Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alki Beach and Tricoter

Yesterday was all about the beach. It was a gorgeous day and I took my nephews to play at Alki Beach in West Seattle. I sat on the bulkhead and drank coffee and talked to my brother and got a little pink. It was the most relaxed I've felt for ages. I wish I could blog the smell. It is different salt water smell than Australia - with just a hint of pine.

In the afternoon I went for a walk with my girlfriend - we have been friends for 40 years. Lincoln Park is the most lovely park right on the water and a great place to walk.

Today has been almost all about yarn!! Mom, Dad and I went to Tricoter - the upmarket yarn shop in Seattle. It's in a very ritzy part of town and really, the most elite yarns. I'm afraid I blew my budget but I couldn't help it. There wasn't one ball of yarn in there that I wouldn't have given my first born for - well, now that I have him I probably wouldn't trade him for wool but you know what I mean.

A cupboard full of Noro.

And my stash! I bought some Habu, Blue Moon Socks That Rock and Blue Heron.

Americans might think this is just normal shopping, but my Australian friends will understand when I say - I had to go sit down and have a coffee and a chocolate when I left that shop - just to revive myself.
This afternoon I power washed my dad's deck and bought some deck paint for tomorrow. Tonight is another baseball game - right behind 1st base!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Family reunion and Pike Place Farmers Market

On Saturday my Dad's family had a big family reunion. My family came from Colorado, Florida, Wyoming, Canada, California and all over Washington State to Seattle for a wonderful picnic. My cousin Shirley and my mom organized it all and it was the best ever. My dad has a big family - and although he was the second youngest (he is 85 now) I still have 2 Aunts and 1 Uncle and tons of cousins, cousins once, twice and three times removed - and a lot of them were there. I took a lot of video but not so many still photos. My older brother was snap happy so I will get some of his later.
This was the little beach in the park on Lake Washington where we had the picnic. The little kids spent the whole day in the water and us older kids sat under trees in lush grass, reminisced and caught up.

Yesterday was spent with some of my cousins who stayed a couple extra days at the Seattle Pike Place Farmers Market. It was a cloudy day so my photos aren't real clear. Plus I got a little excited just for being there and a little freaked out because it was super crowded and I'm not that good in a crowd. I wanted to show the beautiful flowers they have above all the walkways. There is no extra room on the street level of the market, which takes up four city blocks and three levels, so they put the flowers up high. It rains enough in Seattle even in the summer to water them so they are lush!The inside of the Market is packed with people and food and art and goods. It is just a wonderful place. We ate lunch in a cafe just past this sign with a spectacular view of Elliott Bay.
the flower stalls literally (I'm not exagerating!) go on for a whole city block.
Same with the veggies - if you lived here you would never shop at the supermarket again! Oh, and you can try anything! Really! They will cut up fruit, veg, even truffles (not the chocolate kind) to give you a taste.
But the most spectacular of all is the seafood stalls. Everyone I know shops for their seafood at the Market. There is are fish flying around everywhere, Scampi as big as my whole hand, alaska king crab legs that are as long as my leg (again, I am not fibbing even a little!) and scallops as big as a bar of soap. My older brother bought a king salmon that my little brother bbq'd for us last night (first he marinated it in a little vermouth and salt and lemon and then melted butter and pepper on the grill - best ever) And my SIL made fresh peach and raspberry crumble with ice cream - YUM!
I have only done a little yarn shopping - some trekking sock wool (yawn - nothing special in the land of the most gorgeous wool ever!!). I will finish up my brothers socks today so I can give them to him next weekend. Today is a quiet day - my nephews are coming over to West Seattle and we are going to the beach for the morning. Not sure what the rest of the day will bring.
Talk to you soon. Rhonda

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pink Martini and Stitch n Pitch

If I wasn't having so much fun I would be worried about my lack of knitting over the past week. I have only done about 30 rows in my brother's socks but I don't care. I am having a ball!

Two nights ago my friend and I went to see Pink Martini at the Woodland Park Zoo. They were amazing. It was so much fun to sit outside in the sun, listen to amazing music, snack on great food and visit with my good friend.

