Saturday, December 20, 2008

My First BSJ!

Well, I just completed my first EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. I made it with the intention of giving next April for a 2nd birthday, but it's so darned cute, I may add it to the Christmas gifts!

I knit it with CotLin from Knit Picks, in the Kohlrabi color. My guys thought it wasn't a "boy" green, so to give it an added masculine touch I trimmed it in brown and added football buttons.

Everyone was right. Elizabeth Zimmerman = genius.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Little Owl

A little owl landed at my house today. It came from my Reducio Sock Swap partner from Ravelry. It had a long journey all the way from Massachusetts! Here is what the owl delivered:

There are a couple forms of muggle sweets all the way from the UK! The tin with mints has a gorgeous magpie on the lid. I've experienced these talkative birds on trips to Colorado. The Gryffindor sock will go onto my Christmas tree and Luna (see post below) will enjoy her scarf as a bookmark since ScarlettB's reducio charm worked so well!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Lucky Me

Some of you may remember the 1957 Chevy I got to take a joy ride in during the summer of 2007. If not see it here:

A few months ago I got to ride in a 1929 Studebaker with Harold Wingerson, the owner.

What a blast!

I was shooting the car for the magazine's Vintage Vehicles feature. Harold drove me around in the park. I was surprised by what a great ride it was. (Also, kind of funny to see how "bare" the dashboard area looked compared to new vehicles!)

Harold's son restored the car for him and it's strictly a parade and show car. I feel really fortunate to have gotten a ride in this beauty!

Monday, December 01, 2008


Thanksgiving has come and gone once more. We had a delicious dinner at home on Thursday. Amanda worked the 5:30 am stampede at Target while the rest of us dispersed to other shopping destinations on Friday. Finally wrapped up and got home about 5:30 pm. Went to my sister's on Saturday and enjoyed extended family time with sibs and step-dad. Jeff was there and it was really nice to see him again. Here are some pics of the event!

We had just finished playing "Would You Rather" which Jeremy won by letting Sara draw a mustache and glasses on his face with an eye liner. (You had to be there.) He is not a Malawi warrior.

Gratuitous kid pics:

All in all I'd say that was a much better way to spend Saturday than in the Emergency Room, which almost happened. (But that's a story for another time and place.)

We drove home in heavy fog and drizzle, but thankfully the roads didn't get slippery. We got about 1/2 inch of snow on Sunday and the cold air is settling in.

Only 24 days until Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

First (& Quite Possibly LAST) Intarsia

My knitting pals elected me as the perfect person to help a fellow citizen of our fair town in her quest to find someone who could knit matching Christmas stockings for her grandkids so that everyone in their family would have the same stockings hanging this year.

It seemed innocent enough.

And they hit the hamartia on the head: knitting hubris.

I received the package of yarns, needles, bobbins, and pattern in June.

I started attempt number one in June.

I set it aside by July 1.

I thought, "I'll take it on vacation."

It got left behind at home.

School started, work projects piled up, the seasons changed.

The bag sitting in my stash room mocked me.

The commissioner phoned me. "How's the project coming along?"

November rolled around. I started again.

I frogged it.

I started again.


Tried again.


(Sensing the pattern here???????)

Finally, after an intense two weekends (and a few intense week nights between),
this is the result.

I had an inkling before I began that there was a reason I'd avoided intarsia prior to this. All my suspicions were confirmed.

It's time consuming. It makes me anxious rather than helping to relieve my stresses and anxieties. It's fiddly.

Basically, it's a very HIGH MAINTENANCE kind of knitting.

I'm not very likely to repeat the experience any time soon.

I deliver said stockings on Wednesday.

I hope she likes them!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cute Kids

I drove over to my brother's house, about 2 hours away, on Saturday in order to take some photos of his adorable kids. They are so cute and such sweethearts! I thought I'd share my favorites from the photoshoot.

This is my niece who will be five years old in January.

And this is her brother who is 18 months old.

I had fun doing it and my sister-in-law made delicious spaghetti for lunch! My niece wanted me to stay longer and watch a movie with her, but we needed to head home again. I also enjoyed spending time with my own son coming and going and he enjoyed playing with cousins.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Well, election day is FINALLY behind us.

Thank God Obama was elected!!!!!!!

Even though it is supposed to be rainy and stormy and grey today,
something about the potential, the hope, the promise of change to come
makes the air just a bit easier to breathe this morning.

Looks like I can hold off on learning verse 2 of the Canadian National Anthem.
(Although if we don't do something about healthcare in this country, you never know!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hermione & Luna

Dressed for "Witch/Wizard Wednesday" during "Haunted Homecoming" week for school, my daughter and her best friend were the best-dressed witches from Hogwarts in my opinion.

