That was interesting

Yesterday was insane. On top of the PBS film crew showing up to film the store (etc), we got several LARGE shipments in:

  • one from Kauni (10 lbs worth of yarn!)
  • Circs from Clover
  • SP’s and DPNS from Crystal Palace

And one very special, very small, shipment of sock yarn…

Socks-to-be

The solid orange is/ will be ShiBuiKnit’s newest yarn – 75/25 merino/cashmere sock yarn. The multi is ShiBuiKnits Sock in “Autumn”. I’ve been given the task of making a pair of socks with them and wearing them for a couple of weeks, then presenting a small report on the durability of the new yarn compared to the regular Sock.

Oh, the things we do for work.

The film crew showed up at 3:30 and immediately took over the shop:

PBS film crew

Please pardon the blurry, camera-phone, shot. In my rush to get around yesterday morning, I forgot to grab my digicam and then to eat something real (adding to the shaky-hands factor). But it all worked out. Opus and I escaped downstairs, where I labeled the new needles that had come in – so they could be sold to the droves of knitters who had shown up.

Eventually, I kidnapped Opus, Terrisa and Kat, just because we were all a bit frazzled. As we left, Opus made me take a picture of the window display Terrisa had been slaving over for the past few days:

Knit/ Purl window display

The we went and got tea. Well, Opus actually had tea and crumpets. I have to go back there just to try that.  And now I have to help mum.  After that: Project #3 countdown starts.

May I present the Emperor Fabulous?

The peacock (who keeps coming back because my parents can’t resist feeding it) has a name now. Emm and I jokingly decided to call him “Emperor Fabulous” when the ‘rents called from Eugene the day after my, uh, shock. Somehow, the name has stuck. Like tar.

He’s getting spoiled, too. 2 granola bars, a handful of oats, and 2 handfuls of sunflower seeds in one day. My parents are suckers for anything that looks hungry. Oy. They’re actually talking about building him his own feeder.

Anyway. The yarn p0rn I promised… Silk Puff in Ivory:

ShiBuiKnits Silk Puff

And, (this is so amusing) Nature’s Palette in…

Nature's Pallette - Mallard
Mallard.

I swear I didn’t know that was the colourway until I got home. I just really liked how gold and green and teal it was. This might be a bad sign. If I start decorating in yellow in green please arrange an intervention or shoot me or something.

Other news? The Knitting G-ds forgave me last night, as I slept. How kind and generous They are. Because I managed to (thank goodness!) finish today:

  • the second part of Project #1
  • complete the ‘medium’ item for the Discworld swap and make progress on the other items I’ve been plotting
  • organize my WIPs, including Projects #2 & #3
  • re-edit a couple of patterns (woot!) AND send one set to the tech editor

The Muses are also sweet as well. I’ve had several ideas pop into my head in the past 24 hours. Sometimes I really wish I didn’t have to sleep. Or, like Penny suggested, buy more time when it’s needed.  Another set of arms would also be good.  Then I could knit and blog at the same time.  Knit and eat.  Knit and (urg) clean.  Knit and knit, actually.  Oooh… knit and knit.  How fun would that be?

Oh, well. It’ll all get done eventually.

closing in

Wish I was here:

Capri

But I’m not. It’s a bit chilly and crisp in Portland right now. I’m not quite to the “brr” point, but that may be coming. I broke out a panta, woolly wrap, and campanula mitts tonight.  I even wore that short sweater-like garment I knit that ShiBuiKnits wants to buy the pattern for.  I have no idea how to refer to it without getting into trouble, so I’m just going to change the subject.

Yarn.  (that got your attention, didn’t it?)  Lots of it.  I’m trading Teresa 6 skeins of my handspun yarn for very luscious yarn I can’t justify buying right now – Silk Puff (I have plans), 3 skeins of Nature’s Palette for Scheherezade’s Slippers, and… well… more sock yarn that I haven’t chosen yet.  But I will.   I love bartering ^_^  I’ll post some yarn p0rn tomorrow, when I have sunlight and the IQ to work a camera*.

