markers, magnets, yarn, and other great goodies. I bout a "K1P1", a "knit" and "yo" magnet as well as some yummy green heathery yarn. While I was there - I ran into some of the other knitter gals and we again sat and chatted and watched an elf put on a magic show :) He was actually quite good!

Sunday - was all about the knitting. I finished one one of my Dad's Christmas socks and almost finished a stocking for Mr Mike. (We knit him and his employees stockings to hang over their fireplace). I took the doggies to the dog park and let them run around for an hour or so. That seemed to do the trick - because they slept the rest of the day and left me in relative peace and quiet :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Holiday Knitting time has come!

I started my holiday knitting this week! I hope to get all of my holiday gift knitting done by Christmas. (Here's to hoping!!)

What are you attempting to make for your friends and family this holiday season? Show me see your list so I don't feel so overwhelmed and alone! Here's mine:

1. Hubby - Socks out of Trekking XXL (Started - one sock almost done)
2. Dad - Socks out of Rowan Tweed DK weight (Started - only about 1 inch done)
3. Mom - Branching out scarf out of Cascade 220 (Started - about 6 inches done)
4. Mother in law - Felted Buttonhole bag out of a skein of "dyer's choice" yarn I picked up at Stiches from Interlacements booth - Done!
5. Sister in Law - Felted Buttonhold bag out of Cascade 220 - (Started - halfway done)
6. Father in law - ? no idea - need some help here...
7. Friend - Hedgehog toy for my friend with 5 hedgehogs (yeah - 5 - she started with one that then had babies!)
8. Brother in law? - again no idea
9. Cousin Kelly - some kind of purse - not started yet

Nine things to knit and only a month and 11 days to do it! Christmas is coming!!!!

Let's vow to only knit holiday gifts for the rest of the year (and it would be a bonus if we actually finish them all!)

No matter your religious affiliation - I think we can all relate to the rush and pressure of holiday knitting. So - let's take some of that pressure off by starting now.

Join me as a Holiday Knitter! Post this button to your blogs and encourage others to get started on their holiday knitting too!

If you have a better button idea than mine - by all means send it to me! You can email me at javajem at yahoo dot com.

Here is the only finished item I have so far.... My mother in law's felted buttonhole bag. She loves Green and Blue - so I hope she likes it.

I actually used two different greens for the middle part and then just one green for the handles. I thought it gave it a nice variation.

I really love how this yarn felted. You can still see the pattern in the colors...

When I felted the bag for my MIL - I also threw in the mitered square bag I finished ages ago. Made from two colors of href="">Malabrigo. I could maybe give this to someone for Christmas. I just need to add handles...

I also finished a Lace Bookmark made from Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Iris. This was my first ever "blocked" project. I don't think I did a very good job. Although it is nice and flat - I need to redo it so it's not so uneven around the edges. Another possible Christmas gift.

As if knitting doesn't take up enough of my time - I also made some cards with Giantsknitter. She took me to her monthly stamping group and we made these cute gift tags and card tote. These will be reserved for the recipients of my hand knit items!

And finally - To help get you in the Christmas mood - I'll close with a picture of my Christmas cactus. It's actually blooming this year!! yeah!! (By the way - look out the window - do you see all the leaves out there!! - yikes!!)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Clapotis is finished!

After many many hours of knitting I am happy to report that my Clapotis is finished. I absolutely love how it came out.

I used 2 skeins (about 750 yrds) of Brooks Farm Riata - Fiber Content 48% Wool / 36% Kid Mohair / 16% Silk - Worsted weight on size US9 needles.

Since this yarn is hand dyed - the two skeins were not exactly the same but I still love the way it came out.

Here is my Clapotis photo shoot!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I officially have a yarn hangover! I spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Baltimore Convention Center at Stitches East. There were classes, lectures, lace knitting, fashion shows, contests, yarn, roving, needles, and handmade knit items everywhere!
I took three classes:

Friday – I took The Unpattern – Top Down Sweater, with Karen Alfke.

It was fabulous! I can’t believe how easy it is to knit a sweater with circular needles. There is no seaming at all! We knit a teddy bear sized sweater in class so we were able to knit each part of the sweater. We also brought in a sweater that fits us well to measure and plan a new sweater. I even bought yarn (duh) to make my first top down sweater.

On Saturday morning – I took Hole-istic lace with Maureen Mason Jamieson.

I can’t say I learned too much new stuff – but I did pick up some good tips for knitting lace.

On Saturday afternoon I took Knitting on the Edge with Melissa Leapman. and we made all kinds of gorgeous edges I can't wait to try on real things.

Here are some photos of the weekend....

The crowd on Thursday evening waiting to get in...

The Socks that Rock wall!

A little bit of heaven…. Brook’s Farm

Lisa Souza had Lime and Violet sock yarn!! Love her!

These women had the cutest hand knit sweaters!!

And cast your eyes on my haul!!

In addition to it being an great weekend at Stitches - I also got goodies in the mail!

My awesome secret pal sent me a package!!

It had all kinds of cute Halloween stuff on it. (yeah - a little late - but I still loved it!)

She also sent a book – Yarnplay. I am totally in love with the sweater on the front cover!

Even my dogs got a present!

It's not a purse - it's a man bag!