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And why didn’t I like using the removable zip ties for skeins of yarn being dyed?

Their tails, or maybe snouts, got tangled up in the yarn, making extra work to get the skein to lie nicely. See left, below.

zip ties 001 small

Also, they tended to fall to the bottom of the skein when it was lifted up, and then stay clustered together rather than being nicely spaced around the skein.  See right, above.

Additionally, they weren’t easy to reopen — the tab to press down to release the zippy part was tiny, tiny.  I spent more time fussing with them that it would have taken to tie a piece of string. to begin with.  Sometimes one just wouldn’t  release at all, forcing me to cut it, which negated the whole point.

On the plus side, I now have a supply of nicely dyed zip ties I can use in the garden.

zip ties 002 small

I can dye some for you too — they don’t even have to be green!

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After a brief flirtation with using removable zip-ties to use as choke ties for the yarn skeins, I decided that they weren’t quite the thing, so I was going back to the somewhat tedious task of measuring out 10 or so 30 inch strands of pearl cotton, and cutting them into thirds to end up with a handful of 10 inch strings.

ties 001 small

But as I was winding some yarn, I suddenly realized that the electric skeiner  could also be used to make choke ties!
ties 002 small

By making a tiny circumference  skein of pearl cotton, then cutting it into 4ths, I get a pile of  choke ties in no time flat.
ties 003 small

That ought to do it for a while!

I’ve been working on a small shawl, to demonstrate that my Sterling Sheep yarn doesn’t  have to be used for socks, and also that you can get a nice sized  shawl from one skein.

Finished!

Finished!

Here it is, done at last. It’s the Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn Clark, which I’ve done before.  A lovely design, well written pattern, adaptable to many yarn weights. I did an extra row of the border lace to make it as big as possible . . .

Last scrap

Last scrap

and ended up with this much yarn left over.  About five and half feet. I’d say that’s an efficient use of one skein!

Splish splash, I was taking a bath

Splish splash, I was taking a bath

Of course, a piece of knitted lace isn’t really done until it’s washed

Pinned!

Pinned!

and blocked

shawl 009 small

And an arty picture taken of it.

On the weaving front, it is only weaving in the most generous sense of the word — there is warp, three strands,  and weft, six strands.

No blocking required

No blocking required

I hacked back some bamboo and trimmed the leaves off the canes.  Then I pulled out the old bamboo X that the hops vines were climbing up and used the trimmed bamboo to make this woven trellis. I also yanked out the dead Cape honeysuckle that the hops were tangled up in, but that’s growing back from the roots, even though the very woody old growth got killed off this past winter.

I had a Friends of UW Libraries meeting yesterday afternoon, and since Greg was out of town, decided to treat myself to dinner out afterwards at Serious Pie,  Tom Douglas’ fabulous pizza joint.  The tables there are mostly sturdy, tall, wooden rectangles that seat six, and the staff will put smaller parties together at these if they are busy, which is pretty much all the time. I was seated at one end of  the table with two guys seated facing each other at the other end, and we cheerily said “Hi,” but they were deep in conversation about local bands — they seemed to be band managers, or promoters.  Then another guy was seated opposite me, and we struck up a conversation — he works for  Cruise West, so we talked about the cruise business, Antarctica, libraries, digitization of assets thereof, etc.  Then a couple was seated in the middle seats, and the topics shifted to downtown living, downtown restaurants, movies, movie theaters, which pizza was that  and how was it . . . the two guys on the end joined in for a while before they left, another couple was seated at that end, and so on. It was a delightful way to dine, and I heartily recommend it.

I had the  fava beans, local radishes, and miner’s lettuce salad and the roasted chanterelles and truffle cheese pizza.  Forgot my camera, so no pictures. The salad was delectable, peppery and spring-like. The pizza, as usual, is to swoon over: the wood fired crust, crispy with a hint of char, artfully selected and combined toppings, the whole refined yet rustic.

Oh, and not only are they open for lunch now, but have a great happy hour special of  half-size pies for $5!

We are all about supporting libraries and  literacy, and Greg has been a featured author at Literary Lions many times, which supports the King County Library System Foundation (KCLSF).  They have just  brought out  a cookbook with recipes from a vast range of authors, authors friends, and authors spouses. My recipe for Chicken Mole Poblano slips in under Greg’s imprimature.

Feasting for a good cause

Feasting for a good cause

Should you wish to purchase a copy, it’s available here. Among other things, I’m eager to try Susan Wiggs’ Rosemary Olive Oil Cake and Nancy Leson’s Sri Lankan Beef Curry. And William Dietrich’s Boccone Dolce looks sublime.

Proceeds support KCLSF’s  literacy and outreach programs, such as Summertime Reading, Books for Babies, and Study Zone. It also funds scholarships for librarians furthering their education.  What’s not to like?