Friday, February 28, 2014

Happy 90th ~

My amazing leap year born Mum turned 90 this week, and there were celebrations at the end of February and the beginning of March just to be sure we can get all the party fun complete!
This year there has been snow, snow, snow and more snow so the celebration was at a warm and cozy restaurant with family and friends. Looking good, Mum!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Debbie Doo's Twins ~

Happy Birthday to Debbie Doo's grand baby twins!  Here she is with little Ben, and big sister Lucy.
Debbie Doo knitted the hats, too, of course!  P.S.  Debbie Doo is my friend from kindergarten and continues to be such a blessing in my life!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sock Memories ~

I have knit many socks. Most have been knit with bright and happy colors, some even neon and almost retina searing, yet very few in the solid or tonal category. All have been well loved, and I have saved all the bits and bobs of leftovers, as sock yarn is too delightful to toss or surplus.  As usual, Jitteryknitter is a genius (no kidding, she really is) and thought of a great way to use our sock bits. We knit a tonal color for a few rows and then a few rows of our sock yarn bits, and it begins to look like a memory quilt, but it is a cowl full of sock memories.
As soon as my youngest daughter saw it, she recognized her Track Star sock yarn, plus her magenta and lime green birthday socks, and other sock yarn that she had picked out (and had turned into her socks). What a great idea this is, a sock memory cowl!     P.S.  As my sock yarn is all variegated and bright, Jitteryknitter's sock yarn is all tonal and more subdued.... I know, what's that about?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Did I mention these needles ~

Perhaps, did I mention these sunshine yellow glass needles?  Did I tell you how perfectly they are knitting this lovely confection of alpaca and silk?  Have I talked about how the happy yellow mixes delightfully with the lime green and orange of my hash tag cowl? Could I have forgotten to tell you how warm yet cool these shiny bits of happy glass feel in my hands as I knit all these colors together?
Did I tell you how great a friend I have in Jitteryknitter, that she would get these for me so we could start knitting our long and amazing future together?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Super Secret Pal ~

Last year I had a dud for a secret pal, probably because in 2011 I had a kindred knitting spirit that turned out to be one of our City police officers, Robert,....awkward, but wonderful....There has never been another secret pal like him (except for my knitting chica, Janis, but that is a different secret pal all together). Well, this year's secret pal program just started, and this is what I opened up today...
Yes, lovely and soft and perfect colors! Some wool, some alpaca and some blends, and no acrylic!  I am very excited about this year's secret pal...perhaps Robert and I are matched up again!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Spinning Finn ~

As you might imagine, I could not wait to start spinning the Finnish wool. As soon as we came back to our little place on Dash Point, I fired up my wee pocket wheel, set up a new bobbin and started spinning the Finn. Lovely and smooth to spin, with no bumps or clumps to mess with the single, just smooth sailing. Such a delight to spin, such a relaxing spin, and the colors blended so beautifully.
I am already thinking of the other natural colors of Finnish Wool that were in the Woolgatherings booth, and I may have to try them all to see they are all so smooth and sweet!

Valentoilet ~

Nothing says true love and romance like a new toilet....
Just sayin'

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dream swatching ~

Our Madrona weekend is always a time of adventure and excitement. We pool our creative ideas and inspiration and end up with many fun projects and lots of dream projects for the future. Typically there are many new project cast ons, a few problem solving interventions and even some swatching.
This was my year for a dream swatch. Using my Signature Needles, which I dearly love, I started to knit a swatch with my treasured Elsa Wool and oh my goodness....the matching of yarn and needles was perfect. This wool is hearty and solid, yet soft and dreamy to the touch. I need to get my pattern together so I can cast on a sweater soon!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dreams of Glass ~

I may not have told you of my minor obsession with the Ernst glass knitting needles. I first saw them at the first Sock Summit and knit a little swatch with them. They are lovely and light and bright, and oh so delightfully happy. Although I thought they were pricey at the time, I also knew they were a timeless treasure that would bring joy and function to any knitting project lucky enough to be knit with such happy glass. I knew we had a future together.  Each time I saw them at a fiber show, and I have been to a fair number these past years, I would lovingly knit a bit of a swatch with whatever needles were out to sample. I would chat with the owners and love their stories of "no questions" returns if one breaks, they don't really want to know what happened, just send it back and they melt it back to health. They are great people. At my first Fort Worden weekend, there was a pair of these needles as part of the prize choices, and I knew they would be mine before the end of the night. Whoops, lost them by such a close call, I knew they must not be THE ones in my future.....the next year at Fort Worden there was a pair of these needles hidden in a Mary Poppins tote, who knew?  I lost those too, to someone that didn't even love them. Where is the fairness? All the wonderful fun of Fort Worden with that slight shadow of losing those needles both years....but Fort Worden would play into our future.....
Jitteryknitter had been the banker of our acrylic "yuk" yarn sales from Fort Worden last year. You may recall that we bought a coffee maker with our first year's haul, and weren't sure what we really needed this year. As I sat in the gathering area of Madrona, she came out of the vendors area with a sassy smile on her face and I knew I was about to have an adventure. She placed a small box in my hands and it could only be one thing - the glass knitting needles. As Jitteryknitter went through box after box of needles, she finally found which ones spoke to her. These were not just any needles chosen for a prize giveaway, these were mine, these were made for me and waiting for me. They are pure sunshine yellow mixed with daffodil yellow and they sparkle and shine like Florida's afternoon sun on the ocean. I cannot say how excited, thrilled and delighted it was to finally FINALLY be united with my needles, finally able to cast on and start our future together. Ahhh, another magical time on our Madrona weekend!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Soft Shetland ~

