Wednesday, October 29, 2008

That bare hand



.. The one that waved to me the other morning.. blew me a kiss.. well, that bare hand used to hold mine always. I have noticed that with increasing frequency when I hold my hand out to her, she doesn't take it. She's embarrassed in certain situations.. too big to hold hands.

Tonight the baseline became 'in a large crowd'. We were at Value Village getting some stuff for her costume... she dropped me like a hot potato. Yet at Wendy's, when we went for something to eat, she held my hand for a very long time.



My burger was disgusting; she offered me hers.

I realized that these are the last few days of her childhood, and that my little girl is disappearing.

Trish said the other day that everything is changing. She was right.



I knit two right mittens. My mind is elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One a day

Mitten, that is.

Mittens for Mug

I fell in love with Nimbus (an organic merino.. so soft and bouncy) and so did Mug. She requested a pair of mittens. While I knit them, all I heard was: Can I wear them tomorrow? Will they be ready in time?

I can easily knit one mitten a night while I watch a show or two, so it wasn't a really big deal to complete a pair, and especially nice, since she was so anxious. As she blew me a kiss yesterday morning when I dropped her off at school, I noticed that said hand was .. bare. She'd forgotten the mittens! That's how we roll...

This evening I started a new pair; I think all of the kids will get mittens this Christmas. Even the BF, because he loves anything knitted (note: his knitting project is almost done!).

Malabrigo mitten #1

It's less than 2 months until Christmas.. I can hardly believe it. The mittens make snow seem closer, the sleds are probably positioning themselves by the back door as we speak.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Can you imagine losing one of your senses?



BF did. Slowly and completely.. his sense of smell disappeared. He loves to cook, and to eat, and he's a very sensual person, so this loss was significant. He was already nearly deaf in one ear, but coping with that was easier.

Earlier this year he had a surgery. We hoped that his sense of smell would return. It did not; but his breathing improved. The snoring did a bit too.

I have to admit that I haven't alllllways been sad that he couldn't smell things. I might have gotten away with a thing or two. Maybe.

Yesterday, out of the blue, his sense of smell returned. So these last two days he's been sniffing and snuffling and snorting up everything that even remotely has a scent. Did you know that cellophane noodles have a smell?

Me neither.

It's really happy around here right now.

Much delayed SEX report. With pictures.

You know.. the entire Rhinebeck Stash Enhancement eXcursion didn't really end up to be massive in the yarn department. Quite sparse, to tell you the truth.

merino/cashmere from brooklyn general store
From the Brooklyn General Store. I cannot remember what yarn this is, just that it is 10% cashmere, and it's as beautiful as anyone could ever hope.

koigu silk/merino
2 skeins of Koigu, a silk blend fingering weight.

str, mill end

str, mill end

2 STR mill ends. Both much more lovely and nuanced than they appear in the pictures. One for me, one for Dida.

spindles

The Avi Wasserman and Bosworth were purchased at Rhinebeck. The Greensleeves and the Kundert had arrived from Boogie while I was gone.

And that's it except for another mill end that I gave to Amy, and a sock monkey kit.

Some amazing restraint on my part? Naw... I just didn't feel good, is all.

Wanna see the most beautiful picture ever taken? Visit Sean's Soapbox and look for the foliage pond photo. You'll thank me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here's a guy who has a sweet job

He's been making maple candy floss for an entire day, and it shows.


video

Friday, October 24, 2008

Red

Red

This instead

My camera has failed me, so instead I'm attaching a really fabulous link for you to enjoy. Here is where you will find how to do a 2 stage navajo ply (I provided that link a few days ago); but I'm liking the most recent post regarding fleece cleaning, since I have 4.6 lbs. of Border Leicester on it's way from Rhinebeck - I refuse to discuss all the other unwashed fleece, or the messed up Cormo.

Sex talk has to wait a bit. I am working tomorrow (the goils are having a romantic anniversary type weekend away) so my schedule is skeewiff.

This is how fast we were moving in New York

A picture from the subway.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On taking care

Now, don't get me wrong.. I'm not sweating; I'm just processing. My brain doesn't seem to have an off button.

When we arrived in Newark I realized that I was sick with a UTI, and unreasonably hoped that I would be able to take over the counter meds and last until I got home. Why?.. Didn't want to waste any of my trip time trying to see a doctor. When, on Friday, I had an unimaginably wonderful opportunity to purchase yarn, and instead, I stood like a statue and only purchased 3 skeins.. well, my friends morphed into a posse, surrounded me and took me to the nearest hospital in Rhinebeck.

