Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Knitting Updates!

I had a wonderful Christmas.

My day was family filled. First we went to the Bang festivities and then in the afternoon, the Ooka party. My nephew Connor got a Nintendo Wii and that was used all day long! For awhile the adults had taken over...imagine bowling in your own living room!

I haven't written much on knitting content lately. I haven't completed any projects, but I have worked on a number of things. Don't they say variety is the spice of life?

I have also accumulated some knitting related stuff! For loved ones of knitters, if you ever wonder what to get that special knitter in your life, see this post by the Yarn Harlot. She has some really good shopping tips! This not only applies to Christmas, but to Valentines(hint Greg!), birthday's, anniversaries, etc.!

Onto the fun stuff:

Here is a photo of Tabi sock 1 of Sandi Rosner's book Not Just More Socks. These are the socks on the cover of the book. I really love these. They are very comfortable. I'm beginning to think I may make this type of toe for all my socks. I love flip flops(I wear them a lot at home) and they are dual purpose. I can wear them with flip flops and I can wear them in shoes.

The tabi sock was done in a yarn called Twilight Bay by my friend Terry. Her Etsy shop is here.

About a week ago I started the Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. This is a beautiful book. When it was sold out at my local yarn shop, I ordered it on-line. I would normally buy it locally or from Karen at Two Swans Yarns. When Karen brought it to Ferals I had already purchased it(I felt kind of bad but I didn't know she had stocked it).

Anyway, here is the beginning of the shawl. I am knitting it out of Misti Alpaca Lace. The pattern is really easy to memorize right now so I've been taking it with me in my purse so when I have some waiting time, out it comes. I even take it to Sonic's games! I really do!

Alice Starmore's Abalone. Finally at the neck decreases. I know the photos look pretty much the same to you as the ones I have posted before but I feel good about getting to the neck. YES!

(I know...the steeks should be opposite yarn each row - fair isle knitters will understand what I mean but you know...Oh well).

I joined Sundara's Petal's Collection sock club a couple months ago. I got my first installment on Saturday. She is an artist extraordinaire. You can read about the details of her inspiration for what yarn and pattern she creates. She is undecided about whether she will continue this club in 2007. I really, really, really hope she does. I'm going to beg her to continue!

Check out how she packages her creations. I feel like its a spa type setting/environment for her yarn and pattern!

Elise, evil temptress, got me ordering some sock yarn from Sunshine Yarns. The colors are wonderful. This grouping was inspired by the dragons in the 4th Harry Potter book, The Goblet of Fire. I love HP and I was laughing when the Yarn Harlot started referring to non-knitters as muggles. From left to right are: The Swedish Short Snout, the Welsh Green Dragon, the Hungarian Horntail and the Chinese Fireball. Each skein has 450 yards.

I have my whole family coming over for dinner tonight - that is 5 sisters, two husbands, and 6 nieces and nephews. I want to post this so I better get moving.

One last thing. I have a number of Martha's knitting bags. Martha is Martha Sacco of Green Mountain Knitting Bags. I love her knitting bags for a few reasons. I have done a fair amount of sewing in my lifetime. I am hesitant about buying handmade, sewn items from people I don't know. I'm very particular and want the items to be made well, with precision. Martha's handi-work is awesome. She hand sews that bag to the wood handles and like I said...she is very meticulous.

I love her bags because they are modern, yet traditional. I love the feeling of the wood handles. I also love supporting artisans. I don't know how I found her but she is reliable and very honest. This is my latest Oversize Carpet Bag made in an Italian Upholstery fabric. I love it. This was a Christmas gift. She only lists on Thursday nights, 8:30 eastern. It is a mad rush to get one of her bags. They sell out quickly and someone can take it from your cart until you pay. So you must be decisive and very quick.

This photo was taken from our master bathroom. I had to show my lovely bag with the best view in the house because this bag only deserves the very best! ;)

Isn't she lovely? Abalone is in her right now. It fits the sweater, yarn and pattern with room to spare. I love it.

Gotta run - family should be showing up in about 45 minutes and I have quite a few things yet to do. Eeee Yikes! Oh well. No stress! I'm on vacation!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Five years ago my sister, Deborah Takeko Ooka Yasuda, died of pancreatic cancer. I've been avoiding acknowledging it because it hurts so much.

She died December 15, 2001.

