Because YouTube was quicker…

We’re gonna have a drive-by blogging incident tonight that only involves a weird little video I made (at Mum’s insistence) during our recent day trip into the Gorge. We stopped to admire this old fruit packing factory (on the rail line) that had some amazing architectural features. It actually made me wish I brought my big, clunky Olympus or at least a camera with a wide-angle lens. Until we needed the point ‘n’ click’s audio/ video movie function.

I was wandering around the side that bordered the tracks and nearly freaked out when I heard this weird creaking noise and then… SLAM! It was like something from a really bad horror film. Luckily, the place wasn’t haunted (honestly, I only entertained the thought for a moment or two, which is embarrassing enough to admit to) before I crept around and discovered that it was this extremely old and weathered office door…

making all that ruckus. Sheesh.

Anyway. It’s after eleven and I have to work in the morning. I’ll blog tomorrow night (I hope) with all sorts of lovely updates. Cheers!

P.S. Flickr still hasn’t finished uploading the photos from yesterday and today!

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.

“somewhere safe”

You know that, on several different occassions, you have put something important somewhere strange stupid safe and then couldn’t find it ever again for a while. Yet, over and over, you do it.

I know you do it because I have heard of this from other people and because I never can find anything because I always put it “somewhere safe”.

Which means, if one examines that statement too closely, I am not to be trusted. Especially by myself.

About two months ago I got a DPN roll-case-thingy and put all the DPNs I own (that I wasn’t using at the time) in it and proceeded to lose it put it “somewhere safe”.

I kind of finally understand ancient Catholic practice of self-flagellation. I simply cannot believe that even I could be this stupid. The room has since been torn apart twice, the stash resorted and rearranged (it would make sense to put the needles with the yarn, right??), and every needle I can find has been put in my other three* needle cases (my original needle roll, my travel case and my circulars box).

<insert expletitive here>

Just shoot me.

*Yes, I would (if I could actually find my DPN case) have FOUR knitting needle cases. No, even I am not certain why I should have that many.

zzzzz

I have to wait until at least 10 pm before going to bed, elstwise I’ll just wake up at 4 am. Sooo… now’s the perfect time to catch up on everything that’s happened since, ouch, Wednesday. I am a Bad Blogger, sorry.

Let’s see… Thursday was a bad day, so we’ll skip that entirely. Friday, though, was much better. Industrial-strength pain killers and a full night’s rest set me up to attempt the foolhardy with Mum. We drove out to Mount Hood, along the Columbia Gorge, and spent the day scouting suitable landscapes – for Mum to paint this spring and summer. And, boy, did we find some. Armed with her ancient, but kick@ss, B&W Nokia 35mm, Mum photographed everything that stood still long enough. Me? I just used my digicam to the best of my (admittedly mediocre) ability…

At the Bridal Veil Falls, I was beyond ecstatic to discover an entire grove of Trillium (Trillii?) blossoming, representing the encroaching Spring. I even managed to get a decent shot of one of the open flowers:

trillium

Amazing, really. The Bridal Veil was gorgeous, but overrun, so Mum and I sallied onward in search of greater horizons. Along Highway 30, I literally made Mum stop the car, to look at this amazing series of sedimentary rock caves that had been, somehow, turned on their sides.

sedimentary-caves

Being the idiot I am, I immediately set out to climb up the rock face to get a closer look at them…

jagged

Which I managed, slipping and sliding on my way up. None of my macro photos turned out well, alas. When I turned to go back down, it became apparent how far (and how steep) the climb had been:

view

Oops. I did manage to make it down in one piece, but succeeded only by the hair of my teeth and ended up covered in mud and slightly bruised. I’m still feeling the affects today. Next time I’m bring a rope or something. And wearing decent boots. I need to hit REI before I do this again. (Notice that the possibility that this won’t happen again never entered my mind…)

From there we discovered the Oneonta Gorge, which was lovely – and cold. And wet. And slippery. I even managed to not kill myself on the rocks there, either.

oneonto-gorge

(Water-proof hiking boots. That’s what I need.)

