Thursday, April 26, 2007

Getting the mail

I went out to get the mail after putting it off for an hour, and while standing at the box this old dude comes walking along the (very) busy street saying to me how his friend dropped him off at the car repair joint up the street and he said that he was walking down to '65th'. Well, come on! 65th is 2 miles down the road. The busy road used by speeders to get from Bothell to the UW. (By the way, the speed limit on Sand Point Way is 30 mph. Honest. All the way from 125th to the North entrance of Magnusson Park ~ 30 mph. I don't go 20 mph over the limit in YOUR neighborhood so how about not doing that in mine? Thanks. ok, rant over.)

Old Dude, yeah. It was starting to rain so I offered him a ride (he looked frail enough ~ I thought I could take him if he gave me any shit) and he turned me down! Said it wasn't that far. True, not that far for someone used to walking that distance but clearly he was not. Come on, I say, let me give you a ride. I have to go run some errands anyway.

Ok, he says. Ok. I'll take you up on that.

So, we get into the Mazdaratti and he reaches out to shake my hand and says, Hi, I'm Stan Boreson.

I say, The REAL Stan Boreson?He says: What's left of him!

He's in his 80's now. That's an old photo of Stan and his lazy Basset No-mo. No-mo-shun lived 16 1/2 years, Stan used to joke, because she didn't wear out anything. She slept her whole life.

So, Seattle and those of you who grew up here in the 50's and 60's, here's a little bit of nostalgia for ya:

Zero dachus, mucho crackus
Hallaballooza bub
That's the secret password that we
Use down at the Club, and
Zero dachus, mucho crackus
Hallaballooza fan
Means now you are a member of
King's TV club with Stan!

Stan and his wife Barbara still run a tour company and are going to Europe again in the next few months. He says they've been doing it for 20 years and don't advertise or have a website but have been pretty happy with it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Shepherds Extravaganza

The four of us went on a road trip to Shepherds Extravaganza at the Puyallup Fair Grounds this last Saturday. We all had a common mission: get our hands on some Corriedale X roving from Reflection Farm and then there were individual goals as well ~ Natasha was in a plying class for 4 hours, Fair Food in the form of corn dogs was big on my list (corn dogs with yellow mustard, mmmmm), Peggy wanted a wpi tool and Linda just had to get out of the house and be with sane people. heh. Three out of four ain't bad! (sorry El.)

My choices from the vast array of Rainbow Roving from Reflection Farm:

plums and purples #44.6
teal turquoise blue #11.7
And what seems to be a combo of both:
purple and turquoise #5.3

While Natasha was in class, we three cruised the animal barns. Here are the best photos:
Just hatched chicks
A really cute sheepDairy Goats playing King-of-the-Hill
A recently and partially shorn Llama
Embden Geese
I went shopping one more time for some sock yarn; 2 skeins of 50/50 wool/nylon from Blue Moon Farm (not to be confused with the other Blue Moon.) It's 232 yards per skein and only $4.55 so of course I have to try it! Besides, her colors were gorgeous and her assorted rovings were handdyed just beautifully. If I hadn't just spent my budget next door at Reflection, I would have gone overboard on her merino-alpaca-silk blend which looked like mixed berries in vanilla ice cream....yummmm.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Obviously Seattle has a rogue house painter on the loose. eek. Here he is at work in the Wedgwood neighborhood.

And I know you all remember this, our first find:

We think it's time for a vote! Which is the color you most don't want on the house next door?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Pin drafted roving.
Singles on the spool.
4 hanks and a swatch.
Spinner: Rebecca
: Pin-drafted Romney roving purchased on 11/04/06 from Spring Hill Farm, a quaint little farm in a valley near Port Ludlow on the way to Port Townsend, WA. The charming and knowledgeable sheep owner, Margaret Walters, talked about her Romneys, which all wear covers over their coats, and showed us the many bags of yarn, fiber, bats and unprocessed fleeces in her living/dining room area. Peggy and I chose a Romney pencil roving in the same grey color (just in case one of us needed more) for a total weight of almost 28 oz. At $2.25/per, we were excited to spin with a rather spendy fiber that neither of us had yet tried.

: Spun in March and April 2007 on my Russian
Olive Betty Roberts double drive wheel, 4 hanks of 2-ply at 14 wpi and a total of 1450 yards and 23.8 oz. There was considerable waste so I ended up spinning all of it, mine and Peggys. She generously gave me hers, claiming I had already given her a big bag o' black wool/alpaca. True, but still generous. She's like that, yes she is.
The results: The thing I learned is that 'no crimp = not soft'. Or another way to put it would be 'rope', but that's not entirely accurate because when I knit up a swatch on #5 needles it was somewhat silky and rope is not silky. I practiced spinning woolen to try to make it more airy and the resulting knitted fabric may do quite well for outer garments, so not exactly rope. I could try tightly knit slippers to wear over hand knit socks. Or another shawl. I could dye it, too! That would be fun, especially since it's not really my color. My promise: if I dye it I will do another post of that project. Heck, I'll do that anyway, for whatever I end up knitting!
An aside: To be fair to Romneys and to Margaret, the Romney yarn we saw at her farm was soft and airy but it was heavy worsted or bulky weight, which I don't usually knit. This in mind, I thought I'd just spin up some in my favorite weight - fingering/sport - and that it didn't turn out soft and airy is not the fault of the Romney or Margaret. Mia culpa.

