Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008...It's Been a Wonderful Year!

Over the past month or so I've been thinking about this year, 2008. It's been a good one. A year I'm making a strong mental note of. A year that when we open bottles of wine in the future and they say "2008", we can say, "that was a good year!"

Today, as I've been planning my final post of this year, I've been thinking about the most important parts of 2008. The first thing that comes to mind is how much better I'm feeling this year than last. I'm so thankful for that. And, that goes along with how thankful I am that my family is healthy too.

The next thing that comes to mind is friends. I lost a couple of friends to that evil thing, cancer, this year. That's not good news, but I'm so grateful to have had those people in my life. Last night I heard that a friend of mine just found out she has brain tumors and that the odds are high that it's cancer. What a horrible thing for her to find out just before Christmas, but at least she found out and will have surgery on Monday to remove the tumors. Hopefully, 2009 will be an awesome year for her as she beats it. We'll definitely be praying for that. She's an awesome lady!

This year has been a year of making new friends too. I made a goal a year ago to get out and be brave to try knit groups and meet new people. The results are far beyond what I'd even hoped or imagined. I've met so many great ladies, made so many new friends, and I'm having so much fun! I see many of them once a week or more and we're always so excited about getting together again. I can't wait to see what the new year brings!

And, of course, there's all the fun projects I completed. I went through my picture files this morning to try and get a count of my FO's. I came up with at least 49! Twenty of those are washcloths but that counts. In addition to that I made about six scarves, four hats, four pairs of socks, two pairs of fingerless mitts, two bags, one coffee cozy, one cat bed, seven felted balls, and two (almost three...I'm still searching for the right size beads for eyes) needle felted animals. I also did some jewelry making and spun up quite a bit of yarn.

This year has been filled with so many great moments, great people, great's just been grrrreat!!! For that, I'm sooooo thankful!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Eye Candy

I don't have any new projects to show right now because I've been knitting away at my "Crescendo Shawl", trying to finish it. I measured last night and I have 12-18 inches to go, depending on if I make it the full 66". I really wanted to finish it in time for Christmas but I was busy making Christmas gifts and didn't quite make it. Now, my new goal is to finish it by my birthday. That gives me about three weeks.

So, in the meantime, how about a little holiday eye candy. Here's something that most people will never have the opportunity to see. It's a view in the orchestra pit at "Nutcracker". My daughter took this just before the show...

That's her harp in the foreground, right. They are actually below the stage. The conductor stands up high enough to see what's happening on stage while they are playing. If you look closely (or click to enlarge) you can see the side balcony boxes above. When she first did this show (last year), I found it interesting how all this worked. When we arrived for "load in", all large instruments, chairs, music stands, etc. were loaded in at basement level and then they raised the whole pit to the level it needed to be for the performance. After the final performance, they raise the pit to stage level and rolled everything off. I'm not sure why, but when they take everything back out they call that "strike". We've been learning so much about the world of music. It so interesting and there is sooooo much to learn.

Another piece of eye candy....

One of the orchestra members lives nearby and every year he and his family spend a couple of months decking their house out for the holidays. We had a chance to see it this year. Wow! We now understand why it takes so long. The picture above is a glimpse of a village they set up in their garage. It spans the whole front of their three car garage. Amazing! This shot above is the left side. In the center shot, below, notice the Disney Electric Light Parade (I think you can click the pictures to make them bigger and see the details)...

And, here's a picture looking toward the right side...

They also had a village with a train on their porch, and more trains, trees, and holiday surprises inside. It was the most popular decorated house in the neighborhood...probably the whole you can see in the picture below with all the people standing in the driveway. Notice the second story windows with the animated Disney scenes.

They also had a warm fire in the driveway and soup and eggnog inside. The whole neighborhood was lined with luminarias down the sidewalks and the sides of every driveway. It was fun for us to see...I can only imagine how magical it would be for little kids.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Fun

I had hoped to have a "Merry Christmas" post before Christmas but we were so busy that I didn't get a chance. So, Merry Christmas a little late...I hope your Christmas day was wonderful!

We had a nice Christmas and we enjoyed rainy, blustery weather...a fun change to our usual sunny Christmas days. We have a potted, live Christmas tree this year ( smells so good!) and we placed it into a half wine barrel. I didn't get a good picture of it but it looks really cute. We also have a large palm tree in our living room that we like to deck out for the holidays...

Now that most of the gifts have been given out, I can post some of the things I made for gifts. Here are some of the many dishcloths I made...

