Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Toy

My New Toy

I bought myself a brand new sewing machine. We're going to elope.

Yes PR

I don't even care that it has a Project Runway logo, because it has overcast. I love overcast. I suppose I should have done more research, maybe I could have found more machine for less money, but it was a little like buying my first (and only) new car. I always had cars which got me from point A to point B but they always had very annoying quirks to work around, so I was going to love any new car I test drove, even if it was a boring Ford Escort (which, 10 years on, still doesn't have annoying quirks). I'm hoping my new sewing machine will an Escort: who cares that it is unexciting if 10 years from now it is still overcasting.

I love overcast.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Knitting Retreat

On Thursday, before heading over to the coast, Penny took Jeannette and me to Fiber Nooks & Crannys. I'd been to the shop the last time I visited, but they have moved since then to much larger, more open space. It is a wonderful store. I acquired a sweater worth of yarn. How did that happen?

The knitting retreat was wonderful. We headed over to the Silver Falls National Forest on Friday, first stopping at my Aunt Penny's weaving guild. Sadly, I neglected to take my camera in with me and have been kicking myself ever since. The Salem Fiberarts Guild rents a floor of the Mission Mill Museum and many of the members were there for their weekly gathering, as well as getting ready for their annual sale.

The retreat takes place at the convention center in the park, which consists of a large dining hall, a smaller meeting hall, and four cabins which each sleep 12 (plus 2 bathrooms, a common area and a lovely porch).

My Cabin

Friday night was introductions and show and tell. I showed off my Equinox sweater and the Obnoxious Flower Sweater and embarassed myself mightly by declaring my loathing for knitting intarsia. This is particularly hilarious because my aunt Penny is a Kaffe Fasset devotee. Saturday afternoon was the Silent Auction, which was "silent" only for the lack of auctioneer. While I was not nearly vicious enough (and I will do better next year!) I still managed to acuire enough yarn for two sweaters and a pair of socks. A ball of yarn for a hat was lost in the shuffle, probably for the best. That evening was an organization meeting for next year's retreat (somehow my aunt got roped into being the organizer, I believe her arm was twisted in the process). Otherwise, it was all knitting, all the time.

Knitting Retreat

In the sun and shade.

Knitting Retreat

We had breakfast, and then never left. Awesome!

Jean and Jeannette

My aunt Jeannette showing Jean how to cast on for her very first sock.


A stump. For no reason. Oh. The meeting hall is the background.

On Sunday, we sniffled our goodbyes (after lunch). Did NOT go to Silver Falls, because it was all fiber all the time. We did, however, stop at The Purl District in Silverton, where somehow I managed to acquire a hank of yellow and gray silk lace weight. For those of you not keeping track, that is yarn for 3 sweaters, one pair of socks and one medium-ish shawl. Even worse, The Purl District is connected to a fabric store where I found a cute piece of vintage fabric. Pictures of all of that sometime, now I need to lie down. I think I am going to be ill.

Friday, September 19, 2008


What I don't understand about going on vacation is how it is supposed to relieve stress. I mean I was behind at work when I left, which makes me even more behind now, plus I have two work studies to train. Oh well, I'll sleep it off this weekend (and get my house clean, I hope!) and ready to go on Monday. Right? Right.

I spent the first day getting across the country. I haven't been subjected to air travel since about 2002, things have changed. Seriously. You have to take off your shoes to go through security now and they charge you to check luggage. I didn't really enjoy it. The next day, though, my aunts Penny and Jeannette and I drove to the Oregon coast, which was a very pleasant drive. We wandered around Newport, a fairly touristy coastal town, but cute nonetheless (I wish I had taken more pictures there).


I love the colors in this one. I suppose if you live around water you feel about seagulls the way New Yorkers feel about rats. I don't live around water, so I find them charming.

After Newport, we headed over to the beach, where you would be hard pressed to get a tan. It was windy, cold, and stunningly beautiful. There are many more pictures on my Flickr site, but here are some of my favorites:


Yellow Post

Sand Grass

Little Running Birds

Next week: Yarn! Knitting! And so on..

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I am just poking my head above water to say I am back from the retreat and I am swamped. Seriously, I almost think going on vacation is not worth all of the stress of coming back!

So, briefly: the weather was perfect (warm and sunny every day), the women were wonderful (warm and funny. heh, see how I rhyme?), and hanging out with my aunts was fun and I got interesting new perspectives on my family history. I also experienced a bit of fiber overload. I didn't think that was possible.

Also, the purple amoeba is done, though I did not finish it before leaving for the retreat. But it was finished before leaving Oregon.

Pictures, you know, sometime, when I can catch my breath.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Purple Amoeba

I remember saying sometime in July that I wouldn't be able to manage more than a few exhausted stitches of knitting a night. While that has certainly been true, those stitches have added up to some major progress.

Purple Amoeba

A purple amoeba. With sleeves! I am knitting the neck, button and bottom bands all together (I think Walker referred to this as a Chanel jacket style) and at the moment I'm using 4 #3 circular needles. I think I will go ahead and get a fifth, so I can have one for the neck, one for the bottom and one for each of the button bands. As it is, I can't really tell where I am on the thing, and that will problematic once I need to do the buttonholes.

Now that this is so close to being done, and I am going on an actual knitting retreat, I'm starting to feel some knitting mojo come back. It's been awhile since I felt such an excitement about starting some new knitting projects, and it is a relief. I was a little afraid the sewing had taken that part over completely. I have 4 projects in mind:

1. Sea Tangles because how can you pass up silk and stainless steel yarn, not to mention a completely randomized cable pattern? And it is pretty! I'm going to Nirvana (otherwise known as Threadbear) tomorrow to get the yarn. Don't you love how some things suddenly surpass everything else on your to do list because you just can't bear to go another day without casting it on?;

2. The February Lady sweater, in some Manos I'm rescuing from a long abandoned project (I have a vague memory of having seen this first on Valerie's blog, but maybe it was Jean's? In any case, I'm stealing the idea of knitting this from someone else);

3. Grumperina's Shifting Sands scarf, and I will also adapt the pattern for a matching hat, also in Manos. I think it is, anyway. It came from Stef's huge stash cleansing. The scarf and hat will be for an annual Euchre tournament which benefits ALS research;

4. Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I don't have yarn for this and won't until I come back from the retreat.

The first 3 will come with me to the retreat. I don't think they will be finished when I get back, but you never know! Heh.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm Back!

It seems I did not mention that I took last week off for the annual Apartment Changeover (Switch-A-Roo?)*. Looking at last year's list of fun, I don't think I should have been so exhausted, I didn't have to clean anything (I doubt I'll be so lucky next year), but there was a lot of furniture to be shifted from apartment to apartment, or to the dumpster and I am not the young whipper snapper I once was (um, I'm not sure I ever was). I was hot and sore. But Len was hot, sore, and very stressed, so I can't complain.

*Len manages his family's income properties. They are mostly on campus, so he rents to a lot of students. Occasionally his job resembles that of a Den Mother.

Now that I am winding down from that non-vacation, I am gearing up for my real vacation. I'm leaving next Wednesday for Oregon and the knitting retreat. Very excited.