Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It's that time of year again when my thoughts turn to getting away before school starts. We always forget to take vacation earlier in the summer, then panic when we realize school is just around the corner.

This year, with my new job and all of the other insane things we have going on, we were only able to squeeze out a 4 day weekend. I do love a mini-vacation though, especially since it is much better than no vacation...

Anyway, this past weekend the hubby and I packed the girls into the car and headed north, to Seattle. each day we made a point of doing something special for each member of the family. This meant boat related things for hubby, the aquarium and many visits to the hotel pool for the girls and lots of visits to yarn shops for me

I seem to have forgotten to take pictures most of the weekend, which I think is probably a good thing. Means I was too busy having fun to think about it, right?

Among the many fun things we did was visit the Pike Street Market.

I loved seeing the sign from the back.

The girls, especially the oldest, love to eat anything that comes from the water. This is the girl who begs to try everything when we go to sushi and when given the choice of anything she wanted for her 5th birthday lunch chose lobster. Here she is ogling the crabs. She was not very happy about having to leave without one.

I ended up getting to four yarn shops over the weekend. The first was Little Knits, which is always great! Among the others, one was really not my taste, another way "just OK" although the owner was very nice and the final was Weaving Works, which was fantastic. I can see that it is going to become a regular stop anytime I am in Seattle. Yes,I did buy way too much yarn and no, I am not planning to show you any pictures right now. Maybe later.

By the way, I played Dish Rag Tag today. I'll tell you all about it next time...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I love a parade...don't you?

I live in one of the best places in the world, at least for me. This past weekend was our annual neighborhood celebration, which for us is really just a big party with all of our friends. The city closes off a few blocks of the main road and allow vendors to set-up booths selling all sorts of yummy food and fun art. However, the best part of this celebration is the parade. Don't you just love a good parade?

In our parade, there were people dressed up like cupcakes, pirates, belly dancers, clowns and even patriots:

I can't tell you how unusual these guys looked. We are not in New England and I don't know if I have ever seen people dressed in outfits like that in a parade around here before.

These guys, however, have become a mainstay and are always very entertaining:

In addition to the stilt walkers and clowns, they also had a marching band that was lead by an electric base player. I don't usually think of the electric base as a marching band instrument, but apparently someone did.

The stilt walker was right ahead of this guy:

This is Oregon at it's finest. I always LOVE to see the old tractors.

Continuing in the "rural/urban" theme, below is a picture of the group called CLUCK, which stands for "Children's League of Urban Chicken Keepers".

In Portland every household is allowed to keep three small farm animals (i.e. chickens, ducks, goats, etc.). I still find that odd, but wonderful at the same time. It has become a very popular hobby to keep three chickens in your back yard.

It just so happens that the father in this particular family is an old college friend of my hubby. This name is a bit of a joke in that this group is not a formal club. It seems that a few years ago the kids wanted to walk in the parade, but did not have the requisite dog everyone else had. However, they do have their three chickens and thought they might enjoy the parade too. Now they are another mainstay we look forward to seeing every year.

Still not convinced I live in a special place? Well check this out:

It's a "float" entered into the parade by the neighborhood yarn shop. Sorry for the less than stellar picture. The vehicle had roving "buntings" along the hood, yarn hanging out the windows and knitted garments on top and on the back. Unfortunately they were not tossing out hanks of Koigu, but there's always next year...

Speaking of I sat down to wait for the parade to start, I pulled out my knitting. At the same time, the woman next to me also pulled out her knitting, which was also socks. I love it when that happens.

I was knitting on these monsters, which I finished at the celebration:

Pattern: Basic cuff down sock, Yarn: Big Mexiko by Schoeller Stahl, with a little Cascade 220 superwash for heals and toes. Size: 14 mens!

WooHoo, another Christmas gift is done! Oh, and another pair is almost done...maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Socks and Shoes this time

I am in the mood to use lots of pictures tonight. Sorry if that inconveniences anyone!

I finished another pair of socks. I know, what a surprise? I actually finished these late last week, but haven't really had the time to sit down and document them for posterity.

