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, 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. 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 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??