Monday, July 30, 2007

More stash

I knew I was forgetting something earlier. Here is the rest of the stash I got last week.

First, from dharmafey's, there is Gryffindor 2nd Year

Dharmafey Gryffindor 2nd Year

And I couldn't pass this up - the Rocky Horror geek couldn't say no - dharmafey's Sweet Transvestite

Dharmafey Sweet Transvestite

Then there is the one, lonely skein I bought from The Loopy Ewe - Fiesta Alaska

Fiesta Alaska

So, that's it. Way too much sock yarn. My feet will be warm throughout the winter!

I just went to dharmafey's Etsy shop and she has Nightmare Before Christmas colorways. Poop. I must resist. I must resist. Keep your fingers crossed!

Watch Cap in Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply

Watch Cap in Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply
Originally uploaded by solslett.

Another hat done - this one for the Ships Project. I have come to the realization that if I want a hat in this twisted rib pattern AND in the Rowan Cashsoft, I will need to buy two skeins. However, some midshipman's head will be warmer for it.

At least the charity pile keeps growing.

Potter Mania

I have Potter Mania. I have read all the books. I have seen all the movies. I visit some of the fan sites. I knit Harry Potter socks.

I finished Fawkes last week in Lorna's Laces Bittersweet.

Fawkes - detail

I am working on Bellatrix, in the colorway Bellatrix Lestrange purchased from MacKintosh Yarns.

Bellatrix in Bellatrix

I have Nagini lined up using MacKintosh Yarn's Voldemort.

Mackintosh Yarns - Voldemort

Then there is Horcrux in Fleece Artist Amber.

Fleece Artist Amber

There are also Fred and George Socks, Prisoner of Azkaban socks, and Phineas socks. I have those lined up as well. There is a sweater that I would like to do, a scarf and a cell phone cozy.

It's an illness, I believe. This too shall pass with time. I hope!

The Redwoods, an Aquarium, and a Requiem for a Car

I like going places on my birthday. It makes me forget that it's my birthday. Birthdays were fun when I was turning 24, not so much now.

This was our second trip to the North Coast in a month. We were up there for Memorial Day, checking out my in-laws soon-to-be new digs. This, however, was an old fashioned Road Trip. To check out an album I created, look here or here.

We managed to fit a lot into three days (6/28-7/2/07). We visited the Avenue of the Giants, who's heyday has passed, but was still fun. Kevin loves these types of places, because they have "nostalgic" tourist attractions, such as the Shrine Drive Thru Tree. As you can see, he had some fun!

Impy drives through it's first tree

We visited several other spots along the way such as the Chimney Tree, the One Log House and the Immortal Tree. I would go back again, someday, to spend more time in some of these places, just so I can appreciate them a little more.

We stopped in Scotia, one of the last lumber company owned towns in the Pacific Northwest. Their museum was quite interesting.

We stopped in Fortuna, and had lunch at Eel River Brewing. Mmm, mmm, good. I had a crab salad sandwich and cheesy garlic fries. I will have that again. We also did tasters of the beer and I have a new favorite - Hazelnut Porter. Brought home a liter of that stuff. It's dark and full of body and tasty as all out. That will definitely be a stop on the trip to visit the in-laws. Did I mention they're organic! The tree hugger in me loves that part.

Eel River Brewing

We went to Ferndale, which needs a power wash. It's still nice in respect to the fact that's it's an historical landmark, but it has a little bit of a neglected look about it. I bought my first souvenir yarn of the trip here at Foggy Bottom. The stash flash took place here. A small haul, but well worth the stop. Also, the Gingerbread Mansion is located here, and it is beautiful.

Since it was getting a little late in the day, we headed towards Crescent City, where we were staying for the next two nights. The drive through the Redwoods is so nice towards the end of the day. We even saw Roosevelt Elk!

Roosevelt Elk

The next day, we went to the lighthouse, which was open this time. I got my lighthouse passport stamped and found out that the Postal Service had issued that week first class stamps based on Pacific Lighthouses, and St. George's Reef was representing California. We were able to see that lighthouse from the Battery Point light, and I managed to get a picture of it with the telephoto lens. We went to the post office, where I was able to get a first day cancellation! Yes, I am a geek.

