Monday, September 30, 2013


I'm frantically trying to finish a project for HPKCHC.  It must be finished by midnight, Pacific time to count for this month.  Can I do it?

I'll report back...

Friday, September 27, 2013

finally, Fiber Friday


I can not say how much fun Fiber Fridays are.  I am currently looking for a job, and I get so torn on Friday mornings.  I want a job, I do.  But, wow, I just love Fiber Friday.  It's different from Wednesdays because (usually) Crossroads is quieter, and everything is more low key.  Maybe it's because it is the morning and we are starting the day with Stitching...

Anyway, we had a table for four this morning.  We sat and stitched, I think everyone was knitting today, even CodyJunk, and talked about cats, and moles.  We talked a bit about hummingbirds and how to best feed them, and then bird feeders in general.  We also discussed gardening, and how well maintained the roads are on the Eastside.  What else?  well, yarn and knitting, of course.

I think we were all working on former projects.  Well, Zillalatte might have brought a new Braided Gems Hat.  But since she was knitting the same pattern last week,

it seemed like deja vu.
The new one, however, is in white.
JulieMustKnit brought her beautiful Union Square Cowl.  She is almost finished, but has reached that time when, no matter how much she knits, she just doesn't seem to make progress.  The project end is near.  Julie tried the cowl on to test the length, but she was right, it was still too short.
CodyJunk also brought a cowl.
CodyJunk has knit this cowl, changing needles from aluminum to bamboo.  It was fascinating to see what this simple change (the needle size was the same) did.

I brought my September socks, the Hidden Hearts by Jeannie Cartmel.  After I returned home, I finished up the cuffs, and they are bound off.  I will take some photos tomorrow during the day.  Though, as we are expecting rain, I might almost as well take photos tonight.

shaping the planet with a 4 square at the table.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ugh! No photos for Eastside Stitchers

I left my memory card in my computer!

Can I recreate the evening?  Everyone was knitting new things!  Well, almost everyone.

Skeinherder was there at the table when I arrived a bit before 5 pm.  She was knitting some striped knee socks.  Well, one striped knee sock.  Purple yarn striping with a beautiful variegated/self striping yarn.

VanesaPolo was starting a new sweater.  I believe it is a pattern by Barbara Walker.  The construction is very interesting.

Chockelet was wearing a beautiful Before and After scarf by Churchmouse Yarn & Teas.  She brought another  finished version of the scarf.

Wajio brought baby gifts.  She has finished the baby booties for both GwenS and VanesaP.  She also brought flannel receiving blankets and other newborn goodies.  Such generous and thought gifts.  What was she knitting?  More baby booties, but this time for charity.

Anerenbe came and brought a friend, whose Rav Name I didn't get, so I will call her K tonight.  Anerenbe has cast on a Linen Stitch Scarf.  She is using this beautiful variegated yarn by Sunshine Yarns in the Esme Island color way with Miss Babs in Regent as the coordinating color.

K was knitting a cowl, also in a yarn by Sunshine Yarns.  I'm not sure, but I think the pattern is Shifting Sands Scarf by Grumperina.

GwenS was actually knitting the sleeves on her baby sweater, the Antler Cardigan by TinCanKnits. seamless yoked baby cardi  (we think).

Colleen brought a drop stitch scarf.  She was using some ribbon yarn.  The pattern was showing off the yarn, beautifully.

Vivi brought her teddy bear.  She couldn't stay long, but it was so nice to see her.

Towards the end of the evening, after most of the early risers had left, AmiGirl arrived.  Of course, she was knitting her Sprucey Lucy socks by Wendy Johnson.  Last time we saw Amigirl, she had to rip back everything she had knit at Crossroads, and had ended the evening in negative knitting territory.  I am happy to say that she made up the lost inches, and has reached the heels of the socks.

So sorry about the no photos, especially to Gwen and Vanessa.

shaping the planet sad and photoless

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tricoter Knitting Specialists


Today, I visited Tricoter Knitting Specialists with my neighbor knitting friend, Lyla.  This shop is in Seattle,

on the Eastside of the city near Lake Washington near a very nice neighborhood named Madison Park.  Neither of us had ever been there.  Lyla had bought some yarn and a pattern from their booth at the Mariner's Stitch N Pitch last summer.  She knit a beautiful linen stitch shawl.  She used some gorgeous yarn by Blue Moon Fiber Arts, I'm pretty sure it was their Twisted but I do not know the colorway.

The shawl is beautiful.  Lyla needed to block it, and stitch it together, then buy and attach the buttons (just for show as you don't knit buttonholes.)  She had called the shop to ask about the best way to block the piece and they told her to come by, they have a blocking/steaming table and would be happy to help her do it.

I had heard of this shop, but as they haven't participated in the Puget Sound LYS tour either year that I did, I had never been.  Also, we have so many wonderful shops in our area, did I need another shop?  And, on top of that, I had heard that they carried very high end yarns that are very expensive.  Let's face it, I am KNITTING FROM STASH until after Christmas.  I almost left my credit card home.  But, I brought it and was simply a ROCK.