Patter: Generic Sock, but with 2x2 rib at the top and eye of partridge heel, Yarn: Yard Sale Special - it had a label that said "Lydia's" and "100% Wool" and consisted of 4 strands that were unplied.

So, knitting with the unplied yarn wasn't too bad. I did have to pay attention or I would occasionally miss a strand. Overall though, not bad. The colors definitely kept me motivated. These are some psychedelic socks!

I love the heel!

It's been a little while since I've shown my WIP's, and even longer since I've shown them on Wednesday, so let's have a look in the old knitting basket to see what's cooking...

These are going to be the biggest socks EVER. Not really, but they are a huge size 14 men's!! Notice the unopened ball of yarn with the completed sock for scale. Good thing I love my giant brother so much because even on larger yarn, these things are taking forever...

To contrast, my other WIP is a much more petite pair of socks:

Assuming these turn out well, they are supposed to be for my hubby's petite step-mom and her size 6 feet. Such a difference!

Both projects are perking along, although I am a little behind schedule to have another pair complete by the end of the week. Ah well, seems summer has finally caught up with us and rather than slowing down, like normal people, we seem to be speeding up. We have definitely been the model of a social family the last couple of weeks. I've said it before, but I feel very blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives who want to spend time with us, who am I to turn them down, right? Just doesn't leave much time for the knitting.

Onto the next were also promised in the title and I have some really cool new ones. Check these out:

Why yes, that is my fancy new psychedelic rainbow sock you can see THROUGH my new shoes!

Since before I even began knitting socks, I have been thinking about finding clear shoes to show off the hand-knit socks I would eventually make. I really wanted them to be comfy and big enough to accommodate the thickness of hand knits - not an easy task.

Imagine my excitement when I took the hubby shoe shopping at one of those "super-hip" mall stores and came across these! Not sure about you, but I am a child of the '80's who pretty much spent my teen years in my Converse sneakers. My senior year of high school I had a turquoise pair and a pink pair. Sometimes I even wore one of each, I was that, of course, these had to come home with me.

Hopefully they don't make my feet sweat too much because I am looking forward to wearing them a lot. Too bad my kids are still too small to be embarrassed by me!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Finished Socks and Dish Rag Tag

Finally, I have a couple of minutes to post about my last pair of finished socks:

Pattern: Karen's Sugar-Free Socks from Gardiner Yarn Works, Yarn: Universal Yarn, Classic Worsted, Long Print, Colorway: Purple Allure

I love these socks! The pattern is quick, yet entertaining. And even though the yarn is mostly acrylic, is was not bad at all to knit with. Since these are a Christmas gift for someone who I think reads my blog on occasion, I won't go into great detail about why I chose this yarn, other than to say I think it will be pretty indestructible.

So, that is pair 6 for the summer, of which 4 are destined to be Christmas gifts. I am feeling very productive and ahead of schedule at the moment. We'll see if it lasts!

My other bit of knitting news for today is that I signed up for the next round of Dish Rag Tag. If you follow that link you will get to the blog the woman running the event. She has a blog post that explains all of the rules and a button on the side-bar that leads to a sign-up form.

If you haven't already, you should sign up. It looks like it is going to be a lot of fun! But hurry, sign-ups close August 8 or when there are 300 participants, whichever comes first.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Well, as you may have guessed from the name of my blog, counting can sometimes be a challenge for me. This has proven true once again! When I went through the entries for my blog contest the other day, I miscounted or just plain messed up...either way the end result was that I missed the person who had really guessed closest for the number of projects I had completed last year. I have sent an apology to Bean but wanted to make a note here, just in case anyone else has noticed.

I have picked a special surprise something out of my stash that will be on its way tomorrow. So, there were three winners after all. Yeah! Maybe I was just being clever and had planned all along to give prizes to the two people who guessed closest...yeah, that's it! I actually have really enjoyed putting together the prizes, so you never know, there might be more contests at some point in the future...

Last time I mentioned that we were putting together a 5 year birthday party for a certain small person in our family. Well, the shindig was yesterday and I think it went well. The theme was "flowers", which was a lot of fun. We had little flower pots for the kids to paint and plant seeds in, a flower pinata and other flowery related goodies.

