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.”

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

blogger is back

For two days I have been unable to get pictures onto blogger. The broadcasting people have been dancing around on top of the water tower two blocks away, and today I saw a selection of dishes on the top of the tower. Now, like magic, here we go. Words and photos and everything!

First is the yarn I bought at the guilds' show. Bamboo and tencel, one skein of purple/blue/green. and one skein of orange/ochre/olive. These are lovely drapey yarns and would make a splendid summer scarf. They would be magnificent prizes if only only I could come up with a contest. Any suggestions?

Next is a photo left over from the Harlot's visit, but too good not to share. This PDX blogger told me, "They call me 'Yarn ho.'" She is trying to smuggle roving under her sweater. As you can see, she has been found out. Does this sort of madness happen at other knit gatherings in other locations? Oh, surely it must! Portland can't be the only place with knitters who stuff their bosoms, flash the camera, and bring naughty pastries to the Harlot.

This frisky knitter, Kerin by name, also knitted her sweater without a pattern. Yeah, she's crazy good!

For those of you still stuck in freezing temperatures, or thrust suddenly into the 90s, or blasted by tornadoes, here is a photo of still emerald bliss. The woods hyacinths, (also known as scylla) are blooming in all their wanton beauty. These are weeds. and I welcome them.

The pear tree and apple tree have bloomed, and now every breeze scatters a snowstorm of white petals into the grass. There is something so evocative about the picture - must be a poem there somewhere.

And lastly, since it is already AWWednesday in Australia, here is my entry for the day. With all the baggy-butt shorts around here, there is very little opportunity for a cheeky photo. I Kinneared this one.

The raggedy look is also showing some resurgence. I spent all of one GED test today with the pink panther peeking at me through a hole in the side of a young man's jeans. Does he have pink panther underoos? Was it a patch artfully applied to the inside? Does his mommy buy his boxers? Questions you can NOT ask!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm on the Harlot's blog!

Squeee! I have been photographed by greatness! The Lizzard Queen is on the Harlot's Portland report.

Yesterday was an artist/crafter lollapalooza in Portland. Five guilds took over the convention center to showcase their wares and talents. Fine woodworking in one room, Jewelry and fine metalworking in another, beads in a third, pottery in a fourth, glass in a fifth, and the Handweaver's guild took a sixth room. I would have a glory of photos, but they forbade cameras. Crap, crap,crap!

The woodworkers love to tell you how they did it, and if you ask what kind of wood it is, the guy will tell you how to select the right tree, harvest it, cure the wood, and while you stand there needing to go pee, he will then proceed to tell you how he milled and built the table. Woodworkers are volubly smitten with their craft.

Potters seem, by and large, more solitary souls who would rather be home making mud pies on a grand scale, but have to sell things to be able to afford the power for the kiln. I am constantly astounded at the variety of inspirations for the potter's craft. Things are clunky to delicate, practical as a dishwasher/ microwave safe bowl, to as purely decorative as an 8 foot tall stack of clay boxes to go in the garden. Things go from clay color to ethereal pastels to jewel tone glazes. Matt and shiney and metalic finishes. Work that depends on the shape of the vessel for interest, work that is embellished all to hell, and even some really interesting paintings on flat clay slabs. Pottery is an arcane and magical thing to me.

I was not so taken with the beads and the glass things. It's probably a factor of my ignorance, but it seems that if you've seen one slumped glass plate, you have pretty much seeen them all.

Then we got to the weavers, and I was sucked in and swallowed whole. I came out with two skeins of bamboo/tencel painted yarn, and a plan to knit more samples for my friend the dyer in exchange for more yarn.