I must mention that the nurse was from Timmons. She rocked.

Now, after reading the Yarn Harlot's most recent post, I realized that she sounded scarily exhausted. No darned wonder that she was surrounded.. if I were her friend, I would do the same exact thing. Just like mine did for me... Taking care. It's a blessing.

Regarding the privacy situation, I have a possible solution. The NO FLY ZONE hat.

I knew a couple, years ago, who had a family hat. It was shared and worn by a family member who needed some space. If the hat was on, then that person developed a no fly zone; respected by all. No talking, no interrupting, no questions, no demands. Just space. I propose that our community do this very same thing for our own. Doesn't it just solve all the dilemmas? If the hat is on, then I know not to disturb. If it's off, then I know it's appropriate to approach. If the hat is on, then our people know they can wander and shop in peace. If it's off.. (you get the idea)

I'm trying to make you smile... we all know that no one is going to be wearing, say, a big red hat (tho it would solve hair issues, wouldn't it?); but wouldn't it be nice if there were some way of knowing what the rules are? An indicator? I think Linda is correct, and the rules are bound by situation (celebrity signing autographs) and good manners (celebrity shopping) and common sense (you are not actually my very best friend because I know that we have matching stoves, and I have read about your life).

Pretty simple, really. I feel better now.

Thank you to Stephanie for taking the time to post a kind and thoughtful response. And to Aunty Tink for the tiara theory. I'll have to be more careful in bright sunlight; those dangley parts could be dangerous.

Tomorrow? I'm talkin about SEX baby.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trip debrief starts here. Celebrities in our midst

I've been spending time thinking about an incident that occurred in the last moments we spent at Rhinebeck, on Saturday. About knitting celebrities, about stalking, about privacy, about respect. How it goes both ways. And now, how it affects me.

There were so, so many people at Rhinebeck; it was somewhat like stampede, crowd-wise. For me it was a minor inconvenience, I had a few problems getting to a washroom in a timely manner, and getting close to a Bosworth spindle.. but overall, I wasn't being pushed around (tho Sherry was) nor accosted. Not so for the celebrities.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee had a posse (the few times I spotted her), and I noticed that they did a very effective job of surrounding her and affording her protection. I cannot fathom how stressful it must be to attend a festival celebrating your biggest passion, yet not be able to have a moment's peace. The fact that the Yarn Harlot writes a great blog and super books does not give the general population permission to speak with her or share her day at their convenience.

And on the other hand, if a knitting celebrity is in the center of her customer base, her demographic, her fans... well, can he or she expect not to be constantly approached? Is there a way to determine when it is appropriate to approach, and when it is not? Is it ok only when the celebrity is sitting at a table selling their books and doing a signing? Is it ok if the person on the approach comes bearing gifts; or perhaps a donation? Do we act as though the celebrity is for sale, and we've bought our slice?

I am baffled. I don't know the rules.

A minor situation occured at Rhinebeck, and I'm still processing it. A group of us were leaving the park and saw that the Yarn Harlot and her posse were very close by; perhaps 6 feet or so. We approached to say:

(Insert the names of two mutual friends) say hi!.. and we look forward to seeing you in November at the retreat.

[If I was being totally honest I would have to admit that I would have asked if Denny was at Rhinebeck (she had told me that she would be), because I think she's fabulous, and I would have wanted to send a hello along to her.]

As we moved towards her, the posse closed in and she turned away. Her body language clearly said: Do not approach.

So we didn't.

I definately respect that she is a woman with a job, and I happen to be a customer, not her very best friend. At the same time I think that she couldn't have been in a worse location if it was peace she was looking for.

I haven't resolved how I feel about the whole thing.. surely it was a non-event, yet in a few short weeks I'm in a 6 hour class with the very same woman. I'm sure many would offer up their stash for the same oppotunity. I feel confused about boundaries and expectations, and a bit like an interloper.

I dunno.. I'm not done thinking it over.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rhinebeckover

Like a hangover, only less barfing.

