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Monday, October 31, 2005

A Monstrous Mish-Mash 

Thanks everyone for all your nice comments about the pottery!

We love the process, and we are loving our little products. All those knitters and spinners out there know how good it feels to use something you made with your own hands, something that isn't exactly like anything out there, something that feels exactly right and sensuously tactile in your hands.

Although it still hurts (just a wee, wee bit) when I have to throw out a pot because I just trimmed a big ol' hole in it. But since I have plenty of experience ripping nearly done but not quite right hand knit garments I can be a big girl about it.

And I love that feeling of pushing the clay down on the wheel, having it centered and solid. I wish somebody could do that to me.

In an unexpected plus, just these few pieces have drastically decreased the amount of daily dishes. Instead of using a bowl, setting it in the sink, later getting another, setting it in the sink...I keep rewashing our two bowls and we are sharing the mug. The dogs go through more dishes than we do now.

The Amazing Doo-dad


I bought this little thing at Powell's bookstore in Portland and now I live in fear that I'll lose it and have to drive all the way back up there to get another one. And given how I get lost, that'll take the rest of my unnatural life. The Chosen People got nothin' on me.



I can't find it anywhere on their website and I tossed the packaging in Portland so I don't know what brand name it runs by. I seem to remember it being something silly.

It's the simplest thing, like a doubled T shape paper clip, but it rocks my world. I love being able to knit and read; before I had to pin a paperback on a clipboard and their screams of agony from their cracking paper spines haunted me when I closed my eyes at night.

While this holds the book open and somewhat flat, it's not as rough on the spine.

Here's what it looks like, waiting for the next Terry Pratchett:



Okay, so what's my point? Please, if anybody knows what the heck this little thing was called so I can get some more, I'd be much obliged.

Some Knitting Going On




I set down Tahoe's sweater 'cuz I started worrying about messing it up. Life's too short to stress about knitting, so I picked up something easier:



This corkscrew scarf pattern is a good one for knitting while reading. Once you've done a few wedges, you feel it all in your fingers and don't need to look at it at all.

I'm not really sure I like it in this yarn though. It's a really luscious soft 50% superfine alpaca, 50% pima cotton from Class Elite that I bought at The Naked Sheep in Portland and dyed with indigo (lots of little flaky chunks are still in the yarn, and a faint gerbilpiddle scent lends authenticity) and dipped in fustic in an attempt at a blue-green variegated skein, and I'm not sure I like how it turned out. I'd hate to overdye it with synthetics though, somehow that seems wrong.

I noticed that a fair amount of people are brought to my journal by the search string "loop-d-loop ruffled scarf free pattern" or some variation thereof.

There's a couple of free ruffled scarf patterns out there that are fairly similar, one in pdf form from Knitscene that seems a damn sight more complicated than it needs to be, and one from Crystal Palace done lengthwise, but I haven't seen any exactly like it. Certainly none as easy and dead simple once any fear of short rows is conquered.

So here's some hints, and if you can figure out how it was made by the hints and pics, than good for you.

If you can't, but you're still dying to make it, I really do suggest you splurge on the book. Overstock.com has it for under $20, but it's well worth the thirty clams retail from your local independent knit shop.

It's a very pretty book, despite some of the odd expressions on the models' faces (is he $hitting his pants or being "sexy"?) and my favourite thing is that while the patterns are fun, and some are silly and border on the "er, um, yes, you can knit that, but, er, why?" variety it's more about the techniques and fostering a flexibility of thinking, using standard design techniques in a bit of a new way (steeks, short rows) and simple variations to make something very different. Sometimes I don't like the way it looks, but I really like that approach.

Anyway, here's a pic of two pattern repeats.

It's just a series of wedges created by short rows, all pointing in the same direction to make that addictive to knit spiral.

It's all garter stitch, not even picking up and knitting the wraps. Super, super simple, no picking up stitches, or increasing and decreasing or anything tedious like that. Of course, I guess even wedge-shaped garter stitch can get tedious, but the novelty still hasn't worn off for me. A f-cking fabulous stashbuster pattern, it doesn't take a ton of yardage, even if you are trying to worry about gauge and exactly recreating the pattern and all that palaver. It works well no matter how many stitches you cast on, once you've got the short row wedge thing down.

