Thursday, May 31, 2007


Sheri has a list of summer goals on her blog. Good idea, here is my list.

Finish the current design and submit.

Begin work on a new design.

Finish the Faux Russian Stole.

Learn to spin.

Learn to spin well enough to be able to give handspun to my fellow fiber fiends as holiday gifts.

Lose 10 pounds by getting more exercise.

Weed the front flower garden.

Pots and plants for the deck.

I think that is it. Not too bad. Totally doable. Will I do it?

OK, what are your summer goals?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

on the road again

What a great weekend. We began by heading south to Mt. St. Helens. Windy Ridge was closed but we still saw a beautiful volcano.

We also stumbled upon a nice waterfall. It was just a short hike off the road and so worth the climbing over fallen trees.

No ice caves, but Hood River! This is my new favorite place and I plan to visit again and spend a couple of days.

We enjoyed the local museum and saw a Kestrel!

The warm and sunny afternoon was spent at the Mary Hill Museum

There are a lot of peafowl on the grounds. One is an albino and he was kind enough to show off for us.

and then Stonehenge.

I had a bit of a panic attack after Youngest Son threw Toothy on top of one of the pillars. Toothy is an Allosaurus and his constant companion. Toothy was really looking forward to dancing around Stonehenge. I asked youngest son where Toothy would like to have his picture taken and pop, he threw him right up there. An extremely kind stranger gave Oldest Son a leg up so that Toothy could be retrieved. From that point on all dancing was done on the ground.

Then it was up to Yakima. We were trying to find a brewery but failed. We had 2 maps of the city and they did not match. Not very helpful. Yakima is an odd city. No plans to return.

They do however have a really nice museum, we spent way more time there than expected. So I guess I would recommend taking in the museum and the soda fountain and then keep driving.

The mini vacation is the way to go when you have a big, diverse family. No big planning or reservations to be made. No lines to stand in. About the time everyone is getting cranky it is time to go home. We have been inspired to do more mini vacations this summer. Our next trip will the the middle of June, camping.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

shiny, shiny

I think the cat may be out of the bag. Oldest Son was looking over my shoulder this evening while I was reading Tans blog, Vortex of Chaos. I explained that this was my "Blue Moon Buddy". He enjoyed the description under the title and then asked what mine said. I played it cool, said that mine did not say anything special. He moved on to another subject. I really do not want to share my blog with the family. I share everything else. This is mine.

Knit 16 whole rows on the lace today. Woo hoo! I spent a fair amount of time in the waiting room of the dentist's office while Oldest Daughter was getting the drill. She has the most awful teeth. Really awful. She has already been through years of orthodontia and we are not even close to being done. We are beginning another phase and, in preparation she is getting fillings and build ups and all manner of stuff. 5 appointments in 3 weeks = lots of knitting.

Youngest Daughter is just beginning her orthodontic career. She has never even had a cavity, LOVE her! Of course she is not happy about the whole braces thing. By the time we are done with the both of them there will not be one single device or procedure that has not been a part of our household. OY!

Anyway, the knitting...

It is going well. I am so enjoying the pattern. The math has been done and I will have enough yarn. Its all good.

I also began a bit of my airy scarf just to make sure the needle size is correct before putting it in the bag for this weekend. I like it.

I could go up a size, but will not. Mostly because of a needle epiphany. I first cast on with a #9 16" Addi's. The length was to short and I was amazed at how much I did not like the needles. I switched to bamboo straights. I do not have straights in size 9, which is unbelievable to me. So 8's will have to do.

I have used Addi circs for years. Recently I ordered some needles from Knit Picks and I am hooked (so to speak). First I tried the double points. They were a bit heavy and took 2 tries before I liked them. Once I was used to the difference between the bamboo and the metal there was no going back. They are so pointy and smooth, this makes every stitch so easy. And they are shiny! For the Russian Stole I used the Options #7's. OMG! I am NEVER using anything else for lace work. Again, it is the pointiness that makes all the difference. I can not imagine ever buying another Addi, and the prices Knit Picks wants for tips?...I will probably replace my favorite sizes.

I was also able to make good progress on socks of my own design. No pics. Now I need to chart the second pattern. Probably will not get to it today.

Today is darning day. Look at this mess.

