Knitting by Judy @ 9:31 PM

kinnearing the Yarn Harlot
kinnearing the Yarn Harlot

You may recall that yesterday I was unsuccessful kinnearing the Yarn Harlot. So today I was bound and determined to take advantage of any opportunity that presented itself.

Walking from the classroom to the Madrona marketplace at lunch, who did I spy? That’s right…

I whipped out the old iPhone, and surreptitiously snapped away.

Mission accomplished.

Nancy Bush explains all
Nancy Bush explains all

I’ve never been one to rest on my laurels. So I kinneared Nancy Bush, too. Here she is explaining a complicated bit of Estonian knitted braid technique to a rapt audience.

Today I took Nancy’s Baltic Braids and Bobbles class and it was tons of fun. Really interesting techniques, and so pretty.

braids and bobbles
braids and bobbles

See? (Ignore my wonky knitting. This was a first attempt, after all.)

We made a little sampler to learn the techniques. Mine turned out to be just the right size to wear as a cuff. So I wore it all evening while we gathered to hear to the history of Madrona (this is its 10th year) and listen to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee speak about the importance of knitting and knitting conferences. I think most of us were pretty in tune with that concept.

Tomorrow I’m going shopping. I’ve heard rumors of Japanese stitch dictionary books and… (drum roll please)… quiviut – which I probably can’t afford. But at least I can gaze longingly at it and pet it a bit.

Tomorrow I am going shopping with Sivia Harding. (!!!!!)

I tell you gentle reader, I am just an ordinary mortal. But I feel as though I’ve somehow been transported to the top of Mt. Olympus. Except the Olympian gods and goddesses pre-dated knitting. This is like Mt. Olympus with many wonderful goddesses and lots and lots and lots of yarn.

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.

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 7:46 AM

afternoon view
afternoon view

I really thought that the week was going to calm down a little bit.

That was before #1 Son’s computer started having what we in the vaguely techie business like to call issues. When in need, #1 Son always calls Mom’s Tech Support. This particular incident ended up requiring a complete wipe of the hard drive and reinstall of XP, and there were driver issues and… I won’t bore you with the details. But it took time.

And then there was the little incident where the nice officer on the lovely motorcycle stopped me as I was on my way home from dropping the fur kids off at the Cat B&B. He informed me that I’d just been doing 30 in a school zone. I’m usually very, very careful about that. In my defense, it was a high school that sits way back from the main street. It was the middle of the morning and no children were anywhere to be seen. And I admit to a bit of distraction as I tried to figure out how to cram 3 days of activities into about 8 hours.

I banged my head against my fortunately knit cozy clad steering wheel while the nice officer wrote out a ticket.

And then I ended up sort of needing a second root canal. The good news is that now the pain is all gone. But it took time. Actually, more time than usual.

I have a very tiny mouth. (No comments from you out there in the peanut gallery.) But it turns out that I have deep roots and a lot of nerve. So it takes a bit of doing to make sure I don’t feel anything while the whole root canal procedure is being performed. And that takes time. But with that finally accomplished, Dr. P was happily reaming out my tooth, and I was happily ignoring the whole thing as I lay there with what feels like a balloon pressed against my mouth and drool running down my chin, when the light went out.

You know. That light that the dentist shines in your face so that the inside of your mouth is lit up? That light. It went out. The. Light. Went. Out.

After a stunned silence, a mad flurry of activity ensued as everyone in the office tried to change the light bulb. (I just know there’s a really good joke in there.) It turns out that those light thingies are quite complicated mechanisms and you have to practically take the whole thing apart just to change this itsy bitsy light bulb. And the person in the office who used to change all of the light bulbs because she just loooooved doing it so much had retired the month before. And nobody was really sure of the best approach.

It was suggested that I be moved to the next room. But the room wasn’t ready and it was announced that in that room the brain wouldn’t boot up. I have no idea what that meant. But I really had no desire to be in a room where the brain wouldn’t boot while my mouth was under construction.

As the mad flurry whirled around, Dr. P (love this man) calmly continued with his business, mostly by feel and with the help of a little hand held fiber optic spot light. I lay in the chair, drool dripping from my chin and laughing at the absurdity. Because, really, what else could I do?

Eventually Dr. P reached the point in the whole operation where more light became necessary. What are you doing? he asked the light bulb changers.

It’s difficult to do and you have to use this spreader and it’s hard to get it in the right place. was the reply, in a tone that said you obviously have no idea how to do this or you would understand.

Dr. P stood up. Give me the screwdriver. And he started in trying to take the thing apart.

