Friday, July 01, 2011
Columbus was lovely, with delicious food and drink within walking distance of the hotel and convention center. All the stories you've ever heard about Jeni's Ice Cream are true. Over the days we were there, Mandy and I tried 13 flavors. My favorite was Goat Cheese with Roasted Cherries. Jeni now has a cookbook out, a copy of which--along with an ice cream maker--will be winging its way to Sir Eli of Northampton, who, I am told, was bemoaning a lack of savory ice creams available on the market. Eli, my friend, Jeni will get you started, but I suspect you will soon be inventing your own concoctions shortly.
The Craft Dungeon has been a hive of activity. I dyed lots of goodies for Mandy's booth at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Fair this past weekend. Now I am stockpiling for The Fold's booth at Sock Summit. I am hoping to get far enough ahead on the keystone base yarns to add a few more exotic selections to the line, including some camel, some additional silk blends, and perhaps some mawata.
In case you haven't heard it yet, Stash and Burn did a very nice bit of commentary on Fleur de Fiber on the most recent podcast (ep. 106). I sponsored a giveaway for them, and they had the chance to knit with some of my yarn. Stash and Burn has been one of my favorite podcasts for some time, and if you've never listened, be sure to give them a go.
Ack! I just looked at the clock at the bottom of the screen, and it has turned into July! So much to do...
Monday, June 06, 2011
I just got back from a combined trip to see friends in Northampton, MA and to attend the Squam Arts Workshop. The trip to Northampton was big fun, marked by not one but two home Chopped competitions. (The Reader's Digest version of Chopped is that 4 contestants are presented with a basket of mystery ingredients with which to prepare a course. Pantry items may also be used. In each round, a contestant is eliminated until the dessert course, when a winner is named.) We decided on 4-5 ingredients to make a meal. (Dessert was separate.) Sir Eli directed the competition and chose the teams. On night one, he and his dad shopped, and his mom and I cooked. We were presented with shrimp, calamari, radicchio, chocolate mint, and potato chips. From that came grilled radicchio dressed with balsamic vinaigrette topped with sauteed calamari, shrimp with a chip/cumin/chili crust and a watermelon/strawberry/basil/chocolate mint salsa cruda. Let me tell you, crushed chips give panko a run for its money as a crust. Night two saw his parents confronted with ingredients he and I procured. We presented them with Sockeye salmon, dandelion greens, ginger beer, sunchokes, and cherry fruit leather. The mystery basket produced a ginger/soy/cherry glazed salmon (fruit leather melts in warmed ginger beer and it makes a fab glaze), dandelion greens with a cherry vinaigrette, sunchoke puree, and a ginger beer/lemonade/vodka aperitif. (Sir Eli got a virgin version.) It was great fun, and I recommend it as a fun dinner party activity if you have some adventurous cooks in your crowd. (Ample cocktails are a must.)
From Northampton, I travelled up to Holderness, NH to the Squam Arts Workshop. I learned a few things:
- I get squeamish about anything described as "transformative."
- I have determined that I am a short hugger. I met some long huggers at Squam, and I am decidedly in the short hug range of things.
- I am now excited to sew. The Reinvention sewing class I took got me hyped about uses for that big, white Singer paperweight in the Craft Dungeon.
- My over-packing has reached epic proportions. I had four knit hats with me. Four. Plus a sunhat. It got worse from there.
- I learned a lot about how I want to display my yarns in retail situations.
- You can be 1039 miles from home and meet your neighbor from five houses away for the first time. True story.
More later. I'm off to TNNA.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Meet Baby Dill, Clover, and Shiny Happy People, all in Atlantis Silk.
Chicago now has a new LYS, Windy Knitty, and it is open for business. She has a great selection of yarns...including mine! There is also Malabrigo, Cascade, Three Irish Girls, Sweet Georgia, and a whole lot of other fabulous lines.
I will be heading off for Sock Camp soon, and there is homework to be done. I think I know where I am headed on that front, but I've changed my mind a few times now, so we'll see. As always, I am looking forward to my trip to Seattle and Port Ludlow. Perhaps I'll get far enough this weekend to offer a few homework sneak peeks.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
"Wishing for warm days so I can knit and spin on the porch and hula hoop outside. I'm getting tired of the hoop bumping into the sofa."
Then, I popped over to the 30 Days of Lists blog to find that today's list is Wishes. Lucky me, I got a jump start!
1. Warm days for the reasons mentioned above.
2. Hoping my husband's weekend trip is less stressful than we anticipate it will be.
3. Hoping to build my business in creative ways. Wishing for inspiration to make it happen!
4. I wish for many more healthy days with my cat, Pitch.
5. Wishing for the opportunity to see as many friends as possible this year.
6. Still wishing for that Estonia trip to happen.
7. I'm hoping my friend's new LYS will be a rousing success--and she will sell lots of my yarn!
8. Hoping for a fab vacation with my husband that is just for us--no business, not knitting-related.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
- Amazon.com I shop there ALL THE TIME, though I feel guilty because some of the profits end up in the hands of political interests with which I do not agree.
