September 30, 2005


Wes took my camera. So I can't show you the red bolero with the body bound off and one sleeves and the ties complete. I can't show you the pile of pink yarn I've been spinning. Or the nearly completed half front of Mia. But rest assured that there's plenty of knitting and spinning going on here at Rose-Kim Knits.

A question for spinners:
In looking at the yarn I'm spinning for my sweater I see that my plying is getting a little better. Which means that the first few skeins I plied are now totally unacceptable. They are severely over-plied. I want to run them back through the wheel to take off some of the twist. Should I just put it on my swift and unspin it a bit?

A question for spinners and dyers:
I have lots of undyed roving. Which do you prefer to do, dye the roving and then spin it or spin it then dye it?

A thank you to all my readers:
I love your comments! Especially on Thursday. I know you all say that I make you laugh but really you all make my day with your funny, snarky, mean comments. I love it. So thank you.

September 29, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

Sometimes the name just gives it all away.

Why would I need to look any further when I found a pattern called "Clydesdale-Style Legwarmers?" (I have to admit I was intrigued because I didn't know what style legwarmers Clydesdales usually wear.)

And did I really need to look at the "Festive Fur Funfetti Knit Bolero" to know that it was Thursday material?

September 28, 2005

More on Portland

I was so wiped out telling you all about OFFF that I didn't fill you in on the rest of my trip. When I got back from the festival I immediately walked over to Lint. They are having a trunk show for Loop-d-Loop. I really wanted to see the Cabled Riding Jacket in person. And I did. I got to try it on. Well, I got to put my arms in the sleeves and look at the back. The smallest size in the book is a 38" bust. This model was more like 32-34". But I'm in love. Now if only 1750 yards of aran-weight wool would fall from the sky... The last time I visited Lint the staff was busy making pieces for a yarn picnic lunch. They have added many pieces since then.

Click to make exceptionally large

My favorite part is the "paprika" sprinkled on the deviled eggs.

On Sunday we had brunch at my brother in law's house in the Sellwood neighborhood. My SIL told me there was a new yarn shop. She called to see when they opened, drew me a map and off I went. It was a little less than a mile walk over. I got there precisely at noon and saw the sign in the window that said they open at 1. Oh man. I did stop by after 1 and took a look around. They are a new shop and don't have all their inventory yet. It is a HUGE space. I mean ENORMOUS. And light and bright. They will have a cafe and a space for dyeing. But right now they don't have that much stuff. Which I found amusing for a store called Abundant Yarn. They didn't have any yarns that were new to me so I just walked through quickly. I did mention to someone there that the outgoing message on their answering machine says they open at noon on Sunday. And she looked at me and said, "Oh no. We open at 1." Yeah, no shit. That's why I'm telling you, lady.

I also got to swing through The Yarn Garden. Normally a shop that carries practically every yarn like this one would make me really happy. I sort of understood how it was organized but not exactly. This space really turned me off. It's a series of small, cramped, dark rooms. The yarn is in cubbies from floor to ceiling. Even though there were some great yarns there none of it felt special because it was all just stuffed into an endless series of little cubby holes.

Thus concludes my fibery journey through Portland. I hope to go back soon and check out the many, many shops I haven't seen yet.

I've almost finished the first sleeve on the red bolero. I realized after spending several hours doing the i-cord bind off on the bottom that I placed the wrong stitches on holders and will need to rip it out and do it over.

I've also been spinning like crazy. I've partially filled two jumbo bobbins with the pink fluff and have nearly all the fiber prepped. I've been loading music and podcasts on to my iTunes to I have something to listen to while I spin. And last night I watched several episodes of season 2 of "Nip/Tuck" while spinning. It gives me somewhere else to look during all the surgery. Ick.

