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I’m a terrible housekeeper. I fully admit that I even hate the idea of cleaning. Last night after a long leisurely dinner with my best friend where we sampled some delicious sushi and followed that up with a trip to B&O Espresso for some cappucinos and dessert (I had the chocolate pot-yum and she had a rum ball-boozy) we got to talking about our respective messy homes.

I figured since the motivation to clean rarely ever takes a hold of me I would nix my planned day of dyeing in favor of cleaning. My goal? The spare bedroom where the computer, the fiber and all the other misc craft/crap lives. It has been a week since OFFF and I still hadn’t taken the drum carder out of the box because I had nowhere to put it.

First the fiber waiting to be dyed needed to be organized.

Then the shelves above the workbench needed cleaning and reorganizing.

Then the table was cleared.

And handspun was collected from the various resting places around the house and put in one handy little tote. However once the handspun was collected I noticed something.

I think I spin too much purple. And when I don’t spin purple I either spin orange or green. Now granted I really do like the color purple, but orange? Not a huge fan. Green? Not my favorite. Why do I only have one lonely mini skein of blue (favorite color) that was spun from silk hankies? Where is the red? I don’t get it. The colors I’m drawn to in yarn are apparently not the colors I’m drawn to in roving.

Of course all this organizing meant the personal fiber stash was now in one location and it took up a lot more room than I expected. Sigh.

The room is far from being “clean” but it is lightyears ahead of where it was this morning. I would have taken before and after shots but quite honestly that would have been humiliating. Lets just say that at the back of the piles of mess I found my penguin and polar bear pj’s that I had planned on wearing to Knit Nite at VY&T…Last October. At least they were ‘clean’. Don’t mind me while I hang my head in shame.

I don’t anticipate much knitting this week since I’ll be gearing up for the annual Evanston P-Patch Pie fundraiser. Once a year I put on my Pie Queen hat and organize a pie baking fundraiser for the community garden where I have plots. I love it but darn every year it sneaks up on me and I go into frantic pie mode. If you are looking for me try peeking under the mounds of pie dough I’ll be making this week.

Now for something I’ve been debating about blogging. Some friends have already mentioned the incident on their blogs so I wondered if I should as well. Now that I think I’ve calmed down a bit I thought I would say my little piece.

I’ve always wondered about how lys’ feel about knitting groups that they don’t necessarily organize themselves. The shop I frequent is a wonderful place and over the last year since I’ve started going on a regular/weekly basis I’ve come to feel not only comfortable there but welcome. Until yesterday. No matter how innocent the intentions were of the store employee who greeted us with “I’ve put you at this table so you don’t take up too much room” it only served to make the entire group feel like crap. Apparently I missed the comment about leaving room for “real customers” which is a really good thing. I probably would have said something snarky.

Now I fully understand a store has the right to make sure all their customers are taken care of but I think what bothered me the most was the attitude that I didn’t spend enough money there to make it worth her while to take care of me. I may not be a big spender very often, some weeks I may only get a cup of tea but more often than not I also walk away with at least one skein of sock yarn or a book or with a fresh scone in my belly. Lets just say that the money I’ve spent there in the past year is well represented by my yarn stash.

It was the first time I ever left a store feeling like I wasn’t worthy to shop there; the fancy french lys in Seattle may have said “Oh you are a SOCK knitter…<insert pity look>” but they didn’t make me feel like my money wasn’t good enough for them.

So what is a knitter to do when you feel unwelcome? (keep in mind this isn’t from management who are out of town right now) For now I think many of us will head to a nearby location that can easily accommodate all of us and all the room we take up until the owners have time to try and resolve things. I’m not expecting to be fawned over in an apology but I think an acknowledgement that what happened was not cool is in order at the very least.

PS: As of 9/30/07 Akismet has protected this site from 666 spam comments. Creepy!

Now that I’m fully recovered from my weekend at OFFF I can finally get around to showing you the spinning I’ve been doing.

I’ve been wanting to dye, spin and knit a pair of socks from my roving for a while and I figured OFFF was a good opportunity to put in some dedicated spinning time. Little did I know I would get so caught up in spinning that I would have 4oz spun, plied and skeined in less than one day. Granted there are spinners out there who could probably do that in a few hours and still get a much nicer yarn than mine but I’m pretty damn proud of my little accomplishment.

About 180yds, 4oz, 3 ply. I spun this with an actual plan, one that Janelle would tell me about the next morning in my Painted Skein class. I broke this roving into 3 identical sections, spun 1 end to end without splitting. Another section was split in 2 and spun and the 3rd section was split in 4 and spun.

