Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ready for Market

The "Fantasy Naturale Market Bag" is finished! It was a fun project to knit. I had some trouble spots but nothing big and I got them all worked out. I stayed with the 10 1/2 needles the whole time and I really like how it looks. It's pretty stretchy with this size...I can't imagine how stretchy it would have been if I'd changed to the 15's like the patterned called for. I'm amazed at how little yarn it took to make this too...only six ounces. I even added extra rows at the top to make the edge and the handles wider. So, I could easily get two bags from the 14 ounce ball.

I'm not sure how well it will work for groceries or the farmer's market because it stretches quite a lot...but I'll give it a try. I'll wait to see how it works out before I make another one. That way I'll know if I need to make any adjustments. Or, maybe make an entirely different bag.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


One day last week my daughter and I decided to have a little picnic at the park. And, we thought it would be a good idea to take our bikes....#1 good exercise...#2 it's better for the environment...which leads to #3 I'll get to post a BAT trip...and, of course...#4 it made it a lot more fun. So we packed some food, a blanket, cards...and Salsa, our Airedale, into the BAT truck and rode to the park. It was a pretty warm day but it was nice in the shade. It was so much fun that we plan to do it again and take hubby/Dad next time.

My daughter started taking Salsa for rides up and down the street when she was a puppy and she seemed to like it. Now that we have the sides on the trailer, we just lift it up, she hops in, and waits to go. It was a little crowded in the trailer with the picnic gear but she didn't mind. She loves going "bye bye", whether it's in the car, for a walk, or in the BAT trailer. Just look at the little smile on Salsa's face! :-)

I was happy to be able to post a BAT trip for last week. I haven't been using the bike much this summer because of the heat. Plus, we live in an area that was pretty much rural until recently. So, there aren't many errands I can run locally on a bike. Most of the shopping and other business we need to do is a town or two away. That's all changing though. A huge shopping center is being built very close by. It's sad to see more space being taken from the landscape but we've been losing so much of it to housing anyway. At least we'll have local services and be able to save on fuel now. So, I hope to be BAT biking more regularly. The shopping center is scheduled to open this Fall.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Market Bag

I was able to find some bits of time to knit this week. And, I finally made a decision of which pattern I wanted to use for my pretty, icey turqouise blue, Sugar N Cream yarn that I recently got. It's called "Fantasy Naturale Market Bag" and I found it on Ravelry. That is such a great site! I never would have chosen this pattern by the picture on the pattern itself but being able to see how it turned out for others and modifications that they made was great! The pattern calls for size 10 1/2 needles for the bottom of the bag and says to switch to size 15 for the body of the bag. I saw some bags on Ravelry where they had kept the same needle size for the bottom and body, 10 1/2, and I love the way they look. That sold me and I'm loving it. It looks really pretty. My daughter loves it and wants to make one now too. And, what luck...we went to a Michael's store yesterday and right up front, by the door, they had baskets of the 14 ounce Sugar N Cream yarn on "Clearance"! They're normally about $9.99. The sign said $5 but they rang up at only $3.99! How cool is that?! My daughter picked out one and, of course, I had to buy another color (sage green), and I called my mom (who also wants to make some of these bags) and she had me get a couple balls for her too. They also had some nice sock yarn on clearance for $2 a ball. I found some that will work great to make socks for my hubby. It's always so much fun to buy yarn...especially, when I get it at such a bargain! Now, with all the new yarn I have and all the yarn I already had, I wish I could knit super fast to catch up a little on some of the mannnnnny projects I have in my head!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

I'm not exactly sure what the saying, "dog days of summer" means...but this could be it...our dog, Salsa, swimming in the pool. She loves to go visit my mother-in-law's dogs to play and have fun but in the summer she also loves to swim in their pool. She's usually a little hesitant at first but after the first dip in the pool she keeps diving in over and over to swim around. She seems to love it and she's such a great swimmer! One time we were enjoying a cool evening, visiting on their porch, and heard a big "splash"! Salsa had decided to go for an evening swim. So cute!

