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Last night it snowed.  This statement might not seem like a big deal but around here, it is.  It rarely snows.  Rain, yes.  Snow, not really.  Snow shuts the city down for a couple of reasons.  The big reason is that we are second only to San Francisco as one of the hilly-est cities in the US.  If you’ve ever driven in SF when it sunny and dry out.  Now try and picture driving there when it’s rainy, freezing and snowing.  It’s not pretty.  When it snows it’s like we all get a snow day.  Unfortunately for those of us who were hoping for that, we found out that Seattle was prepared for the snow and the commute to work was easy going.  I was hoping to be able to make more cavatelli.  And speaking of cavatelli, I took some photos of Sunday’s cavatelli making.

First, here’s my cavatelli maker, set up and ready to go:

And here’s a quick shot of a dough before becoming cavatelli

This time I made semolina pasta dough.  I think I may try the ricotta dough and see if it goes thru the cavatelli maker or if it will stick.

And here’s the trays of finished cavatelli. They kinda look a little like worms…ewwwww.  Fortunately, they don’t taste like worms.  I ended up with about 2 pounds of cavatelli after all was said and done.

And since I’m talking about food at the moment here’s a shot of the Bella Donna olive mix I got at Big John’s PFI.  They’re amazing good.

And one more food shot and amazing tasting food.  Here’s the chicken shawarma sandwich and greek fries from Mawadda Cafe.

OK, that’s enough food talk.  Today when I got home there was a package for me from my “have a cuppa swap” partner.  This swap was all about yarn and coffee/tea/hot chocolate.  And my swap partner did not disappoint!

It was a great way to come home and unwind!

She sent me some coffee from a local coffee shop and a coffee cup that I have been lusting after for some time now.  The front of the cup says, “You must allow me to tell you,” and the back says…

It’s from Brookish and it’s Mr. Darcy’s botched proposal to Elizabeth Bennet!  I am so excited that she got it for me!  And to add to my excitement, there was candy, and lots of it!  There were 2 packages of licorice (my favorite) and some local artisan chocolates from Chocolate Madness.  I’ll admit that I broke into the chocolates well before I remembered to take a picture of everything.  It was worth it. The creme brulee was inspiring!

And finally, the yarn.  It’s bugga sock yarn by The Sanquine Gryphon.  It’s almost like a washed demin color.  I can’t wait to make some socks of out it!

And now that all that is taken care of, I’m off to do some knitting, drink some coffee and eat some candy!

Yesterday was the yarn train.  While it was beyond raining in Portland, it was still fun.  I went down to Portland with a group of friends and had to split from them as soon as we go there.  I was on a mission and I was also planning on meeting some friends.  So I set out, the first stop for me was Knit-Purl.  All I wanted was some of the Brooklyn Tweed Yarn by Jared Flood.  And one of his patterns.  And I scored!  I picked up 5 skeins of Shelter in the colorway Button Jar and the Guernsey Wrap pattern.  FYI – If you ever want to get me some yarn, I can always use some Shelter…

Here’s the glamour shot:

Then it was off to Twisted.  This might be my new favorite Portland yarn shop.  I spent the most money here and for good reason.

I seem to have only bought sock yarn here.  I had planned to buy 3 skeins but then one little skein just called to me.  I went there to get A Verb for Keeping Warm yarn (which I got.  It’s Annapurna and the colorway is Transitional Fury). PS – Aunt Nancy, they have a retail location in Oakland… if you’re ever in Oakland 🙂

Then I also wanted to pick up some Black Trillium sock yarn for me and a friend back east.  I absolutely fell in love with the colors.  I bought two skeins of the BFL sock (that’s blue faced leicester wool, for those non fiber folks).  The top color is Merlot (that’s one is for my friend) and Claret (that one is all mine).  It’s so soft and I can’t wait to use it to make the Monkey socks.

And just when I was ready to leave, there it was. The skein of wool yarn that will soon become my warehouse work socks.  The yarn is called Tracie in the Cocoa Heather colorway and it’s from a company called Imperial Stock Ranch Wool.  It is so lovely and wonderful.

