Saturday, February 28, 2015

Very, Very Scary


I was driving to work yesterday morning, listening to KUOW (94.9 FM). when the morning announcer said something like, "There was a report of a shooting at Interlake High School in Bellevue.  Police are at the school and the school is on lockdown."


Interlake is our home high school, Moogie, Himes and Pookie all graduated from Interlake.  Interlake is 2 miles from my house.  I know teachers, staff and students at Interlake.  I was on my way to work at another school in Bellevue.  And, finally, just last week a student from another high school in Bellevue (we have 5) was taken into custody after (allegedly)  telling many students at his school that he was going to bring a gun and shoot up the school.

First, there were no shots at Interlake.  The story came from a posting on Facebook.  The school was locked down, which means everyone was in a classroom with the doors locked and the blinds drawn.  Once the school was deemed safe by police, the classes were released one by one, with police and campus security searching the backpacks and purses of the students.  No guns were found.

The talent show, scheduled for that night, was postponed.

At our school, across town,  the teachers checked the internet and our district email all morning for information. 

The students were another story.  They seemed completely oblivious to the fact that there had been a gun scare at what would be the high school for more than half of the 8th graders next year.  All they wanted to know was, "What color is this dress?"

Ahhh the innocence of youth.

shaping the planet with IT'S TAN AND WHITE!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

OMG I'm finally posting... Eastside Stitchers Meet up

The opening photo was actually taken yesterday morning, so it is appropriate for a post about yesterday's Eastside Stitchers meet up at Crossroads in Bellevue.  The sun is rising earlier and earlier, and I am now able to catch the sun rising over the Cascade Mountains before 7 am.

I had a wonderful time at Crossroads last night.  I have been really tired on Wednesdays lately.  I have forgotten to bring my camera, and just been frazzled in general.  Yesterday was very busy, but I remembered to throw the camera into the car before I left for work.  I tutored after school, then headed over to Crossroads, but not straight to knitting.  I had to stop at the bank where I met the Past President of the Eastside Knitters Guild, the Past Treasurer of the Guild, and the new Treasurer.  We were transferring the checking account to the new officers.  Not kidding, it took an hour.  And we didn't finish.  Right at 6 pm, the computer our bank officer was using froze.  I have to go back on Saturday to finish everything off.  When we left, I headed to the round tables near Starbucks and Half-Price Books to meet the knitters.

Because I was so late arriving, I missed a few people.  But, JulieMustKnit was there with "the ugliest hat ever." 
That is Julie's name for the hat, not mine.  It is a super fun mix of textures, lace and colorwork. 

BlueBerryMary brought her linen stitch scarf.  She has discovered that she twisted the join, and is actually making a mobius cowl.  I did that once on a baby sweater and knitted quite a few inches before I discovered the twist.  I didn't have the excuse of knitting over 400 stitches, either.

Mary also brought a beautiful bit of show and tell.  She has taken some fiber from Sheep to Yarn.
Mary washed and processed the fleece using hand cards.  Then she spun it herself and with Wajio's help (and a bit of food coloring!) dyed the yarn.  It was still a bit damp and had that wonderful vinegar smell of newly dyed yarn.

CathieC is knitting a hat for St. Patrick's Day for her mom.  The shamrocks are wonderful, and the color is a perfect Kelly Green.

Speaking of green, Seahawks Action Green, GwenS is almost finished with her scarf.  I always call it her Chevron Scarf, but I know it has a real name.  I just checked her project page and it is Camptown Races.

Gwen was wearing her newly finished cowl.  It has a very cool construction.  It starts out like a shawl, but then is connected and knit in the round.
Look everyone!  Amigirl has officially finished her socks.  They are off the needles and everything.  She has started a hat in much bigger yarn.
Chockelet brought her Hitchhiker.
She has been on an absolute wave of finishing projects.  This will be another beautiful shawl for her.

It's nice to be posting again.  I'm sorry I missed VanesaPolo (well I saw her as she was leaving), and Wajio. 

shaping the planet with yarn and pointy sticks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

East Coast Chapter of Eastside Stitchers!!