She bravely battled this very aggressive type of cancer for 8 months. She had a very high tolerance for pain - one tough cookie. I have many memories of our time together as she battled this horrible disease. I had Friday's off and I would try and spend most Friday's with her. As she became more ill I know she looked forward to us just hanging out at her house. She only got to see my new home once. We have a lot of stairs and by that time she was not getting out much. I tear up just reminiscing about our times we spent together.

She saved my life when I was about 19 or 20. I had just taken my finals and had come home to the dorms at the UW. I wasn't feeling well but just figured it was the flu. She called to see how my exams went and I told her I was a bit under the weather. I went to bed and she called a couple hours later to see how I was doing. I was feeling pretty terrible. She insisted I come and stay with her and her husband Kyle(a doctor). I tried to resist but if you knew Deb, you can't really resist her. She was one stubborn lady.

She came and picked me up. Later that night sometime around midnight Kyle came to check up on me. He knew something was wrong. They took me to the emergency room at Virginia Mason(where he worked) and I was admitted to emergency surgery. I have a condition called endometriosis. The endometriosis had taken over one of my ovaries and it had burst, spilling blood internally. They both saved my life that night. Her instincts told her to care for me and it saved my life.

When Debbie was admitted for the very last time to the hospital it was at the end of November 2001. I took a leave of absence from my job so I could be with her as much as possible. A couple of weeks later I was scheduled to meet Greg, who was attending a conference, in Las Vegas for a few days. I knew when I left that it would be the last time I saw her.

We all knew her time to go was very near. I wasn't going to leave her but she insisted. She wanted me to go. She told me I had to go. That was the toughest thing - seeing her on the way to the airport knowing I would never hold her hand again, never look into her eyes and say I love you.

I got the call two days later as I was having dinner at a restaurant at the Venetian.

I was sad, yet relieved. She had been in excrutiating pain and she was free from the pain.

As I sit here writing, I just can't believe 5 years has gone by. Life continued on without her. That doesn't mean continuing on was easy.

Debbie was like a mom to me as a child. My mom was so busy just trying to survive with 7 children, working full time. Debbie took care of me(as did all my 6 older sisters). I remember her making me do my daily chores like sweeping or vaccuuming. She would tell me stories when I would go to bed and they almost always began with "Once upon a time there was a little girl named Naomi...".

We lived in a 1500 square foot home - two parents and 7 children. When I got old enough to sleep in a "real" bed I shared a bed with her. I would kick at night, hog the bed and blankets, eat crackers in bed. She'd be like "Naomi....there are crumbs all over in this bed!". We'd get out and try to get all the crumbs out. Man, what she had to put up with.

During the time we spent on those Friday's she shared memories of growing up. She told me a story of when I was about 3 or 4. We were at the local drug store and of course she had me tagging along. I'm sure this would not have been her choice but she had to watch out for the little ones. This lady comes up to me and said "Honey, aren't you cute?". I said with attitude, "My name's not Honey, its NAOMI!". Deb said she was like "oh my goodness!". We(all my sibs) have that feisty-ness...definitely from our mom.

She even told me about the birds and the bees!

I grieve for her daughter, Mirei. Mirei is a wonderful girl and she lost her mom when she was only 6. Mirei is a lot like her mom - super outgoing, daring, very intelligent, opinionated, likes to joke and have fun.

Her mom was her world. Mirei was Deb's world. I know Deb is watching over Mirei but no child should lose their mom at such a young age. They did everything together. Deb loved that girl so very much and it tore her apart to know she would physically be apart from her, not be able to watch her grow up, not be there to give her advice about boys, life.

Deb was feisty. She believed in fighting for the less fortunate. She didn't do that at a global level but on a personal level. From emotionally supporting people at work, coaching them to stand up for themselves to gathering the community to help a woman get out of an abusive relationship by organizing people and collecting money so the woman could leave the relationship.

She even organized a Cultural Day during high school in the 70's to help educate people about other cultures. Remember this is Ellensburg, Washington in the 70's. People would yell at her to "get back on the boat and go home!". She didn't care. She had already developed the tough outer shell and she went on her way. She did what she believed in and no one was going to stop her.

Tonight I'm just taking time to grieve so my heart can be open to the wonderful-ness of this time of year. My heart has felt closed but I want it to feel open. Shedding tears helps to heal and open my heart again.

I love you, Deb. I miss you so darn much! Tell Mom and Dad Hi!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


As many of you may know(or not) the Seattle/Puget Sound area got hammered by a big storm a couple days ago.

