Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Back to the real world...Sigh...

Blogger seems to have lost its mind and my photos are all over the place, but at least they uploaded, so I suppose there is something to be thankful for!

Back to real world after Rhinebeck, and frankly I would rather be hanging out in Rhinebeck. But I can always dream of next year. God willing and the creek don't rise, my knitting book will be on the shelves by then, and I would love to do a book signing there. We got to see Stitchy and get a signed copy of her book, which is really funny.

I know I sound like a pimp for Crippen Works, but because I sew I am such a snot about sewing, and I just really love their work. So the very first thing I bought that day was one of their needle cases - this time for my DPNS and crochet hooks. Next time, a case for my circs!

Here is the luscious sock yarn I bought, from Ellen's Half Pint Farm I wanted it because it is SO not my usual sock colorway. And we all know sock yarn doesn't count so far as stash enhancement goes. And actually because I fondled some of this at last year's Rhinebeck and didn't have enough budget left to pay for it - so it was on the must-have list for this year.

Here is the kid's first purchase. We have been experimenting with food coloring and Kool Aid and she thinks she is ready for the hard stuff. She is going to dye some of the white silk hankies I have laying around - we watched a very interesting demo about that in one of the buildings. Next to the dyes, because I can't seem to get this photo to go anywhere else, is a Kumihimo Disc. I got this one from Oak Grove Studio, so it came with a selection of some of their gorgeous hand dyed ribbons. I braided my little heart out and already got a pretty silver clasp, so as soon as I find the perfect pendant, that is going to be a necklace for me me me. Middle sister is hinting that she would like one of these for Christmas so that's some Christmas shopping done. And I am already going through the stash and digging out various bits of yarns that I think would look good braided. I think I may make a lot of those necklaces for Christmas gifts - it really is a quick project and I have to think of something to top all the knitted washcloths I gave out last year.

I am dying to show you guys the crocheted sweater I did for the yarn company, but I haven't seen it in the wild yet so I am not sure I can blog about it yet. You can, however, read some of my wackier musings about crocheting vs. knitting in the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens Simply Creative Crochet. That piece was a lot of fun to write, and I love the illustration they included. I saw it in the grocery store today, and have heard it is in Barnes and Noble. When you are finished reading pages 12 and 13, check out the patterns - there are some nice ones

Cameron T. Bunny is hoppy and well, and I am $60 poorer after a trip to Petco for food and bedding and chewies and nail clippers for him. He better turn out to make good yarn because that's my yarn budget he is dipping into.

Back to work - I have a piece on vintage textiles due this week, and next week a column piece for Yarn Market News And of course books to work on and swatches to swatch and....I am wearing myself out just thinking about it - I want to go back to Rhinebeck!

Monday, October 23, 2006

I went to Rhinebeck and lost my mind....

and gained a bunny. Meet Mr. Cameron T. Bunny, a giant English angora buck. "Get out of my face with that flash, lady, or I will smite you with my giant paws!!!!"

Here is Cameron getting ready to ride home. He was hopping around sniffing out his new home. I was praying "Please don't pee in my van, please don't pee in my van, please..." He didn't. He is a good bunny.

I SWORE I wasn't buying a bunny, some of you even heard me say it (stop laughing all you Knitty-Heads!). Yet here he is. I couldn't help myself, he is a total snuggle whore, and I fell in love. I was in trouble the minute I took him out of his cage and he cuddled up in my arms.. And the Kid was with me, which didn't really help with the "no bunny" resolve.

Now I need a new wheel - he is way too hairy for me to keep up with my drop spindle....

No photos of the rest of the haul yet, although I was pretty restrained over all. The Kid and I got some Jacquard dyes because we saw a great demo and think we are maybe ready to move on from the Kool-Aid. Not that there is anything wrong with Kool-Aid dying, but this will give us more color options. I bought some way cool sock yarn and I already can't remember where I bought it! I bought some Moth Beware made from bay leaves, and some scented soaps. A DPN case from Crippen Works , one of my favorite vendors, and something that was actually on my list of things I didn't want to leave without. And a Kumihimo disc, which I played with last night and have high hopes for. No roving, unless you count Cameron, who is essentially walking roving (or roving that poops, come to think of it.)