What a wonderful evening at Crossroads in Bellevue tonight.  The regular meet up of the Eastside Stitchers was finally complete with a visit from our East Coast member, Redbird1.  She flew out of all the snow that has been plaguing the East Coast for a bit of our green and rain.  In honor of Redbird1's visit, we had ...

Babies! early in the evening.
Addie was modelling a new sweater/shrug.  Caroline and Elena were pretty in pink and gray.
JulieMustKnit was busy with her OWL sweater.
BlueBerryMary was making Valentine's Day gifts.
Wajio is working her way down the feet of her socks.
GwenS was knitting pink lace.
CathieC has finished the band of a new hat.
Redbird1 was knitting a new shawl.
I am not kidding.  Before the evening ended, she discovered a small error in the garter stitch, and was ready to rip back a few rows to fix it.  O! Redbird1, we have missed you.  You keep our knitting honest.

Redbird1 was also sporting a bag from Rhinebeck.

VanesaPolo brought a new Planned Pooling project.  She has managed to create a zigzag.
ReadNitDream brought a finished beaded lace shawl to show off.
Tara1682 is on the 3rd shade of her tonal shawl.
DomesticShorthair came near the end.  She has started a new cowl, but I didn't get a photo.

Many of us will be taking classes at the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival this weekend, or just hanging out in the Rotunda knitting.  We also plan a trip to Tolt Yarn and Wool on Sunday.  Redbird1 should visit more often.

shaping the planet with East Coast friends.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Half Way There and Back

Muffin has taken over my Noni's afghan.

I have reached the half-way point of my double-knit There and Back Again Story Scarf by Frivolite Handicrafts.

I don't have a photo for some reason of the entire scarf so far, but I can show you the last two charts.

Chart 4 represents the house of Beorn, a man who could turn into a bear.

I must say that I really like this drawing.  It is really simple, but gets the idea of the bear across well.

The next part of the story that is shown in the scarf is Mirkwood, and the spiders.  If I remember correctly, the dwarves are captured by giant spiders, and are wrapped up in webs and suspended in trees.

The spider is a bit tough to see, but you can clearly see the dwarves hanging in the tree.  At the top of the next photo,
you can see the dead spider.  At least I think it is dead as it is upside down.
Just 10 more rows, which I should finish tomorrow, and I am onto the 7th of 11 charts.  For my NEWT (for HPKCHC)  I have to finish chart 6 by the end of February, so I am doing really  well.  I know if I can stick to my schedule of 10 rows every night, I will finish the scarf with 1 week to spare.  Since I am about 1 week ahead right now,  I have a bit of breathing room.  However, I am always afraid that I will fall behind, then something will happen that makes it hard for me to find time to knit on this.  This project is definitely NOT social knitting.  I can listen to podcasts, or even have a movie on, (one that I don't need to look at), but because the yarn is so fine (laceweight), I have to wear my magnifying glasses.  Also, I need to have my chart enlarged as big as possible.  When I work on it too late at night, I get confused about which way I am reading the chart (left to right for the back side - or wrong side, and right to left for the front  - or right side).  Sometimes I even forget which color is the MC (main color) and which is the CC (contrast color).  I had better be laying down lots of new neurons with each row of this scarf!

shaping the planet free from spiders in the Mirkwood

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vaccine Nation


Vaccines are in the news right now, especially the Measles Vaccine.  There is an outbreak in California, and we are all being urged to check our vaccination status, especially if we work with children (I do).

Of course I have been vaccinated for measles.  My mom was very modern, and made sure that all 5 of us kids had the necessary vaccinations.  Also, when I was young, there were no exclusions except for medical reasons.  I'm pretty sure there weren't even religious exclusions.  You had to be fully vaccinated to attend public school.

So, there was this guy from Brazil visiting the Seattle area.  He travelled back to Brazil through SeaTac airport possibly spreading measles (which is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS) on January 25.  I was in SeaTac on January 24th AND on January 26th.  I missed him and his measles germs by 1 day, twice.

