Positive and negative reinforcement

Wow, has it been four days already? Umm, yes, it has. Bad blogger. No cookie.

The chocolate crawl went well on Sunday. So well I forgot to take pictures. The chocolate fumes were befuddling, what can I say? It was glorious. We spent over 2 hours at Cacao. Which I simply must insist any visitors to PDX visit. We also spent close to 2 hours at Pix on Hawthorne. I love Pix with a deep and abiding devotion. Every town should have a Pix. Or two.

The next day was the first official meeting of Knit/ Purl’s sock knitters group:


It was surprisingly well-attended. As T put it, “I thought there’d only be 5 knitters, including us 3!” I have to admit I thought the same thing, but we were wrong. This might have also contributed to the fact that I had to run downstairs and get more chairs 3 times. My goodness. No wonder my knee ached today.

Today was wonderfully, sublimely, simple. I nearly jinxed it by mentioning this fact the D, but managed to stop myself on time. P and I made this mistake yesterday, to our decided woe. Never tempt the g-ds. They are always listening.

And that is nearly everything. I am soooo close to finish Project #3 and the cash-socks. It’s taking me so long because I have so little time to knit now :( AND because Project #3 is so heavy my hands cramp after any length of time. Slow and steady it goes.

But, I rewarded myself last night, and bought a ball of Noro Kureyon sock yarn – even though I had sworn against it – and 2 skeins of luscious Art Yarns silk and beaded silk – for a future, unnamed project. Thus, the positive reinforcement. And now I must get back to the knitting.

good news, bad news

While I still haven’t heard from the Peace Corps on anything like my placement (sigh) or the level of my medical clearance (‘nother sigh), I DO have other good Peace Corps related news. One, I received a package from the Corps today containing a book (for me) and two booklets (for my family) on what to expect during my service.

Two, well, this is gonna take longer to explain. At the Peace Corps Nominee Potluck, the subject of my spinning wheel came up. I wanted to know if it’d be possible for me to take it with me. The RPCV/ former staffer (returned Peace Corps volunteer/ she worked at the head office in D.C. after her tour) told me that she’d never heard of such a thing, but that some volunteers had taken over things like musical instruments or furniture. Dad then piped up and said, “why don’t we just get you one of those spinning wheels in a box?”

I stared at him (so did everyone else, out of confusion) and finally said, “They’re very expensive, Dad.”

“Well, if you’re going into the Peace Corps for 2 – 3 years, I think we can swing it somehow.” (truth is, I think Dad wants me to get one of these just because they’re so darn cool)

Oh. I filed this welcome nugget away for later investigation. On Saturday night I visited the Journey Wheel website and, after getting very excited over the possibility of taking one to Africa with me, I noticed this:

Journey Wheels: Our Fall 2007 group is now full.
The next open spot is in Winter 2008;
5 available.
Please specify Single or Double Treadle.

cried, “no!” and immediately emailed Sheila. She told me that the note was indeed true, but because of my unique situation we might work something out. After exchanging emails for a couple of days, I received the happiest news there was. Not only was there a Fall spot open due to a recent cancellation, but a spinner in the Summer group had given me her spot in favor of the Fall one. In light of this kindness, I could have a Journey wheel by mid-July.

Fiber artists are truly some of the most generous people in the world.

This news was more than enough to make me ecstatic for the rest of the day. I immediately realised that, while my parents are very generous, there was no way they could afford the total price. So, to make this possible, I’m selling my Lendrum. It’s difficult to come to terms with, but it needs to be done. And, really, my parents shouldn’t have to store Lennie (and all the accoutrement I’ve collected for him) for the next 2- 3 years.

I love my Lendrum (we all know this), but I have to be reasonable. The Journey wheel is the best idea there is (thank you, Dad) and I’ll definitely be able to use it wherever I’m placed. There’s the ‘bad’ news. Well, not really bad. Just slightly sad. But, I’m relieved in the fact that St M says she can meet my asking price, so at least I know that Lennie will be going to a good home.

St M says I should take this all as a positive sign. Mum and Dad agree. There’s something, I guess.

In other news, St M and I spent the afternoon and evening together. At dinner, we noticed the COOLEST chair on the face of the PLANET:

Gandhi spinning on his charkha! How unbelievably spiffy is that?

It must be admitted that I tactically considered what it would have taken to sneak it out. After deciding that not even St M could create that great a distraction, the plan was dropped. But we got dinner anyway. After dinner was Monday Night Knitting. And who did we sit with? Jodie, the organizer of the Charity Blanket Swap. I even got her and C to pose with the blanket WIP:

Which ALSO means that I have fulfilled my obligation to photograph the blanket in my hometown. Coolies. I’m sending it out tomorrow. Watch out, Penny! It’s coming for you next ^_^

And, wow, my inbox is overflowing. Someone help me, please.