They have been sitting on my dresser for a week. A week is about the max time I can spend looking at something that needs be done. Today is the day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

vacation all I ever wanted....

We are heading out of town this weekend for an adventure. We originally planned to go to Portland. And we may make to to Portland, but now our route is taking a left turn before we get there. We have decided to head east along the Columbia and check out the ice caves and Mt. St. Helen's and Stonehenge and The Mary Hill Museum. What we do will depend on our mood and the weather.

We will be gone 2 -4 days. Our main road off the 5 will be the scenic 14. Where we go from there? It is an adventure.

An adventure needs good packing. Beside the ordinary we will bring gear for the ice caves, all manner of electronics, books and knitting.

For reading I will bring this and this.

For knitting... that was harder.

Enough yarn to work a few repeats on the Faux Russian Wrap. Socks of my own design. An airy scarf.

I can only do simple knitting in the car, I get car sick. But I am NOT going caving, and it is quite possible the rest of the family will want to do other hiking related things I will not want to do. That leaves a lot of time to knit. Yahoo!

Before I leave for the trip I need to sign up for a spinning class at the LYS. I have been thinking spinning thoughts for while and it is time! I normally do not take classes. I am more comfortable learning from a book. But I am also trying to branch out a bit. Meet some people who are not Girl Scouts. This class is a good first step.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

silkie and bamboo and colors, oh my

If you are a Blue Moon fan you MUST go to Tan's blog and see her latest haul.. OMG! It is beautiful. Thank goodness my yarn budget has been spent this month. I will need to wait a whole 12 days before I call in my order. The Silkie is as wonderful as I expected. And Bamboo? My needles are rattling in their holder to get at it.

I have pulled the needles out of Mock Cable and set the wool aside. I have been using Louet Gems. I love this yarn. I have made 2 pairs of socks with it, one for me, one for Husband and still love the yarn. But this particular color is giving me grief. I can not count the number of socks I have cast one, knit 2 inches and pulled out. It must be a combination of the sheen and the color that is not working for me. I will get back to it another time.

Having pulled out The Mock Cable means that I do not have a pair of socks on the needles. Unbelievable. I think it is a sign that I need to return to my latest design and get serious about getting it finished so that I can submit it.

What do you know about the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

there is always next year

I was able to do a bit more on the Mock Socks, but not enough to take a picture.

Our LYS crawl/hop/tour is this weekend. I had 8 shops that I really wanted to visit. My plan was to do 3 or 4 on Friday and the rest Sunday. Friday turned out to be a better day to go to the zoo. Then there was, of course, baseball and Girl Scouts. Saturday was full up with a dance performance and baseball. Sunday.... I don't think it is going to happen. It just is not meant to be. I have projects on needles and others planned and I really do not need to drive all over Puget Sound using $3.64 a gallon gas to impulse buy yarn. There. Isn't that grown up of me?

OK, I know I should be grown up but, waa, I really wanted to go. Oh well, there is always next year.

Friday, May 18, 2007

yarn, yarn & more yarn

It has been a busy week. Bordellos knit with Silkie Walkin' On The Wild Side. - done

They are beautiful, the pattern is a perfect match for the yarn. Such a simple pattern with such great results. Size 2 Knit Picks DP's - 68 stitches around.

Tuesday was a trip to the LYS where I found 9 balls of Frog Tree Alpaca in a mossy green (color 402) that was immediately cast on for this. Its lace, picture it stretchy.

This is the beginning of the Faux Russian Stole. It is really much more green than the picture shows, I will have to work on that in another post. The pattern makes sense and because I am using Sport Weight yarn and size 7 needles it is very satisfying.

While at the yarn shop this jumped into my bag

This is the famous Yarn Pirate I have been reading about. It is hard to find her things in stock. Turns out she is a local girl and the shop even has their own exclusive colorway.

It is called Sonoma and looks very much like desert wildflowers in the spring. It is one for the basket, I do not anticipate actually knitting it up. I do however really like to look at it.

I have also begun Mock Wave Cable socks from Favorite Socks for Husband. There is only 3 rounds on the needles, you don't really want to see.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

feeling left out

This morning I have seen a couple of pictures of the Loopy Ewe Sock Club. Why oh why did I not join? All I can think of is that is was the day before payday and I was feeling a resolve to be more frugal. Damn those frugal feelings all to hell!