I gave them away in pairs, tied with a ribbon and a bow. They looked so cute in these little boxes that I found. They were the perfect size. Everyone seemed to enjoy receiving them.

I spun some yarn, Navajo plied it, and knitted a hat for hubby. I love the color. It's called "Denim". Hubby loved it and wore it most of the day yesterday. He had to take it off a few times because it's so warm. That was inside. So, it'll be perfect for cold weather fun like skiing! I haven't gotten a good picture of him with it on yet but I'm anxious to post. So, here it is (folded) sitting on one of our Bird of Paradise plants in the sun...

My daughter loved the red fingerless gloves I made recently. So, I made a pair for her in black. Perfect to go with her new black coat. She was so surprised and loves them. She immediately put them on and has been wearing them a lot. She can even play her harp with them on. :-)

A last minute gift was this yummy, soft, red scarf for my mother-in-law. It's a simple 1x1 rib. It's so soft and pretty. She loves it! Yay! When I was swatching and figuring out how I wanted to make this, I decided on size 11 needles. However, I only have circulars, metal (cold, long, and noisy), and dpn's in that size. I started out on the metal ones but quickly switched to using two of the dpn's. Then, I added these cute little point protectors and turned them into short needles! So fun!!! They worked great!

These are some of the gifts I made this year. I still have a few other things that I can't post because the gifts haven't been recieved yet. I was happy to see that everyone enjoyed what I made. And, I even heard stories about gifts from previous years that they are still enjoying. That was a nice surprise! That makes gift knitting even more fun.

We can't forget the dog! She had a merry Christmas too! My daughter made her some gifts (she decided not to give the beautiful needle felted ball to the dog). The dog likes the gifts but it's a toss up of which was more fun...the gifts, or the wrapping paper...

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Wow! Nutcracker was amaaaaazing! The show was beautiful! The orchestra was awesome! We're sooooo proud of our daughter! She was one of two harpists in the orchestra and she did a fabulous job...all the kids did! There's one part in the show where it's just the harp playing and a ballerina dancing and last night my daughter played that part. She did great! She even got a thumbs up from the conductor. That's not always easy to get! The next scene was also really special to me as both harpists were playing and they slowly rocked back and forth together....ooohhhhh soooo beautiful! That put tears in my eyes. It's hard describe! I was reminded last night how magical this show is to the kids in the audience. There was a little girl behind us that was mesmerized. She was so excited! She commented on the mice and wondered if they could see us and "all the people" in the audience. One of the dancers reminded her of "Jasmine" from Disney and that was very exciting for her. Of course, there was the falling snow...that was pretty magical for everyone I think. At the intermission my husband was talking with a gentleman in the lobby who was so impressed and excited about the show that he wished he had brought his entire family but he'd heard it was sold out. When my husband mentioned that our daughter was in the orchestra he was impressed and said, "high five!" What a beautiful night and an awesome week for our daughter. Now that the show is over and she's on break from school, she gets to enjoy a some well deserved and much needed R and R.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wintery Fun Night

No pictures today. Just a quick post, on the go. Busy, busy!

We've been having some awesome weather...lots of rain here and snow in the mountains. I can't wait until the fog clears this morning to see how gorgeous the mountains are going to be. I'll take my camera with me when I head out for the day and see if I can get some shots.

The rain made it interesting to move my daughter's harp yesterday to load into the orchestra pit for the "Nutcracker". We were able to do it though. We enjoyed the drive down there in the rain, got it loaded in just fine, and while she was in rehearsal I went out in the rain for a little fun of my own. I did a little Christmas shopping and drove down to Encinitas to visit "Common Thread". It's such a cute little yarn shop, filled to the brim with yarn and goodies, and the owners are great. I spent a lot of time in there looking for a pattern for my first sweater. I think I found one but I wasn't able to find a yarn that I like, yet. It was so fun walking down the street, in Encinitas, near the ocean, in the rain, with my umbrella, visiting a yarn shop. That's a good time! :-)

After that I went to "Noodles and Co." for dinner. Yum! Lots of pasta-bilities, salads, and soups. It was really good and I'll definitely go back. After dinner I went back to the theatre and knitted in my car for a while. I found out that my alpaca Crescendo shawl is very warm! I had it draped across my lap as I worked on it and even though the weather was chilly, I was toasty warm under my knitting. :-)

For the rehearsal tonite, I plan to do a little more shopping, then I'll probably hang out at a coffee shop for some more knitting time.

