Thursday, November 13, 2008

Week 2

Last Thursday, I started posting a once a week guide to disaster preparedness. This weeks list comes from the hardware store.

- Heavy cotton or hemp rope
- Duct tape
- 2 flashlights with batteries
- Matches in waterproof container for outside use only with appropriate camp stove or BBQ

Additional: Leash or carrier for your pet, extra set of I.D. tags

Action steps:
- Sign up for a First Aid/CPR class at your local American Red Cross (I need to do this again!)

So, in reality where does one keep all this stuff? I figure if there's an earthquake (our most likely disaster here in the PNW) I need to be able to get to the stuff I've stored. We have some built in cabinets in our basement that we used to use for toy storage. We've managed to clear out a good portion of these, so it made a great solution for me to have an emergency pantry of sorts. The cabinets latch, so I would just have to be able to get to the basement. Doug has a lot of tools, so pretty much anything like rope, duct tape, etc. is here and in good supply. I do always keep a flashlight next to the bed, because you just never know when the power may go out!

On the knitting front, I did post last night (Wed 11/12) that I finished the Tilia sweater. I forgot to take pictures today, due to massive raking of leaves and Madrona registration. Tomorrow? I did finish the first of another pair of Christmas socks too.

Ahh, Madrona. Well, I did get into the two classes that I wanted (I did ideally want others, but just too much money) Judith McKenzie McCuin Dyeing for Socks on Friday morning, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Speed Knitting Saturday pm. That will give me time to be able to visit with friends too. I'm really not sure why the registration opened up at least 2 hours before the scheduled time...perhaps the company used (in Colorado) forgot to set it for Pacific Time? I was happy that someone on a list I'm on sent out a quick message and just happened to see it come across. Regardless, I think everyone will have a great time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I just finished seaming the last seam on my Tilia sweater - hopefully if the rain slows enough, I'll have some pictures tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Doug and I (and my brother, Dave) headed over the mountains to Pullman to visit the boys this past weekend. My nephew also attends WSU, (he's a year older than Patrick) thus, the reason my brother went along. It was Dad's weekend and while there were some planned "activities", we chose not to participate and do our own thing. We played some video games, watched a movie, went out to eat, played cards and just chatted. We also went to the football game. Now for some reason, the big three football teams (Seahawks, UW Huskies and WSU Cougars) are having terrible, terrible years. So although the Cougs lost yet again, at least they scored 4 touchdowns this game. All in all, we had a really nice visit, and we are looking forward to having Patrick home for a week at Thankgiving.
Since it is a 5 hour drive to Pullman, I did get a lot of knitting done on the Tilia Sweater. Below is how things looked on Thursday morning (back done, front lace section started):and this is where I am tonight. Just the sleeve caps to go and I'll be seaming. Most likely this will be done tomorrow and I'll continue on with some Christmas knitting. I think between the two photos, the bottom one is more true to color.
I've done some spinning too - when Naomi and I went to OFFF she bought 8 oz. of Superwash Merino from Crown Mountain Farms in the Born to Be Wild colorway and she very kindly split it with me. I wish I had taken a before picture of the fiber but sometimes I just get too anxious to spin it up and just have the finished product to show! So, if you want a before, you can find it by clicking on the Born to be wild link above, and here it is in all it's spun up glory:

I ended up plying this as a 3-ply yarn. I didn't think it would be so pink, but I absolutely love it! It's just pretty and I plan to knit it up into a pair of socks.
Another two storms are supposed to be rolling in tonight.....we shall see!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Are you ready?

Are you ready for fall weather? We are supposed to be under a flood watch in our region this weekend, with the usual fall storms and some wind forecasted. Where I live it would be next to impossible to flood (on top of a tall hill, with ravines all around) but it is definitely a concern for people in the low lying areas. We are prone to windstorms, and of course earthquakes. Naomi and I were talking last week about how we both like to be self-sufficient in cases of power outages and the like and it made me think I should go through and update the supplies that we keep on hand.