September 27, 2005

Red Blobs and iPods

This red blob is the tie-front bolero pattern I've been working on for the shop. I wanted to use the i-cord cast on I learned at camp this summer and found a way to then use Annie Modesitt's knit in i-cord edging from Backyard Leaves along the front edges. I just finished the body and spent a long time on Sunday night trying to find a way to continue the edging along the ties. I had originally intended to cast on stitches in groups of 15 or 20 until the ties were the right length to create tapered ties. But the edging looked terrible when I cast on. After many rippings I decided to just do an i-cord bind off along the bottom and leave three stitches on each side on holders to pick up later and knit i-cords for the ties. I'm just starting the first sleeve which will be full length. I love this yarn (the new Frog Tree worsted-weight merino) but I don't like working on the project. I think it's a fear of failure. I felt the same way working on the lace-edged bolero I made this spring. An unpleasant blend of fear and self-loathing all coming through my knitting. Blech.

On the brighter side of things this came in the mail.

I am no longer the only person over the age of 12 in Seattle without an iPod. It's a nano. It's slick. And tiny. My music collection totally sucks though so I need to work on fleshing that out.

After looking at all my new fiber (and my old fiber when I was putting the new stuff away) I had a moment of panic. How will I ever spin this all up?! I spent a good bit of time spinning up the pink cotton candy for the Union Market Square Pullover. I still have a long way to go.

Larissa posted this darling little flapper baby hat yesterday. I needed a diversion and started rooting around for yarn to knit it. I came across a big hunk of Coopworth that I had dyed along with my Leaf Lace Pullover. The baby hat is a fast project.

The color is odd and the yarn is really sticky. I'm going to give it a good washing. I may overdye it too.

September 26, 2005

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival 2005 - The Haul

One of the first items that caught my eye was the handpainted combed top ("American and Scandinavian fine wools" is what the label says) from Butternut Woolens. The owner was lovely and friendly. She had fiber but most of her booth was handpainted yarns. I came by about three times before I dug these two out of her basket. This is 8 oz.

I was very happy to find a bumper sticker like Susan's.

I circled this llama for about an hour before I finally succumbed to it. It is so fine and soft. I felt up a lot of fiber and this was the most delicate llama I can into contact with. This is almost 11 oz.

And it came with a picture of the llama! Meet Dazzle.

I think the owner said she was just a year old which is why her fiber is so fine.

A fiber that I was unfamiliar with before the festival is pygora. It's a cross of pygmy and angora goats. The breed originated in Oregon. There were several breeders at the festival. I got to touch a lot of fiber and see many cute little goaty faces. The fiber is extremely fine and soft like cashmere. I found these two boxes (4 ounces total) at a bargain basement price. It's a blend of 75% pygora and 25% Gotland wool. The dark guard hairs make it "less desirable." I did see lots of perfectly snow white fiber but this one felt really good to me. I kept coming back to it and it was a quarter the price of most of the other pygora. All the pygora fleece in competition was not for sale. But I got to stick my hands in all the boxes and read all the judges comments. You can find far more lustrous pygora than what I got but I'm afraid I'll ruin it when I spin it anyway so why splurge just yet.

I peeked at the Bellwether booth several times before going in. They had a large display of Cormo yarn. Oh dear. So soft. So springy. It was love. But I hated all the colors they had in the Cormo fiber. Then I looked way up on top of the display and saw these three bundles of Cormo and silk. At first I was only going to take two but the very fun and friendly ladies at the booth suggested I would be better off taking all three and that I could return any unused roving! I think I ended up with 28 oz.

My final stop of the day was at Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I spent a long time talking with Kaci and Tina. They're such fun women and their yarn, well, it's really nice. I picked up two new skeins of Socks that Rock. The blue/green is a new colorway called Ms. LaRock.

September 25, 2005

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival 2005

I abandoned Wes and the children at the hotel early Saturday morning and drove the short distance from Portland down to Canby. At first I wasn't sure I was in the right place. There were no signs for the festival at all. Finally I found what looked like the fairgrounds but instead of sheep and goats there were people with Irish Wolfhounds. What the...then I found the festival. It looked small. I parked right in front and prepared myself for disappointment. When I saw this car I felt like I was in the right place. I saw a few tents, most were still setting up. After passing several tents selling Peruvian sweaters and various knick knacks I found the goods.

