Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pictorial Progress Report

Can you tell how it's going? (Hint: It's a center-pull ball)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Actual Knitting Content - Leaf Lace Shawl Edition

Remember the Leaf Lace shawl I restarted back in July?

(Yeah, I know you're probably thinking, "Wait, she knits? When did this start?)

Leaf Lace Shawl - ripped and restarted

I finally started working on it again the first weekend in November. Here's my progress from before Thanksgiving:

Growing, but oh so slowly!

The last crazy night

Yes, it's posted late - please pretend the date on this reads '12-11-07'. I made the mistake of sitting down last night and promptly fell asleep in the chair without posting as I'd intended.

Hey, Annie, I ate a latke just for you (or possibly ::cough, cough:: three).

Latkes + full-fat sour cream = perhaps an extra run this week

We had a minor issue in estimating how many potatoes would be required. This is post-latke production:

The results of asking one's offspring to 'grate some potatoes'
while one completes the scheduled evening exercise ritual.

Apparently my children thought I would be rounding up a few 20 or so extra people for dinner while I was out...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

And the winners are...

Numbers ready for the drawing

Winner #1
Cindy from Snid Knits.

Winner #2
Mrs. G. from Derfwad Manor

Picking numbers was so much fun that I decided to have a bonus round selection and a third number was pulled from the basket o’paper slips.

Winner #3
Mysti from A Pagan’s Desire of Simplicity
(Mysti, I don’t have your email address can you drop me a line at Denise AT YinAndYarn DOT com?)

This was fun! Thanks so much for all the great comments.

I have to say I didn’t realize I’d gotten so many comments until today. It seems Blogger failed to forward a number of comments to my email like it is supposed to. So apologies if you haven’t heard from me. I was out of town all of last week for work-related training and I’m still catching up on things here back at Casa del Chaos.

*All number selections witnessed and verified by the ultra-strict auditing powers of Mr. CPA.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Blogtacular Blogiversary Giveaway!

(ETA: links added)
Thursday was the anniversary of my first blog post and this post was, accordingly, supposed to be up yesterday. However, in an unusual display of self-discipline, instead of posting to the blog yesterday evening after work, I was outside in the cold with Mr. CPA following through on my previous commitment to the scheduled evening exercise ritual.

So here it is one day late but just as good (I hope) as if I’d posted it in a timely fashion.

Here are the dead simple rules:
Leave a comment between now and next Friday (12/9/2007) and you’ll be entered in the contest.

See? Simple. No tricky trivia questions or guessing how many projects I have going or how much yarn I have stashed down in the Basement of Wool ™ (like I want that kind of information out there published on the blog for Mr. CPA to see!).

Also? You do not need to be a resident of the US or Canada to win, I am willing to ship internationally should the winner be located somewhere outside the US or Canada.

Two lucky winners will each get to choose one of the following prizes:

Prize #1 - Yarn
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino 2/6
Colorway: “Sea Storm”
Amount: 250 gm/8.8 oz - appx. 755m/820 yards

The colors are a bit more vibrant in person.
This is a
large skein of yarn!

(Prize listing is from top to bottom in the next photo)

Prize #2 – More Yarn
Yarn: Lisa Souza Sock! Merino
Colorway: Petroglyph
Amount: 4 ounces/560 yards

Prize #3 – and Again with the Yarn (handspun this time)
Yarn: Handspun Blue Faced Leicester
Colorway: your guess is as good as mine
Handspun by me from Winderwood Farms fiber

Prize #4 – Spinning Fiber
Fiber: Dicentra Designs 50% Merino/ 30% Silk/ 20% Angora top
Colorway: Luthien

What’s that? You don’t knit, crochet or spin? Well then, maybe this next prize might meet with your approval:

Peach Marmalade

Strawberry Jam

Jam, not just for bread any more! Good on plain yoghurt, ice cream or straight from a spoon
(or so I've been told...)

Prize #5
Jam! One 8 ounce jar of delicious homemade-by-me jam.
The winner may choose their favorite from the following:

  • Raspberry,
  • Strawberry,
  • Marionberry, or
  • Peach Marmalade

Yes, you read all the boring ‘look, I’m making more jam’ blog posts. Now you too can enjoy the fruits of those sweaty summer labors!

