Monday, March 28, 2011

spoiler alert

March really got away from me. I was recovering from Hawaii and then I got really, really sick. Then there was catching up and wham!, it's the end of March and I'm going to be very late. It was my friend, P-la's birthday last weekend ::waves hi:: and despite my best intentions (i.e. shopping at Fibres West), my plan to have her birthday present arrive on time failed miserably because I didn't really have anything to give her. But I'm making up for it. P-la - if you're reading this, you might want to move on to the next blog and then come back to this post in a few weeks, k?

I spent the week scouring Ravelry for ideas and eventually came up with this:

Pattern: Summer Flies by Donna Griffin
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK in col Ms. Taylor (2 skeins; 100g & 225 yds each)
Needles: 5mm Addi Turbos
Notes: Finished size is a little smaller than the original. Next time I make this, I will go up a needle size. Took 3 days to complete (including blocking).

Hope she likes it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

jumping in the pool

You'd think that having Gladys as a co-blogger would result in some of her pooling genius to rub off on me. Uh no. The effect is stunning but it is way too fiddly for me. Kinda like the difference between baking & cooking. You can be a little loose when measuring or substituting ingredients when cooking but you can't do that with baking which explains why I cook and I don't bake. And that's why this scarf is my first and last pooling project.

Pattern: based on this scarf by statnerd
Yarn: Socks that Rock Mediumweight in two colors - Smoky Blue (the first and last columns) and Farmhouse (the rainbow-y one)
Needles: 4.5mm Addis
Notes: It was very difficult to pool two different colours. Smoky Blue seemed to have a slightly shorter repeat length than Farmhouse. If you look closely, I was able to knit Smoky Blue at my usual gauge but Farmhouse had to be knit more loosely.

I think my cast on is 245 sts. Each section has 8 garter rows.

I was going to give this scarf to hubby for Christmas but he said the yarn was too scratchy to wear against his neck so I'm going to give it away. Hubby's big fundraising bike ride, Ride2Survive is coming up soon so I'm putting this scarf in the raffle. Keep your eyes peeled for further details.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

fuzzy wuzzy

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear,
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair,
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?
- traditional children's poem, author unknown

Pattern: 1267 Gedifra Sombra by Karola Gottwald from Gedifra Highlights 082
Yarn: Gedifra Sombra (col 3008); 14 skeins used
Needle: 9mm
Notes: Pattern called for 13 skeins and I used 14. The sweater is knit to gauge & measurements. I even had to unravel the gauge swatch and use the yarn for seaming. The ball band says 14 skeins for the size of sweater that I made so I think the pattern may not be correct. The sleeves are a smidge too long (darn those tall Europeans) but that's ok because this is meant to be a big cozy sweater. I knit the collar shorter (it's supposed to fold over) because I was running out of yarn. This was the craziest fuzzy yarn that I've ever knit with.

I definitely am very fuzzy when I wear it. Everyone wants to pet me because I look so soft.

You can see how long the sleeves are in the above pic.

My sock mojo is still MIA. I did a little sock knitting in Hawaii because that's all I brought. But once we got home, I immediately cast on a sweater (fuzzy wuzzy was finished before we left). I am knitting hubby (all 6'4" of him) a Dale of Norway sweater - Whistler to be precise. He skis there and when he saw the sweater in a shop last year, he wanted one. I opened my big mouth and offered to knit him one. He bought the sweater kit last year and I've been putting it off (there's a lot of black stockinette and eek! steeking). The lower body is almost complete. I have about 1.5" of black stockinette left and then I get to start the fun stranding. I've enlarged the chart onto 8 sheets of paper which I still need to tape together. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 18, 2011

even more Hawaii

Are you bored of hearing about Hawaii? I'm going to condense the rest of the trip into this one post just to get it over with and then I can move onto the knitting.

Day 2 in Hawaii saw us driving all over Oahu in our rental car. Starting from Honolulu, we went counter-clockwise.

First stop was at the surf shop so that hubby could register and pay for his surfing lesson. We stopped at the Diamond Head Marketplace & Grill for breakfast:

We stopped at pretty much all the lookouts along the coastal route. We made one detour to have a quick look at the Koko Head Botanical Gardens where I promptly got numerous mosquito bites (whoever told me there are no mosquitoes in Hawaii lied).

We spent part of the afternoon soaking up the rays on Sunset Beach which is at the north end of Oahu. Lemme tell you that the waves can really sneak up on ya:

On Fri, hubby went off to his surfing lesson and I sat on the beach knitting and taking pictures/videos of him falling off. Overall, he did pretty well (for a tall guy according to the photographer sitting next to me).