St. George Light

Next stop was A Perfect Yarn, which will be my Mother-In-Law's LYS when she moves. I picked up more souvenir yarns here, both sock yarns, but they are from local dyers! Squee! That was my birthday present for myself. It was in the stash flash mentioned earlier.

We also stopped by the Redwoods National Park office so I could get my National Park Passport stamped. Yes, geekness is my friend. I wanted to get an idea of where we might drive on Sunday on the way home. Next stop - Trees of Mystery in Klamath!

There are so many cool things here - there is a beautiful nature walk, tons of carved sculptures and something called the Sky Trail. These gondolas take you up onto a ridge - the view is beautiful - but you're floating above fern groves and through the tops of the Redwoods. It is so awesome! And when you're done, there's a Native American Museum with some truly wonderful artifacts. OMG - I could spend the whole day there. And we got pictures with Paul Bunyan and Babe. It is so Route 66!

In desperate need of food, we left and headed back to Crescent City. After having a late lunch, we were at a loss for what to do with the rest of our evening. We headed out to an Indian casino that offered free breakfast to those staying at the Curly Redwood Lodge. OMG - the smoke - the smell. A never cleaned ashtray smells better than this place. I could fee the lung cancer gaining hold. I'll pay for breakfast, thank you. If I felt like this, I can't imagine what Kevin's pristine lungs felt like. Yuck.

We decided to see a movie - Die Hard 4! It was fun! I like Bruce Willis in these movies. I especially like his catch phrase - which wasn't used in it's entirety but quite effectively! We had popcorn and soda and it was lovely. The place reminded me a little of the Edwards Cinema at Westminster Mall, but that's a 20+ year old memory.

So, Sunday, we head home. We were able to see another tree with a hole - the Tour Thru Tree. They have emu's. I hate emu's. The sound they make reminds me of veloceraptors from Jurassic Park. Shudder. We stopped at the Loleta Cheese Factory, in Loleta, and picked up some very tasty, very reasonably priced cheese. This will be a stop again in the future. We did a few other things too, stopped for dinner, and arrived home while the sun was still up!

On the 9th, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, album here. We haven't been in there since out first vacation together in 1992! That was fun too.

We saw otters
Cute little otther

We love otters.

And jellies....

and some more jellies...

and some fishies.....
One big tank

I love going to the aquarium! Hopefully it won't be another 15 years before we go back. And just because it's cool and I learned how to do it, here's some video.

Then - bad things happened.

On July 12th, as Kevin was coming home from work, a guy made an unsafe lane change in front of him. Kevin didn't have time to break completely, and hit Mr. "I didn't even see you" Highlander. State Farm decided to DNR it - a busted radiator and A/C compressor. Yes - the cosmetics were the issue. Impy still wanted to go on - it started just fine, could even be driven. Granted, parts would have to be salvaged - if found - since some things just aren't made anymore for a 1993 Subaru Impreza. Valiant to the very end, off it goes to the salvage yard with a full tank of gas and 268,192 miles on the original engine, tran-y, paint and interior. Though it was literally a pain in the ass to sit in, the term aching back seems trite, we will miss you. Your 38 miles per gallon will be a mark that your replacement will find hard to match. Your head and leg room were of comfort. Your 0 to 60 was amazing. Your 95 mph on highway 5 will be missed. The fact we could cook an egg on your dashboard won't be missed. Or your bucket seats - did I mention the aching back?

What I will remember is when we drove to Roseville to pick up Fen.

Kev and baby Fen

Or the trips we took to Idaho Falls t0 visit the family
Kev & Ty
Kevin and our youngest nephew, Tyson.

The last day trip we had with Fen and Heidi, before Fen was diagnosed with Cancer.
Kev & Fen
Kev & Fen at Briones.

Or spending time with friends in Solvang.
Kev, Tami, Chris & Autumn
Kev, Tammi, Chris and his daughter Autumn enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day.

