Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow. I have LOTS left...dammit

It started out normally enough, a bit of sleetishness coming through in late afternoon. We usually get a bit of hale now and then in Seattle. Not so much where I am, down at sea level below a ginormous hill, but there it was, and all I could say was "eeeeewwwww! Maybe it won't stick...ya think?"

Later that very day. NO LET UP. Not good.

This morning I heard on TV that the fools who lived in Portland but still went to the Seahawks game last night are still on the road. Nine hours later. Some people left their cars on the highways. Some stayed over in local hotels. One woman from Florida spent the night in a 24-hour Walgreens. Hmmm, cozy!
It sparkles, I'll give it that.
Today, bright and sunny and more snow predicted for tomorrow. oh yea. Bring on the spinning and the knitting and the movies. I'm not going anywhere soon. I do not do snow. If I wanted snow, I'd live in the frickin' mountains. With High Lander.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Black Sheep Gathering ~ The Prequel

Never end your vacation with a fiber-buying spree. We thought 3 days of fiber and classes would be enough, but we were sadly underestimating our ability to hang with our fellow spinners, so the bitter end came all too soon. Last June, at the beginning of our one week vacation, Peggy and I traveled from Seattle to Oroville, WA, home of Betty Roberts "The Spinning Wheel Lady", a trip of approximately 6 hours, depending on u-turns and weather. It was hot. Very. With mosquitoes. We picked up Peggy's new wheel, took a couple of short spinning lessons with Betty, had dinner with the charming Perry and Hilary Blackler, cousins-in-law who have been in that valley for generations. We stayed over-night with them in their 100 year old farm house and left the next morning for Portland. Peggy and I drove to Portland two days prior to Black Sheep Gathering, to visit with my son, TJ, and his darling wife, Shelley, for a couple of days.

A Shelley Sandwich
We rummaged through a couple of local yarn stores, one of which was conveniently located next to a very nice lunch spot. We also braved the Portland Traffic (how can it be worse than Seattle? I don't know, but it was) to drive to Forest Grove for a visit with Michele of Toots LeBlanc & Co.

Michele, while she lived in Seattle, taught spinning (she got us both into this mess) and was a member of the Friday Knitters, a small group of us who used to work at a LYS and liked to get together to S&B. It's a slightly larger group now, because some of us couldn't stop inviting others to 'come on down'. We, sadly, lost a member who was adamant about it remaining small. MISS YOU, KARLITA!

Anyway, Michele showed us her 'new' 1950's house, all on one level which my aging knees loved and fed us lunch before driving us out to Woodland Woolworks. Now, going to a fiber warehouse BEFORE a fiber weekend...what were we thinking??? Just about all the good stuff was packed and on the way to Black Sheep where they would have their booth and yet I managed to find a sweet 8 ounce hank of Targhee dyed by Mountain Colors and some fiber for spinning for socks. Peggy delayed gratification (very adult of her.)
Because I was looking for yarn with which to spin for socks and believed that it would all be gone by the time I reached Black Sheep (I won't make that mistake again) I purchased 6oz of Grey Romney/Perendale Sliver, never having spun with that type before and fully trusting that it will work well for socks. We'll see, won't we?
Early early early Friday morning we left Portland for Eugene, arriving within minutes of our ETA. It's good traveling with another woman. We are in total agreement on when, where, what and how and U-turns are counted and cherished. Peggy invented a car game we call 'Snug 'Em', which we played the entire trip and still enjoy when we're together in a car. (It's not the same when one is alone ~ not nearly so funny.)

That's the end of
Black Sheep Gathering, the Prequel.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dulaan Hats

One with hear-phlaps,

and one without:

Peggy made up a wonderful pattern and, using Avalanche Yarn from Ryan, whipped out six of these cuties while we were away for a long knitting weekend. wow! My hero. Peggy gave Ryan the pattern, so maybe she'll post it...

Peggy has also hit the goal of 5 items for Dulaan, plus one. So, Ryan, chalk her up on the 'completed' side, not just the 'wanna be' side. I'm next! I've almost got mine done!

Here's all six.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dirty knitting

Sweet Honey Mustard.

If this is the result of casting on 30 stitches, perhaps I should rethink the black jeans...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Seagull. It's what's for dinner.

A raptor came into our back yard yesterday, hauling a headless seagull. He's not as big as a bald eagle, and he has orange-ish short pants on his legs. His body is mainly brown. My camera didn't handle the distance very well ~ he's probably 30' away and my zoom didn't go that far. After a short google, I found this, a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. This could be a juvenile.

He heard us turn on the water in the house (I had to have tea!) and moved his feast to a bramble of blackberries and next time I looked he was gone, and so was that seagull. All that's left is a bunch of white tufts of feathers under the tree.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fruit Flies ~ hate 'em

soooooo much, so I catch them and throw The Little Bastards out. It's easy.

Make a cone from waste paper to fit the opening of a glass or jar and be sure there is a very small opening at the pointy end of the cone ~ big enough to let The Little Bastards in but so small that they can't really find the way out. Tape the cone to seal it.

Put a piece of banana in the glass/jar. A Small Piece. It's the odor, not the size that attracts The Little Bastards. Note: Don't have any other fruit in the area. Put all other fruit in the frig and dump the garbage. Leave just the one food source for The Little Bastards.

Tape the cone to the glass/jar and put the trap in the kitchen (or the location of most of The Little Bastards.)

Take the glass outside to empty. Replace banana and re-tape the cone to the glass. Place trap in good local and repeat as often as needed to clear your home/office/car of The Little Bastards.

Another note: Once you catch The Little Bastards, don't save them. They reproduce at an amazing rate and the resulting wormycrawlyness is even grosser than The Original Little Bastards. eewwwwww. Throw The Bastards Out. Often.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Spinning like a maniac

Now that my knitting deadlines are over and completed I have time to spin all that wonderful fiber I've been acquiring since Black Sheep last June. But Oregon Flock and Fiber is more recent and I dove willingly into the same fiber as Jessica, a lovely Romney Coopworth Angora blend from "What a Zoo", no website.

Here it is in the original 17.43 oz:
And here it is spun up into about 600 yards
of yummy 10 wpi 2-ply.

It's nicely soft. I like it.
It took me about a week to spin it and ply it

and now on to THIS!
A couple of lovely marino/mohair colorways from Dicentra.
They shall be socks!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I wasn't going to buy any more fiber...

But that's not important now. The funnest thing ever is finding a new 'yearn' shop, and hooo-boy, how exciting is THAT! It's called The Artful Ewe, is owned and operated by Heidi Parra out of her home in Kingston, WA. Kingston, for those of you from elsewhere, is a ferry ride across Elliott Bay/Puget Sound from Seattle. Five minutes out of town and there's Heidi, thanking you for calling ahead and welcoming you into her home because THAT is the studio, the shop, where the 'yearn' is. I fell in love with her and her fiber. She uses Mother MacKenzie's Miracle Dyes, sold everywhere through Judith MacKenzie McCuin, the famous dye/spinning/weaving/textile expert/teacher. Judith and Heidi will be sharing a booth at the Madrona Fiber Arts event in January, so if you're there you'll be seeing Heidi's wonderful stuff. In the meantime, here's some photos of her studio and some of the fiber I bought:
It was extremely difficult to choose but then I saw this colorway and wham! It's a superwash merino/alpaca blend and I won't tell you how ridiculously priced it was because I want to see more of it at Madrona in January. Come. It'll be fun! Registration for classes is open as of today and there are some good ones. Or come just for the market. It's going to be FABULOUS!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ahhh, that's better

It's amazing what chaining the single can do.