So much trouble

I’d blame Opus, since she does tend to be a bad influence on me, but she wasn’t entirely responsible for our tour of the Pearl yesterday.  We met just before noon at Peet’s, and spent a couple of hours sketching out stitch patterns, showing off recent FOs, and winding a honking huge ball of ShibuiKnits Highland Wool Alpaca:

Monster Ball o' Yarn

(I don’t know what Opus is staring at there…)

I wish I could say I’d used a special lens or something to make it seem bigger, but it really is that big. If I’m lucky, and not insane (designing is a chancy business), this might just become a scarf.  We stopped by Knit Purl, where I snuck in and updated the website, and grabbed some needles for the Monster Ball O’ Yarn to be knit on.  I went down a needle size, which I’ll probably regret, but the size 13s looked like something Buffy would carry in her backpack.

From there we hit Anthropology (baaad idea) and moved onto lunch.  I love Noodles, it must be said, they didn’t care that we sat for at least an hour after lunch just knitting (and even wished us good luck with our socks when we left).  Businesses like that are in short supply.

From there wandered further into the Pearl in search of dessert and another place to perch ‘n’ knit and had to stop by 10,000 villages.  Since their garden entrance looked so pretty, it had to be photographed:

Walkway in the Pearl

Love them.  They have fair trade chocolate (among other wares).

Next on the list was Tanner Springs Park.  I was hoping to tickle the fish in the pond…

Pond

Only to be caught in a sudden downpour.  So unfair :P  Luckily, across the street is Dublin Bay, which is warm and dry and filled with wool.  Can’t be a bad place to duck into.  Unless, of course, you’re trying not to buy any more yarn until destashing a bit.

Oops?

As much as I liked several of the yarns there, none of them caught me, until I stumbled upon Fleece Artist’s Blue-faced Leicester 2/8 in “Ivory”, one of my favorite semi-solids…

splurges

With 1000m/ 250g, I think it’ll make a fantastic Icarus.  It’s so soft and spongy and lofty, it’s just perfect for a lace shawl.  Not that I’ll be casting it on anytime soon, admittedly, but it’s nice to have in the stash.

In other news?  I voted last night.  Got another Newsletter out on Friday night – had to stay until 8pm to get it done.  The local release of the November sock kit for local Club members is tomorrow (squee!  I finally get to play with the yarn I’ve been coveting for 6 months).  Bought a copy of “It Itches” and love it!  Franklin is always hilarious.  Aaand, Mom’s black socks (STR Ravencroft) are almost done, from which I have a few modifications to add to the pattern.  Yesterday’s knitting time was well-spent.  All I have left is the ribbing on the cuff.

Which I’d like to do today.  Ja ne!

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!

gimpy

My new work nickname :)

Going up and down the stairs was hell, but at least the swelling has gone down enough that I can actually bend my knee now. Of course, having spent the past day and half with my right leg elevated, I got a lot of knitting done. I’m to the heel on my second Distracted sock – which, in accordance with it’s name, I screwwed up as I waited for the bus this afternoon. Note to self: do not attempt to knit whilst, and at the same time, watching for your bus.

As a result of this afternoon’s adventures, I have a new definition of extreme knitting: tinking back a heel on a crosstown bus.

Oh, yeah, baby. I like to knit dangerously.

The other progress I have to report?

a sock

I’m past the heel of my first “Pretty Petals” sock. The name just doesn’t work for me. I’m going to have to come up with a nickname for them, since the yarn is so bloody fantastic. I totally have to get more yarn dyed by Knitted Wit in the future.

And, on the subject of yarn p0rn, here is a photo of one of my high holies in the stash:

Knitters W/O Borders yarn

Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight in “Knitters Without Borders”. I have 2 skeins set aside for knee-highs and another for a Sock Knitters Anonymous prize. And, if you’re thinking of raiding my house, Blue Moon has promised to make the colorway available on their website very soon.