My favorite parts of the costumes?

1. The real radishes Luna is wearing for earrings!

2. The U.S. #10 Brittany birch needles transformed into wands.

3. The socks. You gotta love the socks!

4. Hermione's time-turner necklace.

Luna's Quibbler is posed just right so that you can't see the official Ravenclaw house badge on her uniform sweater, but it's there too!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Halloween Arthur Miller

Some schools might be performing Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, this fall. (I remember my own high school's performance as one of the worst productions in memory with cast members reading their lines off the walls behind other actors and one set falling over....but I digress!) It's also getting to be the time for spooks, etc. as Halloween (not to mention, an election) approaches.

I just discovered the perfect song for contemplating such things. It's from my favorite indie artist, Josh Woodward (music buttons on the side bar to the right!)

It's called Gallows Hill. Give it a listen!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Autumn Colors

Out shooting photos for a variety of projects and ran across this tree the other afternoon. Decided to turn it into a "painting." I finished off the socks I was doing with the new On Line 6-ply. I really like them and they sure knit up quickly.

I'll post a photo of them soon!

Happy Knitting & Shooting!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Sweater

Well, I finished the sweater I knit for myself. Here it is!

And in full . . .

It is pretty much exactly what I suspected it would be:

Really, really comfortable.

Incredibly soft (I mean, it's baby alpaca and cashmere for crying out loud!)

Beautiful color

Perfect fit (I adjusted the pattern to make it longer in both body and sleeve length.)

Not wearable outside the house.

Why? Well, because it was knit with worsted weight yarn on size 8 needles and as I've always suspected regarding sweaters for myself any such knit would look "bulky" compared to machine knits at fine gauges.....SOOOOOO.....add that to my already "bulky" frame and it's not exactly flattering.

Even though I TOTALLY love the sweater, I'm afraid that if I go out of the house in it people might mistake me for a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon that got loose. Shamu in blue. It just wouldn't be pretty.

(Your first hint should have been the fact the photos of the sweater were of it laying on the floor rather than on me!)

Anyway, we'll see if I ever get up the nerve to knit something on needles small enough to make something that looks nice enough on me to wear in public. I think that would be a HECK of a lot of knitting!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Circle of Faith

As I've been photographing the local churches for the book I'm doing, I realized that several have had round stained glass windows. Here are 4 of them, though I've shot several others too.

It's been nothing but grey here for several days on end now. I thought I'd get a little bit of a "pick me up" when I noticed a post on Ravelry that Brenda Dayne had posted a new episode of Cast On. But alas, something is wrong and I am currently unable to download it.


Guess I'll just keep knitting on my sweater. (Though the siren song of sock yarns is calling me.......)

Happy shooting and knitting!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different . . .

. . . a sweater . . . for ME!

I'm in the process of knitting a sweater for myself. I chose the February Lady Sweater pattern from Ravelry. Here's a picture of the original from the lady who created the pattern which was inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman:

(NOTE: This is TOTALLY her picture!)

The one I'm making for myself is from Knit Pick's yarn, Ambrosia. It is 80% alpaca and 20% cashmere. It's heavenly! It's in the colorway "night sky" which is a blue headed down the steel/grey path. Everyone who has seen it has "oohed" and "aahed" over it.

When I get a chance I will take a picture and post it.

This is hell week for me as far as work goes. The book is supposed to go to the printer on Friday. The magazine is long overdue and far from being done. And I am also working on two advertising projects, one of which is due Wednesday.

Can you say "over-extended?"

Also have to squeeze in some medical and dental appointments for a variety of people and pets this week.

So it's a good thing I have this sweater project to keep me de-stressed, eh?

Happy knitting!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer of Socks

Otherwise titled: "What I Knit This Summer"

These have been my summer knitting projects. Two were completed early and sent to the Iowa State Fair. The pair I won a 2nd place ribbon for are the ones I dyed the main color yarn myself in the crockpot. I also worked up Wendy Johnson's pattern for SOS 2008. They are the striped pair on the left. I loved the Felici yarn from Knit Picks. Not so wild about the pattern. Because the lace is a repetitive yo, ssk on one round, the whole sock tends to "twist" on the foot making it uncomfortable on the foot. Perhaps if the lace pattern had stopped at the ankle and the foot been knit without it, I may like it better.

