Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thank you, Lyssa

I am fighting the good fight with the postal system to get things mailed. Lyssa is getting a coconut bonbon as judges choice award for this!

Hi Roxie,

I persuaded the husband and our housemate, Jordan, to get in on the knitting hands action. Neither of them had ever knit before, but I didn't let that stop me.

I couldn't just pick a couple to email...I like them all (especially the ones with my hands and theirs, showing them how it works).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

and the winner is . . .

Kenyetta, send me your snail mail address. And since you found me through Dave's blog, may I just mention that he would looooove a black cashmere cap?

; - ) (this is me, grinning and winking, Dave)

If anyone does NOT want their photos posted on my blog, please let me know.

the photos are in

We have 60 names in the hat, ladies and Dave. I am going to be struggling over the next few weeks to pick the photos off the desk top and put them onto the laptop where I can post them. (The security on the desktop won't let me blog pictures, and I'm too much an idiot to circumvent it.) I am so tickled by the responses! If I said you got a judge's choice award, please send me your snail mail address so I can send that candy winging your way. (Lucia, I have another treat in mind for you!)

And Billi-Jean, I need your snail mail for sure. This was one of my favorite photos.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all so much for playing! We will do the draw tonight, and tomorrow I will post the winner's name. I will then rely on her (him?) to e-mail me that snail mail address so I can send the cashmere on to its new home.

This has been such a treat. And what a lot of marvelous hands we have!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

restringing the pearls

DH and I, on our various perambulations around, like to stop at those places that will sell you an oyster guaranteed to have a pearl in it, and buy an oyster or two (Or more if the pearls are running especially nice) Then, once a year, I get out the Dremal Tool and the press, drill my new pearls, and re-string my eccentric necklace.

I always feel so proud of myself when I use these power tools. DH uses drill presses that can hollow out a hot tub, but I am quite content with this tiny level of power.

Having set up the press, I take my pearl vise and the new pearl that I love the least. I love all my pearls, and it takes me quite a while to overcome my trepidation and start the drilling. You can't unsay a hard word, and you can't undrill a pearl that rolled in the vise. I think my hand was a tad bit unsteady when I took the picture here.

Pearl clamped snugly in vise and set into drill platform. Gulp. Here goes! (I have two pearls that have moved during the drilling process. They live on the back of the necklace. There is one pearl that fractured when I screwed the vise too tight. It takes a sensitive touch.)

Here are my newest pearls being strung on silk thread with a knot between each to keep them safe. And the eccentric necklace continues to grow.

The needle nose tweezers help me set the knots right down tight next to the pearl.

Professional jewelers charge $10 a pearl for drilling.

Mandatory kitting pics. Everything is better with a kitty in it, but re-stringing pearls - with kitten assist - leaves Roxie very cross and leaves the kittens bruised and bemused. So they spent the afternoon in the spare bedroom. When I put the pearls away, DH brought them out, all sleepy, soft and warm. By the time I grabbed the camera, they were waking up. You should have seen those drowsy baby faces drooped over his shoulders.

The deadline for the knitter's hands photos is midnight tonight. Again, these must be pictures you have taken and they need to be e-mailed to The prize is 11 ounces of black fingering weight cashmere. Debbie sent fifty nine photos (!) (She has been taking pictures of knitter's hands for a few years now.) She is such a good sport that she said I didn't need to give her a chance for every pair of hands, but could enter her name as often as I wanted. Now I am wishing I could send the cashmere to everyone!!

These pictures are so wonderful! Hands have such a LOT of character. Old, young, dark, light, square, long, plump and gaunt. Ladies, we are ALL beautiful!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The shrew is the meanest animal, pound for pound, on the face of the earth. Even if the mightiest, mega shrew is measured in ounces, not pounds, they still have the most overweening ferocity on four legs. I was assaulted by one on a wet September morn, and was so startled that my foot slipped on the wet leaves and I sprawled prostrate on the pavement. The shrew, undaunted, instantly went for my throat. However, he was so damn small that it took some time for him to scamper from my foot to my throat, and by that time, I was already scrambling to my feet and getting out of there. How's it gonna look when you turn up at emergency with tiny scratches on your neck and try to convince the medics that you were attacked by a rabid shrew?