I have no energy, and so I'll treat you to some photos until I get my groove back.

trish being trish-like
Trish, enchanting a port authority cop. He's holding her sock, but he wouldn't let anybody hold his gun. *ahem*

woodstock
Woodstock 'folage'. That's how they say it in NYS

woodstock
Woodstock

the boring chick at tori's, olive bridge
The boring chick at Tori's Olive Bridge house

a fairy in the garden, olive bridge
A fairy in the garden

tori's fountain, olive bridge
Tori's fountain

best picture ever, rhinebeck
Best Rhinebeck photo ever

battery park, nyc
Battery Park, NYC

marilynn at ground zero, nyc
Ground zero. Click for emotion

kinnear/juno
Kinnearing the Enchanting Juno and her tiny friends

tori's stoop, hoboken
Oak leaves on Tori's stoop in Hoboken

tori's stoop, hoboken
Tori's stoop.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Guest blogging.



So, just what is the protocol for a... "guest blogger?" Must the guest blogger's subject conform to some norm? The themes of well... Fibre? Yarn? Art? Colour? Knitting? Spinning? Nini? But clearly Annie's the expert, and not I. Though I DO have a knitting photo to offer. You see my first project. I can say little more for fear of total ruination of a Christmas surprise.  But there are 53 rows done, each a stitch longer than the last.  Now its time to close in on the target corner.  Annie's pointed me to knittinghelp.com for  video on "knitting two together," but I'll just wait till she comes home.  Not only is she the expert, but she's a most wonderful, gentle, funny, patient, caring, and sensitive knitting coach, too.  (You may know that already.)  Did I say she's hot?  Did I say that she's having an absolute BALL in New York?  Well, she is.  And she provided just a hint in the previous post.  I'll let her relate her recent most-wonderful days (which may take a few pages of posts) when she returns. 

In the meantime, Annie, these are for you:
        







Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fail blog

Hey.. my guest blogger hasn't had much to say so far (his mom arrived from Victoria today), so I thought I'd say a word or two about our trip. Point form, because I'm exhausted.

1. West Jet offered pre-board anyone who was infirm, had a child with them, or was wearing a tiara.
2. Tori kicks some serious butt. She does.
3. The Air Canada contingent didn't make their plane, and ended up in Laguardia instead of Newark.
4. I have a UTI
5. Today we were on 236,000 trains, buses and taxies. So many that I have gone completely blank.
6. We started out in Hoboken, went to Manhattan.. saw ground zero, and lady liberty. We went to Brooklyn, we were in Soho,
back into the city, and finally back to Hoboken. We saw just about everything.
7. We have had 3 of the most fabulous meals ever eaten. Unbelievable food. Unbelievable. Indescribable.
8. Ok.. there was some yarn involved, but less than you might imagine. A couple pairs of socks worth.
9. We miss you all.
10. Tomorrow we go to the Catskills. I'm looking forward to seeing the leaves.. they are gold and red like you wouldn't believe.

This is a grand place...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The big scary surprize


Today Aunty Tink and I were at the computer, inputting the necessary information to process our boarding passes when, to my utter shock and dismay, I discovered that my passport had expired. In March.

Perhaps you remember last week when I noticed that my diver's license had expired 13 months ago. 13 MONTHS. Have I gone insane?

So there I was, approximately 22 hours away from departure, and I rudely learn that I don't have the documentation to board a plane. Despite my absolute knowledge that there wasn't a darned thing that could be done to resolve the issue, I headed down to the Harry Hays building to throw myself at the feet of the Passport people. I was advised that a few tears would not be remiss, but to be honest I was in complete and utter shock.. wayyyyyy beyond tears.

After driving to and fro, speaking with the really, really nice/helpful gatekeeper guy, getting pictures done, getting my good friends Aunty Tink and Tangledarts to be my references, paying big money for parking (twice), patiently sitting (all the while willing myself not to SCREAM at the very annoying and obviously exhausted child behind me who was repeating the same 4 words over, and over and over and over.. honestly.. if I had thought for a second that it wouldn't have completely ruined my chances at a passport, I might have said something rude to that little person. I played possibilities over and over in my head).... and finally being processed by the nicest guy in the Canadian Government, I found myself the owner of a shiny new passport. I cannot even wrap my head around how bad that would have been if we hadn't tried to process the boarding passes.. what if I had found out that I was passport-free at the airport tomorrow morning? OMG.. I hate to even think it! I'm still shaking.

Phew... that was too close.

So tonight I will pack, and to be honest, I still haven't decided what I'm taking with me.. so many options, so little room in the bag!

While I'm gone, in the spirit of Awesome Joce and the Yarn Harlot, I've invited my BF to guest blog. I hope you enjoy each other. I'm pretty sure he uses punctuation correctly.

