Tuesday, June 27

How many socks?

It's too damn hot here and back east there's too much damn rain. what gives?

I've done some more dyeing:

And some swatching of my dyed yarn. I want to make a sweater and have to figure out what gauge.

Sometimes I feel insecure about homeschooling, is my kid really learning anything? Then he comes up with analyses like this one and I relax. Another author I had him read this year is John McPhee. We saw him last night at the Seattle Library; he spoke about writing and read a passage from his newest book. A fascinating writer and funny in person

I knit on a sock while we listened to him. Afterwards, while filing out, a woman asked me what I was knitting. A sock, I said. She said she couldn't figure it out, it looked like a sock, but she wasn't sure. How hard is must be to count stitches on such small needles, she said. (dk weight yarn on US2s, plain stockinette sock, no stitch counting needed.) Then the kicker, she asked if I was going to knit two of them. Uh, yeah, I said. Wouldn't be very useful to only knit one.

Speaking of socks, here's a photo of The Nerd's giant kureyon sock. And yes, he is only going to knit one.

Saturday, June 24

Saturday Sky

Sandy has started a Saturday Sky blog-thing. I couldn't decide which sky photo to use, so here's a double entry.

Looking south off the deck:

Looking North:

Friday, June 23

Friday already?

How can it be Friday already? It was just the weekend a few days ago. It was the last week of (formal) school for the Nerd, he's now enjoying summer vacation, riding bikes, etc. We'll keep up with algebra and a bit more on an informal homeschooling basis this summer, but nothing too strenuous. Otherwise we have a relaxing lazy summer planned. Bike riding, gardening, knitting, reading, dyeing, hiking, a little Ultimate, some boy scouts, and one trip East to experience the hassles of air travel just to end up in the hurricane zone visit with my family at the beach.

Less than a week since I purchased the yarn... it's an FO! A booga bag. I used US10 needles (instead of 10.5) and made it taller than specified. It's been through the wash four times and I still think it's a bit thin. I am comparing it to my non-buttonhole bag made with Lamb's Pride double stranded, which is unfair. I do like the way Kureyon's colors change but it means it would be hard to make it look as cool double stranded. If I make another I will probably use the thicker Kureyon (do they still make that?).

I'm still enjoying the scent of vinegar and the stained fingers that comes with dyeing.

Sunday, June 18

Saturday Ramblings

With the 520 bridge closed, and the Fremont Fair between us and Discovery Park, we decided to take a hike this weekend that didn't involve driving at all. The main goal was Ravenna Park, where new landscaping and creek daylighting has recently been finished. It didn't hurt that the other end of Ravenna Park would find us at Cowen Park, only a few blocks from Weaving Works.

First, Northwest to the Northeast Library, to pick up the copy of One Skein waiting for me. Then Southwest to Ravenna Park. Unfortunately, Acorn Street Yarn is right on this route. I had not intended to stop, but they were having a sidewalk sale. Even though we didn't find much to purchase, Zach and I were in heaven just looking at the yarns and imagining possibilities. Franz was a bit bemused and confused. I got some sock yarn for almost nothing (a cotton wool blend that a clerk at Weaving Works had once raved about) and some Kureyon for a felted bag. Zach really wanted some Kureyon also. There was just one skein in the color he liked (it reminded him of algae and pond scum) but it's probably enough for a hat. (Or I will take possession for a second booga bag).

Then the last few blocks to the park with Franz going "well why don't you just decide on a project and then buy the yarn for it?" and Zach explaining to Franz just why one needed a stash.

Renovations of the park are environmentally based and lovely. The path is the first example of permeable concrete I have seen.

Although the creek was not, as some have dreamed, daylit all the way allowing a salmon population to return, it was daylit further within the park and the culvert now empties into the slough instead of the sewer. The slough is one we used to cross every day on our walk to the U, and it was nasty, yucky brackish. We hoped the influx from the creek would help. This photo is of the small pond forming where the creek is entering the culvert.

Cowen Park has had some renovations, including a nice little kid playing area and a zip-line style swing, which both Franz and Zach enjoyed. Then south to Weaving Works, since Acorn Street doesn't sell synthrapol. Uh oh, they were having a 20% off sale too...

By this time we were looking for a little substenance. The Ave was right there to accomodate us. Slices at Pagliaccis, yum. There was still some time to drop by the Henry, perhaps to see the Maya Lin exhibit. We only had a half hour and the MFA show was still there, so we saw that instead. Franz and I have seen numerous MFA shows at the Henry, some much better than others. This one had a few works that moved me, but there were a few where all I could think was, if I were their parent I would be saying "we spent all that money on tuition for art school and this is the best you could do?"

