Friday, September 28, 2007

And About Time Too

I finally figured out how to give my posts titles. I am a happier girl now.

It's Like Crack

My new favorite place is Etsy. Man-o-man. Only the need to pay the rent is restraining me. I may have had a knitting bag accident earlier this week.

My wierd moodiness continues. Everybody is right, I need to get out of this job, but I never take / find the time to go interviewing or I am so ground down that I don't feel like anybody would want me. That is a terrible way to live my life. It may be shrink time again. Or maybe I can get my doctor to write a note that I am required to sit by a window during the winter...

Martha read to us about fear in yoga class Wednesday. Geez that woman in on-topic. But it was good to get out and visit with classmates and do a little stretching. I am going to make it to Ashtanga on Sunday. I am I am I am.

Craft progress continues on the Rum Runner socks. I am well into the leg of sock #1. The cable pattern disappears into the color, but I like them anyway. Progress is stalled on Mandy's sweater (secret gift #1), but I think I will find a little quiet time this weekend to concentrate on it. I am going to pick up the fabric for secret gift #2 tomorrow and am really, really excited about it.

I also dug out the Blue BFL roving and singles and spindle (Bossie featherweight) and plied up a spindleful at Market Night last night. It was very satisfying. I started this project with the intention of making a lacy summer shawl, but it has been languishing for a couple years now. I hope that the happiness that Some People will feel about my spinning from the stash will blind them to the fact that I was not knitting on their sweater.

All righty. I had better get some work done today. Then I can go home and play Chocolatier until 3 am. Or WoW. I wonder if I even remember my password....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Missed You and Happy Mabon

It seems as if I have been offline forever! There was some excitement this weekend in Mr. Fixit's neighborhood that resulted in a total lack of electric, gas, telephone and cable. We still had water and cell phones though. We went out to the Haute Cakes Cafe in Costa Mesa for breakfast, did some visiting with friends, knitted, and did some maintenence on the cars.

There was a bunch of crafting progress over the weekend. I finished the Saffron socks on Saturday and have less than 2 yards of yarn left - just what I intended. I went to my Hedgehog Lacers meeting and worked on my bobbin lace project - a moon in burgundy, salmon, and gold. I made good progress and worked on it Sunday when the power was out. I set up shop in the driveway. Luckily the sun was out. I worked on Secret Gift #1, which really isn't a secret anymore. It is Mandy's birthday sweater. I am still in denial about Secret Gift #2, which is still a secret and for which the challenge of finding fabric is still giving me nightmares. I hereby resolve to work on the sweater exclusively until the first of October and then work on SG#2. I also found some time to work on the Rum Runner socks. I finished the heel of sock #1 yesterday and started the leg pattern. It is slow going with with teeny yarn and size 0 needles, but it is my comfort knitting when I just need something to do and not think too hard about. Yesterday I visited with the pets and even worked on my inkle loom project - a woven drawstring / strap that I began maybe 5 years ago? Geez. I thought about ditching it, but got out the lint roller and have resurrected it. My weaving skills have really deteriorated. But it is fun, it got easier as I went along, and it got me into the bird room to enjoy their company.

I totally love the fact that it is fall now. Fina-freaking-lly. It rained Friday and Saturday (both drizzling and pouring) and it made me ecstatic. We left the window open and fell asleep listening to the music it made. Mr. Fixit made me cocoa (with milk, even! I shall never again doubt that I am loved), pumpkins are everywhere, I broke out my fall jewelry, and soon the lone maple tree by my work will change color. I am ready to hunker down at home and get snowed in. Too bad I have to go to my day job still. Something is messing with my mood, though, making me hyper sensitive when anything does not go my way. I hope it is a short-lived phase. But I have lots of fun things to look forward too - Coronado with Mr. Fixit, Las Vegas Ren Faire, the Soap Plantation's first annual trip to Maui, Halloween / Samhain, Lace Day, the Fall Into Knitting Retreat, Thanksgiving dinner, the trip to Mexico, and Yule / Christmas. Must focus on the positive!

Friday, September 21, 2007


I am the kind of person who does not do something if everyone else is jumping on the bandwagon, no matter how much I like it. I like things that no one else knows about so I can feel special. I put off joining the Ravelry wait list for a long time. I scoffed at those who were already in. I said, how much fun is it to look at other people's yarn? But I signed up. There were many thousands (thousands!) of people in line ahead of me. Then I waited for my invitation. For 2 months. I'll just look around and not like it, I said. I don't have to stay.

Well, it came today. I went, I looked, I was blown away. It is fantastic, amazing, gorgeous, and inspiring. And that is after only 20 minutes. I sense some photography in my future. This is worth cancelling my Netflix subscription for.

GO. Go get on the waiting list NOW. If you are already in, add me to your "friends" if you like me (pickyknitter75).

I hate it when everybody's right.


Remember that pile of sticks a couple posts back? It is mostly assembled into a 45" Walling floor loom. Here, for your consideration, is my Single Girl's Guide to Assembling Your Loom.

