Tuesday, December 30, 2014

O Christmas Tree...

Here's the beautiful Christmas tree at my brother's place where I spent five days with his family.  The tree is always a beautiful sight.

We took a walk through the Botanic Gardens in Denver one evening.  It was a magical wonderland of color, snow, and lights.  What a treat!

Monday, December 22, 2014

From High Plains Footprints...

Thanks so much to each one of you who have taken time to read my blog and share your kind thoughts.  Here's wishing you all a wonderful week - and of course - A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Heavy frost...ing

All the browns, the bare ground and bare trees, have been covered by the last snow storm and heavy frost.  It looks like a winter wonderland... just in time for Christmas.  The wreath hanging on my fence seemed photo-worthy today.

The fog has been thick.  Not so great for travel on the road, but the trees look fantastic, like they've been painted by a Disney crew.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A week's absence

Yes, it's been a whole week since I last posted.  I really do have a good excuse: the computer was in the shop.  But now it's all fixed up, and the malware is off.  The computer should be running like a champ.

Knitting news: I finished the Nurmilintu Scarf. It's knit with lace weight yarn and size 2 needles. (I worked on it for 2 1/2 months, but it seemed like a lot longer.) Not a flattering picture.  Could I have found a more colorful towel on which to block this scarf???  I obviously did not choose it for its qualities as a background. Not even sure you can distinguish the variegated colors and lacy bits in the scarf.  The bind off on the lacy edge was new to me: bind off 5, cast on 2 by using the knitted cast-on method, then repeat.  It made an interestingly scalloped edge.  So, when the blocking is finished and the loose threads are woven in, I'll attempt a more artistic shot.  But, most importantly, it's OFF THE NEEDLES!

I'm excited to work on something new...but haven't quite had the time to make a decision; so many projects in the que.  And too many other holiday tasks have been keeping me on the run.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday's thoughts...

We are experiencing multiple days of temps near 50 degrees in DECEMBER!  The number of consecutive days is nearing an all-time record. 

So, I'm thinking...
   I'm so glad I haven't been hauling wood in cold winds and blowing snow.
   I can't believe I've hung up the heavy-duty winter coat.
   I must water the trees today.
   I will sweep out the garage; it should have been done months ago.
   Start making cookies...tomorrow? 
    I received my first Christmas card in the mail. Yea!  I will start addressing mine tomorrow.
   I love playing Christmas music on the piano, listening to it on CD's, and going to the local
           Christmas concerts (the first one was last night).
 'Tis the season... though it seems odd without the cold snow...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Santas

It took the task of teaching a class for me to make a couple new needle-felted Santas. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Felted Santa Class

We agreed his little guy looked more like a wizard.

Here are a few pictures from the needle-felted Santa class I taught last Thursday.  It took us a good 3 hours to complete the figure, but the gals really did a nice job.  They had several choices of colors to choose from, and of course, the faces on each one turns out a bit different. It's a fun process.

Friday, December 5, 2014


This shawl is still a W.I.P.; let me assure you, I'm getting very anxious to finish it. I decided to add two more sections in addition to what the pattern called for.  After this section of garter stitch, I only have one more section of lace and I'M BINDING OFF!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A little Holiday shopping...

I like supporting Small Business Saturday, so I was out and about to shop locally.  I found a few treasures just perfect for going under the Christmas tree.  I got a kick out of some of the naughty and nice gifts that make me chuckle. Couldn't resist this kitchen towel.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Finishing a project...

This is a line from Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening."

The needle-felted, winter poetry wall hanging is nearing the finish mark.  I think I can put the needle down  As I was felting the bottom lines of lettering, Nancy S. asked if I was going to embellish the snowflakes with beads.  I said, "No," without really thinking.  Once she planted that thought, though, I couldn't shake it.  I immediately started "re-thinking" that decision.  "Well, it probably would add a nice touch of glitter if I did."  Hmmm....

So, at that point I wasn't as close to the finish mark as I had hoped.  Last night I decided it was time to finish felting three words...and then tackle sewing on the beads.  They are silver, and just add a touch of sparkle, thanks to Nancy.  I'm pleased.

My neighbor has an idea for a way to frame it...and he's the one who will make it.  That will be fun.  It may be a while before the project is completely finished... but it's getting closer.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Yard Bunny

Although I do talk sweetly to him, I've tried to keep him out of the yard.   However,  this Bunny is persistent.  I've posted about him earlier - a couple times. He's the fearless one, as he lets me get within an arm's length of him...and wants to stand his ground, but then when I begin to take one more step, he moves... just enough. And this continues until he's finally chased out of the yard. 

