Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Working through the stash

Found it!!
Clue 4 from the Mystery Stole was completed (finally!) and I was on the hunt for yarn for another lace project when I came upon a very old UFO stole. As I pulled it out of the box, I spied a bag with three balls of circa-2004 Mikado Ribbon in Shell Mix. The Tivoli top could finally be completed, and it was.

Mystery Progress

I decided to shorten the Mystery Stole, which meant I didn't have to knit 82 pattern rows (or 164 total), so you'd think it would have gone by quickly. HA! For whatever reasons, a couple of rows kept giving me fits, so I ended up re-knitting at least 50 pattern rows (not in succession, but in total). Still the fourth clue, is completed and the Mystery Stole will remain a mystery for an extra week, while the avid Harry Potter fans (including Melanie) read the new book.

A new shrug
In June, Dianne said to bring knitting to the Dragon Boat races because there would be some waiting between heats, so I looked for an easy to remember pattern and chose Pam Allen's "Little Silk Shrug" from Lace Style. But I didn't make mine out of silk, but the Koigu yarn I picked up at Madrona Fiber Arts in January. It was knit at plays, coffee and anytime I was just waiting. I liked how it turned out, so I may even make another. After all I will need another take-along project.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Another week, another FO

Once again, another week has slipped by...

Calliope is done
I did say it was a quick knit but I must admit I was a little compulsive about finishing it. But the really cool thing is how well it fits. The smallest measurement on the pattern was going to be a little too big, so I knit the gauge a stitch smaller et voilà! it fits. The only other adjustment I made to the pattern was to knit smaller armbands than the pattern called for. And I even learned a new (to me) cast on method—Channel Island cast on, since it was the method the author specified.

I found two sites with different methods: Have a Yarn and Countrywool. I preferred the latter, which has you set up like you are doing a long tail cast on.

Clue three (plus) reknit
I was admiring my work on the Mystery Stole and noticed a mistake. There was a discussion on the MS3 yahoo list about living with mistakes and there are times when I will just leave it. This wasn't one of those times. Once I saw it, I decided it was too obvious, so I frogged about 75 rows and did it right. It wasn't too traumatic and it has been reknit. On to the fourth clue.

More things to like about where we live

Nothing against the other places I've lived (and being an Air Force brat, I've lived in a few), but I have never really enjoyed where I was living till now. Now part of that may be attributed to the fact that I have the good fortune to not have to go to work everyday, so I have time to enjoy my surroundings. Nonetheless, almost everyday, I see or hear something new or different that makes the decision to move here all the better. Mind you they aren't always big...

There are the parks.
Last week, we went to Foothills Park, a Lake Oswego city park. It's not big, but the footpath goes along the Willamette so there's lots to see. Along the way we saw a couple of egrets on the rocks.

We also saw a building that has piqued our curiosity along. We saw it from the back on a walk in George Rogers Park. Was it a city building or a home? It's one of two concrete buildings in the park. I've often seen the other riding along Highway 43. I can't even think what to search on in Google...

Mary S Young Park gets a mention because it is but a mile from the house and walking there you can practically forget were smack dab in the middle of a developed town.

...and the dogs in the park
Mandy is enjoying getting out, and is getting used to the cool smells in the dog park at Mary S Young.

I had my first boysenberry on Wednesday from South Barlow Produce we found at the West Linn Farmers Market. We also got some huge blueberries and raspberries. To give you some perspective the blueberry was about the size of a dime.

Last year the Clackamas Repertory Theatre put on a production of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!" We'd seen the off Broadway production and saw it again in San Jose, and this was the best of the three. On Sunday, we saw "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" and it was great. There are still two performances left...

"Singin' in the Rain" caught our eye in the West Linn Tidings. Put on by the Broadway Rose Theatre Company, it was an enjoyable performance, highlighted by Daniel Lee Robbins as Cosmo. The Oregonian's review really sums up the performance.

The second performance in the Broadway Rose season is "Cole" which we saw last night. Once again we were not disappointed. Great music, great singing and a little tap number by Meredith Weber. It runs through next Sunday.

The Portland area is a veritable mecca of knitters and yarn shops. Alas! yesterday began the closing sale at Lint so soon, we will be one store less.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New things

I think I said I've been trying not to augment either fabric or yarn stash for the past couple of months. I have been fairly successful (a complete moratorium would be completely out of character, I think) if the recent Visa bill is any indication. Still, when in a yarn store, it's hard to resist the pretty colors and soft fibers. Such was the case when the PDX Knit Bloggers met at Knit Purl last Sunday. I love Sea Silk and red and the Sangria colorway was just too much to resist. I think it was Tammy who was working intently on the Mystery Stole in Habu Bamboo and Terissa had a ball of it with her. It was so soft and shiny, I had to take home some for my very own. One of the great services that Knit Purl offers (and they always offer) is winding yarn from hanks to center pull balls.

At the same time I have been trying to work through stashes. As I was searching my patterns for something to make with the new yarns, I came across the Calliope Sleeveless Shell I'd ordered from Knit Picks last year, along with the red Shine Sport. It's no longer available from Knit Picks, but I did find reference to it on JoLene Treace's (the author) site and she wants to revise it to make available, now that KP's one year license is up. It's been a pretty quick knit considering there are 131 sts on US size 3 (3.25mm) needles.