Oh yeah...I'm going to get a haircut this morning...wish me luck! :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Spin Spin Spin maybe I'm done with making Christmas gifts. As I was finishing projects I just kept adding more. I think I'll cancel the last two that I added because I'm not sure the recipients will appreciate or wear them anyway. That means I get to start on some projects just for fun. This roving has been calling my name since it arrived in my last shipment. A lot of people have commented on it but no one bought it. So, I've decided that it's MINE! Yay! The color is "Hollyberry" and I just love it! I was able to spin four ounces onto one bobbin. I'll spin another four on a second and then ply it up. I'm not totally sure what I'm going to make with it yet but I have some ideas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Warm and Cozy

A little eye candy for today...our kitty...warm and cozy in her felted bed...sooo sweet...

Kitty's feeling good and so am I! As we get close to a new year, I've been thinking of this past year and all that has happened. A year ago I wasn't feeling quite so good. I had gone through lots of doctor appointments and testing for lumps in my neck and the scary "what ifs". That turned out fine. Whew! The doc is just keeping an eye on it. Plus, a small surgery for another problem and medications that made me feel really bad and gave me headaches beyond description. And, to top that off, my hip was hurting so bad last year that there were times I could barely walk. I was not a happy camper and I definitely didn't want to deal with Christmas. By January I stopped taking the meds and quickly started feeling better. Even my hip pain started to subside. Whew! It still hurts from time to time but nothing like it did. The doc said he thought it was arthritis but...who knows?! I'm just so happy that I can walk, bike, even run again. Wooohoooo!

Also, about a year ago I decided to get out and meet people and try every knit/stitch/spin group I could find. It was scary sometimes but I kept trying and as a result I've met so many wonderful people. I see some of them at least once a week now too. I can't begin to describe how great that has been for me and how thankful I am for them and what they do for me.

It has turned out to be a really great year! I've been thinking about some goals for next year. A lot of them have to do with fibery fun stuff...of course. I've enjoyed a lot of art and craft things but I've never been so excited about any of them or for as long as I have been for fiber arts. The excitement and love of fiber arts just keeps on growing too. It makes me feel warm and cozy inside...just like my kitty. :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another Fibery Fun Weekend

I have so much that I'd like to post. Unfortunately, most of it is Christmas gifts so I'll have to wait. I've been finishing a lot of gifts over the past couple of weeks and it feels sooo great! I finished another gift on Friday, one on Sunday, and yet another one this morning. I'm trying to decide on a couple patterns for more gifts. Many of them are fairly quick to make but they'll make nice gifts. They're all things that I'd love to receive so I hope the recipients love them too.

Another thing I can't wait to share is the fun I had at a LYS last Friday. They had a spinning night and they had asked several spinners to come and demonstrate. I figured it would be a great opportunity for me to take my wheel and do some spinning as well. I'm sooooo happy that I went. There were at lesat six people spinning. That was already fun! But, to add to the excitement... someone brought several angora bunnies. They are sooooooo cute!!! And, I finally got to see someone spin from the bunny. She had a towel on her lap with a huge bunny sitting on it. The bunny seemed content as the spinner kept plucking fiber from her and spinning it into soft, yummy yarn.

I've been joking with hubby about getting an angora bunny and that added to the temptation. I'm trying to resist though because I'd have to find someone to care for it whenever we travel. I am planning to visit the "bunny lady" to buy some fiber though. I've had a pattern picked out for years that requires a bit of angora yarn for a soft, halo like edge. I wish I had pictures to post from that night but I didn't take a camera. I was having too much fun to take pictures anyway. :-)

Friday night was a great start to a very nice weekend. My daughter had an orchestra rehearsal on Saturday morning in San Marcos. So, we dropped her off and ran some shopping errands, went to Starbucks and enjoyed coffee and a little knitting and reading (hubby) time, and I stopped in and checked out a yarn shop. I was able to spend a lot of time with my daughter this weekend. That was really nice. We did some shopping and we even did some crafting together. Here's something she's working on, it's a felted ball for our dog, Salsa....

I love how it's turning out. And, after such a hectic schedule over the past few months, it's so nice to see her enjoying a little peaceful, creative time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I made the mistake earlier this year of giving out my blog address to a few family members. That means I can't post most of the gifts I'm making...just in case the recipients happen to stop by. But...I think I can post these...

