Sunday, June 28, 2015

And the winner is....

ME!  I just crossed the 5K finishline with an extra burst of 108 meters!
Pattern: Starshower by Hilary Smith Callis
Yarn: Zwergr Garn Opal Handpainted/Handefarbt
Colorway: Last Blumen Srrechen
Needle Size: US 6 and 8 (larger than suggested in the pattern)

This cowl is for the Wyoming Cowgurl's birthday. She loves these colors. I hope she will wear it often this fall and winter.

Pattern: Colonial Rib Socks by Katie S.
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Hand-painted
Colorway: Make Believe
Needle Size: US Size 1

I caught my second wind and have started the 3K Stash Dash! My first leg of the race is accomplished with this Wonderful Wallaby.
Pattern: The Wonderful Wallaby
Yarn: Encore Tweed
Colorway: Ruby
Needle Size: US Size 6 and 8

The California Dreamin' Gurl has an old college friend who has loved The Pirate's Sweaters for years. This once unmarried young man voiced a desire for the pirate sweater for his unborn, and yet conceived son for years. Then, last Decemeber he had his son. Now, soon he will have The Pirate Sweater!
Later edit:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Today is...NATIONAL FLIP FLOP DAY!

 Zorries---Thongs---Flip Flops

At least once a year I'm corrected by a daughter when I use the word "thongs" in a way they deem incorrect.  Personally, I'd like to straighten out all those who may think someone of my generation is embarrassing for "misusing the word".
THONG - noun
1. a strip of material, especially of leather or hide, used to fasten or secure something.
2. a strip of leather or hide used for whipping; whiplash.
3. a shoe or slipper fastened to the foot chiefly by a strip of leather or other material passing between the first and second toes and often attaching to another strip of material, as a strap across the instep or around the ankle.
4. a brief garment for the lower body that exposes the buttocks, consisting of a strip of fabric passing between the thighs and attached to a band around the waist.

My use of the word may not be the first or second most common usage but it is a more common definition than what the younger generation feels is appropriate. 

Whatever the name - zorries, thongs, or flip flops - these shoes played a big role in my life. I could tell the passing of the seasons by my shoes and they meant SUMMER to me!

Fall/Winter brought on new school shoes. Saddle shoes were bought the week before school started getting the most growth out of the summer as possible (They were bought in a size larger than I wore for a longer wearing.) The only choice I had in regard to these shoes were black and white, or beige and a kidney red. Sometimes I wasn't even given that choice!
Spring and my new patent leather shoes were bought just in time for Easter. They were also bought big because they had to last from Easter to Christmas, and all the birthday parties attended throughout the year.
Summer was a bonus for my shoe collection. Canvas tennis shoes AND zorries. I remember when these shoes were introduced into American footwear. In the beginning they were called zorries. Whether called zorries or thongs they were a value my mom just could not pass by 19 cents worth of summer! They resulted in a yearly blister between the toes.
Me, brothers Steve and Mike
Huck - NO Steve, Steve Smith (next door neighbor), and Mike
If my saddle shoes wore out before school ended Mom placed a piece of cardboard into the bottom of the saddle shoe hoping it would last until a pair of canvas shoes could be bought. Otherwise, the week before the end of school the beloved tennis shoes and zorries would be purchased for summer pleasure.

In my mind zorries meant freedom! Freedom from tight shoes and school. The fact that zorries resulted in a yearly blister between my toes was a small price to pay. They signified the beginning of summer!

Now, years later, Flip Flops are my footwear of choice in the summer. I own a half dozen of these beautiful shoes and recently added to the collection when I bought this year's flip flops. On impulse I also bought my first  pair of THONGS in years!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Favorite place to knit

As usual, I found a Favorite Place to Knit - on the banks of the Mississippi River in New Orleans - of course!
  Knitting on a pair of socks in Mardi Gras colors.

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Orleans 2015

The Wyoming Cowgurl was going to a conference in New Orleans and asked if I'd like to tag along. Never being one to turn down a trip I immediately bought a plane ticket and managed to get a seat right next to her! We were off before sunrise and next to the Old Muddy by afternoon.
We went to a restaurant called Mother's for lunch. A New Orleans standard, this restaurant opened in 1938. Mother's is known for their ham. So for lunch I had baked ham, red beans, green bean salad, and potato salad. Very good but more of a dinner than a lunch, in fact we finished our meals in our hotel room at the end of the day!
We then got on a trolley and rode it to the French Market.
 We bargained for leather purses and gauze tops.

It was an early night, The Wyoming Cowgurl had been up since 2:30am and I'd been up since 4:30, but we did walk up Royal and Bourbon Streets before heading back to our hotel room.
Mornings began with Cafe au lait and beignets.
The Wyoming Gurl had meetings all day Saturday and so off I went on the trolley. I rode down Canal Street to the end of the line where the cemeteries are. A little unsure of myself I was invited to join two couples from Florida and we did a quick tour of a cemetery. I noticed the well kept tombs were families still using the vaults, and sadly the others having not been used for a 100 years were showing disrepair.
I was told several different ways the plots are used and am not sure which, if any, are true and so I will leave it for you to research.

A quick transfer in the French Quarter to the St Charles trolley and I was off on a new adventure. Many beautiful and expensive homes are along this street. The Auduban Zoo, and Tulane University are in this area as well.
 
