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Saturday, July 29, 2006

This sock s*cks.

So, my first sock. I have been working on it for some time. Well, I've been picking it up and putting it down for some time. There was a false start with yarn I didn't like, some backtracking, a couple significant froggings, but nothing like what happened today. Let me preface by saying that perhaps the pattern I picked was a bit complicated. It wasn't difficult, really, but it did require attention being paid to it. So, perhaps it was not the best idea to take this sock to see The Yarn Harlot. Or for the sock to watch television. Nonetheless, it was well on its way; I had turned the heel and completed the gusset. I was working my way down the foot when I discovered I had somehow begun a new 14-row lace repeat in the middle of the previous repeat. Sacre bleu! So, I started to rip back with the intention of just getting to the root of the problem, but I lost my way. Then I thought I'd get back to the part where I picked up stitches for the gusset, but things went awry. It was then I thought about the fact that I wasn't in love with the way the ribbing looked anyway, is the sock.

When I woke up this morning I actually thought that I might be able to finish it today. Notsomuch.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Michigan Fiber Festival and Wisconsin Sheep and Wool, Anyone?

Hello-oo-oo-oo out there. Oh, I know you're lurking. The web fairies count you and report back to me. So, I'm hoping a few of you will come out of the Internet shadows (or maybe they are tubes*) to answer a few questions.

Are any of you going to Michigan for the Fiber Festival? How about Wisconsin? Have any of you camped on the grounds? I think I might want to commune with nature. Okay, here's the real deal: it really bugs me to spend $$ on a not-so-great hotel. I'm all for it when I get a Heavenly Bed, but spending $$ for a hotel that's not worth it really irks me.** Your input on the camping facilities/experience at either or both is most welcome!

*That's for my fellow Daily Show watchers--or anyone who paid attention to the Congressional Internet Follies of a couple of weeks ago.

**I spent a couple of years touring with children's theater productions. I have stayed in a motel with walls made out of particleboard with a former Miss America contestant. No, really. I have stayed in places where we put chairs under the doorknob. I was once out for three-months straight, staying in a different hotel/motel almost every night. I have paid my hotel/motel dues. I'm a grown-up now, and I don't want to do it anymore--I have earned the Heavenly Bed! Or an air mattress on the ground. It's one or the other with nothing in between.

Monday, July 24, 2006

In the Presence of Knitterly Genius

Her blog entries are funny and touching, full of great little bits of information, and deserve checking out daily. Her books are fun reads and well worth the cover price. A live appearance in your area? Totally worth an hour in rush hour traffic to get there.

My Sister's Knits in Beverly:

She's dry and self deprecating. She leads quite an interesting life for someone who touts herself as "normal." She is someone you want to have coffee with. And, she's a damn fine knitter. She is...The Yarn Harlot.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah...

That's my attempt at the phonetic spelling of the sound, you know, that LOSER sound when things go bust. That "If I had only picked door number two I would have won the Amana Radar Range but, nooooooo, I picked door number three. What am I gonna do with a year's supply of canned peas?" sound. (I think canned peas are the devil, by the way. Blech.) So why the loser sound? Because I violated the Summer of Stash. I caved. I gave in. I lusted and I sinned. (Not even lust, actually, I just couldn't resist the urge.) And then it got really bad...

I decided to go out last night to knit at Loopy and that's where things took a turn. They were having a 20% & 40% off sale. I am a sale ho, so therefore I succumbed to this:

I know, I know, it's kinda like the Oscar the Grouch and Grover melted on my couch. I am trying to avoid novelty yarns (although there are some that have been useful and fun and I don't write them off completely), but I really do think this purchase was actually the result of finding out that Suss Soho closed and that I missed the sale. (I tried to call but I was too late.) A sad, sad development because I thought it was a lovely store but since it was in NYC and I'm in Chicago, it's not like I could go there a lot. This stuff is soft. Little baby kitten soft. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but I bought all of the skeins they had in stock of these two colors--40% off. And it gets worse. When I got home, waiting in my inbox was a sale notice from Knit Picks. Most of the sale yarns left me cold, but the Main Line did call to me. Okay, it yelled. So I bought enough for this and this. Ugh. I am a miserable yarn ho/sale ho failure.