This hat is from a pattern I've used many times. I found the pattern in the 2004 "Knit It!" magazine. My husband has a lot of these and loves them. He wears them a lot during the winter. I made them with Wool-Ease and they go through the washer and drier just fine. I love that! Easy care will be great for the young man that will receive this...

I've lost track of how many of these I've made over the past few years. I've made them in many colors and changed up the striping a lot. I even made one with words on it. I posted one last year that I made for hubby as an anniversary gift. This is one I made for myself a couple of years ago. It worked great to keep me warm on my morning walk today.

This is my first crochet project in a while. It's a scarf for another young man in the family. I used Bernat Denim Style yarn in Rodeo Tan. I think it looks kind of tweedy and perfect for a guy. I hope he likes it.

I've got a lot of stuff on my to-do list and the list keeps growing. I seem to keep adding projects to it too. I'd better get back to work! Have a terrific day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Super Saturday!

As many of you may know, my daughter is a harpist. This week was an exciting week for her. Besides renting out one of her harps ($'s!) and starting to teach lessons (more $'s!!), she was asked to play Saturday afternoon for a tea at a boutique hotel in the gas lamp district of downtown San Diego. Before the week was over, she also received a call asking her to play in the upcoming Nutcracker performances at the California Center for Performing Arts in Escondido with the orchestra she was in last year. She had so much fun with that last year and she's sooo excited to do it again. It's a wonderful production! And, they needed her at rehearsal on Saturday morning!

So...yesterday morning we loaded the harp, gowns, camera, knitting, etc. and left at 8am for a full day in San Diego. First was rehearsal at 9am. Hubby and I visited a book store and then hung out in a coffee shop where he read and I knitted until our daughter was done. Then, it was off to lunch and further south to downtown. We got her all set up and we headed out on foot to see some nearby sights. We spent most of the afternoon at the Port of San Diego watching boats, cruise ships, people, and everything else we could see. The weather was really nice and we had a lot of fun. Here are some of my favorite sights from the day...

This was one of the first things we saw down there. It's a huuuuuuge statue...notice the man standing by her leg....

Artwork is spaced out along the waterfront and this was my favorite. It's a huge kaleidoscope...

It's soooo beautiful!!!

Here's one of the shots I took looking into it...

The day ended with loading up the harp, going out for a nice dinner, and arriving back home around 8:00 p.m. It was a full and wonderful day!

I promise to post more about knitting and fiber arts after I finish up Christmas projects and start working on things I can show. :-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Eye Candy

I been working on, and finishing knitting (and crocheting) projects. However, they are Christmas gifts and I don't want to post them now and take a chance of the recipients seeing them. So, for today's post I decided to post eye candy... some of my favorite Christmas ornaments.

These small instruments are made of wood and I absolutely love them. I found them in a store at least 25 years ago and couldn't leave the store without them.

It's amazing that this little paper angel is still around. She's probably around 40 years old. I clipped her out of a Christmas project book when I was a child. Her wings slipped in through two slits and, as you can see, I taped them down long ago to keep them from falling out. I cherish her and place her high on the tree each year to keep her safe.

This is another old and cherrished decoration that belonged to my grandmother. I inherited it when she passed away over 30 years ago. I'm not sure how old it is. My mother-in-law has one and it is a bit larger. There is a small hole in the back, near the top. A small Christmas light goes in that hole and casts a warm glow onto the figures.

I painted this jolly guy in a tole painting class years ago. His name is "Bubbasnickle". I love how he turned out. The colors are pretty, but if I ever make another one, I might change the colors to red and darker green. It would go with more of my Christmas decorations. There is a wire with wooden christmas lights and tiny, golden jingle bells that comes out of the top of his mittens and arches over his head. He also has a tiny little pipe in his mouth.

Despite our busy schedule, we've managed get a good start on holiday decorating. I hope to find the time this weekend to finish it up and get started on other things on the holiday "to do" list.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oodles of Needles

Hubby's grandma called me last week with the news that she had a bunch of knitting needles to give to me. She had gotten them from some elderly neighbors that can no longer knit. What a sad thought to not be able to knit. But, what a wonderful thought that someone who loves knitting is about to be showered with free needles. I couldn't wait to see what was in the bunch.

On Thanksgiving Day, hubby went over to his parent's house to borrow a couple of chairs while I stayed home to cook and receive our guests (we alternate dinner with families each year). While he was there, grandma gave him the bag of needles. Hubby was excited to find a hand-carved wood tube and cap to store knitting needles in. Unfortunately, when he got home we realized it was no longer in the bag. It seems that someone else in the family must have decided that they wanted it and took it when he set the bag down to get the chairs. I must say that it is a little frustrating that someone would take it when it had already been given to me, and that they don't even knit. But, I am happy to receive the needles.

