Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm Throughly Sick of Snow


Yesterday we visited the Como Conservatory and Zoo (by the way, any readers in the Twin Cities, the Coservatory is maybe the best single place to go in the depths of Minnesota winter for flowers and greenery and warmth. It's free (with a suggested $2 donation). We saw these gorgeous lilies and visited the many animals at the zoo. I know I keep posting zoo photos, but although I always feel guilty in my enjoyment, I love seeing the animals up close. So I'll restrain myself to one shot of the twin polar bears, and this big silverback gorilla....

It was beautiful and sunny, and we wanted to enjoy the outdoors before today's weather. Because given that it's the last day of March, Minnesota has chosen to reward us with more snow:
And not just snow...wet heavy snow that the forcasters here call "Heart Attack Snow." The reason being, it weighs about a ton, and people have heart attacks trying to shovel the stuff.

Here's the finished fiber I was working on in my last post: That's about 250 yards of 2-ply Blue Faced Leicester dyed by Fleece Artist and bought at the Stychen Time Quilt and Yarn Store in Jasper National Park in Canada this summer. And displayed in today's snow...

On Saturday I went out to Detta's Spindle, where I bought my beloved wheel. I rented a drum carder from her to process some of the mountain of alpaca fiber I got from my Dad.
Which means I now have this:
There's PLENTY more too....

Also we went to Ikea to get a shelf. As you know from your visit, our kitchen is quite challenged in terms of space and storage. This helps quite a bit.

I'm off to stare at the snow...but it is supposed to be 55 by the end of the week. Gotta love MN in the spring.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spinning, not Knitting.

I'm way behind on the ABC along. I'll be catching up in the next week or so, but for now, there is spinning progress.

Ever since I was freed from the crazy work hours, I've been wanting to spin. And more, I wanted to spin something kind of special and different. So I pulled out some sliver I bought at the yarn store in Jasper this summer. It's from Fleece Artist, and I think the color is Polar Sea. I split the fiber in half lengthwise, and spun it onto two bobbins over the past few days:

Bobbin 1:

Bobbin 2:
I'm hoping for sock yarn, but it may be a bit too fine and end up as laceweight. But I love it.

So far the best thing about this week? I get to go to Knit Night tomorrow after missing it for weeks because of work. I can't wait!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Kathleen!

Woohoo! And a happy birthday to you! I hope you enjoyed your sojourn to New Orleans (and yarn buying!)

Were I there, I'd bake you a cake, but virtual flowers it will have to be in this case. Tulips (which I'd love to see right now...we got more snow this weekend.)

Enjoy your birthday!


Hey Flan,

We have returned from our weekend celebration in "Nawlins" or New Orleans LA and oh what a time we had. I even found yarn.

The one thing everyone tells you when you announce you're going to New Orleans is that you must go to Cafe du Monde for beignets and coffee. Ever one to follow directions, here's a photo of mine:

The hotel where we stayed was pretty unremarkable, so no link for them. However, we had dinner at a fabulous creole restaurant.

The following morning we enjoyed a jazz brunch buffet. There was an abundance of local cuisine and a 3 piece jazz ensemble to serenade.
Fortified, we hit the French Quarter for some shopping.

There was the MOST fabulous pen shop with a French proprieter who makes his own inks.

There was a delightful store split into two halves, one for lingerie and one for clothing and accessories.

We had lunch- well, everyone else had lunch and I went yarn shopping- outside Jackson Square.

I found some Malbrigo worsted weight and it's the softest yarn EVER. So in love. Sadly, the store has no website. They're The Quarter Stitch and have needlepoint and yarn. Also, they wrap your purchase like a present, with colored tissue paper and then a clear bag and then colored ribbons. It was so pretty.

We went to THREE used bookstores. Apparently, there's a law in New Orleans that used bookstores must play Opera really really loudly. I was not aware of the fact that I absolutely detest opera, but now that it's been played very very loudly and gave me several headaches I am no longer in favor of it.

A bit shopped out we decided to go to the Aquarium. Ironically, they had lots of birds.

Ready for some food, we went to a bar and enjoyed some $1 daquiris. The "to go cup" is very popular and I admit I ordered another at the end of the meal so I could walk around outside with it. On the whole, I think I was a little underwhelmed with the novelty, but the daquiri was quite nice.

Now we are home and recovering from walking miles and miles. I hope you had a nice weekend.

Also, Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it.

Friday, March 21, 2008


This is the most recent photo of the two of us. You're really tall and my self-photographing skills leave a wee bit to be desired.

I hope you have a splendiforous and relaxing birthday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Free at Last!

Committee is over! And there are flowers to celebrate (more tulips from Mike).
Just how long is committee? This long:
I finished the body (all in one piece), and got more than halfway done with a sleeve:
The color is off in that last shot, I forgot to take pictures when the sun was out today, so I'm using iPhoto to compensate.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Hey Flan,
I hope the meetings are satisfactorily finished and everything went well.
Last weekend was the Library's annual book sale. Last year I found an out of print knitting book for $0.50 and this year I was hoping for similar success.
First, there were cookbooks:

Then there were knitting books:

The Hubby insisted on showing up to the preview sale and being early to that so we were some of the first people in. True to the spirit of comptetion and greed I headed straight for the craft section and grabbed everything I thought I might be interested in.
This was one of them:

Not so fabulous really. All the patterns are 80s fabulous and I really don't know what I was thinking- must have been the frenzy of it all.

