Wednesday, October 30, 2013

R Rated


I'm in a crazy rush.  I'm tutoring today, have knitting tonight, AND still need to pack for Hawaii.  But!  I wanted to show the progress on my first colorwork socks.  The pattern is The Bird and by that the designer, Karen Aida, does NOT mean the beautiful creatures of the class Aves.  She means the kind of  hand gesture that flies when someone is angry.  If you are offended by this symbol, please do not scroll further, as I have finished the first motif and the birds are now visible.

I'm using Serenity Sock and I broke my Knitting From Only Stash Rule to buy it.  These are for my daughter, Moogie - she picked the pattern as I believe she wishes to flip the bird at everyone as she walks along the streets of NYC - and she wanted black and violet.  I had some black, but no violet.  This yarn comes at such a good price, and I wanted to keep the same content within the two yarns, so I bought both black and violet.

There, I hope I have given enough space now that I can show the progress:

Here is a close up of one sock:
ha ha ha ha ha

shaping the planet with birds

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Happy Happy


As the sun sets, it reflects off the windows of the houses across Lake Sammamish and onto the surface of the lake.  I was trying to capture some  of our fall "color" for the blog, but it always ends up looking muted.  We have so many beautiful trees and bushes turning all kinds of gorgeous.  But, because we have so many that remain green, Washington isn't called the "Evergreen State" for nothing, I think they can get lost.

As we head deeper into winter, the slant of the sun gives these gorgeous reflections on clearer days.
I have finished my Happypotamus.

This wonderful pattern is by Heidi Bears.  It is not cheap, but for the extensive photo-tutorials, it is worth every penny.  It takes quite a bit to make it, mine is over 350 yds.  The pattern suggests sock yarn, but since I am working from stash, and I have tons of afghan weight acrylic, I used that.  You might recognize the colors from various afghans I have hooked in the last 2 years.
Because I used worsted weight yarn, it is pretty big, as big as my cats.

As he often does, the Doc asked, "who is that for?"

I said, "I have no idea."

I think he is starting to get it and me after 30 years of marriage because he then said, "Ah, you made it to make it?"

And that is right!  When I saw the pattern on Ravelry, I just couldn't resist.
shaping the world from a happy place

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Woot! You Go, Bellevue!

Bellevue, WA, my fair city, was ranked the 12th in a list of the 100 best places to live in the USA by.. some site that does this type of ranking.  Ha ha ha. On the CNN-Money's 2010 list we ranked 4th, What?? why did we drop to 12th?  And Salt Lake City beat us?  No way!

The number 1 city is Palo Alta, which I know is super expensive, so I am not sure how they did their ranking.  Also, Tacoma is on the list (nothing against Tacoma, but in the top 100?  Sorry if anyone from Tacoma reads this blog, I actually have a writer buddy who lives there and I thought her neighborhood was lovely).  They include Redmond, which is right next door, but not Kirkland, which I find weird, because Kirkland has a fabulous presence on Lake Washington with a really great nightlife with restaurants, bars, etc (much better than Bellevue's downtown which consists of a mall). 

Supposedly, we got docked for lack of hospitals.  We only have 1.  The hospital where my husband, Doc, works.  In my never-to-be-humble opinion, we only need one hospital.  In fact, we used to have two, but Group Health closed theirs, and now shares with OUR hospital, Overlake, because there really wasn't a need for two different hospitals...

Anyway, our schools were one reason we scored so high, and I can say that my kids got a great education in the Bellevue School District.  Also, I believe we were described as "park like."  We also got high marks for our diversity, and yes, that is very true.  About 1/3 of our residents are "foreign born."   This gives us a huge cultural diversity.  Just come to Crossroads for our Eastside Stitchers night.  You can see people from all over the world there.  It is very cool.

They give us lots of points for "outdoor activities"  by which I assume they mean hiking, though since we are bound by Lake Washington on the west and Lake Sammamish on the east, they might also mean water sports.  They don't specifically mention the great hiking trails, but regular readers of this blog will know how awesome our trail system is. 

Anyway, Congratulations to Bellevue!  (I personally think we are way better than both Boise and Salt Lake City and wait?  what?  I was rereading the list, and really?? Durham is ranked above us?  no way.

shaping the planet from the BEST city in the United States

Friday, October 25, 2013

Yay! Fiber Friday, Again


I might have had a call to go in and sub, but I fumbled the answer on my little non-smart phone, so I didn't get it, and instead.. HAD to go to Fiber Friday at Crossroads.

