Yesterday I went shopping at Costco. I sort of consider Costco a "local" store, since it began here in WA, and the headquarters is in Issaquah, which borders my city. I have a method for shopping there: I must have a list. Then I try to keep that list in front of my face so I don't see any of the "good deals" around me. This way, I am usually able to keep my purchases to a reasonable amount. If I happen to glance up, I am certain to spot some really cool thing (in like a 100 pack) that I just have to buy.
Yesterday, I was shopping, really, for my daughter, Allie. She is living near us in an apartment. When I do a Costco run, I usually pick up stuff for her to help her out. She loves their frozen edamame. Also, she uses the frozen chicken breasts, and various nuts. My only extra purchase was some weight loss pills. Yes, I am trying to lose some weight. Last year I lost about 25 pounds, then got stuck. I am trying to lose 25 more this year. I figure, as long as I am on a downward trajectory, I will make some progress. It is tough, though, since all my favorite things are sedentary. EXCUSES!
While I was in Kirkland, I checked out a LYS (local yarn store) named Serial Knitters. I had the address, but hadn't bothered to get directions, since my Camry has a GPS. LOL! I am sharing that car with my son, Luke, but since the Doc is in Chicago for a radiology convention, I am driving his monster Suburban. Which has NO GPS. Luckily, he has an old, and I mean Old Thomas Bros. Map Book. I was able to get the general idea of where the street was from that. Most of the cities on the Eastside make an effort to put their streets in a numbered grid, so it is fairly possible to find places. Anyway, Serial Knitters is right next to Dancewear Center of Kirkland. Why do I mention this? Because I used to practically live in that shop. The owner, Patrice, is fabulous at fitting pointe shoes. She will also special order all kinds of boy dancewear. Since my daughters were wearing out pointe shoes and needing new ones about every 3 months, and my boys are still dancing, and wearing giant ballet shoes, we stopped by often. How did a yarn store move in right next door without my noticing? Well, my boys have started wearing Fuzi ballet shoes. Mr. Fu lives in Lacey, WA, and comes to teach at my sons' studio once a week. If the boys need shoes now, we just tell Mr. Fu, and he delivers! However, I do miss Patrice. She is an absolute gem. If you have a dancer, and need someone to make sure she/he is in the right shoes, Patrice will take the time to fit her/him properly. Believe me, it will make all the difference.
Anyway, why was I at Serial Knitters? To buy sock yarn, of course! I wanted to get some light blue fingering weight yarn so I can double dip in December's SKA and SolidSocks Group Challenges. I think I will make a pair of Hungry Bees by Emma Grundy Haigh in blue (the SolidSocks December color) for my older sister, Sue. I am sad to admit that I was a bit disappointed at the selection. The shop is small, and they actually stock yarn for more than socks! Right now, since I am making so many socks, I guess I want the entire store to be full of sock yarn. Don't get me wrong, they had some lovely sock yarns, but most were variegated or hand painted or otherwise NOT solid. I found some lovely Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in the Bayside colorway that looks mostly solid.
Since the title of this entry is Eastside Knitting Guild, I should really get on to that topic.
Last night, I attended the November meeting of the EKG at Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue, WA. I think that I said before that the guild meets on the last Monday of each month. How did I know I was in the right place?
Everyone was knitting, of course!
And there was yarn, everywhere.
The talk of the guild meeting was the new "rent" that the Crossroads' management is asking for use of the meeting room. This room WAS free to non-profit groups. Eastside Crochet Guild and something I think they called, The Lace Knitters' Group whose memberships are substantially smaller, and cannot afford the new monthly rent. Supposedly, there are only 3 groups left using the facility. This is so short sighted on the part of the new owners. I ate at the mall before the meeting, then headed over to the meeting room. On the way, I saw at least half of the members finishing up meals. It is good business to let these groups meet at the mall for free. There is a Jo-Ann's Fabrics in the mall and a Michael's on the edge. I am sure they both get business from the members of these groups. If the rent is not dropped, I think the EKG will move. They are contacting some of the other non-profits who have already moved to find out where they are now meeting.
Enough of this rant. On to the main part of the meeting.
A husband of one of the members came last night to show his counted cross stitch. O M G. This stuff was amazing. His name is Richard Buchmiller.
He is a member of the Embroiderer's Guild of America, and has shown his work and won awards.
He's one of those amazing artists where the front of the work and the back of the work, are equally beautiful.
He got interested in Counted Cross Stitch when he went to a crafts store with his wife and saw a cross stitch kit that was a map of Australia. They were so funny. He said he asked his wife to make it. She knits. She does not do cross stitch. She told HIM to make it. She said that they stood there arguing until the store owner handed them a kit, and said, go home and argue about who will do the work. So he tried it.
And was hooked.
(close up of stitching)
The seascape can be seen in progress photos here.
Someone asked if he sold his art. He said that because it is so time intensive, he works about 1 hour a day on a piece, which means that it takes YEARS to finish one, he could never charge enough. Also, they are quite expensive. So, he can only do it for his own pleasure.
He can't have any tension in his body or it will affect the stitches.
He doesn't watch TV or listen to even music. Any distraction could wreck his stitch count. So it is truly a form of meditation.
He also does this cool Japanese Silk Embroidery, the kind of stuff that used to be on kimonos. His hands must be spotlessly clean with no rough spots. He washes them with sugar to exfoliate the rough skin and uses non-greasy hand creams. The silk can not be washed.
When he was working on the seascape, he found that he would use a bit of one light blue color one day. Then maybe the next day, he would be using another similar light blue for maybe one cross. A few days later, he would place two or three crosses in a different light blue. None of these crosses would make sense to the picture. Then, maybe after a month, suddenly, a piece of the wave's spray would jump out at him, and he would be able to see that part of the picture.
Check out his work. It is gorgeous.
C. A. Losi