Monday, June 16, 2008

New Address

Sorry! This Blog has moved to BethSweetKnits here. Thank you! Beth

Monday, May 26, 2008

Near Sedona, AZ - Oak Creek Canyon

Boy! Was the dirt red, dry, and filled with growing and blooming things. Alan standing near a cactus of some sort. Beautiful!

A tree along a path in Oak Creek Canyon - a lovely park.

Alan saw some very large trout in here!

Cairns everywhere, in the land of the Vortex, of crystals, of mystical thinking.

And a tiny creature sunning on a rock.


Friday, May 23, 2008

More At the Grand Canyon

At an overlook, trees cling to rock.

The colors are amazing; too bad it was overcast for these pictures.

We stopped at the site of ancient ruins.

Then, we headed for Sedona, AZ and Red Rock country.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

At The Grand Canyon

Here are some more pictures from our great cross-country odyssey.

This is the observation tower at the Grand Canyon, designed by Mary Jane Colter. It's an amazingly beautiful building.

Of course, I stopped to knit!

My husband did the picture taking.

We had a perfect view from the top of the tower.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pictures From Our Trip

Cactus Flower Bugs in Tucumcari, NM

We saw many, many trains all across the country.

La Posada - Winslow, AZ - A Fred Harvey Hotel designed in 1930 by Mary Jane Colter

The Turquoise Room in La Posada - delicious!

Knitting on Log Cabin VII - At Meteor Crater, in AZ - It was cold and very, very windy here!

Can you tell we went on vacation? My sweet husband drove all 6500+ miles! All 23 days were just perfect!! We had such fun! More next time!


Sunday, May 11, 2008


We have been away for over three weeks; I am very eager to see this little guy today! We will celebrate the day, most especially for his Mama, whose First Mothers Day this is. I hope each of you moms out there can enjoy your day, too!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Still Spring

Taking up space where a bleeding heart will soon emerge.

This viburnum is Korean Spice, and the fragrance is delightful!

Here is a geezer hand and baby hands!

Isn't retirement awful!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Feel the Love!

After wearing himself out with crying, he had no options and fell asleep in Grandpa's arms. Here he stayed until the next feeding time. Colic certainly isn't fun for anyone!

One day this little blanket will be his to drag about the house (and anywhere else those things go).

This white stripe below the letters helps to bring the shape back in line a bit. I have mostly white yarn remaining, with some small bits of the other colors. I may try to put those in at the outer edge, as I think a white edge will show a lot of soil.

Speaking of soil, things are emerging from the ground and branches. Above, a fern frond ready to unfurl. These fragile blossoms of the plum have a light sweet fragrance.

A bit of bark has fallen from the hemlock.

I love this amazing thing we call life!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moving Along

This is what I am talking about with the intarsia - I suppose it's more aptly called stranded knitting - in the garter stitch of this cotton log cabin. I know now I should have selected lettering that was very plain with straight lines. (I'm sorry the pic is out of focus.)However, I didn't.

The other thing posing a problem is the fact that the next row here will be red. When I pick up stitches, I will be using red. Should I be picking up with both colors? Which ones will show?

Additionally, I have to make other stripes all around the blanket before I get back to the red one here; in other words, log cabin stripes are done in the proper sequence. So there is a bit of knitting to do before I can learn how this lettering is going to come out. I am up for the challenge. There will be lots of un-doing if it doesn't work.

The alternative, as I see it now, is duplicate stitching. That is probably what I should have done in the first place. Not that I know how yet, but I am sure I can learn. Anyway, at this point, anything can happen! I will try to keep you posted. Meanwhile, thanks for your input! I sure could use a mentor about now!

Addendum: Here I am on Friday, and I have managed to get the name in. I have learned a lot! Mainly, that it is possible. (This kid isn't going to care that this isn't perfect!) Next time, I will know that each blue purl needs the knit on the other side, and vice versa. I am hopeful that the knitting of the white stripe at the bottom of this name stripe and washing and blocking will help those stripes with the name resume a size and shape more nearly matching the others. I will keep you posted.

This is the picked up stitches row, above. You can see below how wide the red stripe has become with the stranded letters.

Below is a close-up of the letters and all that is wrong is evident. But, I think that if I give this to a kid just under three, on the 4th of July, he's not going to care!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Springtime!

The other day, we stayed with our grandson, and his Grandpa took a couple of pictures of him while he was enjoying a full tummy and not ready for sleep.

He has fussy times when his tummy hurts after mealtimes; then he's not having fun. Grammy and Grandpa tried all sorts of things, hoping to find the magic one that would help him be more comfortable. Below is his little swing; he enjoyed this a lot...for about 90 seconds! :)

I know he will outgrow this colic; meanwhile he commands a prodigious amount of attention! That's something we are perfectly willing to give.

I am working on a little blanket for him: red, white and blue log cabin. The plan is to give it to him on a Fourth of July when he's old enough to understand they are America's colors. Meanwhile, I am struggling with trying to put his name in it. Intarsia and garter stitch and a color change in the background...not sure I can pull it off.

Anyway, if not, frogging isn't terrible and I can go back to that place and begin again. If you have any experience with this (intarsia in garter stitch) and want to share words of wisdom, I'm all ears!