There’s only one of each prize so the first winner chosen will have their pick of all 5. The second winner chosen will choose from the remaining 4 prizes. Unless both of the winners want jam, in which case they may each have the jam of their choice.

Winners will be assigned a random number which will be selected from a suitably opaque container by a completely disinterested third party (i.e., the oldest man-child – trust me, he couldn’t care less which one of you wins).

All drawings will take place under the stern auditing eye of Mr. CPA (technically speaking he’s Mr. CPA, CIA thank you very much), who is a real stickler for proper procedures, internal controls and ethical practices*.

*Really. A lot. Don’t even try to burn him a copy of that CD of yours that he likes. He wouldn’t dream of listening to music he didn’t pay for.

Monday, November 19, 2007

YMCA Fitness Classes I'd Really Like to See

Just like the fitness room I use at the 'Y'
except without the super hi-tech equipment and the fancy view
(the frugal must find their fitness inspiration in unadorned drywall it seems...)

Knit to be Fit

Knit 2, Purl 2, Lose 10 (or more!)

By Hook or by Crook – Fast Fitness the Crochet Way!

Crochet those pounds away!

Sit! Spin! Thin!*

So, what classes would you like to see?

*handspinning that is - not that crazy exercise bike action

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Never a dull moment

Warning: long post with absolutely no redeeming knitting or spinning content and only marginal photos.

ETA: This event did not happen last week, it actually happened back in September on the Saturday before I had my surgery. I wrote the entire blog post up a few days later and was going to post it the following Saturday and then something came up and I didn’t get around to. And the same the following Saturday and blah, blah, blah – insert same old story about my constant disorganization and not getting things done on time.

At any rate, for some reason I never got around to posting it in a reasonable time. Since I didn’t have the post that I wanted for today done I’m posting this now. It’s long and probably interesting only to myself so feel free to skip it and wait for something fiberish if you want.

Did you ever have one of those days that just didn’t quite go according to plan?

Last Saturday was one of those days here at Casa del Chaos.

It started out pretty much like any other Saturday morning with Mr. CPA and I chatting over a leisurely cup of coffee and then off to the gym for a workout. After our return I hurried through some quick chores so I could be ready when Holly arrived to drive down to Scappoose with me to visit one of our favorite purveyors of yarny goodness.

And it was right about here that my morning derailed and careened off in a totally different direction than planned

As I was cleaning the kitchen I suddenly felt funny and noticed the oddest feeling of pressure in and around my right eye. My eye started watering a bit and seemed decidedly ‘not right’ for lack of a better description. Then my vision went wonky and I felt really disoriented.

I sat down at the dining room table just as Mr. CPA came back in the room. By now the right half of my face was numb and I was getting quite dizzy. Mr. CPA wanted to call 911 but I persuaded him to wait because I didn’t think it was anything serious – I just wanted to lie down for a few moments, I guess because I was convinced this would make everything better.

On my way to the sofa, however, I got a really sudden and painful headache. Much like someone had impaled my head with a wooden stake. Since I was now having trouble talking and was too dizzy to stand up, I was decisively over-ruled on the whole 911 phone call decision issue.

I remember noticing that the right half of my throat was numb when I tried to swallow and that my right arm had started to shake uncontrollably.

This is when I started getting pretty scared.

Because even though my brain is not exactly exceptional or genius-like in any way, I’ve grown rather fond of it over the years and enjoy having it around such as it is. So the possibility of losing it or having to get used to a new and perhaps significantly less useful brain was not exactly appealing to me.

The fire department and paramedics arrived very quickly, probably less than 3 minutes after my husband called though it seemed like much longer at the time. They put the oxygen on me and did the whole assessment and vitals process while asking both me and Mr. CPA lots of questions.

I lost track of time with all of this activity going on around me but at some point during all of this commotion the feeling started coming back into my face and I began to feel a little better. I still had a really bad headache and I had a funny black ‘hole’ in the vision in my right eye but other than that I felt pretty much like myself again.

The paramedics offered to transport me to the ER but I declined. I felt much better and I was more than a little embarrassed at all the fuss I’d caused, so I asked if Mr. CPA could drive me to Group Health’s urgent care office instead. After the paramedics got approval via phone from the supervising ER doctor we were cleared to transport ourselves.

