Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Not So Lazy Saturday!

Today was pretty much the opposite of a lazy Saturday. This weekend is the Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair, sponsored by the Bellevue Art Museum. There are basically three arts & crafts fairs going on at the same time, all within walking distance of each other. The "fancy" one is the one sponsored by the art museum, and it is held on the bottom floor of the parking garage at Bellevue Square, our local shopping mall. Having it on the bottom floor of the parking garage keeps the art safe from rain, which around here is a good thing (although this is supposed to be statistically the driest week of the year for us). This is where they have the expensive stuff that I love to look at, but pretty much can't afford. We walked through this one first. There is some really beautiful art out there!

Then there are two other street fairs, one in the Cost Plus parking lot, and one called the 6th Street Fair. We didn't go to the Cost Plus one, but we did go to the 6th Street Fair. I bought a nice variety of things at this fair!! You can see them in this picture:
Working from the top down: A variety pack of handmade soap, all very delicious smelling; hand-dyed yarn in a colorway called Dragonfly; an eclectic key holder to mount by our front door; a fused-glass pendant; and a pair of silver & gold earrings. Quite a haul, wouldn't you say? I thought it was pretty cool to see a yarn vendor there. Their name is Shoalwater Bay Textiles, but I don't think they have a website. The lady manning the booth said that her grandson asked her to dye a yarn in the colors of a dragonfly, and thus the name of this yarn. It is a worsted weight yarn, so I think I'll probably make a scarf or maybe some of those fingerless mitts I've seen. I love the colors.

The key holder came from the "fancy" part of the fair. There was a guy there who finds vintage books and makes the coolest looking bookshelves out of the books. They have all this weird stuff attached to them like wooden spoons, oars, etc. Really interesting stuff. My daughter wanted one so bad, but I couldn't afford $200 or more for some bookshelves, so we settled for the key holder. I just think it is the cutest thing.

Speaking of my daughter, she loves legos. Here she is with her latest creation, a VW Bug. I really wonder if she will grow up to be an engineer or something.

And in knitting content, here is my latest sock-in-progress. For the life of me I can't get this picture to upload in the right direction, so you'll just have to look at it this way :}

I've actually already finished this sock, and and halfway done with the second sock. I have to finish these because the Ravelympics start on August 8th, and I signed up for the Sock Put for Team Seattle! Go Team!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Lazy Saturday

My daughter has been back from camp for a week now. It is so good to have her back! Today we didn't have much we had to do, so we went to see the movie "Get Smart" with Steve Carroll and Anne Hathaway. It is hilarious - well worth seeing. We lunched on popcorn, candy and soda, and then attempted to hit the Redmond Library. Unfortunately our city is having something called the "Redmond Derby Days" and the area around the library was blocked off. Since I desperately needed to use the restroom, and a soccer team full of girls beat me to the restrooms in the movie theater, I opted to stop at the nearby Ben Franklin Crafts & Frames to use their restroom. Wouldn't you know it, the yarn is right on the way to the restroom!!!! (Like I didn't know that)

They actually have a pretty decent selection of sock yarn. It's gradually been growing, I think, over the last year or two. I noticed Fortissima, Happy Feet, Trekking, and there was probably more I didn't see. I came away with this:
Now, you may be thinking "With all that selection, she picks the Sock-Ease?" I'll admit, I was sorely tempted by some of the yarn I saw. But really, I already have those other yarns just waiting their turn to be knit up, and I am curious as to how the Sock-Ease will turn out. So I picked this skein, which is a colorway called Cotton Candy. I guess they named it well, because before I even looked at the color name I was calling them my Cotton Candy socks in my head.

I have to wonder what makes one sock yarn cost more than another when they are made from the same fiber. Both the Sock-Ease and the yarn in the bin above it (which of course I can't remember which brand it was now) are 75% superwash wool & 25% nylon. Yet the Sock-Ease is $10.99 a ball, and the other one was $15.99. And other types of yarn, like Opal, are even more expensive than that. Now I know that Opal has that polyamid or whatever it's called in it, which I'm guessing is maybe more durable than nylon. But when two brands of yarn have exactly the same fiber content, I wonder what makes the difference in cost.

After our fun in Ben Franklin's, we opted to drive up to the Sammamish Library. My daughter LOVES to read, and she wanted to stock up on some books. That's a nice library, even though it is small. She came away with this:

Easy to tell they are all girls book, isn't it! They ought to last her a week or so.

Now I'm off to knit a little on my Horcrux socks. I'm working on the foot of the first sock. I've dropped at stitch her and there, and managed to pick them back up, but one of the gussets looks a little rough around the edges! I hope I do better on the second sock. I'll take a picture when I'm done.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New Socks in Progress

Yep, I'm back to socks. Can I say how much I love, love, love the color of this yarn? I can't wait to be able to wear these socks. I think I put a link in an earlier post to the blog of the lady who wrote the Horcrux Socks pattern. These are really fun to knit. The zig-zag pattern is slightly challenging (for me), but it doesn't last long enough for me to get frustrated with it. Now I am on the simple k3p2 ribbing, which will be perfect for a long car ride I need to take this weekend. Here are a couple of pictures - one of just the started sock, and one with the ball of yarn:
I am making this from Austermann Step, a yarn I haven't tried before. It has Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil in it - maybe my feet will be a little softer after wearing these, lol! I go barefoot all the time, so the bottom of my feet are very rough, especially my heels. TMI?

So anyway, I am driving up to Canada on Saturday to pick up my daughter from camp. She has been gone for two weeks, and I am looking forward to having her back. It's much too quiet around here without her. But I've been having fun doing everything I want to do without interruption while she's been knitting as much as I want to without hearing "Mom, can we play a game?" Or, "Mom, I'm bored" get the picture. I've also been eating all the stuff she hates, like spicy food, lots of ethnic food, etc. She likes pretty plain food.

I am making this drive with the mom of another girl at camp, and she is doing the driving (he he) so I am definitely taking my knitting. It's a three-hour drive at least, with a wait at the border. We are leaving at 6 am, so there probably won't be too much of a wait, but it's better to be early than late.

Here near Seattle we have been having a lot of thunder and lightning storms, followed by a downpour like even we don't usually see. It's really weird. In the past, we've had the rare thunderstorm or two, but these have been going on for almost three days. Today at work we could hear the overhead speaker system crackle every time there was lighting. I kept thinking that the building was getting hit, but I don't think it was. Thankfully these are supposed to stop, and actually I think they already have. I haven't heard thunder since about noon.

Well, off to my knitting and "So You Think You Can Dance!"