Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Ladies Who Go To Yarn Stores March 25, 2017

IMG_2733  Janet and Susan outside NW Yarns in Bellingham Washington

IMG_2734  Window display, NW Yarns


IMG_2735  Colors!

IMG_2728  Knitted 3D Piece by Textile Artist Ann Maki – on exhibit at Social Fabric, Bellingham Washington, March 2017


Models at the Yarn Store December 17, 2016

Filed under: Knitters,Knitting,Sweaters,Yarn shops — Janet @ 1:53 am

A recent trip to the local yarn store, The Tea Cosy, in Ballard, Seattle Washington

A feast of new yarns, patterns and models.

img_1959         img_1960

and here’s what I was wearing that day         img_1961

Fun shopping.


Blue Yarn, Sweaters, and Travel Memories December 11, 2016

I have previously written about the blue yarn which I purchased at a little sop in the Aran Islands,which are located off the West Coast of Ireland.  I bought a good amount of this yarn and a sweater pattern.  When it finally came to the knitting, I used a different pattern for one and found I had almost enough of that lovely yarn for another sweater.


80th-birthday  Sweater 1, I sort of made up the design    

img_1933img_1940Sweater 2        yes it is the same yarn but the selfie photo  was taken in different lighting.

I should really get a photo of the 2 sweaters side by side.



A Big Yarn “Store” November 16, 2016

Filed under: Crochet,Knitters,Knitting,Wool,Yarn shops,Yarns — Janet @ 5:54 pm

This past weekend I attended the Yarn Market which was part of a big knitting event, Knit Fit, here in Ballard Seattle.  The Yarn Market part of Knit Fit was held in the big gymnasium at the Ballard Community Center.  A big gymnasium packed with yarn shops displaying their wares.  Heaven for knitting and crochet enthusiasts!



img_1739  my lovely purchase at the Yarn Market


img_1723  This photo is for one of my sons who likes to take me to yarn stores.


Searching For A Nice Brown Yarn October 12, 2016

img_1467  On my recent trip to Glastonbury Connecticut I visited 2 yarn stores – Village Wool in Glastonbury and Mystic River Yarns in Mystic Connecticut.  I just like looking for yarn and knitting – not sure what project or projects will result.  I bought 2 different browns and thought about knitting a sweater.  I prefer the “richer” brown – but my sample knitting has too few stitches to be continued as a sweater.   The lighter brown sample has enough stitches……so, what should I do?  I’m thinking!


A Bit of Sock Knitting September 19, 2011

Filed under: Knitting,Portraits,Yarn shops — Janet @ 11:32 pm

  My solution to the 2nd sock syndrome is to knit 2 different socks with roughly similar yarns.  These are not elegant but they are fun to knit, a bit mindless and I’m using up bits of stash.   I’m discovering that some of my yarns are more suitable than others.  I really should stick to sock yarn and not mix in the silkier softer smoother yarns.

  This is the Danish Isiger lace weight yarn I bought last week at the yarn store on Bainbridge Island.  And I bought the pattern book as well.  I was weak!  I have thousands of patterns already.   And I’m not sure what I’m going to knit with this yarn.  But it was just so lovely.  Maybe a laceweight scarf.

The person who runs the yarn store in Winslow on Bainbridge Island has managed to find 3 very interesting old paintings.  I understand that she likes to browse antique stores, etc. for her “finds”.  The 3 paintings on the walls of Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, Bainbridge Island, Washington.

I think it would be fun to have a portrait of myself as a knitter.  Someone 50 years from now could find the painting in the antique shop of 2060.


Busy Days

Filed under: Family history,Wool,Yarn shops — Janet @ 2:14 am

I’ve just been invited to a friend’s 80th birthday party.  This has kind of struck me hard.  How have we got this far?  She is a friend from much younger years.  Here I am researching my own genealogy – I’ve recently joined ancestry.com.  And then right here before my eyes and ears my friends are turning into another decade.  I shouldn’t be so surprised.  My sisters arrived there ages ago.  I’ll keep plowing on – being a grandparent now I seem to have a fascination to figure out my grandparents lives, in so far as possible.  More on that topic to follow.