But, most of all, the trips we took with you all over this state. All the time I spent driving to Mom's. All the time I spent knitting, or stitching, or sleeping. Or the time simply spent with Kevin just being.

Goodbye, old friend. You were a good car.

Look what I did!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

36" x 36" Snuggle Blanket in Patons Canadian

36" x 36" Snuggle Blanket in Patons Canadian
Originally uploaded by solslett.

I don't know what I was thinking when I bought all this Patons Canadian. I mean, it's a better quality acrylic then Red Heart - but 18 skeins of it? Yes, it was cheap at $.99 per skein, but still. I feel I've been chipping away at this forever.

Thankfully, this blanket ate up 4 skeins. Whoopee! Only a quarter of the blanket is shown here. It's all single crochet, so it's certainly not overly interesting. Hopefully the dog that will be able to snuggle with this will find it interesting enough.

I'm surprised that I never thought to make blankets for our dogs. I'll have to work on that when we decide to bring one home again.

3 squares for Warm Up America

3 squares for Warm Up America
Originally uploaded by solslett.

Yup, three more. These have become great late night knitting projects if I don't want to have to "think" while I knit. I'm starting to see some real progress in reducing the acrylic yarn stash, which was the goal.

I know somewhere in the storage unit more acrylic lurks, waiting to jump out at me just when I have been lulled into a false sense of security. But I will be ready - the acrylic will be vanquished!

Baby cap in Sirdar Snuggly Domino

Baby cap in Sirdar Snuggly Domino
Originally uploaded by solslett.

I've been digging through my "remnant" stash, and pulled out a bunch that seem to be enough for baby and child caps. This is one such remnant. I don't know where I will send it yet, as it would be inappropriate for Afghans for Afghans. I'm sure there is some charity out there

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter Socks - Fawkes

I started to obsess about Harry Potter around last Wednesday. I spent Thursday night looking at sock patterns, and I downloaded the 3 off of Socktopia as well as Horcrux. I then raided the stash for "proper" colors.

I really wanted to work on a pair when I was waiting at Barnes & Noble. So, around 6pm Friday night I cast on for Fawkes. I worked on it for about 45 minutes during the "Midnight Magic" wait. I didn't work on them again until Saturday night, after I finished the book. Surprisingly, I finished them last night.

Fawkes - Lorna's Laces Bittersweet

Here is some detail....

Fawkes - detail

It's a little more red and orange in person than what it looks like on my computer. I wish I had had Lorna's Laces Flame or Claudia's Poppies, but I was determined to use stash.

One down, several more to go.

I Placed 3rd!

...on the LimeNViolet Sock Marathon. The lady who came in first knitted over 7 miles of sock yarn in 6 months. More power to her. Number 2 had 6.3 miles. I had 6.1. But still, "solslett" was mentioned on LNV! I think that may have been a 1st!

I am proud of my 3rd place finish.

Monday, July 23, 2007

It's finally here

I signed up for Ravelry back on June 3rd - I was 6345 on the list. I got my invite today!!!!! And Kevin's home and I can't do anything about it until late tonight or tomorrow. Oh well. At least I logged in and took care of some of the profile stuff.

Besides, I still have pictures to take.

I GOT MY INVITE!!!!!!!!! WOOT!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter & I

Never in my life have I been on hand for a "release" of anything - book, CD, etc. That is, until last night.

I decided to have a slightly immersive HP experience, having seen Order of the Phoenix last weekend, having re-read the last 2 chapters of the Half Blood Prince and starting a pair of Fawkes socks in Lorna's Laces Bittersweet ( I will probably regret not using Flame).

Barnes & Noble and Borders were having midnight release parties. I like B&N, I certainly spend more money there, so off I went at 9:00 pm to wait it out. The children were scary with all their Potter knowledge. Many were dressed for the occasion, and not every child belonged to Gryffindor. The adults were a little pathetic, with one woman missing the point and looked more Amish than a witch.