This rock bench is part of an installation art on campus, designed by students but not part of the MFA show.

Walking back home, we crossed the slough. It did look a little cleaner, but we couldn't tell that there was more flow through it. Perhaps we will rent a canoe at the Waterfront Activities Center soon and paddle around the edge of it a bit to see more. Haven't done that in several years. Next stop, the video store for Sense and Sensibility. Almost home, we stopped at the Met for dinner supplies. All told, at least five miles, perhaps more. Some yarn, some nature, some culture, some pizza.

Sunday Update:

The Nerd is becoming a cook. He made scrambled eggs with (chicken) sausage for Father's Day breakfast, then Franz and Zach spent the afternoon modifying the DDR Pad. It no longer sucks, I understand. My booga bag already has a bottom. No frogging foreseen.

Friday, June 16

Quite a day for mail

Yesterday's mail was extraordinary.

First, a letter from Safeway addressed to Ronald Senn with our address. Not knowing any Ronald, and figuring it was probably someone who used our address to get a buyer's advantage card, I broke countless federal laws and opened his mail. Ouch, Ronnie baby, don't you know shoplifting is a crime? I called Safeway to alert them of the wrong address. Then I got a little worried that maybe this guy had some ID with my address on it, so I called back and they said no, he had no ID at all. And they accepted that? Is Ron even his real name? There's a Ronald Senn DDS nearby. Perhaps the drill and fill industry isn't quite lucrative or thrilling enough. More likely our shoplifter lifted the name as well.

I am getting all detective-like, thinking that one should look for a person whose real address is some anagram of ours, and who had a bad dental experience. I could be the next Kinsey Milhone. Alas, for $27, Safeway isn't going to bother.

Then I noticed some mail addressed to my next door neighbors. First the Pagliacci's ad. Well I would just keep that, since they probably got mine. Then I noticed the Capital One return address, but I figured it was a solicitation for credit cards, since we get one or three from Capital One per week. I figured I might do him a favor and just shred it like I do all my credit solicitations. The third one though I clearly noticed was First Class from a bank. Oh, guess I ought to deliver them after all. At that point I saw that the Capital One was not a solicitation, but a statement. Oops. Glad I didn't shred it. So I walked them all next door. Including the Pagliacci ad. I'll never know what their current specials are.

I won't bore you with the natural gas bill, but suffice to say: gas used to be a whole lot cheaper.

The most rewarding part of the mail was the box on the porch that contained this:

My dye pal is Carry of Fairieknits. She dyed the Gems Pearl on the right. I gave her no instructions but I am partial to greens and purples, so I quite like it. I don't know if I will make socks --- I am so slow at knitting socks --- but think some sort of scarf might be nice. A variation of Sally Melville's shaped scarf? One Skein is waiting for me at the library, so I think I will find inspiration. Thanks, Carry.

Now Carry has had a very challenging Spring, both personal life and jobwise, and here I've been blogging about my happy dyeing, so I can understand why she might be feeling insecure, although I don't think she ought to feel so. (but y'know, people have complicated feelings even if you think rationally they oughtn't, that's just the way it is.) So, she also included some handpainted yarn that she purchased, and some chocolates. The Nerd opened the cookies within minutes, but the chocolate bar is hidden away for me to enjoy.

Carry also lives in the Seattle area, so it is not a surprise that we know some folks in common. Non-knitter folks even. Seattle is such a small town that way. So who knows, we will probably run into each other sometime. I hope so. Thanks again, Carry and I hope the summer is sunnier for you.

Wednesday, June 14

Second Wednesdays

The second Wednesday of the month means it was the morning of the board from |-|311. Therefore this week started badly, as my stomach ache gradually increased until 8 am today. The meeting was actually not that bad. Several new board members are questioning the same things I questioned. The others held their tongue and are participating fruitfully in the quest for a replacement for the ED. And I recently found out that my board term expires in September. I was under the impression I was committed through next summer at least but I have no intention of serving another term. As I am supposed to be chair through December (funny that the ED who was the only person who knew when my board term ended did not alert us to this fact last December during officer elections [and ironically, if she had told me I could exit gracefully this Fall I would not have questioned things that got her so pissed off in the first place]) and as our vice chair, an older retired fellow, is seriously ill, looks like they will be electing a whole new slate in October. I wish them well.

