Friday, December 28, 2007

Bought myself some yarn for Christmas.

Laceweight Malabrigo, in "Polar Morn." Unfortunately, no picture I can take of it will do it justice. The color isn't that flat and gray.. it's got wonderful subtle changes from icy white to silvery bluish gray. And it's so damn soft. It's currently on the needles, and I can't decide if I never want to finish the project, or if I want to finish quickly so I can get another skein! Haha.

However, the best Christmas present I got was pictures of the kiddos in their new hats, all smiles. Too cute.

Monday, December 24, 2007

New views

Well, we've moved. Mostly.

Soon, all of the books, cat hair, wires, and dust will be completely emptied from the old house, and completely filling this new one.

I like that.

I also like my new view in the mornings:

(Not two minutes later the entire cemetery was lit up with brilliant morning sun.. but my batteries conked after this one shot. Oh well. It's really prettier in person anyway.)

Some mornings it's filled with mist. And every day the river is chock-full o' seagulls. Silly birds. They're the most well-fed birds in the state, I think. Every few hours someone different pulls up to feed them. I haven't gone by for an up-close visit yet, but I'll bet they're fat little dudes.

I haven't been knitting or riding much, since we've been doing all this moving. But today I've gotten to work some on a Zeebee for myself, out of Beaverslide Dry Goods Fisherman weight yarn. Ooooh, I love that stuff. It's soft and squishy (well, relatively so), and just feels so natural. Every once in awhile I come across a little piece of vegetable matter.. but even that is soft, unlike what you often find in Noro Silk Garden. Little pieces of grass, not little twigs. ;) It's lovely stuff, really.

And since I'm on the subject now, I'm planning on using Beaverslide Worsted for my Central Park Hoodie. Yeah, I'm way past late on this one. Everyone has knit it. But I don't care. That is one sweater that I can see myself wearing constantly, unlike some of the other stuff I've knit. And I'm thinking I might change the cables up some, since I'm little bored with basic cabling.

Oh! Which reminds me.. I do have an FO to post. ;) I just don't like it.

Utopia, by Smariek
Tahki Donegal Tweed
color 839 (olive), 1 skein

This was another fun one to knit (I love things that can be finished in one day!). Unfortunately, I didn't have the smaller sized needles that I should've used for the ribbing at the bottom, so it's not snug over my ears. I like warm ears. That's why I like hats. (Well, that and that I don't have to fuss with my hair. (Not that I ever do anyway.)) Perhaps it will be better as a fall/spring hat than a winter one.

Next up in the queue (along with the CPH) is a hat/scarf set for a wonderful friend. She even requested them! That made me all warm and fuzzy... :) I love to knit, but it makes it all the better when you're knitting something specifically for someone.. and are using a pattern they like and colors they love. And I think I've found the o-so-perfect yarn!

Well! That's quite enough of that. One last picture; this one of my tr
ee. It was my grandmother's - she gave it to me a few years ago. Mom says she has slides of it from when she was young....

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Missing my boys...

It's funny how fantastic warm eyes and fuzzy ears can make me feel.

And how lost I feel without my boys.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

More Squirrel

(Can you see that smile?)

I've had a complaint (no names) that there's a decided lack of Squirrellishness on the blog. So here's some more...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


But oh how different they are!

Zeebee #1
Knit Picks Merino Style
Colors "Dusk" and "Storm"

Try as I might, I simply could not get good pictures of the hats today. At least this one shows my favorite part of this particular hat - how it all comes together at the top! The striping accentuates the utter coolness of short rows.

Zeebee #2
Tahki Donegal Tweed
Colors 839 (olive) & 844 (navy)

My counting skills must be lacking - and counting is unfortunately an integral part of figuring out gauge! (Who knew.) Z#2 turned out to be a bit short, so I picked up stitches and did 5 or 6 rows of reverse stockinette in olive. I like the look! Though, my favorite part is on the "inside" of the hat - if I were to keep this one, I'd wear it inside out.

Inside-out shot. Love the extra bits of color
parallel to the rolled brim!