We have been without power since Thurday night about 10pm. We got power a few hours ago(Saturday).

I am giddy happy that we have electricity! Imagine going into a room and turning on the light switch and the light actually goes on! How many times did I, while holding a flashlight in my hand, go into a dark room and just automatically try turning on a light? Yeah, um hello? Anyone home? I guess not! Maybe my brain was frozen so it wasn't working very quickly. Yeah, that's it!

Yesterday afternoon G and I spent most of the afternoon and evening at Northgate mall, or maybe I should call it the local human zoo. We wandered around and had dinner there since we had no power and our house was cold. We do have a fireplace that I sat next to all day but once darkness hit, my options of what to do became very limited. So off to the mall we went.

We came home about 9pm and got a fire going in the fireplace and eventually went off to bed. When we woke up this morning our house was about 48 degrees indoors. BBBrrrrrr.

So...we went off to Starbucks where they had power! We met these two very nice ladies and had a nice cup O' joe and conversation. Both knitters! How fortunate for me! They said they would check out my blog and if they do...please email me or post a comment so I can get in touch. Maybe we could get together at a coffee shop and knit!

I'm off to take a shower! Whooo Hooo!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sweet Sheep Installment 2

I had heard from Elise that she had already received her second installment. I was hoping mine would be in my mailbox when I came home from work.

It arrived today. I'm lovin' this colorway. Now these are more "my" colors.

There hasn't been much activity on the Sweet Sheep Sock Club blog but I hope the members will start posting more ideas on what they are going to do, or are doing, with their yarn!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lupine Lace Socks...Done!

The socks are done and just in the nick of time. Supposedly the Sweet Sheep Sock Club will be sending out the next installment this coming week. I can't wait to see what we get!

I was in an Oracle Data Management class last week and since this was major review for me I knit while the instructor was, well, instructing! I got most of the leg done during class. I love when I can multi-task like this.

Here they are...done!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Starmore Abalone, Oh NO!

Last night I was happily knitting away at Thursday night knitting class at Village Yarn and Tea. I knew I was knitting more tightly because my level of work stress. So I decided to check to see how much tighter I was knitting.

Actually I hate my job. Ok, I don't *hate* my job. I love what I do. I just don't like where I'm doing it. I have a yucky boss(that is a nice way to put it).

I hate that my work stress is affecting my knitting too!. See the difference? Yikes.

So I had to start something different. Yes I could have continued working any number of UFO's sitting around but no, I wanted to start something NEW! I wanted a mindless project! So it is this sweater

from this book

With this yarn.

I'm trying to keep my guage consistent. I must thank Karen of Two Swans Yarns who I just recently met in-person. She's a very kind person and I checkout her blog daily and on this recent entry, I learned more about making a guage swatch. I just hate doing guage but it is worth the time. You'd think I'd *know* this after knitting 15 years but I still hate doing it.

I squirm and try to justify not doing it. "Oh, it won't matter if its a bit big. You bought two extra skeins just in case" "The guage is right on without blocking..the instructions don't say anything about a blocked guage swatch", blah blah blah. There is just no getting around it!

I wrote Karen an e-mail asking a dumb question(are you sure I need to block the swatch?) and I knew the answer but I just didn't want to go to the trouble. Really...it is a lot less trouble to take the extra time now than to have a sweater that doesn't fit! I'm glad I did because I had to go down 2 needle sized to get the guage after blocking. My sweater would have been too big. Thanks Karen!

Monday, November 27, 2006


We have snow in Seattle!

I love snow. We've got a few inches tonight.

Last night we had probably about two. By the time I woke up this morning it was mostly gone.

I got up at my usual time (4:45 am!) and made my usual bus. I have the best bus friends in the morning. I look forward to seeing my "bus buddies" everyday. It makes getting to work fun!

I got a ride home with my sister Cheryl tonight and by the time we got close to home, it was snowing pretty hard. We could not believe how much snow was accumulating in such a short period of time.

Snow reminds me of my childhood in Ellensburg, Washington where I was born and raised. I miss having snow in the winter time.

It is so pretty outside. I wish it could last....only as long as I don't have to go out and try to get around Seattle in it. Seattle doesn't function very well with snow. There are a lot of hills and the bus service gets very spotty.

Chase and Beanie don't really appreciate the snow much.

I love snow and I'm going to enjoy it as long as I can!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What Card are You?