Then it was off to Happy Knits for my last yarn purchase of the day.  It may sound a little ocd, but after the first year of going to Portland on the yarn train, I learned that I needed to plan out what yarn I wanted to buy and how much I needed.  And then plan out the route to the stores.  Otherwise you spend a lot of extra money on yarn that you have no idea what you are going to do with it and a lot of time in transit between the stores.  That’s not to say you can’t buy other stuff, I just find it helps keep me on budget and on track with my knitting projects.

I made it over to Happy Knits to buy my 3 skeins of Cascade Eco so I could make my Aidez. When i got there they only had 2 skeins of the color I wanted but the staff was so friendly and helpful that they ended up finding one more skein in the color I wanted!  Thanks Happy Knit!

Then it was off to Powell’s City of Books.  I walked away relatively unscathed.  I only bought 3 books.  One knitting book and 2 Georgette Heyer novels – all bought used, of course!

And then it was off to meet up with a friend.  We grabbed some coffee, did a quick swing thru Dublin Bay Knitting, but by the time I got there, it was pretty well picked over.  I suppose that was good for me.  I didn’t have any more room in my bags or need any more yarn!   Then it was off to pizza at Hot Lips in the Pearl District.  I love there pizza.  Unfortunately someone else got to the last pieces of hazelnut, broccoli and squash pizza before I did.  I suppose it didn’t really matter, I really love their pizza.  And after that my friend and I walked to the train station, where she took the bus home and I took the train back.  All in all it was a good, but really soggy day.  Thanks Portland!  Thanks Snohomish Knitters Guild for putting this all together.  And extra special thank yous to the yarn shops!  See you in August for Sock Summit!

Whoops!  I forgot about showing the bags that we got and all the goodies in it!  So here it is:

The other day, Kate, from Art of the Pie, was gracious enough to send me a few photos she took while I was in her class.

So here they are… me making pie 🙂

I made pie crust yesterday and put it in the fridge to hopefully make a shaker lemon pie tonight.

And while the pie is baking I’ll be hopefully, finishing up the second baby sophisticate sweater.  The frustrating part is that I used yarn that I had from my stash and I had to get one more skein.  Unfortunately they weren’t the same dye lot and the 2 skeins in my stash were older and slightly lighter than the one I bought.  It’s a bit of a bummer.  Hopefully I can figure some thing out to make it not stand out so much.

Here’s a not so great shot of it, but all that’s left for me to knit is the sleeves.

and here’s a quick shot of the yarn that I won at Knit Night.

After work I headed over to West Seattle to C & P  Coffee ( a cool little coffee joint) for the Seattle Yarn sponsored knit night.  I met up with all my ladies from our Tuesday night knitting group and a few other West Seattle knitters.  It was a lot of fun. We got an envelope with a knit hat pattern coupon for 10% off our next purchase at Seattle Yarn.  The fine folks over at Seattle Yarn held a raffle for some great prizes.  The money collected for the raffle tickets was donated to Northwest Hope and Healing.  Since a few members of my family have had breast cancer, I had no qualms about donating money.  Besides, I could win some yarn!  And I did win some yarn!  I won 3 skeins of Malabrigo lace yarn in the Purple Mystery colorway – enough yarn to knit the Geodesic Cardigan in the newest issue of Knitscene magazine, which was also including in my winnings.  I have been wanting to knit this pattern, but just kinda put it on the back burner.  But now that i have the yarn, who knows… maybe I’ll do it after the Ravelympics.

Tomorrow morning at 8am, I start learning the art of the pie, from the master.  I’ll be sure to take plenty of pictures and even more notes.  And speaking of baking, a friend sent me a link to the Riverfront Times.  Someone decided to make some of the recipes in the vintage cookbooks.  Thank God someone else did it.  My personal favorite, Prune whip (number 3 on the list).  If anyone comes across Body Building Dishes for Children, pick it up and send it to me.  I need it in my collection.  I’m going to start trolling ebay for it.

