Friday, October 27, 2006

Yarn pr0n Friday the Sixth


YarnMonster Super Sock in the colorway Hyacinth. Gifted to me by my lovely and kind SP8.

This stuff is so soft and the colors so perfect that I'm having difficulty choosing just the right socks to make with it. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Proof that we are old.

I've been absent from the blog most of the week. I apologize. In my defense, I spent the entire weekend car shopping. I'd had a free vehicle lined up with a very generous person from my local freecycle, but she went on vacation right after the offer was made, and I was uncertain when she would return. Hubby and I decided to not wait any longer. We just couldn't. The car situation was becoming very stressful, and unfortunately my local public transportation sucks.




I'd like to start by expressing my intense hatred of car salesmen. I'm sure they are all nice people in regular life. but at work they are just slimey. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the weekend;




"What can I do to get you into this beauty today?"




"Will you need permission from your husband to buy this car?"




"See? It won't scratch when you hit something at the grocery store!"




"Well, I don't have anything in that price range, But this car is only $5000 more than you were looking to spend!"




"Oh, I don't know pricing, management handles all of that. They'd be happy to tell you what you can buy after you fill out a credit app. We wouldn't want you to get your heart set on a car just to find out that you can't afford it."




RAAAAAR!




I finally just gave up and went to a dealer that has a not so great reputation for customer service, and is looked at as a "last chance" type of place. Fine. Honestly since hubby and I have gotten back together we've had some difficulties. The credit ain't what it used to be. I went in, looked at their stock and looked at their pricing list online. It was fair. Not the greatest, but fair.




They "crunched numbers" (God, I hate that phrase. Hate it.) and gave me some options in my price range. One was a cheaper SUV, one was a current model year car, and one was minivan.




Let me preface this story by stating that I'm a die-hard Jeep owner. I love them. I work on my own jeeps and I've lifted 2 of the 3 jeeps I've owned and wheeled them in some pretty crazy places. I love having 4 wheel drive and being able to go places few others go. I've seen some of the most beautiful places in the world this way. Obviously this means that the options that were given to me were less than appealing.




I definitely did not want the car. It was essentially a stripped model and I'm not a "car" fan. No matter what they do to them, they are always cramped, they are hard as heck for my parents to get in and out of with their health issues, and good luck going to Ikea with a car. Also we need extra seating for when we are hosting the kids from Hubbies work.




The SUV was an el-cheapo. There are some people who live and die by this brand of vehicle, and I often see them sporting stickers of Calvin peeing on their competitors. I'm not a fan. My mom had the upscale version of the vehicle at one point. I'd never been carsick in an automobile before, but in that thing, I just wanted to puke up my lungs every time I rode in it.




This left the mini-van. There was no way I was going to buy it, but I figured I would look at it. I had them pull it out for me. We wandered over and they opened up the doors for me to get in. I scoffed and hitched my bag on my shoulder then stuck my head in the side door. The scales fell from my eyes.




"Oh my god," I thought, "This thing is nicer that my living room!"




The seats were plush and comfy. It was cleaner than an Obsessive-Compulsive's bathroom. There is a DVD system, climate zones, and get this.... good gas mileage.




I was in love. The dealer told me to go ahead and drive it up for hubby to see since he was at work and couldn't get away. So I did, and I pulled up to the house hubby works at and he said,




"It's really a minivan, isn't it? Not a crossover or anything. It's really a minivan. This is proof that we are old."




Well lots of paperwork and 2 trips to the dealer to get all the correct documentation and it's mine. I'm a minivan owner. My Jeep friends would laugh until their testicles fell off. That's fine. I'm the one who gets to go to my car at lunch, put my feet up, watch a movie and knit at lunch break.




Now your job, should you choose to accept it. I need a license plate. Vanity plates are more common in this state than fleas on a huntin' dawg. I'd like to choose a plate that expresses my lust for all things wooly and yarn related. It cannot be longer than 7 letters, but it can include a hyphen. It must also not already be an issued tag. You have one week. The winner will receive lovely yarn-y prize. Leave your suggestions in the comments and I'll pick my favorite and announce the winner next Wednesday evening.
Good Luck!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yarn pr0n Friday the Fifth

Today's Yarn pr0n Friday is dedicated to the world's most wonderful fiber:





Alpaca.






Cashmere is better you say? LIES!

If you were to offer me 10 pounds of cashmere and 10 pounds of alpaca, it would be the alpaca. Every time. I could just dive into this stuff. I'd sleep in huge alpaca bed every night if I could. Even in pictures my hand just wants to reach out and touch it's soft squishiness.

These yarns were also scored at the recent fiber festival. 2 Gigtanto hanks of naturally colored charcoal alpaca and a skein of Alpaca with a Twist lace weight.

The colors commemorate the black and blueness of my lovely mug. I'll spare you the pics for comparison. There was a miscommunication between the doctor and I. It was a really minor fracture in the zygomatic arch. I can't walk on it for at least 6 weeks.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I broke my face.

Yes. That's right. I broke my face falling down the stairs. Stop laughing.

The doctor called today and while stifling her laughter let me know that I had a fractured Maxilla. It's probably nothing and will likely heal on it's own, but to be sure they want me to see an ENT tomorrow.

I thought falling down the stairs was bad enough. Breaking my face while doing it? that's just mortifying. I think I'm going to lie down for a bit.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

One Skein SP update and Pics to make up for the Rotten YPF

Well I'm still hurting. I think taking the Kids from Hubby's work out to King's Dominion yesterday didn't help things one little bit. I'm sore in places I didn't know I could be sore. Sadly, i didn't even ride the rides. I knit and waited. When I finally stumbled in last night around 12:30 from dropping off dad's truck I checked the mail. Inside was a big heavy squooshy package. I'm an incredible package ho, and I caught my second wind and ran inside to open it. When I dumped it all out on the bed I found this:




The package contained a big bag of Hershey's (which seems to be dwindling by the minute) Plymouth Turino Silk, Online Supersock, Furryarns 2 ply (the colorway is perfect!), and Blue Sky Cotton.

Not only was this package incredibly generous, but it was very cool in that all of these are things I've heard of and wanted to see and touch and play with, but can't get anywhere near me. The colors are gorgeous too. Thank you Gracie. I love it!

I also wanted to post pictures of some of the other stash enhancements of late. The first is a pic of the silky wool I picked up on my yarn binge last week. I love this stuff. It looks tweedy and rustic, it is soft, but it still has a definite texture, and it drapes like crazy even in the hank. Now to settle on a pattern.....




Finally, there is the latest Knitpicks order. Some deluded part of my brain has decided that it is time to try colorwork, and it forced me to order the Northern Lights Mittens pattern and yarn (with some color mods).




I've been working on the fair isle hat kit. The stitches look wonky and strange, but the actually knitting is getting easier each time I pick it up. I'm going to have to take it into the LYS to get some tips to fix the problems I'm having, which are entirely related to gauge. Once get those worked out, it will be time for the mittens.


Also, I have finished the hoodie. And have worn it almost every day this week only partially blocked. Embarrassing, yes, but excitement over an FO gets to my head sometimes. I'll get it blocked up and post pics soon. If I can stop wearing it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yarn pr0n Friday The Fourth


And a deep apology for the quality of the pics. I did my best with the light I had.



