Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Yarn

I had been looking at my queue and the Orion socks that I'd like to start soon had Malabrigo sock planned for them. I have the Malabrigo sock yarn, but looking at other projects I just wasn't feeling it with the yarns I had picked. So looked at the Shibuiknits sock yarns and decided on the cool named Roppongi and their new sock yarn Staccato - 65% superwash merino, 30% silk and 5% nylon in a pretty yellow aptly named 'Butter'. 

If I don't finish Gail's second sock tonight, it will be done tomorrow. I then have another pair of the Burnside Winter Twilight Mitts to make for Susan to use in her booth. These will be totally out of her Abstract Fiber since she sent me a skein of 'Little Black Dress' an all black skein. So kind of three different contract knitting projects to get done all before February 12th. I'm also working on another pair of socks for holiday gift giving for sister Tanya.

Why such a hard deadline? I've committed myself to two teams for Ravelympics - Team BMFA and Team Spin-Knit. I may get wild and do a third event. I have Sock Hockey with BMFA and a pair of socks for my sister Jennifer. For Team Spin-Knit I planned the Short Track Shawl but may also add in Flying Camel Spin. I don't think I'll have any problems getting the cast ons done during the opening event. It's also getting in the spinning time. I think if I did an hour each day that it might work.  After all if you're doing an event you're not doing it every day of the Olympics usually, right?
My sister Tanya will be coming down from Snohomish on the 15th, along with mom flying in from Reno. We're finally going to get Grandma Dona settled in with Grandpa Howard up at Willamette National Cemetery.

After back to back colds and a cold sore thrown in along for the fun, I'm starting to be healthy. Next weekend there's a Spin-In down in Newport. I have permission to use the beach house so some of use will be driving down Friday night and spending the weekend down there. It should be fun!

ETA: Changed post title and took out a sample info and pics, hope this isn't too confusing......

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cause its a small world

Saint Cupcakes carrot cake cupcake was still good two days after purchase. Cake moist and frosting yummy. I mentioned that there was a wedding reception attended and a missed wedding last Saturday? The photographer was given a surprise gift from Jessy the bride, a gift pack from Saint Cupcake. You can read her blog post here and see one of her photos there of the bride and groom. If you're a Saint Cupcake fan on Facebook you might have seen it posted there also.

On a health note, I apparently dodge exposure to the Noro Virus - no not from yarn fumes! ;-) Judy apparently was exposed to it by a member of her traveling group and was violently dealing with it on Thursday. She called to check to see if my car ride with her was enough exposure, thankfully not! I just have a head cold that is going to keep me from fun things this Saturday - no spinning with Shelia at the Newberg Library this morning or going to the 90th Birthday celebration of Brandon's grandfather. I was running a fever again last night so need to stay away from elderly people. So much rather suffer from a stuffy head and an earache than the vomiting and diarrhea!

I've been working on the Annabella's Cowl with the yummy Artyarns Ensemble. Since it had a section of just plain stockinette and now a 4x4 ribbing, not something that can get messed up too easily. I just have a few more inches to go before its finished. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seattle to Portland Yarn Crawl - Year Two

Saturday was a damp day. Thankfully it we were between wind systems and it was just a mist or periods of no rain. I carpooled in with Shelia and we met up with other carpoolers outside of the parking garage, passed out name tags and gave some to Cindy to share with others who planned to hang out at Starbucks in the Governor Hotel Lobby.

A few of us hopped on to MAX rode a few blocks down and picked up the Streetcar headed to Union Station. We arrived early enough to hand out name tags for waiting Portlanders. Then the Seattle people arrived and chaos ensued. ;-) They said hi to us, we got a copy of their handouts, they picked up their VooDoo Donut Bacon Maple Bars - if pre-ordered.

We opted to go to Dublin Bay first because Shelia had never been there before. Last year was my first time and I haven't been back since, not that they aren't a great store! Sara, Shelia and I all found prints that we came home with. Here's mine:

It's tiny at 3-1/2x5 inches, but its what I was willing to spend. I saw the little border collie in it and thought of Greta's Mellie. 

From Dublin Bay we stopped at Hot Lips for a slice of pizza and some free samples of their pop. I had a vegan slice with spinach, mushroom, tomatoes and onions. I didn't know about the broccoli and hazelnut with butternut squash sauce that a few others got. Shelia's was interesting with sliced pear and ham. We were thus fortified to head over to Cupcake Jones. Rachel had picked up a Starbuck's Red Velvet Cupcake so was on a mission to do a taste testing. I opted not to buy one, even though purchase of the Red Velvet cupcakes were having a portion of the proceeds go to Haitian Relief.