It seems like this weekend was nothing but knitting.  I started Friday with a bad back and a serious headache.  I ended up not watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  But I did cast on for the first of two, possibly three, Ravelympics projects.

I decided to start with the Momma and baby monsters.  By the end of the weekend, here’s where I was at:

The knitting is all done for the Momma, and the baby is almost done.  I just need to knit the arms, which will probably be done tonight.  Then all that’s left is to stuff, add the teeth and eyes and they’re done!

Before the Ravelympics started I did a trial run of the Baby Sophisticate pattern.  This one is for Simon.  He asked for green.  Actually his mom said, green would be cool as his wardrobe is lacking green.  I just need to sew the buttons on.  It was a really great pattern to work off of.  It was clearly written and works up fast.

So I decided to do a blue one for little Andy.  I had the yarn in my stash, so I just needed to get some cute buttons.

If things keep going as fast as they are, I’ll be starting this sweater by the end of the week.

And speaking of stash yarn, before I started the Ravelympics, my goal for my projects was to use yarn that I have in my stash, instead of going out and buying more yarn.  It was kinda like going shopping.  I forgot some of the yarn that I bought a long time ago.  I think I must have known that I would be doing lace knitting and I bought a few skeins of Frog Tree Alpaca yarn,

I can’t wait to use it!  And I also found a skein of Blue Moon Geisha yarn.

Perfect for a small shawl or scarf.  It’s starting to look like everyone is going to get  a shawl or a scarf for Christmas this year.

And the Abercrombie sweater yarn was finally dry, so here it is.  Or at least one skein of it.

Once the Ravelympics are over, I think I might try and knit up the Kellybigs sweater.  But who knows.  I may be talked into doing another Percy Shawl.  And I won’t even have to go out and buy more yarn.  It’s all in my stash.  Now it’s just a matter of deciding on what I want to use.

Saturday morning I made my way down to the train station.  Our train was scheduled to leave at 7:30.  I got down there at 6:45 and the place was filled with knitters.

We checked in and were handed a swag bag!

And in the bag, we got three coupons for discounts at some Seattle area yarn shops, 3 little sock stitch markers, a yarn lollipop that knits up into a mini sock, a tape measure, a little zipper pouch to carry it all in and a tea sample.

It was a quiet ride down.  I think everyone was planning their shopping or napping.  We arrived in Portland and were met by some local Ravelry folks.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find my friend Oliveknits.  Perhaps the next time I go down to Portland I’ll be able to meet up with her for a cup of coffee (or a pint of beer) and some yarn shopping and knitting.

Once we got all the info we needed (the “make sure you’re back by a certain time” and “make sure you have fun” speeches) we were off and running.  I first went to Dublin Bay Knitting Co.  Which might be my new favorite Portland yarn shop.  I had planned ahead of time as to what i wanted to get.  And they had everything I wanted (and then some)!  They also had coffee, tea, water, cookies, and chowder for us.  I walked out with 2 skeins of Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock yarn in the Roisin Colorway, 1 skein of SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock yarn in Orchid and 1 skein of Yarn Love Marianne Dashwood sock yarn in Blueberry Festival (and yes, I am that big of a Jane Austen fan).  The Three Irish Girls yarn, I was thinking of using for the Ene’s Scarf.

Then it was off to pick up the Voodoo Doughnuts.  I walked over to their NE Davis st location.  Which was about a 2 mile walk.  It was well worth it.  Before I got their I decided that I needed to eat.  Actually my stomach was demanding food.  So I stopped at Old Wive’s Tale for brunch.  I got a oatmeal, cornmeal buttermilk pancake with apple, cinnamon, honey compote on top and a side of bacon.  It was heaven.  So unbelievably good.  And cheap.  I high recommend it.

