Sunday, March 30, 2008

Citrus Slices Tawashi

Aren't these just the cutest little tawashi you ever seen? "Tawashi?" Your asking. "What the heck is that?" Well only the latest craze in Japanese Knitting and Crochet to hit Ravelry!

Tawashi means brush or scrubber in Japanese and they are used to scrub of dishes in the kitchen. Most of the tawashi patterns I've seen are crochet but there are several knit ones including these Citrus Slices Tawashi by Rhonda White


These tawashi are for a swap that is being hosted on the Raverly Tawashi group. I made enough to send two and keep two.

I want to make these little dolls next.

And I'm currently making these fishy tawashi.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Snow In Seattle

It started snowing while I was at my Renton Knitting group. Nice big flakes that floated to the ground. I always like to watch snow when if falls in front of street lights. And the parking lot at Starbucks has several.


I was hoping to get home before it got bad. And I did. I was somewhat disappointed because I had hoped it had snowed at home. But by the time I got on 518 it was just rain again and then no rain.


But when I got home, I was pleasantly surprised that there was snow and it was sticking to the ground. I shot these pictures in the backyard. I'm just hopping the daffodils and tulips end up okay because it is supposed to freeze tonight too.

Strawberry Picking

I just got an e-mail from a farm that was about a mile from where I lived in Marble Falls before I move to Seattle. It is strawberry picking time.

For all the time that I lived near that farm, I never went to pick strawberries. I always said I would go, but it just never happened.

I know it is probably too early here in the Pacific Northwest and I don't know if stawberries grow up here, but I think it would be fun to find a place to pick strawberries or something else, maybe black berries?

If you know of such a place, please leave a comment.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Convertible Vest/Bag WIP

The first time I saw this pattern in Knit Tricks! by Rebecca Wat I was intrigued. I'm not into really boxy looking tops and I'm not into vests, but I love the idea of a vest that turns into a bag.

Basically, the pattern is 4 rectangles knit together. The long blacks ones make the front, back and sleeves on each side. And the multi-color ones are the sides.

I knit the black ones on my new Ultimate Sweater Machine which I'm getting better at using. I'm still dropping stitches, but not as often as at first.

I do like the speed of using the machine especially for endless stockinette, but I haven't quite figured out yet how to sit in front of it while being comfortable.

The thing is that there is a weighted hem that holds down the knitting so it doesn't come off the needles. However, you aren't supposed to let it land on your knees. So I have to back away more then I'd like.

But other then that I do like using the machine and I'm sure I'll be making lots more things with it in the future, especially if I figure out how to sit in front it comfortably.

I didn't knit the sides, which are in K2P2 using Noro Kureyon, because I figured it would be easier to hand knit then to try to manipulate the stitches on the machine. Plus I love knitting K2P2 much more then stockinette.

Now, I all have to do is the seaming and then find a zipper long enough to sew in. I hate seaming because it always looks so crappy. But I recently bought the Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley for the TKGA Masters program I'm enrolled in. It has some diagrams and instruction on how to do mattress stitch that when I follow actually looks good.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Beautiful Day

I made sure to get out of the house today. It was bright and sunny. The mountains were out as they say here. I could see both Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Mountains.

I took Pachebel with me and I think I wore her out. First, we went to Lincoln Park. I wanted to walk by the water. The Vashon Ferry is near there.

There were two different Easter egg hunts going on. All the kids looked so cute with their Easter baskets.

Then we drove over to Alki Beach so I could have some fish and chips at Spuds while Pachebel stayed in the car.

I then took her walking at the park there that runs along the waterway. At one point you can see the Space Needle with the mountains behind it. Beautiful.

I wish I had taken my camera but I forgot it at home. While I was sitting on a bench admiring the snow capped Olympic mountains, I wondered why I love taking pictures so much. I usually don't do much with them except put them on my hard drive and occasionally post on the Internet. And then I realized that it makes me really focus and appreciate what I'm looking at.

So as I sat there, I pretended I was taking pictures of the mountains and the water in my head so that I'd remember what a beautiful day it was.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Seattle Queer Stitchers

Last night I went to a Seattle Queer Stitchers knitting group met up. I had been conflicted about going because I love my Renton Knitters group that also meets on Wednesday nights.

However, my friend Donna from back in Texas, told me I needed to be around "my people" as she likes to call them. She is very supportive (and I think I'm the first really out lesbian she has ever know). She has also encouraged me to and was thrilled that I had found some people to met up with at Hot Flash Dance Party this past Saturday night.

And I'm glad I went the knitting group. The meeting was at Caffe Vita, a cute coffee shop in Capitol Hill. It was great fun to sit around knitting and talking about ex-girlfriends and such. Well, I didn't talk much about mine except to say that we recently broke up after 12 years. They were all appropriately sympathetic but not overly, which was just right.

