Monday, July 30, 2012

Crossed the First Finish Line

I am so tired, but I wanted to post the photo of my first Ravellenic project, my Yoga Socks of Glory!

The pattern and yarn

are from the Liz Marino Gift Knits Club.  The event is the Sock Put.

Sorry, but I'm falling asleep.  I knitted while riding the exercise bike today, too!  But these Ravellenic Games make me want to spend every possible moment knitting.

I'll try to catch up with a better post tomorrow.

Stay safe and well.

Shaping the planet from the winners podium!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Let the Games That Must Not Be Named Begin!

Just a quick post from Houston, where I am running around the  downtown

enjoying the fountains and artwork,

meeting the city dwellers,

 watching my son, Pookie, dance,

eating great food

in pleasant settings,

 with my sister, K, and Pookie.

The only problem is, I have been too busy to knit!  I know...  I can't believe it either.  I mean I bring my knitting everywhere, but either I am watching dancing (and I still have to LOOK at my knitting)

or I am eating

interspersed with riding in the car (where I can sometimes knit a row).

I stayed up last night when we got back from sushi followed by frozen yogurt in The Woodlands to cast on my first Ravellenics challenge, a pair of Yoga Socks from the Liz Marino Gift Knits Club.  I received the pattern and yarn for these last month, and was just waiting for the games to begin to cast on.

My sister is out for a morning run.  She is training for the Houston Half Marathon.  We will then pick Pookie up from the dorms, come back, eat some lunch, then head out for the airport where I hope to get some knitting done!  Definitely on the plane, yes, I will knit on the trip home.

Stay safe and well.

shaping the planet with Texas Barbeque (that's what we plan to eat for lunch!)

Stars of Tomorrow

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where in the World is f1bercat?

I am not at my Wednesday night stitching group with my stitch buds.  I am not ON Mt. Rainier, but I did fly past it today on my way to Houston, Texas.  I am down here for 4 days to watch my son, Pookie, dance at the Houston Ballet Summer Intensive.

I flew down super early.  This kind of thing drives my kids crazy.  I took a 6 am flight out of SeaTac, which meant that I had to leave for the airport by 4 am. My darling son, Himes, got up and drove me. He was not very happy, but such a good boy. He didn't complain at all, at least out loud.

As the plane took off I was able to get a few photos out the window.  It was a bit misty, but this is what I saw:

Lake Washington with the 2 floating bridges, the bridge at the top of this photo crosses Mercer Island.

Downtown Seattle in the sunrise.

Puget Sound

And Mount Rainier with either Mount St. Helens or Mount Adams (not quite sure) in the background.

Truly I live in paradise.

I had a great day with my sister, K.  We ate lunch with her kids at Pappacito's Restaurant.  Yummy Tex-Mex food.

Had a great dinner, then coffee out with one of her friends.  The weather isn't horrible, just a bit... humid.

I hope to get some downtown Houston photos tomorrow.  She lives north of the city on the edge of a big pine forest, an ancient pine forest called, "Big Piney."  It is really lovely.  We saw deer on the side of the road.  And there was a gecko in her house.

I am super tired from getting up so early, so will keep this short.  I get to watch Pookie dance tomorrow.  I can't wait.

Stay safe and well.
shaping the planet deep in the heart of Texas

Monday, July 23, 2012

Eastside Knitters Guild Travel to Portugal...

The Eastside Knitters Guild met tonight for their usual last Monday of the month meeting at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue.

The meeting started off with all kinds of announcements.

The Evergreen State Fair will take place in Monroe, Washington, from August 23 - September 3.  There will be many types of fair exhibitions and competitions including knitting, crochet and lace.  You can fill out the entrance forms on line.  Don't quote me on this, but there was talk at the EKG meeting that there will be "knitting demonstrations"  as a "Sit and Knit" on Sunday, August 26th.  If you volunteer for 4 hours, you can get free parking and admission for that day.  I couldn't find anything to support this on the website, but it is definitely worth a call.

