Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Etsy

After trying for 4+ hours to purchase limited edition yarn from Goth Socks during their release today and dealing with Etsy's cart issues (and not getting any yarn!!), here is the letter I am planning to send.

Dear Etsy,

I am big fan of your site, or was until today. The fact that you support independent artists and artisans and give them an outlet for their talents and expressions is laudable. However, after trying for 4+ hours to purchase yarn during the Goth Socks release today and interacting with your cart system I have to say you need to work on how you interact with your customers. You may not know it, but knitters are a tight group and we talk to each other. How you treat us individually will get around quickly to the group. Your new and "improved" cart system failed and the customer service you provided was appalling. Abandoning the shop owner in the middle of her customer service chat, blocking her from being able to chat with you further and stripping control of her shop is bad service and just plain rude. Never mind your interactions with those of us trying to purchase said yarn. Your continued canned responses and denial of the situation made all of us only more frustrated. After waiting all of that time and dealing with your problems many of us were unable to get what we wanted due to your selective restocking of the shop in an attempt to "fix" the error. Instead most of us just continued to get the same error over and over and the shop continued to crash and then suddenly everything was gone. Obviously everything eventually sold, but the whole situation was handled exceedingly poorly by your staff. If you want sellers who sell limited products to continue to use your service you should seriously consider fixing your cart issues ASAP. Also, pointing the blame at PayPal rather than owning up to your issues is also unprofessional. Perhaps while your programmers are fixing the cart bugs, you could in service your customer service representatives on how to handle upset, frustrated and otherwise distraught people. Having worked in customer service myself, I know this can be difficult, but it is part of the job. I hope you take the time to read this and to learn from the situation rather than discarding it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday accomplishments

So, work has been really busy, which has cut into some of my knitting time. It seems since all the other hospitals let their surgeons go on vacations for the holidays, that they are shipping their cases to us. As such I've had some late nights lately. That said, I think I have done pretty well for myself.

As I type, I am soaking my mom's present in preparation for blocking. Yeah, it'll arrive after Christmas, but hopefully she will forgive me when she sees it. It's made with Cascade Kid Seta. Apparently there is a disclaimer that you are supposed to sign before starting your first Kidsilk Haze, Kid Seta or other fuzzy silk and mohair blend yarn project. I didn't get this disclaimer if so I might have re-thought things. Because "warning this yarn is highly addictive and will cause you to loose sight of reason when it is around," might have made me think twice about using it. OMG it is so soft and fuzzy and warm and and and yum!!! So yeah, I'll post pictures after my mom gets it.

I managed to finish all of my Christmas knitting save 3 objects currently. I know I have time left, except my family is doing gift exchange tomorrow. So right now I am rushing to finish stuff for my friends and I will get the last 3 items out to my family after shipping insanity has ceased. So I will probably post pictures on here Monday.

The other bit of recent news is I GOT MY BRACES OFF!!! The nearly 2 years of facial manipulation is over! Or is it? Apparently my co-workers only have to wear their retainers at night, but I was told I have to wear mine 24 hours. They are driving me crazy so far and making me talk funny. Hopefully it will get better. I was told it is only for a year. Bleh! Being able to floss in under 10 minutes is nice though.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Keep on keeping on

I think I have knitted for at least 7 hours today, maybe more. I am trying to hurry and finish all of my Christmas knitting projects so I can get them in the mail. I just added in the second skein of yarn for my mom's present and I am going to try and hurry and finish it over the weekend. The bad part is I haven't been able to work on my project for my knitting class. Oh well, I can just take notes based on other people's projects. I still have bind off one present, fringe another and repair a third. Then I have one more to cast on and knit in a hurry. I have resigned myself to the fact that part of my cousins present will be mailed a bit later. Oh yeah, let me explain my extra special hurry. My family is doing Christmas on the 19th this year. Yeah, so I loose a week of time I didn't know I was going to. Bleh!

So, as usual I am watching TV as I knit. Since this pattern is especially boring, I needed something interesting to keep me going. I selected Battle in Seattle from Netflix. I think my mind has been officially blown. On Monday when I get to work I have to ask my co-workers what it was like being a medical employee during that. Were they all locked into the hospital? Was the OR overrun? I know the ER must have been. I would love to hear their stories about their experiences during that event.

I have decided to follow that with Leonardo DiCaprio's 11th Hour. It is a documentary on the environmental crisis. Gee aren't I cheery tonight? This is put together in a really interesting fashion. However, as it is getting late and I am really tired, I might have to finish it later.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Last minute knitting book review

I have checked out several "quick knitting" books over the last couple of months. If any of you (assuming anyone reads this) are in the same boat as me and trying to knit for the holidays, I thought you might appreciate my assessment of these books. So as to save others the trouble of going through them all.

One Skein and One More Skein by Leigh Radford I didn't really like. The patterns for the most part weren't anything I would want to knit, give or receive

101 One-Skein Wonders and 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant  are both books I decided to buy after checking them out and looking through them. They both have several patterns I would love to make. In fact the Marialis End-to-End Scarf is the answer to my skein of alpaca sock yarn I got on the LYS tour last year. Also I plan to use the Cross-Stitch Scarf to use up my di.Vé Fiamma I've had forever. Both of those are in the Designer book. There are a few scarves, a bath set and other items in the original book that I also want to make.

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson are both also good. There aren't as many patterns that I would personally make in these. The first book starts off with some tutorials on fibers, tools and colors. The book is also separated out by average knitting time. I really appreciated the knitting time estimates as it lets me know how ambitious a project is. I also love the section at the end on how to wrap hand knitted gifts. One of my favorite projects is the linen tassel. I know it sound like something simple, but it can be quite elegant and as a linear thinker, it's not something I could have figured out how to make and have look nice on my own. There is also the usual array of scarves, hats and handbags in here as well as some super cute knitted toys. The second book is laid out similarly only instead of the tutorial at the begging, there is a section on finishing techniques at the end. There are lots more cute patterns in here including a quick knit mens vest and a cute women's cardigan.

The last book for today is Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd. This is full of patterns from big name knit designers such as Nancy Bush, Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Kristin Nicholas. There are some really cute things in here such as the hat and mitten set on the cover, a gorgeous mans scarf in sport weight yarn, a hobby horse, felted oven mitts and slippers and other items. I somehow feel this is the most glamorous of the books. Not sure if it is the pictures or the patterns themselves. I feel like these would take longer to make though and would be less versatile giving. What I mean is that I can look at each pattern and only think of a couple people I could give that to. Not something where I could make 5 copies of the same thing and give it to 5 different people. 

Anyway, I hope that perhaps this review helps out a couple of people. If nothing else I figure I can refer back to it next year when I am in this predicament again.

Now back to my frantic holiday knitting.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I spent today with friends and it was good. There really is a lot in life to be thankful for. Perhaps working where I do sometimes leads me to melancholic introspection about this, but it is what it is. I am happy to be alive, healthy and loved.

Now, enough of that! Elmira made a fantastic turkey which she cooked upside down (on purpose). It was super moist and delicious! Joe as per normal made his world famous pepperoni stuffing  and also cranberry sauce. I made a pecan and an apple pie. The pecan pie was fabulous, I was less impressed with the apple. We had a really great time.

