Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fire Alarm!! Empties Crossroads


What a crazy night for the Eastside Stitchers.

I got to Crossroads a bit after 5 pm, just as Wajio was arriving.  We pushed 2 tables together and sat down to knit.  GwenS showed up a bit after, with Darling Addie and her DD in tow.  At about 5:30 a fire alarm started blaring, and the security walked through the mall, ushering everyone out.  Wireknitter had arrived by this time.  So most of us grouped together at the front of the mall, and waited to see how long it would take until the mall reopened.

I had to run home to get something for Wireknitter that I had forgotten, and when I returned, there were clumps of people waiting around the mall entrances, both workers and shoppers.  I saw BlueBerryMary and Dreamweaver19 walking laps around the mall, getting their steps in while waiting.  When the employees told us that the mall would not be opening again that night, we decided to head behind the mall, to a strip of restaurants (Dough Zone is my favorite dumpling house!).  We got food at the various little restaurants
mostly from Fuji Teriyaki (because they had outdoor seating), grabbed a table outdoors, and sat down to eat and knit.

GwenS is swatching a sweater for her Fall OWL.
BlueBerryMary was putting the first sleeve on her lace henley baby dress.  The dress is inside out here, so you can't really see how sweet the lace is.
Dreamweaver19 is knitting ginormous yarn on ginormous needles.  She is making hot pads/trivets.
Wireknitter is knitting another test knit.  I believe it is a scarf?
Hrvdmnky is making a Hitchhiker with some gorgeous striping yarn from Fresh From the Cauldron.
I, too, was swatching for my OWL.  GwenS told me that my fabric is too stiff, so I will move up 2 needle sizes, and knit some more.  This is the purpose of swatching...

When I got home, and logged on to Ravelry, I saw that ReadnitDream and DomesticShorthair both made it to Crossroads, but couldn't find anyone because the mall was closed.  I am so sorry that we missed them!

shaping the planet with yarny friends.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Moving to Makers

I'm officially insane.

I'm bringing enough stuff to a 3 hour class on designing scarves and shawls with Stephen West and StevenBe at Makers Mercantile, that I might as well just move in.  See, if I have the wrong yarns, or forget to bring a tool, I can't just run downstairs to the Cave and grab something different, so I have to bring all the stuff.

I have 4 project bags.  The green one (which I won on the 2013 North Puget Sound LYS Tour - Woot! yay for me and CathieC) has all the equiptment: my interchangeable needles, 2 extra circulars in size 1 and 1.5 just in case I think size 2 needles are too big for the right tension, scissors, stitch markers and holders, 2 notebooks (one with regular paper the other with graph paper), a set of color markers, 2 pens, 2 tape measures, a pad of post it notes... and maybe more)
The western theme bag (thanks VanesaPolo!) has the yarn for my Adult shawl.

The purple cat bag has the third set of yarns.  Yes, I have put together another set of possible yarns.  These are all from a giant bag of yarn I got at an estate sale.  The knitter actually died 10 years ago, and her son was finally going through all her stuff and trying to sell it.  I waited until the last day and he gave me as much as I wanted for free.  Honestly, if I had agreed to take it all, I think he might have paid me.  I have been really embarrassed for the Doc to see how much yarn is in the bag, so it has been kind of hidden...  A lot of the yarn is textured or bulky, and there is a fair amount of acrylic blends, but I just couldn't resist.  Anyway, for this possible scarf/shawl, I was definitely influenced by Wajio's Yellowstone River Scarf.
The last bag has my Crayon Shawl/Scarf yarn combination. 
O, and I'm also bringing my Advent Calendar Scarf from last Christmas to share.  We are supposed to bring something to share, and well, that's the coolest thing I have ever knit.

shaping the planet with way too much yarn stuff.

I just decided to also bring the latest pair of Simple Socks that I'm knitting for my brother in case I get there too early, so I have something to knit.  Because I will be nervous just waiting if I can't knit.  So now that is 5 bags.  I need to leave before I think of another bag to bring.


I am taking the Sharves class today at Makers Merchantile.  Stephen West and StevenBe are on tour across the country, and they are stopping at Makers to teach a few classes this weekend.  The class is called:  The Sharves: New Perspectives on Shawl and Scarf Knitting.  We are supposed to be learning construction of unusal scarves and shawls, how to design our own, or deviate from a pattern using multiple yarns.

