Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

52 in 52 Project #12

Basic Top Down Cardigan, Plymouth Yarn Jelli Beenz

52 in 52 Project #11

Top Down Baby Cardi, my own design, Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots and Sirdar Snuggly DK

52 in 52 Project #10

Baby Boy Five Hour Sweater by Gail Bable, Plymouth Yarn Sunday Swirl

52 in 52 Project #9

Garter Yoke Baby Cardi By Jennifer Hoel Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots and Plymouth Dreambaby DK

52 in 52 Project #8

Pretty Baby Sweater Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Yarn

52 in 52 Project #7

Sam Sweater from Cabin Fever Sirdar Tiny Tots

52 in 52 Project #6

Alphabet Washcloth #3 P is for Perry

52 in 52 Project #5

Washcloth #2 for Katie

52 in 52 Project #4

Alphabet Washcloth #1 L is for Linny

52 in 52 Project #3

Rib Knit Baby Hat in Cascade 220 and Filatura Nanarota Chaco

52 in 52 Project #2

Easy Baby Cardi in Cascade 220 and Filatura Lanarota Chaco

52 in 52 Project #1

Mossy Cardi in Cascade Jewel

Yet Another Completed Project

 Basic Top Down Cardigan

I'm happy to report I've finished another baby sweater.  This one is knit from wool/acrylic yarn called Jelli Beenz.  It's bright and cheery and it was very nice to work with.  I love the way the sweater turned out and I've posted it to my etsy site.  We'll see if anyone is interested.

I've been thinking for the past few weeks about the concept of 52 in 52, that is 52 finished objects, one per week, in the course of a year.  I'm a bit behind if I want to do it for 2010, but not that far behind.  I'm going to give it a try.  We're currently at week #16.  I'll be posting  the projects I've completed so far this year, numbering them as I go.  Some of them will look familiar to you as they've been posted previously, but for the sake of an orderly count, they each need to be numbered.

I'm not sure if I can keep up the pace, but I'm going to try...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Finished Another Sweater

I love being able to use that title for a blog post!

Here's my latest finished project, a top down baby sweater knit from Sirdar Tiny Tots yarn that has been in my stash for years.  I started out with the cast on numbers for a baby sweater called garter yoke baby sweater and I improvised from there.  I wanted it to look girly so I made the raglan increases with yarn over eyelets.  I didn't think I'd have enough yarn (actually there was plenty of yarn) so I decided to do pink trim.  Today I drove to Joann in Weeki Wachee to get buttons.  I'm happy with the way it turned out and I plan to list it on my etsy site in the next day or so.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sarasota, FL

Dick and I set off on Monday morning for two days in Sarasota, about 137 miles south of Crystal River.  I was able to get a hotel room for frequent flier miles.  Our plan was to see what Sarasota was like and to visit the Ringling Museum complex.

Entrance to the Ringling Complex

We arrived in the Sarasota area around lunch time.  Right off the Interstate we noticed a Starbucks so we stopped to have sandwiches.  Then it was on to the museum.  On Mondays the art museum is free so we spent our time there, enjoying a Norman Rockwell exhibit organized by Kevin and Michele Rivoli.  Each Rockwell print is juxtaposed with a modern day black and white photograph by Rivoli.  What is most striking in both the prints and the photos is the capture of expression and emotion.  The museum also has many paintings and sculptures by the old masters.  When we became foot weary, we set off to find the hotel.  It was a bit further from the museum than we had realized, about five miles, but only a ten minute drive.  We checked in, rested a bit and then returned to the Ringling to have dinner at Treviso.

Entrance to the restaurant which is located in the gateway building.

We had a wonderful dinner of crab cakes and scallops followed by blueberry bread pudding and creme brulee.  We really appreciated the inclusion of "small plates" on the menu which made it possible to have three courses without feeling we had eaten too much.

The hostess was kind enough to take a photo

The next morning we had a light breakfast at the hotel and checked out.  We headed to C'est la Vie, a French restaurant and bakery located in downtown Sarasota.  There we enjoyed tea, baguette and eggs.  

