Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Singing and Flinging

I'm back from the second annual Loopy Ewe Spring Fling and it was great. I can't say enough about how well organized it was. Sheri and her family, friends, and employees did a super job of making sure everything ran smoothly and everyone had a great time.

I took only one class this year, Advance Lace Knitting with the inimitable Anne Hanson. She was lovely to meet and full of tips and inspiration. I just may have to try one of her big projects soon.

A couple of fun things: I organized a swap of small sock yarn scraps for people making (or thinking about making) a sock yarn blankie. You can find all the details of how to make this beautiful blanket right there on Shelly Kang's blog. Several people brought bags of yarn, and a few of us sat right down on the floor to swap.

It was loads of fun. Now I have to get going on this project! I have tons of tiny balls of yarn just patiently waiting to join the party.

Of course, a highlight of the trip is always the trip to Loopy Central. This time we saw the new, expanded Loopy Central with even more yarn and accessories for our shopping pleasure. My twin and roommate, Cathy-Cate, found plenty that tickled her fancy.

Don't we look happy to be there?

Another activity that I might have tried, aided and abetted by the lovely Adrienne, was spinning on a wheel. I have written about my adventures in drop spindling, and I do enjoy that, but if you want to get yarn, a wheel is much faster. Something like this just might have to come live with me.

And last but not least, I was recruited to participate in the traditional entertainment this year. The talented Tammy didn't disappoint and this year we had a rollicking tribute to all things Loopy. Give a listen if you so desire. (I didn't know it was being videotaped, and it sure shows how I need to stop fiddling with my clothing.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Welcome Sight

A girl and her dog enjoying a bit of Seattle's elusive sunshine.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Out of the Blue

So the rain finally stopped for a couple of days and I decided to work in the yard. Lately, it's hard for me to drag myself away from knitting/spinning/rolling little balls of yarn to trade and go outside, but it's also hard for me to drive into my driveway and see a garden filled with dead ornamental grass that should have been cut down weeks ago. I took care of that, then moved on to start to tidy up the long garden that runs beside the driveway. This will take longer, but I contented myself today with cutting more dead grass and stalks from last summer.

Here's something I saw while I was out there. Pretty, huh?

The tulip and the rhody blossom I photographed last week are opening nicely in the slightly warmer weather we have today.

While I was out there chopping away, a man came down the driveway with a big box. This was a BIG box. Here it is in relation to Buddy. Yes, Buddy did wonder why I was trying to make him sit or stay next to a big cardboard box that didn't smell interesting to him. The neighbors probably did, too.

Anyway, I had no idea what could be in the box. I hadn't ordered anything that large - but it was indeed addressed to me. When I saw the return address, I knew what it was. I also quickly finished my yardwork and hauled that big box into the house.

Some history: About two years ago, my husband told me that some people he had met at an out-of-town conference were in town and would I be willing to fix brunch for them at our house. Now I am a true introvert and, while I do enjoy entertaining, don't normally jump at the chance to get up early (not a morning person) and fix food for strangers. DH, who never met someone who wasn't a potential friend, talked me into it.

So I fixed the meal and waited for them to arrive, deciding of course to be a gracious hostess, but not really looking forward to the event. Well, they arrived...they were nice...the wife was a knitter...no more information is necessary. We hit it off immediately and even had time to make a quick trip to my LYS before they had to leave for the airport. We were both obsessed with dishcloths at that time, and got to sit and knit for awhile together. A totally fun morning!

Since then, we hadn't really kept in touch besides a couple of emails at the beginning. Recently, DH was in contact with her husband and mentioned that she might be interested in my blog. Well, she read it and then emailed me to tell me that she had enjoyed finding it and catching up with what I had been doing. Also, she wanted to tell me that she had given up knitting in favor of quilting (imagine that!) and....here's the good part....she was planning on packing up all of her yarn and sending it to me. Now you know the reason for all of this history. The box I got today was full of yarn!

It was so much fun to open it and look at everything. There's a huge pile of wool and wool blends; some I've tried and love, like Cascade 220 and some I haven't tried, like Pastaza, Lopi, Silky Tweed, and even some Noro Silk Garden. I can see a few sweaters, hats, mittens, and scarves and also lots of charity knitting with the partial skeins.

There's also an assortment of acrylic (good also for charity knitting and baby items) and novelty yarns. A couple of patterns and a pattern book, Nicky Epstein's Fabulous Felted Bags, rounded out this wonderful gift.

Whew! Looking at all this yarn can really wear a person (or dog) out.

I can't thank you enough, Carolyn, for your kindness and trouble in packing all this up and sending it to me. It really made my day and I appreciate it so much.

This sudden yarn windfall coming right before my trip to visit The Loopy Ewe might be fortuitous. Now perhaps I won't need as much of a yarn fix? Oh wait, no sock yarn in the big box!

P.S. After blogging for almost two years, I just realized how to upload more than one photo at a time. What a day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Winter or Spring?

I know a lot of the country is having it much worse than we are (special regards to my good friend, Goatlady, in Tennessee who was hit by a tornado the other day. They and their animals are okay, but their house sustained some damage, so all good thoughts and prayers are sent their way.)

Anyway, I went out for my afternoon walk with Buddy today dressed like this:

That's my winter jacket, and around my neck is my new Darkside cowl that I recently finished. I made it out of handspun (not by me) wool and it's soft and handy to have around the neck when it's cold and windy (even in April.) I've never made or worn a cowl before, but I liked the way it blocked the wind from the neck and didn't add the bulk that a scarf does. Now I see why they're so popular! It looks like this when it's lying flat.

I really liked working with this yarn. It's handspun, hand-dyed merino that I bought from an etsy vendor and it's really soft. I made the Amanda hat with it earlier, but didn't like how it looked on me, so it exists no longer. I want to make a tam-style hat with the rest of the yarn, possibly the one designed by Brooklyn Tweed in the last issue of Knit. 1 magazine.

We returned from our brisk walk and I decided to photograph some of the flowers that are starting to bloom.

Here's the first rhody starting to open:

And a camellia:

Tulips are pretty reliable:

The plum tree is looking good:

I wasn't inside five minutes when the dark, threatening sky fulfilled its promise. Rain, but rain that was partially white and made extra noise on the roof.

There's something wrong with this picture.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Finally Here?

I hate to say it out loud.....We've had a month of bad weather (snow a couple of days ago...in Seattle!) and a month of illness. Today was in the 60s, mild and just a perfect day all around.

My goal was to spend a little time in the garden. I got my roses pruned, finally, and a little weeding done. Luckily I did a good job of putting my dahlia/vegetable garden to bed for the winter, and it's not looking too shabby. I weeded around the garlic that's starting to sprout, then mulched with some of the straw from under the rabbit cage. Good organic fertilizer, that. Growing garlic is really easy and we love having all that fresh garlic to enjoy from midsummer on.

The raspberries got a little weeding and mulch, too. They're just starting to sprout some new leaves.

So are the roses.

You'll never guess what's doing the best already. Good thing our little rabbit likes dandelions.

In keeping with the spring theme, I sat outside for awhile and worked on my Asparagus Cable socks. This is an easy and fun pattern, available at The Loopy Ewe in the Wendy Knits section.

I'm using Numma Numma Toasty in the Pesto colorway. Can't wait to finish.