Monday, September 26, 2011

Nature At Its Best!!

Soon we are departing our summer residence.  It has been a good summer--one filled with great adventures, wonderful times spent with brown headed daughter and many hours of relaxation.  The mountains are receiving snows and that is a sign to head south, just as the birds do. 
It seems now is the time when the sunsets are the greatest!  This photo taken from our back deck as we dined--what color surrounded us!  You just couldn't ask for a better dining view.
We took one final summer journey into Rocky Mountain National Park to view some wildlife--hoping that aspens had taken their fall turn to orange, red, yellow and golden and the elk were down from the high country.
Since it was a weekend day, the park was crowded--many had come out to bask in the changing of the leaves.  This view was taken from Many Curves pullout.  In the background is Longs Peak, 14,000 ft.
Not many of the aspens had turned this reddish-purple color, but the ground cover had.  And amongst the lowly ground bushes, summer flowers still burst forth.
We picnicked at Upper Beaver Meadow in anticipation of elk viewing, but all we could see were these postings along the way.  Guess we were at the wrong time of day for elk.  In years past during mid day we had seen elk in downtown Estes, along the roadsides, and some just hopped out in front of our car as we drove Trail Ridge.
Several areas in the park are fenced to allow for vegetation to reseed and grow.  These are the areas that elk have frequented.  The sign reads "20 year project".  Several of the older aspen trees have had the bark chewed off up to 8 feet from the ground--a hardy sign that elk feed here in the cold, snowy winter months.
Through the wires you can see a good stand of aspens and wonderful under growth.
We were off to visit the first campground where we took the kids back in June, 1974.  They remember well and so do we adults!  After pitching our tent, eating our evening meal and climbing into our tent, the rains came and that soon turned to snow!  By morning we had several inches of snow around--fixed breakfast over the campfire (bundled up in layers of garments) and as soon as the eggs hit the plate--instant cold!!  The only thing to do was pack up and head out of the high country.  This visit the campground was closed for the winter--too bad!  We wanted to visit the Big Rock where the kids sat to have their photo taken--oh, well, we'll pull out those photos and remember that time again!
We did continue up the road into Bear Lake parking lot--a much visited spot.  So visited that rangers/volunteers direct traffic in and out; buses pick up at various locations in the park and Estes to deliver to this spot.  We were fortunate to find a parking spot and took the short hike to the lake--where once again, we sat on the banks and thought back to those  many visits to this area when visitors weren't so common.
As to the elk viewing--none existent--except for three young bull elk that were seen at the top of Trail Ridge Road (too far away to take a photo).  We did see one small herd as we exited the park--a bull rested royally as his harem of cows enjoyed their grazing.  A ranger was directing traffic so it was impossible to stop for photos--alas, we did see a few elk and our day was complete.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Remembering.............

There are those times when you want to remember.  Times when you want to forget.  But, when the air turns chilly and fall is approaching rapidly, we remember when we pull out the rag rugs to lay on the kitchen tile floor.  What do we remember?  We think on our friendship with the person who wove these wonderful rugs.
These rugs were given to us many moons ago by a wonderful talented weaver, Alpha, who came into our life to give us guidance--not only in weaving, but lessons in how to live one's life.  Alpha could weave anything and everything!  She wasn't stifled by 4-6-8-10-12-16 harnesses.  She wasn't put off by a complicated threading or threadling or a small thread.  She charged ahead.  She wove many yards of fabric that were used as draperies for her home.  She wove wearables to cover her body.  She wove overshot coverlets (of which we are the proud owner).  And she wove these simple but elegant rag rugs.
The warp is coming undone in this one rug--someday, we'll need to reweave these rags but for the time being, Alpha lives on in this lovely floor cloth.
Weaving rugs is not our forte! and we certainly appreciate these coverings each and every year we put them down and take them up. 
Alpha has been gone many years now and just recently we received word that her son has gone to meet her in the world beyond. We know they are embracing with joy and delight.  Alpha has left us a legacy of joy and we remember to celebrate her life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

DETERMINATION!!!

