Friday, May 31, 2013

Fiber Friday with Prizes


The Fiber Friday group from Eastside Stitchers met today at Crossroads for some yarny fun, because we just don't see each other enough.

BlueBerryMary is almost finished with her baby blanket.
I just love how the lavender border picks up the lavender flecks in the yarn.

CathieC was weaving in the 1000000000000000000000000 bits of yarn on her beautiful knitted afghan.  This is a great project for social knitting, because chatting while you weave helps with the potential bordeom.
WireKnitter was working on a new colorwork shawl.  I realized that I am often very lazy during Fiber Fridays and I don't seem to take many notes, so of course I have no idea what the name of this shawl is.
Winterpromise31 has begun a new hat.
And begun it again, and again.  Then bought some new smaller needles with a smaller cable and begun it again.  Sometimes knitting just doesn't want to work.

Skeinherder was working on something very mysterious.  And drinking tea.
VanesaPolo arrived later, as there is something about Yoga in her Friday morning schedule these days.  And of course, I didn't take a photo of her knitting.  Isn't that just like me?

I was working on Round 5 Sock Madness, Zip.
I was preparing the zippers so I can knit them into the legs of the socks.  So far I have finished both cuffs, and am done with one zipper prep.

After Fiber Friday, I drove over to Tea Cozy Yarns in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.  I had won one of the daily drawings during the 2013 North Puget Sound LYS Tour, and I needed to pick up my prize.  I had no idea what it was. 

YAYAYAYAY!  I am so so happy with what I got.  Of course, anything free and a prize is always great, but this had some stuff that I was planning on buying! so it was just a perfect prize for me.

First of all, I got an official LYS Tour bag.  (hahahaha, no that wasn't one of the things I had planned to buy, but another knit bag always comes in handy.)
Then I looked inside my new bag, and there was Extreme Double-Knitting: new adventures in reversible colorwork by Alasdair Post-Quinn.  I heard the author/designer interviewed a while ago on some podcast (not sure which one, sorry), and was totally intrigued.  As I haven't really done any regular colorwork, I was hesitant to try reversible colorwork, but still, I love learning new techniques, and I wanted to check out his book for future projects.  Now I OWN  it.  This was my biggest squeee.

I also received the new issue of Knitter's Magazine, with a free 1 year subscription!

On top of that, was a skein of Eweneek Exquisite, 50% Merino 50% Silk laceweight yarn from Knot Just Yarn, who also was a part of the 2013 LYS Tour.  The color is Tidepool, and I just love it.  That shop was the site of one of my few (this year) impulse buys on the tour.  I bought a skein of their sock yarn (of course!) in a beautiful green.
The last part of my major award was a bottle of Crafters Cream. from Apple Yarns.  It feels lovely on my work roughened hands.

Lucky me!

Ok, I am leaving really early tomorrow morning to fly down to California to help out at my brother's house for a week.  My sister-in-law has to do another 11 days of military ... something... somewhere.  These are always tough, as my brother can't be left alone anymore, and of course, someone has to be there to help out with the kids.  There is a great network of neighbors, friends and family, who take turns when the family needs help, but it is just too hard to cover that many nights.  I am lucky that the Doc, Himes, and Pookie, can handle themselves without me for a week.

I will really try to post regularly.  After all, I am working on Sock Madness, and tomorrow Tour de Sock Begins!  As well, as a new month of HPKCHC classes.  The internet at my brother's house is horribly slow, but I will do my best to get something up regularly.

I should be able to knit more than I usually do because I won't be working, just being THERE for the family, and doing regular "mom" stuff.  My brother and sisters (and nephews and nieces for that matter) don't always understand the importance of  an "International Sock Knitting Competition Based on March Madness,"  and I am not sure that I can explain Tour de Sock and even worse Harry Potter Knitting Crochet House Cup to such non-stitching Muggles.  But, they have become accustomed to seeing me with some type of fiber in my hands at all times.

I am the aunt/sister who... KNITS.

shaping the planet with a new knitting book that is a PRIZE!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eastside Stitchers Knit, Talk Babies (what else?) and Redbird1's Garden


The newest Sock Madness pattern has arrived in my email, and as I am trying to knit like the wind, while doing about 100000000 other things, I am going to keep this post to the point.

The point is, of course, who was at Crossroads tonight, and what were they knitting?  I already said that we discussed babies. But there was quite a bit of discussion on how beautiful Redbird1's garden is, the Eastside chapter of the Eastside Stitchers.

