Saturday, May 31, 2008

X is for Xanax

As schools around this country near the end of the year, it is my guess that there will be a sharp spike in the use of this drug followed by and evening out and decline as the month nears the end.

I have been fortunate in that I have not needed this assistance thus far and hope not to next week. Mostly it's just nice knowing it's there without ever using it. Especially in the last week of school.

Spinning? It's happening. Knitting? I began an EZ-EPS sweater last night (after swatching a hat.) I like the idea of measuring a sweater I love rather than myself. I have high hopes, just finished the garter stitch at the bottom and have 15" of peaceful knitting in the round before I have to think again. I was running low on comfort knitting. This is just the cure.

No Xenophobe Here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

W is for WooHoo I'm a Winnah!

Well now, Ruth made this letter of the alphabet easy. I'll soon be working up the Medallion Bag(Ravelry Link). I won her contest- she's sending me the goods wohoo!

Just so you know I still play with fiber...

June will be the month of spinning. July will be Medallion and my continued efforts at lace. In August I hope to have enough beautifully spun fiber that I can at least make a vest. Right now I continue working on piecing Babette together and on that Holiday Knits Royal Pillow. Not much to show.

The dog has another new trick. Bounce a ball and she is happy to fly into the air to get it (apparently she prefers vertical fetch to horizontal fetch) She still has a bit to learn about patience and gravity, as she leaps as the ball goes up instead of when it's coming down- more often than not missing it but looking REALLY REALLY FUNNY. Maybe I can convince Mr. Sophanne to take some video footage this weekend. She may indeed have a career as a circus dog.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

V is for Viking and Velocity

Knitting at Panera's last night. When I didn't want to look at pastries for my mid-knit-night walk, KNQD suggested that I walk around Panera's feeling peoples clothing and asking them what it was made of.

Ursula had her Viking needle holder made by a friend which, if it were really real, some viking woman would have worn around her neck. I must say that it never occurred to me that there would be Viking Women. I thought they were all men.

Velocity really requires a video taping session which may come or may not come later. Liza Jane's favorite new trick is to bring a stick so that I will hold both ends of it. She hangs on with her teeth and then I spin her around (slightly airborne.) Her front paws rest on my legs as a safety valve, but as soon as her back legs leave the ground, her tail wags like crazy. She shakes it off and runs up saying "AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN!"

Also this morning when it was time for me to leave for work, she crawled up into a little ball on the bed in the room where I was getting ready and tried to make herself invisible. I know that she was trying to make herself invisible because she wouldn't come when I called her. Just remained on the bed in a small curled up ball.

Here's some knitting advice for anyone that needs it. Read the directions to the pattern. If you think you already know them, read them again anyway. After you read them, look at what you're doing and see if it's the same as what you read. If you decide to write down a checklist to help you keep track, make sure the checklist is correct and if it is do what it says. Check your knitting frequently to see if you are doing what you wrote down. This has been a PSA from one who empathsizes the pain of frogged sleeves for a third time

Monday, May 26, 2008

U is for Unflippinbelievable

See that yarn? I spun it. Then I plied it. Then I niddy-noddied it. Then I put it in cold water.

Some people use quarters and dimes to show their fine spinning. I believe a tennis ball will give you an idea.

It's purpler than the sun would suggest. I'm guessing somewhere between worsted and chunky.

Who would have thought I'd finally figure this a little bit out? Unflippinbelievable.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

T is for Thoughts on the craft

Knit and Crochet.

It felt so great to hold knitting needles after crocheting the giant Babette. It feels like different parts of my brain are engaged and more concentration is required (thus preventing my mind from wandering to other things) I don't think one is better than the other. Each offers its own fibery escape.

Complicated and Easy.

