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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!

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Flu causes Knitter to catch Startitis

So I’m sick with the flu.  Meh.  I did finally get a chance to take pictures of some of my FOs and WIPs.  Even though the title suggest that the startitis was caused by the flu, I think it started a little earlier than I’d like to admit…

I’ve been working on Jared Flood’s Juneberry Shawl in BMFA Luscious Silk in Jade.  I was inspired to use this yarn, by Steven A’s

secret silver silk shawl (rav link).  I am a wee bit worried that I might not have enough yarn and might have to use another hank in a different colour for the edging.  I’m a couple of rows from starting the edging so I’ll just have to hold my breath and use a KP cable as a lifeline just in case.  This pattern is knitted lace so both the RS and the WS are worked instead of the WS being a “purl back” row.  So since I’m sick I haven’t worked on it much.  I worked a few rows yesterday and got hooked since I love this yarn and pattern so much.  I came to my senses quickly, while realizing that if I don’t put it down right there and then I will pay for my over-confidence that working a difficult pattern with the flu would be fine.  So right now Juneberry is safe and once I’m feeling better I’ll pick it up again.

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Early this month I had the urge to cast on a sweater.  I normally participate in NaKniSweMo, but this year I decided to sit it out.  My brain decided that November is for knitting sweaters and without thinking too much I cast on for Peasy with some Tatamy Tweed in Birch.  I bought 10 balls  to knit my NaKniSweMo 2008 sweater Rogue (my rav project page link)  and only used slightly lover 4 balls.  I can’t believe it only took that many balls to knit a sweater with a kangaroo pocket and hood!  I’m am enjoying working on Peasy, since it’s a pretty simple knit.  I’m a few more repeats away from finishing the lace panel then it’s stockinette all the way.  I want to finish this so I can wear it at Madrona.  (what’s Madrona you may be thinking click here for more info) Oh wait I never mentioned the fact that I am going to Madrona this year!  Squee!  I’m so excited it will be my first year and I got my top three classes I wanted to take.  ;;does a happy dance;;  I’ll talk about this in more detail on another post in the very near future; otherwise this post will get way too long!
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Yesterday I had a huge urge to knit on something lovely like loosely plied silk and since my Juneberry shawl was too complicated I was in need of some stupid knitting.  Enter the Clapotis.  Now that I’ve been knitting for a while this is a nice and relaxing pattern to knit.  Back in 2007, (wow that long ago!) I knitted a clapotis, but modified it to be a smaller scarf version.  I tried to knit a full sized verison in some lovely red bamboo yarn, but it wasn’t meant to be and it was frogged for a medal in the 2010 Ravlympics.  It’s been very cold with some snow thrown in here and I wanted something warm and huge to wrap myself it.  This is the perfect pattern and yarn and I hope to have this finished by the end of December, so I have something to snuggle in during the holiday dinners.  This yarn cheers me up and it’s a pure joy to knit with.  So soft and yummy, nom nom nom.
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Okay it’s time to show you the FOs 🙂  Yep that’s right.  I have some FOs and actually real pictures of them, yay!

I made a Bella Eclipse Hat (with a mod) details can be found on my rav page here
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Also as promised a picture of my finished Scare Isle Tam.  I haven’t added a button on it yet.  I found the KP Comfy fingering stretched a lot even after putting it in the dryer!  I plan on knitting another one with smaller needles, but till then I’ll add a cool button to this one and wear it.  I love this tam a lot and you can find the details on my rav project page here.  Faye was a very shy model today, but you get to see the hat details well due to her coyness.  You can find more pictures of this and all the other projects on this post on Ravelry, which has stolen most of my motivation for blogging.  I’m working on starting to blog on a regular basis again, since I do enjoy it and have missed it as well. I’m off to bed since it’s super late.  Oh wait I lie I’m going to make a nice warm cuppa tea first.  Night!

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Recovering from a yarn attack!

