Monday, August 31, 2009
This view looking westwards from the trail.
Nigel and Adam had previously been to Russian Ridge with the scouts and been rained on while in the valley we had a nice day...so we were expecting it to be cool. San Jose on Saturday experienced record-breaking heat, and Sunday it was still HOT up on the ridge.
The trail was quite sandy and we were able to see a lot of animal prints: coyote, deer, and this one...
Quite a substantial mountain lion print!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
After a casual conversation with one of the contractors who said that they had previously connected washing machines on patios temporarily, Nigel and I got to work.
After a quick trip to Ace Hardware for hoses and an 18 gallon bucket we had created our temporary laundrette in a rubbermaid shed on the deck. We also get the benefit of greywater for the garden while the sprinkler system is out of action due to construction.
Nigel and I have been congratulating ourselves on the Heath_Robinson nature of the setup. I think that in the USA, Heath Robinson is not well known and people use the reference to McGuyver to describe this sort of cobbled-together contraption.
* I was shocked when I looked up the reference for the film to discover that I saw it in 1986....makes me feel old
Friday, August 28, 2009
For those who have not seen one in action a skim board is like a small flat wooden surfboard. You throw it into shallow water at the water's edge, while the wave is receeding, and ride the board out on the wave. I can assure you that it's much harder than it looks!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The yarn is Noro Chirimen, one of the new range of Noro yarns. Chirimen is a double knit weight yarn of 60% cotton, 24% silk, 16% wool, with the typical long colour runs that Noro yarn is famed for. This yarn is colour 001 which is considered 'black, taupe, and grey', I saw a sample of another sweater knitted in this colour at Yarndogs which was predominantly black and taupe, however my sweater seems to have a lot of a lovely pistachio green and a light smoky blue as well.
I'm knitting this for me, although clearly my desire for another Noro sweater outweighs my need!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Finlay was excited about being a first grader, getting his own desk, and meeting friends, but also a bit shy about his new classroom. Adam wouldnt admit to looking forward to going back...summer holidays are much more fun!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
We have spent a lot of time doing this:
Monday, August 24, 2009
The pattern is Cat Coyle's 'Indigo Ripples' from Interweave Knits Spring 2007 issue. I knitted it in Elann Den-M-Nit cotton. The Elann yarn is similar to Rowan Denim that I have previously knitted two sweaters from. I really disliked the Rowan for it's colour bleeding and it was harsh to knit. I preferred the Elann yarn, it seemed softer, and although there was some colour bleeding onto my hands when knitting it was much less.
I got gauge with 3mm needles which seemed impossibly tiny to knit a skirt, but actually it was rather a quick knit - maybe 4 weeks or so. I tried to knit true to size, with the intention of wearing the skirt at my natural waist - but in fact it sits better on my hips and is a better length worn on the hips. The yarn is intended to shrink when washed and it actually shrank not only in length but also in width slightly. Before washing the skirt was 25" and after washing and going through the dryer it was 21". This has made the knitted fabric nice and dense and I wore the skirt today without a great deal of bagging at the seat.
I did end up modifying the ruffle like Amy did to line up the feather and fan on the ruffle, but other than that knitted the skirt according to the pattern.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Monday, August 03, 2009
Here is a photo taken on State Street under the L (elevated railroad), it seemed a quintessentially Chicago view.
Our hotel was on South Michigan Drive which is basically the main drag north/south, near several parks and close to the lake. We were near the Millenium Park and I did go and see some of the sculptures including The Bean, otherwise known as Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, it was actually pretty great...you can see me in the green shirt taking the photo.
One afternoon I skipped out and did an architecture river tour by the Chicago Institute of Architects as recommended on Ravelry. Chicago certainly seems overloaded with excellent buildings, both public and private. I especially loved the new Public Library. This is a view from the river of the Willis tower (formerly the Sears Tower).
On the last night I went out with my team for Chicago Deep Pan pizza, which I have to say, I was not so keen on...I prefer my pizza crispy I think. However it's the local 'thing' so I had to try it. I had a nice evening and we walked back to the hotel. I stayed at the Chicago Hilton, and had this great view from my window.
I guess a lake view would have been 'nicer' but I never get tired of looking out on the city, especially from a room with excellent soundproofing.