I haven't had any new knitting projects to post lately so I haven't blogged much, except about vacation. I fit in knitting when I can but I've been busy having fun with my daughter who turned 17 today. She sure has grown up quickly. I'm so blessed to have been a stay-at-home mom all these years. I've cherrished the time with her and still do. Next summer she will have graduated from HS and may be getting ready to go to college. That sure will be tough for both of us. We're so close and such great friends. We're so lucky!

So, there may not be a whole lot of knit blogging for the next month cuz someone verrry important will be taking up a lot of my time. :) A lot of projects are lining up and ready for back to school though. :-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Adventure in Zion Narrows

Our recent vacation began at Zion National Park. It was our second visit in just over a year. It's such an awesome place that on the first day of this trip we decided to come back on our way home to do some more hiking. We made another reservation for the nice, comfy Pioneer Lodge and we were set.

So, after the week in Park City we made our already reserved stop at the Cedar City KOA (this was suppose to be a rest stop on the way home) and stayed in one of their cute little "Kabins". "Cute" and "cheap" are probably the perfect way to describe them. If you're looking for a comfy bed and a good night of sleep...forget it! The beds were horrible! Even our teenage daughter woke up aching. Here's a picture of it's cuteness....

In the morning we dressed for hiking, loaded up, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and headed straight to Springdale (about one hour away) to catch a shuttle into Zion National Park. We planned to hike "The Narrows", a hike we did last year and absolutely loved. So far, it's the best hike we've found anywhere. It's sooooo much fun! The weather forecast was great...sunshine and 0% chance of precipitation. It was going to be a great day!!!

The hike starts at the far end of the park, where the shuttle has to turn around because the canyon gets too narrow. There is a paved path for about a mile or so from "The Temple of Sinawava" (the name of that area). At the end of that we went down some steps to begin the best part...a hike up the river. The trail is mostly in the river with a few areas here and there where there is some dirt, rocks, and vegetation on one side or another. The canyon walls are probably 1,000 feet or so straight up on each side and there are parts of the river trail that the canyon narrows to widths around 20 feet (I think there are some areas that are much narrower). Generally, the water level is ankle to knee deep. On a hot day it's the perfect hike! The picture at the top is of a wider area near the beginning of the trail.

Here are some pictures of narrower sections. Notice the tall walls and the beautiful color of the water...

We hiked several hours up into the canyon where we noticed red dust and rocks that had recently blown down from the top (maybe the day before in an afternoon wind or thunderstorm?). Later, wind started blowing down from the top dropping leaves and dust onto us. The sky (what we could see of it through the top opening of the canyon) began to cloud up. Shortly after that we turned around and the sky began to rumble. Our daughter got a bit nervous and so we picked up the speed of our down river hike. Then, a few drops began to fall. Hmmmmm? (Remember, it was forecast for 0% precipitation!). We picked up our speed a bit more as it really began to rain.

I noticed other hikers were also moving quickly and now quietly downward. The raindrops were bigger than we had ever seen or felt. They were so big that they pounded down the brim of my husbands hat and within seconds we were completely soaked. Whoa! Ok! We'd all thought about the possibility that this could happen and of what to do but now we were in it. I suggested a small indent area on the side that was well above the river to hang out in but my husband said, with nervousness in his eyes that I'd never seen, "let's keep going".

We picked up our pace from quick hiking to running, even in the water (not easy). He remembered an area that he thought we were near and was trying to get us to. Whew! We made it! It was high above the river and had ledges even higher (if we were to need them) and it was like a wide open rock cave that the river had dug out over thousands of years. High and dry (the spot, but not us!!!) It was perfect! And, just in time. The sky opened up even more. Within a few minutes of the rain beginning we started to notice waterfalls showing up on various parts of the canyon walls. The short amount of time that these grew from nothing was astounding!

