Monday, December 31, 2012

Manly Scarf

12/24/2012 10:02 AM
12/24/2012 10:19 AM

This time of year the sunrises seem to catch my eye more than the sunsets.  These 2 sunrises are separated by a few mintues.  I am continually amazed at the individual beauty that the sky portrays day after day, minute after minute.

My nephew/godson asked me at Christmas if I had any manly scarves laying around.  I told him I would take a look, knowing I did not have any.  I have only designed one scarf for a guy and I decided that the pattern needs an update.  Occasionally I take one of my old patterns and spruce it up.  I love the choice of a reversible slip stitch pattern for a scarf and what says masculine more than houndstooth?   Let's take a look at my current photos.  Even though I love my son's long curly red hair and will probably never see that again, I think I can do better with new photos. 

I originally did the scarf in 2 sizes, but I am now going to do one size, narrow like the smaller one and longer than the larger one.  I think the trend for men has been to fold the scarf in half and pull the ends through.  Both of these scarves are too short for that. 

The new scarf in process.
My current in progress photo shows off the popular close up shot on a white background.   I don't know why the green yarn is showing up blue!  I may still photograph the finished scarf on my female model since she really shows off my stuff well (or even a potato sack for that matter) and just promote it as a unisex scarf.

I finally have my Hooded Baby Sweater modeled on a real baby.  My nephew Isaac didn't particularly like having the hood up especially inside the house, but he was quite a good sport about the whole thing.

I have a new hat.  My notes are scribbled on a piece of paper and I am in the process of deciphering them into an understandable format for other knitters.  I really like the reversible rib effect with the variegated yarn.  I am attracted to color, but the colorful yarns are not always the easiest to match to a likeable pattern.  I originally used this yarn, Gina by Plymouth Yarn, in an entrelac pattern which it lends itself to very well.  I am debating whether I should also make matching fingerless gloves?   Should I sell the pattern myself or offer it to the yarn company?  Maybe offer the hat by itself for free?  Any opinions or advice?

This hat can also be worn inside out, in other words it is reversible.  Of course I didn't think about that when I was taking the photos.  This would not be an official photo anyway, except that it does have the white background.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

O Tannenbaum O Tannenbaum

Christmas Caroling has always been an important part of my Christmas for longer than I can remember.  My sisters and I are still carrying on the tradition of caroling around the neigborhood.  When I saw these carolers in NYC I had to stop and listen for awhile.

I had the opportunity to spend 6 days in the city with my sister a couple of weeks before Christmas.  We are an 1 1/2 hour bus ride from the city, so I am usually a day tripper.  I loved living in the city if only for a few days.  Early morning walks in Central Park and daily forays to the Columbus Circle Holiday Market where we saw the carolers became my new routine.  Here are some of the Christmas trees that we saw in our adopted neighborhood.

Our home, the Philips Club.
Brooks Brothers
The Plaza
The tree at Rockefeller Center.

I did spend one evening at The Yarn Company, my new neigborhood store.  I did a little stash enhancement.
three Irish girls, Adorn Sock, Globe Trekker colorway.

Lorna's Laces Solemate, Toxic Waste colorway.

This is an exclusive colorway to them just as the Westside Highway colorway is that I had purchsed during the NYC yarn crawl.  I love my fingerless gloves, Isabel, that I designed from their yarn.  

Isabel pattern, Lorna's Laces Solemate, Westside Highway colorway.

When I got home all relaxed and refreshed (maybe my sisters and I will have to start a new tradition?) we finally got our own tree.  Not as many ornaments this year or presents, but not too shabby.  This is my first photograph with my Christmas present, an iPhone. 
Happy New Year everyone.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not on my "bucket list".