The store is mostly organized by color.

with all different yarns mixed together.  There are the baskets of a certain type of yarn on the shelves, and below there are drawers filled with more skeins of the colors and yarns on display.
All around the walls are beautiful samples knit up.  I didn't photograph those.  Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

The best thing about the shop, however, is the service.  They helped Lyla pin out her shawl, and steamed it for her.

It took about 10 minutes to set.  Then, one of their assistants taught Lyla how to mattress stitch it together.  While she was sewing the piece, we saw a young mother working on her first sweater, one for her 3 year old daughter, being helped to pick up and stitch the button band.  We saw another woman being helped with the neck and shoulder decreases on a sweater.  Two more people came in and were helped with knitting questions.  The tutoring was generous, thoughtful, and kind.

Tricoter doesn't just sell patterns, yarn, and knitting tools.  They will knit the sweater for you.  Or, if you like to knit but not to finish, they offer a finishing service.  Pretty amazing.

Lyla wasn't as rock-like as I, and she left with a cowl pattern and enough yarn for two cowls.

shaping the planet from Madison Park

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fiber Friday's ROAR!


It's starting, our gorgeous sunrises.  One of the things I love about living this far north is that as winter approaches, the sun rises later and later, and lazy person that I am, I can watch the sun rise without having to get up early to see it.  The above photo was taken at 6:50 am. 

So, Lions took over the table today at Fiber Friday. 

Ha ha ha, my fellow Gryffindor, Zillalatte, joined us at Crossroads in Bellevue for some knitting.  We have chatted both in the HPKCHC thread and in the Eastside Stitchers thread about the possibility of meeting up to stitch together in real life, not just on line, and today was the day.

We started early at Crossroads, or well I thought I was getting there super early, but CodyJunk beat me there.  We grabbed a big circular table in the middle of the mall under the skylight, got ourselves some coffee (I had a skinny mocha from Starbucks), and were joined by CathieC before we could even sit down.

CathieC was working on her beautiful Racing Raindrops from Churchmouse Yarn & Teas.
Later, we were joined by Constance49, who was also working on a Racing Raindrops.

Connie is using variegated yarn, and variegated beads, too.

CodyJunk, the Queen of crocheted toys brought a beautiful pair of knit socks to show and tell.
She also brought a special toy for my youngest son, Pookie. 
She brought Pookie a Pookie.  Get it?  Garfield's teddy bear, "Pookie."  A gift to my son, Pookie.  I can't wait to send it to him.

CodyJunk was also knitting today.  She is making this cowl with a really interesting stitch pattern.
Zillalatte was knitting hats for charity.  We have an ongoing Charity Hat Challenge in Gryffindor.  Zillalatte was knitting the Braided Gems Hat by Elizabeth Ravenwood Designs.  This pattern is on sale until October 12, 2013 in the Ravelry store.  For every hat you make for charity, the designer will send you another free pattern from her designs.  There is a thread for this offer in the A Big Comfy Doghouse Group on Ravelry. 
JulieMustKnit brought her almost-finished Union Square Cowl.
She is running out of yarn.  I can't wait to see the finished project.

Winterpromise31 brought her Twisted Trellis Hat.  She has reached the decreases and should be closing up the top soon.

We talked about a Christmas Gift Exchange.  We are planning something in the Wednesday group, and thought that the Friday Fiber group could do something similar, but a bit smaller, perhaps simply bring a gift (amount to be determined), and blindly exchange it.  That would require zero stalking.  Just presents.  I'm always up for presents.

shaping the planet with a ROAR!

Wedding Gifts


Sorry, my computer was freaking out last night, and I just couldn't get any photos to upload here.  Finally I had to give up and just go to bed.  However, I wanted to show you the gifts I made this week for the wedding I am going to on Saturday.

First, about the groom.

Roy, is a friend from high school.  Yes, I have known him that long.  He was my sister's, S, friend first, but since I hung out with her group quite a bit in high school, I knew him well.  We shared a love of the Beatles.  We would go to movie theaters that were playing "Beatles nights."  This would be a marathon of movie/tv clips of the Beatles all taped together into a few hours of Beatlemania.  So Much Fun.

When I was at Notre Dame, he came out to visit and stayed with the Doc in the Doc's dorm room.  Notre Dame has all single sex dorms, so there was no way he could bunk in with me, and Doc's roommate had an off campus apartment, but kept his dorm room, so it was a free bed.  Roy was the first of my family to meet the Doc.  When he got back to Southern California, he had to report to everyone on what kind of guy the Doc was.

That summer, after I graduated from ND, I took a 9 week trip through Europe with another friend.  That same summer, Roy and my brother, Mark, were backpacking/training through Europe, too.  We met up in Paris, Milan, Rome and Venus.  It was so much fun to see familiar faces as we traveled.  I remember trying to give each other annoying earworms as we would say goodbye.  I distinctly remember singing Ebony and Ivory at him as he and Mark boarded the train in Paris, hoping that song would annoy them as they headed towards Germany.

