Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Best Ride in the Park

This needs no introduction:

shaping the world with a great family reunion.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fiber Friday

f1bercat, I hear you thinking, how can you  be writing a post about a Fiber Friday when you are down in So. Calif. for a family reuinion?

Well, the talented CathyC took photos for me at Crossroads this Friday.  We also had 3 new Eastside Stitchers show up to enjoy some social knitting on a Friday morning.

First, CathyC is hard at work on her Yeti Shoes.
And, Skeinherder has made great progress on the second Lebowski Sock for Le Tour-de-Sock Stage 3.

Winterpromise31 has finished the ribbing on her new hat.  Sorry, I'm not sure who is the designer.  But, you can see the beginning of an interesting pattern developing.
TeaHouseKnits brought a beautiful Dream Stripes shawl by Cailliau Beranger.
Constance, who we know from Eastside Knitting Guild, is knitting a Maidenhair Shawl. Her lace isn't even blocked yet, but you can see how open and delicate it is already.
mgregory has begun a Market Shawl.

And VanesaPolo is almost finished with her second Owlie Sweater.
Thank you so much, CathieC for taking over the reporting duties.  I am having a wonderful time with my family, but, I miss my stitch buddies.

Hope you aren't melting in the uncharacteristically humid weather.

shaping the planet with a quick headband.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The View From Here

Mount Rainier from the airplane window.

The summit:

Mount St. Helens:

We had a good day.  My brother is doing very well, though he tells me he has good days and bad days.  Today was definitely good.  He still had lots of energy after dinner.  We laughed and talked.  I am really looking forward to the next few days.

Knit the whole way down on the plane, but haven't been able to take photos yet. 

I want to say again that I really love flying JetBlue, and I love Long Beach Airport.

shaping the planet from hot Southern California.


I crocheted like a fiend these last 2 days to finish the afghan I have been making for my Godson and his bride's first wedding anniversary.  I finished all but a border (which I may not bother to hook).  It was too late to take a photo of all 4 rows of squares, but here is a photo of the first 3 rows.
Also, I designed a new square for the afghan, the Spider Square.
Actually, this afghan has 3 square that were my designs:  The spider square above,

the 2 x 3 Granny:
and the Twisted Rose with a Thorn Border:

I also created a new way to join the squares, but more on that in another post.

I'll try to get a photo of the afghan tomorrow.  I hope they like it.

shaping the planet with a giant spider (afghan square).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Weird Weather Doesn't Deter Eastside Stitchers


I know it rains all the time here.  But, not like this.  My son, Pookie, was lifeguarding today, and he told me that in one hour it poured, the sun shone, poured and the sun shone again.  At one point, it was raining so hard, that it actually hurt.


Tonight was a busy night for Eastside Stitchers.

Ellyol has coordinated our trip to the Stitch and Pitch at the Mariners on July 25.  Tonight she brought goodie bags and tickets for the event, and collected money.  It was like we all won prizes!

Adventuretwin came back for another try with the group.  I am always happy when we don't scare away new people.  Tonight she brought a beautiful scarf, the Wiggle Wrap Pattern by Sally Brandl.  She is knitting it in Schopple-Wolle.

Winterpromise31 came to her first Wednesday night knit up, and brought the beginnings of a new hat, Twisted Trellis. 

CathieC has started a pair of Yeti Feet!  These will be felted.
Colleen has finished the main body of her Spiderman Blanket and adding the  spider web stitches.
Ellyol brougth her Hitchhiker in Huckleberry Knits Apple Blossom.
GwenS, back from Over There, started a new Aviatrix hat.

Skeinherder was wearing the first of her Stage 3 Lebowski socks,
And starting the second one.
VanesaPolo was knitting the straps of a Smocked Dress
Here is a closer look at the smocking:
Tara1682 has only................................ 20 MORE ROWS of the Cloister Shawl she is knitting for her grandmother.

Hrvdmnky was just starting a new Mira Sweater.
And finally, Wajio was making some real progress on her own hand dyed socks.
That's all for tonight.

shaping the planet with stitch buddies.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mexican Restaurant


The Doc has discovered this Mexican restaurant that he just loves.

He grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and believes that he loves spicy food.  Also, we lived in Houston, Texas for 5 years while he was a Resident at the Texas Medical Center.  We ate a lot of great Tex-Mex food there.

