Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Knit sponsored race car

I don't watch auto racing much any more. I liked to watch the Indy cars back in the day of Mario Andretti. Actually got to watch him a couple of times racing in Portland. ;-)

Anyway.....we have a chance to get knitting on a race car. Vote here for a Toyota race knit car:
Too bad they couldn't have come up with a better color combination.....

Monday, February 22, 2010

Continued Ravelympics Progress

Just a little over halfway through the Winter Olympics and the Ravelympics and I have good progress through my knitted items.

I am officially halfway through my socks. I completed the short row heels and am ready to start the legs. I do need to do a fit check - pause while I go do that - back! They do fit well indeed for my foot so, they should be a good fit for Jennifer's foot. Here's what they look like now:

I was progressing along nicely on the Lillia Hyrna Shawl when I got to the portion where it threw me at the charts. I can read a chart, but there seemed to be a problem just looking at it, but since friend Shelia wrote it, I jumped in. Wish I had put in a lifeline on that jump. ;-) Of course it was only after tinking it a couple of times that I remembered the whole concept of a lifeline and started to use one. I did take the pattern with me and showed it to Shelia at the spin-in. She told me that the tech editor is known to make changes and this was not the only one found. I'm keeping track of things and will forward them to Shelia once I'm done and they will be added to the errata page for this pattern. I was up late last night getting through Chart A and doing some setup for the next section. I'm at 68% done with this project, so feel really good that it too shall be done before the end of the Olympics. 

I'm behind though on the spinning. The above frogging, the above tinking for Chart A correctness, visiting with relatives has meant that I haven't been spinning as much as I should if I want to get this four ounces done during the Olympics. It doesn't *have* to be done of course, it was just a challenge goal and may have to fall by the wayside. I do still have it as a goal and I'm going to try for an hour a day. There's also the standard Wednesday spinning time that will help I think. We had planned to go to the beach this weekend and that too will help, since it was canceled, I can devote this upcoming weekend to the spinning, especially if I'm able to get the above two done before Sunday. 

I did drag around Tanya's socks with me last week in case there was time for me to pull them out and work on the heel flap. Yes, I'm at the heel area and hope to get those going soon too:

Now to get away from the computer so some knitting/spinning can actually happen! ;-)

NwRSA Spin-In this last Saturday

Saturday was the NwRSA Spin-In and Board Meeting that was held at the Aloha Grange. I arrived bright and early at 8:30am thinking I was going to surprise Shelia by being early. Imagine my surprise to already find three vendors ready and eager to get in and start setting up! ;-)

So it was a scramble here and there and everywhere for the next couple of hours helping Shelia with keeping everything organized and providing helping hands. I actually did get to sit down and do some spinning while I was there too!  ;-) Gasp! Really! Since I wasn't the major person in charge, it was easier to let go and relax and get to talk and spin. We were full enough that I opened up the sitting on the stage and was soon joined by local friends up there that I pulled in.

Rachel always smiles pretty when I pull out my camera. In case you wondered where Hazel Rose gets it from. LOL. Kathie had come to knit, but will all that fiber around and Carissa selling spindles....
Yup! Sari got her started with a pretty stone drop spindle and some nice fiber. This must have been a portent because Kathie won a bag of red, white and blue superwash fiber from Knitted Wit as a door prize!

Speaking of door prizes, Kathie was not alone. Sara won a bag of baby camel, Rachel a bag of corriedale rolags for making self-striping yarn and I won a pair of earrings - little curly horned sheep ones. 
I have my fingers crossed that this means I'm on a roll towards winning the drawing for a spinning wheel at the Antique Spinning Wheel Showcase that the Aurora Guild has next month. It's the next upcoming event that I hope to attend. Yes, I do have raffle tickets purchased. I had $3 left in my hand at the Newport Spin-in and so put them towards the drawing.

The only other money spent, and there were lots of tempting things in the vendor booths, was my $25 membership to NwRSA. Okay, there was the $6 admission, but that covered the door prize ticket and lunch. Lunch was a large selections of soups, salad, chips and cookies/brownies. I tried Shelia's Hungarian Beef soup - excellent and a really good Curried Squash Soup. 

