Tuesday, September 30, 2014

If you buy yarn for a class, does it count as stash?


This Sunday I will be attending the Nordic Knitting Conference in Ballard, WA.  I have wanted to go to this conference forever, but it is only held every 2 years, and the last time, I was down in So. California helping out at my brother's house.  The time before that, I didn't have any knitting friends, so was hesitant to go by myself... yes I know, kind of pathetic.

I am taking a class on choosing colors for fair isle knitting by Mary Jane Mucklestone called Fresh Fair Isle.  Here is the class description:
Liven up your Fair Isle knitting by exploring fresh new colorways. Color is the big fun – yet a big fear for many. This course will introduce the basics of color theory and how you can use its principals to guide your color choices. We will learn about the use of color over the years in traditional Fair Isle Knitting, and move beyond, developing our own new color schemes. Knitting a simple stranded wristlet will quickly illustrate these concepts. A classroom situation is the best possible learning experience; we will learn as much studying the color choices of our classmates as from our own selections. An exciting day of color experiments await you!
 We have to bring 3 - 8 (or more) colors of fingering weight shetland wool yarn, graph paper and color pencils.  I have fingering weight yarn... but not shetland wool fingering weight.  I ran down to The Knittery, in Renton, and had a really hard time stopping at 8 different colors.  They have a wonderful shelf full of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift.  Not only do they have lots of colors on the shelves, but they have all the colors Jamieson's makes on a color card so you can see the yarns and pick other colors if you need to.  It was especially tough to choose colors since I am not sure what I will make, so I tried to get a variety.

The homework is to knit 1 inch of ribbing for the stranded colorwork wristlet.  I can't wait.

Definitely more on this later!

shaping the planet with new yarn that somehow was not added to my stash...

Sunday, September 28, 2014



I once heard a poet talk about editing his writing.  Sorry, I don't remember who, but he told this story about how one morning his wife asked him to write a note for their son explaining that he had missed school the day before because he had been sick.  The poet wrote a quick note, then, on rereading it, decided to change the wording a bit to make it more clear.  An hour later, and on the 20th edit of the note, he looked up to see that his wife and son had already left for school, and his wife had written her own note that said, "Please excuse John for his absence yesterday.  He was sick."  We are never satisfied with our work.  There is always Something that can be tweaked just a bit to make it even better.

I love my design for the Vortex Square.  Here is the original design:
I changed it a bit when I wrote up the pattern because I didn't think it Squared enough.
I am making an entire afghan of this square for my next God-child, my oldest God Daughter.  I decided to go back to the original design as I thought the 2nd version was too lumpy looking.
I like the way this looks.  I finished 2 squares and hooked them together.  Then, I started making squares to donate to the Gryffie Squares.  These are blankets made for members of Gryffindor (my house in the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup) who are expecting a baby, or need a comfort blanket.  I thought, maybe I can make the swirl part even bigger.
Ugh!  I like this version even more.
Can you see the difference?  I can.

I have now made 2 Gryffie squares, and started the God-Daughter afghan over.
I don't know what to do with the first 2 squares I hooked together... But I really like the newest version.  I am sticking with it.  I am not going to edit this design again.  Today.

shaping the planet with squares.
It's spider season

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Really Fast Wednesday Night with Eastside Stitchers

I ran up to Crossroads for just an hour of Eastside Stitchers regular meet up because of THE DESSERT PARTY my darling husband was giving tonight.  I had a chance to grab a quick photo of Addie, thank goodness.

I also got to see Puzan's finished Featherweight Cardigan. It is just lovely, and fits beautifully. 

Puzan and JitteryKnitter were both working on hats for The Detroit Achievement Academy.

We need to have our hats and mittens finished by early October, so we are all trying to get our donations ready.

GwenS brought the Antler sweater she is knitting for Addie.  Does the yarn look familiar?  It is the same Tosh color (Tart) that Puzan used for her cardigan.

Quite a few Eastside Stitchers are knitting the new Exit 0 Shawl by Laura Ayler Designs.   We have a thread going in our group on Ravelry, and they are knitting it as a sort of KAL.