There is a pretty large Hispanic population up here in Washington, but we had been unable to find a restaurant that we really liked.  We wanted a local place if possible.

There is this one restaurant spot behind Crossroads where restaurants go to die.  I think there have been at least 4 different types of restaurants there in the last 10 years.  The most recent one was a Vietnamese Hot Pot.  Before that, I think it was Korean Barbeque.

It closed down from the Vietnamese one, then reopened a few months ago as a Mexican place, Casa Grullense.  Someone tried it.  I am not sure who, but he told the Doc that the food was pretty good, so we went there before a movie one evening.  Pretty Darn Good.

Now it is the only restaurant the Doc wants to eat at.  We have been there about 5 times in the last 2 months.  We were there just last weekend, before heading out to see Now You See Me.

Last night, Doc says to me, "What do you want to do for our anniversary?"

"When is it?" I respond absently while knitting.


Crap.  Our 30th Wedding Anniversary.  Really, we are celebrating it next November with a trip to Hawaii.  But the actual day is Today.  If you can't tell, we aren't big on this type of thing.  We never give each other gifts, not even for birthdays.  Well, I sometimes make him socks, and that is kind of a gift to myself also, because I love knitting them.  For our anniversary, we usually go somewhere nice for dinner.

You guessed it.  Doc says, "Let's go to that new Mexican place!"

That is what we did.

Happy Anniversary.  30 years of love, laughter and partnership.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Too tired to think of a title


I hardly got any stitching finished today.  I spent most of the day on the computer making flight reservations and then hotel reservations for a trip down to So. California for a big family reunion.  It seems that this type of thing should be way easier.

I have decided that there is no way I am going to finish this stage (stage 3, Lebowski socks) on time.  This realization has freed me to get back to work on some projects that have deadlines.  I will try to finish the one sock I have on the needles, and possibly cast on the second.  I like the pattern, and tonight at Eastside Knitters Guild meeting I saw Skeinherder's sock, and it was beautiful.  It encouraged me to Keep On Knitting.  I checked the Tour-de-Sock group page, and the material list for Stage 4 has been released.  It will be a heavily beaded sock, using... 500 ... beads.  I will still be in So. Calif when this stage starts, so I need to decide my yarn, buy my beads, and wind the yarn before I leave.  No last minute decisions for these socks.  I am already excited.  I really enjoy beading.

I wanted to show the project bag I sewed for my latest Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup Gryffindor swap.  The theme of the swap was Bags/markers.  You could make stitch markers and/or a project bag for your swap target.

I made a Grab Bag.  This is a very clever design.  Some of the other people in my stitch group have made it, and I really liked theirs.  I added some pockets inside.  You have fabric left over after cutting the pattern out, and that fabric makes a great pocket.

The pattern is free, and the explanations of how to sew it are pretty clear.  I did have a few minutes of panic when I realized I had pinned the top closed, and if I sewed it that way, the bag would not have an opening.  But I caught myself before I sewed, and everything worked out.

Here is my whole swap package:

I made the project bag and the stitch markers.

And because I want my target to like the package, I threw in some really pretty fingering weight yarn and a screw top stitch marker bowl.

shaping the planet with hand crafted stitch markers.


It was pretty cloudy last night, but I got a few shots of the Supermoon.

It was beautiful.

shaping the planet under a full moon.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


I just chased a GIANT raccoon out of my kitchen.

When it is hot, we leave the door from our bedroom to the back deck open for the breeze, and for the cats to run in and out.  And I am up knitting.  So I heard loud eating noises, and thought it was one of the cats.  Then I noticed Muffin on the floor of the living room near me, and thought... who is eating?  because it sounded too loud to be Selena.


no photo though.  and now RATZ because it is hot and we will have to keep the doors all shut at night because raccoons have long memories of where to find food.


In my house.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Darryl, Diane, Donald, David, Dane, Debbie, and The Dude


How is there still snow in the Cascades?

Tonight there will be an amazing moon, an Extreme Supermoon, (a full moon at perigee).  Because the moon's orbit around the earth is not a true circle but an ellipse, there are days when it is closer to the earth and days when it is farther. Perigee is the point of the orbit when it is closest to the earth.  Since this perigee is happening on a night when the moon will be full, we will have this giant-looking full moon tonight.  I am watching the sky slowly get cloudier... I hope I have some good photos to post tomorrow.