It's fairly typical to have the power go out in our neighborhood. We basically live in the woods/surround by woods and so if someone sneezes too hard, our power just may go out! I thought it might be a good service to remind you all to see that you have enough supplies on hand to be able to take care of your own needs and even community needs if necessary in the case of something like the aftermath of a windstorm or earthquake or whatever disaster may happen in your area.

My first inclination was just to post a quick link to the American Red Cross or, but my favorite resource from them apparently has been taken off line. I have a 6-month (24-week) calendar helping you to get ready for pretty much any type of disaster. I'm thinking I will post each week here until I've gone through all 24 weeks. It's yours to choose to follow or ignore. I just know that when we had our power out for 5 days because of a windstorm a few years ago, I was really happy that I was prepared!

Okay, week one, if you choose to keep reading..... (note - there is an * after some items. That means you get one of these for each person living at your residence, or have spares to share)

1 gallon of water*
1 jar peanut butter
1 large can of juice*
1 can meat* (I'm flexible on this - sometimes I get bean less chili, tuna, or stew - you are after protein here)
1 hand-operated can opener
Permanent marking pen

Additional: pet food, diapers, baby food

Action steps:

- Date perishable items with marker (so you can rotate items in your pantry - I mark them 1 year out - you decide what's best for you!)
- Decide upon and notify out-of-area contact who can coordinate information for scattered family members

There is actual knitting content going on - I finished the back of the Tilia sweater and have cast on for the front. I hope to get the lace section done before heading off for the weekend so that I just have the stockinette section to work on in the car. I also have some giftie socks I'm working on (no picture) and am really liking short row heels now that I've figured them out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Didja vote?

I did! There were not really even any lines to speak of at my polling place. I waited about 3 minutes, then it was my turn. I think I was a bit disappointed I didn't have to wait a bit - I anticipated waiting for awhile, so I brought some sock knitting. Didn't touch it. I did see some 20-something poll workers there - it was nice to see that age bracket represented - it's usually the 60-70 something age range volunteering where we vote.

I did go and get my free tall drip coffee and I also bought a pumpkin scone (yum!) to make up for the fact that they were giving away so much coffee today. I know it really doesn't cost them that much for drip coffee, but still, it was a nice gesture on their part. I know some cynical people see it as a marketing ploy - me? I try to see the happier side of life. I decided to pass on the free Trophy cupcake, the free Krispy Kreme and the free B&J ice cream.

Wow - it just started hailing here. Cool!

So I think I will be settling in for the evening -I just started a nice fire, and we will be watching election results, eating leftover chicken enchiladas, and I'll be knitting on my Tilia sweater. Enjoy your evening!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The start of something good!

It's not a very good picture - but the color is fairly accurate. This is nearly 3 repeats of the lace edging of the Tilia sweater. It's a really easy chart (gotta love the K3togs!) so I'm hoping I will just breeze through on it.

I've also started some Christmas knitting - I know that some of my gift recipients read this, so suffice to say I have finished 4 hats and one pair of men's size 12 socks. Still more to knit but I'm happy to be making progress. I cast on for another pair of socks today, and we will be heading over to visit Patrick at school soon and therefore will have some car knitting time. I really like Brooklyn Tweed's Turn a Square hat - it's my hat choice for this season, using Berroco Ultra Alpaca and Noro Silk Garden.

I felt a bit of a sense of relief today - Naomi and I went together to drop off our fleeces at Superior Fibers to be processed. They seem really nice - I spoke with Bill on Friday afternoon, and we met his wife Inge today. She thinks there turn around is about 4 weeks right now. I can't wait to see Tilly and Jemima all made up into roving! I did try washing the white fleece in the tub, and did card some of it, but I'm just thinking it really isn't my sort of thing. I don't really have a great area that I can have equipment set up - it tends to happen in the living room or kitchen. At least I will know the process when others talk about it!