The EKG is ramping up their stocking knitting for Operation Holiday Stockings.  They knit small holiday stockings to be filled with toiletries and goodies for our troops overseas.  This year they are committed to knit 1200 stockings, but hope to make it to 3000.

The Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival will take place September 22 & 23 at the Clackams County Fairgrounds in Canby Oregon.

The National Button Society will hold it's National Convention in Portland, Oregon from August 4 - 11.  This is a bit of a late notice, but if you can get there, it should be really cool.

Northwest Bead Society is holding the 24th Annual Bead Bazaar at the Lynnwood Convention Center, in Lynnwood, WA on September 29th and 30th.  Admission is $6 and it is good for both days.

 A bit of exciting news is that Skacel is opening a retail yarn shop in October, relatively near to its current wholesale headquarters in Kent.  There will also be a gluten free bakery on the site.  Yum.

After all of the announcements, there was a presentation.  Tonight, guild member Carol Buckmiller demonstrated and taught Portuguese Knitting.  The stitches are the same as regular knitting, but the method is quite different from both Continental and English methods of tension and holding the yarn.

The presentation was very interesting.  And by the end of the evening, I was knitting and more importantly, purling, using the Portuguese method.

The method uses a hook and pin attached to the knitters left shoulder.  The yarn is held to the right of the knitter, and in the right hand, usually wrapped around one finger (we used our middle fingers), then run up to the hook, and back down to the knitting in the left hand.  The yarn tension should be fairly tight, so you can pluck the taut yarn.

This method is supposedly more ergonomic and faster than the throwing methods since you hold your hands in a neutral position, and there is less hand movement.  Purling, especially, is supposed to be easier and faster.

Carol showed us a beautiful 2 color stranded  hat she made during a class she took in using this method in colorwork.  She has gotten so much faster at purling since she started with this method, that she now does purled garter stitch instead of knitted when a pattern calls for it.

As with any new method, it felt quite awkward at first, but I could see the possibilities with purling, especially.  I have to say that the knit stitch seemed awkward, and caused me to move my right hand a lot, and now my wrist is a bit achy.  Well, maybe I should use this method occasionally just to keep my muscles moving.

Where in the World is f1bercat?

I only knit for 4 miles today.  When I got to the Y, the parking lot was really empty, but when I got inside all of the recumbent bikes were in use!  That has never happened to me before.  Then, as I was knitting, I realized that I was off in one of the seed stitch panels of my Better than French Vanilla Socks, and I might be able to knit while riding that exercise bike, and fix small errors, but I can not fix seed stitch while pedaling.  Anyway, when I got home and really looked at the sock, I realized that I had somehow picked up an extra stitch.  Luckily for me, it was the first stitch of the section.  So, when I dropped that stitch, my seed stitch was fine.

But, I had to stop riding at 4 miles, because, it is just too boring to ride and not knit.

Those 4 miles put me at 385.93 miles knitted.

This is near Drain, Oregon.

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Here I am on the big map.

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Last night I picked up my son, Himes, from the airport.  He is home after 3 weeks in France.  His plane was more than 3 hours late and didn't arrive until almost 1 am.  I am so tired.

And so, on that tired, whiney note, I will say goodnight.

Stay safe and well.
shaping the planet the Portuguese way.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finished, Just One Day Late

The hydrangea in our front yard is in full bloom.

I didn't let myself work on my sock design.  I made myself work on, and finish, yes!, the toys I am making for my niece's birthday next month.

I made her a small knitted purse,

it is the Tweed Stitch Bag from Coupeville Yarns.  I got the free pattern and bought the yarns (Mauch Chunky in Grape by Kraemer Yarns, and Covington in Maroon by Cascade Yarns) during the 2012 Puget Sound LYS Tour last May.

The first toy is the mouse I made earlier this year (all of these toys are from the book Amigurumi by Lan-Anh Bui and Josephine Wan).

