Sunday, March 30, 2008


I don't think the lawn is getting mowed today..........

If I lived in Colorado or Minnesota, this would not be strange, but this is WESTERN WASHINGTON. Mariner's opening day is tomorrow! Can they call a baseball game on account of frozen balls?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kid Merino Syrian Shawl

In an effort to have a new accessory to wear with my stand-by LBD, I am trying my hand at knitting a Syrian Shawl from Victorian Knits Today with Crystal Palace Kid Merino (otherwise known as the "economical knitter's Kid Silk Haze"). Lace weight yarn and I have had a love/hate relationship for quite a while. I have a ton of it, mostly because I can't resist the colors and feel, but I have yet to complete any project I've started using laceweight. This project may be the one that gets me over the hump. The Syrian pattern is way easy to remember, and I can happily keep knitting it until I get the size of shawl I want. The only real challenging part will be the knitted lace border, but that isn't a new technique to me, so I should be pretty comfortable with the yarn by then. I am, at this point, genuinely optomistic. I'm even considering adding beads to the border.

Do I have the Diamond Brocade blanket finished?
The socks for #3 son?
The Diamond Fantasy Shawl........ah........NO!

What are you, the Knitting Monitor?!?!!

I need to try to finish this shawl by April 17th for an event I have to go to, so this comes first - and that ladies is my rationalization for starting a new project, so there!

Have to say that I am officially in L - O - V - E with the Addi Turbo lace needles. Started this shawl on bamboo, and got tired of trying to do K2togs with dull points. Switched to a pair of Addi turbos I had in my needle stash and they were a little better, but still went out this morning and bought a pair of the Turbo Lace - had to resist the urge to change my needles out right there in the LYS. You really don't see a difference between the Addi Turbo and the Turbo Lace needles until you try them......really. I still love my bamboo - there's something natural and smooth about them that I can't give up, but for socks and fine lace, the turbo and turbo lace are THE thing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Well, I am on a sock jag at the moment. After knitting two shawls to the total exclusion of everything else, I needed a little sock therapy. Besides, I've been promising my youngest that I will work on new sock sizing for him - 10 year olds and their feet, what can I say! It's plain jane 2x2 rib, but the goal is to calculate a sock size that will fit him for a while, or at least until his feet grow again!

The Diamond Brocade baby blanket is going along quite well. I have the body of the blanket just about half-way knitted. If I keep going at my repeat and a half per day pace, I should have the body finished by the beginning of next week (I hope!). Then I only need to knit the edgings and do the scattered embroidery. Plenty of time before the May 2, due date. I may actually get to that Bobbi Bear for the baby's big sister!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Knitting Schizophrenia

After finishing the Auction Shawl of Doom, I have lapsed into a period of knitting schizophrenia. One day, it's the Diamond Fantasy Shawl - the next I am obsessed with Clapotis - the day after that, I ripped out Clapotis and worked on my latest baby blanket while discovering another yarn shop and buying yarn for yet ANOTHER shawl, a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock for baby booties and added to my collection of random skeins of Noro for a Lizard Ridge afghan (a future project......sometime.

I made pretty good progress on the Diamond Fantasy Shawl during the Real Estate conference I went to on Monday.

Real Estate continuing education classes are great knitting times - the knitting keeps the part of your brain that says you're getting bored from getting bored (Thank God! It's not like these real estate classes are fun or anything). It also kept me out of the snacks that the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle offers during the conferences held there. The place is wall-to-wall food - fortunately, my knitting obesssion trumps my food obsession (sometimes). But the diamond fantasy shawl is not for "on-the-go" knitting, so it is relagated to at home or long stationary periods of knitting. Oh, using the addi turbo lace needles for the first time with this shawl.....what can I say, I'm in love! They really are nice to work with. And I can feel a difference. This was something I doubted initially, but it doesn't take much hands-on experience with them to recognize the difference.

I've also been working on a Diamond Brocade baby blanket (is there a theme developing here?) from Blankets Booties and Hats to Knit and Crochet.

This has been languishing for a while, but now the baby this is for is due in barely a month and I have to get to work. I started getting the rythym of the pattern yesterday, so real progress is beginning to be made. It's still portable - but a few more repeats and that may change.

I think I am settling down again. The baby blanket is drawing most of my attention, but there is a sock in progress in my purse, AND the Diamond Fantasy shawl is always on my mind.......and three other shawl projects on idle in my brain. Ya know, if I could just grow a couple more sets of arms like the goddess Durga.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Finally! Done!!

The Auction Shawl of Doom is Done!! Really, it came out really nicely and is blocking as I type. It blocked wonderfully, and I like it (well, I like it now that it's done). I'm anxious to see what it looks like when it's totally dry, but for now, it's great.

Here's a link to my Ravelry project page for details. I hope it works.

On to my Diamond Fantasy Shawl.

