Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eastside Knitting Guild Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last night, as I was getting in bed at about 11 pm, my little cat, Selena, asked to go outside, as usual.  This has been happening for about 2 years, now.  She goes out just as I get into bed, and, her usual pattern is: just as I am falling asleep, she scratches to come back in.  Whether it takes me 5 minutes or 1 hour to fall asleep, she manages to time her Come Back In scratches perfectly.  Except, lately she has changed her routine to, just as I fall asleep, she scratches on the french door (we have a back deck that runs the length of our house) , I get up and open said french door, and she backs away and runs.  GOTCHA!  I will get back in bed, then as I am falling asleep again, she scratches on the door again.  Now why don't I just leave her out?  Well, we sometimes get coyotes and racoons in our yard, and I don't like her to be out all night...  Anyway, last night I had had it with this game, and the first time she knocked, I opened the door and stepped outside to grab her and just BRING HER IN, and omg, I stepped into a spiderweb, right across my face.  Now, we live in the pacific northwest, and we don't have many bugs, but we have tons, I mean tons of spiders.  Especially in the fall.  Tons of big spiders building webs all around the eaves of our house.  And I walked into one at about 1 am.  So, I'm wiping and dancing around outside on our deck in my nightgown at 1 am, brushing my hair over and over again and shaking my arms and brushing all over making sure that there is no spider on me.  Of course, this time Selena calmly walks into the house...  I get back in bed, and have a horrible time falling asleep because I am sure all night that there is a huge spider in the bed.  Wisely, I never tell the Doc any of this.

Monday night was the monthly meeting of the Eastside Knitters' Guild.  They hold their meetings at the community room in Crossroads Mall, which is super close to where I live.  Meetings are 6:30 - 8:30 pm the 4th Monday of every month.  What a nice group!  We started with a few updates, then they had a "speaker."  I guess they sometimes have technique teachers, etc., but this was a Feldenkrais therapist.  Her name is Irene, and she went over some easy exercises to relax and reteach ways of using muscles during knitting to relieve or prevent stress and strains.  The gist of it was to use variation and attention to how you are moving.  One of the questions we had was how to relieve tension.  Her suggestion was to deliberately knit with EXTRA tension, then relax back to your usual tension.  This will eventually teach you how to knit with less tension all the time.  I didn't find the wrist exercises very helpful, but the turning ones actually felt good to me.  She had us turn and look right, then work at turning using our shoulders, coming forward and back, also arching or rounding the back as we turned, holding in the stomach muscles, etc, just trying to really FEEL what muscles in addition to your neck are being used when you turn.  By the end, I was turning more fluidly and quite a bit farther.  One of the funny things about the presentation was that every so often Irene would have to ask us to put down our knitting.  Ha!  well, that's what we do.

This group is seriously into charity knitting.  Some of the projects they discussed were:

Project Linus.  This group provides blankets to kids in hospitals, shelters, etc.  Anyone in need of comfort.  The Eastside knitters knit and crochet (many of the members are also in Eastside Crochet Guild) as well as put together felt blankets and donate them.

Operation Holiday Stockings:  This group makes, stuffs, and sends holiday stockings to US service men and women overseas.  You can donate stockings (they have a pattern on the website) or money, or goodies to be stuffed!  Here is a photo of some of the stockings made by the Eastside Knitters' Guild this year:

That is Renee, displaying her stockings!  They deliberately try to use many colors so all soldiers can enjoy a stocking, even if they don't celebrate Christmas.

The 3rd charity the group is participating in right now is the Special Olympics.  The group is busy knitting and crocheting scarves in red white and blue to be given to every participant in the event.

After the updates, and the therapy!, we went around the room and had a show and tell of projects.  Of course, many of the members showed the stockings, blankets or scarves they were knitting, but in addition to all this wonderful charity knitting, there were other fun projects as well.  One member made a darling baby sweater, and another had a book of knitted animals to share.  Amigurumi.  I am so sorry that I didn't make a note of the book's title.  But the patterns make animals that are a few inches high.  This member (I didn't get her name...) was using super bulky yarn and big needles, and getting these really cute LARGE stuffed animals.  So clever!  I might try that myself.  The one she was making almost looked like a pillow pet.

I definitely will go back next month.  If you live on the Eastside (for those of you in the Seattle area, you know that means the east side of Lake Washington), you should check it out, too.


I have finished my Hermione socks!

They are on the blockers, and I should be able to mail them out tomorrow.  I want to include the blurb from the pattern about the Hermione Granger inspiration, and some care instructions.  I know she will love them.

Today I had to take my car in to get the oil changed and the tires rotated.  Somehow they didn't notice (nor did I) that the right headlight was out.  I'm kinda mad.  Oh well.  Got to fix that ASAP.  But, anyway, at the dealership, yes I have to take my car in to the dealership to get the oil changed, for some reason JiffyLube won't change the oil on hybrids, I was able to knit knit knit on the Mystery Sweater!

Before the oil change

and after:

No kidding, I knit about 15 rows.  I am on the stockinette stitch part, and it's pretty boring, but very fast.  I will be at the armpits in no time.

Not having any socks on my needles, I am just Itching to cast some on, but I am resisting the urge.  I want to wait for November 1 so I can cast on projects for both the SKA group and Solid Socks group challenges.  I have to dig out James's Aran Afghan, and alternate the Mystery Sweater with the afghan when I am bored.  That should help with the single project syndrome.

C. A. Losi

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