For my U.S. readers - don't forget to vote tomorrow! I never talk politics and try and stay right in the middle, but it is an important right that we have. Besides, at least in the Seattle area, the coffee place that starts with a "S" is giving out free tall drip coffees! Whoo Hoo!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I think I found my sweater. It's Tilia from Elsebeth Lavold, Book 8. Ravelry link here. ( I hope this works!) I really thought I had picked out another sweater, but after swatching and knitting the first 3 inches, I realized I had recently completed two other sweaters that were basically 2x2 ribbed sweaters and maybe I should try something new! So no progress pictures yet, but I know I have gauge, so I can at least cast on tonight. Fortunately there is only one very small errata published, so it should be a quick knit!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy November!

November, the month of NaNoSweMo (National November Sweater Month) and NaBloPoMo (National November Blog Posting Month). I'm not signing up for anything official, but I am going to try and get another sweater done this month and be more regular (note - I didn't say everyday!) about posting.

As for the sweater, I still need to decide what I'm going to make. I have a ton of Evilla preyarn that I spun, that I think will turn into Ruth's Rhubarb Cardigan. I loved hers when she was out, and I'd really like one too. I'm not sure if she did hers out of Evilla or Kauni, but since it's really a sweater based on gauge and measurements, it doesn't really matter.

My second option was to be the Elsebeth Lavold Margery, but after seeing finished pictures of it on Ravelry, I'm not sure I like it as much as I did. The sleeves seem rather bell like, and there is definitely some errata attributed to the pattern. I don't really want to spend a ton of time rewriting the pattern, so I think Margery has officially been frogged. Next would be to look for some other Lavold patterns that I can do a 38-40" bust with 7 skeins of silky wool.
I do have finished objects. I completed what I call my "Lint" sweater. I used Karen Alfke's top down pattern and then winged it from there. It's a deep v-neck, just a comfy sweater to through on. Not all that flattering, but it's warm. The yarn is homespun, in that I spun it. (not the Lion Brand - yuck). I had about two pounds of Spinderella's Thrums that I spun to a bulky yarn (3 sts/inch on size 10 needles) The reason the sweater was named the Lint sweater is that I was trying to describe the yarn to Naomi one day. I said it was sort of a grey with purple-y and teal bits and sparkle thrown it, sort of like dryer lint with lumps of color.

Socks were finished too - I already posted the Rocktober Charade socks, but I also finished the Rivendells and a pair for Sara out of Meleinweit Meeting. The Rivendells, once I had a chance to really pay attention to the pattern, were actually fun. I'd make another pair.

I'm off now to visit with friends, and knit and spin for the afternoon. Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Waiting game....

Baby Kaitlyn Donnell was born about 7:45 pm - no other details available yet, but she is healthy and mom is doing well too.

Our family has been on pins and needles all day today. Why? Niece Lisa's water broke last night and she's been in labor since 8 this morning. Can't wait to meet my first great-niece!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BOB and Martha

My Martha sweater is totally done and buttonized now - I guess you can't see the buttons too well in this photo though. I had wanted some sort of gunmetal grey button to pick up the black and grey flecks in the yarn, but all that was available was too big. I ended up going with some shell buttons and they are good and well when all is said and done. I had finished it without even trying it on. At the last minute Friday night I decided I was going to go to Portland the next morning for a family funeral and was trying to figure out what I was going to wear. I popped this on with a black teeshirt and some black slacks. Oh. This is so cute on! Great for travel, yet dressy enough for a funeral. It's a great sweater - you have to make one!
Sunday my brother came over to help me harvest my bees. Quite a few years ago we had some Mason bee houses (the 4 x 4 blocks with holes drilled in them) and had a huge population of bees. This lasted a few years, but then mites ended up killing them. We tried to repopulate but just didn't have any luck. My brother (Hi, Dave!) in the meantime came up with a great way to launch the bees in the spring and then harvest in the fall and have them hibernate in the fridge until springtime. This should eliminate the mite problem. So, at Christmas last year, he said he was going to set up with a bee system of my own. This spring he brought over the box, a bunch of tubes with liners and a launch box. Oh, and 100 bee cocoons. Long story short, from my 100 bees, I now have 411 bee cocoons for next year! Here's some pictures in case you are curious. These straw like things are the paper liners that go into the paper tubes.

