Yarn Crawling

Every year there is a Yarn Crawl sponsored by 24 shops in Northwest Washington. I’ve never gone before, but decided to give it a try this year. I really only had an afternoon in which to accomplish this, but was able to make it to 8 shops – the minimum to be entered into the drawing. It was fun to see the different flavors of the shops. One specialized in funky, fun yarns, another in Shetland and other natural wools while several were all around great shops. Two of them stood out for me, and while I had no plans to purchase anything, temptation got the better of me, which did not surprise my husband at all!

The first shop is Knot Just Yarn. Wow! Lace knitting Mecca. They had a gorgeous selection of lace yarns and samples, along with many other beautiful yarns. Each shop featured a free pattern and offered yarn to go with it. This shop featured its own brand – Eweneek hand dyed yarn along with a pattern for a beaded shawlette. The yarn is a soft merino/nylon/bamboo blend. I chose the color Quicksilver with pewter beads:

The shop is pretty convenient in island terms. I do have to go to the mainland, but it’s in the same area of town as JoAnn’s, Michaels, the mall and Costco. I make a trip at least once a month there, so it would be easy to stop by and get tempted again!

The other shop that really appealed to me was Serial Knitters in Kirkland. I had heard a lot of buzz about this shop, and they did not disappoint! This is just a great all around shop. They are small, but packed with a wide selection of what I call workhorse yarns. Lots of Cascade 220 and tons of fingering weights to choose from. Their featured pattern was for a darling scarf and the recommended yarn was Periwinkle Sheep in the most gorgeous array of colors I have ever seen! Here’s what jumped in my basket:

Something else kind of jumped in my basket too. There was a gentleman knitting there and he had a Yarn Buddy holding his yarn. This was just what I have been looking for to keep my yarn from rolling all over. I don’t like pulling from the center because the yarn twists and with lace weight, the ball will collapse in on itself and make a royal mess. There was a wide selection in all kinds of beautiful woods and I chose this one out of Purple Heart. It spins on ball bearings and has made knitting off this slippery ball a breeze!

This particular yarn is Apple Tree Knits Stellar Lace Gradient. It has a high silk content and quite slippery, but beautiful to knit with. I was really worried about this ball exploding, but now it’s securely contained by the Yarn Buddy. I’m using this to knit Rose Window, another project with lots of beads. I seem to obsessed with them lately!

The weekend was not all knitting. My main reason for going down to the Seattle area was to spend time with family. On Saturday we took Isobel to the Space Needle and the Pacific Science center.

The hissing cockroaches were a big hit! Then on Sunday my sister treated me and Abby to a wonderful bruch cruise around Lake Washington and Lake Union:

All in all a successful weekend!


The Jury Is In

Over the past week or so I have placed a LOT of beads on Evenstar! So far about 1,850 and I’m a little over halfway around the border. I think the grand total will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,800. I think I’m getting pretty good at it and have decided on my preferred method. Drumroll, please.


The Fleegle Beader. As I mentioned there is definitely a learning curve involved, but all of a sudden, it just clicked and I find it the easiest, most convenient method. I found that about every 10-20 beads I would come across one that just didn’t want to cooperate. I discovered that some beads have a hole that’s just slightly too small. Once I decided to stop fighting those beads and just put them aside, things went much more smoothly. I’ll keep those and if I run out of beads at the end, I can always place those using the floss method. Only 380 rows to go! I will also be ordering the larger size Beader to try out as well.

In the meantime, I needed something a little simple to rest my mind and hands, so I have started the Wilshire Shawl.

This is KnitPicks Shimmer in Blue Glass. I had started several other shawls with this, but it pooled unattractively. This, however, looks as of it is going to work just fine. This is what I consider “mindless” lace – no big surprises and lots of stockinette stitch when you just want to let your mind wander.

My mind has needed the opportunity to wander a bit lately. I find myself just a tad over committed. I had told myself that I would just say “no” to new commitments, but two came up that we’re so very important that I felt led to agree. On the plus side, they are both pretty short term and should be over by mid-June. So I’m kind of in survival mode right now and my knitting is keeping me sane. Oddly enough, having a complicated project like Evenstar keeps me as sane as the simpler ones.

Adding into all the other activities, I have our Annual Spring Tea coming up this Saturday. I had promised Mei-Mei a new dress, and I finished it with time to spare:

Mei-Mei’s pretty easy – as long as it’s pink and sparkly she’s good. And if the skirt twirls, it’s even better. This dress accomplishes all of those! Here’s a close up view of the beaded ribbon:

Isobel is a little tougher. Getting her into a dress is impossible, so probably the best I can hope for is clean jeans! So I made her a cute hooded tunic to go with whatever she decides:

I was not over impressed with this pattern. It was very poorly written and I will not be making it again. So I’ll need to scour the pattern books to find other things to sew for Isobel. Or, I could just knit for Isobel and sew dresses for Mei-Mei. Mei-Mei doesn’t seem to care much for sweaters I make, but loves the dresses. Isobel is just the opposite!

I got a chance to go on a photo adventure with my good friend Bethy last week. I’ve decided to hone my skills using only my iPhone camera. We got some beautiful pictures of a unique piece of driftwood that has always captured my imagination. Here are two of my favorites: