Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 6:36 PM

fossil tree
fossil tree

This flu thing… it really got me down, gentle reader. But I am finally on the mend, and heartily glad! Hopefully I will have energy now for little things like, well… blog posting. I was even too sick to go to my 40th 8th grade graduation, which bummed me out to no end.

And it’s been hard, you see, to talk about knitting. This project — can’t talk about it because it’s secret. And I can’t tell you about that project either because — it’s secret. And there’s a third project I can’t tell you about because (do I sound like a broken record?) — it’s secret. So I am having to wait until secret projects get finished and to their intended recipients before I can show them to you. And that makes for boring blogging.

I did go to the annual auction with my MIL a while back. But, alas, the economy held me back. I bid on only a few items in the silent auction this year, and I didn’t bid at all during the out-loud auction. Of all of the things I bid on, this little tree is the only one that I was high bidder. It was my favorite thing I bid on, so I’m glad it came home with me. All of the little leaves are pieces of petrified wood, and the base is a fossil ammonite. It makes my inner geek feel all warm and fuzzy.

blue Spirogyra
blue Spirogyra

There is one secret project that I am able to show you. These mitts went to my friend L last Friday. She’s modeling them. She wears several rings, so gloves are out. But fingerless mitts just fit the bill. And she loves glittery, shiny things. I wish that the Glam Sock sparkles photographed better.

Yes, it really is that blue!

The Particulars:

    • Yarn: Stitchjones Glam Sock (63% superwash merino, 20% silk, 14% nylon, 2% silver), 420 yds per 3.5 oz/100 g skein, in colorway Marine — I used a fraction of the total and have tons left.
    • Needles: a pair of Addi Turbo 24″ circulars, US#3 (3.25 mm) and a pair of Addi Lace 24″ circulars, US#2 (3.00 mm)
    • Pattern: Spirogyra by Lynne Vogel
    • Modifications: none. Really.

Knitting |On The Road by Judy @ 7:49 PM
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the Alamo - or at least the church
the Alamo – or at least the church

You will remember, gentle reader, that a couple of weeks ago (less a weekend) I headed off, bright and shiny and finally (I thought) over the plague that had struck me down, along with many of my coworkers. I headed off for a little business trip to San Antonio. I have never visited the fair city of San Antonio, but I was looking forward to three days spent looking at the inside of some nameless ballroom in some nameless hotel watching a series of oh-so-spicy PowerPoint presentations on scintillating subjects that I won’t go into here.

Yeah. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I was well equipped. I took knitting with me: the Snake River #2 socks, which I knit on a fair bit and got up to the ankles on; and the Jub Jub Bird socks, which I totally ignored. I had hand-knit shawls with me, lest the conference rooms become chilly. I had plenty hand-knit socks with me, which turned out to be… overkill. I had very warm feet because the weather was glorious — 80 F and sunny. I ate every meal sitting outside, soaking up the warm rays and glad for a few days of spring. Although I was well prepared with various types of product, my hair grew to enormous proportions. Ah, well. I can forgive much for that kind of weather.

One night we made it to a place called Rudy’s for dinner. It bills itself as the worst bar-b-que in Texas. Whatever. I will admit to eating an enormous amount of chicken, brisket, ribs, sausage, turkey, beans, potato salad, and creamed corn, all shared by a dozen or so colleagues, and enjoying it very much. We ordered so much they gave us an entire loaf of white bread. (I have since learned that white bread is a necessary part of any barbecue. I don’t know why.) Rudy’s had the most amazing barbecue sauce – supposedly developed by Doc Holliday at the OK coral (can’t you picture this… Doc: hold your fire there, pardner, while I rustle up a mess of ma special recipe bar-b-que sauce. I’m feelin’ a might peckish... ) I tried really hard to figure out how to get some of it home. But, with bag check costing $15, I finally had to pass.

The hotel was quite far away from central San Antonio. I was disappointed by this, as I really wanted to see the Alamo. So I didn’t bring my camera. But one night there were buses to take us down to Riverwalk. Since that’s only a short way from the Alamo, I got to at least see the outside of it (it was closed for the night). I have to admit – pretty cool! With no camera, I had to be content with a shot from my iPhone.