Überdork Strikes Again

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
Samuel Johnson

At least the soda I spilled (all over the bloody table) didn’t stain anyone’s yarn or clothing. Notice that I put the yarn first. Even so, I felt like the biggest heel in existence. This feeling was not helped as I continually made weird comments and just confused people all night. St M was a good person (and friend) and played along with me.

My new charm bracelet helped me distract two of the ladies I nearly soaked. They were beaders and fascinated by it. So, I dutifully handed it over and no more mention was made of my clumsiness. (I got it back, never fear)

The charm bracelet came from the Handspun/ Handcrafts Swap. I received my package today and had to immediately put on the jewelry Miss Violaceous made for me. I took way too many photos to post, so I’m only going to include one of the handmade goodies and just let you check the link to see everything (especially the DIY World Domination Kit and instructions)… Anyway, here’re the pretties she made for me:

Starting at the top, and then left to right:

  • a knitting wrist bag (squee!)
  • an Art Nouveau charm bracelet
  • an herb-filled amigurumi octopus
  • sunflower seeds for the garden
  • stitch markers
  • a “faux” nouveau brooch
  • a vintage cameo
  • and Lady Godiva earrings

I took the knitting bag to Mme DeFarge’s tonight to try it out – it’s wonderful! I loves it muchly (it even has eyelets for colourwork, y’all!). It’s staying in my sling-bag to protect my knitting projects from now on. Monkey likes it, too, the socks were so well behaved in their bag. Unlike the lace stole, which is in bad humor right now.

In other (nonKnitting) news, I got ANOTHER packet from the Peace Corps today. Oh, yes, another. Apparently, the Dental Eval form wasn’t filled to their liking. I need to prove that I’ve had the dental work my dentist claims I “need” (like hell). I am so angry with the physicians around here right now, it doesn’t bear mentioning. But, at least I still am in the running, eh?

And more news. My Weight Loss Challenge. I have lost 4 lbs! I went to a doctor today (verily, I have many) and got on the scale and… yay! The nurse was surprised that I was excited about my weight, but whatever.

Finally, I am a little weirded out. My little brother has, get this, grey hairs! I keep seeing these glints of silver every time he shakes his head. My brother is 19! So weird, and so wrong. I can’t even handle it. I’ve only had one white hair – and Mum said it didn’t count as it was obviously just from a dead follicle.

Again, just too weird.

snarky knitters

snark·y /ˈsnɑrki/ [snahr-kee]
–adjective, snark·i·er, snark·i·est. Chiefly British Slang.

testy or irritable; short.
[Origin: 1910–15; dial. snark to nag, find fault with (appar. identical with snark, snork to snort, snore, prob. D, LG snorken to snore) + -y1]

Since the Monday Night Knitters (aka Madame DeFarge’s Knitters) have been kicked out of our previous venue, Perugino’s, we’ve been a bit adrift. Many other venues were considered, but most have seating limitations, early hours, or other problems. This evening, we tried the 5th Street Market. Which turned out to be a bust, since everything closed at 7 pm. Joy. It was decided that we’d all move over to Cozmic Pizza, and try again there.

In all fairness, we had been warned that it was Open Mike Night at Cozmic Pizza. But, I think we were all expecting badly written (and performed) poetry, and not karaoke. At first, we were politely distasteful. Then we (well, about half of us, including St M and I) got really loud and really snarky. A couple of times we sang along, off-key, and others we critiqued the singers’ skills, etc. And we laughed. A lot. And loudly.

At the time it was funny. Right now I’m worried about the damage we might have done to some of the “performers” egos. At one point, A asked if St M and I were drunk because we were laughing so hard. But, really, who wouldn’t laugh when two teenagers are trying to since songs older than they are? (and not succeeding in the slightest, either)

We all left right about when the love songs started up. After getting home, I wound off last night’s Aurora into a skein and plied the other bobbin-full. As of tonight, I have 6 skeins done:

I’m getting closer and closer to have a sweater’s worth of yarn. Yay! Then I get to design a sweater… Hrm.

Well, that’s about it. Not really. But I don’t want to write any more. Quickly – I got some really gorgeous lace for the edge of “that Judaica thing” (rejoice!) and some matching blue braiding. It’s gonna rock, I think. Hopefully my karma isn’t in the negatives after tonight, and it’ll work out.