I get over to Voodoo and stand in line for what feels like an eternity.  It was about 30 minutes.  For some reason everyone in front of me just had several questions about every doughnut they make or they just couldn’t decide.  If you stood in line for 30 minutes I would think you would know what you wanted to order, but I’m crazy that way.  Sidenote – everyone I have talked to at Voodoo Doughnuts, from the gal who emailed me back, the guy at their downtown location who very correctly suggested that I place my order at their other location because the wait would be much shorter (30 minutes compared to at least an hour – one of the ladies in our group waited for over an hour at the downtown location) and he also gave me all the bus routes and a cab company phone number, to the gal who took my order and finally the gal working the counter when I bought the doughnuts, were incredibly nice and helpful.  I can’t say enough good things about this place.  It’s sooooo worth the trip and the wait.

from the top left of the photo – the first container has 2 memphis mafia fritters and a triple chocolate penetration.  The next container has a portland cream, a voodoo doughnut and a dirty snowball.  The bottom two containersm the infamous maple bacon bars.  I came prepared and brought ziploc containers and an envirosax to carry them in.  Which was perfect.  Now I wish I had ordered more…

After loading up on doughnuts, I headed over to Happy Knits.  The new yarn shop on the block.  It was a great little shop.  A really great selection of yarn and just a beautiful store.  I didn’t really see anything that I couldn’t live with out there.  I did run into one of the gals from out Tuesday night group and we ventured back over  the Hawthorne Street bridge to head over to Knit-Purl and Powell’s City of Books.

I parted ways with my friend, as she had already gone to Knit-Purl.  I wasn’t really planning on buying anything at Knit-Purl.  There was a pattern that I had my eye on and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy it.  The funky thing about this sweater pattern is that it can be worn right side up or upside down.  Sounds strange, I know, but I am totally fascinated with this pattern.  And for a pattern it’s pretty darn expensive – $20.  So I asked one of the sales ladies, if she had seen it knit up and what she thought.  Her enthusiasm was all I needed.  So  I decided to give it  a try.  And then, I made a fatal mistake.  I turned around and was staring face to face with the Habu Textiles yarns.  Last year the only yarn I bought was the Habu Textiles Lamb Wool and Linen jacket kit that I now wear all the time.  So I ended up with two cones of their Tsumugi silk yarn as well as that $20 pattern.  On the plus side, the pattern came with buttons.  Which, if you’ve had to buy buttons cost about $20.  Now I’m thinking I may use the Habu yarn for Ene’s scarf….

While I was in Knit-Purl I met up with another gal from our Tuesday night knitting group and we walked over to Powell’s together.  I had planned for Powell’s too.  I had a list of books that I wanted and if I could get them cheap, I would.

So I got a couple of books and a few other little things.

Yeah, two out of three books are Jane Austen related.  The Home is Where the Wine is book, is the new book by Crazy Aunt Purl.  I read her first book, Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair, and loved it.  So I had to read her new one.  That was on the only book I paid full price for.  I also got these cute little hooks that were on sale.  I’ve been looking for hooks to put by the wall of my closet in my bedroom to hang purses and bag on.  These were perfect!  And of course a little something for kitties.  As soon as that thing hit the ground, Kink was off and running.  You would think that that damn toy made some offensive comments about her family, the way she was beating the hell out of it.

After leaving Powell’s I headed over to Knit Knot Studios.   Which is a sweet little yarn shop.  Again, they had beautiful yarn and some handmade local jewelry.  But again, there was nothing that really called to me.  By this point it was around 4 and I was getting tired.  I walked towards the train station and decided to make one last pass thru Dublin Bay Knitting Co.  Which, might have been a bad idea, but I did it anyway.  Yup… I bought more yarn.  This time I bought 4 skeins of Fleece Artist Ottawa yarn.  2 skeins are the Nova Scotia colorway, one is in the Paris colorway and the other is in the Burgundy colorway.  I was hoping that they had one more of Paris, but they didn’t.  But the burgundy colorway will work well with it.  Perhaps I’ll use these skeins to do the Ene’s scarf pattern… too many choices!

After that, I was done.  I was hungry and ready to get on the train and head back home.  I stopped for a couple of slices of pizza at Hot Lips Pizza in the Pearl District.  It was amazing pizza.  I got a slice of cheese and a slice of pear and ham.  That’s right, I said pear and ham.  It was to die for.  It was NY style, the kind you fold down the center and eat.  Between the yarn, food and just overall non-car transportation friendly town, Portland Rocks!

