Thursday, July 31, 2014



I finished the Christmas Balls and Snowflakes for my OWL for the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup.  I really like the ones that I knit with the Dale of Norway yarn much more than the ones where I used the Cascade 220. 

Dale of Norway

Cascade 220

I know I write this all the time, but one of the things I love about the house cup competition is that everything has to be totally finished before you turn it in.  This means that I spent a whole night hooking chains for each ball and attaching them.
If finishing wasn't a requirement, Christmas Eve would have come around, and there would have been no chains.  I know how bad I am about these things.  I sewed this beautiful baptism gown for my kids.  They all wore it.  After each baptism, I embroidered their names and birthdates on the gown.  When I was embroidering Pookie's birthday, I ran out of white embroidery floss.  No kidding, we got the gown out 2 years ago, and the last number in his birth year was still not finished.  I have since finished that date... but that is how I normally am.  It is very hard sometimes to finish up the last little bits when the fun part of the project is finished.

I also love the snowflakes I hooked.  (Notice that they all have thread for hanging sewn on them.)
This was a really successful OWL.  I have been wanting to make these for over a year, and just never got around to it.  I need to thank Skeinherder for getting me interested in the Christmas Balls. And really, I need to thank the HPKCHC Gryffindor Advanced Studies team for encouraging me to propose this as my Care of Magical Creatures OWL.

Next term I might make a sweater for my daughter, Moogie.  Ok, now that I have written it down here, and you are all my witnesses, I have no excuses but to make her a sweater!

shaping the planet with Christmas in July (it's not quite midnight)

Monday, July 28, 2014

2 River Trails


I'm down in Southern California helping my brother plan his memorial service.  I know that sounds horrible.  But it's rather nice sitting with him and talking about what kind of a service he would like to have.  He loves music, and we spent a lot of time today listening to his favorite band, and some of the songs he would like to have at the service.  I think it's really positive for him to approach this head on.  And it's been good for me to talk to my parents and sisters about it, too.  We all have to get used to the idea that he is dying.  That is what happens with ALS.

Although the main reason I am down here seems sad, I am having a nice time visiting my brother and parents.  My older sister is out of town, but will be home tomorrow.  I'm staying at her house (she has air conditioning, which my parents DON'T).  While I've been here, I've been riding her bike every day. I'm just doing 10 mile (16 km) rides, but I hope I'm staying mostly in shape.

I brought a hat which I was designing.  I finished it, and it mostly worked, though I am going to rework some of the design.

I have also been working on squares for the Wedding Afghan.

But what I want to write about tonight is the bike rides.

Before I left, last Friday night, I went for a 30 mile bike ride.  It was amazing.  I rode out along the Sammamish River Trail to meet up with JitteryKnitter who was riding home from work.

We met on the Burke-Gilman Trail, and then I turned around, and we rode back together.  Her DH (darling Husband) was at some soccer fields along the trail between Woodinville and Redmond.  We met up with him, then the three of us rode to Redmond City Hall.  That is where their car was parked.  I wanted to phone the Doc to come pick me up, but it was really crowded there, so I kept on riding.  I made it all the way home, even rode up Heartbreak Hill.

My rides in Orange, CA have been so different!  I am riding along another river trail, the Santa Ana River Trail, but other than having the word "River" in the name, the trails couldn't be more different.

I'm riding my sister's bike, and it is even more Mom-Bike than my bike is.
The houses are very Southern California.  Simple slab foundations, most built in the 50's.
Once I got out of the neighborhood and onto Taft Avenue, I was riding in traffic.  The lanes are wide, and although there are signs that say Bike Route, there are no painted bike lanes.
The roads are almost flat.  The only hill is the overpass that goes over the river.  So instead of riding up that hill, I rode down onto the trail.
The trail is really nicely kept up.  There was an old trail that went right along the edge of the river, but this new trail is back a bit, and kind of undulates.
The river is completely dry.  This is not uncommon in the summer.  The river can have a fast current in the winter or after a big storm.  But, it is usually dry.  This is especially true because of California's drought.

I rode by the Honda Center (formerly known as the Pond), where the Ducks hockey team plays.
I rode across the river on Katella Ave.  It was cloudy and humid today, but no rain.  Poor Southern California.

The next big thing on the trail is Angel Stadium, or as we called it, The Big A.  But there was some huge construction going on between the Honda Center and the Big A.
I Binged it to see what it was, and it is a new train station.

After the train station, you ride by the baseball stadium.

There are trees along both river trails, but even these are so different.  Most of the trees along the Sammamish River Trail are evergreens or poplars.  Here the trees are often eucalyptus or olive trees.