I wanted to just scoop up all the yarn I saw. I forced myself to put everything down and do a quick walk through of the festival. I collected business cards and made some notes about what I was interested in. I made several passes through the tents and two pavilion buildings. As I passed this tent these guys came out. I started stocking up on fiber. (Details of fiber booty will come in a later post). I took a break to go through the stables. I took lots of pictures of cute animals but most of them are terrible because a)It's dark in the barn. b)The animals really don't pose well. c) They are in pens and cages which means lots of bars. d) I generally take lousy photos. But here's the best I have to offer. A sheep who needs shearing. I could barely see her eyes. A Jacob sheep(they have four horns!). An adorable llama for sale with the bushiest eyebrows. A mohair goat.

Then outside the barn I saw this recently shorn llama being taken for a stroll. I stopped to look at this enormous angora rabbit. As I looked at it people kept walking by, stopping, staring and finally proclaiming, "it's a rabbit!" It was pretty hard to make out any features, there was just a little pink twitching nose under all that fur. The llama that had been out strolling came by to check it out for himself.

At 11:00 they opened the viewing of all the fleeces from the various competitions before they went on sale at noon. I knew I wasn't going to be buying any raw fleeces but it was very informative to read all the judges comments on each fleece and get a chance to look at them and touch them myself.

In the afternoon a woman set up a demonstration of "Spinning from the Bunny." She just plucked the fiber off of her bunny and spun it. I've seen pictures of this before but it was very cute to watch.

When I finally started to wind down I realized that I had been walking around for five hours without pausing to eat, rest or go to the bathroom. It was time to head home. More tomorrow.

So Tired, So Much to Blog

I'm back from Portland and I am exhausted. I walked and walked and walked and walked. I bought so much fiber I'm almost embarrassed. Detailed blogging will follow.

September 23, 2005


I'm heading south to Portland for the weekend. I'll be going to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. My first fiber fest. Woohoo! Have a great weekend everyone.


I got my Sockapalooza socks yesterday. I took some photos but frankly Sara (my sock maker) has much better photos on her blog. The pattern is really pretty and the colorway is nearly the same as the socks I made for my sock pal. It was also cool that Sara is someone who I've emailed with in the past as we read each other's blogs. Then I got to make socks for Liz. It's been very interesting reading about the life she's making for herself in Maine. Thanks to Alison, the swap hostess extraordinaire, for another great sock swap.

September 22, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

Oh Laines du Nord. You were really close. I was going to cut you some slack for the stupid hat and the dumb fluffy collar to match. I was ready to ignore the gratuitous presence of shrugs and ponchos.

But then you did this.

What the hell is this?

September 21, 2005

The Sky for Sandy

Sandy's asking for photos of the sky. I walked out the door and turned the camera directly up and snapped this photo without even glancing at the viewfinder. It's gorgeous fall weather in Seattle. Blue skies, mild temperatures, a slight nip in the air at night. Sweater weather. What more could you want?

What a Difference a Gauge Makes

Now that Martha and her teeny needles and tiny yarn are behind me I needed a new project. I wanted something mindless. I mean really, really mindless. So I reached into my stash and pulled out my enormous sack of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in pale blue and cast on the left front of Mia. Yes, I bought the pattern book 17 months ago. And ordered the yarn (which took three months to arrive). And it has sat unloved in my stash for over a year. But right now I needed something that requires no thought. Mia with her total lack of shaping is just the right project. So yesterday afternoon I cast on. One dull parent meeting and the final disk of season one of Lost later I have ten inches of the left front done. Ten! The yarn seemed a little splitty at first but I'm not having any trouble now. The angora does shed like the dickens so there is always a cloud of little fluffy bits floating around in front of me as I work.

