Inexplicable knitting behavior

Yesterday was a strange, yet glorious, day. It was the second day of the Blue Moon scavenger hunt and there were knitters all over town making the Muggles confused. I got presented with more tea and hot chocolate than I could drink.

Making it even weirder, I helped both Terrisa and Jenni “hunt”, mostly be taking photos of them. We managed to amuse quite a group at The Annex, when we got the bartender to pose with a McMenamins beer and Terrisa’s traveling sock (she’ll probably be posting about all this here, eventually). We even managed to pick up some goodies for the Harlot before we went to see her at the World Forestry Center:

  • 2 McMenamins beers
  • 1 lb of Stumptown coffee, ground up for hotel drips (the Harlot informed us that she knew how to make a coffee filter from toilet paper when the coffee fumes overcame her)
  • a Cacoa sampler
  • 4 skeins of Shibui yarn
  • 1 ShibuiKnits pattern by a local designer (me, actually, but I take no credit for it going into the package)

The MAX actually had a couple of knitters on their way to the event, so we got to freak out the Muggles a little bit more. Terrisa and I met up with K, a knitter friend from No Mean Feet!, who was having a Pre-Harlot event that was loads of fun. Hint: it involved YARN. I love knitters.

I forgot to take pictures of the 3 skeins of STR Lightweight in “Knitters Without Borders” I got with my book – I bought 1 of the skeins for the SKA’s upcoming International Event. Bad me, no photo. I’ll take one later. I wanna make knee-highs with the other 2.

From there we went into the crowd, and got seats:

crowd

Over 300 knitters in one place – it was fantastic! There was actually enough seating this time because Blue Moon put on the event, not some Muggles at Powells. Stephanie, of course, gave a wonderful talk about all sorts of things, which I shan’t tell you – you need to see her in person. It’s totally worth any trip. Really.

Next was the really, ah, inexplicable part. Terrisa and I got it into our heads to do something… different. To keep Steph from freaking out, we gave her our bribe and asked for the normal things:

an autograph…

signing-book-4

a photo with my traveling sock…

Harlot-sock

And a group photo…

knitting-angels

Which, oh yeah, is where our inexplicable knitting behavior came in. Terrisa wanted to get Stephanie to pose with us in the traditional Charlie’s Angels line-up. I stipulated that it had to be knitting-themed. Instead of guns, Terrisa has her traveling socks. Stephanie had her sock in place of a hand radio. And I held a skein rather than karate-chopping. In the background you can see Bob straining to hold our “fiery backdrop” up, which was really the shop’s Big Bad Baby Blanket. It didn’t quite fit.

I thought the crowd was going to die, they were laughing so hard. Hell, I was laughing my @ss off. Hopefully we didn’t scare Steph permanently away from Portland.

All in all, it was a lot of fun. And explained why I got home near midnight and was half dead when I went in to work today. After maybe 6 hours of sleep and a long day with bad weather I got home this evening and was greeted by a tree on my lawn, blocking the path to the house and the sidewalk. After climbing over it, swearing a lot, and getting into the house, I took this to prove what a weird thing life can be:

Yay. Luckily, the Urban Forester, whomever he is, came by and fixed it whilst I took a nap. Thank goodness.

a-surprise

So now everything is (mostly) back to normal and stuff. I kind of don’t know where to go with this post now. Yesterday was fantastic, today not so much. That about sums it up. I’ll post some yarn and WIP shots later, honest. I’ve finished the first of the Distracted socks :) The Harlot is holding it’s mate IP.

infamous?

For all that my family is a very volatile creature (we fought like wildcats two nights ago), we ARE a family. This is something the occasional outsider doesn’t understand. I’m not sure whether I envy or pity these people, but that’s another matter. So, to some, it may come as a surprise what happened today (especially when one takes into account the huge fight we all got into recently).