On another note, the Harlot is coming. She will be in Chicagoland on Monday. I say Chicagoland because she is going to be at a shop way down on the south side. From the website (especially the pic in the upper right corner) it looks adorable. It is a mere 14 miles from my office, but I'm pretty sure it will take about an hour to get there at rush hour. Grumble, grumble. But I am excited to check out the shop. (I will not buy yarn, I will not buy yarn, I will not...)

Monday, July 17, 2006


In honor of Project Spectrum's color of the month, purple, here is a photo taken in Skagway, Alaska on our vacation last summer.

Given the current heatwave, returning to Alaska sounds great right now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bitter Purl/Better Purl

I've been back at work four days now after having a week off. (It was supposed to be a longer break, but the last couple of days of the fiscal year were harrowing so I had to cancel my vacation on those two days. Being in charge is very glamorous. And, yes, bitterness did enter the picture just a little bit.) It was a working vacation anyway, spent cleaning, organizing, meeting with an architect, therefore I had to carve out the fun where I could. So, I made myself feel better with this:

I now feel more relevant. (Now, if the TiVo would leap out of its box and hook itself up, life would be great. It's only been hanging out here for about four months.) I am SO addicted to podcasts--at least for the moment. I sought out and downloaded every knitting-related podcast out there. Whoa. Then I immediately unsubscribed to some of them as quickly as I found them--eek. The one that I am truly taken by is Cast On by Brenda Dayne. She's knowledgeable, quirky, opinionated, self-deprecating, and has a very soothing voice. I went back and downloaded every episode--more than 27 hours worth!!--and am making my way through. The great thing is that I can be doing other things (cooking, cleaning--the most loathsome of all tasks, walking on the treadmill) and I can still feel like I am enjoying knitting in some fashion while I do those things that I must do. (I discovered today that Tim Gunn has a Project Runway podcast--more audio crack for me!)

I also treated myself to these:

Glass knitting needles. They are really gorgeous, especially the large ones with the swirls inside. Yes, they were an unnecessary purchase, but I got them on eBay so they weren't out-of-control expensive. Yeah, okay, I know I NEVER knit on straights anymore but I could...

I have been working on a tank from on of the Yarn Girls books using Sonata from Elann.

Lots and lots of around and around since I adapted it to be done in the round instead of front and back. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I'm working on 5s because I thought the fabric was too loose using 6s, but now I'm wondering if it is too dense. I guess we'll see. I'm really trying to go from being product-oriented to being process-oriented, so ripping out should not bother me, right?

So, I am feeling a little better about re-entry. I'm going to take those two days off in a couple of weeks. And I do have Stitches to look forward to in a month!

Thanks to my June Project Spectrum postcard swap-mate. She sent a lovely card as well as some blue goodies for my enjoyment. It was a lovely package which is pictured here on her blog. (I was having indoor picture-taking issues and did not get a usable shot of my own.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Tale of the Knitting Niece

I believe I have succeeded in hooking the niece on knitting. Apparently, her interest in it has not waned since the big Maryland Sheep and Wool extravaganza of family fun. In fact, when I checked in with her this weekend and asked if she would still like to take a class, I got an emphatic "Yes!" in triplicate. So, as I promised I would, I found a LYS that offers classes for kids and I signed her up. I also provided a little mad money in the form of a gift certificate to get her going. And I am going to do a little personal de-stashing by sending her some balls of yarn leftover from various projects (including the oh-so-lovely Kool-Aid yarn) so she has a little starter stash of her own. I think may fly down to Maryland to observe one of the classes myself. Nothing would thrill me more than having her turn into a little fiber fiend who wants to spend her vacations going to fiber festivals and searching for the best LYSs. Perhaps we will start an intergenerational knitting blog. (Okay, she's seven--a bit too young for the blogosphere in my opinion but I am thinking ahead.)