Martha, Completed

Martha from Rowan 37
Yarn: Dale Baby Ull
Needles: Addi Turbo 3mm and Crystal Palace US1
Modifications: I added 2 pattern repeats without shaping to the bottom of the body for some extra length

Before I get any white bra comments I would like to note that I'm actually wearing a nude colored camisole under the sweater for the photo. It just looks white. So there.

September 20, 2005

All Over But the Buttons

Martha is done. I just have a few ends to weave in and buttons to buy (and attach). I used up every last bit of my yarn and even had to use an extra yard or so of some grey Baby Ull from another project to complete the seaming. Pictures as soon as I get the buttons on.

September 19, 2005

Soon, My Pet

I really thought I was going to finish the last sleeve for Martha last night. I've been knitting and knitting and knitting. I still have a little way to go. And I think I'm about to run out of yarn. I'll have to swing by the shop and get another skein. Then I'll have yarn left over for baby socks like Alison's.

September 17, 2005

Disks 1-5 of Lost

During which I knit 5 hats for Dulaan.

Damn good show.

September 16, 2005


The preview is up for the new magazine from Interweave Press.


Arnie's got it bad.

Look at him strain to smile. And that forehead looks like molded plastic. Eesh.

September 15, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

The French have style. French women just know how to dress. French designers make such lovely clothes. But I find French knitwear designs to be lacking. After looking at the newest Bouton d'Or designs I found out what was missing.

The backs.

Of course, taste and good sense might also be MIA.

September 14, 2005

My Eyes! My Eyes!

Martha Stewart has a new live morning talk show. Yesterday was... sigh... Poncho Day. Everyone in the entire audience and crew wore the "Coming Home" Poncho (which now has knit and crochet patterns for kids as well as dogs). For crying out loud, her dogs were wearing them. And they had Lily Chin in the Flying Fingers Yarn Bus crocheting a poncho for Paw Paw during the show. (It was awful when they would talk to her. She's kind of a fast and overly-mannered talker anyway so when she's trying to crochet as fast as she can and talk at the same time on live television...not good.) They even made Elmo wear a poncho! I did especially enjoy seeing all the middle aged men in the audience being force to look happy about wearing a poncho.

September 13, 2005

Hopeful Hat Trick

Three new Hopefuls completed. See all the details on the Hopeful Knitalong blog.

September 12, 2005

Starting to Look Like Something

I finished the second front on Martha tonight. I short rowed the shoulders and did a three needle bind off with the back. Just one sleeve to go!

September 11, 2005

An Evening on Bainbridge

Molly and I headed to Bainbridge late yesterday afternoon for Churchmouse's 5th anniversary celebration. The shop has been changed around quite a bit since the last time I visited in June. They also have several new yarns. We perused, we groped, we dove through the clearance section.

1 skein of Calmer for Shedir, 3 skeins of Kid Classic to add to the collection, 2 skeins of Meilenweit Fun, a sock pattern book from Koigu and a free tape measure as a gift for wearing a handknit item (Retro Prep)

After shopping, free cake and bubbly (water for me, champagne for Molly) we headed to dinner at the Harbour Public House. As we sat on the balcony Martha took in the view of the sunset.

No Chicken Escapes from Tweedy's Farm

My five year old wanted a new hat to replace last year's model which seems to have gotten lost. We were watching Chicken Run and I asked him if he would like a hat like Ginger's. He would.

Lamb's Pride Superwash Bulky on US 9s

And while I was feeling hatty, I knocked off my first contribution to the second Dulaan Project.

September 10, 2005

Spinning Addendum

Another cool thing about the drop-in spinning was when a woman who no longer spins came in and gave away her fiber stash. I got a big bag of this pretty romney cross.

Knitting Glossary

My copy of the Knitting Glossary on DVD arrived on Tuesday. I don't recall ordering it. I think I put my name on what I thought was a contact list for when it was ready while I was at camp. It's great but kind of funny in the editing. A lot of the intros to segments got cut out. Meg has added a lot of new segments as well. It's a great resource especially for "visual learners."