I finished Barbara Bretton's Casting Spells.. Why didn't anyone tell me there was someone who wrote fantasy romance books that involve knitting? It was fantastic! Other than being a great niche series it was really well written and kept me really engaged. I didn't see the story going quite the direction it did. All around I was pleased. I am happily awaiting the second book to arrive at the library for me. I am also planning on re-reading the Harry Potter books. After watching the new movie I realize I don't remember much of it anymore. It's been so long since I read them all. I am planning to get them as audio books so I can listen to them while I commute or knit.

My other recent life break through is Lush.  Their dreamwash smoothie has worked wonders for my KP in under a week. It also had the side effect of making my skin so soft I keep wanting to pet myself. I have also started using their solid shampoo and conditioner for my dry hair/scalp and it is also amazing! The other big Lush revelation is I have been using their tea tree toner and a sample of their greased lightning spot treatment. My blemishes have started clearing up after only 3 days of use. I plan of adding in their products as I run out of my Dermalogica products. The Lush versions are almost half the price, a made from food grade sustainable materials, are preservative free and produced entirely with wind power. Oh and they seem to be working better for me so far. What's not to love?

I cast on my spring armwarmers tonight. They are to be another Christmas present. Hopefully I can finish them in time. I am also working on the afterthought heels for my two at a time magic loop socks. I still have more to work for the cuffs, but I want to get the heels done so I don't run out of yarn at a bad spot. John tried them on today and they fit him perfectly! He is really excited to be getting them. I am looking forward to wrapping up my Christmas projects and being able to fully engage in selfish knitting January.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It was a 6 hour tour... I mean commute

So, for those of you not living around here, it was snowing today. I'm sorry, did I say snowing, I meant SNOWING! I made it to work with no problems, but this was before it really started coming down.

While I was on my lunch break, Joe called to inform me that our truck was stuck. Queen Anne hill was covered and he had no way out of there. So, I wrapped up everything at my work and 3 hours later I headed over to pick Joe up. What usually takes 20 minutes tops took a good hour due to the busses that were lining 4th ave and were stopped. Once I got around them, it was smooth sailing. Once I retrieved my husband, it was onto Mercer in the hopes of getting onto I5. After another hour, I made it to where there was a WSDOT tow truck and a police officer. They were stopping all the cars and only letting one on the on ramp at a time. That way if they couldn't make it up the ramp, the tow truck could pull them to the side. I made it up the on ramp just fine and onto I5. We managed to make it maybe 5 miles in 4 hours, due the road closure 10 miles down the road. After sitting still for so long I started to go slightly stir crazy. I decided to start listening to the traffic information again. The WSDOT person said that if you can get off I5 to do so, and take other roads. As I was sitting next to the West Seattle bridge exit I decided screw it, this can't get worse. I exited and had Joe use navigator to avoid highways. After driving carefully across several sheets of ice I managed to make it home in a little over an hour.

So, there is actually hope for me getting to work tomorrow. I was worried I would have to drop Joe off and turn around and head back. To top off the evening I was exited to find that my dog managed to hold it until I got home. Miracle of miracles! Now it's time for beer and pizza rolls.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I am sitting on my couch watching Soul Eater surrounded by knitting books and kitties. What more could a girl want? Ok, maybe ice cream and a mound a yarn wouldn't hurt, but hey, life isn't perfect. As the anime and cats need no explanation, let me move onto the knitting books. One of the OR nurses is a fellow knitter and has been for many years. She recently decided her bookshelves were too full and decided to organize them. In doing so she discovered several knitting books she no longer wants. So, I am the happy recipient of her cast offs. As I am still a relatively new knitter (1 year last month) a lot of what she is getting rid of is perfect for me. There is one book, The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns, full of basic pattern recipes for different i tems such as sweaters, socks and hats and suggestions for tweaking them. There are also books on lace, socks and ponchos. Perhaps the ones I am happiest about are Yarn Harlot's (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) At Knit's EndThe Secret Life of a Knitter and Knitting Rules! I follow her blog and adore her patterns. The other one I am excited about is Franklin Habit's It Itches. It's just too cute for words! So many thanks to Kendra for giving me her cast offs.

In other knitting news, I am over 5in on both of my toe up 2 at a time socks. I need to get to 8in by Saturday to start the heel turn in class. The good news is, John will be receiving a pair of socks from Christmas last year and also a pair for this year. He's my good friend's husband and he's a bit in love with comfy socks. So, at least they are going to a good home. I will try and take some pictures this weekend.

The rosé scarf is going well. I haven't had much time to work on it with all the mad sock knitting, but it's almost done. That leaves me with a cowl, another scarf, some arm warmers and a mini top hat to finish before Christmas. Yeah, yeah, laugh all you want. A girl can be ambitious if she wants. I am also going to do some small soap sachets for friends. 

(Rosé  scarf)

Lastly, I am not enjoying The Digging Leviathan yet. I am 50 pages in and it's slow going. The guy has a decent writing voice, but is a bit over descriptive. It also just doesn't seem to be going anywhere. We shall see. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reading material

I don't think I have posted in quite some time about what I am reading. Since I am an avid reader, books are important to me. I have a job in which there are long periods where I am not immediately needed  (such and opening and closing during surgery) and so during those times I read.

I finally finished E.E. Knight's Dragon Rule. Which is the 5th book in his Age of Fire series. I love this series for how unique it is. It's a fantasy series told from the perspective of 3 dragon siblings. The first three books focus on each of them in turn and their version of the story of their hatching and how they come to be separated and then what happens to them after the separation.

I have been following E.E. Knight since my ex got me to read Way of the Wolf which is from the Vampire Earth series. I always love "watching" how author's develop their style. The first book is a bit rough and you can tell  he was trying to get comfortable with himself. The new books though are really smooth and you don't notice the writer.

I am now starting into James Blaylock's steampunk series. I really enjoy the steampunk concept and I am interested in reading more of the literature that spawned it.

In the way of knitting literature, I started reading The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee. It is a book for developing all the skills you will ever need to knit a sweater either flat or in the round. She walks you through step by step construction of a sweater sampler that will include all the basic and some more advanced techniques of sweater construction. She starts with a cable cast on, goes through types of stitches, pockets, button holes, color work and more and ends with four different bind offs. I am planning to work through the sampler and will post more about that once I start it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Anime, knitting and more

So, I started watching some new (to me) anime series a bit ago, Soul Eater and Darker Than Black. Now that both are available on instant streaming through Netflix, it's been easier to watch them. I've been mostly watching Soul Eater and I have been really enjoying it. While some of the characters are a little flat, I do enjoy how unique the story is. I wonder how people come up with these ideas. I mean a school for weapons and weapon trainers that serve Death. I plan to finish Darker than Black once I am done with Soul Eater.

I started my toe up socks 2 at a time using magic loop class yesterday at Renaissance Yarns. So far, so good. I have finished doing my toe increases and now need to knit until I get to the heel turn. This is a nice reinforcement of the first class as we are using the same methods for toes and heels. So far, I am liking this a lot more than 1 at a time. It seems faster and if nothing else is more gratifying. When I bind off, I will have a pair of socks, not one more sock to cast on and knit.

