30 January 2008

New Arrival!

If you remember, I played with my spindle a while back, but put it down shortly after because, well, I'm not that fond of drop spindles. I can't get into a groove with them, and I tend to under-spin my singles because of that. I've wanted a wheel (specifically a great/walking wheel) for a long time, but didn't (and don't) have the space for it. Still, I love spinning on any wheel, and just two weeks ago I was presented with a unique pair of facts:

- My mother had six fleeces that she wanted me to do something with (they were given to her years ago and she'd just gotten them back from being cleaned and carded).

- My dear friend Jenny was selling her wheels.

How could I refuse? I bought Jenny's Babe wheel, asked my mother to drop off the first fleece, and started spinning.

I can't stop. See this?


That's two big-ass bobbins of 3-ply bulky wool I made. I've done one more since that picture was taken, and I'm about half a singles-bobbin away from starting more plying.

Did I mention that I've had the wheel for less than a week?


Her name is Babette, and she's going to be painted sometime in the next month, assuming I can stop spinning for a few days.

Yeah, right.

29 January 2008

Warm Ears

Wow, it's been too long since I last posted. I have news! Lots of news! I'm going to try to space it out a bit so a) y'all aren't overloaded and 2) I have more stuff to blog about.

David's brother has invited us to Vermont in March for a week-long skiing trip. I'm one of the few New Englanders who has never had the pleasure of strapping planks to my feet and letting gravity take over, and frankly, the idea scares the crap out of me, so I think I'll stick with cross-country. While I have plenty of hats for cold weather, they don't cover my ears very well, so I decided to make a headband.


It's made with that beautiful green ShibuiKnits Baby Alpaca DK that I got in Portland, along with some natural-colored cotton that was formerly a sweater I bought at Goodwill during that first hunting expedition. I'd bought the sweater without checking the seams, so I was very disappointed to discover that they were serged. Fortunately, it worked for this project, since one row from the sweater is just about the right length for one row of the headband. I have a gazillion ends to weave in, but that's okay.


I yoinked the Fair Isle design from a pair of gloves that Kristi made. The fun part is that it nearly matches the green streaks in my hair:


I'm not sure how I'm going to fasten it in the back... any suggestions?

20 January 2008


To finish off the trip commentary, here are a few quotes:

"Don't whisk my tits!"

"I can still taste the bacon."

"Go-go taquitos!" (Picture taquitos with pleather boots and short skirts.)


"Honey, I think enough of the smoke is gone now. You can put the battery back in the smoke detector."

"'Budget Emergency Sickness Protection ("ESP") is available only to Canadian renters and international renters with valid non U.S. passports.' ...I gotta blog that."

I'll tell you more about this project in another post, but for now, I'll tease you with this picture (ends aren't woven in and it hasn't been blocked, so it's still a little lumpy).


Pretty, innit?

15 January 2008

Time For A Yarn Diet


I'm finally starting to unpack. I seem to have bought a lot of yarn in Portland.


Yeah. That's about $160 worth of yarn. I don't think I need to buy any more yarn until Rhinebeck... though I probably will, since I'm thinking about going back to Oregon for the Black Sheep Gathering in June. Here's the haul:

babyalpaca shibuisock

Those are both Shibui yarns from Knit/Purl. The green is Baby Alpaca and the orange-pink is Sock.


That's Zen Yarn Garden Merino/Bamboo/Nylon from Dublin Bay Knitting Company.

babylace clownwig

These are Dream In Color "Baby" and Ashabee's Fiber Oasis sport weight merino from Twisted.


And lastly, here's the SpinneMann from Naked Sheep Knit Shop. It and the Baby are going to be shawls, the Baby Alpaca is going to be a hat, and everything else will be socks. I need more socks.

David has uploaded some pictures from the trip (including some kilt pr0n (that's him with my friend Rick at the wedding reception), and there may be a few more to come. He'll blog about it, too... eventually.

Time to finish unpacking and then do some knitting. I miss Portland.

14 January 2008


I'm home, my suitcase was waiting for me at the baggage claim office (missing a wheel, but I don't care), and I'm finally wearing clean clothes.

It's so time for bed.