One more Christmas hat to go! And I'm even halfway through it... yay! For some reason, I'm still having fun with hats and have a few more in the wings. I think I love that you can take one skein of yarn, a few hours of time, and have yourself a fun, warm, wooly hat to keep those ears toasty.

My ears like to be toasty.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Zeebee! 1, 2, 3!

Fantastic name. Knitting the hat is nearly as much fun. Use whatever yarn you want, make the hat fit anyone you want.. and it goes so quickly. The interactive number generator even makes swatching fun. And I feel like a big dork admitting it, but I even enjoyed the grafting. The whole project just comes together so neatly.

I've finished Zeebee #1 for one of my nephews, and Zeebee #2 (for the other nephew) is nearing completion. Zeebee #3 will be for Me! Think it'll have to be made from the Beaverslide yarn I've been hoarding....

Pictures on the way when I've finished all the Christmas hats.

Last night, despite the temperature being somewhere in the 30's, we stopped in at Pitango for gelato. I'm not big on gelato, but this stuff's amazing. My cup was 1/2 full of cinnamon, 1/2 full of dark chocolate. Divine. If you're ever in the area, say.. buying yarn at A Good Yarn.. and are yearning for something sweet and fresh, you've gotta stop. And if you're not okay with a cold dessert in the winter, they have rich "sipping" hot chocolate that'll warm you right up. (You can also get a shot of hot chocolate with a shot of espresso! Ayy!) Seriously. Good stuff.

Monday, November 26, 2007

In which actual Finished Objects appear

Well, they've been done for awhile, but the gloomy weather has delayed pictures. (But oh, how I love thee, gloomy weather!)

Ravelry, who has been so kind as to help me choose Christmas gifts for my nephews, has been quite a time-hog. Not that I'm complaining. But jeez, why does she have to be So Cool?

On left: Piggle
Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light
1 skein

On right: Almost-Famous Luggy Bonnet
(from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick)
Knit Picks Merino Style

The Piggle was great fun! I almost want one for myself. (Think it'll look much more cute on my niece though!) Hats for the boys are now underway - which means Christmas knitting is now over half done!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thoughts on riding

Lately I've been trying to work on myself when riding. One of my problems since starting dressage is that I look down. Try as I might, I couldn't break this unhelpful habit. However, the other day while I was riding I realized I wasn't looking down much at all. Three things helped this, I think. First, the riding ring is located at the top of a hill, and the views are quite nice. It's all I can do to not stare out. ;) Second, in trying to improve myself, I'm caring less what Addy's head and neck are doing each moment. Before, I didn't trust myself to have a good enough feel. Now, in trying not to nag her, I'm finding that I can feel her better. She feels slightly above the bit, I correct my position, she feels right again. Cool! Last, I'm trying to ride better corners. Sloppy corners is an awful habit left over from my hunter days. The ring I currently ride in is smaller than I'm used to, so I'm forced to utilize every inch of it. With hunters, you look around your corner to where you're going to end up. But now, in order to get deep into the corner, staying straight and balanced, I have to look at the corner itself until we're there, practically hitting the fence. Then I can slide my eyes around the fence, helping to keep me close to it.

Addy is a very sensitive (but sensible) girl. I'm thinking that I'm going to start training her to go bridleless soon. She's practically there anyway, I just need to fine-tune a little. Horses ridden bridleless generally go in a lower frame.. which is not something that Addy really needs to do (she loves to stretch and wallow!).. but I think she will benefit from being allowed to find her own balance while I'm on her back. Her daddy goes bridleless, and it's a fantastic thing to watch!

*Blaengwen Dafydd Y Gwas going bridleless.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I have a lot to do, and not much to say.. so here are some shots of Addy at her new home.

Crappy shot, but I was trying to get the fading fall colors along with the ponies.
The boy in the blanket is the herd "stallion" and Addy's new BFF.

Not an artsy shot - I was reading, Adds was eating - then she saw
something interesting. Look at that fuzzy nose!

Addy's eavil sister, Dragon's Lair Lady Lindsay. Early morning in Florida.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Time flies...

