Lazing

image

Okay, not really.  Knitting away on two commissions and another sample using the Purple Mystery pattern.  And, yes, incidentally, the Purple Mystery pattern will be available soon.  It goes to the tech editor tomorrow.

Would explain more, but have to go and get an early dinner (before an early movie).  Above is one commission and the second Purple Mystery (only this time it’s green). 

Gtg.  Pasta time!

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.

Like Nina sings.

I’m feeling good.

The booklet is out and is actually selling. I know that Knit Purl sold over 20 copies in the past three days, so I’m not as down and worried as I was.  You try being not being down and worried after being told over and over again that there are numerous sock book(let)s out there and that knitters probably won’t notice another one.

Not so good.  But, hah, Socks is only 4 booklets behind Shibui Luxury (well, where I work), and Luxury is knitter’s eye candy in every sense of the phrase.

Anyway.  Deep breath.  Vacation is commencing nicely.  I spent most of the weekend (barring some time at Ikea, g-d help me) relaxing, lounging, and just catching my breath.  The last eight months have been brutal.  Mostly I worked on two things (but don’t tell Shibui):

Sparkly pink Ishbel

and

Trapezoid experiment

Tegan’s Ishbel was obviously numero uno on my list, because she’s arriving tomorrow!!  Squee.  My sister and niece are arriving sometime around 2:3o and I am just beside myself.  My inner Girl Scout has planned all sorts of activities and cool treats.  It’s going to be awesome.  And I’m going to take copious photographs.

Expect to see some.  Or, rather, lots.

Including (hopefully) Tegan actually wearing her Ishbel.  I really hope she likes it!

I feel I must issue a friendly knitterly advisory.  And maybe alert the DEA.  I just cast on my first project using Lima (last night) and could barely make myself put it down long enough to finish the Ishbel.  Sparkly.  Pink.  Ishbel.  Looking at my template, that should express volumes.  This stuff is THE crack.  I’m kind of afraid of what will happen when I run out…  Will I DT?

Eep.

Maybe this is a sign that I need to stash some more…

The fact that I’m even thinking that is probably not a good sign.

And I thought Malabrigo was bad.

Wait.  Can you hear that?  It‘s calling to me.  I gotta go.

Quickie

Waiting for a ride (just finished “No Mean Feet!” at the store), and thought I’d put up my newest wip:

Percy shawl wip

The Percy Shawl, knit with one 100g skein of Suri Blue in “Rose”. Love the pattern and the yarn, especially together.  If you’re a lace freak, I cannot recommend this pattern enough – the Estonian stitches are really, really cool.  And it’s proving to be a quick knit, too.  (It helps that all my commissioned knitting is done!)  I’m also going to cast on for the store’s Girasole KAL on Wednesday, so there’s going to be a lot of lace hanging around for the next few weeks (did I also mention that I found the yarn I bought for Icarus?!  I should probably wait to finish Percy before starting that, though…)

Anyway.  Ride should be here any minute, gotta run.

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.

catching up a bit

Two posts in two days.  It’s probably not going to become a habit, though.

Let’s see…  so many projects, so little time.  I probably should mention that it snowed again on Friday night.  No, I’m not cranky about how frigidly cold it is right now at all.  There’s even some of that really cold white stuff lying around the yard where anyone might step in it.

more blasted white stuff

Still not in love with it.  Maybe if it wasn’t so slippery every morning.  Anyway, back to the knitting.  I’m halfway through this scarf:

scarf

… which is going to be a pattern for the Simple Knits collection at the store.  I think.  Using the new Sheep One by Sheep Shop Yarn.  Can’t remember what color it is.  The yarn itself is quite nice.  Somewhere between Manos and Malabrigo in softness and weight.  I might use it again for myself.

Next is the second Ana Bandana I’m making with Silk Maiden…

Perifot Ana Bandana wip

In Peridot.  It glimmers and shimmers and just looks sooooo pretty.  This yarn is awesome.  I want to roll in it, quite honestly.

And lastly, for our OTN update, we have a pair of socks (shocker there, I’m certain):

Tweedy socks

In ShibuiKnits Sock, color “Tweed”.  Loving it.  Always love Sock, really.  The pattern?  Who knows what’ll happen.

