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Ok so I’m not hopping on a plane to far and away exotic destinations…unless you consider Albuquerque exotic.

A month or so ago I decided I needed to get away however work prevented me from rushing directly to Seatac right then and there so I made plans to take time off once things settled down. By settling down I mean ‘leave the day after a major project is due so everyone else gets stuck doing the cleanup’ 🙂

By some strange coincidence the first weekend I was free to skip town was also the same weekend of the Taos Wool Festival. Was this a sign?

An email was sent and Sobe kindly agreed to put up with me for a whole week and she even went and booked us into a hotel in Taos that she swears has a killer margarita menu. Wool and margaritas? I’ll be in heaven.

I think the plan is to do as little as possible. I have absolutely no knowledge of New Mexico, the tourist attractions nor what to even be on the lookout for at Taos. I’ll be in town for part of the balloon fiesta/festival so hopefully I get to see some of that. All I know is that Sobe promises to take me to a LYS right after she picks me up at the airport. What a good friend/enabler.

I started packing last night and made the decision NOT to pack another bag inside my suitcase. If I’m limited on space I might actually stand a chance at not going overboard with shopping. I’ve been asked what I plan to get at Taos and I honestly have no idea. Anyone got any ideas on what the MUST BUY item should be at Taos?

Today is all about getting through the last day of work, reassigning tasks, cleaning out my old office so a new manager can move in, cleaning out the fridge, finish packing the knitting projects (and clothes) plus wrangling the 2 cats into their carriers so they can spend the week at my parent’s house. Don’t feel too bad for the kitties…Mom likes to feed them kitty treats whenever they look at her. She spoils them rotten and then I get them back and then I have to retrain them not to beg.

I will try and blog from the festival but that might depend on how good that margarita menu is 🙂

The Wound.

A 4 inch gouge above my right knee.

 

The Culprit.

I’m still waiting for my apology.

Remember this sad little WIP?

It sat crammed in the bottom of my knitting/spinning basket for a couple months before I finally worked up the nerve to tackle it again. The original pattern called for cutting an 8 inch tail at the end of each row before knitting the next row. I hated that. So I set it aside and when it came time to do it I frogged the pathetic 3-4 rows I had managed to knit. I spit spliced the cut ends back together and voila I had new yarn!

I also adjusted the length of the scarf, the pattern called for 300 stitches plus fringe, I decided to go with 350 stitches and no fringe. Just not a fringe kind of girl. The scarf was cast on and that is when I realized that a 350 stitch row takes FOREVER to knit. I had hoped for this to be bus knitting but on the one day I tried that it took the entire bus ride into work in the morning to knit 1 row. At that rate it was going to take me 2 months to knit the damn scarf. So the scarf stayed home, it traveled to Saturday knitting and to my parents house once or twice but for the most part it was tv knitting.

I love it. I took so many pictures of it this morning. The sunlight that hits my dining table in the morning was perfect for photographing the scarf.

Check out the way the solid Olive and variagated Autumn yarns blend in the linen stitch. I really enjoy how the oranges and pinks make the scarf pop with color yet because the Autumn yarn had a fair bit of green in it the overall appearance is subtle.

Even the back side of the scarf is pretty!

I forgot to take finished measurements this morning (plus I haven’t actually blocked the scarf yet) but the finished size is just about perfect. I had maybe a foot of the Olive yarn left and just a few grams of the Autumn remaining. It’s a great looking scarf and I can’t believe it took me 2 whole weeks to knit. Seemed like an eternity but I’m guessing that is the problem with knitting scarves lengthwise and when you combine that with the compact row height of linen stitch it becomes neverending knitting.

I did do some spinning this last week but an accident with the skeiner has put it out of commission. Dad has been put on the task of giving me skeiner pegs that can stand up to the abuse I apparently put them through. Hopefully by tonight or tomorrow I will have a working skeiner again. However without the skeiner I have no easy way of making skeins of my handspun because I refuse to handwind what might be over 400yards of yarn onto a niddy noddy. I did spin up 4oz of a new fiber I dyed up last week and man it spins like butter. The other braids I dyed in the same session should hopefully go online tonight or tomorrow.

I made a quick trip down to Portland this weekend (which is why I am going to be 2 days late shipping out fiber club) to celebrate a friend’s completion of his masters degree. I enjoyed a delicious blueberry cornbread for breakfast on Saturday, an amazing Lebanese meal for Saturday dinner and a very excellent french bread toast that was coated in cinnamon sugar crushed cornflakes. I always eat well when I visit Portland. On the drive home I saw truck that I needed to photograph.

Sheep in a truck!

(I was driving so I had Giselle take the picture). I have no idea what kind of sheep these might be though.

In other news….the P-Patch garden is still going strong. Despite the odd weather we had this summer (can 2 weeks of warm weather really be called summer?) the zucchini and now the tomatoes are breaking all my previous harvest records.

First we had the motherload of zucchini.

Yes that is a normal sized banana. There were several giant zucchinis this year plus 2 freakish looking ones that grew in funky shapes.

Then last week I stopped by my parents house to check out the first tomato my Mom harvested.

In case you can’t read the numbers on the scale it says 1lb 9 5/8oz. Yes I have a tomato that is almost 26oz in weight. Need another visual for scale?

It FILLs my hand and I like to think I have normal adult sized hands. This is not a petite tomato and yet from what I remember of the seeds I purchased I don’t recall buying any known for their size. This is all organic and this year I only planted heirloom varieties. Just goes to show you don’t need no stinking pesticides or genetically modified seeds to grow your own delicious and impressive produce.

