Frogs, Fresh Starts and Road Work

Despite my best efforts, the little pink cardi just wasn't doing it for me.  When I got to the yoke, the shape took a decidedly alarming turn and didn't look as if it would fit any baby I knew.  So it has been frogged:


But all is not lost!  I remembered that I had a small stash of baby afghans for just such an occasion and a pretty pink ripple afghan will soon be winging its way to my great niece.  I think I've learned a lesson from this (stop laughing!).  Afghans will now be my go-to baby gift.  They are for the most part mindless knitting, don't have to fit and can be stashed away for quick gifts that don't look quick at all.

This did free me up to start something new.  Marguerite and I had decided to start a KAL on Labor Day.  With her blessing, I started a few days early – she will zip past me in no time flat!  We are working on the Set-In Sleeve Aran from Janet Szabo's book, Aran Sweater Design.  Marguerite has dubbed this "Chenille" because it looks like a design from a chenille bedspread.  My version is being made from Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool in a deep rose:


Not the best view of the cables, but the color is pretty true.  You'll notice that there is some cable splay in the border.  Janet has purposely left it in so that the sweater will have some shaping.  I'm just a tad nervous about that as I have no shaping in that area.  I'm going on faith assuming that some of it will block out and the rest will give me the nice feminine shape that I lack!  Miracle sweater!!   Or delusion.

Time to bring you up to date on our neverending road project that has finally ended.  As you may recall, last spring WSDOT (affectionately known around here as "washdot") started a major road project at the end of our driveway.  They lowered the road as much as 10 feet in some areas, but about 3 feet by our driveway.  Unfortunately, winter weather came early and they were forced to put the project on hold until this spring.  They left us with this lovely bump for the entire winter:


They did put in a transition strip, but at the beginning it was only about 3 feet wide.  We complained and they came out and widened it.  It still was a challenge as we are pulling out onto a very busy highway.  Coming in was just as much fun because you had to come to almost a dead stop to avoid jarring your teeth out.  It was always great fun to watch in the rear view mirror and anticipate someone not paying attention and plowing into you!  Spring came this year along with great hopes of a speedy finish.  Alas, it was not to be!  The Department of Natural Resources decided that road work was unfriendly to a nest of eagles nearby and ordered that the work not be resumed until after the baby eagles had fledged, mid July.  Of course, DNR did nothing to step in on the 4th of July when fireworks were going off for 24 hours straight right around the nest, but I digress.  Finally, this week the work was finished and we could not be happier.  This is even better than before they started because we actually have about 30 feet of real road to pull into our driveway:


Enough lollygagging around -  I need to get up and get started.  A whole lovely day ahead of me with no one at home (hubby's off to a car show) and nowhere to go.  I'll put a roast in the crockpot and spend a lovely day in my sewing room.  Heaven!

Another Busy Week

Once again it's been a bit of a hectic week here at Missouri Star.  Work was pretty intense this week with one 10 hour day with no lunch break!  Fortunately I'm looking at two four day weekends coming up in the next two weeks.  I'm looking forward to some down time puttering around in my sewing room.

First up – a blogger meet up!  I was so pleased that Theresa of TJ Knits and her charming husband Tim stopped by on their way back from a second honeymoon trip to the Olympic Peninsula.  Check out her blog – she takes the most incredible photos!  I'm happy to report that she is just as beautiful in person as she is on her blog.  I was so thrilled to meet her!


In between work and other responsibilities, I was able to play around a bit with my new quilt hoop:


Sitting and quilting with this brought back to me how much I LOVE hand quilting and how much I've missed it while I was in school.  It was always easier to just pick up and put down knitting when I only had a few minutes.  Yesterday was our local quilt guild show.  It's held at Greenbank Farm on the south end of the island.  It's really a beautiful venue, but as at our last show two years ago, the wind seemed to be a problem and we were fighting to keep quilts from blowing away!  My only entry was a duplicate that I made of Ivy's baby quilt:


During the busy week we did take a few moments to wish Happy Birthday to our sweet girl – she turned one year old on Wednesday:


Fear not that knitting has totally been abandoned!  I've been working on what I hoped would be a quick baby gift, but I'm having my doubts.  Hubby's niece had a little girl after two boys and I thought she needed something girly:


I'm a little uncomfortable about the body – it looks too short.  Advice is needed on this!  What do you think?

