Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A matched set


More boring knitting for you to see...a ballband towel to match all my appliance covers (toaster oven, Oster Kitchen Center and KitchenAid Mixer. I just couldn't help myself, I had to make a towel. I love having a color coordinated kitchen :) Now what else can I make? I've got some ideas....that will keep me busy until the torch is lit (ravelympics coming soon)!

The other day I had some kiwifruit that I wanted to use up so I tried making Kiwifruit Muffins. They were really good :)

Guess what I discovered yesterday? U.S. World News and Reports has a link to my blog.
Pretty cool, don't you think?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Have you joined a Ravelympics Team yet?

Well I have! Carolyn asked me to join Team Overly Ambitious, Yet Plausibly Possible (OAYPP). I wonder why she thought of me?
Since I hadn't joined any teams yet (actually I hadn't really thought about it too much) I figured why not?...it might be fun. I signed up for only two events: Sock Put and Home-Stuff Hammerthrow. My reasoning being, first I wanted to challenge myself...socks are not a fast and easy knit for me and I haven't knit any for a while, plus I do have yarn in my stash. Second home-stuff, well that's easy knitting and perfect for when I'm on the go. I don't take socks with me for a take along project (fear of losing my dpn's) and I figured out that some cloths or pot holders might be the way to go. You never know I might just pull off knitting a couple. We'll just have to see how it goes. I'm ready. Let the games begin. Read up on Ravelympics including the rules here just in case you might want to join in the fun!

Not to bore you, but I just finished another Ballband Appliance Cover. This time the cover is for my Kitchen Aid Mixer. This one matches my toaster cover and my Oster Kitchen Center Cover.
Well, almost. The second cone of peppercorn ombre was a different dye lot, so there is a variation in the colors, and shading. Not perfect, but I can live with the difference. I don't think the average person would notice the difference.

Remember my textured painted dishcloths? Well, they were inspiration for Patrica's knitting students (I mentioned her email to me in this post). She kindly sent me photos of their creations for me to show off. (I wish I could have made the photos larger, but this is what she sent me.) I think they are lovely and this type of knitting makes for one of a kind items, hands down!

Speaking of showing off, have you checked out my Knitting Friend's Gallery recently? I've added lots of photos of beautiful items knit with my patterns. I'm really amazed at all of the beautiful handiwork!! Thank you everyone for allowing me to post your photos :) For those of you who have knit up some of my patterns, be sure and let me know if you have any photos you would like to add to the line-up. Thanks. I really love showing them off :)

Now I'm going to try and catch up on my blog reading. I just don't know where the time goes and I have no idea why I keep on getting so far behind? Most importantly I hope everyone manages to get in lots of happy knitting this weekend :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Road Trip and some traveling knitting!

We're back! Back from our road trip to Niagara Falls, New York and Pittsburgh, PA. I didn't send any postcards, but I think I like this virtual one better, because I was the photographer :) It's a rather misty shot, but I love the effect of the colored lights on the falls.
We had a fun few days exploring Niagara Falls. We did all the touristy things....Maid of the Mist boat ride (magnificent views, but you do get really wet), Cave of the Winds(soaked again, but they gave us souvenir sandals to wear)...walkway view of the falls, Niagara Aquarium and we saw an incredible fireworks display over the falls. We also walked over to Canada over the Rainbow Bridge to see the view from the other side. Both views are different and beautiful in their own right. Which side is better? That's a difficult question. There were definitely more people on the Canadian side. The surrounding area is much more commercialized, but pretty with all the gardens as well as a great view of the falls. This was not my first visit to the Canadian Falls. We took our oldest many years ago when he was about four years old. It is much more built up now, but I still remember all the pretty gardens. Looks like Disney World if you get my drift. The American side is more natural looking given that it is one of the oldest National Parks. I recommend walking over the bridge and then you can see both sides, therefore you need not miss out on any of the views!