By the time I got to the jewelry, I was pretty much into sensory overload. Just as well. A lot of peole were showing pearls. I am SUCH a sucker for pearls! I would drift to a stop in front of some lovely necklace or pair of earrings, and sort of hang there like a goldfish in front of the aquarium glass with no conscious thought going on whatsoever. If the jewler came over and asked to help me I would come to myself, smile, say, "No thank you," and drift further down the aisle. The rooms were filling up by then, and I was becoming an impediment to traffic, so it obviously was time to go. My head is so full of ideas!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The pond behind the library

The pond behind the library is a very romantic place. It's quiet and sheltered and shaded.

And there's this lovely, lovely home to lead one's thoughts to nesting and domesticity. (The home is now a lawyer's offices, but still, it looks so cottage-y and charming!

The pond is a wildlife refuge. Here we have an example of equal opportunity housing at work, with a wood duck and squirrel sharing a tree.

I wish I could have gotten a better shot of the goslings, but the parents were wisely keeping the kids on the private side of the pond. Five fluffy yellow goslings in this family. Seven in another.

The sun is out, the temperatures are climbing clear into the 60s, and tomorrow is a weekend. Wahoo! The Handweaver's Guild is having a show this weekend at the convention center downtown, as are the potters, the metalworkers, the fine woodworkers, the beaders and oh, heaven help my leaky memory - one other guild. DH may be bored silly, but he will take me and let me roam free. Oh my GOSH I am spoiled and indulged! Photos to come.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finished the movie shawl

I used up every bit of the yarn from Yarnia in my movie shawl. When you crochet a border, you can use the last screaming inch, and no one can tell. The striations in the mohair show up in this photo. What doesn't show is the sparkle of the mylar thread. Pink mylar. Honest to gosh, if someone wanted to trap me, all that have to use for bait is pink sequins. "Oooooo! Shiiiiiny!" I planned this shawl to go in the International Medical Teams box, but gee, it's pink - and purple - and shiny - and fuzzy - and warm. . . and some poor woman in some disaster zone will get a lot more use out of it than I will. Into the box it goes.
I am so freaking noble it makes me sick.
So going to see the Harlot meant I missed three hours of sleep. I spent the next day grabbing catnaps when and where-ever I could between work and my writer's group. Ten minutes in the car. Too cold. Twenty minutes under a table in a conference room. Then someone needed the room. I startled the heck out of them! Then a good fourty minute spell curled up in two chairs in the library until someone woke me because I was snoring. I felt like such a slacker but I was just beat! I headed for bed an hour early last night, got out of my bath and came into the livingroom to kiss DH goodnight, and he had fallen asleep on the sofa in front of the TV. He NEVER does that! I think there was just an accucte case of napatism in our household. And we will be staying up at least one hour late tonight to watch Survivor. Thank goodness I have Friday off!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hail to the Harlot!

When fully assembeled, we were over 400 strong. For a book signing by a woman who writes ABOUT knitting. She doesn't write knitting patterns. She doesn't write knitting instructions or knitting histories. She writes ABOUT knitting.

And over four hundred happy knitters showed up to hear her talk about it.

Four hundred!

Inexplicable knitterly behavior happened all over the city, and the benign craziness of it all has surely tipped the cosmic karmic balance in a cheerful direction. Blue Moon Yarns, who brought Stephanie to Portland for this go around, sponsored a traveling sock photographic scavenger hunt. YOu could run around the city with your own traveling sock and introduce it to the sights.

YOu got one point for introducing the sock to the office photo-copier, and two points for getting your boss to hold the sock. Three points for this photo. (Thanks, Tara!!)
You got 2 points for getting a total stranger to hold your sock, and two points for photographing your sock with a local published author. This young man works on the campus newspaper right next door to the testing center. I burst in, said, "May I take a picture of you holding my sock?" and thrust it into his hands. He was bemused, but willing, and when I explained it all, he and his cronies were charmed. four points for this photo.
One point for taking your sock to McMenimins (a local cahin of brew-pubs. Two points if you can get an employee to serve a pint while holding the sock.

