Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Love the Farmer's Market

I'm not really an early morning Saturday person. Saturday is for sleeping in, both for me and my teenage daughter (especially my teenage daughter!). However, aforementioned daughter is taking a babysitting class today, from 9am to 2pm. Since I had to be up anyway, I hit the Redmond Saturday Market early. Below is my bounty:
I bought the "official" bag of the market. I think they deserve the support, and I also would like to be environmentally friendly! There's not a ton of produce available at this time of year, mostly lettuce, asparagus, and apples is what I saw. But it's good enough - I happen to LOVE asparagus, so I bought some. Those apples are the "Pink Lady" variety which I've never had before. The vendor gave me a sample, and they seem to be rather tart, but good. And of course, the bread vendor. Who can pass up good homemade bread? Besides, he was totally cute!

It's way different going to the market in the morning instead of the afternoon. In the afternoon, we love to get the Hawaiian hot dogs, which are marinated in pineapple juice & beer before being grilled. And if it's warm, we also get a Hawaiian ice. A lot of the produce is gone by the afternoon, but the craft vendors are always there.

Today I also bought a tomato plant to put out on my balcony. Last year I successfully grew a tomato plant, but the fruit wasn't all that great - kind of mealy inside. This year, I got a "Sweet Million" type of plant - the girl said it would be good in a pot, and gives cherry tomatoes. So we will see! Too bad I don't have enough dirt to plant it. When I got home I realized that the bag of dirt I have is not enough to fill the big pot. So later today I will have to stop & get some.

Haven't done too much knitting in the last couple of days. A few more rows done on the baby blanket for my coworker, but that's about it. And now I'm off to pick up my daughter from her baby sitting class. I hope she had fun. When I left her she was sitting at a table full of girls who don't know each other and none of them were brave enough to say hello to each other!! Teenagers!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vacation Time and Stashing

So I have a couple of days off. I extended my Memorial Day weekend by a few days - two before and two after. Here's what I did today (on my first "after" day):

I was running errands when I saw that the local Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts is closing. I don't much like Jo-Anns, I probably would if I quilted or sewed, but I've never felt they had much of a knitting selection. Tons of fabric, not much in the way of yarn. However, seeing that everything was on sale, I decided to go in and see if there was anything I might be able to pick up. I was thinking maybe needles or something, but instead I found this beautiful yarn. It is Lion Brand "Landscapes" in the Rose Garden colorway. I bought 5 skeins at 30% off. Not that "wow" of a sale, but OK. I totally love the color, and am already thinking I will use it to make a scarf for a friend for Christmas. Actually, I bought enough yarn to make a few scarves, I think!

And here is what my daughter did today after coming home from school:

Our poor cat! She (the cat) is extremely patient. She was given to my daughter for her 3rd birthday. She is now 13, and loves this cat to no end. Obviously the cat loves her too to allow this humiliation! In every picture I took, I feel the cat is just saying "You've GOT to be kidding me!"

Now here is what we did during the Memorial Day weekend:

Yep - visited the Space Needle. My dad and his "significant other" visited for the weekend (thus the two days off PRIOR to the weekend for cleaning, etc.). She has never visited the area, so we did the touristy things. Sadly, I was unaware that this weekend was also the Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is located). We ended up waiting an hour and a half just to ride the elevator to the top. However, I do have to say it was magnificent when we got there. Because it was a nice day, there were great views. After the Space Needle I managed to get lost trying to get down to the waterfront and Pike Place Market. Eventually we got there, fought for parking, climbed the "Hillclimb" up to the market, swam like fish upstream to find the flying fish guys, who weren't throwing fish at that time, and then decided it was way, way, way to crowded to spend anymore time there. So back down the Hillclimb to the waterfront, where we promptly found a restaurant and fortified ourselves with a late lunch. The lunch part was actually fun - the rest not so much. I enjoyed being at the top of the Space Needle and my Mahi Mahi fish tacos for lunch, but by the end of the day I was hot, sweaty, and tired. I was so glad to get back over to my Eastside!

In other knitting news, I am knitting a baby blanket (another one) for a co-worker. He and his wife just found out that they are having a boy, so I did the typical thing and am knitting a blue blanket out of Cotton Ease. I took a picture but for some reason it keeps coming up rotated the wrong way. If you want to see it here is the link to my Ravelry page:

Someday I have to learn how to do hypertext - I think that is what it is called! Right now I am too tired to figure it out.

