Life Part 1: Where We’ve Been

Long time no blog. In addition to a big freelance project, life with the kiddo has been keeping me (happily) busy.

This past weekend, Izzy skated in a competition, something she’s long wanted to do. Here she is before her first event, a bit nervous but so much more relaxed than I would have been.

Can’t tell you how pleased I was to discover the whole thing was more celebration than competition. Medals for everyone! Izzy got a 3rd place and 4th place, which are already proudly displayed in her room. We went up to Santa Fe the day before (her practice ice time was an ungodly 6:45 am on Sunday) and visited the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, which I’d yet to see.

A few weeks earlier, we celebrated Violet’s second birthday with a hotdog dinner and new toy for the birthday pup. (Yeah, Izzy was pretty tickled by that “bad to the bone” embroidery.)

And last, but certainly not least, Izzy, Violet, and I took a vacation over the Easter holiday. We headed south to Carlsbad and spent five days hanging out in the desert. It was the perfect combination of exploration and unadulterated relaxation. Our base camp was the most charming little cabin with a porch swing (that saw some knitting) and a table inside for ongoing Monopoly games.

We went to the International UFO Museum in Roswell (a hoot, well at least I thought so).

Made an unscheduled stop at the Smokey the Bear museum (yes, it does exist) when we happened to drive past it.

We went to the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, where we saw just a few animals out in the midday sun but some spectacular scenery…

… and a few hard-to-categorize indoor exhibits.

The best outing, though, was Carlsbad Caverns. And given that we spent nearly three hours taking the hour-long tour, I’m thinking the rock collecting of Izzy’s early youth was no passing phase; might just have a budding geologist on my hands.*

* Clearly the iPhone flash is not intended for cave photography.

The St. Paddy’s Day that Was

While I take a photo of Izzy every St. Patrick’s Day* this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

The day started off just fine. We got to the ice rink early for her private makeup lesson (Izzy’s competing in the Santa Fe Skatefest this May for the first time and we had to reschedule Thursday’s session after her coach hurt her knee). They started putting Izzy’s program to music for the first time and the kiddo got in an extra 1/2-hour practice. Then a break before the warmup session and her group lesson.

Five minutes before class started, Izzy fell hard on her wrist.

We spent the next 3+ hours at Urgent Care, where thankfully there was a volunteer manning the gift shop so Izzy got the above string cheese and some other ala carte lunch items while we waited. Even though it meant having to cancel our lunch and hanging out in Old Town with Jane and Nina, I’m still looking upon the day as fairly lucky — it’s only a sprain, not a fracture or break. Phew!

Today is a movie and nap day for Izzy. And while I’d hoped to blog my finished Spectra, it’s only just now blocking and will have to wait until next weekend for a photoshoot with my recovered model. In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of the latest WIP — taken quickly this am while there was some sun and before the Grapes of Wrath winds (40 mph gusting to 67 mph) picked up and starting turning everything a dusty brown and will most likely succeed in blowing the blossoms off the trees. Ahhh, spring in Albuquerque.


* Izzy’s birth mother’s birthday is March 17. Each year I take a photo of Izzy as a way of honoring her and keeping her in our thoughts.

FO: Hearts & Bows Headband

Ah, the joys of having a tween. While Izzy specifically requested this headband for Valentine’s Day — and was thrilled to get it this morning — you’d have thought I asked her to scrub the toilet based on her facial expressions in the quick photos I took today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s quite the miracle that this one smile slipped into the mix.

The yarn, which is a perfect girly pink and fuzzy soft, made its way to my stash via an online trade. (Last fall, I got a Ravelry message from a UK knitter in need of my leftover Lavender Cotton Glace.) While I got gauge, the fabric seems pretty airy… And now has me wondering if DK in the UK is actually what we call Sport in the US/Canada. It’s a fun, fast knit and I have plenty of yarn still, so think I might try reknitting it with the yarn doubled.

One Decade

Today marks 10 years to the day that Isabel and I flew home together from Guatemala. My life has been infinitely more colorful since… So I knew this mosaic chair would make the perfect photo when we saw it yesterday at the ABQ BioPark (her choice for our Family Day celebration). Can’t wait to see what the next decade has in store for us.