I have finished the 2 other toys that I plan to put inside the purse, as a birthday surprise.

The first is a tiger.
The second is the Ballet Bunny.

They are not perfect, but they are all perfectly cute.

Happy Birthday, K.

Auntie f1bercat
shaping the planet with lots of little toys

Friday, July 20, 2012

Need to Post Fast and Get to Bed

Once again no FO's for my Friday.  But not for the usual reason.  (The usual reason is either that I am a slow knitter, or that I got busy with other things, and didn't knit.)

Since I finished my July socks so quickly, I've been working on mainly 2 things.  The Echo Flower Shawl for my mom, and a birthday gift for my niece, K, who will be 6 in August.

I am on the middle of the 12th of 13 repeats for the main body of the shawl (yay!).  I finally feel like I am developing a rhythm with the pattern.   Of course, I might have developed this rhythm a bit sooner, if I had been more monogamous with the shawl knitting.

I made a purse already for K from a free pattern I got (and the yarn to go with the pattern) on the Puget Sound LYS Tour in May.

I am knitting her a Belinda Jane Doll, but probably with different hair (she is blonde), and definitely different clothes, but I think that will be for Christmas.  The first Belinda Doll I made was for K's little sister, and I don't want the birthday gifts to be the same.

So she will get the purse, but I want to put 3 amigurumis in it for her.

I plan to give her my best mouse.

And, by best mouse, I mean the little cute one on the left.  The one that doesn't look mutant.

I still need to make 2 more little toys.

I worked on a Ballet Bunny, from the book Amigurumi by Bui and Wan.  I bought some Dream Baby DK by Plymouth Yarn in various colors.

 I hooked the pieces of the Ballet Bunny.

But I have not stuffed it, sewn the face, nor sewn the bunny together.

What I did instead all day, was play with a sock pattern I am designing myself.  I just couldn't make myself put the sock down and finish something.  I am really excited because it is my first pattern really from scratch.  I have altered other patterns, but never started with a blank slate.

Definitely more to come on the sock.  And I hope to post some really finished toys to put into the purse.

I did make myself hit theY, but rather than work on my Better Than French Vanilla Socks (which are almost ready for the heel flaps),

I worked on the new design while riding.

Where in the World is f1bercat?

Since I did not post yesterday, but did ride, I am adding yesterday and today together milewise.  This gives me about 13 miles for the 2 days. I have now knitted 318.93 miles.

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I am more than halfway through Oregon.

Stay safe and well.

shaping the planet with pieces of bunny  and almost, sort of, an echo flower shawl

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sheep and Shoes at Eastside Stitchers

Team Crossroads, the official team of the Game which shall not be named,/the game formerly known as the Ravelympics/ the Ravelenic Games, met tonight for our usual Stitch n Bitch at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, WA.

 We discussed an Opening Ceremonies Party, and threw fiber into the pot for prizes for members who finish their Ravelenic Games challenges.

We had a lively discussion about sheep, not the kind on a farm, but "lawn mower sheep,"  you know... where people own a few acres and don't want to mow, so buy 1 or 2 sheep to keep the lawn neat.  And shoes.  Basically we discussed how American women like to wear comfortable shoes while walking, and how shoe styles from the '80's were pretty ugly.

But what really matters is, Who was there?  and What were they stitching?

Jan was the first to arrive.  She brought her cotton washcloth.  I took a horrible photo of it last week, and

I took another bad photo this week!.. I think it's because I don't like to use my flash, but at night, indoors, well, this is what you get.

Hrvdmnky was designing a new shawlette.  She was using yarn dyed by Tri'coterie Yarns.  The colors are to celebrate the Year of the Dragon, and are in dragon colors.  This month's color is for Daenerys Targaryen, from the Game of Thrones books.

Chockelet worked on her beautiful Clapotis.

  I wish you could see how beautiful the yarn is.

Tara has made some progress on her Linen Stitch scarf.  The pattern comes from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas.  We visited that shop during the 2012 Puget Sound LYS Tour.

