Friday, August 22, 2008

Post 163-OMG!

OMG! Stitches is this weekend, as much as I would have liked going to the Michigan Fiber Fest in a bus filled with knitters, I like to think I can use the 55 dollar bus fee at Stitches and get some really good shit instead.

Mia says hi, and is totally devoted to me and still really scared of other people, one step at a time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Post 162-Ravelypics Status

3 words on my progress, can anyone say "Jamaican Bobsled Team"? Not a chance in hell.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Post 161-Indigo, Stars, and the Big O

That title says a lot eh? So sit down, this is going to be a long post.

Starting in reverse order, my new addiction is green! How I love the color green now, where have you been all my life? I remember now, when I was young in the 80's you were neon lime, ick, and in the 90's you were drab olive, ugh, but now you are emerald and celery and all goodness in between. A couple of years ago I noticed that the green colors being used in fashion were starting to look good on me, but I have to say with the Pine colored Rowan Felted Tweed yarn I bought and that is in my Ravelypics project I have admitted I am addicted. It's the buttons you see, I bought these faceted dark celery green glass buttons and I must have more. I just won a vintage lot of buttons on e-bay that might also do, I'm wearing my favorite green t-shirt right now that everyone is sick of seeing me in, and my favorite head band is green silk.

The buttons from ebay, possibly for the Tangled Yoke sweater.

Last night I have a very sad and disturbing dream about some relatives of mine and throughout the dream I was carrying around with me an emerald green silk dress while trying to buy a matching long green crystal necklace. Yea I'm weird. After this post I might have to go to the bead store and see if I can recreate the necklace because I must have it and like long beaded necklaces that you can wrap around your neck 3 times.

The big O is not what you're thinking, dirty dirty, it's Oprah! Yes, I have finally procured some tickets, what luck. A couple of days ago I was on her website and remembered they sometimes take your info if you're interested in last minute tickets, and low and behold, they called me! It's been 12 years since I was last in the audience, 16 years since my aunt and uncle were on the panel during a show, so I'm thinking it's about time.

The three lucky people I will be taking with me are the only people who were nice enough to answer my phone when I called them, they are are John the wonder-neighbor, Valerie my star seeking companion and Shannon the roommate who just had a birthday(what a gift she gets this year!)

So the week we had the yearly visit of the Perseid meteor shower, and considering that next year's visit will basically suck and the fact that every year that I've remembered to look up it's been cloudy, a road trip was in order as suggested by Valerie.

Not my picture, my camera is a cheap little digital and could never capture a meteor shower.

Trying to keep a grasp on my youth and remembering that in the past I used to take impromptu little trips I said yes. The basic idea was to go out to the country, and while Chicago is the US's third largest city, cornfields can be found just over an hours drive out. With map in hand, strawberries, chips and ice coffee in tow we headed out and found ourselves going through a maze of highway construction and found ourselves on Tollway 88 heading east, past Dekalb. We kept looking looking for clear sky, I though Valerie was joking when she suggested we just drive due west until we reached Iowa (I would have taken a nap that afternoon if I had known) but I persuaded her to turn onto highway 95 that goes north to Rockford, we turned onto route 64 and found ourselves a little bit of cornfield (ala Children of the Corn if you ask me), copped a squat and stared at the sky looking for shooting stars, which we found.

Children of the Corn could have been filmed here.

Amateur stargazer hard at work.
The view still wasn't the best, but it was cool and everyone one spotted got a squeal of delight from me. Later on we found another brief viewing spot, made out way east on 64 back toward the city and if we wanted to could have taken all the way home. Valerie perfected her coasting skills, the speed limit was obeyed and besides being pulled over in St. Charles for going too slow and admiring the vintage architecture we found the best donuts at Bosa Donuts and made it home before the sun rose. I was tired after that and poor roommate had to deal with a new dog that missed her master and paced the apartment the whole night waiting for me, ahh. I need to admit something about that little road trip, I stole 4 ears of corn and don't even know if it's human corn or animal corn, and I peed in my first cornfield, I'm sorry.

And now the Indigo part of my post. Rachael and I made a pilgrimage to The Fold in Marengo. What a beautiful day it was, and while it did rain why we were in the workshop it was nice before and after. Knitting and the fiber world is a small place, it turns out there was a lady in my workshop that knows some people I used to work with a long time ago at a Saudi Museum Collection, I find these connections pop up every once in awhile. I brought with me three skeins of yarn to dye and each was a little bit different from the next. I dyed a skein of Treenway silks lace weight, a skein of Knitpicks bare sock yarn, and about 1200 yards of mystery silk/wool lace weight that I paid 1 buck for a cone that contained over 3600 yards. This was a good study on how different fibers take dye differently.

Boil, Boil, Toil and Trouble...., a good pot of indigo this one was, it has the perfect blue scum on the top and soupy green liquid underneath.

