Thursday, September 27, 2007

There should be something here

You're probably here checking to see if there's more for the Kidnapped Can Opener. He's in solitary confinement, having been caught in flagrante delicto with Miss Swing-A-Way and the church key. Tonight he's going to be doing time in the laundry. Mr Man, what have you been doing with this bad boy?

The Confluence Chorus Oregon Tour is this weekend. We sing at the Salem UU Congregation Friday night, then Saturday we'll be at the First Congregational Church in Ashland. Sunday we'll be singing at the morning service at the UUC of Roseburg, then singing in the afternoon at the UUC of Eugene. A very busy schedule which will offer times where I can sit and knit to my heart's delight thanks to Reid liking to drive. I've been informed that we must stop at Rice Hill for ice cream (the Umpqua Dairy's based there). Works for me. My only request is getting to Ashland with enough time for me to make a stop at Web-sters for one last ball of Kidsilk Haze for the Modern Quilt Wrap.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


It was a busy day Saturday. After a lovely breakfast and a stop at my LYS for a few skeins of yarn I needed for projects, I headed south to Canby for the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (OFFF). The morning was brisk and there had been a threat of rain murmured on the airwaves, but the day turned out to be perfect for a festival: warm but not too hot with some cloudiness to keep the outdoor vendors from cooking.

In past years I went by myself but this year I was with the PDX Knitbloggers. A rendezvous camp was set up on the green outside the main exhibition hall and near the spinners circle so while you were out checking vendors and animals you had a place to stash your things to be watched over. It was nice to have a place to go to knit and rest and chat with friends (not to mention share finds) then leave your purchases while you went to check out other vendors.

I was also there to receive the Kidnapped Can Opener. It was good that I was with a group because after a half hour had passed from our rendezvous time I was itching to go. I had a wheel to swap and vendors to peruse. While I was gone the KCO arrived and endured the photo taking of my fellow bloggers until I arrived to take it on its own journey of OFFF.

There was an Irish wolfhound show going on nearby. This is one of the smaller ones.
Spinners circle
Junior spinning competition
Lynnel and Linda of Rowan Tree Woolery with the Suzie and the KCO
Pygora goats
Jacob sheep
Bactrian camels (2 humpers)

Exhausted from an afternoon of fiber fondling

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ravelry: I'm in!

I got my invitation today. I have my profile set up and the Rogue Sweater WIP up for now. Since I've heard warnings that it's a real time suck, I'm holding off going on it today. I have other things to do today that require my attention, such as finding the many copies of music I'm supposed to be bringing to rehearsal today and doing more clutter cleaning before heading south. Look for me as 'fiberqat'

Thursday, September 13, 2007

OFFF is next week

It just occurred to me that the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is next week. Next week! I received two skeins of Spider Web yarn from Interlacements for swatching purposes late last month. I had a number of ideas before the yarn arrived but when the yarn came they dried up. So between sessions of picking up paper scraps and stray skeins I'm working on swatches. The Renaissance colorway of the yarn is quite pretty and working out very well. There is a Reds Plus skein somewhere that has yet to turn up. I hope to find it so that I'll have a couple of swatches to show Judy when she comes to OFFF.

In the meantime I have a potential buyer/trader for the Majacraft Suzie, who will be traveling with me to OFFF Saturday. A group of the PDX Knitbloggers will be heading down to Canby and setting up camp at a good spot so that we can compare finds. I will also be receiving from the kidnappers the Kidnapped Can Opener. The drop site is confidential but Mr Pink will be meeting up with not only the PDX Knitbloggers but also going on tour with me and Confluence to southern Oregon. I also hear he's going to Rhinebeck, the lucky dog. From what I'm hearing though his adventures at Burning Man weren't exactly chaste. I may have to have Church Key supervise his visits with Miz Swing-A-Way.

