Knitting


Alright, it’s been WAY too long since I posted. There’s really too much to try to catch up on but let me hit a few highlights and then get on to the here and now.

  • Emma’s in 7th grade. How did THAT happen? In the past couple of years she’s gone from her natural medium brunette to adding a pink streak to dying the whole thing auburn, to dark brown underneath with auburn on top to now: Gorgeous, isn’t she?
  • She’s also taken on rodeo! She’s learning barrel racing; has raced a couple of times but is in the process of trying to get her horse trained (or get a barrel horse). I wish we had the space for her to have a horse here but it’s just not in the cards…yet.
  • She’s still dancing a ton. She’s student teaching two classes and can’t wait to be old enough to teach on her own. Also dancing with the Ballet 6 girls and Ballet 5 girls. Christmas time saw her dancing the role of Tinselina in “Twas the Night Before Christmas” this year and her mom, yes…me…was the grandma/narrator! That was fun!

So…my catching up appears to be all about Emma. Hmmmm. Well, we ARE moving ahead on the kitchen remodel. Cabinets were painted; doors are in the process of being installed (required some modifications and even some made from scratch); and backsplash tile is up on half the kitchen. Still to do: remainder of the backsplash tile; paint the kitchen; install new floor. (Tim’s also promised to build some organizing slide-outs in some of the cabinets but once I have a new floor I’ll consider the kitchen remodeled!)  More photos on our Flickr.

  • And Tim had a birthday. For 27 days he was the same age as me!
  • Then, 26 days later Emma turned 13. Her party was a New Years Eve party and was a smash hit.  With a cool cake made by her mom:
  • and 3 days after Emma’s party, I had a birthday. Here’s the picture from my birthday: Do YOU see me in the picture? Didn’t think so.

And now….  I’m knitting a lot lately. I decided to join The Yarn Harlot’s Knitting Olympics. The goal is to knit something that will be a challenge for me to complete during the time the Olympics are ongoing. I cast on during the opening ceremonies and am about half way through after five days. Pretty pleased with myself.  I’m making Stefanie Japel’s “Back to School Vest” from her “Fitted Knits” book. It’s a quick knit but I’m glad to have all the information that’s available over on Ravelry. I am definitely going to make a couple of modifications to make it more wearable for me but I’ll write about those as they occur if they are successful!  I’ve got the gauge swatch done.  I’m knitting with some of Chasing Rainbows 50/50 Merino Mohair and it’s not only gorgeous to look at it’s heaven to knit with.

OK.  That should be enough for now. I’ll try to make future posts more interesting. Items coming up:

  • Emma and I are going to the SF Ballet this coming Sunday.
  • Emma has auditions for Sunny Brae’s musical “Beauty and the Beast” coming up this week.
  • I’ve been asked to help with the directing/acting coaching of the musical.
  • I’m going to have dinner with a friend from grad school that I haven’t seen in 25 years.
  • We’re planning a big vacation this year (if we can figure out schedules!)
  • Tim continues to play with Ukesperience and to make instruments.
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Ok…the great sewing extravaganza is over and in fact, so is Christmas!  I was so exhausted from the show that I’ve not had the energy to post a thing.  I did manage to get some photos up on Flickr and a video of BalletDaughter’s performance that I shot from the wings during the first performance. 

I can’t tell you how proud I was of her.  This was her first solo on pointe and it had some rather difficult steps for someone with only a year of pointe work behind her (under her??).  But she was lovely.  Amazingly, HER costume was the easiest one I made!  bellerinas-in-rows

The Bellerinas, who dance with her, were significantly more difficult but I only designed them; constructed one as an example, and another mother did all the sewing.  The difficulty came when the hula hoops we planned to use didn’t get shipped!  So UkeHubby, after driving for six hours from the Bay Area, helped me cut and form yards and yards of plastic tubing.  We had to warm it in the oven to get the right bend in it because it had retained the tight twist it had on the spool at the hardware store.  We had to insert them in each dress, then UkeHubby rivited each one so that it wouldn’t twist.  Twelve costumes – completed the day before dress rehearsal!

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I also made the (10!) tops for the Intermediate Latin class and some new costumes/pieces for the soloists.  I was busy and my studio still looks like a bomb went off in a thread factory.  But my serger was a godsend.  I had been so afraid of it (why????) and then when I used it – heaven on earth!

So, ballet concert is over; smashing success.  December is a hectic time for us.  UkeHubby’s birthday, our anniversary, Christmas, BalletDaughter’s Birthday…then New Years is rapidly followed by my birthday.  We can barely breathe.  But UkeHubby and I did manage to go out to dinner for our 7th anniversary.  We’ve come to really enjoy Abruzzi after BalletDaughter’s dance teacher gave us a gift certificate last year.  So we chose their romantic atmosphere to celebrate 7 years of marriage.  BalletDaughter snapped a picture before we left, with UkeHubby swathed in the wool scarf and hat I got him as an anniversary present (did you know that the 7th anniversary is WOOL??? But I have LOTS of wool already.  And wool blends…skeins and skeins of wool!)