Meanwhile, I have a few knitting projects on the go.  Mostly socks.  And I hope I am going to have some space at a Christmas Fair.  I have really been missing my regular Saturday morning trips to Kilternan Market in Dublin where I used to offer my knitted items.  Slowly but surely, they did sell.  I haven’t found anything similar here so far, so I am delighted to have this prospect of space at the Christmas Fair at the Nordic Heritage Museum.   It’s a great incentive to keep knitting and crocheting. 

We recently did another trip to Bainbridge Island – I enjoy ferry trips.  The lure was the local history museum where there was a special exhibition of photographs by Ansel Adams.  These were photographs documenting the Manzanar interment camp of World War II.  A rather shameful period in our history but I felt that if I had been living on the West Coast of America in 1942, I too would have felt threatened.  The book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is beautifully written about this aspect of World War II seen through eyes other than our own.  I can recommend that little museum over on Bainbridge.  It is a little gem of a museum set up in an old school house.  I like small museums of local history.

In addition to the Bainbridge Historical Museum we also went to the yarn store – hooray.  I bought some lovely Danish yarn in lace weight.  That’s a change for me.  But their display of the shawl that had been knit with this yarn enticed me to buy both the pattern book and 2 skeins of that lovely yarn.  More on that in due course.

We are now moving into autumn.  The dahlias are wonderful.


New Yarn New Project August 3, 2011

Filed under: Rug making,Rugs,Yarn shops — Janet @ 9:38 pm

  a  little booklet that I thought was lost but has turned up quite unexpectedly.  This is the booklet I used 40+ years ago to make the following 3 rugs.

  design for the first rug I made, using the latchet hook technique, and buying little packs of precut wool as I went along.  Following my husband Ian’s advice I made a grid on the picture to correspond to the grid on the rug canvas I was using.  Then I followed the design quite religiously, even down to the choice of colours.  The resulting rug lasted for years and years.

  This was the next one.  Slightly bigger than the first one.  Again I used pretty much the same colours.

  the third rug, by the time I finished this rug I had had enough.

Off we went to St. Lucia for 2 years and the rug making phase of my life receded completely as we turned to other activities with the 3 little boys.

  we had playmates living next door

  and the third was still in his high chair

Now these three little boys and their friends are well grown and following their respective life paths.  I have refound my little rug booklet and I am getting the urge to make another latchet hook rug, after a lapse of quite a few years.  Since I no longer have a loom but am still primarily interested in making rugs, I think the latchet hook is the answer.

  while we were in Victoria I did nip in to the local yarn store,  The Button and Needlework Boutique, and I found this lovely green yarn – a yarn I have used before.  I just couldn’t resist the colour and know I’ll use it sometime.  But for now with my rug-making ideas, I am turning to my little booklet and my stash of coarser and sturdier yarn.

  possible choices for the next latchet hooked rug


Trip to Victoria British Columbia July 29, 2011

Yes, another trip.   July has been a busy month.   While most of the U.S. was sweltering Seattle remained cool but the day we went over to Victoria on the Clipper (a fast speed catamaran), we had bright sun and all was looking better, despite the wind and the forecast of gales.   The sun stayed with us for the whole time we were there and the return back.   Sunny and warm but not too hot.  Victoria and Seattle at their best!

A wonderful ambience as we wined and dined with Ian’s brother and family.  And also did a bit of sight seeing.  I particularly enjoyed the special exhibition at the Museum of British Columbia.  The exhbition was called The Other Emily.  The Emily referred to was Emily Carr.  A famous Canadian artist and writer and I think particularly famous here in the Pacific Northwest.  I found it a fascinating exhibition – sort of an artist within an artist the way it was presented – a present-day artist using old photographs and original paintings to give a modern insight  into Emily Carr’s life.

