Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Selling Sonoma County

Last weekend my good friend Jean and her daughter Kirsten came for a visit.
Kirsten wanted to take a look at Sonoma State University. (I can't believe she's old enough to go off to college already!) I would love for her to go to school there because that would mean I'd see more of Jean, and she'd probably even move here. So we spent Saturday morning touring the campus, and in the afternoon we did some touring around Sonoma, trying to impress Kirsten with some of the local charm. First we went to this fabulous sculpture garden/gallery where there were tons of beautiful, fun and creative sculptures, and a very sweet bulldog who looked a little like one of those frogs we dissected in high school biology when he rolled over onto his back. Next we did a stroll around the square in Sonoma. I do love that town. Check out this fella we came across in front of one of the shops:

Alas, I think Kirsten is still leaning toward University of Nevada, Reno. Whatever! It was still a great opportunity to see my friends and show off our hometown.

My knitting has been pretty limited lately. I've got some other stuff to occupy my mind at the moment. But my current fast and easy project is baby hats. So here's the latest - simple simple simple. Just a little leftover Knitpicks Crayon knit on size 6 circulars (magic loop) into a 64 stitch roll brim hat with a little top knot. It's soooooo soft. I don't know if it's sized appropriately for an actual live baby, but knitting it up amused me to no end and I think it looks pretty cute on teddy.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tidal Wave Sock

I found this pattern on the Southwest Trading Company webste, and decided to give it a try in my pink Tofutsies sock yarn. And ooh, boy am I loving it! I am using my size 0 Addi Turbos (magic loop). This is my first time using the addi's, and they are wonderful. I also find the magic loop to be easier with a 40" circular than with the 32" knitpicks circular. This yarn is fabulously soft and seems perfect for spring/summer weight socks.
On Friday mornings I go to the local elementary school to volunteer in a couple of classrooms. This is such a fun thing for me. This morning in the first grade class, we're doing paper mache. How fun is that?! Of course it might be messy too but I'm prepared for that.

Last weekend we completed our wallpaper stripping project in the office. Ugh, what a big job it turned out to be! That stuff was welll-adhered. The wall will now take a little repair work and then we can paint the whole room. Hurray!

Halfway there:

Finished! (Don't I look relieved?)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Book Meme

Here's an interesting meme that's going around. I took it from here.

Look at the list of books below:
*Bold the ones you’ve read,
*Italicize the ones you want to read
*Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)

40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
- I loved this book!
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
9. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
-another of my all time favorites
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

There are so many great books still to be read. And I gotta say, I sure don't read much now that I'm knitting all the time. But I am fortunate that my husband reads to me most evenings while I knit. And I do listen to the Craftlit Podcast too, which is a wonderful way to get your books in along with a little education and some entertaining knitting chat too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Daylight Savings Happiness

I have a tiny FO. It's a baby hat, plain ol' roll brim, 64 stitch, stockinette, in Knitpicks Crayon. So soft and so quick. A satisfying little knit. I want to make another one right away. I've got a little orange crayon leftover from something. I also want to make one of these peapod baby sweaters. It's just too cute not to knit!

I am so pleased with the switch to spring weather and daylight savings time. I LOVE having daylight time after work to go for a walk, dine outdoors, and just enjoy the view a little bit. Here's a couple scenes from our walk "around the block" the other day. A walk around our block is about a 3 mile loop which involves a pretty good elevation gain. But it's a lovely, quiet walk with lots of nature to be spotted everywhere.
I love outdoor dining season! This is our first outdoor meal of the season. Look at how happy Pete looks!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Sock Catch Up

I have a couple sock pictures to offer today. First, the Dublin Bay socks in J.Knits, North Carolina Colorway. I never did post a finished picture of these. I love this yarn. Not so wild about the pattern - only because it's just got too much stockinette for my liking. It is, however a good pattern for a busy yarn.

Next is my waterfall rib socks in Trekking color 110. It is one of the great stitch patterns in Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm down to the foot on the second sock so I should finish it up in the next day or two.

I am having some trouble deciding what to work on next. Maybe some baby stuff. I have the Itty Bitty Hats book and there are so many sweet hats in there. And that'd be quick and satisfying. Then maybe another lace shawl. I have lots of great laceweight yarn now. I better get busy working it up!

It is so beautiful and springy today, so here's a couple pics from around the yard.

I love camelia blooming season!

Here is my tiny peach tree. It is about 2 feet tall, planted last winter. It's supposed to be a dwarf, but I'm hoping it'll get to be substantially bigger than it is!

And now I must get to work on a little wallpaper removal project. Ugh!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Laguna Beach

This weekend Pete and I went flew down to Laguna Beach for a quick overnight getaway. Actually it was a work thing for him, but a relaxing getaway for me. We stayed at the Hotel Laguna, which was charming, and our room had a lovely ocean view. I had a great time walking around the town and hanging out on the beach. I even saw a pod of dolphins!

I visited the local yarn store, Strands and Stitches, which I enjoyed tremendously, but I did not make any purchases. I am just not too much of an impulse yarn buyer, and I didn't see anything that I really needed.

Saturday was the big Patriot's Day Parade in town. What a sweet old-fashionedy event that was! It's been a long time since I've been to a parade and boy was I charmed by it. There was the marine corps marching band, some high school and elementary school marching bands, loads of boy scouts, girl scouts, local politicians, veterans, large groups of dancing children, garden clubs, a vegetarian group, and all sorts of other home town goodness. I was so impressed and amused by the whole thing, I was just cracking up the whole time!

Today, after reading Grumperina's rave review, I ordered Favorite Socks from Ooh, I can hardly wait for it to arrive! So I'm looking for some suggestions for nice solid or nearly solid sock yarns. I so far have only knit one solid-colored pair, and I used Knitpicks Essential, which I actually liked just fine, but I'm interested in other people's favorites. I like my socks to be machine washable and preferably to have a little nylon in them.