As I was telling you, I found my Finnish Wool at Woolgatherings at Madrona. As I was trying to decide which of the natural colors to purchase, I noticed the lovely colors of the Shetland next to the Finn. The Shetland wool that I purchased last year is pokey, which is my technical word for "coarse" or those wools that are more rustic and not to be placed directly next to one's skin. Well, this Shetland had not read my rules about Shetland being pokey, as it was softer than the Finn. No kidding.  Dare I say, I had to ask the owners of Woolgatherings if it was truly Shetland, or misnamed. He assured me that Shetland is not always coarse, and often very soft.
So, of course, in the name of my education.... I had to buy some to spin.....

Friday, February 14, 2014

Finding Finn ~

Madrona Fiber Festival might be small compared to the Sock Summits, but don't underestimate the treasures, creativity and inspiration you will find there. The handspun and handdyed yarns and fibers are so lovely that they can make your heart stop. You can lose track of your senses when you find such soft fiber that can't really be that soft. As I mentally prepared for this year's Madrona trip, I had only one objective. Find fiber from Finnish Sheep.  I had heard about the perfection of Finn Wool through the Yarniacs podcast, and then by Deb's book, so I decided I needed to try spinning this as part of my spinning education.
My oh my, did I find my Finn!  At one of my favorite fiber spots, Woolgatherings, and there were so many choices! So overwhelming in their softness and beauty that I needed to get Jitteryknitter to help make the choice!  We ended up with this beautiful cream and brown, plus bought some very soft Shetland fiber too. Hurrah!!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Frog Magic ~

An epiphany hit me when I looked at my "On my needles" category. There were four scarves/shawls on the needles that I would never wear. Now that I have discovered cowls, and how they stay on me without high maintenance, I am a cowl knitter. As beautiful as the shawls are, they are not easy for me to wear, so why would I knit more of them?
With a deep breath, I frogged them all, and then took them out of Ravelry and the "On my needles" category and felt a surge of energy. All the doom and gloom of knowing I would have to slog to finish them was replaced with the excitement of casting on a new project that I would wear!  Maybe I will find new inspiration at Madrona this year! Hurrah!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Olympic Knitting ~

My neighbor sent me this picture with this note, "One of your relatives?"
I couldn't believe it, this person is obviously at the top of the mountain, knitting bare handed and using metal needles that must be sooooooo cold. The project is a substantial one, not just a small hat or small cowl, or mitts....something big.... I love this kindred spirit!  I found out that this is the Finnish Snowboarding Coach, and I would love to meet him and talk about yarn!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ravolympics Cast On ~

I have never participated in the Ravolympics Games, however when asked by Jitteryknitter to participate, I could not really say no. There was a delightful cast on party at FiberCat's house, and she had made us all project bags, complete with winter sports theme fabric, lining and zippers. Major Cute Project Bag!  Mine has kids making snow angels in the glittery snow, and I love it more than I can say.
We all knit while watching the opening ceremonies and checking out the knitted accessories for each country, and some lucky countries even had beautiful knit sweaters. We could not decide whether we liked the USA sweater or not....I cast on the Baby Mac blanket, and I hope I can finish it by the end of The Games!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Brrrrrrrr Boot Camp ~

Super cold this morning, in the teens, yet a few of us braved the cold to do our Boot Camp. According to those who have been doing Boot Camp since its beginning three years ago, this winter has been the coldest, and has had the most wind and snow.
I feel so lucky to be surviving this winter of Boot Camp as it makes me stronger and tougher each day! Plus, we have such fun!

Great roommate ~

My daughter has a new roommate at college, and I know like her already. Not only do I hear good stories of fun and adventures from my daughter, this is the picture she sent to me.
Yes, she is crocheting a blanket for another friend, all in one color (which I cannot imagine the commitment there for that much of one solid color, even a lovely orange). I can't wait to meet her and chat about yarn!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Beer ~

I was happy to be getting an afternoon of football knitting, especially since the game would be longer still with all the commercials, plus all the media hype.  As we were getting ready for the neighborhood gathering, another neighbor stopped by and brought his "special label" beer that he had been working on all morning.
The labels were clever and funny, and we could tell that he had a blast inventing them, even though he is a Packer fan, like us.  I will be sad when football season is over, and no more excuses to spend time with my husband while knitting...until hockey season.....