It was so much fun.  First of all, CathieC texted me, "If you aren't in Hawaii or teaching, come knit!"

That is the perfect text to get on a Friday morning as you are packing up your knitting projects and heading out.

When I got to Crossroads, the mall was open, but not the stores, so I walked around (I usually park behind Jo-Ann's and walk through) to a Mall entrance and as I got to the center under the big skylight, I saw Cathie.  Yay!

We were soon joined by CodyJunk, JulieMustKnit, and Wajio.  Yes, Wajio is on vacation this week, and what better vacation than knitting at Crossroads with your  buddies?

CodyJunk says that she finished some really cute Halloween toys, but... forgot to bring them for Show and Tell.  She did bring a hat that she was knitting:
The other projects are all things we have been working on but ... have we made progress?

Wajio brought the vanilla socks she is making with her home-dyed yarn.  She started these quite a while (cough cough a year cough cough) ago. She has learned the Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist.  Wajio decided that she wanted to use this heel on her socks.  She has spent the last few SnB's tinking to where the heels should begin.  Today, she was working on her foot measurement.
I expect real progress next Wednesday night.

JulieMustKnit has also been going backwards a bit with her beautiful Antarktis by KallioKnits.  We have suggested both "lifelines," and "stitch markers." 
It is a super pretty pattern.

CathieC brought her Racing Raindrops.  And look look look!  She is really on the home stretch:
I brought the Double-Knit wristers I have been knitting.  I got the book, Extreme Double-Knitting by Alasdair Post-Quin, in the bag I won during the 2013 North Puget Sound LYS Crawl.  These wristers aren't really a pattern in the book.  I was practicing the circular technique with the diamond pattern he provides and decided to just make two of them and call them wristers! 
I knit the first one with the blue as the outside color, then the second with the white as the outside color.  I was able to finish them at Crossroads and cast off.

shaping the planet with twice the thickness

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Ok, there was no danger.  None at all.

I was all set to go to VanesaPolo's house to meet the lovely Emma, Eastside Stitcher's newest member, when I got a call for a substitute teaching job at the Overlake School in Redmond,WA.

I was to substitute for their foreign language teacher, and teach 3 classes of French and one of Spanish.  I had never been to that campus, but had heard how lovely it is.  They are tucked in the woods on Novelty Hill near the Redmond/Woodenville border.  The campus has these pretty white wooden buildings sprinkled all over this hilly spot with woods all around.

I arrived about 30 minutes early, and parked in what I thought was the parking lot.  It was a gravel lot down below the school with a mulched path leading up the hill.  There was a sign by the path that said, "Path to the School."  I started on the path, and when I came to the corner, I realized that there was way more of the drive leading up the hill further, but, the path seemed to go somewhat along this road, so, I thought, well, I will just walk up and get some exercise.

I walked for a bit, and the path veered off through a grove of trees.  As I was walking, I started to realize that this branch of the path probably was not leading up to the school.  Also, I remembered that at the Substitute Teacher Training, the trainer had mentioned that there had been a black bear spotted at Overlake.  I became immediately aware that the woods that I was hiking through were full of black bears just waiting to attack.  When I saw the road off to my right, I quickly headed for it, whistling loudly so as to scare any bears away.

Whew!  I made it to the road, hiked back to my car, and drove up the drive to the parking lot right next to the Administration Building.

Ok, there were no bears there today.  But, still, there could have been.

shaping the planet safe from bears

p.s. I snuck over to VanesaPolo's house after I got home from work and took a peek at the beautiful Emma.  Beautiful, indeed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eastside Stitchers: Ever Expanding


I'm not sure if you can tell by this photo, but Muffin is totally covering a heater vent.  Heat Hog!

Tonight was the regular Wednesday meet up for Eastside Stitchers at Crossroads in Bellevue.  I know I have written this before, but one of the wonderful things about meeting at Crossroads is that we are out in public, and we sometimes meet new members.  This happened tonight.

Skeinherder and I were there a bit early.  A woman walked by and stopped to comment that she knit continental, too (that is my method).  We began chatting, and she also said that she was a combination knitter.  Well!  we have two combination knitters in the Eastside Stitchers.  Ms Wiz arrived at this moment, and as she is one of our combination knitters, the woman, ImPained, sat down to chat a bit.  She might come back next week.

