Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Of Seattle, Stash and Socks

Sorry for the lapse in postings. I just returned from a week in the Pacific Northwest where I visited friends Judy and Pete-- whom I met while living in Barcelona--, my brother and my step-daughter. Of course, I also visited yarn shops and did a bit of knitting. More of that later.

Here's Judy lounging over her kitchen counter--her first passion is excellent food and another of her passions (after husband, Pete, and their kids) is knitting. She and I spent many hours knitting in Turo Park in Barcelona, drinking Claras (a combination of beer and lemonade), cafes con leche and cava (Spanish champagne). Ah, for the good days... I had a fabulous time eating Judy's outstanding food, participating in her ever-busy daily life and enjoying her warm company.
Judy and Pete always have more projects in the works than any ten sane people. This isn't to say that Judy and Pete aren't sane--it's just that their projects are larger than any knitting project I can think of. For example, they purchased a new house this summer to use as a type of B and B. If you think the house is gorgeous, you should see the river, the woods, the pond, etc., etc.
And the beds--made by Pete himself. He had to build a step platform so ordinary humans can get into the bed!!
And, I can't withhold a photo of the pond with waterfall. Judy and Pete also cut trails through the woods, down to the river that has a swimming hole not far away.
Don't tell Judy and Pete, but the real reason I went to visit them is to see their little Westhighland Terrier, Chica, who was acquired in Barcelona. Chica is the cutest, spunkiest, funniest little animal who tears around her acres of property acting like the Queen of Everything. She is the first dog I felt I could live with.
Judy and I took time for a Seattle yarn shop crawl one afternoon. However, we only hit two GREAT places before my money and space in my luggage were depleted. First, we stopped at Weaving Works , a shop that has everything for the weaver and knitter. I bought the regia sock yarn and some On Line purple sock yarn. The second store we visited, Hilltop Yarn ,was having a sale--I purchased Debbie Bliss Merino DK (40% off!!!) for making two (or more) color mittens for Christmas presents and
LaGran mohair for making Christmas-present scarves. There is something about the end of summer that makes me buy mohair. I think it's because when I was in high school mohair cable knit sweaters were in style. They were made with BIG needles and were very airy, but warm and beautiful. I longed for one. I decided to make one as my first knitting project when I was as freshman in high school. I didn't know anything about gauge. So, I purchased fuschia mohair and about size 5 needles. For some reason, my cardigan didn't look anything like those airy sweaters that were in vogue.

For knitting at Judy's house, I decided I had to show off my skill and willingness to make something a little out of the box. I decided to show how I could make one of Lucy Neatby's sock patterns from Cool Socks, Warm Feet.
So, I selected some gorgeous Opal sock yarn, with lots of turquoise blue. After making about 50-60 pairs of socks using the flap heel technique, I was ready to move up to Lucy's garter stitch heel and the Mermaid pattern. Unfortunately, the garter stitch cuff shown in the pattern is significantly narrower than the garter stitch cuff I made--following the directions. My cuff is big enough for a scarf!!! Also, my spiral fishtail pattern narrows the sock significantly--contrary to the lovely photo in the pattern book.
I have already frogged the spiral fishtail portion and completed heel, and added more stitches for the new fishtail section. The photo shows the second attempt. this time the sock fits better, but I'm not sure if the additional six stitches will result in a fuller heel that actually fits my foot's heel. I will keep you posted. (but, don't tell Judy that I had problems with this sock. She told her friends that I was a fabulous knitter (blush, blush) and I don't want to ruin my reputation in Seattle!!)

This next photo shows a location in Seattle--can anyone guess what it is?? I visited this location with my brother. I also did a bit of knitting in its coffee shop!

I leave you with this photo from Flower World in Maltby, outside of Seattle. If you want to see more roses, plants, trees, ground covers, etc., than you have ever seen assembled in one place--go to Flower World. Almost worth the trip to the West Coast in itself.


betty said...

I remember Judy! She was knitting a small coat for Chica, "just in time for summer", in our first meeting, isn't it?

I just don't know what the "820" picture represents, no idea.

Lorette said...

We definitely need to coordinate better next time you come visit. I want to go yarn shopping with you!
I think your mystery photo is in the new public library, one of the stacks. "820" should be just around the corner from the knitting books.