I have to go to a way boring conference tomorrow.....that means SEVEN HOURS of knitting time! Yay Me!! (now if I didn't have to spend 7 hours knitting wearing slacks, SPANX and dress shoes.....)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ralph Patrol

I've been on Ralph Patrol for the last two days. We have been without "activity" for nearly 24 hours, so things are looking up. Today is dedicated to getting #3 son back to eating real food. I had been worrying that this was something that would go around the house, but now I'm leaning toward the theory that it was something he ate that caused it. Good, I've never been one for holding someone's head while they prayed to the porcelain god. And when my house becomes a porcelain prayer meeting, all I want to do is LEAVE!

The down time with the sickie kid saw some progress on Auction Shawl #2, but not enough. It's still hanging around kicking me in the ass. Apparently, my knitting endurance is being challenged by this product.

I finally broke down and cheated on the Auction shawl by casting on a new shawl for myself. A little Diamond Fantasy shawl, designed by Sivia Harding. I had a skein of Trekking Natura in blues. Just enough to make the scarf in the pattern. It should be perfect with jeans and a blouse, or tossed over my navy blazer later.

Only 19 rows in, but I'm already liking it - mostly because it is not the Auction shawl.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel

Auction shawl #2 is STILL kickin' my butt, but I added on skein #4 today......that will be the last full skein in the shawl. Only a partial skein after that and I'm done. But Lord, am I getting antsy......I keep paging longingly through patterns, reading about triangle lace shawls, and scrutinizing the yardage on some of my skeins to see if I have enough to make a Diamond Fantasy shawl like the one the Yarn Harlot made a while ago. I have at least three skeins of sock yarn that will do the job, and they're calling to me. Oh Alyson, come look at our soft and shawly goodness.

And while I am getting bored out of my skull knitting the zig zag pattern, my brain plays little tricks on me, telling me of more interesting ways to modify the pattern for a yummy skein of seasilk I have.

Can you tell, I am having a true love-hate relationship with this shawl.

And THEN, there is the little voice that's telling me that I should give toe-up socks another shot, because the rumor is that the Sock Wars pattern this year is a toe-up. I have never done a successful one, and I feel a need to practice to prevent my getting assinated in the first round of sock play.

How much longer can I keep working on this thing??????

Friday, March 07, 2008

Still Rockin' the Anny

The official Anniversary day was Wednesday, March 5th, and hubby didn't disappoint - maybe I should say his assistant didn't. Received a lovely arrangement of 25 sterling silver roses on the day. These are very cool for two reasons: 1) it is our silver wedding anniversary and 2) sterling silver roses were the roses used at our wedding. They are really cool, but pretty hard to find.

They are this amazing pinkish, soft purple-ish color. The photo doesn't do them justice. Unfortunately, they are also rather delicate, so they are starting to bloom-out already. But I love them while I have them.

As for knitting content. Auction shawl #2 is going more reliably, but hardly any faster. I have rarely been so bored knitting something.....I just want it done so bad, so of course it is taking forever.

I even started a new shawl from Victorian Lace Today this week, just to break up the monotony, but the knowledge that I need to get that auction shawl done keeps nagging at me. Funny thing is, the pattern is starting to grow on me. I have a single skein of SeaSilk that I plan to use a variation of the zigzag lace on to make a scarf. I think it would look lovely. I'm just desperate to make something for myself after the holiday knitting madness directly followed by baby blanket knitting, followed by auction knitting. I haven't made anything for myself in months. And I haven't added to my personal shawl wardrobe for nearly a year. Now THAT is a sad turn of events.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Romantic Interlude

In celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary, hubby (with a great deal of input, planning and effort from his assistant) arranged a surprise overnight trip for us this past weekend. Originally, our plans were going to be much more grandiose, but business being a mad affair right now and our natural tendency toward procrastination blew that out of the water. So right now, a overnight was the best we could do. Hubby kept me in the dark right through departure. All I could get out of him was that I would not need dressy clothes or my passport and it would take only about 2 hours to get there.

So heading out from the house, I started eliminating possibilities….we went toward 520, instead of I-90; we didn’t turn on to 405. We headed into Seattle, on to Eastlake – around the Lake Union and into the parking lot of Kenmore Air. Finally, Hubby admitted we were going to Rosario Resort – by SEAPLANE. Apparently, I had never told him about my intense dislike for small planes. Actually, I’m not that fond of big planes, either.

Strangely enough, the idea of getting on the seaplane didn’t terrify me. There are some advantages, definitely. No long line at security, no stuffy recycled airline air, and the pilot sits right there in front of you.

So off we went, north winding our way along between the coastline and the San Juan Islands.

Of course, I knit furiously on the plane to ward of my fear of flying, but found myself looking out the window more and more. The weather was glorious and the possibility of perhaps seeing a whale passing below was too enticing.

No joy on the whale watching, but it didn't diminish the experience. We arrived at Rosario Resort.

This place has been known as a romantic rendezvous for years and it doesn’t disappoint. The main building dates back to the early 1900’s, and possesses that solid charm of old mansions of the Roaring 20’s.

The meals are wonderful, the service fantastic, and the fact that we had absolutely no cell service a joy! Other parts of the weekend were very fun, as well, but that is not for public consumption (at least not on a family blog!) Oh and we saw no less that four bald eagles! No pictures, of course, that would be way too easy.

Knitting content next time…….