30 September, 2008

The thing about blankets

I started another blanket. I just was not feeling that log cabin thingie I started. In fact it was ugly. I want to make a blanket but there is usually something icky about them to me. I think it's because so many people made ugly crocheted monstrosities out of cheap acrylic yarns. That gave homemade afghans a bad name in my opinion. The Cash Iroha I purchased on eBay arrived yesterday and I had been looking at the Hemlock Ring Blanket off and on for a while. When we went to the Puyallup Fair I also noticed a nice kit with several different kinds of yarn that made a really cute and cuddly blanket. The Cash Iroha is a beautiful shade of purple called Wisteria. See? And it knits up with a lovely halo due, I suppose, to the cashmere content. I also have several left over balls of Silk Garden and some beautiful angora and mohair that I bought when I was in Paris last time. I think that they would go very well with this yarn and add just a little extra to the blanket. I will have to experiment and be willing to rip back if it doesn't work. Something I'm not all that keen on, but maybe if I can make myself use lifelines it wouldn't be so daunting. Here's my start that I made while watching re-runs of "Lost" last night. Pretty gutsy, doing lace, even though it's on size 8 needles, while watching TV. I'll have to take a close look at it before I go any further to make sure I didn't mess up too badly.

29 September, 2008

Oh what's better than a good yarn bargain??

Yes okay sure, there are a few things better but .... I just had some spectacular luck on Friday. First of all it was gorgeous outside (and continues to be so -- supposed to be up close to 80 today and tomorrow). We have all been working so hard and such long hours and I had a free afternoon. So with the chairman's blessing I took off early. I needed to get some shampoo for the doggie and thought I'd swing by Tuesday Morning since people had been talking about a yarn sale there. Usually it's just junk but it never hurts to look. I found two skeins of Elsabeth Lavold Angora in a nice teal color that my friend Kate likes. Perfect to knit something for her. Nice yarn, too. Also earlier that day I snagged two skeins of Artyarns Beaded Silk at Yarnzilla for half price! An incredible turquoise color that I need to find the perfect lacy pattern for. And finally I got 12 skeins of Noro Cash Iroha in a beautiful lavender on eBay for less than half price. I am thinking I might use that for the Cascade Cables Pullover instead of the Seta Lana that I have started with because I think the Seta Lana is just a little too bulky. Well .... I'll have to (gulp) swatch. And also I am going to have to take some time and update my stash pictures for Ravelry. I am behind.

Saturday I did get my felting done, as well as my nails and grocery shopping for the dinner on Sunday. I was using S's top loader at the old house and I had never used it before for felting so I ended up having to run the thing twice. If I had been there I could have checked it during the cycle and just let it run longer, but ... oh well. The hat turned out perfect although I am not all that keen on the colors. The bag will be fine and useful when the handles are on it. I wish it had felted up a little tighter but it's fine. Great colors.

Saturday night was torture - the quarterback of the Huskies broke his thumb and although the second stringer did okay, it was not good enough to win. The Seahawks had a bye week. The weather cooperated and I got some good time in the garden on Sunday. The vegetables are all done and I cleaned out the beds except for the tomatoes. They will still be ripening for a while yet. The dinner was fine and I am looking forward to a quiet couple of evenings now. I am done with company for a while.

26 September, 2008

Hooray for the end of the week!

I am just so ready for the weekend. I have been exhausted all week and yesterday was just SO busy. All I want to do when I get home is collapse. I am going to sleep in tomorrow! I have all of the errands I never got around to last weekend to take care of but at least I won't have to get out of bed at 6 in the morning and maybe I'll even get to take a nap. I am quite anxious to get the bag and hat felted and I'll do that Saturday while my car is getting it's jiffy lube and I'm getting a manicure and stuff. The Husky football game isn't on until 7 pm so I'll have all day to do my things and shop, etc. and then relax and watch football (until it gets too painful). We're having a dinner for S's son on Sunday. He's going away to school Monday morning. And besides cooking and baking on Sunday I have GOT to get into the garden. I've not had time to do it the past couple of weeks and it needs some TLC.

I worked only a little on my peacock scarf last night. It's nearly done and I have to start thinking about what I'm going to pick up next. Maybe I'll get back to working on the Cable Cascade Pullover. I put it away when it got warm and now may be the time to pick that up again. .... or not.

23 September, 2008

Happy autumn

Oooo boy did I feel the difference today! I was cold on the way in to work! My ride starts off down hill and the wind on my hands ... wow. My fingers were numb by the time I made it down to the water and I had to stop and put on some little glove liners over my riding gloves. It hurt.