That’s nearly everything. But, since I can’t post the details of the Knit Purl Sock Club quite yet and don’t have a banner or badge or anything for my new Guild, more updates will have to wait. Back to watching Top Gear and knitting for now.

Completely pointless yarn p0rn

If you read the other blog I sometimes write for, you can just skip this post. I couldn’t help it. The yarn is soooo pretty. Which I take absolutely NO credit for. The exquisiteness of this yarn is entirely do to the dyers at Fleece Artist:

Fleece Artist BFL handspun

I mean (sigh), really. The moment I saw the roving on display I knew I had to have it. I spun 100 g in one night and knit with it over the course of the next two evenings.

And now I want more. Heaven help me. But, good news, my make-it-up-as-I-go pattern actually worked :)

Pictures tomorrow, I promise. The FO is blocking at the moment and shouldn’t be disturbed during such a stressful point in its development.

Fruit salad

After spending yesterday catching up on the laundry and cleaning (I even ironed my work shirts!), I decided to be lazy on my last day off for a while.  So what did I do all day? I indulged myself and sat on my tuckis in front of my wheel for 2 – 3 hours and produced this:

fruit salad

100 g of Merino yarn that I love muchly. I have absolutely no specs for you, sorry. I’m fairly certain it’s a DK weight since it looked like it. But since the skein is blocking, I don’t have WPI or yardage. I think I’ll make a hat with it, to entice the warm weather back (it’s like bringing an umbrella to prevent rain).

On the subject of handspun, I still have these beauties, which I finally wound this afternoon. I want to make something with them. Two somethings, really. Suggestions would be great, since I’m completely hopeless. The green is getting 4 SPI on US 9 and the purple-pink will probably get 5 SPI on US 7.

And that is everything.  So sleepy.  The Robitussin is making me fuzzy.

One week later

What have I been doing this week? Mostly battling the monster that is the Knit Purl website. I have, finally, managed to fix all the code AND standardize the Habu Textiles Kits page. Of course, doing so, I discovered duplicates of many of the kits – and left them there until we can figure out which ones are correct. I also helped Terrisa take photos of all the new yarns lines we’ve gotten in and a bunch of other stuff.

Mostly, it’s been a long week. So, Saturday, I met up with Opus at a cafe down the street from Twisted and we spent a long time being lazy and indulgent at both the cafe and LYS. Before we dragged ourselves off of their couch, I snapped a photo of the yarn I’d bought and some of our WIPs:

socks-n-stuff
(Above: my Casbah socks in “Vintage”, Blue Moon Silkie in “Blue Brick Wall”, and Opus’ now-dubbed ‘Carmen Miranda’ shawl made with Kauni-EQ)

From there we crossed the river and hopped, skipped, and jumped around The Pearl. I even found some more guilt-free, fair trade, mind-blowing chocolate. Eventually, though I had to turn around and go to work for the Dreaded Inventory.Why it’s so dreaded, I really don’t know. Having done it the old-fashioned way with clipboards and books of inventory sheets, having 3 scan guns and a computerized system makes it totally manageable in my mind.

Anyway. We (Opus decided to volunteer to help) arrived and were greeted by this:

Only, you know, in black and white and in The Oregonian. My coworkers had found the photos taken last week, whilst St M was visiting. I knew it’d happen (sigh). Oh course, the photo is completely out of context. I was laughing because M threw the Boa on, shrieked, and nearly fell over it was so heavy. I think it also bonked her on the head, too. It was funny as hell (I’m a bad friend, I know). But I wasn’t laughing at the Boa itself. Ohwell :)

Back to Inventory. We had decided to just do the Habu and Malabrigo earlier in the week, expecting them to be some of the worst. They really weren’t. With 2 extra volunteers (8 total), we got through the two in less than half the time we’d scheduled. Which left us a lot of time to reorganize the yarn and munch on pizza.

Again, it was nothing on doing inventory on the Knit Shop or at the Museum.

