Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Shawl Show-Off
Yes, we have been knitting here at PrairieTide, though a little more slowly than usual. I read somewhere that pregnancy can increase wrist pain, and that seems to be my experience.

Anyhoo, this is a Charlotte's Web Shawl, knit with Koigu yarn. I picked the yarn out over the internet, with mixed results. I love the greens along the bottom edge of the shawl, and the dark blues along the top of the shawl are pleasing, but I am less crazy about the sea-foam green color in the middle of the shawl. See how the stripes are much more noticeable in the middle? If this sea-foam color were more variegated, the stripes would not show up so much. Instead, the colors would "blend" more. Ah, live and learn.

Otherwise, I'm glad this is finished. This is my first "real" lace project, and overall I managed to avoid lace-knitting disaster. Lace stitches can unravel in mind-boggling ways. I did not add the fringe to the bottom of the shawl because I am desperate to move onto other projects, and frankly I've seen enough of this shawl for a while...

The shawl is a gift for my sister Sarah. A while back, I promised to knit her a shawl for her upcoming wedding. Now that the shawl is finished, I don't think it is really "wedding material." To me, it looks more like a Sunday-concert-in-the-park shawl. It's a sun-dress shawl, or a jeans-and-t-shirt shawl. It has a bit of a "hippy chic" flavor to it, which I think Sarah will like. So Sarah, feel free to wear it at the wedding reception, or not!

In the meantime, I have a bunch of baby knitting I want to get going. I know this sounds superstitious, but for a long time I felt I shouldn't "jinx" things by starting to knit baby stuff too soon. Now that I've reached the six-month mark, the due date deadline is looming in my mind. It's time to get cracking!

I don't think I'll be knitting "heirloom" type projects for the kid. I'm thinking practical, wearable stuff. I've started a small Wallaby sweater in denim-colored yarn, and we'll see what else I can fit into the schedule during the next couple of months.

Grand Canyon Redux

For the past four weeks or so, I've been meaning to post an entry about the architecture at the Grand Canyon. Well, carpe diem! Today's the day.

Right outside our lodge was a small, stone building called The Lookout. The stone in the building perfectly matched the wall of the canyon. It seemed a natural extension of the canyon wall, and it looked hundreds of years old. Come to find out, the building is about 1935, and it was originally designed to look like a ruin. The slanted roof and the windows were added later. What's more, the building was designed by Mary Colter, an enterprising architect practicing in a time when not a lot of women were in this field.

Mary designed several buildings for the Santa Fe Co, the company that originally brought tourists to the canyon. The buildings were designed to intrigue tourists, and most are a kind of gift shop. Because Mary had a great sense of style, the buildings don't look like your typical tourist trap.

This building is The Watchtower. It was designed to look like a Navaho kiva for astrological observations. It is several stories high, and visitors can climb to the lookout windows in the top. The view of the canyon from the top is spectacular, and the stone walls of the building look like they've been repaired repeatedly over the centuries. There are little niches in the base for storing firewood. It's a beautiful building.

Hopi House was the first house Mary designed for the Grand Canyon. It was built in 1905, and it is 100 years old this year. When it was built, several Hopi families lived and made crafts in the upper stories. The bottom floor was a store for fine native crafts, and it still is today.

The building has very low doorways, and most people have to duck when walking inside (but not me!). Some of the rooms have a clay stove in the corner, and there are little niches built into the walls to display merchandise.

Mary designed several other buildings in the Grand Canyon, including the Bright Angle Lodge were we stayed (with it's historic mattresses and plumbing!). She designed a building that looks like a hermit's shack, and she built Phantom Lodge, a destination for many hikers at the bottom of the canyon.

Mary lived most of her adult life with her ailing sister, and she never married. She was a perfectionist, pestering the artisans that worked on her buildings to get things "just right." The details in her buildings are what make them so interesting. In the hermit's shack, there is this odd stone over the center of the fireplace. It looks kind of ghostly, like a face frozen in stone. She is said to have picked this stone out herself from the quarry.

Catch Up
It's not too late to show you my Thanksgiving photos, is it? Over Thanksgiving, Randy and I spent two days at the Grand Canyon. What can I say, it was truly grand! We stayed at the bargain historic hotel right on the South Rim of the canyon. Each morning we were there, we got up early and walked along the rim trail, taking in the view.

While we were there, we hiked quite a ways along the trail. I think about five miles or so. We stuck to the trail along the top of the canyon. No venturing down the steep trails that wind into the depths of the canyon for the pregnant lady! At one look out point, we could see one of the trails wind down the side of the canyon, making a couple dozen switchbacks along the way. It is a loooong hike down there! We watched a group of teens in matching military fatigues hike down in formation. Quite an impressive sight.

Here, Randy and I are standing on the rim of the canyon. This is as close to the edge as I got the entire time we were there. Randy ventured out a little closer a few times, which always gave me heart palpitations! It is quite a drop off over that edge!

Ah, in that picture, I could still wear Randy's pants. Those were the days... Yesterday, we did a short hike at Forest Park. I wore my maternity pants, which are supposed to be kept "nice" for work. Of course, they got a little muddy along the trail...

And here we have a lovely sunset picture Randy took after a long day of hiking. Sunset was at about 5:00 PM.

After taking this picture, we had a quick dinner, and then returned to our little hotel room. I was in pajamas by 6:30 PM, and curled up with a book by 7:00 PM. Half an hour later, I was fast asleep.

Of course, I woke up at about 2:00 PM, wide awake! On this trip, I really started feeling the baby kick.

After exploring the Grand Canyon for two days, we headed up to my parents' house for a few days of family fun. Ah, Mom and Dad's house during the holidays. I love to spend the holidays with my folks. They really make these days special. Mom cooked a fabulous meal, and Erin was a good sport about hanging out with her big sister!

Erin is my kid sister, and she is 17. We figured out while I was visiting that she is exactly half my age (do the math).

After dinner, we played a killer game of Clue, followed by a cut-throat game of Scattegories. Did Dad win both games? Maybe so...


Powered by Blogger