I saw several very simple and very beautiful knits at MDSW. There were also many beautiful and complicated pieces. The appeal of knitting to me thus far has been to do the "next hardest thing." One of the reasons I began knitting was that I craved the lessons in patience that difficult projects require. I'm starting to come to the idea that there may be as much as or more patience required for the simpler projects. Again- one's not better than the other but offers and asks for different skills.

Expensive and Cheap.

I am slowly coming to terms with my Aristotelean belief that there is one perfect knitting bag and as soon as I find it, I'll never need another. The latest attempt is the Laguna bag from Namaste. (purchased at Scout's Swag) As soon as I didn't win this at the Ravelry raffle at MDSW, I knew one would find it's way onto my credit card.

Antonio Banderas puts out a good project bag if you can find his $21.69 gift bag at a close-out sale for $2.17 at your local Big Lots. The bonus of these little bags is that I now own seven of them. Perfect for projects the dog believes we should share. The drawback is that I've got to figure out what to do with all of the cologne/lotion that comes with them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

S is for Secrets

So how long did everyone plan on keeping Drops a secret from the Sophanne?

How can it be that I've gone this long not knowing that was there.

Do I live on another planet?

Are there any other secrets I need to know about?

Anyone hanging around out there with the secret to the meaning of life they're not sharing?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

r is for raveler - a new one!

My friend vanfox23 discovered crochet 2 months ago and purling about a week ago.

She just got on Ravelry and I'm her only friend (poor girl)

Visit her at Ravelry an introduce yourself and welcome her to the world!

Monday, May 19, 2008

R is for

Really Ready for this Rockin' Rag to be Finished

O.k. maybe "rag" is a stretch on R-ville, but I am ready to be done. We're into the whip stitch stage. I perused several possible joining methods and went with the whip because it seemed the simplest- both to do and to look at- and I'm thinking this thang doesn't need any more extra attention drawn to it.

Imagine my surprise when Mr. Sophanne asked "Can I have it?" I immediately replied yes. There's no better way to admire it than across the couch on him. He helped place a few color squares last night. I think he feels as though he's got a vested interest in it's successful completion now.

The picture really isn't doing the colors justice but I promise a good one when all is said and done. I have visions of hanging it on the swingset in the sunlight.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Q is for Quaint Little Festival

.. with the emphasis on Little.

The 5th Annual Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival Report

I snagged some roving for the self proclaimed month of spinning to come in June. I also got some tidbits of help from someone who let me spin a little on her wheel. Some spinning uncertainties were clarified. Hallelujah.

The wind kicked the vendors asses. Tents that were not attached to automobiles were doing a Bob Dylan. (Blowing in the Wind)

At least once the crash of wine bottles at a wine tasting booth was heard.

I did find the woman whose spun/dyed wool I purchased last year. I was wearing the sweater of said wool. It was Barbara Campbell and she has not retired her sheep. (no gold watches for you sheepy) It was kind of a nice little circle to be made.

There was a giant (but not trash bag sized) bag of yarn which turned out to be mostly acrylic that I picked up for $15. There are a couple of unknown unlabeled cakes that may be wool which I will test using Tamara's method suggested in a previous post's comment. (looks like we can all look forward to a science experiment when school is out!) I figured that for $15 I was willing to take someone else's ancient acrylic off their hands and I will feel no guilt in trashing it as needed- or making gifts for people who aren't my favorite or who have "Lofted Estron" fetishes.

The Sheep to Shawl contest was underway. What didn't occur to me last year that did occur to me this year is that the wool they are spinning is fresh off the sheep. No time for multiple washing or intensive carding. They carded it enough to get the worst of the organic material out and then into the wheel and onto the loom it goes.

While there wasn't much to see or stay for, this festival will always be a meaningful event to me. I started "really" knitting at the Second Annual Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival. Each year that I go hallmarks all that I have learned through the year.

Friday, May 16, 2008

P is for Puppy Pee

So... it's been about 3 weeks since Liza has blatantly peed in the house. We had one little incident where I wasn't paying close enough attention and she didn't get to the door in time, but there was no reprimand involved there.

