Random Monday

Hi folks,

Everybody else does it, so I can too!

- While I was out riding Mario last Friday, I was picking blackberries (blackberry picking is the very best from on a horse!) in a very populated park, what I call the Disneyland of public parks, when I looked behind me and saw what I first thought was a large dog staring at me 30 feet away. Then I did a double take; it was a GIGANTIC coyote. Mario unfortunately caught sight of the damn thing with its smiley mocking face and laughing eyes and promptly got very nervous. However, he was good enough to indulge me in my Master Coyote Scaring Plan of turning into a very large six-legged noise machine. My good old Mar didn't want to turn around and stare the coyote down, but he did and then enduring me making quite a ruckus on his back without flinching a bit. I am a lucky girl to have such a mount! On Sunday I talked to the folks at the barn about my middle of the afternoon sighting and they said the animal is a "coydog", a coyote/dog hybrid, and that it has been hanging around for months and isn't scared of people at all. They've lost a lot of the barn cats to this genetic mutant, unfortunately.

- It has come time for me to shed the extra 25lbs I have gained in the last 6 months. I am doing a diet that has worked for me before, the WebMD diet, and I am one calorie-giving up cranky lady right now, I tell you what!

- On my way back from Canada I received a phone call from a recruiting company that lands people contract jobs wanting to screen me for a full-time contract position in marketing/project management for a very well-known local company founded by a MSFT gazillionaire (who also may have had a large hand in building the EMP here in Seattle). I am excited about this prospect for three reasons. Reason #1: I lost out on the fellowship I had applied for and that bummed me out. Reason #2: I barely had to do anything (other than post my resume on Monster) to get this call. Reason #3: Yarn money!!

- I take off for Italy this coming Sunday. I have about 20 pages of papers to write and more interviews to schedule and conduct, some in Italy where I don't even speak the language or know how to get to these peoples' offices!, and even more lame-ass homework to do. I signed up for two classes on this study tour in Italy thinking they would be easy and uncomplicated. Boy howdy, was I wrong! They are cramming as much information into two weeks as we usually get in 10 and it's pissing me off, but it's too late to withdraw from the classes now and get a refund. Fucking school! Pair that with the lack of fellowship and I am ready to go back to work.

- Last Thursday, I hung out with my bestest friends E. and M. and their darling sons and it was a wonderful time. It feels really good to be able to have two women in your life who are moms and who support you and you them and who I can play "little sister" to. We're all three the oldest girls in our family and I may be just speaking for myself, but that gets a little tiring sometimes. It feels nice to be able to have someone else navigate or cook for you or organize things and I thank Whoever everyday that I am surrounded by such a loving group of friends. I will end the mushiness now.

- I made a hat from the Louisa Harding Accessories collection, in the actual yarn it calls for, and I am disappointed. It knit up too small (I knit a full inch and a half shorter than the pattern called for because I could see that I would never make it to the full 19 inches and still have enough yarn left over for the crown) and the brim is all screwed up not to mention the TERRIBLE finishing instructions. It's a good thing I made that call, too, because as is, I had about a foot of yarn left over. The finishing instructions called for mattress stitch, which looks like hell on the underside and doesn't actually hide the seam at all. I am completely underwhelmed with this hat and it illustrates why I usually never buy designer books; they don't check their gauge or proof-knit their patterns and they are just as expensive as patternbooks that do. So here's a blasted picture of me in the $%*&# hat:

Peace out, yo's.


Back from Beyond

Hi folks,

I'm back from here:

It was actually a restful vacation where I did things like get a massage at Hollyhock (the local Hippie Yoga Palace), go to the farmer's market in search of salal jam and honey, eat oysters whenever I darn well pleased and nude it up in a place so uninhabited that no one would ever see me. When I was little, our family used to kayak and camp all the time. The ocean kayaks that transported us up rivers, across lakes, and through mud are now at Mom's cabin. I thought it would be fun to go kayaking but the stupid stabilizers (air bladders on the side of the boat) wouldn't hold air. I was sad.

p.s. I know I look completely melty-faced demented here.

But I kayaked anyway!

