Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Only Six?

Antique Chinese Basket with Dicentra Designs fiber
(because this is a serious fiber arts blog)

Vanessa tagged me with the “Six weird things about me” meme back on December 14th, right before our electricity and internet access went out in the big PNW storm . I tried to wiggle out of it since I was so late catching up, but Vanessa insisted I pony up with all my amazing weirdness.
It was incredibly not difficult to think up six weird things. It was, however, challenging to get the list down to just six things. I suspect it might be impossible much harder to come up with a list of “Six things about me that are not weird”

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.
  1. I can make my eyeballs jiggle back and forth really fast. A skill I discovered around third grade. So if you were to look at me while I’m doing this you would see my eyeballs quivering. Not surprisingly it tends to gross people out (not nearly as rewarding at my age as it was in third grade). Must be an inherited tendency because my youngest son can do it too.

  2. I can pop my left hip out of the socket. I don’t do it much any more because after I showed my doctor once she said, “Hmm, interesting. You probably want to stop doing that.” (I have hyper-mobile ligaments so all my joints move more than they should, allowing me to do fun things like bend my thumb down to touch my forearm).

  3. One of my ears gets really red when I’m concentrating intently on a task. Which ear is dependent on the type of task I’m working on: If I’m working on a left-brained task involving logic or math, my right ear is red, but if I’m working on a more creative right-brain task my left ear is red. I don’t remember if they’ve ever both been red at once.

  4. Seeing someone cry makes me cry – even if I’m not sad. Actually, sometimes just having someone tell me a story involving someone crying can make me cry.

  5. I still have one of my baby teeth. It never came out because there was no tooth behind it. I worry that one day I’ll bite down too hard and knock it out because there are no roots on baby teeth. I also never got any wisdom teeth. (This may come as no surprise to those who actually know me.)

  6. A co-worker and I regularly donate blood at work during donation drives (this is not the weird part). To make it more interesting, we race to see who can donate their pint in the shortest time. We’ve gotten to the point where the ‘pretty close’ time from the clock the blood bank uses on-site isn’t close enough. We’re seriously thinking about investing in stopwatches for accuracy. Amazingly we can’t seem to get other people to join our Competition Speed Blood Donation Team. (the blood bank staff seem quite amused – I hope they’re not quietly discarding the ‘crazy people blood’ after we leave)

I guess #’s 2 and 5 might count as 1.5 things each since I managed to throw in an extra factoid in each of those items. But that’s basically your six things. Basically. (extra points if you know which cult movie classic I stole that last line from!)

Hmm, my list seems to contain a number of body-based oddities. I’m not sure that just looking at me would make one automatically assume I’m a freak of nature, but seeing them all lined up in print does kinda make it seem that way.

I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t already been tagged. I will be a non-rule follower (quite uncharacteristic for me) and not tag anyone myself. Ooh, such a rebel!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Now With 100% More Spinning Content!

This is my current favorite wheel, my Jensen Tina II, shown here removed from her native environment due to the current cluttered state of my spinning corner. (Rather embarrassingly, right in our living room and the very first thing guests see.)
And here an inadvertent long-range project:
(kindly pretend not to notice that the yarn on the bobbin actually has dust)

This is some Sweet Grass Wool Targhee that I spun awhile back. The colorway is Grass Valley Green - sadly no longer available. I became aware of this fact shortly after beginning to spin this batch of top when I called to order more, having decided a bit too late that I really liked it. The only time I didn't completely overbuy! I believe the total amount was only 4 ounces.

I finished spinning the top and set the bobbin aside until I could decide what to ply it with. I considered and discarded various options. Time passed (okay, years actually). The bobbin became like my yarn mascot, a more-or-less permanent decoration on the spinning wheel.

At Madrona last year I saw some Chasing Rainbows Deyworks silk caps from Crown Mountain Farms and thought of my lonely unplied bobbin.

They seemed like a good match at the time...

But once I got back home I wasn’t as sure about it, so the bobbin of Targhee returned to yarn-in-waiting status.

Then at the The Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR this past June I spotted some lovely top in chartreuse and olive tones by Chameleon Colorworks . (I didn’t even have my Tina with me this time but I had brought my trusty bobbin mascot, just in case.)

This new top seemed like a better match since it made the colors of the Sweet Grass Wool ‘pop’.
(note: the colors aren't exactly represented here. I tried getting a natural light photo but it's been so gray here that even outside in the daylight the flash was going off. This is as good as it gets until, say, April)

Here’s the superwash in progress.

I love the color! Though I did remember once I started spinning it that I’m not really wild about spinning superwash wool.

Rather inconveniently I have misplaced the label so I don’t have the colorway information or the original weight. I think it was around 8 oz.
The superwash fiber didn’t come with a label – I did find the receipt though and I bought 4 ounces.

I think that I am procrastinating a bit on finishing this project because I’m unsure about how I’ll like the finished yarn. I do have a history of not finishing projects when I suspect the end-result may disappoint.
I have to remind myself that finished not-quite-perfect yarn is better than unfinished ‘potentially perfect’ yarn. It’s just yarn for heaven’s sake and in the end, I can always spin some more!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

We mourn the loss of Rebecca

Today we gather to recognize the short yet meaningful existence of Rebecca, whose lovely olive-toned Silk Road Aran countenance will be sorely missed.

Despite a promising cast-on, Rebecca struggled to overcome multiple knitting challenges in her short life.

Rebecca’s designer and friend, Jo Sharp, remembered her as
A women’s fitted sweater with a cable panel at the centre front. Suitable for a knitter with some cable experience.”
Her voice caught a bit at the memory.

Rebecca returns to the skein before her time, an innocent victim of sizing errors, inadequate swatching and knitter dissatisfaction. She was a model of sweater forbearance, never growing discouraged by the multiple froggings she received, though her plies grew thin in several places from the experience. She resisted drowning her troubles in Eucalan, instead choosing to spend her last months hiding in disgrace in a paper sack in the basement corner.

Rebecca strongly believed that the fibers of our beings continue on beyond one’s own limited existence and she expressed a desire to be reincarknitted as a well-loved pullover or perhaps a cardigan (though preferably not as socks).

Rebecca leaves behind a grieving knitter, Denise, who despite vehemently expressing an inability to even think about knitting another sweater anytime soon, was later observed reaching out in her grief to her long ignored stash yarn.

Skein to skein, hank to hank
As yarn we are born and to yarn we return.

RIP…RIP…RIP, dear Rebecca

Tuesday, December 5, 2006


My husband and I celebrated 22 years of wedded bliss last weekend. Our actual anniversary was the day after Thanksgiving but we were so busy with family and the holiday that we both forgot. Though, even without the Thanksgiving excuse, this is pretty typical for us. One of us usually remembers the next day or so and we have a good laugh over it.
Here we are enjoying an anniversary dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Mercato:

We were planning to impose on the waitress to take our photo but serendipitously some good friends of ours were also having dinner there and they volunteered to act as official anniversary photographers.

Mr. CPA and I are best friends and even happier together today than the day we married (and we were pretty darn happy that day too!).
And to the wonderful man who for years has put up with yarn, knitting needles, patterns, raw fleeces, washed fleeces, carders, spinning wheels and other assorted fiber arts related items all over the house (including our first really small house) I would like to say:
Thank you for the 22 happiest years of my life – here’s to 22 more (and then some!). Oh, and sorry about the kid mohair in your waffles that one time…

Friday, December 1, 2006

Post 2: In which I attempt to add a random photo

Learning the ropes...
I promise to make an attempt to be more interesting after this.