Drop In Spinning

Weaving Works has just started a monthly drop-in spinning group. Molly and I went together last night for the first. Marti and Melinda were there too. (I'm sure there are spinning bloggers I know whose names do not start with "M." But none of them were there last night.) It was a lot of fun to see what everyone was working on, their wheels, their wool. I got to grope Melinda's Spin Off anniversary sweater. It's spongy, soft and gorgeous. I worked on the pink yarn for the Union Square Market Pullover. Everyone kept coming over to me and saying, "It looks like you're spinning cotton candy." It feels good to know that at least once a month I can take three hours and devote it to spinning. At home, I'm always lured back to my knitting projects.

September 9, 2005

Fridays are for Knitbits*

"Kill me quickly," he said just before he burst into flames.

*Thanks Berocco. But what the hell does this have to do with Brooklyn?

September 8, 2005

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

As I gathered up this week's photos I found myself not merely asking, "What the hell is this?" But asking "What the hell is hanging around your neck?"

I've been studying this head-scratcher from R2 for quite some time and I haven't figured it out yet.

Whatever it is, it seems to be spreading to her wrist.

And then Rowan offered up this in the Cotton Rope Collection.

Is it a bedspread or a tablecloth? I can't tell.

Family Circle Easy Knitting offered up an array of collars.

and frilly.

I see they're trying to help me here but just what are we transforming our outfits into?

And then those Tacky Tahki folks took it to the next level.

What the hell is that?

September 7, 2005

Check It

The new Knitty is up and I love the patterns.


When Eklectika sent me a photo from the trends section of the new Vogue Knitting I immediately thought, "I didn't know J. Lo was remaking Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex*."

She's no Woody Allen but I think she'll make a great sperm.

*But Were Afraid to Ask.

September 6, 2005

Take That Demon Sweater!

I finished the back of Martha. Now I need to knit another front and a sleeve...

Reality Check

I knit and knit and knit. I was so sure I could finish the back of Martha yesterday. No such luck. I still have about four inches to go.

At least I can see progress.

What a Dope

I have been absolutely frantic this weekend trying to get the kids ready for school. Public school starts tomorrow here. This morning while making all the phone calls that I couldn't make yesterday because of the holiday I found out that my 5 year old's preschool (despite "keeping the same schedule as the Seattle public schools") does not start until the 19th! I am relieved and yet panicked in a new way. How will this screw up all my plans for the next two weeks?

September 4, 2005

I Remember Martha

Do you? You know, the sweater? The one I'm hosting a knitalong for? You remember.

It's actually starting to look like a sweater. I'm a few inches from the armholes on the back. I still can't quite believe how slow this knits up. I'm knitting my little fingers to the bone but I just don't have much to show for it.

I'm Digging the New Magknits

I haven't been a huge fan in the past but I really like Alice and Crime of Fashion.

September 2, 2005

Ways to Give

I believe everyone knows that Susan and Margene are working hard to encourage and inspire donations to the Red Cross from the knitblog world. But the ladies at Go Fug Yourself have compiled an excellent list of organizations that are working to help the victims of Katrina. So please, do what you can.

September 1, 2005

New Project Updates

Marianne has grown a bit.

Amble from the Six Sox Knitalong in Pingouin sock yarn given to me by Nanette.

A top-down tie-front bolero I'm designing for the shop in Frog Tree Merino.

Thursdays are For What the Hell is This?

Dear Editors of Knitter's Magazine,
You don't like to make things easy for a girl, do you? You just had to pile in uglier upon uglier designs in your fall issue. How could I possibly whittle it down here? Is it some sort of viral marketing plan? You were hoping, perhaps, that I would just tell my readers to go buy the magazine to see all the terrible designs and labored efforts to link all the bad designs somehow to television? It almost worked. Almost...

I will sum up how awful this magazine is with one design.



P.S. I am alarmed to see the further spread of brain suckers.