Anyway, back to what we were all knitting.

GwenS was knitting the sleeves of an Antler Cardigan by TinCanKnits.  In order to get sleeves of the same length, she was knitting them 2-at-a-time.  This is her first attempt at this technique, and she was bopping along quite well on these 2 sleeves.

Skeinherder has made great progress on her Braided Slip Stitch Cowl from Country Yarns, or as Skeinherder called it, "the Biker Store."

She got this pattern on the North Puget Sound LYS Tour two weeks ago.  You might remember that Country Yarns' street was blocked from parking on the day we went there by a biker rally.
We all loved the shop, though, and the free pattern for the tour.

Tara1682 was knitting her 3rd Linen Stitch Scarf by Churchmouse Yarn & Teas.  She is using up 2 partial skeins of yarn.
WireKnitter brought in a beautiful FO, her East Coast Line by Susan Ashcroft.  It is amazing how soft, as well as beautiful, this shawl is.
She was working on an old UFO (unfinished object) that she had recently unearthed.  This lovely shawl is the Arananis.  I think that is the right name.  I can't find it on Ravelry, which makes me think that I wrote it down wrong.  It is a very lovely wave pattern, and I am sorry I messed up the name.  Edited on Thursday May 30 because WireKnitter sent me the link to the shawl, the name is Aranami Shawl by Olgajazzy.

Colleen is knitting a Spiderman Blanket for a very lucky young man.  This young Spidey fan is expecting a new baby in his family, and the blanket will be something special just for him.
Anerenbe, back from her wedding planning life was knitting a blanket by Jared Flood, the Umaro Blanket.

Chockelet is back to work on her Charlotte's Web in Madelinetosh and Sweet Georgia Sock.
Hrvdmnky was working oVanessan the Rivel Cardigan.Miles and miles of ribbing.

VanesaPolo has finished her Holden Shawlette
2 pairs of  BABY SOCKS!

Vanesa also brought in her T-shirt basket.  She made the yarn her solf out of recycled T shirts.

This very clever pattern was from the Skacel shop,

We really had fun tonight.  Join us if you can.  And if you can't please join us in chatting on our Threads.

shaping the planet with a new idea

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One Step Forward...


Today I spent my crafting time hooking the same 3 rows over and over, then when I switched to knitting, knitting 5 rows only to rip them all out, knit a row, then tink 3.   One step forward and definitely two steps backward.

I discovered an error in something I am crocheting that was 2 rows back.  So I had to rip that back to the errror.  Then when I was hooking forward again, I saw a new error and hat to rip out the new row.

Tonight, I went over to my neighbor knit buddy's house.  We are both knitting the same thing, me for one of the expecting Mamas in Eastside Stitchers,  and Lyla for her grandson.  When I got home, I thought I would knit a few more rows before getting off for bed only to discover that I had some type of error in the increases.  That meant ripping out everything I had knit at Lyla's house.  I finally figured out where I had gone wrong, about 5 rows back.  But, after I had picked the dropped stitches, and was knitting forward again, I discovered that I had not gone back quite far enough, and this time tinked 2 rows.

When I am knitting or crocheting for a gift, I find myself being extra careful.  It is a bit tough, because  I am on a deadline (we have set the date for the baby shower).  If I can stay on my schedule, I should be fine.  But, if I continue to knit 1 row forward and 2 backwards, I will not have anything to show by the Baby Shower!

The next Sock Madness pattern is to come out tomorrow.  It is the zipper socks.  I am dreading it a bit.  I am to travel down to help out at my brother's house for another week, and will have to do the bulk of the SM knitting down there.  I doubt I will be able to balance speed knitting and helping out.  But I will do my best to stay in the competition.  After all, I thought I might be kicked after the first round.

Ok, time for bed.  And, I'm sorry I can't show you what is going on with my knitting and hooking tonight.  When I start new socks, I should be able to show those.

shaping the planet with less accomplished than I had hoped.

Monday, May 27, 2013



Happy Memorial Day!

Today we celebrated the 20th birthday of my son, Himes.  His birthday was yesterday, but we couldn't all get together ON his big day, so we did it today.

For birthdays at our house, the birthday person gets to pick the dinner menu, and what type of cake/dessert they want, and I make it.  For Himes, that means Chicken Divan and a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  I added some corn on the cob, as I know he loves that, too.

Allifer and A came, Pookie, the Doc, Himes, and of course, me.  Very fun evening.