There is quite a bit of mud and pollen that comes out - all sort of gross, but just part of nature. Here's the bees soaking a dilute bleach/water solution. Hopefully killing any baddies and getting the bees ready for a long sleep in the fridge! And last, I tried getting a close up of a cocoon. These bees are just really cool!

Sock progress has been slow but steady. I did finish the Rocktober Charade socks, and a plain Jane stockinette one for Sara. I let her look through my sock stash the other night and she picked out this yarn for a pair for herself. They are my non-thinking time socks. We all need a project like that sometimes!

Here is really what I've been working on for the past few days. It's why you don't make latkes in your mom's all-clad pan. Ugh. Yes, the culprit should be the one working on it, but she is severely stressed out with trying to finish up her degrees this quarter. I'm just a nice mom! Imagine fully half the pan coated in burnt on oil. Yuck. Vinegar seems to be helping though.
Last, but not least I thought I'd take a picture of my project bags and stitch markers. They are all from Amy's site. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"One of these things is not like the other....

......One of these things just doesn't belong!"

I spent a good part of the weekend thinking up blog post titles for this -
- "Oops, I did it again"
- "Another one bites the dust"
- "One step forward, three steps back"
and so on.
Have you found the problem yet? I was almost done with the right front of my Martha sweater (Rowan Studio Issue 2). The back was done. The left front, I thought was done. Then I noticed that I had two extra rows in the bottom texture portion of the left front. Nuts. I ended up ripping that entire side out, and went on to finishing the sleeves to erase any bad knitting mojo. I seriously considered just unraveling from teh bottom and calling it good, but it was based on a certain measurement to the texture section right below the cables, and it was just so much easier and the right thing to do it the long way and reknit. Things are fine and dandy now - hopefully I'll be working on the front bands tonight and seaming tomorrow. But still. Argh. Sometimes I need my knitting license taken away from me!

We had a baby shower for the soon-to-be-born grand niece on Sunday. I ended up knitting the Baby Mine sweater and had enough yarn leftover to make a pair of Saartje's booties to go with.

Very cute!
My February Lady Sweater is also done - I ended up not knitting the sleeves because I thought it would be too much fabric on me. I still haven't worn it yet, but soon. Very soon! BTW, I really like the buttons on this. I was hoping there might be something in my button jar, and I found these great navy blue ones that had belonged to my grandmother (Nana). I was so happy they just fit the look of my sweater so well!

Still making progress on the Rivendell sock. Because I kept taking it with me places where I couldn't really give it my full attention, I ended up ripping it out, starting over and putting a marker after every 21st stitch. So much easier! I breezed through the wrapped stitches section and now I'm on to the leafy cables.
I did, however, finish the first Charade sock in STR Rocktober. Fun pattern, nice fall colored yarn. Socks went by the wayside a bit as I was got engrossed with the Martha sweater, but they will still get done!
We have been having some fairly sunny afternoons, so I've been trying to dig up some wayward clumps of daisies. It's not that I don't like daisies, but these things just tend to grow rampant! I'll transplant some to another area of the yard where I can have a nice big clump for cutting and not have them take over the perennial bed.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where were you 45 years ago?

Wow - I was going to post about something totally different, but I went to one of our local news sites - before going to my blog site and read that the Columbus Day storm was 45 years ago today. There's a video link there to see some old storm footage. Talk about something making you feel old!

In 1963, I was living in Portland, Oregon. I don't remember the name of the area of town where we lived but I know it was on 61st street. Anyhoo, at that time I was only a bit over a year and a half old, but I have very clear and distinct memories of the aftermath of that storm. I remember our neighbor, Mrs. Richter, her chimney had crumbled/fell down and our neighbors apple tree blew over.

Anyway, just a small memory... there does always seem to be some type of wind event in the general Pacific Northwest area in mid October and it always reminds me of Columbus Day!

Friday, October 10, 2008


I was doing so well, posting three whole times in one week! then, Bam! I caught some stomach bug that has been floating over the Seattle area. Blech.

