Tuesday, November 30, 2004

And the beat goes on...

My brother's birthday is eight days after mine. Therefore, forgetting so send a card is a pretty lame-o thing for a baby sis to do. Nevertheless, forget I did, many years ago, when I was in college.

My pennance for this shameful oversight was to call and sing Happy Birthday to my brother... I think that first year it was to the tune of La Cucaracha... it's grown since then... To the tune of "Silent Night" - Happy Birthday, David-poo, Happy birthday to you, you are old now just like dirt, soon your bones and muscles will hurt, you my brother are old, but you're still good as gold - and the big number of "Oops I Did It Again" on his 30th (Oops, you did it again, you had a birthday, you're thirty years old, oh, David, David - you're No Spring Chi-hi-ken...)

He joined in the fun just a few years ago with far more creative lyrics. He's always been far more creative, but that's not neccessarily a bad thing in someone you've looked up to your whole life, so we'll let it slide. Frankly, it's pretty hard to classify either one of us as talented or creative based on these songs, despite both of us having college degrees in music.

Nevertheless, this is what was on my voice mail this morning. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you....

My big brother:
this is an audio post - click to play

Happy Birthday Amie !!!!!!!!!

Guest blog today folks !

Amie asked me to do her guest blog so being a good husband I said "uh,OK". She also said "Be nice" and I, being a good husband, said "uh OK".

She's a lucky gal. I wouldn't be doing this for just anyone you know. She's got me trained pretty good. I gave her a Woolee Winder for her Lendrum and three.. 1,2 yup 3 extra bobbins. She got it last week and installed it the same day. Yesterday I watched her spin some yarn (maybe it was string) that was thinner than those elastic-y strings that seem to unravel from an old pair of tube socks. I'm officially impressed. I remember when she started knitting right around 9/11. She told me she needed an outlet and that it was going to be knitting. Being the person I am I supported her and said things like "Thats great!" and "How cool!" while secretely wondering how long this fad was going to last. I'm happy to say that I was wrong to think that. She's awesome! She buys big bags of fiber that resemble the green fuzzies that tend to accumulate on my leftovers and makes stuff from it. She creates stuff. Literally. Stuff from seemingly nothing at all. One day it's just some big cotton-ball looking thingy, the next day its yarn. The day after that its cardigan duster. WOW! She loves doing what she does. She good at it and because she loves it so I don't say anything when I trip over a bag of fiber or sit on a WIP and have to pull a size 8 bamboo needle from my fleshy backside. I admire her passion for fiber, her love for her knitting/spinning circle of friends and her talent.

I'd be remiss in my duties as "Paco the pool boy" if I didn't expand my adulations. Amie fell into my life with a profoundness one would associate with getting hit in the head with a brick. It was "wow! I'm in love with this woman! wow!" I didn't know it was possible for me but it happened. We had many a long talk on a cornucopia of subjects. Art, theatre, politics, religion. There seemed to never be any lack of something to talk about. She's a liberal and I tend to be a little conservative. She's taught me alot of things and she's tolerated alot of things from me. Did I mention I'm far from perfect? "uh ok" I used to have this insane fear of letting someone get close to me. She broke through. We could have a disagreement and I'd think the worst. But, she taught me an arguement is recoverable and that its ok to get mad and express yourself. She also taught me that making up is the best part of an arguement...

She's great! She's smart! She's funny! She's creative! I'm very proud of her accomplishments. Not just in knitting/spinning but in her chosen career as a radio personality. I would listen to her on the air when I'd drive to see her and say to myself "I get to kiss that voice!" She's good at what she does. I don't tell her enough that I'm proud of her.

I'd like to take this moment to thank her wonderful and loving parents for having nothing better to do 29 years and 9 months ago. She's the best of both of you and I'm a lucky lucky lucky dude.