Planning for Sakura-Con 2011 is going well. We just announced two new guests, Chris Bevins and Tiffany Grant. I am excited to about both of them. I think we will really have a good line up for this year.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Moving on

So, my brioche scarf is at the point where I could bind it off and be done. I might keep working on it though to use up all the yarn, but it's being put on pause. I was getting really bored with how simplistic the stitch repeats were and it was killing my hand to keep making the same motion over and over. Gotta love carpal tunnel! So, I am now working on my vineyard scarf again, which I am affectionately calling rosé after it's pretty pink color. The di.Vé teseo is pooling nicely into stripes of pink shades. I love lace, it going quickly, staying interesting and my hand doesn't hurt at all as the motions keep changing. The lace pattern is opening up and is quite lovely. 

My progress through Doctor Who continues. I am currently watching the Genesis of the Daleks serial with Tom Baker and it explains so much! Now I know why the Daleks hate the Doctor more than anything else. 

Wednesday is the Sushi and Sake Gala which goes to benefit the Densho association. This is from the Densho website: "Densho uses digital technology to preserve and make accessible life stories, photos, and documents of Japanese American history. Our free online digital archive is the most comprehensive and accessible resource on the unjust World War II incarceration. We present these materials and accompanying social studies lessons to educate the general public about democratic principles, civil rights, and the responsibilities of citizenship." There may still be tickets available if anyone is interested in supporting a good cause. I am as always looking forward to the loads of tasty sake and sushi!

I leave you with this moment of cuteness!

This is Neebler. Yes, someone is a Futurama fan. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

expanding the old knowledge base

So, my LYS, Renaissance Yarns, is finally offering a couple of classes I have been wanting to take. The first one starts on the 13th and is toe up socks two at once using magic loop. I took the toe up magic loop class a while back, but I think I now understand why people go with 2 at once as I have yet to finish my second sock. It is in time out after making me very angry and has been sitting there for a while. The second class starts in December and is a stranded color work class. I have been fascinated by Fair Isle since I started knitting. So I am really excited about adding this trick to my knitting collection. In the class I'll learn to make a 2 color tam using traditional Shetland wool. I can't wait!

In other news I hope to finish the brioche scarf this weekend so I can start on the vineyard scarf and try and get that done. I just have to decide how much knitting is really feasible to get done in time for Christmas. I guess we shall see how the next couple of weeks go.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brioche progress and more thoughts on Fable 3

So, I am up to over 4ft on my brioche scarf. I am really liking how well the colors are going together. However, I am getting bored with the stitch pattern. I think I am mostly a product knitter, but there is something to be said for the process. I think that's why I like knitting lace so much. Not only is the product beautiful, but the process is all consuming and interesting. I am looking forward to working on my vineyard scarf some more as the charted lace pattern in that is fun and interesting.

I have also been playing lots of Fable 3. The side quests aren't bad, but I still don't feel it has the depth of Fable 2. I really miss the pub games. Those were brilliant and a ton of fun! I would play them for hours. Also, the limited number of weapons sucks. I have been trying to find a new sword and it seems impossible without going into someone else's game. I find that annoying. Anyway, we'll see how it all wraps up.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fable 3 and knitting

So, I got Fable 3 on Tuesday. This means I haven't been knitting that much in the last few days, especially since work has been a little busy. So far, I am really enjoying the game, though I have a sneaking suspicion that I am almost through the main storyline. This thought does not please me. Don't get wrong, I know with Fable you can keep playing after finishing the storyline, but I want more developed story. Things I like about the new game are the relationship quests with the villagers, the improved graphics, ability to upgrade weapons in interesting ways and the chicken races. Things I don't like are the ability to upgrade jobs without earning it, how glitchy the sparkling trail is, the narrowness of the world, the new emotions for interactions and the gnomes.

I have been able to knit of my brioche scarf a bit. I think I am about a quarter of the way through. I think it is looking pretty good other than the mistakes that I can see clear as day. I just hope whoever I give it to can't see them. I plan to work on it frantically this weekend. I have lots of Bones and Doctor Who on the DVR. I finished season 5 of Bones tonight, so onward to season 6. I love this show! I am for the record very happy Angela and Hodgins are back together!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fun with Apps

So, as I posted a while back, I got a Droid X a couple months ago. I have been trying to figure out what to do with it ever since I got it. I mean all I really need my phone to do is send and receive email, text messages and phone calls. So, having a phone that can do a ton of stuff seemed excessive, but it was the best one to do what I wanted. Recently I have found some fun other things to do with it.

One is an app called Miso which is an app for checking into TV shows and movies and sharing it with your friends. You can earn badges and share via twitter and facebook. You can also check this out online at If anyone is already on there, let me know so I can friend you. I have already managed to earn a few badges thanks to my rampant watching of Bones and Doctor who while I knit at night.

My newest app is an RSS reader by Meecal which I got just a couple days ago. I have been using it to read and catch up on knitting blogs and podcasts. I have found a few really fun ones through Ravelry and looking up knitting authors I like. Such as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka Yarn Harlot, Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl, Knit Pick Staff Blog and Podcast and others. It's fun as it give me something to listen to on my car ride into work in the case of the podcasts and something to read when things are slow.

The next app is a lifesaver and is super handy it's called ColorNote Notepad Notes. It allows you to create checklists, set reminder times for notes and share them with contacts. You can change the color of the notes which then allows you to sort them by color, date/time, or alphabetically. Love it!

And now, back to the knitting.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Frantic Christmas knitting

So, I've had to put my trail hoodie on hold for a bit in the hopes that I can get Christmas presents knitted in time. I started a Vineyard scarf with some yarn I've had for almost a year. It's a pretty variegated pink color, di.Vé Teseo. I have also been continuing to work on my brioche scarf

Vineyard scarf to the left and brioche to the right.

The good news is that with the lots of knitting I have been getting caught up on Doctor Who and Bones. I am about halfway through the last season of Doctor Who now and about 1/3 of the way through Bones season 5. 

The bad news is that work has been super busy. I always feel bad when we are busy at work, because it means there are unhealthy people and when we are slow, I do get more knitting time. On the other hand, it is nice to have a busy night every now and then. 

Any way, wish me luck with getting stuff done on time!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A fun day

We had our general meeting for Sakura-Con today. It went fairly well, I was able to announce a new guest, Clarine Harp, who is an accomplished voice actress, DVD producer and fellow knitter. After the meeting, I met up with Joe and we hit the Hi-Life for fried chicken. Their biscuits were super good! From there we rolled over to Elysian's capitol hill location for some pumpkin beer. They currently have not only their own pumpkin beers on tap, but several others as well.  I particularly liked their Night Owl and Dark O' the Moon beers. From there we hit Cupcake Royale on our way to the car for a red velvet cupcake and some Stumptown Coffee.