CathieC has not cast on yet as she still wants to swatch, but she brought her yarn choices (you need 3 colors) to show and tell.
Wireknitter and GwenS have both cast on.
Just as I was leaving, Anerenbe arrived.  She is not knitting the Exit 0, but is working on Zilver by Lisa Mutch.

I had to run back home to finish getting ready for the Doc's guests.  They were all golfers on his "team" for a neighborhood tournament this weekend.  Really great guys.

shaping the planet with yummy desserts, because I really love the Doc.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

3 Short Posts


Fall is here.  This was the sunrise this morning over the Cascade Mountains.. (This not one of the posts, just a great sunrise.)

1. Dodeca...WHAT?

When my first child was born, I call him "Number 1 Son," my nieces and nephews came to visit.  Katie, who was 8 at the time, spent the whole visit trying to get him to say, "Dodecahedron."  She told me that Lisa Simpson (of the animated TV show, The Simpsons) tried to have her baby sister, Maggie's, first word be "Dodecahedron."  I do not know if this is true.  I never saw that episode.  But, the word, Dodecahedron, stayed in my family's vocabulary, and we often say it as a joke when we welcome new babies into the fold.

This summer, I tutored two high school students in Geometry, and when they did the 3-D unit (Volumes, Surface Area, etc.) we studied the 5 Platonic Solids which are these "famous" shapes made from regular faces or hedrons.  Of course one is the Dodecahedron which is made of 12 (the dodeca part) regular pentagons.

I used the African Flower motif from Heidi Bears.

2. Sunday Morning Knitting
Sad part:  I was the only one who showed up.
Happy part:  I got a lot done on the Weasley Sweater that I am knitting for Moogie.

3. Produce Bag

I did a test knit for Kateclysm of her new produce bag patterns, N. M. P. B. This stands for No More Plastic Bags.  I love the bag I made.
 Her booklet of patterns has many different tops and closures, I made the "bunny ears" top.  She also has different choices of mesh. 
 My bag looked small, but it fit 5 very large pieces of fruit:  3 apples and 2 nectarines.
These aren't meant to hold a Costco size bag of apples, just what you would buy at a regular grocery store.

I used cotton yarn that is washable, so I can just throw the bag in the washing machine if I need to, and reuse it.  No More Plastic Bags!

shaping the planet with a new produce bag.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bike Ride - Day 2


On Day 2 of our Bike Ride from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria, we woke to rain.  This was not a drizzle but a steady gentle ... RAIN.  We had been worried about this, but we had bought water-resistant jackets that zipped up into small pouches just in case.

Moogie and I learned an important tip - Water-Resistant does not mean Water-Proof.  We were wet the whole day.  The saddlebags on the bikes were water-resistant, too.  Ugh.  Next time we will bring large plastic trash bags to put in the saddle bags for wet days.

The temperature was mild, though, and we were never uncomfortable.  I'm not sure if it was that because we were riding the bikes the exercise kept us warm?  maybe, but we still had a blast, and this was probably our favorite day.

There were less forests in this segment, and more, well, castles.

We rode from our hotel right on the Danube at Eferding to the city of Linz, Austria.

See how we were on the south side of the Danube, and then the map has us crossing to the north side, but Linz is also on the south side, so you ride across a bridge to get back to Linz?  Well, Moogie and I knew better than the map, OR the signs.
We decided to keep going on the south side of the river because it would be shorter.  First it led us to a part that was not paved.  As we were riding, I kept thinking, "Are there bears in Austria?"  Then we found the road, but it was a ROAD, not a bike path.  We could see Linz just ahead, so we got in the right lane (not a bike lane) and went on.  My sister bikes to work in So. Cal. (I used her bike when I was down there this summer), and she told me, "People don't get hit by cars from behind, they get hit from the side at intersections, so don't be afraid to ride on the right side of the road."  Since I was wearing the bright yellow rain gear I took the back position and Moogie, who was much more fashionably dressed in black, took the lead.  It was so scary riding along that road in the rain.  But, we made it.
Our "Short-Cut"
We followed signs to the SchlossMuseum, locked our bikes in the bike rack there, and spent a wonderful two hours.
View from the SchlossMuseum of Linz
The art was mostly very old, or super modern.  This was Moogie's favorite.  It shows an exorcism.