I saw a few homeless encampments.
Last Friday it was clear, and JitteryKnitter and I saw Mt. Rainier as we were riding home.  Today, I could see the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.
Both trails have places to stop for water, or use the restroom.

There is this really strange instillation along the trail.  It is some kind of memorial, but I couldn't quite figure out what or who it is for.  Some Veterans?
It's just there, along the trail between Taft and Katella.

As I rode back through my sister's neighborhood, I didn't see a bald eagle, but I did see a flock of Turkey Vultures
shaping the planet along another river trail.

Yes, my brother is still working!  He is amazing.

Friday, July 25, 2014

10th Annual Stith 'N Pitch


Last night I went to watch the Seattle Mariners play the Baltimore Orioles at the 10th annual Stitch 'N Pitch.  We had a group of 10,  5 Eastside Stitchers, and Family.  Tara1682, Wireknitter, Readnitdream, JulieMustKnit and I brought various dh's and kids to watch the game and enjoy the fiber fun. 

It was freezing!  I brought my number 4 kid, Himes, and we almost brought one of my afghans with us to keep warm.  JulieMustKnit should have brought the beautiful bias afghan she has been knitting.  She could have draped it over her knees to keep warm while knitting.

There was a market set up with soooo many LYSs represented.  It was almost like a mini LYS-Crawl, but both South and North Puget Sound shops were represented.
Rain City Yarns

Fiber Gallery

Country Yarns
As well as:
Apple Yarns

Firwood Farm Alpacas

Acorn Street Shop
The Seattle Knitters Guild had a booth with a drawing for a $50 gift card to ANY local yarn shop.  I didn't win.

Seattle Knitters Guild

 All around us people were knitting or crocheting. The two knitters in front of me were working on colorwork projects, a pair of mittens, and a hat.  What?? I asked them, how could you bring colorwork?  I had brought a very simple hat to knit.  They both laughed and admitted that they had just grabbed wips, and that it had probably been a mistake.  The work was beautiful, though.
Himes wanted to watch the game, so I didn't linger very long in the market.  Tara1682 snagged some gorgeous sale yarns, for some reason, all in the same color of malachite.
hahahaha not really, she also bought some other colors... light green, too I think.

One of the most exciting parts of the game, was when the Mariner's Moose sat in the section next to ours, and tried to knit.
We missed having Schrike in our group as our resident "guy knitter" but about 5 rows below me was a guy knitting wearing what I am pretty sure is a Turn A Square hat by Jared Flood. 
We left after the Seventh Inning Stretch, while the Mariners were behind 0 - 4, because as anyone who has made the mistake of asking my opinion about Major League Baseball knows, I believe that all games should only be seven innings long.  That was the final score as the Mariners lost to the Orioles 0 - 4.

shaping the planet with baseball (ha ha not really, it's with knitting)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Babies, Friends, Knitters, Fun!


We had four babies at the regular Wednesday meet up of Eastside Stitchers.  I snagged a photo of Elena and Caroline, ok, Elena is the photo bug, and Caroline was a bit camera shy.  The gorgeous Emma and Addy were a part of the fun tonight, too.

I got to Crossroads about 6 pm and there were 2 tables full of fiber friends.  So, Who was there, and what were they knitting?

Readnitdream brought her first PAIR (she had made a single sock before) of socks.  She is almost to the toes...
Wajio brought a book of mitten patterns and some navy yarn.  Our stitch group has taken on a new charity.  One of our member's (Truespark) has a family connection to The Detroit Achievement Academy, an inner-city school in Detroit, Michigan.  Truespark's niece is a teacher there.  She asked Truespark if she could knit some hats and mittens for her class as the winters are brutal, and many of the kids do not have warm knitwear.  Well, we were talking about it on our trip to Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Dying Day, and we offered to help Truespark with the knitting.  We have started a thread in the Eastside Stitchers' Group.  To keep the knitwear a bit similar, we are using navy and white, and wool for warmth (regular or superwash).  Other than the colors, we are free to choose any pattern we like.  I'm hoping we can make enough for the whole class.

Anyway, Wajio was casting on some mittens for this charity project.
GwenS has finished her Harvest sweater.  Well, all but the buttons.
Honestly, with all GwenS has to do (work, a baby, a new house, ....) I don't know when she has time to knit, but look at this beautiful sweater!

Guess what Puzan was casting on?