Just look at those pink-tipped branches! Color, that’s not grey or green! It’s Spring, Spring, Spring. (Can you totally tell this winter has been too long??)

Anyway… from there we drove up to Mount Hood, which is always an impressive journey. Especially in the late winter (in the mountains) when there’s still a good 5 – 6 feet of snow and a wind-chill factor not to be sneezed at (thank goodness for polar fleece). And, yes, I even managed to slip and fall down on the snow. 3 times in one day – it was a personal record.

But here was the curious thing. The entire damn trip to the mountain, the skies were clear. The moment we started to climb in altitude, clouds started to pour in. Soon, we couldn’t see the summit, or much of anything else, really.

descending-clouds

The Weather G-ds were clearly against us. Oh, well. As it grew dark, snow started to fall and we made a quick escape. No way in Hell were we getting trapped up there. The snow turned into pouring rain and then, finally, mist as we entered Portland.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad trip. The weather, for the most part, was beautiful and I spent the majority of the trip in jeans and a sweatshirt. A major improvement over the last few months of shawls and scarves and mittens and caps. Being able to feel my hands is nice. The only problematic result of our expedition was the fact that I managed to batter and bruise myself impressively. I still can’t kneel or handle stairs well, but it’ll pass.

Alas, on Saturday, the cold-wet weather returned. Poor St M. She got in and it was freezing and pouring out (not acceptable March weather, IMHO). We made the best of it, anyway, by hitting Powell’s. I think (hope) she had a good visit. We saw her off tonight, after a trip to the Museum of Contemporary Craft (new exhibits are up!) where we were photographed by the Oregonian (Hashem help us), lunch at the Tea Zone, and a stop at both Knit Purl and Twisted. St M, who works at The Knit Shop in Eugene, ending up taking a bag full of yarn with her. Hehehe.

I am such a bad influence.

good karma, poor planning

{yawn} tired. really, really tired. Had an interview today. I think it went well. I’ll find out on Monday. Cross you fingers for me, please. I really need a part-time job that has a regular paycheck. As much as I love designing for ShiBuiKnits, the money comes in irregular chunks.

After the interview I was captured ever so sneakily and cleverly that I found myself on the bus an hour later, having agreed to sponsor a child named Generose (in the Phillipines) through Children International, which seems legit and good and it’s non-religious. 3 of their workers have a blog. On the way home, I realised that I still didn’t have a job to pay for this sponsorship, but hopefully the good karma will help me get the job. Right? Opus valiantly tried not to laugh at me when I told her about this (my Mum just sighed) and suggested that I start taking donations through the blog now.

I’m not. Yet. It might come to it, so be forewarned. Moving on…

Opus and I stayed at tonight’s Sip’n’Knit well past closing, because the yarn I was knitting the Jaywalkers with was getting really scarce and more and more tangled as I went. We managed to wind it back up and I got to the toe decreases a little after 9 pm. I actually finished the toes on the bus (10:41 pm PST exactly) and even snapped a photo with my camera-phone, much to the bemusement (and hushed whispers) of the Muggles packed in around me…

knitting-on-the-bus

It was all I could do not to giggle in response to their responses, but I figured they might try and have me committed if I started giggling after taking a photo of socks on a bus. Right. I finished Stephie’s jaywalkers whilst watching X-Files and here they are:

FO-puckish-jaywalkers

Literally with the yarn that was left. THANK YOU, every single knitter in Portland who crossed your fingers and prayed for there to be enough yarn (seriously, we were so worried at the Sip’n’Knit) cuz it clearly helped. And, yay!, they’re finished and blocking. I’m leaving it up to Stephieface to take decent modelled photos once they arrive.