 I enjoyed looking at the many shotgun homes along the trolley ride.
For dinner on Saturday, we went to Luke's in the French Quarter. I ordered shrimp and jalapeno cheese grits. (American Pharaoh won the triple crown while we were eating. We almost missed the event but those watching the race on TV at the bar woke us up to the historic event!)
 We took a short two block walk on Bourbon Street in the dark, on Saturday night, looking at the sights, including an antlered lady with a shawl and red roses strategically placed. The Wyoming Cowgurl and I ended up arm in arm deciding this wasn't for us!
On my own again Sunday morning, I had a quick Cafe au Lait with beignets and was on the trolley once again. The night before we had found a yarn shop - The Quarter Stitch - near the St. Louis Cathedral and I wanted to get some yarn as a souvenir. Unfortunately, there wasn't any local yarn in the shop and surprisingly they had a very nice stash of Mountain Colors! (a Montana yarn company)

While waiting for the yarn shop to open I went to Jackson Square and enjoyed the warm morning.
The cathedral was built 1789 and Presbytere built in 1813. The Presbytere served as the courthouse until 1913. Jackson Square has long been a place for the locals to meet, military to drill, and criminals to be punished. In 1850 the square was landscaped and the statue of Jackson was placed in the center.
I took this picture from Jackson Square. It is Pontalba Apartments. The Lower floors have shops and the upper floors are apartments. These apartments were built in 1848 and had such modern features as private bathrooms and walk in closets.

The Cowgurl was free after lunch so we hopped on the trolley and rode out to the Museum of Art.
 We enjoyed the sculpture garden and was even a bit a bit surprised to recognize the work of Deborah Butterfield.
That evening, not particularly hungry, we settled on appetizers of hush puppies and coconut shrimp with a drink called a category one hurricane (I don't want to live through that again!)
Once I got home I looked up just what was in a Hurricane, wow! Light rum, dark rum, proofed rum and passion fruit syrup. (OH, MY!)

Monday we went to the Ruby Slipper (At the reopening after Katrina it's said they sat around the cafe saying, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home" resulting in the name.)  I had a salad with candied pecans, red onion, bacon, and goat cheese hush puppies with a vinaigrette dressing. The best meal while I was there, I think!
We had reserved a sunset dinner/jazz cruise on the Natchez for our last night in New Orleans.
Steamboats have been bringing people up and down the Mississippi since the 19th century. (My father's German family came to America in 1852(?), landing at the mouth of the Mississippi and traveling up the Mississippi to Golden, Illinois. I can easily envision them on a steamboat much like the Natchez)
 The Dukes of Dixieland are Natchez standards.
 The New Orleans Skyline.
 Some local folk enjoying the evening cruise.
At one time this factory produced 800,000 tons of sugar a year.
 An old cotton mill.
 The Chalmette Battlefield and 100 foot monument that honors the troops in the Battle of New Orleans. This battle in 1814 was the last battle between the United Stated and Great Britain and was the last great battle of the War of 1812. This is the site where Andrew Jackson and his men defended New Orleans from the British.
 
The Malus-Beauregard House built in 1830 was never used as a plantation house.
Dinner was a buffet: catfish, strip loin of beef, pork loin with creole mustard sauce, creamed spinach, potatoes, penne quattro formaggi, and bread pudding.


A lovely evening and a lovely trip!

On the way to the airport the next day I took a quick picture of the Super Dome for The Tiger, cause he's a super kid!

Dashing through the stash pile

Recently I attempted to make sense of my stash heap. It was a big pile of odds and ends. There in the midst of it I found a market bag I had started, but didn't quite finish. Rather than throw it out I began ripping and crocheting dishcloths. I did a full out sprint totaling 1,179 meters!
Pattern: various stitch patterns crocheted in circles and squares
Yarn: Peaches and cream
Colorway: cream and blues
Needle size: F hook

On my recent trip to New Orleans I started a pair of socks using a yarn I thought looked like the Mardi Gras in action. After walking down Bourbon Street I realized NOTHING is that colorful!
Pattern: Slip Stitch Socks
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks
Colorway: Fern Rose Jacquard
Needle Size: US Size 1

Monday, June 8, 2015

First Fawn of the Season 2015

Fair is fair and even though I was in New Orleans at 9:10 pm hubby became the winner of the annual First Fawn of the Season Competition!
Here is this year's documentation:
 Turkey babies quickly followed:

Monday, June 1, 2015

The dash for the finishline continues

I've finished two more items to add toward the finishline of the 5K Stash Dash....
Pattern: Star Blanket
Yarn: Bernat Baby Sport
Colorway: White and Tiny Tulips
Needle size: Crochet Hook F
Last December I had a knitting emergency. In desperation I started a ripple baby blanket.  After settling back home with all my supplies - hooks, needles, and patterns - I decided to rip the original out and start another pattern. I like this Star Blanket pattern quite a bit. There was no designated owner until I've recently discovered a former student and current math teacher at our school will be having identical twin girls in the fall and so, now I'll be crocheting another identical blanket for the little "stars"!
 
Pattern: Captain's Ladder and Fish Kiss Lips Heel
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn, Knit Picks Bare Stroll Fingering Sock Yarn
Colorway: Brown, Kettle Dyed Jo's Bliss
Needle size:US Size 1
I enjoyed designing and knitting these socks. The pattern will need a little adjustment as they are a tad bit tight as you pull them over the ankle.