Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tricote en Bresse

I'd write this post in French except it would be a disgrace to the language. I can barely get by in English most of the time so pushing my piddling high school French would only make you shudder. Lots of knitting going on here (see? Fragmentation - tres mal!), but only on simple things. I've dropped the sweaters for now, my brain is rebelling against Gull stitch, and I've picked up a pair of languishing socks. Knit with bamboo/Merino Opal and a vanilla sock pattern - memorized, of course - they're a joy to knit. Waiting for the bus, riding the bus, during my breaks and lunch at work, while watching The Office (my manager lent me the DVD - total addict!) - perfect knitting anytime. Despite my recent addiction to anthropology (specifically paleo-), I'm still reading some of my favorites: Terry Pratchett as always and a book I purcased last week by Peter Mayle. French Lessons, one of his books I hadn't delved into, is a delightful exploration into the French culture. Poulet appellation, the Provencal locals, and Bugandy galore. Always a pleasure.
I'm over whatever little sniffle I had. My illnesses never last long although I try to make a big deal of them. People know me too well: "She'll be back on her feet tomorrow. Don't worry." The sympathy I receive is overwhelming. At least Mutti made me some soup. What are mothers for except to coddle their chicks, no matter how old they are.

I finished my gigantic garter stitch kerchief. I used two skeins of Manos del Uruguay. The skeins were purchased impulsively last year (autumn, I think) purely for their color: bright, joyful, distinctly not flowing with the weather at the time. Now that it's done it reminds me of something a Punjabi grandmother would wear in a Washington winter. A bright flash of color in an otherwise grey environment. It's too hot to model now, but come fall I'll have plenty of pictures for you. By the way, that's Mutti's Homemade Chicken Soup in the background. It's all gone now, but you can drink in a smidgen with your eyes. Favorite tapestry needle given to my by my sister - excellent for bulky yarns.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The best things for sickos

Blueberry lemon corn muffins are now in the number two spot on my list of The Best Things to Eat/Drink When You Are Sick. Number one has always been and will still be occupied by Tea with Honey and Lemon. Nothing finer. These muffins come close though. Real close. The recipe was sent to me by DJ a few months ago. I just made them today and I regret not making them sooner. Blueberries, lemon zest, and cornmeal are a match made in Muffin Heaven. I'd post the recipe, but I'd be breaking copyright law, I'm sure. Just take a basic muffin recipe and add the best bits. Voila. You'll probably get it right after the first few tries.
I also made Mushroom Soup, take two. The first time I fell in love with it and, as it turns out, that was not just beginners luck because this time it's just as good. Every time I make it I get further away from the original recipe, but who cares! That's what recipes are for: not following. I haven't found a way to successfully photograph mushroom soup in order to make it look appetizing. You'll just have to take my word for it. Delish.
Mutti made spectacular chicken noodle soup - number three on the list. Homemade stock, roasted chicken, lovingly sauteed onions, various herbs... as the Campbell's kids would say: MmmMmm. I've been living on soup and muffins and tea. Plenty of sleep as well.
There has been knitting! I'm working on a boring hand spun scarf (how can it be!? Boring? Hand spun? Can the two ever be found together? YES.), and monstrous Manos garter stitch scarf, and my FLS. The body is done - phew - and most of the first sleeve is knitted. I still haven't decided if I want 3/4-length sleeves or full length sleeves. I'm really sick of the gull stitch pattern. Really. Sick. Of. It. It's wearing on me like size 7 stilettos on a size 10 foot. Like cheap pine by heavy duty sand paper. Like the yappy dog next door who decides 3 am really is a good time to let you know who's boss. Not fun. I really just want to finish this. Quickly. Painlessly.

So, in order to make things better, I started another one. This one's for DJ's baby-to-be. Granted it is knit with cotton instead of wool and the color is a vast improvement, but surprise, surprise, it's still causing me grief. The body is almost done and I'm afraid that's as far as I can push it. Let us pray that I never have to give birth.Say good-bye to my wheel! It's going to a new home next week and I wish it the best of luck. I'm getting a Majacraft Rose and I really don't think I'll miss my Ashford at all after the Rose arrives. What Ashford? Did I have one? Really? Right now I'm just finishing up a three ply to clear off the bobbins and then it's Sayonara, good riddance, don't let the door hit your treadle on the way out.

Maybe that's a bit cruel.

Okay, we had some good times. That merino/silk was great, but I don't think it's going to work out.
It's not you, it's me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In good company