As fer y'all! You know who ye are! The knitting/spinning inner circle and enablers as I don't think there's a 12-step program for fiber addiction. She loves y'all. Your the besst sisters and bestest friends anyone could ever hope to have the honor of knowing. Its amazing that such a wonderful group of people can come together through a mutual passion. "Yay fiber! Viva la fibre!"

Before I close Trevor wants to type something: wrjh383h4uiunm djnflk ld s,sfnja spoi33lwj x mnbwe (I'll translate- "Mommy, I'm sorry I threw up your sheets the other night I love you Happy Birthday")

OK theres a trend here, now Aslan wants to type something: qopqmci 2856%&w@N,JOm,,, 454huswgbvfropv xikfrorb fb vfr2q5r8 (I'll translate-"Happy Birthday mommy you have the bestestest hair ever to sleep on I love you"

Oscar says "woof wuf wooof yip yip yip wuf yip wooooof woof". I have a little trouble with his dialect but I think he said "You have a cute little car and I can't wait to chew on it"


Happy Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!

I love you

Monday, November 29, 2004

This is what I did all weekend:

The first of five of those commission stockings. The stocking is 64 stitches across at the top. Going by the pattern, the lettering for WILLIAM 2002 was 66 stitches wide. I narrowed the "L"s by one stitch each, and wish I'd narrowed the "0"s of the 2002 as well, but I squoze it all in there (yes, it's a word. now.). There are a few mistakes as well, but I'll fix them with duplicate stitching.

I would have really liked to get more done on this:

but it's now so heavy that the wrist can't quite handle it. And it's just getting bigger. I did have a brief glimmer of "heck, yeah, I can get this done by Christmas" this morning, and then I went to turn it again (it's actually knit in the round and I'm now working on two circs) and thought "hm. Maybe not." I have an emergency back up plan, and fortunately the recipient has a sense of humor, so if I got really desparate I could give a gift of scraps of yarn and some twigs and call it a "kit" (no, the recipient does not knit at all).

Aslan helped with my grandmother's scarves.

I didn't intend to take pictures of him, but it was about 0.36 seconds between me putting the mohair on the couch and the cat putting himself on the mohair. I think he might need a twelve step program. Maybe even 24 steps.

The pink one is done all-but-for-the-weaving-in-of-ends and is for my dad's mom. We gave her a pretty purple sweater last year, and this colorway was called "amethyst" or something equally purple sounding and looked purple on the computer screen, so I thought it would be purple. It's pretty pink, which is nice too, so we're going with it. The red is for my mom's step-mom, who I just always picture in red. It's a Mountain Colors colorway called Ruby River and I would be happy if my entire (non-green) wardrobe were in this colorway - I love it.

And in case you thought my time online was yarn-free. Silly, silly, you.

That's a ball of yarn sitting by the computer for stroking, when needed. And the wallpaper? Those ain't bales of hay, John-boy, them's yarn!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