Since we had gotten the handout from Charisa that contained a coupon for a free Powell's bag, we *had* to swing by and get ours. They are the same size as the grocery bags that stores offer to reduce using plastic bags. It's a nice navy blue with green lettering. Mine is now with my other grocery bags ready to go back out to the car.

We had a further walk from Powell's to Saint Cupcake but it was worth the walk! Sara found a vegan cupcake for her son C with food allergies, so always a bonus. I spoiled Rachel's standard cupcake purchase with buying the last of the Red Velvet ones as well as a carrot cake. The frosting on both are great. I ate the Red Velvet one last night and need to eat the carrot cake one still.

We had a six block walk back east to pick up the Streetcar that would drop us off in front of Knit-Purl and Josephine's Dry Goods. On the way were a lot of Victorian style houses, these were the ones we saw first:

Rachel claimed the one on the far right. I liked a couple further down, but didn't get pictures of them unfortunately. I'll have to take Brandon for a walk to Saint Cupcake and take more pictures in the near future. ;-)

There was a trip into Knit-Purl where Sara and I picked up our store sample commissions. Sara's is a lacy shawl and I have a cowl in some luxurious silk/cashmere. I think some yarn was bought by others, but I didn't bring my store card so will have to wait until I return the cowl.

Rachel looking over her Red Velvet Cupcake purchases, can you tell which one came from Saint Cupcake?

We met up with Cindy, Duffy, Judy and Susan. Susan apparently had some of her yarn samples that she brought back from TNNA. She also found out this week that she'll have a booth at Madrona. If you're going check out her Abstract Fiber booth.

Dueling cameras with Duffy:

Rachel with cupcakes. Judy has her pretty Entrelac Noro Silk Garden (I think) wrap over her shoulder.

Cindy with her pretty wrap on the left, Susan and Tracy to the right.

Shelia helping a lady who happened to *not* be a yarn crawler get started on a scarf. The lady was staying at the hotel and saw all the knitters so brought her stuff down and got a little help getting started. Shelia's awesome that way.
From Starbucks we headed over to the Button Emporium. This was my first time in there and it was impressive the amount of trim and buttons they had in their little store. Rachel found some angelina in a corner too. Shelia found buttons to go with three sweaters she has yarn for. I only have one sweater started and not sure if I'm going with that pattern, so not really ready for buttons. It was still fun to look though!

Since I was in the button store, I lost track of time and missed the wedding I was supposed to be attending up at the zoo. Shelia was done by that time and not heading over to the next stop - Happy Knits, so she offered to drop me off at the zoo on her way home. I then waited in the drizzle for the wedding party to exit the zoo. We then headed over to the reception site.

There were a number of games of Jenga at the reception (they had games on the tables - we picked the table because of the game) and some food. Talked to the bride and groom and after some white cake with chocolate chips and fudge headed out. Brandon found the directions to head over to Kennedy School and met back up with Rachel, Owen and H, along with Angela and Sara. They were just about to get their dinner, so we had milkshakes and some tots. Got to see the special 'lava cake' that was all part of the J.R. Tolkein birthday celebration. By that time all the walking, sites, people and food caught up with me and I started to shutdown. Spaced out saying good night to Rachel, Sara and Angela and headed out to find the car and get us all home.

Things Finished This Week

I had thought that a tam might work for me as a hat to wear during the Seattle to Portland Yarn Crawl. So I pulled out some pretty yellow yarn and knit up the Sunflower Tam:

Brandon though says it doesn't work for me. So it goes into the pile of stuff for gifts this year. Either a birthday or all the way until Christmas. I'll still be trying out other hats and hopefully will find one that works!

I finished up William's Twisted Beer Glove Envy. They took the fit of the Mitt Envy with their thumb gusset and 12 stitch cable area and used the cable from the Son of Stitch n' Bitch's Beer Gloves along with the numbers for the individual fingers and frankenmittened them. William isn't used to the shortie fingers and thus not too sure about them but I think he'll soon like them once he's using them on a regular basis.

Up next is to finish Gail's socks and a little project for Knit-Purl:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

All Aboard!

It's that time of year again! There's a whole bunch of Seattle area knitters that will be getting up *really really early* to make the 7am train in downtown Seattle. They'll be able to sing their Yarn Train Song and work on a project from donated yarn in their goodie bags. Arrival time is estimated to be 11am, so a group of Portland area knitters will be on hand to meet them at 1045am.

I've made name tags for the local people and contacted some local area shops to get us and the visiting Seattle people discounts.