All dyed and ready to sit for 24 hours before washing.

All dried and re skeined, looks store bought to me.

Finished product. I highly recommend Toni's dye workshops, they are so much fun and you don't have to worry about making a mess in your kitchen or on your floors.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Post 160-Ready, Set, Knit!

12 hours and counting until I can officially start my Ravelympics project. Rachael's hosting the opening ceremony party this time and I thought that was when I could start but according to Team Chicago's leader the start time really is 7am for us here. I am absolutely ready to go, yarn has been bought, swatch knitted and steamed, gauge measured, needles purchased and buttons on order. This Olympic's project, the Tangled Yoke from Interweave Knits.

I fell in love with this pattern and figured it was about time I make a complete sweater, details and all. The plan is to change the button hole from 3 stitches to 1 or so to fit the slightly smaller buttons I found at Soutache and to lengthen the sweater by a couple of inches for my longer torso, at least I hope so. I have the exact number of balls for the specs as is but have located a couple of more from a LYS to cover a longer version if needed.

The buttons are untraditional and even though tweedy yarns tend to scream for wooden or leather buttons I like the look of these glass bottle green faceted ones, tweed meets vintage, very Rowan I think.

I finished the Lace Wings shawl the I knitted from some Seacell purchased at Midwest Folk and Fiber. This pattern knits up so fast that I got it done before I had a chanced to photograph it and put it in my stash.

Blocked on my bed. My technique is to blocked it by pinning and then spraying with scented laundry spray, umm roses, very girly.

A Close up.

Modeled by me, it really helps to have a big ass to give you more surface to show of the shawl with.

Mia is coming along just fine, she no longer needs to get feed in front of her cage, has learned where the water dispenser is and might just learn to sit on command soon, I am very pleased with her and glad she got me.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Post 159-July Sucks

Yup, that's right, this July was officially the suckiest month. Not only did I lose a pet but so did my surorigate dorm mom, aka John my neighbor. John was the person I called while at the emergency vet late at night and he was the one who took me to my vet the next with Bella. Three days later one of his own dogs was at the vet for minor surgery when he died unexpectantlly. Also, a good friend and fellow knitter would agree July sucked because she lost two really close family members in a matter of weeks.

After I let Bella go I was really depressed and just plain sad. Didn't cook, didn't garden, didn't even knit, I'm amazed at how much I can sleep. Right away I wanted to do two things though, buy Bella an urn, and adopted another Italian Greyhound. Because July sucked, both of these endeavors proved hard to accomplish and had catches.
First the box, I looked all around online and couldn't find a good doggie urn that wasn't overpriced, cheaply made or just plain tacky. Ta-da, etsy to the rescue. I found this woodworker guy that makes them out of solid exotic woods, unstained and simple looking. After many e-mails, Fred designed for me a memory box that not only held Bella's cremains but also had a lined top section where I can keep her collar, paw print and mementos. This is July and nothing good can happen. Last week I heard a thump outside my door, my substitute mailcarrier tossed the box over my very tall wrought iron fence and broke the box in doing so, see, July sucks. After a couple of visits to my local post office I managed to convince them that one should not have to buy insurance on a priority box to cover the gross negligence a mail carrier shows when throwing a box over a 7 foot tall fence onto concrete, it also helps to explain that the special made box was an urn for my dog, can't diss the dead I suppose. I should explain that in the whole US, Chicago has the worst postal service, and in the whole of Chicago I have officially the worst local post office. I was guarranteed a check, don't laugh, in the mail, haha in about a month and then I will have to order a whole new box again, maybe this time I will go for Purpleheart instead of Bloodwood.

I missed having a dog and wanted to get another adult one and not deal with puppyhood or the cost of a purebred puppy (anywhere from 350 to 1400 dollars) so I look to the local rescue group for the breed I like best, Italian Greyhounds. I won't go into too many details but suffice it to say, I find most rescue groups run my crazy militant people that make it is so damn hard to adopt a puppy there's little wonder why there are so many out there in foster homes and not with permanent families. The rescue group leader in my area did not like my vet or the medical care given to Bella and denied me with out a home visit, talking to my references or my landlord. I assume it was my vet she didn't like since I was never given an explanation and I haven't talk to the group since except to say....I have a new doggie! Via the Doberman rescue group I got Mia. Mia was known as Nancy and is an IG, go figure how they and not an IG group ended up with her but she's mine now. Mia came from a hoarders home with over 50 other dogs, she was used for breeding and is about 3-4 years old. It will be awhile until she is acclimated to the life of a lazy city dog, she's scared of the world but it is totally crate trained, pad trained, is oblivious to the cats and is cute as a button.

Knit content to follow tomorrow, perhaps with a finished project.......maybe.