This afternoon, as I was boxing yet more stuff up, Mum & Dad ambled into the room to check on my progress, and plan for the rest of the afternoon. When they asked what I’d rather do today (more boxes or gardening), I joking admitted that I really wanted to go to the Harlot’s signing at Powell’s. There was a pause.

“That’s today? I thought it was tomorrow.”

“No,” sigh, “it’s tonight.”

“Well…” And then, somehow, Mum & Dad came up with a plot. We’d pack up the car to the brim with boxes, move them into the Portland house and then take me over to the signing – thus, the afternoon wouldn’t be wasted, and I’d get my book signed (I have all the Harlot’s books autographed now, yay).

So, at around 4 pm, the Jaywalkers were getting carsick outside Albany:


They asked me to pleaseplease put them back in their bag, please. I did. We arrived in Portland a bit late, cuz there was a HUGE backup (read: standstill) outside of Canby. Dad and I, seeing the terrible sight of several miles of Interstate clogged, veered off of said Interstate on the nearest exit.

Upon grabbing the giant Portland Metropolitan area map, a haphazard route was planned along several country roads, two highways, and through the middle of Canby itself. Dad was impressed with how pretty the countryside was (wine country), and the ride was much smoother than I-5, so it was definitely worth the extra half hour or so.

Eventually we arrived at the house and proceeded to move boxes with a speed rarely seen in humans. We had T-minus 45 minutes to get supper and get to Powell’s before the Harlot appeared (7:30 pm). We grabbed the bestest Pho ever (yumyum), dashed out of the restaurant (we paid, don’t worry), and drove like maniacs to the Burnside Bridge. Dad dropped me off outside of Powell’s (running late, ack!) and I rushed in, acting very Italian, and cut to the front of the Information desk.

“Harlot signing,” I panted. The woman looked at me with pity.

“It’s in the Pearl Room, on the 3rd Floor. But,” she paused and considered me, my size, and my ability to act like a sardine, “the room’s already overfull and the manager’s talking about closing off the room. I’d hurry if I were you,” she called to me, and the 3 other knitters who had slipped in behind me, as a mass of us rushed off towards the stairs. After getting lost in the Purple Room (I don’t recommend this) and, err, a slight stampede (we warned the man, I swear), the four of us made it to the Pearl Room.

And, indeed, the event was standing room only. For most of the Harlot’s talk I couldn’t even see her, but instead listened and watched the knitters around me. Handspun, handknit garments were everywhere, and I enjoyed inspecting them. Finally, towards the end of the Harlot’s talk, the crowd had thinned a bit, and I shimmied past a couple of snickering Knitters to snap this very blurry shot:


Seriously. I’m amazed we all fit onto the 3rd floor, in the end (many a knitter was seen perched on the stairs to the 4th floor, or in the stacks). Then, when the talk was over and the signing was to begin, I took the Powell’s representative very very seriously and lined up, quickly, where he told us to. Good thing I did, too, since the line got lengthy fast; and, wow, I doubt even Dad would have sat that long for me to get my book signed. But, luckily, I only stood in line for maybe 15 minutes. Which were spent amicably chatting with a very interesting woman and her daughter, both knitters, and who promised me an In with Blue Moon. Oh… my.

Great chat. I also was greeted by one of the girls from Knit/Purl, who asked if she could come up with me (she identified the Jaywalkers instantly). In exchange for a photograph, I agreed. I think the Harlot passed on some of her mojo to the Jaywalkers for me and I got to hold The Sock:

(can you totally tell I spent the afternoon getting sweaty and dirty
…and didn’t get to shower or brush my hair before this photo was taken?)
(OY)

After the photo was taken, an offer for drinks was given, and pleasantries exchanged, I handed the Harlot my book, containing my sticky-note the Powell’s person wrote out for me.

“You’re Fyberduck?!” I looked around, confused. Were there Wanted posters up? Was she remembering that (slight) fiasco involving the Knitting Olympics group blog I organized?

