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I’m sure you are beginning to wonder if I ever really knit anymore. I fully admit to not having as much time to spend knitting as I used to (darn that spinning and dyeing obsession) but occasionally I find myself alone with the needles.
Way back when I started looking for a new place to live I purposefully looked for places on a good bus line. I wanted to get away from driving to work everyday. Not only is it hellishly expensive (parking lot is $10/day) but I found it a waste of gas and an unnecessary luxury. With gas prices currently hovering around $3.45 for regular right now I felt so wasteful when I drove into work by myself.
Thankfully one of the perks of where I live now is the bus line. There is not 1 but 3 buses I can take into work that get me there in as much time as driving would (sometimes even less). I was all set for some killer bus knitting time. I pulled out the Mountain Twilight Bearfoot yarn that I was so eager (otherwise known as rabid) to buy last summer and flipped open the Favorite Socks book to find a pattern. The socks were cast on at home and made ready for some highly productive bus knitting. I believe I actually cast these on in early to mid January before my move since I had vowed to always have a sock on the needles in 08.
It turns out that really dark sock yarn on size 0 needles made this a less than ideal bus knitting project. The socks languished, relegated to only 2-3 attempts of bus knitting and lots of couch knitting. The pattern wasn’t hard, heck it was so simple it frustrated me how long it took to knit these. If they had been complex I would have be ok but 6+ weeks for a pair of ultra basic socks? It drove me nuts!
Eventually it all came to an end. Last night at about 10.30pm I was able to finish grafting the toe on the second sock. I now present you with….
Endlessly Retro Rib
The Bearfoot was lovely to work with even under the less than ideal circumstances. I got a little worried last night when I was finishing up the sock and my eyes started to itch after handling the yarn. I decided that if the mohair in the yarn bothered me it would have affected me much sooner than last night. I chalked it up to being so damn tired.
Of course since I had vowed to always have a sock on the needles and I was not going to attempt casting on and starting a sock on the bus I stayed up way too late getting a sock started. I think I finally crawled into bed around 1.20am.
Colinette Jitterbug in Jewel. Size 1 needles and a basic toe up stockingnette sock. I’d like to think that I learned my lesson with the Endless socks so this time it is slightly larger needles, brighter colored sock yarn and no patterning at all. The ride into work today was very productive and the sock is already almost an inch longer than where it was left off last night. I’m noticing the beginning of some pooling issues with the yarn with this stitch count and gauge combo but I think for once I’m not going to fuss about it and let them be what they want to be.
On the Dragonfibers front, there should be a shop update happening this weekend, signups for the next round of Fiber Club, some rovings and new sock yarns. One sock yarn may not make it in since it exploded off the skeiner when I was trying to reskein it. It was so pretty too 😦
I just realized that I got a little overeager in my posting about Madrona. I mentioned the optim I bought but never showed you a picture. Oops
That is 4oz of Chameleon Colorworks optim in Ophelia. It’s luscious. I volleyed between this color and one called Peacock, then Nancy pulled back the label that covered the center part of the bundle to reveal the wonderful rich green you see in the picture. It was pretty with the blues and browns at the top of the photo but once I saw that green I was a goner.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted some non spinning related content so I thought I would give an update on what I’ve been knitting.
The Retro Rib socks are nearing completion. There was a slight bus knitting mishap that left 8 measly stitches out of 64 clinging for dear life on a needle but a little quiet time in a chair was all I needed to get things back to normal. The heel was turned and the gusset completed while lounging around at Madrona.
The socks would probably be completed by now if it wasn’t for Ginger and her IM a few weeks ago that asked me ever so innocently if I had seen the Elann Superwash Bamboo yarn yet. She knows I can’t resist looking and wanting.
Before I knew what hit me I had asked her to buy me 28 skeins of yarn to make a Moderne Log Cabin blanket. I went from looking at the yarn as a way of making a new blanket for a friend to buying yarn for myself (and not for the friend).
Even at Elann prices this is one stupidly pricey blanket. $74. For a blanket I don’t need.
Granted I can always use a blanket and I had been planning on getting something to introduce some colors into the living room that aren’t cream, red , brown or plum. I don’t really like the log cabin design but then Ginger showed me the Moderne version and saw some of the lovely versions on Ravelry.
I got the Celadon, Green Tea, Praline and Chocolate Truffle. All are beautiful. The colors are soft and go well together without being too boring. The bamboo makes this yarn shine just a little which is exactly what I was looking for.