Julia of Vesper Yarn posted this on her blog. What Tarot card are you?

Go here to find out here.

I am the Star:

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

For those of you that know me, doesn't that sound like me? Whoa. Go try it out.

See - another post - I really don't want to work on that scrapbook!

Life and Knitting Updates

I've been busy with the holiday's and what-not.

I find time a curious thing. It just goes faster as you get older. How is that? Time moves at the same rate of speed so why does it go faster as you age?

As a young child I would complain and could not wait until I would get my driver's permit. I remember thinking I have 8 years until I turned 15 and a half and could get my permit. My mom would tell me that as a person gets older that time just goes faster and faster. I looked at her like she was nuts - what? All I knew was that it was not going fast enough for me! We all know from first hand experience that, yes, time does seem to go faster as you get on in years.

I thought coming into the Thanksgiving holiday that I had a full 5 days off that I would get a lot of knitting done! I had 5 days after all.....

Wednesday I spent 1/2 the day at my sister's bakery, The Madison Park Bakery, helping to fill pre-orders. Yes...I was there at 6am. They are so busy during the holiday's that I usually help out at Thanksgiving and at Christmas. I came home and felt like I was coming down with something so I just read in bed the rest of the day. Nice!

Well...we all know that Thanksgiving is shot because my hands are busy shoving all kinds of food and drink into my body that I don't have motivation to knit. So no knitting done then.

Friday my sister's and I planned to take our niece Ariana out for her 21st birthday drink. We didn't start heading out until 8pm. So I did get some knitting done in the afternoon. There was a channel on cable that had like this CSI marathon so I sat there like a zombie, knitting all afternoon. Good thing I went out that night(Greg went to the Sonic's game) because the couch and I would have become one.

Saturday G and I went to Costco in the morning. Greg loves entertaining so he's like "let's invite people over for dinner". So it ends up all my sisters, their kids and husbands came over for dinner(11 of us). The only knitting I did was in the car to and from Costco.

Sunday - off to U Village. Greg was looking at photography books for like 2 hours. I got bored looking around so I went to the coffee shop and sat with my eggnog latte' knitting on the Lupine Lace Socks. Here is my progress.

This afternoon I came upstairs to my office to work on finishing up this scrapbook for my in-laws of our trip to Italy in September 2005. It is this huge monkey on my back. So instead of finishing that up I called my friend Renee' and we talked for almost an hour. I only have Florence yet to scrapbook but I update my blog as the next distraction(do you see an pattern here?).

I want to get side-tracked(again) for one second. Florence has great yarn shops. I went to this place that was just 1.5 blocks from where we were staying (5 minute walk from the Duomo) that was where yarn is manufactured. Boy did I get some screaming deals there! It was so much fun to go there! They spoke some english and I would love to take some knitters there.

Anyway - update on Abalone. I only have 30 more rows before the body is done and I can cut for the sleeve steeks! I was hoping that I would be done for class this Thursday and Rebecca could help me with the cutting! Here is the current progress on that:

I really better get on to doing at least a few pages on the scrapbook. Then I can knit as a reward!

Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dinner with Mauro Golmarvi

Sunday night Greg and I hosted a dinner party for 8 at our home. The chef was Mauro Golmarvi - owner of Assaggio Ristorante in Seattle.

If you've ever eaten there or had him greet you when you come in, you'll know he is such a warm and vibrant soul. If you are lucky enough he may come visit you at your table to say hi and have a nice little chat. It is like you are coming to eat in his home and he wants you to feel welcome. We usally go there for special occasions like our wedding anniversary or birthday's.

We, along with some other folks, purchased this dinner at a fundraiser for a local private school.

A few years ago we had introduced my sister-in-law Renee and her husband Mike(Greg's brother) to Assaggio. Renee' has worked on many school auctions(She is THE MOST TALENTED, ORGANIZED auction director out there) and when she told us Mauro was donating a dinner for 8 - we said we are in to bid on that item with them. Man, was it worth the contribution to the school! We had an ABSOLUTE BLAST. You can bet we'll be bidding on this again when the auction happens in March 2007.

Petyr Beck and Holly ?(I don't know her last name) volunteered to be servers and clean up crew so it was truly a decadent evening.

The wine flowed, the food came in wonderful waves and we delighted in each and every course! This was truly a treat, a night to remember.

Petyr brought each one of us a copy of Mauro's cookbook which can be purchased here. Petyr worked on the book and its lovely. Thanks Petyr! That was very thoughtful of you!

