Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

October Knitting Cruise/Retro Post #3…

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Mom met me in Seattle, then we spent the weekend at The Lion’s Paw Inn.  Besides shopping for scrap booking supplies and yarn, we went to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

The coastline along the way:

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The North Head Lighthouse, and my Mom:

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The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse:

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On Monday, 1 October, we returned to Seattle to board the Celebrity Cruise Line Ship Mercury…

On the first evening, I started my spinning project, some beautiful pink wool from Heidi Parra at The Artful Ewe.  When it got too dark to spin, I worked on my (future felted) laptop sleeve made from needlepoint yarns.  The wheel is my friend Caryn’s Louet Victoria.  It spun a very fine thread very nicely – so nicely and fine that I didn’t finish by the end of the cruise and had to wind it into a ball to ply with more later:

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Our first stop was Nanaimo, BC.  My Mom and I went on a nice historic tour of the downtown area.

This is a fillet crochet piece that was gifted to the church we visited:

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Here’s an antique saxony spinning wheel on display in the natural history museum:

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Then we headed over to Gabriola Island to visit Paradise Island Alpaca Farm.  While we were waiting for the ferry, we met a lovely woman, Jane, who is from about 40 miles from where my family is from Upstate NY.  Since we didn’t see the farm’s van waiting for us on the island, Jane gave us a tour of the island by car and took us to the farm.  Here are some of the alpacas we met…

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The farm’s shop was very cozy with a nice selection of different weighted alpaca yarns.  I even got some highly coveted alpaca in black and gray.  Since it was so chilly, I bought a hat crocheted from a white alpaca boucle yarn.  To help artisans in Peru, the farm sends it’s fiber to make items the shop can later sell to further help the artisans.

For dinner, the appetizer I picked was a portabello aspic with goat cheese.  Since I was reading  the totally wonderful book, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell, I had to order the aspic, which was pretty tasty after you get over the texture:

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And here’s the flan for dessert, complete with caramelized sugar and chocolate ric-rac:

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The next day, we went to Victoria, BC.  We started off by doing some yarn and button shopping.  In my rush to buy up lots of Hand Maiden yarns, I forgot to take pictures of the Beehive Wool Shop and the Button & Needlework Boutique.

After we ate lunch on the cruise ship, we went on our planned excursions to the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and Butchart Gardens.

The male Atlas Moth…and the female Atlas Moth…who will only live for about 3-5 days after emerging from their cocoons – long enough to make more Atlas Moths…

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A Blue Clipper:

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A Common Blue Morpho (female):

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A Great Mormon:

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A Mocker Swallowtail:

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Another Blue Clipper:

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An orchid:

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One of the many Angels Trumpet trees:

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And on to Butchart Gardens…begonias to start:

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The Sunken Garden:

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The Ross Fountain:

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Some dahlias:

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The Japanese Garden:

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The Star Pond:

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Here’s a shot of our cruise ship:

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A cool hallway on the ship:

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Our last day was one at sea.  I took a free-form knitting and crochet class in the morning with Tatyana Tchibova(concentration not helped by the rolling seas).  In the afternoon, I took Olde English knitting with Jule Castner.  Other classes were taught by Alexandra Immel and Susan Dirk.  That evening, we celebrated Sam’s (early) birthday on the cruise:

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After the cruise, we ran all over Kitsap and Mason counties on a search for a size 1, 47″ Addi Turbo Lace needle to no avail and met up for dinner with Spring, Venita, Maria and Kevin at the Outback.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic at dinner.  Spring gave me her clapotis-inspired scarf from her own hand-painted bubblegum silk.  Now I don’t have to covet it from afar!

The next morning, we met up with Maria and newlyweds, Ward and Sharon, for breakfast at Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe:

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We went up to The Artful Ewe to see Spring and Heidi.  I wound off my pink fine wool single with Heidi’s ball winder.  Here are some shots of the shop…can you see Spring on her Lendrum?

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…and Heidi modeling one of her beautiful shawls…

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Then we cleaned the rest of my things out of my house for hopefully the last time (it’s on the market).  Here’s a shot of the newly remodeled kitchen:

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Weeks two and three…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sorry for the apparent pixelation of some of my photos.  I think I changed a setting on my new camera and that’s where things went wrong. 

I’m back in the US, but I wanted to post some of the other pics from the trip.  Apology stands…

While I was in Japan, I tried several drinks from the many drink vending machines.  This is one of the machines in a JR station – you can use your train pass proximity reader to make purchases. 