I offered to my daughter as she was approaching her 30th birthday a little trip with her mom, a way of celebrating the beginning of a new decade.
I was a little surprised when she picked a death defying mule ride in the Grand Canyon.  This is something that is quite often on people's bucket list.  She is too young and I don't have one.  Anyway, I was too busy to even think about it and I blindly agreed. 
She was to make all of the plans, reservations and do all of the driving while we were there (so of course I could knit in the car).  And, I wanted to visit a yarn shop. 
I have to say she did a great job (if anyone needs a trip planner and companion, she's your girl!) 
I think my greatest concern was being cold, hence the funny looking hat I am wearing. 
It is truly a lifetime experience, and I am glad that I did it. 
I don't have any photos of the first hour or so since I had a death grip on my reins and only looked forward.  By the second day I relinquished my reins to the saddle horn and I was even turning around in my saddle to improve my photo ops.  And no, I did not knit while I was on my mule.

Our first view of the Canyon
I am in front behind the guide and my daughter is next in line of 10 riders.  Can you identify the shawl pattern I am wearing?
We had to go through a small tunnel and over a suspension bridge to get to the Phantom Ranch, our final destination for the day. 
I am looking down from my mule, Hondo, where you can see the trails we have just traveled on our way up.
Our guide, the iconic cowboy.  Notice how narrow the trail is and how steep the drop is off to the right.  And yes, the mules often like to walk on the outside edge of the trail.  
We also visited the red rocks of Sedona.
I loved this chapel, Chapel of The Holy Cross, and the story behind it.
One of the very few flowers we saw.
My yarn purchase.

We discovered a yarn shop very close to our lodgings, the Sedona Knit Wits.  I was able to find some locally dyed yarn, Mary Gavan Yarns, and decided on her sock yarn, Plateau.  The colorway, which she does not name or number, certainly reminded me of our locale.  My plans are to rework my Adirondack pattern with sock yarn.  This yarn is so obscure that it wasn't even in Ravelry yet!
Sedona Sunset
I haven't shared a local Island Heights sunset lately so I will leave you with one in Sedona. 

What is on your bucket list?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bittersweet Celebrations

Thanksgiving has just passed and even though many friends have been devastated by the recent Superstorm (apparently not a hurricane) everyone I have encountered is reminding themselves of what we have to be thankful for. 

First and foremost we have our family, we had 27 for Thanksgiving dinner.  My immediate family was all together and I am so thankful for that. 
We had extended family visiting from Germany (he is our American nephew who married a girl from Poland and their son is trilingual) for the first time since their son was born and it was so special to treat them to a real American Thanksgiving.
Mixing brownie batter.

The day before Thanksgiving was my parents' 70th anniversary so we celebrated it at Thanksgiving along with my daughter's 30th birthday.

70 years ago on November 21.

Celebrating 100 years, 70 years married & 30 years alive.

I've managed to get in some knitting and I finished my long fingerless mitts pattern.  I have realized that it is difficult to get a good photo to really show off this accessory.  My pattern is available on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy.   What do you think about the photos?  
This is the photo on the pattern, but does it really catch your eye?

Any better?

One more note about Thanksgiving (you would think this was an assignment to see how many times I could put the word Thanksgiving into a short blog post); sometimes traditions fade, and I was reminded that we used to play Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant.  One year we even took the kids to Carnegie Hall to see him perform his annual personalized version.  Here is his sister talking a little about her brother Arlo, maybe you had to be there, but it brought back many good memories.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Governor Christie postponed Halloween, so in the state of NJ Halloween is today.

Personally we have little damage and have come through the hurricane very well.  Many in our little town of 1,700 are still without power.  Slowly streets are being cleared and road blocks are retreating.  Our post office has been working without lights (we do not get mail delivery) and our fire department is a home to area first responders.  Our local diner (NJ is famous for them) is now open for business and even though we can cook at home we have returned to our weekend tradition of breakfast at the Toms River Diner. 

I haven't really been taking very many photos but having been looking at many personal photos and videos through FB.  I have been spending my time taking care of people, so I am sorry I don't have any exciting photos to show you.  We have had some especially beautiful clouds, but I never had my camera with me.
This was taken on the real Halloween, 2 days after the hurricane hit, taken from a 60 foot bluff above the Toms River, out my front door.
Not a spectacular photo, but I just happened to grab my camera.