For those of you who never saw the original roving (why didn’t I think of taking a picture?) lets just say the reaction to the colors were somewhere along the lines of “wow that IS bright”. You know the green and blue you get in highlighters? Amp that up and bit and combine it with some chocolate brown and you have the roving.

The scary bright roving became something beautiful once plied. I’m super pleased at how it turned out and once I’m done with the pomotamus socks these are going on the needles. The yardage is small unfortunately because it was a 3ply and I spun it worsted but I’m hoping some short toe-ups will be possible. I’ll be checking the stash to see if I can find some worsted weight brown or black for toes and heels if need be.

In other spinning news, I had started the Reflection Farms roving from the Knitting Expo last week, well in order to make room on the wheel for OFFF purchases I knew I had to finish that first. It felt like a marathon and it is the largest amount I have spun of any one color/roving so far. At just over 1lb it seemed like an insane amount.

About 16oz, 2 ply and approx 760yds. I felt like I was racing towards the end and I’m sure my spinning was less consistent than usual. I broke this out into 6 yarn cakes and plied 1st and last, 2nd and 5th etc. It worked out really well. This may go to Mom with the request she make a vest of some sort from it. It may just be the perfect color for one of my aunts.

As for knitting, well Smooshy is finally on the needles, I cast on for Pomatomus tonight and even though it incorporates several of my sock knitting pet peeves (4 needles instead of 5, YO’s or purling at the beginning of needles etc) it is quite a pleasant knit. Granted I’m only halfway through the first chart repeat so there is plenty of time for me to hate these socks. The semi solid look of the Wisteria Smooshy is perfect for the pattern.

Now for something completely random. Is anyone else having trouble adjusting to the change in seasons? It seems like I came back from OFFF and boom it was fall. One day it was warm and sunny and now it’s been cold and grey all week. Maybe it is the weather, maybe it is work generating way more stress than I like but I’ve been feeling almost agitated all week. I’m hoping I will snap out of it soon since I am seriously considering sneaking a baggie of cashmere or alpaca into my desk at work so I can pull it out and pet it in times of need. Is that too weird?

And now because I am so incredibly happy with how my OFFF sock yarn turned out I will leave you with another picture.

Just a word of warning. This will be a picture heavy long post.

Ok, you’ve been warned so lets try and recap the whirlwind madness that was Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival 07.

Friday 4.45am: Ginger knocks on the door and it’s time to leave. Damn it’s early!

8.30am: We arrive at the fairgrounds, get a parking spot out front because no one else is crazy enough to be there that early.

9am: Annie and I settle in for a day of spinning and what we called “pre-sale browsing”. Theresa (aka Applie) showed up mid-morning and we spun while ogling the boxes of fiber that were paraded in front of us all day. After moving several times to take advantage of the wonderful sunshine and aquiring our spinning tan lines we finally packed it in for the day. Ginger and Betty apparently had a blast in their Fiber to Yarn class and lorded their newfound knowledge over the rest of us. There may have been some shopping snuck in on Friday afternoon but I’ll tell you about that later.

Saturday 9am: Time for Theresa and I to take our Painted Skein class from Janelle of Chameleon Colorworks. I now know 5 ways to spin handpainted rovings! Before my Color Blending class in the afternoon I ran around and picked up a few items that were calling my name. Then it was off to learn about color. I also got to learn I don’t like handcarders. Good thing I didn’t buy any. Betty was so awesome to let me borrow both her drum carder and handcards for my class. I greatly appreciate it Betty!

Then there was some more shopping. For a festival that actually didn’t take up very much real estate there were A LOT of vendors there. Everywhere you turned there was someone selling something and yet it never had that hectic feel. Well ok granted I missed the Sat morning frenzy that probably surrounded the BMFA millends because by the time I wandered by around 1pm they were all gone. I had seen how many millends they had while setting up so I’m going to assume it was a feeding frenzy.

Saturday evening we met up with Betty and Betty-mom (Martha) for dinner. As you can see Betty had a good time.

Dessert was…

 

good 🙂

 Sunday was spent wandering around and checking out random vendors to see what we had missed and visiting some of the animals.

Ready for an onslaught of photos?

 

Ginger and her first fleece purchase.

Annie and her fleece.

Anthony bonding with his new best friend King Tut.

Camel, a very friendly and very close camel.

How we could tell we were close to the fairgrounds.

Ok, now are you ready for a quick peek at what I bought?

I’ve got some details in the Flickr album here

I’m really not quite sure how that last item above was purchased. I must have blacked out and when I came to I was clutching a brand new Strauch Petite. It was Friday evening as all the vendors were finishing setting up and while they weren’t even open yet somehow I still managed to buy it.

Now I’m home, happy and exhausted and also more than a little afraid of everything I have just bought. Do I really need to go to work tomorrow? I feel like I need a day or two to recover.