Afterwards we went to the New Orleans Jazz Bar in Pioneer Square and listened to some old and young musos jam. Pretty cool
Last night I went to see the Mariners lose to Oakland, but it was 'Stitch and Pitch' night. There were knitters every where. The night was warm and clear. In the middle of every inning they flashed video of knitters, knitting at the game, up on the massive replay screen. They even had knitting trivia questions on the screen.
And Debbie Macomber threw out the first pitch! It was lots of fun.
Now if they would just have a baseball-knitting-chocolate night I would never leave the ball park. But we did have garlic fries and Miller Light Beer - that was a close second.
Take me out to the ball game...........

Thanks for the advice, Jejune, much better now!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Books and Groceries

Today is beautiful and sunny in Seattle. I'm going out soon to have morning tea with a friend and then I am going to see if Tahoma is out. If it is I'll take a photo and then you will know.

No yarn yesterday but books and groceries.
It was an absolute mind/taste feast - watch!

Elliott Bay Book Company
is in Pioneer Square -
CBD Seattle.
Absolutely the best book shop in the World!!

And they have a coffee shop

These pictures are only about 1/3 of the shop.

The craft section isn't great
but really, who cares.

And my mom's LGS - Local Grocery Store -
Market. Really, who wouldn't want
to go grocery shopping here?
They have 'events'!

Fresh local raspberries for so cheap
and they are way bigger and way sweeter
than ours at home.

Again -
this is about 1/5 of the whole store.
While I was taking these photos
the manager came over to me
and told me I was not allowed to take
photos in the store - competition and all that!
I got enough to show you!

This afternoon I am going to Zoo Tunes
to see Pink Martini
I'll post some photos for fans later.
Ciao till later. Rhonda (when I get home I am going to get some blogging help - I am hopeless)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Something wrong and I can't be bothered fixing it right now

Well, something is wrong but - well I can't fix it so the entry I just posted is all over the place but I think you get the idea.
Thanks for your nice thoughts and I miss everyone at home. Oh, and something I forgot to tell you - sorry - it was 26 degrees today and I think I got a little pink on my nose!

Sigh and Yumm!!

Second day here Seattle was raining - so the day became the shopping day! I'm not one to waste time or save for a rainy day (even tho I had saved and it was a rainy day!)
Sooo off to the LYS only one mile away.


My mom is a great knitter and she did a little shopping too!

And the sock yarn!!!
And to make you even more jealous - the knitting books!!
There were more than this but I just couldn't do it to you!
I came home with a wee little stash - but don't worry about me. The yarn shop is having a big sale before I come home so I am saving up the rest of my shopping in this shop for the sale. I did buy some Tofuties sock yarn because I just couldn't resist it.
Then is was off to small town America. Really this place is only 2 hours out of Seattle. It's called Cle Elem. My brother has a house near by in a resort but the little town is still very country. I went for the weekend with my brother and his two boys. We had breakfast here along with the local sheriffs and half of the town popluation.

My little brother checkin out the pie!

And dinner was at Roslyn Cafe - anyone remember Northern Exposure - this is the town where it was filmed. They made the best hamburger I have had in years. Seriously.

And this is the view of the Golf Course from the Inn near my brother's house in the mountains.

I had a lovely weekend, swimming, eating, hanging out with my nephews, playing board games, drinking cocktails, walking and knitting. Now I'm back in the city ready for more adventures. This coming week it is more eating, baseball games, catching up with old friends, hanging with my folks and my relatives and maybe more yarn shopping - of course more yarn shopping!
SIGH! I'm having fun!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm in the USA!!

Hi - well I made it. After almost 26 hours of traveling I made it. It wasn't the worst flight I have ever been on but it wasn't the best either. The food was shockingly bad, even for airline food. And my feet and ankles are still swollen. But I got my sock knitting through all of the check points so I had something to take my mind off all of the bad stuff, at least.
The first leg of my flight - from Sydney to Honolulu I sat next to Lucy - a very talented 20 something Newcastle musician. She played me some of her stuff on her ipod and she is really good. We had a pretty good time. The second leg of my flight - from Honolulu to Seattle I sat next to Molly - a very talented 20 something musician from Idaho. Honest!! She played me some of HER music on HER ipod and she too was very good. She doesn't have a web site yet but will send it to me when she gets one. It was a bit uncanny.