Two points for getting an employee at the Made In Oregon store to hold your sock. She looks quite dubious, doesn't she? I was her first sockateer, but she had just started her shift when I got there.

One point for showing your sock a local park. In all, I garnered 16 points, but I didn't break my butt over it. I know there are obsessive/compulsive knitters out there who would fall on this challenge like the Assyrians on the Midionites. The grand prize winner had over 60 points. She had written out a three page schedule for herself and got up at five in the morning to start her quest. She had a map of the city that was falling apart by the time she was finished. She would have made a clean sweep of all the items, but she had to stop to pick up her son from school, and it threw her off her stride. But if you ever want to get to know the fiberous side of Portland, just find the Blue Moon Yarn's scavenger hunt list and check out all the sites.

LG met me at 5:30 and we found good seats. The entertainment started at 7:30 precisely, but the intervening two hours just flew! We already knew we were friends with all the people around us, so talking to complete strangers was a piece of cake. We wound up sitting behind the PDX Knitbloggers and oh, my the hilarity! I proclaimed my status as a local author, and many people brought their socks to be photographed with me. Many other people just wanted pictures of my Lizzard Queen hat. (Even Stephanie took a picture of the hat.)

Everyone had examples of stunning, clever, beautiful, and earnest work. This lady hated having just a little bit of sock yarn left over, so she knitted little socks and made a necklace.

And this is Bob. He showed up wearing a sweater that he knit for his father, and practically got a standing ovation. It's a gorgeous sweater! But the whoops and hoorahs and the women waving $20 bills at him as he did his little walk on the catwalk . . . well, it was just a stitch! The seat next to me was empty and he took it, claiming to be embarassed, but actually tickled pink. Since this is Wednesday, I just had to give you the AWW shot.

Bob hadn't brought his knitting in with him, and after sitting for five minutes, surrounded by busily flickering needles, he jumped up, said, "Will you watch my pack?" and darted out. He returned, having run through the rain to his car to grab his emergency knitting. During the course of her talk, Stephanie quoted a study about how simple repetetive movements helped people deal with trauma, but that it was "not practical to expect people to carry emergency knitting." Bob laughed so hard he nearly wet his pants.

Stephanie's talk was fascinating: hilarious, of course, thought-provoking and utterly delightful. LG was, untill last night, a Harlot virgin. Now, she is a firmly entrenched member of the cult.

One of the PDX bloggers stood up afterwards, and belted out a song to the tune of the BeachBoy's "Little Deuce Coupe." titled, "It's my travelin' sock - (you don't know what I got...) She totally rocked!

And the Ladies of Blue Moon Yarns presented Stephanie with a special doughnut from VooDoo Donuts. It was the "cocknball" donut. Sort of like a maplebar, only shaped like a penis and testicles. Chocolate covered. Cream filled. I have GOT to get to VooDoo donuts one of these days!!

I stayed to get a signature on my copy of the book. That's when I got my photo taken. And I rubbed Stephanie's shoulders. Bless her dear heart, she is stretched soo thin you can almost see through her. I hope she gets a chance to sleep soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gopher war

They're back. It's the squirrel underground, damnit! Rodents united. The fuzzy-tailed rats have called in the foot-soldiers. They're probably ready to put the arm on us for the vigorish on the tulip loans. Am I babbling? Probably. When it comes to gophers, it's a battle of wits and I feel distinctly undergunned.
We used to have virtually no problem with gophers. My dear old red cat, Bertie Wooster took care of it. He wasn't a killer, though. He was more efficient. He would dig down to the tunnel and take a poop in it. And the gophers would leave the neighborhood. I miss that cat.
Tomorrow, the Yarn Harlot signs books in Portland. Woot!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I don't remember planting tulips

Does this look like a tulip to you? It sure looks like a tulip to me. And there are more of them scattered around our yard. Do you suppose there's a phantom gardener running around the neighborhood, secretely planting tulips in tulip-deficient gardens? Or perhaps there's a gang of tulip pushers. Your first tulips are free. Everyone's doing them. You can quit any time that you want. Then, when you get hooked, the dutch mafia will charge you $2000 for a Rembrant psychedelic bulb. And you'll be addicted, helpless to resist. You'll hang around florist shops, just jonesing for a hit of varrigated parrots.