If you're happen to be at Rhinebeck, you'll be able to recognize me by my Ravitar yellow rubber boots, and I'll be wearing a really fabulous tiara (Thank you Donna!).

I'll be back on the 21st. Play nice!

I don't think its fair




... That I can't have a fully formed fantasy relating to knitting Kingscot. In order to do that I have to have the pattern. Instead what did I get? A teaser. The teaser even says: This pattern is available for $7.00.

I've got $7.00. Nobody will take it. Cheaters.

I'm probably never going to knit the darned thing, but I can't pretend I am until I have the pattern. Norah Gaughn would never do this to me. I blame these Twist people.

My imaginary queue is all messed up for the moment. Hurry up Winter 2008 issue. Come ON. I cannot get a new fake queue item until I am 'actually' able to knit the current contender.

(The above post is an attempt at humour, is purely due to Rhinebeck anxiety, and cannot be held against the author in any way)

Monday, October 13, 2008

To whom it may concern


When I blogged last night, I used 'whom' when I was talking about Nini. Because I'm one of those people who has trouble shutting their brain off, I thought about 'whom' for a good portion of last night and some of this morning. BF looked up the usage of 'whom' for me, and I have to say.. the descriptions are more confusing than helpful. Eventually we decided that 'whom' was correct, tho the sentence itself probably needed some work. Not unusual. I write the way I talk; and I must say that my command of grammar has probably slipped over the years. Punctuation is another subject all together. I basically make it up as I go.

So.. 'whom' it is (right or wrong). Before you know it I'll be wondering about 'effect vs. affect'.

Note to the magnificent 7: I just talked to Mr. Tori.. I was about to call him Bob, and my confidence evaporated. Bob? Hmmmmm.... I'm pretty sure it's Bob.

I let him know when we'd be arriving in Newark, and he told me that he's going to stay at his business partner's house. Are we so scarey? Has he heard that Aunty Tink has been practicing swearing?

Phew. 2 more sleeps. What to bring, what to bring? I thought I had a suitcase.. I might have been wrong.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Miss Nini came for Thanksgiving dinner

Ok, two things. One is that the marvelous Miss Nini somehow pushes my 'talk like a fool' button. Also, Spike tinkles when he gets excited; which absolutely includes seeing Dida. Consider yourself warned.

video

I am thrilled that Nini is now so big that she sat down and ate a full Thanksgiving dinner that I had prepared. I dunno how to fully explain.. but there is something magic about a little person whom I tube fed in the hospital now sitting in my house eating turkey and all the trimmings. She makes me so happy.

Spin, spun

solitude1.jpg

I was shooting for worsted, and ended up with some overspun chunky.. but it's still pretty, and I think it will make something beautiful. I have been trying a 2 step Navajo plying method and where I went wrong (and caused the overspinning) is when applying the chains and getting them onto bobbin 1 - I let too much twist get by. The idea is to get the singles chained and onto the bobbin with as little twist as possible. The yarn was so chunky that I was having some trouble controlling it. When I went into stage 2 I should have used much less twist than I did. C'est la vive.

On the bright side, the yarn is soft, soft, soft and I love the colourway. If you are not a customer of EGMTK, you ought to consider it. These custom blends are truly amazing.

hollyeqq.jpg

This is light fingering weight that I spun the other night, and first used the 2 step Navajo plying method. I think it worked quite well. The fiber came from HollyEQQ.. she has amazing colour sense, and I have been really pleased with her product. The only issue that I had was that Optim had been cut at the ends, so I had some waste. I loved it enough to want to utilize every inch, and I hate throwing fiber away.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rhinebeck

I'm so excited, and so nervous, and.. well, did I mention excited? Today I bought some travel health insurance from AMA, and somehow it made everything official. I'm going to Rhinebeck.

I have a rough idea on where I'm going and what I'm doing; and a pocket full of US cash (Which BF purchased before the Canadian dollar dropped into the toilet. He's the smart one). We've got maps, we've got notebooks, we've got each other. There's 7 of us descending on Tori, and to tell you the truth, a big part of the excitement around going to New York is about seeing her again. I hope she's ready.

Tonight I'm trying to decide how many needles to take, what projects, what books. Maybe just enough to take care of the flight to New York, and depend on purchases to get back home? Or.. do I work on WIPs? The Secret Garden is having a little glitch right now, and I could spend some serious time working on it. I have cashmere Casbah sock yarn from my birthday. I have 1/2 of an accidental Clapotis. Take it all?