I kept apologizing to the various firefighters and paramedics milling about my living room for having brought them out for nothing. They insisted that calling was the exact right thing to do and this is the precisely sort of outcome they are happy to see (even though Mr. CPA thought they looked just the teensiest bit crestfallen that there wasn’t just a little bit more important emergency medical stuff for them to do at the scene).

So on to the urgent care at Group Health to do the required follow-up. Thankfully, due in no small part to the gorgeous weather outside that day, I’m sure, there were only two other people waiting to be seen and we got in quickly.

By now, except for the residual dull, thumping headache on the right side of my skull I felt fine and really just wanted to go home but Mr. CPA would have none of that.

Instead of the usual exam room, I was put in the big ER-like room complete with heart and oxygen monitors and I was all hooked up to lots of equipment while I waited to be seen by the doctor. Oy.

(note to self: the next time you're planning a minor medical emergency,
maybe put a little makeup on and fix your hair up first!)

So, what was the cause of all this fuss? A migraine for heaven’s sake. A really sudden, intense and scary migraine, but just a migraine. (I think the doctor referred to it as an ‘atypical’ migraine)

(I used to get frequent ‘classic’ and occasional ‘ocular’ migraines, however one of the benefits of becoming a ‘woman of a certain age’ is that the hormonal changes responsible for a host of petty irritations and complaints also seem to significantly reduce the incidents of migraine headaches - for me anyway, YMMV of course)

So the doctor recommended that I take some Excedrin but since I wasn’t able to have any aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs pre-surgery he recommended Tylenol and some coffee instead.

Later, as we were leaving to return home I turned to Mr. CPA and said,

“So you realize what this means don’t you??

I have a prescription.

For coffee.

From a doctor!”

My new pharmacy*

Prescription strength Starbucks!

What I learned from this experience:

  1. You should definitely call 911 if you experience any sudden stroke-like symptoms even if you suspect that your husband is over-reacting.

  2. According to the ER doctor, I have none of the risk factors for stroke. (hooray!)

  3. My cholesterol is excellent and actually better than the extraordinarily fit ER doctor with the runner’s physique (who looked slightly dismayed that the plumpish, unfit middle-aged woman before him had beaten his previously undefeated record).

  4. You will not actually die of embarrassment when a small army of emergency personnel unexpectedly invaded your very messy house (in spite of what your neurotically tidy Norwegian grandmother would have you think).

PS – Holly and I still managed to make the trip down to Scappoose even though we got there slightly later than planned.

* This is not actually my local Starbucks. This photo was shamelessly stolen from the internets. I wanted to take a photo of my actual regular Starbucks staff but felt this was a bit much even for me. They already think I'm weird enough.

Friday, November 2, 2007

We Mourn the Loss of Rebecca

You are not suffering from some sort of blog déjà vu, this post is a re-run, or what is referred to in TV-speak as an 'encore' edition. Not that anyone was actually requesting an encore, mind you. (Thanks to Mrs. G for the idea!)

I felt the need to move yesterday's post down a bit and even though I'd love to engage in a bit of procrastiblogging today, there are a number of demands on today's schedule that aren't optional. Not to mention that we are still catering to the needs of a very sick small dog here at Casa del Chaos (and trust me, that's as much as you really want to know on that topic! If you thought yesterday's post was disgusting - but I digress).

Thank you for stopping by today, please, sign the guest book on the table, and tissues are to the side just there.

Frogged but not forgotten

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 with quiet dignity, 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

*Reincarknitting is a is a central tenet for the followers of yarnma. I think it conflicts with a belief in the concept of original spin, but I am not as familiar with that yarnology.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Fair Warning: This post is not entirely Disney-wholesome, 'G' on at your own risk

Setting: 9:30 p.m. Halloween night

Mr. CPA returned from making a quick trip to the Safeway grocery store just across the street from our house and the following conversation ensued…

Mr. CPA: So, what’s the scariest thing to see on Halloween?

Me: (interrupted right in the middle of composing a work email) blank look

Me: Uhhh, I don’t know, ummm, lots of things…(frantically trying to think what the right answer might be)

Mr. CPA:
How about the kind of creepy looking guy behind you in line at the grocery store with the two loaves of French bread and two extra-large boxes of personal lubricant?

