A blog about my life, knitting, and other stuff.

September 30, 2008

Rose-Kim Knits Donors Choose Challenge

I know that knitting has enriched my life. It gives me comfort, a community, a sense of accomplishment and mastery. It has given me a career and great friends. Imagine being able to give these things to children in need.

For the month of October DonorsChoose.org is having a blogger challenge. I have chosen a project I think will resonate with all of you. You can go to this page and make a donation of any size. Leave a comment on this post letting me know. At the end of the month I'll have a drawing for some prizes.

This blog gets about a 1000 hits a day. That's a dollar for every reader of the blog to fund our project (it ends before the end of the month, I might have to add another similar project to fund in another week). Give big or give small, it all makes a difference.

September 28, 2008

OFFF '08

We all piled in the car Friday afternoon and headed to Portland. I dumped bade farewell to Wes and the kids and headed down to Canby on Saturday for the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival with Sarah. We perused, did a little purchasing, visited with friends, sat in a shady spot and knit (I brought my wheel but couldn't be bothered to lug it over to the fairgrounds). It was lovely as always.

My favorite of the trip: A St. Croix Hair Sheep with her 6 day old lambs. A-Fricking-Dorable.

Alpacas are just so lovably goofy-looking.

Did you know it takes three guys to primp a goat for the show ring? Just kidding. Usually it takes like a 10 year old and her mom. Why this goat was getting the celebrity treatment I don't know.

Beautifully woven handspun alpaca blanket. How would you like to have this to curl up under? It was gorgeous and so soft. Just lovely.

We headed to Fabric Depot after the fest. Last year we were so overwhelmed by the sprawl of it and had no game plan. We left empty handed. This year I had a game plan. We carefully combed the racks looking for shades of chocolate brown for a new quilt I'm dreaming up. We found lots of wonderful, strange and funny things.

I've got about a quarter of the edging on my shawl left to finish. I also pulled out the Auburn Camp Shirt for some car knitting. (I can't read charts or look at my knitting in the car.)

A great weekend.

September 26, 2008

Oh Dear

One of these is in the middle of my living room. I'm renting it for a beginning weaving class. I know. I know. When will I ever have time for that? Believe me, I know. But I wanted to learn more about it anyway. I nearly have the thing warped. This is the part of weaving I always suspected would keep me from becoming a weaver. I only have 60 warp threads and already feel it's more warping than I care to do.

September 25, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Borrowing a page from Candy Kirby, I pose the question, "Who wore it better?"






September 23, 2008

Blue Star Rectified

I fixed the goofed up block and took better pictures of them all. There will be 30 blocks total. A riot of pattern by the end.


Pattern: Rivendell from Eclectic Sole by Janel Laidman
Yarn: Smooshy in In Vino Veritas
Notes: I feel silly posting this because I'm only knitting the one for a shop model. But wow! This yarn and pattern love each other. It was an entertaining knit--a bit fiddly at first then a fun bit then simple ribbing.

September 22, 2008

On Edge

I've started the edging on my Pi. This is Cypress Edging from a Weldon's Practical Needlework reproduction. I'm about 1/6 of the way around the shawl now and need to weigh the yarn to see if I have enough to actually make it all the way. If not I'll rip it, knit more of the body of the shawl then do a crochet loop cast off. Not my favorite but doesn't take as much yarn.

September 21, 2008

Blue Star Progress

This new quilt is coming together really quickly. It takes me a long time to do all the cutting for each block (mainly because I keep making mistakes) but the sewing is fast. I finished eight blocks already.

The colors are off in this photo. And that's not all that's off.

How did I not see this until I edited the photo? Easy enough to fix but still...how did I not see it?

September 19, 2008

Playing With Fabric

Today I barreled through the piecing of all the blocks for my 30s quilt. Next is to figure out the placement and get all the blocks sewn together. My chain-piecing epiphany--one year after starting the quilt--made an enormous difference. I now have no idea what took me so long on this very easy project. But it's now coming together.

As a diversion I made a sample block for my next quilt. I have been gradually collecting fabrics in the teal/green/brown group. I got them all pulled out the other day and tried to figure out what I wanted to make.

I think it will be the Blue Star Quilt from Kaffe Fassett's Caravan of Quilts. It gives me the perfect chance to try out this method for making flying geese. Mine won't be quite the riot of color the one in the book is. But I'm trying to be a little more daring mixing up prints.