Anyway, I thought I'd explore a different style of short rowing and better familiarise myself with the shaping of a sock, as I've really only ever completed one miserable looking baby sock in horrid pink acrylic--oh, look! There it is, being used as waste yarn for a provisional cast on! Ick yarn, it squeaks when you work with it but it was so soft in the ball. We've all been there, eh?
It's barely worthy to be waste yarn next to the fun Tanglewood handspun (really pushing the yarn snobbery envelope there, I think):



I'm going to go up a needle size or two, I think. I wanted a thick sock, but it's a bit much on US6s. Plus, I messed up picking up the stitches. I was following a pattern (for a baby sock) and the stitches to be picked up were way too few for the length of the flap, although up till then all was working well fit-wise. I'm going to swatch a bit more and restart using a fair bit of guidance from this web document.

Speaking of screwing up following a pattern & picking up stitches, I'm having an absolute c&nt of a time picking up the right amount of stitches for the collar of my Noro Butterfly.



I've done at least six attempts and I wobble back and forth between way too few picked up, way too many picked up, and close to the amount called for in the pattern but worrying that the distribution is uneven and I'll knit the danged thing lopsided.

I also messed up on the garter stitch edging for the fronts. Yeah, I forgot to do them. Completely missed it in the pattern.

I even thought to myself, "huh, in the picture they have garter stitch edges. Stupid bastards forgot to mention that in the pattern, eh?

No, some other unnamed stupid bastard needs to pay a little more attention to the details. Chalk it up to the drawback of a dead easy pattern repeat, it kind of lulls you into that state of, "la, la, dee dah, I got this down, it's flowin', da da da...more of the same, just like the back & the sleeves, dee-diddle-deedle..."

I didn't even see the "missing" instructions until I was almost done with the second half of the front. D'oh!
I'm hoping to get away with single crochet to keep it from rolling and clean up the edge.

Ooh, speaking/typing of crochet, I'm signing up for a lesson at Lakeside Knits on Thursday. It's only fifteen bucks for an hour and half and I've been telling myself I need to learn more than just single crochet, but every time I sit down to read a crochet pattern I suddenly find something else which urgently requires my attention.

I may crochet nothing more challenging than a buttload of coasters, but I'm looking forward to it. And completely refraining from making any jokes about becoming a hooker. I'm a sex professional thank you very much.

Okay, one last knitting thing. Tahoe's sweater is bugging me.



BTW, I even have a whole book of sweaters for dogs (and half of the southwestern blanket sweater in a bag somewhere), but I saw Ellie's and I had to take a stab at doing my own non-boringly ribbed in the round version. So I blame Mary. ;P

I measure his chest at one moment and, "oh no, start the shaping for the legs and turning it NOW!" And I measure again, and, "oh, a few more inches before I have to worry, don't want it to be too tight." Dammit. It depends on whether he's sitting up or laying down (the default state of the hound). I resolve to stop worrying and just knit it. I am definitely digging the way it's striping up and how good it feels in my hands.

Dye-diddly-eying


I had a couple of dyeing days this weekend, and I actually dyed in colors other than blue and green.



I took a whole bunch of pics that look awful, but there's a lot of flame colorway, some cherries and plums, and this cool black purple russet kettle dyed skein of Louet's thick and thin 100% wool. I'm almost positive this is the same yarn that Colinette uses. I've been told they have a mill of their own, but it looks the damn same to me.

I also made an expensive stupid mistake:



Aaaaaaaaah!!!!Acidified water in my ph paper, gah! Ten bucks down the drain (though not really, as I feel I got a fair amount of use before I wrecked it. But I hate it when I do something so careless and stupid that costs me money, instead of my usual pain-and-embarrassment variety of consequences).

Luckily there's a rawfood place nearby that stocks it, so I don't have to place an order with Dharma Trading just for that.

