Sunday, August 19, 2007

I doodle all day...

What doodle I do now, what doodle I do? - Pete Droge (soundtrack from "Tattoo a Love Story")

Although I had no intention of going to Lollapalooza, I would have paid full price for this little nugget...

I loved these guys 15 years ago and they are still hot today. My colleague Roxanne's daughter DID get to go to Lollapalooza and scored big time. Here she is, right next to a hot, sweaty and sexy Eddie Vedder. (article about this pic here.) How cool is that. She told her mom that the look on her face was that of sheer bliss. Uh, yeah! If I put my forehead on my computer screen I get a little of her bliss through osmosis. Lucky girl!

Our house is much quieter this week. My niece had a great time here (and we had a great time along with her.) We went to the beach, the zoo, the aquarium, Bainbridge, the park and the Space Needle. We ate sushi, kebabs, blueberry pancakes, cottage cheese and salsa and enough cookies to get me by for the rest of the summer. She's a peach! Big hugs to Highlights magazine - I bought an activity book on a whim and it was a lifesaver. Kept her busy when auntie needed a little down time. To all you moms and dads out there - kudos. I only had her for a week and was exhausted when she left - and she's not even a handful - just a pretty normal 9 year chicadee. How do ya'll do it?! And knit? And blog? And work? Whew!

Thanks to all for the sweet wishes for my grandmother. She's still in the hospital, but in a nursing home type situation temporarily. She had a bed sore that isn't healing and they won't send her home until they feel like it is healed enough that it won't cause her great discomfort. She is actually doing well physically - at least as well as you can expect from a 95 year old, however she isn't all that aware. The biggest thing she IS aware of though, is that she's not home. Hopefully that will soon change.

I haven't had much of a chance to knit anything of significance, however I did complete a Campfire Sock. (sock on the right.)

The pattern was part of a swap from Karen. It's a nice, simple pattern. To the point with great results. I'm delighted with the yarn these are knit from. This is a custom spun yarn for Hazel Knits - 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Soysilk, DK weight. It is like butter. It's not really intended for socks, however I wanted to see how well it would hold up during duress. I'd say it's working out just fine, thankyouverymuch. And it seems to get softer with each washing. I'm stoked! Until I get the second one knit I'll just keep wearing it around with a mis-match. I love this second sock also, but only dyed up enough yarn for one sock. It was a quick sample to test the yarn - not the colors. I wish I'd dyed more exactly the same, however I was using up random dyes so even though I have the formulas, the colors will be off. Oh well - it's a perfect around the house sock to use with whatever other mateless one I have at the time. One thing of note for these socks - they both got thrown in with a load of whites. It was nearly a panic situation however I'm pleased to say that there was no bleeding. Nada.

Ok, I better scoot off to work. Sometimes these rainy days bring knitters in in droves - there's just two of us there today so I gotta be sure to pack plenty of snacks as a real lunch break may be impossible. Speaking of which... we're HIRING at Hilltop EAST. We need a few more PT knitters to round out our staff. If you're interested, drop me a note and I'll share some details.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questions

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I prefer to knit with natural fibers – either animal fibers or plant fibers. I used to think I didn’t like anything with acrylic in it, but that is not true as Rowan Calmer is high on my list and it is 25% acrylic. One of my favorite yarns is Aurora 8 due to this twist and sproingy-ness.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I made a wall hanging for my circular needles and it works great. I have been meaning to make one for my straights and DPs as they are a mess tucked away in a drawer.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I’ve been knitting for almost four years. I learned the basic knit stitch from a friend one evening before a trip to Whistler. I couldn’t put my needles down for the whole trip! After that, I taught myself the rest of the basics from reading Stitch n Bitch and from watching online videos on After I started working in the yarn store I was able to get help on advanced techniques from some real pros. I would say I am intermediate knitter with some good knowledge I hardly ever use for myself.

