Freitag, August 31, 2007

Is it real? Is it even?

OK, check this out. You need this. Do not tell me you don't need this.

Yes, click the picture to go to Archie McPhee


I wonder if I lived in Seattle and could actually go to Archie McPhee, if I would have any money left at all.

I should get some kind of dumbness prize. I went to NPJ today and picked up my copy of Little Knits.



You guys. It is the cutest knitting book in the world!!! I bought yarn to knit Princess P a red chenille riding jacket from it.



It should bridge the gap between her English riding helmet and her ostrich cowboy boots. She loves her boots so much that she wears them to church with her dress. She could wear the riding jacket to church, too.

So, you ask, why does getting the cutest knitting book in the world deserve a dumbness prize? Because it's just one more proof that my brain lives in some fantasy world of parallel universes, each with its own 24 hour day, while my knitting ability lives in this universe, where there is an hour or maybe two of knitting time on a normal day.

Look at this list.

  • I just signed up for composition lessons. I have to write a lot in the next three months so that I can be approved to do my senior project next semester.


  • I just bought yarn for that Earth Stripe Wrap. It was expensive. It involves knitting literally a mile and a half of yarn in stockinette stitch.


  • I promised all the grandkids mittens. Sure, they're little, but that's 18 total mittens.


  • I am two years behind in exchanges for my spinning guild. One of them, I haven't even done the spinning for. Yeah, I have sworn off joining any more exchanges, ever. But I should at least get these out. Of course, there's always January . . .


  • I have the yarn here somewhere for a vest for Owen from last year's cutest knitting book. He has probably outgrown it already. It would have been so cute.


  • Maybe I just feel overwhelmed because I spent the afternoon soaking and peeling cardboard off the subflooring in my kitchen and wiping up the slimy leftover glue and wasting four hours driving around to Trusty's groomer and the flooring store and even through NPJ was fun, it was 45 minutes in the opposite direction from the flooring store, and I have a rotten cold and I can't breathe.

    Montag, August 27, 2007

    Sock Club

    I hope nobody's sock club experience will be ruined by this post. I finished my cuffs last night and pinned them out to block.



    In order to get them mirror image without having to work backwards in the yarn, I purled one of them. I added beads to the lace points:



    All my efforts at perfectamenta was ruined by Che, who noticed the two balls of yarn connected to the blocking cuffs and bit one of them off. I guess it's my trademark. A Che point in every sock.

    Anyway, I am off to Kinko's to have a new composition notebook made. My current one has gone missing, representing about a year of work, which makes me unhappy. I have finished portions of the work in the computer in Sibelius, but all my notes for works in progress are Somewhere.

    Oh well.

    Freitag, August 24, 2007

    Breakfast at IKEA

    Say, that's catchy. I wonder if it would work as a movie title. Yes, you can eat breakfast at IKEA. They open half an hour early and block off the rest of the store. It was pretty good fast food, bacon and eggs with hash browns and french toast sticks for $2.00. We got there too late for the Swedish pancakes with lingonberry sauce but you can buy a mix.

    I photo'd a bunch of yarns to show you, but then my Rockin' Sock Club kit surprised me by actually showing up, so the yarn reviews sort of fell through. But you might as well look at them since they are already uploaded.

    Here we have (top) the Loopy anniversary yarn "Happy Anniversary to Ewe" from J. Knits, and Fleece Artist Somoko in "Ruby." This one was new to me. Fiber content=merino, kid, nylon, silk.



    I got these in the Loopy Ewe update one ago; I skipped the most recent one. I am doing really well on my ChoreWars thing where I can't buy yarn unless I have some yarny treasures. I am saving up the gold for my trip to Oregon, where I hope to make it to OFFF early enough to score some Blue Moon goodies. Will Ravens be there?

    Next, my holiday yarns from Blue Moon: left, "Hollyday" in Medium Weight and "X-mas Rock" in Silkie. No clue what I will do with these yet, but Hollyday might be saying "monkey."


    This is the yarn from the Loopy Ewe club offering for August. It is very autumny. I've heard people describe it as too bright, but I am totally sucked in. Sorry I don't have the pattern handy (I think it's buried on my dresser somewhere) but it has a kind of leaf/diamond design. I plan to use the stitch pattern, but my current project is to knit through Cat Bordhi's new book so I will be using one of her sockitectures for the shaping.


