Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reno 2016

Dave and I just got home from Reno late last night.  We survived the biggest little city in the world for the third time.  This of course is the famous neon sign downtown.
It replaced this much smaller and ever so humble original sign that was moved a few streets over.  Our hotel room window overlooked the Truckee River and the old sign.
I finished knitting a pair of socks while Dave's team practiced.  These are the Socktober socks I started but didn't finish in time in October.

I bought the yarn for these 3 years ago on our first trip to town and thought it was quite fitting to finish knitting them while in town.  I tried taking a picture of my feet with Reno and the mountains in the background.  You can see the old Reno sign between my feet.
We drove up to Virginia City for an afternoon.  For whatever reason, we thought it would be a 45 minute drive out of town.  It never occurred to us that it would be an up the mountain drive.  We are just midwesterners used to flat terrain I guess.  Unlike our drive around Lake Tahoe two years ago, it was a fraction of the distance and this time there was a guard rail and no surprise blizzard.  It was a gorgeous day for a drive and the views were spectacular.
Virginia City is kind of a tourist trap.  It was once a mining town and now is a tourist street with the old Western storefronts and wooden sidewalks.  The businesses are mainly overpriced trinket and Western shops, candy shops and eateries.  We bought a few pieces of candy at one shop and 2 cans of pop at a different shop after we priced stuff on the entire street and really that is all we bought in town.  We did visit St. Mary's in the Mountains Catholic Church while we were there.  It was a gorgeous little church off the main street.  I bought a rosary in the church gift shop, the proceeds of which support the parish.
When I say we had nice weather, I mean it was cool Katie weather.  It was downright chilly.  It even snowed one day.  I could just sit and watch the mountains and weather out the hotel window all day.
We returned to the Reno Bead Shop.  Three years ago we walked down here from the bowling stadium and enjoyed dry 80 degree weather.
This is such a fun shop with treasures around every corner.  We drove to the shop this trip and spent only a few minutes because we were limited for time.
They have a classroom in the back where all the seed beads are hung.
I was there to get turquoise buttons.  Turquoise is such a great souvenir of the west/southwest and buttons could be used in some knitting.  I was hoping to find some a little larger but this was all they had and I chose the 10 bluest buttons in the lot.  They also had buttons made of corral and I couldn't pass them up either.
And of course, the compulsory Jimmy Beans Wool!
This was actually the first stop we made after leaving the airport.  What a guy I have for a husband!
I stayed under my budget and managed to get yarn for a lace cardigan, 3 different worsted cottons for diaper covers, some Koigu for booties, a JBW needle gauge and a baby pattern book on my list. 
Glad to know there is a name for it.
And of course we spent a lot of time here at the National Bowling Stadium. 
I had to laugh because I looked up during competition and saw that Vicky Pollard was one of last year's champions.  I wonder if any other Little Britain fans were in attendance and noticed?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunny Daisy Chenille

What a beautiful weekend we had!  Our first warm real spring weekend.  Dave hung shelves in the garage and cleaned and organized out there.  I did laundry and cleaned and organized the laundry room and bathroom.  We took a trip to Menard's for wood for some home improvement and garden projects.  My reward for all this productivity was to retreat into the sewing room to work on another chenille blanket.  This one is a more neutral baby theme with yellow and white daisies. 
I had to run to Joann's to pick up some blanket binding.  I could swear I had a package of pale yellow but I guess I didn't.  As a bonus, I got this glass Eiffel Tower bottle nic nac on sale for my downstairs French powder room to go with all my other French nic nacs.
I was also thrilled to get my Queen Vic pint glasses in the mail!  I pledged to TPT this year because it is all I watch and of course my favorite show is Eastenders.  I am so happy to report my migraines seem to be manageable and almost, dare I say, under control.  I have not missed work because of them in a while and it felt good to be able to donate to public television.  I've wanted to for the past two years but financially had not been in a place to do so since the migraines made everything so unpredictable.
Here is my blankie cut and bound before washing.  I chose yellow, a pale lime green and gray for my flannel colors.  I really liked the gray in the background of the floral fabric and wanted that to come through so I put that as the outer color. 
Here it is after it has been washed and the magic of chenille has been made.  You can see the yellow and the lime peeking through.
Here is the finished blanket.  They are such thick sturdy blankets.  I'd lay this over broken glass for a baby to play on.  Jimmy Beans Wool also has fabric and if anything absolutely jumps out at me, I'd like to make another one of these.  You can't have too many!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I had smallpox last week so I spent the time pushing my right tonsil back in and knitting.  My cousin is having a baby boy sometime this month I think so I had to get busy making a boy gift for him.  I had been eyeing this sweater for a while and dug around in my stash looking for something appropriate.  This is some llama yarn which I though was quite appropriate because I remember Christine used to love that Sesame Street song Me and My Llama.
 I was so excited to use my new teapot I picked up at Salisbury Cathedral and my new ration book mug from Bletchley Park.  I have the vest portion of the sweater finished and pieced as well as one of the sleeves.  I just have to knit the other sleeve and then sew them both on so hopefully I'll have it finished on Thursday.  And I'll have enough yarn to knit another for my eventual baby wardrobe.  I love the overlapped shoulder styling of this sweater and with this color of yarn, it reminds me of military sweaters or fatigues.
Dave bought me this plastic storage tub when we were at Target the other day as an impromptu birthday gift.  My big gift is going to Jimmy Beans Wool when we're in Reno later in the month but this is just awesome because the plastic is molded as knitting!  It might also have been a hint to put my knitting crap in here instead of leaving it all over the couch when I'm done for the day, but still I'll take it!
A week and a half ago we had such sunny but cool weather which may have done me in as far as my tonsils go.  We took the dogs on lots of walks and did a lot of yard work.  I dressed appropriately though and even wore my new hat!  I finished my Stephen West Windschief hat using some Malabrigo I got on our last trip to Fargo.  I have enough to knit a matching pair of gloves and I think I'll knit them as my Reno knitting project.  You can't really see the colors in this photo but they are vibrant and varied.
Here is a crappy picture of my hall plants.  I re potted my umbrella tree and my mini palm.  I keep thinking I need to have children so I can lavish my attention on something other than my house trees!  I am so proud of them!  I have also become a fool for Homegoods because I got both of those pots there.
It is just Wild Kingdom around here because I saw these Tom Turkeys near our house.  I took the picture moments too late because they'd been magnificently puffed up and looking like a Thanksgiving card.  They deflated and then led about 18 females across the road.
We also have a resident woodchuck in our pond, or at least we think he's a woodchuck.  I just love the coming spring season and watching all our neighborhood critters.

Spring Hoska

Dave and I went over to his parents' house this weekend to help bake hoska one last time this year. 
We picked the right day for the job because it even started snowing and blowing while we were dividing up the dough for the six loaves.
There are literally pounds of regular and golden raisins in these loaves and they're constantly popping out onto the floor so Lopi isn't allowed to come over while we're braiding hoska.
They look so beautiful all puffed and risen.  Marianne uses a wash of 2 egg yolks and a can of evaporated milk.
Here are four of the baked loaves.  We always have to cut into one of the first loaves on baking day.
The morning after, Dave and I made Czech (French) toast for breakfast!
Since coming home from England and sampling all the different fruit curds we saw, I've wanted to try making some raspberry curd from the last of our berries in the freezer.  I used Martha's recipe which used 8 egg yolks and then you mix in one cup of pureed raspberries.  I just love the colors.
The curd was especially good on toasted hoska!