Web Twaddle


I've been fiddling with building an online shop of my own. I spent over an hour today building a table for the front page that ended up looking...just awful. Really, no words.

I really like the simplicity of Hello Yarn's site, who's actually doing a lot of the same stuff I'd like to do (and doing it a lot better obviously ;)).

Anybody out there want to share with me their favourite shop sites, and maybe a little bit of why they like the way it looks? Ease of use, cleanliness of line...it's all stuff I'm going for but I'm such a clutterbug, even in web design.

I downloaded OSCommerce (what handpaintedyarns.com uses) and for some reason it really bugged me, it didn't feel like home at all, even though it's really easy to use and has a ton of nifty calculators and trackers and whizzbang doodads. It just seems like a great interface if you're selling machines or sunglasses or some mass produced product, but it doesn't have that organic, light, sentient, human feeling that Hello Yarn has.


Anyway, I hope everybody had a good Halloween. Because of the dogs we set up an honour system basket hanging from a tree outside our gate...if we were in a cartoon there'd be a huge box above it, it looks quite suspicious just hanging there, like any second it's going to trigger a Wile E. Coyote style trap.


I definitely didn't see any costumes as cute as these.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Who's up for a wee roadtrip? 

Anybody want to carpool up to Torrance for aWeaving & Spinning Festival on November 6th?

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Monday, October 24, 2005

¬°Adios Audrey! 



On Saturday I put the little red wheel in my little red wagon and drove Audrey up to meet her new owner Susan.
We met up at NobleKnits. It's a shop that seemed to be doing great business and had the largest stock of Colinette or Prism I've seen. And Classic Elite's cashmere-silk blend, which I didn't even know they had. All in all, a nice selection of luxury yarns. It was nice to meet you Susan!

Looks like honey, smells like sheep




Before I left Oceanside I stopped at the Boney's market there. Wow. Their Boney's is nice! The Boney's in La Mesa seems more like a depository for rotting produce. Anyway, they had gigantic figs and a huge floofy stuff (body products) section, where I bought some liquid lanolin and cedarwood oil for making an emulsion for oiling my fleece before I comb it. And the lanolin's pretty good for the skin, yep.

Artsy-Fartsy Dabblers


Nick and I have been taking a ceramics class Monday nights at Plum Pottery in South Park. We've been having a blast and I love the shapes Nick has been making. I'm not so impressed with my own stuff, but I'm having a good time getting covered in clay, so I figure that's what counts. We just got some bowls back after glazing, these first four pics are of Nick's beautiful bawls, er, bowls:



I called "dibs" on this bowl from the moment I saw it after he trimmed it. And it's glazed in my favourite colors, with all blue inside.



This one looked kind of like a flowerpot, but with the glaze on, I'm not sure. I think we'll be chugging coffee from it. I love the streaky red inside.





My bowls are both blue and green. I tried to make fun shapes. This one is about the size of my palm and trimmed to be kind of beveled all around (I used some sort of a grater, like a large bore lemon zester) but I didn't get it very even. But I like it anyway. No idea what I'll do with it. Sauce bowl?



This one's larger, like a curvy cereal bowl.



I like what we've made, but more than that I'm really enjoying the process. I love learning something new with Nick.

Knitting Stuff


The Noro Butterfly from handspun has been relegated to take-along/idiot knitting status. I've got all done but the left front, collar and finishing, so not really in the home stretch yet, but I saw Ellie's new sweater and was really motivated to start the sweater out of green superwash for Tahoe. I'm making it up as I go, but taking detailed notes, so I hope to be able to recreate it (or change what didn't work) in later versions. I'm trying to do it in the round, and working a bit like a giant sock, but we'll see. There's a part of me that is thinking that all the trouble of trying to figure out the odd angles of dog chest and legs fit in the round isn't worth the trouble it is to seam something knit in the flat. But I really don't like seaming, so we'll see how it ends up.

Working at a Local Yarn Store no more


I quit today. Actually, I quit about three weeks ago, if you count giving notice as quitting.
I hate quitting, but it boiled down to me feeling like I was putting in a hell of a lot more effort and care into her shop than she was, with none of the actual control over what I was becoming so closely associated with. And since it's a little late to get dooced, I might as well record a teensy bit of my reasons.