FO: Tweedy Cowl

Waste not, want not? Well, maybe want less. Loved the yarn used for the Penelope “sisters,” so I  was happy to discover I had enough green left over for this small infinity scarf/cowl.

Pattern: Nederland Circle Scarf by Cecily Glowik
Yarn: Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed in Forest Green

This is the time of year when I really start appreciating Albuquerque — chilly days with fading leaves instead of falling snow. Perfect Thanksgiving weather.

FO: Monster Mash

My finishing plans for the knitted monsters got derailed last weekend by my own little monsters. And, to be fair, my growing addiction to Pinterest is also partly to blame. It seems Halloween is approaching Christmas in this house in terms of build up and activities.

Along with trying out Ghost Cupcakes (and a half-dozen other Halloween-themed foods), last weekend Izzy’s school had its first Monsters on the Mesa fundraising event, complete with a 1K costume parade for the kids and dogs. Dorothy & Toto were reprised, but this time with a wig. (Note: I’ve long since expected to get a shot of both looking at the camera at the same time.)

But this weekend, thanks to a light activity load (and that extra precious hour), both monsters were assembled and photographed. Here they are before the purple one heads off to MN tomorrow to a good friend’s daughter who is like a sister to Izzy (who’s hanging on to the other one).

Pattern: Penelope the Empathetic Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed
(Forest Green & Grape)

FOs: One for Izzy, One for Me

It took several months, but I’ve recovered from the heartbreak of Izzy having lost the first skating sweater I made her. Yep, you read that right. Best we can figure, it went MIA at either the ice rink or school in April. But since it never showed up in either’s Lost & Found, I’ve consoled myself by fabricating a story about how it’s being worn and loved by some little girl somewhere. Some little girl who sleeps in it and never lets it out of her sight.

So when I agreed to cast on another sweater for Izzy, it came with a sworn promise that she would not lose this one. (And the acknowledgement that if she did, there would be nadda handknits for her for years to come.)

Pattern: Purl Stripe Cardigan by Amy Polcyn
Yarn: Alice Starmore Scottish Heather (Aubretia), Noro Iro (111)

 

It also seemed wise to go stash diving for the yarn. In the end, I ended up frogging a half-finished Tweedy Pie coat I’d started for Izzy when she was three — even at that small size, it was more Seed Stitch (1000-some yards) than I could stomach. The yarn is this amazing heathered purple with bits of violet and pink that’s not done justice by my photos. It also proved to be one of those yarns that change texture completely (from stiff and kind of scratchy to almost fuzzy soft) after blocking.

 

This is my first attempt at a yoke cardigan, which had me quite nervous before the blocking. The fact that I’d pushed the purl stripes by selecting a slightly bulkier yarn than what was in the pattern certainly didn’t help. In the end, I’m reasonably satisfied with the result — the button band is just a bit wavy, but I’m hoping that will straighten out with wear. I’d also done the math to size up two-inches around to make it bigger than the largest size in the pattern. And while it’s a bit big now, given how fast Izzy’s growing, I was happy to see that.

 

To get the color sequencing I wanted, I had to dip into the second skein of Iro I bought for the project. But that left me with nearly a full skein to play with. And who could resist digging through Ravelry to find just the perfect pattern to use up the rest of that glorious rainbow yardage?

Pattern:Mega Cabled Scarf by Marie Connolly
Yarn: Noro Iro (111)

 

Gotta say, I’m as happy with this extra knit as I am with Izzy’s sweater. Now for fall to arrive in Albquerque…

FO: Deep Waters Clockwork

You know life is a little too bustling when the kid asks to stay home and chill on a three-day weekend.

So after our back-to-back Saturday commitments and the usual weekend chores, we spent the rest of Labor Day weekend watching movies — Rio (meh) and Rango (fun) — and hanging out at the pool.

And, no surprise, there was lots of knitting. With “Deep Waters” and “Mermaid Lagoon” as the yarn color names, this third in my West Knits collection just begged for a poolside shot. And since it was such a relaxing knit, a shot in the Zen Garden.

Pattern: Clockwork by Stephen West
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal and Imagination Hand Painted

 

And, as you’ve no doubt come to expect, there needed to be a few Izzy modeling shots as well.