Stage 2

I did not get my Stage 2 Tour-de-Sock socks, Chicane Socks by Debbie O'Neill, in before the deadline.
I was close to finishing them.  At 1:30 am (they were due by 4:00 am) on the morning/night they were due, I had reached the toes and was ready to start decreasing.  But I decided to go to bed instead of finishing them.

When I was in Jr. High, I had my Confirmation.  This is the last of the 3 Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church (Baptism and Holy Eucharist are the other 2).  If you were not baptized at the local parish, you had to bring proof of baptism in order to be in the Confirmation class.  I had this friend named Debbie.  She was the last of 6 kids.  Their parents had given them names that all began with the letter D:  Darryl, Diane, Donald, David, Dane, and then Debbie, my friend.  When Debbie found her baptism certificate, she also found her birth certificate in the same envelope.  She made a startling discovery.  She had been celebrating her birthday on the WRONG DAY her whole life.  She had always thought her birthday was April 25, but it really was April 26.

HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?  She was so mad at her mom.  Her mom said, in the way of most mothers of lots of kids, "When you have 6 kids, its hard to keep all the birthdays straight."

No doubt, all those years ago, I was just as mad as Debbie was, but now, I understand her mom's situation.  Sometimes you get a date (or time) in your head, and even though it is wrong, that is the one you remember.  For instance, you are at the dentist, and they tell you your next appointment is October 11 at 9:30 am, and you write in your date book, 10.11 9:30 am but somehow in your head you hear/see/remember October 12 at 9:30 am.  As the appointment approaches, you might check the calendar, and see the appointment on October 11, and think to yourself, "I could have sworn that appointment was on October 12."  And when October 11 comes around, you miss the appointment because you KNOW the appointment is really on October 12, because that is how you put the date in your head.

This is what happened to me with Stage 2.  I knew the socks had to be finished by June 20.  We started the stage on June 10, and that nice round number, 20, with the nice round 0, just stuck in my head.  I knit the socks as though I had an extra day.  I worked on other things.  

I went to the movies (twice).  I cleaned house, cooked dinners, chatted with my kids, and made a great lei

for Pookie to wear at his graduation.
I did these things quite casually, because I had ONE MORE DAY TO KNIT.  But, I didn't.  The stage actually ended on June 19.  And, I went to bed at 1:30 am because I was tired on June 19, and I had the whole next day to finish the toes.

At about 1:35 am, I received a text from Skeinherder, "Are you still knitting?"

I texted back that I had gone to bed.  Then I suddenly sat up.  Why was she still knitting?  O!  Were the socks actually due at 4 am this morning?  I wondered.  I almost got back up.  I thought of drinking something with caffeine.  But, I just couldn't.  I had gone to bed because I was knitting in my sleep, and had jerked awake when my son, Himes, had come home, only to realize that while I was sleep-knitting, I had dropped numerous stitches.  I was afraid to continue knitting while so tired.  So, could I actually finish the toes?  Maybe.  But I decided that if I got back up, I would just have to admit that I was certifiably insane,

as well as being really forgetful.

Stage 3
The Stage 3 Socks for Le Tour-de-Sock are called Lebowski, after the movie The Big Lebowski.  The colorwork is a combination of stripes, slipped stitches, and real colorwork.

I am using some yarn that I bought at Acorn Street Shop in the U District (University District) in Seattle on World Wide Knit in Public Day.  The yarn is from New Zealand, and is an interesting mixture of fibers.  It is Naturally Waikiwi from Naturally Hand Knit Yarns. it is 55% New Zealand Merino, 20% Nylon, 15% Alpaca, and 10% Possum (New Zealand possum, not the opossum found in the USA).

My main color, brown,
and my main contrast color, green,
are a little bit close in tone, so the stripes are almost monochrome.  They are never used together in the colorwork, however, and the second contrast color is black,
which stands out from both the brown and the green pretty well.

The motifs are very reminiscent of those in the sweater the character, The Dude, wears in the movie.  You can make a copy of that sweater as there is a pattern on Ravelry for free.

It is an interesting coincidence that there is as festival going on this weekend celebrating the movie, The Big Lebowski, in the Seattle area.  The festival is called:  Dudestock. 

I am not kidding.  I am knitting a pair of socks in honor of the Dude on the very weekend Dudestock is happening.