They are kinda pretty, aren't they?

Yesterday, DH took me to the movies. I have to confess to a fondness for (she hangs her head in shame) martial arts movies. Especialy the historical fantasy ones. Guys in soaring across the tree-tops and knocking one another through stone walls. Delicate long-haired beauties who can throw a hairpin through a tree, and know seven ways to kill you with a fan, swirling through the sub-plots in rich, gorgeous costumes. Exotic scenery and splendidly choreographed fight scenes. The hero gets the crap beat out of him by eleventeen thugs, then does a back-flip out of the second-story of the palace, lands on the back of his horse, and rides laughing away with the scroll of mystic wisdom. The villian flares his nostrils and swears eternal vengence, then kills all his nearby minions in a fit of pique. YOU know the type of movie I mean. So DH, who loves me far more than I think I deserve, took me to see Forbidden Kingdom with Jet Li and Jackie Chan. I had SUCH fun! It was such a good movie that DH even enjoyed himself. There's a wonderful scene where Jackie Chan and Jet Li are fighting one another using different styles. Tiger style versus Praying Mantis style. Kung Fu versus Aikido. My ignorance is too vast to identify other techniques, but they were beautifully demonstrated. And, like any Jackie Chan movie, there was a lot of humor, even some slapstick. You just might enjoy this one.
Willow asked how to get copies my books. You can go to your local bookstore and ask them to order the books for you, or you can go to and order them yourself. Ask for Sanna, Sorceress Apprentice and, Sanna and the Dragons. And in a few months, you can also ask for Sanna Meets Dauntless Swiftsure. The author these three delightful novels is Roxanna Matthews. There's lots of knitting, spinning, action and humor in all of them.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lizzard Queen

The pollen count is shooting higher every day. The maples across the street are in bloom, and looks so bright and pretty against the dark cedars. All the fruit trees are blossoming, too. I believe that's an apple tree in the background. We have a cold snap predicted tonight. The orchardists are seriously worried. I threw a bedsheet over the new tomato plants. We can but hope.

And here she is, The Lizzard Queen! Pink and sparkly and decked with pearls and flowers (all fake) See you at the Harlot's book-signing on Tuesday!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You are my sunshine

If I can at all, I like to start the day with tea and oatmeal for breakfast, and an hour or so checking in on my favorite blogs. This gives me SUCH a good start to the day. It's like getting fistful of lovenotes, or a bunch of forget-me-nots, or a handful of heart candy. I feel such delightful connection via the internet. (Oh, dear. We have a friend who, when he's had too much to drink gets to the, "I really love you guys," stage. I haven't had a thing - I swear!) I just want to thank you for letting me into your lives.

So I get this AND some sunshine today. I swear, I was made with solar batteries. It gets dark, I tip right over. The sun comes up, I am ready to go! Maybe if I lived in LA or someplace with perpetual summer I would get blase. "Another sunny day? How boring." But sunshine is like polite teenagers around here. You know of their existence, but you are always thrilled to encounter some.

So, I am at work, manning the desk while boss one and boss two are at a conference of some kind. That's a lot like leaving the clown to run the circus. It's a nice slow day, and I have done everything I can think of short of finding some q-tips and cleaning keyboards, so I feel justified in blogging a bit.

I have started a tube sock in some very fun elasticized amber-colored boucle yarn. Good mindless sock-knit for photos for the Yarn-Harlot scavenger hunt. I am planning to drag several copies of my books to the Harlot's book-signing, so that people have one last opportunity to get a picture of their sock with a published author. And maybe, I can sell a book or two. Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A gray day in April

The magnolias are on the downward side by now. A couple days of rain, and they are beginning to look like a convention of college homecoming queens from 1988. Overblown perhaps?