    One of the fun things about Loopy kits is the extras you get. This one had a little zippered vinyl bag which I have already put my stitch markers into, probably inspired by the addition of these adorable stitch markers which were also in the club kit:



    And this one was the latest Yarn Pirate offering. The yarn has an interesting, fluffy texture.


    I kind of liked the last one better, but it is on my dresser. The dresser has turned into the locale for things I want to knit next. Since it is piled about 2 feet high, this might be overly optimistic.

    I was feeling stupid for joining yarn tree's club because it was so expensive, but then look at all the cool stuff she sent me:


    The yarn is Schaefer Anne. There are dyer's notes (an interview with the dyer), two patterns, a cute hand-made tote bag (shown under the yarn), and a DVD of knitting hints. I haven't checked it out yet, but it sounds fun.

    Since I lost my mind and registered for composition lessons this semester, I will probably be blogging a lot less. Igor, the graduate student I was studying with a couple of years ago, says "Always write." I haven't been doing that. So now I will have to start. I am at least as famous as Igor, so I am going to make my own quote: "Always knit." Or maybe I just unvented that one.

    At least I don't go around telling people, "This is boring," which is another famous Igor quote.

    Donnerstag, August 23, 2007

    What Now?

    Lookee what came in the mail yesterday! The online pictures of this wrap make it look rather neutral, but the minute you start looking at the individual yarns you see Kaffe's hand at once. If green, lavender, and charcoal are neutrals, then maybe it's neutral.

    Earth Stripe Wrap from Rowan #42


    I'll be casting on this afternoon, as soon as I finish Baby M's tulip cardigan.

    Baby M's is on the left. The completed one is too small and will go to a baby born in winter who can wear it immediately.


    I finally met up with Becky to give her the first Tulip I finished. I forgot my camera, so do not have pictures of Jayden wearing it, but it was a big success. With a design this cute, how could it not be a success??? I plan to put Tulips away for a while when I finish M's, but I want to pick out a couple of coordinating boy colors of Dream In Color and have them on hand just in case.

    I've been working my way through the practice socks in Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters. Since I can't count to ten two socks in a row, these will not be going to Baby M. Instead I think I'll make the big bird looking socks from the book in Tulip stripe colors.



    And now, in case anyone wonders why Turbo is Commander General of my house:



    Would you want to argue with that?

    Mittwoch, August 22, 2007

    Do That To Me One More Time

    OK, I went back to the post office and re-mailed the contest prizes that came back for more postage. Hey, my experience is in bulk mail (secretary for a charity for a while). What do I know from packages v. large envelopes.

    So, sorry for the delay, but you should get your packages in the next couple of days.

    I wonder if I'm going nuts. I just decided to take composition lessons this semester. And last week at the spur of the moment I signed up for Early Music Ensemble again. I'm supposed to be taking a year off from anything stressful. I decided Early Music is less stressful than teaching piano on Monday afternoons. And as Paul pointed out, the stressful stuff with my parents is going to get worse, not better.

    So, Dandelion, did you get it? It was banned in Utah when it was first released.

    Donnerstag, August 16, 2007

    The Loot is in the Mail

    I got all y'all's stuff off at the post office today except for a couple that I didn't have addresses for. That would be Anne and JC. Most of the things will take three days.

    Chris is in Portland Opera's production of Carmen next month. I decided to go the weekend of September 21st-23rd so that I can babysit while Sharman goes on opening night, then go myself on the 23rd.

    I swear I did not check the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival website until after requesting my tickets.

    What if The Raven Series is there? I am going to have to work hard to rebuild my supply of Chore Wars gold coins and yarny treasures, because last night I succumbed to the new Rowan book and a particular Kaffe Fassett wrap:



    You know how Kaffe is. Can't do a thing without at least ten colors. And you know how KidSilk Haze is. It uses up your whole yarn budget without batting an eye.
    In

    In addition to being made to face yarn budget reality today, I was given some new tools for defusing anxiety.

    Dienstag, August 14, 2007

    Blogiversary!

    Hey, y'all! It's my Blogiversary! Let's party!

    Let's see. We have a contraband jar of Hershey's fudge sauce and some low-carb ice cream; a lot of diet cokes and a few bottled waters. That ought to do it for food. We're listening to Chris's Manager CD. We're all set!

    So let's get out the sorting sock.