Since I couldn’t find my colored pencils after the move I had to improvise with the layout design. A few snips of yarn and mini pieces of sticky tape and I was good to go. The yarn is very nice to work with and so far the only issues I’ve had stem from the numerous times I’ve managed to stab myself under my left index fingernail with those wonderfully pointy KnitPicks Harmony needles.
In case you’re wondering…it hurts when you do that.
The one thing I didn’t realize? Just how much garter stitch I have to knit.
136676 stitches…not including the edging.
I’m going to leave you with a picture of why I feel I should not be allowed to dress myself. Granted it was for a trip to the parent’s house for a casual dinner (and use of their washer/dryer) but I really should have some sort of standard for what I wear out in public.
Fuchsia crocs, lime green and bright blue handknit socks and black yoga pants. I will never be nominated for Best Dressed.
First off I’d like to say I was a VERY good girl. I stuck to my vow to not buy any sock yarn…at all.
That being said I think it was less than 3 minutes after walking into the marketplace before I made my first purchase.
4oz of carbonized bamboo. I’ve seen this in some online stores but never in person. Oh my it is the most amazing pewter color. Just stunning. I had to have it. Want a closeup?
The color in the second pic is more accurate. So soft and a wonderful shade of grey.
Then I wandered in and out a few more booths, petted some rovings, stroked some yarns…then I walked into the Two Swans Yarns and I think Jen and I both spotted the cardigan at the same time. A lovely color stranded cardigan with a small section of corset style lacing in the front and get this…the same lacing on the back of the sleeve cuffs! So simple and feminine without being girly. I wish I could find a good photo of the sweater/cardigan online since I think the photo on the pattern doesn’t do it justice.
I will likely have to make the body a little longer than the pattern calls for but other than that I think I will knit it as is. The sleeves are easily modified to a more practical length and the body shaping is all done with simple gauge changes. Best of all this pattern gives me something beautiful to attempt my first steeking on. eek!
I had a lot of fun just hanging around with friends, I didn’t take any classes nor did I feel the need to buy a lot of things. I spent a little time learning how to do punch hooking which holds a great deal of appeal to me. I almost bought a kit until I realized that I really couldn’t support taking on a new hobby right now. Where would I find the time? It was a lot of fun and I can definitely see myself taking it up in the future.
As for me, well I’m now back home with a full belly and a wallet that hasn’t been drained (yes I actually double checked my credit card limit this morning) and the feeling that I got to enjoy the day without needing to buy everything in sight. The 50/50 honey colored baby camel/silk roving was incredibly hard to pass up though and while I’m going to tell folks that I resisted buying it the truth is I kind of forgot to stop by on my second pass through the booths. Oops.
Grand total spent? Less than $40! Woo hoo.
I had intended my next blog post to be all about Madrona and the fun I had there but instead I find myself posting about my personal life instead.
Tonight I found my Grandpa died this morning. He was the last of my grandparents and I only ever knew 2 of them.
I wish I could say that we shared wonderful memories and that I will always remember him with love in my heart but I’m not sure I can do that. It wasn’t that he was a bad person (at least never to me) and in fact I do have fond memories of the few times we were in each others company. Growing up on the other side of the world from my Dad’s family I honestly never got to know them. I first spent time with them when I was 3 and didn’t see them again until I was almost 7. It wasn’t until I was almost 13 before I started going to Boise for regular summer visits and even that only happened for 3 years. It had been over 10 years since I last saw him because I always kept saying “one day”.
I think I’m filled more with regret than sadness. I regret that I never got to really know him, to understand the man beyond the few stories he shared of his truck driving days, his love of fishing and of course his love of beer. Part of me thinks that maybe it is better that I never got the chance to find out that maybe he wasn’t the greatest person in the world.
I’m not sure how much of what I am feeling is true sadness at his passing or maybe it is guilt that I don’t feel the loss more keenly. I keep telling myself I should be sad and that it is wrong that it doesn’t affect me more. I’m sitting here crying but I can’t for the life of me figure out if it is for him or myself. The fact that I wonder this of course makes it worse.
The relationship I have with my Dad’s family is an odd one, I feel no connection to them and while at times this bothers me I have to be honest and admit that they rarely cross my mind. I just don’t know them, we share blood and a name but not much else.