We have to bring a minimum of three different yarns that we think go together.  I spent all day yesterday trying to put together palettes. I think I need to bring a few more caked skeins so I have some different weights.  Why don't I just bring my ENTIRE STASH???  I feel like the yarn choices before the class are a test of my design abilities, and that I am already failing.  I kept sending Moogie (she had just arrived back in New York after her trip to Lisbon), photos of yarn combinations with the caption, "Do these look good together?"  She kept saying, "JUST PICK A GROUP THAT YOU LIKE AND WOULD WEAR!!"

My two favorite combinations are pictured here.  The top group is my "Adult Shawl."  The bottom group is my "Crayons Shawl."  The maroonish yarn in the top group is KnitPicks bare that I dyed at our Dying Day at VanesaPolo's house 2 summers ago, and the blue and green yarns below I dyed at Dye Day at Blue Moon Fiber Arts last summer.  All my choices are fingering weight.
Now I need to find something bulky?  worsted? lace weight?  ugh. 

shaping the planet with too much yarn.

Fiber Friday Rocks


This is why knitters (and by knitters I mean crocheters, too!) are so awesome.  One of our regular Fiber Friday members, Winterpromise31, and her husband have adopted a pre-teen from Taiwan. (Read about their journey on her BLOG)  Well, when members of the Eastside Stitchers have babies, we all knit for them and have a shower.  Well, as this was an older "baby" we decided to make her an afghan.  After all, she is coming from a pretty warm climate to our ... a bit colder ... climate.  It's not like she is being adopted to Boston, but it will be colder here this winter than it will be in Taiwan.  Hence the afghan.  Also, it was a fun chance for the members of the group to knit or crochet a square or two (or three!).  I framed them all with a granny stitch so they were the same size, and then hooked all the squares together.  The top photo is the Friday Fiber Group holding the GINORMOUS afghan, and the bottom photo is the Wednesday Evening Group.

So, who was at Friday Morning Knitting, and what were their projects?

CathieC is making a Halloween Bunting!

Wajio is working on her Yellowstone River Scarf, though, I believe she was tinking instead of knitting.
Jenniluigi is knitting this gorgeous orange scarf. The open mesh-like pattern is perfect for the hand-dyed variegated yarn.
Domesticshorthair brought a sweater-coat she had knit quite a few decades ago.  She is "updating" the look by frogging and then changing the cuffs of the sleeves. 
BlueBerryMary is knitting a lace baby dress (excuse me, Big Girl Toddler Dress) for the lovely Genevieve.
She is also putting the flip back tops on her convertible mittens.

GwenS, who was working from home (ha!) was able to make it this Friday.  She is well into the border of her test knit shawl.
I was finishing up my Yoke Cowl, designed by our own VanesaPolo.  I finished it at home later that evening, and just need to block it.  Super fast.  Super easy.  Great pattern.  I'm going to make some for Christmas gifts this fall.
Shaping the planet with the most generous friends in the world.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday Group

Let's hope I get this right!  Lately, it's been hard for me to remember who came to knitting.  I get home and look at the projects, and think, "Who was knitting this???"

 It was another hot day today.  I met GwenS and VanesaPolo and their darling daughters for a picnic at one of our local parks.  I was able to knit at the park.  Vanesa and Gwen mostly chased their daughters around.  So so so so cute.

It felt good to relax in the air conditioning of Crossroads this evening, and I'm the kind of person who hates air conditioning!

WireKnitter brought a beautiful Orenburg Lace Shawl that she designed herself.  Then, not satisfied with the yarn color, she dyed the shawl last weekend!
WireKnitter was swatching for a new shawl she is test knitting.  Swatching unsuccessfully, I might add, as there seemed to be a bit of ripping back.  On the other hand, I guess all swatching is successful, since a swatch that doesn't meet gauge lets you know that the needles and/or the yarn are not right for the project.

Wajio is working on her Yellowstone River Scarf.  Here is where she was when I first arrived:
And here is her progress later on:
The wild yarns might drive her crazy, but the scarf will be stunning.

Puzan is knitting her second Hitchhiker.
JitteryKnitter has reached the lace section on her shawl!

