Luscious Gracious! Look What We Made Today!

A blog devoted to the art of the Luscious Gracious clan.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

HLB - Teenager Edition!

Seems like only yesterday our Little Lulu was trying her teeth on her first solid food (a bagel, see below). She was about six months old here, and already had a mouthful of teeth. Early teether, early smiler, early talker, early joker....that was our baby girl! Not so much with the walking, but with so many loving adults to carry her everywhere, why should she soil her little feet?
Besides, she preferred to roll everywhere she needed to go.

and by her first Easter, she was rolling everywhere!

Lucy Jane got her first set of wheels for her first birthday, and stood on top of the motorcycle to proclaim, "Tah Dah!", which was one of her first favorite phrases. Still is, actually!

A born entertainer, she is. When she was a newborn, Lucy would smile and coo when she heard applause on The Price is Right or Jeopardy.

And by the time she was walking she had already put on plays for the family.

Our Lucy, the camera spotter.....

the ham! (pictured here with VERY young parents. who the heck are those people?)

...the grubby sister......

....the model.

Through mouth-expanders and braces in kindergarten
to grown-up haircuts and birthday pajama parties,

to middle school artiste,

our dearest Lu continues to surprise, delight, entertain, and wow us all.
Now for the hard part. How do you parent teenagers?
Happy 13 Lucy Jane!!!! Hope you bring the instructions home with you from Indiana!
Mom and Dad

ps-since Lucy's birthday gifts arrived early in Indiana, and she was able to open them already, we can go ahead and post photos!

I (Mom, aka Kiki) made this top for Lucy's special day. It's a wonder, it is: from a pattern (gasp!) AND out of COTTON!!!! The heat is getting to us! What a fun knit, I want to make another one for me. Thanks to Katie Himmelberg and her Frock Camisole (Interweave Knits Spring 2008) for the great, cool idea. Thanks to Cotton Flake yarn for being so pretty. Really, it comes in tons of colors, is relatively pleasant to work with for someone who hates cotton, and knits up so silky, shiny, and slubby. The three S's make for a perfect summer knit. The best part? Lucy actually said, "It's just what I wanted!" I know that I should enjoy those words now. May never hear them again....

I (Dad, aka Steve) knit her this grasshopper.

A live one appeared to me on a long drive down a dirt road while getting lost trying to find a photo spot. Again, it must have been the heat.

The blue & yellow-green yarns are Ella Rea wool. The body and head is the Militia colorway of Spritely Goods' Aeval (Silk Merino), the best yarn in the world. It is felted, of course. The pattern was from my head and my 25 minutes staring at the real one on my windshield. Happy Birthday Lucy!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Mitten - A - Long Update

2 posts in 3 days! The heat must be getting to us, or maybe it is just all the excitement over our Summer Mitten-A-Long! Here is the update from this weekend's knitting.

I took the early lead on Friday and Saturday morning.

Some say it was only because I was kind of cheating. Smallest Mittens, Biggest Needles, and No Fair Isle, I say good planning, not cheating.

But then... I decided to do Fair Isle, and not even in the round! that slooooowed me way down.

Stephanie's progress seemed slower than it was.

Knitting both mittens at once was a great idea.

She became the favorite by Saturday night.

Erika made great progress on Friday, making it to the Coffee Bean section.

On Saturday, she took to the two handed knitting like a pro.

Her tension is so perfect, we are all jealous!

Kiki started off slow on Friday, commenting that 88 stitches is sometimes enough for a sweater!

Saturday we began to see words appear.

By Saturday night, she feared she might run out of yarn and realized knitting mittens for me, was not going to win the race.

Illanna, also sported some words by end of day Saturday. Showing a lot of progress using the top-down approach.

Today I finished one back side and started on the other. That Fair Isle purl side is kicking my ass!

Stephanie made great progress today. Her snails seemed to be the fastest around.

Kiki continued to write on her mittens. She might have room for a novella, as big as these are. I think I heard her say "11 inches, are you freakin' kidding me!" I tried them on, and they fit, no room for lining. Sorry dear, but you know what they say, big hands... big mittens!

