Well, we didn't go camping again, because the weather on Friday and Saturday was rainy and gross in the Pecos, but we did have an awesome memorial day weekend. Friday Matt worked from home in the afternoon. We went shopping for his big trip to Wisconsin and I spent a little birthday money. We went out for dinner and came home to snuggle and watch season two of Little Britain. Saturday We slept in and then got up and cleaned around the house - although we failed to get it all the way clean. Matthew seemed to iron every piece of clothing he owned, while I ran to the LYS for some lace weight black alpaca. Which I found! The Suri Elegance is divine and will work beautifully for the shrug. It is light as air, has a really fuzzy halo and will actually keep me warm. And at 800 and some odd yards a skein, I am sure there will even be enough left over to make a scarf or small shawl. I also spent a bit more birthday money on two hanks of merino/silk lace weight in delicious colors (see the steel colorway bellow) and some lamb's pride worsted in a nice burgundy color to make the Mrs. Darcy cardigan. After I arrived home and photographed and catalouged all of my new yarn. Matthew and I headed over to the gym. On the way home I mentioned that with all the tourists in town for the holiday it would be fun to go "on vacation" for the evening. So, that is exactly what we did. We came home, got dressed a little nicer than usual and headed out to be tourists in the town we live in. First, we got some sub-par gellato at this place across from the library that I had always wanted to try. Eating disappointing Ice Cream seems to be a very touristy thing to do, so I marked it a success. After that we sauntered about until we arrived at our destination, the roof top cantina of the famous Cayote Cafe. Despite some sub-par service (again, what can you expect as a tourist), we had a great time. The drinks and food were great, and the people sitting next to us were from southern California and one of them was a knitter! I love making friends on vacation. Above: Me with my hybis-kiss mar-tea-ni, Bellow: the view After dinner we went out into the Santa Fe night in search of more vacation fun. We found ourselves at del Charo a little bar by the Supreme Court building that we go sometimes for lunch. Seating was scarce and we found ourselves sharing a table with a really nice couple from Chicago just getting away for the weekend. Like I said, I love making friends on vacation! When we got home we decided to make a fire out in the outdoor fireplace, drink Santa Fe Brewing Company beer and toast Marshmallows. It was a perfect Santa Fe vacation. Sunday Well, we were going to go hiking, but lets just say we didn't exactly feel like it after all of our "vacationing" the night before. We spent a lazy Saturday laying about, until late afternoon when we headed out to see the new Indiana Jones flick. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great. We were both rather put off by the whole "interdimensional" beings in flying saucers thing. There were a few cool parts though. Monday We finally made it hiking. We hiked up to the peak of Atalaya Mountain, which turned out to be far more strenuous than it's moderate rating would imply, but the reward of breathtaking views made it well worth the effort. Above: Scarlett and I enjoy the views; Bellow: Abundant wildlife that Scarlett did not eat.
I put in an order to knitpicks because I need to get started on several projects. It took less than a week for my yarn to arrive at my door. I ordered some knitpicks crayon (bellow), a really soft cotton, to make a baby blanket for a baby. I'm going to use the modern log cabin baby blanket pattern form mason dixon knitting. It should be fun. I also ordered some swish DK superwash yarn (bellow) in a masculine green to make the child's placket sweater from lmkg for Mr. and Mrs. Adams' baby who is due this August. I'm hoping to have enough to make a matching hat as well.Finally, I ordered some lace weight and DK alpaca yarns to make a prototype of a shrug that I plan to wear at my cousin's wedding this fall, because I am paralyzed with fear over wearing a strapless dress. Unfortunately the one draw back of ordering yarn on the interwebs is that you never know what color you're really ordering. Turns out the lace weight is a pretty dark bluish green not black, so alas I will go on a quest for some lace/fingering weight alpaca at a couple of Santa Fe LYS. Note: Midnight heather = not black.
Elizabeth Zimmerman is to knitting what Plato or Socrates are to philosophy, or for my non-philosophy, non-knitting readers, she's like the Lombardi or Babe Ruth of knitting. I recently received two of her classic books that are filled with knitting advice, tips and strategies that should help me become a better knitter and hopefully help with my fledgling design aspirations as well.
Last Saturday we went for a marathon hike in the Cibola National Forest near Albuquerque after we decided to postpone a backpacking trip to the Pecos Wilderness because of serious rain. Turns out a child was attacked by a cougar and nearly mauled that day just a mile or so away from where we were hiking with our most delicious dog. Scary. You can read more on matt's blog.
The views on the hike were quite nice, and the drive on the scenic byway was amazing. We sure do love to take pictures out of that little Sentra.
The picture above was taken on our hike through hungry cougar country. The ones bellow were taken from the Sentra on the way home.