Ellyol began hooking a bathroom rug.  Gotta love crochet.

We had a nice discussion about sewing amigurumi projects together, and Ellyol (who is a master at it) is going to put together a photo tutorial of her tips and tricks.  I will provide a link when she has it up.

We missed our missing members.

Where in the World is f1bercat?

Wow, another day, another 7.2 miles!  I  have passed the 300 miles mark and am at 306.33 miles knitted.

I am near Culp Creek, Oregon.

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Really, who would have thought I could knit for 300 miles?

Go f1bercat!  (cheering myself on).

Stay safe and well.

shaping the planet with lovely stitch buds.

Just the Bike Trip

Hello!  I worked on my Echo Flower Shawl and on a new gift for my niece, K, but have no photos, so I'm just posting my bike trip.  I am really trying hard to be on that exercise bike 5 days a week.  At some point, I hope my legs will stop hurting...

Where in the World is f1bercat?

I knit 7.5 miles today, which brings my total to 299.13 miles knitted.  I wish I had known I was so close to 300.  I might have dragged out a little bit more energy and hit 300 miles today.  Oh well, I will hit it tomorrow.

I have reached about halfway between Eugene, OR and Cottage Grove.

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There will be a bit of a celebration tomorrow when I reach 300 miles.  Of course, I will also be knitting with my Eastside Stitchers buddies at Crossroads, and that is a celebration in itself.

Way past my bedtime.  I hope to have some photos of progress on my Shawl, and the new stuff Thursday.

Until then, stay safe and well.

shaping the world on an exercise bike...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Finished Object, Really This Time

I can't believe it.  I knit a pair of socks in less than a week.  And these have 23 cm legs (9 in)!  Although they are only size US 7.5, so the foot is about 21.7 cm (with .9 negative ease)  or about 8.1 in.

I guess when I am monogamous, I can actually finish things.

Except that I wasn't totally monogamous.  I knit one row of my Echo Flower Shawl.  Had to knit something different!  And when I was riding the exercise bike at the Y, I knit on my Better than French Vanilla socks.  I don't need a pattern for those, so they make much better bike knitting.

These are for the Orange (July) challenge with SolidSocks, and the designer is Claudia Eisenkolb, one of the featured designers for the Sock Knitters Anonymous July Challenge.  The yarn is Flock Sock Sock Yarn by Holiday Yarns and the color is Mango Tango.

I finished the heels on Saturday (2 days ago).

Knit the gussets

and the feet down to where the foot chart started Sunday (yesterday)

I actually knit about 4 rows of the foot chart before I got too tired and went to bed.

Today I knit the foot and toe charts.  These go right up to the last row.

I finished listening to A Tale of Two Cities on CraftLit while I was kitchener stitching the toes.  And, yes, I got teary eyed.

They need to be washed and blocked, but I am amazed that I can finish a pair in a week.  I was about to say that I had no life this week, and that helped me finish, but I actually had a tiny bit of a life when I went to the movies then out to dinner at a friend's house, so, I must be getting a bit faster?

Something like that.

Well, when I wasn't knitting these socks for Moogie, I was either sleeping or at the Y knitting on my Better Than French Vanilla Socks.  Considering I really only work on those for the 30 minutes of biking every day, they are making decent progress.  The legs are finally about 4 inches, and I am thinking that I might go ahead and just knit the heels.  Or not.  I can't decide if I should give them normal length legs.

Anyway, I did make it to the Y today.  So...

Where in the World is f1bercat?

I knit for 6.6 miles this morning, then walked for another .27 miles.  This puts me at 291.63 miles total on my trip.  Wow, I am getting close to 300 miles.  I should hit that on Wednesday, if I am good and go tomorrow and Wednesday to the Y.

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I have made it to Eugene!

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California here I come.  Sort of.

Stay safe and well.

shaping the planet with a daughter with 2 pairs of handmade socks