Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last day of May

phew - the month flew by. I haven't had much time to knit, and went to my 2nd week of the Palmer-Pletsch sewing III class, making a set of pajamas. The top is a light blue flannel with tiny stars on it.

It was originally destined for a baby blanket with a minky back. Now, it's on its way to a collar pj top. The pj bottom is a dark blue flannel with a repeating print of a little blonde guy in a spaceship. It appealed to me. Here's the little guy here...

We laid out and cut the fabric the first class - very relaxing. Class 2- made markings, and cut out the interfacing at the second class. Homework is to sew the inseam and crotch of the pants and get ready for the collar next week.

-haven't progressed much on the knitting, but I have a knit night tonight, so we'll see.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Frog Tree Merino Scarf

I started this scarf on Tuesday from Holiday Knits, using Frog Tree 100% Merino.

The yarn is delectably soft, and has a very interesting striping pattern.
The main color (MC) is charcoal and the contrast color is periwinkle (CC).

The scarf is knit in 2 x 2 rib, in an alternate striping pattern created by *k2, p2 across the row then sliding the work down the cable (like for an i-cord) to bring the second color (mc) across with the same patterning. With the working yarn both at the same edge, the work can then be turned.

The yarn is very very soft, but knit in the rib, it has started to fuzz up a bit. I'm not sure I like the look, but it's very soft, and it was quick to knit a few inches. The picture with the hat is from the pattern book, and was done with a brown yarn, but I think I like the charcoal much better.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Yes! - I have a cool new bag

Here's the inside - there are 2 pockets in there:

My Guild had a yarn sale on Thursday evening; and one of the members let me TRADE my yarn for her hand-sewn bag. How cool is that! I love the southwest colors, and it didn't cost me any $ out of pocket, so I'm ecstatic. I transferred my gear to it and used it already on Friday.

Since I couldn't decide which bag I really wanted, I traded her another couple of skeins for this bag with the Chinese house on the side.

I love them both. Though I can sew now, I don't think I could sew a bag for $10.00.

Fun with Pink Martini

The Pink Martini concert was fabulous. What a performance!
A mix of music, some foreign (French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, Arabic), some upbeat, some mellow. I went on Wednesday and the the Arlene Schnitzer Hall was SOLD OUT! It was really like a sardine can in there, it was so packed. The seats were comfy though and the seats my friend received for comp. tickets were at Row V, in the middle, so about 20 rows back from the stage.

This is definitely an entertaining group. The singer China Forbes has such a clear crystal voice, and a great range. It's a pleasure to listen to her. The pianist, Thomas Lauderdale is a hoot. He explained the background of each song and introduced the various musicians. PM's main band had 2 trombonists, 1 guy on bass, 2 guys on drums, a guitar player, as well as Thomas and China. At various times the guys in the band would switch off and play other instruments.

In addition, a small group of members from the Oregon Symphony Orchestra were on stage - 2-4 violins, 2 cellists, 2 violas, a harpist, proving additonal musical accompaniment. It was amazing to watch.

Just before the break, Pink Martini was joined by the David York Ensemble (of which my friend Pam is one of the soprano singers!) and they sang back up on a couple of songs, followed by a choir-only performance of a song called Water Night. Pink Martini also had another special guest the March Fourth Marching Band. This band crowded on stage and played several songs, along with a hula-hoop-artist, and several guys on stilts who ran up and down the aisles. What fun!

The band had just released their new CD "Hey Eugene", which China had a backup singer for. The back up singer was pretty spectacular, but it was hard to hear her name over the roar of clapping.

They sang several songs from their new CD, as well as older ones. I liked how the songs showcased each musician's talent. It was a very interesting and enjoyable performance.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fabulous Tuesday

Today turned out to be a fabulous day.
It was sunny in the 80s (odd for Portland in May) and a friend of mine called to tell me she'd received a couple of free tickets to a local music show tomorrow - Pink Martini at the Schnitz. I can hardly wait.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A great place to nest

On Saturday afternoon, I heard this thrashing sound above my microwave, like a bird was caught in there. There were chirping sounds to. When I went to look outside, there was nothing there, and I couldn't see any holes where a bird could get in. The noises continued on Sunday and Monday (took the day off), and finally, I called the Audubon Society to see what could be going on.

The lady I spoke with thought it might be a starling trying to make it's nest in the microwave vent, and that I should wait a couple of weeks until the babies fledged (meaning, flew away). Another suggestion was to get a handy man to see if he could figure out what it was.

So, I called a roof guy I know who has a long ladder who could get up on the roof and see what was going on. He came by and discovered that there was a small vent on the side of the house where the exhaust from the microwave/stove took the air out. Apparently, this ingenious bird had been dragging grass, and dirt inside my microwave vent and filling it up with nest material. What a great idea! He scooped it out, and secured a piece of wire inside the opening, and also, on the outside to prevent the bird from going in again.

