Saturday, August 30, 2008

A breath of autumn

The summer's been cooler than most for this area. This weekend gave a taste of the coming fall with a crisp morning and relatively cool day. A good day for being at the state fair.

Last weekend the booth was a bit bare and there weren't very many people showing interest. This time we had goods up the wazoo, volunteer spinners and knitters, and lots of interest from the fairgoers.

Today not only did we have Judy and Audrey but also Pat Kight and Lorraine from the PDX Knitbloggers. Pat brought an armload of lace shawls and scarves to display and was working on a stole from Victorian Knitted Lace. Lorraine brought her wheel and worked on cashmere roving from Tanglewood Fibers. The fairgoers got to see three spinners and two knitters working on their projects. Pat demonstrated her lacework and Judy worked on her socks. The Kauni sweater lay idle while I worked on Bright Red Bug fiber from Sharon.

Kauni progress

The Kauni continues with the first sleeve. It's nice to be working on 130 stitches per round instead of 500+.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Play ball!

It was a pleasant Sunday here in River City. It was overcast with the temperature in the high seventies, a slight breeze blowing through the stadium, a joyous crowd excited to see the local boys play ball. And a few knitters.

The turnout was a little slim for the Beavers/Tacoma game, but we knew who we were. We were able to get the camera for the exploding screen to show us with our goods. The Beavers didn't win, but people didn't mind. It was a fun game to watch on a pleasant summer day.

Karen of the PDX Knitbloggers came with her project, the One Row Scarf from the Yarn Harlot. We had fun cheering on the team and people watching. One family had its hands full with a couple of young boys while another behind us was grandpa explaining baseball to his grandson at his first baseball game. Everybody say, "Awwwwww....."

I finished the yoke at last in the bottom of the seventh inning and divided the stitches up for the sleeves and body. The next step will be doing the sleeves first. I can fudge the colors on the body but the sleeves have to match. It got a lot of attention. I also won a raffle there at the park and got a free Beavers baseball cap. Just right for the next game.

The Olympian was spotted off the course

On the last day of Ravelympics, Fiberqat of Team Abundant was not seen at the venue of WIP Wrestling. Staff and coaches searched high and low but she was not found in the usual haunts. Rumors were heard that in the middle of a row she had stood up and screamed, "I can't take this anymore!" and flung the sweater into the Willamette River. No signs of the sweater were found on the shoreline, however. Eagle eyed spotters found the errant competitor at the Oregon State Fair but not with her knitting in her hands.

Per Audrey Sinner of the NW Regional Spinners, Fiberqat arrived with her spinning wheel, Goody Baynes, and her knitting therapist Judy for rehabilitiation at the Oregon State Fair. "It was good to step away from the Kauni," said Fiberqat. "My hands were getting so sore and my arms just ached. Tomorrow I'll go back to the sweater, but today -- today, I just wanted to sit and spin."

Judy, while not taken with the spinning virus and working on her antiviral socks to ward off any potential infection, was sympathetic to Fiberqat's situation. "It's a beautiful sweater but a lot of hard work. It's asking a lot to expect someone to crank out something with so many stitches in a short time. She deserved the break. And when she's done here, she will return to the sweater at Stitch n Pitch."

Fiberqat sends her apologies to Team Abundant. "I caved in. I was so close to the end of the yoke. I even made an adjustment to the chart when I found I was at the 13 inches of raglan measure. But on Friday I could not face doing 10 more rows of colorwork while watching yet another episode of beach volleyball. Instead I packed my spinning gear and watched X-Men. The fair called to me. And I made some lovely fingering weight singles from StitchJones fiber. It's not like I went out and worked in the yard or something."

Friday, August 22, 2008


The building across from the office is being torn down and slowly recycled. Trees and wood are getting ground up, steel is being hauled off to be remade, and bricks are being stacked to be cleaned and used again. While the demolition crew has tried to keep the dust and particulates down from all the machinery gnashing, there's still crud in the air. I didn't think it would affect me, but today I noticed it particularly. It won't help that crews will be doing construction in another section of the same floor. So I'll have to be extra careful with my asthma.

