Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Midwest Alpaca Fest

Went to the Midwest Alpaca Fest with some friends this weekend and had a great time. I got a chance to try out a spinning wheel (not a disaster, but not a triumph either) and we looked at some super pretty alpacas with their little faces. I forgot my camera, so you'll just have to imagine the little faces.

I had a productive knitting weekend other than that too. I finished my latest set of Distraction-Knitting-Booties in STR Lightweight Lapis -

And I also finally finished the socks I promised for my brother last summer. I'm going to try to get to the post office later today.

I've started another sweater from Vintage Baby Knits. I have a feeling I'll be working my way through all of the patterns in this book before long. I don't know if I'll finish this sweater - I only have just the right amount of yarn and I haven't found the book to be super accurate on yardage - but the patterns are gorgeously cute and I'm having a ton of fun.

My parents are coming up to visit in a couple of weeks for Jorah's GRADUATION(!) and I'm going to throw myself back onto the altar of the RavOlympics sweater - I'd love for it to be finished when they get here. I might get distracted and just knit more adorable little baby things though . . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010


When I was in 9th grade we did a writing assignment about this word. The teacher told us that it meant, "place of wanting." As I was googling around to confirm that for this post I discovered that actually, it means "wishes." That kinda wrecks the poetry of this post.

But it's always going to mean Place of Wanting to me. I've been thinking about places that I love today, with it being Earth Day and all, and I am always going to come back to this word. Even though I've found out that it means something different (maybe I'm not spelling it right?) I'll always think of my querera as being the place I go where my soul feels soothed. All of the tumblers and gears in my mind suddenly but gently fall into place and I am entirely at peace.

For me that place is Harpers Ferry, WVa. It's about thirty minutes from my home back in Virginia, and I worked there for three summers at the end of high school. That first summer I was 17 and had just finished my junior year of high school. Not only is Harpers Ferry breathtakingly beautiful, it was also where I was when I met or became close to some of my favorite people - we all worked together in this paradise.

That was the summer that my husband and I became something more than friends, and the summer that I learned to love my brother as a person and not just a brother. It was also when I became close to my two best friends, two wonderful women who make me proud to know them. I met my boss and her boss - aside from being excellent teachers, they are also excellent friends.

That summer I worked harder than I'd ever worked in my life and had a song in my heart the whole time.

That summer was 9 years ago now, and it still stands out in my mind as completely unique.

In my reflections on Earth Day, I wonder if that summer would ever have happened without the unique geography and history of that place. Would I ever have met, known, loved some of these people? Well done, Earth. Well done.

*I remember what I wrote about in high school - the roof outside my window at my parents' house. I had just figured out that I could take out the screen, brace myself against the sill, and stretch my foot out to get to the roof of the porch. My folks hadn't found out that I could do it yet, and they were FURIOUS when they did and tried to forbid me from doing it anymore. I was 14 and it was my room, so that didn't last long.

After they got how good I was at climbing out the window they gave up and started letting me do it and then go over the roof to hang Christmas garland on the front porch. I won't do it anymore though - I'm all old and less assured of my invincibility.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Return of the Mojo?

I wouldn't say that it's back full force, but after a refreshing trip to the farmers' market this weekend I began to feel slightly knitty again.

I've been filled with a certain amount of Leaving-Madison-Urgency recently and have finally bought something I've been meaning to get for a while now. Madison has one of the best Farmers' Markets in the nation and there are a few crafty booths in addition to the produce and baked goods types. I've been wanting these since I first saw them years ago:

Adorable onesies from Bernie's Girl. I do not now have a human infant, nor do I expect to have one soon - but I couldn't leave Madison without my favorites!

Okay, now that the embarrassing stuff is over, on to the yarn! We also hit up The Sow's Ear this weekend, and were delighted to find some BEAUTIFUL sock yarn by Sun Valley Fiber Farm.

I was actually the most attracted to a beautiful color called Barn Raising - a gorgeous handpainted faded pink with just a few touches of red. I ended up with two skeins of the above because they also had some great slipper soles - my size and with lots and lots of holes. I've been meaning to make myself some nice mukluks for years, and now with the Royal Assassin challenge I'm all over some Kettricken mukluks! (As we know, she loves the purple!)

Did I mention it's 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, and 10% Cashmere? No? That's weird, because it is completely my favorite yarn! I am loving of the MCN. Had to go back the next day to get a crochet hook small enough to go through the holes in the soles, but it's totally worth it. I've made progress on my Brother Socks, and washed the yarn from the first iteration of the Brother Socks last summer (which I just found in my garden after searching for for 7 months!)

And I've also started my Rectangular Ulmus, which I've been salivating over for months.

I don't know how I feel now that I'm going though - this pattern is the reason I opted for the double yarn club through Old Maiden Aunt and I LOVE Strange Rock n' Rollers (the light green/purpley one.) This is a wool/bamboo blend and it is incredibly soft . . . . but I feel like the Strange Rock n' Rollers is a little washed out next to Bitter Bug . . .

Here it is by itself - it's so luminous! I was planning on knitting the lacy ends in this color, but I don't know if that's enough for such an amazing color!

What do you think?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fantasia: Royal Assasin

I'm very excited this term to be running a workshop in the Ravelry group Fantasia! Basically, each semester people submit proposals for challenges based on books (fantasy and kid's books, hence, Fantasia) and others turn in all kinds of projects loosely based on those challenges.

I have done a challenge for some of my favorite books, The Farseer series, especially Royal Assassin, which has one of my all time favorite characters, Kettricken. I have been working on a badge for the challenge, and I hope this works!

In other reading news, I have been absolutely consumed with mysteries of late. I'm all crazy for Mrs. Emily Pollifax and Miss Maisie Dobbs. I like a good heroine. Jorah's traveling a lot next week, so I'm going to be fending for myself a bit. I have four new books to keep me company!

I really can't believe how crazy about reading I've gotten - who knew that of my 26 Last Year's Goals, reading new books would be the one I would embrace most heartily? And that it would be so expensive . . .

It's worth it though. I do have to go - poor Mrs. Pollifax has just been left with her associate's (dead) body and seen her friend kidnapped . . . she's also had her passport taken away by the Istanbul police. To switch to a different detective series, Captain Hastings would say, "Oh, dear!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mystery Solved!

Remember the end of this post from September?
Look what I found outside my front door this morning:

The sock I was knitting for my brother for his birthday last summer! I thought I lost it up in Door County and spent weeks tearing apart my house and car. It's been lost in the garden for 7 months! That tells you how much I like to garden . . .

I'm very excited though. I'll frog and re-skein and wash it and then I'll have a whole new ball of Dream in Color Smooshy! Thanks for the free yarn, universe!

Monday, April 12, 2010

How Am I Coping With the Loss of My Mojo?

By reading (three books in three days this weekend!)

And knitting these painfully cute baby booties:

I've already started another pair, but I snapped a needle. Maybe that means it's time for sleeping?