After meeting and having anyone join with us in groups or pairs, we'll head to Hot Lips for a slice of pizza. Last year we forgot to eat something other than the cupcakes. We're also going to try to find the Soup cart - Savor Soup House on SW 10th and Alder when we get over by Knit-Purl. I was able to get us discounts at both Cupcake Jones and Saint Cupcake (carrot cake and red velvet are in the plans!). Some people haven't tried Cacao's and they'll give us a discount on their chocolates, but you go there for the drinking stuff. I recommend only getting a shot though or you'll be on overload!

I arranged with Sandy Kay to do another shop project for Knit-Purl, so will *have* to go in to the shop to pick it up. ;-) They posted about getting a shipment of the new Malabrigo Twist in and I'd like to see it and maybe get my hands on a skein (not that I really need any yarn!). We'll need to remember to look for the soup cart! The weather may be showing its damper side to use on Saturday, so something to warm us up and keep us going I'm sure will be needed. 

From there a stop in the Button Emporium is definitely in the plans, especially since I talked them into giving us a discount! ;-) From here it will be a trip over the bridges to Happy Knits and Twisted. Many of us haven't been to Happy Knits yet, so are looking forward to enjoying a nice discount *and* seeing a new shop!

I also have a wedding and reception to attend on Saturday. I might miss the wedding and make it to the reception. I'm bad! ;-)

Work continues on William's fingerless gloves. He does seem interested in getting them because he asked after seeing another project I started being worked on instead of his gloves. Always something nice for the knitter to hear. I started the Sunflower Tam to hopefully wear on Saturday. No pictures, probably not until its finished. I do have the second glove started but also started a sock for Gail. She works with Susan in the Abstract Fiber booth and has been asked to wear socks from the booths yarn. Gail doesn't do well with sock knitting so I told her I'd knit her a pair if she got me the yarn and pattern she wanted. You can see the pattern link in the sidebar. It's a very pretty baby alpaca yarn in reds and blacks.

Speaking of yarn....I received my Blue Moon Rare Gem in Fire this week. I was a bit surprised by the splash of pink on the skein but have decided I can dip over-dye that area and be much happier with my skein.

Wish for us that the rain will hold off until later in the afternoon, after we're done with all our yarn crawling!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spinning Bee

This morning I worked on William's Twisted Beer Glove Envy. I have the glove body and the thumb done. Just need to work on the other fingers after doing a couple more rows to bring it up further on the hand. I'll start with the pinky and then work my way back towards the thumb I think. This is the left glove.

I had originally planned to do the Son of Stitch n' Bitch's Beer Gloves using Rowan Scottish Tweed in a nice neutral Oatmeal color. I had gauge and everything but since William's hands aren't much bigger than mine, his would have been swimming in the glove body I had. I also didn't really like the way the purl body looked. Frogged and came up with the plan of using the Mitt Envy that I've done before as a guide line. Tried with with the Scottish Tweed but it just wasn't going to work. It's a DK and the pattern calls for fingering. Went to the stash for a fingering substitute and pulled out my Knit Picks Stroll in Black. You can see a thumbnail of it on the right, larger pic if you're on Ravelry. ;-)

Today was the Knitting Bee's first Spinning Bee. Trish has been trying to talk store owner Jami into it for a while I heard and they finally settled on the Second Sunday of the month, 3:30-5:30pm. This works out nicely as a schedule that everyone can put on their calendar and meet. Trish was pleasantly surprised by how many people showed up! I knew at least five us planned to be there, so less so. LOL

Here's some pictures of it, please forgive the blurry ones through the store displays, but it was also kind of fun to get them that way. ;-)

There was lots of talking and laughing as well as spinning. Trish also turned a drop spindler into a wheel spinner!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Spinning Mileage Updated with Last yarn of the year

It's official! I spun 12.3 miles of yarn in the last year. Wow!

This last batch of yarn I started with 4.9 ounces of Spinner's Hill Corriedale-Finn-Rambouillet Cross in purples and a dash of red/burgundy thrown in. It was really nice to spin with too! I did a rough division of the top by just dividing in half lengthwise. This meant that 2.2 ounces ended up on one bobbin and 2.7 ounces on the other.

When it came time to ply the two bobbins it seemed like they would both fit on one of the standard bobbins. They did but it took a little bit of finessing to get them to do it. I did end up with a very full bobbin when I came to that .5 difference and had to start it on a new bobbin just to finish it off. Then because I really didn't want to have to do two skeins (am I the only one weird that way?) I joined it up with the very full and ran it back through I guess also kind of re-plying. It was still jam packed on the bobbin and almost touching the side bars.

Total yardage? 660.8 yards of lace weight. I haven't done the wpi, so have no idea. I'm leaning towards making a longer Traveling Woman Shawl of this, or that's what its tied to in my queue right now. I really want to make more of an effort to get handspun used in some of the projects that are waiting to be done in the HUGE queue.

