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Saturday, January 28, 2012


As you may know, I live in the city. There are normal hazards and challenges to an urban environment, and they are to be expected. Every once in a while, though, something unexpected pokes up its head, and we have issues with wildlife: the occasional raccoon gone bad, rodents of various sorts (let's not go there), possums who decide to make your roof their penthouse, and so on. Apparently, we have a coyote who has decided to take advantage of our delightful, tree-lined haven. Coyotes in Chicago aren't new. This one was apparently hungry for a sandwich. "Our" coyote seems to want to stay. He/she's been spotted more than once, both times on a street that crosses mine a half block away from the house. I altered my route coming home the other night because of it, as if the coyote couldn't stroll down another street. When I did, I saw a few people standing by the alley, talking and pointing. By the time I got there, they had moved on, but I wonder if I just missed seeing our new neighbor. I would like to see him/her, but from a distance. I think a coyote colorway may be in order, maybe utilizing some of these shades:

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Photo credit for sweater pic : Knitscene Spring 2012

This month's Knitscene features Beulah, a darling cardi by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark. Mercedes recently shut down production on her Kitchen Sink Dyeworks line, and this particular piece was done in a yarn no longer available. Lucky for you, the called-for yarn is the same base as Fleur de Fiber Aries Oceanus, and is available in the Etsy store and in Chicago at Windy Knitty. Aries Oceanus is one of my very favorite yarns, shiny and drapey and it just radiates color. Not only do I like the lines of this retro sweater, but the scalloped stitching is just darling. The topper: I had a great aunt Beulah who was a delightful lady and she crocheted me an afghan to match my bedroom when I was a girl. This little piece just calls to me on every level.The pattern calls for 2-3 skeins, and I would be happy to dye custom quantities for you if you were making this piece.
My great aunt Beulah would approve of the sweater, and she would have looked delightful in it. Speaking as her great niece, I feel compelled to knit one in her honor.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In a haze and in the glow

I am blogging in an altered state. My insomnia is at a raging peak, and even though I bogarted an Ambien from the husband, nearly 2 hours later, I am still up. Thursday night I didn't sleep at all, not one little wink. It leads to less than stellar thinking.

The delight of an afternoon and evening out with some of my dear knitting friends does some good for counteracting the negative forces that stolen sleep brings to the table.

I find these times to be ripe with new ideas, but not all of them reasonable, or achievable. I plan a lot of amazing trips in this altered state, only a few of them ever possible. We did lay the groundwork for a fiber trip in the next months. It can and will happen. As the owner of two tents, plus one gone AWOL, I declare myself Queen of Shelter. I will also name myself She of Things To Be Grilled. Why not? This should be glamping. Someone else needs to be Queen of Things to be Shaken with Ice and Imbibed. I have a housing philosophy: if it can't be 4 star, then it needs to be my tent. It's that wishy-washy in-between place that makes me uncomfortable.

Another trip was born of a late night. People who know me know that I am a huge Springsteen fan. One item on my Bucket List was to see him play in Europe. When a show was announced for Helsinki, Finland, I went for it. Helsinki is just a couple hours by ferry from Tallinn, and I have been hoping to go to Estonia for some time. Not only is Estonia a mecca for knitters and knitting, but I have a good friend who lives there. A side trip to Stockholm might be possible, too, as my friend also works there, and I would likely have a plane change there, anyway. There are a lot of details to work out, but I am excited about the possibilities.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recall on the Recap

I know that I said I wasn't going to recap my goings-on since July, but there were so many colorful events that I couldn't resist.

In October, I once again headed northwest to San Juan Island for one of Cat Bordhi's Island Knitting Retreats. I love this annual trip for so many reasons. Of course, there's Cat, who always manages to amass a wonderful assemblage of personalities. A lot of us are repeat offenders, so there is a core group who has been together for a number of years. This time, six of us booked a private whale watching tour on one of our free afternoons. We saw many different whales from two of the three resident pods. Try as I might, I didn't get any good whale shots, but I did get this great photo of my friend Lynda's mitt!

It was a remarkable afternoon: sunny, cool, clear, with even more laughs than waves. This picture of me and my friend Ana is a great reminder of how much fun we had.
There are so many fabulous things to do on the island, and one of my favorites is to walk South Beach. It's a rocky and piled high with huge driftwood logs. There are wild foxes at the beach, though I've only ever seen one there, myself. I think this piece of drying kelp would make a great colorway, don't you?

The resort where the retreat is held is situated right at the edge of a small lake, and each evening we got a spectacular light show. These pics are from two different nights. Just gorgeous.

I am ready for October, and not just because it is in the single digits here today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Did Any Hearts Grow Fonder?

I knew I had abandoned the blog for some time, but I really didn't realize just how long that it had been. Oh, the shame. So much has happened, and it is impossible to recap it all, so I shan't. Moving on...

Last year ended with a flurry of knitting, none of it for me. There were Pay It Forward gifts, and hats requested by the waiters who take care of our knitting group on Tuesday nights. The husband's firm does some work with a group that serves homeless people, so there were warm, washable hats and scarves made. January, February, and maybe beyond have been declared Months of Self-Indulgent Knitting at Chez PBW. This week I started and finished the Buttoned Skirt from the Winter 2012 Vogue Knitting. This pattern is not without issue, and I had to spend a fair amount of time figuring out how to fix a stitch count error. (Because it has a trellis lace pattern, a number of potential fixes were not practical because they would have disrupted the pattern.) I was the first to start the project on Ravelry, and I was in uncharted waters. (Well, they were charted, but you know what I mean.) Errata on the VK website was not helpful as it didn't address the actual problem, but another editing issue. After charting and counting and adding and ripping, I finally found a solution that worked, and I was able to finish quite quickly. Now, I'm just not sure that the piece is going to work on my figure, but that is another matter entirely. It's blocking now, and the quest for closures begins.

My next project may be Vitamin D. I have been holding onto 4 skeins of Aries Oceanus for just the right project, and this may be the one.

I will try to be better, if only to have a writing goal. I used to write a lot in my former life, and I miss it terribly. My vocabulary and spelling skills have softened and I need to exercise them. I am currently engaged in several games of Words With Friends, and I admit to being terrible at it. We didn't play a lot of Scrabble growing up, and I don't have a mastery of those weird two-letter moves and all those words that start with Q that don't need a U. I am getting better, but if you want to play someone and win, I'm your girl--at least for now.

Fleur de Fiber continues to grow and develop. After stockpiling a fair bit of yarn, I will be descending into the Craft Dungeon for more colorway concocting this week. A potential large-scale job looms, and I need to do a few test-dye skeins for the client. Wish me luck!