May 29, 2008

Spining quickie

So last night we discovered that with all of the leaves in it our dining room table becomes 8’ long. That is awesome. And also way bigger than any of our tablecloths. So we took a little trip to JoAnne Fabric and bought some green felt. Oh yeah - we’re not using this table for dinner parties, yet. Nope. It’s now the poker table of Matt’s dreams.

Anyways! After we got home I decided that I wanted to spin right now. But I was exhausted and it was late so I wasn’t quite up for starting a big or important project. And most of my fiber stash is handdyed that I don’t want to screw up because I’m spinning tired. Luckily this weekend Jacki gave me a little fiber ball:
Roving Ball
I didn’t weigh it so I have no idea how much it was… or what it’s made up of. It’s some sortof yellow wool with blue/purple sparkly stuff in it.
Roving Ball
An hour later – including a particularly frustrating 10 min where Dexter decided that the roving ball is his new toy and he needs to attack it with much ferocity - I had this:
handspun roving ball
handspun roving ball
handspun roving ball

The ball was a dream to spin. And so much fun. I ended up with about 10-15 yards of about a sport weight. Not very much at all. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it but it was fun to make!
handspun roving ball
Thanks, Jacki!

Also thanks to everyone who added my mom as a friend on Ravelry! She's thrilled!

Oh and if you want to see some actual pics and info from the Boston trip Michele has been much, much better at blogging it than I have. Perhaps next post...

May 27, 2008

Great Lakes Fiber Festival

So this past Sat. I went with my mom and my grandma to the Great Lakes Fiber Festival. But unlike last year, this year I did not come home with tons of yarn. Nope. Just one tiny little skein of sock yarn from Creatively Dyed. Because… well…. I pretty much drank this month’s yarn budget while in Boston. Liquor is expensive in that city. As are lobster. Plus I have more yarn than I know what to do with anyways… So instead I was an enabler. Together my mom and I convinced my grandma to buy some alpaca to spin:
Great Lakes Fiber Festival
Her checking out the possibilities
Great Lakes Fiber Festival
Great Lakes Fiber Festival
My mom keeping up the peer pressure (oh yeah my mom is on Ravelry. She’s CaroleB and she needs some friends...)

We started with a mere 2lbs of the most beautiful brown… but the processor will only do a minimum of 3lbs at a time. So by the end of the day we had 4 lbs of alpaca sent out to be processed. 4lbs!!! And the best part is that they are going to turn it into what is essentially pencil roving. It’s going to be so fun for my grandma to spin!

I also was lucky enough to meet up with Jacki and Travis, Tricia and her lovely family, and Katie for a nice little chat about the online yarn business. They all produce truly beautiful stuff (check out their stores here and here). Then it was on to the Ravelry meetup where I got to see Amy and meet Rasa in person as well as see/meet many many other wonderful knitters who don't have blogs for me to link to. Hi guys! But again I seem to have a weird thing with taking pictures of knitters so instead how about some sheep?
Great Lakes Fiber Festival

Really it was a perfect day.

Other than that my weekend was spent out in the garden planting things – Oh just a heads up! Buyers Outlet - my source of cheap and wonderful plants – is out of veggies! Out! It’s a tragedy. I talked to the guy who owns the place and he said that the greenhouse they buy from is completely out. Lots of sadness ensues on that one. I’ll bet it’s because food prices are so expensive everyone is trying to grow their own… luckily the ‘depot wasn’t out of too much. I still have to track down some eggplant plants, though.

Oh yeah and I’m still on a big dying kick… just a little preview:
test skein
Eventually there will be a lot more blogging about all of that....

May 23, 2008

Flames, whips, and flowers

So I have a ton of Boston photos but I’m still waiting for my friends to send me theirs so I can show you pics of actual people and not just buildings (hint, Michele) so the Boston posts will have to wait… in other news I finished yet another pair of long-term socks (here on Ravelry):
flames socks
They started as the Undulating Ribs Socks from Interweave Favorite Socks but after 3 repeats of the pattern it started to annoy me. Not a good sign. So I did what so many others on Ravelry have done and I switched to just plain old ribbing:
flames socks
Well after a repeat of that I got bored with it. So I decided to rib on every other row ala Thuja and I’m very happy with the result.
flames socks
I must have switched gauge at some point during the many months it took me to finish these because the flashing/pooling turned out differently on each sock:
flames socks
Eh. I kindof like it.