I felt bad, because I know people depend on having a knowledgeable person at their LYS they can get help from but, geez. I just got a little tired of coming in early to make sure the place was clean by opening time (picking up crayons, bits of yarn, candy wrappers, putting stuff back to where it was supposed to be, vacuuming and dusting, essentially, cleaning up after the owner and her kids as well as the basic shop cleaning) and staying late for people and end-of-day tidying and not being paid for the extra time I spent.

I'm not one of those, "huh, it's my scheduled time to go, drop what I'm doing and leave" kind of employees even for crap-paying retail jobs, and I kept getting this weird "you are taking advantage of me, you are so lucky I am paying you to do something you love, you aren't working" vibe from the owner, as if all I did was sit on my ass all day and knit. I love to knit, it's true. But I love to knit stuff for myself or my family that isn't terribly trendy, that won't melt, that isn't made in China.

When the owner's surprised to feel wool that "isn't scratchy," or is surprised that her stockinette stitch scarf curled, I start to feel like I'm part of a sham shop.

And other stuff, as if all this stuff doesn't already sound so petty. I think it may have been my conversation with the new employee and teacher on Friday which was the last straw that finally made me grow a spine and tell the LYSO "I think you should consider...I don't work for you anymore." I mean, three weeks ago I gave my two weeks notice and told the LYSO she should hire someone else, and told her that I had to leave but she still kept trying to schedule me, I'm such a doormat. She set off hinky alarm bells during the interview, but I'd thought, "cool! Work in a LYS, get to know the real market!"

Anyway. The encounter with the new teacher/LYSE:
I am "all about" embracing the different kinds of knitters out there; if all you ever want to knit your whole life is fuzzy novelty scarves, good for you.

But if someone comes to the shop and plunks down $55 for four hours of beginning knitting instruction, you'd better not be casting on for them, you'd better teach them more than the knit stitch and come up with a better answer for a student's request for help in identifying mistakes and correcting them than "oh, well, your first scarf's just a practice piece anyway" or "you totally won't be able to tell." By the end of four hours, 80% of my students were able to cast on, knit, purl, rib, identify a twisted stitch, pick up a dropped stitch, decrease two ways (k/p2tog, ssk), increase three ways (yo, bar increase, and the one where you knit the front and back of the stitch) cast off, weave in the ends and make goddamn fringe for fuck's sake. I just think taking people's money to teach them nearly nothing is wrong.

Anyway, I taught the LYSO how to do short rows to finish the corkscrew scarf, gave her the shop keys, argued with her about her attempt to short me on last week's pay, and skedaddled.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Stunned by how much I don't know. 

Hey out there in SchmartyPahntz Verld, how can I back up all my spaazlicious blogbits onto a disk?

Update: A-ha! For once I actually managed to find the answer in the help database! It's a crazy world. Seriously, like one out of a hundred times does this happen.

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FOs which don't belong to me. And some UFOs too. 

I apologise sincerely in advance for the intensely crappy photography despite my overendowed camera. If you want to see beautiful photos on a knitblog, go here.

I just want to prove that I do still knit, since I didn't knit as much as I expected to in PDX (what all the hepcats call Portland, don'tcha know) and had no personal FO to show upon return. Here are some things I've done for the local shop between attempting to coerce old ladies to actually buy something not just ask my opinion on every single ball of yarn in the shop and how it would knit up in X stitch pattern paired with Y yarn and how much would be needed to make Z project...and two hours later, walking out with nothing.
Enjoy the free a/c Mrs. Wilson!

Anyway.

Here's a pic of the most Tedious Shawl Ever.





What's so wrong with me that I knit this pattern to spec but ended up with two untouched balls of Nubbles and barely into the second two $12/ball Iceland colors out of the shawl kit?
Yeah, well, YMMV, I guess. Hmmmm...cough ($100 kits)...cough, cough.

Foliage is actually a pretty cool Berrocco yarn. It's almost half wool! Gasp!



