Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dancing at the Summit

This post will be brief, because I should be asleep, but I had to share the Mr. D's video of the flash mob that "happened" in front of the Oregon Convention Center this afternoon about 5:30. I was one of the random strangers that spontaneously burst into song and dance (after all, it's National Dance Day). If you look very closely, you will see me in my bright blue shirt, waving around a predominantly pink skein of Socks That Rock Lightweight. I had SO MUCH FUN!!

Sock Summit has been amazing, wonderful, stupendous, but it's time for me to sleep. Enjoy the video, and I'll fill you in on more soon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weekly Hike #5: In the Mountains

 Well, we finally got out of the foothills! On Friday, July 22, Mr. D and I headed up to the Pratt Lake Trailhead and set out for Olallie Lake (please note the misspelling on the sign above). Mr. D had checked out the trail a week or so earlier, and had reported that the snow was almost all gone except for a few patches around the lake.

This hike is much longer and more challenging than those we have been doing in the foothills. We hiked about nine miles round trip, and accomplished about 2,000 feet of elevation gain. We also had to cross several rushing streams, (very gingerly) stepping across on stones that tipped a bit.

The hike may have been longer, but it was also much more scenic. We saw lots of wildflowers, such as the bunchberry, barehip rose, columbine and trillium below. The trillium was especially surprising, as  trillium blooming  in the lowlands was finished over two months ago.

The forest was green and quiet.

The higher mountains were still snow covered.

Best of all, we had a scenic vista at our picnic spot by Olallie Lake.

P.S. We did do a weekly hike today (back down in the foothills), but my post on that one will have to wait until next week, as we are off to Portland and Sock Summit tomorrow! I'm taking the computer, so look for a post or two.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekly Hike #4: A Good View and an Unfortunate Name

On Friday, July 15, we set out on this trail on Tiger Mountain, located just outside of the town of Issaquah, in what is known as the Issaquah Alps. Our destination was the unfortunately-named Poo-Poo Point. The trail was beautiful, but steep; about a thousand-foot elevation gain.

 In our two-mile slog to the top we saw a banana slug.

We tasted some red huckleberries—really sour, so not yet ready to pick.

The foxgloves were in full bloom.

Poo-Poo Point is best known as a great take-off point for para-gliders. We met a guy on the trail who was from Alaska, and he was in Seattle just to para-glide off Poo-Poo point. Unfortunately,  the winds weren't right, so we didn't see any para-gliders in action, but here is their take-off point, carpeted in artificial turf.

We ate our lunch at the picnic table overlooking the take-off spot, and enjoyed views of Lake Sammamish, Squak Mountain and Cougar Mountain, the site of our first weekly hike.

While I really enjoyed the views and the hike, I wasn't so happy on Saturday morning, when my legs were so sore I could barely walk downstairs. Even though I complained a bit about the steepness of the ascent, it was the downhill that got me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scarves, Pie and Goodbye

Last night, my Tuesday night knitting group held our goodbye party for Sue at Sylvia's house. A good time was had by all, but we missed Kathy, who couldn't join us. (Feel better, Kathy!) As planned, we displayed our Koigu Linen Stitch Scarves.

 Then we modeled them.

We ate pie and drank champagne.

And finally, we said goodbye and happy travels to Sue. We'll miss you!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Last week my knitting post was all about UFOs; this week I'm going to talk about FOs (Finished Objects). Fortunately, neither of these projects got to the point of being relegated to the UFO spreadsheet.

The first project is my Spring Showers Scarf. This was in danger of becoming a UFO, but thanks to my Tuesday night knitting group, it got finished instead. You see, back in February, we all decided to knit the Churchmouse Classics Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf as a group project. I started it back then, but got bogged down after making numerous mistakes, which I left in, as I wasn't going to tink back on a 450-stitch row. Once I finally figured out what I was doing and started to make good progress, the scarf got set aside while I was on a three-week vacation. Then, about three weeks ago, Sue, one of the group members, accepted a three-year position to teach at an international school in Vienna, and will be leaving for Austria on July 28. Before she leaves, we plan to take a group photo of all of us wearing our scarves, so that lit a fire under me and was my impetus to sit down and finish the scarf. Thanks, Sue!

Even with my mistakes, the scarf is beautiful! Linen stitch is comprised of a knit or purl stitch—depending what side you are on—alternating with a slipped stitch, and after every stitch (all 450 of them!) moving the yarn to the front or to the back. The resulting fabric is gorgeous, much more like weaving than knitting. The pattern calls for three different colorways of Koigu hand painted yarn. I decided I wanted a neutral, a medium and a bright tone for my three, with the predominant color being purple. I picked three nice colorways that fit this scheme, but I never imagined just how wonderful they would look when combined. My fellow knitting group member, Jacky, compared the colors to a spring rain shower, which is why I named the project the Spring Showers scarf. 

