Monday, January 26, 2015

Short Takes

Hello:

I spent the weekend down in Southern California with most of my family.  It was my brother's 58th birthday.  He was very sick over Christmas, and his wife and friends were seriously worried that he didn't have much longer to live. 

He has recovered from that bad cold, and is doing really well again.  The toughest thing is that it is getting tough for him to talk.  But on Sunday, the weather was great.  We spent a few hours outside enjoying the sunshine.  We kept the party simple with mostly family, but a few of Mark's friends from high school showed up.  It was wonderful to see them.  They have been visiting him every couple of weeks, and as he has become more and more house-bound, this is so important to keeping up his spirits.

I spent most of the weekend with 2 of my sisters and really had fun talking with them.

1. Old Phones
Most of the Eastside Stitchers know how old (and pathetic) my phone is.  It is an old Samsung "slider."  I can phone and text, and take horrible photos.  It is virtually unbreakable, though, and although it has been dropped about a million times, it works great.

My older sister, Sue, wants me to get a smart phone.  She knows that I can't group text, and for some reason, this really bugs her, so she is continually bugging me to get a new phone.  She stopped talking smack about my phone this trip because on Saturday night, her iphone stopped working, and she couldn't figure out how to fix it.  For the rest of my trip, she had to borrow my phone every time she needed to text or call someone.

2. My People
My sisters and nieces and nephews are definitely not my people, as far as knitting is concerned.  I brought my Advent Calendar Scarf to show off, and while every one looked at it, they were not truly appreciative.  Also, I mostly worked on my Planned Pooling Cowl (as it was the easiest thing to knit socially), and no one asked me what it was.

3. The Optimism of Knitters
I left for Southern California  Saturday at about 11 am, and returned home at about 11 am, so about 48 hours.  I brought 3 different projects.

4. UGH!  Cursed Socks
I am knitting a pair of socks for my Godson, Scooter.  He wants these really fun colorwork socks with sheep called, Sheep May Safely Graze, by Caoua Coffee.  I started them last year, but got busy with other things, and set them aside.  I decided to knit them as part of my Order of the Phoenix Mission (for HPKCHC), and make them double-knit rather than stranded colorwork, as I am worried that they won't fit a teen age boy if they can't stretch.

So, I frogged them, and restarted them as double-knit.  Well, I got about half of the first chart finished, when I realized that adding 2 rounds of the main color before starting the chart wasn't such a good idea, and just made it really difficult to see the sheep.
I sat on a bench at SeaTac Airport frogging them while I waited for Allifer to pick me up.

5. Thank you, Allifer
I don't think I thank Allifer enough.  She has picked me up from the airport so many times in the last 2 years.  She works afternoons and evenings, so is available to do morning pickups.  Even though she isn't working, it must get old to have me constantly asking her to drive out and pick me up.  She never complains, and always seems happy to help this way.  I really appreciate it.


6. Superbowl Scarf
I finished the Tweed Stitch Seahawks Scarf that I have been knitting for Himes.  I finished it (the knitting) on Friday, and got up early and blocked it Saturday morning before leaving on my trip.  When I got home today, I unpinned it, and wove in the ends.
It's about 8 feet long, and super squishy.  I just love it.
The icord edges are very neat and clean.  You can't see the colors being brought up the sides at all.  I am mailing it tomorrow.
Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with short stories.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

One Ring

Hello:

I am getting ready to travel down to Southern California for the weekend.  It is my brother's 59th birthday, and my sisters and I are going to celebrate with him.

Although I will definitely bring projects, I can't bring anything that requires too much concentration.  I have been trying to think of which projects would be easiest to bring.  One thing is certain, I don't want to bring my There and Back Again Story Scarf by Frivolite Handicrafts.

I am trying to knit at least 10 rows each night.  Since I got started during December, when I was on vacation, I am ahead.  In fact, I am about 1 week ahead.  If I don't bring the scarf, that will be 2, possibly 3 days where I don't work on it.  UGH!  I'm already changing my mind.  If I bring it and only get 5 rows done each day (that is about 1 hour of knitting), I won't be as far behind.

Anyway, I am on the 4th chart.

So far I have left Bilbo's Hobbit Hole and followed the path past a tree to the stone trolls.
This view shows the back side of the scarf.
Up at the very top is Rivendell, where the Elves live.