Me: Eeewww!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming

Okay, the computer problems I was having seem to have been resolved and hopefully that’s the end of it for a bit. (fingers crossed)

I have to say that ever since the sudden, unexpected death of the motherboard back in May, my new computer hasn’t quite been the same and is overly prone to fits of naughty behavior.

I suspect I should just wipe it and reload everything from scratch, but that prospect is somewhat less than appealing with everything else that needs doing around here so I’ll just muddle along 'as-is' for now.

Lopi Sweater Update

Only the neck ribbing to go...

Not too much progress since the last update. However, in a dramatic departure from the usual scheme of things here at Yin and Yarn, this lack of progress is deliberate.

As I was completing the last of the neck decreases and starting the ribbing, it occurred to me that I was going to need some 'stunt knitting'* for some upcoming photoshoots so this is as far as the sweater will get for now.

PS: Please forgive me if I haven't responded to a comment or email. I'm a bit behind due to the computer issues and being out of town last week.

*Stunt Knitting : 'in progress' knitting held by non-knitters in order to look like a real knitter in photographs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Please Stand By...

We are experiencing technical difficulties here at Yin and Yarn...

I can't go into much detail right now since I am quickly posting during break time from my computer training classroom in Seattle (I'm at C# programming training for the rest of the week, I'm sure you are all extremely not envious of me).

Friday, October 5, 2007

High Fiber Friday

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

Technically fits the title, but likely not the type of fiber you were expecting. Not your typical gummy tasteless bran muffins - these are delicious! Even the picky eaters in the family enjoy these.

Buttermilk Bran Muffins
This recipe makes a nice light muffin without the ‘gumminess’ so typical of most bran muffins

Makes 3-4 dozen muffins

6 Cups unprocessed wheat bran*
2 Cups boiling water
1 qt buttermilk
5 eggs
1 Cup oil
3 Cups sugar
5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups unbleached flour
(can substitute up to 2 cups of whole wheat flour for white flour – but no more or muffins will be heavy)
Cinnamon to taste (optional)
Orange peel to taste (optional)
Blueberries, apples, raisins as desired
Topping: Oatmeal and/or cinnamon-sugar

Preheat oven to 400°

Mix 2 cups bran and 2 cups boiling water in a large bowl and let stand for 20 minutes. Add buttermilk, oil and eggs and whisk together until well blended. Stir in sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add remaining 4 cups bran and flour. Mix thoroughly (don’t worry about overmixing). Fill greased (PAM-type sprays work fine) muffin tins about 2/3 full, add fruit (I usually drop on top of each muffin and push it into the batter), and top with oatmeal and cinnamon-sugar mix. Bake in a 400° oven for 20-25 minutes or until brown.
(this time is for Ecko medium sized 12-cup cupcake/muffin tins you may need to adjust for smaller or larger sized muffins)

Batter will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days**. The top may oxidize a bit but just stir before using (this does not affect the quality of the muffins). This recipe fills the largest Tupperware bowl. Muffins freeze well.

* Sold in the bulk foods section or at most health food stores

** The original recipe states that the batter will keep up to 4 weeks but this seems both unsafe and unappetizing to me. Though, to be fair, the original recipe used All-Bran cereal and maybe the preservatives help extend the life of the batter.

NOTE: Just add fruit to muffins prior to baking, don’t add to the large bowl of batter or it won’t keep.
If you're interested, you can download this recipe as a Word doc here.

Lara was nice enough to loan me a few spindles from her very impressive collection. I was playing around with them today to get some ideas before making an appointment with my photographer.

Forrester Spindle with Dicentra Design fiber

Avi Wasserman Hatchtown spindle with my own hand dyed fiber
(allegedly a merino but I think not - from the Never Ending Internet Fleece)
ETA: Sorry, I was mistaken on the spindle. Lara let me know that the spindle is actually a Hatchtown spindle, not an Avi Wasserman as I had thought. Either way, it's lovely to spin on! (this coming from someone with a confirmed spinning wheel preference)

Time for a muffin break
(with homemade peach marmalade - yummy!)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My SUV is greener than your SUV

Last night when Mr. CPA and I went to the gym to continue with our program of torturing our aging bodies improved physical fitness, we found that the large, and usually empty, parking lot near the gym was practically filled to capacity.

For a moment we were alarmed that this meant the YMCA treadmills were at full capacity and we would need to run ourselves around on actual non-moving concrete sidewalks in the rain.

