Saturday, November 30, 2013

Quick Extra Post

Just popping back in to say that my brother has progressed very little since I was down here in September.  And no progression (or very little) is GREAT news!!

The first pattern for the Advent Calendar Scarf 2013 has been posted, so I need to go knit me a lace scarf!


I got up at 4:30 am and headed out to SeaTac for a 7:30 am flight to So. California.  My sister-in-law is doing something ... military... that involves going out of town, so I will stay with my brother and his two kids who are home (his oldest is a freshman in college), and run the house for a week.  The internet is so slow here, that posting photos becomes a pain in the neck, but the Advent Calendar Scarf 2013 starts tomorrow, so I am going to try to stay on top of that with a post every day.  At least the light is better here for taking photos during the day.

I want to tell you about the Swapetition, swap/competition, that the SavvyGirls are hosting.  I sent my package, and got mine in the mail last week.  I really want to show you how awesome the packages are.

The theme is "winter is coming."  The person who had me as a target is Qwerty88 on Ravelry.  She stalked me really well, and managed to send some perfect things for me.
Her box included a beautiful pair of socks that actually fit.  This is not easy as I have fairly large feet.  She also made the cutest Owl fingerless mitts.  I wore them to Crossroads for Eastside Stitchers last Wednesday night and two random shoppers stopped and asked me about them.  I have downloaded the free pattern and am planning to make a pair or two myself.  She also made me a really cute needle case.  You can see it on the right side with the red fabric and the little sheep.  There is a skein of very beautiful sock yarn, and some Canadian candy.  The book is a fantasy by Diana Wynne Jones, one of my favorite authors.  I am so happy to have my own copy.

My box (I can't reveal my target, as she has not received it) was a sort of anti-winter box.  All I kept thinking, when I was in Hawaii, was, "if winter is coming... then get out of town!"  So I sent my target to Hawaii on a vacation.

I included a spa day, with 3 washcloths, some bubblebath, aloe soap and scented lotion.  Also some Hawaiian Salt Caramels (from Boehms Chocolates in Issaquah, WA).

Then, since my target is a tea drinker, I made her a Hibiscus Teapot Cozy and 4 Hibiscus Coasters.  I also threw in 2 tins of loose tea, one green and the other chamomile.

In case she wants to knit on her vacation, I put in a skein of Imperial Yarn (ha ha I bought it at Tolt Yarn and Wool), and a project bag made with Vintage Hawaiian fabric I bought in Lahaina, Maui.
She will need some new stitch markers... so, I gave her two sets.  One is crocheted flower markers with a butterfly,

and the other are sand colored, with a special one with a shell from Napili Bay in Maui.
My target has grandkids, so I included a small gift for them, too, some Rainbow Lolipops.
shaping the planet with swap goodies.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Power Outage Postpones Post

Well, last night 4 of us die hard Eastside Stitchers showed up at Crossroads for a bit of fiber fun before the Thanksgiving craziness started.  While were were stitching, I got a text from one of my neighbors asking me how long the power had been out.  WHAT?  I texted the Doc, and he said we still had power.  When I got home, after Crossroads closed at 9, I saw that our power was still on, but the rest of our street was OUT!  ha ha ha ha  The power grid in our neighborhood is so weird.  Although we still had power, our cable was out, so no internet.  Then, about 11:00 pm, our power went out, too.  It was back on when I woke up, and the clocks were all behind about 2 hours.  So, I assume it came back on at about 2 am.  Anyway, who actually showed up to knit on Wednesday, and what were they knitting?

CathieC brought her MacArthur Park Poncho.  She has finished swatching and has started the actual poncho.
Skeinherder brought her stocking ornaments (here is a slightly blurry photo)
Skeinherder also brought her newest project, a lovely cowl  (sorry, I forget the name).  She bought the pattern and yarn at Tolt Yarn and Wool last Sunday, and cast on immediately... all 400 provisional crocheted stitches!
Wireknitter brought an Entrelac Cap she was knitting in a beautiful variegated yarn.
She also brought her beautiful Windward.  Wireknitter decided to add a bit of a border to lessen the stockinette rolling, and has some ends to weave in.  Stitch Night is a perfect place for weaving in.  All the chat keeps your mind off how boring it is.

I brought the last two rows of my newest afghan, the one I am making for my OWL in HPKCHC.  I didn't take photos of my own work, but as I hope to have it all finished tomorrow, I will try to post some photos of the whole thing then.

