Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Knitting, Short Training Ride, and Finished Tour de Sock Stage 3 Photos


First the bike ride.  I have been feeling sore for the last few days, not horribly, but just ... sore.  I didn't go for a ride on Friday (I told myself to go after work, but I didn't), and then yesterday, as I was finishing my Roll The Bones socks, I kept saying to myself, go after you finish this section, go after you finish This section, ok, go after you finish THIS section, until it was too late to go.  So, I made myself go even though I haven't finished the sleeves of the baby sweater that I need to finish today.

So it was a short ride because I felt sore right away.  I warmed up a bit, but, I am lazy and I don't want to hurt myself.  I decided to go the other way on the lake road (West Lake Samammish Blvd.), clockwise.  There is a bike lane only on the west side of the street if I go counterclockwise, the way I have usually been riding.  It is a wide lane, but still it feels weird to ride back against the traffic.  Once you cross into Redmond, going clockwise, there are bike lanes on both sides of the street, so I went that way.  I could tell immediately that it was going to be tough.  There is a slight incline right away, but then a fairly good downhill bit.  All I could think was that if I rode too far, I would never make it back up that hill.  I rode to Idylwood park, which is a public beach park on Lake Samammish, turned around, and came back.  I got all the way down to first gear on that incline, but I didn't have to get off and walk, so I felt pretty good.  It was only a total of 4 miles, but, it felt like uphill almost the entire way.

Sunday Morning Knitting

We met in the regular restaurant part of Panera's in Redmond instead of in the meeting room as another group had reserved it for 10, and we didn't want to move.  We don't always have enough people to reserve the room, and hate to keep people from using it if our group is small.  The lighting isn't great in the regular dining room, well, it's fine for dining, but not great for knitting, but it's not horrible.

The best part of the knitting was that Hvrdmnky came with BABIES!
 BlueWolfWalking was working on a shawl.
VanesaPolo was doing math (geometry) and swatching a new shawl design.
Puzan was working on her Featherweight Cardigan. and Jittery Knitter brought a huge squishy garterstitch afghan by Stephan West.
After feeding the girls, Hrvdmnky had a chance to work on a baby sweater.
Such a great way to start the day.

Roll The Bones

I wore my finished Roll the Bones socks to knitting.  I just love them, and the fit great.
The gusset decreases are on the bottom, and are included in the pattern:
Beena likes them, too (or just wanted to know what I was doing...)
shaping the planet with a bike ride.

Finished my Stage 3 Tour de Sock Socks

These are teaser photos because by the time I finished them, it was too dark for decent photos.  I was trying them on to see if I was close enough for the toes.

I'm wearing them to Panera tomorrow morning.

shaping the planet with new socks!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where knitting and biking meet...



Today I worked at this little job where I opened a box, checked to see if there was a charger AND a cord inside, closed the box, and put it in a packing crate.  There were 8 crates of these boxes. It was supposed to take 3 hours, but I finished in 1.  Ha ha ha ha ha.  The whole time I was working, I kept thinking that I should start a blog called, "Ridiculous Temp Jobs."

When I finished, I stuffed my bike into the Doc's Suburban, and took it to Performance Bicycle Shop on 24th in Bellevue.  The back tire was seriously frayed and I had to get a new one before I rode again.  I had my knitting with me, and while the guy looked at the bike, I took it out to work on a little purple baby hat I am making.  I love these hats as they are perfect knitting to bring for when I have to wait somewhere.  The guy looked at my knitting and said, "Are you making a hat?" 

Wow, most people think these little hats are mittens or something ridiculous.  So I said, "yes, and how did you know?" and he said that he is a knitter!  We had some fun talking about Ravelry, and just knitting in general, and of course I invited him to Eastside Stitchers and the Guild.  He showed me his tattoo:
Pacific Northwest Knitters are serious people.

Then, this afternoon, JitteryKnitter picked me and my bike up, and took us to Redmond City Hall.  We rode our bikes together on the Samammish River Trail.  This beautiful trail undulates along the... Samammish River.  It is relatively flat (yay).  I was very slow, but JitteryKnitter was kind.  I made it about 3 miles before I turned around.  There was a pretty good head wind on the way back, but it felt great on my hot face.

So the total ride today was about 6 miles.  I need to work a bit on speed, and endurance.  Ok, I need to work on everything. 

Here is my latest message from Pookie from Beijng.



One of my teachers just told me a joke. (There are three summer Chinese language programs in Beijing: the Princeton one, a Harvard one, and a Duke one)

Three students are sitting in a bar. One is at Princeton in Beijing, one Harvard, and one Duke. 
The Duke student says, "when we finish classes we can use our personal time to explore Beijing."
The Harvard student responds, "what's personal time?"
The Princeton student asks, "what's "finish classes?""

Ok, I'm on the gussets of the Tour-de-Sock Stage 3 socks, and need to get back to them.

shaping the planet with new knitter/biker friends

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Made it Home!