“Ye-es.”

“Well, if this isn’t like being approached by Bruce Wayne and being asked to write an autograph for Batman!” I laughed nervously, said thank you, was photographed again with The Sock, then made polite talk I really don’t remember now and made my escape (sans Dark Knight cape, alas).

I found Dad standing by the “Knitting Is Knotty” display (insert snicker here) and replied to his ‘how did it go?’ with, “Wow, I guess I’m infamous.”

After turning down an offer from a couple of the girls from Knit/Purl (they were having a get-together nearby), evading some sailors on shore-leave, hunting down ice cream, and singing off-key for two hours, we finally arrived home.

What a strange day.

I have no immune system whatsoever

I think I’ve caught the bug that M caught from J (her boss). Joy. We knitter’s certainly know how to share, eh? I’ve currently living off of hot tea. I love ginger tea. And the electric kettle. It’s nearly my salvation right now. I admit that I am a complete wuss when it comes to having a sore throat. But, in my defense, it’s a result of having Scarlet Fever a few years ago – since then I kinda freak out whenever my throat swells up.

Umm, lemme see, I’ve had a request or two for piccies of the duck I gave to the Harlot, so here they be…

From the front, wearing the shawl w/ a UO pin:

And, from the back – the snowdrops are visible:

I completely stole the pix from Emmos’ blog, and there’s been a slight mix-up –
the shawl is made of Egyptian cotton, not cashmere.

In Knitting/ Dyeing News, I finished dyeing the pantas for Deepfriedkids last night (IYP3 Swap). Interesting how old adages come and bite you on your @ss periodically. The whole thing with a new morning and sunlight and all that is true. When I went to bed I hated how they had turned out – they looked muddy and dark. But, this morning, in sunlight, they were bright and cheerful – the colours that my partner wanted. Which was a definite relief.

I have made no progess on the IYP3 sox, alas, having spent all night cursing the crockpot and One Shot dyes. But, I think I can get them done today, and everything sent off to their respective desitinations.

My mother’s and brother’s birthdays are in two weeks (Sept 21 & 22), so I need to get a move on those projects. Mum’s lace shawl is coming along – and I think she has no idea that I’m making it for her (mwahaha). But, I have absolutely no fricking idea what to make for my brother. No idea whatsoever. Any suggestions? I was going to make him sox, but he’s weird about sox. And he likes for everything to be soft. Maybe just a hat. Crimeny.

Blast… I’m about to run out of tea. Need to put the kettle on.

self-discipline

I am so exhausted. Mostly because I stayed up past 4am modifying my account on Monster.com. Bleh. I got up at noon (such an earlier riser, I know) mostly because my alarm was set. After not doing any laundry, cooking, or cleaning (wow, huh?) I headed over to the Bookstore to grab the correct duck for the Harlot – who was having a signing this evening at Books Without Borders. I figured it be a nice thank-you for the free patterns on her blog, etc. Emmos took pix of it.

Anyway, enough rambling, I ran to the library to pick up HP#1 in Spanish (I’ve already started) and a Gathering of Lace (which is really a library book in my opinion). I then settled into the Strand (the warehouse that BWB is in), waiting for M and the weekly knitting meeting. At 5:30, the Harlot was giving a small talk, here’s a pic (with M’s head and very looong braid):

And all 3 of us going up to get our books signed:
(Emmos even brought a book from the library to be signed…)
Here’s Emmos and M showing off their Snowdrop Shawls OTN:
And, a group shot:


We even got to hold the sacred travelling sock. Tehe. Twas fun. Stephanie is a great public speaker (I think she’s had quite a bit of experience by now) and she had tons of advice and anecdotes. I think I was the only person there relieved to find out that the Knitting Olympics wouldn’t be in the summer (thank goodness) – but, eh. I got all three of my copies of her books signed, to fyberduck, which made my day (lack of sleep and all).