Knitwit bangle
Knitwit bangle

I arrived home and almost instantly came down with the plague again. Joy. On Monday I was supposed to go to the Dentist to get started on those two crowns I need on the teeth that were root-canalled just before Madrona (remember that?). I canceled the dentist appointment and went to the doctor instead. There I was informed that I have bronchitis and given prescriptions for antibiotics and a little something to help with the coughing so I could get some sleep.

All week, my days went like this: crawl out of bed… drink coffee, hoping to wake up a little; dial into work and stare at the screen waiting for coffee to kick in try to accomplish a few things; wonder if I really have to eat lunch and decide the instructions take with food are probably not kidding; eat the minimum lunch I think I can get away with; dial into work and try to accomplish a few things; skip dinner; go to bed.

The week wasn’t totally horrid, though. One day I found this bangle in the mail, and I was oh, so pleased! Isn’t this just the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? It’s an 8mm plastic, sliver-glitter-covered, knitting needle that’s been made into a bangle. These are made exclusively by Liana Kabel. The link goes to her Etsy shop, so you can order your own. Despite the long miles traveled – all the way from Australia – it arrived quickly and in perfect condition. Love it, love it, love it, and can’t wait to be well enough to wear it somewhere that people will actually see it!

could spring be far behind?
could spring be far behind?

Although I did wear it outside today so I could take a pic with the sun making the glitter all sparkly and stuff.

I wore it outside without a coat on… and… I was barefoot. Yeah. I really wasn’t outside that long and I didn’t get chilled or anything. It was a bit cold on the old toes, but so nice to feel the earth under my soles. I’m a barefoot girl, no doubt about it. (I can vividly remember Mama giving me what-for because I took the garbage out across the back yard to the alley through two feet of snow barefoot. It didn’t stop me from doing it again.)

And this was what I saw on my cherry tree.

Yes, the camellia is blooming — poor, confused thing. It was supposed to bloom at Christmas, but snow and ice nipped it in the bud and only a few blossoms made it through. The crocus are blooming, too. And the daylilies and tulips are poking their little arms up.

Can spring be far behind?

Knitting by Judy @ 5:38 PM

First and foremost and always, I would like to thank Tina, Stephanie and Cat for the wonderfulness and amazement that is the Sock Summit teachers list. I am truly, truly humbled to be in such company.

I learned that I was teaching when Stephanie called me. I was on the ferry on my way to Friday Harbor. The ferry was in the middle of Puget Sound. If you’re not sure where that is, gentle reader, feel free to consult google maps. I’ll wait right here.

Notice how there’s a lot of water between Friday Harbor and, oh, just about anything else? Who knew that you could get cell phone service out there! But, as I calmly knitted on the ferry, chatting with a few other knitters, my phone rang. And it was The Yarn Harlot herself. And through the whole conversation I kept thinking… oh holy $@%* what if I lose this cell phone signal and hang up on the Harlot. Which, fortunately, did not happen. So I knew that I was teaching most likely. But I was sworn to utter secrecy. And I had no idea who else was teaching. And I was excited by the whole idea and it sounded really fun, in an unreal sort of way.

Then I saw the list.

And oh my! What a list! There’s a huge amount of sockerly and knitterly knowledge represented by that list. There are people on the list I value as friends. And people whose feet I would like to sit at and just soak up any tiny pearls of wisdom that might come my way. And people I would die to take a class from myself. And all are people who I admire a huge, huge amount. When all of the people on that list are gathered together in the Convention Center, I’m afraid that the fiberish energy will cause a rip in the space-time continuum and a wormhole will open and we will all be sucked into it and end up in either Star Trek or Firefly (hopefully the latter because I think they had better knitwear).

I gasped when I read that list. Because all of a sudden it started to feel real. Really real. And I started to feel sort of sick to my stomach.

And I thought that maybe I was over-reacting just a little bit. Because excitement and nerves usually do not make me throw up.

And then I realized that I was sick to my stomach because I was, actually, sick. Felled by the virus that is going around. Sick as a dog.

So I started knitting.

Harmonia's Rings
Harmonia's Rings

This is Harmonia’s Rings by Sivia Harding. It was a really fun, fast knit and kept me busy while I started down the road to recovery. If I look happy, it’s because I am. (Sorry for the blurry self-portrait, it is apparently possible, although perhaps not advisable, to take your own picture with your eyes close.) I love this cowl. It’s warm and cozy and just perfect.

Yes, my hair looks like that when it’s wet. It looks about the same when it’s dry, except expanded. What can I say.