I have one more day of freedom before returning to work. My plan is to stay home, knit, play video games, and veg out!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Getting There

So I finished one sock. I was looking back through my blog, and see that I started this sock in December while at my dad's house during Christmas. How sad is that? As soon as I finished the toe on this one, I cast on for the second sock - and I have about two inches done. It's those darn baby gifts that take me away from my precious sock knitting!! Here are a couple of pictures of the finished sock - modelled on my daughter's foot (I have a feeling I may not have these socks for long myself):

Today was a fun day - we went to the Redmond Saturday Market at Redmond Town Center. We mostly ate - there wasn't much in the way of produce for sale, but I did get some beautiful flowers and some asparagus. While we were there we ate some "Hawaiian hot dogs" which are marinated in pineapple juice and beer (I think) and then grilled. So good! We also bought some kettle corn and some homemade brownies. Yum!

Then we hit the Borders located at the same mall, where I ended up buying a new knitting book. Yes, I am a sucker for a good knitting book. This one is called "Natural Knits for Babies and Moms" by Louisa Harding. There are a ton of cute patterns in this book. Since I have another baby gift to knit, I think I have a good excuse for buying this book. Uh-huh, that's it.

I think I am going to make the Cot Blanket for my next gift, although I really like Jasmine Lace Edge Cardigan too. But they would have to be having a girl for that, and we don't know yet. Decisions, decisions!

And just for fun - a picture of my daughter and her friends before the school dance last night. Why do they love to do the "Charlie's Angels" pose all the time?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Finished Object!

So I did it! I finished the baby blanket for my co-worker. Good thing too, because on Friday she had some contractions while at work. Two of my other co-workers took her to the hospital. Quite the excitement in our accounting department! It turned out to be a false alarm, but still, it means it won't be too long before we get to see this baby girl. I hope she likes her blanket :}

Here are a few pictures of it. In the first one it is being blocked on a bath towel. Oh, did my cats

love this! I sat there pinning and spraying, pinning and spraying (I decided not to just wet the whole thing in the sink or tub & stuck to just spraying it). They couldn't figure out what they had done wrong, lol!!

This pattern is called "Springtime Patchwork" from the book "Total Baby Knits" by Candi Jensen. This pattern alone caused me to buy the book. I just thought it was so cute and girlie. However, like so many patterns I like the look of, I would never knit this again. While I love how it came out, it is some very mindless knitting! (Although I did make a mistake, can you find it?) As you can see, there are 20 blocks - either stockinette, or a simple knit/purl pattern. Thank goodness for American Idol & Dancing with the Stars. I thought I would go crazy if I had to knit another plan square. For some reason, I didn't really mind the sewing together. Towards the end it got a little tedious, but I guess I was just so glad to be almost done I was happy to do the sewing.

Here are a couple more pictures - one of the blanket after blocking, and a close up of one of the embroidery squares. I had a hard time with the embroidery. I found it hard to embroider on knitting. I almost gave up, but I finally found the groove and I think it came out OK in the end.

The yarn I used is called Fantasy by Dark Horse Yarns. It is a blend of 50% nylon, 50% acrylic, and it is very soft. I think the mix of fibers is good for a baby item, as it can be tossed in the wash. I've noticed that this yarn does have a tendency to split as I knit, but I still really like it for it's softness. It also comes in a TON of colors.

On another note, today we had a beautiful, warm sunny day, and we made a little addition to our

balcony. Hard to believe that only a couple of weeks ago I was taking pictures of snow out there. Today we went out and bought this umbrella and the cushions for our patio chairs. Our balcony faces south, and the sun beats in all day. I figure the least we can do is have some shade to sit out there. Soon we will be adding some flowers, a tomato plant, and maybe some other vegetables. I hear you can grow lots of veggies in pots, and I want to try.

Last year I grew a tomato plant. It went pretty well, with all the sun we get it grew well and got lots of tomatoes. The only thing was, they didn't actually taste that great. They were kind of mealy inside. Not juicy like you would normally think of a home-grown tomato (the kind my dad grew when I was growing up!!).

That's it for now - I've decided to make a few baby booties with the leftover yarn from the blanket - we'll see how that goes. Hopefully she won't have the baby first!