Today is shrewsday because I had just a tiny twinge in my neck yesterday morning before I left for the jail, and by the time I got home, it had laid me low. I took pheynlgesic, an old-fashioned muscle relaxant that your pharmacist has probably never heard of, and melted into bed. I am moving now, but soo darn dopey and still a bit tweaky! That tiny twinge was shrewsworthy in fierceness and effect.

I have been knitting. I wanted to take a picture of the MIL sweater, but Fly insists that everything is better with a cat in it, so here is the sweater, four skeins done, with a cat in it. The second sleeve and the button band have yet to be completed.

The work at the jail has been giving me lots of kntting time. The scarf is coming right along, in spite of the eensy size 1 needles. I am 2/3 through the fourth repeat. It's gonna be a short, tuck-in scarf, but oh so warm!

As for the contest, Willow sent in a picture of five lovely pairs of hands, all knitting in a circle. Quite a work of art. This gets her five chances at the random draw. So far she stands a five in sixteen chance at the cashmere. Tomorrow at midnight is the deadline!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

after OFFF

MJ and I pulled into the fairgrounds about 9:30 and initiated the shopping immediately. I forgot to bring my camera (How do I do this? It was right NEXT to the basket!) I was carrying a large shoulder tote and a big market basket and explained that when both were full, I would have to stop shopping. Then we got to the Fantasy Fibers shop and I was lost. I bought 4 mystery batts and would have grabbed more but I knew htere was a lot more things calling my name that I hadn't even seen yet. I also bought a little bright blue batt because MJ loves the color and she will need a Christmas present soon. I could spin her the yarn to knit her own hat.

We got outside and found where the PDX Knitbloggers had set up in the shade of the spreading deciduous tree. I got to hug Monicapdx of animorphia, and I met tiggywinkleknits and invisible pretensions. Wayy cool! Unfortunately, we were near Blue Moon's shop, and I could hear the siren song. Much too quickly, almost rudely, I allowed myself to be drawn away.

Man, you pretty much had to sharpen your elbows and wedge your way through the crowds at the BLue Moon set-up. After getting bashed in the breasts and kidneys several times by people who did NOT know how big their bags were, I gave up. Much as I wanted to stroke, sniff, squeeze, fondle and ogle all the Blue Moon yarns, I simply lacked the cohones to fight the crowds.

So many shops! Soo much yarn! Soooo little time and even less money. MJ is a novice knitter and was just sort of along for the ride, but was getting her eyes stuffed full of colors and her fingers packed with various textures. I kept saying, "Ooooo, this is soy silk. Here, squeeze it." or, "Ahhh, pet this alpacca!" or, "(gasp) silk and angora! Feel this!!" In the midst of all the embarassment of riches was the Iron Water Ranch stall with open bins of colored wool with signs saying, "Please touch me!" This pleased me inordinately! They had some yarn as well, including one 300yd skein that was pink with lavender spots, hand painted, and only $27. Pink worsted weight. I was a gonner. And to sweeten the deal, it turns out that the charming pre-teen young lady helping to man the stall had done the dying. She has a wonderful eye for color! She asked what I intended to do with it, and I clasped it to my bosom and said, "I'm gonna take it home with me and I will hug it and I will pet it and I will love it and I will name it Fred." She giggled freely, having no idea that I was misquoting from a depressing book called, "Of Mice and Men."

As we were leaving the Iron Water Ranch booth, I sighed, "Well, that just about fills my bag. no more shopping." MJ looked at me and said, "You could always put it on your hat." Inspired woman that she is! I whipped it into a fat pink hatband on top of my broad-brimmed hat, and from thence forth, was getting compliments right and left on the beauty of my hat! (I am now wearing Fred draped around my neck. He is warm and friendly.)

Julie, it was so neat to see you! What a great place to be!

We wandered along, sighing at wool rugs and laughing at gleefully colored rayon ribbon and (on my part at least) lusting after the silk blends, but holding tightly onto the credit card. MJ almost bought a coral colored alpacca ruana. And at last, I found some deeelightful blue-faced Leister in a colorway called Herb Garden, and bought a small sweater's worth.

MJ and I are in a writing group and ran across a young woman who has also been a member. Squeels of glee and surprise! Aubra was looking at spinning wheels and sighing that she couldn't even spindle right now because her remaining roving was too matted. And there, in my basket, was a mystery batt that perfectly matched Aubra's nail polish and seemed to be straining to reach her. Well, I know when a thing is destined for another woman, so I handed it over. Hey, what can I say? I'm an enabler. Aubra will do magical things with it, I am sure!

