Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I will distract you with pictures

Where have I been? Mostly sleeping a lot and using reams of Kleenex.

I did make it to Ryan's 1000 skein avalanche giveaway for Dulaan last Saturday. I totally failed to get my camera out of my bag and take pictures of the event (although you can see my butt in one of the pic's on Ryan's blog). Perhaps I was feverish. I picked up a lot of yarn. (And, look Ryan, I got at least a couple of goldish skeins!)

The round robin's egg blue ball in that picture is representin' for a substantial and tangled bag of that color. I like to untangle, so I deliberately picked up a tangly bag. I also couldn't resist these cute little skeins of embroidery wool.

I think I'm going to spit splice the ends together and make a giant ball of many colors. Or maybe I'll make lots of mittens. I dunno.

Part of the reason I was inspired to seize so much Dulaan yarn is that Ryan had a copy of FIRE's documentary about their work in Mongolia, One Steppe at a Time. I've just written and deleted several descriptions of how this film made even a tough cookie like me get all weepy, but I hate to wax sentimental. Do something for someone else, folks, with whatever tools you have. I started a stash-buster Dulaan sweater while watching the DVD, and finished it up tonight during Project Runway. Stella graciously offered to model.

This sweater uses 6 different yarns, and I managed to almost completely use up 4 of them. It's both virtue and a reward - more space for the new charity stash.

In other knitting news, I've made myself a hat out of assorted handspun (alpaca, alpaca/wool, and some Romney).

(I'm really super bad at that "shot in the mirror" thing other bloggers do.) The hat needs, and is waiting for, a tassle. Pink? Gray? Burgandy? Feel free to chime in with an opinion.

I've also finished a project for my sister (not Camera Obscura , but the blogless sister) who is getting married this weekend. She asked me to make her "something blue" a little bag to carry around her wrist to carry the rings in.

The painting above my couch is modelling in the first picture, and the second (blurry) one is for scale. I'm not having a good photography night. Anyway, I hope she likes it, and has blue undies or something as a back up plan if she doesn't.

So, I've got a day o' work tomorrow, then Friday we're off to Chicago for the wedding. I'll return, hopefully with in-focus pictures, on Monday.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm all out of titles

The Good

Trent came home safely from the Netherlands.

My yarn arrived from England, and there was much rejoicing.

My secret pal loved her last package. I've been sending stuff to Valerie, who is very cool and was a complete pleasure to be surprise.

The not so good

Trent came home with some viral ick, which he passed on to me. So now I'm sick and all incoherent and loopy. The thermometer says my temperature is normal, but I've been alternating between freezing and boiling for the last couple of days. I actually left work sick today, leaving my literature class to a substitute, which I've never, ever done before.

Yes, Mom, I'll go to the doctor if I don't feel better tomorrow.

Sorry for the drab and pictureless post.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The black hole (with some travelogue)

I just don't know where anything is: time, yarn, my brain. The dozen or so pictures that Blogger claimed to be uploading earlier today but which I had to upload again this evening...It's all a blur.

I'm nearing the end of two weeks of home alone. I miss my husband (hi cutie!) and I've learned many things. One, I don't exactly turn into a hermit when left to my own devices, but I greatly minimize the number of errands I run. Food decisions have been made largely on the basis of what's readily obtainable from the nearest grocery store, because I'm not going to more than one. I cook something large every few days and eat lots of leftovers. Consequently, I've gotten a lot of spinning and knitting done. Two, I'll keep the kitchen clean and do the laundry, but vacuuming? Not so much. I figure I'll hoover up the great clouds of dog hair right before Trent returns on Thursday. Three, taking care of the dingos by myself is exactly as exhausting as I thought it would be. They need walks and play and exercise and treats, and I'm the only source of all this (except for Nancy, who saved my life by providing doggie day care on Thursdays when I have to be gone for 12 hours). But the girls and I have had a good time. Here we are headed to Lake Washington:

And here's the pleasant aftermath.

Ah, tired dogs. Notice the pile of yarn to Stella's right? That's what happens when you leave the knitter alone for two weeks - the yarn comes out of hiding and takes over the house.