When I got there, there were maybe 40-50 people in the store. It was in the hundreds by midnight. I spent some time looking, but there were people camped out in the aisles reading, or just lounging and talking. There was a trivia contest, face painting, wand and amulet making, potion lore, and a few other things. I decided to sit in the cafe for a bit, enjoy a macchiato and knit a bit on my Fawkes socks. I tried using my iPod to listen to the most recent LimeNViolet podcast, but the noise in the store was deafening.

Around 11:00 pm, the place became more crowded and much warmer. The air conditioning shuts off at 11pm, when the store normally closes. Being in close quarters with so many people, especially heavily costumed young people who have yet to discover the miracle of deodorant, let's just say the heat and the fortified air were about enough for me to call it quits and come back later. I had managed to hang in there for 2 1/2 hours, why stop now? This was, after all, my HP immersive experience.

At 12:30 am, I escaped my self imposed fetid hell and hurriedly left the full parking lot to return home and start reading. Kevin was already fast asleep, so I made myself a cup of tea and sat down for a good read starting at 1:00 am. When I no longer needed the lights to illuminate the pages, I closed the book having reached better than the half way mark at 6:00 am and went to get some sleep. With a start I woke at 10:30 thinking but one thing - "Harry" - and started up again. I took a break to shower, get something to eat, update Kevin on what happened last night, and around 1:00 pm started in earnest again. At 5:00 pm, it was over. I was done. 10 1/2 hours, 782 pages.

I will admit - I cried three times. My opinion of Snape had been correct. The final outcome of the heroes was as I had hoped. Rowling is an amazing story teller and most of the loose ends were neatly dealt with. I am most tempted to re-read the entire series, which I have never done before. I have only read 2 books twice in my life - Gone With The Wind (shear boredom and lack of accessible reading material while traveling overseas) and The Stand (re-release where King added ad additional 100+ pages). Having read the series over such a long span of years, I almost feel that I have lost something, some of the essence of the story. But with the first 5 books in storage, it isn't likely to happen for a while.

I will not put any spoilers here, only that I hope anyone who reads The Deathly Hallows will enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Brocade Pleat Scarf - Red Scarf Project

Brocade Pleat Scarf - Red Scarf Project
Originally uploaded by solslett.

I wanted to make a different scarf for the Red Scarf Project this year. I decided to pull out my Vogue Knitting Stitchionary and tried #61 - small mock brocade pleat. The results were very nice.

The yarn is Sirdar Denim Tweed #SH515, red.

This is the only thing I've finished this week. Something must be wrong with me.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Well, that figures

I found another quiz - and for once it had something to do with craft. I like the outcome on this one.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's a beautiful day at the Fair

I decided to do something different this year, and submit some of my needlework to the Fair. Originally, I was going to submit them to the Alameda County Fair, but my "paperwork wasn't received". The USPS said it was, so they must be lying. Ever one to make a negative into a positive, I decided to submit them to the State Fair instead.

Today I received the news. My one regret now is that I don't have pictures of the pieces framed, but these shots will have to do. At least you can see what I did. When I go up to Sacramento next month, I'll take pictures of them - with their ribbons!!!!

Ladies and gentleman, may I present my 1st Place finish..

Caron Collection Mini Love

This is Mini Love from the Caron Collection. A tiny thing stitched over one measuring like 2.5" x 3", I framed it with purple and pumpkin matting and a dark purple frame. It is SO COOL. And it won 1st place for it's category. Whooppeee!!!

My 2nd Place finish is....

Bent Creek Snapperville

Bent Creek's original Snapperville Series. I've started another one. Maybe I'll submit it next year!

My 3rd Place piece is.....

Gathering of Hearts Kit - The Trilogy

A Gathering of Hearts which was a kit from The Trilogy. This in many ways became a memorial piece for my Dad. He passed away in 2002. The big heart in the middle represents him. The scattered green hearts are my mom and the centered purple hearts are me. Dad truly was the heart of our little family and he kept the peace between mom and I for many years. The fact it placed meant more to me than the others.

I also received a 5th place for a piece called Circle of Hearts by Rosalyn Watnemo. For the life of me, I can't find a bloody picture anywhere on the hard drive - and I have over 14,000 pictures lovingly and painstakingly categorized with tags, categories and in chronological order. Yes, I am anal when it comes to organizing. When I find the picture, I'll post that one too.