Oh for those of you who were convinced I would come back with a sheep strapped to the car you were partially right. I stopped by the SuDan Farms booth with Ginger and we MAY have split a lamb to get shipped to us. It won’t live in the backyard though, it will live in the freezer.

I wish I could say I had a fun trip to Atlanta where I got to see the Yarn Harlot and meet Turtlegirl but sadly that would be a lie. My flight back home left half an hour before the Harlot event. So close…

For those of you contemplating a 20 hour visit across the country with a total of 10 hours flying time tacked onto that I cannot stress enough…DON’T. I’m just pooped. With the time difference and the full day of training I had to present I’m exhausted. I sure wish I could call in sick tomorrow but sadly that isn’t an option.

The trip to ATL did have it’s high point though…my hotel room. Stayed at this ’boutique’ hotel called the Indigo Hotel. A super nice place and not at all like a standard hotel.

My room:

indigo

Cute isn’t it. But wait there is more. I walked in and immediately my eyes were drawn to the wall behind the bed. Could it be? No way!

indigo wallpaper

KNITTING WALLPAPER!!!

That entire wall was covered in a giant print of a blue cabled knit. I think I freaked out the guy at the front desk when I was heading out for dinner and asked him how many of the rooms had that wallpaper. Apparently most of them do so if you are ever in Atlanta and need a hotel I recommend the Indigo. An added bonus…their toiletries are Aveda 🙂

I had mentioned earlier that the only knitting I was taking with me was the cursed coupling socks. I thought maybe the hotel room might help ward off any bad juju so the socks modeled with the wallpaper.

And you know what? It worked. I finished casting off somewhere over Montana/North Idaho.

In a perfect karmic knitting world I could say that by the end I made these socks my bitch. The truth is these kicked my knitting ass bigtime. It’s not a hard pattern but this knit was cursed for me. The first sock had one known mistake and the honor of slapping me for not swatching. The second sock; I stopped counting the mistakes by around 6 or 7. The worst mistake was the massive error in counting the gusset stitches which resulted in frogging an entire heel. How I managed to count 48 stitches as 58 not once, not twice but three times is beyond me . In the time it took me to finish the first sock to the second sock my tension was WAY off and the second sock has only 7.5 pattern repeats on the cuff to the 8.5 on the first sock.

All I can do is breathe a huge sigh of relief that these are done and will never grace my feet. Mom just gets socks for Christmas.

Now if only I could figure out what I want to bring with me to OFFF this weekend. I have one whole day in town before heading down to Canby for 2-3 days of fiber madness. I dyed some superwash in my Banded Iguana colors that I hope to spin into my first true sock yarn.

Here’s hoping that when the minivan arrives at 4.45am on Friday it comes stocked with coffee, I don’t know how else I will survive. Of course it could be worse…I could be the one driving.

It’s been brought to my attention that I had posted about Nicki and his need for an emergency vet but never got around to posting that he is fine. Oops. With the exception of matching shaved kneepads from a couple IV’s he is back in true Nicki form. He has even been feeling feisty enough to resume chasing Sammy around the house.

I have only one lonely FO to show you. I had picked up some Chasing Rainbows Tussah Silk/Cashmere at Twist during the PKF madness. How I managed to spend $30 on 2oz of roving is beyond me but damn that fiber was nice.

peacock yarn

Approx 160yds, 3ply fingering weight. This is probably my first really successful navajo ply and I love how it turned out. I wish I had more yardage but this will be just enough for a little scarf.

While spinning this I began to realize that Nicki has a very particular taste in fiber. Silk. He went nuts for the merino/silk roving I spun a few months ago and he went nuts again for this roving. Spinning is normally a pretty silent activity for me but not this time. There was a lot of “Stop…Nicki no…NO!…Get OFF!…Not yours…Spit it out NOW!”

Never let it be said that my very expensive cat doesn’t have expensive taste.

I’ve also made some good progress on the purple roving from Reflection Farms. Only 7oz out of 1lb+ left to spin. It was my first real roving purchase and what I thought was incredibly soft back in March is completely different to what I like now. I was a little worried about how rough it felt but this stuff is spinning up so nicely. I think it is a carded roving and I am very happy with how it is turning out. I was afraid it would blend into one blah purple but the way it is carded gives me some great color changes. All subtle but still beautiful.

In other fibery news I got a small package today. 30lbs. No it isn’t all mine.

Before

After.

I better get dyeing.

Considering what a hectic weekend I had you would think I would have more FO’s to show for it. In fact I don’t have any.

I did however hand the Kaffe Fassett socks off to Sarah this morning, ends all woven in but not yet washed. The socks had 2 photo shoots this morning.