Wow, that’s one thing I can take off of the ‘To-Do’ list.  Next thing?  Sleep.

another learning experience

Despite my late night, somehow I was roused out of bed bright and early this morning to carpool to the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. Leslie, Teresa and I jetted over to pick up Opus, who I had nagged into coming with us (she needs to get out more often). Of course, my motives may not have been entirely altruistic, maybe, since Opus is a champion loom-threader and I’m, well, not. Bless her heart. She actually stayed with me (once we got to Canby) while Leslie and Teresa found food for us and threaded the loom whilst I carded the wool for our weft:

P1010010

I managed to thoroughly confuse her, apparently, because the way I was taught to thread a loom is “backwards and upside-down”, or something. Right.

Luckily, St M and Jodie showed up to distract us (and actually spin the weft I was carding). Here’s St M with Lennie, working on the blue half of the weft:

P1010011

And here’s Jodie, spinning away, the brave woman who volunteered to spin the wool I carded:

P1010012

Very quickly, we had enough yarn to weave with (and Opus finished warping in that time). They were too quick for me, I didn’t get to finish carding the green weft. Tricky people. In a rush this morning, I had picked the lime green locks and the turquoise roving. I had thought they would work well with the yarn Opus’ Mum gave us for the warp, but wouldn’t be too overpowering together:

P1010015

They did look great and we got many compliments, but I didn’t take into account (as I was frantically grabbing handfuls of wool) that weaving with two shuttles would severely slow me down. And St M down, who was my relief weaver. By the end of the show, at around 5 pm, the shawl was only 2/3 – 3/4 finished. Oops.

A mistake made with the best intentions and I’ve definitely learned from it. So now I’ll have to finish the shawl at home (I don’t have to give Opus the loom back until Thursday), and then mail it to the winner of the raffle. The shawl was raffled off to benefit the OF&FF’s Youth Spinners program.

So, yeah, more homework. I got myself some bribes during the day, to keep myself trucking on the ShiBuiKnits patterns, other knitting patterns, knitted gifts, etc. Here’s a teaser for tomorrow:

P1010013

The wall o’ sock yarn at one of the booths. This booth was dangerous. Goodness gracious. It also didn’t help that they had fabulous hand-dyed sock yarn for $16 a skein. Oy. Yes, I got sock yarn. Only 2 skeins, though. And, um, a hank of superwash wool to spin into yarn for socks…

Right. I’m not obsessed or anything. Anyway, I’ll post yarn p0rn pix tomorrow. Until, look at TheBon’s pretty-pretty OFF&F 2007 slideshow. She took much better pix than I did.

I am an idiot.

No.  Really.  I am.

I’m so stupid right now I need to go and knit a garter-stitch scarf or something.

The mistake I made with the knee-high spock pattern is so painfully embarrassing, and just plain painful, I can’t even look at it right now.  I’m going to have to rip the entire thing.

Ugh.

Do I even have any no-thinking-required projects on the needles now?  I don’t trust myself enough to CO a project.

on confidence

This

Chartres

(now named Chartres, which will make sense once the sock is completed)

has been sidelined by this

ShiBui Spocks wip

(the first adult ShiBui Spock in “peacock”)

I, in my youthful confidence and arrogance, proclaimed far and wide at Knit/ Purl on Saturday that I would have a ShiBui Spock knitted up by the following Thursday’s Sip ‘n’ Knit. And, look at that, today’s Wednesday.

In my defense, I wasn’t expecting to have to unload and move all of Mum’s paintings, clean the garage, clean the house, and keep Mum from living off of ice cream in the 5 days I’d given myself.

Which means that today I frantically wound the skein into a ball, checked and rechecked the pattern I spent hours editing yesterday, quickly swatched and cast on. As of right now I’m an inch away from the new and improved heel (see, I have been doing something other than cleaning or hiking at Forest Park).

If I actually manage to make my own idiotic deadline, I’ll… have three more Spocks to knit. I shouldn’t have told myself that. But you, yes YOU, need to give me your leg measurements so I can actually write a knee-high version of this pattern. Please.