    Sorting Sock a souvenir of Turkey, brought back by my piano student who is a colonel in the US Air Force Reserves.


    Prize number 1 had no takers, so I will donate it to my spinning guild library. I have two copies of it for some reason.

    Now for the next one.

    2. Zen String Lotus Toes in Draconian colorway


    100% superwash BFL wool; 100 g. 400 yds.


    Six people listed it as their first choice, so six numbered almonds go in the sock and . . . She-Knits! Umm, Sharon, I know how much you love sock knitting. Maybe you can knit a nice scarf.

    Now at some point my next three piano students will show up, so there will be a break in the awards ceremony. Y'all can go watch Dr. Who until I'm done.

    But for now, we have prize number 3:

    3. Pink Pencil Roving (unspun)


    unspun roving in a 1 lb. bump; from Fingerlakes Woolen Mill in Genoa, NY


    With only two bidders in the game this one goes to . . . Anne! I understand you can spin with this or knit it without spinning, and it's supposed to felt well.

    Only three people expressed an interest in our next item:]

    4. Low-Whorl spindle with ceramic whorl






    And it goes to . . . Katherine! A good thing, too, since she didn't have any alternate choices. But nuts never lie.

    We'll skip prize number 5, the Fyberspates, for now since no one listed it as their first choice. However it has a huge following for second choice, so we'll definitely come back to it after all the items that were listed as first choices are given out.

    It will be a trick to see if we can get through Item number 6 before the piano students come, but let's see how far we get.

    6. Knit Picks Sock Memories in Gladiolus colorway (3 skeins)

    100% merino wool, made in Peru; each skein 50 g. 192 yds


    That should do it for the students today. So on with the prizes. For the Gladiolus sock yarn we have Turtle! Congratulations, Turtle.

    No one listed the Knitpicks yarn in the Easter colorway as either their first or their second choice, so we'll put number 7 on hold for now. Moving on to number 8 we have the contest's most popular option, with fourteen people interested it, with half of you listing it as first choice. Yikes! There can be only one.

    8. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Lakeview colorway (2 skeins)

    80% superwash wool, 20% nylon; each skein app. 215 yds


    Luckily Lorinda, our winner, did not have to destroy the other seven contestants. It is only coincidence that Lorinda and Lorna start with the same syllable. I believe Lakeview is a colorway you can usually find online and at shops, so if you didn't win it you may be able to find one somewhere.

    The next item is the "Die Strasse zum Sozialismus" Opal.

    9. One skein of Opal wool sock yarn in the "Road to Socialism" colorway



    The Almonds of Doom select Laritza! You said you wanted it to go with your collection of Opal that you picked up in Germany . . .

    Next up: Harry Potter.

    10. One set of Harry Potter stitch markers from Sunneshine



    Only a couple of people listed these as a first choice. They go to Victoria. Couldn't go to a more enthusiastic Harry Potter nut, either.

    The Kitchener Stitch markers do not have a lot of friends.

    11. One set of Kitchener Stitch markers from Girl on the Rocks



    Only one person, Audrey, mentioned them at all. And then she took them off her list when I added more prizes. But Audrey just survived the wedding of her daughter, so I am going to send them to her anyway as lagniappe.

    And prize number 12, the CD . . .

    12. Chris's new audition CD--six tracks of melting, baritone goodness that will make you want to weep and, we hope, make an agent get him lots of jobs




    I am making a copy of it for everyone who requests it. Chris gave his OK, and he owns the CD copyright. Most of the composers are dead. If Mark Adamo comes after me for giving out free CDs with an aria from his Little Women aria on it, I'll deal with it. Maybe he takes sock yarn in lieu of royalties.

    Und nun haben wir Zen String "Bliss":



    This is a very Laurel colorway. I wonder if she will get it.
    >time passes
    >time passes
    Yuppers, the Two Fates Almonds pick Laurel!

    Only two people expressed an interest in the mohair spinning fiber. Probably because no one knows how to spin mohair except for them.



    Even people who don't spin need to go to Sakina Needles and read her funny product descriptions. The winner of this lovely lot is . . . JC!

    JC, I was not able to figure out where to contact you. Please comment with your email address so I can get in touch with you.

    Three people are competing for this next prize as their first choice:]



    The only reason this is in the contest is that I know where to get more! This skein goes to . . .