Tonight we’re going to end the debate on if the forth Indiana Jones movie will suck as hard as the fourth Star Wars one did. I’m guessing it can’t be nearly as bad as the Phantom Menace because it has 100% more Harrison Ford. He’s probably too old to pull off the manther thing (manther = male couger) but it should be fun to watch him try! And while Menace had Ewen they failed when they didn’t give him the creative freedom to belt out your song on an elephant. Also I believe there was a rat tail involved.
Just a random garden picture. Iris, I believe.

Then tomorrow I’m going with my grandma to this:

Great Lakes Fiber Festival

I can’t wait! We should be there around 11ish and I’ll be wearing this Green Mmmalabrigio Shrug (the finished project is still unblogged because I have yet to weave in the ends. Uh huh.) If you see me there say hi!!!


May 21, 2008

Boston Part I

So I’m back. And before I can say anything I have to say this - One of the coolest things ever about this whole knit blogging thing is that I now have friends all over the world. I mentioned I was going to Boston and right away Kat invited me to her Stitch ‘n Bitch. So without having ever met anyone in the group in real life I went. I am so glad I did! Her knitters are great… hi everyone if you’re reading this! Glad to meet you!

Sadly I suffered some serious forgetfulness when it came to my camera. Seriously I took over 400 pictures of buildings and none of the knitters or the many wonderful things they were working on. I chose poorly. So anyways thanks again for inviting me and making me feel so welcome! Let me know any time you want to come to Cleveland! Also thanks so much for the free coffee recommendation. We totally hit that up:
best day ever
In other news for the second year in a row the city I go to for a conference sucks big time. Not because the city is bad (it’s actually pretty nice) or the people are mean (quite the opposite, actually, everyone I met there was wonderful) but because of the bitter.
crowd at the boston airport
The crowd gathered at the airport to watch the final minutes of the playoff game I think my entire flight to Cleveland was in that group.

Supid Celtics. Stupid home court advantage. Boo to that. Also boo to this:
Fenway Sucks
2007… champions…. grrrr…..

Fenway Sucks

Fenway park looks very bitter.

Fenway Sucks

Makes me need a drink:
Fenway Sucks
Heh. Oh and btw if you ask a bartender in Boston to turn on the Tribe game instead of the Red Sox they won’t wait on you anymore for the rest of the night. Just a little travel tip for you there.

Anyways! Lots of Boston stories coming soon – including architecture and sippie cups. Also some big stuff going on in Cleveland but I think for now I need to go catch up on the 300+ posts I have hanging out in my bloglines… until then if you want a preview of the trip I'm slowly uploading all of my pics to Flickr Here. It’s mainly all buildings, though…

May 12, 2008

Traveling Monkey Socks

So how about another unblogged/unfinished sock project – and quite possibly the best socks I’ve ever knit….

The Traveling Monkey Socks:
Monkey Socks

I love these socks. Like more than a person should love a pair of socks love them.
Monkey Socks
Monkey Socks

I knit them mainly during my trip to Peru and had planned on blogging them as I blogged the trip. But since that still hasn’t happened well… how about a shot of them on the train from Cusco to Puno:
traveling sock

They are the Monkey pattern from Knitty (here on Ravelry and here's my project page) knit out of Cider Moon Blizzard in the colorway June Carter.
Monkey Socks
So the combo of them being traveling socks on a once in a lifetime trip plus being knit out of discontinued yarn means they are super, super rare socks indeed. And possibly too good for every day use. So they sat finished at the bottom of my knitting basket waiting for a special enough occasion for their debut.
Monkey Socks

But that’s crazy. They are beautiful. And I deserve to wear super-rare socks even if it’s not a special occasion. So I wore them for the first time on Friday and loved every minute of it.

Monkey Socks

(btw Cleveland? Just a little note here… after spring comes summer. Not fall. And most definitely not winter. Not that I don’t appreciate the extra time to wear wool socks but we’re getting to mid-May now… so… you seem to be a bit confused.)