My birthday isn't even until tomorrow, but already I have received many amazing gifts and well wishes. I have to share the knitting related delights, please try not to drool on your keyboard: First, I would like you to meet Oscar (pictured above). Oscar is an alpaca. He is friends with Francis (who's actual name is Frances, she's female, my bad). Francis/Frances is the alpaca who donated her fleece to my Francis Revisited cowl neck sweater. Oscar's fleece is chocolate brown, soft as can be, and has been spun into sport weight yarn. I think Oscar wants to be a cardigan. Thanks to mom for the perfect gift. My mother-in-law also surprised me with a knitter's dream come true: a lantern moon knitting case (See bellow). It is so beautiful, and practical too. It even came with size 7 lattern moons inside! Finally, my aunt-in-law TC sent me a beautiful pattern book from Rowan with some Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cashmere Seta yarn (pictured bellow). I have already identified a half dozen patterns in this book that I want to knit immediately. I'm not so sure with all this new stuff I can keep to my commitment of no new knits! I want to thank everyone for being so generous and also to everyone who has helped to make my big birthday really memorable. Tomorrow, for the actual birthday we are going out to dinner with another couple and then drinking fancy champaign. I could think of nothing better.
On Sunday we went to Cafe Pasqual's for a mother's day brunch. I haven't spent mother's day with my mom in years and it was great to be able to spend the day with her. After brunch we brought Matthew home so he could rest (for some reason he did not feel very well), and my mom and I spent the rest of the day window shopping, walking through a museum and browsing a really cool gallery. That night we all played the 80s edition of Trivial Pursuit and laughed so hard we nearly peed our pants. I'd say it was well worth the 50 cents we paid for it at a garage sale. All and all it was a perfect day.
On Saturday we woke up early and started preparing for the big party. My mom had agreed to help me plant some pots of flowers for out on our patio and so we headed off to purchase flats of plants. We came back and my mom planted all of these beautiful pots for us (see photo above), while I looked on in amazement and tried to learn. In the afternoon we all took a quick nap before getting ready for the party. By 5pm guests were arriving and the festivities were underway. We had hotdogs on the grill, potato salad. deviled eggs, and baked beans. For dessert - birthday cake from the chocolate maven - it was amazing. Later we had a fire in the outdoor fireplace and somehow, we managed to finish the keg just before the police arrived to tell us to keep it down. All and all, I think it was a huge success. Above: everyone chatting. Bellow: the cake Above: Jason, moi, Kristin, and Zack, Bellow: A very bad dog with Coriander, Zack and Amalia Above: a really cute couple. Bellow: Jen and Matthew Bellow: Birthday girl and her mommy (who had her when she was 5 years old)
On Friday, Matthew took the day off to prepare for my big party. From Thursday at 5pm until late Friday we cleaned house, ran to stores, made home improvements, and generally worked our tooshies off. At 5:45pm on Friday we headed down to Albuquerque to pick up my mom from the airport and hit REI's annual sale. After loading up at REI (I got hiking boots, we both got new Chaco sandals, two pairs of convertible pants, a pair of smartwoole socks for me, freeze dried food, and a backpack for the pooch), we headed over to the sunport (seriously what the airport is called) and picked up my mom. And this was just the start of our crazy (crazy awesome) weekend.
Above: the Sadias on the drive to Abq. Bellow: greeting mom at the sunport
The pattern for Francis is now available here. I'm still figuring out all of this pdf hosting stuff, but for now this will do. Hopefully it will be up on ravelry soon, when it is I'll link things up. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or corrections.
UPDATE: The ravelry link is . The link above has been updated to reflect the change.
This weekend Matthew took Scarlett and I on our first backpacking trip. We decided to take things easy for our first time, so we headed to a part of the Santa Fe National Forest only about 20 minutes from home. We hiked in about two miles and set up camp for the night. We pitched our tent in a small canyon along Deer Creek in the Pecos Mountains, explored the creek, scrambled up a steep cliff with loose rock and dead decaying tree bits, read in the late afternoon sun, ate tuna and mac n' cheese prepared on the camp stove, slept with the sound of the creek next to us, had a pancake breakfast cooked over an open fire, and made a new dog friend named Luke (pictured bellow), who thought our dog and pancakes were more awesome than hiking to the end of the trail with his owner. The trip was only about twenty four hours long, but it was great to get away and spend some quality family time in such a beautiful place. Enjoy a few pics: For more details and pictures check out Matthew's post.
Interweave Knits is known for stylish, classic, beautiful knitting patterns, but the spring issue contains a couple of really questionable submissions, including the fuggerific item shown above. Can you believe someone did that to Manos? A crime. The issue is filled with color work and lace, and while much of it is really lovely, I am not sure I would actually knit most of it. So, all and all, I'm sort of disappointed. My faves are the gossamer stars scarf, the tapestry skirt, and the roped shell. Of the three the only one I am likely to make anytime soon is the scarf. The wallis cardigan is also cute, but looks alot like everything from the spring issue.