I can’t believe it, but I’m  almost knitting monogamously on a project!  I say almost because I occasionally have picked up and done a few rounds on a pair of socks that I’m knitting for mini-me.  I’ve been working on this lovely cowl pattern Norway (The first pattern of International Year of the Scarf by designer Ilga Lega) It’s more like a fake Möbius infinity scarf that’s all really popular at the moment.  I’m using Rowan Calmer in Onyx as the main colour and Sweet Georgia Silk Taffy in Midnight Show for the CC.  I am in love!  I named my Norway, Norwegian Goth(rav project page link).  I was finished yesterday….really I was.  That was until I looked at the pattern properly!  I had written the pattern into a notebook since I am out of printer paper.  Some how I had missed the stripes between the dash and dot fair isle sections!  See here, notice something?

If you guessed no stripe section between the fair isle patterns, you are correct (here have a cookie)!  Here I thought I was ready to graft the two ends together after a week of lovely no-stress knitting.  *sigh* I thought about just leaving it as is and call it an added design feature, but after looking at it for a minute or two I decided I had to rip it back to the error and fix it.  Yes, I’m not kidding you I ripped back black yarn and picked up all the stitches without really any problems!  The knitting gods were with me despite the fact that I was sick with a bad sinus cold.  Oh did I mention I had a sinus headache from hell yesterday?  I can’t believe I pulled it off.  Here are pictures of my Norwegian Goth when I pulled out the needles, then after I had picked up all the stitches.

BEFORE

AFTER

See that little ball of silk that was all that I lost when I had to cut into the CC stripe since I had weaved in the end really well!  Not to bad, it could have been worse.  There was one small hiccup after picking up all the stitches somehow I had completely forgotten to make sure that I was at the beginning of the round before I started knitting away on the stripes.  Oops!  I managed to fool myself till I had finished all the stripe repeats and was about to start the fair isle pattern again.  I really looked at it and realized my mistake.  So last night I spend some more time tinking back to the beginning of the stripe pattern again.  After all that I was not going to take my chances ripping back again, I know when to play it safe!  Honestly while do so I really wasn’t that upset or angry at my knitting.  I was thinking how much I’ve enjoyed this project and that I get to spend some more time knitting on it.  I guess that’s what really soft Rowan Calmer and single ply silk will do to your head! Bonus is my fair isle technique has gotten better, if you look carefully you can actually tell the dashes are a bit bumpy, but the dots look lovely.

I spend all of today knitting on my Norwegian Goth while waiting in doctor’s offices since Mini-me has three appts. in a row!  Good thing that two of them were in the same office and I had brought my knitting.  I had a chat with another person about knitting, but this is a long post today.  I’ll save it for another day.  Here’s a picture of my progress so far, I just have some more repeats of the fair isle pattern, some stripes then the grafting together of the two ends to do.  I can’t wait to wear this infinity scarf, since we’ve been through a lot together and we both need some snuggle time!

Yay it’s socktober!!!

Happy Socktoberfest everyone! Being an sock knitting addict, I love socktoberfest and look forward to it every year. What is Socktoberfest It is a month-long celebration of sock knitting of course! It was started October 2005 by Lolly of Lollyknitting Around and you can find more info on her blog. Join us on Ravelry and help celebrate Socktober!

To celebrate the first day of Socktoberfest, I cast on for the mystery sock that Kristen of Knitting Through the Loops designed for Socktoberfest ’09. Kristen will be posting a new clue every Thursday and it’s a lacey pattern! The first clue is up on her site, so join in the fun. For more details on my project click here to check out my Rav project page

Clue 1 of TTL Mystery 09 sock almost complete

Clue 1 of TTL Mystery '09 sock almost complete

I’m sad to say my Milkweed Shawl is going to be frogged!  I ran out of yarn during the cast off and I would rather frog it all and re-knit it removing a few rows here and there instead of just ripping back a bit. Since I was really sad about my Milkweed Shawl I was in need of some instant knitting lace gratification so I cast on another shawlette called 198 yds. of Heaven with a hank of BMFA Luscious Silk in Korppi (Raven Clan Colourway).  What can I say I’m in heaven, Luscious Silk is just so….luscious!  I did add another repeat of the body since I am using a different weight yarn that also has more yardage.