It's a patttern I made on the fly to show how the yarn knit up and the hat could fit an adult and used less than one ball. And it was fast. Somehow, knitting st st in the round is much less tedious than garter in the flat. Dunno why.

I've shown an in-progress pic of this awhile back:



This is a scarf done in CP's kid merino and Dragonfly. Started with three or four rows of the Dragonfly, switched to km as MC with a little intarsia of the Dragonfly to carry it along the sides, occasionally carrying it across and knitting it three stitches along the side.
It's my lame version of a necklace scarf, a pink and black punk scarf (sans safety pins).
Scale is hard to see, it's about four inches wide and five feet long.
Um, yeah.
It definitely needs to have the crap blocked out of it. On the to-do list, I guess.


And just to get the pink and black out of our system, here's this truly awful photo of a hat I'm actually quite proud of:



It's a kid's cabled hat, though it fits my noggin snug-wise. The black edging is a sc, the cables are diminishing as it decreases and I made it up as I went along. That Sirdar hoody I made waybackwhen made me love cabled ribbing as a function/style thing. I used less than a ball each of the pink and black Iceland, and I've got cabled gauntlets using the leftovers on my to-do list. I was going to write up the pattern for the shop but my chicken scratch notes on it disappeared. C'est la vie. I could read my knitting, but, meh.

This next one is still in progress, and not all the knitting is mine. I showed the LYSO owner how to knit it and she fell in love with how fast a "drop stitch" pattern is, so she's been working on it as well:



It's the "Ollie" scarf made of Quest out of the Berrocco pattern book with the woman and the dog in matching outfits made of Air on the cover.
Yeah, that one.
Anyway, here "drop stitch" really means "drop extra wraps from previous row" which is understandably not as catchy, but a little more clear.

Anyway, since I saw how well the LYSO was doing with it, I felt free to start something new from GGH's Super Kid Mohair. Coincidentally, I chose the ruffled scarf from Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop which in the book is made from Berrocco's Quest.
OOooooohh. Okay, not really much of a twilight zone moment, but in the shop, we have to make our own excitement.
I guess.
Between the old lady action and all.

It's addictive, this little fuzzy short row mohair thing.



Three wedges in this pic, but by the time I left for the day I had a corkscrew of about six inches. It's fun --I used a US11 to get gauge. And, the mohair still sheds, but not like the Quest, and not like a lot of the mohair yarns out there do, much less 'cuz of that chain stitch construction.
Which can only be done really by machine. Sigh. But it's soft, and I'm looking forward to feeling it all knit up and coiled around my neck like a foofy-snake.

Even if it has to stay in Bonita.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

"It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again." 

Portland was fun with a capital F!

At the last minute I decided to not bring the gigantic camera, so I haven't any Portland pics, and strangely we ran across no postcard shops with copyrighted images I could scan and claim as my own.

The lack of postcard hawkers on every corner was just one small difference between San Diego and Portland.

The no sales tax thing never stopped being thrilling.

Powell's was fabulously labyrinthine (I never even made it up to the Pearl Room) and despite the fact that books don't make the best choice of souvenirs, I couldn't resist. I ended up running through the airport with a fifty-pound pack on my back, listening to the high pitched "eee-ee-ee-eee!" complaints of its myriad nylon support straps.

Heidi staggered behind wearing her own overloaded pack and clutching an empty basket. Quite a nice basket, if I may say.

(Okay, this next bit's quite long but if you get bored you can just scroll down to the pictures I took after we got back of the yarn adventures)

I think if you'd had an overhead camera filming our last day it would have looked like some sort of farce:
get up, get lost, find the freeway, lose the freeway, find the right road again, sit behind several construction projects, get to Tillamook, sprint up to Munson Falls, "ooh," "aah," and engage in good-spirited recriminations regarding the camera's location in the rental car, race back to Portland wondering what those gigantic white plastic-wrapped things were, (more sitting behind construction projects), downtown, "lunch" in a too-sugary gelato place just 'round the corner from Anthropologie where we marveled that there was a great amount of work put into garments that were made of not so great materials, although I still paused from time to time to rub my grubby fingerprints in and Heidi and I enjoyed the range of grimaces the shopgirls were capable of producing.