But now I have to go and battle That Sweater pattern for the 3rd time in 2 days. It’s going to be the death of me.

tears of joy

The Sweater (of Doom)/ Project #3/ ShibuiKnits Columbia is blocking. It’s blocking. I am actually so relieved I’m a bit teary. To be perfectly honest, I was absolutely terrified that I’d get the Irish Sweater Board together, a soppy knit monstrosity onto it, only to find out that I suck as a men’s wear designer/ knitter and actually made something that would only fit a hunchback with a 24″ chest circumference.

Thank Hashem, but it actually is the right size and looks decent.  (I refuse to use effulgent words like “beautiful” when describing a soaking wet, wet-wool smelling, untested creation.  But I will, cautiously, admit that I am rather pleased with the results of this stressful endeavor.)

I feel like I earned the sock yarn I splurged on this afternoon at Woodland. Maybe it was nervousness prompting me, but I bought 4 pairs of socks worth of yarn (::blush::). It was a weird compulsion. Comfort yarn.

Hmm. New concept. Comfort yarn. Makes sense to me.

Anyway, I am so pleased with myself that tomorrow I am actually going to let myself play Mah Jongg with the ladies at Shul. I still have to do 2 weeks worth of laundry and knit 2 mitts before Tuesday, but I need some distance. If only for 3 hours.

… and I lived to tell the tale.

Yes. It was one of THOSE weeks. Several days resulted in the therapeutic consumption of alcohol. But I survived and am (mostly) intact.

News?

  1. The sample cash-socks are coming along. I plan to finish the heels tonight. Or hope to, anyway. I really need to find the time to take a photo of them. I like them. They are pretty and fun to pet when I am stressed. And, since they are cuff-down, they actually count for Sockdown: December. Which means I might get a pair done in time, thus possibly regaining my street cred.
  2. The Knit/ Purl December Newsletter is out. Which is a major achievement, believe me. I spent many hours this week making sure we didn’t send out gobbledygook. Only, ha, it isn’t showing up on the Newsletter page. I have been warned that it might take 24 hours. [moving on…]
  3. I am starting a Sock Supporters Group that’ll be meeting twice a month, the 1st and 3rd Mondays from 6 – 8 pm, at the store. We ironed out the details yesterday. The first meeting will be on December 17th. Also, an added bonus I lobbied for: during the first meeting ALL sock-related goods will be 10% off :) I know for a fact that Opus is planning to stock up on Lorna’s.
  4. I gave in and bought more of The Natural Collection (the specially, naturally, locally handdyed sock yarns Knit/ Purl commissioned). Even though I can’t knit it (for a month or more to come), I see the way the wind blows. We’re nearly sold out and I want some for laters. It ain’t called a stash for nothing. And, anyway, I might just carry a skein around on me to sqoosh on tense days. I’ve seriously considered choosing a theraputic skein of Smooshy to carry around.
  5. A new plot has been conceived by the madness that is Terrisa and I alone in a room: we are going to spend the month of January 2008 raising money for Heifer International. Our goal? $5,000 to buy an Ark. D, my employer, has agreed to give 1% of the month’s profits to the cause. I’m going to put a ‘donate’ button/ poster/ notice on every single thing that stands still long enough, with our goal and current balance after the start of the new year. For those in the PDX area – we’ll also have a donations box up on the counter and’ll probably be concocting more fundraising schemes as we go :)

And that’s everything I can remember. I really want to CO a million things, probably mostly because I can’t. But I am remaining strong. Even if I sit and think longingly of knitting Seraphim. Or Eleanora. Or the snood I’ve promised. Or, you know, anything that’s not a white, cabled sweater.

At least it’s almost done. Soooo… close.

Oh!, last item to report: the Chocolate Crawl WILL BE this Sunday. I’ve promised to work out the details tomorrow and contact everyone. Hopefully I’ll remember to. Maybe I should write it on my forehead now.

Yaaaay! More bad cellphone pix!

Just what you always wanted, eh? Hehehe.

