Time for Tacoma

This post is beyond overdue, what with Madrona having been from February 16 – 19, making this post almost exactly a month late.  Brava to me.  Well, what can I saw about Madrona that hasn’t already been said?

Madrona Fiber Arts Festival 2012

Probably not much, but I’m going to make the attempt nevertheless.  First, I’d love to mention how much I enjoyed visiting Tacoma.  For years, I’ve heard so many disparaging comments about Tacoma, and while I’m sure the city has it’s unsavory sections, most of what we saw was lovely, funky, and interesting.

Opus, her Mum, and I took the train up – an experience I cannot deny is infinitely preferrable to driving.  We were seated at a table and knit all the way there and all the way back (the trip is about 2.5 hrs from Portland), stopping to surf the web (free wifi!) and snack.  Tons of fun, and quite productive.  We then walked from the Amtrak station to the free streetcar line and were amused by the fact that the Tacoma streetcars are exactly the same as Portland streetcars.  Funny.  After a 5 minute ride, we hopped off and walked to the Hotel Murano.

Of course, the weather was frightful, so we were quite damp after five minutes outside.  But, it was worth it.  The Madrona Fiber Arts Festival is held at the Hotel Murano, clearly named for Murano island in Venice (home of the glassmakers), and was just filled to bursting with glass art.  I couldn’t help myself and snapped pictures.  We finally made our way to the marketplace and were super excited to see so many of our favorite indie dyers – and some friends!

I had to visit Maia of Tactile, whose booth was a lovely naturally-dyed oasis, and Susan of Abstract Fiber, who also had a gorgeous booth.  I was very, very good and only bought a very little yarn.  From Habu Textiles.  Now before you mock me (yes, many stores in Portland carry Habu), these were colors that aren’t carried locally.  I also bought some gorgeous roving from Woolgatherings.  Yum.  I don’t have a good photo of my goodies, though.

We had to leave a bit early (around 5pm) to catch the train back, but it was a fantastic day trip and so much fun.  We’re already talking about taking the train up in a month or so to visit the Tacoma Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Art Museum.  It would also just be great to tour the city and look at all the beautiful glass art on display.  Sounds like a fun daytrip or two, right?

So, it was tons of fun and I would love to be able to take classes next year – or maybe teach – and will have to plan ahead.  Hopefully this post wasn’t too boring :)  For more photos from the trip, see the “Tacoma” tag on my flickr account.  In the next post (which won’t be a month late), we have the awesome success of the 2012 Rose City Yarn Crawl to go over.  Cheers!

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!

Gawdawful tired.

It’s been a looong month since my last post.  I am just utterly and completely exhausted from my recent exploits.  Highlights (until a real post, maybe tomorrow):

  1. TPTB* went on vacation and I was left in charge of the store for three weeks.  Amazingly enough, it didn’t burn down, explode, or go out of business in that time.  I am, however, brutally exhausted from being ‘On’ and in charge(ish) for three weeks together.  Also, doing three peoples’ jobs at once didn’t help.
  2. I was interviewed on the radio/ a podcast, Knit Happens.  My coworkers actually listened to it live and didn’t mock me after.  I think I sounded like an idiot.
  3. Opus, Opus’s Mum, and I went on a road trip in search of fabric.  We found it.  Lots, in fact.  Did I take a picture?  Apparently not one that I can find…
  4. I had a spinning party with Opus and Co., during which we wound a skein that was 26 FEET in circumference.  Trust a weaver, a.k.a. Opus’ Mum, to figure out how to do something that crazy.
  5. Opus and I walked in Race for the Cure.  We also knit at the same time, proving we are not natural blonds.
  6. I taught Eva how to block a triangular lace shawl.
  7. I met a kitten named Mowgli.  Who I then took home.  (In my defense, it’s been a long month and it was a weak moment)
  8. Opus & Co. and I went to OFF&F, where we saw sheep, and goats, and a llama.

But there’s a lot more.  I’ll get to them later.  Until then, here’s some pretty for you:

I (heart) Fair Isle

Well, I think it’s pretty. It’s a Dale sweater for Tegan. Details later. Time for bed. With a kitten on my head.

*The Powers That Be.

In three weeks

Yeah, bad blogger, I know. In the last 3 weeks:

1.) I started adding Shibui Socks to ravelry (two patterns left)…

Shibui Socks Belmont (3)

2.) I finished and blocked my Ishbel:

Pointies

Modeled here by Anna:

DSC01831

3.) Opus received a Golden Rose Award:

Opus shakes hands

4.) And the Jasmine went into overdrive:

Flora bunda

Also (#5), my ankle is slowly healing.  Too slowly, if you ask me.  I’m so bored.  Summer is traditionally my time to hike and do outdoorsy things.  Can’t do that right now.  Even with the Ankle Boot of Doom, I can only walk so long on level ground.