Following is a little video that I took of BGAidan playing his very first hockey game. He's #9 in a white jersey and a white helmet, and I am so proud of him. Just a few weeks ago he couldn't skate, and now he's playing hockey. He played well, he passed, and he was a good sport. It's not a very good video (I forgot to turn it off at the end, and the world turns upside down), but what the heck.. it was my first game as a hockey step-mom. I could not be prouder. And ps: the assistant coach is hot.

video

Rusty Mittens


Granola Girl is working on a gorgeous pair of mittens. To be honest, they are way up there with Dida's Fiddlehead Mittens, which I completely adore. A tie even.

The golden yarn was dyed by me, spun by Plied, and finally, the knitting done by Granola Girl.. it's a really wonderful collaboration.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Worsted vs. lace

Solitute, BFL/Soy, EGMTK

For the longest time I've been spinning thinner, and thinner, and thinner still. With the correct materials I can spin thread. It's a beautiful thing, but man.. it is s.l.o.w. Every time I spin, it seems to take just a little bit longer than the last; as I squeeze out more and more yardage.

So... in my box of goodies was one lone bag of EGMTKs fiber.. and I thought to myself: worsted. That's what it will be. I'll give it my best shot and see if I can't cut the yardage in 1/2 at least. This is easier said than done, actually. Muscle memory kicks in, and before you know it.. more lace weight.

But we did it (the fiber and I, that is).. better than did it actually! I haven't calculated the yardage yet, but my guess is that it'll be about 125 yards/100 grams of 3 ply. It's a Soy/BFL blend.. so soft that you'd like to keep it as a pet. Started and completed over a span of a few hours.

Pictures to follow, after I set the twist.

Want to custom design a sweater for Fido? Click here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trying. Hard.



The picture you see is a young girl who is trying to make a life for herself by starting a bakery. She applied for a Kiva loan to facilitate that, and I was lucky enough to help her out. It makes my heart feel good.

Lately its been hard to fund any loans because Kiva has been featured on an AMEX contest... usually there's about 30 pages of opportunities but for weeks now there's hardly been a request. Hard to give, but not impossible... I've done 5 loans in as many days. When I started this my dream was to fund $500 of loans by year end. I'm up to $375, so I think I'm going to achieve my goal. I was feeling all full of myself when I saw another participant has funded over 1,600 loans (this is one guy... a guy named Ray). Wow... I can barely wrap my head around the impact that many loans has had on lives.

So.. to continue.

I *LOVE* tools... of any sort. I have more power tools than most men, and I know how to use them. When I learn something new, I almost always treat myself to the best tools, because I think that's the way to go. That's hardly commitment, that is probably greed. Following you'll find commitment...






I believe I feel like this about spinning.. I have good tools, but if I didn't, I think I would find a way to spin, come hell or high water. I admire these people.. making their crafts work in impossible situations. Making do. Creating, in order to create.

It's a higher art, if you ask me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spinning blind



You should see my pupils! I was at the eye doctor's about 4 hours ago and got the drops, and darned if I can see yet. It's very strange.. so I'm spinning on the Lendrum. I often spin in the dark, so I figured maybe I could spin in the.. blur.

It's doable. So far so good.

Oh! Judi Smoothie brought me a spindle today. It's a bottom whorl, and I think it's a mahogany Tabacheck. I love it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Progress

Only half of the dog is on the pillow.

Spike

Gosh, he's adorable.

And, progress is made with the Tibetan spindle (using hand painted silk hankies). I believe this is really going to help me conquer the Russian spindles. I'm thinking that I can do this.

Tibetan Spindle, Silk Hankies

And Jacinda, my girl... I'll make you videos.

Tibetan spindling

The following video is very special to me. Caroline had just shown me how to use Russian Lace spindles, and while searching for more information, I ran upon the YouTube video. It really touches me, and I hope that it does you too.



Anybody want to go trekking with me? I have my spindle.

Tabacheck, Tibetan Spindle

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blessings

There aren't words... so I'm not going to use any.

Sari Silk from Michellie

Correna's shetland/silk, laceweight
(ok, words afterall. doesn't this picture make you think: hmmm.. what would jared knit?)

Part of a flower arrangement from Angele

Kathleen's coffee cup cardigan (or.. wrist warmer)

Dragronflies from Angele

Beautiful freeform scarf from Kathi


Feel like whipping up a wrist warmer (which may or may not keep your coffee hot)? Customize your own, here.