I’m also so nearly finished with Project #1.  I just need to reknit the button band, because I cannot count this evening.  It says in the pattern I wrote to PU & K a certain # of stitches.  I PU & K that # – 3.  Sooo… when I got to the buttonholes, they didn’t look quite right.  Oops.

To make up for this, I ripped it back, tried again and had to count the sts over 6 times.  I lost track after 6.  See?  I am not meant to finish this project tonight.

So I got out yarn and started planning my last/ ‘medium’ item for the Discworld Swap.  I’m not even going to swatch, because the Knitting G-ds are angry with me (can’t figure out why), so I guess it’s time to play on ravelry or something.  Or maybe I should just go to bed…

*No, I did not indulge in champagne tonight, I knew I was in trouble before I got to the Sip’n’Knit. 

aaarg

The WordPress ate two blog posts yesterday, and then I finally gave up. But here’s the gist of what I was trying to write (in between bouts of tearing my hair out)…

SSE from OF&FF, including:

the-haul

  • 2 skeins of handpainted sock yarn
  • 2 oz “Periwinkle” handpainted UF merino and matching bombyx silk
  • 4 oz handpainted superwash merino
  • 2 oz “Rose” handpainted UF merino & 2 oz “Passionfruit” handpainted merino to match

Other stuff? Being running around like mad, wishing I wasn’t so stupid. I need to CO the revised knee-high spocks today, do like 5 loads of laundry, turn in my application for a job (in person) downtown, finish Clara, and G-d only knows what else.

And, just to add one more thing to the list:
sockin' it to Maggie

I really want to do this. As a sock-knitting loony, I might as well use my powers for good, right? Now all I need is to find time (and a pattern, a pattern would be good) to knit another pair of socks.

um, where was I?

Is it Sunday evening already? Wow, that was… fractured. I had a couple of really low days there, so not much was done. Other than lying in bed, wondering what I had done to piss off Hashem so badly.

But I’m better now, and have finally admitted to myself that it’s time to buck up and go to a psychologist. The antidepressants are clearly not working. I hate having to try new drugs (friends and family can tell about the horror of me on Welbutrin), but I hate the lows even more.

Anyway. Enough drama. Somehow, I managed to knit a bit. The heels of the Baudelaires took longer than any other heels I’ve knit. This might be due to my own problems at the time, or it might just be due to the fact that the heels are f*cking insane.


Genius. I’m not denying the genius of toe-up heel gussets/ flaps. But insane. Clearly insane. Cookie A. must have some interesting thoughts.

Tonight was supposed to be a Knitting Southies meet-up (ravelry), but I ended up being the only one to turn out. Nice, I know. I forgive Aimee, as she has a young daughter. To make myself feel better, I indulged in yarn therapy. Looking around Mabel’s, I sought the perfect yarn for Mona’s Embossed Leaves socks.

Finally, I spied the Green Mountain Spinnery cubbies. Ah, c’est magnifique. The colourway “Yarrow” immediately made me think of Birch leaves in autumn, so I snatched up two skeins of Cotton Comfort (20% organic cotton/ 80% wool – and machine washable!), to be used as soon as I get some needles free:


Did I mention that I took out Favourite Socks and Knitting On The Road from the local library? No? Hehehe.

Aaand look, more knitting news!, I’m nearly done with the left sleeve of the SBT, now affectionately known as Miss Lizzy’s Spencer:


I’ve always been fond of the character Elizabeth Bennett, from Pride & Prejudice. Designing something with her in mind has been of interest ever since I read the “Jane Austen knitting” thread on Craftster.

In non-knitting news, I applied for 10 different jobs on Friday. I have absolutely no doubt that I will not be hired for any of them. Which is fine, I have tons of yarn to keep me company.

Oh, and finally, ravelry is going to steal my soul. Sockdown: Ravelry is a success. The SKA hyas 740+ members, and I’m losing track of all the forums I’m on. It’s worse crack than Craftster. Someone saaave me. (well, not really, I’m having too much fun)

lagging

My sleep cycle is all wonky after the Harry Potter release party. It’s only been a week, so hopefully it’ll stabilize soon. In the meantime, I’m surviving off of catnaps.