Three years ago today, I took a walk with Emm along the Willamette.  Interestingly enough, it was that same park that inspired a pair of socks my in upcoming booklet.  Which, incidentally, goes to press tomorrow.  Butterflies, me?

Nah.

I just really want to go for a walk.

So, in other news, I’m actually taking a vacation for the first time in… uh, eighteen months.  While wearing the Walking Boot of Doom, yeah.  I’m just going to have to stay home and keep my foot up.  Lotsa fun, huh?

Time for dinner now.  Wow, been trying to write this post for two hours now.  Keep getting sidetracked.  I bought the entire series of Daria and we’re onto Disc 3.  The entire family has been sucked in.  At least I’m not stuck indoors alone.

Oooh, pizza.  Gotta go.  I’ll be better about posting this week.  Honest.

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.

wet and wild

Gawd, I’m tired. This was going to be a nice, long post. But now it’s going to get shortened a bit. I spent the day working on the latest Newsletter (and the upcoming Holidays one), so coherency isn’t my strong suit right now.

Anyway. On Wednesday, Opus and I met up and started off towards the coast. We were warned (sort of) that there was going to be inclement weather and decided that it shouldn’t be a problem. Yeah. I was panicking slightly when we cross bridge after bridge along US 26 and US 101 that were just a foot (maybe less!) from being washed out. Freaky and not at all settling.

The long-standing wip silk pullover helped a lot:
silk-on-the-road

I knit and knit and knit as Opus drove and probably got 5″ done. Which is also a bit freaky when one considers the gauge.

We finally arrived at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and were delighted by Oddwater. It was really cool how the exhibit also displayed some fantastic locally-blown and sculpted glass art within the tanks.

Opus showed some eels her traveling sock:

eels-socks

Which actually lured them out of their glass vase for a bit.

And, while this photo didn’t come out, I love the psychedelic quality of the composition:

psychadelic

The Sea Horse tank, which also had some wicked Starfish.

In another hall we had fun petting sting rays:

petting-stingrays

Which were surprising slimy to the touch. Really weird. Though the Sea Anemone in another tank was even weirder – it’s tentacles were sticky and it’s sides a cross between velvety and slimy. I didn’t even try the Sea Cucumber, though Opus did. Urk. It looked like a giant slug.

Anyway. I tried to get a picture from the Passages of the Deep exhibit, but it was impossible. We dashed across the Aquarium in pelting rain, but it was worth it. Opus hadn’t seen it yet. The walkways in the building/ exhibit are giant transparent tubes that pass through enormous tanks, so you can watch the fish and eels and sharks swim above, below, and around you. It’s one of my favorite parts of the Aquarium.

In any case, the Manta Rays are my favorite species in the tanks, so I made a sad attempt to photograph one above my head:

blurry-manta

Well, I tried. Here’s a much better photo.

Ack, it’s past my normal bedtime.  I am tiiired.  Was going to write some more, but it’ll have to be done later.  Night night.

Just a little bad.

Barely at all, really.  I only went over my budget by $10.

Yesterday (and today, actually) was the 2008 Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival.  Every year I’ve been – this is my 4th? – it’s been larger than the last.  This year was no different.

Opus and I planned to meet up with Leslie around midday and drive down to Canby.  Before we got going, Opus and I grabbed coffee (& tea) at Peet’s.  Opus was working on a pair of socks that make my current WIPs look pitiful by comparison:

VOpus-socks

Well, not all of them. I CO Sarah Pope‘s Andamento Socks, the September Sock Club pattern at Peet’s and eventually noticed something was off…

CO-andamento

Sigh. I had grabbed the wrong size needles from the Sox Stix display. These 5’s were in the 2’s section. Yeah, I’m quick on the draw.

Just before meeting Leslie, we dashed over to Knit Purl and I got a set of 2’s. At least the cuff of the sock will be loose! I guess I’ll have to do the same with the other, so they’ll match. Otherwise, one’ll look funny.

Okay. One already looks funny. But at least they’ll look funny together. Anyway. I transferred the sock to the correct needles and we got on our way. Canby is pretty close to Portland, so we managed to get there right quick.

All around were tons of familiar faces. I was really evil and made several friends hold the traveling sock for… uh… posterity?

