Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wherein I Can't Stop Talking About the Mountains

I wonder if my friend Becky ever tired of me talking about the mountains that surround Salt Lake City when I visited her last month. It is her hometown, so she sees them everyday. I am sure some of their magnificence is muted for her. But, oh my, they are stunning!

Everywhere you go, there they are just hanging out in the backdrop beside the highway,

When you park your car.

While you wait at a stoplight.

Even the airport background is so pretty it looks fake!

Ok, but the mountains were not my reason for the visit. I was in town to spend time with my good friend Becky and her son Charlie and to meet her stepchildren Grace and Jack as well as meet her new husband Kyle.

Our annual visits usually happen during a trip we are both taking, so it was a new treat to partake in some of her family life. Our catching-up time was especially needed since we were both on other big trips in the fall last year and missed our visit with each other.

Becky is an aerialist and shared some of that part of her life with me when we went to a showcase at a recently opened aerial gym. It was really inspiring to see the physical strength and athleticism the aerialist in the show possessed. I am vowing to improve my upper body strength!

I visited Salt Lake City a handful of years ago, so this time we took a more mellow approach to sightseeing. We went to a cider brewery and the Red Rock Brewery,

Santa wasn't in, but we got to sit in his chair anyway.

If you visit Salt Lake, you should go to Ruby Snap because you do want her cookies.

My visit was shortly before Christmas, so Temple Square was in full holiday swing. It was super cold, but we braved it to see the lights.

It was a mob scene there so we had to park really far away. After the walk to the square and our time around the square, we were all really cold and dreading the walk back to the car. Becky had the brilliant idea of jumping into a pedicab. When our driver zippered that plastic case up around us, I nearly said "hallelujah!"

And, before I knew it, the weekend visit was over and I was on a plane back home!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jessy Gets a Kitten

My sister Jessy has had a lot of big things happening in her life lately. She moved, got a new job, had a birthday and got a new kitty!

Her Moonchi kitty came into her life right around her birthday so her birthday presents, cards and events all tended toward a Crazy Cat Lady theme. She embraced it.

The man of the house, Atreyu, is a little taken aback by Moonchi's energy but they are finding their groove.

I wonder if Jessy wished for a year of adventure. If so, it is already coming true because we spontaneously booked a trip to Costa Rica together!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Vasa Sweater

I finished that sweater I was knitting on our Madison trip. And, I do not like it at all. I haven't had a sweater fail this big in a while. The upside is that the yarn felt wonderful to knit and after the muted legwarmers I knit this summer, the color was refreshing.

Ok, the details:
Pattern: Vasa
Yarn (both held double): Malabrigo Lace and Sun Valley Fibers MCN Lace (from really deep and fairly deep stash!)
Ravelry Project: Here

This sweater is decently comfortable but entirely unflattering to wear. The color was a poor choice for me. I was hoping the yellow would be mellowed out enough by the turquoise but it is still too yellow to look nice on my skin. The odd armholes and the horizontal stripes tip the scale too far to the unflattering side for my body. I have only worn it once and I wore it as a warm layer underneath another shirt. It is a little too bulky for that but I just wasn't ready to admit defeat without wearing it at least once!

I am chalking this one up to a process knit and will be on the lookout for the right recipient to inherit it. The yarn is really, really nice, so I hope it finds a good home.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Madison Favorites and a Pack of Dogs

The capital of Wisconsin and friends Sara and Josh beckoned us over the border for a visit in October. When we set out in the car, Uli had no idea the dog party he was headed to!

After a lot of knitting time in the car and a stop for dinner en route, we arrived!

We enjoyed a little sightseeing, a show and some good meals together.

We were only in town from Friday to Sunday, but I already have a short list of favorites for Madison:
My favorite meal was brunch at Umami (I'm still dreaming about the potstickers I ate. I had to go buy a bottle of St. Germain to try and recreate their Pamplemousse cocktail).
Favorite dessert goes to MSCo Patisserie.
Favorite art shop goes to Hatch Art House.
Favorite local pottery from Toast Ceramics.
Props to the Willy Street Coop for providing what we needed to stock up for the drive home.

And, that dog party! This is 4/5 of the dog pack for the weekend. Sara and Josh have 3 dogs and were fostering another dog. You add Uli to the mix and it made for a lot of dog shenanigans and entertainment. Willow, the Black Lab, was kind enough to loan her crate to Uli for the weekend, so everyone got the rest they needed at night and this crew got their workout at the off leash park during the day. Can you tell which one of these dogs is used to having his picture taken by me?

You know it was a good weekend when the ride home looks like this:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Washi Dress (Again!)

Once was not enough! I had to make another Washi Dress! I made this dress just the same as my last one except this time I omitted the keyhole in the neckline. I kept the same alteration in the waistline so that it is about 2-3" lower than the pattern calls for. (Click through to my last version for more notes about sewing this dress.)

The shirring on my first dress is holding up really well, so I did that method for this version as well. Executing shirring still feels like performing a magic trick.

I left the neckline facing unattached for this version, but think I will need to go back and tack it down so it behaves better. It is a little flippy.

The fabric for this dress is:
Windham Fabrics Presents Paint by Carrie Bloomston for Such Designs
"Lotus" pattern

I think my next Washi will be the shirt/tunic version. I am digging the comfort and the silhouette this pattern produces, so I am not ready to jump off the Washi train yet!

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