Thursday, June 28, 2007

Your comments

I wanted to get in a quick post to answer a couple of comments made on my hot flashes and my hair. It's going to be quick because I and my friend Reid are going to a live broadcast of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" tonight, complete with my fave Roy Blount Jr and guest Gert Boyle of Columbia Sportswear.

Jan asked: Can you get Edy's juice bars where you are? That's my recommendation for getting through menopause--lime or lemon. Eat them or put one on the back of your neck (the latter is a little messy, but what the hell...) I think they come under the name Breyer's and yes they are yummy. However the carb load would be too much for the amount of heat I'm generating. We're talking 68 degrees F is too hot for me some days. But I've heard there are scarves out there with coolant inserts that you can drape or tie around your neck. I've seen something of the sort on fellow hot flashers (the menopausal kind--shut up).

Cynical Gal Who Knits commented that I look great. Thanks. That haircut was in 2002, a growout of when I had my head shaved for a benefit (I got 200 bucks out of corporate for the Oregon Food Bank). I know; I should have posted a current picture, but I was feeling too sweaty and gross to post one. I was blonde for a couple of years but went back to reddish-brown after my scalp went on strike against the bleaching. A shame really. Anyhoo, my hair's 4 inches long and has a natural soft curl that's colored medium-blah brown and silver-gray. I don't have enough gray to leave it uncolored and I don't like the brown, so I tint it. I just did it last night in this color and in the natural light it looks great. In the bathroom at the office it looks so fake. But it's not tri-colored: blah-brown and gray roots with faded red-brown tips.

Thanks for stopping by, kidlets! Family reunion this weekend!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


In Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, newly born vampires learn that the body they have at death is what they will have forever. Even if the hair is cut it returns to the length it was when the vampire was born. So if you're going to become a vampire, don't do it on a bad hair day because you're going to have that hair forever.

That trait was something I wanted to have today. Since my surgery in January, my body's been going through a gradual change as the hormone levels drop. So while I still have my ovaries, I'm going through menopause. Today I was experiencing hot flashes that made me want to shave my head. But my hair at this point is a nice length with plenty of curl. So could I just shave my head now and wake up with my hair back tomorrow morning?

Fiber play

I took the rovings I got from BSG to work today and couldn't resist test spinning some of the Ferndale Farm fiber while waiting for a report to run. When I got home I had to do some on Goody Baynes. It's a hot sultry summer evening but how can one resist practicing on such yummy fiber? Yes it's fat but it's reasonably consistent. We'll see how it turns out.

Ted's Yarn

I've been putting off posting any pictures of Ted's yarn being knitted up because I want the pattern to be a surprise. With knitting any lace in the round it looks like what Franklin calls used cheesecloth. I attempted to put a plate in but snapped off one of the point protectors in the process and dropping a couple of stitches on the edge (thank goodness for sticky yarn!). I'll have to go back and make sure I picked up the stitches correctly (fortunately it's on a plain knit row with a few--nope, can't tell ya). The color changes are subtle, ranging from teal to turquoise as he plied the two colors together. He told me it was uneven in thickness but so far it's been pretty consistent and not too whacked out from fingering weight. It's also knitting very nicely, not splitting or being weird. We'll see how it turns out after dressing the piece. **Shameless propaganda warning** Ted's posted that the Fibrefest North 2007 registration is now open. To find out more, go here.

Off to go jump into a cold bath.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Black Sheep Gathering

This weekend was the Black Sheep Gathering, one of the largest fiber festivals on the West Coast of the US. There were many local wool producers and yarn manufacturers, mostly mom and pop outfits that depend on the BSG for displaying and selling their products. Some of the vendors were folks who are more nationally known for their products, like Interlacements Yarns, Skaska Designs, Blue Moon Fibers, and Fricke. It was a treasure trove of goodies up for sale so it was hard to walk by the tables and feel and admire and walk away empty handed. But I did take pictures. At least a couple. Some didn't come out. Baby needs a new camera. Oh well.
One of the vendor halls.More fiber.

Fiber on the hoof being removed.

I visited the sheep barn and was greeted with the smells of farm animals having been in one place for a few days. Some of the sheep were pretty placid but others were letting their displeasure be known. The baritone baas from the merinos and lincolns competed with the alto bleats from Shetlands. The sheep above are Jacobs; below is a Shetland. I was sniffed, snurfled, and snorted, but since I didn't smell familiar I was generally ignored. At least I wasn't nibbled. I don't think I'm good for sheep.

After a couple of hours of fondling and taking notes, I headed off to class for learning how to ply yarn. I have books on spinning, but I really like the hands-on teaching and live visual aids that a class on spinning offers. Goody Baynes rode along for the class.

Laura Cunningham taught the class with aplomb and was able to get plied yarns out of us. Mine actually came out fairly well, not too overplied.

We didn't get time to practice Navajo plying but we did see it demonstrated and got a nice chunk of fiber to practice on. We in the class dubbed it Oregon Country Fair for its many colors.