Quick Training Note:

I rode my bike (well walked again quite a bit) up to Crossroads tonight for the regular Wednesday meet up of Eastside Stitchers.  I had to walk up Northup until it was flat enough (at about 170th Ave NE), but I rode through my neighborhood, then from the flatter part of Northup to Crossroads.  The way home was super easy as it was downhill most of the way and I totally coasted.  I told the group that they would know whether or not I made it home because I would post it on my blog, so well, I made it!

Tara1682 brought a few wonderful projects. The first is Iznik I heart you shawl.  The beads are so small. 

Then she was wearing another beautiful shawl.  It was very tough to get a decent photo.
She also worked a bit on her Bias Before and After, but I didn't get a photo of that.

Readnitdream was also working with laceweight yarn and beads.  She is making a beaded cowl for a friend.
I'm pretty sure it's the Abstract Leaves Cowl

Wajio is back from the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon where she had the great luck to watch Judith Mackenzie judge fleeces.  It was like an amazing class on what makes a good fleece.

She brought he latest socks.  She has made huge progress and is almost at the heels.  They will probably be Fish Lips Kiss shortrow heels.
BlueBerryMary brought the cabled sweater she is knitting for her grandson.  She is working on the sleeves.

Wireknitter brought a lace shawl, too.  This group loves lace.  This looks round but is a square pattern.
This sparked a great discussion of how to begin a circular project with a magic loop, like what we use in crochet.

Before I left to ride home, DomesticShorthair arrived!  She brought a really interesting cabled scarf, which she proceeded to frog then cast back on and by the the time I left, she had about 2 inches.
I'm sorry I didn't get the name of the pattern, as it is these really cool intertwining cables that will look like the bark of a tree.

shaping the planet from a bike

Sleepless in...

I am way too old for this.

Doc left this morning for Las Vegas for 2 days.  Our niece on his side is celebrating her 21st birthday.  Doc's sister, father, the birthday girl, birthday girl's brother (our #2 Godson), and... not sure who all else, are headed to Vegas for a few days of fun. 

I knew this day was coming. I needed to finish an afghan for Godson #2 who just graduated from college and was accepted into Med School.  We planned for Doc to deliver the afghan in Vegas. But, I was knitting socks.  So, starting Sunday, I hooked three 12 in. squares, hooked everything together into 5 rows of 5 squares, then last night I started hooking the rows together.  I wanted the afghan to be close to 5 ft x 6 ft, so I hooked the squares into rows with no spaces, then added some rows of double crochet in between each row.  This meant a row of red on the top and bottom of each row of 5 squares.  Then, I joined the rows together with a double crochet row in black.  This added about 3 inches in between each row, so at least one more foot of length.  I am not kidding, I finished all of this at about 4 am.  I noticed that it seemed to be getting lighter, and sure enough, the sun was rising, and I had not done a border.  I still had some weird second wind going, and I was binge watching the latest season of Orange is the New Black, though with the sound super low, so I decided to do a simple border row of double crochet in black. Then I crashed in bed at about 5:30 am.

The above photo is the only one I have of the finished afghan, because the Doc packed it before I got up at 9 to quickly shower and drive him to the airport.

I do have photos of the last three squares that I hooked.  I designed all of them, and while they don't all work perfectly as designed, I really like the basic patterns used, and hope to made another version of each.

Right now I'm calling them:
Clown Collar


 and Lace 1
I need to get back to my Tour de Sock socks...

shaping the planet with very little sleep

Tuesday, June 24, 2014



hahahahahahahahahhahaha, we had our Steeking Class last night at the Eastside Knitters Guild regular June meeting at Crossroads Community Room, taught by the awesome and talented VanesaPolo.  I took all these photos (when I was not crocheting then cutting my own knitting!), and when I got home, I saw that the photos are pretty much just people's knitting, not actually the people who attended the class.  Oh, well, I guess this blog is about knitting anyway, right?

Here is one photo I took before the class began:
We filled the table space, and even had to put some chairs along the wall for late comers.

The instructions were clear, and VanesaPolo moved around the room helping anyone with a question.

So, instead of Who attended, here is some of the knitting that was cut.

The main things I learned were, crochet down into the middle of the column that will be cut, and up into the middle of the next column catching one leg of each stitch.  Make sure that your crocheted stitches (you are slip stitching) are tight.  And crochet a few stitches along the bottom of the piece then up the column, then along the top of the piece. 

shaping the planet with a steeks.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Training Ride June 23, 2014

I had to walk up the SE 26th St. Hill, and again on 164th right before Main as I just looked at that incline and said, "NO."

Ok, I did a lot of walking and pushing the bike, and it was only 7.5 miles (11.9 km) but it seemed a lot longer.