101 Things About Me (in no particular order)

1. My favorite color is green
2. My hair has gotten redder as I’ve aged, both naturally and chemically.
3. I taught myself to knit right before September 11, 2001, out of a book
4. It was over a year before I ever saw another person knit the way I did (continental)
5. My wedding anniversary is New Years Day
6. My birth certificate has the year I was born incorrect
7. My cat Misha died almost a month before the wedding, but I believe her spirit was there.
8. I will never recover from her death
9. I have two other cats that saved me after Misha died, Trevor and Aslan.
10. Trevor was born on a military base, and once fell asleep in a bomb
11. Aslan was a stray who was saved from death during a blizzard in Buffalo NY
12. I used to be on the air on several radio stations
13. I won several awards for my work on the air
14. I loved being on the air, but I hate radio politics
15. I work behind the scenes at a radio station now.
16. I don’t care for my job
17. I started spinning in June of 2004, on my Lendrum Double Treadle, named Fiona
18. Fiona got her name because I don’t like her looks – she looks like a troll, but spins like a princess!
19. I have a dog, Oscar, who is a pitbull, and gets picked on by the cats
20. My husband works for the government and travels a LOT
21. I have a step-son that I adore
22. My brother is a minister, and performed my wedding ceremony
23. He also sang several songs at the wedding
24. I walked down the aisle to “Once In Love With Amy”
25. My husband and I walked up the aisle to “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves.
26. I LOVE my wedding and engagement rings – they match perfectly, but were bought from two very different places
27. I want to not work in an office anymore, but live out in the country where I can knit and spin all day
28. I used to work on a horse farm and teach horseback riding,
29. I’ve always wanted a horse
30. I like animals a lot more than people – they’re far more honest
31. I believe people can be psychic
32. I believe that animals and humans can communicate telepathically
33. I have green eyes that sometimes change color
34. My parents have been married forever
35. My brother has been with his partner for over ten years
36. I believe in past lives
37. I was told that my husband and I were twin brothers in a past life
38. I was told that in a past life, Misha was my daughter who died very young
39. I think that I was a spinner in at least one past life
40. The only place I’ve ever wanted to go on vacation was Scotland
41. I have never been to Scotland
42. My husband and I went to Bermuda for our honeymoon
43. I learned to snorkel in Bermuda, and loved it
44. I loved swimming so close to the sea creatures, but was very phobic of the boats that were docked, and couldn’t swim near them without hyper-ventilating
45. I was a vegetarian for four years in high school, in protest of animal cruelty.
46. I don’t eat meat now, in protest of our government.
47. I am right handed, but spin left handed, and knit continental
48. When I was in college, I was part of a gospel choir that was invited to sing in an international festival in Vienna Austria
49. I sang a solo in Vienna’s City Hall
50. I believe very firmly in my religion, and in God and Christ
51. I do not believe in mankind’s institution of church
52. November has always been a very unlucky month for me
53. My birthday is in November.
54. My cat Katie died in November a few years ago
55. My dog Sandy died the following November
56. Misha died at the beginning of December
57. When November ended, I honestly thought she would live another full year
58. I grew up with six grandparents
59. My mother’s parents were divorced, and both remarried
60. Both of my natural grandfather’s passed away after extended illnesses
61. My brother’s birthday is eight days after mine (and in December)
62. I used to be a dancer, and really loved to go en pointe.
63. I hurt my knee badly doing a cartwheel once (tore ligaments near the vastus medialus)
64. I nearly had to have surgery, but decided against it
65. I was a musical theatre major in college
66. I started out as a double major Music and Theatre, but dropped my Music major two weeks before I graduated because I felt insulted by the Music department of my college
67. I graduated a semester early
68. My favorite sounds are the chirps Trevor and Aslan make when they want to cuddle
69. I want tons more animals, like bunnies and horses and goats and alpaca
70. My hair has always been long, because I’m afraid I’ll look like my brother if I cut it short
71. I have always struggled with my weight (maybe I starved in a past life?)
72. I like to cook, but only for myself
73. I like alpaca yarn and fiber more than cashmere
74. I’m terrified of flying
75. I remember my dreams very frequently
76. I seldom sleep all the way through the night, but usually wake up at least twice
77. I love to read and do so very quickly
78. My favorite poet is Rabindraneth Tagore, who was a mentor to Ghandi
79. I re-read books over and over again
80. Some of my favorite books are the Outlander series, the Harry Potter series, Roots, Where the Red Fern Grows, To Kill a Mockingbird and Rich Man, Poor Man
81. I type pretty quickly (about 60 – 70 wpm)
82. I am slightly dyslexic
83. I am a Libertarian
84. I think anyone who wants to commit their life to another person should be allowed to do so
85. I disagree with the war in Iraq, but support our soldiers
86. I’m very competitive, but try hard not to be so
87. My favorite foods are fettuccine alfredo, boneless buffalo wings and crab cakes
88. I gave up two of those three because of #46 (and #84, and #85)
89. I love Shakespeare
90. I worry a lot
91. I love Musical Theatre
92. My favorite composers are Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, and my brother
93. I used to speak Italian quite well, but have forgotten most of it
94. I would like to learn Gaelic, but can only say “How are you?”
95. My favorite movie is What Dreams May Come
96. My least favorite thing about myself is how easily I cry – it’s very embarrassing to me
97. My favorite thing about myself is that I try to keep an open mind and fight fairly when I’m arguing with someone
98. My favorite thing about my husband is how seldom he gets upset
99. My least favorite thing about my husband is how seldom he gets upset
100. I have never smoked a cigarette or done any drugs, and I drink very rarely
101. I think I could come up with an entire second list of 100!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Smiley Flag Turkey