And then, fercrysakes, it was 1PM and we both had husbands champing at the bit at home, and we had to beat feet with speed! What a wunnerful way to spend the morning, but next time, I will tell DH not to expect me before nightfall. By the time I had gotten in my shopping, there was no time left to schmooze.

Here is Fred with three Fantasy Fibers Mystery batts and the bright blue batt. Once I got the mystery batts into the sunshine, I saw that they all have glints of shiney stuff in them. My inner magpie did barrel rolls for joy. Wahooo! It's SHINEY!

(Mystery batts come in all sorts of colors. I like the blue and grey tones for spinning.)

And here is the blue-faced Leister dyed in the herb garden colorway. Soft and yummy!

I got home to find some more entries for the cashmere drawing. Dave sent some great pictures of his manly hands, and Lyssa shanghied two (2!) guys into a learn-to-knit photo session. She gets three chances because she is showing three different pairs of hands!

Wednesday midnight is the deadline, folks. Get those photos in to me soon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

pictures of the cashmere

Here is the cashmere with Pepper beside it for scale. There are eleven ounces of gorgeous yarn, and so far, Amy Lane has the only chance at it.

What a fabulous garment this will make! Or you could make hats, mittens, socks for several people, and blow away half the people on your Christmas gift list.

Can you see this as a lace shawl to DIE for? It would be blinding work, but omigawd what a masterpiece!

I would estimate it as being about fingering weight. A quarter has been included for scale.

I had considered running a multi-colored sock yarn with it to boost the gauge, but the sumptuous elegance of pure black cashmere - how can you beat that?

Just send in pictures of hands doing knitterly things. By midnight, Wed the 26th. Each set of hands you photograph will get you another chance at the yarn.

It's almost the weekend. Wednesday will be here before you know it!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A few more details

OK, deadline for pictures of hands doing knitterly things is Wednesday, Sept.26, midnight of Pacific Daylight Time. There are no special resolution or other details that I know of. And I will put your name in the hat for every different set of hands you photograph. So if you go to your LYS and spend the day getting pictures of 57 different sets of hands, you will get 57 chances at the cashmere. Amy Lane has the first name in the hat.

How the winner will be selected:
On Thursday afternoon, DH will draw a name out of the hat and I will announce the lucky winner that evening.

The prize:
I would post a picture of it, but it just looks like a blob of black. On the other hand, it feels like a downy black kitty curled up against your bare skin. I will weigh it today and estimate the knitting weight. Sport? Maybe. A pound? Perhaps.

Judge's choice:
If you send pictures that I find particularly endearing (Granny / mother / daughter knitting hands all in a row maybe?) I will send you one See's chocolate bonbon. unless you would rather have a coconut bonbon which is my favorite! It's pink!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

just another day in paradise

On my way to work yesterday, I was passed by a big blonde in a convertible.

Jan York, the artist who did the cover for my second book, has requested pictures of hands doing knitterly things. Would anyone else care to contribute? Male hands, female hands, kid hands, hands knitting continental or American or English. Hands with dpns or straight needles. hunky yarn to laceweight. Whatcha got?
e-mail to me at and I'll forward them along.

Let me sweeten the pot. I'll offer prizes.

Random draw for a sweater's worth of black cashmere.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

some knitting progress

I am almost three skeins into my MIL cardigan. Sleeves and button band to go.

There was time to knit at the jail yesterday. My able domestic assistant insisted he should be included in these shots to give a sense of scale.

Here's a clearer shot of the Starry Night scarf. I do love modules. However, this is using up yarn a bit faster than I anticipated, so it will be a short scarf.

Monday, September 17, 2007

cat napping

This is DH's side of the sofa. Evidently, all the guys like to hang out there. Hey, if it's good enough for the butt of the Alpha male in our pride, it's good enough for them. As you can see, Fly is curled neatly in the corner, Jack has spread himself between my side and the Alpha Male side, and Ben is - - Ben is sound aseep with his dear ittle white tummy tum tum - - Ahem. Sorry. Inordinate cuteness brings out the babbling idiot in me. Ben has run at one hundred miles an hour for twenty minutes, then hit the wall and crashed straight into sleep. He is boneless. We can pick him up and he drapes over the hand like a beanbag with half the beans gone. And it doesn't wake him up. Don't you wish we could all sleep like that?