Other news? I’ve finally pared down my Bloglines subscripts to the blogs that actually update more frequently than once every leap-year or less than 3 posts a day. Subsequently, I should be catching up with other people’s lives eventually. Sooo, if I respond to a post you made, oh, 3 years ago – don’t be too surprised. Last I checked I was done to 3-digits with a 1 in front. Maybe I’ll be caught up by the New Year. (Western, not Jewish)

And, just to prove that I am a spinner and that my wheel hasn’t been collecting dust, I show you this – 2 oz of lace-weight Chasing Rainbows merino/ cashmere in “Hyacinth” that is waiting patiently for it’s mate, 2 oz of Chasing Rainbows silk/ cashmere in “Hyacinth”:

Hyacinth

(I swear it looks more vibrant in person)

ugh

What a horrible day. 104 F.

We couldn’t find the power cord for our sewing machine anywhere (I swear we opened every box we could find), and called every store in Portland about obtaining another one. This was after I spent over an hour online, trying to psychically beg the Brother Intl. website to work for a 5 whole minutes together.

So, the closest store with a cord in stock was in Woodburn – 40 mi south of us. Mum has been trying to get several sewing projects done for days now (wow, sound familiar?), and we decided it would be worth the time to get it now, instead of waiting for a new one to be stocked in two weeks closer by.

We drive. And it sucks. A lot. I don’t know what’s up with the crazies on I-5 lately, but I’m beginning to think there’s some sort of airborne contagion localized to the Interstate that makes drivers psycho.

After a series of frustrating events we arrive at the Woodburn Sew & Vac. They start assembling the cord for us (apparently the power cord and the treadle are sold separately). During that time, Mum and I look around. We ask them for the correct type of bobbins, the lady staffer pulls out two bags behind the counter. Mum and I are excited, as the store is having a sale on Sulky threads, and carried several Clover tools I hadn’t seen before.

On leaving, a different route home was chosen. 99-E. This route was quicker, safer, and prettier. I recommend it, if you don’t mind stoplights in the towns.

We get home, planning to get to our separate crafting ventures after dinner. We make dinner and watch Eureka. After cleaning up, I locked myself in my room – planning to play on ravelry, knit and spin.

Dad knocks. The cord won’t work. Can I fix it?

I have no idea where my parents got the idea that I’m some sort of sewing expert, but they have it all the same. Oy. I don’t know.

It turns out the cord worked, it was the treadle that wouldn’t work. $50+ and 80 mi for a cord that won’t work. Mum was practically in tears and I just sat on the floor. We finally decided that it would be best to let Dad return the cord (Mum was livid). And the 2 bags of bobbins which, it turns out, don’t fit our machine.

What a stupid, pointless day. And I only managed to get an 1″ done on the booties for Beans. Arg. The booties, for your daily Knitting News, are nearly finished. They’re taking so long because I am a freak and am knitting them at 9 sts/ inch. But I swear I’ll get them done before the baby is too big for them.

Even if I have to knit through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix tomorrow.

worst Independence Day ever

Vancouver sucked. Drivers were crazy (and drunk). The guards at the celebration wouldn’t let me take my knitting needles in. We had to walk a 1/2 mi back to the car to put them back. People got increasingly drunk as darkness fell (shooting off more and more fireworks over our heads*) and one idiotic woman nearly ran over my brother.

Seriously – I had to grab his shirt and yank him back**. Mum was screaming (as were everyone else watching). That was when we decided to leave – in the middle of the fireworks show, too.

I managed a couple of shots before it was too dark (we arrived around 7 pm). Here’re Mum and Emm on top of the hill we sat on (however brief a period):

And here’s the view we had:


… right about where the car tried to drive over the hill, a couple dozen families, and my brother. Genius, really.

Sooo… haven’t gotten any knitting done. The majority of the day was spent at Jo-Ann’s and Home Depot. Both of which Mum and I have vowwed never to return to.

All in all, today sucked. I’m going to go and knit something. Screw startitis. I’m casting on whatever I feel like right now.

* there’s a reason these things are illegal in many states.
** which probably wouldn’t have helped in the long run – I was standing right behind him. Thank goodness Mum and several onlookers were screaming.