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)