Tuesday, June 26

My kid, now a high schooler

Zach finished middle school sans pomp and circumstance. He could have gone to graduation and played Pomp & Circumstance, but he didn't really feel like an 8th grader, nor, as a part-time student, did he feel the need for the ritual. Seating is limited so we were altruistic in not attending, gave up our tickets so some other student with more than two relatives could force them to sit in a hot, crowded auditorium for a tedious ceremony invite them.

Friday he biked up to Matthews Beach to meet with a group of kids for their own end of school celebration. Candy and Capture the Flag. Coming home on the Burke-Gilman trail, he took a tumble when he let his front wheel drift off the pavement. Nothing serious, just got some ugly road rash on his elbow and a scrape on his rib and hip. (In addition to helmet, he wears biking gloves. I don't know if his hand hit the pavement too, but gloves are great for avoiding road rash on one's hands. I never bike without them myself.)

We cleaned him up and he seemed fine. Even played some DDR Friday evening. Saturday we went to Icicle Creek Canyon to go camping, hiking and drop him off at music camp. Well, he ended up sleeping the entire three hour drive, then continued to nap on and off most of the afternoon while we set up camp and hung around. No wonder. I am sure he didn't break a rib or get a concussion, but he must have slammed pretty hard on the pavement and was feeling pretty sore. So instead of anything ambitious, late Saturday afternoon when he perked up we took a short hike, then Sunday did another short hike. The area is beautiful.

By Sunday his elbow was scabbed over with no sign of infection. We dropped him off at camp with strict instructions though, if it starts to look bad, streaky red or hot he is to alert the staff and make sure it gets looked at. His main question was ought he put a bandage on it, so as not to gross out the girls. Nah, I said. Just tell them he fell off his bike to avoid hitting a kitten.

Thursday, June 21

What about the Monkeys?

I realized too late that my last post's title was inaccurate, since monkeys never get mentioned. Here they are:

The net's latest viral sock. Cookie's Monkeys in knitpicks bare fingering, one of the first skeins I dyed last spring. Brittany US 2s. The pattern is easy and addicting.

Tuesday, June 19

Regatta with wool and monkeys

I spent most of the past weekend at Green Lake, sitting by the water. Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere but not in Seattle might think that sounded lovely, pass the sunscreen and lemonade. However, Summer in Seattle begins July 9th, says Cliff Mass, atmospheric scientist and local weather guru. While we often have some nice weather in May, June invariably is cold and damp. This past weekend was no exception. I wasn't at Green Lake because the weather was so nice it forced me to go, I was there because my kid was in his first regatta.

Saturday we did have some sun, and Franz and I had the opportunity to walk around the lake (about three miles) so that was fine, but Sunday was cold and wet. I had volunteered to work with the finish line officials. I wore a T-shirt and a long sleeve shirt over it and brought my Knitting Olympics wool sweater, just in case. I brought my knitting bag, mostly to finish a Dulaan hat. Little did I realise that instead of sewing in all the ends, I would be wearing the hat instead. And was I ever glad to find my wonky fingerless mitts hiding in my bag. The ones where I never sewed in the ends because I wasn't happy with the bind off and intend to redo it one of these days.

Quite a fashionable outfit, eh? Believe me, everyone else in the officiating tent was envious.

Zach's first kayak race. This is sprint kayaking, Olympic style. If you've ever been in a nice stable sea kayak, you need to know that these boats are different. They are designed for speed, not for stability. It takes lots of effort to simply stay afloat. There were enough new kids to warrant a novice division. Therefore, several of these ribbons are in the novice division sans competition and demonstrate that he (and in some cases, three teammates) were able to stay upright and paddle 1000 meters. Two of the second place ribbons were hard fought; he finished right behind another novice team member, a bigger and stronger boy.

Thursday, June 14

Gardening requires optimism

Will we get enough sun for tomatoes? Will these tiny starts grow and produce by August? Will I water them enough to keep them healthy but not too much nor too sporadically so that the fruit cracks? Will this year's staking job work to hold them up or will it just break their stems? Will I be able to keep them weeded?

Will the crows leave the basil alone? Will I keep the container watered and the flowers pinched? Will we have enough for pesto?

Will my raspberries survive their recent move? Will they flourish in their new spot? Will they get enough water? Will I get a pie?