Seattle Queer Stitchers meet twice a month, on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. So I think I'll be splitting my Wednesdays between them and my Renton group. Yipee!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Don't Shop On Bainbridge Island

I know this sounds pretty harsh and I'm not sure I'll stick to this myself for very long because I love Churchmouse Yarns, but for now I'm boycotting.

Bainbridge Island is a cute little town just across from Seattle by ferry, an expensive ferry. Its downtown has a bunch of cute little shops and resturaunts. I've been 3 times (yesterday included) since I moved to Seattle in September. I was even there last week spending my money on yarn at Chruchmouse Yarns.

So why am I boycotting? Well, yesterday two of my friends and I took the ferry (cost $44 roundtrip) to Bainbridge Island to go to Churchmouse Yarns which has an excellent reputation for being a great yarn store. It is one of my favorite yarn stores.

We spent about an hour in the store. I bought some Noro yarn last week when I was there, so I'm set for yarn (although they do have a nice selection of Malabrigo worsted and a pattern book I almost bought but I'm over my yarn budget for the month). However, both my friends bought yarn. Between the two I'd say they spent $60 or $70.

After buying yarn at Churchmouse Yarns we walked on the main road looking at the shops. We went into this great fabric store, Esters Fabrics, and then decided to go have lunch at Isla Bonita which is a mexican food place (not bad but I'm from Texas and I'm yet to have great Mexican food up here). We spent about $32 for lunch for the 3 of us.

Then we walked back to the car to drive back to the ferry to go back to Seattle. And there was a parking ticket on the car! We had exceeded the 2 hour time limit they have for parking. 2 hours?!? WTF.

Well, I think this is ridiculous. There is no way if you are taking a leisurely walk and stopping in several stores where you make purchases and then have lunch or dinner that you could do that in 2 hours! I would think the city of Bainbridge Island would want you stay there spending your money for as long as you want to instead of running you off after 2 hours.

The ticket was $20 which isn't a lot. I'm sure there are signs that state the 2 hour limit. But I've been 3 times and never noticed them. So I can't say how far apart they are. But IMHO if they are going to have such a ridiculously short time to park they should have better signage so that one would actually notice it.

In my 3 trips there I have never seen a whole lot of people strolling the street and I always wondered about that. Yesterday, when we were at Churchmouse there was at most 4 or 5 people in the shop and I thought this was strange because it is such a great shop.

Well, maybe other people have gotten tickets for parking too long and they don't want to make the trip over on principle too. I don't know. I just know that it will be awhile before I head over there myself, which is sad because did I mention, I LOVE Churchmouse Yarns.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wall Covering Suggestions?

Before Amy closed up our house in Texas and moved up to Seattle, I painted the room that was to be her office a purple color below the chair rail molding that is about half way up the wall.

Now, I'm not to hip on purple but Amy loves it and it was to be her room and she was doing all this work back in Texas getting us ready to move, so I decided to paint the room with her favorite color.

Well, now that she is gone and that room is empty, I'd like to convert it to a meditation room where I can shut the door and not have the cats rubbing up against me purring while I'm trying to meditate.

I'm just not up for painting the walls again or putting up wall paper, so I've been thinking of finding some other kind of wall covering that I could tack up on the walls.

I've thought about sheets of bamboo cut to size or fabric. Do y'all have any suggestions for a cheap, easy-to-do wall covering solution?

P.S. Check out the new song of the week on my side bar, She Let Herself Go by George Strait. It is much more empowering then the two songs I had up before.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Mini Yarn Crawl Day Trip

Today I did a mini yarn crawl hitting Yarn Garden in Gig Harbor, Amanda's Art and Fibers in Poulsbo, and Churchmouse Yarn in Bainbridge Island. I tried to do Wild and Wooly in Poulsbo but they were closed.

View Larger Map

I started out about 9am this morning and got home around 5:30pm. I took Pachebel (my dog) and Natasha (my GPS). Here's Pachebel ready for the adventure in the back seat:

Our first stop was at Narrows Park which is on the Gig Harbor side of the Narrows Bridge.

Then it was off to the Yarn Garden in Gig Harbor where I picked up some seaming pins and blocking pins plus this great little reference guide the store put together. It is called My Little Knitting Book: A Quick Reference. It has a chart with Knitting Needle Conversion, a place to keep track of your knitting needle and croceht hook inventory, a how-to on the kitchner stitch, a chart showing foot length vs shoe size, a yardage estimaor for a sweater for different ages and sizes, and pictures of actual sizes of different weight yarns. This is going in my purse and will come in great use on future yarn store adventures!