Here are some photos that show how much fun we had!

Mauro is teaching Pam and I how to correctly cut an onion.

Here we are hanging out in the kitchen. Doesn't everyone always tend to congregate in the kitchen?

Here Mauro is telling me and my brother-in-law Terry the finer points about proscuitto and risotto!

Here is the gang(no Holly or Peter) - attendees Renee', Terry, Karen, Greg, Pam, Pat, Mike and myself.

How could you not fall in love with Mauro. He is passionate about food and he loves people. Here he is with Pam and Pat(and "Relax" glass sculpture by Dino Rosin).

Set your TIVO's and DVR's to the Food Network on December 23 at 1:30 pm. You can see Mauro in action on Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello. This segment will be on Italian Comfort Food! There is no way I'm going to miss that one! Mauro - you're a love!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lupine Lace Socks

This is a repeat of what I posted on the Sweet Sheep SockClub blog. I joined this sock club mainly because I love Julia Vesper's self-striping sock yarn. I found out about the club through her. Her yarns are so much fun!

I am never sure about variegated yarns and lace patterns but I really wanted to make a pair of the Lupine Lace Socks designed by Evelyn Clark. You can find the pattern here.

I was inspired to try this pattern because of Rebecca's Lupine Lace Socks.

Here is a photo of my progress. I'm liking it.

My next post will be about a dinner party Greg and I hosted last night. So much fun! Mauro deserves his own post!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Abalone Progress Report

What is a person to do when they get up at 3:30 am? If you are a knitter you probably get up and knit. Yesterday I was up at 3:30 and today I was up at 3:33.

Yesterday morning I knit some rows on Abalone. I finally made it to the sleeve steeks and making my way up the rest of the body. So yes, I am making progress even if I am a fickle knitter.

I flit from one project to the next. Its just so much fun starting new projects but lately (in the past few years) I've become more "committed" to my projects. That means I finish them in relatively good time once I start them. I'm not saying I've completed all the projects I've started in the past few years, I'm just saying I'm progressing at staying committed through sickness and in health to my projects, so to speak. Staying committed to my projects seems to coincide with getting married. Hmmmmnnn.

Here is a photo of Abalone.

Happy Tuesday everyone and Happy Fickle Knitting!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sweet Sheep Sock Club Yarn Arrived!

I got my first skein of the Sweet Sheep's sock club yarn today.

I didn't think I would get it today because I thought today was a holiday. It is the Veterans Day observed day but the "real" day is tomorrow. So...there was mail delivery today, none tomorrow.

My hubby came in the house with a little package and there it was. It was Mama-E's colorway named Jolene. The color inspiration came from a friend of hers(Jolene) that challenged Mama-E to create a colorway based on a wonderful sunset she saw on the way to knit night.

Here is a photo of the yarn and Beanie, my other love dog.

I don't have any idea what to do with this yarn. The colors aren't ones I would choose right off the bat but I am becoming more open to using colors that are not my usual favorites. That is the beauty of yarn clubs. I open up to new horizons.

Any ideas for socks to make with this yarn?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Madrona Fiber Arts 2007 Winter Retreat

I just signed up to attend 3 classes at the Madrona Fiber Arts 2007 Winter Retreat.

The funny thing about registration... I knew registration opened at 8am. Well I have today off and was down having breakfast with Greg at around 7:30 and then he got a work call. I was sitting reading a book and I thought "let me just go upstairs and look at the Madrona website". The registration link was already there! I clicked on the link and I registered. I was tempted to sign up for more classes but I figure 3 full days of classes is enough for this go-round.

The past week I've been reading and then re-reading the class list. If only I could be like Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books who could fiddle with time so she could be in more than one class at a time.

I ended up taking only classes from Jean Wong. The first is a two-day class on Tailored Knitting on Thursday and Friday Jan 25-26, and then her Fine Finishing class on Saturday the 27th. I wanted to take others but right now my interest is in both these subjects.

The wonderful thing about this retreat is it is in my own backyard. Tacoma is about a 40 minute drive from my house but I don't want to hassle with the traffic. I have a feeling I'll be pretty tired by the end of my classes so I'll just stay two nights at the Sheraton. I figure it is a mini-vacation. It should be fun.

When I told Greg about Madrona, he said I should just stay in the hotel and truly enjoy my experience. I told him he could join me overnight one night but he said "Oh you mean I could experience the knitting bee?". Lordy. I just don't know what to say to him when he says stuff like that. Like my friend Jamie says..."WHATEVER...with Sparkles!"