In the next part, we travel through the Goblin Mountains

where Bilbo found the Ring.
After the Ring, the story takes us to a forest.


















You can just see the trees at the top.  I am actually a bit further than these photos.  I have already knit in the giant Eagles who give the dwarves and Bilbo a ride.

It is so much fun to watch the story develop row by row.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet in Middle Earth.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Eastside Stitchers Regular (and awesome) Wednesday

Hello:

We have been having the most amazing clear days.  It rained all last weekend, but now the rain is gone and the skies are clear and blue. 

The Doc has a theory about why so many people moved to Southern California.  He thinks it is linked to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl.  See, every New Year's Day, there is a big parade in Pasadena followed by a college football game.  Every year the weather is beautiful.  It is usually in the 80's F (26.7 C) and sunny.  People who are living in normal wintery climates turn on their TV's and see people sitting in shorts and t-shirts watching a parade of flowers in the sunshine think, I want to live THERE.

We have the opposite thing happen.  The Pacific Northwest, and Seattle in particular, have been on national TV the last 2 weekends for our conference championship football games.  Both weekends, our games were the early "day" games rather than the night games.  What did viewers see when they turned on their TV's?  Gray skies and rain rain rain.  I am sure they were all thinking, I do NOT want to live there; it rains all the time in Seattle.

Ha ha ha ha ha When I was sitting in the cell phone lot at SeaTac Airport waiting for Moogie to come out to the curb, and listening to the after game show on the radio, it was not only pouring, but hailing!  This is what everyone sees.  Then this week, after all the cameras have left, the skies cleared, and we have had 2 days of gorgeous sunshine.

Anyway, tonight was the regular Wednesday meet up of the Eastside Stitchers.  I forgot my camera last week, and so did not get any photos of our great group.  We had quite a big group both last night, and tonight.  We are really "legit," as my son Himes would day.  I did bring my camera tonight. 

Wajio left before I got a photo of her project. But I did get one of Tara1682s newest beaded lace shawl.
The pattern is leav by Kitman Figueroa.  This shawl is based on the Wingspan Shawl, and is knit in wedges.  Tara plans to knit the different wedges in gradually darkening shades of teal.  This should be amazing.

This horrible photo is of VanesaPolo's newest design.  I can't wait to see what the finished object looks like.
BlueWolfWalking has started another hat by Wooly Wormhead.  She also brought a finished hat to show and tell.
ReadnitDream is almost finished with the brioche vest she is knitting for her Darling Husband.
If you look at the neck opening, you can see that this vest is reversible.
BlueBerryMary got a gorgeous skein of variegated marino/cashmere/nylon blend from her daughter in Tennessee.
She is knitting a linen-stitch cowl. 
This blurry photo is of WireKnitter's Custom Fit sweater.  Sorry I didn't get a decent shot of the beautiful border pattern.
JitteryKnitter is almost finished with her colorwork vest.  She is on the ribbing at the bottom.  Then, she will steek the project in the front.

GwenS is working on an OWL.  She has begun chart 3.  I am impressed that she is able to knit lace at Knit Night.

Guess what Puzan was knitting?  *Answer given after the final photo.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with a knitting group.
*answer:  a cowl.

Seahawks Colors

 Hello:

Last night I gave my annual lecture on Writing Poetry for Children: Rhyme and Rhythm for the University of Washington's Children's Writing Certificate Program.

There was someone knitting in the class!  I asked her what she was knitting, and she said she is currently obsessed with knitting dishcloths.  I said that was a perfect choice for classroom knitting.  Then I ran over and showed off my Advent Calendar Scarf, which I was, of course, wearing.
She told me that she could "never knit something like that."  I told her about the group on Ravelry, and said that it was one small pattern at a time, and how you learn so much about lace knitting and patterns when you attempt something like this.  She looked unconvinced.

The lecture is a whole semester's worth of information on how to set up verse and poetry with your choice of rhyme scheme and rhythm, how to scan a line, how to break the rules once you have perfected your technique.  All in one hour.  The poor students who have not had classes in writing formal poetry are always a bit shell shocked.  But, at least it is an introduction to the idea.

A bit like showing a beginning knitter an Advent Calendar Scarf, and saying, you can do this.

The best part of the evening was the drive home.  Ok, those of you who know me personally know that I refuse to drive on the 520 Floating Bridge since there are now tolls on that bridge.