Heavy Reading

At the beginning of summer, there's usually a summer reading segment on NPR news with the reporter talking with someone famous or somewhat famous and what they plan to read over the summer. The conversation heads in the direction of reading something fairly heavy like a history, a treatise, or a novel that is "enlightening in its construction." Stuff that I appreciate but equate to reading in a quiet corner of a library with the smells of ancient tomes around me. I can't imagine taking something like "The Ins, Outs, Whys, Hows, and Wheretofores of Crimean War Buglers and How They Kept Their Polish" to the beach. So during the summer I usually look for lighter fare: a good mystery; an engrossing fantasy; a recommended novel. I'll look for stories on baseball players and stroll through the stacks of my local library to see if something catches my eye.

It must be the whiff of school that drew me to The Norton Anthology of Western Literature Vol. 2.

I remember reading the first volume in high school. It had thin pages and weighed a minor ton. It had Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chaucer, Ovid, Virgil, Homer, and a whole flock of ancient and Middle Age pieces up to Shakespeare's Hamlet. The class that used it only used a tiny chunk of the tome, but it opened my eyes to the variety of literature that just those periods created. I even entertained the idea of getting a copy of my own because it would show that I was a broad-minded reader of the classics. But I never did.

The sight of the book on the shelf reminded me of that book and high school. I looked through the table of contents and saw it contained many excerpts from different eras that are commonly referred to in various other sources. Voltaire, Racine, Moliere, Baudelaire, Keats, Swift, Samuel Johnson, Poe, Tennyson. From the Elizabethan period to the 20th century. Printed on thin paper and weighing a minor ton. It drew me to it and before I knew it I had it under my arm, mine for 3 weeks.

Now three weeks is not enough time to take in this much literature by any means. We're talking over 2000 pages of works that have withstood the test of time. One could skim it but one should savor it. Read a piece and think about it. What was it that made it stay with us while contemporaries vanished into the dust? Why should we read this now? And how can I take this tome and prop it up so that it stays open while I'm knitting, especially at the beginning and the end?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Raising a stink in a good way

I'm on vacation this week. If you think it's to lounge about in yarn shops or traipse the countryside in search of fleece I must burst your bubble. I have a shindig planned the first weekend of October and must get the house in order.

Piece of cake you say? Oh but I house a deep dark secret. I'm a lousy housekeeper. I took my mother's mantra of "There are better things to do in life than cleaning house" and ran with it. I have clutter everywhere. One room is the place where stuff is thrown when I must clean the house in a hurry. I have yarn poking out here and there. If I'm going to have a host of knitters in my house, I must clear up the clutter. I'd get Hercules in here but he'd want to steer a river through which would break the china and felt the yarn. So I'm doing it myself. When it is all done, I will have a stash room and space to host a flock of knitters.


I signed up for Ravelry the 4th of July. I've been patient but now I'm seeing folks getting their invites. I'm nearing the 1000 mark and at the rate the invites have been pouring out I'll be on by the end of the month. This is good because my ISP changed from a dot com to a dot net last month and my Ravelry invite request was sent to the dot com email addy. The ISP is keeping the dot com emails going until January 2008. I don't want to request another invite because there are 18,000+ already behind me. I've come too far to chuck it back again.

Friday, September 07, 2007


The furries are all outside playing in the evening sun. It's cool enough that I can open up the house to get the stale air out of it. It's Friday; it's payday; it's the end of the month end brouhaha and the beginning of a vacation week. And I'm almost ready to start the front and back separate sections of the Rogue.

After the last week or so, I'm ready for some time away from the office. I'm hosting a gathering of fellow GLBT-Knit knitters the first weekend of October and I must get this house in order. I have clutter *everywhere* not to mention my stash and wheels and books. The house is small -- the main floor is 1100 square feet with two bedrooms and a narrow bathroom -- and one of the bedrooms has been the catchall of previous cleanings. The house was built in 1913 so it has no storage to speak of. In the past I've simply let things lie around or created make-do shelves but it's to the point where I can't stand the mess anymore. So my vacation week will be to clean up the house and do something with the clutter.

