Goodbye, Charlie

Late last week we made the difficult decision to put Charlie, our rescued Border Collie mix, to sleep after a lasting battle with several health problems.  His thyroid had shut down, he was riddled with tumors, had gone completely blind, and was suffering severely from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.  Still, it was very hard and both Mom & Dad were heartbroken; after all, Charlie had been with us for over 10 years.

Charlie stays out of the way

P1010012

The hardest thing, though, was watching him struggle for the past year. The last six months had been the worst, with a rapid rate of decline.  While it was devastating for the ‘rents (and I do miss the goofball), I have to admit that I’m relieved he’s no longer in pain or constantly confused and/ or frightened.

Goodbye, Charlie.  I hope Mom’s right and you get reincarnated as a cat.

Booyah

There has been a shameful lapse in blogging here at Fyberduck HQ/ Rose City Knits, something I plan to remedy right now :)

For starters, remember the super-secret project I’ve mentioned a few times? Well, it is finished and the patterns are hot off the press and ready to be shipped out. If you’d like to get a sneak peek of the super-secret project (and you’re in the area), drop by Abstract Fiber’s booth at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. It’ll be there, though I will not :$

I would say “alas”, but it is hard to be mournful when I think about how I’ll be seeing my niece and nephew again for my nephew’s BAR MITZVAH. Can you believe it? D turned 13 in March and will be reading the Torah on Saturday. I’m not sure how or when he got so big, but it seems very sudden (he’s almost my height now!).

So, we fly down to the Bay Area tomorrow and will spend the weekend with family. Not exactly something I’d complain about! Though I will miss the Festival, which is a bummer…

Especially since I now have a loft for the stash! Yes, a loft! In my new studio! (Yep, studio.)

While it’s not finished (see below), it was built/ installed on Tuesday and has already been used for a mini photoshoot for the super-secret pattern:

Studio photoshoot

The studio is 14′ x 14′, which should make it quite large enough for my many tools, gizmos, and anything else design/ work related:

14x14

Particularly because of the loft (which measures 6′ x 14′) that is speficically intended for the stash…

Loft!  Skylights!

Which even I can’t fill up that fast.

Or so goes the theory.

Anyway. We have big plans which involve cool flooring (I’m thinking Pergo) and of course insulation, plus Dad suggested a rolling ladder for the loft, which would just be AWEsome. I covet. My books and bookcases (plus comfy reading chairs) will go under the loft, while the sunlight main area will have all my design and creative tools and supplies.  I may even have room for a loom again.  That would be amazing, since I really miss weaving.

So, much has been happening here, obviously.  I’d love to type more, but I really need to go pack, since we’re leaving at 7 am.  Ugh.  I’m dreading facing the TSA so early in the morning.  That should be just super-duper fun.  Maybe I can sleepwalk through it…

I’ll try and post some more updates this weekend – including some other very exciting news – but make no promises.  Photos of the super secret project will definitely be going up on Monday, though, so keep an eye for that!  Until then, wish me luck, I’m gonna need it :)

Mini launch?

Well, as I mentioned on Tuesday, things are not going quite as smoothly as I’d hoped vis-à-vis this whole launch thing.  Instead of having several patterns ready (or even a website), I have a single pattern blessed by my tech editor:

4 Hours preview
4 Hours pdf preview

$4.50 USD (pdf download)

4 Hours.  While visiting my sister in Februrary, I saw the yarn at ImagiKnit and just knew what I had to make with it. That night, while I watched two movies with my sister (Easy A and The Social Network… don’t ask, weird night), I swatched, cast on and completed this cowl. The next morning everyone was so in love with it, I decided to write up the pattern.  The model, my SIL Karen, was very accomodating about modeling it for me…

4 Hours (cowl pattern)

Even though I’m sure she thought I was nuts.

Which is probably true.

The end result is an oversized comfy and cozy cowl that is easily adjustable by means of the drawstring.  Knit with just 135 yards of bulky yarn, it’s super quick to make and fun to wear (trust me, I’ve been wearing it a lot lately with our bizarre wintery weather).  For more information about the pattern, like gauge and stuff, check it out on ravelry.