I am also really thrilled with the way my photos of the scarf turned out. I had to do some artful arranging to avoid showing mistakes, but I think that adds to the images I got. The first photo shows off the texture of the linen stitch, and I really love the bokeh on the fringe in the second photo!

There was one other project that got finished this week. This time it was a quick, one skein, Grandmother's Favorite dishcloth, started on Monday and finished on Wednesday. Sometimes you just need instant gratification!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekly Hike #3: Little Mount Si

The Fourth of July, Independence Day in the U.S., is a day that Mr. D and I often go on a hike, and often, that hike is up Little Mount Si. So this year, that's where we headed. Little Mount Si is in North Bend, Washington, and lies in the shadow of Mount Si (3,100 feet), which was made famous by the 1990s television series, Twin Peaks. Little Mount Si, is, of course not as high (about a thousand feet), and the trail is relatively easy, except for the very beginning and the end, which are both quite steep.

Here are some scenes from our hike:

This bench was erected in memory of Doug Hansen, who died on Mount Everest in 1996.

The deep and green forest.


Mount Si looms above Little Mount Si. Mr. D hikes to just below the large rock on the right at least once a week throughout most of the year.

North Bend, the Snoqualmie Valley and Rattlesnake Mountain. The little notch on Rattlesnake Mountain, just below the last cloud on the left, is Rattlesnake Ridge, where we hiked last week.

Lunch with a view.

Dessert: fresh, local, organic strawberries!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


We knitters have an acronym for a project that has been hanging around for a long time without being finished, and often, not even being worked on.  The term is Unfinished Object, or UFO for short. Sometimes I feel like I'm the Queen of UFOs, although I know that there are knitters out there who have many, many more. After all, I've only been knitting for three years...

This summer, I decided I needed to get serious about those UFOs, and I've come up with a plan (and a spreadsheet) to work through them by either finishing or frogging them.

Project number one on that list is the Antoinette vest, a Noro pattern designed by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton that I cast on for in 2008. I love the yarn, Noro Iro, but the miles and miles of seed stitch were too much. In addition, the few project notes that I saw on Ravelry indicated that the vest only looked good on the very thin, young model in the pattern book and did not look good on real, honest-to-goodness women. As a result, this:

became this:

I absolutely love the colors of the Noro Iro, so I plan to knit it into a garment that I like better.  And there will be NO seed stitch!

Shortly after Christmas last year, I spent a torturous afternoon teaching myself how to do Judy's Magic Cast-On, so that I could do the homework for Cat Bordhi's toe-up sock class I was registered to take at Madrona in February. I finally mastered it, and got the toe cast-on, so I decided to keep going and knit a pair of plain vanilla socks with a gusset heel. When I finished the first sock, it didn't fit well, and I absolutely hated the gusset heel. (Give me a slip stitch heel anytime!) As a result, today this:

became this:

This yarn has been soaked in wool wash and is now hanging up to dry.  I plan to re-skein it tomorrow and it will be knitted into another pair of socks in the future, most likely cuff-down with a slip-stitch heel next time.

It hasn't been completely Frog City around here, however. I'm also working diligently on a newer UFO, the She-Knits (Sharon Dreifus) Samantha Bag, which I started as part of a mystery knit-along last fall. I got busy with Christmas knitting and dropped this project a few weeks after I started it and I've only picked it up in the last three weeks. I have now knit all six of the outside pockets and only have the inside pockets, the decorative cord and the strap to go. And of course, felting. I should be able to check this UFO off my list before the summer is over. Here is a sneak peek:

I'll keep you updated on the progress of the UFO project over the next several months. Just because I'm knitting or frogging UFOs does not mean that I'm not casting on for new projects. Watch this space soon for more on those future UFOs—oops, I mean works in progress!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Weekly Hike #2: Rattlesnake Ridge

Mr. D and I took this hike, last Tuesday, a cloudy and cool day, with showers in the forecast. Cloudy and cool is perfect for hiking, and fortunately, we didn't get rained on. We went further up into the foothills, just south of the town of North Bend, to Rattlesnake Lake and the trailhead for the Rattlesnake Ridge trail. The name of both the lake and the trail are misleading, as there are no rattlesnakes west of the Cascades. The lake is part of the Cedar River Watershed; the whole area is maintained by Seattle Public Utilities and access is free to the public.

We started our hike at Rattlesnake Lake.

There were many large, moss-covered boulders along the trail.

Broad-leaved starflowers brightened our path.

The best trail snack this week was cherries!

The trail was well-maintained, and once at Rattlesnake Ridge (a 1,000 foot elevation gain), we had lunch with some beautiful views:

Looking across the Snoqualmie Valley to Mount Si.

Mr. D surveying the view.

There's still lots of snow in the mountains.

I have also been knitting a lot in the past week, and I'll have a report on my current projects coming up soon.