Then, up to my cousin's house to retrieve my forgotten phone.

Then to the airport, oops, here's the airport but we must fill up the car's tank lest we pay $4.09/gallon.

Crazy traffic, unclear road signs and my stubborn, manly refusal to pull over, stop driving, and take a look at a damn map make the ensuing hour or so a bit of a blur really.

Heidi assures me we passed my cousin's house at least twice.

A very slow rental shuttle ride.

Then the great overloaded dash through the airport.

Only to find that the plane (which should have been securing its doors and pushing back from the gate when we got there, according to my definition of "on time" Mr. Flight Screen Information Updater Person) had arrived just before we did, and they were still hosing down the cowchips, or whatever it is they do between Southwest flight runs.

So Heidi finally got to use the restroom.

So the story has a happy ending.

And it was funny and farcical and frustrating (I could almost hear the Benny Hill dee-dee-deedle-dee music going and if we'd driven past my cousin's house a couple more times I would have started hallucinating girls in bikinis and gorilla masks)while it was happening, but I now know that I should never leave less than a two hour buffer between activities which involve any amount of driving in Oregon.
Because although Portland apparently has the second highest unemployment rate, it does have more than its fair share of road crew and road sign meddlers-with-ers. Wossname, taggers, sign twisters, stealers, and an odd affinity for placing road signs so you can only read 'em if you are driving the wrong way down a one way.

We did seek out a few yarn stores and a dissappointing bead shop (well, we didn't know Let It Bead was dissappointing until we got there) and even ran into a former San Diegan on the bus.

Yarn Garden was huge. And so overwhelming I only bought a bag to hold my Powell's haul in.
knit-knot was not. But it did carry handspun. I bought this, 185 yds of bulky-worsted, little sections of dk-ish 2ply superwash at a price I found absolutely encouraging: $43. Worth every goddamn penny, I had such a hard time picking which skein.





I was thinking of seeing if I could make a dogsweater of it, but I think all the dogs are too big, even if it was all blah stockinette. So maybe socks.


The Naked Sheep was very neat, my kind of shop were I to take such a gamble. It's a small shop but they have nice sheepy wools, not many novelties, Rowan, Debbie Bliss, baby yarns in soft superwash and a nice selection of sock yarns. Some wonderfully soft alpaca / pima cotton blend I ruined with natural dye (kidding, Heidi, just kidding!).

Geez, already this is kind of long. Maybe I should save the natural dye stuff for a whole separate entry. Here's a preview of the dyeing we did. Heidi and I both did fibers, so this is all our stuff together, drying in the sun. Everything got jammed into my pack still soggy.



And this is what I've done since I got home:



Green and blue mostly worsted weight superwash, 470 yards/ 8 ounces for a sweater for Tahoe. Totally inconsistent gauge, but I love it. The superwash feels supersoft.

And, I came home to two great packages which should be separate entries all their own. But here goes anyways:
My brother sent us some really quirky stuff, some great dog toys (Snowball LOVES the glow in the dark slobber ball) doughnut scented air freshener for Nick, bacon band-aids (again, for my accident-prone Pig I'm assuming) a funky cutting board and knife I'm still getting the hang of, some tunes, a great bunch of surprises.

And my Secret Pal Mama Llama sent me a package too, but the dogs opened it in the yard and so I had Nick open the rest of it over the phone when I was in Portland. Chicken tenders for the dogs (taste-testing has proven them to be of higher value than the greenies--if offered a greenie and a chicken tender in one hand the chicken tender is snatched first 100% of the time, which is amazing if you've ever seen Tahoe spaaz out to just the word "greenie") and some fabulous hand-mixed trail-mix (devoured quite quickly) some gear for kitchen communications and three ounces of BFL and a cute card. It was great to come back and play with pressies, and unpack all the fun stuff we got...I'd go away more if it didn't mean all the hassle of leaving home ;)

I'd take a picture of all the loot, but it's been disseminated to various parts of the house--or yard, or stomachs. I've even spun up the BFL to 130 yards of singles. I'm not a very good blogger. Sorry.