After eating, it was time to head back to the station.

All in all, it was a great trip.  I had a blast and I can’t wait until next year!

The first present was that mom’s lumpectomy went well.  It was delayed by a couple of hours but once she was in, it seemed to take like 15 minutes!  She said she woke up a couple hours later and was on her way home from the hospital when she called me.  She sounded tired but good.   She also said that from what they could see, the cancer is not in her lymp nodes.  So that’s even better.

The second present was the chair that I my parents got me for Christmas (yes, I know it’s just barely October.  But it was on Overstock.com and who knows how much longer it was going to be there) arrived.  I pulled it out of the box and within a few minutes I had it all put together.  I was sitting and enjoying my new chair when I realized I had one more present!  My package from the Secret Pal 12 angel arrived today!

I ripped open the box and swooned at the goodies!  She sent me 2 skeins of Fiddlesticks Yarn laceweight zephyr wool/silk blend in a gorgeous deep purpley/burgundy color (they call it Mohogany), 2 skeins of a super cool varigated (I believe the colorway is called Coral Reef) merino wool Mirasol Hacho yarn and 1 dream skein of Malabrigo sock yarn in a stunning purpleish lavender/blueish color.  Along with some cable needles and a cute little zipper pouch that I’m going to use for all my knitting accessories!  All this and the patterns she got for me a week ago!

Oh and here’s the new chair… with all my new knitting goodies!

All in all it was a good day.  Now I’m off to hopefully get the baby sweater finished, or at least close to finished.  I’d like to be able to finish before this weekend.

Since this weekend was a bit crazy – we’re talking a trip to emergency room kinda crazy.  Fortunately I was just there for support.  Not the injured/sick party – I thought I’d take some photos of the yarn that I mentioned in the last post and show my progress on my hopefully Gold Medal winning socks!

The yarn from Hazel Knits that is Mariners themed.

Hazel Knits yarn loves the Mariners!

Hazel Knits yarn loves the Mariners!

The Socks that Rocks yarn.

Socks that Rock!

Socks that Rock!

My birthday present from my super cool knittin’ friend!

the softest yarn ever

the softest yarn ever

My aunt sent me a few things for my birthday as well.  They are linens from my grandmother and my great grandmother.  They’re so beautiful and so delicate.

Grandmas Linens

Grandma's Linens

More of Grandmas Linens

More of Grandma's Linens

Now let’s take a look at some Gold Medal Socks.  Ok, so I haven’t won the gold yet, but I’m hoping I will!  Most of this was knit while at the emergency room and then while watching Michael Phelps crush the french!

The Start of the Gold Medal Winning Socks

The Start of the Gold Medal Winning Socks

The yarn is from Thank Ewe – bought off of Etsy.  Etsy is my new favorite shopping site.  This yarn is amazing to work with and the sock pattern is Fawkes.  There’s a little bit of lace but nothing crazy.  It’s actually been a great pattern to work with.

Ok, so I’m finally recovered.  Actually, Monday I was tired, yesterday I was busy.  So now it’s Wednesday and I’m really to tell the whole story.

Let’s start with Thursday.   As per usual, I headed to Skillet for lunch.  I got the farro salad and the carrot cake.  And this time I took pictures so everyone could see the beauty of this food.

The Farro salad- it was amazing.

Farro Salad

And the Carrot Cake – the big blob of white stuff… that’s is the best cream cheese frosting I have ever had.

carrot cake

After that and the end of the work day, I headed over to say my goodbyes to the goats.  I figured that they would be gone when I got back from SF.

And here’s a few pictures of the goats and the dog that was there to herd them along.  He was such a sweet dog.

the Goat Finale

That’s a lot of goats!

That's a lot of goats!

The real boss of the operation

The big boss

A couple of close ups

I'm ready for my close up

This is my best side

Just taking a rest before heading back up the hill to grab an afternoon snack

taking it easy

The long shot of the hill.

