Friday, October 31, 2008

My first Award!!!

Yesterday I was so surprised to be given the following award from my blogging friend, Becky of Needles of Iron. Thank you so very much.

And the really fun thing is that we are meeting in person tomorrow after she drives to Denver for lunch with a friend. We picked the LYS The Lamb Shoppe in Denver to meet, have a cup of coffee and participate in some KIP. We both knit, spin, have daughters and support Obama! We are about the same age so we went through the same eras together and through reading her blog I have discovered that we have so much in common. She is much farther advanced in her spinning and fiber prep talent than me, but I think I can teach her a thing or two about using a drop spindle. Maybe she can show me her wheel someday.

Since I would like to Craft It Forward, I hereby nominate the following bloggers I read on a regular basis for this same award:

Rosemary of Rosemaryknits also lives in Colorado, but in Pueblo- two hours south of me. She has posted the famous video of Tammy Rizzo's Navajo Ply on the fly that I find so incredibly helpful in drop spindling. And you also have to check out her Bicycle Spinning wheel, which she made for herself, spending less that $10 all together. That is talent.

Lupie of KnittingLupie lives on the east coast and I waved across to NJ when I was in NY a few weeks ago. She shares my love of color and loves knitting with friends.

Timiae of Spinknitup is a young fresh voice from Georgia who is adventurous in her knitting and spinning and reminds me of me at that age, but more together.

Phyllis of Spinknitandlife is a spinner, knitter, needle felter......multitalented to say the least. She has an etsy shop of her batts and fibers, and I love her photography.

I would also like to nominate a 5th blogger-- Sonia of Peaceful Knitter who I met last week at Rhinebeck.

Here are the rules for the award recipients if you want to play along (not required):

1. Please mention winning of the award on your blog. Check
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you. Check
3. You must nominate at least 4 fellow bloggers for this award. Check
4. Add links to the recipients. Check
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award. Check

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rhinebeck redux

I posted a few photos of Rhinebeck in my last post, but didn't say too much about it. The only other Fiber Festival I have been too was Estes Park in June, and it consisted of animal barns and one large barn of vendors. They were great, mind you, and bought my fabulous Tracy Eichheim spindle there, as well as some fiber, but Rhinebeck is about 10 times as large. There was vendor after vendor, barn after barn. I was only there on Sunday because of my HS reunion on Saturday night so I arrived early Sunday, even before the official opening time of 10 am. It was a chilly morning with frost on the grasses, and the drive up the Taconic was fabulous for the colors. Here in Colorado we usually get golden colors, but in the northeast, the fall colors have always reminded me of a bowl full of Trix cereal: red, orange, yellow, green. I grew up on the east coast and didn't remember how vivid the colors could be, especially the reds.

On Ravelry, I had gotten directions from Spinnerella, and they were great. I am glad she also warned me about keeping down my speed, because the State Patrol was all over the place pulling over those who were not warned in advance.

It only took about 1 1/2 hours to get there from Norwalk at that early hour and I parked by the 4-H gate in about the fourth row. I was hoping that I wouldn't buy so much that I would have to make a trip to the car to unload, but if that was necessary, I was parked in the perfect location.

I met the sweetest lady when I entered at the gate. They were temporarily out of maps/books of the site, and she offered me hers. She said she comes every year and has the buildings memorized, so she didn't want me to be without, since it was my first time. Not that I studied it, but it did come in handy to find some specific vendors.

Mostly I wandered in and out of the vendor barns and other vendor spaces. I was totally overwhelmed at the number of booths throughout the site. Since I had arrived so early, many were not even open yet, and many were still setting up. The first thing I bought was hand cream and lip gloss from heal my hands. Of course, he was from Santa Fe,NM, closer to my neck of the woods, and he definitely understands what dryness is and what it does to hands and lips. It comes in a cute tin with a solid bar inside, like soap, that you rub on your hands. It is fabulous and I will definitely be ordering more when this runs out.

There were artisanel cheese vendors from NY and I sampled and purchased some of that for Marion where I would be going the next day.

I definitely had a few goals in mind as far as purchases go. I knew that Bosworth spindles would be there as well as Golding Spindles. It is always good to see all the options in person and to test them out. Since I already have a Golding from this summer, I purchased two from Sheila Bosworth. Johnathan was busy working on some wheels at the back of the booth, but Sheila was very gracious and I spend a lot time overhearing her conversations with others. I even helped another gal who was shopping for her first spindle. I should have gotten a commission!