Oh, and while the natural dye stuff will wait for a post of its own, I should sort of explain the title of this post--I think I'd like to raise silk worms (which are caterpillars, not small worms at all really) and I was daydreaming about the habitat I'd create for them and for some reason that line persisted in my brain. It would be peace silk, after all, so we'd be a little over-run with the silk moths maybe. Definitely something I need to read more up on, that's for sure.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

So tired. 

Portland.

I love you.

I hate you.

No sales tax!

Impose sales tax--implement better road signage!

Portland. Seriously, knock it off with the screwy signage already.

No, really.

Well, hello 82nd Street! Again. What's with eastbound freeways that take you five miles south before you can get off of them?

A good-natured laid-back traveling companion is worth her weight in gold.

And what's with Shell being the only fueling option in the last stop before the rental car return?

And having some kid who looks like an afterschool special reject take my credit card insisting it's illegal to fuel my own vehicle in Oregon?

And what's with this domestic car having its gasflap on the passenger's side anyway? When the f--- did that happen?

So tired.

So happy to be home.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Totally f----g random, generally unintelligible 

(an actual grocery list I found in my notebook:)

pliers
paper towels
bleach
vaseline


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what I love (no particular order except for the first and maybe the second [sorry mom & Belu])
Nick
Tahoe
Belu
Mom
Snowball
Crivvie

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what unnerves me:

I know many bloggers better than my own neighbors (why did she run down to Severin? I still don't know. What's his name? Is her name Barbara? Who the hell are these people? And why are they out working in their garages at 3am? What is he building in there?)

Well, at least I know how many bloggers represent themselves online, and all I know about my neighbors is that they love to park in front of our house. It must be the catpoop their free-range kitties leave in our iceplant which draws them in so aromatically.

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I'm packing for Portland and debating. Bring the fuzzy mohair sweatshirt? Or bring the more sensible fleece layers? Hmmmmm....

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Did you guys know Lantern Moon makes black sheep tape measures? I didn't. But they only put one in each order bag. So, there are definitely some unexpected perks to working in a little LYS where you are the only employee, even if there's no discount.



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I had a good time at Nancy's; I always do at these things. I'm not sure when I picked up the habit of rapid departures though; I suddenly realise how late it's getting, pack up my $h!t and go. In my family there's a tendency to linger forever saying goodbye, maybe that's why I have such a "head 'em, up move 'em out" backlash going on. Dunno. I know it can seem odd, but I can't seem to help it.

Here's the bobbin of superwash I finished later at home:



I'll ply it with the second half of the superwash (which has the blue bits in it) and make it into a sweater for Tahoe. It is a bit overwhelmingly green, but I love it. Green is a very lucky color, and I've been told, a holy color of Islam. Maybe I'll try to finish his sweater by the end of Ramadan.

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I'm really excited about Portland and this Natural Dye workshop, as it's something about which I know almost nothing. Just Powell's, just rain, just walking tours and a gentrifying city. I most likely won't be able to blog or even check e-mail, but I'm taking the big phallic-lensed camera with me so I should have at least a couple fun photos in the end. And a Powell's t-shirt. And one for mom. And the new Rushdie for Nick. And Neil Gaiman's latest for me, And Niffenegger's latest for mom and me. And maybe I'll find some gently used copies of Walker's stitch encyclopedias. Hell, I'll be lucky if I make it to the workshop.

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Oh, and my brother sent me this link to an article about LYS in Alaska:

Vera Obeseo, another retailer, is making yarn-based companionship part of her business plan. Obeseo, 41, opened her Palmer shop Fantastic Fibers in late 2003 in half a building. She bought the building last month and plans to expand into all 3,600 square feet as soon as her tenants leave in October.

"I'm adding a yarn cafe in the front," Obeseo said, where people can sip coffee, knit and chat. It will have a top-loading washing machine, necessary for felting projects that are all the rage, and a TV for husbands.


That sounds like a damn cool space.

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