While I was out in the sunlight (a rare occasion in Oregon during the winter, to be sure), I snapped some shots of a new Japanese knitting book I got yesterday:

New Style of Heirloom Knitting

“New Styles of Heirloom Knitting”.  Really awesome book that features traditional Aran, Shetland and Fair Isle inspired garments.  I was finally swayed into purchasing said book by the three lace projects:

lace projects from NSHK

Of which the Mondnacht stole (literally “Moonlit Night”) has earned a place in my ravelry queue.

Mondnacht stole

I’m thinking that gorgeous Orenburg lace yarn (Silk/ Angora) would be suitable for it.  The pattern requires 1500+ yarns, which the skein has.  Though, I might change direction after a visit to Stitches West and the Lacis Museum.

Yes, I am hopping, skipping and jumping a flight to the Bay Area in two months to visit my favorite sister’s* family for a week in late February/ early March.  While there, I plan on getting into toooons of mischief.  It’s the only way to travel, in my opinion.

Speaking of travel, I have also made a New Year’s resolution.  It’s kind of crazy and it came to me yesterday as I was sitting at Pho Van talking with Opus about travel.  I am going to go to Israel by the end of this year. That’s it.  No weight loss, no becoming a better person, no vows to finish all my wips.  Atypical and nontraditional, to be sure, but I think it’ll work for me.

This is also a huge resolution to fulfill, as I have lost my passport and I hate the thought of applying for a new one.  I also speak no Hebrew (except Aramaic, really) and… well, I don’t even have a plan set yet.  But, I am bound and determined and am going to do it.  Hamas be damned.

I may even decide to extend my Birthright Trip and spend a couple of extra weeks over there.  Why the heck not?  I bet I could do all sorts of things**.

And after that bombshell, what can I say?  Other than I need to look into Hebrew and Arabic language classes and work on a PLN***?  Not much.  To add some insanity to the crazy, I’d also like to learn Japanese this year so when I call Tokyo for work (cue the dread of tomorrow), I’ll actually be able to respond with something other “Sumimasen, English, onegai“.  All things considered, I might just make next year’s resolution be to visit Japan (if I actually manage to learn Japanese).  How awesome would that be?

… I should probably start saving now, as the airfare will be killer.

*Yes, I may only have one sister, but she’d totally be my favorite anyway.

**That probably won’t involve yarn, dear knitters.  My heart just goes wild at the thought of visiting Petra, what can I say?

*** Sorry, couldn’t resist the Pratchett reference.

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!

I have the cutest neice in the entire world*.

No. Seriously.

Top this:

P6270009

Or this:

P6270016

Ha. You so can’t.

If you haven’t guessed (and why would you when I haven’t given you any clues…) my sister A and her too-adorable daughter, T, are visiting us this weekend. The thought of this very weekend has sustained me many a horrible day (too little sleep, too little food, crazy people everywhere, etc) for many a week now.

This morning, because I am the only actual adult in a family of adults, I dragged everyone’s sorry arses out of bed to sanitize the house for their visit. Literally 15 minutes before we had to leave for the airport – we were done. It’s a good thing I didn’t sleep in.

After eating lunch and catching up, some of us took naps (mostly mothers and daughters). Then I took the girls up Mt Tabor (see above). They loved it. Mt Tabor is one of my favorite places to take visitors, since you can see both Mt Hood and downtown Portland from the “summit” of the mountain. Really cool.

T wasn’t too impressed with the view, but she did like their children’s park:

a-t-sock

Yes, A is holding one of my traveling socks. I love my family.

After that was dinner, book time, a disastrous bath (just don’t ask), and bedtime. (Oh, and Penny? Those ducky finger-puppers went over a treat this evening when T was getting ready for bed. Thank you!)

At some point today I managed to take some IP shots of various WIPs. I was going to put them up, but now I’m feeling lazy. They’re on my ravelry notebook now and my flickr account. Up and amongst them are two projects I’m proud of: 1) a muffin cap that I wrote up the pattern for, and 2) my attempt at a SKIF sweater for Knit Purl’s Summer SKIF KAL.

Terrisa and I have been plotting this for months. Now, admittedly, I did CO a bit early. But I wanted to, ah, test-run the pattern. Right. That’s why. Not because the yarn was tempting me cruelly with it’s creamy softness. Or the pattern’s funkiness. Nah. I’m just being a responsible employee.

Totally.

But that’s everything I can think of right now. A bit tired from all the cleaning and running around and knitting stuff. Well, maybe not from the knitting.

*And I’m saying this as a completely impartial, uninvolved, judge. Really.