Later in the afternoon, I spent some time at the Golding booth and watched Navajo plying on the spindle. I have tried the ply on the fly method, but this can be done from a spindle of singles in a chaining fashion. I will definitely have to give it a try. One thing that was really neat, was that that a Ravelry person, Photozurn, recognized my name from the Spindler forum and introduced herself.

Of course, I had forgotten to bring my list of recommended vendors with me in my bag---it was in the car, so I mostly wandered. Someone with an unlimited budget would definitely do a lot more damage to the bank account than I did, but I did my bit to support the economy. I was very impressed with the fibers of Creativelydyed. I bought 8 oz of Seawool fiber, which is 70% superwash merino and 30% seacell in a rose, burgundy, and copper color. It is spinning up so soft and I think I will make a 2 ply fingerweight for a scarf/shawl.

I can't remember the name of the booth (I paid cash there), but I bought great buttons for my February Lady Sweater in progress.

In the same building as Golding, was The Fold where they sell Socks that Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns. By Sunday afternoon, they had sold much of their product, but I did find a nice color of medium weight sock yarn in burgundy and purples. I understand that the lines for this booth and their mill ends is hours long on Saturday. I don't think I would have done that, and as it was, the line was about 20 minutes for me. Once I knit them up, I will let you know whether I think the hype is worth it.

Mid day, I spotted Cat from Let's Knit 2 gether, a video podcast that I have been downloading to my IPOD. I introduced myself and chatted with her and her hub for a few minutes. She recommended the Lamb and Barley soup and I took her up that and had some for lunch. It warmed my hands and my insides as I made my way to the Ravelry meetup on the hill near the main entrance.

I already had a nametag pin and my tote, so I was ready to "meet up." I didn't know what to expect, but I wandered around looking at name tags and suddenly spotted Peaceful Knitter who reads my blog and I read hers. I had never asked her if she would be there, so I was surprised to actually see someone I least in the blog world. She had on one of her fabulous neck warmers and I must make one with one of my home spun yarns. We talked about the knit to fit class I had taken and the philosophy of it and I encouraged her to try a sweater. I am really surprised, with her skill, she had not yet done one. I also had my photo taken with Jess and Casey who ARE Ravelry. It was chilly so I didn't stay too long at the meetup, and I guess I missed the group photo. Oh well.

With my purchases so far, I went to the car to drop them off and went back in for one last go round of the buildings. I didn't buy any books, but saw the area where Stephanie Pearl McPhee was signing her new book. There were several other authors, but I didn't feel like waiting in any more lines. I stopped again at Briar Rose Fibers where they had some fabulous yarn, but I bought 17 oz of BFL (blue faced leicester) roving dyed in greens and purples. And I saw some silk hankies in really bright colors that I thought I would give a try spinning. It will be nice to ply this with some other yarn, and I couldn't resist.

After all, I didn't know when I would get back again.

The ride home was 2 1/2 hours long because of the heavy traffic leaving the fairgrounds. But I was sated, and happy to have spent the day amongst fiber, fiber people, and eastern fall colors. And broke.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

6 Days on the East Coast

I have been back several days from my whirlwind 6 days in New York and CT and here is a very photo heavy and word light synopsis:

Steve, my brother, and Hannah, my niece

Amanda and me

Amanda in her apartment

Out to dinner

Train to Westport

Angie and me in SONO (South Norwalk)

Drawbridge up to let sailboat cruise through

Visting with my former back door neighbors

Reunion Class of 1968- Norwalk High School.
Hedy and Me (see my feather and fan shawl!!!)
Arlene, Reggie and Keith

Hedy and Jill


Arlene and Joe (not a couple)
Ed and Joan (yes a couple)

Peaceful Knitter I read Sonia's blog and she reads mine! Check hers out!
at the Ravelry Meetup

Jess and Casey of Ravelry fame! Either they are very tall or I am very short!

My purchases!!!
Green fiber from Briar Rose Fibers is 17 oz of BFL, and the rose color is from Creatively Dyed yarns: 8 oz of Merino and Seaweed yarn.
My first try at silk Hankies for spinning
Now I can see what all the fuss is about with Socks That Rock. Also, buttons for my
February Lady Sweater

Two Bosworth spindles: Midi in Cherry and Mini in Canarywood

Visiting with Marion

Walking the beach and jetty

Beautiful Fall Colors

Details to follow when I have the energy to post more. The change of scenery was wonderful, both the water and colors, family and old friends, but with the economy tanking, it only took a few minutes for the good feelings I had while away to vanish once I arrived back home.
I did finish the pair of socks!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Packing is a B***H

I should be doing one more load of laundry and gathering my underwear and cosmetics, but today I spent time looking through my high school yearbook ahead of the reunion. The book itself is a little worse for wear since we had a minor basement flood and the pages are a bit ripply and old mold signs are present. Here is me from 1968 and you can see that I haven't changed a bit!

