Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Show & Tell: Needlework

I began my 'show & tell' blog post series back in January and promised to try to come up with a new installment each month for a year. May is almost over, so it's time for another! How about needlework? I love all forms of needlework and wish I was both better at it and had the time to dedicate to it. I've decorated with some needlework around my house to inspire me.

This is actually the end of a scarf that my great-grandfather gave to my great-grandmother. It was cut into two pieces and framed.

My grandmother started doing needlework from a very young age. She said she made this little sampler when she was 6. I plan to get around to framing it sometime.

My grandmother has made countless things over the years like this needlepoint seat.

These hooked 'rug' samplers were made by my great-aunt Ruth. I think they are so charming. This larger one is usually under a bowl to protect the surface of the cabinet.

These smaller ones depicting a house and barn are displayed in a curio.

I love the look of Asian needlework done in silks like this fish.

He's a bit faded, but looks rather fun next to the exotic looking letter opener. I assure you that as dangerous as that letter opener looks, it's really quite dull!

If you missed my other 'show & tell' posts, you can click on the label below!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Newport Bike Ride

If any of you live in a popular summer destination area, you know what it's like...traffic jams from Memorial Day to Labor Day! Biking is the perfect way to avoid dreaded gridlock. This morning, Jeff and I rode a counterclockwise route around Newport shown in red in this detail from a Google map.

Newport is famous for the mansions like Rosecliff and Marble House situated along Bellevue Avenue. The gardens rival the architecture! Bellevue is the the straight, vertical road on the map.

The big crowds were by the beaches this morning and we had Bellevue Avenue almost to ourselves!

I actually took this picture of the steeple on Saturday, when I had to make an emergency trip to Starbuck's for vanilla syrup. I was double parked on the cobblestone street and snapped this pic while Jeff ran into the shop! It is St. Mary's Church where President JFK was married.

Here are our bikes by Newport harbor. You can see the Newport Bridge in the distance.

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend and also take a few moments to remember our troops, past and present!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Seaside Knitting

I've finished the back section of Tea Time. Here it is along with some seaside knick-knacks.

This picture is dedicated to She Knits by the Seashore! Happy Blogiversary, Debby!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Started on Tea Time

One ball of yarn used up so far!

It's funny, the US6 needles for the stocking stitch portion seemed enormous to me after using US3 for so long on my other projects. Even though the needles said '6' on them, I was so alarmed by how big they felt I actually had to get my needle gauge and double check!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday Shopping

One must have 'rewards' for finishing a project, right?!

Yesterday, there was too much rain for our bike ride. What's the best thing to do on a rainy day? Shop, of course!

I bribed Jeff with the promise of ice cream, he brought a book to read and we set off around mid afternoon. We headed to the scenic town of Little Compton, Rhode Island. First, we stopped at Peckham's Greenhouse for seedlings. I haven't found a website for them, but this is my favorite garden shop in the area. It's just off the main road in Little Compton. Jeff helped me pick out vegetable seedlings for the garden.

Next, I went to Sakonnet Purls for pattern books and yarn while Jeff patiently waited outside and read his book. This is a fantastic yarn shop and is where the southern New England knitting bloggers will meet in June (thanks to Kristen for planning this)! I planned to get at least one RYC pattern book as I think they are so wonderful, especially Classic Coast, Classic Nature and Classic Summer from which I am making 'Cara' (it was published in an issue of Simply Knitting UK and I've been following the pattern from that). I ended up deciding to buy Classic Summer this time.

It has several patterns I like and I thought I would pick yarn for one. There were not enough balls in the first two colors I picked, a plum and a gorgeous light blue. So, thinking of Project Spectrum and inspired by the color of a top in the book, I chose a shade of pink. It's Cashsoft DK by RYC in shade 520.

I guess I'm indecisive today as I'm not sure which picture I like best of the yarn, so here are three I took! I'll let you decide which you like best!

A yarn still-life in the bread basket on my dining room table.

A detail of the yarn.

Here's one for Project Spectrum! The pink yarn with a green glass vase.

Are you curious to see what I'm planning to make? It's called 'Tea Time'! (I'll be able to photograph all the stages of knitting alongside some of my tea cups!)

I'm using a slightly different yarn and color than in the pattern calls for, but I think it will work out well.

So, after about 40 minutes at SP, I finally had a pattern and yarn and I'd still only checked out one room of the store! I quickly perused the other room where I picked out a copy of Rowan Summer Tweed, so I will have a pattern for the lilac tweed in my stash. I'll probably knit the v-neck, long sleeve top shown in green.

An hour later, Jeff was still in a good mood, and we went to Gray's for the much anticipated ice cream and had our favorite hot fudge sundae's with black raspberry ice cream. So delicious!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

7 Random Things About Me

I was tagged for this by Debby.

1) I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was about 14. I just never tried before and then one day I spotted the bikes in the barn, was just big enough for one, tried it and liked it!