We are finally moved and quite happy. The apartment is roomy and fits all of our possessions, the neighbors are friendly, but not nosy, and everything is falling nicely into place. I'm still working and Mutti is looking for work. The kittehs could care less about all the unpacking and organizing business, and I am thinking about getting a puppy. Just thought I'd throw that last bit out there for comments and suggestions.
Mutti and I recently visited Alisha's home where we met her two daughters, Aubrey and Jade (Aubrey is the Victorian-looking blonde, and Jade is the one who could be a beat poet); her husband, Jim; her son, Tanner; and her puppikins, Sweetie. We had the most wonderful time just sitting, knitting, chatting, drinking tea or in my hungover case - coffee, and nibbling breakfast fodder. Her home is so relaxed and charming that I should be using phrases like "the most delightful occasion" and "nary a worry aside from the disreputable neighbors" except I'm afraid a Jane Austen book will come thundering down from nowhere onto my head. Ker-thunk.
Anyway, we had a splendid (there I go again) time and I really hated to leave. Damn work.
Last week we celebrated Teener's sixty-fourth (64) birthday. I almost bought her an over-the-hill card, but I realized I was 14 years too late. Happy Birthday again, Teener! Mutti made her a delicious cake (surprise!) and she showed off the bracelet her grandson made for her. A very classy piece, Mother of Pearl buttons and all. She had us over the next day for wine and nibblies and knitting. Lots of fun.
I meant to share my bread making with you, but this was around the last of the month and I wasn't posting. I switched our bread recipe from all white wheat to half white wheat/ half whole wheat. It makes the bread yummy, light, and healthy. A nice change. Mutti was convinced she wouldn't like it, but of course she loves it. Silly.
My schedule is being switched around a bit at work which means that I now have Monday afternoons off which means I can go to Monday night knitting. It's usually held in the dining area in Bayview Thriftway downtown unless the space is otherwise occupied. This week we'll be at Marathon Park soaking up the sun.

I have been knitting, really. Julep is done done done and I've even worn it a few times. Just haven't managed to take pictures. The body of FLS is done and I'm almost done with the first sleeve. The lace pattern is kind of wearing me down a bit (sandpaper, grand rapids, screaming children might be better) so I had to put it down for a bit. I picked up a hand spun scarf and just last night I knit a few rows on my Selbu Mittens. Color work is in the air.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We bees moving

This is the scene in our house this week. Mutti and I are moving to an apartment down the street. Our rental house costs too much and they don't do a lick of work around the place. Pooh-pooh to them. The apartment is very nice; three bedrooms and two bathrooms. An open kitchen (none of that awful galley business), and the typical closet set-up for washer and dryer. I'll post pictures when we move in, of course. One of the managers who works at the apartment complex is a crochetting Irish Bostonian. We were sold. Or rented, at least.
There has been knitting, but not a lot. I'm mainly working on Julep and FLS. The body of the FLS is almost done. Julep would be done if I can ever get a minute to sit down and finish the sideways garter stitch collar - 4 sts, back and forth, knitted on. Mindless, all-time consuming. Did I mention that we were watching Toby this month? My sister and BIL are busy getting their house fixed up so they, too, can move. Instead of down the street they're moving to Colorado. Much sadness, but it'll give me a reason to travel.
I'm exhausted right now so I'll distract you with some bee pictures while I slip away to pack boxes/ have a cup of tea/ sneak outside to knit. This bee was on our Salvia last week being as busy as a you-know-what. She even climbed on our hands. Very contented. She must have been receiving the bee love we were sending her. Bzzz!
If you want more bee love go see Pinneguri's Socks Bumblebee. Sweet!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yorkshire Yarns Grand Re-Opening and Monday Night Knitting at Bayview Thriftway

I'm sorry to say that I completely forgot to take pictures of Sonya's new shop. Yes. Crap, indeed. I did, however, take pictures of the lovely lovely yarn that I bought there. Pictured above is one divine ball of Yarn Place Graceful Lace. Gorgeous stuff. I can't wait to knit it and, knowing me, I probably won't wait. I also bought

3 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for mittens (what else with those obnoxious new colors?),
a skein of Hazel Knits Artisan Sock for Mutti,
and a skein of Cobblestone by Fibra Natura. I love this yarn. It's looks like hand spun, it feels like hand spun, but it isn't.

Her new shop is so much larger than the old place. She moved from 900 sq. ft. to 3000 sq. ft. Woo! And guess what? She's going to start carrying spinning supplies! Swoon!! That'll give me two brick and mortar places to buy wool from: YY and The Allyn Knit and Spin Shop. The new Yorkshire Yarns is located on 100th St in Lakewood. If you're coming from Olympia you can take I-5 to exit 124 to Gravelly Lane (drive? rd? Gravelly something.). Keep right and follow that past Clover Park HS and the Shibori Dragon Shop. It's right near the Ram restaurant. Easy to find. Plenty of parking, too. She has comfy seating, great lighting, and good music. Not to mention spectacular yarn! Congrats, Sonya!
***
While I was at YY I saw Margit and David from Monday Night Knitting at Canvas Works. They told me that the usual group was meeting at Bayview Thriftway so of course I went. Margit is a kick in the pants, as well as an excellent knitter and figure skater. That's her pictured above, being scary for the camera.
It was great to see all the knitters I haven't seen for a while. This is Jack helping Marianne with a baby hat. Sitting next to him is his wife, Pam. I've been trying to save up for a new wheel so I can sell my Ashford to Pam, but there are lots of factors working against me. Mainly, the government, but not in a conspiracy, cover-it-up sort of way. Mainly in a must-pay-my-bills way.
And this is Angela, Soap-maker Extraordinaire, IT Guru, and one of my favoritest peoples. She's going to trade me soap for yarn. Yay! Hopefully we'll get together to make soap again soon.

As well as finishing some knitting and spindling at Bayview, I also finished a delicious ice cream cone. They have the best ice cream there. Go try it. Yum!!

One more thing: I'm sure I told you that DJ is pregnant, but I didn't realize how far along she was. 23 weeks! I have to start knitting baby stuff right now.

And with that, I leave you with this view from Percival Landing. Goodnight!

p.s. I only have the second sleeve and the collar to knit on Julep. I'll be wearing it by Friday.