- Sundance Catalog.com Yes, I want to live in that catalog. I want everything, almost.
- Peapod.com Online grocery shopping saves me $$ and keeps me from buying impulse items. I also get to avoid the annoyances of the Jewel. I still shop at a small, independent grocery for some items and am looking forward to the return of the Farmers Market.
- Posie Gets Cozy Her projects, be they knitting, crochet, embroidery, home improvement, cooking, or what have you, are so aesthetically pleasing. She does cute very, very well.
- Etsy 'Nuff said.
- Fryd + Design Short, sweet posts with delightful pics.
- Knitspot Anne Hanson is zooming to the top of my list of favorite designers. I also love her pics, and she is a great teacher.
There are others, too, but I've really pared down my blog reading. It all sort of fell apart during the Blogspot changeover, and I need to reorganize my blog reading mechanisms.
By the way, I added some additional colors of Atlantis Silk to the Etsy shop. Tarnished and Favorite Jeans went up yesterday, and Clover, Pistachio, I Didn't Wear White, A Touch of Envy, Shiny Happy People, and Baby Dill are coming today or tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
- two project bags in case I couldn't decide what I wanted to work on
- some tissues
- I thought there was lipstuff in there, but when I went digging for it, I was mistaken.
That's it. My purse is another story: 6 lipsticks. It goes downhill from there.
Monday, March 07, 2011
Least Favorite Words
My high school friend, Jon Wurster, is the drummer for both Superchunk and The Mountain Goats. He is also a comedian who has been touted as one of the funniest Tweeters/Facebookers out in the Tweetisphere. He has a regular feature called WordHate, where he throws out one of his least favorite words, and hilarity often ensues. Here are a few of my least favorite words:
Squee (Knitters use this all the time, but I cannot abide it.)
Awsomesauce (Not a real word, but this one gets to me.)
Expresso (While a legit spelling & pronunciation, it always reminds me of the common mispronunciation of "expecially" for "especially." Ack.)
Blog at least twice a week
Add more pictures
Be more entertaining
Activate the blog for Fleur de Fiber
Saturday, March 05, 2011
2. Help my friend price her merchandise so that she can get her store open.
3. Clear off the dining room table.
4. Hang up the clothes that are in a pile upstairs.
5. Pick up the stitches to start the next section of my shawl.
6. Load Quickbooks on laptop and upgrade.
7. Get my yoga stuff together in prep for taking class Monday.
8. Reskein dry yarns and load them into etsy shop.
Friday, March 04, 2011
This weekend I am instituting a no green dye zone! I would dye green after green if I could!
Today's List is "My Playlist."This has been the rotation as of late:
1. Whatever is on NPR. (Sadly, it's pledge week, so that limits things)
2. WXRT, Chicago's rock station. They play classic rock to new things. I like the morning DJs, but I usually don't listen that early.
3. Springsteen, always. I can listen to some albums (Greetings from Asbury Park, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Born to Run) every day. For others (Nebraska, The River, the non-E Street ones) I have to be in a particular mood.
4. Mumford & Sons, Little Lion Man
5. Podcasts (knitting related, The Moth)
6. David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames
Thursday, March 03, 2011
So, I have decided to jump on the 30 Days of Lists bandwagon (after falling off once already.) Here goes:
#1 A Few Things About Me
Cat Person Who Also Loves Dogs
Former Professional Stage Manager
Former Executive Director of a Not-for-Profit Dance Company
#2 Things I Am Good At
Finding Something I Have in Common with Almost Everyone I Meet
#3 Thing I Am Looking Forward To
Moving to Another Place When My Husband Retires (PNW, please)
Visiting Boston for the First Time in Forever
Having a New Kitchen
Warm Days on the Porch/Balcony
Walking By the Lake When it Isn't Freezing
Many More Happy, Healthy Days with My Cat, Pitch
A Vacation with My Husband This Year
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
If you would like to be on Fleur de Fiber's notification list, head over to the etsy site and contact me and I will add you.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Tonight the husband picked up dinner and was kind enough to bring me a diet root beer, one of the old-fashioned ones in a vintage-y brown bottle. Those bottles just make you want to blow into them while you're drinking, making crazy wind whistle sounds, which is just what I was doing. My husband looked up from his dinner, saw me in my dyeing get-up and said, "You look like a yarn hobo." I couldn't deny it.
Friday, February 04, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Today I'm dyeing up a seacell (rayon) and silk blend lace yarn. It is gorgeous, shiny, luxe stuff, but it smells awful--really, really, really awful--while it's being dyed. The end result is so gorgeous that it's worth a bit of suffering on my part.