Later, I sat down to cull through what I had rashly shoved in my bag and started flipping through the above.

This is what I found:

Oh yes, an original "Wool Gathering" from March of 1988! I couldn't believe it. These aren't even on ebay. Somehow, the person who donated the Vogue Knitting paperback didn't realize they had left a pristine copy of the newsletter within.

Got to love that book sale.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Knitting Mojo

Hey Flan,

Your CPH looks great. Also nice to know that you're at least getting some modicum of sanity during the two weeks of mania.

THe CPH got frogged tonight. All the way back to the ribbing. Last weekend I finished the shoulders, short rows and all, and the damn cables didn't line up! They were about 3 stitches off from each other and it just grated on my nerves. My Knit Night cohort and I decided to eliminate one of the front cables instead of trying to move the back cables closer together. If there's any size other than small they might line up but there is no space to move them around on the teeny tiny thing.

I also had been trying to reverse the sleeves so that they could be easily increased or decreased. I was tying myself into knots trying to figure out how many to pick up and when and whatnot. In the end, I decided to knit the sleeve cap flat and then knit the arm part in the round and seam the sleeve cap in at the end.

I have also been working on The Mommy's sweater. I knew the pattern was truly horribly written when I chose it, but decided to try and use it anyway. That wasn't a good idea. After lots of consultation, I decided to just use a different pattern.

Today was one of those days where the whole world seemed to crash down upon my head and thankfully, I think it might be a bit calmer tomorrow. Here's to hoping at least. If nothing else I know that I've made forward progress with the knitting instead of having it kick my butt. Off to try and get a good night's sleep.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Popping In

I'm dropping in to say that I'm not dead yet! After day 1.5 of the 2 week meetings of doom (characterized by really long, unpredictable days spent sitting in a meeting room), I asked my bosses if I could try knitting during the times that I wasn't presenting. Given the hours, my concentration had been lagging consistently in the after dinner hours, and we'd still have 4 hours left to go.

They agreed to let me try, and see if it would bother anyone. Needless to say, I jumped on the chance. As a result, I have actual knitting content! This is where I was last night on my Central Park Hoodie:
With a closer look at the texture:
Its scrunched up on the needles, so you may not be able to tell that it's all in one piece to the armholes. I got a couple more inches done in today's round of meetings, and I'm about to split for the fronts and back. Oh! The yarn used...Dream in Color Classy in Blue Lagoon. It may be a non-hoodie in the end, I'm debating a nice wide collar.

Other random photos since I last blogged:Valentine's Day tulips...

Dusk at the cabin on our quick weekend getaway a while ago....

I'm back to work for the evening. I'll emerge after St. Patrick's Day when the meeting craziness abates.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Hey Flan,
I have had one of those days where it took all of my imagination to visualize myself in a hammock on a sandy beach. Eventually not even that worked. After work I made macaroni and cheese from scratch even though I was starving and the process takes 45 minutes from start to finish. It was totally worth it and it remains at the top of my comfort food list.

Regarding the camera, The Hubby had a brilliant suggestion and popped the USB thing into another slot and magically the whole thing worked.

HERE is what the CPH looked like...

... before I realized that I had forgotten to cast off 2 again at the beginning of the armhole. Yeah, I discovered that 17 sts do not equal 15 sts when I was getting ready to short row and cast off for the shoulder. At that point we were each sent to Time Out and have been there for 30 hours. I think it might just be long enough and will probably rip back (again) tonight.
I decided that the liklihood that The Sister will want longer arms on the sweater is pretty high so that doing them wrist up would probably be stupid. Plus, I'd really like to just pick up the stitches and do the sleeve in the round instead of seaming. Once again, my imagination exceedes my knitting prowess as I discovered when trying to reverse engineer a sleeve capped sleeve. We'll see how this goes tomorrow. I'm starting to have a better mental image of the whole thing, but usually that means very little.
Happy Friday.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Hey Flan,

I was all excited today to share photos with you of the CPH. The Mommy was very generous and sent me an early birthday present of a cute little camera. Mr. Nikon we found dead at Christmas. It was a good little camera except that getting pictures out of the damn thing was nigh on impossible. I had such high hopes for this new little one.

For some reason, the computer- which has been properly installed with enclosed cd- doesn't seem to recognize the USB thing and of course The Hubby has left for the day. Now we are back to where we started. The photos are IN the camera but refuse to come OUT. I am unreasonably frustrated by this and think perhaps I should have some breakfast.

Oh! Franklin is going to be at Yarnover! I am so jealous! YOU could be one of the 1,000 knitters!

Anyway, if I had photos to show you they would be of a completed right side, back and nearly completed left side. After consulting ravelry and the KAL I decided to do it in one piece bottom up to the arms and short row the shoulders. I cast on the smallest size and during the ribbing was quite concerned that it would be large enough for a 5 year old, much less The Sister. I emailed her and she emailed back and the smallest size continues.

The pattern is lovely and delightful and I'm happy. The Cascade 220 superwash you so enthusiastically encouraged me to purchase is going quite well and I think she'll enjoy it. I think there'll be some negative ease, but she likes her clothing snug, so it'll be alright.

Good luck w/ the mountain of work.