Last night, after a little bedtime frolicking, she went dashing out the bedroom door straight into the bathroom (where the door just happened to be open-usually it isn't), jumped into the tub, peed, and jumped out again.

I'm thinking she's one smart dog- or else is just letting us know that she has no intention of ever sleeping in the bathtub.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

O is for Oh yeah- I've been tagged!

Yarnhog tagged me and it came from Romi so I'm thinking I better follow through lest the KG (knitting goddess) start looking for me.

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer."

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
Much of what I'm doing now only with a lot little more alcohol and a lot little less fiber-

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
Teach a kid's parent to purl (wOOt), add a test to the last nine weeks so I can grade my students, edit the state music newsletter, stay patient with kids who tested all morning, do a knit night blog post

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Microwave Popcorn, chocolate, nature valley almond bars

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Find a new job (unless of course this were the source of the wealth), spend time with people who needed it-anonymously give money to people who needed it-open a yarn shop

5) Places I have lived: Batesville, Mississippi; Newark New York, Cleveland, Ohio, Morgantown, WV

6) 5 peeps I wanna know more about-

Yvonne a.k.a KnitNat
Kim a.k.a YarnyOld
Sunflowerfairy a.k.a Sunflowerfairy
Joan a.k.a FairyGodknitter
Ruth a.k.a. 5elemntknitr

and anyone else who wants to play

N is for



Not going to happen.

Not fair.

Nilly Willy will be I.

Nexus of my sanity.

No Night of Nitting during the noontime of the year.

We were informed at Knit night last night that next week is the last night of Knit night until the summer is over. For various reasons (all justifiable if you disregard the fact that my sanity will now be on the brink) there's no summer knit night at my LYS.

KNQD, knowing the trauma this would cause (I'm guessing because she experienced it herself), has already suggested an alternate location.

Chris (aka-The Mountain- in the fine Eastern sense of the word-not in actual size-) agreed to check out the 11:00-1:00 Wednesday knit day. The only bonus there is we'll keep this little blog a secret and get snarky on their asses if they aren't "cool like us."

an aside for Chris- one knit row and one purl row on straight needles is equal to two knit rows in the round. Trust me. Let go of the myth.

Poor Gina took the brunt of my anger as I traveled through the stages of grief. It wasn't her fault.

Mr. Sophanne struggled to read my "don't do well with change-had just started embracing consistency" self during the drive home. (I know it's twisted logic but prior to meeting Mr. Sophanne, my negative response to change was not as much of a problem- if you don't have any consistency in your life -meals-sleeping time-etc., then change is constant and therefor a non-issue)

I know all will be well- but for yesterday and today, this is some most distressing News.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

M is for Many Mindless Minutes cMus

or Sophanne the Early Years

You can see, I was not always in love with green. Once upon a time, purple had my heart.

In the back is a purple poncho (should have saved it for the letter p). Across the bed is about 6 inches of what I was sure would be the best afghan ever. Both Lionbrand Homespun. Some of it self-purchased, some of it a gift from Mr. Sophanne.

A moonlight madness shawl, a dead muppet shawl, a scarf that has some glitter in it, and a yellow sweater with daisy buttons that was all single crochet. (and oddly enough the only sweater I've ever made that's really come close to fitting well) The Red Heart sweater holds a place in my heart for it was made while camping out in a hospital waiting room and really got the whole enterprise going.

The crocheted afghan (in a tasteful pattern and colors was a cherished gift from an ex-step-mother and should not be included in mindless minutes)

The only defense I have is that I really (I swear) didn't know about wool. Or green.

L is for Looking for Rocks

Where we going?

Looking for rocks.

Building some steps.

Little bit hard.

Babette continues to grow.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

K is for Knitnat and Kim made me do it.