Before we left NY we also visited Lockport. We saw boats going through the locks on the Erie Canal and took a cave tour and boat ride. The cave is a man made one. Learned an interesting fact about where the term "hoagie"(as in sub or grinder sandwich) originated from. The boys (called Hoagies) who worked in the Lockport Caves back in the old days were given a box lunch that had a cold sandwich in it made from head cheese or liverwurst and that's how the sandwich got it's name. We had many "hoagies" on this trip. We also visited the University of Rochester to give my middle guy an idea what their campus looks like. He's just starting to look at colleges. Another place we toured was the Niagara Power Vista, which was very interesting. The Niagara River is a huge electric power source for the area.

Then off to Pittsburgh. We visited the Pittsburgh Zoo, Carnegie Science Center, PNC Park for two ballgames ( I only saw one game and enjoyed my time alone in the motel that night) and another fabulous, best ever fireworks display after the last game. The Pittsburgh zoo is a very nice zoo. Not a huge one, but they have lots to see. An elephant baby was born while we were there, but we didn't get to see it, which was disappointing. When we went on our last big family vacation to Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2001 we were very lucky to see the baby panda, which was very exciting. The Carnegie Science Center's exhibits (hands on) were a little bit young for my boys. It would have been heaven for the 6 - 10 age group. The best part of the visit was touring the USS Requin, a WWII submarine. The boys all enjoyed that :)

Of course food is always the high light of our trips...the boys were delighted to visit Primanti Bros. Ever since they saw a show on the Food Network that's all they would talk about. This is a very famous restaurant for there they serve sandwiches that they put the french fries and cole slaw right inside the sandwiches, very unusual! My husband and middle guy had to try one, but my youngest and I had their pizza which was outstanding! They loved the sandwiches. It's one of those things that you just have to try :)

Here is a mosaic of some ( just a sampling) of the photos from our trip:
Now for some knitting. With all those hours in the car I did manage to complete a ballband cover for my old Oster Kitchen Center.

This was fabulous traveling knitting, mindless enough so I didn't miss out on any of the sight while driving. This time I knit the entire piece in the round and then closed off the top with single crochet and crab stitch. I know I could have grafted it closed with kitchener's, but I thought it would be nice to have a matching set finished off with the crab stitch. I think it matches my toaster cover quite well and now I'm working on another cover for my kitchen aid mixer. I think this will take a while to complete. Am I getting sick of working with this yarn and pattern?...why yes, but I can't help but look forward to having all my appliances outfitted with matching covers. I think I can handle it :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I am so behind with my blog reading that it will take me a while to catch up on everyone's news. I know you all understand what it's like returning from a trip...the mountains of laundry and mail, paying bills, shopping and the general getting back into the swing of real life again. It's nice to go away, but it's nice to come home again. The 12 and a half hour drive home from Pittsburgh took a lot out of me and I did none of the actual driving...just sat and knit :)

Happy Knitting everyone :)

P.S. If you are interested in making your own postcard and mosaic check out Big Huge Labs.
Both of them were really easy to make. I highly recommend it :)

I'll leave you here with a couple videos of the Canadian Falls and the fireworks display at PNC Park, Pittsburgh. The display was even longer, but we ran out of batteries :)
video video

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Another use for the infamous ballband....

....as a toaster oven cover!

Ever since I first started knitting ballband dishcloths I've had it in my mind to construct a toaster cover. I'm a little bit disappointed in the final results though. The crocheted seams (single crochet and crab stitch edging) are rather wonky. You can get the instructions for crab stitch here. It is actually single crochet done in reverse and makes a very nice finished edging. I had never heard of this stitch until I saw it on Marianne's blog. It does make me happy to be rid of the pain old towel that I had been using as a cover.

Last, but not least it is award time again! Melanie bestowed upon me the Arte y Pico award.
I shall now pass it on to five more blogs. This was very VERY hard for me just picking five! I really wish I could nominate all of the blogs that I find interesting...but I must have some self control this time :)

All of these blogs, Jeanne Knits, Picperfic's Blogspot, Smoking Hot Needles , This Blonde Knits (& Crochets!) inspire me with the projects they show off and this last one Weathertop Farm
I love reading because as a city girl getting a view of the farming life is very interesting!

Now, here are the rules and regulations of the Arte y Pico Award: 1) Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language. 2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone. 3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself. 4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award (http://arteypico.blogspot.com/)
Congratulations everyone :)

Happy Fourth of July!