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Yay! The Woolee Winder is here! But it came to me, and I thought mean thoughts about the woman at the post office, so you know what Karma is doing, right?

Yup, kicking my butt with technical difficulties.... It took forever to get the yarn threaded, because the WW orifice is smaller, and angled differently than the Lendrum one - the hook doesn't actually fit anymore. Once I managed to fiddle with that, I kept having a lot of trouble with tension, and starting breaking yarn a lot last night, and not being able to spin very evenly because the draw was funky. Playing with the drive band a bit helped that (you were right, Carolyn, I'd just already tried that before I saw your response!)

Even when I could get the tension right, the orifice hook kept scraping against the bobbin and flyer as it circled. I kept trying to explain this on Knitters Review, then realized that this is actually 2004, and I have a blog. So, without further ado, pictures...

Here's Fiona's natural orifice - big and flat and plenty of room for the hook. (sorry for the tiny editing stuff - I swear, it looked HUGE on the screen when I did it - if you click on the picture it should go slightly larger for you...)

Here's the WW orifice. I've circled in pink the very tip of the orifice hook, in as far as it will go. The end of the hook does peak out of the orifice, but where it hooks back in, where I'd need to put the yarn for it to catch, is still tucked inside the orifice. It requires extreme contortions to get the yarn down into the hole and looped properly around the hook. Trust me when I tell you, you do not want to split the yarn when you hook it, or freaky things happen. I'm thinking of hiring a cricket to lasso the hook or something. It seems easier to train a cricket to do that, than do the contortions I was doing last night.

Here's where the hook scrapes the flyer. It slows the bobbin each time around, and makes a horrible clanking noise. Neither of which is conducive to a meditative spinning process.

And here's why I don't just put the hook someplace else. It's highlighted in pink here. Gordon Lendrum very nicely made a little cubby hole for the hook, where it lives in a very convenient spot. You can see again here how it's scraping up against the flyer.

And one more shot - I don't know if it has any bearing on the issue, but the yarn guides are on different sides of the flyer for the Lendrum and the WW...

So there we go. Am I doing something glaringly wrong? How do I fix this????

This was just sent to me by Nathan Lee, of Woolee Winder after I sent him a link to the blog so he could see the pictures, too:


I am sorry that you are having trouble with your WooLee Winder. It sounds like your Lendrum hook might be a little shorter then most. I don’t actually have mine anymore (someone took it at a show) but I am thinking that it should come all the way up out of the orifice. I don’t use the hook to thread the winder I just let a little of the yarn twist back on itself on it feeds through the orifice. (of coarse this only works with fine yarns)

I don’t remember if the wire of the hook is glued into the wood piece or if it is just pressed it. If you don’t see a glob of glue there you might be able to make the hook a little longer by grabbing the wire with a pair of pliers and pulling it out of the wood a little. (a twisting motion should work) or you could make a new wire piece out of music wire (available at any hobby store) and replace the wire piece of the hook.

I understand that the clearance of the hook from the flyer is a little tight but if you put the hook in so that the wire lies flat on the mother –of-all it should clear the flyer. You might need to bend the wire to one side a little to get it to lie flat.