And a close-up of one I just don’t think I’ll ever try…

The flower exhibit at the National Museum of Science in Tokyo was amazing – even if we couldn’t read 99% of the signs!  The exhibit included information about reproduction, pigmentation, dyeing, arranging, sped up video of many flowers blooming, etc.  There was a gift shop.  I just realized I left the magnet I bought on the fridge in the hotel room.  Bummer! 

Here’s one of the signs:

 

We also went to Yunessen.  I’ve realized that no one is very photogenic when relaxing in hot springs…but here’s a picture of the creepy one where these little fish come and eat the dead skin off your feet.  The feet with the fish – Juan’s on his second trip.  The pale one on the right with no fish – mine.  Guess I exfoliated my feet enough walking on stones that day or jumped too much for the fish to hold on!

 

One Friday after work, Frank and I spotted the sculpture in Chuo Park and figured out (with the help of a nice elementary school teacher) how to get there:

…and a small sample of one of the many hydrangeas we saw:

I met Juan in Machida to drag him yarn shopping.  This was my first time taking the train by myself.  A stranger found me on my way to a connection train to ensure I made it to the right one, since she’d seen me check my map while riding next to me.  On the way to the shop recommended, we found an even better store – Okadaya (blue and white sign in the center).  They had entire floors dedicated to different handicrafts, and a discount card.  I bought 15 of the 21 skeins needed for making a Lizard Ridge blanket.  I figured out that I’m saving over $60 by buying it there than in the US.  While yarn is cheaper, accessories (needles, hooks, counters) are often more expensive.  No Addi Turbos to be found, either.  (Something else to stock up on besides Levi’s and shoes.)

That’s about it for pictures.  As for other tidbits: I won one game of bingo (along with 4 other people) and Mary won a door prize.  I happened upon a great deal on a RAV4, so I bought it and am very grateful to co-workers keeping it for me until I move.  I got answers to questions I had on a crochet pattern – in a mix of Japanese and English.  I used a traditional Japanese toilet only once, while in the Yokohama JR train station.  I didn’t eat sushi for all three weeks.  I’m told this is a crime, especially for me, since I love sushi.  My first meal when I got home – Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger. 

My first week in Japan…

Monday, May 28, 2007

So you might have heard by now that I’m moving back east – but to the Far East.  In preps for the move, I’m in Japan for two weeks. 

I started off my stay by finishing a pair of socks for a friend’s grandaughter – Kitchner stiches performed in the “Meeting Area” at Narita.

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I’ve been lucky to have good friends also in town (and they’ll be here when I move, too).  I met Jim and Mary through church and I couldn’t ask for better friends in a new place!  They’ve been over here for a while and have the public transportation system down.

The following events are not all-inclusive of my stay…just what I can stay up to type tonight.

About 3 blocks from my hotel (and future office) is a yarn shop:

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(On a Sunday night stroll, another shop around the corner was discovered – I’m bound to visit soon.)

 

After getting acquanted with the area, we did some preliminary rental house searching.  Mary, my co-worker-Jason (who is also moving with his family to Japan) and I got to see a newly listed rental house in Zushi.  I’d like to note that it does have an oven, but for Thanksgiving dinner, it would have to be Cornish game hen, given it’s size!

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We then went to Tokyo to pick up some things at Hard Rock Cafe for our US boss:

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I want you to know, I will not be without some American “ammenities” while in Japan.  Spring, do a happy dance with me:

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Besides Lush, there’s also an Outback Steakhouse and Cold Stone Creamery in Roppongi. 

 

The long weekend was a ton of fun…a couple of things to share…

Roses in Verny Park:
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Jim and Mary among the roses in Verny Park:

 

That’s it for now…I’ll have to tell more about the flower exhibit at The National Science Museum and Yunessen later…

It’s the end of the…

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

…Local Yarn Shop as we know it…and I don’t feel fine.  In the midst of the second horrible cold I’ve had this year, I “celebrated” the end of Sweet Stitch with many local knitters (and spinners).

That Saturday (4/1/07) was spent working on the CTH Brights socks (done as of Monday morning, with a shortened toe since I was so antsy).  

 CTH Brights Socks Finished!

That Sunday, I spun 2 oz of merino/mohair/tussah silk (70/20/10) blend for the “turquoise project”. 

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I did finish spinning all 2 ounces, and plied…note the (probably) overspun single.  Hopefully it’ll all be okay when it’s set!