What do I care?  I was immunized as a kid against all possible diseases.

Or was I?

I started hearing stories about how us almost middle-age people needed to check our status.  I heard that you didn't need to be vaccinated for measles if you were born before 1957 (I was not) because you probably HAD measles (everyone had it) and are now immune.  Hmmm. Well, I was born after 1957.

The first measles vaccine was introduced in 1963.  Hmmm, I was born before 1963.

I know that the MMR vaccine is for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German Measles).  I vaguely remember having Mumps as a child.  So, did I have the vaccines for Rubella or Measles?  I called my Mom and Dad to ask.  I have to admit that I was getting a bit worried that I had never actually been vaccinated.  My Mom assured me that I had been vaccinated.  Of course she had gotten me all of the important shots at the right time.  She was an excellent mother. 

About an hour after we got off the phone, my phone rang again, but I was in class.  I listened to the urgent message from my Dad, "Call home as soon as you can.  Your Mom checked her records and you were NOT immunized for measles."


Yep, I was a vaccination scofflaw.  I had Mumps and Rubella as a child,  but never Measles, and somehow, I had never had the shot for Measles.  I immediately texted my sisters, Sue, and Kathy, that they had not been vaccinated either, but Amie, who was born after 1967, had. 

Needless to say, on the way home from work, I stopped at Bartell Drugs at Crossroads, and was vaccinated (for MMR).  It was covered by my Health Insurance and the shot was free.


shaping the planet, measles-free.

Monday, February 2, 2015



The above picture is of my son, Himes, modeling the Vortex Afghan that I hooked for my God-daughter, Eva.

I finished hooking all of the squares together and the simple dc (double crochet) round border during January.  I thought about Eva a lot while I was working on the afghan.  Her family has  been through a tough time.  She has been through a tough time.  But, she is really doing well.  She is in college and living independently.  She has a good job, and works hard at school.  I am really proud of her.

One of the neat things about a long term project for someone special, is that you get to think about the person for a long time.  It is impossible to work on square after square of an afghan, and not think about the recipient.

While I was working on the border, in early January, I received a package from my sister, Sue.
Inside was an afghan.  No, Sue hasn't started crocheting.  This afghan was hooked by my grandmother, Noni.  Both of my grandmothers crocheted.  My mother's mom, Grandmama, made lace doilies and table cloths (my mother has a beautiful one for her dining room table).  My dad's mom, Noni, made afghans.  Most of them were zigzag patterns of double crochets.  But, she did make this one colorful Granny Square.  When she died, I lived in Houston, TX.  My sister, Sue, and cousin, Diane, who lived in Southern California helped clean out her house, and got all of the handmade crafts.  Noni also did beautiful crewel stitchery.  This Christmas, Sue sent each of the "sisters" an afghan.
It is in acrylic, and I think she used scraps and stash.  There are some blocks that are one color, and others that use 3 or 4.  The black border is the constant.  I don't think she joined as she went, but sewed the blocks together after.

Noni took most of the colors and did a single crochet striped border with a picot edge in black.
Since it is still winter, I often sit with this afghan across my lap while I knit and crochet.  I mailed my afghan for Eva in the same box that Sue used to send me Noni's afghan.

When I was down in So. Calif. a few weeks ago, my mom told me that she has started crocheting, again.  She was inspired to take it up (again) last year, but stopped in the summer because it was hurting her wrist.  She was making doilies.  Using cotton crochet thread.  No wonder her wrist hurt!  Now, she is making lapghans for charities.  The bigger yarn and hook (and the fact that she isn't using cotton thread) are helping her wrist.  I told her that I wanted one of the lapghans.  I want something made by my mother.  I want to be able to pass it down to my own daughters.  "This is the afghan your Great-Grandmother made, and this one was made by your Grandma."  Someday. my daughters, and perhaps my God-Daughter, will show their daughter the afghan I made just for them.

And so it goes on, generations of crafters, passing down the fruits of our crafts.

shaping the planet with a warm afghan.

Sunday, February 1, 2015