Monday, April 30, 2007

By request

The Bunny has asked that I post more detailed pictures of my purchases. I'll at least post a few samples and not the whole shebang. I definitely blew my Stash Bust 2007 pledge on this one but I just could not resist. And for some of the purchases I'm supporting small business. So there.

Some folks brought yarn to buy and some were gifts.

Left to right: Alpaca from Alpaca With A Twist (enough for a shawl); leftover fingering weight from Green Mountain Spinnery (enough for a shawl); undyed recycled sari silk from India (hand delivered by Joy; thank you!)(to be dyed to go with the other sari silk I have on hand).

Laceweight (enough for a shawl) and Sock yarn (a pair each) from Knitivity.

For the spinners, Barbara brought fiber. The yarn in the center is my first handspun from a handspindle, coaxed and encouraged by Barbara and Fudge's guidance.

Top row: Angora/Wool/Nylon fingering (enough for a shawl). Bottom row: Wool (enough to make a cabled sweater).

Baby yarn for a few baby sweaters.

Sock yarn for 3 pair of socks (the upper left two skeins make one pair).

Wool light worsted weight (enough for a Rogue sweater for my office buddy Linda).

Did she or didn't she?

Ted had to read my post on camp 4 times to see if I really did give blood. Yes, I did. I didn't intend to but on Thursday when I was with Ann and her daughter Grace one of the things they were going to do was donate blood. A drive was going on that day and the previous day (they don't have an open blood bank like larger cities do). It was a spur of the moment decision but it had been since before my surgery that I had given blood (I donate regularly), so I thought I'd give something to the community. I got a bit of teasing but I gave it back, regaling my nurse with my rendition of "Home On the Range":

Oh put me in a home where the catatonic roam

And the beer and the canteloupe play.

Where seldom is heard a coherent word

And the coffee's not cloudy all day.

Home, home of the strange,

Where the beer and the canteloupe play.

Where seldom is heard a coherent word

And the coffee's not cloudy all day.

The nurse thought he was hearing things so I had to sing it twice. I didn't sing it very loudly the first time. So I really did need that beer at Madison's. Gotta replenish those fluids. I must say though that the volunteers at the drive were very generous with the food for the donors. It was the first time I could get a sandwich (egg salad or chicken salad or a pbj) for replenishment purposes. So if they need a pint again, they can give me a call any time. I'm sure I'm not going to be forgotten with that crew.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thanks for the tip Gary

Gary, a fellow Rose City inhabitant and master of finding treasures at Goodwill and other thrift outlets, tipped us Portlanders to a spinning wheel he found in a GW in Vancouver. The price was worth checking it out because wheels often cost over $200 for anything in decent shape. It turned out to be in good shape; only missing a drive band. It appears to be from a kit because no wheel craftsman would have left the gaps in the wheel's whorl joins or excess glue on the surface. The outside rim of the whorl was also painted over so I have a feeling the person who had this was a novice. It's scotch tension, two ratios, single treadle with a lazy kate. The workings run smoothly but I'll have it tuned up some time at Woodland Woolworks to make sure that the bearings are good. I have no idea who the manufacturer is because it's not marked with a manufacturer's mark. It's not an Ashford, that I know.

Any ideas? I've already named her Goody Wheel.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A very knitty weekend

It's been a while since my last post. It's not for neglecting the blog so much as having so much else going on. This is a long one, so set aside some time if you have it. Last Wednesday I rose before the sun and carted off myself to Bennington Vermont where I met up with Sadia and Ann, the hosts of the first knitting camp of the e-list we belong to. I was the first to arrive for the gathering which was to last to Sunday. I was a little apprehensive because I would be spending some time with the campmamas before the rest of the group arrived. It turned out that we got along fabulously and with Ann's daughter Grace spent the first night talking until midnight. Thursday I got a tour of the town as Ann and Grace ran errands. Bennington is an old town by Pacific Northwest standards and many of the houses reminded me of the houses in the oldest neighborhoods of Portland. It tickled the historian in me to hear the stories of the place as we passed places where Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys were during the Revolutionary War. It wasn't long after we had returned from running errands and giving blood than Witt, his partner Gary, and Lou from the list arrived. We had a marvelous time getting to know each other now that we had faces to go with names, taking our conversation to the Madison Brewing Co. on Main St. I replenished the pint taken from the Red Cross with a pint from the brewpub and an excellent salad. And I have to say the conversation was not for the faint hearted. Friday was when folks started arriving in full array. Friday was also our day for taking the trek from Bennington to Northampton MA and the fabled WEBS Yarn Company. Barbara and Fudge arrived from Ithaca NY and we were going to meet up with more folks at WEBS. I rode with Barbara and Fudge, where we went through our lists of what we want in girlfriends and various other topics of amusement.

I have to say that having Woodland Woolworks in the neighborhood primed me for the experience of shopping the legendary warehouse. I have always said that WW is the Medina whereas WEBS is Mecca for yarnaholics in search of a bargain. I found myself right in that assessment. The warehouse at WEBS is well-stocked with bargains, including old standards like Plymouth Encore, Cascade 220, and Rowan yarns. There are also cones of yarns, novelties, discontinued yarns, and oddballs. But you can find good stuff in there.

I did. I wasn't alone. Jeri, who met up with us there found a few prize skeins to add to her collection.