Tomorrow morning I and Judy will be at the Artisans Village at the Oregon State Fair. I'll be demonstrating spinning while Judy's demo'ing knitting. The weather promises to be nice, so come on down to Salem if you're in the area. Goody Baynes will be getting a workout.

I had a little extra from paying off a bunch of bills so I went to Knit Purl to pick up one more skein of the Kauni for the body. I want to be able to match the color when it ends on the yoke so that it continues its merry way along the sleeves and body, but at the rate I'm going I don't know if I have enough yarn. The ladies at Knit Purl were thrilled to see the sweater and insisted on a picture for their blog, so I relented. It'll be a riot of color as I'm wearing my Hawaiian shirt while holding the Kauni sweater up over me. In case you're wondering, the bottom part where my fingers are is a portion of the last border pattern. Once I'm through that and knit the triangle edging, I'll be done with the yoke. Most likely during Stitch n Pitch on Sunday. Go Beavers!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Marathon Day

The week has been productive with the Kauni sweater. I figured out the last parts of the charting, confirmed my numbers for the sleeve decreases and body stitch counts, and knitted a healthy chunk of the yoke. I had a moment of doubt on part of the pattern but the folks at Wednesday night's sip n stitch assured me it was fine, saving me from ripping out about 20 rows.

We've been having a brief heat wave through the area, not very conducive to knitting. Between that and staying up to watch the Olympics, I haven't been sleeping too well. This weekend will be catch up time. It will also be good for the cats as they go in and out of the house, first into the heat, then back in to cool off and so forth.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This time of year every 4 years you see it: sufferers of OSD. The victims wander the halls in search of stimulants, occasionally bumping into the walls and muttering "The judging wasn't fair. She should have gotten more than 15.1 for that routine." Bleary-eyed and semicoherent, the victims congregate with each other. "Did you see that part where she fell off the beam?" "I swear they're not sixteen years old." "That gal from Zimbabwe -- what a swimmer!" "What's Michael's count now?"

If you see a victim of OSD, also known as Olympics sleep deprivation, be kind. Give them an extra shot of espresso and a consoling shoulder pat. They're watching history being made while you slumber.

Ravelympic Progress

The sweater yoke is slowing growing. Between stitching stints I'm looking for a pattern for the body of the sweater. I have several resources I'm looking at: George Bain, Norsk Strikkedesign, Alice Starmore. I'm leaning toward the body pattern from this. I'm also looking at a pattern to finish the yoke but have yet decided what to do. Yes I'm knitting the sweater on the fly. Most of the yoke pattern was already worked out and the numbers are all calculated. Think of me as the plucky little country with one Olympian duking it out with the big boys.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Travel Like Other People

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if traveling is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.

And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey

To the hour of a country, to a meter of the impossible

We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.

We measure space with a hoopoe's beak or sing to while away the distance and cleanse the light of the moon.

Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path on your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their names and who'll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.

We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on a stone of a stone.

We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of this travel.

I read this in today's NY Times and was so moved by it I wanted to share it with you. The voice died Saturday night. While some of his work was political, he was most proud of his more personal work. I read this and thought of the many who walk without a country to return to.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The last of the long trips for now

Thursday I went south to Klamath Falls to attend my youngest niece's wedding. It was a very nice gathering held on the side of a hill overlooking Mt Shasta and the lower Cascades. The smoke from forest fires obscured the view of Shasta but it was still a pretty view. The reception was held in town. It was our opportunity for family to get together for a reunion and catch up with each other. It's the last big trip for the year; everything else from here will be day trips, which will be nice for a change. I like visiting new places, but I'm ready to be ending my daytime adventures with falling asleep in my own bed.


Friday was the start of the Ravelympics, knitting project challenges that are being done during the Olympics. At first I thought I wouldn't be participating in it, but changed my mind a couple of weeks ago. I've decided to work on the Kauni sweater and try to finish it. So far I've worked an inch on the yoke and encountered a yarn graft that made one of the color changes longer than expected. I had to take out several yards of yarn and will probably use it for the collar. The sock pattern I was working on has been put on hold in the meantime. And if I think that it's not possible to knit a sweater in two weeks I have the Olympic sweater from 2006 to look back on.