I'm giving up.  Because I can't be outside every time he feeds on my grass...and then leaves a "deposit."  That's why I don't want him there; I'm not a fan of the round dead spots in the grass by spring!! 

He's been kicked out  of his home in the wood pile by the other resident bunny, and I wonder why.  It's a big wood pile; there should be plenty of room.  His new residence is under the boardwalk in the yard.  Yes, I've blocked it with bricks a couple times, but that doesn't deter him.  And I thought I  had blocked gaps in the fence...but didn't know bunnies could jump that high over my barriers.  Impressive.

So, here he is on Thanksgiving Day, sitting just above his living quarters. From my computer window,  I watched him preening himself and then settling into a comfy, compact squat, round as a ball, and completely content.  I think he knows he's won the battle.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A little wet-felting...

I taught a wet felting class two weekends ago, and we had a great time.  It's wet and messy, but so much fun working with alpaca wool - luscious stuff - to create a scarf.  We used WY alpaca wool --all in the natural shades. 

Some of the gals got very creative with their combination of colors.  All went away with a lovely, soft, warm scarf.

On Sunday afternoon I was able to get the temperature up high enough in the "sun room" to use it to wet-felt another scarf.  I wanted to make one a bit longer, and the floor was the best option for a work space.  I made this one with what was left of the cream colored alpaca, with some of the curly baby alpaca mix on the ends for embellishment.

This is a scarf made from the baby alpaca mix.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Shawl we knit?

I found this shawl pattern called "Nurmilintu," and the asymmetrical structure reminded me of the "Hitchhiker."  I like the look of the lacy sections, so thought I'd give it a try.  The cast-on was started on the plane ride to Boston, and I got a good start while either in planes or airports.  But now I've completed 5 sections, and working on the 6th.  I chose lace weight yarn and size 2 needles; I'm quite sure the pattern actually calls for a little heavier weight yarn and bigger needles, but it can be done either way, depending on preference.  After this last section of lace, the pattern calls for the bind-off.  But of course, one can continue to add sections, and I think that's what I will do.  I'd like the length to be another 6 inches longer...or so.  The lace sections should be more visible/interesting after I block it.

The knitting is kind of slow in terms of progress, but I think I'm just getting impatient.  One stitch at a time...I remind myself.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Still knitting...

Oh yeah, I've still been knitting.  It's time to post a few pictures.  I knit this hat - a Fair Isle style pattern, using a purchased kit.  But then, I realized it's the perfect pattern to use for making use of left-over yarns from past projects.  So, I played around with some holiday colors to create this one:

Both hats have been given away.  It was fun to gift them.

I finished the fingerless mitts too...but haven't blocked them.  They are pretty light-weight; might be perfect for wearing when playing the piano in a cold room. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chain, chain, change

Like most of the areas in the country, a week ago we went from this...

to this.  And we have been enduring all those sub-zero temps.  Brrr.... The fire in the woodstove has been roaring.  

I was totally surprised to see these chuckers poking around in my yard this late in the season. 
Did they get caught unawares by the weather? 
"Did you miss your flight, boys?" 
And then, look at them;  they are round as balls!  All fluffed out...  and wearing aviator sunglasses.  Or are they wearing Zorro masks? 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Last day of leaf-peeping tour

The last full day of our stay in New England was mostly spent in and around Portland, ME.  We were advised to head to Cape Elizabeth and see the light house there, called Portland Head Light.  This whole area had once been a fortress and military compound.  At one time rows of barracks housed soldiers and officers defending the coast.  Evidently, this lighthouse is one of the more picturesque ones in the area, and it has been photographed and featured in paintings over the decades.  The main building next to the lighthouse is now a museum, but it once housed the light keepers.  It was an appointed position, and often those appointed had absolutely no knowledge or skills for running a lighthouse; they learned quickly.
Portland Head Light
The improvements of the lamps in the lighthouse over the years were significant and impressive. 

A unique chandelier in the pizza place.

A mural on a building in Old Town Portland

Next, we found our way into Old Town Portland, walked around the cobblestone streets, shopped, had lunch at a great pizza place, and by late afternoon, got back in the car and headed to Kennebunkport by dark-thirty for dinner.

We wished we had spent more time exploring these little towns along the coast, like Kennebunkport; what a cute place!  After a seafood dinner, it was time to find the freeway and "book it" to Boston.  That's where we started the trip, and now that we had made a grand circle, we returned for our flight back to the Rocky Mountain West.  So long New England... loved the leaves, the history, and the people!