what to pack

We leave tomorrow for 2 1/2 weeks in Spain and France.  Clothes packing is difficult enough, but the knit projects to take, that's the hard part.  Finally decided on 3 scarves/shawls:  The Boneyard Shawl in Malabrigo Silky Merino for my best friend, we'll be meeting up with them for a few days in Barcelona and hope to have it finished for her to take with her.  Second project is a Just Enough Ruffles in white
wool for my mother.  I could almost knit both patterns in my sleep, having made several of each.  My third project is the Shaelyn Shawl, a simple feather and fan shawl that I'll use with Tosh Pashmina combined with Kid Silk Night.  I do manage to knit a lot when I travel and it's great not to have to worry about fit or gauge on a travel project.

After Barcelona we will do some traveling on our own,  around the coast and maybe travel through the Pyrenees.  We are pretty loose and don't have set plans after Barcelona until we meet up with about 2 dozen friends in Collioure to celebrate a friend's birthday.  I love the decadence of traveling so far to attend a birthday party :)

We've shown watering chores to son and his girlfriend who will stay here with their dog.  It's not easy leaving the garden at this time of year.  So much to do, but they don't seem to mind.

See you soon!

Congratulations to winner Helen V.  Contact me (info at sidebar) and I'll make sure you get your book!

winner of give-away!

Congratulations Helen V.!  You won the great book, 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet!  Please contact me (contact info at sidebar) and send my your address.  Happy knitting, and thank you all for participating!

Cecile Brunner

In this recent post I made a small but pretty arrangement of Cecile Brunner roses.  I thought it would make a nice post to show this pretty rose in landscapes, all front gardens of houses I pass regularly on my morning walk.

This first two are across the street.  This one is by their mailbox...
and this one is battling the garage.  The rose is winning.
My next door neighbors keep theirs contained.  I love the way it frames their garage.
 Lots of them are used over arbor gates.

 This neighbor uses his front garden for his veggies, and a large Cecile Brunner.

Cecile Brunner can get so unruly!
  But kept trim they are angelic.
The morning changed from overcast to sunny during my walk.
The roses seem to photograph white, but they are really a soft, light pink.

 They have only one bloom, when they're finished, you won't see them again until next year.
There is still time to comment on my give-a-way and be eligible to win.  Please do!

give-away blog party

I"m having a blog party right now, right here at my desk, celebrating my 100th post.  Gads, what have I had to write about in these 100 posts?  Mostly knitting and gardening of course!  So in honor of my special day today, my 100th post, I offer up a give-a-way that combines these two favorite hobbies: the lovely book, 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet.  With 100, knit and flowers jumping right out in the title it couldn't be a more perfect choice.  So I had to buy two, one for you and one for me.

Please comment to this post and you are eligible to win.  I will use the random generator on Wednesday afternoon, so please check back to see if you are the winner.  And I hope you are!

If you are an anonymous commenter, please leave your first name and last initial. 

Thank you for reading.  I enjoy this so much and really do love all your comments.

(I love blog give-a-ways!  I have won two in the last few months!)

To Eyre

To Erye Shawl by Carole Sunday.  This is a copy of the shawl that was worn in the latest Jane Erye movie.  Isn't that an ingenious idea?  I love anything Jane Eyre, even tho this might not have been my favorite film adaptation, still was a beautiful movie and love that a shawl pattern came out of it!  I think in the movie Jane's shawl was in a beige color.
But mine is in black and black does not photograph well so it's difficult to see the details.  It's knit in garter stitch with short rows and a ruffled edge.  I used just 3 skeins of Rowan Kid Classic and used bamboo needles.  I know I've said before, how much I enjoy knitting Kid Classic with bamboo.   This was a stashbuster, so yay, but people, it barely made a dent.  I love this pattern, this is the version 1 as the pattern has a few versions and sizes.
I played with the exposure so you could see some stitch detail.   This is shawl/scarf #5 for 2011.
I tried to model it by my Eden Climber, but it's best to enjoy the Eden on it's own.
I'm having 70 people over for dinner tomorrow night.  Yep, 70, not a typo.  It's a rehearsal dinner for good friends of ours and luckily the weather has turned California nice after having really cold weather.  So, now  it will be indoor/outdoor with roses still making a good show.
It's nice to have a party early on in the spring.  It gives me a good reason to get everything all ship shape and sparkly. 
 And no, I am doing none of the cooking, etc.  :)
But still, must go, I still have lots to do.  Be seeing you soon!

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Hear Bach’s ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ As Played by a Wooden Staircase.