And here's Clue 3 done on the Mystery Stole

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

BIG dog

In his heart, Cody was a big dog—he just got stuck in a little dog body. Tom checks out the BBC site daily and today found the story of Samson, a truly big dog. His pal Jack is cute, too.

Finished Objects

Where did the week go? Has it really been over a week since I last posted? Well, at least I have some things to show for the absence.

Knitters and Bloggers
There is such a sense of community in Oregon that I have never felt in other places I've lived. It starts with the pride in the state that residents hold and extends to the desire to get together and share common interests. Combine that with the extraordinary knitting community and you have PDX Knit Bloggers, a group of knitters who met each other at Powell's when Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was in town and decided they needed to find other knit bloggers in the area. A Yahoo! group was started and on Sunday twenty-four knitters met at Knit-Purl to share stories, projects and, of course, knit. Kathy was among the first to blog about it. Monica became the official photographer having taken the most pictures, including me working on Sasha. Peggy and Mims from the Oregonian have described what everyone was working on.

Speaking of Sasha
The third time was a charm with this skirt. I bought the pattern last year in May. I started it, then frogged with almost all the underskirt done. I started it a second time but abandoned it for reasons I don't recall after just a couple of inches. A third start yielded he first section of the underskirt and, true to form, I got distracted with shinier, newer project. This past May, I thought it would be a good airplane project, but at the last minute decided it would be too cumbersome for travel. But now it is done. Yay!

Mystery Stole Clue 2
I finally figured out what I need to do to keep on track or rather, on chart. It's rather simple really—draw a dark line every 5 rows (forehead slap!). I've never been good about using row counters, or actually marking my place. That involves stopping and I'm just not that disciplined. At any rate, here's my progress on the shawl. BTW, at the PDX Knit Bloggers gathering, there were at least four others working on the stole (but only one who could concentrate and work on it at the meeting).

Convertible Wrap
Crocheting the hairpin lace panels on the loom went by swimmingly quickly. Crocheting up the loops—not-so-much. But it is done, the buttons on and April's birthday present is ready for mailing across the pond to Scotland. It will go with a picture from the stitchdiva site along with my pictures.

Ugly Pants
I finally got the ribbing onto the "muslin" pants. This will be the only public sighting of me in the pants. They will not leave the house unless they go out in a Goodwill bag.

We don't tend to celebrate birthdays exactly on the date with friends because there's always just too much going on. This year, we enjoyed John's birthday along with the nation's. Tom thought it would be a good idea for me to make another bottle poodle but he came up with the idea the third, so that was out. Instead, he did a little crafting of his own and the two liter bottle of single malt became a bottle bunny.

My gift from Dianne and John was interesting, pretty and tasty. Flowering Tea.



Monday, July 02, 2007

Spreading the wealth

Tom said yesterday that one of the things he loves about me is that I spread the wealth around. That was as we were leaving Mill End, having visited new yarn shop Twisted, and were heading to Lowe's.

A little yarn
Twisted just opened on Friday in northeast Portland. I've actually been very good about yarn, having not "invested" since pre-Scotland. It's my duty,however, to visit all yarn shops in the area at least once (I haven't been to Hillsboro or Gresham, though). Since we were out and about, I thought I needed to check out the new store. It's a nice little shop with probably the best display of Noro of any store I can recall. They have a good selection of unusual fibers (including soysilk, corn and banana fibers) as well has interesting handpainted yarns. Their stock of what I call "basic" yarn (solid color wools and cottons in all weights) is extensive. In the end I found a Merino/Tencel blend and chose a color that is new to my stash.

A little fabric
I've cut out and sewn up the ugly fabric and I'm quite pleased with the fit of the pants, having adjusted the pattern using my trouser moulage. As soon as I add the ribbing, I'll post a picture. It was the ribbing that prompted the stop at the Mill End store in Milwaukie. We always look at dog fabrics (their selection was meager, at best), but Tom did spy some Scooby Doo fabric that he liked.

And finally, the Home Improvement store
The strips for the convertible wrap are done, but I was having a bugger of a time matching up the loops to crochet together (my yarn is floppier than the demonstration on Knitty Gritty) so we bought a couple of dowels to thread through so I can see each successive loop. Now aren't dowels an exciting purchase?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

More Suggestions

One of the things I neglected to include in my list of things that no-doubt are a result of my "suggestability" is my long list of WIPs/UFOs. And still I add another thing to my WIP. I hesitated to mention this in my last post in the event that it was just a passing whim, but here it is.

Mystery Stole 3
One of the PDX Bloggers (PDX=Portland, for the out-of-towners) asked if anyone was going to join the Mystery Stole 3 Knitalong. I would have been fine if I'd ignored the post, but I had to check it out. I knew I shouldn't with a bazillion yards of fabric in the sewing room with patterns "assigned," the hairpin lace loom sitting in the family room along with the Sasha skirt, etc. But I did.

Yesterday morning after staring at the pattern I'd printed out, I picked up the Sporfarm alpaca yarn I'd found at the in March (because it was laceweight and already wound into a center pull ball) and started knitting. The good news is that it is done in steps as the clues are published, so I can just put it down and work on other projects.

Clue 1, Chart 1 done

Clue 1, Chart 2 done

I'm seeing a ram in the pattern...

Patriotic Dogs
Tom has a dog shirt for Valentine's day, several for Christmas, and a even one for Halloween. He (jokingly, I think) commented that he didn't have a Fourth of July shirt. Well he does now.