    Joanne! And it just ocurred to me that I should be linking to all these people's blogs, so I'm going to suspend the contest for a couple of minutes while I go back and do that.

    I keep wanting to eat the Wise Almonds of Choosing. I'm not sure Sharpee ink is good for me, though.

    OK, so what number are we up to? Let's see . . . that would be this:

    16. Zen String spinning fiber


    Through the Looking Glass colorway; 4 oz. Blue-faced Leicester


    It goes to Judy J who, incidentally, is the designer of prize number 20, the Sprites sock yarn. You know you want more fiber, Judy.

    And we are skipping ahead to said Sprites sock yarn, since the next couple of picks had no takers in the first choice category.

    20. Sprites! sock yarn by Judy Jackson




    Tola! You got it! Congratulations!n Tola's blog is private, so no link.

    OK, now let's go back and pick up prizes that people listed as their second favorites.

    First is

    5. Fyberspates sock yarn in reds and plums

    100% Bluefaced Leicester Wool, hand-dyed in Wales; 100 g. 330 yds


    This was quite popular as a second choice, with six Almonds of Prophecy going into the sock.

    And the winner is: PaulaB! Good going, Paula!

    The next item which was only put down as a second choice is

    17. Lime & Violet Sasquatch




    There are two contestants. Let's see what happens . . . the Food of Foresight goes into the sock . . . and out comes SheepsPyjamas!

    The last prize for which there are actually contestants is

    18. Dream in Color Smooshy!




    The lucky winner (and I do mean lucky--Smooshy is full of smooshy goodness) is Lynn! Congratulations, Lynn.

    The Knitpicks Easter colorway of sock yarn

    7. Knit Picks Sock Memories in Easter colorway (2 skeins)

    100% merino wool, made in Peru; each skein 50 g. 192 yds


    goes to ikkinlala. Congratulations!

    I'm sorry that not everyone got a prize. Thanks for entering even if you didn't win anything.

    And thanks for coming to my party. There's still a lot of diet Coke left . . .

    Oh, right. The Delphic Almonds want to say goodbye before I plant them in the yard:



    It's not just the Sharpee ink. I pulled the Sorting Sock out of my laundry bin . . .

    Freitag, August 10, 2007

    Kerouac

    Earlier this summer I was looking for cheap reads at Audible.com because I had run out of credits. They had Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac for $4.99. I had heard of Kerouac, although not the book; and it was read by Allen Ginsburg, also a familiar name. Plus, it was $4.99. Why not?

    It turned out to be a hard listen. Ginsburg had used a "mushy" microphone, so I kept having to run the audio back to see what I had missed. The book got off to a slow start and I lost interest, listened to some abridged garbage, came back to it.

    Then Kerouac got to a scene in which a carpenter friend was living in the woods with his barefoot wife and children, living off the land, drinking wine and listening to cool jazz. They sat up all night discussing Eastern religion. Whoa! I could almost hear the parts snapping together in my head. Was this the link between the Beat movement of the 50's and the Hippie movement of the 60's? Wikipedia said yes.

    I think of the Beat movement as being intellectual, with poetry readings (it turns out a famous reading by Ginsburg is described in Dharma Bums) and brainy music. The Hippie movement, as I saw it, was more a matter of living for the moment with no thinking involved. Yet there was a link, and here it was. Some Beatniks left the smoky coffee houses and became Hippies. My mind was totally boggled. It was like figuring out where the Anasazi went.

    Later I listened On the Road, which was equally enlightening culturally, but was incredibly depressing. On the Road has recently been reprinted in a 50th anniversary edition that apparently includes an unedited first draft and some scenes deleted to suit the conservative sexual mores of the 50's. There were a couple of quotes in Newsweek this week.

    I read the quotes. I think I'll pass on the anniversary edition.

    Moving from literary anniversaries to blogispheric ones, the deadline for entering my blogiversary contest is tonight at midnight, so if you want to make last minute changes or come to my house and see the loot in person, today's the day.

    I'm sure you True Believers already know that Blue Moon has revived a couple of holiday colors and developed a couple more. I already have Dreidel from last winter. On Friday I ordered Hollyday (in STR mediumweight) and and X-mas Rock (in Silkie) using treasures I've earned playing Chore Wars. Yes, Sallee, I am still playing Chore Wars. I am such a geek. I am a level 13 Cleric in my housework game, and a level 3 Sorcerer at Lime & Violet's Yarn Raiders. But I'm saving my gold pieces (at a value of ten cents each) for the Raven Series which will not be out until next month or even later, so did not get Christmas Balls. For some reason Jingle Bell Rock doesn't grab me.

