Bellingham Yarn Crawl

Knitters, whether they be bloggers or not are just the best!  Thank you, Daisy, for setting up this meeting.  Although the border guards did not cooperate and poor Daisy and Linda were delayed for over two hours, we finally met up at the Wool Station in Bellingham.  I am happy to report that neither one appeared to be an axe murderer.  Although the day was cold and wet, the friendships forged were warm and fuzzy.  We spent some time getting to know each other and scoping out the great yarns at the Wool Station.  They have a large selection of Heirloom Yarns, and although I didn’t buy any yesterday, I do think I will have to give them a try.

After a brief stop for a little bakery style sustenance, we headed over to N.W. Handspun Yarns.  The name is a little bit of a misnomer because in addition to spinning supplies, they had a nice selection of commercial yarns as well, including Zephyr on cones!  I’ll have to remember that for future use.  We saved the best for last, though.  Apple Yarns is a fairly new store and I fell instantly in love!  Here is our happy group:


Left to right are Marsha, Li, me, Linda and Daisy.  Unfortunately Marsha, Linda and Daisy do not have blogs (yet!).  But Daisy and Linda have been to Rhinebeck, which caused Li and me to gaze upon them with awe.  They are from Ottowa, but were out visiting family in Vancouver and came down to meet us.  Somehow when meeting knitters it’s just like meeting old friends and we had instant rapport.

And, of course, stash enhancement happened (big time!).  Here’s my haul:


I found Smooshy by Dream in Color, in Visual Purple and Chinatown Apple colorways.  Apparently Chinatown Apples are brown.  There is also some lovely Schaefer Anne yarn, and two skeins of incredibly soft Avery Allison (in just my colors!) gifted to me by Daisy.  And the staff at Apple Yarns gave us all a free tote bag!  If you are anywhere near Bellingham, Washington, I highly recommend this shop.  If I were ever inclined to open a yarn shop (which I’m not), this is exactly what I would want.  I think all of us did our part to make sure that they stay in business!

You can see over to the left that the purple Smooshy jumped onto my needles without delay.  However, I’m not going to blog about it because my New Year’s resolution is to start on Christmas presents early.  However, since none of my giftees are on Ravelry, you can head on over there to check out what I’m working on.  Ok, just give me a few minutes to put it up.

Several commenters asked about the tote bag.  I wish it was an original pattern, but it is not.  You can purchase the pattern for The Professional Tote at The Creative Thimble. It is a not a quick and easy pattern, but is well worth the trouble.  It is quite sturdy and would make a great carry-on for travel.

Post Christmas Catch-up

It was a wonderful Christmas here at Missouri Star. A little low-key after last year’s blow out, but sometimes those are nice too. As usual, my sister came up from Kirkland and we had a nice celebration. Now I can actually show some of the projects I’ve been working on. First up, Christmas socks:


These were for my sister from some Regia in my stash. Of course, I loved them so much I wanted to keep them, but I was a good girl and gave them away. I also made this tote bag for her:



I tried to take a picture of the inside, but couldn’t get a good one. I love this bag too, but since it was monogrammed, I was forced to give this to her. However, I will be making one for myself. It has all kinds of zippered and flapped pockets inside, plus places for an ID card, pen holder, key holder and more. I think she was pleased.

That was about it for the hand made Christmas gifts this year. As usual, I have made a resolution to start earlier for next Christmas, but we will see. One of my gifts this year was Cat Bordhi’s new sock book. I have just briefly skimmed it, but I am blown away by the way that woman’s mind works! I can’t wait to start trying out some of the patterns. I think I will definitely be starting a sock gift stash for next year.

During my time off from work the Garden Path shawl was allowed to come out of the time-out chair. I finished the body and started on the edging:


It only took me about four tries to get this going. It’s not the easiest edging in the world and almost impossible to memorize, so I need to keep the chart close. It will be pretty slow going. I am undecided whether or not I will start the Princess Shawl before this is finished. I had so many great plans for my time off, but the time really seems to be going way too fast.

Tomorrow I meet up with Li, blogless Marsha and blogless Daisy for a yarn crawl in Bellingham. Providing it doesn’t snow! I’ll be looking for some midweight sock yarn as several of the patterns in Cat’s book call for that weight. See you in the New Year!

Backstage at the Nutcracker

Backstage at the Nutcracker performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle was just too much fun to be believed. Our happy group consisted of my best friend Jan, my sister Claudia, her friend Rebecca and me:


We met Herr Drosselmeier in a relaxed pose, complete with puppy:


We got up close and personal with the sets:


Ran into a family of mice:


And met the Nutcracker himself:


The backstage staff could not have been nicer to us. They didn’t make us feel in the way at all and went out of their way to come get us and put us in places where we could see the action the best. At several times during the performace we were literally only inches away from the dancers as they performed. Unfortunately because of union rules we were not allowed to take any pictures of the dancers. It was a breathtaking experience to be so close to all of the action. Great big thanks to my sister for including me.

After the ballet my sister and I rode the monorail into downtown Seattle to do a little shopping. We didn’t stay long. The crowds were not to be believed and we were very tired. So we headed back to Kirkland for a wonderful dinner of pasta primivera and a few glasses of wine. I then proceeded to fall asleep on her couch at 8:30!

