Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Off the grid.

Gina and I escaped off the radar last week for some wonderful R&R at her family's place in Naples, Florida. As you would expect, Gina has done a really charming job of decorating her Naples house - I was greeted by a knitted fish and a bumpy alligator scarf draped over the couch, plus countless other little Gina touches. There was a sign on the wall that commanded "Relax" - and I obeyed! We had four hedonistic days of eating, knitting, bargain shopping and wildlife-watching. We expected the gators frequently spotted in the backyard lake to appear. (Well, Gina calls it a lake. I say if there are gators, it's a swamp. A really pretty swamp.)

The gators were incognito, but we did see birds galore, including this hilarious scene on the beach, where a bunch of pretty white birds were being led by this Ugly Duckling kind of guy:

We also spotted this frog, who I first mistook for fake, and then for dead, on the mailbox at the condo of Gina's daughter, Marisa, who attends college in Naples. Marisa says he's just really lazy.

We got walk-in makeovers at MAC - Gina was trying out a look for the upcoming wedding of her son, Daniel. We went shopping after, and the salesladies fawned all over Gina's makeup - it really did look stunning! Then they sort of peered at me and said, "Yours is very subtle." (And I felt like it was caked on like a pole dancer.)

We also spotted two pods of dolphins at the Naples pier - they were too hard to capture with photos but we got a couple shots of ourselves!

Of course, there was much knitting to be done. Gina worked on a vest in Malabrigo, while I made great progress on my Featherweight Cardi in Alchemy Juniper (I think I'm going to finish in just 4 skeins!). After knitting the first sleeve on the flight down, I needed to take a break from the endless stockinette and make something quick. So I cast on for the Featherbed Beret from the Little Cake book #22, in Louisa Harding's new Thistle yarn (merino and baby suri alpaca). What a fun knit - and I love this yarn. Great stitch definition, loft and softness. Marisa was the lovely model - it's not every day you see someone wearing a merino/alpaca beret by the pool in Florida!

I re-entered the grid to discover a surprise in today's Tulsa World - a great article on the popularity of cowls featuring Gina's Snooty Snood original design.

Debbie, the model for our Snood pattern and the one who gave us the original idea, told me about this article in last week's Wall Street Journal. "Can the snood save Christmas?" was the title. Check out the photo of Lady Gaga, all snood-ified.

My motto for the week: Grid and bear it.

- Shelley
shop online at loopsknitting.com


Blogger Marisa said...

yay! I love all the pictures! It was so nice having you two here in Florida! You girls are the best! We had a blast! Yay for traveling Loops!

November 11, 2009 at 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Baby! So cute in that hat. Did you mention all the great food Miss Shelley? Where's my hot fudge sundae?

November 11, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Shelley Brander said...

If I gave the food its proper due, the blog post would've been twice as long! Let's just say the stone crab claws were so good, that when one flew out of my hand onto the outdoor patio, I picked it up, dunked it in my iced tea and ate it. 5 second rule definitely applies when each claw is ten bucks!

November 12, 2009 at 3:06 AM  
Blogger Ms Blondie Knits said...

Great pictures, Shelley! What a great girls weekend!

November 12, 2009 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you don't develop the dread disease, "knitter's claw" which comes from eating stoned crabs. You will find it impossible to knit with any precision, and all the while you will be laughing and begging for more Chitos.

November 12, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I would be happy to carry your bags next time!

November 13, 2009 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Tobey said...

Shelly -- What a coincidence. Sean and I were in Naples from last Wednesday until Sunday (Nov. 4-8) with another couple from Tulsa. We went sailing one afternoon and then went on a "10,00 Islands" cruise. Otherwise, we were lounging at the spa or eating ridiculously large meals -- very much on-the-grid. The two if us should plan a trip to visit Leslie sometime soon.

November 14, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger pelicanknits said...

so happy to join your blog.. and loved reading about your trip to Naples. I live in Sarasota.. about 2 hours (100 miles) north. We have some great yarn shops here too.. Did you get to visit Knitting with nancy in naples.. a great shop?? love your website too.. esp. the free patterns!
pelicanknits susie in srq

November 15, 2009 at 2:42 AM  
Blogger Shelley Brander said...

Yes, Susie, as a matter of fact we did visit Nancy's! Great shop, and Maggie Jackson of MaggiKnits was there giving a workshop. Nancy and Roberta were both so nice - Gina knows them well. We're glad you found us :)

November 15, 2009 at 4:58 AM  
Blogger pelicanknits said...

I love Nancy and Roberta.. you may also have met some gals from Sarasota.. Susan Post, who just opened a new shop A Good Yarn, and Mary Virginia

not sure if Amy came too. maybe if you do come back to paradise. i will drive to Naples.. or you should come up to the Sarasota/Tampa area.. Here we have several shops.. check out Picasso's Moon and A good Yarn. spinning Wheel and Eye of the Needle do not have websites.. In Tampa there is Knit n Knibble.. a wonderful shop.. you will be hearing from me susie.

November 15, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Brenda said...

OOOOOOOooooo what gorgeous photos and so happy that everyone had the opportunity to relax, get some beach/knitting time. Lovely! Make-up/makeovers are the best! It's fun to play!!

November 15, 2009 at 4:14 PM  

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