A new yarn store has opened in Gainesville, FL - Hanks Yarn and Fiber. And it's a goodie! My mom and I stopped by for a visit yesterday afternoon. The smell hit us first.. freshly brewed coffee.. cozy and wholesome. Mmmmm. We were warmly invited in for coffee and browsing. And then we saw the yarn. Double mmmmm! I had never seen so much Lorna's Laces or Malabrigo in one place before. Insanely gorgeous. I couldn't keep my hands off of the Malabrigo lace and the Lorna's Laces superwash worsted. My ooh my!

The women in the shop were friendly, funny, and not at all pushy. The selection was colorful and luxurious. I wish we could've stayed longer to explore, chat, and buy.. but we were in a rush to get back to St. Augustine. Hanks is a fun, fun store.. definitely one to spend an afternoon in!

The other fiber excitement for the weekend was a return visit to one of my favorite yarn stores, Yarnworks, also in Gainesville. They boast a huge collection of yarns, neatly packed on shelves from floor to ceiling. This store has the largest collection of Noro I've found in my limited LYS shopping. (And oh how I love Noro!) Handknit sweaters, hats, slippers, bags, afghans, and socks adorn the rooms, tempting you with possibilities. They also have tons of patterns to look through.

My big, happy find here was the 2006 Knitscene issue with the pattern for the Central Park Hoodie. I've been drawn to this sweater again and again - it's just so me. Tweedy, cabley, easy-to-wear, buttony goodness. But I kept talking myself out of going out of the way to find the pattern. Luckily, this one jumped into my hands (and they had a few more issues, if you're looking!), and now I have to knit it. The hardest part will be choosing the yarn! Cascade 220 Heathers seems a good choice, but I've been dying to try out the Beaverslide worsted I have stashed, and now that I've touched the Lorna's Laces Shepard worsted I want to knit a sweater with that even more than before. Malabrigo is also on the short list.. sooo soft. I'm just not sure if it'll hold up to the high use that I'm anticipating this little hoodie to get. Suggestions?

Well! My last fiber surprise for the weekend was the acquisition of a pile of vintage knitting patterns from my grandmother. Those demand an entire post of their own, though! :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Trailering Adventure

Yesterday was moving day for Miss Addy. And what a day it was.

Let me just say that solid, roomy, aluminum four horses are the way to go. I've *never* had problems loading my girl before, but I've also never tried to stuff her into a shoebox before. I'm immensely grateful that someone was willing to trailer her for me, and immensely grateful that they didn't leave us at the curb. But jeez.

All's well that ends well, and Adventure seems to be settling into her new home just fine. Being a very social girl, she detests being in quarantine.. but I intend to be out there with her every day. She'll be out with the herd soon enough.

And the new place is gorgeous!

(No, there aren't still buttercups here in the fall. But I couldn't resist putting an Addy picture in an Addy post!)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

In Memory...

.. of Dragon's Lair Goldwing (*Blaengwen Dafydd y Gwas x Madoc Erian, *Kentchurch Chime). 2006 Welsh Cob filly.

.. and of Norman, the terrier who ruled the farm, and warmed the laps of all who sat.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Life has been hectic, with 10 family members packed into my little 2 bedroom place.. getting Addy ready for another move.. house hunting.. and lots of "touristy" stuff. It's been fun though!

The knitting part of the Luggy Bonnet is done - we'll see how long it takes me to get through the weaving in, blocking, and sewing. So many little ends to weave in! I'm thinking the other niece will end up getting a different hat. Perhaps the Piggle?

My mother is hooked on knitting again! (How do I not have a picture of her with her gorgeous, almost-finished Silk Garden scarf??) I had a fantastic time learning about the history of knitting and other fiber arts in our family. Through the years I've proudly inherited a cardigan that my mother knit when she was a teenager, as well as a gorgeous cream coat that my grandmother knit years ago. I hope to get my hands on something that my great-grandmother created as well. Being at least a fourth generation knitter is too cool. Even more incentive to get my nieces into it someday.

Baltimore is such a fun place to be a knitter. Mom and I visited almost all of the area yarn shops, as well as one in Richmond. Oh my - such eye candy everywhere! The best part is that each store has its own unique personality. And all were brimming over with treasures. In love!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

In trouble now...