Yes, even though the University of Washington is RIGHT NEXT TO THAT BRIDGE, and to avoid it, I have to drive through downtown Seattle on the 5 Freeway to the other floating bridge, the 90.



This meant that I got to drive through downtown Seattle at about 8 pm.  The city is lit up with Seahawks colors.  I don't have any photos (I was driving on a freeway!), but if you follow this link, you can see some images of the downtown buildings showing our love for the team.

I looked up the official colors on Wikipedia, and the Seahawks colors are  College Navy, Action Green, and Wolf Gray. Ha ha ha ha ha ha, got to love the names of those colors.

Mercer Island was just a dark blob of trees and freeway and tunnel, but when I crossed the small bridge that connects the island to the Eastside in Bellevue near Factoria, I saw Bellevue lit up in College Navy and Action Green, too. 

Yesterday, my school was awash in College Blue, Action Green and Wolf Gray also, as students and teachers wore everything Seahawks to celebrate our amazing victory.  I need to finish up the 2 Seahawks Superbowl Scarves I am making!

Less than two weeks until the game.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with College Blue, Action Green and Wolf Gray.

Monday, January 19, 2015

12th Man

Hello:

I am not a total idiot. 

I do not believe in superstition. 

That being said, I can't help but wonder if there is some kind of Superbowl Scarf Curse that is the same as the Boyfriend Sweater Curse.  Let me explain.

I have long thought that I am bad luck for our teams.  In 2001, the Seattle Mariners (our baseball team) tied the record for most games won in a single season.  They won 116 games.  The Chicago Cubs had won the same number back in 1906.  We shared season tickets that year giving us 4 tickets to 10 different games.  The Mariners lost every game I attended.  No kidding.  I stopped going after the 3rd loss.  Doc took the kids instead of me.  They won every game I didn't attend.  Even though you know you can't be the reason the team is losing, this type of coincidence makes you wonder.

I am not a huge sports fan, but, if I can knit or crochet during a game, I am willing to sit through just about anything.  There is a problem, though, if I actually care about the game.  I just get too nervous.  I can't bear to watch.

The Seattle Seahawks played the Green Bay Packers in the NFC (National Football Conference) Championship game yesterday.  I am sure you all know this, but I'm writing it because some of my readers do not live in the USA.  We won in the most exciting, nail-biting finish to a post-season game ever. 

The Seahawks scored one touchdown on a fake field goal attempt.  I didn't see it.  I had my eyes firmly fixed on the scarf I was hooking.  I was afraid to watch.

I am making 2 scarves in Seahawks colors.  I have shown some photos of the Tweed Stitch Scarf I am knitting for my son Himes.
Originally, I had hoped to have the scarf finished for this game, but as I am trying to knit 8 feet, I didn't quite get it done.  This means that it will be worn during the Super Bowl.  It has become a Super Bowl Scarf.

Doc also wants a Seahawks Scarf.  Since there is no way I can knit 2 scarves in time for the Super Bowl, I am hooking the scarf for him.
I am using a chevron pattern so it is not just a boring stripe.  This is what I was working on during yesterday's game.  We were horrible during the first half.  We did not score, and were behind 0 - 16.  I started to wonder if crafting Super Bowl gear BEFORE you knew your team was going to the Super Bowl, was something like knitting a Boyfriend Sweater.  The very fact that I was sure enough that we were headed to the Super Bowl to knit and crochet Seahawk gear was cursing the team.
Not only am I making the 2 scarves, but I am also making a Seahawks Vortex Afghan!  I am a triple threat for the team.

With every interception, or Green Bay score, I kept telling myself to either stop hooking, or go upstairs and stop watching...  But I couldn't.  I had to watch the game, and the only way I could handle the stress of watching the game was to work on something.

It was Moogie who saved the day for the team.  She had been down in Southern California visiting my brother, and flew back yesterday.  I missed watching the last minutes of the game where the score was tied.  I was driving to SeaTac Airport during the overtime where our Quarterback, Russell Wilson, threw a 35 yard touchdown pass that won the game and sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.  I was not hooking Doc's or Himes's Super Bowl Scarves. 

Coincidence?

You be the judge.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet on the way to the Super Bowl.