But then we realized that there must be a play or a concert happening at the performing arts center near the ‘Y’.

But it wasn’t either of these things. What was the big event?

A presentation and discussion on the effects of Global Warming.

That everyone had driven to. In their cars. Alone.*

Because nothing stops the ‘Global Warmings ’ like a prominently placed Puget Sound Energy ‘Green Power’ sticker on your SUV.

*and yes, it hasn’t escaped me that driving to gym in order to exercise is at least equally ironic…

Monday, October 1, 2007

Weight Training for Whiners

Gratuitous fibery photo
with absolutely no connection to the content of this post

I signed up for a new class at the YMCA, ‘Strength Training for Women’. The first class was Saturday. I am feeling remarkably not stronger at this point since every muscle in my body hurts.

Well maybe not every muscle - just the ones I seem to use for common, everyday tasks. Like sitting or walking or breathing. Or using my mechanical pencil at work, which was not the effortless affair it usually is.*

I’m really not used to feeling my abdominal muscles when I’m only breathing. In fact, up until now I was fairly convinced that my abdominal muscles were long gone and never to be heard from again. Much like my youth or seeing “102” on the scale in the morning (::sniff:: miss you, metabolism!).

So you’ll understand when I briefly considered reneging on my commitment to go out jogging with Mr. CPA after work this evening (it seemed like such a good idea when we had discussed it in the morning over coffee, you know, before the 10 hour workday…). But I rallied and managed to make the 2.5 mile route, though I must admit it was more of a 'run/walk' than the solid jogging event that it should have been.
ETA: 'run/walk' in my case means *run until you think you're dying, then walk until your heart stops feeling like it's attempting to pound its way out of your chest and breathing semi-normally is once again possible, repeat from *. I should note here that it was Mr. CPA's second run of the evening and the 'run/walk' format was solely for my benefit.

It's frustrating that one can get out of shape so quickly and easily, yet the path to fitness is so slow and painful (and did I mention how slow it is?).

It’s all about the baby steps. Small, painful little baby steps.

*Did you know your shoulder is a big player in the whole writing process? It sure likes to let you know it too, especially after making it lift those weights and barbells for no apparent purpose just two days ago. The shoulder is not really so big on the suffering in silence it seems.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Close but no cigar

I was really hoping to post an FO by now but as you can see, the sweater is not quite done yet.

It's not really freakishly short - part of the sweater
is hanging off the edge of the table. For some reason I didn't notice
this until I loaded the photo.

Despite my big plans for this first post-ENU week, I haven’t gotten much knitting done.

I’ve been working on a new database development project at work and there have been a few ‘later than usual nights’ at work. Also, Mr. CPA and I have this new and improved plan to get to the gym more regularly before we transform into hunched, chair shaped creatures with hands permanently fused into keyboard tapping claws as a result of our long days spent as cubicle dwelling computer users. All of which combines to not leave much time for knitting. I suppose there was a little extra time in there but I wasted it eating dinner* and doing laundry (because my workplace is still not ‘clothing optional’ **).

However, I believe we have rain in the forecast for this weekend so I may get just enough quality knitting time in to finish this up.

As of this morning I’m on Ravelry! You can find me there as ‘yinandyarn’ if you’re there too and want to look me up.

I haven’t had much time to look around yet, but it looks like tons of fun and I suspect it could be a somewhat addictive. I sat down this morning planning to only set up my account and was still there an hour later.

I played around just a bit this evening to enter a project only to find out that I can’t put any project photos up unless I have a Flickr account. I’m not really sure I want a Flickr account so I may be photo-less until there is an alternative photo upload method coded in.

* a dinner which, I would like to point out, I did not cook. bwahahaha!

** eeeeew, thank goodness! That's quite the mental image there.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Operation Baby Bird

Today is the big launch day and we’ll be headed north to Empty Nest University (ENU) to get the youngest baby bird settled into his dorm.

Of course, this isn’t quite the momentous event that we were anticipating what with the recent unexpected arrival of the oldest baby bird back at the parental nest, but it’s still a pretty big day for all of us.*

We’ll have the added bonus of dealing with the horrible Friday traffic in both Seattle and Tacoma in the same day so the trip home should be also memorable.

