Did I mention The Visit?

No, I don’t think I did.  A couple of weeks ago, while I was still on the Doxycycline, A & K came to visit – and they, of course, brought baby T.  Who is really toddler T, now.   They were participating in the Great Urban Race for Portland.  And, because I was on antibiotics and completely unfocused, I didn’t get any photos of them on Friday or during the race on Saturday.  Waaah!

I did manage, after a nap, to snap a couple of shots Saturday evening while we watched toddler T for the adults.  First when we took T up to Mt Tabor’s playground – which T didn’t seem very interested in.  She was more curious about the path leading up the mountain.  Mum decided it would be fun to teach T how to stomp on pine cones…

Crunching pinecones

I’m sure you can guess how much a toddler loves that. Oy. It wore her out, though, which might have been Mum’s ulterior motive.  Or not, Mum seemed to enjoy stomping on them, too.

Back at home, Emm seemed to be able to captivate her the most:

emmett-tegan

Especially his beard:

Tegan & Emm's beard

Which, I’ll admit, I find hilarious. K & A swear that she does this with her other uncles, too.

And, of course, I got a shot of Grandpa and T together – the two of them had a ball.

Grandpa & Tegan

Well, okay, we all did. I really wish I’d managed to snap a shot of T running around the house with the Powell’s t-shirt we’d got her on her head like a Pharaoh’s Nemes headcloth.  That was great.

All in all, it was a fantastic visit.  The girls did very well in the race – came in 10th!  I was very proud of myself for being helpful on 6 hours of sleep and a nasty dose of antibiotics.

Next?  Time to leave for OFF&F in a few.  Need to grab breakfast.  I’m bring the camera, honest, and plan on getting tons of photos – and fiber and yarn :)

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.

a belated existence

Thank you everyone for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. Emm has been healing much faster than we had any reason to hope for, so I really think you all helped. In fact, during an emergency meeting with The Dr (Emm was discomfited by the Scleral Buckle around his left eye), we were overjoyed to find out that Emm is starting to regain vision in his right eye – the one where the retina had all but detached completely.

I have to admit that on entirely selfish level I am pathetically grateful Emm doesn’t require round the clock care anymore. Aside from it being phyisically and emotionally draining, it was affecting both my personal and professional lives. I had to cut back hours at work, which meant I got less done – meaning I’m not on the schedule I’d like to be right now. Don’t even ask me about the Sock Club. It’s just embarrassing. And as for that Shibui baby set I promised? Forget about it.

As for my home life? Oy. I feel bad cutting my friends off and even rejecting “quality” time with the family. But, heck, between work, Emm’s care, cleaning (‘nother oy), and sleeping (sleep comes before food with me), things have fallen behind at home as well. Don’t inquire about the laundry, dishes or bathroom. I counted it a major personal victory when I managed to vacuum the house while Emm was taking his afternoon nap today. If I’m lucky, I’ll even manage a load of laundry before bed. (Before you ask, Mum’s had to go back to working FT and Dad is almost 70 – as the youngest and the healthiest, things naturally fall to me to get done at all.)

And as for my personal life? I would be a little ashamed of how I’ve abandoned my responsibilities on ravelry, if not for my fantastic mods who’ve managed to keep everything in the SKA running beautifully without me. Bless them.  I did, to assuage my guilt, spend a couple hours on ravelry this evening catching up with as much of my responsibilities as I could.  Hopefully that’ll be enough for now.  If I’m really lucky, I’ll even manage to wrap up the Scavenger Hunt prizes by the end of this week.

Anyway.  Yesterday was the first full day I have taken off for myself in… well, weeks, really. Even before Emm’s surgery there were so many other things to be done. In any case, I spent the day with Opus – we decided to be lazy and knit (which doesn’t really count as lazy):

On our way from one reclining spot to another, we paused to admire the work of dozens of sand castle enthusiasts during Sand In The City:

sand in the city 2008

Even in the cold and the mist, they were still going strong. Admirable, if entirely crazy to my mind as we shivered (it’s July!! Where is my 90F weather??) while we waited for the MAX. From there we crashed for some time on Twisted’s couch (comfiest couch on the East Side), and I worked on this:

Button-Back 2

My continuing effort for the SKIF KAL.

(check out the revised badge:)

Amazingly enough, this sweater still continues to draw me. I’m nearly done with the body (1.5″ to go!!) and am seriously looking forward to the sleeves. Very fun. I can’t wait, with a glee that surprises me, to finish it with a sewing machine. I also (cue blush) bought yarn to maybe make another. Someone just stop me.

Uh oh. My laptop battery is about to die, which means I’ve been on here for too long anyway. Time to wrap this up. Thank you, again, to everyone who sent positive wishes and prayers and thoughts our way! We truly do appreciate all your care. Now, I’ve got to go and battle the dirty-laundry monster. Until next time, happy knitting!