The grey sock on the righ is my WIP (well actually, its mate is on the needles now, that one is--obviously--finished.) I'm using the nine to five pattern from Ravelry and LOVING it! Easy to memorize with a fun little twist on the heel flap/gusset to add interest to the experience. The yarn is KnitPicks Essential Tweed in Flint. Also loving the yarn.

The center pair is my other state fair entry. Knit from KnitPicks Pallette. This way my third time making up that pattern which is fun and goes quickly, obviously since its just an ankle sock. The judge commented "Learn Kitchener to close your toes." I DID use Kitchener to close the toes and it looked darned near perfect in my estimation. I'm not sure the judge knew what she/he was talking about! (Another person in the competition had knit a seamless baby sweater in the round and the judge made the remark "Nice seaming work" on hers. Go figure!)

Anywho, I've got plenty o'work to get back to as these final days of August slip by. The book is coming along and deadlines are FAST approaching! This is my favorite interior picture shot for it.

Take care and happy knitting/shooting!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mountain Views

Back from vacation in Colorado. Let me go on record as saying, "I love the Rockies!"

Virtually no humidity (especially compared to Iowa in July/August!)

Cooler temps due to the high altitude.

Natural beauty every where you look.

Can't be beat!!

Now that I'm home, I realize I AM woefully behind on I must get to it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Few Studio Shots

Ok, I don't have a "real" studio. Just my living room with an oversized window that faces north. I also have a couple lights and a real backdrop. And these are the results. I like a couple better than others, though I'm not giving away my personal preference at this time.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Sunday, July 06, 2008

On Location - Out of Town

We were visiting relatives for the 4th of July and took a few hours to drive around and shoot some location shots in my hometown for the senior pics portfolio. I was hoping for a cloudy day for optimal mid-day lighting....but had full sun instead. Tried to make the most of it with alley ways, shaded sides of buildings, etc. Here are a few of the ones I've processed . . .

Historic District

Glass Block Window

Fourth Street


Central Steps


I saw a bajillion other spots that would've made great shots had the lighting been right. Guess this way we won't have to choose between 362 shots we really like, huh?

Happy Shooting (& knitting!)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Yes, There's Still Knitting

I have been knitting, though the last few entries may not reflect that fact so well!

Here are some socks I've knit to enter into the state fair. (They're not blocked yet, so they should actually look better by the time I send them off!)

I used Knit Picks Palette yarn and their U.S. #1 dpn needles (metal) to whip these up. (A very quick knit! It's the Breeze pattern from - I have knit two other pairs, so the rhythm was familiar.) I only used one, 50 gr. ball of yarn for this pair.

Then I whipped up a gift for my cousin and his wife who are expecting a new little one very soon. The Yarn Bee "Peach Fuzz" was carried along with some sport weight white acrylic I had in the stash. This is the softest baby stuff I have ever knit!

Finally, I'm just about to finish off the other pair of socks I'm knitting for the fair. These had to use two colors of yarn, so I'm combining the "apricot" [though it looks like shocking hunter orange to me!] Palette from Knit Picks with the Bare Essential I died last summer in the crock pot. I think the two will work ok together. Lord knows, these are some bright socks!

So that's what I do in the evening after the lighting is bad for photography and while I'm watching tv with the family.

Just in case you're disappointed there aren't any new sr. are a couple more from our last venture out....which took us to the library.

We will be shooting some in Sioux City when we are there for the 4th of July, so stay tuned....I'm sure there will be another installment on Sunday!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Take #2

We went out and shot a few more senior pics yesterday afternoon. The sun was really a bit too high in the sky. I would've liked it to be more cloudy as well...better for outdoor portraits. Ah well, whadaya' gonna do? Here are few that I played around with:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Biting the Bullet

Here's hoping this works!

I must say I about killed my back doing this! If only there were someone out there who was a professional blocker and we could knit things and then this good-hearted, kind soul would block it for you. I'd even be willing to send yarn for the person to keep! (or pay a fee!)

Still, I've got more laceweight in the stash, so I'd better learn to suck it up, eh?

Since this is my first attempt, I'm still a bit leary/dubious about what happens when the pins and wires are pulled. Here's hoping it doesn't go back to looking like something my cat coughed up on the carpet!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Joy of Photoshop

Playing around in Photoshop this afternoon.

Fun, painted frame and . . .

A non-traditional look which I kinda like!

In knitting news, I will be entering two items in the Iowa State Fair's "Iowa Family Living"/Fabric & Needle Arts competition. I casted on the first item this afternoon and hope to do well!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Few More Shots

At the art museum....

Another at the stadium . . .

Downtown. . . .

Something different . . . .

Art museum again . . . .

And one with a little attitude/drama thrown in . . . .