This is the LL shepherd sock in Bittersweet that I picked up at the Fiber Fest. Yes, the colors are off, but again. I ran out of light. I spent my evening at the hospital instead of snapping pics of yarn. I blame it all on Diet Coke, and it's rather embarrassing, so try not to laugh too hard.

I got up this morning and groggily opened up my Diet Coke and took a big ol' swig. Then I choked. Right at the top of the stairs. I'm guessing I choked on it enough to lose consciousness because I woke up face down in the landing (we live in a split level). My first thought upon coming to was that I had fallen back asleep after I hit the snooze, the I though, "But this hurts, and sleeping usually doesn't hurt like this." Very disorienting. Hubby got home, checked me over for a concussion and any obvious breaks or emergency type injuries, then proceeded to laugh. Then all my coworkers laughed, and my parents, the kids, the doctor, nurses and radiologists. Sigh. I managed to bang up my face (nose especially, I has some good rug burn on it) and my back really well. Went to get x-rays tonight to get checked out. I seem to be OK, just sore. But I have good drugs.

I'm gonna go take some and pass out. And I'll avoid Diet Coke near stairs in the future.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

You know you're a fiber junkie when:

Your friend goes to North Carolina and brings you this as a gift (and you think it's really neat):






A cotton bouquet! Now. anyone have any idea how to process this stuff? I'd like to blend it with wool and make a neat little gift type thing for her.

I'm going to keep the seeds too and see if I can't get some growing next year.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

VA Fall Fiber Fest

Well things didn't exactly worked out as I'd hoped for the Fiber Festival, but it was still a remarkably lovely time. The sweater did not get done in time. I still have most of the sewing up to do. My mom did not get to come since we have a last minute visitor from out of town. I didn't manage to get a skein entered in the competition. I forgot the camera again, so hubby had to take camera phone pics (I apologize in advance for the quality of some of these.) That's all okay though. It was still absolutely wonderful. The entire place was a deluge of mud from the rainstorm we'd been having the last few days. When we pulled in we were asked if we had 4 wheel drive. Luckily I was in the rental and managed to talk them out of a Trailblazer (Jeep > *.Chevrolet) so we made it through the parking lot just fine, and I got to play in mud holes.



We tromped up to the vendors and everyone (but me of course) managed to ruin their pants and shoes within minutes of our arrival.



Unfortunately, due to the weather, a lot of the vendors bailed out. There were big empty spots in the tents. The vendors that were there though had some of the loveliest things and everyone was incredibly friendly. The kids had a good time working on a project in the kids tent and they each got a stuffed alpaca. The girl named hers Bob. An excellent alpaca name if I do say so myself.

This vendor had gorgeous clay spindle. I had intended to go back for one, and ended up so high on fiber fumes that I completely forgot. Next year I guess.





We did get invited to come take a tour of some alpaca farms at the end of the month. Hubby is suddenly very interested in running some kind of fiber business, which is what we've been talking about for a while. We'll definitely be checking into it. (He also wants a lathe and other woodworking equipment. I'm seeing a custom spinning wheel in my future, if I can stop spending his lathe money on fiber.) The vendors even gave us extra plastic bags for us to put our muddy shoes in and to cover the seats in the rental car with. The girls feet and pants were so nasty we ended up bagging them.





Hubby fell in love with a corriedale fleece from a sheep named Helen and a really handsome Rambouillet. Unfortunately I was out of cash at that point and there was no ATM. Instead he'll be coming with me to the MDSW next year and picking out a fleece for me to make him a sweater.





And finally, a picture of the haul clockwise from the top. 1360 yards of charcoal gray alpaca, 2 ounces of a gray/brown cashmere (hubby picked it), and 8 oz of Blue Face Leicester From Misty Mountain Farms. A set of combs and a base for them for blending ($60! Holy steal!) and 4 oz of bombyx silk from I See Spots. 2 skeins LL Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet and one ball of Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch from Carodan Family Farms. Two skeins each of hot pink and Lime green wool from Zeilingers for a scarf for Beth. In the center is a Skein of alpaca with a Twist Fino from Rivanna River Farms and a skein of spun silk lace weight from Woven Gems, Just enough for a Swallowtail Shawl.


Now if I can just resist the temptation to go back today.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yarn pr0n Friday The Third



Trendsetter Oceano in the Fire Fantasy Colorway. It begs to be drooled on by yarn pervs.

Another amazing deal I got on a sweaters worth of yarn. I got this a while ago. It is destined to be the Mandarin Faux Cardigan from IK. I need to get cracking on all these sweaters, but the current one is driving me insane. I'm one row and a bind off from one half of the button band being complete. Something tells me I'll be up till the wee hours of the morning tomorrow getting it all ready for Saturday.

Naturally with all of these sweaters worth of yarn laying around, the first thing I do is go to the yarn shop. I had my $50 gift Certificate from Hubby, and was $10 away from a $40 store credit. I got my license this morning and a rental car after that, and so in celebration, I went to blow my wad on fiber. I was hoping for alpaca, but my LYS was poorly stocked on it (tragedy). After much sitting on the floor flipping through books and guidance from my favorite LYS employees, I managed to pick out a fair-isle hat pattern and yarn, and a bag of Silky Wool in turquoise with a simple lacy cardigan pattern. (I'm reconsidering the pattern though. I think the silky wool wants something different.) Admittedly I went the teensiest bit over my $100 budget, but I'm OK with that.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Finally some good news

Sorry. there are no pictures in this post. There is just some good news.

1. The sleeves are done on my hoodie, and I've begun the hood. It's looking good for this sweater to be done for this weekend.

2. The eggs are delicious. I highly recommend investing in chickens if you are able to.

3. I am FINALLY caught up at work.

4. I GOT MY LICENSE BACK!!!!!!!!! Well, it was temporarily reinstated at least. I got notice from the DMV that they are scheduling my appeal hearing (over the phone even, which means I won't have to take a day off work for it!) and until my hearing my license has been reinstated. I'll be going Friday to get it if I can get a few hours off in the morning. Then I have to do something about a car. but at least I'll have my license.

September has ended. The world is snapping back into order. Thank goodness.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yarn pr0n Friday The second



My newest acquisition. 13 skeins of Noro Kureyon in the "Deep Seas" colorway (purchased for an absolute steal). It will be a Rosedale once all the christmas knitting and the Cable Hoodie are complete.

Kureyon was never the softest yarns, but something about the colors always makes me drool.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Girls Did It!!!!!!



I found these beauties in a little nest in the backyard. Im not sure if they are all laying in one nest, or if one chicken did this all by her lonesome over the last few days, but we have eggs. They are sooo pretty too. They're a bit washed out in the photo, but they are more of a terracotta color with those lovely speckles.

I'm so proud of them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The weekend of congestion

Ugh. It was not the bubonic plague that the girl brought home. It was quite obviously a rare and virulent form of ebola bronchitis. I'm still miserable. Apparently it was so obvious to the doctor that they gave me steroids and a breathing treatment before I even left the office. I shudder to think what my desk at work looks like today, but I may not even be able to go back until Wednesday, so we'll try not to think about it too hard.