Just to show that not all spinners are women, find the man spinning in this photo:

Last week

Last Monday Mom flew in and Tanya arrived on the train. We all met up in the NW 23rd area, aka Nob Hill (all those transplants years ago wanting to keep their old homes alive). A few of the stores were looked through, one of them the Cost Plus where Brandon came home with a bag of Amaretti cookies and mom got me a loofah sponge kitchen scrubbie.These things are wonderful! They don't scratch up your teflon, but are tough enough to help get off the stuck on stuff in your pots and pans.
We had dinner at Ling's Garden and then separated to head out home. William needed to do some studying for class so needed to keep it an early night.

I met up with Mom, Tanya and Aunt Mary at Willamette National Cemetary. They have a handy site locater system in the front lobby, so we printed out the locations of Grandpa Howard and Don, Mary's husband who is also there. Mom had faxed all the pertinent paperwork last week up for Grandma, but apparently no one owned up to taking it off the fax machine. Luckily she had thought to bring all the copies along, so just a little bit of a wait while paperwork was handled. Gave Aunt Mary time to share with me, since her son Jeff, wasn't willing to listen on how she'd like to be taken care of later. I'm the eldest, so I guess the knowledge bearer. :-)

Then we found out it was a simple walk across the parking lot up to the Columnar right there to find out where Grandpa has been waiting. It's amazing that it has been almost 20 years since he died.

He's on the end wall area for the Columnar.

There's a nice view, still a little hazy, towards the downtown area that can be seen from there:

We then headed over to Clackamas Town Center for lunch at Claim Jumper's (Tanya and I split a Tri-Tip Dip sandwich - minus the ortega chiles that was awesome!) and then some shopping. I only picked up the January Simply Knitting magazine as my purchase.  I got it for the Shaun the Sheep bag on the cover. We weren't able to visit much longer as I had to pick-up Brandon from work, that whole one car thing. ;-)

Wednesday we met for a brunch before Tanya needed to catch the train back north. Lovely brunch at Mother's. I scored because I was able to take both Tanya's and my leftover Portabella Mushroom Scramble home. Between the two I was able to get another two meals. Yes, the servings are that big! Then Aunt Mary delivered Tanya to the train.

Aunt Mary has been knitting with some ladies over in the Gresham area but because of her wool (lanolin) allergy, she has been only knitting wash cloths from Peaches n Cream. She had never been inside Knit-Purl and since we were so close I thought it would be a shame for her to miss that so mom and I headed there to meet up with her. I was then able to show her some other fiber choices. I had picked up from the library a copy of No Sheep for You to show her at brunch. She didn't seem to have a reaction to the handspun alpaca and camel that I brought for her either. So hopefully there will be some broadening in her knitting horizons.  

After going through the shop we parted ways with Aunt Mary planning to drop off Mom for her flight back home. A short visit but with all the girls together and lots of reminiscing about Grandma along the way.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ravelympics progress thus far

I didn't start exactly at 6pm, the official Ravelry start time for PST, dinner interfered with that goal. Then it was a matter of at least getting the socks started before going off to Revel with Brandon. Casting on socks was pretty easy after watching Cat's YouTube video (check previous post for a link if you want to watch for yourself - scan a few minutes into the video for the actual start), but took a second time where I didn't have so much tails dangling. So only a few rows the first night were accomplished on this project. Saturday I was able to finish the toe increases and get a pattern repeat done. Sunday night it was just one and a half pattern repeats. I feel like with one sock I would be further along than I currently am, but then I have to remember that I'm getting both done at the same time! ;-) The yarn I also have been finding is harder on my hands, but I've noticed that with heavy cottons. I like the colors too.  Here's the collage progress thus far:

I took the yarn and pattern for the shawl with me to Revel. I was a good twenty rows in when I found that I had missed a yarn over on an edge fairly early. At that point it was just easier to frog the whole thing and start over. I tried to think of it as the 'practice'. Nice easy knitting early on with just doing the four stitch increases on the right side and purling the wrong sides, except where the pattern calls for garter stitch. Found an error on the 'eyelet row' which is repeated a few times so getting it right is essential. I have the corrections on my project page and will post with the pattern, or check with Shelia. At this point, I have strong thoughts on over-dyeing the finished project. Not sure what color, but I just have this feel that it will be something I'll want to do. Yarn feels soft and I think once its been blocked it will be much nicer still. Here's the collage progress thus far:

Sunday was the monthly Spinning Bee at the Knitting Bee. I was finally able to start my yak/merino for the spinning event. I had to remember how to spin this stuff. It's incredibly soft, the shorter yak fibers sometimes caused a restart issue. I'm trying to be consistent in my single width. Can't wait to see this as a yarn though!
Sorry for the blurry!
I pick up Tanya this afternoon, there's some wandering around for a bit before meeting up with the boys for dinner. Tomorrow is taking grandma up to Willamette and then more shopping/looking around/etc. Both mom and Tanya head home on Wednesday so fitting in knitting and spinning will be a challenge!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chocolate Fest & Ravelympics Prep

Since returning from the lovely beach trip I have been dealing with a migraine in some form or another. I won't go into details. Except, really? Four freaking days?!