Once we got home I worked on my brioche scarf some more. It seems to be coming along well. I will post pictures later when I get a chance. Also continued watching Doctor Who the Key to Time storyline. It makes me curious about the whole mythology. If Romana is supposed to be a Time Lord, why the funky name? I mean we've got Doctor, Master, Romana and Susan. So are time ladies not allowed to pick cool names or what?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Test knitting update and parking rants

So, I was on call on Saturday and had to go in for a bit to work for a bit. As I got off early I decided I'd head over to Julep and use one of my member benefits to get my nails redone. I decided to park at City Center as it's $6 all day on weekends. As I was trying to find a parking spot, I started noticing what has to be some of the worst parking ever. I don't know what it is about the city of Seattle that inspires poor parking (I notice it in the parking garage at work too), but wow it's bad. I was so amazed I almost stopped and took pictures. The number of large SUVs I saw wedged into compact and subcompact only spots was just a start. Since they didn't quite fit they started a double parking chain. I think there was one entire row in which every car was double parked. Then there were other cars double parked for no reason, cars parked in no parking areas and other such. I mean how much time does it have to park properly. Are people such assholes that they can't take a few minutes to put the car between the white lines? I was teaching my friend's daughter to drive today and she even understood car goes between the lines, not on them.

Ah well. So updates on my test knitting hoodie. It is going well and I just have 2 more inches before I start the next part. Here are some updated pictures, you can see a few of my mistakes, but don't look too hard. The rest is coming out prettily.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Current projects

Ok, the bunting it done and in the washer as we speak. It's bathing in kookaburra wool wash which has a lovely tea tree scent and a little lanolin to make the knit wear soft. It should also be friendly for baby skin. So, here is Nibbler (not my cat, but his namesake) posing in the buga bunting for me.

 The ears are just too cute! It is what attracted me to the pattern in the first place.

I am also still working on the test knit hoodie. I will take some more pictures of that once I start the armhole shaping. I have also been working on the connecting threads/knit picks sew simple snazzy knitting needle case. I am just about done with it and would have been further along if it hadn't been for some confusing directions. Here's an updated photo of it:

All that is left it to attach the outside fabric to the lining and the flap that will button it closed. It's definitely not a pretty as it could be, but it should be functional. :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


So, I am almost finished with the buga baby bunting for my friend's shower on Saturday. I just need to weave in the ends, make ears and wash it (the yarn is super linty). Last night I had the bunting portion and most of the hood done. I took them into knitting circles today at Renaissance Yarns as there were parts of the instructions I didn't understand. First I had to learn to mattress stitch the sides of the hood together. That went pretty well, but then I had to graft the hood to the bunting. That meant learning the mythical kitchner stitch. I have heard a lot about how hard it is and been told to take a class or private lesson to just learn to kitchner. Maybe Michelle is just a super teacher, but she showed me once and I did the rest no problem! I was so excited to have my first kitchner under my belt!! This bunting is looking super cute and I will post pictures of it once I am all done.

Other than that, Joe was really sick yesterday, and was feeling worse this morning. So, I stayed home with him to try and help him out. After feeding him lots of airborne, orange juice and ibuprofen it seems he is starting to feel better tonight.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ooga Buga

So, my test knitting project is going really well. I am still enjoying it and it's getting easier with every repeat. I think I should have it done to wear in time for winter. Since the back is the biggest piece and I am thinking that will be done by the end of October (at the latest). So, I think a reasonable goal is to have the whole thing done by the end of November. Let's hope for sooner though. I got the rest of the yarn for it in the mail today from Knit Picks, so at least I am prepared!

Also in that knit picks order was 2 new books. Socks A la Carte 2: Toes Up! and Pint and Purls. Pints and Purls is a really clever book that uses the number of beers you can drink while working on a pattern to rate the difficulty of the pattern. Socks A la Carte 2 is a build your own sock book that lets you choose a style of toe, heel and cuff with cute flip pages and put it together into a sock pattern to knit. I look forward to using both.

The other part of that order was the needles I needed to start on Spud and Chloe's Buga Baby Bunting. It is to be my big gift for Ben and Kim's baby shower this weekend. I really loved it from when I first saw it and thought it'd be a really cute present. I am doing it in the recommended yarn, which is the Spud and Chloe outer in bayou. Kim loves blue, and the  baby is a boy, so I felt it was appropriate. I managed to finish 7 inches of the bunting including the first set of decreases today. So, my chances of having it done by Saturday aren't too bad. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A long weekend

I was on call this weekend, which always creates uncertainty on how things will go. I got called in Saturday morning and worked about 9 hours. I met up with Joe once I got off and had some dinner with his co-workers. We've been working on finishing the last season of NCIS so we can start watching the new one. It always amazes me how some shows can keep going and stay good while others fall apart after a few seasons (Heros, I'm looking at you).

Today was spent getting some stuff done around the house like bathing the poor dog. I feel if  bad every time I do it, but if I don't, her skin infection starts coming back. I also got to do a little shopping which was nice. Then there was Plants vs. Zombies. The endless survival is just kicking my butt. I have been working for 2 weeks to try and get the achievement for it and today I set a record of 11 flags. Joe did tell me a tip he read and I might have to try it out tomorrow.

I also got some knitting time in tonight. I am up to about 10.5 inches on the back now. Just 4.5 left before I start armhole shaping. The pattern is looking really pretty. I am not sure how the measurements are going to come out though. It seems a bit off from the pattern. Which is interesting since I am totally on gauge now. The good news is that if anything it might be a little baggy. Which I guess is better than too tight.

I've finished all but the last of the new seasons of Doctor Who now. I have been watching through old episodes. Tonight I started the serial "The Daleks" with William Hartnell as the Doctor. It's really pretty good considering it was filmed in the 60's. This series never ceases to amaze me. Forty years and they can still come up with good plots, actors and refreshing storytelling.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

sew simple

So, since one of our surgeons is out of town, we had no cases today. I went into work for a little while, but left early to meet Joe for lunch before a meeting. After the meeting I popped over to Julep to use one of my several member manicures I have built up. I don't get my nails done very often as I ruin them quickly. Between the knitting and all the hand washing I do at work they just don't stand a chance. I went with a nice dark blue, and as I am typing this I can see one has already chipped. DAMN! I did find out for future reference (read con) that they now have a nail polish that UV cures that is supposed to last 14 days without chipping. This I have to try!

After a bit of pampering, I headed home where Joe and I watched NCIS LA. The new season seems to be not so bad. We are still trying to finish the previous season of regular NCIS while we are recording the newest season. Same for Bones. Oh and Sons of Anarchy.... yeah that show needs to be on cable. I love it so!

I decided tonight after getting some knitting in while watching T.V. that I would work on my sew simple kit from Knit Picks some more. I figure since I plan on ordering some more needles that having a place to store them could be nice. Tonight I managed to finish the cable pockets. It's slow going as I have only used this sewing machine a few times before and that has been over a year now. So, with some luck maybe I will get to finish up this weekend. The test knitting is still going well. I just need to be less busy so I can do more than 5 rows a night. I am starting to get a bit faster at it now since my gauge is getting more consistent.

My needle pouch in progress. Not the prettiest thing ever, but hopefully it will be functional.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Interesting Day

We had our monthly planning meeting for Sakura-Con this morning. It went pretty well. As it is still relatively early in the planning process, there wasn't a lot to discuss. There was however a humorous moment when I got an text message before the meeting and our secretary popped her head up and looked around and she said "who's tardis was that." As you all know I have become quite the Dr. Who geek, and so my current SMS sound is the tardis taking off/landing noise. Erin is an extreme Dr. Who geek, so I promptly had to go over and hook her up with the file. Thankfully since we both have droids this was an easy process. I am was able to hire some key staff today after the meeting, which was really nice and a big relief.

