Thursday, June 21, 2007

All in a Week's Work

Did you notice? No sign of Al in the shop last week. He was off to Alaska on a 'trip of a lifetime' fishing expedition. He set out with his son-in-law, Jack, and four other folks in search of halibut and salmon. I can say that I hate being a bachelorette! Maybe one night is OK, two is pushing it; but a week is really crossing the line. Now, one would think lots of knitting time, right? Wrong! I had planned to work on paperwork (the never ending paperwork). Well, Tuesday I ended up with a full blown summer cold; so bad I could hardly talk. This lasted through Friday. Then it was a 9 AM - 8:30 PM Tues - Fri schedule. So, needless to say, the never ending pile of paperwork is still never ending!! I never realized just how hard it is to cook for one person; especially when one walks in the door so late. Oh, and going grocery shopping, major pain! Just no time to do it. So, Al, thanks for all you do! We now have 80 lbs of halibut in our freezer. No salmon, I guess the run wasn't in yet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Play Day!!

Monday was a day of fun! Liz, RoxieAnn and I decided that we needed to figure out the Louet Dyeing Kits. We each choose a color (Liz - Blue, RoxieAnn - Green, Nancy - Red) and went to work. The kits are all inclusive - 3 hanks of "blank" Gems (fingering weight), 3 colors of dye, a small package of Soak (used to rinse the yarn), a squeeze bottle, instructions for the dyeing process and a pattern to knit the socks up afterwards. A "blank" is what the industry refers to as undyed yarn.

The first thing we had to do was soak the yarn in water for approximately 30 minutes. This was a great time to have some breakfast: fresh fruit & croissants! With our hands clad in disposable gloves, we squeezed the water out of the yarn, laid the 3 hanks out side by side and prepared out dye. This was the fun part, but also the no rules part. You have to just let go and give it a try!! The first color was pretty easy as there wasn't another color to watch out for. The 2nd color was intended to go next to the 1st color. I decided I was going to put skinny stripes of the 2nd color on both sides of the 1st color. So far, so good!! Then the 3rd color came into play - ORANGE! OMG, this orange was so orange that I was convinced my yarn would be ruined. Try as I might, I have very strong color prejudices (orange, yellow, green). With the wind slightly out of my sails, I continued on with the process. As I blotted the yarn, I noticed that the colors were blending in a little. I started warming up again to my yarn. Next, 8 minutes in the microwave to set the color. Each hank needed to be wrapped in plastic wrap and then all 3 hanks went into a Ziplock Bag. Can you say "HOT"!!! It got so hot the plastic wrap tried to melt to the yarn. We prevailed, however, and now our yarn sits drying. I have to say, my yarn is quite interesting and I cannot wait for the drying process to be completed. There is still another step: rinse the yarn. I will do that tonight after my DPN sock class. With any luck, you will see our hand dyed yarn Wednesday!

I really have an appreciation for what creators of hand-dyed or hand-painted go through. Would I do it again? You bet!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Knitting in Public Day

Well, it was a typical wet, rainy day in Puget Sound today but that did not stop us from joining the rest of the world in the 3rd annual Knit in Public Day! We started our day at Dilettante Mocha & Espresso Cafe located at Kent Station. Many of us enjoyed our mid morning, early afternoon espresso drink along with a sinfully rich and chocolaty treat. We were 16 strong for a good portion of our time. The staff at Dilettante's was fabulous and we were able to spend a little over an hour here. I spotted the Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake and will have to enjoy that with my favorite guy at some point in the future! A lot of socks were being worked on as well as a few sweaters and a couple of entrelac projects.
Our next stop was The Ram. I was happy to be able to get us into the lounge at The Ram in short order. But, I forgot that Sam was with us, who happens to be an incredibly intelligent 17 year old (she scored a 99 on the ACT - WOW!!). Thanks Sam, Cindy & Mary, for being so flexible (yeah, had to split ourselves up for this one).

We wrapped up our progressive lunch/knitting experience at Zephyr Grill & Bar. Can I just say one dessert is more than enough for 2 - 3 people to share! The Strawberry White Chocolate Cake was absolutely delicious and happens to be the featured recipe of the month! Others had Creme Brulee (which actually looked like a manageable one person dessert), Lemon Cheesecake and yes, person had the Texas Funeral Chocolate Cake (7 layes of chocolate bliss). For all of you apple pie lovers, the Warm Granny Smith Apple Pie looked fabulous - again, too much for one person. Also, I have never seen apples sliced as thin as the apples used in this pie. So, all in all, we had a fabulous day in spite of the liquid sunshine! I hope that everyone who came out and braved the rain had as enjoyable time as I did!