Determined!  Yes, we can be determined at times--determined to finish what we begin!  Case in point--brown headed daughter has decided (or is determined) to go back to school after 20+ years of being in the work field.  She is going for her doctorate degree--this on top of being assistant principal in her daily life.  But, she has always been a determined child--whenever she sets her mind--she finishes!  It might take many years, but it will be finished.  Many of us are like that--determined to finish what we start--even if it takes time and there are obstacles in our way. 
This looked like a great project--but, there were some obstacles in the way!  This pattern from one of our favorite designers Stephen West had a free pattern on Knitty's fall page.  And reading over the supply list, we were stymied for awhile.  This required four different skeins of yarn--but we were in a 'stash buster' mode.  Put the pattern away for some time.  Then pulling it out and reading again--suggestion from the designer "use small amounts of sock yarn"!! Whoa!  The obstacle was removed and determination sent in!  Let's see--there are all these small skeins of handspun yarn that could be used.
Casting on with silk/merino blend--what did the pattern call for?  Holy Cow! over 400 stitches?  All at once??  Okay, we can do this!  But, the needles get all wonky but we will continue....that is real determination until.....................
We think about knitter friend Judy who was knitting on Kate's Shawl from Ravelry.  The shawl is lovely (modeled by her daughter)!  But, Judy had this massive ruffle to finish up the shawl--she called it "suicide" ruffle! or it could be called ruffle from hell in my book!  Judy had determination to finish this shawl by the deadline--slowly, methodically she knitted--row by row until she finished!  We should all have that drive..........
And remember those handspun yarns from previous post?  There was the determination to see what the cap would look like when combined with black--not too happy with this; but, we are determined to finish that cap--even if it takes many moons!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's New?

What's New?  That's the age old question......actually, nothing is new; just recycled, regenerated, rethought...............................But, in our world here is what's new (or ongoing newness!)
"In Greek mythology, Ananke, also spelled Anangke, Anance, or Anagke (Ancient Greek: Ἀνάγκη, from the common noun ἀνάγκη, "force, constraint, necessity"), was the personification of destiny, necessity and fate, depicted as holding a spindle" according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  So, we continue to knit on Ananke, which is a pattern from Shannon Squire.

And from the creative mind of Little Miss Shabby comes Birdie Stitches Block #9.

"Henrietta Whiskers" finally block--just little more stitching, then all nine blocks can be combined.
Stitching Captions for the ongoing "Peaceful Path" quilt designed by Esther Aliu.  It's not too late to jump on the ride and join in on the excitement.  This is through yahoo group.
Peaceful Path requires many, many half square triangles but in the end this will be a lovely red and white quilt.
We have been traveling through the vastness of the Southwest.  The colors of the sandstone mountains and canyons is quite the inspiration.  One can not help but be awed by the hand of nature. And this is definitely not new!  For over 700million years or more, this land has been formed and it keeps reinventing--only we will not be here to witness the new.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

OH NO--You Didn't??!!

Afraid so--after denying that another 'gap cap' would be started, this yarn appeared in the stash pile.
The yarn was a single handspun, so had to be plied but once it was plied and the lovely colors popped, thoughts begin to rumble in the brain.
And then this yarn was 'discovered' in the stash bin too--and it's Easter egg dyed handspun .  And the brain worked overtime.............................what would these two yarns look like if they were combined in one of those 'gap caps'?  Yes, we said that we wouldn't do another 'gap cap' for some time, but the needles and yarn just happen to begin their magic.
And this is what burst forth!  Works good together and makes a nice hat.  We ate our words to create another charity hat.  Now, the brain is thinking again...........................
There is some of this colorful yarn left, so what would happen if it was combined with black?  Hmmmmm.........................

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Off The Needles! Blocked! Ready to Wear!!

Finished!  An awesome word to say!  Having worked on these items for a few days and or weeks, we are happy to report that the yarns have been bound off, the item has been blocked and is ready to throw over our bodies.
This shawl was the genius design from the mind of Stephen West, and was a mystery project on his Ravelry group this past month.  What a fun knit!
The yarn was 'stash' yarn, mostly wool fiber but some novelty thrown in for an accent.  The pattern is called "Earth and Sky" and can be purchased through Ravelry.  Keep your fingers crossed that Stephen will host another mystery KAL (knit along) in the future.
This 'Ode to Jo' shawl has been completed.  This was also a mystery KAL sponsored through Ravelry group--you can find all kinds of groups to get you in trouble there!
Handspun green cotton as it's finest--in memory of Jo, whose green cotton from her garden created this wearable.  This shawl will be worn with many thoughts of Jo and the good times we shared.

On one of our summer quilt shop outings, we stopped in Snappy Quilts and while browsing through the patterns, came upon this super apron.  Hmmmm, one of those jelly rolls should work nicely for this and we certainly need an apron in the kitchen.

Quite an easy sew this Vanilla House pattern is.  And now, we have an apron to keep those grease spots off our new shirts.