The vacation went a little downhill after the surf lesson. When we stopped for shaved ice on Waikiki, hubby wasn't feeling so well and got really sick. We grabbed a cab at the nearest hotel and went back to our hotel. Hubby got much sicker. Poor thing spent the next 2 days in bed (or in the bathroom). He had to miss out on his bicycle ride. I walked to the bike store and bought him a store jersey to make him feel better. I also went to the Ala Moana mall - it's huge! I finished the walk along Waikiki beach by myself and found a farmer's market where I bought the most amazing supper - Kahlua pork, chicken, rice, fresh pineapple, and other mysterious & tasty goodies. Yum!

We took it easy for the rest of the trip. I did some shopping without hubby (found a quilt store!) and when he felt better, we went to the Bishop museum and drove out to the Pali Highway lookout (more mosquitoes). On the last day, we hiked up to the top of Diamond Head Crater (even more mosquitoes):

We spent our very last afternoon on the beach and in the water at Ala Moana:

We are definitely going back to Hawaii!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weaving Rainbows

I'm so many blog posts behind that it's a wonder that Dotty's still speaking to me. Come to think of it, perhaps she isn't. I'm also a ton of knit nights behind because of flu season in this house, on top of working and crafting and getting the kids to their swim and skating lessons. Spring break's next week, and you won't believe how much I'm looking forward to it!

But I do have a few pretty photos to show you! I took a great weaving class at the Madrona Fiber Festival, and came home with a wee Schacht Cricket loom. It's been a lot of fun practicing my new skills (yes, Dotty, I could have been blogging when I was weaving).

And I figured out how to get pooling sock yarns into weaving, as well! Here's my loom, all warped with a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.

And here's the finished scarf. The weft yarn was Kraemer Silk & Silver, and yes, you can sort of see some of the sparkly silver peeking through the scarf. A typical sock yarn skein width, pooled, gives you about a 6' by 10" woven scarf.

Here's what I had left over — just a smidge of the skein was left, laid out here beside its sibling.

And a family portrait — with the Kraemer spooning at the back.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

more Hawaii

Sorry to disappear like that. The week seems to have whipped past me without me noticing. Here's a continuation of our Hawaii adventures...

After spending half a day stomping around Pearl Harbour (and it is a fantastic historical site. We ran out of time so we didn't get to tour the USS Missouri or the submarine. Next time, we'll allot a entire day), we waited, and waited for the shuttle (which never arrived) to take us to the Aloha Stadium swap meet. We ended up hopping in the car and driving over. It's massive. Imagine walking around an entire football stadium full of stalls selling stuff. So. Much. Stuff. And it's all so cheap. Hubby and I bought some Hawaiian hats. We got a couple of Hawaiian shirts. You could buy quilts:

I bought a small cushion cover from this vendor. We also found a bakery stall and I bought some haupia flavoured Hawaiian Pretzels (OMG - deep fried crispy goodness) and hubby picked a coffee cake.

We drove over to Aiea for a little more shopping - hubby went to a bike store and I went to Fabric Mart. Wow. That place is amazing. So many fabrics! I mostly bought Hawaiian prints (for skirts & tops). I think my jaw dropped when I walked in the door.

We headed back to the hotel for their cocktail & entertainment hour (music, shiatsu, drinkies). The drive back took forever. Traffic is a nightmare. The highway is 6 lanes across in each direction and it's jam packed. Even after we got off the H1, it was crazy busy on the side roads all the way back to the hotel. I'll never complain about traffic at home again.

We eventually wandered over to the Hilton across the street in search of some supper. Hubby had a tip about a pizza place that was half decent. We found it and hubby ordered a Hawaiian pizza (ham & pineapple). Only he would eat a Hawaiian pizza in Hawaii. We wandered around the shops after supper and imagine my surprise when I saw this:

It's mounted on the outside of a hotel. The outside. That is completely unheard of out here. In fact, the hotel lobby was completely open to the elements. Don't they worry about critters getting into the building?

That's it - our first full day in Hawaii and it was spectacular.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pearl Harbour

Our first stop was a very sobering visit to Pearl Harbour. Almost 70 years later, the impact of the Japanese attack is still very much apparent. I could feel every one of the 1000+ lives lost while standing on the USS Arizona memorial.

The moment of silence that I observe every Remembrance Day will have new meaning to me.

ETA: You can click on the pics for a bigger image. But here's what the above plaque says:

Dear Lord / Lest I continue / My complacent way / Help me to remember
Somehow out there / A man died for me today. / As long as there be war
I then must / Ask and answer / Am I worth dying for?

Poem Eleanor Roosevelt kept in her wallet during World War II

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We're back from a week in Hawaii. We had a great time but it's good to be back home with our kitties. The day after we got home, I got hit by the flu. Hubby got sick in Hawaii so it was just a matter of time before I got sick, too. I've been flat on my back for three whole days. Today is the first time I've felt vaguely human.

We picked the perfect week to go. Our area experienced record breaking low temps plus a huge dump of snow. Lucky for us, the snow melted and it warmed up before we came home.

I'll be posting more pics and stories about our vacation shortly. Mahalo!