Grows a red, red rose

Blast. Can’t find the original lyrics I liked best. Hardly matters, everyone knows the song, right?

Worked yesterday. Long day full of short bursts of activity. Sundays tend to be quiet in most businesses, I guess. I have to go to work in 45 mins, so this post is going to be short and sweet since I still haven’t washed my hair :P

After closing, I met up with Mum and we went for a walk in the International Rose Test Gardens. Remember them? The roses were quite impressive, despite the continuing wet and cool weather. As is my own unique talent, I didn’t manage to take any good photographs, but here’s a passable one:

rg1

After walking through a cloud of rose perfume, I was very excited to find a red-black rose that matched my Sockdown: June! wip:

rr2

How perfect is that? And, before you ask, the challenge this month is Design Your Own – which means I’m making up the pattern as I go. The yarn is “Roxanne” by Tempted Yarns. I got it from The Loopy Ewe. I LOVE this yarn. The color is do deep and vibrant and the base yarn is sooo soft.

That seems to be everything.  I have to leave in less than half an hour now.  Toodles.

kinetic sculptures, yeah?

Yesterday was a long day. It started out eeaarly (waking us before 8 am on a Saturday is SO not my idea of fun), by getting to the store in time to open – only to find it more than fully staffed. Bless my coworkers hearts, they got there [probably] at the break of dawn to take care of setup before their workshop with Catherine Lowe. Which was a huge success, incidentally.

The next couple of hours were unremarkable if one didn’t stop to consider how many times we were asked by tourists why there were people seated in lawn chairs around town?

The Rose Festival, we told them. And I even looked up the route of the Starlight Parade for one customer. I had to admit, I’d never been to any of the Rose Festival events intentionally (don’t ask), so I couldn’t really tell visitors what was going to happen.

Luckily for us, Opus came in around noon to keep me company (and sane). She explained the history of the different parades and events and the like to everyone who asked. It sounded interesting, but I was a bit overrun with customers so I didn’t think about it much.

Until I got off at 7pm, anyway. Opus was determined to drag me to watch along the parade route. We got dinner (if dessert can count as such) and sat down on Stark and 9th to watch. It started out with the infamous footrace. My favorite participant was the racing Jesus:

racing-jesus

Complete with cross. He even ran backwards for half a block.

After the racers came the various floats and bagpipers with fairy lights (which I didn’t manage to photograph) and more interesting . I took a bunch of pictures, but can’t quite remember why, afterwards.

My favorite group, after the lit-up pipers, had to be the Cloud City Garrison, the 501st Legion Storm Troopers:

storm-troopers

Oh, yeah. They were cool. I tried to get a photo of the Jedi, but didn’t manage it :(

It was an interesting event and I have to admit that I loved the whole parade-after-dark thing. The floats were much more fun lit up and glowing. I think I might have to go to other Rose Festival events now. The Dragon Boat race sounds interesting, actually…

Other than that? Life is quiet for a couple of days. And cold. It’s June and 58F out. How weird is that?

What I’ve been killing myself over.

Okay, in all honestly, one of the things I’ve been killing myself over:

badge

Contacting designers and dyers and graphic artists.  Choosing colors and pattern ideas and … er, I’ve lost track.  I have several folders full of correspondence and brainstorming and heaven knows what else.  But, woot!, it’s done and been up since Friday and we’ve already sold 1/4 of the spots available :D  (I am admittedly occupying one of those spots)

Life is goood.

a little adventure

On Saturday, Latern Moon had it’s annual warehouse sale. I found out about it the day before, called Opus, and made plans to travel in NoPo. We even managed to catch the right bus on the way into the wilds and get off on the right stop. That should have warned us that things were setting up for some sort of disaster.

The sale was fantastic. Remind me to post pictures of what I got laters. Once we’d bought too much and packed up, we went out to the closest (we thought) stop and waited. And waited. And waited. Two buses went by in the opposite direction. Finally, oh finally, through rain and wind and marsh grass (I guess) a bus arrived.

We weren’t expecting where it took us. I asked the driver, is this the way back into town? Yes, it was. Just with a little detour.

A bit surprised, we ended up at the Columbia Rive Correctional Institution:

sock-prison

So I show the sock where bad socks go. It was much better behaved after that.

Once we were noticeably heading back into town (cue deep sigh of relief), we jumped off at the Kennedy School McMennamins. This has to be one of the most interesting McMennamins I’ve been to yet. A WWII-era school that was converted into a restaurant, brewery, theater and hotel – all in one place. Very cool. Opus and I were disappointed to discover we’d arrived just a little too late for the next show, so we ate at the bar and admired the scenery:

sock-chandelier
The sock really enjoyed the glassware everywhere

After eating and drinking and wandering around, we hopped back on another bus on it’s way back from the local prison, only to jump off across the street from Twisted. Where, again, we both spent too much money.

