Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What the ****?

A week? A week? What is the deal? Well, if I have been lax, at least the garden has been growing. An epi blossom:

An iris from my Aunt Anne's garden, taken while I was in Arizona for the Handweaver's convention. Who says Phoenix is only a desert? Half of my little garden, up against the house. The tomatoes are much bigger now, and in their little cages. None big enough to eat yet, but lots of little blossoms. There is a "cherokee purple" and a "Juliet" roma plant.
The purple trumpet vine on the side of the porch. For one week a year it is a mass of purple blooms and the rest of the time it is a wild and wooly green monster.
Knitting progress has been limited to the second swamp sock, out of the frog pond and ready to turn the heel, and work on That Scottish Shawl, which is my TV knitting. Not necessarily the best plan, as it has a complicated chart. It is a particularly poor knitting choice for movies with subtitles. Frogging (and frog pond), by the way, comes from the sound you make when tearing out your knitted progress: "rip it, rip it". When you undo one stitch at a time it is called "tinking", as tink is knit backwards.

I did put in some good weaving time this week, but am hamstrung at the moment by being out of white singles and the accelerator band of my charkha being AWOL. I remember finding it loose and putting it "somewhere safe". Famous last words.

All else is good but ho-hum. Knitting class on Wednesdays, yoga work every day, yoga class when I can make it, netflix, reading and petting the pets. I read a great book by Dan Simmons on Saturday - "Darwin's Blade". It was an action-packed thriller about an accident reconstructionist who gets in over his head. The accident reconstructions in the book are all examples that I remember from the Darwin Award books, which cracked me up.

I am adding 2 lace knitting classes over at Knit N Stitch; Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2. I finally washed and blocked the "Mermaid" scarf and that is the pattern we will be using. Of course I have no picuture ready for you *sigh* Fewer copyright issues if I just use my own design :) Come on over!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


My big adventure to bellydancing was quite adventurous. I was terrible at it. I did keep trying, I did not leave early, and I will do the homework. I expect to be able to do things perfectly the first time (!) and my awkwardness and embarassment was an unpleasant reminder of being singled out in high school. Ick. But I think I had more fun than frustration and will keep with it. I used a whole new set of muscles that yoga doesn't even touch, that's for sure! One of the women from the advanced class came along as my moral support and it made me feel reassured. I think she is on the chocolate chip cookie list :)

This afternoon I met up with Anne for lunch at The Falconer in Riverside. I had the infamous fish & chips and it was well worth it. Mmmmm. The apple tart was excellent (but not $7 excellent - that is a dessert for splitting from now on). Apparently I have been conditioned to insist on pie after a fun meal out. It is a couple hours later now and I am still stuffed.

Progress on the Swamp Socks is good. I finally frogged them all the way and restarted on 4 dpns. I was getting a significantly different gauge when I was working on 1 circular, and sock 2 bore little resemblance to sock 1 in the size category. Now they are my "computer is warming up" knitting and that is soothing. Progress on That Scottish Shawl is also good, even though I had to tink 2 rows last night. Bleh.

In the garden, the first strawberry of the season will be ready for a photoshoot in the next few days. Maybe I should pickle it for posterity?

Alas, I have to run, as the meter is about to expire and there is weaving calling my name back at the house.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Yo Yo Yo Yo-Yo

Whew. For someone without a job I sure have been busy. I miss blogging daily and will redouble my efforts.

Thank you for the kind comments. I love comments. Cheryl asked how I find fibery events. Partially it is word of mouth, partially notices on some of my fibery Yahoo groups (Riverspinners, spin-list, spindlers, charkha, spin-events, knitlist, knitlist-ads, knitting-for-sale, here-be-tatters, weaving), partially it is ads in Spin-Off and Handwoven, and partially it is searching online for fiber events.

Life at the yoga studio is great. I am working on our Hunnyfly.com website (yoga clothes and gear) and doing my small part to keep everything shipshape in the office. I love my "coworkers" and most everybody I meet there. It is a pleasure to see them at work, outside work, and in class. I somehow ended up doing the same type of thing I just left, but the difference in my happiness level is astronomical (for the better).

The garden is growing by leaps and bounds (there are pictures, but I left the camera at home, charging). I have been harvesting lettuce, parsley, basil and oregano for the cavies and rabbits, for myself and for drying. I added some more strawberries and a hummingbird-friendly flowery plant, and put cages around the tomatoes. The roses, epiphyllium and geraniums are blooming like crazy, and my aphid problem seems to be under control. You can tell I am really enjoying taking care of the garden. The watering, the weeding, the pruning - it all fills a place in my life that I didn't know was empty.

I have been knitting a little bit - a few rows here and there on the purple sweater, on the swamp socks (I finally frogged #2 and am reknitting it at the correct gauge), on the Scottish Shawl. That last one is a quick knit, despite being shetland lace. I suppose it is because the rows are short, and there are no purling rows. I had a little "yarn accident" and ordered the "Don't Be Blue" sock kit from the Loopy Ewe - available only to those who didn't win the sock club lottery. It came in the mail Wednesday and had yarn, a pattern and some very good goodies. I sat down with my charkha and spun enough spindles of cotton to make at least one more dishtowel - maybe two. I am having fun planning the patterns and colors for this batch. I found TWO POUNDS of green/ white and brown/ white cotton in the closet and it spins like a dream. The weaving is moving right along as long as the spindlefulls of cotton last.

Not much to report in reading material (except that I haven't been and I think some things are overdue), but I did watch "Curse of the Golden Flower", "Le Samurai" and "Steamboy" in the last week or so. I watched "Steamboy" in English and it worked out well as it is set in London of 1866. Patrick Stewart *swoon* does the voiceover for the grandfather. I also received "Akira" but just could not get into it. "Golden Flower" is going on the 'must purchase' list.

I discovered a *fantastic* cookie recipe and have made cookies left and right this week. The whole batch disappeared at the yoga meeting last night, so they must be alright in the eyes (mouths?) of others too.

Oh, and I washed, claybar-ed and waxed the car this week. Shiny.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Whizzing in April

Where did the month go? I really did try to post on Tuesday. Really I did. Thank you all for your kind words about the Petal sweater. I have worn it quite a lot and enjoy it every time. I think that pattern will get made several more times.
The AZ Handweaver's Conference "Fibers Through Time" was great fun. I sold soap, met great people, got a bunch of spinning done, and scored an affordable warping board. There was a gallery for items made by the guild members and they were amazing. I am all motivated to submit something next time. Here are Sharon and Jo, my vendor neighbors (I will link to websites when I remember to put the addresses near the laptop bag).
Here is an antler handle basket from the gallery. I loved this. This bikini and cover up were just adorable. They won a prize of some sort. This red vest (handwoven) was my favorite item. It was much redder in person. The combination of weave structures piqued my interest.
Me and the soap booth!
Galen, my fat cat. That is a box that copy paper comes in. He can sure spread out!
I got to visit with my aunt, uncle, cousins and grandma in Phoenix on my way to and from Tucson. We had some birthday cake, played some Boggle, and had a slideshow of the handweaver's conference pictures. And more spinning was accomplished.
It was a good weekend. I can't really remember what I have done this week - it is a blur of yoga, netflix, and spinning gray yarn. A lot of gray yarn. There is a Riverspinners meeting tomorrow, I saw the shrink today, the weather has been great, and I think I am going to go home and bake cookies. The garden is growing (although I may lose the pansies) and I have been refereeing the aphids vs ladybugs showdown on the rosebushes. A good life.