So onto a happier afternoon. I ordered the next in the series after Desolation Island, so we will have something to read aloud in the evenings. We finished DI about a month ago, but I didn't enjoy it as much as its predecessors so was just not that motivated to get the next one. It was more depressing, too much disease and death and heartache. And Jack can be such a fool on land, it is painful to hear about it, I get so embarrassed for him.

TVwise we have been Lost ever since finishing season 1 on DVD. I just checked and season two will be available Sept 5th. Renting movies is fun, but hard for a school night. A surprise in today's mail, my brother in law sent us the whole season of the new Dr Who on dvd.

And I have been contacted by my dye-o-rama buddy. I have not been abandoned and should expect a package tomorrow. More mail goodness!

My gardens are happy too.

Monday, June 12

Another Monday

Courthouse steps log cabin is coming along. I am loving all the colors I dyed.

Given that two of these socks are second socks, it really isn't that bad that I have three cast on at once, is it? I have to finish one of these before starting a new one though, since there are no more DPNs available.

Also this weekend we watched The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill which was fascinating and easy to knit to and Travelers and Magicians, a movie set in Bhutan, so subtitles and no knitting. It was beautiful and interesting. Didn't have a typical plot resolution, but I suspect that reflects a different cultural and religious (Buddhist) view of time and closure.

Friday, June 9

Everybody's doing it.

What to do with my handpainted yarn? Well a couple things came to mind. This 4 ounce skein is earmarked as a prize in Claudia's fundraising for the National MS Society. I know it doesn't rank along with an Alice Starmore book or the Yarn Harlot's handspun, but as a consolation prize, it's not bad. As you can tell, I am still working on a Pacific Northwest colorway. They don't call Seattle the Emerald City for nothing. All the yummy greens that surround me, I just want to capture them.

And I really wanted to knit with all these colors, something besides socks. So how about a log cabin? The colors are much richer than this photo shows.
I am also thinking of selling some. I feel embarrassed to admit that. Seems like everyone is selling handpainted yarn. Why would anyone buy mine? While I have dyed some actual well known sock yarn, variegated in Gems Pearl (above, 3.5 oz) and striping in Gems Opal (below, 4.0 oz)

most of what I have dyed is not a traditional sock yarn. I just stumbled on a small supply of yummy, soft, lofty DK weight superwash 100% merino that dyes really well. I am wearing my sock and working on a mate. The first sock is a bit short, but weighs only 1.6 ounces. So 4 ounces, about 290 yards, ought to make a nice pair.

I also suspect it would make a nice CeCe as it is spot on 13 wpi and has a nice drape, but I haven't tried it yet. That would require about 8 or 9 ounces of a single dyelot. I could do that. Wonder what sort of colors would work well? I may swatch something up, but will feel guilty about that since I haven't worked on my existing Silky Wool CeCe in weeks.

Faded blues. 4.4 ounces in two equal sized skeins.

Butternut. 4.2 oz

Rose 4.1 oz.

So how about it? Would anyone buy my babies yarn? $20 each plus shipping (which is $4.00 for priority mail, yes?). If interested, email me at dorothy AT amadorneville DOT us. Cash funded paypal only for now please, I haven't made that much of a plunge into this venture yet. Who knows, maybe an etsy shop is in my future.

Wednesday, June 7


I made cupcakes yesterday for this author event. Nancy (still blogless) was one of the writing tutor volunteers for the teens and she volunteered to provide refreshments for the author event --- that is, to cajole dozens of people to provide dozens of cupcakes.

I discovered a whole world of food bloggers -- no surprise -- and a whole world of cupcake bloggers, something I would never have guessed. I used this recipe for the cake, but didn't end up filling them with lemon curd. They had a nice crunchy sugary top which I didn't want to cut into. So I just dumped a lot of (store bought) lemon curd into the cream cheese frosting.

As my family doesn't really like cake, I haven't baked a cake in years. We have pies and cobblers, even for birthdays. Will I make cupcakes again? Perhaps, but do not expect a cupcake blog from me!

Monday, June 5

Monday with camera

Franz is back from Utah and so is the camera. He had a good time, maybe I'll throw in a raft photo sometime, but meanwhile I have been dyeing to show what I've been doing lately.

The blue/purple yarn I dyed last week has become a sock, a ball for a second sock, and the left overs are becoming a ??? (swatch, scarf, log cabin blanket?)

I've been playing around with color. What to do with all this yarn?