Later this week, I’m hoping to be able to release these four patterns:

La Fontaine preview
La Fontaine pdf preview
Flocked Sock preview
Flocked Sock pdf preview
Captain Nemo preview
Captain Nemo pdf preview
Puzzlebox Socks preview
Puzzlebox Socks pdf preview

But only when they’re ready. After them is another round of 5 or 6 patterns that I can’t even bear to think about. It’s seeming increasingly unlikely that I’ll have all this ready for TNNA in a month.

I’m going to keep my fingers crossed, nonetheless.

The name of the line, Rose City Knits may raise a few brows.  I’ve had a long love affair with roses, particularly tea roses, and was enchanted with the fact that Portland was called the “Rose City” when we first moved to Oregon.  This affection was increased after moving to Portland, my new adopted home (I truly can’t imagine living anywhere else), where roses do indeed flourish rather spectacularly.  In retrospect, it seemed fateful that I would end up here after everything.

Long-time blog readers will understand what I mean when I say that – I started out as a Classical Archaeology student and then changed focus to Classical Civilization with a focus on Textiles.  It’s been a weird journey with quite a few misturns and a lot of doubling back.  Still, I’m very glad to be here and probably wouldn’t change a thing, given the chance.

So, there we have it.  One tiny step, but it’s still important.  Keep your fingers crossed this week, I’m going to need all the luck I can get!

Worth it. Totally.

It took two hours, but I finally managed to get all the photos from today’s impromptu photoshoot onto flickr in a set: Photos at Picchetti Winery.  If you’re a flickr contact (friend or family), you can see the whole set, including photos for upcoming patterns.  If not, well, here’s a sneak peak at one of the patterns*:

DSC_0307

They just don’t come any cuter than TT.

Not that I’m biased or anything.

*Or you can add me as a contact, and I’ll totally friend you.  Completely depends on your level of curiosity and/or patience!

Time flies.

Mostly when you’re busy.  It’s funny.  That little vacation I’ve been talking about for a month now?  I think I might need a vacation to recover from my vacation.  Man.

Let’s see.  Where we left off last time I was lamenting my own laziness.  In my defense, keeping up with an almost-4yr-old is tough.  Especially when she’s super-duper excited to be visiting her relatives and doesn’t want to sleep or sit down for five minutes together.  Seriously.  I made a movie.  In 15 minutes she didn’t sit down once.  I wish I had that kind of energy.

Anyway.  Remember that Ishbel I knit for T?  Well, it fit her perfectly and looked stinking adorable, but could I get her to hold still and pose?

A & T Visit (August 2010)-45

Oh, heck, no.  She thought it was the funniest darn thing in the world to squirm or even hide the shawl…

A & T Visit (August 2010)-49

Whenever Alexa or I tried to take a picture of her in it.  Little squirt.  I’ll get a photo… eventually.

Luckily, T didn’t decide to make a game out of photographing the little bolero I made for her.  Which her Momma dutifully brought up and dressed T in the morning we saw them off:

Tegan's bolero (still)

It fit perfectly.  Actually, it was still a little big, which is ideal.  And it was utterly adorable.  I might have to make another one when she outgrows this ‘un.  In pink.  Hah.

Unfortunately, I had to leave Portland while T and Alexa were still in town (it was unavoidable).  Opus and I had reserved a room in Newport over a month ago, and weeks before Alexa let me know they were visiting.  But I only missed out on two hours of family time.  They had to fly out a couple of hours after I left.

Anyway.  Opus and I met up around midday, after trying to convince T that a bagel was just as yummy as chocolate milk (not too successful there).  We hit  the road and I had to take some shots from the highway.

Hwy 47

It was just gorgeous.  I believe this was from Highway 47.  I really want to go back and do some hiking.  There were some really tempting National and State Forests that looked lovely.

Eventually, though, we made it to Newport.  After a couple of stops along the way (one of which involved the extensive purchase of new weaving equipment, but that’s for another day).  I was really excited to see that our hotel of choice, the Elizabeth Street Inn, did, in fact, have a magnificent view:

The View

Clearly a beach walk was absolutely essential.  The sock certainly enjoyed it…

The Sock visits Newport

Though I’ll admit to being a lot less tough than Opus and having to wrap up with a scarf and sweater. I can’t believe she spent the whole trip in t-shirts.  It gives me chills just thinking about it.  Anyway.  Beach.  Walk.  Wind.