So, yeah, good.

Back to the title. After looking at recent photos of myself, I have decided that I need to diet for a bit. How fun. I hate dieting – yarn diets, food diets, whatever. Just hate ’em. But, it needs to be done. I’ve gained so much weight this summer (all knitting, no exercise), it’s no good. Also, I have decided to stick to my goal and not join any swaps after the IPY3 Swap. Emmos and Peninah are trying to seduce me with tea, but I shall prevail. I must finish all the family projects and get a start on holiday and b-day gifts.

In Knitting News, I have 4 pantas and am now past the insteps of the sox! (rejoicing) I may just have everything done in time to be shipped on Monday! What are the odds?

In Personal News, my father called me when we were settling into the Strand for the talk – he had just recieved a call from my Peace Corps mentor – because I may have a Peace Corps placement! OMG!!! SQUEE!!! Can you totally guess that I danced in place and shrieked for, like, 5 minutes?? Everyone around me ignored it, impressively. I don’t know where or when – but I’m supposed to call tomorrow for more details. So, yeah, woot! The only thing that breaks my heart about the Corps, is that I won’t be able to bring my wheel with me… no Lennie for 2 years, minimum!! (whine) M and Emmos were, like, “bring your charkha!” – which I will, but it’s not the same :(

Ahwell. I’m never satisfied. But, I am determined that, for tonight, I shall be content. Now, I need to go and watch Kiki’s Delivery Service. Dad’s watching a documentary on Muhammed Ali…

snowdrops and cerulean

Wonder of wonders, my shawl was dry this morning, so I brought it into Costume Construction to finish it and show it off (a promise is a promise). I then steamed it (bless the lab) and checked all my woven-in ends and, being secure, cut them off. I even emailed the Harlot, as per the pattern (laughing). Eventually, I asked Laura to help me document this momentous occassion:


Good job at the lighting, Laura ;)

I think the best part of the finishing was everyone assuming I was working on a class project. Most of the students didn’t believe I’d made it. Heck, even my parents were amazed. Humans are weird sometimes. We can fly to the moon, but making something by hand is a mystery to most people.

So now, of course, I must do more lace. (I don’t know where this urge is coming from, honestly) And, truly, I do like the sharper edge of the shawl w/o the border, so I’m happy. I just have to find occassion to wear it ;D

To satisfy this craving for lace, I’m currently drafting up two patterns – a travelling vines summer spencer, and a “Miss Lizzie Shawl” – for my May Knit the Classics project.

Anyway, after our brief stint in the sun and fresh air, we returned to The Dungeon (well, Laura ran back in ’cause she’s Californian and it was under 60 degrees out… uhhuh). And, this is what I have to show for today:


Puck’s trousers! Fully furred (maybe too much) and perfectly fitting. Sadly, S is thinking we might have to thin out the fur. Oy. Here’s a view of the tail I want to put on Puck (and V, too), but S thinks black velvet is better. C’mon, the lime green fur matches his waistband!


D and I escaped The Dungeon early and rejoiced in this by getting ice cream and heading home (before the sun had set! oh, the wonder). I decided it was too lovely outside to go inside directly and sprawled in a neighborhood park for half an hour. Which was sooooo relaxing. Wow. What a strange feeling.

I took some pix of the amazing sky. I know it’s Montana that’s called “Big Sky Country”, but I think Oregon has better horizons (and I’ve been to Montana). I’d never seen such spectacular clouds until moving out here.

(yes, this pic is right-way up)

And to give you context, the little green bits on that “hill”? Those are pine trees. And that’s a butte, not a hill. I live down in the foothills of the Emerald Valley. We get some strange weather because of it. But our skies are amazing, too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear some pink alpaca calling my name. Oh!, and I swear I haven’t forgotten the sibling sweater set! I tried to get out my fair isle swatch to work on in lecture, but it was all tangled – one of my goals for tonight is to make it workable.