Friday, June 01, 2007

First Things First

Go on over to Alex and Paige's Lemonade Stand and toss a little cash in the lemonade cup, to help fight childhood cancer. The story is all on the page, and it's a quick and easy way to make a little bit of difference. Hey, all those little bits add up! Do it now, while you're still thinking about it.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hello Blue Moon, Au Revoir, Mai!

Yes, tonight will be a Blue Moon. It's the second full moon this month, which, regardless of what color it appears to be, it's called a blue moon. I was fascinated to read that, because in some parts of the world, the moon won't be completely "full" until after midnight, those countries will be seeing it as the first full moon in June, and will get their blue moon on June 30.
Moving right along.
While I was gone, my yarns from See Jayne Knit came. Gorgeous, aren't they? Lemon-lime and Autumn in New England. Soft and colorful and a real delight.
Then I went out into my yard and found this:

A daylily with exactly the same coloration.

Amazing. Especially since this particular plant grows in a tiny corner next to the sidewalk and the trunk of the crape myrtle, and the gardener keeps whacking at it. At one point last year it was hard to see any green at all. And now, here it is.
It's jacaranda season in SoCal, and mine is blooming away. The yard is carpeted with purple blossoms, and one doesn't dare go outside barefooted because the bees are having a field day. Seems they have trouble getting the nectar from these, although the hummingbirds love them; but when the flowers fall, the bees have learned to get the nectar from the base of the flower. Very ingenious, but we've also had a few stings from unwary feet landing on a bee.

Now that May is leaving, we are saying goodbye to its Project Spectrum colors. So toodle-oo, yellow and green and pink.
Yellow daylilies. In my front yard, also very hardy survivors of drought and kids and all the rest of the urban hazards.
Pink peonies, from our walk in Paris on our last day there. Peonies don't grow in SoCal, more's the pity.

Is this enough distraction from the lack of knitting content?
No quilting content either. I did move some of my knitting bags around, though. Does that count?
Yeah, I didn't think it did.
Well, we'll see what June brings. I'm currently in a mood to wipe out WIPs and organize stash, rather than add to it--unless of course it's something fab-u-lous like my SJK treasures! Oh yeah. I forgot. One of our local yarn/needlework stores starts its big sale tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Paris Scarf

As a going-away present, Madgik gave me a skein of Sea Silk in the Paris colorway. Tucked into the package were the directions for the Shoalwater Scarf, which promptly got re-dubbed the Paris scarf for my purposes.
Very apropos, non?
So I blithely cast on and started the project as we taxied out of LAX on our British Airways flight. Yes, you can knit on the way over to Britain and the Continent. Knitting needles are NOT allowed on flights that originate on the continent. But I digress. I'm sure you want to know why the scarf is draped over a can of Pringles. Anyway, I left the pattern on the plane--sigh, a long sleepless flight will do that to a person. Luckily, I had done enough to memorize the pattern. The Pringles were part of our lunch on the train between Nice and Avignon. Not a flavor you can get in the US: Greek cheese, with avocado oil. Tasty, though.
You saw the picture in my previous post of what happened when my needle snapped.
I was able to get a replacement needle at a fabric store (Atelier d'Eglantine) we visited in Aix-en-Provence. The clerk was a bit aghast at being swarmed by 21 quilters/fabric enthusiasts, and while they did have a bit of yarn, they only had straight needles on display. I asked her if they had any circs, and she ran upstairs to their storage area. After a long time, she returned triumphantly with a single package of one 80 cm long 3mm needle! Well, it was a little smaller than my original, but the only one they had...and I figured, oh well! One doesn't complain when it means the difference between knitting or not knitting!

The scarf had other adventures too. It got to visit the poppy fields in Provence, and wave in the breeze from our hotel window in Paris.
Didn't get to knit on the flight home, unfortunately, so poor scarf didn't get any quality time--and gee, 11 hours in a plane is definitely quality knitting time.
Now to gather up the Paris scarf--which will always have its memories, I'm sure--and rustle up the rest of the WIP/UFO crew. Back to reality, doggone it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

She's Ba-ack!

That's right--back on home ground. It really doesn't feel as if I had a trip to France--it was more like 4 trips!

We saw Notre Dame de Paris from a bateau-mouche on the Seine, at twilight...
We saw a Russian cathedral in Nice...
We stood on a headland in the Mediterranean Sea, at the Villa Kerylos on the French Riviera...

We saw the Statue of Liberty in Paris. Did you know there are three of them, plus the full-size torch on the Pont d'Alma? (Which was not put up as a memorial to Princess Diana, although many people seem to think it was.) This one is person-sized; there is a smaller one in a park, and the smallest is in a museum, along with the sketches and plans for the "big" one in New York.

See, travel does make you learn new things.
We ate French food--this is a Salade Deux Palmiers, from the "Two Palms" restaurant in Nice. Mmmmm! We ate there so often that when our waiter found out it was our last night there, he gave us each a snifter of Chartreuse as a good-bye!
We saw beautiful flowers everywhere. In Nice. In Provence. In Paris. These are in a little flower shop along the Left Bank (Rive Gauche).
Yes, there was knitting. This is the Paris scarf, which had its own adventures. The pattern was lost on the flight over--luckily, it's an easy repeat. The needles--Bryspuns, ideal for flying since they're not metal--snapped. Luckily it only took an hour and a half to get it repaired, once a new needle was procured--not as easy a task as you'd imagine.

No, I did not spend the time "yarn crawling." There was some fabric shopping--how can you go to Souleiado, and the Toile de Jouy museum, and the home studio of a fabulous dye artist (in the Languedoc-Roussilon, yet!) without coming home with fabric? I saw some yarn but it was all comparable to what's available here.

I mean, after Black Sheep Knittery, what's left??
It was a wonderful, fabulous trip. It took the stamina of a triathlete (which I'm not) but it was well worth it. I've uploaded over 1600 photos to Flickr and now I'm busy organizing and captioning them. After all, you can't tell the rocks apart without a caption! For anyone who's interested, you can check that out as I will be posting only a few of the photos here.

And the Grandcarrot had his first birthday, with a pirate party, and a chocolate cupcake, and a wonderful time was had by all!

(And my CPH stayed home, and I'm dead last in the competition. Oh well. One can't have everything!)