Windy beach
Lots of wind.  It was quite picturesque and, well, bracing.  Unfortunately, my camera’s battery decided to fail as soon as we got down to the sandy shore and I had to resort to using my Crackberry camera; which, frankly, sucks.

Eventually my hands and nose froze and we had to give in and go back to the hotel.  After that we somehow managed to get lost in scenic downtown Newport.  Yes.  Newport (the town with a population of under 10,000).  Fell free to mock, I did.  We did (finally!) find food and our way back.

Thus fueled, I holed up in the room and spent three and a half hours working on last Friday’s eCard – while Opus watched (get this) Monsters vs. Aliens and then four episodes of On The Road with Austin and Santino.  That was an odd night.

The next morning we made our way to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where the sock got to see Swampland.  It really liked the anacondas.

The Sock at Swampland
After watching the sea otters eat raw fish (yum) and petting some sea cucumbers, we started the return trip home.  Mostly because  Opus had to go to NorthWest MogFest yesterday (family thing).  Fuuun.  In lieu of driving all over Sheridan, Oregon in an all-terrain vehicle (so boring, I know), I spent all of yesterday knitting away on a Shibui project that’s Top Secret.  Sooo… here’s some photos of Westmoreland Park, instead of my progress!

Sunsent at Westmoreland

Duckies!

Plus… duckies!

And that brings things up to date.  Think I’m gonna knit some more now.  Or go to bed.  How did it get to be 11pm?  Time flies, I guess.

Lazy blogger.

Actually, more like tired blogger. Keeping up with an almost-4yr-old is hard. Especially when we have a water park, ice cream, cows, horsies, picking fruits and vegetables, swimming at the beach, and heaven only can recount whatelse within the same 24 hours. So, in lieu of an actual post with a central theme and words that are strung together in a sensible fashion, I bring you 50 pictures.

A & T Visit (August 2010)-34

Going to the beach with Opus tomorrow. I’m very sad that I’m leaving before the girls, though, but it’s kind of unavoidable at this point. Oh, well. Mum and Dad can see them off in style. Check back for an update from the coast!

Dazed and bemused

I’m turning 25 on Tuesday and have no idea how to take this fact. The past two months have been a blur, since I spent four weekends in a row down with the flu (or various similar viri). Gah, it just doesn’t feel like it should be December in two days. Where the heck did November go?

I do have some snippets of the month to recall. I vaguely remember my sister sending me two photos on November 12th, mostly because it was during a weekly Sip ‘n’ Stitch and I ended up passing my crackberry around for everyone to see my sister’s feet and a pair of handknit socks on Miyajima, also known as the “Shrine Island”:

socks-island

socks-pagoda

I’m actually jealous of the socks. They get to travel to better places that I do. Silly, I know.  Though I have to say that I absolutely love my sister for taking photos of her feet in public.

On that same night (busy Thursday, eh?), we experienced the biggest sock yarn tangle ever in the store. Alas, it was my yarn.

Biggest cat's cradle ever

It took four knitters three hours to detangle the mess and actually get it into some semblance of a ball. I still haven’t knit anything with said yarn, since I’m almost afraid of it. What will it become? Will it be good or bad?  What pair of socks could ultimately be worth that much effort?

And now, of course, I have an unnatural wariness of Madelinetosh Sock because of this trauma.

Then, on the 23rd, I went to Deschutes Brewery with Opus and Marjorie. Great porter there, it must be said. But, then, I like beer I can chew.

Opus is holding the 7-8″ KnitPod prototype out here:

Travelling 8" KnitPod @ Deschutes Brewery

Which is working awesomely, by the way. I love it. The wip being contained turned into this mitt:

Crappy picture

My new Nemo Mitts, named thusly because I suck at naming things. I’m actually looking for test knitters for the pattern, if anyone’s interested.  Just email me at fyberduck(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll send you a rough copy.

But that’s about everything I have.  There was a finished sweater in there somewhere, but I don’t have a photo or a date.  Bad blogger, I know.  I think I finished it while on a Robitussin/ DayQuil cocktail, so it’s not entirely my fault that that’s all a fog.

I’ll try and be better next month.

Honest.

uh… free pattern, anyone?

Trying to distract you from the fact that I have been laying flat on my face for the past two weeks. Lame, I know. Imagine how boring it’s been for me.   I have the flu again.  Or maybe it never went away and the last fortnight has simply been an extended infection.  Who knows?