On Friday, Mum and I went to Forest Park, the largest park in any city in the US. Over 5000 acres of greenery, paths, and an Audubon sanctuary. We took the Wildwood path, which curves along a very steep drop (above a 100 ft straight down), but the sock wasn’t too scared:


The dog was tenacious and general pain in the tuckus. I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky he didn’t try to follow a bird off the trail, down the slope. The area is famous for it’s few remaining old growth Douglas Firs – some, I’m told, are up to 8 ft in diameter. The largest we saw was about 6 ft. But, the undergrowth (secondary) was full of maidenhair ferns, Solomon’s seal, and teeny-tiny wild flowers. I really do love the PNW, just for places like this:


Growing up in an area that had been lived on, and tamed by humans, for thousands of years (the Cherokee and Iroquois were settled, remember?) meant that I never saw a tree 100’s of feet high until moving to Oregon. Seeing hundreds of them for the first time (in 2002), blocking out the sun and dizzyingly tall, was an experience I’ll never forget. Even now, thousands of acres of wild forest, old and secondary growth, is awe-inspiring to someone raised on concrete and manicured lawns.

It also impresses (and amuses) the hell outta me that women pioneers settled Oregon wearing corsets and skirts (don’t tell me they didn’t, cuz they did). I often wonder at the foolishness of it all.

But, anyway, that’s enough musing. I know all y’all come for the knitting content.

Today, after sitting through a series excruciatingly off-key Torah readings (oy), meeting some of the local Reconstructionist Shul (I miss East Coast Conservative services so much), and escaping narrowly from a rowdy Bar Mitzvah crowd – I dragged the folks to Lint. If you haven’t heard by now that Lint is closing, you probably don’t live in the PDX area and don’t care.

But, as I do, and the Shul was 5 blocks away, we made a stop. This post definitely qualifies for SSE. 10 balls of Rowan 4-Ply Cotton:

9 in Aegean, for the body of a lace pullover, and 1 in Bluebell for accents.
Can you tell I already have the pattern designed?

Aaand, the last 2 balls of Panda Cotton in white:


For a pair of spocks with antique, enameled black buttons. I cannot wait to finish them. I just have to finish little D’s pair (one nearly done!), and then I can CO my own.

Other than that? I put the spencer-bolero-thing back on the needles, because Opus wants a copy of the pattern – but I have to finish knitting the SBT before I can write a pattern for it. I’m 16 rows away from finishing Clue 2 on the Mystery Stole, and am nearly to the heels on Baudelaire.

And that’s about everything. I hope this post was better than the last few… And, thank you everyone for your congrats! This is so exciting.

Red Letter Day

It was so hot and humid today, I almost felt like I was back on the East Coast. We’re expecting another thunderstorm tonight, which is shocking to me – 2 in one summer in Oregon? Strange.

This afternoon, I received four teasers – the 4 extra bobbins for my en route Journey Wheel:

*sigh*

After fixing the sewing machine (again) for Mum, cleaning, doing several loads of laundry, and slaying a small chimaera, I took the sock to Laurelhurst Park:


The sock didn’t like the weather, either. But we fared better than either of the ‘rents or the dog. It was quite pathetic, really, how droppy Charlie was – he wouldn’t even play with the other dogs at the park. That was another first.

Because we were on the right side of town, I dragged Mum, Dad and Charlie to Twisted. Oh, yes, Charlie came in, too, to ooh’s and ahh’s. I liked the store. They’ve made an effort to stock unusual yarns, like recycled rayon and Tibetan hemp. The store’s still new and their shelves are a little bare (good publicity has helped them with that), but I also really appreciated the fact that they had a wall of sock yarn. Sock yarn other stores in the area don’t carry, like Cherry Tree Hill (drool), Woolarina, aaand Dreaming in Colour’s ‘Smooshy’:


I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist it’s siren song. It kept whispering sweet nothings to me when the young ladies were chatting with Mum. ‘Knit me! Knit me! I want to be a pair of Embossed Leaves socks! I know you want me… Knit me!”