I have been taking things apart and putting them back together since I could hold a screwdriver, and I desperately wanted to get up and get in on the fun. But, all things considered, I decided it was safer to stay where I was and watch from the sidelines. Eventually the old bulb was removed, the new bulb was inserted and the light fixture was returned to a fairly usable state. Dr. P finished up his business, my tooth was reconstructed in a temporary sort of way, drool was wiped off my chin and I was off back to the races.

I ran home, threw a few more driver disks at #1 Son, threw a load of laundry in the washer, and headed out the door to Westside Wednesday Sip ‘N’ Stitch because I really felt that, all things considered, I deserved at least a short bit of knitting with my peeps. I had decided that I would just plead guilty to the traffic ticket (remember the ticket? – that was before the root canal) and make it go away. So, carefully following instructions, I signed the ticket, wrote out a check, tucked both inside an envelope addressed to the correct location. And just as I stuffed it into the slot in the mail box and it left my grasp never to be recovered, I realized that I’d sort of forgotten to put a stamp on it.

Yeah. It was just that kind of week.

But today is ever so much better. The pic is of the view out my back door yesterday afternoon. I am at Cat Bordhi’s annual visionary retreat, where I am surrounded by amazing people in this gorgeous setting and my creative juices are flowing. And I may even get some work done on the book. But blogging, I’m afraid, may be sporadic for the next few days. I could tell you all about the retreat and who’s here and all, but then I’d have to kill you or something because it’s all a deep, dark secret and very mysterious and blah, blah, blah. (It’s actually a lot of hard work.) But I will try to blog more from Madrona, where I will attempt to Kennear all kinds of famous people — maybe even the Yarn Harlot!

On The Road by Judy @ 7:19 PM

When I was off traveling for business a couple of weeks ago, my journey took me to Scottsdale, Arizona (once I managed to make it through airport security). I will spare you, gentle reader, the sad tale of over-booked hotels that left me sleeping on a pull-out sofa the first night. Or not sleeping as it actually turned out. Suffice it to say that the hotel did eventually make it all good by giving me a room that faced northeast and had an unobstructed view of the sunrise.

I was born in the desert (not Arizona, but Idaho), and I love the desert. I love its clean beauty and long vistas and spare colors. I really love the sunrises and sunsets. I loved drinking a cup of coffee on my little balcony and snapping pics while watching the sky: first the false dawn, then a hint of color in the clouds, then glorious color and the sun leaping up over the mountains.

My friend M asked if I’d put a few of the pictures up so she could see them, since it doesn’t seem likely I’ll get around to printing any of them out. So… for M… a sunrise:

(as always, click on the pic to see the slideshow – right and left side of the frame to advance/go back)

P.S. What appears to be a lake or pond is actually the water hazard at the golf course that my room also looked over. I had a nice view of several of the sand traps, too.







new toy
new toy

Yes, I have a new toy. I’m not going to talk about it much – just show you a picture. I only have one of them, but thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I am able to show you both sides at the same time. Love it. What I really love is going to meetings with a bunch of geek types. For quite awhile, now, I’ve been forced to watch them casually set their iPhones down on the conference table, carefully arranged to be in sight of everyone there. I kept my poor little PEBL in my pocket, so it wouldn’t feel inferior. The last week I’ve been casually setting my lovely, obviously gen 2 because it’s white, iPhone down on the table, carefully in sight of those with their gen 1 iPhones. It was noticed. :mrgreen: I’m a geek grrl. I admit it.

And why did I make this little purchase? #1 Son’s birthday was a week ago last Friday, coincidentally the same day as the world wide launch of the iPhone 3G. I decided that I deserved a present for his birthday, what with all of his travels and the gray hairs I’ve gained (nicely covered up by Carla The Wonderstylist) and such. Don’t you agree?

At any rate, speaking of #1 Son, when last we spoke he had missed his plane from Germany on Wednesday, but we were hoping that he would be able to get on the plane the next day.

There was no 3:30 AM, I missed my flight, wake-up call on Thursday. So that gave me hope that at least he was actually on the plane. I had asked him to call me from Philadelphia, but no call came. When I checked online, however, I noted that there was probably just about enough time between his flights for him to get through customs/immigration and make it to the connection. Assuming that I would hear only if something went wrong, I hied myself to the airport at the appointed time. I had looked online to see what gate the airplane would be coming in at, and parked on that side of the airport. I remember his return from Brazil and the crazy heavy stuff he had to carry.