Not 5 minutes after the guy drove away, there was the same flapping sound. I went outside in time to see the bird trying to poke it's beak into the hole, and then, flying away. It was definitely a starling, and I hope it won't be coming back.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Almost Finished: Karabella Shawl Collar Pullover

Fell in love with this VK sweater from the Winter 2005 issue.

Although it's more than a year later, the style's still in.
Now, it's just getting a bit warm to think about wearing it.
Original was knit in A. Vittadini yarn in light pink.

I'm using Karabella Aurora 8 which is 100% Merino wool and it's known for its springiness ("irrestringible" is what it says on the yarn band.

The picture doesn't show it well, but it's a deep red (Wine) in same gauge 18 sts per 4". I've knit the body, and arms, only the collar left to do. This is the first sweater I have knit that has actual waist shaping (as indicated by all those green and orange markers). I tried on the body, and it fits wonderfully!

The sleeves were knit on one very long circular needle, in the round, both at the same time. Another first for me. I put markers at the join (hidden in the pic, as it runs down the back/seam edge of the sleeve), so when I flattened it out to show the front of the sleeve, there's a bit of a pull.

Shop Hop Indulgences

Indulged in this skein of sea silk from Dublin Bay.
First pic is the front, 2nd pic is the back.

They had knit a sample of the Moonlit scarf from the Interweave Scarf Book. The original in the book was knit a drab light blue cotton, but the sample in the shop showed up the variation in the hand painted colors - instant inspiration.

Also, sprung for a skein of cashmere at Knit Purl - luxurious blues and green, and Oh, soooo soft. I can supposedly make a 1-skein hat from this...will I ? hmmm...maybe.

and some silk from Debbie Bliss at Molehill Farm...

April 2007 Yarn Lover's Shop hop

I went on the 2007 Tigard Knitting Guild's 2007 Yarn Lover's Shop Hop at the end of April - Here's the loot that we received - a fabulous bag from Lantern Moon (valued at $45!)

plus giveaways and samples of knit wash, notions, and yarn - What fun!
It was interesting being more of a participant than a planner this year...and nice to be on the receiving end of all of the treats.

As an added bonus, this year's shop hop committee let me play MC on the bus - making announcements, and announcing raffle prizes as we drove from knit shop to knit shop..Needless to say, I had a blast! and there were enough raffle prizes for each registrant!

Here's the beaded scarf kit from Interlacements (in reds and burgundy)that was in my bag too -(valued at $32). The trip was more than well worth the $35.00 (as TKG Member) I paid to go.

We visited 6 shops - All About Yarn, Knitting Bee, Knit Purl, Dublin Bay Knitting, Lint and Molehill Farm. All gave us 20% off our purchases, except Knit Purl which gave 15%. A Very Generous discount - and unheard of in this town (with more than 20 shops in the area). We're very lucky knitters (and shoppers).

At Lint, I was in for a special surprise. Trish Andersen who has her own yarn line was there and offering a special deal on her yarn. She lives out Scappoose way - produces her own yarn from beginning to end - raising her own animals, shearing, processing and spinning the yarn, and then, hand dyeing it. She had a special raffle in the shop. I won this skein of her beautiful handspun yarn because my birthday April 6th is closest to Melissa's the owner of Lint. Though It was tempted by the silk-wool skeins, I chose this skein of superwash wool (about 200 yards) because the colorways purple-pink are mine.

Finished Project: Louisa Harding Scarf in Grace

Louisa Harding Scarf Pattern in Grace (50% silk; 50% wool - also a Louisa Harding Yarn) - 2 skeins.

Second lace scarf, knit after Branching out - a few more rows in the repeat. Yarn was really nice to work with..not as soft, but kept its shape, even considering the warning on the label about how kinky the yarn would get if unravelled and reused. No problems whatsoever.

Finished Project: Silk Star stitch Scarf

Silk Star stitch Scarf in Art Yarn Silk - phew..say that 5 times fast.

It took a few rows to get the hang of this stitch. The pointy base of the star stitch is made on the purl side by gathering multiple stitches together, wrapping the yarn around your needle and purling the gathered stitces together again. It's neat to watch as it's forming... and a wonderful scarf to complete.

Finished Project: Branching out

Branching out pattern from Knitty

Knit in Karabella Boise yarn (1 skein)

-Luxuriously soft, but sticks to my wool coat.

It shed all winter long to my back, my top, and my waist.

black friday

I've updated the sale page with some key sales for Black Friday. I'm not doing a lot of yarn buying these days, so these are the on...