Oh, right. Speaking of Embossed Leaves socks… (deep breath)… Mona Schmidt, the designer, has agreed to be the SKA’s Mystery Sock designer for November! (little squee)

And that is all the news I have right now. So sleepy and we’re getting up early to drive along the Columbia River Gorge to the Dalles. Expect lots of traveling sock photos tomorrow…

can I have a do over?

Today was one of those disconcerting, existential, surreal days. All day I felt wrong, like I was in the wrong body, living the wrong life. I couldn’t knit anything. I didn’t want to eat. And everything I touched turned to lead or broke.

Oy.

To make matters worse, the family was snippy again and I finally couldn’t take it any longer. I snapped and started screaming. It wasn’t pretty. But I’ve since apologized and sat in my corner trying to psychoanalyze myself.

First thing I noticed? Analyzing oneself isn’t the easiest task in the world. Finally, I just admitted to myself that this is all probably part of the frustration of the move, being unemployed and still living with my parents.

Let’s add a ‘gavault’ to that ‘oy’ above.

But, to make matters somewhat easier on us all, I come bearing more pictures of the Portland parks, and the PNW, from Lake Oswego:




The last one is something pretty cool and amazing (even for the 10-year-Girl-Scout) – a holly tree growing out of the stump of a long-dead cedar tree. Now, I’ve seen young trees growing out of the stumps of old ones, but they’ve always been the same type of tree. It was really cool to see a holly paired with a cedar.

And, on top of the pretty greeness, I also come bearing yarn p0rn:


You are looking at the LAST TWO skeins of Shi Bui Sock “Orchid”. At the Sip’n’Knit tonight, I saw (omg, what’s her name?) walking by with an armload of too-beautiful-to-be-real yarn and immediately asked if those skeins were what I thought they were.

They are. They’re also the last two in the store. The other ones in the shipment have been on order for several knitters for the past 3 weeks. Realising this might be my last chance for another month (or more) to get the yarn I’ve coveted for weeks, I immediately pulled out my checkbook.

And, you want to know something sad?, they didn’t even ask for my name or address this time. They have it all memorized. This is a bad, bad sign. And Opus didn’t even stop me! Bad girl. She promised last week that she’d stop me the next time I tried to buy yarn.

*sigh*

After buying the yarn, waiting for it to be wound, and knitting a bit, we decided to leave at around 7:30-ish. I hadn’t eaten and Opus hadn’t eaten what we would call real food. And it was hot in there.

Just as we finished dinner and were leaving the restaurant, the sky opened and lightning laced across the sky in an eerily East-Coast-sort-of-way. The natives were all excited and immediately started counting between the flash and crash. I, instead, though about getting somewhere insulated.

Summer storms in D.C. meant either: A) flash floods, or: B) tornadoes.

But, I managed to get home (damp and frazzled) safe enough to lose my cool. Joy. I’m probably going to be hearing about this for weeks. Oh, well. It happens.

Tomorrow we get to clean the house because the landlord is coming by. Oooh, what fun. I’ll even give you the Peace Corps update tomorrow, to keep the next post from being completely boring.

playing catch-up, pt 2

Someone was nudging me, so I surfaced from the depths of sleep to see an-Emmos-shaped entity standing over me, radiating anxiety.

“It’s 10:15,” she informed me, as I peered at her without my glasses, wondering what was going on. The information settled. I swore loudly and with some proficiency, threw my blankets off and rolled off the air mattress.

We were due at Knit/Purl at 10:30, to meet Opus.

Somehow, less than 10 minutes later, we were in Emmos’ car, driving like lunatics. It must be mentioned that my mother aided us in this timely departure – by tracking items down for us, throwing sweaters (hers) at us, and even venturing out to the car in her PJ’s to find the Portland Metro map for me. Mum definitely earned her Jewish Mother status yesterday.

Three slightly belated knitters arrived at our destination to find Opus knitting on the corner. We called to her, circled the block several times, and finally found parking 2 blocks away.