Other than frenzied knitting during periods in which the massive amounts of drugs in my system allowed it (I'm just past the armhole decreases on the right front of the hoodie. From there it's just 2 sleeves, a hood and a button band. With any luck it will be ready for the Fall Fiber Festival. There will be knittyheads in attendance and a new sweater will be just the identifying mark to wear to attract fellow knitters.) I watched the neighbor's adorable baby Jameela, who was also sick. Despite being sick though, I've never met a happier baby in all my life. EVER. She laughed more than smiled and at only 5 months, willingly put herself to sleep whenever tired. Even her (rare) crying is sweet. Plus, she is absolutely adorable.




Truly, truly a cupcake. How could anyone NOT love this baby? I'm also pleased to report that she reached for the knitting needles on her own. With that and having already been bestowed with a hand knit sweater from yours truly, she will most assuredly one day be a knitter.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Yarn pr0n Friday





Kid Mohair Locks handspun courtesy of Fyberduck.

This is trophy yarn if there ever was one.

I'd blog more, but my lovely daughter managed to bring home what I can only guess would be the bubonic plague. After half a day at work I came home with a rotisserie chicken, ice cream, the new Spin Off and cold medicine.

I'm going back to bed to contemplate the possibilities of knitting and blogging from beyond the grave.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Who's the bitch now?

I spied recently in the back of the latest IK an ad from Acorn Street for a Fiber Trends Spring Blossom shawl kit for a really good price. Naturally in my sudden and overwhelming lace lust I bought one. I got it started the other day and everything was going beautifully, but I noticed that to get my YO's right I was wrapping them deifferently between purl and knit stitches. if I YO'd before a knit stitch, I'd wrap the yarn from behind the right needle over the needle then back between the needles. When I YO'd before a purl stitch, I would bring the yarn between the needles the over and back behind the right needle. Now, I knit English, and I've always YO"D the first way I described. But when I realized I was having to do my YO's different, and they were coming out differently, I got suspicious. I checked out Knittinghelp.com.





Lo and behold, I've been wrapping my yarn wrong this whole time. Seriously, the entire time I've been knitting I've been doing it wrong. (This shouldn't be too amazing, since when I first started, I did all my knit stitches through the back loop for at least two months before figuring it out.) Now the center of the shawl looks like this:





If you click on the picture you'll see the difference more clearly. (And check out my mad MSPaint skillz, yo!) I've decided to take the cheater's way out and just continue on, but knitting correctly from here out. The idea of ripping back all of that (mistake-free! Well, except for the bad wrapping) work makes me queasy. I think I'll just refer to it as a "design feature" instead. Besides, it's a square shawl and I figure it'' be folded in half to be worn anyways. No one will notice, and I'll never tell.



This is my triumph, however. The left front of my sweater is now complete with the cable placed correctly. Sorry for the lousy picture, but It's really not that impressive yet anyways. Give it time.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Meet the Newest member of our Family

This is Oz. She is a Goffin Cockatoo. Her turn-ons are peanuts, sitting on your shoulder, attacking circular needle cables while you knit, harassing the dogs, dancing to Jethro Tull, and self-mutilation. Her turn-offs are: Anything that keeps you from paying constant attention to her.





She belonged to my Aunt Diane, who sadly passed due to complications from breast cancer. My Uncle Mike, bless the man, did everything he could for Oz, but she began picking her chest, and now has a more or less permanent open wound on her chest (I chose not to post pictures of her chest as some might find it disturbing. I know I do.) and a lot of emotional issues from losing her owner. Mike brought Oz and his blue and gold macaw named BeeGee (this bird is an unmitigated ass. I kid you not.) up to stay with my mother. Now, I am not a bird person, but Oz is very special. She is a people too, just ask her. When everyone was about to give up on her, I suggested that mom bring her over to stay with us for a while. We're doing everything we can to help her out, and although she is still picking, we are finding more plumage on her every day. Even though she may never grow chest feathers back, we hope that one day she will be healed enough to be healthy. In the meantime, I will just hope that she doesn't get irritated enough with my knitting to bite through my circs while she's sitting on the couch with me.



And about knitting.





This is the left front of my Central Park Hoodie. Again. I got to within 1.5 inches of the neckline decreases when I realized that I had put the cables in the wrong place. ARRRRGH. So it ended up frogged back down to the ribbing and we're starting over. I can't tell you how much I hate frogging. All of the wasted work. It drives me nuts.

Which brings us to the next photo and a lesson on my lace should be worked from charts




This is the sum total of my angora scarf. 5 rows. That's it. Lace is railing at my suggestion of superiority over it. The reason? I have started and restarted the thing multiple times trying to do the lace from the text instructions, not the chart. I give in. I will try it from the chart this time. If that doesn't work, and I still can't manage this simple diamond lace pattern, my only choice will be to eat the yarn to hide the evidence of my miserable failure.



Here is what I'm currently spinning. Supposedly it it wool, but I tend to believe that it is a cloud. The bag was marked Cormo when I purchased it from Stony Mountain Fibers. Barbara claims that it came from her own flock. Don't get me wrong, there couldn't be a nice person, but it is clear to me that she is lying. She has somehow, through the use of black and terrible magic, forced clouds to land on earth and is selling them to be spun by her unsuspecting customers who become lulled and enchanted by the magic clouds. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I purchased 8 oz. I want to get a nice 2 ply fingering weight to make a shawl. I figure by the time I get done spinning all that, I might have some slightly less tenuous grip on lace than I do now. What I have on the bobbin there is lovely and uniform, but I don't think I have enough twist in it to manage a decent two-ply. Luckily it's just a tiny amount. The crimp in this stuff though calls for lots of twist so I think I'm going to have to pull out the stops and use the teeny little whorl (it's reportedly a 9:1, but I have my doubts) and try that out.

Any die-hard Cormo spinners out there have any suggestions???

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The hits just keep on coming!

I have been trying, for the past 24 hours, to figure out exactly what it is I did to piss the fates off this much. I haven't pinpointed it, but it could have something to do with the years between 16 and 23. This seems like an awfully late payback though.



I spent much of my day yesterday at the DMV. I discovered that they still do not make any sense at all. At least some things in the universe remain constant. Apparently despite being fully insured on my Jeep, I was still uninsured. I have an Oldsmobile that my father gave me. It became inoperable a few months back. We'd been using it as an extra "emergency" car when the engine finally blew. Since then I removed it from my insurance and have tried to find a charity that can use it. (I know there are a lot of "donate your car" charities, but typically I've found that most will just sell the car as salvage and take the money from that. I wanted a charity that could actually make use of the vehicle.) Well, apparently, because that car was uninsured, I have lost my license and will have to downgrade my insurance (from the ridiculously high amounts of coverage that I purchased to an SR-22 which covers just around state minimums) in accordance with state law and pay steep fines to get my license back. I'm currently appealing this, but it's the DMV. I see little hope in my appeal.



Also, the Jeep was totalled. I got a value on it today (less than what I owe, naturally) and went to get the rest of my things from it, only to find half of my things have gone missing. CD's (some are irreplaceable from our favorite local bands back home), a vintage pin, mini kleenex packs, my badge for work, and several others things gone. Just gone. Also I cannot purchase a new car now, until the whole license/insurance debacle is sorted out.