First my new Turtlegirl sock blockers had the honor of modeling the socks and then I managed to rope Sarah into putting them on.

They fit! Once the insane heat of LA dies down a bit she might even get a chance to wear them.

I started a new WIP today but it’s top secret so I won’t be blogging about it until later. I did however manage to buy yarn yesterday at VY&T for my next big project…Tomato. Hopefully I will have a chance to cast on for it soon.

I spent a good amount of time this weekend on non-knitting events. Ever since they built Qwest field for the Seahawks about 4-5 years ago WSU has been having their first game of the season there. It has always been a non-conference game but it is a great way for alumni to go see a game without driving to the other side of the state for a home game. I’ve only ever missed one game (last year) and that was due to work which pissed me off to no end. This year was much like the others, it would have been humiliating if we lost and thankfully once again we could celebrate a win. WSU 45, San Diego State 17.

Go COUGS!!!!

Ever since I discovered the problem with my coupling Koigu socks (hmm that sounds a little dirty) I’ve been dealing with some serious finishitis. I’m so close to finishing the wrap cardigan, the socks will not take long to frog and fix and yet I can’t seem to bring myself to work on either. Notice I’m not mentioning the mermaid wrap? It is so far from being done that it can’t even be considering a project to work on right now.

So instead of finishing up those two WIP’s I’ve managed to wind, cast on for Bamboozled with my BMFA Bambu yarn (madrona purchase) and frogged that after one row. Until I find some size 6 bamboo needles or buy a set there is no way that is being worked on anytime soon. Keeping the stitches on a metal needle was a lesson in futility. Needless to say the yarn was frogged and rewound.

About the only fiber related progress I’ve made since getting back home has been with the Emperor of Ice Cream roving. The chocolate brown roving was a good choice, I ended up with a 3 ply (2 of the ice cream, 1 of the chocolate) yarn, about heavy worsted weight. The leftover ice cream roving was navajo plied and boy am I glad I didn’t do that for the whole yarn. It’s pretty but there is no way I would knit/wear that color yarn by itself. I don’t have much in terms of yardage (just over 200yds) but I’m quite happy with what I got.

 icecream yarn

Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce.

With all the new projects I want to start I need to just get my butt in gear and actually finish something. No new projects until one gets finished. First up is the sweater because quite frankly I’m just not ready to face the socks yet. I think the disappointment of them not fitting (my stupid fault for not swatching) and the gusset mistake is a little too much for me right now. Plus I knit them out of the Koigu colorway I liked the best. Sigh.

Can I go back on vacation to find my knitting mojo? I think I might dropped it while running for my plane at O’Hare.

I’ve had a mixed weekend.

I got to borrow a Strauch Petite carder from Betty to play with and get this…she said I can keep it for a couple months since she isn’t using it right now! She rocks. So after a quick trip to Weaving Works to pick up some very brightly colored mixed wool for practice I had a nice relaxing couple of hours today.

This

plus this

gives you this

Yeah I know it isn’t exciting but for the first ever attempt at carding I figured I would go simple and get the concepts down before getting creative. I now have 7/8 oz of carded batts to play with. Yay for carding success!

Sadly the Coupling socks are not faring so well. After it was determined that yes my ankles are too fat for the socks they have been taken off the “for me” list and moved to the “for mum” list. Shortly after that determination was made another tragic revelation was made. I had miscounted the gusset increases on the first sock and when the second sock was made according to the incorrect numbers it ended up being too short. So the Coupling socks are in time out right now since I can’t stomach the thought of frogging back the entire heel right now.

The Emperor of Icecream roving is now spun but I just started on the chocolate brown I plan on plying it with, hopefully there will be finished yarn pics in a few days. Anyone know how to ply singles in varying stages of age? I have one bobbin from 3 weeks ago, 1 from Saturday and soon I will have a third bobbin I just finished spinning. How should I ply it all?

In other not so great news I had to take Nicki to the emergency vet today, I will spare you most of the details but lets just say when your cat vomits 4 times in an hour you should rush him to the vet. Right now he is staying overnight while they give him fluids and meds. The emergency vet assured me this isn’t related to his recent surgery and seemed to think once we get him hydrated and on meds he will be fine.

Weirdly enough I was more freaked out today than I was about the surgery. I think it finally hit me that he is getting older and that he might go at any moment. Thankfully my non-knitter friend Sheila went with me and distracted me with tales of her outlandish family history (think knights of the templar, atom bomb scientists, genghis khan and the CIA).

About the only bright spot of the visit was when I told the vet about the surgery and her response was “Oh good, I was wondering why he was shaved down there”

Like I’m the kind of person who would shave her cat for fun.

Flickr Photos

blackwork sampler

More Photos

Dragonfibers

On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1

KAL

World Bread Day '07

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