As far as the tension problem, it is best to run as little tension as possible on both the drive band and the brake band.

Let me know if any of this helps, and remember that the WooLee Winder is 100% guaranteed so if you can’t get it to work to your satisfaction you can always return it.


Nathan Lee

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Roller Coaster

GB and I couldn't sleep this morning... neither of us... don't know why... we tossed and turned, then went out and sat in front of the tv, then tried the bed again, and at around five I officially gave up for good and went back to the living room and knit for a little and then played Sims (I really want the Makin' Magic bonus pack - there's a spinning wheel!).

There was a notice in the mail last night that a package too big for the box (really, I'm surprised the mailman from hell didn't just take it to a wood chipper and get it down to size that way) so we'd have to pick it up from the post office. It's my birthday present - a WOOLEE WINDER!!! What fantastic husband I have... easy on the eyes and a fiber enabler to boot!

So after a sleepless morning, it was off to the post office for me. I had my slip in hand, and got to the window to ask for the package.
They needed ID. Sure, here you go.

You know, these names don't match. Yes, I was actually aware of not only my own name, but also the name of my husband. I'm quite intelligent in that way, being able to remember the names of, many times, even more than two family members at once. I didn't change my last name when I was married, so instead of Mrs. GB, I am still Miss SP.

Hoping it would make a difference, I said it's my birthday gift from my husband, can I get it please? in as plaintive a tone as possible. (I do have ID with matching address, and the package wasn't sent in a way that meant GB himself had to sign for it)

Big Harumph from the woman at the window, who went back to get the package anyway. She came back out and said "Oh, yeah, well, if it's for you, why is his name on it???" in a tone that made it very clear she felt she'd cracked the greatest case in the 21st century.

Can you believe that I did not bonk her over the head with the box? I didn't even make a snide comment. I was SO well behaved.
Good Job
I headed from there onto the A.C. Moore in Glen Burnie. A rumor said they were looking for a knitting teacher, and I'm looking for some knitting teaching gigs. So... I got it! I'm now a professional knitting teacher, starting in January. Three times a week, I'll be doing two hour classes! It's a start, right? I'm thrilled with the news, and really looking forward to it.
Then traffic was miserable, and AC was in a pissy mood when I got here (causing me to remind myself, Better a Cold Shoulder than a Hairy Ass)... it's really been an up-and-down day... but there's a Woolee Winder waiting in my car to play with tonight, so it'll at least end well....

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Am I the only one this happens to? When I got into an LYS, very often something falls off the shelf into my basket. And I wasn't touching it or its shelf, so we can't even blame my clumsiness. It just wants so badly to come home with me! That's what happened with the ball of mohair that became Aslan's Aslan-colored-blanket (which he loves) and that's what happened today to get me a very sweet new little spindle, who looks lovely next to her larger older sibling.

Coincidentally, I spun coordinating yarn on the girls, but the purple is my E-bay spindle purchase of a few months ago, and the tiny green girl is today's catch (literally).

She spins quite well, and with her delicate physique she likes lace a lot. Roses on both, of course (wonder why that is?)

I spent this afternoon spinning with new spinning friends Caroline and Vicki at Caroline's house. I had a ton of fun, spun and talked with them for three hours, and was in such a good mood when I got home I pulled out the new baby and spun a bit of Cormo (from Jen, of course) on her!

And also for your viewing pleasure, some risque boudoir photos of Oscar. He sleeps in a junk room, where we have stashed furniture and boxes that still haven't been unpacked since my moving in over a year ago. The big green thing is a couch. A normal dog would sleep on the couch. Do I have a normal dog?

No, I have a dog that instead chooses to climb into the armchair that is balenced at an angle atop boxes, and has the bowl part of a papasan base leaning on it.

His second choice of sleeping spots is under the green couch.

Hey, the dog picked me out of all the other potential mommies along the highway that day. Clearly he's nuts.