Friday night more of the list contingent appeared as we gathered in the conference room of the Paradise Inn for feasting on burritos and fiber. David of Red Maple Sportswear and Dr Mel arrived with goodies from Alpaca With a Twist for us to stroke, fondle, and buy. Ray of Knitivity sent up a sampling of his yarns and Barbara brought up rovings for the spinners of the group. Joy brought skeins of sari silk for us to choose from and other folks brought yarn to swap. The evening settled to conversations and demonstrations of different techniques. Spinners worked on wheels and knitters worked on projects, mostly socks.

Saturday was the big gathering and some folks arrived for the day. A group gathered in Sadia and Ann's backyard for a class in dyeing skeins and roving with acid dyes. Others watched Mel demonstrate the Sherman toe.

Sunday was our last day together. Like all the previous days it was graced with sunshine and unusually warm temperatures. One by one folks headed out their separate ways but leaving with a feeling that this weekend was very special. No personalities really clashed. No one felt left out. We had some great huggers in the group and lots of laughs. For a group of folks who just knew each other over the internet it was an experience that was unforgettable. I look forward to seeing these folks again.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Something to talk about

So is there something to talk about here? Not really. I'll leave the controversial topics with other bloggers who can handle criticism with deftness and wit. I'll stick with what I know. The shootings at Virginia Tech were awful. No need to add more to that.

Last Sunday was Confluence's first rehearsal for their Pride concert the first weekend of June. I was expecting the usual music distribution questions and first rehearsal silliness. I didn't expect to be asked to switch sections. I usually sing tenor, but this term Ray the director asked me to sing soprano. On bended knee. With that "Please please please please please?" look on his face. It was so precious. I couldn't say no. Even if I can't hit the high E and F which run on and on in some of the songs. I will sing for you Ray. I will. I will practice and practice until I can hit those notes. Because you're simply fabulous. Never mind that during practice my throat would close on those notes with a "H*** no!" I will sing for you, my director!

This week I'll be heading east to go cavort amongst the fibers with my fellow GLBT knitters from the list. I've met a few here and there but this time we'll have a good sized group for knitting, sharing, and generally putting faces to familiar names. I'll be reacquainting myself with Jeri and Jo, who've I've met on previous trips east, so that promises to be wonderful. We have a fun group assembled with some distant travelers joining us. Once I return I'll share the adventure.

I got the package for my Army nephew sent off Friday. I had put all his goodies in an box but the post office wouldn't accept it. The clerk was very nice and explained that it would be more cost effective for me to use one of their flat rate boxes, which was just right. I only hope it gets to him.

Have a good week!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Saturday

Saturday's the day I have for relaxing and doing things for myself. I run errands sometimes and do chores, but mostly the day is for being mellow and treating myself after a work week.

We were told it was going to be sunny, but it turned out to be rainy instead. It didn't stop the trees from continuing their spring bloom or Buster starting his morning patrols.

Sammy was a bit more cautious, preferring to watch the world from the porch before ducking back in the house for a bit of breakfast.

In the meantime, I have NPR on and catch up on email and blogs while having a bit of breakfast.

Awake and ready for the day, I head out with the hula girls in the Bright Red Bug to Vancouver and knitting time at Unraveled. Politics and fiber news will be discussed and friends with newborns will stop by.

Lunchtime arrives and I return to my neighborhood to get a bite. I'm going there more regularly to catch up on neighborhood news and keep Craig and Inka going as the construction hurt their business.

It's mentioned that palm trees have been planted in front of the Hollywood Theater. Palm trees are a rare sight here in River City, but these will add to the Hollywood's ambiance and not obstruct the theater as much as the maples that had been there before.

Sated, I repair back to Chez Runamuck for a bit of reading and an afternoon snooze.

Sunday is first choir rehearsal. The evening starts with my preparing the music packets for the singers.

Evening continues with dinner then settling in for another knitting session. This time it's completing the new baby sweater pattern for the Baby Shower project.

Good night!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Insert title here

For this April Fools Day, I thought I'd write something amusing or pointed about the issue of seriousness. But nothing is coming out right, so I'll spare you. Whatever you do, spend the day or next few days being silly. Everyone can use a laugh.

I finished the Helmet liner for my nephew Chris currently stationed in Iraq. Now to get an address for sending it to him. The address I have isn't good and the Army isn't being very helpful. Miss Margaret says it reminds her of her days as a Resistance fighter in the back halls of Vogue.

Robert's socks are coming along. I had to test the sock on his foot first to make sure it wasn't too long. He's all excited, wanting them for playing golf. He told me he just wanted a short cuff, which made me very happy. I don't mind knitting the foot part; it's the ribbing that makes me balk at socks. I'll most likely do a K1P1 rib as my K2P2 rib doesn't have the same elasticity and K1P1 rib has a better rhythm for mindless knitting.

Aunties In Stitches update

I worked on a Baby Surprise Jacket this week as a display model to promote the Aunties In Stitches project of knitting squares for the Baby Shower project hosted by the Oregon Dept of Human Services and the Soroptimist Clubs. If you've never seen this jacket in progress or knitted it and like a puzzle, check it out. There's a new version of it in the Spring 2007 Vogue Knitting that I'm going to try out.

In the meantime, Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks has agreed to promote and take in squares for the Baby Blanket Square project. These are 9 inch squares in washable yarn either knitted or crocheted that will be put together into baby blankets. The first deadline for squares is April 20th, but if you can't make it for that date, don't fret. This is a project that will be going on all year. Drop off or mail finished squares to Abundant Yarn. At a loss for a pattern? Any washcloth pattern knitted into a 9 inch square will be acceptable.