Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mother of the Groom

I got Diane to reluctantly pose for a photo. I told her she needed to get over her shyness in front of the camera because at next month's wedding, she's going to be the belle of the ball. Here she is at the Bonita Knitting Store once she found the perfect shoes. She looks fantastic and she isn't even wearing make up. Now if I could only get her to open her eyes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Staycation

The Nature Center was good. The breezes off the bay were delicious and we wandered around for over an hour, seeing what there was to see and putting Bob's new camera through its paces. He also brought along his other digital camera and I brought mine. So the adventure was fully documented.

Still in an exploring mood, we went down to the Chula Vista Marina and Bayfront Park. I got pix of the boats in their slips and got to thinking of Terry who I met while she lived there before she went off galavanting to the shores of Mexico. So this one's for you, Terry.

Other summer San Diego fun has included the Summer Pops on the 4th of July. The concert with Marvin Hamlisch conducting was good and the city fireworks decent. But the Pops fireworks scheduled after the municipal show were cancelled by the Coast Guard because of the small boats in the bay as they were leaving from the first show. Bummer. So the search for a good place to enjoy fireworks on the 4th continues. Due to city finances, nearby Chula Vista cancelled its show, making downtown even more crowded.

We went to the first of the three Shakespeare plays we have tickets for this season. It was a production of the Merry Wives of Windsor. Lots of fun and very well done. It's our summer of Shakespeare, as our August road trip vacation will have us attending two more of the Bard's plays in Ashland, Oregon. I brought along the special lap robe I made for the outdoor theater as well as a shawl, but the evening was perfect without the usual evening chill. Next time.

On the knitting front, I have been trying to keep things small, so as not to have anything heavy on my lap. I finished up this baby blanket from orange TLC Cotton Plus before it got too hot. Not intended for anyone. It's in the baby gift stash since it seems as if I always need one in a hurry.

Erika did give me lots of notice about wanting something special for one of her best friends. It seems as if all gifts lately were for boys, so I went ahead and made this ever so cute baby dress from Blue Sky Alpacas by Lynn Murchland. I used Panda Silk since it's machine washable. I was sure SOMEONE would eventually have a girl.

Wouldn't you know it? Once the sonogram results came back - another boy. So Erika selected a sweater very similar to this one from my patterns. But it was for a worsted weight, so I found this free Berroco pattern, Baby Poonam, meant for Berroco DK yarn. It is what I used and am generally pleased with the very soft acrylic and nylon blend, but needed to be careful because it does split easily. The sweater was a fun and interesting project, primarily due to the graph Susan Schlesinger generated for the classes she had at the Bonita Knitting Store. Whew! All the patterns easily laid out side by side. I also made it in the round using 47" circulars so I could Magic Loop it up to the armholes. I then went back and forth on the same needles, keeping the other half right on the circular. I also did the sleeves in the round working down from the armholes, so I had absolutely no seaming to do. Per Erika's request, I put the button openings on both shoulders. I have to admit I, too, prefer the symmetry.

More knitting fun was making these Pedicure socks. I made them up as I went along working from the bottom up to the cuff. I made a little I-cord thong, a reverse heel flap heel and a crocheted bind off with 3 chains in between each stitch to get a slight girly ruffle. I love my pedicures year round, but my old house gets cold and I don't want to ruin it by putting on socks too soon. The only downside to the project was using Tofutsies. It's my least favorite sock yarn. Splitty with very little give even though the colors are wonderful. I had to rip out the short row heel because it was just too tight. The heel flap gave me more stitches to work with. I think it would be good for baby items and shawls.

I did make an easy shawl for Diane, a knitting friend soon to be the Mother of the Groom. She'd finally found the perfect dress, but fretted about her arms being exposed, just like we all do. She mused aloud about making a shawl, but she already had several projects going for the August wedding. So with Susan providing the yarn, I knocked it out in a week as a gift from the Shop. It's the Fiber Trends Easy Lace Scarves and Wraps pattern I will be teaching next month. The yarn that matched the gown perfectly was Berroco Naturlin, a linen blend. It was not harsh to work with and softened up amazingly once I washed and blocked it. I hope to have better pictures after the wedding.

I made up more samples of this wrap for the upcoming class. It has the stockinette version as already pictured, and a garter stitch one. Both just flow off the needles.

I finally switched over to Verizon once my AT & T contract was up. I had switched years ago from them over to Cingular, but then it was bought out. Service issues and nickel and dime charges had me fed up. Most of my family's on Verizon, so it was a better choice. My new cool phone is also a music player. I put in a 2 GB card and loaded on some of my music. The pouch holds the earphones and the new phone sock protects it, especially in purses without a cell phone pocket.

Tah Dah! Done. All caught up. As fascinating as paint drying.


Ah, the joys of San Diego in the summer.

Bob and I went to 3 Padres games in June. Although they are having a dismal season, the owners should pay us to go more often. Of the 7 games we have attended so far, the Padres won 6 when we were in attendance. My secret as a lucky charm is to have some simple knitting in progress while watching. That, and the few beers we have at our favorite downtown brewery, the Rock Bottom.

I've been spending a lot more time at The Bonita Knitting Store. As much as I profess I don't work there, I really do. But it's still just the occasional class, augmented by an hour or two here and there, usually not more than once a week. I always help during the Saturday clinics, if I'm in town. Susan and I even did some classes on the road for San Diego County. We did have an all day inventory party on a Monday when the store is closed. That worked out really well with us getting all the necessary counts done without having to disturb the customers. It will become a quarterly event. Of course there was the constant temptation of handling so much yarn. Thoughts of simplifying the count by just taking it all home kept bombarding me. Personally, I was pretty good, but Janelle......

I went to the County Fair twice. Once was for a shift at the American Sewing Guild Booth right in the Home and Hobby area, my favorite. I sewed tote bags for charity while chatting with attendees. As 'pay' for my volunteer work, I got extra tickets, so Bob and I returned together on another day to watch a Demolition derby.

We also went to Vegas- again. This time we stayed at the Stratosphere, barely leaving the hotel to brave the 108 degree temps. We did take the Deuce uptown to catch the Comedy Stop show at the Tropicana. And lookee, my 1st Royal Flush in Las Vegas in YEARS, as any previously reported have all been in Laughlin. But just to show how luck is very fickle, the machines turned to total crap the next day, demanding I return just about all of my winnings. At least I came home with literally a few extra dollars. Hey, any time I come home with any of my budgeted 'gambling coupons' is a profitable trip.
More on "How I spent my summer vacation" later. Bob and I are off to a photo safari to the Chula Vista Nature Center. We have never been and Bob finally got a digital SLR camera and is still experimenting with its capabilities.