I have been doing some spinning of the mallard-blue rovings. It's not soft enough for innerwear. but maybe a felted bag? Or two? The colors are beautiful.

And the lizard queen hat progresses. The yarn was a gift from Amy Lane. The beads are estate sale treasures. And the sparkly yarn is something that just jumped into my arms during a stroll through the lys. It was pink. It was shiney. I was helpless to resist.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

yesterday, there was sun

I picked a bouquet of daffodills and the afternoon sun came in through the dining room windows to make them shine in glory. Just a little eye candy.

That was yesterday. This morning, I watched the clouds ease in. Whisps of feathery cirrus that just kept piling up untill the sky is a high flat white. But it was still warm. (Over 50 seems warm to us.) So DH and I went for a drive in the country. What a treat! Hillsides covered with dark evergreens are decorated in splotches with the bright yellow-green of new leaves in the alder thickets. We were taking winding country roads, and occasionally we would round a corner and see some old homestead, now abandoned, with a cherry tree gone ferral in the front yard, unpruned and towering like lost but enthusiastic cloud.

Then we passed a field where lambs were at play, and I turned into a babbling, cooing idiot. "Lambies! Baby lambies! Oh look, sweetheart! Little baby lambies! Oh, let's stop!"

"Not unless you bring my wife back," he said.

We were on a twisty country road with an impatient young man in a pickup behind us, ( and driving close enough to read the map over my shoulder if he were sufficiently literate )and even in my cutness-stricken state, I could see that there was no way in hell that young Bubba behind us would understand me wanting to jump out and take pictures of the little baby lambies. As any cattle rancher will tell you, "They're nothin' but pasture maggots!"

So, in lieu of adorable photos of little baby lambies cavorting in the spring meadow, I give you a picture of the hat I am going to wear to the Harlot's talk. It's in progress of course. It will be a work of art and is titled, "I am the lizzard Queen!"

Amy, as far as I know, Blue Moon does not have a retail outlet, but if they have a sock-monkey pattern available at the talk, I will get it for you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Such a splendid Saturday!

Let's start out with a shot of Saturday sky. See the cerrulean, cloudless blue? Limpid, lucent, lapis lazuli laid seamlessly on the vault overhead. The sort of sky we have not seen for months. And are not likely to see again for months to come. The temperature is over 70 for the first time since early October, and the song of the lawnmower is heard in the land.

So here is a place-setting, waiting and ready for a guest. DH bought the kitty cat cream and sugar set for me decades ago when we were courting. I love it!

The grapes are good right now, and I found some strawberries, not as good as the local Hood strawberries, but not the nasty styrofoam things that are strip mined in Texas all winter long. They taste like strawberries and even have a little juice in them. Oh Yum!

So we had grapes, and strawberries on angel food cake, and shortbread cookies, and TW brought a batch of her world-class biscotti. For savories, I got a package of frozen quichelettes, and a package of mushroom appetisers. What a feast. What laughter. What wonderful conversation and communion. I just have so much fun with these parties!

Friday, April 11, 2008

He heavels quite deeply and eases to sleep

It was warm enough to go outside without a coat today, so I took old 3-legged Jack outside for a sniff around. Oh dear goodness he loved it! I sat in the grass and kept an eye on him while he hobbled from bush to bush, whiffing the cat news, chewing the odd strand of grass, selecting just the right spot, raising high his plume of a tail, and "tagging" the side of the house. Then he found a good spot in the shade where he could feel sheltered, but still see around himself, settled and settled, sniffed and blinked, then, as a friend wrote in some poetry, "He heavels quite deeply and eases to sleep."

Today has been way fun. My knitting friends will be arriving tomorrow so I have been setting table and arranging flowers and dressing the ouse. I do love doing this stuff!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

there has been some fibering going on.