The Solar Fair was very interesting, but for me it was like wandering into an advanced lace-knitter's retreat when all you have ever done is garter stitch. My ignorance is so vast! I don't even know the language. (PVP means photo voltaic power. For about five minutes, I thought they were talking about plastic pipes.)And even though everyone was very kind and patient, I couldn't have bought a clue with a fifty dollar bill. We grabbed brochures from everyone there and made our escape to study up a bit more. Sorry folks. Maybe if you give us some specific questions for the next go-around . . .

Now, if you want to be vastly entertained, go to yesterday's comments and read Monica's suggestion for a new marketing ploy. I howled!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

up the wall

DH likes a bedroom that is quiet and quite dark. Our bedroom faces east and is on the side nearest the street. For several years we struggled with various curtains, none of which truely gave satisfaction. Then, at an estate sale, I saw this rug at a good price, just the right color for the bedroom. And, as I eyed it, just about the right size, too. I nailed it up on the wall over the window. Perfect. And it makes the room look wayyy cool, too!

And then our little amazon, Pepper, got into one of her wild fits when she was racing madly around the house, leaping furniture, assaulting bookshelves, and . . . climbing the walls. I'm just not fast enough to catch her on the way up, but when she reaches the ceiling, she pauses briefly to consider her dismount, and I was able to snap this shot. (Her legs are getting longer. One of these days she's going to be able to hurl herself onto the bed from ceiling height.I should have named her Xena. She's fearless!!)

And Ben, being the good littel copy cat, followed her example, but a little more circumspectly. He made it to the ceiling, then carefully lowered himself back down. Swear to God, these cats are better than Prozac.

Busy day today. We are going to a solar fair. It's all about power generation, not about celebrating the equinox. Tally ho!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday follies

First in our carabet of Friday notes is the mandatory kitty picture. I was going to call it a kitten shot - but Ben has morphed, somehow, almost overnight, into a lanky, gangling, skinny adolescent. He still sleeps like a baby, though. And may have been weaned too soon, as he has a habit of finding tender skin and kneading it with those little claws while systematically licking the entire surface and purring like small Harley. My neck, in the middle of the night, is his favorite target. I wake up to dermabrasion by the quarter inch while my external tracheal area is gently needle-massaged.

On a slightly fiber-related front, I have, for the first time in my life, had to file my nails because they interferred with my knitting. I have weak, thin nails and a tendency to bite and tear my cuticles. Then I found some wonderful nail buffers at JoAnn's. So, while sitting at the computer, I have been buffing, rather than biting my nails, and on the left hand (which gets less use) I now have four long, femine fingernails. On the right hand, all my nails are long enough to scratch with, which for me is quite an achievement. I have become a passionate fan of nail buffing!!
On another fiber-related front, I will have another picture of the Starry Night scarf on Tuesday, since I have permission to work on it while at the jail on Monday. I should make significant progress. And thanks to Margene, Donna and Lucia. Now I can sing the lyrics in my head rather than just listen to the inner music as I knit. "Starry, starry night, paint your palete blue and grey . . . "
I did one of those on-line quizzes this morning.
What Time Of Day Are You?

This quiz says that I am sunrise. It goes on to say that I enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. I enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary. I am a person of reflection and meditation. I start and end every day by looking inward. Caring and giving, I enjoy making people happy. I'm often cooking for friends or buying them gifts. All in all, I know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

That sounds so purty! Does anyone out there feel it doesn't apply to you too? Often these things are so generalized that they can apply to everyone! Why not take the quiz an let me know what time of day you are?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Some fiber-related stuff

Starry, starry night . . lah dee dah ,dee dah dee daaaahhhh . . . does anyone (Lucia?) know who did that song about Van Gogh? It keeps running through my head and I would love to be able to sing more than a few words.

With the aid of my able assistants, I have begun a modular scarf using the Starry Night colorway from ZenGarden's Artwalk Sock Club. It is lovely yarn to work with and though my photo skills don't do justice to the colors, they are more satisfying than I could have imagined!