My purchases on Saturday were limited- mostly trinkets and such that I couldn't get anywhere else. A cute silver sheep necklace, a sheep t-shirt that read "Oh- Baa-Maa", a leather wallet, and a few fibery goodies. Then I saw the acquisitions of Yvonne and Kim and a little voice said MDSW comes but once a year and all hell broke loose.

Tammy's comment on the last post about being kind to my jealous self made me realize that I was just being lazy about photographing the fiber so I made myself useful and here's the stash-

First up some basic wool no tags but a real deal- planning on being a basic EZ pullover with some fair isle in the yoke.

This next one is mohair- fingering weight.  It's called Bird of Paradise but I've been calling it watermelon in my head.  I am going to try to make the lettuce leaf scarf with it.

I can't tell you how much alpaca spoke to me this past weekend.  Even after the alpaca grinch I just finished.  I loved the natural colors of this and I'm not sure what it's going to be but I've got 1800 yards to play with.

Why didn't I pay closer attention to the basket I pulled this from?  There's no tag on it or the other 3 skeins.  I'm pretty sure I've got about 1500 yards of it.  Might have some linen/flax in it.  It's a little rough but I love the color combo.  I have no plans for it yet.

This is some Rowan plaid.  Buying Rowan at a Fiberfest?  Are you whacked?  Regularly $16.95/ball selling for $5/ball.  Couldn't walk by.  Should have picked up some of the Big Wool when I had the chance.  Yvonne thinks this would make a lovely oversized Clapotis. hmmmm

This was another "Sunday steal".  50% yak- 50% merino. (regularly $20 purchased at $8)  I see a vest with a  cable in the front for this one.

Realize there's that phrase "the best laid plans..." etc but there is the flash stash for MDSW 2008- Thanks to Tammy for pushing me to it!

j is for jealous and juxtapose

Last year as I read the post-MDSW blogs, I was seriously jealous of everyone's great yarn pron. This year some of you noticed that I didn't really give a lot of detail about the recently acquired stash. All will be revealed as new projects appear. I am just trying to be sensitive to my last year's self.

Right now Babette is on the front burner. I feel the color love. The double crochet monotony- not so much. I know for a certainty that if I put this down it will neither be ripped nor finished. It will be endless squares haunting my nightmares. Wanting to spare myself that experience, I move forward with determination.

Pictured below is some Juxtaposition. This mildly dyslexic knitter Can. Not. keep track of rows in lace charts. Determination be damned. It ain't gonna happen.

I so want to knit some lace. I love skinny luscious yarn. I love toothpick needles. Call me crazy. If I only have to look at one row at a time, I'm hoping I will be less distracted and convoluted. The right vs. left slanting symbols are enough all on their own. Who knows, I may have invented a new way to publish patterns.

Jealous be damned- I'm in a photo on the Ravelry Post on MDSW Fourth picture- 4 people on the back banister of the rabbit building then two more on the far right- one with a hat on-sun shining - THAT"S ME!

Monday, May 05, 2008

I is for I was overwhelmed.

I saw the geniuses.

I saw the source.

I saw the action.

I collected 2 bins of new fiber

I had great traveling companions.

There was perfect weather.

It was fun.

Friday, May 02, 2008

H is for Helluva Fiber Geek

Signs for the car window (What a great idea Yvonne!)

Further more, I've packed the ball-winder.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

G is for Gander

ETA at bottom
as in, take a gander at this. Come to find I have my own magic marble at home. I bought it after reading about using it for color knitting well before I ever thought I could really knit with colors. The dark in the middle is the shadow of the camera.

Magicky Marbley Babette

not really saying this out loud, but the simplicity of double crochet was a little tedious last night

Edited to Add: "How did you do that?" Go To Knit Picks and get one of these:

I think I got mine at one of the famous 'burg's dollar stores.

Put your camera lens in the eyehole (as opposed to the pie-hole-love that word don't get to use it much) and make yourself late for work as you try to unsuccessfully capture the colors and light that fully represent what's really there.