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The Long And Winding Road

It has been a long and winding road that has brought me back to blogging.  I write blog posts in my head, but they never make it here.  Ravelry and food allergies has sucked up my blogging mojo. So I had a food allergy test last year and found out not only am I allergic to corn (knew this one) and dairy, but also wheat (I somewhat suspected this one), egg whites and oranges!  I really miss oranges 😦  It has made making quick and easy food a bit of a non-existent thing for me because corn and wheat is in everything!  So I have to make so much of what I eat down to the tiniest details like soup stock, chilli powder, bread etc…There are a lot more non-wheat options out there, but almost all of them have corn, dairy and/or eggs. Eating out is a crap shoot and most of the time I end up sick and in pain for a few days, so it’s not really work it.  I do feel fantastic now and have energy as well as no pain, migraines, brain fog, stomach issues etc…It may suck having to not eat the wonderful things your friends are eating, but the results are so worth it.

The needles are still flying.  I still need to block and take pictures of a lot of things I’ve had so far this year.  This is one of my favourites though.  Berrocco Remix is my new favourite yarn, since Rowan discontinued the best sheepless yarn ever, Calmer.  All those non-smoking and non-cat owning knitters you can send the Calmer that just still in your stash to me and I will gladly give it a good home as well as knit it up.  I thought I’d test Remix on a hat, since I have only started two sweaters with it!  I knit Ashley the Worsted out of one ball of Strawberry.  I only knit 3 chart repeats instead of 4, but I found the hat still to be a bit big 😦  I still love it and plan to make another hat out of Remix, but make sure to use much smaller needles and maybe even make a swatch to decide what needle to use.

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Madrona, yes I know it’s a month late!

So finally I am getting to post about Madrona.  It was absolutely lovely.  I was lucky to stay in Hotel Murano and look here is my key card, very pretty.
Hotel key card for Hotel MuranoFaye and I took the train to Tacoma and back.  Going there was a bit of an adventure since we got stuck in Everett for over 1 1/2 hours due to a possible mudslide then were loaded on buses for the rest of the trip.  Their plan was in Seattle travellers going to Portland were going to be bused, but all other passengers were going to continue on the train till Oregon where the slide was.  Sadly, it wasn’t the case.  I got a lot of knitting time in, but on the bus I ended up frogging all that I had knit!  The way home was uneventful and relaxing though.  I did end up at the train station way too early!  Oops next time I should double-check what time my train leaves because the Tacoma station is in the middle of nowhere.  I did end up working on my Tea Leaves Cardi and finished to the edging from an inch or so from the armholes.  Yay.  I haven’t worked on it since then though, boo.

It was such a wonderful sight to see knitters, weavers, spinners and crocheters everywhere.  Oh all the beautiful FO’s that were seen all over the hotel and surrounding area.  It was a fibre crafters wet dream!

Even if you don’t get any classes if you live in the area the marketplace and just crafting around the hotel common areas meeting new people is worth the trip.  The marketplace.  Well it was fantastic and overwhelming.  It is not everyday you turn around to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee fondling yarn in the Habu booth, there was much more knitterati and spinnerati to be seen, but alas my eyes suck.  I only noticed Stephanie because she was fondling stuff in my favourite booth!  Jasmine over at the Abstract Fibers booth has these great origami flat bags that I resisted buying then smacked myself for not grabbing the bag that had labs all over it.  I did end up buying one or two off their website and I will take pictures when they come.  I got fibre because I am planning to learn how to spin on my Bosworth spindle, I bought the lovely so I should really learn how to play with it!  I tried not to fall to hard at the BMFA booth and the one that had all the beautiful tencel yarn (sorry can’t recall the name!)  Here is a picture of my Madrona stash enhancement pile.  I didn’t fall down too hard and my credit card and His Tallest thanks me.

My classes were fun, educational and at times overwhelming frustrating.  The fine finishing class I took was in the Bite restaurant gallery and the lighting was horrible for me.  I have purchased myself a knit lite and will be prepared next year!  Jean Wong was delightful and very patient as well as her assistant (I’m sorry I am so bad with names).  Even with one assistant missing I learned quite a lot.  Like I need a lot of good lighting to do an invisible cast off.  I can do Japanese short rows in my sleep and in crappy light.  I was starting to feel really incompetent due to the light and slowness of my invisible cast offs till the short rows swatch took me only a minute or so.  My only complaint was the lighting, but I will come prepared next year!