I currently only have 1 project on the needles and that is the Nutkin sock, progress has slowed on that because I wanted the scarf finished. However now that the scarf is done I might have more time for the sock.

Then again I did get a yarny package in the mail yesterday (seriously the front desk person at work is really beginning to wonder about me) that might distract me from the sock. My February Lady Sweater yarn came! I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of it yet but I think this was a good choice. I may need to swatch tonight.

First off…a better pic of Sakura.

ok not the best picture but the colors are pretty accurate and you can get an idea of the size. It may not look like it but I swear I was doing a Wonder Woman twirl.

Next up on my plate was to finish that linen stitch scarf, I’m about 2/3 of the way done and don’t have a progress picture for some reason. It is going well and my only problem is that each row takes forever (350 stitches) and the constant yf & yb movements are aggravating my wrists.

So what is a girl to do when her knitting is slow yet steady? Why spin of course!

8oz of Crown Mountain Farms corriedale pencil roving in Razzleberry. Yardage unknown because it’s still drying. This roving was the oldest fiber in my stash, purchased at the Knitting Expo in April 2007.

I had absolutely no plans for this and thanks to Betty who came over to keep me company on Sunday I pulled it out and attempted something new with my spinning. Thick and thin singles. I’ve never done it before and I knew it would eat up that roving incredibly fast which was my goal. I would randomly draft and not draft so i got soft fat sections of twisted pencil roving mixed in with varying weights of thinner yarn. Kind of cool and super fast. Even with lots of breaks for dyeing (kettledyed 6lbs of roving yesterday), chatting with Betty and drumcarding alpaca, merino and silk I still finished up all 8oz in a matter of hours. It has a very Manos look yet the corriedale is still nice and soft.

There was a sad realization this week regarding the February Lady Sweater. I really wanted to make it out of the Malabrigo worsted. So many people had but then I did a little reading. The worsted is notorious for pilling badly and I couldn’t stand the idea of having that sweater destroyed by pilling. I just kept thinking of how the lace on the body would pill horribly and a sweater stone would just ruin the stitches.

Luckily I was saved by the arrival of the new Webs catalog on Thursday and a new yarn was ordered. The Malabrigo will still become a sweater but I had to look around until I found a pattern that I felt could handle the pilling and would be easy to shave. Oh and new yarn was about $20 cheaper than old yarn. Sigh.

Very little has been happening with Dragonfibers lately and that bothers me. I spent time yesterday dyeing a limited fiber that I may or may not carry regularly (depending on the supplier). It always amazes me how different fibers take the dye. There will be more dyeing this week and hopefully a nice big shop update for the 14/15th.

In other news…

Nicki is quite happy I emptied my spinning basket of the clutter that had accumulated in it. He worked the mass of pencil roving around until there was just enough room for his big butt (he is putting on his “winter weight” a little early this year).

It took a while but I finally did it. The Sakura shawl is completed.

Sorry for the awful self portrait in the incredibly messy living room. I’ll try get a better picture this weekend.

Pattern: Sakura Cherry Blossom Shawl by Monika Steinbauer

Yarn: 7 skeins Noro Sakura

Needle: 6 

Start Date: May 20th

Finish Date: Sept 1st (11.45pm)

Mods: none really. The original pattern had an error but a quick pm to the designer on Ravelry cleared it all up for me. Thankfully I hadn’t knit more than a few repeats at that point. Knit the shawl until I ran out of yarn. Pattern called for 20 repeats plus several extra rows of garter stitch. I only completed 19.5 before having to switch to garter stitch for the cast off edge. Repeats 11-17 were completed during Ravelympics. The yarn was interesting to work with, lots of fingering weight/easy to knit yarn mixed in with patches of wrapped stiff worsted weight yarn. Fun and definitely not boring.

Now that I’ve finished that big UFO I have to tackle something else. I made my way to Little Knits this past Saturday for a little retail therapy (I’ve noticed I’ve been doing that a lot lately). I knew they had just gotten a bunch of Malabrigo in and I wanted to get my paws on some.

7 skeins of Pagoda in worsted Malabrigo for the February Lady Sweater.

2 skeins of Purple Mystery in worsted Malabrigo…just because*

1 skein Katia Bamboo/Cotton for a test swatch of Camellia.

I tried to stay within my budget and the only reason I even went is because I had just destashed some yarn so this was all money that came from the sale of stashed yarn. Selling 7 projects worth to replace it with 2 is still ok right?

However despite picking up the yarn for the FLS this weekend I have decided against casting on right away. The thrill of finishing Sakura has motivated me to finish some other WIPs that have languished.

See that poor sad excuse for a scarf? That would be the Linen stitch scarf in Manos Silk Blend that I bought during the LYS Tour 2008. Yes…back in May. 3 rows is all I ever completed of it. I absolutely HATE that the pattern calls for cutting the yarn at the end of each row so you have built in fringe later on. Why I didn’t go with my gut and skip that part when I started knitting it is beyond me.

The scarf has been frogged and knitting will soon commence.

In Dragonfibers news….Round 4 of Fiber Club has opened up, go grab your spot if you haven’t already!

*For those of you who have seen the 2 sweaters I’ve knit so far you may have noticed the trend towards purple. This color was once again my first choice for a sweater but I decided that even I don’t need to knit 3 purple sweaters when I don’t have any other colors. Hell even the last sweater my Mom knit me is purple. 4 purple handknit sweaters would be ridiculous.

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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