The hill

I don’t know when their last work day was, but when I got back this is what I saw:

Goat Hill... it's all clean!

This was the before:

First day on the job

But enough about the goats….  I headed down to SF on Friday.  When I got there I think the temperature was just above boiling.  I had lunch with my first boss after college.  It was great to catch up with here and I can’t wait to see her again.  I also got to see a few people that I haven’t in a long time.  And that was great.  I also got to spend some time with my aunt who I haven’t seen in a bit.  All in all it was great trip.

Saturday morning we went to Imagiknits.  They were having a sale.  And I love a sale.  It’s a beautiful store and the people who worked there were so nice.  I wish I had a day to spend in there just to touch all the yarn and look at the all beautiful colors and samples they have knit up.

On Saturday night we got to see the Giants play the White Sox.  I have to admit, it wasn’t the Giant’s best day.  But it was sunny at the park and I was there with my aunt and my friends.

The ball park

By the end of the 4th inning the fog was waiting outside the ballpark and it was starting to get back to that SF weather I know and love.

inside ball park

After the game, we headed back home and to bed… I had to get a good nights sleep to be well rested for the race.

As for the race…. well it was a blast.  It was a lot of hard work but it’s always fun.  From the throwing of the tortillas at the beginning of the race, to the naked people (and there were way too many naked people), to the costumes, to the kegs on wheels being pushed or pulled by other runners.  I was hold a solid 11 minute mile pace until the dreaded Hayes Street hill at the 2.5 mile mark.  I vow to take that hill down next year.  I ended up having to run one block then walk the next of the next .5 miles.  That was the hill.  At an 11% grade, I felt the run/walk idea was the best way to go.  By the time I got to the panhandle, the fog had rolled in and it was refreshing.  At some point in the park we passed a band called the Meshugga Beach Party – they do traditional Jewish songs as instrumental surf tunes.  If I were to have a bat mitzvah I would beg my parents to have them play at it.  I crossed the finish line roughly and hour and thirty three minutes after starting the race.  Next year, I’ll be one of the first 10,000 people to cross the finishline.

Today I got up and went to the Hilltop Yarn Fire Sale.  I got there, with, what I thought was plenty of time.  I got there at 10 and they opened at 11.  So I figured I’d grab a cup of joe, walk over and wait in line.  By the time I got my coffee and got in line, I was waiting at the bottom of the stairs.  The porch and the stairs to the street were already filled with ladies waiting.  By 11 the line was almost to the end of the block.  When they opened the doors, it was a free-for-all.  Note to stores: If you are planning on doing a large sale like this – if there’s a large line and your store isn’t that big, limit the amount of people that can go in the store at one time.  It will save you from all sorts of trouble.  I’m suprised the fire department didn’t come back and nail them for a fire code violation.  It was to the point where you couldn’t move.  It was like being in the front row of some yarn concert.  It was like Elvis was playing at Hilltop Yarn.  At one point, I was waiting to pay and it was so packed in the one room that we were in that people were yelling across the room at the people on the other side if there was certain yarn there and what colors were left.  If it was what they wanted, then it would be thrown over the heads of everyone in the room to the person who wanted it.  We got into the store at 11 and I finally got out of there at 12:45!  I was in line for over an hour.  I made it out alive and only spending around $40 for 11 skeins of yarn.  Mostly Lamb’s Pride and Cascade 220 yarn.  There were people that were spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  One woman bought enough yarn for her to have all the projects she wanted to work on for the next year and a half.  I can’t plan that far in advance.  I’m impressed by such planning.

I noticed that there were a lot of Ravelry fans in the crowd.  I love that!  Ravelry is amazing.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love Ravelry.

After that I ran to our group swim lesson at Medgar Evers Pool.  Which was awesome!  We were so impressed with the lesson that we’re planning on doing this again next week and for the next couple of weeks.  And the lessons only cost us $11 a person.  Totally worth it.

And now I’m going to work on my sweater… that’s right… it’s not done yet.  But it’s close.  The first sleeve is almost done and hopefully I’ll have it done tonight.  And then go to bed.

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