It was lovely to dine al fresco.  Notice that the waiter is waving for the camera.  The staff is French speaking and while the baguette was not up to Parisian standards, it was very good.

You can see that it's a popular spot

Following breakfast we went back to the Ringling to explore the mansion and the two circus museums.  We spent a wonderful day, including lunch on the terrace at Treviso.  The Ringling mansion is modeled on a Venetian Palazzo.   It has been meticulously restored.  The back terrace includes steps right down to Sarasota Bay.  We stopped to explore Mable Ringling's rose garden before checking out the other museums.  One circus museum contains an extensive miniature depiction of the circus as it was set up when the "big top" was still in use.  It brought back memories of the book, Water for Elephants.  it is amazing how many support staff it takes to put on 'the greatest show on earth.  From setting up the tents to caring for the animals to cooking for the hundreds of employees, it is a huge operation.  The other museum has numerous circus carts, posters and the railroad car that the Ringlings used when they traveled.  It also is in the process of restoration.  

By 2:30 we had enough and made our way back to the Interstate.  We made a short shopping stop at the Outlets at Ellenton and then drove home.

The Ringling Mansion, Ca D'Zan

Sarasota is a very cosmopolitan city, very different from Crystal River.  There are theaters, concert halls, film festivals, interesting restaurants.  I think we will be making more visits down that way when we return to Florida next winter.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Finished Another Sweater

I finished another baby sweater today.  It's a top down pattern that has a very interesting construction.  You start at the neckline, increase for the yoke, divide for the sleeves leaving the body stitches on the needles.  After you finish a sleeve, knitted flat, you use a crochet hook to close the seam with a slip stitch.  You put the last stitch from the crochet hook back on the knitting needle, knit across the back, finish the second sleeve, crochet the seam, put the last stitch on the needle and then knit the body.  You never cut the yarn.  On this particular project I did have to use two balls plus a bit of a third so I did have some ends to weave in.  It's a most ingenious pattern.  If I were to make any changes, it would be to add buttons and buttonholes to the pattern.

This sweater is available on my Etsy site.  Stop by to check it out...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Craft Group Road Trip

 Our Intrepid Crew

On Thursday we headed up to Gainesville for a crafty road trip.  We made this same trip two weeks ago, but some of our members were not able to come the first time we went to the Florida Museum of Natural History to see the quilt show.  So, we organized a second outing.  We set out around 9 AM and made it to the museum around 10:45.  Since Sue and I had already seen the quilts we decided to explore the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art right next door while the others went to the quilt show.  We spent the first 15 minutes of our visit studying the jewelry for sale in the gift shop because the galleries don't open until 11.  This kind of activity can be dangerous.  I ended up purchasing a beautiful necklace and earrings to match.

The art museum is small (at least by my New York standards) with an eclectic selection.  It was lovely to wander through the galleries.  My favorite piece was Old Man's Cloth, a large wall hanging made from liquor and beer bottle tops assembled with wire in such a way that it appeared to be a large, rippling piece of African cloth.  You can use the link to see it but the photo simply doesn't do it justice.

Here's a small piece from one of the quilts on display

I want to quote a bit from the museum's description of the quilt show: Experience the natural beauty of Florida in a new way. The Florida Museum of Natural History, in partnership with the Quilters of Alachua County Day Guild, is displaying more than 100 original quilts showcasing Florida's wildlife and plants during Quilting Natural Florida II.  The show continues until April 25 and is well worth the trip.  Each of the quilts is a work of art.  Many are collaborations by two or three quilters.  They all depict wildlife and plants indigenous to Florida.

 The sign outside Yarnworks

At noon we reconvened in the Camellia Court Cafe on the lower level of the Harn.  We had a delicious lunch and then set off  for Yarnworks, just a bit north of the museum complex.  It was my second trip there.  There is a large selection in a rather small space.  The staff is extremely friendly and helpful.  For the second time in a row I purchased some wonderful yarn.  Yarnworks is having a big sale on April 24.  By then, I'll be on the road back north unfortunately.

It was a wonderful day, the last one of this kind with my Florida friends for this season.  I look forward to doing more outings with them when I return next winter.