There are over 30 pair, ranging in sizes from one to 15. Some are 10" and some are 14" long. Most of the double point needles weren't complete sets, except for one set of yellow plastic ones. There were also a few afgan hooks and a large crochet hook. Some of needles are sizes I didn't have but many are duplicates. But, that's ok. I always love having extra sets for when my daughter wants to start a project or I need another set for myself when I get case of "startitis". It's also nice to have extras when someone comes along that wants to learn.

Monday, December 1, 2008

More Desert Fun...

I have a few more pictures from our Thanksgiving desert trip to post before I move on to some other things....

These wonderful old shade structures were at some of the campsites where we stayed. They may have been built in the 30's when they made some of the trails. Also, it was at that time that the government was making a lot of jobs to help us through hard economic times, like building lodges and such in parks and campgrounds. It's too bad things like this aren't made these days. It's awesome! There are two tables and benches in each one...

And, a corner fireplace...

It rained all night on the last night of our stay. It was wonderful to hear it through the night. It had rained so hard that we expected a lot of puddles but the desert soaked it all up like a sponge. The air smelled so good and everything looked so beautiful. We immediately went out in the morning to enjoy the scenery, the fresh air and the wildlife that was out enjoying it too. The quail and jackrabbits were so cute! Here's a view from our campsite, looking up into Palm Canyon...

One of the things we went to look at first were the Ocatillo. There is one in the left side of the picture above. They're dormant until it rains. Once it rains, leaves start popping out within 24 hours. The branches will become covered in tiny green leaves, almost like fur. The leaves are fully grown in only five days. They'll photosynthesize sunlight into food for the plant and after a month of dry weather they'll turn autumn colors and fall off. When it rains again the whole cycle will begin again. It had rained a little bit the day before so we were excited and hoping to see this miracle for ourselves. It happened...a few tiny leaves were beginning to appear...

Even when they don't have leaves, they have bright red flowers...

It was a fun little getaway. Even Salsa had fun! I love this picture of her with the sun shining through her fur and that adorable little head turn she does...

Of course, I couldn't go on any trip without taking knitting projects. I finished another Christmas gift, made my daughter's hat, and made some more progress on my Crescendo Shawl. I loved my "Knit Monster" bag! It worked great by attaching the velcro strap around the camp chair...

Well, today is a brand new month and it's officially Christmas season. So, I have a lot to do bills, knitting, decorating, etc. And, my daughter has her first harp student today. She's a little nervous but I know she'll do great!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Desert Oasis

This week, on our desert getaway, we hiked up Palm Canyon to a natural desert oasis. Groves of palm trees can sometimes grow in areas along earthquake faults, where water can easily find a way to reach the surface. Coyotes eat the seeds and as they travel and visit water stops to drink, they leave fertilized seeds behind. It's an amazing sight to see palm trees and water in the middle of a dry, brown desert. This picture was taken when the oasis first came into view. You can see a group of palm trees in the distance, in the center of the photo...

There were a lot of other great things to see on our way up the canyon. This was one of my favorites, desert lavender. I love the smell of lavender and it was such a surprise to find it in the desert. The plant was different than the lavendar we're use to. It was more like a bush and it was very open, twiggy and dry. The flowers were very similar to what we're use to but the leaves were small, thick and hard. When you rub them and smell your fingers you get a beautiful scent of lavender.

I don't know what this flower is called but it's pretty and the hummingbirds love them. There were a LOT of hummingbirds there and they were mostly black in color.

Here's one of the many kinds of cactus. The colors are beautiful.

Here's a closer shot of the oasis. We learned that the dead frawns are best left on the trees to insulate them from the heat and to help them retain their moisture. There are so many palm trees in Southern California and it's odd to see them with their "skirts" on because people usually trim them off. In the state park, as in nature, they get to keep their clothes on. Sadly, we found out that some visitors think it's fun to set them on fire. We found a few of them with charred trunks and most of their skirts missing.

Here's a picture of some of the wet area around the oasis. There were water ponds, small, trickly water falls, plants, algae, and lots of tiny frogs. My husband and daughter are in the center of the picture. As you can see, some of the boulders are huuuuuuge!...