Hope all of you had a wonderful day today.  We ate too much, then went to the movies (at Crossroads, of course!) to see Catching Fire.  It was even better than The Hunger Games.

shaping the planet with two kinds of pie.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Skeinherder's Project Bag #2

You can't really see it in this photo, but the pull ties are red and white rickrack, like a candy cane.

Tolt Yarn and Wool


I made it to the opening of the Eastside's newest LYS, Tolt Yarns and Wool, two weeks ago.  But, I had such little time there, and the store was so crowded with the fun of the Grand Opening,

that I decided to wait to write about the shop. 

I was very impressed with the shop at the opening, and even more impressed now that I have been back to see it a second time.

The shop is big, and has an open airy feel. 
The fixtures and shelves are rustic and funky.

Yarns are interestingly displayed.
There is a lot of great lighting with big picture windows in front and lots of overhead lights, even chandeliers.
The main thing, of course, is the yarn.  There are many brands I have never seen before, or rarely seen.  They carry some really interesting local yarns, like SpinCycle Yarns from Bellingham, WA, as well as yarns from farther away, like this Reywa Fibers Tibetan Yak Down.
They had a wall of Malabrigo, and another of Madelinetosh.  They didn't just carry a few skeins, but seemed pretty deep in many colors.

They have a fair number of samples on display, and both Skeinherder and Wireknitter came home with yarn and a pattern for a new cowl.

I picked up some yarn for gift exchanges, because I am knitting from stash, still.  But, O! I was tempted.

I bought two skeins of Imperial Yarn.
This yarn is from Oregon, and is the yarn being used to make the knitwear for Team USA for 2014 Winter Olympics.

I also bought two skeins of alpaca from a ranch in the valley, Legacy Ranch.
Talk about local.

I feel that this yarn shop has the chance to rival Churchmouse, especially since there is no ferry ride involved, yet it is in a picturesque setting.  Since it is about a 30 minute drive for me, it is not much farther than Serial Knitters.  I will definitely go back when I need gift yarn, or something special for myself, as they have a wonderful amount of lovely higher end yarns. 

I would love love love to design something for them.

My only wish is for more sock yarns.  Ha ha ha ha!  That is always my wish.

I will definitely go back soon.

shaping the planet with swap yarn.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Skeinherder's Swap Bag

enough said

OMBob, I'm an Idiot


I have this filing system for my photos on my laptop.  I have one folder just for sunrise photos.  Every day, I open up "Sunrise" make a new folder with the date, and transfer the sunrise photos I have taken that day into that folder.

I have another folder entitled, "Eastside Stitchers."  In this one, there are a bunch of sub-folders with names like "2013.11.20 Wed" or "2013.11.08. Fri" or even "Babies."  When I put the card from my camera in the laptop, I drag the photos from that day's meet-up over to the folder and drop them in. 

I have different folders for almost every type of project I make, from "afghan squares," to "socks." 

After I have dragged and dropped the sunrise photos for the day, the Eastside Stitchers for the day, and what ever I have been working on to its correct photo file, I grab the whole bunch of photos from my camera card and drag everything to the "Recycle Bin," empty it, and then safely remove hardware from my computer.

However, there is not a folder named, "2013.11.22 Fri"  Why?  Because today, I grabbed the photos from yesterday's Fiber Friday and dropped them in the Recycle Bin, skipping the step where I put them in Eastside Stitchers. 

Of course, everyone was working on new stuff.  It's times like this that I feel old and distracted.

I'm hoping I can remember who was there.  I know I won't remember what they were working on...

I was the first to arrive, and our usual round table was open!  The women practicing the "jazz" dance on the Market Stage were also there.  They kept the sound turned down, however.

JulieMustKnit was second to arrive.  She brought two beautiful hats.  I even remember the yarn.  It was Misti Alpaca in this amazing copper orange.  I think she got it on sale because "people don't like orange."  One of the hats was for charity, Braided Gems Hat by Elizabeth Ravenwood, and Julie was delivering the hat to Zillalatte who is collecting hats for the Cancer Center of Maine.  That hat didn't use the entire skein, so Julie knit the rest up into a Cote-Nord Cap by Amy Christoffers.

Julie gets a big write-up because she has project pages for her stuff.

Who else showed up?  Well, Zillalatte, of course.  She didn't stay to knit, though.  There was some talk about hockey, and of sons who leave their special hockey pants at the rink.  There was more talk about the drive to Renton, WA, where said rink is.  And, there was the hope that the Mountain (what we locals call Mt. Rainier),
would be out for viewing.