The Particulars:

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 10:46 PM

tied up ?
tied up ?

This morning I journeyed from the lovely San Juan islands to Tacoma where the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat starts tomorrow.

This sign hung on my door in place of the more typical do not disturb type sign.

While it’s true that I brought some yarn with me. And, in fact, I just may have acquired some yarn between the time I left home and the time I arrived here. But… what exactly do they expect to happen in this room? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tomorrow I am taking a class from Nancy Bush: Baltic Braids and Babbles. It sounds really fun. And Nancy Bush is sort of one of my knitting heroes so I’m totally geeked out that I’m going to get to meet her. Hopefully I won’t embarrass myself too much,

I have seen the Yarn Harlot, but I was too busy swapping iPhone apps with her and with Blue Moon’s Depraved Dyer to kinnear her. I will keep trying.

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 11:28 AM
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blog_for_food
For the month of February, a number of bloggers are participating in a campaign to raise $5,000 for Oregon Food Bank. Please consider donating by clicking on the picture — please include the words Blog for Food in the tribute section so that the effectiveness of this campaign can be tracked.

Oregon’s unemployment rate has risen above 9% – nearly 2% above the national average – after remaining stable at 5.5% through the first half of 2008. In December alone, 10,000 jobs were lost in Oregon, leading to the highest one-month jump in unemployment ever recorded here. The state is facing job cuts from companies such as Boeing, Intel, Xerox, Daimler Trucks, Harry & David, Precision Castparts and Oregon Health Sciences Univeristy, among others. This list does not include small employers who have laid off workers or gone out of business due to the downturn. Construction, for example, has lost 4,500 jobs in the last year – nearly double what was expected.

The rise in unemployment means a corresponding rise in the need for assistance such as food stamps. In October, requests to the Oregon Department of Human Services for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families increased by 16 percent over the previous October, while food stamp applications rose by 13 percent. But the rise in unemployment also means a corresponding decrease in the tax revenue collected by the state. A severe budget shortage may soon begin to affect core services.

I know all of the statistics can be dry and dull. But this is becoming very serious and scary.

The Oregon Food Bank is the hub of a network of food banks that service all of Oregon and Clark County in Washington. OFB collect the food from farmers, retailers, individuals and government sources and redistributes it to 20 regional food banks, who in turn distribute the food to local food banks, soup kitchens, etc. For every dollar that is donated, OFB can collect and distribute 5 lbs of food. Even a tiny donation makes a huge difference.

Please consider helping out with a donation of any size if you are able. Or drop a can of food or two by your local food bank. If you are not able to do either, please consider donating your time as a volunteer to OFB (if you are in Portland) or to a local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter where ever you are located. With knitters in on this campaign, I know that $5,000 will be reached!

This post will remain sticky at the top for the month of February.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for helping.

Knitting by Judy @ 8:53 AM
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Chapeau Marnier
Chapeau Marnier

Chapeau Marnier is finished and will be shortly in the mail to its intended recipient. What a fun, fast knit this was! Again, I really wish that I could adequately photograph this yarn. The sparkle in it is so pretty, without being over the top. It’s just then perfect amount of bling. But I don’t think a camera will ever capture it. You have to see it in person.

The particulars:

  • Yarn: Stitchjones Glam Sock (63% superwash merino, 20% silk, 14% nylon, 2% silver), 420 yds per 3.5 oz/100 g skein, in colorway Silver — I used a fraction of the total and have tons left.
  • Pattern: Chapeau Marnier by Marnie MacLean from the Summer 2007 issue of Knitty.
  • Needles: a US#6 from my Denise set to cast on, and then knit on a pair of US#2 Addi Turbo circs.
  • Ribbon: 1-1/2 yds of double-sided satin ribbon.
  • Modification: none. Really.

jabberwocky
jabberwocky

And, since 3 or 4 unfinished pairs of socks are, apparently, not enough… I cast on another pair.

This was actually prompted by having to darn my Rooster Feather socks yet again. I’m afraid they are not long for this world, but I really like the feather-and-fan pattern I used on them. So I reverse engineered and started a new pair.

The yarn is Blue Moon Socks That Rock in Jabberwocky. So I’m afraid these are fated to be called Jubjub Birds or some such atrocity.

And can I just end by saying that yesterday I heard three words that I’ve been waiting to hear for a very, very, very long time: Former President Bush. 😀



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