1. Lay out pieces. Move them around. Put them back. Flip them all over. Put them back. Go to bed.
2. Next day, pretend you do not see them in the living room.
3. Third day, look at laundry pile, get motivated to assemble loom. Rearrange pieces.
4. Put all cross beams in finger tight. Decide I am a ninny.
5. Decide to tighten nuts with the wrench. Have to flip loom frame over to reach bottom nuts. Forget that the 4 beams and 2 frame pieces weigh the better part of 50 pounds by now and are 5' square.
6. Flip loom over again. Put in cloth beam. Discover that it doesn't fit, and holler at the dog "I just screwed them all in!". Dog blinks, not helpful. Undo all cross beams to widen frame. Have to flip frame over to undo my wrenching.
7. Flip loom over, put in cloth beam. Retighten nuts.
8. Flip loom over, realize treadles are now resting ON the cloth beam and will not touch the floor.
9. Flip loom over, unscrew nuts, widen frame, pull out cloth beam, drop treadles, put cloth beam back in, screw frame together.
10. Flip loom over.
11. Put in warp beam. Have to step inside loom and lift over back beam because I forgot to allow for warping room behind the loom. Make mental note, move entire contraption to middle of room.
12. Go make soap from 7pm - 9pm.
13. Retighten all nuts with wrench.
14. Wrestle with castle. Step inside loom (again). Do not fall over. Get castle lined up, and realize it nests INSIDE the frame. Take castle back out, set aside. Do not step on cat, dog, or catch foot on frame.
15. Flip loom over, unscrew one side of frame (4 points). Remove cloth beam and warp beam. Set aside
16. Flip loom over, get inside with castle. Slide castle into place and slam the bolts in to hold it. Congratulate self on not needing two helpers. Decide the directions are written for wimps, block all memory of flipping the loom over from mind. Replace cloth beam and warp beam.
17. Tighten nuts finger tight. Remain in denial about lifting the now over 100 lb loom up to screw in bottom frame nuts.
18. Place harnesses in castle. They are numbered, thank the gods.
19. Put reed inside beater. Place beater over loom frame.
17. Look quizzically at the leftover pieces.
18. Repeat step 1.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Secret Gift #1, day 2

Ah, the wide open feeling of starting a new project. Everything has a bit of a rosy haze to it. The knitting will proceed swiftly, I will not run out of yarn nor have so much left over that I am annoyed, the cats will not "help" with the knitting, and I will not balk at the making up.

I chose an easy place to start. It will be a good warm up for The Serious Knitting and might even enable me to take A Knitting Shortcut later (please please please please please). Progress is swift when the rows are short.

Secret Gift #2, day -1:

Still need fabric. Sigh. I can order it online and be done with it, but will it be the right color? And I will have to wait for weeks. The other option is driving all over creation with the pattern in hand, trying to find a shop that stocks it and then praying to find the right color. Meanwhile, I can get the other materials. If I rememer to take the pattern with me to the other shop. This is the one I panic about getting finished on time. I got the cold chills when I realized it will have to go to a secondary crafter after me for the finishing up - adding 2-3 weeks to the finish time.

Must not stress out over Secret Gifts. Must craft with patience and love. I can always buy gift cards at the last minute.

Other Knitting - progress on the saffron socks continues. I think I will be able to knit until I use up every darn inch of the yarn. The rum runner socks are on hold until I finish the saffron socks - I am so close!

Monday, September 17, 2007

To Tide You Over...

Until I free the pictures from their purgatory, here is a quick synopsis of my Renaissance Weekend with Mr. Fixit. Friday- mad dash to finish laundry and dinner at Ruby's (mmmmm). Saturday - long drive up to Gilroy / Casa de Fruta, some knitting progress on the Saffron socks, an amazing amount of chatting about all things great and small, a fabulous time at the faire until closing, and passing out, exhausted, at 6:30. Sunday - part 2 of a fabulous time at the faire, a pleasant peasant lunch, and a long drive home, marred only by a headache so intense it made me cry. Advil came to my rescue and the last 1/3 of the trip was filled with chatting.

Tonight, I have a date with this:

Lucky me!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Some Days I'm the Bug...

I am drowning in the Sea of Urgent Proposals for Which I Have No Information today. The only bright spot is that I might get to drive one out to the client tomorrow, but the flip side of that is, will I get back in time to get my stuff together before we go out of town?

On a brighter note (literally), progress has resumed on the Saffron socks. I ripped out both heels yesterday and added a 1/2 inch of knitting to each foot. Then I reknit the heels and tried them on (cleverly, I knit one heel and tried IT on before I changed its mate) and they fit fine. Knitting on the leg, resuming the lace pattern, has commenced.

The RumRunner socks are my constant companion, as I am in the easy stockinette part still. I think I might get to turn the heel this weekend on sock #1. I even went back today and started a notecard so that I can make the second sock to match. It would be fabulous if I had enough yarn to make knee socks. How (Yarn) Piratey is that?