I guess it's been quite a few weeks since OFFF (Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival) now, but I'll still post, since I do have a few pictures and they've already been loaded onto the computer! Naomi and I left my house bright and early (6:30am) Saturday morning to head down to the city of Canby, Oregon. I really like the areas outside of Portland - the small sleepy towns and all - even though Portland is so close to Seattle, it's just a totally different feel. So we arrived at the fairgrounds a bit before 10 am. We had talked all the way down about our stashes, and limiting spending because just how much yarn do we really need???? We did plan out how we would hit the vendors - first the vendors we "knew" - Lisa Souza, Tina at Blue Moon, Michael and Sheila Ernst, Klaus at Crown Mountain, and Michelle at Toots LeBlanc.

At Lisa Souza's, I purchased this - 16 oz. of a lovely Merino Top in the South Pacific colorway. back in February at Madrona, Jen had a very lovely Wool Peddler's Shawl. I did buy some roving to spin/knit myself one at Madrona, but I wasn't in love with the yarn after spinning it. I think this will do the ticket!
Next stop was to visit Tina at Blue Moon. Naomi and I got to know Tina a bit in February at Madrona, so we wanted to say hi and also show off our Body Hugger Raglan Sweaters that we both recently knit out of the medium weight sock yarn. Get this - she remember us! Anyway, the best thing about buying from Blue Moon at a show is that they have roving! There is stuff there that isn't on the website, so besides the group of them being so nice, there are great things to be had.
I came away with these:

Yarn and a pattern for the Baby Mine baby sweater (baby gift solved!) and some yummy, yummy silk/wool roving (5.5 oz) in "Jabberwocky" Oooo, pretty...... I did pick up some roving for Amy too (just no picture!)

After that fun, we strolled around a bit, looking for the Dicentra Booth. We did finally find it along with her two bins marked 50% and 75% off! I purchased just two things - the only superwash merino I could find was in these sale bins. I ended up with 4 oz. of superwash merino in Margaritaville and another regular merino in some color I can't recall right now.

More booths, more shopping! Crown Mountain Farms was in this same building, so we strolled over and talked with Klaus for a bit. I bought 8 oz. of Corriedale in the Stonehenge colorway. One more friend stop was to be made, and that was to visit Michelle (and her brother Carl) at Toots LeBlanc. I had purchased 500 yards of their fingering weight merino/pygora in February, and had on my list to get two more skeins of this to be able to make a substantial shawl. Apparently, they had discussed not even bringing this yarn to the show, I'm glad they did!

After a lunch break, we decided we would take a break from the booths and sit under the trees and spin for a bit. That's when I spun the majority of the Crown Mountain pictured above. We ran into many friends here and there - and even got to see Kim! I miss not working with her and seeing her more often.This made for a very peaceful, enjoyable afternoon - the weather was just so nice!

The next morning was the parking lot sale. Now I had heard of this before, and was one of the reasons we had decided to stay the night, so that we could attend. My goal was to get a grey Shetland fleece, but as soon as the sale opened up, I totally forgot that. I ended up beelining it to a Shetland farm and spied quite a few white and a few black fleeces. I ended up getting this white fleece from a sheep named "Tilly". It's pretty important to me to know whose coat I'll be wearing!

I had a cute picture of the couple whose sheep these are from, but now I'm not finding it. Anyway, they are Jeremy and Janet from Heron Ridge Ranch in Oregon.

What's up with the black fleece? Well, I had really only intended to get the one fleece and learn how to clean it, etc. As Naomi and I were walking back to the car later on Sunday, I said "Oh, look - they have that pretty black fleece all laid out" Next thing I knew, we were back at the same "booth" and discussing the merits of this black shetland fleece. Oh, it's so pretty and actually cleaner than the white fleece. And they had dropped the price to $15. Okay, I bought it. It came from Jemima. 'Nuf said. It's mine now.

See this cute lady? We were browsing some of the booths on the lawn and she asked if we'd had our hands massaged yet. Turns out, she was a shopper the day before, loved the product so much that she demo'd for them the whole next day! She was doing a great business for this couple. I ended up buying their Sweet Plumeria Salt Scrub and two lotion bars - honey almond and red clover tea. Oh - the company is Bar-Maids. Great stuff!

All in all a super fantastic weekend with lots of fun and sunshine! Can't wait for next year......