I worked a few hours at the college yesterday and took my lunch out in the glorious September weather. And of course, I was knitting in public. There were many, many comments on how beautiful the colors in my kniting were! And when I told people that the colorway was inspired by the painting, it was delightful to watch the light of recognition go on in a few faces

The first skein's worth of the MIL cardigan in a lovely heathery milk-chocolate brown Encore. There will be four ribs running the length of each front and a 2/2 rib button band knit on afterwards. I'm knitting quite relaxed on 7's. Not sure what I'm going to do with the neckline yet. Maybe a vee. And drop shoulders. A nice fast knit.

My Cabin Cove pink worsted arrived yesterday as well! Oh joy! Ben is also enthralled.

(The big white paw at the lower left corner here is the toe of my slipper. Do real photographers ever get their toes into the picture?)

I think I will knit myself a Cabin Cove tweed jacket. YUM!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The summer always lingers through September, in Camelot!

Kitty bliss. Ben wants to grow up to be a pirate's parrot. He is practicing his perching.

These are the gilt-edged days, that start with early clouds, and warm to dry and sunny afternoons. These are new pencil and unused notebook days. These are days when you squeeze the last shreds of wear out of your old sandals, while you eye the shiny new boots in the stores. These are transition days, a time of passage. Kids are leaving their sweaters at school, or losing them on the bus. Gardeners are putting in bulbs, already planning for the glory of spring. And the sun is slanting more to the south, more to the south, ever further away from summer.

I am in my usual sweet autumnal melancholy. I don't want summer to go. And there's not a damn thing I can do about it. Screaming and crying and throwing myself on the floor just doesn't work. The seasons turn whether I want them to or not. But why are they turning faster lately? Wasn't it the fourth of July just a couple of weeks ago? I seem to have mislaid most of my summer somewhere. Perhaps it's under the petunias . . .

Fiber related news tomorrow. Artwalk sockyarn scarf has been started (Starry Night colorway) and I'm one skein along on the sweater for MIL.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I baa-ack!

On Saturday, we went to DH's company picnic. Before I met DH, my experience of a company picnic was when the boss bought a keg and a HoneyBaked ham, and invivted everyone to bring their families over to his place for a potluck. As you can see, DH's company does things rather more elaborately - but with some 3000 employees in the area, they really NEED a larger venue. Free rides for the kiddies, a DJ, free food, games, face painting, a petting zoo, - we were well ccomodated! The grilled burgers, hotdogs and chicken was quite tasty, the corn was delishious, the watermelons were extra sweet, and, because it was free, I even had an

elephant ear ! Yum! I figure, as much as I love them, and as bad as they are for me (deep fried dough with extra sugar and cinnamon?) that I have to ration myself. This was my annual elephant ear. And it was delicious!!

For Dave Daniel's AssWatch Wednesday, I got a couple of firm round ones.

Oh, would you rather see the blondes?

We aim to please.

On the way home, we stopped at Ikea, thinking that since the place has been open at least 6 weeks now, it should be a bit less crowded and we would have space to consider some storage units for His bathroom. Silly us. I have kicked over anthills that were less frantic. The place is a ZOO! We decided to wait for the catalog.

Monday was another longish GED-to-the-jail day. The prisoners were very polite, and everything went well. (I even got permission to bring my knitting, pointing out that they let me bring in pencils which are a lot more dangerous than circular knitting needles. ) So I got in the car and started my 34 mile drive back to the school. On the freeway, the car suddenly started wobbling, and I heard that whupwhupwhup sound that makes you feel sick to your stomach if you have EVER blown a tire before. Rather than pull over in the midst of rush hour traffic (and me without a cell phone - that tool of the devil) I stubbornly drove for two more miles to an exit and a gas station. (Remember when we called them service stations?) They wouldn't change my tire, but they did let me borrow the phone to call AAA. And as I was waiting, with my spare leaned against the back of the car, a kindly young man came by on his bicycle and offered to change it for me. Unfortunately, I have no tire wrench or I would have tried to change the sucker myself. Still, it's nice to know that there are still nice young men who will offer to help a grey-haired old lady.

I greeted the AAA guy with open arms and a big smile, praised and thanked him, admired his dexterity, and even hefted the shredded tire into the trunk while he was wrenching the nuts down too tight for human fingers to ever loosen. He changed my flat in about 4 minutes, and when I tried to give him a tip, he patted me on the shoulder, grinned, and said, "Fly. Be free!" So I was only an hour late getting home. I have carried AAA for three decades now and have NEVER regetted it.

