Friday, December 31, 2010

New Adventures

I'm not going to do one of those year end wrap up type entries. If I want to take stock of what happened in 2010 I will go back and look at archived entries.

Did I mention that my DH got me a GPS unit for the holidays? Specifically, this one:

I did a story for Fort Dodge Today a couple of years ago on a family who were geocachers (pronounced: jee-oh-cashers). I was intrigued by the idea of this high-tech treasure hunting, but the gps unit remained elusive in the budget. Thanks to a Cabella's charge-card and the price of gas the past few years, he had earned enough credits to get one!

We've been out on a few geocaching adventures already with seven successful finds and two we couldn't find. (I'm blaming the snow cover!)

If you don't know what it is you can check it all out at this website.

We visited my brother's family yesterday and took them out "treasure hunting" with us. The little ones had great fun and we found a cache with some trinkets in it for them to take home. (I had some other trinkets with me to leave behind per protocol.)

Another fun element to geocaching is Travel Bugs. These are metal dog tags with serial numbers and trinkets attached which cachers pick up in one place and take to a new place per the wishes of the owner or the goals listed for the bug. We were able to deliver one to the western border yesterday. We also picked one up!

This one is called "Iditadog" and was started in Anchorage, AK by some school kids in 2007. It's original goal was to travel around and get back in time to go on the Iditarod race in 2008, but it is still traveling. We may keep ahold of this one until vacation this summer when I hope we will be able to deliver it much farther west (and north). We'll see!

Today we're having sleet/ice/snow. I'm going to have to take a nap if staying up until midnight is in the cards. We shall see.

Happy New Year one and all! See you in 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Heroes For The Holidays

I am pleased to report that I received the company of two of my knitting heroes for the holidays: the commemorative edition of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac (complete with an Introduction by Stephanie Pearl McFee, a third knitting hero of mine!) along with Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

I have already delved into both volumes, and am happy to report that I am already busy incorporating one of the patterns from Walker's tome onto the sock currently in progress on my needles.

I always enjoy reading EZ as well....she is so liberating!! One cannot help but become more self-confident as a knitter after reading her encouraging words. (I think that confidence spills over into other areas as well.)

In non-knitting (and non-photography) news....DS and I went in search of our first geocaches today. I also received a Garmin GPS unit for the holidays with which we can now take part in the fun that is geocaching. We did an earnest search for three caches today, finding two. (I am convinced the third one was not meant to be found in the winter with snow on the ground. We will have to try again in the spring.)

If you don't know about the sport/game/fun, check it out at!

Here's another photo from my forray into the woods a few days ago. (No caching involved...we were only out to take photos!)

Happy knitting and shooting and caching!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter's Fruit

We have been having a winter wonderland of frozen fog/hoarfrost the past few days.

Yesterday, in order to get out of the house, DD and I went out into the woods and took a walk with our cameras. She got a lot more pictures than I did due to the fact I had dimentia and forgot to charge my camera's batteries.

But I did manage to shoot a few before the camera gave up the ghost. This is my favorite.

I know it doesn't really show the beautiful frost covered trees, but sometimes the details are just too pretty to pass up.

Happy Shooting!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays!

May yours be merry & bright!

(Local lighting display with 30+ scenes done by a variety of groups. They set it up in our county park's campground and Santa comes and gives candy canes to everyone. Always fun and supports the work of the local Sertoma group.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Disappointment Thy Name Is...

Knit Picks Andean Chullo kit.

After doing a lot of Latvian mittens last year for the holidays, I kind of fell in love with doing stranded color work in knitting. When Knit Picks advertised their Andean Chullo hat kit last fall, I ordered one as soon as I could, knowing it would be fun to try.

Here's the photo of the completed hat which comes with the pattern:

Now if I had been savy and listening to a recent book of knitting advice I was reading, I should have known something was amiss at this point in the project.

Can you see what my clue should have been?

Yes, at no point does this hat actually appear on a real/actual HUMAN head. The only shots of it are on this clear dummy head. Right there I should have been asking myself "what's wrong with this hat that they don't have a live model in it?"

(My recent knitting advice said to always eye suspiciously the way any photos which accompany patterns are presented. Is the person standing or sitting funny? Are they showing the item from only one angle? What does the way they photographed it on the model say about potential pit falls/problems with the pattern?)

Ignoring that advice and plunging straight ahead like the mighty knitting fool I am, here's what I ended up with:

Yes, it was lovely to knit. I had fun doing the color work. I liked the patterns, especially the llamas.

But dudes.....


It is way, WAY too tall to fit a normal human head without looking completely silly!! (Can you see there are a good 4" to 6" of hat above the top of the head that just sticks up or flops over?!)

If you are related to Herman Munster or happen to know any members of the Conehead family, this hat would be perfect.

But don't expect your 17 year old DS to wear it, no matter how kind hearted he is to his dear, batty, old, yarn-crazed mom.

It just doesn't fit.

Oh, and I could have done without the serious, raging sinus cold/respiratory flu right before Christmas.

Happy Knitting!
(I'm going to get some more tea.....)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Knitting

Holiday knitting beginning to take up every waking moment? Is it all you think about? Is it all you do in your "free" time? Anxious you may not get it all done?

Are you obsessed? Compare yourself to this knitter and let me know!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, December 06, 2010

On Top Of It

I've switched from my slipper knitting frenzy (because I THINK I have them all completed!!) to doing a few last minute hats, etc. My DD saw a beret she liked at Target a few weeks ago and I took a picture of it with my cell phone. I went on line and found a very similar pattern, took her yarn shopping and commenced knitting. I found the "Druidess Beret" pattern on Ravelry and here's how it turned out.

I really enjoyed this pattern as there was somthing going on all the time. It's also the first chart-only pattern that I've actually completed! I knit it with Cascade 210 (it calls for DK weight yarn) in the colorway "Turtle."

Also it occurred to me that I did not show you the pair of slippers I did with Granny Square flaps or the way I put a decorative edge on one of the pairs of plain colored slippers. Without further ado, this is what they look like:

Granny square slippers for niece in Texas.

Blanket stitch edging on slippers for niece in Sioux City. (The hardest part about this was choosing which contrasting color to use!!)

I have a few other quick things to finish off for the holidays, but the bulk of it is finished. What isn't done yet are all little "extras"--so if they don't get finished it's no big deal. I can give them to the receipients at any time.

Hope you are all in full swing either enjoying the holidays or preparing for the ones yet to come!

Happy Knitting!