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rockin' Socktober

I know in past years many people have declared October to be"Socktober" and this year, I decided to join in. While I don't plan to exclusively knit socks this month, I do plan to knit a few pairs at least.

For my first pair, being October and all, I'm going to cast on Charade in Blue Moon Socks that Rock "Rocktober". I chose this pattern because I need something that I can just pick up and knit without a complicated chart to follow ahem - Rivendell - ahem.

I've also joined the KAL from Through the Loops for her mystery sock pattern ( you can find it on Ravelry - just search groups for Through the Loops). I'm going to use some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that I have in the chocolate colorway. One clue per week through the month of October - sounds very doable!
The February Lady Sweater is coming right along. I am seeing quite a few of these lately, which makes me want to make mine a bit different. Since I'm on the short side of life, I think I will not be doing the lace portion of the sleeves. On me it's just a bit too overpowering to have all of that fabric. I think it will look rather cute and at least a bit different than all the others to have cap sleeves. Only 9" more of the lace pattern, do the garter edge and a bit of finishing! Perhaps this weekend?
As for a baby project for my grandniece-to-be, I've chosen the Yarn Harlot's Baby Mine pattern. I have the sleeves done and I am halfway through the lace chart for the body.
And, last but of course not least - Happy Birthday Doug! I hope this is your best year ever - I love you!
Stayed tuned - next post will be a doozy on OFFF! Just wait until you see what I have.... (no, it's not a bunny)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Off to OFFF

Naomi and I will be off on a road trip to Canby tomorrow morning to visit the sheep and sunshine-y, fibery goodness offered this weekend at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. I went two years ago with the twins for the day and had a great time.

This time we will spend the night and hopefully get to check out Woodland Woolworks on Saturday afternoon, the parking lot sale Sunday morning (I really would love a grey color shetland fleece!) and maybe a few other local shops on Sunday.

I'm bringing my Rose to spin on, the Rivendell socks and the February Lady Sweater. Hopefully one of these projects will progress along!

What did you guys think of Grey's Anatomy last night? I felt like it sort of dragged on a bit - like it didn't really need to be two hours long. Overall it was good, but not much drama. Another point - why was it snowing in September in Seattle? We also don't get huge icicles like that here... I know there was a small reference to global warming, but seriously? I didn't buy it.

I spent today trying to find a baby outfit/dress or something for a baby shower. My niece Lisa will be having a baby (girl) at the end of October, and I wanted to find something. I'm just frustrated more than anything right now. I don't like the styles that are out for baby girls right now. Call me a fuddy duddy, but I don't think it's cute to have babies look like small teenagers or grade schoolers or whatever. I really just wanted a simple dress that I could knit a coordinating sweater and booties for. You know, cute, non-fussy, traditional. Argh. So I came home. Went through my baby patterns. Trundled off to one of the LYS's and they didn't have any good colors for a baby girl. I don't want mint green or yellow or hot pink. I don't want acrylic.

Hopefully something will show up on my fiber adventure this weekend! Otherwise I'll be checking out more stores in the general area on Monday.

Oh, check out Amy's shop blog. She's selling some of her stash.... and there is some great stuff there! Malabrigo, Socks that Rock, Noro.....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grey for Grey's

I'm going to a Grey's Anatomy "party" tonight. I felt like I needed something grey to work on for this event, and that would then be a Thursday night project for Grey's watching. Now I know there are special Grey's Anatomy colorways out there, but I really truly need to use up stash yarn. Seriously. Remember my contest about how many pairs of socks I could make with my stash? I think it's grown from there....sad but true.