I’ll be using the long drive to get some knitting time in. The sweater is getting a bit bulky for travel knitting, especially given that the truck cab will likely be stuffed to capacity, but it may go anyway since I'd really like to finish it up.

from Close To Home by John McPherson

*I have already informed anyone in the house that will listen that with the departure of the youngest dependent from the house I do not expect to ever cook dinner on a weeknight after work again. (and, yes, I realize this isn’t likely a realistic expectation but I do intend to enjoy the fantasy for at least a couple of weeks, thank you very much).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Progress of the non-negative sort

Sweater #8 from Reynolds Lopi Volume 18
(stitches not really as wonky looking in real life
as they appear in photo)

A small bit of forward progress was made on the sweater last night. We were watching a good movie and my knitting wasn’t especially speedy. Or I should say even less not-speedy than usual.

We watched Sweet Land, an independent movie based on the short story ‘A Gravestone Made of Wheat’ By Will Weaver. Not your typical Hollywood film and so much the better for it. I really enjoyed this film and so did Mr. CPA. You can read the synopsis here.

We're currently getting our movies from Netflix. Not only has this saved us a small fortune in late fees (who can remember to return movies on Thursday night?), but it’s convenient and there’s quite a large selection of the foreign and independent films we enjoy. Plus? No driving to pick-up and return the movies.

An added bonus is that Netflix has never called us to say we haven’t returned a movie when we actually have like our local [insert major national chain store name] video store did…a lot. Their employees seemed to be in the habit of taking our returned movies and restocking them on the shelves before scanning them in as returned.

The very last time this happened I let the calling staff person know that if I had to get in my car and drive all the way up there only to find the movie in question returned and on the shelf as I had the previous times I was definitely not going to be happy (the insinuation here being that really neither would they). This was followed by a hasty, “Umm, well let me go check the shelves real quick” and then an Emily Litella-like “Nevermind” when the person returned to the phone.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Knitting + Narcotics = ???

If you answered “a quick trip to the frog pond” go to the head of the class!!

Right back to where I started...
'TINK'ing back is very meditative
and practically
just like knitting (especially in a medicated state)

I’ve been home recuperating from surgery. I had lots of ambitious plans to spend my recovery time knitting and catching up on all the email and blog reading that I’m so woefully behind on, but as usual actual life events did not follow my carefully pre-scheduled plans.

I felt pretty good Wednesday after coming home from the hospital, I just couldn’t manage to actually do anything. The same pain medications responsible for that general feeling of well-being also made it pretty much impossible to accomplish anything other than groggily watch TV* (and I think I’ve seen about as much HGTV, Flip this House, Project Runway, and Top Chef as I can stand for now).

I tried reading some email and knitting blogs but found that I was just sort of semi-dozing in a seated position in front of my computer monitor so it was back to the sofa for more couch potato action.

Sometime in the evening knitting seemed like a good idea (note to self: Stranded knitting? Charts? What was I thinking?). I think you can see where this was headed. After my little exercise in negative progress I put the knitting away for the evening and gave up on getting anything done.

Yesterday was better for the alertness factor and I did manage to do a few things but I was still much more tired than I anticipated, like when I sat down to rest my eyes ‘for just a minute’ and woke up three hours later. I had also decided that I didn’t need any pain medication yesterday and that went pretty well right up until about 3:00 pm when my body let me know in no uncertain terms that it was not really on board with my whole ‘ibuprofen only’ plan.

So, progress on the ‘to do’ list at this point? Ummm, not so much really.

We’ll see how today goes. I am feeling much better so far. So much so that I probably feel too guilty to sit on the sofa knitting with so many other things piling up and vying for my attention around here.

*I will admit that I'm pretty much a total light-weight when it comes to medication.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy New Year

May you be blessed with a good and sweet year!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday Haiku

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Friends, Food and Fun!

(always a recipe for enjoyment)

The last two weekends have been a whirlwind of activity!

The weekend before last, Holly, Miss O, and I went up to Canada to see Lara and Angela.

We had a lovely visit with good food and lots of laughing. And there was a wee bit of fiber acquisition – but more on that in another post.

And also watermelon martinis (there may have been other alcohol-based drinks but I have very conveniently forgotten what they were.).

Spike enjoys his person-tree and The Flame is feelin' the love

Speedy delivery - The Monkey rushes to feed the ravenous horde

A delicious dinner of Monkey-caught salmon. Yum!