A three-minute ad for a Japanese cell phone, shot in the woods near Kyushu, Japan. According to the designer, no additional music was added — what you hear is just the sound of a ball, a long wooden xylophone, and gravity.

Vee and Blaze

Rainy Sunday and I finished two projects today.  I started this sweater about two years ago and ran out of yarn at the very end.  I spent time scouring the internet for the same dye lot with no luck and then forgot about it.  I am hauling out some UFOs to finish, kind of a spring cleaning, and ordered a skein of a different dye lot to finally finish this.  Sometimes whites can be funny, but think I am OK.
 This v-neck is from the Erica Knight book Classic Knits, Timeless Designs to Knit and Keep Forever.  The title is a good one, but all the patterns are knitted flat and I rarely knit flat anymore.  Mostly I prefer top down.  However, I did knit this in the round from the bottom up and separated at the sleeves.  But the sleeves I did knit flat and next time I make this I will pick up stitches at the armhole, do short rows for the cap and then knit flat to the cuff, just like I did on my Audrey Sweater.  This way you get a much better fitting sleeve as I think this sleeve is a little too big on this sweater.

Still, just love it, simple and flattering and the yarn is lo-ver-ly.  Cathay by Debbie Bliss is a tad splitty but if you use smaller needles, I used 2 and 3 instead of the recommended 5, you get a better result.  Oops, just found out this has been discontinued but you can still find it on the internet.  Here is the sweater on Ravelry.
The rose is Climbing Blaze.  It's an easy care rose and re-blooms all summer and into fall.
 My husband's favorite color is red.  We have lots of red roses!
The metal arch that once anchored it in place has rotted away at the ground and now the roses are doing the anchoring.
We have over 100 roses and I love them all.  I really think it's amazing that I have this beauty to look at in my own garden and my husband and I really appreciate it.  It is A LOT OF WORK, but luckily, work we both enjoy!

Eyre shawl is being blocked, it's so beautiful and I'll show it tomorrow.

little chairs for little people

I'd like to share some needlepoint with you today.
Little chairs for little people.  Needlepoint pillow cushions were stitched by me in the 70's and 80's from painted needlepoint canvases.

Awww, I've always loved these.  The simple little animals with the little rosebuds floating in the background.  The plaid ruffles.  The memories of a little boy sitting at a little red table to have graham crackers and milk.
These little oak chairs were given to me long ago by a friend of my mother's who found them in an old school in the mid west, about to be thrown away.  Gasp.  Thank you thank you thank you for thinking I would love them and throwing them in your car and bringing them all the way to California.  I do love them so much.  
Still in use, they are perfect now as step-stools and foot rests.
This chair is a modern copy of a colonial children's corner chair.  I love the violin playing fairies forever caged in a twiggy frame.  I used mostly wool with touches of gold and silver thread to illuminate the wings and the web. 
Wait, there's one more.  This rocker was in my mother's home before she downsized.  I used a plain canvas and did counted needlepoint to create the hearts from simple charted designs.

Dear Dogs and Cats,

I read this on a Ravelry forum and it's worth sharing!

Found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

Finally, the proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Genevieve Pullover

Love Genevieve Pullover by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.  I shortened the sleeves to bracelet length and used a cotton blend to wear it more as a summer sweater.  I love Celily's designs, so simple and classic.  Her patterns seem to be mostly top down and she is prolific, she has 5 pages of patterns on Ravelry and I'm sure I've favorited most of them.
Simple detail on the neckline.  I stabilized it on the inside by sewing in a narrow ribbon an inch from the border.  Sometimes boat necks will stretch and this will eliminate that problem.
Now about the yarn.  I bought it half off at my lys (it's discontinued) and swooned over the color and the softness.  I knew I would start a new project with it right away.  It's Rowan milk cotton dk.  The color is called Bloom.
As I was knitting I was thinking, what the heck do they do to milk to turn it into a fiber?  Got to be loaded with chemicals.  Got to be.  Then I read this post by a fellow Raveler.  Gah.  I was just finishing the sweater, so pulled out the label for a closer look.  Made in China... 

Mother's Day

 The only thing I have to do is set the table and...
make the centerpiece and then...
chillax for the rest of the day!
The flowers in the arrangement are all from these David Austin Roses.
 This climber is Eden.  It is so beautiful, it just might be my favorite. They look like tutus. 
 This medium pink bloomer is Gertrude Jekyll.
 Crimson rose is Othello.
 This is a striped rose called Scentimental.
 Happy Mother's Day to my mom and to all moms!


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