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I started on some merino roving I bought from Heidi at The Artful Ewe, but didn’t finish the first third.  I think I’m going to ply it with some Socka reinforcing thread so I can get a pair of socks from it…why does roving never go as far as I think it will?  I think I need to learn to spin a lace-weight thread like Spring

With the closure of Sweet Stitch, I’m going to miss a lot of things…things I probably don’t even realize right now.  Here are a few I’ve thought of, though:

  • I’m going to be out-of-the-loop for all the new yarns (especially Rowan) and am going to feel yarn identifier stupid (when you look at someone’s project and ID the yarn maker and sometimes the colorway). 
  • I’m going to have to go to Spring’s house to eat awesome cupcakes.
  • I’m going to miss being amazed by how fast Terry can finish her projects.  (I have Japanese class during the Thursday night knitting gathering at Ceasar’s).
  • I’m going to have to drive more than 3 miles to buy yarn.
  • I think most of all, I’ll miss being able to stop by the shop to chat with Julie any time the “Open” sign is lit. 

…and as for all that eyelash yarn I bought as the last ever sale at Sweet Stitch?  Lots of skein mixes…wanna help, Julie?

More Rainbows on Sunday…

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Given our wet winter NW weather, there was no horseback riding, but there was knitting (and frogging).  I went to Seaview, WA with a knitting friend for a getaway weekend.  Allen and Michal at The Lion’s Paw Inn were wonderful (despite our late evening arrival).  The food and conversations were great.  I think it would be hard to go back without staying there!  Stella will come with me next time.  I think she’ll get along very well with the Millers’ three dogs.  Here’s a picture of Taz’s favorite place inside…

Taz’s window seat

We went to the World Kite Museum, the Tapestry Rose Yarn Shop, Full Circle Cafe (next to the Tapestry Rose), Heron & Beaver Pub and The Port Bistro.  While having lunch in the Cafe, I found a mistake in the socks I’ve been working on…thought it was just on one side of one sock.  I was not looking forward to dropping 3 stitches to correct in each of the 7 repeats.  Back at the Inn, I found another error even further back in both socks and ripped out 8 rounds on each.  As of this morning, I caught up.  Here are some more pics from the weekend…

The top sock is frogged, the bottom shows the mistake (a slight shift by doing row 2 instead of row 4).  I don’t like leaving mistakes.  The other sides of the socks are cooler colors, but they seem to blending more now.  Cherry Tree HillSupersocks yarn in Brights colorway, Central Air Pattern from Blue Moon Fiber Arts on size 1, 47″ Addi Turbo needle:

Cherry Tree Hill - Brights

The beach about 100 yards from Tapestry Rose & Full Circle Cafe:

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Tetrahedron kite: 

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Framed antique crocheted lace (see the peacock feathers?) from the Boston Commons room: 

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On the way home, many rainbows…several were doubles, but the photos weren’t so clear with the rain and windshield:

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Rainbows on Sunday…

Monday, February 12, 2007

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Isn’t it funny how you can take a picture and you think you know what’s going to be in it, then when you look at it, notice something amazing?  On my way to the knitting meet-up on Sunday, I saw an amazingly brilliant rainbow in my rear view mirror.  I had my camera out (hoping to catch a good shot of something for this blog) but driving and taking a photo of a subject in the rear view was impossible.  However, when I turned to the left to go through Gorst, I could snap some random shots out of my window. 

It wasn’t until I finally looked at the picture on my computer today that I realized this shot has a double rainbow.  None of the other ones captured it…the angle was making me nauseous, so I had to rotate the shot…please ignore the reflection of my blue striped shirt in the window.

Of course, I totally forgot to take any pics of my knitting (socks in Cherry Tree Hill Brights colorway – quite like a rainbow).

Although I’ve been here two years, it still makes me happy and excited to see the rainbows we get here…guess it makes the rainy season a bit more tolerable.

How the knitting obsession started…

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I started knitting in 2004 – not counting the time when I was little when my maternal grandma taught me (I still have the pink metal needles I used).  The resurge was fueled by reading the needlecraft mystery series by Monica Ferris.  2004 was a stressful year (trying to end a failed 3+ year relationship, get a new job, prepare to move 3,000 miles), and the lead character in the series would knit when stressed about the murder she was trying to solve.  I picked up the needles to help relieve my stress.  It’s worked and on a rare occasion, has also become the stressor 😉 

 My first project was a garter stitch scarf out of a soft yarn bought at Michaels (probably a wool/acrylic blend) on size 17 needles.  I still have it.  I couldn’t give it away.  I thought it had a hole, but haven’t found it since.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I ripped it back a lot – from lots of added stitches. I just tried to find it to snap a quick photo and it’s not where I though it was.  I swear, I did unpack it!  Maybe I’ll add a photo when I find it to prove that!