Sunday, November 22, 2009

Girl Trip (knitting, shopping, knitting, eating, knitting,shopping---)

My friend Marsha and I just returned from a trip to the beach. The actual purpose (or so we told everybody) of the trip, was my annual fall cleaning of the condo. I really did clean - there is not a dust bunny hiding anywhere in that condo. I washed down the walls, and the baseboards and every nook and cranny. But - that's not all that kept us busy last week. Girls just gotta have fun you know!

We loaded up my car with all our Vera Bradley stuff - (if you don't LOVE Vera Bradley - you just totally won't get it---!)

After a LONG drive in mostly pouring rain, we were finally at the beach. Sunny weather prevailed and the surf was unbelievable, thanks in part to the season's last hurricane! We watched the surfers all week long and at times the ocean seemed to be full of little frogman people bobbing up and down in the waves!

Here is a rundown of our activities for the week, in addition to my maniac cleaning---

Lots of relaxing by the pool. Fall is a wonderful time to be at our beach. The season is slow with tourists and we had the whole place to ourselves. As you can see - the knitting project is coming right along!

Lots of shopping and planning for future knitting projects---

Marsha is great at multi tasking - talking on the phone and shopping at the same time!

Historic Cocoa Village was already decked out for the Christmas season!

We took long walks on the week and were fascinated by the UBO - (unidentified beach object) that had washed up on the shore just north of the condo.

Marsha took the big plunge!

We ate a lot! (It really is all about the food!) There is something so wonderful about a dinner on the water. This is the view from Bonefish Willy's - a great seafood restaurant.

No trip to the beach is complete without a meal at my favorite restaurant - Cafe Margaux in Cocoa Village. The seafood melange was delightful!

Our visit to the Hot Now! was sinful BUT so worth it!

We visited with some old friends ---

Sweet little Haley belongs to our condo manager. She and her Mommy Karen are very dear friends.

Beautiful Anne belongs to the owner of the Glad Rags clothing store. She is always happy to greet the guests and loves all the attention that she gets!

An early morning sunrise viewed from the corner of the balcony - one of the blessings of rising early at the beach. Look at that surf!

Lots of knitting---
My scarf matches the blue of the ocean don't you think!

We chased the evening sun and moved our knitting to the walkway in front of the condo. We tried to catch every last ray because we knew that once we were back at home, the skies would be mostly gray and cold!
All too soon the week was over and we packed it all up and headed for home. (The car might have been a tad bit more crowded with our purchases on the trip home!)
Along the drive home - we played with the Knit Map app on our IPhone. Our first stop was at the NorthWoods Yarn Shop in Campobello, South Carolina.

This was the most absolutely delightful yarn shop ever. The charming little house was totally full of yarn - every room of the house was a yarn display. (I cannot believe that I did not take pictures of the yarn rooms - I think I was just totally overwhelmed with the sheer delight of it all!)

We arrived just after opening time of the store and when we went inside we were surprised to see an entire roomful of wonderful ladies there for the morning knit along! These were the nicest ladies ever - talking to them reminded me of the Friday Night Knitting Club book - only on Tuesday morning instead! Everyone was sitting and chatting and knitting.

All the ladies were wearing some beautiful something that they had knitted for them selves - a scarf, or a sweater, or a shawl. I enjoyed talking to everyone as they all shared with me the projects that they were currently knitting. There are some talented ladies there and their projects were amazing! They even invited me to share with them my current scarf project. (Made me feel so welcome - like I was among friends!)
Outside the house is the coziest little outdoor sitting area with a fireplace - would you not just love to be sitting there on a beautiful fall day - just knitting all day long. This little stop along our trip home was a jewel among yarn shops. We will definitely go back. Thanks Teri and ladies for being so nice to us and making us feel so welcome!

Our next stop along the drive home was at the Bovidae Farm. (OK - so we had a GPS in the car and two IPhone GPS systems and STILL we got lost trying to find this place!) We finally called the store and Jim (the owner) stayed on the phone - guiding and directing us until we finally got there! It is really not that hard to find - we just could not seem to get it right - or rather the GPS (all three of them!) could not get it right!