This weekend, with no work for me, I have been knitting/crocheting up a storm.  But, I can't really discuss most of it because it is on projects for the new soon-to-be-moms in Eastside Stitchers.  We are planning a baby shower for all 3 of them in end of July/early August.  I am trying to crank out some gifts.

The work is pretty fun as I am making things I have never made before.  But I can't discuss them here, or show photos of the progress.

So I will just have to show a photo of a project for HPKCHC, instead.

One of the prompts was to knit or crochet (or macrame) something using a "bast" fiber; this includes linen and hemp.   I checked my stash, and while I have some linen yarns, none of them are 100% linen.  I think the project has to be over 50%.  My linen yarn has about 30% linen.  I didn't want to spend a lot on this project, so I checked out Pacific Fabric in Bellevue.

They didn't have any bast fiber yarns with the bast fiber over 50%. I found some hemp cord.  It wasn't very much, only 5 yds, but I decided to try to make the fan Bookmark by Crochetroo.  This was a relatively easy crochet, and I think the bookmark would be quite alright, but I ran out of the hemp.  I still really like the way it looks, and it was good enough to turn in.

Other than this little thing, it's been all secret knitting.  Oh well, I hope to be able to post photos of those projects soon.

shaping the planet with a fan bookmark.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Proud Mama

Ok, I am now bragging about my son, Pookie.  I just got back from a rehearsal in his ballet class.  This is not really for any performance, but as part of the studio's training, they are working on Pas de Deux's from classical ballets. 

This is Pookie and his lovely partner (she is 16), he is 17, rehearsing the Act III Prince Florimund and Princess Aurora Grand Pas de Deux from Sleeping Beauty.

(sorry it is broken into 2 short videos)

This part is the solos and the coda:

and this last one is the 2 dancers doing the Bluebird Pas de Deux, also from Sleeping Beauty.

This is Pookie's last year really dancing ballet, as he will head off to Princeton in September.  They have some dance there, but no dance major, and let's face it, we are not sending him to Princeton to major in dance. 

Our ballet teacher is the most amazing person, and we have been just blessed to have spent time with her.  I don't think she would want me to post her name, so I won't, but I still want to give her all the credit for teaching both of my sons such wonderful technique and artistry.


Fiber Friday with Cookies!


Someone (Skeinherder) arrived at Crossroads a bit early this morning.  Needing sustenance, she went to the French Bakery and brought the group... Cookies!

Who was stitching at Crossroads this morning?  (and perhaps nibbling on cookies?)

BlueBerryMary brought the baby bear booties and bear she had started last week.  She finished the booties and wove in the ends.
When she finished, she worked some more on the matching blanket.

Winterpromise31 has almost finished her boucle scarf.  She put it aside before I remembered to get a photo, so I only got one of the next project she brought out, a simple, yet very pretty colored, washcloth.
Skeinherder was knitting something that involved holding 2 fingering weight yarns together.  She is using the same yarn, I believe just taking from inside and outside the yarn cake at the same time.  What is she knitting?  I have no idea.  What yarn is she using?  I have no idea.  I just remember that this sparked a bit discussion about yarn weights and holding 2 yarns together.  Not my best reporting moment.

Pretty beginning, however.
Wireknitter has made huge progress on her Herringbone Boomerang by Susan Ashcroft.  We all marvelled at the subtle changes in this scarf from the 2 skeins of yarn she has used.  If you can believe it, these are from the same dye lot.  Look closely, the colors are the same, but the yarn has been plied just differently enough, that the striping is a bit different.  I doesn't change how lovely the scarf is.  It is just something interesting to think about, when you are buying this type of yarn.
Colleen finished her latest baby blanket,
with just a bit of yarn left over.

LOL!  Edited to add that CathieC was present, but as she was stitching up her Frankenhat, and wouldn't let me photograph it or stay until she was finished, I don't have photos.  And, since I am obviously getting really old, if I don't have a photo, it slips my mind that the project was at Crossroads.  However, CathieC promised to bring the totally sewn, woven in hat next Wednesday night for a FO photo.

I was working on some newborn and preemie hats for a Maternity Clinic in Ghana.  This is a Quidditch Project (this game has us making up to 5 hats or blanket squares for charity).  Two of the members of Gryffindor, my house, are working with a Peace Corps Volunteer who is stationed in Ghana to send hats to this clinic.  It is fun to be working on something other than black socks.  But I am looking forward to both the next round of Sock Madness AND Tour de Sock to start so I can get busy with another 2 pair of socks.