A little heavy cotton vest, knitted up quickly and so easy to wear. Quite warm, too. I'm thinking I might make pockets of some sort, though I've used up all of the yarn, here.

And there has also been a bit of spinning going on. I'm not too happy with the roving, though. The color is peacockalicious, but the wool is rough and neppy. I'm going to give it a rinse with hair-conditioner when I've plied it. And then, maybe a cable sweater.
But right now, I am working on a hat to wear to the Harlot's reading on the 22nd. It will have sparkles, and perhaps even beads.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

spring is here

The campus is such a lovely place in the spring. flowering crabapples (I think) pretend to be static snowstorms.

The little frog-pond has thawed, and the bushes are budding out.

Oregon grape is blooming to welcome the high-school kids who are visiting the campus on get-acquainted tours.
The birches aren't leafing out yet, but don't they looks luscious with the green, green moss on their limbs?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Boys stink

Boys stink! No, I mean really! Teenage boys have a particular potent musk that makes tomcat urine seem mild by comparison. Quelle fungo! I don't know if it's just the stirring hormones of spring that are prompting this burst of pheremones, or if the warming temperatures mean fewer layers to trap the stench, but today, it was really hard to sit in the room with my GED tests. Those guys made my eyes water. It was the sort of perfume that hangs in the air minutes after the pomander has left. Note to self: Bring in the Orange Mate and hose down anyone with an incipient beard.

Getting out into the fresh air at the end of my shift was made even more pleasurable by a sweet, light, kiss-your-face rain. And I made it to the car before it changed to a cow-pissing-on-a-flat-rock rain, so I was a winner all around. The temperatures are over 45 at mid-day, the cottonwood trees are leafing out in that wonderful shade of bronze that lasts only a week or so, the air is full of wild green scents, and I just want to dance in the glorious springtime!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Magnolias in the rain

The magnolias are opening in all their lush, feminine, glory. Right now they remind me a bit of aging Playboy Bunnies.

Still magnificent, but showing some signs of living too wild and partying too heartily. The frost has nipped the tips of some petals. The hailstorm, though thrilling, has left them a bit battered, and the translucence of their glory is muted in the cold grey light of a rainy dawn.

But still, you wouldn't kick them out of bed.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A few more flowers

After the standard daffodils bloom, the varietals begin to flash their exotic glories. It astounds me how many changes can be rung on the same theme. Trumpet and surrounding petals. Ienjoy these ruffled petticoat sorts a lot. Wouldn't this make a splendid summer skirt?

I'm not much for tulips since they don't have fragrance, and they don't last long when you cut them and bring them into the house. But the squirrels have decided that my garden needed a tulip somewhere, and here it is.

And here is a periwinkle blossom, also known as vinca, also known, quite charmingly, as love-over-the-ground. It's a color that looks particularly good on me. Always makes my grey eyes blue.

I spent half an evening looking for some specific yarn for a project I had in mind, and couldn't find it. DH has decided that it's timme to organize our lives. This is a long-term plan. We both like to think about things for a while. Then the day will come when he will say, "Let's go get those wire cubes at Costco," and the whole house will go base over apex for the weekend while we re-organize and clean under the furniture that is being moved. After that, two or three months when we don't know where the hell things are, and then, the dust will begin to accumulate again. I'm rather looking forward to it. I have lost two sweaters and at least one batch of yarn into the black hole of chaos this winter, and who knows what else we might make it cough up of we get serious. Or even if we get decidedly frivolous with it. Could we tickle the black hole of chaos till it coughs out my sweaters and eleventeen mis-matched socks?

So, not being able to find the hand-dyed silk and merino that I was searching for, I started a quick cotton shruglet using multi-plied weaving yarn, and my beloved garter stitch. I really ought to try something a bit more taxing one of these days to make sure I still CAN knit to a pattern. One of these days.