Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lovely Pashmina...tosh, that is.

Last weekend a friend of mine blew into town..and delivered some yarn from Sock Summit

Fathom, Stovepipe, and Oceanos (L to R) :-
Fathom Stovepipe Oceanos pic 2

Lepidoptra, Steam Age, and Nebula (L to R):-
Lepidoptra Steam Age Nebula


Steam Age is a light gray with bits of pink and green to match the 2 other colors..
Is it any wonder that I had a hard time deciding between colour combos for the Westknits KAL Shawl ? These were the runners up.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Copper Daybreak

Received these in trade for other yarn in my stash -

Jane Fairfax and Frau Totenkinder pic2

the Coppery wanted to be the top of a Daybreak shawl -


and the Green, Frau Totenkinder, matched beautifully.
Finished section 2, and now knitting the border in Section 3.

Fritzi - Lovely frills

Fritzi Lintilla Right

Frtizi Lintilla Middle

Fritzi Lintilla Left

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The numbers

Never again will I sign up for a yearly challenge for projects..seems like I was doing just fine churning out projects until I signed up for the "12 in 2011" - the challenge to knit 1 a month. Adding the requirement has somehow made me knit slower and raised my standards for knitting so that I've been fussier instead of just knitting and churning the projects out.

I also tried to knit more complex projects this year I think, and be more sweater focused to use up the yarn.

Here were my previous numbers:
2010 - 21 projects
2009 - 18 projects
2008 - 17 projects (counted from April onwards only)

This year, for 2011, I'm barely keeping up - seems like I've been knitting less, or worrying more ?

Current status for projects -
6 of 12 finished
4 that I'm actively working on to finish;
3 on the needles that I haven't worked on in months, and
2 being swatched
About 5 or 6 in my mind that are queued next..and I don't think any of them were on my original queue planned for 2011 with the challenge in mind. Most of the patterns I picked ended up having "issues" of some kind - requiring heavy mods, or where other ravelers decided they weren't happy with the end product, so I ditched them.

7 projects hibernating that are knit mid-stream UFOs - stalled for some reason - misplaced pattern, halfway through and not getting gauge, overknit and need to rip back and determine if I can continue.

One thing I noticed was that this year with the challenge for 12, I tried to focus on finishing more, rather than just casting on projects when I felt like it, and knitting multiple projects.

Heed my words SELF, next year, I'm just knitting on my own without trying to reach some artifical "challenge".

Friday, August 05, 2011

A little vacation

went away 1.5 weeks ago for a little mini-vacation. Five days away..for a bit of sun, and revisiting some old haunts. For the first time ever I said, "Victoria has a great Greek Festival - the food is much better than this." By "this", I meant, the tougher lamb meat from the local "Glendi" Greek Festival in Beaverton, Oregon where Linda suggested we meet. They did have Loukamades which reminded me of...Victoria. Sadly, though Portland was my home for many years, it's starting to tarnish a little.

Mostly this time I noticed -
- Americans are mostly poor - lots of people around, and lots of sales in the shops; but not many people buying...
- Borders stores are closing - the end of an era; even with sales, not many people are buying physical books these days.
- the selection in the stores has become narrower - fewer products available
- Prices for items are generally higher than I've seen - $3.63/gallon of gas; it was $2.50 or so when I left in 2007. Still not as high as Victoria, where a $25 tank of gas (10 gallons) just cost me $53.00, I think it was; most of the difference being tax on tax. On average, it seemed like many products are just as expensive as Victoria, looking only nominally at the numbers, and not including the additional tax we add on here.
- Service at some of my favorite restaurants has slid down down hill and the portions have gotten smaller, the service a little less than what had been.

The US Debt was big news when I was there. Interestingly enough I had always thought that the proportion of expenditure on defense and support of defense was a much larger proportion as compared with the slice for education or health care. Looks like wikipedia has that as 20% of the "budget" for defense, but this figure is DoD only. Interesting reading...

In lighter thoughts..I attended 2011 Sock Summit...a convention for knitting socks.
I took 2 courses - one called the Knitting Sleuth taught by Cat Bordhi. I say taught rather loosely here, as we mostly met and looked at Value Village sweater swatches and tried to reverse engineer them. This was a disappointing class for me because I expected to have some a-ha moments, and mostly, the only a-ha was a reinforcement that I'm not very spatial so I had trouble switching the swatches over in mind to reverse engineer them. Additionally, in hindsight discussion with others who attended her sock class, it sounds like she has lost her sock knitting mojo and her heart wasn't in teaching the classes anymore which is too bad as I had quite enjoyed her previous class.

The second class I attended was much better - Painted Toes by Janel Laidman. It seemed to be quite intimidating to knit fairisle, but I ended up having a thorougly relaxing class applying the fairisle hold-in-both-hands knitting that I've done in the past. The 3-hours passed without incident, and I felt that was a tremendously helpful class, mostly just to be in such a relaxing environment, and to be able to accomplish the formation and knitting of a tiny elfin sock in a short time span. I had planned to buy a few skeins of yarn..and I did. A couple of gorgeous skeins from Stricken Smitten like this BFL-Silk Fingering weight called Tealfeathers (Ooooh..Ahhhh...)

Stricken Smitten BFL Silk Fingering Tealfeathers

and a close-up here..(Mmmmmm...)
Stricken Smitten BFL Silk Fingering Tealfeathers Close pic2

and a bit of Serendipity Shimmer Glimmer...

Stricken Smitten Shimmer Glimmer Serendipity 11-31 Green Close

I have a previous skein of the Shimmer Glimmer that I was a lovely green - but this is- even more so.

Also some madtosh Pashmina for my WestKnits Earth and Sky Shawl Knit-along (KAL) in Tart, Saffron and Fig (L to R, respectively), colors A, C, and B.

Tart Saffron Fig Pic 2

The Madtosh Pashmina, I picked up at Happy Knits - this was the Sock Summit gift they were handing out - a cool little graph paper booklet, tiny sample of happiness madtosh yarn, tape measure, and a fun little Happy Knits bag.

Happy Knits Gift from Sock Summit 2011

In addition to getting out in the sun, I also met with old friends for lunch and dinner. It was fun. unfortunately, the time passed quickly. The one thing I did that made me truly homesick for Portland came almost right at the end. I went to the International Rose Test Garden at Washington Park. The roses were still in full bloom (having also had a late late summer), and smelled very sweet. It was wonderful. I wish I was close enough to visit every day.

I took a couple of extra days off to catch up on some sleep, and to visit Butchart's where the roses are still blooming also. I returned to work Thursday to a divisional day which was interactive yet somehow sapped the day's energies. I did get out on a couple of nice walks though. Today was friday, and I'm apparently at training Monday, extending the mini vacation a little longer before going back to work with bells on wednesday.

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...