Tuesday, 9/11, today, I spent some quiet time with the news, then pulled my socks up and got on with life. Among my many errands, I got to the DMV and they sold me replacement tags for my car as if they did it all the time. Guess I'm not the only one who forgets. So now I need to mail off a picture of the plate with the replacement tags, and we are good to go. That's on the list for tomorrow! Along with GED at Clackamas County Jail, writer's group, and a visit to the gym with DH.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

theme? I don't need no estinkin' theme to blog!

Ah, the widdle seepin' angels! The dear babies are holding paws. Don't they look like innocence incarnate? Well, while they're asleep, they ARE innocent! But when they wake up - - -

You remember "The Great Escape" where Steve McQueen was continually coming up with ever more innovative ideas for getting out of the prisoner of war camp? Well here is our little "Miss Steve McQueen." In the time it took me to walk down the driveway, put letters in the mailbox, pick up the paper and turn around, she had managed to pry open the door, and was successfully ripping the screen out of the screendoor. I ran, but she made it out and BOLTED away like a fleet-footed little shadow in the dark. Luckily, she ran up against a chain-link fence and hesitated just a minute before trying to squeeze through. It gave me time to grab her. I was so frantic that I wanted to smack her one! (The neighbors on that side have a cat-killing dog.) I even swung my hand to slap her head, but by the time my fingers reached her fur, it had decelerated to a gentle pat. But i DID stuff her into the cupboard with the pots and pans and left her complaining in there while the other kitties got treats. Oh, thank Ghu I don't have teenagers!! When the baby daughter says, "Oh Mom, Snake isn't a bad guy. EVERYONE in his gang carries a gun!" I have no idea what I would do. Become completely catatonic from conflicting desires no doubt. Should I call into that Swiss convent first or should I start by calling the police on Snake and holding him at gunpoint till the law arrives? I know that my five-month-old kitten is just as likely as the average fifteen-year-old girl to agree with me when I explain that the world is a dangerous place. All you mothers out there have my heartfelt sympathy. I may not HAVE a fifteen-year-old, but I WAS a fifteen-year-old. And a damn lucky one at that!! And if anyone wants their kid to talk to someone who has been there and done that, I'm available. Not that it will help. When you're fifteen, you know more than any adult who ever lived. Our only purpose in life is to deny them any fun or excitement. Oh, and to do laundry and cooking and provide some cash and clothes and i-pods and stuff. I wouldn't be a teen again for any ammount of money, glory or power.

And I read this morning that the average age for a model in the New York Fashion Week blitz is - get this - 17. The AVERAGE age! Designers are making clothes that look good on skinny teenagers. (Duh - when did you get THAT news flash, Roxie?) I used to BE a skinny teen. Thank Ghu that when I WAS a teen, models were in their twenties. I dodged a bullet on that one. Models are crazy! The work, of neccessity makes them nuts, even if they were sane to start with. Say a model applies for five jobs a week. Say she gets one job a week. So four out of five days a week, someone is telling her, "Sorry, you're not pretty enough." (They actually say, "We'll call if we can use you," but the message is the same.)When your whole life is based on being pretty, this can be devestating. And it's not any better if a model becomes successful. She is a success because of the most fleeting, ephemeral thing about her. And worse, her success is based on current popular tastes. And you think YOU feel insecure sometimes? No wonder they need drugs and therapy. Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be models!

Thanks, many thanks to everyone who caught me before I wheeled on over to the Canby fairgrounds, two weeks early for the Flock and Fiber Fest. It's a nice drive and all, but not one I really needed to make just for the fun of it. Instead, I'll see you all there on the 22nd! (Right?)

Friday, September 07, 2007

shipping scarlet scarves

Here are the two scarves for the red scarf project. Nice, basic, ordinary scarves, emminently suited to "hand wash." They went out today. When you shop at sales, sometimes the shipping costs more than the present. Since Australian customs hates my guts, I guess I'd better box and ship my gifts to Oz soon, too. Just because I sent half an alpaca fleece one year, they now quarantine anything I ship, be it books or canned salmon or commercially processed cotton yarn. So I know that whatever I ship will be at least 6 weeks late. At least. I love Oz and I love Ozzies, but their customs department sucks rocks!