Surprise, Swatches, Junkies, and China

Good Morning:

I had a busy day of knitting yesterday, the first official day of summer.  I started the morning at the Sunday meet up of Eastside Stitchers at Panera's in Redmond.

VanesaPolo brought the most beautiful EZ Baby Surprise Jacket.
She is using Malabrigo Rios.  The colors just glow.  She is adding a hood, which is one of the modifications offered on the new publication of this timeless pattern.
She has finished the edges with applied icord, and it just looks so couture.
Puzan and JitteryKnitter were also there, but they were knitting swatches.  Jittery Knitter brought her swatch for the steeking class that VanesaPolo is teaching tonight at the Eastside Knitters Guild June meeting.
She also brought a swatch for a sweater she is knitting in a sweater class at Tolt Yarn and Wool.
The sweater she is planning has colorwork, but the instructions have her knitting it flat.  We will see if the steeking class encourages her to knit in the round and Cut Her Knitting!

Puzan was a so working on a swatch.  She is taking the same class (such lucky knitters, having to spend time at Tolt every Saturday), and is planning a Featherweight Cardigan in a beautiful chocolate. 

I brought my Stage 3 Socks for Tour-de-Sock, Roll The Bones.
I had finished my "swatch" for the steek class on Friday. I am making a colorwork baby pullover using the pattern, Classic Baby Sweater by Jean Flores.  I plan to steek the sleeve openings. But, after discussing the process with VanesaPolo, I decided to frog it back to where the I started the steek guides, and redo it.  The instructions, free on Ravelry, have you increase just one stitch on each side for the steek.  VanesaPolo recommended that I increase that to 5 or 7 stitches on each side.  I decided to add 7 stitches on each side where the sleeves will go. 

Last night, I ripped out half the sweater, and started over.  I am not quite finished, as I need to bind off the neckline, but I should be able to finish this up before noon, easily.

After the Sunday morning meet up, I drove to downtown Bellevue, and joined my Tour de Sock Team, Team Junkie, at Paddy Coyne's.   This was our end of World Wide Knit in Public Week.
I joined kateclysm, Raintownknitter, Wireknitter, and GwenS for some serious drinking sock knitting.
The beautiful Addie joined us for the food and drink.

What an amazing day of knitting.  When I got back home, there was an email from Pookie who has arrived in China.  He is having some trouble connecting to the internet at Beijing Normal University where he is studying Chinese for the next 8 weeks, because he didn't bring an ethernet cable, and as he puts it, "the wifi sucks."  I hope to post regular updates/guest blogs from him.  Right now I have no photos, but I do have permission to post his last email.








Hey mom!

Today we took the language pledge, so we can no longer speak English under pain of expulsion. We had a tour of campus by the teachers after, and I had my first major problem: I was trying to ask how to say humid, but in the process realized I didn't know how to say air, so I just said "you know, everything is water" and the teacher thought I meant rain, and it was super frustrating. 

I'm a little nervous because there are so many words I don't know, and I'm afraid it will be super hard to talk with my friends and order at restaurants and stuff. 

Beijing is really nice though, the temperature has been relatively temperate, and the sky is even blue today!

In the program, the ratio is one teacher for every 2.4 students which is insane, so I think my Chinese will get super good.

I forget how the Chinese end their letters, so I'll just say I love you. 


Ps can you put a little money in my account?

shaping the planet with a Chinese speaking/writing son

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Training Bike Ride


I am training for a bike tour in Europe at the end of the summer.  Moogie and I are planning to ride along the Danube River to Vienna.  Our ride will take 6 days, and the longest we will ride in one day will be about 38 miles.  I am training for this vacation, since I haven't really ridden a bike in about 10 years!  I hope to post my training progress here to keep myself going.

Today I rode 7 miles, from the bottom of my hill around the lake to Vasa Park.  It was 3.5 miles one way.  When you drive a car on W. Lk. Samm. Blvd. it seems really flat.  I can tell you that it is not.

shaping the planet with lots of pedaling.

P.S. My next goal is to make it to the round about  near I 90 and Sunset Elementary School.


Happy Summer Solstice!

I wanted to show you the three bibs that I hooked for Schrike and ErikaRS.

I am using some Sugar 'n Cream cotton in worsted weight and single crochet.  Once I had the general "bib" shape figured out, it has been fun to play with colors and color blocking. The first bibs I made had a snap closure.  Then I figured out how to make a button closure instead.  Then I changed the pattern again to have a tie closure.  I think this is easiest for the parent, and has no parts that can fall off.

So, the first bib is a Gryffindor Scarf Bib.

Then I decided to make what I am calling "Interlocking" bib.
Pookie said that it looks like Legos.

The last is my "Slant" bib.

Since they are all cotton, they are easy to wash.  And the bits of color just add fun.

It looks like it is going to be a glorious day for the solstice.  The sun won't set until after 9 pm tonight. Enjoy.

shaping the planet with sunshine.