Oh, alright, not too much. It was only one skein of STR Mediumweight in “Backstabber”. Gawds, I’ve been wanting that color for sooooo long and they had it right there and it was evil and whispering things to me. Ack. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it – yet.

And that was (basically) everything. Our trips home were practically anticlimactic.

Alpacas and American shame.

I have 20 minutes before I have to jet over to work, and thought I’d share the photos I took yesterday at the Alpaca Western Extravaganza. In all honesty, I didn’t find it as entertaining as Heart of the Valley or Black Sheep Gathering.

Anyway. Opus and I met up and headed over to the Portland Expo Center, a place which neither of us had been and along a MAX line (yellow) neither of us had really used. A fun adventure for everyone. We actually arrived in the right place (crazily enough) on the first try.

When we got off, we paused to contemplate the Torii gates that had been put up over the entrances to the Expo Center MAX stop. Every MAX station has publicly funded art on display.

Torii gate at the Expo Center

A bit puzzled, since Torii gates traditionally indicate a sacred area, I wandered over to inspect them more closely. The closer I got, I realised that the chiming was coming not from prayer-tablets but from dog-tags hung across the crossbars. And, as my eyes scanned downwards, this caught my eye:

Torii inscriptions

“JAP EXODUS STARTS HERE WEDNESDAY”

Oh. Much subdued, the chiming didn’t seem as pretty anymore, we made our way through the gates and into the Expo Center, a place that didn’t seem quite as pleasant either…

Alpaca Western Extravaganza

Less than thrilled by the history of the place, Opus and I made our way through the show quickly, stopping only to pick up a couple of things. Which I’m afraid I’ll have to show you later, since it’s time for me to go. I’ll try and pick up the rest of this story tonight.

Sakura in the snow.

Sakura. The Japanese 桜 or 櫻. It’s the time for Hanami (“viewing flowers”). I have to admit that the naturalist in me loves the idea of this pastime. And, having grown up in Washington, D.C., the concept of cherry blossom viewing is particularly attractive. In Spring, every year, we would trek out to the the Park and look at the trees that the Emperor of Japan had sent to us all those years ago, and admire their beauty while listening to the history of our relationship with Japan and the effects of WWII.

When I discovered that the Japanese Garden had several ornamental cherry trees, I vowed to come up and see them during their glory. Opus and I agreed to drag our mothers (both artists) up with us this weekend, so the four of us could appreciate together. Of course, none of us had really expected the sharp and bracing cold front that just swept in. Or the recent snow fall. I have counted 4 snow falls in the past 3 days! In March. Truly the G-ds of Weather have a cruel sense of humor.

But up we went into Washington Park and the Garden. Around we went, admiring the hardy camelias that were fighting to bloom amidst the snow and frost wind. I actually managed a photo of one of the brave cherry trees trying to blossom with snow in the foreground:

snow-n-sakura

(in the background you can see Mum in her ankle-length down coat and Opus’ Mum in her water-proof winter gear)

Onward we trekked, amused by the moss growths on everything:

zen

But, eventually, our efforts were rewarded. In the sheltered area surrounding the Pavilion, we found our perfect cherry tree:

weeping-cherry

Which we stopped to admire for some time and at several different angles:

cherry4

After an hour in the 30F weather we finally gave in and headed back indoors, proud of ourselves for making the effort and succeeding. There are more photos here for the truly bored.

Oh, and a last one for the knitters – my traveling socks held by Opus:

traveling-socks

Wild is the wind.

In the Portland area, anyway. Went up Mt Tabor today and the wind was blowing the snow off of Mt Hood. I had to take a photo:

mthood

I mean, really. How often does one see something like that? It was frigidly cold out all day, but well worth the effort of climbing up the half-frozen hill. Anyway. Got home, edited patterns and was just about to lie down, wheeen…

Oy, my cell went off. I had forgotten that tonight was a Sock Knitters Night. Just as I was in sweats and everything (sigh). So… I changed, ran out the door and just barely made it to the shop in time. While I was there, I worked on these,

socks

And my nearly-finished Socks for Maggie. Much progress was made on both. Opus and I then went to dinner.

But, I doubt all y’all really care. The two big things to blog about tonight? TheBon won the Name This Creature contest and I have her prize ready, along with the make-up Wacky Ducky Prize. I had fun picking them out. I should be able to send the lot in a day or two, hopefully at the same time as my Socks for Maggie (which are literally 6 rows away from being an FO).

The other? The final clue for the Sockdown: January Mystery Socks:

Clue #4 (PDF)

Of course, since January has FIVE weeks (blast it), I’m going to reveal the pattern’s name and influence next week. Bah! to five-week months.