Holly and Lara discuss the various possibilities for dealing with
the midnight woodcutting, whoopin' & hollerin' drunken neighbor situation

Holly expresses her intense appreciation for Blue Caracao

Miss O enjoys a moment

Even Loki had a good time!

Other than the Twist and Lace scarf that I managed to finish while awaiting Lara's arrival at the house, there was very little knitting accomplished. It's entirely possible that the watermelon martinis may have played a role here. (After all, friends don't let friends drink and knit)

I finally got to see Lara’s renowned and incredible stash closet (a separate building really!). Unfortunately I was so amazed that I neglected to take photos.

I also learned to love the metric system during my visit (or, rather, appreciate my completely American ignorance of same). Lara talked us all in to letting her get our measurements as part of her research for design and sizing. Now normally I might be a bit shy and embarrassed to have my measurements taken and recorded in front of a group of people. But, hey metric! Centimeters! What is that waist measurement in inches? Who knows! (and again, the watermelon martinis may have played a part here). No pictures of that process...

The next day Angela and The Flame treated us to delicious dim sum brunch (with jasmine chrysanthemum flower tea -yum!) in Richmond. I had never had dim sum before – it was delicious and I'm really looking forward to enjoying it again!

Then last weekend I was off to Portland for the Blue Moon Fiber Arts book launch event for Cat Bordhi’s new book “New Pathways for Sock Knitters.”

I was scheduled to meet up with Angela and The Flame again at the Scappoose Creek Inn. I was booked for a room called “The Wrong Room” after ‘Wrong Way’ Corrigan, rather ironic given how my day developed.

Following my trusty (or so I thought) Mapquest directions, I set off for Scappoose. The Friday traffic was horrid and I didn’t make good time at all. Mapquest directed me to Highway 30 and I drove about 20 or so miles before I had the sinking feeling that something was wrong. No signs for Scappoose anywhere, yet Mapquest’s directions indicated I was only about 6 miles from the inn.

A quick cell phone call to the inn confirmed my suspicions. I was going in the exact opposite direction than intended – towards Astoria instead of towards Portland (yeah, I’m real good with the geography like that).

A mere 50 miles in the opposite direction later and I was checked in and enjoying a coffee and my new book on the Inn’s charming covered porch while waiting for Angela to arrive.

serendipitous book selection

My earlier impulse book purchase seemed very appropriate given that this was the view from the Inn's porch:

The welcoming committee

I’d had several calls from Angela as she and the Flame made their way south from Seattle, so I grew concerned when they still had not arrived at the inn by the time I’d expected to see them.

Some time later I got a call from Angela expressing concern that they might have taken a wrong turn. “We’re headed toward Astoria…”

It seems Google Maps was also a bit confused about the correct route to Scappoose.

So we were a bit late for the start of the event but we managed to catch the last bits of Cat’s talk and still had some time to chat with friends afterwards. We found out that we weren’t the only ones tripped up by the whole Mapquest/Google Maps error. In fact, we were in good company. It seems Cat herself was also a bit late to the event, having evidently enjoyed a lovely side trip to Astoria.

Cat Bordhi

Cat's giant demonstration needles and yarn

Cat's socks from the book

Joanne (BMFA wish fulfillment fairy)
makes post-event clean-up a fun task!

The next day we made the pilgrimage out to Blue Moon Fiber Arts shrine to visit Tina. It’s always fun to have a chance to visit with Tina and it was especially exciting to visit the fabulous dye barn!

(Tina generously gave me permission to post some of my photos here - ommitted are any shots that reveal the top secret Socks That Rock sock club yarn for this month. They were really great photos too, in case you were wondering...)

Angela shops for a bit of yarn...

A special BMFA yarn pixie assists Angela with her selections

Bob auditions for a role as Blue Moon's yarn spokesmodel

Janet gleefully considers her yarn selections

Jill and Janet (both sadly blogless) admire Tina's 'stash pod'

So much fun but back it’s back to work for now - all play and no work on the weekends does not get the housework and yard work done*. Or deadlines met. My nose must be firmly reattached to the grindstone for now.

*in fact, the rate of entropy in the household appears to increase rather exponentially when I’m away.

Blue Moon's barn greeter