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We had BalletDaughter with us for Christmas and it was wonderful.  She had been told she couldn’t get up Christmas morning until UkeHubby was up.  I generally get up early and that morning I got a text message about 8:30 asking “When’s Tim getting up???” She used modern technology to approach a child’s age old dilemma on Christmas morning!

As usual, she was spoiled.  And so was I.  I got the new camera I had asked for.  We loved our old (?) Canon but wanted to supplement it with one of the tiny cameras that would travel in my purse more readily.  UkeSanta got me the Canon SD1100 and I’m thrilled with it.  I’ve taken hundreds of photos just experimenting with what it does.  Trust me.  It does a lot.

I didn’t finish my gift knitting completely.  I hope to get that done this week.  But I did manage to crank out a quick scarf for myself – a Fidget.  I love it.  As soon as it’s blocked I’ll post a picture.

Until then, we wish you the Happiest of New Years! May the coming year be filled with joy and peace and contentment for us all!

 

Ever since we moved to Eureka, Kiddlebiddle and I have taken one day of our summer visits to go to San Francisco.  When she was little it was the zoo.  A year later, Chinatown.  The next year, Fisherman’s Wharf.  Always touristy kind of stuff that could be done in a day.

This past year we’ve been to the city for very short overnights when we went to the ballet.  And as we drive through the city every three weeks on our “visit with Dad” drives, I’ve begun to think about showing her more of the city of my birth; the city I love dearly; where I went to college and where I lived for several happy years.

This year I decided to do just that.  At 11 she’s actually interested in learning more about mom’s history.  So I began a search for a reasonably priced hotel and was lucky enough to find  a package deal at what turned out to be a wonderful hotel!  The Galleria Park Hotel on Sutter, right in the financial district and just 3-4 blocks from Union Square (major shopping!) and Chinatown!  It was a FANTASTIC weekend!

First, the hotel was a renovated old building that was in outstanding shape and perfectly located.

 

OMG - ACROSS THE STREET FROM OUR HOTEL!!!

OMG - ACROSS THE STREET FROM OUR HOTEL!!!

in the lobby of the hotel

in the lobby of the hotel

On the way in to San Francisco Thursday afternoon, I took her by two of the places I had lived.  It’s been almost 20 years so though I knew where they were, finding my way wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped.  The trip down memory lane was pleasant for me and Kiddlebiddle seemed to enjoy it as well.  (more…)

I’ve finished the main pieces and now have them blocking prior to sewing together.  This is going to be sooooo cute!  The designer is “Jujube & Lolo.”  And tomorrow I cast on the second one (TWO great-nieces!!!) in two different colors of Dream in Color.  This one is in “Giant Peach” and “Blue Lagoon,” the next will be in “Petal Shower” and “Gogo Grassy.” I got all the yarn from The Loopy Ewe (Hi, Sheri!  Love you!) http://www.theloopyewe.com/  And I’m in love with this “Giant Peach” colorway.  I’m thinking of what I can make for myself out of it!

Since each “baby” has a big sister who’s two, the big sisters are getting a matching “Buddy Bag” http://www.jujubeandlolo.com/patterns/buddybags.php  I got both patterns when I was at Stitches. I’ve finished most of the bag (easy knit) without the i-cord (38″ is going to take some boring time!) and I’m going to line it!

Here’s the “Buddy Bag” in progress…showing off my recent “goodie” from TLE!

The bag will have a nest with a birdie fingerpuppet and I’m going to make a little mouse to go in the pocket of the sweater.  Because it’s for such a young baby (though I’m making 18 month size), I think I may actually make the mouse out of fabric so that it’s not so messy when/if (who am I kidding, WHEN) she puts it in her mouth!

I’ve done quite a bit of knitting this week and it feels good!  But then, I’m really good at starting things and not finishing them.  But if it’s being blocked, surely I’ll seam it and finish it all! Well…off to bed. 

I’ve had stuff done for awhile…but I keep forgetting to take pictures.  The light in my room was great this afternoon…but maybe not the best for photos.  Ah well….

beth-2.jpgThis was from the book “Hip Knit Hats,” it’s called “Beth” and though modeled by Kiddlebiddle was knit for me from Malabrigo worsted weight…held two strands together, that I bought at Stitches.  Gooooorgeous yarn.

cloverleaf-lace-mitts-back.jpg  These, my dears, are “Cloverleaf Lace Mitts” (pattern: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9437809) made with Yarn Pirate’s wonderful yarn!  I was in her sock club for two sessions and loved this yarn but didn’t want to hide it in my shoes!  Anyway, I used the pattern designated needles for the wrist but thinking my hands were a bit bigger, I went up one size for the hand.  Shouldn’t have.  The pattern has enough give and would show off the stitchwork much better if I’d just stuck with the same needle size.  Should teach me to let the designers do what they do best….