When he takes underwater photography classes he goes to exotic locations like Bonaire, Fiji, and Indonesia. I go to Tacoma.

One day I'll do one of the England/Scotland tour trips. I have even told him I'm going to go to live in England for a couple of years to get my degree in Knitting. Oh...I digress.

I hope all of you that registered at Madrona got your first choice classes. If any of you are going, let me know. It would be fun to meet up at some point and share some coffee or a meal!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rockin' Sock Club 2007 and more

In 2006 I was late to the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Club party and was very disappointed. I did not get a spot but this will not be the case in 2007. I signed up for the club and I'm looking forward to it. If history is a predictor for the future, then 2007 will be a lot of fun.

I enjoy going out in blog land to see what the club is knitting up. Although some colors are not ones I would immediately gravitate to, I like being able to open myself to the full spectrum of colors.

Lately I've started a few projects that are in colors that were not my first choice. For instance the Swallowtail shawl by Evelyn Clark(Interweave Knits Fall 2006). This color is more muted than I would nornally go for. I thought...expand your horizons Naomi. Here is a photo of the start of the shawl.

I have to post some cute photos of Chase, my GIANT YORKIE. He's 12 pounds and 12 years old. He's a bit overweight but overall he is just a big Yorkie. His parents were standard height and weight. I don't know what happened but he is a purebred little(big) guy. I bought him just about 6 months after I bought my first house and thought "I can get a dog now!". Of course I just went to "go look" but couldn't resist his Yorkie charms. I remember being glad I had brought with my checkbook with me. I must have had some idea I'd come home with a dog. He was only 2.5 pounds back then. He stole my heart and he still has a firm grip on it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Stalled out on Jacobean

Any of you out there recovering perfectionists?

So I was making great progress on Jacobean. Then comes the part of the pattern to do the embellishments.

Ok, I've dabbled in quilting, cross-stitch, garment making but I'm totally frustrated trying to hand sew on the freakin' stem stich thingy's.

I know. Felting blurs the lines. The beauty of felting is that it doesn't have to look perfect before you do the felting. I haven't taken this out of its basket in over two weeks because I can't face the stem stitch. The stem stitch has me cowering and working on something easy (get it, EZ - Elizabeth Zimmermann? See my post on Friday)

The other part of my recovering perfectionist brain says: "Naomi. This looks beautiful. When it is felted it will be YOUR piece of art. So you did things a bit differently which makes this truly YOUR creation."

I start thinking...just leave it. Then I take the photo of it and think...no, some of those stem stitches look like sh&*.

I'm at the decision point. Do I take some of the ones I think are truly heinous, out and re-do them or do I practice my ability to "Let go"?

Funny thing. I think it is a "sign". I'm listening to my iTunes. As I'm writing about what I should do this CD comes on. It is a CD I bought while I was in Fiji. Its island music and the men singing are the ones that entertained us every night before dinner. It reminds me how laid back they are as a people and a culture. This kind of thing would not be getting any Fijian in a snit. Let it go.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Button, Button, I've got the Buttons ( : )

Do you love getting JUST the right buttons for a project?

Rebecca turned me on to this twice-a-year sale(no, it is not IKEA). It is this amazing place that has wonderful buttons of all types. I even got some lovely 1800's vintage ones. The place is called Beppo's. I'm happy to say I'm now on their mailing list so I can go insane twice a year.

Here's the lowdown on my "experience".

I picked my sister Cheryl up and we stopped at Tully's on the way to "the event". That was a whole weird experience in and of itself. I won't bore you with those details. It was twilight zone worthy!

Those of you who know Cheryl....can understand that we can be dangerous together. Can you hear the justifications spilling from our mouths? We are perfect enablers for one another. We call that "supportive".

I went straight for the buttons and man, I had an armload. I was getting a bit overwhelmed by, yes, buttons. I had to get a basket and fill it to the brim(it was small) with these cards of buttons. Then...sanity finally took over. I went to a table and started filtering through them. If I didn't I would have spent HUNDREDS of dollars on buttons. The vintage ones aren't cheap..well they sort of are. It depends how you look at it. BEWARE: Justifcation logic.