Jim and Rose live in a beautiful log cabin on top of a mountain - (the view is amazing!) They raise sheep and make their own yarns from the wool. As we were driving up the mountain we could see the sheep all along the hillside. This was going to be an adventure!

The basement of their home contains a beautiful display of their yarns in every color imaginable. Just beautiful! How could you pick just one! (I had to touch them all!)

Jim and Rose were so nice to talk to us and tell us all about their farm and the making of their yarns. We had so much fun just talking to them - they are just the nicest people ever.

They invited us upstairs in their home and out onto the porch where we had the most amazing view over the hillside and valley.

Rose showed us how to make a felted merino wool and silk scarf using a kit that they sell at their store. Now that looked like some serious fun - so we will both be making those!

Jim walked with us out to see the sheep. He even called to them so that they came close enough for this great picture. Rose invited us to come back for another visit in the spring after the baby lambs are born. Yea, I'm doing that for sure! I really think that in my soul I was meant to be a farmer and raise sheep and goats and maybe alpacas. Except for one thing - I hate to get dirty!

Well - so much for geting home before dark! We came dragging in about eight in the evening after an early start that morning about 6 am! We had taken all day to finish up our last day of driving - but we had a wonderful time making our little yarn crawl!
Girl trips are just the very best!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Indian Summer

How wonderful are those rare days of Indian summer? The warmth of the sun, the rustle of the leaves blowing in the wind, and the glow of the autumn colors all around us.

I have been sick with some awful something that has knocked me on my butt for the last several days. Those lingering rays of the autumn sun drew me to an outside respite for the afternoon. Although I actually did more sleeping than knitting, I did make some progress on my latest project.

I am so excited to finally be getting this bulky wrap/scarf on my needles. (I posted about this project earlier.) I have definitely taken on a challenge with this pattern! Stay tuned for more details about this later - (like how I had to practically rewrite the graph because it had so many mistakes!)

The leaf and vine pattern is stunning. I have enjoyed watching it progress. (But not so much today - as there was way more sleeping than knitting!)
I will miss the warmth of the sun in the weeks and months ahead. Today was a blessed opportunity to enjoy this Indian summer.

and the winner of the "Cutest Baby in a Red Sweater" award is----


We stopped by Atlanta to see our sweet grandbaby on our way to Florida (for our cruise) a few weeks ago. This gb was so excited to finally get to try that little sweater on Mason. Hurray! It was a perfect fit! Nothing makes a knitter more excited than to see a project fit perfectly - and for babies that is huge. They can be pretty tricky (they have that big head you know!)

This was just the cutest sweater ever on this baby. I am thinking that I will make a vest out of this same pattern - maybe in blue to match his little blue jeans.

The hardest thing about taking pictures of a baby - they never stop moving! Just when you get ready to snap the picture - they move. So pardon some of the blurry images - he is a doll anyway!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Walk with Maddy

This post was supposed to be all about my new hat - but who could care about a silly little hat when these pictures of Maddy are so adorable!

Maddy and her Auntie Vicki went for a little walk outside so that she could look at all the leaves on the ground. She loves to be outside and when you say "lets go outside" she starts to wiggle and smiles and holds her hands up for me to pick her up!

OK - now look at my new hat! I knitted this little hat (so easy) while we were on our two week cruise to the Caribbean. Seemed so silly to be knitting a winter hat while sitting in the sun on the top deck of the cruise ship - but sure felt good to be wearing it today!

This little slouch hat was so fun and easy to make. It uses two skeins of Lion Brand Thick and Quick or about 150 yards of your yarn of choice. It uses basic straight knitting stitches on size 11 needles. Easy!

When you are done - you just gather up the top and then seam up the sides. I am definitely making more of these - in fact there is another one on my needles now.

Enough of the hat - isn't Maddy adorable! She has grown a bunch in the two weeks that I have been gone!

Auntie Vicki will have to make a slouch hat for Maddy girl--

She is just too cute ! Thanks to Maddy's MeMe for taking these great pictures!