One of my favorite pieces was this chess set.

I kept hoping that I would find some knitting, but the closest I got was this wool and weaving exhibit.
Downtown Linz is a mix of old and very modern.

It was so interesting how many of the signs were a mixture of English and German.  We didn't stop for lunch there because we had had such a great breakfast at the hotel.  I have probably already written this but it bears repeating, the breakfasts were amazing at every hotel along the way.  The breads were so fresh, there was what had to be homemade yogurt at the first 3 hotels, lots of fresh fruit, real eggs, thinly sliced meats and wonderful cheeses.  Even with the miles of riding, we were never hungry for lunch until around 2 pm.

We decided to ride on and find a cafe in another town along the way.  We crossed the river in Linz to the north side and continued on.

shaping the planet in a slightly damp way.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm just saying this...

the Doc rarely reads this blog.  O dear.  He told me today that we are having 16 people over Wednesday evening for "dessert."  This means that I need to clean up the yarn explosion in the living room where I craft, and get the upstairs ready.  I said, "what desserts are we having?"  he said, "I don't know, I thought I'd stop at the store and buy some."

I'm seriously tempted to let him do that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Knit Night


The Wednesday Night Group of Eastside Stitchers met as usual at Crossroads in Bellevue, WA.  We had 2 visitors (not including the beautiful Addy).

First, WireKnitter brought a spinning friend who just happens to be a Member of Eastside Stitchers.  traciehome joined us at the round tables near Half-Price Books and Starbucks.
traciehome brought a beautiful wrap in Malabrigo Rios named L'Enveloppe by Sally Melville.   Wireknitter brought her lace square wrap Travel Shawl by Veronik Avery.
Our other visitor was ReadnitDream's daughter.  She modeled one of the Anemone Hats by Cat Bordhi that ReadnitDream brought for show and tell.

Wajio brought another pair of mittens for The Detroit Achievement Academy.
JulieMustKnit finished (all but weaving in  - and blocking) her beautiful Dapple Cowl in Madelinetosh.
Addy's Mom, GwenS, is knitting an Antler Cardigan in Tart I believe.
Tara1682 is starting a new...
can you guess?
a Linen Stitch Scarf!  of course.

Just a super fun group.

shaping the planet with knitting buddies.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Flat Harry


This term for the Harry Potter Knitting Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC), my Pride, the Sugar Quills, is doing a "Flat Swap."

We did this last Winter Term, and it was so much fun, that we decided to do it again.  I made 3 "flat" characters:  Flat Ron, Flat Hermione, and Flat Harry.  Here they are on my deck with the Cascade Mountains and Lake Sammamish in the the background.

I will sign the back of each "Flat" and mail them off to 3 of my Pride members with some flat(ish) presents.  Then they will take photos of some place or places where they live, post those photos in our Pride Thread so we can see where the Flats visited, and mail a package on to a new person.  It is such a fun way to get to know each other, and it is really fun to see the places everyone takes the Flats.  Last time I took the three flats to the Space Needle.  This time, I stayed on the Eastside, and brought them to Sunday knitting at Panteras where they helped BlueBerryMary, BlueWolfWalking and me with our knitting.  Hermione helped BlueberryMary knit some socks (2-at-a-time).  Harry helped BlueWolfWalking with her shawl.  And Ron helped me knit the beginning of a Weasley Sweater for Moogie.  He is an expert at those sweaters.
Then, on the way home, we stopped at Microsoft's Redmond Headquarters.
We did not see Bill Gates... But I introduced them to the magic of computers.  Ok, Hermione already knew quite a bit about them.  Finally, we went for a hike on one of the trails in my neighborhood.
It reminded them a bit of their time in the woods hiding from the Snatchers, but in a much more friendly way.

If you want to check out their travels, you are welcome to visit our Pride Thread.  It should be a fun swap.

shaping the planet with flat friends.