Can you say c-o-w-l?
JitteryKnitter was back at work on her blanket.
VanesaPolo was working on a new design.  Shhh !  I had to take a partial photo since the design isn't finished, yet.
We had a guest Eastside Stitcher tonight.  One of Hvrdmnky's friends is visiting from Colorado, and Hrvdmnky brought her, along with the beautiful babies, to stitch night.  Threadpanda was knitting a beautiful sweater by Norah Gaughan, Sislana.

She is using a really interesting yarn.  It is hard to see in the horrible photo, but it has a really pretty shimmer.  The yarn is Berroco Elements.  It is a wool/nylon blend, but not the usual blend.  Actually, the nylon forms a sort of icord tube, and the wool is BLOWN into the tube.  The wool is not spun at all but is like ... well, fluff.  The nylon is clear?  I guess, and the color of the wool shows through.  But the nylon makes the yarn shimmer and shine.  It is really pretty.

I am not sure if Hrvdmnky actually did any knitting.... but she came!  and that is half the battle.

Tomorrow night is the Stitch and Pitch at the Seattle Mariners Game.  Our weather has turned cold, and I hope it is not too cold at the game.

shaping the planet with new friends, babies, and yarn.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bus AND Bike Commuter!


Today I took a Metro bus from the downtown Bellevue Transit Center to Northgate where I have been working all week.  I successfully got my bike on the bus bikerack (ok, another passenger helped).  Once we were on the road,  I KNIT on the bus!  Just like my bus knitting friends, GwenS and Tara1682.  I worked on a purple hat for charity.  I needed something pretty mindless.

When we got to the Northgate Transit center, I rode the 3 blocks to my job.  THEN... at 4 pm when I got off work, I rode my bike home!

Ok, the last 6 miles or so were agony.  When o when will my butt stop hurting ??  But I made it.  I had to walk up Heartbreak Hill, but that's ok.  It's all about getting there.

Also, I want to say that I just love our biking trail system.  The Burke-Gilman trail was wonderful.  And I just love riding along the Sammamish River Trail.  One funny thing:  I wore a bright yellow long sleeve t-shirt since I wasn't sure how long it was going to take me to get home, and I wanted to be easily seen if it was getting late (it took me about 3 hours and I got home at about 7 pm).  As I rode along the river, I kept going through swarms of these black gnats.  First I wished I had glasses on, as they almost got in my eyes more than once.  Then, I wished I had on a different color shirt, as the gnats seemed attracted to the yellow.  I had to keep brushing them off me.  Gross.

My butt hurts.  My back hurts (my backpack was too full...) and I am exhausted.  So I am off to bed early after hooking only one round on the current afghan square.

But, I DID IT!

shaping the planet with a sore butt, once again.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Next Generation


So I have been watching a lot of Star Trek: Next Generation.  This show has great memories for me.  First, I remember watching it with my husband when we were first married and lived in St. Louis, Missouri while he was in Med. School.  Also, my brother is a huge Star Trek fan, and when I am down visiting him, we always watch some episode of one of the many off shoots.

Anyway, why am I talking about this show in my knit/crochet blog?  other than I have been watching it while knitting and crocheting....

Because there was an episode with... KNITWEAR!

So here is the show's set up:

The Enterprise comes upon a distress beacon that is using a code that hasn't been used in centuries.  They figure out it is from a ship called the Mariposa, by looking at its cargo manifest.  It's the only record they can find of the ship.  As the Captain (Piccard) reads down the manifest curiously, he notes that they had spinning wheels on board.  Data (the android and my favorite character) gets a funny look on his face (his "I'm checking what this is in my computer memory" look) then starts reciting what a "spinning wheel" is. 

"a device used for spinning yarn or thread... Perhaps they were planning for the worst, Sir."  They were a ship of Utopians, trying to live close to nature.  They have no power source on the planet, and seem to have been cut off for 300 years.  They have to get them off the planet and bring them on the ship to save them.

They beam the first group on board and they bring farm animals including chickens, pigs, and a sheep!
The women are wearing some interesting shawls,
My favorite piece of knitwear was the cabled crop top worn by the main female Irish character:
She also wears a beautiful top of what looks a bit like Irish Clones lace covered by a triangular shawl.
I could never quite get a screen shot of that shawl. 

There is also a couple of spinning wheels in the show. In the screen shot above, you can just see one of them.  I think the set dressers had no idea what to do with the wheels, because look at how they have the fiber draped on one of them in this screen shot:
And what the heck is Piccard doing?

It's always fun to spot interesting knitwear in a show I love.  It was especially fun for this show since they mostly wear polyester!

Live long and prosper!
shaping the universe with wool