Tasty has shown a surprising appetite for strawberry leaves! Will the cover keep her off the leaves and the squirrels off the fruit?

Will Dumbledore compliment my agapanthus?

Estonian Garden

My Estonian Garden Wrap (pattern by Evelyn Clark for Fibertrends) is done and I am most happy with it. The Alpaca blocked nicely to show the lace pattern and became very soft. It doesn't hold its blocking the way wool does, but for this stole, that hasn't been a problem.

Three and a half skeins of Frog Tree Alpaca Fingering weight, knit on Addi Lace US 5s.

There is one fault of this FO. Against all the warnings in every knitting resource, I used two different dye lots of the yarn. I had originally considered that I might dye the wrap after knitting, so I didn't care. But now I think I like the white and don't want to dye it. The color changes are almost unnoticeable. In fact, no one but me has noticed the different hues and I only noticed when I held it up in direct sunlight --- and the difference in colors was striking. Therefore, it is judged too flawed to give away, but not too flawed to keep. I just won't wear it on a bright sunny day!

Saturday, June 9

Virtual Vacation Swap Questionnaire

Well, I am lame and haven't posted anything in a couple weeks, but have been taking photos and thinking about blogging while knitting, gardening, reading, cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring etc.

Meanwhile, I got the travel itch. Had to run to catch the bus; it almost was too full to let me on, but they squeezed a bit and gave me room. Woo! Now I am going on a Virtual Vacation!

And here's my questionnaire. The answers of which will determine where I'll visit and who I'll get to show around Seattle.

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?

Maine, because it is far away and I have never been there. It seems wild and beautiful with big trees and a rugged coast and probably not too hot. And there's lobster.

If I had to choose a city to visit, I would choose San Francisco. Hard to believe I have been on the West Coast for almost 20 years and still haven't been there.

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?

I fell in love with Australia back while watching Picnic at Hanging Rock, Walkabout, The Last Wave and Breaker Morant. So am not sure my sense of the place is accurate, but would love to find out. The number of poisonous critters gives me pause, but it still seems like a wonderful place to visit.

3. Have you ever driven across several states/provinces/countries?

Yes, I have driven USA from coast to coast twice and driven to Oregon, Utah, California, Yellowstone and more.

4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?


5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why?

Hard to choose a favorite. Christmas week at Big Bend National Park in Texas as newlyweds was special, lechuguilla (which deserves the nickname shin-daggers) notwithstanding. Our trips to Utah have mostly been great, especially the first time we took Zach and he lost (and swallowed!) his first tooth. Miraculously the tooth fairy found him, even though we were in a tent in the middle of nowhere. Our only overseas trip, to France, was good but stressful and would have been better if the flipping museums hadn't been on strike the entire flipping week we were in Paris.

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain.

I've played tourist/tour guide in Washington DC (where I grew up), Chicago (where I used to live) and here in Seattle. Lots of our family travel involves acting like tourists, especially educational activities, national and state parks, etc. My son wrote up our latest such trip on his blog.

7. Are you a museum visitor, beachcomber or an amusement seeker?

Museums, yes. Beaches, yes, but I get bored quickly and hate getting sand in my food. I love to sleep close enough to hear the ocean though. Deserts, yes, mind the snakes. Amusement parks, maybe. Only if they aren't crowded or out of the way and only on rides that don't spin.

8. What's your favorite type of yarn?

Almost any natural fiber.

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn?

Angora makes me itch. Acrylic makes me sad.

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet?

Sweaters, Socks and Shawls; the big three, eh? So far I have been more interested in lace than cables, but would like to find a cable pattern that would draw me in.

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation?

I've been knitting for only a couple years and I do not crochet. We travel pretty light for the most part, that means sock knitting. Here's a sock touring Sam Hill's Stonehenge.

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit?

I like to cook and garden. I am hoping to start sewing more, having only made a few things like curtains, halloween costumes and a dress or two, years ago.

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)

I don't eat soy products. Don't know if I am allergic, but Zach is definitely allergic to soy and I think I feel better avoiding it also. Otherwise, no allergies.

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?

I'm partial to rich dark colors such as eggplant, pine, burgundy, and don't love pastels, especially the mint greens and powder blues.

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)?


16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?

Can't think of anything. Go ahead and ask.