We don't have pictures for the end of today for Illanna or Erika. Word on the street is Illanna is smokin' the rest of us with both mittens & linings at the thumb. She will probably be done before I finish typing this post! Looks like it is a race for second.


Progress photos from Erika.Damn! Those stitches are perfect!

Also an updated photo from Illanna.

The rumors are true, she is running away with this KAL!

In other news, I recently purchased a digital camera that shoots infrared. Below are a few shots, and you can see more here. The red sky and water look like it feels out here these days.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th! -the blog post formerly known as I LOVE LAMP

Holy Fireworks Batman! An actual blog post!

Look how proud the kids are to be Americans (old photo....they are twice as big and twice as proud now).

And just how do people living in 125degree weather (that's Fahrenheit, people) celebrate the birth of American Independence? By getting together to knit with wool, of course! Even more obvious is that the meeting place be highly air conditioned. Today, in the parking lot, during the two seconds it took Stephen to unlock the car, I could feel the heat of the pavement burning my feet......through shoes AND socks! It's hot, I'm telling you! No backyard pool parties or picnics at the park for us. It's so hot than we don't even step outside after dark, when it gets all the way down to 110degrees, to see the fireworks. Good thing we have big picture windows.....

So, without further ado, on to the Great 4th of July Mitten Knit-a-Long, brought to you by Steve. It was all his big idea.

And it began last month in a little knitting store in Cottonwood, AZ, where we had escaped the heat of the city for a long weekend. The store is called something like Alley Cat Knitting and Gifts, or Yarn and Gifts, or something. If you are ever in that part of Arizona, you should go. They have beads too, and boots. Anyway, the selection of summer knitting was just what we were looking for......lots of linen, hemp, and yes, even COTTON! But what we really liked, just couldn't help ourselves, was an entire wall of Harrisville "New England Shetland" from New Hampshire. The colors were gorgeous, the yarn itself magical. I'd never seen it out of a bag before (it's always in those kits, you know, for gorgeous coats and jackets....but did I mention we live in the desert?), yet here it was, hanging free for all to see. And fondle. Wool fumes. Air conditioning. We lost our heads.

But it was perfect! Just the thing for souvenirs...and two skeins is more than enough for....MITTENS! Stephanie is always saying how she needs mittens in this heat to deal with her steering wheel. And E wants to try colorwork, mittens are perfect for that! And there's poor Illanna, who froze to death during her first winter back in New York. She really needs mittens! I just wanted an excuse to buy the yarn.

We bought a little of it and headed out. Back at the hotel that night Steve decided he wished that he had bought enough for him to join in with the other hard-core KAL-ers in our International Knit Circle. And the next day, due to more hot weather, a disappointing movie, and a search for ice cream, we found ourselves right back at the knit shop. And Steve ran in to get his own two skeins of the wool. We selected two skeins for each person, but decided later to let everyone have his or her choice.

Good thing we did that, because NOT A SINGLE PERSON ended up with the yarn we thought they'd want. Just goes to show you, that with a small project like mittens, people come out of their color-comfort zones. So, grab your wool, any color, and mitten-along with us this summer. We officially start at Noon PDT 7/4/08. Should be fun, and relatively sweat-free. Mittens are a small commitment in time and wool, and they are appreciated by everyone, even desert dwellers.

Happy Independence Day. Celebrate in the way YOU see most fit. Knitting, of course.

And Now some other things we have made but never published to the blog. If anyone is reading this & would like more info, please leave us a comment.

Back in February when we originally started this post it was titled "I love lamp", because Steve got this cool new lamp at Costco to light photos, and we love it.

We made all that pottery at The Artist Within.

We didn't make this yarn, Stephanie did, we just bought most of it.

Spring Break Indiana!

We didn't make this either, Steve's sister did. Lily made the hat though.

And Steve made this picture.

This is a different baby cousin. Kiki made this hat.

These live in our carport, or at least they did until it got to be 110.

We didn't make the cupcake either, Melati did. Steve took this photo & the ones on her website. If you live in AZ, order some of these cupcakes now. They are the best ever!

Hope to see you all again, really soon! The summer knitting is just starting....