Then, we had two new people show up at the table.

Pam2 had just joined the group on Ravelry.  I don't think that Domesticshorthair had joined officially, but she definitely found us on Ravelry and decided to check us out.  With our new mothers (congratulations again to VanesaPolo, GwenS, and Hrvdmnky) out for a bit, our group was now only filling one table.  Well, that ended tonight.  So, who was at Crossroads, and what were they knitting?

Skeinherder was working on her Footies in Malabrigo.  It is the Malabrigo Stockpile event this month, and she is busy knitting and finishing all the Malabrigo projects possible.
Crunchynumbers brought her Hermione's Everyday Socks.  This easy texture pattern is working perfectly with the variegated yarn she is using.

Wireknitter brought a beautiful cowl for Show and Tell.  The pattern is Let's Twist by Susan Ashcroft.
She also brought her current shawl project, Windward.

Ms. Wiz brought the beginning of a lace shawl.  It is Ishbel by Isolde Teague.

This horrible photo is of the hat that Pam2 was starting.
The pattern is Slick.

 Tara1682 brought her 2nd Bias Before and After scarf.
DomesticShorthair brought a pair of mittens that she was starting.
Wajio brought a pair of socks she is knitting.  She dyed the yarn herself from a sock blank.
JulieMust knit  brought her beautiful Antarktis.  Although Julie had to tink a bit tonight, you can still see how lovely it is.
A wonderful time was hat by all.

shaping the planet with fiber friends.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Unfinished Business

Bag Cat

I have reached the time of the month in HPKCHC where I have all of these unfinished projects.  I have a hat that is almost finished.  These doubleknit wristers:
I have one finished, and the beginning of the second.

Half of a crocheted cowl.

I have finished 4 project bags.
And various squares for Herbology Class, Quidditch and my Arithmancy OWL.

There are 9 days left in the month.  I need to absolutely crank to get everything finished.  I need to finish the 2nd wrister and the cowl, as well as some spinning.  I was hoping to make 2 hats, but might have to be satisfied with one.  I am on the decreases, so if I can just cast off tomorrow, I can cast on one more hat.

I didn't get called in to work yesterday or today for substitute teaching so I was able to craft.  I did tutor for 3 hours today.  I just love my students this quarter.  They are all so interesting, and hard working.

I have two students who are taking developmental English classes for non-native speakers.  They are struggling with writing in English, especially.  They have such good ideas, but English is so hard to spell, even for native speakers! 

My other two students are in Math.  There are few college degrees you can get if you can't pass pre-calc.  These students are both in Algebra.  They still have to take College Algebra (Alg II).  Again, they are eager to learn, and really hard workers.  If you don't have good fraction skills, algebra is a nightmare.  Fractions, and knowing your multiplication tables and how to divide.

shaping the planet with cats

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mosaic Madness


Since I did not have to work yesterday, I was able to KNIT KNIT KNIT and I finished my Mosaic Socks. 
I used the Mosaic Pattern from the Sock Knitter's Workshop by Ewa Jostes and Stephanie van der Linden. 
This book is organized into different toes, different heels, etc.  Then they have some patterns.  The heels for this pattern is a "Peasant Heel."  You start at the top, and knit a tube.  When you get to where you want the heels to start, you knit half a round with waste yarn and continue on.  But, now there is an instep (top of the foot), and a sole, bottom of the foot. 

According to the directions, after you finish the toes, you go back and knit the heels, first carefully taking out the waste yarn, and picking up the live stitches.  I really wanted to make sure these fit, so I left the socks on the needles when I got to where I thought the toes might begin, then I took out the waste yarn and picked up the live stitches, with a size 0 needle to be sure the heels were a tight fabric.  I was using size 1 needles since I didn't want to make the slip stitches for the mosaic too tight.

I also made the heels a bit longer than the pattern called for.  This makes them kind of funny looking when they aren't on the blockers, but they hug my heels nicely.
The heels themselves are really easy.  You basically knit them like toes, decreasing until you kitchener the final stitches together.

The dark blue yarn is Berroco Comfort, and the yellow/green variegated is a KnitPick sock blank that I dyed last summer.

They fit perfectly.

shaping the planet with mirrors.

 P. S.  Welcome to Emma!  Born just after midnight.  Our newest Eastside Stitcher.