Seattle is great. It is raining today - surprize?- but warm and lovely. My folks are doing unbelievably well, considering my dad has cancer and a kidney removed three months ago. My son is really good and working finally. My first day here was full of good things. We went to Costco and had a polish sausage and did a bit of shopping. Then I met up with my son and we went to the waterfront and to the Crab Pot for a beer (Miller lite) and some crab cakes and chili prawns. Yum Yum! Then back to the restaurant that he works at - The Mission - and then I walked about 3 miles home and fell into bed overwhelmed with holiday! In a good way, of course.

Today I am going to the LYS and then up to my brother's "Cabin" Ahem! I will take photos and post them when I get back.

My mom has coffee ready for me when I come downstairs in the morning! I can smell pine! My dad is well! I'm going yarn shopping! All is well with the world.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm Off!

I'm catching a plane tomorrow for the US! There are so many good things about going but I am really nervous too. I'm only taking one suitcase. I am planning on visiting Vinnies over there and buying a second hand case to bring back all my treasures!!

Two that will miss me-

But not as much as I'll miss them!!
See ya from Seattle.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not too fancy but hopefully just fancy enough!

These are another present - a belated present. I wanted to make button up wrist warmers for a friend for her birthday. I didn't have time to do any fancy ass knitting so they are pretty plain but I think she will like them. And I decide not to knit thumbs into them.

They are two strands of 2 ply soft wool and the green is really much nicer than the photo's show. I will make them again and I will use a cable pattern or something. But the buttons really make them, I think. They are antique buttons from Knitting Nettie's stash.

Ciao for now. Rhonda

Monday, July 9, 2007

Felting Inspired

I was inspired by someone at the SnB last Thursday and she didn't even know she inspired me!

And I don't even know who she is either!

She had the cutest little felted camera case.

So I knitted one and felted it and I like it a lot. It has room for my camera and some extra batteries. It's also thick and cushiony so it will keep it safe in my backpack with all my other crap. This is for me to take on my trip. And if my mom likes it - well, she can have it when I leave.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Friday night I made my first attempt at dyeing some wool. The process is so easy but the skill comes in knowing how colours work and saturation degrees. I got some wool that I will knit into socks but I'm not sure they will be right for the person I had in mind. They are a little bright.

I know a wee little bit about dyeing - I did some batiking when I was a hippy. And since I dyed this wool I have been remembering little bits and pieces. I have some very old cold water dyes that I will try that I'm sure will give me a more muted, more controlled colour pallet.
With all it's flaws there are two things I am proud of:

I remembered to dye two ball exactly the same!

And I got the striping the way I wanted it!

I've got lots of ideas...

Yesterday I went to my book group. We read Elizabeth Jolley and everybody loves her. She is such and inspiration. She was witty and clever and imaginative and she didn't start writing until she was in her 50's.

One of the girls in my group is a expert spinner. One of the other girls has a wheel so we got a little lesson. Then the expert spinner offered me the use of her spare spinning wheel to see if I like it!! I am so excited. When I get back from my US visit I will be learning how to spin!

Ciao till next time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July to all the Yanks out there!

I remember my childhood 4ths with fond recollections. The family would bundle up in the station wagon and drive to Green Lake (which then seemed like a far away adventure but which really is only half an hour away) to watch the fireworks. Mom would make a picnic dinner of fried chicken, potato salad and red white and blue Jello (Jelly) and we would run around writing our names in the air with sparklers. We would ooo and ahh over the fireworks and then fall asleep driving home again. It was always marked the beginning of summer for me. Queens birthday just isn't the same - I guess I need some John Philip Sousa playing and the star spangled banner. America was better when I was a kid.

Now for knitting - a while back I bought some Addi circs on line. Now, I'm a newish knitter and only knitted on circular needles once before. But I liked the process so I though I would buy some. I bought a 40cm 5mm needle as well as some others. Well, I thought that the 40cm meant the length of the cable. And when the package came in the post I was so disappointed to see that they were 40cm from point to point. I could not imagine what I could knit with them. I tried anyway, and now...

I love them. They are so easy to knit with and as long as I don't put too many stitches on them they work a treat. Scarfs are easy and hats are easy. I don't have to look while I'm knitting and nothing ever slips off. I feel like I am knitting a secret little something held in my lap with no fuss when I am knitting with them.

I love it when mistakes turn out so good.

I bought some wool for a sweater for my youngest son at the Hall Markets on Sunday. It was sold as seconds (cheap). I can't wait to see it knit up but it will have to wait till I get back from my trip (well maybe I'll swatch it before I go)

For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.