My friend who was in the car with me ended up in so much pain that she's been out of work the last few days. We're not sure when she'll be back. Luckily I'm feeling much better, but that doesn't make her feel any better.



I suppose this is one of those experiences that is supposed to make me grow as a person and have some miraculous outcome that makes me feel silly for having worried in the first place. Forgive me fates, for not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I've lost my freedom and even though everyone that has seen where the accident happened agrees that there was nothing I could have done to prevent the accident other than not having been there, I can't stop feeling horrible about having hurt people. I suddenly realize why the people I talk to each day at work have that hollow sound in their voices, and often try to deny that they were in the wrong. The guilt is crushing. I will eventually work through it, I know that. Today though, I'm pretty miserable.



At least I've been getting a lot of knitting done. I'm so glad I took it up. It was about the only thing that kept me calm at the DMV, although security did keep a close watch on me while I was flashing around those threatening pointy sticks.




I've finished the back on the sweater and I'm to the armhole decreases on the left front. Those little pieces just fly, but I'm sure the button band will find a way to remind me again that I'm no super-knitter.



By the way, does anyone know how I should block this? Should I block individual pieces, or get everything put together first? Will blocking in pieces interfere with the picking up of live stitches later when I put on the hood? Also, since the hood is knitted on, won't I have to block it again once I finish the hood? Inquiring minds want to know. If anyone else knows, please, please clue me in.



One last thing. Since I upgraded to Beta, I've had some mention of comments not being accepted. From what I've found, you can comment, but as "someone else". Not as "anonymous" and not under your own sign in, you just have to type in your name, it should take it. if it doesn't, please email me froux2zj at verizon dot net.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Birthday John

Today is my wonderful husband's 30th birthday. For those of us unfamiliar with his particular family history, he is the first in a long line of first-born males in his family to make it to 30. Believe me when I say we have all been a bit worried about him this week. Luckily for him, I seem to have born the brunt of his bad karma. I don't mind though, If that's what it takes to keep this wonderful man in my life, I will happily suffer a crushing (forgive the pun) defeat like yesterdays on an annual basis.

In Honor of this most momentous birthday, I'll be posting lots of embarrassing pictures of him to my blog for lots of strangers to look at and giggle at in helpless amusement.

I met him when I was 15. We were in high school and I was the new girl. He greeted me with a hug that was essentially a means to feel me up. I greeted him with a full on face slap. How's that for the beginnings of a relationship?





So that you can all understand how truly dorky and weird we were in high school, here is a picture of us at prom during what I believe to be my sophomore (his Junior) year. Soooooo subversive. Ok, not really, but keep in mind that we often occupied our time speeding through the streets of Salt Lake City in his beat up Nissan listening to the Violent Femmes at levels of volume normally only found when a jet engine is working extra hard to keep a plane from spiraling out of a clear blue sky.



Then, we had this. See that little lump of a potato in his arms? That is our daughter. No, the girl does not look amused. I have never seen a man so completely smitten though, as he is with her.




This would be a picture at our first wedding. (Yes, I did say first, be patient, all will be explained.) One of our favorite pasttimes with each other has been finding ways to drive each other crazy. This particular photo shows him under the bad influence of his dear friend and ersatz mother, Shannon and about to smash cake in my face. (Now that I have found fiber, I have learned that I absolutely must forgive her as she spins.) The cake went up my nose. There were tears shed and an embarrassing tiff right there in front of both of our families. Shannon made up for it by providing us with amazing honeymoon accomplishment in her fairy tale backyard on a pile of creamy sheepskins. If you were to put either of us under a polygraph test today, we would both pass when we explained we saw what must surely have been sprites or fairies alighting and twinkling in that tree.

After a while, in an all too common for our age group realization that we just were not making it, We split up. I was pregnant with our son, and after much drama and tragedy, we each took a child and parted ways to raise them.



Since that day he has worked every day as hard as he can to make a wonderful life for our daughter. He raised her to be a stong, intelligent and capable, if flighty and occasionally annoying, young woman. His fathering is nothing short of a miracle.

Almost 2 years ago, I received a phone call. The girl was out to visit me for the summer when he called and asked if I would like to keep her for a while longer, and he would be out for christmas. That Christmas, after much discomfort and reassessment of boundaries (and a little liquor to bring down self-defense mechanisms) we found ourselves to still be as in love as that dorky couple on their way to Prom.

Our family has been put back together. He has worked his fingers to the bone and made sacrifices that most of us cannot even imagine in order to do this. He is supportive, kind and will lauigh at his own foibles, and make me laugh when pointing out mine to me. He stood by me and worried more when I had to go into the hospital than I did. He forever tells me how beautiful I am, and I always fail when trying to describe how beautiful I find him as well. He is an artist, a poet, a photographer, a lover of hand-knitted goods, a willing fiber fondler, an awesome cook, our breadwinner, and truly a force in the lives of all the people he associates with.



Thank you for all you have done, all you will do, and thank you for the beautiful children, the slightly exploded home, the hard work, and (I know it's cliche) all of the laughter and tears.

I love you with all of my heart. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Disaster

This morning was the most gorgeous saturday that there's been for a while. Cool, sunny, and the kids and I were heading out for a fun day with our friend Beth. We stopped at the local farmers market for a treat and veggies for Hubby's birthday dinner tomorrow night and treats from Valentines Country Bakery, a local Mennonite bakery. Then off to Orange to meet Beth. The Orange Street Festival was today.



This thing was HUGE. It's a small town, and I didn't expect much but the whole thing snaked off onto side streets and was a good 8 blocks or so of vendors and local businesses. Even a few yard sales! The highlight was definitely the Alpaca Garden booth. They are local breeders and the had two of their adorable babies with them. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera this morning, or I would have pictures of them. They also brought fiber with them. I picked up 4.5 ounces of Devi's fluff. She is a new girl at the farm and her picture isn't on the website yet, but it is the lovliest cinnamon color with these gorgeous striations of silver.







Once we were done at the fair, we went back to Beth's and piled into my car to head to Harrisonburg to visit a few other farmers markets, one of which carries tons of fiber and yarn. That's when This happened.




We came around a blind curve in the road and went right into the back of that poor sidekick that was dead stopped in the road. I tried to brake, but I just couldn't stop in time. Luckily everyone seems to be ok for the most part. Unluckily, the DMV decided, rather arbitrarily that I didn't have insurance, when I do, in fact carry insurance. (I work for the Insurance company!! I am required to have insurance!) They suspended my license and failed to inform me, so there we were stuck, no car, no license. That's when the people from Blue Ridge Pottery found us. The accident happened right in front of their shop, and the boy in the car I hit works there. I have never met nicer people in my life. They took the kids into the shop to calm them down, brought us drinks and truffles. Made sure we were all okay. Helped us exchange info. Let us use the phone to make multiple panicked calls. Got pictures and were kind enough to burn a cd with the images for me. Then they let us hang out on their front porch in the cool breeze to calm down until my parents came out to get us, we were invited in to the shop, but I figured I'd just end up breaking something since the nerves finally kicked in. On top of it all, their pottery is absolutely gorgeous. While the Adrenaline was still running high, I bought hubby a lovely piece for his birthday. It's all wrapped up though, so I will get pictures of that later.