I did however remember that I have a great grey from Sarah at Plucky Knitter. It's Madeleine Elster from the movie Vertigo and is from the Plucky Classics Hitchcock series. What do you think? I like it for a patterned sock. I had thought about using Yarn Harlot's Earl Grey Socks, intending them as a gift, but I think it's more a feminine grey rather than masculine. Then I considered the Charade socks. Naw, I'm planning a different yarn for that. Then I remembered The Eclectic Sole. Oh. Janel Laidman's book is splendiferiously fantastic. Browsing through this gem I found I pretty much love all of the patterns. My favorite right now though is Rivendell. I think the grey will really make the cables stand out. Okay, I'm set.
In sweater news - my next project will be to finish my February Lady Sweater. I started this on August first, and had a few setbacks in the increases. Yep, it does make sense to actually pay attention to the pattern as written, not be too busy chatting to realize what's going on. So, I actually knitted the bodice twice. Humph. Last night I put the sleeves on to the waste yarn. Now things will start to come along much faster. The body is a simple 4 row repeat and no shaping. Easy peasy! I guess the most surprising thing for me is that I'm posting about it before I'm done. Need to get better about that....

If you are wanting to make this sweater, I know that Village Yarn and Tea is doing a knit along using this pattern starting January 1st, I believe. Oh, my yarn! I didn't tell you about the yarn I'm using for this. It's Beaverslide Dry Goods Mule Spun Yarn in the Lake MacDonald colorway. I really like this yarn. It's sort of rustic looking.

What are you knitting for fall?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall? Bring it on!

*warning: picture heavy post!*

I've been really trying to get some projects off the needles lately. Sort of my own personal "reclaim the needles" movement as this post will prove. It's been definitely chilly around here - this morning Sara announced to me that her room is a brisk 62 degrees. Brr! It's almost time to pull out the wool!

I guess I've been blogging so sporadically, not everything is really up to date. Sara moved home Sept. 1st to live here for her last quarter at the UW. Yep, we'll have a college graduate in December. She looked for an apartment late summer, but at that time she didn't know where she would be working or what would be happening after graduation so it was really hard to decide on a year long lease. That, and the fact that she wasn't sure about the job part of her life (she has since been offered a full time job for after graduation) and it didn't make sense to get a loan to help with her rent. So she's home for a bit and we're having fun having her around. We don't really see her much (work, boyfriend - noted from here out as "BF", and other friends) but we enjoy what we get.

We/She decided her room needed to change from one we decorated when she was 10, to her current tastes at 22.
There were hand stamped hummingbirds, butterflies and morning glory vines. It was cool for a 10 year old!

Now the room is a very sunshine-y yellow, still with the dark green trim. We changed to a full size bed with the intent on using this room as a guest room in the future. Our biggest problem was/is finding a comforter to match. You just don't see this color combination much! I have this quilt (below) that is really one of my favorites that I made from a kit a few years back. It works for now! It's really not her style, (and I want it back in our room)but we are planning on checking out Amy Butler's new August Fields line and making a duvet cover with that.

Patrick is back at school - we took him over towards the end of August. This year(sophomore year) he isn't in the dorms - it's the apartment life for him. He and his roommate have a very spacious apartment and it seemed very quiet when we were there. I think he's enjoying it well enough. Sara and BF went over and visited him last weekend and had a good time. It's really nice that our kids enjoy each other so much - especially if you knew how much they fought when they were younger! Now they call each other quite often, and genuinely enjoy each others' company.
Let's see... a new buddy came to live at my house. Can you guess?

If your guess was a Schacht Double Treadle Matchless Wheel, then ding ding ding, you are a winner! I will be selling my Majacraft Rose hopefully to a very good home (Tava - are you out there??)

Soon after my wheel arrived, another friend came - just for a visit though. It was Sarah - of Plucky Knitter fame! Naomi, Amy and I picked her up at the airport on Wednesday, whisked her off for a ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island for lunch, Churchmouse Yarns and Tea, and Mora Ice Cream. We took the ferry back over to the Edmonds Terminal, had dinner at Anthony's Beach Cafe and then dropped her off with Naomi for the evening. She was so tired! We have a 3 hour time difference, and she had gotten up at 2 in the morning (her time) to get ready for the airport. Ouch! Anyway, the next day was more yarn shopping, shoe shopping and cupcakes at Trophy Cupcakes. Dinner was at our house - fajitas and margaritas. Fun!
That's Sarah, waiting for the ferry to arrive. (She's working on her Ingenue sweater from Wendy Bernards' Custom Knits)