Tonight was the Chocolate Fest at Whole Foods. The $5 donation goes to ChristieCare. This year it seemed as if the samples were lighter. The tasting menu included:

  1. Lobster Bisque ( yummy, I ate Brandon's sample since he doesn't like lobster) 
  2. Chicken Mole (I really liked this and wish they had the recipe card for this one, good with the rice - anyone have a good recipe they want to share?)
  3. Chocolate Beef Curry with Saffron Rice (Brandon liked this one but wasn't impressed by the rice, I found it just a bit spicier than I would normally eat. Maybe less curry, since it wasn't a top note, definitely tasted the orange juice.)
  4. Dry Jack Cheese & Barely Buzzed Cheeses (the Dry was a hard cheese and not a lot of flavor; the BB cheese had lavender and coffee and had more flavor; both needed something than the hard little toast rounds to clear the palate or eat with.) There was also a chocolate cake/pie/truffle slice here that was really good that I'm not sure where it fits in on the list.
  5. Lake Champlain and Green & Blacks Chocolates (yummy! Chocolate bar bits and truffles)
  6. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries (interesting chocolate sauce, not sure that I'd want it again though)
  7. Themed Wines (They had an Australian Port Wine with the cheeses. Most wines taste like vinegar to me but both Brandon and I liked it. Will have to go back for a bottle.)
  8. Numi Chocolate Puerh Tea (This was also by the cheeses. Surprisingly good.)
Missed the salad and the shrimp they had last year as well as the Rogue Chocolate Beer Floats. Could have used another beverage other than the port along the way too. Oh! Totally missed the chocolate fountain!  You can compare visits from last year's post.

This morning I spent time with the swift and ball winder as well as the printer. Printed out the two patterns I'll need for casting on tomorrow night at 6pm. Ideally the projects that are attempted during Ravelympics have some level of challenge to them. Otherwise what's the point in competing?

I have the Leyburn Socks using the Sock Candy yarn I picked up from Tammy's destash. I'll be participating in Sock Hockey with Team BMFA (Blue Moon Fiber Arts). I'm going to finally teach myself Judy's Magic Cast On (the visual version that I can follow along with, I think), without Judy close by to turn to for help. I think I may try this out beforehand just to be sure I don't have to switch out patterns, but I'm confident I will be successful in getting things started. I may go wild and see if I can do two socks at once! Gasp! Lots of challenges with this project!

I also made into a yarn cake the Cormo/Silk I recently spun up to do the Lillia Hyrna Shawl from the Book of Wool by Clara Parkes.This is my Short Track Shawl entry with Team Spin-Knit. Team Spin-Knit is all about using your own handspun yarn to knit a project. A nice large lace shawl should be nicely challenging as well, getting it done in the two week time period.

Then there was digging out the Yak/Merino that Tammy brought back for me from Madrona last year. Since its a year later, I thought it appropriate that I spin this next. I thought I'd enter this in the Flying Camel Spin competition without a particular team to compete with. The challenge is to see how much yardage you can accomplish.

I have just around a foot of the Portland Punch fiber to finish spinning up. I may try to get it done tonight, since I'm pretty sure that the other three items I was hoping to get done before Ravelympics aren't going to get done! LOL I'll have those around to give me breaks in between the event projects. Then I can try to ply it tomorrow afternoon so its all done. It's been good preparation for me to see if I can spin four ounces of lace weight in two weeks. That right there is my own personal challenge!

Are you competing?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beach Fiber Weekend

Friday afternoon I picked up Tammy and Sara and we headed towards the beach. While on the way I discovered that neither of them had actually been to Woodland Woolworks and since we were going to be going through Carlton, we had to stop! We technically arrived after closing, but the door was still unlocked and the open sign out. We went on in and started checking things out. Ran into one of the lovely employees there that said she'd have to kick us out at 4:45. Tammy found a skein of yarn to be able to put buttons on her Central Park Hoody. I found out that someone else had beat me to trying to put the New Zealand castle wheel on layaway. Wasn't meant to be!