Any suggestions for a good iron? Ours is old, slowly breaking and doesn't have an automatic shut off. Wes is convinced I will burn down the house, killing us all, if I walk away from the iron while it is still on or even plugged in.

September 18, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Scene: Jessica is looking at knitting patterns.

Jessica: Hmm, those are kind of nice wrist warmers and--Oh my god! What the hell? What the? What the hell is that? What? Oh my god. Ew. OH. MY. GOD. EW! Ewewewewewewewewewewew. EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

(I think this is around the time I blacked out.)

September 17, 2008

A Case for My Crap

Pattern: Based on these box bag instructions
Fabric: Peas and Carrots by American Jane
Notes: I need a zipper bag or two to go in my purse. I'm tired of carrying all my lotion and lip balm, etc. in a ratty quart-size ziploc baggie (thanks TSA!)

Again I had an initial moment of completely not understanding how to sew this together. I kind of rushed through it so the seams are a bit off and it is generally a little wonky (it looks wonkier in the photo because I could not pull one corner to a nice point without poking in its facing corner). I don't like how the inside, though lined, has lots of raw edges. I might try to get my head around how to put in the lining after boxing the corners next time. Though this is where I always mess up sewing. I am terrible at visualizing things in 3D so inevitably something gets sewn in with the wrong side facing out. If I hadn't sewn any of it together wrong, this could have been about 30 minutes to sew.

September 16, 2008

Still Another Great Seattle Headline

Teen sets record for blowing up balloons with nose

Laaaaaadies and Gentleman!

Presenting Peanut, the wee elephant!

Pattern: Peanut, the wee elephant from Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts
Fabric: Peas and Carrots by American Jane
Notes: After I got over my initial confusion this guy came together quickly and easily. I probably should have done a less busy pattern for the body because it makes it difficult to see his eyes. I wanted to glue the eyes before sewing but I only had Fray-Check and it didn't work. I would also top-stitch the ears if I make this again. The pattern is from the 4-8 hour section of the book. I think it took me maybe 4 hours to make this.

September 14, 2008

We've All Been Expecting This for the Last Sixteen Days

Weekend Update Avec Fromage

Knitting: I still love my Pi shawl. I'm knitting and knitting on it. I don't know what I will do for the border or when I will start.

Quilting: I got my sewing machine back from the shop. I got to finish a Harry Potter block that I started last Sunday.

It's the Monster Book of Monsters.

I also jumped back into my 30s star quilt and realized after working on it for almost a year that I could chain-piece even though I'm foundation-piecing. I tried it on Friday and it's very fast. Plus it save a TON of thread.

I finally went back to my Quilt-a-Long blocks. I left them languishing because I didn't know what to do for sashing or borders. I realized this weekend that I don't really care! I made the blocks for the fun of making them and I'm not at all invested in the final product. I found a fabric that goes with it that I had enough of in my stash to start slapping on some sashing. It's nearly done. Just the borders left now. Amazing how fast it goes when you finally just sit down and feed it through your machine. I think I will use this quilt to practice hand-quilting. I can do some by hand and some by machine. Then I think I'll donate it.

I decided out of nowhere to make Peanut the elephant from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. I was completely baffled by the first sewing step because, I believe, it leaves out a crucial bit of information about where to sew. Once I got over that hurdle the rest went together very quickly. I only have a tiny bit of stuffing so now it has to wait at least until tomorrow to get finished.

Cheese: I was at the grocery store yesterday and noticed this in the cheese case.

And so long as I was humiliating my family by photographing cheese why not take a few shots of the pretty ones with all the flowers?

News: I can only guess that today was a slow news day in Seattle.

September 12, 2008

Tipping Policy

I've got a salon etiquette question for you. My stylist moved from a large salon to a new smaller operation. At the new place there is no support staff (receptionist, shampoo girl, etc.). My stylist now answers her own calls, schedules her own appointment, washes hair and everything. Her prices have gone up $10-15. My question is, in this new set up, am I still supposed to tip? It seems to me that tipping should not be necessary since she is no longer responsible to the "house" or support staff. What do you think?

September 11, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

And she was never heard from again.

September 10, 2008

Pi Progress

I want to offer you something other than grumbling about people's driving habits.

Still love the Pi. Still haven't touched another project. I'm nearly at the end of my second of four skeins. I'm switching to a larger needle so I had a short window of opportunity to snap a photo of it semi-spread out.