Lowe's had a sale last week so I was able to pick up three sets of these shelves for setting up in the spare bedroom. They're very utilitarian but strong enough to handle the weight of clutter. They will be used to handle the stash, tools, and other items that need to be taken out of the main room and stored away. With the clutter moved out I can clean up dust and fur and cobwebs that have taken up residence. I may end up wheezy at the end of the week but it will be so nice to be in a clean house. And if I finish before the end of the week, I'll treat myself to a day downtown.

The Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (aka OFFF) is coming up in a couple of weeks. A bunch of us from the PDX Bloggers and a few GLBT Knitsters will be heading over to Canby to fondle fiber and spend the day comparing purchases. I have plans to visit the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth to see if I can find some Socks That Rock yarn that lures me with their siren call. I may find some that will work for the Brother Amos socks that Brenda Dayne has put up on the Cast -On website. Of course I'll visit Interlacements Yarns and follow up with Judy Ditmore on what I'm doing with the yarn I have (um......nothing. But I have a bunch of ideas!). I'll also be toting the Suzie to sell or swap.

I won't compare my cats to children. They don't have the same level of responsibility required for their care. But they are my kids and definitely have their foibles and demands. This week, Sammy's teeth needed my attention. It turned out she had four teeth needing extraction and after a day at the vet returned home with that particular smell they get from the vet's office. I brought her home and let her out of the carrier, then went to visit my friend Ruth who had returned from dealing with the death of her aunt in North Carolina. After a couple of hours of sisterlike commiserating and a gift of chocolate truffles (the aunt was a cranky old witch), I returned to the house to find Buster sitting warily in a protected corner, Sammy trying to be friendly with Maisie, and Maisie hissing like a leaky steam piston. Maisie still remembers the awful visit to the vet when her teeth needed work and the smell just brings back nasties like you wouldn't believe. One sniff at Sammy and hiss hiss hiss hiss hiss she would go while running away. Poor Sammy was left looking bewildered. Maisie spent the night in the basement. This was Wednesday; things have calmed down since then.

Tomorrow I'll be heading off to Les Schwab for new tires. One already has a leak; I think the other back tire has a slow leak; and the penny test shows that I'm due. It's a good thing they're having a sale. Best to prepare now before the weather gets nasty. The drive on I-5 to Salem is nasty enough as it is without worrying if I'm going to start hydroplaning. I better get some patterns written up.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Labor Day, Schmabor Day

I can't help but think of this when Labor Day comes around:

Labor Day, Shmabor Day, what a dumb day To hire some jerk, then send him away. To celebrate work by playing all day. (copyright Jim Davis)

Not that I'm deriding the efforts and gains early unions made to improve working conditions for many industries. Many of the benefits that most US folks take for granted in a job (extra pay for overtime, safe working conditions, health benefits) were non-existent 100 years ago. But Labor Day in the US has become not the celebratory holiday of the grubby worker but the last gasp holiday of summer before the kids go back to school. Labor unions do hold their annual picnics at this time giving politicians a chance to shake hands and shmooze with the hoi polloi. But in general it's a reason for stores to have sales, for tv channels to have program marathons, and for folks to finish up summer projects around the house.

This October I'll be hosting a knitting gathering with friends from the GLBT Knit list. The house is a disaster area and being the old house that it is (1913 Craftsman) it has no storage areas. I took advantage of a sale to get some shelving units that will reside in my spare room, holding not only lightly used items but also my stash so that it's out of the way. It will clear some space in here for knitters and help me keep my house cleaner.


Lately I've been futzing around with some Paton's Canadiana for an afghan. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with things and even though the knitting is comforting I just haven't been wanting to get into a project. I do have some UFOs I will return to: the Clapotis in Blue Heron rayon; the Rogue in Classic Elite for Linda; the fancy socks. No pictures; sorry.