I probably will notice that everyone else has REALLY aged! I have only seen a few of these people in the years since my 20th reunion in 1988 and am really looking forward to renewing old friendships.

I have also been packing my knitting bag:

I am especially happy to have this bag to take to Rhinebeck on Sunday and to see if I meetup with any fellow Ravelers and bloggers. If you are reading this and are going look for me. I hear that the weather will be good for wool, so the Kauni sweater is my sweater of choice that day because of all the bright colors.

In the bag will be the socks I mentioned on the last post if they are not finished, and this ball of sock yarn which should make a great pair on Monkey Socks for me, unless I decide to give them away.

I will also take my Golding Tsunami spindle and the rest of the Louet Northern Lights pencil roving which is almost finished, but I will wait to ply it till I get home.
I will also be bringing Ann Budd's Yarn Requirement chart booklet, and the wrap per inch chart and tool from Nancy's Knit Knacks.

I imagine it will be fuller after visiting the markets of Rhinebeck.

Edited to add: Computer Hell revisited. Two hours ago when I started this blog entry, I put my yearbook in the printer to scan my 1968 photo. The scan function did not work so I tried a few things and then phoned the Costco Concierge service which came with my new computer. Seems like my printer was not compatible with the Vista operating system without a download of a new driver. It was slow slow slow, but my personal concierge, Tony, who was in Florida and not Bangalore, had the patience of a saint. I put him on hold several times to get the mail, get my knitting, get a drink, etc. Two hours later, IT WORKS! Yay for the Costco Concierge, which not only is a great service, it extends the warranty an extra year to two years. If you have to get a new computer and you are as clumsy at everything as I am, it is a fabulous deal!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Breathing a little easier

Today's stock market jump felt good after the last two weeks. I know, I know, we are not out of the woods and I expect lots more volatility, but I feel better about not panicking and selling or rearranging my 401-K. I am a diligent saver with long-term goals in mind, but I am 58 and this period has been pretty painful to my retirement and my gut. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that things calm down and begin to regain from the bottom.

Luckily, I have been knitting from stash and finishing some UFO's. There are lots more hidden around the house, so even if I am totally broke, I will still be able to knit for quite a while. Here is a sock I am rushing through hopefully to give as another gift on my trip east. If it looks a little lumpy, my hand is inside it and not my foot!

I leave on Thursday morning for NYC, then my high school reunion, and hopefully Rhinebeck on Sunday.

Here was a happy surprise. Looking outside in the garden this morning after our first freeze of the fall, I saw this:

Usually I get a whole trellis full of pancake size lavender blooms of clematis in the spring, then nothing for the rest of the summer. I diligently water and feed it, but the vine doesn't get as much sun as it probably needs and gets pretty skimpy after it finishes blooming. I purchased a second clematis vine this spring with deep purple double blooms that is supposed to bloom all summer, so together as they intertwine, I should have some nice color there next summer. Maybe the original vine knew I did this and put out two late season blooms as a peace offering. Whatever, I smiled as I saw them this morning.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Knitting Survey

The rules:

Bold the things you've done.

Green the things you are currently doing.

Red out the things you've abandoned or will never attempt.

Italicize the things you want to try.

AfghanAmerican/English Knitting (vs. Continental knitting)

Baby Items



Cable stitch patterns (including Aran)


Charity knitting

Continental knitting

Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers


Designing knitted garments

Domino knitting (modular knitting)

Drop stitch patterns

Dyeing with plant dyes

Dyeing yarn


Fair Isle knitting

Freeform knitting



Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)

Hair accessories


Holiday related knitting

Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies.....)




Kitchener Bind Off

Knitting a gift

Knitting and purling backwards

Knitting for a living

Knitting for pets

Knitting for preemies

Knitting in public

Knitting items for a wedding

Knitting socks

Knitting to make money

Lace patterns

Longtail Cast On

Machine knitting

Mittens: Cuff up

Mittens: Top down

Moebius band knitting

Norwegian knitting

Olympic knitting

Participating in a Knit-a-long


Publishing a knitting book





Short rows


Slip stitch patterns


Socks: toe up

Socks: top down


Stockinette stitch

Stuffed toys



Teaching a child to knit

Teaching a male to knit

Textured knitting

Thrummed knitting

Toy or doll knitting

Tubular Cast On

Twisted stitch patterns

Two ended knitting

Writing a pattern

Well there you have it. If you decide to do the meme let me know I'd love to read your list!