After the meeting we popped over to the Tap House for lunch. They had some new beers on one of which really surprised me. I usually drink Belgians and/or Belgian style beers and I never like dark beers. As we are regulars there the GM brought be out 2 samples of some of their new stuff. One was stone Cali-Belgique which is an IPA brewed with Belgian yeasts. It was Belgian in the front, IPA in the back, and pretty damn tasty. The other was Firestone Velvet Merkin Stout which is an oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels. It was super smooth and I really enjoyed it.

After we left the Tap House, we stepped outside and a group of either bikers or band guys walked by us. I noticed one of them had a cool Black Label Society patch on the back of his vest, then I noticed a second one did and then I noticed in the mix of these long haired dudes was one guy in slacks and a dress shirt totally dressed to the nines. Yeah, that was the manager, I was less than 2 feet away from Zakk Wylde. *squeal* No, I didn't stop them or make a scene or anything crazy. I just thought it was cool.

Meanwhile, I am over 8in on the back of my hoodie. 7 more inches to go and I can start the arm hole shaping. I think it is coming along pretty well. there have been some small mistakes, but I think they will be hard to notice when it is done. I am really looking forward to getting to wear something I made this winter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The burdens of pet ownership and more knitting geekery

So, last night I went out with Joe and our friends Sabrina and Aaron after all of us got off work. We had dinner and drinks at the Hi Life. The food was great and the drinks were also good. Sabrina (I know it's weird) and I managed to discuss some con stuff and life was happy.

When I got home, I found the cat peeing in a stack of old bills I had meant to gather up and have securely shredded. So, I got to cleaning all of that up while Joe headed up to bed. He came back downstairs to inform me that the dog had an accident upstairs while we were out. So, I finished with the cat mess and went to take care of the dog poo. While I am upstairs scrubbing carpet, I hear Joe getting sick downstairs. I finish with the poo and head down to find that Allison (my dog) had vomited all over the floor and Joe had in sympathy done the same in the sink (thank you garbage disposal). So it was a rough night of cleaning up everyone's bodily functions. I hope everyone else finds this and humorous as I did.

Anyway, it's been a bit slow going on my test knitting project. I haven't had a lot of spare time in which to knit. I try and do at least 2 rows a night and a whole repeat if I can manage it. I am at  just under 7.5in, so about half way until I start the arm holes!

I also decided tonight to bust out my new iron and ironing board and start work on my sew simple needle case I picked up from Knit Picks. I got all the fabric ironed and cut to size tonight. Maybe tomorrow or this weekend I will start piecing it together. This way my interchangeable and circular needles will had a home other than random pouches in my Nantucket bag.

Anyway, I think that is it for tonight.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Test knitting continues as does Dr. Who

So, I finished all of the current Dr. Who series that Netflix has to offer as well as all of Torchwood (I am very sad they ended it). Now have started on some of the old episodes. I watched one of the William Hartnell (the first Doctor) serials last night, The Aztecs. It wasn't too bad, a bit old for me perhaps. Tonight I decided to watch one of the first Tom Baker (the fourth Doctor) serials, The Ark in Space. It was much better than one of the other Tom Baker serials I had seen and I really liked it. If you can get around the 1970's special effects, the acting and the story is really quite good. I am really happy Netflix has so many episodes available for instant viewing.

Along with my late night Dr. Who marathons, goes my knitting. After tonight I am half way through the third pattern repeat. That puts me at roughly 5in which is a third of the way through this part of the back. After some gauge checking I found as per normal I was knitting too tightly on the broken rib section. I managed to loosen it up some, but now I am going to have to keep a close eye on my gauge to keep from getting to large or to small again since I am not in my natural rhythm.

I would have been much farther along with the knitting, but I discovered that Xbox put Plants vs. Zombies (by Pop Cap Games) on their arcade. *sigh* When I first played this game I said "I love this, but it would be better if it was on a console." Apparently MS was listening. So I have been getting sucked into mass hours of horticulture to keep the zombies from eating my brains. The game is super fun, but seriously addictive. Who needs sleep anyway?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lots of awesomeness and more test knitting

I got my Droid X today, and I am in love with it! I have been playing with it all day and trying to see what all I can do with it. There is so much that I am getting a little overwhelmed with it all. I took some pictures tonight with it to post on here.

First up is the project that I am test knitting. I am halfway through the second repeat of the trail cable (the larger one). I have about 4in knitted so far on the back piece. I need a total of 15in before I start the next part. While these photos were taken with my Droid X, some of them were also touched up in picnik.
I am really enjoying working with this yarn and pattern. It is knitting up really nicely. I just wish I had more time to work on it in a day. If I don't get called in this weekend I plan to spend a bit of time working on it.

I also wanted to show off the cutest thing I just picked up. Reading the new issue of Vogue Knitting (late fall) I read through an article called "Gauges Galore" featuring devices for checking the size of knitting needles. My gauge/ruler is aluminum and has gotten all bent up in my project bag, making the ruler not very accurate anymore. I fell in love with a gauge that had painted alpacas on it. I went and checked out the creator's etsy page and fell in love with her super cute products. I ordered a crafters' rule with sheep on it and it got here in a few days!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blocking Day/ Test Knitting Part 2

So, I acheived my goal of finishing the 2in ribbing section of my test knitting pattern. Yay! Now I get to start on the interesting part which is all the intricate cables.

I also decided that today would be a good day to block all of my projects. It went pretty well. I am amazed how much the lace really changes in the blocking. It went from being a kinda pretty wad of string to being quite stunning.

It was hard to get the color to look right in the pictures. Here is the shawl on the blocking wires all stretched out.

These are of some of the details on the shawl:

I also blocked out a lace choker and my first sock.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Test Knitting part 1

So, I recently agreed to test knit a pattern for hoodie  as it goes to quite large sizes and I am a plus sized knitter. The designed was king enough to let me give is a try even though I haven't knit a full sized garment before and I am perhaps not the fastest knitter in the world. I have decided to dedicate most of my weekend to working on this though. I decided to make this with a relatively cheap yarn as I didn't want to choose a really expensive yarn and ruin it. Also, since I need 3000 yards of yarn to make this in my size, I can only afford so much. I went with knit picks telemark in royal heather. The color is really lovely and I think it'll soften up nicely once I wash it. I'll try and post pictures as I go along with this. I am currently almost done with the bottom ribbing. I would probably have finished it by now, but I found a an issue where it looked like I sat down my knitting and dropped a stitch while I was gone, so when I came back I started knitting in the wrong direction. So half of the project was on row 5 and the other was on row 3. Yeah... so I just frogged it and started over.