198 yds. of Heaven WIP in BMFA Luscious Silk in Korppi

198 yds. of Heaven WIP in BMFA Luscious Silk in Korppi

If that didn’t make you smile, this will here’s a picture of Faye in her Halloween costume.  She is a monkey!

Faye the Black Lab Guide Dog off duty dressed up in a monkey costume

Faye the Black Lab Guide Dog off duty dressed up in a monkey costume

Perk me up

So I haven’t really signed up for a lot of swaps lately, mainly just little ones like Reducio Sock Swap.  So I’ve decided to join two, one being the Starbucks and Yarn Swap mmmm coffee and a Christmas Swap.  They both need more participates so come out and play!

Another project that I didn’t mention last post was my Milkweed Shawl.  The yarn BMFA Luscious Silk is a sport weight instead of fingering plus it’s got 360 yards so I’m a little worried that it might not work out.  The colour of this yummy yarn is absolutely lovely, it’s a rich red honey colour which the colourway name of Oregon Red Clover Honey is the perfect fit.  Not a colour I’d normally fall in love with and I meant to gift it to mini-me since she is in love with yellows lately (especially since they go well with her other fav colour purple).  Thing is it may never really get to her since I am smitten.  The photo below doesn’t give this yarn justice.

Milkweed WIP (top down trianglar garter st. shawl)

Milkweed WIP (top down trianglar garter st. shawl)

Time she’s a tickin’

So I’ve been busy packing and haven’t really had time to knit.  The only thing I did get done was a few rows on my Ishbel shawl when I met Julia and Monica at Steeps.  Funny thing is I really should have counted my stitches since when I finally did I was over the stockinette part by about 16 sts.!  Oops.  Well I’m not bringing this project with me while I’m training with my new guide, though I do plan on taking on of my newest lace projects.  I started the Wing-o’-Moth shawl for my OWL in HP Knit and Crochet House Cup.  This is my first year participating and it is super fun so far.  Of course I was sorted into Ravenclaw and I signed up for two classes this month, DADA and Muggle Studies.  Once I have more time I’ll blog about that more 😀  Here’s a picture of my swatch.

So other then not really knitting much and packing, I have been planning on what knitting projects to pack.  Boy has this been hard!  I decided to bring a few balls of Panda Cotton (to make into socks from Wendy’s toe up book), my on-hold socks (from Wendy’s book), my clapotis (good plane knitting especially since I’m using Knitpicks Harmony needles), my Rose Wristwarmers (another HPKCHC project) and some cotton to make dishclothes (good travel projects).  I really want to bring more, but I don’t really see myself having a lot of time to knit and my house cup class projects (except the OWL project) are due by the end of the month.

So with that being said I’ll be taking a 3 week hiatus from this blog.  I did set up a blog to document my adventures in training with my new guide.  You can find us here.  Well back to packing and cleaning for me!

Baby it’s cold outside

Just enough ruffles scarf

Just enough ruffles scarf

Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks Scarf WIP

Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks Scarf WIP

One Row Scarf WIP

One Row Scarf WIP

I’ve been knitting a few scarves lately and thought that I’d also remind all of you that ISE 7 is still excepting applications.   (edit: maybe not, looks like it’s 100 swappers or Dec. 8th but not post saying that the hostess is not accepting any more entries so give it a try you have nothing to lose!) This swap is fun and it’s always nice to get a handknit gift!

As for the knits above Laura Chau’s Just Enough Ruffles (Knitpicks Comfy in Pomegrante), Beforesunrise’s  Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks (BMFA Luscious Silk in Blue Brick Wall) and Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s One Row Scarf (Bernat Softee Chunky Ombres in Nature’s Way).   You can find all the rest of the detials and more on my Ravelry page.

Tomorrow I’ll post pictures and a thank you to my SP since I got my first secret pal package!  Well at least I think it’s my secret pal package…there wasn’t a note and my secret pal did tell me she mailed my first package out a while ago, so the awesomeness that came to my door must be it!  Till then Happy Knitting!