The Places You Miss Most

Of course these are of Washington.  Three from our flight to the Islands last year.  The door to my beloved office back at WSU.  Some shots from our hike to Mt. St. Helens ages ago.  The coast and my beloved Mt. Rainier.  

We made a quick and painful less than 36 hour trip back to the PNW which brings back the flood of PNW love.  You also always remember the things the way you want to remember them.  So its nice just to see pictures of the spring there but not the winter.  Its spring here in full force, thunderstorms and muggy afternoons which give way to cool nights.  Kansas is okay, I guess.  In a way that I will never like, sorry Kansas you can't ever compare, you can never awwww me.  I am from Washington and there is no wheat field, apple orchard, river, mountain or coast line you can compete with.  


Spring has Sprung

The knitter and I went to see the Alpaca's down in West Bottoms at the Hale Arena.  It was a lovely.  All the happy-happy alpaca all fluffy and ready to show.  So many amazing colors and textures.  I purchased some nice roving to spin latter, and the best part is if I email the lady she'll send me a picture of the Alpaca it came from!

Check out how fabulous the one in the back is! His lovely fringe blowing in the wind.

SPRING!  All the bulbs (most of the bulbs) are blooming in the yard.  Since this is the first and only spring we'll spend in this house its been a big surprise to see all the pretties popping up.  So for I just have 2 mystery patches of green leaves with no blooms.  

THE TINIEST!!!! These are the most squee inducing tiny versions of a flower I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.  

Normal sized!

Pretty Purple things!

Even the lily pads are getting going.  The pond is doing well, the fish are super happy and it seems at all the large fish have survived the winter.  The frog is also making an appearance, which is pretty cool.  I really hoping for some tadpoles.  

We had the St. Barbra's Day Ball and I needed to get fancied up.

Finally I leave you with a picture of dear coworker driving.  She a walking talking cartoon character.  I don't know why she wears little while gloves or those bug glasses but she has to put them on before we go ANYWHERE!  


Best of a Bad Situation

I went home this last weekend for just a few days, under sad circumstances.  It wasn't unexpected but it still wasn't fun.  Except we made it fun.  With so many family and friends in one place it was actually a fare bit of fun.  We made the best of the bad situation.  

While taking the dog for her morning walkies we ran across this amazing sculpture.  A tribute to The Great State of Washington.   

Here's a close up.  

I grabbed a picture of this house.  This is the most amazing house on Queen Anne.  I've brought the colors up a little because its hard to see the detail in pictures.  

We got manis and pedis.  Which isn't something I really ever do.  I have trouble relaxing because I don't exactly know what I'm doing so its super awkward for me.  I had to take the polish on my fingers off because Edgar hated it.  He attacked my hands.  

Is this not the most fantastic chicken butt you have ever seen!?!?!  Look just look at the fluffy butt!  These hard working ladies are just up the street and are the pride of the neighborhood.  They a flock of 5, which is the max with in seattle city limits.  I visit them every time I visit home.  

Look at those fancy feet!

Edgar had to stay at bird over night camp while we were gone.  He helped me pack for his stay.  He had a good time talking to the other birds and wasn't totally made when I picked him up.  


New Projects and Old Yarn

The green sweater is done! Its laying on the blocking mats in the upstairs extra bedroom just waiting for buttons.  I hope to get to Nancy's Sewing Basket this weekend, even if it means I create a massive distraction and running for my life.  Juneberry is done, coworkers scarf is done, green sweater.....must find new projects!!

All from my stash.  They are clockwise from the top.  Hazel knits: from her rejects sale. Malabrigo: Archangel and Hawthorne: (the colorway escapes me).  Together these beauties will become COLOR AFFECTION!  

 Archangel is amazing!! It glows, it actually glows.  

The beginnings of a pair of Marie Curie Mitts.  I haven't done colorwork in a long long time and at a super small gauge.  My hand hurts a bit but I've finally got a system worked out and now we're moving along.   

CLAIRE CLAIRE! I HELP! No Edgar you're not helping.  I HELP! Okay you help.  I did switch back to magic loop, I can't stand double points I try and try but its just a clusterfuck.  

I made some old yarn new again.  When I say this is old yarn I mean it.  I bought this yarn while I was still living in the apartment in Clarksville, so circa 2006/2007.  An online retailer was shutting down and having an obscene sale.  I bought a bunch of this DK weight silky alpaca from Debbie Bliss.  The colorway is Lime.  I made a cute little crop sweater with it which I need to wear more.  However I had a ton left and the the color no longer called to me and I didn't want two things from such a distinctive color.  Sooooooo OVER DYE.  

I got a package of royal blue dye, the kind you put in the washing machine.  I added all the yarn, pre-wet.  I also tossed in my lime green Pashmina which was also just the wrong shade.  

The yarn took the color nicely and I can't wait to knit with it.  I already have a project in mind for it so it's ready when I am.  BTW the pashmina took the color a little differently and didn't get as teal as I wanted but it took the tone down a notch and I'm happy with that.  I will defiantly wear it more now.

With a bit better understanding of quilting and some patience I am a slightly better piecer now.  I plan on getting some fabric to make a replacement of my horrible square soon.  

In other random news,  I had two interviews in one day.  Phone and in person with different companies.  I had a request for another, with a third company but had to decline because of scheduling problems.  Then I got an email from a new start up vet pharm company who found my resume on the interwebs.  HOT DAMN.  When it rains it pours. 
I racked my cider into a secondary jug for a good long mellowing.  It smells boozy and dry.  I'm excited.  


Big Lace

* I love patterns! My old knitting friends know this about me.  Its half the fun of the knitting project, finding a pattern to go with that YARN.  So I want to start talking more about knitting and patterns here.  Even if its not a complete Knitting blog, knitting is a huge part of my life.