I met with Opus this morning(ish), even though the chocolate crawl had been postponed, and we actually (for once!!!) got stuff done. Everyone should be so proud of me, I did everything on my list:

  • Got a new laptop/ work bag: check!

We magically managed to hit Franklin Covey during a sale, and I grabbed a messenger bag that appealed to my taste and Opus’ opinions on thriftyness. It also has more pockets than a Navy Seal’s trousers, I swear.

  • Sat and knit for hours on end: check!

We went over to Twisted. As much as I love me my Knit/ Purl (employment, Habu, ShiBuiKnits, what’s not to love?), Twisted has a lounging area. With a big, smooshy, sofa. Seriously. And they don’t mind if you park and knit for, oh, SIX hours on their couch. Opus even made a cookie run between rounds:

Opus-sock

Her mum’s Christmas present #2. The other reason we crossed the river? The sock yarn. They have completely different stock than us. And look what followed me hooome…

smooshy

SMOOSHY! My deep and abiding love of The Smooshy cannot be denied. Nor can cool books on socks. Not pictured? My kick@ss new Zephyr Style sock stitch markers, which I couldn’t leave without.

We hung out with the girls (and quite a few familiar knit-bloggers) and caught up. Then Opus and I were bad and got fish ‘n chips next door.

So, WIP update? Project #3 is almost done, I’m so close to finishing it I might cry. I have 12 rounds until the final shoulder decreases (another 10 rounds, give or take, I think) and then onto the saddles and collar. I should be able to get it done (well and with some style) by my new deadline of December 21st. My next challenge is finding somewhere to block it.

Opus suggested I sleep on the floor.

I told her to bugger off. There are some things even I won’t do.

But, kicking Emm out of his bed isn’t beyond me…

Final note? The cuffs, and pattern, of the cash-socks are done. Now all I need to do is slave away on my January Mystery Sock pattern (for the SKA) tomorrow, and I’ll be on schedule. Well, mostly.

mmm… pink

Today was a long day, but it made up for it by being very quick and resulting in gorgeous yarn. Knit/Purl is doing a limited series of naturally dyed sock yarns (100% superwash fingering weight, really), which are being dyed locally at Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks. I’ve been lusting after them since D first showed me the samples two weeks ago. The line finally went on the shelves tonight. Instead of grabbing two skeins for two different sets of socks, a rare insight hit me. I just bought the pattern for Seraphim, by Miriam Felton, and didn’t have yarn for it.

Ahh, I love my staff discount:

yarn4seraphim

The yarn is so pretty. Unfortunately, I won’t get to play with it until Jan 15 (pout) because of all the commissioned work I have to turn in… (sigh). But, hey, I have it and it’s in the stash and it’s MINE. And I might just have enough yarn left over (385 yards per skein!) to make a pair of socks, anyway.

After snagging the object(s) of my desire, I took a shot of tonight’s Sip’n’Stitch, for which we ran out of seats (again):

sip'n'stitch

This is becoming an interesting trend. I plan on lobbying for a lounge area. I am determined to find a way to fit it into the floorplan.  We need a couch, darnit.

Other stuff? The chocolate crawl/ unBirthday Party has been tentatively rescheduled for Sunday, so Terrisa can come. And, to explain to my confused readers, a chocolate crawl is like a pub crawl – except we’ll be hitting chocolateries and patisseries like, oh, Pix. I vividly remember my last visit to Pix. I had the Amelie. It’s actually hard not to drool at the recollection.

Also, MORE good news. D, trying to encourage me to take on more hours, mentioned today that if I work 30 hours +/ per week I get health insurance. Well, that’s definitely good news. Now all I have to do is NOT spend my paycheck in one place… And find time to design and knit for, you know, everyone.

Ooh! my laptop is due to arrive on Monday. I need to get a bag for it (and my new dayplanner, courtesy of Leslie -who, incidentally, spent a half hour planning the next two months of my schedule for me, bless her). Maybe that’s what I’ll do on Saturday…

But, right now, it’s time for bed. ‘Night.