I am continuing to work on the long fingerless gloves pattern and am making up another pair in Lorna's Laces Solemate yarn I bought on the NYC yarn crawl.  I love, love, love the way they are turning out.  I tried to finish them last night, but I discovered it is not a good idea to work on a picot bind off when you are nodding off in front of the TV.
This glove was the inspiration for my pattern.
My pattern proofreader is still without power and therefore internet.  She also had severe flooding so she has been busy.  (I could say something sarcastic here, but I won't, but I am thinking it.)

I don't know if we will actually have trick or treaters in our town, but I have my back up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups ready (we already ate the Tastycakes!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We are told that the worst of  hurricane Sandy has passed us at this point.  Power is out all over the area.  (Oh darn, I'm missing a dentist appointment.)

We were lucky, we just have one large branch down and a piece of our fencing is broken.

Our neighbors to the west have docks underwater and probably damaged. 

Our neighbor to the east is a boatyard at sea level.  I don't even see evidence of the public dock that is next to the boatyard.
The house and offices at the boatyard under water. 
Is the dock still there underwater or is it gone?
Our pumpkins survived.
I wonder if we will still have Trick or Treaters?  My son has been eating the treats I bought (Ok, I had some too, but who can resist Tastycake Tandy Cakes?)

My mother in law celebrated her 93rd birthday at our house last night.  She is waiting out the storm with us since we have a generator.  My sister also is staying here so we were able to have a nice spontaneous birthday dinner complete with champagne, thank you Eve.  I just happened to have a carrot cake in the freezer.  It will definitely be a birthday to remember!

I am not getting very much knitting done, but I did have a photo shoot on Sunday.  Here is a preview.  I hope to get the pattern up soon.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Best Kept Secret

In my opinion the best kept secret in Rhinebeck is the fried pickles.  Ok, so I don't frequent city bars, where my daughter tells me she has had them.  Out in the 'burbs they do not have fried pickles and I have not seen them since last year at Rhinebeck.  There is virtually no line, unlike the fried artichokes and for some reason falafal, and that was our first stop of  the day. 
Don't they look yummy?
I went to Rhinebeck with 2 friends on an organized bus trip by Carriage Yarns in New Jersey.  We knew we wanted to go to the book signing tent and get Melanie Gall's CD, Knitting all the Day.  She is one half of a podcasting team, the Savvy Girls.  They tell about their international misadventures and of course knitting.  She is a trained opera singer and has recorded a selection of knitting songs from the WWI era.  What knitter wouldn't want a copy of that?  Especially signed. 
Savvy Girl Melanie and me
 One of the highlights of Rhinebeck is going to the Ravelry meet up.  We got new Ravelry pins and met up with "old friends" Ysolda and Stephen.  I use the term "old friends" very loosely.  Although Stephen said he remembered us from when my friend and I saw him last week in Philadelphia.  Ysolda did say she remembered me from a couple of classes I took from her in New York at Vogue Live.  I think not, but could it be because I sat in the front row and corrected her on something?  Maybe I was that obnoxious student but she was too polite to say so.  I prefer to think that she was just politely saying she remembered me.
Ysolda and me

Stephen and Elizabeth
It was a beautiful clear day and a little warm for handknits, although perfect for a little shawl, I thought my Adirondack (in previous photos of me) was the perfect accessory.  There were crowds everywhere and long lines.
Of course there is yarn!  I don't really need any yarn, but I did buy one skein in the last booth we went to, The Fold from IL.  They had a beautiful selection of Socks That Rock, Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  I couldn't resist a yarn that looked like shades of hydrangea with hints of bright olive green and called Single Cell Dating Pool.  Blue and green, how predicatble. 
Single Cell Dating Pool, Socks That Rock
 Our day ended with a long trip back home after a stop at a quaint local diner.  Plenty of time to knit since I wasn't driving.  A lot of oohing and ahhing on the way home and fondling (of yarn) and planning new projects for new yarn.  Not a bad day.