I arrived home the next day to find hubby had been hard at work on an early Christmas present:


We had bought a new flat screen TV two months ago and it died already. So the store replaced it (with a much better model). While he was there, he bought a home theater system with surround sound. One little unit replaces a whole stereo cabinet full of equipment. So, he cut down the stereo cabinet, which opens up the living room a lot. Last night we watched Jurassic Park. It’s amazing all the sounds that are there that we never heard before. Great fun!

Today will be spent wrapping last minute presents and getting ready for preparing Christmas dinner tomorrow. Hubby’s mother will be here, along with my sister and our younger son. Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy New Year too. May your holidays be filled with lots of love.

Still here!

Yes, I’m still here.  I thought that once school was done for the semester I’d have more time, but factor in extra work hours and a new puppy and free time has been in short supply.  I’ve even had a hard time keeping up with my blog reading.  It’s also been difficult to find blocks of time to knit or sew.  Every time I sit down it seems Maggie is into something or needs to be reminded to go outside.  Not that I’m complaining!  She’s so sweet and I know this is just for a limited time – she’ll grow up way too soon.

On the school front, I got an A in my Gerontology class, but am still waiting for the grade in my Psychology of Motivation.  I’m fairly certain I got an A in that one as well.  Several weeks ago, I wasn’t too sure.  On my first assignment, I got a 40 out of 40.  On the second one, I only got 20 out of 40 – a failing grade!!  I was quite upset and the worst part was that the grade was posted late Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  I emailed the teacher trying to find out how I could have gone so horribly wrong, but of course she was out of the office until the next Monday.  Bill kept telling to relax, that it must have been a mistake.  On Monday my teacher emailed an apology.  Apparently in a past version of the class 20 was the maximum points you could receive on that assignment.  She forgot – my grade was really 40.  But it did make for a stressful weekend.

When I have had a free moment or two I’ve been doing secret Christmas sewing and knitting, so I can’t show anything.  So, what better way to distract you than with puppies and babies?


We had gotten a little basket to put Maggie’s toys in, but she had a better idea:


We’re off to the vet this afternoon.  Last Saturday she got sick and threw up her entire dinner.  After that she started refusing to eat and since then has only eaten about half of what she should.  Yesterday she started getting diarrhea, so it’s off to the doctor today just to be sure she’s ok.  She’s still lively – I lost track of how many times writing this post I had to get up and see what she was up to!  So I think she’s ok.

Only four more days of work, then a whole week off for Christmas!  Next Saturday should be loads of fun.  Remember last year my sister took me backstage for the ballet Sleeping Beauty?  Next Saturday we’re going backstage for the Nutcracker.  This is the great Pacific Northwest Ballet version with sets by Maurice Sendak.  My friend Jan is going with us too and it should be great fun.  I’ll be sure to get lots of pictures!

P.S.  Just a quick update – Maggie is fine.  She has giardia, easily treated and the vet said she is otherwise in excellent health.  We are very relieved.


Deja deja vu

Is there such a thing as deja deja vu?  Behold, our parking lot at work:



Can you believe this?  This is third time that a water main has burst and flooded our parking lot!  The last time was in September and it cost about $40,000 to repair the damage to our building!  This time the water didn’t come up into the building, but it was close.  Unbelievable.   This was not caused by the terrible storm that hit the Pacific Northwest that you may be seeing on the news.  We were in this little pocket and the storm pretty much passed us over.  While some places on the mainland got 13 inches of rain in 24 hours, we got less than 1/2 inch.

Ah well.  I did get the afternoon and came home and sewed on Christmas presents.  Not much I can show, though, because too many giftees read my blog.   

Caution: Actual knitting content follows

Caution:  actual knitting content follows.  Things have been in such upheaval lately that I haven’t really posted about knitting.  So, it’s time for an update.  Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of negative knitting.  First off:  Garden Path.  Things were going along swimmingly and I was making tremendous progress.  In fact, I was only a few rows from the border.  Then I realized that on the "path" sections I had knitted too many plain rows between the flowers.

Since there are only four of these sections, I decided to try dropping down just those sections and knitting back up.  Didn’t work.  So there was nothing for it but to (gasp!) take the whole thing off the needles and start ripping!  On the plus side, it did give an opportunity to get a photo:


I finally got it all back on the needles and tinked back a row.  All better!  Well, not exactly.  I’m about halfway through the second side and my stitch count is off.  I know exactly where it is and I’m afraid the only solution is to drop that little section down and pick up.  But that’s going to take concentration and no distractions, which is in short supply right now.  So Garden Path is in the time-out chair.

So, plain stockinette socks should do the trick, right?  I spent hours untangling the yarn that Lucy had been playing with.  Finally accomplished I sat down to knit on them and discovered this:


Dang!  She not only tangled the yarn and broke a needle, but left holes as well!  There may be enough yarn to just take out this section and start over, but I don’t have the energy for that, so this too has been relegated to the time-out chair.

So, now what?  Maybe a whole new project is in order.  We have Secret Santas at work, so I started a scarf for my gift.  This is a Seaman’s scarf from Myrna Stahman’s book:


I have no idea how this will be cared for, so I’m using some washable Encore sport weight from my stash.

As a consolation prize for all the knitting disasters, this came in the mail today:


I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a package from China before.  Inside:


Beautiful, soft luscious cashmere/silk yarn for the Princess Shawl.  This is such beautiful yarn!  It seems a little heavier than I expected and I hope it will work.  I’ll be doing some swatching to make sure.  Plans are probably to start it while I’m home over Christmas.  This will definitely be a multi-year project.

And, of course I must leave you with some puppy cuteness.  We love playing with our toys:


But it is rather exhausting!