I've hiked up this canyon several times (I even did it when I was a kid), but it's always amazing to me to see an oasis in the middle of the dry, brown desert.

Something that kept our interest the whole way up the canyon was evidence of a recent flash flood that had gone through and drastically changed the canyon and flooded out half of the campground. There were huge boulders that had fallen from the sides, some were moved by the water and changed the path of the trail, and there were hundreds of tree trunks that had been washed down the canyon. It looked as though the water had reached depths of 15 to 20 feet in some places. It must have been quite a storm.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Arid Adventure

For Thanksgiving week we had planned to pack up our camping trailer and take a trip. We had quite a few ideas of where to go but we finally decided to visit Anza Borrego. It's in the desert a couple of hours from where we live. It's northeast of San Diego, Southeast of Palm Springs, and west of Salton Sea.

At first glance it may appear to be a vast wasteland with nothing to see or do, but a closer look will reveal some very surprsing finds. On our first full day of exploration we drove to the badlands in search of slot canyons. From where we parked, this is what we saw...

After hubby convinced me that we wouldn't get lost inside the slots (we made sure there were plenty of markers where we started), we headed down to find this...

It looks like dried mud, like it could crumble in very easily, but it's actually quite hard. Each turn revealed more photo opportunities.

It was verrrry narrow in some places...

And, very deep in others...

We were so glad we hiked down inside. It was amazing!

You'd never know this was there by driving down the highway. A little research and a little detour made for a fun little adventure.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family just left a little while ago and we had a wonderful day. I was determined to enjoy it and not stress out and...I did it! Everything turned out really nice. Our day even started out with rain...that's something to be thankful for.

Since this is Thanksgiving, I think it's a great time to express my thanks to everyone who reads my blog and especially those who share comments, because they mean a lot. I'm also grateful to the many bloggers who inspire me, teach me, and sometimes make me laugh or cry. Blogland is a fun place with a lot of great people.

Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Handspun, Handknit Hat

We just got back from a five day adventure (more on that on future posts). While I was gone I had some knitting fun! One of the things I did was to turn my handspun, Navajo plied yarn into this hat for my daughter...

It was a pleasure to knit with yarn that I had made and I love the results. I used a pattern from Ravelry as a starting point and turned it into my own unique creation. It's truly one of a kind because of the random color changes as I spun the three different colors of roving, the random way I Navajo plied it because I was learning, and the changes I made to the pattern. I made it a bit loose and it's really comfy to wear. I'm anxious to make another one.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Navajo Plying

I did it! I'm soooo excited!....

I've been hearing about Navajo plying for a few months now. I was curious about it and wanted to learn how to do it. So, I've been watching videos on YouTube about it (isn't YouTube great?!). The Yarn Wench video was the most helpful. Last night I gave it a whirl and...I did it! It was soooo much fun! I used some singles yarn I already had on my bobbins. The first bobbin went fine and the second one went even better. I felt like I was finding a rhythm by the end of it. I love the feel of it the yarn. It seems like it has more body and life than my two ply yarns. I really want to do it more. So, I'm figuring out a project to spin for so I can get started.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Homemade Vanilla Latte

In an effort to enjoy delicious coffee drinks at home and without breaking the bank, I've come up with my own delicious concoction...

First, instead of buying expensive syrup, I make my own. It's so easy, quick and very inexpensive. I heat up one cup of water with one cup of sugar and cook it until it's disolved. Then, I stir in two teaspoons of Trader Joe's Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract (it's realllly good!). I can store it in a jar in the refrigerator.

I use a small, electric espresso maker to make the coffee. I don't think it makes the coffee strong enough to be true espresso like in a coffee shop but it's stonger than regular coffee. I mix four ounces of the espresso with 2/3 cup of hot milk and just over one ounce of hot vanilla syrup. It's sooooo good!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ahhh...Another FO!

It always feels great to finish a project. Even when it's a small one. I've been doing that a lot lately. After several months of challenging projects and seemingly endless ones, it feels good.

This scarf will be a Christmas gift. It's a pattern I found several years ago in the Fall 2000 Knitter's magazine. It was love at first scarf. It's fast, easy and fun. It's just three rows of knit and one row of pearl repeated but that one row of pearl is enough to keep it from being boring. I've made quite a few of them. This one and several others were made with JoAnn's Angel Hair yarn. It's so soft and pretty.

My to-do list is growing ever longer as the holidays approach but with these small projects I feel like I'm accomplishing something. That feels good!