The good news is now that I am wearing night braces for my carpal tunnel my wrist isn't getting all sore and numb from marathon knitting. So, I can knit a lot longer now. Though I think my doctor might not be so happy with that statement. Ah well.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Exercise Sucks

So, I decided this time around with Weight Watchers that I really had to exercise too in order to get the most out of it. So, I joined LA Fitness while they were running a great deal. I've been going to water aerobics 1-3 times a week since its easy on my legs. I love the Monday instructor, shes a good balance of tough and well rounded. I'm always tired at the end of her class, but not too sore until Tuesday. The Wednesday instructor is a bit easy and I have to actively remember to push myself. The Saturday instructor kicks our asses. I am exhausted before half way through and have to want to finish. So, after doing that yesterday I thought I'd try a nice relaxing yoga class. Hahahahaa! Yoga is apparently not so relaxing for fat girls who are tying to breathe while twisted into pretzel like shapes. Oh and the Saturday water aerobics instructor? Yeah, she's teaching the Sunday yoga class too. I feel like someone used me for a punching bag. Sitting now hurts and my motivation for doing anything around the house it totally gone. I hope it gets easier.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I have been assimilated

So, I love my Blackberry Storm, but Verizon has pushed so much crap onto it that it has gotten really glitchy. The good news is that it is time for my "new every two" upgrade. My husband has been going on and on about his Droid since he got it when they first launched. He's been trying to convince me that I need a Droid. I had firmly planted my heels as there isn't enough I want to do with a Droid. So, today I decided I'd look through reviews on  and see what they had to say about the new Blackberry and Droid phones. After an hour or so of reading and comparing I decided that perhaps it is time for me to change platforms again. The Blackberry OS is just becoming less and less supported by apps and less people are making new apps for it. As well, the memory available on the Torch and presumably the Storm 3 is far less than that of the Droid X. So yeah, I got home today and ordered a Droid X. It'll ship 9/10 with (in theory) FroYo already installed.

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile. "

Friday, July 23, 2010

SDCC Day 2

 So, I managed to achieve about 75% of what I wanted to do today. Which by Comic-Con standards is phenomenal. I didn't make it for the raffle drawing for the Charlaine Harris autograph session, so I was out of that. However, I did make it to the Once Upon a Time panel which was super awesome. It was mostly 6 fantasy authors discussing story construction and characters. They use big words when they do that. Following the panel was the autograph session during which not only did I get to chat with Brent Weeks  whom I love. He was really nice to talk to and very honest about some of his story choices. I also happened to mention the fact that I have started writing and he was really encouraging about this. Also, the book store that was selling the books has copies of the new Wheel of Time book, which I didn't know existed. Not only was it signed by Brandon Sanderson who has taken over writing the series after Robert Jordan's death, but it was signed by Robert Jordan. This was a very nice surprise. After this, I got in line for the Showtime Anti-Hero's panel which I did not get into the room in time for. However, I did make the Dexter panel and it was super awesome! Sometime after this we finally got some food, which was nice and some booze which was even better. Apparently Lori has never been drunk, yeah.... Ben, Sabrina and I changed that for her. It was a good day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

San Diego Comic-Con 2010

So, for those of you who haven't noticed yet, I like writing travel blogs. So going into day 2 of San Diego Comic-Con I thought I would share my experiences of day 1 aka preview night. I am down here representing Sakura-Con as we have a booth in the fan tables (MZ 6 if you want to come say hi).

So getting to the airport and onto and off of the plane went well. There was a small incident with getting our luggage (someone else's bag got stuck in the conveyor), but otherwise all was ok. Until we tried to get our rental car (I can't say I'd ever recommend Hotwire). After a long and sordid battle with getting from the airport to the apartment that was kindly lent to us, we gathered everything needed to set up our booth.Getting our badges went really smoothly which was nice. So then we were off to set up our booth, I am traveling with 3 people who have never been to comic-con, so seeing their faces when we walked into the exhibits hall was a lot of fun! After we got the booth setup, I got to walk around the exhibits hall for a while. I managed to get some convention business done and introduce Sabrina (no I am not talking about myself in the 3rd person, there are more than 1 of us) and Lori to some of the industry representatives. Then there was shopping! The one thing Joe really wanted was a spacesuit Nibbler plush (Futurama), so I got in line at the Toynami booth to find out that Nibbler didn't arrive. What was nice is they were allowing people to order them with free shipping to your house once they arrived. After that I managed to score an awesome Dr. Who shirt, a limited edition Evangelion figure and 2 new Be Kyoot purses (don't tell Joe).

After all this, we ran into one of my other convention running friends and ended up getting some super tasty Mexican food. Yum!

So, off to start day 2. If your interested in finding me, either check the Sakura-Con booth or here is what I'd like to do: Oh, and don't worry, there will be pictures!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm officially hooked

Ok, after hearing whispers and comments for many years I finally took the plunge. I decided since it was easily available on Netflix, there was no reason not to. I started watching Dr. Who (2005). I actually have to say that after the first episode I didn't like it. I watched a couple more and I still didn't get the hype, so I shelved it. After watching Sanctuary (which is like a 3 our of 5), Netflix recommended Torchwood. So, I started watching that and I loved it!  Torchwood has a lot of new and interesting ideas and a cool approach to the sci-fi alien genre. So after getting about halfway through season 1, I looked it up. I then discovered that Torchwood is a Dr. Who spinoff (yeah ok, me and the loop are not seeing eye to eye). This lead me to give Dr. Who another chance. Apparently I quit watching it right before it got good. I am so seriously hooked on both series now!

Watching Netflix is what I do while I knit at night (I work 2nd shift, so I am up very late), so I am already through season 1 of both series and well into season 2 of Dr. Who. This is a product of finishing my swallowtail shawl, as I have been knitting long hours to finish it on time for class. I pulled it off the needles earlier today, so I'll post some pre-blocking pictures soon.

Now I have to seriously consider knitting a scarf.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Alright, it's been a bit since I've posted on here, and I really want to keep this going. I was on call all weekend and for memorial day. It turned out we were really busy at work. I ended up with over 13 hours of overtime and all of it was at night. So, I spent most of the weekend being tired. I even missed my last class for my sock knitting. I am almost finished with my first sock!! Now I just have to knit the second one. :) This pair will be a present for a friend of mine. Then my swallowtail shawl  has been driving me nuts. Its very much 2 steps forward and 1 step back, but it is finally starting to shape up. I'll post some progress pictures soon.

Meanwhile, Joe and I have been plotting putting together steampunk costumes. Both of us really love the genre and some of the things coming out of it. I have put together what I'd like my character to look like in my head. Now I just have to work on bringing it to life. I love Edwardian fashion, so I've been studying up on which elements I want to use. I've also had fun looking for knitted steampunk fashions.

Anyway, just a short update for now. I'll try and update this more frequently.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

LYS Tour Summary

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This was a really great experience and was a lot of fun! I wish I could have spent more time at each of the shops, but at least I know where I need to go when I need that certain something. Looking at what was unique to each shop was the best part to me. Ok, so here is my summary of my first LYS Tour.