I like Emily Carr’s work, I liked the old photographs, and I also like the present-day artist’s take on Emily’s life and times and art work.  What I didn’t like was the rather labyrinth way the exhibition was set out, the stale smell of popcorn which pervaded the area, and the dim lighting or lack thereof.  I used the word labyrinth – I had a hard time finding my way out!  Exits seemed to be labelled emergency when you actually got there – not finding a simple exit made me decide that I would ignore the emergency signs and just go out – it worked – then I negotiated my way (more or less in the dark again) past the big exhibit of woolly animals.  I had seen that exhibit out of the corner of my eye when I found the Emily Carr one so I knew I was somewhere near the down escalator.  Relief when I finally emerged into a brighter area and found my way out of the building.  Museums shouldn’t make you feel like that but I think that experience was not uncommon.

The following photos are from the wikipedia entry for Emily Carr.

  Emily Carr, 1871-1945     The dates for Emily Carr’s life roughly paralled those of 3 of my grandparents.   So I felt I was getting a picture, not necessarily of the lives of my grandparents but a snapshot of the experiences of a person who lived at the same time.

  Blunden Harour Totems

   Odds and Ends

  Autumn in France, 1911

  Breton Church, 1906

The day before my visit to the Emily Carr exhibition, I found 3 books by Emily.  2 in Renaissance Books, a bookseller near Bastion Square, and the third in Chapters on Douglas Street.

   Growing Pains – about the book from the back cover – “Completed just before her death in 1945, Growing Pains is Emily Carr’s carefully-crafted portrait of an artist; her girlhood in Victoria B.C.; her training as a painter; the initial rejection and eventual acceptance of her painting by the Canadian people.  This autobiographical collection is invaluable for revealing the face she wanted to show the world and the rich texture of her life.”

  Hundreds and Thousands:  The Journals of an Artist – again quoting from the back cover of the book – ” Emily Carr chose to call her published journal Hundreds and Thousands after the minute English candies so small they need to eaten by the mouthful to be appreciated…….In her notebooks, she chronicled her philosophy of art, her criticism of her own work and others, her hopes and fears.  She also wrote of the subjects she painted – the sea, sky and forests of British Columbia.  A personal and passionate manifesto of an extraordinary artist.”

  anecdotes about her life as a young girl

I look forward to reading each of the above in order to learn more about this remarkable woman.  In the Seattle Public School system, at least in Whittier the school my Seattle grandaughters attend, they learn about Emily Carr when they are in second grade – I’ll try to keep one step ahead of them.

But what I really look forward to is exploring the parallels between Emily’s life and times and those of my grand parents.  Watch for future installments.


Soup and Cinema March 9, 2011

Filed under: Dyeing,Films,Friendship,Knitting,Yarn shops,Yarns — Janet @ 5:46 pm


 soup and cinema at the Nordic Heritage Museum.  This is what we did yesterday.  Allt Flyter/The Swimsuit Issue  was a Swedish film so we had a Swedish soup – it was delicious – a kale soup and a nice bread to go with it.  The film was wonderfully done.  Excellent acting, an unusual centerpiece for the story line – the formation of a men’s synchronized swim team.  So that was the offering this month.  Last month it was a Norwegian film, Elling.  Next month is Denmark’s turn with the film Adams aebler/Adam’s Apples.  And then in May it will be Iceland with Mavahlatur/The Seagull’s Laughter.

As we enjoyed our lunch I reflected on how yet again I didn’t think to wear something Scandinavian.  Rather ironic since it is the colourful knitting and weaving tradition of the Nordic countries which is part of the big attraction for me.  I did wear something handknit at least.  Handknit but not by me.  It was a vest knit with handspun naturally dyed yellow/green yarn.  I’ve had that item a long time and wore it very often when I was working in Kenya.  I bought it at the Spinner’s Web, just around the corner from the Norfolk Hotel.  The Spinner’s Web stocked those balls of naturally dyed yarn with the Kenya Leo label.  They also sold items knit with that yarn and I was a frequent admirer and purchaser.  Thinking about all that, part of my association with the Kenya Leo label is that I knew one of the founders, if not the founder.  She lived upcountry but she used to come to Nairobi for the Kennel Club Dog Shows.  I always looked forward to the Shows – and also the chance to visit with Jean.  That’s all long ago now.