Here's one that was probably over 1000 feet above us, to our left, that may look small but it was so big that we saw a log come over the top....

A few minutes later we noticed a trickle of water come from up above us and over to our right a bit. As we said, "oh...look..." it became a big waterfall that fell so hard that water was falling the width of that canyon and hitting the other side. Rocks were coming off the top with it. Pictures just don't show the true beauty and power of the water and the falls. Here's a picture of when it first got started. This looks like it was taken close to the river level because we hiked down a bit from our "safe spot" to take it. Notice the edge of the overhanging rock that we were under...

We knew we were in a good spot and that even if the water were to rise many feet we would probably be fine. We just didn't know how long we would be there. But, Now that we were in a safe spot we were able to enjoy the sights.

It was interesting to see how other people were reacting to the situation. There were actually some people heading up the river! Crazy!!! We saw one man running and dragging his young son down the trail and river...I warned him of the falling rocks and pointed out the safe area we were in but he yelled at me and kept going, through the waterfall and rocks. Wow! That could have been deadly! I guess that's what panic looks like.

We felt so good that we had remained calm. We were blessed to come upon this space at the right time, and that we were safe there with four other really nice people. The seven of us discussed the situation, enjoyed the beauty of nature and the spectacular show it was giving to us, took pictures, and waited.

When the waterfalls had receeded and we felt it was the right time, we went down the river together, as a team. It seemed like the best way. The water had risen at least a foot or more. On the way up we were ankle to knee deep in water. On the way down it was mostly knee to waist high and the current was a bit stronger. We looked out for each other, caught one person as she fell and started to get swept away, and we all made it down safely.

Here's a picture of our group. And, in the words of the nice man in the middle front...."this will be the best picture of the whole day". is!

What an awesome adventure we had that day! It's something we have never experienced and may never again. It's something you try to avoid. But, it was amazing, thrilling, beautiful and we feel extremely lucky to have experienced it and blessed that it all worked out so wonderfully!

Yeeeeehaa! Here's to vacations, the thrill of adventure, and awesome people! :-)

Back to the Pioneer Lodge to check in, shower, eat and get a good night of sleep.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Sundance Resort

We made a little detour last week on our way from Park City, Utah back to Zion and stopped at the Sundance Resort. I had heard it was a nice place to visit and I'm a big fan of the Sundance Catalog (I love just about everything in it...unfortanately, it's expensive.). It turned out to be a much shorter detour than we had expected and reallllly beautiful. From the main highway we drove up a canyon that was only wide enough for the two lane road and a river that ran down the side. The air was cool and we could hear the river rushing along as we drove up. It was wonderful! When we got to the resort we couldn't stop taking pictures. There were beautiful things to see in every, butterflies, waterfalls, rivers, art, nice buildings, etc., etc. This little outdoor shop was the first thing we checked out. The bikes are so colorful and I love the rustic look of the building...

This is one of the many flowers in the gorgeous landscaping...

We found a butterfly struggling in a spider web on the ground and resuced it. It clumsily flew up into this bush where I took it's picture. It's wings are a bit tattered around the edges but it's still so pretty...

There were a lot of big yellow butterflies. They were gorgeous! This one landed in the parking lot and right after I took this picture it climbed on my finger for a brief second. It felt so soft and delicate. It was awesome!...

I was so excited to visit the General Store and maybe...just maybe...splurge on something that I've been eying in the catalog. Unfortunately, they didn't have much in the store that is in the catalog and I didn't find anything I couldn't live without. So, I left with free and wonderful souvenirs of memories and pictures. Maybe someday I'll have the opportunity to visit one of their catalog stores and be able to see some of their items in person, try things on, and pick something out for myself.