There is a part of me that tells me that I should have done more to be part of his family, that I should have treasured the only 2 grandparents I’ve ever known and yet after my grandmother died my freshman year in college I never made that effort. I think that is what I regret the most now. I had the opportunities to be part of that family and I never took the first step.
I feel I should remember him by talking about all the great things we did together but I find myself at a loss to come up with anything. He did used to let me sit in his recliner when we visited even though no one else was supposed to sit there. He would let me join him on his Monday morning walks to the rec center for coffee and donuts with the other folks in the retirement park. I wish I could say I remember more and I just hate that I can’t.
I’m not sure what all will be happening with any funeral stuff, whether there will be anyone going from Seattle or not. My Aunt and her husband were with him when he passed so I hope that gave him comfort. The fact that they were with him and none of us knew what was happening kind of explains the family relationship. Anyway I don’t want to dwell on that.
Tonight I think I will spend some time trying to find out which box I packed my Snoboy in. It was a small toy that he gave me when I was 7, a mascot for a food service company he used to drive for. It seems so pathetic that a corporate mascot is the only personal item I have from him but it is all I have.
As promised here are some pictures of the latest dyeing adventures. I won’t show you all because well that would make this one seriously photo heavy blog post.
More photos of the 40lbs can be seen here.
As for the blog title. From now on I’m going to refer to large amounts of fiber like this as “A FuckLoad Of Fiber” or FLOF for those who don’t care for swearwords.
I can now say with some measure of authority that force-feeding a cat a mixture made of tuna juice and wet cat food is neither fun nor easy.
What I would like to know is why the vet gave me the BIGGEST syringe in the world to try force food down Nicki’s throat?
In the seemingly never-ending saga of Nicki’s health issues I had to take him to the vet last week for an abscess on his chin. It is still a mystery of how he got it but I’m assuming that what started off as a small scratch/bite during playtime with Sammy turned into something worse due to the stress of being moved. I figure that since I’m more susceptible to illness when I’m stressed it makes sense that he would be too.
A quick trip to the vet where I made the mistake of watching the vet clean the wound (ick!) and we were back home with antibiotics. Now I’m not sure about your cats but when it comes to Nicki he has a hard time with antibiotics. He typically loses his appetite and almost always he also loses what little he does eat. Lets just say that the 3 meals of wet food he ate before going to the vet came back to haunt me. I can deal with the carpet getting messy, that is easy to clean but you can probably imagine my horror when I saw him walk over to Daniel and proceed to vomit the rest of his breakfast all over the treadle. I may have actually whimpered but I can’t be certain.
It’s been a week and while the carpet is even worse (I finally gave up on cleaning each spot until everything was done so I could steam clean everything at once), Daniel is moving past ‘the incident’ by spinning up some hand dyed Wensleydale and I’ve been trying to climb out of the dyeing black hole I seem to have fallen in.
By my calculations I have over 85lbs of Dragonfibers roving/yarn in both dyed and undyed stages in the apt. For those of you have no idea what that means, let me just tell you that I’ve discovered that I think I found my limit. I actually started to get a little scared of it. Everywhere I looked there was a pile of roving just waiting to be dyed, it seems like no matter how much I dyed the pile never got smaller. Days went by and still the mountain never shrank.
Then I hit a turning point, finally the pile started to get smaller (while the dyed pile got larger of course).
That is 40.25lbs of BFL, Targhee and Merino/Bamboo. I plan on having lots of pics of the individual rovings in my Flickr album by Monday. Thanks to Jen I’m going to be getting the equipment to build myself a makeshift photo studio, just big enough to hopefully get some great photos of yarn and fibers.
All of this is going to the Madrona Fiber Retreat so if you’re local and want to snag some please head to the VY&T booth to get some fibery goodness. If anyone wants to see this madness get delivered I plan on dropping it all off at VY&T this Sunday (assuming of course I can fit it all in my car).
As for me, well dyeing 40lbs of roving in less than 2 weeks since moving house has left me exhausted and beginning to hate the smell of wet wool so I’m going to focus on my Retro Rib socks that are taking far too long to complete. I’ve also decided I need to tackle that box of fiber scraps that I set aside for drum carding and give myself a formal introduction to the carder since I’ve maybe used it twice since buying it in September.
Now that I’m past the dyeing madness that has been the last two weeks I hope to get back to blogging, knitting, spinning and hopefully soon I might even try cooking a real meal in my new home. Oh and once I clean the mess that I’ve made since moving in I might even show you pictures of the new digs. The cats are still not convinced that this was a good move.