I am making plans for my upcoming craft projects. The autumn projects are Secret Gift #1, Secret Gift #2, finishing my bobbin lace moon, getting two finished cross stitch pictures framed (one for Halloween and one for Yule) and the ubiquitous woven rug. The winter projects are "Aud" (the gray sweater-only 1/3 of both sleeves, a collar, and the making up to finish), the bobbin lace fan, a fair isle sweater, and a secret weaving project for Yule gifts (2008), for which I want to spin the warp and the weft.

I am looking forward to Faire weekend with Mr. Fixit. He is new to Faire and I hope he is not too shocked. I can't wait to see my friends, eat a meat pie, drink some Guinness, sing some bawdy songs, watch the "Bold and Stupid Men", and all the other things that patrons get to do. Maybe the butter churn man will be there. Oh, and chocolate dipped strawberries.... mmmm.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday AGAIN?

I actually sat down with the spinning wheel this weekend and got some spinning done. At our RiverSpinners guild meeting Saturday, Dizzy Ruth guided us in making up spinning sample cards. We spun lengths of singles on each of the different whorls on our wheels, at loose, regular and high tension. Then we folded them back on themselves and attached to index cards with notes about what whorl and tension combination we used to get that yarn. It was good practice in both record keeping and making a repeatable yarn.

Then Sunday Mr. Fixit worked on the transmission from the tractor he found at a yard sale on Saturday. It was quite impressive, what with the hammering and blowtorching and welding. I occupied myself with plying up a bunch of yarns that I wound off of some Ashford bobbins that had been lying around for... far too long. I accepted that I was not going to pick these projects back up, and the best thing to do was to ball up the singles and ply from both ends of the balls. Now I have a bunch of obediently labelled skeins of useable yarn AND 4 empty bobbins. The chain-plied silk came out particularly lovely, and I think the brown romney will go well with the yarns that are set aside for The Rug Project. Speaking of TRP, Denise has loaned me Deborah Chandler's weaving video and I hope to watch that this week and get the loom warped and the yarn wound.

Knitting progress was also made on Rum Runner sock #1. I am making a stockinette foot, so it is a great travel sock.

We have been watching movies lately; some good, some not so good. "Gosford Park" is always a favorite of mine, and I caved in and bought the dvd. The 'making of' features were very entertaining. "Brokedown Palace" fell into the less-than-fabulous category. I picked holes in the plot, there were some really slow sections, and the ending was not very satisfying. "The Tesseract" (with the esteemed Johnathan Rhys-Meyers *yum*) was so scattered that I just gave up halfway through and mailed it back. It is told in a disjointed manner, which I can accept, but I just couldn't relate or feel for the characters. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was fun to watch.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fall Into Knitting!

Do You Like Knitting? Do You Like Trying New Things? Take a Dive with us and... Fall Into Sock Knitting!

Come join us November 16-18 at the Redwood Hollow resort in beautiful La Jolla, CA, for three days of instruction in knitting toe-up socks. Celebrate Autumn and take some time to relax and pamper yourself before the holidays. Participants will learn how to use a provisional cast on and double pointed needles to begin a sock from the toe up and work it in the round, work short row heels and toes, and fit their socks to their feet, all while relaxing and reviving with other knitters. Bring your knitting needles - a special sock pattern and hand dyed sock yarn will provided.

Do you already have a knitting project to work on? We welcome you to spend the weekend with us at a reduced rate. Join us for food, games, sharing, and KNITTING.

Friday: 4 pm check in. A light dinner will be provided and we will start the weekend with our first session from 6-9 pm.
Saturday: Our morning session will run from 8-12 and our afternoon session is 1-5. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided, and we will go into town for dinner. After dinner there will be games and plenty of time for extra pointers and catch-up knitting.
Sunday: After breakfast we will have a short session from 8-10, as checkout time is 10:30. A small excursion into La Jolla will allow us to continue knitting as needed. (TBD)

Retreat Pricing:We have two cabins available which each accommodate up to 6 people. You can choose to have a room to yourself or share with a friend!
Shared King – Retreat and Class - $275.00
Shared King – Retreat Only - $230.00
Shared Queen – Retreat and Class - $250.00
Shared Queen – Retreat Only - $205.00
Solo King – Retreat and Class - $425.00
Solo King – Retreat Only - $380.00
Solo Queen – Retreat and Class - $375.00
Solo Queen – Retreat Only - $330.00

A deposit of 50% is due by September 28th, with the balance due by October 26th. The last day to cancel and receive a refund is October 15th.

Need more information? Ready to reserve your spot? Please call us at (951) 347-6572, or send an email to or (or leave me a comment with your email in it).

We look forward to seeing you in November!
Lisa and Mandy

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I Never Thought it Would Come to This...

It was too hot to knit this weekend.

I am ashamed, but at least my UFOs are not all sweaty.