On every trip I go on I look for local yarn shops and stop in for a visit whenever possible. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a single yarn shop on this whole trip. I looked in the phone books where we stayed and it looked like there were quite a few in Salt Lake City but we weren't able to make it over there. That's probably for the best anyway because I have more than enough yarn to keep me busy for a while. :-)

Stay tuned for pictures and details about last adventure of a lifetime! It was spectacular!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Flowers and a Dream...

We spent last week in Park City, Utah so our daughter could attend harp camp. It was an awesome week for her. She met a lot of other young harpists (a rare event, as you may guess, since there aren't a lot of harpists) and was able to work with world renowned harpist and the head of the University of Arizona Harp Department, Carrol McLaughlin. It was a an intense and exciting week of workshops, concerts, and fun.

When I wasn't sitting in on workshops, my husband and I were off hiking, biking or sight seeing. What a gorgeous place! It is so green and beautiful and there are more kinds of wild flowers blooming than I could count. I took a lot of pictures. Here are a few kinds of flowers that I had never seen before...

The natural landscape was stunning but the man made landscaping was beautiful too. Everything was kept up so beautifully. The Columbine flowers and Lupines were soooo pretty. I never knew they came in so many colors. Here are some that were growing in a flowerbed by the park and library...

Here's a Peony outside our hotel. They were so big...this is just one flower in my hand. So pretty! They don't grow here where I live so these were such a treat. They smelled pretty too.

We had one of the most awesome mountain bike rides ever. We rode the Beaver Creek Trail just outside of Heber City. It was so pretty! I have seen pictures of Aspen groves and single track trails for years and dreamed of riding in a place like that but never had the chance until last week. Wow! There were so many great things to see. The trail ran along a river (sometimes next to it and sometimes above it), There was green and flowers everywhere; more puff balls (dandelions) than I'd ever seen in one place; there were Beaver damms and ponds they had created; even the forest...that was weird but interesting to see. I just wonder how the ranchers find all their cows when they are so spread out and wandering through the trees like that. They were kinda scarry to come upon on the trail too cuz they were sooo big! The trail was a fairly steady uphill climb for miles but the pretty stuff kept me going. The uphill made for a super fun ride back down. It was so awesome! Here's a picture of me living a dream on my bike...

Here's another picture of a gorgeous Aspen and Pine forest from a hike at the Park City Ski Resort... from the Sundance Resort. And, later this week I'll post pictures from this last weekend and what turned out to be an adventure of a lifetime!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I just got back from a wonderful summer trip with my husband and daughter. The main purpose of this trip was to take our daughter to harp camp in Park City, Utah. But, we decided to make it into a mini vacation as well. We started out with a weekend in Zion National Park. We spent some time there last year and it was so beautiful that we were excited to go back again.

The first weekend was spent in Springdale, Utah, just outside Zion National Park. We stayed at the Pioneer Lodge (a great place to stay) and had an awesome view up into the Zion Canyon. Next to the motel were some fenced green pastures with Long Horn Cattle, Elk, sheep, and Bison. They were so fun to watch...especially the baby Long Horn that loved to run and kick up it's little heels. Adorable!

The first big adventure on this trip started out early on a Saturday morning as the sun was rising....

We hiked up about 1400 feet to Angel's Landing. This part of the hike is called "Walter's Wiggles". Such a fun name and it looks so cool! The whole hike was quite a workout but soooo worth it! It was awesome!!!

Here's a view from near the top looking down into the canyon. You can see the teeny tiny shuttle bus toward the left. It's that small white speck in the shadow.

I carried a small knitting project in my pack and knitted a row at the top...just because! :-) I had hoped to do a lot of knitting on this trip but I was only able to finish a wash cloth, make one more and do a few rows on my Crescendo Shawl. I wish I could knit in the car because I would have gotten many hours of knitting time in but it tends to wig out my eyes. So, I could only squeeze that little bit in between adventures, workshops at harp camp, eating, sleeping, etc.

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures from our time in Park City. It was gorgeous there!