Friday, November 19, 2004

When Spinning Wheels Attack

Somewhere, out in the dark, looms a beast. A jealous beast, a beast greedy for more than its fair share of Princess Amie's time. And when Princess Amie devotes more time to others, to knitting, or animals....

The beast attacks.

There are those that simply say "Prithee, what harm could come from a simple spinning wheel?" but we know the truth. We know that what appears to be peaceful maple formed together in a way that could make yarn is really a viscious death trap, the jealous Fiona, attacking the innocent all in its quest for more time with the Princess.

Fiona might reach out and try to trip the handsome Prince GB as he walked past. "Always walking past me!" she would cry, "Never to spin!!!" But the Prince is a fearless warrior himself, and would deftly lift jealous Fiona and move her across the room. And here is where Fiona sinks low - for in her anger at being carried off by the Prince, this jealous beast would reach out and KICK loyal Oscar in the back of the head.

Do you know what sound a pitbull's skull makes when you thonk him in the back of the head with a fourteen pound spinning wheel?

Fortunately a dog bred for battle has little sensitivity to pain. We won't tell him he got hit if you don't.

But that wasn't enough for the jealous Fiona. She sat across the room as Princess Amie knit furiously on her holiday gifts, trying desparately to finish them in time.

"Oh, how I wish I could play with you, Fiona," said the Princess, in her dulcet tones, "but the holidays are drawing nigh, and I feel I shall never finish my knitting!"

But jealous Fiona did not believe the Princess, and sat across the room, simmering in anger at her neglect.

Days later, the Princess felt she should take a break from knitting, for her wrist was paining her slightly. Enthusiastically, she pulled a stool up to Fiona's side, and drafted out the Bransona's shetland and silk she had won at a festival nigh on many months before. Soon she and Fiona were whizzing along, pleased with their results.

Or so the Princess thought.

But Fiona was still stewing, waiting for her next opportunity for attack. And then the sweet and unsuspecting Aslan came along. Hopping into his mother's lap, he purred happily as she spun away on Fiona.

But soon his purrs became confused yowls. The Princess looked down at her precious Aslan, and saw that Fiona had been causing the yarn to brush his coat, and grab onto him like biting teeth. Fur was being ripped from his trusting little body and spun up into the wool the Princess was spinning. Fiona cackled, and Aslan narrowly made an escape.

The princess had learned her lesson. Never again would she neglect Fiona so hideously.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Political Venting Today - no knitting

Jack and Bobby was a good one last night. Hope you saw it.

In it, one of Jack's friends has just committed suicide, and we learn that the friend was gay.

It's commonly estimated that 10% of the population is gay, however approximately 30% of completed suicides are attributed to "sexual identity" Some studies have shown that as many as 42% of gay and lesbian teens attempt suicide, many going on to try again if they didn't complete the act the first time. There are a lot of statistics that people who even suspect they are gay see no way to be happy, and see suicide as an option more frequently than heterosexuals do.

One of the lines in Jack and Bobby that particularly caught my attention was when the friend was confessing to Jack that he was gay in a flashback.

"It's 2003," Jack said, "no one cares about that anymore."

No? No one?

And yet 51% of Americans voted for a man who wants to keep citizens as second class citizens. Who tells them essentially "you have no chance at a happy, healthy relationship in your future." Why should they even try?

Maybe wars overseas aren't the only way this country is killing people.

The Trevor Project

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

How about a photo intensive blog? I figured out that if I tilt the computer keyboard so that my left hand is completely straight, it doesn't hurt my wrist. I had to work this out in order to keep working, but it's a benefit to the blog, as well. But I'll still be getting a doctor's appointment, and hopefully she'll say wonderful things like "oh, knitting would be a great therapy for this!"

So photo intensive we go. Alissa wanted to see a closer image of the afghan project.