I'm knitting on long term projects that don't make for exciting photography. But here's a picture of the socks I knit mostly in England:

The Travelogue continues

I'll finish blogging about my vacation by, oh, next summer, I swear. I totally can't remember what part # I left off on. (Look, I ended a sentence with TWO prepositions!). When last I discussed England, Trent and I were exhausted and staying at the delightful Yoredale Teahouse B&B in Aysgarth. We woke up reasonably refreshed and left our packs at the B&B so we could take the short walk to Aysgarth Falls unencumbered. There are 3 falls, actually, but here's our best picture.

And, of course, there were delightful warning signs.

After a stop for ice cream, we stopped by a church. I can't remember the name, but I loved this churchyard for many reasons. The graveyard was fenced so that they could use natural lawnmowers, but it was too damn hot that day for the sheep to do anything except rest.

(As an aside, isn't this much nicer than those horrible sterile modern cemetaries in the States where all the headstones have to be flat so the lawnmowers can go over them while keeping the overly fertilized and pesticided grass homogenous?)

The church also had a dog hitching post outside. Awww.

We were back in Aysgarth with some time to kill before we hopped the bus to Hawes. We split a ploughman's lunch, and for the first time in my life, I found myself enthusiastically eating cucumbers ('cause it was HOT, y'all). I was not entirely delighted with Trent for making a big deal out of it.

We headed into Hawes, where, having secured a cheap B&B, we decided to stay for two nights. After the wee villages we had been through, Hawes seemed like a bustling metropolis. There were several pubs, more than one bank machine, and a library with public internet access. Much to our delight, one of the houses on the main street had a wall with two border collies perched on it. One of them liked to drop the ripped remains of a soccer ball at my feet so I would toss it back up.

While in Hawes, we visited the Wensleydale Creamery (I'll be honest - mainly to stand in their air conditioned sales room and eat cheese samples). We also admired the town's chicken population, which roams the street mooching french fries from tourists.

During our full day there, we caught the bus back the way we came to visit Leyburn so I could visit the Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Shop. It turned out to be in a wee tiny place 4 or 5 miles out of Leyburn, so after some dithering, we took a cab there. At that point, I HAD to buy yarn, right?

Trent handled it with his usual good humor, and consoled himself with a beer afterwards.

I bought yarn for 2 sweaters, a couple of gifts, and some wool for spinning. All of this was mailed to me, surface mail, nearly 6 weeks ago. Everything else we mailed (also surface) from England is here. I'm nervous. Where's the yarn? I'm afraid the black hole got it...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Actual new content

Secret Pal revealed!

I got my last package from my super-cool secret pal, and wow! My pal has been Dorene at 2 Sticks and a String. During the exchange period, she's traveled all over the place, including a really inspiring medical mission to Honduras. (It's the latest entry on her blog.)

The last package included the biggest hatbox yet, with beautifully wrapped stuff inside.

That pretty package with the rainbow ribbon? A shawl. A Kiri shawl, out of Henry's Attic superwash Kona. I was almost late to work because I found it impossible to pry myself away (and it was too hot to wear it to work).

Dorene also sent me two sets of point protectors (great for all the knitting-on-the-go I do) and a package full of pretty beaded stitch markers. Thank you so much, Dorene. It's really been a pleasure.

I'm busy assembling the last bits of my package for my secret pal, then I can finally tell you all about her, too.

In other news

Trent is off in Amsterdam "working" with a UW exchange program. I am mostly managing to contain my bitterness. The pets and I are limping along without him.

Yesterday I attended a fabulous garden party with Ryan and TMK, plus Elaine (not currently updating her blog, sadly) and Bling (can't find the link - sorry), Patti (also now blogless), and special guest Rabbitch! Unfortunately, I don't have pictures, but several pictures were taken, so check with Ryan, Rabbitch and maybe Elaine in the days to come. Rabbitch is as hilarious in person as she is on her blog. TMK barbequed, and there was much laughing, knitting, and admiration of Frankie.

Today I took Stella and Chloe to the Edmonds OLA, which has a beach. Again, no pictures, this time because I thought that cameras and Puget Sound waters don't mix well. The girls loved it, which was great, but I had a moment when I seriously questioned why I love my dogs enough to stand in the Sound, up to my knees in muck and seaweed. They're currently sacked out in the living room. Plans for this evening should include grading some papers, but will most likely involve going over to Nancy's to knit.