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Mom is now in Hong Kong along with suitcases filled to the brim with an odd assortment of ‘American’ items. I wanted to ask why a trip to Costco for plastic wrap and canned tuna was necessary so she could finish packing but I was good and just played driver for the day. I’m hoping she has time in the next few months to check out a few of the yarn shops there (she apparently remembers where many of her old haunts are).

As for other fibery news…I wish I could say the FLS was finished. I’m really not sure what is holding me up at this point. The amount of knitting required for the sleeves is minimal yet I find myself getting antsy after only 30 minutes and my attention wanders. I initially wanted it done by Thanksgiving but now I’m aiming for Christmas.

I did finish one sleeve late last night. 

I was so motivated by finishing the 1st sleeve that I cast on for the 2nd one right away (despite it being about 11pm). 

I have sleeve #2 going! Hey wait a minute…something doesn’t look quite right…nah I didn’t, did I?

SHIT!

It might be kind of hard to tell but I picked up my sleeve stitches inside out…and proceeded to knit my 2nd sleeve that way. By the time I realized what I had done it was already after midnight and there was no way I was frogging that late. Right now it’s the perfect Escher cardigan.

I’ve been having a couple of busy dyeing days recently. In case you haven’t heard….there was a  big Dragonfibers sale on Nov 23rd. In order to make it worth the sale I’ve been pulling out all my fiber and yarn boxes and rediscovering items I completely forgot I had. Then I’ve been throwing all sorts of colors at them. After the frustratingly slow progress of the Ramen dyeing the last few weeks have been wonderful. I’m having fun and it feels great to ‘play’ again.

I’ve also officially finished 2 out of the 3 handknit Christmas gifts. However I was distracted from casting on #3 because of Cristi’s thrummed mittens. Somehow I found myself doublechecking yardage and figuring out if 2 strands of DK=worsted/aran or not. Then there was the dilemma of what color and fiber a thrum should be to match a merino/cashmere purple yarn. It’s remarkably hard to find the right fiber in my apt for such a project and eventually I settled on an unbleached soy silk top that I (sort of) forgot I had. 

Non-meat-eaters beware….animal product photo ahead.

 

 

I got a wonderful forwarded email on Tuesday from an old culinary school friend…a small cooking school in Seattle was applying to sell their cured meats and other delicious goods at the farmer’s markets next year. The only thing in their way? The 1000lbs of organic heritage house-cured bacon that was in their kitchen space. I rallied the coworkers (developers at my company perk up when you even whisper the word bacon) and before I knew it I was calling in an order for 20lbs of slab bacon. I’ve been warned that this bacon may ruin me for all other bacon. I guess the only thing I can do is take the cooking school’s class on Charcuterie so I can make my own. (yes I fully admit I would love nothing more than to take a class on how to make my own bacon, prosciutto and salami)

I plan on spending Thanksgiving doing as little as possible, I’ve got a quiet dinner planned with a friend and then it is early to bed for me. For the first time ever I have to go to a Black Friday sale. It’s a good thing I love my Dad because why else would I get up to stand outside Sears at 4am just to buy him a Christmas present? I’m not looking forward to it.

I had this crazy idea that I was going to be able to finish that Crown Mountain merino last weekend because it would have been awesome to give my Mom the finished yarn on her birthday (the 11th). That plan obviously didn’t work out so well.

I got done spinning on Sunday and realized I had goofed. The plan was to spin a 3ply yarn and since the idea of chain plying 8+oz of yarn was more than I can bear I obviously needed 3 equal bobbins. Slight problem though…I spun half the roving onto one bobbin. Oops. Oh and I realized this AFTER I had already started spinning the other half onto the second bobbin.

I spent part of Monday night winding off what looked to be a reasonable amount of yarn onto a 3rd bobbin before I finished spinning the remaining roving. 3 bobbins of close to equal weight. I was getting there. Tuesday night was spent taking my parents and my sister’s future MIL out for my Mom’s birthday dinner (peking duck, salt and pepper squid, scallops with pea shoots and some other things I can’t recall right now). Wednesday was spent frantically trying to clean out my second bedroom for a short term roomie (I gave up on the idea of it being ‘clean’ and settled for the place being ‘not dirty’). Then I got it into my head to ply.