Winterpromise31 brought her lace hat.  This hat has sparked a fun thread on the Eastside Stitchers' Boards in Ravelry.  The instructions are written using British knitting terms.  With the help of Skeinherder and Wireknitter, Winterpromise31 was able to figure out the meaning of "yfwd."  There was also much talk about using lifelines.  This is a common discussion in ESS, as many of us love lifelines and live by them.

CodyJunk was knitting something.  Wow, I have no memory of what.  She burns through projects so quickly.  She brought cute hand outs for the Fiber Friday Holiday Party.  We are doing a White Elephant exchange.  Not that we are bringing joke gifts.  We just aren't drawing names.  Bring something handmade and a skein of yarn.  I am NOT going to take a sub job that morning.

Constance9 also brought something to knit.  We spent more time discussing her upcoming Artisan Bead Show, however.  She is showing her amazing beadwork today at Birdtail Beads, in Bellevue, WA, today from 11am - 5 pm.

CathieC was ripping back her Classic Elite yarn she had knit up into swatches for the MacArthur Park Poncho.  Cathie is learning so much with this project.  She is making the leap from just following a pattern, to altering the size to get a better fit.  Of course, this demands a bit of swatching for gauge, then a bit of math to figure how many stitches to cast on.  The swatching also gave her a chance to think about the look of the fabric, and how it would drape depending on the choice of needle size.  The big question now is, will she have enough yarn?

I think (hope) that was everyone.  I had to leave early as the heat is off at my daughter, Allifer's, house.  I went out to help her figure out if it was the thermostat (we have had a few power outages this month) or the furnace.  Unfortunately, it's the furnace.  Ugh!

shaping the planet in the sunrise

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Addicted to Colorwork


R-rated sock pictures further down.  Proceed at your own risk.

When I got up this morning, at about 6:30, I could see the Cascades, the sun was not quite rising, and there was this thin bit of cloud over the top of the mountains.  I went downstairs to spin for one TV show.  Today it was "Elementary,"  I am all caught up on "Project Runway, All Stars," so I am watching other things I have stored on my DVR.  I don't save that much, just "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," and "Dr. Who," usually.  But, last year after the BBC Sherlock Holmes show stopped, I decided to try Elementary, and decided that I really like it.  So, I spun and watched.  The spinning is getting much much better.  Better enough that when the show ended, I really wanted to keep spinning.  I need to finish up the afghan squares for my OWL for the HPKCHC, so I made myself go upstairs.  Wow, one hour had made such a difference.  The thin bit of cloud had become this weird wall of cloud/fog that was blocking our view of the mountains, and seemed to be moving down and into the lake.  It was still "sunny" on our side of the lake, but I had to wonder if the fog/cloud would move in over here.

It did not.  I started working on the latest afghan square, I have five 12 in squares to go.  When I looked up, an hour later, the cloud/fog had become this thin layer on the lake. Look:
It almost looks like ice on the East side of the lake.  But it was not nearly cold enough for ice.  It was this super thin layer of fog.
But, enough about my view.

I tutored today for 2 hours in the morning, trying to get someone ready for an exam where he needs to understand square roots.  Then, I stopped by VanesaPolo's house and visited with the lovely Emma.  She is just about the most perfect little girl.  She is tiny, but just beautifully proportioned, and really starting to fill out.  I forgot my camera, of course, so you are all just going to have to believe me.

After the visit, I headed back for another hour of tutoring, came home to make dinner, then went to my neighbor's house for knitting.  Well, stitching.  I brought an afghan square.

See this is what happens.  I finished those colorwork socks, The Bird, two days ago.  I want to talk about them, but I have already moved on.  Except that I haven't really.

Let me go back to those socks.
I found it way easier to keep the tension even than I thought.  I held both strands of yarn in my left hand (I am a continental knitter).  I simply "Picked" the color I needed from the two wrapped over my left index finger.  Occasionally, I would stop and gently tug the unused yarn to tighten it, then stretch the sock top so it wasn't too tight.  I am sure this was not the best or quickest technique, but it seemed to work for me.

The heel is a short row heel.  Since I was not happy with the last short row heel I knit, there were visible holes where I picked up the wraps, I decided to do the "Fish Lips Kiss Heel," instead.  I have to say that the directions are very easy.  It is much like a regular short row heel in the construction, it is just the "wraps" that are so different.  But, what a difference.  They are very easy to make, and I can not see any holes in my heel.
 The only thing I don't like is that the heel is pretty small.  The fish lips heel directions tell you to stop your pattern about 1 inch before you are ready to make the heel, and just work the back of the sock in stockinette for that inch.  This makes sense if you are doing a lace pattern.  But, I couldn't figure out how it would work for colorwork.  Unless I either cut the black yarn and reattached it, or somehow carried it across that one inch, how would I have both colors ready to knit on the front of the sock?  Both of those ideas seemed to go against the whole point of knitting an inch in stockinette.  So, I didn't do it.