From my first lace project waaaaay way back in the day.  Which was "Branching Out" published in Knitty from 2005.  I had only been knitting a short time back then, Ravelry wasn't even a thing yet.  It was a nice safe way to start knitting lace.  Much like the first time I shifted from first to second gear, I was hooked.  I really like lace knitting.  In particular I really like Estonian Lace.  Estonian lace has lovely repeats, easy to memorize patterns and they have a logic to them that makes the knitting easy to read.  More than just lace knitting, I live knitting lace in fingering weight yarn rather than lace weight yarn.  I prefer the better stitch definition and the warm wear.  As anyone who knows me, knows I love shawls as scarves.  Maybe its my inner hipster, maybe I don't like to be cold.

Just a few "Claire is knit shawls" pictures.  BTW they are Summerfly, TurnTable, Raindrops, Shallow tail and Glitz at the Ritz.  Luckily the rest of the knitting word is starting to see how awesome it is to wear shawls as scarves.

In 2012 I cast on for Juneberry, the epic worsted Lace triangle from that "hurt so good" designer we all love but never wear Jared Flood. Don't get me wrong the man takes amazing pictures, knows how to sell a brand and does create gorgeous patterns.  He also doesn't have hips or boobs nor has the slightest clue how to design a flattering pattern for anyone one who has either.  So I stick to his slightly overly complicated shawl and scarf patterns.  Shockingly Juneberry doesn't have a provisional cast on but its makes up for that with lace knitting on both the knit and purl sides.  If you make this pattern remember, the 3 knit boarder stitches are knot listed anywhere but in the notes and put a stitch marker between each pattern repeat.  DO IT! It took me years to knit this thing because I'd put it away and put it away and put it away.  Finally I just did it, and knocked the damn thing out this year.  Its also so squishy I might die.  Now that its extremely cold I've found I really like the extra added warmth of worst weight knitting.  There are some great knits out there to show off your lace skills and use a warmer yarn.  Juneberry of course.  There is Conifer, by Kate Gagnon Osborn, she has more than one worsted weight shawl but Conifer is the best of her lace.  The Lonely Tree Shawl and From Afar from two of the coolest kids on Ravelry.  The Skye Boat Shawl which looks so squishy. There's also Hojas and Farid from Sneezerville.

There aren't a lot of lace-worsted patterns available which is a little disappointing. But when you want to a change up from those oh so cozy but not so exciting garter stitch shawls which are popping up everywhere, take a peak at these patterns.


On a Tuesday

I'm pretty sure that's the name of a friends former blog, "On a Tuesday" and when I say former blog I mean lets get into the waaaaaaay way back machine and hop back to the early part of this fine century.  Back to when twitter was still just little thing, Facebook was not cool and MySpace still was a thing people used.  Once again I don't have a lot on my plate and I wanted to get some of this back log out.  

Here are 4 of my quilt squares for my square a month sampler.  The 5th is TERRIBLE.  Its so bad I took it apart and put it back together and its still bad.  So I'm going to buy the fabric (or close enough) and make a new one.  I've learned that I have a special stitch on my machine which should help me make better squares.  But the truth is, I'm not a good quilter, and I'm okay with that.  

Made this scarf for my coworker, since he's fresh outta college.  He's a good kid. But mostly because he's running around in basically a wind breaker when its like 23 degrees.  Boys.  Now he can stay warmish and look awesome.    

Here let me take some notes at the morning meeting!

My dear friend Kathy sent me this lovely sock yarn from her quilt shop!  I don't know what I'm going to make with it yet, but she trusts me to come up with something fantastic.  

Edgar approves of my sonic screwdriver.  You'll see where this is going next month.  

See I'm getting better.  This one is a little more square, and I'm trying to be more patient.  It may or may not be working.  

EDGAR! stop being so damn cute little bird.  Seriously.  

Keep a look out for a post this week about knitting worsted weight shawls! 


Its Monday...

I know crazy right.  But hell there is nothing else to do around here.  I'd like to say that just sitting on my duff pulling a paycheck is nice, but its not.  I'd like to be up to something, doing something so I alternate between reading free papers on PLOSOne and blogging.  

For my birthday we went to see the Black Keys.  Its the second time we've seen them and they're great in concert.  You can tell they just love to do live shows.  The song are never the same as they're recorded and they have a great light show too.  St. Vincent opened for them, and she's pretty amazing too.  

Of course there was an encore.  The whole place lit up with cell phone flashlights in an amazing display.  It was really cool.  However nothing, nothing, nothing beats the encore from their El Camino tour where they played Everlasting Light with a massive mirror ball.  I was rewarded with what I think is there best live version song, Little Black Submarines. We heard it at the Fresno show and they played it for part of their encore.  Its spectacular.  

Seriously have you had these!  Birthday gift from a friend and more than delicious.  They are from the wonderful candy makers Olive and Sinclair out of the every more awesome Nashville.  They come in a shotgun box too.  

Edgar gives his beak of approval to a shell stitch scarf I made.  

We sometimes have crazy amazing sunsets.  It doesn't make up for the sad brown that is winter in Kansas.  

I've been working away on my sweater.  Which actually fits, as you can see from how fab my bum looks in it.  

Tracing the patterns for my first knit sewing project.  I bought the Sewing with Knits class from Craftsy.

BAM! An awesome wearable item.  
Its way comfy, and I plan on making more, maybe with pockets.  

We just keep having snow, like 3ish inches at a time.  

The Cider is slowing down, and should be ready to move to the next jug soon, like this week.  Then it hangs out there for a while until it can be bottled.  If this batch goes well I'll make a large batch.  Finding good cider in Leavenworth is hard.