Friday, August 29, 2008

Eye Candy Goes Coastal

The beautiful California coast! One of the many awesome things I love about living in California. I love the beach for so many reasons...the temperature; the fresh clean air; the moisture in the air (I live in the desert); the soft sand under my toes; the water; the way I feel when I'm there; and all the beautiful and amazing things to see...

These are a type of jelly fish that sometimes cover the beaches. When they do they look like litter, until you look more closely. They have a beautiful cobalt blue edge and the clear disk on the top acts like a sail to propel them along through the water. Their tentacles are very short and we've heard that they don't sting.

The colors in these succulent plants are so pretty. It's amazing how they can grow in the side of a rock!

I love the beautiful, bright, orange color of this moss. Wow!

Of course, people watching is always fun too! This is my little nephew on his very first trip to the beach. When his mom sat him down on the sand he immediately started crawling toward the water. He loved it! Smart boy! :-)

It's interesting to me how beaches can be so different...even in one area like Southern California. The sand can be soft or course, white or yellow, rocky or smooth. The water can be crystal clear or kinda muddy, turquoise blue or kinda green. The water can be icey cold or wonderfully warm. Yet, sometimes the similarities are amazing. Like San Diego beaches and Hawaii. The water here is often crystal clear with beautiful colors like Hawaii. The water is a lot warmer in Hawaii but many sights remind us of "home".

Here are a couple of pictures taken from the condo we stayed at in Maui a couple years ago, looking over Napili Bay toward the Island of Molokai. Soooo beautiful! (Click to enlarge)

It's a gorgeous place to visit and I hope to go there many more times. But, in the meantime, it's so great to have a little slice of coastal heaven in our own backyard!

I think it's time for a trip to the beach!

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Ok...I think I've officially been knitting on these socks toooo much! They require constant counting to be sure I stay on track. I've been counting so much that I'm noticing myself counting the laundry as I take it out of the drier, counting dishes as I put them away, and counting in my sleep. lol I want to keep going though so I can at least finish the first sock. Maybe I'll take a short break between socks so I can break my counting habit. lol :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Knit Stuff

I was listening to NPR (National Public Radio) this morning (as usual) and one of their stories talked about a place called "Cafe Press" that sells presidential campaign t-shirts but they mentioned that they have knitting shirts too. I checked it out this morning and they have so much more than I imagined...pages and pages of knitting t-shirts, stickers, bags, etc. Fun! :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


It's been one year since I started my blog. I guess that makes this my blogiversary! I remember finding a couple blogs a few years ago and I loved seeing what other people were working on and the beautiful pictures they'd post. I started finding more and more blogs but I still thought it was a fairly unique kind of thing that only a few people had. Last summer a friend encouraged me to start one. I can't believe how many blogs are out there now. And, I can't believe how much fun I'm having with mine and reading others. I get inspired by seeing the amazing and wonderful things other people are working on. I'm encouraged by seeing so many things that we have in common. I'm motivated to complete projects to post. And, I'm challenged to try bigger and better things. Hooray for blogging! :-)

Back to knitting...

Here's a picture of my Olympic project and the progress I've made. It may not look like a lot but, trust me, it is. This is knit with size one needles so it hasn't been growing very fast. And, it's been challenging. I know I won't be completing a pair of these by the time this Olympic challenge ends. But, I'm happy I decided to participate and challenge myself with these. It's so exciting to see yarn transform into this! That's what makes knitting seem like magic.

Here's an update on my Crescendo Shawl. The last time I posted a picture it was probably only about six inches wide or so. Now it's about 28". It's slow but moving along. I love how it looks complicated but it's really quite simple. It's a great project to work on when I go to a knit gathering. The fairly neutral color should work well with a variety of outfits. I'm knitting it with 100% alpacca so it's really soft.

Garden Update...

Our garden hasn't done well this summer. We had an idea that seemed great...fill an old metal watering trough with good soil for a raised bed garden. It would be tall enough to keep the dog out of it. A nice height to work on. And, most importantly, have excellent soil that was mixed just for growing great things! We didn't realize that the metal sides would heat up so much that the soil would be too hot to grow things. We didn't figure that out for a while. We kept thinking it had something to do with watering or the plants or ??? We kept adjusting the water and fertilized and....nothing. Just spindly little tomato vines, the pea plants only grew about three inches...they made some tiny pea pods but then died. Even the radishes weren't growing and they're usually really easy. Then, one hot afternoon my husband started digging around in the soil and figured it out. The soil was burning hot! We've had a beach umbrella in the trough ever since and it has helped the peppers quite a bit and the tomatoes a little. We're still trying to figure out a solution that will allow us to use the trough because it still seems like a great idea and it looks really cool...except for the beach umbrella. :-)

Other than that, the herbs have done fine and we enjoy them in homemade salad dressings, sauces, and other dishes. And, our fig tree didn't do too bad this year. The figs are small but they're sweet and delicious and we got more this year than ever. This is a picture of some that I picked this morning.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Feeling Rosey

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I did some back to school shopping. Last week we did some bead shopping to make jewelry to go with some of the new outfits. The next day we spent at the kitchen table being creative with beads. It was a lot of fun! The picture above is my new outfit and a necklace I made to go with it.