Anyway.  I have been managing to haul my sorry tuckus into work (most of the time) and one of my most recent Robitussin-inspired moments involved publishing another free Gratis Knits (yes, that was redundant) pattern.  You can get it here.

Also, somewhere in there (it’s all a little fuzzy right now), I finished T’s children’s bolero:

Tegan's bolero

Which I really want to see modeled on T.  But I’ve been waiting to, ah, sanitize it since I don’t want handknits to be associated with the creepy crud.  Just imagine the trauma.

Oh, well.  Things have been progressing here… slowly.  Mum’s cashmere lace scarf has a good 18″ on it, I finished a sock last night (my own pattern), and I’m working on a pattern booklet for ShibuiKnits.  But that’s hush, hush.  I’m also working on a new pattern series for the blog – both free and, well, not – that I hope to have started putting up by the New Year.  I really need to find a pattern editor…  maybe I could find someone who would work for yarn?

Hmm.  It looks like I have a lot set out for me.  And that doesn’t even include the laundry – which I am falling behind on.  And on that note, I should go empty the dryer.  I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

Tahiti is looking really good.

Life is still really crazy but seems to be calming down a bit.  Nevertheless, I continue to fantasize about hopping a plane and escaping to a tropical island (warmth! sun!) where no one will find me.  Sounds lovely, right?

Eh.  I’d have to find my passport.

Anyway.  I went outside to take some pix this afternoon and discovered something interesting.  Did you know sage is an evergreen?

february-greenery

Clearly it must be, as this plant survived being buried alive in three feet of snow and is obviously flourishing in February.  And Dad wanted to empty out the pots before the move.  Ha.

While I was out there I got pix of my now finished Esperanza Scarf:

esperanza-scarf

And a closeup of the textured stitch pattern…

esperanza-closeup

Info:

  • Yarn: Schaefer Yarn Company “Esperanza” in Jane Addams.  1 skein, 280 yds.
  • Pattern: made it up with a pattern from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
  • Needles: US 11 9″ straights

Loved the yarn a lot.  So now I’m harboring a deep lust for the 4 skeins of Clara Bow we have in stock – maybe a vest or lap blanket?  Any excuse will work, really (this should tell you something as I HATE bulky yarns, generally).

Anyway.  Onto an ongoing projects that’s living up to its name.  My backstabbing socks:

backstabber-socks

and cables:

backstabber-detail

Grr.  I started on this yarn, intending to make a pair for my SIL Karen (I’m visiting in 10 days and don’t have everything ready, aaahhh!), and… well… grr.  The sock seemed a bit small, so I tried it on.  It fits me perfectly.  Which wouldn’t be a problem if Karen didn’t have US 8.5 feet.  I’m a US 7.  Guess how well it’ll fit her.  Yah.  I’ve just CO another pair (yes, 2 at once) that I’m hoping to finish before I hop on that plane* next Wednesday.

Oh, well.  The Backstabber socks (yes, that’s the actual name of the colorway) are lovely and fit well, so I shouldn’t complain.  It all be okay.

But now it’s 9pm and I’ve got to finish my laundry before I crawl into bed.  Toodles until next time.

*Not the one to Tahiti, alas.

Finally.

All that white stuff that was covering everything?

snowiness

It’s GONE.

YAAAY! Of course, I freely admit that I/ we didn’t suffer even a 1 on the 1-10 scale of snowed-in horror stories.  We had power, we had water and (thank you, Fates) we DIDN’T have a house full of relatives over for the holidays.

But, since the snow finallyfinally melted last night, I met up with Opus at Peet’s this afternoon:

peets

(Who was, arguably, in a worse situation than me with all the white stuff floating around.)

While there I cast on Dylan’s Brainmoster (also ‘finally’) because I (finally) got gauge on the third try.  The yarn is ShibuiKnits Merino Worsted in “Dragonfly”.  Loving knitting with it so far.  S’yummy.

Other than that?  Laundry, too many WIPs, and workworkwork.  S’all good.  Well, reasonably.

Anyway, have to go back to the laundry, but I promise to take the new digicam out and have some fun soon.  Also, I’ll get my pattern-writing skills together and come up with some rough drafts that’ll need testing.