Had a super SUPER busy weekend and while I did get some good knitting done, in fact I'm almost done with the hat, I just couldn't bring myself to go out of the house on Sunday and go do the felting. In fact I fell asleep at 4 and slept until 7, then went to bed at 10 and forgot to turn on my alarm and slept until 7 in the morning with S's alarm went off! Now that's tired. Worn out. Lots of company with 3 little girls sleeping over both Friday and Saturday nights and then we had a family housewarming on Saturday afternoon/evening. The big bathtub finally got broken in. I know, it's hard to believe that I've resisted getting into that lovely tub but it's been just so hot! I haven't felt like a bath. Those little girls really loved it though, especially when I turned on the jets and whipped the bubbles up into a froth. That bathtub reminds me a lot of a bathtub a friend of mine had in Paris, although his didn't have jets.

I have a balance on my Paypal account that's eating away at me. I want to splurge on some really fancy yarn -- maybe Artyarns Beaded Silk. But I can't make up my mind so I'm going to let it go for now.

Work is just so busy -- yesterday I didn't even come up for air all day. I wolfed down my lunch in a few minutes around 1 and kept on going. Hopefully today it'll calm down a bit.

19 September, 2008


I have fallen in love with my iPhone all over again! While I was home sick on Tuesday I took the opportunity to download the updated iTunes and the updated software for my iPhone [which, as an unfortunately side effect, lost all of the music and I had to RE-load it which took practically the entire day]. The new software has a "Genius Playlist" function. What this is, besides pure genius, is a way for you to make a 25 song playlist based upon a song you like. How many times have you put your iPhone or iPod on shuffle and it just wasn't playing what you were in the mood for? Now you can pick a particular song you'd like to hear, hit the Genius button and it comes up with 24 little friends to match your mood. I absolutely LOVE it!! I had that thing plugged into my ears most all of yesterday. I highly recommend it if you haven't taken the time to download the software yet. It is really really cool.

Things that annoy me - there are plenty of them, sure. I'm a crabby kind of person I guess. No ... no wait, I think I'm just sensitive. Yeah. And truth be told I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who get annoyed at these types of things, just like I do. Plenty! So here's what is bugging me today -- the crazy over-protective state we find ourselves in. I'm not talking just about government regulating who can smoke where. Even though I'm a non-smoker I think it's just insane that a bar can't be designated a smoking place and if you don't want the smoke, don't go there. But I don't want to get off on that rant ... here's the deal. We have detour signs on the bike trail because they're fixing the places where tree roots have pushed up the pavement. I took the detour yesterday morning and it was ridiculous and dangerous and, yes, annoying! On the way home, realizing that I could bike 1/2 a mile out of my way when I was maybe 25 yards from my exit from the trail, I got off my bike and walked up to the barrier and looked. Hmmm ... nothing. So I pushed my bike around the barrier and went up a little ways to the bend in the trail and sure enough there was a patch of maybe 12 feet. Right in front of my exit. Now I had just seen a jogger come through there so I knew there was no reason I couldn't go through. So I pushed my bike along the dirt next to the pristine tar and that was that. This morning the signs were still there but I just totally ignored them and rode on through. You could see that was what quite a few other people had done as well. I mean ... it was hard when I went home last night! Who are they protecting??

I am just SO glad this week is over. I was so tired yesterday when I got home. I finished up the i-cord bind off for the Trellis Tote. As a side note, if I hadn't known how to make i-cord I would have been totally lost in the directions. She doesn't tell you to put the three stitches back onto the left needle after you knit them. It makes a lovely bind off though. So I got that done and started the hat. No pictures of the hat, but here's the bag pre-felted, obviously.

18 September, 2008

The strange laws of yarn

Yesterday afternoon at noon knitting I was working on the Trellis Tote and didn't really feel like that last skein of Kureyon was going to make it through the whole 6th row of the windows. Since I was still a bit under the weather I had driven in so I stopped at the LYS on the way home to get another skein just in case. And while I was there I picked up two more skeins for the hat AND a flat topped hat form. You know what that means though, don't you? Because I managed to find and buy a skein in the same dye lot I made it through that sixth row of windows with about 12 inches of yarn to spare. Not that I mind having an extra [hah, is yarn ever extra? It's like extra money .. no such thing] skein of Kureyon hanging about. I gave some serious thought to extending the bag two more series like the pattern suggests, but after taking a look at it again this morning I have decided that no, I don't want it to be that tall. I'm going to start the hat at lunchtime today. I will be going to Bothell for some grooming on Sunday so I could easily stop at the DH's old house which still has a working washing machine, top loader, that will work just fine.