Unfortunately, I never got a chance to stop running around like a crazy person long enough to take pictures. The hubby and my mom took a few, but neither of them think about the blog when doing so, so there really aren't any that show the decorations or craft projects off very well.

One fun thing we did was set up little tables under our giant magnolia tree for the kids and hung paper lanterns from the branches. It created a really fun, special kid space. This picture gives a little bit of an idea of what things were like, although not as well as I would like:

Of course, climbing in the tree was a popular activity until the hubby put a stop to it. The tree is sturdy, but he wasn't sure it could withstand the weight of 20 kids jumping on it.

Yes, that's right, I said 20 kids. Why no, I am not a complete idiot, thanks for asking! Since A's birthday is in August, we rarely have a big turn out for her parties. As a matter of fact, last year we only has one family show up. So this year I thought, "What the heck, let's invite EVERYONE, that way, maybe 4 0r 5 families will make it." I was so surprised when family and family said they would be there. Then my mom said "People are staying home more this year because of the gas prices." Duh.

Good thing we have a big back yard and the weather was nice. Actually, it really didn't feel like there were that many kids there, except when they were all climbing on the poor tree. Oh, and when they were all trying to help A. open her gifts.

Aren't they cute! The little boy in the green shirt right in front of A. is her "special friend". The two of them were found in a corner having a chat about how much they had missed each other this summer. It was so sweet!

I have to say we are truly blessed to have found the community where we live and the preschool A. attended. Not only are the kids delightful, but their parents are really fun too! I am so glad many of them will be in Kindergarten with her next year.

At this point, I was going to write about my latest pair of finished socks, but I'm feeling like this is enough for today. So, perhaps some knitting content next time.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So how much can one obsessed woman knit in one year?

Apparently a LOT! When I looked back over my little obsessive compulsive spreadsheet for the last year, I found that I had completed 79 projects. Did I mention I also work 60+ hours a week, have a family with small children and am president of my local knitting guild this year? Obsession is the only way to explain it!

The totals broke down as follows:

  • Hats: 18
  • Pairs of Socks: 16
  • Dishcloths: 13
  • Scarves: 7
  • Afghan Squares for the Great American Afghan: 6 (some might not consider these each a project, but the ones I knit are very complex and took several days each, so I'm counting them)
  • Lace Shawls: 3
  • Pairs of Fingerless Gloves: 2
  • Pairs of Mittens: 2
  • Christmas Stockings: 2
  • Children's Sweaters: 2
  • Lace Baby Blanket: 1
  • Pair of Baby Booties: 1
  • Small bag: 1
  • Pair of Felted Clogs: 1
  • Toy Owl: 1
  • Neckwarmer: 1
  • Helmet Liner for Marines: 1
  • Adult size vest: 1

Whew! What a year!

This means the winner who guessed closest to the number of projects was Ikkilala. She guessed 71 items, which was pretty close! Ikkilala, I have already sent you an email requesting your snail mail address. When I receive it, I will be sending you the following:

That's two skeins of Brown Sheep's Wildfoote in colorway Ragtime, along with a copy of the Brick Rib Socks pattern from Gardiner Yarn Works. Hope you like knitting socks as much as I do!

For the question of which item I knit the most of, Kitten with a Whiplash was the only person to correctly guess hats. So, Kitten, I will be sending you the following:

That is two skeins of Plymouth Suri Merino in a lovely rose color, along with the Frequency Hat Pattern from Gardiner Yarn Works. This should be enough yarn to knit 2 kids hats or one adult hat, if you hold the yarn least that's my theory. Oh, and I've also sent you an email requesting your shipping info.

Thanks again to all who participated! It's been a wonderful year. I have really enjoyed this first year of blogging and look forward to many more!

Now, I'm off to work on a certain almost 5 year old's birthday party...If all goes well I should have some fun pictures to post this weekend.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Just a quick note to say WOW and thanks for all of the great comments. How fun to have so many visitors!

I've really been enjoying your guesses for the contest. It's interesting to see what people think is doable in a year of knitting.

I also have decided on what I am going to give for prizes, but am going to wait to tell you about them until Thursday evening because they relate directly to the "What have I knit the most of this year" question.