And then I went to the waiting area by the security for that concourse and I waited. And waited. And waited. I could see via my new toy that his plane had arrived. A stream of people came up the concourse, met their loved ones and headed off. And no #1 Son. I was beginning to feel a bit of panic, when I finally spotted him. I breathed a sigh of relief and gave him a big hug. Can’t begin to tell you how glad I was to have him in Portland!

We walked to the baggage area, hauling his carry-on bags. He had a small duffel, a tote bag full of records (remember how heavy those are?), and his guitar case. We marched to the side of the airport where his plane had arrived – the side of the airport where I had parked. An announcement came that baggage from his flight would be coming on a belt on the exact opposite side of the airport.

OK, I thought, it’s going to be that kind of evening.

We hauled his carry-on bags across the airport to the designated baggage carousel. And waited, and waited, and waited. And his bags did not come. What are we looking for? I asked.

#1 Son: A black, sort of Euro-style backpack and a cymbal case that I brought back for Drummer Boy. All of my clothes are in the backpack. And, uh, my wallet is sort of in the backpack, too, with all my ID and my driver’s license and money and stuff.

Mom: You should always carry your ID on you, not check it!

#1 Son: I’m traveling on a passport. I don’t really need my driver’s license.

Mom: You will need it to drive home from my house.

#1 Son: … that’s true.

We waited. Passengers picked up their luggage. The number of unclaimed bags became smaller and smaller. No new bags came out of the bowels of the airport. Eventually the belt stopped.

Well, I said. The good news is that, since we had to come over to this side of the airport, we’re right next to the lost baggage claim area! You go talk to them and I’ll sit here with your stuff.

Off he went, and I waited. After a bit, a goodly bit, he returned. The airlines didn’t have a clue where his bag was. But there was a second flight coming in at midnight, and his bags might be on that.

After some discussion, we decided to stay and wait, in the hope that the bags actually would be on the second flight, and thus he would have a few rather necessary things like clothing, a tooth brush, and his wallet. But there was no reason to schlep his heavy stuff all over the airport. Instead, we schlepped it to the parking structure across the airport, where I had thoughtfully parked, as you will remember gentle reader, to be close to his arrival. At the car, we had this conversation:

Mom: Did you managed to make it to a yarn shop?

#1 Son: I did! I had to go to two of them, because the first one was closed. But the second one had tons of yarn. The lady in there was really nice, but she was the only person I met in all of Germany who spoke absolutely no English. I had a hard time communicating what I wanted, but finally I pulled up my pant leg and pointed at my socks and said “socks” a couple of times. She pointed at some shelves in the back and I picked up a bunch of yarn and bought it for you. I’m pretty sure it’s sock yarn.

Mom: I suppose it’s in your backpack.

#1 Son: No! It’s in my guitar case! Made great padding.

He popped open his guitar case, and, sure enough, there were 5 balls of yarn. I picked up a ball. There was no ball band, but it looked sort of like maybe Trekking or Opal — that kind of ball and some sort of self-striping colorway.

Mom: This looks… OK. Where’s the ball band?

#1 Son: The what?

Mom: The ball band. You know. The label that goes around the ball of yarn to tell you the fiber content and the manufacturer and the color and all that stuff.

#1 Son: I don’t know. I don’t think there were any. Is it OK? I didn’t get any that was pink.

Mom: Yes, sweetie. I’m sure it’s fine. Thank you for avoiding the pink.

#1 Son: You’re going to blog this, aren’t you.

Mom: Yes, I am. I’m going to brag about how wonderful my son is, who brings me sock yarn all the way from Germany. And who managed to be understood in a yarn store outside his native country. And how wonderful is that?

#1 Son: Is the yarn OK?

Mom: Sweetie, it’s not quite what I expected. But it’s yarn, and it looks pretty, and it will be made into socks. I am so happy that you did this. Thank you very much! Now, let’s move the car over to the side of the airport where your bags will come (if they come) and get you something to eat.

#1 Son: I’m not really hungry, but OK.

He kept protesting that he wasn’t very hungry as he devoured a huge veggie sandwich, a carton of yogurt and a pint of orange juice. We had a nice chat as we waited for midnight and flight #2 to arrive.

#1 Son: Can you look on your phone thingy and see if they’ve found my bags yet? Here’s the claim number. Look how they described the cymbal case as a hatbox. I kept telling her that it wasn’t a hatbox, or even really the shape of a hatbox, and it would be better to use the other category and describe it. But she insisted on using hatbox. And not a clue where the bags were at all.