We arrived at the beach house and met up with Shelia and Duffy. In short order we were all settled in and awaiting the enchilada dinner that Sara prepared for us all, along with the Spanish Rice Tammy made. After dinner it was a relaxing evening of knitting, chatting and some TV viewing.

Saturday we were up bright and early and enjoyed some coffee cake that Shelia brought for us to enjoy.  We then drove the half an hour further south to the spin-in at the Newport High School. We arrived early so that we were assured of parking and so we could pick out our seats. ;-) Robyn, we spin with her on Wednesdays, was there selling some of her handknits/crochet items along with a friend of hers that does handdyed fiber. Stitchjones, aka Sharon, was also there, so lots of familiar faces for us.

Our $4 entry fee, covered I'm sure the building rental, but also the snacks and lunch type items that the local guild provided. Soups, taco salad, dips and chips, cookies, and a variety of cakes. So more great food. After getting all settled and having our circle quickly filled, there were all the booths tempting you with their wares. I was quickly tempted by an oval basket and after resisting went back for it. I thought I was going really well at resisting all the other temptations - fleeces, hand dyed rovings, special batts designed to allow for striping, yarns, and buttons. Then I was going around with Sara and back in the Custom Coverups booth and found a bag of white Falkland that I couldn't resist bringing home. Kind of funny that I brought home some Falkland wool from South America and MIL, Judy couldn't get there on her two week cruise around SA because of rough seas!

By the time 4pm rolled around a lot of spinning, talking and shopping had occurred! I was almost able to do up the first two ounces of my second four ounce ball of Portland Punch. Sara was close to finishing up the green/blue that is also from Stitchjones, Duffy finished up some pretty blue stuff she had brought along, Tammy plied a couple of singles and learned how to use a nostepinne and create a center-pull ball. Shelia was also spinning up some yellow and green roving also dyed by Stitchjones. I swear we did not coordinate and plan to show off Sharon's stuff while we were there! 

As we entered in the morning we were given a ticket for the door prizes donated by the vendors. There were lots of very nice things being offered too! Imagine my surprise to have mine drawn at the beginning! At first I was a little bewildered by it, but by the end of the day I loved my prize. What is it? A seat cushion crocheted from Pendleton Wool Mill ends:

Abby's Pizza gave us the option to get personal pizzas and then we headed back to the beach house. I finished up my two ounces of Portland Punch and Sara tried really hard to finish hers up too. Other knitting and lots more talking and laughing occurred before heading off to bed. This morning I made up the buttermilk scones I'd partially pre-prepared and served those with the summer canned raspberry jam. Shelia taught us the joys of organic eggs from her chickens and scrambled some up for us. Delicious! Then there was the general cleaning/laundry duties before heading home. Shelia and Duffy planned a stop at the Outlet stores, while I stopped at the taffy store I grew up stopping at, different owners of course! Couple bags of salt water taffy and a few licorice pieces for me and I was set to head home. 
I've gotten everything unpacked, put away and laundry going. My brain said it was just too tired to try to knit, so of course it only made sense to pull out the second two ounces of Portland Punch to see if I can get it all spun up this week. 

Duffy was taking lots of pictures, so maybe more will show up on her blog. I teased Sara about her blog neglect. We'll have to see if the rest of the group posts anything.

I do foresee another fiber group trip to the beach house in the future!

Added, slurped from Duffy's Facebook Album:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gail's Socks

I'd told Gail that if she found yarn and pattern I'd be happy to knit her up a pair of socks. Gail got some of Susan's Picasso line of yarn in 100% baby alpaca in the colorway Lady MacBeth. She found Mountain Colors Fascine Braid as the pattern and then it was all up to me.

Nice easy to memorize pattern and lovely soft yarn to work with. Just a little difficult in low light because of the black and dark grey colors. Gorgeous red!
Gail in turned paid me in yarn. Some really soft and cushy Cascade Eco Duo:

I started a project for Susan that she's been lusting after since I made a pair as a gift. Burnside Winter Twilight Mitts -Deux have been started and this pair will be totally Abstract Fiber sock yarn. She does a pretty black called appropriately, Little Black Dress.
I also started a pair of socks for my sister Tanya out of the Breast Cancer colorway from Lorna's Laces, there's a small error, but I'm going with it. Pattern is Celebrate Spring. Blurry picture:

Tomorrow is all about getting ready for the beach trip. Sharing the beach house with Duffy, Sara, Shelia,  and Tammy. Friends + Fiber = Fun weekend!