    My skein of Philosopher's Stone was slightly damp when it arrived--apparently snatched from the drying rack a little prematurely, in an effort to get my order out promptly. I hung it up to dry, and it was so beautiful that I left it hanging over the weekend to admire it. Unfortunately, Che admired it, too.





    It took an hour and a half to get the tangled mess sorted into a ball. Luckily Che had only bitten through it in one place.



    This ball is not as big as my head, but it's as big as someone's head. Those are my headphones. My advice: If you plan to leave yarn around for your cat, pick something that doesn't have 500 yards to sort through later.

    Check back tomorrow to find out whose names come out of the sorting sock for blogiversary prizes. And thanks for reading. I've had fun talking about yarn and complaining about life online for the last year, and knowing that someone really has been listening!

    Donnerstag, August 09, 2007

    Ta Daaaaa!


    Bellatrix, knitted in Wollmeise, colorway "Frosch" (frog)


    Important Note: This is not a toe-up pattern. Repeat, this is not a toe-up pattern. Fact: Bellatrix is written as a normal, top-down pattern.

    I just happen to knit everything toe-up. I will probably knit through the Cat Bordhi as written. I think some of them are knitted top down.

    Still Watching Harry

    Joanne and I went to see Order of the Phoenix in 3-D one more time while it was still in the theater. Of course, new questions came up.

    For example, what breed of dog does Sirius become? As a former wolfhound owner I wanted to think they had got a wolfhound, but in fact the dog is a Scottish Deerhound, a breed similar to but smaller than the wolfhound.

    The aging of the characters jumped out at me this time. When the graveyard scene from Goblet of Fire and a current shot of Harry are juxtaposed, one can only assume Harry had an incredible growth spurt due to the very hot summer. Or something.






    I don't think I would knit anything from the movie except possibly the cardi Ginny wears to catch the train at the end of the movie. The Patil twins' hats are cute, but nothing out of the ordinary. As costumes the knitting works well, but not as clothing. But what was it that Harry got from Mrs. Weasley for Christmas? I couldn't tell. The knitted item from these movies that I'm crazy for is Hermione's Fair Isle cardigan from the first movie.



    Apparently it was on off-the-rack item, not designed specially for the movie, so no pattern.

    OK, next question. Is Harry really that much shorter than Mr. Weasley (while waiting for Harry's trial, Harry only comes to Arthur's shoulder). Or did they use trick camera angles like those used in Lord of the Rings to make the hobbits look smaller? Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) is apparently 5'8" tall. But how tall is Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley)? According to IMDb, he's only 6'1" tall. So I think a little trick photography might have taken place. Or does Mr. Radcliffe's publicity sheet pad his height a little?

    Random note: Joanne sent me a link to an NPR interview with Jim Dale where he talks about recording the Harry Potter books.

    I guess I'm going to have to go give Trusty some attention. I just took the VCR remote away from him, and now he's trying to make Turbo get off the couch. He would never dare get on it while she is there, since she is the boss, but if he makes himself obnoxious enough for a long enough time by barking and drooling at her, he knows she will eventually get up and move.

    Anyway, I want to finish the Bellatrix socks so I can get on to Cat Bordhi. See you later!

    Dienstag, August 07, 2007

    Weekend update

    We went to the zoo yesterday and got Sharman and Chris and the kids ready to return to Portland, so as weekend updates go, this is a day late.

    I made some progress on the Bellatrix socks.

    Previously

    New progress


    Since the socks have turned into knee socks, I sort of belatedly started a calf increase, which gave me an excuse to use several of my Harry Potter stitch markers.




    Note that I am offering a set of these in my Blogiversary contest. Or, if you're a "Buy Now" kind of person, you can get them from Sunneshine's Etsy shop.

    The family came over for muffalettas on Sunday.

    My pastry brush broke, and Trusty swiped the handle. Not sure if you can see it in his mouth, but he looked as if he were smoking a pipe.


    I spent most of my blogging time this morning documenting the muffalettas, so please take time to check out the muffaletta post!

    Ooops--Trusty just came in to point out that I forgot to give him his breakfast. See ya later.
    No tickers