My class with Franklin on photographing your fibre was an eye-opener.  It helped me not to be afraid of my new camera.  I went from a easy point and shot Canon to a Canon MegaZoom, so all my photos were on automatic.  Now I am playing with the aperture and ISO on manual and it’s so much fun.  He also taught us that a good photographer can take great pictures even with a cell phone camera.  I plan on playing with my camera a heck of a lot more now because practice will help me become more comfortable with my new camera.  I did startle him when I came into the room with my sunglasses and Faye, a blind girl in a photography class — oh boy what did he get himself into.  Thankfully, I noticed the confused look on his face and sat down and started playing on my iPad and knitting.  I could feel the relief emanate from where he was standing.  Yep you can teach a legally blind girl with a small window of functional vision how to get true colour in your photos!  Faye had a interesting time in this class too.  I introduced her to some of my classmates and Franklin and we got our picture taken.  I managed to keep my squeeing fangirl internalized when Franklin Habit asked me if he could blog about his reaction to Faye and I in his class and take our picture.  It was hard!  See here we are.  Also his talk at the banquet was hilarious and educational.  Thanks for being so awesome Franklin!

I also took Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting with Mawata class.  I thought being a non-animal fibre knitter who mostly knits with silk that I had silk and its properties all sorted out.  I was so wrong.  Knitting with Mawata is so much different then spun silk and so much fun.  You have to be careful that you don’t get paper cuts from the silk, seriously strong stuff!  She had her Sock Summit BFF, the depraved dyer herself Tina Newton to help her out.  We learned how silk hankies are made and got to open a cocoon (thank the passenger the silk worm while taking him/her out) then spread the cocoon onto a canvas with nails on it, which is one layer of a hanky.  I also got to try on this mitten. Stephanie did not let them out of her sight nor let the two mittens meet unless they were in her hands.  Good thing I would have stolen them, they were the perfect fit for my small hands!  I have ordered from mawata from a few stores on etsy and plan to make myself a pair of fingerless gloves.  I do need sharper needles though.  I thought my Knitpicks Harmony needles would be sharp enough, but they were not.  I think next I’ll give my Addi Lace clicks a try.

Also there is this awesome deli across from the convention centre.  It is divine and has the best raspberry lemonade (with real raspberries) ever!  I plan on going there everyday during Madrona next year except Sunday, because sadly they are closed on Sundays.  They get super busy and crowded, but it is so worth the wait.  Lauren and I found this lovely restaurant called Indochine and the food as well as drinks where lovely.  Faye was very happy to have a little den between our chairs to curl up on my jacket.  I also tried Two Kois Japanese Restaurant and it was okay.  It’s not their fault I live in Vancouver, the home of awesome and cheap sushi.  I was taken back by the lack of diversity on the menu, but then again I am from Vancouver lol.  It was good and I will go back, the bento box was huge.  Next time I will make sure to only get a few rolls.  Here is the last of my food adventures at Madrona that I wanted to share with you, my experiences at Bite (Hotel Murano’s restaurant).  The servers were wonderful at checking food for me to help me avoid my allergies and my epi-pen.  I had a delicious lunch there on Sunday and breakfast on Monday.  Here’s a picture of my tasty breakfast on Monday.
Tofu scramble @ Bite

I wish I took more pictures, but I was too busy soaking up everything.  This was my first time at Madrona and I am definitely going back next year!

All I want for Giftmas

Happy Winter Solstice ( 0r insert seasonal holiday that you celebrate) everyone!  I’ve been very busy trying to get my giftmas knitting done. I really want a pair of house elves to clean and help me with the knitting.  I am going to give up on having the mini-sweaters and mini-sock ornaments  done in time.  Oh well I’ll be early for next year 😉  I was really silly and ordered yarn for mini-me Bella mitts last month, thinking I’ll get it early December and it will knit up fast since it’s chunky yarn.  Well guess what, I didn’t get it in the mail till yesterday.  There was some delay with one of the yarns I ordered and after the website showing it was in stock, I guess someone else snatched it up and I had to wait a really frickin’ long time! So Mini-me is going to get one mitt and the promise of the other all wrapped up for giftmas.  That is if I can manage to finish the first mitt!   I also had ordered these really cool beer soaps for His Tallest’s side of the family and they still haven’t shown up yet either.  *sigh*  That little etsy store got over-loaded so I can somewhat relate, but that really makes things a pain in the arse for me since I have to find someone else to replace this with at the very last minute.

I did get two last minute gifts done.  I realized I didn’t get anything for the girlfriends of my two brothers!  So Sunday, after knitting with the Yarn Wranglers I stopped off at Three Bags Full to purchase two hanks of Malabrigo Chunky (Indigo and Polar Morn).  Folks this is one of the only yarns (besides superwash) that doesn’t make me want to tear the skin off my hands.  I still get hay fever like symptoms and a sore throat, so I won’t be wearing any Malabrigo any time soon.  It is nice though to be able to knit with it though.  I make two Dolores Park Cowls (non-Rav link since Rave is currently down).  All the details are on Ravelry so I’ll post links to my project pages later.  Thank you mini-me for being a great model!