Maybe not. They didn’t argue this time (much), though. First were Kaaren and Dallas, friends from “No Mean Feet!” (Knit Purl’s sock knitting group), who we sat and chatted with for some time:

Kaaren-Dallas-sock

They were much more graceful about having a sock shoved at them than, say, Opus or Leslie – who wouldn’t hold the sock for a photo at all.

Next was Terrisa, former coworker, who we ran into at Carolina Homespun’s booth whilst looking for a spindle for Opus. She wasn’t too difficult, once I cornered her between a wall of lace yarn and baskets of spinning fiber:

Terrisa-sock

Mwahahaha. I was so glad to see her, but we didn’t get to kibitz much, as she was dragged off by her traveling companions. Maybe next time.

And, oh, did you catch that little slice of victory? Yes, indeedy, I finally brought Opus over to the Dark Side…

VOpus-spindling

Using the usual bribery: exquisite roving. Mmn mmn mmm. 70% Superfine Merino superwash/ 30% Alpaca. One of the strangest, yet most wonderful, blends I have ever found. Opus was staring longingly at it while I debated over color – the vendor had 4 solids, each $13 for ONE POUND of roving. I nearly fainted when she told me the price. Apparently a mill went out of business or something, and she bought up their wares.

Well. Opus waaanted some. Bad. I told her it would be perfect to learn to spin on (no lie) and she caved. One pound of yumminess followed her home. Along with a spindle and the beginnings of a true addiction. She started spinning lace-weight from the beginning and even the car trip back to Portland didn’t stop her.

Mwa. Ha. Ha.

Totally worth going over budget.  I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of the goodies, but I daresay we’ll be seeing them soon enough once they’re spun.

And, I’ve decided to be a bit more disciplined.  A blogging schedule might be just the thing to keep myself on track.  Whether I feel like it or not, whether I have pictures or not, there will be posts every Wednesday and Saturday night.

Though, the picture thing might become easier once I buy myself a new camera.  I’m dreadfully overdue (my stalwart Olympus is from 2004) and could use something a bit more conveniently-sized for carrying around.  But, that’s neither here nor there at the moment.

Until Wednesday, happy knitting!

shame shame shame

I’m beyond embarrassed at this point by how bad a blogger I’ve been (Emm’s eyes are doing MUCH better, btw). In my defense, I’ve been doing the work of 2 people and preparing for the departure of THREE more coworkers(!!!). One for Maternity Leave (dammit), one for a vacation in another state (waaaah!), and one for school – which I don’t begrudge (much). I’m just slightly panicking, is all.

To cope with all this added stress and confusion, I’ve been knitting every spare moment I can… in some mad, subconscious, effort to lower my blood-pressure or something. I’m even beginning to wonder if I’m knitting in my sleep, because random wip’s are showing large leaps of progress that I don’t remember making. Of course, it could be knitting blackouts…

Not good to think about, really. Moving on. I finished my first skif sweater. It took 3 broken needles (sewing machine ones, not knitting), since I was out of Ball Point needles and even the Denim ones I got weren’t up to the task! Eventually, though, persistance won out as it usually does and I can now add this to my list of 2008 FO’s:

skif-bb-front1

skif-bb-back

If you want actual specs for it, I’m gonna have to refer you to my ravelry notebook.

I also finished these, my Fortress of Solitude socks (c’mon, the name just fit):

P418-socks1

Again, gonna send ya to the ravelry notebook for the details. Sorry. It’s just easier that way. On top of finishing those, I have two sweaters, a baby hat, an adult hat, three pairs of socks (no, wait, four) and… well, a Renaissance costume… in the works. But that’s not knitting and is neither here nor there right now. In other news, I received some BEAUTIFUL yarn from Penny and immediately had a wicked plan for it that is already being implemented, mwahaha.

I also got my prize from Lorna’s Laces for winning 3rd Prize in their design competition. They also sent me three copies of the pattern, and I stole a pic from their site:

architect's sock

My Architect’s Sock. So weird to actually see it knit up by someone else in a completely different color on the actual pattern.

And, in slightly non-knitting news – I went to Patrick’s Commencement today. You’ll all remember Patrick as the model for my Columbia Fisherman’s Pullover. And for those of you females out there salivating (I know you are! I got emails last time), he doesn’t play for out team, girls.

Anyway. He text’d me on Thursday, I think it was, to make sure I was coming. I panicked, said I would and penciled it in (this is the state of my life now, sadly). I even brought a travelling sock, to commemorate the occasion:

Sock at PSU Commencement

And was ecstatic to get a picture of him just after he had ‘walked’:

Patrick at Commencement

(Terrisa and I screamed like banshees to get his attention for a couple of quick photos.)