I didn't understand the whole sock knitting craze. Yeah, they're quick and easy. And boy do I love socks. (I like mine argyle, stripey.. preferably knee-high) But why spend $20+ on a pair of socks that you have to make yourself?

Ah, but now I understand. It's all about.. the shoes.

I'm not a shoe girl. I like my Doc boots, and my $5 flip flops suit me just fine. But my old short Docs have finally been retired, and needing something else, I have finally splurged on some fantastic Mary Janes.

These babies just scream for some kick ass socks. Socks that one can't find in any store. $20+ socks that I knit myself.

Oh boy.

(That's some Mountain Colors sock yarn in the picture.. yarn I was in love with but had no idea what to do with before these shoes!)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Endless scarves...

So I finished scarves for two very special guys a month or so ago.. took pictures of them.. finally sent them out a few days ago. Yes, I'm very bad at getting things done sometimes. But here they are...

Generic 1 x 1 Rib Scarf
Joseph Galler Inca Cotton Yarn, c
olor Oz
1 skein?

Though it's simple, I LOVE this scarf. The cotton is so so soft. Quick to knit. Squishy. Not too hot. Organic. And how cool is it that the yarn is that perfect color green.. without dye?! I definitely need to make another - it just seems so rustically luxurious. (Is that possible?)

The next scarf is for an amazing friend who doesn't seem to care if I send him his birthday presents 6 months late. I wanted something simple, green, and wearable, that would accentuate his tallness and shield him from the cold Chicago winds. And tweedishness is always good.

Berroco Ultra Alpaca, color 6277
3 skeins

The picture does it no justice. The color reminds me of dark moss on stone.. carved stone thanks to the cables. But it was a long, tedious knit. And the yarn, while passably soft, could be more so. Overall I'm happy with it, and hope its recipient is too!

Next up are 2 Almost-Famous Luggy Bonnets (from Melanie Falick's Weekend Knitting) for my nieces. Then a sweater or two! (For me!)

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Growing up in Florida, I never had the experience of fall. So now I'm thoroughly enjoying the beginnings of my first fall in Maryland! The past few days have been spectacular - clear, humidity-less, crisp. Perfect weather for riding and knitting! Superb nights for hot tea and snuggling under the covers (and oh, how the Squirrel agrees!)... And the house is finally cool enough for soups, baking, and socks. I love it!

And the best is yet to come!

Yesterday, despite round two of a cold that's hitting me hard, I had a fantastic ride on Addy. The wildlife was out - a fox scooted across the ring and some deer passed by us in the woods. Addy was moving well once we warmed up, and I fell in love with her all over again.

She's just so honest, sensitive, and responsive. She doesn't hold grudges. I try to mirror that.. it's not always so easy!

I've found that she works best when I'm not fussing about what she's doing wrong, but when I'm concentrating on riding correctly myself. How can she be off her forehand when I'm looking down? How can she have a soft mouth if I'm always fiddling with it? How can she be soft, happy, and balanced, if I'm not? She can't! For the next few months we're going to be working on the basics.. lots of no stirrup work for me, lots of circles, bending, and leg yielding. Lots of transitions using only the seat. (She always gets stiff and above the bit during a downward transition, which I'm sure is a direct result of me asking incorrectly.)

I learn so much from my Adventure.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Here goes...

So I've finally given in. Shameful! But being a part of the blogging community (especially those knitters!) is just too tempting to pass up. And who doesn't like to be a little self-indulgent every once in awhile?

If you stick around, you'll probably find me talking most about 3 things that rule my life, and my goals for each:

Knitting: I'm a perfectionist, and want things to fit perfectly. I want them to feel wonderful, be useful, and be 'me.' Knitting seems well-suited to these sentiments.. plus it's just addictive. Zillions of colors, exquisite textures, fun math, and the thrill of getting everything Just Right. Yes, I'm unfortunately addicted.

Adventure: My partner in dressage.. Dragon's Lair Adventure. I am totally smitten with her. She is half Welsh Cob, half Thoroughbred. She's gorgeous, hilarious, talented, honest, and oh-so-friendly (especially if you have food). Someday we will get to Second Level!

Squirrel: Ha. No goals for this kitty. But she insisted to be let in on the fun.

So that's that!