Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Circle Vest

I admit it. I have a Noro addiction. It's the colors; how can a knitter resist the colors and the way they flow one into the other? It was the Noro sock yarn that started it all. A couple of weeks ago, Barbara and I both bought Noro Taiyo to knit the Circle Vest from Silk Knits. I think this would look great when Fall weather finally arrives (I am still waiting) with jeans and knitted socks, of course. I started the vest Sunday after Ike wanting to knit something really fun and enjoyable that would hold my interest/attention while we were without electricity. Not to mention, brighten my mood a bit.
Gorgeous, yes?
I had to take a picture of one of my favorite orchids in bloom in my bathroom. Thankfully, this is an easy orchid to grow and amazingly stays in continuous bloom. It loves my bathroom and I love its flowers. As the flower ages; it begins to turn a bit yellow which only increases it's beauty.
(I love those old Florida souvenir plates) Below, is a violet that resides on the side of the bathtub. She loves the bathroom too! I have always been a plant lover. For the first time in my life, I have a house with a bathroom that has the perfect window light for orchids. Life is good.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Drop Dead Gorgeous Shawl

Twisted Yarns has this shawl on display with the Blue Heron Beaded Rayon. Knitted Eye Candy to be sure. You can't help wanting to knit it! Not only is the yarn beautiful to the eye; it is wonderful in the hands. I innocently decided this would be THE perfect project to take on our whirlwind road trip to South Carolina. I could easily talk to Joe, watch the scenery go by and knit at the same time!
Happily knitting away as we made our way home, near the end of the hank of yarn; I noticed that both edges were rolling in a lot! I decided at that point to set it aside knowing I would probably wind up frogging it for a reknit. After frogging Version 1, I added a 5 stitch seed stitch border to each edge. Looks great, everything is fine. As I near the end of the yarn cake, I realize it is not going to be very big?! Oh no............ that 5 stitch seed stitch border on each side made a noticeable difference in the size. I set it aside to think about it. It didn't take long for a second hank of Blue Heron Beaded Rayon in Kelp to come in. I was most grateful to get one! Knowing that the second hank would be a different dye lot; I was hoping that maybe it wouldn't be a BIG difference. Of course, it was a BIG difference. The only thing to do with yarn from two different dye lots is to knit a couple of rows from one hank and then knit a couple of rows from the other hank. So, I frogged Version 2. Joe is in awe at this point. As you can see below, it has been worth it. At least, I think it has been worth it. Joe would probably disagree with me.
The second hank of yarn added the deep chocolate brown shades while the first hank had the more brilliant purple, turquoise and greens. It truly is a perfect blend of yarns.
I knit the shawl until I thought I had enough for ample fringe. I did run a bit short but always meant to add other yarns to the fringe for a more lux look along with some beading. The two yarns pictured below are Fiesta LaBoheme and an ONline yarn that is yummy. Both yarns are from my stash and make great matches for fringe, I think. (isn't it amazing how we gravitate to the same colors we love)
This colorway has absolutely gorgeous colors.
This last photo shows the colors almost exactly. I am very fond of this shawl already. After all, we have spent a lot of quality time together.

A couple of Ike Photos

I only took a couple of photos during Ike. I couldn't believe that Joe and I were experiencing another major Hurricane in just 3 years. I don't like looking at the photos I took after Rita. By the way, we were without electricity for almost 2 months after Rita. This is the first cloud band that came over our house from Ike. It is early evening and it was quite beautiful!
The picture below is two brave little hummingbirds trying to eat after the winds of Ike had died down a bit! Joe and I were absolutely amazed! Before Ike, we had about 25 hummingbirds at the back porch keeping us busy filling feeders. We (I) had gotten quite attached to them and worried that they would get blown away. These two little guys were flying into the wind to get to the porch. We had brought all the feeders in so the birds would seek shelter. These two were looking for a feeder; so we put one out for them. Here they are, sitting on the feeder as it swayed in the wind and rain. Unbelievable!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hurricane Ike