2) I like to cook and enjoy kitchen gadgets. For our anniversary last week, Jeff and I treated ourselves to this:
and we've been making awesome panini ever since!

3) Speaking of our anniversary, we eloped!

4) I used to play in a bagpipe band. I still have two sets of pipes, war pipes and bellows blown parlor pipes, but I don’t play much…it makes Silas howl!

5) My favorite TV sitcoms of the past season were: The Office and Two and a Half Men.

6) Two funny dvds I've seen in the past week are: Clatterford and Night at the Museum.

7) I'm ready for summer! Wednesday, I got a new hat and flip-flops from Target!

I picture myself sitting in a lawn chair, watching the garden grow and knitting, but in reality I'll be mowing the lawn, weeding and trimming back invasive vines! Oh well, at least I'll have style!

Rainy Weather = FO At Last!

It’s the Debbie Bliss shrug, done! Sorry for the dark pics, it’s dim here today.

I'm happy with it overall. I'll like it better in a week or so when I haven't been scrutinizing it so intently! The sleeve caps probably could have been a couple of rows shorter, but since it's fitted, when it's on it forms to the shape of my shoulders ok. The front looks puckered in the pic and it is, but that is the chest shaping that looks nice and smooth on.

Here is a slightly different angle to try to show you the shaping on the fronts.

The hardest part for me, as usual, was the seaming. I get a headache just in anticipation of seaming! I wish I was better at it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Project Spectrum: Green, Pink, Yellow

This blog is overdue for another Project Spectrum post! Here are various pics from around the house and yard this morning.

I started in the kitchen with my favorite green colander, a pretty pink tin and garden tea tray.

The bleeding heart is in bloom next to the barn.

The apple blossoms are just opening.

This is 'peppermint' ground phlox.

Little yellow roses.

Using a yellow labrador as organic weed control isn't terribly effective, but Saffy tries to help by biting the heads off dandelions.

After all the 'hard work' of weeding, Saffy enjoys a rest in one of our green lawn chairs.

And, this is the logo for the Giro d'Italia cycling race that started on Saturday. It will run for 21 days and you can follow it here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Cycling Milestone

One thing cyclists train for are ‘century rides’. These can be metric centuries of 100 kilometers/63 miles or imperial centuries of 100 miles.

Sunday, Jeff and I survived our first metric century ride! The route covered a lot of ground in western RI and eastern CT where there are in fact some hills. Here is the elevation profile of the route we did.

If you’d like to see all the data from our ride click here.

Today, for our 'active recovery' we did a 12 mile ride at a moderate pace. We’re a little tired, but not actually sore and are planning longer rides already!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I frequently find myself the referee of some wild games of tug-o-war! Sometimes the strategy is to lay across the ball to try to keep it away from the other dog.

Other times, it's a full tilt run while tugging with little regard for what/who might be in the way!

At the end of a long match, it feels good to sunbath and air out the ears a little.

Ugh! I looked in that ear and think I could start a garden in there! It's definitely time to get out the cotton balls and cleaning solution.

Monday, May 07, 2007

NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour

Jeff and I participated in the 5 Boro Tour this weekend. I'm a bit overtired from our adventure, but I want to get something on the blog about it! So, here's a rather picture heavy post!

We caught the train from the stop in Milford, CT, about 4:30am. You can see in this picture that a lot of cyclists were waiting on the platform with us.

Cyclists got on at every stop on the way into the city and bikes were stacked anywhere they fit!

This is Jeff next to the train in Grand Central Station.

Here's Jeff in Grand Central Station again. It was so neat to see all the bikes!

At the beginning of the ride, we were standing between Trinity Church and the American Stock Exchange. Some religious leaders performed a blessing from the pedestrian bridge over the street. You can see the smoke from the incense in the picture and the wind blew it right to us!

Trinity Church is so lovely. I had fun looking at all the spires while we waited for the procession of bikes to begin.

Here's Jeff along with Chris, Debby, Larry and Hector!

Jeff, on the way to Central Park.

This was one of my favorite views. I loved the light and clouds and the way the reflective buildings looked!

Cyclists on the way to Central Park. I mostly have pictures from this part of the ride since it was slow going.

The light was so pretty here, I just happened to look at the right moment and had some space to stop in to take a pic. We saw lots of wonderful views, but it wasn't always easy to stop, so I only got a few scenery pics.

We rode the Staten Island Ferry back to Battery Park. We were all in the center area of the car deck! We could see the city views a little through the big doors at each end and had a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty as well!

Finally, this is a photo that Larry took of Jeff and I. I'm in the blue jacket and Jeff is behind me in the white shirt, waving.

I actually spotted Devorah riding with her family and called to her, but unfortunately wasn't able to get her attention in the crowd! It was an especially busy spot near the exit of a rest stop. I looked for Ina with her handlebar kitty, but couldn't find her. Considering how many people were there (42,000), it's astounding that our little group of six was able to stay in contact throughout the ride and that I even caught a glimpse of the Squids!

Lastly, here's a map of the route we did (from the Tour website).