One happy little fangirl!

So I knit Mini-me a hat in about 5 hours today.  I’m glad I’m done, I’m allergic to the yarn (alpaca isn’t any better than wool for me, even with a high silk content); however she’s not and it will keep her super warm since it’s getting cold out.  Mini-me is a fan of the HP world, just like I am.  I saw some Andean Silk in Slate a while ago when I was browsing Knitpicks to add some more things to add to my cart since I had purchased some books during their sale.  I couldn’t help but throw two balls into my cart to make a Hermione Cables and Eyelets Hat for mini-me.  I’ve been wanting to knit this pattern since it was posted.  I finally got my order in the mail today.  It came while I was out, but the lovely postal worker hid the box under a pair of shoes I have outside and our outdoors broom.  Thank you so much Parcel Delivery Person you made my day!  I cast on for this hat around 3 pm and finished it around 8 pm.  I love quick knits!  My gauge was a little off so I omitted the repeat of rows 28-40.  Mini-me was so happy with the hat and she claims she is going to wear the hat all day tomorrow at school.  Maybe I should have saved this hat for X-mas or her birthday!  Here’s a few pictures of Mini-me hamming it up for the camera 🙂

Belated Thank you to my Secret Pal Pam!!

So I got a package from my secret pal and I’ve been meaning to post a public thank you for a while.  I’m so sorry that it’s taken me so long, but thank you Pam everything is lovely.  I’d brag on and on about the wonderful package that she sent me with loads of awesome yarn plus a beautiful print of a black lab, pretty buttons, cookie cutters including a teapot shaped one! and more but it would be better for me to just show you the pictures.  I’d go into more details but I’m sick with a horrible cold, it’s so bad in fact I can’t knit, due to the fact that I have to blow my nose every minute or so.  Meh!  I hope that this cold clears up soon because I have lots of knitting to work on and some pretty new yarn to try out.  Thank you Pam and I promise it won’t take me a long time to post about the last package you said was on it’s way.  To my downstream pal, you know who you are your package and the lovely Koigu is being delayed due to this cold from H-E-doublehockeysticks has got me bed or at least house-ridden.

I almost forgot those wonderful cards are made Pam with her own photography, so gorgeous!  Also the candles smell divine, but I can’t be in the same room with them meh I really hope my other allergies get better before the seasonal allergies start!  Thanks Pam for the great package and for being a fantastic secret pal and good luck with your schoolwork.

Still knitting away – NaKniSweMo Day 14

So I have slowed down on my Rogue sweater knitting progress, but I’m still getting a lot done to be able to have a finished sweater by the end of November. I have the body, back and front and one sleeve done, now I just need to cast on for the second sleeve, knit the hood and try not to procrastinate on the finishing! I really love this sweater even with all the “personal design features” 😉 So I don’t see myself procrastinating too long on the finishing! One thing I have noticed is that the cables don’t pop as much as they should, but that’s due to the yarn I’m using. Tatamy Tweed is a cotton/acrylic blend so it still still shows the cables, just not as well as a nice wool or wool blend would. Since I’m allergic to wool I can’t be too disappointed, now can I. Oh can you tell what I did differently then the pattern?  Give up I knit the sleeves in the round instead of knitting flat and seaming them together.  That means less annoying finishing and I find I knit faster in the round then I knit a piece flat.  Maybe that’s why I’m so sock crazy!


One of those days!

So I lost access to my anonymous.zen e-mail account as well as no secondary e-mail address on it ruins me from every getting access to it again (with gmail)!! So if anyone has emailed me via that account since yesterday or the day before I can’t recall plus send it and any other e-mails to my new gmail account it’s {blind.purls] at [g]mail dot c0m. I used this e-mail account for most of my blogging (my old blog) correspondence and swaps, and have been slowing moving everything over to this one, so I’m not too worried.

I finished a pair of socks!! They are for my HSS3 pal, this pal is a Gryffindor and it’s a secret so I’m not giving away anything. Here’s a picture of them and it I get some more time you can find more info on them over on Raverly (ravelry stripey madness socks link).

Red and Gold striped knit socks in cotton lycra yarn (elann esprit) for Hogwarts Sock Swap Pal

Also I just signed up for a sock yarn club! I’m so excited because they are all going to be cotton/nylon blend sock yarns!!!! SQUEEE! Etsy seller Whimzy Pinzy is having a sprint/summer cotton sock club. Check out the blog for more info.  Go and join us to knit some wonderful hand-dyed cotton socks dyed by Whimzy Pinzy herself.  Even if you are crazy and don’t decide to sign up, check out her sock yarns – she will custom dye cotton/nylon socks plus she has sock yarn (wool blends), roving and some yummy loving merino/silk laceweight to add to your stash!