Monday, January 12, 2015

Totally Insane

Hello:

These incredibly ugly blanket squares are for a yarn bombing.  The first Quidditch Game in the Winter Term for the HPKCHC just ended at midnight.  The game is to craft for charity.  We had a week to make as many charity items as we could.  Of course I don't have any time for this nonsense as I am already making so many long term projects.  I have to keep up with my schedule, or nothing will be finished on time.

But, I just couldn't resist.  I had to drop everything and crochet afghan squares.  One of the members of Gryffindor works at a winery.  They are having a charity Yarn Bombing.  The idea is that they will take these 8 in. blanket squares and Yarn Bomb the winery, then after the event, sew all the squares into blankets and donate them to charities.

Anyway, The points were for sets of 5, so I made 26 (when you started the next 5 you got bumped up to the next point level.)  Also, everything had to be at least 50 yds.  I couldn't make a 50 yd afghan square in the 8 in. size.  So I made the squares, weighed them, then added "embellishments" until they weighed enough to count for the 50 yds.  Sometimes I added bows.  Sometimes I just hooked a circle and then sewed it on.

Sometimes I just got a contrasting color and hooked on top of the square.  Needless to say these squares are pretty funny looking.

I could have made more (the maximum you could make to get points was 40), and was shooting for at least 30 but I had to finish altering Moogie's sweater.  She and Himes left today.  Himes starts school this week (Univ. of Arizona), and Moogie has gone down with him to spend the week visiting family before she has to fly back to New York for her last semester.

The sweater I made her last fall was too big and too short. 

I ripped it back to the underarms, and took it in about 6 inches, then I lengthened it about 2 inches. 


The neckline was too big and didn't lie down correctly, so I cut that off, picked up the stitches, and knit a new neck ribbing.  That wasn't entirely successful, as it is a bit higher than she likes.
I told her that if the neckline is too high, I can take it down a few rows.  Since I picked up the stitches and knit it up, that is a super easy fix.  The other thing I can do is sew it down so it is half the height.  That would be an even easier fix.
The sleeves are too long, but she asked for them to be that way, and swears that she likes her cuffs rolled up.

Anyway, I think it fits her pretty well now.  She wore it on the plane to Arizona, so she must like it at least a bit.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with a violet sweater.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Eastside Stitchers Meet on Wed

Hello:
The above photo is of fog on Lake Samammish in the morning.  The next one is of the fog yesterday evening before I left for knitting with the Eastside Stitchers at Crossroads in Bellevue.
We've been having some "dead air" where there is no wind.  This can be a huge problem with air pollution.  I have to admit that I like to fog, though it makes driving scary.

We had a nice group again knitting near Half-Price Books.


Tara1682 was finally able to make it again. (works stinks).  She brought her latest Linen Stitch Scarf.  It's the teal one at the top.  ReadnitDream also brought a linen stitch scarf!  Hers is the bottom one in red, green and the variegated yarn.  It was really fun to compare the two.

NightOrchid was knitting her husband a hat.  He must be really knitworthy because it is black, fingering weight, wool/cashmere blend.  She repurposed yarn from a thrift shop sweater.  It is knitting up beautifully.
When I say that Tara1682 brought her latest Linen Stitch Scarf, I mean it was actually still on the needles, but she was on the very last row and ready to cast off.
Sorry, GwenS for the horrible photo.  But this is GwenS's most recent hat.

WireKnitter brought her Travelling Shawl.
She was wearing a new shawl, Pure, by cabinfour.
ReadnitDream brought her Linen Stitch Scarf for show and tell, but she was knitting a Brioche cowl.
Brioche is one of the techniques that I am going to try this year.
BlueBerryMary brought her latest child's sweater.  The smocking on the bodice is really lovely.

DomesticShorthair brought 2 finished pieces for show and tell.  The top one is her Concentric Shawl.  And the bottom (bad photo) is a Twistin' The Night Away headband.

I brought a new scarf that I am knitting for my son, Himes.  I'm using Seahawks colors (Lime Green, almost Navy Blue, and Light Gray).  I'm using a tweed stitch with applied icord on the sides.  I like how the icord finished the side neatly and hides the yarn colors that I am bringing up the sides.
You can see the icord bettern on the back side.
This is a really easy knit, and it looks awesome.  I will definitely be writing this pattern up.  It is very addictive knitting.

Peace,
f1bercat
shaping the planet with Seahawks colors!