When I buy yarns, often they arrive packaged with ribbons, tissue paper, and plastic bags in a shipping envelope. The plastic bags seem like overkill, and don't get me started on the ribbons. They are pretty and festive, but they often end up in the trash, and who needs that? My plan is to wrap the yarns in natural, unbleached tissue (recycled and recyclable) tied up with yarn, plenty of which is lying around the Dungeon. I'm going to ship in Tyvek envelopes (unless a box is required), which are water resistant. What are your thoughts on packaging? (I should also note that I'm going to be sending a little extra with the yarn--tea from Steven Smith Teamaker. Their teas are exquisite, and if I like them, I think you will, too!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
In my teens, my friend and I used to mutually despise yellow. We even went as far as to be a bit superstitious about it, blaming unfortunate incidents on the presence of yellow in the immediate surroundings. At some point, that changed for me and, in this house as well as my last, I have had yellow or gold rooms. My current house has four. I am sitting here looking at two balls of golden yarn destined to be a shawl. Yellow has gained ground in my color world.
Dyeing can be thrilling, and sometimes there are unexpected results. A while back, I put some skeins in the pot with the three different dyes that make up the colorway. The secret to that particular colorway is to limit agitation so that there are flashes of color without much mingling and the natural color of the skein still remains visible. For some reason, I stirred the pot, literally. Oops. What came out was a new colorway because it shares very little resemblance to its cousin, and it may just be one of my favorites. And it has yellow in it.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I will be launching the etsy store soon. You'll be the first to know.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I wish I could say that 2011 has started off with a bang, but, alas, it hasn't. It started out with sniffle, then a whine, then a honk, and it progressed from there. The sofa in the knitting room still has a dent from the three days I spent there, both day and night. Admittedly, I do not suffer illness of any magnitude well, but this cold wiped me out. I am feeling better, but now my sleep rhythms are completely upside-down, and I was fully awake until 5am this morning. Fortunately, though, the calendar has provided me with a do-over of sorts, so I am declaring today the first day of my 2011. It's got an extra "one" in it, so that counts.
I've got some new projects on the needles, both of which have been subjected to my tinkering. I started one of the many pairs of mittens out there that are based on the ubiquitous Owls sweater. After knitting 90% of one mitten, I decided that the construction wasn't making me happy. The thumb was accommodated with a series of increases that essentially followed the lifeline on the palm, and while that sounds interesting, it resulted in a mitten that pulled in an odd way, and so it went to the frog pond. Instead, I am Frankenknitting a few patterns together to make a mitten that's making me a bit happier.
I have signed myself up for a Mardi Gras swap on Ravelry. I have decided to knit my giftee a lacy cowl made with some of my hand dyed yarn. The pattern is pretty (but I shan't name it here because of the Ravtroversey which, apparently, surrounds it), but it isn't symmetrical. The motif at the top and the bottom are mirrored, and the stitch pattern in the middle runs gracefully and logically from one side, but then it kind of slams into the border at the other end. After knitting 75% of it, I decided to frog it and make some changes. I am knitting it in two parts, from the ends in, and I am going to graft the halves in the middle. In the past, I have said my knitting would go faster if I didn't stop to admire every row. It would also go faster if I didn't re-knit every project at least once.
I am doing that "Pay it Forward" thing that's been making the rounds. It's the one where I promise you something handmade if you post on your blog or Facebook page the promise to do the same. I have one more slot open, so if you are interested in receiving something handmade by me in 2011 (it could be anything, mind you, not just knitting, as I wield some mean recipes and I own the Cadillac of hot glue guns), you must promise the same for five others. Comment here or on my Facebook page, and the next person I hear from is in. (If you decide to do it, I can provide you with the "text" for the Pay it Forward promise.) I'm really excited about the folks who are on the journey with me so far. One of them is a male friend from high school who I haven't seen in about 25 years! I have already been plotting and planning about the "right" items for each of them.
It's a beautiful, snowy day here in the city, so I need to do a bit of shovelling. Perhaps I'll take a bit of a snow walk for some exercise and to help ease myself toward being tired enough to fall asleep at a normal hour. Wish me luck, but if you see me Tweeting in the wee hours, you know I'm in deep trouble. (Insomnia often results in reckless internet shoe shopping, and that's just not good...)
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Since it's 1.1.11, it is de rigeur to set a few goals for the year.
1. Less takeout and more cooking at home.
2. More exercise.
3. Less retail therapy. Shop in my stash more often rather than buy new yarn. Desire a new pair of shoes? Go to the shoe closet and pick out a pair rather than succumb to the temptation for a new pair. (I admit it: this will be a hard one.)
4. Plant the garden this year.
5. Rearrange the rooms I have wanted to revamp for a while: the TV/knitting room, the upstairs living room, the back room upstairs, both pantries, the office area.
6. Purge/clean the basement.
7. Purge the cookbook collection.
8. Hang all art/pictures. If there isn't a place to hang it, purge it.
9. Spin more.
10. Waste less time. Limit computer time. (Use an egg timer if necessary.) Turn on the TV less, but always multi-task when the TV is on.
11. Spend more time on the business.
12. Purge the Ravelry queue, if only a little bit.
13. Fewer pajama days.
14. Spend more time with friends.
All right, y'all, hope to see more of you in he coming year. Happy start to the new year, and see you soon!