Just a nice shot of flowers to brighten our days. It was clear and chilly this morning. Stars shivering in the wind. Then shortly after the sun rose, the clouds rolled in and squatted down upon us like a giant grey demented hen wanting to adopt eggs. Summer is on the wane. The equinox is two weeks away. Enjoy that sunshine and those flowers while you can!
(Not my flowers. Sigh. I have a black thumb. I can kill plastic ivy. I can even kill blackberries!)
I'm working on a brown Encore cardigan for MIL and plotting some simple pattern writing for the Art Walk sock club I'm in. And the things I WANT to knit are piling up deep and fast. So much to knit / weave / crochet / spin /embroider / write. So little time. And tomorrow, if I have my dates right, is the Oregon Fock and Fiber Fest. I must attend! (and shop, and meet other PDX bloggers, and laugh immoderately.) I will be the 6ft tall one in the big pink hat.
Thank Ghu I don't have a real job and several kids. I am so happily spoiled!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Is it Thursday already?

A three day weekend always throws me cock-a-hoop. I went out to get the paper at 5 this morning and saw that the neighbors had put out their recycling last night. Thank Ghu for that, because I have NO idea what day it is! Thursday is our garbage day, and if you don't have the recycling out by 8 AM, you get to keep it for another week. We already had three weeks worth stacked up, and the bins won't hold much more! So I got to do the the little dance with the front door and the two inside kittens, while hefting fourty pounds of newspapers and magazines in a bulky bin. A little cursing and stomping, a slippered foot thrust into a tiny furry face, an experienced twist of hip so that I can back out, thereby keeping an eye on the would-be exvaders, and I was safely outside. The bathrobe sleeve caught the door handle and pulled it firmly closed.

Oh, we all know that particular click that says you have locked yourself out, don't we?

Luckily, DH had not yet left, so I put the bin by the curb, walked around to the back door, and waited till I saw him walking through the kitchen, whereupon I rapped loudly on the door and called his name piteously. By the time he got to the back door, two kittens had beaten him to the threshold and were pressed eagerly against the portal, insisting on their right to egress. Having both hands free, he scooped them up, tucked both under one arm, and let me in with tender kisses. Blessings profound on that dexterous and competent man!

Dave Daniels of Cabin Cove Mercantile put a bunch of new stuff up for sale today. Wait till you see his sunrise cards! And the flower and fiber cards are worth framing. You'll adore them! He is also showing lots of his stunning handspun yarns, a bunch of his glorious hand-painted rovings, skeins and skeins of merino and nylon sock yarn in delicious colors, and two skeins of pink worsted weight wool. Hand painted pink worsted weight. Don't go looking for the worsted weight, though. It's mine now. (Picture of Roxie clutching the skeins to her bosom, rubbing her face against them while chortling and cooing, "Mine. Mine!")

I am boxing up two scarves to send to the Red Scarf Project. Knitters contribute hand knit scarves for kids who have outgrown the Children's Services Department, but have no family to care for and nurture them as they go thorough college. In February, the organization sends out Valentine care packages with red scarves and tokens of affection. I have written care instructions for my two wool scarves, and have included them here in case anyone would like to duplicate them.


Ok, the easiest way to do this is to take the scarf into the shower with you, get it soaking wet, wad it up into a ball and add a squirt of shampoo. Then squish and moosh the wad of scarf until it’s sudsy all the way through. Rinse it out well, and if you want it soft against your neck, give it a squirt of conditioner. Work it through and rinse it out. When you have dried yourself off, roll the scarf into your towel, throw it on the floor and dance on it a little. Unroll the towel, spread the damp scarf out somewhere flat (on top of the book case if it’s not too dusty, or across the foot of your bed) and when it’s dry, grab it in the middle and give it a good shake to fluff it up.

This scarf was made with good wishes in every stitch. May you find many blessings in your life. Stay warm.

And so I say to you, may you find many blessings in your life. Stay warm!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tuesday back in harness

Sundays, DH and I usually lounge in bed till noon, reading the paper, eating our breakfast, and snoozing as needed. Sunday afternoon is taken up with shopping, and the late afternoon is his time on the computer, so Sundays I rarely get blogging.

And this week, we treated Monday like a Sunday. Got up at 11:30 and went to see the latest Harry Potter movie. "Order of the Phoenix" Some nice special effects, and the actress cast as Dolores Uxbridge was perfect, but other than that, I preferred the book. I took a red scarf to knit in the dark. The theatre was full and the woman sitting next to me said, after the movie was over, "You never stopped knitting once! How can you do that?" "Decades of practice," I replied.