I learned to knit “mirror” style – I knit from my right to my left needle. This worked great for scarves, hats and any projects where shaping or lace didn’t apply. As you can imagine, it really started causing me problems when I got into sweater knitting and lace knitting where decreases shape the pattern. Everything has to get reversed before I start. I have since learned to knit “right handed” and although I am ok at it, I’m not nearly as fast or as consistent as I am when I knit in my own special way.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I’m working on putting one together…

5. What's your favorite scent?

I love lilacs and jasmine, however they are hard to get in a bottle. I enjoy clean scents – I have lotion called “Clean Cotton”, which is my favorite and I like citrus scents as well.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I love treats, however they are more of the bakery / ice creamy kind. I do love good chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I like to sew, cook, garden, crochet and work on house projects. I dabble with other projects (embroidery, freezer paper stencils, etc.) but they seem to be more one-off projects.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I am a music freak. It’s sort of sad that I know the lyrics to practically every popular 70’s and 80’s cheeseball pop, rock and country songs, yet I can’t carry a tune. I could totally be a rock star if I could only sing. I like a wide variety of music – it sort of depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m into ambient and world beat tunes (Thievery Corporation, Morcheeba, Chicane, etc.) and other times I’m into more alternative sounds (Modest Mouse, Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, White Stripes, etc.) When I was in college and through most of my 20’s I was into folksy and rock 60’s – 70’s music – Indigo Girls, Grateful Dead, Paul Simon, Led Zeppelin. Really, I’m into anything with catchy lyrics and good beats – I’m getting a soft spot for Justin Timberlake and his “posse”! I tend to stay away from anything with too much speed or too much scream.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

Reds, Pinks, Blues, Browns, Greens. I like saturated colors and pale colors, but depth is important to me. I’m not a fan of dull colors that looks washed out.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Married, no kids, no pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

All but ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Socks, gloves, sweaters, gifty items

13. What are you knitting right now?

A sweater for a shop model, socks, Montego Bay Scarf, test knits for new yarns.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I’m not that picky about straights or circulars, however if I have circulars they pretty much have to be Addi Turbos or something comparable with a smooth join and no-memory cable. I do most of my knitting on bamboo straights or Addi circs. I love vintage straight and dp aluminum needles and really dig my few pairs of Pony Pearls.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yep – both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

I have had a pair of Mrs. Beeton wristlets in my projects bag forever. Maybe 18 months? Maybe longer. I usually rip back anything else I’ve lost steam on. I need to dig out those Mrs. Beetons. I think they are super cute and I don’t know why I haven’t finished them!

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Easter. Just in time for the tulips, daffodils and the freshness of spring.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Does yarn count? 

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Anything from the popular hand dyers out there – there are so many to choose from. I have a few books so far on my Amazon wish list. I’m curious about the Knit Picks Options needles.

What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Interweave and Vogue Knitting.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?


22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yep – 8 ¾” W x 9” L

23. When is your birthday?

Nov. 5th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Yep – although I need to do a lot more updating. I’m at knittlesticks.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rock On, Dude!

I'm sure Maryanne had no idea what beast she was unleashing when she nominated me for a Rockin' Girl Blogger Award.


Awwww Yeah!

Who is that totally HOT chick hanging out in her bedroom circa 1987??? Those socks with the moccasins are way cool. I wish I had that kind of fashion sense. And those mall bangs are to DIE for. Notice the chain of beer tab pulls hanging on the wall? She got them from, well, er, uh, her older brother's bedroom, but hey - you know, party like it's 1999. Or something like that. And those four dudes in the background? HOT.

This is a big gold star on this tough week. My 95 year old grandmother was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday and my siblings and I have been working on arranging hospice so she can go home and have her final days in the familiar surroundings she's been in for nearly 70 years. And seven years ago today my hero dad lost his fight with cancer. I miss him dearly.

Yet, tomorrow my other hero man, Flynn-o gets home from ROCI as a new Ensign and next week I'll be hosting this Rockin chick:

- my nine year old niece, Jordy. (I chose this picture because this is her FAVORITE place to eat in Seattle - within walking distance of her favorite place to visit - the aquarium.) Life marches on.

And now to spread the Rockin' love.

You gals at Hilltop West are bitchin' Camaro. I always have a great time hanging out with you and seeing/hearing what your up to.

Amy - it was so great to finally meet you at Stitch n Pitch after years of following your blog.

Tiennie - I hope to meet you in person someday! Your work is always inspiring. And your itty bitty sock needles are safe with me :)!

There are countless other blogs I enjoy reading - I am constantly awestruck by the creativity and amazing way the folks in the crafting community express themselves. To all of you, thanks for sharing yourselves and please consider yourself full on rockers too!

Maryanne, thanks again for brightening my week!

If you're looking for me on Sunday night, I'll be watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels on A & E.