It wasn't until I put all of the photos up on my computer that I realized we had a definite purple theme going today,

at least with the things we could photograph..... I'm not saying what else was being stitched today.  We missed you, VanesaPolo, and hope Yoga was fun.

I am looking forward to the Memorial Day Weekend, and lots of work on other secret projects.

shaping the planet with blue hats in a purple field.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

High Button Socks


I have finally finished the Round 4 Socks for Sock Madness.  These were not difficult but if you look closly, you might see that I had trouble with the tension in the purl rounds on the foot.  In fact, I finally switched around, and knit on the inside of the socks, but right handed.  You can see where the foot gets much more consistent.

I liked the eyelet pattern for the top (instep) the front of the leg.

The twisted rib for the back was fun and I think it looks pretty nice.

My buttons do not look very evenly spaced, but I doubt I will move them.  I think I am dune with these socks.

When I finished sewing the last buttonn, I noticed that I was one button short.  Of course, I had brought the sock with my to Sewing Lab.  Of course I brought the socks... but NOT THE BUTTONS.

When I got home from Sewing Lab, I found the missing button hiding in the couch cushions.  Thank goodness I found it.

I really love the look, especially with the black yarn and the white pearl  buttons.

I wish the black photographed better, it looks washed out and gray here.

I want to say that I have heard on the news that the bridge for Interstate 5 (the main freeway that goes from the California/Mexican border up through California, Oregon and Washington all the way to the Washington/Canada Border) over the Skagit River has collapsed.  Both North and South lanes collapsed, dropping cars into the Skagit River.  As far as I can tell, at this time, there are no fatalities, but at least 3 people were injured.  This is the route we took north last weekend for the 2013 North Puget Sound LYS Tour.  It is so scary to think how close we were to this disaster.  My thoughts are with all of the people injured in the collapse and I am so thankful that it looks like no one was killed.

Bye for now. It's Fiber Friday tomorrow.  I can't wait to knit with my Eastside Stitchers, and on something other than socks.

shaping the world with some pretty fancy high button socks.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eastside Stitchers Freeze in May


This is one weird iris blooming on my beautiful Black Bart Iris.  The full dark purple is the normal blossom.  What is this mutant flower?  I have never seen anything like it, but there are a few more buds on the plant that look as weirdly variegated.

I just might dig up and sell the bulbs.

On to the important stuff.  It is freezing in Bellevue.  Today the high temperature was 57 F, and the low was 47 F.  It is almost June.  What is wrong with our weather?

The cold did not keep the Eastside Stitchers from our weekly meet up at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue.  We had a really large group tonight, as our visitor (and soon to be regular), AspenD, joined us from the UK, and and new friend, LauraH came to meet us all tonight, too.

Who was in out of the cold, and what were thy working on:?

Wajio was starting another pair of baby booties.  She is making "moc-a-socs."  These are amazingly cute baby booties that look like mocassins.

AspenD was working on an Elizabeth Shawl. by Dee O'Keefe.
MsWiz was starting the 3rd of 4 hats she is knitting for some very lucky children.
MsWiz is the very lucky recipient of some fabulous project bags by VanesaPolo.

CathieC is making good progress on her Frankenhat.  She has taken 2 different patterns, and is putting them together in one beautiful hat. 
The top of her hat is taken from the pattern Beginners Basketweave by Margaret Maney.

 CathieC had also brought one of her amazingly cute project bags.

Tara1682 and Skeinherder are making amazing progress on their Racing Raindrops scarves.

They got this pattern from Churchmouse Yarn & Teas during our stop this Sunday.

GwenS started her 4th Aviatrix hat. 

Hrvdmnky is still working on her Rivel Cardigan, by Miram Feton.

Wireknitter is knitting a beautiful Herrringbone Boomerang by Susan Ashcroft. 
The colors of her yarn are truly gorgeous.

VanesaPolo had finished another Potato Chip Scarf for her mother.

LauraH brought an Owlie Sleepsack.

And, Colleen brought a beautiful baby blanket. 
I brought my High Button Socks, which have been bound off the needles.  I am currently sewing on the buttons.  I will have to finish them up tomorrow because, once again, I am falling asleep at the keyboard.  I have 4 buttons to go, but, lately, I get home and pick up my keyboard to post, or my needles to knit, and it is like a wall of fatigue hits me.  I just can't see straight to sew on the last few buttons. 

I have sewing lab tomorrow morning, so, although I want to work on some more project bags, I will finish sewing on the buttons so I can just finish this round!

shaping the planet with some new Eastside Stitchers.