Another finished object from the visit to the Empress. Pink baby surprise.

And the elastic sock teresa asked me to knit. It's about 8 inches long just sitting there, but happily stretches to fit my size 10 foot. I think it may have an aura on the photo because it's intrinsically magic.

A transitional photo to take us from knitting to kittings. Pepper and Ben are arranging an indoor photo set-up to suit their own particular notions. They insisted on eating the rose.

The babies are posing for one of my favorite quotes. "Where am I going?

And why am I in this handbasket?"

Sunday, September 02, 2007

home again!

In my last post you may remember that I wrote about that sweet, mild-mannered little thunderstorm that blew through. Well, evidently he took offense, and went home to get his momma and her sisters to show us how it should be done. From early afternoon on Thursday until well after dark, we were pummelled by a series of full-grown, thouroughly professional thunderstorms. We lost power several times -once for over three hours. One storm blew in from the south, dumped half an inch of rain in fifteen minutes, moved on, then turned around and pissed on us again. Another storm brought pea-sized hail for ten minutes. The thunder was continuous and the lightning started a forest fire. The Empress and I had a cold dinner and went to bed without TV or lights. And the next morning, it looked like this.
Yes, that's the full moon up in the Friday morning sky. Everything looks so serene and benign. I chose not to take photos of the tattered garden. We have all see nasturtiums after a hailstorm, have we not? It's not a pretty sight. I would have posted, but the power continued coming and going, and the internet was down till almost three.
And there's another factor. You can tell how eager I am to go somewhere by how early I am packed and ready to leave. Friday was the day that Brother and SIL were coming home. I had the car loaded by 6 AM, keeping out only my knitting and a single book on tape. (Georgette Heyer's "The Unfinished Clue.") And so I waited, ready to head for home just as soon as they arrived.
And I waited. And I waited. I got a heck of a lot of knitting done on a pink baby surprise jacket. At 3 I called DH (He gets off work at 2:30 and is usually home by 3) and told him that I still had not heard from Brother and SIL. DH strongly advised me to wait untill the next day to drive home, rather than face the madness of frantic campers, desperate to make the most of the last long weekend of the summer, fleeing the city and swarming like starlings to infest the great outdoors. Oh, I knew he had a good point, but I missed him so MUCH! So I said OK, but did not unpack the car.
At 5 brother called and told me they were about two hours from home and that the traffic was composed entirely of cops and assholes. His description of things was accurate, but his prediction was not. They finally got home at 9 PM. I had, by then, dragged my overnight kit out of the car and gone to bed, whining and grumbling.
Then I woke at 4:30, dressed, and without even a cup of tea or a bite of bread, hit the road. Traffic was quite light. Sunrise caught me as I was crossing the flats on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. My tape ran out, so I tried the radio. All I could pick up was the Rez Radio with the Talking Drum Show: Drumming and chanting by a variety of different performers, all sounding, to my untutored ears, quite mournful. And then the announcer,overflowing with cheer and enthusiasm said, "Boy, won't THAT get you going in the morning!?" LOL
I was snuggling my DH before he even got out of bed at 8 AM.
And afterwards, we went out for breakfast, then we went to the State Fair. I love going through the fair. We walked around and looked at EVERYTHING! We saw the quilts and the pickles and the knitting and the woodworking, the pigs and ponies and emus and llamas, the "Eco House" and the reptile museum, the Artisans Village and the vendor's booths where you can buy a chopper in a hopper, or a solvent that will clean off road tar, or mink oil hand lotion that makes your skin soft as rose petals but smells, unfortunately, like minks. Or no-stick frypans or a lambswool duster with a 9 ft extendable handle. Or an oyster that is guaranteed to hold a pearl. DH and I bought 4 oysters. Time to get out my drill and stringing kit, and add to my ecentric necklace.

Again we have kitty pictures! Ben is helping me with this sock. A while back, Teresa gave me a sample of this wonderful elastic yarn she is carrying and asked me to knit a sample. I kept putting it off till I forgot about it, so now I am hammering down on a sample sock for the next sales trip she is making. Now that I'm actually working with the yarn, I just love it! OK, it has that boucle snaggy effect, but once you get over that, it's really cool! And her dye work is marvelous.

Sunday sky brings us sunrise in the broadleaf maples across the street, and time, at last to check the e-mail and hit the blogs!