Dead In Dallas

Or at least that's the way I feel. I've been awake for over 21 hours, I was supposed to be home almost nine hours ago, I have no idea where my luggage is (though I'm guessing Chicago), I won't be home for another six hours, and I hate DFW. Of all the airports I've been to, it's my least favorite. I actually miss SeaTac.

I want to curl up and sleep for about two days.

13 January 2008

Sleepless in Seattle

1:30pm PST Sunday January 13th

The best laid plans of mice and men aft gang aglay. Or in this case, the best laid plans of a woman got seriously screwed up by the weather. I was supposed to fly from Portland to Hartford with stops in Seattle and Chicago. When I got to Seattle I checked my voicemail and found that my sister had called to tell me that my Chicago-Hartford flight was cancelled because of a wicked snowstorm that's sweeping across the Northeast this afternoon.

After a banana milkshake and a talk with an agent, I have my new flight information. I'm stuck here in Seattle until nearly midnight PST (I got here at 10:30am) when I head off to Dallas. I'll arrive there at 5am CST, sit (or nap) for four hours, and then finally leave for Hartford. I should be home by 1:30pm EST, at which point I will curl up in bed and hopefully enjoy unconsciousness for most of the afternoon.

At least I have stuff to do while I'm awake. I have Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off, the alpaca lace scarf, and a sock with the Shibui I bought on Thursday. I'm really glad I brought it in my carry-on instead of checking it. The rest of my yarn (and clothes and toiletries and Mexican cocoa [thank you, David!]) is in my suitcase, probably on its way to Illinois. I have no idea when my luggage will be getting to Connecticut... it was booked on the Seattle-Chicago flight I was originally on, so I'm not sure when it'll be re-routed.

My laptop battery is probably about to die (and when it dies my laptop makes a horrible, painful noise), so I'll sign off for now. Maybe I can recharge the battery in Dallas and write a bit more then. At 5am. *whimper*

3:30pm PST

Success! I've found a comfy chair right next to an outlet, so I can use my computer for as long as I like. I don't think I'm going to be connecting to the 'net, because it's gonna be expensive, but at least I can type and play solitaire. I took a nap for a while, talked to David on the phone (he's still in Portland... smart boy booked an evening flight instead of a morning one), and finished reading Stephanie's book. I have the urge to design a game based on the book. It would be a cross between Puzzle Pirates and Chore Wars, I think, with challenges, games, and tasks (including real-life things, on the honor system) that would earn the player points or credits that could be used to purchase stash, notions, or even real estate (how'd you like to own a virtual yarn store?).

When I got on the plane in Hartford on my way to Portland on Wednesday, I realized that I'd left my headphones at home... remembered the mp3 player, but not the key hardware to make it useful. At the hotel I could plug the player into my laptop and listen to it that way, so I wasn't entirely without my favorite tunes, but I don't want to disturb people on the plane with music coming out of my computer's speakers. I was sorely tempted, when I first arrived at SeaTac, to buy a pair of those fancy Bose headphones. The vendor here doesn't display the price, though, so I called my sister and asked her to look it up online. Three hundred fifty dollars. I went to one of the mini-marts and got a $5 pair of earbuds instead. A quirky blend of rock, disco, punk, and indie pop has been keeping me relatively sane for the last few hours thanks to that purchase.

I still have eight hours until my plane boards. My hands are tired of knitting, so I'm kind of bored. If I'd known I'd be waiting so long for a flight, I would have stayed in Portland and hung out with David until his flight left. I loved Portland the first time I was there (a few years ago when I drove Alli from Oregon to Virginia to move in with Mike), and I loved it even more this time. It's a beautiful city, one of the only ones I'd ever want to live in (I am so a country girl), and a bunch of my friends live there. I'll be coming back for at least a few more visits, if not moving there permanently. We'll see what life throws at me in the next year or two.

It's time to play a little solitaire, I think.

5:20pm PST

I has intarwebs! Granted, it's $8 for 24 hours, but it'll do. Hello, intarwebs. I missed you. Time to post this.