Making things even

Politics is everywhere. As we watch the ads night after night on TV, I recall the "equal time" rule. If Obama makes an appearance, then so must time be allowed for McCain. Last Saturday on Saturday Night Live, equal satire was heaped on both the VP characters from last week's debate. I will be glad when the election season is over and when we will know there will real "Change" in the White House. The election is Obama's as we stand now, so make sure you are registered to vote to make sure your voice is heard. I understand today is the last day to register, so get off the computer and get over to your local registrar before it is too late. Don't complain to me afterwards if you did not participate in the process. REGISTER!!!

Politics is everywhere even in the family and the lobbying is fierce. I have been reminded by Alison that she is not receiving equal time in Mom's blog......... I haven't gone back to count the number of mentions or photographs since I began in January, but it is true that Amanda has been here four times since January and Alison only once, and I will be seeing Amanda again in a couple of weeks when I travel east for my reunion. This is not favoritism here, not at all. Amanda has the funds and vacation time to travel more often than her sister. It is also true that I talk to Alison on the phone so often, that I think she wants to say, "Now what??" I love both my daughters equally and they are both in my thoughts constantly, even if far away. Picture a tear rolling down my cheek as I say this............

Alison, you make me laugh and smile everytime we talk. I love your spunkiness and miss you terribly when you are not here. I am very proud of the person you have become, of your success at your place of work, living alone in a new city, and making your life your own.

Amanda, you make me laugh and smile everytime we talk. I love your spunkiness, and miss you terribly when you are not here. I am very proud of the person you have become, of your success at your place of work, living alone in a new city, and making your life your own.

Equal words for equal love. If you think they are twins or identical in any way, you are crazy wrong, as they can be as different as night and day on almost any scale of determination. I bore them, raised them, and set them free ---- happy with results.
As for the photos, I count 4 of Alison and only one of Amanda.... Ok, Alison, does that make things even? And I don't want to hear any more about this!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nothing happening

I really need to post more often, but nothing exciting has been happening................

Except for my oldest daughter being in Tokyo for the wedding of a friend she met during her internship in Philadelphia four years ago! She purchased a phone card and phoned us today, and it sounds she is enjoying her trip and the wedding was beautiful. She said most of the guests do speak English, but all the speeches after the wedding were in Japanese, so she missed most of that. On Tuesday, the family of the bride is taking all the out of town guests touring the sites of Tokyo. What a fabulous experience and I can't wait to see photos once she returns to NY on Wednesday.

Except for finishing my monkey socks that will be a gift when I visit Connecticut in a couple of weeks for my high school reunion.

Except for the e-mails that have been passed around from LA, Chicago, Atlanta and Connecticut, not to mention Denver as many of my friends have been reconnecting in advance of the reunion. There are even some photos on the site and from what I can see, I don't look the oldest, fattest or most matronly. Of course, many of the men will be very old, bald and out of shape. I have found that women, for the most part, age better than men.....
Except for finishing up another skein of the Northern Lights. This one came out nearly identical to the last and probably would make into some nice socks, but now I am thinking of a Clapotis. I have been thinking about this pattern for some time and it would make a lovely gift for the holidays. I measured out 3 packets of the remainder of the fiber and there will be one more skein of this fiber. I started out with 8 oz of fiber, and the final tally of home spun yarn will be 3 skeins of about the same fingering weight and one skein that is more like worsted weight.
Except for the cutest little mini skeins I made up. The two grey ones finish up the merino that I navajo plied on the fly. A hat is in the planning stage... The burgundy one is one ply of the new alpaca fiber from last weekend and one ply of the Louet Northern lights pencil roving that I had been working on. I have heard that alpaca has no memory like wool has, so I was just testing out this combination. The end result is very soft and squooshy, but since I am finishing up the Northern Lights, the mini skein is all there will be of this. I am happy to report that spinning the Alpaca fiber wasn't a difficult as I had expected. It is a bit slippery, but if I am paying attention it is ok.
Today was the Race for the Cure for the Susan G Komen Foundation. Although I participated in past years, this year I sat it out and accompanied Mom to the cemetery for a Memorial Service during these days of awe. Tomorrow I am having my yearly mammogram only a few days after Maggie's birthday. Last year I scheduled it on her birthday as a tribute to her memory, but tomorrow is a close as I could get this year. In Maggie's memory and in honor of the thousands fighting this hideous disease, make sure you are taking care of yourself, doing your monthly self exams, and getting your yearly mammograms.