Come monday though, it 's going to be a fun day of sitting at the DMV getting this drivers license business handled then getting out to get a rental car. I'm hoping against hope that the Jeep can be fixed, but the airbags deployed, so who knows.



It's now time to go eat ice cream and knit and try not to think what a mess this all is. A few hours of denial will be good for my soul.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oooooo Fancy Schmancy

I upgraded to the Blogger Beta thingy. I am so glad. Now I can add things without trying to dredge up years forgotten HTML code and feeling like a dolt. This is truly Dolt Friendly.

Don't mind me, I'll be playing for a bit.

Regards,

The Dolt

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What a jackass.

No, really. I am. I start this whole blog thing and realize that I cannot seem to update it on a regular basis. Oh sure, I can read blogs. Other peoples of course, on a basis so regularly that I could probably tell you what color their underwear is. It seems, however, that I cannot manage to post regularly. Naturally it does not seem to help that I will spend time writing a blog entry nothing short of brilliant, and Blogger will decide to eat it. Naturally I have not saved said blog entry prior to posting, and in my disgust with the internet at large, I wander off for more than a week.

Well no more.

I am making a commitment to blog much more regularly from here on out. Alright, the few people who read this thing can stop laughing now. I will even save my entries prior to uploading, just in case Blogger is feeling finicky. This time I really mean it. Really.

So in honor of this commitment, I will treat you all with pictures of my current WIPs. You lucky devils.


This would be the back of a sweater. Not just any sweater, mind you, this is the Central Park Hoodie. I can't tell you how much I have loved this sweater since the moment I laid my eyes on it. I started it on Sunday. I am already 12.5 inches up the back. Yes, I know, this must seem painfully slow, but I am a painfully slow knitter. I'm actually quite impressed with my progress. Only 2 more inches before I can start the decreases for the arms. I decided to knit it in Tivoli Bainin Tweed. It is an apparently discontinued yarn. This is a sad, sad thing. I love it's rustic sheepiness. I love how the lanolin feels in this yarn. I just know it will bloom and be utterly lovely when it is blocked. I also adored the price. I purchased it from Jen at Busy Hands Yarn. Apparently she is going out of business, and I find this terribly sad as she is a doll. Do yourself a favor and go buy her out of something. I did. I feel much better for it.














Well Looky what we have here, If it isn't the angora. And what is that I also spy? Is that a Fiber Trends Pattern and a pair of Brittanys? Why yes, yes it is. Lace will be my bitch. I swear it utterly. With the completion of the Branching Out scarf, I feel ready to take on the world. Or at least another lace pattern. Wish me luck, because if I mess up this yarn. That's it. I'm positive I will never make yarn look quite like that again.


















Last, but certainly not least. I finished the first of my handpainted traveling socks. They are knit on size 2 Susan bates DPNs out of some random thrift store wool that I dyed myself. I call the colorway, "Long Canyon" after a place by the same name in Moab, UT. (Look at that. I named a colorway. This is all a part of the master plan to finally commit to something in my life and eventually begin dyeing fibers and yarns for sale. Once I get this blogging thing in hand, that is.)

I typically knit on these during my lunch hour at work, or while waiting in line. If you've read my blog recently, you'll know that I've been in training classes a lot recently. The other girls have watched this sock from the beginning. None of them is a knitter. They have all mocked me for not starting the second sock yet. How the hell did they find out about Second Sock Syndrome????? (sigh)

Looks like I need to stop blathering and go spend some quality time with the ball winder.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My descent into idiocy

It is school time again. Time for plays and recitals and endless stretches of homework.

Tonight while my family and I sat around the table eating dinner and helping the kids with their work I came to a stunning realization:

The older I get, the stupider I get.

It's amazing.

I used to be able to name every state capitol, and every state. I knew the capitals of all the Canadian provinces. I even knew a large portion of the world capitals.

I used to know long division, and what an interger was. I understood the Pythagorean theorem, and how to reduce a fraction.

Tonight I worked with my son on a Virginia geography worksheet. It asked where the Chesapeake Bay is located. My son, with expectant eyes waited patiently for help. My response, with a generally northerly wave of my hand, was, "Up near Maryland somewhere?"

The hubby who is a staunch "West Coaster" guffawed. He just could not believe that I could not geographically place the Chesapeake Bay. The man quizzed me on state capitals. He showed me how to reduce a fraction and how to express a remainder in long division in a decimal. THIS IS THE MAN WHO SPELLS OFFICE, 'OFFIC'!!!!!!!

It's embarrassing. It's tragic. Apparently, I need to go back to 4th grade.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weekend Update!

Finally! A day off! A whole full day. from the time I get up to the time I go to bed! I may wet myself from excitement. In celebration I will make a long blog post with pics. I will make baked ziti for dinner. I will do laundry. I will spend the evening spinning!

First and foremost.... The SP8 updates. I sent and received my last SP8 packages.

My sender has been not only thoughtful, and generous in her packages to me, but we share the same name, which automatically makes her a VERY cool chick. Check out her blog here. She also apparently works in a yarn shop. I absolutely COVET her job. Here are the contents of my final and very much appreciated package. There was much squealing and "TOUCH THIS!!" involved in the opening. Hubby got that look in his eye as though he were considering having me committed.



-There was a hand embroidered bag. How she knew I've been coveting a little bag that I can keep my traveling sock safe when I stuff it into the purse of doom, I have no idea. She must be psychic. There was also an extra unembellished bag which I will be embroidering myself once I settle on a pattern.

-There were not one but 2! bags of luscious handpainted roving from Capistrano Fiber Arts Studios (By Lori Lawson) purchased at The Yarn Tree. Ms. Lawson, whoever you are, Your eye for color is amazing, and secret pal, you have exquisite taste. On the right in the pic is a kid mohair/merino blend in the "Red Ginger" colorway. On the left is a merino/bombyx silk blend in the "Marrakech" colorway. Please note that the bags were ripped open immediately to be fondled.

Thanks again!


Now to my Sendee. That naughty, naughty girl found me out!!! hehehe. She just got the last package and I'm so excited that she has liked all that I've sent. She is an absolute doll, and adorable to boot! I'm so glad to have met such a strong and intelligent person through this swap. Her blog is here. Stop by and give her some Blog Love.

Now to some REAL excitement. A Finished Object! and a lace one no less. My very first successful lace project. Why does lace have to be so frustrating, yet so lovely and tempting to me. Oh how I love and hate thee, lace knitting.




Sorry for the not so great picture, but this is the Branching Out scarf from Knitty.com. It was knit in Peru DK Luxury yarn from AC Moore. It's a reasonably priced Merino/Alpaca/Silk blend and it is extraordinarily soft. If I recall it was about $5 a ball for 124 yards. I used 2 balls for this. It will soon be off to my Mother In Law for her birthday. Nothing says love like a wool scarf in August. I think I may be reblocking it though. I was half asleep last night when I blocked it and it looks a bit wonky in the photo now that I really look at it.

The real excitement in this scarf was when the Needle-Eating-Dog decided that my size 9 Bamboo Circulars looked really tasty with this scarf still on it. I came home to find the circs missing and the ball of yarn in tangles still attached to the scarf with dropped stitches. The tangle and dropped stitches took most of an evening to fix. NED still won't look me in the eye.