I didn't come away entirely empty handed. I couldn't walk away from this wool/mohair blend called Vine Maple from Ferndale Fiber.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Two months after tax day and halfway to Christmas

The week has been more subdued and fraught with bouts of fretting as youngest cat, Buster, has been fighting off a nasty internal infection. He appeared last week looking like he had been in a fight and spent most of the week indoors. By Monday he was not looking well and was off his food, so I trundled him off to the vet. All week he's been on antibiotics and IV fluids, but he's also been eating and doing the box thing despite a fever of 104 F. Yesterday he showed signs of turning around and today the fever had broken. An ultrasound and testing of internal fluid turned up peritonitis from possibly a ruptured bowel. So it could be possible that he had gotten into a fight, got kicked very hard and tore some intestine in the process. Who knows? There are no signs of obstructions or objects that could have torn him from the inside. It's a mystery. But he is getting better and hopefully will be coming home tomorrow. The bill will definitely put me on a yarn diet though for some time. Not like I don't have anything else to do.

The time spent focused on Studboy took away some of the foofarah of my impending 45th anniversary of my appearance in the world. But it was a real birthday gift to get good news about him. The gang at the office decorated my cubicle and I have more animals added to the flock from my friend Linda, so I did have a nice birthday. It goes with the sweet messages from my siblings including "Well, you're 45 and going down hill...but you still haven't caught up with the rest of us," from my brother who will be turning 60 this year. (Gawd! Sixty!) Love you too Grant. Mwah!

It's also Pride weekend in Portland. I won't be marching with the lesbians in the Dyke March this year. Some day I'll do it again, knitting my way down the downtown Portland streets and garnering stares. "OMG! She's KNITTING!" Instead I'll be joining my fellow choristers to attend the Portland Gay Men's Chorus's performance at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Saturday evening. Sunday I'll be covering the booth while Confluence Chorus marches in the Pride parade. It's going to be a fun weekend.

Next weekend will be the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene. This is my first foray to this event, which I've been told is larger than the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. I won't be there until Sunday as the class I'm taking for spinning wheel maintenance and plying lessons isn't until the afternoon. I don't expect to find much but you never know. I may score a last minute deal with someone who doesn't want to haul the merchandise home. My spending money will be severely limited this time around but my hope is to score some roving to play with on Suzie and Goody Baynes.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Iris investigations

While it was hot and humid and past the prime flowering time, the iris of Schreiner's were still quite spectacular. There were many blooms to view and consider for future purchase (the rhizomes aren't available until later in the year after the blooms are done and energy stored in the rhizome for the next year's blooming). Parasol in hand, I perambulated the public garden and came back with pictures of favorites.

June's here

Today's the last rehearsal before the Confluence Chorus concert next Friday and Saturday. My carpool buddies have a meeting beforehand so I've volunteered to drive so that while they are sitting in a dull meeting I can go here to get in some spring color. We see the fields when we drive to rehearsal; it'll be really wonderful to see the flowers up close.

The Clapotis in progress. I've finished off one skein of the Blue Heron rayon ric-rac and have started the rayon boucle in the same colorway. It's coming along well.

I was able to get a picture of the Rogue with better light to get a more accurate image of its color. This is a little lighter than the actual tealish green but it's better than the one I took indoors. It still is waiting for me to have a moment to work on it.


I was going through blogs this morning and found this on M-H's blog. It's a pretty comprehensive checklist. What you do is show the list, highlight in bold what you have done, highlight in italics what you plan to do (in my case, what I'd like to do), and leave plain everything else that you don't plan on doing or have an interest in doing. I put it in alphabetical order to make it easier to work.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)

American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)

Baby items


Button holes

Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)


Charity knitting

Continental Knitting

Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers


Designing knitted garments

Domino knitting (modular knitting)

Drop stitch patterns

Dyeing with plant colors

Dyeing yarn


Fair Isle knitting

Freeform knitting


Garter stitch


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

Hair accessories


Holiday related knitting

Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)




Kitchener BO

Knitting a gift

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

Knitting and purling backwards

Knitting art

Knitting for a living

Knitting for pets

Knitting for preemies

Knitting in public

Knitting items for a wedding

Knitting on a loom

Knitting smocking

Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars

Knitting to make money

Knitting with alpaca

Knitting with bamboo yarn

Knitting with banana fiber yarn

Knitting with beads

Knitting with camel yarn

Knitting with cashmere

Knitting with circular needles

Knitting with cotton

Knitting with dog/cat hair

Knitting with DPNs

Knitting with linen

Knitting with metal wire

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn

Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn

Knitting with silk

Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn

Knitting with soy yarn

Knitting with synthetic yarn

Knitting with wool

Knitting with your own handspun yarn

Lace patterns

Long Tail CO

Machine knitting

Mittens: Cuff-up

Mittens: Tip-down

Moebius band knitting

Norwegian knitting

Olympic knitting

Participating in a KAL


Publishing a knitting book





Short rows


Slip stitch patterns


Socks: toe-up

Socks: top-down


Stockinette stitch

Stuffed toys



Teaching a male how to knit

Textured knitting

Thrummed knitting

Toy/doll clothing

Tubular CO

Twisted stitch patterns

Two end knitting

Writing a pattern