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."


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:


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.