I would like to thank Jan at Urban Forest in Alameda for the wonderful framing work she did. The judges were complementary on that as well, and Jan did a hell of a good job. She's the first one I've allowed to handle my work in 20 years, so that says a lot in itself. She is awesome.

Well, at least now Kevin can't say that I was robbed, or the judging was fixed. For the first time in over 10 years I have a first place ribbon. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. I have spent a lifetime perfecting my technique, and expanding my base of knowledge. I've always considered myself more a needle worker than a knitter, not to diminish knitting at all. It's just the delicate work of needle and thread - taking a blank canvas and bringing it to life - there's a different level of satisfaction at the end. It is a purely visual medium, rarely having a true purposeful functionality. Unlike knitting, it's laborious to take with you, is very expensive (one 6 yard skein of silk is over $3.00 - and that's not over dyed), takes forever to finish, doesn't keep you warm or protect you from the elements. But it is poetry in motion and puts your stamp on life.

I love knitting and I love needlework. I love scrap booking too. And photography. And crochet. And beading. And whatever else snags me and drags me in. I am blessed that I have the ability and acumen to do so many wonderful things.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stash Flash

Ok, I had to do this, cause I couldn't wait anymore. This is the stuff I got on the birthday trip.

Birthday Stash

Ok, it looks goofy sideways, but the picture is bigger and nothing is chopped off. It would be otherwise.

When we stopped in Ferndale, I went to Foggy Bottoms. She had a huge display of Noro, which I steered clear of. The proprietress was very helpful and showed me some of her unique yarns. I have not seen any other SWTC yarn other than Tofutsies. She carried Karaoke, which is a 50% silk/50% wool blend which is feltable. It feels great. I think I want to do a purse with this. In the picture, you can see a little of the black and burgundy peeking through.

The other purchase from Foggy Bottoms was 2 skeins of Plymouth Royal Llama Silk, which is 60% Fine Llama and 40% silk. The swatch was to die for, and it had to come home with me. I loved the mossy color and thought it might make a nice, neutral scarf for the winter. I don't have too many neutral scarves.

The other store I went to was in Crescent City, and it is called A Perfect Yarn. This is the one I wanted to visit over our Memorial Day trip, but they were closed when we drove by. This will be my Mother-in-law's LYS when she moves to Brookings.

When the clerk asked if I was looking for something in particular, I replied I was looking for souvenir yarn. She directed me to two local dyers - Rainy Day Yarn from Crescent City and Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks from Willits. The two light skeins are from Rainy Day, in the colorway Forget-Me-Not, and the bottom one is from Chasing Rainbows in the colorway Moonstone. Chasing Rainbows reminds me of Mountain Colors Bearfoot. I was very happy with my selections. One is reminiscent of blue skies, fluffy clouds, white capped waves and lots of green - kind of like Crescent City. The other is like walking through the Redwoods - reddish brown bark, green moss, rich earth and blackberries. I love finding yarns that represent the places I have been!

I think my mother-in-law will like A Perfect Yarn. Though not a very big shop, I was impressed by the variety, and also that there were a few people in the store early on a Saturday morning working on their projects. I'm looking forward to stopping in there again and checking out their local offerings.

I recently visited Commuknitty in San Jose and I'll share that stash in a future post.

More knitted things

The draft of my birthday weekend getaway post is still on the back burner. I would like to finish it up, but these posts are so much easier.

"What I knitted this week"
By Venka the Obsessed Knitter

My fingers have been busy every night this week. I knitted all day yesterday, but that was Saturday and if Kevin is watching TV, I can knit. This last month, there has been a charity square knitalong at Crafting for a Cause. I set a goal of 40, and as of the 10th, I had 29. No more.

WUA Squares
Rebuilding Greensburg Squares

I managed an additional 14. So I surpassed my goal. I am happy. The top three are meant for Warm Up America, and the bottom 11 are meant for Rebuilding Greensburg.

I also managed one other thing.