Great fun was had by all in addition the the shopping. I met Stitchy McYarnpants and got a copy of her new book, which is a riot. Met a trillion bloggers which was great. Finally met the lovely and talented Norma in real life after several other fiber festival related near-misses. And I ran into The Yarn Harlot herself who had the good grace to pretend she remembered me. The Kid also got a kick out of meeting in person the woman whose stories caused her to make "Holy Crap" an important part of her vocabulary.

I will try and get some haul photos done for tomorrow. Right now I am going blog stalking!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The anticipation is killing me!

I just can't wait to go to Rhinebeck! And we aren't going until Sunday, which makes it an even longer wait. But for those of you who have me on your bingo card - this is the scarf I will be wearing. BB wanted a turn first of course. You can't tell from the layers around her but this thin is ginormous - 12 1/2" wide by 7 or 8 feet long. You won't miss me, believe me! Unless of course the temperature spikes, but I doubt it. The Kid will be with me, and also the medium sister. All of us are counting the days. This is the Geometric Scarf in Vogue Knitting On the Go series, Scarves Two. The yarn was Aurora 8. This thing is WAY bigger than gauge, but I am 5'10" so I can get away with a giant scarf. Think we were geniuses about the yarn sub? These are the only leftovers. And because I am trying to get things out of the stash not put more back in, I turned the scraps into this for Caps to the Capital. There wasn't enough left of the olive to get a second hat, so I put that tiny bit of yardage in the oddball box in case the scarf ever needs darning.
BB looks like she is wearing a fez.

The Kid and I both went for new glasses this morning, where I got the dreadful but expected news that it it time for progressive lenses. They won't be ready until next week, so I may be a little squinty at Rhinebeck too.

The last crochet design I sold (the cream raw silk for those of you playing along at home) will actually be the first one that hits the news stands. I believe it is being shipped tomorrow, and as soon as I find out for sure I will show you the sweater. I like it a lot, even if I do say so myself!

Three more days.....

Monday, October 16, 2006

Warming up for Blogger Bingo!

I just got my card for Blogger Bingo and if anything it has made me more excited to go to Rhinebeck than I was before. And I was pretty excited before! I have just 20 more rows to go on the giant Vogue scarf, and will post a picture of it in its finished state to help those who are looking for me for their own cards.

The Kid is anxious to play too - she LOVED Rhinebeck last year, even more than I expected her to, and the game is just another fun thing to do for her.

In looking over my card, I see several bloggers that I read, but only one I have met in real life (Hi Amy! ) So I can't wait to put some faces to some blogs. Of course, I forgot to order any "I'm a square" merch so I will have to get creative with the artwork some time before Sunday.

Thanks for all the well wishes after the accident. To add insult to injury (or more specifically injury to insult) I took a tumble down the basement stairs on Friday and whacked the hell out of my knee. But it, and the car, are recovering nicely. Apparently my van doesn't like the rain - it drives just fine in clear weather. Apparently the van has a burning desire to visit the scrap heap, because as soon as my next chunk of book advance money gets here, that is just where it is going.

Visited my mother this weekend on the occasion of her 86th birthday, and she has decided she wants to start knitting again. I get to go choose some goodies for her later today - I can't wait - yarn shopping without guilt because it isn't for me!

And speaking of my mother - the Kid got her this for her birthday.

It is a little bitty stuffed dog that's little belly goes up and down like it is breathing. I wasn't sure this was the best gift in the world for my mother, who loves my Cinderella but doesn't want the responsibility of a dog of her own, but the Kid said she would love it, and as usual the Kid was right. Mother says her new friend can keep her company on days when she is alone in the house. And she doesn't have to walk it or take it to the vet. Score one for the Kid.

Back to book-land today, thankfully no magazine article deadlines til next week so I can piddle around on other projects.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

On why it is important to knit for oneself...

So we were driving home from dance class last night when the car started to freak out. Let me start by saying everyone is fine and no one was hurt, which is the important part. But on a major roadway in a rainstorm, my alternator fried and I lost the power assist to my steering and brakes, my windshield wipers and my headlights, all pretty much at the same time. I was able to wrestle the car onto a side street and despite two near misses managed not to hit anything and get the car to a stop along the side of the road. At the same time, because that is the kind of night I was having, the cell phone died. Thankfully, some very nice people let me and the Kid come in and use their phone to call a tow truck. Thankfully, my wonderful neighbors came and got the Kid and got her out of their while I waited for said tow truck. Thankfully, said tow truck arrived within the hour and got the car to my house, so my regular garage could work on it (or shoot it and put it out of its misery) today. But I was scared, and soaked through and on my last nerve by the time I got the Kid and I settled in the house late last night.

