Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blue Baby Blanket is Done!

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I truly went into "warp-speed" to get this done. My cousin's son was born at the end of January, and I started this a while back, but REALLY took my time. I found that the knitting went very slow and I needed to concentrate a bit at first. It was just over 1/3 done about 1 1/2 weeks ago (May 19) and seemed to be taking forever! Unfortunately, I did a lot of "knit 8 rows, tear back 4" because I wasn't paying enough attention to the pattern. Knitting on circs also slowed me down.

I needed to have it done for today because I was hoping that my cousing would be at my DD's wedding shower so I could give it to her in person. She wasn't able to make it, but I did manage to give it to her mom (who sees her frequently), so it shouldn't be long before she receives it. I think she'll like it.

I was quite pleased with how it turned out. It's an Aslantrends pattern, but I didn't have the right colors in the recommended yarn, so I substituted Dale of Norway's Baby Ull. I doubled two different colors of the blue to give it a mottled/kettle dyed look that the recommended yarn has. The color is perfect for a boy or girl, so this blanket will be quite versatile. The pattern was actually very simple, but you need to "pay attention" and as I previously mentioned, it had to be done on circs. I knit VERY slowly on circs! (I'm definite a straights or dpn person!)

The pattern was quite nice and not difficult at all. It alternated between a basket weave and an eyelet pattern with seed stitch along the edges and between pattern changes. I'll definitely make this blanket again!



Ack! I just realized that I forgot to measure the final result! I think it was close to 36" x 36".

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hand Crafted Shoe Laces

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I finally finished the shoe laces I had started for DH's grandmother using my Lucet.







Fresh off the lucet before trimming the ends.






One lace with a couple of pieces of shrink wrap tubing that I'm using for the lace "tips". (The shrink wrap showed up much better without the flash...)





The finished laces - I gave them a quick rub down with waxed paper to give them a smooth finished look.





The shrink wrap tubing worked great as shoe lace tips! I let them cover a little of the ending thread and then trimmed it off. The clear shrink wrap tubing (purchased from Radio Shack) was perfect for the shoe lace tips. Who knew that Radio Shack would be a source for materials for fiber arts?

I was quite pleased with how the laces turned out. My initial attempts to make the cording was a bit "lumpy-bumpy", but after a little practice, my cording smoothed out. There are still a couple of places that are slightly lumpy, but I managed to keep a fairly even tension and made relatively smooth shoe laces.

DH delivered them to his grandmother this weekend and she was absolutely thrilled! Her favorite shoes require 27" tan laces...and they're all but impossible to find! None of the stores in our area have any - we had bought the last few pairs weeks ago. She's especially thrilled with the fact that no one else has a pair of shoe laces like hers plus, these laces are a much better color match for her shoes. I don't have a photo of Mema's shoes with the laces in them, but I'll try to get one at some point.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Syttende Mai Picnic

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Today was the final celebratory event for commemorating Syttende Mai - the picnic.







I was definitely dressed for the occasion, though not quite as "traditional" as others since I don't have a Bunad. I had my flag and my rosette and a festive red shirt.




DH was very relaxed and took the festivities in his stride. His version of festival regalia is a Hawaiian shirt. I must agree...it is definitely festive!





The Syttende Mai Picnic was held at Carderock Park again this year...right along the Potomac River. The weather was absolutely perfect! I helped with some of the setup and cleanup, but mainly just enjoyed the day.

Syttende Mai (May 17th) is the anniversary of the adoption of the Norwegian Constitution, not a celebration of their independence as that came much later. The Norwegian Constitution was modeled after the French Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. Up until that time, Norway had been owned by Denmark. Norway didn't truly receive its independence until 1905. Apparently, Sweden "received" Norway as a "prize" from the Danes at some point and remained under Swedish rule for a number of years. Finally, in 1905, Norway was granted independence from Sweden.

Mr. Lasse Sybersen, Chairman of the Norwegian Church Committee, introduced our speaker, Mr. Johan Vibe, DCM Royal Norwegian Embassy. Mr. Johan Vibe gave the address at the picnic as the Norwegian Ambassador was celebrating the holiday with the residents of Minnesota. During his address, Mr. Vibe relayed a greeting from King Harald V of Norway...first in Norwegian, and then in English.

video


According to Mr. Vibe, our celebration is quite similar to how it's celebrated in Norway as well. They too may have a picnic with hot dogs and some Cream Cake. That's the only thing we were missing...some Cream Cake...and perhaps a more elaborate parade.

He also said that in Seattle last year, they had 25,ooo participants in the Syttende Mai Parade. We were a much smaller bunch in size...but certainly not in enthusiasm! However, I think there's something to be said to a simple parade that's full of festive spirit.