12 January 2008

The Oregon Yarn Trail

Wednesday was a 22-hour day for me. 22 hours spent awake and active, that is. I couldn't get back to sleep after waking up at 5:30am, so I did the chores that needed to be done (like laundry so I could finish packing) and knit until it was time to go to the airport around 4pm. Then I spent roughly nine hours enjoying the hospitality of American Airlines. I discovered that it's difficult for me to sleep sitting up, especially when the 5-year-old in front of me has a cold with a horrible cough. Poor kid. I also realized that the only thing I really like about DFW is the skyway/monorail. Doors are closing. Do not block the doors.

By the time I got to Portland, picked up my rental car, and got to the hotel, it was 12:30am local time. That's 3:30am Eastern time. David caught me as I stumbled into the room, took off my shoes for me, and tucked me in. Eight hours later I was still a little jet-lagged, but was awake enough to get us to the IHOP down the street for an energizing breakfast. Then began the yarn crawl.

Thursday was spent downtown, where we hit three yarn stores and had the best sandwiches ever. Our first stop was the Dublin Bay Knitting Company. It's spacious and beautiful, and I got a hank of fingering weight merino/bamboo/nylon that's just dreamy. Next was Knit/Purl with its gorgeous selection and motorized ball winder. I mentioned to David that there was one good thing about not having set a yarn budget for this trip... I wouldn't feel guilty for exceeding it. I ended up with two hanks of ShibuiKnits sock yarn, a hank of Baby Alpaca DK (with more dark tones than the picture shows) that matches my current unnatural hair color, and a set of Crystal Palace bamboo US#1 DPNs for the sock yarn. One last fibery stop at the very compact Knit Knot Studio (which didn't have anything that cried out to be taken home with me), and then it was time for lunch.

Not being familiar with the city, we picked the first place that looked promising: Kenny & Zuke's. It turned out to be an excellent choice. Neither David nor I could finish our sandwiches (his: pastrami; mine: corned beef reuben), and we had the leftovers for dinner last night. Nom, nom, nom.

Yesterday we met up with Cari (and Thumper) at Tandem Coffeehouse, which has the best peppermint milkshake I've ever had. Okay, the only peppermint milkshake I've ever had, but still very, very yummy. Cari insisted that we make Twisted part of our yarn crawl, so after Cari took Thumper home for his nap, that's what we did.

Twisted has a wall of sock yarn. A wall. I picked out a hank of Ashabee's Fiber Oasis sport weight merino in a colorway called "Clown Wig" and then wandered around the rest of the store and found a hank of Baby Lace Weight in "Cloud Jungle" from Dream In Color. After a delicious lunch at Thai Pod (recommended by the ladies at Twisted) we stopped at Close Knit, another very compact shop where nothing really jumped out at me. Our last stop was The Naked Sheep Knit Shop. I couldn't walk away from a hank of Spinnemann sport weight wool in a stormy grey.

I still need to figure out how I'm going to fit all of the yarn in my suitcase. I'm worried that my eyes are bigger than my luggage. Passing off the wedding gifts to the happy couple in a few hours will free up a little space, but it's still going to be a tight squeeze.

I keep forgetting to take pictures, so any photos from the trip will appear on David's blog as soon as he gets around to posting them. See y'all when I get back to the east coast!

04 January 2008

My Wrists Hate Me

Happy newness! I still haven't bought a 2008 calendar. There are a lot of things I haven't done, actually. This time of year has always been stressful and depressing for me, between procrastination, family insanity, and the random things that pop up (like losing my job). I've been sleeping too much, eating too little, spending a lot of time in front of the television set knitting my way through my VHS collection, and trying not to feel like crap. I'm looking forward to a mini-vacation next weekend: a little over three days in Portland, Oregon for Alli and Mike's wedding.

I've been knitting anywhere from four to six hours a day on the shawl I plan on wearing to the wedding. I think I've inhaled half a goat while working with this mohair (Brooks Farm Primero), but it's looking so nice! I also finished my uncle's second sock (I gave him the first one on Christmas with a note saying, "#2 coming soon!"), but I haven't delivered it yet. He reminded me that one of his feet is cold this morning. Cheeky monkey.

Time to get back to the knitting. I want to run out of yarn for the shawl before I run out of time to finish it.