What have I got to show off?

Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks That Rock - lightweight - Fire On The Mountain


Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks That Rock - lightweight - Sunstone

Together they will become a sock of my own design. Very cool!

Monday, May 7, 2007


Last week I read on some blog that this person - I do not who, I had clicked there from somewhere else - was insane enough to try to finish 17 pairs of socks in 17 weeks. My first thought, other than the insanity, was that she was some kind of knitting machine. I could not finish 17 pairs of socks in a year. That led me to thinking about what had come off my needles this year. The list is long. WAY longer than I realized. I have added the list to the right. I am going to wait to add links until I can try out Ravelry. It seems to be all the rage.

Here is what has become of Silkie. Grasshopper was frogged, as was Pomatomus. I settled for Bordello from the Sea Wool ball band. The Sea Wool Ball Band, now there is a good band name!

It is beautiful and will probably be a present for my mom's birthday.

No, my mom does not read the blog. No one I actually know has any idea I keep a blog.

This weekend Youngest Daughter participated in an Irish Dance Contest. She took 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in every event she competed. Pretty impressive stuff. The competition was WAY, WAY longer than I anticipated. Luckily I had Oldest Daughter's shawl to work on. I made a ton of progress and then began to feel that dread creeping in. The kind that you deny for rows and rows, telling yourself you are being silly. Reminding your self that you have had this feeling before and it has passed. You knit along in denial. Once it becomes obvious there is not going to be enough yarn you begin to whine.

Oldest Son " Can't you just buy more yarn?"

Me, "This is hand dyed, there is no guarantee that the ball I order tomorrow will have any resemblance to the one I have just knit."

Youngest Daughter. "Can you make it stripey?"

Me, "Normally I would do that, but there are beads threaded onto the yarn before I start knitting. How do I deal with that? Do I even want to deal with that?"

Sulk. Pour a drink. Swear a little. Sulk.

Brilliant idea! I will send the wonderful ladies at Blue Moon a few yards of this yarn and have them pull a skein out of the warehouse that is close. What do you think? Will they do it? Will it work?

Friday, May 4, 2007

rockin' back and forth

Rock and Weaves are done.

OK, they still need buttons. I will pick those up during the LYS tour.

I love the Linen Stitch.

And the cute little picot bind off.

This is the first holiday gift, done. Last year I did not start until August. Maybe I will be done by August this year?

We are assembling a group to attend Stitch N Pitch. We all went last year and had a great time. Yarn, baseball, garlic fries, yarn. Its all good.

Yesterday I began the new Rockin' Sock Club kit. First the positives. This yarn is wonderful! The colors are so beautiful knit together. The pattern called for a toe up cast on that I had not used before. It was easy and looked nice, no going back to tighten the stitches. So there I was making my toes, loving the yarn, then I hit the patterning. It is a YO, P2T repeat and then on the next row row P2T, YO. That was a lesson in frustration. I do not knit as tight as I used to, but I am still on the tight side. Add that to my not so pointy Addi Turbos and it was not pretty. Hand cramps, headache from not breathing, and the swearing. Oh my!

So Grasshopper was frogged and Embossed Leaves begun. I have knit this pattern before and really like it. After a few inches I was thinking they may become a holiday present for Youngest Daughter. After a few more inches it was obvious this yarn was all wrong for the pattern. The leaves showed up during the lighter colors, but not at all during the darker sections. Frog #2.

Pomatomus begun. I am still on the ribbing, not even enough progress to take a picture. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

spoiled, that's me

I had a great birthday. We all went out to dinner at our favorite new neighborhood joint. I should have taken a picture. Darn.

My Grandma sent me a gift certificate to Knit Picks. I ordered a ball winder. This is the very first thing I wound.

The colors are washed out, but I just love the way they look. This is Silkie from the April Rockin' Sock Club kit. They will be my next, not designed by me, project. I am still waiting for the yarn for my next, designed by me project.

The biggest surprise for my birthday was this

It is a Dale Of Norway Olympic Sweater! I never in my life expected to own such a thing. The placket has a beautiful charm and is lined in velvet.

The sleeves also have a button closure and velvet lining.

Talk about spoiled! I am feeling it right now. Husband is a peach!