Monkey Socks
And with that I’m off. Tomorrow morning I leave for Boston for a work convention and won’t be back until Sunday. Should be funtimes… and hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet up with some other knitters while I’m there!

May 8, 2008

Cleaning out the Socks

So in preparation for Sumer of Socks 2008 I’m cleaning out all of the sock parts that have been dead at the bottom of my knitting basket. First up?

The Details Socks:
Details Socks
I started these during last summer of socks as a design problem. Basically I was going to knit this guy sock pattern out of a book and the ribbing and the sock body totally and completely didn’t match or work together in any way. And that pist me off. If I’m going to pay for a pattern I’d like at least a little thought to have gone into it. So I ripped that out and decided to design my own with the utmost attention to detail.
Details Socks
The ultimate goal was to write up the pattern and offer it to you guys for free. So these socks have sat finished in the knitting basket for months now waiting for that to happen. Honestly though? It’s not going to. I’m just not 100% happy with the design.

I do love how the ribbing flows into the braided cable:
Details Socks
And how the cables look on the side of the foot:
Details Socks
I even like how the cable becomes the decreases for the toe:
Details Socks
But the part that was supposed to make the sock came out complete crap. The transition between the two cables:
Details Socks
Yeah. Just a big old tranny mess.
Details Socks
The braid turns into the purl part instead of flowing down the heel like I wanted… it just didn’t work out at all. But that’s ok. Not all designs can be winners. Matt loves them, though because they remind him of kilt socks.
Details Socks
I think another issue I have with actually finishing socks is that taking beautiful photographs of your own feet is not easy. Even taking ones where the knit looks good is difficult. I always end up with a lot of weird crops like this:
Details Socks
Not so good.

Plus these are gray and about a million sizes too big for me – making my little photoshoot doubly hard. I probably could have waited for Matt to help but with 2 teams in the playoffs and a new GTA game his evenings are booked solid. Heh.
Details Socks
Anyone have any good tips on sock photography?

May 6, 2008


First of all I know something very sad happened at the Derby – but I didn’t really see any of it. It’s a horrible thing but that’s all I really have to say about it…

So anyways - we decided to join a group of our friends on a trek to the Kentucky Derby this weekend. It was a super last minute decision that resulted in this conversation:

My brother: Hey what are you guys up to tonight? Want to go out for happy hour?
Matt: Um… we’re in a VW bus on our way to the Kentucky Derby.

Yup. We borrowed a Vanagon. A full on 1991 setup complete with the pop up tent and stove. Very pimpin’.
Driving down in the Vanagon
The guys in the front of the Vanagon

Ohio Sunset
Sunset over Southern Ohio

Anyways we stayed with some of our friends in Cincinnati and then headed down to Kentucky on Sat. morning. We had to get there early so that we could tailgate here all day:
The derby parkinglot
As is Derby tradition.

Btw. 2 vans and a canopy? Best tailgate plan ever.
Tailgate Setup
Playing football

Eventually, though we had to pack up and head into the event:
Taking down the canopy
How many advanced college degrees does it take to take down a canopy? Add some liquor and the answer is one more than we had.

The infield is crazy. Lots ‘n lots ‘n lots of people.
Kentucky Derby
And even more Mint Juleps:
extreme closeup

So very good. I took a sip and said “That feels amazing.” Matt was all what? Feels? Don’t you mean tastes? Clearly with the amount of bourbon in them "feels" was the right description.
extreme closeup

Then we stood in line to place our bets:
us with our mint juleps waiting to place our bets

And picked up another set of Juleps on the way back to the fence:
mint juleps

This, btw, was our view of the race:
our view of the track
So yeah… no horse pictures in this post.

Still watching the race was crazy exciting:
Matts watching the race
Matts watching the race
Matts watching the race
But sadly none of our picks won. Which I really should have known better – if given the choice always bet on the woman.

From there we waded through the crowds back to the vans to sober up for the drive to Cincy:
the walk out
Which clearly involved a bit of dancing.
dancing at the vans
And that was pretty much it. I do have a video of a drunken Matt ranting about the quality (or lack thereof) of Cincinnati pizza options… but I’m not allowed to post it on the internets. So how a group shot instead:
Group Shot
Lots of knitting content soon… I can’t wait to show you guys what I’ve been working on!
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