They are a handsome breed.
A Romney Ewe in Maryland

Monday, April 16, 2007

Toe Up Socks

Spinner/Knitter: Peggy

Fiber: Blue Moon roving -- 70% Merino/30% Mohair in the colorway Pink Granite. Purchased at Madrona Fiber Arts in January, 2007.
Pattern: Basic Toe-up Sock pattern FREE from off the internets and, while free can be good, this one did not include the picot cuff - added that myself.
Spinning Details
: Using my Chinese Elm wheel made by Betty Roberts, I loved spinning this fiber - it was so well prepared. I started spinning right at Madrona -- just couldn't wait to get at it. BUT FIRST, I pulled out a lot of the black to spin separately. I thought that the Pink Granite colorway had too much black in it and hoped by pulling a lot of the black out the resulting yarn would be pinker. With socks in mind, I chained the black singles separately from the pink/white/grey singles, and luckily the total yardage was enough for socks! However, the gauge turned out to be sport weight instead of sock weight. (Oh well.) The spinning and plying took about 8 days -- I was done by February 5th, 2007 .
Knitting Details: The knitting began on March 25th and I finished the project on April 11th. I started the toes with black and had every intension of black heels and black cuffs. By the time I got to the heels, I realized I would have more than enough of the pink/white/grey yarn for the rest of the socks - and besides, it's darned tedious to join colors when the yarn is sport weight and chained, too, so I just kept knitting with the pink/white/grey and decided against black heels and black cuffs.
Observations: I'm planning to wear the socks more as slippers for walking around the house and for when I'm spinning (instead of bare feet.) They are nice and cozy and don't come up too high on my leg. I will definitely look for more of this fiber in other colorways. Next time I will spin it somewhat finer, so when it is chained the yarn will be sock weight, and the resulting socks will fit into my shoes!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Magnolia Tree

The most magnificent Magnolia tree in Seattle.
It's on the eastern crest of the hill on 65th NE,
between PCC and Sand Point Way.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Shortening Sleeves

Measure the sleeve length and
determine the amount to remove.

Open the seam and mark the row to cut.
Cut just one stitch about 2" in from the edge
and unravel one row, feed live stitches
onto a needle and remove the cuff.
Re-hank the yarn, wash and dry to remove kinks
and re-knit the cuffs.

Sew the sleeve seams, block the cuffs with the wet towel
method and wa-laa: sleeves 1.5" shorter!

DOH!: When knitting sleeves, do not make them the exact length they need to end up because blocking will make them longer. Instead, estimate how much bigger your sweater will become through blocking and knit the sleeves that much shorter. In this case, I blocked the body of the sweater across the shoulders/bust bigger by about 2" and the sleeve length by about 1". (This is easy to accomplish with just the normal spread of wet wool.) Taking off 1.5" will make the cuff hit at the perfect point and honestly, if one days work makes the sweater wearable while before it lay folded in the drawer for years, it's worth the time.

Pattern: The Cardi-Jacket from The Urban Knitter by Lily Chin, page 44. I don't know if the book is out of print by now, but check your LYS for a new copy or the link for used copies. It's a fun book with a couple of truly fine designs in it, this jacket being one. It's a surprisingly quick knit, pieces go together like a dream and the resulting sweater is, obviously, fabulous.

Details: Knitting began July 12th, 2004 and the sweater was finished September 9th, 2004. Sleeves shortened April 23rd, 2007. Yarn is gray Plymouth Alpaca with a strand of Misty Alpaca in cream and a #6 (4mm) needle. Eclectic buttons from Beppa, a local fashion design company which is open to the public several times a year in order to sell vintage and collectable buttons as well as fabric remnants.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

Estonian Garden Wrap

770 yards of Romeldale/Angora
from Toots LeBlanc

First end done enough to
determine weight needed for the other end.

Wrap completed and ready for blocking.
As worn with a shawl pin
Knitter: Rebecca
Fiber: Romeldale Angora (60/40 blend) lace weight from Toots LeBlanc, 764 yards; I also added 42 ivory beads from an old necklace I took apart (a far better use for them than sitting in a box as a necklace I would never wear.)
Pattern: Estonian Garden Wrap and Scarf by Evelyn A. Clark, a Fiber Trends pattern.
Details: I bought this yarn from Michele quite a long time ago and wanted to use it for something special. Being part of the Evelyn Clark KAL led me to the perfect pattern but I was about 80 yards short of pattern requirements. A shorter wrap was ok with me, so I knit one end through the Lily of the Valley and edging, weighed what was left, determined what I would need for the other end and knit the middle until that's all that was left. I ended up with 5.5 yards ~ close enough to using all of it! Knitting began on January 31st, '07 and the wrap was finished on March 29th, '07. Size before blocking: 18X48 and after 20X60.
Notes: I wore this for the first time this weekend at the Whidbey Island Spin-In and I can't believe how many spinners and knitters stopped to look at it. Honestly, my peeps, if you want a sweet little project which will give you maximum impact with your peers, go for an angora blend and an Evelyn Clark pattern ~ what a combo!

The leftovers: 5.5 yards