We're having another open house this weekend for family since they weren't able to attend the last one due to a wedding [which we weren't invited to]. The weather has been absolutely heavenly lately but clouded up this morning and we're predicted to have rain just like the last one! No matter. I'm going to make some chili and we'll do brats on the grill and S can put up the canopy again. It's kind of cosy. Don't like all the wet being tracked through the house but oh well ....

17 September, 2008

I've got the itis!!

Startitis, that is. Not finished with the scarf, nor the socks, nor the Sizzle but I had to start the Trellis Tote. I had finished up my first punch card at my LYS and had that burning a hole in my pocket so I trotted up there Friday afternoon and purchased a couple skeins of Noro Kureyon and some Lamb's Pride Worsted for the trellis part of the bag, and also more Lamb's Pride to make my nephew's "Where's Waldo" hat. I hadn't read the tote pattern before I went up but had pretty much decided that I remembered the yarn amounts. But I goofed up. Lucky for me I had some gorgeous green Lamb's Pride at home in the stash so rather than use the black I had purchased I am using the green, and instead of 8 rows of windows, this tote is going to have six, which I think will actually be better. I am not going to put the felted handles on this one, but I have some purse handles that one of my Secret Pals sent last year which I think would be great. I also want to make the flap version with the felted handles (and grommets!) so I will need to get more yarn for that eventually. First though I am going to use the black Lamb's Pride I got to make a Trellis Toque. I need to find one of those had blocking things because with this pattern it is essential to block it so it's flat on top to get the proper look. Won't it be cute?

I got hit with what I can only guess is some little virus so I have been down and out the past couple days with a terrible sore throat and aches. I came in Monday but left after lunch and was in bed all day yesterday. I did a little work and downloaded new software for my iPhone which, again, erased all my music so almost the entire day was spent with me on the couch snoozing while the iPhone got filled back up again. I also bought the last season (5) of the Ricky Gervais Show and an episode of Saturday Night Live. I love my iPhone.

11 September, 2008

The Strange Workout Guy

He was on the trail this morning. I haven't seen him for a while, but there he was today walking backwards and clapping his hands. Step, clap, step, clap, step, clap. So strange.

My zucchini plant is dying rapidly and now it looks as if the pumpkin has caught whatever it is and it's on it's way out as well! I looked on the internet this morning and as close as I can tell, it's Verticillium Wilt. I am going to take both plants out this weekend. Maybe I can put in some cool weather vegetables. I was rather looking forward to the pumpkins but it's not going to happen.

I finally took some pictures of the gorgeous yarn I bought at the fair and a close up of the scarf I am knitting from it. The colors aren't really as neon as this picture came out. This yarn is SO soft And I think I'll have some left over after I get the scarf to five feet. Maybe I'll make a hat to go with it.

10 September, 2008

Yay for Wednesday

Noon knitting - my favorite lunchtime. Today I brought my peacock tail scarf to knit on. I truly intended to take pictures but completely blew it and I didn't have time this morning to snap any. I need to post pictures of my finished Trellis Shawl and also a WIP of the scarf. I didn't knit last night because after reading the paper and making dinner it was time to watch that new show "Fringe" and we don't really have a knitting light per se in the theater yet so I just relaxed and enjoyed the show. It's not "Lost" but it could be good.

The weather has been astonishingly gorgeous this week. As I come down the hill to the trail I am blinded by the sun coming off the water on these sunny days. That won't last much longer, so I don't mind it at all. This morning, 7:30, there was someone water skiing as I was biking by. Very picturesque. Oh and the mountain ... so beautiful. I'm trying to save up these pleasant memories because I know I'm going to be cursing the ride and the weather in the future.

Hah .... I never learn. I thought I'd try one more time to find that magic, easy way up the hill. I thought if I went on the trail three more blocks to the 100th St. exit, then biked to 103rd and went west up the hill to 48th from there that it would be easier than going up 97th to 49th. On my way in Tuesday morning it looked to me that the hill from 49th down to the trail was shorter and less steep than 97th. Not so. Optical illusion. I couldn't make it.