“I should have realised this,” she called to us as we rushed over, “but since it’s Sunday, they don’t open until 12.”

Oops. Okay. Time to reassess. St M and Opus both needed to visit an ATM. We three needed breakfast. So we set off, first hitting The Pearl Bakery (dangerous, wonderful place to visit), then Anthropologie (it was on the way to WaMu, I swear!), and finally WaMu.

It was 11:20. We still had 40 minutes to kill. “Are there any knit shops nearby you wanted to hit, before we go back to Knit/Purl?” Opus asked. Indeed, there was. Knit Knot Studio. We headed over and were sidetracked by Cargo. 13th St in the Alphabet District is a dangerous place to go for your wallet, lemme tell you.

We arrived at Glisan, wandered around perplexed and discovered that Knit Knot wasn’t open on Sundays. Blast. “Let’s call the rest of those stores on your list, before we go to them,” Emmos suggested. My cell was produced and St M got the job of calling and getting hours for all the stores we’d chosen. Our choices were narrowed to Knit/ Purl, Lint, The Yarn Garden, and Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks. We also decided to try and hit L’Occitaine at some point during the day (before we crossed the river).

We arrived back at Knit/Purl soon after calling the stores on the list, and the girls were suitably impressed. Knit/Purl is quite easily my favourite knit shop ever. They carry high-end yarns that are hard to find, have their own yarn & pattern line, and always have great customer service.

When I was asked if I needed anything, I immediately inquired into the possibility of a special order from Habu Textiles. I explained that, after several failed attempts, I still hadn’t managed to get cobweb yarn for the Wedding Ring Shawl. I had seen on Habu’s website that they carried a gorgeous silk yarn that fit the shawl’s requirements perfectly. But, several months ago, I had been quite disappointed to find that Habu has a minimum order amount of $1000. Eep.

In the end, it took two ladies, the Habu sample book, and a blood oath from me to place an order for degummed Tassar Silk Organizine. I paid a deposit for half of the estimated price, sighed over now-empty bank account (no more yarn for me!), and went to help the girls with their purchases.

As Emmos was paying for her yarns (Shibui sock!), I caught this shot of the group:


From there we drove to Lint. I must admit that I have a mixed review for this store. In the past I’ve had much better customer service than we received yesterday. There’s no arguing that Lint is a great store to visit for knitting accessories and basic yarns like Rowan, Debbie Bliss, and Brown Sheep. But the girls were clearly turned off by the fact that the woman staffing was not impressed with us, nor willing to help us with our inquiries. We left a bit disappointed.

“They’re usually much better,” Opus said as we left, “it’s probably because it’s a Sunday…”

Next was L’Occitaine because the girls (Opus excluded) had been coveting my tinted Shea Butter – for lips and cheeks. After spending too much money there (I was good, I swear), we grabbed lunch. Mmmm… tempura.

We then crossed the river to hit The Yarn Garden, my now 2nd favourite knit store in Portland. Their selection of yarns is impressive, they join onto a cafe, have some fabulous sock yarns and pretty decent customer service. I ended up buying a set of Brittany US 1.5 DPNs, signing up for a rewards card (the girls helped me fill it) and contenting myself to coming back when I had money. St M did much better, as they were having a sale on Noro and found a cashmere blend to die for. Emmos bought several balls of sock yarn (are we seeing a trend here?).

By this point we were completely exhausted and still had a yarn store left. We also had less than an hour to find it. I was not the best navigator and we managed to be superbly lost. By some manner of grace, we ended up at Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks 10 minutes before closing.

I have a fairly good review for them. They had a huge selection of Lorna’s Laces – yarns and roving (!) – and also carried other spinning fiber. Again, since I was po’r, I only bought a set of DPN’s (KA US 0’s). But, St M got several hanks of handdyed superwash roving. They, like The Yarn Garden, had a cafe attached. I’ve definitely bookmarked them to visit again when I have money. The fact that they had some naturally dyed roving was also impressive. I wouldn’t visit them for my daily yarn needs (too far away, hard to find, and the selection wasn’t as varied as I’d like), but their roving is more than enough to tempt me.