One week ago today, Hurricane Ike roared ashore in Galveston, Texas and continued pretty much right up (north) I45. Joe and I spent much of the early morning (beginning about 4am) and the day experiencing the winds of the left eye wall. It was pretty scary. We were without electricity for 5 days having power restored at 10pm Thursday evening. Thank God for the mild temperatures in the days after the storm. Joe and I have fared very well. We had no damage to our house. The big issue for us along with millions of other people was not having electricity. Our generator developed a carburetor problem from the start and refused to work. Joe was really frustrated about that. Once we gave up and emptied out our fridge; he was fine. Once I got over not having tv; I was fine. I am so glad to have the BlackBerry as I could check email, text and get online. Unbelievably, the newspaper delivery resumed immediately; so Joe read the paper in the mornings and I knit. In fact, I knit thru the day most days. Passing time in the evenings was a bit more difficult as there isn't a lot you can do by candle light or lantern. I missed the little book light that I had given to Alexis back during the early Summer. I plan to get another to put on the hurricane shelf with the other supplies. We had to learn how to occupy our time without all our electronic stuff. I found that we could: 1- charge my BlackBerry in the car without having to drive around 2 - boil water with the propane tank for coffee in the mornings (this was a biggie) 3 - read more - Joe had two fairly new books that I had gotten him 4 - listen to the battery powered radio I had gotten at Walgreens for $5 before Ike 5 - sit on the back porch and listen to the hummingbirds who stayed during the storm 6 - take warmish baths mid-day after the sun heated the pipes in the attic After watching Katrina and then personally experiencing Rita, I never thought I would ever again see hurricane devastation that would exceed either of those storms. I was wrong. It has been absolutely horrific and mind-numbing. I am one of the many Houston area residents suffering from PSS - Post Storm Stress. Our 5 days without electricity are trivial compared to what others are now experiencing. I know the loss many people are trying to cope with and it is heartbreaking. They are in my prayers. I did hear something on the radio that made me proud. A lady said that Hurricane Ike was a bad thing but we are in the best place to be when something bad happens - TEXAS. She was so right!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

Joe and I had 13 evacuees with 3 dogs (Dash, Lucy and Meha) in our home! (smiling) We built this house planning ahead for these times that we have to run from hurricanes. We want our children and grandchildren to be here with us instead of on the road. Our guests were: My Mom with Meha (a tiny Chihuahua) Pam, Ryan, Alexis and Jayden Kim, Todd, Matthew and Kayla with Dash (Dachshund) Heather, Qui, Crosby and Sophie with Lucy(Golden Retriever) We filled our guest bedrooms and then put mattresses on the floor. Joe made breakfast in the mornings filling everyone with waffles, bacon, sausage and eggs. During the day we all took off for various things to do since the weather was nice; hot but nice. In the evenings, we cooked. I did have time to cook some before everyone arrived. I made a large pot of White Chili and a very large chicken salad. Everyone brought their "hurricane food" so they had the snacks and drinks that their children prefer. The first full day together, Kim, Todd, and Joe went to the movies and Mom, Pam, Alexis and I with Matthew and Kayla went shopping. We all had a great time. Kayla was due a promised trip to Build a Bear Workshop for her birthday. We all came home tired and hungry. The second day, we all took off in a caravan to the Premium Outlet for a day of shopping. Arriving at lunch, we all ate together then split up agreeing to meet at the entrance at 3pm to go home. My Mom was shopping shoes while others were looking for the Croc store and so on. We kept in touch by cell phone. You would not believe that we ran into a friend from Lake Charles, La! Hi Debbie W. Poppa Joe grilled hamburgers and hot dogs while the kids went to the community pool to swim. We all fell into bed completely exhausted. Pam and Ryan along with Todd and Mother left early the next morning hoping to beat the heavy traffic and get home at a descent time. Heather and Qui left a bit later with everyone else that had evacuated and spent the WHOLE day getting home; a trip that should have taken 4 hrs at the most. Kim, Matthew and Kayla spent another two nights with Joe and I. I meant to take photos while everyone was here. I stayed so busy that I took only a few the first night.