Spring is here and we marked it by planting a new pink dogwood. We miss our glorious old one that was removed just a few years ago. I know we will not live to see this new one grow as large, but it's here, and someone surely will. We feel good planting trees; my father taught me how and I learned from him that it was a very good thing to do.

I have planted trees in each place I have lived in my life, and additionally, in our public spaces as well. It is a relatively inexpensive undertaking and the rewards are many. Arbor Day comes next month and you may just like to mark that day by planting a tree of your own. I'd love to hear about it, if you do!

Happy Springtime!


Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Birthday Gift!

I had a birthday this week and my grandson helped me celebrate! Actually, we grandparents were able to babysit for a few hours while Mama and Daddy went out. He slept beautifully in his car seat (to combat the effects of colic) until his folks returned. After he ate, I was treated to this beautiful smile! I'm certain you would agree it was a most memorable birthday gift!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Creeping Back into the Kitchen

Have you had time away from cooking and then found yourself out of practice upon returning? It sure happens to me! Same with my needlepoint...and miniature making...and even diapering a newborn.... Well, you get the idea. Not exactly like riding a bicycle; what do they say? You never forget how? Well, I have made some really dumb mistakes on returning to the kitchen. Here's just one.

I was to bring a dessert to our little knitting group's first lunch meeting, a couple of weeks ago. So that morning I selected this little Banbury Tart from a Williams Sonoma cookbook, Pies and Tarts; the filling tastes like mincemeat. I made the buttery dough and placed the patty in the frig to chill. The filling was an easy stove-top task, made with raisins, lemon juice and zest, sugar, and so forth, and was now cooling. I rolled out the tart dough successfully (OK - it stuck a little, but not too badly) and patted it gently into place.

The directions say to prick the bottom and sides and line with a double-thick piece of aluminum foil. Well, I thought, I have my little ceramic balls that I use for pie crusts. I'll just use those. Big mistake. The dough rose softly around those little pea-sized balls, quietly enveloping them in the most tender, buttery pastry imaginable. So when it came time to remove them (the foil!), I tipped the pan (they always rolled out of my pie crusts, didn't they?) and the first two inches of the crust separated from the whole, slid right over the edge of the pan and onto the granite. The rest of the little balls stayed firmly in place, nestled in my partially-baked crust.

For just a moment I thought all was lost. Then I remembered I had absolutely no time for a do-over, had just over an hour before I was to show up with dessert in hand. Using a fork, I teased out most of the ceramic balls; remember, they are still around 400 degrees. For the tough ones, I brought tweezers from a drawer and removed them individually. Thank goodness a bit of dough remained in the frig; although it was not quite enough, I patted it into place and returned the pan to the oven for 4 or 5 minutes.

I poured in the filling and sprinkled on the topping; into the oven for thirty-five minutes more. I raced upstairs for my shower, dressed and flew back down just in time to take it out.

It was done, and pretty enough for our little group. (Huge sigh of relief.)Below, it is the far right end that was redone. Some of the mistake is covered with filling and topping and was not readily noticable.

Especially since it was simply delicious! I served it on pretty plates with silver forks. I think I could have eaten the whole thing! Yum!

That was one of those by the skin of my teeth things that I hope never to repeat. I was just a little tart. But I wanted it to be wonderful and it took a lot more concentration and time than I had planned on. I am glad I persevered, instead of tossing it out and heading for the bakery. Whew!

By the way, the ceramic balls were to go into the pans on top of the foil or parchment paper. Not on top of the dough! Now I remember!


Sunday, February 24, 2008

I've Been Busy Doing What???

I've been busy becoming a grammy! My first grandbaby, Ryan James, was born on February 5. What a cutie! Of course, I just can't seem to get enough! Above, he's four hours old.
On occasion, he has eyes open and is not fussing. Here he is dressed in a blue hoodie at two weeks, with Grammy adoring him.

I figured now was the time to resurrect the long-ago put away needlepoint. It is a sampler worked in silks and metallic gold, with a wool background. All it required this week was to have a few missed stitches placed; then I took it downtown to Julie-Mar. She will send it off to become a pillow for the sofa in the living room. I have long thought that my grandchildren would enjoy looking at this, and will remember it. What do you think?

Below, you can see the subtle color changes in the hand-dyed silks.
This is about 18 inches wide and maybe a foot tall. Over 100,000 stitches. I really enjoyed this project because of the enormous variety. I made a few changes (for example, the sharp scales on his back were intended for metallic thread; I have difficulty with that, so just did a metallic border, and filled in with ivory.) and that put my own twist on the project.

I have begun a red, white and blue log cabin for RJ; we didn't know whether he was a girl or a boy before his birth, so all my knitting for "the baby" was yellow, beige, mint, aqua. I am so pleased to be able to knit for a boy, and to use bold blues.

I think I am back, having been away from Ravelry, knitting and blogging for nearly two months. Spring is just around the corner, bees are buzzing the sweet mahonia blossoms, and renewal is in the air! It is time for me to take a deep breath and smile at the winter's accomplishments, and get ready for the delicious anticipation that comes with every fresh start! The exhilaration is intoxicating!