Fyberduck from Craftster.org recently was kind enough to host a Handspun Swap. My swap Partners were Fyberduck and Chipper. Here were my spoils:



A POUND of thick n Thin Handspun merino in the Vineyard colorway from spunky eclectic and an awesome red/with and blue skein with an accompanying Beaded skein from Chipper. I'm foreseeing a shrug and a funky felted bag to be made of these.




From Fyberduck, a skein of boucle made from kid mohair locks. It is gorgeous. So soft and light. I am totally inspired to dig in and wash up the pound of kid mohair that has been languishing in my stash. The second skein was some baby alpaca that hubby has claimed as a hat for himself. It is incredibly soft. It has reinforced my belief that someone needs to start producing alpaca underwear.

Finally a long overdue pic of my best handspun to date. 2 oz of Angora/silk/wool from Wild Meadow Angoras. I'd picked up 2 bats and the MDSW and finally got brave enough to spin them up. I ended up with close to 300 yds of lace/fingering weight.


I had originally thought to enter it in the skein contest at the Fall Fiber Festival. However, when I weighed it up it came to 2 oz exactly on my scale, and the contest minimum is 2 oz. I don't want to get disqualified because my scale is off by a tenth of an ounce or something, so now I am looking for a good lace stitch to make a scarf with it to enter into the Handspun knit item category. I will begin working on a new skein to enter into the skein contest.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

First Day Of School

Don't let the cuteness and sweetness fool you. Under that thin veil of innocence they are the devils beasts. The girl even has three heads and alternately breathes fire and ice.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I passed!

Very tired. must drag self to bed. Kids start school tomorrow. Please... send cyanide!


Also.... I passed my final exam at work today. 99%

I am so damn good, God wishes he were me.

Pardon me while I slip into a coma.......

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Knit-Geek Questionnaire (unrelated to any swaps or secret pal exchanges)

1. What's your worst habit relating to your knitting?

Startitis. Totally. I see a pattern in a book or magazine and I HAVE to make it. NOW. Then I end up with about a zillion ufo's laying around, and yarn and needles for 11ty billion more and not enough time or energy to do anything more than knit on my traveling sock.

2. In what specific ways does your knitting make you a better person?

I focus more. I'm able to apply more care to details since learning to knit. I've also taken up a long dead interest in math.

3. How might you or your life be different if you were suddenly unable to knit?

I've thought about this. I work in insurance claims. I hear of cases all the time where people are permanently disabled. If for some reason I had to stop playing with fiber because I was physically unable to do it I'd probably slowly go insane. Then I'd rediscover that the library has books that AREN'T fiber related and have a joygasm with reading all over again.

4. If money were no object, what one yarn, and what one tool or gadget would you run out and buy first?

The Yarn. Hand Maiden Sea Silk. I am intrigued and delighted by the idea of yarn from the sea. Especially one that will make me ache less. That is technology in action right there. I also love to support Nova Scotia in any way possible. I had the luxury of making a good friend from Nova Scotia who took me on several tours of the province. If I had to pick 2 dream place to live in the world, they would be Moab UT, or Nova Scotia. There is no beauty like these places.

Gadget?? Definitely a new spinning wheel. I've been drooling over an Ashford, but if money were truly no object, it would definitely be a Golding. Probably either the Habetrot or the Flock of the Shepherdess.

5. What knitting technique or project type are you most afraid of (if any)? What, specifically, do you fear will happen when you try it?

Lace. I fear lace. I am trying to conquer it, but it kicks my arse up one block and down the other. I don't know why, but I will follow the chart to utter perfection, and somewhere, somehow, I always either gain or lose a stitch somewhere.

6. Who is/are your knitting hero(es), and why?

Stephanie Pearl McPhee. Anyone who can have this much fun with yarn, and still make the same mistakes as the rest of us, and make fun of herself, and still have such a passion is nothing short of a Goddess.

7. Do you consider knitting, for you personally, a mostly social activity, or a mostly solitary activity?

I like to knit socially, but I seem to be short on social occasions in which to knit. I really need to get a really casual SnB started somewhere around here that is not at the LYS and not the once a month Library thing.

8. Is there a particular regional tradition in knitting that you feel strongly drawn toward (e.g., Fair Isle, Scandinavian, Celtic, Orenburg lace)? Any theories as to why it calls to you?

Celtic. I love Arans and Ganseys. I can trace my ancestry there, but then, I can also trace ancestry to even more interesting places. I don't have any sound theories, but it may have something to do with masses of graceful arching cables twining and dancing across vast expanses of moss stitch being quite possibly the most lovely thing I've ever seen.

9. If you were a yarn, which yarn would you be?

A funky thick n thin crazy colored, to die for soft handspun. Think Handpainted Yarns Lettuce Violet colorway. It's lovely. Nice to work with, soft on your hands but it has some crazy character.

10. Some statistics:

(a) How many years have passed since you FIRST learned to knit?

Less than one. I learned to knit last October.

(b) How many total years have you been actively, regularly knitting (i.e., they don't have to have been in a row)?

See above

(c) how many people have you taught to knit?

4. Both of my kids. and two of the kids my hubby works with. I've had adults ask for lessons, but none of them have come through.

(d) Roughly what percentage of your FOs do you give away (to anyone besides yourself, i.e., including your immediate family)

so far? 50%. I see things going downhill soon though.

11. How often do you KIP (knit in public)? i.e., once a week, once a month, etc. Where do you do it?

Daily. I keep a sock with me at all times for the inevitable waits in lines that seem to take up the majority of my life.

12. If a genie granted you one hour to stitch-n-bitch with any one knitter, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Stephanie Pearl McPhee. Why? See Above. I'd even bring the beer.

13. What aspect or task in knitting makes you most impatient?

seaming and weaving in ends. For reasons that I feel are completely obvious.

14. What is it about knitting that never lets you get bored with it?

Creation. I love to make things. Beautiful and useful things are even better.

15. Describe how and where you most often do your knitting - where do you sit, what is going on around you, what tools do you use and how are they (dis)organized?

fave place is on the couch. I keep the tools for that project on my little sofa table. There is usually a movie or a cd on in the background. My family is around me bugging me (hmmmm I think maybe I just figured out my lace issues).

16. Which one person is the recipient of more of your knitting than any other?

So far... me. Everyone else has gotten something fairly equally though. Hey. it's my hobby.

17. What's the oddest thing about your knitting, or yourself as a knitter?

Knitting skipped a generation for me. My grandmother was a knitter. My mother had no interest at all. I had no real knitting influences in my life. I just knew I needed to do it.

18. What do you see yourself knitting - if anything - twenty years from now?

Probably the same aran sweater that I started for hubby months ago.

19. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only ONE SKEIN of yarn, which yarn would it be and what would you do with it?

Some Zephyr laceweight and the Peacock Feathers shawl pattern. If I'm on a deserted island, I'd have nothing better to do than work out my lace issues. Sure the yarn would get ratty after all the times it would be frogged, but who is going to comment? The palm trees?


20. If you were allowed to own only one knitting-related book, which would it be? (you'd be free to browse others, but you couldn't keep them)

Ann Budd's Handy Book of Knitting Patterns. It has just about all the basics covered including sweaters. That and some creativity would keep me knitting happily for years.

