Amy Artisan

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Month: March 2007

Silver and Gold

A frequently quoted song reminds us to:

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
And the other is gold.

The last couple of weeks have been filled with both.

The middle of this month was a golden friendship trip – 5 days in Dallas with my dear friend Maya & the ever adorable Miss Butterfly & Miss Doodlebug. (It was an all girls weekend because their Dad was out of town.) After a winter wrapped in hats and scarves it was great to spend the weekend in sandals and capris. Even though both little ones had a bit of a stomach bug we had a fun weekend.

Dallas Blooms

On Friday we packed a picnic & headed to The Dallas Arboretum where the spring blooms were in full effect – the full spectrum of color was in abundance.

Kids Concert

There was a fun lunchtime concert with 2 great children’s entertainers: Aunty E & Joe McDermott – several times throughout the weekend we were singing snippets of their fun songs.

The weekend was filled with lots of play time, lots of swing time (higher M’Amy, higher!), lots of reading, lots of snuggles and so much fun. On Saturday evening Maya & I escaped for a few hours of “big girl” time – after 2 1/2 hours we emerged from Nordstrom Rack (with lots of great things for both of us) and then enjoyed an excellent dinner at a newer Vietnamese place, Zander’s House.

Dallas Fun
(click here for more pictures)

Last Thursday evening was a serendipity trip that turned into a silver friendship trip. On Wednesday I saw that Kate Jacobs was going to be in the Milwaukee area on Thursday for a “The Friday Night Knitting Club” book reading event. Since I wrote my review of the book, Kate and I have been emailing back and forth so I was hoping to meet her. Since I was home in Chicago, I was able to drive up for the evening. Because the event was “last minute” there was a smaller crowd than hoped for; however, it was still a fun evening. After the event was over, Kate & I kept the conversation going over tea & coffee at the book shop cafe before I dropped her at her hotel and then came back home. Kate it was great to hang out with you – hope to see you in Chicago!

Amy & Kate

My sister flies in this evening for a 4 day visit & I’m taking a couple of days off while she is here. Tomorrow is a day trip over to our favorite Michigan lakefront area with a friend and the rest of the time will be filled with all sorts of sister fun!

Signs of Spring & Serendipity

With all of the news stories this past week about the Daylight Savings time change this weekend there were several comments about to the effect of “You can’t say ‘spring ahead’ anymore because spring isn’t here yet; now it’s ‘march forward’ and ‘fall behind’ still rings true.”

Well, the weather didn’t get the memo that it isn’t spring yet – it was a super sunny weekend where you start to think that maybe spring will come. In addition to the sun shining – there was also sun warmth – it was nice to be out & about without all of the winter layers.

I often say that I think that the first Monday afternoon after the fall time change is the worst – coming out of the office at a “normal” time & seeing how dark it is. The flip is definitely true as well – how nice to walk out of the client office at 6:45 this evening & actually need to put on my sunglasses.

In the midst of my recent sock knitting I also finished up a few squares for the Blanket of Hope for Sonya & Kevin. It is fun to see all the shapes & sizes of blocks that are being sent for this blanket.

Hope Blocks

In addition to the bright sunshine another sign of spring this weekend was the continued progress on the rebuilding of the dove nest above my back door. Hopefully it won’t be too long until Dora the dove is back on a nest.

Sock #3

Saturday was filled with errands and my current sock was with me through it all – I got a fair amount of knitting done while at the salon and also while in the super long line at the car wash. I stopped into Arcadia Knitting to pick up some Addi turbo pairs in different (smaller) sizes for some of the sock yarn in my stash and a beautiful skein of Colinette Jitterbug in the Toscana colorway jumped in the bag as well. (Reading the description of the colorway – a perfect selection to celebrate a first glimpse of spring.)

Sock Blooms

While catching up with my stylist at the salon I learned that my former stylist was now working at the new Whole Foods that opened fairly close to my house. So the last errand of the day was checking out the new store (wonderful!) and catching up with Brad by the Artisan cheeses. Brad is a knitter as well so we always talk knitting – I showed him the sock in my bag & he pulled his backpack from a locker to show me the sock he was working on. In addition to the serendipity of seeing Brad and picking up a few goodies I also picked up a beautiful African violet in a cheery bright pink bloom.

Sunday I finally wore my ‘Bejeweled Blue Hosta‘ scarf – I have joked that Wisconsin has been too cold this winter to wear this scarf because it is such an open knit. This scarf was just the right weight for wearing with a twill blazer & not needing another jacket. While catching up with friends over coffee and bagels after church Jen commented that it was great to see the scarf ‘in action’ after seeing it on the blog.

Now that sock #3 is complete I have started on it’s match. I’m looking forward to a mini-vacation this weekend & the sock will be “just the thing” to have as my plane project to/from Dallas.

What signs of spring and serendipity are you seeing these days?

One Sock, Two Sock…

White Sock, Blue Sock…

One Sock, Two Sock...

(with a nod to Dr. Seuss & a Happy 50th Birthday to the Cat in the Hat!)

Right after I clicked “publish” on the last post I cast on for sock #2. While I didn’t end up knitting the whole evening I did get a good start on the leg. While on the road this week I finished up most of the leg. By Saturday morning I was onto the foot of the sock and by the time I had watched the last of my Netflix I was kitchnering the toe.

Fraternal Socks

Most hand knit socks are fraternal twins – these are no exception. In fact, they may be a bit more “mismatched” than most. On Thursday evening as I started on the heel flap I realized that I had cast on too many stitches for the sock (64 instead of 60). After an initial thought about starting over with 60 stitches I decided to just move forward. As I turned the heel I was able to “get rid of” 2 of the extra stitches. The other 2 stayed until I started on the toe.

Overall I’m very pleased with how the socks turned out. They feel a bit big so I will be washing them before I wear them & hope that they tighten up a bit. Now that I’ve finished my first pair of socks I think I can ‘finally’ justify a fun pair of clogs that I’ve been wanting – they’ll be just the thing for wearing with hand knits.

New Socks!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the time had come to just conquer socks. Just as many Dr. Suess books were just strings of simple words (ok, and some fun ones as well), in reality these socks were just a variation on knit and purl stitches. I knew I could do it – I just needed to. To that end, it reminds me a bit of when I was learning to read. As my Mom tells it, I was ready to read on my own but just wouldn’t – that Amy stubbornness was in effect. Once I started kindergarten and saw a classmate reading I came home & started reading on my own. I haven’t looked back since then – reading has always been a favorite past time since then.

Do you remember learning to read? What stories do you remember about it? Just as I continued to practice reading by reading more and more books I’m continuing to practice socks by starting on another pair. On the needles now is the “Sassy Stripes” yarn that I purchased for last spring’s sock class. (And I have already turned the heel since this picture was taken.)

Next Sock

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss memory? When I moved into my dorm room my freshman year of college, that first night I remember pulling back the covers on my bed & my parents had left me a copy of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Indeed, the places I have gone since then!

Oh Socks!

Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So get on your way!

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