We paraded through the park grounds with Mr. Vibe leading the group...waiving our Norwegian flags and dressed in Bunads, ribbons, or other festival gear and ended with hot dogs and chips with some ice cream for dessert.












































There's something very festive about seeing everyone all dress in their Bunads (if they have one). Young and old...I just love the traditional costumes!























There were games for the kids as well. They received some pinwheels and some styrofoam airplanes. The stilts...or should I say attempting to use stilts...was always a popular "game" at every picnic!













Of course, I couldn't resist playing with the Lindehunds (Norwegian Puffin Dogs) - they're so cute! They're a regular at the festivals...and many times visit our Sons of Norway Lodge!





"Sophisticated Ladies"

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Oh, my! I don't know where to begin!



Saturday night, I had a fabulous time! I went downtown Washington, DC with my friend, Paula, to see Duke Ellington's, "Sophisticated Ladies" at the Lincoln Theater. The entire evening was perfect - absolutely perfect! The weather...the food...the show. It was a trifecta of perfection!



We took the metro downtown and posed for photos inside the U-Street station. I LOVE the mural on the walls! It definitely puts you in the right spirit for an evening of awesome jazz!














Out on the streets, we found a huge mural of Duke Ellington. I managed to capture a shot with both Paula and the mural.






First stop...dinner. The line at "Ben's Chili Bowl" was very long, so we decided to continue down the street an see what else sounded tempting. There were a number of Ethiopian restaurants. Neither Paula nor I have ever eaten Ethiopian food, so we were intriqued. We looked over the menus - mmmmm! Everything sounded so good!

We definitely decided on a Ethiopian food, and after perusing menus, finally settled on Dukem. (The name is pretty cool too since we we'd come downtown to listed to the "Duke's" jazz!) The food was FABULOUS!!! We got a combo plate (Combo plate 23) so we could try a variety of entrees:
  • REGULAR TIBS - Cubed tender beef fried with onion, rosemary jalapeno pepper served with injera and salad and spicy awaze sauce
  • LAMB WOT - spicy - Freshly made lamb stew served with injera
  • MINCHET ABESH - Finely chopped lean ground beef braised in milled ginger and garlic sauce
  • Tomato salad.
(Sorry...we forgot to take a photo before we "dug in"!). We passed on the entrees that included tripe and tongue....neither sounded appealing to us. Everything was delicious! My favorite was the spicy lamb stew (LAMB WOT). Second favorite was one of the ground beef specialties (MINCHET ABESH) cooked in ginger and garlic. The TIBS was our least favorite, but it was still quite good. It was all served on a large flat bread.

The chopped up deep fried bit was a spinach Sambusa that we'd ordered in addition to the meal. It was quite delicious as well. The meal was served with some extra bread as well. It was quite fascinating bread too - very "springy" and soft. I definitely had a lot of fun tearing off bits of the bread and scooping up the meats with it. Mmmmm!!!!




Next, the theater...







I was dressed for the theater in my black and silver boa and Paula with her gorgeous lace scarf.







Paula scored the most AWESOME seats - front row center! I've NEVER been that "close to the action" at a major theater. The seats were perfect!



The music was fabulous. The singing was beyond words! The depth of passion that burst forth with every song was phenomenal. The voices of the cast members were perfect. Couple the fabulous music with the exquisite dancing and voila....the PERFECT evening!

Maurice Hines was spellbinding. I couldn't take my eyes off of him! He personality and performance totally captivating. Maurice was so expressive and full of energy, but somehow, made it all look effortless - like he was gliding on air. He even came down off the stage danced with one of the girls next to us. It was awesome!

All of the dancers were fabulous. There wasn't a bad song or dance in the entire show! I just can't say enough about how fabulous it was. I definitely didn't want the evening to end!



The entire evening put me in a fantastic mood...and Paula managed to capture my happiness with her camera as I posed with a historical marker.




Final thoughts....



The show has been extended, so if you have any time between now and June 6th, DEFINITELY make the effort to see it! You won't regret it!


Many thanks to Paula for bringing her camera...and providing me access to the photos we took!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Syttende Mai Dinner Dance

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No knitting in this post...just a few pictures from dinner dance that began the weekend's festivities - celebrating Norway's Constitution Day - Syttende Mai.



The annual dinner dance was held this year at the Westpark. We had a lovely dinner, received door prizes, and danced to celebrate the day. One of our table mates was wearing a lovely Bunad with a matching hat. I just love all the detail and embroidery!





My friends, Melanie and Dave, won a lovely Rosemaled vase...







Rod and I won a calendar full of gorgeous pictures of the Norwegian countryside.






Debbie wont the "coveted" Aquavit.







My favorite part of the evening was looking at all the lovely Bunads worn by the various members of our group. I don't yet have one.....sigh. One day....