21. Is knitting the new yoga? Why or why not?

Ewwwww. No. That's like that saying "pink is the new black". No. Just No. Pink is pink. Black is black. Yoga makes me very very sore. Knitting is knitting.

22. What important thing are you trying to put off doing whenever you knit?

The laundry.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quick! Someone get me a bucket!

My brains are leaking out of my ears, and I certainly don't want to have to pay the cleaning bill. Brains on the carpet make a nasty stain.

So much has happened recently. It seems like time is just gone the moment you blink, and I'm sure feeling it today. I do believe I'll be passing out oooooooh just about the time this blog entry is done.

Whoever said kids aren't easy deserves the Understatement of the Eon award. Last week when finally getting home on friday from work for a peaceful evening I found that hubby let the kids take the dogs for a walk. they left around 4. I got home around 5. Not too unusual. There is an awesome nature path that encircles our neighborhood. Comes complete with beaver dam, protected wetland area, trees, random paths and lots of critters. This place screams for exploration and it circles our neighborhood perfectly so no mater where you wander through too, you can always get back to the subdivison. We assume the kids are there. At around 6, I drive through the neighborhood since they haven't shown up yet and we are getting a bit worried. Usually they are back within a couple hours, or they've gone to a friends house. This night though, they knew when dinner would be ready soon after I got home. Just a tidbit about my kids....... They will NOT miss a meal. You could plop them in the middle of the desert, and they will find their way to the nearest refrigerator. So I get back home and hubby and I eat, then put the kids dinner away for when they get home.

This is when we start to think that it's time to go looking for them. We head out to the nature path and find my daughters friend Nora's father out on the path too. His kids have also disappeared. We walk the length of the path on one side of the neighborhood. No kids, but Nora's father, Grizzly Adams Jr finds some fresh tracks. We turn around where the path reaches the point that it meets the new neighborhood behind ours. I take hubby to the other side of the path and drop him off to head home and see if they've shown up at home yet. As I pull onto the main road in our neighborhood, Grizzly waves me down to pull over. It's now 7:45 and we are about to call the police. But lo and behold, The kids have turned up. At the new Target. This means that our children have walked the dogs through our neighborhood, across the new neighborhood, through a large construction area, across a very busy highway, and up to the new Target where Nora's mother works.

Needless to say the adults were less than amused. The children are still grounded. They may stay that way until they are 40. That's only if I decide to be nice. On the upside, the dogs thought it was fabulous. A long walk, a ride in the car, and they got the kid's pork chops and pecan rice for dinner.

On the work side... I've caught up in training, and I've found out which desk I will be taking over and to what Supervisor I have been assigned. I take my licensing test next week along with the final exam for training. I'm excited, but nervous. it is a LOT of work. I'm finally realizing why it is so common to hear of people in my position to work late. however, all the files I work will now be MINE. I have ownership of them, instead of how I previously work-shared with an entire department. One idiot could flush a months hard work down the toilet in the space of a 3 minute conversation. Now I'll be the only idiot to flush my files. Hurrah!!!!

Aaaaaaaand in fiber news. I'm getting ready to send out my last one skein SP package and SP8 package. They'll likely be going out saturday. I think I'll be holding off on multi shipment SP projects for a while. My partners have all been lovely, but it seems like the moment I make a commitment of some kind, that is the exact moment life blows up in my face.

Other fiber news:

-I am halfway through the cashmere Branching Out. I'm curently in the process of frogging back to find where I lost a stitch, and have already had to do that once, but lace still seems less daunting already. Pictures soon.

-I finally spun up my angora/silk/wool from the MDSW. I ended with 270 yards of fingering to lace weight yarn. I am in love. I may tell hubby that they angora has replaced him for cuddliness.

-We found a new fiber shop! It's a bit of a drive, but the owner fixed up mom's new wheel and I have spent ridiculous amounts of money there. She also has her own cormo sheep. I bought 8 oz of cormo roving and plan to spin some lace weight with it. It will be a shawl eventually. By the time I'm done spinning it, I'll finally be confident enough with lace that a shawl will be a possibility!

-I have bought entirely too much yarn and fiber recently. The yarn shop had a sale last week, and one of the local fiber shops is having a sidewalk sale this weekend. How can I possibly resist?

-Dad finally settled on apattern for his Aran Sweater and I have swatched one of the cables. We picked knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bare as his yarn. I only ordered one skein of it, worried about it being rough, but that stuff is incredibly soft. Dad felt it and said, "I love this wool". This is after feeling many options for yarn including Cascade, different merino's and even an alpaca blend. I'll be making my knitpicks order soon. Maybe I can sneak in a set of their interchangeable needles without hubby noticing. :)

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. I hope to have some to post soon.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

checking in.

It's been crazy here!

I just got done filling in during my off hours at my husbands work. working 7 days a week sucks.

Will post more later. for now.... sleep.

Monday, July 24, 2006

New job

I mentioned earlier in a post on my blog that I had been promoted.

After several delays, the last being a week, I started my training today. I woke up excited to be going to work for the first time in at least a year. Granted, I had to wait near 3 months to actually start the job, but that's ok. There was one training class ahead of mine. Then my class was delayed a week to meet with pay periods.

Or so I thought.

There were 4 people coming from my department into this class. There were others in the class, coming form other departments or hired off the street into the position (which is another rant entirely, and one I will not pursue here). The 4 of us had been informed of the final weeks delay and we were informed that the whole class was delayed. We arrived to work to find that the rest of the class had started last week and we were already that week behind in our coursework. Apparently my previous manager just couldn't give up the warm bodies in his department and decided to hold us back. He had tried to keep us back for 2 weeks when my trainer finally put his foot down and said no. This is the same manager who turned me down for another promotion because he asked me in the interview what hours I "preferred" to work. When I explained my preference I was turned down. Apparently the correct answer waste swear in blood on the spot that you pledged every single moment to the company and didn't want to breathe unless it was on work hours. Remember the boss from Office Space? Yeah. Imagine him shorter, fatter and Italian with fake blue contacts.

This might not seem like a big deal to the rest of the world, but when you consider that the training class requires state licensing and is taught in a 6 week college style course with bi-weekly quizzes, a final exam, licensing tests and a required grade at the end, you realize that one weeks lost work is a big deal. I spent every ounce of study time today trying to digest 6 chapters of study and catch up in a workbook that is completely self study. Thankfully my NEW manager approved us 5 hours of overtime and home study this week to let us catch up.

I was hoping to post knitting and spinning content today, for instance the angora/silk I just spun up, or the new sock yarn I just dyed, or the progress on my lace project, but instead I'm off to study.

RAAAAAR!!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Loooong weekend

I took a long weekend this week so I could get the house back into some semblance of order. With Hubby's work hours being so long and so many, things have fallen by the wayside. I'm pleased to report though, that I can now walk into every room in the main floor without stepping on something or feeling queasy. Truly an accomplishment. Next weekend is also a long weekend as I start training for my new job the following week. We'll be tackling the basement of DOOM! Next will be the re-do on the boys room.