Yarn name: Lavender Dreams -


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Hat

This hat is supposed to be done with multiple colors, but I only wanted to deal with two. So one of them was a mystery ball from the gift basket I received for Christmas from my stepmother. It's definitely an acrylic and the person I plan to give the hat to has said that wool 'itches'. Rather than try to find one for them that doesn't fit this, I just rolled with the flow and went with the acrylic idea. I pick my battles. ;-)

The Vanna's Choice works nicely as the main yarn and I won't mind using this again in the future for gifts to family members that can't be trusted with hand wash.

The pattern is from Paton's, the link for the pdf is on the right.  The hat:

Still looking for a hat that works for me! This one, not so much. ;-) Should work nicely for my intended recipient, but won't know until later in the month.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First FO of the year

After looking what I had left on my list to complete in December, I knew that Luke's hat was not going to be done in time for Christmas, so waited until things calmed down to start knitting. Because Luke and William were with us for our annual gaming New Year's Eve get together, it wasn't until late in the day on New Year's that I started his hat.

Luke had picked out the Thorpe hat when he was home back at Thanksgiving and liked the colors of the stranded hat. I tried to find similar colors but couldn't find close matches with the Paton's Shetland Chunky online at JoAnn's. Ended up with a nice navy blue and a brown called 'dark taupe'.

I enjoyed how the Shetland Chunky knitted up compared to holding a worsted doubled. I'll definitely go this route again if I make another one of these hats, but I doubt I'll need to since all the boys have their hats. Scott, told me on Saturday that Keefe really loves his hat and wants to wear it all the time - cool!

Luke got this hat in an effort to keep him from stealing William's Jayne hat. He saw it and instantly lusted after it, but really his red hair and that orange? ;-) I remembered this hat and suspected that he'd like it, so showed it to him and was right!

Here's the hat and him posing in it. William went over to his house, so had him take the camera. This is the kinds of photos you get when you let boys do the photos:


Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 In crafting review and a look to the future

The last finished object of the year for me was a shawlette/scarf item for my mother - The Dandy Neckerchief:


I totaled up what I knit this last year, and I shocked myself. ;-)
Legwarmers - 2 pairs
Hats - 10
Scarfs - 10
Mittens - 1 pair
Slippers - 1 pair
Socks - 11-1/2 pairs (short a full pair because it was a test/sample knit of a sock pattern)
Shawls - 4
Sweaters/tops - 8
Dishcloths - 3
Misc/Ornaments - 21
Toys - 2
Cranes - 16
Total = 93.5 items
Eleven of those items were test/sample/store display items for various people/places around town. I hope to have more in 2010. ;-)

There has been a lot of spinning with 30 skeins of yarns of varying sizes. According to the little tool I've spun over ten miles in yarn! (I'm finishing up a yarn, but don't have the yardage yet, so can't be exact.) I've worked with:
Blue Faced Leicester

This doesn't include the purchase of fleeces and processing them from their raw off the animal state to something that could be turned into yarn. I bought or was given: alpaca - huacayas and suri, Icelandic, buffalo, and llama (there was also a lovely sample of navajo-churro that I cleaned, but haven't done anything with). Okay, the buffalo still needs to be cleaned, but its cool I have some! ;-) I look at this part of the fiber experience the real growth area - trying out other fleeces and taking them to yarn. I may be tempted to try out some dyeing in the future though I've been hesitant to jump into that arena. We have so many talented people in our area. I do have some natural handspun yarns though that I could see dye in their future after they have been knitted or before to finish a project.

There was canning and a quilt. Four jams - raspberry, peach-pepper, apricot-pepper and fig. A chutney - cranberry-apple and salsa. There were a few key lime pies and trying out making them with meringue tops and a batch of divinity.

I imagine 2010 to include more knitting and spinning and fiber preparation. I want to try out different fiber sources and there are plenty out there still to try! I also want to expand out into wood but in relation to fiber tools/decorations. If I can make it into something that also generates income, that would be beyond hopes.

Don't hate me, but I have the gifts I plan to give all planned out for next year. At least four pairs of socks, eight pairs of slippers, a scarf and shawlette, fingerless mittens, at least six dishcloths, a blanket, a holiday stocking, and at least one hat. I have a few people I'm not sure what to do for them, so they are high on my radar to find something for them. Now this is for Christmas, it doesn't include birthdays. I may not have wanted to remind myself of that! Oh dear.

There are a few unfinished items that need to get done or taken off the needles and become something else. I now have enough yarn for some sweaters or tops for myself, I'd actually like to get one or more of those done this year!