Bad Blogger

I've really been a bad blogger this summer, but it has turned out to be an incredibly busy summer and something had to give!  It's a shame when you're so busy with things to blog about that you don't have time to blog!  It doesn't help that many activities have taken me off the island and away from home.

Last weekend I took the bus down to the ferry and my sister picked me up on the other side.  We drove into Seattle for the Association of Pacific Northwest Quilters Show.  Talk about sensory overload!  There were so many incredible quilts.  I took a ton of photos, but here are two of my favorites:


This quilt is Summer Afternoon by Connie Ayers and won Best Hand Workmanship (deservedly so!)


Hanging by a Thread by Bonnie Keller won Best Use of Color.  This quilt was mind boggling!  All of the shading in the women's faces was done with the use of fabrics, not thread painting.  Of course, I came home incredibly inspired and determined to create something to enter in their next show two years from now.  However, I had a deadline to finish a current quilt that has been promised for a show next weekend and really had to put my nose to the grindstone – or fingers to the frame as it were.  I finished it last night while watching the Olympics and it's in the washing machine soaking now.  Next weekend is our local guild's show and I should be able to get a good picture of it for you then.

Sis and I came back to the island on Saturday and were treated to a whale watching cruise by hubby.  It was actually my sister's Christmas gift from hubby, but I got to go along for the ride:


The day turned out to be on the drizzly side, but the Orcas didn't mind the wet and came out in force.  At times we didn't know which side of the boat to look on, there were so many!  However, for big creatures, they're pretty quick and it was almost impossible to get a good picture.  This is the best that I managed – I'll never be a nature photographer!


As a special treat, we did get to see a mock battle between the Lady Washington (featured in Pirates of the Carribean) and another tall ship:


And a fuzzy photo showing that knitting was indeed accomplished on the cruise:


Unfortunately my driver's license was a casualty of the trip.  I think it now sleeps with the fishes at the bottom of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Just to show that I have indeed been creatively busy, here's a photo of a quilt top that I completed for Quilts of Valor – an organization with the goal of giving a quilt to every wounded soldier:


And last but not least, yesterday I paused at the end of my driveway to chronicle the road construction (yet a whole 'nother story!) and was greeted by this little visitor:


This was one of a set of twins, but I couldn't get them both in the same picture.  He (or she) was quite inquisitive and let me get pretty close.  I didn't see mama, but I'm sure she was close by.  We've seen them up in my yard and have provided them a tasty meal with my rose bushes (sigh!).  Hope to have more quilty pictures next week from our local quilt show!

Where’s Summer?

For a summer that has yet to show it’s face, we’ve been very busy!  So far we’ve struggled to break the 70 degree mark and most days it’s been a guess whether we’d even break 60.  Not that I’m complaining too much – I hate hot weather and if a cool summer is the trade-off, I’m game.  But that hasn’t stopped us from being really, really busy. Hence, the lack of blogging.

Last weekend was our annual knitter’s picnic that we host for the group on the adjoining island.  The company was warm, even if the weather was not.  More than a few wool sweaters that were brought for show and tell were quickly donned after being shown:


And we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful venue:


This past week was busy with company from Southern California – hubby’s sister Wendy, and her son Miles.  This picture was taken at a local lavender farm where hubby is participating in an arts and crafts festival with his airplanes.


Needless to say the dogs, especially Maggie, were thrilled to have 14-year-old boy to run them ragged:

Miles & the dogs Aug 08

They left this morning and Maggie is now crashed on the floor where she will hopefully sleep peacefully all weekend (and stay out of trouble).  I think she has entered the terrible two’s of dogdom and has really been keeping us alert lately – as in, if she’s quiet, she’s probably in trouble!

I have been able to officially finish a project:


These are the Coriolis socks from New Pathways for Sock Knitters.  You can check out the specs in my previous post.  Lorette has dared me to wear the pair in the last post, but I’ll probably pass – at least until we have “Tacky Day” at work.  This is a terrific pattern!  It takes a little concentration for the first sock, but after that it’s really a piece of cake.  I highly recommend it and my next pair will definitely come from that book.  If nothing else, just so I can do Deb‘s Turkish cast-on!

Off for more culture this weekend.  My sister and I are going to see “Aida“.  I’ve heard it’s very thrilling and am very excited.  I’m so glad I have my sister to expose me to these things.  ‘Til then!