Exactly 400 yards of 3 ply DK-ish superwash merino in Wish You Were Here…13wpi (measured with my awesome new Karatstix tool). There is also 28 yards of chain plied yarn from the remaining bobbins. It’s been a while since I’ve spun superwash merino and while I definitely prefer non-superwash spinning or the superwash BFL this stuff isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. Yes I had to inchworm my way through the spinning but since this is destined to be sock yarn I wanted a nice worsted spun yarn anyway.

The second Gin sock has been cast on yet very little progress has been made. It is once again bus knitting and this week there has been very little bus time. I knit briefly on the Monday commute, Tuesday was free parking day in Seattle so I drove and parked on the street for free, Wednesday was spent sitting next to a guy who refused to not slouch, legs sprawled in what appears to be the norm for young men nowadays and therefore he took up half my share of the seat so there was no knitting to be done. Incidentally he also had his music so loud that I could hear the words OVER my own music. It’s a rare day that I get to knit on my way home from work. One of the benefits of my commute to work is that I get off at one of the first downtown stops so the trip is usually fast. The downside is that on the way home I’m boarding at the last downtown stop so it is typically a ‘stand and hold on’ trip.

There hasn’t been any real progress on the FLS. I just haven’t had that much time this week to sit down and really work on the sleeves. All my time has been spent on spinning or running errands. Plus I keep thinking about those 5 skeins of Artyarns Regal Silk in my stash that I bought 2 years ago to make a clapotis.

One can’t wear their Icarus shawl to the company holiday party 2 years in a row right?

And in case you thought I only had one cat…

Sammy is very rarely a lap cat, he likes his petting to be on the go and avoids sitting on you as much as possible. So when he spent 2 nights in a row sprawled across my lap while I spun I knew I needed a picture.

You are looking at 64 packages of Ramen yarn that is set to be delivered to Little Knits today. Yes….64 skeins. 14 colorways. Lots and lots of rameny heaven just waiting to be bought. 

What is really sad is how long it took for me to get this order completed. I’ve never had a wholesale order take this long and while part of it is due to the labor intensive production of Ramen a much bigger part was due to non-Dragonfibers life going a little crazeeee.

I now no longer feel like I’m on the verge of being fired from my ‘real’ job (and yes that felt like a very real possibility for a while). Work chaos with a trial client made August and September a living breathing spreadsheet upon conflicting spreadsheet nightmare..and that wasn’t even taking into consideration the people management aspect of the project. I had a mini respite with my lovely vacation down to ABQ and then it was back to the same old shit. Needless to say I’ve now had to resort to taking official lunch breaks where I leave my office so there is more ‘clarity’ about when I’m at work vs surfing the web on break time. Sigh.

I made my way through the pie-bake with most of my nerves intact yet I also spent a ridiculously long time agonizing over what kind of greeting card you send to a relative dying of cancer (Get Well Soon doesn’t really apply).

All in all it’s been a frustrating couple of months but the good news is I think it’s evening out. I hesitate to say things are getting better because quite frankly that is just asking for trouble. I’m aiming for a more consistent yet lower level of stress for the remainder of the year. I’ve decided to view the impending holidays that will be spent alone due to family being everywhere but here as a good thing. I always get stressed when cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas even though it really isn’t hard. A few years ago I almost stopped 15 minutes before Christmas dinner was ready because the urge to scream and tell the family they could make their own f’ing Christmas dinner was so strong. (FYI if I ever cook a big meal for you I don’t recommend coming into the kitchen every 5 minutes bitching about how hungry you are-it really annoys me)

So what am I doing with myself now that Ramen production has ceased?

There has been FLS knitting. A very small amount mind you since Ramen was JUST finished. The body is done and now I’m onto sleeve #1. Based on the amount of yarn I have left and how the body fits I think I will do full length sleeves rather than the 3/4 version in the pattern.

There has been cooking. Grilled Teriyaki Beef with rice and baby bok choi. This was a test recipe from Cooks Illustrated and definitely a keeper. I found the sauce a tad too sweet but that is easily fixed and the marinade had some great flavor to it. I even tried this out on chicken wings and damn that was tasty.

There has also been some kittylove.

Life is getting better.

Flickr 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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