A few years later, the Doc and I spent a summer in New Jersey.  Doc was studying at a hospital in New York for 6 weeks while we lived at his parents' house.  Roy was working on his Master's in Journalism at Columbia.  My sister, S, flew in for a week.  We all met in New York City and spent a few days together while Roy showed us the city.  This time we got to sleep on the floor of Roy's dorm room.  What comes around, goes around.

I am so happy for him as he enters this new phase of his life.  I have met his fiancee only a few times when I was down this past year helping at my brother's, but she seems like a wonderful person.

Their invitation said, "No Gifts, please.  After over 50 years of living, we not only have everything we need, we have 2 of everything."  Doc asked me what gift we were bringing, and I showed him that on the invitation.  So, he said, "OK, what gift are we bringing?"


At first I had thought to make some wine cozies, but my sister, S, told me the bride does not drink alcohol.  She does drink tea.  I know Roy drinks both tea and coffee.  We are giving a teapot.  Why would we give a teapot?  So I can give them a TEA COZY, of course.

I used the Granny Tea Cozy by Alice Best as my template.  Then I made some travel coffee cup/tea cup cozies to match.
And, for good measure, some coasters.

I just need to buy a teapot to go with the set.

Happy wedding Roy and D.  Happy life.

shaping the planet with old friends.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eastside Stitchers discuss Lifelines


Something that bugs me:  1 person sitting at one of the big round tables at Crossroads all alone, and obviously not waiting for people to join her.  Especially when that table, is the one that the Eastside Stitchers use.

Well, you can tell by my cheerful opening that the Eastside Stitchers met tonight at Crossroads in Bellevue, WA.  Eventually we got one of the big round tables, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

We had a smaller group, tonight, but still lots of great knitting, and I brought my camera, so we have photo proof.

CathieC brought her Racing Raindrops scarf by Churchmouse Yarn and Teas.
She has reached and passed the 50% mark (see the stitchmarker), weighed her yarn, and... she has ENOUGH to finish the shawl!

VanesaPolo brought her finished Ripples by Annelie Wallbom. The yarn is Hazelknits Sock.  VanesaP got the free pattern from Serial Knitters on the 2013 North Puget Sound LYS Tour last May.
 VanesaP was working on a Baby Surprise Jacket in MadelineTosh.
BlueBerryMary brought some new sock yarn to start a scarf.
After a bit of work, the lace pattern was visible.
BlueBerryMary also brought some show and tell, the two scarves she had been knitting last week.

Wajio is knitting the LAST 2 BABY BOOTIES!  Yay, Hip Hip Hooray!  Only... how many ends was it to weave in?
Tara1682 was hard at work on her Linen Stitch Scarf.  Here is Last Week's Photo:
Ok, that photo is really from 2 weeks ago.  But count the stripes, there are 11.  Now look at the scarf she brought tonight:
 13 stripes, and the beginning of the 14th.  Real progress.

Toward the end of the evening, Colleen joined us, but for chatter, not to knit.  So glad her move went well.

We spent some time discussing the best string for Lifelines (dental floss), and how to string them. We also discussed the Right Yarn for the Right project.  This made us talk about the podcast, Yarniacs.  They are starting a really interesting discussion on wool from different sheep breeds.  I was very intrigued by their descriptions.  I am really looking forward to hearing their interviews over the next few weeks.

shaping the planet with Eastside Stitchers

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

College Hill Stair Climb


Today, I climbed the College Hill Stairs.

I have driven past the bottom of these stairs where they connect to Kamber Rd. many times.

The red line shows the stairs.

The stairs connect the broken SE 24th St.  At the bottom is SE 24th St. and Kamber Rd., and at the top is SE 24th St. and 142nd Ave SE, right behind the football fields of Bellevue College.  This stair is a great shortcut to the college if you live down on College Hill.

Without the stairs, it is about a 1.1 mile hike around.

View Larger Map

With the stairs, it's about 150 steps. not counting the flatter sections.

These stairs are part of the Bellevue Trail System.  This means that they are pretty well maintained.

I started at the bottom on Kamber Rd. I parked across the street on SE 24th St.  Kamber Rd. can be busy, and cars go pretty fast there, for Bellevue. 

The stair climb begins with a series of short stairs divided by stretches of gravel path.  On your right is woods,

and on your left are some private homes.
There are Himalayan Blackberries growing all along the trail.
In the beginning, the sets of stairs are pretty small, and very doable.  The woods get a bit close at times.  They could stand to be cut back a bit, but mostly the trail is well trimmed.
The hand rails are in great condition.
In the middle, there is a long gentle slope with a gravel path.  Here, I am looking back down the stair climb.
The second half of the climb is a bit steeper with longer stretches of stairs.
They have taken the trouble to put in culverts, so that when it is raining, the water will not run across the stairs.
I can see the top!
When you climb the last step, you are on SE 24th St.
right behind the Bellevue College sports fields.
From the top of the steps, you can see downtown Seattle.
I counted 146 stairs on my way down.  That did not include the gravel path parts.

It is not really under the trees, so I am not sure how it would be to walk it in the rain, or how slippery the stairs would get.  It was beautiful on this overcast day.

shaping the planet while climbing