You know how it is. You make a sweater and you want the right buttons. You go from shop to shop looking and looking for the right button. Then you see the ones you want and they are $4 each. I've done that many times. So...you can see where my justification brain kicks in...."these buttons are cheap compared to ones I've purchased before". The only thing about that justification....I don't have 15 projects waiting for the "perfect" buttons.

The women at Beppo's package the buttons on these colorful cards that show the buttons off perfectly. Then they match buttons up that would look good together. They have a gift for buttons, if there is such a thing. I took some photos(very bad) but you can get an idea of their gift for packaging buttons.

For anyone happening onto this blog...now you know you can have a passion for buttons too. Ok, I won't go that far to say I have a passion for buttons but twice a year I'll go and search out more perfect buttons for all my future, unimagined projects!

Here is a sample of the beauties:

Here are some vintage pearl buttons. The photo does not do these guys justice.

This next set was a splurge. I got a couple cards that are vintage 1800 buttons that have so much detail its amazing. You'd think with the technology we have these days that you could get buttons this artistic.

Some wood buttons.

These reminded of my travels to Africa. I had to have these. The funny story about these - I was putting back some other expensive cards and then I found this one. I love them, absolutely love these. It will be perfect for somthing that is African themed.

I was drawn to these pinkish/reddish/maroon buttons. I especially liked the cards like this one. Four bucks!

I'm buttoned out at the moment. Good thing I have 6 months before the next sale.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Zimmermann Aran Coat

Who doesn't love EZ? For those of you non-knitters EZ is known as Elizabeth Zimmermann.

I am working on the Aran Coat from Knitting Around. This is knit from Sheepsdown from Schoolhouse Press. Its a very thick wool that has a lot of lanolin. I started this early summer (I know...what was I thinking using such thick wool at that time of year?) and at some point I was frustrated because the sheepfold pattern was not in a mirror image as I knit. So...I put this project aside and let it simmer. I took it out about a week ago and decided to figure out how to mirror image the pattern. It only took me a few minutes to figure it out so I wonder why it took me so long to pick this project back up again.

Here are photos of the before: See how the pattern is just repeated?

Here is a scary photo. This is where I "un-did" that portion of the main body down to the first row so that I could re-knit it so the two panels would be mirror images of one another.

Now here is the re-knit version. I had to do this to two panels on the main body and on one sleeve!

Isn't that much better??

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A new addition to the family

He did it. He did it much sooner than either of us expected.

When I got home from work we had a discussion about how hard this car is to get and to get what he wants it would take close to 6 months. The specific car he had looked at a week or so ago was already spoken for.

I went to my knitting class and Greg went off to the dealership. Ok. So I get a call from him as I'm leaving class and I jokingly say "Did you buy a car?". Remember I say this jokingly. He replies "Yes. I did". I thought he was toying with me but alas he wasn't. He was in the process of doing the paperwork and he wanted me to run home to get the checkbook!

I am on the way home and he calls me to says I do not have to bring the checkbook. The salesman will come to our home in the morning to pick up the check. Nice of them to let Greg bring his "new baby" home.

I think of it as a new member of the family. We'll have to give this car a name. This car deserves a name. The car is metallic black and gorgeous. Any suggestions for a name?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shedir is done!

I like the results overall but I don't like the cast-on edge. Its a little loose. The yarn is Rowan Calmer and it is so very soft and feels wonderful against bare skin. I just hope Marie likes it and that it provides some warmth and comfort while her hair is growing back in.

On to venting. I rarely speak about work but today warrants it.

I had a rough, rough day at work. I'm one of those people that gets their work done quicky and pretty darn efficiently(if I may say so myself). I'm dependable, loyal and you know what that gets you? More work. I keep getting assigned more and more high priority work.

I used to wonder why my mom would say "Don't work so hard". I would be thinking "WHAT THE???". Why would my mom, in all of her hard earned wisdom say such a thing? She knew. She knew that you work hard, you are fast in churning out the work and it just gets you MORE. N-N-N-No. Not more money, not more appreciation, not priority for vacation time off. I just get more work. They are damn greedy bastards.

So you know where I'm going with that? I also accumulate more yarn and more knitting books. Stress begets more things "I need". In the unhappy world I work in, me and my co-workers are finding a lot of ways to deal with our situation.

I just really splurged on Alice Starmore's 'The Scottish Collection' last week. I haven't received it yet but I figure "I deserve it". (A dangerous motto).