I love pink but for some reason I don't usually wear it. I've realized that most of my clothes are some shade of blue. I've been trying to be more stylish and break out of my usual clothing routine so I decided to try this on. My daugher thought it looked really nice and enouraged me....uh...well...more like gently forced me, to buy it. I'm glad she did. I've gotten compliments on it and I love the color with my skin. I've been wearing a lot of skirts lately instead of shorts. They're fun to wear and great for hiding knees that aren't as young as they use to be. lol

The necklace is hard to see in the pic but it's the best I could do with the only camera in the house with batteries that didn't need charging. It's made of square wood beads, pink glass ones, some silver accent beads (round and heart shaped), and some shell or stone beads that look like golden mother of pearl. The golden beads were part of a necklace that my grandmother had and wore a lot. It fell apart years ago and I've been trying to figure out something to use them for. The clasp is shaped like a tropical flower. Since it's so pretty, I made the necklace so I can put the clasp in the front and to the side to show it off. It looks really nice.

My Olympic sock project is moving along. Now that I'm finally past the cuff it's actually going well. I don't know why I was having such trouble with what should have been the easiest part. So strange. But, I kept at it, and so far, so good. I hope it keeps going well. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish them in time for the challenge but at least they're finally moving along. :-) I'll try to post some pics soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Progress...

My UFO Olympic sock project seems to have taken some steps backward...then forward...and backward again. I keep making dumb mistakes that cause me to rip out completely and start over. The latest one, last night, was that I had started my cuff, set it down over night, then picked it up and started knitting without really looking at it and ended up knitting backward so it was only connected with one strand at the beginning. Duh! I was so frustrated last night after ripping it out so many times that I was ready to give up on it. I'm feeling better now and ready to try it again. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Knitting Olympics

Yesterday I went to the Knit N Stitch yarn shop in Riverside, California where they were having a knitting Olympics party. It was a fun day of great people, inspiration, food, and events...

This was the javelin throw. They had marked areas on the floor with tape and labeled them with 30%, 25%, 20%, and 15%. We each had several tries to throw a large knitting needle toward a bushel basket of yarn balls and try to stick it in. We'd start at the 30% spot. If we didn't make it in, we'd move to the 25% spot, and so on. When someone got the needle into the yarn, they'd win that percentage discount on a purchase for that day. If we didn't get any needles to stick, but at least tried, we'd get 10% off. I got 10%, but it was fun. Here are some knitters giving it a try...

Another event was the yarn ball shot put where we tried "putting" a large yarn ball across the room. They would place a mark on the floor for where each yarn ball "put" landed. The person who "put" it the farthest won. My mom won "gold" (a container of chocolate gold coins). Here's someone giving it a try...

One event was the "basketball" (aka ball of yarn) toss. We tried tossing a large ball of yarn up into a basket on top of a yarn display. I did pretty good at that and won "silver" (a container of Hershey Kisses). I didn't get any pictures of that event.

Then, there was speed knitting. We took turns in twos and tried to knit as much and as fast as we could to see how many rows (18 stitches wide) and stitches we could do in three minutes. The needles were long and heavy and probably about size 13. The yarn was really thick and almost like tight roving. Those two things added to the challenge. It think this event was my favorite...

Of course, what is a fiber gathering without show-n-tell? There were a lot of great things to see, including this beautiful circular lace shawl knitted by the lady in the peach colored shirt. Unfortunately, this picture doesn't show how gorgeous it is...

Linda, the shop owner, was so gracious to host such a wonderful event with games, food, prizes, and even discounts. So, I couldn't leave without buying more yarn! I know...I just said in my last post that I was trying not to buy could I not? This was absolutely the right thing to do...and of! She had some great new sock yarns at great prices. I chose these two. I got the one on the right to make socks for hubby and the one on the left is for me. So pretty and soft and only $8.25 per ball. Not bad.

One final challenge of the day was to bring a UFO to finish during the course of the real Olympic Games. We signed up and had our pictures taken with our current progress. We'll check in after the games to share what we've done and there will be more prizes. I decided to challenge myself and try to complete my Pomatamus socks. I had started them a few months ago but set them aside from deflated confidence when I'd tried to knit some lace socks that didn't work out very well. So far, I only have a cuff completed. Time to dive into the challenging part. Whew! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Knitting Diseases

Lately I seem to have a bad case of 'finishitis'. I've been so focused on finishing a couple of projects that I haven't been starting new ones. Weird! But good...kinda. It gets a bit dull sometimes. But, I think I feel a case of 'startitis' coming on.....

I've been finding myself looking through patterns, hoping to find a new and exciting project to start on...but...just when I think I've decided on something, I tell myself that I need to stay focused on my Crescendo Shawl and adding to my stack of completed washcloths for Christmas. I don't want to set these projects aside and forget about them. These projects are fun but they keep going and going and going....I knit and knit and knit on the shawl and feel like I've made huge progress only to measure and find out that I've only added another inch or so. Hmmmmff!

Maybe a new project once in a while will keep breathing life and fun back into these ongoing projects. I do have a bit of a challenge though in finding a new project...the pattern I choose needs to work with one of the yarns I already have. I have so many nice yarns that need to be used and I'm trying not to buy more yarn until I make a significant... really significant...dent in my stash. Well, with the exception of all the Sugar N Cream I've bought over the past few months...I guess I can't stop buying yarn all together...that would be like an addict giving up their vice...and, I'm defiitely a yarn addict! But, seriously...I do have some nice yarns. I just need to be a good matchmaker and find perfect matches for them. long as I don't start another big project...I think it would be okay to start a new, shorter one here and there.

So....maybe startitis won't be a bad thing as long as I don't recover from finishitis completely!