Friday, we had been all invited with a few other friends to gather at Naomi's family vacation home for the weekend. We spent a fun weekend of chatting, good food, knitting and spinning. I brought both of my wheels so that Amy could have a chance to try it for an extended amount of time. She got hooked! She is officially now a spinner and even has purchase her own wheel. Here's what I ended up working on - From left to right: 1) Vesper socks in Muddy Waters colorway. Love my Vesper (apparently so does my daughter...she claimed them for herself. At least I know she does really appreciate the handknit socks!) 2) Body Hugger Raglan in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock (BMFA STR) med. weight the color is Rooster Rock (more later) and 3) a cute baby hat kit from Fancy Image Yarns.

After that whirlwind week, more fun ensued. Naomi invited me to a Mariners game with her, her sister and a friend. It was such a great afternoon - warm and sunny and the boys even won. Her is Ichiro, up close and personal. You could even see the muscles in his arms!

Doug and I then took a little 3-day weekend down to Cannon Beach. What a great weekend - warm and sunny pretty much the whole time. This time we stayed at the Tolovana Inn - just south of Cannon Beach, it gave us a little bit different view of the rock. Lots of fun, shopping (really didn't buy much though) great food (Bill's Tavern - the best!) and walking on the beach. I did pick up a skein of BMFA STR lightweight in Rook-y to make some gloves and one skein of Noro sock yarn, color s150 - I haven't been able to find it around town.

Haystack rock - view from the south.

This would be Mr. Middlename, aka Doug.

Remember this sweater? I actually made it once in 2000, out of a merino that pilled terribly. I ended up getting rid of the sweater (it was too big too) and restarted it in the yarn called for in 2004. Uh yeah, that would be four years ago - officially my oldest project on the needles. In February of this year I revisited it and managed to get through one cable repeat and then something happened that made me abandon it. I don't remember why, but I just know I hadn't touched it since then. About two weeks ago I decided I was sick of looking at it and it just needed to be finished. So, I picked up the needles, figured out what row I was on and went to work. I knit and knit and knit - 32 rows worth. Until this. I really couldn't get a great picture of the problem - can you see it???

The gauge was totally off. I couldn't figure out if my gauge has drastically changed over four years (possible) or what. I checked the pattern for needle size. Size 8 - I would have written it down if I had changed the needle size. Got out my needle gauge. Huh. Guess I needed that size 8 needle for something else at some point. Silly me exchanged the needle in progress for a size 6 needle. No wonder the gauge was so tight! It would have been nice if I had taken the two minutes and made myself a note at least! Anyway, I did rip those rows back and forced a finish. Here it is, all ready for crisp fall weather.

Pattern Specs:

Pattern: Aran Sweater from

Two Sticks and a String by Kerry Ferguson

Started Spring 2004, Finished Sept. 21,2008

Yarn: Creative Yarns International Hearty Worsted

4 sts/inch. 166 yds., possibly 8 balls? I have two leftover - this yarn doesn't seem to be available - but any aran weight would work fine.

Needles: Size 5 and 8

Remember Mystery Stole 3 from last summer? I did finally decide to go with the wing, and I had been waiting until my blocking area (Sara's room!) was unoccupied to block it. I don't have any great way to photograph it - just say I'm glad it's done and I'm looking forward to a new lace project - I just don't know which one yet!

When Naomi, Sarah, Amy and I went to Churchmouse, I spied this sweater as a model. I really like the simplicity of it - great with jeans, comfortable to throw on, yet could be dressed up too. Naomi has the story of it on her blog - check it out there. Anyway, I picked the Rooster Rock colorway, not my usual colors, but definitely ones I can wear.

Pattern Specs:

Pattern: Body Hugger Raglan from Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch

Yarn: 3 1/4 skeins BMFA Socks that Rock med. weight, Rooster Rock

Needles: Size 6

Started 9/5/2008, finished 9/20/2008
The only changes I made was to make the body longer by about 3 inches. I'm not too into the cropped look!

I tend to forget about these books (The Knit Stitch, The Purl Stitch) There are actually some pretty cute things in these books that need to be addressed at some point I think.