It was great, even with 90F+ weather. The Interim President of PSU even (rather gallantly) offered to make no speech in exchange for a standing ovation. I liked him. Good man. The service was short, sweet and perfectly to the point. I heartily approved.

After that, we all went out to lunch (great fun that lasted for far longer than I had scheduled for, eep!) and had to rush home. I had planned to meet Laure in Beaverton at 3:30, but just barely made it home at 4:00. She agreed to come to my place instead and work with me here.

See, some months ago, Laura convinced me to join her Historical Recreation Guild and participate in this year’s Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire – because I spin and knit and would be a great asset or something. I (somewhat) foolishly agreed, thinking it would be fun and forgot about it almost immediately after.

With the Faire in less than a month, I need to make a costume very quickly and… well, not panic. I won’t panic. I’m not panicking. Honestly. Even though I’m 4 yards short of boning (guess how I found that out tonight?) and haven’t even started on my blouse or skirt.

I need to go and knit something.

things, they are a’changing

After a hellish day – catching up with 4 sick-days worth of work is never easy – I was nearly in tears when I found a parcel on my step. FluffyKnitterDeb, fellow admin and mod of Sock Knitters Anonymous, sent me a cheer-up gift:

Margarita Socks

A pair of socks knit using this month’s Mystery Pattern for Sockdown: Ravelry!

Where she gets the time to organize the group (I’m completely AWOL, I admit it) and knit mirco-gauge socks, I never will know. But I am deeply grateful for the thought and effort she put into them. Thank you, Debi! I might just wear these to work tomorrow.

Let’s see. We’re painfully overdue for an update, but… well, I’m in the midst of some crazy sh!t and don’t know where to start. I’ll just go over what’s taking up the most of my attention:

We’re officially another pair of hands short at work as of today. Details will be released later, when I can articulate fully.

We’re about to be another pair of hands short when J goes on Maternity Leave.

Now, those two things would be enough to make me panic were it also not for the fact that (deadline fast approaching) the Knit Purl Sock Club still hasn’t sold out. I’m beyond the panic stage. Admittedly, we’ve sold over half the spots, so that’s good. But, eep! If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Open application for Berkeley Business School begins on August 15 and I don’t have anything ready.  Now, even if I were to get accepted (not counting on anything), the term I’m applying for is Fall 09.  Time, at least here, is on my side.

I’m also behind on my New Designs schedule and can’t see the floor of the laundry room.

Someone, please, kidnap save me.

(I can even pay you in yarn.)

Yaaaay! More bad cellphone pix!

Just what you always wanted, eh? Hehehe.

I met with Opus this morning(ish), even though the chocolate crawl had been postponed, and we actually (for once!!!) got stuff done. Everyone should be so proud of me, I did everything on my list:

  • Got a new laptop/ work bag: check!

We magically managed to hit Franklin Covey during a sale, and I grabbed a messenger bag that appealed to my taste and Opus’ opinions on thriftyness. It also has more pockets than a Navy Seal’s trousers, I swear.

  • Sat and knit for hours on end: check!

We went over to Twisted. As much as I love me my Knit/ Purl (employment, Habu, ShiBuiKnits, what’s not to love?), Twisted has a lounging area. With a big, smooshy, sofa. Seriously. And they don’t mind if you park and knit for, oh, SIX hours on their couch. Opus even made a cookie run between rounds:

Opus-sock

Her mum’s Christmas present #2. The other reason we crossed the river? The sock yarn. They have completely different stock than us. And look what followed me hooome…

smooshy

SMOOSHY! My deep and abiding love of The Smooshy cannot be denied. Nor can cool books on socks. Not pictured? My kick@ss new Zephyr Style sock stitch markers, which I couldn’t leave without.

We hung out with the girls (and quite a few familiar knit-bloggers) and caught up. Then Opus and I were bad and got fish ‘n chips next door.

So, WIP update? Project #3 is almost done, I’m so close to finishing it I might cry. I have 12 rounds until the final shoulder decreases (another 10 rounds, give or take, I think) and then onto the saddles and collar. I should be able to get it done (well and with some style) by my new deadline of December 21st. My next challenge is finding somewhere to block it.

Opus suggested I sleep on the floor.

I told her to bugger off. There are some things even I won’t do.

But, kicking Emm out of his bed isn’t beyond me…

Final note? The cuffs, and pattern, of the cash-socks are done. Now all I need to do is slave away on my January Mystery Sock pattern (for the SKA) tomorrow, and I’ll be on schedule. Well, mostly.