Childs Socks - Afghans for Afghans

A pair of socks for Afghans for Afghans. Other than a pair of baby socks I knit earlier this year, everything else has been grown up sized. These are meant for a pre-teen, about 8-10. I used Sensational Knitted Socks for guidance. These are made from Lambs Pride Superwash and should be very warm.

I have cast on for two pairs of socks, one in Opal and the other in Tofutsies. We'll see how I do with those. I also practiced knitting the "Continental" way this week. It is much looser than I am used to see my knitting, but in garter it is much faster. However, purling slows me down and forget it if I'm using dpn's. I'll keep throwing, thank you!

Have a good week, everyone!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Grasshopper, Squares & Hats

It's been a few busy days around here. Actually, the last 10 days have been busy than usual. Here is the knitting stuff, even though I posted a bunch of stuff on the 7th.

First, we have squares - more squares - squares, squares, squares...

Squares for Warm Up America

These are for Warm Up America.

Squares for Rebuilding Greensburg

These are for Rebuilding Greensburg. I think I finally got the hang of how to do decreases that work for me on the navy square. It is also a heavier worsted weight than some of the other squares I have done. It came out the most "square".

Ok, so where are the hats, you ask? Here....

Orange kids hat for Afghans for Afghans
Grey kids hat for Afghans for Afghans
Seed Stitch Brim Childs Hat for Afghans for Afghans

I like the last one - it has a seed stitch band and I tried for a flat top. I got bored with the rolled brim hats, even though they went much faster. The first two are in Debbie Bliss Merino Aran and the Red Hat is Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK.

And, unbelievably, I finished something for me!

Grasshopper Socks in Socks That Rock Moss Agate

This is the Rockin' Sock Club Grasshopper pattern done in STR Moss Agate lightweight. Since I messed up on the original with the Walkin' on the Wild Tide skein, I felt I needed to try again and get it right. I have come to one conclusion however - I'm not that happy with lacy socks. I don't like how they fit. Good to know for the future.

I have no socks on the needles, no hats, no squares. I have two shawls, a snuggle blanket, a lap throw and an old sweater project muttering at me. At least I have finished 3 of the projects I dedicated for my Stashalong July Knitalong. I should probably pull something from that, like the socks I was going to do. Here is the yarn that I set aside to meet my July charity knitting goals.

July Charity Stash - Stashalong

I'm sure I'll think of something.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


It's been a little better than a week since my last post, and I'll have to post again on Monday to catch up. This is only to deal with the 10 days worth of knitting. In the nest post, I will address the Redwoods, the Simpsons, and three great movies.

Since finishing the Energy sweater, I've been working on charity projects. First, since I'm on auto-pilot with these, here are the hats for Afghans for Afghans:

Childs Hat - Afghans for Afghans
Childs Hat - Afghans for Afghans
Childs Hat - Afghans for Afghans
Childs Hat - Afghans for Afghans
Childs Hat - Afghans for Afghans

Five this week - there are two in brown. These are all sized for children, and knit in Debbie Bliss Merino Aran. On 8US needles, one skein is just enough for a hat. They came out really cute.

Next are the squares. First up - Warm Up America:

WAU Squares
WUA Sqaures

I have one more to finish for the set of three in Black. Knit in 100% acrylic from unknown yarn stash, the finished size is 7" x 9" on size 7US needles. I knit these while enjoying the view along US101 from Marin to Del Norte County. These hold some really good karma.

Next are squares for Rebuilding Greensburg:

Afghan squares
Afghan squares

I was surprised how quickly they knit up. Made from scraps from the remnant basket, I was able to knit 11 of these over 3 days. Not bad.

I also finished one sock - half of the "correct" Grasshopper pair from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I will hopefully finish these up this week, as I will have made the 6 mile mark in my LimeNViolet Sock Marathon personal challenge. Right now, I am .05 miles from making that. With this finish, I will be over 6 miles. I will cast on the 2nd sock tonight.

That's it for the knitting update. We may be going to the Monterey Aquarium tomorrow, so maybe I will have cute otter pictures for my post on Monday. I have baby Roosevelt elk pictures to post from last weekend.

Stay tuned.....