I also got this great button for my Mr Greenjeans cardigan:

I was really torn about buying it because it was a $5 button. $5 for a button! Geez! But I spent so much time and effort on my cardigan it deserves a special button.

While in Gig Harbor, Pachebel and I took a walk along the water front. I love seeing the boats at the marina:

After I ate lunch we drove to Poulsbo. I walked down the main street and hit Amanda's Art and Fibers. It is easy to pass this yarn store because it is on the second floor and there is just the door to the stairs up. I didn't end up buying anything there or in Poulsbo at all since Wild and Wooly was closed.

The last stop was Churchmouse Yarns in Bainbridge Island. I really like this shop. The staff are very helpful but not pushy and they have a great selection of yarn. I picked up some Noro Kureyon for a vest that turns into a bag from Knit Tricks. I'm going to use the Kureyon for the side panels.

On the way home we took the ferry. Mt Ranier was out above the clouds:

Doesn't that look cool?

Now, I'm beat and I'm going to heat up a pizza, pop in a DVD from Netflix called Notes on a Scandal which was recommend by Vickie Howell for all the knitware in it, and knit.

P.S. Thanks Angi for suggesting I go do things I may not have done before. Picking up on the spur of the moment and driving around is something I used to do but got out of the habit doing because someone who won't be name never wanted to get up early (meaning before noon).

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Song Widgets

On the Casting Off forum on Ravelry (yes there is a group on Ravelry for people going through divorce and breakups. Heck, there is a forum on everything else, why not that?). There is a thread about music that is getting us through. Right now mine range from pitiful:

I Dont Love You Like That

Listen here.

To angry:

Love Dont Live Here

Listen here.

I'm hoping soon that I'll have one that is more uplifting. You can check out the latest song to see my current mood in the sidebar.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Mr Greenjeans



I finished knitting Mr Greenjeans last week. I washed and blocked it and let it dry, forever! I swear, even with a space heater blowing over it, it took 3 days for it to dry. And I really wrung it too!

All it needs is the button which I'm going to get today on a trip to Joann's or Michael's today with my mom. But I probably won't wear it with the button fastened because the style of the sweater is an inverted V from the button down which for a big hipped girl isn't exactly something you want to highlight!

The yarn is Knit Pick's Swish using size 7 Denise needles which rocked because I could use the cords as stitch holders and just put the needles on for doing the sleeves.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Yarn Sale Purchases

This weekend was a weekend of yarn sale purchases. On Friday night Renaissance Yarn in Kent was having a special sale for Leap Day and everything in the store was 15% off. They also have Fiber Fest Friday which is a drop-in knitting group. So I headed over there after work, spent a couple hours knitting, and came home with several skeins of Cascade 220.

I'm going to use the black skeins to knit a vest that converts into a bag from Knit Tricks! by Rebecca Wat. It is knit with 4 rectangles, 2 long and 2 short. I'm going to try knitting it using my knitting machine.

Not sure what I'm going to do with the dark pink skeins. I got 4 skeins so I'm thinking of making a tank or short sleeve top on the knitting machine, as well.

Now, 15% off would be considered a pretty good deal at any yarn store, but this weekend it paled in comparison to the 50% off sale at Hilltop Yarn in Seattle in Queen Anne.

Unfortunately, they had an electrical fire in their basement and although there wasn't any major damage and very little smoke damage, they had to sell everything at 50% off. Its a great deal for knitters, but not for Hilltop.

This was one CRAZY sale. Charity and I got there about an hour after they opened. We were told that there was line down the street before they opened.

The store was packed with at least 200 knitters and I'm not exaggerating. You could hardly move. If the fire marshall had come by, they certainly would have had a violation on their hands.

I found 10 skeins of purple Rowan Summer Tweed and 9 skeins of a pink Rowan Summer Tweed yarn when I first got in the store. It was right by the door and I guess most people were interested in other yarns because I was able to get enough to work on 2 different projects from my copy of The Summer Tweed Collection by Kim Hargreaves that I picked up a couple of years ago. I did my first sweater out of a pattern from the booklet.

MJ just finished up Cinnamon and I'm thinking of making that or Thyme. Both are cardigans. And then I'd like to make a tank or short sleeve top like Rosemary or Amber.

I gave up trying to look at anything in the back room next to the registers because it was full with no moving room with people trying to check out. I finally went out on the back porch, where another line ended and waited in line for 2 1/2 hours to check out. Along the way I picked up 5 skeins of chunky Malibrigo and a set of Denise Needles.

I already have a set of Denise Needles which I LOVE. They are so versatile. They usually cost $50 and I got them for $25 which is a great bargain!