Here’s where I am with the Rib Knitted Shrug.

You know, I’ve never knitted a shrug, so I don’t know if this is how it should look at about the halfway mark….Hmmm. I guess it’s right, because I’ve been following the pattern and I’ve gone over it a few times to make sure, unless there’s an error in the pattern. Nah, I’m sure this is right. Shrugs are strange creatures, though. I guess I’ll just keep at it. There’s a chance I’ll be done before October.

Here’s something different: I opened one of the handy tea-in-a-cup things I bought in a pharmacy in Japan from my trip there a couple of years ago (I know, you shouldn’t keep tea that long, but it tasted quite good anyhow). This one, according to the small amount of English on the container, was Rose Yunnan Puerr tea.

The dry tea, including a small desiccant to keep the tea dry until used, was housed in a small recess in the lid which sat on the strainer, which in turn sat in the cup.

Open the lid, remove the desiccant, pour the dry tea into the strainer, put the strainer back in the cup, add hot water, replace the lid, steep, remove the lid and strainer and there, you have a decent cup of tea. There were a bunch of rose buds in there:

And the recess in the lid also serves as a receptacle to hold the used strainer.

I love buying things like this when I travel, they’re so handy and creative. In fact, when I travel, I seek out supermarkets, department stores, convenience stores and pharmacies. Pharmacies, you ask? I bought some nice bars of soap in Italy in one; the tea-in-a-cup and the smallest umbrellas in the world in pharmacies in Japan; the best little packet of instant soup complete with lots of veggies from the travel section of Loft department store in Japan. During the Italy trip I bought a handy coffee-in-a-cup in a gas station on a highway; it had everything in it, even the water, and a device that heated it when you pushed part of the cup. Before you gag, one of the women I was traveling with was suffering from caffeine withdrawal, so I gave it to her and she said it was actually pretty good. I just wish cool stuff like these were available in this country.

Getting Raveled.

I received my Ravelry invitation in June, just before the move to our new house, but it wasn’t until I went to the latest Seattle Knitters Guild meeting a few days ago that I felt encouraged to sit down and get going on it. (Can I take a moment here to encourage you to join your local knitting guild or similar group? It’s fun to get together with other people and have guest speakers talk about the craft, and to have the opportunity to participate in Show & Tell if I feel like it. It’s Ravelry, but un-wired. I particularly like the fact the membership crosses a broad spectrum of people: mostly women, some men, and a vast range in age groups and abilities. There’s always something to learn at a guild meeting.) The latest Guild meeting was all about the digital world of knitting, such as Ravelry, Flickr, Bloglines, knitalongs and blogging; a few local bloggers talked about blogging: Rose-Kim Knits, Feral Knitter, Supergirl Knits, Zeitgeist, and Purlwise. Fortunately, my husband treated me a two-night stay in downtown Seattle for my birthday, so I had a little time this past weekend to work on Ravelry and get some projects listed on it.

Meanwhile, back at home, we’re still awaiting our wood blinds so we I don’t have to crawl from room to room when I haven’t done my hair yet. We’ve been in our house for a month now, but through an unfortunate series of scheduling issues, such as our blinds rep going on vacation, her business closing for a few days over the July 4th holiday, not to mention that upon her return to work she was heavily booked for a week, we haven’t had much of a chance to get the process in gear, but the all that is past, our order is in, and we hope to have window coverings sometime this week. It would be nice to have blinds, there’s going to be an outdoor wedding next door next weekend and there will be people milling about in close proximity. Unless it rains.

Speaking of rain, for the first time I can remember, it has rained profusely this weekend; it may even have broken a record for the most rain on this weekend. Plus, the humidity is unusually oppressive; it reminds me of summer weather in Boston. Yes, I know we live in a part of the country known for its heavy precipitation, but July through early August are usually the driest times around here, and the humidity isn’t too bad. That’s key information for any would-be travelers to Seattle: if you don’t want to get rained on, and you want some sun that isn’t going to cause you to melt into the pavement (a couple of days in the upper 90s and low 100s a few weeks ago was an exception), come around mid-July to early August and you should be safe. I believe that most outdoor weddings here take place the end of July to the first weekend in August (Seafair Weekend) due to the high probability of sun.

I hardly knitted all weekend. I am at interesting point in my toe-up footlets: how to work the heal and the cuff at the same time. This experiment may not work, since I don’t know what I’m doing. Perhaps it would be helpful to refer to the latest issue of Interweave Knits, which apparently covers toe-up socks, but I don’t have that issue because I forgot to update my address change until today. It may be a few weeks yet before that arrives. I’ll try to post a picture of my progress later today.

Footlet progress

Here’s my progress on the footlet of sock yarn leftovers. The yarn is Louet Gems Super Fine merino wool (purple) and Regia Jacquard Color (colorway 5270), both machine washable. I think this is more an experiment than an actual project, since I’ve never made a sock without a pattern, but maybe I’ll actually be able to wear it and even make a mate for it.

Dinner: Pesto Alla Genovese (Pesto Sauce Genoa Style) and Fave All’Abruzzese (Fava Beans Abruzzo Style).

Recipes found in
Food and Memories of Abruzzo: Italy’s Pastoral Land by Anna Teresa Callen.

I’m still around.

Life: I haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth. We’re still settling into our new home and we’re hoping we’ll have window coverings (i.e., Venetian blinds) by the end of next week. We’re in a bit of a heat wave these days and I’ve resorted to drastic measures. I’ve taken the curtains that I’d made for the old house, some packing tape (heavy duty cellophane tape) leftover from the move, and I’ve taped make-shift curtains on the key windows that get the worst of the heat. Binder clips and hair clips are used to hold the “curtains” open at night to allow cool air to come in. It works.

Knitting front: I need to feel like I’m getting something done these days. I am a frustrated knitter right now. Just too busy to even visit other people’s blogs. But I’ve started a pair of footlet socks from leftover sock yarn and I’m making them toe-up without a pattern. “Without a pattern” is dangerous for me because I prefer to have things planned for me, so we’ll see how this goes. No pictures, yet, but soon I hope.

Toddler front: the new PRIMO 4-in-1 Soft Seat Toilet Trainer training toilet arrived from Amazon yesterday and my son decided to sit on it and do his business as soon as he saw it. The old one was too narrow for him. This one is really nice and carefully designed for easy cleaning, and even has a soft seat!

iPhone front: still liking it.

Cats: the cats LOVE our new home; lots of territory to claim as their own and places to get away from my son.

That’s all for now!