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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

FO- Green Gable

Knitter 1
Sleeves 0
It's done finally after a hairy situation with the sleeves. As daring as I am with my scissors, I was almost in tears last night with the sleeves, but I won anyway. All is now right with my knitting world.
Pattern: Vinhevarra-huppari / Green Gable hoodie by the talented Tikru on Ravelry

Yarn: 7 hanks of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky in 134 (bright evergreen)

Needles: Size 11 addis and size 8 addis for the collar
Started: April 10, 2008
Finished: May 31, 2008
Recipient: Me

Mods: I omitted the hoodie. I have too much hair. There is no point of a hoodie for me. I changed to size 8 needles before the short row shaping would start for the hood and knit in pattern to my desired length. Of course, I had to shorten the sleeves and you all know that from the last post. I also used 3 small buttons. I wanted the neck to be almost a high-neck mandarin collar so I wanted the top button up higher. It's still roomie around my neck but it helps the collar stand up straight also.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. I am quite the Jolly Green Giant green right now. I like green though so I'm fine with it. The Hubs was saying "Ho Ho Ho" to me from the Green Giant commercials with grew up with on TV as kids because I am so bright green. For my international friends, this is a brand of frozen and canned vegetables. The mascot of the company happens to be a Jack in the Beanstalk type of very, very green giant. Yep. That's me. A green, cabled wool giant. Ok so I also think the Chunky yarn makes me look chunkier.....I'm not little by any means, but I'll be warm when the snow rolls around in 6 months.

Hello. She scared us with her scissors but we are the right size now.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sleeves of Neanderthalic Proportions

So I decided to try on Green Gable last night since I was up to the collar....uh hmmm we have a problem. My gauge was spot on, I followed the pattern...what happened to my sleeves? Any lower and I'd be grazing my knuckles on the floor like a modern day caveman! Ok that totally doesn't work huh? ehh um never mind.

I kind of feel like the Green Giant. I like the cables and I've been so excited about this sweater so I will not be deterred by my jacked-up sleeves. Hopefully, I will have a fixed sweater by the weekend so I can model it in 80 degrees, 'cause that's how I roll.
I take matters into my own hands, people. I will not be bullied by what I thought was a perfect gauge swatch.
Trust me my lovelies, this will hurt me more than it will hurt you............get the wine...we're going to have a little confetti party.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Progress...I haz it.

Well I do have something to show for myself. I am almost finished the green gable. I should be attaching some sleeves tonight and hopfully we can model a finished fabs. At least I'll have a new sweater to wear in the Fall.

I hope everyone has had a safe Memorial Day. Have you hugged a veteran today? I have. My grandfather.

In dedication, to all our brothers and sisters who have served our country to preserve the way you and I are able to live our lives everyday. From the bottom of my heart...THANK YOU.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another year older, and wiser

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Perfect Birthday Cake for a Knitter

You can't get any more perfect of a cake for a die-hard knitter than this.....a ball of yarn and knitting needles. My mother-in-law has a reputation for creating specialized birthday cakes in the family and this another one of her creations along with my sister-in-law, Tammy. Tell me, do I not have the best mother-in-law and sister-in-law? How cool is this? I got my cake 2 days early today since "the pants" is going on a fishing trip starting Monday and they wanted him to be around for the present and cake. Present is tomorrow I understand. Hmmmmm I'm in suspense.
This is a yellow cake from a bowl-shaped mold. It was frosted and then they used "Red Vine" licorice strings to make the yarn ball. Some chopsticks for knitting needles and voila, a knitter's cake.
If you'd like to see some more of my mother-in-law's awesome cakes, take a trip over to kubuskrafts and take a look at my sister-in-law's blog. She posted the play-by-play making of this one. She also posted pictures of some previous masterpieces, including the pirate ship my MIL and I did for Tammy's birthday in February and Dorothy's Ruby Slippers they did for me a few years ago. There were a lot of picking out yellow skittles for my yellow brick road.
BTW, Tammy just rec'd her Ravelry invite today. Her username is the same as her blog. Drop by and say hi to her won't you? You know that whole warm fuzzy Ravelry welcome wagon?
Thanks Mom and Tammy for my cake! I lerve it!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ireland: The Final Chapter

So in the final chapter of our trip, we spent the next couple of days visiting a few towns we liked previously such as Ennis, and a few we'd never been to before like Kilfenora. One area we wanted to explore is called the "The Burren". In this area we did some more exploration of cairns and dolmens of the ancient people once inhabiting this area. The area is full of hollow limestone created by volcanic eruptions during the land's formation.
We had coffee with dear old dad in the morning and, by his recommendation, headed off on a country road full of twists and turns. It was a beautiful crisp day. It was our final day before heading out toward Dublin in the morning.

Climbing up the hill

Trying not to break my *ss climbing over the stone wall.
It was windy. I have lots of hair. Nuff said.

This one's for Wendy. A few guys kept trying to set her up with a little marriage proposal.

"He's got 107 acres and Coos!

*blink blink*


"Cooooos. You know coooooooooooos!!"

Ohhh riiiiight. We love cooos.

Coos by a dolmen in a field.

Definitely one of my favorite pictures that Wendy took of me. I actually look peaceful and content. You know what? I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. I was very happy.
We moved on to the Poulnabone Portal Tomb. It's supposed to be one of the finest examples in the country.
Balancing stone.