I must be in to blue…because this was a hat I came up with to teach beginning knitting to Kiddlebiddle’s fifth grade class (the kids who took knitting as their “elective”).  It was knit flat and allowed me to teach them basic knit stitch (for garter stitch band), then purling (for stockinette body), with decreases…and finally, seaming.  Well…it would have if more than one student had finished the hat!  They never wanted to do the “homework.” hat-for-class.jpg

And last (for tonight), a hat I knit, also for myself, out of a lovely Cashvero by Cascade…part cashmere, part merino.  I think the hat needs to be blocked, which I rarely do for hats.  But it would shape better.  coronet.jpg  It’s actually a lovely purple, and the pattern is CORONET by Alexandra Virgiel, on Knitty.  http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter03/PATTcoronet.html

I love my Meez!  Have you tried it?  www.meez.com  You can make an avatar that looks EXACTLY like you!  OK…so this isn’t really how I look.  It’s about 30 pounds too light; the face shape isn’t quite right…and today the “meezmaker” just refused to put lipstick on me!  But I do live in the Pacific Northwest and I do knit!  And my hair kinda sorta looks like that now.  And I live in jeans, sweaters, and clogs.  So yeah…this is me.

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Last weekend (2/22 & 24) I attended the market at Stitches West.  It was the second time I’ve been there so I had an idea what I was getting into and was prepared.  (I’d dusted off the credit cards!)

The plan was to meet up with one of the other members of the Lime and Violet message boards – Tikabelle, whom I had never met before!  But before I met up with her I attended Vicki Howell’s presentation, sponsored by Southwest Trading Company.  Though they had some technical difficulties, the folks showed us a good time and we were treated to not only a free pattern from Vicki’s new book, Catwalk Crochet (not coming out until next year!) but a show of how several of the patterns could be accessorized and worn to achieve different looks with the same piece.  Now, the book is all crochet patterns, and I don’t really crochet, but now I think I’m gonna hafta learn. 

Craft magazine made a video of the presentation…available here:   http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2008/02/vickie_howell_lena_walker_smit.html  Also got a nice attendee to take a shot of me with Vicki.    And when I returned Sunday (yes, I went on Friday for most of the day…actually all day, and went back for two hours on Sunday!) with my daughter, who was absolutely speechless (a rarity for an 11 year old) Vickie quickly asked if we had a camera to catch Kiddlebiddle’s excitement.   dscn0203.jpg  

Vicki was quite agreeable to photos.  Stitches Market however, was not.  Tika and I were disappointed that we weren’t allowed to snap photos within the market.  Especially when we were invited to take off our shoes and jump into a big bin of yarny goodness. 

First thing we hit inside the doors was the Ravelry booth.  I don’t know about you, but I’m soooo glad they came into existence.  And we got to meet both Jess and Casey.  I ended up going back to the booth to get one of their tote bags.  There was no way I was going to make it that day without something to carry my new stash additions!  (Had to empty it at the end of day one so there would be room for day two’s endeavor!)  If you haven’t seen it yet, go to the Ravelry site and check out the mosaic they had (Casey made, of course) that is the Ravelry logo made of ALL the avatars of Ravelry members!  www.ravelry.com  

I went to the Stitches market with the intention of getting some more STR in the Raven series and I did.  I wasn’t alone.  Here’s Tika with her Ravelry passport and “Notorious Sock Knitter” bumpersticker that she picked up at Blue Moon Fiber Arts.     sititches-west026.jpg  

And here’s my “Socks that Rock” Raven series yarns Korppi on the left and Silkie in Thraven on the right (they are both much darker than they photograph):   sititches-west032.jpg  

There were so many wonderful vendors at Stitches.  Many we knew about and sought out; many we’d never heard of.  We went from booth, to booth, to booth…petting skein upon skein of lovely yarns; reveling in ingenious notions, pondering new patterns and kits, and meeting wonderful people with the same passion we had!  

Here’s a peek at my stash from Stitches.  This photo doesn’t include some of the patterns I got which are in my “pending” basket right now!

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If you go to my Flickr page you can actually hover over areas of the photo and see what’s what ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/balletmommy/2307003060/)

 

Part of the stash is:

Malabrigo – two skeins (oh yes!)  sititches-west033.jpg

and Jojoland Meloday (with which I’m making their Swirl Shawl…sorry no pic)

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A GORGEOUS scarf pattern/kit that Kiddlebiddle insisted she “needed” me to make for her.  (They had other patterns for this yarn, but this is what she wanted…)

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And I got myself some new needles…Signature Needleart…I’d heard about them from Annie Modesitt’s blog and they are heavenly to work with besides being gorgeous:I

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Also bought some “Hemp for Knitting and a couple of patterns from them.  The hat, already cast on in the dark orange, is for…guess who….Kiddlebiddle.

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And I fell in love with a shawl from Fiber Trends.  I didn’t get the kit because they only had it with brown as the accent color and I really wanted the blue in the demo shawl.  Check it out:  http://www.fibertrends.com/viewer/V4_shawls.html

 I did buy plenty of patterns though.  Baby patterns intended for great nieces (if I ever get my act together and actually finish a baby project!), scarves, hats, a book of Norah Gaughan patterns….

 All in all it was a great weekend.

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