And here are close ups of the squares I knit

Obviously that's just checkers. I split the roving by color and spun them that way (I think I navajo plied, too, but I'm not positive). On size 8s, I think it was about 4 stitches per inch.

This was spun without splitting the roving, letting the colors blend as they wanted. No idea what the gauge was, although the yarn was much thinner. I just knit on the bias, so cast one 1 stitch, increased at the end of every row, and when I got to the requisite 8 inches, I started decreasing. This is the square that inspired my husband to say it looked like a tequila sunrise.

And if you remember a million years ago when I was working on a plaid swatch that wasn't plaid? This is it. Nope, still not plaid, although I liked the effect (and it's exactly the opposite on the other side, so the pink stripes run in the other direction, as do the orange). But if the pattern said plaid, and it was important to me that it end up plaid, and this is what I got, I'd have been disappointed. Plaid still would have been nice, but this was fun, too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Well, the good news is it doesn't hurt to knit or spin. The bad news is, I don't do either of those for a living (yet).

May not blog for a couple of days, since it's typing that's really bugging my wrist.

Don't forget me while I'm gone!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Because of a sore wrist, I didn't play too much with fiber this weekend. I did spin a little bit of the fiber I won from the Virginia Fall Fiber Festival for my novice spinning, from the Bransonas. I've spun one ounce of their shetland top, and about two-thirds of an ounce of their silk top... both were really lovely. They'll be laceweight, and I'm quite enjoying them, although I don't know what they'll become - I assume a shawl of some kind, but what I don't know.

In small bursts so I don't wear out my wrist too much (which doesn't seem to be aggrevated by knitting as much as typing, because of the funky angle of my computer at work) I'm working on a few other little holiday things here and there, a simple garter stitch mohair scarf for my grandmother (finished one for the other grandmother a few months ago) that's going along quickly. The afghan project has stalled because when I decided to double up on the yarn, it shocked me to learn that would mean that I'd need twice as much yarn.

No one ever said I was smart.

Okay, they did, but what did they know?

So I went to my favorite LYS Saturday, but they didn't have the right color for the next section I'd need. I'll have to go to the other one, sometime this week. Not a problem. Once I get the mohair scarf done, I'll be able to pay more attention to the afghan, and I'm feeling fairly confident it will get done.

At work, we're the victims of some sick evil force in nature. Fax phone calls.

As soon as we moved in, we started getting phone calls to our third line that were faxes. We'd try to answer, and it would just be the steady "Booop" of a fax. We've called *69 about 47 times and gotten about 42 different numbers. We've contacted each of those numbers, all of whom claim they'll fix the problem right away. It keeps happening.

And when I say "keeps happening" what I mean is "THE BASTARD KEEPS CALLING EVERY THREE MINUTES"

We're getting a bit short tempered. I've tried knitting to sooth my nerves. It is not soothing my wrist to be knitting when I'm this ticked off.

I had really intended to respond to some comments I've heard all over about what liberals are - you know the ones, they suggest that to be liberal is to be unintelligent, non-religious, bad in general...

I struggled for a while with the issue.

What I finally came up with is that liberalism is like porn.

I may not know how to describe it, but it really pisses some conservatives off.


Okay, maybe it's more an "I'll know it when I see it" kind of a thing.

Friday, November 12, 2004

I was pretty peeved yesterday, and was thinking (in my oh-so-mature way) "fine - I won't show them what I bought - that'll teach 'em!" (hey, I warned you about the maturity.) But Alissa politely asked, so the rest of you are spared the misery of not knowing. You may thank her as you wish.

First the magical things that came with the price of admission:
Here's Jen Claus delivering the bags of goodies to all the good little girls from the dye workshop.

And here's proof that you can fit an the 8.5 oz of dye workshop yarn on a ballwinder that's supposed to only hold 4 oz. All it takes is stubbornness borne of red hair and Scottish ancestry.

