Friday, June 29, 2007


Hi from Colorado..... Well, after 15 hours of drive time we made it out to Colorado. (Ok, 15 hours of drive time for Steve... Kirstin and I had 15 hours of knitting and watching movies!!)
And, of couse, the occasional stop for gas and such and to take pictures of Kirstin on little green dinosaurs!

We are staying with our friends, Paul and Sheri, at her parent's condo. We don't spend much time online as there is only one 'hot spot' in the whole condo, and that is on the stair landing going upstairs. Pretty funny, actually!

Yesterday we spent a part of the day shopping in Frisco. Bought a little yarn at the cute yarn shop on Main Street and enjoyed a Strawberry Peach smoothie!

Our adventure today started with a horseback ride up into the mountains by Breckenridge. Here you see yours truly on my horse Pythagarus (nickname Pi) taking a picture of Paul. (Who, of course, was taking a picture of me at the same time.) My horse was very 'gentle' shall I say, so I was able to do some photography along the ride (because he didn't need me to guide him to follow the rear end of the next horse.....)

Here are the 3 'kids' before they are assigned their horses:

It was a beautiful ride. I love Colorado and I think we have pretty much decided to move here when Steve retires!! Speaking of Steve, here he is on his horse 'Sweetie'. Personally I think this beautiful horse was a little embarassed about his name!!

Along the trail... I was the last horse, so unless I looked to the right or left, my view didn't change much!!

But, Oh the view. Like I said. I do love Colorado. Quite a bit different landscape than Iowa!! I am missing my boys... wish they could have joined us! Next time for sure. And, of course, Nikko and Sumo. (It's Nikko's 12th birthday today, actually!) But it is great to have this time with our dear friends. We just don't get together often enough! I'll post more after the weekend and have some knitting updates for you! (I'm casting on some socks after I post!)

Until Next Time.....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Parade Photos!

Well, the parade was a huge success! The weather was perfect; the llamas did extremely well and everyone had fun! It was a great parade to be in. So many people come out for this parade. It is a little over a mile long and people are 3-4 deep the whole route clapping and having fun.

Kirstin and Sebastian led the group. (Mostly because Sebastian does not like to follow anybody!!) The parade went at a nice pace and we were able to keep up with the group ahead of us quite nicely!

Following the group was my dear sweet husband. This was his first parade so as a newbie he got assigned the glamorous title of 'Pooper Scooper'. (Everyone has to take their turn, and today was his lucky day!) Fortunately for him there was only one incident that required his services!!

This was quite a bit out of his comfort zone. But he did it for Kirstin. (A Father's love endures much!!)

And it was all worth it for him. Kirstin was so happy to have him in the parade. (Steve is just hoping that since he is on vacation for 10 days the image of him as 'pooper scooper' will have dimmed in the minds of his patients and partners....)

Sebastian gets a kiss for a job well done!

Sumo stayed home and took care of things around the farm. (i.e. he slept the whole time!)

He is getting a little nervous today as he is watching me pack our suitcases and get the car ready for vacation. (We are off to Colorado in the morning!) He won't be coming with, but has someone fun coming to stay here and take care of him. (i.e. watch him sleep!)

I hope to post from Colorado some of the fun knitting that I'll be doing... I have lots of yarn and patterns packed (plus have several yarn shops to visit while out there!)

Until Next Time....

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Parade Practice....

Today is the day of the big parade that Kirstin and her friends have been training their llamas for! It's overcast and cool, which should be perfect! Kirstin and Sebastian have been going on daily walks in preparation. On Wednesday we made the 1 mile walk up to Barn Happy where Kirstin sells homemade cookies and scones. (We actually delivered the cookies via llama...)

Here you see them ready to head down the road.....

And here we are at our destination with 40 extra large Monster Cookies to deliver.

I love Barn Happy! (The home of barn good coffee!!) Kris and Tim took this hog barn and after hours and hours of work, turned it into the greatest coffee/gift shop I've seen. Everything they sell is made in or has roots in Iowa. If you are ever in the area, you must stop in. (And do try the scones or monster cookies!)

The tote is coming along quite nicely! Side one is now complete and I am well into side two. Hoping to have it ready to felt when we go to Galena on Monday.

Kirstin has also been doing some knitting and has made these adorable baby hats. Not sure yet what lucky baby will get to wear them, but aren't they adorable??