Tonight my hubby is at the Seattle Auto Show with his brother Mike. I know Greg is buying a new car. No, not AT the show but sometime in the next few months. We've discussed it. That's fine. We stopped by a dealership on the way home from the lake this weekend and test drove the model he wants. Its nice but it was the bare bones version and doesn't have all the bells and whistles he wants on it. I liked it ok. Its A CAR. Its not yarn or coveted out-of-print books.

He gets the Mercedes, I get the Starmore. Only a knitter could appreciate that comparison. Plus he doesn't say A WORD when my (many) packages arrive on the doorstep. Ok he does say a few words like "What is inside? Yarn? Knitting books?" He knows to zip the lip and say "That's nice yarn, honey" when the contents come out of the box.

I love him.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Shedir - I might run out of yarn!

I wish I had more time to post entries. My latest yarn panic is that I might run out of yarn for Shedir. This is a chemo cap for a co-worker. The yarn is Rowan Calmer. I love Rowan Calmer. Very, very soft. I hope I don't run out of yarn....I pray to the yarn gods to please, please don't let me run out!

I want to get this done for her because the weather is starting to become colder and this is such a soft material. She is nearing the end of her treatment and her hair is just beginning to grow back. I hope this will bring her warmth and the reminder that she will be a cancer survivor.

The pattern and a photo of a finished Shedir can be found here. Here is a photo of my progress.

I worked on this most of the weekend.

We were out at Bangrila this weekend with some of Greg's friends. We had a really good time but the time goes really quickly.

The hardest part about going out there is there is no internet connection. I could go into town and probably find a wi-fi spot but that is part of the reason of going out to the lake.

I had time to visit a yarn shop I have never been to before. How did I found her and her website. God only knows.

I picked up a couple skeins(ok more than a couple skeins) of some hand dyed sock yarn by this woman who owns Fancy Image Yarns. You can find her website here. She is very, very nice. I absolutely love what I got. The photo does not do it justice. The colors are much deeper in-person.

This is going to be a quick post because I need to get some stuff done around the house! Beanie and Chase had a great time at the lake. One of the women that was there is Cynthia and she is known as the Treat Lady. She loves dogs like I do (insanely so) and she always spoils the boys. Always. As you can see from the photo, she has their full attention!
One last thing. Hello Yarn! I just got this skein in the mail. Now who did I find out about Hello Yarns from? I think it was the Yarn Harlot. Anyway, really love this one too. Too much yarn, not enough time! It came with a cute, basic picot edged short-row heel and toe sock pattern.

I gotta run. I want to try and finish Shedir tonight! Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

More Sock Stash

Here is the remainder of the *known* sock yarn. I may have stashed some other sock yarn in other places that I'll find, someday!

Mind's Eye Yarn - Lucy is very nice and her stuff is beautiful, soft.

Koigu KPPPM in P41 - you all know this yarn.
Mix of Regia - I bought these years ago when these were the first self-patterning socks on the market. They were hard to come by back in the day!
The coveted Vesper self-striping sock yarn. Very hard to get a hold of. Julia is very, very nice but she doesn't do enough dying! Her stuff is sold out in minutes when she sells at her store Knitterly Things. On the left is Strange Little Mama and the right is Neopolitan(brings back memories of childhood)! This if Fortissima Cotton. It is so soft!

Dea Terra Creations - handpainted with natural dyes - Cormo Wool. Maia is very nice and her Etsy shop can be found here. I bought this because I heard Cormo wool is very nice to work with so I searched on the internet and found her.

Lorna's Laces shepherd sock in Navy and Wisteria. The story about Wisteria. Ok. Don't laugh and don't judge me! The first year of Desperate Housewives was a hoot. So I knit my sister Trish a pair of Wisteria socks - so she could wear her socks while watching the ladies on Wisteria Lane. This yarn was for a pair for me. The second season wasn't nearly as good so the sock yarn has laid unknit. This year the episodes are better so maybe maybe I'll have more motivation to knit these up this season! If any of you have suggestions for a pattern for this yarn, let me know.

My African inspired yarns - Opal Yarns - Tiger, Zebra and Opal Bamboo in green and brown. I knit Renee' my sister the Zebra socks in Jaywalker Socks pattern. They turned out really cute.

The zebra socks...

This is unknown sock yarn...socks just about finished.

That's not so bad, right?? Definitely more room for sock yarn, don't you think?

One more thing...my latest Starmore acquisition. American Portraits from an Amazon Seller. Price not so bad. I really like Canyonville.