Car and Motorcycle Advice

If you are driving a motorcycle and decide that instead of stopping at a stop sign you will instead pass the car in front of you (on the right) while they stop don't be alarmed when the driver does not let you pass and honks at you. Don't rev your engine and zip in front of the car then slam on your brakes while gesturing to the driver something that suggest "who's the boss now?"

Best case scenario: You live to see another day.
Worst case scenario: The car driver crushes you like a bug.

I would instead advise you to follow the rules of the road thus avoiding drama and crushed extremities.

If you are driving a car and feel that a motorcyclist should not pass you on the right at a stop sign. Let it go. Don't try to outrace an unreasonable person in a very busy pedestrian area.

Best case scenario: You don't hurt anyone.
Worst case scenario: You crush someone like a bug.

I would instead advise you to follow the rules of the road thus avoiding drama and crushed extremities.

Note: I was not the driver, nor the motorcyclist, in this scenario. I was merely the lucky person walking alongside them while they had this vehicular pissing match. And had to attempt to explain to my son why everyone was yelling and honking while reaching for my cell phone in case I needed to call 911.

September 8, 2008

Sewing Bee!

I had another sewing bee yesterday and finally added the last borders to my Four Square quilt. This sucker is huge. An 81" square. Once I moved the furniture to spread it out on the floor I couldn't get high enough to take a photo of the whole thing. Huge. I had to drop off my sewing machine to get repaired immediately after the bee. I did most of a Harry Potter block too. I'll finish it as soon as I can pick up my machine.

September 7, 2008

September 6, 2008

Does This Remind You of Anyone?

My son just brought this comic over for me to read.

I Like Pi

Most of the time, if you ask my younger son a direct question, he replies, "I like pie." I always took it as a random, weird thing he did. A bastardization of Mr. Krabs on Spongebob saying, "I like money." But it turns out, perhaps by coincidence, that it is a thing people say to avoid a conversation. Is he a genius or did he learn this somewhere? We will probably never know.

Anyway, I love knitting my Pi Shawl. I've finished one skein of four so far and have not even glanced at another project since I cast on. The lace patterns were selected hastily from Barbara Walker. So far I've used English Mesh and Spider Stitch. Next up will most likely be something very simple and columnated (I had to double-check that that was really a word). Or I might go with something leafy again. I have about 8 more rounds before I have to decide.

Lace, I love you. Why have we been apart for so long?

September 5, 2008

A Funny for Friday

This LOL is a few weeks old but I love it on so many levels.

more animals

Interweave Crochet Preview

Is up. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that at first glance this looks like the best issue yet. There are a many attractive and wearable sweaters and a minimum of clunkers. As always, I'm curious to hear what you think.

September 4, 2008

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This? Culinary Edition

This one should have you shaking your head for the rest of the day.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I have to admit when I saw there was a pattern called Hand Fur Cuffs I was expecting something racier than this.

And don't get me started on these Wood Hoods.

September 3, 2008


Older son hasn't seen Juno. Which is why when he said on arriving in Juneau, "Juneau, like the movie?" and I said, "No" and just carried on talking he did not understand why I thought that was so funny. I guess he'll have to see the movie. In seven years.

September 2, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap 4

I mailed off my quilt today.

I'm never entirely happy with my sewing projects. This one came out pretty cute. It would have been much nicer if I had hand-quilted but I didn't leave myself enough time to learn a new skill and finish the quilt.

Making Pi

I have been spending time watching my Elizabeth Zimmermann* video collection since I got back from Alaska. I have been meaning to make a Pi shawl for a very long time. As I was listening to Elizabeth describe the process I could see the yarn I got at camp last summer to make a shawl. Before I could be distracted by something else, I leapt up and got the yarn wound, grabbed a needle and cast on. After the fourth set of increases I decided to go off in my own direction. I got out my Barbara Walker treasuries and impulsively picked a lace pattern that would fit my number of stitches.

It's coming along nicely.

Last night, in bed I picked out a few more patterns. I'm not going to think too hard about this. I'm just going to go where the lace takes me.

*I'd like to add that Zimmermann has two Ns, not one as I see so often.

September 1, 2008

Thanks for Nothing, Kids

I asked the kids to help take some pictures of me in my still-unblocked Ravelympic sweater.

Funny how when they want to use the camera, say to take photos of their butts, they know how to use it just fine but when mom asks for a favor...