I did take a break yesterday to take the girl to a mountain bike race at the local YMCA. Hubby is a biking nut. He has taken this child on all sorts of rides and loves his bike like I love yarn. Back home he would take her to races in southern Utah. She's been out of the "off-road" saddle for a while, but I'm pleased to report that she won 2nd place in her age group. (the boy who won first REALLY should have raced in the next age group. The kid was BIG and at least 14, racing against the 9-12 year olds. The YMCA staff, though in their effort to make no child feel inferior and therefore lowering the bars for excellence in children yet again, let him race in that group anyways. But enough social commentary.) She stuck it out though and raced in the Advanced group too, she came in third (and last) but in her defense the other boys she raced against were 15 and 16 and she had just finished the intermediate race. A 9 minute mile after all that and in Virginia's lovely trademark "choke a water buffalo" humidity, I'd say she did an excellent job.



The boy amused himself on the playground and picking blackberries for me to eat in the woods. I sat, sweated, and tried desperately to work on clapotis, but the humidity made knitting miserable. How can anyone knit with WET yarn?????

I received a package this week from my One Skein Secret pal. The lovely girl sent not one, but TWO!!! skeins of Noro Silk Garden. I have been dying to try this stuff, but I could never justify it to myself when at the yarn shop. One Skein SP, I could just kiss you. I think I already have plans for it, but it depends on the outcome of a certain personal challenge that I'll tell you about in a minute.



In sad One Skein SP news though, I also received my pals package back in the mail. I have written to her and she did confirm her address, but I feel so terrible that not only did I send late, but that it ended up back here. I'll be trying to resend it this week with her July skein and an extra treat for being so patient.

ooooo! Remember the handspun that I dyed for a swap in my previous post?? The Delightful Purrl from Knittyboard has already woven it up into the prettiest scarf! Check out the results at her blog!

Now the personal challenge I was telling you about. I am going to learn lace if it kills me. (and it probably will.) I have started the Lace Leaf Pullover for Loop-d-Loop as a beginning. So far, I've only had to frog back to the ribbing on the first leaf twice. Sigh. I love lace SOOO much, why, oh why do I have to suck at it????



Here's the progress so far. Sad. I've subbed Berocco Xpress in red for the called-for yarn. The gauge is perfect and this stuff is way soft. It's discontinued, but I got just enough for this sweater in a swap.

Next up will be Branching Out. Everyone says this is the easiest intro to lace EVER. So I picked up some very soft generic luxury yarn from AC Moore to try it out with. I don't know who distributes this stuff but it's a merino/silk/alpaca blend, and it's inexpensive enough that I won't feel bad ruining it by continuous frogging if the experiment fails. It's also soft and fluffy enough to make a beautiful scarf for the Mother in Law if it all works out.



Wish me luck. I'm going to need it, and blog posts will be much less interesting when I pluck out my eyeballs in frustration.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Progress made

Funny how it works out, isn't it, that the one thing you have NO plans for is what you start with first? Consider for a moment my previous post where I discussed the 4 balls of trendsetter Taos that were just in a pretty colorway and I had to have them for that reason if no other. I'll be damned if they weren't the first 4 balls yanked out of the stash to be played with. Please witness the progress of my mini clapotis. I figure by this time it's a requirement for all knitters to make at least one of these babies, and the lovely variegated colors of this yarn with it's hint of sparkle needed to be showcased in some manner. That, and this is remarkably EASY. Even I can do it easy. This is my progress since the 3rd of July when I found the pattern printed out and wrapped up with a ball of recycled silk that I started the pattern on once and screwed the set-up rows utterly because I was trying to knit it at work in between calls. Hubby says he thinks I've just gotten faster at knitting. I say it's just because I only did half the increase rows (only 4 balls of this stuff requires the sizing to be altered). I also love the idea of it being worked up in a drapey cotton blend. When I saw this scarf it cried, cool spring days to me. Too warm for wool, but just right for cotton or silk.



Here is a close-up shot so you can see the lovely sparkley bits that are plied with the cotton blend that will make this clappy so light and shimmery. Thankfully, the sparkly bits appear to be non-itchy. Now, to find something to wear it with once completed.



In other news, the girls room has been painted, re-carpeted and light fixtures installed. The room hasn't been completely decorated, but it's in progress. I'm going to start a new duvet cover for her bed today and when mom gets back from Florida I can dig out all the little things we purchased for her room. In the mean time, please enjoy this lovely photo of the girl passed out in her new bed.




Initially she had been sleeping in this monstrosity of a hand-me-down Loft bed. It was tall, it was blue, it was ugly. We LIED (yes, we lie to our children, we like to think of it as a good foundation for dealing with dating later in life) to her and told her we were trashing the loft bed and she would have to wait a month for us to get the money together to buy her a regular bed, she'd just have to sleep on the floor. The odd bit, was that she was ok with it. She did seem please though to find out that we were kidding and Has been happily sleeping with the mutts in her new bed ever since. Her biggest complaint about the loft bed was her inability to have the mutts sleep with her. Why a person would want a large hairy bed hog asleep with them is beyond me, but she was never the most logical child on earth.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I think the mailman thinks I've lost it.

There were 5. Yes, 5 packages in the mail for me today. All but one of them was yarn. Now, my regular mail person is also a knitter, and a complete delight. She is always excited to talk to me about new yarns or magazines, and Is very excited to learn to knit socks, but at the beginning of the summer, we found that she was going to be out for personal reasons for several months. Bummer. The new mail guy, I'm sure thinks I have a problem. Puh-lease. Yarn is NEVER a problem.


This is what was in the packages today. We'll start with yarn. Mmmmm yummy. Clockwise from the top. 15 Balls Trendsetter Oceano in the Fire Fantasy colorway. I'm envisioning a lovely cardigan or drapey top. Perhaps I can lay my hands on a copy of IK from spring 2004 I love the Mandarin Faux Cardigan.

Next are 4 balls of Trendsetter Taos in Desert Garden. This is the one yarn I have no plans for, but come on? Desert Garden? I NEED the desert. Therefore, the yarn purchase is justified.

Next are 7 balls of Adriafil Chic in Deep olive. This is for a Safari Cardigan for the girl from Knitters Magazine. It's acrylic, and was cheap, but perfect, shiny, and machine washable.

Next is a skein of Lornas Laces Shepherd Worsted in what other colorway than IRVING PARK!!!!!!!! I screamed when I opened this package. There were also 2 skeins of KPPPM. This is from the Lovely and generous and incredibly sweet Glindensmith from the knittyboard. I made her one little needle case, and she sent me lovliness I have been dying for, but have never bought. Oddly, I've purchase Koigu for 2 people, but never myself. I can't wait ti start playing wth this stuff. The LL is going to become the Cable Footies from One Skein.

Finally, there is a bag of Debbie Bliss Aram Tweed for the mission falls Kitt Shrug. I love Mission Falls patterns, and the yarn is nice, but I'm not thrilled with the price. Perhaps if they upped the yardage per skein it would be worth the purchase. Until then, it's sub city, and I love the yellow and blue flecks in this stuff.



The last Package Was a total surprise. I was actually picked TWICE for the June buirthday swap on craftster, and I didn't even realize. batfishgurl sent me a gorgeous apron and lots of yummy chocolate to munch on. Thanks so much!

Looks like I'll be spreading some crafty karma for next months birthday swap!