So I put on my ratty penguin pajamas and dug these - the Happy Socks - out of the cedar chest and put them on. I figured if I ever needed Happy Socks, last night was the night. Then I wrapped my shivering and still slightly damp self in The Throw that Ate New Jersey - seen below. It is 50% angora and 50% wool and so soft and warm it is amazing.
Then I got out the Vogue scarf I showed you in the previous post, and knitted the jitters away so I could finally go to sleep about midnight.

It was good I had all this wooly goodness to fall back on. While I am a charity knitting fanatic, I encourage you all to go make something warm and wonderful for yourself, just in case you need it.

I am off to buy a new cell phone...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wrapping up loose ends

First off, just on the general random coolness of having a blog - a few posts back I wrote about the sadness of missing Lady Marian at the jousting at our closest Renaissance Fair. And she commented on the post! Now I don't know if she was ego-searching, likes to read knit blogs, or what random reason she found the post, but how cool is it that she did? I had to go wake the Kid up and tell her Lady Marian left a comment - she was delighted.

I wrapped up all the crocheted patterns that were due, so that brought a sigh of relief - Iw as running out of tv shows on DVD. I really like the sweater I did for the yarn company, but haven't heard back from them yet whether they like it too! I had a problem with a magazine earler this month in that the sample I made didn't look exactly like they expected it to, so they rejected the piece even though they had said they were going to publish it. I understand why it happened, but now I am panicking whenever I send out a garment.

I also wrapped up all the half finished magazine articles I had floating around - now I only have two on my plate, and neither one is due until the end of the month so I can focus on books. Which is good, because I now have four active book projects, which is two too many. So I have to get the two closest-to-finished jobs done and out of my life before my head explodes.

Over the weekend, I came down with an incipient case of Startitis. Probably from reading knit blogs and realizing this one hasn't had any actual knitting content in forever because I haven't had any time to knit. And I REALLY wanted to have something new to wear to Rhinebeck, just because. So I fought the startitis by rooting through the stash closet and reacquainting myself with WIPs from the dawn of time. I found this giant scarf/shawl that I started two years ago and got bored with.
So I decided to finish this instead. It was more than halfway done, and would not only be cute to wear to Rhinebeck, it would free up another zipper case for the stash closet, so it's all good.
This is from the Vogue On the Go knitting series, Scarves Two. I subbed Aurora 8 for the specified yarn, and I had forgotten just how yummy that stuff is. The other thing this scarf provided is an abject lesson on the importance of gauge. I tell people all the time that gauge is important, but when I bought the yarn for this piece I decided it was just a scarf - how much could gauge matter? So it was a little big - no big deal, right? DAMN this is a large scarf. If I do the complete color block pattern it will probably be about 7' long. I am tall, but not tall enough that I need a 7' scarf. But for some reason this project is really appealing to me right now, so I will keep going until the pattern is finished or I run out of yarn. One of the joys of this random geometric pattern is that if I end it at a different place than the designer did, no one will notice. It will be lovely to finish something that wasn't one of the instant gratification things I have been banging out over the last two hectic months.

I am going to go swear at my laptop now. It is soon to be replaced - the funds I have earmarked for a new one are in the mail to me even as we speak. No mail today though, so I will continue to yell at this one for another few days.

Monday, October 02, 2006

my 100th post!

And a gratuitous sheep picture. Because I haven't had any time to knit anything, or do anything interesting to take photos of. But I know you all have a short attention span (and I mean that in the most loving and respectful way, of course), so I had to put in a photo.

On the publishing front - I have come to an agreement to write The Log Home Owner's Handbook for Storey Publishing. Look for it some time in 2008, if my brain doesn't explode first. Let's recap my book commitments shall we? The Indiana book, which deal went amuck, is being self-published by me and needs a bunch of layout work done. The soapstone book is supposed to be finished by next Friday and is already months behind its original schedule. Knitting is Better than Therapy is due on January 15, and the log home book next July 1. I think it is time to invest in a new laptop.

The kid had a day off from school today so is off picking apples with her father. I ducked out of this road trip because I am supposed to be finishing a home tour article for a magazine. Due today. That I haven't finished yet because this is more fun. Except it is now 3 in the afternoon and I had better really go finish the captions. Yawn...

100 posts - cool! Thanks for dropping by.