Until Next Time....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Plugging Away....

I am slowly but surely making progress on my circle tote. I keep it out in the family room and whenever I have a chance, I sit and do a row or two. It is knit on straight needles, which means that every other row is a purl row. I have to tell you, I prefer knitting over purling, but am getting better and faster at it, so it is a good project in that regard. (Plus, I just love how it is turning out).

Here is a better picture that shows how it is coming along. I only have about 20 rows or so left with this first side, and then I'll be able to cast on side two. I can just imagine several color combinations that this would be fun to do in!

Had a relaxing weekend for the most part. First order of business was trying to discourage the robin from hanging out on our window sill. Kirstin took a couple of your suggestions and this is now what my window looks like. A 'scarey' picture of Kirstin hangs in the one pane, and strips of tin foil flap in the breeze on the others. It did help for a bit, but he is back and seems intent on looking in the window. (Plus, I think he's fallen in love with Kirstin.......)

My one project this weekend was to clean up the weed patch that had been my 'garden' last year. (I use the term garden loosely so as not to offend any real gardeners out there.... my gardens are usually mostly weeds!) Anyways, I needed to remove tomato cages and mow down the weeds. As I was pulling up the cages, I noticed several 'volunteer' tomato plants trying hard to grow. (One even had blossoms already!!) I carefully weeded around them and gave them each a tomato cage and am very excited to think I may even have some yummy tomatoes this year after all!

Kirstin has been spending lots of time working with her llama Sebastian. She is going to be marching with him in our town's parade this weekend. She and her llama friends have been in several small town parades in the past, but this is their first time doing one of this size (and where she'll know LOTS of people on the sidelines). Steve has 'volunteered' to march along and carry the pooper scooper. A very humbling job to say the least!

Sumo has his own ideas of what to do with animal droppings. He rolls in it! Yuck! I guess dogs think that rolling in poop disguises their smell and makes them better hunters. In the wild maybe that's a good thing. But when you are a house dog, it is a BAD thing! It means you have to take a bath or two and can't come in until you pass the smell test! Poor Sumo, it's been a long day for him waiting for the 'ok' to come in.

Well, back to my knitting. I'm hoping to finish side 1 of the tote tonight.

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Well, I have cast on and begun my circle tote. It is quite the challenge for me but I think I am slowly making some progress and catching on to a thing or two. It is a bit cumbersome having all the different yarns dangling from the back, but I LOVE the way it is turning out and hope to be able to master it to some degree so I can do more of these!!

I finished and felted my 2nd Moebius basket.
It is amazing how different yarns knit and felt. These two baskets are exactly the same pattern.. same number of stitches etc.., but very different in final size. The maroon one is made with Reynolds Lopi yarn and is quite hairy! The striped one is with Crystal Palace Fjord.

My Magical Knitting books came yesterday and I am trying to decide what project to start next!

We have a love-sick robin. He pines away at his reflection in our window day in and day out. I am not quite sure what to do! I don't know if he was thwarted in love; lost his mate; is extremely narcisstic or what??

The biggest problem with the robin, is the 'gifts' that he leaves himself on our window sill and the deck and, well, everywhere! Yuck! And now that it's berry season, the 'gifts' are quite colorful!! We have tried several things to discourage our robin. Papers in the windows, picture of another, very ugly, bird etc.. To no avail....

I thought of asking Sumo to do something (like eat) the robin. I mean, he's a big strong lab who is born and bred to hunt, right? Well, I guess he belongs to the local chapter of LACTR. (Labs Against Cruelty To Robins) and was quite offended that I even suggested it. Go figure!

Any ideas or suggestions appreciated.

Until Next Time....

Friday, June 08, 2007

Meet my new friend Pablo....

This is my new friend, Pablo. He came to me from across the seas. Julie, from The Little Cotton Rabbits Shop in the United Kingdom, knits and sells the most amazing toys. You have to be faster than a speeding bullet in order to get one.. and I just happened to luck out the other day when she listed her latest batch!

Here you see Pablo settled in quite nicely with his new guard dog, Sumo.

As for me, I have almost got another Moebius basket ready to felt. I figured I should knit up another one while the technique was fresh in my mind. They don't take too long to make, and I love the way they turn out. I think they would make great gifts. I am excitedly awaiting the arrival of Cat Bordhi's two Magical Knitting books that have many more Moebius patterns in them!