From there we headed back north, dropped Opus off at a Met station – me promising to meet up with her at Knit/Purl’s weekly knit night. We three headed back home, completely and utterly exhausted.

As Mum made dinner for us (before the girls had to drive back to Eugene), I snapped this shot of the weekend’s haul:


From BSG, in order of purchase:

  • A Spindlewood Co. square mini spindle, weighing in at 5/8 oz (been wanting one of these for a looooong while)
  • Women’s M sock blockers by Fiber Trends
  • Cherry Tree Hill supersock (on sale!) in Peacock and 1 oz of Crosspatch Creations fiber
  • 4 oz of the softest wool top, grown in Oregon – a Cormo x Targhee x Merino mix.
  • Simply gorgeous sock yarn that was handdyed in Oregon (nope, can’t remember the booth, but I’ll post the info on the band when I use it)
  • And, la creme de la cremeHeirloom Knitting and Prehistoric Textiles. Both of which I have been trying to obtain for… too long.

Yesterday:

  • L’Occitaine verbena/ citrus shampoo
  • Brittany birch 5″ US 1.5 DPNs
  • KA 5″ US 0 DPNs

And that is everything. Last night, after the girls left, I fell into bed before 7 pm and slept thru ’til this morning. I have a doctor’s appt in Eugene at 10 am, so now I have to get ready for that. Oooh, fun, more driving. I have a feeling that I’m never going to want to see inside a car ever again, very very soon.

We’re heeeeere.

Sorry for the itsy bitsy pictures, but I’m on Portland free Wi-Fi at the moment, and since it’s offered by MSN it inherently hates Blogger. Sooo… clickies if you want to see them bigger.

We got up at 9 am when the movers arrived an hour early and started frantically packing (well, I showered first, I can’t say as much for my brother). After 4 hours of intensive boxing and sorting, the kitchen was packed and Mum and I were thoroughly exhausted. The boys hadn’t finished loading the truck and actually suggested leaving my stuff behind because ‘there wasn’t enough room’.

Right. Nuh-uh. Mum and I left about an hour earlier than the boys and, alas, I didn’t get to test my Contortionist Knitting abilities as I had hoped. The trip was stop-and-go the entire way, so I had to hold onto Lapis’ tank with both hands all the way to the house*. I suppose I could have tried knitting with my feet (I can write with my right foot), but it didn’t seem feasible as my feet were resting on two bags and ensconced in shoes. Thus is my sad excuse for not making any sock progress.

But, I do bring yarn p0rn! When we went to open the door of our new rental house, I noticed some interesting bulges in the doormat. Our nice postal worker had hidden several packages under the mat! That’s a first. Tammy, lovely wonderful person that she is, sent me Socks That Rock! I mentioned to her at the Harlot’s Powell’s event that I was severely disappointed that I had never managed to get Socks That Rock lightweight yarn in Puck’s Mischief, so she sent me some! How sweet is she? And it’s sooooo pretty…

I simply must cast on with this yarn ASAP. And I already have a ‘thank you’ gift arranged, mwahaha. Think lavendar-ish. Anyway, that little parcel totally made up for the 6 hours of sleep I got, packing, moving, unloading, and unpacking many, many boxes and huge pieces of furniture.

Back to the honking big furniture. Dad and Emm (and Charlie) arrived about 1.5 hours after us (Mum and I went grocery shopping in that time), and we immediately got to work, so that everyone would have a bed to sleep in tonight (and maybe some clothes to wear in the morning):

We didn’t quite manage the ‘clothes to wear in the morning’ angle for Mum & Dad as their dressers were the first pieces to be loaded on the truck. Since my stuff was the last to go in, and the first out (I think there might be some envy about that), so I actually have a furnished room at the moment:

All I need to do is summon up the energy to get up, walk down the hall, and put sheets on my bed, and then I can lie in a horizontal position for as long as I like.

Now there is a happy thought. Thank you everyone for the well-wishes, now I think I’m going to sit here and think about nothing. Toodle-oo.

*this did not prevent me from singing Irish ditties as loud as I could the entire way.