Mom: Hopefully they’re not looking for a hatbox, because according to the claim lookup online, they are still attempting to locate your bags and that will make them harder to find.

#1 Son: I can’t figure out why they don’t know where they are. Shouldn’t they scan them when they load them on a flight, or something?

Mom: I don’t know. If I’d designed the system they would. And most times when my bags didn’t arrive on the same flight as I did, they’ve been able to tell me what flight they were on. So I don’t know what’s going on with this airline. I’ve never flown it before.

#1 Son: I’m never flying them again.

Mom: OK

At the appointed time, we stood next to the baggage carousel of doom. And waited. And waited. And passengers picked up their bags and left with smiling faces. And we waited. We were both sure that we were waiting in vain. All of a sudden, I spotted something…

Mom: Is that your backpack?

#1 Son: OMG! It is! [grabbing it off the belt]

Mom: Look! Look! There’s the hatbox… er, cymbal case.

#1 Son: Very funny. [grabbing it off the belt]

Mom: Is there anything else?

#1 Son: That’s all!

Mom: Yea!

He dug around in his backpack for his wallet, and pulled out another skein of yarn.

Back we went to the car – now closer than last time. Mom, I’m really tired. I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am. Please just drop me off at your house, and I’ll come over tomorrow and pick up my car. OK?

So that’s what we did. And when he walked in his door, all of his friends and roommates – who had been waiting for his return – sent up a shout of joy that was probably heard all the way to Salem, and scared him half to death. And, what with all of the excitement, I left the yarn in his guitar case. And that’s why I have no pictures of it to show you. But he has promised to get it to me on Monday, and then, gentle reader, you can maybe help me figure out what it is.

P.S. On Friday he came over with his roommate E to pick up his car. When he opened its door, he said, Ah. You knit me a steering wheel cover. How cool is that!

Mom: Notice anything else different?

E: It’s clean! It’s really, really clean!

Mom: Yes, it is. It’s also full of gas and has brand new registration tags.

#1 Son: It does? Mom, you’re the best mother ever!

We’ll see how long that lasts, eh?

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 11:41 AM

At 3:30 AM Pacific Time, my phone rang. At first, in my confused and asleep state, I thought it was my daily wake-up call (have I mentioned how much I love my landline voice mail?). But voice mail doesn’t answer back when I say hello. (Please note while you read this that it was around 12:30 PM in Germany.)

Mom: Hello ? ? ?

#1 Son: Oh! Hello! Hello there!

Mom: Hi ? ! ? ! ?

#1 Son: Uh… I sort of missed my flight. But they say I can get on the one tomorrow and it shouldn’t be a problem. Except that the flight tomorrow is sort of booked full. But the airlines can offer people a couple of hundred bucks to give up their seat to me and that should work OK. Except I sort of have to give them the couple of hundred bucks so they can do that. You know.

Mom: Where are you?

#1 Son: I’m at the airport. I’m talking to the airline guy at the counter right now.

Mom: And you missed your flight? Why did you miss your flight? [note – I’m not really swift when woken from a sound sleep. It’s a failing, I know.]

#1 Son: Uh… well… it should have been OK. We left a couple of hours early. But we couldn’t find a parking place. And then nobody knew where the right terminal was. And we couldn’t find the ticket counter.

Mom: But you can get on the flight tomorrow? I’m still trying to catch up here.

#1 Son: Yeah. Well. The flight tomorrow is 100% full so I’m sort of like standby but not really. I guess they’re sort of overbooking me on. They just need to offer a couple of hundred bucks for someone to give up their seat is all. Sorry. I know it’s really late there.

Mom: What happens if they offer money and nobody gives up their seat?

#1 Son [after conversation with guy at ticket counter]: He says that’s never happened. And once I get to Philadelphia it’s OK. They can book me from there to Portland. It’s just from Munich to Philadelphia that’s full. But, you know, people don’t show up and stuff. It should be OK

Mom: OK. So you need money to offer to people?

#1 Son: Well… yeah…

Mom: OK.

#1 Son: Thanks!

Mom: There’d better be yarn coming home from Germany for me.

#1 Son: Well… The good news is that now I have time to buy some!

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Wayback Machine
Stuff I Gotta Do

Follow The Leader shawl


entrelac wrap


Arabesque shawl


Jubjub Bird Socks


I Mog Di


Peacock Feather Shawl


Honeybee Stole


Irtfa'a Faroese Shawl




Fatigues henley sweater


Jade Sapphire Scarf


#1 Son's Blanket


Cotton Bag