Monday, October 20, 2008

If You Were Any Closer The Wool Would Bite You

*Note: This may only be funny if you have been to a large fiber festival, the kind where you are overwhelmed by the number of vendors and the amount of roving and yarn and all that goes with it. The kind where you are virtually surrounded by wool.

The Scene: NY Sheep & Wool Festival. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. There are crowds everywhere, with people carrying large shopping bags. I have just purchased lunch and am making my way to a picnic table with friends. A woman comes up and points at the clear plastic bag of yarn that I am carrying.

Woman: (pointing to yarn) Excuse me, could you tell me where you bought that?
Me: Sure--it's from Brooks Farms.
Woman: (confused) No--I mean where did you find it? Where is the wool?
Me: (blinks)
Me: (blinks)
Woman: That is wool, right?
Me: (blinks)
Me: (confused) ummm...yes?
Woman: You see, I'm walking around and all I see is food vendors and some other exhibits, so I was wondering if you could tell me where to find the yarn.
Me: could go in that building right there? Or maybe go up that hill? There are some vendor barns there as well.
Woman: Okay, thanks!
Me: (blinks)

Rhinebeck was awesome.

My Eris sweater is finished.

My life has been crazy.

Back soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Just a few more lines rows

A few days ago I sat down at the dining room table to knit a couple of rows on a sock. It was about 5:30 p.m., so knitting wasn't really what I should have been doing; dinner was not prepared and the kids were squabbling and the house was a mess, but well, there you have it.

DH came in from work a few minutes later and was surprised to find me sitting and knitting at that time of day. "I just needed to do a couple of rows," I told him. "It's been that kind of a day."

There was a long pause, and then he asked, "Is that similar to doing a few lines?"

"A little healthier," I told him, "but almost as addictive."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Best Birthday Gift

It's a bird box...

A plane...

Or maybe it's my grandmother's sewing cabinet, lovingly repaired by my husband as my birthday gift.

This was never a piece of fine furniture; it was simply the utilitarian box that my grandmother Mabel lugged around with all of her thread and notions. But oh, does it bring back such lovely memories for me. Grammie's sewing machine was frequently out on our kitchen table, in the middle of everything, surrounded by piles of fabric and elastic as she worked on mending and other tasks. You had to be careful not to step on any of the straight pins that always ended up on the floor. The whirring of the motor was an ever present, but not unpleasant, background noise while we talked, played, read books, or watched TV in the adjoining living room. Grammie could mend anything, and would practically pull an article of clothing off your body if she saw a rip or a frayed seam. (It greatly upset her on those occasions when we explained that we actually wanted those holes in our jeans.)

My grandmother lived into her nineties, and continued sewing almost until the end of her days. She passed away in 1997, a few months before I was married. At that point the sewing cabinet landed in my mother's basement, much the worse for wear. One of the top covers was completely missing, and the other was broken in half. Other pieces were cracked and wobbly and dirty. A few years later it landed in my basement, and it gathered dust--lots and lots of dust!--while DH honed his woodworking skills and tackled other projects. Then, a few months ago he pulled it out and made new tops for it, including these perfectly shaped handles.

He also had to do some creative repairs on the side edges, involving much measuring, cutting, gluing, and sanding.
See that little piece he had to fit in there? You can't see the bottom of it, but it had to be cut at an interesting angle in order to fit properly.

He then stained the tops to match the rest of the cabinet, touched up a few other spots, and took everything apart to clean and wax it. He is a meticulous man, and he spent many many hours making it as perfect as possible.

It looks fabulous, and it will be the perfect addition to be soon someday-to-be-finished craft room. I can't wait to fill it with my thread and buttons and gadgets.

And I look forward to passing it on to my grandchildren some day.

Am I lucky, or what?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Three Things on A Tuesday

The good news is that instead of "celebrating" my birthday at work today, I am at home.

The bad news is that I am at home because my youngest threw up in the car on the way to school.

Thankfully, she is not terribly ill and she is managing to create My Little Pony and Princess Barbie vignettes throughout the house without problem. Which means that I was able to find a few minutes to take and upload pictures.

1. Handspun
I have been working on this skein forever, as I haven't had much time to sit at my wheel. But I am happy with the end result. It is not the most perfect skein, but for once I did not underply to the extreme.

The fiber is "Real Vermonter" roving from A Piece of Vermont (Hi Jessie!). It is 60% Romney/Corriedale, 30% mohair, and 10% Alpaca. I fell in love with the colors and bought it on a whim, and I was not disappointed! It is not the softest yarn, and I may have spun it a bit too tightly, but I think it will work for a light scarf.

2. Coriolis II
Even after my struggles with my first pair of Cat Bordhi's "Coriolis" socks, I cast on for a second pair. It's all about the challenge. My first attempt at the heel was a failure, but I'm now on the second try and I'm optimistic. I made some changes to the pattern that I will eventually detail on Ravelry.

The yarn is Araucania Ranco Multi, and I am absolutely loving it. I also love Bordhi's whirlpool toe design. Easy peasy, looks nice, no pointiness.

3. Hope springs eternal, especially when it's time to plant the tiny garden. This year we hope for peas, mixed salad greens, purple carrots, cilantro, basil, morning glories, and sunflowers. The tomato plants will go in a different garden bed.

Coming soon: pictures of a fabulous birthday present!