Saturday, September 29, 2012

No End to the Bountiful Harvest

More plums (Italian prunes this time), raspberries, and one of the two kinds of grapes from the yard.  Will the harvest never end this year?  The cake is made with some of the plums and is ready for the oldest boy's birthday dinner tonight.

The weather here in the Seattle area is unbelievably beautiful.  In fact, I'm thinking that a rainy day would be nice but the forecast just says sunny, sunny, sunny.  I think we must be in some parallel universe.

In knitting news, I finished some socks.  These are basic, ribbed, self-striping socks with an afterthought heel.  The yarn is some I bought at the last Sock Summit from The Amy Lee Show.  I like the sparkle!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How I Spent My Saturday

It was an intimate luncheon for 3000 people with some special entertainment.  The fundraiser was for Jay Inslee, who will hopefully be the next Governor of Washington.  In addition to President Clinton, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell spoke and some other notable locals also took the stage.  Musical entertainment was by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie.  All in all, a fun and interesting afternoon.

Tomorrow I get to see Huey Lewis and the News at an outdoor concert at a local winery.  A busy weekend for this little old knitter.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lesson for the Day

Never work on lace, even if it's in worsted weight yarn, after/while drinking a martini.  That's all I'm going to say about that.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Always Something

I did nicely at the fair this year and I went to pick up my entries on Tuesday.  Each entry is returned with the judge's report and that can be pretty helpful.  Sometimes they give comments that really explain what could have been done better and I like it when they do that.

Both of my shawls won blue ribbons and also best presentation ribbons that are "awarded at the judge's discretion to items of most lovely and eye catching appearance."  Cool!  I never actually thought about what I might do with my Pi shawl but I folded it in half and tried it on yesterday and it sits nicely on my shoulders.  Might be wearable on occasion.  Side note:  I like knitting shawls but rarely wear them.  Anyone else do that?

This was the Gull Wings pattern in the Elizabeth Zimmermann anniversary shawl series by Mwaa Knit.

The other shawl I entered was my Stephen West mystery knit Earth and Sky.  I mentioned before that I just grabbed this at the last minute to enter because I didn't have anything else that was suitable.  I haven't been crazy about the mixture of colors in this project and probably wouldn't have used the red with the other two if I had known what the pattern would look like when I started.

The judge disagreed!  She awarded the maximum points (5) with a + behind it for Color Use and Overall Impression.  She also knew the pattern.  Her notes read:  What great hand dyed yarns that combined well in this shawl.  If you chose them before the knitalong, wow!  OK, it's wow even after :) I loved that she knew it and appreciated it.  Of course, the yarn was Wollmeise so it had to look good!

One comment I still get pretty consistently is that my stitch tension isn't even.  I worked on that years ago and tightening up my purling helped but obviously I still need to pay more attention to it.  I'll have to look up some more suggestions since I don't know how to fix the problem.

Now to the spinning:

I had thought that my gradient socks would get some sort of extra ribbon; the yarn was spun pretty well, the pattern fit the yarn, and the colors were beautiful.  I had to laugh when I read the judge's comment.  It was clear that she liked the project a lot but had to point out a small discrepancy...."I'm sorry, but you forgot to do the heel cup on one sock."  No wonder the toe on one was longer.  I made the heel flap and then just went right into the gusset.  Funny, it fits fine but it definitely is wrong.  Just when you start getting too cocky, you forget to turn the heel.  Now my OCD wants me to go back and do it again but I haven't decided.  It won't show in a shoe but I'll know it's there.....

The other handspun socks also got a blue ribbon.

The comments on the skeins were helpful this year, too.  I'll have some things to work on for the future. I tend to have twist issues here and there and also found out that I need to learn how to tie a proper figure eight.  Have already looked it up on You Tube and won't make that mistake again!

All in all, a successful experience.  I demonstrated spinning once and knitting twice this year, so got to spend two days at the Fair.  Brings back memories of when we took the kids there when they were little.  And the scones are still good!