Sunday, July 30, 2006

Too little time...

Of course the irony of the title of this is that I am semi-retired (emphasis less on the "semi") and have more time than ever before. I used to say "So much fabric, so little time." Then it was "So much fabric and yarn, so little time." Now add "ideas" to the mix and I'd have it about right.

I thought when we moved to Oregon and the freedom from 40+ hour/week jobs I would get so much done. And I have accomplished a lot, but then I keep getting more books and magazines and more ideas.

The latest culprit with the Fall Interweave Knits. First of all it was pretty thick, which should have told me something right there. Then when I settled down with it, sitting next to the one-third knit Forest Stole, it was clear the magazine was going to be trouble.

Then again we have to have goals...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Yarn Shops

I've mentioned that I have a bit of a geeky side and love databases. If there's a list of information, it goes into a table. Before trips (long or short), there are several things I do, including scoping out yarn and fabric stores in the area we are going to visit, which goes into a FileMaker database, which goes into my phone, with FileMaker installed.

Recently Dianne asked about yarn shops in New York City, so I pulled up my trusty database and exported the list. And then I got geeky and decided to make lists for other areas. We were in Cape Cod, Boston and Manhattan last fall. I live in Oregon. And we're going to Denver. Those are the lists I've compiled so far. As I go other places, I'll create more lists.

I do not claim that the lists are complete, nor can I vouch for accuracy, because almost all the information is gleaned from various internet sites. However, I invite any comments or corrections.

The here are links to the lists. On each page, there's a link to a .xls file.

Portland, OR area
Oregon (with Portland area marked)
Eastern Massachusetts (with Cape Cod and Boston area stores marked)
Colorado (with Denver area designated)
San Francisco Bay Area (organized by county/area)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

And your little dog, too..

Actually I don't know whose little dog this is, but I found the graphic as I was looking for doggy desktop icons. He was just too cute to pass up. So here's your cute dog picture for the day.

Lace obsession

I've decided that, at least for this month, my favorite knitting is lace. The patterns take a bit to memorize, but once that's done there's a rhythm to the knitting, and the result always seems to be such a pleasant surprise. I've knit a lot of different things, but after the first little silk scarf I knit, I was hook. Looking back at the lace projects I have documented, the first lace scarf was knit just in 2001.

This revelation came to me when I started searching for something to make with the way cool Handmaiden Seasilk I received for my birthday. I scoured through my library and started on the Interweave knits. In the end I decided on "Midwest Moonlight" from Scarf Style.

In my "travels" through the books and IKs, I marked several patterns I must knit, most of which were lace. The "Forest Stole" in Summer 2003 really spoke to me (sometimes those voices can be real trouble), so I obsessed until I decided on a yarn to use. The pattern is a combination of three different lace patterns worked in entrelac. After I admitted to myself I didn't have enough of the Cherry Hills Cascade Silk (and wasn't willing to spend the extra bucks to buy another skein) and the blues and whites of Knit Picks Shimmmer were pooling in unattractive stripes and would mask the lace pattern, I settled on an natural stash cone yarn. It's aged so long, I don't know the content - probably cotton and silk, but it could be rayon. My version is moving right along...but still have a way to go.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

One Skein...Two Skein

Thanks go out again to my One Skein Secret pal. Instead of just one skein, I received two - a The Alpaca Yarn Co. Classic Alpaca yarn in Purple Haze, a lovely heathered purple, and Artyarns Super Merino, handpainted in shades of green/teal. Alpaca may be my new favorite fiber - it's SO soft. Thanks, too, for the good luck beads!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Day Trips

The weather has been just right for tooling around in the Miata with the top down and Tom just cleaned all the spring's pollen off so was bright and shiny. On Sunday we headed toward Hood River to visit Foothill Yarn and Fibers. I'd seen the name and read a glowing review written by a California visitor who was (not surprisingly) enamored with the Portland area, so that was our first stop. It would have been hard to find were it not for the signs very strategically placed at every turn. And they were busy. It's a lot easier to observe a yarn buying moratorium when you can't see and touch the yarn...

The brown and cream are spun from Bethel and El Misty, two alpacas there at the Cascade Alpaca Farm. Lovely soft yarn.

We also got to see and touch alpacas, and Charlie the Great Pyrenees dog.

In town, we had lunch at Bette's Place. I had a fabulous fresh crab, avocado and cream cheese omelet - and MAN was there a lot of crab in it! Next door is Gorge Dog - a very cute doggy gift shop. Next we headed toward our ultimate destination - Knot Another Hat, where I bought a purse kit, complete with yarn, fabric, and handles.

Whereever we go we like to find things that are locally made so we stopped in at Made in the Gorge, an artists co-op. I was struck immediately by Bonnie White's watercolors. A print of two shelties that was just too hard to pass up.

Another Day Trip
Two weekends ago, it was the first of the moderate weather (not raining and not nearing 100°) so we decided we needed pull out the Miata for it's first ride of the season. That trip took us south to Salem to see the Capitol. We had a lovely walk around the Capitol and Willamette University grounds. Salem is pretty much closed on Sunday, but we did find a restaurant worth mentioning: Busick Court Restaurant. It was a great brunch. We found out it's been feature on Food TV's $40-a-Day because we sat under the picture of Rachael Ray. Of course they just showed the Salem episode two weeks earlier, so we'll have to wait awhile to see it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

At the sewing machine

Knitting the dreaded purple afghan was hard on my hands, so I decided to do a little sewing.

My collection of dog fabrics alone are a SABLE. The good news is that I made Tom a new shirt. Of course, I offset that with the cute fabric I found at Joann's when I went to look for ribbon for a new jacket.

The leftover bargain eyelet fabric wanted to be a jacket. The Vogue 8258 jacket was just the ticket.

I still have to have something to do while watching TV, so I started the Florida bag from Knit Picks. The cotton/rayon shine yarn is SO soft to knit.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

At last...

...the purple afghan is finished.
Before blocking

Completed - 26" x 50"

At last!


Every new toy is Mandy's favorite, but she REALLY liked the blue elephant baby she got at Christmas. There are lots of parts to grab onto.

But her alltime favorite toy is Cody. And, being part cat, Mandy has to keep her toys clean.