Poulnabone Portal Tomb. This was dated to have been constructed before the Egyptian pyramids. No.words. It was a breathtaking example of history.
We had a great day exploring and then headed back home to the pub and BnB. We bought dinner for the pub and happily munched on our vinegar chips with our friends. Another lock-in with our friend working the pub. It was a good chill-out night. It was setting in that we would have to leave in the morning. I wish I could have stayed longer. 5 days was long enough to torment this little town. We would be back.
Wendy wanted to pour one more Guinness before she left. Behold the pour....
Step 1: The basic pour
Step 2: Wait. Then comes the backfill
Step 3: Wait again and admire your work
Step 4: Guinness lips. YUM!
I will just say that the whiskey came out that night. It was to be a shot with friends. Ummm yeah....whiskey.
So was got up later than planned and headed down for breakfast after packing the car. A local we met a few days early found out we were leaving town that day and insisted to run home to get his accordion. It was too far so the folks in the pub convinced him to play the tin whistle instead. He wanted to play us a tune before we left. Funny, we had said we wanted to catch some music at some point being the aficionados we are...never caught any...but it came to us.
Our friend here proceeded to play reel after reel. He sang some lovely local tunes directly to us much to the enjoyment of the rest of the pub as well. We bought him a round and begged him to play some more. We found he had been second only to the great Willy Clancy in a competition, the son of Clare, credited for the revival of Irish music. Miltown hosts the Willy Clancy festival every July.

Some of our new friends begged us not to go being we had been in the pub everyday and this was the first day they came in.

Finally. He graced us with a nice picture. Thanks bro'!
Thank you for joing me in reliving my trip. I am obviously very sentimental about this place. It holds a special place in my heart.
What is it about this little town? Is it the old pub? The people? The craic? The friendships? I guess it's a combination of all these things. I don't think twice about gushing my love for it all over this blog. Why shouldn't I?
What a trip!!!

The long road home will lead us back again....

The End.
Back to the knitting. :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ireland cont'd: The Infamous Sunday Session

So after we reacquainted ourselves with our friends in the pub, we settled in for a night of Guinness and chatting. The pub regulations have gotten quite strict since we were there last, although if you are locked in after midnight when the pub closes, it's a compliment that your company is being enjoyed. It's called a "lock-in". We had plenty of those previously and this night was no different. We got up a little later in the morning on Sunday than planned and came downstairs to a PACKED pub at 10:30 in the morning. It was a much younger crowd now which took us by surprise. We had coffee with our "Irish Dad" and decided to check out the old stomping grounds for the day.

We left the crowded pub and headed off to Spanish Point near the place we stayed last trip. If you read the previous post, it's the cute little green and white cottage. It was only a minute drive or so and we gingerly stepped out on to the beach. (take note of the green algae on the rocks below)

We barely recognized the cottage. It now had a large sunroom on the side facing the ocean.One minute, I'm taking a picture of Wendy and the next, reliving history.
Boom! Down I go in a split second. The only thing I hurt was my pride and my knee. I managed to save the camera and Coach bag. Hey, I have priorities, you know. Wendy wasn't so lucky in 2004, busting her camera and her shoulder. This stuff is incredibly slippery.

So the wet jeans and I head to the car with the heat on to dry off. We head toward the Cliffs of Moher. We had been there several times before and thought it might be nice for another visit. The tourist buses made a knot in our stomachs so we blew past and turned around. We just weren't in the mood for the other tourists. It had been built up and modernized since were were there last and it took away from the rugged terrain walking to the cliffs. Maybe next time.
Next we head off to a favorite store of ours, The Rock Shoppe. Shiny, sparkling stone, jewelry. A magpie's dream. I bought my mom a knotwork necklace and moved on.

We also stopped at another place I stopped last time, St. Bridget's Well.

We did a little shopping in Lahinch and returned to the pub to unload our bags and grab some dinner next door with our friend, Gerry. We had a little appetizer before dinner though. Mind you, the crowd IS still there 7 hours later.

If this is any indication on how this night is about to go, I don't know what is. Cathal plays a little trick on an unsuspecting friend. That's cold, man.
After dinner, we return with Gerry for more Guinness and to join the craic. We were invited to join a new group of faces and that's when the trouble started. "Dad" leaves and hands over the after-hours crowd to his son. The blinds are drawn, doors locked, juxbox is playing, pints see where I'm going with this right?For those of you who have not experienced the power of a pint, let our new friend show you stepwise.

Step 1: Know you are being photographed. Work the camera

Step 2: Discover you have a lovely pint of Guinness. Mmmmm that looks refreshing.
Step 3: Go in for the kill

My new friend and I having a lovely time.
Wendy and Michelle

Hanging out, listening to tunes
I will never figure out how he does that with his face. No. words.
There was singing. Oh yes, lots of singing.

"You raise me UP so I can climb the mountains......" (Westlife)

For all I know this could have been Amy Whinehouse "Rehab". Lots and lots of singing.
And there was lots of dancing....."no woman no cry......."What'll you have?
Then there was a little tormenting of the birthday boy. How many people does it take to pick him up? Uhhhh more than we thought.

More assorted silliness. Why is it I can never get a "normal" picture with my friend here?

Slainte. One of my favorite pictures. Cheers to old friends.....
...and new memories.
That was some great craic.

Before you know it, the sun comes up. That, my friends, was a "session".