Once this is done, I plan on casting on The Circle Tote by Leigh Radford. I just got the pattern and have the yarn chosen and ready to go. I have never done this type of knitting - should be fun!

Kirstin and I just returned yesterday from her orientation at the university she'll be attending in the Fall. This is the sticker that I had to wear because I had already sent 2 to college. I have to tell you, I was a little uncomfortable with the wording of the sticker. I felt like a hypocrite. (Because I am definitely NOT an expert parent!!) Perhaps 'experienced parent' would have been a better phrase!!!

Summer is starting to heat up around here and I thought I would share one of my favorite summer time treats. These taste so good on a hot day! (They also happen to be part of our family Christmas breakfast as well!!) I keep a good supply in the freezer during the summer.


1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice
1 6-ounce can frozen lemonade
1 10-oz pack frozen strawberries
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple
small jar maraschino cherries & juice (diced if desired)
2 1/2 cups water
3-4 bananas, sliced or cubed

1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Freeze in small cups, or in a 9 X 13 pan.
3. Remove from freezer 45 minutes before serving.
4. Cover with club soda or ginger ale when you take it out of freezer.
5. (Small cups can also be microwaved for 20-30 seconds)

Well, I will end with a final picture of Pablo meeting Nikko.
As with most of my knitting/blog materials, Nikko finds Pablo quite boring and is happy to let Sumo be his official guard dog.
(Guarding knit bears is a bit beneath her dignity, I guess!) Pablo doesn't seem to care. He's just happy to be out of his manilla envelope and off that big jet plane he had to ride in.

Until Next Time....

Monday, June 04, 2007


Yes, that is what I felt most of this past weekend at The National NeedleArts Association Convention in Columbus. WOW! It was just amazing to see all the vendors and the incredible yarns; accessories; books; etc.. that are available for everything from knitting to needlepoint. I met wonderful people and had just a wonderful time. Here are just a few of the highlights:

I took a class on moebius knitting from Cat Bordhi. It was so much fun! I wish I could describe what moebius knitting is, but it would be nearly impossible. She describles/teaches it in her Magical Knitting books.. which, of course, I had to order as soon as I got home. Here is a picture of Cat and I after the class was done.

I finished my moebius basket on the turbulent plane ride home (have I mentioned that I don't care to fly.. and turbulence about does me in???). Anyways, it did help to knit, but I still didn't enjoy the flight very much!! Here is my finished basket... The moebius portion of the basket is the handle.. See how it twists? That's the magical part of moebius....

A fun bonus for this class was that the $25.00 class fee was waived because Skacel Co. had donated Addi Circular needles for all of us and Crystal Palace donated the yarn!

I can't wait to cast on another...

I also met Nicky Epstein and was one of 50 lucky people to get a free autographed copy of her latest book 'Knitting Never Felt Better'. What fun! It is a book I had wanted to get and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Lucky me. I also got a free autographed one of her Nicky Knits bags. Just another one of the many free gifts I received.

In fact, here is a picture of more of my goodies: some yarn from Briggs and Little in Canada (which I have been wanting to try); Mauch Chunky and Naturally Nazareth wool yarn from Kraemer Yarns; a pair of Takumi Velvet bamboo needles from Clover; Samples of wool cleaning product from Unicorn; A whole goodie bag from Nancy's Knit Knacks and another autographed book by Berta Karapetyan..'Runway Knits'.

Another author I enjoyed meeting tremedously was Leigh Radford, author of One Skein. I have loved this book and have made many things from it. She also has pattern for a Wobbles Tote that I am just itching to make. I couldn't take a picture, as I met her in the Great Hall of Vendors where cameras were not allowed. Bummer.

Of course, the biggest highlight was spending the weekend with my good friend Sheri! We laughed; ate (way too much!!); shopped and ate some more!! It was fun to see all of the fun new things she'll be adding to The Loopy Ewe. She also helped me start my dream of someday having a yarn shop of my own. Wouldn't that be the greatest???

I will end with a litle something I learned today about the spiders that I have living in my house. They appear to be very special spiders. Most spiders, as you know, eat insects and other things that get trapped in their webs. My spiders seem to prefer chocolate. Here you see an innocent M&M that has fallen prey. It's a goner! At least it's nice to know my spiders have good taste!!

Until Next Time...