Money spent on yarn and supplies: Approximately $400
Miles driven: About 500
Ferry rides Taken: 3
Pirate boats folded out of newspaper by my husband: 6
Prettiest pattern and FO (finished object): Alabaster shawl at Renaissance Yarns
Favorite pattern name: Scowl at Knot Just Yarn
Most practical pattern and FO: Tu-Be or not Tu-Be at The Yarn Stash and Lacy Face Towel at Knittery
Friendliest staff in the face of the insanity: Apple Yarns
Biggest regret: Not getting the custom dyed yarn at Knitty Purls before it was sold out
Most varied yarn selection: Great Yarns! and Churchmouse Yarns and Tea
Best Book Selection:  Acorn Yarn
Most unique knitting project (not tour project): The beaded shawls in Beach Basket Yarns
Most unusual yarn for tour pattern: Katina paper at Ana-Cross Stitch
Most friendly shop dogs: The pair at So Much Yarn in Seattle
Best selection of buttons: Seattle Yarn
Pattern that makes me want to crochet: Beautiful Crocheted Evening Bag at Oak Harbor Knits
Best shop locating device: The yarnfitti tree in front of NW Handspun Yarns
Shop I wish I had more time to explore: Hilltop Yarn East
Softest 1 skein project yarn: Tricoter's ArtYarns beaded mohair for their simple cowl
Best tour pattern to make as a gift: Lattice Lace Bottle Bag from Cultured Purls
Biggest stock of weaving supplies: Weaving Works in Seattle
Most eclectic: Full Circle Yarn
Best tea tasting area: Village Yarn and Tea
Roomiest yarn shop: Wild Fibers
Best environmental selection: Fiber Gallery
Easiest shop to park at: Main Street Yarn
Best shop name: Bad Woman Yarn

Patterns I am most likely to make:
Alabaster Shawl from Renaissance
Scowl from
Primrose Pouch from Wild Fibers (I love the ruffle)
Paper Pouch from Ana-Cross Stitch (I got another copy of the pattern!)
Who's your daddy from Main Street
Barton Bag from Apple Yarns
Lattice Lace Bottle Bag from Cultured Purls

My thanks to all of the hard working LYS owners and staff! All of you did a fantastic job of offering something to make your store shine. I can honestly say no two were the same, which is what truly made this tour fun. I look forward to next year!

LYS Tour Day 4

Ok, so I finished the tour today!! Here is my review of the last of the shops, after this post I will be doing a summary of my experience with the tour. So please look for that.

Today started out with a little light exercise. I parked my car in downtown Seattle near the ferry dock. Since it's Sunday all street parking is free and has no time limit. I then grabbed the ferry over to Brainbridge. There was a woman knitting what I believe was a pair of socks also waiting to board the boat. It was nice to see others on their way too. The walk over to Churchmouse Yarn and Tea was quite pleasent and there was some nice scenery. The shop itself had quite the selection. Their asian yarns were really quite remarkable. Their pattern is Two Way Ruffled Scarf. It's a beautiful, gauzy scarf knit is Rowan Kidsilk Haze. They give directions for two different ways to knit it with one version being a bit more open and airy and the other one being a bit tighter knit. From here I headed next door to the blackbird bakery for coffee and pastries. Their coffee was excellent as was my muffin.

After a ferry ride back to Seattle, I headed on over to the U District and Weaving Works. They had silky pima armwarmers by Jennifer Miller made with Misti Alpaca Handpaint Pima Silk and crochet Denim Scallop Baby Sunhat also by Jennifer Miller made from Rowan denim. Sadly there were out of colors I wanted in the Misti Alpaca. However, I did land one thing I had been wanting. In a back corner behind a bunch of stuff and stacked under some bags I found a Nantucket Bag ( for $36. The woman at the checkout hadn't seen it before so another lady showed it off to her. They almost didn't let me buy it from them since it was the last and she really liked it. :)

Next stop was Acorn yarn shop. This was a very cute shop with a nice selection. I picked up some new point protectors. Their pattern is a Sensational Cowl by Mary Mara made with Sensation from Naturally. They had a really nice selection of books here.

Moving along I headed to Bad Woman Yarn. Due to some help from google maps and my own assumptions given my experience with Wallingford, I parked on a nearby street (in theory) and walked over to Wallingford Center. I eventually figured out where I was going and found Bad Woman. However, when I got in I found I had forgotten my passport. I had to run back to my car and grab it and make my way back over. So about 15 minutes after I had parked, I managed to get my stamp! Their pattern were a Shells Beads and Ruffles crochet scarf and a knitted Cascading Leaves Cowl both a which used Malabrigo lace yarn. They had a really great sale section with lots of marked down yarn! Also, all their shop patterns are free with any purchase.

So continuing the run through Seattle I found Full Circle Yarn. Their patterns were a knit Nifty Newscap using Classic Silk by Classic Elite Yarns and a crochet Toddler's Circles Hat Pattern using Classic Elite's Cotton Bam Boo. The brimmed newscaps were definitely a unique style and the baby hat was very cute. Full Circle is also a framing shop and they had lots of pretty frames as well.

My second to last stop was Fiber Gallery. This was a large and well appointed shop with a really great selection of yarns. Their pattern was Weldon's Vintage Scarf using Malabrigo lace. However, they were running low on the Malabrigo, so they were substituting Smooshy. They had lemonade and cookies out for yarn tour visitors!

So on to the end!! I had meant to hit Village Yarn and Tea at the end of my day 2 trip however, we ran out of time. So little did I know that Village Yarn had recently moved, and someone forgot to tell google too. I made it to their old location without any problems! I walked up to the door and yeah... well. I was very sad for a moment. Thanfully the LYS Tour Passport had direction it as well. Sadly though, those only got me to the shopping center where VY&T is located and that is a very large shopping center where the farmer's market was also going on. I got really quite frustrated and ended up calling the shop. They were nice enough to guide me in. I hope I wasn't to snippy, but blisters and getting lost doesn't make one happy.

Thanfully it was worth the effort. The shop was beautiful and had some really cute sock bags that are made just for the shop. they also had some great denim project bags on sale and if I hadn't just bought my Nantucket Bag, I would have gotten one of those. Their tea area was also really cute! So, my last knitted pattern for the tour was their very lovely shawl called Dreams of the Salish Sea dedicated to Deb Barnes as was their Wrapped in Roses crochet scarf. The shawl was made using Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk. and the scarf used Plymouth Kudo. The shop owner also had a fantastic Spincycle tatoo which she had customized to make her own.

So the tour is over. I think I now have enough yarn to keep my hands busy for at least a year and enough patterns to go with them!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

LYS Tour day 3

So, today was mostly a day off for me. I had knitting classes this afternoon, so I wasn't able to do much of the tour. I did get to enter the drawing while I was at Renaissance Yarns for my classes. Today I did the second class of 3 of the toe up socks class. We started working on the heel and got instructions for starting the ankle and cuff of the sock. After that I had the first class of our swallowtail shawl class. We are making Evelyn Clark's swallowtail shawl. Michelle made it a lot of fun, going into a history of lace and different styles. She also discussed different yarns that can be used for lace knitting and showed us lots of samples a lace knitted with different yarns and in different styles. We also got an intro into reading lace charts. This was my first experience with any knitting charts, so I was really interested in learning it.

I have been taking knitting classes at Renaissance Yarns in the interest of acquiring a good foundation of skills. I started off with the knitting 101 and 102 classes and from there I took their Rambling Cabled scarf class, their amigurumi crobot class and Brian's knitter's pouch class. It's been a fun evolution and is giving me the courage to start bigger and better projects and to use nicer yarn.