Jon married me because I am a silly goose, so I already know that as well. I was determined to take to the water in some manner other than swimming, although I (barely) did that too. I rowed the dinghy:

That's Oslo on the bow, balancing. Shortly after Jon took this photo Oslo decided to jump ship and take a swim. Once he went in, though, I think he realized just how cold it is in the middle of the Sound and he swam alongside the boat where I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and hauled him back in. Silly dogs. They just don't listen to their mamas! We also visited friends (Scott and Delia) in Teakerne Arm. They help run the local oyster co-op and this is their float house. Where they live. All year round.

Their house is in the center background of the photo.

Of course, no vacation would be complete without knitting! I took an unfinished sock, an unstarted Phildar tank (#28 from Printemps 2005), an unstarted Phildar cardi (#30 from Printemps 2005) and the Sienna Cardi. And guess what?? All that I did was finish Sienna. Big surprise, eh? Yeah, it totally shocked me too!

Here she is a-blockin':

And here she is at home, all finished up!

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I knit it in the madder-dyed Shilasdair yarn in size 39. When I tried it on pre-blocking it was waaaaaay small, so I blocked it much bigger and it obliged. Thankfully. This is what I got done of the sock before I discovered I'd broken a needle:

And the tank:

I'm trying to knit this in the 41" size at the base and then at the 38" size at the top. I am shaped like a pear. Unfortunately, this may make me fanangle a little and I'll probably end up procrastinating on figuring it out until I am 70 years old and a *completely* different shape. Le sigh.

And here's the progress on the Phildar cardi:

Amazing! It's an invisible cardigan and this is my leftover wool! I am way more talented than I originally thought. Where's the emperor? I have some sweaters to knit for him.

Lest you think I didn't do my fiberhound job and ferret out the scent of new wool (wow! how many animal hunting references can I cram into a phrase?) I did happen upon a little store called Mad About Ewe (sadly web presence-less) in Nanaimo, BC, that carried the most uniquely Canadian wool I know of.

Yep, you read those tags right. Fleece Artist. Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum!!! Just one skein of Lady Godiva and 2 skeins of 2-ply cashmere. I vowed to only by yarn I couldn't find at home easily and to spare my pocketbook (thanks for the sucky exchange rate Bush, you pansy...). I love this yarn, I really really do. Now I just have to find projects for it (that I will never finish anyway so what in the hell does it matter?). And of course, I also picked up some of Joy's wool:

That there is 12 skeins of Joy's homegrown Cortes Island Romney/Hampshire/Leicester/other breeds X lopi yarn. I measured out a skein using my niddy noddy and it comes to about 148 yards/skein. More than enough for two sweaters. I will dye it and let you know how it turns out.

Peace out!

Sunset our first night at the cabin


Lordy lordy lordy

Wow has this last week been a whirlwind!

Tuesday/Wednesday = $#@$!&^ finals.

Thursday = Mike and Casey came up to visit and deliver dear sweet Phoebe's fiber for spinning into laceweight. Thanks for trusting me with this Casey, I'll do right by your bunny. We had a great time going to the dog park and found a fantastic Thai place that satisfied my GF diet and their vegehoovian tendancies and all was grand!

Friday = Up at 5:45am to do wedding flowers. This is the result:

Saturday = A blank. I have no idea what I did... Oh yeah, I had to go to class for the courses I'm taking in Italy. And then I had to go to "Festa" where we all tasted wine (none of which I liked; they were all way too acidic) and there was no gluten free food. Yum! So Jon and I went out to dinner later instead and we saw Little Miss Sunshine. I laughed, I cried, but really, I mainly cried. That movie is NOT your typical comedy.

Sunday = I rode and then went to the dog park with my friend M. and then we did one of our last GF/no-dairy cookathons before she moves to the Bay Area at the end of August. Turns out that lemon bars translate incredibly well to suit our weird GI tracts! We let Jon have a lemon bar and then M. and I attacked the 9x9 pan with a fork each and demolished our delicious effort. You know you've got a good friend when you don't even bother with plates and midway through the sugar craze, you mutually decide that the topping is better than the crust and proceed to scrape all the topping off and leave the crust. :)

Monday = Lunch and a "Cruisers and Crawlers" (which I keep accidentally calling "Creepers and Crawlers") group with my other friend M. for a b-day cause celebre. C'etait fantastique! Merci Mme. M!