Everyone who attended got this very cool little drawstring backpack/baggy thingy.

and after a quick trip to the swap table (where to be fair, I did drop off MANY things which were quickly swept up by others), mine soon held enough lovely soft cotton for a summer sweater, pattern yet to be designed...

Saturday afternoon was Marketplace time, where our vendors set up little booths and sold to their hearts content to the masses of fiber-high knitters.

I bought a headband kit from Annie based on the sample she had out - so very fun looking, and tactile and lovely. Of course, the camera didn't want to take a picture of such shiny goodness, so you're just going to have to trust that it's attractive. You can find out how to get a kit for yourself from her website - very reasonable price and time committment for last minute gifts!

From Barbara's and Jen's

I bought these things: the fiber is the third braid of that lovely merino/silk blend I bought at Rhinebeck, and the Spinners Companion and Woolwash are from Barbara

(I was hoping the orange of the book would confuse the camera and get a more accurate picture of the braid, since it doesn't want to take a good picture of that color... it actually kind of worked, that's pretty close...)

From Carodan Farms, I bought Sock Yarn - try to pretend it's not washed out, you can at least get a feel for the tone of the colors

And from Clara's improvised boutique, I bought some gel pens, a pack of "Isle of Ewe" note cards, and a needle point kit.

(no, I don't know how to needlepoint, why do you ask?)

And one last thing, not technically retreat related, but I'm so darn proud of it. A few months ago, a group of us who met online at Knitters Review, and in person at the first retreat, were inspired by Spin Offs afghan project - where the same roving is divided up between various people who then have the task of making an afghan, and the only rule is that their squares have to be 8", anything else goes. Here's what we did with the project:

And Super Clara, who does so much more than she gets credit for - runs a warm and welcoming website filled with opportunity and encouragement for knitters of all levels, answers thousands of e-mails a day, organizes amazing retreats, and is an phenomenol friend to boot...

she deserves a cape, no?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Grow up.

I am sick to my stomach right now.

I've just found out that a friend of mine has been receiving death threats, and threats against her loved ones, because she disagreed with me on something. I don't know if she believes that I had NOTHING to do with that or not. I hope and pray she knows me better than to believe I would EVER wish something like that on her.

If you have sent a letter to someone, suggesting horrible things happen to her, or to her animals, don't come back. I don't want you here.

You want to know what my politics/religious beliefs are?

God is love. Love is not a sin.
America is freedom. Freedom to name God whatever you want, or to not acknowlege God's existance.

That's it.

Do I agree with Bush? Hell, no. Do I think that, as Americans, we all have the right to come to our own conclusions? YES. Even if you disagree with me, you have a right to do so.

By sending those e-mails, you have hurt a very loving person. And there is NO WAY hurting someone else can be a valid attempt to show someone that the "liberal mindset" is correct. You are childish, rude, and everything you probably claim to hate. You owe that friend of mine a very sincere apology, at the very least. You should be ashamed of yourself. No wonder we lost, if that assinine behavior is all you've got to fight with.
Still more pictures of the retreat (I'll wrap this up tomorrow, with pictures of my purchases...)

Somehow, Lindsey-Brooke managed to bring an extra guest and not have to pay. I think cuteness was a big factor in Maggie's attendance.

Sometimes you find something you like on a swap table, and it's a little hard to believe no one will take it away from you. I think Aunt Judy hadn't yet reached acceptance of that. I dare you to try and get one of these skeins away from her. In this haze, she just might have stabbed you with the nearest needle.

I tried very hard to find a picture of Bess NOT teaching someone to spindle. Didn't happen all that often.

...except this once, right when she walked in the door, and finally got to meet KnitDad.

The photo essay on the 2004 KR Retreat will commence tomorrow, with photos of the market and my newly aquired stash. I was very well behaved. I swear. It was all about supporting my fellow fiber-artists.

Look for this in mainstream media any day now. Ha.

Marriage is love.