The little tomato plant in my garden is just exploding with ripe tomatoes. They are SO tasty! I can't imagine what we would have done had the last owner not taken two of the plants. I guess everyone I know would be getting baskets of tomatoes. Next year though, bigger ones. No beans or zucchini. I've never tried to grown vegetables other than tomatoes but I think next year I'll try to grown some lettuce and carrots as well as tomatoes and corn and then grown the herbs in pots on the deck. I guess we'll see how I feel about it in the spring.

09 September, 2008

Crrrazy busy!

Wow, it has been SO busy! And stressful. Not a good combination by any means. I am hoping by the end of the week things will have calmed down a bit.

The weekend was good and bad. Football = bad. Can't talk about it much but I can say two words -- robbed and beaten. One describes the game on Saturday and the other the Sunday game. Pitiful.

But the weather was absolutely stunning this weekend and we went to the Puyallup Fair! I haven't been to the fair in years and years. I saw the grange exhibits, which I just love! All that produce arranged in a pleasing way. ;-) I wanted to see the knitting but never did find it, nor the quilts. But I did see some amazing collections. For example - not kidding here - a collection of sprinkler heads. Too much. We shared an onion burger, and each had a scone. I did want a corn dog but I just didn't have enough room! We found the beer garden. My DH did find enough room in his stomach for a turkey leg, which he ate during our second stop in the beer garden. And oh the people. Heavens - that's what it's all about. People watching. A slice of Americana. I managed to sniff out the yarn and bought 220 yards of some absolutely gorgeous mohair in peacock colors! I immediately started a scarf with a feather and fan pattern and it's like a peacock tail. Lovely.

Sunday was laundry and laundry and laundry and knitting and football. I had been so busy last week I had let all of the laundry pile up and it took me most of the day to get the pile back down again. I don't mind it though because I can be knitting and doing laundry and feeling like I'm accomplishing something besides being self indulgent.

03 September, 2008

It's nice to get to the place ....

where my favorite go-to cardigan is one I knit myself! In fact I have two that are at the top of my list and both of them I made. I think I'm finally growing up as a knitter and knitting things that I can actually wear (usually) and not just things that look cool in the pictures, which is what I did a lot when I first started out. I still haven't decided which project to start next. I just worked on the socks a bit last night.

I want to be disciplined and finish that Sizzle before I start anything else. There's not much work left to do on it, it's just the dividing of that last ball of yarn in the body dye lot. I need to spend some time with the pattern and figure out where I left off, then do some measuring and probably a few more rows with increases (or decreases ....). Anyway, once I figure that out I can measure the yarn very carefully and with a little luck get the front done in the same dye lot and use the other stuff I got for the trim. But see .. it's a daunting project and I have to be in the mood. That very picky, precise mood.

I have found the route, corroborated by a couple other cyclists yesterday morning and evening. My instincts were correct - to get off Sandpoint Way as much as possible. I don't think that the ride home, up the hill, is really any easier but at least it's off the busy street as much as possible and it seems shorter. That's what counts. And it is definitely safer.

02 September, 2008

1 Project = 1 Lesson

With a nice long weekend to knit I finished up the Trellis Shawl. I sewed the little sleeves onto it last night. Short story - I sewed the sleeves one right side and one wrong side. To take the wrong one apart would be next to impossible. I was so furious at myself I almost threw the thing across the room. It's not obvious because of the boucle yarn. But I know it's that way. My problem was that I couldn't tell the right side from the wrong! I had to look very closely to find where I had woven in ends to ascertain which was the wrong side. But I goofed up anyway. Lesson learned - always mark the wrong side of a garment if it's not obvious. All that work ... errrghghghg. I'll still probably wear it but I'll always know and I won't wear it in public.

I don't know what project I'm going to start next. I do have the Sizzle to finish and as usual a pair of socks on the needles that I'm quite anxious to finish so I can use my Noro sock yarn. I should start some gifts. I have a couple ideas and I was looking through my One Skein book and the Knitted Little Luxuries and even the Scarf book. There is a pair of fingerless mitts that might be nice made out of some gorgeous angora and mohair I bought last time I was in Paris. I do have some cotton to make some bath mitts as well. My nephew wants a "Where's Waldo" hat, much to the chagrin of his wife, I must add. Lots of fun little projects in the works.

Saturday a friend and I went to check out a Labor Day sale at a yarn shop. Of course, being the second day of the say there wasn't that much there and only one thing I couldn't live without, which was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran at half price. I bought 12 balls in a nice peach-y color. Don't know yet what I'll make out of it but something soft, that's for sure!