GwenS is also knitting a test knit shawl.  It looks like she has started the border?
BlueBerryMary started the evening with a Knitted Knocker.
After she finished it off, she moved on to her Amanda's Seattle Rain hat.
Dreamweaver19 is a-l-m-o-s-t finished with her crazy baby blanket.  She is on the last solid color with just the self striping section to go.
I worked on my Yolk Cowl by VanesaPolo.  I am on the last stockinette section with just the final garter stitch section left.  I can't believe how fast this pretty cowl knits up.  I should finish tomorrow, and I will post a decent photo after it is blocked.

shaping the planet with knitting buddies.

look what I saw on my walk

This morning on the wooded trail behind Bennett Elementary School: I heard this rustling, and saw him/her fly across to that branch. I stood still (while taking photos), she/he watched me suspiciously. Then when I tried to get a better angle , he/she flew a bit further away.
 Makes me want to knit owl related garments... like a sweater, hat and fingerless mitts.  Great way to start a morning of knitting!

shaping the planet with owls

New Projects

The Spring term for the Harry Potter Knitting / Crochet House Cup ended July  31. August is break month. I usually don't do too much crafting during break month. There are no points . But right now, I'm working on 3 fun projects.

The first is a design by Vanesapolo. It's called the Yoke Cowl. It takes just one skein of worsted. I have this super pretty skein that someone in Gryffindor gave me a few years ago. The Cowl is knitting up really fast. I just have the last 2 sections to knit.

The second project is Daybreak by Stephen West. I'm knitting this to be a shop sample for Acorn Street Yarn Shop.  I've never knit anything for a shop before, and I'm a bit nervous about my knitting.  I have to be really careful to follow the pattern exactly, or take really good notes about anything that I change.  And I can't make any mistakes.

So the first thing is that I have started over twice, already. First, I didn't read the pattern closely, and I knit the set up rows in garter stitch.  That was only ripping back 4 rows.  Then, I had the solid semi-circle about 3/4 finished, when I really looked at it and decided that it was just too sloppy.  I was using size 4 needles, and they were just too big for me.  I couldn't keep a steady tension.
I've started over again, with a size 3 needle, and am now about 1/2 finished with the solid section.  The knitting is way more even.

The third project is really just swatching/practice/sample.  JitteryKnitter asked me if I could teach a mini-class on adding crochet to knits.  Well, sure I could.  But, I need to actually ADD some crochet to some knits so I have examples of what you can do.  The first idea that I am testing is adding a lace crocheted color to a plain raglan sweater.

Here is what it looks like:
I just knit a few rounds of the neck and then attached the cotton crochet thread, but I think you can see what it will look like.  It is going to be really cute.

I have a couple more ideas to try out, and two weeks before school starts to do it. 

shaping the planet with new projects

Saturday, August 15, 2015


The photo is crappy because I took it in the basement at night. But the special afghan I've been putting together this month is finished, and it is awesome.

Mt. St. Helens and Bears


Doc, Pookie and I drove down to Mt. St. Helens National Park today.  We have lived in Washington for 18 years, and never been there, though, since you can see it from the 5 freeway, I have driven past it a gazillion times on my way to Portland or Southern California.  The weather was overcast and a bit cold, but it was the only day both Doc and I could go.  The information at the various visitors centers (there are 3 on the way to the summit, well the last one is near the summit) is really interesting, and you get to watch little movies of the volcano erupting in 1980, and some of the reforesting and well, just regrowth of the plant and animal life.  When we got to the top, this is what we saw:
It was so cloudy that we couldn't see the crater at all.  What a bummer.  Then, there was so much traffic on the 5 on the way back that it took almost 4 hours to get home.  Still, we had a good time, and I definitely want to go back when it is sunny, and hopefully hike a bit at the top.

I've been so busy knitting and crocheting frantically, that I haven't posted much of my own work here on the blog.  I finished 4 bear outfits for Camp Erin and turned them in at the last Seattle Knitters Guild meeting.
I mostly made "boy" bears.
My thoughts were that "girl" clothes are more fun to make (let's be honest), but there were sure to be boys at the camp.

 The one above is my "minion" bear, and the one below is wearing a sheepskin coat.  (not really, it's beige acrylic yarn and boucle)
shaping the planet with really warm bears.