Friday, May 21, 2010

Running on empty

The last two weeks have been a marathon.  Now if it were a marathon of knitting or spinning, I'd be squealing in delight.  Nothing so fun.  Instead it is the end of school events, this week alone had 2 concerts and a track and field day.  Last week was the fun night at school.  There have been doctor appointments for a few of us.  There was trips to our family home town to visit graves which is always emotionally charged and meetings to resolve issues with my mom's duplex that is now back in her possession after a failed Contract for Deed to puchase fell through.  Just a hard draining couple of weeks.

Tomorrow is Emily's birthday party, she and some friends will head to a nearby salon for manicure's, hair dos and makeup before returning to our house for pizza, cake and presents.  Then I plan on going to my room and curling up for a long nap!  Knitting has been slow and sporadic, but the blanket is moving along.  I'm around the first corner and heading along the second side of the leaf/cable border.  It is becoming very familar and easy which means I have to really watch what I'm doing on the cables or I will make a mistake not to be discovered until I'm around the corner flying along.  I may pull out some roving to spin, maybe this,
It is a merino silk combo I picked up at Shepherd's Harvest earlier this month. 
The Annual Shop Hop event is this weekend here in the Twin Cities.  I've  had great fun the last few years attending, there are 6 shops in the area that promote this event.  You head to each of the shops over a Friday through Sunday and receive little gifties with a purchase or donation for the food shelf.  You get a card stamped at all the stores, at the last store you leave it and next week the owners get together for a drawing.  Six store prizes, one grand prize.  The first year I went I was lucky enought to win a store prize and it was AWESOME.  I won a large quantity of yarn, a beautiful knitting bag, patterns, gift card for the yarn shop and many other beautiful items as my booty.  Talk about fun when I went to pick it up and got to spend the gift card to get even MORE yarn.  smile

But I've decided that I'm not going this year.  I have so much yarn and roving right now that I've reach a level of stash I'm not comfortable with.  Even though purchases are not required to participate in the stamping of the card, I always purchase something at each store (I say that like it is a hardship) so I decided this year to let it go and I will look forward to next year and shop with a vengence!  So to all the yarn hoppers out there, enjoy and good luck! 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fun at Shepherd's Harvest

The sheep festival held yearly at the Lake Elmo fairgrounds was wonderful as usual.  Again it was cold, damp, and drizzly out but that only helped in the knit ware fashion being modeled by all the attendees and vendors.  I had a great time.  And I only went through 2 of the 4 buildings filled with vendors.  I had a set budget and I went through that in the first two barns, the girls and mom were done so we left.  Some year I would like to go alone and not worry about everyone else and really just wander to my hearts content.  But no complaints.  I had a great time.  I already spun up this roving. It is called Atlantis, and the yarn looks and feels wonderful. 

I also bought some great Briar Rose yarn, it is in deep reds to black.  I'm not sure what it will be, probably a luscious shawl, but I'm open to suggestions.  One of the things my girls like best is knowing there will be food there, the kettle corn is the big draw for them.  I also am happy to give them money as we arrive if they need mother's day ideas.  Anna already had her gift for me (which was a lovely wooden heart that she made herself at school, with power tools and everything!)  Emily made me a beautiful card filled with all the reasons she loves me.  Can't go wrong with that.  But she asked for some money and this is what she gave me on Sunday.  It is a lovely poweder blue with pink.  Very soft and lovely.

I took stock of my yarn this weekend and realized how blessed I am.  My handspun is filling the cubbie to the brim.  I have two wheels of roving tucked next to the shelf as well as a LARGE basket overflowing with camel, merino, silk, and wonderful wool ready for spinning.  I have the completed handspun ready for hats and gloves.  I have oodles of sock yarn waiting to be socks or scarves.  And in two weeks, the local yarn hop is looming.  I made a big girl decision.  I'm going to skip it this year.  I have loved going the last two years.  I even won a huge prize the very first year I went.  But I think I'm going to pass.  I don't NEED anything.  And I'm thinking right now that I don't want anything either.  I've bought the books and magazines I want.  I have more than enough yarn and roving to hold me for (lets face it) months.  So instead of going to the shops, I will work on enjoying my stash when it is at its best.  Filled with endless possibilites.  Sounds like a good plan.
And finally, lest you think I've been slacking.  Here is the blanket in all it's glory.  I'm on the cable leaft border.  This will be a masterpiece I think.  I love it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The silence is broken

The last couple weeks have been a blur.  I traveled to Chicago on business.  While the seminar was intersting, the biggest event was being away by myself.  I got Emily over 6 years ago.  In that time, she has gone on some sleepovers, but I have never left her before.  She had serious sleep issues for years.  Each night was a huge challenge so me leaving her was not an option.  So here I was flying off for 2 1/2 days away.  In a fancy hotel.  Alone.  No one else from my company was there, I knew no one at the seminar.  I sat absorbing knowledge for 2 days.  And had room service meals.  Quiet room.  No decisions to make for any one other than me.  There were some highlights.  Like figuring out how the toilet works.  Now this should not have been a hard thing to figure out.  That is until you look in the bathroom and see this.

Now it looks like a normal toilet in all regards except the flushing part.  (who would have thougtht I'd write about this and have illustrations to boot!).  After some thought (and I'm not saying how much thought) I pressed on one side of the flat metal panel.  Presto chango the toilet flushed.  So curious as to what the other side of the panel did, I pressed that as well.  Even more resounding flushing occured!  I just laughed, water savings at its best.  But all in all the Chicago trip went well.  I knit in my room in the evening, I took phone calls from Emily as she struggled to sleep without me.  But we all managed and I had a nice break from my normal life for a few days.  It may be years before it happens again, but it was just a real nice break for me.
Now you might be wondering to yourself, while the toilet thing is interesting and all, isn't this a knitting blog?  Why yes it is.  And I even spun a bit too.  This is some yarn I keep thinking of carmeled apples when I see it.  I really didn't enjoy spinning it that much however, it was a bit scratchy and coarse feeling.  And it wasn't very smooth at all.  I'm not sure what I will make from it, but I figure you can always learn something from spinning and who knows.  I may come up with just that perfect thing to make from it. 
The blanket is coming along nicely.  I finished the cabled section which is when I should have taken another picture of it, laying all nice and flat.  But no, I couldn't WAIT to get started on picking up all those stitches to start knitting to oblivion.  So that is what I'm doing, knitting round and round and round.  On one VERRRRYYYYY long needle.  But it is lovely, soft, and just amazing.  Mistakes and all.  Because I have mistakes there.  And there they will stay. But I just love this blanket.