Another change I made was the sole pattern, or bottom of the foot.  The original pattern calls for the same colorwork on top of the foot (the instep) and on the bottom (the sole).  I decided that I would do a checkerboard pattern on the bottom of the foot instead purely for speed. 

It did help me speed up the progress quite a bit.  Before the checkerboard, I was knitting about five rows a day.  Once I started knitting the checkerboard, I was able to complete ten rows at a minimum every day.  It's amazing to me how much faster I knit when I didn't have to look at the pattern.

The socks are cast off, well the toes were Kitchenered, the ends are all woven in, and they were put in the mail yesterday. 

I can't wait to start another colorwork project.  I really need to finish up the afghan.  Then well, it will be December, and I hope to make another Advent Calendar Scarf.  I will have to choose (or chart) something to be made in January.  Maybe a hat and mittens. 

shaping the planet with an urge to do colorwork.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crisp Cold Clear Eastside Stitchers


The sun is rising later and later as we head towards the Winter Solstice.  If I am up before 7 am, it is dark.  Today, I could tell it was going to be clear.  We have had days and days and days of clouds and rain, so the clear blue sky is a welcome treat.  However, without the clouds acting like a blanket holding in warmth, it gets really cold (well, for us) on these clear days, and today was no different. 

When I headed out to Crossroads for the regular Wednesday Eastside Stitchers meet up at 4 pm, there was frost on my car windows.  I had to stop by the Post Office first (it's right across the street from Crossroads) to mail out my The Bird Socks to Moogie, as well as mail out an afghan square for the HPKCHC Weasley Afghan swap.  That is why I left so early.  However, I didn't get to Crossroads until after 5 pm, and when I arrived, I found Skeinherder, Wajio, and a new Eastside Stitcher, Impained, seated at one of the big round tables, knitting away.

What were they knitting?  And, who else joined in?

Skeinherder is still working on stocking ornaments.

Our newest Eastside Stitcher, Impained, brought a baby sleepsack, in some really chunky yarn.
I enjoyed listening to her talking with Wajio about Combination Knitting techniques.

Wajio wouldn't let me take a photo of her socks.  It seems that she has been spending her time ... spinning ... and not knitting, and she has not made much progress since last week.  I should post last week's photo of those socks.  It would serve her right!!

Tara1682 brought...

yes,  Tara is knitting ANOTHER Linen Stitch Scarf.  This is her fourth. It is for her swap target for the Eastside Stitchers Holiday Gift Exchange.  Lucky target!

CathieC brought a new swatch for the poncho she wants to make.  We had a nice discussion about math and knitting. 
JulieMustKnit has started a new sweater, the Katherine Pullover.  We discussed swatching, and how she isn't swatching.  Instead, she has started with the sleeve. This will act as her swatch.  It's a beautiful pattern.
CrunchyNumbers brought a sweater, too.  Ugh, I didn't get the name of the pattern.  It has some really cool cables.  This is one of the front panels.
Wireknitter brought a shawl to frog,
and a new cowl by Susan Ashcroft.

I brought an afghan square, but spent the entire evening winding a mess of Caron One Pound yarn into a neat ball.  Honestly.

shaping the planet with a ball of yarn.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Princeton Triangle Club Cheerleaders


I posted a photo that I got off Facebook of my son, Pookie, dressed in drag as a Princeton Cheerleader posing with other "cheerleaders" at the Princeton-Yale football game last Saturday with NJ Governor Chris Christie.
I didn't take the photo myself, I just copied it from my son's Facebook page.

Well, the photo has gone all over the internet, and even appeared in some online newspapers.  Ha ha ha.  They all have pretty much the same story.  Talk about plagarism.  They mention the Triangle Club, and that they have a long tradition of an all male "kick line."  They don't mention that the tradition comes from the fact that Princeton was an all male school until 1969 when they admitted their first women undergraduates.   The Triangle Club is the oldest all student college drama club in the USA.  The Triangle Club was performing their first show of the year, Zero Gravitas, last weekend, and performed in the half-time show partly to publicize their show, but also as a tradition at Princeton.

Anyway, here are some of the sites that carried the story.

Lord of the Net  

some weird site called:  

15 minutes of fame?  ha ha they don't even bother to name the guys.

Triangle Cheerleaders take over the Yale Band