After my classes I did make it over to Cultured Purls in Issaquah. I picked up their really neat pattern for a knitted wine bottle cozy. Yay for Christmas present ideas!! It is Lattice Lace Bottle Bag by Teri Alent and Donna Byron. This uses Cascade 220 superwash. They also had some knitted up in another yarn (sadly I don't remember the name) that had real silver braided in. I picked up some new point protectors and a pattern booklet. The booklet is Curvy Knits Cambridge by Jillian Moreno and Classic Elite Yarns. It's got some really cute sweaters in it!

Anyway, it was a very knitty day. I am wrapping it up, by trying to catch up on my sock and watching Bones. Tomorrow will be the rest of the LYS Tour and me finishing my passport!

Friday, May 21, 2010

LYS Tour Day 2

getting the text up now, pictures are here for now.

Let me preface this with, what's up with the knitted pouches? The first one was cool, but by the end of today I had patterns for 4 of them and yarn for 3 of them. More on that later.

So day 2 started for me and my husband with dropping our dog off at day care. We figured if we were going to be out and running around all day, so should she. After that we hit Bauhaus coffee in Seattle for some breakfast and then hit the road. Our first stop of the tour was Great Yarns in Everett. Their pattern was Cha Cha Neckwear. It makes up a really cute ruffled scarf, that I thought might make a nice Christmas present. The shop was a converted house and was filled end to end with yarn and knitting supplies. I picked up 2 skeins of Di.Ve in their bargain basement for $3 each. There was some other awesome yarn down there, but I was trying to behave myself.

From there we moved on up to Wild Fibers, which is a really cute and well stocked shop. Also one of the least crowded (shelving wise) of the shops I have been to yet. They had a knit and crocheted pattern for a Primrose Pouch by Sarah Parker and Joanne Witzkowski (respectively). Both use Spud and Chloe sweater. The knitted version has a cute ruffled fabric edge. They had coordinating fabric for sale along with the yarn. I also snagged some nice and cheap stitch holders. Now, one of the highlights of this stop for me was something my husband had the wisdom to pursue. Easton's used bookstore across the street was probably one of the places I lost some time on my trip. I picked up some Andre Norton and Stephen King paperbacks, and a copy of Stitch n' Bitch by Debbie Stoller. I tell you it is a sign of a well trained husband when he doesn't even like books, but he volunteers to go look for some for you while you shop for yarn. I married the right man I tell you.

Next we headed over to Knot Just Yarn and The Scowl, how could you not love that name for a pattern? Especially when accompanied by a man who has decided to try and pronounce all things pertaining to yarn in a pirates voice. This uses Mountain Colors Twizzle as does their crochet pattern, 'Twizzle" Cloche hat. I had to grab one in a nice blue. I figure it'll be fantastic to wear to baseball games this fall. The shop has a super cute Italian greyhound helping out the ladies there. There was a really great selection of yarn and supplies. I almost took home a nice needle roll, but managed to put it down.

After quite a while on the road, we made it into Bellingham and NW Handspun. This was yet another fantastic shop with some unique locally sourced wool yarn. It was very pretty and it was hard for me to resist buying some of it. It even had a picture of the sheep it came from on the label and the name of the sheep! The tree in front of their shop is very thoroughly yarnfitti'd. Their patter was JJ's Montage Domino Hat and they also had matching fingerless gloves available. It uses JJ's montage collection 10 ply yarn.

Across town we made into Apple Yarns. This was probably my favorite stop of the day. Andrea was so sweet and helpful. I am sad I missed the alpaca lady spinning yarn though, I was looking forward to watching her. This shop was an exercise in self restraint. They had some yarn from Spin Cycle Yarn ( which is actually made in Bellingham. It was so gorgeous and soft and sadly expensive. If it wasn't for the price, there would have been quite a bit of that coming home with me. However, I did pick up yarn for their 2 patterns as well as some of the local alpaca sock yarn. Thanks Monte! Their patterns are a crocheted Victorian Treasure Pouch using Aracania Ulmo Multi (yum!) and a knitted Barton Bag by Claudia and Francine using Cascade Eco Wool. We grabbed some of the coupons they had available and hit Pastazza next door for lunch. The food was fantastic and they use a lot of locally sourced and organic ingredients. I totally recommend it!
Another long bit of driving brought us to Birch Bay and Beach Basket Yarn. Their pattern was a super cute Bobbles and Twists knitted or crocheted hat using Plymouth Encore. I sadly didn't have a lot of time to explore their shop, but it was quite large and well stocked. They had these really cool pattern booklets and kits for knit beaded scarves and shawls where the beads are the star and are on a similarly colored thin thread.

Anacortes brought us to Ana-Cross Stitch. This was another large well appointed shop that I didn't have nearly enough time to look through. Their knitted pouch pattern used the most unique yarn of the whole tour (so far). The yarn is made from paper!! What's even better is that it is machine washable paper, WTF!! Sadly, I can't find what I did with that pattern. I was really looking forward to make that one too! Maybe if I call and ask really nicely they'll email me one.

Ok, so next stop Whidbey Island!! I spent many vacations on Whidbey as a kid and have fond memories of it. My husband had never been, so I was excited to show it to him. By now we were both getting pretty tired though. So, other than a jaunt out at the overlook to Deception Pass we didn't get to see much.

Barbara Szenasi at Oak Harbor knits made a lovely pattern for a knitted Bucket Bag (yes, another pouch) using Classic Worsted Tapestry yarn by Universal Yarn. I really didn't spend much time in this shop as we were getting really tired and my husband had found a fantastic beer shop across the street. We picked up some John John Juniper Ale, Rougue Double Mocha Porter and Bea's mead. No yarn this stop though.

A nice and scenic drive eventually led us to the other end of the island and Knitty Purls. Their Raven Frog Cable Sock pattern was gorgeous! Especially in their specially dyed Whidbey Gems colorway. Sadly, they were all sold out the yarn when I got there!! However, they are ordering more and will have it in 2 weeks. It might be worth a jaunt out to Whidbey to pick up that yarn. It is a gorgeous blue and green based off of the sea glass that washes up on the shores of the island. They actually had shawl pins and buttons made out of said glass. The owners had just gotten dinner when we arrived and the smell was intoxicating. We ran over to Maureen's (I hope thats right) and had to get some onion rings. The chef was wearing an awesome bright pink chef coat which led Joe (my husband, the chef) to strike up a conversation with her. Apparently their onion rings were the result of much testing. Boy let me say, it paid off!! These are quite likely the best onion rings I have ever consumed. I would like more of them now please!!

The ferry ride over to Mulkiteo was pleasent. I finished the part of my sock I was working on, so I am ready for knitting class tomorrow! We managed one last shop before 8pm and hit Main Street Yarn. This was a large and gorgeous yarn shop which probably had my favorite pattern for the day. It's called Who's Your Daddy and it a basket weave messanger bag with a tree of life pattern incorporated into it. It also uses Cascade Eco-Wool.

The weather was gorgeous most of the day, actually until we started heading home. Around 8 the heavens opened and poured forth rain. Thank you mother nature for supporting my habit!

So, for tomorrow I have knitting classes from 1-4 (socks part 2 and swallow tail shawl), so I am not going to be doing any LYS stops. Sunday however, I plan on finishing off my passport. Ok, maybe 1 tomorrow (other than Renaissance Yarns)... we shall see.