Today = Mass craziness working toward getting packed to go up to my Mom's place in Canada for a week. So I'll be gone, knitting and seeing my favorite wool producer, Joy Shipway, on Cortes Island. As usual, I have an extremely optimistic 2 projects along for the ride (A Phildar tank and a Phildar cardi, I know, I'm insane). I'll be back next Tuesday rested and relaxed.*



The Nature of Being a Leo

I can't help it, really I can't. When it's my birthday (a date that I had nothing to do with) I need to shout it from the rooftops. I tell checkout people, cashiers, the mailman, anyone who will even feign interest. I love my birthday and it sucks a whole lot of crappy crap that I have to go to a macroecon marathon class tonight. But if I can't enjoy it, y'all can. So here is a pretty rose bouquet made especially for you from my garden just this afternoon. Enjoy!


Poo on finals week!

Tomorrow, along with being my 26th birthday, I have a major macroeconomics final with both a take-home portion and a paper and presentation of said paper due. And the next day I have a law paper due and a final in my business law class. Fuck finals week in the summer, y'all. In between study sessions, though, I have had some time to make more of the Sienna Cardi from IK F2006. It's turning out really really well!

I've got the front and back and the cuff of an arm done. So I'd guesstimate that I'm about 2/3 done. Woot!

On Friday I went to the first meeting of the Seattle Spinners group that meets at the Fiber Gallery in Phinney Ridge on the first friday of the month. It was great fun; I really enjoyed the group and the store is one that I want to spend MUCH more time in... I took my North Ronaldsay carded top from the Woolshed on Orkney and spun this up:

Although it is soft and interesting and wonderful, I am pretty happy I didn't buy more because me and this type of fleece do NOT get along. The stuff sticks together, doesn't draft nicely, is neppy and breaks constantly. The novelty value is high, but I will be very very glad when I am done spinning it.

And I have also been homemakering along. Behold, the power of jam!


Non-crappy title goes here

First let me inform all my tens of readers (shamelessly stolen from Skot at Izzlepfaff who is a very very funny man) that my birthday is only 7 days away. Being that I had such a completely shit year last year, I intend for this next year to be fucking awesome in every possible way.

I also expect gifts of yarn.


On the 23rd we went here. And yes, it was completely awesome. Althought it was hotter than hell out in the Gorge, I passed the time knitting and listening to my favorite band and that made it much more like heaven. I just found out that PJ will be in Italy for five tour dates during the two weeks in September that I'm in Italy for school. I will have to see them or I will never forgive myself.

At the show I made this much progress on the Lotus Flower tank:

However, just when I was really hitting a groove with the LFT (Lotus Flower Tank), the Fall Interweave Knits arrived. Blast ye, yarn gods!! The remainder of the Shilasdair yarn came on the 18th, so I was forced, FORCED to look for a project for the 600g of madder-dyed yarn I had purchased. This is what I came up with:

A one-third finished Sienna Cardigan. If I actually have enough yarn for this, it is going to be absolutely gorgeous. I'm going to change the sleeve cuffs though. The original pattern has just rolled cuffs, which seems silly with all the beautiful ribbing around the bottom. I'll probably substitute 4 inch 2x2 rib cuffs.

Two days ago, we went to this hilarious annual event:

The Lundefest! 20+ identical fox-like primitive dogs running around sniffing each other's butts. (Oslo is in the back making faces with Jon.) The Lundehund is an independent breed descended from a primitive dog population in the outer western islands of Norway and used for centuries to hunt puffins. When in large groups, they are even more ridiculous than that description could possibly let you imagine. The above picture is cute, but mass quantities of Lundies can only sit still for about 2 seconds. This was the group as it dissolved:

The Fest includes agility events and a beauty contest with prizes like "Most ridiculous toes" and "Best ear folds". Oslo won "Best white collar". Which made me very very proud, I am ashamed to admit. They also have a race.

That's Oslo on the far right at the start of the race. I take no responsibility for pointing out the obvious here: Jon looks like a Backstreet Boy in this photo. He was also mistaken for Justin Long, the Mac guy at our local Apple Store the other night. To the U Village Apple Store employees: You made my husband's week. Thank you.

I leave you this week with the warning that I am about to hit finals, have two papers due and lost the needles necessary to make the mate to this sock: